Poor G5 sales be damned: LG expects its best second quarter since 2014

Samsung is not the only South Korean phone maker in town that expects a strong second quarter, as fellow South Korean outfit LG expects a two-year high in operating profit, reports Reuters.
According to LG, through a regulatory filing, the company likely made 585 billion won, or $504 million, in operating profit from April to June. That represents the highest operating profit LG has seen since the second quarter of 2014, when the company made 610 billion won, or roughly $531 million.
Analysts believe most of the operating profit comes from LG’s appliances businesses, with unusually warm weather and major sporting events like the 2016 UEFA European Championship as influential factors. Furthermore, the lowering prices of display panels might have helped increase profit margins.

More MOBI, fewer problems: here’s how to get EPUB books on your Kindle

Ebook readers are a nice tool for people who like to do a lot of reading on the go, and Amazon’s various Kindles are among the best. Although the devices provide good performance in an attractive frame, Kindles do have one notable drawback — they do not support the EPUB format. For those unaware, EPUB is one of the most common ebook formats. It’s open-source and free to use, and as such, is supported by most ebook readers aside from the Kindle. EPUB is also a popular format for free ebooks, such as the public domain texts on sites like Project Gutenberg. As such, Kindle users may be miffed to learn they can’t read them.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 will come loaded in smartphones, VR headsets this year

More than 115 flagship smartphones and tablets out this year run Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 820 processor, but the company has dethroned the 820 for a new successor, the Snapdragon 821.
The Snapdragon 820 was already heralded for its speed and processing power when it was announced late last year — it has proven itself as the industry leader as it powers flagship devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge, the LG G5, the HTC 10, and the Sony Xperia X.

But starting this fall, expect to see more devices packed with the Snapdragon 821, which Qualcomm says “delivers faster speed, improved power savings, and greater application performance.” To be a little more precise, the Snapdragon 821 offers a 10-percent performance increase over the Snapdragon 820.

Verizon just reached a ‘key milestone’ on the road to 5G

Verizon has reached a “key milestone” on the road to making 5G a reality — it has finalized the specifications for its 5G radio.
According to the company, 5G will deliver “several gigabits per second throughputs and single-millisecond latencies.” In other words, it will be a whole lot faster than the 4G speeds we enjoy today.

“The level of collaboration that we are seeing exceeds what we saw during 4G. This agile way of developing the specification and working with the ecosystem will enable us to get to market rapidly,” said Adam Koeppe, Verizon’s vice president of network technology planning, in a statement.

Microsoft gives thumbs up to Intel’s latest graphics drivers for Surface Pro 4, Book

Back in June, Intel released new drivers for its integrated graphics installed in a number of its Core, Core M, Pentium, Celeron, and Xeon E3-1500M v5 family of processors (pdf). Intel said the new driver set fixed numerous problems causing hangs, crashes, and graphical corruptions previously experienced in applications and PC games. Now Microsoft has given these new Intel HD Graphics drivers the green light to be used on its Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 devices.
In other words, Microsoft is behaving like a true notebook OEM. Although AMD, Nvidia, and Intel continuously release fresh new drivers to the general public, that doesn’t mean they’re compatible with notebook hardware configurations. Notebook components generally can’t be swapped out save for the hard drive and memory, so everything mounted inside needs to work in harmony. OEMs typically customize all drivers to insure that hardware does just that, but the updates are extremely low or seemingly non-existent.

Save a load of cash with our one-click guide to the best Amazon Prime Day deals

Because one day a year celebrating unfettered consumerism isn’t enough, Amazon is once again seeking to dethrone Black Friday with its own sales extravaganza: Prime Day. Available only to people with Amazon Prime memberships, the second annual Prime Day promises to be an unparalleled 24 hours of sales. Not only does Amazon promise “more sales than Black Friday,” but the event takes place entirely online, meaning you’re highly unlikely to end up flattened by frenzied shoppers.

To aid you in your quest for savings, we’ve compiled a list of the offerings that are set to go on sale. If you’ve been saving for a chance to splurge on tech, we’ve got you covered. The madness will begin at 12:01 am PT, July 12. In the days leading up to Prime Day, however, Amazon is offering sets of themed deals to get you in the money-spendin’ mood. We’ll have the tech-centric deals listed here — or the best of them, anyway — so be sure to check back daily for updated sales.

Google is reportedly making two Android Wear smartwatches integrated with Assistant

It’s going to be a busy fall this year for Google. In addition to releasing two Nexus devices and the latest version of Android, now known as Nougat — not to mention the developer kit of the first Project Ara modular phone, Google Home, and another Google-built phone — the search giant may also be working on two Android Wear smartwatches.
The latest rumors come again from Android Police, but this time it’s a rendered image of what the smartwatches may look like. The Android news site attributed the leaked information to a “reliable source” which it did not identify. You know what that means — take this information with a grain of salt, as nothing can be confirmed until Google’s official announcement. Here’s a look:
google smartwatches

You can buy a Nexus 5X or 6P with Copperhead’s secure OS

Privacy is continuing to be at the forefront of many people’s minds these days, and there’s a healthy amount of skepticism and discussion about privacy policies whenever a new product or service is launched. For example, a researcher recently highlighted the amount of app permissions the popular game Pokémon Go needs, and in May several people called out Google for not making its upcoming Allo messaging app end-to-end encrypted by default.

Jumping on the privacy-geared mindset, information security company Copperhead has been working on a custom ROM for Android known as CopperheadOS. You can now buy Google’s latest Nexus devices with this custom operating system pre-installed.