Galaxy S9+ Cam Best Yet; Carriers Tout Phone # App Authentication; Uber Health Launched

It will probably only last until the new models of their competitors come out, but Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ camera has snagged the highest DxOMark score ever at 99. Fortunately for the cellphone makers, the scale doesn’t end at 100! reports that the Galaxy has narrowly eclipsed the cameras on the Google Pixel 2, which had a 98, and the iPhone X with a 97. Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro also scored a 97. No matter how objective these test try to be, with photos, there’s still a subjective element…just like a painting, the art is in the eye of the beholder…but for now, Samsung reigns supreme!

The 4 major US phone carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, & T-Mobile, have rolled out plans for an authentication platform that would add extra security for people downloading apps to Apple’s iPhone and other handsets. says the tech uses a ‘cryptographically verified phone number and profile data’, info such as how long you’ve had the number, the account type, IP address, and SIM card info. The carriers plan to trial the system in the next few weeks, and launch it later this year. It is hoped the extra layer of security will help counter fraud and identity theft.

Uber has launched Uber Health, a new ride hailing platform for healthcare. According to, the service is like UberCENTRAL, their ride-booking service for business customers. With the service, the riders don’t have to have the Uber app, the healthcare provider can book rides to and from appointments. Uber says it is HIPAA compliant, and can be used by the clients via a landline. The ride hailing company points out that the service is just for appointments, and is not designed to replace 911 or ambulance rides for emergencies.


Galaxy S9 Will Be Major Redesign; Pixel 2 Getting Even Better Pictures In Software Update; Amazon Launches Countdown to Black Friday Deals; Sony Revives Robot Dog

Samsung is busily working on the Galaxy S9, and word is, it will be a major redesign. says you can expect echoes of the iPhone X, to the surprise of no one. Rumors include 3D facial recognition, dual 16 MP cameras, and dual 12 MP selfie cams, with a nearly all screen display. It looks like it will be offered with either a 5.8 inch or 6.2 inch screen for the S9 and S9+. There are still rumblings of an under screen fingerprint sensor, but if the 3D face recognition is widely accepted on the Apple iPhone X, Samsung may drop that feature.

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL already have a terrific camera. Now, according to, it’s going to get even better. Apparently Google baked in a custom chipset that improves HDR+ functionality. It didn’t make it into the 1st developer release of Android 8.1, but it looks like they will flip it on for the 2nd developer preview of Android 8.1. It should be widely available in time for the holidays!

Countdown to Black Friday is here! Amazon has launched their run up sales to the big sale day today. says look for a 65 inch 4K Samsung TV for under a grand, a refurbished Dyson Ball vacuum for only $150, and more. Hit Amazon’s Countdown to Black Friday page for other bargains.

Woof! Sony has revived its AIBO robot dog. reports that the new dog’s eyes use a couple of OLED panels to show a range of expressions, and that your robot dog can bond with you for up to two hours at a time…with 3 hours recharge time. If you ever wanted a dog that finally gets tired of chasing the ball, this one will after 2 hours! It’s controlled by an app, and you can purchase additional ‘tricks’ from an app store….requiring a $26 a month subscription. Besides that ongoing fee, the robot dog will set you back $1700. Preorders start today.

Galaxy S8-3 Colors and Pricier Than iPhone; iPhone May Tease AR Features; Dolby and Netflix Gage Viewer Reaction to Shows

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will drop with 3 different colors and cost more than an iPhone 7. That’s according to The colors are ‘black sky,’ ‘orchid grey,’ and ‘arctic silver.’ It looks like it will run $989, with the S8 Plus syphoning off $1113 of your bucks! A rumored feature has been confirmed…the S8 will have Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant.

Apple is apparently betting big on AR. A large team of experts and engineers has been going full stop on AI since last spring, and some features may bow on the iPhone 8 this fall. reports that this may just be a warmup to some AR glasses Apple has in the works that will pair with iPhones. For the iPhone, most features will revolve around the camera….Snapchat style filters and possible after the fact re-focusing of pictures.

