Category Archives: Technology

The latest top technology news and coverage of tech issues and events in the world. Review of new gadgets and smartphones, changes in social networks

The world’s first smartphone on the new Qualcomm platform has gone on sale

The heart of Vivo Y31s is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480

Vivo recently unveiled the Vivo Y31s, which is the world’s first smartphone powered by the all-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 single-chip system. The smartphone goes on sale today in China in a single version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage for $260.

The smartphone has a 6.58-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 2408 x 1080 pixels with a refresh rate of 90 Hz and an aspect ratio of 20.7:9. The screen covers 90.61% of the front panel area and has a contrast ratio of 1500:1. The front camera has a resolution of 8 megapixels.

The smartphone supports 5G, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, and GNSS (BeiDou, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo). It also got 3.5 mm jacks for headphones and USB-C, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, gyroscope, compass. The smartphone runs Funtouch OS 10.5 shell based on Android 11 on a 5000 mAh battery with 18W fast charging support.

The Vivo Y31s will be available in three colors (Monot Color, Titanium Empty Grey, Ruby Red), its dimensions are 164.15 x 75.35 x 8.4 mm with a weight of 185.5 g.

Facebook has a new position of vice president for civil rights

A new position of vice president for civil rights appeared on Facebook.  It was announced on Monday, January 11, USA Today reports.

Roy Austin, a former employee of Barack Obama’s administration, will handle racial hatred and discrimination issues on the company’s platforms and set up a civil rights organization within Facebook, as the internal audit recommendation calls for.

Technology plays a role in virtually every aspect of our lives, and it’s important that it be used to address the historical discrimination and hatred that many ‘underrepresented’ groups have faced, not to exacerbate it,” he said.

Austin will officially take office on Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C., where he will set up his team.

In December, the U.S. Justice Department sued Facebook for discriminating against U.S. citizen employees. According to the department, the company had refused to hire American specialists for more than 2.6 thousand positions, which Facebook had instead reserved for holders of temporary visas.

On December 18, it became known that the court on the claim of the U.S. Department of Justice against Google Corporation for violations of antitrust laws may begin in September 2023.

It became known in the summer of 2019 that U.S. authorities were preparing to launch a large-scale investigation into Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple to check for possible antitrust violations on their part.

Facebook on Dec. 10 called the U.S. authorities’ antitrust lawsuits a revision of history.

iPhone camera lenses won’t change until 2022

The hardware components of future iPhones cameras will not change for a couple of generations of smartphones. This is reported by MacRumors, citing reputable insider Min-Chi Kuo.

According to Sunny, Apple is already looking for a lens supplier, which could be either Largan or Genius Electronic Optical. In addition to them, the company may consider the offer of Sunny Optical. Largan is ready to provide lenses at a price of 15-25% below the average market price.

That would put Genius Electronic Optical, a supplier of lenses for iPhones, at a disadvantage. According to Min-Chi, the company has certain production problems and simply won’t be able to invest in its modifications. So don’t expect any improvements until 2022.

Based on all this data, Min-Chi comes to the conclusion that the lenses of iPhones will not get any serious changes in the next year and a half or two years. That is, most likely, the next iPhones will get the same set of lenses and we won’t have to expect any periscopes.

However, the lack of changes in optics does not mean that the cameras will not change. The sensor is also involved in the creation of the picture, they are supplied by Sony, and Apple is also working a lot on computational photography.

In 2020, for example, the new iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max got the ability to record video in Dolby Vision, as well as a new model in which pictures are saved in uncompressed RAW format. In addition, all iPhones 12 received an updated third-generation SmartHDR.

Employees of Google, Waymo, and other Alphabet companies announce union formation

In recent years, tensions between employees and company management have been growing, with workers protesting several times.

Alphabet employees plan to form a union. They told NYT about this.

The association accepts both full-time employees and contractors who work under the contract. Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) will tackle pay inequality, combat unethical company transactions, and more.

Now about 225 people are participating in the union. Alphabet Workers Union backs Communications Workers of America, one of the largest trade unions in the United States.

As of September 2020, Alphabet had over 132,000 employees. Therefore, in the next phase, AWU will need to attract more participants, TechCrunch notes.

Google employees have repeatedly protested against the company’s actions: for example, they accused Google of protecting their top managers from accusations of sexual harassment and opposed cooperation with the US Department of Defense in some projects.

In the summer of 2019, Google ended its cooperation with the Pentagon over a project to develop drones with video surveillance. And in October 2019, she canceled a $10 billion contract for cloud services for the Pentagon.

Also, due to protests from employees, Google had to abandon plans to create a censored search service Dragonfly to return to the Chinese market.

In December 2020, the US National Labor Relations Administration charged Google with labor violations. The company fired two employees for organizing protests.

As the Washington Post notes, many Silicon Valley companies are resisting union formation. Typically, such associations are created with the help of the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

So, in 2019, Kickstarter employees united in a trade union and demanded negotiations with the company. Kickstarter refused to recognize the union and had to go through a union election process with the NLRB. The Kickstarter Union was recognized as a union, but it took about 10 months.

The Alphabet union was created without the participation of the NLRB — this limits the rights of the union. For example, he will not be able to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the Alphabet. But the merger still has other leverage over the company, NYT notes.

AWU organizers hope the merger will help them get the company to abide by its Don’t Be Bad Rule.

We are the people that Alphabet is built on. We code, clean offices, serve food, drive buses, test drones, and do whatever it takes to keep this giant running. We started working with Alphabet because we wanted to create technologies that make the world a better place.
However, company leaders have repeatedly put profit above our problems. We want Alphabet to be a company where employees have a say in decisions that affect us and the communities in which we live.

WhatsApp will stop working on old smartphones

Facebook announced that the WhatsApp messenger will stop working on some older operating systems starting January 1, 2021. This will affect two systems: iOS 8 and Android 4.0.3, as well as older versions of these “axes”.

But you shouldn’t be scared much. According to April statistics published by Google, only 0.6% of all Android users are sitting on this version of Android and older. The percentage of WhatsApp users among them, I believe, is even lower. Version 4.0.3 is part of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and was shown in 2011.

Among iOS users, the problem will definitely affect everyone who is still on the iPhone 4. It was released in 2010 and was updated until 2014, receiving iOS 7.1.2. iOS 8 was introduced in 2014.

Facebook recommends that all users who are currently unable to switch to new devices, make a backup copy of all correspondence and only then activate them on a new smartphone.