With the non-stop leaks the last month or so, there wasn’t a ton we didn’t know about the Google Pixel 3 and 3XL, but now that they have been actually unveiled…yes, there are a few things to report. First of all, the prices are out now…Pixel 3 will start at $799 for 64 Gigs, the 3 XL will bow at $899. For 128 Gigs, add $100 more to either. Both phones run a Snapdragon 845, and have 4 Gigs of RAM. Screen size is bigger on both, thanks to thinner bezels. The 3 has a 5.5 inch display, and the 3 XL is 6.3 inches. Interestingly, both just have a single 12.2 MP camera on the rear…but TWO front facing cams. One gives a wider field of view for getting more people into a selfie, or taking in more of your surroundings.
Even with the single lens rear cam, Google has further beefed up software to carry on as one of the best…if not the best shooters on the market. New AI enhancements include a Top Shot option that picks the best image from a burst. Super Res Zoom uses multiple frames to deliver a sharper final photo, even without optical zoom.
Both Pixels now support wireless charging with a glass back, and there’s a Pixel Stand you can buy for charging. Phone-wise, the Pixels can use Google Assistant to screen spam calls, and let you decide to block or get a reminder to call back later. The phones answer themselves, and show you a transcription. Both phones will be exclusively on Verizon in the US, as has been the case with previous Pixel phones….although you can buy them unlocked directly from Google.
Netflix is buying ABQ Studios in Albuquerque, and is indicating they will be investing a billion dollars in new TV and film projects. Bgr.com says the studio has already produced The Avengers, The Lone Ranger, and Sicario. The Netflix buy is expected to bring up to 1,000 production jobs to Ne w Mexico as they ramp up to produce original material at ABQ. A fun piece of trivia came out of the deal…the GPS coordinates of the location where Walter White of “Breaking Bad’ buried his barrels of cash are actually those of ABQ Studios!
LinkedIn is buying employee survey software company Glint for $400 million. According to businessinsider.com, Glint specializes in employee surveys measuring satisfaction with management, compensation, and other internal issues. LinkedIn expects to offer better insights than ever combining Glint’s data with their info about the broader workforce. Glint was already used by Alphabet’s Waymo, Dish Network, United Airlines, and other major companies.
Princeton Identity has showed off it’s new walk through biometric scanner. Techcrunch.com says it’s basically built into a shipping container. You walk through, pause to get your fingerprints scanned, and it also scans your face and irises as you walk through. The Biometric Conex can process 20 people a minute at normal walking pace, and Princeton claims near perfect accuracy, what with the fingerprints, face, and iris scans. The self-contained, air conditioned unit is actually smaller than a shipping container, and can be moved nearly anywhere on a heavy duty truck. It can integrate with almost any government database. The rig runs $280,000.
Lately, the leaks have been coming fast and frequently about the Google Pixel 3 phone, due out next month. 9to5google.com says a new one involves Google Lens. Lens already integrates with the camera app on Pixel phones. A leaked video, since taken down, shows the Pixel 3 supporting real-time results with Google Lens natively inside the Google Camera app. In other words, the Pixel 3 will be able to process results for things Lens recognizes directly within the viewfinder…for example, if you are looking at a business card, it will suggest adding an email address you don’t have…you won’t have to actually take a picture of the card to select dropping the address or other info into your contacts list.
So far, Apple’s biggest and most expensive phone ever is outselling it’s smaller sibling. Theverge.com reports that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has found that the iPhone Xs Max is selling at 3-4 times the rate the smaller Xs is selling at. Gold and Space Grey are more popular colors, and the 256 gig storage version is most popular so far. There have been rumors out today that Apple is still having manufacturing issues with the cheaper iPhone XR, and the release date for it may be delayed a bit in October…but Kuo says he’s confident the choke points slowing it down will dramatically improve after October.
The latest Chrome update has new login requirements stashed in it, and Google didn’t bother to alert users. According to business insider.com, a cryptography expert and professor at Johns Hopkins named Matthew Green found the change. By being logged in, users unwittingly send their browser data to Google. There is apparently a new ’sync consent’ menu that Google claims allows users to opt out.
LinkedIn will, for the first time, share its data on companies and workers. Geekwire.com says their newest tool, Talent Insights, lets users run detailed reports on individual companies, talent populations, skills, and other categories….for a fee, of course. You can drill down on what areas are hotbeds for specific types of talent, who employs them, what schools they come from, pay range, and more. Around 100 companies have been testing Talent Insights ahead of the official launch. The annual subscription cost varies, depending on the customer.
While there’s already a fair amount of interest in electric cars, now 16 auto makers have teamed up with several states in a campaign called ‘’Drive Change. Drive Electric.’ BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, VW, & Volvo are involved. The goal is to educate and inform consumers about the variety of zero-emission vehicles. Mashable.com says There will be a new website, ads, social media campaigns and events, designed to get more people into electric cars.
Google is rolling out an extension that lets you pair Assistant devices to Bluetooth speakers allowing voice control of multi-room audio. You could already stream music from a phone, tablet, or computer to Google Home over Bluetooth, but now, you can stream music to other Bluetooth speakers around your house, including in multiple rooms. According to 9to5google.com, you will still need a Google Home device to control them. The companion app will let you set a default speaker or set of speakers, and the pairing works on all Google Home devices, including the Mini and Max.
Microsoft has added what’s a feature to advertisers but probably a bug to you to its LinkedIn platform. Techcruhch.com reports that Video ads will now appear and auto roll in your feed. The good news? At least the audio is muted initially, so you won’t be jarred by something playing right after the site loads. The ads will contain links that can point to the advertisers’ sites, and that can be used to collect leads. Microsoft says the feature is rolling out over the next several weeks, and has been tested by over 700 advertisers since October. Now, you can look forward to LinkedIn acting even more like a social network site…although it seems unlikely people bailing on Facebook will be posting cat or food pictures on LinkedIn.
