Shot on iPhone Night Mode Challenge: Here Is How The Winners Were Chosen

Back in January, Apple has organized another round of Shot on iPhone photography challenge. This time around, the challenge is a bit more specific from the previous edition as it focuses on the Night mode that is available on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
From thousands of submissions that came from all corners of the world, only six of them were chosen as the winning photos of the challenge. All of them will soon be featured not only on Apple’s website and Instagram but also on billboards across the globe.
The responsibility of choosing these photos lies on a group of judges that includes in-house experts from Apple as well as professional photographers from a wide variety of expertise and backgrounds. Among them is Darren Soh of Singapore who is the only judge that came from Southeast Asia and was actually one of the winners for the 2019 Shot on iPhone challenge.

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Because @aikbengchia and I were hosting Tim in Tiong Bahru, we could not leave out a quick rundown about the historic and unique architecture of both prewar and postwar flats in the estate and here we are crouched looking at the newer HDB flats in the distance as we sought shelter from this morning’s heavy downpour. #Apple #timcook #tiongbahru #singapore #hdb #publichousing #artdeco #architecture #sgarchitecture #architecturesg #singaporearchitecture #shotoniphone
A post shared by Darren Soh (@darrensohphoto) on Dec 11, 2019 at 3:40am PST

Known for his take on architecture and landscape, Darren pointed out in a response to our query that the submissions for the Night mode challenge have a really high standard and many of them apparently made him “look at them over and over again”. To him, these submissions also represents the capabilities of the Night mode on iPhone.

When it comes to what exactly are the characteristics that he was looking inside the photos that were submitted to the challenge, this is what he has to say:
“Low light situations are often mysterious and ambiguous, and for me, images that make me ask more questions about what I was seeing rather than gave me straightforward answers were most arresting and I really saw this in many of the entries.”
For iPhone owners that are looking to broaden their photography horizon, Darren shared two major points that could be helpful in their effort. One of them being the fact that they need to understand what the capability of iPhone especially in terms of what it can do well.

To turn a shot from good to great, they then need to push the cameras on the iPhones to the limits in correspond to their own creativity and imagination. Well, if you need some inspirations, then do check out the full list of Shot on iPhone Night Mode Challenge winners on Apple’s official website.
(Images: Mitsun Soni, Andrew Manuilov, Rubén P. Bescós. All three were the winning photos of the Night Mode Challenge.)
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Google Cancels I/O 2020 Conference Over Coronavirus Fears

Google has become the latest tech brand to join other major tech corporations with the cancellation of its annual I/O developer conference this year. The cancellation of Google I/O 2020 supposedly comes just days after it also cancelled its other Cloud Next event.
As you may have guessed, the chief reason behind the cancellation of Google’s event is due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak. That has affected companies and event around the world. “In accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre,” Google had said in a statement to The Verge.
To say that Coronavirus concerns have wreaked havoc on the world of tech is not an understatement. To date, the virus that originated from Wuhan, China, has forced the cancellation of this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) and Facebook’s F8 developer conference, among many others.

Some events, such as this year’s Game Developer Conference (GDC) have been delayed instead of cancelled, while other companies such as NVIDIA have opted to soldier on with its annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC) by cancelling the live event. Opting to livestream its keynote from a safe and sterile environment instead.
(Source: The Verge)
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Black Shark 3 Officially Launched; Pro Variant Offers 7.1-Inch Display With Pop-Up Shoulder Buttons

After weeks of teasing, Xiaomi subsidiary brand Black Shark has officially launched its new gaming smartphone in China. The Black Shark 3 is available in two variants: a standard model, and a Pro edition which packs extra features.
The vanilla version of the gaming smartphone sports a 6.67-inch FHD+ screen with 90Hz refresh rate, and currently boasts the world’s fastest 270Hz touch-sampling rate. Under the hood, it is equipped with a 5G capable Snapdragon 865 chipset, up to 12GB RAM, and storage of up to 256GB.

