Oppo F3 Plus With Dual Selfie Camera, 4000mAh Battery Launched at Rs. 30,990: Release Date, Key Features, and More

Oppo F3 Plus has been launched in India with a price tag of Rs. 30,990. At an event in New Delhi on Thursday, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer announced that the new Oppo F3 Plus (Review) will go on sale from April 1, both online and offline. Pre-orders for the new Oppo smartphone begin on Thursday itself, and will extend till March 31. It will be available in Black and Gold colour variants.

Oppo F3 Plus With Dual Selfie Camera, 4000mAh Battery Launched at Rs. 30,990: Release Date, Key Features, and More

The highlight of the Oppo F3 Plus is its dual selfie camera setup. It bears one 16-megapixel 1/3.1-inch sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and one 8-megapixel sensor. While the former sports a 76.4-degree wide-angle lens, the latter sports a 120-degree wide-angle lens that allows for 105-degree field-of-view group selfies. Users can choose which lens they want to use, and, the smartphone comes with a Smart Facial Recognition feature that Oppo says automatically suggests which lens is ideal. The smartphone comes with various camera features, including the Beautify 4.0 app, Selfie Panorama, Screen Flash, and Palm Shutter.

Oppo F3 Plus key specifications

The Oppo F3 Plus also bears a fingerprint sensor on the home button, said to unlock the smartphone in as little as 0.2 seconds. The company is touting fingerprint activated app and call shortcuts as well.

The dual-SIM (Nano-SIM) Oppo F3 Plus runs ColorOS 3.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It bears a 6-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) JDI In-Cell 2.5D curved display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It is powered by a 1.95GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 653 SoC that’s coupled with the Adreno 510 GPU and 4GB of RAM.

Oppo F3 Plus back images Oppo F3 Plus pictures Oppo F3 Plus photos

On the rear, the Oppo F3 Plus sports a 16-megapixel Sony IMX398 sensor with 1.4-micron pixels, with dual-PDAF, an f/1.7 aperture, and dual-LED flash. The smartphone bears 64GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (256GB). The smartphone bears a triple-slot tray, letting users utilise two SIM cards and one microSD card at the same time.

Connectivity options on board the Oppo F3 Plus include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v4.1, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB with OTG. It is powered by a 4000mAh battery with the company’s own VOOC Flash Charge fast charging tech that is claimed to deliver up to 2 hours of talk time in 5 minutes of charging. Sensors on the smartphone include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, and proximity sensor. It measures 163.63×80.8×7.35mm, and weighs 185 grams.

Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ Leaked Teaser Hints at Iris Scanning; Retail Box Spotted

Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are set to launch in under a week, and every new day brings a new bag of leaks. Fresh reports shed light on the changing display resolution feature, more pictures that show the phone from various angles, a video teaser that hints at iris scanning, photos of the internal battery, and images of the retail box.

Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ Leaked Teaser Hints at Iris Scanning; Retail Box Spotted

First up, tipster Ice Universe has shared multiple images of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ showing us the device’s front and a unique screen resolution changing feature. According to the image shared, the smartphones will give you three options for screen resolution: HD+ (720×1480), FHD+ (1080×2220), and QHD+ (1440×2960). Of the three, the default resolution is QHD+, and this option is given to users who prefer smaller icons and need more to fit on a screen. This isn’t a new Samsung feature, and has been spotted on previous versions as well.

s main1 Samsung Galaxy S8

The same tipster also leaked the retail box of the Galaxy S8+ confirming that the larger variant will sport the ‘+’ symbol, and not the word Plus. The retail box also reveals that it will contain a charging adapter, a Micro-USB connector, and a pair of headphones. According to previous leaks, Samsung is expected to bundle AKG-made earbuds, but there’s no clarity on that from the leaked retail box.

s main Samsung Galaxy S8

Separately, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ batteries have been leaked by Slashleaks. The battery images confirm that the smartphones will pack 3000mAh and 3500mAh batteries, reiterating previous rumours. If this leak is true, then the Samsung Galaxy S8 will sport the same battery as its predecessor Samsung Galaxy S7, and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ will have a smaller battery capacity than the Galaxy S7 Edge, which packs a 3600mAh battery. Notably, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ has the same battery as the Galaxy Note 7 that was shelved last year. As for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ battery specifications, even though they haven’t increased on paper, Samsung presumably should have integrated internal optimisation for more juice. The other reason for not pushing the limits on battery size could be the disaster that ensued with the Note 7 last year, and given the casualties, we are glad Samsung is taking the safe road.

