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Facebook investigated for the acquisitions of WhatsApp, Instagram and other companies

If you can't beat them, allies or, better yet, buy them . It is an extreme synthesis, but it gives an idea of ​​the suspicions about the anticompetitive practices that led the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to the decision to investigate the work of Facebook in relation to the numerous acquisitions made over the years. Those of WhatsApp (in 2014) and Instagram (in 2012) are the best known, but are placed in a more articulated strategy through which the company of Mark Zuckerberg has incorporated about 90 companies in the last 15 years.

The purpose of the investigation, which is now brought to the media's attention by The Wall Street Journal , is to establish the exact motivation that prompted Facebook to start such a massive '' buying campaign ' ': it was motivated by the legitimate desire to strengthen the resources at its disposal and to expand business activities or the desire to eliminate potential competitors?

Facebook obviously favors the first hypothesis: during the convening at the United States Congress on 16 July as part of the important Antitrust investigation against web giants , Matt Perault , head of Global Policy Development at Facebook, said that these operations they gave an impulse to innovation and allowed to bring together companies with peculiarities and complementary strengths. The startups and companies that joined Facebook, according to Perault:

as part of Facebook they had more chances to innovate than they would have had on their own.

Among the acquisitions that could be passed under the magnifying glass of the FTC is that of 2013 by Onavo Mobile : as recalled by the US daily, Facebook has used its technology to collect data in order to identify promising companies or new product categories /services. The acquisition of WhatsApp would have been decided precisely by analyzing the data collected by the Onavo Protect app, removed in recent months from the Play Store .

We will have to wait for the outcome of the investigations conducted by the FTC to establish whether the Facebook strategy violates the competition rules. If the social network giant were found guilty, various scenarios would open up: from the cancellation of some of the acquisitions - it is an idea supported by a certain part of the US political class , and not only in relation to Facebook - to the application of limits to the use of acquired resources.

A new difficult period is on the horizon for Facebook, after the record $ 5 billion fine that the FTC ordered last July . 

Linux Mint 19.2 released to the general public

Following a two-week beta phase, the team behind Linux Mint has announced the final release of Linux Mint 19.2. Three editions of the release are available and include the Cinnamon desktop, MATE desktop, and the Xfce desktop. Cinnamon is the main edition while Xfce is oriented toward less powerful computers. MATE is good for those people who prefer the more traditional GNOME 2 experience.

The Cinnamon edition ships with Cinnamon 4.2 which comes with better performance, improved handling of Flatpaks in menus, updated scroll bar settings, better Samba support, and file pinning. The MATE edition comes with MATE 1.22 which brings improved stability and bug fixes, support for metacity-3 themes, better systemd support, desktop notifications for long-running file operations, and a handful of other small tweaks that add a bit of polish to the desktop experience. The Xfce edition ships with Xfce 4.12 which is the same as what shipped in Linux Mint 19.1 so you shouldn’t see much difference with this edition.

There are several changes that apply to all of the editions. The Update Manager now handles kernels better, users can see how long kernel are supported for, you can queue multiple kernels for installation and removal, rather than one by one, and a remove kernels button was added to remove old kernels quickly. There are some other nice additions in the Update Manager such as 90-day warnings before your Linux Mint version expires giving you time to upgrade.

Other changes include XApps improvements, the addition of the Boot-Repair tool to ISO images making it easy to fix boot configuration issues, and theming improvements for better readability. Finally, 22 new wallpapers were added, as is customary, giving you the option to further refresh the look of your desktop.

If you’d like to download the newest version of Linux Mint, head on over to the project website and follow the links through to the edition you’d like to download. If you are planning to upgrade from an older version of Linux Mint, an upgrade path will be made available shortly.


Realme: the smartphone with 64MP cam will be announced on August 8th | official

The first smartphone in the world with 64MP cam made by Realme will be unveiled on 8 August 2019 . The announcement was made by the same Chinese company, which on Twitter confirmed the event to be held in New Delhi. The device will feature a quadruple rear camera with vertically arranged sensors.

The first information on this smartphone had emerged in mid-June thanks to Madhav Sheth, CEO of Realme India, who had confirmed the development of the device anticipating the presence of a photographic compartment equipped with a 64MP GW1 main sensor , 1/1 size , 72 "and 1.6 micron pixels .

