February 2023


Digital crooks – what cyber security experts and law enforcement officials politely call bad actors – use elements of modern cyber communication to track your online activities. These elements are hidden in plain sight, but they are easy to reveal once you know where to find them.

You can bounce around false leads to disguise your activities or at least leave behind some misdirections to keep potential mischief-makers off your trail. Hiding your online activity is not illegal if you are not engaging in criminal activity.

When you use your computer, mobile phone or tablet to access the Internet, you receive an Internet Protocol (IP) address assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a Media Access Control (MAC) protocol that identifies each fragment. MAC) are easily visible via the address. of the computing hardware you use. We’ll cover these again in a minute.

The same is true when you use a mobile device with cellular connectivity because it pings cell towers around you to provide a connection. Therefore, surfing the web or using email on your cellular phone or tablet presents another access channel to your IP address. But your mobile device’s IP address is different, giving determined people enough of two ways to find and track you.

Keep in mind that your ISP (both fixed and mobile) has direct access to your location when you are online. They may also monitor your digital activities and may be ordered by law enforcement agencies to reveal that information under certain conditions. Even the websites you visit can tell that it is you and what you do while you are there. Other people who snoop on you can do the same.

Read on to know how you can prevent others from tracking you digitally. Then, apply these strategies to prevent bad actors from using your IP address to load malware onto your devices, serve you with ransomware, hack into your financial accounts, or steal your entire online identity. Read on to know how you can prevent others from tracking you digitally.

network basics

The Internet consists of different pathways that are linked together. An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique set of numbers that identifies a device connected to this series of networks. When you subscribe to a service provider, you are assigned a unique IP address, which may change as your device connects and disconnects.

A media access control (MAC) address is a 12-digit hexadecimal number displayed with a colon or hyphen separating each two digits. Hardware manufacturers assign MAC addresses to each computer, tablet, and phone that end users cannot change.

Once your IP address is determined, it indicates where your connection originated and the source of sending your emails. IP addresses are assigned to companies rather than countries. It is difficult to locate a location just by looking at a series of numbers. But an IP lookup tool makes it very easy to extract information from an IP address to find you.

Unlike IP addresses, routers typically use dynamic IP addresses, meaning they are not fixed or permanent. So it is easy to interfere with bad actors discovering its location. Every time you power it off and on, the router grabs a new IP address on the ISP’s network.

Secure, but not completely hidden

Remember that you want to hide your physical location to thwart other people’s attempts to hack or usurp your identity. It’s not our goal to hide illegal activity, and nothing here will hide you from your ISP or the police.

Network managers can always track your online activity, and they have your address from when you enrolled with them for service. Law enforcement agencies can work with ISPs to watch for suspicious online activity and find out who and where you are.

Also, consider that some apps query your IP address to learn the location of your device in order to help serve you personalized content. Hackers can create websites or apps that contain links that obtain IP addresses, which is one way individuals and companies become victims. Knowing your IP address enables evil actors to hack into your computer, attack company servers, or stalk an individual.

How to cover your digital tracks

Knowing how to avoid exposing your IP address at home or on the go will make it much more difficult for anyone with ill intentions to target your location. Protect yourself from the potential hassle of anyone knowing your IP address by using these strategies.

Premium Virtual Private Network Services

A VPN funnels your Internet connection through its own servers connected to its own network pathway. It hides your IP address so that you can surf the web anonymously.

Someone trying to track you can only see the VPN you’re using, not where you’re connecting to that VPN. This includes a willingness to help law enforcement or the VPN company without court intervention. Be aware that not all VPNs are created equal. Free services often sell your data to cover costs, and they may not encrypt your data.

web proxy services

Like VPNs, web proxies route your connection through their own servers. This filtering hides your IP address. Proxy servers – unless you pay for the good one – have some drawbacks. For example, hiding an IP address is not the same as hiding it completely. You set up a proxy connection in your web browser settings, but that doesn’t stop ISPs and tech-savvy hackers from looking up your IP address.

