Conserve Your Mac’s Battery Power With This Keyboard Setting

Whenever I fly, I always end up dialing the brightness down on my laptop to its lowest possible setting. In some cases, I’m straining my eyes to be able to see what’s on the screen, but it’s worth it for the precious few extra minutes of battery life I might get while I’m in the air and away from power.

This week CNET made another battery-saving suggestion that’s worth a try: powering off the keyboard’s backlight

The idea here is to set your keyboard’s backlight so that it powers off after a period of inactivity, not so it’s off all the time (I know I definitely need it, especially in those dimly-lit situations). It’s the same concept as the Energy Saver feature you might use to turn off the display when you’ve walked away, but keyboard specific and the feature is located in a different menu.

To get to it, go to System Preferences on your Mac and then Keyboard. From there check the box labeled “Turn keyboard backlight off after __ of inactivity” and then choose how long you’d like it to wait.

Screenshot: Apple / E.Price

You can pick anything from 5 seconds to 5 minutes here. CNET recommends going with 30 seconds. That’s not a bad idea, but I can see some benefits in going shorter as well. You don’t want to do 5 seconds and turn your keyboard into a strobe of stopping and starting lights, but 10 seconds is a decent option, depending on how you typically use your computer.

Give a few settings a test drive and see what works for you.

You’re not going to save a tremendous amount of battery power with this, but when you’re away from an outlet, every second counts.


Simple Leg Exercises Can Reduce Negative Effects On Heart And Blood Vessels

Simple Leg Exercises Can Reduce Negative Effects On Heart And Blood Vessels

Did you know how beneficial are simple leg exercises while lying down? A sedentary lifestyle can cause an impairment of transportation of blood in the body which in turn may increase the risk of diseases in the heart and blood vessels. Performing simple leg exercises can make a huge change and prevent such problems, a new study reveals. Earlier work has demonstrated that prolonged sitting for up to 6 hours results in a decline in both blood flow to the limbs and in our larger arteries’ ability to widen to accommodate increased blood flow.

This is the first study to show that sitting for just 10 minutes is sufficient to reduce blood flow to the legs and impairs the function of small blood vessels supplying muscles in the leg.

This paper also highlights a reduction in the function of small blood vessels when lying down. However, this study suggests that we might be able to reverse this impairment to some extent by performing some simple leg exercises when lying down in bed or on the sofa.

The effects of sitting on blood circulation have been attributed to blood passing more slowly through arteries while sitting. The researchers aimed to find out whether these reductions were caused by sustained sitting, or whether 10 minutes would be sufficient to have a negative effect.

The researchers used a Doppler ultrasound technique alongside the knee to measure blood flow and examined the extent to which blood vessels widened in 18 healthy, young males. These measurements were made prior to and following a 10 -minute period of sitting or during a period of rest while lying down, with or without leg exercises, which were performed by extending the foot back and forth every two seconds for a third of the time spent lying down.

Results showed that a 10 minute period of sitting reduced participants’ ability to rapidly increase blood flow to the lower legs via small blood vessels, but it did not affect the widening of larger arteries in response to increased blood flow. The results also suggest leg exercises can help maintain rapid increases in the blood supply to the limbs.

The study demonstrates changes in blood vessel function measured at the level of the knee. However, the researchers only tested healthy young males and their findings cannot be extended to females. It remains unknown as to how these responses may vary with age, or with people who have heart problems.

Further study may investigate the impact of sitting and inactivity on blood vessels in other places in the body. Studies designed to investigate the impact of repeated bouts of short-term sitting on blood vessel function are needed.

“These findings further our understanding of the negative impact of inactivity on blood vessel function and demonstrate the positive effects of simple leg exercises whilst lying down providing further insight into how inactivity affects vascular health of the lower legs”, says study author Dr Paul Fadel.

The findings appeared in the journal Experimental Physiology.


Risks Of Epidemics Rise In Kerala As Flood Water Recedes

Risks Of Epidemics Rise In Kerala As Flood Water Recedes

As Kerala continues to battle the worst flood disaster, it faces yet another fear: epidemics.

Health experts say as the flood water recedes, the state may have to cope with waterborne and vectorborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, malaria, hepatitis and other fevers.

“Most houses are submerged and the people are living in relief camps where it is very difficult to maintain hygiene. So, there are chances of getting infected by typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, hepatitis A and E,” said Ashok Grover, Internal Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali.

