Members of the Information Technology Industry Council plan to meet this Wednesday, June 27 in San Francisco to discuss “how to tackle growing questions and concerns about consumer privacy online.”
The news comes from Axios, and members of ITI in attendance will reportedly include Apple, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, Dropbox, and more — although specific attendees have not been confirmed by the organization.
ITI has organized all-day meetings that will focus on topics about online privacy in the wake of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
ITI CEO Dean Garfield told Axios that tech companies are aware there’s a “new sense of urgency around consumer privacy.” The organization also said that the new meet-up of tech leaders is “not a direct result” of alleged conversations brewing within the Trump administration about a U.S. “counter-weight” to Europe’s GDPR.
“Just because Europe has taken a comprehensive approach doesn’t mean our different approach is deficient,” Garfield said. “And just because Europe is early doesn’t mean it’s best or final. But we should always be thinking about how we evolve to make sure consumers have trust in our products.”
In that report last week, Trump advisor Gail Slater was said to have discussed a U.S. version of GDPR with Garfield, although Slater stated the White House has no desire to create a “U.S. clone” of Europe’s rules. Slater claimed that “giving consumers more control over their data” and “more access to their data” are high marks of the GDPR, suggesting these aspects would be emphasized in the U.S. law if it ever comes to pass.
While lawmakers and advocacy groups discuss online customer privacy, individual companies have promised some form of enhanced user privacy on a global scale in the wake of GDPR. For Apple, the company launched a new Data & Privacy website that lets users download all of the data associated with their Apple ID. Prior to GDPR, last September Apple revamped its privacy website so that its various policies could be more accessible and easy-to-read for its customers.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.4.1 update to developers and public beta testers, one week after seeding the third beta and a month after releasing iOS 11.4, an update that introduced AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud.
Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.4.1 beta from Apple’s Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. Public beta testers can also install the update over-the-air with the public beta profile.
No new features were discovered in the first three iOS 11.4.1 betas, suggesting it focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements to address issues discovered since the release of iOS 11.4.
We’ll update this post should we discover any new features in the fourth iOS 11.4.1 beta, but we’re not expecting major changes now that Apple has shifted its focus to iOS 12, which is also available to developers for beta testing purposes.
Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming tvOS 11.4.1 update to developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the third tvOS 11.4.1 beta and one month after releasing tvOS 11.4, an update that introduced support for AirPlay 2.
Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the new tvOS 11.4.1 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that’s installed using Xcode. Public beta testers can opt-in by going to the Settings app on the Apple TV and navigating to the Software Updates section under “System.” “Get Public Beta Updates” will need to be toggled on, and once it is, the Apple TV will download the beta software.
No new features or changes were discovered in the first three tvOS 11.4.1 betas, suggesting the update focus on fixes for bugs that have been discovered since the release of tvOS 11.4.
Apple’s tvOS updates have historically been minor in scale, and Apple does not often provide us with detailed notes outlining what’s new. We’ll update this post should anything be found in the fourth beta.
Apple’s work on tvOS 11 is winding down as the company is now focusing on tvOS 12, which was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in early June.
Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)
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Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 4.3.2 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the second watchOS 4.3.2 beta and a month after releasing watchOS 4.3.1, a minor bug fix update that addressed a startup issue.
Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software update.
To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.
No new features were discovered in the first two watch watchOS 4.3.2 updates, but as a 4.3.x update, it’s likely to be minor in scale, addressing bug fixes discovered since the release of watchOS 4.3.1 and making other small improvements to the operating system.
watchOS 4.3.2 is likely to be one of the final updates to the watchOS 4 operating system. Apple has begun work on watchOS 5, which was provided to developers at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference and will see a public launch this fall.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 update to developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the third 10.13.6 beta.
The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 beta can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.
We don’t yet know what improvements the sixth update to macOS High Sierra will bring, but it likely focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that were not able to be addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.5.
No feature changes were discovered in the first three macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 betas, but we’ll update this post if new features or notable bug fixes are discovered in the fourth.
Work on macOS High Sierra is wrapping up, with Apple now shifting focus to the next-generation version of macOS, macOS 10.14, which was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in early June.
Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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Fornite‘s Battle Royale game mode is the latest in the genre to garner massive buzz. It borrows heavily from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but it differentiates itself in a few meaningful ways. It’s also free, and available on pretty much every gaming platform: PC, PS4, XBOX One, smartphones, and now the Nintendo Switch — heck, it’s one of the best free-to-play games online right now.
The objective is straightforward: Outlive 99 other players, all trapped on a battlefield that gets increasingly smaller. Naturally, that’s not easy. We don’t have the special ingredient that will lead you to win matches left and right — although we do recommend tweaking your PC for ultimate performance — but we do have some tips that should help you outlast the majority of your competitors on a consistent basis. Read on and make your foes weep.
Parachute quickly toward cover
Like PUBG, Fortnite: Battle Royale starts with a jump. Rather than out of a cargo plane, it’s a school bus attached to a hot air balloon. Once the doors open, it’s time to skydive toward the island. Technically, you have about 50 seconds to survey the ground below before hopping into the open air, but we recommend making your descent within the first 10 seconds or so. Not only will you get to the ground quicker, but you can still cover a lot of horizontal ground by deploying your glider early. This way you can freely navigate towards your intended target.
While some players like to immediately converge on urban areas with the most structures — Retail Row, Tilted Towers, Greasy Groves, Dusty Depot, Tomato Town — those tend to be the most dangerous and chaotic parts of the map in the early going. If you don’t see other gliders around you though, making a break for a commercialized zone can pay off thanks to the plethora of gear available in these spots. If you’re feeling bold, Retail Row, located southeast of the lake, always seems to have largest stockpile.
If you see more than a few players converging on these spots, shoot for areas with lone buildings or areas with lots of natural cover. We’ve found success gliding down just outside of structural hubs. From there, you can scope things out and see if you can make a break for buildings once the coast is clear.
Grab a gun
It may be obvious, but you won’t last very long in a gun fight if you just have your starting pickaxe. Your main objective when you first hit the ground should be securing a deadlier weapon. All gear in Fortnite glows so you can spot it from a distance. Any firearm gives you a fighting chance, but not all weapon classes are created equal.
- Pistols: The least effective weapon class, but they are easy to use and get the job done in close-range combat.
- SMGs: More effective than pistols, but not as easy to use.
- Assault Rifles: An all-around solid weapon class that excels in close/mid-range combat. If you grab one with a scope, assault rifles also work well in long-range combat.
- Shotguns: When camping, the shotgun is your best friend for close-quarters combat.
- Snipers: Hard to find, but snipers will make you one of the deadliest players on the map if you are a good shot.
- Explosives: Rocket and grenade launchers can penetrate your opponent’s structures with devastating force, but make sure you have a contingency plan, since they elicit a lot of attention. Frag grenades can accomplish the same job in close-range situations, but make sure you have a capable weapon before giving away your position.
You can determine the rarity of a weapon on its color: gray (common), green (uncommon), blue (rare), purple (epic), orange (legendary). Generally, the higher up the rarity scale, the more useful it will be throughout the match.
Camp, but don’t fall asleep
All that matters is being the last person standing. You can win a round of Fortnite simply by outlasting the competition. You have no obligation to hunt down and take out other users. Since it’s all about survival, camping — the act of hiding inconspicuously — is highly encouraged. That being said, when in cover, you always have to be on alert, swiveling the barrel of your gun across all potential threat areas on loop. It’s helpful to always be in the mindset that someone can see you even when it’s clear that you are in good position. You cannot go prone in Fortnite but you can crouch. Always crouch when stationary.
Listen closely (and wear a headset)
Your ears are as important as your eyes. From listening to gunfire to hearing footsteps approaching, you can gauge a lot of what’s going on near you by listening closely. Playing with a headset, preferably over-the-ear headphones is basically a must if you want to survive.
Mind the storm
Throughout the match, a clock in the upper right corner of the screen counts down until the next instance of the storm. Your map shows the safe area from the storm’s effect. The circle will shrink as the match wanes on. Think of the storm as a secondary opponent. You must respect that it can and will kill you if you don’t get out of its wake in time, but don’t panic because even if the safe area is on the opposite end of the map, you have time to reach it. As the safe area shrinks, we recommend holing up just outside of the circle until the storm touches down. We’ve found that many players concentrate their scopes inside of the circle to pick off incoming players. If you give off the appearance that you are a straggler, you can sometimes avoid an all-out firefight. Still, you should look in all directions and listen closely when the storm touches down, especially when the safe area is small. You’re much more likely to encounter other players when the habitable area has been vastly reduced.
