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ASUS Zenfone Zoom: Is it a phone or a camera?

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Photo: www.kolomgadget.com

From the times when having a camera on your phone seemed miracle, ASUS ZenFone Zoom now comes with a revolutionary 13-megapixel 10-element primary camera with 3x optical zoom, laser focus and dual flash.

With loads of features and such high camera quality, once again ASUS ZenFone series has shaken the market.

What works for this smartphone?

According to general consensus, an optical zoom camera (as in Samsung Galaxy K zoom) should pop out of the main body. But the 10-element HOYA lens kit camera — including two prisms — in Zenfone Zoom does all the zooming inside the casing.

Taiwanese mobile maker ASUS offers a leather finish back panel in the ASUS ZenFone Zoom

Taiwanese mobile maker ASUS offers a leather finish back panel in the ASUS ZenFone Zoom

With its ultra-thin 5 mm edges and hardware technology that gives clearest and sharpest images, Zenfone Zoom puts DSLR-like photography experience in your pocket – giving a total of 12x zoom and 5-cm macro focus.

The device enables auto-focus in 0.03 seconds, helping click a photo in a blink. The 4-stop optical image stablizer (OIS) enhances image quality by reducing “shakes” while clicking pictures.

We tested the device with its nearest competitor Google Nexus 6P and guess what? It beats 6P, producing sharper and clearer pictures even in low-light condition. But 6P tops zoom with its front-facing camera.

Coupled with a Panasonic Smart FSI image sensor, ZenFone Zoom captures more light and more color — in both natural and low-light compositions. You can turn on the night mode by touching an icon similar to an owl’s eyes.

The rear camera benefits from dual-LED Real Tone (and blinding) flash for natural indoor portraits. The manual mode is quite detailed and even indicates if the subject or the frame is straight or tilted with its on-screen tilt-meter.

It has a total of 19 photo and video taking modes inbuilt into the software — including features like time-lapse, pano-sphere and slow-motion.

Apart from an impressive camera, the phone comes with a sleek design. The device boasts of a 5.5-inch 1920×1080 full high-definition IPS ASUS TruVivid technology display for enhanced detail.

The Corning Gorilla Glass 4 offers twice the drop-damage resistance of its predecessor and a 2.5X increase in retained strength. Chip manufacturing major Intel has provided a powerful 64-bit Quad-core Atom 2.5 Ghz Z3590 processor to give computer-grade performance.

The device has a 4GB DDR3 RAM making operations smooth and easy. We did not experience any lag while multi-tasking and playing games.

The 128GB on-board memory and option to expand memory with a micro SD card gives a user ample space to store multimedia files. Equipped with BoostMaster fast-charging technology the charger filled up the phone’s battery in approximately an hour.

The 3,000 mAh battery lasts for a day under normal use, including data on for seven hours and music playback for 70 minutes.

What does not work

Although the zoom is quite impressive, the phone takes a lot of time to zoom in or out for clicking images. Prolonged gaming or keeping mobile data on tends to heat up the phone a bit.

The leather finish at the back is impressive but also makes the phone slippery. At Rs.37,999 the company could have included a fingerprint scanner into the device.

Verdict: Well, it’s an all set phone to go with, keeping in mind the Nexus 6P or Moto X style, you can also consider ASUS ZenFone Zoom with high expectations. A superb phone for photography lovers. (IANS)

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Will Robots Take Your Job? 70 Per cent of Americans Say No

A report issued by the education company Pearson, Oxford University, and the Nesta Foundation found that just one in five workers are in occupations that will shrink by 2030

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A robot carries boxes at the Amazon Fulfillment center in Robbinsville Township, N.J (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (VOA)

Washington, October 8, 2017 : Most Americans believe their jobs are safe from the spread of robots and automation, at least during their lifetimes, and only a handful says automation has cost them a job or loss of income.

Still, a survey by the Pew Research Center also found widespread anxiety about the general impact of technological change. Three-quarters of Americans say it is at least “somewhat realistic” that robots and computers will eventually perform most of the jobs currently done by people. Roughly the same proportion worry that such an outcome will have negative consequences, such as worsening inequality.

“The public expects a number of different jobs and occupations to be replaced by technology in the coming decades, but few think their own job is heading in that direction,” Aaron Smith, associate director at the Pew Research Center, said.

The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. on July 6, 2005, is the author of a 2017 study looking at the spread of automation and robotics in the workplace.

ROBOTS
The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. on July 6, 2005, is the author of a 2017 study looking at the spread of automation and robotics in the workplace (VOA)

More than half of respondents expect that fast food workers, insurance claims processors and legal clerks will be mostly replaced by robots and computers during their lifetimes. Nearly two-thirds think that most retailers will be fully automated in 20 years, with little or no human interaction between customers and employers.

