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Earth’s Water Originated From Asteroidal Material and Gas: Study

Earth’s global ocean water may have originated from both asteroidal material and gas left over from the formation of the Sun, according to a new research that gives insights about the development of other planets and their potential to support life.

Researchers noted that since comets contain a lot of ices, it could have supplied some water. Asteroids, which are not as water-rich yet still plentiful, could be a source as well.

“But there’s another way to think about sources of water in the solar system’s formative days,” said Peter Buseck, Professor at the Arizona State University.

“Because water is hydrogen plus oxygen, and oxygen is abundant, any source of hydrogen could have served as the origin of Earth’s water,” Buseck added.

The study challenges widely-accepted ideas about hydrogen in Earth’s water by suggesting the element partially came from clouds of dust and gas remaining after the Sun’s formation, called the solar nebula.

If the abundant hydrogen in the nebula could combine with Earth’s rocky material as it formed, that could be the ultimate origin of Earth’s global ocean, the researchers said.

“The solar nebula has been given the least attention among existing theories, although it was the predominant reservoir of hydrogen in our early solar system,” said lead author Jun Wu, an assistant research professor at the varsity.

The new finding fits neatly into current theories of how the Sun and the planets formed. It also has implications for habitable planets beyond the solar system.

Astronomers have discovered more than 3,800 planets orbiting other stars, and many appear to be rocky bodies not greatly different from our own.






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Flipkart Sale Offers Discounts on Mobiles, Exchanges Offers, and More

Flipkart Mobile Bonanza sale kicked off on Monday to offer deals and discounts on a wide lineup of smartphones. The Flipkart sale started on November 19 at 12am and will continue until November 22 (Thursday). Brands like Asus, Xiaomi, Realme, Nokia, Apple among others are offering discounts and deals on their smartphone range as a part of Flipkart’s Mobile Bonanza sale. Some of the smartphones that are a part of the Flipkart sale include Google Pixel 2 XL, Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, Realme 2, Poco F1, Moto X4, Honor 9N, Nokia 8 Sirocco, and more. Under the Flipkart Mobile Bonanza sale, HDFC Bank card users can opt for no-cost EMI options starting at Rs. 499 per month.

It is the first day of the Flipkart sale, and here are all the major deals on smartphones that are available on the platform. First up, are the smartphones from Taiwanese manufacturer Asus. Under the Flipkart Mobile Bonanza sale, the company’s budget smartphone lineup are available at a discounted price. The popular Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 is available for Rs 9,999 for the 3GB model, originally priced at Rs. 10,999. Meanwhile, the 4GB model of the handset has been priced at Rs. 10,499, down from Rs. 12,999; the 6GB variant of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 can be purchased at Rs. 13,999 (MRP Rs. 14,999).

Flipkart Mobiles Bonanza Sale Kicks Off With Deals on ZenFone Max Pro M1, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Poco F1, and More

Similarly, during the Flipkart sale Asus’ ZenFone Max M1 and ZenFone Lite L1 phones will be available at Rs. 7,499 (MRP Rs. 8,999) and Rs. 5,999 (MRP Rs. 6,999), respectively. Additionally, the premium Asus ZenFone 5Z handset is available with a Rs. 5,000 discount for both all the variants. The 6GB/64GB model is now priced at Rs. 24,999 (MRP Rs. 29,999), the 6GB/128GB variant costs Rs. Rs. 27,999 (MRP Rs. 32,999), and the 8GB/ 256GB model is available at Rs. 31,999 (MRP Rs. 36,999).

Further, there are the smartphones from the relatively new company Realme that are available with discounts in the Flipkart Mobile Bonanza sale. The 64GB variant of the Realme 2 is available at a discounted price of Rs. 10,990, down from the original price of Rs. 11,990. Buyers can also avail an exchange discount of up to Rs. 10,400 on this smartphone. The price of the Realme 2 Pro, as a part of the sale, starts from Rs. 13,990.

Under the Flipkart Mobile Bonanza sale, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro has been priced at Rs. 13,999 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage model, down from the original price of Rs. 14,999. Notably, the smartphone had recently received a Rs. 1,000 price cut in India. Meanwhile, the company’s Poco F1 can be purchased with up to Rs. 2,000 extra discount on exchanging old smartphones. Notably, apart from the exchange offer, there is no discount on the Poco F1.

