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The Most Rumored Features Tech Experts Think Will Be In iPhone 13 

Even though iPhone 12 was released just a few short months ago, tech experts are already scrambling to compile their lists of what they believe are the official specs for iPhone 13. While all of these features are just rumors, top tech analysts who have certain connections to Apple and their production have been able to successfully predict future tech innovations for the company before, and this will likely be no different. 

The biggest, and likely most accurate rumor, is that the iPhone 13 will have four separate models all at varying prices. This isn’t that crazy of a rumor considering the fact that Apple has released multiple models of the same phone in the past to accommodate consumers who want to spend less, or don’t need all the specs that are in the most expensive of the models. 

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The device will likely cost the same as iPhone 12, which has a base starting price of $799. Apple may also consider lowering the price of their next iPhone model to better compete with cheaper smartphone brands like Android. 

Most of Apple’s current phones refresh at a rate of 60 frames per second, while certain Android devices can refresh at up to 120 frames per second. The higher the refresh rate, the faster and smoother the phone runs when scrolling and switching between applications. 

Every upgrade to the iPhone essentially guarantees an upgrade to the already immaculate camera quality that these phones possess. “The iPhone 12 camera array currently includes regular, ultra-wide and selfie cameras, night mode photos on all cameras, improved HDR mode, a telephoto lens (on the Pro and Pro Max models) and 2.5x zoom (on the Pro Max only),” according to CNET.

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It’s likely that iPhone 13 will have an added periscope camera to improve zoom, and an improvement on night mode photography as well; as these have been the biggest complaints regarding the iPhone 12 camera quality. 

The iPhone 13 is also rumored to bring back touch ID for logging into the device. Touch ID hasn’t been on a smartphone model for Apple since iPhone 8 after Apple removed the home button all together from its devices. Now, it’s rumored that along with the standard Face ID unlocking that all later iPhone models possess, a touch ID feature will be implemented into the volume or power buttons. 

The next generation iPhone will likely not have a headphone jack, but unlike the current models will potentially remove another port from the device. The lightning port where one inserts the charging cable could be removed in iPhone 13. Instead the phone will take advantage of Apple’s MagSafe technology and rely strictly on wireless charging. Some experts believe that this would be foolish on Apple’s part, especially for individuals who are on the go and don’t have room to carry around a chunky wireless charger. 

Facebook To Restore News Sharing Services In Australia 

Facebook announced that it will be restoring all news pages in Australia after the platform and Australian government agreed to certain changes within the media coding that would grant greater control over what appears on the platform from both parties. 

Facebook and the Australian government have been at odds for months now. Initially Australia was attempting to pass legislation that would require Facebook and Google to pay news and media outlets for their content before they’re able to share it across their platforms. “The initial version of the legislation would have allowed media outlets to bargain either individually or collectively with Facebook and Google — and to enter binding arbitration if the parties couldn’t reach an agreement,” according to reports

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This week the Australian government also released a statement in which they claimed they would “amend the code to include a provision that must take into account whether a digital platform has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry through reaching commercial agreements with news media businesses.” 

Campbell Brown is Facebook’s vice president for global news partnerships who recently spoke with the media regarding the new deal. 

“The government has clarified Facebook will retain the ability to decide if news appears on the platform so that we won’t automatically be subject to forced negotiation.” 

Brown continued to explain that the “agreement will allow Facebook to support the publishers they choose to, including small and local publishers. Our company will also be restoring the news on Facebook in Australia in the coming days.” 

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Brown is of course referring to Facebook’s decision last week to remove all news articles and services from the platform, barring Australians from finding or sharing news. This move not only impacted the thousands of media publishers on Facebook, but government agencies and services as well. The removal of media outlets indirectly removed pages for emergency government services and charities, leaving many Australians who are dependent on those services without the ability to access them. 

Facebook’s recent decision to restore the news came after the Australian Senate discussed the recent media laws passed that allowed the platform to take away so many essential services and pages. 

“It’s always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we’ll continue to invest in news globally, and resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook,” Brown explained. 

Google, on the other hand, has already been attempting to surpass the new legislation by partnering with some of Australia’s largest media organizations. All of these deals are currently unconfirmed, but will likely be revealed in the coming weeks.

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Apple Is Creating A Magnetic Battery Pack Attachment For iPhones

Apple has announced that they are currently working on a magnetically attached battery pack for its newest line of iPhone models. This wireless accessory would charge the phone the same way a chargeable case would. 

Apple has been working on developing this attachment for at least a year, and was initially hoping to release it in the months following the iPhone 12 launch. iPhone 12 models were released back in October 2020, so it’s likely that the company will be releasing the product relatively soon, or by the end of the year. 

