Latest MIUI 10 Stable Update for Poco F1 Brings 960fps Slow-Motion Video Recording Feature

Xiaomi is leaving no stones unturned to offer Poco F1 users a better experience. The company has been pushing out software updates to the Poco F1 on a regular basis for a long time now. A new update comes to the phone. The Poco F1 is getting a new update which brings a range of new upgrades to the phone like 960fps video recording and more. To recall, Xiaomi pushed the 960fps video recording feature to Poco F1 MIUI 10 beta users a while back, and now, the update is being rolled out to all the users on MIUI 10 stable build.

miui-10-poco-f1-video-recording

Several Poco F1 users earlier complained about the phone not supporting the required Widewine L1 DRM component which basically ensures HD playback on several video streaming platforms like for example Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. In fact, some Poco F1 users have been suffering from several other problems like screen bleeding, among others. And like always Xiaomi Poco has been great at rolling out fixes to these problems via software updates. The company will reportedly bring the Widewine L1 DRM support to Poco F1 very soon.

Poco F1 Gets January Security Patches

The new software update rolling out to the Poco F1 includes V10.2.2.0.PEJMIXM number but the company is yet to confirm the same. The news of rollout of the software update comes from Xiaomi’s Alvin Tse via a tweet. The new software update will come together with January Android Security Patch which will bring bug fixes and several improvements. The update will bring new features like one of the most awaited of them all — 960fps slow-motion video recording. The software update will also bring improvements to the camera to shoot great pictures and videos in low light situations. Notably, both the aforementioned features are already in the beta stage which means they are coming to all users very soon.

Some reports claim that the 960fps slow motion feature won’t actually be true 960fps but instead will support 240fps video recording. The reports suggest that it could be because of the Sony IMX 363 sensor on the Poco F1 which doesn’t support 960fps slow-motion videos.

Poco F1 Selling at Cheaper Prices

During the Flipkart Republic Days sale, the Poco F1 is selling with Rs 1,000 discount which drops the price of the phone to Rs 18,999. This is for the base 6GB RAM with 64GB of internal storage variant. The Poco F1 was launched for a starting price of Rs 20,999 for the same model. A few months ago Xiaomi dropped the price of all variants of the Poco F1 by Rs 1,000. After the price drop, the Poco F1 now retails with MRP of Rs 19,999.

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How to Secure Sensitive Products During International Shipment

Whether it’s legal documentation, physically delicate items, or specialist equipment, it is imperative to protect sensitive products during shipment –, especially on an international scale.

So, how can we secure that an item remains secure and intact while being sent abroad?

Fortunately, there are three simple ways to make sure.

Secure Sensitive Products

Insurance

A major step in ensuring the safety of your packaged product is to choose the most reliable insurance company to cover any damage or repair costs should any issues arise.

In other words, cover your back, but not just with any agency. If looking to send a specialist type of equipment, go for specialists in the field it belongs to. This way, you’ll know that your insurer has the expertise and required skills to respond to item breakage and damage swiftly and effectively.

With trustworthy experts like Arthur J. Gallagher Services, for example, a sender can secure that marine and shipping equipment of all sizes is insured by sector specialists throughout the postage process.

Equally, if you’re wanting to secure that legal documentation or, say, fragile items remain safe during international shipping, look for insurance specialists in this area for adept support and protection.

Packaging

Identifying appropriate packaging methods can mean the difference between damaged and usable items during international shipment. Obviously, this particularly important when it comes to sending sensitive products of any nature.

Items that require freshness and a consistent temperature throughout the shipping service could benefit from effective packaging methods hugely.

Flowers, for example, can be kept cool with insulated foam containers –a technique that even works in extreme heat. To further heighten the chill factor, include coolants in packaging. Apply this technique to products on a similar level of sensitivity – like food – for the same result.

Packaging ideas like this will ensure that items remain secure despite changes in temperature and location, which can be particularly useful for international shipments.

Choose the right courier

Whether sending a package as an individual or on behalf of a business, the right courier can mean the difference between security and danger. And this is extremely important when you take sensitive data into account. So, to make sure that you select the ideal service, peruse the internet for references and reviews on courier agencies.

Online sources like Trustpilot can prove useful for checking credibility in this area, too. A trustworthy courier will also guarantee that any sensitive legal information remains intact and secure during shipping, both on a national and international level.

