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Huawei P40 Pro and Pro Plus phones may rival the best cameras out there – CNET

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Huawei

Huawei has just taken the wraps off its latest superphone series. It unveiled the P40, P40 Pro and the P40 Pro Plus in an event livestreamed on YouTube Thursday, and there’s no question that these phones are all about the cameras. The P40 costs 799 euros (about $880, £730 or AU$1,450); the P40 Pro is 999 euros (about $1,100, £910 or AU$1,820). Both will ship April 7. The P40 Pro Plus will cost 1,399 euros (about $1,540, £1,280 or AU$2,550) and ships in June. None of them will be available officially in the US, and none will have access to Google services, due to Huawei’s ongoing difficulties with the US government.

The standard P40 comes with three rear cameras, the P40 Pro ups that to four and the P40 Pro Plus comes with five. All three models have a 50-megapixel standard zoom lens, equipped with a larger sensor for better low-light imaging. The standard P40 also has a 16-megapixel ultra wide lens and an 8-megapixel optical zoom. 

The P40 Pro ups that to a 40-megapixel ultrawide lens and a 12-megapixel 5x optical zoom. It also has a time-of-flight sensor for better depth sensing to add an artfully out-of-focus background to your portraits. 

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Huawei

The P40 Pro Plus is the hero of the trio. It comes with the standard 50-megapixel zoom, a 40-megapixel ultrawide-angle camera, an 8-megapixel optical zoom, as well as the time-of-flight depth sensor. The zoom skills are what set the Pro Plus apart from the rest. This is the first time we’ve seen a 10x optical zoom on a phone and I’m keen to see just how it compares to the 4x optical zoom offered on Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra

The Pro Plus can also achieve 100x zoom — just like the S20 Ultra. Huawei showed off a comparison photo from both phones taken at 100x zoom. Huawei’s did look clearer, but I’ll reserve judgment on that until I can get both phones side by side. 

Apart from the zoom, the P40 range promises improved low-light imaging, which is exciting as Huawei’s phones were already superb in the dark. They also get various AI updates including a mode that can apparently automatically remove passersby in your photos. Again, I’m going to wait and see how that works outside the presentation. 

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Huawei

Beyond the cameras, the phones have some impressive hardware. The display on the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus wraps so far over the sides of the phone that there’s basically no bezel at all. It looks great in the images and videos Huawei’s shown off so far, but whether it makes them a little awkward to hold remains to be seen. The screens themselves are OLED, have high resolutions and support HDR — which is all pretty much what you’d expect. 

Under the hood is Huawei’s latest Kirin 990 processor, which supports 5G. It also promises better performance and better power consumption. I’ll be putting that to the test soon. 

Other treats include faster in-screen fingerprint scanning, faster wireless charging and updates to Huawei’s EMUI 10.1 software for better multitasking. 

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Huawei

Speaking of software, these phones won’t support Google services, so you won’t have access to the Google Play Store, Gmail, Maps and so on. That’s going to be a major downside for most people, but Huawei did make a lot of noise about the increase in developers it’s working with and the number of people using its own app store. There are plenty of apps on Huawei’s app gallery, but it’s worth checking out if your favorites are available before you spend your money. (Read more about what it’s like to use a phone without Google services in our Huawei Mate 30 Pro review from a few months ago.)

Overall these phones are pretty much what I’d expect from Huawei — potentially awesome camera skills, attractive design, 5G, the latest processors and no Google. But how it all comes together in the real world remains to be seen when I put the phones to the test. 

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Zoom Video stock slides as much as 15% after analyst joins in backlash on valuation fears – MarketWatch

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Zoom Video Communications Inc. shares stumbled Monday after one analyst downgraded the stock, joining a backlash against the videoconferencing company as it deals with an unprecedented surge of users stuck at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zoom
ZM,
-4.10%

shares fell as much as 15% Monday to an intraday low of $108.53, while the broader market rallied more than 5%. Shares, however, pared losses to finish down 4.1% at $122.94, following a 15% decline last week that tied for the stock’s worst week in its nearly yearlong history.

Read: Zoom Video lurches from boom to backlash amid privacy issues, ‘Zoom bombing’ attacks

Even with Monday’s fall, Zoom is still up 81% for the year, compared with an 18% drop in the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+7.03%

and a 12% decline in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
+7.32%
.

Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick downgraded Zoom to an underperform rating from neutral Monday and raised his price target to $105 from $95, on the basis that “the current share price embeds significantly greater conversion of free users than our upside model scenario.”

