Samsung Unpacked Date & Rumors; Apple- 9 of Top 10 Christmastime Activations; CES Insults Own Cannabis Award Winner; Illinois Bans AI Graded Hire Videos

Samsung Unpacked will be February 11th in San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. Rumors have had the handsets named Galaxy S20, but until it’s known for sure, we’ll say 11 here. There are expected to be 3 S11 phones, and a foldable one with the form factor of Motorola’s Razr, not the size and shape of the Galaxy Fold. Cnet.com notes that Samsung has rolled out its phones before at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which is coming up February 24th, but this gives them a head start on rivals. The new generation Galaxy phones are rumored to have 5G, a 108!! megapixel camera, 5,000 may battery, and a new form factor that resembles the Galaxy Note 10.

Apple made nearly a clean sweep of device activations for the holiday period of December 25th-31st. According to Flurry Analytics, Cupertino took 9 of the top ten spots, led by the iPhone 11. Older models…the XR, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8…took the next 3 slots, with the 11 Pro Max coming in 5th. The only non-Apple phone in the top 10 was the Xiaomi Mi 4 LTE at #10. Over the holiday period, Apple bagged 42.8% of all mobile device activations when you include iPads. Samsung held 23.5% of the market through the holidays, leaving everyone else scrapping over the remaining 33.8%

Shades of last year…CES this year awarded Keep Labs, giving them Innovation Award Honoree, but won’t let them say or display the word ‘cannabis’ on the CES show floor! Keep Labs has decided to pass on exhibiting due to having their marquee product basically banned. It is still listed on the CES website. According to techcrunch.com, last year, CES banned Honoree Innovation Award winner Lora DiCarlo, which makes sex toys. CES also withdrew the award, but after quite an uproar, restored the award and apologized. Lora DiCarlo successfully lobbied, arguing that the CES was discriminating against a product for women…and this year they will be on the show floor with 2 new products that use micro-robotics tech to mimic human touch. One gadget, Onda, is G-spot specific, and the other named Baci is designed to target the clitoris. The original Ose claims to produce a ‘blended orgasm.’ NO, you can’t try before you buy on the show floor!

As computer tech becomes more and more pervasive in hiring…software has screened resumes for a couple decades now…Illinois has moved to block a type of AI in hiring use… due to possible bias and inaccuracy. Vox.com says the type of software used by HireVue uses algorithm based analysis of recorded video interviews. The algorithm analyzes how you answered AND your facial expressions to make predictions about your fit for a position. The Illinois lawmakers considered that most facial recognition software is only 85-95% accurate, and restricted the AI. The law requires firms to explain how the AI works, and wheat ‘general types of characteristics’ it considers when evaluating candidates. The law also limits who can view the recorded video interview to those ‘who’s expertise or technology is necessary’ and requires that companies delete any video an applicant submits within a month of their request. It’s not exactly a heavy handed law, but does give applicants at least some rights when computers are involved in trying to get a job and make a living. Welcome to the future, and all hail our computer and robotic overlords….



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