With the right knowledge and information, ensuring the safe transportation of a crucial document or delicate object overseas needn’t be challenging. In fact, when you know what to look for in insurance, packaging and a courier service, you can be assured that you are making the right decision when it comes to sending sensitive products to another country.

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Circle’s USDC Stablecoin Fully Dollar Backed, Says Latest Auditor’s Report

Crypto finance startup Circle’s USDC stablecoin was fully backed with fiat reserves at the close of 2018, according to auditing firm Grant Thornton.

The auditor published an attestation report on Wednesday, stating that Circle had $251,211,209 held in custody accounts as of Dec. 31, 2018, against the 251,211,148 USDC tokens in circulation at the time.

Goldman Sachs-backed Circle currently has a total of 353,309,381 USDC tokens on the markets, according to data from Etherscan, indicating it has topped up supply by about 100 million tokens within the last 15 days.

In its report, Grant Thornton noted that its examination “was conducted in accordance with attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.”

The firm’s previous attestation of Circle’s assets back in November also found no issues. Circle had just under $127.5 million as of Oct. 31, 2018, enough to redeem its USDC tokens circulating at the time.

Stablecoin issuers Gemini and Paxos have similarly published supporting attestations from their auditing firms, BPM and Withum, respectively. Gemini had about $91 million in reserves to back its Gemini dollar (GUSD) circulation as of Dec. 31, 2018, while Paxos had about $142 million to back its PAX supply.

While the controversial and the largest stablecoin issuer in the space, Tether, reportedly appears to have had sufficient fiat reserves to back up its USDT tokens during 2018 and 2017, it has failed to produce a full audit from a professional specialist.

US dollars image via Shutterstock 

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Facebook launches its first US podcast with a series focused on entrepreneurship

Everyone has to have a podcast, apparently. Even Facebook. The social network this week launched its second-ever original podcast series, and its first in the U.S. An arm of Facebook’s business operation, the new show “Three and a Half Degrees” will focus on entrepreneurship — specifically the lessons learned, challenges faced and other insights from successful business leaders.

The name is a reference to how technology has made it easier to connect — today, people are no longer six degrees apart, but only three and a half degrees, the company says.

“I consider it part of our mission to help the businesses we work with learn from one another,” explains David Fischer, Facebook’s VP of Business and Marketing Partnerships. “One way we’re doing this is with the new podcast ‘Three And A Half Degrees: The Power of Connection.’ Through the podcast, we hope to celebrate the journeys of entrepreneurs and business leaders on our platform, and scale their inspiring life lessons and learnings to other entrepreneurs and leaders,” he says.

Facebook today has more than 90 million businesses using its platform, so it makes sense that it wants to further establish itself as a place where established businesses can share their knowledge with newcomers. Those smaller businesses could then grow to become a more active part of Facebook’s larger business network, which keeps the cycle — and the ad dollars — flowing.

Fischer will serve as podcast host, and kicks off the first episode with an interview with the creator of TOMS,  Blake Mycoskie, who is introduced on the show to Bryan and Bradford Manning. The Mannings say they were inspired by TOMS to start their own charitable business, Two Blind Brothers. The overall focus for the episode is on brands that prioritize their social mission over profit and growth.

Future episodes will include Monique and Chevalo Wilsondebriano from Charleston Burger Co. and Chris Kempczinski from McDonald’s (episode 2); Stephanie McMahon from WWE and Gary Vaynerchuk from Vayner Media (episode 3); Victor Lezama from PC Landing Zone and Jake Wood from Team Rubicon (episode 4); Suzanne Gildert from Sanctuary and Kindred AI and Beth Comstock, formerly with GE (episode 5); Antionette Carroll from Creative Reaction Lab and Jonathan Mildenhall from TwentyFirstCenturyBrand (episode 6); Ben Rattray from Change.org and advisor Chip Conley (episode 7).

This first season includes these seven episodes and 14 guests, with new episodes arriving every two weeks.

It’s not a long season, and Facebook hasn’t yet confirmed plans to do another, we understand. That makes the “podcast” a bit more like a marketing initiative rather than a serious attempt at entering the podcasting market.

The podcast is also not monetized. The company has no plans to sell ad space within the podcast, either. It will be marketed across Facebook and Instagram.

