1. Samsung’s New $2K Smartphone
Samsung announced the most expensive smartphone on the market at the Galaxy Unpacked conference in San Francisco yesterday. It’s called a Galaxy Fold because it unfolds to the size of a tablet. Starting at a price of $1,980, Samsung hopes customers will pay almost $1K more for this technology than they do for Apple’s iPhone X. “We’re giving you a device that doesn’t just define a category; it defies category,” said Justin Denison, the presenter of the Galaxy Fold at Galaxy Unpacked. A new 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display allows the tablet-size screen to fold to the size of a pocket, 4.6 inches. Users can open three apps at the same time, and the device includes an app continuity system that adjusts apps when moving between phone and tablet modes. The phone has a triple-camera system that uses six lenses. Additionally, the device will be powered by two batteries. When will the device be released? Starting April 26, AT&T and T-Mobile users in the U.S. can purchase the Galaxy Fold.
(Source: The Verge, Business Insider)
2. Advertisers Boycott YouTube
Disney, Nestlé, and Epic Games (maker of Fortnite) have all pulled ads off YouTube in response to reports of pedophiliac content. Even after YouTube implemented a new strike system, predators are still lurking in video comments. The issue caught public attention when vlogger Matt Watson released a video highlighting the problem. He shows videos of young girls playing Twister or doing dance routines cluttered by comments that point to specific timestamps where viewers catch revealing glimpses of their bodies. Even worse, YouTube’s algorithm creates an interaction platform for pedophiles by suggesting more videos with inappropriate comments. In his vlog, Watson shows how a search for “bikini haul” on YouTube, a subgenre of videos where women showcase new bikinis they’ve purchased, links to innocent videos of girls playing that include inappropriate comments. How is YouTube responding? The company has deleted 400 channels and “tens of millions” of comments. This isn’t the first time this has happened. In 2017, YouTube changed its policies to address a similar problem where children were being targeted with creepy videos. Hopefully, YouTube can clean up its act for good.
(Source: The Verge)
3. Pinterest Blocks Vaccine Searches
Pinterest has blocked all search results related to vaccines. Most images misguided users to believe that vaccines are unsafe, contrary to established medical guidelines and research. A recent outbreak of measles in Washington State has fueled interest in the topic. Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, said he wrote to Facebook and Google to express his concern that “their sites are steering users to bad information that discourages vaccinations, undermining public health.”
Last week, I wrote to Facebook and Google to express my concern that their sites are steering users to bad information that discourages vaccinations, undermining public health.
The search results you get for “vaccines” on Facebook are a dramatic illustration. pic.twitter.com/ZrEQfVTaRo
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 20, 2019
Facebook responded to Schiff’s letter, saying it is “exploring additional measures to best combat the problem.” Pinterest responded to the situation faster. What was their motivation? “We’re a place where people come to find inspiration, and there is nothing inspiring about harmful content, said Ifeoma Ozoma, public policy and social impact manager at Pinterest. “Our view on this is we’re not the platform for that.”
(Source: Fortune, The Guardian)