The Power is in Our Hands

Changes only get made when enough people care about an issue and put their heads together to form a collective solution. For the people in my neighborhood, the problem was the high prices that we were paying on our energy bills. No matter what we did to use less energy, the prices would never budge. We had a suspicion that the power company was monitoring our energy usage incorrectly, but we couldn’t prove it. We held a meeting to find a solution, and discovered that we all had the power to choose Texas energy companies besides the one that we had grown dissatisfied with over the years.

The idea that we could even move to another company was something that we hadn’t considered, because we weren’t aware of the existence of any other companies. The concept of another company bringing energy to our homes was hard to wrap our heads around, but it was possible. I wonder if our energy company had done something to prevent us from knowing about the other companies. I’ve never seen any advertisements for these other companies on television or through the mail. The power company would have to pay every local television station a lot of money to block advertisements.

Since there were three other companies to chose from, we left the decision up to the people of the neighborhood. They all had the chance to look at what each company offers and decide which one gives them the most bang for their buck. No

Dissolving Implants Could Monitor the Brain One Day, Rat Study Shows


Tiny, wireless, electronic implants that melt away in the body could one day help doctors monitor the brain, new research in rats suggests.

Similar devices could be used elsewhere in the body, potentially as a way to deliver medicine to targeted locations, the scientists said in the study.

Electronic implants can now help treat everything from heart attacks to traumatic brain injuries. For instance, pacemakers can help keep the heart beating properly, while brain sensors can monitor patients for potentially dangerous swelling and pressure in the brain. [5 Crazy Technologies That Are Revolutionizing Biotech]

However, standard permanent electronic implants can pose risks to patients because these devices can become sites of infection, researchers said. Such afflictions can trigger immune responses and result in complications associated with their surgical removal.

Now, scientists working with rats have developed new implants that can monitor brain activity and then dissolve, or “resorb,” a few weeks after implantation.

“We are excited because this work demonstrates a new kind of implantable electronic device, with a key unique feature — complete bioresorbability — that opens up many possibilities for its use in improving health outcomes for patients,” study senior author John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,told Live Science.

The researchers developed silicon-based sensors, each about the size of a grain of rice (up to 0.2 inches, or 6 millimeters, long). These devices are made of extremely thin sheets of silicon, which are naturally biodegradable and can record pressure and

Tweets and Reddit posts give snapshot of our changing language


Bootyful, cyw, scrims. Do you know these words? If not, you soon might. They are some of the fastest growing words from online niches around the world, as identified by new software that charts the rise of language online.

Bootyful, an alternative spelling for beautiful, has had a dramatic rise in usage on Twitter in South Wales. Cyw (coming your way) has become popular in the north of the country. Scrims comes from gaming forums, where it refers to practice sessions before competitive games.

The software that found these words was developed by Daniel Kershaw and his supervisor, Matthew Rowe, at Lancaster University, UK. Kershaw and Rowe took established methods lexicographers use to chart the popularity of words, translated them into algorithms, then applied them to 22 million words worth of twitter and Reddit posts.

Their goal is to peer into the niche portions of the internet, and chart novel language making its foray out into the mainstream. “If we see an innovation taking off on Reddit or Twitter, the question is what point is it going to appear in a newspaper,” says Rowe.

Kershaw and Rowe’s algorithms don’t just pick out frequently used words, but words that have gone through a sudden rise in popularity. This comes with some complications. The five fastest rising words in central London for the period they studied were all Spanish or Portuguese, unlikely to be reflecting the reality of London’s language

Climate change credibility tool shows what news you can trust


Climate change credibility tool shows what news you can trust

“GLOBAL warming is the greatest scam in history.” Denialist headlines like this one litter the internet, confusing the public and frustrating climate scientists.

That frustration prompted Emmanuel Vincent at the University of California, Merced, to create Climate Feedback, a tool that lets climate scientists review journalists’ reports on the subject and give each story a credibility score.

