Even your phone can explode!

We are living in an era where people want every work to be done using mobile phone itself. As this demand increased, demand to have more storage space and long lasting battery power also increased. This led to the advancement in mobile technology. Since, phones are getting sleeker day by day, batteries also needed to be lighter and smaller in size. Technologies used in batteries of old mobile phones are not environment friendly, so batteries with less toxic substances have become necessity. Lithium-ion batteries are one among them and widely used nowadays. Even though it is environment friendly, lighter and holds more energy, recently it started seeing breakdown because of its unexpected explosion.

Lithium-ion batteries contain two electrodes on opposite sides. One electrode known as cathode holds positively charged ions and filled with lithium. Other electrode is called as anode and holds negatively charge ions. These electrodes are submerged in a liquid or paste called an electrolyte. When a phone is being charged, positively charged ions flow from cathode to anode. When a battery is being used, the ions flow the other way. During this flow, it is highly recommended that the anode and cathode should never touch to prevent redirection of energy to electrolytes. Manufacturers insert separators in between to avoid this collision. But because of flaws in separators, electrodes come into contact and results in fire. This is said to be the reason for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explosion.

Overcharging or quick charging also leads to battery failures. Dan Steingart, a materials scientist at Princeton University says battery is like a rubber band. Stretching a rubber band is similar to charging your phone whereas releasing a rubber band is similar to using your phone. If a rubber band is being stretched too much, there is a chance of it breaking. In the same way, if too much of lithium goes to anode, there is a chance of explosion. Since, we want battery to be charged quickly, we go for the chargers of higher volts though it is not compatible with the battery. This might lead to battery failure. So it is preferred to use chargers of same manufacturers as of battery makers. Steingart also explains the problem of quick charging by referring batteries to two egg crates. For a battery to function properly, lithium ions need to flow slowly between the spaces of two egg crates. If lithium ions move too quickly, then it will deposit itself on the outside of the egg crate and then onto itself. This results in battery short out if lithium ions move faster every time while charging.

To overcome the above problems, advanced battery chemistries such as lithium-sulphur and lithium-silicon are being worked on. Scientists are also developing an electrolyte by name “ionic liquids” which won’t explode easily. A company by name “Sakti3” came up with  solid-state battery where the liquid electrolyte in the battery is replaced by a solid substance. Company says it can store over 1,000 watt hours per litre, which is almost double of the traditional lithium-ion batteries available today with an energy density of up to 620 watts per hour per litre. This batteries are said to be cheaper, long lasting and more environment friendly than lithium-ion batteries. Solid-state batteries also overcome safety issues around the explosive nature of liquid batteries. Even though new technologies are evolving, lithium ion batteries are widely used nowadays and its upto us to follow some precautions while charging our phones until new technologies are accepted by current market.

Humans are not leaping bunnies

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” Hello! Mr. Bunny Rabbit,
Will you have some tea?
Oh! No thank you. Not for me.
I’d rather have a carrot.
But I won’t have tea. “

Who haven’t heard this rhyme? Rabbits are shy and sensitive creature loved by all. Though they rest in burrows, they have acute sense of hearing. Being herbivorous, they are human’s favourite pet. But the same pet is harmed in the name of animal testing. They are caged in laboratories and made to suffer in the name of science.

A test by name “Draize” is conducted on rabbits to test chemicals used in cosmetic products from more than 70 years. In the eye version of the test, chemicals are dripped onto their eyes without pain relief and observed for any eye irritation. If no eye damage is reported, then those chemicals will be washed out from their eye and retested with different chemicals. Rabbits with damaged eye will be killed with cruelty-free tag. This is not the end of cruel act, they are also subjected to skin test where chemicals are rubbed on shaved skin of rabbit’s back and monitored for any skin reaction.

Not only rabbits, many different species such as mice, rats, frogs, fish, pigs, hamsters, farm animals, birds, cats, dogs, monkeys and chimpanzees are used for the purpose of animal testing. It is estimated that more than 100 million animals are used each year across the world. An USDA report of 2010, gives information on number of animals used in research. Amongst those animals, most of them are killed after the completion of experiment and few die during the process of testing. This merciless killing is legal in more than 80 percent of the world.

Even though we are aware of 21st century technology which provides many alternatives for animal testing, still many countries are following this cruel act. Japanese scientists have developed an artificial human cornea that could replace draize eye test. Similarly, small discs of human skin cells grown in laboratories can be used instead of rabbit’s skin. This method has been accepted and validated by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Since these alternative methods are time consuming and expensive, there are thousands of other ingredient which are safe to use in cosmetic products and does not require any testing. Many cruelty free organisations such as leapingbunny.org and crueltyfreeinternational.org have come up with an idea of providing animal friendly products to user.  So, its high time to put an end to such a misery. In 2013, European Union banned animal-tested products for the cosmetics industry and recently in India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare prohibited the use of draize tests using rabbits. Hope rest of the world follows the same and save the lives of animals.

