Barbara Larson

Barbara Larson

Reddit has officially freaked out over a site that automatically directs your browser to search terms pedophiles and would-be terrorists might use.

Unless you've specifically told it not to, Google remembers everything you've ever searched for—a fact that's been useful for artists, Google's bottom line, law enforcement investigations, among many other things. We've all searched for stuff we probably shouldn't have from time to time, but a web developer has decided to take the shared experience of regretting a specific search to its logical extreme.

"Ruin My Search History" promises to "ruin your Google search history with a single click," and that's exactly what it does. Click on the magnifying glass and it'll take over your browser and immediately cycles through a series of search terms ranging from the mildly embarrassing ("why doesn't my poo float," "smelly penis cure urgent") to the potentially relationship-ruining ("mail order paternity test," "attracted to mother why") to the type of thing that might get your name on a list somewhere ("isis application form," "cheap syria flights," "how to kill someone hypothetically").

Jon, the developer who made it, says more than 500,000 people have ruined their search histories in the last 24 hours. He says about a quarter of the people who visit the site aren't brave enough to click the button.

Originally, the site was going to be a tour of the internet's most horrible images and videos, such as Goatse and Two Girls One Cup, to "quickly get you up to speed on 15 years of horrible internet," Jon told me in an email.

"I thought better of that and went down the route of things you'd hate for people to see in your search history," he said. "I tried to make a semi-story out of the searches to add to the horror. And added in the person's location to the queries (though people don't seem to have noticed that)."

It's fun, mostly harmless, and if you squint hard enough, it might even be a bit subversive. I saw it as a bit of a comment on our lack of digital privacy, anyway.

"Really not sure how I came up with the idea originally," Jon wrote. "It was probably sparked by the never ending surveillance saga in the news: Snowden, NSA, phone taps, metadata, who searches for what." I asked Jon if he thought there's something to the idea that if we all search for words that are likely to be on a watchlist somewhere, we can confuse the NSA or make a comment about mass surveillance.

"I had the idea that the best way to make the government's search surveillance useless is for us all to be on 'the list,'" he said. "Maybe it does a bit, but if that's enough to throw their surveillance off course, it's probably not great surveillance."

After it was posted, the website quickly went to the top of Reddit's /r/internetisbeautiful, where people immediately began to freak the fuck out over the inclusion of ISIS-related search terms. The reaction has been so visceral, in fact, that one of the moderators has had to step in and defend leaving the link to the site—which now has warnings all over it—on the page: "We've taken adequate steps to warn redditors that this link might be something you shouldn't just blindly click," internetisbeautiful moderator K_Lobstah wrote in an incredibly long post. "I promise the NSA is not going to black bag you in your sleep (unless you are a terrorist). I promise the police are not calling a judge off his poker game tonight to obtain an emergency search warrant for your apartment."

Jon says it's gotten out of hand.

"The reaction on Reddit has been mental, some people seem to be legitimately freaking out," he said. "I guess that's just the sad times we live in. We assume the feds will turn up and that we're actually guilty because we typed some words into the internet."

Happy searching.

Source: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/ruin-your-google-search-history-with-one-click-using-this-website

Company also announces Android availability of The New Internet, the first-ever secure gateway to the Internet

AUSTIN, TX – Authenticated Reality (www.TheNewInternet.com), creator of The New Internet®, a secure gateway to the internet where all users are authenticated and identified, today announced the launch of its domain registry as well as open beta availability of The New Internet on Android. The ability to register domains on the platform enables companies and individuals to experience full expression of speech with its unrestricted domain extensions, allowing more options for anyone to own the domain name of their choice. Additionally, as all users are authenticated on The New Internet, the verified nature of the domain registry also helps to protect businesses and individuals from phishing scams, hacking and more.   

“With the launch of our domain registry on The New Internet, we’re not only providing fresh real estate for people on the web, but we’re also challenging both the ‘old internet’ and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)’s standards for freedom of expression,” said Chris Ciabarra, co-founder and CTO of Authenticated Reality. “After the U.S. government gave up control of ICANN, it’s more important than ever that we don’t suppress the communities that want their own domain extensions. For example, Dotgay LLC http://dotgay.com has been fighting for rights to ‘.gay’ as a domain extension for almost a decade. Now, with new domains open on The New Internet, any individual, group or business can express themselves any way they want by owning a domain extension that was previously unavailable.”

Launched in February, The New Internet is a new secure gateway to the internet that creates a more authentic experience for users surfing the web in an environment where, for the first time, all users are verified and all URLs are open for comments/ratings to foster real comments, conversations and online interactions from real people. This is accomplished by unprecedented levels of authentication (real-time validation via driver’s license) and patented, browser-based technology, eradicating fake profiles and ensuring the creation of a secure community of people who are authenticated and real.


