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  1. go to official page of TWRP recovery by clicking on this link https://twrp.mec/ to download twrp recovery according to your device and model name. if in list of device name your device name not show than you need to download from other third party website. Now, copy this .img file which you just downloaded and paste it in folder of your computer and rename it to twrp.img.
  2. Benefits of Rooting Android Devices and a How To Root without a Computer To root or not to root? It's a question that most people don't ever ask themselves, because Android devices are powerful and customizable from the get-go, and rooting can be risky. But it's not that risky. And if you want to really unlock the full potential of your device—if you want to be able to control everything, backup everything, customize everything, and do all sorts of fun things like install custom ROMs and get Android Lollipop ahead of the pack—you'll need to root your phone. I'm not saying you have to root your Android device…but I am saying you might be a goody two-shoes if you don't. Benefits of Rooting Android Devices Automate everything Powerful root-only apps like Tasker can turn your dream of a super-smartphone into a reality. Tasker uses the "if this, then that" mentality to make your phone a genius -- for example, you can use Tasker to automatically silence your phone at night, turn on your Wi-Fi when you're at home, or open up an app when you connect to your car's Bluetooth. Lollipop, here I come! Android phone makers have a habit of not releasing updates in a timely manner. Or at all, sometimes. So why are you still waiting for the latest OS when you could simply root your phone and get it right now? Patience is for people who don't know how to root. Faster than the speed of…your CPU Contrary to what the phone-makers want you to believe, your Android device could definitely be faster. And you can take speed matters into your own hands with apps like SetCPU, which is only available after you root. What's a little battery life lost when you have more power? Better battery life You know how you can overclock your device's CPU for ultra-speedy app-switching (who doesn't want to multitask like Sonic the Hedgehog)? Well you can also use SetCPU to underclock, or slow down, your CPU for when you need that extra 29 minutes of battery life. Bye-bye, bloatware Nuking factory-installed bloatware beats disabling it any day. Really, really back up your stuff OK, so Google does a pretty good job of keeping your mail, contacts, calendar, apps, and other Google-y things in order. But if you want to truly backup everything, as in, if you want to take a literal snapshot of your device and stick it somewhere safe, you'll need the root-onlyTitanium Backup. Satisfy your hoarding tendencies! Customize all the things! Android is pretty customizable, even without rooting your phone. But with a root you can literally customize everything. Vibration strength? Precise screen color calibration? Gesture control? There's a (root-only) app for that. Store apps wherever the hell you want to Use a root-only app like FolderMount to store apps, not just files, on your microSD card. Now your device has infinite (read: 128GB) of real usable storage! Rooting your Android Device gives you Super User access for your mobile by rooting your android device even you can uninstall built-in apps, now i am going to show you 2 easy ways to root your android device easily without computer. Method 1:(Framaroot) Framaroot is android app it can easily root your android device now its not available in play store so click here to download the app and install it. After installing open the app and choose Install Supersu from drop down menu show above. It show number of exploit methods to root your android device choose anyone of the method my first preference is Boromir if it fails try other exploit methods. Within seconds it show the result after that you need to restart your device to install Supersu which manage root access and you need net connection to download it. UnRoot If you need to unroot your android device simply select Unroot option from the drop down menu of framaroot give below. This method help to root and unroot your android device in easy way it mostly works for most of the android device if it not works follow the method 2. Method 2:(Kingroot) Kingroot app gives you to one touch root access, Click here to download the app. Install and open the Kingroot app. Tap the START ROOT option to root your android device the rooting process is like given below. After rooting you will get the confirmation screen like given below. Now your android device is rooted enjoy the superuser access on your android.......... SOURCE
  3. Hi friends, I've started a new Forum: http://g2g4.com This forum is dedicated to Computing, Technology, Mobile and Entertainment. here you can discuss/share about softwares, new technology, computing, programming, mobile apps and Entertain yourself. friends, I'm not advertising anything, I'm just telling you about my site, if you are interested, then you can visit it, otherwise, if you have problem with my post, then forgive me and remove my post. and If you feel anything bad with my this post, then I'm extremely sorry. once again friends, you can visit my site: http://g2g4.com/
  4. For more than a million years, the simple stone hand axe was one of our most important tools, but in the age of smartphones and virtual reality it can be hard to understand how revolutionary it really was. In their design series "Man Made," Dov Ganchrow and Ami Drach use 3D printing to make the tool's importance a little more clear. With help from Dr. Leore Grosman from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the design duo started out by collecting rocks of just the right size and shape from the Negev desert in southern Israel. Once the stones were sufficiently chipped and then scanned — a process described as "one of hastened evolution and bleeding" — a series of handles were designed that turn the teardrop-shaped rocks into everything from a spear to a more traditional two-handed axe. The idea is to show just how amazingly useful the seemingly basic hand-axe can be. "Each of the white handle additions spotlights a singular use of the tool, absenting all other use possibilities, effectively transforming the ultimate multi- tool into a specialized tool," the creators say. "Any multi-tool becomes specialized when frozen at a single moment in time during its use." Source
