Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL specs and features leak ahead of launch tonight: Everything we know so far

Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Google Home Mini, Pixelbook set to be launched tonight: Everything we know so far

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Image credit: Evan Blass

There are no surprise anymore. Apple couldn’t keep the iPhone X, one of its biggest products in years, a surprise ahead of the launch event. And Google surely can’t keep away the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL from the leakers. The two phones, which are successor to last year’s original Pixel phones, will be launched tonight at an event in San Francisco. They will come accompanied by a number of other Google products, most important of which are going to be three – the new Google Home Mini, the Pixelbook and a new Daydream VR headset.

Of all, the most important – particular for our country of smartphone lovers – are going to be the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. Almost everything important about these phones is now known. It the last few days their images along with key specifications and features have been leaked. There has been a talk of a mysterious phone called the Ultra Pixel but that is just talk. Tonight there is going to be nothing called Ultra Pixel at the Google event. Only the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

Update: Just hours before the launch, a fresh leak has given us at the more detailed specs of the Pixel 2 XL. The specs, listed online, confirm that the phone will come with a 6-inch screen that has a resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels, hence also confirming the 18:9 aspect ratio. In all likelihood this is the same screen that has been used by LG in its V30 smartphone. Also the specs sheet shows 100000:1 aspect ration hence confirming that the Pixel 2 XL screen uses AMOLED panel. Then there are other details. The front camera on the Pixel 2 XL uses an 8-megapixel sensor with F2.4 lens. The phone comes with a 3520 mAh battery. There is Gorilla Glass 5 layer on top of the phone’s display. Other specs are similar to what we heard about earlier. But there are 3 key features that have revealed by the latest leaks: The Pixel 2 XL will have dual-SIM support. But will be the regular GSM SIM, the slot will use e-SIM. There is something called Pixel Visual Core, which seems to be a special chip for computational photography. In other words, think better portrait mode photos. Finally, there is something called “advanced x-axis sensor” in the Pixel 2 XL. This seems to be the sensor that will enable “squeezable frame” feature.

So what are these phones, how much will the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will cost in India, when will they go on sale in India? Nothing is official about them yet, but as noted earlier almost everything about these phones has been leaked. So don’t expect any surprises.

– Of the the, the Pixel 2 XL is a more exciting phone. It is made by LG and it has many similarities with the LG V30. The phone is expected to sport a 6-inch screen with thin bezels, similar to what we see in the LG V30. But that is where the design similarities end. Google is expected to use a design for the Pixel 2 XL that is similar to the design of the original Pixel XL. This means, you will get the same dual-tone shell made of metal and glass, although the Glass portion on the rear cover is proportionately smaller than what we saw in last year’s Pixel phones.

– The Pixel 2 XL screen, as noted earlier, measures 6 inches. It will use AMOLED panel, will have QHD (1440P) display with 18:9 aspect ratio.

 

– The Pixel 2, meanwhile, is the smaller phone with 5-inch screen that has a resolution of 1080P. It is said to be made by HTC and it will have a design that is more generic and similar to the design of the Pixel launched last year.

– Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are expected to come with stereo speakers. Both have a fingerprint sensor at the rear cover, under camera. Both will feature “squeezable frame” similar to what th HTC U11 has. Squeezing this frame will launch Google Assistant.

– Both Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. There was talk that these phones are going to use the Snapdragon 836, but apparently that chip is late so Google couldn’t use it. The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will come with 64GB and the 128GB variants. They will have 4GB RAM.

– Just like the recent iPhones, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are going to come without the 3.5mm headphone jack. This is rather surprising because last year Google highlighted the presence of the headphone jack in its Pixel phones as one of the top features, while hinting that the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus weren’t good because they lacked it. Google will probably bundle a headphone to USB-C adapter in the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL boxes.

– The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are going to come with a re-designed launcher, which will have the Google search bar at the bottom of the screen. The phone will use Android Oreo software, and likely to come with (temporarily) exclusive software features like Google Lens app, which was announced at the Google I/O.

– The Pixel 2 is likely to have a 2700 mAh battery while the Pixel 2 XL will come with 3400 mAh battery.

– Both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will have water and dust-poof design.