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The battery pack would use the iPhone 12’s MagSafe system to attach to the device. The MagSafe systems are implemented into the newer iPhone models as a means of charging and pairing other accessories to your phone. One source claims that these battery packs will have a white rubber exterior, and would differ from Apple’s previous battery add-ons because it’s main role is charging the device itself. 

In internal testing, the magnetic attachment system proved to be strong enough to charge a device and stay attached to the phone itself. The accessories development, however, has overall been delayed due to internal issues that cause the product and phone to overheat when it’s in use. Apple is also apparently working on making sure the attachment can work over a phone case as well. 

Sources for Apple claim there’s a chance this attachment will be scrapped altogether due to these software issues, however, the company itself has denied to make any official comment. Accessories and wearable technology has been a major source of revenue for Apple in the past few years, equating to about $13 billion in sales last quarter alone. 

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“The wireless charging device could be a popular accessory for Apple’s new MagSafe ecosystem. Last year, Apple released cases with MagSafe compatibility, leather wallets and a pair of chargers,” said tech expert Mark Gurman

Gurman went on to explain that if these wireless battery attachments are released, they would rival “similar offerings released by small makers in recent months. The company has also discussed other MagSafe accessories internally, including the potential for an in-car attachment, though that product hasn’t made its way into formal development.

Apple has also supposedly been working on letting its mobile devices charge each other in the future. This means that Apple device owners could potentially use battery life from their phone to charge their Apple Watch, AirPods, or other iPhones. This technology will likely not be revealed for quite some time, however, because of the company’s need to perfect how the technology actually works. 

Apple’s MagSafe technology is likely going to be around for a while, and is expected to be incorporated into even more devices in the future. This will lead to the advancement in wireless charging capabilities and synchronicity among Apple’s many smart devices.

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Facebook News Ban In Australia Blocks Pages For Fire Services And Charities

Facebook made the sudden decision to block people from sharing the news in Australia, which has led to a multitude of government organization and service group pages to be completely removed from the social media platform.

Pigs Can Play Video Games? Study Shows ‘Remarkable’ Level Of Mental Flexibility In Species

According to a new study published in ‘Frontiers In Psychology,’ pigs are proving to have a remarkable level of behavioral and mental flexibility after scientists tested the ability of four pigs to play a simple joystick-enabled video game. Each animal in the study showed some level of understanding how the device and game worked. 

The study specifically involved two Yorkshire pigs named Hamlet and Omelette, and two Panepinto micro pigs named Ebony and Ivory. All four animals were trained to approach and manipulate a joystick with their snouts in front of a computer monitor for the first phase of the study. They then transitioned into learning about playing the video game itself; the goal of the simple game was to move a cursor, using the joystick, towards up to four targets located on the sides of the screen. 

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Each pig performed the tasks much more efficiently than expected, leading the researchers to believe that the pigs knew their movements with the joystick impacted the movements on the screen as well. Dr. Candace Croney was the lead author of the study along with co-author Sarah T. Boysen. 

“It’s no small feat for an animal to grasp the concept that the behavior they’re performing is having an effect elsewhere. That pigs can do this to any degree should give us pause as to what else they are capable of learning and how such learning may impact them.”

Scientists were already aware that pigs had the capability to learn, as many farmers train their pigs like dogs to respond to commands like “come” and “sit,” but the complex behaviors that they showed with playing the video game is beyond what anyone has seen before. 

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According to Croney, the team used “food to teach and reinforce behaviors, but also found that social contact could strongly influence their persistence. For instance, when the machine dispensing treats failed to work, the pigs continued to make correct responses using only verbal and tactile cues. And only verbal encouragement seemed to help the animals during the most challenging tasks.”

“This sort of study is important because, as with any sentient beings, how we interact with pigs and what we do to them impacts and matters to them. We therefore have an ethical obligation to understand how pigs acquire information, and what they are capable of learning and remembering, because it ultimately has implications for how they perceive their interactions with us and their environments,” Croney explained. 

While the pigs may have not been able to match the same level of skill as say a chimpanzee when it comes to behavioral analysis, their demonstration of being able to learn a task with positive reinforcement is an amazing advancement in the scientific community. On a larger scale, the authors of the study say that now we can shift to seeing if computer programs can be used to better communicate with pigs directly on their wants and needs.


Nintendo Continues To Thrive, Announces Best Quarter Yet For Switch Devices 

Nintendo has been thriving even more than usual within the past year. The Covid-19 pandemic which has forced the world to stay home indefinitely has been amazing for the entertainment industry, and Nintendo is no different. Especially with the relatively recent release of their Switch and Switch Lite consoles, Nintendo has literally never been more popular. 

