Afraid of A.I. taking your job? Yep, you likely are

Despite the promise that robots and artificial intelligence actually could help many people do their jobs better, most simply aren’t buying it.

And a lot of people are still afraid that emerging technology will steal their jobs.

Only 4% of 2,000 people surveyed said they thought emerging technologies would make their jobs easier, while 48% of those familiar with the idea of disruptive technologies fear it will cause layoffs in their industry and more than 38% said it might cost them their jobs personally. This is according to a new study from SelectHub, a company focused on helping enterprises make technology decisions.

Who’s the most anxious about being replaced by a robot or another smart system?

Those working in publishing, retail, and construction, according to SelectHub’s study .

The optimists are in real estate, government and technology; these workers tend to think emerging technologies actually will increase the number of jobs or help them do their jobs.

select hub surveySelectHub

Nearly half of workers in the publishing, retail and construction fields are concerned about losing their jobs because of the impact of artificial intelligence.

SelectHub’s report isn’t quite as optimistic, though.

“The least concerned respondents worked in real estate, where less than 22% were concerned about layoffs,” the report noted. “While real estate may seem like an industry that requires a human touch, certain research suggests artificial intelligence . . . could eventually even replace traditional real estate agents and brokers.”

The report also noted that artificial intelligence already can automate the house hunting process. Consumers can enter specific parameters — among them budget, location and style of house — into a system and receive hundreds of recommended listings.

It’s not surprising that people are worried.

Last September, Forrester Research released a report contending that in just five years, smart systems and robots could replace up to 6% of jobs in the United States.

Then last month, a Japanese insurance company put a face on that prediction when it replaced 34 of its workers with an A.I. system .

However, not every view of the future of work and smart machines is dire.

Some scientists, like Tom Dietterich, a professor and director of intelligent systems at Oregon State University, say smart systems should start to act as increasingly powerful digital assistants that will be used to help people train and do their jobs .

Working with machines, humans could become super human.

For instance, at Stitch Fix, a San Francisco-based online subscription and shopping service, professional stylists, with the help of an A.I. and a team of data scientists, pick out clothes for their customers .

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said he’s not surprised that despite instances like Stitch Fix, people are still worried that emerging technologies, like A.I. and robotics, will take their jobs.

“This is really fearing the unknown,” he said. “I suspect people said the same thing during the industrial revolution when assembly processes were being automated… I think, right now people are terrified. It’s a scary thing thinking about a robot coming and doing your job.”

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said we’re entering a time of dramatic change and people would be smart to consider how their industries will be affected and if they should start to prepare now.

“I absolutely believe there will be new jobs created by robotics and automation,” he said. “We will need more people to architect, design, develop, program, market, sell and build robots.”

Kerravala said now is a good time for people to consider adding skills in one of these up-and-coming fields.

“People need to focus on retraining,” he said. “As technology continues to evolve, change will happen faster and we all need to be in a mode of constantly retraining.”

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The 10 best laptops for students in 2017: the best laptops for college, high school and more

Update: Replacing the Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 in the process, we’ve gone ahead and added one of the most affordable (and outwardly subdued) gaming laptops on the market. Read on to find out more about the Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming at number 6!

The beginning of a new semester means not only getting in the habit of waking up early for those dreaded 8 am classes, but it also marks the best time to upgrade your laptop. After all, if you’re clinging to a weathered workhorse that shudders at the thought of 4K photo editing, it’s time to move forward.

Even if you’re spending the whole day in a classroom, accessories such as the Razer Power Bank are making sure that whatever laptop you’re using, you don’t need to worry about it going dead. For that reason, if the potential for malware is scaring you off from a Mac, there’s no reason to fret that Apple’s offerings are the only options that last all day.

Meanwhile, companies like Microsoft (and, soon, possibly Samsung) are making an active effort to bring prominence to 2-in-1 laptops that double as both tablets and more traditional notebooks, physical keyboards and all. So in spite of the keyboard concerns surrounding the MacBook Pro, there is still quite the range of options to choose from.