Businesses and individuals/communities looking to purchase a domain on The New Internet, as well as the internet domain market overall, will benefit from the security of the platform due to the authenticated nature of all users. Here’s how:

  • Businesses - Since all users on The New Internet are authenticated, businesses know who are really visiting their sites, granting access to more accurate analytics about their online customers without having to worry about bots skewing results of online ads and more.  
  • Individuals and Communities - In addition to enhanced site analytics, security and pricing, individuals and communities have the added benefit of unique and creative expression when choosing their domain and extension -- for example, “first name.last name” style options offer a more personal way to market yourself and group.
  • The Domain Market - Current domain owners on the “old internet” have the chance to purchase their domain name on The New Internet as well. Authenticated Reality is also addressing the issue of domain squatting by allowing the purchase of domains on The New Internet that are currently parked by squatters on the old internet.

“When we heard that The New Internet was opening domain names on the platform, we saw this as a great opportunity to not only protect our brand online, but to also increase security so that the customers of our bank will no longer have to worry about phishing attempts coming from emails that are not from the bank,” said Jim Schneider, Chairman of Horizon Bank. “To be most proactive on this front, Horizon Bank has purchased the domain horizonbanktexas.com on The New Internet."  

For more information about the platform’s domain registry process, including pricing, requirements for purchase and FAQs, please visit http://TheNewInternet.com. You can also see a quick video of the new domain feature here: https://vimeo.com/207035550

In addition to launching the domain feature on The New Internet, Authenticated Reality has also opened its closed beta to Android users, available today. Now, users can surf The New Internet on any iOS, Android, PC or Mac device. To be a part of The New Internet beta, users can visit www.TheNewInternet.com to request access or download it for free via The Apple App Store (download here) for iOS as well as the Google Play store (download here) for Android devices. 

Who is Authenticated Reality?

Authenticated Reality is a company built by seasoned security experts who have set out to create a real, transparent internet experience by creating an environment with only authenticated, real users to encourage more responsible internet behavior that’s in line with real-world actions and consequences. It is the only company that has an automated process to verify identities, ensuring each member of The New Internet® community is answering the question “are you real?” truthfully in order to eradicate fake profiles from the internet completely. The proprietary platform lets users have real and authenticated social interaction on all pages of The New Internet, including commenting, rating, email authentication and more.

Authenticated Reality was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in San Diego and San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.TheNewInternet.com

Source : darkreading.com

Psst! Need the Android version of this tip? Click here to find out how to detect Android viruses.

Apple gadgets are known for having great security. That's because Apple devices using iOS are built in a way that denies files access to any system directories.

This makes it impossible for Apple users to download third-party applications. It can be inconvenient for users but Apple believes the added security outweighs the inconvenience.

That leads some Apple users to "jailbreak" their gadget. As you might know by now, jailbreaking is a risky way of bypassing Apple's software restrictions on iOS devices, allowing a user to install unauthorized apps and services.

It is a practice that is highly discouraged by Apple since it could lead to security holes that hackers could exploit. In fact, several users have reported that their Facebook, PayPal, and credit accounts were hacked after using jailbreaking tools.

How to detect an infected Apple device

If you did jailbreak your Apple gadget, here are some symptoms that it's infected with a virus:

  • Data usage - One thing you will notice if your gadget is infected with a virus is a large increase in data usage. A virus can eat away at data so you should compare the last few monthly statements from your cellphone provider. If you notice a huge spike in data usage, there's a good chance your gadget is infected.
  • Crashing apps - If you have a virus on your gadget, most likely apps will no longer function properly. They will crash continually while you try using them.
  • Pop-ups - While surfing online with the Safari browser, you might see pop-up ads all over the place. This could be the result of an infected gadget.

Continue reading and we'll tell you how to avoid and remove viruses.

How to update your iOS

Hackers are always looking for ways to infiltrate our gadgets. That's why it's important to keep your operating system up to date.

Whenever Apple discovers a vulnerability in iOS, it sends an update to patch it. Here are the steps to update your iOS:

Go into your "Settings" app and select "General." From there, select "Software Update" and your device will begin to check for updates. Then select "Download and Install."

To get the update from iTunes, connect your device to a computer, open iTunes, and select your device from the menu in your iTunes Library. Select "Summary" and then click on "Check for Update." Finally, select "Download and Update" and wait for the update to sync to your device.

How to remove a virus

If you suspect your iPhone or iPad may be infected with a virus, don't panic. You can easily wipe your gadget and start over with factory settings.

