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Are foldable smartphones the next big thing?

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Samsung has wrapped its latest Galaxy Unpacked event, announcing two foldables, new smartwatches, and an update to its Galaxy Buds Pro line

Tech commentator Trevor Long, who was at the event, and tech expert Greg Nibler unpack the biggest announcements

What’s changed?

Taking a look at the Galaxy Zed Flip 4, Samsung hasn’t changed the overall design – but new features include the ability to see selfie previews on the cover screen and fast charging.

At a slightly higher cost, there’s the Galaxy Zed Fold 4.

This design remains largely the same, but Samsung has made some big changes to the cameras.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4

What’s probably most interesting about this latest product launch is Samsung’s wearables push.

At the Unpacked event, the tech giant finally unveiled its Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

After serious battery life complaints, the new devices both boast bigger batteries, faster charging, and increased durability.

What was the actual event like?

Tech commentator Trevor Long joined TICKER NEWS live in New York to detail the experience.

“It was still a bit of a hybrid experience. Because this wasn’t a fully in person thing. So basically, all the gathered media were were in a room together. But there was still just a visual presentation or a short introduction from one of their executives to the same visual presentation is pretty much everyone saw on their live stream,” he says.

“But of course, we then got the opportunity to go and go hands on with all the devices. And it’s fascinating in both London and New York, they’ve set up large experience areas where the general public will be able to come through over the next few weeks and actually touch and feel and experience these devices,

“I think it’s a very smart move from Samsung, because the category is still so new. It’s been around for a few years.”

Are people warming to foldable smart phones?

Tech expert Greg Nibler says there were a lot of issues that came out and some kind of bad publicity with Galaxy fold phones, “but it feels like they’ve worked on that quite a bit”.

“Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of people that have been purchasing these overall so far. But I think just the fact that Samsung keeps on pushing this there, regardless of anything that happens, they are going to keep on making these foldable phones because they believe that this is something that people are going to want.”

Meanwhile, Trevor longs believes foldable phones won’t go mainstream.

However, he is in New York with Samsung Australia and was talking to their executive vice president about the demand.

“And he (Aus VP) said they’re seeing nearly 300% demand. Now that’s not purchasing, but they see interest at a peak, the amount of searches and things that are going on. So it there’s definitely demand there.”

But the VP also told Trevor that there will come a time (he didn’t put a date on it) but there will come a time “when the folding format is the primary format”.

Long also commented on the more refined general design.

“I think people will have trust in the fact that they are durable too.”

When is Apple going to come out with their own foldable device?

“I don’t even think it’s going to be this year, probably next year, maybe sometime Apple will do it,” Long says.

Apple

“Apple doesn’t really have something to compare directly. But we’re coming to the watch side. I do think you know, the Galaxy watches certainly made some improvements with this five and the five pro you mentioned the battery life. That’s pretty impressive specs, they said I believe was 40 hours for the watch five and up to 80 hours for the five pro if you’re not using everything on it. That’s, that’s really great..

But is that going to be enough to convince somebody who’s an Apple Watch user to switch out of that ecosystem? Long says “I doubt it.”

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Meta’s plans to hide nudity from Instagram DMs

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Instagram, owned by Meta, announced plans to introduce features that will blur messages containing nudity in an effort to protect teenagers and prevent potential scammers from targeting them.

Meta’s decision comes amidst growing concerns regarding harmful content on its platforms, especially concerning the mental well-being of young users.

The technology giant has faced increasing scrutiny in both the United States and Europe, with accusations that its apps contribute to addiction and exacerbate mental health issues among adolescents.

According to Meta, the new protection feature for Instagram’s direct messages will utilise on-device machine learning to analyse whether an image sent through the service contains nudity.

This feature will be enabled by default for users under the age of 18, with adults being encouraged to activate it as well.

Meta said that because the image analysis occurs on the device itself, the nudity protection feature will function even in end-to-end encrypted chats, where Meta does not have access to the content unless it is reported by users.

unsplash_image @ Unsplash

Direct messages

Unlike Meta’s Messenger and WhatsApp apps, direct messages on Instagram are not currently encrypted.

