DxOMark Ranks Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Camera as the Best Alongside iPhone 8 Plus

Last week, DxOMark rated the iPhone 8 Plus‘ camera as the best smartphone camera the site has ever tested. Well, it appears the 8 Plus has to share that title with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8; DxOMark dubs the latter as “the best smartphone for zoom.”
With an overall score of 94, the Galaxy Note 8 sits at the top of DxOMark’s rating right alongside the iPhone 8 Plus. In the photo sub-score, DxOMark gave the Note 8 a score of 100; the first smartphone to receive such a high rating from the site. In its review, DxoMark wrote that the Note 8’s “extremely fast and accurate autofocus and a very competent flash unit” earned it such a high score.

DxOMark’s review of the Galaxy Note 8’s camera also drew many comparisons against Samsung’s offering with the iPhone 8 Plus. In most comparisons, the Note 8 seems to take better shots, which isn’t very surprising: both of the Note 8’s rear cameras have larger apertures – and dual optical image stabilisation – in comparison to the iPhone 8 Plus.
When it comes to video, the Note 8 isn’t quite as good as the iPhone 8 Plus. DxOMark highlighted that the Note 8 has limited dynamic range – which is evident in still images as well – in high-contrast scenes. On top of that, the Note 8’s video stabilisation (while good) isn’t “quite on the same level as some competitors” too.
That being said, DxOMark did mention that the Note 8 has good white balance, colour rendering, as well as fast and stable autofocus in videos.

Evidently, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has one of the best smartphone cameras in the market now; we certainly think so in our in-depth review. If you’d like to read DxOMark’s full review of the Note 8’s camera, you can do so here.
(Source: DxOMark)
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MSI Unveils The X299M-A Pro Motherboard

MSI has debuted its latest motherboard called the X299M-A Pro. This motherboard is apparently the company’s second micro-ATX form factor motherboard after the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC, which was unveiled two months ago (read more about it here.) That said, do keep in mind that this motherboard only supports two Intel Core X processors: Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X.
When it comes to design, the MSI X299M-A Pro comes in an all black aesthetic. Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be any LED-lit areas around this mainboard, but some consumers may prefer this. That aside, this mainboard is indeed perfect for those who are looking to build a small form factor system based on Intel’s Kaby Lake-X CPUs.
Specifications-wise, the MSI X299M-A Pro motherboard is fitted with four DIMM DDR4 RAM slots (dual-channel); two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots; two M.2 slots; and six SATA 6Gbps ports. In addition, the MSI X299M-A Pro is fitted with several USB 3.1 ports and a Realtek ALC1120 CODEC audio solution as well. Whilst official pricing has not been confirmed by MSI, folks at TechPowerUp do expect the MSI X299M-A Pro to be priced at around US$170 (about RM718).
Regardless of what one may think about Intel’s X299 platform, one thing remains clear: there are more X299 motherboards in the market today compared to AMD’s X399-based mainboards – which says a lot about the chipset. But the fact that some consumers may find it difficult to differentiate between X299 motherboards that support Skylake-X and those that are only compatible with Kaby Lake-X still makes the platform rather unappealing to us.
(Source: TechPowerUp)
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Apple Releases iOS 11.0.2 Update; Fixes Audio Issues on iPhone 8, and More

For those of you who are using iOS 11 on your iPhone or iPad, it ‘s time to check for an update again. Apple has just released its iOS 11.0.2 update that features some bug fixes and improvements, including an audio crackling issue on the iPhone 8.
iOS 11.0.2 is available right now via an over the air update. Just head on to the settings menu, tap on General, followed by Software Update. According to the description, the update fixes the audio issue on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, addresses an issue that causes some photos to become hidden, and fixed an issue where certain attachments in emails could not be opened.

This is the second iOS minor update since iOS 11 was released on 19 September 2017. Apple has also released its iOS 11.1 update to Public Beta testers. The update features some slightly bigger changes such as updated animation when tapping status bar on top of page, updated unlock animation, new Assistive Touch custom actions, and such.

