Val Strefeler

Val Strefeler

Followers 12
Following 20
US
While we went into this year’s Mobile World Congress assuming all of the focus would be on the Samsung Galaxy S9, we were in for a few surprises.First Nokia absolutely stole the show with not one, but five amazing new handsets.And we definitely can’t forget about the Asus Zenfone 5 and all the other iPhone clones we saw while roaming the halls.A manufacturer of hybrid smartphone accessories, Tronsmart introduced Digital Trends to its newest AirAmp Hybrid Wireless Charging Bank.In addition to wireless device charging at 5W, the AirAmp Hybrid Wireless Charging Bank features a 10,000mAh battery backup as well as 15W USB-C Quick Charge technology.With a rugged design and small form factor, the AirAmp Hybrid Wireless Charging Bank is easy to throw into a backpack or bag.
China
Xiaomi’s history of being late with Android updates is a well known fact.The company hasn’t ever really released an Android update quickly, even on their flagship devices and even on the MiA1.Even their Android One phone got updates slower than it should have.Which is why it’s great news to hear that the Mi Mix 2’s Android Oreo update has finally been released.The update brings along with it a bunch of extra features, among them are face unlock and screen gesture controls.The face unlock feature made its first appearance on Xiaomi’s own Redmi 5 Pro.
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US
These proindividual, anticommunity ideologies have been central to the anti-democratic, anti-affirmative-action, antiwelfare, antichoice, and antirace discourses that place culpability for individual failure on moral failings of the individual, not policy decisions and social systems.Discussions of institutional discrimination and systemic marginalization of whole classes and sectors of society have been shunted from public discourse for remediation and have given rise to viable presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, someone with a history of misogynistic violence toward women and anti-immigrant schemes.Despite resistance to this kind of vitriol in the national electoral body politic, society is also moving toward greater acceptance of technological processes that are seemingly benign and decontextualized, as if these projects are wholly apolitical and without consequence too.It is in this broader social and political environment that the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission have been reluctant to regulate the internet environment, with the exception of the Children’s Internet Protection Act and the Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007.Attempts to regulate decency vis-à-vis racist, sexist, and homophobic harm have largely been unaddressed by the FCC, which places the onus for proving harm on the individual.I am trying to make the case, through the mounting evidence, that unregulated digital platforms cause serious harm.
US
By design, the downtown San Francisco storefront offices of Forward feel more like a spa or a ritzy skin care boutique than a doctors’ office.But pay $149 a month, and in return you get 24/7 access to staff via SMS and a phone app, more time with a physician, and an office tricked out with more gadgets than a starship’s sick bay.On intake, you stand in front of a sensor and put your hand into an orifice; a screen reads out your height, weight, temperature, and blood oxygenation.In the exam room, you sit in a custom-designed Comfy Chair while a doctor holds a wireless sensor against your chest and your heartbeat unspools on a giant flatscreen.The key words of your conversation scroll past a cartoon of your body, picked up by discrete microphones in the ceiling (transcribed by a little natural language processing and a little bit of person-sitting-in-an-adjacent-room-listening).It’ll even build on-the-fly visualizations of test results over time, and let you share that data with family members.
US
More than 86 million blog posts are published on WordPress every month.Where does that leave the millions and millions of other “content opportunities”?Much as the slow food movement argues less-but-better food will deliver improved health results, the slow content marketing movement insists less-but-better content will deliver improved marketing results.“When I first came into content marketing, fast content marketing was the way to go,” says Margaret Magnarelli, senior director of marketing at Monster and Content Marketing World speaker.“If you’re working in a B2B business where your aim is to drive leads, you don’t need to make more content – instead you need to make more effective content.”The argument for slow content marketing isn’t just anecdotal.
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Unlike similar services such as Skype or Facebook Messenger, FaceTime exclusively supports one-on-one calling (i.e., no group calling) and can only be used to call someone with a compatible Apple device — it will not work on Windows or Android phones.Despite this, FaceTime is still one of the most popular videotelephony products out there, likely due to the inherent popularity of Apple products.A brief history of FaceTimeFaceTime was originally introduced by the late Steve Jobs in 2010 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.It was initially only supported on the iPhone 4 (the newest phone at the time), but is now available across a wide range of Apple products.Support for the iPod Touch was announced in September 2010 and for the iPad in March 2011.