Here are the steps to wipe your Apple gadget:

  • Backup your device and all of the personal data on it using iCloud or iTunes -Click here for detailed steps to backing up your smartphone.
  • Go to Settings >> Tap General >> Tap Reset.
  • Tap "Erase All Content and Settings" to clear all apps and data from the gadget.
  • Restart your device and go through the initial setup steps again.
  • Sync into iCloud when you set up your device and restore your backed up data.

Watch this quick video to walk you through the steps:

You can also attach your iPhone or iPad to your computer and use the "Restore iPhone/iPad" button in iTunes to factory-reset the device. The key to these steps is they clear out all programs on your iOS device, which may have been compromised, and replace them with fresh copies. Your data and files should all be preserved, though you might lose some application settings.

If you suspect that restoring your phone to factory settings didn't do the trick, then feel free to take the gadget to Apple's Genius Bar. They have system-scanning software that detects and removes any hidden files.

Source : komando.com

Do you want to be on the bleeding edge of technology, or more accurately, Wi-Fi technology? Better prepare yourself for the next level of Wi-Fi then - it is finally here!

WiGig, a new super-fast Wi-Fi standard certified by the worldwide Wi-Fi Alliance will start empowering gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and computers next year and it promises to double the speed of the fastest Wi-Fi technology we have today.

How fast will this be? Real fast. While our current fastest protocol, 802.11ac, tops out at (not-too-shabby) theoretical speeds of 4.5 Gbps, WiGig with its new 802.11ad protocol could theoretically reach 8 Gbps and even beyond.

This will definitely usher in a new age of 4K video streaming and high-resolution display mirroring from handhelds to desktops, and it will finally unleash tethered technologies like virtual and augmented reality from their wired domains.

What's the WiGig difference?

The current Wi-Fi protocol 802.11n can operate on the 2.4 and 5 GHz radio spectrums while 802.11ac operates on 5GHz. WiGig/802.11ad, on the other hand, uses the higher bandwidth 60GHz spectrum. The 60GHz band provides the ultra-wide channels needed for the ultra-high transfer rates that are not possible with the 2.4 or 5GHz bands.

The higher bandwidth and lower congestion of 60 GHz spectrum also allow for lower latency and real-time data transfers critical to VR, gaming, and display mirroring technologies. Multiple 4K streams will also be a relative breeze in the wider 60 GHz spectrum.

WiGig limitations

There are caveats with the 60 GHz spectrum, though. First, since the frequency is at a very high range, WiGig cannot penetrate walls and obstructions. This means in its current form, to take advantage of the promised speeds of WiGig, both device and router will have to be in the same room with a direct line of sight.

Second, high frequencies have terrible range and WiGig cannot travel distances greater than 33 feet.

These limitations mean that in its current form, to take advantage of the promised speeds of WiGig/802.11ad, both device and router will have to be in the same room with a direct line of sight.

To mitigate this short-range, WiGig routers and gadgets will support dynamic band switching and multiple streams to seamlessly change between the longer range 2.4/5 GHz (802.11n and 802.11ac) and the 60GHz band (802.11ad) as required. It is also capable of transmitting data in highly focused beams (called beamforming) for better power efficiency.

Since it is primarily a same-room Wi-Fi connection standard, WiGig will not replace traditional longer-range Wi-Fi protocols yet. However, it will be extremely useful for short-range, high-data transfer applications.

For now, as WiGig is starting to roll out, expect to see triple-band backward compatible routers that will support 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 60 GHz bands.

Can't wait to try WiGig?

Although there are no WiGig gadgets available yet, you may want to prepare your home for the next level of Wi-Fi. Check out the TP-Link Talon AD7200 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router. It is one of the first triple-band WiGig 802.11ad compatible routers that is currently available so far.

Source  : komando.com

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is now known by the nickname "April Fools' Day Comet," thanks to the timing of its closest approach to our planet. USA TODAY

It might be streaming by on April Fools' Day, but this comet is no holiday prank.

On Saturday, the inelegantly named comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák will make its closest flyby of Earth since its discovery in 1858.

There's no need to worry about it hitting Earth: The comet will zoom past at a safe distance of around 13.2 million miles, about 50 times the moon’s distance, EarthSky.org reports.

While the comet will be closest Saturday, you can get a peek in the days before and after. "Amateur astronomers with small telescopes are already watching, and more people will see the comet in the coming days," EarthSky.org said.

41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák will be in the far northern sky, meaning stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere can see it for much of the night. At 9 p.m. ET Saturday, for example, it should be near the handle of the Big Dipper, which is part of the Ursa Major constellation.

Clouds may obscure the sight for much of the Northeast, the central Plains and Pacific Northwest on Saturday night, but much of the rest of the country should be clear, the National Weather Service predicts.

