GPU Shipments Increases By 7.2% In Q2 2017, Thanks To Cryptocurrency Mining

The recent surge of cryptocurrency mining seem to have impacted the GPU market in a big way. A report published by Jon Peddie Research stated that overall GPU shipments in Q2 2017 saw an increase of 7.2% (quarter to quarter) – something that apparently has never happened for over 20 years.
It’s worth noting that before the birth of the “digital currency mining craze” the GPU market had a somewhat repetitive and predictable quarterly pattern: stagnant in Q1, drop in Q2, increase in Q3, and slight increase to stagnant in Q4. When it comes to the manufacturers themselves, companies like AMD, Nvidia, and Intel saw a Q2 GPU shipment increase of 8%, 10%, and 6% respectively.
Image: Jon Peddie Research
Image: Jon Peddie Research
The increase in GPU shipment, however, isn’t something that PC gamers and enthusiasts would take too positively. The uptick in GPU shipments is, again, caused primarily by cryptocurrency miners buying graphics cards in bulk. This, of course, leaves very little stock for casual consumers. So, while GPU shipments have increase in Q2 2017, the demand for them is still significantly higher than what manufacturers can currently supply.
Putting aside the “PC gamers vs digital currency miners issue”, the recent boom in GPU shipment will indeed be beneficial to GPU manufacturers; especially AMD who managed to obtain a Q2 2017 GPU market share of 29.4% – an increase of about 1.9% when compared to Q1 2017. That said, let’s hope that these companies can somehow figure out a way to increase their GPU stocks so that both gamers and miners can be equally happy.
(Source: Jon Peddie Research)
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Report: Apple to Launch 4K Apple TV Alongside New iPhone and Apple Watch Models

Apple is expected to host a launch event next month, and on top of announcing new 2017 iPhones, it looks like the company could be unveiling other new products too. Bloomberg recently reported that Apple might unveil new 4K Apple TV alongside new iPhone and Apple Watch Models at its event in September.
We’ve seen references to a 4K Apple TV in Apple’s firmware for other products. It appeared in the HomePod’s firmware earlier this month, and was also discovered in iOS 11 beta 7 as well. According to Bloomberg, on top of a new 4K resolution, the upcoming Apple TV will also sport a faster processor.
But what good is a 4K set top box when it doesn’t have 4K content to play? Bloomberg also reports that Apple has “begun discussions with movie studios about supplying 4K versions of movies via iTunes”.
Current Apple TV starts from RM849 while the Chromecast and Mi Box costs RM189 and RM349 respectively
The Apple TV has been around for years now, however, sales hasn’t been doing well at all. Bloomberg News reported earlier this year that the sales for Apple TV have declined year-over-year in the 2016 holiday quarter. A recent survey in the U.S. also found that the Apple TV lacks behind other set-top boxes like Roku, Amazon, and Google, with only 15% market share. Hopefully, this upgrade could bump up sales a little.
At the end of the day, it all still boils down to the price point. Current Apple TV starts from RM879, way more expensive than other products such as the RM189 Google Chromecast and even the RM349 Xiaomi Mi Box.
(Source: Bloomberg via: 9to5Mac)
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YotaPhone 3 Goes Official – New Design, Snapdragon 625 Processor, 5.5” 1080p Display & More

As expected, Baoli Yota has finally officially taken the curtains off its latest YotaPhone 3 smartphone. Just like its predecessors, the YotaPhone 3 comes with two displays – a main one at the front, and an e-ink display located at the back. However, it now has a new design that makes it look similar to most smartphones today, as well as upgraded hardware.
The YotaPhone 3 comes with a 5.5” Full HD Super AMOLED display at the front, and a 5.2” E-Ink touch display at the back. On the inside, it has a slightly dated mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage. Other specs include 13MP rear camera, 12MP front camera, dual SIM support, fingerprint scanner, USB-C port, 3300mAh battery, and runs on Android Nougat out of the box.

