Tag Archives: Google

Trump Lifts HUAWEI Ban – No Great National Emergency!

US President Donald Trump not only walked back the HUAWEI ban, he now says that it’s “no great national emergency problem“.

No, it’s not an April Fool joke, although US President Trump seems to behave like it’s all a big fucking joke.

Here is the latest twist in the 4 year comedy-horror show that is the Trump Presidency.


Trump In May : HUAWEI Is A National Security Threat

On 15 May 2019, President Trump signed an executive order barring US companies from using telecommunications equipment from sources that are “national security threats“.

He then had the US Commerce Department add HUAWEI to the Entity List of US national security threats, basically labelling HUAWEI as a national security threat.

That barred American companies, or companies using “significant American technology”, from selling their services or products to HUAWEI.


Trump In June : No Great National Emergency Problem

Less than 1.5 months after declaring HUAWEI a national security threat to the United States, Donald Trump not only walked back his HUAWEI ban, he contradicted his earlier reason for the ban!

According to CNN, he said that after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on 29 June 2019, “he would allow Huawei to once again buy US products“.

US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei… there’s no great national emergency problem. – US President Donald Trump

Credit : CNN

CNN also pointed out that :

He said he “agreed easily” in his meeting with Xi to continue allowing US companies to do business with the telecom giant.


The Donald Is A Thoroughly Confused Idiot

Seriously? Is HUAWEI a national security threat to the United States or not?

If HUAWEI is a genuine national security threat, then it cannot be part of any trade bargain on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

But Trump has now officially lifted the HUAWEI ban and announced that there will be NO NEW TARIFFS, all without an official trade deal, which is very perplexing.

Does he know what he’s doing? Or is he just making stuff up on the spur of the moment?

One thing is for sure – The Donald is a thoroughly confused idiot.


The Damage Caused By The Trump Ban On HUAWEI

The HUAWEI Trump ban immediately forced many companies or organisations to immediately suspend business with HUAWEI, including :

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It led to some customer support woes for HUAWEI, some embarrassing reversals (BT, WiFi, SD, IEEE, FedEx), and some interesting ideas (Windows on ARM, rare earths) to circumvent or beat the ban…


Is HUAWEI Safe From Another Ban?

As if he’s trying to close the barn door after the horses have bolted, Trump hinted that HUAWEI isn’t 100% safe from his wrath.

“We mentioned Huawei,” Trump said of his talks with President Xi Jinping of China earlier Saturday. “We’ll have to save that for the very end.”

In other words, HUAWEI just scored a welcomed reprieve, but Trump will likely demand concessions during the next trade talks, or he could possibly initiate another ban…


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HUAWEI Legal Motion Too Late, But China Has A Trump Card!

HUAWEI today struck back at the Trump ban, by challenging its constitutionality. Meanwhile, China hints at  a Trump card, pun intended…

We examine why the HUAWEI legal motion is too late to help them, but China’s Trump card may be what they need to break through the Trump ban.


HUAWEI Challenges Constitutionality Of The Trump Ban

On 29 May 2019, HUAWEI filed a motion for a summary judgment in its challenge that Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (2019 NDAA) is unconstitutional.

In the complaint, HUAWEI argued that Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA singled out HUAWEI by name, and not only bars U.S. government agencies from buying HUAWEI equipment and services, but also bars them from, contracting with, or awarding grants or loans to third parties who buy HUAWEI equipment or services — even if there is no impact or connection to the U.S. government.

Glen Nager, HUAWEI’s lead counsel for the case, said Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA violates the Bill of Attainder, Due Process, and Vesting Clauses of the United States Constitution. Thus, the case is purely “a matter of law” as there are no facts at issue, thereby justifying the motion for a summary judgement to speed up the process.

In line with a court scheduling order, a hearing on the motion is set for 19 September 2019.

Recommended Reading : The HUAWEI P30 Pro vs HUAWEI P30 Comparison Guide!


The Trump Ban Will Not Deliver Cybersecurity

HUAWEI also called on the U.S. government to halt its campaign against HUAWEI, because “it will not deliver cybersecurity“.

Banning Huawei using cybersecurity as an excuse “will do nothing to make networks more secure. They provide a false sense of security, and distract attention from the real challenges we face,” said Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal officer.

“Politicians in the U.S. are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company,” Song noted. “This is not normal. Almost never seen in history.”

“The U.S. government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation,” Song added.

Song also addressed the addition of Huawei to the “Entity List” by the U.S. Commerce Department two weeks ago. “This sets a dangerous precedent. Today it’s telecoms and Huawei. Tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers,” he said.

“The judicial system is the last line of defense for justice. Huawei has confidence in the independence and integrity of the U.S. judicial system. We hope that mistakes in the NDAA can be corrected by the court,” Song added.

Recommended Reading : HUAWEI Outsmarts SD + microSD Ban With NM Card!


HUAWEI Legal Motion Too Late To Help

With a hearing set for 3.5 months later, this legal challenge is frankly too late to stop the Trump ban from doing serious damage to HUAWEI.

Depending on who you believe, HUAWEI has enough components stockpiled for 3-12 months. It’s quite possible they will run out of components for at least some of their devices before the hearing even takes place!

In the meantime, the HONOR 20 and HONOR 20 Pro smartphones that just launched are stuck in limbo, because the Trump ban prohibits them from integrating Google Play services and the Play Store.

The same issue will plague all HUAWEI and HONOR devices that were originally scheduled to be launched after 15 May 2019.

Even worse, the temporary partial licence the Trump Administration issued to let HUAWEI and HONOR support their customers runs out by 19 August 2019a full month before the motion is even heard!

Until the Trump ban is lifted or vacated on constitutional grounds, those HUAWEI and HONOR smartphones have no commercial chance outside of China. They will all have to be postponed until this crisis is over…

Recommended Reading : The HUAWEI Trump Ban – Everything You Need To Know!


The Trump Card That Will Save HUAWEI…

What will save HUAWEI is no legal challenge… but a Trump card that the Chinese government has recently hinted at using – rare earths.

Rare earths are CRITICAL to the production of electronics, and that includes everything from smartphones to fighter jets and batteries.

China controls 90% of the world’s rare earth production, and more importantly – 80% of rare earth imports by the US. This is literally the Trump card that could force Trump to back off, and save HUAWEI.

Beijing put Washington on notice about their Trump card when both Chinese President Xi Jinping and his top economic advisor, Vice Premier Liu He, made a well-publicised visit to a rare earth factory in Jiangxi, eastern China.

If that was not obvious enough, the Chinese media (often mouthpieces of the party) made sure everyone knew that rare earths was “an ace in Beijing’s hand“, and “Don’t say you haven’t been warned“.

Even China’s economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, said in response to a question “Do you suggest that rare earths will become a part of China’s countermeasures against the US’s unwarranted pressure?” :

What I can tell you is that if someone wants to use our rare earths to manufacture products and use them to curb China’s development, then I’m sure the people of Ganzhou and across China will not be happy with that.”

Of course, Beijing might just be hoping that the threat of using their Trump card will be enough, because this nuclear option has its drawbacks.

Then again, Beijing has never dealt with anyone like Donald Trump… For a special person like that, perhaps a Trump card truly is necessary…

Recommended Reading : The HUAWEI ARM Business Suspension – How Bad Is This?