  5. Huawei introduces CableFree 5G antenna technology, reduces radiation and power utilisation Huawei says the CableFree technology has been used for a couple of Huawei devices HIGHLIGHTS The CableFree technology reduces the antenna radiation by around 20 percent UK government may remove Huawei’s equipment by 2023 Huawei has announced a breakthrough in the 5G antenna technology, called CableFree. The Chinese brand claims that CableFree reduces radiation, power utilisation and offers better quality integration between the base station and the antenna. It integrates a unique phase-shifter design that better combines the unit with the base station. Huawei says the CableFree technology has been used for a couple of Huawei devices, including the Huawei Munich Pro, Golden Mini and London Pro series antennas, as well as 32T32R Massive MIMO products. The CableFree technology is said to improve the antenna radiation efficiency by around 20 percent, helping it increase the coverage area. CableFree technology improves the antenna power capacity by more than 80 percent and meets the output power requirement of the 5G era, the company says. The antenna is easier to install and it reduces screws and soldering points in antennas by 80 percent, reducing PIM risks while also ensuring long-term PIM stability. Huawei says the resulting architecture and process further improve production automation and consistency among batches. Separately, earlier this year it was reported the UK government would allow Huawei to work on bringing 5G network to the country, although in a limited capacity and non-core area. However, there’s a possibility the UK government may remove Huawei’s equipment by 2023, as conservative members pressure UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. According to reports, the UK Prime Minister is planning to remove the telecommunications equipment made by Huawei in the new future. Earlier, the Chinese brand was only allowed to have a market share of 35 percent, similar to the Australian government’s restrictions. Huawei’s US ban was extended for another year and it was cut off from its primary chip supplier TSMC. Now, the company is in talks with alternatives such as MediaTek. Though Huawei is one of the largest smartphone brands that designs its own chipsets, the US ban doesn’t allow it to continue to place new orders for Kirin chipsets to TSMC. According to reports, Huawei’s orders for MediaTek chip have been increased by 300 percent this year. It will be using the Taiwanese chipmaker’s 5G chipsets in its mid-range and high-end handsets. Reports say that MediaTek is evaluating if it has sufficient resources to meet Huawei’s demand. SOURCE
  6. There is a growing sense of unease among many smartphone owners about the amount of time we're spending on our devices. Google told me that around 70% of the Android users it spoke to wanted to "find a better balance" in their tech use. But this puts the tech sector in an awkward spot. How can it help its customers detach from their phones when, for many firms, their business model relies on them doing the opposite? Both Apple and Google have this year released digital tools - called Screen Time and Digital Wellbeing respectively - which let iPhone and Android users see how much time they are spending on various apps and how often they pick up their devices. Many Android users will not have it yet as it is part of the Android Pie operating system, which has only been released by a handful of phone brands so far. For those who have seen it, the results can come as a bit of a shock. On my first day with Android's Digital Wellbeing tracker, I unlocked my phone 200 times and spent more than three hours on it. This was alongside working a long shift in the BBC newsroom and being a mum. I'm sure it wasn't all WhatsApp banter and Cats of Instagram but I was still horrified, to put it politely. How much screen time is 'too much'? Confessions of a smartphone addict Rose La Prairie is a London-based Google engineer who was on the team which developed the tool. She told me that the tech giant was well aware people might feel "guilt or shame" when confronted with the data for the first time, so designing the interface to be non-judgemental was crucial. Image copyrightGOOGLE Image captionRose La Prairie developed the Android Digital Wellbeing dashboard "Part of it was making sure we didn't do things like big red arrows or big green arrows, or trying to make a judgement, or an assessment, of what is good or bad," she said. "When it comes down to it, when we talk to people, it very much depends on the individual, so what's good for me might not be good for someone else." Ms La Prairie thinks that most people should be able to self-regulate by using the product. "For some people seeing the data will be enough, it's that reminder of how you spend your time and what you do on your phone." she said. "There will be some people who will need a little extra reminder, and I put myself in that camp." For those people, the dashboard can be set to mute notifications, make the phone display go black and white at a certain time (such as bedtime) and set an alert after a certain amount of screen time on an app. But it is not really in Google's interests for you to not be on your phone, is it? 'Good experience' Unlike Apple's hardware-focused business model, Google is advertising-driven and that very much requires eyeballs on screens. "I think what we really care about is making sure users have a good experience," Ms La Prairie says. "People want to figure out how they use their devices in a different way and we really want to make sure we can help users with that." It's worth noting that what she doesn't say is: "Turn the phone off." The mobile phone industry's response to the issue is, well, interesting. Some firms believe that they can wean us off our big screen smartphones with the help of… smaller screen smartphones. Image copyrightJUSTIN CHUNG Image captionIs a tiny phone the answer? Devices like the Nokia phone from HMD Global and the tiny Palm phone are marketed as companion devices - in Nokia's case with less functionality, in Palm's case just smaller - to give us a break from our main device. "It's quite apparent that the industry still wants to keep selling phones," said CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood. "It is a little bit ironic that they are trying to sell you a little phone to do the same thing [as your big phone]." Ultimately, Mr Wood believes it really comes down to willpower. "You