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Over 55% Completion B

Managing Director Noor Azman Head of Department YK Cheah

ye bye, July, we won’t miss the heat wave you brought. Still, the hot weather didn’t stop July from being a relatively busy month, with events and products rolling out in droves. For one, this month saw the launch of smartphones with pop-up cameras and the comeback of BlackBerry with the Key2 smartphone. We even saw another addition to the e-wallet scene, with Razer Pay now in the mix. As for the more meaty side of things, we’ve gone back to one long section of featured articles. This time around, we’ve got an article on how some companies are using your data for less than welcomed purposes. We think that’s important to know, so do check out that article in page 46. In terms of reviews, PC components sadly continue to remain absent. But we’ve got enough here to whet the appetite of gamers, or anyone looking for new smartphone options. We covered some fun stuff too, like an exclusive local demo for the upcoming Spider Man game, and our recent visit of the Asia Comic Con 2018. Check those out in Lite ‘n Leisure section from pages 98 to 111. More than half the year is gone, but 2018 is likely to have more in store soon. Who knows, maybe we’d get to see the PC components market become active again?

Matthew Yap Deputy Editor

EDITORIAL Deputy Editor Matthew Yap Writer Nixon Ng Writer Rikco Shim Contributors Andreas Th. Fischer, Christoph Schmidt, Jorg Geiger, Markus Mandau, Fabian Von Keudell, Sepp Reitberger, Sebastian Viehmann, Angelika Reinhard, Thorsten Franke-Haverkamp, Alexander Karstens Design & Layout Zhafri Rauf Cover Design Zhafri Rauf SALES & MARKETING Senior Manager YK Cheah Account Manager Connor Tan Consultant Muffadzlee Dato’ Sufian ADMINISTRATION Admin Manager WP Lim ONLINE www.chip.com.my CHIP Malaysia PUBLISHER Online Dynamics (M) Sdn. Bhd. A-5-07 Block A, Neo Damansara Bandar Damansara Perdana, Jalan PJU 8/1 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: (03) 7727 6554 Fax: (03) 7727 3554

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DISTRIBUTED BY MPH Distributors Sdn. Bhd. Ground Floor Warehouse, Lot 2, Bangunan TH, No. 5, Jalan Bersatu, Section 13/4, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Tel: (03) 7958 1688 Fax: (03) 7956 5995 © This edition of CHIP is a publication of Online Dynamics (M) Sdn. Bhd. licensed by Vögel Burda Holding GmbH, 80336 Munich, Germany. © Copyright of the trademark ‘‘CHIP by Vögel Burda Holding GmbH, 80336 Munich, Germany. No part of CHIP magazine / shall be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. All views expressed in the magazine are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of CHIP magazine / the publisher. All information in the magazine is provided ‘as is’ and ‘as available’ and CHIP magazine / the publisher makes no representations and gives no warranty of any kind, implied, express or statutory as to the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, non-infringement of 3rd party rights, title, merchantability and / or suitability / fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the said information. Under no circumstances whatsoever shall the CHIP magazine / the publisher be liable for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages whether in contract or in tort arising out of or in connection with the use of the information made available in CHIP magazine. All prices, product versions and URLs’ are correct at the time of printing.

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contents

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COVER STORY NEWS & TRENDS

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034

062 Microsoft’s Plans For Windows 10 As the biggest PC OS in the world, it’s important to know what’s new and upcoming for Windows 10. Here are some updates

006 Local News

Coverage of the latest news and events right on our shores

028 World Wired Web

All the latest tech happenings around the world

026 Security Reports

Monthly dose of security news

FEATURES

034 More Censorship Incoming

What is domain fronting and what is the impact of its ban? Read to find out

036 Teslas For Everyone

Production for the Tesla 3 is ramping up, but will it be affordable enough?

046 The All-Seeing Web

Some companies gather more data than we’re comfortable with. Learn more about what they can do with some of that data

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TEST LAB

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071 Test Lab: The Tools Test Labs’ tools of the trade

072 Test Lab Contents

Take a pick and get started!

080 Reviews

Professionally conducted reviews following our stringent tests and benchmarks

LITE & LEISURE

098 The Tabletop Report

For those moments when you want to go analogue, a tabletop game may just be what you need

106 E-Sports Express

What’s the latest gossip in the e-sports world?

110 Made By The Masses

A look at some interesting crowdfunded products you should know

PRACTICE REGULARS 080

116 Metallic Models

Car photography is an art of its own, so here are some tips to get you started

001 Welcome Note 118 Tips and Tricks


contents chip download

CHIP Downloads August 2018 We’re back with our monthly dose of interesting, free and handy tools for you to enhance your PC experience. If you want to know how you can get these files, follow the instructions below: 1. Head on our website @ www.chip.com.my and right at the top, click on the ‘‘Downloads” tab 2. After that, click on the respective month’s post. You will then be prompted for a password. The password can be found on this page monthly. 3. Navigate using the tabs and pick the categories you want to download the files from. Once you find the file you want, just click on it and you’re good to go! And it’s as easy as that! PASSWORD FOR AUGUST 2018 - testbeforeyoubuy

Featured Tools WhoCrashed WhoCrashed shows the drivers that have been crashing your computer with a single click. In most cases it can pinpoint the offending drivers that have been causing misery on your computer system in the past. It does post-mortem crashdump analysis and presents all gathered information in a comprehensible way.

PhotoRec

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

TestDisk TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software. For those who know little or nothing about data recovery techniques, TestDisk can be used to collect detailed information about a non-booting drive.

Essentials

Our list of essentials consists of programs and software such as graphics drivers, browsers, compression software and even Cloud storage software that will improve a PC user’s experience. The links on our website won’t provide you with the files, instead it will lead you to the developers’ official website, where you can find the right file for you. 04

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contents chip download

The Monthly Downloads LightBulb

Operating system: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 If you like having dynamic brightness or gamma during different times of the day, then LightBulb can help you. LightBulb helps to reduce eyestrain by adjusting the gamma of your computer depending on the current time.

fxCalc

Operating system: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 Do you need a calculator that’s better than the one provided on Windows? fxCalc is one of the most advanced desktop calculators for Windows, but still retains a simple and intuitive way of handling complex mathematical tasks.

GeoGebra

Operating system: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 GeoGebra is a dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education that brings together geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use package.

EMDB

Operating system: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 EMDB is an application to keep track of your movies and TV series. Both physical discs and media files are supported, with an automatic import from the database of OMDB, export to csv, text or HTML, and more.

WinToHDD

Operating system: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 WinToHDD makes reinstalling Windows less of a hassle, giving you the option of reinstalling Windows directly from an ISO, WIM, ESD without the need of using CD/DVD/USB. Additionally, you can use it to clone your Windows OS directly to a new HDD or SSD.

PatchMyPC Updater

Operating system: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 Patch My PC Updater is a free, easy-to-use program that keeps over 300 apps up-to-date on your computer. It is an easy way to update or install any of these programs on to your computer.

Clover

Operating system: Win, Mac OS, Linux If you like tabs like a Google Chrome browser then you can look forward to Clover. Clover is a Windows Explorer extension that adds browser-like tabs and multi-tab functionality to your dreary Windows Explorer

SpeedyFox

Operating system: Win 7, 8, 10 SpeedyFox is specially designed to fix the fragmentation of profile databases which slows down SQLITE databases. SpeedyFox compacts those databases without any losing data, while optimising them to operate faster and may even decrease in size.

Basilisk

Operating system: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 Basilisk is a free and Open Source XUL-based web browser which has a user interface much like Mozilla’s Firefox. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine and builds on the Unified XUL platform.

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news

Goh Yin Hwang, Country Manager, OKI(left) together with Asoka Ratnam, Head of Business Operation Division, DTech at Archidex 2018 launching the latest Teriostar LP1040-MF wide format multifunction printer

OKI Launches Wide Format MFP At Archidex 2018 OKI produces a wide format multifunction printer designed to boost productivity

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KI put their latest printer model on display at the Archidex 2018 show held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). The Teriostar LP-1040-MF is a wide format multifunction printer designed to boost productivity in architecture, design, engineering and reprographics offices - where deadlines are tight and time is money. The LP-1040-MF prints at speeds of up to 7ppm when it comes to A1 size prints. The printer is capable of both colour and mono scanning with scan speeds of 240mm per second and is capable of running parallel tasks making workflow even faster. A unique industry feature is the user-replaceable process cartridge

A full look at the Teriostar LP-1040-MF

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that is essentially a combination cartridge and photoconductor drum, which would deliver significant benefits to users, such as increased uptime and reduced support costs. There are other features that make these printers simple and intuitive to use too. For example, all controls are managed at the front by a clear 8.5-inch colour touch screen panel, which gives quick access to frequently used menus with a function user interface. Exceptional print quality is assured with a new Print Data Converter, which fixes typical problems such as speckles, slants or the kind of errors sometimes seen with scan data or file converter data. OKI also integrated a software solution in

the form of "Teriostation2", it enables networked users to send jobs, including multiple files, using the most common file formats such as TIFF, PDF and more. With Teriostation2, you can also scan prints and documents and send it straight to your PC. The Teriostar also offers a robust suite of security features including PIN codes, usernames and passwords, which help prevent unauthorised use. Complete deletion of hard disk drive data is also possible, a useful function to have should the printer be sold, leased, or to be returned to an owner. The Teriostar LP-1040 is now available at selected authorised OKI resellers and is priced at RM46,000. www.oki.com/my/printing

The printer can accurately scan and reproduce even intricate characters like Kanji from the Japanese language


4k HDR Video Enjoyment Monitor

EL2870U

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28� 4k HDR

Ultra-smooth Gameplay

TN Panel

Fast 1ms GTG Response Time

Eyecare Protection Brightness Intelligence Plus Low Blue Light Flicker-free

Multi-Platform Connectivity

Light Sensor Brightness & Color Temperature

HDMI 2.0/ DP 1.4

HDR/BI+ Hotkey

Scan our QRCode to find out where to buy


news

Fourth from right: Mike Xu, CEO of vivo Malaysia, officially launching the vivo NEX with vivo's partners

To The NEX Elevation

Some claim it a mere prototype, but vivo officially launched its new flagship to shut naysayers

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o show the world a device that can deliver the best screen ever, vivo has developed and launched its latest flagship Android smartphone - the vivo NEX. "NEX is the culmination of many long months of developing breakthrough technologies like the Elevating Front Camera and In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology. With NEX, we hope to encourage our industry to continue pondering (the question) of ‘what’s next?’ and inspire consumers to reimagine the mobile experience," said Mike Xu, the CEO of vivo Malaysia who was present at the launch of the device. Featuring what the brand has dubbed an Ultra FullView Display, the vivo NEX’s greatest selling point is definitely its incredible 91.24% screen-to-body ratio. With barely any bezel and by ditching the notch design that has become prevalent in recent months, the vivo NEX’s 6.59-inch display is capable of delivering an amazing sense of immersion while watching videos or gaming. To achieve this kind of space, commonly seen components such as the earpiece and the front camera have been replaced with new technology.

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Replacing the front camera is an 8MP Elevating Front Camera that pops up near the top left of the phone when you switch to that mode. The earpiece, on the other hand, was replaced by the new Screen SoundCasting Technology, which turns the screen into a speaker. According to vivo, the technology is able to provide better sound quality by delivering better bass and smoothing out the treble. Finally, the In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology uses the screen of the device itself - rather than a button or scanner - to scan for a user’s fingerprint. vivo has improved on the scanning speed and accuracy of the technology, promising a better user experience with it. The vivo NEX is also a device that comes with AI capabilities. Using a physical button on the left side of the device, users can quickly activate features like Google Assistant and Google Lens. Even if you were to ignore the fancy features, the vivo NEX packs pure quality and performance in its body. Equipped with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 processor, Adreno 630 GPU and 8GB of

RAM, you can be assured that this device can handle any task thrown at it. In addition, its 4,000 mAh battery ensures that it can chug along for hours, even if you decide to sneak more than a few rounds of PUBG Mobile between work. The vivo NEX is available starting on 28th July 2018 and will retail for RM2,799. www.vivo.com/my/

vivo NEX in all its nigh-bezelless glory


news

Monitors ranging from entry-level up to hardcore gaming

ASUS All Out Monitors Showcase ASUS brings out all their monitors for a show

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SUS recently had a showcase of almost their entire line of monitors, ranging from monitors for regular everyday use up till hardcore gaming monitors meant for those who want the best in gaming hardware. Found at the event were their monitors from the Essential, Ultra-slim, Designo, Casual Gaming, Pro Gaming, ProART, Republic of Gamers, and Commercial series. ASUS has something for just about every kind of work or play. If you’re doing graphics work there’s the ProART ASUS PA329Q professional monitor with a wide colour gamut. The use of Quantum Dot Technology provides a wide colour range, allowing the monitor to support 100% Rec. 709, 100% sRGB, 99.5% Adobe RGB, 90%

DCI-P3, and Rec. 2020 colour spaces for video and editing purposes. Whereas if you’re on-the-go and are constantly posted to where your clients are (like auditors), then there’s the option of the ASUS MB16AC portable monitor. Incredibly slim and works through a USB Type-C port, it supports PCs with Type-C ports and certain smartphone models. Gaming isn’t everything, as much as we like to argue to that, but some people just don’t care about games. Some just want an incredibly good monitor to enjoy movies, web surfing, YouTube, Netflix, and just about any other things possible on a PC. Those people would love the ASUS Designo MX34VQ, a 34-inch Ultra Wide Quad HD monitor. What makes the MX34VQ unique? It has Harman

Connect your smartphone to the portable monitor for a bigger screen, or for showing off pictures and videos

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Kardon speakers built into it for incredible sound and it even has a Qi wireless charging pad for you to charge your Qi capable device, while enjoying this incredible monitor. If you’re a true blue gamer, there’s only one choice for you - the ASUS ROG PG27UQ gaming monitor. This is a 27-inch monster sporting 4K UHD resolution, overclockable 144Hz refresh rate and G-SYNC HDR technology. Not only that, the monitor uses a Quantum-dot IPS display for incredible colour with a wide DCI-P3 colour gamut, while still maintaining a low response time of 4ms. So look forward because these amazing monitors and more are coming soon, or some are already available right now! https://www.asus.com/my/Monitors/

Would you believe if we said this monitor has Harman Kardon speakers?


news

From Left to right: Mr Alan Tham, Head of Marketing, Brother International Malaysia, Mr Itsuo Segawa, Country Head, Brother International Malaysia, Mr Jordan Hoong, Sales Manager, Brother International Malaysia during the launch.

Brother Redefines Printing Solutions For Different Industries Brother raises the bar bringing increased efficiency and performance to different industries

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e need printers even in our increasingly digital, online world. From business proposals, financial statements, college and school assignments, to boarding passes, we need printouts. Not all printers are created equal though. This is why Brother International is introducing a range of top-of-the-line, colour and monochrome laser printers, and inkjet multi-function centres (MFC) for business, retail and home that suits all workstyles and lifestyles. The range of 13 printers and MFCs provide effortless user experience, improved performance and quality with an emphasis on functional aesthetics for products that look great and work even better. Top-class printing speeds, enhanced mobile connectivity and cost-saving features in space-saving designs, combine to provide enhanced mobile connectivity and practicality that fits every need. The new range includes colour

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monochrome printers and MFCs that cover a variety of users and needs. There are two single-function printers in the new Business Colour Laser Series, the HL-L8260CDN and HL-L8360CDW, as well as two MFCs, the MFC-L8690CDW and the MFC-L8900CDW. Another new series that combines top-class print speeds, enhanced mobile connectivity, and cost-saving features are its two monochrome laser printers, HL-L2370DN and HL-2385DW and three MFCs, the DCP-2550DW, MFCL2715DW, and MFC-L2770DW. It is with Brother’s Inkjet Multi-Function Centre series where the brand raises the bar for machines that combines superior efficiency and print performance. This latest series features four new Inkjet MultiFunction Centre Models, which include the DCP-T310, DCP-T510W, DCP-T710W, and the MFC-T910DW. www.brother.com.my

The flagship model for Brother monochrome laser series, MFC L2770DW.

The flagship model for Brother colour laser series, MFC L8900CDW.


news

The Dell G7 15 Laptop

Dell & Marvel Studios Teaming Up A peek behind the hardware used in your favourite Marvel movies

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ou might be wondering what this collaboration is about. Simply put, Marvel utilised VFX vendors that are using Dell technologies in their creations. This includes the Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Dell Precision workstations, which provide enormous computing power and storage capacities that are required by visual effect designers to bring their creation to life. DNEG, the VFX studio responsible for a myriad of VFX in movies that we loved such as Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Mission Impossible: Fallout and the upcoming movie about the British rock band, Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody.

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Dell’s Precision series is a frontrunner in the industry, allowing countless numbers of creators to create and craft intricate stories that we see in the big screen and from the screen in the comfort of our homes. According to Dell, DNEG’s Vancouver studio employs the use of more than 300 Dell Precision workstations on a daily basis. Dell Precision 7910, Dell EMC PowerEdge R630 rack servers, Dell EMC PowerEdge M1000e Blade Server Enclosures and hundreds of Dell monitors are used to create the effects in the upcoming Marvel Studios film, Ant-Man and The Wasp. Throughout the movie, you might notice

the new Dell G5 15 and XPS 13 appear in Hank Pym’s lab and at X-Con security offices. Gerri Tunnell, Senior Vice President for Client Solutions Marketing at Dell mentioned: "We are thrilled to team up with Marvel Studios on Ant-Man and The Wasp and demonstrate the super powers of technology. There are a lot of similarities between our brands and fan bases. For example, our goal is to empower our customers, from gamers to visual effect artists, with high-performance technology to drive human progress, just like how AntMan and The Wasp rely on tech to make the world a better place." The G7 15 Gaming Laptop is equipped with the latest Intel 8th Gen Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory, 256GB of SSD and 1TB of HDD. As for graphics, it is packed with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max Q, and topped with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display. There are other configurations for the G7 15 and the G3 15 available in Malaysia. Prices starts as low as RM3,769 for the configuration with Intel Core i5 and GTX1050 GPU. www.dell.com.my


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From left to right – Mr. Cagatay Copuroglu (Asia Named Lead, Microsoft Corporation), Mr. Kelvin Pah Wai Onn (Sales and Marketing Director, SNS Network Sdn Bhd), Mr. Ko Yun Hung (Managing Director, SNS Network Sdn Bhd) and Mr. Cekiel Danielson (Asia Retail Sales Director, Intel Corporation)

Be JOI-ful With JOI Book 100 Lightweight, sleek and stylish, the JOI Book 100 should tick multiple boxes for lifestyle users

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id July saw JOI, a brand under SNS, launching a brand new ultra-thin laptop for the masses. How thin you say? The laptop is only 14mm thick, and weighs 1.35 kgs! It easily slip into your laptop bag and will not weigh you down at all. As for the specs, the JOI Book 100 is powered by an Intel Celeron N3450 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal eMMC storage and 128GB of SSD. With only 32GB of internal storage, that might not be enough for some. But luckily, JOI has thought ahead and will allow users to add an additional M.2 drive of up to 512GB. To do so, simply remove the two screws located at the bottom of the laptop, slot in your new drive, and voila. But if you wish, you could utilise a microSD card

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of up to 64GB to slightly boost your storage capacity. Out of the box, the laptop also runs on Windows 10. Another key point to the laptop is its display. It features a 14.1-inch Full HD IPS display with 3mm thick side bezels. This will allow you to easily immerse yourself in whatever video or show that you’re watching or streaming on the laptop. On top of the display you will also spot a 2-megapixel front camera for all your conference calls. According to JOI, the laptop’s 10,000 mAh battery lets it last for up to 8 hours on a full charge. All of this wrapped into a sleek and slim full metal build. For ports, you have a micro HDMI port, along with two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and a 3.5mm jack. Those who are interested can get the JOI

Book 100 in Gold or Dark Grey for RM1,299. The device is now available for purchase from officially online and offline retailers. Don't miss out, because this is a pretty, slim and stylish solution for those that need a lifestyle laptop with passable specs and will not bleed your wallet dry. https://www.joi.com.my/joi-book/

The JOI Book 100 up close


news

Huawei executives showing off the new MediaPad M5 and M5 Pro tablets.

Game On With MediaPad M5

Huawei believes that with mobile gaming, tablets have a place again

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irst announced back in March 2018, Huawei’s latest tablets – the MediaPad M5 and M5 Pro – have made its way to Malaysia. Each will be available with one specification and size, such as 8.4-inch for the MediaPad M5 and 10.8-inch for the higherend MediaPad M5 Pro. With mobile gaming on the rise, devices with larger screens should see an increase in adoption, which is what Huawei wants to bet on with the two new models. Huawei has tweaked its EMUI 8.0 to deliver better performance when gaming, by reallocating processing power and other resources from other apps. The two devices also have high battery capacities, so that the user can play for long hours before having to charge. At a glance, it doesn’t look like anything ground-breaking. However, its simplistic elegance is quite robust. The M5, in particular, has a metal frame that helps reinforce the edges and make it tougher. Both devices have 2.5D glass covering a

2K display, which also uses the ClariVu 5.0 technology to adjust photos or videos during playback, allowing you to enjoy crisp and clear visuals. It can even be used as a reading device with Eye Comfort Mode to make the screen easier on the eyes for reading. As devices that are catered for gamers, the sound was not neglected as well. Huawei opted for Harman Kardon-tuned speakers for the MediaPad M5 (dual speakers) and M5 Pro (quad speakers). In addition, the speakers are boosted by a smart power amplifier chip for greater volume. It also has support for Hi-Res Audio, so it can upsample your MP3 songs and make them sound better. Since the MediaPad M5 Pro is designed for more in mind, Huawei made sure to bundle an M-Pen with it. This time around, the pen uses a built-in battery that can be recharged when not in use. Featuring 4,096 layers of pressure sensitivity, it can be used to accurately draw or write on the table.

In addition, an optional keyboard dock can be used in conjunction with the Pro version’s Desktop Mode, which turns it the device into a Windows-esque system. Files in this mode are segregated from the normal tablet mode, which is useful if you want to keep your work and private files separated. The Huawei MediaPad M5 will be available starting 13 July 2018 for RM1,499, while the MediaPad Pro will be up for purchase from 25 July 2018 onwards. consumer.huawei.com/my/tablets/ mediapad-m5-8

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From left to righ: Roseanne Ho, Marketing Manager, Acer Malaysia; Chan Weng Hong, General Manager of Products, Sales and Marketing, Acer Malaysia; and Soo Yun Sin, Senior Product Executive, Acer Malaysia

Acer Unveils New Commercial Products

Variety is in the cards this time, as the brand showcased new desktop PCs, laptops, and Chromebooks

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ith many of its latest consumer products out for 2018, Acer turns to shoring up its commercial portfolio as well. In a showcase held at the New World Hotel, Petaling Jaya, we got to see new PCs in the form of Veriton desktops, TravelMate laptops, some new Chromebooks, and a mini PC called the Chromebox. Acer Malaysia’s General Manager of Products as well as Sales and Marketing, Chan Weng Hong, was present for the showcase to introduce the new products. "We are constantly innovating to improve every product in our extensive commercial line by bringing devices with the latest technology, including the Intel 8th Gen processor," he said. Powered by Intel hardware, namely the 8th Gen Intel Core processors and Intel Optane support, the Veriton S, X and M series offer high-power performance for businesses. The models will also have M.2 PCIe SSDs for fast boot up and quicker program starts. Other high-end features include Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 Type-C ports, as well as the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0) security feature.

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New models include the Veriton X2660G, Spin 11, Tab 10 tablet, and Chromebox X6660G, M6660G, and S2660G, each with CX13 mini PC. Based on Chrome OS, variants in specifications. these PCs are designed for scenarios like In a similar vein are the TravelMate education, military, logistics, and more. The laptops, which also run on Intel’s 8th Gen Chromebox CX13, in particular, is a new Core i5/i7 processors. You can also expect form factor many didn’t expect. This mini PC memory of up to 32GB and SSD storage PC is compatible with the VESA mount on of up to 512GB, along with MU-MIMO displays, so you can hook it to the back of a wireless AC connectivity. With a battery life monitor and keep your desk clean. of up to 15 hours, the TravelMate laptops www.acer.com/ac/en/MY/content/home are designed to be ideal for business users who don't always have a power point nearby, such as on a plane. The new TravelMate comes in P2 and X series, consisting of the P249, P2410, and X3410. Last but not least is the new Chromebook family of product, which includes a new tablet and a mini PC. There are different form factors this time around, with a convertible in the Chromebook 11 One of the new Chromebooks laptop, Chromebook


news

Tan Min-Liang (CEO & Co-founder of Razer) with Tan Sri Dato' Seri Vincent Tan (Executive Chairman of Berjaya Corporation Berhad) posing with the Razer Pay app

Razer Pay, A Cutting Edge E-Wallet Service

E-wallet revolution is happening in Malaysia, and Razer wants a cut of the action as well

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-payment is the local buzzword these days and Razer is now venturing into this space with help of Berjaya Corporation Berhad. After obtaining MOL a while back, it was a sign that Razer was trying to make everything much more streamlined for gamers worldwide, in particular the SEA region when we are talking about MOL. Introducing Razer Pay, a smarter, easier and hassle-free way for you to pay for online and offline purchases. To pay using Razer Pay, simply look for a QR scanner on all Bernama Corporation Berhad merchants, such as: Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Cosway, Wendys, Kenny Rogers and much much more. Once you have the QR code, scan it, enter the amount you need to pay, and you are good to go. As for online payments, services such as zGold MOLPoints, Steam Wallet, Garena, PlayStation, Spotify and more can be paid using Razer Pay. This means that if you can’t use your credit

to go. To celebrate the launch of the app, card to top up your Steam account for that every new user in Malaysia will receive a precious summer sale, you can do so with bonus of RM10 to be used and this sign up the app. incentive will end on the 30th of September To top-up the app, you can do so by cash 2018. When you use the app to pay, no at 7-Eleven stores by requesting for a Razer matter the amount, Berjaya Corporation Pay top-up PIN. You can also top up through will donate RM10 with each first use to online banking with Maybank, Public Bank, Tabung Harapan Malaysia. CIMB and others. Aside from paying, you can www.razer.com/razer-pay also transfer the money to friends or family easily. Moreover, you can transfer the money from the app to your bank account as well. You can download the Razer Pay app from Google Play and App Store. Once you have done so, fire up the app and sign up. You will need your mobile number to register as it will ping a PIN on your number. Once you have Online gaming platforms such as Steam can be topped up using the Razer Pay app done so, you are good

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From Left to Right: Baki Zainal (Sony RX100 VI Ambassador), Hideyuki Wada (General Manager of Marketing of Sony Malaysia), Satoru Arai (Managing director of Sony Malaysia), Chiw Yew Ming (General Manager of Sony Malaysia) and Chiou Bing Han (Head of Digital Imaging of Sony Malaysia) showing off the new RX100 VI

Pocket-Sized Goodness With Sony RX100 VI Taking compact cameras to new zoom heights

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n an unusual invite to Skyrides Putrajaya, Sony launched launched the new Sony RX100 VI and give us a chance to get a quick hands-on with the camera to shoot different scenarios. We loved how compact the camera was in our hands and the zoom capability knocked our socks off! The RX100 VI is equipped with a 20.1-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS sensor with a 3:2 aspect ratio, as well as a new ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm F2.8-4.5 lens that allows for maximum resolution with clarity even when using it while zoomed. It uses the BIONZ X processing engine to deliver higher resolution with low noise levels, along with precise face and eye detection. Utilising High-density Tracking AF Technology, it can keep up with fast moving subjects even if they are changing directions, while Eye AF will keep track of your subject’s eyes for better portrait shots. If you do not wish to use Auto Focus, simply tap on the 75mm

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touchscreen for Touch focus, which lets you focus on what you desire. If slow-mo videos are more of your style, the camera can also shoot up to 24 frames per second with up to 233 continuous shots. You can even shoot in 4K, as the camera comes packed with HDR (HLG) support, the first in Cyber-shot cameras. A viewfinder is still present on the camera if you wish to use it instead of the touchscreen. When shooting, the Optical SteadyShot can be turned on to provide you with image stabilisation that will compensate for camera shakes when you are shooting handheld in low-light conditions. You can also mute the camera shutter sound when you need to shoot at noise-sensitive settings such as weddings and so on. You can pair the camera with the PlayMemories Mobile app on your phone to keep track of location data. All of these power is packed into a 101.6×58.1×42.8mm body that weighs only 301g. The RX100 VI compact camera

is available for purchase at all Sony authorised retailers and shops for a price of RM4,899. At the event, Sony also showcased the new shooting grip, the VCT-SGR1, priced only at RM399 and can be purchased from all Sony stores as well. www.sony.com.my

A shot of the new RX 100 VI compact camera


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Representatives from BlackBerry and Brightstar Distribution Sdn Bhd posing for a picture with the new device

Bringing The KEY2 Back A smartphone with physical keys in 2018, what next, flip phones making a comeback?

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lackBerry, a smartphone brand that was massively popular once upon a time, is back for a revival with the BlackBerry KEY2. BlackBerry devices were very popular among the business persons around the world for a few reasons, but one of the most notable quirk and feature of BlackBerry devices was the use of a physical keyboard, and the KEY2 is no different. As mentioned, the KEY2 prominently features a keyboard at the bottom of the device. It is a basic QWERTY keyboard with an integrated fingerprint sensor as well. To fit a keyboard there, some sacrifice was necessary. Rather than making the device abnormally long, you can spot a 4.5-inch IPS display with 3:2 aspect ratio on the phone. The smaller screen might take some getting use to, but most people that use their phones for business will see no difference as they are usually typing away on the touch keyboard anyway. The keyboard also has a Speed Key, which gives you access to preset apps with just a touch of the button + another key. For example, if you are on your Facebook and press the Speed Key + [I], you will be able to immediately hop on to Instagram. The phone runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. You can also upgrade the storage space of your device with a microSD card of up to 256GB. The phone

is also equipped with a 3,500 mAh battery that is charged using a USB Type-C cable that supports QuickCharge 3.0. As for your photography needs, the phone has a dual rear camera setup of 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel, along with an 8-megapixel front camera. A plethora of BlackBerry original applications are also preloaded on the phone. For example, BlackBerry Hub is an app that will consolidate all your emails, calender alerts, messages and so on into a single inbox, saving you the hassle of digging around for different apps. You can also utilise BlackBerry Locker to secure confidential files that will only

unlock with your registered fingerprint. Lastly, the device is also running on Android 8.1, offering you a pure Android experience with no bloatware attached. There you have it, the BlackBerry KEY2 is looking to dominate the pockets of business people all around the world again, and this looks like a fitting rejuvenation to the brand. Hopefully we’ll be able to get our hands on the device and fully test its features! The BlackBerry KEY2 is now available to purchase from Brightstar Distribution Sdn Bhd authorised retailers and Shopee, and priced at only RM2,599. https://blackberrymobile.com

The BlackBerry KEY2

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news

Refreshing The Gear The latest Intel CPUs give ILLEGEAR’S two gaming notebooks a new lease in life

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ecently, ILLEGEAR has decided to refresh two of the models (LAGUNA and Z7) from their repertoire with Intel’s 8th Gen-H Model processors. Let’s kick things off with the specs of each individual laptops now. First up, the ILLEGEAR LAGUNA. It sports an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM at 2,400MHz, up to 1TB of SSD, and 2TB of HDD. Being an ILLEGEAR laptop, you can customise it to your liking when you purchase it. The basic version does come with 8GB of RAM, 240GB of SSD and 1TB of HDD. For the graphics, you have a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, or you can upgrade it to a GTX 1070 if you wish. The LAGUNA also has a built-in (4-in-1) card reader with two M.2 card slots. Not one to lag behind when it comes to ports, the laptop is equipped with a HDMI port, a mini DisplayPort, one USB Type-C port, three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a 3.5mm headphone-out and mic-in port, topped with a LAN port. For the screen, you

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have a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display that runs at 144Hz! Truly a gaming powerhouse that weighs only 2.7kgs. The keyboard and trackpad is also RGB capable and customisable to your liking.

For the ILLEGEAR Z7, it is also packed with similar specs to the LAGUNA, but we’ll go through them anyway. It now comes with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, up to 32GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD and also 2TB of HDD. The basic version of the laptop offers 8GB of RAM, 256 GB of SSD and 1TB of HDD. The difference is more notable on the GPU side, which is a choice of either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti or GTX 1060. ILLEGEAR has opted for a more muted design for the keyboard and trackpad of this laptop, so you will not see any RGB-fied looks here. The Z7 also has a large 17.3-inch Full HD IPS display, all packed into a 3.1kg laptop. For the ports, it has one for HDMI, a mini DisplayPort, USB Type-C port, three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a 3.5mm jack and a LAN port as well. For those that work on the go, a 4-in-1 card reader is also built into this laptop. The ILLEGEAR LAGUNA is currently priced at RM6,399 with 0% GST, and the ILLEGEAR Z7 is priced at RM5,599. As we’ve mentioned above, the laptops can be customised to your liking. However, if you upgrade them you will incur additional charges. www.illegear.com


news

ConnecTechAsia 2018

ConnecTechAsia successful in bridging the digital divide for governments, cities and enterprises with showcase of latest tech and trends

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onnecTechAsia - the inaugural mega technology event comprising BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and the new NXTAsia - wrapped up recently after an exciting three days of exhibitions and a summit covering the latest innovations in cloud, blockchain, AI, VR/AR, IoT, robotics, 5G, IP broadcasting, OTT and smart cities, among others. Under the new brand, ConnecTechAsia drew close to 40,000 attendees from 96 countries/ regions, and 1,800 exhibitors from 52 countries/ regions this year. Emerging technologies and digital disruption were hot topics, amid the convergence of the Telecoms, Media and Technology (TMT) industries in an evolving business landscape.

