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Apple iPhone 7 – Rumors and Features

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It’s only been a few months since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ were released and folks have already started talking about the next iteration in the series, the iPhone 7. The rumour mills have already started predicting what the new iPhone will look like and what new paradigm shifting technology apple will come up with this time. So during this age and era where its rumours are in plentiful, iPhone 7 goes to own identical fate as many of the other products.

One can definitely not know for sure what the new iPhone 7 features, but one can sure take an educated guess and make a calculated prediction on what it will be like based on the current market trends. But since apple has been known to push the boundaries when it comes to innovation and setting a market standard, we can be sure that the new iPhone 7 will follow the same trend.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas where we think apple will look to improve and innovate:

Screen:

The thing that made the most fuss during the release of the last iteration of iPhone’s was the screen size. So now Apple finally decided to give in and chose to go with a 4.7″ and 5.5″ screen. But the new iPhone 7 will feature the same screen size and design or maybe an upgraded screen size of at most 5″.

iPhone_6_PLUS_in-hand-with-5s

The main changes will be under the hood where apple will come up with a much better and improved display technology which will make it more power efficient without any trade-offs on the quality and boost the resolution to something that is close to 1080p or even as high as 2K and give it a retina branding to match the pixel bar set by other companies.

Features and Functionality:

When it comes to features and functionality Apple had really raised the bar in terms of phone security with the introduction of their touch ID fingerprint scanner system with the iPhone 5s and now the iPhone 7 will feature an even more advanced and secure version of the touch ID sensor and may even possess a new Sense button which can interpret the user’s gestures and movements like a track pad for added functionality. Apple always believes in adding a feature that is utmost necessary.

Design:

When it comes to design Apple doesn’t prefer much change and it is certain that the iPhone 7 is going to follow the same design philosophy as the iPhone 6 and 6+ which is already perfect.

iPhone7

The only design change that Apple will make is the addition of the circular crown which will be passed on from their apple watches into the iPhone. The crown could replace the power button which when pressed could lock the screen and the crown could be turned to perform variety of functions like switch profiles, zoom in and out or even turn pages without having to touch the screen or adjust brightness maybe or even make it user configurable. The newer iPhone 7 will also come in a variety of different colour schemes to add to its luxurious gold scheme.

Wireless Charging:iphone 7 Wireless Charging

Wireless charging remains one of the most frustrating technologies around, because while it’s here, it works and it feels like living in the future, it isn’t as widely supported as we’d like.

It’s rather like Google Wallet’s NFC payments in that respect: the idea’s sound but maybe it needs a fruit-themed firm from Cupertino to get on board before it’ll really take off. An iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 with wireless charging would be great, especially if the same charger worked for next year’s Apple Watch too

Hardware:

In terms of hardware, Apple always provides a good powerful hardware with enough power for their phones to run completely lag free and the new iPhone 7 will be the same. The iPhone 7 will feature a new and more efficient and powerful combo of apple’s A9 chip and the top of the line M9 motion chip with their 64-bit architecture chips which can handle any task that is assigned to it with ease. The new hardware will not only be powerful but also energy efficient which is known to boost the battery life by around 10%. It may also have a new and updated network chip for faster and reliable network connections.

iPhone 6 Hardware

The iPhone 7 also features the latest camera technology and hardware. In terms of cell phone camera technology, apple has always been market leaders in terms of image quality and speed. The iPhone 7 features an approximate 13MP camera with a f/2.2 sensor and also features the dual-tone flash for better performance in low light settings. It also features the usual features like super-fast burst mode, optical image stabilization and phase detection auto focus. The iPhone 7 will also be able to shoot videos in 4K resolution at 30fps and also take ‘slo-mo’ videos in [email protected] Many even consider an iPhone as a professional camera.

Software:

When it comes to software, apple has always kept a closed environment unlike android which has kept their software ecosystem open source. But with the introduction of iOS 8, apple has started to open its doors a little towards making their software a little more open and letting the users customize their software experience a lot more than their previous versions.

With the iPhone 7 Apple will introduce the new iOS 9 which will continue the trend started by iOS 8 in making things more customizable for the users, all the while making it more secure and efficient. It will also let the users change themes among other things.

