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Samsung to reveal the Galaxy S21 series on January 14 – MobileSyrup

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As earlier rumours predicted, Samsung will soon reveal the Galaxy S21, Galaxy 21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The South Korean tech giant has sent out invites to its ‘Unpacked 2021‘ keynote set for Thursday, January 14th at 7am PT/10am ET. This is about a month earlier than Samsung typically reveals its new flagship S Series smartphones and falls roughly at the end of this year’s virtual CES. The event will be livestreamed on samsung.com and likely YouTube, similar to the company’s previous remote keynotes.

The Unpacked 2021 invite doesn’t reveal much about the upcoming smartphone series and only includes the phrase, “Welcome to the Everyday Epic.”

The text under the invite reads as follows:

“Over the past year, mobile technology has taken center stage in everyday life as people are working remotely and spending more time at home. The accelerated transition to a mobile-first world brings with it the need for devices that can transform everyday life into an extraordinary experience.”

At the event, Samsung is expected to reveal three different versions of the Galaxy S21: the 6.2-inch S21, the 6.7-inch S21+ and the 6.8-inch S21 Ultra. All three devices are rumoured to feature similar design elements but will include different camera capabilities. For example, along with being the largest smartphone in the S21 lineup, the S21 Ultra is rumoured to feature 10x optical zoom via its periscope lens.

There’s also a possibility Samsung could bring S Pen functionality to the S21 Ultra given there are rumours the company has plans to kill its Note line.

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Other devices rumoured to appear at the event include the next Galaxy Fold and the often-leaked Galaxy Buds Pro wireless earbuds, which actually recently briefly appeared on the company’s Canadian website.

Samsung usually reveals its flagship smartphones before or during Mobile World Congress (MWC), with the devices set to release in March or April. Last year Samsung revealed the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy Z Flip, marking one of the last major events in the tech industry before the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America.

MobileSyrup will have more on Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series in the coming weeks.

Source: Samsung

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WhatsApp adds biometric authentication for logging in on desktop – The Verge

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Linking your WhatsApp account to your computer’s web browser or desktop app is getting a little more secure. Soon, if you’ve got biometric authentication enabled on your phone, you’ll have to unlock the app before you can link your account.

The company says the new system is intended to ensure that should someone else gain access to your phone, they won’t be able to link your account to their web browser (which, in turn, would allow them to see any messages you send or receive).

The new system will be enabled by default on any iPhone devices running iOS 14 with either Touch ID or Face ID, and any Android devices that have biometric authentication enabled. That means users will have to use it to link their accounts unless they disable biometric authentication for their entire device. Users who don’t have a biometric authentication setup on their phone (or have it turned off) will be able to link their account as usual.

As with any other use of biometric security on modern smartphones, the new system does not mean that WhatsApp is accessing or collecting your facial scans or fingerprints. Rather, it’s just using the same biometric data APIs every other app does in order to access the on-device security system as an extra measure of authentication before it allows users to connect their accounts.

So in the same way that using a fingerprint reader to log in to your banking app doesn’t grant Chase or Bank of America your fingerprint scans, using the new biometric unlock system here to link your account to your computer isn’t giving WhatsApp (or Facebook) your personal information either.

WhatsApp says that the new update should be rolling out for compatible devices in the coming weeks.

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With less practice time, NHL morning skates are making a comeback – The Globe and Mail

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D.J. Smith knows what the data suggest.

NHL players strapping on their gear for a morning skate seven or eight hours before a game probably isn’t the best use of energy.

But in an abbreviated, pandemic-condensed season where practice time is limited and days off priceless, the Ottawa Senators head coach sees benefits in a hockey tradition that, for many in recent years, has come to be viewed as nothing more than an archaic nod to the past.

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And he’s not alone.

“Science says to not skate on the day of a game,” Smith said. “But there’s so little teaching time … you have to use every opportunity.”

One of the sport’s staples from a bygone era, morning skates that see players handle the puck for roughly 15 or 20 minutes were often used as a kind of roll call to make sure everyone was out of bed and in the right frame of mind.

