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Microsoft to beat Apple with its ARM-powered laptop

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Microsoft to beat Apple with its ARM-powered laptop

Apple is planning to substitute Intel chips that were previously used to power MacBooks with ARM-based creations of its own. However, the company is yet to confirm that they are working on the development of A-series processors that are capable of delivering desktop-grade performance. On the other hand, Apple’s rival QUALCOMM has already released a bunch of ARM processors in the market that can run Windows.

The latest one launched is the Snapdragon 8cx which is crafted specifically for notebook use. Rumour has it that Microsoft is going to use this as their platform in their upcoming Surface laptop.

Windows Central’s Zac Bowden too to twitter about the latest Surface laptop. His tweet:

“Excalibur is your latest Surface Codename to keep an eye out for. It’s an 8cx device of some kind.”

It was just a few months ago when we witnessed a Snapdragon 8cx laptop at Computer 2019 which was designed to demo 5g connectivity on notebooks. There is no doubt that Qualcomm is also pushing its 5g chips which are crafted to power many of the 5g smartphones that are available in the market. This includes OnePlus 7 Pro 5g and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

Qualcomm has made a partnership with Lenovo on the Project Limitless device. But we don’t have any information on when this laptop will be launched. Rumour has it that Microsoft has already started working on dual-display and foldable devices. It is expected that by the first half of 2020, the foldable Surface laptop/tablet is going to hit the market. However, it is still not clear whether the Excalibur is related to any of these products or not. But using Snapdragon 8cx platform along with 5g connectivity on a foldable device is surely a great deal.

Till date, all of Microsoft’s Surface models have been powered by Intel chips. Many of the surface laptops will continue to use Intel chips but the company is going to launch an ARM-based surface laptop soon. This is surely going to put more pressure on Intel.

As far as Apple is concerned, it is going to launch a novel 16 inch MacBook Pro by this fall.

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Georgia Tech Announces Vibration Powered Ant-sized Micro Robots

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Georgia Tech Announces Vibration Powered Ant-sized Micro Robots

A 3D-printed robot of roughly 2 mm in length almost of the size of the smallest ant is the latest entrant in the world of micro-bots.  Interestingly, these bots move in response to vibration from the piezoelectric actuators, ultrasound source or even a small speaker.

According to a research paper released by the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, these ant-sized robots is likely to revolutionize the tech space as these could be used to:

 “sense environmental changes, move materials and even repair injuries inside the human body one day”

Depending on the configuration, these “micro-bristle-bots” responds differently to different vibration frequencies. This variable frequency response mechanism allows researchers to control individual ant-sized bots. The mobility response is quite amazing. According to paper, these bots can cover four times their own length in a second.

Azadeh Ansari, an assistant professor at the institute says:

 “We are working to make the technology robust, and we have a lot of potential applications in mind.”

Adding further she said that the team is working at the intersection of mechanics, electronics, biology, and physics. It’s a very rich area and there’s a lot of room for multidisciplinary concepts, she added.

As there is no battery of that minuscule size to fit within bots, this vibration response mechanism and control system could change the dynamism of the micro-bot research. Although there are immense future possibilities, as of now the team is just dealing with some tiny prototypes.

The paper says that the bot consists of a piezoelectric actuator glued onto a polymer body that is 3D-printed using two-photon polymerization lithography (TPP). Actuator induced vibration to move the springy legs up and down, propelling the micro-bot forward.

Ansari said:

“As the micro-bristle-bots move up and down, the vertical motion is translated into a directional movement by optimizing the design of the legs, which look like bristles.”

She added that the legs of the micro-robot are designed with specific angles allowing them to bend and move in one direction in resonant response to the vibration.

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Android Auto phone interface went for many on Android Q Beta 5

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Android Auto phone interface went for many on Android Q Beta 5

Android, the king of the mobile operating system with 76%, is consistently in innovative mode. As announced in May, Google has started to the killing of Android Auto phone interface. Some Reddit users reported that in the Android Q Beta 5 update on Pixel, the icon of Android Auto app is disappearing and there is no option to start the app from the phone. The tech giant plans to replace it with the Driving Mode.

However, the same user said that the Android Auto interface is still available on the Google Play Store but an option to launch the app is not there. The Auto is not completely gone. The launchable app might be missing but it one can still connect with car’s infotainment system provided your car supports the Google software.

The Mountain View, California-based giant is gearing up to revolutionize the fast-evolving self-driving car industry. The all-new Assistant Driving Mode is definitely going to be more promising as compared to the Android Auto.

Going by the past experience of delay in the Google Play Music and YouTube Music features parity, experts are a bit apprehensive about the time Google will take to complete the replacement.

Google launched Android Q Beta 5 launches on July 10 taking a step forward towards the final release.  It is time for you to test the compatibility of your apps and make sure they are ready. The tech major plans to lunch one more Beta release before the consumer launch scheduled later this quarter.

The Beta 5 update includes the latest Android Q system images for Pixel and Android jEmulator. This also includes the final Android Q developer APIs (API level 29), the official API 29 SDK, and updated build tools for Android Studio.

In gesture navigation space Google intends to switch users to 3-button navigation when they are using custom button launcher, starting in Beta 6. Google assures that they will address all remaining issues in a post-launch update allowing all users to switch to gestural navigation.

Alphabet Inc (GOOGLE) stock opened at US$1146.73 and closed at US$1153.46, up 0.26% on July 16.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hellobike, the survivor of China’s bike-sharing craze, goes electric

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Hellobike, the survivor of China’s bike-sharing craze, goes electric

Two years back, investors were pouring in money into China’s dockless bike-sharing start-ups. Now that craze has busted with derelict bikes littering the streets of cities.

A new race has started for two-wheelers with motors. One of the main players is a survivor from the bike-sharing craze. Blessed with funding from the world’s most valuable fintech Company, Ant Financial through its series D to F funding rounds. Hellobike is known to offer to its 230 million registered users a range of mobility services. This includes shared e-bikes and rented electric scooters.

Hellobike was first launched in 2016 by developing shared bikes in small towns and cities where Mobike and Ofo were not present. This helped hellobike to largely avoid the cash splurging competition against the two big companies.

Ofo is now facing major financial troubles as it struggles to repay user deposits. Its archrival Mobike has slowed down expansion since it was sold to Hong-Kong listed local services giant Meituan. On the other hand, Hellobike which boasts about its operation efficiency has begun electric push.

Hellobike’s Chief financial officer Fischer Chen recently informed TechCrunch at the Rise conference in Hong Kong:

“When the two major powers were at war, neither of them went after electric bikes. They were fighting over bicycles.” He referred to the feud between Ofo and Mobike. He also added “As such, there was no price war for e-bikes from the outset. The competition is rational.”

Electric two-wheeled vehicles are in high demand in the country.  Based on the data collected by Hellobike, around 300 million rides are completed on analog bikes every day in China. Many don’t realize that pedal assists electric bikes and pedal-free scooters together more than double that number, generating 700 million rides every day.

There are benefits of renting a bicycle than buying an electric bike in China. This is mainly because users don’t have to worry about their assets getting stolen. Not just that but is specific to electric vehicles, finding a safe and convenient charging spot can be really difficult in China.

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