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Countries back plan to create ‘free flow’ of data across borders

The signatories include major countries like the US, China and Russia. However, there are already concerns as to whether or not this will lead to concrete action. Some of the participants are highly protective of their country's data, for various reasons. China and Russia, for instance, tend to insist on companies storing data locally both as a competitive tool and to help them crack down on political dissidents. The European Union, meanwhile, is concerned about privacy violations that can come with sharing info outside of member states.

Other G20 members, including India, Indonesia and South Africa, were also absent. India in particular has wanted to keep data at home to claim a competitive edge.

Osaka Track could still be helpful. It promises to frame negotiations over digital commerce at the World Trade Organization, where 78 countries intend to participate. However, it's really just the start of a long, uncertain process -- albeit a promising one.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/29/osaka-track-free-flow-of-data-pledge/

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Android Messages may get Snapchat-like AR effects

It looks like Google is testing five effects at the moment, including one that shows your face through the window of a cartoon airplane before it flies away. The balloon effect puts flying balloons in front of and behind you, while another puts a fireworks display right in your living room. There's also a confetti effect and an angel filter that gives you a halo and a pair of wings. The halo can follow your head around, just like Snapchat's face filters.

XDA says it was only able to access the effects through the messaging app's camera and that they weren't available through the standalone camera app. While the animated messages could reportedly be sent as SMS or MMS, the feature will go well with Google's RCS rollout, which will give you the ability to send and receive high-quality media and get read receipts in the Messages app, among other things. As with any experimental feature, it may take some time before it becomes available to the public. When it does, we hope you're ready for a barrage of Snapchat-like animations flooding your Messages.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/29/google-android-messages-ar-filters/

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‘Stranger Things 3’ pays respect to the power and perils of tech

This presents an opportunity for the gadgets that were so prominent in seasons one and two, like walkie-talkies and amateur radios, to play a more crucial role than before in the Stranger Things universe. Season three features eight episodes, and it takes place in the summer of 1985, months after Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) used her superpowers to ward off The Mind Flayer and close the gate to the Upside Down. It doesn't take long to get a glimpse of just how key communication devices will be to the plot of Stranger Things 3, which isn't surprising considering how creators Matt and Ross Duffer basically gave every character a cellphone in season two.

Dustin back home in Hawkins after science camp.

In one of the first scenes of Chapter One, dubbed "Suzie, Do You Copy?" Dustin is just returning to Hawkins from summer camp, and the first thing he does is try to reach the rest of the gang with his portable ham radio. Much to his disappointment, nobody's voice can be heard at the other end of the line. "This is Gold Leader, returning to base," he says, time and time again. "Do you copy? Over." Little does he know, though, Eleven, Mike, Will, Lucas and Max are all waiting for him at his house, where they get treated to a showcase of all the projects Dustin built at science camp. But there's one in particular he's excited about.

"This is my masterpiece," says Dustin, as he swiftly opens a duffle bag. "I would like you to meet Cerebro, an unassembled one-of-a-kind battery-powered radio tower." Will, who seems to be slightly underwhelmed, says "So, it's a... ham radio," to which Dustin replies, "The Cadillac of ham radios. This baby carries a crystal-clear connection over vast distances. I'm talking North Pole to South. I can talk to my girlfriend whenever and wherever I choose." If you've watched the previous seasons, then you'll know Dustin hasn't had a girlfriend, but now he's (supposedly) met someone at camp named Suzie.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/30/stranger-things-3-review/

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Test tube embryo transfer may give near-extinct rhinos a second chance

It's a positive sign, but there are concerns. Ultrasound exams showed that the test embryo is smaller than expected and isn't guaranteed to lead to a successful birth. Scientists also have to wait for permission from Kenya to harvest the northern rhinos' eggs. While the government backs the plan, it's not certain how long the approval process will take.

If this does work, though, it could have a dramatic effect on conservation strategies. Species are going extinct at an unprecedented rate. This technology wouldn't solve underlying causes like climate change or excessive hunting, but it could prevent outright extinction and help endangered populations bounce back.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/30/near-extinct-rhino-test-tube-embryo-transfer/

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Ask Engadget: Can the police make me unlock my smartphone?

