LG Stylus 3 With 5.7-Inch Display, Front Flash Launched at Rs. 18,500

LG has quietly introduced the Stylus 3 smartphone in India. Priced at Rs. 18,500, the LG Stylus 3 is now listed on the company’s website, and can be expected to go on sale in the coming days. It’s worth pointing out that the official website lists the MRP of the Stylus 3, and we can expect the market operating price (MOP) to be slightly lower.

The LG Stylus 3 was launched in December, and was showcased at the CES 2017. At the global launch, LG had claimed that the Stylus 3 will strengthen the company’s portfolio in the mid-range segment.

LG Stylus 3 With 5.7-Inch Display, Front Flash Launched at Rs. 18,500

The stylus is the biggest feature of the LG Stylus 3, and it lets you perform a lot of functions. You can use the stylus to crop an image, and angles are adjusted with the stylus.

The company claims that the Pen Pop has improved, and offers various functions for Pop memo, Capture+, Pop Scanner, Quick Memo, and thumbnail previews of recent notes when the pen comes out. The LG Stylus 3 also comes with Screen-off memo feature that lets you write on the screen when the screen is off with the help of stylus. The Pen Keeper feature will keep notifying users about putting back the stylus back in the device. The smartphone also comes with fingerprint scanner located at the back panel and it lets you use it with touch shutter and touch screenshot features.

The LG Stylus 3 features a 5.7-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display with a pixel density of 258ppi. The handset is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor clocked at 1.5GHz. It packs a 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM and comes with 16GB inbuilt storage, and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 2TB). It sports a 13-megapixel rear CMOS autofocus camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. Both cameras are accompanied by LED flash.

The handset is backed by a 3200mAh removable battery and it runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. As the name suggests, the LG Stylus 3 supports stylus pen and comes with 4G LTE connectivity feature. It measures 155.6×79.8×7.4mm and weighs 149 grams.

Apple Denies iCloud, Apple ID Breach After Hackers Threaten to Wipe Data

After a hacker or group of hackers threatened to remotely wipe data from millions of iPhones including photos, videos and messages, Apple has denied any such breach into iPhones.

The hackers, who call themselves ‘Turkish Crime Family’, asked for $75,000 (roughly Rs. 50 lakhs) in Bitcoin or Ethereum (a form of crypto-currency) or $100,000 (roughly Rs. 65.5 lakhs) worth of iTunes gift cards in exchange for deleting a large cache of iCloud and other Apple email accounts, Vice blog Motherboard reported.

Apple Denies iCloud, Apple ID Breach After Hackers Threaten to Wipe Data

Reacting to the threat, Apple told Fortune on Wednesday: “There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID. The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.”

The hackers claim to have access to nearly 559 million Apple email and iCloud accounts.

The hackers provided screenshots of alleged emails between the group and members of Apple’s security team and threatened to reset iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victim’s Apple devices on April 7 unless Apple pay them.

The Apple spokesperson, however, said that Apple is “actively monitoring to prevent unauthorised access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved.”

According to reports, several email accounts and passwords may belong to an earlier breach at the professional networking site LinkedIn in 2012.

However, Apple customers who secure their iCloud accounts with the same passwords they use with other online accounts must go for new, strong passwords, the report added.

Tesla to raise over $1 billion to help offset risk for Model 3 production

Tesla is looking to raise a total of around $1.15 billion from stock and convertible senior notes as a way to help “further reduce any risks” that it’ll incur as it scales its business to handle its aggressive Model 3 production schedule, the company said on Wednesday. Tesla’s decision to pad out its balance sheet with more capital was anticipated by many analysts, and a fair number of Wall Street watchers actually thought Tesla would seek more to help it grow based on recent comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

The Model 3 is set to begin full production this year, with pre-production begun in February with a temporary production line pause to help get processes ready at its Fremont factory ready for the new vehicle. The split of the new funding efforts will see Tesla pursue $250 million in common stock offering, with $750 million raised via convertible notes due in 2022. Elon Musk himself will personally contribute by buying $25 million in Tesla stock, Reuters reports.

Tesla last raised cash via stock offering in May 2016, selling $1.4 billion worth of shares to help it expand its production capacity.

 Musk said on the company’s earnings results conference call in February that while Tesla could finish its production preparations for Model 3 without bringing in new funds, that would put the company “close to the edge” in terms of its overall cash position, and said it was then sensible for the electric carmaker to bring in new funds to help offset the risk that cutting it that close would entail for shareholders.

AliveCor unveils an AI stroke prevention platform, inks $30 million from Omron and the Mayo Clinic

Medtech startup AliveCor announced this morning it has pulled in $30 million from Omron Healthcare and the Mayo Clinic and is launching an artificially intelligent stroke prevention platform for doctors called KardiaPro.

AliveCor already has an FDA-cleared mobile app called Kardia to accompany its $99 standalone EKG reader device. However, a partnership last year with the Mayo Clinic involving 4,500 patients for a major study on stroke prompted the company to build the new platform, which is a premium offering for doctors who want to monitor the EKG readouts of patients at potential risk for stroke or other heart-related diseases.