Though this is the first time Facebook has done a podcast in the U.S., it has experimented in this space previously. Last summer, it tried a similar effort in Australia, where leading marketers talked about connecting with consumers in a podcast called Face 2 Face. That one seems to have even more of a tie to Facebook’s own bottom line. (Connect with consumers? Social ads, of course!).

This one takes a step back from the nitty-gritty of reaching consumers through spending on marketing and ads, but focuses rather on the business leaders themselves.

The vibe of the podcast is one of a highly produced effort. It doesn’t begin as a sit-down, informal back-and-forth chat, but one where pre-recorded interviews are intercut with host narration and storytelling. It’s not until nearly halfway through before the introduction between Mycskie and the Mannings is made. At that point, it shifts from being a sort of NPR-Lite style effort, and one where you’re listening to a conversation — albeit one with a polished, media-trained exec like Mycskie.

Unfortunately, this more compelling part of the program is far too short, and quickly wrapped up with the host summarizing the learnings.

The new U.S. podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and TuneIn.

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BitPay Says It Processed Over $1 Billion in Crypto Payments Last Year

U.S.-based crypto payments processor BitPay says it processed over $1 billion-worth of transactions last year.

Announcing the news on Wednesday, the firm said this is the second consecutive time it’s reached the billion-dollar mark in its over seven years of existence.

“To process over a $1 billion for a second year in a row despite bitcoin’s large price drop shows that bitcoin is being used to solve real pain points around the world,” said Stephen Pair, BitPay co-founder and CEO.

Giving further highlights of the past year, the firm said its business-to-business venture saw revenue growth of about 255 percent year-on-year as new clients including law firms, data center providers and IT vendors signed up to accept crypto payments.

Notable new customers added in 2018 included subscription TV provider Dish Networks, online organization of security experts HackerOne and the U.S. state of Ohio, which became the first state in the nation to allow taxes to be paid in bitcoin back in November.

The firm also added settlement support for bitcoin cash (BCH) and stablecoins from Circle (USDC), Gemini (GUSD) and Paxos (PAX), while its focus still remains on bitcoin (BTC), according to the announcement.

“Bitcoin has the network effect around the world and we are still extremely bullish on bitcoin and the bitcoin ecosystem,” said BitPay head of product Sean Rolland.

During the year, BitPay also raised $40 million in a Series B round, bringing its total capital raised so far to over $70 million.

Bitcoin payments processor image via Shutterstock

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Subscriber Base of Reliance Jio to Cross 300 Million by the End of March 2019: Report

Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced that it has no plans to raise the tariffs as it is already witnessing robust growth in its subscriber base with the current prices along with constant revenue growth, reported ET Telecom. With that announcement, it is clear that Vodafone Idea Limited and Bharti Airtel which are the major players in the industry apart from Reliance Jio are going to have a hard time in recovering their revenues back to the normal levels. Furthermore, it’s also said that Jio’ subscriber base will cross 300 million mark by the end of March 2019 or this financial year.

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Reliance Jio Announces No Plans of Slowing Down and Increasing Revenue

In Jio’s post-fiscal third-quarter earnings meet, many analysts present from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citi Research said that the company executives have made it clear that customer acquisition remains Reliance Jio’s top priority even though it has attained nearly 24% subscriber market share and 26% revenue market share in the Indian telecom industry. The earnings meet was held on Thursday this week.

A Goldman Sacha analyst who was present at the meet said in a note, “Jio has said it will not tinker with tariffs and risk disrupting the strong subscriber (growth) momentum as its focus in the near term remains on adding subscribers.” The brokerage further added that “revenues would stay stagnant for incumbent telcos (read: Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel) until Jio reaches its earlier stated target of 400 million subscribers”.

Reliance Jio Subscribers to Cross 300 Million Mark Soon

Going by the analysts’ words, Reliance Jio’s subscriber base is estimated to reach the figure of 302 million by the end of FY19 judging by the pace of its current customer addition which seems to be somewhere near 9-10 million per month. In comparison to that, Bharti Airtel had 342 million subscribers by the end of November, whereas, Vodafone Idea had 421 million subscribers. However, Bharti Airtel’s subscriber base has remained mostly stagnant or has been dwindling. On the other hand, Vodafone Idea has been losing subscribers rapidly.

Another brokerage firm, Credit Suisse said that Jio’s move to separate its tower and fibre firms into a separate entity which will be able to take investment would bring down the debt levels of the company. This move further strengthens the case that the telecom operator does not plan to raise tariffs any time sooner.

