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Sprint T-Mobile Merger Gets Green Light
February 13, 2020
A U.S. District judge has ruled that Sprint and T-Mobile, the nation's third- and fourth-largest mobile carriers, can go forward with a $25 billion merger. The deal will not close until the California Public Utilities Commission approves the transaction, but clearing this latest hurdle moves the two companies one step closer to a merger that has been years in the making.
Samsung Scores With 5G Galaxy S20's Camera Specs, New Z Flip
February 12, 2020
Samsung has refreshed its Galaxy smartphone line, introduced a new foldable phone, and upgraded its wireless earbuds offering. Its three new flagship phones are all 5G ready. The S20 is priced at $999, while the S20 Plus will sell for $1,199, and the S20 Ultra for $1,399. The S20 is smallest of the trio, with a 6.2-inch display. The Plus' display is 6.7 inches and the Ultra's is 6.9 inches.
Razr Reviews Raise $1500 Durability Question
February 11, 2020
Motorola's new foldable Razr phone has been garnering mediocre notices from early reviewers, who tended to find its performance underwhelming for a phone priced at $1,500. Still, it does have personality, which can go a long way in the smartphone market, noted Bob O'Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research. "We've reached an era where phones are incredibly personal."
Mobile App Crashes Iowa Caucuses
February 5, 2020
A coding error in an app used to count vote totals in the Democratic caucuses in Iowa has delayed the release of final tallies. Although the data collected by the app was sound, it was reporting only a portion of that data to party headquarters due a coding issue with its reporting system. After discovering inconsistencies, party staff implemented manual backup measures.
Oops - Google May Have Sent Your Embarrassing Private Video to a Stranger
February 5, 2020
Google misdirected a number of private videos that users of its Google Photos app intended to back up to Google Takeout, sending them instead to strangers' archives. The company emailed affected users to inform them that a technical issue caused the error. Google recommended that affected users back up their content again and delete their previous backup.
Consumers Like Augmented Reality More Than They Know
February 4, 2020
The augmented reality space continues to evolve. Device makers such as Bosch, Panasonic, Huawei and Pico are introducing significantly smaller and more powerful smart glasses and AR headsets, such as those demonstrated last month at CES 2020, one of the country's largest consumer technology conferences. What is augmented reality exactly? There's not really an easy answer.
From Personal to Planetary: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 4
January 30, 2020
We asked ECT News Network's roundtable of industry insiders to reflect on their own personal tech preferences, to speculate on what popular gadgets may vanish from use in the next decade, to consider the role of wearable health tools -- and then to expand the discussion to the health of the planet, tech advances in traveling on it, and the prospect of leaving it altogether.
DoubleTake App Turns Your iPhone Into a Multi-Cam Studio
January 29, 2020
A new iPhone app allows you to capture two high-quality video streams simultaneously from any of the mobile device's cameras. Called "DoubleTake," the free software is produced by FiLMiC, which also makes a pro style video capture and editing app for the iPhone. With DoubleTake, you can shoot two 1080p video streams at the same time, in either landscape or portrait mode.
With Foldable Razr, Motorola Makes Bid for Old Glory
January 28, 2020
Motorola is taking orders for its $1,499 Razr foldable smartphone, and units are expected to start shipping on Feb. 6. Motorola made its mark on the mobile handset business with the original Razr, introduced in 2004, which ushered in the era of flip phones. The new Razr is a flip phone, too. The 6.2-inch OLED screen folds in half to create a compact package that fits in a shirt pocket.
Saudi Hack of Bezos' Phone Shines Bright Light on Security Challenges
January 24, 2020
A digital forensic analysis conducted by FTI Consulting concludes with "medium to high confidence" that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' smartphone was hacked through a malicious file sent from the WhatsApp account of Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. The malware was in an MP4 file attached to a WhatsApp message. UN special rapporteurs released technical elements of the report.
