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Trump's last hurrah against Huawei 18 Jan 2021, 9:09 pm
Trump administration has issued more restrictions to Huawei before leaving the White House. According to a Reuters report, Trump admin is now denying licenses that Huawei was required to work with American companies.
After May 2019 and the addition to the U.S. government's "entity list", Huawei's road has been a rocky one. While specific licenses made it possible for it to continue buying technology and products from U.S. based companies, it has had to get rid of Google services on its phones.
Now it seems that other products and technology from the United States might not be anymore available to the Chinese smartphone and wireless powerhouse.
Just before leaving office, Trump admin has started denying the licenses Huawei needs to buy products from the U.S. companies. This includes companies like Intel, whose chip shipments to Huawei will cease.
A total of eight licenses to four different companies have been denied and the source expects this to continue. Not only is this tough for Huawei, it's affecting the companies that are losing business and a massive customer at that.
According to the report, 150 licenses that gross $120 billion are pending and another $280 billion haven't yet entered the process. Many of these are now likely to be denied, although it's unclear what percentage will be affected.
There's currently no clear policy to point to which would explain the basis of the denials but dozens of licenses are expected to be denied.
Recently Xiaomi was added to a U.S. blacklist that lists Chinese companies with connections to Chinese military. U.S. shareholders of those companies have to divest their investments.
Steam releases "2020 Year in Review," reveals player numbers 18 Jan 2021, 7:31 pm
Steam has revealed their 2020 figures in a post they call "2020 Year in Review." The company's fifth annual review includes some stats, including player numbers and most popular games.
The service broke new records with a whopping 120 million monthly active users and 62.6 million active users every day on average.
Steam recorded a peak to 24.8 million concurrent players, which happened during the bug-ridden Cyberpunk 2077 launch.
The situation the world has been for the past year has no doubt tremendously increased the usage of this online platform as well. A total game time recorded was 31.3 billion hours which is a massive 50.7% increase to the previous year with around 20 billion hours.
Not only was the year a success for Steam, according to the company it was good for the developers and publishers too. The number of games that grossed more than $100k increased by 36%. Seasonal sales also broke records.
As you can imagine, the data transferred coincides with the game time and increased over 50% to 25.2 exabytes. That's 25 200 000 000 000 000 000 bytes.
The post on Steam's website goes into way more detail about SteamVR stats, controllers, etc so you might want to check it out here.
DuckDuckGo reaches new heights: 100 million searches a day 18 Jan 2021, 4:06 pm
Perhaps the most serious competition to Google's search engine comes not from Microsoft and Bing but a different perspective altogether. DuckDuckGo promises to keep browsing private and search results untailored.
The 2008 launched website has gained traction in recent years due to privacy issues with the Silicon Valley giants. Now, SearchEngineJournal has spotted that DDG has managed to break a new one-day record.
A week ago on January 11, DuckDuckGo was used to search a total of 102 million times. This is the first time the search has passed 100 million searches in a single day.
Just last fall DDG was hovering at around 40 million searches a day. Average in January will be around 90 million likely, unless the site gets a huge bump in the latter half.
DDG is a small player still, considering even Yahoo and Bing still clearly outrank in marketshare, and for a comparison Google's searches per day are counted in trillions.
However, people are becoming more privacy oriented my the minute, so who knows if DDG will start trending soon in the same vein as Signal just did.
Trump admin blacklists Xiaomi 15 Jan 2021, 12:44 pm
The Pentagon has designated nine companies to their black list for being associated with the Chinese military, Reuters reported. Among the added are the world's third largest smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac.
This is a separate black list from the one Huawei is in, and has the specific distinction to being controlled by the Chinese military. This also means that the companies on this list aren't necessarily barred from cooperating with U.S. companies, so Xiaomi should be able to continue using the Google ecosystem on their phones.
What they are barring is shareholding from U.S. individuals and companies. Holdings in these companies have to be divested by November 11. The list previously included companies like the Chinese chip maker SMIC.
There's a possibility that Xiaomi will be added to the entity list that makes it harder to work with U.S. companies and technologies, too. This happened to the Chinese oil company CNOOC which was on the military black list and was according to FT just recently added to the entity list.
However, it's less likely as the administration changes and four years of toughening of China policies might be a thing of the past.
Samsung's new wireless earbuds have ANC and new two-way design 14 Jan 2021, 7:39 pm
Samsung announced today the new Galaxy S21 lineup that includes, as expect, the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra. As has become a custom, the company also refreshed their earbuds.