Power-wise, the Black Shark 3 features a 4,720 mAH battery with 65W fast charging support via USB-C, and 18W through a magnetic port on its back. Additionally, the phone features capacitive shoulder buttons on its right side.
The Pro version, on the other hand, is equipped with a larger 7.1-inch QHD+ OLED display with the same refresh rate and touch-sampling rate as the standard edition. Other specifications are also similar except for a token few. This version is only available with 256GB internal storage, and it also features a larger 5,000mAh battery.

Furthermore, the Black Shark 3 Pro is equipped with pop-up mechanical shoulder buttons. According to the brand, the buttons can supposedly withstand over 300,000 lifts and more than one million clicks.
As for cameras, both phone variants feature a triple-camera setup on its back which consists of a 64MP main, 13MP ultra-wide, and a 5MP bokeh camera. Housed within a thin bezel on top of their display is a 20MP front-facing camera. Last but not least, both standard and Pro editions include a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.

The standard Black Shark 3 will go on sale on 6 March in Lightning Black, Armor Gray, and Star Silver colours, while the Pro is available on 17 March and is offered in Phantom Black and Armor Gray only. The configurations for the vanilla version includes 8GB/128GB priced at CNY3,499 (~RM2,100), 12GB/128GB at CNY3,799 (~RM2,280), and 12GB/256GB at CNY3,999(~RM2,400). Meanwhile, the Pro variant comes in 8GB/256GB at CNY4,699 (~RM2,825) and 12GB/256GB at CNY4,999 (~RM3,000).
The Black Shark 3 series are planned for global release, but the company has not disclosed release dates or pricing for other regions at this time.
(Source: Black Shark.)
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John Wick Director Chad Stahelski to Make a Movie About Cars

Chad Stahelski is one of the best action directors working today. There’s no doubt about that. Stahelski has been a part of the industry since the 90s. He worked in the stunt department for films like The Matrix (he was Keanu Reeves’ stunt double), Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Zack Snyder’s 300 among many many others. But it’s when he stepped behind the camera and helmed JohnWick did we really notice the sheer brilliance this man can offer. The John Wick franchise has been a revelation. Stahelski’s action sequences aren’t just hard-hitting and pulsating, they’re also wonderfully choreographed and photographed.
Now, it looks like Stahelski is gearing up for his next film and it’s going to be about cars! Per Deadline:
A Quiet Place producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller have set at Paramount an action movie described as a high-concept spin capturing the spirit of the great car movies, with a unique central relationship at its centre. Chad Stahelski is eyeing to direct; Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum will write the script. Form and Fuller will produce through their Par-based Fully Formed Entertainment, along with Stahelski through his 87eleven Entertainment banner. Midnight Radio’s Nemec & Applebaum will also be producers and 87eleven’s Jason Spitz will be executive producer.

This is a very promising project and not just because Stahelski will be directing. Andrew Form and Brad Fuller have produced a bunch of interesting projects including the aforementioned and absolutely brilliant A Quiet Place, as well as The Purge and Project Almanac. I’m not so sure about writers Nemec and Appelbaum, though as I’ve not been a fan of their past three films — Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles duology and Wonder Park.
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realme C3 Hands On: A Pretty Entry-Level Device

Yesterday saw the launch of the realme C3 in Malaysia. While it only came with one RAM and storage configuration instead of two, the Malaysian model also comes with an extra camera, compared to the one we saw launch in India. I took some time after the launch to get a feel of what the phone was like, and here are my thoughts on the phone.
To start, it’s a pretty large phone, especially for an entry level model. I’m still not sure about what to feel about a 6.5-inch screen with only a HD+ resolution. But on the flip side, if you’re looking for an entry-level phone you’re probably not too fussed about the crispness of the images you see.

