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There is a confusing variety of memory cards in use today—SD cards, Micro SD cards, Mini SD cards, and SDHC cards. The TF Card is a curious outlier in this lineup. Here’s how they differ from other cards and why you might use one.

Why Do SD Cards Have So Many Names?

SD (Secure Digital) cards are storage devices developed by Secure Digital Association. Formed as a joint venture between SanDisk, Panasonic, and Toshiba, SDA is tasked with creating semiconductor flash memories (like SSD hard drives).

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As the technology evolved, these flash memory cards started being used with various devices, from MP3 players to mobile phones to GPS devices. As a result, newer versions of the SD card got larger capacities. These capacities were denoted by suffixes like HC (High Capacity), XC (eXtended Capacity), and UC (Ultra Capacity).

As this includes all cards with storage space over 2 GB, most SD cards you see in use today will have one of these suffixes attached to their names. Micro SDHC cards are the most prevalent, with the top-capacity versions being SDXC cards.

What Is a TF Card Used For?

As mobile devices grew increasingly popular, it became clear that the future of computing had to target that segment. But SD memory cards, even Mini SD cards, were too large for the rapidly shrinking cell phone. So a new standard had to be developed.

SanDisk and Motorola worked together to create T-Flash cards, which boasted capacities of up to 512 MB in a size smaller than a fingernail. A trademark dispute with T-mobile led to the name becoming TransFlash card, which was often shortened to just TF card.

As the first Motorola phone rolled out with the brand new TF card, interest rose in the technology. The SD Association ultimately acquired the standard, rechristening it to the Micro SD card.

This resulted in the release of the world’s smallest memory cards, suitable for use with gadgets of all kinds. Apart from Android and iOS smartphones, Micro SD cards were adopted by things like video game consoles and dashcams.

How Are Micro SD Cards Different?

Micro SD cards and TF cards have the same functionality. Most of the SD cards used today are Micro SD cards, thanks to the popularity of smartphones and digital cameras.

A TF memory card is simply an older version of the Micro SD, with generally lower capacity. They use the same SD card slot – any card reader (including internal card readers in laptops) that accepts a Micro SD card will also take a TF card without any issues.

Micro SD cards will usually perform better than TF cards because SDA is continuously developing them. Be it storage capacity or read-write speeds, Micro SD cards have come a long way, leaving the older TF cards in the dust.

Can You Still Buy TF Cards?

Finding an SD card without the official Micro SD branding today is difficult. The introduction of HC and XC memory cards completely transformed the market, and most memory cards you can buy today have storage capacities of over 8 GB.

As such, there’s no reason for any manufacturer to continue selling outdated TF cards, which were released before high-capacity memory cards were a thing. The only way to get a TF card today is if you already own one from its initial launch.

How Do TF Cards Differ From SD Cards?

TF cards are just the name of an early iteration of the Micro SD card. It uses the same slot, works the same way, and even has a similar form factor.

The only difference lies in technical specifications. This is because Micro SD cards have continued to get updates from the SD association, while the only TF cards in circulation are the ones sold in the early days.

If you still possess a TF card, you can continue using it with any smartphone or card reader without any hassle. However, remember that their performance will not be on par with any modern Micro SD card, and it would be a good idea to upgrade.

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What Are Chatgpt Plugins And How Do They Work?

Information about what are ChatGPT Plugins and how they work are detailed in this article

In the AI industry, ChatGPT plugins are in vogue. With its human-like responses to a wide range of prompts and its ability to handle moderately complex tasks like code writing and data analysis since its launch in late 2023, ChatGPT has captivated the world.

However, it also comes with some restrictions. To some extent, ChatGPT plugins will be able to assist in overcoming these drawbacks. There’s something else to ChatGPT plugins besides making the chatbot safeguard; modules will upgrade ChatGPT’s capacities by giving extra usefulness.

What is ChatGPT Plugin?

The simplest method for making sense of something new is to analogize them to what’s recognizable; however, this risks distortion and oversight of subtleties. If ChatGPT was an iPhone, the modules are the applications on the telephone. ChatGPT is no longer just a chatbot; it has turned into a stage, an environment.

