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Week 38 in review: Samsung, Xiaomi and Meizu bring new smartphones

A few interesting announcements took place in week 38 and three of those came courtesy of Samsung – the first mid-ranger with a triple camera Galaxy A7 (2018) and a couple of entry-level devices in Galaxy J4+ and Galaxy J6+.

Meanwhile Xiaomi gave us two more members of the Mi 8 family – the Mi 8 Lite and Mi 8 Pro, while Meizu gave us four new handsets – the 16X, the X8 and the V8 duo.

Meanwhile OnePlus was a prominent feature in our rumor mill with its 6T flagship, along with Xiaomi and its upcoimng Redmi Note 6 Pro mid-ranger. .

We are also still feeling the aftermath of the iPhone XS and XS Max launch – the duo went on sale and we got to learn more about their hardware through reviews and teardowns.

Check out the full list of popular stories to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

The sale begins tomorrow at 12 noon in India at Amazon and Xiaomi’s stores.


It’s the company’s first triple camera smartphone.


An AliExpress retailer offers the 3/32 GB for

Liquid Telecom partners with Zindi to accelerate Africa’s data science ecosystem

September 21, 2018 • Big Data, Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Liquid Telecom partners with Zindi to accelerate Africa’s data science ecosystem

Pan-African telecoms group, Liquid Telecom, has announced a partnership with Zindi to support the rollout of its new data science competition platform across Africa.

Zindi was launched last week at the AI Expo Africa in Cape Town, providing a platform for African data scientists to “convene, collaborate and compete” to solve the continent’s most pressing challenges.

The platform is being launched with three inaugural competitions that will be open for the next two to four months. This includes a challenge co-sponsored by Uber for data scientists to optimise public transportation in Nairobi, and another to automatically process text in documents to classify them according to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals framework.

A total prize money of up to $12,000 is available to entrants in this first set of competitions. New competitions are due to be launched each month.

There is growing demand across Africa for data scientists with the technical and analytical skills to understand exponential volumes of data (also known as Big Data) and come up with evidence-based solutions.

Recognising this, Liquid Telecom

MWEB partners with SAP to deploy S/4HANA Public Cloud platform

September 21, 2018 • Cloud Computing, Online & Social, Top Stories

Imraan Parker, Chief Financial Officer, MWEB

In a time when an economic slowdown is putting increasing pressure on businesses to maintain costs, how does a leader in the highly-competitive Internet Service Provider (ISP) sector position the organisation to deliver unprecedented value?

For MWEB, it’s about embracing change and leveraging advancements in technology to help drive their business forward. MWEB recently partnered with SAP to deploy SAP’s S/4HANA Public Cloud platform. Imraan Parker, Chief Financial Officer, MWEB said: the highly competitive nature within the ISP sector demands continuous improvement and innovation.

“MWEB has and will always be at the forefront of new advanced technology in South Africa. MWEB introduced South Africa to the big black box, were the first ISP in the country to launch Uncapped ADSL to South African homes, and first to provide our customers access to the largest WiFi network in the world. As part of the next phase of our journey, MWEB decided to move our financial processes to the cloud while maintaining costs and continually adding value to our business. We chose SAP as the technology partner to enable us.”

MWEB was founded in

MTN Uganda and Mastercard diversify mobile money service

September 21, 2018 • East Africa, Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Johnson Agoreyo, the UBA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. Photo Cred: PCTechMag

MTN Uganda in partnership with Mastercard and United Bank for Africa (UBA) have announced a new online payments service.  Through this partnership, MTN MoMo customers will use a virtual card to shop or make payments at the vast network of global outlets accepting Mastercard payments.

The launch of the virtual card that is known as MTN MoMocard will ensure MTN’s ability to provide its customers access to products and services previously a preserve of physical credit card holders while diversifying its mobile money portfolio. Additionally, the partnership will result in a wide range of cutting-edge digital payment solutions being introduced in Uganda.

“MTN MoMo is helping to connect more Ugandans to new forms of commerce,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Uganda. “Our affordable mobile financial services are positively impacting communities and lifestyles in Uganda. This is evidenced by the phenomenal growth in both the number of customers and volume of transactions over the years,” he added.

Like a debit card that is linked to a bank account, the MTN MoMocard is linked to a customer’s

Microsoft provides water-saving solution to Western Cape

September 21, 2018 • General, Southern Africa

Microsoft provides water-saving solution to Western Cape

Microsoft, in partnership with the Gift of the Givers NGO and the Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Health, announced the initiation of a project to install smart water meters in hospitals across the Western Cape province. The WCG Department of Health has been considering introducing smart metering at health facilities as one of its interventions in response to the water crisis.

“Since the onset of the water crisis, the WCG Department of Health has actively promoted the message to use water sparingly and avoid wastage to both staff and patients at health facilities. Smart metering, with the ability to measure and report consumption frequently and accurately, will enable facility managers to display actual consumption against targets quickly, which will enhance the message and provide an added incentive to use water sparingly,” says Winton Gibbs, Chief Civil Engineer at the WCG Department of Health.

