Thursday, October 6, 2016

New iPhone 8 Technology Could Hide Important Feature

Unlike the iterative and stale approach of the iPhone 7 family of smartphones, the tenth-anniversary iPhone should be packed with new technology and updated design. Part of that new design can be seen in the virtual home button employed in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but the changes to the home button are not expected to stop there.

The move to using curved glass on the front and back panels will change the nature of the home button, especially if Apple uses an edge-to-edge OLED display. Instead of the now iconic circular depression on the front of Cupertino’s smartphone, the home button will become fully virtual.



Apple iPhone 7 (image: Ewan Spence)

Thanks to the use of the Assistive Touch option (found under the accessibility features in settings) and worries over the cost of replacing the physical home key, many users are already using a virtual home button on their iPhone. Many Android devices already use a virtual home button (alongside Android’s two other navigation buttons), but such a move by Tim Cook and his team raises the question of how to use TouchID.

Fingerprint recognition has become an important part of identifying a user and verifying actions in iOS, from using Apple Pay and signing in to iTunes, to confirming identity in online banking. Apple is not going to drop this feature. Neither will it want to change the UI paradigms of the identifying process (especially if the hardware changes on the preemptively titled iPhone 8 are as wide-ranging as expected). TouchID will need to sit under the screen.

Apple has been working on this feature for some time. A patent that outlines a process to embed a TouchID styled sensor under a screen display was first filed in 2014, and was published today by the USPTO (#9,460,332). Titled ‘Capacitive fingerprint sensor including an electrostatic lens’, it details how capacitive sensors can be used to read a user’s fingerprint.

The solution does require a tiny electrical current to be passed through the finger (which is something that the current TouchID sensor does). That may necessitate the TouchID is in a single physical place on the touchscreen of the new iPhone, even if the virtual home button can be moved around.


 Apple’s Curved Display patent (USPTO #9,367,095)

Hiding TouchID under the screen will remove one of the biggest arguments for the expansive bezels found in the current iPhone design language. Although patents can never be a guarantee that a technology will make its way to a consumer device, this patent is in step with Apple’s progression towards the iPhone 8. It joins technology such as curved glass, bright and vivid displays and wireless audio in the ’expected’ specs of next year’s iPhone.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus may not have set the world alight, but between them they have done enough to keep the product line feeling fresh and maintained sales at a similar level to the 2015 handsets. Evolution will keep Apple’s shareholders happy, but the real reward comes when the market can be disrupted and the iPhone can redefine what it means to be a smartphone.

Invisible TouchID can help make that happen when it arrives on next year’s handset.

Panasonic's wild new technology transmits data by human touch

It could be used in future security systems, or as a way of exchanging contact information through a handshake

 

Panasonic has developed a data transmission system that can exchange information through human touch.

The prototype human body communication device sends data at up to 100kbps through a radio field on a person's skin. When they touch an object or person with a suitable transreceiver, data can be exchanged.

The device is on show at this week's Ceatec electronics show in Japan through several color-coded demonstrations.




Panasonic staff demonstrate a prototype human skin transmission system at Ceatec in Japan on October 3, 2016.

In one, for example, a person can hold a color-coded ball. When they touch a sensor connected to a lamp, data on the color of the ball is sent to the lamp and it changes color to match.

The demonstrations are simplistic but prove the system works. Panasonic envisages it might be used in the future for more practical purposes, such as exchanging contact information with people through a handshake or unlocking a door by simply placing a handle on a door knob.

At present, the technology is still too big to fit inside something practical, like a wristwatch or smartphone, but Panasonic is confident it can be miniaturized if there is demand for such a system.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Virgin Media price rise: This simple phone call could save you a fortune

VIRGIN MEDIA has angered its customers after pushing up prices but there is an easy to reduce your bills.




Virgin Media announced earlier this month that, from this November, prices were going up by around £3.50 per month.

News of the hike didn't go done well with customers with many "disgusted" at facing higher bills.

Virgin Media has responded by saying: "We understand the price rise is never welcome. However, we aim to keep bringing you more and more value for your money."

Those about to be hit by the extra cost should have received a letter from Virgin Media confirming how much and when things will change.

If that note has been pushed through your door don't panic as there is a simple way to beat the bill shock.

