Galaxy S8 Undergoing Rigorous Testing

After Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 crashed and burned last year, the company is working hard on their latest venture, the S8. The new smartphone is set to hit the market soon, and company leaders have been happy to share their testing techniques with the public. Most importantly, they want everyone to know that the phones are completely safe to use, and they feel that these new products will be able to stand out in a highly competitive market.


Samsung employees have been testing the battery of the S8 to ensure that the overheating problems never occur again. The battery testing process has become more rigorous, and it now exceeds traditional standards set by the industry.


The battery in the Galaxy S8 has a capacity of 3,000 mAh (with the S8 Plus having a capacity of 3,500 mAh.) In comparison, the S7 Edge from last year had a 3,600 mAh battery. This is one tweak that was made with safety in mind.


While lowering the capacity, Samsung still promises that the S8 battery will have long-lasting life. Customers should be able to get a full (or nearly full) charge on their phones even after months of use and hundreds of charging cycles.


Additionally, the S8 is set to include the latest Bluetooth technology. It will be the first phone on the market to include Bluetooth 5 technology, which doubles data-transfer speeds and quadruples transmission range from predecessors.


With a large screen, sensitive touch capability, and a high-quality camera, the S8 has many features that should attract attention. Samsung knows, however, that people want to feel safe with their smartphones, so for right now, they’re focusing on these battery tests and other quality checks. They want to be able to assure people that they’ll be able to take their phones with them wherever they go without having to worry about any battery issues.


Andrew Rolfe Helps the Ubuntu Educational Fund Reach its Objectives

Raising funds to help underprivileged nations can often be a daunting task. In a recent online article the founders of the Ubuntu Educational Fund for schools in South Africa spoke out about the issues they sometimes faced in their fund-raising efforts. While it was easy to track the money coming in to help support their efforts, the type of changes they expected were not taking place. When the donations were reviewed, it was found that many of the individuals behind them had placed restrictions on how their donated funds could be used.

As one of the Ubuntu Fund’s primary board members, chairman Andrew Rolfe knows that having restrictions placed upon the use of donated funds severely impacts the type of changes an organization can make in the lives of the people they are trying to help. Rather than being able to utilize the money to ensure the needs of both the project and the people it is aimed at helping are being met, the founders of the Ubuntu Educational Fund found many of their donors placing specifications on what their money could be applied toward. Some of them even wanted to be involved in the decision making process of where the money went. Andrew Rolfe also knows that when it comes to building better educational systems in South Africa, the people behind the Ubuntu fund need to have more control over where they allocate the Ubuntu funds in order to best serve the children they are trying to help.

As a seasoned veteran in the world of finance Andrew Rolfe understands the importance of flexibility in spending, which is why he fully supports the fund’s efforts to focus their resources on making a difference in the lives of the children living in South Africa. In an effort to help increase funding for this worthwhile cause, Mr. Rolfe has helped set up easy to access online resources that can be accessed 24 hours a day. By helping to expand the reach of their donor base, Andrew Rolfe has also helped to ensure the objectives of the educational fund are being met.


Enterprise Technology to Go Public in 2017

Enterprise technology start-ups are predicted to go public in 2017, but only if current market conditions predominate. First, the stock market is doing well. Second, start-ups are gaining more time to incubate. In other words, they have more time to fine-tune their product. Finally, Wall Street is seeing the growth potential behind enterprise software’s monetization model and this is attracting serious investors.


A look further into the monetization model truly brings Wall Street’s interest in enterprise software technology into focus. When a company’s data lives in the cloud and when enterprise software links every aspect of an organization’s digital life with the cloud, then enterprises are committed to paying monthly subscription rates and are less likely to change vendors. Investors find the idea of buying into a company that generates constant revenue difficult to resist.


They did resist it at first because the monetization model seemed too risky. Since enterprise organizations can opt out at any time and since many start-ups didn’t have a track record, investors deemed enterprise technology start-ups risky investments. Far better, it seemed, to invest in the booming consumer-facing technology start-ups like Facebook or Twitter. However the problems with consumer-facing technologies include consumer unpredictability and the inconsistencies of trends and fads.