Nintendo sold 11.57 million Switch Consoles last quarter alone, bringing the total sales to 79.87 million since the release of the devices in 2017. That marks a 7% increase in sales when compared to this time last year, it also marks the Switch’s best quarter to date. Switch has now surpassed Nintendo 3DS and 2DS devices in terms of sales; 3DS and 2DS devices currently stand at around 75 million units. 

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If the Switch manages to have a normal spring quarter this year, which would mean selling at least 2.5 million units, the device will pass the Game Boy Advance in sales which peaked at 81.51 million. The Wii, Game Boy, and DS family are the only other Nintendo devices currently above the Switch in terms of overall sales when they were released.

Nintendo Switch sales for last quarter are relatively surprising as well due to the fact that Nintendo didn’t have that many big Switch launches last quarter outside of the Legend of Zelda spin-off game Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Beyond that Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit and Pikmin 3 Deluxe were the only other major launches; each game sold a little more than 1 million units. 

Older Nintendo Switch games have been continuously selling since their releases. Mario Kart Deluxe currently has over 33 million sales, and the extremely popular Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been thriving throughout the pandemic. The game is less than a year old and already has 31 million total sales. 

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According to their quarterly reports “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes the third spot with 22.85 million sales, followed by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (21.45 million) and Pokémon Sword and Shield (20.35 million). Rounding out the top 10 is Super Mario Odyssey, Super Mario Party, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!/Eevee!, Splatoon 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.”

Super Mario 3D World and Bowser’s Fury, which is an updated version of the 3DS game, will be coming out February 12th which is expected to give Nintendo an even larger boost in sales. Following that release Persona 5 Strikers and Bravely Default II will both be released on February 23rd and 26th. 

Nintendo also announces that later in the quarter the company Capcom will be releasing their Switch version of Monster Hunter: World, the widely popular PS4, Xbox One, and PC game, which will be titled Monster Hunter Rise. The company also announced that it would be releasing dozens of their other popular titles for the Switch this year; many of which were previously released for Nintendo 3DS devices.

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Apple Warns That iPhone’s Should Be Kept 6 Inches Away From Pacemaker’s

Apple is currently warning customers that its smartphones could potentially interfere with certain medical devices, including pacemakers. In a notice published on Apple’s support page, the company expanded upon previously issued safety warnings against holding your iPhone close to pacemakers or defibrillators due to the fact that the phones contain magnets and radios that emit electromagnetic fields that could “interfere” with the medical devices. 

The notice specifically warns users about “the magnets inside all four iPhone 12 models, as well as MagSafe accessories. iPhone 12 versions contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, but they don’t pose a greater risk of magnetic interference with medical devices than earlier models.”

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In the update Apple explained that medical devices such as pacemakers contain sensors that could react to magnet or radio waves that come in extremely close proximity to it. The company recommends keeping iPhone’s and MagSafe chargers at a “safe distance away from medical devices, which would be at more than 6 inches apart, or 15 inches apart when wirelessly charging.”

When Apple initially announced the iPhone 12 last fall, they also unveiled the return of MagSafe charging for the iPhone and wireless charging docks that would allow users to charge their devices more easily. Other magnetic accessories such as cases and wallets were also released and meant to attach to the back of the phones. 

Apple didn’t respond to questions over why it was specifically expanding upon their safety guidelines now, however, many believe it’s due to the fact that the Heart Rhythm Journal released a report earlier this month that claimed the magnets in the iPhone 12 that make it compatible with MagSafe accessories could interfere with an implanted defibrillator. 

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These warnings, however, aren’t that new within the medical community. Health experts have always cautioned patients with implanted medical devices not to hold cell phones too close to where the implantation is; this was in response to a slew of individuals who held their smartphones in their front shirt pocket.  

Apple warned in the notice that users should “consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device and whether you need to maintain a safe distance of separation between your medical device and iPhone or any MagSafe accessories. Manufacturers often provide recommendations on the safe use of their devices around wireless or magnetic products to prevent possible interference.”

Apple also said if a user feels like any of their devices are interfering with their medical implantation’s then they should immediately stop using their phone or MagSafe accessory and speak with a physician. Another warning issued by the company claimed that iPhone 12 users specifically should avoid placing credit cards, security badges, or passports between your phone and MagSafe charger, as the magnets could damage the magnetic strips and readers on those items.

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Some Of The Best Smart Home Gadgets Revealed At CES 2021

CES is known as the biggest electronics show of the year. While the pandemic may have caused the conference to look a little different this year, tech giants still managed to stun smart technology lovers with a slew of new products that would be the perfect addition to anyone’s smart home. Here’s a list of some of the most talked-about gadgets that were released this year at CES 2021: 

Denon Home Sound Bar 550: This soundbar is the perfect addition to any entertainment system. It delivers lifelike audio that is meant to fill a space and “move” in all 360-degrees, to give you that genuine surround sound experience. 

