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Is the AK-47 Really Self-Cleaning? We Bust Myths About the World’s Favorite Gun

Click here to read the full article.” data-reactid=”19″>Click here to read the full article.

Today it is among the most famous guns in the world, but until it was used by the Soviet Red Army during the Budapest uprising in 1956, few Western small arms experts had ever seen one even in a news report. It was the AK-47 – and more than 100,000 million were produced. The AK-47 has been used in conflicts around the world, it has been seen in countless movies and TV shows, wielded in thousands of video games and has been the focus of rap and heavy metal songs – in order words, it has become a cultural phenomenon.

Yet there are some serious misconceptions about the AK-47, and no shortage of myths.

The biggest of all may be “who” exactly designed it and whether it was really such an “original” design. The official story has always been that Mikhail Kalashnikov, who served as a tank mechanic in the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War, while recovering from combat wounds, took the time to read up on manuals and began on his own to design weapons. This eventually led to the development of the AK-47.

Such a story certainly makes for good propaganda but in recent years it has been questioned.

back and forth as to how closely-related the weapons actually are.” data-reactid=”25″>The AK-47 was, and still is, a very effective assault rifle – a weapon that fires an intermediate cartridge that is smaller than a rifle cartridge but larger and more powerful than a pistol cartridge. But it wasn’t the first, and that honor goes to the German StG44, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the AK-47. Over the years, there has been a serious back and forth as to how closely-related the weapons actually are.

Externally, the AK and StG44 are quite similar, but internally there are notable differences in the operation. It is also true that each weapon has distinct firing mechanisms as well as assembly/disassembly configurations. Simply put, the AK is in no way a direct copy of the German weapon. It is a myth to suggest that the AK-47 is simply a Soviet version of the StG44.

Yet, it is as much a myth to suggest that the self-taught Kalashnikov designed the AK-47 on his own. Gun designers rarely start from nothing, and this has been true since the development of gunpowder. Each new weapon built on past designs, and this is certainly true of the AK-47, which really wasn’t the first Soviet assault rifle either.

developed the first avtomat in 1943. Kalashnikov took that concept and built on it, but even then he didn’t do it alone.” data-reactid=”28″>The “avtomat” – the Russian term for assault rifles with select-fire including automatic fire modes – were under development during World War II, and designer Alexei Sudaev developed the first avtomat in 1943. Kalashnikov took that concept and built on it, but even then he didn’t do it alone.

He worked with a team of designers and engineers.

Hugo Schmeisser, who did in fact help develop the StG44, worked in the Russian city of Izhevsk after World War II. It is largely understood today that he at least played no small role in the AK-47’s development.” data-reactid=”30″>Then there is the fact that Hugo Schmeisser, who did in fact help develop the StG44, worked in the Russian city of Izhevsk after World War II. It is largely understood today that he at least played no small role in the AK-47’s development.

Perhaps the biggest myth is that the AK-47 is so robust it will work in any environment.

self-cleaning rifle – despite that it did, in fact, need regular cleaning. Eventually, proper cleaning procedures along with cleaning kits helped rectify that problem.” data-reactid=”32″>The notion of a “self-cleaning” firearm was something that has been touted about for decades – probably because soldiers simply hate cleaning their weapons, even if guns that aren’t cleaned regularly are very prone to jamming. When the M-16 first arrived in Vietnam it was promoted as a self-cleaning rifle – despite that it did, in fact, need regular cleaning. Eventually, proper cleaning procedures along with cleaning kits helped rectify that problem.

myth of "self-cleaning" holds true with the AK-47, and while the weapon can work in harsh conditions, if it isn’t maintained it will quickly become as effective a wood and metal club.” data-reactid=”33″>The same myth of “self-cleaning” holds true with the AK-47, and while the weapon can work in harsh conditions, if it isn’t maintained it will quickly become as effective a wood and metal club.

A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.” data-reactid=”34″>Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and website. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.

More From The National Interest: 

Russia Has Missing Nuclear Weapons Sitting on the Ocean Floor ” data-reactid=”37″>Russia Has Missing Nuclear Weapons Sitting on the Ocean Floor 

How China Could Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier ” data-reactid=”38″>How China Could Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier 

Where World War III Could Start This Year” data-reactid=”39″>Where World War III Could Start This Year

Click here to read the full article.” data-reactid=”40″>Click here to read the full article.

Seven clever tech tricks you’ll use time and time again

(Pexels/Jessica Lewis)

PHEONIX — Today’s tech is loaded with features most of us never use. Why? Simply stated, there’s no real user manual.

Maybe no one ever told you that you could unsend an email. Yes, really. But you need to set up the feature before you need to use it.

Did you know you can skip the ads on YouTube? That is until YouTube realizes we’re all doing this trick.

I’ve got seven more pro tips up my sleeve to make your digital life better.

1. Use your smart speaker’s smarts

We all have things that we only need every once in a while. For me, it’s the annual hunt for the key to unlocking the pod that holds all my Christmas decorations. Now, the elusive key is always within reach.

If you’re using Google Home or Nest, say, “Hey Google, remember that (thing to remember).” For example, I would say, “Hey Google, remember that the key to the Christmas pod is in my desk drawer.” When I need it next Thanksgiving, all I need to say is, “Hey Google, where is the key to the Christmas pod?” Google Home will remind me that the key is in my desk. Nice.