– For now, if there is some mystery then that is about the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL cameras. It is certain neither of these phones comes with dual-camera system. Of late, high-end phones are moving dual-camera systems to offer features like 2X optical zoom and more refined portrait mode. But not Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. These phones are going to come with single camera on the rear. The question is which camera? There are strong chances that it is going to be the sae 12-megapixel camera that is there in the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. It makes sense because this is the best camera you can get in a phone, even when compared to the camera inside phones like the recently-launched iPhone 8 Plus. But there is also another scenario. Given how much help Google has got from HTC for the Pixel 2 (and the Pixel 2 XL), it is possible that the company may se the same 12-megapixel camera that HTC uses in HTC U11. That again is a good camera so we will have to see what Google does with the HTC U11 camera hardware with its software tricks like the HDR+ mode.

Also Read: Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL to launch tonight: How to watch, expected specs, price and more

On the front, it is expected that the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will come with 5-megapixel shooter. The interesting bit about the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL cameras could be that they may lack the dual-lens trick, but if original Pixel is any indication the new Google phones too may come with the best camera in a smartphone. In addition, it is expected that Google will offer enhanced portrait node in the camera app inside the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

Pixel 2 XL and the Pixel 2 India price and India launch

The global prices of the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have been leaked. The Pixel 2 XL will have a starting price of $849. The Pixel 2, meanwhile, will be cheaper with a starting price of $649. As far as India prices are concerned, nothing has been revealed so far. But these are high-end phones, and similar to how Google priced Pixel phones in India last year, the new Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will also come with a hefty price tag. It is safe to day that in India the Pixel 2 could have a string price of around Rs 55,000 whereas the Pixel 2 XL may come with a price tag of Rs 65,000.

According to leaks so far, the Pixel 2 will be available globally from October 19. This could be the date when the phone goes on sale in India too, with pre-orders starting a few days early. The Pixel 2 XL could go on sale from November 15, suggest rumours. For official date, let’s wait until tonight.

Pixel Home Mini, Daydream VR headset, Pixelbook

Of these products, the Google Home Mini has already been leaked by Walmart, which “accidentally” listed it on the website. It is exactly what it name suggests. This is a smaller Google Home, much smaller and almost pebble sized, that will sell at a very cheap $49 price. It will connect to an Android device through Wi-Fi and will have Google Assistant inbuilt. Now, although this is a speaker, we suspect it is more for other things instead of music. It’s more like the voice of the Google Assistant and is also probably going to be used to make calls.

The PixelBook is a new Chromebook with powerful hardware and a premium design. It is also said to be a convertable, that people will be able to use as a tablet as well as a laptop. With the PixelBook, the idea it seems is to take on the iPad Pro as well as the Macbook. The device will have a screen size of 12.3 inches and it will come powered with an Intel Core i5 processors, reveals the information leaked so far. It will have a global starting price of $1,199.

Finally, the new Daydream VR headset. This one is expected to be a minor update to the existing VR headset from Google. It will be sold as an accessory to the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL phones and it may come with some design changes as well as improved screens to make it more useful.

[“Source-indiatoday”]

After Musk Remark, Zuckerberg Shares One Reason Why He’s So Optimistic About AI

After Musk Remark, Zuckerberg Shares One Reason Why He's So Optimistic About AI

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The battle of billionaire geeks continues
  • After Musk insulted Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive has responded
  • Zuckerberg says he remains optimistic about AI

Hours after billionaire Elon Musk made a public aspersion about Mark Zuckerberg’s knowledge, by saying Facebook chief executive’s understanding of artificial intelligence is “limited,” Zuckerberg has reaffirmed why he is so optimistic about the nascent technology. To recall, Musk was responding to Zuckberberg’s comments made during a Facebook Live broadcast, where the Facebook CEO called out naysayers.

In a public post, Zuckerberg congratulated his company’s AI research division for winning the best paper award at the “top” computer vision conference for research in “densely connected convolutional networks” subject.

In the same post, Zuckerberg shared “one reason” why he is so optimistic about AI. These efforts, he said, could bring “improvements in basic research across so many different fields — from diagnosing diseases to keep us healthy, to improving self-driving cars to keep us safe, and from showing you better content in News Feed to delivering you more relevant search results.”

