LG Stylus 3 With 5.7-Inch Display, Front Flash Launched at Rs. 18,500

LG has quietly introduced the Stylus 3 smartphone in India. Priced at Rs. 18,500, the LG Stylus 3 is now listed on the company’s website, and can be expected to go on sale in the coming days. It’s worth pointing out that the official website lists the MRP of the Stylus 3, and we can expect the market operating price (MOP) to be slightly lower.

The LG Stylus 3 was launched in December, and was showcased at the CES 2017. At the global launch, LG had claimed that the Stylus 3 will strengthen the company’s portfolio in the mid-range segment.

LG Stylus 3 With 5.7-Inch Display, Front Flash Launched at Rs. 18,500

The stylus is the biggest feature of the LG Stylus 3, and it lets you perform a lot of functions. You can use the stylus to crop an image, and angles are adjusted with the stylus.

The company claims that the Pen Pop has improved, and offers various functions for Pop memo, Capture+, Pop Scanner, Quick Memo, and thumbnail previews of recent notes when the pen comes out. The LG Stylus 3 also comes with Screen-off memo feature that lets you write on the screen when the screen is off with the help of stylus. The Pen Keeper feature will keep notifying users about putting back the stylus back in the device. The smartphone also comes with fingerprint scanner located at the back panel and it lets you use it with touch shutter and touch screenshot features.

The LG Stylus 3 features a 5.7-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display with a pixel density of 258ppi. The handset is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor clocked at 1.5GHz. It packs a 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM and comes with 16GB inbuilt storage, and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 2TB). It sports a 13-megapixel rear CMOS autofocus camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. Both cameras are accompanied by LED flash.

The handset is backed by a 3200mAh removable battery and it runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. As the name suggests, the LG Stylus 3 supports stylus pen and comes with 4G LTE connectivity feature. It measures 155.6×79.8×7.4mm and weighs 149 grams.

Apple Denies iCloud, Apple ID Breach After Hackers Threaten to Wipe Data

After a hacker or group of hackers threatened to remotely wipe data from millions of iPhones including photos, videos and messages, Apple has denied any such breach into iPhones.

The hackers, who call themselves ‘Turkish Crime Family’, asked for $75,000 (roughly Rs. 50 lakhs) in Bitcoin or Ethereum (a form of crypto-currency) or $100,000 (roughly Rs. 65.5 lakhs) worth of iTunes gift cards in exchange for deleting a large cache of iCloud and other Apple email accounts, Vice blog Motherboard reported.

Apple Denies iCloud, Apple ID Breach After Hackers Threaten to Wipe Data

Reacting to the threat, Apple told Fortune on Wednesday: “There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID. The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.”

The hackers claim to have access to nearly 559 million Apple email and iCloud accounts.

The hackers provided screenshots of alleged emails between the group and members of Apple’s security team and threatened to reset iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victim’s Apple devices on April 7 unless Apple pay them.

The Apple spokesperson, however, said that Apple is “actively monitoring to prevent unauthorised access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved.”

According to reports, several email accounts and passwords may belong to an earlier breach at the professional networking site LinkedIn in 2012.

However, Apple customers who secure their iCloud accounts with the same passwords they use with other online accounts must go for new, strong passwords, the report added.

Tesla to raise over $1 billion to help offset risk for Model 3 production

Tesla is looking to raise a total of around $1.15 billion from stock and convertible senior notes as a way to help “further reduce any risks” that it’ll incur as it scales its business to handle its aggressive Model 3 production schedule, the company said on Wednesday. Tesla’s decision to pad out its balance sheet with more capital was anticipated by many analysts, and a fair number of Wall Street watchers actually thought Tesla would seek more to help it grow based on recent comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

The Model 3 is set to begin full production this year, with pre-production begun in February with a temporary production line pause to help get processes ready at its Fremont factory ready for the new vehicle. The split of the new funding efforts will see Tesla pursue $250 million in common stock offering, with $750 million raised via convertible notes due in 2022. Elon Musk himself will personally contribute by buying $25 million in Tesla stock, Reuters reports.

Tesla last raised cash via stock offering in May 2016, selling $1.4 billion worth of shares to help it expand its production capacity.

