Galaxy Fold Allegedly Fixed; Alexa Doesn’t Purge Your Data; China Installs Snoopware-Tourist Phones; Apple iOS 13 Re-Aims Your FaceTime Gaze

Samsung has allegedly redesigned the Galaxy Fold in an effort to take care of screen durability issues that sunk the launch of the pricey folding phablet/phone. Theverge.com reports that no release date has been set, but it looks like the Fold will be out this year yet…but is unlikely to bow at next month’s Galaxy Note 10 event in New York. Samsung says it has found a way to make the screen’s protective film ‘flow into the bezels so it would be impossible to peel off by hand.’ Some reviewers peeled off the film, thinking it was just a protective feature for transit, but destroyed the screens in doing so. Samsung has also re-engineered the hinge…some of which bulged and broke the OLED screens. The new hinge is flush with the display. If the Fold makes it out for the 4th quarter holidays, better save your pennies….it is apparently still almost 2 grand!

in 1984, Big Brother may have been watching, but today, every ‘assistant’ is always listening. According to cnet.com, Amazon has responded to a letter from Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware). He demanded to know how long Alexa kept voice recordings and transcripts. The answer from Amazon’s VP of Public Policy Brian Huseman— Alexa keeps transcripts and voice recordings indefinitely, and only removes them if they are manually deleted by users. Just another way whatever goes into the cloud stays permanently…

If you are planning a trip to China, be aware that officials there (at least in the Xinjiang region) are requiring tourists to install what amounts to a malware app at the border. Businessinsider.com says the app grabs all the text messages and scans for a variety of files liked to Islam…including extremist content, academic research, and even music! It also hoovers up all the calendar entries, contacts, and call logs, and uploads them to a server. This is a new level of snooping, even for perhaps the most intrusive surveillance state on earth.

Here’s one you didn’t see coming…in iOS 13, Apple has a feature called FaceTime Attention Correction…engadget.com reports that it uses advanced image manipulation to re-aim your eyes at the camera instead of the screen, to make eye contact look more natural. Now, you uber narcissists will be able to bat your eyes and look right into the soul of everyone with a little AI help from Apple. The feature only works on the iPhone XS and XS Max, BTW.

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