The system uses a web annotation browser extension called Hypothesis to enable an invited group of climate scientists to comment on words, sentences or data points within media stories. Anyone who installs the plug-in can see the additional layer of commentary.

“Highlight misinformation, and it sends a visual cue to the reader to be cognitively on guard”

For example, one Forbes article headlined “Updated NASA Data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice Retreat” has 33 comments from nine scientists who have given it the lowest possible credibility score. The piece, one of the site’s most popular climate stories of 2015, “contains many invalid and unjustified claims”, says Jan Lenaerts, who studies polar climate and ice sheets at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. It’s not the first attempt to fact-check the internet. Other tools include email fact-checker LazyTruth and web page annotation tool Truth Goggles, but all of them reach just a self-selecting few, says Matt Stempeck, who created LazyTruth. Getting Google to take these annotations into account when ranking search results would let initiatives like Climate Feedback make more

Solution for Urgent Need

Needs of every human are unlimited. There are many kinds of needs that we have to complete in our life. The needs here can be different from one person to another person because the condition of each person can be different too. For instance, the needs of a single woman can be different compared to the married woman. When they have got married, there are many complex needs that they have to complete. That is why in this situation, the needs of everyone can be varied because the condition and the situation are different too. The needs here will have the close relation with the money or the financial condition. If you have the good financial condition, I am sure you will not have this kind of worries. You will have the good condition for your living and you do not need to be afraid with the condition of your living.

But if you are not so that lucky or let say that you are not in the good financial condition, what will you do? Of course you need to manage your financial wisely. You need to be careful in using your money, including for controlling the outcome too. When you are lack of the financial, you need to find out the good and the recommended money loans. Here we have small loan online that you can try to search to get the deal about the money loans.

Here are some good reasons why you

TOP 5 games for PlayStation 4 (PS4), which you should the console for

On November 15, 2013, the new console from Sony, PlayStation 4, was officially launched in North America and it was a huge release. So today, we have decided to make a list of five exclusive games for PS4 that might make you buy Playstation 4 online.

Initially, the PS4 price was lower compared to the Xbox competitor, and it was promised that the system would allow gamers to play used games as well. Of course, it helped a lot to promote the sales, and, in truth, little has changed since then.

Three years after its release, PlayStation 4 has collected an impressive library of video games and although the lineup of exclusives, according to the company itself, is quite modest, during this time, Sony has established reasonable versatile partnerships and now reissues some of the most successful hits for PS3. Yet, the exclusives have helped the company increase the sales of the console. Here are the TOP 5 best exclusives, which it is worth buying the gaming system for.

Infamous: Second Son

During the last weeks prior to its release, Infamous: Second Son was probably the most anticipated exclusive for PlayStation 4. The game successfully transferred the popular franchise to the new generation of the console, representing a rapid action game with great graphics, with which the powerful hardware of the new game system coped well. The fans of the series may be interested in a separate addition called Infamous: First Light, which provides

5 Cleaning Tips to Save Hours of Time

While cleaning your home can be thankless, time-consuming work, it doesn’t have to be as bad as it usually is. Once you use the right insights, you could spend far less time cleaning than you should.

For instance, do you clean your kids’ toys by hand?

Certainly, you would put your kids’ soft toys in the washing machine and use a delicate wash program. What about those Lego blocks, Barbie dolls and other regular toys? They do get grimy with only a little use. The answer is to throw them all in the dishwasher. Fisher-Price actually recommends the dishwasher for all non-electronic toys. It helps both clean and sanitize.

Don’t use grease removing products for your walls and cabinets

Walls and cabinets in the kitchen are grease magnets. Fingerprints can get all over them and turn into layers of tough, unsightly grime. You can’t use oven cleaner on any of these surfaces, and the usual approach — applying soap and a plastic scrubber — can be laborious. It’s far easier when you go natural — simply use baking soda or vinegar. You’ll get those stains off very quickly, and with no scratches. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are another option. Melamine foam is a surprisingly gentle and effective grease cutter.

