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ZODIAC

Found 15 results

  1. We were invited by Realme to check out how their smartphones are made in the OPPO facility in Shenzhen, China. Realme, a sub-brand of OPPO, is manufactured with utmost scrutiny and standards just like their own branded smartphones. In fact, OPPO is amongst the top five manufacturers in the world and runs world-class facilities where they manufacture and test smartphones before it hits the market for customers. We got to see everything in the production line and how smartphones are made from the ground up. Right from how PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) are made to the final device that gets drop tested for durability. So here's how Realme smartphones are made in OPPO's facility in Shenzhen: Realme Manufacturing © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Be it any smartphone, you first build a PCB which is later built into the motherboard of a smartphone. The PCB is probably the most important component of a smartphone which houses all the essential components such as processor, storage modules, RAM and everything else you can think. Once the PCB is manufactured, it is inspected and surveyed up to OPPO and Realme's standards. This entire process is called SMT manufacturing or surface-mount technology. The entire production line is automated with robots but it is closely monitored by humans. Each line is capable of churning out 10,000 of PCBs in a single day. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla There are around 71 lines and takes about 1 hour for the entire process to be completed. The process involves various steps such as having the operating system installed on the ROM to having each and every single component attached to the PCB before it moves on for the testing and quality control phase. Testing and Quality Assurance © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the assembly of the smartphone is done, devices need to be tested to make sure it is ready to hit the streets. Much like every other manufacturer, smartphones are selected at random for testing and quality assurance. Roughly 10 percent of the total output (each batch) is tested to make sure the smartphone does not have any problems. If the smartphone has issues in the PCB or a physical defect, the company then inspects the entire batch to look for similar issues and find the root of the problem. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the smartphone is cleared from this phase, it then has to go through rigorous physical tests such as drop tests, tests in different environments and other durability tests. One such test was the test of the smartphone being rubbed off against a swatch of denim. The smartphone is rubbed off to simulate daily usage patterns of users when they slide a smartphone in their pockets. This test basically tries to determine the scratch resistance of the smartphone. Similarly, many sample devices are repeatedly dropped from different heights and at different angles. For example, we witnessed the Realme 3 Pro was being tested for durability when dropped on the edges, back and front of the smartphone. Even the buttons are tested at a force of 1KG. Others tests included the durability of the USB port where it was suspended on a pendulum type device and was subjected to repeated twists and turns. These tests are carried out for one simple reason, to simulate real-life usage of customers and see the after effects. Every single piece of data and results are stored that are later analysed to improve the device. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to near real-life drop tests, the smartphone is dropped from waist height and it isn't one drop either. The smartphone is dropped approximately 2800 times and each drop is inspected by a worker. These drops are again subjected to utmost scrutiny as these drops are to simulate daily customer usage. A tumbler machine is also used where each test device is tumbled for about 150 times to see the after effects for scuffs and physical damage. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Since Realme phones are sold in different regions, the smartphone has to be tested for environmental resilience. OPPO has numerous temperature controlled cabinets that simulate different conditions such as humidity levels and temperature levels. Each smartphone is tested in environments of 55 degree Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius. It is important to test devices in different environments as the temperate of your environment changes, so does the temperature of your smartphone. Realme and OPPO have to make sure that their devices don't get too warm as it can lead to dangerous situations. One Final Check © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the entire inspection and testing procedures are completed, each phone is checked by workers before it can be shipped to stores These tests include checking the phone for various components such as display functionality and quality, software checks, camera tests and other basic tests. This is the final crucial phase of testing and quality assurance that makes sure that the end user does not get a faulty device. Final Thoughts Manufacturing smartphones is not an easy task and it is hard to imagine the amount of work that goes into making a phone. It was quite exciting to see the complicated process of manufacturing and the testing phase. It was an up close and personal experience where we got to know what goes into making a smartphone before they are shipped to your home, or even to a store.
