COVID-19 distribution tracking system will be installed on Android smartphones via Google Play

Google has confirmed that it will use Google Play Services infrastructure to upgrade Android smartphones and install a new COVID-19 contact tracking system. The search giant is working with Apple to develop this system. This should ensure that more Android devices will receive updates. The availability of the new system will be ensured for all smartphones with Android 6.0 Marshmallow or newer operating system installed.

Recall that the idea is to initiate the exchange of anonymous data between users' smartphones via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It is assumed that mobile devices will exchange identification keys, which are constantly changing, while maintaining the anonymity of the device owner. All keys with user permission are downloaded to the cloud and stored for 14 days. In the future, if a person is infected with COVID-19 and has entered the test results into a local health organization application, he or she may allow the system to send an alert to other people with whom he or she has had close contact. But since all data is anonymous, other users will only get information that they had contact with an infected person, as well as instructions on how to proceed.

Google Play is the only reliable system that allows you to timely receive software updates on Android smartphones. Another way - a complete update of the operating system - is often slow, as it depends on hardware developers, smartphone manufacturers and mobile operators. And delays can occur at every stage.

Google says its update system will apply to both phases of the Bluetooth contact tracking infrastructure: the initial implementation of the API (due next month); the integration of the API into the OS. The second phase is planned to be implemented "in the coming months".

While Google's efforts will allow it to cover a wide range of devices, including legacy devices, there is still a large group of devices that will not be able to take advantage of updates via Google Play Services. These include Android smartphones sold in China and the latest global versions of Huawei, which are distributed with its own mobile services. For these devices, Google intends to publish a framework that these companies could use to recreate a secure anonymous tracking system developed by Google and Apple. Huawei, Xiaomi and other Chinese manufacturers (or the Chinese government) will then decide whether to use the system.


Qualcomm replied to MediaTek about cheating in benchmarking - SoC Snapdragon does not sin with it.

Last week, Taiwanese mobile manufacturer SoC MediaTek was caught in a scam to demonstrate the highest performance results in benchmarking. In other words, having detected the launch of a test tool, the MediaTek chipsets start working at full speed to show their best performance, which in practice is impossible to achieve. In response to these accusations, the vendor responded that it is "normal practice" to demonstrate the potential of SoC and at the same time remembered that its "main rival" does the same. And although MediaTek did not give the name of this "main rival" directly, everyone understood that it was the market leader Qualcomm. The official answer of the latter didn't take long.

In Qualcomm's official statement, these accusations are categorically denied. The manufacturer of single-chip platforms Snapdragon explicitly calls the dubious practice of so-called "whitelisting" applications a pure deception, because in such cases the result does not reflect the user experience in everyday use. In other words, Qualcomm completely denies MediaTek's accusation of using working frequency boost techniques in its SoC Snapdragon to demonstrate better performance results in benchmarking.

Believe it or not, it's everyone's personal business. To be fair, such accusations of cheating tests on Qualcomm have not yet been made.


NASA is going to build a giant radio telescope on the back of the moon by entrusting its assembly to robots.

NASA, as you know, has very big plans for a natural Earth satellite. And this note is another proof of that.

The U.S. space agency approved the project to build a kilometer-long radio telescope Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) with a full aperture (a telescope that has a full reflective "plate" as a satellite antenna) in a crater bowl on the back side of the moon. According to the authors of the project, the tool will be made of wire mesh and its assembly will be carried out by robotic planets. If the LCRT telescope project is eventually implemented, it will be the largest radio telescope of its kind (filled with aperture) ever built by humans. Today, such a telescope is the FAST 500m ground-based radio telescope in China.

The LCRT project was proposed by Saptarshi Bandiopadhaem as part of the NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts) program. It aims to stimulate ideas and projects in the fields of astronautics, solar system and deep space exploration, rocket and satellite engineering and aeronautics, which could have a major impact on the development of the entire aerospace industry and could be implemented within 10 to 40 years. The NIAC was launched in 1998 and is still in operation today (except for the period from 2007 to 2011).