Clean your microwave with water vapor

If you’re like most people, the inside of your microwave looks extremely unsanitary with all kinds of dried up food spatters covering every surface. While you might get

No Diving Board? No Problem

Fifteen years ago, roughly 90% of all swimming pools had diving boards. Today, like phone booths and paper maps, diving boards are almost unheard of. Diving boards are still available for most pools, but homeowners are overwhelmingly choosing not to install them. In fact, only about 15% pools now have a diving board of any kind.

Part of the decline in popularity of diving boards has resulted from changes in insurance rates and the impression that diving boards are not safe. Another reason for the decline, however, is that a multitude of pool accessories, toys, and entertainment features have replaced diving boards. Here are a few of the things that have helped to end the reign of diving boards.

Pool Sports

Volleyball is, perhaps, the most popular of all pool sports, but volleyball is far from the only game that can be played in a pool. Football, basketball, and even golf (in the form of floating golf greens) can now be played in and around a swimming pool. Fountain Blue Pools keeps track of the myriad of pool entertain options, like modified skateboards and even rock climbing walls, that are being developed every year. There seems to be no end in sight for water-based versions of some of our favorite games.

Poolside Kitchens

Having a swimming pool these days is less about making a big splash and is more about creating a tranquil outdoor area. While pools are still used for

Best States to Retire In

There are many factors to consider when choosing a location to retire. For some people, their biggest concern is what kind of taxes they can expect to pay. Others primarily concerned about the type of care they will receive. Other retirees find that they now have the time to pursue endeavors for which they previously didn’t have, and want to make sure they are relocating to a state that provides them the playground for which they are looking.

Income Tax-Free States

First, let’s look at taxes. If you plan on having income other than social security during retirement, you will seriously want to consider a state that has no income tax. There are seven to be precise: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Retirees are usually living on a fixed income, so it can be crucial to retain as much of your income as possible. They have worked hard for this money and have already paid their dues to the tax system.

Availability of Health Care

Another important factor to consider when picking the best state to retire in is availability of healthcare. Some of these states like Alaska and Wyoming are not going to have access to the best healthcare due to their smaller populations. If you stay in perfect health throughout retirement, this may work well for you, but most retirees prefer something with good access to a large network of hospitals, specialists, and facilities for senior assisted living in Jackson

Indications Your Spouse is Unfaithful

There are no definitive clues when it comes to a cheating partner. Anything that points to a potential affair could have perfectly justified reasoning.

With that said, there are several factors to look out for if you suspect your spouse is unfaithful. The six classic signs discussed below will help you spot a partner that might be cheating.

  1. Dressing Better

According to Martinelli Investigations, one of the leading cheating spouse private investigators in Atlanta, the top sign of a cheating spouse is an immediate change in dress. Particularly a transformation from casual outfits to upscale ones. Suddenly using a different cologne or perform is another sign.

  1. Protecting Cellphone

Guarding your cellphone is a perfectly natural behavior – just not when it’s a sudden change. If your spouse suddenly starts bringing their cellphone everywhere with them, including the bathroom, then something might be up. If you’re not allowed to even touch their phone, the chances of infidelity go up even more.

  1. Password Protecting Everything

Password protection is a smart idea in this day and age. Yet when it happens suddenly, there is reason to worry. This is especially true if your spouse refuses to give you the password to their devices.

  1. New Credit Cards

Has your spouse taken out new credit cards in their name? Experts agree this is a common sign of cheating. It’s a way for them to spend money on their new

Anyone Can Be A Martian In Virtual Reality

Let’s just say I’m no Mark Watney. The hero of Ridley Scott’s film The Martian knew how to survive alone on Mars after his crew left him for dead and blasted off on their journey back to Earth. Watney, an astronaut-botanist played by Matt Damon, figured out how to repair his space helmet, jury-rig a power source, build a greenhouse, and grow potatoes in sterile soil—a real Martian MacGyver.