  2. Death penalty -- that is what a government-sanctioned killing of a person is known as. And the grievous process of taking a person's life is known as execution. This isn't a topic most of us would want to read about on any given day. We're sure you have much better things to do than dwell on this, much like the rest of us. © Getty Images Yet, here we are writing about it, and if you're still here, hang on for a little longer because things are about to get interesting now. Recently, we came across a report on world's top executioners and the data literally forced us to pen this piece. For the longest time Saudi Arabia has been the most infamous for its executions that doesn't spare any human life guilty in the eyes of the law in the state. Turns out we were mistaken big time. Not only does Saudi Arabia doesn't conduct most number of executions, but it also doesn't stand at number 2 one the list. © Getty Images According to an Amnesty International report, revealed that China is after all the world's top executioner by far! Over thousands of people were put to death last year in the country even when the accurate figures are still not known and remain a state secret. Saudi Arabia on the other hand holds the third spot on the list after Iran, which is second in line with its number of execution lying at over 253 executions in 2018. Saudi Arabia on the other hand conducted 149 executions last year. © Statista Who would have thought one of Asia's fastest growing economies is also a leading country in carrying out the most number of executions! FYI, executions in China are mostly enforced for murder and drug trafficking, and are carried out by lethal injection or gun shot. *Jitters*
  3. PUBG Mobile is undoubtedly one of the most popular titles which you can play on both Android and iOS devices. Millions of players are showing up on PUBG's servers to play the game on a daily basis. Despite the staggering success, the game's developer and publisher Tencent Games is currently dealing with a lot of criticism, thanks to the reports which claim that the game is highly addictive and is affecting the mental health of the players. © Tencent Mobile Following the serious backlash, Tencent Games has now decided to impose a digital lock that will lock out players under the age of 13. Tencent Games is said to have imposed the restriction to support the Chinese government's crackdown on gaming addiction, and players below 13 years of age will need a parent or guardian's permission to play. Tencent is said to be using technologies like facial recognition and player ID checks to ascertain the age and identities of the players. They are using similar technology to ban players in 'Honour of Kings', which is yet another popular Tencent Games title. In addition to the digital lock, Tencent has already imposed limits on how long players can play the game, streaming restriction, and more. © PUBG Corporation As of now, only the Chinese version of the game seems to have the digital lock. The ban has been imposed in 12 Chinese cities including Beijing, Chengdu, and Changchun. But considering how Indian parents have been complaining about the game's addictive nature, we think it's only a matter of time until we see a similar digital lock being imposed on the Indian version of the game as well. In a statement released following the backlash, Tencent said, "To foster a healthy and balanced in-game environment, we are developing numerous new features and enhancements which enables us to provide an environment for players to enjoy PUBG Mobile in a rewarding and responsible manner. We are honoured to have a passionate community of PUBG Mobile players in India and globally and continue to welcome their feedback to make PUBG Mobile the best game ever!" Source: Xinhuanet
  4. Qualcomm and Apple are in the middle of a legal fight that concluded to an injunction against the Cupertino giant in court. The ruling prevents Apple from importing and selling multiple iPhone models in China. Qualcomm and Apple have been in a legal battle for a while and the Chinese courts' order specifically bars the company from selling the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The iPhone XS, XS Max and XR are still going to be sold in China. It is also worthy to note that this ban only applies to China as the Chinese courts have no jurisdiction in international markets. © Reuters “Qualcomm's effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple said in a statement. “All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China. Qualcomm is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated. We will pursue all our legal options through the courts.” Qualcomm claims that Apple is apparently infringing Qualcomm patents which include users to adjust the size and appearance of photos. Qualcomm also claims that Apple is also infringing another patent which includes the procedure of managing apps on a smartphone. “We deeply value our relationships with customers, rarely resorting to the courts for assistance, but we also have an abiding belief in the need to protect intellectual property rights,” Qualcomm said in a statement. The company is upset that, “Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us.” © Twitter Apple has filed an appeal to overturn the court's decision and will fight the ban and are set to face off in court in April. Apple has been battling the San Diego based chipmaker since early 2017 and some companies in Apple's supply chain predict that the two companies will reach a settlement over Qualcomm's 5G tech. Source: CNBC
