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Huawei Technologies Co Ltd started taking orders on Wednesday in China for its eagerly awaited foldable smartphone, as it ramps up marketing at home to make up for weak overseas sales amid US trade sanctions.

The launch of the 5G Mate X smartphone has been delayed twice this year, as Huawei, the world’s No.2 smartphone maker, was forced to deal with tech supply disruptions caused by a US trade blacklist imposed on the firm in May.

The move has dealt a blow to Huawei’s smartphone sales in Europe, its key overseas market, but the company saw its third-quarter revenue rising 27 per cent thanks to solid sales in China and higher shipments of models launched before the May ban.

The new smartphone, a competitor to Samsung Electronics Co’s Galaxy Fold which went on sale last month, will be launched officially on Nov. 15 in China at prices starting from 16,999 yuan (S$3,300), a Huawei spokesman said.

Its global launch plan remains under review, Huawei said.

Washington alleges that Huawei, also the world’s biggest telecoms gear maker, is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy – something the Shenzhen-based company has repeatedly denied.

Still, the ban has meant that Huawei has not been able to license the latest version of Android from Google, the Alphabet unit, which has impacted its latest Mate 30 smartphone range that it launched in September.

He Gang, head of Huawei’s mobile phone division, said on Wednesday the company has already sold more than 200 million phones so far in 2019, hitting that milestone more than two months earlier than it did in 2018.

Huawei’s 5G Mate X was originally set for a June launch but the company delayed it, saying that it was running certification tests with various carriers.

AsiaOne

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For many of us, our approach to typing on a smartphone is something we stumble upon. Unlike composing words on a typewriter or computer keyboard, there is no widely taught, proper way.

If speed is the goal, however, a study of around 37,000 people suggests that one particular approach is better than others: Writing with two thumbs and embracing autocorrect, but avoiding predictive text.

“That is basically the trick of typing quickly,” said Dr Per Ola Kristensson, a professor of interactive systems engineering at the University of Cambridge and one of the authors of the study, which was presented at a human-computer interaction conference in Taipei.

The study focused on the stubbornly persistent Qwerty keyboard, which was originally designed to minimise mechanical typing jams in typewriters. Despite questions about its utility and the emergence of alternate systems, much of the world still relies on the setup.

To conduct the study, researchers asked volunteers from around 160 countries to memorise a series of sentences and write them both on desktop keyboards and mobile phones.

There has never been another typing study on this scale, according to the researchers, but they said that when they compared their findings with smaller studies, the gap in speed between the two devices appeared to be shrinking. When smartphones first came out, people typed about 20 to 25 words per minute, said Dr Anna Feit, a researcher in human-computer interaction at ETH Zurich and another author of the study. Now people average 37 to 40 words per minute, she said.

As the authors write in their study, the average person is nearly 70 per cent as fast on a phone as on a laptop. One remarkable typist hit 85 words per minute on a mobile device.

Dr Pedro Lopes, a professor of human-computer interaction at the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the study, said the results signalled a “paradigm shift”. That change is even more evident among young people. On average, subjects between the ages of 10 and 19 were about 10 words per minute faster on smartphones than people in their 40s.

One unexpected finding was that a significant number of subjects used a two-finger typing system on full-size computer keyboards. However they approached typing, those who used predictive text generally wrote more slowly. Examining word predictions and making a choice is far slower than using autocorrect, Dr Kristensson said.

Dr Jack Dennerlein, an ergonomics researcher at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences, said the study reinforced what other studies have shown: Two-handed typing is faster than one-handed typing.

But the limits on speed involve more than the kind of keyboard or the dexterity of the individual. There is also the element of imagination, said Dr Kristensson, who is an inventor of gesture typing, a swiping technique intended to save time. No matter the system, people cannot exceed 120 words a minute, he said, because they cannot come up with what to say that quickly.

“Typing rates are bounded by our creativity,” he said.

Regardless of speed, most of us are not that original: Half of the words people text are the most frequently used 200 words in English, he said.

-nst

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As most of you already know, WhatsApp is a popular social media app that allows people to text and make calls with the use of the internet.

A new desktop version of this app was made available back in 2015, however, it is only usable if you have your smartphone connected to the web.

But users may rejoice as now it seems that an updated version is in the works, which will change the status quo.

According to reliable WhatsApp leak source WABetaInfo, it is possible that the company is in the process of developing what is called the Universal Windows Platform app, meaning that the app will have a multiplatform system that will work independently of your smartphone.

The app currently has 1.5 billion users active worldwide and this update is a big deal. With this change, it will still allow its users to still stay in contact even when their phone is unavailable.

Besides this leak, The Next Web reported that other information is not yet available regarding when this feature might be released.