Some web proxy services to check out include Kproxy, Whoer.Net, HMA, Zyte, GeoSurf, Anonymouse, and Proxysite.

Verify Public Wi-Fi Security

Many legitimate businesses, airports, hotels, restaurants, etc. offer Wi-Fi to guests as a courtesy to customers.

Typically, however, public Wi-Fi hotspots are not encrypted and therefore less secure to use. They also pose a security risk because it is easy for bad actors to set up copycat connections to lure users in.

Be sure to verify that a legitimate organization actually sponsors any public Wi-Fi you use. Then you can probably safely connect to it without exposing your IP address.

Better yet, use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi.

use specific browsers

Some web browsers provide free built-in VPN through their own servers. Opera is one of them. Perhaps the most well-known browser for hiding your online activity is the TOR browser. Its name means The Onion Router. TOR is free to download and use as a way to hide your IP address. It connects you to the TOR network and sends your data through random relay servers hosted by volunteers around the world.

Email Alternative: Go Anonymous

Most people don’t realize that every email they send is the equivalent of posting their home address online. It is a flashing beacon that alerts others to your base location.

To further hide this homing signal, use an anonymous email service. It gives false signals by masking the email header pasted on top of your email.

It blocks more than just your IP address. The email headers contain the IP addresses of all the computer systems that relay your message between the sender and the receiver, providing all the handy email metadata. Hackers use these details to trace the source of emails.

To get them out of your way, consider these two options:

  • Send your email through a dedicated anonymous email provider like ProtonMail, Starmail, Tutanota, Cyber ​​Atlantis, Guerrilla Mail, or others. These services hide your IP address and make it more difficult for anyone to access your real location.
  • Use a fake email account. Known as burner, throwaway, temporary and disposable email addresses, most work the same way. The service generates a random email address and sends the response from its servers to your specified real email address, which is not known to the sender or the responder.

This approach lets you sign up or register for various website programs without revealing your actual contact information. Some well-known fake email providers are 10MinuteMail, Temp-Mail, Minute Inbox, and EmailOnDeck. They all provide you with a new, unique email address.

be cyber safe

More than ever, the information superhighway creates on-ramps for digital attacks and traffic turns into dangerous places. You can fight back against cybercriminals with these tips to hide your online visits and protect your digital security.

Vint Cerf, known as the father of the Internet, raised some eyebrows on Monday when he urged investors to be cautious when investing in businesses built around conversational chatbots.

Bots still make a lot of mistakes, stressed Cerf, who is a vice president at Google, which has an AI chatbot called Bard in development.

When he asked ChatGPT, a bot developed by OpenAI, to write his bio, there were a lot of things wrong with it, he told the audience at the TechSurge Deep Tech Summit, which was organized by venture capital firm Celesta and the Computer History Museum. was organized in in Mountain View, California.

“It’s like a salad shooter. It mixes [facts] Together because it doesn’t know better,” Cerf said, according to Silicon Angle.

He advised investors not to endorse a technology because it sounds cool or is generating “buzz”.

Cerf also recommended that they keep ethical considerations in mind when investing in AI.

“Engineers like me should be responsible for trying to find a way to tame some of these technologies, so that they are less likely to cause trouble,” Silicon Angle explained.

need human supervision

As Cerf points out, some pitfalls exist for businesses to join the AI ​​race.

Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news, commentary and analysis website, said inaccuracy and misinformation, bias and evasive results are all potential risks faced when using AI.

“The risk depends on the use cases,” Sterling told TechNewsWorld. “Digital agencies that rely heavily on ChatGPT or other AI tools to create content or complete work for clients can produce results that are sub-optimal or harmful to the client.”

However, he stressed that checks and balances and strong human oversight can mitigate those risks.

Mark N. Vena, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, California, cautioned that small businesses that don’t have expertise in the technology need to be careful before taking the AI ​​plunge.

