Less than two weeks ahead of the Pixel 4 flagship smartphone’s debut, Google is temporarily pulling the plug on a controversial “field research” program that offered subjects in US cities a $5 gift certificate in exchange for a scan of their face — after a New York Daily News report that one Google contracting agency was actively targeting homeless people in Atlanta and tricking unwitting college students into participating by pretending they would merely be testing a new app.
Originally, the company told us, the idea was to make sure the Pixel 4’s new Face Unlock feature would recognize a diverse array of faces, which could keep it from being biased against people of color — a legitimate concern for facial recognition tech.
Google now tells The New York Times and The Verge that it has immediately suspended the program, and opened an investigation, after reading the Daily News’ story. It wouldn’t confirm individual allegations, but did say it’s true it hired contractors from Randstad for the research, the same contractor named in the Daily News’ expose, and Google has reportedly called the alleged details “very disturbing.” Google tells The Verge that it made sure to provide directions to its researchers to be transparent with people they approached for a facial scan, so it sounds like Google will be able to dodge some of the blame if the allegations about its contractor are true.
Attackers are exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Google’s Android mobile operating system that can give them full control of at least 18 different phone models, including four different Pixel models, a member of Google’s Project Zero research group said on Thursday night.
There’s evidence the vulnerability is being actively exploited, either by exploit developer NSO Group or one of its customers, Project Zero member Maddie Stone said in a post. NSO representatives, meanwhile, said the “exploit has nothing to do with NSO.” Exploits require little or no customization to fully root vulnerable phones. The vulnerability can be exploited two ways: (1) when a target installs an untrusted app or (2) for online attacks, by combining the exploit with a second exploit targeting a vulnerability in code the Chrome browser uses to render content.
“The bug is a local privilege escalation vulnerability that allows for a full compromise of a vulnerable device,” Stone wrote. “If the exploit is delivered via the Web, it only needs to be paired with a renderer exploit, as this vulnerability is accessible through the sandbox.”
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October 7 promises to be an action-packed day, with not just AMD’s launch of its Radeon RX 5500 series graphics card, but also Intel’s 10th generation Core X “Cascade Lake” HEDT processors in the LGA2066 package. With AMD having achieved near-parity with Intel on IPC, the focus with the 10th generation Core X will be on price-performance, delivering double the number of cores to the Dollar compared to the previous generation. Intel will nearly halve the “Dollars per core” metric of these processors down to roughly $57 per core compared to $103 per core of the 9th generation Core X. This means the 10-core/20-thread model that the series starts with, will be priced under $600.
The first wave of these processors will include the 10-core/20-thread Core i9-10900XE, followed by the 12-core/24-thread i9-10920XE around the $700-mark, the 14-core/28-thread i9-10940XE around the $800-mark, and the range-topping 18-core/28-thread i9-10960XE at $999, nearly half that of the previous-generation i9-9980XE. There is a curious lack of a 16-core model. These chips feature a 44-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface supporting up to 256 GB of DDR4-2933 memory (native speed), and compatibility with existing socket LGA2066 motherboards with a BIOS update. The chips also feature an updated AES-512 ISA, the new DLBoost instruction set with a fixed-function hardware that accelerates neural net training by 5 times, and an updated Turbo Boost Max algorithm. Intel will extensively market these chips to creators and PC enthusiasts. October 7 will see a paper-launch, followed by November market-availability.
While there’s been little official word on AMD’s 3rd-generation Threadripper chips, the chip has made an appearance over on Geekbench. And while the results suggest that this chip may not deliver the stratospheric improvements that the 2nd-gen chip did compared to the original silicon, it’s more than enough to stay ahead of Intel’s flagship chip.
This fits in well with a benchmark spotted back in August. This showed the Threadripper 3000 as having a 3.6GHz base clock and 4.2GHz boost.
The single-core score of 1,275 is pretty much the same as for the current flagship Threadripper 2990WX, and is actually slightly lower than the 1,334 that the Intel i9-9900K scores.
