Slow start for oil prices after U.S. GDP report

 A mixed report on U.S. GDP and stable incomes reported in the European economy gave only modest support for rallying crude oil prices in early Friday trading.

With second quarter earnings season under way, crude oil prices moved in mixed territory for much of the session Thursday, before settling up. Exxon Mobil said Friday its second quarter earnings of $3.4 billion were nearly double the level from the same time last year. Oil-equivalent production, however, was down 3 percent from last year.

Oil prices Thursday faced pressure after Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said the industry needed to adapt to life with oil trading in the $40 range. Exxon’s CEO Darren Woods said his priority was to create long-term value “regardless of market conditions.”

Data this week indicated steady demand increases in the United States, the world’s leading economy, as crude oil and gasoline inventories declined. A report Thursday from the American Petroleum Institute said June demandfor petroleum was the highest since 2007.

The price for Brent crude oil was up 0.64 percent at 9:15 EDT to $51.82 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was up 0.3 percent to $49.20 per barrel.

On the economic front, the U.S. Commerce Department said in its first estimate for the second quarter that gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent, better than the first quarter, but slower than the same time last year. First quarter GDP growth was revised lower from 1.4 percent to 1.2 percent for its weakest in a year.

In Europe, household income per capita improved over the fourth quarter, but consumption was stable in the first quarter of the year.

A report this week from Societe Generale said most indicators were bullish this week as oil product demand “remained very strong.” The summer travel season in the United States, which runs through September, usually results in strong demand for petroleum products, though SocGen said it was “cautious on crude” because of the expected decline in demand beyond September.

Crude oil prices may be influenced later in the day when drilling services company Baker Hughes releases its weekly report on exploration and production. Reported as rig counts, a loss could indicate pressure on crude oil prices from the supply side of the energy market is fading.


UK submarine completes upgrade, training period

HMS Astute, a hunter-killer submarine of Britain’s Royal Navy, has completed a major capability upgrade and sea training and is now back with the RN’s fleet.

“It has been a remarkable achievement getting Astute back to sea after a significant period alongside,” the vessel’s commanding officer said in press release.

“The ship’s company all performed incredibly over the past two years and we are now looking forward to operational tasking at sea.”

The training period included fire-fighting and damage control exercises and completion of weapon certification of its anti-surface and anti-submarine weapon system.

The Astute training phase included a simulated war environment and training alongside Canadian Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

HMS Astute completed her first operational deployment in 2014.

The nuclear-powered submarine, the first of her class, is about 318 feet in length. It has a submerged speed of about 35 miles per hour and carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as heavy torpedoes.


Marine Corps grounds KC-130T tanker fleet

he U.S. Marine Corps has ordered the grounding of its 12 KC-130T tanker and cargo aircraft as a precaution following the July 10 crash in Mississippi that killed 15 Marines and one sailor.

The order will not affect KC-130Js in Marine Corps service or variants in use by the Air Force and Navy. The grounding will be in place until further notice, the Marine Corps announced on Thursday.

Witness reports indicate that the plane spiraled into the ground following loud banging sounds. Debris from the aircraft has been found over several miles near the crash zone.

Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James, Commander of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, told reporters following the crash that something went wrong at cruising altitude.

The flight was carrying a team from the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion out of Camp Lejeune to a routine pre-deployment training mission at Marine Air Base Yuma, Ariz., and were carrying personal weapons and ammunition.

Bomb detection and disposal crews, including from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, have engaged in clearing the crash sites of possible unexploded ordinance, spokeswoman Josslyn Aberle told UPI.

“Our personnel are assisting with the crash site and providing whatever support is needed for any possible explosives,” Aberle said, but declined to comment on any types of ordinance or other hazardous material on board the aircraft due to the ongoing investigation.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Lieutenant Stephanie L. Leguizamon also declined to comment on whether the grounding was due to any results of the investigation of the crash or anything carried on board the aircraft playing a role in the explosion and crash.

The incident marks the deadliest aircraft accident since a transport helicopter crashed during a sandstorm in Iraq in 2005 killing 31.

The KC-130 is a variant of the C-130 Hercules designed for aerial refueling and cargo transport.