 Musk said on the company’s earnings results conference call in February that while Tesla could finish its production preparations for Model 3 without bringing in new funds, that would put the company “close to the edge” in terms of its overall cash position, and said it was then sensible for the electric carmaker to bring in new funds to help offset the risk that cutting it that close would entail for shareholders.

AliveCor unveils an AI stroke prevention platform, inks $30 million from Omron and the Mayo Clinic

Medtech startup AliveCor announced this morning it has pulled in $30 million from Omron Healthcare and the Mayo Clinic and is launching an artificially intelligent stroke prevention platform for doctors called KardiaPro.

AliveCor already has an FDA-cleared mobile app called Kardia to accompany its $99 standalone EKG reader device. However, a partnership last year with the Mayo Clinic involving 4,500 patients for a major study on stroke prompted the company to build the new platform, which is a premium offering for doctors who want to monitor the EKG readouts of patients at potential risk for stroke or other heart-related diseases.

KardiaPro will track a number of factors for at-risk patients, including weight, activity and blood pressure and then runs them through the AliveCor AI technology to suss out potential triggers doctors may not detect on their own. The platform then feeds what AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra refers to as a “personal heart profile” for patients that can then be used to send alerts to the doctor to help them determine the next course of action.

AliveCor raised $13.5 million previously from Khosla Ventures, Qualcomm and Burrill and Company. The new funding now brings the total up to $45.4 million. But the more important part of this announcement is the deep partnership AliveCor has forged with major health outfits, which combined have served millions of patients and can provide millions of more points of data for research. Omron, in particular, could be useful down the road as it is a major creator and distributor of blood pressure monitoring products in the healthcare industry.

 Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world and blood pressure monitoring and EKG test results, which AliveCor’s KardiaPro provides through these proprietary devices, is critical to early detection and successful management of hypertension and stroke risk. The AI component could help doctors detect an oncoming stroke by alerting them to an irregular EKG reading seconds after patients tests themselves.

The new KardiaPro platform is the latest from AliveCor, which also unveiled AliveCor’s Kardia band, a new EKG band for Apple Watch that has launched in Europe and is waiting for FDA clearance in the U.S.

As Supreme Court case nears, tech takes a stand for transgender rights

Many of tech’s largest and most powerful companies have signed an amicus brief in support of transgender student Gavin Grimm as the first case on transgender rights makes its way to the highest court in the land later this month.

Following the news that Apple was drumming up interest in such a brief, a full list reveals 54 U.S. companies have signed on to date. The amicus brief, authored by law firm BakerHostetler, argues in support of 17-year-old plaintiff Gavin Grimm, a transgender Virginia high school student who alleges that his school board violated Title IX when it denied him access to the boy’s restroom at his school.

Apple in particular took initiative in mobilizing the technology community around the upcoming Supreme Court case, working with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to reach out to potential signatories and securing their commitments to signing on. The “friend of the court” brief is dominated by well-known names in tech, but includes some names beyond the industry, including clothing retailer The Gap, eyewear designer Warby Parker and homewares store Williams-Sonoma.

Last week, many tech companies were openly critical of the Trump administration’s decision to rescind guidance that instructed schools to allow trans students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity.

“We invest in the practice of inclusive diversity to ensure we are supporting and incorporating the broadest set of perspectives throughout our corporate community,” said Yahoo’s Global Head of Inclusive Diversity Margenett Moore-Roberts, in a comment on Yahoo and Tumblr’s decision to join the brief. “As part of this philosophy, we stand with Gavin and all transgender people seeking equality.”

The full list of signatories is as follows:

Affirm
Airbnb
Amazon
Apple
Asana
Box
Codecademy
Credo Mobile
Dropbox
eBay
Etsy
Fastly
Flipboard
Gap
General Assembly
GitHub
IBM
Intel Corporation
Kickstarter
PBC
Knotel
LinkedIn
Lyft
M Booth
MAC Cosmetics
Mapbox
Marin Software
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
Microsoft Corporation
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
MongoDB
NetApp
Next Fifteen Communications Corporation
Nextdoor
Pandora Media
PayPal
Postmates
Replacements
RetailMeNot
Salesforce
Shutterstock
Slack Technologies
Spotify
The OutCast Agency
The WhiteWave Foods Company
Tumblr
Twilio
Twitter
Udacity
Warby Parker
Williams-Sonoma
Yahoo
Yelp
Zendesk

“These companies are sending a powerful message to transgender children and their families that America’s leading businesses have their backs,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement on the brief. “Across the country, corporate leaders are speaking out because they know attacking transgender youth isn’t just shameful — it also puts the families of their employees and customers at risk. Transgender students like Gavin are entitled to the full protection of the law, and must be affirmed, respected and protected in the classroom and beyond.”

