Report says Huawei-AT&T deal collapsed after US lawmakers raised concerns over it

We already know the Huawei-AT&T deal over selling the Mate 10 Pro didn’t materialize, and the former even confirmed it indirectly. There was, however, no information on exactly why that happened. Until now that is, as a new report says the collaboration couldn’t see the light of the day after US lawmakers raised concerned over it. Here’s what the report said: The AT&T deal died a few weeks after members of the U.S. Senate and House intelligence committees wrote to the Federal Communications Commission raising concerns about reports that Huawei had struck a deal with a major…

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Jimmy Iovine says he’s staying at Apple, rumors ‘had nothing to do with reality’

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Industry big shot and Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine reiterated his commitment to the company on Monday, saying he’s "loyal to the guys at Apple" and has no plans to leave.
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J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Says He Regrets Calling Bitcoin a Fraud

Bitcoin Regret

After the highs and lows seen by bitcoin in 2017, J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has publicly changed his opinion of the cryptocurrency. Back in September, Dimon called bitcoin a fraud and elaborated: “it’s just not a real thing, eventually it will be closed,” and “if you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price for it one day.”  But Dimon has changed his tune, now saying on Fox Business that “the Blockchain is real,” and he regrets calling bitcoin a fraud.

Despite taking back last year’s inflammatory statements, Dimon still has some reservations about the cryptocurrency. He is unsure of how “governments are going to feel about bitcoin when it gets really big,” a widely shared concern as the currency has gone up over 1,500 percent within the past year alone.

Crypto Opinions

Dimon is not alone in his controversial opinions about bitcoin and the concept of cryptocurrency. Recently, Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette publicly stated that the true value of bitcoin may well be zero and it cannot even be considered a true currency because it doesn’t have an associated interest rate. He believes that because only few retailers currently accept payments in bitcoin, its real value would plummet should the number shrink further, possibly reaching zero.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told Bloomberg that bitcoin “ought to be outlawed.” He doesn’t see the crypto serving any useful social function and noted that it could easily be taken down by regulation alone.

There is certainly a host of legitimate criticisms of cryptocurrency as a concept. For instance, it was found that mining bitcoin uses more energy than what is consumed yearly by 159 individual countries. Also, there is still a sizable gap between the currency and consumer use in a retail environment. However, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin do have the potential to contribute to sustainable living and advancing technologies, like autonomous vehicles, that may one day contributing to saving lives.

 

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Says He Regrets Calling Bitcoin a Fraud appeared first on Futurism.

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Apple says it will introduce new features to help parents protect children

Apple says it has new features and enhancements in the pipeline to help parents control children’s use of iPhones and other devices. The company was responding to a pair of Apple shareholders who wrote an open letter last week arguing that the iPhone-maker needs to tackle what’s seen as a “growing public health crisis” of smartphone addiction in young people.

In a statement released to The Wall Street Journal and other outlets, Apple said: “We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust.” The company also stressed that it takes the issue of mobile addiction among young people very seriously:

“We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they…

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U.S. Senate will vote on reversal of net neutrality repeal, Markey says

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The federal government will wrestle with the issue of net neutrality at least once more, as advocates have secured the necessary support in the U.S. Senate to force a vote on the issue.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

No Dolby Atmos on Oreo-powered Galaxy S8/S8+, Samsung says

Late last week, a leaked stable Oreo ROM for Samsung Galaxy S8 revealed Dolby Atmos support. However, the South Korean company clarified that there are no plans to add such a feature. The comment was made by a member of Samsung’s UK Beta Team. Last week’s leak even included a screenshots of the feature, so Samsung denial comes as a bit of surprise. It’s possible the feature will eventually arrive, just that the first stable Oreo build won’t have it. Thanks for the tip, Pranjal!!!

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Apple responds to investor criticism over heavy smartphone use by children, says parental controls already in place

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Responding to recent criticism over the potential negative impact smartphone use might have on children, Apple on Monday said it has long provided device owners, specifically parents, with a number of controls and built-in protections to safeguard young users.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Elon Musk Says Tesla’s First Pickup Truck Will Be Larger Than an F-150

Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted at when the company would build its all-electric pick-up truck.

Musk said via Twitter on Tuesday, December 26, that the company plans to build the consumer truck right after Tesla finishes its Model Y SUV, which is slated to begin production in late 2019 or early 2020. So that means it’s likely to be another two to three more years before Tesla’s pick-up hits the market.

“I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y. Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years. Am dying to build it,” Musk said.