can have all the different types of gadgets but it's down to you as an individual how much you want to spend time on your phone," he said. Catherine Price wrote the book How To Break Up With Your Phone after having a baby and realising one day that the baby was watching her and she was watching her mobile. Image copyrightCATHERINE PRICE Image captionCatherine Price says she is happier using her phone less "I realised I didn't want that to be her impression of a human relationship, but I also didn't want it to be the way that I was living my own life," she said. "Breaking up with your phone does not mean dumping your phone or throwing it under a bus, it just means taking a step back to create a relationship that is actually good for you. It's becoming friends with your phone." In her book, Ms Price lists a 30-day plan to reclaim this "friendship". Her top tips include: Turn off all the notifications you can bear to. Just leave the ones you actually want; for me that is phone calls and text messages because they are real people trying to contact me, in particular, in real time - plus my calendar and maps rearrange your home screen so that it only contains apps that have a practical purpose that are not tempting. Your home screen should not have email, or social media, or the news or a dating app, or games. Put them into a folder on an interior page so you can't see their icons, you have to actively open them Get your phone out of your bedroom. You will need to have something on your bedside table that takes the place of the phone… like a book. When you go to reach for that phone you will encounter the book instead Get a standalone alarm clock. If your phone is your alarm clock you are guaranteeing that your phone will be the first thing you interact with in the morning There is a plug-in called Facebook Demetricator, which stops you seeing you how many times your post has been "liked". You still may go back to see that people have liked your post, but you're not going to be checking compulsively to see when 17 gets to 20 and 25 gets to 30 - it can help break that habit. As for me - well, I've got over the shock of seeing how often I reach for my phone. But have I changed? 'Feel guilty' I still find myself on my device, having picked it up to, say, check the weather forecast, only to suddenly find myself on social media 10 minutes later, still with no idea about whether or not I need an umbrella. That said, I do genuinely use my handset a lot for work, to navigate my way around, and to keep up with the endless communications from my children's school. I tell Ms La Prairie I'd like to be able to differentiate between time well-spent on my smartphone and time wasted. Apparently I'm not the only one. "The way we think about use is intentional and unintentional, and people really care about the unintentional because it makes you feel guilty," she tells me. "A great version would be how to we crack that nut, and distinguish between intentional and unintentional." So is 2019 going to be the year we break up with our phones? Analyst Mr Wood isn't convinced. "For me, 2019 is the year when people are going to be more aware of the amount of time they are spending on their phones," he said. "But breaking up with their phones? That's a very big ask." source
  7. The AchieVer

    Tech that died in 2018

    Sitikka/iStock As 2018 draws to a close, we bid adieu to many products and services in our beloved world of consumer technology. Some were old stalwarts that finally gave way to the passage of time. Others were short-lived trends, or ideas quickly abandoned. Here’s our look at this year’s greats and "not-so-greats"—those that passed into the history books or were sent straight to null. Social Media Fizzlers Thinkstock Social media is always a wasteland of detritus, as Facebook and Twitter ( mostly Facebook) continue to drag us slowly toward a surveillance state. Klout gave up trying on May 25, 2018, when owner Lithium Technologies shut down the site. Klout tried to add value to social media by ranking users with a numerical “Klout Score,” purportedly representing each person’s influence online. Path, the once-trendy social media site that started as a place to share photos with close friends, shut down in October. The yawn-inspiring personal assistant Facebook M stopped working in January after a general launch in April 2017. Lastly, Yahoo Messenger, one of the last remaining classic instant messengers, went away in July. Messenger outlasted its more notable rivals, AOL’s AIM (1997-2017) and MSN/Windows Live Messenger (1999-2012). [ Further reading: The best DVRs for cord cutters ] Google’s annual housecleaning Greenbot There’s nothing Google relishes more than cleaning house, and in 2018 it got rid of a ton of things that deserved it. The Google Goggles app that let you search items using images snapped on your smartphone gave way to the more advanced Google Lens. Inbox, Google’s attempt to streamline your email, was put on life support until March 2019, as was Allo. One of the numerous Google-branded messaging apps, Allo was an early experiment for integrating Google Assistant smarts into messaging. Google’s “doomed-from-the-start” social network Google+ is going away in August 2019. Google delivered the prognosis in October after announcing the site had been leaking private data, potentially affecting as many as 500,000 accounts. The good news is that not many people noticed or cared, because 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds. Beyond its own products, the Lytro light-field imaging camera started winding down in March after Google reportedly acquired the company. Steam shutdowns Brad Chacos/IDG While gamers continue to wait for the long-promised Steam desktop app overhaul, a lot of things came to an end for the Valve-owned service. Steam Link got the axe in November, a brilliant piece of streaming hardware that brought your PC games into the living room. The writing was on the wall for Link after seeing the hardware repeatedly on sale for $5. The good news is that Link streaming will live on as software, just not for iOS. While Steam Link for Android is alive and well, Valve canceled Link for iOS in May after it was rejected from the App Store, according to Variety. Steam announced in June that it would no longer support Windows XP and Vista as of January 1, 2019 forcing gamers to upgrade and step into this decade’s catalog of games. Lastly, Steam’s own dominance as the place to get PC games took a hit. Epic Games came out with