The new model carries the name Galaxy Buds Pro and, according to the company, they also provide audio experience that even professionals would appreciate.
One has to doubt that any serious audio professional is going to switch their monitor headset for there but there are some improvements that should provide better audio.
Samsung has developed a two-way design that allow two difference elements, separate woofer and tweeter, inside the tiny shell. It remains to be seen how much this actually improves the audio quality.
The new design also features a more streamlined profile and a new addition of a wind chamber should capture most of the wind that is trying to get to the microphones to ruin your phone calls.
Galaxy Buds Pro also feature active noise cancellation, or ANC, which allows users to block out the distracting ambient noises but also use the mics to pass through whenever there's a need for a quick chat or perhaps you'd want to hear surrounding announcements.
There's Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity that allows multi-device pairing and easier switching between devices.
Galaxy Buds Pro cost $200 and they are available in three color options.
Samsung announced new Galaxy S21 series from $799 to $1199 14 Jan 2021, 7:20 pm
Samsung announced today three new Samsung Galaxy S21 models as expected. At the first Unpacked event of the year Samsung introduced Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The lineup hasn't really changed from last year in terms of the trio of devices hitting different price points and specs preferences but there are some important upgrades to the last year's models.
All the new Galaxy S21 models have a new and improved display panels that offer better peak brightness and now also 120 hz refresh rate at maximum resolution.
The S21 and S21+ feature a Full HD+ display and Ultra has a QHD+ panel. All of them feature a more durable Gorilla Glass Victus on top of the panels. Peak brightness hits 1300 nits on S21 and S21+, and 1500 nits on Ultra.
As you might guess, there are some size differences. S21 display is 6.2" while S21+ is 6.7" and Ultra 6.8", which means that S21 and S21+ display size stayed the same while Ultra got tiny bit smaller from last year, although it does now support S Pen.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and S Pen
However, all of the models got a larger, 1.7x to be exact, fingerprint sensor underneath the display.
The S21 is the only model to rely on polycarbonates in construction. The other two have a glass and metal build. All of them have IP68 waterproofing.
Battery size varies from 4000 mAh of S21 and 4800 mAh of S21+ up to 5000mAh of Ultra. To improve battery life, Samsung has also implemented a variable refresh rate that automatically adjust the display from 10hz all the way to 120hz depending on the need.
SoC has been upgraded to 5 nanometer chips, Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888 (US), depending on the market. As for the storage and RAM options here's what you've got:
- Samsung Galaxy S21: 8/128GB, 8/256GB
- Samsung Galaxy S21+: 8/128GB, 8/256GB
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: 12/128GB, 12/256GB, 16/512GB
Unfortunately there is no microSD slot anymore, so you'll have to do with what you've got in terms of storage.
In terms of camera, the setup changes quite a bit between the S21/S21+ and the Ultra, quite like last year. The former two have a triple camera setup including a 12 MP regular shooter (f/1.8, OIS), a 12 MP ultrawide with 120 degree view, and a 64 MP telephoto with 3x hybrid zoom.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera setup
Ultra on the other hand replaces the default shooter with a 108 MP (f/1.8, OIS) camera and adds another 10x telephoto to go with the ultrawide and 3x telephoto.
In terms of selfie cameras, the first two have a 10 MP camera and Ultra features a whopping 40 MP selfie shooter.
Pre-order have started today and the sales start officially on the 29th of this month. The prices start at $799 (S21), $999 (S21+) and $1199 (S21 Ultra).
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S21+
Signal has revealed new features after hitting #1 on App Store 13 Jan 2021, 9:14 pm
Signal has been trending ever after Facebook announced in the new EULA that all WhatsApp users need to share their information with Facebook.
Elon Musk decided to give people a push they might need in order to switch from a messenger to another by tweeting simply "Use Signal." And people most definitely have been switching according to App Store and Google Play ranks.
Signal is now number one app on both platforms, and there's probably a lot of people that are yet to switch. The non-profit running Signal are certainly trying abuse the fact that they've seemed to catch lightning in a bottle.
They've not announced on Twitter a few new features that will be soon landing on Signal. According to the tweet in a few days you'll get:
- Chat wallpapers!
- About field for your Signal profile
- Animated stickers
- For iOS: Media auto-download settings and full-screen profile photos (to match Android)
Signal added a "Good morning India!" at the end of the tweet which might mean that the rollout will start from India. It's a little unclear, here's the tweet:
Here's a sneak peek at some new Signal features that will start rolling out in a few days:-- Signal (@signalapp) January 12, 2021
• Chat wallpapers!
