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Games for Xbox with Gold for May offers Warhammer action RPG, Overlord 2

Xbox Live Gold subscribers and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will get four free games in May as part of the Xbox Games with Gold program.

xbox games console remote controller

Xbox Live Gold subscribers and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will get four free games in May as part of the Xbox Games with Gold program. Next month’s games will roll out on May 1 with racing game V-Rally 4 for Xbox One and retro soccer sim Sensible World of Soccer for Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Coming later are a pair of action-role-playing games: Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr and Overlord 2. Here’s the full rundown of May 2020’s Games with Gold titles:

  • V-Rally 4 ($59.99 ERP): Available May 1 to 31 on Xbox One
  • Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr ($39.99 ERP): Available May 16 to June 15 on Xbox One
  • Sensible World of Soccer ($9.99 ERP): Available May 1 to 15 on Xbox One & Xbox 360
  • Overlord 2 ($9.99 ERP): Available May 16 to 31 on Xbox One & Xbox 360

Three of April’s Xbox Games with Gold titles are still available to download: Project CARS 2, the Knights of Pen and Paper Bundle, and Toybox Turbos.

Source: Polygon

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WhatsApp beta for android update hints integration with facebook messenger

WhatsApp beta for Android update 2.20.139 may have given us the first sign of its integration with Facebook messenger. The update shows that WhatsApp has been working on integrating the newly-launched Messenger Room within the app.

WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.20.139 shows that the company is experimenting with a feature that adds a shortcut to Messenger to create a Room.

whatsapp logo

WhatsApp beta for Android update 2.20.139 may have given us the first sign of its integration with Facebook messenger. The update shows that WhatsApp has been working on integrating the newly-launched Messenger Room within the app.

Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had announced that the company is working on unifying its apps and integrating the features. During the announcement of Messenger Rooms, the company said that the group video calls can soon be started and shared on WhatsApp and Instagram.

WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.20.139 shows that the company is experimenting with a feature that adds a shortcut to Messenger to create a Room. This new shortcut will be available in the chat/ group share sheet, reported WABetaInfo.

When the user creates a Room, WhatsApp shows a message indicating that the Room will be created in Messenger and the user can send a link to group video chat anyone, even if they do not have WhatsApp or Messenger. The same option will be added to the ‘Calls’ tab inside WhatsApp.

The report notes that the feature is currently being tested internally and is expected to be rolled out soon to beta users, followed by a stable release for the public.

Source: Money Control

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MIUI 12 launched with visual redesign, Dark Mode 2.0, much more

Xiaomi has now revealed that after half a year of testing, the AI ​​phone assistant has answered 4 million calls for closed beta users. With MIUI 12, Xiaomi has officially upgraded the AI phone assistant to a feature called “AI Calling.” With it, users will be able to customize the language in which they want their calls to be answered.

miui 12 logo

Xiaomi has announced a new version of its Android skin MIUI. Succeeding MIUI 11, the latest MIUI 12 software will bring a number of UI and visual improvements to eligible Xiaomi phones. It also gets new features such as a revamped dark mode, improved privacy and security tools, new animations, new wallpapers, and much more.

At its MIUI 12 reveal event, Xiaomi also noted that MIUI now has 310 million monthly active users and that the latest version is the first mobile operating system that has passed TÜV Rheinland’s “Android System Enhanced Privacy Protection Test.”

Let’s break down all the new features of MIUI 12 along with details about phones eligible to receive the update.

MIUI 12 features

MIUI Dark Mode 2.0

miui 12 dark mode

The new Dark Mode 2.0 on MIUI 12 will bring wallpaper dimming to Xiaomi phones. The feature will work in tandem with the time of day and will gradually dim the wallpaper as daylight changes to night time.

Xiaomi is also tweaking the way text is displayed as users switch between light and dark modes. In MIUI 12, the phone will automatically adjust the weight and boldness of the font to reduce glare when the dark mode is turned on. Font contrast will also be adjusted depending on the user’s ambient environment. This should vastly improve legibility of text in low-lit conditions.

MIUI Sensory Visual Design

miui sensory visual design

In MIUI12, Xiaomi has visualized the core system information, allowing you to see the status of the system at a glance. Xiaomi is calling this the new “Sensory Visual Design.” What this basically means is that now when you visit the Settings page on your phone or check out things like storage availability, you will see the system information presented in the form of graphs and visual diagrams, making it easier to understand and consume. You can see examples of Xiaomi’s new design in the images above.