Game of Secrets

There used to be days where people were fascinated by postcards. Receiving any post card from our loved ones meant a lot to us. It had nothing but few lines of text which described everything what sender wanted to convey. But now, we have moved into an era where postcards are replaced by instant messages. Though we were able to send and receive the messages in an instant, people demanded for something more. This resulted in the evolution of cute emojis and the rain of love poured to it. Since there are many instant messaging apps available in the app market, every app tried to look unique by providing few uncommon features in it. Facebook messenger being one among them, came up with extra special features which they have kept hidden. Though the reason behind hiding it is unsure, it makes the user cheerful when they come across such features luckily. They tried to hide few such features behind emojis and commands.

Did you know sending football emoji to your friend in Facebook Messenger, opens up football game for you? Yes, it does. Euro 2016 inspired Facebook to develop this game which can be played by average footballer. User just have to send football emoji to his mate and tap on it, this opens a new window where he can spend his time playing football. This provides hours of fun.

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Similarly, sending basket ball emoji to your friend opens up basket ball court where you and your friend can play basket ball in the chat window and the highest score will be logged in the same chat. These games are quite addictive.

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One can even play chess in the same chat window, but no chess emojis are provided for that. By simply typing “@fbchess play” , opens up a new chess board and the game is on. In this game, user can also access help text by typing “@fbchess help”.

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Other than games, One can also view loveable pictures of pets by typing “@dailycute” which helps in lifting one’s emotional state. This experiment made by Facebook messenger saw a great leap in market. Basketball game was played 1.2 billion times and exceeded the company expectation. This made them to launch 17 new ‘instant games’ in it. This instant games are available on newer version of iOS and android devices. This games can be found by clicking on game controller icon next to photos and stickers. So not only  ‘whats up?’, we can do many more with Facebook Messenger. This is why it is such a big hit.

140 Means 140

This heading might confuse you for a while, but the person who keeps tweeting knows about this 140 tragedy. Yes, This is regarding twitter character limit issue. Twitter is one among many online social networking service where people tweet their thoughts about anything which can be seen by the world instantly. Twitter was created 10 years ago on 2010 and as of March 2016, Twitter has more than 310 million monthly active users. This shows its popularity among online users.

Out of all the advantages, Twitter had one major drawback of setting character limit to 140. This made users to rethink while tweeting larger posts. They had to remove unnecessary words or abbreviate words like “to” to 2 using numbers or upload the screenshots of their thought. This is what Twitter’s CEO and founder Jack Dorsey had to say about this 140 characters constraint in Los Angeles Times in 2009: “But SMS allowed this other constraint, where most basic phones are limited to 160 characters before they split the messages. So in order to minimise the hassle and thinking around receiving a message, we wanted to make sure that we were not splitting any messages. So we took 20 characters for the user name, and left 140 for the content. That’s where it all came from.”

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At the time of creation, Twitter imposed the same constraint on direct messages as well. But,the cap on direct messages was removed last year, allowing users to send messages up to 10,000 characters in private between themselves. This year, Twitter rolled out a major change on character limit of their tweets. This change was first announced in May and it already implemented few of the changes such as including attachments like GIFs, pictures,videos,quoted tweets and polls will no longer be counted towards the character restriction. Twitter also said the usernames would not count anymore allowing more space for the users to write. This helps to have a long public conversation with no abbreviations. Below image from Twitter Developer documentation shows the tweet structure in detail.

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By simplifying tweets and direct messages, it encourages new users to use this platform and also helps in retaining old tweeters.

Apple’s Glowing Trophy

With so many developers designing and developing millions of app for Apple’s app store, all might be curious to know which app tops in terms of design, number of downloads, rating and User experience. Every year Apple answers this question in WWDC by rewarding “Apple Design Award (ADA)” to qualified apps. Earlier this award was known as “Human Interface Design Excellence (HIDE) Award” and winners of this design award will receive some gifts from Apple, a trophy with a glowing Apple logo in it and will also be featured in their respective App Stores.

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This year being the nineteenth year, Glowing trophy has reached the worthy winners in Apple Worldwide Developers Conference held on June,2016. Apple selected only twelve apps among millions from iOS and mac app store.

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Auxy Music Creation (iPad only) – A simple music app for making modern music. You can create your own synth and drum loops and share your beats. It is available for free.

Chameleon Run (iOS) – A game which is unique, fast and challenging autorunner with a colorful twist. Cost of this app is $1.99.

