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[Update: CWA has released notes on its presentation that it gave to the FCC last week outlining why it thinks the T-Mobile Sprint merger should be blocked. Arguments include the potential competitive impact, employment impact, rural coverage claims, 5G claims, and more.]

T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed merger has seen pushback from various groups. One in particular, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), is concerned the deal could mean up to 30,000 lost jobs. Now, 14 organizations including Consumer Reports, CWA, and the American Antitrust Institute have shared with the House of Representatives why they believe the deal shouldn’t be allowed and also called for hearings on the merger proposal.

Today, leaders from the 14 organizations sent a letter to Congressmen Nadler and Pallone, who are the ranking members on the Committee on the Judiciary and Committee on Energy & Commerce, respectively. The letter shares arguments for why the T-Mobile and Sprint merger should be blocked and also asks for hearings on the potential impacts of such a deal.

The organizations include:

American Antitrust Institute

Center for Media Justice

Common Cause

Communications Workers of America Consumer Reports

Fight for the Future

Free Press Action

The Greenlining Institute

National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low income clients

New America’s Open Technology Institute

Open Markets Institute

Public Knowledge

Rural Wireless Association Writers

Guild of America West

The concerns range from job losses, it being an anti-competitive and anti-consumer deal, to even incentivizing Verizon, AT&T, and the new T-Mobile to “collude.”

Here are some statements from leaders of these organizations:

George Slover, Senior Policy Counsel at Consumer Reports: “Wireless is one of the few telecommunications markets where we see real head-to-head competition delivering benefits for consumers. We need to preserve this dynamic that comes from having both T-Mobile and Sprint in the marketplace, competing vigorously and independently against each other, and against AT&T and Verizon. The supposed benefits the companies are promising are speculative, don’t require a merger to achieve them, and certainly aren’t worth the costs to consumers. Hearings in the House will help shed further light on the problems with allowing these two telecom giants to combine forces.”

Diana Moss, President at American Antitrust Institute (AAI): “A Sprint-T-Mobile deal would complete the rollup of the national U.S. wireless market, creating the “Big 3” with strong incentives to collude rather than compete. Consumers and workers have a right to competition. DOJ should block this deal.”

Debbie Goldman, Research and Telecommunications Policy Director at the Communications Workers of America (CWA): “The proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger will eliminate 30,000 jobs across the country, while reducing competition and raising prices for consumers, especially for price-conscious pre-paid wireless customers. Meanwhile, it raises significant national security concerns and would fail to bring broadband to rural communities. The House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees can play important roles in exploring the merger’s potential anti-competitive effects and shining a light on its potential impact on American workers and consumers.”

After T-Mobile and Sprint shifted their arguments for why the merger would be beneficial, and this latest barrage of concerns from 14 organizations, the odds of it happening seem to be diminishing.

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Here’s Why Oppo Reno8 T 5G Is The Current Best Mid

Over the years, the Reno series of Oppo has seen many improvements. From being just regular budget-friendly phones to all-rounder devices, Oppo has offered them all in this series. To see how actually the lineup could be pushed without raising the price tags, Oppo was busy improving the Reno8 T 5G. And the results paid off.

Eye-Catching Design of Oppo Reno8 T 5G

Even though the Reno8 T 5G is a mid-range phone, its outlooks tell a different story. The phone comes with a 3D curved screen, which features a 56-degree curve with an arc of 1.9 mm. This curvature not only gives the device a premium look but also ensures a comfortable grip.

But it is not just the back of the Reno8 T 5G that looks good. The front has a similar approach. The AMOLED screen that the phone comes with features a 93% screen-to-body ratio. It features 1.57 mm bezels on the side, while the lower chin is just 2.3 mm. In other words, it gives an almost edge-to-edge screen experience.

Durability to the Level Max

Oppo has integrated a lot of display optimizations to enhance the screen’s durability. For example, you have the DT -Star2 protective glass on the Reno8 T 5G. At the core, it is a secondary glass material that ensures better resistance to shattering and screen glass damage.