Coming to the handsets from Google, the 64GB variant of the Pixel 2 XL is available with a discount of Rs. 4,500. It is now priced at Rs. 40,999, down from Rs. 45,499. The smartphone is priced at Rs 45,499. Meanwhile, Flipkart is offering a no-cost EMI option starting at Rs. 3,944 per month for the new Google Pixel 3 lineup.

Nokia 8 Sirocco, the company’s flagship smartphone, is available with a discount of Rs. 13,000. The smartphone, originally priced at Rs. 49,999, can be purchased at Rs. 36,999 during the Flipkart Mobile Bonanza sale. The Nokia 6.1 Plus can be purchased at Rs. 14,999 (MRP Rs. 17,600) and the Nokia 5.1 Plus at a discounted price of Rs. 10,499 (MRP Rs. 13,199) during the Flipkart sale.

Coming to the smartphone from Honor, the company’s flagship Honor 10 will be sold at a substantial Rs. 8,000 price difference, down to Rs. 24,999 from the launch price of Rs. 32,999. As part of the Flipkart Mobile Bonanza sale, the Honor 9N gets a Rs. 2,000 price cut. The 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage model is being sold for Rs. 9,999, down from Rs. 11,999; and the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant is available for Rs. 11,999, down from the usual Rs. 13,999. The budget Honor 7A is available at Rs. 7,999, down from its launch price of Rs. 8,999.

Also, the Honor 7S is available for purchase with a discount of Rs. 1,000. It is now priced at Rs. 5,999, down from Rs. 6,999. Honor 9i can be bought at a discounted price of Rs. 12,999 (MRP Rs. 14,999). The 3GB/32GB variant of the Honor 9 Lite is available at Rs. 9,999 (MRP Rs. 10,999) and the 4GB/64GB model of the handset, priced at Rs. 14,999, comes with an exchange offer of up to Rs. 3,000.

Another big discount is available on the Moto X4, which is currently available for Rs. 10,999, down from its original price of Rs. 22,999. Under the Flipkart sale, you can also buy the Motorola One Power that is available priced at Rs. 15,999 (MRP Rs. 18,999).

Flipkart is promising some ‘great deals’ on Apple iPhone models. The company’s 2017 flagship – iPhone X – is available at a discount of Rs. 12,431 for the 64GB storage variant. It is now priced at Rs. 79,999. Besides, buyers can also avail exchange discounts and no-cost EMI options.

Some of the other smartphones that are available with discounts in the Flipkart 2018 Mobile Bonanza sale include the Vivo V9 Pro at Rs. 15,990 (MRP Rs. 17,990), Vivo V9 Youth at Rs. 11,990 (MRP Rs. 19,990), Xperia R1 Dual at Rs. 7,990 (MRP Rs. 9,990), Infinix Note 5 at Rs. 8,999 (MRP Rs. 10,999), the 3GB RAM variant of Oppo A71k at Rs. 8,990 (MRP Rs. 10,990), and the 2GB model of LG K9 4G LTE at Rs. 6,299 (MRP Rs. 7,999), the Yu Ace at Rs. 5,499 (MRP Rs. 7,999), while the Infinix Smart 2 is available at Rs. 4,999 (MRP Rs. 6,999).

For exchange offers, the Flipkart Mobile Bonanza sale is offering a minimum discount of Rs. 750 if you exchange your 3G-enabled smartphone with a new 4G smartphone. Notably, this offer is applicable only on select handsets. Also, buyers of the LG Q Stylus can avail a Rs. 5,000 discount on exchange. Similarly, an exchange discount of Rs. 6,000 will be applicable to the Vivo X21 (6GB/ 128GB model), and Rs. 2,000 will be available on Vivo V11 and Vivo V11 Pro. Also, the Samsung Galaxy On6 is available for Rs. 9,990 (MRP Rs. 15,490) during Flipkart Mobiles Bonanza sale.

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GoPro Hero 7 Black Review

GoPro is sticking to an annual refresh cycle for its entire lineup, and right on cue, the company has launched its seventh generation of Hero action cameras for 2019. This year GoPro has released not one but three cameras — the Hero 7 Black, Hero 7 Silver, and Hero 7 White. These replace the existing lineup, which consisted of the Hero 6 Black and the Hero (2018).

