eBay takes 15% off smartwatches, other gadgets in the UK and Ireland

Holiday shopping is upon us and eBay is thinking about PRESENTS – that’s the coupon code for 15% off certain categories. The deal lasts until midnight tomorrow and applies to customers from UK and Ireland. As usual, there are limitations: 1 redemption per customer, you need to spend at least £20 and you can get at most £50 off (T&C details here).

You can see all categories that are part of the deal over at eBay, but we’re interested in only a few of them: consoles and games, laptops, computer accessories and, of course, smart watches.

If you’re on a budget, you can skip straight to the Under £150 category. Otherwise, head over to the full listing that has Apple Watches (from Series 1 to 4), Samsung Gear (S2 and S3), Huawei Watches, Garmin watches, plus many others.

15% off smartwatches and other gadgets at eBay 15% off smartwatches and other gadgets at eBay 15% off smartwatches and other gadgets at eBay
15% off smartwatches and other gadgets at eBay

For example, a new Samsung Gear Sport is £160, which works out to £136 post discount. A new Gear S3 frontier is £161. An Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) is getting close to the max discount – it drops £42 for a price of £238.

Again, those are new units, but there are plenty of refurbished ones too (at a suitably lower price).

[“source=gsmarena”]

Japan also planning to stop using Huawei and ZTE equipment

Huawei and ZTE have been no strangers to security and espionage scandals in recent years. And while it is hard to fully grasp the whole picture and accurately judge on any of the official accusations, it is already pretty clear that the two Chinese corporations are under direct fire by the USA. In fact, things have been unraveling very rapidly on an international scale for the pair, with many other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the UK taking preemptive steps of their own.

Considering all this, plus the recent arrest of Huawei CFO it really comes as no surprise to hear that Japan is considering protective measures of its own. To be fair, unlike the ongoing US scandals, Japan’s alleged measures won’t be targeting and calling out Huawei and ZTE in particular. Instead the country is rumored to put in place certain general strengthened information security measures that will affect the two Chinese entities’ operations, among others.

This particular news has traveled rather slow, since it was first reported by the Yomiuri newspaper and then picked up by Reuters. It does, however, bring about a different air of certainty in the source, as well as potential severity of the situation Huawei and ZTE find themselves in.

Besides a potential loss in Huawei’s end user smartphone business, the more severe consequence the two Chinese corporations could be facing is a major hit to their enterprise branches. Both are major mobile infrastructure players. Huawei supplies some network equipment to NTT Docomo and KDDI Corp. Then there is also Huawei’s long-standing partnership with SoftBank Group Corp (Current owners of the US Sprint Corp) with existing plans to partner on 5G trial, which might now be in limbo, given the new developments.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has already expressed serious concerns about the Huawei and ZTE situation. ZTE’s Shenzhen stock has been in trouble, recently sliding down 5.7 percent in a global stocks sell-off after the Huawei CFO arrest. All the while, Huawei is unlisted from trading, so things are looking rather serious overall.

[“source=gsmarena”]

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition teaser hints at 50W Warp Charging

https://cdn.gsmarena.com/imgroot/news/18/12/oneplus-6t-mcl-50w-charging-teaser/-728x314/gsmarena_001.jpgA OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition teaser claims that “charging is about to hit warp speed”. This is most likely a hint at 50W charging, which was missing from the spec sheet of the regular 6T.

OnePlus trademarked Warp Charge earlier this year, not long after sibling company Oppo unveiled Super VOOC (50W) charging with another supercar-themed phone – the Oppo Find X Lamborghini Edition.

So, you’ll have one more reason to pick the McLaren Edition over the regular OnePlus 6T other than the 10GB of RAM and 256GB storage. The company’s current Dash Charge is no slouch at 20W, but with phones from Oppo charging at 50W and ones from Huawei at 40W, it was time for an upgrade.

PS. Did you notice that the cable is orange instead of the usual OnePlus red? And if you take a closer look at it, it looks like a braided cable.

[“source=forbes]

+Nokia 8.1 promo video leaks ahead of the official unveiling

HMD Global’s event in Dubai on December 5 is expected to be the launchpad for up to three smartphones, including the Nokia 8.1 – for a while this has been rumored to be nothing but a rebranded international version of the Nokia X7 that has been available in China since October.

