Steve Kondik Finally Speaks on Cyanogen’s Failure; Company Breaks Ties With Him

Steve Kondik Finally Speaks on Cyanogen's Failure; Company Breaks Ties With HimThings aren’t going well for Cyanogen. The latest – soon after Steve Kondik went public with the current situation at Cyanogen, the company has “separated ties” with him. To recall, a recent report had pointed that the future of Steve Kondik, Cyanogen’s Co-Founder and former CTO, in the company was unknown.

Kondik took to the official CyanogenMod developer Google+ community recently where he voiced what he thought were the reasons behind Cyanogen’s plight and blamed Kirt McMaster, Cyanogen’s Co-Founder.

“I’ve been pretty quiet about the stuff that’s been going on but I’m at least ready to tell the short version and hopefully get some input on what to do next because CM is very much affected,” wrote Kondik in a private Google+ community first reported by Android Police.

According to Kondik’s version, Cyanogen’s turmoil is way far from being over. He claimed that Cyanogen had seen success thanks to the efforts by the community and the company. Though, this also changed how the company worked.

Explaining how it all started to come down, Kondik wrote, “Unfortunately once we started to see success, my co-founder apparently became unhappy with running the business and not owning the vision. This is when the “bullet to the head” and other misguided media nonsense started, and the bad business deals were signed. Being second in command, all I could do was try and stop it, do damage control, and hope every day that something new didn’t happen. The worst of it happened internally and it became a generally shitty place to work because of all the conflict. I think the backlash from those initial missteps convinced him that what we had needed to be destroyed. By the time I was able to stop it, I was outgunned and outnumbered by a team on the same mission.”

Kondik also seemingly confirmed a report from July which claimed Cyanogen may pivot to apps. He further wrote, “Eventually I tried to salvage it with a pivot that would have brought us closer to something that would have worked, but the new guys had other plans. With plenty of cash in the bank, the new guys tore the place down and will go and do whatever they are going to do. It’s probably for the best and I wish them luck, but what I was trying to do, is over.”

The company’s new CEO Lior Tal, former COO, has in a blog post announced that Cyanogen has separated ties with Steve Kondik. The blog post notes, “Cyanogen has separated ties with Steve Kondik, allowing him to continue to forge his path as he sees fit. We wish him the best of luck in his next venture.” The blog post also confirmed that Cyanogen has shifted to Palo Alto.

LG U With 13-Megapixel Camera, 3000mAh Battery Launched

LG U With 13-Megapixel Camera, 3000mAh Battery LaunchedLG has quietly introduced a new smartphone, LG U, which bears a design and specifications that are nearly identical to the LG Nexus 5X. The LG U is an exclusive to the company’s home market South Korea on its own mobile operator partner named LG U+. The company has not detailed the availability of this smartphone in other markets. The LG U is priced at KRW 396,000 (roughly Rs. 23,100). The smartphone is available in three colour variants – Black, White, and Pink.

The Google Nexus 5X manufactured by LG was a phenomenal smartphone in the Android world, and LG Electronics doesn’t seem to let go of Nexus 5X. The LG U copies Nexus 5X in some specification departments like display, design etc. The smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Unlike the Nexus 5X, it is powered by an octa-core 1.14GHz processor (chipset maker unspecified) coupled with 2GB of RAM under the hood. The LG U packs a 5.2-inch full HD (1080×1920) display, which appears to be identical to that used in Nexus 5X.

The LG U has a glossy rear surface with a camera and a flash components. In the camera department, the LG U houses a 13-megapixel rear camera with a flash module. For selfie lovers, the smartphone has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The South Korean company says that the LG U has cameras that has an auto-correction feature called ‘Beauty Shot’ for better selfies obviously.

The inbuilt storage inside the LG U is 32GB that is also expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB). The LG U houses a 3000mAh battery inside that is not removable. Apart from 4G LTE, the LG U also has connectivity options of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a USB port.

The dimensions of the LG U are 147.6×73.2×7.7mm and it weighs 135 grams.

  • KEY SPECS
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Display

5.20-inch

Processor

1.14GHz octa-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

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Moto M, Lenovo P2 Launch Expected on November 8

Moto M, Lenovo P2 Launch Expected on November 8

The oft-leaked Moto M and the recently-unveiled Lenovo P2 are reportedly due to be launched next week at a November 8 event in Guanzhou, China.

Invites for the November 8 event are doing the rounds of Chinese media, and were obtained by TechDroider.

The Moto M (XT1662has seen several leaks over the past few months, starting with a TENAA listing back in August. Beyond revealing a few specifications and a metal unibody design, the smartphone’s listing also showed a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel.

Rumours surrounding the Moto M have since included leaked live images as well as renders that interestingly match the invite being shared. Retail packaging was also spotted recently.

The 4G LTE-enabled Moto M is rumoured to sport a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, and run on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. It is said to be a powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 SoC, said to be the MT6755 SoC clocked at 2GHz. Up to 4GB of RAM is anticipated, coupled with either 32GB or 64GB of inbuilt storage as well.

Other rumoured specifications of the Moto M include a 16-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, accompanied by an 8-megapixel or 5-megapixel selfie snapper. The smartphone is expected to pack a 3000mAh battery with Turbo charging.