As you can introduce applications onto your telephone and grow its abilities, add new highlights, and upgrade its utilities, you’ll have the option to introduce modules in ChatGPT to make it considerably more valuable than it is. Modules will permit you to interface it to the web and get modern data, improve its numerical and abilities to code, and modify it for additional particular errands.

ChatGPT’s built-in functionality will be supplemented and tailored by ChatGPT plugins. They will furnish clients with data inside their talk hence lessening the need to switch between applications and locales to get what they need.

Depending on the function they are designed for, ChatGPT plugins will be able to assist with a variety of tasks, including language translation, sentiment analysis, tax preparation, and task scheduling. They will empower clients to bring ongoing data like games, stocks, and news; recover data from an organization’s information base and individual notes; arrange for flights, buy groceries, and food; and access open government data.

It’s unrealistic to predict all that ChatGPT modules can do or what direction they’d take as a ton relies upon designers and whether they will put resources into the ChatGPT biological system. However, taking a gander at the early signs, there’s a lot to be amped up for.

How do plugins for ChatGPT work?

Users of ChatGPT can retrieve information as defined by the plugin’s developers using ChatGPT plugins. At the point when a client gives a brief, ChatGPT “chooses” whether to draw data from the information it has been prepared by OpenAI or to finish the solicitation utilizing one of the introduced modules, contingent upon importance. For instance, on the off chance that a client requests lodgings to say in, say, Milan, one of the booking modules, for example, Expedia might be summoned and data about cost and booking will be served utilizing the significant module.

Here’s a quick overview of how ChatGPT plugins operate without getting too technical.

Module designers make a manifest record containing a machine-intelligible portrayal of the module’s capacities and how to conjure them as well as client-confronting documentation. The data is incorporated into a brief framing of how ChatGPT might utilize it to improve its responses.

After that, the plugin is moved to the “Plugin Store,” where users can install it. Since modules are not empowered as a matter of course, clients should initiate them physically to utilize them.

Smartphones With Satellite Connections – What Do They Offer

A “Small Step” for Smartphone Makers

Let’s first look at what Huawei satellite connections offer. According to the company, the Huawei Mate 50 can send “short messages” (but not receive) by connecting to Beidou satellites. It will work only using the Huawei “Changlian App” and it works without a mobile network. Huawei’s technology originates from the “Mobile Beidou Short Message Communication RF Baseband Integrated Chip” released on July 30 this year. However, when a mobile phone uses this chip and directly connects to satellites, the main usage scenario is exploration and rescue positioning, not talking. After all, the main function of the Beidou system is positioning and navigation, not communication.

On Apple, the satellite connections on the iPhone 14 series focus on security. When there is no mobile signal and no high obstacles, users can select the option through Apple’s own Find App. In 15 seconds to a few minutes, it will connect directly to the satellite, and then switch back to the ground base station and relay station. This way, the ground voice call emergency centre can receive the information.

The direct satellite connection function of mass consumer smartphones is only a small step. Whether the future can take another big step depends on whether the following goals can be achieved:

Directly connect to satellites, high-speed and stable all-weather access, to achieve two-way high-throughput communication.

A stable and large-scale business model between smartphones and satellite service providers. 

Similar to terrestrial mobile communication service providers, there are different constellations of communication satellites to choose from.

But at present, there are a lot of technical problems to be solved in order to realize the above sci-fi scene.

Technical route for satellite connections 

There are some technical routes for smartphones to directly connect to the satellite. Each route has its own difficulties and four key issues:

1. Frequency band problem

Secondly, how to use it. The satellite-specific frequency bands and protocols are different from the terrestrial cellular frequency bands. It is currently difficult to use these frequency bands Ku, Ka and Q/V to directly connect mobile phones with satellites. There will also be cross-interference in mobile communication, and even the mobile 4G/5G standard needs modification.