So much for Netflix and chill. Dolby Labs is using biosensors to detect how we are reacting to movies and TV shows. says the tech has been licensed to Netflix to use in their new series Iron Fist. Right now, the setup is far from subtile….the rig includes a 64 channel EEG cap, a wrist tracker that picks up heart rate and perspiration, one of those oxygen sensors on a fingertip, and a thermal imaging camera aimed at the viewer. The setup produces data on what scenes make hearts beat faster, what makes cheeks flush, and what ones put them to sleep. Netflix had already been using eye tracking tech to analyze how viewers reacted to their content. I feel like we aren’t far from a jack in the back of the head like in ‘The Matrix.’

A jury has ruled that Google’s use of Java software — owned by Oracle — in the creation of Android constitutes fair use and is thus not a copyright violation.

A jury has found yesterday that Google’s use of Java software — owned by Oracle — in the creation of Android constitutes fair use and therefore is not a copyright violation. notes that this fair use decision is huge for the entire software industry. Much of Silicon Valley and software developers around the world turn to fair use as their ‘not to reinvent the wheel’ when they make every new product. Although Oracle plans to appeal, the unanimous verdict should carry some weight with an appellate panel, even though they primarily look at the law and what happened in the case from below.

Earlier this week, we reported that Apple was indeed working on it’s version of Amazon’s Echo and Google’s new response to the Echo. reports that the Apple version…not expected until next year…will likely feature an always-on camera that will make it aware of who’s in the room with facial recognition tech. This would allow it to automatically pull up the preferences for music, lighting, and entertainment when they are in the room. Like with Microsoft’s X Box accessories, it will also very likely creep some people out who will cover the cam if they buy the gadget at all. Some users aren’t quite ready for the 1984-esque all-seeing eye watching you…which could be hacked just like a security camera, of course!

Getting Rid of Those Pesky ‘Selfie’ Reflections in Photos Shot Through Glass

Just about everyone has grabbed a shot from their smartphone through a window, or with a window behind your subject, and there’s that unwanted reflection of you holding your phone reflected in the background, or even partly obscuring the subject of your picture. According to, a team at MIT has come up with an algorithm that removes those reflections from your shots! It’s in the initial stages, but should be a boon once it’s perfected.

There have already been a couple of cameras that replace your peep hole in your front door, but now there’s a Kickstarter called Peeple…with two ‘e’s,’ that goes beyond that. says it activates when someone knocks, and shoots a video, then sends you a mobile notification. The gadget easily attaches to the inside of your peep hole, and is removable, so even renters can use it. Since it sleeps until there’s a knock, the battery should be good for 6 months.

New Way to Prevent Picture Shake from Apple

The smartphone camera wars continue to push the envelope in picture taking. Apple has patented a tech called ‘Mirror Tilt Actuation’ for future iPhones. says it will actually tilt the tiny mirror in the camera assembly on future iPhones, to compensate for jitters and hand movement as you shoot that crucial selfie.

Visa is working with a service called Mobile Location Confirmation to use real time data from smartphones, to prevent fraud and so you don’t have to call your bank to let them know you’re traveling…especially out of the country. reports that the service will be optional though, so check with your own card provider.

Google has partnered with Mattel to bring the venerable View Master into the 21st century. says instead of a plastic viewer and stereoscopic round cardboard, it works on Android smartphones, and provides 360 degree, 3D views. It’s out this fall, and $29.99…phone not included!

Samsung Teases ‘The Future of Cameras’ in Galaxy S6

We don’t know if it’s dual main cameras or other features, but Samsung says the upcoming Galaxy S6 will have no less than ‘the future of cameras.’ The says it will do all the thinking for users, who will need only to press the shutter button for great shots. The S6 will be shown March 1st.

OLED screens have been used in some smartphones for years, but never on this scale. reports that Samsung is spending 3.6 billion on building organic light emitting diode screens…mainly for smartphones and tablets, including those of competitors.

Getting around in San Francisco and other major cities can be tough to say the least. Some map apps help, but now, reports that the Urban Engines app is out for Android and iOS. Built by former googlers, it works without mobile data and uses augmented reality.