MIUI Super Wallpapers

new wallpapers which are launched in xiaomis next update

Xiaomi has also introduced “Super Wallpapers” with MIUI 12. The company has created high-precision animated 3D models of Mars and Earth based on available space exploration data. You will be able to set these Super Wallpapers on both your locked and unlocked phone screens. When the dark mode is turned on, the planet chosen by you for the wallpaper will also enter night time, thereby enhancing your visual experience.

New animations

Xiaomi has focused a lot on visual redesign when it comes to MIUI 12. The new skin will bring realistic weather animations and show real-time weather changes displayed in the form of a time-lapse movie on your screen.

The animation of app icons also gets a refresh. App icons will now generate real-time feedback based on your gestures. Xiaomi says changes in gesture direction and speed will cause application icons to react differently.

For instance, when you delete an application, the ripple animation will also affect the surrounding app icons.

In other areas, you’ll notice new animations for screen rotation, opening and closing apps, and more.

New gestures

MIUI 12 also brings some new gestures to your phones. For instance, you will be able to swipe down on the notifications panel to interact with a notification without having to abandon what you’re doing. You can also slide down on the notification panel to expand it into a small window, which you can then freely drag around the screen for a split-screen effect.

MIUI 12 AI calling

miui ai calling feature

Xiaomi has been training its AI assistant — Xiao AI — to answer calls for users since last year. It’s similar to Google’s Call Screening feature which was introduced with the Pixel 3.

Xiaomi has now revealed that after half a year of testing, the AI ​​phone assistant has answered 4 million calls for closed beta users. With MIUI 12, Xiaomi has officially upgraded the AI phone assistant to a feature called “AI Calling.” With it, users will be able to customize the language in which they want their calls to be answered. They will also be able to switch between automatic or manual call answering. However, it’s unclear right now if the feature will roll out to users outside of China.

Enhanced privacy

MIUI 12 also brings enhanced privacy features to Xiaomi phones. For instance, you can now choose to grant permissions to apps only once or only while you’re using them. Permissions will be revoked once you’re done using an app. For apps that don’t clarify the use of permissions on your phone, the “Always Allow” option will not be provided.

MIUI 12 will also help users keep track of app behavior. You will be able to view a record of how an app behaves on your phone, the information it collects, the other applications it uses, etc, all in one place.

Photo sharing will also be safer. Xiaomi says sensitive information such as device details will be removed from image files before you share them with anyone.


MIUI 12 release date and availability

Xiaomi says that it’ll start rolling out the stable version of MIUI 12 by the end of June, 2020. Meanwhile, it’ll open the beta testing program in China today at 6AM ET.


Eligible MIUI 12 update phones

The Xiaomi and Redmi phones eligible to receive the stable MIUI 12 update starting June include the following devices:

First batch

Second batch

Third batch

  • Mi Mix 2
  • Redmi 8, 8A
  • Redmi 7, 7A
  • Mi CC9, CC9 Pro, CC9e

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Source: Android Authority

How mask and robotics are used in order to fightback COVID-19 effectively

The coronavirus pandemic has shut the world down like nothing we’ve ever seen before. With the medical community completely shifting their focus and effort on fighting back against this worldwide pandemic by innovating different technologies in face mask and using robots to treat patients, it’s left many without work or anything productive to do.

robotics and mask designing and testing

The coronavirus pandemic has shut the world down like nothing we’ve ever seen before. With the medical community completely shifting their focus and effort on fighting back against this worldwide pandemic by innovating different technologies in face mask and using robots to treat patients, it’s left many without work or anything productive to do.

Around the world, there are a plethora of engineers, physicists, scientists, and otherwise just normal people making superhuman efforts at fighting back against COVID-19. There are thousands of collaborative engineering efforts against COVID-19 taking place each and every day. From 3D printed mask to mechanical ventilators, the STEAM community is putting up a solid fight back against the coronavirus. 

To aid in giving the projects and people visibility as well as highlighting how engineering is being used to combat the coronavirus, this is an engineering coronavirus site here created by interesting engineering. You’ll find a graphical interface to browse through submitted projects and news stories and get a live look at how the virus is spreading. It’s an engineering-centric COVID-19 hub.