These are the new features coming to Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft has been accused by some of neglecting Windows 10 Mobile, but the company has done a half-decent job of issuing a steady stream of updates since launch.
Now, the Redmond company has used its Ignite 2016 conference to detail some more features coming to Windows 10 Mobile, NeoWin reported.
Several features are improvements to Microsoft‘s Continuum experience, such as the ability to put your phone to sleep while using Continuum and Proximity Connect functionality. The latter sees you being able to activate Continuum mode while your phone is stowed away in your bag or pocket.

The new Windows 10 Mobile update will include a ton of Continuum tweaks and additions

NeoWin adds that you can now have separate start screens for your phone and Continuum, which is a long overdue feature by some accounts.
Two other Continuum additions include the presence of a taskbar and the ability to resize app windows.
This so-called Redstone 2 update is only set to arrive in April 2017 though, but Windows Insiders should see it “before too long”.
The update comes amid speculation and rumours that Microsoft could be killing or rebranding its Lumia line in favour of Surface Phones. Either way, expect 2017 to be a bit more exciting for the company on the mobile front.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Samsung patents split window dual Android, Windows OS



It’s probably not an understatement to say that Samsung, at least on Android, has gotten split and multi windows down to a “T”, having nearly perfected that feature long before Google even approved of it. Now it seems that Samsung is considering pushing the envelope even further, to interesting and partly insane degrees. A patent filing reveals that the manufacturer has toyed with the idea of a smartphone that not only runs two operating systems, namely Android and Windows, on the same device. They can even split the screen between them.

Having Android and Windows running on the same device isn’t actually new. However, most of the implementations involve dual booting the two operating systems, which requires a reboot. Some, like Samsung’s own stillborn ATIV Q tablet/laptop hybrid, opted for a virtualization approach, with Android running inside and integrating with Windows 8. This latest patent might also be employing that, albeit with more modern technologies and software, but with a curious twist.

In a nutshell, Samsung’s patent combines running two platforms side by side and Samsung’s TouchWiz features, which allows apps to also run side by side. So while you can indeed switch between full screen operating systems, you can also have the screen split between them. Of course, given how small a smartphone screen is, you’re unlikely to run them like that full time. Instead, the feature is actually useful to share content between operating systems, using nothing more than a drag and drop gesture

Amusingly, you can even minimize the Windows, er, window, to an icon, just as if it were a normal Android app. Presumably, you could also do likewise with Android.

The patent seems to play around with the idea of “convergence”, but from a different angle. But while interesting and potentially useful, it is, first and foremost, simply an idea that will undoubtedly run into technical and legal limitations.

A setup like this will need to have monster specs, including around 6 to 8 GB of RAM.

And then there’s the thorny issue of neither Microsoft nor Google wanting to share the same bed, which is why devices like the ATIV Q never made it to market.

Niantic Already Working On New Apps As Pokémon GO Passes The $440 Million Mark

"We have some projects that are in the early stages now"

 Niantic has gone from being a near-unknown to one of the most famous developers on the planet thanks to the astonishing success of Pokémon GO, the monster-catching smartphone app which the company developed in conjunction with The Pokémon Company

 Niantic's previous release, Ingress, laid down the foundations for Pokémon GO and the two share some of the same real-world data. Speaking to Game Informer, Niantic CEO John Hanke explained that the firm is already working on other projects which will adopt the same approach, building on what has gone before:

 That's always been our strategy to build up a platform underneath a game that can be used for other games, and frankly other experiences that may not exactly be games, but are still within that area of exercise, discovery, and social interaction.

 The Niantic platform is very much a part of our long-term vision and we have some projects that are in the early stages now that will be built on top of it so you can definitely expect to see that from us in the future.

 Despite new projects beginning development, Hanke was keen to stress that Pokémon GO isn't going to be left behind. Niantic has already confirmed the new buddy system, as well as the introduction of trading and general improvements.

 Hanke also acknowledged that Pokémon GO's success will attract copycat games, and welcomed the competition:

 I think it's healthy. There is definitely room for multiple successful games in the category. I think it is a really fresh area for game designers, developers, and publishers to explore with new kinds of gameplay. It's an area where there can still be a ton of innovation.

 It's a positive step for everyone to bring games out into the real word and give people the motivation, the excuse, to get out, get some exercise, see new places, and hopefully have good healthy interactions with other human beings.

 Despite a dip in daily active users, Pokémon GO has now passed the $440 million marker after less than two months on the market, which suggests that previous predictions that it could earn $1 billion in 2016 may yet prove to be correct. It has been downloaded more than 180 million times worldwide.