This trick works similarly to Amazon’s Echo. Just replace “Hey Google” with “Alexa” in the above example.

2. Get Amazon on the phone

When you have trouble with an order, there are times when it’s easier to talk to a customer service representative rather than write a lengthy note or deal with a chat box. An Amazon customer service rep will call you if you know the trick.

While logged into your Amazon account, go to the Contact us page. At first glance, it appears as only a way to chat with a representative. Here’s the secret sauce. If you look very closely underneath the yellow Start Chatting Now box, in small letters, you’ll see the “We can call you” link.

Click that, enter your phone number, and you’ll see an estimated time before you receive the call. I’ve never waited for more than three minutes. Be sure to have your order number handy to expedite getting the resolution you desire.

Did you know you can make money, not just spend it with the online giant?

3. Hear your TV at only the volume you want

Maybe not everyone in your home shares your love of old Westerns or how loud you like TV’s volume. Sure, you can plug wired headphones in your TV’s 3.5mm headphone jack. If your TV has RCA stereo outputs only, use an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter. But who wants a cord strung from a TV to their head?

If your TV has Bluetooth, you can pair a Bluetooth headset. This option is usually located in the TV’s Settings menu. Alternatively, check your streaming device. For example, the Roku app offers Private Listening to stream audio to your phone or tablet, and from there, you can use your earbuds or headset. The Roku remote has a headphone jack on the side.

Here’s a smart alternative.

Wireless gaming headsets are usually affordable, comfortable, offer excellent sound, and some come with a transmitter. Make sure the wireless gaming headset you pick supports optical audio for the transmitter.

Get more out of your streaming device.

I have you covered, too, Fire TV users.

4. Make your electronic signature

Even in the digital age, a handwritten signature provides a personal touch. I like to add the signature of my first name only to my email, notes to fans of my show, and on my website. For security purposes, it’s not my authentic signature that I use on legal documents.

Don’t even try to use your mouse or trackpad to get your signature in your computer. It never looks right.

To create your electronic signature, use a black ink pen, sign a white piece of paper, and scan or photograph it. Using your favorite photo editor, save the file with a maximum width of 300 pixels. Keep it at a 1:3 ratio where height is visually one-third of the width.

Also, it’s good to be mindful of the file size. Ideally, any signature graphic should be small (under 50 KB) so that it loads quickly for recipients, doesn’t delay your emails being sent, and doesn’t take up space on mail servers.

Keep in mind that if you’re signing legal documents, these documents typically require a secured digital signature using a service such as DocuSign or Adobe Sign. Microsoft Word documents can now contain electronic signature lines, too.

5. Turn your Apple AirPods into a makeshift hearing aid

If you have difficulty hearing someone during a conversation, Apple’s AirPods can be your on-demand hearing aid. Apple introduced a feature, starting with iOS 12, called Live Listen. Once set up, you can place your iPhone closer to the person you want to hear, and the AirPods will produce clearer audio for you.

To set up this feature, in your iPhone’s Settings and click Control Center. Select Customize Controls and tap the plus sign next to Hearing. When ready, place the AirPods in your ears, and either swipe down your iPhone X (or newer) home screen or up on an iPhone 8 or older and click the ear icon. Tap Live Listen.

6. Make an email that you send expire

Gmail has a great feature that lets you put controls on a sent email. Confidential Mode lets you set expiration dates on an email. After that date, when the person opens the email, only a “Message has expired” notice appears.

On your desktop, open Gmail and click Compose. On the bottom row of the Compose window, there is an icon showing a lock with a small clock face. Here, you can set when the email expires. Recipients won’t have the option to forward, copy, print, or download the email.

You can also make the recipient get a text message with a passcode too. Go ahead, live out your James Bond dreams.

7. Send a fax or receive a fax for free

Faxing seems archaic, but occasionally you may need to send one. There’s no need to use a dedicated fax machine or multipurpose printer. You can use a fax web service.

If the document is not already in your computer, you’ll need to scan it or take a photo of it. Using FaxZero, it’s free if you send no more than five faxes per day and only three pages at a time. There’s a FaxZero ad on the cover page that’s no big deal. To send up to 25 pages per day with no ads, it’s $1.99 per page.

If you need to receive a fax, eFax gives you a virtual fax number to receive for free up to 10 faxed pages per month. There are paid options, of course, should you go over the free plan.

Bonus Trick: Make phone calls from your computer

It’s tough living far from people you love, but telephones make that distance much more manageable. Roaming and long-distance charges and using up tons of your allowed minutes can make phone calls expensive.

But if you make a phone call using your computer’s Wi-Fi, those extra costs vanish. You can even make international calls and save a ton! Learn how to make calls from your computer and keep your long-distance loved ones close.

It’s easier than you think!

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

New WESM system, Mindanao spot market set for December launch

Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM)

THE Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) hopes to launch the upgraded design of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and the new spot trading floor in Mindanao by December.

The independent operator reported to the market participants last week that it is still conducting preparatory activities to gauge both system and participants’ readiness for the new market management system, as well as completing various regulatory approvals.

The IEMOP, with the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), is targeting Dec. 26 for the launch of the new system.

