White Nationalists May Be Manipulating Google's Search Results

Earlier this week, anthropologists noticed that Google’s search results for “Boasian Anthropology,” a branch of anthropology named after 2oth century German-American anthropologist Franz Boas, was returning a peculiar article as the top of the results. “Boasian Anthropology is a pseudo-scientific Jewish assault on White European racial consciousness and identity,” read the featured snippet of the first article that appeared with the search results. “To put it simply, the Jewish Boasian school of Anthropology suggested wrongly, that ‘race was a social construct’ not rooted in biology or scientific determinism.” Grand Valley State University anthropology professor Deana Weibel-Swanson and her colleague Heather Van Wormer noticed something was wrong and Weibel-Swanson posted about their suspicions on Facebook. Boasian Anthropology is a widely respected branch of anthropology and not in any way a “pseudo-scientific Jewish assault” on anything. The article that was popping up at the top of Google search results was from a website called Smash Cultural Marxism, which is known for espousing anti-communist and white nationalist views, in case the phrases about race being “rooted in biology or scientific determinism” rather than social constructs didn’t make the latter clear. As The Verge noted in an article on the issue, anthropologist Michael Oman-Reagan tweeted that the Smash Cultural Marxism article was still appearing at the top of Google search results eight hours after Weibel-Swanson posted about it. The “bug” was eventually addressed or worked itself out. “Google does not endorse or select responses manually,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “This content comes from the third-party sites that we do not control. The feature is an automatic and algorithmic match to the search query. We welcome feedback, as we’re always working to improve our algorithms. Users and content owners can give feedback on incorrect information through the “Feedback” button at the bottom right of the WebAnswer.” This week’s mix up was the second time in recent months that white nationalists seem to have somehow manipulated Google’s algorithm to get articles bumped to the top of search results. In December users complained that searches for “Did the Holocaust happen?” were returning an article from a neo-Nazi website as the top result. The article, titled “Top 10 reasons why the holocaust didn’t happen,” was from the website Stormfront. The first line of the featured snippet that appeared with the article at the top of the search results read, “The Holocaust Lie more than anything else keeps us down.” Frank Boas is a late 19th and 20th century Jewish anthropologist who founded the relativistic, culture-centered… https://t.co/QOfLbJu0qD — Leo Baeck Institute (@lbinyc) February 28, 2017 Gizmodo reported at the time that Google initially refused to take any action to have the article removed from the top of search results. A Google spokesperson said that while the company was “saddened to see that hate organizations still exist,” it does “not remove content from [its] search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content, malware and violations of our webmaster guidelines.” The spokesperson also made clear that “the fact that hate sites appear in Search results does not mean that Google endorses these views.” Previous issues with racist and anti-Semitic results populating the top of Google searches date back to 2008 at least, when a search for “Jew” would often return a hit for the website Jew Watch near the top of the results, according to Gizmodo. When Google cofounder Sergey Brin was asked about adjusting the algorithm to prevent such results from reaching the top levels of search results, he said that would be “bad technology practice,” the Gizmodo article continues. “An important part of our values as a company is that we don’t edit the search results,” Brin said. “What our algorithms produce, whether we like it or not, are the search results. I think people want to know we have unbiased search results.” It is not clear if Google altered the search results for Boasian Anthropology or if the issue corrected itself through changing search patterns. [Featured image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

