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You’ve Got To Pay To Play

When it comes to the bleeding edge of PC gaming laptops, there are a few options to choose from, especially if you consider the models with the latest Nvidia RTX 40 series. Last month, Asus ROG unveiled its new lineup of high-end gaming laptops, powered by the latest Intel and AMD processors and Nvidia RTX 40 series GPUs, namely the ROG Zephyrus M16, ROG Zephyrus Duo 16, and ROG Strix Scar 16/17/18. We had the chance to review the ROG Zephyrus M16, and over the last month of testing, we found it to be a promising gaming laptop with some seriously impressive hardware. However, the question remains: is it worth the whopping Rs 3,64,990? Find out in this review.

The bezels surrounding the gorgeous 6.1” FHD+ display are also symmetrical—giving the phone a premium feel. The punch-hole camera cutout on the front also sits well, with no visible distortion.

Talking about the display, the 6.1” panel looks incredible and stays true to the roots that Samsung AMOLED panels are known for. With a peak 1750 nits brightness, the display remains easily visible even in harsh sunlight, and watching TV shows and movies in HDR is truly a joy on the panel.

The No Compromise Compact Phone!

With the bleeding edge reserved for high-end big phones—smaller phones, including both Android and iOS sides of things, have suffered. Not only has it become increasingly difficult to find flagship phones that don’t compromise on specifications, user experience, and battery life, but over time, the few phones that do have gone up in price. Samsung, however, with the launch of the Galaxy S23 series, has hit a home run. Despite being smaller of the lot, compared to Galaxy S23 Plus and the top of the line Galaxy S23 Ultra, the smaller (compact by today’s standards) holds its own—in every way possible—be it cameras, display, or even battery life.

In this long-term review of the Galaxy S23, we will see if the latest compact flagship from Samsung deserves a place in your pocket and does it get the crown for the best compact flagship in 2023.

Adopting the design from last year’s Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S23 retains the boxy, squared-off look—while making enough changes to give the phone a new identity of its own—with the new minimalist camera bump. The frame of the phone is made out of polished aluminum, and as expected, the back is glass, with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front as well.

When it comes to durability, I’d rate the latest Samsung flagships highly. Over a couple of months of my testing, the phone has held up well—with little to no micro scratches and barely a mark on the frame. It still looks brand new.

Tim Cook Says India Is A ‘Major Focus’ For Apple With Record Earnings And Strong Growth

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has expressed his enthusiasm for the Indian market, calling it an “incredibly exciting market.” He further emphasized that India is now a “major focus” for the company. 

The Cupertino-based tech giant disclosed that it had achieved a record revenue of $94.8 billion and a profit of $24 billion in the March quarter. Tim Cook highlighted the impressive performance, saying that Apple had set an all-time record for Services and a March quarter record for iPhone. This milestone comes after Apple’s continued investment and expansion in India, which has been well-received by the market.

According to Cook, India has set a quarterly record, growing strongly “with double digits year-over-year,” and presents a great opportunity for Apple. “India is an incredibly exciting market. It’s a major focus for us. I was just there, and the dynamism in the market, the vibrancy is unbelievable,” he added. Apple is also happy to be doing business with its numerous channel partners in the country.

AI Threat to World May Be ‘More Urgent’ Than Climate Change: Geoffrey Hinton

Artificial intelligence could pose a “more urgent” threat to humanity than climate change, AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Geoffrey Hinton, widely known as one of the “godfathers of AI”, recently announced he had quit Alphabet after a decade at the firm, saying he wanted to speak out on the risks of the technology without it affecting his former employer.

Hinton’s work is considered essential to the development of contemporary AI systems. In 1986, he co-authored the seminal paper “Learning representations by back-propagating errors”, a milestone in the development of the neural networks undergirding AI technology. In 2018, he was awarded the Turing Award in recognition of his research breakthroughs.

But he is now among a growing number of tech leaders publicly espousing concern about the possible threat posed by AI if machines were to achieve greater intelligence than humans and take control of the planet.