CLSA, another brokerage said that in the first half of 2019 Reliance Jio is likely to sign a deal which will take a big chunk out of the $25 billion debt off of Reliance Jio’s. However, industry experts have asserted that Reliance Jio is not likely to chase customers the way it did in the past two years given its subscriber growth and stable revenue numbers. It is worth noting that if Reliance Jio had decided to increase tariffs, then the incumbents would have a chance to improve their revenues but with Reliance Jio keeping its eyes on subscriber growth; the plan doesn’t seem to be going well for the incumbents.

Incumbents Remain Under Widening Losses

In the upcoming reports, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea both are expected to report losses again, as per an ET poll whereas Reliance Jio has had its fifth consecutive profitable quarter with a 65% on-year jump to Rs 831 crore in its December quarter bottom line while operating revenue climbed 51% on-year to Rs 10,383 crore.

According to the experts, Reliance Jio is going to keep its prices the same way until it stops trailing in comparison to the other telcos in the category A and metro circles, the geographies which account for a whopping 53% of the telecom industry’s adjusted gross revenue or ‘AGR’.

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Best BenQ Monitors You Can Buy In 2019

As one of the biggest names in the monitor industry, BenQ is known to produce great monitors for every user base, including professionals, gamers and casual people. Today, we will briefly review best gaming monitors in 2019 for every one of those different user types.

1. BenQ EX3501R

Ever since it got released, HDR (High Dynamic Range) was a huge deal for most TVs but it took the market some time to realize that best gaming monitors need HDR as well. BenQ EX3501R is one of the first ultrawide HDR monitors in the market for both general entertainment and gaming purposes. The monitor has a 35-inch screen size with a 3440 x 1440 resolution, 4ms response time and 300 nit of brightness score.

It has a VA panel, which is a sweet spot between IPS and TN panels. The monitor’s refresh rate is above the average too, with an impressive 100Hz refresh rate and it supports AMD FreeSync for tear-free gaming. On top of all that, the monitor has a USB-C input in case you want to charge your laptop while using it, or any other device. Ultimately; BenQ EX3501R is one of the best curved gaming monitors out there with HDR.

BenQ EX3501R

2. BenQ PD3200U

BenQ PD3200U is a professional monitor mainly aimed at editors and designers. It does not have any form of adaptive sync support and has various features for different purposes such as Darkroom, CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) and Animation. The monitor has a 32-inch screen size with an IPS panel and native 4K resolution, so the color accuracy, image quality and the viewing angles are fantastic, as it should be on a professional monitor.

As of other standard features, the monitor has a 60Hz refresh rate, 4ms response time, 1,000:1 contrast ratio and 350cd/m2 brightness. Despite all this, it is still priced fairly and can even be used for casual console gaming if desired. All in all, PD3200U is one of the best BenQ monitors out there for CAD professionals.

BenQ PD3200U

3. BenQ Zowie XL2730

Contrary to out previous choice, BenQ Zowie XL2730 is a competitive gaming monitor aimed mainly at competitive gamers. The monitor has a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate, coupled with AMD’s FreeSync technology; so its gaming performance is truly high and the monitor is fast and responsive, making it fit for fast-twitch shooters like CS: GO and Overwatch.

The monitor has a TN panel, however, which holds its viewing angles and color quality back. Also, its design is quite simplistic for a gaming monitor but it manages to stay elegant. In conclusion, BenQ Zowie XL2730 is a great BenQ gaming monitor for those looking for fast and responsive gameplay.

BenQ Zowie XL2730

4. BenQ EW3270U

BenQ EW3270U is one of the best affordable 4K monitors in the market. It boasts HDR10 support, a 31.5-inch UHD screen, a VA panel, a refresh rate of 60Hz, 3000:1 native contrast and 300 nits of brightness. The gaming monitor also supports AMD FreeSync over an impressive range of 24-60 frames per second, meaning you will never see a screen tear in your games even if you drop frame rates.

The monitor’s main gimmick is its HDR10 support. HDR makes the colors and effects in movies and games much more realistic and livelier, especially in games like Doom, Destiny 2 and Far Cry 5. Its HDR performance is on par with more higher-end 4K monitors. If you want affordable 4K HDR gaming with FreeSync, BenQ EW3270U is one of the best monitor upgrades you can make.