TSA Cannot Ask For The PIN For Your Personal Devices, But The Border Patrol Can

Traveling to and from the United States has become an increasingly confusing and anxiety-inducing prospect for many Americans, immigrants and tourists since President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January. Trump has issued multiple executive orders related to immigration and travel, and keeping up with them can be a daunting task. One question that is often raised is whether or not agents of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or U.S. Border Patrol can legally seize electronic devices and demand PINs so that they can access individual’s personal information. The answer is simultaneously tricky and simple, in that it’s “yes” and “no.” TSA implementing new “more comprehensive” pat-down procedures https://t.co/lijh4LCnuK pic.twitter.com/KIGmcXwnik — The Hill (@thehill) March 5, 2017 As a recent article from Engadget points out, the TSA cannot seize your phone and demand your PIN number during routine searches or screenings. The TSA has gone to lengths to make this is clear after recently being flooding with questions about the issue. “TSA does not and will not confiscate laptops or other electronic devices at our checkpoints,” a post on the TSA’s official blog reads. “Our officers are solely focused on the safety of the traveling public and are looking for explosives and other prohibited items. Should one of our officers find something suspicious, we will immediately contact local law enforcement and potentially the local bomb squad. We will not ask for any password, access to any files or take the laptop from you for longer than it takes to determine if it contains a threat.” The blog continues to explain that if you are asked to hand over your electronic device or provide your PIN, you have to right to ask to speak to a TSA manager. “Should anyone at a TSA checkpoint attempt to confiscate your laptop or gain your passwords or other information, please ask to see a supervisor or screening manager immediately,” the post reads. The Border Patrol can take your password. Now what? https://t.co/DFqhJZdWoT pic.twitter.com/xDK4U3u5zX — Engadget (@engadget) March 6, 2017 Dealing wit the Border Patrol, however, is a completely different situation. “That’s because [Border Patrol] exists in a gray area not exactly protected by the Fourth and Fifth amendments, which ostensibly protect us from unreasonable searches and self-incrimination,” Engadget explains. “They’ve been doing it for years.” Engadget notes that you can take some precautions to avoid Border Patrol snooping too deeply into your personal life, such as closing apps before getting to the border and encrypting as much information as possible. But, ultimately, if Border Patrol asks for your device and PIN, you basically have to give it to them. “[I]f they ask and you refuse to give them your password or pretend you don’t know it, they will make life very difficult for you,” Engadget says. “They’ll detain and interrogate you, handcuff you while demanding your password, confiscate your devices for days (or longer) and possibly refuse you entry into the US. Increasingly, border enforcement is copying the contents of devices and keeping them, though CBP isn’t supposed to keep that data longer than a week.” Keep in mind, unlike most other government and law-enforcement agencies, the Border Patrol does not need a warrant or even suspicion to search your personal belongings. In sum, when dealing with TSA agents your privacy should be safe when it comes to your electronic devices. They can of course still search your bags and other carry on items. With the Border Patrol, however, you’re more or less at their mercy in regards to whether or not they want to search your electronic devices. [Featured image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

Nintendo Switch: Understanding Save Data Backups, Upgrading Memory Card

Here’s what you need to know about maximizing the Nintendo Switch’s measly 32 GB local memory and what to do to upgrade it. Nintendo is back in the game. After the Wii U got dragged behind Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, Nintendo hopes to put its name back on the race with the revolutionary Nintendo Switch, a hybrid console and portable gaming device that’s making a lot of people—hardcore gamers and casual enthusiasts both—gaga to get their hands on it. If you’re one of the lucky people who got their hands on the Nintendo Switch as early as this week, then you’re probably already neck-deep in trying to understand your new device. Aside from the three exciting modes you can use your Nintendo Switch on, which are handheld mode, console mode, and tabletop mode, one of the most fundamental things you must need to understand about your Nintendo Switch device is not just how its storage works, but how to make the storage work for you. The Nintendo Switch only ships with a 32 GB local system memory [Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images] Understanding local memory The Nintendo Switch ships with a measly 32 GB local memory and if you’re used to playing with the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4, your first reaction would be, ‘that’s too dagnabit small!’ First thing you need to understand about the Nintendo Switch’s local memory is that it works unlike the Xbox One or the PS4, which installs the game on the console even though you buy the physical copy. This means that if you buy physical game cartridges for your Nintendo Switch instead of downloading it via online sources, the only thing that will get written on the local memory is your save game file. If you think, ‘hey, that’s not too bad after all! I’ll just go ahead and purchase game cartridges for my Nintendo Switch all the way!’ Then you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment. If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you’ll notice that no game nowadays ships in full. This means, you should expect Day One patches, DLCs, and various bug fixes and updates throughout the course of your game’s life. As of now, we only have a handful of games for the Nintendo Switch. But imagine when more AAA titles or Nintendo exclusives make their way to the Nintendo Switch, and how much memory will these take up in terms of save game data and patches. That 32 GB is likely to run out really fast. Boost your Nintendo Switch’s memory with a Micro SD card. [Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images] Upgrading system storage This is why if you’re looking long term for your Nintendo Switch (which we hope you are since that’s not a cheap gaming device!), the only way to boost the device’s storage system is by purchasing a Micro SD card. The first question, off the bat, is by how much can you expand your memory? In a statement to Game Informer in January, a Nintendo representative clarified that the Nintendo Switch will be compatible with Micro SDXC cards of upto 2 TB of memory. 2 TB sounds good since more and more players on the PS4 and Xbox One are opting for 1-2 TB consoles because of memory-hogging AAA titles. The problem is, there are no commercial 2 TB Micro SD cards on the market just yet. This means that the Nintendo Switch is working on the assumption that a 2 TB Micro SD will be relatively accessible (we highly doubt it’s going to be affordable) to consumers in the near future, or it’s planning to manufacture its own. Nintendo Life has listed some of the best Micro SD card choices that we have on the market at the moment, and you should definitely invest in one if you’re planning to maximize your Nintendo Switch experience. We would recommend you invest time and effort into thinking about what Micro SD size will suit your Nintendo Switch gaming needs because as Polygonhas brought to our attention, the Nintendo Switch won’t let you use your micro SD on another Nintendo Switch device, nor can you copy or transfer files on your Micro SD to another. If you wish to use your Micro SD on another Nintendo Switch, the device will prompt you to delete all Nintendo Switch files on that Micro SD first and reformat it to the new device. The Verge has also reiterated that downloaded games are locked to one Switch at a time, the same way that Micro SD’s are formatted to one Nintendo Switch at a time. So even if you log in to another Nintendo Switch device, you can’t access your eShop-purchased game until you deregister the old Switch. There is no way to back-up your save game data on the Nintendo Switch—for now. [Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images] Understanding save files In gaming, it goes without saying that save files are the most sacred piece of data. If you’ve logged hundreds of hours into a single game, there’s nothing more painful than getting your save data corrupted or lost. This is why the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 have evolved in a way that these consoles allow save game data to be saved on the cloud, so as to avoid these heartbreaks, in case of bug-related issues, natural accidents, or console thefts. The Nintendo Switch’s way of handling save game data, however, is a little disquieting. All save game data on the Nintendo Switch are written on the local 32 GB memory system. And Kotakuhas found out that there is no way to back-up, transfer, or copy your save game data into the Micro SD, the cloud, or any other device. This is unlike the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, which both allowed users to transfer and backup save data, just in case some unforeseeable event transpires. If you check the Nintendo Switch’s Data Management FAQ page, you’ll confirm for yourself that all save game data are stored on the console’s system memory. If you eat up the whole 32 GB, there is no other way to proceed other than deleting data stored on the system to make room for new ones. This means that if you break your Nintendo Switch or it gets stolen, then say goodbye to your precious save game data, as well. As Nintendo has confirmed to Kotaku in a statement, At this time, it is not possible to transfer save data from one Nintendo Switch system to another. We are hoping that by “At this time,” Nintendo means we could see a fix or an update that will allow users to back-up data files in the near future. The Nintendo Switch launched internationally last March 3, 2016 and a first day patch, Forbesreports, was released to launch several online features for the Nintendo Switch, including the eShop and friend codes. [Featured image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Samsung S8+ Benchmark Results Vs iPhone: Octa-core Vs Quadcore Faceoff