WHY NEW CONSUMER-FOCUSED MOBILE APPS ARE STRUGGLING IN 2016

MOST OF THE COVERAGE OF MUSIC STARTUPS CÜR MEDIA AND CROWDMIX FOCUSED ON THEIR FINANCIAL ISSUES, UNDERSTANDABLY, SINCE THAT’S WHAT SCUPPERED BOTH BEFORE THEIR COMMERCIAL LAUNCHES. Had they made it past beta, though, they’d have faced an equally big challenge: getting onto people’s smartphones at any scale.

Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson, familiar to the music industry from his firm’s investments in SoundCloud and Turntable, has written a downbeat blog post about the barriers facing new apps in 2016.

It was sparked by Wilson trying – and failing – to find any non-game apps that have broken into the top 100 free-app charts for iOS and Android and stayed there for three months.

“I think launching a consumer focused mobile app and getting sustained traction (>1mm MAUs for six straight months), is almost impossible right now. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I am sure there will be exceptions that will prove the rule,” he wrote.

“What is a bit surprising to me is how many entrepreneurs, particularly experienced entrepreneurs, are attempting to do it right now and how many investors (angel, seed, VC, etc) are backing teams doing this.”

While Wilson goes on to encourage optimism about bucking this trend, his words shouldn’t be taken lightly within the music industry.

Music-streaming services like Pandora and Spotify have managed to become fixtures in those free-app charts – they’re 18th and 19th respectively in those rankings on the US App Store at the time of writing, with YouTube Music (29th), Musical.ly (41st), SoundCloud (42nd), iHeartRadio (74th) and Flipagram (96th) also currently in the top 100.

Musical.ly seems to be one of those exceptions to Wilson’s rule, but his blog post is a reminder to the music industry that, when presented with a whizzy new music-related app, the question of how it plans to get any sort of traction on the app stores is key. And quite often unanswerable with any conviction.

China & Russia's G20 message: Confrontation with West not our desire

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) ahead of G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. © Wang Zhao Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) ahead of G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. ©Wang Zhao / Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the meeting of 20 leading industrial nations a 'tremendous success' during his closing statement, an upbeat assessment that noticeably clashed with the Western media's version of events. The Western mainstream media concentrated on “controversies” - from an incident with President Obama’s security personnel to the tough negotiations between the Russian and American presidents on the margins of the summit. (Both leaders made a last-ditch attempt to iron out their differences on Syria and Ukraine, with Obama clearly missing his last chance to contribute to the settling of these two conflicts before departing office early next year – with both wars started under his tenure and not without his participation).

Symbolism of language

An inexperienced reader might conclude from this Western coverage that bickering between US and Chinese security guards over the intricacies of approaching the US president’s plane was more important than the agreement of the G20 to modernize the regime of international trade and the actual discussions between Xi and Obama, Putin and Erdogan, Theresa May and Putin – which all took place during these two busy days in Hangzhou.

There may be a deeper symbolism in this contrast of the positive Russo-Chinese approach to the summit and the US/EU push for “concessions via confrontation.” The two sides even used different language. For example, the chairman of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said that China “must” allow monitoring of its steel production, saying that losses for European job market due to China’s “overcapacity” were “unacceptable.”

Read more Russian President Vladimir Putin attending a press conference on the results of the G-20 summit in Hangzhou, September 5, 2016 © Sergey GuneevPutin talks relations with Turkey, US, Saudi Arabia & China at G20 final presser

It should be noted that Xi and Putin never used the word “must” when talking about problems with their Western partners.

China's peaceful rise

Dmitry Kosyrev, a political analyst specializing on the Far East at the leading Russian news agency RIA Novosti, reminds his readers of Beijing’s concept of a “peaceful rise of China.”

“The Chinese side made it a priority for itself: to weaken the push of certain countries for geopolitical rivalry,” Dmitry Kosyrev commented on the summit in Hangzhou. “The whole idea of the peaceful rise of China is that this rise is not directed against any other country.”

Kosyrev explains this Chinese strategy not by weakness, but by strength: “China is such a strong competitor in economy and innovations that it does not need aggression and pressure for increasing its role in the world. On the contrary, China is interested in peace, which would provide it with the widest possible leveled field for development.”

