Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Announced, Available from July 19 Priced at Rs. 22,999

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Announced, Available from July 19 Priced at Rs. 22,999Nvidia has announced its new GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, aimed at mainstream gamers. Graphics cards based on the new GTX 1060 will be available worldwide from partner companies including Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and Zotac on July 19. There will be only one configuration featuring 6GB of GDDR5 RAM. Pricing in the US is $249 (approximately Rs. 16,858) but the official price in India has not been announced yet. We can expect it to be considerably higher to account for import duties and distribution costs.

UPDATE, July 8 2016: Nvidia’s recommended pricing for India has been confirmed at Rs. 22,999.

The new GeForce GTX 1060 comes hot on the heels of Nvidia’s high-end GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 GPUs, and seems to be aimed at the same market segment as AMD’s new Radeon RX 480. The timing of the launch, and of earlier leaks, could be a direct shot at AMD. Interestingly, the Radeon RX 480 with 4GB of RAM is priced $50 lower in the USA at $199, but AMD’s higher overheads give Nvidia a decisive advantage here in India. However, the GTX 1060’s price could make it less popular than its predecessor, the GTX 960 which sells for under Rs. 18,000.

Gamers will benefit from the same Pascal architecture that the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 are based on, although the actual GPU is a smaller unit codenamed GP106, rather than the GP104 which the other two are based on. The GTX 1060 has 1280 programmable graphics processing units and can run at up to 1.7GHz when under full load. The 6GB of GDDR5 memory has a 192-bit pathway to the GPU, resulting in memory bandwidth of up to 8Gbps. The maximum power draw is rated at 120W, and cards featuring Nvidia’s reference cooler will have a single 6-pin PCIe connector.

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Most notably, the GeForce GTX 1060 dispenses with SLI connectors altogether. Nvidia had de-emphasised SLI with the launch of the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, first saying enthusiasts would need a special key to unlock it, and then limiting it to two cards down from four. Now, the company says its research shows that only a miniscule number of people ever used SLI on mid-range cards, and it believes that one GTX 1060 delivers enough performance on its own.

Nvidia will offer a Founders’ Edition version of the GTX 1060, but it has a simple plastic shroud and blower fan rather than the elaborate metal vapour-chamber cooler that gives the GTX 1080 Founders’ Edition its premium pricing. It will be available only in France, Germany and the UK, directly through Nvidia’s online store, priced at EUR 319/GBP 275. Partner companies will offer GTX 1060 cards with their own custom cooler and PCB designs, not Founders’ Editions with their own branding, as is the case with the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070.

GTX 1060 cards will have three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs as well as a single HDMI 2.0b port and one dual-link DVI-D port by default. Partners might change this arrangement around on their custom designs, with extra HDMI outputs most likely replacing DisplayPort to allow users to connect a VR headset and monitor at the same time.

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Nvidia’s new Pascal architecture, which underpins the entire GeForce 10-series, is the company’s first on a new 16nm process, which results in greatly improved performance and lower power consumption than previous offerings. Pascal has also been designed to enable simultaneous multi-projection which allows for multiple perspectives of the same scene to be rendered in one pipeline pass, greatly improving performance for VR and multi-monitor experiences. SMP support is built into the Unreal 4 and Unity engines, and will be coming to over 30 titles including Obduction, Raw Data, Unreal Tournament, and Adr1ft.

The company also points out that the Ansel screen capture feature which debuted with the more expensive cards is also fully supported, and will debut in July with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst.

Nvidia promises equal or greater performance from the GTX 1060 as from last year’s GeForce GTX 980, plus significant overclocking potential. Stay tuned for a full review once these cards are available in the market.

Android’s Full Disk Encryption Compromised, Affects Millions of Devices

Android's Full Disk Encryption Compromised, Affects Millions of Devices It’s far from surprising anymore to hear about security glitches in Android but this latest find could potentially compromise the security of hundreds of millions of devices. The flaw has been spotted by Gal Beniamini, a security researcher, who’s found a way to use ARM’s TrustZone kernel code-execution to essentially break Android’s Full Disk Encryption (FDE).

