Rebecca Jenkins

Rebecca Jenkins

Google’s Chrome has almost 60% market share in browsers, and for good reason. For several years it was the fastest and most user-friendly browser on the market. Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the previous king, had become slow and outdated. Chrome earned its market share crown fair and square. Then, in July 2015, Microsoft launched Project Spartan, which became its new and improved web browser called Edge. This fall, it launched mobile phone apps on iOS and Android to create a better omnichannel experience.

Even though Edge has a mere 4% of the market, it does bring some advantages to the table. Here's why it might be worth taking for a spin:

1. Speed: In copious tests, Edge was found to be the fastest browser on the market today. With its latest update, Firefox Quantum has made significant strides in catching up with Edge; according to CNet, it has doubled its speed. Google Chrome updates in 2017 also focused primarily on speed. Despite these updates, Edge can hold its own.

2. Integration into native iOS and Android experiences: Microsoft's integration should feel seamless in terms of performance, in part because it will rely on WebKit on iOS and Blink on Android for its rendering. Also of note, Microsoft is now shipping its own version of the Blink engine inside its Android apps. It feels seamless, though, as it integrates smoothly with native Android apps like Gmail and Calendar. Microsoft’s version of the Google Feed is more user-friendly since it makes meeting information the prominent feature, instead of offering up general news like Google.

3. Integrated cross-device experience: With the “maintenance mode” death of the Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft had to make a new play for Edge on mobile. This fall, Microsoft launched Edge on iOS and Android devices. What made the launch successfully was its browsing continuity. Favorites, reading list and passwords are synced across devices. According to Microsoft Corporate VP Joe Belfiore in a recent blog post, "What makes Microsoft Edge really stand out is the ability to continue on your PC, which enables you to immediately open the page you're looking at right on your PC — or save it to work on later."

4. Security integration: Another plus is that Edge does use Windows Defender SmartScreen to help check for malicious pages, so having an entire antivirus aiding it is a good feature. Using Application Guard, Microsoft has leveraged its virtualization technology to help defend against threats in Windows 10 Enterprise. When employees open up unauthorized websites in Edge, the webpage loads in a virtual machine, thus protecting the rest of the system and network. This is what my economics professor would call “economies of scale.” Microsoft’s greater ecosystem has given it an advantage that Firefox and Google can’t match, at least not until the Chromebook becomes more mainstream.

5. Design continuity: I will admit it, I am partial to the design team at Microsoft. I loved the tile concept on Windows Phone, especially Windows 8 Mobile, and I love that Edge feels relatively similar on my iPhone as it does on my Surface Book. The blue loading bar across the top and the "favorite" symbol have a homey feel to them on an otherwise very different device.

6. Microsoft rewards: If you're like me and have earned hundreds of dollars in gift cards at Amazon and Starbucks over the past several years by searching on Bing, you'll enjoy that these reward values are only higher when using Edge. If I were a product manager at Google, I would look at doing the same before Bing and Amazon take any more traffic. What better situation for a consumer than Bing, Amazon, and Google competing for your searches? Right now, the place to get paid is Bing on Edge.

Of course, using Edge is not a cure for world hunger. There are a couple of issues that Microsoft needs to address as their market share increases:

1. Quality assurance testing: If you are a company with limited resources, testing a browser that only has 4% of the market share doesn’t make good economic sense. As a result, compared with its competitors Edge is a little unstable. Developers report that it can’t handle moderate to heavy JavaScript and doesn’t work well with all websites. The ensuing bugs would likely be solved by more QA resources at companies testing on Edge. Market share growth is the best way to drive reallocation of industry resources. Microsoft also seems to be addressing this problem through updates.

2. Updates: Windows 10 historically only gets one or two feature updates a year, and Edge only gets new features during feature updates. It would be nice to see Microsoft release browser updates more frequently like Google does with Chrome.

While not yet perfect, Microsoft has made leaps and bounds of improvement with their Edge browser over Internet Explorer. Will it ever surpass Google’s Chrome as the premier browser? That's tough to know. But do not write Edge off just because the “e” looks eerily familiar — Edge is not your parents' web browser.

Source: This article was published By Rob Versaw

Earlier this week, we wrote about how Google can highlight erroneous or unconfirmed reports in the immediate aftermath of breaking news. But these rapidly-shifting results are quickly lost in time as the search engine’s algorithms self-correct, making it difficult for outsiders — including journalists — to hold the search engine accountable for spreading potentially harmful information.

There is one group working on a concept for a system that would establish a record of search engine results. The idea is similar to the Internet Archive, which downloads periodic copies of websites, but more complicated since search engines display different results depending on the time as well as the location and history of the user. The solution for tracking such a complicated system is described in a prospectus for the Sunlight Society, founded by a group of 20 researchers under the banner of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology (AIBRT), a nonprofit in Vista, California that conducts research in psychology and tech.

