Mark Moore

Mark Moore

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UK
We’ve seen plenty of renders supposedly showing the Sony Xperia XZ4, but now we’ve seen what appears to be the first photo of the handset, and it shows a tweaked interface and a stretched screen.The image, which was posted on Weibo (a Chinese social network), includes our first look at the possible interface of the Xperia XZ4, and you can see that there’s a pill-shaped home button and some redesigned icons.There’s also a bar on the right edge of the screen, which likely toggles a one-handed mode, as the Sony Xperia XZ3 had such a feature.Such a mode may be even more useful here though, as the Sony Xperia XZ4 is rumored to have a big 6.5-inch screen, and, as you can see both here and in earlier leaks, it looks to be a tall, 21:9 display.You can also see that the bezels look very slim but that there’s seemingly no notch or punch hole.That, again, is something that matches up with renders.
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UK
In an incident similar to ones which shut down the UK’s Gatwick Airport before Christmas last month and another at Heathrow in early January, Newark Liberty International Airport grounded all departing and incoming flights on Tuesday after two pilots spotted a drone.Per the New York Times, the pilots saw the drone roughly 3,500 feet over the nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, after which “takeoffs from Newark were halted and inbound planes were held in the air.” The Federal Aviation Administration initially reported sightings of two separate drones, but later stated the sightings appeared to be of the same one, according to CNN.If you’re flying a drone near EWR right now, could you ground it and have a sandwich or something?In transcripts from air traffic control obtained by CBS New York, there was chatter that the drone came within “30 feet” of a flight:“There’s something flying here, we thought it might be a drone.There is definitely something there.”
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Egghead faces criminal rap after Beijing tells of banned experimentBabies were genetically engineered in test tubes using the CRISPR DNA-editing tool as part of an illegal experiment led by disgraced scientist He Jiankui, the Chinese government confirmed this week.The rogue boffin boasted, during a talk at the Second International Summit on Gene Editing conference in November last year, that he had manipulated the genetic blueprints of twin girls while they were mere embryos in a lab.Until now, the world was unsure the newborns even existed beyond wild claims by a renegade scientist.Now, Chinese state media reports that the planet's first publicly known genetically modified babies are real: born, alive, and under medical supervision.And, it looks as though more CRISPR babies could be on the way as another woman is pregnant as part of the experiment, according to the results of a probe led by officials working in the Guangdong Province.
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The global crypto market may have tanked last year, but notable names have joined forces to develop Bitcoin and blockchain financial services in Japan, which has emerged as one of the world’s most crypto-friendly markets.Blockstream, a blockchain startup founded by Bitcoin contributors, announced this week that it has launched a joint venture in Japan alongside Digital Garage, an early-stage investor/incubator that’s backed local launches from Twitter, Square and others, and financial services firm Tokyo Tanshi.Crypto Garage — as the new venture is called — is “is dedicated to building Bitcoin and blockchain solutions for the Japanese institutional market.” The venture was first unveiled last year, and it looks like Blockstream recently came onboard through an undisclosed investment.The startup said it is providing “technical expertise” for the effort.That’s about all the color on the venture for now, although it has released its first product, “SETTLENET.” That is described as a platform that uses Liquid Network, Blockstream’s blockchain that is designed for exchanges and brokers with a focus on speed and security.Settlenet — because nobody likes all-caps product names — is said to have already gotten clearance from the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA), which regulates exchanges and crypto projects, and its first launch will be a stablecoin for the Japanese Yen.
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Photo: Chris Welch / The VergeFor the last couple of years, my wife and I have relied on an ancient Garmin GPS for long road trips, in part because it had a useful feature that Google Maps lacked: speed limits.We might end up switching soon, because Google has begun rolling out the feature to Google Maps on iOS and Android devices.The new feature, spotted by Android Police (via Mashable), displays the posted speed limit on roads in the corner of the app, and also introduces an icon to denote the location of speed cameras.Mashable reports that drivers will get an audio notification when they’re approaching a speed trap.The update is currently rolling out to users in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while speed camera icons are rolling out to Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, UK, and US users.
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UK
Big Blue brands claim 'outlandish' in non-denial denialA former senior executive at IBM has claimed she was ordered to lie to the US government about just how many older workers Big Blue was laying off.And she says she was fired after pointing out that the aging biz was breaking age discrimination laws by primarily firing post-40 staff.The shocking allegations are found in an affidavit filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York by Catherine Rodgers, formerly IBM's vice president in its Global Engagement Office.Describing the circumstances under which she was terminated after nearly four decades with IBM, Rodgers said she believes she was fired for raising concerns that IBM was engaged in systematic age discrimination against employees over the age of 40.Along with similar age discrimination claims brought against IBM in California and Texas, it followed a March 2018 report from ProPublica and Mother Jones that said the global IT biz over the past few years engaged in a systematic campaign to get rid of older workers.
