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Amid tech turmoil, celebration at global electronics show – Egypt Independent

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January 5, 2020
3:18 pm


The Consumer Electronics Show opening Tuesday offers a chance to showcase the newest and shiniest gadgetry, looking past the turmoil engulfing the global technology industry.

The annual Las Vegas gathering with more than 4,500 exhibitors brings out about 175,000 attendees searching for innovations of the future.

For an industry facing unprecedented turbulence, the hope is that what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas after it closes on Friday, but filters into the world where consumers can adopt new technologies for health, communication, transportation, the home and lifestyles.

The show opens against the backdrop of mounting concerns on how data gathered from connected devices can be exploited by marketers, governments and hackers. There has also been a wave of attacks from politicians and activists against dominant tech platforms, as well as intense trade frictions between the world’s economic and technology powers, the United States and China.

Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, said consumers are slowly coming to terms with the digital world and its privacy tradeoffs, and still appear to be driven toward new gadgetry.

“People always want to see a shiny new object,” Kay said.

“I think people are going to adjust to this world and adopt the technology that comes along that suits them.”

CES 2020 will feature devices infused with artificial intelligence for cars, homes, smart cities and for personal health, with many gadgets embracing voice assistants from Amazon, Google and others.

“We will see AI and apps being used to make people’s lives easier, such as speech recognition and object recognition,” said Sarah Brown of the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes the show that includes media previews Sunday and Monday.

“You will see that across the entire CES — AI embedded in all these technologies.”

Trade and industry attendees will see wearables offering more precise health monitoring, for both athletes and seniors; cars with better computer vision to avoid accidents; televisions designed as smart home hubs; and robots with features to help understand or express emotion.

A series of panel discussions will also explore questions around consumer privacy, the importance of 5G wireless, technology for travel and tourism, the promise of quantum computing and how lifestyles will change in “smart cities.”

– Emotional issues –

Some of the new CES gadgets will collect and analyze data such as facial expressions and tone of voice — creating the opportunity for more personalized services, but with risks as well.

This could mean a robot might be a better personal companion for the elderly, and a vehicle may adapt to signs of driver fatigue or impairment.

According to a report by the consulting firm Accenture, emotional data “is reaching a tipping point of opportunity” for firms which can decode human emotions for marketing, market research and political polling purposes.

“Emotional data will challenge companies because reading people’s emotions is a delicate business,” an Accenture report said. “Emotions are highly personal, and users will have concerns about privacy invasion, security breaches, emotional manipulation, and bias.”

– US-China row on display –

Although CES is not about politics, it takes place while US-China tensions simmer over trade, tariffs, industrial espionage and national security.

But China will still represent the largest non-US delegation at CES, with hundreds of exhibitors including Huawei, the smartphone and infrastructure giant which has been blacklisted by Washington over national security concerns.

“In terms of exhibit space, Chinese space is down slightly from last year, but most of the major exhibitors are returning and some even upping size of presence,” Brown said.

Simon Bryant of Futuresource Consulting said Chinese firms see the show as an important opportunity to demonstrate their ability to compete globally with Silicon Valley.

“Chinese firms are looking at places like Latin America and Europe, where they have enormous opportunities,” Bryant said.

CES offers big Chinese tech firms like Baidu the chance to show their digital assistant that compete with those of Amazon and Google, for example.

“The Chinese tech companies are very aggressive,” he said. “Their domestic market is saturated, and they need to grow outside China, but not necessarily in the US market.”

Image: GETTY IMAGES/AFP/File / ALEX WONG Robots will be a big part of the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, a celebration of innovation for a sector undergoing turbulence


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What satellite navigation systems does the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 support? – XDA Developers

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After months of heavy leaks, Samsung’s next foldable phone — Galaxy Z Fold 4 — is finally official. While not a massive upgrade over its predecessor Galaxy Z Fold 3, the new model does bring several notable improvements, making the Galaxy Z Fold 4 Samsung’s most refined foldable yet. The hinge is more compact, ergonomics have improved, cameras and chipset have been upgraded, and there are some new software updates to improve the multitasking experience. In addition, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 also boasts support for all global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), enabling precise location tracking no matter where you are.

GPS support on the Galaxy Z Fold 4

In particular, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 supports four navigation systems, namely, GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and BeiDou. GPS is short for Global Positioning System, and it’s owned by the United States. GLONASS is a Russian navigation system, while Galileo is operated by European Union Agency. Finally, BeiDou is a Chinese satellite navigation system.