The concept is similar to Nielsen Media Research’s longstanding system that collects information about audience size and demographics of television viewers through meters installed in households around the country. But instead of monitoring TV habits of real people, the system would monitor their internet use. This would require a worldwide network of paid collaborators who would provide the Sunlight Society with access to their search results.

“This is about new methods of influence that have never existed before, and that are affecting the decisions of billions of people every day without their knowledge, and without leaving a paper trail,” said Robert Epstein, a 64-year-old researcher, book author, and former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today.

In one set of experiments published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Epstein and a collaborator had thousands of undecided voters in the United States and India, in person and over Mechanical Turk, use a mock search engine called Kadoodle. Kadoodle tested whether displaying results that the researchers determined to be biased in favor of a candidate higher up in the rankings could have an impact on stated voting intention. The researchers concluded that it would be “relatively easy” to boost a candidate by at least 20 percent and the duo coined a new term: the “search engine manipulation effect.”

In another project, which was published as a white paper on AIBRT’s website, Epstein recruited a network of anonymous confidants who provided access to their search histories during the runup to the 2016 presidential election, comprising more than 13,000 election-related searches. Overall, he says, results that were “biased in Mrs. Clinton’s favor” tended to float to the top of the list, a claim that picked up mainstream coverage (though the paper does not describe how the researchers decided a result was “positive”). Though he told me he doesn’t believe Silicon Valley executives are actively altering search results to influence elections, Epstein worries that they don’t appreciate the power their platforms hold over the electorate.

“We need to see, and capture, record, what the algorithms are showing people,” Epstein said. Even if Google and other gatekeepers published their code, he said, that wouldn’t be enough to demonstrate the different results that different users receive for the same query at different moments in time. “Looking at the actual code is useless. We need to see what people are seeing on their screens.”

The idea of a network of search engine monitors is compelling.

Epstein’s findings about the 2016 election have not been peer-reviewed, and Google called them“nothing more than a poorly constructed conspiracy theory.” Epstein also has a peculiar history with Google. In 2012, the search giant started displaying a warning that his website had been compromised by malware. Epstein couldn’t find a virus, and he fired off an angry email copied to Larry Page, a Google attorney, his congressman and journalists at the New York Times, The Washington Post, and Wired. It later turned out that this site had in fact been infected, though Epstein claimed the danger to users was minimal. He also sometimes drops hints of a conspiratorial worldview. He refuses to communicate over Gmail, since it’s owned by Google and alludes to black-hat marketers and cash payments that, he said, were involved in the formation of the Sunlight Society.

Despite these caveats, the idea of a network of search engine monitors is compelling. Search engines like Google and other big tech companies like Facebook control what information regular citizens receive and how it’s packaged. This information is ephemeral, highly personalized, and controlled in part by machine learning, all factors that make it harder to understand what impact these systems have on culture and democracy.

“We are looking at the power that these algorithms have to shift opinions, and there’s never been anything like this in human history,” Epstein told me. In the future, he hopes that a network of human monitors watching what unfolds on the web could “track manipulative online content (like fake news stories) as it is proliferating,” he said in an email. In an era when online hoaxes spread like gossip, taking in celebrities, politicians, and journalists, an independent watchdog doesn’t seem like a bad idea. We now know that the Russian government propagated fake news stories. What we don’t know is how widespread that effort was, or how much it affected people. Maybe an archive like Epstein’s could help.

In March, 12 researchers at institutions including Stanford University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Amsterdam pledged support for Epstein’s work. The Sunlight Society’s founding members include computer science, engineering, and law faculty at Stanford, Princeton, and King’s College. Epstein said the system was unlikely to deploy before the second half of 2018.

“What I’ve realized is that the deliberateness, the malice, is a small problem compared to the negligence,” Epstein said. “Even if you're handed off, your algorithms are going to be making decisions all the time about filtering and ordering. I actually find that more disturbing — the idea that elections around the world are being determined by algorithms.”

Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify the effect Epstein found in a study of undecided voters in the U.S. and India.

Source: This article was published By Jon Christian

In my work as a writer and career coach, I spend a great deal of time on LinkedIn. I review hundreds of profiles a month, including those of new colleagues, potential clients, podcast guests, speaking agents, journalists, thought leaders and more. I also train my clients and course members how to communicate more powerfully, and build stronger LinkedIn content that elicits interest and follow up.

This work allows me a window into “seeing” people’s real personalities, challenges, and blocks through their writing. What I’ve learned is this: How you do LinkedIn is how you do your professional life.   And if you're not careful, your LinkedIn profile shares aspects of your professional life and how you view yourself that you won’t want others to know.

Here are five things your LinkedIn profile reveals that you’re probably not aware of (and will want to change).

#1: You’re hiding

If you don’t have a photo up on your profile, you’re hiding, plain and simple. LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with more than 530 million users in over 200 countries and territories. With that volume of activity, many users undoubtedly would be interested in what you stand for and care about in your work. But without a photo on your profile, you’re saying “Don’t see me. Just pass me over. I’m not important or worthy enough for you to see my face.”