Samsung’s new teaser has also been outed, and it hints at iris scanning capabilities. The video teaser shows a man standing in a green field, and once the camera pans out to show the whole garden’s aerial view, it forms the shape of an eye. This could mean the introduction of iris scanning on the Galaxy S8, a feature that was also seen on the Galaxy Note 7. See the video teaser here.

The smartphones are all set launch at the company’s Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event on March 29 in New York, and it will kick off at 11am EDT (9:30pm IST). According to the rumour mill, the Samsung Galaxy S8 price will start at EUR 799 (roughly Rs. 56,000), Galaxy S8+ at EUR 899 (roughly Rs. 63,300), new Gear VR will cost EUR 129 (roughly Rs. 9,000), new Gear 360 will be priced at EUR 229 (roughly Rs. 16,100), and an accessory that could provide a Continuum-like called DeX could be priced at EUR 150 (roughly Rs. 10,500).

Nvidia and Bosch team up on self-driving car AI supercomputer

Nvidia’s new partner in bringing AI-powered self-driving tech to the masses definitely has the experience needed to go truly mass-market – it’s Bosch, leading tier one auto industry supplier. Bosch will build an AI supercomputer designed for use in vehicles using Nvidia tech, which means Nvidia now has a partner that works as a tier one supplier to all major car maker in the world.

It’s only the latest partner for Nvidia’s AI-powered self-driving car tech, which also include automakers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but it’s the one that could potentially have the most impact in terms of giving Nvidia reach and influence across the industry. Bosch, the german company whose product portfolio ranges from home appliance, to infotainment solutions, to virtually everything in between.

This is the kind of strategic tie-up that lets both partners do what they do best – Nvidia can focus on developing the core AI supercomputing tech, and Bosch can provide relationships and sales operations that offer true scale and reach.

 Nvidia’s deep learning model does not depend on specific rules being coded for each individual situation; instead, it provides the systems with a number of examples from human behavior, and then the AI can determine on its own what to do in specific scenarios. The mid-step implementation of this tech is Nvidia’s AI co-pilot, which will allow the vehicle to work with a human driver to understand where their attention is directed and provide warnings about undetected hazards, as well as read a driver’s lips and use audio cues to understand commands regardless of the in-vehicle noise environment.

Bosch’s super computer will use Nvidia’s Drive PX line with Xavier architecture, which is the world’s first single-chip processor that can manage Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities.

Carbon moves into high-volume manufacturing with SpeedCell system, and bigger 3D printers

Additive manufacturing startup Carbon is on a mission to help manufacturers and designers cut their costs, waste less energy and materials while speeding up the time it takes to get from concept to product on the market. The company, which has raised $221 million in venture capital, is firing up a new service aimed at contract manufacturers, and other high volume manufacturing businesses, called SpeedCell, which includes an industrial sized version of its 3D printer and software that enables the use fleets of internet-connected Carbon 3D machines.

According to Carbon CEO and cofounder Joseph M. DeSimone, customer and partner requests from the likes of the BMW Group, GE, Sculpteo, The Technology House and others, pushed Carbon to develop machines for mass-production. “Once you have a real part that doesn’t look like a 3d-printed part, but has a smooth surface finish and the right mechanical properties, then what happens is people want lots of those parts,” he said.

Earlier, Carbon’s M1 3D printers became famous in tech and manufacturing for a couple of reasons. For one, they work with resins and “continuous liquid interface printing” technology, meaning they form objects with the same kind of strength you’d see in traditional thermoplastics. Secondly, they print ultra-fast when compared to peers. And finally, they are available on a subscription basis so smaller manufacturers and industrial design studios can afford them, and don’t have to worry about paying for equipment upgrades when new versions are released.