“Every time we improve our AI methods, all of these systems get better. I’m excited about all the progress here and it’s potential to make the world better,” Zuckerberg said, whose company already uses a range of AI-powered tools to, among other things, serve relevant posts to around two billion people on the planet.

Zuckerberg’s remarks comes merely hours after Tesla and Space X founder and CEO Elon Muskcriticised Zuckerberg’s inability to foresee the evil side of artificial intelligence. Musk believes that all these AI efforts need to be regulated by the government, as otherwise there is a chance one day these AI-powered robots would kill humans, in what he describes as the “doomsday” scenario.

Over the weekend, in a Facebook Live session, Zuckerberg without calling out Musk, said “naysayer’s” predictions about “doomsday scenarios” were “irresponsible.” When a user asked about Musk’s views on Zuckeberg’s remarks, Musk tweeted Tuesday that he has spoken to Mark Zuckerberg and reached the conclusion that his understanding of AI is limited.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Kill Your Old Ideas So You Can Be More Creative

I spent ten years “writing” a TV show about Silicon Valley. I spent hundreds of hours talking about it, collecting ideas in a giant Evernote file, brainstorming the soundtrack—but not much time writing it. Because every time I thought I had a handle on it, I thought of a better version. Over the years, I adapted my unwritten pilot into an unwritten book, movie, web series, and comic strip. I chased every idea at once, until the project loomed grand and unwieldy in my head. I was building up a mountain of idea debt.

Idea debt is the pile of ideas you keep revisiting but never finish, or even never begin. It can be a book, an app, a business, any project that grows in your mind but not in reality. It feels much more impressive than the projects you’re actually carrying out, with all their disappointments and compromises. As screenwriter Craig Mazin says, “The most exciting script in the world is the one you’re about to write. The least exciting script is the one you’re on page 80 of.” So that idea debt metastasizes, threatening to hold up the real projects, or halt them so long that they too become idea debt.

Like financial debt, a little well-managed idea debt is healthy. It’s good to mull over ideas, to file them for later, to give yourself more creative options than you use. But sometimes you need to pay that debt down. Luckily you’re your own debtor, so you have plenty of options.

Make it now

Take one of your big ideas. How small can you make it? What’s the minimum viable product? Shrink it until you can polish off in a day, then go do it. It shouldn’t be perfect, or even good, just done. Next time you dream about the big beautiful proper version of that idea, think instead of your real finished version, and how superior it is to the big version, because it exists.

In his 2006 video Brain Crack, Ze Frank imagined his unused ideas “on a beautiful platter with glitter and rose petals.” To avoid getting addicted to his brain crack, Frank said, “when I get an idea, even a bad one, I try to get it out into the world as fast as possible.”

Brain Crack was an episode of “The Show,” Frank’s daily vlog full of quick-and-dirty songs, speeches, and segments. Cranking out his ideas led Frank to a successful career in short-form video; in 2012 he became president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.

Put it in your current project

Writer Ryan North gets a lot of ideas, and he doesn’t have time for them all; among other things, he’s busy writing three strips a week of his webcomic Dinosaur Comics. The problem solves itself, he tells me: “I have often times come up with an idea that’s a lot of work, and then I have T-Rex describe the idea in a comic (usually, hopefully with a punchline) as a way to scratch that itch.”

North cites Kurt Vonnegut, who used up stray ideas by giving them to his recurring character, fictional novelist Kilgore Trout. Vonnegut said that through Trout, “I suppose I’ve now summarised 50 novels I will never have to write, and spared people the reading of them.”

The greatest thing about this trick is that you can always expand on the idea later. One Dinosaur Comics strip, a sci-fi take on the fable of King Midas, became the comic book series The Midas Flesh. A strip about a machine that accurately predicts anyone’s cause of death inspired two story anthologies, Machine of Death and This Is How You Die.

Hand it over

One upside of idea debt’s perverse appeal is that the idea can seem so good, so worthy, that you just want someone to make it happen, whether or not that someone is you. So give your ideas away to a good home.