The shift from consumer IPOs to enterprise technology IPOs seems organic. In the early aughts, and even up until 2016, tech giants like Cisco, IBM and Salesforce bought out smaller entities for major sums of money. But given that smaller start-ups like MuleSoft, Alteryx, Yext and Okta can stand to achieve revenue gains far behind what private companies have to offer, it only makes sense for the founders to remain in control of their products and reap the rewards. Not only do their products generate monthly revenue but they are designed to serve large organizations who have money to spend.


What does this mean for players like Cisco, IBM and the rest? If start-ups have less incentive to sell to these established software companies, then Cisco, IBM and the others will have to invest in their own talent and support an in-house culture of innovation.

Twitter Sheds Its Egg

When the folks at Twitter changed the social network’s default profile avatar in 2010, they were practically obsessed with avian imagery. Since then, each new Twitter account has received an egg with a randomly assigned, single-color background. That standard changed on March 31, 2017. Now, one might call Twitter egg-free.


Please forgive that shell of a joke and focus on the fact that the microblogging giant has replaced the egg with an image that practically begs the Twitter user to upload a different avatar. Today’s default image looks vaguely like a person. It features a bonbon-shaped head above a pair of rounded shoulders. Two shades of gray comprise the image.


People will find this graphic boring, and that fact benefits Twitter’s vision. The team in charge of this design change would like to see much less of their newly introduced gray blobs across Twitter than they have of the egg for the last seven years.


Twitter never foresaw the egg’s icon status. The company always intended for users to upload personal images. Alas, people’s actions are difficult to forecast. Some users fell in love with their egg avatars. With the gray blobs, perhaps users will be less attached and more likely to convert to other images.


Importantly, the egg has known mixed status. Though intended as a placeholder, it became a mask for Twitter’s nefarious sector. Users who would rather troll others than add to the community’s collective value have kept their eggs for years. Now, they will likely continue hiding behind Twitter’s new gray blobs, but the brand has unmarried itself from its problematic avatar.


Further, the egg was an emblem of fake accounts. Services that offer to boost people’s follower counts do so by creating thousands of phony accounts and using automation to follow their clients’ accounts.


The old-school eggs may become the Twitter equivalent of vinyl records. Some users will surely upload egg images to remind themselves of a time when users’ pages were laden with bird-related images.


May Twitter’s gray-blobs graphic be as unpopular and simultaneously successful as the company hopes!


Cloudera Prepares To Go Public

Hot on the heels of a very successful IPO by Snap, on March 31big data giant Cloudera filed paperwork announcing its plans to go public. Cloudera built its very successful enterprise big data platform on top of open source Hadoop platform, and has cut out a huge market share. Hadoop, invented by Google and refined greatly by Yahoo, allows for very cheap distributed storage of large quantities of data. While much of Cloudera’s project is open source, their success has come from building out a number of proprietary tools aimed at business managers and other non-technical staff. This packaging has allowed the startup to outpace competitors like Hortonworks and MapR when it comes to sustained growth.


Cloudera’s announcement comes as many other highly regarded tech startups are planning to go public. API management platform MuleSoft and data analytics purveyors Alteryx have already launched very successful IPOs this year, and other companies like Yext and Okta are planning to go public as well. The first quarter of 2017 has been a hot one for tech IPOs, following a relatively small number of IPOs from the sector in 2016.


Intel has been one of the primary backers of Cloudera over the years, as have venture capital firms like T. Rowe Price and Accel. Last year, Cloudera reported a gross revenue of $261 million, up significantly from the previous year’s $166 million. By launching their IPO now, Cloudera is continuing a trend of tech copmanies going public before turning a profitable year. Last year, Cloudera lost just under $187 million when all expenses are factored in, although that number is a significant narrowing from their 2015 numbers. Cloudera seeks to raise over $200 million in their IPO, and while stock prices have not been announced the company is expected to be valued at $4 billion.


