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May 24, 2019
The unlimited plans of the phone carrier were previously called T-Mobile One, and they offered hotspots with 3G connection; the company is changing that to keep up to date with the latest telecommunication technology. The new plans will be called 'Magenta' and 'Magenta Plus' which will offer up to 20GB of LTE speed, better in-flight connection and faster connectivity abroad. A downside of the rebranding is the loss of Netflix quality due to the increase in Netflix's price. Netflix in the US will only be available in standard screen quality, matching it to the cheapest plan for the service. Users can change to the HD tier if they pay an extra $2 a month.
May 24, 2019
A cyber attack was reported in servers of the Baltimore City government where official data was leaked; the perpetrators demanded bitcoin currency for government officials to gain access back to the servers and the citizens' data. While the problems were being dealt with, government workers tried to open Gmail accounts as an alternative to try and manage citizens' bills and other official procedures. Gmail identified the sudden surge as a business or organization and blocked all new accounts; since the service for companies is paid, Gmail will automatically block any movement identified as a bulk entrance. Google has addressed the issue, and all accounts that were created are now available for use.
May 24, 2019
The Youtube community has always struggled with copyright claims from music labels due to the use of their songs on videos. In the past years, the battle between creators and labels has been more prolonged as well as unclear. Youtube allows for a 'fair use' of the songs which include the usage of seconds on any registered song; the rule hasn't been fully applied to several videos. If a creator uses a phrase or even a 2-second guitar riff from a song, Youtube will take the video down or take its money revenue. Youtube executives have addressed the issue by saying both labels and creators need to find a middle ground.
May 24, 2019
In May last year, Facebook had announced plans of launching their cryptocurrency with the new hiring of directors in the blockchain division; this week the company announced the launch of the currency potentially called 'GlobalCoin' in 2020. Mark Zuckerberg stated that the cryptocurrency would not be tied to any bank accounts; instead it will be tied to the value of the US dollar to keep its value stable. The most recent consultant for this new move is the Bank of England; its CEO has been in talks with Zuckerberg to assess the pros and cons of GlobalCoin. Before the company makes the launch, it will have to earn the users trust after the many privacy scandals.
May 24, 2019
UC Berkeley has completed its finishing touches on Salto, a small robot able to stay upright and jump on one leg for up to 10 minutes. Engineers designed the robot after looking at animals that need to leap in order to get to higher places; Salto is able to move and reach high grounds without any outside help. The robot is controlled via remote control after several adjustments since its announcement in 2016. In its early stages, the robot had to be tracked with motion cameras in order for it to know its surroundings and not stumble upon objects or walls. Salto could be used for emergency scenarios like natural disasters where humans cannot go somewhere due to small spaces.
May 24, 2019
A new patent by Microsoft hints at the new design of the next Surface Pro. In the image, two features were highlighted by tech experts, the first one is a USB-C port that unveils Microsoft is changing their ports to the new type-C technology, moving away from the older ports. The chief of the Surface division has expressed his wishes on keeping the older ports to keep the technology accessible to all users. The second highlighted feature is the new magnetic Surface Type Covers where the keyboard can be locked with magnets when using it as a tablet; the closed cover feature will also have the magnets option.
May 24, 2019
NASA and NOAA, both agencies related to the wellbeing Earth, have made a report stating the risks of implementing 5G connection in the immediate future. The satellites that provide 5G connectivity to the US have a similar wave frequency than those used by weather forecast satellites, which could interfere with the weather forecast and reduce their effectiveness by 77%. The decrease could bring the current technology to the level of satellites that were used in the 80s. Critical information like predictions of hurricanes could be majorly affected, delaying forecasts from 2 to 3 days, resulting in catastrophic consequences. The FCC stated the report as fake news saying the sensors used in forecast satellites are outdated.