The remaining hardware specifications that make up the technical data sheet of the product are unknown, at least for the time being. Appointment therefore to next August 8 to discover all details of this unusual Realme smartphone.


DJI Osmo Mobile 3: first images from the FCC certification

DJI would be completing preparations for the launch of its new smartphone stabilizer , now in its third generation more than a year after Osmo Mobile 2 was released . Not wanting to count the small parenthesis represented by Osmo Pocket , the new model has recently obtained certification from the FCC body.

As reported by blogger Dave Zatz, among the first to spread some images of the new stabilizer taken from the documentation, the grip would seem more ergonomic than the previous models , according to him completely redesigned on this Osmo Mobile 3, in order to be more comfortable.

The remaining elements should not differ too much from the past, the main controls are in fact always at your fingertips , and even the possibility of rotating the smartphone vertically - introduced with Osmo Mobile 2 - would not be missing even in this third version.

Other innovations will probably concern the battery life and a better optimization of the three-axis gimbal technology, useful to cancel the movement and make the shooting more stable. The FCC certification confirms an arrival in a short time , and considering that it is not long before the next IFA 2019 in Berlin, the Chinese company could point precisely to this fair for the official presentation.


Google has been testing Play Pass subscription service behind the scenes

A bit over three months ago, Apple announced its Arcade game subscription service along with an arrival date sometime in the fall of this year. The company won't be holding back in terms of the service's deployment, with more than 150 countries slated to gain access to the service as part of the rollout while enabling customers to sync games and progress across iOS, macOS, and tvOS devices.

Not to be left out, it appears Google has been working behind the scenes on its own subscription service called "Play Pass", with some fresh information coming courtesy of screenshots provided to Android Police. A blurb captured in one of the screenshots says:

"Explore a curated catalog spanning puzzle games to premium music apps and everything in between. From action hits to puzzles and fitness trackers, with Google Play Pass you unlock access to hundreds of premium apps and games without ads, download fees or in-app purchases." 

 Since the leak, a Google spokesperson has indeed confirmed that testing of Play Pass is underway. With Android users having been more spendthrift compared to their iOS counterparts according to a 2014 study, it will be interesting to see how well the adoption of Google's subscription service ends up being in the weeks and months after launch. However, if the price it right, users may see the value proposition in Google's offering.


New ransomware on Android uses SMS to spread

Android is suffering from new ransomware that is spreading using SMS, thus trying to reach as many people as possible.

The latest threats are using a variety of methods to contaminate many phones with the Android system, so be careful when you want to stay protected.

The latest threat to the system is ransomware, which uses SMS to propagate, thus spreading quickly and efficiently to other devices.

Ransomware is malware that is intended to encrypt the files and data of infected phones and computers and to request an amount of money to release this data back to the user.

Android / Filecoder.C is the latest ransomware for the Android system, it started appearing in the middle of this month, and proving to be very efficient in propagating.

Unlike other ransomware, Android / Filecoder.C has an almost unique way of working.

When infecting an Android device, the first thing it does is start encrypting files, but at the same time it starts sending SMS to contacts stored in the phone book, thus trying to trick others by sending text and a malicious link to the phone. ransomware installation on the phone.

So far it has been discovered that there are over 42 different types of messages that have been sent, the intention being that the messages are unique and can really mislead who is receiving.

In addition to sending messages, Android / Filecoder.C has a very different operating mode, it does not encrypt files of less than 150KB nor above 50MB, the basic Android items continue to function normally, including unlocking the phone. no major problems

Files affected and blocked by ransomware are only released when users pay a predefined amount, usually somewhere between 0.01 or 0.02 Bitcoins .

So the best thing to do is not to press links on any unfamiliar pages or SMS, even if they are sent by your friends, before clicking, ask your friend if the message really is true and if it was sent by himself.


Samsung Galaxy Fold's total sales worldwide should reach 1 million units

Samsung Galaxy Fold will try to divert attention from the new iPhone, the first 30 thousand smartphones will be available only in South Korea

Most recently, Samsung has officially confirmed that it has solved all the design flaws of the Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone, due out in September of this year.

The specific date is not named by the manufacturer, however, in a recent article from the Korean edition of The Investor, it is stated that the Samsung Galaxy Fold will be released at home on September 18, 19 or 20. These data surfaced in the course of communication of representatives of the Korean telecommunications company with Samsung.