Can this attitude be viewed as idealistic in today’s world, where the Middle East has become a bloody testing field for proxy wars, foreign-inspired revolutions and sectarian conflict? In a world where NATO and Russia resumed that same “geopolitical rivalry,” which China abhors and which seemed to be buried for good back in the 1990s?

Judging by the fact that the G20 managed to agree on the principles of open global economy and took a joint decision to reform the international financial institutions (currently geared to the needs of the US and the EU), China and Russia are not alone in their aspirations for “change without upheavals.” And this fact gives the world some hope that change would indeed come without shock. The essence of the change is a more just distribution of power and status in international politics – one that would reflect the reality of rapid growth in “emerging markets,” with China and Russia being the leading such markets.

“We agreed to push forward with the reform of quotas and voting procedures in international financial institutions,” President Xi explained after the summit. “We expressed hope that the International Monetary Fund would proceed with the planned reform.”

'Confrontation with the West is not our desire'

As for the numerous claims of the Western press about Russia’s and China’s “unpredictability” and even “aggression”, one can answer such claims with facts that show confrontation is NOT China’s and Russia’s choice.

Read more Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony of documents following their talks in Beijing. © Sergey GuneevPutin brings box of Russian ice-cream for Xi, who turns out to be a fan In order to find the sources of confrontation it would make sense to look at the sources of provocative “scenarios,”“memos” and “mockumentaries.” The doomsday “documentary” imitations of invasions, TV reports and sensationalist articles about Russia or China invading their neighbors – where did they all come from, up until the start of the Hangzhou summit? Almost all of them are made in those same countries that invaded Iraq, bombed Libya and gave Afghanistan “international security assistance”, which suspiciously resembles a foreign occupation with many local civilians killed. Now for some reason those same countries suddenly became concerned about the security of China’s and Russia’s neighbors.

Vladimir Putin said that Russia supported China’s position on the situation in the South China sea. Russia did not accept the recent ruling on this situation by a tribunal located in the Hague – tens of thousands of miles away from the “object of controversy” (several man-made islands), where this tribunal decided to spread its jurisdiction.

From South China Sea to Russia's Northern Baltic front

“President Xi did not ask me to comment on the situation in the South China sea and in general we would not like to get involved in this dispute,” Putin said at a press conference after the summit. “However, this is our general position that interference of non-regional powers only hampers the settlement of this kind of issues. Our position is not a political, but rather a legal one: we think that third-party arbitrations should be initiated by the parties involved and we think that the arbitration court should listen to the arguments of both parties. China never asked the court in the Hague to rule on its case and China’s position was not even listened to there. So, how can such a ruling from the Hague be considered a just one?”

This statement pretty much sums up not only the stance of an objective bystander on the South China sea controversy. It also reflects Russia’s position on similar attempts by Western governments and courts in relation to other countries, including Russia itself. The 2014 illegal ruling of the tribunal in that same Hague ordered Russia to pay $50 billion in damages to the former owners of the YUKOS company, which had gone bankrupt in Russia a decade earlier because of huge tax arrears. Russia & China: Facing global challenges together Foreign pressure via various controversial “international courts” is becoming a joint problem for both Russia and China. But the much more traditional intimidation by the Western countries’ superior military forces is not yet entirely off the agenda neither. Both Russia and China showed in Hangzhou that they understood the need to coordinate their responses to these new forms of pressure.

President Xi made it clear that China together with Russia opposed the deployment of America’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles (THAAD) in South Korea. Russia has been voicing its support for this Chinese position on THAAD for several months in a row. The United States uses the fear of a possible North Korean “strike” in order to justify its plans to deploy the THAAD missiles (which can be directed against China’s and Russia’s strategic nuclear capacity). President Xi softly rejected this argument, saying that the best way to guarantee South Korea’s security is a dialogue with its northern neighbor and reiterating China’s support for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Read more © mda.milS. Korea not planning to turn THAAD anti-missiles against ‘third countries’ – president Xi reminded his listeners that while maintaining traditional its ties with Pyongyang, China also cherished the achievements of its 24 years long diplomatic relationship with South Korea, a former “capitalist foe.”

Putin often had to fend off similar suspicions and accusations from the NATO’s side, constantly repeating that “confrontation with NATO is not our choice.” Before leaving for Hangzhou from the neighboring Russian port city of Vladivostok, Putin reiterated this position once again in an interview to Bloomberg news agency, saying that Russia had no intention of “retrieving” the Baltic States, which had been a part of the Soviet Union before 1991.