AsiaOne

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Today, we found out, as shared by Jei FM II in Facebook video not for the faint-hearted. A boy, who looks like he could be 12 or 13-years old, can be seen sitting at the very edge of the ledge outside a window, considerably high up in a condominium in Sengkang West, Singapore. After what looked like a slight misstep, he slipped off the ledge and fell to the ground below.

Thank goodness for the firemen, because an inflatable jump cushion had already been set up, which broke the boy’s fall and saved his life.

But the reason, as to why the boy was on the ledge in the first place? He was angry that his parents had confiscated his phone and iPad.

Which now begs the question, why are kids so attached to their technological devices? 

Sure, technology was created to ease certain aspects of daily life, but not all. There are parts of life that technology should not interfere with, and that is the interaction between parent and child.

Working parents utilise mobile phones and tablets to entertain their kids so that they can get other household/work related things done. This however isn’t the best way, as many children end up very attached to their electronic devices as a substitute for their parents who are too busy.

Hence, losing these devices may very well be similar to losing a companion to kids and may cause them to take drastic measures in order to get their electronics back.

WOB

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He meant to take a nap on a Saturday afternoon, but a young man in Malaysia was soon jolted awake by pain.

The 21-year-old from Sarawak suffered severe burns on June 15 when his mobile phone suddenly exploded, Sin Chew Daily reported.

He had a habit of using his phone in bed while charging its battery, and the device slid onto his chest that day after he dozed off.

While asleep, the youth did not notice that the mobile phone was overheating.

When it exploded, it scorched his chest as well as the mattress.

Hearing his cries of pain, the man’s family members rushed into his room and found him with burn injuries.

They immediately called emergency services for help.

Paramedics arrived at the scene and took the conscious man to Sarawak General Hospital’s emergency department.

There, doctors found that the victim had burns on 20 per cent of his body — including his chest, neck and right hand.

He was later transferred to the hospital’s burns unit for treatment.

While the cause of the explosion is still unclear, similar accidents have been associated with faulty phone batteries or third-party phone accessories.

AsiaOne

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*Kate (not her real name) recently shared with WORLD OF BUZZ a horrible scam that she had experienced. It all started when she met a guy online via Tinder, known as Brandon. The two exchanged conversations for awhile before Brandon said that he’d like to introduce his friend to Kate because his friend was keen to know her. Not thinking too much about it, Kate said okay and passed him her number.

This was the image of Andy that was shared to her (which upon further check by us is a fake image). The image is William Uchemba, a popular child star from Nigeria.

Kate shared that Andy (Brandon’s friend) and her started texting a little, and admitted that Andy was really good with his words. He was really charming and eventually got her to say yes to a date. Andy, who claimed to be African American, set up the date at a fancy restaurant in Grand Hyatt too!

“When I saw him, he’s much bigger in person than his picture showed. Like upper body was twice the size of the original photo. He had a faint Caribbean accent so I doubt he’s American, but I did not think too much about it.

“I can’t be too sure if it was him from the photo at the time because he wore a cap. They looked similar but he’s much bigger sized.”

During the date, after they had ordered, he informed Kate that his boss’ husband died so he had to make a quick phone call later. But that’s not all, Kate added,

“He even gave me his car key saying he would like me to keep it for him for awhile. At that time, I didn’t realise the key was fake.

“After we ordered, he said he needed to borrow my phone. He then said he needed to go out for the call… and then he disappeared.

When Kate realised he was gone, it was already too late. Andy had turned off her phone and left her alone in the restaurant. Worse, with her phone gone, she’s now stranded alone in KL. After relaying this with the staff of the restaurant, they were kind enough to waive her bill for the food they’ve ordered.

Kate then filed a police report for the case and said she could not find Brandon’s profile on Tinder anymore as he had unmatched her.

Kate added,

“During the entire date, Andy kept trying to convince me to go into a hotel room with him. I kept saying no, so he eventually gave up.

“His plan may be initially more elaborate than just stealing my phone.”

Kate shuddered at the thought of what would’ve happened if anyone said yes to the man.

“It was so scary. I felt so helpless.”

Kate shares with us that she wishes everyone out there will be careful of such a scam happening in Malaysia and to never let your guard down when meeting someone for the first time.

“I’m sure he will still be doing it to other people. I want everyone to be careful so they will not fall for the same scam as I did.”

Currently, authorities are investigating the case.

WOB

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If you are a 90s kid, you’d probably remember gathering around a table with your friends during recess in primary school, whipping out your colourful erasers and battling with intense focus just to win your opponent’s weapon. Nothing comes quite close to the exhilarating feeling of seeing your eraser topple in all the right angles, winning you another eraser to add to your collection.

This is probably one of the most nostalgic memories from our childhood, and one we relive from time to time when the opportunity arises, but we have to admit that nothing is the same now many years down the road. We’ve all grown up and no one even owns these erasers anymore.