2. Issue of balancing costs 3. Antenna problem

At present, mobile phones have built-in antennas. It is not difficult to increase the transmission power when the satellite transmits signals to the mobile phone. However, when the mobile phone transmits signals to the satellite, it is not only difficult to achieve. There are also strict restrictions on the transmission power of the mobile phone.

4. Docking of mobile phones and satellites

According to “China Electronics News”, the satellite moving too fast, Doppler effect caused by radio signal frequency and phase changes will be difficult problems. Taking the high-speed rail in an area with sparse signal towers, the mobile phone network is always intermittent. This is because people move too fast with the high-speed rail and there are too few signal towers. Similarly, the density of communication satellites should be as many as the signal towers. The mobile phone will have a good experience if it directly connects to the satellite.

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Satellite connections can not work for short videos

The bandwidth of communication transmission depends on the transmission frequency, the higher the signal frequency, the faster the data transmission rate. However, under the premise of given transmission power, the higher the signal frequency, the shorter the transmission distance. Therefore, satellites with communication functions, especially high-throughput communication functions, are mostly low-orbit satellites (orbit altitude 200km~2000km).

Low-orbit small satellite constellations are the mainstream of satellite communications due to their small power requirements. They also have simple launch methods and low investment costs. But the power of small satellites is limited, and users must rely on special ground receiving equipment to use these companies’ satellite Internet. This means that the satellite connection for smartphones is not enough for users to browse the internet.

Can satellites in higher orbits communicate?

Beidou satellite is a typical medium-orbit earth satellite (MEO), but the main function of the Beidou satellite is navigation. The communication function is much simpler. Short message is a primary satellite communication service provided by the Beidou system. Terminals have specific chips that can send and receive text, voice or small pictures in both directions through Beidou satellites. This service is mostly used in emergency disaster relief, ocean communications and other scenarios that cannot be covered by ground base stations.

Medium-orbit satellites are located at a distance of 2000km to 35,786km from sea level and are mainly used to build large-scale navigation system satellite constellations. Large-scale global navigation systems such as GPS, Beidou, GLONASS, and Galileo are all located in medium orbits.

At present, only O3b is a medium-orbit communication operator, and it mainly provides broadband access services for various operators or group customers with limited access to the ground network. Thuraya, which is the same name as Iridium is located in a higher geosynchronous orbit (GEO, 35,786 km from sea level, and a radius of 42,164 km from the center of the earth). However, the medium and high orbit satellites are far from the ground, so the communication bandwidth is not high and the transmission delay is large. Thus, it is very difficult to use them for direct connection to consumer smartphones.

To break through, not to hype

“Mobile phone with satellite” is of course a sexy and eye-catching concept, but we should examine its commercial potential with a rational attitude, rather than being misled by the temporary market hype.

The current estimates of the market size of satellite Internet are quite confusing. The results given by different calibers and institutions vary greatly.

Morgan Stanley is the most optimistic, predicting that the global satellite Internet market size is expected to reach $45.426 billion in 2030. But other more conservative expectations are only $17.431 billion to $18.59 billion, the gap is quite large. For a more cautious short-term forecast, it is expected that by 2026, the size of the market will reach $6 billion to $8.1 billion US, there is a big gap between 2030 and the aforementioned forecast.

In simple terms, the use of satellite connections on smartphones is not as simple as the brands make it sound. It is also not a seamless process and it is not as easy as dialling a number on your smartphone. There are technical issues with satellite communications when turning to more conventional and broad basic application scenarios. Obviously, in the absence of sufficiently powerful satellites, “satellite Internet” can only be regarded as a supplementary route at most.

The demand for satellite Internet comes from remote areas that are difficult to reach with the traditional network coverage.  Ordinary residents who rely on satellites instead of optical fibers to access the Internet are relatively limited. This reduces the demand for satellite Internet to a certain extent. Analysis by overseas institutions.

What can satellite smartphones really do?

Another key question is what can users do with phones that can connect directly to satellites. At present, satellite communication cannot meet the basic needs of ordinary mobile Internet users. In most cases, smartphones with satellite connections can only support sending and receiving short messages. This function will only be useful in times of specific needs. Even at such situations, the reliability of the feature can not be guaranteed. For ordinary users, the satellite function may never be used. It is obviously too early to consider the satellite connection as a feature to drive the market.

