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August 2017

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Apple unveiled iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus along with the latest iOS 10 during its live event

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has finally unveiled its much-anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus during its live event from San Francisco. The Cupertino-based tech giant’s latest smartphone flagship incorporates a host of new features that have massively divided iOS users’ opinion. As expected, Apple has rolled out its latest iOS 10 operating system along with its latest iPhone model, which is highly tipped to significantly boost the smartphone’s performance.

Interestingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook has boldly labeled the company’s latest iOS 10 OS as the “biggest update the company has ever released”. Here is a quick review regarding why iPhone 7 users will come to absolutely adore the iOS 10 operating system on their smartphone devices.

The biggest noticeable change in iOS 10 is the impact it has on a device’s notification capabilities. The new operating system improves user experience by bringing more notifications on a device’s locked screen while ensuring iOS users can keep a close eye on everything happening in their device, without having to unlock it. Also, iOS 10 allows users to clear all notifications on device at once, instead of going through them one by one.

Another significant improvement is the ability to delete stock applications which iOS users were inconveniently stuck with forever. This will be a huge relief for iOS users who want to maximize the memory capacity on their smartphone device. The Photo Albumapplication in iOS 10 allows users to make a live video from the photos captured from their device. These ‘live’ video collages can really bring memories back to life and allow users to relive their special moments.

Even though Apple has not added any revolutionary feature in its latest smartphone flagship but at least its new operating system manages to add wanted changes in the device that can go a long way in boosting the user experience.

Google will now focus on its Wallet app instead

This week, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced that it would get rid of its physical wallet cards once and for all.

These cards which are tied to a user’s Wallet account will see the light of day for the last time on July 1. However, the company has assured its users that it will be focusing more on the Wallet app instead.

By the end of April, the wallet cards will be put to rest, which means that users will not be able to upload money on them, but any credit available can still be used to make purchases. By the end of June said Wallet cards will be deactivated regardless of whether or not there is money on it. But users will be pleased to know, if there is any money on the card, even after it has been deactivated, it will be available for use through the Wallet app.

That being said, there is no doubt users will have a lot of problems once the card is deactivated, but they can acquire similar services from Simple or American Express.

This move will not make sense at first, but seeing how the cards are not doing as well as the mobile app, it would be wise of the company to invest more of its time and resources on the app instead, which will turn out to be much more rewarding in the long run. Even though Google may have disappointed users who utilize the Wallet card, it is likely the company will make up for it later on.

Jefferies analyst recommends investors to Buy NVIDIA stock, lifts price target to $69

Mark Lipaci – analyst at Jefferies, released a research note today wherein he reaffirmed his Buy rating on the stock and also raised his 12-month price target by 23% to $69 from $56 for NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA). The rise in price target comes ahead of the tech company’s earnings release for the second quarter of fiscal year 2017, which is expected to be on August 11.

The analyst voiced his reasons to rate the company as such in his research note and said that the products which NVIDIA offers to the market carry momentum and there lies a possibility of these products gaining more upward momentum over the next six to 18 months. He said: “We view the Jul Quarter (+4% QQ) as achievable, and the Oct Quarter/Jan Quarter (+7%/+2%) as conservative, given the launch of its new 16nm GPU platform Pascal (both Gaming and Datacenter).

Furthermore, the analyst mentioned that the initial ramp of products with a higher average selling price and margins, like Virtual Reality products, may also play a vital role to boost the financial performance of the tech giant. On the other hand, as per the projections of the Wall Street analysts, NVIDIA may report revenue of $1.35 billion, translating a rise of 17% year-on-year.

The consensus estimate falls in line with the guidance provided by the company. Over the course of past nine quarters, the tech company has surpassed the consensus expectations seven times.

Moreover, the consensus estimate suggests the company to report earnings of 48 cents per share, reflecting a 136.4% hike as compared to the previous year’s quarter. NVIDIA has outperformed the analysts’ estimates for earnings eight times out of nine.

27 Wall Street analysts provide coverage on NVIDIA stock. Out of these, 12 analysts believe that taking a long position in the stock would be an appropriate move; another 12 analysts rate the stock as a Hold. The remaining three analysts suggest a Sell. The 12-month consensus price target stands at $53.05, carrying a downside potential of nearly 9% against the stock’s previous close.