“It is expected that the DoE (Department of Energy) will approve of the go-live date once all the requirements under the regulatory approvals, system readiness, and trading participants’ readiness are completed,” Andrea May T. Caguete, assistant manager for Market Information Modelling at IEMOP, said in her presentation.

The operator recently resumed its parallel operations program to familiarize participants with the new market system. The program covers processes from bidding to billing.

“We are still a few more steps away to achieving an acceptable rate of participation in the parallel operations program,” Ms. Caguete noted.

Also, a trial operations program was launched for Mindanao participants, the involvement of which remains low.

“There is still a low turnout for embedded generators and directly-connected customers in the region,” Katrina A. Garcia-Amuyot, IEMOP manager for Stakeholder Services, said. Out of 28 Mindanao generators, only four have joined, while two out of 13 customers have participated.

IEMOP is still conducting performance tuning and reliability testing, both of which will end in August, as well as security assessment with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), which will start next week. By the end of September, it expects the market system to be ready.

On regulatory requirements, a system audit will be held this month. A software certification from the audit is needed for the Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of its price determination methodology and certification of market readiness by the PEMC Board.

Also, its rules and manuals for the enhanced WESM system remain pending with the DoE.

The upgraded system will introduce a five-minute market trading interval which is expected to make the market efficient and attractive for investors in the long run, according to Isidro C. Cacho, IEMOP’s chief corporate strategy and communications officer.

Meanwhile, IEMOP noted that spot prices in June rose to P3.25 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from May’s P2.19/kWh primarily due to higher demand as commercial and industrial establishments resumed operations with the easing of quarantine.

The operator observed a spike in prices in the second week of June due to plant outages.

“Ito ang period na nagkaroon tayo ng price spikes because, aside from mataas ang peak demand, maraming mga generators na nag-force outage at maintenance outage (Prices spiked during the period because peak demand was high and many generators experienced outages),” IEMOP Chief Operating Officer Robinson P. Descanzo said. — Adam J. Ang

LG Stylo 6 review: Stuttering and lag all but ruin LG’s cheap Galaxy Note alternative

Article Contents

If you’ve ever been to a prepaid carrier store in America, there’s a good chance you’ve seen one particular LG phone: the Stylo. As much as LG has struggled to gain notoriety for its high-end smartphone (despite some of them being totally decent), the Stylo has remained shockingly popular among consumers, and is now into its sixth generation. I reviewed the Stylo 5 when it was released last year, and I thought it was a decent option for anyone looking for a Galaxy Note-style device on a budget.

LG has now released the Stylo 6, and equipped it with a truly massive 6.8-inch display, Android 10, and the same capacitive stylus (versus the digitizer stylus on Samsung’s Notes) as usual. However, the latest entry is a much weaker product than the Stylo 5 was, probably in large part because of a decision to go with a MediaTek chipset versus the Snapdragon the last version was equipped with (read: this phone is slow).

Design, hardware, what’s in the box

The LG Stylo 6 is big. Like, really big. At 6.74 inches tall and 3.06 inches wide, it’s larger than Samsung’s Galaxy Note10+ (6.39 x 3.04″) and even the gargantuan the Galaxy S20 Ultra (6.57 x 2.99″). This is the largest phone sold by a carrier in the USA today. I’m personally not a fan of giant phones since single-handed use becomes impossible, but that’s entirely subjective.

This is the largest phone sold by a carrier in the USA today.

The screen is a 6.8-inch (diagonal) 2460×1080 IPS LCD, with decent enough colors and contrast for a budget device. There is a shadow effect around the camera notch, but every phone with an LCD screen and a camera cutout has the same issue to varying degrees. Speaking of the camera notch, it’s definitely on the larger side, but I’m not too worried about lost screen space with a display this massive.

The Stylo 6 follows an aggravating trend in budget phones by using a textured plastic to emulate the look and feel of glass. This glossy finish makes the rear case a magnet for fingerprints and smudges. The edges of the phone also have this same texture, making the phone rather slippery. As comically large as the Stylo 6 already is, buying a case that provides more grip is probably a good idea. The Stylo’s fingerprint sensor generally didn’t have issues reading for me, but it’s placed so high up on the phone that I sometimes had to reposition my hand to reach it.

The power button is on the right edge of the Stylo 6, while the left side has volume controls, a combination microSD and SIM card slot, and a dedicated Google Assistant button. Unfortunately, while you can disable the Assistant button if you want, there is no way to re-map it to perform other functions. Google Assistant is already easy enough to open from the navigation bar, so it would have been nice to use the button for opening apps, controlling music playback, or as a shutter key for the camera.

On the bottom of the Stylo 6 you’l find a single speaker, a USB Type-C port for charging, a headphone jack (take that, Galaxy S20), and the all-important stylus. Unlike last year’s Stylo 5, the stylus is now spring-loaded (fancy!) like the Galaxy Note’s, so pushing the end with your finger will pop it right on out. This is a genuine improvement, and it’s kind of baffling that it took LG this long to do it, though my fingernails are nonetheless thankful.

The Stylo’s stylus is still capacitive, meaning there are no internal electronics for palm rejection, pressure sensitivity, and other features you might find on Galaxy Note phones. It’s just a simple metal pen with a ballpoint tip.