By placing a scientific instrument on the back of the Moon, radio noise and interference from our planet and the Sun (in case of a lunar night) can be avoided. The telescope is to be installed in a crater bowl with a diameter of three to five kilometres. Its creation will be engaged in robots-planethodes DuAxel, which will stretch a grid in a suitable ratio of depth to diameter crater and form a parabolic antenna. After that, a sensitive receiver will be suspended above the center of the resulting telescope "lunar plate". Currently, the LCRT team has received 125 thousand dollars and nine months to complete the first of the three stages of the project. If the study shows that the idea is viable and potentially of great scientific value, the radio telescope team will be able to move on to the next phase with a $500,000 grant for further two years of work.

It was assumed that the telescope would be able to make observations at wavelengths between 10 and 50 metres (frequencies between six and 30 megahertz) reflected by the Earth's ionosphere and would be able to explore the early universe.

By the way, there is already one radio telescope on the back of the Moon - the Dutch-Chinese project NCLE, which partially deployed the antennas in November last year. It is much smaller than the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope - the size of NCLE antennas, located at right angles to each other, is only five meters. Once the instrument is fully operational, it is expected to be able to tell us a lot about the "young" universe 380,000 years after the Big Bang, when space first became transparent to radio waves. That is, potentially the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope can give mankind more than one loud scientific discovery.




LG has announced a Folder 2 smartphone folding bed with two displays, a physical keyboard and an SOS button.

An unusual smartphone called LG Folder 2 has been added to LG's range of mobile devices. It is a basic model, made in the form factor of a folding bed, equipped with two displays and a physical keyboard.

The announced novelty is aimed at users with limited budget, who prefer easy to use mobile devices. The device carries on board the Snapdragon 210 processor, only 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of built-in flash memory. The main display has a diagonal of 2.8 inches and QVGA resolution. The auxiliary display is located on the outer casing cover. It contains a monochrome 0.9 inch panel that can display notifications and call information.

Two dedicated buttons are available in LG Folder 2: SOS Key and Hotkey. The SOS Key button is located next to the 2 megapixel camera. It allows you to quickly make a call to a specified number by triple-clicking it for 1.5 seconds. The current coordinates are also sent to the preset number in text form. The Hotkey button is located on the front panel under the call button. It allows you to activate a voice AI assistant or start recording a call. However, the availability of these functions may depend on the operator.

Other features of LG Folder 2 include a 1470 mAh battery, support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and 4G mobile communications. There is also a Security lock feature that helps prevent unintentional data transfer.

LG Folder 2 will go on sale in South Korea from April 17th for about $160. Users will have a choice of White and New Platinum Grey colors.


UIA started to carry out cargo transportation in its passenger aircraft Boeing 737 and Boeing 767, using not only the luggage compartment, but also cabins.

With a significant reduction in passenger air travel and increasing demand for cargo flights, Ukraine International Airlines began to carry out cargo flights with the placement of cargo not only in the luggage compartments, but also in the cabin. The first such flight took place on April 8 - the delivery of medical goods from China to Ukraine was performed by order of a commercial company. The flight was performed on Boeing 767.

The airline will use Boeing 767 and Boeing 737 for the new type of cargo transportation. It is noted that the Boeing 737 can carry a combined weight of up to 20 tons, and the Boeing 767 can carry up to 29 tons.

Also, the UIA airline reported that by the end of 2019, the UIA fleet carried 14,205 tons of cargo, making the airline the main cargo carrier for Borispol airport.

Another Ukrainian airline, SkyUp Airlines, has also already managed to perform several cargo flights, delivering medical cargo from China and Austria and commercial cargo from Switzerland.

In its turn, the entire Antonov Airlines fleet, including five An-124 Ruslan and the world's only An-225 Mriya, is also engaged in humanitarian flights, with a minimum monthly schedule.


