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Lenovo’s Motorola has ruled the market of late. The right timing of release compared with impressive features has always been their USP. It has made them a top gainer. You must have noticed that during the time Moto G4 Plus released, there were no other lower mid-range phones with as attractive features. Hence Moto G4 Plus took the full advantage of this scenario.

Nonetheless, we are bound to notice that G4 Plus has now become quite outdated. More mobile phones with better features have started to come in the market. Yes, we are talking about Redmi Note 4. Who will win in the Redmi Note 4 vs. Motorola Moto G4 Plus war? Let us find out.

Both the phones boast a robust 5.5inch 1080p IPS LCD screen. G4 Plus has a plastic body and thus looks less shiny compared to the metallic body based Redmi Note 4. The latter has slanting edges while both the phones are slimmer than their predecessors.

Moto G4 Plus has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on display. Redmi Note 4 lacks this one feature. However, the 2.5D curved features make Note 4 feel smaller on your hands than G4 Plus.

While Moto G4 Plus is backed by a powerful eight-core Snapdragon 617 processor, it shows overheating issues when pushed to work harder. Redmi Note 4 comes with Snapdragon 625 and optimized software which ensures it works faster than Moto G4 Plus. No matter which RAM variant you choose (2GB/3GB/4GB), Redmi Note 4 shows smoother performance.

G4 Plus also runs on Moto nuggets (Android Marshmallow) which make it less burdening. Hence the user interface is sleek, smooth and comprehensive. The software is a strong feature of G4 Plus, but Redmi Note 4 is not lagging behind either. It is based on MIUI standard interface and hosts some unique features like scrollable screenshots and dual apps.

Both phones come with a 5MP front camera, and the picture quality is almost the same (superior) in both. G4 Plus has a 16MP rear camera while Redmi Note 4 has a 13MP one. It goes without saying G4’s camera wins – both in low light as well as more light. Redmi Note 4 shows occasional softness even with its f/2.0 aperture.

Moto G4 Plus comes with turbocharging and charges 30 to 40 percent within minutes. Redmi Note 4 does not have Quick charge facility, but it comes with 4100 mAh battery. G4 plus on the other hand comes with only 3000 mAh battery power.

Both phones support 4G and dual SIM. Where G4 Plus has the mono-speaker at the top, Redmi Note 4 has it at the bottom. The latter’s sound gets really loud with visible distortion at its peak volume. G4 Plus, on the other hand, has an average sound quality and sound at the peak is just right to the ears. Additionally, Redmi Note 4 comes with IR blaster that allows you to control all your home appliances.

Moto G4 Plus is a good phone, and if you are a Motorola fan you will surely love it but Xiaomi kind of offers more value for money. Both the phones are around the same price range but keeping the processor and performance in mind, we suggest you go with Redmi Note 4.

5 months ago
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When it comes to mixing work with play, it was Surface Pro 4 that paved the way. Yes, we have to indeed give it to Microsoft for showing us how uniting a Windows 10 OS with the right hardware could create a standalone tablet PC. Could tablets then replace PCs in future? It seems like the shift has already started with Lenovo Miix 510 taking cues from Microsoft.

Lenovo stays its same style conscious self and brings out its Yoga tablet-like smooth body to flaunt. But does it live up or take the future of tablet PC forward? Let’s see!

Those watchband-like hinges have made a statement. It is very sleek and thin, but it will be solid on your hand. There are two watchband-like hinges which allow the tablet to be viewed at an angle of 170 degrees as well. Together with the keyboard it weighs 2.7 pounds only and fits comfortably on your lap.

The 12.2-inch display shows sharp contrasts, and you can view the best of the best videos in here with some great details. The stark resolution of 1900×1200 pixels falls short compared to Surface Pro 4’s but does the job and does it well. We say this because even with its higher pixels Microsoft’s flagship falls short on our colorimeter while Miix 510 produces 114 percent of the sRGB spectrum.

The keys do have a shallow 1.34millimeter travel and need 55gram of force. Those who are used to greater travel between the keys might face a minor lag in their normal speed. The right shift key is a little bit smaller (to accommodate the directional keys) which made it a little bit tougher to use the shift keys.

The stylus comes with 2048 pressure sensitivity. You have to buy it for $40 additionally. Overall the stylus gave a good experience with good accuracy which was quite pleasant. The 3.3×1.8 touchpad does its job correctly.