Japan Omits Bitcoin from Consumption Tax

Japan has officially accepted bitcoins as a valid form of payment for goods and services. As the nation readies equipment to accept transfers of the cryptocurrency, many bills pertaining to tax reforms have also been put into consideration. One particular legal issue is the consumption tax’s relationship with digital currencies like bitcoin. Japan’s consumption tax is a municipal law levied on anything that is used to purchase goods and services that functions similarly to VAT, GST or sales tax.


Before the relevant tax bills were ratified, bitcoin and similar digital currencies are subject to JCT, the Japanese Consumption Tax. While Japan’s consumption tax is currently set to eight percent of an item’s price, this is expected to rise to 10 percent by October of 2019.


Japan’s National Diet passed legislation in March 27 that would reform the tax laws, including amending the Fund Settlement Law from last May. These amendments were agreed upon back in December of 2016. As things now stand, the Fund Settlement Law defines virtual currencies like bitcoin as being exempt from JCT, beginning on the 1st of July 2017. The specific legal classification for digital currencies phrases them as “asset-like values” suitable for payment and transfer. This means that while bitcoin transactions no longer face eight percent taxation, trading the digital currency is still affected by capital gains tax.


According to the government of Japan, the profits earned from the trade of bitcoin are considered income that originates from business ventures and miscellaneous endeavors. Conversely, the sale of bitcoin for investment reasons means that it can be taxed for capital gains.


The bitcoin currency was created in 2009 and owes its creation to an allegedly Japanese man who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. This likely explains why bitcoin subunits are known as “satoshis.” Although bitcoin has risen in popularity as the leading form of digital currency, opening itself up to federal examination, it is not the first; Wei Dai created “b-money” and Nick Szabo came up with “bit gold.” Unlike its forebears, bitcoin is more properly classified as the first decentralized form of digital currency.


Google Chromebook for Schools

Google made a major revelation about its Chromebook program during the Bett education technology conference in London recently. Apart from revealing that there is over 20 million teachers as well as the student who are currently using Chromebooks a minimum four times a month and that there is more than 70 million G Suite for the education users. The tech giant also illustrated the use of new convertible Chromebooks due with USB-C charging, stylus support as well as the world facing cameras. They are the Asus Chromebook C213 and Acer Chromebook Spin 11.



During this announcement, Google made it known that it would enable the admin to have full control over the Android apps that are functional on the Chromebooks that they give the students. Another good news for the Chromebook users is that it will come with the Adobe community suits for the Android that have now been optimized for the Chromebooks.



It can be clearly seen that Google the Chromebooks and the G-Suit for the Education are a major success for the tech giant, at the same time the company is working with hardware partners to make the devices even more attractive for the learning institutions. Rajen Sheth one of the Googles’ executive noted that the company had focused on the feedback that it was receiving from teachers. The topmost request that the company received was that teachers wanted devices that merges the advantages of the tablets and laptops with a full keyboard.



It was until the introduction of the Android apps on Chrome OS that it became more possible to have Chromebook with the touch screen because the Chrome OS was never optimized for touch. With the hybrid devices such as Asus Flip as well as the upcoming new devices from Asus and Acer, the Chrome OS makes so much sense.



One feature that was particularly noted is the Chromebook’s world facing camera. Once the user flips the keyboard on the more conventional convertible so that they can use it as a laptop, the user will get a user-facing camera. However, the devices comes with a second camera that is situated on top of the keyboard. This camera opens up a wide range of new user case of the Chromebook in schools.


Five States to Legalize Electronic Devices Repair

Legislators in five states have indicated their interest to introduce a law that would enable the right to repair electronic which will make manufacturers sell the parts of their products to the independent electronic repair experts shops if the law is passed it will also make their diagnostic and service manual accessible to the public. Another purpose of the bill is to control the authorized repair shop that is also used by the manufacturers to establish an after-market monopoly. For instance, Apple has never given any licenses to the independent companies to repair iPhones though several companies did repair its products on regular basis.



