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Xiaomi launches the insane-looking Mi Mix Alpha

Almost entirely all screen!

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We literally haven’t seen anything like this before. Xiaomi showcased today a concept smartphone that’s made almost entirely of a display. No, that’s not an exaggeration. It’s called the Mi Mix Alpha.

The screen on the Alpha wraps around the device. Xiaomi is calling it the surround display. This makes for an absolutely insane 180.6% screen-t0-body ratio. That’s unheard of. Xiaomi says they used aerospace-grade titanium alloy together with a single piece of sapphire glass embedded in high-precision ceramics to pull-off this design.

Having a device like this means there are no physical buttons. Instead, the sides of the device — which are still made of the display — are pressure sensitive. A linear motor simulates physical touch to still give you that feel.

While we just recently saw the Vivo NEX 3 and the Huawei Mate 30 Pro push limits on the display with similar implementations of no physical buttons, what Xiaomi has done here is pushing things even further.

The display only really stops right around the camera module on its back. Status icons are displayed on the side and having a screen on its back means you don’t need a front-facing camera. You simply flip the phone over and use the display on its back as a monitor while still using the rear camera module.

Insane cameras

Speaking of the cameras, the Mi Mix Alpha has a triple camera module. It’s home to an even more insane 108MP primary lens, a 20MP ultra wide angle camera, and a 12MP telephoto camera that also supports 2X optical zoom and Dual PD focus.

Xiaomi shared a photo on their official Twitter account to showcase the Alpha’s camera capability. The photo below showcases how you don’t lose detail even after zooming the photo up to eight times.

 

Another shot shows off its wide-angle prowess.

Top-of-the-line specs

A phone that looks this exceptional has to also perform exceptionally. To do that, Xiaomi put a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC on the Alpha to go along with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. It’s also equipped with a 4050mAh battery that supports 40W wired fast charging.

Other announcements: Mi 9 Pro 5G, MIUI 11, and Mi Full Screen TV Pro

Also announced during the event is a 5G variant of the Mi 9 Pro. This is Xiaomi’s second 5G smartphone. It’s seven-antenna design allows it to get a download speed of up to 2.02Gbps (lab) and 1.78Gbps (field test). Xiaomi says this is 10 times faster than the standard Mi 9. The device will come in Dynamic White and Titanium Black.

The Mi 9 Pro 5G will alunch with MIUI 11. It features new always-on display effects, dynamic font-scaling, among other things. This is launching on closed beta today for Chinese users via WeChat. The open beta will be available on September 27 on 17 Chinese devices. There are no confirmed dates yet for global users.

Lastly, Xiaomi also launched the Mi Full Screen TV Pro. It’s a 4K UHD Smart TV that supports 8K video playback. It’s available in three sizes: 43”, 55” and 65”.

Enterprise

Huawei acknowledges the US ban is hindering its sales

But the US government isn’t ready to negotiate

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For the first time since the U.S. imposed trade sanctions on Huawei, the company has acknowledged that its sales have been affected. Even though the company’s revenue grew by almost 20 percent to nearly US$ 121 billion, it says the numbers could’ve been higher had the sanctions not been imposed.

Last year, Huawei was added on a U.S. blacklist known as the Entity List. It restricted American firms from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant. For the end-user, it meant that Huawei phones won’t have Google apps pre-installed out-of-the-box. Two of its most recent flagships — the Mate 30 and the P40, were released without licensed Google apps.

Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman, told CNBC that they’re projecting a revenue loss of US$ 10 billion due to the ban. The ban hasn’t come to full effect yet, but it’ll be extremely damaging for their international expansion plans in the future. The company wants to transact with Google, but the U.S. administration has left no choice for either of them.

The ban has not only sealed off the American market for the company, but it also can’t source components and other software technologies from American counterparts. Google is just one of these examples. Huawei can’t even acquire Intel processors for its laptops.

Huawei never had a considerable smartphone market presence in the North American country. This is not a big deal for the company in its home market China because Google apps have been banned there for years now.