We can say that “satellite Internet” is an important supplement to traditional network services. However, saying that it will form a large-scale replacement for the existing network service coverage model will undoubtedly exaggerate its actual function and commercial potential.

Bitcoin’s Price Reversal Might Be On The Cards?

BTC’s price has rallied by 40% since 1 January.

Investors have recorded significant gains, and now, a price reversal might follow. 

Exchanging hands at the $23,200 price mark at press time, the leading coin Bitcoin [BTC], currently trades at levels last seen in August 2023. On a year-to-date basis, BTC’s price has rallied by 40%, per data from CoinMarketCap.

Sharing a statistically significant positive correlation with several other assets in the market, the growth in BTC’s price has resulted in the growth in the value of several other crypto assets in the last month.

According to data from CoinGecko, global cryptocurrency market capitalization has increased by 21% in the last month.

Holders are in profit, but for how long?

BTC’s rally to a five-month high in the last month has led many of its holders to log profits on their BTC holdings. An assessment of the cost basis for short-term and long-term holders revealed this.

The cost basis for any BTC holder is the average purchase price of the BTC they possess. This considers any variations in BTC’s price at the time of purchase. This cost basis determines capital gains or losses when the BTC is sold. 

According to Twitter analyst Will Clemente, the cost basis for short-term and long-term BTC holders were $18,900 and $22,300, respectively.

However, since BTC’s price has rallied beyond these points, these cohorts of investors were “no longer underwater,” Clemente said. 

Bitcoin has now reclaimed its long-term holder cost basis ($22.3k) in addition to its short-term holder cost basis ($18.9k) and the aggregated cost basis. Behavioral shift as holders in aggregate are no longer underwater.

— Will Clemente (@WClementeIII) January 29, 2023

Further, CryptoQuant analyst Phi Deltalytics assessed BTC’s short-term Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) and found that “sentiment from Bitcoin short-term on-chain participants has reached the greediest level since January 2023.” According to the analyst, the SOPR was positioned well above the bullish threshold of one, indicating an overly stretched market.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the Bitcoin Profit Calculator

Deltalytics noted further that the bullish trend could be short-lived without an increase in stablecoin reserves on spot exchanges. 

A look at Crypto Fear & Greed Index confirmed the analyst’s position. At press time, the index showed that greed permeated the cryptocurrency markets.

When the index is in the “greed” range, it means that investors have become increasingly confident and optimistic about the market and may be more willing to take on risk.

This also suggests that prices are becoming overvalued and that a market correction may be imminent.

An assessment of BTC’s movement on the daily chart confirmed the possibility of a price correction. Since 21 January, the king coin has traded in a tight range.

When BTC’s price oscillates within a tight range, it means that the price is not making significant moves in either direction and is staying within a relatively narrow band. 

An analysis of BTC’s Money Flow Index (MFI) and Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) indicators raised more concerns as these technical indicators have been trending downwards since 21 January. 

The tight range of BTC’s price combined with downtrends in the MFI and CMF suggested a lack of buying momentum and potential for increased selling pressure.

This also showed that the market was likely to break down from the tight range to the downside.

Multiple Ports On Your Pc: What Do They Do For You?

While the examples here focus on desktop PCs, most of these connections are available on various laptop PCs as well.

For an examination of common and not-so-common connections that you may find on your system’s motherboard, see “Motherboard Port Guide: Solving Your Connector Mystery.”

Schizophrenic USB

USB used to be simple. You had USB 2.0 and… that was it. USB 1.0 connections existed for a brief time, but once USB 2.0 came along, with substantially better throughput, it became widely adopted. As with any widely adopted standard, variants appeared. Let’s look at some flavors of USB you might find, and how they might vary.

USB 2.0 is the standard port type. These days, mice, keyboards, hard drives, optical drives, printers, and just about anything else can be found in a USB 2.0 flavor to plug into one of these ports. Even with the emergence of USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB), USB 2.0 is still the most versatile connection.