Is the Samsung Galaxy S8+’s octa-core chip better than the Apple iPhone’s quad-core chip? Benchmark results reveal the upcoming smartphone’s power. The battle of the cores has been a long-standing and heated debate, more so in the past few months as Octa-core devices started to enter the scene. Samsung has always been at the forefront of the Octa-core battle, having advertised and marketed their first Octa-core weapon in 2013 in the body of the Samsung Galaxy S4. With more and more octa-core smartphones entering the scene, the question is, is an octa-core smartphone really better than a quad-core smartphone? To put things into perspective, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8+ (The S8+ is the internet’s term for the Galaxy S8 with the bigger screen, which, of course, could still get a different name by launch) will be another octa-core beast that will release this year. But will it be better than the Apple iPhone, which only runs with a quad-core chip? Mashablereported earlier that the first benchmark reports for the Samsung Galaxy S8+ has already made its way online via Geekbench and it is already stirring a bit of controversy. Geekbench published this week the first benchmark report for the Samsung SM-G955U, the model that is believed to ship as the Samsung Galaxy S8+, and we’ve got the benchmark scores that are making consumers wary if it’s worth investing into octa-core after all. According to the results, the single-core score for the Samsung Galaxy S8+ clocks in at 1929, while the multi-core score puts it at 6084. For the average consumer, these are all just numbers, well until we put the Samsung S8+ scores beside the other latest smartphones on the market. We have yet to receive benchmark results for the upcoming iPhone 8 (but that’s one crazy guarded secret by Apple anyway) so we compare the upcoming Galaxy S8+ with its predecessor, the premium Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and its older competitor, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. In comparison with its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which runs on an octa-core processor as well, you’ll notice significant upgrades as the Samsung Galaxy S7 only scored an 1893 single-core, and 5670 multi-core. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is set to outperform the Galaxy S7 [Image by Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images] However, if you check the benchmark results for the iPhone 7 Plus, you’ll get an average single-core score of 3469, which is almost twice the single core power of the Samsung Galaxy S8+. On the multi-core score, however, it gets trumped by the Galaxy S8, only scoring around 5752. Understanding how cores work is a nasty nasty job, which Trusted Reviews tried to explain in this one article. But without getting too geeky about it, for the casual tech consumer, multi-core score usually would you give you a better understanding of how powerful a smartphone could be in real world application. Essentially, smartphones utilize multi-cores so that the phone will be able to process more work more efficiently. This means that instead of loading all the work into a single core, the smartphone divides all the work into its cores so that it gets done quicker. This is why even though some like Mens XPwould regard the Samsung Galaxy S8+’s single-core score to be a reason to doubt the upcoming device, it shouldn’t really be the case. A good single-core score for the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, as reflected on Geekbench, couldn’t off-the-bat outshine the Samsung Galaxy S8’s single-core score since in the real computing world, most apps and systems would usually make use of the multiple cores, instead of dumping all the work into one core. This means that the Galaxy S8+’s multi-core score would reflect that it will be able to handle computing better and more efficiently (technically) since the way the S8+ uses its multiple cores outshines the way the iPhone 7 would use its cores. How this translates to actual computing and work could still vary, however. The Samsung Galaxy S8+’s better multi-score could mean it could outperform the Apple iPhone 7 [Image by Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images] And if we’re talking quad-cores and octa-cores already, since the Apple iPhone 7 Plus uses a quad-core processor, while the Samsung Galaxy S8+ uses an octa-core processor, it doesn’t necessarily follow that octa-core is better since it has more cores. In fact, as Make Us Of tries to explain, most octa-core smartphones are essentially dual quad-cores at most. This means that it uses two separate quad-core sets, where one quad-core set is more powerful than the other. Why use two quad-core sets, you ask? Well the very basic way to understand is that the smartphone would delegate a set of task to the quad-core set that is most fitted for the job. If the work that needs to be completed by the smartphone, for example, only needs low power, for example messaging or just browsing your phone, the task(s) will be delegated to the lower-power quad-core set. If you need more power, i.e. gaming or HD video-viewing, then that task(s) will be delegated to the higher power quad-core set. The catch is that you get to prolong your battery life since the smartphone doesn’t need to make the more powerful quad-core set work, which uses more battery power, when you just need this level of power to accomplish a certain task. In fact, if you compare some octa-core smartphones to the the iPhone 7 Plus’ quad-core score, you’ll be surprised at how better the quad-core iPhone 7 Plus could perform against the octa-core. The Xiaomi Redmi 3s, for example, is an octa-core device, but can only clock in a 1672 multi-core score. The Huawei Honor 8, which is another octa-core device, only performs almost as well as the iPhone 7 Plus, achieving a multi-core score of 5471. In theory, based on how cores work and benchmark results, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8+ could easily outmaneuver the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. But, of course, we can’t say just yet that the Samsung Galaxy S8 could win this year’s battle of the smartphones since the upcoming Apple iPhone 8, which will be powered with a better processor, could be another story. If reports as Gadgets360‘s could be true, then we could see the power of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ with our own eyes and hands by March 29 during the scheduled ‘Galaxy Unpacked’ event. I think this is what you’ve been waiting for. pic.twitter.com/FvYfsLOy0R — Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 1, 2017 [Featured image by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Samsung]