The comet is not particularly large — less than a mile in diameter — and can't be seen with the naked eye, reports Science Alert. "Usually it appears in the night sky as a diffuse blob of light," the site said. "Good binoculars or small telescopes will be needed to pick it out, as well as a dark, clear, moonless night."

Fortunately, the thin crescent moon won't hinder skywatchers as it will sink in the western sky after sunset Saturday, NASA said.

If you can't see the comet, you might want to travel over to astronomy website Slooh.com, which will be tracking the comet live via its telescopes in the Canary Islands.

Comets are named for their discoverers. This one carries all three names of the astronomers who separately found it in 1858, 1907 and 1951, EarthSky said. In 1951, with its third "discovery," astronomers finally realized the three comets of 1858, 1907 and 1951 were all the same.

This comet "belongs to a group of comets know as 'Jupiter comets'," according to Slooh.com. "These are comets that have been captured by the gravity of Jupiter, forcing them in an orbit that takes them between the sun and the gas giant," Slooh.com said.

41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák swings by the Earth every 5 and a half years.

The predicted cloud cover across the U.S. at 8 p.m.

The predicted cloud cover across the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Clear skies are blue and cloudy skies are gray. (Photo: National Weather Service)

Source : usatoday.com

Scientists have found a new vulnerability in a common tech component, uncovering a security flaw that could expose potentially millions of smartphones, fitness wearables, and even cars to hacking.

By using sound waves, researchers have figured out how to trick accelerometers – the tiny sensors in gadgets that detect movement – into registering a fake motion signal, which hackers could exploit to take control of our devices.

"It's like the opera singer who hits the note to break a wine glass, only in our case, we can spell out words," computer scientist Kevin Fu from the University of Michigan told The New York Times.

"You can think of it as a musical virus."

The sensors that Fu's team investigated are called capacitive MEMS accelerometers, which register the rate of change in an object's speed in three dimensions.

It's these sensors that can tell which way you're holding or tilting your smartphone or tablet, and count the steps you take using an activity tracker.

But they're not just used in consumer gadgets – they're also embedded in the circuits of things like medical devices, vehicles, and even satellites – and we're becoming more reliant on them all the time.

"Thousands of everyday devices already contain tiny MEMS accelerometers," Fu explains in a press release.

"Tomorrow's devices will aggressively rely on sensors to make automated decisions with kinetic consequences."

But accelerometers have an Achilles heel: sound. By precisely tuning acoustic tones to the right frequency, Fu's team was able to deceive 15 out of 20 different models of accelerometers from five different manufacturers, and control output from the devices in 65 percent of cases.

Accelerometers may enable some high-tech functionalities, but the principle is fundamentally simple – using a mass suspended on springs to detect changes in speed or direction. But those measurements can effectively be forged if you use the right sonic frequency to fool the tech.

"The fundamental physics of the hardware allowed us to trick sensors into delivering a false reality to the microprocessor," Fu explains.

Once they figured out what the frequencies were to manipulate the sensors, they were able to trick a Fitbit into counting thousands of steps that were never taken; pilot a toy car by taking control of a smartphone app; and even use a music file to make a Samsung Galaxy S5 crudely write out a word ("Walnut") in a graph of its accelerometer readings.

The tech used to hijack these devices wasn't high-end audio gear either. In one case, the researchers used a US$5 external speaker; in another, a smartphone played a sound file on its own internal speaker and effectively hacked itself.

While all these proofs-of-concept were fairly harmless demonstrations of the technique, the researchers warn that it could easily be used for malicious and potentially very dangerous purposes.

"If a phone app used the accelerometer to start your car when you physically shake your phone, then you could intentionally spoof the accelerometer's output data to make the phone app think the phone is being shaken," one of the team, Timothy Trippel, told Gizmodo.

"The phone app would then send the car a signal to start."

The research is due to be presented at the IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy in Paris in April, and while the study hasn't yet been peer-reviewed, the findings are being treated seriously.

As John Markoff at The New York Times reports, the US Department of Homeland Security is expected to issue a security alert in relation to the specific sensors documented in the paper.

The manufacturers involved were separately forewarned of the vulnerability before the researchers went public with their findings this week.

Now that we know about the security flaw, hopefully researchers and technology companies will be able to work together and find a means of patching up the weak spot.

As technological devices get ever more powerful and independent, it's crucial that they can't be puppeteered by something as rudimentary as sound waves overriding their fundamental components.

"Humans have sensors, like eyes, ears, and a nose," says Trippel.

"We trust our senses and we use them to make decisions. If autonomous systems can't trust their senses, then the security and reliability of those systems will fail."

