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News Bytes

Dennis Snider

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Google Nest Raises Privacy Concerns
Google has recently announced that its Nest Secure home alarm system contains a microphone. Having previously failed to mention this microphone, this oversight is just another privacy blunder for the internet firm. When the home alarm systems first went on sale in late 2017, the firm failed to mention the integral microphone and, in January this year, it still didn’t feature in the product specifications.
Admitting its mistake, Google has assured its customers that the microphone was never intentionally kept secret. According to the firm, the microphones are inactive. Should customers wish to use them in future, they will need to specifically enable the capability. In 2018, the firm was found to be tracking user locations through its search services and apps, even when users had disabled their location features. Also, back in 2010, Google unintentionally gathered internet activity when its Street View cars were deployed.

Welcome to the Fold
In April this year, Samsung will launch the first ever foldable phone. The aptly-named ‘Galaxy Fold’ will feature a tablet-size folding display. With customers looking to justify modern smartphone costs, this new device will provide two formats in one. When closed, the Galaxy Fold will be much like a traditional smartphone. Open it up, though, and customers will find themselves with a large tablet, suitable for movies and browsing.
According to Samsung, customers will be able to seamlessly switch from one display to another and, if an alert appears on the front screen, customers will be able to view the information in the unfolded, tablet mode.
Until now, folding phones have been the stuff of prototypes. The announcement of the Galaxy Fold could see a new wave of innovation, tempting smartphone users into upgrading their devices.
Running a version of Google Android that adapts according to its mode, the device contains two batteries. The batteries are located on either side of the hinge, allowing the tablet to be collapsed.
Due for release on April 26, the Galaxy Fold will have LTE and 5G versions and will cost $1,980.

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