According to the directorate of health services (DHS), Kerala, the state has already recorded 846 cases of dengue fever, 191,945 cases of acute diarrhea disease (ADD), 518 cases of malaria, 34 cases of chikungunya and 225 cases of leptospirosis (infection from animals).

“Stagnant water is the source of mosquitoes and other insects. Diseases like malaria and dengue don’t take much time to spread in relief camps,” said Amitabh Parti, Additional Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.

The health experts also warn that not just waterborne and vectorborne diseases, other diseases such as skin allergies, ENT problems and conjunctivitis may emerge, too.

Fever, chills, abdominal pains, vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration and fatigue are some of the early symptoms for both waterborne and vectorborne diseases.

“Such illnesses can be controlled before turning into major epidemics by maintaining hygiene in the relief camps. No raw fruit or food should be consumed. It is better to eat only well-cooked food. However, maintaining hygienic conditions in such an atmosphere is difficult,” Parti said.

“Washing hands is a must. Also consuming more fluids is recommended to resist falling prey to the epidemic-prone diseases. One must take ORS and other liquids such as fresh lime and coconut water,” Grover said.

The doctors recommend medicines only after medical tests.

As a preventive step, the Ministry of Health and Welfare is also taking measures to combat communicable disease.

According to the ministry, it has already set up 3,757 medical camps in Kerala and shared health advisories on infectious diseases.

“While no outbreak of any communicable disease has been reported, health experts warn that once floodwater recedes, the environment will become conducive to epidemic diseases,” said the ministry on Sunday.

The Health Ministry said it has also sent the first batch of 90 types of medicines as requested by the state.


Xiaomi Sells Record 2.5 Million Products in 2.5 Days During Flipkart, Amazon, Sales, Company Says

Xiaomi Sells Record 2.5 Million Products in 2.5 Days During Flipkart, Amazon, Sales, Company Says

E-commerce websites Flipkart and Amazon are in the middle of their biggest annual sales and it is pouring offers on a plethora of products. The Flipkart Big Billion Days and Amazon Great Indian Festivalsale are offering discounts and other deals on a varied range of products across several brands, one of the most popular being Xiaomi. The Chinese manufacturer claims to have sold over 2.5 million devices within two and a half days during the sales. The Xiaomi products include smartphones, Mi LED TVs, Mi Band 3, Mi Power Banks, Mi Earphones, Mi Routers, and other Mi Ecosystem and accessory products that were sold across the Amazon and Flipkart sales, as well as,’s Mi Super Sale.

Xiaomi says that the record number of sales was achieved between 12pm on October 9 and 7pm on October 11. To put the numbers in perspective, the company claimed that it managed to sell more than two million smartphones during the duration and it is the highest number of handsets that the company has ever sold in that mentioned period. To recall, last year, Xiaomi had claimed to have sold 1 million smartphones during the first two days of festive sale between September 20 and 22 September, across the same platforms.

Additionally, Xiaomi sold over 100,000 Mi LED TV units and over 400,000 Mi Ecosystem products and accessories in the duration. It is also claimed to be the highest number of Mi LED TV units Xiaomi has sold in a period of 2.5 days.

Xiaomi said that its products had special achievements in the Amazon India sale. Some of its devices achieved bestseller status in their respective categories on the platform. The Redmi 6A smartphone was the best selling product across all categories, Xiaomi said. Also, all the ten bestselling smartphones on Amazon were Xiaomi smartphones. Meanwhile, Mi LED TV became the top bestseller in the TV category, Mi Band 3 in the Wearable category, Mi Power Bank in the power banks category, Mi Home Security Camera in the home security category, and Mi Air Purifier 2S in the air purifier category.

Raghu Reddy, Head of Categories and Online Sales, Xiaomi India said in a release, “We have witnessed tremendous success during our festive season year on year, and this year has been yet another incredible one with our products seeing wonderful performance in less than two and a half days. We are thrilled, and equally humbled by all the love we received from our customers and Mi Fans across India, and we hope we continue to contribute immensely to the joyous celebrations of our customers and their loved ones, by offering them the best of our innovative products. We hope that with each passing milestone, we are able to provide smiles to millions of our customers during this festive season.”