All Android smartphones running on 5.0 Lollipop or later use something called FDE, which makes all the data on your phone unreadable unless you have the unique key needed to decrypt it. This is the similar to the security feature that caused a tussle between the FBI and Apple recently. According to Beniamini’s report, an attacker can potentially exploit certain loopholes in Qualcomm’s security in order to recover that unique encryption key. He also states that the issue cannot be completely resolved with merely a security patch as it might require hardware changes.

FDE is designed to be uncrackable but clearly it’s not as secure as Google hoped. Breaking FDE still requires a brute-force attack but once the attacker has the key, all that’s left is figuring out your password. Beniamini’s research also found that the key is not hardware bound which means it can be extracted by software. He goes on to state that Android’s current FDE is only as strong as the TrustZone kernel. Any vulnerability exploited here could easily compromise the devices encryption and thereby, exposing your private data.

Google says it rolled out patches for this issue earlier this year. Qualcomm says the issue was “identified internally” and fixed, with patches issued to “customers and partners”, but if and when these fixes find their way down to consumer devices out there is anyone’s guess.

Qualcomm’s full statement: “Providing technologies that support robust security and privacy is a priority for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI). QTI continues to work proactively both internally as well as with security researchers such as Gal Beniamini to identify and address potential security vulnerabilities. The two security vulnerabilities (CVE-2015-6639 and CVE-2016-2431) discussed in Beniamini’s June 30 blog post were also discovered internally and patches were made available to our customers and partners. We have and will continue to work with Google and the Android ecosystem to help address security vulnerabilities and to recommend improvements to the Android ecosystem to enhance security overall.”

Watch: Drone Footage of Apple’s ‘Spaceship’ Campus That’s Nearing Completion

Watch: Drone Footage of Apple's 'Spaceship' Campus That's Nearing CompletionDrone footage of the ongoing construction of Apple ‘Spaceship’ Campus 2 have been quite regular, and the latest one comes from aerial documentarian Matthew Roberts. His latest video gives us a full-blown aerial tour of the majestic campus giving us a sneak peek at the auditorium, R&D facility, the parking space, and even the new fitness centre for employees. The video also hints that the construction might be nearing its end.

Roberts has been releasing monthly video updates of the Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino since March this year. Apple got a go ahead to build the spaceship-like campus in November 2013. The latest video shows us the progress the construction has made, and it looks like the work is nearing completion.

Drone footage of the ongoing construction of Apple ‘Spaceship’ Campus 2 have been quite regular, and the latest one comes from aerial documentarian Matthew Roberts. His latest video gives us a full-blown aerial tour of the majestic campus giving us a sneak peek at the auditorium, R&D facility, the parking space, and even the new fitness centre for employees. The video also hints that the construction might be nearing its end.

Roberts has been releasing monthly video updates of the Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino since March this year. Apple got a go ahead to build the spaceship-like campus in November 2013. The latest video shows us the progress the construction has made, and it looks like the work is nearing completion.

The building’s circular spaceship-like structure is seen taking shape, with glass panels now being installed. The video claims that the company’s Research and Development wing exterior is nearing completion, with glass panels’ installation already underway.

The fitness centre dedicated to employees spans 10,000 sq. ft. on the campus. The car parking area can house as many as 11,000 vehicles at one time. Roberts claims that the parking structure solar panels are about 95 percent complete. These solar panels will be capable of producing 16-megawatts of power, and additional 4 megawatts of power will be supplied by fuel cells. The combined electricity could power as many as 3000 homes, sufficient to power the campus even during events like launches and WWDC, Apple’s annual developers’ conference.

The campus will need a total of 3,000 glass panels to build the spaceship campus. The video claims that about 1.2 million square feet of glass will be used at the Apple Campus 2. The in-house auditorium and visitor centre is also seen taking shape. It spans across 120,000 sq. ft. and provides seating for 1,000 people. It will include a large lobby area with kitchen facilities. This is where Apple is expected host all of its events in the future.