If you see life, think first
As mentioned earlier, the name of the game is survival. That means you don’t need to shoot at everyone you see. Sometimes you are better off letting them go on their merry way (hopefully to get picked off by another player or disintegrated by the storm). Don’t get trigger-happy if you see another player, especially if they are going in the opposite direction or if you aren’t in the best hiding spot. Bullets leave tracers in the air so it’s not too hard for someone — and not necessarily the person you were aiming for — to see where the shots came from. Only reveal yourself to the world if you know that you will come out victorious in the firefight. Unless you have a sniper rifle, it’s better to wait for other players to come near you, that way you can limit the range of the crossfire, and hopefully, retain your cover. Remember, the goal is to stay alive, not to rack up kills.
Look before looting
Whether you’re looting a body or picking up gear in a building, you should always take a quick peek at your surroundings before doing so. After you take out an opponent, you have to be mindful that another player could have been watching the exchange. On more than a few occasions, we were overexcited to collect our new gear and ended up giving up our own to a savvy player who capitalized on our overzealousness. So wait, take a gander at the world around you, and then pick up your new goodies. The same goes for when you come across gear around the map. We learned this the hard way, as some players use gear as bait.
Move with purpose
The most nerve-wracking part of Fortnite comes into play when you absolutely have to move. Maybe you’re getting shot at and you just can’t seem to figure out where it’s coming from. Or perhaps you need to cover some serious ground before the storm touches down. In these cases, you should always sprint, but with purpose. If the area ahead doesn’t have many opportunities for cover, may we suggest running in an unconventional manner? Zigzagging through an open field may still get you killed, but you have a better chance at staying alive than if you move in a straight line. Ideally, though, you should plan significant movements across the map. Sprint and take cover behind a tree. Look around, reassess the situation, and then move onto the next viable cover option.
Save your building resources
The major difference between Fortnite‘s Battle Royale and PUBG is building. You can build your own cover with three materials: wood, metal, and brick. These resources can be picked up like gear or acquired by breaking down anything in Fortnite — almost everything is destructible. Here is the thing, though: While a custom building can provide makeshift cover, it stands out compared to pre-built structures. You’re much better off finding cover that is already in place, when possible.
On top of that, it’s smart to stockpile resources for the latter half of the match, when the player count dwindles and the circle is shrinking. Building a fortified, four-wall structure in the early portion of a match isn’t the way to go since you will have to abandon it when the storm comes anyway.
If you’re in a pinch, however, with no natural cover nearby, quickly throwing together a wall while you contemplate your next move is advisable.
Tires: If you find a stack of tires, you can run into them to get airborne to reach rooftops. Verticality gives you a better vantage point.
Shield potions: Although rare, shield potions should be consumed immediately. The blue potion found in chests gives you a 50 percent buff and you can stack two of them for double health throughout the whole match. There are three types of rare health items: Regular shield potions, small shield potions, and slurp juice. Regular shield potions add 50 shield points, small shield potions add 25, and slurp juice restores 25 health and gives you 25 shield points.
Bandages: Restore 15 health points apiece. You can use up to five bandages.
Close doors: Get in the habit of closing doors behind you when you enter buildings to remain as inconspicuous as possible. Of course, you can also purposely leave doors open to draw other players in on your location and ambush them. But generally, closing doors is a good policy to keep.
Inventory management: You can only hold five gear items (weapons, potions) at a time. You will likely have to make some executive decisions when it comes to weapons. Be wise, don’t keep two of the same class of weapon. Diversify your options.
Be wary of traps: Mind the ground below you, especially when entering buildings or approaching loot. Although uncommon, damage traps can kill you instantly if you haven’t consumed any shield potions. They resemble spikes on the ground. Likewise, if you come across one of these useful items, place it in a spot that helps keep your hunkered position secure.
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HMD Global has successfully revived the Nokia brand, and you could do much worse than a Nokia phone these days. While the likes of the Nokia 8 Sirocco often make all the headlines, there are some excellent midrange Nokia phones that are seriously worth considering, such as the Nokia 3.1, which Nokia has announced will be coming to the U.S.