KardiaPro will track a number of factors for at-risk patients, including weight, activity and blood pressure and then runs them through the AliveCor AI technology to suss out potential triggers doctors may not detect on their own. The platform then feeds what AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra refers to as a “personal heart profile” for patients that can then be used to send alerts to the doctor to help them determine the next course of action.

AliveCor raised $13.5 million previously from Khosla Ventures, Qualcomm and Burrill and Company. The new funding now brings the total up to $45.4 million. But the more important part of this announcement is the deep partnership AliveCor has forged with major health outfits, which combined have served millions of patients and can provide millions of more points of data for research. Omron, in particular, could be useful down the road as it is a major creator and distributor of blood pressure monitoring products in the healthcare industry.

 Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world and blood pressure monitoring and EKG test results, which AliveCor’s KardiaPro provides through these proprietary devices, is critical to early detection and successful management of hypertension and stroke risk. The AI component could help doctors detect an oncoming stroke by alerting them to an irregular EKG reading seconds after patients tests themselves.

The new KardiaPro platform is the latest from AliveCor, which also unveiled AliveCor’s Kardia band, a new EKG band for Apple Watch that has launched in Europe and is waiting for FDA clearance in the U.S.

As Supreme Court case nears, tech takes a stand for transgender rights

Many of tech’s largest and most powerful companies have signed an amicus brief in support of transgender student Gavin Grimm as the first case on transgender rights makes its way to the highest court in the land later this month.

Following the news that Apple was drumming up interest in such a brief, a full list reveals 54 U.S. companies have signed on to date. The amicus brief, authored by law firm BakerHostetler, argues in support of 17-year-old plaintiff Gavin Grimm, a transgender Virginia high school student who alleges that his school board violated Title IX when it denied him access to the boy’s restroom at his school.

Apple in particular took initiative in mobilizing the technology community around the upcoming Supreme Court case, working with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to reach out to potential signatories and securing their commitments to signing on. The “friend of the court” brief is dominated by well-known names in tech, but includes some names beyond the industry, including clothing retailer The Gap, eyewear designer Warby Parker and homewares store Williams-Sonoma.

Last week, many tech companies were openly critical of the Trump administration’s decision to rescind guidance that instructed schools to allow trans students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity.

“We invest in the practice of inclusive diversity to ensure we are supporting and incorporating the broadest set of perspectives throughout our corporate community,” said Yahoo’s Global Head of Inclusive Diversity Margenett Moore-Roberts, in a comment on Yahoo and Tumblr’s decision to join the brief. “As part of this philosophy, we stand with Gavin and all transgender people seeking equality.”

The full list of signatories is as follows:

Credo Mobile
General Assembly
Intel Corporation
M Booth
MAC Cosmetics
Marin Software
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
Microsoft Corporation
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Next Fifteen Communications Corporation
Pandora Media
Slack Technologies
The OutCast Agency
The WhiteWave Foods Company
Warby Parker

“These companies are sending a powerful message to transgender children and their families that America’s leading businesses have their backs,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement on the brief. “Across the country, corporate leaders are speaking out because they know attacking transgender youth isn’t just shameful — it also puts the families of their employees and customers at risk. Transgender students like Gavin are entitled to the full protection of the law, and must be affirmed, respected and protected in the classroom and beyond.”

As some have noted, Google and Facebook remain notably absent from the brief. Both companies spoke out on transgender student protections last week and both also signed onto opposition for so-called state level “bathroom bills,” including North Carolina’s HB2 and SB6 in Texas.

Snap stock finishes up 44% on first day

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, had a great day in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. After pricing the IPO at $17 per share yesterday, the stock opened at $24. It then closed the day at $24.48, a 44 percent premium to the people who bought it yesterday.

But like with all IPOs, not everybody got to access Snap’s IPO price. This is usually reserved for a smaller group of institutional investors and high-net worth individuals who are on good terms with the banks. Most investors didn’t have a chance to buy until today, so the gains for them are much smaller.

The debut draws more similarities to Twitter’s, which went public in 2013. The company saw a solid first day of trading, but then saw a lot of volatility in the following months. Facebook, on the other hand, had a rough first day as a public company, with the share price closing exactly where it opened (companies normally try to price it so it goes up about 20 percent on the first day). But then the company flourished on the stock market over time.

Snap went public at what was an interesting point in the company’s history. Unlike many companies, like Uber and Airbnb with sky-high valuations, Snap decided to go public earlier in its monetization, probably because it’s better to go public before the market considers the company overvalued.

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Yet Snap is entering the markets at a time when growth has slowed, possibly due to Instagram copying its “stories” feature. And while revenue is quickly growing, they are also significantly unprofitable.

Hemant Taneja, an early investor in Snapchat and managing director at General Catalyst, said he was excited about Snapchat early on because of the “richness of innovation.” He saw that founder Evan Spiegel was “determined to make technology work for us, rather than change behaviors necessarily — like with ephemeral nature of communications.”

Unlike Facebook, Snapchat’s images disappear by default, a feature that baffled many people initially. But it proved to be popular and today’s debut on the stock market is a pivotal moment in technology history.