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Qualcomm Introduces 5G and AI-Enabled Robotics Platform
June 18, 2020
Qualcomm has announced its Robotics RB5 platform, with 5G and 4G connectivity, on-device AI and machine learning. The platform's Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, which is customized for robotics applications, offers a heterogeneous computing architecture coupled with the 5th-generation Qualcomm AI Engine that delivers 15 Tera Trillion Operations Per Second (TOPS) of AI performance.
Time to Beef Up Your Algorithms
June 18, 2020
Accuracy means getting the right answer. Precision is about getting the right answer time after time. In a CRM situation an algorithm that gets the right answer is accurate and nice (we got the deal!) but if the business process supported by CRM has a lot of returns or unhappy customers, it's not very precise.
Apple-Google Contact Tracing App Gets First Trial in Switzerland
May 29, 2020
Switzerland has launched a pilot program for SwissCovid, a contact tracing app based on Apple and Google's jointly developed APIs. The APIs will work with iOS 13.5 and devices running Android 6.0 or higher. The pilot involves several thousand workers at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, ETH Zurich, the Swiss Army, and staff at some hospitals and cantonal administrations.
XRSpace Headset Opens Door to New Virtual World
May 27, 2020
A new virtual reality headset designed for mobility will serve as an entry point into a new virtual world. The $599 Mova headset from XRSpace, founded by former HTC chief Peter Chou, will support 5G and be the exclusive on-ramp to Manova, a social reality platform that aims to defy the boundaries of space and time to bring people together. Users can roam Manova as full-body avatars.
How to Soup Up Your Home WiFi With Multiple Repeaters and Access Points
May 21, 2020
Does flaky Internet connectivity have you scrounging for solutions? The COVID-19 pandemic increased our demand for Internet service due to working from home, online learning for kids, and video conferencing with colleagues and family members. For many people stuck at home, Internet connectivity issues became more troublesome in recent months. Use these tips to improve your WiFi performance.
Will Apple's AR Glasses Be Ready for Spring 2021 Debut?
May 20, 2020
Apple may launch a line of AR smart glasses in the spring of 2021. The new peepers will be called "Apple Glass" and sell for $499, with prescription lenses costing more, based on the latest leaks. Both lenses are displays that support gesture interaction. The glasses will work in conjunction with an iPhone. Early prototypes supported the LiDAR sensor for 3D scanning and wireless charging.
How to Solve WiFi Speed and Connection Problems
May 14, 2020
In theory, all you need is a shiny new router for hassle-free wireless connections in your home or small office. Yet in practice, your wireless reception often will be plagued with interference issues. Interference can cause slow delivery, higher latency than hardwired connections, frequent disconnects and reconnects, and sometimes a complete inability to access a WiFi signal.
Microsoft Covers All the Bases With Impressive Surface Lineup
May 7, 2020
Microsoft has introduced a slew of new products, including the Surface Go 2, the Surface Book 3, Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds. Both the Surface Go 2 and the Surface Book 3 come in consumer and corporate versions. "The two products are very different," noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "The Go 2 is a high-value product -- the Surface Book 3 high innovation."
Google Meet Aims to Head Off Zoom
May 4, 2020
Google is integrating its Google Meet videoconferencing application with Gmail, and it already appears as an option in some users' accounts. It is making the service available to everyone for free in the coming weeks, on the Web and through mobile apps for iOS and Android. Users will be able to start or join Meet videoconferences from within Google Calendar as well.
How to Fix Your Phone or Tablet's Broken Screen
April 30, 2020
Cracked or broken mobile device screens can be costly to fix, but a few inexpensive DIY strategies can eliminate a repair shop visit and salvage your tablet or phone. It is relatively easy and cheap to replace the glass on a phone once you get the hang of it. Tablets are a bit more involved because of the larger size and added components. Tools might require an additional monetary outlay.