In the box, you get the Stylo 6, a wall adapter, a USB Type-C cable, and various instruction manuals. The included power brick is labelled as ‘Fast Charge,’ but in my testing, the charging speed seemed to max out at 9W. LG says the Stylo 6 works with MediaTek’s “PumpExpress 2.0” charging standard, which isn’t nearly as popular as USB Power Delivery or Qualcomm Quick Charge, so there aren’t as many adapters and batteries that support the technology. I was able to reach the same 9W speed with my Qualcomm QuickCharge accessories, though.

Performance, software, battery life

Last year’s Stylo 5 was equipped with a Snapdragon 450 processor, which certainly wasn’t the fastest chip in the world, but it was enough to provide a good experience with most apps. This year, LG has switched to a MediaTek Helio P35 processor, which is supposedly faster than the SD450 on paper, but we know that means basically nothing with a MediaTek chip. But be it the switch in chipset manufacturer or LG’s software optimization (or both?), the Stylo 6 has serious performance issues.

The Stylo 6 has serious performance issues.

The Stylo 6 sometimes works just as well as any budget phone I’ve used, and then — for no apparent reason — it will frequently slow down to the point of being legitimately unbearable. No Android phone is completely free of performance hitches; for example, it can take a few seconds to catch up with notifications after being in sleep mode, and rotating the screen can cause the UI to drop frames and stutter. On the Stylo 6, these actions take substantially longer than they do on other budget phones. The inconsistency in performance is the worst part, as I’m often left waiting a second or two wondering if a button tap or navigation gesture actually registered.

Performance aside, the software experience isn’t really anything to write home about. It is based on Android 10, so you get Google’s new gesture navigation, improved privacy controls, and universal dark mode, but LG’s custom skin is a strange mix of Samsung’s One UI and Apple’s iOS. I am glad to see LG added scheduling for dark mode, though.

Just like last year’s Stylo 5, there are a handful of software features designed for the stylus. When you take the pen out of the phone, an action bar appears with options to create a new memo, capture part of the screen as a GIF, draw on top of a screenshot, and so on. Even here, though, lag was a bugbear: the stylus menu frequently took over a second to appear once the stylus was out of the phone. Whether this was because of the phone’s general performance issues or the internal stylus detection was unclear.

Battery life, at least, is very solid. I could get about two days of regular use out of the Stylo 6, thanks to its large 4,000mAh battery and low-power processor.

Camera samples

The Stylo 6 has two rear cameras: a 13MP f/1.8 main lens, and a 5MP f/2.2 ultra-wide. There’s also a 5MP depth sensor, which is supposedly used to improve portrait mode.

The main camera can capture some decent photos, given you have enough light, though the color balance isn’t perfect. For example, in the last photo, the sky is almost entirely white. Not the worst camera for a little over $200, though.

Left: Regular camera; Right: Ultra-wide camera

The ultra-wide camera, unfortunately, is not very good. There’s just not enough resolution to capture a quality image, and photos taken with it look extremely grainy. It’s pretty much only there so LG can say the Stylo 6 has dual rear cameras (or three, if you include the depth sensor that doesn’t actually capture images).

Should you buy it?

LG Stylo 6


No. Last year’s Stylo 5 was a decent choice if you really wanted a budget Android phone with a stylus, but the Stylo 6 is much tougher to recommend. The stylus is neat, and it does have a massive screen if you’re into that, but the Helio P35 processor in this phone (and perhaps LG’s lack of software optimization) makes the Stylo 6 frustrating to use. There are plenty of other phones in the $200 price range that will run much better, like the Moto G Fast.

LG also has competition for budget stylus phones in 2020. The Moto G Stylus was just released in the United States, will probably get Android 11 someday (Update: The Stylo 5 is getting Android 10, so there’s hope for the Stylo 6 and A11), and is much faster and more responsive. While it is substantially more expensive at $300, it’s such a massively better phone that you’d be silly to choose the Stylo 6 just to save $80. The Moto G Stylus is also available right now as an unlocked device that works on all major U.S. carriers, while the Stylo 6 is currently only sold at certain prepaid carriers (though an unlocked model will probably arrive in a few months).

In the end, I don’t really see any compelling reasons for most people to buy the LG Stylo 6. Perhaps if you can get an exceptionally good deal on one (like, free), this phone will hold you over until you can afford something better. But the performance issues are extremely unlikely to be resolved by software updates, and we just don’t think MediaTek’s budget Helio chips make any sense to choose when Qualcomm alternatives are readily available at the same price point (albeit without a stylus). LG goofed on the Stylo in 2020—hopefully they’ll see the error of their ways and correct course on the next iteration.

Buy it if:

  • You really like LG.
  • You can get the Stylo 6 at a steep discount.

Don’t buy it if:

  • You want a decently-fast phone.
  • You don’t like massive phones.

What’s an Intelligent Manual Transmission or iMT?

Hyundai has just released details of a new gearbox option for the Venue. Marketed as iMT or an ‘Intelligent Manual Transmission’, the gearbox sure has generated a lot of curiosity and more than a few questions. Well, we’ve got your answers. 

What is iMT? 

Simply and quite accurately put, the iMT is a ‘clutchless manual’. Yes, at its heart it’s just a regular manual gearbox but without a clutch pedal.

How is iMT different from an AMT? 

While an automated manual transmission (AMT) and an iMT are both regular manual gearboxes, in an AMT, the actuators and motors change gears and operate the clutch for you. In function, then, it’s fully automatic. Software, of course, governs when and how the shifts happen. 