 The new M2 printers from Carbon, which are part of its SpeedCell system, have twice the build-area and therefore build volume of the M1 printer. That means users can make more parts per run or bigger parts than they previously could with Carbon. The M2’s were also designed to interface with robots, which are increasingly being added to factory operations. “You could have a fleet of printers serviced by robot-mechanics,” DeSimone said. And the M2 printers have expansion ports allowing Carbon users to plug in new that can add capabilities to the printers down the line.

With the launch of SpeedCell, Carbon is also taking the wraps off something called the Smart Part Washer. This machine helps users move freshly printed parts into a washer where they can be serialized, and data-scanned. This means manufacturers can automatically keep a record of which printer, day and location made a particular object, which resin was used and more. The washer will Carbon’s service particularly useful for the creation of medical products, and other items that require careful tracking of their provenance to satisfy safety regulations.

A Link to the Past

I chalked this up to the usual pre-release silliness; how could a brand-new game be anything like something released in 1986? It turns out I’d underestimated both Nintendo’s candor (understandable) and the timelessness of the first Zelda’s design. This leads to a strange paradox: That Breath of the Wild is so like its ancient ancestor makes it both the most Nintendo game in a long time and the least Nintendo game in a long time. Perhaps, after years of limping, the company has once more found its stride.

The similarities are striking. In both games, you begin in a rocky, forested wilderness with nothing but the clothes on your back and hardly any idea what you are to do. In a cave near your place of rebirth (in the original, it’s where you’d appear if you’d die; in BotW, it’s where you are literally reborn) you find a friendly old man by a fire who sends you on your way (he doesn’t give you a sword, but he does give you an important item later, and advises you on finding a weapon).

Armed thus in the most scanty fashion, you charge forth into the unmapped wilderness, where monsters swarm, countless secrets hide in the landscape, and a nebulously articulated quest beckons you forth from biome to biome and dungeon to dungeon.

One could say some of these things about a number of Zelda games, of course, but Breath of the Wild takes these parallels much further than any other.

zeldaoverworldmapq1bgThink back, if you can, to the time you first played the original Zelda. Remember how enormous the world felt, and how every screen seemed to hold potential.

How many bombs did you waste scouring the mountains for hidden rooms? How many times did you leave and re-enter a screen to try your Blue Candle on every suspicious tree? How proud were you when your painstaking searches of the graveyard revealed (in addition to dozens of ghosts) the resting place of the Master Sword? The world was so big you could barely wrap your head around it, and the feeling of discovery and triumph whenever you proved your worth in it was real.

Yet today’s game market is full of enormous open worlds that fail to elicit similar feelings; despite high production values, they often have the feeling of dolled-up checklists.

Breath of the Wild, however, successfully conveys that feeling of inviting grandeur.

Part of that is the lack of any impelling narrative, which allows you to appreciate the world at your own pace. Oh yes, you’re the legendary hero and you need to stop Ganon. That part hasn’t changed. But the game doesn’t constrain you into a series of quests.

 In the original Zelda, your starting screen has three exits. None is the correct one. It doesn’t tell you, “head north and look for the first dungeon!” You are free to wander, to encounter enemies you have no chance of beating, places and items you can’t reach and experience the controls and rules of the world for yourself, on your own time, in your own way. It’s like this again in Breath of the Wild.