Source : sciencealert.com

There is no doubt big-time troublemakers lurk out there in the cosmos. We know that blitzkrieging asteroids and comets can make for a bad day here on Earth because our planet has been on the receiving end of many long-ago scurrilous intruders, and has the pockmarks to prove it. There was also the recent and loud wake-up call when an incoming space rock detonated in the skies near Chelyabinsk, Russia, in early 2013, causing significant injuries and property damage. The bottom line is that near-Earth objects (NEOs) have crosshairs on our world. But what to do about these cosmic demons from the deep is another matter.

In the waning days of Pres. Barack Obama’s administration, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a “National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy” last week. The strategy outlines major goals the country will have to tackle to prepare to meet the NEO threat, signaling that some leaders are taking the danger more seriously. Whether the U.S. government is willing to put significant funding behind such efforts, however, still remains to be seen. “This has been something that for years was more or less a laughing matter,” says William Ailor, an Aerospace Fellow of The Aerospace Corp. The White House report shows that there is high-level interest in the NEO threat, and that even if incoming NEOs are not among the most likely threats we face, the consequences of an impact could be dire. “It’s a good thing to keep your eye on,” Ailor says, and the new report “brings reality home.”


The 19-page report, the product of an interagency faction of experts convened in January 2016 dubbed the Detecting and Mitigating the Impact of Earth-Bound Near-Earth Objects (DAMIEN) working group, was released January 3. Overall, the group found the U.S. needs more tools to track space rocks, and that greater international cooperation is necessary. Specifically, the report outlines several goals, including increasing the ability both in the U.S. and in other countries to more rapidly detect NEOs, track their movements and characterize the objects more completely. It also says more research is needed to study how best to deflect and disrupt a space rock that might be on a collision course with Earth. Furthermore, the strategy calls for better and more integrated modeling of NEO trajectories to reduce uncertainties of their orbits and possible impact effects.

If indeed there is a NEO strike, the strategy also seeks to develop coherent national and international emergency procedures for different impact scenarios, be it an object hitting deep ocean, a coastal region or a major landmass. We must be prepared to respond as well as recover from such a blow in an orderly and timely manner, the report finds.

Lastly, the document’s strategic goals underscore the need to get all nations to agree that the potential NEO Earth impact risk is a global challenge, one that demands planetary coordination and cooperation. Protocols and thresholds for taking action, not only in the U.S. but internationally, are necessary.


The working group represents an important advance in dealing with the NEO threat, says Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer within the space agency’s Science Mission Directorate who co-chaired the DAMIEN project. The effort was “really the first time we’ve sat down with an ‘all of government’ approach” that brought multiple federal agencies together, he says, “to do what needs to be done to be prepared to appropriately respond to discovery of a possible asteroid impact.” Johnson says that having an approved strategy “is a major first step,” but details of how to pursue these goals will be forthcoming via a yet-to-be-determined action plan. “Then the relevant departments and agencies will need to take the steps needed to accomplish that action plan,” he says.

Scoping out the action plan is the next order of business for DAMIEN as soon as President-elect Donald Trump’s new OSTP gets its feet on the ground, Johnson notes. “We have drafted a few things, but it is still to be written. That will take about another year, assuming we continue on this path.”

On the one hand, NEO experts are heartened by the OSTP document. But as always, paper strategies need to backed at some point by bucks. Ray Williamson, a faculty member of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, salutes the White House OSTP report. As a former astronomer and a past member of the United Nations’ Action Team 14 that focused for years on the NEO danger, he finds the document says “all the right things and calls for the right approaches” to mitigating the peril of an incoming asteroid. But, as is the case with most high-impact, low-probability events, “motivating the several federal agencies to follow through on the good advice in this report will be a major task,” he adds. Making that job more daunting is that the White House strategy involves close cooperation with foreign entities. “Federal agencies, both here and abroad, generally feel that they have barely enough funding available to accomplish their primary mission and may well be reluctant to devote resources to such an effort,” Williamson says. “Making this strategy work will require significant attention to supplying the necessary funding for implementation.”
Case in point: earlier this month, NASA approved two new spacecraft missions to move forward out of a list of five candidates. A journey to Jupiter’s retinue of Trojan asteroids and a probe to study a giant metal asteroid known as 16 Psyche won out over a proposed Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam). This space-based telescope would spot and survey uncatalogued Earth-threatening asteroids and comets. Although NEOCam was not selected, NASA did award further funding to continue studying the NEOCam concept for another year. But whether that mission will ever fly is anyone’s guess. “I don’t yet know what we will do now for NEOCam—but we are working it,” NASA’s Johnson says.