Updated animation when tapping status bar to go to top of page
Updated unlock animation
Updated Lock screen camera animation
New Assistive Touch Custom Actions
New icons in Assistive Touch menu
Assistive Touch menu opens near Assistive Touch icon
Updated Camera app icon under Settings → General → Restrictions
Slightly modified transition between apps when tapping a notification
Grouped emoji typing suggestions

(Source: 9to5Mac)
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Confirmed: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Coming to Malaysia on 20 Oct, Pre-Order Opens On 13 Oct

For those of you who wish to get the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, your wait is not too far away. Apple has just updated its Malaysian website, stating that the iPhone 8 will be available starting from 20 October 2017. The company has further confirmed that it will begin taking pre-order for both devices starting from 13 October 2017.
Apple officially announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus about a month ago, and started selling the devices in selected countries starting from 22 September 2017. The second wave of availability started last Friday, 29 September 2017, and it looks like we do not have to wait too long to get our hands on the phones. On top of that, our local telcos have already listed these phones as coming soon.

As for the price, while Apple is yet to make an official announcement, local online retailer 11street have already opened their preorder for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. According to 11street, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus starts from RM3,649, and all preorders comes with additional freebies worth a total of RM201; check out our previous post for the full details.
Meanwhile, if you’re still on the fence deciding whether you should get the iPhone 8, or wait for the iPhone X, maybe our hands on with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus could help you make up your mind.
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Stardew Valley Brings The Magic Of Harvest Moon Back To Nintendo Switch On 5 October

It’s finally happening. Stardew Valley has been ported to the Nintendo Switch and will go on sale on 5 October. Essentially filling the gap left by Harvest Moon; which was once considered a staple of Nintendo’s portable console market.
Developed by ConcernedApe, Stardew Valley is a game somewhat like Farmville. Except that there are no micro-transactions or people to bother. All that exists is the peace existence of running a small farm in the countryside and being part of a rural community.
What’s more interesting is that the publisher Chucklefish has managed to convince Nintendo to match Stardew Valley’s price on the PC. The $14.99 (about RM64) price tag is extremely low for a console game; even if it only happens to be available as a digital download. Most consoles charge at least $19.99 for indie games; and some even try to push the price higher.
Fans of the game have been waiting for the Switch port since the console was announced. Nintendo once published its own farm simulator in the Harvest Moon series, but has since said that it has no plans to revisit the franchise. Fortunately, this left space for ConcernedApe to release his own take on the genre.
[Source: Stardew Valley]
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Google Certifies First “Street View Ready” Camera For The Public

Google has certified its first consumer grade camera for its Street View Ready programme. Chinese manufacturer Insta360 announced that its Pro 360-degree camera was the first to receive this designation; allowing users to capture and upload images for use in Google’s Street View.
The Street View Ready programme was announced in May, where Google said it would be allowing people to contribute their own content to the mapping service. This doesn’t exactly mean that Google will no longer use its own Street View cars to chart the roads. Rather, it’s design is to allow for coverage in places where Google cannot normally get into.
For the most part, Street View Ready is divided into four categories: mobile, auto, VR, and workflow. The Insta360 Pro is the first in the “auto” category. Meaning that Google believes it will do fine if mounted to the top of a car and driven around town. Not that anyone is recommending this being done.

The Insta360 Pro can also be controlled from the Street View app, reducing the necessity of someone sitting on top of the car with the camera. The images can then be directly uploaded to Street View for processing and stitching. That said, it could take a couple of weeks before the user generated content is made available for public viewing.
While this sounds like a great way for the public to contribute to Street View, there is a catch. The Insta360 Pro costs an impressive $3499 (about RM14800). This price tag allows it to shoot with in 5 fps 8K; which is supposedly suitable for Street View photography. Those that can’t afford the camera can also look to Google, which is adding 50 of the units to its Street View camera loan programme.
[Source: Insta360)
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Leaked: HTC U11 Life Is An Android One Phone – Features Snapdragon 630, FHD Display, and More