Tip: This week, take a photo (or have someone take it of you) – face front, smiling – and upload it. Make it professional (no bathing suits, etc.). This is a professional platform, not a dating app. Also, upload a great cover image (a photo for the banner at the top of your page) that represents something that will tell us more about you, what you care about, and why we should care. Always keep in mind who you want to engage with, and make sure your content will connect with people you'll be excited to talk to.

#2: You’re not passionate about your work

It’s clear how you feel about your work by the words you use to explain it. If you choose words that are drab, boring, passive, unclear –without any indication of what lights you up from the inside – then the message is that you don’t like your work. People who have deep passion for their field and endeavors communicate that with a vitality and energy that speaks volumes about how much they’re connected to what they’re doing.

Tip: Go through your profile, and replace every single word that is boring, repetitive, overused and uninspired. Find a way to talk about what you do so that people can say “Wow! She loves what she does and is good at it!” (If you can’t do that no matter how hard you try, it’s indicative that you’re in the wrong career, job or employer.)

#3: You don’t know your value or what you’re great at

I can’t tell you how many professionals miss the boat in terms of failing to share exciting, juicy facts of who they are, what they’ve done and the “needles” they moved in their roles. You need to communicate on LinkedIn exactly what you do that brings about important outcomes that help the company thrive or grow. And you need to communicate how you do what you do in ways that are different from how anyone else on the planet would do it.

Tip: Spend this weekend sitting quietly without distractions, and write down everything that’s made you who you are (your ancestry, cultural training, achievements, traumas, pivotal moments, relationships that flattened you and those that enlivened you, your passions and talents, and unique perspectives, etc.) Then connect the dots. Answer the question “How has every one of these influences shaped me in a way that makes me a powerful, valuable contributor to the work I do?”

Write down the "20 facts of you" – what you’ve accomplished, achieved and made possible, and the scope of those achievements (with metrics that illustrate the impact) and why these outcomes mattered to the organization. Sharing these facts is not bragging. It's helping people understand what you're capable of and how that's of use in the world.

#4: You’re seeking employment but don’t know how or where to look

When you write your headline with the words “Looking for opportunities” or “Seeking employment” you’re shooting yourself in the foot. You’re focused on what you’re lacking (a job) whereas your profile should be written to highlight what you have to offer. Write it with the express intent of engaging the reader. Your headline is the place for you to tell the world WHY they should hire you, HOW you’re unique and valuable, and WHAT is vitally important about your career trajectory and experience that others should take heed of because it will be useful for them. And make sure you are crystal clear about what you can do going forward, not just recite your past history.

 Tip: Never use your headline to talk about looking for opportunities. That’s a given. We’re all looking for opportunities there. Use that precious real estate to share what you do, who you do it for, and the outcomes you’re passionate about bringing forward.

#5: You’re not sure why your work matters

Finally, if you list only the tasks that you’ve performed and not the “what happened” after these tasks were accomplished, you’re leaving us guessing about why your work matters. Make it clear that the work you do has an impact, and can continue to make a difference in other situations, opportunities, and employers. You’re more than just your current job (please recognize that), but if you don’t share how you can apply your talents and abilities in ways that move organizations forward, the reader can’t envision exciting future possibilities for you.

Tip: Make sure that everything you write is not task-oriented, but benefit-focused. And share most about what you love doing, not the boring, mundane work you never want to do again. Every word you write has the power to attract you more of same. So if 80% of your work makes you feel dead inside, then emphasize the 20% that makes you feel alive, important and valuable in the world.

Source: This article was published By Kathy Caprino

In partnership with academics from the University of Oxford, a London start-up has condensed the power of cloud based visual search technology to the size of a book. The Pholio device, which can safely store or access your media all in one place, allows an incredible level of search and discovery across your photos and home videos. The software in Pholio automatically checks all images in your collections against 20,000 in-built search terms, from ‘birthday’ to ‘christmas’ and ‘house renovation’.  By keying a relevant search term into a browser on a connected TV screen, tablet, phone or laptop at home, families can search for all sorts of things in their own photo collections – from day trips to Bangor to bungee jumps in Niagara. What's more, the technology within the Pholio box will evolve for individuals based on their specific interests and collections - each box will end up understanding different things depending on its owner. The basic Pholio device can store up to 500 gigabytes of data, whilst Pholio Pro offers a storage capacity of 2TB. Prices start at £199.

Pholio Press Release


  •          London based start-up takes on the likes of Google Photos with Pholio, a book sized in-home personal photo and video processing box
  •          Pholio provides private control and AI-powered, content-based search across the tens of thousands of digital photos and videos we have scattered across mobile devices, social networks, computers, and cloud backups
  •          Pholio’s built-in deep-learning algorithms can spot and instantly retrieve images which match any of 20,000 built-in descriptions. New content-based descriptors can easily be trained by the user based on example images in their collection or on the Internet 

In partnership with academics from the University of Oxford, a London start-up has condensed the power of cloud based visual search technology to the size of a book.