“All sensible people, who have just some real understanding of politics, all of them understand that claims about a Russian threat to the Baltic states – that these claims are just insane,” Putin said after a series of provocative questions from a Bloomberg’s journalist.

"Do you really believe we want to fight NATO? How many people are living in the NATO member countries? It must be around 600 million people, and we only have 146 million. Yes, we are a nuclear power, but do you really believe we can use nuclear weapons in order to occupy the tiny Baltic States?”

Islands of discord Differences in style and rhetoric (positive optimism on the Russo-Chinese side, confrontation and distrust on the US/EU side) lead to different policy decisions. While the United States and their “Trojan horse in Europe” Poland (an expression of the French diplomatic press) keep talking about increasing NATO’s motorized contingents in the Baltic States right next to St. Petersburg, the Russian Ministry of Defense invited Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland for consultations on the security of military movements in the Baltic area.

In the same way, it was the Chinese President Xi who called on his interlocutor, the Japanese leader Shinzo Abe, to increase cooperation with China in all spheres. Xi and Abe announced that the representatives of their defense ministries will meet to discuss confidence-building measures in the East China sea. The two leaders managed to reach an agreement, despite recent bitter disputes between Tokyo and Beijing over several uninhabited islands in the area.

Just two days earlier, in the Russian Far eastern port of Vladivostok, Putin and Abe agreed to resume the dialogue between Russia and Japan which stalled because of the problem of Kuril islands. For Russia, dealings with Japan on the issue are painful, since the Kuril islands became a part of Soviet territory as a result of World War II, in which 27 million Russians lost their lives. China, which lost 35 million, most of them at the hands of Japanese aggressors, shares Russia’s feelings.

This is the reason why Xi and Putin stood side-by-side at the 2015 parade in Beijing – a parade consecrated to the end of the World War II on its Asian front (which was no less bloody than the European one). It is a pity that the American president declined an invitation to that parade, preferring anti-Chinese and anti-Russian phobias to discussion of real threats and to memories of real – not invented – existential fights of the 20th century.

Tensions over South China Sea belie summit cordiality



Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte pose for photo during the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Vientiane, Laos September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

The Philippines said on Wednesday it was "gravely concerned" that Chinese boats were preparing to build structures at a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, shattering an appearance of cordiality at an Asian summit in Laos. 

 Officials said talks between Southeast Asian leaders and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang went smoothly and there was no tension over a recent ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague that invalidated China's claims to the waterway. 

 But, hours before the meeting, the Philippines' defense ministry released photographs and a map showing what it said was an increased number of Chinese vessels near Scarborough Shoal, which China seized after a standoff in 2012. 

 The ministry's spokesman told reporters in Manila the pictures were made public because China's ambassador to the Philippines had denied there was any new activity there. 

 "We believed that this is precursor to possible building of structures on the shoal," spokesman Arsenio Andolong said, adding that China's denial was "even more disturbing". 

 China said there had been no change to the situation around the shoal and it had not taken any new action there.

 "Given this situation, some people are hyping the situation by spreading that kind of information," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing in Beijing. 

 China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts or all of the resource-rich South China Sea, making it a hot spot of regional tension. The last four are members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

 China has over the past year alarmed other claimants, and outside powers such as the United States and Japan, by re-claiming land on several disputed reefs through dredging, and building air fields and port facilities. 

 A Philippines official said the release of the pictures and a map showing the ships' positions was ordered by the defense minister, who was at the ASEAN summit in Vientiane, Laos. 

 But there was no row over the issue at the summit. 

 "It seems that every country played down the level of conflict, therefore the tone of the meeting was quite friendly and emphasized peace and security within the region," said Major General Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak, a Thai government spokesman. 

 The Philippine concern about the shoal comes after a dispute with the United States, its main ally.
 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte criticized U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday, prompting the cancellation of a meeting between them in Laos. 

 China has repeatedly blamed the United States for stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. 

 The United States says it has no position on the territorial disputes but wants to ensure freedom of navigation. 

 With that in mind, it has conducted patrols close to Chinese-held islands, to Beijing's anger, while China has been bolstering its military presence in the sea. 

 A FEW ROCKS 

 Although the Scarborough Shoal is merely a few rocks poking above the sea, it is important to the Philippines because of the fish stocks in the area. Manila says China's blockade of the shoal is a violation of international law. 