New Shopify App Offers Local SMBs a Bridge to E-Commerce
April 30, 2020
Shopify has unveiled an app that lets users discover local businesses, receive relevant product recommendations from their favorite brands, check out effortlessly, and track all their online orders. It can gather and track orders automatically, but it also works without auto-tracking. Consumers can get a customized feed with deals, trending items and recommendations from their favorite stores.
Bottom Line: iPhone SE Packs Great Value for the Money
April 29, 2020
Apple's new iPhone SE delivers incredible value and performance, has a surprisingly good camera, and handles videos well. Reviewers were impressed by the phone's A13 chipset. However, criticisms include insufficient battery life, absence of night mode, and lack of 5G support. "For those of us concerned about money ... the SE provides the greatest bang for the buck," said tech analyst Rob Enderle.
UK Rejects Apple-Google Contact Tracing Approach
April 29, 2020
The UK's plans to launch a smartphone application to track potential COVID-19 infections won't include Apple and Google. The country's National Health Service has designed its own mobile software to do contact tracing of people exposed to the coronavirus. The NHS reportedly found that its own tech works "sufficiently well." The NHS chose a centralized model for its data collection and storage.
Samsung's Galaxy Watch to Get BP Monitoring Feature
April 23, 2020
Cuffless blood pressure measuring is coming to the Android world. Samsung announced that South Korean authorities have approved its Health Monitor app for use on the Galaxy Watch Active2. The app will be available in the third quarter of this year. High blood pressure has been associated with increased risk of brain, kidney and heart problems, including stroke and coronary disease.
Facebook Gaming Powers Ahead With Live Streaming
April 21, 2020
Facebook has launched a free standalone app for creating and watching live video game play on Android devices. Some 700 million users already engage in gaming on the platform, but with its dedicated app Facebook is locking horns with the leaders in the market -- Amazon, Google and Microsoft. "Live streaming was a growth opportunity before the pandemic," noted Strategy Analytics' Michael Goodman.
Apple Offers 'Good Enough' iPhone SE at Attractive Price
April 16, 2020
Apple's second-gen iPhone SE, based on its A13 Bionic processor, has the best single-camera system in an iPhone, according to the company. "I'd pay attention to the cameras," said Ramon Llamas, research director at IDC. "Apple insists that its iPhones have best-in-class cameras, and at the price points that the SE is shooting for, I'd be curious about the comparisons you could make."
Contact Tracing Phone Apps: Health vs. Privacy
April 14, 2020
Google, Apple and MIT have made headlines with announcements of contact tracing mobile apps in the wings. Their purpose is to identify contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 so appropriate actions can be taken to stem its spread. However, a Cambridge University professor threw some cold water on those apps. The apps proposed by Google, Apple and MIT all have voluntary aspects to them.
How BlackBerry Could Make Voting From Smartphones Secure
April 13, 2020
Some states defaulted to mail-in ballots some time ago, and their elections are unconstrained by the pandemic. However, in many parts of the U.S. the prevailing attitude is that the Web lacks enough security for elections. That seems odd, given that we now use the Internet to manage our finances, our healthcare, our businesses, our travel -- and now our shopping, including for food.
Facebook, YouTube Crack Down on Conspiracy Theories Linking 5G to Coronavirus
April 8, 2020
Facebook and YouTube are cracking down on the pervasive conspiracy theories linking the spread of coronavirus to 5G wireless technology. Facebook has begun actively removing false claims that could lead to physical harm. WhatsApp has reduced the number of accounts users can forward chats to from five to one. Meanwhile, YouTube has banned all videos promoting 5G-coronavirus conspiracy theories.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook: Is the Ultimate Chrome OS Platform Worth the Price?
April 7, 2020
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is now available to buy -- but the $999 price tag for its one-of-a-kind configuration may cause an internal struggle between want and need. Samsung introduced the high-end Chromebook early this year, positioning it as the flagship Chromebook to meet potential demand for a more useful and powerful multipurpose premium mobile device.