Huawei Sees Annual Smartphone Shipments Slowing With Focus on Profits Over Volumes

Huawei Sees Annual Smartphone Shipments Slowing With Focus on Profits Over Volumes


  • Huawei forecast smartphone shipments of 140 million-150 million this year
  • Even after a slump in shipments, CEO Yu said Huawei is not after volumes
  • He also hinted at upcoming Mate 10 series that’ll be an iPhone 8 rival

China’s Huawei Technologies forecast smartphone shipments of 140 million-150 million this year, a sharp slowdown in annual growth as the world’s third-largest smartphone maker chases profits instead of volumes by selling more high-end phones.

Shenzhen-based Huawei’s profit growth has been under pressure with its low margin smartphone business facing strong competition at home and abroad, forcing Huawei earlier this year to de-emphasise revenue growth.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, said on Thursday the company expected to ship 140 million-150 million smartphones for the full year compared to 73 million achieved in the first half.

ALSO SEEHuawei Leads China’s Smartphone Market as Xiaomi Pips Apple: Canalys

The full-year forecast would compare to the 139 million smartphones Huawei shipped last year, which was up 29 percent compared to the year before.

And though its smartphone shipments surged by more than a fifth in the first half, Yu emphasised that Huawei was not aiming for volumes.

“We want to focus on the high-end and mid-range market. We give up the ultra low-end,” he said, adding the average selling price of Huawei phones rose 28 percent in the first half.

Yu acknowledged intensifying competition at the high-end of smartphones from Apple Inc’s planned release of the iPhone 8 but said Huawei was well equipped to hold its ground.

“We have the Mate 10 series that can compete head to head against the iPhone 8,” Yu told reporters, referring to Huawei’s next premium flagship that is expected to be released in the fall. According to Yu, it will be superior to Apple’s anticipated smash-hit product with “much longer” battery life, “much faster” charging speed and better camera and photo-shooting algorithm.

Huawei plans to unveil this autumn an “AI processor” as it seeks to move from making smartphones to “intelligent phones”, Yu said.

“Huawei will launch our own AI processor. We could be the first phone maker in the world to introduce AI processor for our products,” he said, but declined to give more details or comment on whether that will be used for the Mate 10.

The company, which is also one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, posted on Thursday a 15 percent rise in first-half group revenue to CNY 283.1 billion ($42.03 billion), compared with a 40 percent rise last year. That represented the slowest first-half revenue growth for Huawei since 2013.

Its operating margin fell to 11 percent from 12 percent a year ago. Huawei does not release half-year profits.

Yu forecast the consumer business group’s full-year revenue at over $33 billion (roughly Rs. 2,11,825 crores), compared to about $26.7 billion (roughly Rs. 1,71,396 crores) last year.


Apple’s Anticipated AR Glasses Work in Tandem With the iPhone, Patent Hints

Apple's Anticipated AR Glasses Work in Tandem With the iPhone, Patent Hints


  • Patent shows how AR glasses can overlay information
  • It also shows how the glasses can work in tandem with the iPhone
  • Apple has been focusing a lot on AR technology

It has been clear for a while now that Apple is getting rid of the old (so long, iPod) and moving towards future technologies. Augmented reality, for example, is one of Apple’s main focuses today and news surrounding developments in AR has been plentiful. We’ve known for a while now that Apple has been working on AR glasses, but it’s still left to the imagination as to how he AR glasses will work. Now, a new patent application sheds some light on what we can expect from the future wearable.

A patent application by AR software developer Metaio, which was acquired by Apple back in 2015, recently surfaced under Apple. It shows a method for representing points of interests like a building or the inside of a car on an iPhone’s screen. The patent was first discovered by Patently Apple. In theory, Apple wants you to capture the environment via your iPhone’s camera and the screen would then overlay the context. The Cupertino giant also sees this technology coming into play for its AR glasses, wherein your eyes will see the environment, and the glass will overlay it with information.

