Category Archives: Technology

Artificial Intelligence that Can Find Cancer in Seconds

We have seen the wonders that artificial intelligence can do in software development, and now Japanese researchers have unveiled an AI that can find cancer in less than one second.

The AI that is being used to find the cancer has been demonstrated in a colonoscopy. The system was revealed during the United European Gastroenterology Week in Barcelona, Spain.

The ribbon for colon cancer awareness; photo from zazzle.com
The ribbon for colon cancer awareness; photo from zazzle.com

The system uses a magnified view of a colorectal polyp to study features and to compare it with over 30,000 endocytoscopic images. The AI learns more about the pictures by using them in studies.

The researchers said they were able to test the polyp and predict the pathology with a 86% accuracy. Out of 300 polyps, the AI was able to find cancer in 258 polyps.

Dr. Yuichi Mori, one of the researchers (and the study lead) from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan, was impressed with the results of the test.

“The most remarkable breakthrough with this system is that artificial intelligence enables real-time optical biopsy of colorectal polyps during a colonoscopy, regardless of the endoscopists’ skill set,” Mori said.

Now he wants to develop and work on a broader study aimed to creating a system that can find cancer automatically.

In a growing world of technology, artificial intelligence leads the way. The advances that AI can accomplish in so little time as led to people like Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook discussing the many benefits that can have.

Others , such as Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, feel that the government should have say and control over the AI’s building process. Musk feels that AI should only be used to prevent global disasters.

Artificial Intelligence has so much potential and value to the medical world that Musk’s beliefs are far from universal, and only time can tell what freedoms and restrictions will be placed on such advancements by the governments of tomorrow.

Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Discussion Ends

A few weeks ago, a previous article on Whim mentioned the potential merger of the No. 3 and 4 wireless cell phone providers: T-Mobile and Sprint. Now, however, the talks for a merger have quietly ended.

Both companies said in a joint statement that “they were unable to find mutually agreeable terms.”

photo from phonearena.com
photo from phonearena.com

Sprint and T-Mobile have discussed a merger for years now, but after news reports came out saying that Sprint’s parent company Softbank called off talks with T-Mobile, the end was coming to any potential merger.

Sprint’s stock dropped 11% before closing at $6.34 while T-Mobile’s stock went down 5%.

Originally, talks between the two companies were halted due the strict regulations imposed by the Obama administration in 2014. Those regulations were lifted by the Trump administration which allow for Sprint and T-Mobile to resume talks.

T-Mobile currently has over 70 million subscribers while Sprint has over 54 million subscribers. The merger between the two would had created the second biggest wireless carrier in the nation behind only AT&T which has over 134.5 million subscribers.

John Legere, the CEO and president of T-Mobile’s operations in the U.S. said “The prospect of combining with Sprint has been compelling for a variety of reason, including the potential to create significant benefits for consumers and value for shareholders.”

“However, we have been clear all along that a deal with anyone will have to result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile’s shareholders,” said Legere, his reasoning on why the merger failed.

Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s president and CEO said in a statement “We have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own.”

Both companies are moving forward with their heads up high and respect for each other even through the talks have ended. The two sides did not rule out a merger in future if things do change.

 

 

 

Why did the president’s Twitter get taken down?

There would have been celebrations around the world for some people—crying and smiling—and then it’s all over in just 11 minutes. President Donald Trump’s personal Twitter was taken down in that span and brought back up.

But why was it taken down in the first place?

On Thursday night near 7 p.m. eastern time, a Twitter employee who was working their last day for the company in the customer support area, took down the 45th president and media personality’s personal Twitter.

This would had the screen you would gotten if you looked up the president's Twitter during the 11 minutes it was down; photo from howldb.com
This would had the screen you would gotten if you looked up the president’s Twitter during the 11 minutes it was down; photo from howldb.com

Twitter said in a statement “Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee.” Twitter also noted that this was the employee’s last day with the company.

The president has been targeted multiple times on Wikipedia, changing his public information. The attacks got so bad, Wikipedia decided to limit his page to only high-rank employees.

Due to the numerous times Trump’s comments on Twitter have led to people calling for the suspension of the account, it comes as little surprise that one particularly daring soon-to-be ex-employee would find themselves tempted.

However, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended the president’s use of Twitter back in May of 2017 by saying, “I believe it’s really important to hear directly from our leadership.”

Trump did not make a statement but did suggest on his restored Twitter page that “the word must finally be getting out – and having an impact.”

Just last month, President Trump became the most followed world leader passing Pope Francis of the Catholic Church with over 42 million Twitter followers.

Twitter is conducting a full internal investigation into how the employee got access, as well as how to prevent future attacks on the president’s page.

 

 

 

How Close Are We to Getting a Self-Driving or Hover Car?

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States.

In 1989,  Back to the Future Part II came out to critical acclaim with some very strong predictions. In the movie, Marty McFly and Doc travel to 2015 where there are self-tying shoes, VR video games, and hover boards. Also, the Cubs win the World Series after a 107 year drought.

Well, some of those things did happen. Nike did release self-tying shoes just like those in the movie, VR video games are more popular than ever and the Cubs did win the World Series. Just one year later than the movie’s prediction.

But how about a hover board, or those hover cars? And how’s the self-driving car that Google is creating coming along?

The Waymo self-driving car; photo from businessinsider.com
The Waymo self-driving car; photo from businessinsider.com

The latest on Google’s self-driving car has them submitting their first-ever safety report about its technology to federal regulators. Waymo, the company’s real name, released the report publicly to anyone who wants to understand their commitment to safety.

Waymo, in December 2016, took over the project from Google themselves. However, Waymo is owned by Alphabet Inc, the same company that owns…. Google.

The hover car is not being developed by an advanced company but rather by Volkswagen, the German company that introduced us to the Beetle.  In 2011, they introduced the “People’s Car Project” which allowed internet users to submit items for a VW model of the future.

The concept Ford hover car in the 1950's; photo from thegentlemanracer.com
The concept Ford hover car in the 1950’s; photo from thegentlemanracer.com

Long before the competition, Ford in the 1950’s came very close to releasing a car that floated. Due to financial constraints, the project is over.

After 119,000 submissions it came down to the three models, the music car, smart car, and the winner, the hover car. Currently, the project hasn’t gone far. In 2012, VW released a video showing the concept in China.

Concept VW hover car; photo from wordlesstech.com
Concept VW hover car; photo from wordlesstech.com

We will most likely see the self-driving car well before the hover car or board due to the cost. It’s cheaper to create a vehicle with a robot mind than trying to make one float. But your guess is good as mine.

Asteroid passing “darn close” to Earth

This past Thursday was a normal day for most; you probably didn’t even notice the mobile RV passing us in space. I mean, an asteroid that came close enough to hit us.

The asteroid 2012 TC4 flew by the Earth,  about 26,000 miles away from our only home. Very close when considering the Moon is about 239,000 miles away from Earth. Rolf Densing, head of the European Space Operations Centre in Germany, called the asteroid “a close miss.”

An artist's conception of 2012 TC4 passing by Earth; photo by nowreadthisnews.com
An artist’s conception of 2012 TC4 passing by Earth; photo by nowreadthisnews.com

The asteroid had no chance of hitting the Earth but Antarctica got the closest sighting of the asteroid at 1:42 am. ET this past Thursday, October 12th.

After the discovery of the asteroid in 2012, the asteroid was too distant and faint to be detected.  The rock is roughly 45 to 100 feet, traveling at 16,000 MPH.

NASA used the asteroid’s close travel to Earth to test their planetary defense system. The drill was to see if the system were to work if an actual asteroid were heading straight to the Earth. In previous tests, NASA would use pretend asteroids. Vishnu Reddy, a NASA consultant asked, “How prepared are we for the next cosmic threat?”

He would answer his question: “So we wanted to test how ready we are for a potential impact by a hazardous asteroid.”

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office led the drill and they are in charge of coordinating efforts to protect Earth from hazardous asteroids. They are also responsible for finding, tracking, and characterizing potentially hazardous objects coming near Earth.

In order to deflect an asteroid, the asteroid would need to be detected years in advance. The most promising techniques that NASA are investigating are the “kinetic impactor” which uses an object to hit the asteroid to get it off course and the “gravity tractor” which would gravitationally tug on an asteroid by placing a large mass over it.

