SCITECH NEWS

The technology giant Samsung announced Friday the launch of its first long-awaited collapsible smartphone, several months after def...




The technology giant Samsung announced Friday the launch of its first long-awaited collapsible smartphone, several months after defective screens forced a shameful delay in its launch.

The world's largest smartphone manufacturer has spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, but had to celebrate its launch in April after critics reported screen issues a few days after their use.

The launch of the device to $ 2,000 has caused a major setback for the company that hoped to wake up the demand for its high-end phones. Profits have fallen in recent quarters in the face of a weakened market and strong competition from Chinese competitors.

After months of "refining" the Galaxy Fold, ready to be used on 5G high-speed networks in some markets, Samsung has announced the launch Friday of the smartphone in South Korea, followed by some countries, including the United States and Germany. and France

The company will also offer Galaxy Fold users a program that covers 70% of the cost of screen repair once a year.

Shares of Samsung Electronics closed at 3.6% in Seoul.

The Galaxy Fold has been widely promoted as the "world's first collapsible smartphone", while competitors such as the Huawei of China compete to market similar devices.

Samsung has a history of humiliating setbacks with major products, including a global reminder of its Galaxy Note 7 devices in 2016 due to the battery explosion, which tarnished its reputation.

The company was also caught in the intensification of the trade war between Japan and South Korea resulting from the conflicts of the Second World War.

The dispute saw Tokyo impose significant restrictions on South Korean tech giants' exports in July, and Samsung Vice President Lee Jae-yong, who described the situation as a "crisis," in Tokyo to get materials.

Analysts said the trade dispute would affect the delivery of Samsung products, including the Galaxy Fold, as it is based on a chemical film produced by the Japanese company Sumitomo Chemical.

Lee is currently facing a new trial for his role in a massive corruption scandal that has resulted in the fall of former President Park Geun-hye.

He was first sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 for several convictions, including corruption, which was reduced to a sentence suspended on appeal. The Supreme Court ordered a new trial last month.

Analysts believe that this decision could pose a serious problem to Samsung.

Yahoo said it suffered a disruption Thursday in all its services, including Yahoo Mail. "You may not be able to access some of ou...



Yahoo said it suffered a disruption Thursday in all its services, including Yahoo Mail.

"You may not be able to access some of our services, including e-mail, and our number one priority right now is to solve this problem," Yahoo Customer Service said in a tweet.

The tweet did not specify the number of users affected by the interrupt or its cause. The Downdetector.com Interruptions Watch website showed that more than four thousand users had been affected.

Yahoo is owned by Verizon Communications Inc.

Google will spend $ 170 million to resolve allegations that its YouTube video service has collected personal data about children with...



Google will spend $ 170 million to resolve allegations that its YouTube video service has collected personal data about children without their parents' consent.

The company agreed to work with the video creators to mark the content for children and said it would limit the collection of data when users view such videos, regardless of age.



However, some lawmakers and child advocacy groups complained that the terms of the agreement were not strong enough to control a company whose parent company, Alphabet, had made a profit of $ 30.7 billion. last year's $ 136.8 billion in revenue, mostly from targeted ads.

Google will pay $ 136 million to the Federal Trade Commission and $ 34 million to New York State, which has conducted a similar investigation. The fine is the heaviest that the FTC has imposed on Google, but it is very small compared to the $ 5 billion fine imposed on Facebook this year for violation of privacy.

YouTube "has inspired kids with nursery rhymes, cartoons and more to fuel their highly profitable behavioral advertising business," Democratic Commissioner Rohit Chopra said in a tweet. "It was lucrative and it was illegal."



The federal government has reinforced the scrutiny of large technology companies over the past two years, including questions about how technology giants collect and use the personal information of their billions of customers. Many large companies in Silicon Valley are also subject to antitrust investigations to determine whether companies have illegally suppressed competition.

Children under the age of 13 are protected by a 1998 federal law requiring parental consent before companies can collect and share their personal information.