HMD Global Hints At 4G LTE Capable Version Of The Nokia 3310

Nokia fanboys across the world can still not stop talking about the new Nokia 3310 that was officially launched at MWC 2017. However, many of them were left disappointed after Nokia announced that the 3310 would only support older 2G networks. If that wasn’t all, the handset only supported 2G network frequencies that are typically not used in the U.S. or North America. However, there is a slight ray of hope for these users if we are to believe fresh reports coming in from the other side of the planet. The new Nokia 3310 will be practically unusable in many countries, including US https://t.co/w0GTBAu1m2 pic.twitter.com/2sN3EOPy8j — TNW (@TheNextWeb) March 4, 2017 According to a recent report by Indian press agency PTI (Press Trust of India), Nokia could launch a newer version of the Nokia 3310 with support for the newer 3G and 4G LTE networks that are used by most carriers in the United States. Nokia also plans to manufacture the Nokia 3310 for the Indian market in India, an Economic Times report said. This was confirmed by HMD Global’s India Vice President Ajey Mehta who said, “We will attempt to ensure all our products are made in India. We will source all our products from India.” In the course of the interview with PTI, Mehta also hinted that Nokia is looking at the prospect of making a 4G enabled feature phone. While he did not clearly hint the possibility of the Nokia 3310 getting a 4G LTE variant, fans are already rooting for the company making one in the near future. When asked about the possibility of a 4G feature phone, this is what Mehta had to say, “We are evaluating all opportunity in the market. All consumer requirements are fed up to the product team at our company which then develops the final product.” Even in India, there is demand from people to ensure that the Nokia 3310 gets a mid-life upgrade so that it can be used on more modern networks. India’s newest carrier Reliance Jio, for example, is a 4G LTE only network that doesn’t even support 3G handsets and demands that all handsets be 4G VoLTE capable for use on its network. So, there is still ray of hope for all you Nokia 3310 fans out there who would love to use the handset on a modern network. It was just one day before the Mobile World Congress that HMD Global officially took covers off the Nokia 3310. While everyone expected the new 3310 to be visually close to the older model that was released back in 2000, the final product was slightly different and only the keypad bore close resemblance to the original phone. The handset also turned out to be a lot thinner than the older model. Presenting to you the new NOKIA 3310 pic.twitter.com/wDXeVBJQYR — Omoniyi Israel (@omoissy) March 1, 2017 The new Nokia 3310 features a fairly large 2.4-inch QVGA display (for a feature phone, that is) and even gets a very basic, 2-megapixel camera with a LED flash for low light imaging. While the original Nokia 3310 was known for its legendary sturdiness, many people believe that the new model might not match up to the original when it comes to sheer quality. The new model boasts of 22.1 hours of talk time, 31 days of standby time, MP3 playback time of up to 51 hours, and FM radio playback time of up to 39 hours. The new Nokia 3310 also gets 16MB of storage space (yes – that’s 16MB and not 16GB) — thankfully, with support for adding a MicroSD card for memory expansion. The Nokia 3310 is slated to go on sale later this year and will cost just over $51. Let us all hope the 4G LTE version of the handset does see the light of the day as well with a price tag that is close to the $51 mark. Would you buy the Nokia 3310 if Nokia announces a 4G LTE variant of the same? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. [Featured Image by HMD Global]