The good news for you and me is that there is no known asteroid that poses a significant risk of impact in the next 100 years.

Need to stuff your face; Facebook introduces food orders on app

For years now, Facebook has been the place to update your status to let your friends know that you are hungry even through they don’t care but now you can order food straight from the app.

Photo from becuo.com
Photo from becuo.com

The social media mammoth is expanding the ability to order food for takeout or delivery straight from the app.

However, Facebook will not be dealing with restaurants and they actually will be sending you over to another delivery website/app like Delivery.com,  DoorDash, and ChowNow. They will also have links to restaurants near you like Papa Johns.

In order to stay relevant in this golden age of social media, Facebook is launching these features to be as useful as possible.  Facebook currently has over 2 billion users and owns social media websites Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

To assess the new feature, go to the “Order Food” section in the Explore menu. Select this to start your order, if the restaurant offers takeout or delivery with multiple services, you can choose which one that you like to use. You can even ask your friends and order food for them.

Facebook has been testing multiple services this past year and that included AI that was shut down due to the AI “learning” its own language.

Tesla introduces their version of the “fastest” car ever

Thursday, November 16 will be known as the day Elon Musk changed the game for car businesses forever.

Being described as the “fastest production car ever made,” the new Tesla Roadster will be challenging Chevrolet’s Corvette ZR-1 and Dodge’s newest Challenger nicknamed the “Demon” for fastest car but however the Roadster will not be released until 2020.

When released, the Roadster will be able to go from 0 to 60 in 1.9 seconds or to 100 in 4.2 seconds. The car will also be able to travel .25 miles in only 8.9 seconds. More or less, if you get the chance to buy this car, you’ll be living the life of a NASCAR driver without the constant left turns. This car through will cost as much as a car in NASCAR as it will set your bank account back to the stone age to the tune of $250,000.

With the being that impressive from a technological and price perspective and also considering the fact that this car will be fast than a Bugatti Charon which costs around $3 million. The average person will not be able to handle this car and its power.

Musk knows this car is the real deal and he means it saying this, “The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline vehicles.” He mentoned the price by describing like this “It’ll feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

He kept the top speed of the Roadster unknown but it will be above 250 mph with gas mileage on the car being twice as more as the current models.

“You’ll be able to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back without refueling,” Musk said. Most critics disagree with the statement as the car will have to have fuel mileage of over 700 miles, Musk give the actual fuel mileage of the Roadster at 620 miles.

Along with those impressive statistics, the Roadster will have all-wheel drive and will be able to fit four people, even if two of those people will have to be very small.

Musk has set down the challenge to all automakers… Who’s going to answer it.

The Blue Brain Project and EVIE: The Development of AI

If you watch YouTube, you may know of a YouTuber by the stage name of KSI. He made a video on Evie and his discussion with the artificial intelligence or AI on the computer.

He asked Evie about 9-11 and Evie’s response was very distasteful. If you want to watch the video, you can look it up, but Evie is not a true AI. Evie’s responses are developed by the questions and answers of the people that ask them. The developers never intended for Evie to be “racist” as KSI claimed. He was actually using the system the wrong way. It’s up to us to produce clean content on Evie so people won’t have experiences like this.

Photo from gaggio.blogspirit.com
Photo from gaggio.blogspirit.com

Evie is no Blue Brain Project, a project started in 2005 by Swiss scientists. The aim of the project is to simulate the human mind by using AI. Currently, the Blue Brain is at a level of a rat brain. There are plans for the Blue Brain to hit human brain levels in 2023. However, there is the risk of the AI learning its own language. Earlier this year, Facebook had to “tweak” their models after the chatbots were making a deal in their own language. This language was unknown and still is to some of the smartest people in the world. Facebook was trying to train their “dialog agents” to negotiate. Well, it looks like they found something that will be groundbreaking in the AI world.

However, where the Facebook AI is concerned, the system was never smart, and in reality, it was pretty dumb. The AI learning its own language doesn’t mean anything; it still can’t match the level of a human plus the language was like this: “iii.” Nothing important to the scientific community. The Blue Brain Project reaching the brain level of a human will be a very important accomplishment to those Swiss Scientists. By then, the advancement of the project will be over and studying gene expression will begin. Maybe someone else will use the legacy of the project to develop an AI that is smarter than humans.

