Author Archives: Ewdison Then

I’m the founder of GiXiO, the publisher of SlashGear - An open source advocate, Linux geek, high performance computing engineer and consumer technology journalist based in Japan.

Trump to ban TikTok, WeChat if they don’t sell to US companies in 45 days

Trump to ban TikTok, WeChat if they don’t sell to US companies in 45 days

After successfully kicking out tech giants like Huawei and ZTE, the US government has apparently set its eyes on smaller fish. That said, the user bases of short-video platform TikTok and instant messaging service WeChat are so large that one can't take for granted the immediate disruption a ban would have on both the companies owning them as well as unsuspecting users. That, however, is exactly what will happen to both TikTok and WeChat if they don't give in to the new Executive Order from US President Donald Trump and sell their US operations to an American company within 45 days.

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Android 11 final Beta brings an important Exposure Notification change

Android 11 final Beta brings an important Exposure Notification change

Amidst the flood of Samsung-related news and some bits and pieces of information about Google's own Pixel phones, Google almost silently announced the availability of Android 11 Beta 3. That near-silence belies the importance of this release as it is the final beta release before Android 11 finally goes gold this quarter. More importantly, this final beta also brings an important change to Android's Exposure Notification system that might raise some red flags about user privacy.

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Foldable Google Pixel phone is still on the table

Foldable Google Pixel phone is still on the table

Google is a company that arguably makes great software and services but its track record in hardware leaves much to be desired. That doesn't stop it from trying, though, as evidenced by both its Pixel phones as well as its smart speakers and displays, now under the Nest brand. In fact, it often dreams big, like Google Glass or even Google Wing, now both defunct projects, as it experiments with different devices and experiences revolving around its core businesses. Apparently, that also includes a foldable Pixel phone that may still happen at some undetermined point in the future.

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Virginia first in the US to use Apple-Google exposure notification tech

Virginia first in the US to use Apple-Google exposure notification tech

There are many facets to fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus but when it comes to stemming its infection, the most basic strategy is also the most difficult. Contact tracing relies mostly on people remembering who they've been in contact with or where they've been, an arduous and inaccurate task at best. That is why many are turning to technology to help automate some parts of that process and the State of Virginia is the first in the US to release an app that utilizes the exposure notification technology co-developed by Apple and Google just a few months back.

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LG Velvet advertises active stylus support on Galaxy Note 20 debut

LG Velvet advertises active stylus support on Galaxy Note 20 debut

Samsung has traditionally had the monopoly of phones with active styluses, though Huawei at one point was able to launch one that was compatible with the other kind of battery-powered Wacom-enabled pens that Samsung's Galaxy Note phones didn't use. LG does have its only line of stylus-toting devices but those are pretty much just thin counterparts of regular passive styluses you can easily buy on the cheap. The mid-range LG Velvet, however, is different and LG is making sure the public knows about its less advertised powers and it's not really being subtle about pitting it against the more expensive Galaxy Note 20.

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The best Galaxy Note 20 deals [Updated]

The best Galaxy Note 20 deals [Updated]

Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are finally official, and the big question is what big price tag these big smartphones might demand. As you'd expect, US carriers have been quick to step up with some Note 20 deals, while Samsung itself has some promotions during the smartphone's preorder period.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 tracks ECG and blood pressure [Updated]

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 tracks ECG and blood pressure [Updated]

Samsung has a new smartwatch for your wrist, and the Galaxy Watch 3 aims to straddle fitness and fashion with some much-loved features from older wearables along with sleep and ECG tracking. Launching alongside the Galaxy Note 20, the Galaxy Watch 3 has a circular display surrounded by a physically rotating bezel, for quickly scrolling through apps and messages.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ offer 5G in iPad Pro rivals

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ offer 5G in iPad Pro rivals

Samsung wants a slice of Apple's iPad Pro market, and the laptop-replacing Android tablets it aims to bite that off with are the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+. Debuting a crisper, sleeker design than their predecessors, they're designed to work with or without a keyboard cover accessory, and support Samsung's latest S Pen, while optional integrated 5G helps differentiate them from the iPad Pro.

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Apple sued in China for $1.4 billion of Siri patent infringement

Apple sued in China for $1.4 billion of Siri patent infringement

Apple has long been trying to woo the Chinese market, its second-largest after the US, even going as far as making compromises it would not even consider doing for any other region. Given the tensions between the US and Chinese governments, however, the Cupertino-based company might feel like it's walking on eggshells. It doesn't help that it is constantly bombarded with lawsuits, the most recent of which could see it not only pay billions of dollars to the plaintiff but also temporarily halt the sales of almost all its devices in China.

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LG foldable and rollable screens are on display this week

LG foldable and rollable screens are on display this week

Samsung may have the lion's share of attention when it comes to its foldable screen in the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip but it is hardly the only display company playing around with the screens of the future. Although it hasn't launched any commercial product yet, LG has long been showing off its flexible screens that even go beyond simple folding or even bending. At this year's online version of the Society for Information Display conference, LG will be showcasing no less than four such applications in its "Unlimited Design Freedom Zone" that might make you wish you could actually be there.

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Huawei Mate 40 Pro renders could make you thankful you can’t get it

Huawei Mate 40 Pro renders could make you thankful you can’t get it

While Apple and Google have now become the representatives of the square camera bump design, which was taken to the extreme by Samsung, you can thank or curse Huawei for really starting that trend. In fact, Huawei may have been behind many of the design and technology trends in the mobile photography scene, from single-column cameras to squares to circles. Now it seems that Huawei may be the one just following instead of leading the trends, as can be seen in the Mate 40 Pro's design, at least based on these renders.

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iPod Touch prototype could have been 2013 Mac Pro’s ancestor

iPod Touch prototype could have been 2013 Mac Pro’s ancestor

The 2013 Mac Pro was notorious for being a radical departure from Apple's usual design acumen, sporting a form that was derisively compared to a trash can. It was also one of the very few Apple products to sport a glossy black finish, also a first for the Mac Pro line. It turns out that Apple has long been toying with the latter material as far back as 2007 and could have even debuted on a similar radical departure from its iPod line, the iPod Touch.

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