Complete Anatomy (iOS) – A free medical app that lets us experience world’s most advanced anatomy learning platform. It is the perfect platform for medical students, medical professionals and lifelong learners.

djay Pro (iPad) – A paid music app that provides complete toolkit for performing DJs for $19.99.

Frame.io (OS X) – A free video app that lets you upload your Final Cut Pro X media to Frame.io’s cloud-based collaboration platform to share projects or clips with your team, anywhere in the world.

INKS. (iOS) – A game which combines the joy of pinball with skilful tactical challenges, and allows you to create wondrous works of art as the ball smashes around the canvas. It costs $1.99 to use this app.

Lara Croft Go (iOS) – A game which is a turn based puzzle-adventure where you play as the popular character Lara Croft. It costs $4.99 to play this game.

Streaks (iPhone and Apple Watch) – A productivity app that helps you to create to-do list to form good habits. Streaks works with the Apple Health app to help you achieve your fitness goals. It is a paid app of  $3.99.

Ulysses Mobile (iOS) – A productivity app that gives you a uniquely streamlined toolset for all your writing needs. It is said to have the best text editor in the world. This app costs $24.99.

Zova Personal Trainer (iPhone and Apple Watch) – A free health and fitness app that inspires and motivates you with workouts and training plans across a variety of styles including circuit, strength, tabata, HIIT and yoga.

Student Winners:

Linum (iOS) – A free  puzzle where your goal is to Land Nodes on the Landing Points.

Dividr (iOS) – A free 2D arcade game where you need to get the highest score possible by surviving for as long as you can.

More details can be found in Apple developers console.

3 Giants ruling the internet world

If some one asks what are the most common apps used by you, Our immediate response will be Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp. Some might add few other names to the same list as well. But most of the internet world is consumed by these three giants. And the amazing part is, all of them are owned by the single company Facebook.

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Facebook being the oldest among three, it has 1.65 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2016 according to Statista. This app was not built with an intension of gaining such a popularity. It was developed by Mark Zuckerberg along with his college roommates while studying psychology at Harvard University and it went live on 2004. Within a few hours of going live, the site was fully stormed by Harvard, and within a few years, it occupied the entire globe making its founder the youngest billionaire in the world. At later stage, this site got ported into mobile phones. People not only got to know what their friends are doing but also were able to chat any time. Following this, they planned of detaching its messaging feature into a complete separate app, since the primary purpose of the Facebook app is News Feed. They named it as ‘Messenger’ on August 2014. Though people were forced to download this app initially, but then they started admiring it.

Apart from Facebook, Brian Acton and Jan Koum came up with an elegant and simple to use messaging app known as WhatsApp. It was developed by a small team of engineers and reached 1 billion of monthly active users worldwide as of February 2016. One may not come across a smart phone with no WhatsApp in it. This shows the popularity earned by them. Knowing all this, Facebook planned of buying it for $19 billion and successfully bought it on February, 2014. After it has been acquired by Facebook, features such as end-to-end encryption are added to it and we are waiting for some more.This is not the end, Facebook has gobbled up roughly 50 companies since 2005. Out of which WhatsApp, Instagram are the notable ones.

“Facebook is not one thing,”  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The New York Times in April 2014. As Zuckerberg realised the way in which Facebook is playing the vital role in user’s daily life, he started adding some innovative features in it. Currently they have come up with a new feature known as ‘Facebook Live’ where people are allowed to broadcast their live videos. This feature has been in testing for a few months and celebrities were asked to make some inspiring live videos of them. Love of people started pouring to this innovation as well. As Facebook will never remain stagnant, we are hoping for some more features in the upcoming versions.

Apple urges organ donation

This headline might have raised a few eyebrows out there. Innovative way of pleading user’s to donate their organ will be done by Apple soon. Yes, Apple is going to add this feature in their next update. Health app, which is already pre-installed on every iPhone device will be updated to have a simple button that registers the user for organ donation. This app is already playing an important role among people who cares about keeping themselves fit and healthy. Donate Life America, a nonprofit national donation registry is working with Apple to implement this major update in Health app.

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There are many apps related to organ donation in Android and iPhone, but none can beat this because user need not install it separately. This will be an addition to the app’s popularity. One might think what is the reason behind this major update. It goes back to Steve Jobs illness. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had to wait for long to have his liver transplantation in 2009. Looking at the situation, CEO Tim Cook himself offered to donate part of his own liver, although Jobs refused. Taking all this into consideration, Cook placed this update in its next release.

At present, signing up as a organ donor will be available only to United States based iPhone’s. Hopefully, they may extend it to other countries based on the complications in rules and regulations of organ donation found there. In United States, an average of 22 people die everyday waiting for organ transplantation. This update will definitely help them in finding the donor at the earliest.

