Electric bacteria that eats pure electrons for breakfast

electric bacteria

electric bacteria

Biologists at the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered bacteria that eats electricity, not your conventional meal certainly, and then excretes pure electrons in return. The electrifying bacteria may prove useful – amongst other things, enable creation of self-powered nanoscale devices that can clean up pollution.

The Xiaomi Mi4 preview

The back of he Mi4. Are you excited?
The back of he Mi4. Are you excited?
The back of he Mi4. Are you excited?

Xiaomi is one brand that many of us have been hearing of in the past couple of months. Not surprisingly since they’ve managed to disrupt the market with their value-for-money phones with great functionality and performance.

Their Xiaomi Mi3 had a pretty good response over here in Malaysia and it seems many were impressed with the features it offered at only RM769. Throw in the recent launch of the Redmi 1S and the Redmi Note and you know that the company is playing around.

So what else can we expect? How about the update to the Mi3? Yep you read that right, Xiaomi’s new update to their current flagship is coming (yes, we know some Mi3 buyers are going to blow their top) and it’s slated for a 22July launch. We’re pretty sure there’s quite a few who are anticipating it so is it going to be much better than the current Mi3 and will it still be as cheap?

We managed to dig up some of the rumours around the Mi4 and we’ve compiled everything we know about it so far. How true are they, well until we actually see the Mi4 launched, we suggest you take them all with a pinch of salt

A 2k Display. What???

QHD screen? Let's wait and see (Image by GSM Arena)
QHD screen? Let’s wait and see (Image by GSM Arena)

Meh, so what if the current flagships have Full HD displays. You want to impress, you got to have something even better and it seems that the Mi4 is going to up the ante with a 2K display. At least that’s according to two grey market reseller sites, Oppomart and Xiaomiworld. Both of these sites have listed down the supposed full spec-list for the Mi4 but do try to take it with a pinch of salt.

It’ll also supposedly have 5.5-inch screen with a 2560 x 1440 resolution with a 538 PPI. Currently the LG G3 is the only major brand flagship that sports such a screen. Fellow Chinese brand Oppo’s Find 7 also sports a 2k QHD screen. IF the Mi4 was to have such a screen, it’ll definitely be upping the ante, even more if Xiaomi were to continue with the similar pricing structure it has the Mi3.

A more realistic rumour though is one reported by Fone Arena. In it they mentioned that it’s more likely that we’ll be seeing a 5.2-inch 1080p screen instead of a QHD as listed by the two sites. Disappointing? Well if it’s still going to be decently cheap, we’re not complaining.

It’s going to be a performer

The same two reseller site mentioned above also “leaked” the supposed innards of the Mi4. According to them, we can expect the Mi4 to come with the Quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor with 3GB of RAM. That’s pretty sound if you consider that the QHD screen would need the Adreno 420 GPU in it for better graphics handling.

The same report by Fone Arena that we mentioned did hint of that the Mi4 might be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 but it also listed Snapdragon 801 processor as well. It was also mentioned that the Nvidia Tegra K1 processor might also be in the running.  Considering what we’re expecting from the Mi4 in terms of price, we’re likely to believe Xiaomi will be utilising the Snapdragon 801 processor instead. Other specs that the Fone Arena mentioned to be in the Mi4 included 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.

OIS and a 16-megapixel snapper?

Considering that the Mi4 is Xiaomi’s flagship, we ought to see it sport a pretty decent snapper as well. Most of the current flagships are headed towards the 16-megapixel sensor trend and it wouldn’t be surprising that the Mi4 might just follow suit. Oppomart and Xiaomiworld seem to think so and they even mentioned OIS being thrown in. Considering how new OIS is, that combined with the 16-megapixel sensor might not exactly be as cost friendly as we’d expect from Xiaomi. Add all the supposed specs mentioned above and either we’re going to be seeing a significantly more expensive Mi4, or Xiaomi has managed to bring cost down to an unprecedented low.

Supposed Image Sample taken from the Mi4 (Image from Gizmochina)
Supposed Image Sample taken from the Mi4 (Image from Gizmochina)

It’s more likely that it has a 13-megapixel camera and that seems to be the case according to this leak of sample images the camera on the Mi4. While it’s still not a 100% confirmed that the images were taken from the Mi4, the EXIF data on the images does seem to indicate that it did come from the Mi4.

So 16-megapixel camera with OIS? Highly unlikely

A sexy steel shell? Yes!

Now isn't that sexy
Now isn’t that sexy

There have been many so called leaks on what the Mi4 will supposedly look like. Most of them were either renders or photoshopped images of other phones (heck one of them was even a photoshopped Oppo). However with a recent post by Xiaomi  founder Lei Jun on Weibo, he basically confirmed that the we would be getting a metal bodied Mi4. In his own words he said “Austenitic (we figure it meant authentic, good job Google Translate) 304 stainless steel, strong anti-rust, corrosion resistance, have excellent plasticity and toughness, easy stamping”. This was followed by a shot of the back of what we figured was the Mi4.