The “Impossible” is Now Possible: Video Games in Real Life

Many people have had thoughts before like: “Man, if that weapon on Fallout or Metal Gear Solid was real, imagine the damage it would do.” Well, someone in the U.S. Government had the same thoughts as well.

Various weapons in the video game world like railguns and lasers have been in development for years and are used in some places, while the weapons like plasma are not in use yet. Here are some video game weapons that may  or may not be actually real.

Railgun Specs; photo from science.howstuffworks.com
Railgun Specs; photo from science.howstuffworks.com

Railguns: Actually, railguns have been in development for decades now, with the first patent in the U.S. issued in July 1922 as no. 1,421,435 to a French inventor by the name of Louis Octave Fauchon-Villeplee. However, his development didn’t go too far due to the lack of technology during his time. Nazi Germany in 1944 was looking into the first theoretically possible railgun. The guns were to be mounted with six batteries and would be able to launch twelve rounds per minute. Their plans were thwarted by the Allies in World War II. These plans were found after the war and believed to be “impossible” after studies found that each gun would need enough power to light up half of Chicago. It took until 1962 before an operational railgun was possible, but it was only a scientific study. Then in comes the world of video games, where games like Halo, Metal Gear Solid and Fallout introduced the railgun as a weapon of mass destruction. In recent years, railguns have been created. The U.S. Navy tested a railgun that fired a projectile at the speed of “Mach 7″ in the 2000’s. After the success of that railgun, the U.S. Navy is going to have a railgun in use for intercepting missiles in 2018. Now, that’s something video games couldn’t make up.

LaWS on the USS Ponce; photo from www.stripes.com
LaWS on the USS Ponce; photo from www.stripes.com

Lasers: Some of us have been to places where they have laser tag with the fake guns, but the U.S. Navy (man, why do these guys get all of the new weapons?) has an operational laser weapon in use since 2014 that blinds the enemy. The LaWS, as it is called, will not be in use for long however as the ship it is on, the USS Ponce, will be decommissioned in 2018. The lasers in video games like Mega Man are meant to cut people in half. No words, if the U.S. military is planning to make a weapon like that.

Plasma: In Fallout, a plasma gun means your demise if you’re ever shot with one in online gaming mode. Researchers at the University of Missouri actually were able to create a very weak but impressive plasma gun in 2013. This has opened the possibilities of energy and weapons dealing with plasma, something thought to be impossible.

Death Star from Star Wars: photo from starwars.com
Death Star from Star Wars: photo from starwars.com

Honorable Mention – Death Star: Yeah, this one is impossible, but in 2012, a petition started on the WeThePeople site asking the U.S. Government to build a Death Star from Star Wars. Once the petition reached 25,000 signatures, an official response from the White House was necessary. It turns out it would take 830,000 years to make enough steel and as for the cost: let’s just say, you would need to find a planet made out of diamonds.

 

Featured Image Photo from NextBigFuture.com

To Touch the Sun: NASA’s Unique Mission

NASA has had its fair share of “impossible” missions before, sending a man to the Moon, a probe to Mars, and heck, the two Voyagers are out of our solar system. However, this mission may be the impossible one.

The Parker Solar Probe before its launch; photo from socialunderground.com
The Parker Solar Probe at the APL in Maryland; photo from socialunderground.com

The Parker Solar Probe is set to launch next year as the first probe to make a visit to our nearest star and source of life as we know.  “The probe will face very brutal heat and radiation conditions as it will provide us with a close observation of our sun and ultimately a star,” NASA said in a statement. The probe recently was on display at John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Maryland but before long, the spacecraft will be making its trip back to Florida where it will be launched towards its final destination: the sun.

An artist's rendering of the Parker Solar Probe near the sun; photo from www.iradehaber.com
An artist’s rendering of the Parker Solar Probe near the sun; photo from www.iradehaber.com

The $1.6 billion mission will also aim to improve space weather forecasts that can impact life on Earth and astronauts in space. Nicola Fox, a project scientist for APL stated, “Parker Solar Probe is going to answer questions about solar physics that we have puzzled over for more than six decades.”