As for me, I’m having trouble simply tossing Watney’s tubers into bins marked Large and Small. Everything in my field of vision indicates I’m in a Martian habitat. In reality, I am at the Twentieth Century Fox Innovation Lab in Los Angeles, comfortable in a leather D-Box motion-simulator chair, a game controller in each hand, an Oculus Rift on my head, breathing pleasantly air-conditioned Earth air as I test-drive The Martian VR Experience.

My POV is from Watney’s helmet as I stand in his makeshift greenhouse adjacent to the Hab, trying to grasp simulated potatoes with my simulated gloved hands. Frustrated by my fumbling, I take a moment to admire the 360-degree views of the orange and red wasteland beyond the dusty plastic walls of the greenhouse. Spectacular. Is this what humans will some day gaze upon as they slip the surly bonds of Earth and dance . . .? Hold the reverie; I’m timing out. I return to the task at hand, improving my dexterity with the smaller spuds and scattering the bigger ones all over the greenhouse while knocking over equipment

Chinas Quantum Satellite Could Change Cryptography Forever

In the age of relentless cyberattacks and global electronic surveillance, nations and citizens are looking for any means to secure their communications. China is poised to launch a project that may provide the path to an uncrackable communications system, by turning messages quantum and taking them into space. The new Quantum Space Satellite (QUESS) program is no mere science experiment. China is already becoming a world leader in quantum communications technology; a satellite that delivers quantum communications will be a cornerstone for translating cutting-edge research into a strategic asset for Chinese power worldwide.

Cryptography operates through the use of an encryption key (such as a numbers pad), which, when applied to an encryption algorithm, can be used to decrypt or encrypt a message. Quantum entanglement is the act of fusing two or more particles into complementary “quantum states.” In such states, no particle can be independently described, instead the particles exist in a hazy shared quantum state that “collapses” when observed. Quantum encryption thus takes advantage of this feature, using it to detect would-be eavesdroppers, whose presence causes quantum states to collapse and reveal their spying to legitimate parties. Additionally, the complexity of quantum mechanics makes it virtually impossible to reverse engineer the quantum key generated through quantum entanglement.

Quantum keys are thus theoretically impossible to crack by even quantum computing — a theoretical form of supercomputing that promises to defeat traditional forms of encryption. (It is important to note, however, that all is not perfectly secure. Quantum secured communications, like other

Facebook And WhatsApp Back Apple In Fight For Encryption

The battle for the right to strong encryption rages on. First we saw Apple have to defend their users’ right to privacy regarding the iPhone involved in the San Bernardino shooting. With one of the shooter’s iPhone 5C units in FBI custody, the government requested that Apple create a tool that weakens iPhone security—to which they said no. Repeatedly. Now the CEO of Facebook-owned app WhatsApp Jan Koum and the social network king himself, Mark Zuckerberg, are backing Apple’s decision.

The recurring theme of tech companies’ battle with the government over encryption seems to be more data, more problems. Facebook, with its 1.5 billion users, is no stranger to that. And nowadays WhatsApp is a huge part of that, having accrued over a billion users itself. With an app as widely used as WhatsApp, many courts have sought out the data trapped in the app. Brazil may be the most extreme case, where—due to WhatsApp’s choice not to comply with a court order in a criminal case—the government shut down the app for a day and arrested Facebook’s VP in Latin America. In light of Apple’s situation with the FBI, WhatsApp’s Koum spoke up on the issue, via Facebook status:

The purpose of security is to safeguard privacy. Billions of people share their most personal, intimate information using services like ours, and they expect all of us to keep it safe from criminals and other bad guys. Asking a single company to undermine the security of its product for an investigation threatens

Soft Wormbot Tries Out New Light-Up Skin

Cephalopods have some pretty incredible biological adaptations that mere mortals can only hope to emulate. One of those is the ability to see with their skin, no eyes necessary. So scientists are using this natural design to help develop new flexible smart sensors known as hyperelastic light-emitting capacitors (or HLECs).