US
WeChat is far and away the biggest messaging platform in China at the moment, and that is helping to drive a push among the smaller players to get together for better scale.Today, Momo, the Chinese location-based social networking app that has more recently made a big push into dating services and is traded on Nasdaq with a market cap of around $6 billion, announced that it has acquired Tantan, China’s top dating app, for $600.9 million in an all-cash deal.Overall, Tantan had raised $120 million, including a $70 million round last year from a mix of strategic and financial investors.Its backers included DST Global, Kleiner Perkins, video social network YY, Genesis Capital, SAIF China, Zhongwei, DCM and Bertelsmann.WeChat has in a way written the playbook in China for how to leverage a popular social platform to move into other related services (commerce being one of the biggies), and it seems that would-be competitors are following suit.Other notable moves and exits in recent years have included Alibaba buying Youku Tudou and also investing heavily in WeChat competitor Weibo; selfie-making app Meitu going public and Meituan Dianping making a move into transportation.
US
Samsung Display, Samsung's panel-making division, is reducing OLED panel production at its South Chungcheong plant, according to the Nikkei Asian Review, thanks to lower than expected iPhone X sales.The report states Samsung now plans to cover 20 million or fewer iPhone X devices for the quarter ending in March, a large decrease from the expected 45 to 50 million units.Samsung did not immediately respond to our request for comment and Nikkei's report did not cite specific sources.Samsung has yet to confirm production targets for the April-June period.Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones in the quarter ending in January, down by 1 percent on the previous year.The $1,000 price tag on the iPhone X was blamed for the volume shortfall -- but also contributed to the company making record-breaking profits.
US
Finnish Studio Remedy Entertainment has been relatively quiet over the last few years, with its last released game being the Xbox One and PC shooter Quantum Break.For its next major project, code-named “P7,” the studio promises the deepest game mechanics of one of its games to date, and it’s on track to release in 2019.In a 2017 financial statement, Remedy revealed that P7 has moved from the pre-production phase into full-fledged development during the last year, and that the project has “progressed according to [Remedy’s] plans.”P7, like most of Remedy’s work to date, will be a third-person action game, but it isn’t set in any of Remedy’s existing universes.It will use the Northlight technology that powered Quantum Break, but improvements are being made in artificial intelligence, animation, and, curiously, multiplayer.Remedy’s other announced project is the shooter CrossFire 2, but the studio is only working on the campaign mode.
UK
For over a decade, the hugely-successful Assassin’s Creed video games have managed to convince us that history can be and is, fun.While their plots have always verged on the fantastical, throughout every era of history the developers have applied an almost monastic level of attention to detail in recreating these time periods.While visiting Venice during the Italian Renaissance you could trace the canals exactly as they would have been.It should be no real surprise then that as its worlds became more realistic, more vast and more interactive the question began to be asked: Could they do more than simply entertain?Instead you take part in ‘tours’, which lead you around the world while taking in the atmosphere of the time period.From the bustling streets of Alexandria to the quiet hamlets where farmers tend their crops, this was always a game that deserved to be stopped and absorbed.
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UK
While many bugs are relatively benign, often getting patched before the user knows anything is wrong, the latest plague to hit Apple devices is already wreaking havoc on the internet.The issue, which has become known as the Telugu bug, gives people the ability to crash a wide range of iPhone, Mac, and iPad apps just by sending a single character from the third most spoken language in India.To help address the situation, Apple says it's already working on a patch that will fix the bug, which should arrive in the form of an intermediary update before iOS 11.3 (which is currently in beta) gets officially released.However, in the meantime, some more mean-spirited users have taken to using the Telugu symbol to “bomb” other people's devices.Motherboard has reported that by adding the symbol to a user’s Twitter name, you can crash the iOS Twitter app simply by liking someone’s tweet.And while it’s possible to address the issue by uninstalling and reinstalling the Twitter app, there’s not much stopping the same person from liking another tweet and causing the app to go haywire again.
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UK
From an early age on, Dutch potato farmer Jacob van den Borne was fascinated by technology.In fact, he now runs one of the world’s most advanced potato farms.Using huge amounts of data collected by all kinds of different sensors, van den Borne manages to use his land more efficiently than most other potato farms.He knows exactly which piece of soil needs more nutrients, where pests are eating leaves, or which plants aren’t getting enough sunlight – and acts accordingly.The third-generation farm is like a testing ground for technology that has been repurposed for use in agriculture.Because he’s such an outspoken advocate for so-called precision farming, scientists and other agricultural innovators know who to reach out to when they have some cool idea they’d like to test.
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Online bookmaker Betvictor has played its World Cup 2018 hand by dealing in marketing specialists Karmarama to lead its creative for the sporting event.The football jamboree promises to provide a bonanza for all bookmakers prompting Betvictor to put its cards on the table early as it plots how best to increase its brand exposure during the tournament.Key to this will be the launch of a new brand campaign spanning traditional and digital media during the all-important build-up to the opening match as hype builds around the world.Shane Stafford, head of brand at BetVictor, said: “We believe the campaign they’re currently working on is truly unique and will establish a clear identity for us before, during and after the World Cup.Karmarama’s creative, technology-focused approach made them an ideal fit for us.”James Denton-Clark, managing director at Karmarama, added: “We’re hugely excited to be working with BetVictor, a true challenger brand who aren’t afraid to take chances.