 The dispute has become more significant since the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in July that no country had sovereign rights over activity at Scarborough Shoal, a traditional fishing ground for Chinese, Filipino and Vietnamese. China has refused to recognize the ruling by the court in The Hague.

Duterte wants China to abide by the ruling but he had pledged not to raise the issue during the meeting in Laos.

Instead, he wants to smooth the way for bilateral negotiations and last month sent former President Fidel Ramos as his special envoy to meet Chinese representatives in Hong Kong.

A senior Chinese official said Beijing was confident it could return to a healthy relationship with the Philippines.

"In the past 30 years, the relationship has been very smooth, it's only in the past few years, because of some problems known to all, the relationship has been affected," vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin said at the Laos summit.

The bloc traditionally shies away from taking a position on thorny diplomatic issues, especially where China is concerned, because of its influence in the region.

Still, a Philippine security official traveling with Duterte said it was a challenge for the government to explain to fishermen why they could not return to the Scarborough Shoal area when The Hague had ruled it was a fishing ground for all.

"We won in the arbitral court, but we could not enforce it, how can we explain that to our own fishermen?" said the official, who declined to be identified.

"So, we wanted to talk to China and resolve the issue, but the situation like this is making it more difficult. The president is asking what is China's intentions in the area?"

The smile that says I'm single! Taylor Swift struts around after dumping Tom Hiddleston over 'arm candy' Emmys invite

The couple began dating in June and were initially inseparable, but have not been seen together since late July

US pop singer Taylor, 26, had become 'uncomfortable' with Tom's desire to be 'so public' with their romance, DailyMail.com revealed on Monday

British actor Tom, 35, had asked Taylor to join him on red carpet at Emmy Awards later this month, as he is nominated for The Night Manager

She began to question his motives and ultimately called off the relationship

As news broke on Tuesday night, the singer held her head high when she stepped out for the first time in New York

Taylor Swift is holding her head high after ending her three month romance with Tom Hiddleston.

The newly-single singer, 26, appeared to have a spring in her step as she was pictured out in New York on Tuesday amid reports she didn't like Tom's 'love of the limelight'.

Looking sporty in patterned leggings and a black tank top, Taylor smiled as she strutted across the sidewalk, seemingly in a great mood following her latest failed relationship.

No regrets? Taylor Swift smiled as she stepped out in New York on Tuesday shortly after the news she's split with boyfriend Tom Hiddleston after just three months together

Single and loving it! The 26-year-old seemed to have a spring in her step following reports she ended her three-month romance after Tom was trying to be too public with their relationship

Go grey like Taylor in sporty printed leggings

She's reportedly dumped her beau Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleswift is no more! But Tayler was looking as happy as ever as she stepped out here in New York - she clearly doesn't need a man by her side!

The star looked ready to hit the gym, donning a black vest paired with grey printed leggings. We love the flattering black side stripes and stomach panel on the pair by Under Armour which are pretty but also practical too.

Sadly these exact gym tights are now sold out, but click right to shop a similar pair by the brand.

Or get a printed pair in grey like Taylor's by shopping similar options in the line up below by the likes of Adidas, Reebok and more. You can then complete the look with her exact orange Nike trainers to which will add a cheeky colour pop to brighten up your workout wear.

Live iPhone 7 launch: Apple unveils new handset and Apple Watch 2 - live


Leaked images of what are supposedly the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Welcome to our live blog of Apple's September 2016 product launch, one of the biggest events on the technology calendar.
 This evening we're expecting Apple to unveil two new iPhones, the 7 and the 7 Plus, as well as the Apple Watch 2. iPhone 7 that has a 4.7-inch screen with no headphone jack, a better camera and a pressure-sensitive home button iPhone 7 Plus that has a 5.5-inch screen with a dual-lens camera, no headphone jack and a pressure-sensitive home button Apple Watch 2 with GPS connectivity, a faster processor and a better battery We're expecting Tim Cook will take to the stage of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium this evening to reveal:

At a glance | iPhone 7 rumours


No headphone jack 

Apple is expected to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the bottom of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus meaning users will have to switch to wireless or Lightning port headphones

Pressure-sensitive home button 
The new iPhone is said to have a pressure-sensitive home button that will sit flush to the face of the device with the TouchID sensor under the screen

  Dual-lens camera for iPhone 7 Plus
Apple is upgrading its cameras in both phones, with the iPhone 7 Plus getting an all-new dual-lens camera that could have the ability to film 4K video

  Two black models, one glossy
The phones will probably come in five colours with “space black” replacing “space grey” and the introduction of a new glossy black colour

Faster processor 
A new, faster chip called the A10 will power the 7 and 7 Plus. According to reports it could be twice as fast as the current A9 chip.