The YotaPhone 3 was first announced back in June 2017 by Baoli Yota themselves. However back then, the company did not unveil any details about the device at all. The YotaPhone 3 will go on sale in mid-September at Chinese retailer for 4,000RMB – that’s about RM2,570, quite a bit more expensive than the rumoured price of US$350 (about RM1,500).
The original YotaPhone was first announced back in December 2012 and was officially launched a year later in December 2013. The company then showed off its YotaPhone 2 at MWC 2014, which went on sale much later at Indiegogo in May 2015.

(Source: The Verge)
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Quick Byte: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung’s latest flagship device is a test of customer loyalty, and whether the company has been forgiven for the last Galaxy Note. Will people return for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8? Why not give our hands on with the device a read and let us know what you think.

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Survey Finds That People Would Rather Not Take An Autonomous Vehicle

Technology companies might be rushing headlong to autonomous cars, but the public is less than certain about the change. A survey conducted by Gartner found that 55 percent of respondents would be willing to set foot in a driverless car; although 71 percent of those people would consider a partially autonomous option.
Despite these misgivings, the respondents agreed that autonomous technology offers the benefit increased safety in the event that the driver gets tired. They also agreed that the travel time could be better spent on work or entertainment.
Interestingly, more than half of car owners surveyed said that they would not want to give up their own cars. Even if the system would reduced the expense of ownership by 75 percent. It would seem that the convenience of owning a car still outweighs any other benefit gained by using ridesharing services.
“Fear of autonomous vehicles getting confused by unexpected situations, safety concerns around equipment and system failures and vehicle and system security are top concerns around using fully autonomous vehicles,” explains Mike Ramsey, research director at Gartner.
One thing to note about the survey is that it was conducted in the US and Germany. While Germany has been known to quickly adopt new technologies on a national scale, the US is traditionally slow to adjust to new ideas.
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Rumour: HTC Looking To Sell Vive VR Business

HTC is looking to sell off its Vive VR business according to sources close to the matter. The source also claimed that the company is looking into a sale of the entire company as well. Although that seems less likely to happen.
The Taiwanese company is said to be in talks with various companies to get rid of its Vive division, but may instead spin it off into its own business. Word is that Google is involved in the discussion, but there has been no confirmation that the internet giant is interested in more virtual reality technology.
HTC could end up selling the entire business, seeing that it’s market share has dropped to barely two percent worldwide. Bloomberg does not believe that this will happen, since the company has a reasonably diverse portfolio. Which may turn off potential buyers who would like a more focused purchase.
None of the parties involved are commenting on the report. Which is not anything surprising. However, it’s no surprise that HTC is looking towards a sale of the business. The company failed to make a splash with its latest flagship smartphone, while there’s no word on the number of sales generated by the Vive. It would probably be safe to assume that the premium VR headset hasn’t sold that many units.
[Source: Bloomberg]
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Google Reportedly Unveiling New Pixel Smartphones on 5 October

Now that Android Oreo is official, all eyes are on Google to unveil the second generation Pixel smartphones. Well, if a recent leak is to be believed, the new Pixel phones will be introduced on 5 October; they will supposedly come with Qualcomm’s new flagship chipsets too.
This launch date was revealed by Evan Blass, one of the most prominent leakers in the mobile industry. According to Blass, the new Pixel phones will also be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 chipsets. It’s a rather interesting revelation given that the SoC in question has not even been announced yet.

Google's second-generation Pixel handsets, powered by Snapdragon 836 SoC's, will be unveiled on October 5th.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 24, 2017

Of course, the most interesting detail revealed by Blass is the fact that this year’s iteration of the Pixel smartphones will be revealed on 5 October. In retrospect, the first generation Pixels were introduced around the same time last year, which gives further credibility to Blass’ claim.
Unlike 2016 iterations of the devices, the upcoming Pixel smartphones will differ quite a bit in terms of design. The smaller Pixel 2 will supposedly sport a rather conventional design, while the Pixel 2 XL is said to feature a sleeker, almost bezel-less display. Aside from that, both smartphones will allegedly come with pressure-sensitive frames too; much like the HTC U11.
This is supposedly the Pixel 2.
Although Blass has proven himself to be very reliable when it comes to leaks, there’s always a chance the Pixel phones will be announced on a different date. Nonetheless, we’ll definitely mark 5 October on our calendar.
(Source: Twitter (Evan Blass))
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Prepaid Plan Comparison: The Best Value Monthly Data Plan For RM30