ALSO SEEApple AR Glasses Hinted at in Leaked Safety Incident Document

ar glasses iphone patently apple apple

The report speculate based on the patent filing that Apple means to make this technology work for both the iPhone and the smart glasses in tandem. “The mobile device may perform an action related to at least one point of interest if at least part of the computer-generated virtual object blended in on the semi-transparent screen is overlapped by a user’s finger or device held by the user.” As far-fetched as this may sound, it does show that Apple is serious about where it sees AR going. Many of the patents filed don’t see the light of day so this could just be a pipe dream for now.

ALSO SEEARKit Could Be iOS 11’s Killer Feature: What You Need to Know to Get Started

It’s not just AR glasses. Apple at its recent developers conference announced iOS 11, Apple’s next big software update, which among other things goes big on augmented reality. The ARKit provides fast and stable motion tracking, ambient light estimation and so on which is made possible by using the sensors in the iPhone and iPad devices. This was followed by an acquisition of German company SensoMotoric that specialises in eye-tracking solutions. These can seen as Apple’s first steps towards laying the foundation for its smart glasses.


Moto X4 Price Leaks Ahead of Official Launch

Moto X4 Price Leaks Ahead of Official Launch


  • Moto X4 said to be priced at EUR 350 (roughly Rs. 26,500)
  • No launch date is certain as of now
  • The pricing likely to be around the Moto X Style’s that launched in 2015

Moto X4, the much-anticipated fourth-generation Moto X-series smartphone, was expected to be revealed earlier this week alongside Moto Z2 Force. That, however, didn’t happen, and now the European pricing of the unannounced Moto X4 has been tipped.

According to tipster Roland Quandt, the Moto X4 will be launched with a price tag of EUR 350 (roughly Rs. 26,500) for the European market. Quandt in a tweet claims that the said pricing of the Moto X4 is for Eastern Europe. Additionally, the leaked pricing only refers to a 32GB storage variant which may mean that there will one storage variant only. The rumoured pricing is notably is around the same mark when the last Moto X-series smartphone was launched. Back in 2015, the Moto X Style was launched at $399 (approximately Rs. 27,000). The Moto X4 is expected to be announced soon.

The rumoured Moto X4 has already been leaked in the past several times seemingly revealing the handset. Based on preliminary leaks, it will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and sport a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display.

Further, the Moto X4 is said to be powered by a Snapdragon 630 SoC, and launch in two variants – 3GB RAM/ 16GB storage and 4GB RAM/ 32GB storage. In terms of optics, the smartphone is likely to sport a 16-megapixel camera at the front. The Moto X4 is expected to come with a dual camera setup with a 12-megapixel and another 8-megapixel sensor at the back. Other rumoured features include NFC, IP68 rating for dust and splash resistance, and a 3800mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 via USB Type-C.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Motorola Moto X4

Motorola Moto X4

  • NEWS




2.2GHz octa-core

Front Camera



1080×1920 pixels




Android 7.1.1



Rear Camera


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Windows 10 Preview Build Now Lets Link Your Android Phone to Your PC

Windows 10 Preview Build Now Lets Link Your Android Phone to Your PC


  • Latest Windows 10 Insider Preview for PC now available
  • It helps link your Android phone to the PC
  • Support for iPhone expected to arrive soon

Microsoft at its Build conference, a few months back, talked about PCs and phones working together, and the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build for tablets and PCs brings it to life. The company’s latest Build 16251 for “Fast ring” users bring features that enable linking your Android phone to your PC. This is a follow-up to the company’s previous Apple Continuity-like feature for Windows 10. At Build, Microsoft revealed a brand new feature dubbed Pick up Where I Left Off (PWILO) that Microsoft apps will support out-of-the-box.

The all-new Build 16251 for PC is focused on cross-device web-browsing. Currently, Microsoft is releasing the feature for Android devices only while support for iPhone is expected to arrive soon.

Windows 10 Insider Preview users in “Fast ring” to get started can go to Settings > Phone and link your phone, after installing the new build on the PC. After adding the Android phone to be linked, users will receive an SMS from Microsoft directing to install a test app called Microsoft Apps for Android that completes the link between the phone and PC.

After the phone is linked, users can start browsing the Web on their phones. When a user at a website wants to view on the PC, simply tap on the “Continue on PC” option to invoke the native sharing experience. Once invoked, it will first ask users to sign in with their Microsoft account. The company says that users will have to use the same account they are using on their PC. Next it will ask users if they want to Continue now or Continue later.