Redmi AirDots S wireless headphones improved connection, game mode added, but the price has not changed

Last week the Bluetooth SIG organization certified the Redmi AirDots 2 device, which hinted at the soon release of the successor of last year's popular wireless headphones Redmi AirDots. However, on April 14th Redmi announced a new pair of fully wireless headphones called Redmi AirDots S instead of Redmi AirDots 2.

The novelty in appearance is almost indistinguishable from the last year's model, Redmi left the design unchanged. Even the color has remained the same - black. This will make it harder for users to choose. Nevertheless, the new version of Redmi AirDots S offers a number of improvements and additional features.

The first thing to pay attention to is an improved connection to the signal sources. The previous model used a scheme when connecting to a smartphone, when one earpiece (right) was the main earpiece and actually connected to the mobile device, and the second earpiece was already connected to it. It was also possible to connect to a smartphone only one headphone (any pair). In Redmi AirDots S another approach is used. The first time you connect to the mobile device, both headphones are actually connected. The main headphone is not available. However, it is also possible to use each of the headphones separately in mono mode. Switching to stereo mode is automatic when the user sets the second headphone in the ear.

The announced novelty received an improved Bluetooth 5.0 chip and 7.2mm speakers. According to the manufacturer's assurances, the data transfer has been doubled compared to the previous generation. The connection is now faster and more stable. In addition, there is a new game mode with low latency. It is activated by triple pressing the headphone button. In addition, the headphones have a noise reduction function DSP. Finally, the possibility of using voice assistants (Google Assistant, Siri and XiaoAI) is supported. To activate them, you need to press the headphone button twice. A single short press pauses playback and resumes it, and allows you to receive an incoming phone call. A long press for about 1 second will reject the incoming call. You will not be able to switch between songs or adjust the volume.

Built-in headphone batteries provide up to 4 hours of operation from a single charge. With a full case, the autonomy is increased to 12 hours. The price of Redmi AirDots S remained at the same level as its predecessor - about $14.




Henry Fisker introduced an off-road special version of the Fisker Ocean Force-E electric crossover designed for rescuers and the military.

Henry Fisker Company officially announced that in addition to the standard version of the electric crossover Fisker Ocean will be produced special version Force-E (Force Electric), designed for real off-road. This model is expected to be used as a vehicle for emergency services, police and military, as well as international organizations such as the UN and the Red Cross.

The creators of the special version noted that even the standard version has high torque, which is especially appreciated by fans of off-road. In this case, Force-E will be available only in all-wheel drive version with a capacity of 225 kW (300 hp), and a little later on the market will be released even more advanced "ultra-high-performance" version. The battery power reserve of 80+ kWh will be about 500 km, and on serious off-road conditions it will be guaranteed to be proportionally reduced.

The off-road vehicle will be equipped with a reinforced elevator suspension, special wheels and rubber with an aggressive tread, additional spotlights on the upper trunk to illuminate the off-road at night, a winch and a tow hook. The full-size spare wheel is located in a special bonnet recess, while the front rack has a drinking water tank and a tap in the front bumper. The driver will also be provided with an electric socket to supply the necessary equipment. The interior is promised to be made more practical by reviewing its design and using "durable and durable" materials.

Force-E version will also get California mode as standard, thanks to the ability to quickly lower all side windows and "open" the glass roof will be able to access the cabin more quickly and conveniently. More information about the novelty promises to be revealed in 2021 with the release of a ready for real-life test prototype.

We would like to remind you that mass production of Fisker Ocean electric crossover will start in the fourth quarter of 2021, the first mass deliveries to customers will begin in early 2022. The cost of the model in the U.S. will be $ 37,499, taking into account the federal tax benefits, the electric car will cost the American owner in $29,999. In Europe, the cost of the model will depend on taxes, exemptions and other factors of each country, specific prices will be announced closer to the announcement. It will also be possible to lease the electric car by paying a $2,999 down payment and then paying $379 monthly.


