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Moto Razr 2019 is official: A foldable smartphone with no display crease

Ars Technica - 8 hours 42 min ago

It's Moto Razr day today. The phone stopped by the FCC earlier in the day, and after sending out an event invite for November 13, Motorola just barely made it in time, with an official announcement at 11pm ET. The rumors were true: the Moto Razr is a reboot of one of the most iconic flip phones of all time, updated for 2019. Instead of a tiny screen and a physical keypad on the inside, you get a giant folding OLED display that puts the new Moto Razr in the same category as other futuristic foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X. The price is also in the same stratosphere as those super-expensive devices: the new Razr is $1,500. It's also a Verizon exclusive in the US.

The hinge design of the Moto Razr is probably the most interesting thing about it. The best Samsung can currently do in the foldables space is the Galaxy Fold, which, thanks to folding the display nearly completely flat, develops a permanent crease in the display after the first fold. Motorola's display doesn't fold completely flat though—there is a large void space around the display hinge, so when the phone folds in half, the display has room to move around. Since it's not being sandwiched between two solid plates, the display collapses into a gentle curve instead of a hard crease. Imagine bending a piece of paper in half just by pinching the top and bottom together versus pressing the fold into a crease.

Motorola described how a hinge like this could work in a 2018 patent. Instead of having the hinge mechanism behind the display, like on the Galaxy Fold, Motorola has the hinge on the left and right side of the display, giving the display room to sink into the phone body and bend into a gentle curve. For support Motorola says the hinge "includes moveable support plates that rigidly support the display when the phone is open, but collapse out of the way when the phone is closed." These two design elements allow the phone to have a "zero gap" hinge while also not smashing the display into a crease.

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Breach affecting 1 million was caught only after hacker maxed out target’s storage

Ars Technica - 11 hours 47 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Ryan Adams / Flickr)

The US Federal Trade Commission has sued an IT provider for failing to detect 20 hacking intrusions over a 22-month period, allowing the hacker to access the data for 1 million consumers. The provider only discovered the breach when the hacker maxed out the provider’s storage system.

Utah-based InfoTrax Systems was first breached in May 2014, when a hacker exploited vulnerabilities in the company’s network that gave remote control over its server, FTC lawyers alleged in a complaint. According to the complaint, the hacker used that control to access the system undetected 17 times over the next 21 months. Then on March 2, 2016, the intruder accessed personal information for about 1 million consumers. The data included full names, social security numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and usernames and passwords for accounts on the InfoTrax service.

The intruder accessed the site later that day and again on March 6, stealing 4,100 usernames, passwords stored in clear-text, and hundreds of names, addresses, social security numbers, and data for payment cards.

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Google set to offer banking current accounts

BBC Technology News - 13 hours 30 min ago
The tech giant plans to partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer current accounts.

Could 'invisible barcodes' revolutionise recycling?

BBC Technology News - 13 hours 38 min ago
A pilot is in progress to see if invisible barcodes on packaging can improve recycling rates.

Comic for November 13, 2019

Dilbert - 13 hours 42 min ago
Categories: Geek

Election 2019: Young voters react to Facebook political ads from parties

BBC Technology News - November 13, 2019 - 11:36pm
Here's what they thought of paid-for adverts from the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

Are We Living In a Blade Runner World?

Slashdot - November 13, 2019 - 11:15pm
Categories: Geek, Opinion

How the FCC solves consumer problems—well, it doesn’t, really

Ars Technica - November 13, 2019 - 9:31pm

Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

The Federal Communications Commission's extremely hands-off approach to broadband-customer complaints has alarmed a member of Congress.

US Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in August after learning of a Frontier customer who was forced to pay a $10-per-month rental fee for a router despite buying his own router.

As we wrote at the time, Frontier charges customers a $10 monthly fee for routers even when the company doesn't provide one at all, saying that non-Frontier routers cause "increased complaints and more difficulty with troubleshooting." But Frontier also said it "cannot support or repair the non-Frontier equipment," so it's charging $10 a month without providing a router or providing support for non-Frontier routers.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google will offer checking accounts, says it won’t sell the data

Ars Technica - November 13, 2019 - 9:10pm

Enlarge / Google logo seen during Google Developer Days (GDD) in Shanghai, China, September 2019. (credit: Lyu Liang | VCG | Getty Images)

The Google empire is enormous and ubiquitous, covering basically the entire Internet in one way or another. There is, however, one lucrative business the company does not yet have a foothold in: banking. And now it has plans to change that.

Google is working to launch consumer checking accounts next year, The Wall Street Journal first reported this morning. The project, code-named Cache because apparently nobody can resist a pun, is expected to launch next year, sources told the Journal. CNBC, also citing "sources familiar," confirmed the WSJ's reporting.

Google: Not a bank

The accounts will be run in partnership with Citibank and a credit union based out of Stanford University. Google executive Caesar Sengupta told the WSJ that the accounts will carry branding from the banks, not from Google, which will also "leave the financial plumbing and compliance" to the banks.

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