The push for international cooperation on the NEO threat is key, says Detlef Koschny, head of the NEO segment in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space Situational Awareness program. “Within ESA we are working on very similar steps to be prepared,” Koschny says. “In particular, we will fully continue to support the international collaboration, which is already very well underway.”

The 2017 International Academy of Astronautics meeting on planetary defense, to meet this May in Tokyo, will hold a “tabletop exercise” involving a make-believe asteroid strike on Earth. The rehearsal will help appraise leadership reactions, information requirements, threat corridors, emergency management responses—including evacuation route planning—in response to the hypothetical situation. Aerospace Corp.’s Ailor will chair that meeting and has coordinated similar exercises over the past few years with participants from NASA, the U.S. departments of Defense, State and Homeland Security (including its Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA), along with the White House and others. The last such simulation was held October 25, 2016, in El Segundo, Calif. “A lot of work needs to be done at the international level,” he says, “to have people worldwide understand that this is really an international issue.”

Author : Leonard David

Source : scientificamerican.com

The iPhone 8 – Apple’s Mac Daddy update for 2017 – has been detailed inside a new report from TrendForce

The iPhone 8 is coming in 2017 alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, and while that might sound odd it kind of makes sense, given the state of the mobile space (declining sales) and the demand for new iPhone designs, which is at an all time high.

How Apple’s 2017 iPhone campaign will work looks a little something like this, according to the latest information: two iPhone 7s models that will look and feel like the current generation iPhone models, just with updated internals, and the iPhone 8 – the new flagship model.

TrendForce recently waded in on the rumours, publishing a report about the iPhone 8’s apparent specs as well as how many units it expects Apple to sell in 2017.

Apple will sell A LOT of iPhones in 2017/18. This seems to be the general consensus amongst analysts and industry insiders. The reason for this spike in sales, of course, is the design refresh – the iPhone 8 will be the first truly new iPhone in almost three years.

Don’t expect these high prices to put off buyers, though. Kate Huberty – an analyst at Morgan Stanley – reckons demand for the iPhone 8 is currently being grossly under estimated.

Market watchers predict an upswing in sales of around 10% for 2018, off the back of the the iPhone 8’s release. However, Huberty believes this isn’t right; she believes it will be more like 20% – a far more significant number.

I think she is right, too. The release of the iPhone 8 is going to be like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on steroids.

“We do not think the super cycle is fully appreciated,” Huberty told CNBC PRO in an exclusive interview. “What we expect in September is a phone that has significant advancements in technology: OLED screens, 3-D sensors, wireless charging [and] likely some more advanced software in the area of artificial intelligence.”

Apple fans, loyal as they are, have been patiently waiting for this phone to happen. In true Apple-style, we’ve seen a steady flow of leaked information and details about the phone. All of them are glowingly positive and have helped create a huge buzz around this year’s release.

In this respect, it reminds me very much of the run-up to the iPhone 6 launch which was, of course, the last major design change Apple undertook.

TrendForce says Apple will produce 100 million next-generation iPhone units, a huge number even by Apple standards. Though this will be the tip of the iceberg for the fiscal year, as it expects Apple to shift around 230 million iPhones throughout the year – a 6% increase on 2016.

iPhone 8 Release Date & Launch: September Launch

Apple will apparently announce its new iPhone 8 during its customary September slot. Demand for the handset, however, is expected to be massive, meaning there will almost certainly be delays as Apple struggles to meet demand.

Word of the September launch date was noted by Mac Rumors, as was the alleged, ACTUAL name of the iPhone 8 which will apparently be called the iPhone Pro. Given Apple’s recent iPad launch event, this name makes a lot of sense.

It now has iPad and iPad Pro; MacBook and MacBook Pro; and, finally, once September comes around, iPhone and iPhone Pro.

“Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs,” the note says, according to MacRumours.

The blog added: “We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4.”

Bizarrely, Apple is said to be still testing designs for the iPhone 8; apparently it is not quite set on the overall look and feel of the handset. The core new attributes and features will almost certainly be fixed. Apple will likely just be finessing the outer aesthetics of the handset.

iPhone 8 – First With AMOLED

The iPhone 8 will be the first – and only iPhone in 2017 – to support an AMOLED display. That display will also be 5.8 inches, the biggest iPhone display in history.

However, this 5.8in display will fit inside a chassis around the same size has the current generation iPhone 7. How? Simple: Apple’s decision to ditch the Home key on this model left it with A LOT more room to play with on the iPhone 8.

The iPhone 8’s display will be a 2K setup with a display ratio that could exceed 2:1, TrendForce suggests.

The OLED panel will have a slight curve, but it won't be anything like what we've seen on Samsung's phones.