“At the very least, any company that incorporates AI into the way it does business needs to understand its implications,” Vena told TechNewsWorld.

“Privacy – particularly at the client level – is clearly a huge area of ​​concern,” he continued. “The terms and conditions for use need to be extremely clear, as well as the obligation the AI ​​capability must produce the material or open the business to potential liability.”

morality requires exploration

While Cerf wants AI users and developers to keep ethics in mind when bringing AI products to market, it can be a daunting task.

“Most businesses using AI are focused on efficiency and time or cost savings,” Sterling said. “For most of them, ethics will be a secondary concern or even a non-consideration.”

Vena said that some ethical issues need to be addressed before AI can be widely adopted. He pointed to the education sector as an example.

“Is it ethical for a student to submit a paper extracted entirely from an AI tool?” He asked. “Even if the material is not plagiarism in the strict sense, as it may be ‘original,’ I believe that most schools – especially at the high school and college levels – But back off.”

“I’m not sure news media outlets would be thrilled about the use of ChatGPT by journalists reporting on real-time events that often rely on abstract judgments that an AI tool might struggle with,” he said.

“Ethics must play a strong role,” he continued, “which is why there is a need for an AI code of conduct that businesses and even the media must be forced to agree to, as well as compliance conditions that Must form part of the Terms and Conditions when using the AI ​​Tool.

unintended consequences

It’s important for anyone involved in AI to make sure they’re doing what they’re doing responsibly, said Ben Kobren, head of communications and public policy at Niva, an AI-based search engine based in Washington, D.C. maintained.

“A lot of the unintended consequences of previous technologies were the result of an economic model that was not aligning business incentives with the end user,” Cobren told TechNewsWorld. “Companies must choose between serving an advertiser or the end user. Most of the time, the advertiser will win.”

“The free internet allowed for incredible innovation, but it came at a cost,” he continued. “That cost was one person’s privacy, one person’s time, one person’s attention.”

“The same is going to happen with AI,” he said. “Will AI be implemented in a business model that aligns with users or advertisers?”

Cerf’s pleas for caution appear to be aimed at slowing the entry of AI products into the market, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“ChatGPT moved the industry faster than anyone expected,” Cobren said.

“The race is on, and there’s no going back,” Sterling said.

“There are risks and benefits to getting these products to market quickly,” he said. “But market pressure and financial incentives to act now will outweigh moral restraint. The biggest companies talk about ‘responsible AI,’ but they are forging ahead regardless.”

transformative technology

In his remarks at the TechSurge Summit, Cerf also reminded investors that not everyone using AI technologies will use them for their intended purposes. He reportedly said, “They will try to do what is to their advantage and not yours.”

“Governments, NGOs and industry need to work together to develop regulations and standards that must be created to prevent abuse in these products,” Sterling said.

“The challenge and the problem is that market and competitive dynamics move faster and are far more powerful than policy and government processes,” he continued. “But regulation is coming. It’s just a question of when and what it looks like.

Hoden Omar, a senior AI policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank that studies the intersection of data, technology and public policy in Washington, DC, remarked that policymakers have been grappling with AI accountability for some time.

“Developers need to be responsible when they build AI systems,” Omar told TechNewsWorld. “They should ensure that such systems are trained on representative datasets.”

However, he added that it will be the operators of AI systems who will make the most important decisions about how AI systems affect society.

“It’s clear that AI is here to stay,” Kobren said. “It’s going to change many aspects of our lives, especially how we access, consume and interact with information on the Internet.”

“This is the most transformative and exciting technology we’ve seen since the iPhone,” he concluded.

Tech layoffs have been making headlines lately for good reason.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has laid off 12,000, about 12% of its workforce. Facebook’s parent Meta has cut 11,000 employees from the roll, and IBM has laid off 3,900 employees, which is 1.5% of its global workforce.