The parallel project of additional buildings along North Tantau Avenue has also been documented. In some areas, the foundation work has begun, while other buildings are being constructed rapidly. Roberts also captures the bizarre mountain of dirt collected at the construction site, which he claims will be used for landscaping later. Of course there is plenty of work that is still left, but comparing it to last year’s video, the campus construction has come a long way in one year. The campus is expected to be ready by sometime next year.

TCL 560 Smartphone Can be Unlocked With Your Eyes: Price, Specifications, and More

TCL 560 Smartphone Can be Unlocked With Your Eyes: Price, Specifications, and MoreTCL, a Chinese company best known for its television sets, has entered the Indian mobile market with its first offering, the 560 smartphone. Priced at Rs. 7,999, the TCL 560 will be available exclusively via Amazon India starting Tuesday 12am.

The biggest highlight of the smartphone is its Eye Verify technology which the company touts can unlock the smartphone using the front camera of the handset. TCL 560 unlocks only after the eye verification of the user to prevent unauthorised access, touted Nicolas Zibell, Vice President of TCL Corporation at the launch.

For specifications, the TCL 560 features a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display and is powered by a 1.1GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 (MSM8909) processor. It comes with 2GB of RAM and bears 16GB of inbuilt storage. The handset supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB).

The Android 6.0 Marshmallow based smartphone sports an 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera with LED flash and also houses a 5-megapixel front camera on board. The dual-SIM smartphone also supports 4G and VoLTE (voice over LTE). Other connectivity options include GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and Micro-USB. The handset packs a 2500mAh removable battery.

Commenting on the launch, Praveen Valecha, Regional Director, TCL India, said “The Indian smartphone market is constantly evolving and the young generation understands technology, consumers are looking for unique smartphones with advanced features and high standards to gain the maximum experience. Our strong in-house research and development team have helped in customising the smart phone especially for such consumers. Maintaining the brand’s legacy, we are looking forward to make this brand a success in the Indian fast growing Smart Phone Market. This launch is just the start of a journey of launching a comprehensive mobile and digital portfolio”.

Facebook Will Soon Let You Translate Your Posts Into 45 Languages

Facebook Will Soon Let You Translate Your Posts Into 45 LanguagesSocial networking giant Facebook will soon make it easy for you to communicate with a global audience. The company is introducing a new software that automatically translates your posts to several different languages, a media report said on Saturday.

The software makes your published posts visible to people in their preferred languages.

All you need to do is type up a post, click on a pull-down menu, and add up to 45 different language translations – ranging from French to Filipino to Lithuanian, tech website CNET reported.

The so-called “multilingual composer” is being tested only among a small group of users for now.

The social network said the feature is already being used by 5,000 Facebook Pages which are specifically for businesses and brands, but it will soon open for testing to the broader social network.

The software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to prefill the translation field when you add different languages to a post.

It utilises information like a user’s location, language preferences and what language a person most commonly uses to post on Facebook to decide which version of the message to show.

According to Facebook, about half of its 1.65 billion users worldwide speak a language other than English.

The move is expected to allow people to spend more time on Facebook.

After Pluto, New Horizons Set to Meet Deeper Space Object

After Pluto, New Horizons Set to Meet Deeper Space ObjectAfter its historic first-ever flyby of Pluto, Nasa’s New Horizons mission has received the green light to fly onward to an object deeper in the Kuiper Belt.

The spacecraft’s planned rendezvous with the ancient object named 2014 MU69 – considered one of the early building blocks of the solar system – is January 1, 2019.

“The New Horizons mission to Pluto exceeded our expectations and even today the data from the spacecraft continue to surprise,” said Nasa’s Director of Planetary Science Jim Green.

“We’re excited to continue onward into the dark depths of the outer solar system to a science target that wasn’t even discovered when the spacecraft launched,” he added.