Gateway to Asia – a fast growing, digital powerhouse Today, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for 44 per cent of global GDP1 and its shift towards digital is powering the region towards a new era of economic growth and redefining the region’s social landscape. Using ConnecTechAsia as a gateway to the region, the exhibition saw several Asian launches. PepperStack Global, with the support of the Victorian Government of Australia, launched their new NeatStreets Around Me and Micro-compensation feature-sets into the Southeast Asian markets, which allow the

public to serve as "human sensors" and report on safety-related matters using their mobile devices, enhancing the uptime and efficiency of public utilities. AsiaSat, a leading satellite operator in Asia, also announced its collaboration with KBZ to provide OTT satellite video service in Myanmar, enabling audiences across the country to enjoy video content and TV programmes wherever they are, be it in rural areas or while on-the-go on trains or planes. The inaugural Thailand Connect seminar, co-organised with Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), saw the announcement of five core themes that are a focal point for the Thai government, namely big data, digital manpower, cybersecurity, income inequality gap, and digital transformation 4.0, which will enable businesses for digital transformation in its next stage of economic growth.

Showcasing Singapore’s Innovation – from Smart Cities to Smart Apparel ST Engineering and SP Group announced Singapore’s first pay-per-use IoT-as-a-service platform trial, which will enable organisations to move into the IoT space and bring their services faster and closer to their customers without costly investment on infrastructure, connectivity and data analytics.

Potential applications include building smart, green buildings to public safety systems, transport, and public amenities such as street lighting, energy and water resource management. KaHa, an end-to-end smart wearable technology company, unveiled its range of smart body and wellness-monitoring apparel. These apparel leverage on smart sensors and IoT to monitor one’s heart rate, VO2 Max and ECG via a smart phone application, offering possibilities for applications such as athlete training and sectors such as construction and the military. "IoT is revolutionising our world and today it is at the favourable intersection of affordability and availability, thus driving innovation. KaHa’s smart apparel range is the first to seamlessly integrate such sensors invisibly within a comfortable, washable fabric that allows people to realise their fitness and health goals through real-time monitoring of their vital stats," said Pawan Gandhi, Founder & CEO of KaHa and Summit speaker. ConnecTechAsia will return for its 2019 edition from 18-20 June at Marina Bay Sands and Suntec Singapore. Visit www. ConnecTechAsia.com for more information. ConnecTechAsia is organised by UBM, which in June 2018 combined with Informa PLC to become a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B Events in the world.

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Hong Leong Digital Day 2018 Back for another year and with many prizes won

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and CEO, Hong Leong Bank; and Charles Sik, Managing Director of Personal Financial Services, Hong Leong Bank

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year has gone by since Hong Leong Bank (HLB) first launched its Digital Day, which seems to be more of a digital week this time around. Held from the 7th July to 13th July 2018, the bank gave away more than RM17 million in prizes and e-vouchers. The bank's digital platforms have seen strong customer adoption. As of the end of

2017, about 48% of HLB customers regularly use either the online or mobile platform for banking transactions. "The strong adoption of our digital channels is testament to the growing maturity and increased expectations of our customer base and Malaysians at large. We expect to see strong continued growth in digital banking transactions

LG Home Experience Showcase 2018

LG gives media the opportunity to check out their line of OLED to UHD TV’s and more

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ecently, we got to attend an LG event that showcased products ranging from the brand's TVs, home appliances, washing machine and refrigerators. They also displayed some of their monitors for gaming and entertainment, all these are part of LG’s Home Experience ecosystem for a smart home,

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which aims to integrate various home appliances with IoT to create a home experience that can be controlled regardless of location or time. But the star of the show was definitely LG’s Signature OLED TV, the LG OLED65W8. It features an a9 intelligent processor for 4K Cinema HDR and incredible picture quality. The viewing angle is amazing and colours still incredible even at steep angles, but how this fits into the LG Home Experience is the smart functions the TV is capable of. Using its remote control, you can give commands to the TV to search for YouTube videos and even perform a Google search without the hassle of typing.

as we increase products and services offerings on these digital platforms," said Domenic Fuda, who is the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at HLB. HLB has also launched a "HLB Digital Day AR Challenge" that lasted from 4th to 31st July 2018. During this period, seven Facebook AR filters that introduce the bank's digital services and products, such as Chatbot and Pay Mobile (PEx), were released. HLB Customers were encouraged to snap some pictures using these filters and the first 7,000 customers to do so received an ice-cream e-voucher from Baskin Robbins, as well as a chance to be one of seven people to win RM7,000 worth in fixed deposit cash (sevenmonth tenure). Besides that, the bank also prepared other surprises, such as exclusive online deals and a SpinToWin campaign for the Hong Leong Connect mobile app. The latter is definitely the more exciting for the average HLB customer, as it provides a chance to win a Huawei P20 smartphone daily. www.hlb.com.my/DigitalDay

The TV also comes with a Dolby ATMOS soundbar that’s ready to provide you an immersive entertainment experience when you bite the bullet. It is available in 65-inch and 77-inch models, for RM34,999 and RM74,999 respectively. https://www.lg.com/my

Incredibly thin, and takes up barely any space at all


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Project With Epson LightScene EV-105 Lighting up your shops and venues like a pro

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pson recently announced a new projector designed for retail, F&B and hospitality environments. It offers a new and different solution for retailers, bars and hotels to separate themselves from the rest with innovative digital art and digital signage experiences for their customers. Danny Lee, the Director for Sales and Marketing of Epson Malaysia mentioned: "Display technology is changing the way consumers interact with brands and products, with the ability to delight and engage consumers in an entirely new and visually compelling ways. The LightScene projector expands Epson’s presence in the signage and lighting sector with its space friendly design and flexible visual expressions. It can enable creative displays to deliver edutainment type content through imagery, motion and information. Retailers and businesses can easily create captivating and immersive environments for

memorable experience." The LightScene EV-105 utilises 3LCD laser technology that boasts up to 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, with a sealed optical engine for breathtaking image quality with high performance. You can also utilise the Epson Content Manager software that is bundled with templates, effects, colours, shape filters and customisable options to create your projections, as well as create playlists with the software. Users can also control it remotely using a PC or smart devices with the Epson Web Control site through web browsers. In addition, it supports vertical and horizontal rotation on floors, walls and even ceilings using the 360-degree mounting.

It is also powered with a 1.58x optical zoom that allows it to be used in small and large spaces without hassle. You can also connect the projector to other devices using HDMI, Wired LAN, Wireless and also features a SD card slot as well. The Epson LightScene EV-105 is now available for purchase in Malaysia and retails at RM10,000. www.epson.com.my

BenQ Unveils W11000H 4K UHD Home Cinema Projector Bringing even greater 4K UHD performance than ever before with the BenQ W11000H

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enQ revealed its latest W11000H projector at the KLIAV 2018, the ultimate digital home cinema flagship featuring projector-optimised HDR, and true 8.3-megapixel 4K UHD performance. Expanding upon its already impressive 4K UHD visual quality, W11000H adds projector-optimised HDR10 support, significantly increasing brightness and contrast range to bring out every subtle nuance and detail for unprecedented digital cinema performance. Harnessing the advanced DLP 4K UHD DMD with XPR technology, W11000H produces 3840 x 2160 distinct pixels for true 8.3-million pixel 4K UHD resolution. Single-DMD DLP technology ensures absolute image integrity and colour accuracy without artifacts that can be introduced by panel alignment issues, especially critical at 4K with much finer pixels than 1080p. BenQ’s highly optimised 4K optical system then

employs 14 high-resolution elements, a true zoom system, and special low-dispersion lens coatings to preserve spectacular visual quality for an authentic digital cinema experience. Augmenting its high native ANSI contrast ratio, W11000H’s Active Iris and Dynamic Black technology, SmartEco, and proprietary black paint sealed light engine produces an astounding 50,000:1 dynamic contrast performance for fine detail rendition in the darkest and brightest scenes without washout to preserve every subtlety of the original content. W11000H’s CinemaMaster image processing technology improves vivid colour reproduction, flesh tone correction, and advanced digital colour and luminance noise reduction. Its UHD performance opens a wider viewing angle to allow comfortable viewing of ultra-detailed 4K images up close, maximising the useable screen size in any given space for

a mesmerisingly immersive movie watching experience. http://www.benq.com.my/product/projector/ w11000h

The W11000H at KLIAV 2018

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security report

RFID Kit Opens Doors In Hotels Criminals can calculate new key cards and enter any hotel room – without leaving traces behind

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he Finnish security specialist F-Secure warns that electronically secured doors in the hotels are not safe. Employees of the company have succeeded in creating a new master key with the help of discarded key cards, which can be used to open hotel doors. According to F-Secure, what is especially disastrous here is that the trick works secretly and without any traces. A lot of hotels abroad rely on RFID cards (RadioFrequency Identification) in order to hand over a personal key card to each guest instead of traditional keys. These cards can then be programmed with different codes and allow doors to be opened at a short distance of a few centimeters. However, the findings from F-Secure suggest that the problem lies in the fact that a new master key can be generated using data from multiple key cards of a hotel via a freely available RFID kit on the Internet, which can provide free access to just about anyone. Security researchers have detected multiple vulnerabilities in the lock system that is used, which makes the hack possible when put together. According to F-Secure, the manufacturer was informed before releasing the loopholes and has already developed patches, which should rectify the problems. All the affected hotels were informed and requested to install the updates.

The reason for the tests by F-Secure was that a laptop of a co-worker was snitched from his hotel room a few years ago. However, the hotel in question had rejected the complaint at that time, because no trace of a break-in was found on the door.

An employee from F-Secure demonstrates how to open a hotel door with a new master key

Data Theft Of The Month TWITTER: PASSWORDS STORED UNENCRYPTED

GERMAN UNIVERSITIES A TARGET OF IRANIAN DATA HACKERS

PUBG: FIGHT AGAINST CHEATERS AND DATA THIEVES

Twitter, the short message service, had to admit an embarrassing mishap. As revealed in a blog entry written by the company itself, passwords of Twitter users were stored in an internal log file without encryption. How many accounts are affected is uncertained, but the company advised all the users to change their current password.

The magazine "Der Spiegel", reported that Iranian hackers have gained access to a lot of unpublished research results, doctoral theses and conference reports of multiple German universities by means of phishing mails and fake websites. The Attorney General is said to have hypothesised "espionage" and should have already initiated investigations.

PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) is one of the most popular games with millions of fans worldwide. However, the developer shared that 15 suspects have been arrested in China, who are supposed to have cheat not just in the game, but have also been accused of spreading Trojans and stealing private data from other gamers.

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security report

Dangerous Security Gaps In The 7-Zip Unpcacker A Old Bugs Google Warns Against Security In New Routers Loophole In A Windows 10 W

vulnerability has been discovered in the popular archiving and packing programme 7-Zip, which is estimated to be highrisk. It is supposed to make it easy for attackers to implement malicious code on unknown computers. The critical gap has since been rectified with Version 18.05, so a prompt update is recommended.

report by Fidus Infosec suggests that because older code was used in new products, security loopholes have appeared in TP-Link routers, which had previously been closed. According to Tim Carrington, pentester at Fidus Security, this multiple use of code is a big problem in the Internet of Things. He says that many manufacturers rely on poorly secured products of other providers and sell these under their brand. Therefore, getting patches for these devices is often difficult, if not impossible.

ith Project Zero, Google is operating an ambitious project, which consistently discovers dangerous security vulnerabilities in the software of other manufacturers. This time, it is Windows 10 that has been affected. The vulnerability in the .Net framework could allow the execution of any foreign code. But the update to Redstone 4 is expected to close this bug.

Danger Barometer High risk

According to a poll by SailPoint and Vanson Bourne, even IT professionals are not immune to using weak passwords. For instance, around ten per cent of them are estimated to be using simple passwords such as "password". Password usage (in percent, multiple answers are possible) 55 55

Medium risk

45

35

Low risk

32

28

25

20

20

15

0

10

Multiple use

Simple passwords

Names of pets

Names of places

Favourite athlete

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SOURCE: SAILPOINT/VANSON BOURNE

Freely available RFID kits on the internet could allow anyone to reprogramme RFID cards to open any hotel room door

Even IT professionals are sloppy when it comes to passwords

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oogle basically consists of a humungous pile of data, which is constantly screened by countless analysis tools. The most important analysts are artificial intelligence tools, which dig up structures in the data mountain. Duplex is at the forefront of this tool in some ways, although the AI does not act as a data analyst but as a dialogue partner to humans. At the Google I/O developer

conference, Google presented Duplex to the public for the first time and made a telephonic appointment with a hairdresser and a restaurant booking as well. While doing so, Duplex responded to the questions of his conversation partners in such a natural way that it was impossible for them to know that it was not a person at the other end of the line but a software. Duplex took similar pauses typical in normal human dialogue and also threw in a "hm" or an "ah" as if pausing for reflection. That raises the question: Should AI deceive us to such an extent? Google insists that there will be no deception; Duplex is expected to identify itself as AI at the beginning of the conversation. The presentation on the I/O was only an early technical demo. Nevertheless, Duplex gives a certain foretaste of the future because Google is not the only company that works in the field of natural speech output – Alexa and Siri would also stand in good stead. Especially since the core of Duplex is nothing more than a neural network with feedback loops to adapt to the continuously changing direction of a conversation. Such a network is not revolutionary, but rather an advancement of an existing technology. Considering the Duplex hype, the introduction of the new Android P was almost drowned out. But there's important news on that as well. Google has integrated the mobile phone manufacturers early on in the development process, so that more devices can receive an upgrade to P faster. After all, the AI in P is expected to control the standby behaviour of smartphones to prolong the battery time.

Facebook Is Working On Blockchain Technology

VLC Blacklists Huawei Devices Due To Negative App Reviews

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Human-Like AI

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he blockchain technology is trending since the boom for cryptocurrencies. And Facebook, too, wants to implement this technology in the company. Right at the beginning of the year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had announced that his company would like to deal with blockchains. It has formed a separate department for this purpose and transferred the control to ex Messenger head David Marcus. However, it is unclear as to how Facebook wants to use this technology in its social network. Despite inquiries, Facebook did not give any concrete answers.

LC has decided to block some of Huawei’s latest phones on Google Play after they realised they have been receiving negative reviews due to a decision on Huawei’s part. The decision from Huawei basically kills background apps due to an aggressive battery management by Huawei. This also kills any audio playback, which happens in the background. This has led to many believing it was VLC’s fault.

Firefox 60: Longer Support, Now Fit For Enterprise

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he current version 60 of the web browser Mozilla Firefox combines the fast rendering engine Quantum with an enterprise policy engine, which enables far-reaching customisations of the configuration across different installations and operating systems. The

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update is automatically run for existing Firefox installations. Firefox 60 is also available as an extended support release version, which will be providing security updates for more than a year. This version is available under www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.


world wired web

Language Assistants Can Be Hacked Via Dolphin Attacks

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esearchers of the Berkeley University have discovered that acoustic commands can be hidden in music recordings and voice messages that allows language assistants to be controlled. Moreover, blurs in the speech recognition software would be exploited. Google Assistant could thus also be addressed with the call "Cocaine Noodles" instead of "OK Google". Ultrasonic transmitters can therefore also be used to send commands that are inaudible to humans to Amazon Echo, Siri & Co., for example, to select telephone

numbers or secretly put certain products on the shopping list. As a result, attacks with more serious consequences and with links to malware sites are conceivable as well. Due to the high frequencies used, such hacks are also called Dolphin attacks. The hidden tones are subtly modified, so that the speech software interprets them as alphabets. Nicholas Carlini would like to help with the detection of these gaps so that manufacturers such as Apple, Google and Amazon can quickly close them.

Heating Overwhelming

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he new Apple MacBook Pro laptops were just released into the wild not too long ago and they are designed and created for professionals whose work usually rely on processor-intensive tasks. Initially, the new upgrade was met with hurrahs all over, but buyers soon found out that their laptops were underperforming and overheating. Representatives from Apple addressed the issue and has released a software to fix the issue. "Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we’ve identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down. We apologize to any customer who has experiences less than optimal performance on their new systems." John Poole, a dev from Geekbench, mentioned on his Twitter that on average, the i9 MacBook Pro is slower than the i7 MacBook Pro when ran on a custom stress

test. He also mentioned that the i9 is faster when it comes to single-core test. Even after the new update, John mentioned the i9 is still slower than the i7, but it is now slightly faster and the frequency is stable now. We’re

not sure if Apple shipped out imperfect units knowing that it has thermal issues, or if they did not test their units before shipping them out to consumers. But at least they were quick to recognize mistakes and fix them.

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world wired web

Encryption Via PGP More Precarious Than Expected

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nder the leadership of Prof. Dr. Sebastian Schinzel, the Münster University of Applied Sciences has been scrutinising encryption via PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) - a method that has been used since the 90s to encrypt e-mails and other messages. The conclusion of the research shows that neither OpenPGP, nor S/MIME guarantees the security of coded contents in an adequate manner. If an attacker is able to intercept such e-mails, access to the entire plaintext or parts thereof is possible via the e-mail client. This issue affects nearly all

programmes and services, including Outlook, Windows Mail, or Thunderbird, all of which use e-mail encryption. As a matter of fact, the standard S/MIME, which is mainly used in the corporate environment, is "irrevocably corrupted". Experts of the Electronic Frontier Foundation therefore recommend refraining from sending sensitive information via e-mail in case of doubt, or to resort to secure alternatives such as the messenger Signal, which uses end-to-end encryption, for the time being.

NES Classic Mini The Father Of Soon To Be WhatsApp Available Again Leaves Facebook

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he much sought-after retro console NES Classic Mini has become available for sale again, according to a tweet from Nintendo's official Twitter account. The popular console was sold out in the shortest span after the 2016 release. Since then, the NES Classic is available only through unofficial ways and with a very high surcharge. Nindendo would like to counter this now and offer the console again for the regular price of around RM350. In addition, both the NES Classic Mini and the SNES Classic Mini are expected to be available till the end of 2018.

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an Koum, the second creator of the WhatsApp messenger, has left Facebook. Koum – a multibillionaire after the sale of WhatsApp – was working in the Facebook administrative board, but when the plan to monetise WhatsApp through advertising was push through, he followed Brian Acton's (WhatsApp co-founder) lead and left the company. The new head of WhatsApp is Chris Daniels, who previously provided developing countries with free restricted web access with the Facebook initiative internet.org.


world wired web

Uber Selfdriving Cars Back On The Streets

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ber is back on the streets with their self-driving cars, but with a catch. After the crash that killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, the cars are back on the streets but now with a driver behind the wheel - for now. The car will be driven to collect data and feedback that will be used to improve the car’s performance in the future.

Boston Dynamics Wants To Provide First SpotMini in 2019

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oston Dynamics became known online a few years ago for its dog-like robots. Its SpotMini is now expected to enter the market with a quantity of 100 in 2019. The jumping, running and dooropening robots ought to be useful, for tasks like guarding company premises. So far, Boston Dynamics has primarily manufactured robots by order of the US military.

Small Foretaste Of Trade War

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he second largest Chinese mobile manufacturer ZTE has suddenly stopped production. The reason is sanctions of the US Ministry of Commerce, because ZTE has violated the trade embargo against Iran by providing the country with telecommunication technology. As a penalty, US companies are no longer allowed to supply any products to ZTE for seven years. As ZTE smartphones consist of more than 25 percent US components, the production of, for example, Axon 7 has become impossible (see image). Moreover, Google is no longer allowed to send Android security updates to ZTE. The penalties are not only doing damage to US suppliers such as the chip manufacturer Qualcomm, but also creating security loopholes for all those using a ZTE mobile phone. Meanwhile, the US president Trump tweeted that an alternative sanctions will be found so that ZTE can continue to stay in business. The event demonstrates very nicely that "America First" is a simple solution with devastating consequences.

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feature

Technilexicon: Windows 10 For Mobile

With the variant Windows 10 on ARM, Microsoft is taking a second start in establishing the system through use of the ARM CPUs. The highlight: Desktop programs should also run on it

(Windows on Windows) and from there, they arrive into an Emulator that reconverts them into ARM instructions. Other X86 commands will not need to take the diversion via the Emulator, but intead will go to CHPE-DLLs - CHPE pronounced as "Chippy". These Compiled Hybrid Portable Executables deal with system libraries, which are programmed in the ARM code but understand and process the X86 commands. At this point, Windows can spare the emulation. The abstraction layer also collects the CHPE output and sends everything to the system services, so that they are executed by the kernel.

By Markus Mandau

Restricted compatibility

Windows on mobile devices In 2012, Microsoft already had reprogrammed Windows 8 that ran on the ARM platform, but this Windows RT did not go down well with the users since popular desktop programs like Firefox or Photoshop did not work on it. The hardware manufacturer did not earn any money with their ARM devices, causing the project to fail. Now, Microsoft wants to revive the old idea

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However, this process has a few drawbacks. with a better concept. The aim is for even For one, the emulator can process only the desktop programs to be able to run on ARM 32-bit code from X86 programs. According to in Windows 10, so that the users can port a Microsoft, there will be no 64-Bit emulator, huge part of their PC environment to the new due to patent problems. For ARM computer. Windows the X86 emulation, Intel has 10 on ARM looks, starts indirectly threatened with a and also functions exactly like the normal Windows. will not be a part of Windows complaint since one holds Three developers will 10 on ARM in the future, said the patents for this Microsoft command set. As for 64-Bit, offer Always-Connected AMD may also have a plan in PCs with Windows 10 on the works. It's important to know that ARM, from May onwards. The ARM platform there is a difference between 32 and 64-Bit has two advantages against the X86. In in the ARM world. Windows on ARM is theory, the processors work more efficiently, indeed a system that natively supports which leads to longer battery life. Also, the ARM64, but is now only able to execute integration of a wireless modem is done ARM32 apps. This is true for UWP apps more efficiently. Therefore, such PCs will (Universal Windows Platform) compiled always have a SIM slot. with Microsoft’s Visual Studio, as done for original X86 programs that are converted to With Emulation to success Since desktop programs do not run directly an app using the Desktop Bridge. on the ARM platform, an emulator must Therefore, Microsoft presented the convert the X86 code to ARM commands preview for a Software Development Kit in beforehand. This leads to a loss in May in its in-house exhibition Build. This performance that is attenuated by two kit helps compile apps directly for ARM64. factors. Firstly, always-connected PCs are But external drivers are a problem, as they still using the old but powerful Snapdragon must be compiled for ARM. If an X86 835 chip from Qualcomm that drove the most software has its own drivers to integrated powerful Android devices in 2017. virtual drives, then this will not work. Additionally, Microsoft tried to reduce the Whether Windows 10 on ARM has a better emulation work that Windows must execute. future than RT - this depends on whether Theoretically, this works similar to the the emulation of the X86 programs will execution of the 32-Bit software on a 64-Bit pass off smoothly. We will know more at Windows, where an abstraction layer plays the end of year when the second the main role. Also, calls that the X86 generation of the Always-Connected PCs program directs towards the systems are with the new high-end Snapdragon 845 forwarded to the X86 system libraries. They chip, which is expected to be 20 percent route a part of these X86 commands to WoW more powerful than its predecessor.

An Emulator for 64 Bit

Photo: Hersteller

D

espite Azure Cloud Services and Office 365, the operating system Windows remains the heartbeat of Microsoft. It has been installed in various versions on more than a billion computers and almost all of them is equipped with an X86-processor. The acronym X86 stands for a processor architecture and the set of commands associated with it that are supported by chip manufacturers like Intel and AMD. X86 was developed as 32-Bit architecture but in 2003, AMD defined a 64-Bit command set as an extension to it. Today, most of the PCs and notebooks run on a Windows version which exploits the 64 Bit. However, none of these Windows version support software that was developed for the ARM architecture. ARM chips can be found in over 2.5 billion smartphones and most of the tablets. While the number of these mobile devices is increasing constantly, the X86 computers are getting stagnant and losing their importance instead. Programmers would prefer developing for all platforms, but if one doesn't work out, then generally they will choose the platform with the larger potential - and the choice will be ARM.


feature Windows 10 on ARM computers With Windows 10 on ARM, Microsoft brings out a new variant that runs on smartphone or tablet chips. The first devices like the 2-in-1 ASUS NovaGo (see right) should already be available in some countries. Their advantage is that they have a much longer battery life than notebooks with Intel CPU

Desktop software is emulated Microsoft has redesigned Windows 10 so that it also executes programs that have X86-code that isn't compatible to the ARM platform. This happens via emulation and costs performance. Fortunately, this is not necessary for many apps from the Windows Store, as they are already compiled for ARM. ARM-Code

x86-Code

x86 System DLLs x86 System DLLs

1

x86 System DLLs Native System DLLs Native System DLLs

4

Native System DLLs

2 Windows-on-Windows Abstraction layer

CHPE*-DLLs

Many desktop programs from the old MS Paint to the latest Photoshop CC are programmed for the X86 architecture. Windows must convert the code beforehand so that they can be run on an ARM chip: 1 First, the code is run by the X86 system libraries as done in normal Windows 10. 2 A part is loaded in the CHPE DLLs that are programmed for the ARM platform, but X86 commands are processed. 3 The remaining code goes into an emulator that converts it from X86 to ARM. 4 The abstraction layer collects the converted code and forwards it to the system services.

CHPE*-DLLs *CHPE: Compiled Hybrid Portable Executable

3

CPU Emulator for x86 to ARM

Windows-Services

The code is run on a system on chip (SoC) like Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon 835, which is usually installed in high-end smartphones

Windows Kernel and Drivers

Customise emulation If the emulation creates problems then you can customise it 1 via the context menu "Compatibility" and for example, disable the CHPE DLLs.

Limited compatibility The emulation of Windows 10 on RM is limited to X86 programs with 32 Bit. Only programs that the developers have converted to app via the Desktop Bridge can be recompiled for 64 Bit. x8664-BitEmulation Emulation

ARM 32 Bit

ARM 64 Bit

x86-program

64-Bit-program

UWP*-App

Desktop-Bridge-App

* Universal Windows Platform ** Can be re-compiled via SDK for ARM64 in future

○** ○ yes  ○ no

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Less Backdoors, More Censorships By banning domain fronting, Google and Amazon play into the hands of state censors, as the technology can be used to bypass Internet locks

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ue to the ever increasing surveillance worldwide by intelligence agencies and private companies in recent years, it has become all the more important for many people to use messenger programmes that have a sound and trustworthy encryption system. The messenger Signal has a particularly good reputation in this context. It was developed under an open-source license and can be used as an app on Android and iOS and as a desktop application on Windows, Mac OS and Linux for free.

Encryption against censorship Signal protects sent messages from "end-to-end". This means that a message is already encrypted on the sender’s end device and then transmitted to the receiver, where it is then decrypted.

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Eavesdroppers between both these points either cannot decode the content, can only do so with great effort. A lot of well-known crypto-experts have verified the source text by Signal and rate the application as trustworthy and secure. But that makes it a thorn in the side of several authoritarian regimes who want to retain control over the communication of their populace. That way, according to the information of the Signal developers, countries like Egypt, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates have been trying to block the use of Signal by means of technical locking since about one and a half years ago. There are less Internet providers in these countries, so Signal's servers can be blocked by means of their IP addresses. The blocks are made even easier by the fact that the TLS (Transport Layer Security)

Photos: NicolasMcComber/Getty Images (main image.); Nick Lee (portrait)

By Andreas Th. Fischer


feature This is how domain fronting works In domain fronting, the communication with a banned domain is hidden in a TLS packet, which is initially sent to a permitted domain such as google.com

DNS allowed domain, for example, "google.com"

Domain fronting to protect communication Domain fronting hides the comparatively small amount of data traffic caused by a chat user in the gigantic data traffic of a major Internet service like Google. As a result, the data is first packed locally and then sent to a server, which a lot of users in these countries visit for things like searching information. The package is then unpacked on the server and forwarded to the actual destination. On the way back, the communication returns to the first user using the same method. Even the Telegram messenger is likely using domain fronting. According to media reports, around 40 million people in Iran have the option to use Telegram and communicate with each other uninterruptedly. The Signal developers around Moxie Marlinspike also wanted to provide that to their users. However, domain fronting has not been activated as a standard in Signal, but takes place only if the software recognises a phone number from one of the Arab countries mentioned. The only choice left to a local censorship body then would be to completely block access to Google for its population, and very few want to go that far. The technology used by Signal disguises the messages of the local users as completely normal requests to Google, encrypted via HTTPS. However, this is no longer possible, because Google has decided to block domain fronting in the future. The company did not provide any explanation for that, but Moxie Marlinspike suspects that Google does not want to be used as a mask if a country has decided to block an unpopular service. An alternative to Google would be AWS (Amazon Web Services) but even the Amazon subsidiary hastened to cut off domain fronting following Google's lead. AWS informed Signal developers in an e-mail that the technology does not correspond to its terms of service. They would end the cooperation with Signal immediately if the programmers continue to use the service in order to conceal communication. AWS explained this company policy a little later in a blog post, citing the possibility for malwares to also use domain fronting to obfuscate data transfers. However, security experts such as Matthew Mitchell from CryptoHarlem argue that domain fronting could quite possibly be allowed only selectively – provided that the participating Internet companies are willing to.

Source: https://www.bamsoftware.com/ papers/fronting/

protocol - used for transmission - transfers the host name of the destination in plain text by means of a handshake between two subscribers. However, the Signal creator and chief developer Matthew Rosenfield, who mostly appears under his pseudonym Moxie Marlinspike, has made use of the innovative technique called Domain Fronting to circumvent the blockades.

Client

TLS allowed domain

HTTP banned domain

Security experts such as Matthew Mitchell from CryptoHarlem reproached Google and Amazon, arguing that domain fronting could be allowed selectively

Increased censorship on the Internet The status of freedom on the Internet does not look very good. Only 23 per cent of the population worldwide has noncensored access to the Internet. Another 28 % has at least partially free access to the Internet, while around 36 per cent is directly affected by censorship measures. The numbers are from 2017 and stem from the "Freedom on the net" report by Freedom House, which is published once every year. According to information of the USA-supported organisation, censorship is primarily increasing 13 % undocumented

in mobile networks. Specifically, in areas with minorities or groups seeking independence, more and more mobile networks are being shut down for political or reasons relevant to security. Also, access to content streamed live on the Internet is also being impeded. The use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is also bothering the censors, according to Freedom House. In fact, 14 countries have already blocked access to VPN networks "in one way or the other".

36 % no free access

Next round in the fight for a free Internet

Internet use worldwide

Source: Report "Freedom on the net 2017"

In the view of Signal developers, the Internet giants are promoting censorship with their decisions. "The idea behind domain fronting was that someone has to block the entire Internet if they want to block a single service," said Moxie Marlinspike. "At the end of the day, the rest of the Internet doesn’t want that." They are now trying to develop another, more robust method. The current measures, however, came into place with barely any notice, making it difficult to react to them immediately. The fight for secure communication on the Internet thus enters the next round.

Today, about two thirds of the Internet traffic worldwide is more or less controlled

23 % free access

28 % partially free access

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feature

Tesla For Everyone By Sebastian Viehmann and Sepp Reitberger

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ince Tesla collected over 400,000 pre-orders for the budgetpriced Model 3 within just a few weeks in 2016, interested parties and investors have been put to a hard test of patience. The start of the actual production was delayed for months, and instead of the planned 10,000 cars, only about 2,000 vehicles were produced weekly in the February of 2018. In May and June, the production was expected to gradually increase to 6,000 cars per week, and Tesla is offering variants in the USA instead of the previous model with rear-wheel drive and 75 kWh battery. As for when delivery to other countries would be ready, we don’t know. Despite this, we used the opportunity to test one of the few Model 3s. Usually, the only way to get the cars is to have buy it from dealers who import the cars on their own initiative and can only be authorised with a costly individual license. We experienced our test car in full throttle mode, among other things, on a closed-off airfield and got a good impression of the car.

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Exotic solutions for the attention to detail Tesla’s inclination for fancy details can be felt even before stepping inside the car. Instead of a key, doors can either be unlocked using a smartphone or with an NFC card, which is cradled to the B-Pillar of the car. The door handles are lowered like those of the Model S, which do not unlock electrically but with a press of the thumb. This can be done easily with one hand only with a little practice. You can unlock the doors from the inside via button press, but a mechanical emergency unlocking is only available for the front doors. The trunk is missing an electric feature, of all things, but the storage space that is not inferior to that of the VW Golf . Apart from the trunk, there is another storage space under the front hood around the size of 85 litres. On the back seats, the headroom is good enough even for people who are tall, while the middle seat is bearable only for short distances. The Model 3 experience is special even in terms of the internal space.

