Weekly Tech News Headlines – Jan 09 2021

 

LAVA brings customizable smartphones in India

Indian company Lava International is now entering into the market with their latest series of smartphones. On 7th January the company announced 4 new ‘Made in India’ smartphones: Lava Z1, Z2, Z4 and Z6 and also Lava myZ which will be India’s first customizable smartphone offering program. While the other 4 smartphones come with default specifications, with Lava myZ buyers can customize phone’s RAM, storage, front and rear camera and the color. The ‘Made-to-order’ concept for smartphones will allow buyers to pick and drop specifications on their phone as per their choice on select devices only. This customization can be done on Lava official website.

 
Depending upon the configuration chosen, Lava myZ will be available between Rs. 7,000 and Rs. 10,650. While the other 4 smartphones will start from Rs 5,500 and will go upto a price of Rs 10,000. Lava Z2, Z4, Z6 and MyZ are available starting January 11th while Lava Z1 sale will start from January 26th.

Lava also launched the Z-up program, which allows you to trade in your phone for the same model with more RAM and storage at a small cost. This is applicable only for the first year of ownership of Z2 through Z6 phones.

It should be noted that a customizable smartphone is not a new concept. In 2013, Google brought Project ARA in which different modules of smartphones can be customized by swapping them. Modular smartphones are a great concept that would have revolutionized the tech industry, but Project ARA never came to general use. The idea of project ARA was that a user can replace a specific component per their preferences or in case if it’s not working. The customization offered in google ARA was mostly components swapping from outside but in Lava myZ program this is not the case. Lava myZ program is pre-building your own phone with components of your choice, just like you order a pre-built PC. 
 
This is a very appreciable step taken by a Indian company by giving control in hands of customers so as to choose what is best for them.

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LG’s self-cleansing True Wireless earbuds: LG Tone Free

If you want to extend your sanitizing habits to your gadgets as well, then LG has brought something good for you.

LG’s self-cleansing Tone Free earbuds are now available in India. This new Truly Wireless Earbuds comes with a charging case that supports self-cleansing of earbuds by emitting ultraviolet rays. LG claims can kill 99.9 percent bacteria on the earbuds while charging them.

Apart from this unique feature, the top model among the two released models has all premium features such as active noise cancellation, Bluetooth v5.1 for connectivity, voice commands and IPX4 water resistant rating.

In terms of pricing these Truly wireless earbuds are more expensive than some premium ones available in the market, such as Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. The top tier LG Tone Free (HBS-FN7) model will cost Rs 30,000 while the lower model LG Tone Free (HBS-FN6) will cost Rs 25,000 in India.

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Intel announces RealSense ID face recognition technology

 

Intel announced their face recognition technology RealSense ID, in which using only a glance, users are able to quickly unlock what’s important to them. The feature of face authentication is nothing new, and we are already using them daily in smartphones. Apple’s FaceID is amongst the popular face authentication techniques to unlock Apple devices. But Intel is further extending this form of bio-metric authentication to work with smart locks, access control, point-of-sale, ATMs, kiosks and more. Intel RealSense ID combines active depth with a specialized neural network, a dedicated system-on-chip and embedded secure element to encrypt and process user data quickly and safely.

According to Intel, RealSense ID also adapts to users over time as they change physical features, such as facial hair and glasses.  The system works in various lighting conditions for people with a wide range of heights or complexions. It will also have built-in anti-spoofing technology to protect against false entry attempts using photographs, videos or masks, and provides a one-in-1-million false acceptance rate.

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WhatsApp new privacy notice to users raises some serious concerns

Recently WhatsApp has updated its terms and privacy policy and it’s kind of concerning. This move is a part of Facebook’s bringing all of its messaging services Facebook messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, under one umbrella.

This week users started getting in-App notifications to accept this new terms of service and privacy policy. The notice only gives an option to agree with the new changes or else be ready to lose access to their whatsapp account. By hitting the ‘AGREE’ button you acknowledge to share any kind of data that WhatsApp holds to its parent company Facebook and its subsidiaries. Whatsapp chats and calls are still end-end encrypted, however Facebook can track the associated metadata to target its services and ads better. And for the ads part, the new policy states that the service will have no ads for now, indicating that this plan could change in the future.

credits: forbes.com

The image shown here by Forbes compared Signal, Apple’s own iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with the amount of data points they collect per user. It can be noted that the amount of data collected by Facebook messenger is terrifying compared to other messaging apps, including its own WhatsApp.  “Data linked to you” means that “the data is collected in a way that is linked to your identity, such as to your account, your device or your details.

With this new policy changes in WhatsApp, the data points that all Facebook companies can access may include your account details, any metadata associated with your chats, your financial transactions (over WhatsApp Pay), and even some information that the app automatically collects, like your log reports, device and network details, and your location,

Accepting these usage policies is upto personal choice, but if your focus is on privacy, then you can consider using the Signal app or Telegram app. Signal messaging app is developed by WhatsApp ex co-founder Brian Acton.

Elon Musk tops wealthiest person chart

If any person who has made the best growth in 2020 it’s the Elon Musk. After dethroning the 2nd position of Bill Gates in November 2020, Elon Musk has now surpassed Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, to become the world’s wealthiest person. 

credits: bloomberg.com

 

As per Bloomberg’s billionaires index, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk Total Net worth is now around 195 billions US dollars, while Jeff Bezos total net worth stands at 185 billions US dollars as on 8th January. The soar in wealth is mostly due to the recent rise in Tesla’s shares. The surge in the company’s shares has amassed around 150 billions US dollars in the past 12 months for Elon. This is the first time since October 2017 that Bezos has been dethroned from his position at the top of this list.

credits: barrons.com

While the only Indian to make in the top 15 of this list is Mukesh Ambani with his diversified business. Mukesh Ambani has a total net worth of around 73 billions US dollars.

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Vaio to Make Comeback in India on January 15

Companies are well aware of the opportunity in the growing laptop market due to increase in Work from Home. Utilizing this, Sony’s brand VAIO is making a comeback with the launch of their new laptops in India. 

 

VAIO India official page on YouTube gave a glimpse of their upcoming launch on 15th January in a teaser video. Flipkart has also created a microsite for VAIO laptop confirming the launch date on the aforementioned date. The brand didn’t reveal the specifications or features of its new models. 

VAIO laptops were once popular in demand for its sleek and colorful laptops and silently exited Indian and global market in 2014 when SONY sold the brand to the investment firm, Japan Industrial Partners. Now Hong Kong-based Nexstgo Company, which also sells Avita laptops in India and global markets, is reviving the VAIO brand. It is already manufacturing, selling, marketing, and serving VAIO laptops in few South East and Middle East Asian countries.

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By theWhiteNinja

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