Americans’ relative optimism about their own jobs might be the more accurate assessment. Many recent expert analyses are finding less dramatic impacts from automation than studies from several years ago that suggested up to half of jobs could be automated.

Skills will need to be updated

A report issued by the education company Pearson, Oxford University, and the Nesta Foundation found that just one in five workers are in occupations that will shrink by 2030.

Many analysts increasingly focus on the impact of automation on specific tasks, rather than entire jobs. A report in January from the consulting firm McKinsey concluded that less than 5 percent of occupations were likely to be entirely automated. But it also found that in 60 percent of occupations, workers could see roughly one-third of their tasks automated.

That suggests workers will need to continually upgrade their skills as existing jobs evolve with new technologies.

Few have lost jobs to automation

Just 6 percent of the respondents to the Pew survey said that they themselves have either lost a job or seen their hours or incomes cut because of automation. Perhaps not surprisingly, they have a much more negative view of technology’s impact on work. Nearly half of those respondents say that technology has actually made it harder for them to advance in their careers.

ALSO READ Are Robots Going To Take My Job? The War Between Man and Machine

Contrary to the stereotype of older workers unable to keep up with new technology, younger workers — aged 18 through 24 — were the most likely to say that the coming of robots and automation had cost them a job or income. Eleven percent of workers in that group said automation had cut their pay or work hours. That’s double the proportion of workers aged 50 through 64 who said the same.

The Pew survey also found widespread skepticism about the benefits of many emerging technologies, with most Americans saying they would not ride in a driverless car. A majority are also not interested in using robots as caregiver for elderly relatives.

Self-driving cars

Thirty percent of respondents said they think self-driving cars would actually cause traffic accidents to increase, and 31 percent said they would stay roughly the same. Just 39 percent said they thought accidents would decline.

More than 80 percent support the idea of requiring self-driving cars to stay in specific lanes.

The survey was conducted in May and had 4,135 respondents, Pew said. (VOA)

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Vintage Phone Museum: The museum having rare collection of classic cell phones opens in Slovakia

The museum has around 1,500 cell phone models

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Old Nokia mobile phones are placed on a shelf inside of a private museum of phones in Dobsina, Slovakia
Old Nokia mobile phones are placed on a shelf inside of a private museum of phones in Dobsina, Slovakia. VOA

Dobsina, Slovakia, September 10, 2017: As new smartphones hit the market month in month out, one Slovak technology buff is offering visitors to his vintage phone museum a trip down memory lane – to when cell phones weighed more than today’s computers and most people couldn’t afford them.

Twenty-six-year-old online marketing specialist Stefan Polgari from Slovakia began his collection more than two years ago when he bought a stock of old cell phones online. Today, his collection at the vintage phone museum boasts some 1,500 models, or 3,500 pieces when counting duplicates.

The vintage phone museum, which takes up two rooms in his house in the small eastern town of Dobsina, opened last year and is accessible by appointment.

The collection includes the Nokia 3310, which recently got a facelift and re-release, as well as a fully functional, 20-year old, brick-like Siemens S4 model, which cost a whopping 23,000 Slovak koruna – more than twice the average monthly wage in Slovakia when it came out.

“These are design and technology masterpieces that did not steal your time. There are no phones younger than the first touchscreen models, definitely no smartphones,” said Mr. Polgari.

“It’s hard to say which phone is most valuable to me, perhaps the Nokia 350i Star Wars edition,” said Mr. Polgari – who uses an iPhone in his daily life. (VOA)

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Assam Government signs a MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity

It will provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam

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Assam Government has signed MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity
Assam Government has signed MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity. Pixabay

Guwahati, Assam, September 8, 2017: The Assam government on Thursday signed a MoU with Google India to take Internet connectivity to the remotest part of the north-eastern state.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the government would work to provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam under the MoU and thus increase digital literacy.

Information Technology Secretary Nitin Khare and Google India Country Head (Policy) Chetan Krishnaswami signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Sonowal.

“Technology rules the roost in the 21st century and the state government has upped the ante to use technology to carry forward the fruits of development to the remotest parts of Assam,” the Chief Minister said.

He said the ties with Google was a way forward to strongly pitch Guwahati as a natural gateway to the South-East Asian countries.

Sonowal said his government in sync with the Centre was working for the success of Startup initiative but the success of such programmes sans technology would be a distant dream.

“The MoU will be used as a launchpad to achieve the state government’s vision of women empowerment, skill development, and universal education,” he said.

The Chief Minister asked the Information Technology Department to take steps to make technology acceptable and favourable among the rural populace so as to catalyse rural development. (IANS)