Pics of the day : Hop !

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Pics of the day : Forever art

COS : China Wants to Go Without Android

Still reeling frow the blow of the Snowden affair, the American NSA’s illegal phone tapping and at war with the rest of the computer world, China is anxious to get rid once and for all of Google and its by-products.

Indeed, the North American giant is not really having fun on Mao’s territory, and that’s putting it mildly. Google, the international, almighty search engine is censored and pushed into the background behind its local contender Baidu. YouTube is silenced and its PlayStore has even become an application without a server, which definitely gives it the look of an empty shell.

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A new development which might compel the firm from Mountain View to pack its bags is the announcement that the Chinese government, along with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai company Liantong Network Communications Technology, are devising a new Operating System called COS for China Operating System and which will be the first communist OS in the history of new technologies supposed to replace Android and Windows as to everything regarding Smartphones, tablets and personal computers. It will certainly be a quite vigorous answer to the US government considering the latter accused Huawei and their IT communication technologies of espionage.

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COS should be a system based on a Linux core, which, in itself, is not really original. It should look very much like Alibaba’s YunOS, Tizen or even Ubuntu Touch, which we recently saw in its partnership with Meizu. This is when we could begin to wonder if it is really relevant to develop this new particular software considering the others are already operational or just about to be. The Chinese government’s answer will be that the other systems are egress and ingress filtering systems and that none of them gives sufficient gurantee in terms of confidentiality. I wouldn’t like to be in the programmers’ shoes – the atmosphere must be, hum, relaxed.

According to Liantong’s spokesperson, a first ROM has been installed on an internet box and the company is already in touch with PC laptops and Smartphones manufacturers such as ZTE or Lenovo, to name but a few. We can be fairly sure that Huawei, which is developing a relationship with the Chinese government, is also deeply interested in the matter but, if we are to believe that same spokesperson, the challenge is far from being won yet and the road will be long and winding as Android is still by far the system manufacturers seek the most for their great international expectations.

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Even if all this will make us smile, we can wonder what the Chinese Smartphones market would look like if it worked with such an OS. We can also wonder what credit we, Westerners, would give a system devised by a government as intrusive and repressive as the Chinese government. Would you like to have this little COS on your next Smartphone ? 🙂

Huawei ready to release their the 64-bit processors

A rumor is spreading on the web claiming that a 28nm HPM, Quad-core Hass A9 processor could be as powerful as the top-class octa-core processors, quad-core A15 + quad-core A7. The chipset integrates the GSM/WCDMA/TDS/TD-LTE/FDD-LTE.

Competition is harsh between the Qualcomm and MTK processors with the advent of Huawei’s Ascend P6S and Ascend Mate 2 smartphones, scheduled for this spring, and the high number of devices that are likely to be fitted with Hass processors.

Besides, the performance of the photosensors, following the improvement in ISP, will be impressive, especially with the 64-bit A53 and A57 processors which should be released this year, thus sounding the death knell of the most powerful octa-core processors to this day.

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Even if Huawei is slightly ahead of Android’s 64-bit processors, the real profits will come when ARM releases the Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors. It looks as if 2014 will the be the year of mobile phones’ 64-bit processors.

Cyanogen’s Oppo N1 video test run by GLG

Today’s video test by GLG is about the geek phone par excellence, the Oppo N1with the CyanogenMod Rom from the same team, as shown on the pic below – we think there are real geeks behinf this ROM. 😉

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For the benefit of neophytes turning up at JT Geek, here is a partial introduction to CyanogenMod – dixit Wikipedia.

Soon after the introduction of the HTC Dream (named the “T-Mobile G1” in the United States) mobile phone in September 2008, a method was discovered to attain privileged control (termed “root access”) within Android’s Linux-based subsystem. Having root access, combined with the open source nature of the Android operating system, allowed the phone’s stock firmware to be modified and re-installed onto the phone.

In the following year, several modified firmwares for the Dream were developed and distributed by Android enthusiasts. One, maintained by a developer named JesusFreke, quickly became popular among Dream owners. In August 2009, JesusFreke stopped work on his firmware, and suggested users switch to a version of his ROM that had been further enhanced by developer Cyanogen (Steve Kondik) called “CyanogenMod”.
CyanogenMod quickly grew in popularity, and a small community of developers, called the CyanogenMod Team (and informally “Team Douche”) made contributions. Within a few months, the number of devices and features supported by CyanogenMod blossomed, and CyanogenMod quickly became one of the most popular Android firmware distributions.
Like many open source projects, CyanogenMod is developed using a distributed revision control system with the official repositories being hosted on GitHub. Contributors submit new feature or bug fix changes using Google’s source code review system, Gerrit. Contributions may be tested by anyone, voted up or down by registered users, and ultimately accepted into the code by one of a handful of CyanogenMod developers.
A version of ADW.Launcher, an alternative launcher (home screen) for the Android operating system, became the default launcher on CyanogenMod 5.0.8. The launcher provides additional features not provided by the default Android launcher, including more customization abilities (including icon themes, effects, and behavior), the ability to backup and restore configuration settings, and other features. As of version 9, CyanogenMod’s own launcher, Trebuchet, is included with the firmware.