its own store, and Bethesda released the highly-anticipated Fallout 76 on its own storefront. EA has had its own offering for years, of course, and Activision is “not really, but yes really” toying with Blizzard’s Battle.net as its future storefront. On top of all that, in August the popular gamer chat app Discord launched its own store to take on Steam. And oh yeah, Twitch and Microsoft sell games, too. Amazon Music Storage Amazon’s MP3 music storage locker shut its metaphorical doors on April 30. As of that date, Amazon stopped accepting renewals for paid plans, and free users could no longer upload music. Paid users can still use their account until their current plan expires. While uploaded music is no longer available, users will still be able to access music purchased on Amazon via the cloud. Pebble Smartwatch Online Services Jared Newman Pebble smartwatches enjoyed a surprisingly successful early start, thanks to a hot Kickstarter campaign. But they were discontinued in 2016 after the company was acquired by Fitbit. The online services kept running until June, including the app store, forum, voice recognition, SMS and email replies. Some features continued to work past the shutdown date, such as apps that maintained Pebble compatibility. While Pebble is now gone for good, its legacy lives on in Fitbit OS. Swype Keyboard Few people want to give up screen real estate on their phone for a physical keyboard, but there’s no doubt that typing on software keyboards can be a pain. When Swype first appeared on select Android devices in 2010, it was a revelation. Instead of typing the exact keys, you just dragged your finger across the screen, hitting the letters (more or less) for the word you wanted to spell. It wasn’t long before every Android smartphone keyboard was rocking the feature. Meanwhile Swype was snapped up by Nuance, the maker of Dragon voice dictation software, in 2011. Nuance decided to shut down the Swype keyboard apps in February, pulling them from both the Android and iOS app stores. Opera VPN for Android and iOS Opera In 2016, Opera experimented with adding a free virtual private network service to its PC browser in 2016. The VPN service was provided by SurfEasy, a Canadian company that Opera acquired in 2015. Dedicated free VPN apps for iOS then Androidfollowed a few months later with built-in ad blocking. These apps allowed people to secure their web browsing on open Wi-Fi for free on mobile. The trade-off, however, was that Opera collected user data for “market insights” to support the freebie. The party was over within two years, however, as Opera shut down the Android and iOS apps in April. Newton email service Newton Longtime techies may think of Apple’s once upon a time PDA when they hear the name Newton, but the name was more recently used for a desktop email app for Windows. While desktop email has been a boring and stodgy experience for years, we really liked Newton for its clean design and awesome features like scheduling, email reminders, and useful third-party integration. Unfortunately, the dream of a $50-per-year email app for the desktop just wasn’t tenable, and the email service shut down in September. Windows 8.1 exits mainstream support While Windows 8.1 was a notable improvement over the original Windows 8 concept, it was still confusing and eventually gave way to the far better Windows 10. Microsoft ceased mainstream feature support for Windows 8.1on January 9, 2018. The truth, however, is that Microsoft was done with Windows 8.1 as soon as Windows 10 was out the door, with no significant improvements in years. While Windows 8.1’s mainstream support is over, it will continue to live on with security updates until January 10, 2023. Nvidia kills GPP Brad Chacos/IDG Nvidia ended its GeForce Partner Program in May. The short-lived concept was, for consumers, a sort of promise of authenticity for GeForce-branded GPUs. Manufacturers in the program, meanwhile, got early access to Nvidia tech and promotional support on Nvidia’s social media channels. Outsiders offered a different take, painting it as a program that demanded manufacturers dedicate a specific brand name exclusively to GeForce hardware, as HardOCP reported. AMD-based cards reportedly couldn’t carry the same brand name, even if they had before. After waves of negative feedback, however, the jig was up and the GPP was canceled. Kaby Lake-X Intel Alongside its mass-market CPUs, Intel has a long history of supplying chips for PC enthusiasts who want some serious power, at a serious price. Sometimes, however, those enthusiast releases can be a little confusing, which was the case with Kaby Lake-X. Launched in 2017 at the same time as the Skylake-X processors, the quad-core Kaby Lake-X CPUs weren’t any more powerful than other Kaby Lake processors, though there was a small increase in clock speed. The one thing Kaby Lake-X did need was an expensive X299 motherboard, with starting prices around $200. It just wasn't worth the trouble, and by May 2018, Kaby Lake-X quietly left the stage as Intel’s new Coffee Lake CPUswere gearing up. source
  8. Sunway has introduced its smart parking system in a preview at Sunway Pyramid, which is the largest fully integrated license plate recognition system to embrace multiple e-wallet payment methods, according to the group, and aims to further enable hassle-free experiences for its patrons. The e-wallet partners named include GrabPay, Boost, WeChat Pay, Alipay, Touch N’ Go Digital, and Maybank QRPay, in addition to credit partners MasterCard, Visa, American Express, JCB, UnionPay, and MyDebit. The Sunway Smart Parking system will be deployed within Sunway City, which comprises Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Hotels and Menara Sunway, the group said. To begin with, the smart parking system is currently operational for staff and season pass holders, though pre-registration is available, and shoppers who register their vehicle plate numbers will get a one-off entry to parking free of charge when the system is opened to the public in the first quarter of 2020. Existing systems including the conventional ticket and the Touch n’ Go card will continue to work alongside the smart parking system when it is rolled out. Vehicles registered in Malaysia tend to use a variety of fonts and character sizes – how will the system accommodate these non-regulation license plates? The system has been tested for these local conditions, and it has so far achieved a 95% recognition success rate across various types of number plates, said Felix Zheng Ya Fei, general manager of overseas sales and marketing at Jie Shun, the technology provider for the license plate recognition system. For comparison, similar systems employed in China see a recognition success rate of 99%, Zheng said. “We are pushing forth on our digitalisation journey. With revolutionary technology, we want to continue introducing new seamless, exciting shopping experiences to our shoppers to enable hassle-free experiences with greater convenience,” said CEO of Sunway malls and theme parks HC Chan. “From our comprehensive award winning Sunway Pyramid Mobile app with real-time navigation to this new parking system, we will continue to give our shoppers more reasons to choose us as their preferred lifestyle destination,” he continued. Source: Sunway smart parking system with plate recognition previewed – multiple e-wallet options, Q1 2020 roll-out (via Paultan.org)