The Pholio device, which can safely store or access your media all in one place, allows an incredible level of search and discovery across your photos and home videos.

Simon Randall, CEO of Pholio, said: “Thanks to smartphones and mobile devices, we are creating more content than ever before.  The problem is that for every upload to the cloud or (yet another) sub-folder created on the computer, you could well be adding hundreds of files.  The chances are that many of these images and videos will sit for years collecting digital dust.  Searching for special memories and discovering those you thought were lost, is now easier than ever before.”

The software in Pholio automatically checks all images in your collections against 20,000 in-built search terms, from ‘birthday’ to ‘christmas’ and ‘house renovation’.  By keying a relevant search term into a browser on a connected TV screen, tablet, phone or laptop at home, families can search for all sorts of things in their own photo collections – from day trips to Bangor to bungie jumps in Niagara.

Pholio was trained in the lab by showing it millions of images with a wide range of content.  A custom set of deep learning algorithms has learnt how to create a unique summary of the contents of images so Pholio can recognise and classify faces, objects and scenes that it has never seen before. Pholio has been trained to recognise 20,000 search terms which can be used fully offline.  If Pholio is connected to the internet, owners can search for anything (Pholio can learn new search terms on the fly based on what users search for).

The technology within the Pholio box will evolve for individuals based on their specific interests and collections - each box will end up understanding different things depending on its owner.  It will be a boon for collectors and hobbyists who can train their systems to recognise the things they care about.  From stamps to birds, cars, shoes or handbags, the device allows detailed exploration and sorting based on what it learns about the collections.

Pholio is now taking pre-orders.  The Pholio device, with built-in search capabilities, is available from £199 for early orders.

According to estimates, a staggering 1.2 trillion photographs will be taken this year, double the number taken four years ago.  With many photographers owning a myriad of devices, from tablets to phones to digital cameras, Pholio is a perfect way of condensing and exploring important family archives.  The basic Pholio device will manage collections of up to 140,000 images, the equivalent of 875 standard photo albums [1].

Simon Randall added: “With the growing volume of data coming from imaging and connected devices in the home there is a critical need for local processing and control.  This will save cloud streaming costs, increase response speeds, and provide choices that don't require handing over control of your data.  Pholio is step 1 in our drive to bring data control and ownership back into the home through harnessing developments in deep learning technology that everyone can make use of.”

A short history of our photography collections

1850s                     The earliest photo albums created.  Owners often put the albums on display and they featured ornate illustrations surrounding the images.

1920s                     35mm film invented

1948                       First Polaroid camera launched

1997                       Philippe Kahn instantly shared the first pictures from the maternity ward where his daughter Sophie was born. He wirelessly transmitted his cell phone pictures to more than 2,000 family, friends and associates around the world. Kahn's wireless sharing software and camera integrated into his cell phone signalled the birth of instant visual communications. Kahn's cell phone transmission is the first known publicly shared picture via a mobile phone.

2000                       The first dedicated camera phone sold in Japan

2004                       Launch of Flickr

2005                       Dixons ends 35mm film camera sales

2010                       Launch of Instagram

2017                       An estimated 1.2 trillion digital images taken, scattering our collections worldwide

2017                       Pholio launches, bringing the photo album home

[1] Pholio: 500GB Storage-140k photos | PholioPro: 2TB Storage –560k photos

Estimate assumes Pholio is setup to store optimised photo thumbnails only and is based on physical photo albums which hold 160 photos

Source: This article was published By Zoltan Arva-Toth

Misplacing a cell phone or having one stolen is a horrible experience. We store a vast amount of personal data on our phones. From health or medical information to photos, and payment details -- our phones hold intimate details of our lives.

In order to aid in finding a lost device, both Google and Apple include ways to track a missing phone right in their respective operating systems. While the feature may be built-in, you'll still need to do some setup and know-how to access it should you ever lose a phone.

Finding a lost iPhone

Apple's solution is called Find My iPhone. This same service is capable of tracking any and all of your iOS devices (not to mention any Mac also associated with your Apple ID). To enable it on your iPhone, follow the steps below:

The process for activating Find My iPhone on an iPhone
credit: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Scroll down and tap on "iCloud."
  3. Near the bottom of the list, find and select "Find My iPhone."
  4. Slide the switch next to Find My iPhone to the On position.
  5. While you're there, it's a good idea to turn on Send Last Location as well (more on this in a minute).

With Find My iPhone enabled, you can track a lost or stolen device through the Find My iPhone app on another iOS device or by visiting and signing in to your iCloud account. When tracking a device from either the app or iCloud website, you can lock it with a new passcode, track where the device currently is as well as where it has been, and as a last resort, you can fully erase all contents of the device.

Keep in mind that your iPhone will need to be turned on and connected to the Internet -- either through a cellular connection or Wi-Fi -- in order for the service to work. So if a would-be thief picks up your device and immediately turns it off, you're out of luck until it's turned back on and able to connect to a network. If Send Last Location is enabled (mentioned back in step 5), your iPhone will report its last known location as the battery gets low. This won't help you pinpoint the exact spot of the device if it's been moved after the battery dies, but it will provide you with a good starting point to begin tracking down your device.