An epic battle of phablets is set to ensue this Fall and we think that a clear winner will emerge

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) releases its flagship iPhone every year in Fall, and iPhone 7 is this year’s flagship that Apple hopes will take the baton of innovation forward and run with it. Only problem with it is that there could be very little to celebrate for Apple when it comes to carrying the baton of innovation forward with iPhone 7.

Samsung is also reportedly set to launch its next phablet in the Note line, Note 7, in early August. Early reports have indicated that Note 7 could be Samsung’s most buffed-up release so far, with 6GB RAM, USB Type-C port, 64GB base storage model, and the latest in Snapdragon mobile computing chipset. On the other hand, rumors such as the exclusion of the headphone jack, a larger rear camera lens, redesigned antenna bands, and a 32GB base storage model have popped up for iPhone 7. But with an almost identical form-factor as the iPhone 6 and 6S, is it really enough to woo users into upgrading?

For Samsung, Note 5 was not a huge upgrade over its predecessor, and really successful, Note 4. Maybe that is the reason that Samsung have decided to altogether skip the “Note 6” branding, to magnify the type of upgrade that the next Note brings. The biggest of which is the rumored iris recognition system for the first time in smartphones. A recent patent popped up that fueled this particular rumor, and if it turns out to be true, then Samsung could really hit a security home-run with the Note 7. Coupled with more RAM, an upgraded camera, and a mammoth 4,000 mAh battery, Note 7 does look a lot like Samsung’s biggest release ever.

As far as iPhone 7 is concerned, the biggest change from iPhone 6S is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. While it takes away one of the oldest smartphone components, Apple doesn’t give a lot of reasons for users to chin up and accept the change. Users would even be agreed to make a tradeoff – if there was a tradeoff to be made – but it doesn’t look like a lot of flagship additions are going to be made for iPhone 7. Sure, an upgrade in chipset is expected, but if you compare that with everything Note 7 is offering, an argument would be really difficult to make for iPhone 7.

Instead, wholesale changes in the iPhone 7 Pro, and the 2018 flagship iPhone are reported. But for that to happen, Apple would need to keep its customers around, and with reports of iPhone sales falling for the first time and Galaxy S7 outselling iPhone 6S is July, it looks more and more difficult by the day. While Apple is hoping that iOS 10 would be a major attraction for users, an upgrade in hardware is what sets the tone, and it is how Apple has always set the tone for the rest to follow.

As things stand, Galaxy Note 7 seems to be offering a lot and a major upgrade on both Note 5 and Galaxy S7 is expected, when it is launched in August. Apple has a lot of work on its hands if it wants to keep the iPhone faithful from moving to Android, and it would need more than a pretty OS to do so.

The Country Caller takes a look at the recent rumors surrounding the Note 7

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) Galaxy Note 7 is only a few days away from launch and leaks continue to surface, revealing the features and specs of the company’s next generation flagship device. According to a Redditor who has a decent record for leaks on Samsung devices, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be a beast of a machine.

Leaks indicate that the new device would be powered by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage which would be expandable through MicroSD card slot. The new device also looks very similar to Galaxy S7 Edge, and will have an ‘edge-to-edge’ display. The flagship device would come in blue with a gold bezel and there will also be a black variant offered with a silver or grey bezel. The flagship gold model would also be the international version.

The device would come with a revamped 12MP rear camera which has a new slow motion feature that will have the ability to only slow down moving objects in the picture rather than the whole frame. The new Note 7 will also be one of the first devices to feature an Iris Retina Scanner for added security. It would have a feature where the Retina Scanner will automatically shut down after 9 seconds to prevent eye damage.

The device will come with an IP68 rating, which will make it dust and water resistant. Samsung has somehow managed to make the S-Pen usable underwater. The S-Pen comes with added features like the ability to make GIFs by just tracing the video on screen. The device is also expected to feature Gorilla Glass 4 and 3500 mAh battery. The company has also brought some useful changes to the TouchWiz user interface, as the new device aims to take mobile productivity to the next level.

Will Souq.com’s acquisition be beneficial for the e-commerce giant? The Country Caller definitely thinks so

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) plans to acquire Dubai-based retailer store, Souq.com, for around $1 billion. The plans are to gain a massive, immense footprint in the Middle-East market.

Not having much recognition in the Middle-East market, the e-commerce giant looks to buy Souq.com, which is widely renowned as “Amazon of the Middle East.” The acquisition does make sense for the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, to acquire it.