Announced OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro smartphones: SoC Snapdragon 865, up to four cameras, fast charging and price ... up to $1000

As planned, OnePlus company held a presentation of its new smartphones OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. Both novelties received the same flagship processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 5G communication support and fingerprint scanner in the display. The differences between the models are mainly in displays, camera modules and batteries.

Compared to last year's models, the manufacturer has significantly improved the display and camera as well as some internal components. Users can now choose a configuration that includes up to 12 GB of RAM (LPDDR5 in the case of Pro version) and up to 256 GB of UFS 3.0 memory based storage. In addition, support is provided for the high-speed Wi-Fi 6 communications standard. Display update rate for the OnePlus 8 Pro version is now 120 Hz.

The camera has been significantly upgraded, which now includes four modules in the case of the OnePlus 8 Pro. The main module contains a large 1/1.4-inch 48-megapixel Sony IMX689 sensor and optical image stabilization system. The ultra-wide module (120-degree angle of view) boasts a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor. Also available telephoto module with optical image stabilization system. It provides 3x hybrid zoom and 30x digital zoom. Finally, the camera includes a new module Color Filter Camera, which serves for filters and light effects. The OnePlus 8 has a triple camera. It includes a 48-megapixel main sensor, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle module and a 2-megapixel macro module.

Other features include stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos, an improved tactile feedback system Haptic Vibration 2.0. Both devices support fast charging of Warp Charge 30T with 30W power transfer. The OnePlus 8 Pro version additionally offers support for fast wireless charging with Warp Charge 30 Wireless, IP68 water and dust protection and a smaller battery.

Sales of new smartphones OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will start on April 24. The price of OnePlus 8 is $699 or $799 for configurations with 8/128 or 12/256GB of memory, respectively. The OnePlus 8 Pro model in the same memory configuration is valued at $899 and $999.


AMD introduced a trio of second generation 7nm EPYC high-frequency processors. That's what they're capable of.

The already rich lineup of AMD EPYC server processors of the second generation (Rome) increased by three new chips. The new CPUs that formed the 7Fx2 lineup include the 8-core EPYC 7F32, 16-core EPYC 7F52 and 24-core EPYC 7F72. They all support Simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT) technology.

The new "stones" feature high operating frequencies and therefore provide higher single-core performance relative to congeners, being the optimal solution for single-core performance-sensitive tasks or for software that has a single-core license limitation, such as VMWare. That is, the letter F in the designation reflects their key feature - high frequency (high frequency).

Other distinctive features of the new CPU 7Fx2 include higher TDP - up to 240 W, which is logical, given the increase in operating frequencies, as well as the increased volume of L3 cache - up to 256 MB.

The new processors inherit all the benefits of AMD EPYC second generation processors, including 128 lines of PCIe 4.0, support for up to 4TB of DDR4-3200 MHz memory and advanced security features. According to AMD, they offer twice the performance for every dollar compared to competing Intel Xeon models. This vendor statement is backed up by several showcase slides.

AMD partners will start accepting orders for systems with EPYC 7F32, 7F52 and 7F72 processors already this quarter. By the end of this year, the current EPYC 2nd generation (Rome) will be replaced by new server EPYC 3rd generation (Milan) processors, which will be the first to move to the next generation Zen 3 architecture (it is expected to provide an increase in IPC by up to 15%) and will be produced at TSMC 7 nm capacity.


Intel Prepares to Release 2nd Generation 3D NAND Drives with 144 Layers and 3D X-point Chips

Intel has developed a new 144-layer 3D NAND flash chip that can be used to create high capacity SSDs.

The new Intel 3D NAND flash chip can store up to 4 bits of data per cell (QLC) and can also be configured to operate in TLC or SLC modes with lower storage densities. The company intends to use this chip to manufacture Keystone Harbor SSDs, codenamed Keystone Harbor, which are expected to be available by the end of this year. As development continues, Intel is preparing a new PLC technology that will allow up to 5 bits of data to be stored in each cell. This will increase storage densities by an additional 25%.

