Need an existential reason for ditching Alexa? Here are a few

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Alexa’s creepy laugh is far from the most worrying thing about her. This is despite the fact that Amazon’s digital assistant – which allows users to access the internet and control personal organization tools simply by speaking to the device – has been reported to spontaneously chuckle to herself. We shouldn’t be too concerned about her going rogue and turning on us either – a Terminator-style takeover by artificial intelligence doesn’t seem imminent. But Alexa does pose one immediate threat. Rather than worrying about AI becoming more human, we should fear ourselves becoming more artificial by outsourcing important actions and…

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Babies can logically reason even before they can talk

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One-year-old babies may not be able to speak, but they are able to think logically, according to new research that shows the earliest known foundation of our ability to reason.

Legendary psychologist Jean Piaget believed that we didn’t have logical reasoning abilities until we were seven, but scientists scanned the eyes of 48 babies and found that they’re able to reason through the process of elimination. The research was published today in the journal Science.

The type of reasoning in question, process of elimination, is formally called “disjunctive syllogism.” It goes like this: if only A or B can be true, and A is false, then B must be true. So, if the cup is either red or blue, and it is not red, then it is blue. Process of…

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The real reason why the Galaxy S9 doesn’t have an iPhone X notch

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Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X

The Galaxy S9 might not be entirely a Galaxy S8 clone, but it’s not a completely new device either. Samsung refined the design of this year’s Galaxy S flagship, upgrading the hardware and camera in the process. The company did not copy the iPhone X’s notch, which seems like great news from a company whose entire smartphone business was built on copying Apple.

But that doesn’t mean future Samsung phones will all be notchless. Just don’t expect the Galaxy Note 9 to be the first Samsung phone with a working notch.

As I explained before, there will be two types of iPhone X-like notches on smartphones this year, including fake and working ones. The fake notch designs are found on all those cheap iPhone X clones coming out of China that don’t have 3D sensors on the front and therefore lack 3D facial recognition features. All the other ones will have 3D front cameras just like the iPhone X, though some of them may hide the notch using some nifty tricks.

A new research note from TrendForce on Wednesday said that some 197 million smartphones this year will have 3D-sensing modules like the iPhone X — that’ll account for 13.1% of the market, a significant increase compared to last year’s 2.1%. What’s interesting is that 165 million of those will be iPhones, including the iPhone X and its 2018 successors.

The report notes that just two smartphone makers are expected to come up with devices that feature working notches. And they’re both based in China: Huawei and Xiaomi. In fact, Huawei’s first such device will come out later this month: the Huawei P20. But even Huawei’s new phone is expected to feature a rear-facing 3D camera rather than a front one.

It’s not that others do not want the functionality. And Samsung is probably on that list, though TrendForce doesn’t mention the Korean giant in its research note. It’s just that manufacturing components for 3D cameras is challenging right now. There’s not enough supply to satisfy potential demand, and yields are still low. On top of that, Apple has a tight grip on supply. Even if it wanted too, it’s unlikely that Samsung could have added a depth-sensing front-facing camera to the Galaxy S9. And by the way, several rumors from well-placed sources have suggested that Samsung initially did want to add 3D face scanning tech to the Galaxy S9.

Samsung did make several improvements to the facial and iris recognition tech built into high-end smartphones. It’s now called Intelligent Scan on the Galaxy S9, and it’s supposed to be a lot faster than it was before.

Various reports in recent months revealed that Apple did whatever it could to secure a steady supply of TrueDepth camera components, after dealing with plenty of Face ID-related manufacturing issues in the months leading up to the iPhone X launch. One of those moves was signing an exclusive agreement with Lumentum, which would force Android device makers to find other 3D sensing solutions.

Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh was on the defensive in interviews after the Galaxy S9 press event at MWC, where he said that Samsung is no longer trying to be the first. Instead, the company will make products that consumers want to buy. “Being the first turns out to be meaningless today, and our strategy is to launch something that consumers believe meaningful and valuable at a right time,” Koh said.

For Apple, being the first to launch a 3D facial recognition system that actually works might be quite meaningful, it turns out, especially if TrendForce’s report is accurate. In early October, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple’s Face ID camera gives Apple a 2.5-year lead over Android, after previously saying he thought Android handset makers would need one to two years to replicate the feature.

Apple – BGR

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The notch is spreading for no good reason: the MWC was rife with iPhone X lookalikes

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Smartphone makers are like school kids – they see the popular guy wear a weird hat and rush off to the store to buy weird hats too. It’s easier than developing their own style. Apple has been just such a trend-setter in Smartphone High and after successfully undermining the headphone jack, it’s now responsible for an explosion of notches. But screen notches didn’t originate with Apple – time for a detour to History class. As former Motorola designer pointed out on Twitter, the MOTOFONE F3 had a notch way back in 2006. This one barely had an UI, though, so the notch didn’t get in the way….

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Archos made an Echo Show clone running Android Oreo for some reason

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The Amazon Echo Show was the first device in the new ‘smart display’ product category, and Google has begun working with manufacturers to make ones with Google Assistant. French tech company Archos recently announced a scooter running Android Oreo, and now it’s making a strange Echo Show-like device.

The product is named ‘ARCHOS Hello,’ and looks remarkably similar to the Lenovo Smart Display that was announced at CES last month.

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Archos made an Echo Show clone running Android Oreo for some reason was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Nikkei pushing iPhone X production cuts as reason Samsung is looking for OLED screen customers

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A new report suggests that Samsung is "casting about" for OLED panel production, under the premise that it is being caused by soft iPhone X demand and production cuts — which don’t appear to be grounded in reality.
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[Update: Reason] Samsung halts Android 8.0 Oreo rollout to Galaxy S8 and S8+

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Just last week, Samsung began rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo to the Galaxy S8 and S8+ after a roughly three-month beta phase. However, according to SamMobile, it seems like Samsung has suspended the rollout, though the reason behind that decision is unclear. 

The update had already been reaching devices in several countries, including Turkey, Norway, the UAE, India, Belgium, Germany, France, and Poland.

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[Update: Reason] Samsung halts Android 8.0 Oreo rollout to Galaxy S8 and S8+ was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Libratone Q Adapt USB-C earphones review: Pricey, but for good reason

It’s sad, but the headphone jack is being included on fewer and fewer phones every year. Ever since Apple started the trend of relying on one connector with the iPhone 7, Google, HTC, Motorola, and more companies have all released flagship devices without the 3.5mm jack that all of us knew and loved.

Without the headphone jack, people basically have three options for personal audio: dongles, Bluetooth headphones, and USB-C headphones.

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Libratone Q Adapt USB-C earphones review: Pricey, but for good reason was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Facebook gave up on news too soon, for no good reason


Facebook recently announced a major change to its News Feed: Namely, that it was shifting away from brand and news posts and prioritizing what your friends and groups post. This comes after Facebook spent several months being raked across the coals for its inability to police its fake news and propaganda– so it comes across as Facebook not fixing its own problems so much as giving up and excising the symptom completely. Even if Zuckerberg says he wants to bring Facebook back to its roots, it’s also a reaction to outside criticism, one that won’t necessarily fix Facebook’s news problems.…

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