Initially, the Seattle-based company considered an all-out bid for the site. On the other hand, at that time, the yet-to-be-acquired Dubai-based retailer store was planning to sell at least 30% stake. No final agreements were set, and negotiations are expected to falter the plans further.

As reported, the Dubai-based store sells up to 1.5 million products online in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Since February, it has also secured around a whopping $275 million in investment. The retailer reportedly appointed Goldman Sachs Group to seek out potential bidders and buyers. Keeping in mind the humongous number of clients, the acquisitions has become a likely target for Amazon.

Amazon is currently the biggest online retail store worldwide, catering to a number of clients all over the globe, such as in South America, Oceania, North America, Europe, and Asia. With plans of targeting international markets, the acquisition of Souq.com will benefit it proportionately. Reasons for acquisition include the company’s much-needed traction in the Middle-Eastern market. Secondly, this will give it a strong foothold over online customers in the Middle East. Demographically speaking, the acquisition will help Amazon to increase its online business.

What are your thoughts about this potential acquisition? Will it help the company in any terms? Do let us know in the comments section below.

Tips to best the toughest enemies in the Division

The Division is a fairly short game to finish, taking the average person approximately 30 hours to reach the level cap. However, once you get to the top, the game merely begins and your ultimate goal then shifts to getting geared for Challenge Mode instances and Dark Zones. Challenge Mode is the highest difficulty setting that is available for different FOB Wing missions spread across the Division’s map. Not all instances have Challenge mode, but the few that do circulate daily rewards for any that can complete it.

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Before you jump straight into the game and empty a clip into the first enemy you see, read our essential tips for surviving at such an early stage in the game’s life. A major consideration must be given to this, Ubisoft is still largely in the process of testing out end-game content and will continue to hammer out any bugs or exploits as they come along – that includes NPC balances so make sure you are ready.

The enemies you encounter in Challenge mode will all have yellow name tags, so don’t expect to stand in front of them and be able to take them out with a single clip. This is a war of attrition and you need to maintain the best flanking spots, works as a team and use your equipment and skills to the best use in order to have a chance at surviving.

Team Setup

The first thing you need to ensure is that all team members are on active voice comms and have their skills set up correctly. Any damage dealing skills need to be replaced with those that stun, shock or burn – the idea is to buy your team enough time to damage in high number consistently. Most importantly, all team members need to have a minimum DPS/HP requirement, I feel it is manageable with 100,000 damage and 60,000-70,000 health but that is something that will depend on your gameplay style.

Weaponry and Fight Tactics

An important rule to live by in the Division is that highest DPS does not always mean a better chance of survival and is exactly what Challenge mode is about. Each fight lasts considerably longer and the ammunition needs to be reserved, for this reason we recommend using a Marksman Rifle with the Perk that allows you to save on 50% of headshot bullets. Combining these two factors you can sustain high damage on targets while your friends have them suppressed; getting headshot critical values of upwards of 200,000 (with the right gearing) and have more ammunition to last the fight. As far as fight tactics go, the only option is for you to strategically kite enemies, especially the Shotgun chargers that run at you at the start of any wave. The entire team needs to move as one and keep backing up while taking shots around every position of cover possible – practice this till perfect.

Skills and Usables

As mentioned before, the central idea of Challenge mode is not to go in guns blazing. It’s kind of like those hours-long gun battles we used to hear about back in the day. Rightfully so, your skills need to be arranged properly. The best skills in these situations are healing ones, with preference to ones that auto-revive and any skills that delay or slow down your enemies. Any other skills should be replaced with heals, preferably with ranged revivers. You also need to ensure that all your members have a solid rotation for ultimate skills being called out on comms – ensure as little down time as possible. For grenades, ensure you have plenty of all of them, using each wisely to slow your enemies’ approach around a corner and then emptying a clip into their face.

Now it’s important to remember that end-game content at such an early stage of an MMO game is always daunting, so expect the entire encounter to last at least 1-2 hours, but with enough practice and the right gear your team can manage to get it down to a science.

The Country Caller takes a look at technical analysis and what the possible investor behavior could be for these stocks today

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE:FCX) are two renowned names in the U.S oil industry. Chesapeake has struggled to provide strong bottom-line results as the company could not report profits in this period. Analysts are optimistic that 2016 will be a good year for the company, as oil prices continue to rebound.