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Can You Hack It : Hong Leong Bank Hackathon Details!

If you are a programmer looking to join the FinTech and banking sectors, here is your chance! Hong Leong Bank just announced the second Can You Hack It hackathon! Here are the full details!


Can You Hack It : A Hong Leong Bank Hackathon!

Can You Hack It is Hong Leong Bank’s way of discovering and seeking out fit-for-hire participants with a knack for solving problems and digital innovation. During this 24-hour hackathon, participants will have the chance to explore the limits of their imagination in the field of financial products and banking services.

In addition to RM 15,000 in cash prizes, participants will get the chance to get hired by Hong Leong Bank, or even receive funding and support for their projects!

Held in collaboration with JomHack Malaysia, Google Cloud and Rakuten RapidAPI, Can You Hack It seeks to reward individuals and teams who demonstrate innovation and ideas for better banking through the use of shared APIs.

At the end of the 24-hour hackathon, individuals and teams participating in Can You Hack It will demonstrate their working prototypes to a panel of key HLB executives and observers from the local digital industry and VC scene.


Can You Hack It Details

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Date : To be held on 27 and 28 April 2019

Venue : Menara Hong Leong in Damansara City, Selangor

Prizes : RM15,000 in cash, potential employment opportunities and even further funding and support for incubator or accelerator programmes for promising projects

Judges : Key Hong Leong executives, and observers from the local digital industry and VC scene       


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Google Password Checkup Guide – Read Before You Install!

Google just released a new Chrome extension called Password Checkup. Practically everyone thinks it is the best thing since sliced bread.

Is it really that good? Should YOU install it? Find out what it does, and what you should know about Password Checkup, before you install it.


Password Checkup

Google will already warn you if your Google Account is compromised in any way, forcing you to change your password. However, they were not able to do that for your non-Google accounts.

That changes with Password Checkup.

What Does Password Checkup Do?

Once added to Google Chrome, Password Checkup will work like a password watchdog. Every time you log into a non-Google website, it will check your login and password against a database of about 4 million leaked logins.

What Happens If It Detects A Match?

If it detects a match, you will be alerted and asked to change your password. If you are using the same login and password combination in other websites, you should obviously also change them as well.

Your New Password Will Be Verified Too

The Password Checkup extension will also verify the your new password has not been compromised either.

Sounds awesome? Well, not so fast…


Does Password Checkup Share My Data?

Google promises that Password Checkup would not report any identifying information. But it will still collect some information that Google may share or utilise :

  • number of lookups that reveals an unsafe credential
  • whether an alert leads to a password change, and
  • the website domain involved

That said, Google will find a way somehow to benefit from it… See the next section.


Caveat : You Must Be Signed-In

Most privacy-conscious individuals who use Google Chrome do not sign into their Google Account. This allows them to anonymise their browsing history, and prevent data sharing across the many Google services.

However, Password Checkup explicitly requires you to be logged into your Google Account. It will only work if you stay logged into your Google Account while using Chrome.

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Should You Install Password Checkup?

The requirement to stay logged into your Google Account is, frankly, troubling because the extension should not need you to be logged in to verify your password against a database of leaked passwords.

After all, you can already do the same anonymously at HaveIBeenPwned.

Now, we are not saying that it’s wrong for Google to try and benefit from this. This requirement is literally the price you pay for this free checking service – you must log into your Google Account and let Google track and monetise your browsing habits.

If you are fine with that, head over to the next page for our guide on how to install Password Checkup, turn it on and off, and more!


Workaround For The Privacy Conscious

If you are privacy-conscious, there is a way to have your cake and eat it too. Like all workarounds, it does entail some hassle, so you decide if it’s worth the effort.

You can install and use Password Checkup periodically. Google actually allows you to disable and re-enable it (see next page) whenever you wish. However, you can disable it just by logging out of your Google Account.

Login credentials don’t leak all the time, so it’s perfectly alright NOT to use Password Checkup every day. Once a week or month, just log into your Google Account and log into your non-Google accounts, to make sure they have not been compromised.

Then you can log out of your Google Account, effectively disabling Password Checkup, and use Google Chrome without sharing your browsing history with Google.

Next Page >  Password Checkup – Installation | Turning On / Off | Muting Warnings | Deleting Data


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How To Add Password Checkup

Password Checkup only works on Google Chrome, so obviously, you should have Google Chrome installed in the first place. Then…

  1. Open Google Chrome and sign in to your Google Account.
  2. Go to the Chrome store and download Password Checkup.
  3. Follow the steps on your screen.


How To Turn Password Checkup On / Off?

  1. Open Google Chrome and sign in to your Google Account.
  2. In the top right, select More   More tools Extensions.
  3. Find Password Checkup in the list of extensions.
  4. Turn Password Checkup on or off.

But note that turning it off does not delete data created and stored by the extension.

How To Mute Warnings For A Website

When you receive a warning, you should IMMEDIATELY change your password. But if for some reason, you need to do this later, you can choose to mute the warnings you receive for a particular website :

  • Select the Ignore for this site option to mute all future warnings for the website.
  • To restore future warnings for that website (or others that you have muted too), you will need to delete the stored information (see the next section).


How To Delete Data Stored By Password Checkup

If Password Checkup finds that a login and password combination has been compromised, it will create and store a hashed, partial code for that combination in your Chrome browser. This partial code can’t be used to recreate a complete version of your login info.

To delete this code on your Chrome browser, change your unsafe password or follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Chrome, and sign in to your Google Account.
  2. At the top, select Password Checkup from the Toolbar  Advanced Settings  Clear Extension Data.

Note: This info is used to stop all future notifications about an unsafe password. If you delete this info, you might see notifications about unsafe passwords you’ve chosen to ignore.


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2018 Acer Chromebook + Chromebox Computers Revealed!

Acer just revealed the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, Chromebook 11 and Chromebook Tab 10 devices, as well as the Chromebook CXI3! Get the full details below!


The 2018 Acer Chromebook + Chromebox Computers

Acer Malaysia General Manager of Product, Sales and Marketing, Mr. Chan Weng Hong, gave the briefing on the 2018 Acer Chromebook and Chromebox range of computers.

“As a leader in Chromebooks, Acer will continue to excite the market with new devices as we play our pivotal role in accelerating their adoption in business, education and at home. With more features available with Chrome OS, we are responding with form factors that offer more meaningful benefits to our customers.”


The Acer Chromebook Spin 11

The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a convertible device with a 11.6-inch HD IPS display with 1366 x 768 resolution. Its patented 360° dual-torque hinge design offers four wobble-free modes – tablet, tent, laptop and display.

The Chromebook Spin 11 is bundled with a Wacom EMR stylus, and comes with two cameras – the Acer HD webcam located above the keyboard with 88° wide angle for video conferences, and a second webcam on the cover to capture images or videos in tablet mode.

Powered by the quad-core Intel Celeron N3450 processor, the Chromebook Spin 11 comes with 4 GB or 8 GB of LPDDR4 memory and up to 64 GB eMMC storage. It boasts a battery life of up to 10 hours on a single charge.


The Acer Chromebook 11

The Acer Chromebook 11 is a MIL-STD 810F-certified device that is sand- and dust-resistant, and can tolerate drops from up to 48 inches. Its internal honeycomb reinforced body can also handle up to 60 kg of force on the top cover.