In a paper published in the journal Science this week, researchers from Cornell University and Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia describe a new electroluminescent material that is as stretchable as an undulating octopus, while still emitting light in response to its environment.

The thin rubber sheets can stay illuminated as they stretch to be more than six times larger than their original size, which means the new material can handle more than twice the strain of previous materials.

The study tested the light-emitting material in three different cases. The most intriguing, perhaps, is when they researchers integrated HLECs into a soft robotic worm. Three chambers were pressurized to simulate the way a worm might inch along. As each of the three sections of the worm is pressurized, it increases the electric field, letting the HLEC panels sense the change in its environment and change the light it emits. You can see it in action in the video below:

“When robots become more and more a part of our lives, the ability for them to have emotional connection with us will be important. So to be able to change their color in response to mood or the tone of the room we believe is going to

What Are the 10 Greatest Inventions of Our Time

A competition sponsored in 1913 by Scientific American asked for essays on the 10 greatest inventions. The rules: “our time” meant the previous quarter century, 1888 to 1913; the invention had to be patentable and was considered to date from its “commercial introduction.”

Perception is at the heart of this question. Inventions are most salient when we can see the historical changes they cause. In 2013 we might not appreciate the work of Nikola Tesla or Thomas Edison on a daily basis, as we are accustomed to electricity in all its forms, but we are very impressed by the societal changes caused by the Internet and the World Wide Web (both of which run on alternating-current electricity, by the way). A century from now they might be curious as to what all the fuss was about. The answers from 1913 thus provide a snapshot of the perceptions of the time.

The airplane: The Wright Flyer for military purposes, being demonstrated at Fort Myer, Va., in 1908.

Following are excerpts from the first- and second-prize essays, along with a statistical tally of all the entries that were sent in.

The first-prize essay was written by William I. Wyman, who worked in the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C., and was thus well informed on the progress of inventions. His list was:

1. The electric furnace (1889) It was “the only means for commercially producing Carborundum (the hardest of all manufactured substances).” The electric furnace also converted aluminum “from a merely precious to very useful metal” (by

Stolen Radioactive Material What Is Iridium 192

Some security experts are worried that a cache of radioactive material reportedly stolen from an oil field in Iraq could be used by organizations such as the Islamic State group to produce a dirty bomb.

A laptop-size case with about 0.35 ounces (10 grams) of the material, called iridium-192, allegedly went missing from an oil field storage facility in Basra that is run by the American company Weatherford, Reuters reported. Both the company and the Iraqi government declined to confirm the report.

“We are afraid the radioactive element will fall into the hands of Daesh,” a senior security official with the Iraqi government, told Reuters, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group, also called ISIS. “They could simply attach it to explosives to make a dirty bomb.” [Doomsday: 9 Real Ways Earth Could End]

So, what is iridium-192, and could it really be used in a dirty bomb?

Based on reports of what was allegedly stolen, “you will not make a dirty bomb that has much of an actual health risk, because there’s so little material,” said Robert Rosner, former director of Argonne National Laboratory and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Chicago. “But you can scare the bejesus out of people.”

Harmful substance

Iridium is the 77th element on the periodic table, and is a very dense, platinumlike metal that is highly resistant to corrosion. It is often recovered as a byproduct of nickel mining, and is used in electrical connections and to harden platinum.

Iridium-192 is a radioactive isotope,

Greg Otto at fedscoop wrote this interesting piece about IBM’s Watson-as-a-Service.

IBM announced last week it has moved its cognitive computing system into the cloud to form the Watson Discovery Advisor, allowing researchers, academics and anyone else trying to leverage big data the ability to test programs and hypotheses at speeds never before seen.

Since Watson is built to understand the nuance of natural language, this new service allows researchers to process millions of data points normally impossible for humans to handle. This can reduce project timelines from years to weeks or days.