  9. In 2011, Apple unveiled its first iPhone with artificial intelligence, a personal assistant named Siri that could answer questions and help keep track of our daily lives. The AI revolution had begun, and it gave way to higher resolution cameras on phones, such as the then-new iPhone 4S, microphones and cameras in the home, everything from connected speakers, security devices, computers and even showers and sinks. By the end of the decade, we were carrying and or living with devices that are capable of tracking our every movement. Counties and states are selling our personal information to data brokers to resell it back to us, in the form of "people search engines." Facebook and Google have refined their tracking skills, in the pursuit of selling targeted advertising to marketers, that many people believe they are listening to us at all times. They are that good at serving up ads based on our interests, whether we want it or not. Goodbye privacy! The "10s" were the decade in which our privacy went away if we were connected to the Internet, which means most of us. Apple went on a crusade to protect our privacy, which could be argued as a competitive advantage over rivals, and groups ranging from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Privacy Coalition began speaking out. In Europe, major changes were made to privacy laws on behalf of consumers, and a new California law goes into effect in January that will make it harder for companies to take our data and resell it. Or so the language says. As more people became aware of privacy issues, and companies like Facebook announced several security breaches of our data, the bottom line is that the social network has more users and makes more money. Ditto for Google. "The biggest difference between then and now, is that people didn't really think about what companies were collecting on us," says Chris Jordan, CEO of Fluency, a data analysis company. "We weren't worried about privacy. Now we are." Not that it wasn't brought to our attention. In 2011, then hacker/security researcher Samy Kamkar discovered that the iPhone, Android and (the then still operating) Windows Phone mobile devices were sending back GPS information to their makers, even when the location services option were turned off, and made his findings public. Bluetooth is always on, despite the settings In 2019, Kamkar demonstrated for a USA TODAY reporter how little has changed. From the general settings of the iPhone, turn off the blue bluetooth icon in the Control Panel, and then go to the Bluetooth section in General, and Bluetooth is still running. "When you disable, you're not disconnecting the software that continues to broadcast the information," says Kamkar, who is now the chief security officer and co-founder of Openpath, a company that aims to replace the office badge with app-based tokens for entrances. "I can still get your name and phone number simply by being in the vicinity," and picking up the bluetooth signal. And there are more sensors reading you than ever before. Google now tracks your every movement, if you're a user of the Google Maps smartphone app, and records a public history of your whereabouts, whether or not the app is even open and turned on. "We knew we were being tracked on phones, but didn't realize that the companies were using the data in ways most people don't approve of, or even realize it was capable of," says Danny O'Brien, director of strategy for the EFF. Privacy concerns went from something people were "benign about, to genuinely anxious," he adds. Cover your webcam and your phone "Most people cover their webcam cameras, but don't think about the phones," says Kamkar. Thomas does. She brings her phone to the bathroom, but always places a lens cloth around the cameras. "I don't want some stranger watching me change my clothes," she says. "I cover everything." From the bathroom to the living room, the major innovation in TVs over the decade has been the smart TV, which eliminates the need for an external streaming device to bring internet programming from the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ direct to the set, without having to change the HDMI input settings. The sets themselves got so cheap, resellers are practically giving them away, with many Black Friday deals offering 40- and 50-inch models in the $200 and $300 range. These same size sets were selling for around $1,000 in 2010. How to make money selling TVs — resell our data That's the good news. The bad: to turn a profit, manufacturers now make up the difference by selling your viewing habits to data brokers, letting them know what shows and networks you watch, your demographic and real estate locations and more. Samsung has a TV with a built-in video camera, to enable video chat, but it also makes the TV even more susceptible for hacking. The onus is on the consumer to protect their smart devices with strong passwords, especially for the home network. Which brings us to the ever-present security doorbell cameras that are increasingly showing up in people's homes. Ring, a company owned by Amazon, has come under attack by privacy groups for being allegedly easy to hack, not just for the doorbell product. The group Fight for the Future put out its own product warning, saying Ring cameras are not safe. Recently, several families have reported that their Ring cameras were hacked. In response, Ring said its owners needed to use stronger passwords. Each time I've watched this video it's given me chills. A Desoto County mother shared this Ring video with me. Four days after the camera was installed in her daughters' room she says someone hacked the camera & began talking to her 8-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, as we close off the decade, yes, people are fighting back against the privacy invasion, politicians have taken up the cause, with a vow to break up big tech, but what will it all look like in another 10 years. There's artificial intelligence and facial recognition to add to all the tracking that's going on now. The age of "Minority Report," the sci-fi novel and film where government could pre-determine what you were going to do with visions of the future "will happen," says Kamkar. "It's just a question of how far we'll let it go." Source