As such, we’ve arranged a list of the best laptops for students, conveniently at your disposal below.

best laptops for students

1. Dell XPS 13

Powerful, functional, aesthetically pleasing

CPU: 7th generation Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) InfinityEdge | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Faster than ever
Same long-lasting battery
Still poor webcam position
No Windows Hello

Packing a high-resolution screen and serious processing power, there’s more to the Dell XPS 13 than being a surprisingly small Ultrabook. Now featuring new processors and better integrated graphics, clearly the main advantage of buying the newest Dell XPS 13 is that it comes in Rose Gold. 

There’s a 13-inch display crammed into an 11-inch body, a worthy rival to a certain other aluminum laptop line, and what’s more, the Dell XPS 13 is perfect for any basic course work scenario. After all, Apple doesn’t make the only premium, general use laptop worth batting an eye at, and the Dell XPS 13 is the proof.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 review

best laptops for students

2. Asus Zenbook UX305

A most affordable and excellent Ultrabook

CPU: 6th generation Intel Core m3 – Core m5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 – 5300 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Solid performance
Incredibly thin and light
Wonky video driver
Tinny speakers

Call it a MacBook Air knockoff if you want, but the Asus ZenBook UX305 is one of the best Ultrabooks you can buy at the moment considering the low price-point. With a full HD screen, a whole 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage, the Asus ZenBook UX305 is a steal.

Like the Dell XPS 13 listed below, this is further proof that you can find a truly primo, general use laptop for less than a thousand bucks. The ZenBook UX305 is an honest-to-goodness laptop, presented in an attractive package, that takes home the gold when it comes to exhibiting the basics.

Read the full review: Zenbook UX305

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

3. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The tablet that can replace your laptop

CPU: 6th generation Intel Core m3 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 – Iris Graphics | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch PixelSense (2,736 x 1,824) | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD

High-res screen
Improved Type Cover
Cover still sold separately
Intel Core m3 to start

A higher resolution screen, a thinner design and a move to Intel’s more powerful Skylake processors all help to make this portable tablet a capable substitute for your other computing hardware.

What you get is one of the few tablets we can say for certain can replace your laptop. Luckily, with Windows 10, it serves as a great companion device, too. Sadly, the Type Cover keyboard is still an optional necessity for this laptop replacement.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4

best laptops for students

4. Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 940MX (2GB DDR3L); Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 12GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) LED with touch panel | Storage: 1 TB HDD – 1TB HDD; 128GB SSD

Snappy keyboard
Very versatile
Hefty weight
Graphics narrowly miss the mark

For less than a grand, you could get a MacBook Air, complete with a sub-1080p screen and a Broadwell processor or you could buy a Samsung Notebook 7 Spin. A 2-in-1 laptop with an HDR-enabled, Full HD touchscreen, the Spin boasts both a discrete Nvidia graphics chip and one of the latest Intel CPUs.

Considering the sheer horsepower you can exert from this thing and – we can’t stress this enough – an HDR screen, the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin is perfect for the classroom or the dorm. Sure, it uses an old-school hard drive and a standard-def webcam, but at the same time, but few concessions are made to keep the price down and its value up.

Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

Acer Chromebook 15 C910

5. Acer Chromebook 15

The colossus of Chromebooks

CPU: 5th generation Intel Celeron – Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) – FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD

Fast processing speeds
Long battery life
Awkward keyboard

If you’re convinced that every Chromebook on the market has to be less than 14 inches, you’d be dead wrong. The Acer Chrombook 15, for example, boasts not only a whopping 15.6-inch screen, but it also packs an equally impressive range of processors.