The easiest method is to tweet out (or blog or Instagram) your idea. If it’s really that good, someone else will try it. Or take it to a forum dedicated to swapping free ideas: The ancient and whimsical Halfbakery, or the subreddits /r/Lightbulb, /r/CrazyIdeas, /r/SomebodyMakeThis, /r/highdeas, /r/AppIdeas, or /r/Startup_Ideas.

There’s just one big rule for this method: You really have to give it away. That means you don’t sell it, rent it, or remain involved in any way.

No one will pay you anyway. Novelist Neil Gaiman says people come up to every author with the same offer (which he always politely rejects): “They’ll tell you the Idea (the hard bit), you write it down and turn it into a novel (the easy bit), the two of you can split the money fifty-fifty.” Business ideas are similarly unsellable. As investor Tim Berry says, “The way real people with real ideas get value from them is by building a company to implement those ideas.” Unless the Patent Office will let you register it, it’s worthless. So don’t hand your idea to an expert like you’re whispering into a college grad’s ear, “One word: Plastics.” Just get it out there, and if the experts want it, they’ll find it.

I recently dumped an old story idea (a modern-day Romeo & Juliet told like a fictionalized Planet Money episode) into a Twitter thread. I was surprised how quickly I ran out of thoughts on what had seemed, in my head, like a rich and developed project. I was also surprised when someone who actually does run a fiction podcast emailed me for permission to write the story. (I gave it freely, of course. It’s not my idea anymore!) Even without that response, it was satisfying enough to get a few faves and replies.

Don’t worry about saddling someone else with your idea debt; it isn’t zero-sum. Once you hand your idea over, you’ll feel the pressure slip away. But its new owner will never feel the same obligation; it’s impossible to obsess over someone else’s idea as much as you obsess over your own.

Dump it out

After all the above, what’s left over might look good. But most of it will just never get done. That’s fine! Ideas might feel like pets or children, but they’re not; it’s healthy to abandon most of them. And if your gigantic idea file (pop-science writer Steven Johnson calls it a Spark File) doesn’t load you down, leave it be. But if it does, or you just want to clear your head, then take cartoonist and author Jessica Abel’s advice and dump it all out.

You’re probably dreading the thought of just deleting all your old ideas. So instead, make a grand gesture: Publish them. All at once. You can talk a little about each one, or you can just paste the raw file. This is the Spark File’s counterpart, the Bonfire.

Writer and consultant John Sexton published all his never-finished ideas in one massive Medium post, The Pile of Old Ideas — Volume 1. It’s a fascinating cascade of ideas: “Your brain is the ultimate VR device,” “The enemies of comedy,” “A taxonomy of farts.” It’s a shame Sexton couldn’t complete any of these. But more ideas will always come.

Inspired by Sexton, Boing Boing editor Rob Beschizza published two dozen unfinished video games in Killing my unfinished game dev projects. They’re fun ideas: A puzzle game based on DNA editing; a simulation of Lenin’s final days; a cow-clicker game about blogging; a Qbert MMO. “Ideas are cheap,” Beschizza wrote. “If you want one, take it. I’ll cheer from a safe distance!”

There’s a thrill and a pleasure to this approach. This is your magnum opus! The abandoned ideas are the new idea! Still, you need to get this done in a day or two. Don’t do what I did, imagining a metaproject that contains all my abandoned ideas going forward, and then abandoning that idea. Meta-idea debt carries a high interest rate.

Make a plan

You’re not going to get rid of all your ideas. Some are worth holding onto, worth doing. But now that you’ve stripped away everything else, you need to get started. You need to make a plan.

Lifehacker has, of course, plenty of help for you. Here’s how to get motivated; here’s how to complete a coding project; here’s how to start a side business; here’s how to finish a project. Choose a planning system: Getting Things Done, a Bullet Journal, Agile development. Choose goals, make a to-do list, and set deadlines.

A couple of years ago, I decided to buckle down and finish my Silicon Valley pilot. I set a schedule, I worked on it daily, and I ended up writing two pilots. I set them aside, came back to them a month later and… they were OK, but not that great, and not worth fixing.