Android Marshmallow, Nougat Devices To Receive Google Assistant

Millions of Android devices around the world would be getting a pretty huge soon, with Google announcing that its powerful A.I.-driven voice assistant, Google Assistant, would finally be made available for eligible Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat devices starting today. The robust program is currently the search giant’s most robust voice-assisted program, easily superior to Apple’s Siri and comparable to Amazon’s Alexa. A report from The Verge stated that numerous areas would be receiving the Google Assistant, starting with Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat users in the United States, followed by those in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Canada. The exact timeline for the Assistant’s rollout remains unknown, but speculations are high that the A.I.-driven program would be released within the next few days. What is particularly convenient for Marshmallow and Nougat users is the fact that users of the mobile OS variants would not need to download a separate app for their devices in order to receive the powerful voice-assisted program. Android M and Android N users would simply be prompted with an update in their devices’ Google Play Services. @TamilTechOffici https://t.co/eSL74HsVvr check this out nanba…#Googleassistant for all android devices running on android n and m…???????????????????? pic.twitter.com/kBCa08rxsD — Vimalasuresh (@vimalasuresh007) March 2, 2017 Thus, while the list of compatible devices has not been released yet, Android M and Android N users would only need to check if their devices are receiving a Google Play Services update. If their devices get the update, they are eligible to receive the Google Assistant. An A.I.-driven voice assistant is not really new to Android users. Prior to the rollout of the robust Google Assistant, Android devices have been rolled out with Google Now, a program that is very similar to that of Apple’s Siri. Assistant, however, includes a number of capabilities that are not included in its predecessor’s features. Among these improved features is Google Assistant’s capability to converse with its users using common language, unlike Google Now’s keyword-focused input. Apart from these, Google Assistant is capable of determining its users’ input even amidst consistent back-and-forth dialog, allowing interactions to be spontaneous and natural, according to a TechCrunch report. With its capability to perform numerous tasks such as taking photos, initiating searches, providing directions, translating input and checking the weather, Google Assistant is far more robust than its predecessor. What is really the Google Assistant’s killer capability, however, is its “Actions,” the A.I.-driven voice assistant’s capability to link itself to a larger, more open ecosystem, similar to Alexa’s “Skills.” What makes the Assistant’s Actions better than its counterpart’s Skills, however, is that the program’s capabilities do not need to be pre-enabled or pre-installed. Don’t blame it on the weatherman. #GoogleAssistant #PunForIndia pic.twitter.com/lnouKbvNIV — The Kryptonian (@Samit) February 20, 2017 Google Assistant debuted to much success during Google’s I/O conference last year, and it was fully featured as one of the flagship capabilities of the tech giant’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones that were released October 2016. During the flagship devices’ launch, Google made it a point to establish the Assistant as one of the smartphones’ most notable features. With the mass rollout of Google Assistant to Android N and Android M, however, there is a pretty good chance that the A.I.-driven voice-activated program would be able to become as prolific as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. After all, despite the Assistant being released only to devices running Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat, the number of smartphone users with devices currently running the mobile OS’ versions are very noteworthy. Android M, for one, commands almost 31 percent of the market share. Devices running Android N number far less in the market, at just 1.2 percent. Android users who are eligible for the Google Assistant update would simply need to long press their devices’ Home Buttons in order to launch the powerful A.I.-driven voice-activated program, similar to how its predecessor, Google Now, was launched. Users could also speak the hotword phrase “OK, Google” to launch the Assistant. With the Google Assistant, it would not be an exaggeration to state that millions of Android smartphones would get instantly most intelligent and useful. [Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Samsung Galaxy S8 Leak Ahead Of Release Date Confirms How The Phone Will Look