In order to disable Find My iPhone on a device, Apple requires the user to approve the change with his or her Apple ID password. In other words, should a thief pick up your device they will be unable to disable Find My iPhone altogether unless they also know your password.

Finding a lost Android phone

Google's Android Device Manager works more or less the same way as Apple's Find My iPhone. Instead of having the service pre-installed, however, you will need to download the app from the Play Store and set it up in order to use it. Here's how:

The process for installing, setting up Android Device Manager.
credit: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  1. Search the Play Store for "Android Device Manager," or click this link.
  2. Install the app, and then sign in with your Google account.
  3. Be sure to leave the checkbox "Never Ask Me Again" unchecked. If you leave that box checked, anyone with access to your device would have the ability to disable the feature or track your other devices.

If you ever lose your device, you can then use another Android device to track your phone using the app or visit Google's Android Device Manager website. You'll need to log into the site using the same Google account you used to sign in to the app on your phone.

Using the app, you can play a sound on the device, lock it, or completely erase it. As with the iPhone, if the device is powered off you will be unable to track it until it's turned back on and connected to a network.

Finding other types of cell phones

Android and iOS make up the bulk of cell phones currently used today, but not all. Windows Phone users can follow the instructions laid out by Microsoft here. BlackBerry 10 users can also track a lost device using BlackBerry Protect. If you're still clutching onto a flip phone, odds are you won't have the ability to track your phone in the event it goes missing. Sorry.

If you have a sort of phone we didn't describe here, visit the manufacturer's Web site or contact them to see if they have a method for tracking a lost device.

Source: This article was published By Jason

Snapchat Stories kicked off a new trend for listing friends that have viewed your updates / Getty

LinkedIn is probably the most generous social network of them all for online lurkers

Lots of us would love to know which of our friends and connections are secretly looking at our social media updates without engaging with them but, more often than not, networks deliberately make this information either difficult or impossible to access.

Users can openly express interest with likes, comments and retweets, but we’ll always be curious about the unknown. 

Fortunately, there are a number of straightforward ways to dig up telltale “stalking” signs across the biggest social networks, with some providing a little more insight than others.



The sheer number of dodgy-looking ‘Who Viewed My Profile?’ type apps that are available to download show just how desperate a lot of Facebook users are to identify potential secret admirers. 

While the site doesn’t allow you to find out who’s visited your profile, it keeps track of the friends who’ve checked out your ephemeral Facebook Stories updates, gathering their names in a list that only you can see.

Assuming that your privacy settings allow people to follow you, you can find a complete list of the people who don't want to be your friend but do want to know what you get up to by clicking the Friends tab on your profile and selecting Followers. 

Somewhat unnervingly, Facebook also allows users to create secret lists of friends. As of yet there’s no way to find out if you’re on somebody’s list, but if you are, its creator will get a notification each time you post something.  


As a social network built more heavily around news and opinions rather than personal pictures and activities, Twitter-stalking doesn’t appear to be quite as much of a thing.   

There’s still a way to find out more information about who’s viewing your updates, but it’s not particularly precise. 

The microblogging site’s Analytics Dashboard offers up a number of useful insights, including tweet impressions, link clicks, detail expands and the gender, location, age and interests of the people interacting with your posts, but you’re ultimately unlikely to identify a stalker this way.   


As is the case with Facebook, it’s Instagram’s Stories feature that gives the game away. It works in a similar manner, to Facebook Stories listing the names of the people who’ve viewed your 24-hour posts.

However, making your account public allows people who don’t follow you to watch your Instagram Stories posts too. Only in their case, you’ll know that they went out of their way to see what you've been getting up to. Just like your friends, their names will be included in a list that only you can see. 

Making your account private will cut off Stories access for non-followers, and you can also hide your Story from people who actually do follow you.


As most people are aware, both Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories are ripped from Snapchat, which has something of a reputation for being one of the raciest social networks.

Snapchat Stories kicked off the trend for displaying all of the friends that have viewed your pictures and videos, but it goes a step further by also notifying you when any of them screenshot your updates. 


At the opposite end of the spectrum is LinkedIn, but the professional network is arguably the most generous of the bunch for online stalkers. ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ is a core feature, with the site notifying you whenever a fellow user visits your page, and vice versa.

However, you can't view the names of members who've chosen to visit your profile in private mode, even if you’ve paid for a Premium account.

You can try to turn the tables on your stalkers – without coughing up for advanced features – by selecting Anonymous LinkedIn Member under Profile Viewing Options in the privacy menu, though this also hides the identity of every single person who visits your profile.

Source : This article was published By AATIF SULLEYMAN

Apple fans still have a painfully long wait to endure before the company’s new iPhone 8 hits store shelves later this year, but the rumor mill is already hard at work. In fact, we’ve known for months what to expect from Apple’s next-generation iPhone, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone’s release in 2007.