Technology companies generally avoid this by completely banning children under 13, although such bans rarely apply. In the long YouTube terms of use, children under the age of 13 are simply asked: "Please do not use the service."



However, many popular YouTube channels offer cartoons or children's songs. According to the FTC, YouTube has posted rankings to its video channels and even has a "Y" category aimed at children ages 7 and under, but YouTube has directed ads on these kids as adults.

The complaint filed by the FTC includes as evidence the presentations of Google describing YouTube toy companies Mattel and Hasbro, described as "new cartoons on Saturday morning" and "Web site No. 1 regularly visited by children".

"YouTube has promoted its popularity among kids to potential business customers," said Joe Simons, president of FTC. But when it came to complying with the law, he said, "The company refused to acknowledge that parts of its platform were clearly intended for children."

Under this agreement, Google and YouTube will obtain "verifiable" consent from parents before collecting or using children's personal information. The company has also agreed not to use data collected from children before.

YouTube has its own service for kids, YouTube Kids. Child-focused service already requires parental consent and uses simple mathematical problems to ensure that children do not register alone.

YouTube Kids does not target ads based on viewers' interests, unlike YouTube's main service. But the children's version contains information on what children watch for recommending videos. It also collects personally identifiable information from the device.



On Wednesday, Google announced that early next year, YouTube will also limit personalized ads on its main video service for children. Google relies on video creators to tag such elements, but will use artificial intelligence to help it.

However, YouTube will not ask for parental consent, even in children's videos. YouTube avoids this precaution by disabling any personal tracking of these videos, stating that it will collect only what is necessary for the proper functioning of the service. For these videos, YouTube will not feature tell features

Apple Inc. announced Thursday it sold $ 7 billion of bonds with yields of up to 103 basis points over the US Treasury equivalent with ma...



Apple Inc. announced Thursday it sold $ 7 billion of bonds with yields of up to 103 basis points over the US Treasury equivalent with maturities of up to 30 years, its first issue of debt since November 2017 .

The company announced on Wednesday that it is offering five sets of promissory notes, the first of which will expire in 2022, to meet a range of needs including share repurchases, dividend payments, capital expenditures, acquisitions and repayment of the debt.

Apple had $ 50.53 billion in cash on June 29, and tens of billions more in securities.

The total net proceeds from the sale will be approximately $ 6.96 billion, net of subscription rebates and costs of Apple's offerings, the company said.

Facebook Inc. is partnering with Microsoft Corp, the AI ​​Coalition Association, and academics from several universities to launch a ...



Facebook Inc. is partnering with Microsoft Corp, the AI ​​Coalition Association, and academics from several universities to launch a competition to better detect counterfeits, the company said in a blog on Thursday.

The social media giant is investing $ 10 million in the "Deepfake Detection Challenge", which aims to boost screening research. As part of this project, Facebook is asking researchers to produce deep and realistic counterfeits to create a set of data to test the detection tools.

The company said the videos, which will be released in December, will have paid actors and that user data will not be used.

In the run up to the US presidential elections. UU. In November 2020, social platforms came under pressure to face the threat of deep counterfeits, which use artificial intelligence to create hyperrealistic videos in which a person seems to be saying or doing something that they did not not done.

While there has been no well-crafted fake video with significant political consequences in the US, the potential of the manipulated video to confuse has recently been demonstrated by a "cheap" clip of the president's the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, He slowed down manually to deliver his speech. seems trailed

In August, the Democratic National Committee demonstrated the threat of fake videos by creating one of its own president, Tom Perez, to urge the public at the Def Hackers convention to think that the real Perez had entered the conference.

"They (deepfakes) lower the bar for an opponent who wants to create manipulated media," said Matt Turek, head of the DARPA Media Forensic program.

Some researchers are working on systems to authenticate a video or image at the capture point via the digital watermark. But the rapid evolution of deepfake technology has created an arms race between creators of deepfake and those who try to detect videos.

