iPhone 12Pro- 3X Zoom, 120 Hz Screen-More; Facebook Rolling Out Dark Mode & Cleaner Desktop; Zillow-Virtual Tours New Normal for Real Estate; Thunderbolt Flaw- Local Access & Data Gone in 5 Minutes; 46% of Companies-Still Hiring

As the new iPhones are probably finalized, here’s more that has leaked out about the top line models. 9to5mac.com says the latest from Max Weinbach (of EverythingApplePro) is that the iPhone 12 Pro models will feature 120 Hz displays, up from the 60 in the present phones. Apple has built in a feature to gear down automatically to 60 when you aren’t needing the high refresh rate (not watching video, etc) to save battery. Battery life on the 6.76 inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will be over 4400mAh. There’s an improved Face ID, which will support a wider angle of view to unlock, and as we previously reported, a LIDAR scanner to improve autofocus and Portrait Mode. Also, the telephoto zoom gets a bump up from 2X to 3X for physical zoom…which is always much cleaner than digital zoom.

You may not have seen it yet…I haven’t…but Facebook started rolling out its new cleaner desktop redesign late last week…including a dark mode. I have had a tease bar at the top of the page for almost a month about the new look coming, so it will be interesting to see how it runs. I have used Twitter in dark mode since it came out, and find it much easier on the eyes. Cnet.com reports that most people should be getting the new desktop Facebook over the next couple weeks…it was previewed last year at its F8 developers conference. It has a lot more white space…or dark space if in that mode, brighter icons, and streamlined navigation which more closely mirrors that on the mobile app. It also should load faster!

With the pandemic pretty well halting open houses, real estate sales has been hobbled. Zdnet.com reports that Zillow is working to “accelerate technology to deliver seamless and now more virtual real estate shopping and transaction experiences.’ They believe the future lies in virtual tours, not in-person ones…and not just for Zillow users. Zillow also sees in-person appraisals, filings, and closings as becoming something of the past after the pandemic becomes a bad memory…due to a vaccine and treatment advances. Zillow created 525% more 3D home tours in April than February. Like other entities, they see many more people continuing to work from home in jobs that can be done from a home or remote location. Of course, before the pandemic, you could find local Starbucks locations filled with people nursing a coffee and doing business from their coffee shop office, so this is something of an evolutionary change. Zillow sees what they call Zillow 2.0 ‘becoming a reality even sooner than we had planned.” Richard Barton, Zillow CEO remarked, “You’re seeing years of technology progress get accelerated down into months.”

If you are running a PC or Linux computer, a new flaw in Thunderbolt allows on-site hackers to hoover up your data in 5 minutes…even if the computer is locked and data encrypted! Engadget.com says it takes a screwdriver and about $400 worth of what’s called ‘easily portable hardware.’ The hack involves changing the firmware that controls the Thunderbolt port, allowing any device to access it. The hack leave NO trace! Right now, it’s recommended that you use hibernation or powering off the system when you are away…don’t use sleep mode (Suspend-to-RAM.) Apple computers running MacOS are not affected by the hack…unless you are running Boot Camp.

Crowdsourced data from Candor indicates that 46% of companies are still hiring, even during the pandemic. According to venturebeat.com, 21% are laying off, and 32% have frozen hiring. Candor surveyed 7,000 companies. Candor helps tech workers negotiate salaries. The info is reported by employees, and offers what the company calls ‘a real time look’ at the impact of the coronavirus on the economy. The situation varies by area…for example, only 36.1% of New York companies are hiring. The Bengaluru region of India still has strong job growth, and 48.1% of San Francisco Bay Area companies are still hiring, even as more employees have transitioned to remote work. According to the survey, larger companies are tending to use the pandemic to ‘rightsize,’ while 60% of the companies hiring have 10 or fewer employees, and over half of those hiring have 50 people or less on staff. The large private companies are hiring at a rate of 42.68%, while public ones are down to 31.85% still hiring.


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