In an iMT, on the other hand, the software and actuators only control the clutch while you have to manually shift gears. In effect, an iMT sits sort of half way between a regular manual gearbox and an AMT.

What are the benefits of an iMT? 

In this way you have complete control over what gear your car is in and you don’t have to rely on the software getting it right. Thus, in situations like coming down a slope or overtaking, you have full control over the gearbox and you know the car will not second guess you. And this is of course without the headache of operating the clutch. 

Another advantage is that by using fewer parts than an AMT (as there are no actuators for the gears required), the cost of an iMT is also closer to that of a regular manual.

Won’t an AMT in manual mode do the same?

Yes it will. However, as the iMT uses the same gear shift pattern as a standard manual gearbox, it’ll be familiar and help keep track of the gear you’re in; the software won’t change gears on its own either so you are always in control. In an AMT or regular auto, you could lose track of the gears while manually shifting via the plus-minus lever or the paddles, especially if the gear-changing software second guesses you and shifts automatically.

How should I drive it? Do I need to lift off the accelerator when changing gears? 

No, you don’t need to lift off the accelerator when shifting gears, but just like an AMT it will help smoothen things if you do. You drive it just like a manual; shift gears when you need to. There’s no clutch pedal though, which means if you’re used to a manual, you’ll need to get used to keeping your left leg still while you shift. 

Is this something new? Is Hyundai the first with this? 

Not really. Globally, clutchless manuals have been around for a while now. Ferrari had one on the Mondial in the late 80’s-early 90’s, where the company wanted to provide the joy of shifting through its famed gear-gate but without the need to operate a heavy clutch. 

In India, Hero Honda launched a version of its Street Step-Thru moped with a similar system. For cars, aftermarket clutchless kits have also been around for a while too. Perhaps you’d have seen them advertised at the back of old Autocar India issues. 

upcoming Sonet back at the Expo this year. However, the Venue with the iMT will likely be the first to hit the market. ” data-reactid=”35″>Interestingly, Kia also announced the same system for its upcoming Sonet back at the Expo this year. However, the Venue with the iMT will likely be the first to hit the market. 

Can an iMT shift gears automatically also?

Not in the case of Hyundai’s unit. But there are other gearboxes that do this. Thus you can shift gears yourself and be completely in control or, if you like, just leave it entirely to the system. There is typically a switch on the gear lever or the dashboard that allows you to have control over this. 

Are there any drawbacks of an iMT? 

Yes. Just like an AMT, gearshifts aren’t as smooth as the system relies on a single clutch that has to be modulated by an actuator. On a side note, this is where a dual-clutch auto transmission comes in – in principle, it is similar to a regular manual gearbox, but comes with two clutches to enable quicker, smoother shifts.

So how is a dual-clutch transmission different from other autoboxes? 

As we’ve said above, a dual-clutch auto transmission works on a similar principle to a regular manual. However, it has two clutches and input shafts – one handles all odd gears and the other, even – thus when one gear is engaged and its clutch is transmitting power to the wheels, the other clutch is already ready to engage the next pre-selected gear. While one clutch is disengaging, the other is already engaging. Thus keeping shifts quick and smooth. 

Traditional auto ‘boxes – often referred to as torque convertors – and CVT’s on the other hand, are completely different in construction. While a manual, iMT, AMT and DCT, use helical gears on input and output shafts with a mechanical clutch, a traditional auto ‘box uses an entirely different construction, called a planetary gear system, and a fluid clutch called a fluid coupling or more accurately, in an automobile’s case, a torque convertor. The clutch being a fluid device ensures that the engine does not stall when the car is stationary.

A CVT, again, is something entirely different too. It uses two cones (input and output) with a belt connecting the two. By moving the belt across the varying diameter of the cones, different ‘effective gear ratios’ are achieved. For a clutch CVTs use either fluid coupling or even a centrifugal clutch device.

Gearboxes explained
Manual iMT AMT Dual-clutch CVT Traditional AT
Gearbox construction Input & output shaft Input & output shaft Input & output shaft Two Input & one output shaft Dual cones Planetary gears
Clutch Single Single Single Dual Fluid coupling-torque convertor /Centrifugal Fluid coupling-torque convertor
Gearshifting Manual Manual Auto Auto Auto Auto
Clutch work Manual Auto Auto Auto Auto Auto

Automatic cars under Rs 10 lakh” data-reactid=”51″>Automatic cars under Rs 10 lakh

Insofta Cover Commander 6.6.0

Cover Commander

Cover Commander creates professional, custom-designed three-dimensional virtual boxes for your software, e-books, iPhone/iPad apps, manuals, DVD and CD boxes, CD disks, cards, and even screenshots. Just a few mouse clicks – that’s all it takes to get the job done. Extensive light, shadow, and reflection controls at your disposal will enable you to create an image of just about any complexity and view the final picture as it is being made in the real-time preview window.