This mission was first considered back in 1958, before the Apollo missions and Mars Rovers, making it one of NASA’s oldest projects on the books. The main reason why it took so long before the mission was because of the sun’s intense heat.  The probe will be 3.9 million miles away from the sun’s surface but will be well within the orbit of Mercury. Even though, the probe won’t “touch the sun,” it will face temperatures on the upwards of 2,500 degrees F.  The probe will launch between the dates of July 31, 2018 and Aug. 19, 2018. The spacecraft will orbit around the sun a total of 24 times in a seven-year period with speeds of 500,000 miles. With speeds like that, you could travel up to California and back in one minute.

 

 

Hewlett Packard to Cut 5,000 Jobs

Hewlett Packard/HP has decided to slash 10% of it’s workforce despite third quarter results that surprised Wall Street. HPE will release 5,000 people by the end of the year according to a Bloomberg report.

The cost-saving move made by CEO Meg Whitman, was to shed under-performing divisions and focus on services devoted to artificial intelligence.

CEO of Hewlett Packard (HP), Meg Whitman – Photo from The Drum

Only four years after taking the CEO job, Whitman has split HPE into two divisions: printers and PC’s (HP) and servers and storage(HPE), each worth $50 billion. HPE has had to play catch up with Amazon and Google in the cloud storage competition. Recently, Whitman’s commitment to HPE was in question when her name came up in the discussions for Uber’s  CEO job.

Whitman has stated that Uber was not a fit for her and had nothing to do with her situation at HPE.

HPE stock has gone up 3% this year and another 0.6% this week after the announcement, but that is lagging compared to the Nasdaq 100’s 21% gain this year.  Whitman has been with HPE for six years and will be with them as long as she wants to be.  She stated, “We have a very special opportunity here and we have plenty of work to do.”

 

 

No, the World Didn’t End on Saturday

Yes, the world is going to end one day; we just don’t know when. That hasn’t stopped people from professing their belief that the world is going to end on a certain date.

We have been obsessed with “The End” of our bedtime stories of humanity. The latest nut-job is David Meade, a self-described specialist when it comes to the end of the world.  He predicted the Rapture, as foretold in the Book of Revelations, will begin on Saturday. (Wait a minute, it’s Sunday and we are still alive. What a shocker.)

David Meade – Photo from The Sun

There was no evidence supporting Meade’s claims of a Planet Nibiru or “Planet X” on a crash course towards Earth. That didn’t stop Meade from making claims. There are several ways in which the world can end. As long as someone can press the magical “red” button, nuclear war is the most likely way the world will end.

Of course, you might have a giant asteroid hit your house and car but the odds of that happening are 1-in-100 million in any given year. Those poor dinosaurs had a very bad year.

Then you might have climate change or global warming ruining your day, but it is doubtful this would lead to the end of the world. How about the over population of the world? Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has stated that we only have until 2100 before we would have to find a new home that is suitable for humans. In 2100, the population is estimated at over 11 billion, but most people alive today would be dead.

Then you have black holes that are never full after eating many stars and planets, but the odds of that happening are so small that we don’t have numbers for it. Another event that could happen is a supernova – the closest one to us is Betelgeuse, a part of the Orion constellation.

A more likely event is a global pandemic like the flu and smallpox killing off the majority of the planet and a biological weapon launched by terrorists and maybe another country. Maybe a super- volcano or robots take us out.

Finally, we have survived everything but one thing: Father Time. The sun runs out of fuel and expands to engulfing Mercury, Venus and possibly the  Earth. The planet will be so hot, no life will be possible. So enjoy life on Earth right now; we only got a billion more years to go.

T-Mobile and Sprint Merger Coming Soon?

Once again, there are talks of a merger with the nation’s number 3 and 4 wireless providers. What does this mean for customers and the future of providers?

Logo from Consumerist

T-Mobile and Sprint have considered combining forces before. In 2014, they came close to a merger but due to the Obama Administration’s policies at the time, the merger would had been declined. Now with a new administration under President Trump, the companies have a renewed interest in a merger.

If the companies were to merge, here’s what might likely happen to customers of Sprint and T-Mobile.