“I wouldn’t like to devalue climate change. I wouldn’t like to say, ‘You shouldn’t worry about climate change.’ That’s a huge risk too,” Hinton said. “But I think this might end up being more urgent.”

He added: “With climate change, it’s very easy to recommend what you should do: you just stop burning carbon. If you do that, eventually things will be okay. For this it’s not at all clear what you should do.”

Microsoft-backed OpenAI fired the starting pistol on a technological arms race in November, when it made AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT available to the public. It soon became the fastest-growing app in history, reaching 100 million monthly users in two months.

In April, Twitter CEO Elon Musk joined thousands in signing an open letter calling for a six-month pause in the development of systems more powerful than OpenAI’s recently-launched GPT-4.

Signatories included Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque, researchers at Alphabet-owned DeepMind, and fellow AI pioneers Yoshua Bengio and Stuart Russell.

OnePlus Foldable Phone Likely To Launch In August

OnePlus is going to be the next major brand to enter the foldable arena this year, and the company has already confirmed its launch plans for Q3. But so far we didn’t get a timeline in terms of the month when the OnePlus Fold could be announced.

Now, a reliable tipster suggests that OnePlus Fold could launch in August, which is still three months away. OnePlus continues to expand its product ecosystem, which now has smart TVs, smartphones, audio hearables and even fitness wearables.

The company has played a similar trick with its Nord series also. But having a foldable in its armoury is going to be vital not only for the brand’s progression but also mix it up in a segment which has predominantly seen Samsung ruling. As for the pricing, OnePlus will have to play it smart and look to undercut the other offerings in the market, especially from Samsung. Since this will be a first-gen model, we expect the brand to gradually evolve with the finesse and polishing of the product.

Google has also confirmed its entry into the segment with the Pixel Fold to be unveiled at the Google I/O 2023 keynote next week.

Oppo has its Find N2 Fold device out there (only in China for now) and you also have brands like Tecno looking to standardise the segment. OnePlus has allowed itself to be recognised in the premium segment lately, but it will be interesting to see which route it takes with the OnePlus Fold. The Fold version is likely to be accompanied by the OnePlus V Flip, as the names trademarked in China earlier this year.

OnePlus knows that India is a big market for its strategy but even then we expect the company to take a conservative approach, and most likely bring the OnePlus V Flip model to the country, which would compete with the Oppo Find N2 Flip and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series.

Discord Is Changing Usernames To Make It Easier To Connect: What It Means

Discord is changing how its usernames and identities work on the platform—starting this month. The company claims that this is being done to make it easier for people to connect—for both new and old users. As a part of the change, users will need to change their usernames, as Discord won’t be using the four-number suffix (also called a discriminator, moving forward. All users will need to pick a new, unique username without a discriminator. The old username will continue to work as an alias—making it easier for old friends to add users.

Discord claims that the current username pattern “can often be too complicated or obscure for people to remember and share easily.” And, in a blog post, the company notes that the most common issues faced due to the old username system include difficulty remembering the discriminator, explaining uppercase and lowercase letters, and specifying special characters. Additionally, there can be confusion when multiple users have the same common name, and changing usernames too frequently can result in rate limitations.

Commenting on how usernames will now look, Discord said, “Over the coming weeks, every user will become eligible to change their username from their old username with discriminators (#0000) to a new username (@username) without discriminators. All users will eventually be required to pick a new, unique username to use Discord.”

The company added, “By default, your new Display Name will be your old username without the discriminator, so your friends continue to recognize you. So if you used to be ‘PhiBi#8936’, your new default Display Name will be ‘PhiBi’.”

There’s A New WhatsApp Call Scam That Needs Your Attention

WhatsApp has become a hub for spam and marketing messages, the exact reason why millions jumped ship to the messaging app from the traditional SMSs. But the sophistication of scams on WhatsApp are evolving.

Now, you just don’t have to worry about the nagging promotional messages from brands (who do no have the consent to message you on WhatsApp), there have been regular instances of people getting WhatsApp calls (both audio and video) from random international numbers that as per the ISD codes given are originating from countries like Malaysia, Kenya and Vietnam.