  5. Just last month Samsung showed off a brand new concept phone that has a foldable screen and closes just like a book. Samsung plans to shake up the smartphone business with a new phone in an already saturated market. Samsung only showed off the display of the smartphone and didn't give a clear look at the body of the smartphone. For years Samsung has been developing consumer ready foldable displays and intends to be the first major company to launch a phone with the technology. We already know that Huawei and LG too are working on the same lines and competition has never been this intense. © YouTube But things are slowly going south for Samsung, its latest bendable screen technology has been stolen and sold to two Chinese companies, according to prosecutors in South Korea. The prosecutors allege that a Samsung supplier leaked blueprints of Samsung's "flexible OLED edge panel 3D lamination" to a company that it had set up. Intellectual property theft is a national concern for South Korea as it tries to maintain its narrowing technology lead over China. 11 people have been indicted and three of them, including the company's CEO, have been arrested and are awaiting trial. © Reuters The group allegedly formed a separate shell company that received information of the use equipment and drawings of the panels, which they accessed from working with Samsung. They then sold the documents in China, earning 15.5 billion won (U$ 13.8 million). The hardware that is alleged to have been stolen is used to create the curved screens found on the edges of Samsung's popular Galaxy line of smartphones, prosecutors said. Samsung introduced the edge version of OLED panels with the Galaxy Note Edge in 2014. Since then, it has introduced a dual-edge version that has been used in its flagship S and Note series. © Reuters It manufactures more than 90 percent of the small and midsize OLED panels used in smartphones worldwide. A leak of technology in this field would deal a huge blow to Samsung The South Korean giant spent about 150 billion won over a period of six years to develop the OLED technology that is now considered highly-classified national knowledge, prosecution said. Source: Bloomberg
  6. “Senorita, bade bade deshon mein aesi choti choti baate hoti rehti hai…” via GIPHY An iconic dialogue from the movie 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge', immortalized on screen with the scenic backdrop of Europe. And all I wanted to do was go on a Euro trip; see the scenic Swiss Alps, soak in the culture of France or roam through the legendary Roman streets. What was at the top of my list? Paris! There's something truly charming and dreamy about Paris, which is considered the romantic capital of the world. via GIPHY All my delusions were disillusioned when I saw the cost of travelling and staying there; romantic dreams be damned. It seems like the perfect romantic destination (if you overlook the cost :P); pretty, quaint sidewalks littered with cafés, everyone speaking in French, sharing a soufflé with your S.O. while enjoying the view of the scenic Eiffel Tower. © Thinkstock/Getty Images © Thinkstock/Getty Images Or walking down the spectacular Champs Elysées or being teased by Mona Lisa's beatific smile at the Louvre Museum. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Or being mesmerized by the gorgeous and elegant architecture. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Unfortunately, every one of us is not that lucky (read rich) to go and spend an insane amount of money on a trip to Paris, which is also one of the most expensive cities to live in. Well, we are happy to tell you that now you can get the feel of Europe in Asia itself. Yes, you heard it right. The beautiful City of Lights has been replicated in China (where else :P) and by God, it is an unbelievable doppelgänger of Paris. Right from the quaint walkways, the old school charm, the quintessential arc lamps and the monumental Eiffel Tower; an incredulous feat in itself. All this in a neighbouring country, which is known for its cheap products and a knack for knock-offs! This time they have gone big and replicated a whole part of another country. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Situated in a town called Tianducheng, located in the suburb of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China, the town boasts of a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Standing tall at 354 feet, nearly one-third the length of the original, the tower rivals the one in Paris in its grandeur and grace. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Quite near to Shanghai, Tianducheng is an hour away via train. A framed Champs Elysées, a version of the Versailles Neptune Fountain, various statues exactly like the ones in Paris, other fountains, the beautiful gardens, Haussmannian buildings, the avenues, the walkways and the graceful Parisian architecture which has charmed everyone for centuries. With meticulous detailing, the town is set to give one the feeling of being in Paris or at the very least, make you think of it. © Thinkstock/Getty Images Just look at it! Can you differentiate between the real and the fake? © Thinkstock/Getty Images © Thinkstock/Getty Images The real one is the first image. Could you tell? (I couldn't, at first glance!) Its uncanny resemblance is easy to fool even the stringent of observers. Interestingly, French photographer Francois Prost has an entire photo series, aptly titled “Paris Syndrome” which compares the photographs of both cities; their architecture, the people and the entire vibe of both cities. He has tried to capture the essence of the overlapping cultures. He says, that even though he is French, he was enamoured and pleasantly surprised by the eerie similarities between the two cities and was impressed with the attention to detail given to the buildings in Tianducheng. You can check out his work here: Unbelievable, isn't