Ahead of the event, which starts at 6pm GMT, we will be bringing you the latest updates, as well as full coverage as it happens this evening. James Titcomb is on the ground in San Francisco and will be sending across news through the day. 


Auto update


Apple has just sent a rare tweet about tonight's "special event". The tantalising message is accompanied with an abstract video that fans have speculated looks a bit like lens flare, the slightly blurred bright spots that sometimes appear on pictures taken in low light. It could be a clue that some exciting iPhone photography developments are coming. 
The company updated its long-neglected Twitter account on Friday with the branding for tonight's "special event" before sending its first ever tweet. Strangely, when you visit Apple's Twitter profile there is no record of its tweets to be seen.

The best features of the iPhone

00:22
00:1302:26


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The most exciting rumoured features we're anticipating the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to have include:
  • Much better camera - the  iPhone 7 will have a larger camera that will probably 12MP and perform better in low light, while the iPhone 7 Plus will have a dual-lens camera. They could both have an upgraded flash and ability to shoot 4K video
  • A faster processor - the phones are expected to run on a new A10 chip that could be 50 per cent faster than the current A9, with 3GB RAM and a 2.37GHZ processor 
  • Pressure-sensitive home button - Apple could replace the physical switch with a button that uses "3D Touch" technology, which will make the home screen one continuous smooth surface 


What could the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus look like? 

We're anticipating the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to look fairly similar to their predecessors, the 6s and 6s Plus, if the consistent leaks from Apple experts and the supply chain are anything to go by. 
The only change to the front of the handsets will be to the home button, which is expected to be pressure-sensitive and sit flush to the screen. 


This rendering of the iPhone 7 in "space black" also shows the handset with a pressure-sensitive home button and no headphone jack CREDIT: MARTIN HAJEK

On the back of the phones, Apple is said to have moved the antenna bands to the edge of the device, giving the handsets a cleaner look than the 6s and 6s Plus, while the larger cameras on the devices will sit closer to the top right hand corner of the phones, according to leaks. 



An alleged leaked image of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in black and silver  CREDIT:MACOTAKARA
 For a full round-up of what the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus could look like visit our gallery here:


What time will it start?

The event starts at 6pm GMT (10am Pacific Time) on Wednesday, September 7. That means there are less than nine hours to go, and counting. 
What to expect 
Apple prepares to launch its new iPhone
Apple likes to maintain an aura of secrecy around its events, but thanks to a complex supply chain and a huge amount of interest, there are inevitably some leaks. 
In a nutshell, we're expecting Tim Cook to take to the stage of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco to unveil the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphones, and a new Apple Watch 2. 
For a comprehensive look at what we think Apple will reveal today, check out our guide here

Apple prepares to launch its new iPhone

Good morning from Cara McGoogan and welcome to our live blog of one of the biggest events on the technology calendar, Apple's 2016 September product launch. This evening we're expecting Apple to unveil a series of new products, including the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, as well as the long-awaited Apple Watch 2. 
We'll be following all the action as it happens today, bringing you the latest updates ahead of and during tonight's event, which starts at 6pm GMT. Over in California with have James Titcomb who will be sending across news throughout the day

EID-UL-AZHA HOLIDAYS ANNOUNCED IN PAKISTAN



The federal government has announced a three-day holiday on account of Eid-ul-Azha falling on September 13.

According to a notification issued on Monday, the interior ministry said that all public and private offices would remain closed from September 12 to 14 for the religious holiday and it means people will return to work on the third day of Eid on Thursday.

 All government offices would reopen on September 15.
 Eid-ul-Azha will be marked in Pakistan on September 13 (Tuesday).

It is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two.

 On Friday, the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee had announced that the Zilhaj moon was not sighted in the country and Eid-ul-Azha would be celebrated on Tuesday.

Saudis tighten their belts for Eidul Azha in age of austerity

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. PHOTO: REUTERS RIYADH/KHOBAR: A cartoon widely circulated in Saudi Arabia on Twitter last month showed three old men in traditional robes, named Unemployment, Prices and Poverty, looking down at a young boy with torn clothes named Salary.

