Probable Galaxy S10 Launch Date; Apple to Add Campus(es); Facebook Fact Check-Stunt? $100 Grand to Give Up Smartphone for a Year

The latest gaze into the crystal ball shows February 20th as the launch date for the Samsung Galaxy S10. 9to5google.com reports that the flat 5.8 inch screen S10 will run $1117 with 128 Gigs of storage. The standard S10 will come with 128 or 512 Gigs and they rill run $1334 and $1668 respectively. Oh…and if you go for the 1TB model, that one will be a wallet crushing $1750! 9to5google.com notes these probably aren’t the final US prices, but if they are, it appears that those tariffs are really taking a toll on consumer electronics!

All the time Amazon was playing cities off against each other for it’s HQ2…which turned out to be a couple of satellite HQs, Apple was looking in stealth mode. According to engadget.com, Apple will invest a billion dollars in a new campus in Austin, TX less than a mile from its existing facilities there. The 133 acre site will house 5,000 employees, with room to grow to 15,000. This would make Apple the biggest employer in Austin! They also plan to build out new sites in Seattle, San Diego, and Culver City, CA, and expand in Pittsburg, New York, and Boulder, CO over the next 3 years! The new Austin site will have engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales, and customer support…and as with all Apple facilities it will be powered by 100% renewable energy!

Facebook is getting slammed again…this time by former and current fact-checkers for the social media giant. Businessinsider.com says the present and former employees claim that Facebook has been more interested in ‘crisis PR’ than in actually combatting the spread of fake news. A former managing editor of fact checking site Snopes also said that was what Facebook seemed to be using them for. They had partnered with Snopes the last coupe years. The editor, Brooke Bujnowski, no longer works at Snopes. She added “They’re not taking anything seriously. They are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck… They clearly don’t care.”

News item: VitiminWater will pay you $100,000 to give up your smartphone for a full year. The fancy water purveyor will allow you to utilize a 2000s ear feature phone, however. To enter the contest, you have to post a photo to your Twitter or Instagram account, tag VitiminWater, and tell them why you need a break from your smartphone. You also have to tell them what you will do to survive or pass the time over that period of a year. Now, if Apple would just pay me $100,000 to give up VitiminWater, I’d be counting the money right now!

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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 geek.com, 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. Techcrunch.com 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.


Patent App- Amazon Drones May Stalk You With Delivery

With the range limited by battery power, Amazon is working overtime, trying to develop their drone delivery system. Thenextweb.com reports that FAA rules may not be in place for something to work in the next couple years, but meanwhile, Amazon is pressing ahead. One patent just granted lets them get data from a smartphone to determine the best place to deliver your item…in other words, that Amazon drone will stalk you until you get that item!

A little late to the mobile party, but Nintendo’s first smartphone game should be out by late this year. Macrumors.com says they expect to release 5 games by late 2017. Nintendo claims none are ports of existing franchises, but are all tailored for the smaller screen experience. Earlier, the company announced a partnership with Universal for Nintendo characters to be used in a theme park.