Facebook has announced that it will limit how much data it makes available to advertisers buying hyper-targeted ads. The embattled social media giant says in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it will stop using data from third-party data aggregators — companies like Experian and Acxiom — to help supplement its own data set for ad targeting. Recode.net notes that Facebook previously let advertisers target people using data from a number of sources: Facebook’s own data they had collected, info from the advertiser itself, and data from 3rd party sources like credit reporting firm Experian. Facebook hasn’t said it will quit using third party firms for ad measurement help, but is reevaluating that practice.
There had already been rumors that the iPhone 8 would be actually in peoples’ hands in October, now a supplier may have confirmed that. Bgr.com reports that Finisar, which supplies the high-tech lasers built into iPhone 8 for AR depth mapping and image recognition, will be supplying tens of millions of the lasers to one company later this year. Analysts have put things together, and look for a rollout in September as usual, but the phones actually shipping in October.
Google has launched a jobs search feature right in its search results pages that lets you search for jobs across virtually all major online jobs boards. According to techcrunch.com, that includes LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder, Facebook, and more. This may save job seekers a lot of hassle, as it eliminates duplicate postings and a lot of irrelevant jobs for you. Just key in something like ‘jobs near me’ or ‘writing jobs,’ and the job search widget will pop up. It’s on both Google’s desktop and mobile versions. You can also see Glassdoor and Indeed ratings.
It may not quite be here yet, but VR and AR really are The Next Big Thing, and a report by IDC picked up by cnet.com says sales of VR and AR headsets will reach about 100 million by 2021. Last year, less than 10 million of the headsets shipped. Right now, ones powered by smartphones, the so-called ‘screenless viewers’ are most popular. IDC thinks AR will fundamentally change industrial jobs in the next 5 years, and that at first, 80 percent of AR headsets will be for commercial use.
Samsung had a terrible turn of events when Galaxy Note 7’s began catching fire and exploding just days before the iPhone 7 rolled out. Having recalled and replaced all those phones…some 2 million… in record time, the Note 7 was again flying off the shelves…until now. Yesterday, one of the new ones with the supposedly ‘good’ battery exploded and caught fire on a Southwest flight getting ready to take off. Bgr.com, which had, among others, touted it as the best ever Android phone, is now saying don’t buy one under any circumstances…and the executive editor has one! Word to the wise…wait!
It’s far from a secret that Twitter has been trying to sell itself. Now, according to recode.net, Google, Apple, and Disney have all signaled that they won’t be making an offer on the social media platform. This leaves Salesforce as the last one standing that’s known to be interested. Let’s all hope that Salesforce or some unknown white knight rescues the popular but financially disappointing social media company.
If you are wanting or needing to look for a new gig, but…like pretty much everybody…don’t want the boss to know….LinkedIn has just made it a little easier. Engadget.com reports that the widely-used site has launched Open Candidates, to let job hunters let recruiters know on the down low that they’re looking. Click on the Jobs tab at the top, then preferences, and slide the big button that says ‘let recruiters know you’re open.’ Wait for inquiries to start rolling in. That’s all there is too it!
There are enough rumors and renderings out that we pretty well think we know what the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be like. Here’s an off the wall one picked up by bgr.com, though. It’s from MobiPicker, and they’re saying the the 7 will have 16, 64, and 128 gigs of RAM, but the Plus will have 32, 128, and 256 gigs. Also, the 7 will get two 12 megapixel rear cameras, and the Plus 21 megapixels. The Plus is also rumored to lose the Lightening port and get USB C. This is the only source claiming these things, so keep that in mind!
Microsoft has announced that Xbox One will get Cortana support in a summer update. TechCrunch.com reports that it won’t be just limited to gaming functions, either. You can use Cortana to check with friends, start a party, and search for nearby restaurants. Beta testers should be getting the update shortly, with a rollout to everybody in waves later this summer.
If you haven’t changed your LinkedIn password, stop reading or listening to this and do it now. Venturebeat.com says Mark Zuckerberg has had his Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked over the weekend, and it points strongly to the LinkedIn password dump of a couple weeks ago. Even the CEO of mighty Facebook can be hacked if he doesn’t change his password after a major hack and dump. Just do it!
Networking site LinkedIn has removed the ability to download all a person’s contacts into an offline file. Businessinsider.com reports that now, the only way to get your contacts is to request an archive of your data, which takes up to 72 hours. Previously, with the contact download feature, it was immediate. Numerous users are complaining about the removal, and are accusing LinkedIn of using this as a way to keep people on their platform. For a job seeker, 72 hours can be a lifetime, and mean possibly missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Advance purchase commitments by Apple indicate that they expect a huge launch for iPhone 6S. According to appleinsider.com, they’ve pledged 26.5 billion, which is a 26% year over year increase. In fact, the cash committed to outsourcing and components is up 41%, which shows that Apple plans a sizable jump in year over year iPhone sales.
Lenovo has rolled out several laptops carrying its Yoga brand. Arstechnica.com says the Yoga 3 Pro is a 13.3 inch Windows unit with a 360 degree hinge so it can fold into a tablet, while the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a built in projector.
A startup called Conspire aims to horn in on LinkedIn’s business. Techcrunch.com reports it taps into communications platforms, starting with email, and uses big data analytics to find the most reliable chain of connections between you and a person you want to meet.
Dell has gone green tech in their packaging. Geek.com says it’s being made from mushrooms, wheatgrass, and a plastic made from methane..the byproduct of gassy cows!