Photos: Sebastian Viehmann (main image); Hanna Klein (opening door); manufacturer

Hundreds of thousands are waiting for their reserved Tesla Model 3. For less than half the price, the compact e-car is expected to offer almost everything the big models can. Here‘s our first test from our counterparts in Germany


feature First, the dashboard behind the steering wheel is empty and there are no buttons except for the indicator and automatic selector levers. The huge touch display known from the Model S is installed in Model 3 in landscape format and takes over all the display and operating functions, such as unlocking the glove box, among other things. However, lawmakers have demanded that the installation of one particular switch for hazard lights. In the case of the Tesla 3, it is located above the interior mirror. What functions well for the operation, thanks to good structuring and

No switches There is not a single switch on the dashboard of Model 3 – the central touchscreen controls absolutely everything

quick response times, is impractical for the drive mode. A simple head-up display as an option can reduce this, but this option is not yet available. The most important information on the display is that it promises a range of 275 miles with full battery (442 kilometres - according to US tests, a realistic indication for highway speeds up to 110 km/h). Higher end versions with 90 or 100 kWh batteries are expected to drive further. For comparison, the basic version with 60 kWh battery is supposed to manage 220 miles (352 kilometres) according to US standards.

Performance is sustained and abundant When hitting the throttle, it is immediately clear that the Model 3 is an acceleration champion amongst compact e-cars. With the simple rearwheel drive motorisation with ample 300 PS, it only needs five seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h - two to three seconds faster than its competitors, the i3 and e-Golf. And in contrast to those two, the 1.7-tonne Tesla can also attain a speed of over 200 km/h. Even at high speeds, the wind noise level in the Tesla is bearable. The car deals with curves more actively than the slightly awkward Model S and X. With a four-wheel drive and a more refined suspension, they can certainly do better. The capacity of the battery is astonishing, of which Tesla has changed the format for Model 3. A number of full throttle sprints are necessary, before the power is temporarily dialled down sometimes. The battery in model S does get drained much faster. After testing, we found that at the end of a long test day that included demanding sprints, the average consumption was 19.3 kWh per 100 kilometres. For exact consumption tests, we will have to test the Model 3 over a longer period of time, but we can already speculate the results. This e-car will easily manage daily ranges between 300 and 400 kilometres, or even up to 500 kilometres in certain conditions. There are more negatives than positives with regard to the processing quality. Our test car bears the production number 1,600, from the 2017 batch, which may excuse some of the venialities in the interior. The Model 3 is far removed from that offered by premium German cars. Paint quality is actually inferior and the window lifters of the frameless side windows did not always work right away. However, there was no catastrophic manufacturing defects that we could detect, which is a good thing. The charging connection, online connection and autopilot functions in our test car were US-accredited, which is why we cannot give an assessment of the fast charging times or assistance systems. Regardless, the autopilot was activated anyway when it recognised a suitable road. In conclusion, if the basic 60 kWh battery version of the Model 3 is actually sold in the range of around 35,000 USD (1 USD ~ RM4.06) including funding, it would be the indisputable choice. Only a Jaguar i-Pace or an Audi e-tron quattro, for more than 80,000 Euros (1 Euro ~ RM4.71) each, is superior to the Model 3.

Tesla does not provide an orthodox key – the doors open either via mobile phone or via a key card

Unnecessarily different – and tricky The lowered door handles of the Model 3 are so cumbersome to open that you might need two hands for that

The space on the back seat is far above-average for the compact class. The headroom is sufficient for tall persons

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Hidden Functions In Android And iOS Undocumented settings bring added performance and security for the popular mobile phone system. We will show you where you can find these switches and configure everything correctly

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pple and Google seem to agree over one point: Android and iOS devices can be used intuitively even without detailed instructions for any of the devices. This may work for standard tasks, but there are numerous hidden functions in the system that even advanced users, who have been using these devices for years, are not yet aware of. In this article, we will show you a selection of the most useful tricks for Google’s Android and Apple iOS that can not only make the operating systems more secure, but also a bit faster.

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EXPLOIT ANDROID Thanks to its open architecture, the Google OS is a stash of hidden functions and options. However, depending on the version, the activation paths of the functions may differ; the options often are slightly different and are listed further above or at the bottom in the respective menu.

Find performance settings Google has implemented the Developer Mode in almost all Android products, but it is disabled by disabled. To activate the mode, go to "Settings | Via the phone" and then to the option "Build Number",

Photo: Designed by katemangostar / Freepik

By Fabian Von Keudell


feature which should activate the Developer mode. You can find important settings in "Settings | Developer Options". Those who have tried to install alternate OS versions on their device would know of this mode, as its USB Debugging is required for this. But the mode also helps in increasing the performance. To do this, disable the window animation first. Set the "Window animation scale", "Transition animation scale" and "Animator duration scale" to "Animation Off". In the next step, activate the option "Force GPU rendering". Thus, the OS will constantly use the integrated graphics chip for the display. Should there be display errors, you can simply disable this option again.

Set up many users As soon as multiple users start sharing one device, it makes sense to create user accounts. For this purpose, Android also offers guest access. This is useful when you give your phone to someone for a while, since it disables some functions like communication. To open the user control, swipe downwards twice from the upper screen edge. You will then come to the Control Centre. Here, press on the user icon on the top in the middle. You can switch between accounts easily later. In order to set up the accounts, select "More Settings". You can create a new account with the help of "Add Users". User rights can be configured via the gearwheel icon next to the account name.

5 Useful Apps For Android 1. Outlook: The mail program from Microsoft works with almost all mail server profiles and offers an intelligent post-box. Price: free. 2. Kaspersky QR Scanner: To prevent malware from hiding behind a QR code, the Kaspersky app checks the links. Price: Free 3. Threema: The messenger app from Switzerland offers text and video chat and is secured via end-toend encryption. Price: ~RM11.99 4. IFTTT: With help from If This Then That, you can create robust automation that speeds up work processes. Price: Free 5 Stocard: This app saves most customer cards as an electronic copy. You just need to show the app at the counter or in the shop. Price: Free

Activate technology access Using a special code, you can gain access to a configuration menu, which will help you to greatly limit the error source in the event of phone problems. Detailed information regarding the cellular network to which the phone is subscribed, will help in this matter. There is also useful information about the current wireless and the smartphone usage. To get to this menu, open the Phone app and enter the following string as the number: *#*#4636#*#* (doesn't work for all devices). You will then see the corresponding menu for the phone, WiFi and cellular network. If there are problems with communication in the cellular network, you can select "Phone information". Here, you will find the IMEI, your phone number and the signal strength of the cellular network. Using the signal strength, you can determine whether the device has a connection to the next cellular tower. With "Run Ping test", you can check the latest connection. If you receive an error message, reset the connection via "Deactivate cellular connection". As for WiFi issues, go to "Wi-Fi Information | Wi-Fi Status" in the activated test main menu. Click on "Run Ping test". In the event of errors, delete the network by switching back one menu and then selecting "Wi-Fi API". Press on "disableNetwork" and enter the SSID of the network. Then insert it again in the normal WiFi menu. The last configuration point helps in resolving battery problems. For example, if the battery is getting empty faster than usual, then you can get an overview of the most-used apps via the "Usage Statistics". If you cannot assign a name, then Google Search will help you with it. An unknown entry may indicate a malware, so make sure to check the device using a virus scanner.

Multi-User system

Using the built-in settings in Android, you can create several users on one device. Even guest access with limited rights is possible here

Short important Android tips With a few tricks, you can operate your Android system faster and in a more organised manner. >Allow rotation of the home screen: Depending on the alignment of the device, you can also view the home screen in landscape format. You can activate this feature by pressing on a free area on the home screen. Furthermore, activate "Allow rotation". >Set up multitasking: To display several apps on the screen at the same time, open the desired applications one after the other and then press on the square in the operation field on the lower

screen margin. Subsequently, press on the app for a bit longer, which you wish to see and drag it on the upper screen edge. > Link - Selection options: If you come across a hyperlink or a mail address in your web browser, then long press on it and you will be asked by the system on what you want to do with the link. You cna choose to add it as a new contact, or open the link an an incognito tab in the browser.

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feature Optimise iOS

5 Useful Apps For Ios 1.Calendar: The Calendar app supports the input via natural language, for example, "Appointment with Stefan at 1500 hrs. Price: free (Premium: RM29.90)

The main feature of Apple, without a doubt, is the easy operation. And it is true, many factors accelerate daily tasks in a big way - but only when you know where the functions are hidden. With the help of iOS 11, we will show you where to find these settings. If you are using an older version, then you should update for security reasons.

Use Safari perfectly 2. Lastpass: The password manager synchronises your passwords over the most important systems and supports Touch ID and Face ID. Price: Free 3. OTP Auth: With this app, you can manage all 2FAKey (Two-Factor authentication) and a backup function is also included. Price: Free 4. Wunderlist: An app from Microsoft that coordinates your To-Do points on all important systems and offers special sorting functions. Price: Free 5. TouchRetouch: The simple photo editing removes image errors with a few gestures. To do that, all you need to do is select the object using the Lasso tool. Price: RM7.90

The in-house web browser from Apple has a few hidden functions that Apple describes only in fine print. For example, when it comes to controlling the browser, you can determine whether Safari will load websites as desktop versions. This is particularly logical if the mobile version allows only limited access to the website. In order to load this version, long press on the "Load new" icon in the address bar and select the option "Desktop site" there. But these performance tricks are not only for the web display. For instance, if you use a separate tab for each site, then a few of them can congregate quickly. To close all of them together, press on the tab management that you will find as a rectangular icon on the bottom right. After that, select "Close all tabs". If you have closed one tab accidentally, then you can restore it by briefly pressing the icon for the tab management. In the next screen, press the Plus icon a bit longer and select the tab to be restored.

Use User Help

While entering text, you can activate the one-hand keyboard and align the keys to the left or right of the screen

Short important Android tips Similar to Android, iOS has a few tricks that can make your system faster and more organised. >Use iOS camera as QR scanner: You do not need any extra app to scan QR code with an iPhone. Use the built-in camera app and align the active camera on the QR code. The corresponding link will appear, allowing you to open by tapping on it. >Create PDF of a website: You can convert the current page in Safari into a PDF and send it. To do this, press on the Share icon at the bottom in Safari. You will

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find the "Create PDF" option on the right in the lower area. After that, you can add remarks to the PDF and send it via Email or Messenger. >Control text cursor using gestures: While typing text, press your finger firmly on the keyboard. You can then move the cursor to any random position. >Create your own vibration pattern for messages: You can create and set your own vibration pattern via "Settings | Tones & Haptic | Vibration | Create new vibration"

A large smartphone screen is ideal for surfing the web, but also an obstacle for typing. Many users quickly reach their hand limit particularly when it comes to one-hand operation. Therefore, Apple has installed an assistant in iOS that helps perfectly in such a case. For example, to reach areas on the upper screen edge, the display contents can be briefly moved downwards. This can be done by clicking the Home button lightly. For the iPhone X, you have to first activate the function. To do that, go to "Settings | General | User Help". Then, activate the option "One-hand mode". If needed, move the screen downwards by swiping over the Home bar from top to bottom. In iPhone X, the Home bar also acts as an app browser. If you swipe from left to right, you will be able to access last opened applications. Also, while writing, the user help/assistant helps a lot. For this purpose, a special one-hand keyboard is used. In this version, the keys can be moved easily to the right or left screen edge. This allows you to reach all the letters easily with one hand. To enable this feature, keep the Globe icon or the Emoji icon pressed a bit longer, depending on the iPhone version. In the area below, determine whether you wish to align the keys to the left or right.

Resolve problems with Touch ID and Face ID iPhone users often complain in Internet forums that their devices do not recognise their own fingerprint or face. To resolve such problems, you should re-scan your finger on the Touch ID. As for Face ID, you need to deactivate the attentiveness check. You will find the function under "Settings | General | User Help | Face ID & Attentiveness". Here, disable the "Alertness Check for Face ID" .


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Photo: Alex Handy/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0

Douglas Engelbart: The Inventor Of The Mouse D

ouglas Engelbart’s career as a designer of the future and a visionary of computer technology began with a brainwave that only a nerd can have. Inspired by Vannevar Bush’s essay "As We May Think", Engelbart recognised the collaborative potential of computer networks. He believed that humankind would only be able to solve its biggest problems using data that are interlinked. Only, none of this existed at that time – neither computers, nor networks nor the humans that trusted these things. You could say that it was he who invented all of this, laid the foundations of modern human-machine interaction, graphical user interfaces, hypertext and naturally the networks from which the Internet was eventually born. Those who understand this philosophy also understand the religious impression of the "Mother of all Demos" (found on YouTube). In the demo, the computer is presented as salvation – provide one is able to operate it. Should one be allowed to curtail Engelbart’s achievements to "inventor of the mouse"? The mouse was merely an aid for him to reduce the gulf between humans and computers. That it was only mentioned for the first time fifty years after its invention is due to the fact that, despite all of its technical advancement, the mouse is a mere part of everyday life. Even its own inventor may have seen it the same way. For those who look closely at the Mother of all Demos and later interviews inside Engelbart’s home, they will see something slightly different on the left of his keyboard: A tiny chorded keyboard with which Engelbart enters encoded commands. This was his other huge interface invention alongside the mouse, which he used it himself until the last moment on his private computer. It is the relic of a future that was lost in the course of progress.

"The digital revolution is much more significant than the invention of writing or even that of printing."

Profile Born: 30 January 1925

in Portland, Oregon, USA Died: 2 July 2013

in Atherton, California, USA 1942 Degree course in electrical engineering at the Oregon State University 1944 Radar engineer at the US Navy 1945 Reading of Vannevar Bush’s essay "As We May Think" on a desert island 1955 Doctoral thesis in electrical engineering with computers as the focal point (eight patents) 1957–1959 Researcher, Stanford Research Institute 1959–1977 Director at the Augmented Research Center; Development of the oN-Line system (NLS) and establishment of ARPANet Network Information Center (NIC) 21st June 1967 Filing of the mouse patent 9th December 1968 "The mother of all Demos" 1977–1984 Principal scientist at Tymshare; earlier NLS, the product now becomes known as Augment Until 2008 Director of Bootstrap Institute & Bootstrap Alliance (now DEI), Menlo Park

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Top 10 Security Tips To Always Remember At Heart Neither Microsoft, Google or Apple can protect you completely. You must take care of your own security, so we are going to give you ten fundamental tips for your everyday work By Jorg Geiger

T

here are security loopholes in all devices and services, hardware and software, as well as transmission protocols and encryption technologies. To make it worse, there are no absolute effective protection mechanisms. But by taking simple actions, pertaining to behaviour, you can come close to 100 percent. Security problems are traditionally ignored. Ten years ago, this was still reasonable since you could easily reinstall Windows in case of a virus attack. Today, this has become more complicated. Internet, computers and smartphones are constantly with you. Devices at home are getting increasingly smarter and we are surrounded by speakers with voice assistance or fitness wristbands in our daily routine. There are only a few users who pay attention to security of

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these devices today. The fact that hackers of the popular nutrition app MyFitnessPal have recently stolen data of 150 million users, is more than just a side note. And when Amazon’s Echo speaker can be turned into a listening device by hackers, then you should be very alarmed.

A good basis for the topic of Security Whenever computer technology is involved, you should always immediately think of security arrangements. But for now, we present you with the ten most important security tips below. Everyone should know and use the basics - to secure devices and services and also for implementing them correctly.


Backup Devices 1 Automate updates Many users set the updates with new functions - but this is only one good side-effect. Updates are intended mainly for closing security loopholes. If possible, use automatic updates mainly, for instance, in Windows, browsers or your wireless router. Under Windows, tools like Software Update Monitor (SUMo) ensure that you do not miss any updates for installed programs. As for smartphones and tablets, the automation of the App stores takes care of updates. But if you are using Android from alternative sources, then you must check for updates manually.

3. Set up automatic backups No one likes backups, but they could solve many problems in advance. Unfortunately, Microsoft does not care much about the fact that there is a lot of catching-up to do when features are involved. Instead of an easy-to-operate backup solution, you'd have to connect a file version history, an outdated imaging as well as the System Restore, together with Windows on the same hard disk. What you should do instead is look for an external backup solution like Acronis True Image. If you prefer a free solution, then the Aomei Backupper is the best choice. Ensure that you take a separate backup of important files apart from a

Tip: There are updates that are intended for devices beyond PCs and cell phones, namely smart home devices, TVs, landline phones and fitness trackers. Also search actively for updates once per month.

complete backup of the entire system. And the backup is not the end of things with the PC. You have to also back up your cell phone. iPhone users can create free backups via iTunes on PC or Mac. If you have a paid iCloud account, then you can move the backup on to an Apple server. There are numerous backup options for Android, but a complete backup is tricky and generally requires root access. If you do not have a problem with Google, then you can use Google Backup. Tip: Many apps can also back up data themselves, but users need to enable the feature manually. For example, in WhatsApp under "Settings|Chats|ChatBackup".

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2. Block access Lock your devices so that only you alone can access them. You do not need to use a password everywhere. Windows 10 offers various options for logging in - which includes PIN, image code or smartphone block (dynamic lock). With Windows Hello, you can close suitably equipped devices, using your fingerprint or Iris scan. Important: Always lock your unattended Windows PC, using the shortcut [Windows] + [L]. Smartphones should also have access protection, like passwords. There are also alternatives such as PIN, pattern or biometric log-in. Tip: You must change the default values in devices with preset standard passwords and PINs - for example, wireless routers, NAS drives or smart home device. Else, these devices will be easily accessible.

4. Fight-off malware Every year, there are discussions whether we need virus scanners at all or can we do away with them. With Windows Defender, Microsoft provides a virus scanner - and thereby an answer to the question. We found that a virus scanner under Windows is mandatory. Our tests show that Windows Defender is indeed getting better but third-party providers can detect malware much better. However, you must not be fooled by the delusion that you are fully protected only by the installation of a virus scanner. Virus protection is moreover, just one module in the security strategy, which means you need to be thorough. Apart from Windows, the malware problem is not acute but there are virus scanner apps also available for Android and the best ones are also free of cost. Tip: Under Android, try a protection app like Sophos Mobile Security. It has a reputation check during the installation process that protects your device against fake apps.

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Lock web services

5. Exhaust the options The standard settings for web services are not always optimal. And many users do not even deal with options given there for security but use the service simply as it is. It is better if you customise the settings and secure the service, this way. Tip: In your Google account, you can check the privacy settings under https://myaccount.google.com/ privacycheckup and thus, for example, remove locations from uploaded photos or remove the location history of Google Search.

7. Select strong passwords

6. Always encrypt If you have to share any data or files with others, then you should do so with encryption. Unfortunately, the major online storage services do not offer any consequent end-to-end encryption. You have two options to circumnavigate this problem. One is to use service providers like tresorit.com, which encrypt and decrypt data on your system. Another option is to add an encryption to your Cloud storage. Tip: The free tool Boxcryptor is optimised for collaboration with Cloud storages. With Whisply, Boxcryptor also integrates an application to securely exchange data via the browser.

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The problem with passwords in 2018 is that they outgrow the user. Therefore, he/she will set either a strong password for all accounts or different passwords that are easy to remember. Both cases are not worth recommending. Here are the two most important rules for secure passwords: 1. Uniqueness: Use a separate password for every access. This is beneficial if a password goes into the wrong hands. In this case, only one account is under risk and not several others. The problem is resolved when you successfully and promptly change the password of the compromised account. 2. Length is decisive: When you use passwords, they should not be from a dictionary. A mixture of letters, special characters and upper/lower case letters is a good one - but the length of the password is decisive. The longer, the better. To follow these rules, we recommend you use a password manager. This program will help you to generate a 50-character password and will use it for

you in the Log-in field. Here, there are two approaches. Tools like KeePass (see pic above) save the passwords locally in an encrypted database, which is topclass in terms of security. However, you have to manually sync the codes on your devices. In that scenario, you'll need the second type of password manager services, like LastPass that takes over the password management for you and synchronise the codes over several devices, in the background. This is a convenient and seamless process, but does mean that you must show a certain trust towards the service provider, since the encrypted password database is synchronised via their server. In addition to a secure password, you should also activate 2-factor authentication if possible. In this case, a one-time code is required in addition to the username and password at the time of logging in. This code is mostly generated via the app or sent to your mobile via SMS. For this, you will also need an app like Google Authenticator. Tip: The site https://twofactorauth.org gives a good overview about services that offer 2-factor authentication.


Customise patterns 8. Search for alternatives What is the easiest way to deal with the privacy problem of Facebook? Do not become a member or delete your Facebook account. But nobody wants to follow that option, so the solution is to find alternatives. For example, social networks like Mastodon and Ello are experiencing a slight increase in popularity due to the scrutiny on Facebook. Of course, the hard part is to convince your circle of friends to move to these networks. An alternative to Google Search is also offered by StartPage. The results originate from Google, but the queries are processed anonymously so that your search is not tracked. This works well on

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the desktop and on your mobile. Even for browsers, you can avoid Chrome and use Firefox or Opera. Another option, with special focus on the protection of privacy and integrated quick search, is the Cliqz browser. However, the air is thin when it comes to operating systems outside Windows and MacOS. Linux is the best alternative on desktop PCs, but it is not compelling enough for notebooks. And it is even more difficult for the smartphone, because there's no real choice outside of Android and iOS. Instead, what you can do is use alternatives to the installed system apps. Tip: You can still use Linux for desktop systems. For instance, you can test an Ubuntu Linux in a VirtualBox environment.

10. Save data 9. Keep an eye on security at all times You must pay attention to the Security factor at all times. Before: Security must be a criterion while shopping or creating a user account with a web service. This means, before you place an Amazon Echo in the living room, you should take a look at the data protection policy so that you know what you are getting into. If you book a 1TB free Cloud space with a Chinese provider, then you will need a Plan B if you are unable to access it. Always gather all information about the business model

when it comes to free offers. In use: Think of a security strategy that will cover everything. You can monitor your WiFi at home and thereby the devices connected to it, but when you are on a holiday and connect to the hotel WiFi, you do not have any control over the network security even if it is the same technology. Therefore, you should use a VPN, regardless of whether you're using a notebook or a smartphone. After: When you discard devices, delete all the data in them. Tip: The Windows tool DBAN deletes hard disks. You can use developer tools like SSD Magician from Samsung for SSDs.

In times of Big Data, data economy is often forgotten as an effective protection mechanism. Many users, for example, always complete registration forms for services, although the mail address and password are sufficient. Whenever possible, do not use your real name. Think twice whether the services need your phone number at all. Today, it is quite common for companies to gather user data to improve their services and devices. Avoid this so that it will work better. Tip: You can partially tame Windows 10 using the settings. Tools like O7O ShutUp10 are more effective in stopping the data collection.

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Goes on a vacation next week

Has a debt of 300,000 Euros

Is into bondage games Recently became a couple

Has three cats

Buys new sneakers every week

Wants a new smartphone Loves vouchers

The All-Seeing World Wide Web Big companies are creating comprehensive profiles of their users. We will show you which data Facebook, Google and Amazon are storing and how you can prevent this in the future

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ata is the new oil. You can see this statement coming from a lot of people – be it from EU politicians, to Gartner analysts and CIOs of tech companies. The company heads of Google, Amazon and Facebook would probably agree immediately because their businesses would run only half as successfully without the huge data treasure that is their customers' profiles. The companies use this data, for example, for targeted advertisement and user profiling. But what kind of customer data do companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google actually store? We will be talking about that in this article, and also tell you how to optimise the services so that least possible personal data reaches the companies. If you want to say goodbye to the data collectors right away, we can also show you the best alternatives and a guide on how to delete your account properly so that the data is really gone.

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THE DATA COLLECTORS OF FACEBOOK Over 2 billion people use Facebook – that’s a lot of data sources. The service not only creates profiles of its users using special algorithms, but also does so for the people who do not even have a Facebook account.

The data Facebook stores You can find an overview of the data stored by Facebook in the "Settings". Click on "Your Facebook information" under "General Account Settings". There, you can download all user details if desired. If you dig deeper into the data, you can get a good idea of Facebook’s data collection algorithms. For example, you not only find all the comments, pictures and events of the user, but also a complete history of the searches, messages, a location history, all

Photos: georgeclerk (main image), MStudioImages (couple)/Getty Images

By Fabian Von Keudell


feature the "liked" information, as well as the comments on thereupon. It's practically a dossier that could have come from a spy film. Facebook even sorts its users with a very high accuracy in peer groups, such as "In the throes of adult life", and subsequently displays customised ads. The group also has access to address books and call logs via the smartphones connected to the account. Facebook uses this information to also create so-called shadow profiles, i.e. accounts of people who do not have an account with Facebook. But, as soon as these people register there for the first time, the company uses the data to recommend friends.

This is what Facebook knows Facebook creates user profiles Facebook knows the interests of users via user clicks on specific advertisements and interaction with business pages

Set data protection on Facebook optimally A rudimentary way to protect yourself in Facebook is to go to your account and open "Settings". In the drop-down menu in the top right corner under the arrow, go to "Face recognition" and switch it off. That way, Facebook will no longer recognise you on the pictures of other users. You can only turn it on or off in certain countries, as the feature is obligatory for all other users. Next, go to "Privacy" and restrict as many data sharing options found there as possible.

This is how you can delete your account properly If you’ve had enough of Facebook’s data collection mania, you can deactivate or delete your account. A deactivation does not remove data from the Facebook servers, but your profile is also no longer visible to other users. While the deactivation can be comfortably done via Facebook settings, a complete deletion is more difficult. To do that, click on the arrow symbol and then go to "Settings". There, select "Your Facebook Information" and then "Delete your account and your information". With "Delete my account" you forward the deletion request to the company. Subsequently, Facebook grants a 14-day grace period. Facebook removes the account if you don’t log in within this time.

WHAT GOOGLE KNOWS ABOUT YOU With a global market share of 86.28 per cent for the search engines and 77 per cent for the mobile operating system, it is hard to get past Google. The company collects massive quantities of data through both the systems.

Mobile devices are huge data sources Just like Facebook, Google records all user activities as well. The company analyses each click on an advertisement, each search entry and each interaction in the Google account. You can find an overview of what Google already knows under myactivity.google. com/myactivity. There, you can not only find places, shops or restaurants you visited, but also minute-by-minute overviews of the search terms and the links you clicked on. With such data, Google can create an extremely extensive user profile. In doing so, the company knows when and where you travel to work, which trains you take and what you buy – since the Google shopping pages are also included in the assessment. In addition to the data, Google also gets information from all connected Android devices,

Michael Sperrsle

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Sabrina Rotash

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Protect data

Facebook uses face recognition to allocate users 1. You can completely disable this comparison in the settings 2 of the respective account

The Facebook alternatives Those who want to leave Facebook will have a hard time. Sure, you can still get over closing your own account. But it's much harder to delete the WhatsApp Messenger, which also belongs to Facebook. Here are some alternatives you can use. >Social network Diaspora aims to give you control of your own data. It has much of the same features that Facebook has, such as publishing status updates, sharing photos, and chat function.

> Signal Private Messenger impresses with an extensive end-to-end encryption as well as a comfortable operation. The only disadvantage: There are not nearly as many users with Messenger as with WhatsApp. Thus, you will have to invite your contacts personally. iOS users can also use Apple’s iMessage as an alternative.

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feature This is what Google knows 1

which in turn report GPS data or voice recordings of the Google Assistant to the company. And the company saves the data even if you aren’t logged in on Google. Experts assume that as soon as you log in, both yours and the profile of the user that is not logged in are connected with each other on Google. This also works across multiple devices, according to Erik Wijmans, a computer scientist from the Washington University in St. Louis. However, there is a way you can protect yourself with the right settings.

Customise account settings perfectly

2

Switch off location data

To see which GPS data Google collects, go to the settings of the account 1. There, you can find all search requests and navigation data 2

If you like to retain your account with Google despite its unwanted curiosity, we suggest a couple of important data protection settings. Log into your Google account and click on your account picture on the top right. There, select "My Account". In the overview that follows, go to "Personal Data and Privacy". Use the "Privacy Check" to switch off as many data sources as possible for Google. Note that these settings are only applicable if you have logged on a computer. However, Google also collects data from computers without a login. You must first delete all the cookies from these computers. When you visit google.com for the first time after this is done, Google will ask whether you want know more about the current set of privacy policy. In the following overview, go to "More Options" and click on "Edit Settings". There, deactivate data logging. "Back" takes you to the previous page. Do the same for the "Settings for advertising" option. In addition, you should install the Deactivation add-on plug-in by Google Analytics on your browser. This avoids analysis of your clicking behaviour for the advertising banners that are displayed via Google. Google also uses information from the mailbox for personalised advertisement. Google only looks into the email of private accounts. If you use the G Suite business solution (from 5 USD onwards per month), Google abstains from taking inventory of your data.

Delete user account – but properly You can avoid the transmission of your internet browsing data with the Google analytics plug-in. Be sure to check the correct installation

Google alternatives Leaving the closely interlinked Google services goes hand in hand with loss of comfort. But with the right alternatives, the difference isn't noticeable. > Mail sending A secured alternative is Proton Mail, while Zoho Mail provides a clean and ad-free experience. The advantage: None of the providers browse through the mailbox. >Data storage US service Dropbox provides storage space for your data. With the free basic subscription, you

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have over two GB of memory. Those who want more can get 1 TB for 9.99 USD (1 USD ~ RM4.06) per month. Its ease of use is almost at Google level, thanks to the synchronisation tools for mobile phone and desktop > Android applications To get latest apps for Android devices, use the F-Droid store (f-droid.org). To install apps from third party providers, you have to allow it in the settings

If you want to completely delete your Google account, you must go to the Settings. To do that, log in with Gmail first and then, tap on the account icon in the top right corner once again. There, select "My Account" and under "Account Settings", click on "Delete Account or Services". Before you make the deletion request, you will have to conform to some conditions. Finally, you can send the request with "Delete account". Just like Facebook, Google grants a time limit after the deletion request. In this case, you have time to log in again up to three weeks – after that, all the data is gone.

THIS IS WHAT YOUR AMAZON ACCOUNT REVEALS Amazon ships 400 products every second. The company has a turnover of around 30.7 billion US dollars over Q1 2018 in North America alone and the secret to its success is data. After all, there is a comprehensive profile of each of its more than 300 million customers.


feature Examine your own shopping profile Some of the data records with Amazon are evident enough, such as the storage of each delivery billing address ever used, as well as each and every credit card number and bank details. Even all order and product return details remain stored on Amazon. You can officially see all this information in your own user account (see right). In the USA, the users even receive a listing in an Excel table. But in some other countries, like Germany, there is only an online display - no export function. However, what is more interesting is the data that Amazon unwillingly releases. This includes information about the click behaviour on banner ads and the search history on the Amazon page. Each click on the website also allows Amazon to 'sort' each user's preferences using 50 markers. Furthermore, Amazon saves the time, product category and article number of the product accessed. Even the origin, i.e. the page that directed the customer to Amazon is recorded. The company is so precise with its customer data that it also knows how long the browser needed to load the page, which language settings are configured and whether access was carried out from the desktop or from the mobile phone. Based on the IP address, even rudimentary movement profiles can be generated. If the user uses more services such as Alexa and Amazon Prime Video, even more data records are added. That way, Amazon records every language command and every film viewed including the exact timestamp.

This is what Amazon knows

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List of all the orders In the USA, users can create a report in the Excel format 1 . In Germany, your settings can only be displayed online and annually 2

Switch on possible data protection There are a couple of immediate measures in order to partially protect yourself from mass storage, which will help you disable a couple of data sources. You can, for instance, delete all the language commands on alexa.amaxon.com, which have been recorded by your echo loudspeaker. The snag: Amazon creates a renewed data record for each new use. You can switch off personalised advertisement by clicking on "Personalised ads" and selecting "Do not display Ads from Amazon for this Internet Browser". To restrict Amazon from saving when and how you clicked on an item, log in to the Amazon page and press on "<Your First name>’s Amazon" and select "Pages you visited". Here, click on "Change" and set the toggle to "Off". However, you can only get complete protection for yourself from the extensive data collection frenzy by deleting the account.

Terminate Amazon account The mail-order company makes termination difficult. There is no option on the website to close the account. The only way is through a telephone customer support call, which can then delete the account immediately – without a waiting period. Even if the deletion of accounts with Facebook, Google and Amazon is sometimes connected with loss of comfort, your data will be much better protected in the future. At least, you won't have to worry about a data scandal such as the one with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

The option to switch off personalised advertisement is hidden in the settings, Use the URL amazon.com/adprefs

Amazon alternatives The huge advantage of the shipping giant from the US is its extensive product range and fast shipping. You will be able to shop in multiple shops in the future and still receive the products just as quickly and cheaply - but not from a single source. > Fashion For example, use Zalora. This online mail-order company is specifically features fashion products and has a robust inventory.However, you cannot buy technological

products here, for that, these are the alternatives: >Technology Lazada or Taobao will provide you with a large enough catalogue of technology products. >Food products You can go for startups like Happy Fresh to get household products and food sent to your home. Therefore, the service is the perfect and cost-effective alternative for Amazon’s online supermarket Online Fresh.