“When will you grow bigger like us?!” the men ask the boy. The annual Eidul Azha holiday period is traditionally a time for ordinary Saudis to splurge on new clothes, accessories and travel. But this year’s Eid holidays, which fall on September 12-15, are set to be the most austere in well over a decade.
Low oil prices are forcing the government of the world’s top oil exporter into spending cuts to curb a budget deficit that totalled a record $98 billion last year. Those cuts, which began late in 2015, are now rippling through almost every area of the Saudi economy, reducing consumers’ disposable income and weighing on the living standards of ordinary Saudis.
“Looking at individual consumption, you will find a significant shift in consumer habits, and the size of purchases has gone down significantly compared to last year,” said Saudi economist Fadl Albuainain. “Although corporations are the main reason behind declining consumer demand, the impact of individuals’ spending cannot be overlooked.”
The consumer spending slump has become a significant drag on the economy as a whole. Saudi Arabia’s non-oil sector shrank 0.7 per cent from a year ago in the first quarter of 2016, its worst performance in at least five years. Second-quarter data has not been released yet but London-based Capital Economics estimates the sector shrank 4.5 per cent in June.
The value of imports into Saudi Arabia plunged 24 per cent from a year earlier in June; while some of the drop may be due to reduced purchases of equipment for government projects, some appears due to weaker imports of consumer goods.
Purchasing power
The official unemployment rate among Saudi citizens is around 11.5 per cent. So far, relatively few have lost their jobs because of this year’s slowdown; legal restrictions make firing Saudis difficult, so the kingdom’s population of 10 million foreign workers has borne the brunt of lay-offs. However, government ministries and state-owned firms, who employ about two-thirds of working Saudis, are adopting a more frugal approach to their staff.
Lavish bonuses, overtime payments and other benefits – once considered routine perks in the state sector – have been slashed. Essam al-Zamel, another Saudi economist, said such benefits accounted for up to 30 per cent of Saudis’ take-home income, so many people now felt significantly poorer.
Meanwhile, the government has raised domestic gasoline and utility prices to save money on state subsidies, almost doubling the annual inflation rate to around 4 per cent. Although Riyadh is encouraging Saudis to establish private businesses to reduce the economy’s dependence on oil revenues, the economic slowdown is making this harder by cutting the incomes of some entrepreneurs.
“I used to travel three times a year to Dubai and Europe, but this year I didn’t and I am not going anywhere this Eid…I cannot afford it anymore,” said Sultan al-Dossary, 27, a Saudi who runs a small enterprise helping firms interact with the government. He said his net income had fallen to around 3,000 riyals ($800) per month from 10,000 to 12,000 six months ago. He plans to sell one of his three cars to shore up his finances.
The impact of such belt-tightening can be seen in shopping centres and restaurants in Riyadh, Jeddah and oil-producing Eastern Province. Glitzy malls display signs such as “70 per cent Sale”, “Further Reduction” and “Clearance”; many restaurants offer cut-price lunch packages.
Jarir Marketing Co, one of the biggest retailers in the kingdom, reported a 25 per cent year-on-year drop in net profit for the first half of 2016 as sales fell 15 per cent. The slide in retail consumer purchases at Jarir’s stores has been in the high single digits, while the cut in corporate and government spending on office and computer supplies has been even steeper, Jarir’s chairman Muhammad Alagil told Reuters.
Future
There are reasons to think consumer spending may soon stop falling. Corporate surveys in the past two months suggest private sector growth is picking up somewhat on the back of rising oil output, and many people expect modestly higher oil prices next year, which could ease pressure on state finances.
“We believe it will stabilise next year,” said Alagil. But few expect any major rebound. Even with austerity, Riyadh is expected to run a budget deficit in the tens of billions of dollars this year — unsustainable in the long run — and officials have said more subsidy cuts are in store.
In 2018, the government plans to introduce value-added tax, probably at a rate of 5 per cent with exemptions for items such as food. Many Saudis accept that low oil prices make austerity inevitable, and there is no sign of a significant political backlash against government policies.
But belt-tightening is being widely discussed on Twitter under hash-tags such as “Salary doesn’t meet our needs”. “We are nowhere near the bottom, and we think the years to come will be even more painful,” said Samih Jarjoura, an operations manager who handles distribution of foreign luxury goods to retailers in Jeddah.