And now, mere hours before said event, a promo video for the Nokia 8.1 has been outed, which intriguingly shows us a much larger notch than the Nokia X7’s. The phones could still be identical on the inside, though, with only that visible differentiating feature.

As you can see, the video emphasizes the camera’s Zeiss optics with OIS, its prowess in shooting superior low-light images, its ability to make “AI” portraits, and beautiful bokeh. The screen supports HDR10, and that’s all we get from this presentation. It looks like the Nokia 8.1’s marketing will be very focused on the camera (excuse the pun), if this is anything to go by.

Anyway, stay tuned for all of the official details coming straight from the Dubai event in a few hours.

[“source=vogue”]

Karan Johar reveals why he cannot be in a relationship

Karan Johar

Karan Johar

Karan Johar has never explicitly revealed his sexual orientation, although thinly-veiled hints have been dropped on several occasions. In a recent interview with an online portal, he was asked if he still intended to “suppress” his sexuality, with people and the law becoming more open.

However, Karan feels that it is “too late” for him to find love. “At 46, I can’t be in a relationship. And I’m not being cynical, I’m being practical. I don’t think I can divide my time between a relationship, and my mom and two kids. Not that one has to be sacrificed for the other, but I want to divide my time only between the relationships I have with my work,” he said.

“Finally, I can say that I’m in a relationship with myself. And when you are in one of those, you don’t have either the space or the time for anyone else,” the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil director added.

In his memoir, An Unsuitable Boy, Karan stopped just short of coming out of the closet. “Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don’t need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won’t only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this,” he wrote.

The filmmaker revealed the homophobia and abuse that he is subjected to on social media. “I have become like the poster boy of homosexuality in this country,” he wrote, adding, “Twitter has the most abuse. I wake up to at least 200 hate posts saying, ‘Get out, you’re polluting our nation, you’re dirtying society’ or ‘Shove [IPC Section] 377 up your arse.’ I get this on a daily basis and I’ve learned to laugh it off.”

On the work front, Karan will soon begin work on his upcoming directorial venture, Takht. He has roped in Ranveer Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Vicky Kaushal, Alia Bhatt, Janhvi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Bhumi Pednekar for the ambitious period drama, which is set against the backdrop of the Mughal empire. Takht is slated to release in 2020.

[“source=indiatoday]

Indian consumers will make the voice internet

Voice interaction seems to be an idea, whose time has finally come.

A Space Odyssey, voice recognition has been the holy grail for computer geeks. Speech and language are the first communication technologies, and the main driver of human evolution. But the idea of a voice-activated machine, for information, advice, transactions and, maybe, even friendship, has been a mirage, not a reality, given that speech recognition has been a major challenge.

But voice interaction seems to be an idea, whose time has finally come. Why now? AI advances, using deep neural networks and supporting graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware, have made it possible to train speech engines to reach high accuracy levels, using large amounts of audio data.

And, nowhere is this more relevant than in India. From as long back as the Mahabharata, India has been an oral society, without the West’s history of “type to search” using PCs, which powered the online revolution. Illiteracy, numerous languages, lack of familiarity with multilingual keyboards, mean that other ways of interacting with the digital world are necessary. Affordable smartphones and very cheap data, make India, mobile first. And mobiles are perfect for using voice as a UI!

Last year, 30% of Google search in India was voice driven. Hindi search grew 400% in a single year—a testament to the voracious appetite for online tools and content in local languages. Now, if you are not in vernacular, you are not in India!

Recognising the incredible potential for speech technologies in India, Interspeech, the world’s foremost speech research conference, took place in September in India for the first time. It’s theme: Speech research in multilingual societies in emerging markets! Global leaders in speech discussed the huge potential for voice in India. Hundreds of researchers presented how their flavour of deep neural networks, activation functions and model hyper-parameters, progressed speech research. India’s numerous dialects, accents and languages are a researcher’s utopia—challenges to push the boundaries of speech recognition. Priyanka Chopra advertises hair oil on TV, speaking Hindi and English in a single sentence, or code switching, as its known, in technical parlance. For Indians, it makes perfect sense, but impossible for the mono-lingual British or Americans to understand!

All the global technology behemoths at Interspeech, from Baidu to Google to Facebook and Microsoft, acknowledged the importance of local language speech recognition to reach the next 300 million Indians. E-commerce giants, such as Amazon and Walmart/Flipkart, already know that to realise the Indian market’s potential, targeting the top 10% of English-speaking Indians is not enough.