A promotional image for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone has surfaced online, ahead of the phone’s official reveal later this month. The image gives the clearest look yet at Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphone, despite details around the device’s capabilities still being very thin on the ground. According to TechRadar, the well-known smartphone leaker Evan Blass has released what appears to be the most complete render of the upcoming Galaxy S8 yet. The render shows a design with extremely thin bezels and something of a long narrow body. The phone also appears to bring with it the curved display of previous Galaxy models, like the Note 7 and S7 Edge. However, it’s safe to assume that Samsung won’t want a repeat of the Note 7’s release when they make the S8 available to consumers. Samsung Galaxy S8 leaks in its full glory https://t.co/Py2cUzMJE3 pic.twitter.com/goibddC1ze — The Verge (@verge) March 1, 2017 From the leaked design, it also appears that Samsung is preparing to finally ditch their iconic home button, in order to reward more real estate to the screen. What’s more, the phone’s power/lock button appears to have shifted from its usual position on the device’s right side to under the volume rocker on the left side. That being said, according to CNET, there’s still a button on the right side, which could be dedicated to the long rumored Samsung AI assistant, said to be called Bixby, which Samsung hopes will rival Apple’s Siri. Samsung is said to be preparing to officially reveal their upcoming flagship smartphone at an event on March 29. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the date displayed on the leaked render is March 29, suggesting it was lifted straight from promotional material intended to be used at that event. Samsung Galaxy S8 leaks preview the kind of form factor we’re expecting from the iPhone 8 https://t.co/GYqnmFN2Nz pic.twitter.com/WTb3Fa9a2U — 9to5Mac  (@9to5mac) March 1, 2017 Earlier this week, two videos surfaced appearing to show the upcoming Samsung handset. The leaked footage appears to show a device not all too dissimilar to the aforementioned leaked render of the Galaxy S8 from Evan Blass. However, the videos also appear to confirm that Samsung will again release two iterations of its upcoming smartphone, the standard Galaxy S8, and a larger Galaxy S8 Plus. However, both devices are said to this time benefit from Samsung’s curved display technology, with the S8 Plus simply being a larger variant. RELATED STORIES ON INQUISITR: LG G6 Vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Which Android Flagship Should You Buy This Year? Samsung Gear VR For Samsung Galaxy S8 Introduced At Mobile World Conference Android Nougat & February Security Updates For Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge Units It’s now safe to assume that Samsung will announce its next flagship handset on March 29, however, eager fans won’t be able to get their hands on the phone until April 21. There’s typically a month’s grace period between Samsung announcing their devices and release so that aforementioned April 21 date seems completely feasible. However, Samsung is going to face more competition than ever before with the release of the Galaxy S8 this year. The recently announced LG G6 and BlackBerry KeyOne look set to compete with Samsung when it comes to narrow bezels and large screen real estate. However, it looks set to be Apple who will once again give Samsung their toughest competition. The California-based tech giant is expected to announce a complete overhaul of their incredibly successful iPhone line later this year, with the release of the iPhone 8. New and unexpected rumor claims the iPhone 8 will have a curved screen and USB-C charging https://t.co/iDvXzW1meg pic.twitter.com/qPFBySwgio — Forbes (@Forbes) February 28, 2017 What’s more, Samsung is starting the 2017 smartphone race at something of a disadvantage, following the release of last year’s Galaxy Note 7. Whilst the phablet was largely well received by critics, Samsung was forced to suspend sales of the device following reports that some units were creating excessive heat, causing them to set on fire. The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be announced on March 29 and is expected to be released the month after on April 21. [Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