As some have noted, Google and Facebook remain notably absent from the brief. Both companies spoke out on transgender student protections last week and both also signed onto opposition for so-called state level “bathroom bills,” including North Carolina’s HB2 and SB6 in Texas.

Snap stock finishes up 44% on first day

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, had a great day in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. After pricing the IPO at $17 per share yesterday, the stock opened at $24. It then closed the day at $24.48, a 44 percent premium to the people who bought it yesterday.

But like with all IPOs, not everybody got to access Snap’s IPO price. This is usually reserved for a smaller group of institutional investors and high-net worth individuals who are on good terms with the banks. Most investors didn’t have a chance to buy until today, so the gains for them are much smaller.

The debut draws more similarities to Twitter’s, which went public in 2013. The company saw a solid first day of trading, but then saw a lot of volatility in the following months. Facebook, on the other hand, had a rough first day as a public company, with the share price closing exactly where it opened (companies normally try to price it so it goes up about 20 percent on the first day). But then the company flourished on the stock market over time.

Snap went public at what was an interesting point in the company’s history. Unlike many companies, like Uber and Airbnb with sky-high valuations, Snap decided to go public earlier in its monetization, probably because it’s better to go public before the market considers the company overvalued.

 What to expect when Snapchat goes publicSnap values itself at nearly $24B with its IPO pricingLeaked emails put spotlight on Snapchat sales tactics

Yet Snap is entering the markets at a time when growth has slowed, possibly due to Instagram copying its “stories” feature. And while revenue is quickly growing, they are also significantly unprofitable.

Hemant Taneja, an early investor in Snapchat and managing director at General Catalyst, said he was excited about Snapchat early on because of the “richness of innovation.” He saw that founder Evan Spiegel was “determined to make technology work for us, rather than change behaviors necessarily — like with ephemeral nature of communications.”

Unlike Facebook, Snapchat’s images disappear by default, a feature that baffled many people initially. But it proved to be popular and today’s debut on the stock market is a pivotal moment in technology history.

Lenovo Tab 4 Series Android Tablets Launched at MWC 2017; Goes on Sale This May

Lenovo at its Sunday launch event, as promised, unveiled the new Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus smartphones. The Chinese company also unveiled the all-new Tab 4 series Android tablets which includes four models – Lenovo Tab 4 8, Tab 4 10, Tab 4 8 Plus, and Tab 4 10 Plus.

Lenovo Tab 4 Series Android Tablets Launched at MWC 2017; Goes on Sale This May

The new Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Lenovo Tab 4 10 have starting price of EUR 169 (roughly Rs. 12,000), and EUR 179 (roughly Rs. 13,000) respectively. The Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus, on the other hand, have been priced at EUR 259 (roughly Rs. 18,500) and EUR 299 (roughly Rs. 21,200) respectively. The Chinese company has revealed that the Lenovo’s new Tab 4 series will go on sale globally from May with pricing and availability to vary from country to country. The tablets were unveiled in Barcelona at the side-lines of MWC 2017.

The company promotes that the Lenovo Tab 4 series tablets have been built for both kids and adults. All the tablets features stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos. Lenovo’s new Tab 4 8 Plus and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus sport what the company calls a “head-turning dual-glass design” with full HD displays, and powerful processors. All the Lenovo Tab 4 series tablets are claimed to offer up to 12 hours of battery life, and run on Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. The new Tab 4 series tablets also feature multi-user mode. Lenovo is also heavily promoting the optional Kid’s and Productivity packs with Tab 4 series tablets.

The Lenovo Tab 4 8 and 10 tablets feature HD displays and are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. Both the tablets will be available in 16GB and 32GB storage models. They will be featuring Micro-USB port for charging. The Lenovo Tab 4 8 packs a 4850mAh battery while the bigger Lenovo Tab 4 10 tablet packs a 7000mAh battery.