• About field for your Signal profile
• Animated stickers
• For iOS: Media auto-download settings and full-screen profile photos (to match Android)
Good morning 🇮🇳! pic.twitter.com/KEAbhMswRI
Nvidia announces GeForce RTX 3060 at CES 13 Jan 2021, 4:35 pm
Nvidia has announced their newest addition to their RTX graphics card lineup at the virtual CES that runs this week. The most budget friendly of the new 3000 series cards will be available late next month.
The new 3060 fills the gap that Nvidia left last month when they announced RTX 3060 Ti. Now with the regular 3060, they've got a fairly affordable new generation card, that a lot of people have been waiting for.
GeForce RTX 3060 features 12 GB of GDDR6 memory, 3584 CUDA cores, 192-bit memory interface, and a clock of speed of 1.32 GHz (boost at 1.78 GHz). Nvidia recommends a 550 watt PSU for the GPU that uses up to around 170 watts.
Nvidia compared the new card to the latest GTX predecessors, the GTX 1060, and specifically their ray tracing capabilities. A rather odd comparison, considering that it has been well established that ray tracing is pretty much the one trick the new RTX cards have to offer.
Nonetheless, the new RTX 3060 can provide up to 10 times the ray tracing performance to GTX 1060. Nvidia also promised 60 fps, ray tracing enabled, in new games.
As mentioned, RTX 3060 will be available late February, although expect stock to be limited, starting at $329.
More information about RTX 3060 can be found here.
Adobe Flash - no more 12 Jan 2021, 9:22 am
Flash has been dying for a while now. Ever since HTML5 video over a decade ago people were ready to give up their Flash Players for the less resource heavy option.
Now after years of scaling down, Microsoft being among the last to remove Flash, Adobe has finally pulled the plug.
The company has fought for the unoptimized, resource-hogging security problem for long enough. It is time to let it go.
As of today, 12th of January, 2021, Adobe Flash asks you to uninstall itself from your computer. Furthermore, all Flash content will refuse to work after this day.
In the release notes, Adobe thanks all customers and collaborators for the 30 year lifespan of Flash Player.
Google, Apple, Amazon ban Twitter competitor Parler 10 Jan 2021, 3:56 pm
There is some sort of social media purge going on right now. After President Donald Trump was ejected from Twitter, other platforms have followed suit with bans of their own.
In addition to several social media platforms removing Trump's accounts or restricting access, tech companies – or monopolies as the Congress addresses them – have joined in.
Google and Apple have removed the Twitter competitor Parler citing "public safety threat" and "insufficient measures to remove threats" respectively.
Parler was built to provide more free speech focused social media platform for those that do not appreciate Twitter's arguably rather selective and/or restrictive measures, or those that have no choice in the matter.
Parler CEO John Matze posted a statement to Apple banning Parler. He brought up Apple's hypocrisy with threats as Parler was banned while #HangMikePence was trending on Twitter.
In addition to the two mobile platform giants, Amazon, the provider of Parler's cloud computing, has decided to shut down their servers.
Parler is currently still online but Matze suggested it might go down for as long as a week following AWS ban while the company works on future plans.
Roku has bought Quibi's shows 9 Jan 2021, 5:42 pm
The not-so-successful short-form mobile streaming platform Quibi has found a new home. Perhaps a little surprisingly it's none of the traditional large media conglomerates, instead you can spot Chrissy Teigen now on The Roku Channel.
Roku has announced that is has acquired much of what is Quibi's show library. This includes both original shows and documentaries that were originally developed for Quibi.
The Roku Channel will be the new home to shows such as #FreeRayshawn, Chrissy's Court, Die Hart, Dummy, Flipped, Most Dangerous Game, Punk'd, Reno 911!, and Survive. There are a total of more than 75 shows and hundreds of hours of content.
Roku also namedropped some of the entertainment stars that join Roku's catalog, including Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, and Chrissy Teigen.
According to the company, all this content is going to be available to you for free in the near future.
Hyundai source suggests Apple Car might be coming 8 Jan 2021, 8:18 pm
For years we've had rumors, or at least hopes, that Apple would enter the car market. Redefining the industry might not be as easy as it was before Tesla, but information that has been leaked in the past years suggests that Apple is seriously looking at the possibility of an iCar.
The Cupertino-based company bought an autonomous driving company Drive.ai in 2019 and has been seeking talent before – years before – and after that to compliment the automotive business they might engage in later on.