Its 11.6-inch IPS display can swing by 180-degrees for sharing. It also comes with two USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 ports, which can be used for charging or fast data transfers. Powered by the quad-core Intel Celeron N3450 processor, it can last 12 hours on a single battery charge.

Next Page > Acer Chromebook Tab 10 + Chromebox CXI3, Specifications + Price List


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The Acer Chromebook Tab 10

The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is the first education tablet running on Chrome OS. Equipped with an OP1 processor with two ARM Cortex-A72 cores, 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, it’s powerful enough to run multiple apps at once.

Its 9.7″ IPS display has a QXGA resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. It can last up to 9 hours on a single charge, and in case you run out of power, you can even recharge it using a power bank via its USB 3.1 Type C port! It comes standard with a Wacom EMR stylus that can be embedded in the chassis dock for secure storage.


The Acer Chromebox CXI3

The Acer Chromebox CXI3 runs on Chrome OS, and is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core processor with up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory. It is extremely compact and can even fit into a monitor’s VESA mount.

It boots up within seconds, and comes with USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 ports for faster charging and fast data transfers. It even supports dual monitors through HDMI and Type C ports.


The 2018 Acer Chromebook + Chromebox Specifications + Price List

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Chromageddon – The Day Chromecast + Home Died Worldwide!

Chromageddon is upon us! The world woke up today to a world of silent Chromecast and Google Home devices. What the heck is going on??? How do we fix it???

Updated @ 2018-07-01 : Google still refuses to tell us what caused Chromageddon. But let’s see what we can dig out about this debacle.

Updated @ 2018-06-28 : Google just reported they have a fix! We added details on what we need to do to restore the affected devices, and an update on a bad firmware being the cause of Chromageddon.

Originally posted @ 2018-06-27


Chromageddon – The Day Chromecast + Home Died Worldwide

Chromageddon took down Chromecast and Google Home devices worldwide sometime in the evening of 26 June 2018 (US Pacific Time). Since then, they have all refused to obey their masters’ commands.

Users of Google Home were greeted with the dreaded “There was a glitch. Try again in a few seconds.” response to every command. No matter how long and hard they cajoled their Google devices, they stayed silent.

They were all still alive, still connected to the network, but functionally nothing more than space-heating paperweights.

It took Google more than 12 hours to fix the problem after they realised Chromageddon was real. The real tragedy though was the complete lack of communication with their users.

Sure, Google responded to messages on Twitter, but even when people alerted them to the issue, it took more than 12 hours before they realised something truly bad was happening. Even then, they did not inform their other customers who are probably spending hours trying to troubleshoot their non-functioning devices.

Needless to say, other than informing those who reported issues when a fix was available, they steadfastly refused to tell us WHY Chromageddon happened. I suppose Google expects us to trust them to learn something from this debacle…


What Devices Are Currently Affected? Updated!

For most part, they are almost all Google Chromecast 2 and Google Home devices, but here is the full list of devices reported to be affected by Chromageddon :

  • Google Chromecast (1st Gen)
  • Google Chromecast (2nd Gen)
  • Google Home
  • Google Home mini

Surprisingly, both Google Chromecast Ultra or Chromecast Audio do not seem to be affected, although they are far less popular and their users have not yet realised the downtime.


How Do We Fix Chromecast + Home? Updated!

So far, all efforts to self-fix the problem have failed spectacularly :

  • Screaming futilely at the silent devices – Failed
  • Restarting Chromecast or Google Home – Failed
  • Rebooting the modem and/or router – Failed
  • Resetting Chromecast or Google Home to factory defaults – Failed
  • Asking Google tech support for help – Failed
  • Praying to the Google Gods – Failed

Although Google refuses to confirm, Chromageddon is most likely due to a problem with their servers. So when their servers have a hiccup, everything goes down. Google hinted at that with these tweets :

Our Engineering team is already on it. Hang in there — we’ll keep you updated.

There’s an ongoing issue with Chromecast and our team is already working on a fix ― we’ll keep you posted.

Our team is aware of this issue and working on a stable fix. Stay tuned.

At 6:18 AM (GMT+8) on the 28th of June, Google announced that they have a fix for Chromageddon that will automatically roll out over the next 6 hours. To get your Chromecast and Google Home running immediately, all you have to do is REBOOT them.

“We’ve identified a fix for the issue impacting Google Home users and it will be automatically rolled out over the next 6 hours. If you would like an immediate fix please follow the directions to reboot your device. If you’re still experiencing an issue after rebooting, contact us at Google Home Support. We are really sorry for the inconvenience and are taking steps to prevent this issue from happening in the future.

While there is a way to reboot your Google devices via the Google Home app, many people cannot actually get connected to the affected devices. So the simplest way to get them working again is to physically turn off power to those devices, and then turn them back on again.


Isn’t Chromageddon Due To A Firmware Update? Updated!

At first, everyone thought it might have been a firmware update that bricked the devices. Some even claimed that it only happened after their affected devices were updated.

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However, many of those who could still connect to their Chromecast reported that they were still on the 1.29.104827 production ​firmware. That firmware is several months old, or it’s not possible for it to suddenly act up globally.

Some have reported that their Chromecast is on the 1.30.113131 preview firmware. That is only possible if they had specifically opted to participate in the Google Preview Program. Even so, this preview firmware was released in sometime in April 2018.

When Google announced a fix, and that all we needed to do was to reboot our devices, it confirmed our deduction that it was a server-related issue on their end. We can safely confirm that Chromageddon was NOT due to any firmware update.


What Chromageddon Teaches Us

We all know that personal assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo (Price Check) are always connected to cloud servers, and come with their fair share of privacy concerns. However, most of us are probably not aware that “dumb” video streaming devices like Chromecast connect to such servers as well.

Privacy concerns with devices “dialling home” are bad enough. Chromageddon is now proof of just how vulnerable such a system design can be, if these devices have to be connected to Google’s servers to even function.

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This iThemes Security Setting Can Block Search Engine Bots!

We were recently beset by a sudden, MASSIVE drop in the number of search referrals from Google. We discovered that something was blocking search engine robots from accessing our sitemaps or crawling our website!

At first, we though it was due to a CloudFlare SSL configuration. But now, we have confirmed that it is due to an iThemes Security feature!

It is critical that you check and make sure that this iThemes Security setting is not preventing search engine robots from reading your sitemaps, and crawling your website.


iThemes Security

Formerly known as Better WP Security, iThemes Security is a very popular WordPress security plugin. While the paid Pro option offers a ton of cool security features, even the free plugin gives you the ability to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks and implement a blacklist (this is a pivotal feature in this article).


What Happens If You Block Search Engine Bots?

if you block search engine bots accidentally or otherwise, you prevent them from indexing your website. This essentially makes your website “invisible” to search engines. Your website pages will no longer appear when people are searching for a relevant topic.

How does that happen?

  • Your website pages no longer appear in Google searches. If Google can’t see them, Google cannot display your pages in search results!
  • Even if your website pages do appear in Google searches, the links may be corrupt or nonsensical. Look at this example of this search result which leads to a bad link.

  • The description of your website page may also be nonsensical, as the example above also demonstrates.


This iThemes Security Setting Can Block Search Engine Bots!