If the former is chosen, the website will open on the linked PC. If the latter option is tapped, the website will show up under Action Center for users to get to later when they’re ready.

Apart from link feature, the new preview build also enhances Cortana’s ability to show Web search results without opening the browser. Microsoft says that for some questions Cortana will expand its pane to show the results. It works with movies, celebrities, stock prices, weather, and flight statuses, to name a few.

“If Cortana doesn’t have a quick answer for your query, the pane won’t automatically expand,” points out Microsoft. Additionally, Microsoft has enabled Cortana voice commands to perform some functions without the need to touch the PC. Currently, Cortana can perform lock, sign-out, shutdown, or turn off the PC. Users will need to use voice command, “Hey Cortana, restart PC” for restarting, and the same format for other functionalities.


Google Assistant on Over 100 Million Devices, as DeepMind AI Develops an Imagination

Google Assistant on Over 100 Million Devices, as DeepMind AI Develops an Imagination


  • Google Assistant now on over 100 million devices
  • DeepMind AI can use imagination to make informed decisions
  • AI in TensorFlow can analyse food ingredients

Google Assistant is a little over a year old now and it has already proven to be one of the best artificial intelligent assistants out there today. In fact, Assistant is now at the heart of almost all Google-owned products and is also being adopted by third-party developers at a rapid pace, so much so that Google CEO Sundar Pichai claimed this week that it is now supported on over a 100 million devices – also indicating the rollout to older versions of Android has been widespread. As AI-related news goes, Google’s DeepMind team also announced this week that it has developed new ways to introduce “imagination-based planning” to AI.

Pichai has lauded Google’s efforts in AI and also mentioned how its Assistant has vastly improved in the past one year, claiming an error rate that is now under 5 percent. Voice accuracy aside, the reason behind the growing adoption of Google Assistant has mainly been due to the fact that the company in December opened its AI to third-party developers and earlier this year made it available for Android Marshmallow users as well. However, Venture Beats notes that Google had mentioned the “100 million devices” back in May, and the company has not updated on the current numbers despite Assistant now making it to the iPhone.

In a recent earnings call, Pichai said, “People are no longer only using a keyboard, mouse, and multi-touch, but are also using emerging inputs like voice and camera to ask questions and get things done in the real world. We are seeing this in the way people interact with the Google Assistant, which is already now available on more than 100 million devices since launching last year, and there is more to come.”

Google’s other AI enterprise is DeepMind, and it has been making great strides in bringing AI closer to humans. One way to do that is by giving AI one of the biggest human characteristics there is: imagination. The team at DeepMind says it has developed ways in which AI can reason possible future outcomes and make decision based on that. It’s something we have already seen with regards to AlphaGo, which recently defeated Ke Jie at the ancient Chinese game of Go.

google deepmind imagination google

In a blog post, the DeepMind team says it has created “imagination-augmented agents,” or I2As, that have a neural network which learns to extract any information useful for the agent’s future decisions. These agents can learn to interpret their internal simulations, and can learn different strategies to construct plans. They can choose how they want to imagine by trying out different possible actions separately or together.

The researchers tested the I2As on the puzzle game Sokoban and a spaceship navigation game that requires planning and reasoning, and found that the I2As performed better than agents without the ability to plan and reason.

If that’s not enough, Google’s AI is also working on ways to help make baby food safer. A recent blog post by Kewpie’s Takeshi Ogino notes how the AI in TensorFlow helped Kewpie Corporation ensure food quality, by inspecting ingredients including diced potatoes it uses in baby food. The firm along with partner BrainPad fed around 18,000 photos of food into the machine learning system to recognise food ingredients. This resulted in a new perfect accuracy, managing to recognise more defective ingredients than even a human could. The technology is currently limited to Kewpie’s baby food, but the company hopes to use it with other foods as well.