In fact, Oppo has made the Reno8 T 5G go through 23 quality tests across different categories. So, it is not just the screen that is durable. Instead, you can expect the overall phone to be long-lasting.

Crystal Clear Images with the 108MP Camera

Furthermore, you have a 2MP microscope lens on the back. It brings 40x zoom, enabling you to take much closer shots of objects. Oppo did not even back out on the front camera of the Reno8 T 5G. The front comes with a 32MP selfie shooter that can offer high-resolution images.

The Reno8 T 5G also has many image processing tricks. For example, you can easily access professional editing and cropping features. With those, you can make the shots look exactly how you want them to be. The editing features even allow you to highlight important parts of the image.

What about night-time photography? The Reno8 T 5G will not disappoint in that regard either. The 108MP sensor boasts NonaPixel Plus binning technology. This tech combines nine pixels into one, which results in a 1.92μm size for each. As a result, the sensor is more capable of absorbing light.

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Other AI enhancement features are available in the phone’s camera system. With those, you will not need to retouch your shots to make them social-media-ready.

Fully Charged Reno8 T 5G In Less Than An Hour

Fast charging is an essential feature for many these days. Thankfully, Oppo kept it under consideration for the Reno8 T 5G. The phone features a 67W SuperVOOC charging capability, allowing you to get the battery from 0 to 100% in just 44 minutes.

And it is not like the battery is small in size. The Reno8 T 5G packs a 4800mAh battery, offering superior screen time numbers. Also, you will not need to worry about safety issues when charging the phone. It comes with extra shielding layers that will keep the phone and you safe during the charging session.

To ensure you get the most from the battery, Oppo integrated an exclusive Battery Health Engine. It monitors the performance and makes sure that the battery’s health does not degrade rapidly.

In fact, according to Oppo, with the Battery Health Engine, the lifespan extends to up to 1600 charging and discharging cycles. That is double the industry standard, 800 cycles. In other words, you can expect the Reno8 T 5G battery to last about four years.

Superior Performance for the Money

Yes, the Oppo Reno8 T 5G will not win any benchmarks. But it will not disappoint you in terms of day-to-day performance. The device has a Snapdragon 695 5G, which Oppo paired with 8GB of RAM. Thanks to such a combination, you can expect the phone to offer smooth performance in most of the apps.

Talking of smoothness, the AMOLED panel of the phone has a 120Hz refresh rate. With its ability to show 1B colors, it offers a vivid scrolling and gaming experience. Also, there’s no need to worry about storage capacity. The base model of the Oppo Reno8 T 5G is 128GB, which is more than enough for most users. And if you don’t think 128GB will be enough for you, Oppo is offering a 256GB option for the Reno8 T 5G.

Overall, the phone does a lot of things right. And considering the fact that the phone costs just $340, you are indeed getting a lot for your money.

Major Aspects Of Somatic Hybridization

Introduction

Somatic hybridization is a recent innovation in plant breeding that overcomes these limitations. Somatic hybridization is the fusion of two somatic cells from different plant species to produce a hybrid. In this process, the two parent plants are not crossed sexually; instead, their somatic cells are fused in vitro to produce a hybrid plant.

Plant breeding is an age-old practice that has been undertaken by humans to obtain better yield, quality, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant hybridization, the process of crossing two genetically different plants to obtain a hybrid, has been the primary method used for plant breeding.

However, conventional hybridization techniques have certain limitations, such as limited genetic variability, incompatibility barriers, and long breeding cycles.

History of Somatic Hybridization

The history of somatic hybridization dates back to the early 1900s when Haberlandt first proposed the idea of fusing plant cells to create new hybrids. However, it was not until the 1960s that the first somatic hybrids were produced by fusing cells of Nicotiana glauca and N. lagomorphic.

Since then, somatic hybridization has been extensively studied and developed in various plant species.

Mechanisms of Somatic Hybridization

Somatic hybridization involves the fusion of two somatic cells from different plant species. The somatic cells are isolated from the parent plants and cultured in vitro.