Save life..Save Humanity..

Long Live The App

People around the globe are submerged by millions of app being uploaded to app store. People reach out to their smart phones rather than computers to perform their task easily because of its quick accessibility. Nowadays almost everything is possible in such a small gadget. With no apps in it, a smart phone can be called as dead. As the number of people using smartphone increased, the demand for new apps also kept flourishing. This opened the door for thousands of startups who were eager to feed the hungry smartphone users. There are few companies such as Uber, Ola, Netflix who rely completely on their app to market their business. You will be horrified by looking at the app store stats displayed in Pocketgamer.biz. This clearly pictures the importance played by apps in our daily life.

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[Source: Pocketgamer.biz]

Initially mobiles were offering few common apps such as calendar, calculator, e-mail, weather and stock market. But as the demand for apps kept increasing, they started offering the apps that are in current trend. Out of default apps provided by mobile companies, games are said to be the most used app among them. By looking at this, one cannot blindly say that people are into gaming only, there are various other sectors that are extensively used by them as per the stats provided by Statista.

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Exploring the app store will let us know the increasing demand of apps in almost all areas of life. Developers are puzzled on what to develop next. They can find their ideas already available in store with so many similar suggestions. Social apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter will never be out of smartphone although its size keeps increasing in every update. They have spelled a magical addiction on each of its user. But there are few out standing apps which still manages to make space in user’s smartphone memory which is about to play ‘out-of-memory’ warning tone soon. Instagram, Uber, Pokémon Go, Reddit, LinkedIn etc., comes under such category. All this make us realise how we are surrounded by apps everywhere and pretending to live in real world. Even though apps are said to be the most common productivity killer, one might find himself trapped with no one to play around. Thus, Long live the app.

Emojis are also demanding gender equality!

Yes, what you read just now is true. Since humans are tied up to technology these days, along with them the products used by them are also given high priority. This headline describes the extent to which they are prioritised. Till date, we have come across various news regarding people fighting for equality in several norms of life. But this sounds amusing. Even before emojis started screaming for their rights, Google came up with its new proposal. They aimed at promoting gender equality among emoji characters. Google team presented 13 new designs for female emojis at Unicode Consortium. Out of which 11 got approved by Unicode.

People changed their gaze towards keyboards having cute emojis in them rather than settling with plain keyboard. Some keyboards also come with an option to download favourite emoji characters. This shows how emojis have become part of present day communication and how they gained popularity among smartphone users.

As women kept leaping in almost every area of work, the proposal made by Google seems fairer. “No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before,” the four Google workers wrote in their proposal. At present female emojis are focused mainly in beauty sector.

First lady Michelle Obama tweeted last month saying she would love to see a girl studying emoji. It has been noted in Google’s proposal. Now Google team selected few professions in their new female emoji proposal. List consisted of female farmer, manufacturer, nurse, teacher, chef etc., of different skin tone.

It is said that new set of emojis will be released by the end of this year. Hope this will be a new way of empowering women and respecting the different roles played by them in real life.

Augmented reality – I can see you coming

How do you feel when any super hero or television character you love comes in front of you? Such feeling of euphoria can be achieved by using augmented reality. Now this might sound interesting. We are living in the era where technology can do almost anything. We are surrounded by gadgets everywhere which not only seeks our attention constantly but also made us couch potatoes. They have become our new sensory organs. Very first question people ask when they visit other’s place will be, “Whether any wifi connection is available here?”. This is how humans are tied up to technology. Especially after people became aware of augmented reality and virtual reality products out there, crave to go and get it increased.

Among those two, technology used behind augmented reality interested me. It uses the existing environment and adds some new object to it. Thus, giving us a feeling of better life. Where as in virtual reality, a completely different artificial environment is created and mesmerises the person using it. Although the term “augmented reality” was coined in 1990, many were not familiar with it until it made its entry in mobile application. Such mobile applications typically use GPS (Global Positioning System) to get user’s current location and time information and  create wonders. One can simply point their mobile phones’s camera on the film poster and view the trailer or get some discounts on movie fare. People need not carry any dictionaries or translators along with them because augmented reality does their work easier. You have to focus your mobile’s camera on the text or paragraph which you want to be translated and get the real time response quickly.

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With augmented reality one can also try tattoos, make-up’s and ornaments on them even before going to the store. If you are planning of buying a new home or refurbishing the older one, then interior related tasks will be handled by augmented reality apps. It lets you place new furnitures and wardrobes in the living room without even leaving the home. This has also brought smile on sky watcher’s face. One can simply gaze their mobile’s camera skyward at night to view any matching constellations and planets and get more information about it. This is not the end. There are lot more apps in android and iOS  App store which you can download and try it out yourself.