It is worth paying attention to the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Fold should go on sale in the time interval between the announcement of the new iPhone smartphones and their actual appearance in stores.

Analysts from South Korea suggest that the first 20-30 thousand Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphones will be available exclusively on the South Korean market, where the total sales of the device should exceed 100,000 smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Fold's total sales worldwide should reach 1 million units.

Google's new Android Auto experience will roll out in the coming weeks

Earlier this year, ahead of its I/O developer event, Google revealed a new update for Android Auto, featuring many improvements to the interface. Today, the Mountain View giant has announced that the update will begin rolling out to cars with support for Android Auto over the coming weeks.

The new Android Auto experience includes a series of improvements, starting with a new app drawer that makes it easier to get to your favorite apps faster. You'll also notice the Google Assistant badge next to some apps, which means you can tap them and interact with the app using your voice. For example, you can add a calendar event using the Assistant.

Android Auto will do a better job of resuming your experiences, too, so whenever you start the car, you'll be right back where you left off, so you can continue listening to a podcast or a specific playlist. it can also present you your preferred navigation app as soon as you connect to your car, and if you already have directions ready to go on your phone, your car's display will show you those, too, and start guiding you to your destination.

Other UI improvements include the new navigation bar at the bottom, providing quick access to playback controls or navigation directions, while also giving you access to your notifications, app drawer, and Google Assistant. Speaking of notifications, there's a new place to view and manage them, and you can use voice activation to send messages, make calls, or ask to hear your notifications. Finally, the UI will also adapt to wider in-car screens, using the additional space to house playback controls, for instance.

Most of these enhancements had been announced already, and the real news is that it's rolling out in the coming weeks. Additionally, Google has revealed that this Android Auto experience won't be on your phone's screen. Instead, Android Auto on your phone is evolving into the new driving mode for Google Assistant, which was also announced at I/O this year.


Qualcomm and Tencent together for 5G and mobile gaming

Qualcomm and Tencent will collaborate in the mobile gaming sector : in practice, the two companies will optimize the performance of TenCent games on some Qualcomm chips, and will produce a 5G version of the ASUS ROG Phone 2 ( Video Preview ). The involvement of the Chinese company in the development of ASUS's recent gaming smartphone was already evident with the announcement of a special variant , precisely "TenCent Edition", characterized by more conservative memory cuts and an extremely attractive price.

The Qualcomm SoCs affected by the initiative are those that fall under the Snapdragon Elite Gaming program - a subset of processors that, according to the manufacturer, guarantee maximum performance to video game enthusiasts. The brand was inaugurated a few months ago, and currently includes the only Snapdragon 855 , the top-of-the-line chip that we have seen in most of this year's flagships.

The decision to collaborate in the creation of a ROG Phone 2 5G is particularly important for TenCent, which is developing a mobile cloud gaming service. The greater speed of the network, added to the lower latencies, will be crucial for the success of the initiative.


MediaTek Helio G90, G90T Officially Announced to Help Make Gaming Phones Affordable

The mobile gaming industry has swelled exponentially over the past year, thanks to one battle royale title, witnessing a major shift in what users desire from their smartphones. This led Qualcomm to unveil their first-ever gamer-centric chipset earlier this year. Well, the American chipmaker has since also launched a souped-up variant of its Snapdragon 855 flagship chipset as well.

MediaTek has been rumored to be launching a new chipset to take on Qualcomm’s ever-growing dominance. And well, it’s doing just that with the launch of its first dedicated gamer-centric Helio G90 and G90T chipset. They’ll enable low-latency, stutter-free gameplay and better performance at lower price points.

MediaTek Helio G90 series includes octa-core chipsets, which utilize the Cortex-A76 and Cortex-A55 CPU architecture. These are paired with the Mali-G76 3EEMC4 GPU, with speeds of up to 800MHz. This is higher than even the 672MHz overclock speed of the Adreno 640 GPU in Snapdragon 855 Plus. You can include up to 10GB of LPDDR4x RAM, with peak frequency up to 2133MHz. MediaTek has also bundled a large L3 cache and is offering speeds up to 2.05GHz for smoother gameplay and app performance.