The oil exploration company recently wrote off huge amounts in lieu of impairment charges. However, analysts are adamant to believe that this is a good time to take entry into oil stocks. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. has also struggled to portray a profitable picture amid the global slump in oil prices that occurred since 2014. The company has lost a lot of value from its balance sheet amid unfriendly conditions for the oil industry in US.

According to OPEC, the optimal prices to cover costs for oil producers stands at $52. While the shape of the oil industry starts to improve, the results will be shown in the financial statements of oil producing and exploration companies. The Country Caller takes a look at what technical analysis suggests about the possible investor behavior in these stocks today.

Chesapeake currently offers an opportunity for the bulls to gain momentum. The 14-day RSI currently stands at a Neutral level, which hints a possible bull dominance in the session. Stochastic RSI suggests that the stock is approaching oversold conditions.

Major price level for Chesapeake Energy is $4.29, a break above which will lead to $4.40 and $4.57 levels respectively. Most of the support exists at $4.12, and if a break below is observed, it will further plummet to $4.06 and $3.89 levels, respectively. Overall, we expect that the scenario is ideal for the bulls and they may take up the lead in today’s session.

Freeport-McMoRan appears to be in the Neutral region and it appears that the bulls may take the lead earlier in the session. The 14-day RSI currently favors the bulls and hints a possible rally in today’s session. The ADX suggests that the current trend is weak, while the bulls still are in the lead. We maintain a Neutral stance on Freeport McMoRan Inc.

The new patch adds Survival mode to the game along with general tweaks and fixes

Despite the initial hype, Bethesda’s Fallout 4 has been pretty much sidelined, for various reasons, since its release last year. That being said, the new game in the series is still a marvel to behold, with expansion packs filled to the brim with additional content. To further better the gameplay experience, the developer has released Patch 1.6 on Sony Corp.’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One. Let us have a look at what this new patch brings in.

The most prominent addition in this update is the introduction of a new Survival mode that adds several new challenges to the game, including the removal of the fast travelling feature, game saves through sleeping only, an increase in the rate and the effects of all negative debuffs in the game including disease, lethality, fatigue, danger and other factors. Players will also find a new section which is dedicated to characters that are used to play the game’s Survival mode.

Other than the Survival mode addition, the update includes many different tweaks and fixes to the game including stability and performance improvements, crashes related to save issues, deployment of fixes for several specific issues with “The Nuclear Option”, “Defend The Castle”, “Appropriation” and other missions.

Along with the release of the patch, Bethesda has also sent out new Beta codes for Fan Harbor and players of the game can check their inboxes for codes. That being said, Fallout 4 continues to innovate and improve a game which is already near perfect. The survival mode should add a bit of a new challenge for those who are looking for replay value in the game and while the game already has plenty of stuff to do in the massive open world, Survival mode should add something more to your to-do list in Fallout 4.

Getting repeatedly kicked out of your online matches in Overwatch? Read on to find out more

Yesterday, Blizzard finally released the retail version of the insanely hyped multiplayer first-person shooter, Overwatch. The game has inarguably been one of the smoothest and well-organized game launches from the publisher behind the World of Warcraft series, Blizzard. The game features a whole array of different characters with different abilities and skill sets, using which teams of players compete against other similar teams online.  

For the most part, users have been able to play the game without any issue; however, some buyers of the game are reporting problems with staying connected to a joined game. According to numerous reports from users on Reddit along with Overwatch Forums, upon joining a game in Overwatch, it only stays connected for a few seconds until you’re kicked out to the login screen along with the error: “Lost Connection to Game Server.”  This issue occurs even when the user has a stable and active internet connection. Blizzard customer service has acknowledged this issue and is working on a fix. However, until a proper fix is issued, here are a few things you can try to resolve the issue. 

 

Wait For The Updates 

For the majority of users who have reported this issue, its root cause has been traced back to an impending update. Whenever Blizzard has to perform an update on the game, the servers need to be shutdown for upto an hour. And if you’re playing when the servers shutdown, you’ll be presented with this error. So just wait an hour until the updates finish and relaunch the game to start playing again. 

NAT Configuration 

If you’re certain the game isn’t currently being updated and yet you’re still getting the error, here’s a method which has worked for many. This issue often stems from incorrect NAT settings on your router. Go to your router settings from the web browser and disable NAT. Instruction for how to do that can be found by a simple Google search with your routers model along with Disable NAT. 

If the aforementioned methods don’t work for you, then you’ll just have to wait it out for the official fix. As soon as any more fixes surface, we’ll be sure to update this post.