Despite some slight discomfort experienced during prolonged use, but you can snatch the Acer Chromebook 15 at a much cheaper price now than when it originally released, making it well worth the sacrifice.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15 C910

6. Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming

This laptop does high-end gaming on a student budget

CPU: 7th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050; Intel HD Graphics 620 – GTX 1050 Ti; Intel HD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) anti-glare LED-backlit | Storage: 1TB HDD – 1TB HDD; 128GB SSD

Affordable gaming setup
Stellar battery life
Trackpad is touchy
Screen is lacking

While a gaming laptop might sound like the best fit for a student hoping to grind away at the next Mass Effect as much as their homework, they’re usually wicked expensive and the battery life is often on the short end. Luckily, there isn’t much Dell hasn’t thought of and, ditching the Alienware moniker altogether, the Inspiron 15 Gaming is a prime example of budget PC gaming done right. 

For the price, you wouldn’t even be able to afford a MacBook Air, and this is a laptop that can handle practically every game you throw at it, albeit not at the highest settings. And, if you were worried about the battery life, we’ll have you know that in our PCMark 8 battery life benchmark, the Inspiron 15 Gaming lasted a whole 5 hours and 51 minutes, longer than some Ultrabooks that cost even more.

Read the full review: Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming

best laptops for students

7. Asus ZenBook Flip UX360

Taking on Apple with more ports and a touchscreen

CPU: Intel Core m-6Y30 – Intel Core m-6Y75 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Thin and light
All-day battery life
Lacking in multitasking
Noticeable screen glare

It’s not much in terms of specs, but the Asus ZenBook Flip UX360 doesn’t need to be. For the price, it’s one of the better 2-in-1 laptops money can afford. It’s thin and light, packing in an all-day battery life and yet Asus was still courageous enough to keep all your favorite ports intact in addition to its signature 360-degree convertible mode.

Traditional PC users and newcomers alike will be delighted to find a pair of USB 3.0 ports accompanied by a microSD card reader and USB-C. The downside is a notable lack of full-size HDMI, opting instead for the antiquated micro HDMI. However, this laptop more than makes up for its faults with a spacious trackpad and keyboard as well as a processor more than capable of completing everyday tasks – just don’t go nuts with the browser tabs.

Read the full review: Asus ZenBook Flip UX360

best laptops for students

8. HP Chromebook 14

A well balanced Chromebook

CPU: 6th generation Intel Celeron | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 14-inch HD (1366 x 768) – FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC

Excellent keyboard and trackpad
Crisp, vivid screen
Average battery life

The HP Chromebook 14 is no performance powerhouse, sure, but thanks to the zippiness of Chrome OS combined with a funky blue case, this is one fun notebook to use.

Because of its low cost and ease of use, the HP Chromebook 14 is ideal for high school or liberal arts college students while simultaneously providing access to nearly every major service an undergrad would need to survive. It’s nothing fancy in terms of specs, but it is at the very least a sight for sore eyes.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14

Apple 13 inch MacBook Pro with Retina display early 2015

9. Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016)

The MacBook Pro of the future, right now

CPU: 6th generation Intel Core i5 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 540 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Vibrant display
Huge trackpad
USB-C ports force compromise
Keyboard too shallow for some

For students impressed by the sleek-and-alluring 12-inch MacBook, but unsatisfied by the lack of power and ports, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is an obvious solution. Featuring a lengthy battery life (7 hours and 24 minutes in our anecdotal battery test) and a powerful, full-fledged Intel Core i5 processor, the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro is replete with everything you need to get through the coming semesters.

Weighing in at only 3.02 pounds (1.37kg), the 13-inch MacBook Pro is lighter than ever before, thanks in part to its slimmed-down keyboard and covert cooling system. Not only that, but the MacBook Pro manages an even larger trackpad despite the laptop itself being thinner. And, like all macOS-outfitted devices, it even ships with Pages, iMovie and Garageband pre-installed at no extra cost.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016)

Best laptops for students

10. 13-inch MacBook Air

Finally, battery life within our grasp

CPU: 5th generation Intel Core i5; Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch WXGA+ (1,440 x 900) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Fantastic battery life
Broadwell processors
No Retina screen
Not user upgradeable

Though it’s yet to adopt Apple’s Retina display standard, the benefit to this compromise is a 12-hour battery life coupled paired with a dual-core, Broadwell processor and now 8GB of RAM at the entry level.