A key feature of iThemes Security is the ability to set up a blacklist. iThemes Security will automatically populate the blacklist with the IP addresses after a number of failed attempts to login. This prevents a malicious attacker from trying to brute force its way into your system.

Unfortunately, it can falsely detect search engine bots as malicious hackers, and add them to the blacklist. That was precisely what happened to us.

Google reports that all of our sitemaps are inaccessible. Here is a view showing all five of our sitemaps were inaccessible.

If you click on the reported errors, they will all show HTTP 403 error (Forbidden).

You can verify if any search engine bot is being blocked by keying in the sitemap (or robot.txt or your website) at Redirect Checker. You can also try loading the sitemap or robot.txt in your own web browser.

If Redirect Checker or you have no problem accessing your sitemaps or robot.txt file, then something is blocking the Googlebot (or other search engine robots) from accessing your sitemaps, or crawling your website. That “something” is most likely iThemes Security’s blacklist.


The Solution

The solution is simple.

  1. Log into your website’s WordPress admin panel.
  2. Go to Security -> Settings.
  3. Look for the Banned Users section, and click on Configure Settings.

  1. In the Banned Users page, you will see a list of banned IP addresses.
  2. Delete the whole list of banned IP addresses.

  1. Uncheck the Ban Lists option.

  • Click Save Settings, and that’s it! The search engine robots will now be able to read your sitemaps!


Pro Tips

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For those who still want to use the blacklist to block malicious attackers, here are the IP addresses used by various search engine robots.

Google will eventually read your sitemaps and reindex your website. But you can speed things along by :

Both guides were written with help from Kok Kee from Nasi Lemak Tech!


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Search Engine Robot IP Addresses – Googlebot, BingBot, MSNBot + More!

Also known as a crawler, a bot or a spider, the search engine robot is a program crawls through your website to index its pages. This allows search engines to identify relevant pages and serve them to people searching for specific topics.

Letting a search engine robot crawl your website is critical to its ability to rank high in search results.. Therefore, it really pays to ensure that these crawlers have no problem accessing your website, and crawl through its pages.

To help you do that, here is the list of common search engine robot IP addresses.


Search Engine Robot IP Addresses

Please let us know if the list is out-of-date, or if you have any suggestion to improve this list.

Google : Googlebot


Bing : BingBot


MSN Search / Live Search : MSNBot


Baidu : BaiduSpider


Yahoo : Yahoo Slurp


Yandex : YandexBot


Please let us know if the list is out-of-date, or if you have any suggestion to improve this list.


How Can I Make Use Of This List?

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If you employ a blacklist to block out malicious attackers, you can use the list to make sure none of the search engine robot IP addresses are listed in your blacklist.

If you don’t do that, the blacklist can prevent search engine robots from crawling your website, at great cost to your search rankings.

You can also add these search engine robot IP addresses to a whitelist. This ensures that your security plugins will never impede a genuine search engine robot from indexing your website.


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How To Reindex Your Website Using Google Search Console

Maybe you had problems with your sitemaps, or never had one in the first place. But now you have new sitemaps up, and you want Google to read them and reindex your website as quickly as possible. How do you do that? Let’s find out!


Is It Important To Reindex Your Website?

If your sitemaps were corrupted, or rendered inaccessible by this CloudFlare SSL setting, you will want to quickly reindex your website. Until it is reindexed, Google Search will not refer anyone to your website.

Remember – if Google Search spiders cannot crawl your website, your website pages will not exist in Google Search.

If you had already submitted your new sitemaps in the Google Search Console, Google will eventually get around to crawling your website using those sitemaps.

But time is of essence. Why wait when you can (politely) ask Google to reindex your website?

Credit : This guide was written with help from Kok Kee from Nasi Lemak Tech!


How To Reindex Your Website Using Google Search Console

  1. Login to Google Search Console.
  2. Go to the Fetch as Google section (Crawl > Fetch as Google).
  3. You will want to index from the main page onwards, so just leave the URL blank, and click on the red Fetch And Render button.

  1. You need to do this for both Desktop and Mobile, so click on the dropdown menu, select Mobile and click Fetch And Render again.
  2. You should see the screen below, showing both Desktop and Mobile Googlebot render requested.

  1. Click on the Request indexing button, and the screen below will pop-up.
  2. Click on the reCAPTCHA checkbox challenge, and select Crawl this URL, and its direct links, and click Go.

  1. Repeat the same steps for the Mobile Googlebot.
  2. After you are done, you should see that in both cases, the buttons have been replaced by the notice “Indexing requested for URL and linked pages

  1. That’s it! Google Search will soon reindex your website using the desktop and mobile Googlebots.


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How To Detect + Fix Sitemap Problems In Google Search Console

If your website pages are not showing up in Google, you may have a problem with your sitemaps. This is a serious problem because it prevents Google from directing people to your website. Let us show you how to fix sitemap problems, and get Google to reindex your website!

Credit : This guide was written with help from Kok Kee from Nasi Lemak Tech!


How Serious Are Sitemap Problems?

Sitemap problems are HUGE, because they greatly sap the number of people who visit your website from a Google search. When we started having sitemap problems, the number of unique visitors to Tech ARP was instantly halved.

How does that happen?

  • Your website pages no longer appear in Google searches. If Google can’t see them, Google cannot display your pages in search results!
  • Even if your website pages do appear in Google searches, the links may be corrupt or nonsensical. Look at this example of this search result which leads to a bad link.

  • The description of your website page may also be nonsensical, as the example above also demonstrates.


How To Detect + Fix Sitemap Problems

  1. Log into Google Search Console.
  2. Go to the Sitemaps section (Crawl > Sitemaps)
  3. It will show you the sitemaps for your website, as well as any sitemap errors.

  1. Click on the error to find out what’s wrong.

  1. You will need to use the information listed to figure out what’s wrong, and fix the problem.
    a) if the sitemap was deleted, or is corrupt, you will need to generate a new sitemap
    b) if the sitemap is inaccessible due to a permission setting, you need to change its permission setting.
    c) if you are using CloudFlare, try disabling Always use HTTPS.

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  1. After you fix the sitemap problem, you will need to resubmit the sitemap to Google. Go into each sitemap information page, and click on the red Resubmit button at the upper right corner.

  1. After submitting the new sitemap, you can refresh the page to check its status.

  1. Repeat the steps for all of your sitemaps,
  2. Google Search Console should no longer list any sitemap error.


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Safer Internet Day : Google’s Tips To Stay Safe Online!

To celebrate Safer Internet Day, Google shared these tips on how to stay safe online! Don’t forget to share this with your family and friends!

We know that keeping your information safe and private is important to you, which is why we’ve baked security features into all our products. We’ve also developed technologies to help keep the broader internet safe, too.

Whether you’re using Gmail, Android, YouTube, or are simply browsing the web, here are some of the tools and features that you can be confident will help you keep safe:


Safer Internet Tip #1 : Personalize your account security

The Security Checkup provides a clear security status and personalized recommendations to strengthen your account security. A green check mark means you’re good to go, and a yellow or red exclamation point means there’s at least one issue for you to take care of.

Safer Internet Tip #2 : Look out for automatic warnings

Spotting phishing scams or dangerous websites can be a challenge, even for savvy web users. Our automated systems detect and warn you about sites with malware, or attempts to phish you. Just keep an eye out for our warnings and follow the instructions—we’ve got you covered.

