10 Tech News Roundup #12

Here are 10 tech news that I found interesting.

Apple’s record services revenue suggests growth in Apple Pay, Apple Music – Everyone’s favorite almost-trillion-dollar company reported fourth quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday. And while much of the attention was on stellar iPhone sales, Apple wants to make sure that people know its services business is doing great, too. Techcrunch

Twitter employee deactivates Trump’s account on their last day – President Trump’s infamous Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump went offline briefly on Thursday, setting forth a wave of confusion and emotions. Techcrunch

Dashlane universal password manager comes to Linux, Chromebook and Microsoft EdgeDashlane, a popular password manager that now reaches 9 million users, is launching today on Linux, Chromebook, and in Microsoft Edge for the first time. The company before required users to install its desktop software to work with web browsers, but with today’s release of Dashlane 5, the software is available as an extension that works directly in the browser. The update also includes other improvements for mobile, like support for Face ID on iPhone X and automatic app logins on Android. Techcrunch

The iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera could be a privacy nightmare – The iPhone X is officially here, and with it comes a bevy of new bells and whistles that Apple promises justify the smartphone’s hefty price tag.

Microsoft’s new HoloLens business push includes 29 new countries – Microsoft first unveiled its HoloLens headset almost three years ago, and the company continues to sell them to developers and commercial customers. While HoloLens seemed like a product that would change a lot over time, Microsoft appears to have found specific customers that are willing to adopt the headsets early: firstline workers and information workers. These might not be consumers at home running around playing games with HoloLens, but the headsets are now being widely used in organizations for remote assistance, training, and prototyping. The Verge

Google is apparently shipping some Pixel 2 XLs without an operating system – Google’s new Pixel 2 XL has been beset by a host of problems since release, ranging from possible issues of screen burn in to a weird clicking noise to failing a quality control test to shipping with empty packaging for a non-existent pair of wired Pixel Buds. The Verge

Razer unveils its first smartphone, the gamer-focused Razer Phone – Razer at a press event in London on Wednesday unveiled its first-ever smartphone, the Razer Phone. Described by CEO Min-Liang Tan as the ultimate in mobile entertainment, the Razer Phone features a 5.7-inch, 120Hz Sharp IGZO display with Ultramotion adaptive refresh rate technology and a quad HD resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. Techspot

Nvidia Charts AI Inroads, Inference Challenge at DC Event – As developers flock to artificial intelligence frameworks in response to the explosion of intelligence machines, training deep learning models has emerged as a priority along with syncing them to a growing list of neural and other network designs. HPC Wire

Bitcoin hits all-time high after CME Group says to launch futures – Bitcoin jumped to an all-time high above US$6,300 on Tuesday, after the world’s largest futures market operator CME Group said it would launch a regulated trading venue for cryptocurrencies in the fourth quarter of 2017. Channel Newsasia

Grab, the Uber rival in Southeast Asia, is now officially also a digital payments companyGrab is best known for rivaling Uber in Southeast Asia, but today the company took a major step into becoming a fintech player, too. Techcrunch

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Latest Technology Tidbits 2

LaterPay enters the US market with its media payment technology

Dated: 11 August 2017

Read More: LaterPay brings its media payment technology to the US

Summary:

Media companies will now gain access through LaterPay to a new form of business model that will allow them to monetize various pieces of content or getting users to buy a pass to their sites for a limited period of time.

It does sounds a lot like micropayment. When it comes to the internet, micropayment as a model tends to fall flat. Cosmin Ene, LaterPay’s founder and CEO, said that their technology is suppose to make the payment process as frictionless as possible. No payment information is needed when readers buy their first piece of content. It’s only when the bill reaches $5 that the users would need to pay up.

LaterPay raised an additional 5 million euros, bringing the total funds to 20 million euros, in as part of their United States expansion.

Author’s Take:

I personally never quite liked ads because they ruin the experience of a site and it’s can be full of malware. Thus I use a ad-blocker. I also don’t subscribe to news sites because there are free sources. I know that authors and journalists need to make money too. Hmm…I think this might change my stance.

Microsoft Surface products no longer recommended by Consumer Report due to reliability issues

Dated: 10 August 2017

Read More: Don’t buy these 4 Windows laptops if you care about reliability, says Consumer Reports

Additional Reference (if any): Microsoft Surface Laptops and Tablets Not Recommended by Consumer Reports

Summary:

Consumer Reports, a nonprofit organization that tests and rates products across multiple categories has officially removed the “recommended” designation from four Microsoft laptops. They are also not recommending other products in the Surface lineup because of the poor predicted reliability.

Reliability of a given product was determined by survey of Consumer Reports subscribers and other recent studies, according to the press release. From the data collection, the organization estimated that 25% of Microsoft laptops and tablets will encounter some problem within two years of ownership.

The press release stated, this is not to say that other brands do not have issues but the difference in how unreliable Microsoft devices were was “statistically significant”.

Microsoft offered their counter statement in an email to COnsumer Reports, “Microsoft’s real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports’ breakage predictability. We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation.”

Author’s Take:

I did own a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 once and I didn’t use it long enough to experience any significant problem. I personally like the experience provided by the product but I do see people commenting on forums about how their devices were not working properly.

Now is a good time to upgrade that iPad of yours

Dated: 7 August 2017

Read More: Finally, there’s a good reason to upgrade your iPad

Summary:

It’s challenging for Apple to convince users who already own an iPad to buy a newer version. The existing iPads can already do many things users wanted to do such as watching videos, surfing the web, reading news, etc.

The new iPads are just not compelling enough for these kind of users. However, with iOS 11, that situation may just change.

For photographers, they will now be able to edit photos much easier on iOS 11 for iPad with the new updated Photos app. They will now be able to edit a photo with just a few sliders. The app now also allows trimming of Live Photos so that you get to keep parts that you want, and allow you to special effects to the Live Photos.

Advanced photographers who wants more power can look into using the recently updated Adobe Lightroom for iOS, which comes with support for Apple Pencil, 3D Touch Support, and nearly all the features from the desktop version.

Author’s Take:

So with iOS 11, the “Pro” moniker of the iPad finally starts to make some sense. I personally own a iPad Pro 9.7 and I find that I use it from time to time to do creative work like drawing, or writing. With the Logitech Create keyboard for iPad, the overall footprint is small enough for me to bring it with me anywhere to do my journals and various writing projects. All the apps that I need are there and I didn’t need to bringing my MacBook out. The Apple Pencil is intuitive to use and I take notes with it.