Build Quality:

In terms of build quality, apple devices have been always been very sturdy and this sturdiness is due to the use of metal over plastic by Apple, with the exception being the iPhone 5C. The iPhone 6 had come under a lot of scrutiny for being lack luster and weak in terms of build quality and being very susceptible to bending which led to the infamous “Bend gate” controversy.

So with the new iPhone 7 Apple will look to improve on those flaws and try making their new device tougher than ever before and will feature their new ion-strengthened glass and add more elements which are made of the super strong sapphire crystal on their phone which can already be seen on the Apple watches and the iPhone 7 will look to get rid of all the weak points which caused the previous phone to bend.

Size:

Apple believe in a particular set of principles in terms of screen and phone sizes but with the changing market trends they are changing too. Hence, the iPhone 7 features a very compact size and dimensions. The iPhone 6 was 6.9mm thin and the iPhone 7 may be even thinner. Apple has taken into consideration the fact that the device doesn’t become thin to the point that it becomes difficult for the users to hold it or to the point which affects its build quality. A version may also feature the dimensions of its previous iterations.

iPhone 7 concept image AR Studio 1200b

Ports and Speakers:

The iPhone 7 will possess the newly introduced USB-C connector which is not only universal and soon to become the market standard in the coming year but also is fast and can charge the phone faster than its previous versions and can even transfer data at lightning speeds and provide high level of connectivity. The iPhone truly pushes towards the new single port which can do it all. It will also feature the usual 3.5 mm audio jack for audio connectivity.

Also having recently acquired the Audio giant Beats, the iPhone 7 features a newer improved audio driver which can not only output loud but also crystal clear sound that both apple and beats are famous for. It is also highly unlikely that it will feature front facing speakers in the next iteration. There’s also a rumor that Apple’s underground research on ‘wireless charging’ will be introduced on upcoming iPhone 7. So in conclusion, the iPhone 7 is going to be a successful device like all apple devices are and a lot of people all over the world are going to buy it. It is not only because through the years owning an iPhone has become a style statement but also because every year apple comes with a device that is truly worth buying and the iPhone 7 is going to be no different.

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Facebook, Google, and Twitter to appear before Congress in election tampering investigation

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Representatives for Facebook, Google, and Twitter will appear in front of congress on November 1st to provide testimony on Russian election interference.

The congressional hearing is one of many government probes into Russian election interference, this one turns its focus on social media’s involvement.

All three tech companies found evidence of ad tampering over the course of internal investigations this year, and subsequently reported those findings to congress.

Facebook reported hundreds of Pages and advertisers tied to a Russian troll farm, which had purchased over 3000 advertisements totaling over $100,000.

Twitter uncovered at least 200 accounts tied to similar ones flagged by Facebook, and hundreds of bots spamming propaganda.

Google, for its part, found thousands of dollars in ads were purchased by Russian agents, and continues to investigate over $50,000 in questionable ad purchases from accounts that haven’t been confirmed to be bad actors yet.

And, to make matter worse, there’s more to worry about than just ad sales or bots. The same meddlers are using malware to hijack our browsers and use our Facebook accounts to like ads and fake-news stories — with us none the wiser.

McAfee labs recently reported “Faceliker” binaries comprised approximately nine percent of malware it detected. That’s nine percent of 52 million – meaning nearly 4.7 million instances of Faceliker were detected.

Vincent Weafer, VP of McAfee Labs, told TNW:

This is unusual because this one isn’t like most other malware. Faceliker is manipulating likes, which is a very specific kind of browser hijacking.

While some government officials – and members of the media – have called on Facebook, Twitter, and Google to do something about Russian interference, there’s an argument to be made that fighting propaganda is, well, everyone’s job.

We asked Weafer how an average Joe or Jane can protect themselves from unwittingly becoming a pawn in the real-life version of “Game of Thrones” that is Russian politics; his answer was terrifying:

Make sure you’re keeping up with patches. Research any tools or anti-virus you’re considering using. Don’t download the first “free tool” you find in the search engine just because its free.

Basically, the same novice IT security tips we’ve been hearing for the last 20 or so years. The reason that’s scary is because it shows we Americans can be counted on to download enough malware to potentially influence an election.