The local-language Indian audience is the real market! And the race to reach multilingual India has started. Last month, Flipkart acquired Liv.ai, a speech tech start-up, to compete with Amazon’s Alexa, which is five years in the making. Amazon released a Hindi website last week. Google and Microsoft are rolling out their own initiatives in Indian languages.

In supporting Indian users, there is another opportunity—the potential for India to build global speech giants, fuelled by its many languages, dialects and noisy environments. China built its tech giants behind the Great Firewall to exclude American competitors.

India has been open to global technology companies. But with voice, India’s unique challenges (barriers for the faint hearted), could be the “opportunity” for fostering home-grown giants. India has the talent. Indians in India, and globally, are some of the world’s finest speech researchers, and Indian tech entrepreneurs are among the world’s best. Panini, the Sanskrit linguist (approximately 500 BCE), was arguably the world’s first computational linguist.

Indian product companies recognise the opportunity. Some, such as Slang.ai, are making speech tech usable for developers. Others, such as Liv.ai (FlipKart) and Voxta, are building their own recognition engines. Even large Indian corporates are throwing capital at the opportunity and hiring experienced individuals, hoping to short-circuit the learning curve for building speech products.

Either way, the Indian consumer will be the winner! Once, western online users helped fuel the development of internet giants, which became household names. Now India, with its incredible diversity of users—languages, dialects, accents—could be the hothouse for researchers, entrepreneurs, and the capital will come together to build global speech tech giants and a voice internet!

[“source=cnbc”]

Vivo NEX to hit Europe for €849

The vivo NEX with a pop-up selfie camera arrived back in June, and slowly made its way outside China. You can buy the phone in plenty of countries, including India, Russia and Malaysia, but is yet to reach European soil. A rumor appeared today, suggesting vivo NEX is indeed coming to Europe and it’s going to cost €849.

When vivo introduced the NEX S, it was priced at CNY4,498, which is equal to €570. It also had a variant for CNY4,998, which translates to €630. Even if we add import fees and other taxes, the €849 tag is exceptionally high, given that the dual-screen vivo NEX 2 is just around the corner. Alternatively, that could be the price for the new phone and the source just mixed up the info.

vivo NEX 2 front vivo NEX 2 back

[“source=pcworld”]

Volvo Switching to Android Operating System for Next-Gen Interface

Volvo used the 2018 Los Angeles auto show to announce its connectivity projects. The automaker is currently developing a new Android-based multimedia system in cooperation with Google, which will bring apps such as Google Maps and Spotify into the car. This new system will seamlessly integrate all operating systems and allow the automaker to expand its connected services beyond its current offerings.

At a roundtable discussion, Google and Volvo executives revealed that their intent is to allow an individual to bring their life into the car with a multitude of apps. Currently, Volvo and Amazon offer a delivery service that drops off packages to your vehicle. Volvo says it will offer seamless connectivity with all operating systems and bring third-party services into the vehicle but with a priority on safety. That means games are relegated to rear-seat passengers and ads won’t be shown to you. Volvo will also allow drivers to control their information and give them the ability to stay anonymous; however, staying incognito will prevent one from accessing the full capabilities of the built-in apps.

Autonomous driving will also play a key role because Volvo is learning how to restructure its software from Google. Henrik Green of Volvo’s R&D arm says the automaker is now relying less on third parties for software; instead, it is creating its own in order to allow for new functions like over-the-air updates sooner. Green and Google executive Mickey Kataria did concede that vehicle software updates won’t happen as quickly as they do on mobile devices.

View 2 Photos

Green also revealed that 5G connectivity will be integrated into upcoming vehicles. The existing CMA and SPA platforms will receive the upgrades starting with the Polestar 2. Polestar 3, which will debut the second-generation SPA platform, will come standard with 5G connectivity and the new Android-based multimedia system. The second-generation SPA platform will also feature an integrated computer that will run all infotainment and Level 5 autonomous driving functions.

Volvo says that it will roll out its new interface globally but will have a special version for the Chinese market due to government restrictions on Google. iFly will replace Google voice for voice commands, and Autonavi will be the navigation app; however, the interface will remain Android based. Expect to see the new system by 2020.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Best Black Friday Deals On Gaming Accessories

Whether you’re a PC gamer, console gamer, or mobile gamer, there’s one constant in your life: gaming accessories are everywhere.