"It's a cat and mouse game - if I design a deepfake detection, I'll give the attacker a new discriminator to try," said Siddharth Garg, assistant professor of computer engineering at the Tandon School of the University. from New York.

Technology is also becoming more accessible to less skilled creators. Last week, a Chinese app called Zao, which allows users to turn their faces convincingly into movie stars who have reached the top of the country's app store, but also faced a violent reaction to confidentiality concerns.

Some online deepfake creators have also taken advantage of this market to easily create deepfakes. Machine learning enthusiasts based in countries ranging from Poland to Japan facilitate people's access to personalized deepfakes. They upload step-by-step tutorials to YouTube, charge $ 30 for 50 words of Trump's trump by AI-led Trump, and operate self-service websites that produce deep counterfeits.

The Deepfake Challenge is not the first time that Facebook, which currently does not have a specific Deepfake video policy, funds academic threat research.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, demanded in July that Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Google from Alphabet Inc, owner of YouTube, share their plans to remedy the profound falsifications. Facebook said it was spending $ 7.5 million on equipment at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Maryland, and Cornell University in response to the threat.

One of these teams, led by Professor Hany Farid of the University of Berkeley, is developing "flexible biometric models," which map out the facial features of real politicians, ranging from Senator Bernie Sanders' jump of eyebrow. to the movements of the head. Senator Elizabeth Warren, to detect if there is a new fake video.

The new Facebook competition, which is based on its links with these researchers, will involve academics from Cornell Tech, MIT, Oxford University, UC Berkeley, the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Albany-SUNY.

In a statement released Thursday, Schiff called the contest "not promising".

The 347 scientists who collaborated to create the world's first image of a black hole on Thursday received the breakthrough prize...



The 347 scientists who collaborated to create the world's first image of a black hole on Thursday received the breakthrough prize in basic physics, earning $ 3 million for the "Oscar for Science".

Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration made the headlines in the world press on April 10 by publishing the first image of a supermassive black hole surrounded by a red-hot plasma halo.



Led by Shep Doelman at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Center, the team has spent more than a decade simulating an Earth-size telescope combining the signals received from eight radio-telescopes working in pairs around the world, the goal being to target the Messier. 87 (M87) galaxy at 55 million light-years.

Thanks to this technique, they reached an unprecedented resolution and observed the silhouette of the black hole for the first time in history, thus confirming the theoretical predictions regarding these celestial objects.

"For many years, I was telling people that we were going to create a picture of a black hole and they said," Well, we'll believe it when we see it, "Doelman told AFP during an interview. .



"But when you come with very strong evidence, when you make that kind of breakthrough, you have the satisfaction of really giving birth to a new domain."

"We are now in an era of accurate black hole images, we can approach the horizon of events and map space-time for the first time," he added.

The horizon of events of a black hole is the point where its gravitational effects are powerful and where the light can not escape its attraction.

For the eighth consecutive year, the Breakthrough Award has been created by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to recognize and reward the best scientists in the world.

The winners of the other categories, Life Sciences and Mathematics, also won $ 3 million.

They will be honored at an awards ceremony on Nov. 3 at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General was investigating Facebook for alleged antit...



New York Attorney General Letitia James said a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General was investigating Facebook for alleged antitrust issues.

The Democrat said on Friday that the survey will analyze whether Facebook's actions have compromised consumer data, reduced the quality of consumer choice or increased the price of advertising.

Facebook does not have any immediate comments.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources it has not identified, said a coalition of attorneys general would announce a separate investigation from Google next week.

James said the coalition he led included attorneys general in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

The US Department of Justice UU. In July, he announced the launch of a radical antitrust investigation on Big Tech, although he did not name a particular company. He said he was investigating whether online platforms are harming competition, inhibiting innovation or harming consumers.

The House Judiciary Committee is also conducting an antitrust investigation on Facebook, Amazon and Apple.