Elon tweet
Image Credit: Elon Musk/Twitter

While Tesla won’t begin to make the truck for a few more years, there’s a good chance we could get a sneak peek of the vehicle as soon as this year.

In April, Musk said to expect the company to reveal the pick-up truck in 18 to 24 months, which means the company could unveil it anytime between October 2018 and April 2019.

Given that Tesla generally reveals its cars a year before it actually begins production, Musk’s timeline of when the company will begin making the pick-up makes sense.

Musk also said via Twitter that the truck would likely be a little larger than an F150 and that it may have a ‘gamechanging’ feature, but he did not share any details about what that feature might be.

Elon Tweet about pickup truck feature
Image Credit: Elon Musk/Twitter

Musk, of course, has been talking about building a pick-up truck for a while.

In 2013, he told Business Insider that Tesla planned to build a truck, but he said that it would likely be five years before the company would get to it. And in July 2016, he reiterated in his Master Plan Part Deux that the company was working on vehicles to address all segments, including pick-ups.

Pick-up trucks aren’t the only new segment Tesla is pushing into.

In November, Tesla also revealed its first electric semi-truck for commercial use. The vehicle has 500 miles of range per charge, can go from 0-60 mph in five seconds without a trailer attached, and will go into production in 2019.

The post Elon Musk Says Tesla’s First Pickup Truck Will Be Larger Than an F-150 appeared first on Futurism.

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A Former Facebook VP Says Social Media Is Destroying Society. And He’s Right.

Feedback Loop

Speaking at a recent event at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Chamath Palihapitiya – a former vice president for user growth at Facebook – expressed a concern that social media platforms have become “tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”

Palihapitiya brought up the example of a WhatsApp hoax campaign in India that led to a string of lynchings. However, new technology is also having more subtle effects on the way that we interact with one another.

“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” said Palihapitiya, according to a report from The Verge. Interactions such as ‘liking’ a photograph or ‘favoriting’ a tweet are perhaps more about short-term gratification than the basis for meaningful communication and relationships, Palihapitiya suggested.

“I think that Pallhapitiya points out a very real issue regarding social media and immediate gratification,” said Lizbeth M. Kim, a doctoral candidate in social psychology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Penn State whose research looks at social media, to Futurism. “I view his message as an important reminder of the part of the picture that we may often willfully ignore.”

She emphasized that today’s social media platforms allow for anyone’s message to be heard, amplified, and given credibility. This can allow for anything from small-scale cases of cyberbullying to much broader harassment campaigns to take root.

We’ve seen that terrorist groups have used the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in an attempt to attract new recruits. Smartphone usage has been linked to teen depression and suicide, although there are now attempts to use artificial intelligence to watch out for users who might be at risk.

Like any kind of new technology, the impact of social media is a reflection of its user base. There’s always a capacity for people to misuse the tools that are available to them – but there are also very real benefits if used positively.

Social Hierarchy

“While there is increasing public attention placed on the ‘dark side’ of social media, in my work, I’m curious about what happens when people try to use social media platforms for the greater good,” said Kim.

Social media has all kind of benefits, like making useful information available to the general public, helping to build communities, and allowing for links between different social groups. However, people’s overt behavior on social media is only one part of the equation – the reactions to that behavior should also be taken into account.

Kim performed a study where subjects were shown a fictitious comment thread where one user confronted another for making a sexist comment. Responses to that thread proved to be different depending on whether the person doing the confronting was male or female, with the latter being perceived as less likable and more angry.

A male-presenting and female-presenting person, no faces shown, use a tablet and a laptop. Research has shown that social media users respond to people very differently depending on their perceived genders.
Image Credit: rawpixel/Pixabay

“People who saw the female confronter perceived the sexist perpetrator as more credible compared to when seeing the male confronter,” said Kim. “So, the same altruistic online behavior can be perceived differently based on subtle cues and stereotypes about identity and credibility.”

There are distinct differences between the way we interact with one another in person, and the way we communicate online. When we can disassociate the individual from their social media account, it’s easier to mistreat people, ranging from minor misdeeds to more serious transgressions.

“It is difficult to make a singular claim about the effects of social media on modern-day relationships,” said Kim. “As time goes on and more research is done to examine this, I think we will have a more nuanced idea about the specific features and activities built into websites like Facebook that are contributing to these positive and negative outcomes.”

It’s important to remember that social media is still a relatively new phenomenon, even though it’s become a huge part of everyday life for lots of people. We’re still learning about its effect on society at large – and it’s important that we consider both the good and bad that come from it.

The post A Former Facebook VP Says Social Media Is Destroying Society. And He’s Right. appeared first on Futurism.

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