Once you complete the initial handful of temples awarding you the core abilities and paraglider, you are free to go anywhere in the wide world — you’re encouraged, in fact, to just strike out in literally any direction from the central plateau on which you had hitherto been stranded.

switch-2270013And once you do, you find that the world is interesting not just for the waypoints you’ll be hitting — towers and shrines, mostly — but for the world itself. Hyrule is sculpted with such care that not a single prominence or declivity marks the land that does not invite you to visit it. I have had to stop myself from marking up my map with symbols — oh, that looks like a path that leads into that canyon. Oh, I think I saw something between those cliffs. Oh, if I get up there I can probably glide to the island in the middle of that lake. Wait, where was I going again? It doesn’t matter. You’re going where you’re going, and if you’re supposed to be somewhere, you’ll get there eventually.

zelda_1But all the time you are gently being taught: the flora and fauna around you, critical to (among other things) crafting dishes and elixirs that will save your life later. The habits of enemies, which have their own little lives and cycles. The limits of your own endurance — can you climb that? Not while it’s slippery with rain, but mark it and come back when it’s sunny. The formal and informal tricks of combat — well-timed dodges and parries can put powerful foes off balance, but why bother when you know that, in this storm, they’ll be struck by lightning before long because they’re using a metal sword and you’re using a wood spear? Usually nothing is explained to you until after you try it. After a few hours have passed, you’ve become an expert in the world, and all without cumbrous tutorials or invasive fairies whispering tips in your ear.

And all the time you are steadily growing more powerful: you likely dispatched your first Bokoblin with a straight-up stick picked up from the ground. But it had a better stick, which you took (every enemy drops the weapon it holds — why should it be otherwise?), and used to venture further. As you wend your winding way toward the outskirts of the map, you encounter more powerful enemies wielding deadlier tools and guarding more precious treasure. Every dungeon you encounter yields an orb, four of which you can spend toward increasing your heart count or stamina. By the time you get to your first real destination, you’re stronger by far than when you set out, and all you’ve been doing is exploring and solving puzzles.

zelda_2What a treat this natural, almost unnoticeable progression is after the artificial skill trees and ability points so common these days! Yet you are never wanting for challenges. Frequently enemies appear that can strike you down with one hit, or puzzles and locations that baffle you. You are always looking forward to overcoming something, finding something, figuring something out.

This is what we’ve been missing; This is why we trust Nintendo even through years with hardly a bone thrown to the fans of old. This sense of trusting the player to figure everything out, making the game world consistent, tough and fair, and keeping in all things a healthy feeling of fun. It’s a game, after all. In the end it should come as no surprise that the first Zelda and the latest Zelda are in many ways the best; both are Nintendo in its purest form, game design that is instinctual, inimitable and perhaps timeless.

Breath of the Wild is, more than anything, natural. In a time of unprecedented artificiality, that’s about the highest compliment I can give. Play it.

Uber will apply for a self-driving test permit in California

Uber is now in the process of getting a permit from the California DMV to resume testing its self-driving vehicles on public state roads. Uber started testing its self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs in San Francisco last year – but the state DMV ultimately opposed the tests since Uber had not applied for its autonomous testing permit prior to beginning service.

While Uber took its test fleet of XC90s on the road to nearby Arizona, where Governor Doug Ducey and regulators welcomed them with open arms – the company said at the time that it was committed to California, and reiterated that position in a statement provided by a spokesperson to TechCrunch today:

These cars are legally registered and are being driven manually. We are taking steps to complete our application to apply for a DMV testing permit. As we said in December, Uber remains 100 percent committed to California.

As Uber notes, the self-driving vehicles made a return to SF streets recently – but they aren’t employed in picking up passengers. Instead, they’re being used to map the city for improvements to local maps for autonomous driving and other navigation purposes. Uber self-driving sedans have been spotted on streets in SF since the ban by local residents, but the company also now says two of its Volvos have had their registrations reinstated by the DMV, following their revocation last year.

Uber hasn’t yet applied for the permit, as implied in the statement, and first reported by The Mercury News. But the DMV tells the Mercury that it’s working with Uber on the application process, and the company does intend to go forward.

Despite that, its views on the legality of its tests and requirements regarding self-driving testing haven’t changed – Uber’s original reasoning for not applying for the permit was that it didn’t require this special permission under the letter of the law. Still, it now appears focused on the pragmatic task of redeploying its test vehicles regardless of its position on legality, something that makes a lot of sense given the wealth of other challenges the company is currently facing.