BenQ EW3270U

5. BenQ GW2765HT

As our final choice for the best BenQ monitors list, we have a great all-purpose general entertainment monitor, GW2765HT. It is both a great affordable gaming monitor for casual gamers and for casual users. The monitor has a 27-inch QHD (1440p) screen with an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel, 4ms response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio and 350 nits of brightness. Its refresh rate is 60Hz, so competitive gamers may not find what they are looking for here, but it keeps the price down for most users.

As a plus, the monitor features ZeroFlicker & Low Blue Light for a better viewing comfort. ZeroFlicker ensures there are always no flicks on the screen and Low Blue Light significantly reduces the harmful blue light that comes out of the monitor. All in all, BenQ GW2765HT is one of the best affordable BenQ monitors out there for casual users.

BenQ GW2765HT

It does not matter what type of user you are, whether it be a competitive gamer, a professional designer or just a normal user looking for general entertainment, you can find what you are looking for in this list as these are the best BenQ monitors in their respective fields in 2019. If you have found what you are looking for or want to give an opinion about the list, let us know.

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Facebook fears no FTC fine

Reports emerged today that the FTC is considering a fine against Facebook that would be the largest ever from the agency. Even if it were 10 times the size of the largest, a $22.5 million bill sent to Google in 2012, the company would basically laugh it off. Facebook is made of money. But the FTC may make it provide something it has precious little of these days: accountability.

A Washington Post report cites sources inside the agency (currently on hiatus due to the shutdown) saying that regulators have “met to discuss imposing a record-setting fine.” We may as well say here that this must be taken with a grain of salt at the outset; that Facebook is non-compliant with terms set previously by the FTC is an established fact, so how much they should be made to pay is the natural next topic of discussion.

But how much would it be? The scale of the violation is hugely negotiable. Our summary of the FTC’s settlement requirements for Facebook indicate that it was:

  • barred from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers’ personal information;
  • required to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences;
  • required to prevent anyone from accessing a user’s material more than 30 days after the user has deleted his or her account;
  • required to establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program designed to address privacy risks associated with the development and management of new and existing products and services, and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of consumers’ information; and
  • required, within 180 days, and every two years after that for the next 20 years, to obtain independent, third-party audits certifying that it has a privacy program in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order, and to ensure that the privacy of consumers’ information is protected.

How many of those did it break, and how many times? Is it per user? Per account? Per post? Per offense? What is “accessing” under such and such a circumstance? The FTC is no doubt deliberating these things.

Yet it is hard to imagine them coming up with a number that really scares Facebook. A hundred million dollars is a lot of money, for instance. But Facebook took in more than $13 billion in revenue last quarter. Double that fine, triple it, and Facebook bounces back.

If even a fine 10 times the size of the largest it ever threw can’t faze the target, what can the FTC do to scare Facebook into playing by the book? Make it do what it’s already supposed to be doing, but publicly.

How many ad campaigns is a user’s data being used for? How many internal and external research projects? How many copies are there? What data specifically and exactly is it collecting on any given user, how is that data stored, who has access to it, to whom is it sold or for whom is it aggregated or summarized? What is the exact nature of the privacy program it has in place, who works for it, who do they report to and what are their monthly findings?

These and dozens of other questions come immediately to mind as things Facebook should be disclosing publicly in some way or another, either directly to users in the case of how one’s data is being used, or in a more general report, such as what concrete measures are being taken to prevent exfiltration of profile data by bad actors, or how user behavior and psychology is being estimated and tracked.

Not easy or convenient questions to answer at all, let alone publicly and regularly. But if the FTC wants the company to behave, it has to impose this level of responsibility and disclosure. Because, as Facebook has already shown, it cannot be trusted to disclose it otherwise. Light touch regulation is all well and good… until it isn’t.

This may in fact be such a major threat to Facebook’s business — imagine having to publicly state metrics that are clearly at odds with what you tell advertisers and users — that it might attempt to negotiate a larger initial fine in order to avoid punitive measures such as those outlined here. Volkswagen spent billions not on fines, but in sort of punitive community service to mitigate the effects of its emissions cheating. Facebook too could be made to shell out in this indirect way.

What the FTC is capable of requiring from Facebook is an open question, since the scale and nature of these violations are unprecedented. But whatever they come up with, the part with a dollar sign in front of it — however many places it goes to — will be the least of Facebook’s worries.

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