Mi 6 and Mi Max 2 Pre-Order Opens On 31 July: Price Starts At RM 1,199

Rejoice, Xiaomi fans: the company is about to unleash two new smartphones in Malaysia very soon in the form of Mi 6 and Mi Max 2. This was revealed through an official announced on Mi Malaysia’s official Facebook page.
The announcement has also stated that the company will begin to accept pre-order for both devices starting from 31 July at 12PM. Customers are able to place their pre-order either through Mi Malaysia’s official Lazada store or at Mi Premium Reseller outlet at Queensbay Mall, Pulau Pinang.

As it turns out, the pricing for both devices have been revealed on Lazada Malaysia. The Mi 6 which will carry 6GB of RAM alongside 64GB internal storage will go for RM 1,899 while Mi Max 2 is listed at RM 1,199.
(Source: Xiaomi Malaysia, Lazada – 1,2. Thanks to everyone that sent us the pre-order links!)
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Ford’s Rideshare Service Called Chariot

Ford is looking to start off a ride sharing service in New York City called Chariot. No, it isn’t anything similar to Uber or Lyft but it is rather a crowd-sourced shuttle service. The service aims to start in August and Ford aims to provide new ways for consumers to travel especially in areas where there are little to no transit points (deemed as transit deserts).
Chariot offers users a way to get from point A to B during commuting times and will cover areas where it isn’t feasible for people to walk to the nearest public transportation. Each Chariot can accommodate more than 12 people and the app guarantees seats for each user.
“Our mission at Chariot is to provide reliable, safe and affordable transportation for as many people as possible,” said Chariot CEO Ali Vahabzadeh. “We want to connect people more easily to where they want to go – whether they need help making it to a transit hub or live in an area underserved by public transportation.”
Other than New York, Chariot is also going to be available in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Each ride is charged at a flat rate of $4. Ford aims to have 60 Chariot vehicles running in New York later this year.

As part of the New York launch, commuters will be able to use a streamlined crowd-sourcing process to make the experience more user-friendly. The Chariot map will display service areas being crowd-sourced – giving commuters the chance to choose and contribute to these potential service areas.
Users can even create a custom route for areas they feel would benefit from Chariot, then share their proposal with friends, family and neighbours who may be taking similar commutes. Once enough riders sign up to support and fund a proposed route, as many Chariots as needed will be dispatched to service the area.
Ford’s own Global Data, Insights and Analytics team is supplementing Chariot’s planning. The group helps Chariot identify potential routes using advanced optimization algorithms based on user demand and behaviour, as well as traffic data and existing infrastructure.

“We know how important it is for everyone to be able to get around effectively – especially in densely populated places like New York,” said Jessica Robinson, director, Ford City Solutions. “Chariot is one way we’re trying to help cities accommodate their residents and ensure people aren’t sacrificing their needs as a result of limited mobility options.”
Think of it as an extended feeder bus service currently service the LRT and MRT routes here in Malaysia. As compared, many people within the Klang Valley live more than a kilometre from a transit point, whether it may be a bus stop or an LRT/MRT stop. Chariot is a service which aims to crowdsource enough information such that they will create a route to help pick people up and bring them to the nearest LRT/MRT or KTM or any other transit point. If the route is along the way of someone’s office, a new stop can be added in based on demand.
In short, Chariot is meant to supplement and cover areas where existing transit points are not available.
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Mi 6 and Mi Max 2 Pre-Order In Malaysia Starts On 31 July

Rejoice, Xiaomi fans: the company is about to unleash two new smartphones in Malaysia very soon in the form of Mi 6 and Mi Max 2. This was revealed through an official announced on Mi Malaysia’s official Facebook page.
The announcement also further point that the company will begin to accept pre-order for both devices starting from 31 July at 12PM. Customers are able to place their pre-order either through Mi Malaysia’s official Lazada store or at Mi Premium Reseller outlet at Queensbay Mall, Pulau Pinang.
Developing…
(Source: Xiaomi Malaysia)
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Mac City Now Offering Discount on Selected Apple iPad Pro, Mac, Apple Watch, & More

Mac City is currently having promotions on selected iPad Pro, MacBook, iMac, Apple Watch models, and more. Get your hands on a 12.9” iPad Pro (32GB Wi-Fi only) for RM2,998 (was RM3,499), 12” MacBook Air from RM3,299, iMac from RM4,999, iPad Air 2 from RM1,499, Apple Watch from RM1,399, and more.
This promotion is available currently, and is available in a while stocks last basis. Mac City says that this promotion is available at their outlets, as well as their online store at www.maccity.com.my. Some of the notable products on sale include:

9.7’ iPad Pro (32GB Wi-Fi) for RM2,398 (was RM2,699),
9.7” iPad Pro (32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular) for RM2,999 (was RM3,299)
12” MacBook (1.2GHz Dual-Core Intel Core M, 512GB) for RM5,599 (was RM6,041)
13.3” MacBook Pro from RM6,999 (was from RM7,599)
15.4” MacBook Pro from RM9,499 (was from RM10,199)
21.5” iMac from RM4,999 (was from RM5,499)
27” iMac from RM6,699 (was from RM7,649)
iPad Air 2 from RM1,499 (was from RM1,599)
128GB Wi-Fi iPad mini 3 for RM1,799 (was RM2,045)
iPad mini 4 from RM1,499 (was from RM1,599)
Apple Watch Series 1 from RM1,399.30 (was RM1,999)

At the time of writing, certain products like the RM3,299 MacBook Air, RM1,499 iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, and such are not available on their online store. Certain stores may still have the products, and Mac City encourage you to contact them for more information because stocks are limited.