Support for multiple navigation systems means the Galaxy Z Fold 4 can access more satellite signals to calculate its positioning. This translates to increased location accuracy and a faster fix. You can use an app like GPSTest to see in real-time which Global Navigation satellite systems are being used by your phone for positioning. As a consumer, you probably don’t need to worry about any of these details. Just know that your Galaxy Z Fold 4 has everything to offer a smooth navigation experience when using Google Maps, booking an Uber, or any app that relies on precise location tracking.

    The Galaxy Z Fold 4 supports four global navigation systems, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou.

Location services are notorious battery hogs, so be sure to keep tabs on apps with location access. Ideally, you only want to grant full location access to critical apps — Google Maps and ride apps, for example. In other cases, take advantage of Android’s one-time permission to only grant temporary location access to an app.

Check out the best Galaxy Z Fold 4 deals if you’re on the fence about getting one. You can save money and score freebies. And don’t forget to pick up a case and a fast charger for your expensive purchase.


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Apple Is About To Launch A Bold New Ads Strategy, Leak Suggests – Forbes

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Apple is about to embark on a bold new strategy that will see it displaying adverts on preloaded iPhone apps, according to a new report. As it looks to make more money from services, the iPhone maker is aiming to triple the revenue of its ads business, according to Apple commentator Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter.

According to Gurman, Apple’s VP of advertising platforms Todd Teresi has been asked to bolster annual revenue into “double digits” from about $4 billion today. The iPhone maker has been testing search ads in maps already, which could show up with places to eat, for example, when you search in the app.

Apple could also be planning ads in other apps including Podcasts and Books, and even on Apple TV via a subscription model that would include an ad supported tier in exchange for a cheaper monthly fee, Gurman predicts.

Expansion of Apple’s ads business

This would be an expansion of Apple’s current ads business, which is limited to the App Store—where developers pay to have their app boosted when certain search queries are entered—and its Stocks and News apps. Apple started asking people last year if they wanted to enable personalized ads on these apps, and you can turn this off in your iPhone Privacy settings.

Gurman also reiterated predictions that Apple is planning to include ads on its Today Tab—as I wrote previously.

It marks a major change in Apple’s strategy, which had previously focused on hardware to boost revenue. Over the last couple of years, the iPhone maker’s focus has shifted towards its services business, and this latest move is an extension of that.

The new Apple strategy comes after its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) features introduced in iOS 14.5 crippled Facebook’s ad business by limiting its ability to track people on the iPhone.

Gurman calls this “the elephant in the room,” saying:

“Before even talking about how Apple Inc. could expand its advertising business, I need to address the elephant in the room: how the company’s privacy efforts have stymied third-party advertising on its platform.”

He goes on to talk about how ATT is “perfectly reasonable,” adding that people should be able to choose whether they want to be tracked. However: “There’s no denying that ATT has created some collateral damage: a major revenue hit for companies big and small.

“You may not feel too bad for social media giants like Meta Platforms Inc. and Snap Inc. that have claimed to have lost billions of dollars as a result of Apple’s changes, but smaller developers also say the feature has upended their businesses,” Gurman adds.

Taking this into account, Gurman calls Apple’s decision to expand its ads business “ironic.”

This is especially true since Apple’s own way of personalizing ads is based on the data you produce by using its other services. “That doesn’t feel like a privacy-first policy,” says Gurman.

Gurman makes a very good point—and while you can switch Personalization off, the iPhone maker can still gather data including your carrier, device type and what you read.

Apple has been heavily promoting its privacy credentials for some time, so hopefully it will still be easy for people to opt out of personalization in their settings. However, in the interest of transparency, the iPhone maker will need to ensure it’s clear about the data it collects about you and keep with its own ATT rules.

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Microsoft Office to support Apple Pencil’s handwriting-to-text feature – The Siasat Daily

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San Francisco: Tech giant Microsoft has released a new beta version of its Office app for iPad with support for the Apple Pencil’s handwriting-to-text feature Scribble.

The feature allows you to insert and edit the text in a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or Excel spreadsheet using the Apple Pencil, with handwriting automatically converted into typed text, reports AppleInsider.

After enabling the Scribble feature in Settings and then Apple Pencil, the feature can be used by tapping the Scribble Pen button under the Draw tab in version 2.64 of the Office app.

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The feature can be tested now by members of the Office Insider programme via TestFlight, and the update will likely be released on the App Store for all users in the coming weeks.

Scribble was added in iPadOS 14 for any iPad that supports the original or second-generation Apple Pencil, including any iPad Pro, the third-generation iPad Air and newer, the fifth-generation iPad mini and newer, and the sixth-generation iPad and newer.

Microsoft’s unified Office app with Word, PowerPoint, and Excel gained iPad compatibility in February 2021 and is also available for the iPhone.

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