Boasting about the capabilities of the new Helio G90 chipset, TL Lee, General Manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communication business unit in an official statement said, “With the Helio G90 series, you get a super-fast and responsive display, reduced lag for smoother gameplay – because every millisecond counts in the gaming world. Whether it’s Fortnite, PUBG or other top titles, this chip is a gaming powerhouse.”

One of the most striking features of the Helio G90 & G90T chipsets has to be MediaTek’s HyperEngine game technology. It’s a software feature which is said to ‘tune the entire smartphone for the greatest gaming experience possible.’ HyperEngine is a collection of software features that sees to the fact that the gameplay isn’t hampered in any possible way.

MediaTek Helio G90 will allow the smartphone to connect with two Wi-Fi bands (both the 2.4GHz/5GHz) for improved latency, won’t drop the data connection when you receive a call, and kick in WiFi+LTE concurrency when the network quality starts to degrade. This chipset also packs a rapid response engine to improve in-game action-to-display speeds using touch acceleration.

The HyperEngine also works to deliver optimum performance via CPU and GPU resource management, improving power consumption for longer gameplay times. Finally, it packs support for HDR10 standard with a 10-bit color depth for vivid photos on HDR-supported screens.

Moving past the hardware specs, the Helio G90 series also supports up to 64MP cameras because that’s the latest fad. Phone makers can use multi-camera configurations, with a triple-ISP design backing the hardware. This helps optimize power and performance while also offering night shot mode, AI facial unlock, and much more.

MediaTek hasn’t pointed out the difference in the Helio G90 and G90T chipset, but we’re assuming that it’s got to do with peak clock frequency. We should expect to see phones (possibly, first from Realme) powered by the Helio G90 in the next couple of months. Do tell us your opinion on this gamer-centric chipset in the comments below.

Google's Soli radar will be included in its Pixel 4 smartphones

Due out in October, Google has pretty much been developing its upcoming Pixel 4 handsets in the open. In fact, it even released the above renders on Twitter last month. Now, the Mountain View firm has announced some new features that will be included in the new devices.

The new features revolve around Soli, a motion-sensing radar. As Google points out, radar has been used for years for things like sensing aircrafts, and this is a scaled down version of that. The handsets will have a Motion Sense feature, which will let you do things like "skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand."

If you follow the smartphone industry closely, you'll surely draw some parallels to LG's G8 ThinQ, which had a similar feature called Air Motion, although it worked differently. Hopefully, it will work better than we found that LG's implementation worked in our review.

With Soli, Google is also promising better facial recognition. Rather than forcing users to lift their phone before ever scanning their face, the Pixel 4 will sense you reaching for your phone and it will start looking for your face immediately. Google also made a point of saying that the images used for facial recognition are never sent back to its services, and it's all stored securely on your device.

If Google follows its previous patterns, there should be a Made By Google event in early October this year where the Pixel 4 series of smartphones will be announced.

The user manual contains the most detailed list of Samsung Galaxy Note10 + specifications

Stylus S-Pen, like the smartphone itself, is characterized by the degree of protection IP68

The site Slashleaks published the most detailed list of characteristics of the flagship smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note10 +, which was taken from the official user guide.

So, the Samsung Galaxy Note10 will be equipped with a Samsung Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED screen with a diagonal of 6.8 inches and a resolution of 3040 x 1440 pixels. It supports HDR10 extended dynamic range, has a blue filter and is protected by Gorilla Glass 6.

Specifically, this Samsung Galaxy Note10 + is equipped with a single-chip Samsung Exynos 9825 system, 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of fast UFS 3.0 flash memory. The battery capacity is 4300 mAh. The smartphone supports 45-watt wired charging and 20-watt wireless.

Stylus S-Pen, like the smartphone itself, is characterized by the degree of protection IP68. It recognizes 4096 degrees of depression, the delay does not exceed 70 ms. It supports gesture control, translation functions and smart selection.

Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is built under the surface of the screen, and the smartphone also recognizes users by faces. He received AKG stereo speakers, support for Dolby Atomos and all popular audio formats.

Image sensors of 12, 16 and 12 megapixel resolution will be installed in the main camera. The main module will have a variable aperture from F / 1.5 to F / 2.4. Two more lenses have an aperture of F / 2.2 and F / 2.1. A 10 megapixel front camera got a lens with an aperture of F / 2.1. The main camera will support video in 4K resolution at 60 fps with an extended dynamic range.