“With the generous funding of Microsoft, working in collaboration with Gift of the Givers who are coordinating the project, the Department is being enabled to initiate and implement this strategy more quickly and widely throughout the province. The Department is very

Official OnePlus 6T video surfaces, teases the in-display scanner

The first official OnePlus 6T promo video has surfaced, featuring Indian legend Amitabh Bachchan and the upcoming phone.

The video is a short clip that teases the in-display fingerprint inside the OnePlus 6T and shows the actor handling the phone for a second.

The video was reportedly planned to air during the India vs Pakistan cricket match during the Asian Cup 2018.

The OnePlus 6T will have an in-display fingerprint scanner, a dual camera on the back, most likely an AI-powered variant of the current 16MP + 20MP main cameras, a slightly larger 6.4-inch 1080x2340px Optic AMOLED with a water drop notch, Snapdragon 845 chipset and no audio jack. The phone could become official on October 17 and will go on sale online as an Amazon exclusive.

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A Blueprint for Africa’s future cities

September 13, 2018 • General, Southern Africa

Moka City (Source: Africa Property Investment (API) Summit & Expo)

Firmly established as Africa’s most progressive business orientated jurisdiction, Mauritius’ forward-thinking and nimble policies have resulted in the island nation riding the wave to the centre of investment and development in Africa.

While its business-friendly framework and investment orientated tax policies are firmly established, the growing multi-sector opportunities for developers on the island are increasingly attractive for investors, developers and property professionals.

Chief among these primary opportunities is the country’s Smart City Scheme which has caught the eye of developers, policy experts, investors and city planners across the world says Kfir Rusin, the host of the Africa Property Investment (API) Summit (www.APIevents.com), the continent’s largest property investment and development conference taking place on the 20 and 21 September 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“We have more than 600 delegates from 35 countries attending this year, and more than 50 delegates from Mauritius alone, which is proof that it has become a prime hub for investment in Africa and also provides unique opportunities.”

While the definition of what is a smart city varies depending on geography and policy, in Mauritius’ case – a

Richa Chadha to star in 'Panga'

Actors Richa Chadha and Pankaj Tripathi, who had earlier wooed the audience with their performances in Fukrey and Fukrey Returns, will be seen together on screen again – in Ashwini Iyer Tiwari’s directorial Panga.

Backed by Fox Star Studios, Panga, which also stars Kangana Ranaut, Neena Gupta, and Jassie Gill, is an upcoming biopic of popular southern actress Shakeela.

Excited about the film, both actors took to social media to share the news of their casting.

Richa wrote: “My family means the world to me. Thanks Ashwini Iyer Tiwari and Fox Star Hindi, you guys made sure I have another family to call my own. Ready for some more panga? Panga stories.”

Pankaj posted a family picture on Twitter and wrote: “While I’m blessed to have my family, I’m excited to be a part of my new ‘Panga’ family.”

Panga is scheduled to release in 2019.

Text: IANS
Images: Instagram

AI Detects More Mysterious Cosmic Radio Bursts

Is artificial intelligence the key to communicating with aliens?

Researchers used machine learning to discover 72 new fast radio bursts from a mysterious source 3 billion light years from Earth.

In radio astronomy, fast radio bursts are high-energy astrophysical phenomenon of unknown origin; the bright pulses of radio emission last mere milliseconds and are thought to originate from distant galaxies.

Their source, however, remains unclear.

But Breakthrough Listen, a SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) project led by the University of California, Berkeley, hopes AI can help clarify.

“This work is exciting not just because it helps us understand the dynamic behavior of fast radio bursts in more detail, but also because of the promise it shows for using machine learning to detect signals missed by classical algorithms,” according to Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and principal investigator of Breakthrough Listen.

In the 12 years since Duncan Lorimer discovered the first fast radio burst in 2006, many more have been found, including the repeating FRB 121102—the focus of this investigation.

The team focused on radio signals from 400 terabytes of data, recorded by West Virginia’s Green Bank Telescope over a five-hour period in August 2017.

A previous

New Research Supports Pluto as a Planet

Yasss! My favorite planet-cum-dwarf planet got the thumbs up from the University of Central Florida to be reinstated as a full-fledged member of our Solar System.

New research from UCF suggests Pluto’s declassification as a planet was not valid. (Damn straight!)

The International Astronomical Union in 2006 formally defined a planet as having “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit (i.e. be the largest gravitational force in its path).

Because Neptune’s gravity influences its smaller neighbor, which shares its space with objects in the Kuiper belt, Pluto sadly lost its title as the ninth planet from the Sun.

Enter Philip Metzger—UCF planetary scientist with the Florida Space Institute, and my new hero.

