HTC will stop making cheap phones this year

HTC will exit the entry-level smartphone market later this year, the company announced during its earnings call earlier this week, according to Phonescoop. This time around HTC says it will release six or seven phones this year, so there is still a number of devices the company has under wraps.  read more »

Huawei will have its own voice assistant in China

Fresh off integrating Amazon's Alexa in the Huawei Mate 9, the world's third biggest smartphone manufacturer is now also working on crafting its own voice assistant, specifically tailored for China. A report from Bloomberg has illuminated some of the work going on behind the scenes, but Huawei has already been upfront about its plans on this front. During CES in January, Huawei mobile chief Richard Yu told The Verge in a group briefing with other members of the press, including Bloomberg, that Huawei was planning a voice assistant only for its home market of China.  read more »

New bill would require cops to get warrants for Stingray cell tracking

A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers today introduced a bill that would require US police agencies to obtain a warrant before deploying cell-site simulation surveillance devices known as “stingrays,” reports USA Today. Stingrays are typically used by police to triangulate a criminal suspect’s location based on data emitted from their smartphones or wearable devices with cellular connectivity. Stingrays are a controversial form of surveillance technology as it can accurately pinpoint a suspect’s location, but can also intercept data from innocent bystanders.  read more »

The Growler Chill looks like a smarter way to drink beer at home

Growlers are a great way to buy beer from your local bar or brewery, but they tend to go stale or flat after a couple of days. There have been a few attempts to solve this problem by replicating the tap experience of a bar at your home, but nothing I’ve seen solves the issue as completely as the Growler Chill, a countertop tap system that’s currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. In addition to just keeping your growlers cold and pressurized so they last longer, the Growler Chill has some thoughtful design touches.  read more »

NASA is thinking about putting astronauts on the first flight of its future giant rocket

NASA is mulling over the idea of putting astronauts on the first flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) — the giant heavy-lift rocket the space agency is building to take people to Mars someday. Currently, NASA is hoping to fly the SLS for the first time in fall of 2018, and the original plan was for that mission to be uncrewed.  read more »

​SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom demonstrate 5G roaming via network slicing

SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, and Ericsson have successfully demonstrated federated network slicing for 5G roaming.  read more »

The next iPhone’s fingerprint sensor could be like nothing you’ve ever seen

The iPhone might get a display like no other smartphone out there, and it’s all starting with the iPhone 8. The device is rumored to have an all-screen front-side featuring minimal bezels and no home button. The fingerprint sensor should be embedded in the screen, and there’s indirect evidence that Apple might also include other front-facing sensors in the display. That’s something that nobody has pulled off so far, not even the upcoming Galaxy S8. Due in mid-April, the Galaxy S8’s top bezel is supposed to house various sensors, including the front camera and iris scanner. Even if Apple doesn't ditch iPhone bezels completely this year, the iPhone will still have amazing display technology in the not too distant future. The company is looking at ways that would allow it to integrate sensors, fingerprint scanner included, without increasing the display’s size or energy consumption. First seen by Apple Insider , USPTO patent no. 9,570,002 was awarded to Apple on Tuesday. Titled Interactive display panel with IR diodes , the document describes technology that would let Apple ship a screen that could scan a person’s fingerprints without requiring a Touch ID sensor to be placed within or under the screen itself. The technology “use a micro light emitting diode (LED) in an active matrix display to emit light and a sensing IR diode to sense light.” That means the screen would display information, but it’ll also react to a person’s fingerprints. In addition to that, the tech could be used to replace other front-facing sensors, including ambient light sensors and proximity sensors. That would let Apple dispense of other sensors that occupy the front side of the phone, and take up internal space, in favor of a screen that would pack all these features. Apple’s new micro LED touchscreens could incorporate a different pixel arrangement than what you’d used to seeing in a phone. An interactive pixels subpixel arrangement would consist of red, green, blue, IR emitting, and IR sensing LEDs, or RGBIRSIR. The result would be a high-resolution display capable of performing tasks that do not require showing images. The patent describing the technology also suggests that features like scanning a fingerprint might take place even when the screen is off, which would make the iPhone even more energy-efficient. As exciting as it may sound, the patent wasn’t filed by Apple initially. Instead, it’s LuxVue the company that studied this particular micro-LED type of displays. Apple bought the company back in 2014, and it looks like its technology will be put to good use. If you think micro-LED sounds familiar, but you can’t quite put your finger on it, that’s because we’ve heard about Apple’s interest in such screen tech before. In late 2015, reports indicated that Apple is working on micro-LED technology at a secret laboratory in Taiwan. Those reports noted that Apple is looking to create thinner and more energy-efficient products that would feature better, higher-resolution displays. Furthermore, a secondary report suggested that Apple might use these micro-LED displays to create 3D holographic iPhone screens in the future. Apple has patents detailing such screen technology as well.

Signal’s newest update introduces video calling and a privacy issue

Encrypted communication app Signal is bringing video calling to both its Android and iOS users in a new update today. CallKit, a new iOS 10 feature, makes Signal act more like the regular phone app. Video calling is also optional.  read more »

Record-breaking 104 satellites to launch on a single rocket from India tonight

This evening, an Indian PSLV rocket will launch from Sriharikota, India, carrying a gigantic haul of satellites into space. Up to 104 satellites are perched on top of the vehicle — the largest crop of satellites to ever launch on a single rocket at once before. A big chunk of those space probes — 88, in fact — belong to Planet, a US private imaging company with high ambitions of continuously monitoring the Earth from space.  read more »

Recorded Future expands platform to scan every source on the web for digital threats

The threat intelligence platform can now track data across everything from the clear web to closed, underground forums.  read more »

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