But when it comes to multi-core, the Threadripper 3000’s score of 23,015 absolutely destroys the Threadripper 2990WX’s score of 13,400, and leaves the i9-9900K with its score of 8,726 in its dust.
Some back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that based on this benchmark that the Threadripper 3000 is some 70% faster than the Threadripper 2990WX. However, as usual, caution is needed when trying to extrapolate benchmark results and translate them into real-world performance.
Just yesterday, Huawei announced its Mate 30 lineup and as anticipated, it is launching without an official Google license due to the US trade ban that placed Huawei on a blacklist, barring American companies from doing business with the Chinese company.
Huawei CEO confident it will sell 20 million Mate 30 handsets despite limitation
After the event, Huawei CEO Richard Yu told Android Authority “I think this ban will influence out out of China sales. But China sales will increase a lot because this is the most competitive 5G flagship in the world.” Although Huawei expects global sales to drop, its expecting strong growth in its home market of China.
In addition, Yu believes that the Mate 30 can reach over 30 million sales. Here’s what he said regarding global sales and the US ban, which has caused Google to revoke Huawei’s Android certification license to run Google apps.
Apple appears to be readying new iPad Pro devices with a triple-camera system on the rear similar to the iPhone 11 Pro. Rumors of the triple-camera iPad system first emerged earlier this year, and now Sonny Dickson is revealing what that might look like ahead of Apple’s rumored October event. The rear of the new iPad Pro includes a triple-camera housing that looks very similar to the one found on the iPhone 11 Pro, and the device is reportedly a “final design mockup.” Dickson previously revealed iPhone 11 case renders earlier this year.
If Apple is upgrading its cameras on the iPad Pro then it could mean the tablets no longer lag behind their iPhone counterparts. Current iPad Pro models use a camera system that’s similar to last year’s iPhone XR, and a new iPad Pro with the same iPhone 11 Pro triple-camera system would allow creatives to shoot high quality 4K videos and edit them directly on the device. The mockup device doesn’t include the glass cover found on the iPhone 11 Pro, and Dickson notes it could be a change or “just a minor omission in a device intended to showcase the final physical form of the device.”
HANGZHOU, China/SEOUL (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) new, lower priced iPhone that comes with a faster processor but lacks 5G technology disappointed Asia, where cheaper and feature-packed handsets from rivals are already available.
The iPhone 11, launched on Tuesday for $50 less than last year’s base XR model, was met with a limp response from social media users in Asian markets that are dominated by Huawei Technologies and Samsung Electronics (005930.KS).
Lowering the entry price point, a rare move from Apple, was likely an effort to attract buyers in China, where Apple has ceded ground to Huawei due to a surge in support from patriotic Chinese consumers after the Chinese brand was caught in the U.S.-China trade standoff, said analysts.
Despite the reduction, the iPhone 11, and even the higher-end models with more camera lenses, are set to come up short in Asia.
“Apple’s new phones were no surprise at all. Only tangible change is having an additional camera on their premium model,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Seoul-based Cape Investment & Securities.
“However, it is noticeable that Apple has made a price cut for the newest iPhone for about $50, which is a very rare move for the company. The move might be aiming to manage and reduce potential risks drawn by the U.S.-China trade war.”
Last month we saw renders of the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro from OnLeaks which revealed the design of these smartphones. Now, this leakster has revealed the detailed specs of both smartphones, leaving little to the imagination.
The OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro will have Snapdragon 855+ SoC at the helm paired with 8GB RAM. Both smartphones will boot to OxygenOS based on Android 10 and sport a 16MP selfie shooter. But, they will come with different screens, batteries, and slightly different camera setups.
After a four-year investigation, Google has agreed to pay almost €1 billion ($1.10 billion) to French authorities because it did not fully declare its tax activities in the country, as reported by Reuters. The payment covers a €500 million fine and additional taxes of €465 million.
Google’s tax status in the European Union has always been contentious. It pays very little tax in most European countries despite doing business on the continent, because a loophole allows it to avoid taxes by essentially running a shell company in Ireland. This well-known loophole is called the Double Irish arrangement and has been described as the largest tax avoidance tool in history.