  10. The former president chats with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff at the annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. President Barack Obama, pictured in an October talk, spoke Thursday at the Dreamforce conference. No one was allowed to photograph or record the talk. As a former president of the United States, Barack Obama has stayed in a lot of presidential suites. Though the rooms are beautiful and spacious, he says, they also exemplify a couple of things: People don't need that much, and technology can overwhelm them. "Michelle once spent half an hour trying to figure out how to turn off an overhead light," Obama said Thursday, referring to the former first lady. The remark came during a talk with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff at the company's annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. For Obama, the story about the light wasn't just a funny anecdote, but a broader picture of the challenges in our society today. "We're chasing after the wrong things," he said. A desire for higher status is fed in part by social media and technology. "My life isn't better being in a presidential suite," Obama said. "If I was in a Hampton Inn with a bed and a shower, that works just fine." Dreamforce attendees lined up hours before the 10:30 a.m. PT talk to get a glimpse of the former president in the sprawling Moscone North conference hall. Security guards and conference workers cheered people heading into the hall. The audience clapped when the big screen showed a woman wearing "I miss Obama" socks. The mayors of San Francisco and Oakland, London Breed and Libby Schaaf, respectively, were in the audience. For the appearance, Salesforce handed out strict guidelines. No one in the audience was allowed to take any pictures or record any audio or video. But unlike Michelle Obama's talk at Dreamforce in 2017, attendees were allowed to tweet and write about Thursday's conversation. Obama's presence at Dreamforce comes as the technology industry faces scrutiny and possible regulation for its business practices. During Obama's time as president, tech could almost do no wrong, but social media has been criticized over the past several years for its role in the spread of disinformation before and after the 2016 US presidential election. And the US Justice Department has launched investigations into companies like Google and Facebook and has considered breaking them up. Having "big disruptive" information technologies can sometimes be "dangerous," Obama said Thursday. "People don't know what's true and what's not and what to believe." Instead of uniting people, technology like social media is "splintering" them. "If you watch Fox News, you live in a different reality than if you read The New York Times," he said. "We're siloing ourselves off from each other in a way that's dangerous." This could have big implications for the younger generations, Obama said. He's worried about three things: climate change; the lack of a common culture and conversation; and "the rise of extreme inequality that is being turbocharged by globalization and technology." "It amplifies inequalities," Obama told Benioff. "So much of the political turmoil has to do with people feeling insecure." Source
  11. A researcher who studies AI principles warns that giving too much credence to Big Tech is like “asking the fox for guidance on henhouse security procedures.” When it comes to AI, Big Tech wants a hand in developing regulation. In a January 20 piece for the Financial Times calling for the regulation of the technology, Google CEO Sundar Pichai argued that his company’s artificial intelligence principles could be used as a template for future laws. Brad Smith of Microsoft said the same in a talk at the World Economic Forum earlier this week. Google and Microsoft are right that it’s time for government to step in and provide safeguards, and that regulation should build on the important thinking that’s already been done. However, looking only to the perspectives of large tech companies, who’ve already established themselves as dominant players, is asking the fox for guidance on henhouse security procedures. We need to take a broader view. Rapid advances in machine learning technology, which falls under the general umbrella of AI, have lent urgency to questions about how to build and use AI systems responsibly, safely, and ethically. Criminal justice algorithms are racially biased, autonomous vehicles have been involved in fatal crashes, and algorithmic content moderation has contributed to a wave of disinformation efforts. The task of ensuring AI actually supports human rights and well-being has at times felt overwhelming, the questions unanswerable. That hasn’t stopped a lot of people from trying to answer them. Alongside Google’s and Microsoft’s, there have been principles for ethical AI from national governments and intergovernmental organizations, advocacy organizations, expert groups, and more. Over the past year, I worked with a team of researchers to analyze AI principles from around the world, trying to see what they might have in common. We coded each principle in the 36 documents we ended up focusing on and uncovered eight key themes: Fairness and nondiscrimination: AI systems shouldn’t reinforce social inequality—instead, they should promote inclusivity. Accountability: Developers should plan for their technology’s impacts. Monitoring and auditing mechanisms need to be in place, and impacted individuals and populations should have access to adequate remedies. Privacy: AI should respect privacy, both in sourcing the data that is used for development and in giving people agency over when and how their personal info is used to make decisions about them. Transparency and explainability: We should know where AI systems are being used and how they reach the decisions they