It comes with a 2.3GHz Core i5-6200 chipset and 8GB of RAM. Naturally, performance is as expected. I opened a dozen tabs including YouTube, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Slack, etc. But there was simply no lag or overheating issue. Switching between tabs and doing multitasking is easier on this hybrid. Productivity users might fall in love with it.

It contains Intel HD 520 Graphics which makes it run games on a fantastic score. In our 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test it scored 62,498 which again is higher than what Surface Pro 4 scored (60,424). So you can understand the difference – Miix 520 caters well to the gamer in you.

One thing it lacks in is the front camera. Lenovo gives us 5MP rear shooter and a 2MP front camera which takes rather grainy images. It doesn’t make sense because this is a tablet PC hybrid used for mainly Skype chats and video calls through the front camera. Nevertheless, the rear camera shoots decent pictures.

The hybrid features an AAAA battery which will be harder to obtain in a brick and mortar store. Miix 510 lasts barely for 5 to 6 hours on a single charge.

The Miix 510 keyboard remains cool, but after you watch 15 minutes of HD video, the tablet starts to warm up a little bit. Talking about the audio, you cannot expect it to produce great sound. But it does produce enough sound to fill a conference room. It has Dolby Audio Software included.

A tablet PC starting from $600 with useful productivity features sounds like a fair deal. If you want a notebook that can also be detached and carried around easily, go with it. If performing light tasks at a stretch is your requirements, you’ll like this hybrid, although the keypad or battery life may test your patience at times.

5 months ago
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Honor had quite a few offerings in the past, but Honor 7 was most appreciated because it was in the mid-price section. But it also had some decent offerings in that section. Unlike Honor 7, Honor 8 belongs to the high end of the mid-price section – but the features are also fascinating. There are a few upgrades we can see in this phone.

But can this phone beat the likes of OnePlus 3 and Asus Zenfone 3 – both of which come in the same price range? Let us find out whether it can!

Huawei Honor 8 is almost similar to P9 in design. In fact, you can say that the difference in the buildup differs by only negligible points. This one is 7.9mm thick (P29 is 7mm) and 153 grams in weight (P9 is 144 grams). So the differences are minute, but its 5.2inch display stands on its right.

The resolution being fullHD the text appears razor sharp. The colors are good in contrast, and the best part is that when viewed in different angles the colors seem consistent. The phone also comes with a blue lighter filter app to change the settings while seeing it in dim light.

The highlight of the phone is the 15 layered glass at the back which is made with lithography. It gives off multiple colors when viewed in sunlight. Corning Gorilla Glass is the added cherry on top.

Honor added this variant with 4Gb of Ram and 32Gb id storage capacity. Considering the price range of this phone this feature falls a little inadequate. The recently released Redmi Note 4 has better specifications in lesser price.

Talking about the user interface, Huawei Honor 8 has Emotion UI and runs on Android Marshmallow. Apart from that, it has 950 Octa-core SoC, but its AnTuTu 41fps in GFXbench and 18083b3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited are still way behind in numbers compared to Snapdragon 820 chipsets.

But still, we will say that Huawei has played it smart because put those two chipsets in the real world and it will be hard to tell the difference between the two.

So what does it say about the performance? Let’s just say Huawei’s smart assortment has paid off. The octa-core processor takes the cake when it comes to performance. Your day to day work is easy with this phone. Even graphically high-end games ran smoothly while testing. In fact play it for 15-20 minutes, and still, there are no heating issues.

The phone supports high-resolution video files of 4K and has a good audio system which means you have a seamless playback support. The phone won’t come with too many pre-installed apps. There’d only be Google’s app suite, Phone manager, and Smart controller.

The rear camera is 12MP (with an aperture of f/2.2), but we found that the camera took decent pictures. So the rear camera was pretty good. For the front, Huawei has introduced 8MP with an aperture of f/2.4. The front camera captured images in near to accurate details under natural light.

The photos are good for delivering punchy colors, but sometimes they may appear to be a little white washed for both the rear as well as the front camera.

Coming to the battery, the phone comes with a battery power of 3000 mAh rapid charging technology. This just means that you have to charge the phone for about 30 to 40 minutes to get it to 100 percent from zero. Thanks to its less pixel-dense 1080p screen, even after you watch Netflix for an hour the battery does not discharge fast. So even if your screen remains on alongside internet or Wi-Fi, you can expect the charge to last for about a day.

