January 28, 2021

Future Technology

Getting connected on your device

A little known feature introduced in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 is the ability to use a private Wi-Fi address. But, why would you want to use a private Wi-Fi address? It’s simple, really. The device you are using on any wireless network is trackable by its MAC (media access control) address. Apple is making it easy for your iPhone or iPad using iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to use a private address. This makes your device and its activity less trackable, meaning more peace of mind for you.

Why is a private Wi-Fi address important?

To illustrate why it’s important to use a private Wi-Fi address, let’s consider our daily routine. We may stop for some caffeine at our favorite coffee shop, grab lunch at our favorite burger joint, and then pick up a few items at the grocery store. If you’re not using

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  • The LG Rollable phone that was teased at CES 2021 and then confirmed to launch this year might turn out to be vaporware.
  • LG is looking to sell its mobile division, according to several reports, including a story that says a Vietnam-based group wants LG’s mobile business in the US.
  • It’s unclear what will happen to the LG Rollable project should LG sell its mobile division.

LG stunned the world a few weeks ago with the most exciting phone it ever developed. We learned of LG’s plans to launch a Rollable phone last year, around the time the company was getting ready to launch one of the worst ideas in mobile tech in recent years, the LG Wing phone with a swiveling screen. We all thought the LG Rollable phone that LG showed at CES could be easily filled into the category of “vaporware” tech that’s often showcased at … Read the rest

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A virtual robot arm has learned to solve a wide range of different puzzles—stacking blocks, setting the table, arranging chess pieces—without having to be retrained for each task. It did this by playing against a second robot arm that was trained to give it harder and harder challenges.

Self play: Developed by researchers at OpenAI, the identical robot arms—Alice and Bob—learn by playing a game against each other in a simulation, without human input. The robots use reinforcement learning, a technique in which AIs are trained by trial and error what actions to take in different situations to achieve certain goals. The game involves moving objects around on a virtual tabletop. By arranging objects in specific ways, Alice tries to set puzzles that are hard for Bob to solve. Bob tries to solve Alice’s puzzles. As they learn, Alice sets more complex puzzles and Bob gets better at … Read the rest

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Donald Trump was banned from posting on Facebook in the final weeks of his presidency. | Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Facebook asked its independent oversight board to decide if it made the right call when it indefinitely suspended Trump.

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There’s a chance — even if it’s just a slim one — that Donald Trump could get his Facebook back.

On Thursday, Facebook said that it asked an independent group called the Facebook oversight board to review the company’s decision earlier this month to indefinitely suspend the now-former US president. The oversight board, a group of academics, journalists, and policy experts from around the world, was created to review Facebook’s content moderation decisions. It got started late last year and has enough power that it can overrule even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who controversially resisted calls to moderate Trump’s posts for almost his entire presidency.

The board quickly accepted the Trump suspension … Read the rest

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Whether you’re still in high school or the middle of college, a laptop is an essential piece of equipment for every student. Apple makes some of the best laptops in the world with its MacBook lineup. Whether it’s the powerful MacBook Pro or hyper-portable MacBook Air, Apple’s laptops will power you through any task you’ll meet. For most students, the MacBook Air (M1,2020) is the best choice. It has enough power to face almost any academic challenge you come up against. There are other MacBooks to consider, depending on your situation, as you can see below.

Best Overall: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

In mid-2020, Cupertino announced Apple silicon. Six months later, the first non-Intel-based MacBooks in over a decade arrived, starting with the MacBook Air (M1, 2020). The best MacBook for students this year, the latest MacBook Air packs a punch for anyone on a smaller budget, starting with

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  • An early battery comparison between the Galaxy S21 Ultra, iPhone 12 Max, S20 Ultra, OnePlus 8 Pro, and Xiaomi Mi 11 shows promising results for Samsung.
  • The new S21 Ultra, powered by the new Exynos 2100 chip, outperformed all other Android handsets, with the iPhone 12 Pro Max lasting the longest. Except for the iPhone, all phones support 120Hz refresh rates.
  • The S21 Ultra’s performance indicates the Exynos 2100 platform will not be plagued by the same issues as the Exynos 990.

A week ago, Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series, with the three phones already available for preorder in several markets. The handsets feature top of the line specs and offer the best possible Android experience in early 2021. The phones pack brand new processors meant to rival the iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic, including the Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 (depending on the market). Both platforms are built … Read the rest

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China’s space program might have been slowed by the pandemic in 2020, but it certainly didn’t stop. The year’s highlights included sending a rover to Mars, bringing moon rocks back to Earth, and testing out the next-generation crewed vehicle that should take taikonauts into orbit—and possibly to the moon—one day. 

But there were a few achievements the rest of the world might not have noticed. One was the November 7 launch of Ceres-1, a new type of rocket that, at just 62 feet in height, is capable of taking 770 pounds of payload into low Earth orbit. The launch sent the Tianqi 11 communications satellite into space.

At first glance, the Ceres-1 launch might seem unremarkable. Ceres-1, however, wasn’t built and launched by China’s national program. It was a commercial rocket—only the second from a Chinese company ever to go into space. And the launch happened less than three years … Read the rest

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The type of misinformation that fueled election doubts and support for the events at the Capitol is still easy to find online. | B.A. Van Sise/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Here are some of the most pervasive election conspiracy theories and false claims being shared on social media around Inauguration Day.

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In the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection on January 6 that left five people dead, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube promised to crack down harder on false claims that the US presidential election was stolen and on dangerous fringe movements like QAnon. But two weeks later — on Inauguration day, no less — it’s easy to find this same kind of misinformation on their platforms.

That these theories continue to spread on social media impacts all of us, regardless of whether or not we believe them. As the Capitol insurrection earlier this month showed, online misinformation doesn’t just stay online. It … Read the rest

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Proceedings get underway at 12:00 PM ET.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated as the next President and Vice President of the United States on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at 12:00 PM ET.

As you might expect, the ceremony will be broadcast across a wide range of networks all over the world. This year, the inauguration will feature speeches from both Biden and Harris, as well as performances by Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, and Justin Timberlake.

Time

As mentioned, the inauguration of Biden and Harris will take place on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at 12:00PM ET. A special prime-time show hosted by Tom Hanks will air later that evening at 8:30 PM ET.

How to watch

The inauguration will be shown across a wide range of US networks including ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and PBS. The inauguration can also be watched at

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  • Netflix plans to make it even easier for users to find new content to watch, announcing that a version of its Shuffle Play feature will be available worldwide in the first half of the year.
  • Shuffle Play is a button that will appear under the profile icon. Shuffle Play will automatically choose the next movie or TV show based on the user’s saved list or streaming history when selected.
  • The feature is still being tested on TVs<, and it’s not available on desktop or mobile.

The most annoying thing about Netflix is choosing something new to watch. That’s not necessarily a Netflix fault, but human nature. Users are given so many choices that they can’t make up their minds quickly. What if there’s something better in a different category? You’ll scroll vertically and horizontally for something new, you might add things to your list here and there, and then you’ll … Read the rest

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