The Internet Broke Today: Techies Say Amazon Did It

If you’re having a hard time collaborating with coworkers or dealing with certain websites today, relax. The Internet is broken, and it’s not your fault. Amazon Web Services is causing “widespread issues” with numerous websites, devices and apps that depend on AWS to function. According to the Amazon service health dashboard, the Internet issues, which the company describes as “increased error rates,” are originating from a location near Ashburn in northern Virginia. Just before noon PST, Amazon posted the following on their service dashboard. “We have confirmed increased error rates for API Gateway requests in the US-EAST-1 Region when communicating with other AWS services. Deploying new APIs or modifications to existing APIs are also affected.” Around 150,000 websites and more than 120,000 domains rely on Amazon Simple Storage Service, or Amazon S3. S3 also enables smart home technology such as thermostat control. The Amazon S3 service is touted to have a simple interface that can store and retrieve an unlimited amount of data from anywhere on the Internet. Until it doesn’t. Companies that count on Amazon S3 for day-to-day business include Quora, ESPN, AirBnB, Slack, AOL, and Amazon itself. The service provides image and content hosting as well as whole-site hosting and application backends. The number of websites that are powered by Amazon S3 amount to only around one percent of the top one million sites worldwide, but the Amazon Internet breakdown is affecting web users in a very big way, explains TechCrunch. No, you’re not crazy, part of the internet *is* broken https://t.co/c8RSUfB0nQ pic.twitter.com/PbIBPUwDYb — CNET (@CNET) February 28, 2017 The Amazon health dashboard is not fully functioning but from what this writer can gather, glitches galore are affecting Amazon CloudSearch, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon Cognito, Amazon EC2 Container Registry, and other crucial operational services. Cache, analytics, data pipelines and certificate managers are also being adversely affected by today’s Internet issues. If you use the cloud for anything, you undoubtedly notice when Amazon breaks the Internet. Why is one server in Virginia so crucial to the Internet? Eleven miles west of Washington, D.C. there sits an unincorporated portion of Fairfax County known as Tysons Corner. Named for a post-Civil War postmaster, the region that once boasted dairy farms is now home to more than its share of corporate headquarters, defense contractors, and high-tech companies. During the big Internet boom of the mid-1990s, network companies America Online, UUNET, and MCI were all headquartered in Tysons Corner. Thanks to the concentration of early Internet outfits and financial support from the National Science Foundation, the nascent Internet exchange known as MAE-East was developed. Today, the region is considered the backbone of the Internet, facilitating more than 70 percent of all global traffic. When Virginia servers go down, the world wide web feels it. What Amazon S3 is, and why the outage broke a big part of the internet today: https://t.co/JsjjpN1VNT pic.twitter.com/wx0Ik4tnzw — Forbes (@Forbes) February 28, 2017 Did the CIA break the Internet? Not directly, but the government agency does seem to be closely connected with Amazon Web Services. According to Federal Computer Week magazine, the Central Intelligence Agency inked a $600 million contract with Amazon five years ago. In March 2013, the CIO of the CIA revealed to the Northern Virginia Technology Council Board of Directors that the intelligence agency was interested in “leveraging the innovation style” of the commercial sector while seeking cost-effective IT solutions. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence website indicates that the government’s Information Technology Enterprise Strategy “officially opened for business” in August 2013. The CIA itself is not so forthcoming, saying only the following. “As a general rule, the CIA does not publicly disclose details of our contracts, the identities of our contractors, the contract values, or the scope of work.” As this article goes to press, Amazon’s service dashboard indicates that some, but not all of the major internet breaks have been resolved. Whatever caused the internet break on the last day of February 2017 may never be fully understood by users. Perhaps we’re better off for not knowing. [Featured Image by SIphotography/Thinkstock /Getty Images]

It's Not Just You: Amazon AWS S3 Outage Takes Several Websites, Apps Down

In case you are a resident of the East Coast of the United States trying to access websites hosted on Amazon AWS S3, there is high chance that you may run into issues. According to Techcrunch, Amazon AWS S3 services have run into some sort of trouble, and people seem to be facing widespread issues with the service. The outage has rendered several websites partially or fully broken. Several apps based on AWS S3 have also been affected. The issue with AWS S3 was acknowledged by the Amazon Web Services Twitter handle as well in which they revealed that the service was experiencing high error rates. S3 is experiencing high error rates. We are working hard on recovering. — Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) February 28, 2017 The Service Health Dashboard for Amazon Web Services also confirmed the news about the increased Error Rates. A statement issued by the company at 10:33 AM PST read; “We’re continuing to work to remediate the availability issues for Amazon S3 in US-EAST-1. AWS services and customer applications depending on S3 will continue to experience high error rates as we are actively working to remediate the errors in Amazon S3.” This article about the AWS outage doesn’t have an image because of the AWS outage. https://t.co/qTrLXbXHnJ — Timothy B. Lee (@binarybits) February 28, 2017 The Twitter handle continued to post updates. A few minutes after the first tweet, a second tweet was sent out which revealed that there was something wrong with the dashboard functionality as well. The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue. See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates. — Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) February 28, 2017 This was followed up with this tweet in which they claimed that dashboard had recovered. The dashboard has recovered. You will see updates for individual services shortly. — Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) February 28, 2017 In a more recent update, the Amazon Web Services handle tweeted; We continue to experience high error rates with S3 in US-East-1, which is impacting some other AWS services. — Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) February 28, 2017 As we file this story, the latest update from the country was For S3, we believe we understand root cause and are working hard at repairing. Future updates across all services will be on dashboard. — Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) February 28, 2017 As of this writing, another update was posted by Amazon on the service health dashboard. This message read; “Update at 11:35 AM PST: We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard. The service updates are below. We continue to experience high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is impacting various AWS services. We are working hard at repairing S3, believe we understand root cause, and are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue.” Amazon AWS S3 outage is breaking things for a lot of websites and apps https://t.co/WoxRnBkKTD by @etherington pic.twitter.com/eOjq1DRyuM — TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) February 28, 2017 Some of the websites that were affected by the Amazon AWS S3 downtime included include Quora, Sailthru, Business Insider, Alexa, and Giphy. Other major services affected include Trello, IFTTT, and Splitwise. Several image services were also down. Ironic as it may seem, a service to check if other websites were functional, also went down thanks to the Amazon AWS S3 outage! This is certainly not the first time that Amazon web Services have run into issues. In the past, services like Instagram, Vine, and IMDb had all run into similar issues. Other things that were also affected by the downtime included connected light bulbs, thermostats, and other IoT hardware. Amazon is yet to reveal the cause of this outage. We will of course update this article with Amazon’s findings as and when the company decides to make them public. Were you in any way affected by this Amazon AWS S3 outage? If yes, please do share your experiences. [Featured Image by Geralt/Pixabay]