3D printed mask solution for coronavirus 

With 3D printing practically in the mainstream, it’s been a primary tool for engineering to fight against the coronavirus. One notable project is that of the NonoHack Mask. While there have been a number of 3D printed masks, this mask design offers up versatility in just what you use for the air filtering portion.

Designed specifically for use with a polypropylene filter material to fit in the bottom, it can provide filtration for up to 96.4% of microorganisms the size of one micron and 89.5% of microorganisms of .02 microns.

3d printed design of a mask

Notably though, due to the way that the interface of the mask was designed, it allows for you to replace the filter material with any other found material if you don’t have access to the specific filter required.

The team behind the mask references research indicates that if you don’t have a polypropylene filter, you might be able to use a modified vacuum cleaner bag, tea towel, or cotton mix as close alternatives. While they won’t be as good as the specially designed filter, the design of the mask allows these other materials to be easily inserted and used.

different types of mask table

Robotic solutions for COVID-19

While there have been a plethora of companies and individuals that have hacked robots to create ventilators for seriously ill patients, we’re going to focus on another robotic innovation helping patients’ well-being: Robot doctors.

Researchers at Chulalongkorn University have rolled out three new telemedicine robots that can aid the doctor-patient relationship while sparing the regular human interaction. The robots can easily be used by hospital staff to communicate with COVID-19 patients remotely.

Specifically, the robots created by the university are going to be used at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute.

The robots were initially designed by the university team to help care for patients that were recovering from strokes, but they are now being repurposed to supply world-class leading medical care during a time when intense quarantine and isolation is needed.

These robots not only maintain a strict barrier between doctor and patient, but they also help one doctor quickly and easily talk with multiple patients. Seeing multiple patients after one another in hospitals often requires stripping and reapplying medical garb, whereas tele medicine robots can easily avoid that.

robotics used in covid fightback

The robots are capable of assessing the patients’ conditions as well as helping the medical staff to easily track the patients’ symptoms. Read more about the project in the press release from the university here.

You can also take a look at a variety of other robotics solutions for the coronavirus submitted on our engineering COVID-19 page here.

Coronavirus inspired innovations in sanitation and mask

Sanitation has become of a big concern in the overcrowded medical systems where coronavirus outbreaks are peaking. In many places, there is a serious deficit in medical supplies that is forcing doctors and nurses to reuse their surgical mask.

This presents a need for a device that can quickly and easily disinfect surgical mask with a 100% success rate. That is exactly what Prescientx, a company located in Ontario, Canada, has tried to create.

They have engineered a device that can disinfect N95 mask utilizing ultraviolet, or UV light. The device is situated overtop of the masks and a UV-C light is shone on the mask at different angles for differing amounts of time. That said, it doesn’t take very long to disinfect just one mask. In fact, the device, called the Terminator CoV, can disinfect up to 500 masks per hour. This can be life-changing for medical staff across the world as they battle the need for safe and clean protective gear.

The machine isn’t just specific to one kind of N95 mask, either. Thanks to the way that it is built, it works practically universally with a variety of mask types and sizes. The masks are driven through a reflective aluminum tunnel for disinfection. While in this tunnel the UV-C light is shone, being sure to hit the masks at all angles, as UV light rays cannot pass through the N95 grade mask material.

The speed of the conveyor on which the masks are taken through the disinfected tunnel and the height of that tunnel can be adjusted with ease, making the device practically universal. Take a look at a small demo of the device in the video below.

How you can get involved

It doesn’t take much to start getting involved in the engineering fight against the novel coronavirus. If you have a project that you’ve worked on or know of a project someone else worked on, submit it to COVID-19 engineering site so the rest of the world can learn about all of the advancements being made.

Source: Interesting Engineering

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Canon EOS R5 DSLR: Every new feature you should know

Canon has finally thrown some light on the feature and design aspect of its much-anticipated camera EOS R5. Canon believes the all-new Canon EOS R5 is one of its most significant cameras after its full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Through a live-streaming press event, the camera maker has highlighted the details of the camera and also explained why they believe the upcoming DSLR can do spectacularly well once it hits the market.