The ability to understand natural language queries is a big deal. You can ask, for example: “I’m going to be in Boston. I like basketball. What do you suggest, Watson?” You might get several answers: Celtics tickets, Boston College tickets, Harvard tickets. Or in the offseason, Watson may suggest you drive to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield (MA). Companies are already using Watson this way. Fluid, Inc.’s Watson-based retail solutions deliver granular results to queries such as “I am taking my wife and three children camping in upstate New York in October and I need a tent.” Consider this: Watson has been taught to pass the medical boards. Would you trust it to diagnose you and prescribe medication? What if you claim to be in pain (e.g., back pain, migraines, depression) and Watson doesn’t believe your subjective input? Here’s more food for thought: What if Watson could learn to code? Why not? It’s hardly heretical to suggest that as Watson works with developers, it will one day be

Killing the Working Class at Wal-Mart

The evidence continues to roll in: Broad increases in the minimum wage destroy jobs and hurt the working-class Americans that they are supposed to help. The latest evidence is an announcement that Wal-Mart, America’s largest employer, will close more than 150 U.S. stores, a move that will affect 10,000 employees.

Fifteen years ago when our management team took over the financially distressed Hardee’s brand, we closed more than 400 underperforming restaurants. We made these decisions by asking this question: Given this store’s financial performance, will the company be more sound with it closed? Shutting down these unprofitable locations helped us nurse the company back to health—and create more permanent jobs.

Similarly, “financial performance” was the first factor Wal-Mart noted in its closure announcement. Having to pay increased wages obviously diminishes a business’s financial performance. Wal-Mart voluntarily raised its base wage to $9 an hour last April, then announced in November that this resulted in a 10% reduction in earnings per share for the third quarter. This year Wal-Mart will raise its base wage to $10 an hour and is forecasting as much as a 12% decline in earnings per share.

Every retailer has locations that are profitable, but only marginally. Increased labor costs can push these stores over the line and into the loss column. When that happens, companies that want to stay competitive will close them. That’s one of the reasons that substantially increasing the minimum wage poses real risks for working-class Americans.

This reality apparently came as a surprise to “Making Change

Disney’s New Robot Scales Walls…Like Spidey

Researchers at Disney Research Zurich worked together with mechanical engineering students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) to design and build the gravity-defying bot. The robot’s front wheels are steerable — like the front wheels of an automobile — which lets the person who controls the bot change its direction as it zooms around. But it is VertiGo’s two propellers, which can be controlled independently of each other, that enable the bot to scale buildings without falling to the ground. [The 6 Strangest Robots Ever Created]

To climb a wall, the bot’s rear propeller must be tilted outward behind it in such a way so that the thrust (propulsive force) from the propeller pushes the bot toward the wall. At the same time, the bot’s front propeller applies thrust downward, pushing the bot upward and enabling it to go from a horizontal position to a vertical position, according to the researchers who built VertiGo. (You can see this process in action at the 25-second mark in the video above.)

It’s not clear why Disney decided to build a wall-climbing robot, but in a statement outlining the bot’s functionality, the researchers noted that VertiGo’s ability to drive on both floors and walls “extends the ability of robots to travel through urban and indoor environments.” The researchers also said the robot can keep its footing when traversing rough surfaces, like brick walls.

The body, or chassis, of the bot is made of carbon fiber, while its more complex parts — like

Big screen, big price

With phablets refuelling the growth of smartphone market, it comes as no surprise that Nokia has joined the bandwagon with not one, but two big-screen handsets.

While Lumia 1520 is a high-end model, the recently unveiled Lumia is relatively more affordable with a price tag of Rs 23,999.

The big, big screen

The highlight of Lumia 1320 is its 6-inch screen, which is pretty good by any measure. The screen has 720p resolution and features Nokia’s ClearBlack Display technology and this combination works pretty well despite not offering 1080p. The colours look vibrant and saturated, with pretty crisp images and videos. You may notice a little pixilation, but only if you are reading ebooks from a very close distance.

Lumia 1320’s screen is, in fact, very good. We enjoyed the excellent contrast levels, great viewing angles and above-par sunlight legibility that it offers. The 6-inch panel is great for watching videos as well as reading ebooks and web pages.