Plus, if you don’t like the feel of the 12-inch MacBook‘s low-travel butterfly keys, the MacBook Air uses a more traditional chiclet-style keyboard. And hey, a MacBook Air is the most affordable (and pretty much the only) way to get that backlit Apple logo on the back of your laptop.

Read the full review: MacBook Air 13-inch

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

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In VR, 'The Blind Gamer' Sees Without Glasses For The First Time

Imagine a future where the visually impaired could see more clearly thanks to technology. Now what if I told you that we might not be far from that reality? VR technology might be a glimpse at such a future.

Meet “The Blind Gamer”

Steve Saylor is a 33-year-old graphic designer, video editor, and web designer from Toronto. Like many people, Steve likes to share Lets Play videos and livestreams on YouTube. Unlike most people, Saylor can’t see.

Saylor was born with an eye condition called Nystagmus, which affects his vision to the point where he might as well be blind. The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines Nystagmus as “an involuntary, rapid and repetitive movement of the eyes.” According to the academy, people born with Nystagmus “will probably develop less clear vision.”

In Saylor’s case, to say his vision is poor would be an understatement. Normal vision is 20/20; Saylor’s vision is 20/200 with his glasses on. He’s not sure what his vision is rated at without corrective lenses. “Let’s just say I can’t find a scale online that goes that high,” he told Tom’s Hardware with a chuckle. In one of his videos, Saylor explained that from 5 feet away, he can’t see the camera that he uses for filming. To him, it just looks like a blob.

Saylor doesn’t let his poor vision get in the way of doing what he loves. He’s an avid gamer, and he tries to put out a livestream every Friday evening. As you can imagine, he has trouble playing the games because of his vision, so he made a comedy bit out of his situation and called himself “The Blind Gamer.”

For years, Saylor was content getting a couple of hundred views on his videos, but things changed in a big way after he tried VR for the first time. As a YouTuber with more than 1,000 subscribers, Saylor is allowed limited time at the YouTube Space in Toronto, where he lives. YouTube has an HTC Vive setup there, and Saylor stopped by to try it in December.

In early February, Saylor finally got around to posting a video of his experience. For the first week the video was online, it accrued a handful of views, but on February 19, someone shared the link on Reddit, and Saylor enjoyed a small burst of viral fame. Within 24 hours, the Vive video became his most-viewed clip of all time, reaching nearly 28,000 views by the morning of the February 21.  

It’s easy to understand why the views of The Blind Gamer’s VR video kept piling on. Saylor gives a quick intro before jumping into VR. “I’ve never been able to play a video game without my glasses on. Ever,” Saylor said to the camera. “So, I’m really, really, excited to give this a shot.”

You can tell from his face that he’s elated by the notion of seeing without glasses, and his excitement didn’t let up throughout the experience. Saylor tried the Trials on Tatooine experience, and he seemed to be having the time of his life.

After the Star Wars demo had concluded and he had the Vive headset off, he turned to the camera and explained what the experience meant to him:

I’ve never known real vision. The vision I have is the vision I was born with. I have never felt like I was in a game until today. […] Playing this experience in VR is the closest I’ve ever felt like I’m included too–like I’m a gamer, too.”

Saylor told us that he’s 100% sold on VR. His one-off experience convinced him that there is incredible potential for the future of VR, although he still believes the technology isn’t quite there yet. Saylor said that without his glasses on, the HMD allowed him to see as clearly as he can when he’s holding a book right up to his face with his glasses on. Off camera, Saylor tried the Vive with glasses, and he couldn’t see further into the distance, but he was able to pick up more detail. The improvement wasn’t pronounced enough to justify wearing a VR HMD all day. Still, it was good enough for him to see the potential for the future.