The phone has biometric authentication functions. The fingerprint scanner is at the back of the phone. The unique characteristics of this phone is that it contains a built-in IR sensor. You can see it at the top of the phone. This function lets you control the systems at your home such as entertainment system, audio system, television, etc.

The phone does have some interesting features, but that is just about it. Huawei Honor 8 features are great as a combination – there are none that stand out. Overall it is a good phone for the mid-range price. The style and performance are good. You will be satisfied with the camera as well. As for the battery, it should be good enough for a day. slot online untuk android

6 months ago
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Artificial Intelligence is the future of technology, and every tech company out there is completely aware of it. This year we saw some spectacular voice AI being launched. One of them was Amazon Echo/Alexa, which is a smart speaker that responds to your voice commands. It plays music, control different functions and activities in your home. Now, its competitor Google Home is also present there. With two highly updated voice AIs available in the market, a comparison was inevitable.

Google Home comes with a complete back-up for the company’s search engine. And this is what makes Google Home a fierce competitor for Amazon Echo. Let us have a look at the major details of both Amazon Echo and Google Home and see which on emerges as victorious.

Considering the entertainment aspect, the Amazon Echo and Google home, both have inbuilt sound intake command system. The Echo wakes up on the command of “Echo” or “Alexa.” While the Google home starts functioning when you say “OK Google” or “Hey Google.” Both do an excellent job in hearing you in a large room with moderate background noise. And if you turn up the volume, both the gadgets will have issues in picking up your commands.

A) The speakers of both Alexa and Home are quite good and offer options to connect with your existing system. Amazon offers a mini version, called the Echo Dot, which plugs into your speakers. With Google Home, you can control any Google cast enabled speaker or the speakers connected to ChromeCast Audio streamer.

B) The additional feature with Home is you can control the TV if you can get a ChromeCast Video streamer. And at present, you can control YouTube and play specific videos. While Alexa does have a specific TV feature, but you have to press a button on a particular Fire TV remote. So Alexa cannot help you with the TV right now.

C) Both Google Home and Amazon Echo can tell jokes and respond with witty lines. Alexa is in the market for a bit longer time than Google. That is why some additional fun features are present. It can help you choose your desired game in a simpler way.

Still, we will say Google Home as the winner. Because Alexa might have many fun features, but Google offers an ability to group your speakers and allows you to control your TV easily. It makes a better home entertainer.

Google Home learns more about you through the variety of devices. You will have Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Maps. Google Home can tell you about the appointments and the traffic on your way to the office. Google Home also uses the assistant to respond to the voice commands. It can learn from your questions. You can ask any informative question; the Google Assistant will answer it. But the Google home does not let you change anything on the calendar. And it also does not integrate with Gmail or the Google docs. You can make a shopping list that appears in Google Keep, but you ca n’t do any other type of records or set reminders. And Home only understands limited conversations.

Alexa lets you keep reminders, makes a to-do list for you. Alexa has got a lot of third party support and more than 3K skills. These are the apps for Echo. With many apps support, Alexa keeps up much better than Google Home in contextual awareness. It is why in the personal assistant category, Amazon Echo/Alexa is the winner. But if Google Home gets few updates, then it will be difficult to decide the winner here.

In this important category, Google Home faced it difficult to keep up. The reason is. Amazon Echo had two years head start to build catalog compatible smart devices. But Google Home came with only four things. They are SmartThings, Philips Hue, IFTT, and Nest. But Google Home responds more flexibly than Alexa. Both Home and Alexa can pull device names from their respective first party apps. With Alexa, you will be able to create named groups of your devices. But with Home you can give nicknames and then group them into rooms.

For a certain bulb called the desk lamp, Alexa will only respond if you tell it to on turn the desk lamp. You can create a group for all the lights or the office lights and then you can command Alexa for turning off the room lights. It will work smoothly. But without the groups, Alexa will not respond to any other names. But with Google Home, if you nickname the desk lamp as “Lampy” you can control it by commanding Google to turn on “Desk Lamp, desk light, lampy or the office light.” So this is an advantage with Google Home.

Google’s integration with IFTTT and Philips Hue are also better than Alexa. With Google, you can control the color of Philips bulbs. But you cannot do that with Alexa right now. The Google home allows you to make customizable commands that offer multiple options. But with Alexa, you have to use the word “trigger” for activating the customizable controls.