Cover Commander

Reasons to go with Cover Commander:

  • Get your cover designed in just a few mouse clicks – Box, Box with disc, Disc, Screenshot, Curved screenshot, Book, Thin book, Manual, Vista box, Card, Spiral book, Monitor, TV, iPhone 5s/5c, iPad, iPad with cover, Blu-ray box, Blu-ray with disc, DVD box, DVD box with disc, CD box, CD box with disc.
  • Let the built-in wizards do the dirty work for you and focus on the artistic details of the cover.
  • Create multiple projects, parse multiple images – with a single command (batch mode).
  • Save the result image with transparent background and use the picture for the complex web or print designs.
  • Save the light, shadow, and reflection settings under a unique name and use those settings in other projects.
  • Set the result image size (up to 4000×4000) and margins in pixels.
  • Draw your customer’s attention with an animated box, cover or screenshot.
  • Cover Commander does not require 3D accelerator to render 3D objects.
  • Don’t pay more than what it actually costs to create a great cover. Create additional covers at no cost at all!

Cover Commander 6.6.0 changelog:

  • Added support for Asian languages for 3D text (Japanese, Chinese, Korean).

  • Added Minimal White and Minimal Dark styles for devices.

  • Added a status bar in the internal image viewer.

  • Added Japanese, Hungarian, Slovenian languages.

  • Fixed several bugs.

Download: Cover Commander 6.6.0 | 44.5 MB (Shareware)
Link: Cover Commander Home Page

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No more slaves and masters: Twitter engineers BAN whole range of terms in fight for ‘more inclusive language’

Twitter’s engineering team will systematically purge a list of offensive terms from its source code and internal documents in the name of political correctness. Terms like “master” and “slave” will go, as will gendered pronouns.

“We’re starting with a set of words we want to move away from using in favor of more inclusive language,” Twitter Engineering announced on Wednesday. 

Among the terms to be terminated are “whitelist” and “blacklist,”“master” and “slave,” which will be replaced with “allowlist” and “denylist,” and “leader” and “follower” respectively. Gendered pronouns like “guys” will be swapped with gender-neutral terms like “folks” and “y’all,” while the terms “man hours” and “grandfathered” will have their patriarchal connotations expunged, and will be replaced with “person hours” and “legacy status.”

Even “dummy value” was deemed offensive.

The company is putting some serious muscle behind the effort, and will develop “warning tools” to comb through its source code for offending words. Internal documentation, FAQs, readmes and design manuals will all be sanitized, and Twitter will even develop a browser extension to root out any problematic stragglers.

Though the change comes amid a nationwide breakdown on all things racial, the plan has apparently been in the works since January, and is the brainchild of a black programmer who was offended when he read the line “automatic slave rekick” in a page of code. Now, with the higher-ups on his side, the programmer described the new changes as “a small step,” stating that his goal is to “eventually adopt inclusive language across Twitter.” 

Some Twitter’s users were aghast, marveling at the list’s Orwelian overtones. 

Yet the social media giant is not the only tech firm to embrace a new, woke lexicon. The developers of the Python programming language removed the terms “master” and “slave” in 2018, while programmers at Apple, Google, and Microsoft have recently brought in similar changes.

Twitter, however, has committed itself in earnest to the progressive cause since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. The company has promised donations and free advertising to Black Lives Matter, instructed brands on how to tweet about racism, and compiled an instruction guide for white users, telling them how to leverage their “voice and privilege to amplify Black and Brown communities.”

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RAVPOWER PD Pioneer 20000mAh 65W Power House REVIEW

A worthy option for remote power, but needs updates to product information.

In the world we currently live in, you have to be flexible — adaptable — and you have to be ready to work remotely at a moment’s notice. So, what happens when you have to grab a laptop with only 20% left to work in a remote location? We all know that 20% goes really quickly and then you are left with a brick and no way to continue working. This is what the RAVPower PD Pioneer 20,000mAh 65W 2-Port Power House was designed for. 


The Power House is a large capacity portable battery that is built specifically to charge laptops. It offers a 2-prong AC outlet with a power supply on/off indicator. This AC outlet is designed for devices that require up to 50W of power. With the 65W Power House you also have the option to charge two devices simultaneously. The charging tower houses a large capacity battery of 20,000mAh, which is enough to charge  an iPhone 11 Pro 6.5 times. The 65W Power House features advanced protection and keeps connected devices from overcharging, short circuiting, and power surges. The USB-C port provides 5V/3A of output power delivery to connected devices. 


Capacity: 20,100 mAh (according to product page on RAVPower.com)
1 x USB-C input/output port (5V/3A)
1 x USB-A output port (5V/2.4A)
1 x AC Outlet
Dimensions: 7.4 x 6.8 x 3.4 inches
Weight: 1.85 pounds


The Power House comes in a standard RAVPower white and green box. There is no image or illustration of the product on the box, but the name “RAVPower PD Pioneer 20000mAh 65W 2-Port Power House” is printed on the front. The box doesn’t provide a lot of information about the product, but it does include the model number and some contact information for RAVPower. Inside the box, you will find a travel case (semi-hardshell) that contains the Power House, USB-C charging cable, travel pouch, and user manual. 


Usually, this is the point where I leave the unboxing process and move into the testing phase of my reviews. But, with the Power House, I had a few quality control issues that were discovered and because it mainly has to do with how the item was packaged and/or listed on RAVPower’s website, I thought this was the best place to discuss. 

User Manual: As I began writing out the device’s details and features, I was looking at the user manual that was included with the Power House. At one point, I flipped it back to the cover and noticed that the user manual actually belonged to the 80W version of the RAVPower Power House charger. What is particularly deceiving is that both versions of the Power House have the same model number (RP-PB054). 