Yu Yunique 2 to Go on Sale for First Time in India Today, via Flipkart

Yu Yunique 2 to Go on Sale for First Time in India Today, via Flipkart


  • Yu Yunique 2 price in India has been set at Rs. 5,999
  • Yu Yunique 2 will go on sale via Flipkart at 12pm IST
  • It will be available in two colour variants

Yu Yunique 2, the latest smartphone launched by Micromax subsidiary Yu Televentures, will go on sale for the first time in the country on Thursday. To recall, the smartphone had been launched in India earlier this week, and it will become available to buy at 12pm IST on Flipkart. It will be made available in Champagne and Coal Black colour variants. The smartphone features Truecaller integration, its highlight feature, apart from 4G VoLTE support, Android 7.0 Nougat, and a 13-megapixel rear camera at its price.

Yu Yunique 2 price in India

Yu Yunique 2 price in India has been set at Rs. 5,999, and it will be available in only one RAM/ storage variant – 2GB RAM, 16GB inbuilt storage. As we mentioned and the smartphone will go on sale at 12pm IST via Flipkart, and only be available in Champagne and Coal Black colour variants. Flipkart doesn’t appear to be providing any launch offers, but buyers will be able to avail 5 percent discount when using Axis Bank Buzz credit cards.

Yu Yunique 2 specifications

The dual-SIM (Micro) Yu Yunique 2 runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and sports a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, the Yu Yunique 2 bears a 13-megapixel rear camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel front camera. It sports 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 64GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS/ A-GPS, FM radio, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB port. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a proximity sensor. It runs on a 2500mAh battery, measures 145×72.7×9.15mm, and weighs 159 grams.

Yu Televentures is touting the metal back and premium styling of the Yu Yunique 2. As we mentioned, the Truecaller integration is its main USP, with Yu boasting of the built-in caller ID and spam detection, for dialling and messaging.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Yu Yunique 2

Yu Yunique 2

Rs. 5,999
  • NEWS




1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera



720×1280 pixels




Android 7.0



Rear Camera


Battery Capacity


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  • Yu Yunique 2 (Coal Black, 16GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 5,999


Copper hits its highest level in 2 years


Copper prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday to the highest in more than two years on expectations of strong economic growth in China and news of Chinese restrictions on scrap imports that would increase demand for imported refined copper.

A weaker dollar and forecasts of tight supplies supported price gains, said ABN AMRO analyst Casper Burgering.

But traders said gains faltered once European markets opened as investors cashed in on higher prices.

COPPER: Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.7 percent at $6,270 a tonne at 1036 GMT, having earlier touched $6,400, its highest since May 2015. The metal used in power and construction has gained more than 5 percent since July 20.

STOCKS: On-warrant stocks available to the market at LME-registered warehouses fell to 221,125 tonnes after 6,425 tonnes of cancellations, but were still up from a low of around 140,000 tonnes in May. <MCUSTX-TOTAL>

CHINA SCRAP BAN: Traders said prices rose on news that China could ban imports of some scrap metal, including copper, from the end of 2018. This would increase demand for imported refined copper.

BAN IMPACT: However, metals researcher Antaike said that the ban would likely affect less than 1 million tonnes of imports that market participants were speculating could be impacted.

CHINA GROWTH: Metals were also supported by a better demand outlook from China after second-quarter growth beat expectations and the International Monetary Fund raised the country’s 2017 growth forecast.

DEMAND: China accounts for nearly half of global copper consumption estimated at 23 million tonnes this year.

CHINA MARKETS: China’s securities regulator pledged on Wednesday to expand access to capital markets for all types of investors.

U.S. FED: The Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates unchanged in a decision to be announced at 1800 GMT.

CURRENCY: The U.S. dollar has weakened for five consecutive months, making dollar-priced metals cheaper for holders of other currencies.

FREEPORT: Indonesia has agreed with U.S. miner Freeport McMoRan Inc that any new operating permit for Grasberg, the world’s second-largest copper mine, will only be valid until 2021.

ANTOFAGASTA: Chile’s Antofagasta said copper production in the first half rose 7.1 percent and kept its full-year cost and output guidance.

PRICES: Aluminium was up 0.3 percent at $1,935.50 a tonne, nickel was 0.6 percent lower at $9,945, zinc was down 1 percent at $2,807, lead had lost 0.5 percent at $2,307 and tin was 0.1 percent higher at $20,320.