Report: FBI Got Apple to Roll Over on iCloud Encryption
January 23, 2020
Apple shelved plans to give iPhone users control over encrypted backups stored on the company's iCloud service over concerns raised by the FBI and internal sources, according to a report. The company made the decision to retain control over iCloud encryption around two years ago, but it came to light just recently. The plan would have removed Apple's ability to decrypt users' backups.
Uber Tests Plan to Let Drivers Set Their Own Fares
January 22, 2020
Uber has launched a pilot program in California that lets drivers in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Sacramento set their own fares for airport rides. Drivers can set a fare multiple on Uber's base, time, and distance rates for UberX and UberXL trips, according to the company. Drivers can increase the fare in 10 percent jumps up to five times Uber's base price.
Canonical Introduces Scalable Android-Based Cloud Platform
January 21, 2020
Canonical is deploying a scalable Android-based operating system for mobile and desktop enterprise applications from the cloud. The company just announced its Anbox Cloud containerized workload platform. Anbox Cloud allows apps to be streamed to any operating system or form factor. Its uses include cloud gaming, enterprise workplace applications, software testing and mobile device virtualization.
Cybersecurity 2020: A Perilous Landscape
January 17, 2020
Cybersecurity is a very serious issue for 2020 -- and the risks stretch far beyond the alarming spike in ransomware. In addition to the daily concerns of malware, stolen data and the cost of recovering from a business network intrusion, there is the very real danger of nefarious actors using cyberattacks to influence or directly impact the outcome of the 2020 U.S. general election.
Apple, DoJ Grapple Over Cracking Terrorist's iPhones
January 15, 2020
Apple and the U.S. Justice Department are at it again. This time it's over cracking a brace of iPhones owned by the Saudi Air Force cadet who killed three sailors in a shooting spree last month at the naval air station in Pensacola, Florida. At a news conference on the findings of an investigation into the incident, U.S. Attorney General William Barr called out Apple for refusing to help the FBI.
Building E-Commerce Wave: Social Media Shopping
January 13, 2020
Consumers are on social media constantly, scrolling through posts. Many have begun clicking on brand posts and making purchases. "Social commerce is becoming increasingly popular for brands," noted Darin Archer, chief strategy officer at Elastic Path. "Even when the transaction itself may be happening outside the app, there's a much smaller gap between discovery and purchase."
Lost at CES
January 9, 2020
CES is in full swing in Las Vegas this week, and the show for all things high-tech -- from gizmos and gadgets to cars and entertainment gear -- has attracted attendees from around the world. The first CES, or "Consumer Electronics Show" as it originally was known, took place in June 1967 in New York City. That first show attracted 17,500 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors.
Samsung Debuts Sleek Galaxy Chromebook
January 7, 2020
Samsung introduced a high-end Galaxy Chromebook at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The new model could serve as an extension of the company's smartphone lineup and spawn a premium device demand in the category. Samsung aims to position it as the company's flagship Chromebook to meet potential demand for a more useful and powerful multipurpose premium mobile device.
CES 2020: Prepare to Be Amazed
January 6, 2020
Every year I look forward to CES being over. That's not because it isn't interesting -- it is. It's because the place is a nightmare to get around, thanks to some incredibly stupid decisions that turn Las Vegas into a gridlocked mess. Coming right after the holidays, it destroys more family vacations than any other event short of a long driving trip with very young children.
2010 - 2019: Product of the Decade
December 30, 2019
As we get to the end of December, I typically pick my product of the year, but this is also the end of the decade, so I'll go back and look at the prior products of the year, name my pick for this year, and then pick my product of the decade. 2010 was an easy choice as the iPad came out and scared the hell out of the entire PC market. Its release made the whole "PC is Dead" thing real.
Is Privacy Possible in 2020?
December 27, 2019
The California Consumer Protection Act goes into effect in 2020, and other state and federal laws are on the horizon -- but is it possible that these state laws will really provide us privacy? How many readers take the time to read the privacy policy, or click agreement, when they download a new version of an app on their smartphone or tablet? Probably none. What are the consequences?