Canon has finally thrown some light on the feature and design aspect of its much-anticipated camera EOS R5. Canon believes the all-new Canon EOS R5 is one of its most significant cameras after its full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Through a live-streaming press event, the camera maker has highlighted the details of the camera and also explained why they believe the upcoming DSLR can do spectacularly well once it hits the market.

canon eos r5 first look

Canon EOS R5 could record videos in 8K resolution

As explained in the live streaming event, the upcoming Canon EOS R5 would be capable of recording 8K resolution videos at 30 frame-per-second in 4:2:2 10-bit C-Log and HDR PQ. The much-anticipated camera would also be capable of recording 4K videos as well at 120 frame-pre-second in 4:2:2 10-bit C-Log and HDR PQ to keep action photographers happy. The upcoming camera could also record 4K videos at 60 frame-per-second over HDMI.

The camera maker explained, the Canon EOS R5 would utilise the full width of the sensor and won’t crop while recording any video at 8K or 4K resolution. The camera would also utilise the dual pixel CMOS AF while recording any high-resolution video in 8K or 4K resolution. Photographers can also avail of the C-Log while using the camera in 8K and 4K internal recording modes.

For the action photographers

Besides, the Canon EOS R5 would utilise optical image stabilisation and 5-axis in-body image stabilisation with the RF and EF based lenses. For users’ convenience, the camera would also sport a dual card slot which would be capable of holding a CFexpress and an SD UHS-II card.

Canon has remained tight-lipped regarding the availability or the price of EOS R5. The company has also remained silent regarding the sensor size and other details of the camera. But according to earlier leaks, the Canon EOS R5 is expected to come with a compact design in contrast to other popular video cameras in the market. The Canon EOS R5 is expected to hit the shelves before the festive season this year.

Source: International Business Times

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After COVID-19 Lockdown Ends : Don’t Do These Things

Everyone is eagerly waiting for the lockdown to end and get back to their usual routine. Many of you may have already started making plans about what you will do once Lockdown is lifted. But make sure these things are not on the list.

Everyone is eagerly waiting for the lockdown to end and get back to their usual routine. Many of you may have already started making plans about what you will do once Lockdown is lifted. But make sure these things are not on the list.

people wearing masks at the time before lockdown started

India’s second phase of lockdown, which became effective from April 15, has entered the 6th day today. On the last day of the first 21-day lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the movement restriction till May 3, considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country. While lockdown is crucial to contain the spread of the deadly virus, it has greatly affected the normal life of people. Some countries and even some states in India have started lockdown relaxation to a certain extent.

Meanwhile, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Sunday said that lifting of lockdown restrictions should be done in a phase process. Speaking at the Group of 20 (G20) Health Ministers virtual meeting from Geneva, the WHO chief stated that lifting lockdown restrictions for COVID-19 is not the end of the epidemic, it’s just the beginning of the next phase.  He said that it’s vital in this next phase that countries educate, engage and empower their people to prevent and respond rapidly to any resurgence, a news agency reported.

Things Not To Do When COVID-19 Lockdown Ends

People are getting restless as they remain stuck at home for days. Now everyone is eagerly waiting for the lockdown to end and get back to their usual routine. Many of you may have already started making plans about what you will do once restrictions are lifted. Parties, travel, shopping – these things could be in your to-do list. But hold on, it won’t be a good idea to rush on your plans. The novel coronavirus may have a long-term effect and the danger might be lurking somewhere unknown to us even after the cases subside. Considering the risk, we have compiled a list of things that you should not do when coronavirus quarantine or lockdown ends.

Don’t Throw A Party At Home Or Hit The Bars

We know you are excited to meet your friends and celebrate your friendship over drinks and delicious meals. But not so fast. Throwing a party at home or hitting the bars when they reopen means too many people in a room, which may give any lingering coronavirus on an asymptomatic host the opportunity to infect others. Remember COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus.

Don’t Stop Washing Your Hands

Continue to practice hand hygiene, because lockdown relaxation doesn’t necessarily mean that the novel coronavirus outbreak is over. Even after the pandemic ends and eventually a vaccine arrives, don’t break the good hand-washing habit that you’ve acquired during this time. This will help minimize your risk for acquiring many other illnesses in future.

Don’t Immediately Visit Senior Citizens after Lockdown Ends

Even when the quarantine ends, maintain physical distancing from the senior citizens and immunocompromised persons. They are the people who are most likely to develop complications if they do acquire COVID-19. So, keeping a healthy distance is still the best way to keep them safe.