If all goes according to plan, Apple will release new iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models that feature the typical spec bumps we’ve come to expect from “S” updates, though they may also feature new glass backs to facilitate wireless charging. Then, alongside those new iPhones, a special premium model is expected to debut.

People have been calling it the iPhone 8, though it’ll likely carry a different name such as “iPhone Edition,” though “iPhone X” has also been tossed around. Whatever it’s called, it can’t get here soon enough if it looks anything at all like this.

Apple-iPhone-X-Die-Design-Studie-von-COMPUTER-BILD-1024x576-b270b5fdc4737930 Rebecca Jenkins - AOFIRS

The image above shows an iPhone 8 (or iPhone Edition, or iPhone X) as dreamt up by well-known graphic designer Martin Hajek. The images were published by a German blog called Computer Bild, and they show what may very well be the hottest imagining we’ve ever seen of Apple’s next-generation iPhone.

Here it is in a few other colors:

Apple-iPhone-X-Die-Design-Studie-von-COMPUTER-BILD-1024x576-5b83ef1ee9638415 Rebecca Jenkins - AOFIRS
Apple-iPhone-X-Die-Design-Studie-von-COMPUTER-BILD-1024x576-779ba6c213bcf3bc Rebecca Jenkins - AOFIRS
Apple-iPhone-X-Die-Design-Studie-von-COMPUTER-BILD-1024x576-3d5658ba9d3cc807 Rebecca Jenkins - AOFIRS
Hajek took design elements noted by reliable Apple insiders like KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and he turned them into a stunning Apple smartphone. The glass face of the device is occupied almost entirely but the new OLED display Apple is expected to adopt, and the home button has been replaced by a virtual on-screen button. Rumors suggest the company’s new Touch ID fingerprint scanner will be embedded beneath the screen.The sides of the iPhone 8 are stainless steel, as we’ve heard a few times now, and the back is made of glass so that wireless charging can be added to the phone. The aluminum in Apple’s current iPhones is certainly more sturdy, but unfortunately wireless charging can’t yet be achieved with a metal housing.As an added bit of fun since this will be the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone, Hajek also imagine what it might look like if Apple modernized the first-generation model’s design. There’s probably no chance at all of Apple actually releasing a model that looks like this, but it’s pretty awesome:
Apple-iPhone-X-Die-Design-Studie-von-COMPUTER-BILD-1024x576-ba1612c9d3af31c5 Rebecca Jenkins - AOFIRS
Apple-iPhone-X-Die-Design-Studie-von-COMPUTER-BILD-1024x576-e4c275e4b31f12c6 Rebecca Jenkins - AOFIRS
Apple-iPhone-X-Die-Design-Studie-von-COMPUTER-BILD-1024x576-debf5a8f2d3458fa Rebecca Jenkins - AOFIRS
Source :

What the Future of Mobile Technology Holds

Technology flies along at a breakneck pace, so much so that it almost defies belief. When you compare computers of ten years ago to the super computers of today it’s easy to see how, in the last decade, technological advancements have simply exploded.

Mobile phones are a perfect example of this, and apart from a number of other incredible features and functions, phones in 2017 have as much processing power and storage space as a dozen phones from 2000.

An interesting conundrum, however, has always been trying to predict what the future of technology holds. It is, after all, very difficult to try and imagine exactly what it is that will make something better than it is right now. Even so, let’s take a look at some of the professional predictions of how mobile phone technology will advance in the future.

Better Battery Life

By far the most complained about aspect of modern smartphones is their battery life. As phones have become more powerful, they have likewise become more demanding on their batteries.  A new model phone such as the iPhone 7 with its 128GB storage and all its features turned on can easily be dead within a few hours.

If looking at the history of batteries, there is an average of a 6% improvement per year. Although mobile companies have moved on from using the original NiCD batteries and on to more sophisticated options such as LiPoly batteries, battery life is still something that could improve in the future.

In an interview in the Enquirer, Dr Kevin Curran, a computer science expert at Ulster University, said that a 25% battery life increase in the near future could be imminent. However, although this battery life improvement may exist, the devices themselves might be so demanding that the improvements are hardly noticeable.

He added, however, that some promising work is being done in the areas of lithium-sulphur and hydrogen fuel cells, and this could make all the difference.

A Boost for Biometrics                                 

Going forward, biometric technology is set to advance in a big way. Imagine a phone that learns from you as you use it, gathering information over time.

The phone will not only be familiar with your face and fingerprints, but the very nature of the way you type, and interact with the device. Keystroke dynamics, as it is referred to, will soon become standard in smartphones, according to Dr Curran.

And this goes one step further. Paramedics could soon be using ultra-advanced biometric focused smartphones to help with medical diagnosis out in the field, massively improving the help given to patients. The device, with the help of an ever-growing database of cloud information, could literally save lives.