do. Safety and security: AI systems should be tested to ensure they perform as intended and resist interference from unauthorized parties. Professional responsibility: The people involved in the development and deployment of AI systems have an obligation to prioritize integrity, collaboration, professionalism, and foresight. Human control of technology: To promote trust and respect autonomy, there should be human checks on AI, from review of important decisions to fail-safe mechanisms that kick in for extenuating circumstances. Promotion of human values: We should be guided by our core values and the well-being of all humanity when we design and deploy AI systems. The coherence of these various principles documents—from different regions and interest groups—suggests that social norms for AI are emerging. Law and regulation originate in social norms, which makes Microsoft and Google correct to posit that these near-universal themes among AI principles are a good starting point for regulation. However, as we note in our paper, there’s a wide and thorny gap between being able to articulate goals for AI such as fairness, transparency, and safety, and writing rules that would govern the thousands of decisions, big and small, that result in any given technology being built and used responsibly. One way to register that gap is to recognize the very divergent visions different organizations advance within these themes. For example, every document we looked at included some version of a fairness or nondiscrimination principle. But they call for different implementations. Some focus, for example, on forbidding the use of biased datasets—even though arguments that truly unbiased data don’t exist are pretty persuasive. Others call for greater diversity on development teams to ensure that a broader range of perspectives is baked into technologies from the start. Still others want to see AI used to uncover and remedy existing instances of discrimination. Regulators would need to parse these options carefully and decide which were appropriate. In all, if advances in AI technology have landed us in unfamiliar territory, an analysis of AI principles might be the map we need to make sense of it all. But that’s only true if we look outside U.S.-based tech companies’ visions for the regulations that would best serve them. Principles from a broader range of stakeholders provide visibility into everything from the greatest risks that AI poses to vulnerable and marginalized populations to the key human values, such as self-determination, equality, and sustainability, that we should be seeking to protect. AI principles are a map that should be on the table as regulators around the world draw up their next steps. However, even a perfect map doesn’t make the journey for you. At some point—and soon—policymakers need to set out the real-world implementations that will ensure that the power of AI technology reinforces the best, and not the worst, in humanity. Source
  12. Apple finally admits Microsoft was right about tablets The iPad Pro now looks even more like a Surface Pro Apple has spent the past 10 years trying to convince everyone that the iPad and its vision of touch-friendly computing is the future. The iPad rejected the idea of a keyboard, a trackpad, or even a stylus, and Apple mocked Microsoft for taking that exact approach with the Surface. “Our competition is different, they’re confused,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook as he stood onstage to introduce the new Macs and iPads six years ago. “They chased after netbooks, now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next?” Every iPad has transformed into a Surface in recent years, and as of this week, the iPad Pro and Surface Pro look even more alike. Both have detachable keyboards, adjustable stands, trackpads, and styluses. With iPadOS getting cursor and mouse support this week, Apple has finally admitted that Microsoft was right about tablets. Let me explain why. Microsoft’s return to tablets was a rough ride and far from perfect. Bill Gates tried to convince the world that tablets would be a thing all the way back in 2002, but the hardware and software were far too primitive back then. The software maker eventually introduced the Surface RT alongside Windows 8 in 2012 as a clear response to the iPad, but it had an ARM-powered desktop operating system that didn’t support your favorite apps. It was slightly confused, but Microsoft’s tablet principles were clear at the time. Microsoft’s original Surface RT tablet. “Something is different about tablets, people still do desire a physical keyboard,” wrote former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky in a detailed blog post about Windows 8 back in 2012. “Even in the absence of software like Microsoft Office, the reality is that when you need to write more than a few quick lines of text, you yearn for something better than on-screen typing ... People benefit from the highly accurate, reliable, and fast user input enabled by a physical keyboard, and we think an OS and its apps should not compromise when one is available.” The message was clear: touch-based computing would be a first-class input for Windows 8 but not the only way to use the operating system. Microsoft insisted you needed a mouse for precision, a keyboard for typing, and a stylus for taking notes or drawing. These basic foundations led to the Surface Pro, with its variety of inputs to suit different needs. Microsoft also mastered the ability to use a tablet at a desk or on a couch, thanks to its Surface kickstand and hinge designs. It was a key differentiator against devices like the iPad, and Microsoft and Intel now license out the design for other PC makers to use. It didn’t take long for everyone to start copying Microsoft’s Surface design. The Surface Pro 3 really defined the Surface design. Even Apple moved quickly to respond to the Surface, a year after Microsoft released a stunning new design with the Surface Pro 3. Apple’s first iPad Pro debuted in 2015 with support for the Apple Pencil stylus and a smart keyboard. It arrived just as iPad sales had declined to the point where Apple was making more money on Macs instead. The iPad Pro keyboard magnetically attached to the iPad Pro, just like the Surface Pro, but Apple claimed it was “unlike any keyboard you’ve ever used before.” It marked a big shift for the iPad, and every big iPad now supports a keyboard and stylus. Despite the hardware additions, Apple persisted with its touch-first vision for the