Customers of T-Mobile right now get free Netflix and  MLB.TV mobile viewing, which would mean Sprint customers would get those same perks. T-Mobile customers in return would get access to Tidal, a company that Sprint acquired a 33% stake in January. All customers would see an increase in pricing.

However, according to the former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and former assistant to attorney general for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, Bill Baer, prices will rise for customers due to the lack of competition, which was why Softbank failed to acquire T-Mobile.

The two companies would most likely be able to get a deal approved by the Trump Administration as they are “more willing listeners.” Donna Hitscherich, a senior lecturer at Columbia Business School stated, “Obviously, they are not going to do the deal and hope to lose subscribers, unless maybe there is a swath of subscribers that are not as profitable as others.”

Shares in both companies were up more than 4% since the news of a merger came out on Tuesday.

 

Equifax Breach: It Could Have Been Stopped Months Ago

Just this week, I got an email from my bank notifying me about the Equifax data breach. It told me that my account info was safe but to always keep an eye on the account. I was one of the fortunate ones, but millions weren’t so lucky. On Friday, it was announced that Chief Information Officer for Equifax, Susan Mauldin and Chief Security Officer, David Webb had “retired,” effective immediately. More or less, they got fired.

Photo from MGN Online through WTVA News

Thus, the story should end now but it’s only beginning.  The Equifax Security team had a fix for the flaw in the system months ago but never bother to put it to use. Hackers took advantage of the window and stole millions of people’s personal info, including bank info.

Equifax is facing at least 23 class-action lawsuits and counting along with a federal probe from two different government agencies. The stock in the company has gone down a third since the breach was announced.

Mark Rohrwasser will be replacing Mauldin as the interim chief information officer. Prior to the promotion, he had led the international IT operations. Russ Ayres will replace Webb as chief security officer.

Advice to those who were affected and could be affected: change any passwords you might have, and check your account daily. Don’t worry, your bank is checking for fraud from any weird sources, and lastly, don’t hit the panic button yet. You do have a case against Equifax if you lost any money and you should get in contact with an attorney.

Steps to a safe account:

1. Strong and Unique Passwords (don’t use the same password twice)

2. Two-factor authentication

3. Good antimalware on ALL devices

4. Update any outdated software

5. Backup your info on “the cloud” or on a USB

These are the steps to stop hackers from getting into your info. Events like Equifax will become commonplace.

Things to Remember when looking for A New Smartphone

We are in the very beginning stages of the holiday season and that means one thing: shopping.

Apple, with their announcement of the new iPhone 8 and X on September 12th, marked the unofficial start of the season.  Along with the news came price cuts to the iPhone 6 and 7. You might be on the lookout for a new phone, and here’s what to remember when buying a phone or getting a contract for a phone.

The Apple Company Logo
The Apple Company Logo

Memory Size:  Phones can get very costly, fast.  For example, getting the iPhone 8 with 256GB will cost you $850 and don’t even get started on the 8 Plus and X costs.  So getting the 64GB iPhone would be the smart move here and it would also save you hundreds of dollars. Besides, do you even use over 36GB? That’s more than enough for me.

This year’s model or last year’s: Now, if you want to save a buck or two, going to an iPhone 7 or 7Plus would be the best option.  The price for a 7 with 32GB has gone from $649 to $549. A whole Ben Franklin saved just by getting a older model, and by the way, it’s the same thing as the iPhone 8 which comes out next week.

Camera Quality: This one is really obvious. I mean really…do I have to write it?  Ok, I will. These are the most outrageous prices that most will ever see for a phone, a damn phone. However, the iPhone X has all the gadgets, bells, and whistles ever needed for any photographer. A 3D camera with a sapphire cover with a six element lens. This thing has so many gadgets that this article would be small compared to all of the iPhone X’s specs.  However, pre-orders don’t start until October 27th and the phone itself won’t be available until November 3rd. Don’t even get started on pricing; prices start at $999 before taxes and storage choices.  So, whichever phone you choose, remember, nothing is cheap.

Latest on iPhone 8 and When it Might be Released

Apple’s newest smartphone will be on every teenager’s Christmas list, and yet we haven’t gotten the usual conference from Apple introducing the phone.  Here’s the latest on when the iPhone will come out and what types there will be to choose from.