This particular type of USB port ships on certain recent Asus-manufactured motherboards. This is a standard USB 2.0 port, and can be used as a normal connection to USB 2.0 devices. However, it’s also able to auto-install a BIOS. You need to copy a special BIOS flash program to a USB flash memory key, as well as the BIOS you want to install. Then press a button next to the port when the system is powered up, and the BIOS auto-installs. This is a pretty geeky feature, tailor-made for hard-core enthusiasts who may have gotten themselves into trouble with severe overclocking or other tweaks.

These types of ports are available on motherboards made by Asus, Gigabyte and possibly other manufacturers. It increases the available trickle current out of the USB port to charge up mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This is in response to devices like Apple’s iPad, which requires more current to charge than the normal USB 2.0 port might supply to charge in a reasonable amount of time.

USB 3.0 is the latest version of USB, and is also known as SuperSpeed USB. It increases maximum throughput to 5 gigabits per second (625MB per second.) Most PCs implement USB 3.0 through a discrete chip built onto the motherboard, but some AMD chipsets have USB 3.0 built into the PC’s core logic. Intel will be building USB 3.0 into its core logic in its next-generation Ivy Bridge chipsets.

USB 3.0 is backward-compatible, so you can plug in USB 2.0 devices, but you’ll get only USB 2.0 speeds. Also, USB 3.0 cables are different than earlier USB cables, so be sure to get the right cable type for your USB 3.0 device, if your spiffy SuperSpeed USB gizmo didn’t include a cable in the box.

Next: eSATA, Audio, and Networking

eSATA: Redundant, but Useful

Enter eSATA or external SATA. The latest eSATA connections can handle 6gbps SATA drives and connections, which is a little faster than USB 3.0. A variety of external SATA enclosures exist that support various RAID formats if you’re looking for redundant storage.

Networking Connections

The most obvious networking connection on desktop PCs is the ubiquitous ethernet jack.

Gigabit ethernet is built into most systems today, and if you have a wired house, there’s currently no faster network connection available, though that may change if 802.11ac wireless networking becomes a reality.

Some motherboards support wireless connectivity. Those that do now ship with 802.11n Wi-Fi on board, which does allow for throughput up to 600 megabits per second. And you can even occasionally find Bluetooth on board, as this image indicates. This allows easier integration with Bluetooth-capable devices, such as smartphones.

The Sound and the Fury: Audio Connections

The most commonly used audio connections are the analog minijacks on the back of the PC. If you’re one of those rare folk with a multichannel PC speaker setup, you’ll use three or four output connections–typically green, black, orange, and gray–to your speaker setup for multichannel audio. The pink one is the microphone input and the blue jack is the line input.

Next: Display Connectors

Display Connectors: Past, Present, and Future

Of all the types of connectors, monitor connections seem to have the longest lifespan. It always surprises me when I unpack a Dell monitor to find the VGA cable pre-attached. What century is this again?

Systems supporting integrated graphics often still have VGA connectors. Most monitors shipping today still offer VGA as a connection as well, though we’re finally seeing some displays without that ancient analog connector. I see very few discrete graphics cards with VGA any longer, though most still ship with a DVI-to-VGA dongle should you need it.

DVI (digital visual interface) first appeared in 1999, while VGA emerged over a decade earlier, in 1987. However, both DVI and VGA will ride off into the sunset together in 2024. DVI was the first widely adopted digital connection for PC monitors, and will be superseded by DisplayPort.

DisplayPort seems redundant, given the existence of HDMI. But DisplayPort brings a few wrinkles to the table for PC monitors, wrinkles not available with HDMI. Licensing is one aspect–DisplayPort is licensed through the industry standards body VESA, and is royalty-free. With DisplayPort 1.2, you can daisy-chain up to two high-bandwidth monitors, and the standard will support DisplayPort hubs for connecting even more monitors. DisplayPort also supports bit rates up to twice the throughput of HDMI, enabling support for very-high-resolution displays.