Don’t Plan A Vacation Yet

It was the international movement of people that led to the COVID-19 outbreak turning into a pandemic through person-to-person transmission. If unfortunately, it reoccurs, you will end up finding yourself quarantined in a foreign land.

Don’t Throw Away Your Homemade Face Masks after Lockdown

We can’t say what lies in the future. If the coronavirus hits back or another deadly viral outbreak happens, you may need those homemade face masks.

Source: The HealthSite.com

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Online Course learning: acquiring new skills during lockdown

Devoting some of our quarantine time to self-education makes sense. Besides helping to bolster your career during this economic uncertainty, learning a new skill can give you a sense of control that will help cope with anxiety engendered by the epidemic.

a girl learning a course from home

For many of us in self-isolation, it can feel like the coronavirus has put the world on hold as we wait for release from our temporary imprisonment. But increasing numbers of people are using the time to build their skillset, with an upsurge in enrollments on online course learning platforms such as edX, FutureLearn and Coursera, which offer “massive open online courses” – or Moocs.

Coursera, for instance, has seen an eightfold increase in enrolments for social science, personal development, arts and humanities courses since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. “It’s unprecedented,” says the company’s chief product officer, Shravan Goli. (In late March, its Science of Well Being course saw 500,000 new enrolments in a single weekend.)

Devoting some of our quarantine time to self-education makes sense. Besides helping to bolster your career during this economic uncertainty, learning a new skill can give you a sense of control that will help cope with anxiety engendered by the epidemic.

As James Wallman says in his book Time and How to Spend It, personal growth is central to many psychological theories of long-term happiness. So although an hour listening to a lecture may not be as enticing as the instant gratification of reality TV or social media, it will lead to greater life-satisfaction in the long term. “You could say that humans are like bicycles: if you’re not heading towards something you fall over,” Wallman says. And when we are social distancing, online courses are one of the best ways to do that.

What does a course involve?

The specifics vary from platform to platform, though many follow the same basic model. With the larger platforms such as edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn, you can choose university-affiliated courses – so you know you are being taught by experts in the field. The courses are of varying lengths – from a few hours to a regular, weekly commitment over several months – and typically involve video lectures, reading texts and regular tests to check your memory and understanding of the syllabus.

In many cases enrolment is free, but may have to pay to get a certificate verifying that you have completed the course.

What should I look for in a course?

You might be tempted to sign up to the courses with the most prestigious instructors, but that would be a mistake, says James Murphy, who used Moocs to prepare a master’s degree while he was housebound with an illness. “Institutional affiliations aren’t always a good guide to quality,” he says.

Many of the platforms offer user reviews where you can gauge other learners’ enjoyment and satisfaction with the course, but nothing beats trying it for yourself, says Murphy, who is now an associate lecturer at the Open University. “I think the best advice is to sign up and see if you like it – there’s no reason to stick with one you dislike if the delivery isn’t engaging. You can usually tell in the first hour if you’ll enjoy the course or not.”

If you are hoping for professional development and considering the cost of the certificate, you might want to check whether employers recognise the qualification. Coursera’s Goli points out that about 30 companies now accept the Google-affiliated course on IT management, for instance. The reviews can guide you on this, as can the course descriptions, which sometimes include statistics from student surveys about the professional benefits that came from the experience.

It’s also important to pick a course of the right difficulty – something just beyond your comfort-zone – engaging enough to occupy your mind, but not so ambitious that it’s frustrating. That way, you’ll achieve the “flow state”. “You’ll lose track of time,” says Wallman – and the deep concentration will feel much more rewarding than simply scrolling through social media.

How can I stay motivated?

Even if you have chosen a course that is perfectly suited to your goals, you may find your initial enthusiasm evaporates and your discipline trails off. “Lack of routine and time is often the biggest hurdle,” says writer and regular Mooc user Bianca Barratt. Her advice is to try to set up a schedule and “treat it like a physical class you’ve signed up for. Show up when you say you will, make an effort with the class exercises and homework and complete the course in full.”

Another good strategy, according to Anant Agarwal, the founder and CEO of edX, is to find a “study buddy or form a bigger learning group, so that they can motivate each other and enjoy the course together”. You might make a pact with people you already know, or you could connect with people from the discussion forums that accompany the course. Like your classmates at a traditional school or university, you can help each other to understand the difficult material, and the feeling of accountability might spur you on when you find distractions drawing you away from your goal.