Even the respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that an Apple car might be in the making for a release in 2023 to 2025.
Now the news comes from a Korean source that Apple has been in talks with Hyundai about their EV.
However, rumors suggest that Apple interested in cooperating with Hyundai specifically at this point but has contacted other manufacturers as well.
It's too early to tell who Apple might team up with, and iCar is still very far off, but it's another strong indicator that in a few years we might see some sort of EV announcement from Tim Cook. We just have to hope it doesn't use Apple Maps.
Critical vulnerabilities found in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox 8 Jan 2021, 5:02 pm
Major web browser vulnerabilities have been discovered this week. The two separate security problems are found in Firefox and Chromium that is the basis for both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
The former is a cookie-related vulnerability that makes Firefox a hazard for the entire system. The vulnerability is known as use-after-free and was notified about couple days ago by the Firefox team.
Use-after-free is a serious liability as the abuser can take full control of the computer, tablet or phone Firefox is installed on via the browser. Fortunately Firefox has already patched the problem and released an update. However, if you are using Android version 84.1.3 or desktop version 84.0.2 the vulnerability is still present, so update with haste.
The second exploit is found in open source Chromium browser that is the basis for Microsoft's Edge as well as Google's Chrome. Both browsers were affected by the security issue.
Both have also issued a patch to their respective browsers.
This one is serious too, and can be used to control the system. While the Android version of Chrome was fixed a while back, Linux, macOS, and Windows versions still had the vulnerability as recently as last week.
Microsoft issued a new update to remove the vulnerability, known as CVE-2020-15995, on both Android and Windows.
Both Microsoft and Google, as well as us, recommend you update your browsers immediately.
Finnish Customs service to sell its massive bitcoin pile 7 Jan 2021, 11:08 am
Over the years, Finnish Customs service has gathered a huge pile of cryptocurrencies that have been seized from criminals and smugglers.
Customs service has kept all the bitcoins in their possession as they are, but now the organization plans to sell them and convert them into more traditional euros. The current value of seized bitcoins is now around 60 million euros (appx. $74M).
Most of the bitcoins in customs possession have been seized back in 2016 with a so-called Douppikauppa (literally "dope store") case where customs raideda an illegal drug-selling site that operated in dark web. Originally the bitcoins seized were worth appx 700 000 euros, but now the value has risen to more than 50 million euros, as the bitcoin's value has risen dramatically over the past five years.
After the sale, customs will transfer the money to Finnish government. Customs has been criticized for holding on to its bitcoins, but for taxpayers, the holding on to the bitcoins has been extremely wise move.
Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it? 4 Jan 2021, 11:13 am
Android 11 was released in September, 2020. Only handful of phones in fall of 2020 were actually released with Android 11 operating system, but the list of phones announced that will get the update has grown significantly over the months.
In this list, we try to keep track of all promised, rumored and confirmed Android 11 updates to all major manufacturer phones. Some of the list is based on -Google's own list, some of the list is based on manufacturer's own announcements.
It should be remembered that even when specific phone model is promised to have an Android 11 update, it doesn't necessarily mean that your phone will get it. The models promised to get the update include typically only unlocked phones, not those customized to specific operator - it is up to operators to decide whether their custom models will get the said update or not.
Android 11 has already arrived or has been promised to arrive to these phone models:
- Google phones
- Samsung phones
- OnePlus phones
- Xiaomi phones
- Nokia phones
- Oppo phones
- Realme phones
- Sony phones
- Motorola phones
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 XL
- Pixel 3a
- Pixel 3a XL
- Pixel 4
- Pixel 4
- Pixel 4a
All the mentioned Google phones can already get the official Android 11 update.
OTA (over-the-air) updates already available:
- Galaxy S20
- Galaxy S20+
- Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Galaxy S20 FE
- Galaxy Z Flip
- Galaxy Note 20
- Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- Galaxy Note 10
- Galaxy Note 10+
- Galaxy S10 Lite
- Galaxy Fold
- Galaxy S10
- Galaxy S10+
- Galaxy S10e
- Galaxy Z Fold2
- Samsung Galaxy A70
- Samsung Galaxy M30s
- Samsung Galaxy A51
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
- Samsung Galaxy 31
- Samsung Galaxy M21
- Samsung Galaxy A50
- Samsung Galaxy A50s
- Samsung Galaxy A80
- Samsung Galaxy M51
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
- Samsung Galaxy A70s
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
- Samsung Galaxy A71
- Samsung Galaxy M31s
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
- Samasung Galaxy M40
- Samsung Galaxy A31
- Samsung Galaxy M11
- Samsung Galaxy A21s
- Samsung Galaxy M01
- Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 (2020 model)
- Samsung Galaxy A30
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
- Samsung Galaxy A10
- Samsung Galaxy A10s
- Samsung Galaxy A20
- Samsung Galaxy A20s
- Samsung Galaxy A30s
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019 model)
- Samsung Galaxy M10s
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019 model)
Schedule listed here is official Samsung schedule, but might change over the time. We'll update the list accordingly, if needed.