Check out MacCity’s website and Facebook page now for more information.
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Facebook Brings Paid Subscriptions Back To Instant Articles

Facebook has decided that it wants to support paid journalism after all. The company has announced that it is allowing news site to implement paywalls on Instant Articles, allowing the owners of those stories to collect income from them. Additionally, Facebook will not be taking a cut from the subscription fees.
At the moment, Instant Articles are a kind of backdoor into news stories usually hidden behind paywalls. This is because sites like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times post their stories there for the extra reach. Unfortunately, it also means that people do not have a reason to subscribe to those newspapers and reduces income.
Going forward, readers will be entitled to read 10 free articles per month. Facebook will then redirect readers to the newspaper’s own subscription page once this limit is hit.
What is really interesting in this is that Facebook will be allowing the newspapers to keep 100 percent of the subscription fees. Similar services tend to keep a small portion as their own profit; for instance, Apple keeps 30 percent of subscriptions sold through its own Apple News feature.
This move is part of Facebook’s own push to promote journalism and support publishers. It’s the result of the Facebook Journalism Project, which was largely listening to what publishing companies had to say, and then trying to work with them on a solution.
[Source: Techcrunch]
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Apple Discontinues iPod nano and iPod shuffle, Lowers Price of iPod touch

This is truly the end of an era. Apple recently confirmed that it has officially discontinued its iPod nano and iPod shuffle portable music players. They are no longer on sale on Apple’s website, and will be removed from retail stores as well. Don’t worry though, if you wish to get your hands on a dedicated music player from Apple, you can still get your hands on an iPod touch at a lower retail price starting from RM919.
The change is effective immediately. If you visit the iPod nano and iPod shuffle page, you will be redirected to Apple Music’s website instead. This move isn’t too surprising though, Apple hasn’t been updating these two iPod models for many years now, except for introducing new colours.
Bye bye, nano and shuffle…
The last time they updated the iPod nano was in 2012 when they redesigned it with Bluetooth support for wireless headphones and speakers. As for the iPod shuffle, the last major update was in 2012, and after that, Apple only updated it with new colours for both devices from time to time.
The last iPod model left now is the iPod touch. Apple is simplifying things with the iPod touch too, it is now offering the device in two storage options – 32GB and 128GB, at a slightly lower retail price. Before this, Apple offered 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB going for RM779, RM979, RM1,179 and RM1,599 respectively. Now, the 32GB and 128GB variants cost RM919 and RM1379 respectively.

(Source: The Verge)
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Google Planning On Merging YouTube Red And Google Play Music Services

Google is looking to merge its YouTube Red and Google Play Music services into a single subscription. Both services are currently treated as separate entities, despite both having linked features and offering benefits to both services.
YouTube Red is a subscription service that removes advertisements from YouTube videos. In addition to this, it provides access to specific content from content creators who would like a little extra income on the side. More importantly, it also provides access to Google Play Music for free.
On the other hand, people can subscribe to Google Play Music separately. Or use YouTube Music for free with ads. Buying into YouTube Red removes the ads from YouTube Music as well.

There is also YouTube TV, which is an experimental service being trialed in the USA. This is similar to a more traditional entertainment provider, showing a handful of channels from American cable providers.
If that was confusing to anyone, then you are not alone. Google’s video and music offerings are all over the place, and the result of incremental changes. The internet giant only recently merged the teams working on the services.
YouTube’s head of music Lyor Cohen confirmed the change in direction, although hasn’t provided details. It’s presumed that the various apps will at least merged into a single streamlined service. That said, the conversation hasn’t covered YouTube TV and there’s no telling what’s going to happen on that front.
One last thing to note is that none of these services are actually available in Malaysia. Therefore, any shakeup of YouTube and Google Play Music will have practically no effect on us here.
[Source: The Verge]
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Razer Tiamat V2 Headsets Now Available For Malaysia: Price Starts At RM 799