“We commend Zoom for being a superhero of the current health crisis, though our responsibility as equity analysts compels us to distinguish great companies from great stocks,” Zelnick said. In the long term, Zelnick said he believes Microsoft Corp.’s
MSFT,
+7.43%

Teams video service “remains the most significant competitive threat.”

For more: In just one week, Microsoft adds as many users to its Teams software as rival Slack has in total

In a note titled “No good deed goes unpunished,” Bernstein analyst Zane Chrane, who has an outperform rating and a target price of $125, said Zoom’s shortcomings are getting disproportionate attention given the surge with which the company has had to deal.

Chrane said “it’s to be expected that any company that has a 20x increase in demand in 90 days will inevitably have some growing pains, if they can even provide the service at all, so it’s worth considering the full context of Zoom’s oversights and alleged transgressions.”

Zoom shares started dropping from their March 23 record close of $159.56 as the COVID-19-fueled rise in the service’s popularity exposed security concerns. Back in January, Check Point Software Technologies Inc.
CHKP,
+5.36%

identified a flaw in Zoom that let intruders eavesdrop on meetings. While the flaw had been fixed, Check Point recently published guidelines on how Zoom users could better protect themselves while they used the service.

“Zoom’s exponential growth in usage has resulted in additional scrutiny of its technology, leading to a recent spike in security concerns,” Credit Suisse’s Zelnick said. “While many of these issues, especially those stemming from user error, will likely be resolved in short order, we anticipate others may linger for some time.”

On Friday, Zoom Chief Executive Eric Yuan responded to concerns that certain meetings had been allowed to connect to systems in China and that the company had failed to “fully implement our usual geofencing best practices.”

Those security concerns prompted New York City’s Department of Education to tell principal to stop using Zoom, suggesting they use Microsoft Teams or video services through Alphabet Inc.’s
GOOG,
+8.11%

GOOGL,
+8.28%

Google Hangouts, according to a CNBC report.

Of the 25 analysts who cover Zoom, nine have overweight or buy ratings, 12 have hold ratings, and four have sell ratings, with an average price target of $118.90, according to FactSet data.

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LRT's winter testing was done indoors, not on the tracks – Ottawa Citizen

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Article content

Cold-weather testing on the LRT system did high-tech lab work, but never actually drove the trains in an Ottawa winter.

Indoor lab tests by the National Research Council featured cold, wind, snow and ice that tested the Citadis Spirit’s ability to keep running.

But when they began real service, the trains ran into unforeseen factors — power losses, frozen switches and more — that caused breakdowns and a winter of discontent for passengers.

Rideau Transit Group has refused a councillor’s request to make public the details of its cold-weather testing.

The city clerk’s office will let individual councillors view the test results, but not have copies, so the public will never see either the results or even the testing methods.

City officials say the tests went well and issued a brief summary. But this summary indicates there was no actual driving involved.

And the summary makes no mention of testing for the effects of salt and dirt — factors that crippled LRT fleet by causing electrical arcing.

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Hashtag Trending – Schools ban Zoom; Skype introduces video meetings; Video chat tips – IT World Canada

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Schools in New York get cold feet about Zoom, Skype introduces video meetings with no sign-up, and ways to make video chats let’s painful for those who don’t like staring at their own mug.

Zoom banned from New York City schools due to privacy, security flaws. from technology

Teachers in New York City are once again scrambling to find a videoconferencing service after the city’s Department of Education announced that it was banning Zoom, citing security and privacy issues with the platform like the recent cases of Zoombombings. The department encouraged teachers to turn to Microsoft Teams. which is compliant with FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. According to Chalkbeat, the DOE has started training teachers and staff in using Microsoft Teams, and will continue those trainings in the coming weeks.

Skype introduces video meetings with no sign-up needed for those wanting a Zoom alternative from technology

Meanwhile, Skype has brought in a new type of video call that doesn’t require you to sign up for an account to join the chat, similar to Zoom. There’s one important difference though – the host doesn’t needs to sign up for the service, or install anything. Skype describes its new Meet Now feature as a “hassle-free way to connect” with others. The service can be accessed with the click of a few bottoms through Skype’s website.

And lastly, video chats are crucial during these strange times, but let’s face it, many of us hate them because it involves looking at your own mug on camera while talking to others. Thousands of LinkedIn users are talking about ways to get used to looking at ourselves, citing reports that indicate 72 per cent of employees feel distracted by their own appearance during video chats, while 58 per cent worry about looking tired or washed out. Another 2016 study from video-conferencing company Highfive found that 59% of employees feel more self-conscious onscreen than they do in real life. But remember, a few simple adjustments with lighting, room selection and laptop placement can lift you out from the land of the shadows — and ultimately help you come across as your best self.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.


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