As a mitigation plan, the company accelerated the development of its own operating system called Harmony OS, but it’s restricted to TVs for now. To bridge the gap of missing Google apps, the company has also been actively pushing its own suite of apps via Huawei Mobile Services.

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Apps

Airbnb sets aside $250 million for hosts affected due to cancellations

Protecting the hosts, the real assets

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Airbnb announced it has set aside US$ 250 million to help hosts recoup some of the income they lost as a result of the company’s Coronavirus policy, which lets travelers cancel trips and get a full refund.

The hosts weren’t particularly elevated with the idea of full refunds and sought to social media to show their disappointment and frustration. Many relied on business from Airbnb as their primary source of income and were now suddenly running out of cash flow.

While Airbnb’s decision greatly helped the guests (their users), it put all the financial burden on the hosts. Many have posted videos explaining how the company’s decision has been one-sided and the hosts are the only assets Airbnb has.

The company usually gets a 12 percent cut from the amount guests pay. But when guests cancel, the company refunds those fees to them. Ultimately, about 88 percent of the returned amount to travelers comes out of the hosts’ pockets.

As the world economy faces plunging stock markets and unprecedented unemployment claims, short-term rental hosts are assessing their own sudden loss of revenue. To help them recover and get through these tough times. Airbnb has set aside $250 million and its spokesperson said the company expects that sum will be enough to cover any losses that are made.

There’s no doubt that every industry across the world has taken a hit due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. But, the travel industry is has come to a sudden halt worldwide. With countries blocking off their border for foreigners, travelers or backpackers are non-existent right now. The aviation industry alone is bound to receive a humungous $50 billion bailout package from the U.S. government.

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News

Singapore will make Coronavirus tracking app technology freely available

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind – Neil Armstrong

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Singapore will soon open-source (open up) a smartphone technology that helps track citizens’ encounters with Coronavirus carriers. Called TraceTogether, it’s developed by the government to prevent community-spread of the fatal virus that has killed thousands worldwide.

The government is urging citizens to run so that if they encounter a Coronavirus carrier, it’s easier to trace who else may have been exposed to the virus. Why run? Because that plunges your chances of contracting the virus since the encounter will barely be a second. Not to forget, it’s an excellent way to exercise. This way, health authorities are in a better position to detect, treat, and quarantine affected patients.

To reserve a user’s privacy, Singapore’s app is opt-in and doesn’t track users through space, instead, it records who you have encountered. If you come across someone who was exposed, the app will exchange four essential bits of information — a timestamp, Bluetooth signal strength, the phone’s model, and a temporary identifier or device nickname.

On the other end, If a user has diagnosed positive, they enable the health authorities to access their app data to identify people who had close contact with the infected individual.

Addressing privacy concerns, the government has assured that the user’s data is never accessed and all their personal details remain safe. If you’re still paranoid, you can simply check the app settings to confirm whether the app has access to your files, contacts, and other essential hardware.

Now, Singapore is ready to share their app and its back-end technology with the whole world.

From Israel to South Korea to China, governments around the world are using technology to track the Coronavirus outbreak as they race to stem its spread. In China, government-installed CCTV cameras pointed towards the apartment door of those under a 14-day quarantine to ensure they don’t leave.

Germany hopes to launch a similar smartphone app within weeks to help trace Coronavirus infections. Even they’ve shown interest in replicating the Singaporean model. And now that the technology is freely available, it’ll be easier for countries to adopt and adapt than to start from zero.

The Indian government has also launched an app called Corona Kavach (literally meaning Corona Shield) to track individuals by their smartphone locations and curb the community spread of Coronavirus. It’s built on the same concept that Singapore’s government has worked on. But, it’s still in beta. With a population of 1.3 billion and one of the worst healthcare systems, the country is highly vulnerable to the virus. Again, the government promises data privacy.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s how Facebook is trying to fight coronavirus


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Coronavirus: Where to donate

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