But then again, many of the more affordable smartphones have begun trending this way. On a related note, it also comes with a waterdrop notch for the front-facing camera.
While its pretty common to see chamfers instead of curves at the edges of a phone, it’s a little unusual to see them near the phone’s buttons. No doubt it makes the phone look slightly better than without them, even if they serve no other functional purpose. But it’s just rare that this much attention to detail was given to an entry-level phone.

Said buttons themselves are quite ordinary. This includes placement, with the power button on the right and the volume rocker on the left. The top and bottom are pretty ordinary too, with the former being pretty much spotless.
At the bottom is where you see the usual suspects. First is the micro-USB port, which is both expected and a little unfortunate. Next is the 3.5mm audio jack, which is a sight for sore eyes. And finally, the mundane mono speaker grille.

The back is lightly textured, but the highlight of it is, well, the simulated sun rays. They are made to look as it they are emanating from the camera. That’s another bonus point as far as aesthetics go.

The realme C3 has a MediaTek G70, which was touted as a gaming chipset for entry-level phones. The oxymoron aside, it does provide a good experience for general use. Swiping from screen to screen is smooth, though this may have something to do with the software as well.
It’s running the new realme UI, which is based on Android 10. The overlay also gives you control over some UI elements, such as the size of your app icons, and the edges around it.

For cameras, it comes with a 12MP main camera, a 2MP portrait lens, and a 2MP macro shooter. That last one is the one that was added to the Malaysian units. It also makes the realme C3 one of the most affordable phones to come with a macro lens.

But the overall performance is about what you’d expect from an entry-level device. Colours are a little on the warm side, and even under well lit conditions there looks to be some distortion to the images.
That said, that’s in no way a conclusive test. Maybe an in-depth review will yield different results. But until we get a chance to do that, we’ll have to leave things at that.
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A MediaTek Critical Security Bug Has Been Discovered And Exploited

MediaTek, the Taiwanese semiconductor and chipset maker, has found itself in some rather hot water. As it turns out, a critical security exploit was discovered within a rootkit that would effectively leave many MediaTek SoC-powered device vulnerable to exploitation.
The discovery was made by XDA developer, diplomatic, who was actually looking for an easy way to root Amazon Fire HD tablets. Once he found his avenue, things simply just took off from there. To cut a very long story short, the exploit soon deemed to be a pretty severe threat to MediaTek-powered Android device. It forced Google’s hand, prompting the search engine’s software engineers to work with XDA in order to fix the problem.
At the time of writing, XDA says that the exploits affect almost every single 64-bit MediaTek processor unless it’s been patched. To that end, several brands that use the brand’s chipsets – this includes Samsung, Vivo, Huawei, HONOR, and OPPO, to name a few – have already patched their devices.
(Image source: Android Central.)
It should be noted that MediaTek-powered phones running Android 10 or later are not affected. While devices from said brands running Android 8.0 Oreo or later have already been patched. As for the affected Amazon Fire HD tablets, the tablets can be patched, provided they’ve been updated with a specific firmware version.

(Source: XDA via Android Central)
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Daniel Radcliffe Will Not Be Returning As Harry Potter Anytime Soon

Daniel Radcliffe has had such a wonderful run as the famed wizard in the Harry Potter films. However, it seems like the actor has distanced himself from the spotlight and from the role with his efforts focusing on Indie projects like Horns and Jungle. That’s not to say that he’s wearing the invisibility cloak all the time as he also featured in blockbuster features like Now you See Me 2. But surely, the one thing Potterheads may be clamouring for is his return to his most famed role.
In an interview with Variety to promote his upcoming film, Escape from Pretoria, the actor was asked about the possibility of him ever reprising his role as the “boy who lived” in a future Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts sequel, to which he replied:
I don’t think so. I don’t like [to] say no to things, but it’s [Harry Potter] not something that I’m rushing to do. I feel like those films have moved on and they’re doing just fine without us. I’m happy to keep it that way. I like what my life is now. I’m not saying that I’ll never go back into any franchise, but I like the flexibility that I have with my career now. And I don’t want to get into a situation where I’m signed up for one series for years in advance.