Safer Internet Tip #3 : Protect your Google account with two-factor authentication

Secure your email inbox by activating 2-step verification. With this feature, you’ll need a password and a verification code that’s sent to your mobile phone to be able to get into your inbox. Enroll in 2-step verification here to add an extra layer of security your account.

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Safer Internet Tip #4 : Download apps on Google Play for peace of mind on your Android

If you’re an Android user, the safest place to download apps is from the Google Play store. Google Play Protect checks apps and your device around the clock to keep out malicious programs and makes sure you have the latest in mobile security protection.

In 2017 alone, we took down more than 700,000 apps that violated Google Play policies, 70% more than the apps taken down in 2016. Google Play Protect is the ideal security blanket for your mobile device, so can you consider yourself and your data covered.

Google Play Protect is also there to help you if you ever misplace your phone. Visit android.com/find to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches.

Safer Internet Tip #5 : You too can help keep YouTube safe

YouTube has always allowed people like you and me to report content we think is inappropriate. Once you’ve flagged a video, it’s submitted for review to YouTube staff who then carefully look at the content to determine whether there’s a violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines to see if it should be removed. You can also flag individual comments under any video for abuse or spam.

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Google Collaborates With Lenovo On Daydream VR Headset

Lenovo and Google are coming together again. This time, they’re collaborating on a new immersive virtual reality product that’s designed for everyday consumers – the Google Daydream VR headset. Check out what Lenovo has to say about this collaboration!


The Google Daydream VR Headset

We’ll be giving an early preview of our upcoming Daydream standalone headset. It will be one of the first devices to feature WorldSense to allow you to move around and explore virtual environments as if you’re truly there: ducking, weaving and jumping for even more immersive experiences.

This product represents our latest effort in collaboration between our companies: You may remember the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the world’s first Tango-enabled smartphone, launched in 2016. While the Phab 2 Pro makes a number of smartphone AR experiences possible, this standalone headset is built specifically for immersive VR.

What’s a Standalone VR headset?

Other similar VR devices require a complex setup that relies on external sensors (standalone headsets have built-in sensors). This standalone headset will streamline the experience: just pick up and play.

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And this is different from Google Daydream smartphone-based VR, since WorldSense brings natural movements into your 3D environment. Duck in a game of dodgeball or lunge sideways to evade enemies as they close in on your position.

Casual consumers will soon be able to access immersive virtual reality experiences. Developers will now be able to unlock features that most consumers have never experienced before.

We’re excited that easy-to-use, fully immersive virtual reality is coming to you very soon. We hope you are too.


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Maxis 4G LTE tops YouTube Video Checkup Test in all states

Kuala Lumpur, 27 March 2017 – Maxis has emerged as the telco that consistently delivers smooth high-definition (HD) video streaming, according to YouTube’s Video Checkup tool. This web tool, which was officially launched last week in Malaysia only, provides YouTube users with a score of different telcos in a specific area based on YouTube playback quality.


The Maxis 4G LTE Video Checkup Test Results

The results for Maxis’ network performance showed clear leadership across the country :

“Malaysians love the Internet and we believe in delighting our customers with a great mobile Internet experience. This is why Maxis continues to make significant investments to strengthen our network infrastructure so customers can enjoy a differentiated 4G experience on their phones, These results show that HD video streaming is better with Maxis No. 1 4G,” said Morten Bangsgaard, Maxis’ Chief Technology Officer.

He added, “We are glad that such a diagnostic tool has been launched. It provides transparency of different network experiences, and gives users a clear and reliable measure that comes from the aggregation of YouTube data that is gathered from actual user experience.”

The top ratings for buffer speeds on Maxis 4G LTE across 14 states is unequivocal:

According to YouTube, a rating of 4.0 stars is the highest possible rating at this time, as 4.5+ stars are reserved for future technology that support higher bandwidth video such as Virtual Reality (VR) and 360-degree videos.

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The increased use of video has driven a growing demand for Maxis mobile data, which doubled from 1.5GB last year to 4.0GB per month in 2016. There was also a tremendous growth in the penetration of 4G-enabled devices, which increased to 43% of total Maxis subscribers in 2016. Maxis 4G traffic grew 7 times in 2016 mainly used for good quality video streaming.

According to a statement released by Google, “Today, most viewers of YouTube in Malaysia primarily watch videos from their smartphones, with two thirds of Malaysia’s YouTube watchtime coming from mobile devices. Much of this on-the-go watchtime comes from consumers using mobile data plans. The growth momentum for this trend looks strong, as mobile watchtime in Malaysia grew by 84% over this past year.”


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New Canvas Integration With Google Revealed

Kuala Lumpur,20 January 2017 — Canvas by Instructure today released a deep, seamless integration with Google tools that allows students and teachers to use Google while working inside of Canvas, effectively eliminating the need to constantly switch between separate tabs and log-ins. This integration helps increase productivity for teachers and students who use Canvas and Google Drive by streamlining their workflow, and merges the capabilities of Google Docs and the Canvas LMS platform.

“Most of the teachers we work with use Google in their classrooms, and they want to use Canvas and Google without switching back and forth between two interfaces. Our educator user base is very excited about this integration because it will make their lives easier,” said Melissa Loble, the Vice President of partners and platform at Instructure. “Now teachers, students and administrators alike can use Google’s best tools directly inside of Canvas. This integration allows schools to continue having students work in the software they use now, and will use after they get their diplomas and jobs in the real world.”


The Canvas Integration With Google

The integration includes many points of interoperability, such as:

  • Single sign-on: With a single login, when users are logged into Canvas, they’re also logged into Google.
  • Google Drive embedding and linking: Users can easily embed documents from Google Drive anywhere they use the Canvas rich content editor.
  • Google Docs as assignments: With this new integration, students can submit Google Docs as assignments, and teachers can use a Google Doc to give an assignment and to grade submitted assignments in Speedgrader by editing or annotating the Google Doc submitted by the student.
  • Google Drive collaborations: Students can participate in a Canvas collaboration using Google Docs, Sheets or Slides.
  • Modules: Teachers can include a read-only Google Doc in their modules.

The Canvas Google integration benefits teachers, students and administrators. The integration helps teachers create and add collaborative documents from Google, view their Google Drive files from the Canvas Course Navigation Menu, and save time in finding and sharing files. Because Canvas seamlessly integrates with Google Drive, teachers can create assignments and annotate directly on the Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets as they grade them.

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For students, the new integration promotes collaboration with classmates and teachers and enables them to view teacher feedback on Google Docs and save time submitting documents. The integration also helps administrators leverage standards-based technology and Google’s wealth of educational features with no additional cost. The simplified workflow created by the integration also promotes greater adoption of the technology, which increases productivity.

“Canvas believes that schools should be able to bring the best tools together so that teachers can focus on teaching and not on technology. Traditional LMS/VLE environments force teachers to use the tools they alone provide or created fractured environments where students and teachers needed to log into several systems. Canvas is the first to bring the true power of Google apps for Education (GAFE) into a centralised Learning environment for teachers and students. Teachers can quickly share documents with students, create collaborative documents, slides or sheets and even allow students to submit work for assessment. With only a couple of clicks in Canvas, you have a truly unified environment,” concluded Troy Martin, Vice President, Canvas Asia Pacific.