Tech Firms Join Forces to Create Smart Home Connectivity Standard
December 19, 2019
Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are teaming up on a new Internet Protocol-based standard for smart home device connectivity. Connected Home over IP will be an open source project. A working group will define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification. The goal is to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps and cloud services.
Data-Munching Bug Throws Chrome 79 Android Rollout Into Chaos
December 17, 2019
Google has stalled the rollout of its Chrome 79 Web browser for Android devices until it can find a way to neutralize a data-destroying bug. Affected users have been vilifying Google and app developers for failing to head off the problem. The latest Chrome version contains two highly anticipated new features: phishing protection, and the ability to reorder bookmarks.
A Secret Strategy That Could Be Apple's Fatal Self-Inflicted Blow
December 9, 2019
Both Intel and a bunch of professors connected to Apple and the FTC came out in support of the Judge Koh verdict against Qualcomm, even though it had been shown that the foundational evidence was manufactured contrary to the wishes of the DoJ, DoD and other major government agencies. That was well after Qualcomm was identified as a critical part of the U.S. defense against Huawei's 5G dominance.
Amazon Ratchets Up Competition in 5G, Hybrid IT
December 5, 2019
Among the highlights of Amazon Web Services re:Invent are three announcements that strengthen its presence in the enterprise hybrid IT infrastructure market: AWS is teaming with Verizon to deliver 5G edge cloud computing; the first AWS Local Zone is located in Los Angeles; and AWS Outposts are generally available. These moves "close some huge competitive gaps," observed tech analyst Rob Enderle.
Tapping AI for a Future of Better, Faster, Cheaper Gift Shopping
December 2, 2019
If you are like me, every Christmas you dread shopping because figuring out what everyone wants is a bit of a nightmare. You don't know what folks want in your price range. If you find out, there is no easy way to be sure they haven't bought it themselves, or that someone else didn't get it for them. Choosing sizes and colors adds to the nightmare. These problems aren't limited to Christmas.
You've Come a Long Way, Linux-Baby
November 27, 2019
When Linux first emerged from its cocoon in a frenzied Usenet thread, it is doubtful that almost anyone imagined the project would ascend to global prominence. Even more astonishingly, its dominance was driven as much, if not more, by its adoption by the private sector -- although it posed an antithesis to its business model -- as by any of its other notable traits.
Demystifying 5G - It's Real and It's Here
November 26, 2019
Every decade the wireless industry transitions to a new cellular technology, and every generation there are doubts about it. This continues with 5G. I have heard from consumers and even people within the industry that there is "no need for 5G," "5G is only for businesses," "5G won't be available until 2025," "mmWave is only for fixed wireless access," and "radiation from mmWave is harmful."
Health Tech Trends: Connected Devices, Telehealth, Independent Living Solutions
November 25, 2019
The U.S. healthcare industry is in the midst of transformation, including an overhaul of its information infrastructure from physical to digital, and the rise of informed and increasingly empowered consumers. Managing consumers' healthcare experience is no longer a selling point, but a must-deliver component of technology vendors' solutions. Adoption of connected health devices is on the rise.
Apple to Conduct 3 Medical Studies Using Research App
November 19, 2019
Apple is getting into the medical research field with its recent announcement of three studies to be conducted through its Research app. Apple Watch and iPhone users in the United States can use the app to enroll in the Apple Women's Health Study, the Apple Heart & Movement Study, and the Apple Hearing Study. Participants can use their Apple devices to contribute data to the studies.
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Which technology has the strongest positive or negative impact on race relations?
Smartphone cameras, by holding people accountable.
Twitter, by reporting news as it happens.
Facebook, by providing a platform for discussing the issues.
YouTube, by exposing viewers to other cultures.
Twitter, by fueling antagonisms.
Facebook, by spreading fake news.