“The curve will be gentler than screens in Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge handsets. This is partly due to the challenges of making curved glass covers to match screens, according to the source,” said Nikkei staff writer Debby Wu.

“While the curved screen will allow a viewable area of about 5.2 inches and make the iPhone even sleeker, it will not offer significant new functions"

The iPhone 8’s OLED panel is costing Apple quite a bit more than the iPhone 7’s display and this will obviously mean the iPhone is priced higher. A lot higher, most likely, because it won’t just be the display that costs more.

Where things get a little more interesting is when you dig down into the components that will make the new iPhone tick. By itself the new OLED panel isn’t that expensive ($15 vs $9 for the one inside the iPhone 7), but it is this alongside other components which hike the cost of making the phone.

This is great for Apple’s suppliers, TPK, for instance, is expected to see its margins increase from 11-12% to 22%. But bad for consumers. Why? Simple: Apple loves its high profit margins, so when the price of materials goes up so too does the price of the handset. Hence the $1000 figure being bandied around.

This, combined with higher costs for other, intricate components, is why the iPhone 8 will likely retail for $1000+ when it arrives later on this year.

The display WILL NOT be curved, the report added, but will feature 2.5D glass on the front just like current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

Beyond this TrendForce believes the iPhone 8 will pack in 3GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage.

Expect to pay $1000+ for this model.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will feature similar sized displays to current models. They will also have the same display resolution, though we’re hoping Apple updates the standard model to 1080p, seeing that it is now 2017.

Apple may also kill the difference in spec and performance between the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models in order to drive adoption of the handsets.

TrendForce expects iPhone 8 sales to be off the hook, after three year’s worth of boring updates.

I think they might be right.

iPhone 8 – First With AR? 

Another BIG rumour doing the rounds about Apple’s iPhone 8 is that it will be the first iPhone to feature Apple’s new AR technology. The company, up to now, as been fairly quiet on the AR/VR front, though Tim Cook has said multiple times that he believes AR – not VR – will be the technology of the future.

Gene Munster, a relatively well known Apple analyst, claims Apple has over 100 engineers working on AR for the iPhone 8. He also says that this new AR technology will represent a huge paradigm shift in the mobile space that will force all over players to up their respective games considerably.

Munster’s claims were also backed by a report in Bloomberg, which notes that Apple is hard at work on an AR technology that will become a central component of its iPhone platform. A pair of AR glasses are also said to be in the product pipeline as well, though these won't likely appear until 2018/19.

"Revolutionary" Front Camera - Ming-chi Kuo

According to reputable KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo - you know, the one with a near 100% accurate track record when it comes to Apple and iPhone predicitons - the iPhone 8 will feature a "revolutionary" front camera setup.

Part of this will incorporate a new 3D sensor, this will apparently work in tandem with the 2D images produced by the camera sensor to create unique "3D selfies"; we're not sure exactly what this means just yet, but it sounds interesting to say the least.

This tech will also reportedly be used in the phone's facial recognition features, lending further fuel to the idea of Apple either replacing or supplementing TouchID with facial recognition for unlocking the phone, remote payment, and in-app or online purchases via Apple Pay.

Apple also owns Israeli tech firm RealFace, which is apparently at the forefront of this tech and even has facial scanning that can discern the differences between identical twins.

"Sensors used in the new camera will be able to perform depth of field calculations using a dedicated Infrared transmitter and receiver," reports PhoneArena. The camera sensor will be a Sony module, while the infrared components will be supplied by Foxconn Sharp.

"IR signals are sent out from the phone, and then are bounced off objects and are detected using the 1.4MP IR receiver. The report adds that Apple will add 3D sensing rear-facing cameras in 2018 models and beyond.

This would allow Apple to get rid of the large dual-camera system found on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. With Apple well ahead of Android in 3D camera algorithms, according to the KGI analyst, the new technology could be unique to the iPhone for some time."

Too Expensive? 

If you’re running an older handset and have been patiently waiting to see what Apple comes up with inside Q4, you might want to consider an alternative approach – buying the iPhone 7 or iPhone 6s instead.

Why? Simple: reconditioned, you can pick one of the top tier models up for around 40% cheaper than buying a handset brand new. Reconditioned means the handset isn’t new, but because they’re “certified” at places like Gazelle it means they look new.

And if something LOOKS new who cares if it's not? 

I discovered “reconditioned phones” a couple of years ago when, eager to get out of the contract-loop, I decided to pull the trigger on a reconditioned iPhone 5s, as it was a lot cheaper than a new one (this was when the iPhone 6 had just come out). The handset was great, worked perfectly, felt as good as new, and it only cost me $350. And that meant no more contracts.