There’s no denying that the internet has become a necessity in our everyday lives. Sadly though, while the price of mobile data has dropped drastically over the past few years, it can still be a burden for many. Not everybody, especially students or those from low-income families, can afford to pay so much just to stay connected. Hence it is important that they get the most out of what they can afford.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a comparison of prepaid data plans you can get for RM30 a month on some of the most popular prepaid telcos and MVNOs in Malaysia. We selected RM30 as it is usually seen as “the golden number” for prepaid reloads – this amount usually comes with a 30-day validity period to keep the number active throughout the month.

U Mobile

As always, U Mobile is the telco that offers the most data – not just monthly data, but also additional unlimited data for use on some of the most popular apps and services available. It comes with unlimited App-Onz­­TM, unlimited Music-Onz­­TM, unlimited late night streaming on YouTube, and unlimited data for Waze.
App-Onz­­TM provides unlimited data for social media apps including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This is available for all U Mobile Unlimited Power Prepaid subscribers.
Music-Onz­­TM on the other hand provides unlimited data for streaming on some of the most popular music streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Joox, Tidal, Milk Music, various local radio station apps, and more.
If that’s not enough, for you night owls, UMI 30 also provides free unlimited data for late night YouTube usage every day from 2am to 10am. Finally, UMI 30 also comes with unlimited data for Waze, so you can have peace of mind knowing that even if you are out of monthly data, you can still navigate around on Waze.
As for other usage like regular web browsing and mobile gaming, UMI 30 comes with up to a total of 10GB of monthly data. There’s 7.5GB for you to use on anything and everything, and 2.5GB of Video-Onz data for use on some of the most popular video streaming services such as iflix, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, tonton, Astro Go, HyppTV Everywhere, Viu, and many more.
App-Onz, Music-Onz, Video-Onz and free unlimited data for Waze are available 24/7 and on any U Mobile network you are connected to. Combined with the huge data allocation, makes this a really good plan for those who are always connected.

The RM30 Hotlink Fast Plan monthly internet plan sounds pretty interesting. It may come with only 2GB of monthly data, but it also offers additional data (though it can get a little tricky). You get free 8GB weekend data, and also 30GB Happy Hour data.
Happy Hour data offers 1GB of data for free each day of the month, but it’s only valid for one hour from 7am to 7pm. In order to claim the free Happy Hour data, users will need to do so via Hotlink’s Red app. On top of the 8GB free weekend data, Hotlink will offer FAST plan subscribers free 1GB of 4G LTE data every Saturday and Sunday.
Do note that the free 8GB weekend data is only valid for 4G LTE network, which means that if you are connected to 3G, Hotlink will deduct from your monthly internet quota.

Xpax recently launched brand new internet plans that continues their #NoKelentong tagline, offering a fuss-free experience to its subscribers. The RM30 monthly plan comes with a generous 5GB of monthly data, as well as 10GB of high-speed internet for use on Facebook, which is great for heavy social media users.
Unlike Hotlink’s time and network limit, there isn’t any additional limit on Xpax’s data; the data quota can be used “for anything, on any day, whether on 4G or 4G networks without any split quota”, and the 10GB high-speed internet for Facebook is for all your usage on the social network.

For Digi, the telco has got two different internet plans that cost about RM30 a month. For those who only need only internet, the RM30 Internet Plan comes with 5GB of data, and as part of the telco’s biGBonus, you get an additional 30GB of data.
But, there’s a slight catch. The biGBonus is limited to 1GB of free data each day from 1PM to 7PM – making it similar to Hotlink’s Happy Hour (albeit with longer validity period). In addition, this promotion is only valid until 31 August 2017.
On the other hand, if you need more than just data, Digi’s RM28 Internet Plus Plan offers 3GB of high-speed internet, 300 minutes of free local calls, and Facebook Bonus data for use on Facebook and Twitter (limited to 500MB a day only).