DisplayPort can also carry audio signals, up to eight channels total, with an aggregate bandwidth of 49 megabits per second.

Mini-DisplayPort was originally popularized by Apple, but is included as part of DisplayPort 1.2. It’s common on current-generation graphics cards built with AMD Radeon HD 6000 and HD 7000 series graphics cards.

Next: The Past and the Future

Showing Their Age

A number of connectors still show up in a few systems, even though they’re rarely used by most home PC users. Some of these are more useful for businesses, which may need them to support older hardware still used to help run some applications.

FireWire, or IEEE 1394, is also still fairly common, though rarer on the newest motherboards. It’s useful if you have older camcorders or pro audio gear.

The nine-pin serial port is almost impossible to find any longer; this picture is from an old Pentium 4-based motherboard. Despite that scarcity, a number of laboratory instruments, point-of-sale devices, and other hardware in some businesses require serial connections. In fact, you’ll find serial-port pinouts available on many recent-generation motherboards, but no way to actually connect them. You can buy PCI bracket adapters with serial ports that plug into these motherboard connectors, and a few boards do ship with those adapters.

Future Connections

We haven’t shown some connections you’ll likely see in PCs this coming year, or may already exist on some Apple Mac OS systems. One example is Thunderbolt, the new high-speed serial interface that has appeared on some Apple systems. It’s likely that we’ll see Thunderbolt ports on upcoming Ivy Bridge-based systems running Windows later this year.

So what type of oddball connector is on the back of your system? Drop by and tell us what’s on the back of your PC that we haven’t mentioned.

How Android P Gestures Differ From Oreo’s Button

By now, you must have gotten accustomed to smartphone companies plucking the best features from their competitors and either blatantly re-implementing them in their original form or making some tweaks to (mostly) improve the features in question.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen lots of phones arriving with a notched display and Face unlock, features that emulate Apple’s iPhone X. Android P has even welcomed this idea by including support for display screens of various form factors, notably the notch. These are cool additions, but they’re mostly hardware-related, which is one area Google doesn’t thrive, yet.

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While Apple is one of the best when it comes to smartphone hardware, it’s not your best bet when looking for regular software redesigns and introduction of new features every time a new version of iOS is released. But with iOS 11, the iPhone maker did introduce a new and what is proving to be a game-changing feature on iPhone X dubbed gestures.

To quash away any suggestions that Google copied gestures from iPhone X, VP of Engineering for Android, Dave Burke, was quick to point out that this is the result of over a year’s work. As you may know, the iPhone X came to fruition in September 2023.

The future of navigation on Android phones

The introduction of gestures in Android P represents the future of navigation on Android phones. For years, the system has been about buttons, but with Apple having already made the switch, Google wasn’t gonna sit around and become the laughing stock.

The new gesture-totting home button is here to do all that the current Home, Recents, and [hopefully] Back buttons are doing on Android Oreo. That is, a three-in-one kinda thing! For now, the Back button is still intact, showing up only when you need it, but the way things are going, it won’t be long before one is able to swipe left to go back to the previous screen.

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It’s worth noting that the new key still keeps its role as the home button. When you tap on it, it will take you to the home screen. Like on Oreo, long-pressing it will launch the Google Assistant, but that’s where the similarities end.

Everything else about the Android P gesture button is different. From now on, it’s about swiping up, back and forth on the key when executing various tasks. For instance, when you swipe up, you will either open the overview screen (recent apps) or the app drawer, but the latter requires the swipe to be slightly longer than the former. In the overview screen, you can swipe up to dismiss the open app or swipe down to make it full screen.

On Android Oreo and before, double tapping on the Recents button switches between the two most recent apps, but now that this button is gone on Android P, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve this. In fact, it’s now much easier as all you need is to swipe right and release the key and the previously opened app will show up on your screen. Note that swiping right without releasing the key will take you through all your recent apps in what looks like a scroll wheel, but upon releasing it, the app on top will go full-screen.

As pointed out earlier, we dream of a case where the Back button will also be replaced with a swipe left gesture, but for now, you’ll have to deal with it in its old format.

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