This integration allows for seamless, simultaneous use of Canvas and Google, with both platforms transforming today’s K–12 and higher education classrooms.


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BIGO LIVE : Free Live-Streaming Videos On iOS & Android

BIGO LIVE is a free live-streaming video app for iOS and Android that allows mobile users to broadcast themselves and share their lives spontaneously on live video. The app was launched on March 2016 and has captured a fast-growing user base in the Southeast Asian region, particularly amongst the young. BIGO Live is now popular not only in Asia, but also in North America, Europe, Russia and Middle East.

The BIGO LIVE platform not only helps create new Internet personalities, it is also helping emerging actors and actresses engage their audience. The live broadcasting feature in BIGO LIVE is now a key tool in grooming these new talents, and helping them increase their exposure.


The Secret To BIGO LIVE’s Success

BIGO LIVE was adopted very quickly by local celebrities and personalities. Vietnamese personalities like Lilly Luta, Dang Dung and Nguyen Huu Cong have attracted 9,000 viewers in one BIGO LIVE room. Meanwhile, Thai online celebrity Onboatz (who commands an 80,000 strong following on Instagram) has also adopted BIGO LIVE.

Indonesian star Julia Perez even used BIGO LIVE to share her experience in fighting cancer. That garnered a tremendous amount of positive acclaim from her fans.

A famous American prank star, Vitaly, has once broadcasted a bullfight that he joined on Halloween. Before the bullfight took place, he had even tweeted, “If I die, at least I die live,” inviting everyone to join his BIGO Live stream to watch the exciting bullfight.

BIGO has also created a very large and healthy community in South Korea with live streamers broadcasting their interesting lives and even make-up tutorials to viewers.

And if you are wondering, BIGO stands for “Before I Get Old“. Fascinating, isn’t it?

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Where To Download BIGO Live?

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sg.bigo.live

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1077137248


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How To Unblock Gmail Restrictions On Outlook & Less Secure Apps

If your mail app keeps refusing to sync your emails, it is probably because Gmail considers it to be a “less secure app”. Instead of syncing your mail, you get warning messages asking you to login by a web browser. You may already have tried to do that, but your mail app still won’t sync with Gmail. Let us tell you what’s going on, and how to resolve this problem once and for all.


Gmail Tightened Security

From July 15, 2014 onwards, Google started promoting OAuth 2.0 over Basic Authentication. Their first step – blocking access to third-party apps that do not support OAuth 2.0. This includes all versions of Microsoft Outlook, even Outlook 2016. This issue also affects other apps like Mozilla Thunderbird, and Apple Mail apps in iOS 6 and older.

When these apps try to sync with Gmail, they will be denied access. Instead, you will get a warning message, asking you to login using a web browser. That won’t work though, because logging into your Gmail account using a web browser won’t enable OAuth 2.0 support in your app.

It would be technically simple for Microsoft to add OAuth 2.0 support to Outlook, but it appears that they are uninterested in helping improve access to Gmail. Until then, let’s show you how to unblock Gmail restrictions on Outlook and other “less secure apps”.


How To Unblock Gmail’s Restrictions

The good news is Google did not block access completely. They still allow Basic Authentication for these “less secure apps” to work with Gmail. The only thing is you must explicitly enable Basic Authentication via the Allow less secure apps option in Gmail.

There are two ways to access the Allow less secure apps option. Both require you to login to Gmail via a web browser first. Once you are logged into your Gmail account, go to the following links, and enable access for less secure apps :

Option Ahttps://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps

Option B – Scroll to the bottom of https://myaccount.google.com/security

Whichever method you choose, you will need to replicate for each and every Gmail account you need to sync to Microsoft Outlook, or any app that is considered “less secure” by Gmail.


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Why Apple iPhones Are So Expensive Rev. 2.0

Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone, it has become tradition for rabid Apple and Android fans to trade barbs in a childish display of fandom rivalry. Facebook and blogs will be replete with taunts and jeers on both sides. It was not good enough that they didn’t like the rival platform, they had to make sure the other side knew how much they hated their platform. Check out some of their work when Apple launched their new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones :

Now that Apple has officially announced the iPhone 7, there is a new comparison out :

Of course, the comparison is hardly accurate, since the Nexus 6 is not water-resistant, just splash-resistant. The iPhone 7, on the other hand, has IP67-rated water resistance. It is also a fact that Apple iPhones have always lagged Android smartphones in features and specifications. In fact, Apple iPhones will always cost more… often far more, than an equivalent Android smartphone.

Updated @ 2016-09-13 : Updated the article for Apple iPhone 7, including new information on Apple iPhones and Android smartphones.

Updated @ 2016-01-26 : Ported it over to the new Tech ARP

Originally posted @ 2014-11-24


Apple iPhones Will Always Cost More

Frankly, the differences between an Apple iPhone and an Android smartphone have diminished in recent years, with both platforms borrowing features and ideas from each other. Arguing about who came up with which feature first will become nothing more than a pissing contest.

Whatever features that are unique to a particular platform will eventually be introduced in the competing platform. That’s what we want because it gives us the freedom to choose between the two platform without worrying about losing some key features we cannot do without.

Even so, one thing will remain certain – Apple will always price their iPhone models at a premium. That brings us to arguably the most vitriolic opinion that Android fans have about the Apple users – that they are all rich idiots who are getting fleeced by Apple into paying a ridiculously high price for the iPhones especially since they are using “dated” hardware or “older technology”.

Well, we are not going to go into why Apple iPhones are not using “dated” hardware or “older technology” in this editorial, but we are going to address this perception that Apple users are stupid to pay so much money for a smartphone. Then we are going to show you why Apple iPhones are so expensive.

Why Pay So Much For An iPhone?

Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons why Apple users are willing to pay top dollar for their Apple iPhones.

1. It’s More Than Just A Smartphone

First of all, the Apple iPhone is more than just a smartphone. When you purchase an Apple iPhone, you are purchasing the iPhone ecosystem as well – everything from access to the 2.0 million apps (as of June 2016) in the Apple App Store to the free iMessage, FaceTime and iCloud services. Android users may argue that they have similar features but what they have is sometimes a pale shadow of what the Apple iOS platform currently offers.

For example, the Apple iPhone can automatically and continuously back itself up to iCloud since October 2011 with iOS 5. If something bad happens, the user can restore the entire contents of the iPhone using nothing more than an Internet connection. You don’t even need to use iTunes on a computer to perform this backup and/or restore process.

When we first wrote this editorial 3 years later in 2014, no Android smartphone could do that. Of course, we had no doubt even then that they would eventually implement something similar.  True enough, Android 6.0 Marshmallow introduced such an ability in October 2015 (4 years after iOS), although it only works with Android apps that “target API version 23“.

2. It’s About Software Assurance

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You are also buying “software assurance” in the form of iOS upgrades and updates. The recently released iOS 10, for example, was made available for the following devices, immediately and simultaneously :

Google also releases Android upgrades on a periodical basis. However, those upgrades are not made available for many Android smartphones (even if they are of the same generation), and often, they are made available long after Google releases them.

This is due to the fact that the Android platform is “highly fragmented” – there is a wide variation in hardware features and packaged software, as well as manufacturer preferences. This has resulted in significantly slower or shorter “software assurance”, especially for older or less popular models.