The phone will be available in the U.S. starting on July 2, and you’ll be able to get your hands on it from the likes of Amazon and Best Buy for $159 — which is actually a very decent price given the specs.
CPU: MediaTek MT6750
MicroSD storage: Yes, up to 256GB
Screen size: 5.2-inches
Resolution: 720 x 1,440
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, NFC
Size: 146.3 x 68.7 x 8.7 mm
Operating System: Android 8.0 Oreo
The Nokia 3.1 may not feature an edge-to-edge display like some of the recent flagship phones, but it’s not a bad-looking phone given the price. On the front, you’ll find a 5.2-inch display with a HD+ resolution and an 18:9 aspect ratio, giving it a pretty modern look. On the back of the phone, you’ll find a minimalistic look with a single-lens sensor and the Nokia logo. The phone is available in a few color options, including Blue/Copper, Black/Chrome, and White/Iron.
Under the hood, the phone is relatively powerful for the price. It boasts a MediaTek MT6750 processor coupled with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of storage, though the U.S. version seems limited to the 2GB RAM/16GB storage variant. TIf you want more storage, you can make use of the MicroSD card slot, which gives you up to 256GB of extra storage.
Perhaps one of the best things about the phone is its software — it features Android One, meaning it has a stock version of Android that gets timely updates straight from Google. That’s pretty helpful — not only is the stock Android experience the cleanest and arguably the easiest to use, but speedy updates help ensure that the phone stays as secure as possible.
We’ll update this article as we get more information about the Nokia 3.1 and its release.
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New details about the rumored Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 system on chip (SoC) suggest that it will be powerful enough to compete directly with Intel’s Y- and U-series Core processors, but do so with a lower power draw. Better yet, we’re told it’s physically smaller too, despite being much larger than Qualcomm’s typical Snapdragon SoCs.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are typically used in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They offer good general processing and graphics performance at a lower power draw than chips from the typical desktop manufacturers like Intel and AMD. However, laptop manufacturers have begun to offer Qualcomm-equipped systems to those wanting an alternative option and the Snapdragon 1000 could be the most impressive offering in that space to date.
The latest details come from a report by German website, WinFuture, which claims that it will be an even more powerful chip than the already laptop-oriented Snapdragon 850 (a higher-clocked, optimized for Windows PCs SoC). Ars Technica translates that the Snapdragon 1000 will have a total power draw of 12w, which puts it squarely between Intel’s 4.5w and 15w Y- and U-series Core CPUs.
That power draw is much higher than the upcoming 6.5w pulled by Snapdragon 850 and there’s a larger physical footprint to go with it. Where the 850 measures 12 x 12mm, the 1000 is said to be as large as 20 x 15mm. However, as Ars Technica highlights, that’s still much smaller than Intel’s comparable offerings. It is slated to be roughly as powerful though, with claimed performance around that of 2017 Intel Core CPUs.
If that turns out to be true, that would mean a significant new wrinkle in the Windows laptop canvas, as it could mean smaller devices, with lower-profile cooling options and better battery life all in one package. While we’ll need to wait to hear the official announcements to learn how accurate these early claims are, if they turn out to be true, Qualcomm could become a serious competitor in the laptop hardware space in the near future.
With AMD’s Ryzen CPU drive over the past year and its intriguing APU offerings providing serious graphical competition for Intel, the portable computing market is more intriguing and wide today than it’s been in years. Considering how much desktop PC gamers have suffered in the past year, that’s a refreshing change of pace.
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The phone officially launches on July 2.
Late last month, Nokia took the wraps off of three new mid-to-low range Android phones. One of the handsets the company announced, the Nokia 3.1 (or Nokia 3 (2018)), is now officially up for pre-order in the United States.
The Nokia 3.1 is an Android One phone, meaning that it comes with a Google-endorsed build of Android and promises for fast software updates and regular security patches. Powering the handset is the octa-core MediaTek 6750 processor and 2GB RAM.
Android One promises some performance and consistency not typically seen at this price.
You get 16GB of storage for saving local files, and if that’s not enough room, you can easily expand it with a microSD card. There’s also a 13MP rear-facing camera, 8MP front camera, and a 2990mAh battery.