Once the cells have divided and formed a callus, they are treated with chemicals or subjected to an electric field to promote cell fusion. The resulting hybrid cells are then cultured to form a new plant.

There are two main mechanisms of somatic hybridization −

Protoplast Fusion: Protoplast fusion involves the isolation of protoplasts, which are plant cells that have had their cell walls removed. The protoplasts from the two parent plants are then fused using chemicals or enzymes.

Electrofusion Electrofusion involves the use of an electric field to fuse the two somatic cells.

Applications of Somatic Hybridization

Somatic hybridization has many applications in plant breeding. One of the main applications is the production of hybrid plants that have desirable traits from both parent plants.

For example, somatic hybridization can be used to combine the resistance to diseases of one plant species with the high yield of another plant species. Somatic hybrids can also be used to produce plants with improved stress tolerance, such as resistance to drought or salinity.

Hybrid of Wheat

Another application of somatic hybridization is the production of plants with novel traits that are not found in either parent plant. This is because somatic hybridization can create new combinations of genes that are not found in the parent plants. For example, somatic hybrids can be used to produce plants with altered flower colors, improved fragrance, or modified growth habits.

Advantages of Somatic Hybridization

Somatic hybridization also has a shorter breeding cycle compared to traditional plant breeding techniques. Conventional plant breeding can take several years to produce a new hybrid, whereas somatic hybridization can produce a new hybrid within a few months. This is because somatic hybridization can be done in vitro and does not require the lengthy process of growing plants to maturity.

Limitations of Somatic Hybridization

This can be due to a variety of factors, such as genetic incompatibilities, the use of incompatible chemicals, or inefficient fusion techniques.

Another limitation of somatic hybridization is that the resulting hybrids can have an unstable genome. This is because somatic hybridization can produce new combinations of genes that are not found in the parent plants. As a result, the hybrids may exhibit unpredictable traits or genetic instability, which can make them unsuitable for commercial production.

Finally, somatic hybridization is a relatively expensive and time-consuming process. The process requires specialized equipment and expertise, making it difficult for smaller plant breeding programs to adopt somatic hybridization.

Additionally, the cost of producing somatic hybrids can be higher compared to traditional plant breeding methods.

Conclusion

However, somatic hybridization also has limitations that need to be addressed, such as the high cost and time required for the process, as well as the potential for unstable genomes in the resulting hybrids.

As technology continues to improve, somatic hybridization will likely become more accessible and cost-effective, making it an increasingly important tool in plant breeding for the development of new crops with desirable traits.

How To Tell If Motherboard Is Dead

When you have a dead motherboard, depending on the severity, connected parts such as RGB and the CPU fans may turn on, but the PC itself will not. However, in some extreme cases, the PC will not even respond. Besides this, faulty PC parts are also a reasonable cause for having a PC that does not boot.

Therefore, users need to perform a thorough review before concluding that a motherboard is dead. So, we have brought forth this article to help you differentiate a dead motherboard from something else.

Signs of a Failing Motherboard

A failing motherboard will give you some warning, and the components connected to it will also begin to fail. So, let us begin with signs of a failing motherboard.

Almost regular occurrence of the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)

The system restarts automatically.

The motherboard speaker beeps error code constantly

The overall decrease in your computer’s performance

The system monitors high temperatures even when idle

The motherboard has trouble detecting its internal components (CPU, RAM, HHD or SSD, etc.)

These are all possible signs that you have a failing motherboard. However, this may not always mean your motherboard is dying. Sometimes, simple bugs may be causing these issues.

Nevertheless, if your computer starts to show this behavior, it is usually best to fix these issues before they cause any damage to the computer.

How to Tell If a Motherboard is Dead?

Follow the steps in the order they are listed. However, keep in mind that with each step you take, the likelihood of your motherboard failing increases.

Check for any Physical Damages

The first thing we can do to tell if a motherboard is dead is to check for physical damage. Physical damages to the motherboard include its header, DIMM slots, or CPU sockets. Check if these slots and pins are loose or bent. Depending on the severity of the damage, we can try fixing it in a local repair shop.