Google released Android 6.0 Marshmallow on October 5, 2015. It took Samsung 4 months to start releasing it for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones. ASUS also took 4 months to start rolling out their Marshmallow update for the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone Zoom smartphones. That’s actually fast, because in the past, they would take about twice as long to release a major operating system update.

Of course, many brands choose not to offer the upgrade at all. Some, like HTC, promise an Android 6.0 Marshmallow upgrade for several smartphones, but remain stuck in development hell. The Marshmallow upgrade for the HTC One M7 was even scrapped, after being announced. In the meantime, Android 7.0 Nougat was just released…

3. It’s The Apple Experience

When someone considers the cost of a platform, it should be done holistically because when you buy an Apple iPhone, you are really buying an experience.

Apple iPhone users (generally) want a smartphone that “just works“. They do not care so much about specifications, as much as they do the experience of using the iPhone. They do not care so much about the number of features, as they do the experience of those features that are available. For that, they are willing to pay top dollar.

The less fragmented nature of the iOS platform also makes it very easy for them to transition from one model to another. The user interface and apps work exactly the same, whether you’re using the new iPhone 7, or the much older iPhone 5.

The Android platform allows for a customisable experience, but Apple fans don’t really want that. Or at least they are willing to sacrifice that for the familiarity of a consistent user interface.

Now, let us show you exactly what they are paying so much for. The real reasons why Apple iPhones are so expensive…

Next Page > Why Apple iPhones Are So Expensive, Does This Mean That Apple iPhones Are Better?


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Why Apple iPhones Are So Expensive

Many people consider Apple elitist for selling the iPhone at very high prices, and there’s no doubt that they have the highest profit margin in the industry. However, their profit margin isn’t an accurate reflection of their nett profit per unit.

What most people forget is that the price of each iPhone includes a lot of ancillary costs, so comparing the profit margin of Apple iPhones vs. Android smartphones is like comparing apples to oranges (pun intended).

1. Apple iOS And Services Are Not Free

Android manufacturers can get away with low margins and therefore, lower prices, because Google provides the Android OS free of charge. On top of that, Google finances the infrastructure for free services that they provide to the Android platform, like Google Hangout and Google Drive.

With the exception of any custom software or services provided by the Android smartphone manufacturer, everything on the Android platform is being financed and maintained by Google.

Apple, on the other hand, has development teams working on the iOS operating system, as well as supporting software and services like iTunes, the App Store, iMessage, FaceTime and iCloud. They also build and maintain their own infrastructure to support those services.

All that comes at significant cost. Apple’s massive 500,000 sf data center in Maiden, North Carolina, for example, costs a whooping US$ 1 billion to build.

2. Apple Uses Their Own Processors

Apple designs their own processors for the iPhone – a cost that no Android manufacturer has to bear. On top of that, their processors cost more to make because they have a lower production run than the Qualcomm or MediaTek processors that most Android devices use.

3. They Just Cost More To Produce

All-in-all, the costs of the parts used to make an iPhone are consistently much higher than that of an Android phone. Here’s what research firm HIS calculated as the cost of manufacturing the iPhone 6 :

Apple iPhone 6 with 16GB of built-in memory costs $200 to build in parts and labor, while a 128GB model requires $247 to put together. The iPhone 6 Plus production costs on the other hand, range between $216 for a 16GB model and $263 for the 128GB version.

The most expensive component in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is their display. Made by LG Display and Japan Display, the component costs $45 for the iPhone 6, and $52.50 for the iPhone 6 Plus. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 covers the screen of both models.

Apple’s 20nm A8 processor is made by TSMC and, combined with an attached co-processor, costs about $20. NXP Semiconductors provides the NFC chip for the iPhone 6 range. Combined with the rest of its built-in sensors, it costs $22 for both devices.

As you can see, the production cost of the Apple iPhone 6 is higher than what some Android smartphones are selling for, even if those Android smartphones have similar or even better specifications on paper. This is why the iPhone will always be more expensive than comparable Android smartphones, even if Apple somehow sees it fit to sell it at cost.

If you tack on their substantial ancillary costs, you can see why Apple has to sell their iPhones at a premium. The research firm HIS calculated the iPhone 6‘s profit margin as 69%, but that does not include ancillary costs. Apple’s nett profit is certainly much lower once you factor everything in, albeit still much higher than the industry norm.


Does This Mean That Apple iPhones Are Better?

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No. I’ve said it many times before, and I will say it again. Both platforms have their pros and cons, and they are getting closer in capability as they leapfrog each other in features. Whatever new idea or feature that’s introduced in one platform will eventually make it to the other platform, so it would be stupid to insist that one platform is significantly superior to the other.

It is this convergence of features and capability that will eventually limit Apple’s reach. If you can get a good Android smartphone with all of the key features you need at a much lower cost, it will be harder for many users to justify paying a premium for the Apple experience.

Ultimately, it all depends on the kind of user you are, and how much you are willing to pay. You won’t go wrong with either platform, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just because Apple iPhones are so expensive does not mean they are better than Android smartphones. But it doesn’t mean you are not getting your money’s worth either.

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NVIDIA, IBM and Toyota Keynotes For GTC 2016

Singapore, April 4, 2016NVIDIA today announced that the three keynote addresses at its upcoming GPU Technology Conference (GTC) will be webcast live on the NVIDIA blog.

GTC 2016 Keynote Schedule

Day 1: Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA co-founder and CEO, April 6, 12 to 2am (Singapore)
Day 2: Rob High, IBM Watson CTO, April 7, 2 to 3am (Singapore)
Day 3:Gill Pratt, Toyota Research Institute CEO, April 8, 2 to 3 am (Singapore)

GTC 2016 will showcase the vital role GPU technology plays in some of the industry’s biggest trends, including artificial intelligence, virtual reality and self-driving cars. This year’s event will feature more than 500 sessions with speakers from Alibaba, Audi, Baidu, Boeing, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Pixar, Raytheon, Samsung, Siemens, SpaceX and Twitter, among many others.

GTC 2016 also includes a day-long event, the Emerging Companies Summit, on April 6, focused on GPU-based startups. Nearly 100 startups will participate this year, including an onstage competition among a dozen companies vying for US$100,000. Many more startups will show VR, drones, robots, and other advanced technologies in the GTC Expo Hall.

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QNAP Supports Netflix Streaming On TAS-168 / 268 NAS

Taipei, Taiwan, January 21, 2016 – QNAP, Inc. today announced that the QTS & Android dual-system TAS-168/268 NAS now supports Netflix. The QNAP TAS-168/268 is the first Android-based NAS that supports Netflix, and users can download the free Netflix app from Google Play on Android. Simply connect a QNAP TAS-168/268 to an HDMI display to enjoy the numerous programs and multimedia content on Netflix with a smooth and convenient streaming experience.

Netflix is one of the most popular Internet video streaming services in the world, and we are pleased to announce that it is compatible with our Android-based TAS-168/268 NAS.” said Hanz Sung, Product Manager of QNAP, “with the addition of Netflix, TAS-168/268 users can further maximize their home entertainment options by streaming their favorite movies and TV shows to a big screen in their living room.”

Powered by an ARM v7 dual-core processor with 2 GB DDR3 RAM, the QNAP TAS-168/268 is designed as a compact media NAS optimized for home use. Certificated by Google, users can download Netflix and many other multimedia apps from Google Play on TAS-168/268.

