Samsung v.2 Galaxy Fold Rumors; Zuck Argues for Compromise Regulation; Ring Videos = Little Evidence; Apple Joins FIDO Password Replacement Alliance

Samsung may be preparing to roll out the next iteration of the Galaxy Fold, the $2000 folding phone with the disastrous launch last year. 9to5google.com reports that they are shooting for July, and the next gen handset may have an under display camera (no hole punch) and an S Pen, among other features. It will allegedly sport a huge 7.7 inch display when open. The outer display will be bigger, with a corner triangular notch for cam and flash. The new Fold or ‘Fold 2’ (which is code named Champ) will have a stainless steel frame and ceramics. It looks like Samsung will go to the ‘Ultra Thin Glass’ as used on the Z Flip in place of the more delicate plastic. Samsung is expected to show the Note 20 at about the same time.

At the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg pitched for (the inevitable) regulation to be somewhere between a telco and a newspaper. According to reuters.com, he claimed the company had improved its work in countering online election interference. He seems to be moving from insisting on being treated purely like a telco, where the company has no responsibility for the information that flows through it, and the more in-depth regulation that papers and other media fall under. Zuck claims Facebook now employs 35,000 people to review online content and implement security measures. He further stated that the budget for this is bigger than the revenue for the entire company when they went public back in 2012. It remains to be seen if the European Union will buy into this ‘middle ground’ type of regulation, however.

Amazon has touted its Ring cameras and their partnerships with law enforcement around the country as helping to reduce crime. There are over 800 law enforcement agencies partnering with them now. NBC News says that despite this, and Amazon’s claim that the doorbell cam reduces burglaries by over 50%, that reduction has failed to materialize. NBC News Investigations interviewed 40 law enforcement agencies in eight states, and found that there is little or no evidence to support Amazon’s claim. They did say that officers spent more time now going over video footage involving disputes by neighbors!

Thirteen of the 40 jurisdictions said they had made no arrests due to Ring footage. Another 13 said they actually could confirm arrests, and two others offered estimates. The NBC team said that large cities like Phoenix, Miami, and Kansas City, MO couldn’t tell them if or how many arrests had been made with the help of the Ring cameras. Amazon itself has said it doesn’t know how many cams have been involved in arrests, or even in helping track package thefts. In late December 2019, Ben Stickle, a professor of criminal justice at Middle Tennessee State University, published one of the first academic studies of porch camera video footage, analyzing 67 videos he and his research team found on YouTube. He found that most of the so-called “porch pirates” were unfazed by the presence of cameras.

Apple has joined nearly every other major tech and e-commerce company now in the FIDO Alliance, the effort to replace password only logins with a secure and fast login experience for websites and apps, using the emerging standard WebAuthn. According to zdnet.com, the Apple browser team added ‘experimental support’ for the standard back in 2018, then last December, added native support for FIDO-compliant security keys like the YubiKey over NFC, USB, or lightening (in iOS 13.3.0) Besides the hardware security key like the Yubi, other compliant secure logins can be made with a biometric ID derived from your PC or smartphones fingerprint sensor, or over a device based authentication program. Let’s all hope this late move by Apple will get the world ready to drive a stake through the heart of the ancient and creaky password logins that annoy us and are relatively easy pickings for hackers.



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