The key factor that helps Saylor see better with the headset on than he does in the real world comes down to depth. As noted, Saylor is severely nearsighted, so he can see things that are close more clearly than objects further away. But in a VR HMD, nothing in front of you is actually distant. Everything on the screen is mere inches from your retina. I can’t help but wonder if a device like the Vrvana Totem Mixed Reality headset would dramatically improve Saylor’s day to day life. The Totem headset isn’t exactly portable, but it’s only a matter of time before a device the size of a pair of glasses with mixed reality capabilities hits the market. ODG announced a pair of Snapdragon 835 powered smartglasses at CES that should hit the market later this year, and others are working on optics that reduce HMD size and weight, which is a big step in the right direction.

Eventually, someone will create a device that closely resembles the visor the Geordi La Forge wears in Star Trek. Saylor said he would relish the opportunity to rock such a visor (Geordie is his favorite Star Trek character for obvious reasons). In the meantime, Saylor is eager to get his hands on a VR headset of his own. He doesn’t have a gaming PC and doesn’t have the money to invest in a rig and Vive, but he plans to save up for a PSVR so he doesn’t have to pull his TV up to the couch to play his games anymore.

The Blind Gamer Tries VR

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Apple checking 'exploding' iPhone video

Apple is investigating claims that a US woman’s iPhone 7 Plus “exploded” and caught fire.

Brianna Olivas, 18, from Tucson, Arizona, was sleeping with the phone nearby when her boyfriend noticed it smoking and emitting a strange noise.

He moved the phone away from her and took a video, which has gone viral, in which the handset can clearly be seen emitting smoke.

Apple has replaced both the phone and the case that were damaged.

Brianna told the BBC that she had noticed a problem with the phone, which she bought in January, the day before it caught fire.

“It wouldn’t turn on so I took it into a store,” she said.

“They were able to get the phone on and ran diagnostics. They said nothing was wrong with it and everything was fine.”

But the next morning she woke to discover her phone on fire.

“I sleep with my phone next to me. It was on the bed right next to my head. My boyfriend actually moved the phone to the dresser and went into the bathroom,” she said.

“From the corner of his eye he saw the phone smoking and heard a squealing noise coming from it. I woke up because I heard the noise and then he started raising his voice.”

Brianna’s boyfriend grabbed the phone and moved it into the bathroom.

“Right when he put it there, it blew up and even more smoke was coming out,” she said. “The phone smelt so bad. I can’t really explain the smell but it was really strong. It made the whole apartment smell.”

Despite the problem with Brianna’s phone, there is no indication of a widespread problem with iPhone handsets.

A spokesperson told digital media website Mashable that the firm was “looking into” the issue.

But Brianna’s not sleeping with her phone so close for the time being.

“The past two nights it hasn’t been on my bed at all,” she said.

By UGC and Social News team

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Toshiba reveals new 3D flash chip that can store 1TB

Toshiba has begun shipping samples of its third-generation 3D NAND flash chip technology, which stacks 64 layers of flash cells and has 65% greater capacity than the previous generation technology, which used 48 layers.

“This increases memory capacity per silicon wafer and leads to a reduction of cost-per-bit,” Toshiba stated in a statement.

Toshiba BiCS 3D NAND flashToshiba

Based on a vertical stacking or 3D technology that Toshiba calls BiCS (Bit Cost Scaling), the company’s NAND flash memory stores three bits of data per transistor, meaning it’s a multi-level cell (MLC) flash chip. It can store 512Gbits (64GB) per chip.

Part of its BiCS flash product line, the new chips also store 3 bits of data per cell with the ability to store 512 gigabits (Gb) or 64GB per chip. Toshiba’s second-generation BiCS flash chip held 256Gb (32GB) of capacity.