In addition to the extension of the New Horizons mission, Nasa said the Dawn spacecraft should remain at the dwarf planet Ceres rather than changing course to the main belt asteroid Adeona.

“The long-term monitoring of Ceres, particularly as it gets closer to perihelion – the part of its orbit with the shortest distance to the sun – has the potential to provide more significant science discoveries than a flyby of Adeona,” Green noted in a statement.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN), the Opportunity and Curiosity Mars rovers, the Mars Odyssey orbiter, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and Nasa’s support for the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission have also got extension.

Why Feature Phones May Become More Expensive Soon

Why Feature Phones May Become More Expensive SoonPrices of feature phones are expected to rise up to 5 percent soon as decline in supply of key components from China following closure of some factories is jacking up material costs, industry players said.

Mobile phone industry body Indian Cellular Association (ICA) expects prices to increase by 3-5 percent as key components such as display and batteries are turning dearer.

“Display and battery are two main components of feature phones. As a result of consolidation in China there is pressure on supply and price of these components,” ICA National President Pankaj Mohindroo said.

Industry data shows that despite surge in shipments of smartphones in the country, around 60 percent mobile subscribers are using feature phones. As per Trai data, the number of mobile subscribers was 82.6 crore as on April 2016. The prices of feature phones start from around Rs. 500 and go up to around Rs. 4,000.

MTech Mobiles Managing Director Vivek Agarwal said that prices of LCD screens have nearly doubled due to closure of some glass factories in China.

“Material unavailability is impacting the market. Due to huge competition mobile players are paying more for the materials,” he said.

Agarwal also said that economies of scale in China seems to have been impacted due to increase in mobile manufacturing in India. Closure of plants is putting pressure on sourcing components from China which is going to impact the prices. “The companies would need to increase their prices by 5 percent at least to sustain their profits,” Agarwal said.

MTech has a mobile manufacturing unit at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh and it produces 3 lakh handsets every month. “Feature phone market, though quite big, is going through hyper competition. Margins are down to zero or negative if supply is not tied up. Display and batteries are particularly firming up. We should see prices firming up by 3-5 percent at least for survival,” Mohindroo said.

According to ICA, price of LCDs has increased by 5-8 percent, of batteries by 2-3 percent and of memory cards by 2-3 percent.

Feature phone maker itel Mobile said major shortage is in LCDs which will lead to price increase.

“Major shortage is in LCD glass. The cost impact is close To Rs. 60-80. itel will increase the price between Rs. 30-50 in selected feature phone models,” itel Mobile CEO Sudhir Kumar said

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Fresh Leak Hints 6-Inch Display, Blue Coral Colour Variant

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Fresh Leak Hints 6-Inch Display, Blue Coral Colour VariantSamsung is expected to launch the next Note offering on August 2, but before that happens, leaks have been aplenty. Now, renders of the Galaxy Note 7 have been spotted revealing the different colour options the phablet is expected to release in.

The renders come from noted tipster Evan Blass, and they give us a glimpse of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from the front and the back. He claims that the phablet will be available in Black Onyx, Silver Titanium, and Blue Coral colour variants. Notably, there is no Gold colour option mentioned by the tipster.

The image reiterates the dual-edged display tipped to be coming back with the Galaxy Note 7. Samsunghad ditched the Edge variant with the Galaxy Note 5 due to S Pen issues, but it looks to have sorted it out and is set to release an Edge variant this year. So much so that Samsung is expected to ditch the flat screen variant altogether, and only release the dual-edged Samsung Galaxy S7.

The image also testifies to the heavily rumoured iris scanner at the front. The additional sensors above the display screen hints at the scanner integration – a first on a Samsung smartphone. The iris scanner will essentially give users the ability to unlock their smartphone just by looking at it.