Today, we’ll be testing the company’s flagship model, the Hero 7 Black, whose highlight is the new HyperSmooth stabilisation feature. According to GoPro, this is said to offer gimbal-level stabilisation without any additional accessories. The Black model also offers a host of new features including live video and vertical video and photos, making it the most feature-packed GoPro yet. With starting price similar to last year’s top-end model, it’s time to put these new features to the test to see if the Hero 7 Black is truly a worthy successor.

GoPro Hero 7 Black design and features

The Hero 7 Black continues with the same design and construction quality as most previous GoPro models, only this time, it actually has a black chassis to go with its name. The camera weighs about 116g and the body has a rubberised coating that covers most of its front and sides. It’s also waterproof and can be taken to a depth of 10m.

GoPro Hero 7 black scloseup ndtv gorpro

 

The button and ports are laid out in a similar fashion as before, which means this new model is compatible with existing GoPro accessories including the Karma Grip, Karma drone, etc. There’s a single shutter button on the top and a Mode/ Power button on the right side of the camera. The click response is good on both buttons, and they don’t require much effort to press. There’s a rubber-lined flap on the right of the Hero 7, which protects the USB Type-C and Micro-HDMI ports. Another one on the bottom protects the removable battery as well as your microSD card, which needs to be purchased separately.

Around the back, the Hero 7 Black has a 2-inch touchscreen for framing your shot and also changing the settings, similar to its predecessors. There’s a secondary monochrome display on the front which is useful for checking various parameters such as the battery level, the capacity of the microSD card, and the current shooting mode. You get a total of three red LEDs placed around the Hero 7 Black so it’s easy to tell when it’s recording. There are also three microphones for stereo audio and cancelling out wind noise.

The core specifications of the Hero 7 Black don’t differ too much from those of the Hero 6 Black. It’s still powered by GoPro’s GP1 chip and features a 12-megapixel, wide-angle sensor. There’s built-in GPS, Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. It supports the H.265 or HEVC video codec and has a maximum video bitrate of 78Mb/s when shooting 4K. Just like the Hero 6 Black, the Hero 7 Black can also shoot 4K at 60fps and 1080p at 240fps, with a whole bunch of other resolutions (2.7K, 1440p, 960p, 720p) and framerates in between. The camera also still supports Protune options for professional users, who wish to set the exposure manually.

The Hero 7 Black ships with a plastic skeleton bracket that lets you attach it to a huge variety of GoPro accessories, a USB Type-C charging cable, and two adhesive mounts.

GoPro Hero 7 black ports ndtv gopro

 

GoPro Hero 7 Black performance and battery life

It’s the new features of the Hero 7 Black that really set it apart from its predecessor. The first one, which will easily be the most popular, is called HyperSmooth stabilisation. It works incredibly well and is available at all resolutions at up to 60fps. It does crop the frame slightly but you’re not really going to notice this, since the Hero 7 Black has a pretty wide field of view anyway. Even when running, the stabilisation masks the jerks of your footfalls very well, making it feel as though the camera is actually on a gimbal. The camera defaults to standard stabilisation once you go above 60fps, resulting in comparatively less smooth videos.

Image quality is also very good under good light, and colours are nice and punchy. In low light, images and video are still a bit grainy, like with previous GoPros, so not much has changed in that area. For photos, this can be fixed to an extent if you shoot in Night mode, which uses a slower shutter. There is some amount of barrel distortion in photos and videos, which comes with the territory of using a GoPro camera.

GoPro Hero 7 black apps ndtv gopro

 

TimeWarp video is our second favourite feature. This lets you shoot stabilised handheld timelapse footage so you can add some motion to your timelapse videos, similar to Hyperlapse videos. The results look quite cool and the stabilisation is handled very well. You can choose between 1080p or 4K resolutions and vary the speed of the timelapse from 2x all the way to 30x.

The Hero 7 Black now lets you shoot vertical video and photos for the first time, and share them directly to Instagram Stories through the GoPro App. The viewfinder and the front monochrome display automatically change orientation so you know you’re shooting vertical footage. This is a nice addition that GoPro has incorporated, especially considering the rise in popularity of this video format on social media.

SuperPhoto captures HDR pictures, and it works a lot better than the WDR mode we’ve seen previously on GoPros. You can force the Hero 7 Black to shoot in HDR all the time or leave it in Auto mode. You can also set a countdown timer in photo mode, which is a handy addition. Live Streaming is another new feature. It works through the GoPro app and currently supports Facebook Live and RTMP, both of which require you to go through a quick setup process.