What do I do after completing the course?

For some, this may be just the start of the journey – furnishing you with a greater confidence to learn and the motivation to take it further. If you find that you’re hooked, many of the platforms also provide accredited bachelors and master’s degrees from selected universities, though this will be more expensive.

For others, the completion of a single course will be enough. But whatever your goals, the quest to learn a new skill or discipline may be the perfect distraction from the frustrations of self-isolation – allowing you to connect with new people and transforming this period into a time of enlightenment and self-discovery.

The next step – seven Moocs to expand your mind

Learning How to Learn
McMaster University, University of California San Diego, via Coursera
With more than 2 million enrolments, this short course is a natural place to start your journey, offering the mental tools for you to master any new subject.

From the Big Bang to Dark Energy
University of Tokyo, via Coursera
Physicist Hitoshi Murayama examines the biggest question of all – the origins of the universe.

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking
Harvard University, via edX
Professor James Engell will help you to polish your communication skills in this eight-week course.

Science and Cooking
Harvard University, via edX
Physicists, chemists and restaurant chefs explore the transformation of food in the kitchen.

An Introduction to Screenwriting
University of East Anglia, via FutureLearn
If your mind is fizzing with inspiration for a Netflix mini-series, this course – from UEA’s prestigious creative writing programme – will help you translate it to the screen.

Introduction to Mathematical Thinking
Stanford University, via Coursera
Not for the fainthearted but more than 200,000 learners have taken this journey through the basics of mathematical logic and proof.

Buddhism and Modern Psychology
Princeton University, via Coursera
Bestselling author Robert Wright examines what modern psychology can learn from ancient teachings.

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Google Pixel 4A: Pricing, release date and Features

The Google Pixel 4a is almost certain to launch in the next month or two, and as the next iteration of Google’s popular budget phone nears, there’s actually precious little we don’t know about this phone. Thankfully, if you don’t feel the same, we’ve done the legwork and rounded up all the relevant, credible, and interesting info that’s been leaked about the 4a to date.

The Google Pixel 4a is almost certain to launch in the next month or two, and as the next iteration of Google’s popular budget phone nears, there’s actually precious little we don’t know about this phone. Thankfully, if you don’t feel the same, we’ve done the legwork and rounded up all the relevant, credible, and interesting info that’s been leaked about the 4a to date. Google’s not exactly done a great job keeping this phone under wraps, so we’ve got a largely complete picture, and it looks like this new phone will largely stick to the formula that made its predecessor such a darling with critics and consumers alike.

What will google pixel 4A actually look like?

Physically, it looks something like a lovechild between the current Pixel 3a and Google’s recent Pixel 4, featuring what looks like an all-plastic curved unibody and a Pixel 4-style square camera bump — which still looks like it only houses a single camera.

Bezels are just about gone as the phone picks up a nearly edge-to-edge screen, sporting one of those newfangled “hole-punch” or “pinhole” designs, with a front-facing camera embedded right beneath the display in the top left corner.

A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor lies around back, which, together with the front bezels, indicates there’s no secure infrared camera-based face unlock (as with the Pixel 4).

We’ve seen leaks showing the phone in the usual white and black colorways, and we expect the wildcard may be a light blue hue of some kind (according to YouTuber Dave Lee).

Measurements for the Pixel 4a clock in at 144.2 x 69.5 x 8.2mm (9mm at the camera bump), which is just a bit smaller than the Pixel 3a. Dimensions regarding a bigger XL variant haven’t leaked, and we’re pretty sure at this point that there won’t be one (more on that later).

One phone or two?

Just oneDavid Lee claims we’ll just get one size for the Pixel 4a. Corroborating that, only one device codename (sunfish) has been conclusively tied to the Pixel 4a, and it’s also the only name to have surfaced more recently in a Camera app teardown.

At one point, 9to5Google had its own sources which claimed a larger 4a XL was still in the works, but if it existed, it was probably scrapped.

We’re pretty confident there will be only one size for the Pixel 4a.

What are the specs?

At this point, we have a good idea of the hardware that will be included in the Pixel 4a. Between the known details connected to the “sunfish” codename and the details garnered by the Cuban device leak, we can paint a nearly complete picture by the numbers.