Notably, the Xiaomi smartphones that are a part of the festive season offers include Mi Mix 2, Redmi Note 5 Pro, Poco F1, Redmi 6 Pro, Redmi Y2, Mi A2, and other products include Mi LED Smart TV 4A, Mi LED TV 4C Pro, Mi TV 4A Pro, 10000mAh Mi Power Bank 2i, 20000mAh Mi Power Bank 2i, and Mi Band – HRX Edition.


EMUI 9.0 arrives in India with market-specific features

Huawei teased the EMUI 9.0 based on Android Pie behind closed doors at IFA 2018 in Berlin. The new user interface will be officially introduced to the global audience at the Huawei Mate 20 launch in London next week, but the marketing departments all over the world already started with the local introductions.

Latest info comes from India where the Huawei branch just introduced EMUI 9.0 with market-specific features. The update will bring local languages support, Indian national calendar and deeper Paytm integration.

Other features that come with EMUI 9.0 include better one-hand operations and faster app launch speeds. There will be a new password vault to securely store passwords, faces, and fingerprints and of course all phones will get GPU Turbo 2.0 with even faster touchscreen responsiveness and improved connectivity.

The user interface will introduce the Indian users to HiVision – a camera app that recognizes major landmarks and famous paintings and proveides more info through an AR platform, while the Digital Balance panel is simply the Digital Wellbeing feature from the stock Android that allows you to monitor your screen time and to limit it, if needed.

The press message from Huawei did not clarify which devices are about to get the firmware, but if we can trust earlier rumors, the Kirin 970-powered devices will be first in line – Huawei P20, Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei Mate 10, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design, Honor 10, Honor View 10, and Honor Play.


Google is testing shopping tab, here’s what it may and may not mean for users

Google is testing shopping tab, here’s what it may and may not mean for users

BENGALURU: Search engine giant Google will soon launch its ‘Shopping’ tab in India, allowing users to search for products to buy and directing them to merchant websites or ecommerce platforms for product listings, two people familiar with the company’s plans told ET.

In the works for several months, the Shopping tab will be piloted soon, prior to a fullfledged launch before the end of the year, one of the persons said.

Confirming the development, a Google spokesperson in an emailed response said, “We are always exploring options to help consumers find the products they want to buy more quickly and efficiently from local merchants.”

Google is already in talks with ecommerce players such as Flipkart, Paytm Mall and Snapdeal to partake in the company’s shopping tab initiative, according to one of the persons cited earlier. ET could not independently verify the same. To be sure, multiple sources ET spoke with clarified that Google will not, for the moment, fulfil online shopping, either through its payment product or otherwise.

Likely to Tap Into SMEs
Besides large ecommerce websites, Google is also expected to tap into its large network of registered small and medium enterprises or SMEs — from neighbourhood kirana stores to high-end handicraft stores — to help users discover products they want. These merchants need not necessarily list on platforms like Amazon or Flipkart.

“They (Google) will partner with retailers of all sizes — it can tell the user where the product is available, is it available online, etc.,” said another person in the know. For now, this service is being provided free of cost.

Some experts see the Google shopping tab as a precursor of the internet giant eventually setting up an ecommerce marketplace.

“It is like how Amazon launched price comparison website before foraying into ecommerce full-fledged after they got consumer data,” said one of the persons cited above. “Google will also first understand Indian shopping trends through the Shopping tab.”

Google’s foray into product search comes at a time when the tech giant is said to be losing market share to Amazon on product searches in the US, which translates into declining ad revenues.

The US online retail market is dominated by the powerful network built by Amazon through its Prime programme, which analysts believe is difficult to overcome by any other tech company.

“In the US, 50-60% product search begins at Amazon, bypassing Google and cannibalising its market,” said Arpan Sheth, a partner at consulting firm Bain & Company. “Google is losing online shoppers because of this and it is taking a hit at their advertising revenue.”

Earlier this year, media reports said that Flipkart and Amazon had reduced their ad spending on Google by as much as 30%.

Google’s annual ad revenues are over $40 billion. Amazon’s annualised ad revenue is much lower at over $6 billion, but it’s growing at around 132% quarter-on-quarter.

Akin to the ‘News’ or ‘Images’ tabs on Google search page, the ‘Shopping’ tab allows users to sift through different merchant listings of the product they are looking for.

At present, online shoppers generally go to an ecommerce website directly to search for a particular product.

