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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24, 2018 (News Wires) - Following a global release in August, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4 and Galaxy Tab A 10.5 are now available in stores here. The tablets come in two colour choices - black and grey - and retail at RM3,099 and RM1,699 respectively.

“In an age of iterative updates, we bring you the Galaxy Tab S4 and Tab A 10.5 to take productivity, entertainment and connectivity to the next level,” said Samsung Malaysia Electronics president, Yoonsoo Kim, in a statement.

The Galaxy Tab S4 is the first tablet to be equipped with the stand-alone Samsung DeX. It allows users to open multiple desktop-style windows for Android apps, including the Microsoft Office suite, and re-size when needed.

The Galaxy Tab S4 features a 10.5in, Super AMOLED display that delivers a larger, higher definition screen perfect for gaming and watching videos. It also comes with four speakers tuned by AKG with Dolby Atmos® sound technology.

The tablet comes with a 7,300mAh battery to provide up to 15 hours of video playback and Samsung Knox, which ensures critical information is protected at multiple levels of the device.

The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 boasts a wide 10.5in display featuring a 16:10 screen aspect ratio offering a cinema-like entertainment experience. Four speakers have been built into each corner of the tablet with support from Dolby Atmos®.

The tablet also gives parents control over content and usage time with Kids Mode, while SmartThings allows one to easily control connected home appliances.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 24, 2018 (News Wires) - Google celebrated its 20th birthday on Monday, marking two decades in which it has grown from simply a better way to explore the internet to a search engine so woven into daily life its name has become a verb.

The company was set to mark its 20th anniversary with an event in San Francisco devoted to the future of online search, promising a few surprise announcements.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were students at Stanford University - known for its location near Silicon Valley - when they came up with a way to efficiently index and search the internet.

The duo went beyond simply counting the number of times keywords were used, developing software that took into account factors such as relationships between webpages to help determine where they should rank in search results.

Google was launched in September 1998 in a garage rented in the Northern California city of Menlo Park. The name is a play on the mathematical term “googol,” which refers to the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.

Google reportedly ran for a while on computer servers at Stanford, where a version of the search had been tested.

And Silicon Valley legend has it that Brin and Page offered to sell the company early on for a million dollars or so, but no deal came together.

Google later moved its headquarters to Mountain View, where it remains.

In August 2004, Google went public on the stock market with shares priced at $85. Shares in the multi-billion-dollar company are now trading above $1,000.

Its early code of conduct included a now-legendary “don’t be evil” clause. Its stated mission is to make the world’s information available to anyone.

The company hit a revenue mother lode with tools that target online ads based on what users reveal and let marketers pay only if people clicked on links in advertising.

Maps and more

It has now launched an array of offerings including Maps, Gmail, the Chrome internet browser, and an Android mobile device operating system that is free to smartphone or tablet makers.

Google also makes premium Pixel smartphones to showcase Android, which dominates the market with handsets made by an array of manufacturers.

Meanwhile, it bought the 18-month-old YouTube video sharing platform in 2006 in a deal valued at $1.65 billion - which seemed astronomical at the time but has proven shrewd as entertainment moved online.

The company also began pumping money into an X Lab devoted to technology “moon shots” such as internet-linked glasses, self-driving cars, and using high-altitude balloons to provide internet service in remote locations.

Some of those have evolved into companies, such as the Waymo self-driving car unit. But Google has also seen failures, such as much-maligned Google Glass eyewear.

Elsewhere, the Google+ social network launched to compete with Facebook has seen little meaningful traction.

In October 2015, corporate restructuring saw the creation of parent company Alphabet, making subsidiaries of Google, Waymo, health sciences unit Verily and other properties.

Google is also now a major player in artificial intelligence, its digital assistant infused into smart speakers and more. Its AI rivals include Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.

Privacy concerns

Despite efforts to diversify its business, Alphabet - which has over 80,000 employees worldwide - still makes most of its money from online ads. Industry tracker eMarketer forecast that Google and Facebook together will capture 57.7 per cent US digital ad revenue this year.

In the second quarter of 2018, Google reported profit of $3.2 billion despite a fine of $5.1 billion imposed by the European Union.

Google’s rise put it in the crosshairs of regulators, especially in Europe, due to concerns it may be abusing its domination of online search and advertising as well as smartphone operating software.

There have been worries that Alphabet is more interested in making money from people’s data than it is in safeguarding their privacy.

Google has also been accused of siphoning money and readers away from mainstream news organisations by providing stories in online search results, where it can cash in on ads.

It is among the tech companies being called upon to better guard against the spread of misinformation - and has also been a target of US President Donald Trump, who added his voice to a chorus of Republicans who contend conservative viewpoints are downplayed in search results.

 

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 23, 2018 (News Wires) - Taking on Amazon smart home devices, Facebook is reportedly set to announce its own video chat device called Portal this week.

Similar to Amazon's Echo Show, the device will be Facebook's first foray into the consumer technology space, Cheddar reported.