With Google, you can create rules for your different commands like “I am leaving; I am out or Switch the Ecobee to away mode.” And Home will respond to each of these commands for the Ecobee 3 thermostat. You can create the same rules with Alexa, but you have to use the word “trigger” to activate a customizable command. The Home’s flexible phrase mode makes it better as a smart home than Alexa. But you just cannot ignore Amazon Echo’s sheer number of skills and 3000 apps support. It is what makes Amazon Echo above Google Home.

The Google Home comes at the cost of $130, but the Amazon Echo comes at the price of $180. The additional $50 is ok with the number of third party apps you get for Amazon Echo. We think it is a reasonable deal with Amazon Echo.

6 months ago
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This year we saw various smart home devices. It was a competitive year for the smart home appliances. We saw Google Home, Amazon Echo, Cortana, an update of Siri and also Facebook came up with smart home Jarvis. That being said, out of all these Amazon Echo emerged to be among the top of the smart homes till now.

Though the other smart homes are not far behind, we have brought you a complete and detailed review about the Amazon Echo.

Though we know that most of you are aware of what the Amazon Echo is, for those who don’t know about the Amazon Echo, this is a voice-controlled personal assistant. The personal assistant is called Alexa. It is the first AI personal assistant to be present in a dedicated device. Alexa listens to your commands, answers all the questions, plays music and controls the smart home appliances. It interacts the third party apps and even helps you in your shopping. Amazon Echo upgraded itself through the third party apps called Skills. One year after the release of Amazon Echo in the US, Amazon finally brought the Echo to the UK, and it was named as Echo Dot.

The Echo device is quite nice to look when you bring it out of the box. The box is back in color, with a matte finish and it suits in most of the living environments. Like ay Bluetooth speakers, the cylindrical Amazon Echo offers a 360-degree audio experience. The speaker grille is present on the lower half of the device. Seven multi-directional microphones enable the users for commanding Alexa from anywhere in the room. The light up rim identifies that microphones can pick up the sound. The colors change light according to the condition of Echo or the request you make.

Also Read: Google Home Vs. Amazon Echo: Amazon Echo Takes The Lead

You have to make voice commands most of the time. But you will get manual controls too. The top of Amazon Echo rotates for adjusting the volume. If you are concerned about the Alexa eavesdropping, you can deactivate the buttons on top or enable the microphones. The device should remain connected to the main power supply most of the time. And one more reason to log in to the mains is the battery dies soon because of constant connection to the internet. Amazon needs to work on improving the battery capability. There is also no 3.5mm audio jack so the external devices should be connected through Bluetooth.

For a portable experience, you can opt for Echo Dot. It is a bit cheaper edition, and it connects to the Wi-Fi and mobile hotspots. Plus the battery backup is also good. Echo Dot offers nine hours of battery life.

Setting up Amazon Echo is quite easy. Just download the app for Android or iOS device. Pair the Echo with your home Wi-Fi connection; the connectivity is reliable even if the device is far away. The app will help you to add skills. With one tap, it can integrate with Spotify, BBC news, Uber rides and Pizza orders. Linking the phone is also easy. All you need is just say “pair,” find the Echo in settings and connect it. You can set the name, but it will respond to options like Alexa, Amazon or Echo. It would be better if you can name it otherwise.

To start with, there are thousands of skills. Ordering an Uber, getting traffic updates, asking Alexa for information on anything, connecting Google calendar and handling your schedule, Alexa can reduce your work to a lot of extents. Alexa holds multiple profiles and thus entire family can set up events for using Alexa. It controls most smart devices directly. With the IFTT feature, you can make the device do almost anything. At present, the IFTT feature is for the US only, but Amazon says it will come to the UK soon.

You can request music using Spotify, but you will also need a premium subscription of Spotify. You can skip songs, and Alexa can also create a playlist depending on your song search history. It gets the latest podcasts for you, get you personalized news updates from reliable sources like BBC, Sky News and The Guardian. Also, Alexa can search things up like “who plays [that] character in [–] Netflix show.”

The sound quality is moderate. Not really brilliant actually. Yes, you can command for music, but if you are solely purchasing Amazon Echo for speakers or sound, then it is not satisfactory. The sound is clear and balanced, but it can be a bit distorted sometimes. It is also not expressive enough, so t is better not to use it for the parties.