While Google already lists products through its ‘product listing ads’, the Shopping tab will give users a lot more control. For instance, users can filter the product they are looking for based on price or any other attributes, while also getting more details of the product by going to the ‘details’ page.

On the merchant side, anyone with a product feed can plug into Google’s merchant centre to be listed on the shopping tab, said the second person cited earlier.

“The idea is that of an open ecosystem. Google wants partners of all sizes and shapes — offline, online, pureplay, omnichannel,” the person said.


dbrand is gearing up for the OnePlus 6T release

If you are into protective gear for smartphones, the chances are you’ve heard about dbrand skins. And even though the OnePlus 6T isn’t out yet, the company is already offering its customizable kits for the handset ahead of the official launch on Monday.

dbrand is gearing up for the OnePlus 6T release

The OnePlus 6 had a serious issue with the grip and dbrand knows that. Going by the latest rumors, the phone will be available in new colors but the main ones from earlier this year – Midnight Black and Mirror Black are here to stay for the OnePlus 6T. This means that the latter will be just as slippery as its predecessor so dbrand doesn’t waste any time. You can check them out at the source link below.


Meizu 16 coming to India on December 5

Meizu introduced the 16 series earlier this year, but up until now, the devices were available only in China. That’s about to change though as the Indian division of the company started posting teasers on Twitter, confirming that the flagships will hit the country on December 5.

Currently, the company has three phones under the 16 family – the Snapdragon 845-powered Meizu 16 and Meizu 16 Plus that differ only in screen and battery size, and a third downgraded Meizu 16X with similar product design and lowered price tag.

While the Meizu 16, also known as Meizu 16th depending on the translation, costs just CNY2,698 (less than $400) for its 6/64 GB variant, which translates to around INR26,999.


Apple Music coming to Amazon Echo devices

Amazon announced today that Apple Music service is coming to the company’s Echo series of devices. Echo customers will be able to use Apple Music starting the week of December 17.

Apple Music on Echo will work similarly to other music services, which currently include Spotify, Pandora, Amazon’s own Prime Music and other local services depending upon user location. To set up Apple Music, you will have to login through the Amazon Alexa app on your phone and once the process is complete, you can just ask Alexa to play songs on Apple Music.

The move is surprising but welcome nonetheless. Apple has its own HomePod system, which only plays Apple Music but it’s in a different price class compared to Amazon Echo products.

Apple is pushing hard to make Apple Music accessible to as many people as possible. In 2015, the company released an app on Android after a short period of iOS/iTunes exclusivity. In 2016, the service became available on Sonos smart speakers. Last year, it announced the HomePod, which forced users to subscribe to Apple Music in order to use it. A few months back, Apple released iTunes on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10. Recently, the company made Apple Music available on Android Auto.

The service currently has 50 million subscribers worldwide and more subscribers in the US than Spotify.


Asus Zenfone Max M2 and Pro M2 specs and images leak

The Asus Zenfone Max M2 and the Pro M2 have showed up on a few occasions in the last few weeks in leaks and teasers but the new report is a bit more revealing than you’d expect. It has almost all the specs and renders that you’d need.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

WinFuture brings us detailed renders showing the design of both phones. The first thing we notice is that the non-Pro variant has slightly thicker chin and a narrower notch but otherwise the two follow the same design language. In addition, the Max M2 has a metal back while the Pro M2 takes the glass sandwich approach.

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Asus Zenfone Max M2 Asus Zenfone Max M2
Asus Zenfone Max M2

The internals are where the two drift apart more – the non-Pro runs on Snapdragon 636 while the Pro variant offers a more powerful Snapdragon 660 chipset. RAM will start at 4GB for both while the screens are expected to be 1080 x 2340 with an extra tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The diagonal is 6″.

As far as camera configurations go, the Max Pro M2 is said to carry a 12MP main sensor on the back coupled with a 5MP unit while the regular Max M2’s setup remains unknown.

Zenfone Max Pro M2's retail box Zenfone Max Pro M2's retail box
Zenfone Max Pro M2’s retail box

Unfortunately, the most important feature of the vanilla Zenfone Max M2 is left out in the leak – the battery capacity. But since the Pro M2 is rumored to have a humongous 5,000 mAh cell, which would undoubtedly be the centerpiece feature of the device, we can assume that the regular Zenfone Max M2 won’t be that far off.

In any case, we will know soon enough because we expect the two Zenfones to launch in the following weeks.