However, if there are any visible cracks on the motherboard, there is no possible way to fix it, and your motherboard will render useless.

Some other physical damages on the motherboard that we can check are explained below.

Bulged Capacitors

Capacitors are the tall cylindrical parts on the motherboards that handle power spikes. If some components are supplied with high power, these capacitors absorb it and protect the motherboard from damage.

A bulged capacitor indicates that it is no longer functional. As a result, your components will be vulnerable to voltage spikes.

Burned Spot on Motherboard

Another visual damage sign on your motherboard is a burnt spot. If there are any burns on your motherboard, it most likely means that there was a short circuit when the computer was turned on.

When any electrical system short circuits, it immediately stops functioning.

This holds true for the motherboard as well. If there are any burnt spots on your motherboard, it is most likely dead.

Check for Error Indication

If we cannot find any physical damage to the motherboard, check if the motherboard gives some error message. Usually, when a motherboard does not turn on, it will either light up an LED light or sound beep codes to indicate something is wrong.

These LED lights getting lit means that it is having issues with the graphics card, CPU, power supply, or physical memory. Similarly, if a speaker is connected to the motherboard‘s front panel connectors, it will beep error codes when the motherboard encounters an error. 

So, if your motherboard does not respond or give any LED light error or error beep codes, there is a high chance that you have a dead motherboard. However, there are cases like faulty PSU that make it seem like your motherboard is dead.

If your motherboard gives you an error code or some LED light error, then the issue you have is not with a dead motherboard. Analyze these error codes to fix the problem.

Examine the PSU

Another reason a motherboard may seem like a dead one is because of insufficient Power Supply from PSU or an uncertified one. All your components connected to the motherboard require some amount of power. 

If the PSU fails to deliver sufficient power to this motherboard, it will stop functioning and make it seem like we have a dead motherboard. Therefore, ensure that the power supply is adequate for all your system components.

Newegg and Coolermaster have a great section on their websites to determine the total power supply. If your PSU supplies low power, then the recommended number from these sites is ideal for replacing it.

PSU Voltage

Similarly, if a PSU is not certified, it can also cause issues that can seem like the motherboard is dead. Therefore, before considering that the motherboard is dead, replace the PSU with a certified one. A power supply must be at least 80 Plus Bronze certified.

If you have a PSU that is certified and supplies enough power to the system, and it still does not turn on, try disconnecting parts that are not required during boot.

Disconnect Everything

Some internal components can take an unusual amount of power that may stop a motherboard from booting. Removing this component such as hard disk, SSD, or even the USB will give the motherboard enough power to turn on.

If the motherboard turns on, the issue is most likely with the parts that you just disconnected.

Swap Components

One of the last tasks we can perform to determine if a motherboard is dead is swapping the hardware component. In some cases, when we have a faulty part, such as RAM and the CPU, the motherboard may even cease to function. 

So, we can try swapping these components one at a time to determine the part that may create a dead motherboard. Swapping major components, such as the CPU processor and RAM or using one RAM stick at a time, can help us pinpoint the issue.

Finally,

Unfortunately, the motherboard is most likely dead if you have performed every mentioned step and you still cannot turn on or make the motherboard respond. However, if you’ve bought the motherboard and it is DOA (Dead on Arrival), the motherboard manufacturer will refund or may even send you a different board.

The Best New Smartphones And Gadgets From Mobile World Congress 2023

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Huawei’s folding phone is even more impressive—and expensive—than Samsung’s Huawei

If you follow tech news at all, you’ve probably noticed a bunch of new smartphones debuting over the past few days. That’s because the Mobile World Congress is underway in Barcelona and the manufacturers are vying for your attention. The news is a lot to take in, so here’s a simple look at the new stuff that you actually need to know about from MWC 2023.