Most people are obviously flustered to see calls from these countries, and they are also worried as to how these scammers have got their number. As you might know, WhatsApp works through the VoIP network, so these people can call from any country without facing additional charges. These incidents are not at all isolated and searching through social media will tell you that many people are facing this issue.

We have also got calls on WhatsApp with codes +60 (Malaysia), +254 (Kenya) and +84 (Vietnam). While others have reported about calls from +62 (Indonesia) and +223 (Mali) among others.

Nobody knows the agenda of these calls and the caller but in most cases when you get a call from a random number, chances are they are trying to scam you into revealing confidential data that can aid their purpose of stealing money from your account or others.

Having said that, just because you are getting calls from international numbers, it doesn’t mean the origin of the call is from that country. These days you have agencies that sell international numbers for WhatsApp calls being in the same city as you.

Asteroid About to Pass as Close to Earth as the Moon

An asteroid is due to pass the Earth on Wednesday, flying by at a distance a little more than that of the moon’s orbit.

The asteroid, named 2023 HV5, is forecast by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) to pass by the Earth at a distance of 1.1 lunar distances, or 1.1 times the distance between the Earth and moon.

The moon is around 238,900 miles away from us, meaning that 1.1 lunar distances is equivalent to about 262,790 miles. This may sound like a gargantuan distance on a human scale, but in terms of even the distances in our solar system, this will be a close miss. Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor, only comes as close to us as 38 million miles away at its closest point.

The solar system is full of asteroids, which are defined as small chunks of rock orbiting the sun, often left over from the formation of the planets. NASA estimates there are over 1,100,000 asteroids in our solar system, with more being discovered every year.

Asteroids are ‘bits of a planet that didn’t happen’ that orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter in the Main Asteroid Belt. However, as they are relatively small, asteroids can be disturbed quite easily, so they can develop orbits that cross those of planets,” Jay Tate, the director of the Spaceguard Center observatory in the U.K., previously told Newsweek.

Asteroids come flying past the Earth and other inner solar system objects because of interactions with Jupiter, sending them careening out of their usual orbits.

Cat’s Severed Head Found in Kids Playground: ‘Uniquely Disturbing

Adismembered cat’s head that was found facing upwards beneath a children’s play apparatus has sparked concern that it was deliberately placed in that manner.

The head was found by an employee of the Homerton Grove Adventure Playground in London, U.K., on April 24.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) inspectors who were called to the scene believed that the head was placed in that location on purpose, but because the body had not yet been found, it was unclear if the cat had been deliberately killed.

This is a truly horrifying story. We were alerted to the discovery of a dismembered black and white cat head at a children’s playground on Monday last week,” Michael Harrington, an RSPCA animal rescue officer, said in a statement on Wednesday, as reported by local news MyLondon.

“The investigation is ongoing, but first impressions appear to indicate that this was a deliberate act. The head was very carefully placed at the bottom of a children’s play apparatus and left in a way that it would be easily found,” he said. “There is a uniquely disturbing situation and we are keen to get to the bottom of what happened here.”

Earth Set for Annual Halley’s Comet Meteor Shower

As the Earth speeds towards a trail of debris left by Halley’s comet, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower is due to be seen across the globe.

The Eta Aquariids happen every year, between mid-April and the end of May, as the Earth passes the point in its orbit that coincides with Halley’s comet’s cloud of outbound debris from its 76-year orbit.

The meteor shower is expected to peak on the evening of May 6, with up to 10 to 30 meteors being visible per hour.

This meteor shower is a result of particles left behind by the famous Halley’s comet. Discovered in the 1700s, this comet orbits the sun in a long ellipsis, only passing the inner solar system every 76 or so years. The comet was last visible in 1986, and will only next appear in mid-2061.

During its forays into the inner solar system, the comet is heated up by the sun, causing a stream of dust and ice particles to be sheared off its surface. This material wake remains in space even once the comet is long gone back to the outer solar system, and as the Earth moves through the patch of space containing this debris each year, we get the annual Eta Aquariid meteor shower as the debris burns up in our atmosphere.