Nokia has been a little unimaginative with the looks of Lumia 1320. Basically, it looks like an oversized Lumia 625. It has the same curvy body as Lumia 625 and seems merely bigger in size; if you looked at the two models from afar, you will probably not be able to tell the two apart.

The big screen makes the phablet too big to handle. Though the curved body helps the handset slip into the pocket easily, it is a little difficult to hold because of the considerable width (3.4-inch). It is quite heavy too, weighing

Good design, average performance

Over two years after HP – a company we all know for its desktops and laptops – killed WebOS, it is taking another stab at the smartphone market. But this time HP is doing it with Android. The company today formally launched Slate 6 and Slate 7. Both are part of VoiceTab series, which means they support 3G connectivity and you can make calls using them. Both are first launching in India and are created keeping in mind the needs of customers in developing market.

We have Slate 6 with us for review today. It is a phablet with 6-inch screen and is meant for consumers who like to have one device through which they can make calls as well as enjoy web browsing, video playback and games on the large screen.

In India, the phablet category is quite crowded. Almost all phone makers have at least one phablet – a phone with a screen size of more than 5-inch – in the market. Can HP match or surpass the existing phablets with Slate 6?

Dive in for the answer.

Sleek and with a touch of gold
Getting the design of a phablet right is not easy due to its size. But with Slate 6, HP has done well. With a thickness of less than 9mm, Slate 6 is among the slimmest devices in its class. The slim design means it feels compact and easy to hold and carry despite its large screen. Another thing that helps is the weight. At 160gm, Slate 6

The budget performer

The much awaited Moto G, Motorola’s economy Android smartphone, has finally been launched in India. The phone has won accolades the world over for its low price and great performance combo, and for bringing the focus back to usability instead of high-end specifications, a trend Motorola started with the Moto X, its flagship smartphone. We try to find out if Moto G really lives up to the hype surrounding it, in our review.

What’s in the box
Unlike the international version of the Moto G, the Indian version imported by Flipkart includes a charger and a headset. It doesn’t include a USB cable so you’ll need to buy one to transfer data to the phone. Other than these, you’ll find the user manual and a warranty-related document. The Moto G comes with a standard black coloured back panel, but additional back panels in other colours can be ordered separately.

Build and design
One of the most striking things about the Moto G is its minimalist no-frills design. The phone’s look is essentially based on Moto X which is not available in India at this moment.

Moto G feels good to hold despite it being heavy at 143 gram and a bit thick at 11.6mm due to its curved back and rounded corners that take care of ergonomics. The phone is made from plastic materials but feels durable. Although it comes with a removable back panel, the construction is excellent. The back panel fits snugly, with no creaks and wobbles.

At first glance, the only

First usable Windows mini-tab

Acer was the first device maker to come up with an 8-inch tablet with Windows 8 (not the ‘made for tablets,’ crippled Windows RT OS), the Iconia W3. However, its below average screen, bulky appearance and high price, made it a device nobody would want.

The Taiwanese company is back with the successor to W3, the Iconia W4 that promises to iron out these niggles and comes with the latest version of Windows, Windows 8.1. We spent quite some time with the tablet to find out if the W4 has the potential to be the first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet worth buying.

Build & Design
Acer Iconia W4 tablet looks bulky and heavy compared to the iPad mini and other Android tablets. Acer has tried to give a brushed metal finish to W4’s plastic chassis; the front and side edges in silver-grey matte finish also give the illusion of metal. The tablet is considerably thick and a bit heavy to lug around at 415 gram.

The front of Iconia W4 tablet features the 8-inch screen surrounded by black coloured bezel. The display panel sits a little raised on the frame. The bottom lip, just below the display, features a hardware button for directly going to the Windows Start screen.

The 2MP front-facing camera sits at the top (in portrait mode) with some Acer branding. The right edge features a microSD card slot, micro-HDMI port, a volume rocker key and microphone, while the micro-USB port, two stereo speaker outlets and