For these models, official, open Android 11 beta is already available:
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- OnePlus 8
For these models, Android 11 will be released later this year:
- OnePlus 7T Pro
- McLaren Edition OnePlus 7T Pro
- OnePlus Nord (open beta promised for January, 2021)
- OnePlus 7T
- OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
- OnePlus 7 Pro
- OnePlus 7
- OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition
- OnePlus 6T
- OnePlus 6
- OnePlus Nord N10 5G
- OnePlus Nord N100
Furthermore, OnePlus 8T shipped with Android 11.
Open beta of Android 11 can be downloaded for these models:
- Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
- Xiaomi Mi 10
- Xiaomi POCO F2 Pro
Android 11 is promised for these models, but not available yet:
- Xiaomi Mi 10 Youth Edition
- Xiaomi Mi Note 10
- Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro
- Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
- Xiaomi Mi 9
- Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro
- Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
- Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
- Xiaomi Mi 9T
- Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro
- Xiaomi Mi A3
- Redmi K30 Pro
- Redmi K30
- Redmi K30 5G
- Redmi K30i 5G
- Redmi K20 Pro
- Redmi K20
- Redmi Note 9
- Redmi Note 9 Pro
- Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
- Redmi 10X Pro
- Redmi 10X 5G
- Redmi 9
- Redmi 9C
- Redmi 9A
- POCO X2
- POCO M2 Pro
- POCO C3
- POCO X3
These models will get Android 11, according to the manufacturer HMD Global:
- Nokia 9 PureView (Q2/2021)
- Nokia 8.3 5G (Q4/2020 - Q1/2021)
- Nokia 8.1 (Q4/2020 - Q1/2021)
- Nokia 7.2 (Q1-Q2/2021)
- Nokia 6.2 (Q1-Q2/2021)
- Nokia 5.3 (Q4/2020 - Q1/2021)
- Nokia 4.2 (Q1/2021)
- Nokia 3.4 (Q1/2021)
- Nokia 3.2 (Q1-Q2/2021)
- Nokia 2.4 (Q1/2021)
- Nokia 2.3 (Q1/2021)
- Nokia 2.2 (Q4/2020 - Q1/2021)
- Nokia 1.3 (Q1/2021)
- Nokia 1 Plus (Q2/2021)
These OPPO phones will get Android 11:
- Find X2
- Find X2 Pro
- Reno 3
- Reno 3 Pro
These Realme models already have open Android 11 beta available:
- Realme X50 Pro
For these Realme phone models, Android 11 will be released, but later:
- Realme X50
- Realme X3
- Realme X2 Pro
- Realme X2
- Realme XT
- Realme X
- Realme 7 Pro
- Realme 7
- Realme 6 Pro
- Realme 6
- Realme 6i
- Realme 6S
- Realme 5
- Realme 5 Pro
- Realme 5i
- Realme 5s
- Realme 3 Pro
- Realme 3
- Realme Narzo 10
- Realme Narzo 10A
These Sony phones already have OTA Android 11 update:
- Sony Xperia 1 II (released in December, 2020)
These Sony models will get Android 11:
- Sony Xperia 1 (February 2021)
- Sony Xperia 5 II (January 2021)
- Sony Xperia 5 (February 2021)
- Sony Xperia 10 II (January 2021)
This is the official list of Motorola phones that will get Android 11 update:
- Lenovo K12 Note
- Motorola razr 5G
- Motorola razr
- Motorola edge
- Motorola edge+
- Motorola One 5G
- Motorola One Action
- Motorola One Fusion
- Motorola One Fusion Plus
- Motorola One Hyper
- Motorola One Vision
- Moto G 5G
- Moto G 5G Plus
- Moto G Pro
- Moto G Stylus
- Moto G9
- Moto G9 Play
- Moto G9 Plus
- Moto G9 Power
- Moto G8
- Moto G8 Power
- Moto G Power
Are we missing something? Let us know in comments!