However, Meta has stated its intention to implement encryption for Instagram’s direct messages in the future.

Additionally, Meta revealed that it is developing technology to identify accounts potentially involved in sextortion scams. The company is also testing new pop-up messages to alert users who may have interacted with such accounts.

This latest move follows Meta’s announcement in January that it would restrict more content from teens on Facebook and Instagram, aiming to reduce their exposure to sensitive topics such as suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders.

Meta’s efforts to enhance safety measures come amid legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny.

Attorneys general from 33 U.S. states, including California and New York, filed a lawsuit against the company in October, alleging repeated misrepresentation of the dangers associated with its platforms.

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Fake AI law firms avert copyright for SEO gains

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It’s been revealed that fake AI-driven law firms are resorting to sending fabricated DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) infringement notices to website owners.

These deceptive practices aim to generate artificial Search Engine Optimization gains through the manipulation of backlinks, casting a shadow on the integrity of online legal proceedings.

The issue was brought to attention when Ernie Smith, a prominent writer behind the newsletter Tedium, found himself targeted by one such fraudulent firm named “Commonwealth Legal.” Representing the “Intellectual Property division” of Tech4Gods, the purported law firm accused Smith of copyright infringement over a photo of a keyfob sourced from Unsplash, a legitimate photo service.

The firm demanded immediate action to add a credit link to Tech4Gods and threatened further legal action if compliance was not met within five business days.

However, a closer examination revealed glaring inconsistencies with Commonwealth Legal’s legitimacy.

Despite claiming to be based in Arizona, the firm’s website domain was registered with a Canadian IP location, raising doubts about its authenticity.

AI-generated faces

The attorneys listed on the website displayed eerie characteristics common to AI-generated faces, casting doubt on their existence.

Further investigation revealed that these fake law firms resort to such deceitful tactics to manipulate backlinks, which are crucial for improving a website’s search engine ranking.

Backlinks from reputable sites contribute to SEO, and exploiting this vulnerability, fake firms attempt to boost their clients’ online presence through artificial means.

The sinister nature of these actions extends beyond mere SEO manipulation.

They undermine the trust in legal proceedings and pose a threat to the integrity of online content. The emergence of AI-driven deception in legal matters underscores the need for vigilant scrutiny and robust measures to combat such fraudulent activities.

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Air Force secretary to fly in AI-operated F-16 fighter jet

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Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall announced his intention to ride in the cockpit of an aircraft operated by artificial intelligence later this spring.

Speaking before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel, Kendall said the pivotal role of autonomously operated drones in shaping the future of the Air Force’s fleet.

During the committee hearing, Kendall revealed plans to board an F-16 aircraft that has been converted for drone flight, highlighting the Air Force’s commitment to integrating AI technologies into its operations.

This move comes as part of Kendall’s push to acquire over 1,000 AI-operated drones, marking a significant step toward modernizing the military branch’s capabilities.

Kendall expressed confidence in the autonomous technology, stating, “There will be a pilot with me who will just be watching, as I will be, as the autonomous technology works. Hopefully neither he nor I will be needed to fly the airplane.”

US, Philippines to announce new sites for U.S. military as soon as …

AI-guided planes

The announcement follows the Pentagon’s initiative to develop new AI-guided planes, with contracts awarded to several private companies to compete in the Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) project. This $6 billion program aims to bolster the Air Force’s drone fleet, providing support for human-piloted jets and enhancing overall operational capabilities.

Among the companies competing for the CCA project are industry giants such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, underscoring the significant investment and interest in AI-enabled defense technologies.

The adoption of AI-driven drones represents a strategic effort by the Pentagon to enhance military innovation and cost-efficiency.

By deploying AI-enabled autonomous vehicles, the military aims to achieve greater flexibility and effectiveness in combat scenarios while minimizing risks to manned aircraft.

While details regarding the appearance and capabilities of the AI-operated drones remain undisclosed, Kendall emphasized their potential to disrupt and counter sophisticated air defense systems, ultimately safeguarding national security interests.

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