Terrence O'Brien
Managing Editor

Although I'm not a lawyer, I was able to find some information courtesy of the ACLU and the EFF. (Note that this information pertains to US citizens specifically.)

If you're at the border, police are permitted to search your computer and portable devices, regardless of whether they have a warrant. Other times law enforcement doesn't need a warrant to search your phone: If you consent to a search, if they've asked a roommate or spouse for access to the device, or if you've just been arrested. If you're arrested, police are permitted to search your phone under limited circumstances but you're not required to turn over encryption keys or passwords.

The Supreme Court has ruled that police cannot search data on a cell phone unless they believe there is evidence on the phone that is likely to be destroyed. However, they can remove a case or battery. The Fifth Amendment, which protects citizens from being forced to give self-incriminating testimony, has generally been taken to extend to passwords or encryption keys. Law enforcement cannot threaten or force you into giving up a password or unlocking a phone or computer. (However, a judge or a grand jury may be able to compel you unlock devices.) The EFF recommends contacting them and seeking legal help if you find yourself in circumstances where law enforcement or someone in the justice system is pressing you to provide a password or encryption keys.

According to the ACLU, if an officer has asked for your phone while you're recording video or taking photographs or a protest or police activity, you are within your rights to refuse to comply, as the request is unlawful. Police officers "may not confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant," and they are never permitted to delete any photographs or video off of your phone. Taking photographs and video in public is covered under your First Amendment rights, but there's still a chance you could be (unlawfully) arrested if you refuse to comply with the request.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/29/can-the-police-make-me-unlock-my-smartphone/

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The Morning After: SIM-swap cell phone hacking horror stories

Ready for a horror story?How a trivial cell phone hack is ruining lives

Violet Blue explains how SIM-swap attacks have been used to steal online accounts and even as much as $100,000 from a victim's bank account. In these attacks, someone uses pieces of personal information to convince your cell service provider to transfer (port) your number and associated phone account to a device in the attacker's possession.

If you use accounts that verify identity with a text message, then you could be vulnerable to them too. One man who lost $25k, his Gmail and his Twitter got his phone number back only to see T-Mobile give it over to a hacker again.

Now what?Reactions to Jony Ive's departure from Apple

Now that we've had some time to think about the news that Apple's design chief Jony Ive -- the man behind iconic products like the iPod, iPhone and more -- is leaving, what does it mean? Nicole Lee considers Ive's legacy and how he helped make the company what it is today, noting that "Ive was inextricably tied to Jobs' and Apple's comeback, and therefore to the company's meteoric rise to where it is today."

Meanwhile, Daniel Cooper focuses on Apple's shift from hardware to services. For the devices we'll see in the future, he wonders if Ive's successors "loosen up on some of his more famous hangups" in favor of bigger batteries or a more functional keyboard.

Hands-on with iOS 13's tablet-focused version.iPadOS makes Apple's tablets feel like a priority again

After using the tablet edition of iOS 13 for a few days, Chris Velazco says he's "already impressed with the changes Apple has made... Apple addressed many of the criticisms that prevented the iPad Pro from being the do-it-all computer it aspires to be. As for everyone else, they'll benefit from subtle performance improvements and some extra polish."

Microsoft's attempts to win at mobile were unremarkable.Bill Gates says his 'greatest mistake' was not beating Android

The founder of Microsoft recently admitted in an interview at venture-capital firm Village Global that his biggest mistake was not making what Android came to be. Gates admitted that the company struggled to adjust to mobile, as both the iPhone and Google's Android swept up customers in the smartphone revolution. If you don't remember Windows Mobile, well, let's just say you're not missing out on much.

It also packs better Bluetooth and USB connectivity.The new Raspberry Pi 4 is ready for 4K video

The newly released Raspberry Pi 4 Model B combines familiar tiny computer-on-a-board design with some major boosts to performance, particularly for media. With a more potent 1.5GHz quad-core Broadcom processor with H.265 decoding, two micro-HDMI ports and up to 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, the Pi 4 can output 4K video at 60 fps. It could well be your next, slightly more future-proofed DIY media hub.