May 24, 2019
In the latest update of Google's Android video call app Duo, a new feature lets users have video conferences with up to eight people at the same time. The update will be first available for the mobile app with a later announcement for the web version. Google has been investing in video call apps in the last few years supported by Android with Google Hangouts being the enterprise counterpart of the lot. Hangouts will be enterprise-exclusive starting next year, leaving Facebook as the leading video call app that can hold up to 50 members in a video conference. Skype has upgraded their system too with a support of 50 people as well as.
May 24, 2019
Amazon is asking for volunteers in New York City to go on a 30-minute appointment for a 3D-scan of their bodies. The company is not going to use the scans for marketing purposes but instead as research. A study on diverse body shapes is being done, presumably to use the data for a future project called Amazon Echo Look which could work as a fashion advisor where the Echo scans the shape of the person and can recommend outfits or fashion advice. According to tech experts, Amazon is taking the right step in providing broad data on diverse body types since general data would be counter-effective.
May 24, 2019
Engineers have been trying to make AI machines create videos or audios of people with input data to analyze and replicate, and now Samsung has taken a step forward by making a video out of a single photo. The team took pictures of several celebrities and made a life-like video of them doing facial expressions and head movements. The machine creates algorithms to further expand the movements of every part of the face. AI engineers could use these takes and improve their existing projects. These videos are called deepfakes and could be used to put people into fake scenarios like political propaganda or even pornography videos.
May 23, 2019
After the recent approval on the merging of two of the biggest phone carriers in the US by the Federal Communications Commissioner, the Department of Justice has intervened in the deal and has proposed to block the merger altogether. The DOJ hasn't released a public explanation on their decision, but if it proceeds, the $26-billion deal could fall apart; both carriers have been waiting for the merger to happen for a year. T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to cover at least 95% of the country with new 5G technology by 2020 with even more coverage for the year after that. The merger is focused on expanding coverage to rural areas in the US.
May 23, 2019
Google's restaurant reservation app Duplex has been out for a short period of time but multiple restaurants have already received a call from an AI machine. Most of the calls have been human-like which was Google's purpose of the app, but it was later reported by the company that at least 25% of the calls are made by humans. Google explains that in order for the AI system to have all the appropriate answers and questions, it first needs to be trained with real input. The system works by going to online apps of restaurant reservations like Yelp, OpenTable and Resy, if the service is not available, a human proceeds to make the call.
May 23, 2019
A report reveals Amazon's Lab126 is working on a wearable device that will read or interpret the user's emotions and will suggest how the user should act according to the analyzed emotion. The lab has been responsible for many of Amazon gadgets and devices, the most notable being Amazon Echo which was the first device to introduce Alexa. The report says the new gadget is on its early stages and it is still unknown whether it will be out for commercial use at all. The company is ultimately working on creating an ecosystem with Alexa at is core. According to other reports, they are also working on a home robot to give Alexa a more mobile reach.
May 23, 2019
The book store announced the release of their new Nook Glowlight Plus eReader, an upgrade on their last 2015 Nook Glowlight 3. The device will have a larger screen of 7.8-inch eInk Display along with a backlit screen for night time readers. The size of the screen serves as a middle ground between the company's 7-inch tablet and the 10.1-inch tablet. Its storage is much larger providing 8GB and the standard feature of a waterproof hardware. The device will be available on stores starting May 27th and on May 29th for online shops for a price of $199.99. Amazon has been the leading company on eReaders in the past years with Barnes & Noble providing quality products.
May 23, 2019
The US Air Force is working with aircraft companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin into making battle-ready drone to serve as wingman for aircrafts like the F-35 and F-15 fighter jets. The drone is called 'Skyborg' and it would carry a small load of bombs with a range of 2,500 miles. The idea of the project is to pair the drone and aircraft and make Skyborg the first in line to scout the terrain or take enemy fire if needed. The drone needs to undergo five test flight for which only one has been done, finishing without any reported issues. Its low manufacturing cost is both attractive and efficient.
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