The new technology will enable a 1TB chip that will be used to create enterprise and consumer SSDs, the company said. Mass production of the new 512Gb chip devices is scheduled for the second half of 2017.

The next milestone in the BiCS flash development roadmap will be the industry’s highest capacity chip, a 1TB product with a 16-die stacked architecture in a single package — in other words, 16 of the 64GB chips. Tosbhia said it plans to begin shipping samples of its 1TB chip in April.

“The introduction of our third-generation BiCS flash coupled with the industry’s largest 1TB chip solution strongly reinforces Toshiba’s flash memory leadership position,” Scott Nelson, senior vice president of the company’s memory business unit, said in a statement. “These innovations underline our commitment to developing leading-edge memory solutions, and we will continue to advance our 3D technology to meet the ever-increasing storage market demand.”

In addition to the new 512Gb chip, Toshiba’s BiCS flash lineup also includes a 64-layer 256Gb (32 gigabyte) offering, which is already in mass production.

WD Toshiba 3D NAND BiCS Toshiba

Based on a vertical stacking or 3D technology that Toshiba and partner WD developed, the latest BiCS (Bit Cost Scaling) technology stores three bits of data per cell and stacks those cells 64-layers high.

Toshiba recently announced that construction has begun on a new state-of-the-art semiconductor fabrication facility, Fab 6, and a new memory-focused R&D center, at Yokkaichi Operations in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Fab 6 will be dedicated to the production of the company’s BiCS flash memory products.

The company, which invented NAND flash in the early 1980s, announced last month it was exploring spinning off its memory business, which includes its 3D BiCS technology line. Nikkei’s Asian Review reported that Toshiba had been considering spinning off its semiconductor operations and selling a partial stake to Western Digital (WD), “as it tries to cope with a massive impairment loss in its U.S. nuclear power unit.”

Toshiba today announced it remains undecided about the sale of its memory business.

The move to spin off its memory business into the “Toshiba Memory Corporation” is designed to help it grow using the investments a partner could make, the company told investors.

Toshiba and WD already jointly operate memory fabrication plants, such as the Fab 2 plant located in Yokkaichi, Japan.

“Splitting off the Memory business into a single business entity will afford it greater flexibility in rapid decision-making and enhance financing options, which will lead to further growth of the Memory business,” Toshiba said in its announcement today.

Western Digital Toshiba NAND flash fabrication plantToshiba

The clean room in Toshiba’s and Western Digital’s jointly operated memory fabrication plant in Yokkaichi, Japan

According to a news report, Foxconn, Micron and SK Hynix are among those bidding to purchase Toshiba’s memory business.

When the move was first announced in January, Toshiba had planned to sell off less than 20% of the memory business’ shares to raise the cash it needed to remain solvent.

At a board meeting today, however, the electronics giant indicated it would likely approve the sale of a more than 50% stake, according to the Asian Review.

“Its financial woes worsened dramatically with the prospect of massive additional write-downs in its U.S. nuclear power business,” the report said.

Western Digital Toshiba NAND flash FabToshiba

Toshiba’s and Western Digitals Fab 2 NAND flash manufacturing facility in Yokkaichi, Japan.

Toshiba’s solvency and fundraising ability are presently in doubt because of a $1.9 billion accounting scandal and a huge loss related to the nuclear plant purchase.

“Its financial problems were a major drag on the growth of its memory business,” Sean Yang, research director of DRAMeXchange, said in an earlier interview with Computerworld.

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Samsung 'Secure Folder' Brings Enterprise-Class Security To Consumers

Samsung offered Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge owners a taste of enterprise-ready security with the new Secure Folder. This special folder will allow consumers to hide apps from their home screen, keep sensitive data separate from other information, and use an extra layer of security for everything it contains.

Secure Folder is based on Samsung’s Knox platform. That’s the same tech that was cleared by the National Security Agency (NSA) for classified work in 2014. Now it’s reached consumers, too, and other companies should follow Samsung’s lead in helping people manage their private data with easy-to-use tools.