Coming to the Lenovo P2, as we mentioned, the smartphone was officially unveiled at IFA 2016. At that point, the Chinese company had announced a November launch date, alongside a EUR 249 (roughly Rs. 18,200) price tag. The Lenovo P2 sports a 5100mAh battery – its highlight feature. Other official specifications a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 625 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of inbuilt storage that is further expandable via microSD card. The company at that point indicated a 4GB of RAM with 64GB storage model would be launched in China, something that matches recently leaked specifications, which also mention microSD card expandability up to 128GB.

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

octa-core

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery Capacity

5100mAh

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Smart chip tells you how healthy your battery is

NTU Prof Rachid Yazami holding his small smart chip which tells the exact state of charge of a battery.
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have developed a smart chip which can tell you how healthy is your battery and if it is safe for use.

If the battery in your smartphone or electric vehicle is faulty and is at risk of catching fire, this smart chip will warn you. Current warning systems only alert users when the battery is already overheating which may be too late for any remedial action.

Developed by Professor Rachid Yazami of the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), this smart chip is small enough to be embedded in almost all batteries, from the small batteries in mobile devices to the huge power packs found in electric vehicles and advanced aeroplanes.

A pioneer in battery research, Prof Yazami won the 2014 Draper Prize for Engineering awarded by the Washington-based National Academy of Engineering for being one of the three founders of lithium-ion battery. The award recognised his discovery in the 1980s in making lithium-ion batteries safely rechargeable, paving the way for its universal use today.

“Although the risk of a battery failing and catching fire is very low, with the billions of lithium-ion batteries being produced yearly, even a one-in-a-million chance would mean over a thousand failures,” explained Prof Yazami, who holds more than 50 patents and has authored more than 200 scientific papers, book chapters and reports on batteries.

“This poses a serious risk for electric vehicles and even in advanced aeroplanes as usually big battery packs have hundreds of cells or more bundled together to power the vehicle or aircraft. If there is a chemical fire caused by a single failed battery, it could cause fires in nearby batteries, leading to an explosion.”

Patented technology

Embedded in the smart chip is a proprietary algorithm developed by Prof Yazami that is based on electrochemical thermodynamics measurements (ETM technology).

Current lithium-ion batteries have a chip in them which only shows voltage and temperature readings. Today’s battery chips are unable to detect symptoms of a malfunction and can also show only the estimated amount of charge the battery is holding.

In comparison, Prof Yazami’s patented algorithm is able to analyse both the state of health and the state of charge through a 3-dimensional chart. On a monitor screen, it looks similar to a ski route down a mountain.

Drawing on the analogy of a fingerprint, he said: “The ‘ski route’ of a brand new battery looks different from those of a degraded or faulty battery — just like how two fingerprints will look quite different.”

“In addition to knowing the degradation of batteries, our technology can also tell the exact state of charge of the battery, and thus optimise the charging so the battery can be maintained in its best condition while being charged faster,” added Prof Yazami, the Director of Battery Programmes at ERI@N.

“My vision for the future is that every battery will have this chip, which will in turn reduce the risk of battery fires in electronic devices and electric vehicles while extending their life span.”

Worldwide annual production of portable battery cells have been predicted to grow from 13 billion in 2014, to over 35 billion by 2025 according to a report by Avicenne Energy.

On track for commercialisation

The smart chip took Prof Yazami more than five years to develop and is now marketed by his start-up, KVI Pte Ltd. Working together with Prof Yazami on developing the smart chip platform at ERIAN is research scientist Mr Sohaib El Outmani.

KVI is now being incubated by NTU’s commercialisation arm, NTUitive. KVI is developing this chip into a series of products, which include battery packs for recharging mobile devices, charge gauge for electric vehicles, and a smart chip for every battery.

The start-up company has an exclusive license on Prof Yazami’s ETM technology which is based on his research done in NTU Singapore, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

His research incorporates two other unique factors: entropy, a measure of disorder or randomness of a system, and enthalpy, which is the sum of internal energy of a system.

It is expected that the technology will be made available for licensing by chipmakers and battery manufacturers before the end of 2016.

Germany’s Bild Daily Bars Ad-blocker Users From Website

German biggest newspaper Bild shuttered its online service Tuesday to users who have installed so-called ad-blocker software.

Readers of the website of Europe’s top-selling newspaper will be asked to switch off the function or purchase a monthly subscription to Bild.de that is nearly free of advertising, its owners media giant Axel Springer said.

“Due to the increased use of the ad-blocker service, the revenue stream via the advertising market for all online journalists is in jeopardy,” Bild’s publishers said in a statement.

The company said it finds the business model of ad-blocker services – which act like a firewall between web browsers and advertising servers – to be unlawful.

It said it had filed a lawsuit against the ad-blocker service “Eyeo” and lodged an appeal against the first judgement in the case of the Cologne district court.

Axel Springer describes itself as Europe’s leading digital publisher and says it makes more than half of group revenues and nearly three quarters of profit from its digital activities.

Its Bild website is run with a “freemium” model, with some content free but some stories, pictures and exclusive interviews subject to a charge.

“From now on, BILD is testing an anti-ad-blocker model,” it said, the first such initiative by a major German publisher.

It now offers a “BILDsmart” subscription for EUR 2.99 per month, with a service that is almost ad-free and promising loading times up to 50 percent faster.

“Those who do not turn off their ad-blocker, or those who do not pay the subscription fee no longer have access to any content from BILD.de,” the company said.

Donata Hopfen, chairwoman of the BILD Group management board, said: “Bild is responding to the increasing ad-blocker usage by testing a new service.

“Even on the Internet, journalistic services need to be financed via the two well-known income streams – advertising and revenues stream – in order to continue to offer independent journalism.”