On the front of the Nokia 3.1 is a modern-feeling 18:9 screen that measures in at 5.2-inches with a resolution of 1440×720. The back is made out of polycarbonate, but an aluminum frame adds some welcome heft and a premium feel to the phone — and really, at this price you don’t expect anything more than that. The Nokia 3.1 comes in three colors — black, blue and white — with different accenting metal frame colors.
The Nokia 3.1 carries a price tag of just $159, and pre-orders are live on Amazon right now with Best Buy and B&H to follow. If you’d rather wait for the instant gratification of having it arrive right after ordering, the phone officially launches in the U.S. on July 2.
See at Amazon
Self-discipline is key, but there’s nothing wrong with a helping hand.
Google’s got a lot in the pipeline for Android P. There’s a brand-new gesture system, updated UI for settings and the notification tray, and even machine learning that aims to help extend your battery life as much as possible.
There’s a lot to get excited about with this latest incarnation of Android, but among all these things, something that I think will be the most helpful in day-to-day use is the integration of Google’s Digital Wellbeing initiative.
As the name suggests, Digital Wellbeing is all about making us more aware of how we use our phones. It can be easy to admit that you spend a lot of time aimlessly swiping and scrolling on your screen, but without the right set of tools and data at your disposal, it can be hard to do anything constructive about this.
Android P is littered with tools to keep you conscious and aware of how much you’re using your phone.
In Android P, Google’s scattering its Digital Wellbeing platform throughout various parts of the OS — one of the highlights being the Android Dashboard. Like we heard about at Google I/O, the Dashboard will provide a glanceable overview of how you’re using your phone. You’ll see how much time you’ve spent on your phone, what apps you’re using the most, how many times you’ve unlocked your device, etc. If you want to dive even deeper, you can see how much time you use a certain application over the course of 24 hours or multiple days.
There’s a lot of data being presented, and it’s all here with the intent of helping you be aware of what’s really going on with your phone. You might know that you use Twitter a lot, but it can be easy to forget that those little check-ins throughout the day can add up faster than you expect.
However, that data is just one small tool of the toolbox Google’s giving to you in Android P. Along with the Dashboard, you’ll find:
- App Timer — You can set limits on how long you want to use an app during the day. Once that time limit is reached, the app will be blocked out until the following day.
- Do Not Disturb will turn on when you flip your phone over and place it face-down on a table, desk, etc.
- After setting a bedtime, your phone’s display will slowly transition to grayscale to help prevent you from getting sucked in late at night.
- YouTube recommends you jump off your phone and take a break if you’ve been watching videos for a certain amount of time.
There are apps that try to mimic some of what’s offered here, but all of this reigns far superior since it’s baked right into Android itself.
Smartphone addiction is a very real thing. Per a study that Motorola released in February earlier this year, it was found that 44% of smartphone users feel constantly compelled to check their phone, 29% are daydreaming of when they can use their phone next when they don’t have it with them, and 60% want to have a better phone-life balance.
Google’s included everything you need to have a better phone-life balance.
Based on what we’ve seen so far from Google’s Digital Wellbeing, all of the tools are here to try and achieve that balance.
Sure, you could override App Timer to keep browsing Twitter or ignore YouTube’s recommendations to take a break from your binge-watching session, but if you’re already taking the step to enable these safeguards, chances are you’re going to be compelled to follow them. And, in Android P, those safeguards are just a couple taps away.
We’ve seen some companies like Light Phone try and solve the phone addiction topic by creating hardware that’s designed specifically to omit addictive features and apps, but spending $400 on a phone that purposefully does less than a $99 Android Go phone is really tough sell.
By giving these tools to the billions of people that already have Android phones, Google’s enabling everyone to take better control of their life. These efforts might seem insincere to some people considering that Google stands to gain absolutely nothing from this, but in my eyes, it’s a rare effort of selfless goodwill from one of the world’s largest companies.
As someone who uses their phone throughout the day for both work and play, I’m excited for Android P to tap me on my shoulder now and then to let me know I should put my phone down and so something else. Smartphones are designed to be addictive, and almost all of them do a damn good job at being just that.
If Google wants to encourage me to make fewer excuses for getting consumed in my Pixel 2, I’m all for it.
Google’s Digital Wellbeing initiative: Everything you need to know