it? Though the original will always remain the best thing to behold, as is the case with originals every time, this dwarfed twin is a great example of imitation being the best form of flattery. China is notorious for copying other places around the world and providing people with an alternative travel destination, an Eastern variation of cities of the West if you will. Unfortunately, most of the cities turn to ghost towns; Tianducheng being one of them. © Pinterest What was anticipated to be a famous tourist destination and a bustling metropolis buzzing with people did not turn out to live up to its potential; its projected population density was never fulfilled. It was created in 2007 with hopes of turning it into a multi-million-dollar housing estate. Nearly empty, it hardly saw any tourists; a city which was Parisian in its appearance but wasn't good enough for people to inhabit. With hardly 2.000 occupants as of 2013, the city was thought of to be a massive failure. But it seems to be changing now, as per new reports of 2017; owing to the mounting curiosity among travellers across the world for ghost cities. The count of inhabitants has come to be around 30,000, giving its real estate a chance to see growth in a long time. The upliftment can also be a result of the growing economy of China (though it may be at a slow pace). © Thinkstock/Getty Images Most tourists come here to take a picture with the Eiffel Tower in the background, living the dream of seeing it firsthand (even though it is a fake), just for the novelty of it or for fooling people back home (:P). © Thinkstock/Getty Images Wedding photography is quite prevalent with the famed city tower in the backdrop. Who wouldn't want to be married in Paris and have a photoshoot under the beautiful sculpture? In fact, musician Jamie XX used the city's ghost town status to his advantage by shooting his music video for “GOSH” here; where else would you get a deserted Eiffel tower or an empty Paris? :P Why you should visit? For the thrill of seeing one of the most magnificent monuments in the world in a place which you couldn't have imagined it to be. And a cheaper trip to see the fascinating Eiffel Tower without travelling all the way to Europe! So, what's stopping you? Go, travel to China, say Ni hao to the Eiffel Tower, click pictures and make your friends jealous! Till then, au revoir! The Eiffel Tower awaits!
  7. China is facing similar pollution problems as in India but that's not stopping them from experimenting with Air Purifiers. The country installed the world's biggest air purifier early this year and is already bringing a noticeable change in air quality. It's 328 feet high and is improving the air quality in the city of Xian in Shaanxi province. According to the operators, the air quality has seen improvement in an area of 10 square kilometres over the past few months and the tower has produced more than 10 million cubic metres of clean air. The large air purifier is able to reduce the smog to moderate level on severely polluted days. The Smog tower in Xian was launched in 2015 and completed construction last year. It was developed to find an effective and cost-effective method to artificially remove pollutants from the atmosphere. © YouTube Delhi, the capital of India also faces similar pollution problems where air pollution levels have reached their worst and an India-based startup has suggested to the government to install a similar Air Purifier in the city. Kurin Systems wants to install an air purifier which is 40 feet high and has the capacity to clean 32 million cubic meters of air every day. We would love to see something of this effect present in Delhi to tackle the similar issue. Delhi's toxic air was termed as a “crisis” by the UN Environment chief and said that it requires “government, policy-makers, scientists and civil society to come together to mitigate”
  8. The future of news presentation is here, and the Chinese were the first in the entire world to witness it. Earlier this week, Xinhua News Agency in China presented the media industry with its newest members - AI news readers who promise to “tirelessly” bring latest news reports all throughout the, from any part of the country. Viewers in China were greeted with an English Artificial Intelligence anchor, modelled on a real news anchor working with Xinhua News Agency named Zhang Zhao. The AI news presenter looked very real and “human-like” in a koala cub grey suit, as he frequently nodded at the screen and blinked every few seconds just like a normal human being. World's first #AI news anchor debuts, jointly developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine company https://t.co/34tyZ4nwrg. https://t.co/2omcc5K9rB pic.twitter.com/qXn5Z3ZkxL — China Xinhua News (@XHNews) November 8, 2018 The AI anchor was heard saying how the development in the media industry calls for “continuous innovation” and “integration of international advanced technology” for better and improved reportage. The AI anchor was also be seen declaring that he would “work tirelessly to keep the viewers informed” at all times. He also said that he looks forward to “bringing brand new news experiences” to his audience. © YouTube According to The Guardian, the AI presenters have been developed by Xinhua and the Chinese search engine, Sogou. The AI presenters use machine learning to simulate the voice, facial movements, and gestures of real-life broadcasters. That seems like a huge achievement in the field of media and technology alike. With the possibility of reporting 24x7 from various locations at a time, would not only save a lot of manpower but also ensure that the latest news and updates are continuously relayed to the viewers. Is this how the future of media “looks” like?