How to Turn an Old Android Device Into a Cool, Useful Gadget
April 2, 2020
What do you do with your old Android phones or tablets? That question usually prompts three tired answers. You might trade them in for a new purchase. Or you could resell them on eBay. Probably, though, you will just stuff them in a drawer as emergency backups. Better options exist, however, that would let you continue to get value from your aging devices.
Instagram Combats COVID-19 Misinformation, Social Isolation
March 25, 2020
Instagram has announced a slew of new capabilities to combat misinformation about the coronavirus, along with a co-watching feature that helps users feel less isolated while sheltering at home. Efforts to clamp down on misinformation include removing COVID-19 accounts from recommendations unless they are posted by a credible health organization, and removing false claims that could cause harm.
Ask Siri if You Have the Coronavirus
March 24, 2020
Apple users wondering if they've caught COVID-19 now can ask digital assistant Siri for advice. The company has rolled out a self-screening feature that allows users to ask, "Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus?" Siri then takes them through a questionnaire prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Public Health Service to determine if they're exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
Open Source Tech Rushes to Front Lines of COVID-19 War
March 18, 2020
Open Source software, once the scorn of Microsoft and profit-seeking software developers, is playing an active role in efforts to combat COVID-19's spread. Several open source projects are assisting health providers and helping people mitigate some of the hardships associated with the pandemic. Often, open source accomplishments in the public health and government services fields go unreported.
How to Run the Linux KDE Desktop on a Chromebook
March 11, 2020
Chromebooks with the right stuff inside now are able to install and run a complete Linux experience with the KDE desktop without giving up the Chrome OS on the same device. It is not yet flawless, but it does create a hybrid computing platform that lets Linux and Android apps coexist on top of the Chrome OS. You can run a complete Linux graphical environment with the KDE desktop.
VPN, Ad Blocker Provider Caught With Hand in the Data Jar
March 11, 2020
A number of VPN and ad-blocking apps owned by Sensor Tower, a popular analytics platform, have been collecting data from millions of people using the programs on their Android and iOS devices, according to a report. The software involved includes Free and Unlimited VPN, Luna VPN, Mobile Data, Adblock Focus for Android devices, and Adblock Focus and Luna VPN for iOS hardware.
Robinhood Outages Anger Customers
March 9, 2020
Heavy trading on Wall Street once again was too much for the Robinhood app to handle. The company reported issues with equities, options and crypto trading just before 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday. The incident is a case of bad deja vu. Robinhood customers potentially lost millions of dollars when the company's app went down amid heavy trading last Monday, March 2.
COVID-19 and the Bleak Outlook for the Tech Supply Chain
March 6, 2020
Foxconn, a key parts supplier for Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, said its plants on mainland China will resume normal production by the end of March. Numerous factories across China were forced to shut down in late January due to the coronavirus. The impact of the outbreak could hit global supply chains for all products in mid-March, The Harvard Business Review predicted.
Apple to Pay Up to $500M for Throttling iPhones
March 4, 2020
Apple has agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it slowed down older iPhones in order to push consumers into buying its later, more expensive models. The devices covered in the agreement are iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and iPhone SE models that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later, and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models that ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017.
Shifting Our Global Problem-Solving Focus From Symptoms to Cause
March 2, 2020
IBM's latest effort to solve global problems has evolved from a focus on catastrophic events, which increasingly are caused by climate change, to climate change itself. It is a huge jump to go from dealing with the symptoms of a problem, which generally is relatively easy, to dealing with the causes, particularly global scale. However, it is critical for a sustained impact.
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How will the pandemic influence your holiday shopping habits this year?
I will shop online exclusively, for my own safety and to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
I will do some shopping online, and some in-person because I want to support merchants in my area.
I will shop online definitely, and I will consider local retailers -- but only if they provide curbside service.
I will only shop in-person because the risks associated with e-commerce outweigh my chance of catching COVID-19.
I will not do any holiday shopping this year due to circumstances related to the pandemic.
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