Samsung kicked things off with its folding phone

Last week marked the announcement of a whole gaggle of Samsung gadgets just before MWC got started. The most practical announcement was the Galaxy S10 with a nifty fingerprint sensor that’s under the screen itself. The most exciting new device, however, was the Galaxy Fold, which flaps open to reveal a 7.3-inch screen that functions as a tablet.

Huawei Mate X is a skinnier folding phone with a bigger screen

While Huawei’s phone folds, it’s a lot different than Samsung’s. The Mate X has a 6.6-inch main screen on the front as well as a 6.38-inch display on the back. Flip the device open and it becomes an 8-inch screen with a total resolution of 2,480 x 2,000. It looks like a better experience than the Samsung when it’s closed, but of course, we’ll only know for sure once we’ve used them.

The Mate X will hit the market this summer with a price tag that checks in around $2,600. Yes, that’s a lot, but this one is more appealing to me than the Samsung, at least at this early stage.

Microsoft Hololens 2 is the next generation of augmented reality

Cameras in the hardware measure the device’s distance from the user’s eyes and adjusts the picture accordingly without manual settings. The field of view is both wider and taller, which allows it to make a much more convincing augmented reality experience that extends farther into your peripheral vision. And the displays provide a higher resolution so you can see smaller text and fit more info onto the display itself.

The $3,500 HoloLens is still meant for commercial clients, so don’t expect one of these to help you make dinner any time soon. It will make its way onto the faces of medical or manufacturing professionals, as well as educators and their students.

Sony Xperia 1 is a 4K HDR OLED smartphone

This little rectangle is better than your TV at home. Sony

With that many acronyms, a smartphone has to be good, right? Sony’s new flagship phone is a pile of fancy specs, boasting a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB RAM, and 128GB built-in storage. The real draw, however, is the screen. The 6.5-inch screen has a super-wide (or tall, if you’re holding it vertically) aspect ratio with 3,840 x 1664 4K resolution. It also has high-dynamic range (HDR) and Dolby Atmos Audio support, the sum of which make it nicer than your TV at home. To match the screen, the smartphone has three different cameras to shoot different fields of view (wide-angle, normal, and telephoto) to a 12-megapixel sensor. It even has a feature that automatically focuses on a portrait subject’s eye when you take a photo so you don’t accidentally get a blurry person with a sharp background.

On paper, the camera looks like a monster, but we know that specs aren’t everything. There’s no official pricing yet, but it’s slated for spring of this year.

Oppo is working on a smartphone camera lens with 10x optical zoom

“Optical zoom” is a term that smartphone makers use rather liberally. In the camera world, it typically refers to a lens with pieces that move inside to change the field of view. A wider field of view makes a wide-angle lens, while a narrow field of view is telephoto. Smartphones, however, typically just add several lenses and sensors and switch between them, using digital magic to fill in the gaps. The new 10x optical zoom smartphone camera from Oppo will have three cameras, the widest of which will be just 16mm (about 50 percent wider than a typical iPhone camera) and 160mm, which is even more telephoto than photographers would typically use to shoot a portrait.

Sprint and HTC made a 5G hub

The face of the Hub is an Android tablet. HTC

There’s going to be a tricky transition period while 5G rolls out to users, in which smartphones and other devices won’t have the necessary hardware to talk directly with the faster network. That’s where devices like HTC’s 5G Hub come into play. It’s mostly an access point that connects to 5G network and then slings that data out to up to 20 devices. If a phone doesn’t have the necessary 5G equipment inside, the hub can sling data over typical WiFi or the newer, faster WiFi 6. It also has a battery baked in, so it can keep providing a connection even without power.

Nokia put five cameras on the 9 PureView smartphone

The backs of phones sure are getting crowded. Nokia

Oh, three cameras isn’t enough to stuff inside of a smartphone? Well, then, how about five? That’s what Nokia did with the 9 PureView device, which has two color cameras and a trio of black-and-white sensors, all of which fire for every shot. You don’t get five separate levels of zoom or anything like that. Instead, the device snaps five simultaneous shots and then mashes all that image data together to make one really sharp image that’s loaded with detail. The monochrome sensors help with things like contrast and sharpness at object edges. It also helps keep highlights from blowing out and shadows from going pure black (which is called “clipping”). Those extra cameras can also help with capturing things like depth information for faking backgrounds blur.