The seven microphones present for Amazon Echo can recognize the voice from a long distance, and this is what Amazon can boast. Anywhere you are in your room; the device will hear you. But if the music is too high, the device might fail to catch up your voice. Gradually the voice recognition has improved. And it is great even if you phrase something strange. It is better than Xbox One’s voice command. A lot of times, you might not have to make specific commands; just make requests like talking to a human. Alexa will work it. Amazon sends all requests to cloud for analysis. It raises some privacy concerns, but you can always delete the commands.

It is just like other equipment of Amazon. There is a tendency to use Amazon’s services. The company wants you to make the shopping lists, repeat favorite orders and track packages. The default music provider is set to Audible and music is through prime. You can change it to Spotify if you want. If you are streaming through the Apple Music, Google Ply or Tidal, then Alexa does not perform well. Connect through Bluetooth and use it as the speaker. Import music to Amazon and first 250 songs are free.

6 months ago
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No matter what kind of internet censorship you are facing the virtual private network will knock it down easily.

Internet is the best way to communicate with the people around the world which are far away from you.Internet has totally changed the way people used to communicate work and interact with each other. Now is the time of digitally advanced technology where the world is interconnected with each other through the rightful technology called internet. The internet has got number of benefits and advantages which helps the users in every way to get convenience and comfort. Internet gives the cheapest way to advertise the products and services, and to communicate and socialize with the people around the globe. But the sad thing is that the internet rules has been violated in many parts of the world which is why the authorities have imposed the internet censorship. There are many types of censorship going on and the reasons to them are also kind of different. The websites which are hosted in US are not available to the people who are outside US.

These websites include Hulu Netflix, Pandora, BBC iPlayer and much more. They are designed ina manner that they completely block the IP address which is not from US. But it is a fact that the people living in other countries want to access them at any cost. Also the people of US who are traveling to other counties and want to access the websites back at home they cannot because they don’t have the IP address of US. Then comes the torrent websites which are of great use to the people around the globe and they certainly want them to be accessible. The torrent website are getting blocked and banned in many countries of the world because of the copy right issues and legal troubles. The authorities are thinking to charge thepeople who access it and on the other side the websites are completely blocked in many regions. These website are of great use to them as they allow the users to download stuff bit by bit. The torrent download is an alternate to the conventional download which is once interrupted have to start again. This is not the case with the torrent websites even if the computer shuts down for any reason the download will only pause for that time. The download will start again as the system will be started. It will be resumed from the point it stopped. The country like Canada is also deprived of free internet and the internet surfers there want to access the websites with all the freedom in the world. So if you are one of them you can buy the Canada vpn service.

The Canada vpn service will help the users to bypass the censorship no matter of what type. The users can access the websites which are blocked and banned. The virtual private network is a network which is private and it uses the public network to send and receive the data securely and safely. The people out there can buy it easily asn it will help them in every possible way to use internet comfortably.

6 months ago
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A lot of parents begin to teach their children programming using MIT’s Scratch. As an easy to understand language with basic functions, it’s an excellent introduction to basic programming concepts. Eventually, though, you’ll want to go further. This article will describe why we think you should teach your kids Python.

Python is a scripted computer language. Kids type in it, rather than drag and drop blocks to make their programs, which enables them to begin learning more complex coding constructs. It’s more of a ‘real world’ programming language than Scratch.

At the same time, it’s relatively easy to learn. If you’ve been teaching your kids Scratch successfully and they’re getting to their tween years (10-12) then they’ll probably be ready for some experiments in Python.

Here’s why you should consider Python as your child’s first ‘grown up’ programming language.

One of the most important elements of a programming language for young learners is its human readability. Scratch excels at this, which is partly why it’s such a great programming tool for younger kids. Python extends this tradition for older children.

There’s no doubt that Python is more complex than Scratch. Children still have to type in Python, rather than drag and drop commands and assembling their code like Lego, and that leads to more typos (although some coding tools will help your children to spot these). This is due to the power of the language. Nevertheless, Python computing code is about as human-readable as it gets.

You still have to understand some basic programming concepts to program with Python, but the readability of the language helps you to pick it up.

The technology industry uses it

If you’re teaching your kids their first real-world programming language, it makes sense to teach them one that’s popular. It’s easier to find programming examples and answers to problems online when you’re using a well-established coding language online, and it also makes it more valuable in the long run.