More recently, 9to5Google got its own separate confirmation of the specs corroborating all the earlier leaks — which didn’t add much new information outside the possibility of a larger 128GB storage size.

Google Pixel 4A SPECS

ChipsetSnapdragon 730
RAM6GB
Display~5.81″ OLED 1080×2340, 60Hz, hole-punch camera
Storage64GB or 128GB UFS 2.1 (both numbers have leaked so far, we may see one or both sizes)
Camera12.2MP primary, 8MP front-facing
Dimensions144.2 x 69.5 x 8.2mm (9mm at the camera bump) for the 4a, 4a XL unknown
Battery3,080mAh, 18W fast charging (probably USB PD)
MiscHeadphone jack, Type-C charging, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, Google Titan M security chip, no wireless charging
ColorsAt least two named colors: Just Black and Barely Blue. A white model may also be coming.

Although it was previously speculated that “redfin” or “bramble” could be different variants of the Pixel 4a, signs now point to them being the upcoming Pixel 5, so we probably won’t see a version of the Pixel 4a with a Snapdragon 765.

Can we call it Pixel 4A 5G?

No, The “sunfish” hardware name, which has been conclusively tied to the Pixel 4a, will specifically not support 5G given the chipset it uses.

Although we previously thought that two other hardware names (“redfin” and “bramble”could be associated with the Pixel 4a series — and their details indicate they will support a 5G-compatible chipset — we’ve since come to believe those two devices are actually the upcoming Pixel 5. That means the Pixel 4a will be a 4G-only affair. Not that it matters right now.

How much will it cost?

Starting at $400.

google pixel 4a advertisement

Recent leaks indicate a $400 starting price, and the previous Pixel 3a also started at $400. More recent leaks suggest we might have a 128GB storage configuration available as well, which could come at an increased cost.

When will Pixel 4A actually come out?

Google hasn’t established a habit for this new “a” series of phones, but if we had to guess, we think Google will probably release it around May 12th-14th, the original dates of this year’s Google I/O developer conference, following last year’s I/O release for the Pixel 3a. However, Google first canceled its in-person event for I/O earlier this year over coronavirus concerns, but even the online event was later given the ax, and that could disrupt the release timeline. For all we know, it might be released a bit earlier or a bit later now.

Delaying release cycles is the last thing the company needs to do, and although 9 to 5 Google previously heard that it will probably arrive at I/O again, we have no idea how the pandemic and subsequent global lockdown may have affected the company’s release plans.

Source : Android Police

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Google Can Help Locate The Nearest COVID-19 Test Facility

This is just one of the company’s latest tools it has offered to curb the spread of COVID-19, along with a $50 million commitment to global efforts to respond to the pandemic.

google
A medical worker talks to a patient at a drive-through Covid-19 testing center at Bergen New Bridge

A Google search for “coronavirus testing centers” in the U.S. will now lead you to a Google Map of testing facilities — for most users.

This is just one of the company’s latest tools it has offered to curb the spread of COVID-19, along with a $50 million commitment to global efforts to respond to the pandemic.

The Verge reported the company will offer this information to Google users in 43 states, largely because the company is only publishing testing facility locations that have been approved by public health authorities. Even then, some testing facilities lists are incomplete in some states, including New York. Google is only sharing locations of testing facilities that have been approved for publishing by health authorities, although Google said it is adding more listings in New York, which has been hit hard by the spread COVID-19. Testing facilities in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maine, Connecticut, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Missouri are excluded from search results.

how google locate will work for covid-19 testing centers

While Google is making it easier to find a COVID-19 testing facility, some of these facilities are not offering tests to the general public. Some testing facilities are limited to certain groups. For example, Google’s map indexes some Veterans Health Clinics, where testing is limited to veterans and other selected groups.

In other areas, Google does not list some public testing. For instance, in the San Antonio, Texas area, the company does not index three public, drive-thru testing facilities. But does index 11 locations of privately-owned Texas MedClinic urgent care clinics that are offering testing. The maps do index testing facilities of Project Baseline, which is powered by Alphabet’s Verily unit.

Source: Forbes.com

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Corona Virus controversy : China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology

Nestled in the hilly outskirts of Wuhan, the city at the heart of the corona virus crisis, a Chinese high-security bio safety laboratory is now the subject of US claims it may be the cradle of the pandemic.