In addition, Intel is close to launching its second generation 3D X-point memory technology. Second generation chips will have four layers on the physical medium, while first generation technology has only allowed for two layers. The first Optane products based on second-generation 3D X-point memory were code-named Alder Stream. Their launch is scheduled for this year. Initially there will be drives with one port on the market, and already in 2021 is expected to release devices with two ports. These drives will receive a new and improved controller with support for PCI-Express 4.0 interface. Alder Stream is likely to be part of a next-generation platform that will also support PCI-Express 4.0.


Dell has unveiled the new 17-inch XPS 17 (9700), which it calls the most compact laptop in the world, and an updated 15-inch XPS 15 (9500).

A little over two weeks ago, Dell's French website showed off the new ultra-thin notebooks from the acclaimed XPS 2020 line. American manufacturer Dell did not delay with the announcement and yesterday the updated 15-inch Dell XPS 15 (9500) and the new 17-inch XPS 17 (9700) officially debuted.

The new XPS 15 may be considered the largest upgrade in nearly five years: it is even more compact - with a frameless 15.6-inch 16:10 display, the latest Intel 10th generation processors and even an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q discrete graphics card (in older configurations).

As for the new 17-inch model XPS 17, which clearly aims to compete with the Apple MacBook Pro 16, according to Donny Olifant (Marketing Director XPS), it is the most compact notebook in its class and the most powerful laptop of the manufacturer. Moreover, the manufacturer claims that the XPS 17 is smaller than 50% of all 15-inch laptops available on the market today. The new XPS 17 still stands out with the same frameless screen, but larger and somewhat better features, and also features an 8-core Core i9-10885H (2.4/5.3 GHz) processor with a 45W thermal package and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card.

The more compact Dell XPS 15 has already started selling in the U.S. at a price from $ 1300, while Dell XPS 17 will have to wait until summer. In basic configuration, it will cost $1500. For more convenience and clarity of differences, detailed specifications of Dell XPS 15 (9500) and 17-inch XPS 17 (9700) are collected in the table below.

It remains to add that reviews of Dell XPS 15 (9500) laptops have already been published on Western websites. Below we have collected the most illustrative images with test results from the review of Tom's Hardware, allowing you to judge the performance, autonomy and efficiency of CO novelties.


Whose nanometers are better: under an electron microscope compared the 14nm Intel process with the 7nm TSMC process.

For several years Intel company has been out of the schedule of mastering the advanced chip production processes. Currently, many of its desktop processors are produced according to standards several times improved 14-nanometer process (14-nm+++). At the same time, the main competitor in the person of AMD orders the production of its chips Ryzen 3000 based on Zen 2 architecture from the company TSMC, which produces products according to the norms of 7-nanometer process.

In terms of numbers, the advantage is clearly on AMD's side. However, the German overclocker der8auer decided to check how different values of nanometers in chips are in practice. For this purpose, he armed himself with an electron microscope and compared Intel Core i9-10900K and AMD Ryzen 9 3950X processors. After the preparatory stage, der8auer was able to examine under the microscope the same components of both chips - L2 cache. He chose this very component because the logical blocks may vary greatly depending on the architecture and the cache design is much more standardized.

As a result, it was found that the Intel processor, manufactured in accordance with 14-nanometer process standards, has a gate width of 24 nm. At the same time, the AMD/TSMC chip, which is produced by 7-nanometer technology, has a gate width of 22 nm. The height of the gate is also quite similar. Although the differences are not significant, the TSMC process is more dense. TSMC produces chips on the 7nm process with a density of transistors of about 90 MT / mm ² (a million transistors per square millimeter), which is comparable in density to the 10-nanometer process used by Intel in the manufacture of its new mobile processors.

It should also be noted that the width of the shutter clearly does not correspond to the scheme of naming technological processes, as someone might expect. The name of the technological process actual size began to differ long ago, and now the name of the technological process is more of a marketing character. This is relevant for all chip manufacturers. Therefore, to assess the efficiency of the technological process of chip production are increasingly beginning to use other indicators of semiconductor density technology.







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