Should your child ever decide to go into a computing career, then they’d be well-versed in the fifth most popular programming language in the world as of March 2016 (according to the Tiobe Index, which ranks programming language mentions on popular search engines). The top five are far more complex languages, making Python the best bet for budding young coders.

Python powers some of the most popular web sites on the planet, including YouTube, Dropbox, Instagram, and large parts of the Google website. Python programmers – even little ones – are in good company.

It runs on everything

Python was developed in 1989, and its community has been growing ever since. This means that it can run on pretty much everything, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and even Android and Apple’s iOS. That’s handy, should kids want to switch between different computing platforms at home and at school, for example.

The Raspberry Pi and the Microbit support it

Well, we did say it would run on anything. Raspberry Pi, a microcomputer that is fast becoming the de facto standard for teaching kids computing projects, uses Python as its recommended learning environment.

Lots of other programming languages have been ported to the Pi, but Python is its pet language, making Python + Pi a slam dunk for kids’ computing projects. In the UK, the BBC’s Microbit also supports Python using its MicroPython port.

You can do practically anything with it

As kids venture further in their programming adventures, they’re going to run across different ways to write programs. There are a variety of different programming styles, ranging from procedural through to object-oriented. It might not be that relevant as they get started, but the ability to explore different programming styles in a single language will be beneficial as they evolve and get more interested in coding.

Python also has some amazing libraries and frameworks built for it, that can be plugged into it much as you’d add features to a car. The libraries are free, and a fully-loaded Python can do everything from analyzing natural language through to designing computer games. There’s even a framework called Django that will enable more ambitious kids to build their own web apps.

Want to teach your kids Python but don’t know where to begin? Here’s an inexpensive course that will help you on your way.

6 months ago
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A braille printer normally costs at least $2,000, but 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee has figured out a way to make them for under $400 – and now, Intel is funding him to do it.

The San Jose, CA resident has developed a low-cost braille printer that can produce indented text on paper. He has even connected it to the Internet using a cheap, low powered chip from Intel, called Edison.

The printers are even programmed to print off the CNN headlines automatically every morning, he says.

With help from his parents, the Bay area teen has created his own company, Braigo Labs. It stands for ‘braille with Lego’, because the braille printer was originally prototyped with a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robotic Lego kit, which his dad, Intel employee Neil Banerjee, bought for him.

The braille printer started off as a school science fair project, and Shubham, a Lego fan since he was a toddler, worked through seven different iterations before coming up with a working model.

Shubham worked at the kitchen table while his dad did took conference calls there while making the occasional suggestion for improvements, he recalls. the young engineer eventually published the building instructions online for the Lego-based robot, which was able to print a letter every 5-7 seconds.

Then, after people kept asking him whether he could buy it off the shelf, he decided to develop the prototype into a commercially-sold braille printer. Effectively, the teen entrepreneur used the Mindstorms kit as a prototyping platform, and then engineered a commercially viable unit after proving his concept.

“I became a member of Techshop in San Jose and learned AutoCad Inventor 2014, and started designing the hardware parts,” Shubham says.

“I needed to print 3D parts and worked with an independent contractor to help me get them and finalize the design. Since the Edison chip was a new development board, whenever I got stuck I would send an email to the technical team to help me unblock the solution.”

Shubham’s mother Malini Banerjee doubles as press officer for Braigo. She says that being around technology professionals socially helps children to develop their tech talents.

“Shubham has been immersed in technology at a very early age and living in Silicon Valley our social circle also consists of technologists working in startups to big companies,” she explains. “He gets involved in multiple different discussions on technology trends in social gatherings too.”

Shubham used the Python programming language to drive the Intel Edison chip to fire the right pins for the print head. The basic principles for Braigo 2.0 are the same, though.

Only the components have changed, to create a unit that can be manufactured in larger numbers, and at low cost. Edison is effectively a computer on a chip, originally designed for wearable computers.

The chip gave Shubham an Internet connection for his printer, and a way to drive electronic parts, without having to buy separate electronic components. Already thinking about production, he told Kids Tech News that the chip enabled him to keep his Bill of Materials low.

“The lessons from the Lego printer were further included into the design of the new prototype,” says Shubham. “Printers use an x-y-z motion, and that’s what I used.”

The only thing holding Shubham back were constraints around his age.

“My parents had to be involved, since as a minor just 12 years old at the time, there were some places where I could not go alone,” he says. The machining room at the Techshop was an example. “They had to chaperone me everywhere. and of course pay for everything!”