Six years after the original Tiamat 7.1 was announced by the company, Razer has finally launched an updated version of the headset. Just like its predecessor, Tiamat 7.1 V2 is designed to deliver true 7.1 surround sound experience to gamers.
Instead of depending on virtual surround sound software, Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 provides the surround experience using 5 actual audio drivers on each of its ear cups. In addition to that, users are also able to control each audio channels using the headset’s newly redesigned Audio Control Unit (ACU).
Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2.
Users are also able to toggle between 7.1 surround and 2.0 stereo mode using the dedicated button on the ACU. Not to forget, users can also switch to their desktop speakers at any time from the ACU since it is also equipped with a pass-through port.
Of course, it will not be a gaming headset without a microphone – so, Razer has equipped Tiamat 7.1 V2 with a foldable unidirectional microphone. Yes, Razer fans, customizable Razer Chroma RGB lights have also been implemented on the headset’s ear cups and ACU indicators.
Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2.
For gamers that prefer a much more down-to-earth setup, Razer has unveiled Tiamat 2.2 V2 which feature two 50mm audio drivers on each of its earcups. No physical surround setup on the headset but gamers can always utilize Razer Synapse to obtain adjustable 7.1 virtual surround sound experience.
While the Tiamat 2.2 V2 doesn’t come with any Razer Chrome RGB lights, it still features a foldable unidirectional microphone. Equipped with an in-line volume control which also include a microphone mute switch, the headset can be used with plenty of devices that supports 3.5mm audio jack.
Razer Tiamat 2.2 V2.
Price-wise, the Tiamat 7.1 V2 is listed at RM 1,249 at Razer’s own online store while the Tiamat 2.2 V2 goes for RM 799. Expect to see these new headsets from Razer at your favorite retailers shortly.
(Source: Razer – 1, 2)
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You Can Now Use Cortana To Interact With Fitbit

Own a Fitbit fitness tracker? Well, now you can check your fitness data directly using Cortana on your Windows 10, Android, and iOS devices. In fact, you can even record selected data into your Fitbit account through the digital personal assistant as well.
This is made possible with the help of Cortana Skills Kit which allows developers to implement personalized interactions for Cortana. Among data that Fitbit users able to obtain through Cortana are but not limited to active minute, burned calories, sleep statistics, leaderboard and many more.

Users can even ask for motivational words as well a summary of their Fitbit data. Since how Fitbit has previously released official Windows 10 apps for both PC and smartphone, it is not surprising to see the company decided to utilize Cortana skills. However, this function is currently only available in US with more markets to follow soon.
That being said though, savvy Windows 10 users in Malaysia most likely already switch their settings in order to enable Cortana which is still not officially available to our market. Hence, you might as well tweak your Windows 10 settings to US if you want to enable the digital personal assistant and utilize its Fitbit skills on your PC.
(Source: Windows Experience Blog)
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Leapfrog Launches New Armaggeddon, Elysium & Alcatroz Products

Leapfrog has quite a number of products under its belt, and at the company’s annual Megatrends product launch event, it introduced a slew of new products under the Armaggeddon, Elysium, and even Alcatroz – formerly known as PowerLogic – brands. To keep things simple, here are some of the most interesting products launched today.
Armaggeddon

Aside from the PsychEagle and PsychFalcon mechanical keyboards, Armaggeddon also introduced the AK-999 SFX and AK-666 SFX. Although these are technically membrane keyboards, they actually mimic the feel of a mechanical keyboard pretty well. I imagine this is partly due to the long travel of the keys.
And then there’s the Armaggeddon Scorpion series of RGB mice: the Scorpion 3, Scorpion 5, and Scorpion 7. Apart from their slightly different designs, all three of these gaming mice are identical to each other. They have optical sensors with up to 4,800 CPI sensitivity, Huano switches – which are said to last up to five million clicks – and braided cables.

Last but definitely not least are the Nuke 7.1 virtual surround sound headphones. Much like the Scorpion mice, there are three Nuke headsets: the Nuke 3, Nuke 5, and Nuke 9. Not only do these headphones offer 7.1 virtual surround sound, they also feature 50mm neodymium drivers and microphones tuned specifically for gaming.
Elysium

As a brand that aims to offer high-end products, Elysium-branded products are decidedly more premium than Leapfrog’s other offerings. One product in particular caught our attention: the Elysium DOT Lofree. This retro-styled wireless mechanical keyboard is certainly a looker, but it’s not exactly without its faults: we’ve put the Lofree through its paces on our review of it earlier this month.

Another rather “interesting” product from Elysium is the…Elysium Tot. Yes, it’s a portable speaker in the shape of a tote bag, and it streams audio via Bluetooth. Interestingly enough, it can even be used as a power bank thanks to its 3,000mAh battery.
Alcatroz

Although this is a relatively new brand in Leapfrog’s catalogue, it was actually formerly known as PowerLogic. Targetted at budget-conscious consumers, most of Alcatroz products are very, very affordable, and one of its most noteworthy products is the Alcatroz Pebble Air wireless mouse.
Designed to mimic the shape and texture of a smooth pebble, the Pebble Air is a no-nonsense wireless mouse. Its built-in battery promises up to 70 hours of usage, it has a 1,600 CPI sensitivity, and most of all, it’s affordable: it only retails at $12.90, which comes up to about RM55.

Alcatroz also has two rather interesting chargers: the TZLA – it’s pronounced “Tesla,” and no, we’re not kidding – Optivia QC 4000 and Ultima QCC 4300. Basically, both of these support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, and they can charge up to five devices at the same time. However, the Ultima has one less USB-A port; it’s replaced with a USB Type-C port instead.

Leapfrog has always been focused on offering affordable, competent products, and the introduction of these new products really show just that – well, maybe except for the Elysium-branded products, which are higher-end offerings. According to Leapfrog, most of these products will be brought into Malaysia sometime in August or September 2017.
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