As the Android One programme finally catches on with manufacturers, new companies are lining up new models for the market. HTC is apparently the next company in the line with their upcoming HTC U11 Life.
The new phone seems to be part in the company’s last wave of mid-tier models, which traditionally carry the Desire branding. Thus, you get mid-tier smartphone specifications as per this set of leak by well-known HTC leaker and MaximusHD ROM developer, @LlabTooFeR :

Snapdragon 630
RAM/Storage combo of 3GB/32GB or 4GB/64GB
5.2′ 1080p display
Cameras 16/16-megapixels (front/rear)
2600mAh battery
Edge Sense, USonic
IP67 rating
Android 8.0 Oreo

Additionally, the fingerprint sensor will be on the front of the device, similar to the HTC U11.
The rumoured HTC U11 Life with HTC Sense (left) and Android One (right)
Interestingly, we may be seeing two versions of the model – one under the Android One programme (with stock Android on board) while the other varian will be using HTC Sense UI.
The recently launched Xiaomi Mi A1, and the Motorola X4 shows that Android One smartphones is no longer focusing on just entry-level products. However, it is hard to see whether this program will be able to provide a lifeline to HTC who a part of its team was acquired by Google recently.
Meanwhile, the availability and pricing information for HTC U11 Life is not yet known at the moment. So, stay tuned.
(Source: @LlabTooFeR via DroidHolic)
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Confirmed: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Coming to Malaysia on 20 October 2017

For those of you who wish to get the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, your wait is not too far away. Apple has just updated its Malaysian website, stating that the iPhone 8 will be available starting from 20 October 2017. Sadly though, they did not provide any information on the price.
Apple officially announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus about a month ago, and started selling the devices in selected countries starting from 22 September 2017. The second wave of availability started last Friday, 29 September 2017, and it looks like we do not have to wait too long to get our hands on the phones. On top of that, our local telcos have already listed these phones as coming soon.

As for the price, while Apple is yet to make an official announcement, local online retailer 11street have already opened their preorder for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. According to 11street, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus starts from RM3,649, and all preorders comes with additional freebies worth a total of RM201; check out our previous post for the full details.
Meanwhile, if you’re still on the fence deciding whether you should get the iPhone 8, or wait for the iPhone X, maybe our hands on with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus could help you make up your mind.
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Streaming services among those to be charged GST under new ammendments

Popular streaming services like Netflix and iFlix will be subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST) if proposed amendments to the GST Act are approved at the next Dewan Rakyat session.
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy confirmed this at a press conference earlier today, citing the government has to take measures to tax online enterprises in the ever changing digital economy.
He said that this will be one of a number of amendments to the GST Act that will be tabled that will affect all businesses that operate online businesses, whether they are based locally or internationally.
While locally based streaming services like iFlix and Astro Go should have a straight forward GST implementation charges included in their monthly bills, we are not sure how the other global streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime will respond to the GST amendments.
Last month, we reported that payments to social advertising service providers like Facebook and Google will soon be subject to GST.
via The Malay Mail
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Johor Darul Ta’zim Football Club Unveils Its Own Power Bank

The newly crowned Malaysia Super League champion is at it once again: after launching its own smartphone earlier this year, Johor Darul Ta’zim Football Club (JDT) has released yet another IT product as part of its merchandise line-up. This time, it is a power bank.
Made by a company called iTouch, the limited-edition power bank features lithium polymer battery with capacity of 10,000mAh. It also comes with a small LCD display that indicate the amount of charge available (in percentage) inside the power bank.

With the ability to charge two devices at the same time via its dual 5V 2.1A output, JDT’s iTouch power bank also features an automatic shutdown system. Of course, let’s not forget the JDT logo that is prominently shown on the front area of the power bank.
All JDT fans as well as Malaysian football enthusiasts that are interested to get their hands on this power bank, they can do so through several methods including JDT’s own online store. Priced at RM 99, it should match nicely with JDT’s smartphone.
(Source: JDT Official Facebook Page)
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