Google May Announce Folding Pixel Next Year; Twitter Users Can Now Limit Replies; US Wants to Purge ‘Untrusted’ Chinese Apps; Ceiling Fans With UV Light to Kill Viruses

Just after previewing their own new flagship Pixel phones, and on the heels of the new Galaxy Z Fold 2 introduction at Samsung’s Unpacked yesterday, an internal document has been uncovered that indicates Google may be hard at work on a folding phone of its own, slated for a 2021 rollout. According to Digital Trends, the document notes that they are trialing Android on 4 new handsets, including one code-named Passport,’ which is labeled in the document as ‘foldable.’ Google added support for ‘foldable’ last year in Android for developers to start optimizing apps for multi-display phones.

As promised a few months ago, Twitter is now allowing some users to limit who can reply to their Tweets. Engadget.com reports that the Twitter iOS app has been updated with options to restrict replies to tweets to people you follow or just those you mention. As yet, the platform hasn’t announced when the feature will be available on Android. As with anything like this, it’s a two-edged sword…it will further reduce harassment and prevent uninvited clutter into your Twitter convos, but it will also reinforce filter bubbles where users don’t go outside their own perspective and therefore have no idea about what folks with other points of view might be thinking.

The Trump government continues to go after China…now, they want to purge App Stores of ‘untrusted’ Chinese apps. Macrumors.com says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims the U.S. “Clean Network” program would focus on five areas and include steps to prevent various Chinese apps and telecoms companies from accessing the sensitive information of American citizens and businesses. One U.S. official said it was a push back against a “massive campaign to steal and weaponize our data against us.” As with everything on the web, the devil will be in the attempt to enforce this ban. It’s mind-numbingly easy to build an app say in China, then get it to other alleged developers or a shell company located elsewhere…and they would still be able to scoop up data on US users. One day, hopefully soon, we will have leaders who either understand this concept, or are smart enough to hire people that do and listen to them.

This sounds like a news of the weird item, but here’s at least an innovative idea for fighting COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria. Big Ass Fans out of Lexington Kentucky is touting a ceiling fan with built in UV light to help rid your home of viruses. According to cnet.com, their higher end Haiku ceiling fan can be equipped with the UV lights. It does boost the price by $500…making the already pricey fans at $1250 even more so…$1750…whew? Big Ass fans first worked with UV in 2011 when they teamed with an architecture firm to equip a hospital in Rwanda to help kill TB. You are probably thinking that it might be unsafe to be bathed in UV light. These fans point the UV light upward, and the company says they kill ‘up to 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, mold and other harmful airborne agents that pass through the disinfection zone.’ While they can’t say it kills COVID-19 with certainty, the UV does kill SARS and MERS, two other coronaviruses. The fans’ lamps put out UV in the same range as medical grade ones. After a bit more testing, Big Ass hopes to have the fans out soon.



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