I was free. For decades I’d dreamed this would be my very best project, and now I’d finally tested that theory. Even though I’d disproved it, I considered this a success: It cleared that part of my mind. I archived the pilots and the giant Evernote file. And I moved onto making my next project—for real.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Tinder is so last year. In 2017, dating apps will get more selective.

To add more fuel to the anti-2016 fire, dating experts are calling it a bad year for dating trends. “I wanted so bad to say something positive, but it’s mostly negative,” joked Michelle Jacoby, owner of DC Matchmaking and Coaching.

From ghosting to asking to split the check, 2016 was a year of dating don’ts. Experts linked daters’ general sense of feeling burned out from online dating to negative trends that appeared in the past year. With the first week in January being the busiest time for online dating, we asked three experts to explain how these trends will translate into the dating culture of 2017.

“Dating ADD,” as Jacoby calls it, increased in 2016.

Having constant access to a pool of potential matches at their fingertips is making people more impatient, causing unrealistic expectations for first dates and a general decline in effort. Daters are “more quick to judge because they know that if you’re not spectacular, they can go back to their inbox, and just swipe right again tomorrow,” Jacoby says.

This means a lot of first dates, and not many second dates, as noted by Jess McCann, author of “You Lost Him at Hello: From Dating to ‘I Do’ — Secrets from One of America’s Top Dating Coaches.” McCann has seen an increase in ghosting, or cutting off communication and suddenly disappearing, among her clients’ dates, citing it as a major reason some are losing faith in online dating.

More first dates means men are less likely to pick up the check. 

“I have seen an increase in my clients saying, ‘I asked him if he wanted to split it and he said sure,’ ” Jacoby says. In the millennial crowd, guys are shying away from the concept of dates altogether, opting to just hang out instead.

Jacoby says that when she was online dating 10 years ago, it was standard to send two- to four-paragraph introductions. Now, it’s a stretch to get people to write much beyond, “Hey, what’s up?”

With so many options and oftentimes minimal results, people are now more inclined to send out 20 brief messages than take the time to send three personalized ones, Jacoby says.

There are so many dating apps, the market is getting saturated and daters are feeling overwhelmed.

“When human beings are offered many choices, they’re actually less likely to make a decision or selection,” Jacoby says.

People are tired of going on 100 dates before someone finally interests them. “Right now it’s sort of just shooting in the dark,” McCann says.

Newer apps recognize that people are looking for something to tell them whether they have a chance with someone before they invest time and effort, so online dating is trending toward niche apps.

“I think if you want to niche it down and you like really fit people and that’s who you want to meet, great,” Jacoby says. But she warns that selecting someone based on résumé qualities isn’t a guaranteed match.

Daters are tired of dead-end conversations.

“People are burned out because they’re spending so much time on their mobile phones and they’re swiping … and the percentage of those swipes to actually meeting in person is really disproportionate,” says Julie Spira, founder of CyberDatingExpert.com.

Spira says she believes that 2017 will see more of a push for people to meet in real life. She predicts a rise in apps like Whim, which skips the pre-date conversation and immediately matches people for meetups.

McCann notes that many of her clients are preferring to meet the old-fashioned way, ditching apps in favor of connecting through friends, being set up or meeting people at social events like weddings and parties. “I’m seeing people using a lot of meetup groups to meet people, so they can do something they actually like but also hopefully meet somebody new that way.”

As dating has changed, so have the rules.

Old-school dating notions have become obsolete. Playing hard-to-get will get you nowhere in online dating.

“If someone interesting writes to you and you can see that he’s online now, don’t go ‘Oh, I’m going to make him wait an hour,’ ” Spira says. “Within that hour he could schedule three dates, and one of them he could end up being smitten with, and you played the waiting game, so you lost.”

You may be communicating with one person, but that person could simultaneously be chatting with maybe 20 other people. “You always have to keep in mind that you need to stand out, with every word you write and every picture you post,” McCann says.

Apps are constantly being updated with new technology that allows you to communicate in different ways, including GIFs, which can help a person stand out.

Spira recommends standing out by using exclamations and addressing the person by name when you message them. “If you don’t use their name, we go to a default place of believing that somebody is copy and pasting the same message to everyone, and that is just such a turn-off.”

[“source-smallbiztrends”]