In August, Apple sent out invitations to journalists to an event on September 12 at its newest headquarters. Usually, this means that the week after the event, the device will be released. While everyone is jumping up and down in joy, they might want to reconsider after seeing the changes and price of the phone.

The Apple Logo

There are rumors circling around that the phone has a price tag of almost $1000! You might want to keep that iPhone7 for a couple more years. The colors look like they’re going to be the same; however, there is a third color thought to be a rose gold or copper along with the standard black and white colors. The screen gets major upgrades (or downgrades) as the button in the middle is gone and you get a full screen, an edge-to-edge display.  The screen will be as big as an iPhone7+ but the phone will be the size of an iPhone7.

Gone along with the home button is the Touch ID fingerprint scanner; to replace it is a new infrared scanner that uses a facial recognition software. This was developed in response to Samsung’s Galaxy 8’s similar technology. Of course with a new iPhone comes with it a new iOS that will be available to users of older iPhones.  Also, there is an update to the camera as now it will have 3D to go with the facial scanning. The biggest problem Apple has is wireless charging; they will try to answer the issues but don’t expect a solution this year but rather a new version next year.

Apple is undoubtedly recognized by all Americans. Expect a lot of people to wait in line, drop $1000, and brag about forgetting to pay their bills just to get a small brick.

Weekly App Review: Zello

Photo from zello.com
Photo from zello.com

Today, starts a new weekly series where I will review some of the best apps for college students and rate them from a 1 to 10 scale.

However, to make the series fair, there will be three rules to follow by:

1. Apps must be free to the user. However, this excludes apps that are free but have in-game purchases like Madden Mobile and Temple Run.

2. Apps must be low users of data, so that will disqualify  Madden from future consideration.

3. Apps must be on both Android and Apple Play stores.

So with that, let’s get started.

With this hurricane season being as bad as it has been, people have to get creative when the power goes out. So in comes Zello, the walkie talkie on your phone.  Zello claims that its app works with 4G, 3G, 2G, and WiFi, claims most apps can’t make. With over 50 million downloads in the Google Play Store and a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, this app has the fame to back itself up. But does it have enough to stand with me?

The app has over 10 MB to download which isn’t too bad, and it did not take long at all for it to download for me.  I realize when I open the app, Zello wants me to create an account with a username and everything just like in college. Just something else you have to remember. It also wants access to phone contacts, photos, and text messages, another thing I don’t care for. After accepting its requests, it now wants me to create a profile. That takes me about 5 minutes to finish, and now Zello is available for use. Without even using it yet, I notice my battery level and see it is down to 88% from 95% in those 5 minutes.

When testing the audio, I am impressed that the audio I recorded was crystal clear compared to apps like Tango and Facebook Messenger. However, just like any app. when the cell towers go down, the app will not work.  So that means the app is only good for conservations and not even for storms when the power goes out. Now that’s a major bummer.

This app is just like Tango and Facebook Messenger which are just like Zello but with video chats. If you are trying to save on data plans, I would recommend for you to download this app; otherwise just keep your Messenger.

Rating: Five out of Ten stars: More like Jello

 

 

New App That Finds Clean Bathrooms

I know, going to a public bathroom sucks. I hated going to a bathroom and seeing someone’s number two just because they were too lazy to flush the damn toilet. No more of that nonsense as we now have an app (Apple does at least; Android will have to wait until next month), that helps you find a clean bathroom. This, however, is only available in the San Francisco area; you will have to wait until next year for the app in New York.

The founder of Good2Go and CEO Fran Heller said in a statement, “We believe that technology can serve people’s everyday needs.”

The business model is highly attractive as people want to go in a nice, clean public bathroom if they need to go at some point. Stores will have to support the app which means they will pay the company to promote their bathrooms as user-friendly.

The main question people will be asking is why the app will cost $19.99 for monthly use and $2.99 for daily when bigger companies like Procter and Gamble run watered down versions for absolutely free. For a year’s use of Good2Go, you would be spending $240 just to use a clean bathroom and even then someone could be lying just to make their business look good.

I guess that’s the price for living in California. Maybe next time just use the bathroom with the unflushed crap in the toilet. At least it won’t cost you a dollar in the long run.