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The smartphone generation after the next one will be a part of the 5G network and actively uses the integrated AI there. Its battery lasts much longer and the display outperforms OLED quality By Markus Mandau

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amera, Camera, Camera â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the advertising posters of flagship smartphones have not had anything else to say for the last few years. And it is true; every situation in life is being captured today, which makes cameras important. Also, smartphone camera technology has improved much over time. For example, you have cameras with up to three lenses to ensure better zoom, more sharpness and a superwide angle. But the focus on this part of the complex structure of the smartphone will be reduced in the years to come as other components come to the fore, such as the chip. Most smartphone SoCs (System on Chip) will obtain AI skills sooner

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or later, either directly or via a special chip. Even other central components will experience an upgrade in the years ahead. For example, a new display type that ensure improved brightness, and exotic casing materials that will make smartphones more robust against environmental effects such as pollution or continuous rain. Future battery technology will also enable longer runtimes and faster charging. Improved battery tech is especially important, because smartphones will one day be a part of the extended mobile 5G network. When that happens, more computing power would be required, which results in a higher energy consumption. In 2020, 5G smartphones will

Photo: Spencer Whalen/Getty Images (Main image); Arm (bottom right)

Smartphone 2020: Next-Gen Network Using AI


feature still look like today’s smartphones but they will be deeply integrated into the wireless network and obtain more information from it, and will be faster too.

Artificial intelligence as part of the system Google has integrated the Neural Networks API Runtime as a system component in Android 8.1. This interface communicates with the AI framework and can carry out the calculations of the neural network on various chip components.

THE SMARTPHONE BECOMES SMARTER A leaked presentation by SoftBank, a huge Japanese company that invests in the chip manufacturer Qualcomm, revealed how the cellphone transformation will begin. In a slide, Qualcomm’s next high-end chip, the Snapdragon 855, was shown to be built in the 7 nanometre process - the first chip using this process. The replacement of today’s 10 by 7 nanometres should bring about an increase in the efficiency of computing power by about 20 per cent. This paves the way for additional computing engines such as special chips, which do nothing but execute neural networks directly on the smartphone instead of operating on the Internet in the cloud. There can even be several of these at a time so that, which can be helpful in certain scenarios. For example, it can enable language assistants to immediately react to the actions of the user upon analysis of language and facial expression used.

Android-App

AI-Framework

Android Neutral Networks API Runtime Hardware acceleration

Drivers for AI processors

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Artificial intelligence always at your fingertips Google's Android 8.1 has artificial intelligence built into it at the factory level. The system interface is called Neural Networks API (NNAPI), which connects apps, AI framework and hardware with each other. This means that app developers can use a neural network on the smartphone, which was put together on the smartphone and trained with the help of well-known frameworks such as Google’s TensorFlow or Facebook’s Caffe. At the other end of the exploitation chain, NNAPI provides interfaces for different hardware so that neural networks can be executed on different components, which are either a part of the SoC or of separate chips that were developed for AI tasks. It’s already been a year since Huawei implemented the first of such chips. This Neural Processing Unit (NPU) currently supports the smartphone camera to enhance the photos taken depending on the detected object. However, the neural network can distinguish only a few categories for now, such as flowers or food. ARM – the company whose standards are followed by the mobile industry - has been at the forefront of showing us what the future looks like, right from the SoC design to the instruction set. The company has created project Trillium, which provides blueprints for an object recognition and AI processor, including direct integration into the SoC. The aim is to provide these special components with more computing power so that they recognise not just a few, but several object categories. Moreover, they are expected to identify postures and emotional states via smartphone cameras. The AI will also be able to interpret the input of smartphone sensors in a better way and warn about an overheated battery promptly.

Drivers for DSP processors

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Drivers for graphics unit

3

Neural networks don't have to run on a separate AI chip 1. Even components of the SoC (System on Chip) such as a digital signal processor 2 or the graphics unit 3 are suitable for that.

The AI knows the subject

Today, Huawei already uses an AI chip on high-end smartphones, which automatically recognises objects and optimises photos accordingly

The Artificial Intelligence probes the situation

The British chip developers from ARM aim towards a multilevel AI with the Project Trilium, where one chip only serves to identify objects, the second one analyses their behaviour

Batteries that store a lot and charge faster Batteries can burn and we saw this in 2016, when news of exploding Samsung Galaxy S7 devices were reported. Last year, Samsung leaked out news that they are working on a solid-state battery. Of course, the move is not without any ulterior motive, as it is likely a PR move to regain some lost credibility. In the new type of battery, the electrolyte between anode and cathode is no longer liquid but solid, and non-inflammable. However, solid state batteries will not be viable for mass market for a long time. Consequently, the absorption capacity of conventional batteries will

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feature Non-inflammable solid-state battery Liquid electrolyte is used in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s Li-ion batteries to transport lithium ions. Solid-state batteries come without liquid components, allowing it to have a form of integrated fire protection. Polymer ceramics

Anode made out lithium

Cathode made of porous carbon

have to be increased in the coming years. But in doing so, a problem arises in the anode, where it expands multiple times when its silicon absorbs the lithium ions. For faster charging and more capacity, you need a material that contributes to this expansion better than the graphite that is currently used. To that end, Samsung has developed a graphene insulation that perfectly adapts itself to the expansion of the silicon. What would be even better than graphene is an anode made out of pure silicon, developed by a research team from the Institute of Materials Science at Kiel University. It can store ten times as much energy as the standard graphite anode that is usually used today, which is made of only ten per cent silicon. During this procedure, the material can expand to a maximum of four times the size in the form of microwires.

Tiny LEDs in a brilliant display For lithium-ions of porous ceramics

Graphene casing increases storage capacity

Samsung has developed a graphene casing for lithium storage. This material can store more lithium than the currently used graphite, as it expands with the lithium

Apart from the battery, the display also determines if buyers and critics are happy with the smartphone. That is why manufacturers install expensive OLED technology (AMOLED) in a lot of top models. By doing so, they also solve a couple of problems in favour of brilliant colours. However, the selfluminous organic material degrades over time and is not immune to the burning in of contours. As an alternative, micro-LED panels made of tiny self-luminous LEDs are ideal. Since micro-LEDs don't use any organic material, they have a long life and avoid the burn-in effect. Their black level is excellent, and the colour effect and contrast are even above OLED level to some extent. The production of micro LEDs is not ready for mass market yet. They are produced from silicon wafers, removed from there and applied to the substrate of the display. This transfer creates too much scrap for mass production. The company Plessey Semiconductors offers some hope, as it has managed to produce the micro LEDs directly on the substrate. Plessey will start the series production this year and has designed a licensing programme, so that bigger display producers can make use the process.

A smartphone is a device of daily use, it has to endure shocks, blows and all sorts of weather conditions. It is for this reason that protective covers are booming, but they turn a nice and slim smartphone into a chunky block. It would be better if the smartphone body worked as a weather guard. In order to achieve this, a material that can repel rain and dirt is required. This can be found at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where researchers have developed a material for water-repellent coatings that is transparent and resistant to abrasion. Water and oils simply roll off from this material called Fluoropor. According to Dr. Bastian E. Rapp, head of the team, Fluoropor can be used for the back of a smartphone casing without any problems. "We are currently speaking with a few manufacturers of mobile telephones," he informed. However, it has not been determined if it can also be used for the front. "In this case, a very thin layer must be applied so that the touch feature is not affected. We are now analysing how robust these thin films are for daily use," said Rapp.

Silicon anode

The anode developed at the Kiel University, which consists of silicon wires, is more suitable for storage than graphene

Better than OLED

Micro-LED

Tiny micro LEDs comprise of red, green and blue pixels. They are activated through electric charge and are illuminated independently, delivering good black level

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IMMERSION INTO THE NEXT-GEN NETWORK e s te D tra ctrod o-LE Glas bs Ele Micr Su BRG

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The 2020s "Smarterphone" will have a brilliant display and a battery that lasts for days but charges in minutes, necessitating new infrastructures. Among them would be faster wireless networks, such as 5G, which network operators will start to roll out in 2019. We expect the use of this

Photo: University of Kiel (silicon); University of Karlsruhe (top right)

Self-cleaning mobile phone bodies


feature network to occupy a better part of the next decade. In this next-gen network, the smartphone will only be one of several device types and the number of available services will also increase, including autonomous driving, the Internet of things, and even broadcast television. All of this requires high computing power in smartphones. And here, the previously mentioned Snapdragon 855 comes into play again. Its first adoption should be in the Samsung Galaxy S10, which is expected some time next year. In addition, it should be noted that the presentation by Softbank shows that Quallcomm has built in not one, but two modems: The X24 and the X50.

Even faster LTE The X24 modem is an upgrade that provides faster than LTE connections. It supports the LTE category 20, allowing it to reach a maximum download speed of 2 Gb/s and an upload speed of 316 Mb/s. These are of course ideal values, which you almost never achieve in practice when using the network. The support from up to five channels or frequency ranges for the multiple-antenna technology 4x4 MIMO is more crucial. With those, the network operators can provide the maximum possible speed more consistently. The sending to more frequency ranges will also mean that old wireless technologies such as GSM and UMTS have to give way. Network operators call this refarming and those from more developed countries are all expecting UMTS to be phased out by the end of 2020. But the issue of dead zones is not on the agenda for the LTE upgrade along with refarming. At this point, nascent DVB-T frequencies can provide some relief, as they can be used for LTE from 2019 onwards and have a very high range.

The transition period from 4G to 5G The X50 modem in Snapdragon 855 only provides the new 5G network. It will start in its first phase next year, while the full implementation will take a good part of the coming decade. Technology for 5G NonStandalone (5G NSA) constitutes the beginning of the network restructuring. It has the advantage of being easily implemented, because you do not have to build the core network of 5G. Instead, it continues to use the LTE core (see right). Some network operators plan to use 100 MHz wide frequency blocks between 3.4 and 3.8 GHz for this purpose. Qualcomm has performed a test run in Frankfurt to get live values. Apart from higher data rates, the results show a fast reaction time particularly inside and outside of buildings. Qualcomm has used microcells for the reception in buildings, which supplement the wireless cells on buildings and radio masts. Where smartphone users are most likely to feel the 5G effect is the elimination of network crashes. They will also be able to receive data at lightning speeds. In Germany, Telekom has operated such a 5G NSA network live in Berlin, where 70 antennas were arranged at 20 places. "The devices we used there can operate both 4G and 5G," said Alexander Lautz, Senior Vice President 5G at Deutsche Telekom. "The 5G core network will be commercially available from 2021 onwards," he added. A series of very different services, right from Internet of things to broadband connections, will be offered. This ranges from a transmitting broadband connection with UHD TV, to sensors that broadcast in narrow bands in the vicinity and tell you where the next nearest free parking space is.

The Fluoropor developed at the University of Karlsruhe keeps the cellphone casing clean. It repels liquids such as water and oil

LTE Cat 20: The next expansion stage The X24 modem by Qualcomm will enter the market next year. It supports LTE category 20 with higher upload and download rates and will be installed in a lot of top models in 2019

X24

X20

X16

2019

2018

2017

Qualcomm-Chip

Snapdragon 855

Snapdragon 845

Snapdragon 835

Smartphone model

Samsung Galaxy S10*

Sony Xperia XZ2

Samsung Galaxy S8

Download channel bundling

7 x 20 MHz

5 x 20 MHz

4 x 20 MHz

Maximum download speed

2,000 Mb/s

1,200 Mb/s

600 Mb/s

Multiple antenna technology

4x4 MIMO on 5 channels

4x4 MIMO on 3 channels

4x4 MIMO on 2 channels

3 x 20 MHz

2 x 20 MHz

2 x 20 MHz

150 Mb/s

150 Mb/s

Released

Upload channel bundling

Maximum upload 316 Mb/s speed * According to overall prognosis

5G: The next-gen network will start in two phases First, 5G will support the existing mobile network as a download accelerator. The full implementation with a separate core network, which provides LTE and 5G, will only begin from 2020 onwards

2. Phase: 5G in the full implementation

1. Phase: 5G Non Standalone

5G core network

Extended LTE core network

Downloadacceleration

LTE   

5 G   

5G available right away A test performed by Qualcomm in Frankfurt showed that 5G responded faster to requests in the first stage of development Reaction time (in milliseconds) 5G NSA

8

LTE Cat 20

15

LTE Cat 18

20

LTE Cat 16

21

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Emergency First Aid For Every PC The PC tends to conk out when you least need it to. Fortunately, you can solve each software and hardware problem quickly and safely with a systematic approach By Andreas Th. Fischer And Christoph Schmidt

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T

he PC always conks out unexpectedly and at the worst possible moment. But with the right background knowledge and a systematic approach, you can quickly get most problems under control. We will show how to proceed when you encounter difficulties â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from frequent but somewhat annoying problems such as stuttering Windows updates, programme and system crashes, seldom-occurring problems, as well as fatal hardware failures.

UPDATE PROBLEMS The most common problems with Windows include errors in updating the operating system and with the installed software. The immediate segment below has the appropriate measures.

The diagnosis tool by Microsoft automatically recognises errors in the Windows update and subsequently tries to rectify them

Advanced error search

Reactivate Windows Update Windows normally updates itself at least once a month on the so-called Patch Day. Traditionally, this is the second Tuesday of the month. You can find out, for example, when Windows 10 was last updated under "Start | Settings | Update and Security | View installed updates history". Click the arrow on the top left, and then click on "Check for updates" to restart the Windows update.

Repair Windows update with diagnosis tool

The operating system always shows error codes for both updates and blue screens, which are difficult to understand. Under www. lifewire.com/bluescreen- errorcodes-4065576, you will find an extensive list of all the known error codes. Additionally, Microsoft offers an online assistant under support. microsoft.com/en-my/ help/10164, with which you can

search for the causes of an update problem. Enter the URL in the browser, scroll a little to the bottom and then first select the operating system under which the error occurs. The assistant subsequently shows you step-by-step options, which you can refer to rectify the problem. If this does not work, click on "No" and try out the next tips.

If Windows Update continues to hangs, go to the website go. microsoft.com/?linkid=9830262 to download Microsoftâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diagnosis tool. Start the programme and carry out the steps of the Assistant. It will repair the problems detected automatically.

Delete faulty Windows patches Persistent update issues also occur when Windows makes a mistake while downloading a patch. To fix the damage, boot up in safe mode. With Windows 7, this is done by pressing the [F8] key multiple times. With Windows 10, it is more cumbersome. First, go to "Start, On/Off" and hold the [Shift] key pressed while clicking "Restart". Next, select "Troubleshooting | Advanced Options | Start up Settings | Restart". Now, the PC should reboot and present a menu in that will let you boot to safe mode.

Measures and tips for when Windows conks out Update problems from page 55

Reactivate Windows update

Damaged system files from page 56

Hidden malware infections from page 56

Windows start is terminated From page 58

UEFI finds no OS From page 58

An examination of Blue screens

Detect malware

Restore system

Repair Boot mManager

Remove adware and annoying toolbars

Perform automatic startup support

Reintegrate Windows in the Boot Manager

Repair Windows update using diagnosis tool

Repair system files

Delete faulty Windows patches

Restore drivers

Create start protocol

Install software updates

Advanced error analysis

Reset PC fully

Update drivers

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feature Wait till the desktop is visible and press [Win] + [E] to open the Windows Explorer. Navigate to "C:\Windows\ SoftwareDistribution\Download" and delete the entire content of the folder. Reboot and select the Windows update again.

Install software updates Windows is not the only software that runs into persistent errors. Errors will also be commonly found in other programmes installed by the user, which need to be fixed. Since Windows does not provide any options like Linux to control the installation of all the updates centrally, software updating tools have been developed. For example, there's the free Patch My PC Updater that will automatically detect out-dated software and provides updates from the developer’s websites. When restarting after a failed boot, Windows 10 displays this menu, where you can select "Safe Mode ..." with [4]

Update drivers The third software component that can lead to an unstable PC is the drivers. Crashes and many other problems can occur if they are not up to date. Even for this case, there is appropriate free software such as Driver Booster Free, which automatically takes care of keeping the drivers on your computer up to date.

DAMAGED SYSTEM FILES The steps described so far will help you avoid crashes. But if errors continue to occur, you can find the cause with the following tips.

Carefully examine blue screens Driver Booster Free automatically updates outdated drivers on your PC, preventing crashes and other problems

Crash analysis

The "Full core image" option must be active in the system settings so that the WhoCrashed tool can analyse Windows crashes

When Windows crashes, it automatically creates a core image that contains information about the state of the system before the error. The "WhoCrashed” software will analyse such crash dumps. Upon installing the tool, it shows all the available core images under "Dump Files". You can achieve the best results using WhoCrashed if you assign Windows to write all the available information in the images. To do that, press [Windows] + [Pause] and click on "Advanced system settings". Select "Settings" under "Startup and Recovery" and under "Write debugging information" activate the "Complete memory dump" option. In this window, you can also disable Windows automatically initiating a restart immediately after each crash.

Repair system files

Mini recovery Windows You will find two tools in our downloads section, which you can use to create your own bootable mini Windows. First, download an ISO file of Windows 10 from a Microsoft server with the "Windows ISO Downloader". Extract the ISO, for example with 7-Zip, in a folder on the hard disk of your PC. Next, start the Win10PE SE tool and enter the folder with the extracted Windows data under "Source".

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Then click to the left on "Utils | Extract WIM Folders". Confirm with "Goooooo", then proceed with the creation of your recovery system by clicking on the blue arrow at the top. By doing this, you will receive a new ISO file, which you can burn on a DVD or install on a USB stick via "WriteMedia | Copy to USB Device-BCD BootMGR".

You can repair damaged system files with the "Sfc” command line tool. To do that, you will need a command prompt with admin rights. Type the command "cmd” in the search list, right-click on "Command prompt" and select "Run as administrator". Then enter the command "sfc /scannow”. Windows searches and replaces damaged system files by means of backup copies, which the system constantly creates. Restart your PC after the run and execute the Windows Update.

Restore drivers Earlier in the article, you have learned how to keep the drivers up to date. However, a new version does not always work better. If this is the case, you can rollback to the previous driver by going to


feature the Device Manager with [Win] + [R] and enter "devmgmt.msc”. Right-click on the faulty device and select "Properties". A new window opens, where you can switch to "Driver". Here, click on "Previous driver".

Advanced error analysis In Event Viewer, Windows logs almost everything that happens on your system. It is therefore the ideal point of contact for intensive troubleshooting. Press [Win] + [R] and enter "eventvwr.msc” to open the Event Viewer. A filter helps to retain the overview. Select "Action | Create a custom view" and go to the "Filter" tab. Under "Logged", select a time period in which the error has occurred. Then mark the "Critical" and "Error" boxes under "Event level". Open the drop-down menu under "Protocols" and select "Windows Protocols". Once you confirm with "OK", assign a name and again click on "OK". Lastly, sort the result by "Errors" and "Warnings" by clicking on "Level". Another option to evaluate the Event Viewer under Windows 10 is the "Reliability Display". Enter "Relia” in the Windows search box. Subsequently, click on "Display Reliability display". After that, select a day on which Windows has marked an error with a red cross. You will receive additional information about the problem right below. Click on "View technical details" to examine the error in a more precise way.

Create emergency drive With Windows 10, you can copy an emergency system to a USB drive, which enables a lot of repair measures. To do that, enter "Recovery” in the Windows search field and click on " Create Recovery Drive" to open the assistant. Confirm with "Next" and wait for a moment. After that, you can find out how big the USB drive must be in order to create an emergency drive. It needs to be about 8 to 16 GB in size. While the USB drive is being written on, all existing data will be lost, so make sure you backup the data on the hard drive first. Depending on the

speed and size of the drive, it might take a while. Now you can boot your PC from the drive, in case of an emergency. To do that, plug it in and press the [Escape], [F8], [F11] or [F12] keys immediately after switching on in order to access the boot menu on your computer.

Previous driver

HIDDEN MALWARE INFECTIONS

Return to previous version if hardware does not work correctly after an update of the driver

If Windows or important software such as your browser acts in an unusual way, a previously unrecognised malicious code might also be responsible for that.

Detect malware Many virus scanners rely on signatures when searching for malware. These scanners ignore malware whose signature is not known to them yet. Malwarebytes is an additional security programme that allows you to examine Windows for any suspicious activity. It detects harmful software on the basis of behavioural patterns and reliably removes the malware.

Remove adware and bothersome toolbars The installation processes of freeware from the Internet often install stubborn advertising programmes and toolbars in the browser apart from the desired program, which keep annoying you with irksome pop-ups that slow down the system, or even send unwanted private data and tracking information to their manufacturers. These are sometimes difficult to remove with built-in Windows tools. The tool AdwCleaner, on the other hand, specialises in putting an end to these browser add-ons for good.

WINDOWS START GETS ABORTED It is particularly frustrating when Windows does not want to start anymore or start only in safe mode. In that case, you will need a DVD or a USB drive that you can use to reboot your computer. Before you get to that, you should have created the emergency

Reliability Display

In this diagram, the reliability display of Windows shows which error has occurred when

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For the automatic "Start-up support" on Windows 10, you need access to a user account on the system

drive described on the previous page with Windows 10. Windows 7 users can burn a system repair disk on a DVD with [Win] + [R] and the command "recdisc”.

Restore system Boot your PC using the emergency stick and select "Troubleshooting | Advanced options | Restore system" to go back to a previous restore point. However, this function is only available if one was created before.

Perform automatic start-up support

Write new Master Boot Record

Use the "bootrec /fixmbr” command in a system repair console to troubleshoot problems while booting Windows

Under "Advanced options", the emergency drive offers an additional option with the "Start-up support" to trigger the system to start again. The repair attempts are completely automated. For that, it is important to select an account that is already available on the computer and to enter the password. The diagnosis is performed subsequently.

Create start protocol The system repair disk and the Windows 10 advanced boot menu also allow you to create a log of the boot process. Thus, the system creates a list of all drivers loaded up to the point of the crash. You will find the list in the folder "C:\Windows" under the name "ntbtlog.txt". On the Internet, search for the last listed driver to receive more information about it. Next, uninstall it or restore its previous version.

Reset PC completely

Recover data with Linux live CD The live Linux System System RescueCD is ideal for booting defective Windows PCs and to back up your data to an external hard drive. Burn the ISO file onto a DVD and then boot your PC. Select the sixth item from the boot menu and then "en” as the keyboard layout. Then type "fdisk-l” in the already open terminal window to list existing

partitions – you can recognise the Windows partition from the size. If it is called, for example, "/dev/sda2", integrate it with the command "ntfs-3g/dev/ sda2/mnt/win dows". You can then access it with the file manager (Icon "File System").

If none of the options described here have helped, you can also reset your PC with the emergency drive. In doing so, the complete system is reinstalled. To do that, go to "Troubleshooting | Reset this PC". After that, you can choose to either "Keep My Files" or "Remove All". In both cases, it is recommended to backup important files beforehand with the help of a Linux Live System (refer to the left).

UEFI finds no OS If the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the hard disk has been damaged (e.g. by an additional operating system), Windows will not be able to boot. The Windows tool Bootrec removes the damage.

Repair Boot Manager Restart from the system repair disk or the emergency stick and this time, select "Command prompt". Enter the command "bootrec /fixmbr" in the command lines window to write a new MBR on your hard disk. After that, use the "bootrec /fixboot” command to create a new boot sector on the system partition. Then restart.

Integrate Windows again in the Boot Manager

With a live system like the SystemRescueCD, you can access your data even when Windows no longer wants to boot

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The command line command knows more parameters. That way, it is possible to search for operating systems with "bootrec / scanos", which are certainly available on the hard disk, but are not entered in the Boot manager. If this command finds one or more systems, then update the Boot Manager list with "bootrec /


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Hardware problems and solutions Boo drive is not detected from page 59

UEFI does not start /hangs from page 60

PC runs but display remains black from page 60

No response from page 61

Correct boot sequence

Reset UEFI to factory settings via jumper

Check electricity and data cable of the monitor

Check power supply from socket to motherboard

Check function and connection of the drive

Remove and replace motherboard battery

Change source setting of the monitor

Check on-off and reset switch (on housing and motherboard)

Interconnect Windows output mode wit [Win] + [P]

Change hardware: First power supply, then motherboard

Data recovery via SystemRescueDisc

Test RAM modules individually to detect defects

Test drive in other computers

Test other graphics output of the computer (DisplayPort/HDMI /DVI, possibly VGA/on-board graphics)

Is PC ccessible via network? If yes, replace graphics card

rebuildbcd”.

BOOT DRIVE IS NOT RECOGNISED If you cannot start the installed Windows even with the previously mentioned tricks, there is probably a problem on the hardware/ firmware level. First check if the booting sequence is correctly set in the UEFI. This is relevant mostly if you have added another drive that has an operating system that was already installed – but also if you have reset the UEFI by yourself or the cause could even be an empty motherboard battery. The simplest way is to access the UEFI settings from a running Windows 10. Click on "Start menu | On/Off", then click on "Restart" while pressing the [Shift] key. In the following menus, click on "Troubleshooting | Advanced options| UEFI firmware settings| Restart". Under Windows 7, you need to press one of the [F1], [F2], or [Del] keys immediately after switching it on in quick repetition to get to UEFI – you will find the exact instruction in the manual for your motherboard/notebook.

Correct boot sequence The UEFIs of most motherboards tend to show a simplified interface at first. It represents the boot sequence as a series of icons that you can drag in the correct order with the mouse. The drive with your operating system must be at the first place – the UEFIs mostly show "Windows Boot Manager" in the name of the drive. If your system drive does not appear there at all, switch over to the advanced view via the Advanced" button at the top or bottom of the screen. In this view, look for the "Boot" entry, where you will find a more detailed view of the "Boot Order". Under the "UEFI Hard Disk Drive BBS” entry, your system drive must be set as "Boot Option #1”.

Hardware failure of the boot drive If the drive does not appear in this menu at all or appears only sometimes, a hardware failure is probable. Before you discard the

In the simple UEFI menu you can drag and drop the drives into the correct boot sequence

UEFI: Pay attention to the details

If your system drive does not appear as a boot option, you will find it in the advanced UEFI menu, where you can set the drive as the first option

The UEFI "Secure Boot" feature prevents rootkits from being able to infiltrate, but it also prevents the OS (or a recovery live system) from booting in the event of problems. You can turn off Secure Boot to avoid this

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drive, connect it with another data or power cable and test another SATA port on the motherboard to eliminate the defects of these components. If this remains unsuccessful, you must install a new drive and reinstall the computer. After that, you can try to connect the old drive to the running computer via SATA or an external USB hard disk case in order to possibly recover the data from it with Recuva or Testdisc / Photorec. You can connect a temporarily faulty boot drive to a working computer by means of a USB adapter and check if it can recover more data by means of Recuva or TestDisk

Motherboard and RAM problems

1 The "Clear CMOS” - jumper on the motherboard is set to the clear position for ten seconds to reset all UEFI settings

UEFI REFUSES TO START It is rare for UEFI to not start correctly - instead, the computer reboots and restores secure defaults if necessary. This kind of reset for desktop PCs can be manually initiated. First, with the PC switched off (and disconnected from the power supply), open the case and look for the "Clear CMOS” jumper on the motherboard – that usually connects pins one and two of three pins. Plug the second and third pins together for ten seconds, and then back to the starting position. Doing so makes the motherboard "forget” all UEFI settings and it should then restart. If you cannot get to this jumper, remove the button cell battery of the board for ten seconds and then reinsert it. If problems still continue to occur when the computer is disconnected from the power supply, replace this battery. If multiple RAM modules are installed, test whether the UEFI starts when only one of the modules is used – if yes, the other modules are defective and must be replaced with compatible new ones.

IMAGE PROBLEMS: DISPLAY REMAINS OFF

2 When the battery is empty, the UEFI forgets all settings after each disconnection from the power supply. The replacement is simple

Determine status via LAN

3 A defective RAM module can prevent booting up or cause crashes. If multiple modules are installed, individually test each module to check whether the computer starts and runs in a stable manner

060

The monitor should always be switched on in all the scenarios we've discussed so far, so if your monitor still doesn't show anything, you can use that to exclude possible causes one by one. If the monitor’s standby light is on, the monitor’s power supply should be fine. And if the on-screen menu can be viewed, the display works. That leaves the signal source as the only possible cause. First, check if the monitor cable is correctly inserted on both sides and is undamaged. Then test if the monitor is placed on the correct signal source (source switch) and whether Windows outputs the image on the correct port ([Win] + [P]). Next, replace the monitor cable with another one. If that does not work, try another type of connection, such as HDMI or VGA instead of DVI. If this works, the PC output in the failed connection type is probably defective. Check the function of the monitor by connecting another computer.

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On the PC, the problem can finally be isolated to the graphics output, if it is accessible via the network. You can check this by


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taking a look at the web interface of your router from another computer to see whether the problem computer is registered in the network and what IP address it has. From the Start menu, open a "Command Prompt” and type in "ping [IP address]”. If this works, Windows will run. Exchanging for or installing a (used or cheap) graphics card should make the computer functional again.

IF NOTHING WORKS ANYMORE If the fans and LEDs of the PC remain off after switching on the PC, then the power supply of the on-off switch or the motherboard could be the problem. First, check the power supply. Is the fuse for the socket intact and are other users working on this outlet? Check if any multiple sockets are in order, whether the power cable is plugged into the power supply and if it is switched on.

Error search in the computer Check if all cables in the housing that lead from the power supply to the components fit correctly. If pins in the main connector of the large 24-pin motherboard are burnt, an overvoltage (lightning strike, etc.) has pierced through and has probably destroyed the components. Also check whether the four to eight-pin 12-V CPU plug is placed correctly, as well as the graphics card that should be using a combination of four-, six- or eight-pin power plug. On the motherboard, check the "Case Connector” pins, which are connected to the power and reset switch as well as to the housing LEDs (power and HDD). You will find the pin configuration in your motherboard's manual, which you can download from the manufacturer’s website. Disconnect the plus marked "Reset SW”. If the PC starts up, then it's likely that the reset button is broken and should remain unplugged. If this does not change anything, disconnect the "Power SW” plug and plug the "Reset SW” plug into its pins - the polarity does not matter. If the reset switch successfully turns on the PC, this indicates that the power button is defective. Continue using the reset button.

1 2

Test PC via LAN

If the switched on PC does not display any picture, but has an IP address (i.e: 192.168.1.127) in the web interface of your router 1, then ping it using the command prompt 2. If there is a response, then the OS works and only the screen output is failing

Test switch

The (power and reset) switch of the housing can cause tricky problems – you can detect and solve it on the plugs of the motherboard

Replace the power supply or the motherboard If all of the above were unsuccessful, the probable causes are a defective power supply or motherboard. If your power supply is already five years old, then a brand new power supply is always a good purchase. The replacement isn't complicated too. Just disconnect all the cables, loosen four screws, and remove the power supply. Reverse this process to install your new power supply. The next logical step is a new motherboard. A model with the same socket like the previous one is the most favourable and you can continue to use all the other components. However, you must completely dismantle the computer and reassemble it. If the PC is older than five years, it might be a better idea to completely overhaul it with a new motherboard, CPU and memory of the latest generation. This type of makeover will definitely be the best solution for all PC problems.

The replacement of the power supply is easy and obvious in case the electricity supply of the computer causes problems

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Microsoftâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Plans For Windows 10 Fluent design, Timeline, Cortana 2.0 and more data protection, all of these were introduced with the spring update of Windows 10. Apart from that, Microsoft also provided a glimpse into the future of Windows up until 2020 By Andreas Th. Fischer And Markus Mandau

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cover story Windows 10 updates twice a year. Like clockwork, Microsoft brings out a new version every spring and fall. This time, Microsoft has issued not just one feature update, but two. Originally set to drop for around March as version 1803, the Spring Creators Update was delayed to late April earlier this year due to a critical. Microsoft is now hard at work with Redstone 5, which will be available in the future. Specifically, it is expected to appear this fall. In this feature, we'll be taking a look at the changes Redstone 4 brought about first. After that, we will talk a bit of the preview version of Redstone 5 and their new features. For those who are interested, you can download the Preview build by signing up to the Windows Insider Program through the Windows settings. We will also show you how you can use the VirtualBox tool for safe testing of Redstone 5. It's not recommended to try it without a safety net as these previews sometimes contain errors, which may lead to loss of data in the worst case scenario. Lastly, we will analyse what Microsoft plans for Windows 10 in the long term and how the Redmond-based company is modifying the system for various hardware platforms.