Lack of DC Charger: As I was reviewing the information on the product page for the 65W Power House I noticed that the information on RAVPower’s website about the 65W Power House indicated that the devices come with a DC charger. “The 19V/1.6A DC input allows for faster recharging than almost any other portable charging device.” It does not. The way you recharge the device is to plug in the USB-C cable into the USB-C port and then plug the other end into a wall charger (not included). 


What’s Included List: The list of items included in the package varies depending on the source. The product page for the 65W Power House does not include any list while the 80W version does. The user manual for both versions of the Power House do list out items, but they are incorrect. The 65W user manual (found online through RAVPower’s website) states that it should come with 2 Micro USB cables and the 80W user manual doesn’t mention the storage case. As it turns out the list from the 80W Power House product page on RAVPower’s website is correct. 

  • 1x RAVPower Portable Power House (RP-PB054)
  • 1x USB-C to USB-C Cable (60cm/23.6in)
  • 1x Carrying Pouch
  • 1x Storage Box
  • 1x User Guide

Capacity: The box, user manual, and product all indicate that it’s a 20,000 mAh capacity, but the product descriptions on the RAVPower website state it is a 20,100 mAh capacity battery. 



One of the things I was first struck by was the size of this device. Yes, it is designed to be able to charge laptops, but I still found its case to be extraordinarily large. It measures more than 6 inches high and weighs almost 2 pounds. To me, that’s not the most ‘portable’ battery. Now, I do want to know that the Power House has an internal fan to help keep its heat regulated. The fan kicks on when a device is connected and begins charging. There don’t appear to be any specs about the fan or its operation in the user manual or on the product page. I do like that there are two different LED indicators on this devices — one to indicate the power level (5 blue LEDs on the side of the tower) and one to indicate the AC outlet on/off operation. I like the easy access there is to the ports and outlet and the soft feel of the exterior of the charging tower. 



When it comes to function of the the Power House, I’ve been pretty impressed. In order to charge a device, you simply plug it into one of the ports (USB-C or USB-A) and the device will automatically start charging. As I noted above, the fan will also kick on inside the case of the Power House. To use the AC outlet, you do have to press/hold the Power button for 3 seconds until the green on/off indicator light comes on. Once you are done charging from that outlet, you simply press/hold the Power button again until the light turns off. 


Charging the Power House was a little bit of a challenge at first because there is no wall adapter included with the unit. According to the 65W manual, a 24V/1A power adapter is required to charge the Power House. The 80W manual states that a 30W PD 3.0 charger is required. I pulled out the RAVPower PD Pioneer 90W 2-Port  USB-C Wall Charger and attempted to charge it directly from a wall outlet. The Power House never got above 40% according to the LED indicators. Even though the 90W wall charger should have provided more than enough power for this task, I pulled out a 65W wall charger with PD and the Power House charged right up. 

When it came to charging devices, I decided to try charging my 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro. This machine requires a 61W power adapter and it was on the compatible list on RAVPower’s website. So, I charged the Power House to 100% and then plugged my laptop in to charge using the USB-C port first. I let it charge for approximately 60 minutes and then calculated the charging rate at 0.52% per minute. I did notice around the 43 minute mark that the power indicator on the Power House dropped to 4 and then 11 minutes later, it dropped to 3, which meant the battery was between 41-60% power level. 


Next, I plugged the laptop into the AC outlet using a wall charger and charged it for approximately 32 minutes. During that time the LED indicator dropped to level 1 meaning there was 20% or less battery life left. The charging rate was much better with the AC outlet at 0.9% per minute. While I was charging the laptop, I was still working on it, but I wasn’t doing anything that was too power-hungry. I was doing moderate tasks like word processing, internet browsing, and listening to music. I also had a USB-C hub plugged in with two dongles attached for my wireless keyboard and mouse. While these things might have affected the charging rate, I don’t think it would have dragged it down too badly. 


Despite the quality control issues I found when it came to product details, the Power House is an intriguing charging device. It does what it is designed for — charging laptops – but it does seem a bit large for extensive travel. I do appreciate the built-in fan to help dissipate heat (and it works!), which I’m sure contributes to the size of the device. While I would like to recommend this to people who frequently work remotely, I’m hesitant to do so because of the inaccuracies of the information available on the product. If RAVPower can reevaluate the information provided for the device and ensure that it’s all accurate, then this is a wonderful option for travelers and those who work remotely. 

For more details, visit RAVPower, Facebook, and Twitter.

Spas are reopening amid COVID-19: Here are the rules

Spas are reopening amid COVID-19: Here are the rules

coronavirus pandemic, nonessential businesses, including spas, are beginning to reopen. But many are wondering, "Is it safe?"” data-reactid=”23″>With America still on the road to recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic, nonessential businesses, including spas, are beginning to reopen. But many are wondering, “Is it safe?”

When most people think of a visit to a spa, feelings of relaxation immediately come to mind. However, the fears induced by the reality of COVID-19 have forced many spas to pivot or upgrade their offerings under new guidelines.

Will deep tissue massages, skin-enhancing facials and body treatments still be a thing? The short answer is yes, but staff and clients alike are approaching these beloved services with heightened awareness.