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Swedish Ericsson and Finnish Nokia both announced they’re losing people as the endless winter nights take their toll.Ericsson’s SVP, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations, Helena Norrman, is calling it a day after 21 years at the company, with ten of those on the executive team.She’ll be hanging around for a quarter or two, to keep the transition smooth and presumably have a hand in finding her replacement.“Helena has been instrumental in reshaping and modernizing Ericsson’s global marketing and communications strategy and function,” said Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm.Helena has been a valued member of the Executive Team and I wish her all the best in her future ventures.”On a personal note, I got a chance to hang out with Helena when I was over in Stockholm last summer and found her to be smart and tough, but at the same time friendly and approachable, in other words great at her job.
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The Pwn2Own contest is one of the biggest events in competitive security research, a place where up-and-coming hackers can show off their skills and earn money by finding new vulnerabilities in widely used programs.But this year, there will be a new target on the list — a brand-new Tesla Model 3.Tesla is partnering with the event’s organizers to include the Model 3 as the sole target in the automotive category, challenging hackers to find new ways to compromise the car’s security.The car is also a prize, to be awarded to a single winner in the automotive category.It’s the first time a car has been put to the test at Pwn2Own, and a measure of Tesla’s commitment to digital security.“Our work with the security research community is invaluable to us,” said Tesla’s vehicle software chief David Lau.
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UK
Never mind Glenn Close’s surprise win or Timothée Chalamet’s sequinned harness, the real star of the Golden Globes was Kelleth Cuthbert, who went viral after photobombing basically everyone on the red carpet.Kelleth was employed for the evening by Fiji Water and dutifully stood holding a tray of the stuff as the stars made their way into Sunday night’s event.Little did she know, though, snaps of her behind the famous faces were causing plenty of amusement online.Stefanie Keenan via Getty ImagesGetting the most out of her 15 minutes of fame (no judgement, we’d do the same), Kelleth has now spoken to People magazine about the evening.Insisting that she wasn’t seeking out the cameras, the model said: “There’s tons of photographers everywhere.
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Back in 2018, Foldimate was one of two laundry-folding machines exhibiting at CES that promised to make folding clothes a thing of the past.It was up against Laundroid, a $16,000 AI-powered machine that was supposed to analyze each clothing item and figure out the best way to fold it using AI.Neither machine worked at the time— Foldimate’s model was a non-working prototype, and I accidentally broke the Laundroid when I confused the machine’s AI with a black T-shirt.This year, Foldimate is the sole laundry-folding machine at CES, returning for the third time with a fully working prototype.I clipped in my Verge T-shirt to the machine, which pulled in the shirt and produced a neatly folded shirt in about five seconds.Foldimate says that you can fold an entire load of laundry in about five minutes, which includes collared shirts, pants, and medium-sized towels.
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Brownlee started making YouTube videos in high school, and 10 years later, at the age of 25, his channel MKBHD is one of the most popular tech destinations on the site, with over 7 million subscribers and a billion total video views.Every January, it’s a tradition for Brownlee (and the rest of the tech press) to head to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, and we dropped by his studio in Kearny, New Jersey, to see how he’s getting ready.“I think this is my fourth or fifth CES.But when I do go to a show, something like CES or a new product announcement, something like that, I also bring my camera gear to make a video.It’s really hard to travel with the whole camera already assembled, so I don’t.Fun fact: I’ve gone through a lot of airports with this bag, and I’d say it’s got like a 90-plus percent rate of getting stopped by the TSA because when you fly with batteries, batteries look like just these solid bricks to the X-ray machine.
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Beginning in the early hours of the morning, fans got to work decoding its narrative branches, analyzing its symbolism, and hunting for its Easter eggs.It paves the way for a new revenue stream that could be a lifeline for the streaming giant and a natural extension of its existing infrastructure.The interactive format offers Netflix some clear benefits: it’s more difficult to pirate than linear films or TV episodes, and its nature as a puzzle encourages more active fan engagement than most projects.But the greatest advantage lies in the data Netflix can gather from user participation and the ways that data could be used to create an internal programmatic marketing infrastructure.Its recommendations algorithm was one of its early value propositions, and later, it was a major aspect of its global expansion.Where the company previously focused its data gathering on the ways users engaged with its content — what they watched, when, and for how long — this new data is indicative of real-world decisions like product preference, musical taste, and engagement with human behavior.
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Amazon is reportedly planning to build lots of new Whole Foods stores across the U.S., partly as a route to expanding Prime Now, the company’s free delivery service for Prime members that gets orders to customers within two hours.Following its acquisition of the Whole Foods grocery business for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon is reported to be choosing the new locations carefully so that the new sites put more people within reach of Prime Now, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.Sources told the Journal that the plan is to link Prime Now with almost all of Whole Foods’ existing stores — there are currently 475 of them — as well as the new stores.Expanding Whole Foods’ 30-minute curbside grocery pick-up service is also believed to be part of Amazon’s strategy moving forward.Precise locations for the new Whole Foods stores haven’t been confirmed, but those claiming to have knowledge of the plans suggest relevant parties have been exploring sites in Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho, as well as locations in other parts of the country.The new stores could cover floorspace of around 45,000 square feet, making them slightly larger than most current Whole Foods sites, the report said, with the extra space used for the Prime Now order fulfillment and delivery operation.