An operating system in five versions Microsoft is rolling out big updates for Windows gradually. As the 1709 curve shows, there are some who rather wait or must wait. Similarly, the switchover to version 1803 took a few weeks to reach everyone 100 %

80 %

Proportion of users

Windows 10 1709 (Fall Creators Update)

Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update)

60 %

40 %

Windows 10 1607 (Anniversary Update) 20 %

THIS IS WHAT THE SPRING UPDATE WILL BRING What is immediately conspicuous in Redstone 4 is the new Fluent Design that Microsoft has implemented in certain places. You can see transparent effects in the Start menu: Elements that are in the background shimmer slightly through the transparent structures. This is supposed to create a depth effect and a visual hierarchy, since the tiles in the Start menu will pulse with a light effect when the mouse pointer is hovering over that particular tile. Users ought to therefore easily see which actions are available. However, the new features will not be available always. For example, due to missing drivers, Fluent Design is deactivated under VirtualBox.

Windows 10 1511 Windows 10 1507 0%

24 October

27 November

27 December

22 January

20 February

26 March

2017

2017

2017

2018

2018

2018

Timeline somewhere between a dream and nightmare When it comes to its new timeline, Microsoft has promised a bunch of things, such as enhancing productivity. In order to enable this, it collects information about activities of the user and displays this information in a lucid manner. The timeline even collates this data across multiple computers and processes it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a boon for mobile workers, but a nightmare for data privacy specialists. Pressing [Windows] + [Tab] gives you an overview of your timeline. It lists not just your activities from the last few days, but also offers a simple option of working with virtual desktops. You can create a new working surface with one clock on the symbol under "New Desktop", which then allows you to easily drag applications with the mouse. Under "Start l Settings l Data privacy l Activity history", the timeline can be configured or can be deactivated completely. Here, it is also possible to delete the history that is displayed so far.

Free up memory and deactivate autostart Regardless of how large your hard drive's capacity is, it is bound to fall short at some point. Microsoft has splashed out on features in the Spring update in order to free up occupied storage once again. You will find the new options under "Start l Settings l System l Storage l Free up

Fluent Design in the Start menu of Redstone 4: Microsoft generates a depth effect with the use of transparency and soft light effects

The new S-mode to arrive in 2019 Microsoft had promised a lot for Windows 10 S, a limited version of the operating system that is supposed to offer more security. Economically, however, it was not a success. The company is refusing to give up in spite of this and plans to integrate Windows S as a new S-mode in Windows 10 instead. This mode will have similar limitations as that of the trimmed-down Windows S, such as only allowing the execution of applications from the official Windows Store. The first devices with

the S-mode are expected to be available from 2019 onwards. Those who want Windows S can select the latest ISO file for it with Windows 10 and select the system during the set up.

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cover story storage space now". Here, you can delete superfluous log files and carryovers from the previous Windows installations, for instance. Microsoft has also revised the options that allows users to clean up the programs that start with the system. Go to "Start l Settings l Apps l Autostarts" in order to deactivate autostarts, which are no longer required, simply using a button.

Cortana 2.0 – improved search and startup helpers

Windows 10 collects information in the timeline about the activities of the users – even across different devices

If you wish, you can take a look at the new features yourself and install the preview version at an earlier stage

Immediately after the update, the operating system presents a note regarding the intensified integration of the digital assistants. Cortana 2.0 coordinates directly with the timeline and can indicate the activities stored there. Microsoft wants to expand Cortana as a comprehensive search agent, which is reminiscent of Apple’s Spotlight. A search box would probably be integrated in the future for this purpose, one that hovers in the middle of the desktop. From there, the user can directly search the Web, local directories and in Windows as well. In the previous preview version, it was actually possible to activate this feature via a Registry hack. However, this no longer works in the version tested by us. Furthermore, the Microsoft Store now contains the new app known as "Cortana Show Me …". It helps the average layman when it comes to changing Windows settings. Thus far, it's able to provide over 50 detailed instructions to questions such as how a Bluetooth device can be added, or how the background can be personalised.

Changes in data privacy After every bigger update, it is worth looking into the data privacy settings, something that applies for the switch to Redstone 4 too. As usual, these settings can be found under "Start l Settings l Data

To play updates or not? Test this without any risk Those who wish can participate in the Insider program at any time, in order to test the next Windows versions in advance. However, you should not use a regularly used system to test it. Microsoft uses the previews to test new features, which can often contain errors. We recommend testing out the preview in a virtualisation software such as VirtualBox, then download Windows 10 as an ISO file and install the system on a virtual machine (VM). Set up Windows Live account For testing the new features, you require a Windows Live account, which is linked with the Insider program. While you can use an existing account, it's better to create a new account on signup.live.com. This is because Microsoft, with its softened data privacy regulations for the Insider program, can gather a lot of data into your activities. At the same time, it does allow Microsoft to collect and eliminate data about errors in the preview

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versions quicker. As soon as you have your account, go to insider.windows.com/enus/ and click on "Become an Insider". Log in with your account data and accept the conditions of the Insider program. Install Windows virtually Install the Media Creation Tool (www. microsoft.com/en-us/softwaredownload/windows10) and use it to download the latest ISO file with Windows 10. Install the system in a new VM in VirtualBox, then get Windows to start updating until all the updates have been downloaded and installed. Now, go to "Start l Settings l Update and Security". Click on "Link account" and log in with the test account. After the login, select "The next Windows Version" and "Quick display" in order to

receive the latest preview version. This option corresponds to Fast Ring, which receives the updates the fastest. Confirm and restart the VM. Next, select Windows update and click on "Look for updates". Mostly, this option commands Windows to 'loosen' your privacy settings. As it is only a test VM, this should not be an issue. Win10 will now load the latest preview and update itself. The VM can be restarted multiple times in this way.


cover story privacy". Microsoft now presents a long list of options here, starting from "General" to "Speech recognition Ink and Type", "Activity History" of the timeline and individual settings for installed apps. The new structure does require a few more clicks, since you'll now have to look for certain settings in multiple sub-menus. In fact, rather than becoming simpler, things have become more complex. The "Diagnosis data viewer", which hides under "Diagnosis and Feedback", is an exciting feature. Set the option of "Diagnosis data display" to "On" in order to enable it. It can then be downloaded and installed from the Windows Store. The tool should give users an overview about what data Microsoft collects for elimination of errors. Only a few can work with or understand the displayed data, however, as it is presented without further explanations. It is also new for multiple dialogues to be displayed to the user directly after the update, where he can configure the data privacy settings.

The "Cortana Show Me ..." app helps the average Joe in completing tasks – for example, while determining the Windows version

New features in the in-house Browser Microsoft refuses to give up on its browser, though their actions show otherwise. But there are enough users who continue to swear by Edge, so the company has provided it with a handful of new features. The software can now remove advertisements and other interfering elements while printing, if so desired, making it so that only the essential elements will be transferred on paper. This worked rather well in the test, so much so that we managed to spare more than half the contents on paper when it came to printing for many a website. Apart from that, Microsoft has established EPUB and PDF support, which updates the interface and enhances the full screen mode (activated via the [F11] key), so that you won't need exit the mode when you want to access the address bar or want to switch to another tab. Instead, you just need to move the mouse to the top edge of the screen. In addition, audio can now be deactivated for specific tabs. Having said that, this feature has been available on other browsers for quite some time now.

The Diagnosis Data Viewer is a profile tool. It allows a glimpse into the information that Windows sends to Microsoft

Edge now removes clutter while printing, if desired. This saves paper

Maintenance works, improvements and deferrals Furthermore, Microsoft has made improvements in other areas and has updated the Eye Control that it introduced last fall. Windows now also supports the image format HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) favoured by Apple. This format deals with special containers that can record individual pictures or entire sequences. Moreover, the compression of HEIF is clearly better than that of the outdated JPEG. In the future, owners of systems with multiple graphics cards should be able to choose which graphics card would be used for each app. This way, notebook owners can, for example, decide to specifically go for the power-saving variant and start the graphics unit of the CPU instead of actuating the graphics card dedicated for this purpose. There's also the new "Environmental release", which can be activated via the information centre. With this feature, data can be exchanged wirelessly between two Bluetooth-enabled computers. Microsoft also has new features in the update for Virtual Reality fans. Thanks to Windows’ Mixed Reality, modern games can be experienced not just optically and acoustically, but haptically as well – provided the device has the corresponding hardware (see next page).

Installation of Redstone 5 Curious contemporaries can already get a first glimpse of the upcoming Fall update. To do this, follow the instructions in the box on the opposite page. Instead of selecting "The next version of Windows" at the end, select the option: "Skip ahead to the next Windows release", which basically refers to Redstone 5. The option cannot be seen for each Insider account, however, because Microsoft has not release it permanently. Even when it is, the access is limited only to a small number of users. But it

can also be a good thing that the company dispenses Redstone 5 via the option "The next version of Windows" upon the appearance of this version, for it will have slipped one place forward in the sequence of releases until then.

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cover story Lenovo Explorer consists of two Motion Controllers and a VR headset in order to experience the new Mixed Reality by Windows 10

As is customary, though, not everything that Microsoft had planned on introducing with Redstone 4 is complete. We have already mentioned that the company removed the new Cortana search box again. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more, Microsoft was also unable to finalise the sets it has already made an announcement about in time. Those are now expected to appear with Version 5. Interested users can test that in the next Fall update and Microsoft will provide a separate preview version when the time comes. Redstone 5 will appear in September or October this year and will most likely obtain the internal release number of 1809.

WITH REDSTONE 5 STARTING THIS FALL

With Redstone 5, UWP applications such as the Windows Explorer can include even other programs such as OneNote as a tab

In the system settings of Redstone 5, the new sets can be activated and configured

Coerce Redstone 4 It can sometimes take weeks or even months until Windows offers you the Spring update. But you can use a trick to get it earlier. First, register yourself for the Windows Insider program (see description on page 64) and link your Windows account with Windows Insider. Select the option "Simply send me early updates", confirm it twice and restart your computer. After that, select the Windows update and let

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your computer look for new updates. It generally downloads the "Functional update for Windows 10, Version 1803" after a short while and installs it. You will also need to customise your privacy settings here. If you want to quit the Windows Insider program once this is done, click on the option with the same name in the system settings and then click on "Stop Insider Preview builds".

One of the biggest innovations of Redstone 5 will be the previously mentioned 'sets', which enable Microsoft to implement tabs across programs. One set consists of several windows where even different programs can be accommodated in tabs. Users can thus condense projects in one place and ensure a greater degree of order on the desktop. Nevertheless, not all programs can be summed up in one set. They must correspond to the UWP standard (Universal Windows Platform). Classical desktop applications such as Photoshop therefore remain excluded. According to the announcement by Microsoft, users can easily switch between individual tabs within one or amongst multiple sets with the mouse. The well-known key combination [Alt] + [Tab] should serve the purpose of switching tabs. The company uses key combinations known from other programs for other actions related to the tabs as well, such as [Ctrl] + [T] for opening new tabs and [Ctrl] + [W] for closing the currently open tab. Furthermore, Microsoft plans on integrating these tabs into the menu structure of the Windows Explorer, for instance.

Intermediate cloud storage for multiple devices With Redstone 5, Microsoft wants to finally implement the intermediate cloud storage that it announced last year for the clipboard. With these feature, the contents copied or cut onto the clipboard using [Ctrl] + [C] or [Ctrl] + [X] will no longer remain locally on the PC, but will automatically land up on a Microsoft server in the cloud. From there, the contents will be available on all computers that are linked to the same live account. However, because the clipboard can contain sensitive data within, the feature can also be deactivated if desired. Windows 10 has always been criticised for not following any uniform model for its essential system settings. With Redstone 5, Microsoft plans on eliminating this flaw, or at least parts of it. The next big feature update will include a new control centre, which is located at the bottom right in the system tray and is expected to record frequently required settings such as system volume, brightness and WiFi. The new search feature is anticipated to arrive in the fall, which will be supported by Cortana. And the Fluent Design will be found in multiple places as well. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more, a feature has been planned, which can be used to read out and display the battery status of Bluetooth devices. Incidentally, Redstone 5 will be the last preview version with this code name. Microsoft will stop using this title from


cover story the beginning of 2019. By all accounts, the Redmond campus employees plan on changing the name scheme to 19H1, 19H2, 20H1, etc. This plan has not yet been officially confirmed though.

Windows 10 on ARM computers

WINDOWS 10 ON MOBILE PHONE CHIPS Even before Redstone 5, Microsoft will launch a substantial innovation this fall. To be more precise, it is a new Windows variant. In their second attempt, the employees of the Redmond campus are trying to establish Windows 10 on ARM processors, which is typically used by smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S8. Always-Connected PCs such as the ASUS NovaGo have integrated chipsets like that, like with the Snapdragon 835. On these PCs, you'll find a version of Win10 that can also start normal desktop programs such as Photoshop. In fact, an Intel-compatible processor is normally required for this. This feature needs to first be activated by the buyer of an Always-Connected PC, however. These PCs are delivered with Windows 10 S, which only permits apps form the Store. They are executed via the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) as UWP supports Intel as well as ARM hardware; UWP has been a part of the operating system since Windows 8. In order to execute desktop programs, the user must carry out a free upgrade to Windows Home or Pro.

The Windows 10 variant on ARM runs on Always On PCs such as ASUS NovaGo and Lenovo Miix 630 – according to manufacturers, up to 24 hours

Desktop programs in the software emulation In Windows 10 on ARM, even desktop tools such as Photoshop run on an ARM chip. Their x86 code is emulated for this purpose and their system calls are processed by special DLLs. The abstraction layer then combines both and sends the code to the kernel.

x86-Code

Desktop programs are emulated However, there is a catch. The ARM chip cannot do anything with the program code of common Windows software such as Photoshop or PowerDVD. This is the reason why Microsoft has expanded the foundation of Windows 10 to central components, which translate the code on the chip before the execution through software emulation (see right). It is a CPU-intensive step so that desktop tools on Always-Connected PCs run with reduced performance. Fortunately, depending on the software, the decline in performance is not too bad. Microsoft can compensate for this to a certain extent through modified system libraries, namely CHPE DLLs (Compiled Hybrid Portable Executable) that run natively on ARM chips and can simultaneously receive and execute the system calls of the Windows programs. This means that every time a desktop tool transfers certain tasks – such as the display of a JPEG – to a system component, a detour via the emulator is not required. But even this function has a catch. Microsoft emulates only 32 Bit software, i.e. x86 programs. Thus, the 64 Bit version remains excluded since 32 Bit systems will limit the size of working memory that can use such a program to 4 GB. Microsoft has been attempting to close this gap. In the course of the developer conference BUILD in May 2018, the Redmond employees launched a Software Development Kit that allowed programmers to convert their UWP apps to 64 Bit with a couple of clicks.

ARM-Code Abstraction Layer

X86-Emulator System Services (NTDLL)

Windows kernel and drivers

*Complied Hybrid Portable Executable: DLLs, which translate x86 commands into ARM code

Limited compatibility Currently, Windows 10 on ARM can emulate only x86 programs with 32 Bit. An emulator for 64 Bit programs is missing. From May onwards, the system will at least support 64 Bit apps from the Windows Store.

x86 Emulation

64-Bit Emulation

x86 programs

64 Bit programs

WindowsApps*

from May

Photos: Manufacturer

24 hours with one battery charge Despite the limitations, there are reasons to purchase an AlwaysConnected computer. Compared to a normal laptop, it has advantages in terms of mobility. The device manufacturers are advertising long battery times of up to 24 hours, and they did score well in initial practical tests with a proud total of 16 hours. This is made possible by the ARM chip Snapdragon 835, which is much more power efficient

CHPE*-Dlls

ARM ARM 32-Bit-Code 64-Bit-Code

○ Yes  ○ No

* Apps compiled on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP-App)

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cover story The fastest ARM chips in a duel The latest Always-Connected PCs all run on the Snapdragon 835 chip. Devices running on the more powerful Snapdragon 845 won't be available till later in 2018. PCMark Android (Information in points) Snapdragon 845

8,062

Snapdragon 835

6,616

New patents for a foldable smartphone is a good reason for assuming that Microsoft will probably launch a Surface phone in the near future

MICROSOFT’S MASTER PLAN

A new version of the Mixed Reality glasses HoloLens awaits in 2019. It runs a special version of Windows 10 with AI support

The big remodelling of Windows 10 In Microsoft’s master plan, a small core system runs on each hardware, while the interface is customised with elements of the Composable Shell. Four such projects are currently running.

UWP-Apps

Composable Shell Andromeda

Aruba

Windows Core OS

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From a purely technical viewpoint, Windows 10 is in a transitional phase. Off the stage, Microsoft is reorganising its operating system so that it can run on all possible devices. In this context, there is also a strong focus on ARM as the old Windows platform consisting of AMD PCs or Intel notebooks seems to be (in certain countries or markets) dwindling gradually but steadily. On the other hand, the market share and volume of mobile devices is still increasing at a significant rate, and ARM has a monopoly in this category. The best example is Microsoft’s in-house Mixed Reality glasses HoloLens. In the first version of the HoloLens, a modified Windows 10 and an Atom CPU by Intel was used. Recently, we got to see the first leak of the second version, which is supposed to be launched some time in 2019. This time around, Microsoft has decided to equip the HoloLens 2 with an ARM chip and special hardware for Artificial Intelligence. In addition, we believe that consumers can expect to see a new mobile device by Microsoft in the near future. It is uncertain if this will be a Surface Phone, but patents brought in by Microsoft show a foldable tablet that is suitable for calling purposes (see left) and an ARM chip is included as well. This two factors strongly indicate that it could be.

A system core for all devices

Desktop programs

Polaris

when compared to Intel CPUs. With the Always-Connected concept also comes the integration of a SIM card. This makes sense since ARM chips include a modem that supports the newest LTE network technology inside. In Malaysia, there hasn't been any talk about from the telco companies offering special bundles or packages in this regard. The performance of these computers is still a snag, but will hopefully be much better in the future. As opposed to the usual PC processors from Intel and AMD, you can expect bigger improvements in performance for ARM chips going forward. The best example is the Snapdragon 845, which is planted in the latest smartphone flagships such as the Sony Xperia Z2, ASUS ZenFone 5Z, and more. It shows a 20 percent stronger performance than the Snapdragon 835 in benchmark tests, allowing the ARM emulation of x86 programs to be able to run more smoothly on it. The first Always-Connected PCs with the new 845 chip are expected at the end of the year.

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Oasis

The Surface Phone is arguably the first device with Windows Core OS that marks the next big step in the development of Windows 10. Microsoft has not explicitly announced its master plan, but when you put the pieces together, it's not hard to see what is being planned. To fit into the current age, Windows 10 has to become a universal operating system that runs on completely different devices and hardware platforms. This is why the operating system is being reorganised by Microsoft. Its kernel as well as all other system features will represent the core OS in the future. This core system can be implemented on all possible devices, regardless of whether it is the display of a pair of MR glasses or an 80-inch television. For the representation on the various interfaces, Microsoft is extending the Windows Shell system. The Shell defines how Windows will be displayed, and contains all interface elements, starting from the structure of the windows to the Start menu. The extension operates under the term called "Composable Shell". Multiple projects run internally in order to customise this Shell for the respective output


cover story devices (see left of previous page), such as "Andromeda" for the Surface Phone. Desktop programs play a subordinate role in this concept and they occur only in the project Polaris for PCs and laptops. If things work out according to Microsoft, the future will belong to the UWP apps, since the coding will have already been designed for various hardware platforms.

THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM AI! The support of new hardware is the keyword for another huge project, namely the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Until now, all AI features run on the cloud. This applies to the speech assistant Cortana as well as for the identification of person in images in OneDrive. But with the Spring update, Microsoft should have been able to remove AI from its online-only constraint.

Photos:Thomas Hawk/CC BY-NC 2.0/Flickr (Portrait); forest strider, In8finity/Getty Images (Illustrations); Manufacturer

When computers learn to see Kam VedBrat is the Group Program Manager of the Windows AI teams, which is responsible for the implementation of Windows ML (Machine Learning). On Developers’ Day in March 2018, he explained that Windows 10 with Redstone 4 will also support special hardware such as the Intel VPU Movidius (VPU: Visual Processing Unit). A neural network runs on VPUs such as the Myriad X by Movidius (see bottom right), which analyses visual data in terms of content. Identifying faces, objects and persons – these are exercises that an AI chip is able to carry out in real time. Such a neural network, coupled with a webcam, could theoretically read even human emotions. The advantage of AI hardware is in the fact that it combines high computing power with low energy consumption. For example, a neural network accomplishes one billion computing operations on a fingernail-sized Myriad X. Windows ML acts as an interface for executing neural networks directly in Windows 10. This task can be initiated by the system itself or by an app. This is by no means a dream of the future, since Adobe and Corel have already integrated neural networks in their products quite a while ago. The highlight of Windows ML is that it is not just big software firms that can operate this technology with the appropriate resources, but practically every software developer. In fact, developers can integrate a neural network in their code with just three commands.

Neural networks as a component of Windows According to VedBrat, the ML interface for desktop and UWP apps should be available in all version of Windows 10 over the course of the year. The import of already pre-trained neural networks will therefore become possible. For transmission of data, Windows ML uses the Open Neural Network Exchange Format (ONNX), which is supported by Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. Except for Google, all industry giants are represented by the ONNX. However, there is at least one plug-in for Google’s TensorFlow. As for the hardware manufacturers, AMD, ARM, Huawei, IBM, Intel and Qualcomm support the standard as well. A lot of what Microsoft plans for Windows 10 leaves behind an ambiguous impression that oscillates between a Big Brother feeling and the discovery of new possibilities. Long-serving users may find it difficult to start using the new features and might want to go back to XP in the meanwhile. At the same time, Microsoft’s plans show that it is determined to lead Windows 10 into the distant future.

In the future, Windows 10 will be able to accomplish AI tasks such as the identification of persons even offline

AI integration in three code lines Microsoft has provided the Windows ML interface for developers. Three commands suffice for integration into an app.

"The AI platform of Windows 10 allows one to integrate neural networks directly into apps." Michael Burkhart Group Program Manager of the Windows AI team

Special AI hardware such as the Myriad X chip by Intel Movidius supports Windows 10 starting with Redstone 4

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test lab

TEST LAB: The Tools

Here at the CHIP Test Labs, we adhere to the high requirements set by the CHIP International Testcenter standards. This means that everything here -- from our own personal knowledge and to our trusted tools of the trade -- are meant to provide the most optimised, unbiased and comprehensive review to every product that comes through our doors. As thus, our test bed tools are specifically picked to get the most out of every test we perform

Intel Platform Motherboards Intel DZ77GA-70K MSI Z87 MPower

Processors Intel Core i7-3770K Intel Core i7-4770K

Graphics Processing Unit MSI GeForce GTX 980 GAMING 4G

CPU Cooler Cooler

Power Supply

Memory

Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid (1300W)

Kingston HyperX HX424C15FBK4/16

Western Digital Black² Dual Drive Western Digital My Book Live Duo

Motherboards ASUS Crosshair V ASUS A88X-Pro

Graphics Processing Unit ASUS Radeon R9 290X

Processors

CPU Cooler

AMD Ryzen 7 1700

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Turbo

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Turbo

PSU, Storage & RAM

Storage

AMD Platform

Benchmark Software Operating System Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)

Futuremark PCMark 10 3DMark

Industry Standard Benchmark Tools AIDA64 SiSoftware SANDRA Speccy Unigine Heaven

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test lab

TEST LAB

2

1

18 7 6 4

3

11

9

12

15 17

13

16 8

10

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CONTENTS 1 2 3 4 5 14

6 7 8 9 10 11

5

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Jabra Elite Active 65t MSI Optix MAG271CR ILLEGEAR LAGUNA ProStereo D1 ASUS ZenFone 5Z Altec Lansing LifeJacket 3 Illegear Z7 BenQ EL2870U ASUS PN60 ASUS VivoMini VC66-C Sony WF-SP700N Canon PIXMA G3010 OnePlus 6 Razer Thresher Ultimate PlayStation 4 ViewSonic VG2448 Wiko View Max ViewSonic PG603X Xiaomi Mi MIX 2s

CHIP Awards CHIP Editorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Choice Award

080 081 082 083 084 085 086 087 088 089 090 091 092 093 094 095 096 097

Ratings Each product review is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for different key parameters:

Awarded to products that receive unanimous endorsement from all CHIP editors for its overall brilliance

CHIP Outstanding Award Reserved for products that combine astute technical performance with good quality and design

CHIP Recommended Award Given to products that possess singular quality worthy of a recommendation

PERFORMANCE : Refers to the efficiency of execution FEATURES : Rates the abilities and unique characteristics available DESIGN : Varies according to product. Finished products - form factor and build quality. Hardware components - layout, size and cooling solution. Software - user interface VALUE : Calculated from the performance and features of the product in relation to the price

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first looks Dashing In White And Red The first ever Red PlayStation 4 Pro is finally announced and it comes dressed with a Spider-Man logo on the top of the console. Sony also calls the colour "Amazing Red". You might wonder why there’s no blue around the console like the new Marvel’s Spider-Man suit? Well, it is worth noting that the PlayStation 4 does glow blue. The console is also set to come with 1TB of storage, while the DualShock 4 controller will be in red with white buttons. Amazing Red Spider-Man PlayStation 4 Pro Contact: Sony (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Phone: 1 300 88 1233 Info: www.sony.com.my

Classy Laser Printer The new Canon imageClass MF525x is a compact monochrome laser printer meant for small office tables. Also, it only takes 14 seconds to power up, plus an additional 6 seconds for the first print to output. You can also copy, scan, fax and send - all on this one multi-purpose printer. A 5-inch touchscreen can also be found on the printer to help you navigate its features. To reduce the risk of security breaches, Canon also implemented the Canon Secure Print, which only allows print jobs with PIN codes to go through. Canon imageCLASS MF525x Contact: Canon Marketing Malaysia Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7884 6000 Info: www.canon.com.my

The NEX-t Phone For You? vivo’s NEX was announced in July locally, and it came with much fanfare after a rival brand also revealed a smartphone with a pop-up camera. The NEX comes with a 6.59-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display that has no notch! Internally, it houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. But the real star of the show is the front camera. It can’t be seen on the front of the device, because it is a pop-up 8-megapixel camera that will only appear when you want to take selfies. This bombastic device is powered by a 4,000 MHz battery. vivo NEX Contact: vivo Technologies Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 2856 9530 Info: www.vivo.my

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first looks Cloud-like Comfort The Cloud Alpha is one of the latest headsets from HyperX, and it comes with a similar colour palette of red and black. It features Dual Chamber 50mm drivers along with a closed back so your music won't leak. The earpads are also of leatherette design, softer and comfier to wear for longer periods. In addition, Kingston included a detachable noisecancelling microphone that is Discord and TeamSpeak certified! The cable of the headset is also detachable as well, allowing you to carry it around easily. This headset is compatible with most consoles or devices that has a 3.5mm port. HyperX Cloud Alpha Contact: Amble Action Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7665 3939 Info: https://www.hyperxgaming.com/en

Hunting With The Elites Peripheral elite, Razer, has recently announced a new keyboard called the Huntsman Elite. The first thing you might notice is with its RGB capabilities, even on the sides! All corners of the keyboard glow, including the leatherette wrist rest. On the top right, it sports a digital dial that allows you to change the volume, music and so on. If you wish, you can even configure the buttons on the Synapse app. The major change of the keyboard is with its switches. It utilises a brand-new Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch with 45 G of force that utilises light sensors to works the switch. Razer Huntsman Elite Contact: Ban Leong Technologies Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7956 6300 Info: www.razer.com

Next Generation Canon Zoom Lenses The latest lens from Canon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM lens is made for professional photographers and enthusiasts. It is capable of delivering exceptional performance no matter the lighting conditions. It has high levels of flexibility and allows the user to capture speedy moments without losing image stability. It also features a key IS performance upgrade of up to 5 stops with an additional three mode selections. It can be used with full-frame Canon EF-mount DSLRs, along with APS-C models as well. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens Contact: Canon Marketing Malaysia Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7884 6000 Info: www.canon.com.my

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first looks Ringing The Banana Phone The new Nokia 8110 was first announced in MWC 2018 and is now ready to make its Malaysian comeback. As you may know, this smartphone will have a body that curves slightly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; resembling a banana if you get it in yellow. It is made of polycarbonate shell with a sliding keyboard cover that can answer calls if slid down, and end calls with the reverse. It also has a rear camera of 2-megapixel for your photo needs, along with a curved 2.4-inch display. Performance wise, it is equipped with a Snapdragon 205 chip, 512MB of RAM, and runs on Smart Feature OS. For your storage needs, it has 4GB built-in but also has support for a 64GB microSD card. The Nokia 8110 will come with a 1,500 mAh removable battery. Nokia 8110 Contact: Avaxx Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 5638 3888 Info: https://www.nokia.com

Game On A Pad Tablets have since been taken over by phones as their screen gets larger, but HUAWEI begs to differ as they offer a brand new tablet for the market. Introducing the MediaPad M5, a tablet with an 8.4-inch display with ClariVu technology that will deliver a great viewing experience. The display can also automatically adjust its colour temperature based on the lighting of the environment, reducing stress on your eyes. It runs on Android 8.0 and comes equipped with a Kirin 960 series CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. To ensure it can power through your gaming sessions, it also has a 5,100 mAh battery. A 13-megapixel rear camera can be found on the device, along with an 8-megapixel front camera. It also supports Hi-Res Audio and is Harman Kardon certified. HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Contact: Huawei Malaysia Mobile Hotline Phone: 1 800 22 0086 Info: www.huawei.com/my

Projecting With Light Epson has announced a new laser projector in the LightScene EV-105. It utilises the 3LCD laser technology that can provide up to 20,000 hours of operation time, along with a sealed optical engine that gives amazing image quality with impeccable performance. Using the Epson Content Manager software that comes packaged with templates, effects, colours and so on, it allows you to create your own content to display and at the same time you can create playlists and schedules for automatic playback. With its flexible positioning, you can project images on the floors, walls and ceilings. Epson LightScene EV-105 Contact: Epson Malaysia Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 5628 8288 Info: www.epson.com.my

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first looks All Show, No Need To Talk The CK550 is Cooler Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest keyboard that is equipped with the necessities that makes a keyboard great, without any additional hubbub. Of course, it does have RGB lighting to light up your keys at night, giving you a spectrum of colours all in the palm of your hands. It uses either Gateron Red, Blue or Brown switches, all wrapped around a Brush Aluminium body. Performance is guaranteed to be good with its polling rate of 1000Hz and 1ms response time. You still can control media on the keyboard, and all it requires is a few keypresses combined with the Function key. The CK550 is a full-sized keyboard, with support for macros via the Cooler Master software. Cooler Master CK550 Contact: Ban Leong Technologies Sdn Bhd, Build Technology Supply Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7956 6300, (03) 7955 3699 Info: www.coolermaster.com

Do More Than Dominate Your Opponents With the rise of more and more brands tackling 4K monitors, Acer decided to take it up a notch and stand out from the crowd with the Predator X27. It is a 4K monitor with 144Hz of refresh rate and 4ms of response time. A pretty big deal for 4K monitors considering most in the market now only go up to 60Hz. To assist you with gaming, it also comes with NVIDIA G-SYNC HDR that will reduce screen tearing, offering a lag free gaming experience along with darker blacks and brighter colours with its HDR capabilities. As its name suggest, it is a 27-inch monitor powered with Quantum Dot technology. Acer Predator X27 Monitor Contact: Acer Sales and Services Sdn Bhd Phone: 1 800 88 1288 Info: www.acer.com.my

A New Generation Of Black Mamba Recently, more and more peripherals are gaining RGB lighting capabilities and the new Razer Mamba Elite is no different. It comes with extended lighting zones on the sides of the mouse, sporting an RGB strip that can be customised. And speaking of customisations, you have 9 programmable buttons on the mouse that you can change using the Synapse app. The mouse also utilises the Razer 5G Advanced Optical Sensor that has 1,000 Hz of Ultrapolling, and up to 450 IPS with 50G of acceleration. Razer Mamba Elite Contact: Ban Leong Technologies Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7956 6300 Info: www.razer.com

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first looks Power On The Go The latest tablet sized device from Microsoft comes packing a punch with laptop-like capabilities. It is equipped with a 10-inch PixelSense display, with 4GB or 8GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC storage and 128GB of SSD. It is powered with an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y. For your ports, you have a microSD card reader, one USB Type-C port for all your additional devices, and a Surface Connect port as well. All of that power is packed into a 522g device! You can also unlock the device with Windows Hello with the 5-megapixel front camera, while the rear camera is a 8-megapixel shooter. Microsoft Surface Go Contact: Microsoft Malaysia Phone: 1800 88 6295 Info: www.microsoft.com/en-my/

Golden Powered Cooler Master has announced a new series of power supply units, the MWE Gold Series Power Supply. The MWE Gold aims to bring reduced noise and increased durability when it comes to PSUs. This is possible due to the investment from Cooler Master in DC-to-DC topology that resulted in higher durability and increased efficiency, even in high demand conditions. The MWE Gold comes with outputs of 550W to 750W, along with 110-240v AC inputs. The brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s confidence and trust in the series allows each PSU to be covered with 5 years of warranty. Cooler Master MWE Gold Power Supply Series Contact: Ban Leong Technologies Sdn Bhd, Build Technology Supply Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7956 6300, (03) 7955 3699 Info: www.coolermaster.com

Master The Portege Toshiba's new Portege Z30-E would be coming to local markets It can be equipped with the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processor and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. As for the display, the two options available are either a Full HD or a HD display - both 13.3-inch in size. It'll also come with SSD storage of up to 512GB. All of that is packed into a laptop that weighs 1.2kgs and has an 18-hour battery life (maximum); very intriguing indeed. It also sports three USB 3.0 ports and a HDMI port that allows you to share your work with others or work on an additional screen, while the LAN port will give you stable wired connectivity. The Z30-E can also be configured to have a Smartcard and SecurePad option that only allows the intended user to log in. Toshiba Portege Z30-E Contact: Toshiba Singapore Pte Ltd Info: https://pc.toshiba-asia.com/

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first looks

Balanced Lens, Balanced Life The latest lens to join the Sony E-mount line-up, the FE 400mm F2.8 HM OSS large aperture super-telephoto prime lens, is currently the world’s lightest 400mm F2.8 Prime lens. It offers balanced shooting with its innovative optical design that reduces the number of elements placed at the front of the barrel, lowering its front weight. It is also equipped with two new high-speed XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors that improves tracking performance on moving subjects. It is also compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters that can produce amazing image performance even at extended focal lengths with fast and precise AF performance as well. The body of the lens is built using durable magnesium alloy along with a lightweight carbon fibre hood. Sony FE 400mm F2.8 G Master Prime Lens Contact: Sony (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Phone: 1 300 88 1233 Info: www.sony.com.my

AORUS Ready Memory GIGABYTE is jumping into the Memory market with the AORUS RGB Memory. It is XMP supported as well, and currently comes with a configuration of 16GB (8GBx2) at 3,200MHz. When you purchase the memory kit, two RGB Infused Demo Modules are also packed together to fully fill up your DIMM slots, so you can have the full 4 DIMM slots glowing with pure RGB illumination goodness, without wasting extra budget to buy additional memory kits. It can be synced up with GIGABYTE RGB Fusion or RGB Fusion Link software to control the lighting effects of the memory kit. GIGABYTE AORUS RGB Memory Contact: Nation-Tech Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 4280 6636 Info: www.gigabyte.my

Armour Up! The Commandos GLOCK 5 by ArmoryX is a laptop from Tech Armory Sdn Bhd and the first from the company. Specifications for the laptop can be configured from the website before your purchase. It can be equipped with a Pentium Gold G5400 processor or Intel’s 8th Gen processors of up to an i7 8700, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, a 15.6-inch Full HD or UHD display, 1 TB of HDD and up to 1TB of SSD. As for the graphics card, it comes with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti. The keyboard can also be configured to glow in either White, Blue, Red, Green or Orange when you make your purchase. ArmoryX Commandos GLOCK 5 Contact: Tech Armory Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 5887 0962 Info: ttps://www.techarmory.my/

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Jabra Elite Active 65t

Price: RM849 Contact: AMT PC Distributors Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 3344 1124 Info: www.jabra.com Wired: Truly Wireless Driver size: 60x5.1mm Impedance: 16 ohm Ports: MicroUSB Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 IP Rating: IP56 Dimensions: 27 x 30 x 22.5 mm (earbuds) / 72 x 51 x 26.5mm (case) Weight: 6.5 g (right)/ 5.8g (left)/ 67g (case) Others: 4-mic system, integrated motion sensor Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Be Active Elitely

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As for performance, the earbuds fit perfectly, and comes with extra pairs of ear tips that can be changed by yourself to fit your ears. We managed to try it out on a jogging session and the earbuds remained in our ears without falling off. However, during our testing, we did manage to run into some connection and static issues, as well as random music drops. But it's not too prevalent. With the Sound+ app, you can configure the amount of noise cancelling on the earbuds. You can toggle it to either let outside sound in, perfect for running or walking around in busy streets. When we tested it, we were still able to listen to sounds around us, while listening to music. The opposite on the other hand is perfect for working at busy areas when you need some peace. You can even toggle some ambience sound with the app, playing sounds such as Waves and Pink Noises. The earbuds will also auto-play and auto-pause when you remove one from your ear, allowing for short conversations. After your workout session, do make sure to give your earbuds a wipe to ensure that they will last a long time, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll keep your carrying case fairly clean as well. Speaking of carrying case, it was slightly hard to open as the case was shut pretty snugly. This is a good thing as it will ensure that they will not fall out without applying pressure.