Dimensions of the smartphone are 162.3 x 77.1 x 7.9 mm with a mass of 198 g. Out of the box, the smartphone will run Android 9 Pie with the One UI shell.

The announcement will take place on August 7, and the Samsung Galaxy Note10 + will go on sale on August 23.

Xiaomi, TENAA certified 5G smartphone: it could be new Mi Mix

A mysterious Xiaomi smartphone with model number M1908F1XE appeared in the TENAA database. No specific techniques are reported, except that it will have new-generation cellular connectivity , ie 5G . We know that this is a very sophisticated and still niche technology, basically reserved for the top of the range (for example, take Mate 20 X 5G , Galaxy S10 5G , Oppo Reno 5G and the same Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G ), which narrows the field to a limited number of devices. The most plausible hypothesis is Xiaomi Mi Mix 4, a terminal that should be presented this fall and that historically ranks at the top end of the market.

The similarity with the code name of Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S , which was M1803D5XE, however, leaves the possibilities open to even a Mi Mix 3S. In fact, Xiaomi's plans are not entirely clear: it is a foregone conclusion that a new smartphone from the Mi Mix family is in development , and the timing makes the hypothesis Mi Mix 4 more plausible, but for now we are moving a lot in uncertainty . It is true that Wang Teng, senior executive of Xiaomi, turned to his fans on Weibo talking about the device on two occasions, and hinting at the possibility of a periscopic camera and a "record" wireless charging, faster than seen in any other smartphone on the market to date. They look like changes from a new model, not a simple refresh. We'll see.


MacBook Pro 16 ": keys with scissor mechanism and debut in September | Rumor

The waltz of rumors continues incessantly about the 16 "MacBook Pro : the rumor that would like a release early in September , as initially supposed by IHS Markit (see article below) and as reiterated by Digitimes in these last hours According to the source, in fact, Apple would have asked Quanta to produce the laptop, making it ready for the debut already in late summer.

According to the latest information, Apple would have completely changed the butterfly mechanism that distinguishes the latest generations of Macbook keyboards. The new 16-inch, and suppose the whole new generation, could adopt a scissor system able to improve not only the comfort of writing but, above all, the resistance of the keys. The problem of the butterfly system is in fact linked to its fragility and its rather short duration.


Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro could arrive this October, and could be the most expensive ever : according to the Taiwanese financial newspaper , the starting price would be over $ 3,000 . The sources, to be found as usual among suppliers , indicate that the laptop will still be equipped with an LCD display, not OLED, and that will have a resolution of 3,072 x 1,920 pixels.The material production will be divided between Foxconn and Quanta, two of the largest electronic device manufacturers in the world, who work regularly for Apple and other large companies in the sector.

Most of the juicy information, such as technology / display size and release window, has been substantially disclosed in the past by other sources. IHS Markit had made substantially similar forecasts , indicating however the arrival in September instead of October (they could also have reasons both: a date could refer to the presentation and one to the actual availability).

In any case, since 2012 , when Apple withdrew the 17 "MacBook Pro , users of the Apple have 15" displays as the maximum size available.


Huawei, Kirin top range with integrated 5G modem later this year | Rumor

Huawei could present two top-of-the-line SoCs by the end of the year: in addition to the already planned Kirin 985 , whose debut should take place with the launch of Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro , a chip with an integrated 5G modem would be coming ; it would be the first on the market, given that so far all processors with support for 5G networks rely on external modems mounted on the motherboard. For example, staying at Huawei, the Mate 20 X uses a normal Kirin 980 with integrated 4G modem, while 5G connectivity is guaranteed by the "external" Balong 5000 modem .

The solution of the external modem is naturally temporary for everyone. It allowed the arrival of 5G more quickly, but it has important negative aspects to take into account, including greater consumption and more space occupied on the motherboard - and in a smartphone every square millimeter is precious.

The indiscretion, which comes from the respected Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei , does not dwell on the possible technical details of the new SoC. We do not know if Huawei will be able to keep the Kirin 985 features unchanged and simply include a 5G modem instead of the 4G one, or it will have to compromise. Also for this chip, however, the debut should take place on a Mate, specifically the 5G variant of the 30 , whose presentation is scheduled for December .