Mobile technology phone watch

Vast Visual Appeal

Predicting what smartphones will look like in the future is perhaps the most difficult aspect, since aesthetic design is enormously subjective. Much of the physical design of current smartphones, for example, is based around touchscreens, and how best to interact with them.

If touchscreens remain the norm, it seems likely that smartphones will move towards becoming more ergonomic, seen in such concepts like the EmoPulse Phone or the Philips Fluid. There may also be a shift towards the wearable dimension like Kambala’s earpiece phone, or the iPhone NextG projector.

As technology is advancing at such a rapid rate, it’s safe to say that future mobile developments are imminent, and there’s scope and potential for just about anything the imagination can dream up.

Author :

Last time you dialed a corporate call center, did the agent seem nicer than usual? That could be because companies now pull data from sites like Facebook and LinkedIn in order to select an operator who is most likely to charm you.

According to the Wall Street Journal, phone giant Sprint (S, +0.35%) and casino operator Caesars are among the firms using the new matchmaker tools, which works by running phone numbers through a variety of databases prior to when a call center agent picks up the phone.

The new system is based on the idea that it's possible, using thousands of call records, to determine which agents perform best with certain type of customers.

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For instance, a certain agent's call history might show she is exceptionally good at serving middle class young women who frequently dine out. Now, if one of those restaurant-loving women are on the line, the data tools route the call to that agent.

How can a company know so much about who is calling? The answer lies in data-gobbling firms such as Afiniti Holdings, which mash together not only social media profiles, but a wealth of other information as well. As the Journal notes:

[Afiniti's] artificial intelligence software, which has been installed in more than 150 call centers by dozens of companies, examines as many as 100 databases tied to landline and cellphone numbers to determine the best agent to answer each individual caller. Such matching can result in more satisfied customers and more sales, the company says.

Afiniti’s technology not only pulls callers’ histories for a business and credit profile, but seeks insights into their behavior by scouring their public Facebook and Twitter posts as well as LinkedIn pages.

Author Cathy O’Neil explains what could go wrong.

When it comes to social media, the amount of data Afiniti can scrape is limited to what users display publicly on sites like Facebook (FB, +0.07%) and LinkedIn (MSFT, +0.42%). Nonetheless, such data can offer a wealth of clues about a person's location, profession, and interests — information that is even more powerful when combined with records like credit and shopping histories that Afiniti buys from third party brokers like Acxiom.

For firms, using all this information to pair call center agents with consumers may translate into more sales and higher levels of customer satisfaction. And for consumers, it might make the experience of phoning a call center more pleasant. But as with any other big data breakthrough, the situation raises privacy concerns and questions of whether consumers should be able to opt out, or just call in anonymously instead.

Author : Jeff John Roberts

Source :

With numerous high profile security breaches and hacks in the news, privacy and security are at top of mind for many. It's not just about emails either, all of your data is at risk including photos, text messages, files, and browser history. It's more important than ever to keep your personal data safe from would-be hackers and prying eyes. With many of us managing our lives via smartphone, that one device holds a lot of power and it's essential to stay on top of mobile security.

Here are mobile apps you should consider downloading in order to keep your communication, financial data, and other private information safe and secure. As always, it's important that you download these apps from a reputable source. I've linked to the Google Play Store below and included the company name so you can be confident that you're downloading the correct app if you choose another app store.

Messaging and Email

For the utmost security when texting and emailing, end-to-end encryption is key. This means that only the message sender and receiver can read the messages; not even the messaging company itself can decrypt them. With end-to-end encryption, you don't have to worry about private messages getting forwarded to other parties or law enforcement getting access to your data by subpoena. Your device is still susceptible to hack or theft though, so it's important to take other precautions such as installing a VPN (see the next section), keeping a close eye on your belongings, and using the Android Device Manager to track or brick your phone in case of loss or theft.

Signal Private Messenger by Open Whisper Systems

Signal Private Messenger was endorsed on Twitter by none other than Edward Snowden, which isn't a surprise considering it's a free app with no ads that uses end-to-end encryption to keep your personal messages and voice chats private. It doesn't even require an account; you can activate the app via text message.

Once you're set up, you can import the messages stored on your phone into the app. You can also use Signal to send unencrypted messages to non-Signal users, this way you don't have to toggle between apps. Likewise, you can make encrypted and unencrypted voice calls from Signal. Keep in mind that texts and calls made using Signal use data, so be mindful of your data limits and use Wi-Fi (with a VPN; see below) when possible.

Telegram by Telegram Messenger LLP

Telegram works similarly to Signal, but offers some extra features including stickers and GIFs. Like Signal, there are no ads in the apps and it's completely free. It differs in that you can use Telegram on multiple devices (though only one phone) and you can't send messages to non-Telegram users. All messages on Telegram are encrypted, but you can choose between messages that are stored in the cloud and those that are accessible only on the device that sent or received the messages. The latter is called Secret Chats, which can also be programmed to self-destruct.

Wickr Me – Secure Messenger by Wickr

Finally, Wickr Me also offers end-to-end encrypted text, video, and picture messaging, as well as voice chat. It also has a shredder feature that permanently removes all deleted messages, images, and video from your device.