The Jabra Sound+ app that allows you to switch up the settings

Fits perfectly in the carrying case

+

Not weighty Design

Random static/ disconnect issues

CHIP CONCLUDES A good pair of purely wireless earbuds that fit snugly in your ear and allows you to perform regular exercises worry-free. You can also easily switch between noisecancelling or focus with the Sound+ app.

By Rikco Shim

T

ruly wireless earbuds are a finicky piece of technology and are easily hampered with issues every now and then. With the introduction of the Jabra Elite Active 65t, some of the issues have been alleviated. The Active 65t shares a similar design philosophy with the Elite 65t and some differences when it comes to specs and so on. Unboxing the earbuds were pretty standard. It even had some charge left on it right out of the box. Charging the earbuds is also simple as well, simply store them in the provided charging case and you are good to go. To charge the case, however, you will need a microUSB cable; there's one already provided in the package. To tweak the settings of the earbuds, you will need to download Jabra Sound+ from the App Store or Play Store. Follow the instructions and voilĂ , setup is complete. You might even want to update the software of the earbuds as well. When it comes to using the earbuds, it was simple and easy to use. The earbuds are placed nicely and intuitively in the case. Pull out the right earbud and it is the earbud for your right ear. The pause play button is located on the right earbud, and the volume rocker can be found on the left one. Toggling voice assistant is also done on the right earbud. For the pairing process, with a Samsung Note 8 users have a choice of either Bixby or Google Assistant.


test lab

MSI Optix MAG271CR Price: TBA Contact: MSI Malaysia Office Phone: 1 300 22 1386 Info: my.msi.com Panel Type: VA Display Size: 27-inch Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Connectivity: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort Refresh Rate: 144Hz Response Time: 1ms Viewing Angle: 178°(H), 178° (V) Dimensions: 612 x 560 x 266.5 mm Weight: 5.6kg Performance: Features: Design:

One Screen Glory the case with the Optix, as we were able to make out the silhouettes of our enemies much more clearly with it than on other panels. Furthermore, the Optix features both FreeSync and a 144Hz refresh rate, which provides incredibly smooth gaming. We enjoyed the increased fluidity especially in FPS games like Overwatch and CS:GO, but it’s always great to see smooth and fluid animation in RPG games as well. You can control the Optix using a 5-way stick OSD that makes the fiddling for buttons non-existant, unless you’re looking for the easily found power button at the bottom right of the monitor. We aren’t always fond of curved monitors because they jack up prices unnecessarily, but curved monitors do provide a slight difference for your FOV. And if used with multiple monitors, it does create a more immersive viewing experience for the user. The curve on the Optix is done well, with no distortions found at any of the edges and sporting an almost bezel-less design creates an enjoyable experience.

5-way control stick for easy navigation

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Smooth 144Hz Great colour FreeSync

None

CHIP CONCLUDES An amazing gaming monitor to look at if you’re looking to go up from a 60Hz monitor, it performs well under all situations but due to its curved nature you may have to pay more.

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By Nixon Ng

H

ave you been living with an old and decrepit CRT monitor that only supports 4:3, or even a 17-inch LCD that only goes up to 1280x768? Ok maybe your life isn’t that bad, but you have a 23-inch that has started to give you problems. Then it’s high time to get a major upgrade that will last you for years to come. If you need help to decide then you’ve come to the right place, because right now we have the MSI Optix MAG271CR Curved LED Gaming Monitor in our test lab. The Optix is a 27-inch monitor using a VA panel, which is known to provide greater contrast than both TN and IPS panels, but with lower colour accuracy and reproduction than IPS panels. Another advantage of VA panels is the capability to have low response times, which makes the Optix’s 1ms response time possible. Games like CS:GO and Doom require gamers to see enemies in the dark, so you will definitely benefit from the contrast provided by VA panels. That’s definitely


test lab

ILLEGEAR LAGUNA Price: RM6,399 Contact: ILLEGEAR Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 2858 7399 Info: www.illegear.com

Operating System: Windows 10 Home Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Memory: 8GB DDR4 Storage: 240GB SSD + 1TB HDD Input/Output: 1x Gigabit LAN, 1x HDMI, 1x mini Displayport, 1x SD reader, 1x audio/mic combo jack, 3x USB 3.0 Type A, 1x USB 3.0 Type C Dimensions: 385 x 267 x 27.8 mm Weight: 2.7kg PCMark 10 5,330 PCMark 10 Essentials 8,609 PCMark 10 Productivity 7,211 PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation 6,621 3DMark Time Spy 3,895 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra 2,688 3DMark Fire Strike 10,355 Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Oasis Of Affordable Portable Gaming

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Considering its asking price, the Laguna has quite a few praiseworthy aspects as well as minor annoyances. Let’s talk about what’s good first, such as the display. The choice of IPS itself means that this notebook gets good brightness levels and contrast. Thanks to a colour gamut of 100% sRGB, it’s also more than vibrant enough for watching movies or gaming. Another thing that we noted, perhaps due to it only being a Nvidia GTX 1060, is that this notebook doesn’t have obnoxiously loud fans. While you can still hear the fans hum in the background, they get drown out once something plays on the speakers. However, the keyboard’s quality was a bit questionable. At first, the way it is spaced out evenly is aesthetically pleasing. But due to the trackpad, it makes positioning your palms slightly awkward. The trackpad’s palm rejection is also not 100%, making it likely for the cursor to either move or scroll accidentally. We also noted that there were some driver issues with the audio. The quality of the speaker itself is fine, but it seems to turn ‘off’ when the machine goes to sleep mode. Going to the device manager to disable and reenable it solves the issue.

The Laguna has most of the ports a modern user needs

Use the Control Centre to change the LED light settings or other miscellaneous functions

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Display Price

Trackpad

CHIP CONCLUDES Aside from some minor niggles that really shouldn't be there, this is a solid gaming notebook for an affordable price that’s difficult to ignore.

By Matthew Yap

M

any a local have heard of them, but it’s been a while since ILLEGEAR made regular appearances in our magazine. Following the ONYX we reviewed a few weeks ago, we’ve now gotten our hands on two other models. One of the is the ILLEGEAR Laguna, a midrange level gaming notebook. Unlike the (almost) standard black and red design you normally see, ILLEGEAR went with a mostly grey body with some black bezels for the Laguna’s display. The lid has a brushed finishing and two strips that have LED in them, which light up when the machine is powered on. Since it’s meant to be somewhat more budget-friendly, plastic is used for the outer shell. This also helps to keep the weight down, making it slightly less tiring to lug around. The triangular power button is placed above the centre of the keyboard, looking sleek with its programmable RGB LED. The Laguna is a gaming notebook that’s relatively bulky looking, housing a large 15.6-inch IPS display and a keyboard with a numpad. It also has three USB 3.0 ports to go with a USB Type-C port, HDMI, and mini Displayport. The included SD card reader is also a welcome addition, while the Gigabit LAN is important for getting minimal latency for gaming.


test lab

ProStereo D1 Price: RM755 Contact: Alcom Networks Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 9286 2888 Info: www.myalcom.com.my Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 Audio Codec: AAC/SBC Profile Support: HSP/HFP/A2DP/AVRCP Others: Charging Dock, Earphones, 1x USB Type-C cable Music Time: 5 hours (SRC on) Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Be A Pro With The Stereo A volume knob can also be found on the D1 alongside four buttons, the Play/Pause, Next, Previous and SRC button. The SRC button enables you to switch the sampling rate from 24-bit to 32-bit. Also included along with the device is a charging platform and a pair of earbuds. Now, all you need is a phone or laptop to connect the device to, and you are good to go. The process of connecting to a source was pretty easy. All we needed to do was power up the device, hold the play button for three seconds, pair it with the source, and voila, music nirvana awaits you. Our experience with the D1 was overall pleasant. Harder to drive headphones like the Sennheiser HD650 were manageable with the D1, and music sounds a lot better with it as well, no doubt thanks to the Hi-Res Audio and AKM AK4376A chipset. You can also make use of the microphone just beside the 3.5mm jack, meaning that you can have conversations with other people just by using the D1. To answer a call, click on the Play button, and press the button again to hang up. If you are looking for a DAC/AMP that will improve the quality of your music and gives you some freedom when it comes to music on the go, the ProStereo D1 is a good start.

The back of the D1, with the on/off/hold toggle and clip

+

Decent battery life Build

Voice Prompt in Chinese

CHIP CONCLUDES The ProStereo D1 improves the quality of your music without breaking the bank, while giving you a glimpse of a hands-free experience.

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By Rikco Shim

T

he ProStereo D1 is portable AMP + DAC combination that connects to your device via cable or Bluetooth. To kick off the review, the D1 looks like a miniature Toblerone with its triangular design. It comes with a clip that allows you to simply fasten it onto your shirt so you can walk and jog with an almost wireless experience. How so, you might ask? As mentioned, this D1 can be connected to your device via Bluetooth, and on the D1, you can spot a 3.5mm headphone jack. This allows you to connect the device to your phone, and then connect your headphones to the device. This then shortens the required length of your headphones. The wires might still be a bother, but at least you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be tugging on the wires when you slot it into your pocket. This is not really an ideal solution when it comes to jogging but it helps a little. Another way that you can use the D1 is connecting it to your car. Some cars nowadays come with a Bluetooth HUD, but not all cars do. Some of them can be connected with a 3.5mm jack, and this allows you to play music on your phone, and it goes through the D1 to your car stereo. If you want to use your phone while driving, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll at least save you the hassle of the annoying wires (but please do not use your phone while driving).


test lab

ASUS ZenFone 5Z

Price: RM1,899 Contact: Dynamics Distribution Sdn Bhd, ECS Astar Sdn Bhd Phone: (03)-8024 2100, (03)-6286 8222 Info: www.asus.com/my Operating System: Android 8.0 Oreo System on Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Memory: 6GB Storage: 128GB, expandable with microSD Display: 6.2-inch 1080 x 2246 IPS Camera: 12+8MP (dual rear), 8MP (front) Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 + A2DP + LE, 802.11ac, Wi-Fi Direct Dimensions: 153 x 75.7 x 7.9 mm Weight: 155g Antutu 269,041 PCMark for Android: 8,205 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme: 4,670 3DMark Sling Shot: 6,367 Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Looks And Firepower In Equal Measure

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Under the hood, the ZenFone 5Z is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip. This provides it with a lot of processing power, making it capable of even playing high-end mobile games like PUBG Mobile with ease. With 6GB of RAM, it doesn’t run into issues with keeping a few apps running together, such as your instant messenger with YouTube. Again, the video quality of the display is one of the highlights of this device. Able to cover 95% DCI-P3 colour gamut, the ZenFone 5Z’s display has incredibly vibrant colours and a bright screen to make those colours stand out more. Thanks to that, watching or streaming videos on it was something we enjoyed doing. Another good feature that’s - becoming prevalent in high-end smartphones - is the use of AI engine, which helps this device gradually learn your usage patterns. This allows for things like automatic adjustment to settings to improve battery efficiency, or automatically detecting the background and changing the scene settings better shots, with less effort on your part. On the latter, the pictures do come out really well. And in well-lit conditions, there’s sufficient detail to the shots and decent dynamic range. However, its HDR and low-light shots look over-processed.

Hi again, dual rear cameras and fingerprint sensor

+

Beautiful display Price

Bad lowlight shots

CHIP CONCLUDES Having great specs and an even better display makes this an excellent device for gaming and watching videos. The reasonable pricing is icing on the cake.

By Matthew Yap

L

ast month, we got our hands on two new midrange ASUS smartphones, one of which is the twin for this model we have here. Virtually identical to the ZenFone 5, the ZenFone 5Z is likely targeted at those who want a smartphone with more oomph in the processing performance department. For those who haven’t seen the ZenFone 5, the 5Z basically sports the same appearance - from the solid metal frame to the 2.5D glass back. The 5Z we got is black in colour, which somewhat makes the reflectiveness of the glass back and any fingerprints less apparent. Thankfully, it’s not slippery to hold but it’s a relatively large device, so it’s more suitable for those with larger hands. At the front, you get the same 6.2-inch screen with barely any bezels. And since it’s a 2018 device, it has the expected notch to go with the fullview display - or 18.7:9 aspect ratio, due to the notch. There’s also an 8MP f/2.0 camera that sits within the notch at the front. As for the back, you get a 12+8MP dual-camera with dual-tone flash and a fingerprint sensor. Finally, you have the 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom, along with the USB Type-C port, which is starting to become a common sight.


test lab

Altec Lansing LifeJacket 3 Price: RM376 Contact: Alcom Networks Sdn. Bhd. Phone: 03-92862888 Info: www.myalcom.com.my Ports: USB 2.0 Connectivity: AUX IN, Bluetooth, NFC Waterproof rating: IP67 Battery life: 30 hours Performance: Features: Design: Value:

P

ortable is becoming a real trend now, especially since portable technology has been constantly improving over the years. It’s very easy to find great portable speakers with great sound now thanks to that. But now that sound quality isn’t really an issue, it looks like the next step is to make these devices more rugged and durable. The Altec Lansing LifeJacket 3 is built to resist, and to satisfy the needs of party goers. When we said it was built to resist, we aren’t joking around. The speaker packs IP67 rating when it comes to waterproof, shockproof, and snowproof. It can float, and is even capable of being submersed (to a certain extent), so you can listen to music in the water. We even had some fun doing drop tests on the speaker, and it still works perfectly, not to mention tossing it into a pool and enjoying the beats. Built for parties, the speaker also supports House Party Pairing, which just

translates to being able to pair together with up to 50 other speakers. So if you really like the LifeJacket 3, then you can get more and daisy chain them for the ultimate party experience. The speaker has about 30 hours of battery life, and if you don’t really need that much runtime, you can turn the the speaker into a powerful emergency powerbank, made possible by the USB port found on the back. If you’re looking for good sound, then you can trust that the LifeJacket 3 can deliver on it even if it's not a big speaker. It’s loud and pumps out great music through NFC, Bluetooth and an AUX IN that uses the 3.5mm jack. Some distortion and clipping creeps in as it gets closer to its max volume, but you’re probably better off just getting another speaker to daisy chain if you’re trying to get it to be even louder. It also has a built-in mounting bracket that allows you to mount it on various surfaces, such as bikes, motorbikes and even kayaks.

Simple controls and NFC capabilties

You can either charge the LifeJacket 3, or use it to charge something else

+

Rugged Connectivity Waterproof

None

CHIP CONCLUDES With the Altec Lansing LifeJacket 3 you can carry your beats wherever you go, and we really do mean wherever, whether to the sea, the bathroom, or even to winter countries.

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By Nixon Ng

In A Crowd Of Dozens


test lab

Illegear Z7 Price: RM6,498 Contact: ILLEGEAR SDN BHD Phone: (03) 2858 7399 Info: www.illegear.com Operating System: Windows 10 Home Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Memory: 8GB DDR4 Storage: 240GB SSD + 1TB HDD Input/Output: 1x Gigabit LAN, 1x HDMI, 1x mini Displayport, 1x SD reader, 1x audio/mic combo jack, 3x USB 3.0 Type A, 1x USB 3.0 Type C Dimensions: 419 x 284 x 32.2mm Weight: 3.1kg PCMark 10 5,270 PCMark 10 Essentials 8,621 PCMark 10 Productivity 6,984 PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation 6,599 3DMark Time Spy 3,886 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra 2,703 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme 5,322 3DMark Fire Strike 10,373 Performance: Features: Design: Value:

The Apex Predator

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it comes to frames per seconds, and of course we’ve tested it with the latest and hottest games to date like Overwatch and MOBA’s like LoL and DotA2. Each game is capable of being played on their highest setting in 1080p and consistently get 60FPS and above. Heat dissipation and management is done quite well, keeping the heat away from where your palms usually are to avoid sweaty palms. The heat is most felt in the middle of the keyboard, which you won’t usually feel. But speaking of the keyboard, the keys are well spaced and have a nice tactile click to them. We also almost forgot to mention that the laptop sports a 240GB PCIe NVMe SSD together with a 1TB 7,200RPM HDD for a great mix of both speed and performance. The laptop also has a bunch of high speed USB ports ranging from USB Type-C ports to USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and SD card slots. Other ports include a HDMI and mini DisplayPort for extending your number of displays, or connecting it to a projector.

Sleek and metallic look and feel

A beautifully designed keyboard, heat is mostly felt in the middle of it

+

Performance Heat dissipation

None

CHIP CONCLUDES If you like gaming and need something to replace a desktop, something you can at least carry with you while travelling, then the ILLEGEAR Z7 makes a fine choice with its great hardware, design and performance.

By Nixon Ng

G

one are the days where laptops can’t contend against desktops when it comes to gaming performance, and the premium that you had to pay to get the same performance has never been lower than ever. You can now replace your desktop with powerful laptops that may be large and heavy, but are infinitely better when it comes to portability when compared to a desktop PC. Here, we have the ILLEGEAR Z7, a beauty and beast all in one powerful gaming laptop. It sports a 17.3-inch Anti-glare IPS/ AHVA sRGB 100% Colour and Wide View Display. Colours are vibrant and games like Dying Light, which has a lot of shadows and particles moving about, look amazing on the display. There’s definitely a lot of power under the hood to play the latest games in 1080p smoothly. First, there’s an eight generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5. With all these pieces you can be sure that you’ll have no problems when


test lab

BenQ EL2870U Price: RM1,689 Contact: BenQ Service & Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7954 7800 Info: www.benq.com.my Panel Type: TN Display Size: 27.9-inch Resolution: 3840x2160 Connectivity: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort (v1.4) Refresh Rate: 60Hz Response Time: 1ms Viewing Angle: 170/160 Dimensions: 657.9x476.3x194.6 Weight: 5.7kgs Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Enjoy Your Media not one that’s annoying to look at. The stand however, does, not allow for much tilting slight degrees forward or back. Speaking of gaming, it does a decent job if you wish to use the monitor for gaming, thanks to its 60Hz of refresh rate and 1ms of response time. It is not ideal for that, but if you’ve always been using 60Hz monitors, you won't notice a huge change. You will have to get your own DisplayPort cable though, as the package only comes with a HDMI cable. To further assist with gaming, the monitor also has AMD Freesync capability, reducing screen tearing for a smoother gaming experience. For your videos and media consumption, 4K and HDR do assist in some way but not by much. When swapping between HDR on and off, the difference is miniscule but noticeable. Two speakers are also built into the monitor, so you can still watch movies without a headset. But if you want to, you can connect a pair of headphones to the monitor since it has a headphone jack available. And speaking of connectivity, there are two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort on the monitor. This does allow you to connect the monitor to two consoles and a PC.

The HDR button with B.I+

The light sensor under the bezel of the monitor

+

Plenty of features that help with prolonged viewing

Colours are sometimes overblown in HDR

CHIP CONCLUDES A good pick-up with 4K and HDR capabilities, all packed into a monitor priced less than RM2,000, but don’t expect mind-blowing experiences with it.

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By Rikco Shim

T

he BenQ EL2870U recently landed in our lab and we got to work on it immediately. Unboxing the monitor was an easy task but then we managed to square ourselves onto an uphill battle – securing the stand onto the back of the monitor. For some weird reason, the designers behind this monitor saw it fit to include a spring-loaded screw for the stand. It only took 10 seconds before we realised the screw wasn't going in. You'd have to to apply more force to it so that the screw can go in properly. Once that was done, connecting the monitor to our test bed was easy-peasy, and the buttons on the front of the monitor allows for easy navigation of the settings. A unique button can also be found on the monitor to toggle the HDR on and off, along with a Brightness Intelligence Plus that automatically senses the light of the room and adjusts the brightness accordingly. The additional bar under the bezel of the monitor is the sensor that does just that. This is useful for work as it will reduce eye-strain, but the application might not be as useful for gaming as it’ll be a distraction more than an advantage. The monitor does have rather thick bezels, but


test lab

ASUS PN60 Price: TBC Contact: ASUSTek Computer Malaysia Phone: (03) 2131 6650 Info: www.asus.com/my Operating System: Windows 10 Pro Processor: Intel Core i3-8130U Graphics: Intel Graphics 620 Memory: 8GB DDR4 Storage: 240GB SSD + 1TB HDD Input/Output: 1x Gigabit LAN, 1x HDMI, 1x VGA, 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.1 Type-C, 3x USB 3.1, 1x USB 3.1Gen 1 1 x Audio jack Dimensions: 115 x 115 x 49 mm Weight: 0.7kg PCMark 10 3,085 PCMark 10 Essentials 6,958 PCMark 10 Productivity 5,187 PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation 2,210 Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Small In Stature, Big On Upgradability

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The PN60 can be opened up to gain access to its internals, providing users with some upgradability. Upgradable or exchangeable parts include the DDR4 SDRAMs, M.2 WiFi card and M.2 SSD. You could also add a 2.5-inch SATA storage drive to the mini PC, thereby increasing your storage capacity for non-critical files. Upgrading and installing is quite straightforward as ASUS made it easy. Just remove the four screws at the bottom and you can slide the bottom cover off, allowing you access to the parts mentioned above. Mounting it is just as easy – take the two long screws found in the box and screw those onto the bottom cover, which then makes it possible to hook it to the VESA mounting plate also included. Thanks to the Windows 10 Pro installed, the PN60 has all the latest Windows updates and features available to it. In addition, it has an 8th gen Intel Core i3 CPU and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, enough for it to be used as either a Home Theatre PC, or a terminal for a POS system. To keep the components cool, the PN60 also has a fan built into that is relatively quiet even when the system is on full load.

HDMI is the standard these days, though the VGA does mean legacy monitors can use it too

The back plate can be removed to get access to the components inside for upgrading

+

Upgradability VESA mounting

Weak CPU

CHIP CONCLUDES If you need something with a small footprint but still can give you a functional PC for a variety of basic uses, this mini PC

By Matthew Yap

I

t certainly has been a while since we’ve seen mini PCs come into our test lab, the last one not even a Windows-based device. This time, ASUS sent us two new models from its mini PC series and one of it is the PN60. It may not be the smallest mini PC we’ve seen, but the PN60 is still a rather compact device encased in black plastic. In fact, its size makes it possible for you to place it on top of a monitor’s stand, or the back if it has support for VESA mount. To ensure you can do all of that, a plate and some screws are included for those who want to mount it. Aside from that, there’s a 19V/3.42A power adapter inside (relatively low-powered) and some documents related to the product inside. Considering that mini PCs can fill a variety of roles and purposes, ASUS equipped the PN60 with a decent range of ports. A bunch of USB ports are available, including two USB Type-C (no Thunderbolt 3 support), as well as a 3.5mm audio jack for a headset, HDMI, VGA and Gigabit LAN ports. There’s also a Kensington lock, relevant for those who plan to use this in an office or retail shop environment.


test lab

ASUS VivoMini VC66-C Price: TBC Contact: ASUSTek Computer Malaysia Phone: (03) 2131 6650 Info: www.asus.com/my Operating System: Windows 10 Pro Processor: Intel Core i5-8400 Graphics: Intel Graphics 630 Memory: 8GB DDR4 Storage: 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD Input/Output: 1x Gigabit LAN, 1x HDMI, 1x COM, 1x DVI, 1x DisplayPort, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 3x USB 3.1, 1x SD card slot Dimensions: 177.4 x 153 x 74.1 mm Weight: 1.5kg PCMark 10 3,085 PCMark 10 Essentials 6,958 PCMark 10 Productivity 5,187 PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation 2,210 Performance: Features: Design:

So Big Yet So Small

work and study system. Not only that, it has 8GB of RAM and plenty of storage. Saying that it has plenty of storage is

not an understatement. For something this small in size, it has a 120GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. Unless you’re someone needs a lot of space for torrenting, it should be more than enough. You’ll be able to hold an ample amount of family videos and pictures with no sweat. We love the VC66-C due to its incredible flexibility, as it sports all the inputs you’ll ever find when it comes to display technology. This includes DVI, HDMI and DP. In addition to that, the VC66-C has plenty of USB ports - two at the back and four up front for a total of six USB ports. There’s also an optical disc drive, so it can act as a Blu-ray player. It’s perfect as a HTPC since it supports VESA mounting, which means you can fit it at the back of supported TVs. You won’t even have to do much to keep up the maintenance of the PC, because it comes with ASUS Business Manager, a one-stop suite to help manage just about everything on the VivoMini.

Could you ask for anymore inputs on such a small PC

+

Portable Plenty of storage Wide variety of inputs

None

CHIP CONCLUDES A great addition to either an office or home, you can use it for your daily surfing of the internet, watching Netflix and doing work.

chip malaysia august 18

089

By Nixon Ng

W

hen we were kids, whenever we asked our parents to buy computers the first thing they think we want is to play games. This is also true today, especially with the rise of gaming laptops being blatantly advertised at just about every computer shop and shopping mall. But we all know there’s more to computers than just gaming. Sometimes we just need something that can surf the internet and watch Netflix. Whether for work or leisure, there’s quite a few choices out there for a low maintenance and powerful computer system that doesn’t leave much of a footprint. For example, something like the ASUS VivoMini VC66-C, which houses an Intel Core i5-8400 CPU and Intel Graphics 630. Just from the processor itself, we can tell that it’s perfect for being used as a


test lab

Sony WF-SP700N Price: RM709 Contact: Sony (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Phone: 1 300 88 1233 Info: www.sony.com.my Driver size: 6mm Frequency range: 20Hz-20,000Hz Connectivity: Bluetooth, NFC Weight: 7.6g Performance: Features: Design: Value:

There’s Only Us

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not in an uncomfortable way. We tested it while jogging and it stayed in place all the way from the beginning of the session till the end. Sweat isn’t an issue as well since it has an IPX4 rating. Getting to the sound quality, this headset sounds great. True to the EXTRA BASS line, it delivers punchy and controlled bass, great for your workout sessions. Although you get that extra bass, it doesn’t get overpowering, so you’ll still be able to enjoy different genres of music. Also, if you’re using the Headphones Connect app from Sony, there’s an equaliser for you to mess with and save "Quick Sounds". If you require some quiet time, Noise Cancelling can be used to block out distractions. But if you still want to hear the things around you, use the Ambient Sound mode instead. When fully charged, the headset gives about 3 hours of music playback. It's not really enough for some cases, but you can charge them easily using the charging case, which holds an additional 9 hours of battery.

Easy to reach buttons to control the headset

Pair your NFC by using the case

+

Comfortable and fitting Sound quality Easy to use

None

CHIP CONCLUDES A handy companion when you’re on-the-go, it keeps unwanted noise out while giving you the option of letting them in. Sound quality is good and it fits comfortably, so we definitely think you should check out this headset if you’re in the market for one.

By Nixon Ng

S

ome people just want to be alone, isolating themselves from the world. Others just want to be alone with their music, to truly be immersed, unfettered by cables and such. But to live free of all those burdens, you need something wireless, has noise cancelling, and sits snugly and comfortably even when moving. With Sony’s WF-SP700N, you get just about everything you need in a wireless stereo headset. But do they all work out the way they should? The headset uses both NFC and Bluetooth to connect your devices. Setup is pretty much easy, you just start with both buds in the charging case and remove the left bud to pair with your phone. However, if you’re planning to use NFC, you can just remove both buds from the case and pair it using the charging case instead of the buds. Putting on the headset was a bit confusing at first, but we’re pretty clumsy people. Once on the buds felt tight, but


test lab

Canon PIXMA G3010

Price: RM659 Contact: Canon Marketing Malaysia Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7884 6000 Info: www.canon.com.my

Max resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi Print speed: 5 IPM (colour), 11 IPM (black) Paper size: A4, A5, B5, Letter, Legal, PS-108, PS308R, PS-208, PS-808 Tray size: Up to 100 Dimensions: 410 x 504 x 242 mm Weight: 22kg Printing resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi Print speed: 5 IPM (colour), 11 IPM (black) Paper handling: A4, A5, B5, Letter, Legal, PS-108, PS-308R, PS-208, PS-808 Ink type: CYMK Connectivity: WiFi, WiFi Direct Dimensions: 445 x 330 x 163 mm Weight: 6.3kg Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Photo Printing For All used. Setting up this printer was a bit of a hit-and-miss. If you plug into it directly via USB, there shouldn’t be much issues. But trying to do the initial setup for the printer through a WiFi network or to a smartphone took longer that we’d like. Without setting up, all you can do is use the PIXMA G3010 as a photocopier. But once you've completed the setup process, you get access to use the Inkjet Assistant tool, which lets you to execute functions like nozzle cleaning, create custom settings, or even remotely switch off the printer. There's also a Scan Utility tool for scanning purposes. What was easier was topping up the ink tank. The remaining ink level can be checked by looking at it from the outside, since the tanks are visible from there. Once you know it's low, all you have to do is buy the relevant high-yield ink colour, pop open the top and you'll have access to the ink tanks for top up. In terms of printing speed, don't expect this one to spit out lots of prints in seconds as it is an inkjet printer. What it can deliver is prints that show great colour accuracy and vibrancy, especially the photos, making it a very useful printer for those who want to print out their photos.