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In 2018, Huawei sold more than 200 million smartphones, cementing its place as one of the top three manufacturers in the world.The 200 million figure includes both Huawei and Honor — the sister brand to Huawei — phones, and is an impressive rise from the three million phones Huawei sold in 2010.Analysts place Huawei as the world’s number two smartphone manufacturer, in front of Apple but behind Samsung.According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung’s sales figures fell during the third quarter — between July and September — by 13 percent, compared to Huawei’s 32 percent growth to 51 million devices.Samsung, even with its poor overall performance, still sold 72 million.The same Strategy Analytics report shows Huawei’s global market share to be 14.4 percent.
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John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus of Cisco (now founder of JC2 Ventures), knows a thing or two about tech acquisitions: he bet his career on a first one in ’93, and went on to complete 180 M during his 20 years tenure.In a fireside chat at the HAX M Masterclass that followed the publication of his book: Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World, Chambers issued a clear warning: learn about tech M or the future might happen without you.It took about 20 years to Amazon to challenge WalMart, barely 10 to Airbnb with hotels and to Uber with taxis and car ownership.The next wave might just take 4–5 years.Since no company can invent everything — even Apple or Google buy startups routinely — you’ll need to either buy or partner seriously with startups (more on that later).Tech Is Entering Every Sector
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UK
As a year of political turbulence finally draws to an end, it somehow didn’t seem as bizarre as it should have been that a Hollywood actor would pontificate on a skirmish in the House of Commons.Rob Lowe, a favourite of political nerds after starring as Sam Seaborn in several series of the US TV show The West Wing, appears to be in the UK filming an ITV crime series.So it was presumably during a break from filming when he came across the viral clip of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn muttering something about Theresa May following a heated exchange in the Commons.Many suggested he uttered “stupid woman”.The Labour Party quickly denied the accusation, claiming he said “stupid people”, referring generally to MPs on the opposite benches.In any case, Lowe had made up his mind, tweeting: “FYI – I have to say, I saw Jeremy Corbin call the Prime Minister ‘stupid woman’ with my own eyes watching on @SkyNewsPolitics.”
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Scientists at the University of Waterloo have created a powder that can capture CO2 from factories and power plants.The powder, created in the lab of Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor at Waterloo, can filter and remove CO2 at facilities powered by fossil fuels before it is released into the atmosphere and is twice as efficient as conventional methods.Chen said the new process to manipulate the size and concentration of pores could also be used to produce optimized carbon powders for applications including water filtration and energy storage, the other main strand of research in his lab."This will be more and more important in the future," said Chen, "We have to find ways to deal with all the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels."CO2 molecules stick to the surface of carbon when they come in contact with it, a process known as adsorption.Since it is abundant, inexpensive and environmentally friendly, that makes carbon an excellent material for CO2 capture.
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Ahead of CES, Samsung is announcing upcoming refreshes of its two most stylish 4K TVs, The Frame and Serif.These are lifestyle pieces that aim to make people rethink what a TV can and should look like.They don’t offer Samsung’s best picture performance — that’s still reserved for the proper QLED lineup — but they’re definitely good for attracting conversation in the home.The Frame is being upgraded with an improved picture over its previous two iterations.The 2019 model will feature Samsung’s quantum dot display technology for a wider HDR color palette.(Last year’s edition came in 43-, 55-, and 65-inch sizes.)
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Apple’s Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS has leaked, with the upcoming hunchbacked accessory spotted in a purported merchandise guide for retailers.The Cupertino firm first launched a Smart Battery Case in late 2015, aiming to address iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s runtimes, though the accessories have been conspicuously absent for newer iPhones.Earlier this month, an icon for a new Smart Battery Case was spotted in watchOS 5.1.2 beta 2.That had a distinctive vertical cut-out for the iPhone XS’ stacked dual cameras, in the process pushing the bulging battery pack itself further down the body of the case.What’s said to be a merchandising guide for retail employees in Apple stores has been leaked by Appleosphy, focusing on upcoming products.The document explains how accessories like cases should be arranged on wall displays, among other things.
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China
Troubled bike-share startup Ofo, which has been quitting cities around the planet this year, has a fresh crisis – millions of people are demanding their deposits back.Ofo’s app shows that in excess of eight million people are in a virtual queue to get back their deposits, which typically vary from US$15 to $30, depending on the date of signup.This has been verified by numerous tech bloggers and media outlets, who have seen varying numbers over the past few days – such as this one from earlier in the day showing 7,605,947 ahead in line:And it’s not just virtual queuesAt Ofo’s Beijing HQ today, dozens of people formed a line that started out on the street.At least five police vehicles were seen at the scene.
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