In a 56-game campaign brought on by COVID-19 where teams might suit up for as many as five games in seven nights – with travel mixed in – those brief on-ice sessions could be more important than ever as coaching staffs looks to find a balance between rest and instruction.

“They’re going to have value,” Calgary Flames bench boss Geoff Ward said. “We have to use them as practices.”

Schedule changes owing to coronavirus outbreaks in various locker rooms across the league have already compressed things even further. For example, the Florida Panthers will play 54 games in 102 days, while the Dallas Stars, who previously had 17 players test positive, have the same number of contests stretched over 104 dates.

“You may see that there’s going to be some teaching and some structure [the morning of a game],” Ward said. “You could see it in terms of reviewing one or two things on top of what you normally want to accomplish in a morning skate, just to prepare yourselves because practice time is going to be at such a premium.”

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A creature of habit and routine like most hockey players, Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares is a fan of hitting the ice in the hours before puck drop during a normal season, but also acutely aware of the other side.

“Morning skates are something that have been around for a long time and have been so integrated in the game,” he said. “A lot has been looked at in terms of the volume [of work] you’re putting yourself through – sports science has become a big part of that.

“When you’re playing four games a week, having to put your gear on again and have meaningful stress on the body, when you’re preparing yourself, sometimes it’s going to be necessary. But other times you’re going to be in such a rhythm of the season that I’m sure it will still be a balance of trying to find what’s best and keeping players fresh and healthy.”

Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian said it’s crucial NHLers manage their energy levels, especially in a season that’s been likened to a sprint.

“Morning skates are important,” he said. “Are they beneficial? Depends who you ask. Some guys like to go out and feel the puck. Some prefer to stay off the ice and do a lot of stretching.”

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said his philosophy on what he wants out of pregame workouts will depend on the schedule.

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“If we don’t have a practice [the previous day], that’s when you would see us have a full team skate,” he said. “A little more teaching and little bit more structure-based rather than just getting them out and getting a little bit of a sweat.

“We’ll adapt to it.”

New York Rangers head coach David Quinn agreed schedules will play a role, but added, in general, morning skates should hold more weight in 2021.

“Without question I think they are going to be more important,” he said. “When you do use them, you’re going to have to use them from a teaching standpoint – work on some of the things you wouldn’t normally work on at a pregame skate.”

But not everyone is on board.

Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault has never been a fan of morning skates, and doesn’t expect that opinion to change or his teaching to increase.

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“I think players need to touch the ice once in between games,” he said. “That should permit them to have their timing and their energy level right.”

Smith, whose roster is sprinkled with young players still getting their feet wet in the NHL, expects to use morning skates as a tool all season long.

“Some people believe in them, some don’t,” he said. “But with a team like ours, I think we’ve got to be practising and be teaching all the time.”

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WhatsApp now requires biometric authentication for PC and web access – Engadget

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You’ll now have to confirm your identity using your biometric information to link a WhatsApp account to the PC or the web. The Facebook—owned company has added a layer of protection to its apps in order to limit the chances of somebody else linking to your account without your knowledge or permission. As long as the phone you’re using has face or fingerprint unlock switched on, WhatsApp will ask you to go through the authentication process when you link your account to the service’s desktop app or web version.

After the service verifies your identity, you’ll then have to scan a QR code with your phone. The new biometric authentication feature is active by default, and the only way not to trigger it when linking your account is to completely switch off face or fingerprint unlock. WhatsApp, which will soon implement a revised privacy policy that allows it to share information with Facebook, says it won’t have access to your biometrics at all and will conduct the authentication process through your phone’s OS.

WhatsApp’s new security feature will work alongside another, which send your phone notifications whenever somebody logs into your account on the web or a computer. The company seems to be working on more features for its non-phone apps, as well, revealing in its announcement that it’s “going to be adding a lot more functionality to [its] apps for Mac and Windows, as well as the Web” this year.

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WhatsApp, biometrics, desktop, web, news, gear
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