You can find out how much ink remains just by looking from the outside

The printer management tool is pretty basic

+

Easy to refill ink

Slow setup

CHIP CONCLUDES If colour-accurate or photo printing in general is what you need, you can’t go wrong with this inkjet printer.

chip malaysia august 18

091

By Matthew Yap

H

ome printing hasn’t been a thing for a long time, at least not for most people, so that means we’ve also not gotten any for a long time. This month, Canon wanted to spread the news of one of its latest PIXMA printer, so we were sent the new PIXMA G3010. The Canon PIXMA G3010 is an inkjet printer designed for personal use. There’s nothing eye-catching here, as printers are meant to be functional. In this case, the PIXMA G3010 has a small body that is completely black in colour. It’s made mostly out of plastic, which keeps the entire unit’s weight low. Low enough that even scrawny people can easily move it around, should the need arise. Moving on from design, everything you’d expect is in place here. The buttons are all on the right-side of the top, while you can see the ink tanks near the front on both sides. Typical for most home printers, the PIXMA G3010’s paper tray/feed is found at the back – specifically, near the top at the back. We pulled the flap there open and found that the maximum paper size it can take is A4, so for engineering or design students who want to print their A3-sized drawings, you’re out of luck. Up to 100 sheets of A4 paper can be placed into it, depending on the thickness of the paper


test lab

OnePlus 6 Price: RM2,399 Contact: Mi Han Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 2027 4666 Info: https://www.oneplus.com/global Operating System: OxygenOS System on Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Memory: 6GB Storage: 64GB Display: 6.28-inch AMOLED (19:9 ratio) Camera: 16-megapixel + 20-megapixel (Rear) / 16-megapixel (Front) Battery: 3,300 mAh Dimensions: 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm Weight: 177g Antutu: 286535 PCMark for Android: 8224 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme: 4658 3DMark Sling Shot: 6020 Performance: Features: Design: Value:

OnePlus 6 Equals 7

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on your pictures. Taking a Note8 for comparison, reds are slightly more brighter and deeper. So if you like muted reds for your pictures, you might need some slight editing to help with that. Otherwise, the phone is not a slouch when compared to the other bigwigs in the game now. Pictures are sharp, but when you preview it, it only allows you to zoom in to a certain level. The camera does have a drawback with it, as it does come with a camera bump. That issue is negated with the case, but might be a bother for those who like to use it without one. Charging is also zippy with Fast Charging, but sadly, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t charge your device with wireless chargers, despite a glass back that usually comes with devices that pack that capability. It still has a headphone jack, which is great, but we have found that the max volume when using a headphone is slightly lower than our previous daily driver. Another drawback is the omission of a microSD card slot, meaning no expandable storage. Overall, the phone has been a joy to use and to test. OxygenOS itself didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take us long to get familiar with it. Although the camera might not be the best thing out there, the OnePlus 6's pure speed, lack of bloatware and essential Android experience, combines for a phone experience not many out there can deliver.

The back of the phone, with a dual camera setup and an easy-to-reach fingerprint reader

Alert slider deliciousness

+

Zippy Decent camera Alert slider

No microSD expansion Camera bump

CHIP CONCLUDES A great phone for those who want a daily driver that can handle multitasking, gaming, photography and the in-betweens. Its only downsides are the exclusion of expandable storage and wireless charging.

By Rikco Shim

O

nePlus devices have always been a blast to review when it comes to value vs performance. Despite following the trend of a notched design, the core philosophy of the brand remained unchanged, focusing on speed and performance, although with a slightly raised price. The phone is slightly heavier than we expected. But with a lot of power packed under the hood, a little additional weight would really not hamper the experience. In the package, they even included a silicone phone case with slightly raised edges. Its weird to the touch, but definitely a welcome accessory for keeping your phone fairly scratch free. As for the performance, with a top-notch processor and 6GB of RAM, it is capable of running the latest mobile games with close to no lag in between. The phone also offers a pure Android experience with its OxygenOS, so you will not see any bloatware that will hamper your experience. Gaming, multi-tasking and daily use of the device was smooth and enjoyable. The presence of an alert slider also helps you to mute your phone on the fly without needing to go through the drop down menu. The OnePlus 6 is also equipped with a dual rear camera setup, allowing you to take snazzy landscape pictures without much hassle, and even allows you to show off some bokeh effects


test lab

Razer Thresher Ultimate PlayStation 4 Price: RM1,119 Contact: Ban Leong Technologies Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 7956 6300 Info: www.razer.com Driver size: 50mm Impedance: 32ohms at 1KHz Ports: microUSB (Headset)/ 1x microUSB, 1x USB, 1x Opt-In, 1x Opt-Out (Base) Connectivity: Wireless Others: Retractable Boom Mic Dimensions: 196x214x104.8 Weight: 408g Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Pure Wireless Bliss volume adjuster, and a mic volume adjuster. Audio is also clear, without any part that stood out; bass and voice were equally clear. An advantage of this headset is with the ability to toggle surround sound. With a push of a button, you can enable surround sound, allowing you to easily identify where sound is coming from. Using this on the PC, we could easily hear footsteps in CS:GO with it. Along with the headset, a stand with a base is also provided with the package. You can spot a toggle at the back of the base that switches the mode between PC and PS4 easily. There’s also an additional port for you to charge your headset when it needs topping up. Razer boasts that the headeset could last up to 16 hours, but we found it's actually lacking in that department. The most that we could squeeze out of the headset was just roughly 10 hours, but the 16 hours could just be purely audio without mic. The stand could also be used to rest the headset when not used, so just plug in the cable when you are not using it, which ensures that you won't run out of juice in the middle of gaming. It will also automatically turn off when not in use after a few minutes. We would have loved it more if the base of the headset allows for wireless charging of your mobile phone, but that’s talk for the future.

The back of the base, with a toggle between PC and PS4

The volume wheels underneath the headset, along with a microUSB port for you to charge the headset

+

Wireless Comfortable

Price

CHIP CONCLUDES A great headset with surround sound capabilities along with a comfortable design that allows for prolonged wear. Sadly, it's on the pricier side.

chip malaysia august 18

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By Rikco Shim

W

hen it comes to peripherals, not many brands out there compete in multiple segments as Razer does. They have products ranging from mouse mats to phones and laptops, and that’s a repertoire that we’re sure Razer can boast about. But this month, we managed to get our hands on one of the wireless headset, the Razer Thresher Ultimate. As mentioned, the Thresher Ultimate is a pair of wireless headset with an extendable mic. When not in use, just push the mic and it’ll coil back into its nest. The design of the headset is pretty simple and it was quite comfortable throughout our testing. It is annoying when you have a pair of headset that squishes your ears against the spectacles frame. But the leather earcups combined with the soft headband provided the ultimate in comfort, even when used with spectacles on. That aside, we have to note that you can’t adjust the headset so you can only use it as high/low as it allows. The Razer logo on the earcups also glows when in use, not that you can actually see it when it's in use. Performance wise, the mic was standard fare without much bells and whistles. On the earcups, however, you can spot a power button, a micro USB port to charge the headset, a


test lab

ViewSonic VG2448

Price: RM739 Contact: Servex (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd, Achieva Technology Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 8024 6688, (03) 7955 1768 Info: http://ap.viewsonic.com/my/

Panel Type: IPS Display Size: 24-inch Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Connectivity: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x Audio Out, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x USB 3.0 Type-B Refresh Rate: 75Hz Response Time: 14ms/5ms (with OverDrive) Viewing Angle: 178°(H), 178° (V) Dimensions: 549.4 x 517.0 x 202.2 mm Weight: 5.8kg Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Commercial Display

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of the more common DVI port to go with the newer HDMI and DisplayPort connections, it supports the old-school VGA port instead. Other than that, this monitor also supports USB 3.0 passthrough, with two at the back with the other ports and another two on the left side – within easier reach for those who want to plug in their USB devices. There’s also a set of rear-facing speakers, but the audio quality isn’t good and it's not very loud. An IPS panel is used for this display, which means you get excellent viewing angles, brightness and contrast levels. The matte screen also means that users won’t experience harsh glares or reflections while using it. Combine with its flicker free tech and the right setting for the blue light filter, we experienced less eye fatigue over long hours when compared to basic monitors. As for the colours, 16.7 million colour range would be sRGB colour gamut - good enough but nothing spectacular. This monitor was clearly designed to cater to as many users as possible. It’s great for the average gamer, who doesn’t really need high refresh rates, and it's also good for office use thanks to the eye-friendly technologies. Moreover, it could be great for events as the handle on the stand makes it easier to transport around.

Besides the ergonomic adjustments, the stand also has a handle for convenient transporting

The base of the stand allows the entire stand to swivel

+

Affordable Versatile stand

Speakers

CHIP CONCLUDES Versatile and affordable, this is the kind of multipurpose commercial monitor a person can easily consider.

By Matthew Yap

T

he past few months have seen a range of different monitors, often the expensive models for either gamers or designers. However, there are more people who are looking for versatile options with the right balance in specs, ergonomics and price. The ViewSonic VG2448 might just be that model. The VG2448 has a matte plastic body that is mostly black in colour, with some grey on the base and stand for a bit of contrast. Its bezels aren’t thin enough to make a multiple screen setup look seamless, but it’s also not thick enough to make the machine look too bulky. For a 24-inch monitor, it’s relatively heavy since it has a large stand with built-in ergonomic options, including pivot, tilt and height adjustment. By popping out a strip of plastic at the back, you’ll also get some mounts to hook a mini PC to it. This means you can easily setup a POS system for shops or even a network management PC for an office. Then there’s the base it’s attached to, which allows users to swivel the monitor. For those who want to, the stand is also compatible with VESA mounting. When it comes to ports, the VG2448 covers almost all the bases. However, the video input combination seems odd. Instead


test lab

Wiko View Max Price: RM499 Contact: Wiko Mobile Info: http://my-en.wikomobile.com/ Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo System on Chip: Mediatek MT6739WA Memory: 3GB Storage: 32GB, expandable with microSD Display: 5.99-inch 720 x 1440 IPS Camera: 16MP (rear), 20+8MP (front) Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 + A2DP + LE, 802.11n, Wi-Fi Direct Dimensions: 157.8 x 75.8 x 7.9 mm Weight: 162g Antutu 39,278 PCMark for Android 2,833 3DMark Slingshot Extreme 296 Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Save More, View More Too speaker and fingerprint sensor are also at the back, SIM tray on the left, power and volume buttons on the right, and the audio jack is on top. When it comes to processing power, the View Max can only deliver a modest performance. Along with the 3GB-only RAM, this device will struggle with intensive apps. Instead, it’s more suited for use as a daily driver for normal usage like calls, web browsing, or social media. It can stream YouTube videos and browse Facebook just fine, but don’t try to do things like mobile gaming or opening 20 Google Chrome tabs, or it’ll likely choke and slow down. Speaking of videos, the display for the View Max is not just large, but the colour and brightness are also quite impressive for a phone at this price range. The audio doesn’t match up, however, with voice audio from the rear speaker sounding slightly muffled, even when not placed flat on its back. Another nice thing about this phone is the large 4,000 mAh battery. It gives users enjoy a longer runtime without having to worry about charging it, highly useful for people who are always out.

The speakers sound muffled when in use, even when there's a bump to elevate the back

+

Display Big battery

Fingerprint magnet

CHIP CONCLUDES It’s not going to break any benchmark records, but if you need an Android Oreo device and don't have a big budget, this is an option to consider.

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By Matthew Yap

W

ith all the smartphone brands out there competing for the premium and midrange market, you sometimes wonder if they’ve forgotten the existence of the low income group. But Wiko has them covered, because it is a company that aims to offer affordable options. In this issue, we’ll be taking a look at the Wiko View Max. As the name implies, the View Max’s intends to give you the maximum view possible with its relatively large 5.99-inch screen and FullView Display (720x1440 resolution) tech. This device has a slightly curving back and rounded sides, making it easier to hold despite being a rather large phone. Thin aluminium is used for the body to keep it lightweight, without compromising on the build quality. However, one of our peeves with the choice of design is the metallic back, which is highly reflective and is a fingerprint magnet. In terms of buttons and ports, the Wiko View Max comes with the standard package. Wiko also opted for the older micro USB port and a single camera at the back to reduce cost. A larger than normal LED flash is placed right below the rear camera, a weird choice as it could mislead users to think it's a second camera. The


test lab

ViewSonic PG603X Price: RM1,659 Contact: Servex(Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Sampro Distribution Sdn Bhd, Dancom TT&L Telecommunications (M) Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 8024 6688, (03) 5740 2111, (03) 7966 8888 Info: http://ap.viewsonic.com/my/ Resolution support: 1024x768 (XGA) Brightness: 3,600 lumens Projection system: DLP Light source: Lamp Throw ratio: 1.96-2.15 Ports: 1x VGA, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 2.0, 1x LAN, 1x Mini USB, 1x RCA, 1x Audio in/out Dimensions: 294 x 218 x 110mm Weight: 2.3kg Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Watch What Happens

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good and works well in a dim room, and of course works well in a dark room. The brightness isn’t enough to be used in a well lit room perfectly. Although you could still do so, you won’t get the best performance. The max resolution is 1024x768 and has a throw ratio of 1.96-2.15. Looking at the resolution you probably think it isn’t much now in the age of FHD and 4K, but classrooms and meeting rooms don't require such resolutions, so it should suffice. Morever, the PG603X has a Crestron LAN controller, which allows users to remotely control and manage the projector from their workstations. The projector is quick to setup with horizontal and vertical keystone correction, and four corner adjustments. It also comes with a remote that covers all the different adjustments and settings you need. Switching between sources, keystone corrections, muting, changing audio and color modes, and also turning on the eco mode.

Just about all the inputs you need for a classroom or office

Pretty simple controls

+

Portable Easy-to-use

None

CHIP CONCLUDES It’s not a projector that stands out, but it’s definitely a projector that gets the job done, and we can recommend it to those who need a portable and easy-to-use projector for classrooms and offices.

By Nixon Ng

T

eachers have a hard time, don’t you think? They have to stay up late to mark papers, think up cool and new ways to reach, then they have to handle problematic kids and much more. Why couldn’t their lives be made easier? Gone are the days where you have to lug around heavy materials around, or even those large projectors that need to be placed on tables with rollers. Even a portable projector like the ViewSonic PG603X would be perfect for classrooms and offices. Weighing in at only 2.3kg, this projector is incredibly portable, and suitable to be carried from classroom to classroom. It has all the inputs the modern classroom would need like HDMI and a USB input. For more legacy inputs, there’s still VGA and RCA, all of which worked perfectly. It also has built-in 10W speakers, so you can play videos from USB drives or any device for a small room. The projector has a brightness rating of 3,600 ANSI lumens, which is pretty


test lab

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2s Price: RM1,999 Contact: Era International Network Sdn Bhd Phone: (03) 8074 7776 Info: http://www.mi.com/my/

Operating System: MIUI System on Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Memory: 6GB Storage: 64GB Display: 5.99-inches FullHD IPS, 18:9 ratio Camera: 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel (Rear) / 5-megapixel (Front) Battery: 3,400 mAh Dimensions: 150.9 x 74.9 x 8.1mm Weight: 189g Antutu: 268,842 PCMark for Android: 8,281 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme: 3,313 3DMark Sling Shot: 3,586 Performance: Features: Design: Value:

Ceramic Redefined, ReMIXed normal due to its ceramic body that adds a certain premium quality to the touch. That aside, the buttons are all placed on the right side of the phone, allowing you access to the volume rocker and power button all on one side. Oddly enough, Xiaomi has included a hard case for the phone but no screen protector in the package. The phone is pretty fast when used as a daily driver. We encountered no real issues, but we do believe that the unit we’ve received was imported from China. Some of the settings we encountered were in Chinese, but it was still manageable. Another issue we ran into were with missing Google apps, for example. To get Google Play, we had to open up Baidu and download Google Play from the app instead. A weird workaround, but still manageable. Once those were settled, the phone was easy to use, fast and gesture buttons were a breeze to use. As for the photography part of the device, it handles itself quite well, the pictures are sharp, detailed and colourful. But sometimes, the pictures are overexposed. As for the Portrait mode, pictures taken on it are decent but the blur is slightly over-exaggerated.

The back of the device, sleek and sports some gold accents that boost its premium aesthetics

The camera mode in action, with several different options for you to choose from. Manual mode allows you to choose which lens to shoot on

+

Design Gorgeous display

Camera bump No headphone jack

CHIP CONCLUDES The Mi MIX 2S is fast, powerful, and sleek. It is capable of taking good pictures and tackles everyday tasks with ease – all provided if you can handle MIUI.

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By Rikco Shim

T

eased a while ago, we finally managed to get our hands on this prestigious device. As you might’ve seen in the past, the Mi MIX came with a unique design, sporting a front camera on the bottom of the device. For 2018, this design philosophy has yet to be widely adopted, where most of the other brands switched things up with a notch. Luckily, this phone still stayed true to its roots and the brand opted out against a new trend on an already almost bezel-less device. Upon unboxing the device, we are greeted with a magnificent screen with little bezels on the top and sides, plus the front camera now located on the chin of the phone. With the camera placements now located in such a manner, you might have to change how you use the front camera to video chat with a friend. You either raise your hand higher or rotate the phone and chat that way instead. Luckily, the camera app allows you to use the phone upside down by rotating the camera menu automatically. After all, not everyone wants to look up your nose when you are chatting with them. The phone also took out the headphone jack, but included wireless charging. It is not the end of the world, but it is still a bother nonetheless. The phone is also slightly heavier than


lite & leisure ANALOGUE

The Tabletop Report Tear your eyes away from the screen for a moment and let your imagination be set free. Welcome to the world of Tabletop By Nixon Ng

Citadels

C

itadels is a game about secrecy and subterfuge. It's also a game where you have to read not only your opponents, but yourself. The gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s objective is be the one with the highest points by the end of the game. But before revealing all the fun, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talk about how the game starts! Each player is dealt their initial District cards and a king is chosen to become the first player, whoever holds the crown (sometimes we call it the pineapple) will continue being the first player until a new king is chosen. Then a set of 8 cards will be used, which are Character cards. Character cards for the basic gameplay consists of the Assassin, Thief, Magician, King, Bishop, Merchant, Architect, and Warlord. Each character has their own special abilities and a number,

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which plays a big part in the game. Cards will be randomly chosen at the start to be discarded and canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be used for the round, then the first player will choose the first character and then pass it on the next player until every player has a Character card. When picking a Character card the next player will have no information about the cards being picked before, so the first player will always have information on what cards have been discarded. The last player on the other hand will know what card is discarded at the end. Once everyone has a Character card and all the unused cards are placed in a discard pile, the game continues. This is where the number on the Character cards come into play: counting up from 1 to 8 the

player who has the card with the number 1 on it gets to play their turn first. In the exact order as before from 1-8 are the Assassin, Thief, Magician, King, Bishop, Merchant, Architect, and Warlord. So the Assassin gets to go first then followed by the Thief, the Magician, the King and it continues till all numbers are called out. If no one picked any of the numbers then the number is skipped and the next number is called. These rounds continue like this until the end objective is fulfilled, but the first player can change by using the King or Assassin card. When the King card is used by a player they will receive the crown and henceforth be the first player, but if someone who drew the


lite & leisure

Aking and his pineapple...I mean crown

King card is killed by the Assassin, the crown goes to the Assassin and he becomes the new first player. Pretty cool right? Each turn is taken by revealing their character according to the number called and they are given the chance to use their special ability at any time during their turn. Additionally, there are two actions you can take during your turn. The first action requires you to either take two gold from the bank or draw two District cards from the deck in the middle. Once you've chose one of the two, place the other on the bottom of the deck. What are District cards? District cards are locations in the

Different actions you can take during your turn

city that you can build, each with their own corresponding colour. Each district has a value printed on their card in the form of gold coins. These represent your points at the end of the game, as well as their cost when you choose to build them. Moving on, the other action you can take after choosing your previous action is the ability to build a District card from your hand. You may only build one District per turn unless an ability allows you to circumvent that. You are also unable to build the same thing twice, so if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already built a Church, you may not have another Church in your city. The rounds keep going until someone

reaches 8 Districts in their city, which triggers the end of the game - unless someone removes the eighth District. Every player would fight to be the first to finish, because the first player to complete 8 Districts is awarded additional bonus points. You also get additional points for things like having every colour in your city, and finishing the game with 8 districts as well, though the first player gets the most bonus points. The game fully ends once everyone has taken their turn and 8 Districts are still on the table. Bonus points are calculated and added to the number of points you receive from your Districts and the winner is the one with the highest score.

Some districts come with special abilities

How your city would usually look like

Each character comes with their own special ability

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lite & leisure PLAY

Going Deep For Rock And Stone

Don your favourite dwarf outfit and fake beard, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going on an adventure! By Rikco Shim

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eep Rock Galactic is a game about a gang of dwarfs fighting and mining their way through multiple different planets. It sounds simple in execution and gameplay, but we were hooked just a few minutes into the game. It is also worth noting that the game is currently in early access (as of writing). The major draw of this game is with its mining. There are different minerals and gems available for you to mine throughout

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the game, this mechanic is satisfying. Each clink of your pickaxe against a mineral cluster is like music to our ears. With mining, greed often times come into play. Although all of the gold and minerals at the end of the game are grouped together, so everyone in your party gets the same amount, the sheer force of "shinies" attract. We even failed a round where everyone in the team was scattered for mining. Since we were separated, we were taken out by the

enemies easily. Speaking of enemies, the other half of the gameplay is the battle aspect. Essentially, this is an FPS game. It's similar to a game like Minecraft, where you mine and build bases. But we do believe it's also similar to Left 4 Dead, the popular zombie game a while back. In this game, you will be swarmed by spider-like enemies, and just like L4D, there are different types of enemies. In the midst of mining and exploring, you will


lite & leisure

Spelunking through a cave with dangerous hazards all around

sometimes be alerted that there is a horde headed your way, and just like L4D, you will have to group up and fight away the hordes from decimating your whole team. As for the team, you have four classes in the game currently, and you can have multiples of the same class in the party. The classes consists of Driller, Gunner, Scout and Engineer. A Driller's job is to drill through dirt patches that will reveal a different area where the team can traverse. In battle, the Driller is a masterclass in close quarters combat, thanks to the blazing flamethrower he equips. The Gunner as you can expect is what you would call the "Big Guns". He

also has the skill to create ziplines for the team, allowing them easier travelling from higher to lower areas and vice versa. Next is the Scout and as the name suggests, he can scout ahead with the grappling hook, or shoot flares to illuminate the caves. As for the Engineer, he can create platforms on walls for the team to jump on and get to hard-to-reach areas. He is also equipped with sentry guns that he can deploy during battle. The game is best played with a group of friends. In our team, we had one of each class. The Engineer sets up a platform under a mineral vine close to the ceiling, the Scout

zips up with his grappling hook and mines away, while the Gunner and Driller covers the team with the close and long range weaponry. To sum it up, Deep Rock Galactic offers a fun co-op experience that focuses on mineral gathering and fighting. Just think of it as L4D with classes and mining gameplay elements, along with boatloads of re-playability. On harder difficulties, teamwork is essential as enemies can easily take out the team in a single fight. Gameplay is satisfying, but we do wish there are more enemy types, more weapons, and more worlds to explore.

Deep Rock Galactic Genre: FPS Action RPG Developer: Ghost Ship Games Info: https://www.deeprockgalactic.com/ Platform: PC (Steam, Windows Store)

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Combination of Mining & Battling is fun Runs well considering Early Access

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Early Access Could do with more content

Gameplay: Sound: Replayability:

The end screen, displaying stats and rounding up what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve earned throughout that one run

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lite & leisure PLAY

Asia Comic Con 2018

In Malaysia, anime conventions are rampant but there has been no love for the comic crowd. That changed, with Asia Comic Con come to Malaysia for the first time. We went over to check it out.

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sia Comic Con 2018 was held on the 13-15 July 2018 at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre and is an event targeted towards the comic fans. But although it was meant to be that way, we felt a bit confused when we walked into the event. Filling the halls are the usual booths of sponsors and people selling merchandise, as well as corners for Warhammer, Dungeons & Dragons and Magic The Gathering. As we continued walking around the hall, it seemed apparent that this was very much like any other anime convention. In fact, most of the merchandise being sold were anime related. Many of the artist’s booths were basically those you would find at anime conventions like Animangaki 2018, which was also held at the same venue. It was good to see that a few booths had merchandise like old comic books collections, hand-drawn prints and more. But a majority of the booths were filled with keychains, posters, and prints of anime media.

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We have nothing against anime, it just felt like this was going to be another anime convention. It didn’t help that the event was going on at the same time as two other anime events. From here on out though, we can’t help but to take it as just another anime convention. As an anime convention, Asia Comic Con would be a great convention. They invited great performances like NoB, an incredible singer who has done songs for the Saint Seiya and Super Sentai series. They even brought in "mao" who is the voice behind the Doraemon theme song. The stage shows and performances were open to every visitor, meaning you didn’t have to pay more than the entry tickets to enjoy everything. They also did an excellent job with the stage and sound, as most events fail to hook up proper sound setups, causing stage shows and performances to become a mess of noise. They did those singers right, and we would love to come again next year if they had stage

performances. Singers weren’t the only guests invited to ACC, because even famous cosplayers like Aza Miyuko and Pion Kim made appearances at the event. To be fair, the event wasn’t all anime. They did have plenty of amazing statues and 1:1 scaled attractions. If you’re a fan of Batman then you should know what the Dark Knight Tumbler is. Yes, it’s the vehicle used in Christian Bale’s Dark Knight Trilogy. It made an appearance in full size, all with an actual working engine and cockpit, which they drove into the hall. The bike used in the movie also showed up next to the Tumbler where we saw fans taking the chance to ride on it for pictures. There was a section filled with beautiful statues of characters from X-Men, Transformers, Batman and more. They also displayed statues of characters from the latest Batman Ninja animation. That was also followed by a full size 1:1 Batman Ninja Statue


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An epic battle going on between a Sentinel and members of the X-Men

Anisong singer mao putting on an emotional show for the crowd

The man, the legend, Batman Ninja

of the man himself. All-in-all the event had a little bit of everything for everyone, but very much felt like just another anime convention. It wasn’t so much a bad event, but more that it didn’t really hit the theme very well, especially since they invited so many anisong singers. It

would’ve been nice if they had invited famous comic artists. Overall it wasn’t a bad event, the stage was great, the singers were great, the statues were amazing. Maybe they could have chosen a better date as well, so it doesn’t clash with

other events, because this event is pretty new and we have seen con-goers prefer to stay on the safe side and head over to more "wellknown" events. We would love to see Asia Comic Con come back again in 2019 and bring more to the table.

Beautifully painted Warhammer figures

NoB pulled the crowd in with his powerful vocals and energetic charisma

Take it for a ride around Gotham

Visitors had the opportunity to fight in an mixed reality arena

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lite & leisure

James Stevenson (Community Director of Insomniac Games) will probably be casted as the next Spider-Man

Slinging Into Action A quick peek into the new Marvel’s Spider-Man before its release

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his month, we were invited to attend a hush-hush quick preview of the upcoming game from Insomniac Games – Marvel’s Spider-Man. In this game, you play as Peter Parker – now 23 years old, and has been Spider-Man for the past eight years. His journey will take your through multiple tasks, juggling between working as scientist at a laboratory. Along the way, you will also meet familiar names, except with different professions. For example, Mary Jane Watson in this game will not be an aspiring actress, instead, she works at Daily Bugle as a journalist. In our short demo, we managed to zip around the city, battle bad guys and greet pedestrians on the street. It is safe to say that traversing the city will feel very satisfying. Zipping around carries momentum and there are button presses that you can do to keep on going. We didn’t manage to fully zip without hiccups as James Stevenson, the Community Director for Insomniac Games said it will be "easy to pick-up, difficult to master". When you are zipping, you can slow down time and target a specific corner you want to target, zip to it and immediately launch yourself from that corner for more speed. When you are falling, you can dive faster with a click of a button, pick up more speed and zip away again effortlessly. Battles are much more vertical, fast-paced and Spider-Man is more acrobatic, so he will perform flips, jump off walls to punch enemies,

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perform mid-air finishers and so on. You can also utilise gadgets to despatch enemies quickly and stylishly. If you are fighting in larger areas, you can even web-swing yourself to safety, hide for a while and take down enemies from unexpected places. When you are surrounded and your spider sense kicks in, you will also need to time your dodge to dodge the attack. If you are too slow or too quick, the hit will land and you will still take damage, so be sure to time those dodges! We also managed to check out some of the new suits that we can craft and equip. Aside from gadgets, crafting suits require components that you can find throughout the world. Each suit offers different abilities and power that you can swap in. Peter Parker is a scientist, and in your job you will have to complete tasks, some of them in the form of puzzles that will require some critical thinking. In a Q&A Session with James Stevenson, he said the game will explore two major themes in Spider-Man’s life, Partnership and Mentorship. The game will also feature an intricately crafted story with a single ending, because Insomniac Games wishes to take the player through the journey of Spider-Man and Peter Parker as their worlds collide together. When asked if there’s Pizza Delivery challenges, James mentioned that Peter is already juggling most of his life and that Pizza Delivery might be an

afterthought. He did give a shrug after saying that, so we might see an Easter egg of it. Marvel’s Spider-Man will officially be available come 7th of September 2018. A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro console was also revealed, dressed in Amazing Red and packaged with a Red DUALSHOCK 4 controller with white buttons.

The limited edition Marvel’s Spider-Man PlayStation 4 Pro

Ian Purnomo (Public Relations and Marketing for SIES) trying out the demo of the game


The Darkest Minds 1st Prize Pin Badge x 1 Replica Necklace x 1 Notebook Set x 1 The Darkest Minds Passes x 4 double 2nd Prize Pin Badge x 1 Replica Necklace x 1 The Darkest Minds Passes x 2 double Consolation Notebook Set x 1 The Darkest Minds Passes x 2 double

The Darkest Minds CONTEST Questions: 1) Name the author of this fantasy science fiction movie

The Darkest Minds Name: I/C No: Terms & Conditions: 1. Contest open to all Malaysians except the employees of Online Dynamics (M) Sdn Bhd & Twentieth Century Fox Film (M) Sdn Bhd 2. Only original entry form is accepted. 3. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entertained. 4. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. 5. Closing Date: 5th August 2018

6. Send your entries to: Online Dynamics (M) Sdn Bhd/The Darkest Minds A-5-07, Block A Neo Damansara Jalan PJU 8/1 Damansara Perdana 47820 Petaling Jaya.

Address :

Tel/HP: Email:


lite & leisure

E-Sports Express Latest E-sports updates from the region and around the world

By Matthew Yap & Nixon Ng

Another explosive Dota 2 TI prize pool? Dota 2’s The International competition is a few weeks away and already the prize pool has reached the 20 million USD (1 USD = approx. RM4.01) mark. On 12th July 2018, we took a peek at third-party prize pool tracker and found the total at just over 20 million USD. For comparison, the final total last year was over 24 million USD. Whether this year’s total will eclipse 2017’s remains to be seen, but it should be possible – especially with the addition of the new monthly subscription model as another source of income.

Shadowverse World Circuit goes to Singapore The next leg for Shadowverse’s (a digital collectible card game) World Circuit is our neighbours down south – Singapore. Registration for the 2-day tournament on 11 and 12 August 2018 is well underway, with Singaporean-based company "Beast of the East" in charge of the event. With a prize pool of 10,000 USD and a chance to win a spot at the SEAO Contender’s Cup, this event will be the biggest for the game in our region to date. To find out more, please visit https://beastapac. com/swc-sg/.

Next Hearthstone expansion revealed Hearthstone’s next expansion has been revealed and it’ll bring 135 cards with it. Named "The Boomsday Project", the theme for the expansion is science and should feature the return of a card that terrorised in the past – Dr. Boom. A video introducing the expansion can be found at https:// youtu.be/iH0wacpNuDQ, but the gist of it is that there’s now a legendary spell and a new mechanic called ‘magnetic’ and new type of cards called ‘Project’ cards.

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I Don’t Know’s big win IDK, a team that has been steadily climbing the ranks by winning qualifiers over qualifiers, has just won one of biggest Rainbow Six tournaments of their lives, the DreamHack Valencia 2018. The IDK team consists of Matthew "meepeY" Sharples, Ryan "Lacky" Stapley, Leon "LeonGids" Giddens, David "sTiZze" De Castro and Bryan "Elemzje" Tebessi. This was the team’s first Majoy win since its inception in late 2017. On their road to victory, IDK beat Rogue in the Quarter-finals and overcame PENTA Sports in the Semi-finals as well, netting them a date with Team Vitality in the Finals. They comfortably beat Team Vitality with a 6-2 win in Clubhouse, and 6-1 win in Bank.