The institute is home to the China Centre for Virus Culture Collection, the largest virus bank in Asia which preserves more than 1,500 strains, according to its website

virus leak lab named as wuhan institute of virology

Nestled in the hilly outskirts of Wuhan, the city at the heart of the corona virus crisis, a Chinese high-security bio safety laboratory is now the subject of US claims it may be the cradle of the pandemic.

Chinese scientists have said the virus likely jumped from an animal to humans in a market that sold wildlife in Wuhan, but the existence of the lab has fuelled conspiracy theories that the germ spread from the facility.

The United States has now brought the allegations into the mainstream, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying US officials are doing a “full investigation” into how the virus “got out into the world”.

Here are some key questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV):

What is it ?

The institute is home to the China Centre for Virus Culture Collection, the largest virus bank in Asia which preserves more than 1,500 strains, according to its website.

The complex contains Asia’s first maximum security lab equipped to handle Class 4 pathogens (P4) — dangerous viruses that pose a high risk of person-to-person transmission, such as Ebola.

The 300-million-yuan ($42 million) lab was completed in 2015, and finally opened in 2018, with the founder of a French bioindustrial firm, Alain Merieux, acting as a consultant in its construction.

The institute also has a P3 laboratory that has been in operation since 2012.

The 3,000-square-metre (32,000-square-foot) P4 lab, located in a square building with a cylindrical annex, lies near a pond at the foot of a forested hill in Wuhan’s remote outskirts.

On a recent visit, AFP saw no sign of activity inside.

A poster outside the complex read, “Strong Prevention and Control, Don’t Panic, Listen to Official Announcements, Believe in Science, Don’t Spread Rumours”.

Is it the source of the corona virus ?

Pompeo said Friday that Chinese authorities themselves, when they started investigating the virus, “considered whether the WIV was, in fact, the place where this came from”.

“We know they’ve not permitted the world’s scientists to go into that laboratory to evaluate what took place there, what’s happening there, what’s happening there even as we speak,” he said in a radio interview.

The Washington Post and Fox News both quoted anonymous sources who voiced concern that the virus may have come — accidentally — from the facility.

US diplomatic cables seen by The Washington Post revealed that officials were especially concerned about inadequate safety standards related to researchers’ handling of SARS-like bat coronaviruses in the high-security lab.

Fox News said the pandemic’s “patient zero” may have been infected by a strain of bat virus being studied at the facility that somehow got into the population in Wuhan.

Various conspiracy theories about the alleged origin of the coronavirus in the lab have flourished online.

The institute declined to comment on Friday, but it released a statement in February dismissing the rumours.

It said it received samples of the then-unknown virus on December 30, determined the viral genome sequence on January 2 and submitted information on the pathogen to the World Health Organization on January 11.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Friday rejected allegations that the lab was responsible for the outbreak.

“A discerning person will understand at a glance that the purpose is to create confusion, divert public attention, and shirk their responsibility,” said Zhao, who himself promoted conspiracy theories the US army may have brought the virus to China.

What do scientists know about the virus ?

Scientists believe the virus originated in bats before being passed to humans through an intermediary species — possibly the endangered pangolin, whose scales are illegally trafficked in China for traditional medicine.

But a study by a group of Chinese scientists published in The Lancet in January revealed that the first COVID-19 patient had no connection to Wuhan’s infamous animal market, and neither did 13 of the first 41 confirmed cases.

Institute researcher Shi Zhengli, one of China’s leading experts on bat coronaviruses and the deputy director of the P4 lab, was part of the team that published the first study to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 came from bats.

In an interview with Scientific American, Shi said the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence did not match any of the bat coronaviruses her laboratory had previously collected and studied.

Filippa Lentzos, biosecurity researcher at King’s College London, said while there is currently no proof for the lab accident theory, there is also “no real evidence” that the virus came from the wet market.

“For me, the pandemic origin is still an open question,” Lentzos told AFP.

There are some indications “that could point to a potential lab accident from basic scientific research”, she said.

“But all of this needs considerable investigation for anyone to say anything with any certainty on the pandemic origins.”

David Heymann, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, also said there was no evidence about its origin but it is “closely related to a bat virus”.

“There are many theories of how humans could’ve been infected, and I don’t think any of them are able to be substantiated at present.”

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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