In November, Intel’s investment arm Intel Capital announced that it was going to fund Braigo Labs for an undisclosed amount, in the youngest founder investment that the company has ever done. The first time that Shubham heard about it was when he was showcasing his product on the stage at the Intel Developer Forum 2014.

What’s next for him? The patent on the 2.0 version of the braille printer is pending, and while Braigo hinted at a $350 price when the prototype was shown, the firm final pice is undisclosed. He’s working hard to put the final pieces in place.

“I will hire professional engineers, work with a design house, make a robust almost final version of the printer, and then give units to non-profits or blind organizations and blind students for field testing before launching it commercially,” he says.

“I am only 13 and I don’t know everything, so we will work as a team to take this forward,” he concludes. “Nothing in this world can be achieved if you want to do things all by yourself.”

He’s clearly a smart young man in more ways than one.

6 months ago
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A tablet computer can be entertaining and educational for your children, just so long as it is a controlled part of your overall parenting regime, and not an electronic babysitter. What qualities should you look for in a kid’s tablet?

Ideally, a tablet designed for children is a dedicated device for engaging them and helping with their cognitive development and education. As such, it is different from an adult device, which means that you’ll be looking for different things in your kid’s tablet than you will when buying one for yourself.

Many of the features that you’re looking for in an adult device just aren’t that important in a child’s version. For example, adults love to play lots of games with incredible graphics, at ultra-high resolutions. Kids love playing games too, but are you buying your child’s tablet to be primarily a portable games console, or do you want something that will help them become creative and engaged, and something that you can bond over?

Each parent will have their own priorities, but if the focus is on education and growth, then the kinds of games and videos they’ll be playing won’t need high-end graphics and you can get by with relatively little CPU power, especially when buying a tablet for a younger child.

Here are some other pointers to think about when choosing a kid’s tablet.

Grown-up tech heads like their tablets to be sleek and streamlined, which is why Apple keeps trying to release tablets so thin that they become invisible when you turn them sideways. Kids need the opposite, because large, thin slabs with sharp corners are easy to drop.

Toddlers tend to have gooey hands, and poor computing priorities. At some point you’re going to have to leave your little one alone with a tablet while you go to answer the door, and they will try to put jam on it, see if it floats in the toilet, or feed it to the dog. Your iPad Pro may not handle this as well as you’d like, and costs a lot of money, whereas a dedicated kids’ tablet will not only be cheaper, but will ideally come with a built-in bumper case and a toughened screen.

Do you have the latest Windows hybrid tablet, with a massive 3200 x 2000 pixel screen, and icons so small you can barely see them without a magnifying glass? That’s great for grown-ups, but not so great for a small child trying to carry the thing without dropping it, and improve their hand-to-eye co-ordination.

A kid’s tablet should have controls and hardware design custom-designed for little fingers. Think big, easy-to-push hardware buttons and rounded edges, making it easier to hold and carry. Even better: a built-in handle, or a bolt-on carrying case that makes it easy for little fingers to transport. A kickstand enabling you to prop it upright on the table is also a good idea, so that little hands can concentrate on swiping, poking, and learning.

Companies like Apple and Google try to make tablets that appeal to non-technical users, but they’re still focused on grown-ups. Kid-friendly tablets have their own interfaces, with brightly coloured icons, and simplified approaches that focus only on the kinds of tasks that kids want to do. Everything else is a distraction.

Parents can find child-appropriate software online, but tablets built for kids will often come with a range of apps already installed, offering educational software and games (and ideally the two are mutually inclusive). Educators tend to like Leapfrog because the company writes its own software and uses additional learning tools designed to work with it, like cards that can be scanned by the software, bringing characters to life inside the games.

Vendors also sometimes offer other software such as chore lists and kid-targeted social networks that can be supervised by parents.

Child-friendly tablets are often friendly to mum and dad, too, including parental control software that allows them to monitor the child’s use of the tablet and set restrictions.

Much like bedtimes, chores and curfews, the age of your child will likely dictate how much parental control you would like to have. You can limit time on the device and access to the internet, while also approving games and their ratings. A good parental control system will also let parents control in-app purchases which can easily send your credit card bill into seizures otherwise.

Do you have more than one child in the tablet’s age bracket? Are you monitoring their progress in various educational apps, and are there customization features in the interface? It may make sense to look for a tablet that supports multiple profiles, so that each child can have their own unique experience on the same tablet (and learn some important lessons about sharing, and waiting).