Return of the King After taking a break since April of 2018, Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer is ready to tackle the CS:GO scene with his skills once again with FaZe. Jorgen "cromen" Robertsen was stand-in for FaZe when olofmeister was on his break, and now aims to seek greener pastures with other teams. On his personal Twitter, cromen mentioned that the win in ESL One: Belo Horizonte 2018 was the happiest moment in his life, and said that he will work hard to achieve the goal of top 5. But olofmeister’s return to CS:GO was not a pleasant one as Team Fnatic and mousesports knocked out FaZe at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018.

GWENT in Rocky Decks GWENT, the fast-paced card game that was originally found in The Witcher, made its way as a standalone game not too long ago. But roughly a year after the launch of the Beta, the devs had slowed down patches and updates. Many fans jumped to the conclusion that the team slowed down the development of GWENT due to CD Projekt Red’s upcoming major game – Cyberpunk 2077. They also complained that the devs tried to make the gameplay similar to Hearthstone as well. During the 6th GWENT Open, Pawel Burza, the Community Specialist came out and mentioned that the team is hard at work, and that he's sorry for the delay of a GWENT update. The tournament was won by Benjamin "kolemoen" Pfannstiel, netting himself $9,650.

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lite & leisure TOUCH

Gaming Apps Of The Month These are the apps that we have currently installed on our mobile devices. We think they should be on yours too By Rikco Shim

RGB Express Android (Free) / iOS (RM7.90) Not to be fooled by the name, RGB Express is not a game about RGB components, but a puzzle game about colours. In this game, you take control of multiple trucks, guiding them to make deliveries based on their colours. The puzzle component of the game makes its appearance on how you navigate the roads. The roads are usually single lane, so no other cars can cross and you can only take the road once; no driving through it again. Another puzzle element is with the delivery stations/stores. You can not pass by that location without supplies, and if you do, the level will fail. The game is separated into 10 zones, each zone with four cities that you have to go through. And in each city there are 10 levels, so that means a total of roughly 400 levels. On the Android version, the game is free but you will encounter ads along the way, including one that stays perpetually at the top of the game when you are playing it. Removing the ads will require a payment of RM6.19. With 400 levels at the palm of your fingers and increasing in difficulty, it will definitely put your brain into overdrive to figure out all the solutions to the puzzles. It is simple game to play and pick-up, but definitely one that is hard to master. In some of the levels, we had to reverse engineer how we plan the route as some of the parcels might clash and we have to figure out a way for our drivers to traverse the puzzle. But if you are stuck, you can use hints that will guide you. As for our final thoughts, we think that it can potentially be a top game if you like puzzles. It's simple enough to go through, and some might even take longer to solve than you expected. It's also free on Android, so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no reason not to go for it.

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Using a hint, guiding our way through half the level

A level that has three different coloured trucks and two red trucks


lite & leisure

Sigi – A Fart For Melusina Android (RM7.99) / iOS (RM 4.90) Not one for the younger audience, this game is rated for ages 9 and up. You play as Sigi, a knight on his way to find a wife who stumbles upon Melusina, a mermaid with a stacked chest. The game takes you along the journey of Sigi looking for her as he battles his way past hordes and bosses. The game plays as an action platformer with fart jokes scrambled here and there, and when Sigi confronts a boss, he has a few choice words for them before defeating them and trudging along, looking for Melusina. As mentioned, it is a 2D platformer with four buttons – Jump, Attack, Left and Right. It plays similarly to other 2D action platformers, and during our play, we found that it was a homage to Ghosts ‘N Goblins, a classic game. Aside from that, you'd notice sprinkles of Super Mario World, especially in the level selection. Just like Ghosts ‘N Goblins, you can pick up weapons, health items, coins and letters scrambled around the level that spell out SIGI. Once you complete a level, all collectibles will be counted and you will be given points. If you like to challenge yourself with highscores, then this could be the game for you. There are 20 levels, with a boss every 5 levels, but the game isn’t too difficult and can be completed in as little as 30 minutes or less if you’re a pro at platformers. If mobile gaming isn’t your thing, you can buyy the game from Steam, allowing you to play on a larger screen. It will also be available on consoles soon. Overall, the game is easy to pick up and poses a challenge if you wish to tackle the highscore. The graphics are also brilliant and soundtrack is decent. A sequel to the game is planned as well, so maybe we’ll have more fart jokes in the future.

The level select for SIGI, reminiscent of Super Mario World

Going through levels, you will encounter traps and enemies

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lite & leisure CROWDFUNDING

Made Possible By The Masses Our monthly look at crowd-funded projects that caught our eyes By Matthew Yap and Nixon Ng

Soudots Ai-2 Love to party outdoors and want to enjoy better audio? The Soundots Ai-2 is a cool speaker that can be stacked or shaped in different formations for a variety of uses. You can connect three of them horizontally into a pseudo soundbar or stack them up vertically to look like a tower speaker. This is a type of portable speaker that’s meant to use in multiples, providing users with option to expand on their audio setup as they go. https://kck.st/2A68TDz

SOUL Solar Scroll When you’re out queueing up for a convention or trekking outdoors, you’ll often not have enough battery for your devices. Sometimes power banks just don’t cut it, and that’s where the Solar Scroll comes into play. Using this compact gadget, you get to fast charge your devices using the power of the sun. With it, you no longer have to worry about the lack of a power outlet and you’re being more environmental-friendly too! https://kck.st/2AaGUm4

ROBOQI Speaking of charging, here’s another gadget to help with that – the ROBOQI. This one is a small robotic arm that can be used in a car, allowing you to charge your smartphone while driving through the use of wireless charging. Its robotic arm clamps on to your device as soon as it hits the contact sensor, then proceeds to juice it up while you’re busy with the wheel. You won’t have to worry about it falling off either, since the grip is quite secure. https://kck.st/2LoSgrV

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lite & leisure

Blackview

NILS

No longer do you have to choose between a fragile smartphone with the latest technology and a low spec smartphone that will last, the BV9500 Pro is designed to withstand all of the elements life throws at you, as well as allowing you to have the most up to date specifications on the market. With the BV9500 Pro, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll notice the difference. It redefines the way you use and take care of your phone by making it indestructible, reliable and cutting edge. https://bit.ly/2mb58mq

NILS is a charge-and-sync cables thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hidden within a braided leather bracelet and built with DuPont Kevlar Bulletproof fiber. It is designed with the purpose of setting your hands free from carrying any excess cords, as it functions as a charge-and-sync wearable cable. Nobody will notice what it really is, since it looks like it's just a bracelet. This cable blends creativity, usability and functionality into a single piece of wearable technology. https://kck.st/2lP9TSC

Moon-Pod Moon-Pod is a premium lightweight beanbag engineered to deliver a feeling of zero-gravity weightlessness in any position. It cradles your

body into a rare static state, providing ultimate stress relief and all-day relaxation. Its outer membrane is made from a unique blended material, which encapsulates thousands of high-friction EPS beads that react and respond to every inch of your body. https://kck.st/2NbAN2w

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Back Issues Missed a few month’s worth of CHIP? Or have a particular issue that you would really like to have? We might not have a time machine to send you back, but we’ll definitely be able to get you a copy of our magazine of time’s past.

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practice

Test Operating Systems Virtually Do you need Windows 7 for some tasks or try the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview? If yes, then the VirtualBox is perfectly right for this By Angelika Reinhard And Thorsten Franke-Haverkamp

being tested in the Insider program. Obviously, you don't have to install the Insider version on the system you normally use. Instead, using the VirtualBox is better. If you love experimenting and have more computers, it does not matter under which operating system VirtualBox works. If you want to, you can use a Linux computer or a Mac to run Windows 10.

HOW TO PROCEED 1

Latest Windows in the pre-release version Are you thrilled by the Windows 10 Creators Update and want to know about the progress of development? Then, simply register with the Insider program from Microsoft (insider.windows.com). You will receive early information about new functions that are

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Start ready virtual machines

Install and start the tool. If you already have downloaded a virtual machine (VM) from Microsoft, then unpack the file. After that's done, double-click on the OVA file. VirtualBox will start and prompt you for the import - confirm to start. Next, boot the VM by clicking on "Start".

Photos: Acer (Notebook); Oracle (Screen)

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irtualBox is an amazing thing for testing operating systems. With it, you can install, try and delete other systems without any traces - all in a virtual machine that is parallel to your Windows 10, without the frustration and additional costs. VirtualBox is free of cost and can be found at www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/ virtualbox/downloads. On this website, select the VirtualBox version "Windows (32-bit/64-bit)"; it is the first entry in the list.


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Install Windows from DVD

You can generate VMs from Windows DVDs. Click on "New" , assign a name and select the version for "Type". After clicking on "Next", determine the "Storage size" and "Disk", then start the installation by clicking on "Generate". Insert the Windows DVD, start the VM and select the DVD drive.

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Install Windows from ISO file

Instead of a physical installation DVD, you can also use an image file. In fact, this is what you'll have to do for the Insider versions. Proceed exactly as described in step 2. Then, select the ISO file in the "Select medium for Start" dialogue and begin the VM installation by clicking on "Start".

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VirtualBox Manager

With VirtualBox, you can set up and manage as many operating systems as you want. The preview image shows the running operating system. You can query and also directly customise the technical data of the configuration, such as the amount of memory allocated or the booting sequence, in the manager of VirtualBox.

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Backup points

The actual highlight of a virtual machine are the backup points to which you can always go back to, whenever there is a problem or if you have completed a series of tests. Click on "Machine | Create Backup points" on the top left to create such a backup.

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Change hardware settings

You can change or clone a virtual machine, or even change the hardware. This way, processor cores and RAM can be added if needed, assuming the host system has sufficient resources. You can access this function via "Change" when the VM is shut down.

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practice Original

Metallic Models To achieve first-class photos in car photography, you need more than just a beautiful car. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s what you should pay attention to Text & Photo by Alexander Karstens

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verything works easily in car photography in the beginning. After all, tons of models are just hanging out on the streets, so you just need to take your camera and shoot. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s not always easy, as even the most attractive sports car fades in an ugly surrounding. Therefore, an exciting location is ideal for car photography. In most cases, you do not have to travel far for this purpose. For example, take some time out and detour from your way home. This is how you discover new corners, which can be noted down for future shoots. Also, give some thought as to which car would be suitable for which location. A VW Beetle with a rusty look, for example, looks good on a farm, while a modern Audi RS 6 will look better when it's before the Elbphilharmonie. But even contrasts can work throughout. For this shoot, I have chosen a castle near Muenster that, together with the correct lighting, looks very impressive. Thereafter, I began searching for a suitable vehicle where I was careful not to choose any random one. After all, I had plans to sell the photo to a car magazine in future. While the location is mostly unimportant, the car should not be any new standard model (there are many of such types). Also, many tuned internal and external details are quite good, which go beyond the classic FFF-tuning (suspension, foil, rims).

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My equipment

For car shoots, I always carry all my equipment. For over two years, I've captured photos in RAW format using a Canon 6D Mark I. Mostly, I use a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 and a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 for car photography. With two lenses, I get a razor-sharp picture, the most varied perspectives and image effects are possible with focal lengths that cover everything from the wide angle (24mm) to the high telephoto (200mm).

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Position & Image design

A car needs a lot of space in a picture if you want to show it in great detail. This implies that the correct image design and the positioning are very important. I go around the car first during the shoot before I actually begin the photo shoot. Taking a photo just from above the floor creates an exciting effect. Blurs in the foreground ensure that the viewer looks more towards the motif.

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The perfect light

I do not use any artificial light (e.g. flashes) in my car photoshoots, but I work with "available light" to capture the realistic light mood. During sunset, I prefer photographing


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against the sun as its light is less bright in the evenings (this is also true for mornings). The colours of the car come out so good and the shadow areas are not too dark. They can be welladjusted with a little bit of editing.

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Develop the image

After selecting the desired photo, I edit my RAW photos in Adobe Lightroom. The workflow looks like I am adjusting the values under Exposure, Contrast, Lights, Depths, Clarity, Sharpness etc. Even the first colour adjustments are done in the RAW development where I intensify the colour of the sunset, for example. Likewise, I do corrections for the photo section. In every picture, I make sure that the horizon is straight, and the car is not placed too midway in the photo.

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Improve image areas

As the RAW development in Lightroom is always applied on the entire image, I choose the gradient mask as the second step. This allows only specific image areas to be edited. Thus, I could darken the foreground and the upper part a bit and adjust the colour of the top image area. Using the "Radial Filter", I had finally brightened the rims a bit as they often looked too dark against the light.

6

Corrections in Photoshop

My last editing step takes place in Adobe Photoshop. Here, I retouch the image and make finer adjustments. For example, there is a wheel hub cap missing in the rear rim. I added it using the "Clone Stamp". Furthermore, I have removed and darkened the colour reflections on the panes so that the interiors are visible. Interfering objects in the image can be, likewise, easily removed using the "Clone Stamp".

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Tips Tricks

then on "Display" on the left. Then, click on the right, on the button under "Night Mode" to set the configuration. The night mode will be active, by default, from sunset to sunrise. If you wish to set the time more precisely, then click on "Settings for night mode" and then on "Schedule" in

02

AUGUST 2018

WINDOWS & OFFICE Excel 2016 Insert thought bubbles instead of comments

01

Comments are always helpful when giving tips to other users. Comments can be recognised by means of a small red arrow on the top right corner of the corresponding cell. The disadvantage of comment is that it only becomes visible when a user clicks on it. But if you want the tip to appear immediately as soon as the user clicks on the cell, then you just need to insert a thought bubble. Select the desired cell, go to the tab "Data" and click on the "Data review" icon in the "Data Tools" area. In the same window, go to the tab

01

"Input message", if necessary, and enter a title and the text of your tip. Note that the function "Show input message when the cell is selected" has a check mark on it. After that, close the window by clicking on "OK". As soon as the corresponding cell is selected, the tip is displayed without needing any additional clicks.

02

Windows 10 Activate night mode and set the period

If you are rendering a video using your laptop beside your bed, then you can let it all happen overnight. However, screens emit a blue and mostly bright light that may disturb your sleep. Since the Creators Update, the newly introduced "Night Mode" comes to the rescue in such cases. You can set a more pleasing colour temperature for the display using this Night Mode. Click on "System" in the "Settings" and

Night mode can be easily set in Windows 10, along with a time period to reduce blue light stress on your eyes, and can be found in your Windows Settings

the following window. Now, set and confirm the switch on/off times by clicking on the check mark under it. You can control the colour intensity with the help of the slider under "Colour temperature in night mode". To try these effects directly, click on "Activate now". To go back to the standard display, click on "Deactivate now".

03

Windows 10 Search and find files

You can find files quickly under Windows 10 only if you search for them correctly. There are many different ways available to search for files or apps. If you have no idea where you mightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve stored the desired file, then the best option is to let Windows 10 search the entire system.

03

Using thought bubbles in Excel are easier and allows others to see your comment

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To look for a file that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not sure where its at, simply use the search bar on top of the Windows Explorer


tips & tricks To do this, first right-click on the Start menu icon. Then, select the "Search" option that you will see in the lower area of the Start menu. Now, type the name or at least the start of the file name in the search field. If the Cortana setting "Display Search field" is active, then you can also type the file name there. Alternatively, you can open Windows Explorer in the Start menu and limit your search to individual Windows partitions. To do this, first select the corresponding drive on the left side under "This PC". Then, enter the name of the missing file in the search field in the top right area. If you suspect the file is in a specific folder, then limit the search further by going to that folder. Likewise, every Windows folder has a field in the top right area where you can enter the search term or at least the starting letters of the searched file.

04

Open Office Calc Sum up the hours correctly

It is worth knowing that the "Time" format in Open Office Calc only counts to a maximum of 24 hours and restarts to zero. For example, your total work hours for the week results in 29 hours, but in Calc, it will only show 05:00. To avoid this, disregard the "Time" format, but instead use a user-defined number format. Select the corresponding cells, right click on the selection and select "Format cells" in the context menu. If necessary, switch to the "Numbers" tab. In the "Category" area, click on "User-defined" and enter the following in the "Format Code" row below: "[HH]:MM". The hours will be totalled correctly now once you click on "OK".

04

05

If you want to install an unsigned driver under Windows 10, then you have to disable the driver signature beforehand. The UEFI has an option that is included in all computers produced since 2012; this instruction might not work with an older BIOS. First, start the UEFI, then go to the "Settings" and look for the category "Update and Security". On the left, click on "Recovery" and then on the button "Restart now" in the "Advanced Startup" area on the right. If the UEFI opens in a blue design, then select the "Troubleshooting" there. You will now find the "Start settings" under the "Advanced Options". After clicking on "Restart", all the available start settings will be displayed after a few seconds. Select the option "Disable mandatory driver signature" via the [F7] key. Once you start Windows, you can now install unsigned drivers. Later on, you can reenable the driver signature using the same method.

activate the navigation area in Word 2013 and 2016, first click on the "View" tab. Thereafter, activate the checkbox "Display navigation area" in the "Display" area. Alternatively, you can use to the key combination of [Ctrl]+[F]. The navigation area is divided into three categories: "Headings", "Pages" and "Results". In the "Headings" category, you will find everything that you have defined as a heading with the help of formatting templates. If you wish to switch to a specific point in your document, then click on the corresponding entry. Under "Pages", you will find a miniature view of all pages of your Word document with the corresponding page numbering. Even here, you can go to the corresponding point in your document with just one click. The "Results" category offers a number of useful search functions. Here, you can either search according to a word and a text position or allow graphics, tables, formulae, footnotes or comments be displayed. If you search for something here first and then switch to the "Headings" tab later, you can see which headings the results appear on with the help of a colourful highlight.

05

Using Advanced Startup might allow you to perform some changes in UEFI

06

Hours can be easily calculated in Open Office, provided if you formatted it with user-defined numberings

Windows 10 Deactivate a driver signature in the UEFI

06

Easily jump to specific pages by just clicking on the preview

Word Display navigation area

The navigation area of Word (called Document Structure up to version 2007), allows you to switch to specific text sections of your document and makes it easier for you to organise them. To do this, the navigation area provides quick access to all the entries formatted with heading styles in your document. In order to

07

Windows 10 Break the connection of OneDrive and Windows 10

OneDrive is fully integrated in Windows 10. But if you do not wish to use OneDrive, you can disconnect the OneDrive account with a few clicks. Right-click on the OneDrive icon in the taskbar on the bottom right. If you do

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tips & tricks not see the icon, then you can reveal more icons by clicking on the white arrow. In the context menu, select "Settings" and go to the tab "Account" in the new window. Here click on "Unlink this PC" and confirm it.

07

OneDrive is a constant annoyance. Easily remove it with just a few clicks if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve linked it to your PC before

08

Excel Change a column to a row using the Transpose function

Sometimes, it is cumbersome to enter data in a column. If the present entries can be displayed better as a row, then you can easily convert it without copying or typing all entries again. Select the entries of the column that you want to convert and copy the contents to a clipboard, using the shortcut [Ctrl]+[C]. Right click on a free cell in a row and select the function "Transpose" in the "Insert options".

"0049" automatically becomes "49". If you want to prevent the deletion of the zeros for several cells, then you have to use the corresponding number format. For example, if you want to enter an international country code in a column, then select the corresponding cells, right click on the selection and select "Format cells" in the context menu. If necessary, go to the "Numbers" tab and select the option "User-defined" on the left under "Category". In the row "Type", overwrite a specification like "Standard" with "0000". You will see an example directly above it. Confirm with "OK". Now enter a number like "0049" in one of the cells and the number will be displayed, including the leading zeros. Note: The specification of zeroes in the row "Type" must correspond precisely to the length of the dial code. If there is a single deviation, then just use the following tip. Even if you occasionally need a value with a leading zero, there's no need to select the path via a user-defined number format. Start the entry with a simple apostrophe "'", for example, "'08912345". But note that Excel will text and automatically align it to the left while numbers are displayed, aligned to the right. Rectify this alignment if needed.

08

from the installed Windows version. Open "Settings" and select "System". Click on "About" on the left side in the menu bar. After that, detailed information about your device will be displayed on the right side in the window. If needed, scroll down till the "System Info" area. Here, you will find the specification of the version and Build number. An alternative procedure that is known from an earlier Windows version, is also a good option. For that method, first right-click to open the context menu of the Start menu and select "Command Prompt". Type the command "winver" in the window - Admin rights are not required. A window will now show you the desired information.

10

Your Windows build number can be easily looked up if you know where to look for it. A simple run command of winver can solve it

11

Windows 10 Define usage time to avoid restart messages

09 Many updates of Windows 10 run in the background. Some of these will then require a restart of the PC. If you wish to avoid these messages during your computer activity, then you can set the preferred usage time so that Windows will not disturb you with these messages prompting for a restart, during your work. In order

Using the Transpose function allows you to convert your columns to a row

09

Excel Display leading zeroes in cells

In some cells it is necessary that one or more leading zeros are seen, for instance, in a column for area code numbers. But Excel deletes the numbers by default. Hence, the entry

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Excel is annoying when it comes to displaying zeroes in the front of other numbers, but can be done so with a user-defined tweak

10

11

Windows 10 Find out the currently installed version and Build number

If you need the exact version including the current Build number for support queries, then you can find it very easily

Change the active hours when your computer can prompt you to restart can often times save you the hassle of accidentally pressing enter, resulting in your PC restarting


tips & tricks to determine the usage time, first open Windows settings using the key combination [Windows]+[I]. In the new window, select the category "Update & Security". Under the "Windows Update" tab, you can spot "Change active hours" under the Restart now button. After that, set the start and end time of your rest time and confirm it by clicking on "Save". Close the settings window. But note that a maximum of only 18 hours usage time is allowed. If the button does not appear, simply go back to "Settings" and search for "Windows Update Settings" and the button should appear.

12

Windows 10 Use the Cortana search function for simple calculations

Do you need quick results for multiplication? Instead of searching for the integrated Windows calculator, you can simply use Cortana to do it for you. To locate Cortana, simply look for a circle icon on your task bar which can be seen next to the Windows logo. If not, then right-click on a free area in the taskbar, select "Cortana" and then on "Show Search Box". Enter your calculation in the search row, for example "22*44". You need not type an Equal sign as the calculation will be done automatically.

13

Windows 10 Disable annoying ads on screensaver and etc

In many areas, Microsoft has integrated ad display. Thus, so-called "Suggestions" from websites or services are shown in the Start menu by default- not always, but occasionally. "Windows Spotlight" is set by default, as a background in the lockscreen. This focus is supposed to entice you, for example, to click on options like "Do you like what you see". But you can disable the ads for many areas. Open "Settings" and click on "Personalisation". Select "Start" and then click on the switch under "Occasionally show suggestions in Start", to disable the function. After that, click on "Lockscreen". On the right, you will see that the option "Windows Spotlight" is set as active under Background. Here, select one of the other options, for example "Image". The ads will then disappear from the lockscreen.

14

simultaneously, then it makes sense to compile them into groups. This will save you time spent in adding every recipient individually - which is only useful for huge distribution lists. In Outlook, go to the "New Elements" in the "Start" tab, select "More Elements" and click on " Contact Groups". For the next step, assign a name to the group, like "Department" or "Club Friends". Enter the name in the row next to "Name". Open a new window via "Add members" and "From Outlook contacts". Select your own address book in the "Address Book" area. Now, select a contact by clicking on "Member" in your contact group. Repeat it with the other contacts. Once you have compiled the group fully, confirm by clicking on OK. Click on "Save & Close" so that the group is available in your address book. You can

14

Outlook 2016

13

Create a list of distribution for different emails in Outlook so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to click every single email

12 now select the newly created contact group directly when you are sending a new Email.

If changing lockscreen wallpapers and ads are not your thing, you can disable it via the "Lock screen" settings

Compile Email contacts into contact groups

If you have been using Outlook for a long time, then your list of contacts is bound to grow. If you send messages quite often to many contacts

15

Windows 10 Display missing file name endings in Explorer

If Windows Explorer does not show any file endings like .docx or .mp3, then you had to search for the corresponding settings in details, in the earlier Windows version. This has now become a lot easier under Windows 10. Start the Explorer and click on the "View" menu on the top

15

Easy calculations can be done via Cortana. Maybe the sole reason to keep it on your taskbar

If your files in Explorer are missing file names, you can enable it to show again via a checkbox in Explorer

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tips & tricks 17

of Explorer. Now, set a check mark for "File name extensions" and for "Hidden items" in the icons bar to view the system files in the Explorer.

16

Google Chromecast Audio Rectify the playback delay with loudspeakers

Delays in Google Chromecast Audio are common while using several loudspeakers, soundbars and receivers - for instance, the audio delivered to kitchen's speakers is a bit later than to the ones in the living room. However, you can adjust this delay. Open the Google Home app on your smartphone. Tap on the device icon on the top right and then on the Menu icon next to the asynchronous loudspeaker. You can view and adjust the delay under "Correction of the group delay". If possible, sit in the middle between the two asynchronous loudspeakers in order to balance the delay optimally. First, rectify the delay in the loudspeaker in which the delay is the highest. Let the music play during the process, so that you can then perceive the delay. If there are more than two loudspeakers in use, it may be helpful to always set the volume high for only two loudspeakers. If the asynchronicity between the two loudspeakers is stronger only via your changes, then set the delay back to zero and retry the process with another loudspeaker.

16

Transferring e-books from your PC to Kindle can be done easily by copying and pasting them into the Documents folder of your Kindle

can also manage and transfer your documents with the help of free tools like Calibre (https://calibre-ebook. com/). Using the conversion function of Calibre, you can also convert incompatible file formats so that you can read them with the Kindle.

18

Kindle Fire HD Set up Google Chrome on the Amazon tablet

You could actually install the Chrome browser on your Kindle Fire HD without any problems, provided if you can find it from the Amazon App Store. Since this is not the case, you need to get it elsewhere. First, you must set a check mark for "Allow installation of applications" in the sub-menu "Device" in the settings of the Kindle Fire HD. After that, you will also need the ES File Explorer from the Amazon App Shop to access all files on your Kindle Fire HD. You will need to find a Chrome APK, which you can then install on the tablet.

19

Nintendo Switch Perform a hard reset for Nintendo Switch

If the portable console Nintendo Switch does not respond to any button presses, then you can perform a hard reset with the appropriate knowledge. To do this, simply keep the Power button pressed for 15 seconds. After that, release the button and press it again. The console should now be able to restart. Minor errors in the cache are eliminated using this method, while keeping your data and settings intact. If the problem persists, try resetting to the factory settings. To do this, go to "System settings | Console | Formatting options | Reset to factory settings" in the Home menu. Your data will be deleted this way, but you can just transfer the data to a microSD card first. However, note that your game saves will not be transferred.

The app "Google Home" might solve some playback delays of the audio from your Chromecast

17

Kindle Transfer your own e-books from PC to Kindle

You can connect your Kindle with a PC only via USB. The computer recognises this device as a removable disk. In this manner, you can transfer your own documents manually to the Kindle. Copy the files to the "documents" folder on the removable disk. You

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The ES File Explorer app from Amazon allows easy access to your files on your Kindle


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tips & tricks 20

20

Photo Shrink images using tools of Windows

The latest digital cameras capture photos at high resolutions. If you wish to send your photos via mail or upload them online, then reducing the maximum resolution can save you a lot of time. If there are only a few photos, then you do not need any additional program to shrink the photos. In Windows, we have the Paint program which helps you to quickly shrink a few images to size. Start the Paint program. In Windows 10, you will find the program in the Start menu in the "Windows Accessories" area. Or simply search for Paint in the Start Menu. After that, open the image which you wish to shrink. You will now see only a section if the images are very large. Click on "Resize", or [CTRL] + [W]. In the next window, you can shrink the image by percentage (e.g. to 50%) or even by entering pixels. Note that there is a check mark of "Maintain Aspect Ratio" to keep the original aspect ratio. For example, select "Pixel" and the horizontal and vertical resolution of the original photo will be displayed. As soon as you type a smaller pixel number in "Horizontal", the vertical value will be automatically adjusted. Confirm it by clicking on "OK".

Resizing on Paint is easy, simply use [CTRL] + [W] and you can resize the picture to your liking

The image will be displayed in the new size immediately. Save it under a new name so that the original image is not overwritten.

21

Facebook Delete existing data and wipe out old traces

It is not easy if you wish to distance yourself from Facebook. You have to do a lot more than just delete your

19

Sometimes a factory reset might help save your Nintendo Switch, but all your save files will be lost

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Facebook account if you wish to delete all your data with Facebook, because a lot of it remains saved with Facebook behind the scenes. First, go to your profile and delete all personal entries under "Info". This also is applicable for entries from your timeline. Select your own profile. Scroll down up to the respective post and then click on the three dots on the top right. Here, select the "Delete" option and confirm the process. For posts by others, you can either remove your selection or hide the post from your timeline; you can only delete posts that appear exclusively on your timeline. You can also delete the search history easily. After opening Facebook, click on the upside-down triangle on the top extreme right. A dropdown menu will now open. Here, you must select the "Activity Log". On the left, you will find an area with "Photos and Videos", "Likes and Responses" and "Comments". Click on "MORE" below it, where you will find the "Search History" option at the very bottom - click on it to display the search history. In the next step, click on "Delete Search" on the top right and then again click on "Delete Search" in the new window. It is a bit more complicated to unfriend people in Facebook. To do that, you have to go to every individual friend and click on "Unfriend". As for deleting photos, you can't completely delete them in Faceboo. Although the photos


tips & tricks 21

do this, tap on the top right on your profile picture and then on "Persons". Now select "Synchronise Contacts" here. You will now be asked whether you wish to stop the automatic synchronisation. Confirm your choice with OK. Google: For those who don't want their Facebook profile, comments, likes and etc to be searchable, you have to disable the relevant settings. Go the "Settings" in your Facebook, then click on "Privacy". Reject the option "Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?" under the section "How people find and contact you".

22

This menu can be found on the left side of your Settings in Facebook, clearing it might remove some of your old traces on the Internet

will not appear anymore in galleries or timelines, but they can be accessed via a direct link. Last but not the least, you should delete the links from Facebook, such as those to Instagram. Messenger: Similarly, all messages from the Messenger (desktop version) must be deleted one-by-one from every chat. Click on the gearwheel icon next to the name on the extreme right, then select "Delete conversation" here. On the phone, hold on chat session you wish to delete and a window with the menu option "Delete Conversation" will appear. Note that Facebook automatically synchronises your contacts if you have installed the Messenger app. As soon as you deactivate synchronisation, the saved contact data is also removed. To

Android Control and manage authorisations of applications

During the installation of an app like WhatsApp, the required permissions are only displayed when you start the app. From Android version 6.0 onwards, users can finally control the permissions of apps through the settings as well. To do this, first open the "Settings". The steps after this may differ depending on Android version or the brand/model, but generally you want to look for the "Apps" or "Applications" settings. If it's the latter, select the "Applications Manager" and a list of all the installed apps will be displayed. Tap on the desired app, i.e "WhatsApp", then tap on "Permissions" in the next window. You can now enable or disable individual permissions. Often, permissions are necessary for an app to function normally. This means that deactivation certain permissions may lead to errors or problems, such as the app crashing. Therefore, you should be very careful in managing the app. However, some

22

Making sure you know what apps have access to certain permissions allows you to check what apps might spy on you

apps ask for permissions that that are not at all necessary. For example, why should a Flashlight app have access to your contacts?

23

Facebook Deactivate the new face recognition function

Since mid-April 2018, Facebook users are now identifiable through photos and videos via face recognition without needing to be tagged. This is achieved with the help of a feature that has existed before, but was removed because of massive protests from data protection officers in the EU. Facebook will now ask the users whether they want to be identified in photos and videos first. You can also change this setting later if you have agreed to it without checking properly. To do that, open the "Settings" by clicking on the arrow on the top right. Next, click on the menu option "Face Recognition" and then click on "Edit" on the right. In the options list, select "No" to disable the function.

23

Disabling facial recognition from Facebook might help if you want to keep a low-profile on the internet

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picture perfect

Look ma, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m

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Swinging into action! (Taken with the Sony RX100 VI)

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ll the JOI Book 100 is against a regu

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lar All smiles for the JOI Book 100

Berjaya Grou 04/ 07/ 2018 you use Razepr will be donating up to RM 5,000,000 to Ta Pay at a Berja ya Store bung Harapan when

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picture perfect

12/ 07/ 2018

4/ 07/ 2018

“Time to game, boys!”

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Did the Jabb Comic Con?

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13/ 07/ 2018 Have you paid tribute to your king at ACC?

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20/ 07/ 2018 You need all the performance you can get when you’re using a hardcore ASUS gaming monitor

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in the next issue SEPTEMBER

AI And Emotions Computers are now slowly learning how to detect heartache, happiness and anger in humans, think about the possibilities

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re The Good Guys When you think about hackers you think bad thoughts, but it takes a hacker to fight another

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Hands Free?

Wireless charging is still gaining traction, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already plenty of choices to choose from when it comes to chargers, so why not find out more before pulling the trigger?


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