While it certainly looks like we would not see the actor leap in for a cameo in the next Fantastic Beasts movie which is slated for 2021, I can definitely comprehend his side of things. The Muggle life, out of the blockbuster spotlight, might prove to be appealing due to his constant work on theHarry Potter character as a child. He would also want an attempt at making a name for himself with his other projects and not forever be known as the kid who played the boy wizard. So, yes, do not expect him to snatch up a Golden Snitch in a game of Quidditch so soon.
While you might not be able to see Radcliffe leap back into Hogwarts, you can certainly watch his latest film, Guns Akimbo, which will be released this week. Just have a look at the trailer. You’re in for a wild ride with Hairy Potter…
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Foxconn To Resume iPhone Production In Full Force By Late March

The coronavirus outbreak in China had resulted in Apple supplier Foxconn to halt production of iPhones at its Zengzhou factory. The Taiwanese firm had recently told Reuters that production would resume in full force by late March.
They added that production had cautiously restarted last month, with more than half of its workforce continuing work. However, Foxconn was unable to predict the virus’ impact on its revenue for the year, which dropped more than 10 percent.

“Prevention of outbreak, resumption of work and production are our top priority,” said company chairman Liu Young-Way. He also assured investors during an online conference that there were no big problems with the supply chain, and that Foxconn is helping suppliers to resume work.
The coronavirus had resulted in companies such as Samsung and LG to shut down factories and halt production as well. Furthermore, it had also lead to the cancellation or delay of events such as MWC, GTC and Taipei Game Show.
(Source: Reuters)

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Apple Agrees To Pay US$500 Million Fine For Purposely Slowing Down Old iPhones

Apple has agreed to pay up US$500 million (~RM2.13 billion) over an accusation that it purposely slowed down older iPhone models in order to subtly force owners to switch up to the latest iPhone model or replace their phone’s battery.
The agreement, which was disclosed last Friday, will still require approval by a US judge. To break down the settlement, Apple will have to pay consumers US$25 (~RM105) per affected iPhone. That amount may change based on the number of eligible iPhones, but Apple will still need to payout a minimum of US$310 million (~RM1.3 billion) to affected users. On a side note, the settlement will only cover US owners, and not global owners.
Moving on, the affected iPhone models include the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE that ran on iOS 10.2.1 or later. This also includes iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models that ran iOS 11.2 or later before 21 December 2017.

Many users of the above iPhone models began complaining to Apple of a “throttling” effect to their phones after it updated to iOS 10.2.1. The fruit company initially tried to sway public opinion towards the possibility of temperature changes and other issues.
When the cat was let out of the bag that Apple was purposely creating the scenario, it apologised and agreed to sell replacement batteries for affected iPhone at US$29 (~RM121), down from US$79 (~RM332).
(Source: Reuters // Image: Getty Images)
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You Can Now Trade Ripple On Luno

Luno has officially added a new cryptocurrency to its platform. Starting today, Luno members will be able to trade using Ripple (XRP).
To celebrate the addition, Luno will allow users to trade with the cryptocurrency at a reduced fee. For a period of 30 days after its launch.
Prior to the addition of XRP, Luno was only able to trade in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETC). Ripple itself is a digital currency that stems from XRP Ledger, a peer-to-peer, decentralised cryptographic ledger. Luno says that it decided to add XRP to its platform, mainly because of its growing demand.
Value-wise, XRP’s average price sits at US$0.23 (~RM0.97), but has a 24-hour volume of more than US$603 million (~RM2.53 billion), and a market cap in excess of US$20 billion (~RM84 billion).

To be fair, news about Luno’s plan to add XRP to its portfolio isn’t groundbreaking. Word the platform’s endeavour first got out in December last year, when a report said that the cryptocurrency had already been approved by the Securities Commission (SC).
(Source: Fintechnews)
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