These independent repair shops do so under the radar of the law. They go for the product that is the counterfeit from the Chinese market or finding parts from the recycled devices. Previously the Homeland Security department raided the premises without their knowledge of the sold counterfeit parts. Considering that many parts of the commodity have been communized this is a confusing distinction. Though the main concern is as a result of the iPhone there other electronic gadgets that have been targeted by the new legislation such as the servers, cameras the Internet of Things devices as well as other devices that make use of the software, they have all had their issues with the right to repair. This has been made possible by the companies making their products parts difficult to buy as well as imposing the artificial software lockdown on the diagnostic system of the devices.



The states that begun this process are Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Kansas, and Minnesota. One of the reasons for passing the bill is the fact that few licensed channel results to overpriced repair prices and a large number of overturn of the electronic items. Another reason that validates this bill is a large number of the electronic waste that is brought about by the lack of the capability by the owners of the devices to afford the repair the broken parts of the electronics.



This bill not only affect the independent repair firms; the repair parts and diagnostic manual will also be accessible to the consumers thus making it easier to repair their own electronic devices. The bill is being sponsored by the a small lobby group made up repair companies.


New Way For iOS App Developers to Respond to Their Users

When the iOS 10.3 is finally released it will become with the capability for the developers to respond to the customer feedback. This was announced in the release notes came out with the firmware’s beta build. Apple anticipates that their new improvement for the feedback infrastructure is in high demand and it is what the developer community has been looking for. Android platform has had this feature for quite some time now.



This new feature on the Apple iOS is a new way for the platform to monitor the App Store reviews and rating. It can also be viewed as an as the expansion of the iOS developer community that includes those who have been dissatisfied with the way that the stores handle the instances such as how the Dev Dash app got so disorganized as a result of the discrepancies of the customer rating.



The ability for the developer to respond to the rating and reviews of the customer is important since they can explain the issues or clarify what led to the customer’s dissatisfaction not for those customers who are being responded to but for the customer who might have experienced the same problem. This is particularly important for instances where the customer may have misunderstood some of the app’s features or they may be reporting a bug that has already been fixed by the current version.



This update is going to benefit the users as well. This would translate to the fact that the users are no longer going to need to email the developers for an issue that require a quick update, for instance, paid items not showing up in the app. Apple revealed that the new feedback will be implemented for the Mac App Store probably in the anticipated release of the 10.13 upgrade that is expected released in June. The current MacOS update is 10.12.3 that released this month.



In addition, the iOS trial version is releasing with a relating feature that goes a long way to enhance user experience. A developer has the ability to do this with the current system. The can request the user to rate the app however upon the user accepting to rate the app they will be directed to the App Store to rate the app. iOS will do away with this process enabling them to do all this without leaving the app.




Here Comes the Android Instant Apps

Google the tech giant has started rolling out the instants apps. During the developer conference known as the Google’s I/O developer that was held last year, Instant Apps for Android was tagged as a feature that would forever alter the way users use their mobile apps on their mobile devices.



According to the Android Developer blog, it was made known that the feature would be made accessible using a few apps as part of beta testing, through this users can participate in.



What do the phrase Android Instant Apps mean? Through the use of the Instant App feature, users will have an opportunity to download and run apps on their android gadgets such as tablets as well as smartphones. The users can do all this without having to install the apps.



While the users are visiting particular websites, the may come across an invitation to download a mobile app instead of using the website. The app will enable the streamlined mobile device experience to get to access the website content, however, the user can forego the installation process of the app and instead access the browser version of the website.



Through the use of the Instant Apps technology, the Android apps will load immediately on the android devices. While it may not be as fast as accessing the website the whole process will take just a few seconds. This will be much faster compared to downloading the app and installing it first. In order to benefit from this technology the developers will need to update their apps to include this functionality, this is because the Instant Apps utilizes the same technology found in the Android apps.



The feature is opened for limited testing just about 8 months after it was revealed, however, it is opened for the limited testing only. The initial apps to use this feature will be those Periscope, BuzzFeed, Viki as well as Wish. During this testing period, the android team will be collecting feedback from the user who will be taking part in the testing this amazing feature with the aim of expanding to more apps in the near future. There is also the room for the users who are interested in testing the Instant App, all they have to do id access the website of the initial apps offering this feature.