Nowadays, you can pick up the iPhone 6s Plus 128GB for $529 (down from $949 RRP for a new one). Similarly, move back a generation to the still-excellent iPhone 6 Plus and you’re looking at even bigger savings – around $359 for 128GB iPhone 6 Plus model.

Granted, the reconditioned route isn’t for everybody. But if you’re in the market for an iPhone with high storage and you don’t want to pay the best part of $900 or lock yourself into a contract until 2019 then it is definitely worth a look.

Author : Richard Goodwin

Source : knowyourmobile.com

Google has learned the hard way that even the shiniest corporates cannot sit on their hands when their reputation is on the line. The search engine giant thought that a boycott by global brands would blow over. Once the tide turned against them, it became clear that inaction was no longer an option. After apologising and setting out how they would make things right, Google were able to stop this scandal in its tracks. They belatedly recognised that no brand is immune to reputational challenges.

For a company that claims to be ‘advertiser-friendly’, this whole affair has been embarrassing. Brands from L’Oréal to Audi started deserting Google after their adverts appeared alongside extremist videos on YouTube. Rape apologists, hate preachers and anti-Semites made money out of their advertising, and companies were having none of it.

If Google had apologised at this point and pledged to fix the problem, this scandal might have been nipped in the bud. Instead, they did nothing. There was no immediate apology. No plan to put out the fire. Just silence.

Google clearly felt it was too big to be brought down by a few dissatisfied customers. Its brand is so widely recognised, it has been ‘verbified’ into our everyday language. We may not Facebook, but we certainly do Google.

But the boycott only gathered pace. Dominos, O2 and McDonald’s became the latest to withdraw their chequebooks and, with consternation growing and the press on high alert, Google was caught flat-footed. They did not expect this boycott to continue and soon realised that they had to do something. Decisive action had become a repetitional imperative.

On Monday night Philipp Schindler, the company’s Chief Business Officer, issued a rare mea culpa via the company’s blog. Google has not been forced to apologise for much in the past. Having demonstrated a tin ear for too long, Schindler moved to show that he understood the gravity of the situation.

His communication achieved a careful balance: acknowledging that Google could and should have acted faster, while reminding its corporate customer base of the substantial challenges it faces in tackling unacceptable content. In setting out a clear plan to overhaul their advertising policies and give clients greater control over where their adverts appear, they have every chance of winning their deserters round. Now is the time for Google to make good on its promises.

Whether this will be enough to entirely placate the digital advertising industry remains to be seen. What is clear is that no company can sit idly by while its reputation is dragged through the mud. Notwithstanding the inevitable consequences for a company’s bottom line, reputation is king. The most recognisable brand of the internet age should have headed this off at the pass.

Author : Paul Blanchard

Source : huffingtonpost.co.uk

How would search engine evolve in the next 10 years? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Haifeng Wang, VP at Baidu, on Quora:

When we talk about search engines today, search boxes and search results come to our minds. What might future search engines look like? We are not sure. But we would be happy to have a much more powerful search engine that we may see, hear and even feel in different scenarios, different products or different interfaces. Search will be everywhere.

Firstly, deeper understanding of user’s intent, deeper understanding of content and more accurate matching of intent and content would empower the search engine. The understanding of user’s intent will depend not only on a single query, but also on more comprehensive search contexts, including query sessions, time, location, device, and the user’s personalization features.

The understanding of the content, on the other hand, will also go much further, and will be a better understanding of semantic, context, opinions, as well as other aspects of each piece of content and knowledge will be extracted from the content. The matching from intent to content will take all the above-mentioned factors into consideration so as to provide the best results for each individual under any specific context. In addition, the search engine will become more like an “answering engine” and an “execution engine”. A large proportion of the user queries will be directly answered or performed.

Secondly, the search interface will have many innovative changes. Besides the keyboard, other input methods like voice and image will become much more widely used. Users would enjoy the highly efficient and convenient multi-modal search with more practical technologies of speech and image and so on. Especially, natural language interaction which will become the mainstream way of interacting with search engines. Users can “talk” with the search engine, telling it what they want, which is absolutely much easier and more natural than first turning their requests into keyword-based queries and then inputting the queries into the search engine. Users could also interact with the search engine using multi-turn dialogue. Baidu search has been an early bird practicing such new interface to improve user experience.

Thirdly, search would go beyond search engines. It will be embedded in all kinds of products. For example, search is one of the essential features in AI hardware. In the future, search will be everywhere, all round us. Accordingly, we will redefine what can be searched. In addition to the contents already indexed by current search engines, more services, objects, devices and data can be indexed and searchable in the future.

Search engines have long played a vital role in everyone’s daily life. People’s need determines what direction search engines evolve and the technology advancements decide how far search engines evolve.

source : forbes.com

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