The CBON Group, Canada’s largest supplier of professional infection control products, said in a statement.” data-reactid=”26″>”One thing consumers do know is that they will likely be encountering a very different world when salons and spas start once again to take appointments,” Jeff Alford, the president of The CBON Group, Canada’s largest supplier of professional infection control products, said in a statement.

restrictions provided by the state Division of Consumer Affairs.” data-reactid=”30″>Gov. Phil Murphy advised that day spas in New Jersey could open on June 22 under restrictions provided by the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

Some of these restrictions include reopening the premises to facilitate social distancing, establishing protocols for scheduling of client appointments and prescreening and temperature checks for staff and customers.

MORE: Nail salons are reopening: Here’s what to know and how to stay safe” data-reactid=”32″>MORE: Nail salons are reopening: Here’s what to know and how to stay safe

“Even before you book an appointment, you should be aware of what measures your salon or spa are taking to keep you safe while in their care,” advised Alford.

He suggested that it’s best to check company websites, social media channels or email notifications for announcements surrounding changes in policy that might include required face masks, restrictions in services, reduced or extended hours and more.

Alford also suggested looking for any signage or posted letters that are visible to customers at your spa before entering. “This will let you know that policies are being universally applied to everyone,” he said. “Remember, the risk of infection does not just come from within the facility, but also from other patrons.”

MORE: Here’s how hair salons are reopening amid COVID-19” data-reactid=”37″>MORE: Here’s how hair salons are reopening amid COVID-19

Once you arrive, it’s best to check in if reception is providing hand-sanitizing options as well as PPE, such as masks or gloves.

“If these measures are not in place, you may need to ask yourself why and what other precautionary steps are not being taken to keep you safe?” said Alford.

La Prairie Spa at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, told "GMA." "We have rewritten all of our training manuals to include our adjusted measures and have scheduled training days for the team before we reopen so they can feel confident and comfortable with the new safety practices."” data-reactid=”41″>”We are following the guidelines set out by the county and implementing extra precautionary measures and sanitation protocols,” Amanda Raich, spa director at La Prairie Spa at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, told “GMA.” “We have rewritten all of our training manuals to include our adjusted measures and have scheduled training days for the team before we reopen so they can feel confident and comfortable with the new safety practices.”

La Prairie Spa has also announced that guests and team members must wear masks, and have installed plexiglass dividers at reception and adjusted locker spacing for social distancing. Access to steam rooms has been prohibited for the time being.

Self-serving stations at the facility have also been eliminated. Each guest will be given their own amenity kit full of La Prairie products and individual spa snacks to enjoy.

For those looking to get a massage anytime soon, many of these services will still be available in most places.

“Since the closure, we’ve implemented updated brand standards that every franchisee is required to follow based on our work with third-party experts on industrial hygiene and occupational health,” Massage Envy CEO Beth Stiller told “GMA.” “They also helped us develop a specific plan for the franchisees to follow when reopening their independently owned and operated franchised locations based on CDC guidance and taking into consideration CDC’s geographic risk assessment for the coronavirus.”

Other plans for the popular massage franchise include requiring each location to meet enhanced mandatory cleaning and disinfection protocols for treatment rooms and equipment used in services, as well as ensuring proper hand hygiene and linen-changing protocols are followed while also complying with requirements related to personal protective equipment.

PHOTO: Massage Envy announces new guidelines for reopening amid COVID-19. (Massage Envy)

Charlotte-based Urban Med Spa has bounced back with an immediate return of approximately 80 to 90% of pre-COVID revenue. Founder and licensed esthetician of Urban Skin Rx and Urban Med Spa Rachell Roff also told “GMA” many guests have applauded how the spa has adapted.

“In addition to strict social distancing guidelines and meticulous cleaning/disinfectant practices, we now require and provide face masks upon entering the building, have moved to virtual check-in via cellphone so that guests can wait from the comfort of their cars, take temperature checks upon arrival and strictly enforce a stay home policy for any employees and/or clients who’ve not felt well recently,” she said.

Urban Med Spa has also shut down waiting rooms to limit the number of clients in the building at one time.

PHOTO: Spas share reopening plans amid COVID-19. (Urban Skin Rx)

Dermalogica, told "GMA" that the company’s skincare-dedicated spaces created a Clean Touch 12 principals of enhanced service safety, which feature touch centric treatments in the most sanitary environment possible.” data-reactid=”77″>Heather Hickman, senior director of education at Dermalogica, told “GMA” that the company’s skincare-dedicated spaces created a Clean Touch 12 principals of enhanced service safety, which feature touch centric treatments in the most sanitary environment possible.

Through the Clean Touch initiative, Dermalogica staff has access to courses outlining sanitary protocols they will receive a certificate for upon completion.

Dermalogica locations will have new protocols for skin therapists amid COVID-19. (Dermalogica)

“Our focus is to deliver much-needed touch, connectivity and innovative skin services in an environment that still feels warm and welcoming but with very visible elevated hygiene standards,” said Hickman.

She added, “As an industry and as a brand, we have always cared about both skin health and client health. Every precaution is being taken to ensure your skin is taken care of in the safest way possible. It may look a little bit different, but the results in your skin health will be the same.”

Spas are reopening amid COVID-19: Here are the rules originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com” data-reactid=”92″>Spas are reopening amid COVID-19: Here are the rules originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com