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Internet speeds have reduced worldwide substantially due to Coronavirus

You’re not the only one who’s experiencing this

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The surge in internet usage has slowed down internet speeds globally. According to a report, 88 out of the top 200 most populous American cities have experienced slower internet connections. In a handful of cities, the drop has been as huge as 40 percent.

It seems like everything happening or changing around us is due to just one factor — Coronavirus. Authorities across the globe have urged citizens to remain indoors and self-quarantine themselves. What do you do when you’re usually home? Probably browse social media, watch a few videos, read the news, or chat with friends.

But, when you’re stuck indoors for an extended period of time, you’ll switch to streaming movies or shows on services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and many more. At the same time, there are many folks who’re working from home because companies have shut down office complexes to prevent the spread of the virus.

Ultimately, this has led to a massive surge in internet usage, occupying more data bandwidth than ever. In turn, this also leads to slower internet speeds because too many people are consuming huge quantities of data at a given point in time.

Services like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams have experienced a heavy inflow of users since work from home has become a norm in many countries due to a lockdown. Similarly, there are reports of internet slowdown in many regions and telecom operators are struggling to upgrade their local infrastructure in an ultra-short period of time.

Netflix was among the first to announce a reduction in video quality from high definition (HD) to standard definition (SD). The move radically helps in reducing data consumption by 25 percent. An hour of SD video uses about 1GB of data, while HD can use up to 3GB an hour.

Services operating in India have unanimously decided to reduce video delivery quality as well. This includes Netflix India, YouTube India, Prime Video, and other local operators like Hotstar, Zee5, ALT Balaji, Voot, and MX Player. However, users don’t need to worry since the change in quality won’t be considerable and you’ll still be able to enjoy all the content without a hitch.

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Here’s how four American astronauts will vote from space

They’re 220 miles above Earth

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The American Presidential elections are just around the corner and mankind will be practicing democracy in space. Four American astronauts will vote from the International Space Station (ISS) in the coming US Presidential elections.

Kate Rubins will be launching to the ISS on board a Russian Soyuz rocket on October 14. Rubin has confirmed she intends to vote from space. Soon, Astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker will launch to the ISS alongside Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi as part of SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission.

“I think it’s really important for everybody to vote,” Rubins told the AP. “If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too.”

Millions of Americans vote via mail or in-person. Everyone is expected to practice their democratic right and the fact that astronauts are also pitching in plays a pivotal role in encouraging more voters to have their voice heard.

Interestingly, Texas voters have the right to vote from space since 1997. However, astronauts are usually based out of NASA’s Johnson Space Center is located in Houston, and are registered to vote in Harris County.

NASA explained that the Harris County Clerk’s Office uploads a secure electronic ballot to NASA’s Johnson Space Center Mission Control Center. NASA astronauts, using their credentials, access their ballot and cast their vote, which is delivered back to the county clerk’s office by email.

In astronaut Walker’s words to Space.com,”they basically send you an electronic file, it’s a PDF, and you mark your choices. And then you email it back to … the person who’s in charge of the election for the county. And so then that gets counted into all the ballots that are brought back.”

However, this isn’t the first time American astronauts are voting form space. In 2008, NASA astronauts Commander Edward Michael Fincke and Flight Engineer and Science Officer Greg Chamitoff cast their vote from the ISS.

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Accessories

realme Buds Q ‘for Gen Z’ now official

Budget TWS earphones that do not look like AirPods

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realme Buds Q

It’s always refreshing to see a pair of TWS earbuds that looking nothing like Apple AirPods. That’s exactly what the realme Buds Q is.

The realme Buds Q was designed by José Lévy — the cooperated designer of Hermès and the art director of the realme Design Studio. Like their entire product range, this is primarily targeted at the youth (Gen Zs).

realme says Lévy took inspiration from the round cobblestones found along the shores of Normandy beach where he spent most of his youth. He and the realme team iterated the design over 200 times. They fine-tuned the curvature of the G3 curve just to give users a cobblestone-like design that is mellow and comfortable.

On the specs end, the realme Buds Q has a 10mm Large Driver and Dynamic Bass Boost. With the charging case, you should get up to 20 hours of music playback. The buds could also go on for three hours of single continuous calling time, four and a half hours of single continuous music listening time, five hours of single continuous gaming time, and six hours of single continuous video streaming time.

Pricing and availability

The realme Buds Q will be available starting September 30 and retails for PhP 1,490. It comes as a freebie for the first 10 buyers of the realme 7 Pro and is discounted by PhP 500 on Lazada only on September 30.

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review | realme Buds Q hands-on


BUY THE REALME BUDS Q HERE

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realme 7 series launches in the Philippines

Another pair of noteworthy midrangers

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Well, that was fast. After launching the realme 7 series in India, the brand is now bringing its latest devices to other markets. Now, realme is bringing the realme 7 and realme 7 Pro to the Philippines.

The launch of the realme 7 series towards the end of September puts it almost within six months of launching the popular realme 6 series into the country. By all aspects, the realme 7 seriesis a marginal improvement over the realme 6 series. However, this upcoming smartphone is a likely contender for the best value midranger again, thanks to its specs and competitive pricing.

realme 7 Pro

Upfront, the 90Hz refresh rate has been retained on the 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED display. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G is now powering the device. Also new for the realme 7 Pro is faster wired charging thanks to 65W SuperDart charge that can charge the smartphone from 0 to 100% percent in just 34 minutes.

The quad cameras also got some upgrades. The newer and bigger IMX682 64MP imaging sensor replaces the one on the realme 6 Pro. The rest of the setup practically remains the same. However, the quad-camera setup now resides on a refined camera bump design that looks in line with other midrangers released recently.

The secondary ultra-wide selfie camera is gone now. In place, realme bumped the primary selfie camera to 32MP, which is double the resolution of the realme 6 Pro.

realme is also touting the 7 Pro as the first smartphone in the world to receive a TÜV Rheinland Smartphone Reliability Verification. We don’t exactly know what this certification does to a smartphone, but the brand is touting a much reliable device for everyday use.

realme 7

The realme 7 has a 6.5-inch LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Powering the phone is a MediaTek Helio G95 processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.

It includes the same camera setup that’s found on the elder sibling. However, it gets a bigger 5000mAh battery with 30W fast charging. realme claims it can fully charge the phone within 65 minutes. For authentication, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner is provided.

Pricing and availability

The realme 7 series will be available nationwide starting September 30. Pricing and special offers are as follows:

realme 7 pro (8GB+128GB) — PhP 17,990
realme 7 (8GB+128GB) — PhP 14,990

Purchase the realme 7 Pro in stores nationwide from September 30 to October 4, 2020 to get an automatic umbrella and a realme Band worth PhP 2,390.

Home Credit

  • Starting September 30
  • realme 7 8+128 and realme 7 Pro 8+128 are available via 0% interest installment plans of 6 and 9 months.
  • Special Offer: First 10 purchasers of the realme 7 Pro will be getting free realme Buds Q worth PhP 1,490, while the first 10 purchasers of a realme 7 will get free Buds Classic worth PhP 590.

E-Commerce Partner: Lazada

  • September 30, 1PM
  • First 200 purchasers of realme 7 Pro via the dedicated product page will get free realme Buds Q worth Php1,490
  • realme 7 is PhP 500 off on September 30
  • realme Buds Q is PhP 500 off on September 30

Credit Card Installment

  • 6 and 12 mos 0% interest via all major credit cards in participating stores nationwide

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review | realme Buds Q hands-on


BUY THE REALME 7 PRO HERE
BUY THE REALME 7 HERE

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