Samsung explained that Secure Folder offers a variety of options. This starts with how you access the feature: You can choose to set it up with an extra password, PIN, pattern, or biometric verification. Each has its benefits–biometric verification is convenient but also vulnerable to coercion, whereas passwords are secure but inconvenient–but the key is that Samsung lets you choose your preferred solution instead of forcing something on you.

Secure Folder for Samsung Galaxy Smartphones

Secure Folder also holds whatever information you want. It can be used to store documents, images, and other files on an individual basis, but it can also house entire apps. You can even store one version of an app in the Secure Folder while keeping another version of the app on your home screen. The two should never meet or share data. It’s almost like they’re using a different device altogether, but without the added costs of carrying around two phones.

This has recently become more important as people are asked to unlock devices when crossing the U.S. border, for example, or when law enforcement agencies have sought warrants that would’ve required everyone in a building to unlock their biometrically secured phones. Both are legal despite how invasive they can be (cops don’t even need warrants to make people unlock thumbprint-enabled phones) and leave privacy-minded folks with little recourse.

Something like Secure Folder could help. Police can’t force people to enter a password without a warrant, so keeping sensitive information in a password-protected Secure Folder can let people combine the convenience of biometric features with the added security of alphanumeric passwords. Information stored in a hidden Secure Folder could also evade the notice of someone rifling through a phone they stole or forced someone to unlock.

Secure Folder probably isn’t foolproof. It’s easy for companies to make security mistakes, and the feature’s novelty means that even though Knox is trusted by America’s top intelligence agency, Secure Folder itself might have some flaws. There’s also the ol’ wrench rule that states that everyone thinks digital security makes them impervious to snooping, when in reality they can just be hit with a wrench until they finally agree to comply.

But the point here is that Samsung is giving people more options and recognizing the reality of personal security. Not everyone is worried about far-off hackers accessing their devices. Many people just want to keep information from abusers, for example, or from nosy friends and family members. Secure Folder is flexible enough to help with both scenarios and approachable enough that people won’t be too scared to even give it a whirl.

And that’s a real problem with many security tools. Pew recently found that many Americans know they’ve been hacked, don’t trust others to keep their personal information safe, and don’t follow basic security principles. That’s often because security can be daunting. Who wants to learn how to use PGP to protect their emails? Or try to remember a lot of unique passwords? Or scrutinize every link that hits their inbox? Some people do, but many don’t.

Even if Secure Folder turns out not to be perfect, Samsung has at least given people more control over the information stored on their phones.

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AMD Ryzen 1800X Appears Sold Out At Some Retailers

The AMD Ryzen hype train can’t be stopped. Not long after the upcoming CPUs reached the top of Amazon’s best sellers list, the 1800X has apparently started to sell out at some retailers, including Amazon itself. But fear not–some retailers still have the 1800X and its siblings available for pre-order.

AMD opened pre-orders for the Ryzen lineup just a couple of days ago. Yet the 1800X is currently unavailable from Amazon, which doesn’t know when it will start to sell the product again, and Newegg says it’s out of stock. Both still have the 1700 and 1700X in stock, at least for now. That doesn’t help the Ryzen hopeful looking for the 1800X, though, so where are they supposed to spend their hard-earned cash on the high-end CPU?

NCIX in the U.S. and Canada still has the 1800X, 1700, and 1700X all available for pre-order. Memory Express (which is Canada-only) does too. AMD said on its website that Best Buy should have Ryzen available for pre-order, but the retailer appears to be restricted to pre-built systems. TigerDirect and Micro Center in the U.S. both appear to have the processors in stock, although Micro Center said that 1800X pre-orders are only available for in-store pickup.

Fry’s also has all of the Ryzen lineup marked as out of stock for both in-store pickup and online orders. So if you’re going to hop aboard the hype train before the lineup’s March 2 debut, even though we have precious little solid information about performance, now might be the best time to do so.

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