The real problem here is the Russian propaganda plays both sides of the fence. Meddling agents play issues like Black Lives Matter and The 2nd Amendment to anger both liberals and conservatives — just to stoke the divide. As long as American citizens are pissed off at each other the bad actors are accomplishing their mission.

Former State Representative Raj Goyle, CEO of Bodhala, told TNW that the problem wasn’t an easy fix, saying lawmakers have been “asleep at the switch for 20 years.” Goyle also said:

You’ve got this election overseas and there’s evidence that Russians have interfered in that one as well. Facebook and Google are having to explain why they allowed this to happen, but why the hell is a private company in charge of ensuring the integrity of a national election?

The solution to the problem won’t become apparent until we understand the depth of it. It’s not so infuriating that Facebook, Twitter, and Google allowed this to happen – but we need to speed up the investigation and get the cards on the table.

It’s time for the government to get educated on technology and start working with the companies behind it. The current status quo is a system of lobbyists preaching the future and a squad of politicians litigating from the past — and that’s not helping the problem at all today.

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Netflix: Nielsen ratings for streaming shows mean nothing

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Nielsen, the company which has been monitoring television show views and providing ratings for over ninety years, today announced it was creating a new service casting light on “Subscription-based Streaming Content Consumption” — in other words, Netflix, Hulu, and the like.

Nielsen says it’s providing a service for a number of studios who have no idea what kind of streaming numbers Netflix has. As Megan Clarksen, president of Watch at Nielsen, said:

The significant growth of SVOD services in entertainment markets across the world has created demand from rights owners to understand the size and composition of audiences relative to other programs and platforms. The syndication of SVOD measurement as part of Nielsen’s Total Audience offerings represents a big step forward in terms of moving closer to transparency within the SVOD marketplace.

One way the company is going to track ratings is via Nielsen meters — specifically, via audio recognition software. According to the New York Times, the company listens via its set meters, devices connected to TVs in several thousand homes across the country. The meters record data and send it back to Nielsen nightly. So if you watch Netflix on your TV and you have a Nielsen device in your home, the company will listen and note it.

That’s more than a little creepy, not to mention an ineffective way of monitoring Netflix. Nielsen might be able to measure who’s streaming stuff on their set top box, but it has no way of measuring Netflix views on devices, such as laptops or tablets — which is the only way I watch Netflix these days. Not to mention that Nielsen only has meters in a small number of houses, compared with Netflix’s 104 million subscribers.

It might be for that reason Netflix is so dismissive of Nielsen’s attempts. As one spokesperson told Variety, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.”

Nielsen has never been able to gain a foothold on a Netflix audience, and this isn’t the first time the company has attempted to ally with newer media to study modern viewing habits. Last year, it announced it was partnering with Facebook and Twitter to track mentions and shares of shows on the social media sites, using the data to provide “Social Content Ratings.”

According to the Times and other sources, Nielsen is not releasing the numbers to the public or press, so apparently the company is taking a leaf from Netflix’s book by veiling its numbers in mystery.

Netflix will occasionally release its own material on ratings and views, but always on its own terms. For example, yesterday the company put out a list of the most “binge-raced” series — meaning watched an entire season within 24 hours of its release. According to Netflix, 8.4 million of their subscribers binge race.

But other than these small offerings, Netflix doesn’t really release numbers very often. That might be why eight networks and studios have, according to Nielsen, turned to an older, well-tested method of measuring viewership.

We’ve contacted Netflix for further comment.

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Giant Robot Duel was a great commercial for STEM

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America and Japan squared off in robot combat last night over the course of two fights. In a first-of-its-kind event the Japanese robot, Kuratas, took on America’s Iron Glory in one bout, and Eagle Prime in another. This was an event for the ages, with more than a few surprises in each contest.

Before we get into the exciting details, it’s worth pausing to point out that last night’s fights obviously weren’t live. In fact, it may even be a stretch to call them “fights.” The exhibitions were more like quality assurance testers gone wild than an actual gladiator fight. This is a good thing: there were people inside those giant robots piloting them.

It’s easy to point out that the majority of the firepower was for show and the pilots engaged in theatrics more-so than combat. We aren’t talking “Mortal Kombat” for robots here.

Though this is what the first step to unpiloted “Real Steel” style combat looks like, so if you’re underwhelmed by last night’s event just keep in mind that we had to have a Model T before we could have a Tesla.

