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India’s $4 smartphone begins shipping
India’s $4 smartphone begins shipping
Earlier this year, a $4 smartphone meant for the rural Indian market was announced, sending waves throughout the industry. Believe it or not, it’s real — and it start shipping.
The Freedom 251 beging shipping on June 30 to those who pre-ordered the device. Built by India’s Ringing Bell, the phone sports some very ho-hum specs when compared to other devices — but it’s four dollars.
It has a 4-inch screen, and an 8MP camera around back (but a 3.2MP front-facing shooter for selfies!). An 1800mAh battery powers the 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. There is also a mere 8GB storage.
When it was announced, the device drew a lot of side-eye looks for its price point. So much so it caused the India Cellular Association to lobby the country’s telecom minister to figure out how Ringing Bell was accomplishing the feat.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ringing Bells’ Founder and CEO Mohit Goel says “We learned from our mistakes and decided to go silent untill we come out with the product. Now we have a 4-inch, dual-SIM phone ready for delivery. I feel vindicated.”
The $4 price-point is approximately RS 251, and won’t make Ringing Bell any money unless it’s wildly popular. Goel says there’s a RS 151 loss on each device, but is “happy that the dream of connecting rural and poor Indians as part of the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives has been fulfilled with ‘Freedom 251’.” w

Microsoft Killing Off Surface 3 Tablet by December
Microsoft is officially winding down production and sales for its Surface 3 tablet. And this likely doesn’t come as news if you’ve been perusing the Microsoft Store to buy one at any point recently. The only model currently available is one that comes with 64GB of storage, 2GB of memory, and both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE capabilities (all for $500). Otherwise, every other version of the Surface 3 on Microsoft’s site is listed as “Email me when available” if you’re trying to order it online, and we somehow doubt you’ll be getting very many emails about these.
“Since launching Surface 3 over a year ago, we have seen strong demand and satisfaction amongst our customers. Inventory is now limited and by the end of December 2016, we will no longer manufacture Surface 3 devices,” reads a statement from Microsoft, as reported by Thurrott.com.
So what, then becomes of Microsoft’s entry-level tablet? Right now, there aren’t any hard signs that Microsoft is planning to make a Surface 4—the logical jump for its Surface 3 tablet, which could be a good counterbalance against the Surface Pro 4. Also, doing so would leave the future of the Surface Pro 3 in jeopardy: where might that two-in-one fit within Microsoft’s lineup? w

YouTube will soon put the power of live streaming in the palm of your hand
The video-sharing service this week announced plans to bake mobile live streaming directly into its app. Just tap the red capture button, take or select a photo to use as a thumbnail, and broadcast to fans in near real time.
Because it’s built into the mobile app, live streaming comes with all the same features as regular videos: search, recommendations, playlists, and protection from unauthorized uses.
“And since it uses YouTube’s peerless infrastructure, it’ll be faster and more reliable than anything else out there,” Kurt Wilms, product lead for Immersive Experiences at YouTube, wrote in a blog post.
Launched Thursday at VidCon in California, YouTube mobile live streaming is initially available from The Young Turks, AIB, Platica Polinesia, SacconeJolys, and Alex Wassabi. Wilms said the service will be rolling out more widely “soon.”
“We’ve been offering live streaming on YouTube since 2011, before it was cool,” the blog said, citing the millions of people who tuned in for the Royal Wedding and Felix Baumgartner’s leap from space. More recently, it became the first to broadcast a 360-degree live stream during Coachella, capturing 21 million-plus views.
Despite being first on the scene, YouTube live streaming has been eclipsed as of late by mobile options like Facebook Live and Periscope, both of which grabbed headlines this week when Democratic members of Congress used the services to broadcast their sit-in from the House floor w

Intel considers sale of cyber security business
The Intel logo is advertised on the side of a computer box at an electronic store in Phoenix, Arizona November 4, 2009. Intel Corp was sued Wednesday by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who accused the world’s largest chipmaker of threatening computer makers and paying billions of dollars in kickbacks to maintain its market dominance.
Chipmaker Intel Corp is considering the sale of its cyber security business, the Financial Times reported recently.
According to the report, the company has been talking to its bankers about options for the Intel Security unit, which was previously known as McAfee. Intel bought McAfee for $7.7 billion in 2011.
A spokesperson for Intel could not be immediately reached for comment. The company said in April that it planned to cut up to 12,000 jobs globally as it refocuses its business toward making microchips that power data centers and Internet-connected devices and away from the declining personal computer industry it helped found w


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