Shot using Night Photo (above) with 3s shutter speed (Tap for full sized images of GoPro Hero 7 Black camera samples)

 

In the case of Facebook, you’ll need to sign in with your Facebook account, add your video description and choose the resolution (up to 720p), whereas for RTMP, you’ll need to enter a server URL. We tested Facebook Live since it’s the easiest to set up and it worked well. The camera captures decent audio too thanks to the stereo microphones, and you have the option of either using your Wi-Fi networks or LTE, if you’re outdoors.

In addition to these new features, the Hero 7 Black also has a new user interface. You now simply swipe either left or right to switch between the main Video, Photo, and Timelapse shooting modes. These primary modes have additional variations like timelapse video, timelapse photo, burst photo, looping video, etc, which can be selected too. You now swipe up from the bottom to get to your media. Other preferences and settings can be accessed with a swipe down from the top.

The interface can get a little sluggish at times, which is annoying, especially when you need to quickly switch modes. There’s also voice control like with previous GoPros, but it now supports Indian English too, so you don’t have to try and pull off an accent to issue commands. Voice control can be a little finicky at times and can sometimes mistake conversations for commands. A couple of times, we noticed that our Hero 7 Black had automatically started recording or had switched modes, without us telling it to.

 

Software updates for the Hero 7 Black are issued automatically via the GoPro App. The app itself is simple and pretty straightforward to use, and works on Android and iOS. The camera also supports QuikStories, which saves newly shot photos and short video clips directly to your paired phone and creates a little mini movie for you. If you have GPS turned on, you can also add some interesting GPS stickers as overlays to your video. These range from a speedometer to a little map of the route you’ve travelled.

The Hero 7 Black does get pretty hot if you’re shooting continuously for a long duration. We never had the camera shut down on us due to overheating, but even in an air-conditioned room, we noticed it getting quite toasty after about 20 minutes of recording.

Battery life is quite acceptable. We managed to get roughly 45 minutes of continuous 4K recording, with Wi-Fi and GPS turned on. With the latter features switched off and at a lower resolution, we usually managed to go beyond an hour on a single charge. The advantage of having a removable battery is that you can simply swap it out for a fully charged one. You can also use the Hero 7 Black with a power bank or other USB power source to run it continuously.

Verdict
The GoPro Hero 7 Black adds a number of useful features over the Hero 6 Black, which makes it a decent upgrade. However, we wish that these features could have been added to the Hero 6 with software updates, since they share many components.

If your primary use cases aren’t going to take advantage of the improved stabilisation and live streaming, then we recommend sticking with the Hero 6 Black because it does keep up with the newer model in terms of its core shooting capabilities. Those who own a Hero 5 Black or older model on the other hand, will find the new Hero 7 Black to be a much better upgrade. If you’ve been holding out, then this would be a good time to make the switch.

It’s still a bit expensive, and low-light performance still has a long way to go, but if you want a feature-packed action camera, the Hero 7 Black is GoPro’s best attempt yet.

Price (MRP): Rs. 37,000

Pros

  • Waterproof, rugged body
  • Amazing stabilisation
  • Supports live streaming and vertical videos
  • Shoots high-quality videos under good light
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Low-light performance could be better
  • A bit pricey
  • Minor software bugs

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Design: 4.5
  • Performance: 4
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 4






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Apple Cuts Production Orders for All 3 New iPhone Models: Report

Apple has cut production orders in recent weeks for all three iPhone models launched in September, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources.

A lower-than-expected demand for the new iPhones and Apple’s decision to offer more models has made it more difficult to anticipate the number of components and handsets the company needs, according to the paper.

Apple shocked investors a few weeks ago with a lower-than-expected sales forecast for the Christmas quarter, prompting certain suppliers to issue warnings that pointed to weakness in new iPhone sales.

Forecasts have been particularly problematic for iPhone XR with Apple cutting its production plan by up to a third of the nearly 70 million units some suppliers had been asked to produce between September and February, the paper said.

As recently as last week, Apple informed several suppliers that it lowered its production plan again for iPhone XR, the Journal reported.

The company started selling its latest phone generation, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, in September and the XR model in October.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.






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