Each year, both first- and third-party gaming companies release a variety of accessories that all promise to enhance your gaming experience. Those accessories can be wheels for driving games, thumbsticks to attach to your controllers for better grips, or entirely redesigned controllers that let you map buttons the way you want.

Of course, the accessories market is often dominated by third-party device makers, like Logitech and others, that make products that can appeal to gamers both on the PC and console, but first-party companies, including Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are also competing in the market.

Those companies are often offering controllers and carrying cases, and if you need some additional storage or other features, you can often count on them to give it to you.

But when it’s all said and done, your mileage on gaming accessories may vary. And for all the nice gaming accessories out there that actually enhance your gameplay experience, there are many more that you’ll want to stay away from.

So, it’s with that in mind that we’ve compiled the following roundup of gaming accessories that come with outstanding Black Friday offers. We eschewed all the junk here and only focused on gaming accessories that will enhance gameplay and save you a few bucks in the process.

Read on to learn more about the best Black Friday deals on both first- and third-party gaming accessories:

Turtle Beach Recon 50P Gaming Headset, Black (PS4 / Xbox One / PC / Mobile)Walmart

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Walmart

Turtle Beach Recon 50P Gaming Headset: You can buy it for $25, a $10 savings off its regular retail price of $35.

Xbox Live 3-Month Subscription Card: You can get it for $12.50, a $12.50 savings off its regular retail price of $25.

Xbox One Controller: Buy it for $39, a $10 savings off its regular retail price of $49.

PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Controller: Get it for $39, an $8 savings off its regular retail price of $47.

Arcade1Up Galaga Machine: It’s yours for $249, a $50 savings off its regular retail price of $299.

[“source=forbes]

NFL odds, picks for Week 12: Proven computer model loving Browns, Seahawks

Image result for NFL odds, picks for Week 12: Proven computer model loving Browns, SeahawksThe Week 12 NFL schedule continues on Sunday and Monday with 12 more games after a jam-packed Thanksgiving. A critical NFC North clash goes down on Sunday Night Football when the Green Bay Packers visit the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers are three-point underdogs, down from an open of 4.5, as both teams chase the division-leading Bears. In Philadelphia, the Eagles are 5.5-point favorites over the division-rival Giants despite their top five corners all being sidelined at practice this week. And in LA, the Chargers are 13-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals in the biggest line of Week 12 and one of the largest NFL spreads of the season. With Week 12 NFL odds on the move, check out the top NFL picks and predictions from SportsLine’s Projection Model before you lock in any plays of your own.

SportsLine’s proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Sports Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who have followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.

The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018, entering Week 12 on a blistering 12-0 run. For the season, it is now 26-9 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 74-43. And when it comes to all straight-up picks, the model is 105-53 this season, again ranking in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch.com. Anybody who has been following it is way, way up.

Now it has examined the latest NFL odds and spreads, simulated every snap 10,000 times, and its Week 12 NFL picks are in.

One of the top Week 12 NFL picks the model loves: the Seahawks cover (+3.5) on the road at Carolina.

The Rams have taken a commanding lead in the NFC West, but the Seahawks (5-5) stayed afloat in the NFC Wild Card race with their huge win over the Packers last week. Now they meet up with the Panthers as the teams compete for playoff position.

According to the model, Russell Wilson throws for almost 250 yards, while Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and the rest of Seattle’s backs pile up over 100 combined yards on the ground as the Seahawks cover in over 60 percent of simulations. You can confidently back the Over (47) as well because it hits in more than half of simulations.

Another one of the top Week 12 NFL predictions from the model: the Browns (+3) cover on the road against the Bengals.

The Bengals jumped out to a stunning 4-1 start to open the season, but have since lost four of their last five games. Meanwhile, the Browns are coming off an impressive 12-point victory over the Falcons before last week’s bye. Rookie running back Nick Chubb ran the ball 20 times against the Falcons, racking up 176 yards and a touchdown.

The model is calling for another big day for Chubb, saying he’ll go for almost 100 yards against a Cincinnati defense that allows an eye-popping 153 on the ground per game, which ranks dead-last in the NFL. Bengals receiver AJ Green (toe) was upgraded from doubtful to questionable, but could be limited even if he plays. Back the Browns with confidence since they are covering the spread in 55 percent of simulations. The model is also calling for 51 total points to be scored, shattering the Over (46.5).

[“source=cnbc”]