Coupled with terabytes of storage capacity and 4K (H.265 & H.264) HDMI output, the TAS-168/268 is the optimal budget-friendly multimedia NAS that provides near-unlimited entertainment possibilities for modern digital lifestyles.


Netflix Availability

The free Netflix app for Android devices is available from Google Play, and users can download it from Android Station on their QNAP TAS-168/268.


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6 Awesome Huawei Nexus 6P Tips

As Google’s flagship smartphone of the year, the Huawei Nexus 6P is one of the most anticipated smartphones to be launched in 2015. It is undoubtedly the best Nexus smartphone to be developed by Google. For those who are lucky enough to own one, we have some Nexus 6P tips and tricks to share with you. Check them out!



Tip #1 : Unlock The System UI Tuner

In the Nexus 6P, you can unlock the hidden System UI Tuner by pressing and holding the Settings button on the notification panel. You will be taken to the System UI Tuner page where you can arrange the Quick Settings, Status Bar, etc.


Tip #2 : Activate Battery Percentage Status

When you access the hidden System UI Tuner, you can turn on the battery percentage status (see above), if you want to be able to view the battery life in percentage on the notification bar. Of course, some people believe that ignorance is bliss! 😉


Tip #3 : Change To The sRGB Colour Space

Although many users rave about the bright, saturated colours of the fine-tuned Samsung AMOLED display, you may prefer the more subdued sRGB colour gamut. You can swap between the two by enabling Developer Options.


[adrotate banner=”4″]To access Developer Options, follow these steps :

  1. Go to Settings -> About Phone.
  2. Scroll down to the Build number section.
  3. Tap 7 times on the Build number.
  4. In Developer Options, enable Use sRGB in the Picture color mode section at the bottom.


Tip #4 : Enable The LED Notification Light

The Huawei Nexus 6P has an LED notification light, which is very useful in letting you know when you receive messages or emails. Blackberry users will appreciate it a lot. However, it is disabled by default.

To turn it on, just follow these steps :

  1. Go to Settings -> Sound & Notifications.
  2. Enable Pulse notification light.


Tip #5 : Locate The File Manager

For some reason, Google decided to hide the File Manager. You will find the “lost” File Manager at the following location – Settings -> Storage & USB -> Explore.


Tip #6 : Learn To Instantly Launch The Camera

Avid photographers will appreciate this tip… A LOT. The advantage of smartphone photography is the ability to quickly whip out the Nexus 6P to take a shot of a fleeting moment. That ability is stymied by the need to turn on and log into a smartphone. No longer.

To instantly turn on the Nexus 6P camera even with the screen locked just give the Power button two quick presses, and you can start snapping away! Simple, isn’t it? 😀


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Evolution Of Google Nexus : Huawei’s Transcendence

Google opened up the smartphone market with their introduction of the Android operating system. From a small handful of smartphone manufacturers, there is now a plethora of small to large manufacturers. That has led to the creation of thousands of smartphone models, with their own blend of design, features and price point.

For the purist though, there is nothing better than a true Google smartphone with a clean, pure Android operating system. No bloatware to waste memory and clog up the system. Google finally catered to the demand when they created the Google Nexus series of pure Android smartphones.

Wary of entering the market as a competitor, Google threaded carefully by creating the Nexus smartphones with various smartphone partners. They even made sure they switched partners over the years to “give everyone a chance”.

Let’s take a look at the evolution of Google’s Nexus project and how it led to the new Huawei Nexus 6P smartphone.


Google Nexus One

Google chose to work HTC on the first Nexus smartphone, dubbed Nexus One. Launched in January 2010, the Google Nexus One ran Android 2.1 Eclair on a single-core Qualcomm processor with 512 MB of RAM and 512 MB of internal storage. It also came with 5 MP camera.

The Nexus One was notable for its performance and its 3.7″ AMOLED display, although that was eventually replaced with a Super LCD display. HTC eventually released their HTC Desire, which is very similar in specifications to the Nexus One.


Google Nexus S

Google then worked with Samsung to create and manufacture the second-generation Nexus smartphone – the Google Nexus S.

The Nexus S shipped with a 4″ Super AMOLED display, a Samsung Exynos processor, 512 MB of RAM and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It was notable for being the first Android smartphone to feature NFC.


Google Galaxy Nexus

Google continued with Samsung for their third Android smartphone – the Galaxy Nexus. Launched in October 2011, it was the first smartphone to feature the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

The Galaxy Nexus continued to use a Super AMOLED display but upgrades the other aspects – a dual-core ARM Cortex processor, 1 GB of memory and support for MHL output as well as Google Wallet.


Google Nexus 4

For their fourth Nexus smartphone, Google decided to work with LG Electronics. Launched in November 2012, the Google Nexus 4 featured a quad-core ARM Krait processor, 2 GB of RAM and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

The Nexus 4 was notable for its Qi wireless charging capability, as well as its front and rear glass construction with a holographic design on the back. It also came with a higher resolution 8 MP rear camera, and a 1.3 MP front camera.


Google Nexus 5

Google continued to work with LG Electronics on the Google Nexus 5 smartphone. Revealed on October 31st, 2013, it featured a more subdued (and tougher) polycarbonate design.

The Nexus 5 was notable for offering a great deal of hardware for the price. Launched with Android 4.4 KitKat, it featured a quad-core ARM Krait 400 processor, a 4.95″ full HD (1080p) IPS display, and support for LTE.


Google Nexus 6

Google then switched to Motorola for the Nexus 6 smartphone. It was the first Google Nexus device to feature a 6″ Quad HD (2560 x 1440) AMOLED display and Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The Google Nexus 6 was also notable for its sleek design, which belies its large form factor. It also features a large 3220 mAh battery with fast charging capability, as well as a high-resolution 13 MP main camera with optical image stabilization.


Google Nexus 5X

The Google Nexus 5X is an evolution of the Nexus 5, both manufactured by LG. It is the first Android device to feature the Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor, and the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system.

The Nexus 5X is notable for the introduction of the Android Sensor Hub, a low-power processor designed to take over the handling of the Nexus 5X’s sensors. This reduces the amount of power consumed by its 6-core ARM processor.


Google Nexus 6P

Alongside the Nexus 5X, Google also launched the Google Nexus 6P, which was co-designed with and manufactured by Huawei. As the flagship model of the two Nexus devices designed for the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, the Huawei-made Nexus 6P is equipped with hardware to kill for.


Like the LG-made Nexus 5X, the Huawei-made Nexus 6P also features the Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor and the Android Sensor Hub. But that’s where the similarities end.

[adrotate banner=”4″]The Nexus 6P is powered by an octa-core ARM processor, and comes with 3 GB of LPDDR4 memory and up to 128 GB of internal storage. The Nexus 6P eschewed wireless charging capability for a high-capacity 3,450 mAh battery that fast-charges through a USB Type-C connector.

It also features a 5.7″ WQHD AMOLED display (2560 x 1440) with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection and dual-ported speakers. Instead of a glass or polycarbonate case, the Nexus 6P is the first Nexus smartphone to feature an all-metal chassis.

In the photography department, it sports a 12.3 MP main camera that is capable of recording 4K videos, and comes with laser autofocus. Its front camera has a 8 MP sensor that records HD videos.

This is definitely the Android smartphone to beat this year!