This is of serious consideration for those long drives or lineups at the insurance broker. Having your device die out mid-way through your child building the most epic Minecraft castle ever will not just leave you with a bored architect, but a potentially grumpy one.

There are a variety of dedicated kids’ tablets available with all or at least some of these features included. As a parent, which are most important to you?

7 months ago
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Screens are everywhere, especially with the mobilization of tech. Look up from the one you’re perusing now and you’ll see someone else staring at theirs. The migration to screen culture has all happened relatively recently, and so it’s a prime candidate for fear and resentment.

People may love their screens but they also typically hate and fear them due to the effect they seem to have on social interaction, and on understanding. The assumption is that staring at a screen for hours has negative effects, especially on children.

Is this true? The short answer is: yes, but it doesn’t mean that screen time isn’t a good thing in moderation. Parents have a responsibility to help govern and guide.

Let’s get the scary part out of the way first. Too much screen time can hinder childrens’ social abilities. A 2014 research study from UCLA suggested that sixth graders who went five days without checking a screen became a lot better at reading human emotions, compared to another group who continued using their devices.

The test groups typically spent about 4.5 hours a day looking at screens of some kind, whether on a device or a TV. One group of children was taken to a camp where screens were banned, while the other group carried on as normal.

Each group was shown 48 photos representing faces with various emotions and asked to identify what the people were feeling. The non-screen group averaged 9.4 errors at the end of their screen diet, compared to 14 at the beginning. In other words, they got significantly better. The screen group experienced a far smaller change.

Too much screen time can also give children emotional problems. 2010 research from the UK’s University of Bristol studied over 1,000 children aged 10-11, measuring their screen time and also recording their levels of physical activity. The result: over two hours of screen time each day begins to cause psychological difficulties.

Simply increasing physical activity to compensate won’t cut it, said Bristol University researchers at the time. Kids gazing at screens for too long were still prone to problems.

Not all screen time is equal

This doesn’t mean that screen time in moderation can’t be useful. Much depends on what kind of time it is. Vegetating in front of the TV and consuming mindless advertising may be bad for kids. On the other hand, some studies contend that playing video games can be a good thing.

The University of Rochester found in 2010 that playing video games often resulted in faster decision making (although that study group was aged 18-25).

Oxford University studied almost 5000 children and found that playing video games were better adjusted than those that didn’t – as long as they played for three hours a day or less. They displayed the highest levels of sociability and had fewer emotional problems.

More recently, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Paris Descartes University studied 6-11 year olds and found a strong link between video game play and higher than average intellectual function and school competence.

“We caution against over interpretation, however, as setting limits on screen usage remains an important component of parental responsibility as an overall strategy for student success,” said Katherine M. Keyes, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology at Columbia, according to reports.

Even researchers like Keyes who find positive links with video gaming still stand by limits on screen time. Notably, only 20% of the kids in the Mailman study played for more than five hours a week, presumably because these kids had sensible parents who monitored their activity and mixed it up with other pursuits.

Similarly, the Oxford study found that pushing gaming time higher began to create psychological problems for kids.

What isn’t clear from any of these studies is exactly what the material is, and how it is consumed. Are kids playing inappropriate or overly violent games? Are they playing them collaboratively with friends, siblings or parents?

How much of the screen time is educational? Some, but it’s distributed unevenly. A survey of 1500 parents of children aged 2-10 by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center found that nearly half (44%) of their screen media is considered educational by their parents (that’s 56 minutes out of an average 2:07 hours spent on screen time each day).

Most of this educational use happens among 2-4 year-olds, though. Things get far less balanced as as kids get older. They spend more time in front of screens and far less time learning from them. We can assume that many tweens and teens get even less balance.

Moreover, when education is delivered by screen, it’s mostly from the TV. Kids get only five minutes or less educational activity per day from their mobile device, computer or video games console.

The upshot is that some material delivered via screens is far more beneficial to children than others. You can guide your kids to use screen time constructively, but even then, it should be capped.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a cap of two hours each day for screen time, and a ban on screen-based media altogether for kids under two years old. Those early years are a primary time for developing language skills. Time spent staring at or swiping a screen takes away from the talking and parental reading that’s especially important at that age.

It also means that parents should take a more active role in participating with their children, turning some of that screen time into productive learning time. Moderation and mentorship are key.

7 months ago
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