Before you read any further, be forewarned: here there be spoilers. If you’d like to watch the fights first, here’s the video:

Fight one: Kuratas VS Iron Glory

The beauty of the “sport” was on display as Kuratas leapt into action with the opening bell. Its pilot displayed his true character in a courageous offensive that can only be described as the perfect attack. Instead of dancing, spinning, or trying to be deceptive the giant Japanese robot just slowly rolled forward.

Iron Glory tried to fire a canonball at Kuratas, which struck me as odd because I’d been led to believe the fight would be melee only — by this video:

It didn’t matter because the munition broke apart inside of the canon, rendering it useless.

The pilot inside of Kuratas then sent the signal to his mecha which made it hold it’s left arm out in an apparent attempt at a slow-motion clothesline move. This caused equal parts laughter and excitement at my watching party. But then Kuratas straightened its arm out in front of it at the last moment, and shocked the world.

Kuratas connected with its first strike, a jab, and showed off its one-punch knockout power. Down went Iron Glory! Down went Iron Glory! The fight was over and Japan’s robot was victorious.

Nobody came for Iron Glory. There were no robot doctors, or crying computer-parents, just a solitary broken machine abandoned by its creators for the newer, sexier model: Eagle Prime.

Fight Two: Eagle Prime VS Kuratas

The first fight showed of the power of Japan’s robot’s 272 kg (600 lb) fist. This, the second fight, the Americans hoped, would be a slobber-knocker that’d take more than a few moments to sort out. Eagle Prime slowly moved forward as Kuratas, fresh off its earlier victory, prepared to take on the next comer.

Then things got a little weird.

Again the robots broke melee, Eagle Prime fired off some cannonballs which, surprisingly, did a fair amount of damage.

Kuratas then released its secret weapon: a drone. I was beyond shocked, and would have definitely spit out my drink had I been drinking. Eagle Prime was mostly unfazed, and went all King Kong on the poor little thing.

I’m still not sure what the drone was supposed to accomplish. Maybe it could have been equipped with an ink-bomb or something? Either way, it became the second robot to get knocked out when Eagle Prime swatted it and moved on.

Finally, the moment we’d really been waiting for arrived: the robots clashed. Eagle Prime’s pilot got clever and used his robot’s cannon-arm as a battering-ram to prod and bash at Kuratas. The Americans quickly gained the upper-hand as Eagle Prime bashed away at Kuratas – whose armor was taking a serious beating.

Then, for some unknown reason, things stopped. Modifications were made by both teams and then, there in all its amazing glory stood Eagle Prime rocking a motherfricking chainsword.

Kuratas responded to the chainsword by firing off some kind of pellets from a rapid-fire gun-for-an-arm appendage, which seemed a little dangerous for the pilot of Eagle Prime, yet yielded no effect.

But the chainsword proved to be the ultimate weapon when the robots again clashed.

Steel collided with steel and Eagle Prime grabbed and twisted with its massive claw-hand. Then the chainsword fired up and the real carnage began. The American robot sawed through metal and cable; Kuratas’ fingers went flying everywhere as they were severed.

Finally, in a moment of mercy, the fight was ended before Eagle Prime could rip the smaller, lighter, weaker opponent limb from limb.

This was David versus Goliath, but this time Goliath beat David’s tiny butt.

Kuratas got some good shots in before the fight was stopped though, and our hats are off to its bravery and prowess. But Eagle Prime is not a robot to be trifled with.

Sure the whole thing was more entertainment than combat, after all it’s the first event that had giant robots actually fighting. Both pilots hammed it up and, if I’m being honest, I didn’t like the dramatics from the announcers – which otherwise did a great job of making the event feel real. Mike Goldberg’s presence made it feel like a UFC contest, which was great for ambiance.

At the end of the event I wasn’t standing with my jaw agape and my mind blown. In fact I chuckled, turned off the TV, and went to bed.

But, last night I dreamed of giant robots fighting. They were fast and violent – and there were no squishy humans inside of them to slow things down. The Giant Robot Duel was a good start.

And more importantly it was a fun way to show off robotics and STEM for audiences of all ages.

Read next: Razer’s Blade Stealth now comes with a much faster quad-core processor

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