Coming to the larger variants, both the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and 10 Plus tablets feature a full-HD display, and are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. Both the tablets pack 32GB storage. The company has also announced another variant featuring 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage. They will come with USB Type-C port for charging. Much like regular variants, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus packs a 4850mAh battery while the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus packs a 7000mAh battery. Both the tablets sport a fingerprint scanner.

All the four tablets will come with an optional kid’s pack which features a dedicated kids’ zone featuring built-in kids content, safety tools, and advanced parental controls. The company claims that the kid’s pack comes with a shock-resistant bumper, a blue-light filter, and a pair of colourful 3M stickers. Additionally, the Lenovo Tab 4’s dedicated Kid’s account features curated kid-friendly content. Lenovo adds that the curated and white-listed content is hand-picked by KIDOZ – the kids’ content discovery platform. The productivity pack for the Lenovo Tab 4 10 and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus can transform into a 2-in-1 Android tablet with a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard.

Gionee A1, A1 Plus Selfie-Focused, Big Battery Phones Launched at MWC 2017

Gionee A1 and A1 Plus, the first smartphones in Gionee’s new A-Series of smartphones, have been launched at the company’s MWC 2017 event in Barcelona on Monday. Price has yet to be revealed, though the company announced March availability for the Gionee A1 and April availability for the A1 Plus.

The highlights of the two new A-Series smartphones, according to Gionee, are long-battery life and superior selfie photo quality. The Gionee A1 sports a 4010mAh battery, while the Gionee A1 Plus sports a 4550mAh battery. The company is touting its new 18W ‘ultrafast charging’ that charges the batteries fully in 2 hours.

As for the selfie aspect, the Gionee A1 features a 16-megapixel front-camera while the Gionee A1 Plus has a 20-megapixel front camera with an f/2.0 aperture, 1/2.8-inch sensor, and selfie flash. The A1 Plus also bears a dual rear camera setup, with 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors with an f/2.0 aperture, 1/3.06-inch sensor, and flash module that integrates and IR remote control sensor. The A1 only has a 13-megapixel rear camera.

gionee a1 gadgets360 gionee

Both smartphones run Android 7.0 Nougat, and are dual-SIM offerings. The Gionee A1 Plus sports a 6-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, and runs on a MediaTek Helio P25 SoC with 4GB of RAM. It offers the standard connectivity options, including 4G, and comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). It will be available in Grey, Mocha Gold colour variants. It measures 166.4×83.3×9.1 and weighs 226 grams.

The Gionee A1 on the other hand sports a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display and is powered by a MediaTek Helio P10 SoC. It comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). It measues 154.5×76.5×8.5mm and weighs in at 182 grams.

Xiaomi appoints Manu Kumar Jain as the new Global Vice President of the company

Few weeks earlier, the whole tech industry was talking about former Xiaomi CEO Hugo Barra stepping down from his position. The exit of Hugo Barra made it to headlines and the discussions over the same lasted for weeks. Xiaomi has announced the appointment of India head Manu Kumar Jain as the new Vice President of the company. Manu Kumar Jain will be taking Hugo Barra’s position by the end of February.

Announcing the new appointment, Xiaomi stated on its Facebook page, “Under Manu’s leadership our operations in India expanded from just a small team, into India’s second largest smartphone vendor in the country with 10.7 percent market share, and the number one selling smartphone brand online with 29.3 percent market share in Q4CY16, as per IDC!

Manu, congratulations from the entire Xiaomi family on your promotion to Vice President of Xiaomi!”
In reply to Xiaomi’s post, Manu Kumar Jain said on his Facebook page, “Thank You my phenomenal Xiaomi family! I am so glad I got the opportunity to work with the best team on the planet. This further solidifies our plans to work harder to make our Mi Fans happy.
Truly honoured and humbled!”

Earlier, it was said that Barra will be leaving Xiaomi and he will be replaced by Xiaomi’s current Senior Vice President for strategic cooperation, Xiang Wang, who also heads the Supply chain and Intellectual Property teams at the company.

As most of us know, Facebook Inc has hired Hugo Barra , the most prominent global executive at Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc, to lead its virtual reality business including the Oculus unit. Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive of Facebook announced the news on Facebook.

With the announcement of this appointment, a lot of Xiaomi fans in India will feel delighted. We can expect the new Xiaomi VP to bring some good news for Indian fans in future.