A separate leak spotted first by Sammobile indicates that the Galaxy Note 7 may come with a 6-inch display. The report cites a Zauba listing which shows a model number SM-N930R4 with 6-inch screen size. While the Galaxy Note 7 has previously been listed on the site with the model number SM-N930, this could just be an error from Zauba’s end. Another possibility could also be that Samsung is just testing a prototype, and the final Galaxy Note 7 will come with a 5.7-inch screen only. In any case, we recommend you to take this leak with a pinch of salt.

Another leak from accessory maker Olixar has released a separate image of the Galaxy Note 7 hinting at the addition of the USB Type-C port. If this is true, it will be the first Samsung phablet to make the switch. The image again reiterates the iris scanner rumour.

With this year’s phablet, the company is also skipping a numeral and naming the Galaxy Note 5successor – Galaxy Note 7. This move is apparently done by Samsung, to un-complicate things for the customer. While the flagship Galaxy S series released the Galaxy S7 this year, the company thinks that users would think that the Galaxy Note 6 would confuse them, and make them presume that it was launched last year.

Past rumours hint at a new Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based TouchWiz ‘Grace’ UX. The Galaxy Note 7 is expected to optimise its hardware in a battery-efficient manner, so much so that the phablet is expected to last for up to 20 hours of video playback with the brightness levels at maximum. It is expected to come with a QHD Super Amoled display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 or Exynos 8893 SoC, and 6GB of RAM. Storage options will be at 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB (with option to expand as well). Additionally, there is expected to be a 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, and a 3600mAh battery on the phablet

Trai to Launch App to Keep a Check on Your Mobile Internet Speed

Trai to Launch App to Keep a Check on Your Mobile Internet SpeedTelecom regulator Trai on Friday said it will launch a mobile application which will help a consumer to measure Internet speed on his smartphone and send results to the authority.

“The MySpeed App, which could be downloaded from the mobile sewa app store, allows users to measure their data speed experience and send the results to this (Trai Analytics Portal),” the Telecom Regulatory Authority said in a statement.

The portal and the application will be formally launched by the regulator on July 5, the statement said.

The application will also send coverage, data speed, and network information along with device and location of the customer, the statement said.

Trai has defined minimum Internet speed that should be delivered to consumers. However, consumers often complain of poor speed. The regulator during its drive test has also found that 3G customers of some operators were getting 2G Internet speed most of the time in select cities.

Asus ZenFone Selfie, ZenFone Zoom Receiving Android Marshmallow Update

Asus ZenFone Selfie, ZenFone Zoom Receiving Android Marshmallow UpdateAsus back in February promised it will release Android Marshmallow update to a set of ZenFone smartphones in its line-up starting April. The Taiwanese company has now started rolling out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for the Asus ZenFone Selfie (ZD551KL) and Asus ZenFone Zoom(ZX551KL).

Last month, the company released the Marshmallow update for the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone Maxsmartphones.

Asus announced the update via its ZenTalk forum and confirms that ZenFone Selfie (seen above) and ZenFone Zoom users will have to download the firmware manually from the official website. Apart from upgrading to the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the update also adds new features such as Google Calendar, Google Messenger, Motion Gesture. The Camera app receives new Pano Sphere mode. The ZenFone Zoom, after the update, will come with preloaded apps such as Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

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Some apps that will no longer be preloaded once ZenFone Selfie and ZenFone Zoom (seen above) device have been upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow are Asus Backup, Google Play Books, Google Play Games, Google Play Newsstand, Google+, Mirror, Remote Link, PC Link, Photo Frame, What’s Next, and Snap View, and ZenFlash (which can be downloaded from Google Play)

Asus adds that Marshmallow update will remove some apps from the ZenFone Selfie including Asus Email, Asus Calendar, Asus Messaging, Asus Browser, and Asus Music after factory reset. The company suggest users to switch to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Messenger, Chrome, and Google Play Music for relevant services.

The company however warns users that Android Marshmallow won’t support transfer of apps to microSD card. “Please move apps to internal storage before system upgrades,” notes Asus.