  9. China has officially opened the world's longest sea-crossing bridge, a 55-km-long structure linking mainland China to the semi-autonomous territories of Hong Kong and Macau. The travel time via the bridge has been reduced to just 30-45 minutes and the megastructure is being celebrated as an engineering marvel. The project cost about a whopping US$ 20 billion and while it holds the record of being the longest sea bridge, it also has a few unique additions that include cameras to detect yawning, forcing drivers to wear heart rate monitors and access restricted to the political elite and charity donors. © SCMP To start with, driving across the bridge will force you to wear their heart rate and blood pressure sensors and all the information will be sent to the bridge's control centre. According to local media in Hong Kong, "yawning cameras" will be constantly monitoring the driver, and if one yawns more than three times in 20 seconds, an alert will be raised. In China, people drive on the right side of the road, while Hong Kong drives on the left, hence a “flipper bridge” called the Pearl River Necklace was chosen, where cars stop, change sides at a specially built merge point and then drive onto Hong Kong. © SCMP The bridge is not open to the general public though, as only the wealthy and politically connected are permitted to drive. The authorities shall be issuing 10,000 licenses for Hong Kong-based private cars, while the capacity for Macau is capped at just 300. If you don't have a permit, you'll have to use public transport to reach the bridge and then shift to a private bus that runs on the bridge. The whole project is not just a bridge though, as to facilitate passing of large ships through the area, a four-mile-long section of the bridge dips down beneath the water. © SCMP While engineers have hailed the project to be a marvel, political watchdogs have criticized the project, because this is considered to be to an agenda to connect Hong Kong and Macau with the rest of mainland China. The bridge's opening also comes a month after the inauguration of a new high-speed rail link from Hong Kong to mainland China, that runs along a different, shorter route.
  10. The sequel to Bollywood thriller 'Aankhen 2' is happening and the cast sounds mighty impressive. The previous instalment. that was quite critically acclaimed, was directed by Vipul Amrutlal and featured Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Arjun Rampal, Paresh Rawal and Sushmita Sen. In 2002, when Bollywood was making cliche films, this movie grabbed eyeballs with its refreshing concept, gripping script and edge-of-the-seat plot. It's been 16 years and finally, we have a confirmation that the sequel is taking place with none other than Big B taking the lead. Set to be directed by Anees Bazmee, the movie has already created quite a buzz. A source told Mumbai Mirror, "Amitji liked the script and has given his nod to the project. Anees Bazmee has begun prep and will start shooting in 2019. The team is targeting an early 2020 release." The makers of the upcoming action thriller confirmed the news on its official Twitter handle. "Gear up for the new heist-thriller! @ErosIntlPlc & #TarunAgarwal to produce #Aankhen2 starring @SrBachchan. More big names to be announced soon in the ensemble cast, watch this space! Dir. by Anees Bazmee, film to go on floor in 2019 & release in January 2020," read the tweet. Gear up for the new heist-thriller! @ErosIntlPlc & #TarunAgarwal to produce #Aankhen2 starring @SrBachchan. More big names to be announced soon in the ensemble cast, watch this space! Dir. by Anees Bazmee, film to go on floor in 2019 & release in January 2020 @ErosNow — Eros Now (@ErosNow) August 24, 2018 The makers want new talent onboard with Bachchan and are considering Vicky Kaushal and Sushant Singh Rajput for the same. But what makes it interesting is the fact that we might see AB alongside superstar Jackie Chan, as the script revolves around a casino in China. There is a huge possibility that we might see the two biggest stars of all time sharing the screen together. 'Aankhen' had an interesting story in which Big B played the lead who manipulates three blind men (Akshay, Paresh, Arjun) into preparing for a major bank robbery. Sushmita Sen, who is being blackmailed by Big B, has no choice but to train them. It will be quite is interesting to see if the second instalment does justice to the original one.
  11. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the China-EU Business Roundtable held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Monday, July 16, 2018. Photo: Reuters SHANGHAI: A vaccine scandal in China, which has hit a nerve in the country and...
  12. China is the world's biggest online shopping market with more than half of its population making at least one smartphone purchase per month, according to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Photo:AFPBEIJING: Along a quiet residential...
  13. Boeing 737s accounted for more than 40 percent of Air China's fleet as of the end of last year. Photo: AFPSHANGHAI: Chinese authorities have cut flag carrier Air China?s 737 flights and revoked the flying licences of the cockpit crew involved in...
  14. FILE PHOTO: Tim Hortons employees serve shareholders before the company's annual general meeting in Toronto, May 8, 2014, photo: ReutersCanadian coffee chain Tim Hortons is pushing into China with plans to open 1,500 outlets in the world?s second...
  15. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang review the guard of honour at the chancellory in Berlin, Germany July 9, 2018, photo: ReutersBERLIN: Germany and China signed a raft of commercial accords worth some 20 billion...
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