Well, what if I told you that you CAN relive your fondest childhood memories? Just like everything else that’s going digital, there is now an app where you can play this exact game with your friends!

According to Mothership.sgRubber Wrestling is a new mobile game app that mimics the familiar scene of a typical eraser battle from the days of old. Unlike real life, however, where you could find every country’s flag printed on these erasers, the app only features two flags, Malaysia and Singapore.

Playing the game is just as easy as how it used to be. Just tap and hold on the edges of the eraser to ‘charge up’, then let go to launch the eraser. 

After the eraser has landed, the other player can take their turn. Of course, once you let go and the eraser does not move, it counts as a turn. What’s good about this app is that you can use the zoom button for a more precise aim and launch.

From the description of it, what do you think of this app? Do you think it comes close to the actual game? Could it be worse? Try it out and let us know in the comments below.

You can download Rubber Wrestling now on Google Playstore.

Worldofbuzz

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A man named only as “Yuan” from Zhejiang province, China woke up one morning and found that he had been robbed of 12,000 yuan (approximately RM7,300) in life savings, reported South China Morning Post.

The amount had been transferred out of Yuan’s WeChat Pay account. 

Following a report, police found that the culprits were Yuan’s very own roommates

His roommates admitted that they had stolen the money, using the phone’s facial recognition feature to unlock the man’s phone and transferred the money to their own accounts.

The theft was successful despite the fact that the victim had been asleep during the incident. 

According to South China Morning Post, many smartphones which are fitted with facial recognition systems do not require iris scanning, so they can be unlocked more easily.

“It seems the facial recognition feature on Yuan’s phone isn’t very reliable,” a police officer told South China Morning Post.

“We conducted our own tests and found you could unlock it even with the eyes closed.”

Fortunately, police were able to recover Yuan’s stolen money.

In response to the report, a network information security technology expert advised users to stick to using personal identification numbers

Shanghai Zhongren Network Security Co founder Tan Jianfeng told South China Morning Post that passwords can be changed but “biometric information is not reproducible”.

Once it has been leaked, you can’t get a new face. In the era of big data, once a biometric authentication has been completed, all of that information is converted into machine code – and as long as it is in that form, it can be intercepted,” he explained.

SAYS

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A woman was hit by a taxi when she was crossing road while using a mobile phone on Friday (April 5), which prompted netizens to urge pedestrians to be more careful.

Dashcam footage of the accident, which was widely circulated on social media, shows the woman seemingly using her mobile phone as she hurries across the road in the middle of traffic that hardly moves. She does not use a designated pedestrian crossing.

According to the video’s timestamp, the incident in the Bendemeer area happened at 3.12pm on Friday.

The clip goes on to show the woman crossing two lanes of the four-lane road before stopping near the middle of the left-most lane. Shortly after, a taxi hits her and comes to a stop. The impact knocks the woman off her feet.

The taxi driver then gets out of his cab to help the woman. She is able to stand and the cabby guides her to a nearby sidewalk.

The footage of the accident was uploaded on several Facebook pages.

One Facebook user Isaac Boo noted that the stretch of Lavender Street where the incident occurred has ” lots of jaywalkers”.

Another user Yusrin Yusof said: “…Don’t talk on the phone while jaywalking or crossing. You should be looking (out) for…traffic not the other way round.”

Facebook user Steven Chan advised pedestrians to look out for oncoming traffic from the left of the road even when vehicles are at a standstill.

-asiaone

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Two brothers celebrated their dad’s birthday in a big way and also blew up his phone in the process.

Needing a present for their father, Chris Ferry, the two brothers placed a billboard along a highway outside Atlantic City asking people to wish him a happy birthday, according to a local Florida station.

Put up on Thursday, the billboard says the words “WISH MY DAD HAPPY BIRTHDAY,” and is accompanied by his photo and phone number. Within minutes, their dad got his first birthday wish with a text from some random guy named Nick. From that point on, they have not stopped.

“I think I’ve had 15,000 calls, texts and Facebook hits in the last three days,” Ferry said.

“We thought it was going to be a local joke — people would call,” said his son, who is also named Chris Ferry. “I guess when we put it on social media, that’s when it really started going crazy.”

After sharing it on Facebook, the dad has said that he has received messages from people all around the world, including the Philippines, Kenya and Luxembourg. Some people still call and sing him happy birthday, while others talk about their own fathers.

“I can see my texts go from 10 or 20 to over 600 in a matter of minutes,” said the dad.

Referenced as the “billboard dad” by some people who have called, the dad has changed his voicemail message to “thank you for calling to wish me a happy birthday, I really, very much appreciate it … ”

Ferry tried to respond to each message at first but has given up and is looking forward to when the sign comes down in April.

When asked about what they will do next year for his birthday, his son responded, “I don’t know, maybe try to get a bigger billboard?”

TheDC

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