 

Greg has been waiting a long time for this Oppo N, as he tells in the video, because this smartphone is really something big. 🙂

Features of Cyanogen’s Oppo N1

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  • Oppo N1 5.9in FHD, Quad-core 1.7GHz, 2Gb+32Gb OTG NFC 3G 900/2100MHz
  • Quad-core, 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor
  • 1080p Full HD display
  • 2Gb RAM + 16Gb ROM
  • WiFi, GPS, NFC, OTG, Bluetooth, etc.

445€ at the SciPhone Boutique

Photos taken with Cyanogen’s Oppo N1

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Smartphone One Plus, BBK Oppo/Vivo

Recently, we discussed a newcomer in Chinese smartphones, OnePlus, the designer of which is none other than Oppo’s former vice-chairman.

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OnePlus, a new up-market Chinese smartphone with a simple slogan.

Too often have we had to make compromises. Too often have we had to make concessions. Too often have we had to behave.

So, yes, hurray, let’s hear it for this soon-to-come new make which just signed a partnership agreement with Cyanogen with a view to editing the ROM of this future high-class Chinese OnePlus smartphone.

High-class with Cyanogen. You mean, like Oppo ?

Well, everything will become clearer when you understand OnePlus is part of the BBK Group which will produce them accordingly.

The BBK Group is prominent Chinese firm specialized in electronics. You already know their father and son.

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The son is the founder of Vivo the smartphones of which, produced for China only, sell very well thanks to a lot of advertising on Chinese TV programs.

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Daddy launched Oppo, a make designed for international trade, patented in the US, and which is starting slowly to be exported thanks to an international Rom, a SAR and a partnership with Rom editor CyanogenMod.

And what of OnePlus ?

A former vice-chairman from Oppo who creates his own make within the BBK Group cannot be seen as a traitor or a mutineer but as someone implementing a well-oiled marketing strategy and seeking to establish competition between different makes yet within the same group.

GLG

China Building Fast-Train Railroad to Singapore via Laos

China is currently deploying a colossal infrastructure towards its South Asian neighbors. The big idea is to build a major railroad for fast trains through Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and as far as Singapore. Laos, which at present has only two miles of viable railway tracks, is in shock.

The Laotian government – the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, met Li Keqiang last year and greeted the project with open arms. In rapid expansion, Laos is about to become the crossoroads of Southeast Asia. This ambition is clashing head-on with the actual state of a country wounded by war and poverty, and it is also threatening its stability.

The project implies a titanic feat of engineering. It will require the building of 154 bridges, 76 tunnels, 31 railway stations to link the 260 miles running from Boten – on the Laos-China borderline – to Vientiane, Laos capital city. 20,000 Chinese workmen could be necessary to achieve the project the deadline of which has been scheduled for 2019. This sole part will cost about seven billion dollars. Even Chinese investors are dubious.

Laos financial plan of its railroad section is to borrow £4.5 billion from Beijing, i.e. 90% of the annual GDP’s 5.2 billions, which could make it the fourth most indebted country in the world, behind Japan, Zinbabwe and Greece.

With 75% of its population living with less than $2 a day, Laos is one of the poorest countries in Asia. However, the gaotie – the name for the Chise fast train – could be the standard bearer of a country opening up and developing in spite of past wounds. This could mean a gain of time and money as regards trade between different countries, and also the guarantee that tourists will come in large numbers.

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Laos is a country where agriculture represented 42% of the GDP and 80% of the total workforce. Therefore, the gaotie could be a real cultural shock.

Several international financial experts see this loan as a future disaster. The ADB – Asian Development Bank – simply described it as ‘prohibitive’. Maintaining the annual interest rate only will amount to nearly 20% of Laos annual public spending.

Yet Laos has natural ressources in huge quantities, such as copper, gold, silver as well as forest ressources which Thailand and Vietnam find interesting. Another major revenue stream is the country’s hydraulic capacity. Thanks to its geography, its high mountain relief, Laos allows for hydroelectric dams to be built. Therefore it can sell Thailand, among other things, 95% of the electric power produced at the Nam Theun 2 dam. That would generate eighty million dollars for the Laos government, every year.

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The Nam Theun 2 dam. It exports 95% of its production to Thailand.