The initial test images I’ve seen actually look a little too sharp, which is to say that the edges are so defined that the pictures can look harsh. But, surely users will have options for tweaking the look of their photos down the road.

The LG ThinQ G8 has an unusual suite of features

Hope your hand veins are looking their best. LG

It doesn’t fold, but the LG ThinQ G8 phone is unique in a couple of ways. For one, the screen itself is the speaker like in the totally sealed phones we saw earlier this year. It has gesture controls and a feature that allows you to unlock it by showing the front-facing camera the palm of your hand. But, things get more normal from there on out.

We’ll update this post with more cool gadgets as they arrive.

Official Ice Cream Sandwich For T

The update is available via Kies, but in case you want to flash it manually on your T-Mobile Galaxy S2, you can do so by following the step-by-step guide below.

Read on to find out how to manually update to Android 4.0 on the T-Mobile Galaxy S2.

Compatibility

This ROM and the guide below are compatible only and only with the T-Mobile Galaxy S2, model number SGH-T989. It’s not compatible with any other device. Check your device’s model number in Settings» About phone.

Warning!

The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky and you should not attempt anything if you don’t know completely what it is. If any damage occurs to your device, we won’t be held liable.

How to Install Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 T989UVLE1 Firmware on T-Mobile Galaxy S2

Download Drivers

Important! Don’t forget to at least make a backup of your APN settings, which you can restore later if your data connection does not work after installing the ROM. Use the backup guide to find out how.

Extract the SGH-T989_TMB_1_20120608172207_ugy1nehf4g.zip to obtain a file named T989UVLE1_T989TMBLE1_T989UVLE1_HOME.tar.md5.

Switch off your phone. Then, boot into download mode. To do this, turn off your phone. Plug in your USB cable to the computer, but not to the phone. Then, holding the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons on the phone, plug in the USB cable to the phone while holding those buttons. Once the Download mode screen shows up, let go of the buttons.

After you connect the phone in download mode, you’ll notice Added!! message in Odin’s message box in the bottom left. If you don’t get the message, check that the drivers are properly installed and start from step 6 again.

Important! Do not touch any other button or make any other changes in Odin except selecting the required file as given in step 9.

Now, hit the START button to start flashing the firmware. When the flashing is complete, your phone will automatically reboot — and when you see the Samsung logo, you can safely unplug the cable. Plus, you’ll get a PASS message (with green background) in the left-most box at the very top of Odin. What to do if Odin gets stuck: If ODIN gets stuck and doesn’t seem to be doing anything, or you get a FAIL message (with red background) in ODIN, disconnect the phone from the PC, close ODIN, remove battery, re-insert it, then repeat the procedure from step 6.

After you’ve got the PASS message, it’s possible — and okay — that phone might get stuck at S logo, and not boot up completely. It’s okay, just follow the steps 13.1 to 13.3 below, and you will be fine. And, if it boots up fine, without getting stuck at S logo, you’re fine. The Android 4.0 installation has been done successfully. So, do the following only if your i9100 doesn’t move beyond the S logo when booting up after getting PASS in Odin (make sure you wait some good 10-15 mins to confirm that it’s stuck):

Boot to recovery mode — for which, remove and re-insert the battery, then press and hold Volume Down + Volume Up + Power keys together till the screen turns on. Once you are in recovery mode, use volume keys to move the selection up and down and power or home key to select the option.

Go to Wipe Data/Factory Reset and select it. Select Yes on next screen.

Now, select reboot system now to reboot your phone. It will now boot up fine and you can use the latest Android 4.0 firmware on your T-Mobile Galaxy S2.

If you run into any roadblocks while flashing the firmware, let us know and we’ll help you out.

[Root] If you want to get root access on the Android 4.0 firmware, follow this guide.

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