iPad. Using a keyboard with the iPad was an ergonomic disaster. You’d have to lift your hands away from the keyboard to touch the screen and adjust text or simply navigate around the OS. It didn’t feel natural, and the large touch targets meant there was no precision for more desktop-like apps. Alongside Apple’s refusal to bring touchscreen support to the Mac, it was clear something had to change. The first signs of a new direction for the iPad arrived with iPadOS and the hints at cursor support last year. Apple is now introducing trackpad and mouse support fully in iPadOS, and you can use an existing Bluetooth device. Unlike pointer support you’d find in Windows or macOS, Apple has taken a clever approach to bringing it to a touch-friendly OS like iPadOS. The pointer only appears when you need it, and it’s a circular dot that can change its shape based on what you’re pointing at. That means you can use it for precision tasks like spreadsheets or simply use multitouch gestures on a trackpad to navigate around iPadOS. It’s far more than most people were expecting at this stage, and Apple has importantly kept its touch-friendly iPad principles intact. Right now, you still can’t use this mouse support to drag and drop windows on top of each other freely like you might on Windows or macOS. Nor is it there to do everything you’d typically do with a mouse on a desktop operating system. Apple has adapted a legacy input and modernized it for iPadOS. This careful and considered approach explains why it took Apple so long to bring cursor support to iPadOS. Tim Cook has previously discussed product trade-offs and the idea of converging PCs and tablets. “Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about tradeoffs, and you begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left doesn’t please anyone,” Cook said on an earnings call nearly eight years ago. He famously added: “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not gonna be pleasing to the user.” Cook was also adamant that Apple wouldn’t converge the MacBook Air and an iPad. “The compromise of convergence — we’re not going to that party,” he said. Cook has stayed true to that vision. Apple hasn’t converged macOS and iPadOS to bring trackpad and mouse support to the iPad. Instead, the message for the iPad now is that it can adapt to be more like a laptop or remain just like a tablet. That message sounds similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro, but what’s now at play is a battle of ecosystems, apps, and operating systems. Microsoft has persisted with Windows and walked back many of its touch-friendly tablet changes. The software maker is even diverging Windows further into a Windows 10X operating system for dual-screen devices this year. The new iPad Pro keyboard with a trackpad. Image: Apple Meanwhile, Apple is hoping that iPadOS could be enough for people who want some laptop familiarity. With the essential trackpad support and improvements to the Safari web browser, the iPad is starting to look like a much more viable option for both a tablet and a laptop for many. That’s a big change from just a few years ago. Now that Apple and Microsoft are aligned on what a tablet can offer in terms of hardware, the battle between PC and iPad will shift toward what both do in software. Apple has shown that it’s willing to adapt, and we’ll likely see a lot more desktop-like apps for the iPad as a result. Mouse support for the iPad is a significant game-changer, and the iPad has now moved well beyond a third category of device for browsing, email, photos, video, music, games, and ebooks. That will unnerve Microsoft and its PC partners, but it doesn’t mean it’s an immediate death sentence for the PC just yet. Just as it has taken Apple 10 years to get to this point on the hardware and software sides, there will be many years ahead of experimentation from app developers to adjust to mouse support in iPadOS. Windows and macOS won’t stand still, either, and they’re still far more powerful for multitasking and running complicated desktop apps. Apple has painted a line in the sand here, though. The iPad is changing rapidly, even if Apple’s new iPad tagline is “your next computer is not a computer.” The next 10 years will truly define exactly what kind of computer Apple wants the iPad to be. Source: Apple finally admits Microsoft was right about tablets (The Verge)
  13. NEW YORK (Reuters) - The $1 trillion invested by traditional banks globally over the past three years to improve their technology has not yet delivered the revenue growth that had been expected, according to an Accenture report released on Thursday. The consultancy analyzed more than 160 of the largest retail and commercial banks in 21 countries to determine whether those making the most progress on technology were achieving better financial performance. It found that banks that had advanced the most on digital were the most profitable and highly valuable, but that the higher profitability was driven by having reduced costs rather than revenue growth. Banks had hoped that by creating better digital products and experiences for customers they would have achieved the same fast user and revenue growth as new tech-savvy competitors or large technology firms, Alan McIntyre, a senior managing director at Accenture and head of its global banking practice, said in an interview. “Having a good digital offering is not enough to move customers,” McIntyre said. “If it doesn’t change, the industry is going to end up looking more like a utility.” The study comes as incumbent banks continue to dedicate vast amounts of funding to overhaul their old technology systems and offer more digital services to customers. Banks are seeking to meet the higher expectations of customers who have grown accustomed to the user-friendly products and services offered by consumer technology companies and new financial services entrants. Accenture did not discount investments in technology, but noted that reducing costs was only the first step banks needed to make to become more competitive in the changing landscape. The move to digital is likely to reduce banks’ income from fees, such as those customers pay for advice or transactions, according to the report. It recommends that moving forward banks focus on making more income from taking risks linked with running the balance sheet, such as interest rate and credit, or by creating new revenue streams in areas not in their traditional domain. Source
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