Tune Talk

Tune Talk also has got two different data plans for around RM30. The RM28 Datatata plan comes with 4GB of monthly data, and if you reload RM30, you get an additional 1GB of high-speed internet for free. It is a simple and straightforward plan with no limitation on the time and network you are on.
However, the newly launched +Vibe 30 plan is definitely more attractive than the former, offering 4GB of data, 2GB of free data, as well as RM5 airtime credit. One caveat: all of the telco’s +Vibe plans are available online only, and subscription must be made via Tune Talk’s website.

Mcalls, a newly launched MVNO in Malaysia, definitely has one of the most interesting plans. You do not need to subscribe to any additional data plans – just top up RM30 on your Mcalls number, and the Y33 plan will grant 5GB of data, 33 minutes of calls, and 33 SMS. The data and calls & SMS are completely free, and you get RM30 of airtime credit for any additional usage. The telco rides on Digi’s mobile network, so coverage should also not be too much of an issue.
Final Words

For what each plan offers, U Mobile definitely wins this battle, with the best value for money deal of them all. For RM30, the UMI 30 prepaid plan gives you the most amount of data at 7.5GB that can be used on all online activities – with no limitations. On top of that, you also get unlimited data for App-Onz, unlimited Music-Onz, unlimited Waze, and free calls to all networks. Together with an additional 2.5GB of data for Video-Onz, that makes a total of 10GB of data.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the other prepaid plans are not good. If you are patient enough to claim your free Happy Hour data from Hotlink, it adds up to 30GB of data at the end of 30 days. Digi’s biGBonus promotion is very attractive too, however, it is a limited promotion that will be ending soon.
The Mcalls Y33 prepaid plan is no slouch either, being the only telco that does not require you to subscribe to a data plan; all you need to do is reload RM30, and you get 5GB, 33 minutes of free calls, and 33 free SMS, along with RM30 of airtime credit.
But in terms of sheer value for money and flexibility in how you can use your data, U Mobile’s UMI 30 prepaid plan is definitely worth a closer look.

Disclosure: This article was sponsored by U Mobile.
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Nubia Z17 Mini Pre-Order Now Opens: 128GB Smartphone with 6GB RAM For Under RM 2,000

Nubia Malaysia has recently begin to accept the pre-order for its Z17 mini which will be heading to our market early next month. Despite its name and its size, the smartphone is not exactly a smaller variant of the brand’s flagship model, Z17 but nevertheless, it seems to be able to hold its own ground based on the specs sheet.
Equipped with a 5.2-inch full HD LTPS display, the Z17 mini is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor. At the same time, the smartphone also comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage which naturally become two of the phone’s most highlighted feature.

On its back, the phone carries a dual camera setup which consisted of a 13MP Sony IMX258 in RGB mode and another 13MP similar sensor that has been set to capture lights and shading details through monochrome mode. Additionally, Z17 mini also comes with an 16MP camera on its front.
By today’s standard, Z17 mini’s 2950mAh battery seems rather small but nevertheless, Nubia claimed that the phone still able to last up to 2 days. Priced at RM 1,699, customers are able to pre-order it until 31 August for slightly less at RM 1,599 through Nubia Malaysia’s own online store and selected dealers throughout the country.
(Source: Nubia Malaysia)
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Elon Musk shares the first picture of the SpaceX spacesuit

Owner of Tesla, Elon Musk, who is also the owner of SpaceX, has shared on Instagram the first picture of the SpaceX spacesuit. He clearly indicated that the suit is definitely not a mock and that it has gone through a double vacuum pressure test.

The suit will be worn by the SpaceX crew members when they head up to the International Space Station. SpaceX has been sending supplies to the international space station for the past couple of years and Elon Musk has plans to send tourists up to space. Musk did mention that they are trying hard to balance between how the suit will actually look and how functional it is in space.
SpaceX has also been successful in their bid to reuse rockets as they have managed to send one of their used Falcon 9 rockets and successfully landed it back again earlier this year.

The space dream is still very much alive as Elon Musk has also shown a vested interest in trying to get a man to Mars. Besides SpaceX, there are other players who are also interested in getting tourists to space.
[Source: cnet & Instagram]
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