Samsung chief Lee arrested as South Korean corruption probe deepens

Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea, dealing a fresh blow to the technology giant and standard-bearer for Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

The special prosecutor’s office accuses Lee of bribing a close friend of President Park Geun-hye to gain government favours related to leadership succession at the conglomerate. It said on Friday it will indict him on charges including bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.

The 48-year-old Lee, scion of the country’s richest family, was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Centre early on Friday after waiting there overnight for the decision. He was being held in a single cell with a TV and desk, a jail official said.

Lee is a suspect in an influence-peddling scandal that led parliament to impeach Park in December, a decision that if upheld by the Constitutional Court would make her the country’s first democratically elected leader forced from office.

Samsung and Lee have denied wrongdoing in the case.

Prosecutors have up to 10 days to indict Lee, Samsung’s third-generation leader, although they can seek an extension. After indictment, a court would be required to make its first ruling within three months.

Prosecutors plan to question Lee again on Saturday.

No decision had been made on whether Lee’s arrest would be contested or whether bail would be sought, a spokeswoman for Samsung Group said.

“We will do our best to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings,” the Samsung Group said in a brief statement after Lee’s arrest.

The same court had rejected a request last month to arrest Lee, but prosecutors this week brought additional accusations against him.

“We acknowledge the cause and necessity of the arrest,” a judge said in his ruling.

The judge rejected the prosecution’s request to also arrest Samsung Electronics president Park Sang-jin.

Shares in Samsung Electronics ended Friday down 0.42 percent in a flat wider market.

Ratings agencies did not expect any impact on the flagship firm’s credit ratings, and said Lee’s arrest would accelerate improvements in management transparency and corporate governance.

SENSITIVE TIME

While Lee’s detention is not expected to hamper day-to-day operations at Samsung firms, which are run by professional managers, experts said it could hinder strategic decision-making at South Korea’s biggest conglomerate, or chaebol.

Samsung is going through a restructuring to clear a succession path for Lee to assume control after his father was incapacitated by a heart attack in 2014.

Decisions that could be complicated by Lee’s arrest include deliberations over whether to reorganize the group under a holding company structure, as well as its plan to abandon its future strategy office, a central decision-making body that came in for criticism during the scandal.

Staff moves have also been in limbo. Samsung, which employs around half a million people, has yet to announce annual personnel promotions and changes, which it typically does in December.

One employee at Samsung Electronics’ chip division said colleagues were unsettled that prosecutors had singled out Samsung. “The mood is that people are worried,” the person said.

However, another Samsung Electronics employee described the situation as business as usual. “It wouldn’t make sense for a company of that size to not function properly just because the owner is away.”

Both employees declined to be identified, given the sensitivity of the matter.

Lee’s incarceration comes as Samsung Electronics tries to get past last year’s disastrous roll-out of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which were prone to fires. It is under pressure for the upcoming launch of its next flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, to be a success.

WIDER IMPACT

Major business groups criticised the decision, worried about the impact on Samsung and the country.

“A management vacuum at Samsung, a global company representing the Republic of Korea, will increase uncertainty and undermine global confidence, posing a big burden on the already struggling economy,” the Korea Employers Federation said.

Lee’s arrest gives a boost to prosecutors who have zeroed in on Samsung to build their case against President Park and her close friend Choi Soon-sil, who is in detention and faces charges of abuse of power and attempted fraud.

Both Park and Choi have denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutors have focused on Samsung’s relationship with Park, 65, accusing the group of paying bribes totaling 43 billion won ($37.74 million) to organizations linked to Choi to secure government backing for the controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung units, a deal that was seen as key to smoothing Lee’s succession.

The prosecution office on Friday accused Lee of bribery not only in seeking to smooth the merger but in the broader process of his succession. A prosecution spokesman did not elaborate.

If parliament’s impeachment of Park is upheld, an election would be held in two months. In the meantime, she remains in office but stripped of her powers.

Her would-be successors praised the decision to arrest Lee.

“We hope it marks a beginning to end our society’s evil practice of cozy ties between government and corporations and move towards a fair country,” said Kim Kyoung-soo, a spokesman for Moon Jae-in, a member of the liberal opposition Democratic Party who is leading opinion polls in the presidential race.