iMac 2017: How Apple Can Beat The Microsoft Surface Studio

Apple’s ubiquitous all-in-one desktop, the iMac, is due for an upgrade soon. With rumors stating that the Cupertino-based tech giant is finally looking to update its most iconic desktop computer this March, it is time to see what Apple could do in order to ensure that the 2017 iMac is a device that would attract consumers. After all, with machines such as the Microsoft Surface Studio competing in the same market, the all-in-one industry has gotten a lot more competitive and challenging. Considering Apple’s reputation, however, there is a pretty good chance that its upcoming device, the iMac 2017, would be able to reign supreme in the all-in-one market just the same. In order to overcome devices such as the Surface Studio, here are three things that the iMac 2017 must have. Kaby Lake Processors Specs about the iMac 2017 are pretty scarce, with Apple being very secretive about any developments in the device. Despite this, however, it is almost certain that the Cupertino-based tech giant would be utilizing Intel’s 7th-generation Kaby Lake processors for its latest all-in-one desktop, according to a PC Advisor report. After all, Apple has developed a reputation for using only the best that the industry has to offer. Fortunately for the 2017 iMac, Intel’s Kaby Lake chips would come in its favor. https://t.co/iOu7lgdAXp : #iMac2017 #Apple – iMac 2017: Apple Hard At Work To Deliver Unparalleled Desktop With Performance; Q1 2017 … pic.twitter.com/EYpmP4w3yL — TREND GIZMO (@TrendGizmo) January 12, 2017 This is because its biggest competition, the Surface Studio, still runs Intel’s 6th-generation Skylake chips. While the Surface Studio’s Skylake processors still manage to give the all-in-one massive computing power, the 2017 iMac’s Kaby Lake chips would most likely blow its rival’s performance out of the water. Coupled with Apple’s rather lightweight macOS, a 2017 iMac running Intel’s 7th-generation chips would be no less than a monster. Virtual Reality Support Apple has shied away from virtual reality so far, but it appears that the time is right for the Cupertino-based tech giant to fully embrace the emerging technology. With this in mind, there is no better product in Apple’s lineup that would be more perfect for VR than the 2017 iMac. After all, with the current trends in virtual reality, the iMac 2017’s neat, minimalistic design would be a godsend for users of high-end virtual reality headsets. VR compatibility would most likey be possible, since the iMac 2017 is rumored to feature AMD’s Radeon Polaris graphics chips, according to MacWorld. With AMD’s notable graphics chips in the machine, the iMac 2017 would most likely be capable enough to run premium-grade VR programs. If Apple manages to pull this off, it would no doubt give the best in the all-in-one market a run for their money, including, of course, the Microsoft Surface Studio. My vision of Apple’s new 2017 iMac ( 24″ & 27″ ) #iMac #appleimac #imac2017 #newimac #appleimac2017 #usbtypec #usbc pic.twitter.com/0v7dviWlTX — łobias (@officialitec) December 29, 2016 A Reasonable Price The word “reasonable price” and Apple rarely go together, considering the Cupertino-based tech giant’s reputation for releasing only premium-grade devices that cater to the higher end of the market. However, with regards to the iMac 2017, the time is simply right for Apple to do something different and release a device at a more reasonable price than its rivals. This is because its competitors, such as the Surface Studio, are as pricey as they come. Microsoft’s all-in-one starts at $2,999 and goes as high as $4,199. If Apple could offer the iMac 2017 for a lower price, it would be a far better deal for most consumers than its biggest rival. After all, even if Apple offers the iMac 2017 at a lower price than the Surface Studio, it would still be premium enough to command a price that is worthy of the Cupertino-based tech giant’s brand. With its more advanced processors, the iMac 2017 is already a better deal than its Windows 10-based counterparts. Coupled with VR capabilities and a reasonable price, however, the iMac 2017 could go far beyond the competition. For al intents and purposes, it might very well be the most successful all-in-one desktop this year. [Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]