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Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge: Smart refrigerator’s are relatively new to the smart home realm, however, Samsung has been a major trailblazer in these devices. This year, they’ve released an upgraded version of their Family Hub Smart Fridge which now has upgraded widgets to help you order groceries, find recipes, manage your other smart appliances, and so much more!

Samsung AI Robotic Vacuum: When one thinks about artificial intelligence, the last device you would think that it would be implemented into would be a vacuum. Samsung, however, feels the complete opposite, and has released a robotic vacuum that uses AI technology and special sensors to recognize specific objects on the floors and avoid all fragile pieces of furniture. It even has a built in camera so you can watch its route from anywhere. 

LOCKLY Duo Smart Lock: This electronic lock/deadbolt system for your door gives homeowners easy access to their space and a ton of security properties to keep you and your family safe. It’s equipped with dual-locking technology that allows you to lock and unlock the latch and deadbolt in one single motion. It also features voice assistant integration and worldwide monitoring so you’re able to be notified anytime your door is opened when you’re not home. 

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Nobi Smart Lamp For The Elderly: This smart lamp was designed with AI technology specifically to be used to detect falls. This way individuals who are either elderly and can’t move around as well as they used to, or who maybe have some sort of physical disability that puts them at an increased risk of falling, won’t have to worry about getting help should they fall down. The lamp delivers 24/7 battery-free monitoring and will call for help immediately if it senses you’ve fallen over and are struggling to get back up. 

Ampere Power Bluetooth Shower Speaker: There are a ton of waterproof Bluetooth shower speakers on the market now, but little compared to Ampere’s newest shower speaker. Unlike most Bluetooth speakers on the market, Ampere’s doesn’t ever need to be charged. It attaches right onto your shower-head and is thus powered by running water, so it’s constantly recharging as you get yourself clean. 

Samsung Bot Handy Smart Home Robot: In terms of Utopian visions of the future, Samsung’s Smart Home Robot is about as innovative as you can get. The robot literally recognizes and picks up household objects that need to be cleaned up or are in the way, such as cups, bowls, trash, etc. It even can help you clean your room and put away the dishes.  

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Twitter Chief Says Banning Trump Was The Right Choice But Sets A ‘Dangerous Precedent’

Dorsey is speaking out for the first time since Twitter and a multitude of other social media platforms permanently suspended the president’s account following the violent riot that occurred at the Capitol last week.

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Boeing Set To Pay $2.5 Billion In Settlements Over 737 Max Fraud

Boeing will pay more than $2.5 billion to settle criminal charges that the company repeatedly lied about the 737 Max’s engineering problems which eventually led to two catastrophic crashes that killed hundreds of individuals; both crashes had no survivors. 

The company admitted to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and beyond the settlements the company will face no further charges from the US Department of Justice. Acting Assistant Attorney General David Burns of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division recently released a statement regarding the charges. 

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“Boeing’s employees chose a path of profit over candor by concealing material information from the FAA concerning the operation of its 737 Max airplane and engaging in an effort to cover up the deception.” 

Boeing is the nation’s second-largest defense contractor, and is now set to pay the Department of Justice a criminal penalty of $246.6 million. “The families and legal beneficiaries of the 346 passenger victims who died in the Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in Ethiopia five months later will be paid from a fund of $500 million,” according to Burns. 

If split evenly that would equate to around $1.4 million for each family. A majority of the settlement will be given to airline companies that had purchased the faulty 737 Max aircraft and were forced to ground all of the planes following the two crashes. According to the Department of Justice all of the airlines impacted will receive $1.77 billion in compensations for their financial losses. 

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“The tragic crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 exposed fraudulent and deceptive conduct by employees of one of the world’s leading commercial airplane manufacturers.” 

Both crashes were caused by changes in the airplane’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System which forced the nose of 737 Max to tilt towards the ground, leaving the pilots completely powerless in preventing a fatal crash landing. 

Boeing President and Chief Executive Officer, David Calhoun, recently sent out a note to his employees throughout the nation, explaining that he “firmly believes that entering into this resolution is the right thing to do for Boeing, and is a step that appropriately acknowledges how the company fell short of its values and expectations.” 

“This resolution is a serious reminder to all of us of how critical our obligation of transparency to regulators is, and the consequences that our company can face if any one of us falls short of those expectations,” Calhoun continued. Internal Boeing documents revealed that engineers of the 737 Max aircraft notified the company of the Augmentation System’s “egregious problems” as early as 2016, so many are upset with the settlement announcement, claiming the company should be much more severely punished for such a careless mistake that claimed so many innocent lives.