In a study published online in the journal Icarus, Metzger reported that this standard for classifying planets is not supported by 200 years scientific literature.

Only one publication from 1802 used the clearing-orbit requirement, based on reasoning which has since been disproven.

“The IAU definition would say that the fundamental object of planetary science, the planet, is supposed to be defined on the basis of a concept that nobody uses in their research,” lead author Metzger said in a statement. “And it would leave out the second-most complex, interesting

Week 36 in review: iPhone rumors intensify as vivo V11 and nubia Z18 debut

The week after the IFA show was always going to be a bit slower, but it still brought enough so we didn’t get bored until next week’s big iPhone announcement.

There were a announcements too – the Motorola P30 Note as a ZUI 4.0-powered variant of the One Power, the ZTE nubia Z18 and the vivo V11.

Leaks made for interesting reads too. The projected pricing of Apple’s iPhone 9, iPhone Xs and Xs Max was revealed – the entry-level 6.1-inch iPhone will cost as much as an iPhone 8 does now, the updated 5.8-inch iPhone Xs will cost as much as a current iPhone 8 Plus and the flagship 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max will start at the same price as an iPhone X.

In related news we saw a bunch of 6.1-inch iPhone 9’s in different colors and even what looks like the dual SIM tray of the entry-level 2019 iPhone.

The Google Pixel 3 XL was once again subjected to an unauthorized hands-on. Also this week we learned that Google will unveil its next Pixel phones at a special event in New York on October 9.

An interesting leak was a purported Nokia 9 with a penta camera

Ruckus Networks Appoints Bart Giordano as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales

September 9, 2018 • Company News, People

Bart Giordano, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales

Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, has announced Bart Giordano as the company’s new Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales. Giordano will report to Ian Whiting, President of Ruckus Networks. He will be responsible for revenue, gross margin, and all aspects of Ruckus’s go-to-market activities.

“Since joining Ruckus Networks three years ago, Bart Giordano has built a top-notch global sales team,” said Ian Whiting, President, Ruckus Networks. “Bart’s been responsible for growing revenue and market share through strategic partners and verticals, and his team has secured major design wins with Google, Facebook, IBM, and Lenovo. We look forward to the continued opportunities that Bart and his team will bring to our business and our partners.”

Giordano and his team have also championed Ruckus’s thought leadership, partnerships and strategy in smart cities and large public venues. Today, Ruckus is a recognised market leader in these sectors, consistently winning major projects with large municipalities and in high-profile stadiums and arenas around the world.

Last year, Giordano established a cross-functional Cloud Services practice to accelerate recurring revenue and drive operational efficiency across the company’s SaaS portfolio. During the

I want to be pan-India entertainer: Kiara Advani

Actress Kiara Advani, who is finishing the shoot for her Telugu film opposite Ram Charan and gearing up to work on the Akshay Kumar-starrer Good News, says that she wants to entertain audiences from across the country without differentiating between Bollywood and regional cinema.

“I want to be a pan-India entertainer and entertain everyone who wants to watch me. If there are good scripts regardless of the language, I would like to take them up and entertain as many people as I can,” says Kiara.

“I am very fortunate that my first South film Bharat Ane Nenu did so well and became such a big blockbuster. It has been such a great experience that I would surely love to keep entertaining that audience as well,” she added.

Though Kiara started her career in 2014 and worked in several films, she got noticed by the audience and the film fraternity after the Netflix release Lust Stories. It was an anthology where she acted as a housewife in the segment directed by Karan Johar.

She is also making a special appearance in Kalank, a film which will be produced by Karan.

“Karan is a person who has done incredible films. He is somebody that I have always wanted to work with and he has put so much faith in me. I really want to make him proud and I want to work hard because he has been a huge support in my life,” said the actress, who shared how her life changed after Lust Stories.

Images: Kiara Advani on Instagram
Text: IANS

New Report Calls on NASA to Enhance Exoplanet Search

Is our Solar System a cosmic rarity or a galactic commonplace? How do Earth-like planets form, and what determines if they are habitable? Is there life on other worlds?

To answer such significant questions, NASA needs to step up its game, according to a new congressionally mandated report.

Authored by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the document calls on the U.S. space program to develop an advanced telescope to better study exoplanets.

Researchers have already detected more than 100 potential exoplanets—globes that circle a star other than the Sun—including one orbiting the fourth-closest star to our Solar System (about 8.1 light years away from Earth).

But that’s not enough for NASEM, the collective scientific national academy of the United States.

“Our current knowledge of the range of characteristics of planets outside the Solar System is substantially incomplete,” the committee said in a news release outlining two “overarching” goals:

To understand the formation and evolution of planetary systems as products of star formation and characterize the diversity of their architectures, composition, and environments To learn enough about exoplanets to identify potentially habitable environments and search for scientific evidence of life on worlds orbiting other stars

“A