Android KitKat and MIUI V6

MIUI logo_conew1

What’ definitely confirmed though is we can expect the Mi4 to have Android KitKat 4.4. And with that we’ll also likely see the company’s popular MIUI updated to V6. Currently the Mi3 is running V5 of the MIUI on Android 4.3 but it’s been known that the company has been testing a MIUI for Android 4.4. Considering that it is a new product and the company’s new flagship, it is logical that’ they’re likely to unveil V6 of their popular UI.

There was one pretty ridiculous rumour though that Xiaomi would actually forego Android and instead use their own MiOS.

Although MIUI is heavily customised, it’ll still be a stretch of the company to run an OS with very limited app support.

So when and how much?

22 July, remember the date
22 July, remember the date

Well we already know when the Mi4 is having its launch since its slated for 22 July.  When it’ll reach our shores though will most likely be hinted at during its Beijing launch. As for how much, we can’t really say. Based on the two grey market sites we mentioned earlier, the price seems to range between US$499 to US$599. Those prices are significant jump from the current RM769 of the Mi3.

It’s more likely that the price would be slightly hire then what’s being offered now, though it’ll likely maintain the sub-RM1000 price.

Meet JIBO, the world’s first family robot

jibo and coffee

jibo in the kitchen

JIBO is “the world’s first family robot”, from social robotics pioneer and MIT professor Cynthia Breazeal. The friendly, intelligent robot may offer a glimpse of what’s to come in our living room. The intriguing project is being crowdfunded at Indiegogo, where it has already exceeded its goal of US$100,000 with US$846,500 worth of backers so far.

Another Chinese maker is coming to town and it’s called Zopo

zopo zp1000

zopo

Yet another China smartphone maker is making a debut in Malaysia. In a couple of days (23 July, to be exact), Zopo Mobile Malaysia is expected to introduce its selected portfolio of products – ZP1000, ZP780 and ZP700; and the flagship ZP998.

The Motorola Moto E is coming to Malaysia in August

The entry level Moto E
The entry level Moto E
The entry level Moto E

Not too long after bringing in the LTE version of the Moto G in, Brightstar is set to bring another Moto phone into Malaysia come August. This time it’s the Moto E, which apparently, is built-to-last.

The Vivo Xshot is coming to Malaysia soon

Haven't heard of Vivo? You'll want to pay attention to this Chinese player after you see their Xshot
Haven't heard of Vivo? You'll want to pay attention to this Chinese player after you see their Xshot
Haven’t heard of Vivo? You’ll want to pay attention to this Chinese player after you see their Xshot

Xiaomi and Oppo aren’t the only two smartphone distrupters entering the Malaysian market. There’s also the lesser known Vivo and though you might dismiss it as another run-of-the-mill Chinese phone brand, think again. Their latest phone, the Vivo Xshot is coming to Malaysia and it’s packing a whole lot of snapper-centric features.

The International 2014 to be broadcasted on ESPN

The International is the biggest DOTA 2 tournament that is held yearly
The International is the biggest DOTA 2 tournament that is held yearly
The International is the biggest DOTA 2 tournament that is held yearly

You know DOTA 2 has hit the mainstream hard when a major sports channel like ESPN has decided to take notice.

Say goodbye to Microsoft Xbox Entertainment Studios

Don't worry you'll still be getting your Halo TV series and prequel
Don't worry you'll still be getting your Halo TV series and prequel
Don’t worry you’ll still be getting your Halo TV series and prequel

You read that right. Microsoft will be closing down the division that was to make Xbox-exclusive content. In recent days, Microsoft has announced a massive 18,000 downsizing exercise and looks like this division is one of the unlucky ones.

Check out the Coolest cooler, complete with its own blender

Everything but the kitchen sink's been thrown at this cooler
Everything but the kitchen sink’s been thrown at this cooler

All a cooler needs to do is to keep your brew or drinks cold right? Apparently this guy, Ryan Grepper of Portland, Oregon, thinks the simple cooler can do more and has thrown everything but the kitchen sink into his invention, the Coolest cooler.

Meet the new Captain America: Sam Wilson aka The Falcon

The man formerly known as The Falcon and now Captain America, Sam Wilson
The man formerly known as The Falcon and now Captain America, Sam Wilson
The man formerly known as The Falcon and now Captain America, Sam Wilson (Image by Marvel)

Yep you read that right. Good ol’ All American boy Steve Rogers isn’t going to be the American Avenger any longer and he’s passing on the red, white and blue spandex and shield to another one of his sidekicks, Sam Wilson better know as the Falcon.