Facebook Bans Coronavirus ‘Cure’ Ads; iPhone XR Topped All Smartphones Year; Apple Team Delayed in Checking New iPhones in China; Surface Duo ‘Peek’ Feature; Peanut Butter Wades into Jif vs Gif

Facebook is banning ads that promise to cure coronavirus, and some that ‘create a sense of urgency around it.’ According to businessinsider.com, there has been a raft of posts and ads full of misinformation and false claims. The social net has deployed its fact-checkers and adjusted algorithms to fight the lies about the virus. They aren’t the only tech platform having to take action— Amazon has cracked down on price-gouging by third party sellers trying to cash in on the rush by people to buy masks. Some were jacking up the prices to many times the normal selling price.

The final numbers are tabulated, and Apple’s iPhone XR was the most popular smartphone worldwide in 2019. 9to5mac.com reports that the data was crunched by Omdia. The XR sold 9 million more units than the #2 seller, which was the iPhone 11. Samsung rounded out the top 5 smartphones, with the Galaxy A10, A150, and A20. The iPhone 11 Pro Max was #6, and the iPhone 8 bagged the #7 spot. Redmi’s Note 7 snuck in at 8, and the iPhone 11 Pro was 9th, and Galaxy 12 Core was 10th.

Virtually all smartphone sales will probably be impacted by the coronavirus this year. Normally by now, Apple engineers and execs would be in China, examining the next crop of iPhones. Foxconn workers would have built a small number of devices and they would be poring over the new models. Macrumors.com says due to concerns over coronavirus, the later opening of plants, and lack of flights to China…especially by United, which Apple tends to use…it may back up Apple’s finalization of the new phones and their finalization of chip and component orders with suppliers. Some work can be done by video chat, but there may be a delay in the new iPhones this fall or very limited supply for a while.

A leaked video from a Twitter user calling himself WalkingCat has showed of a ‘peek’ feature on Microsoft’s new Android tablet the Surface Duo. theverge.com says you can lift the egg and peek at a row of notifications on the edge of the right hand display without fully opening the device…then dismiss them if you like. The thought is that this would sub for no third screen on the outside such as on folding phones like the Galaxy Fold and Z Flip phones. The Surface Duo is set to launch later this year.

For years, a debate has raged about how to pronounce the graphic .gif….is it GIFF, or JIFF…hard G or soft J sound? Now, the Jif Peanut Butter people have waded into the middle of things…a rather brilliant marketing ploy by the folks at Smucker’s, who own the brand. Arstechnica.com reports that the ads tout the hard G sound…saying that the soft J…as in Jif, has been around for decades in the form of their peanut butter! They have even labeled jars with Jif on one side as usual, and a question mark G on the other! Of course, it won’t settle the ongoing argument, but is a hell of a clever marketing campaign. If you are allergic to peanuts…just send jpegs!


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