Like Signal and Telegram, Wickr Me is free of cost and ads. Like Telegram, it also has stickers, as well as graffiti and photo filters.

ProtonMail – Encrypted Email by ProtonMail

An email service based in Switzerland, ProtonMail requires two passwords, one to log into your account and the other to encrypt and decrypt your messages. Encrypted data is stored on the company's servers, which are housed under 1,000 meters of granite rock in a bunker in Switzerland. The free version of ProtonMail includes 500 MB of storage and 150 messages per day. The ProtonPlus plan ($5/month or $48/year) bumps up the storage to 5 GB, and the message allotment to 300 per hour and 1000 per day while the ProtonMail Visionary plan ($30/month or $288/year) offers 20 GB of storage and unlimited messages.

Browsers and VPN

DuckDuckGo Search & Stories by DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a search engine with a mascot and a twist: it doesn't track your search activity or target ads to you based on your personal data. The downside to the search engine not collecting information about you is that the search results aren't as tailored as Google's. It comes down to customization versus privacy.

You can also enable Tor, a private browser, within DuckDuckgo. Tor protects your privacy by preventing websites from identifying your location and individuals from tracking the website you visit. However, you'll need an accompanying app, such as OrBot: Proxy with Tor by The Tor Project, to encrypt your Internet traffic.

Ghostery Privacy Browser by Ghostery

Ever notice something you searched for, such as a pair of sneakers, show up as an ad on another website? Ghostery helps you minimize access to your data by ad trackers and other tools. You can view all of the trackers on a website and block any with which you're not comfortable. It also lets you easily clear your cookies and cache and you can choose between eight different search engines including the aforementioned DuckDuckGo.

Avira Phantom VPN by AVIRA and NordVPN by NordVPN

If you use Wi-Fi often to save on data consumption, your security may be at risk. Open Wi-Fi connections, such as those offered at coffee shops and public places are vulnerable to hackers who can tunnel in and capture your private information. A Virtual Private Connection (VPN), such as Avira Phantom VPN and NordVPN, encrypts your connection and your location to keep snoops out. Both also enable you to choose a location so you can view content that's regionally restricted, such as a sporting event or TV show. Avira Phantom VPN offers up to 500 MB of data monthly and ups that to 1 GB if you register; you can get unlimited data for $10 per month. NordVPN is a paid app with unlimited data. There are three plan options: $11.95 for one month; $7 per month for six months; or $5.75 per month for one year. It offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

Adblock Browser for Android by Eyeo GmbH

While ads help many websites and apps pay the bills, they're often intrusive, covering over something you're trying to read or generally getting in the way of a good user experience. This can be especially frustrating on a smaller screen. Worse, some ads contain tracking or even malware. As with its desktop counterpart, you can choose to block all ads and whitelist sites you'd like to support.

Phone Calls

Hushed Anonymous Phone Number by AffinityClick Inc.

Is there anything more annoying than persistent calls from telemarketers? Unwanted calls can verge on harassment. The Hushed app lets you create disposable numbers anytime you're not comfortable sharing your digits; it's like having burner phones without having to buy an actual burner phone. It will also block your number from displaying on Caller ID. Hushed is a great tool to have when buying or selling things online, dating or any interactions with strangers, or when you sign up for a website that requires a phone number. Hushed is free for the first few days, after which you can sign up for a paid plan and either pay by the minute or opt for an unlimited plan.

Silent Phone – private calls by Silent Circle, Inc.

We've talked about encrypting your text messages, emails, and voice chats, but if you actually use your phone as a phone, you'll want to do the same for your calls. Silent Phone not only encrypts your phone calls, but it also offers secure file sharing and has a self-destruct feature for text messages. Unlimited calls and messaging are included in the $9.95 per month subscription.

Files and Apps

SpiderOakONE by SpiderOak, Inc.

Cloud storage is a huge convenience, but as with everything online, susceptible to hacks. SpiderOakONE touts itself as 100 percent zero knowledge, which means that your data is readable only by you. Other cloud storage services can read your data, which means if there's a data breach, your information is compromised. Plans start at $5 per month for 100 GB and top out at $12 per month for 1 TB. The company offers a 21-day trial and doesn't require a credit card on file so you don't have to worry about unwanted charges if you forget to cancel.

AppLock by DoMobile Lab

When you pass your phone around to share pictures or let your child play a game on it, you've probably had that sinking feeling that they might see something on there that you don't want them to. Applock lets you keep would-be snoops out by letting you lock apps with a password, PIN, pattern, or fingerprint. This also adds a layer of security if your phone is lost or stolen and someone is able to unlock it. You can also lock images and videos from your gallery app. It uses a random keyboard and invisible pattern lock so you can avoid giving away your password or pattern. You can also prevent others from killing or uninstalling AppLock. Foiled again! Applock has a free option that's ad-supported or you can pay to get rid of ads.

Author : Molly McLaughlin

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