Someone has to push the envelope.Valve Index review: Next-level VR

Priced at $1,000, Devindra Hardawar notes that the Valve Index is "not even vaguely affordable" compared to other VR options. Still, this "aspirational" piece of gear impresses, with a comfortable headset, slick finger-tracking controllers and excellent image quality. Take a look and see why the Index "has almost everything we want in a next-generation PC VR headset."

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Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/29/the-morning-after/

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Trump to lift some restrictions on Huawei as part of China truce

The change of heart leaves Huawei highly restricted. It's still on the Commerce Department's Entities List, preventing it doing business with US companies unless there's explicit government approval. Trump said the US would decide on removing Huawei from the list later, and noted that there was a meeting to discuss the subject on July 2nd.

The turnaround comes as part of a larger concession that could be good news for technology as a whole. The US is indefinitely postponing additional tariffs on Chinese goods in return for China buying large quantities of American farm products. This is far from a permanent solution, but it could reduce pressure on tech companies to move some production outside of China in their bid to avoid tariffs.

If Huawei does resume key US partnerships, it might come just in time to mitigate a crisis. Huawei has reportedly scaled back phone production knowing that its loss of official Android support and other partnerships would hurt its phone sales, and its PC business was in serious trouble without parts from American firms like Intel. Some of the damage is already done, but Huawei could leap back into the consumer space in key countries without resorting to alternate operating systems and less-than-ideal PC processors.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/29/trump-to-lift-some-restrictions-on-huawei/

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Recommended Reading: Algorithms and school surveillance

Aggression Detectors: The unproven, invasive surveillance technology schools are using to monitor students
Jack Gillum and Jeff Kao,

Following the rise in mass shootings, schools, hospitals and other public places are installing tech to monitor people. Part of this effort includes using algorithm-equipped microphones to capture audio, with the goal of detecting stress or anger before bad things happen. The problem? They aren't reliable and their mere existence is a massive invasion of privacy.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/29/recommended-reading-algorithms-and-school-surveillance/

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Court convicts murder suspect found through a DNA database

Investigators linked Talbott to the 1987 murders of Canadian couple Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg after two of his cousins (from both sides of the family) uploaded their DNA profile to GEDMatch. The database, which also led to the Golden State Killer arrest, allows users to upload their DNA test results from services like Ancestry and 23andMe, so they can find other relatives and create a comprehensive family tree.

CeCe Moore, the genetic genealogist who worked with the authorities on the case, traced the DNA extracted from semen left on Van Cuylenborg's body to Talbott's parents through his cousins. His parents only have one son. It was only after he was identified through the database that authorities were able to match his palm print to a print lifted from the scene.

According to Wired, both sides agreed to treat the DNA identification as a tip before the trial even began, and nobody questioned the method used to link Talbott to the case. If more and more cold cases go to trial due to DNA databases, though, there's bound to be serious discussions on whether using them to solve crimes should be regulated.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/29/dna-database-trial-found-guilty/

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Microsoft starts public tests for ‘Halo: Reach’ on PC

As it is, there's good news for players when the finished Master Chief Collection update arrives. While it Forge won't be available on launch for PC, the team is planning a "one-time" transfer of legacy Forge maps and game types from players' file shares to incorporate them in MCC. If you had a favorite Halo 3, Halo 4 or Halo: Reach custom map, you might get to play it in a modernized form. There's no specific date yet, and there doesn't appear to be a "workable solution" to bring films and screenshots to MCC, but it beats losing all your old content to the mists of time.

The devs also clarified plans for an MCC-wide progression system. Unlike some season-driven games, you won't lose the chance to unlock gear from one season once the new season starts. You can even use points earned in one game toward customization in another. Also, Reach may include ways to unlock content that required promos the first time, such as pre-orders and account links. Although there's no guarantee you'll see everything you ever had, you probably won't be limited to the base version of each game.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/29/halo-reach-public-tests-and-mcc-forge/

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