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UK
Back in 2016, Xiaomi's original Mi Mix was the smartphone that arguably kicked off our current obsession with bezel-less designs.It was followed-up last year by the even more gorgeous Mi Mix 2 – and now the Chinese phone-maker is reportedly working on a new follow-up that's said to pack some seriously impressive specs under its hood.According to discoveries made by XDA Developers based on firmware files obtained by XDA Senior Member duraaraa, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S is definitely in the works, and will be powered by the upcoming Snapdragon 845 chipset, also known as Qualcomm's fastest processor to date.Based on an exclusive phone wallpaper obtained by the site, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S is expected to sport a FHD+ (2160 x 1080) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, just like its predecessor.Also unchanged from last year's version is its 3,400mAh battery.The phone will also reportedly run Android Oreo right out of the box, and is said to boast similar AI-based scene recognition camera features as the recently-released Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro.
UK
Kaspersky Lab, the antivirus house, now claims that the US government's ban on its products amounts to punishment without trial.In court filings made late last year Kaspersky said it was intending to use the US Administrative Procedure Act to get the ban declared unconstitutional.Now, according to local reports, the Russian company is bringing the US Constitution's Bill of Attainder clause, which forbids punishment without trial, into play to bolster its legal arguments.The American Department of Homeland Security (DHS) banned the use of Kaspersky products in September 2017 across the entire US government.Controversy had arisen in American governmental circles that a National Security Agency contractor (NSA – a snooping agency like Britain's GCHQ but better scrutinised) who took his work home with him had leaked software exploits intended to be used for hacking by US government agents thanks to an unintentional upload to the Kaspersky cloud.The Americans convinced themselves that Russian-owned Kaspersky had given access to these exploits to Kremlin intelligence services, though the company denies this.
UK
Outside storage outfit blamed for data leak blunderA Register reader, who wished to remain anonymous, show us a copy of a letter dated January 31 that he received from the money-transfer outfit.The missive admitted that a supposedly secure data storage company used by Western Union was compromised: a database full of the wire-transfer giant's customer records was vulnerable to plundering, and hackers were quick to oblige."We have discovered that some of your information may have been accessed without authorization as a result of a computer intrusion against an external vendor system formerly used by Western Union for secure data storage," the letter read."We promptly moved our external secure storage to a different vendor's system.We immediately notified law enforcement, and are actively cooperating with its investigation.
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China
For a certain period of time, we were worried Xiaomi would copy the iPhone X notch on the Redmi Note 5 like so many manufacturers are doing today.Thankfully, the Chinese manufacturer has not done that, but it does take design cues of the iPhone X rear camera.In fact, if you take a look at the images below, the Redmi Note 5 Pro camera is the spitting image of the iPhone X.Sadly, this is the only angle or picture we have right now.If you want a close look at the front screen, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.We earlier gave our readers a first glance at the whole spec sheet of the Redmi Note 5 Pro as well its smaller brother.
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US
Their tongues might trip up over the name of the treatment, but people who stutter perform better on a speech test after receiving a daily jolt of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).That’s according to the results of a British trial, which found that coupling brain zapping with a five-day course of speech therapy helps those with stutters make positive, lasting changes in their communication skills.And there’s a growing body of evidence that the neurostimulation can ease the symptoms of pain and depression, as well as promote recovery in stroke victims, including in their language skills.But the new report, which will appear in the April 2018 issue of the journal Brain, is the first from a randomized clinical trial—the gold standard in medical research—to show that the technique can improve speech fluency in people who have not suffered any major insult to the brain but instead have a developmental speech condition.“It’s a big deal,” says Rick Arenas, a speech scientist who runs the University of New Mexico Stuttering Lab and was not involved in the study.But as Elizabeth Galletta, a speech-language pathologist at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, readily admits: “It’s still a black box.”
US
Broadcom has confirmed reports from last night that it has secured “up to” $100 billion in debt funding to cover its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm.Over the months-long saga, Qualcomm has reject previous takeover offers from the rival chip company, and after Broadcom submitted a revised $121 billion bid last week — consisting of cash and stock — Qualcomm once again rejected the deal.However, Broadcom is now planning a hostile takeover that bypasses Qualcomm’s board and heads directly to its shareholders for approval through a vote in early March.Broadcom revealed that it has signed “committed financing agreements” to fund the $121 billion transaction, though Qualcomm argues that this significantly undervalues the company and that the deal would likely face significant regulatory hurdles.Nonetheless, Broadcom said that it has secured a group of 12 financial bodies to provide the credit it needs to fund the acquisition.These include Citigroup, BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Mizuho, MUFG, SMBC, Wells Fargo, Scotiabank, BMO Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank AG affiliates.
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