The Amazon Echo Show and Echo Spot devices add video to the audio experience via voice assistant Alexa.

While Echo home devices are microphone-equipped speakers, the Amazon Echo Show and Spot also include a display.

According to the report, Facebook originally planned to announce Portal at its annual F8 developer conference in May.

"But the company's scandals, including the Cambridge Analytica data breach and the bombshell revelation that Russia used the platform to interfere with the 2016 elections, led executives to shelve the announcement at the last minute," claimed the report.

The social media giant was yet to comment on this development.

"The larger device could be priced around $400, while the smaller one could go for around $300," the report added.

Portal will feature a privacy shutter that can cover the device's wide-angle video camera.

It will use artificial intelligence to recognise people in the frame and follow them as they move throughout a room.

Portal will also have integration with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant and let users play music, watch videos, see cooking recipes, and get news briefs.

This will be Facebook's first consumer tech device outside of Oculus, the virtual reality headset maker it acquired for nearly $2 billion in 2014.

 

WASHINGTON, Sept 23, 2018 (News Wires) - President Donald Trump is weighing an executive order that would open federal antitrust and criminal probes into Google, Facebook and other social media firms, US media said, though the White House promptly distanced itself from the reports.

Last month, Trump stepped up his attacks on big tech companies, warning them to be “careful,” and slamming what he called “rigged” internet search results.

The US president had complained that Google searches for “Trump news” brought up mostly negative stories about him.

Google strongly rejected any bias claims.

The White House’s draft executive order focuses on alleged “bias” at the companies.

“Executive departments and agencies with authorities that could be used to enhance competition among online platforms (agencies) shall... use those authorities to promote competition and ensure that no online platform exercises market power in a way that harms consumers, including through the exercise of bias,” read a draft of the report circulated by US media.

“Not later than 30 days from the date of this order, agencies shall submit to the Director of the National Economic Council an initial list of (1) actions each agency can potentially take to protect competition among online platforms and address online platform bias.”

The text also demands that federal agencies investigation any potential “violation of the antitrust laws” by an online platform.

However, The Washington Post cited three White House aides as saying they did not write the draft order and did not know its origins, while a senior official said the document existed but had yet to go through the formal process controlled by the staff secretary.

“Although the White House is concerned about the conduct of online platforms and their impact on society, this document is not the result of an official White House policymaking process,” deputy White House spokeswoman Lindsey Waters was quoted as saying.

Google and other internet firms have long faced complaints about search results, which are based on algorithms that can take into account user browsing history, location and other factors.

But technology and media analysts say there is little evidence to suggest Google skews results for political reasons. And if they did, the president would have little recourse under the constitution’s free speech protections.

SEOUL, Sept 22, 2018 (News Wires) - In less than a year, you could have a flip phone back in your pocket. This isn’t your average Razr, though. Huawei plans to equip its foldable smartphone with 5G.

The rumors that have been circulating about the development of a smartphone with a foldable screen by Huawei have been confirmed by the company’s deputy chairman, Ken Hu at the World Economic Forum in China this week, according to Forbes. By mid-2019 this new-generation flip phone will be available for purchase.

This device will be the company’s first 5G phone - and it may be the first foldable screen to hit the market if a competitor doesn’t beat it to the punch.

At the end of August, Huawei revealed its “artificial intelligence-capable Kirin 980 processor,” which is expected to be used in this upcoming model, as well as an OLED display - a tech that has been in development for years and has only been recently implemented in phones like the iPhone X and XS.

Samsung then heated up the race when its CEO, DJ Koh, stated that the brand’s smartphone with a foldable screen would be unveiled by the end of 2018, but neither of them have shown a prototype to the public at this point.

 

SINGAPORE, Sept 22, 2018 (News Wires) - Among the hundreds of Apple fans who turned up at the Orchard Road store early this morning was 29-year-old Jonathan Lim who bought eight iPhones on behalf of family and friends. The haul cost about S$10,000 in total.

The entrepreneur and his friends made pre-orders online and Lim was at the store at 8am to collect their six iPhone XS’ and two units of the iPhone XS Max.

“(It’s worth it) because it’s an upgrade on the previous model and the larger (display) dimension shows better resolution for gaming and (watching) videos,” said Lim.

Apple fans had started queueing outside the Apple’s flagship store here from as early as Saturday morning, and even heavy rain did not deter them keeping their spot in the line to be among the first to get their hands on the much-anticipated new iPhone Xs.

One user made his way from across the causeway yesterday just so he could pick up two sets of the iPhone XS max.

Thai national Peerapas Charoenrat, 22, who is studying in Malaysia, arrived at the store at 5am today and spent $4,078 for the two phones. He doesn’t intend to keep them for himself though.

He said that he intends to resell the phones in Thailand - where he was headed for a week-long holiday - and estimates he could make about $500 to $700 in profit for the phones.

 

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