All told, 1,045 tech companies will lay off 160,097 employees in 2022, and this year, 344 tech firms have already issued pink slips to 103,767 workers, according to

Worries over an impending recession – despite unemployment hitting a 50-year low of 3.4% – are contributing to the layoff frenzy. So there is a hangover from the pandemic. Yet another factor, according to some job market watchers, is the “Great Reboot.”

According to Business Insider, the Great Reboot is a response to management’s Great Resignation and “quiet leave”. It is taking strategic decisions, including layoffs and cuts in pay and allowances, to regain the strength lost to employees during the pandemic.

Pull-Back, Not Bossism

The Great Reboot has its doubters, though.

“What looks like ‘bossism’ or a perverse crackdown by tech management to help it in its place is likely a pull-back from over-hiring at the start of the pandemic,” said Mark Muro, a senior fellow. Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization in Washington, D.C.

“Tech firms got way on their skis as the world piled on digital platforms and now need to pull back,” Muro told TechNewsWorld.

He explained that the tech sector is experiencing a real temporary slump and is being forced to correct past errors on the hiring front. Slow tech sales and high interest rates have put the whistle on unlimited hiring, at least for the time being.

“Companies are facing real market problems — not just trying to keep workers in their place,” Muro said, “though the time for unlimited perks and rising wages is definitely on hold.”

“It’s also important to recognize that Big Tech is a world of its own,” he said. “Much of the rest of the economy is still grappling with tight labor markets where workers are still heavily leveraged.”

conspicuous by its absence

However, as Gartner analyst Wade McDaniel pointed out in a recent blog, some companies have been better at managing the pandemic hangover than others.

“Many companies mentioned in the press say they went as far as spending or investing more in talent during the height of the pandemic,” he wrote. “Others say they are responding to changes in their business models.”

“But one company in particular is missing from the press coverage of the layoffs: Apple,” he continued. “They experienced higher growth during the pandemic but are not currently laying off employees despite lower revenue in Q4.”

McDaniel noted that Apple grew its workforce by about 20% over the past three years, while Microsoft, at 50%, and Alphabet, at 57%, took a more aggressive approach to staffing.

“To be sure, economic and market uncertainty are contributors to these reductions,” he wrote, “but in the end, many companies will retain a larger workforce following layoffs than only 12 months ago.”

case of over enthusiasm

Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a research and public policy organization in Washington, D.C., called the idea that companies would furlough workers to regain control lost during the pandemic “far from over.” ki kauri”.

“What happened with tech companies was they were a little overzealous in their response to the pandemic,” Atkinson told TechNewsWorld.

“A lot of the IT demand during the pandemic was somewhat temporary,” he explained. “When demand did come back, it was less than companies expected.” “He overshot,” he continued. “I don’t buy the idea that they’re taking away workers they could now be using productively to send a message to their workforce.”

“You have workers for a reason,” he said. “If you have more employees than your workload requires, you really only have one option, and that’s to downsize.”

post-pandemic changes

Atkinson, however, sees a post-pandemic shift in the tech sector.

“Are those going to be awful situations going forward with big signing bonuses and big salaries? I doubt it,” he said. “I think we are at the end of that era for the technical labor market.”

However, he acknowledged that there are always some skill sets that are going to be in high demand or in short supply. “You’re always going to pay for that superstar,” he said. “That’s not going to go away. It’s not going to bite the premium it did in the past.”

The most important change in tech will be how it handles cost, he continued.

“Earlier, cost was not a major constraint. Talent was their major constraint,” he said. “Now they are moving into a world where they cannot remain indifferent to cost.”

“They were in a world where they had so much money that they wanted to hire and keep the best recruits,” he continued. “Now they’re going to focus a lot more than before on cost control.”

“It might help them get more new hires right out of college because you’re going to make less for someone with that level of experience than you would be competing for someone at another company with 15 years of experience,” he said. Pay.”

A Safe Haven for Cyber ​​Security Jobs

When an industry starts tightening its belt, there are always marks that seem to buck the trend. With technology, one such niche is cyber security.

“In cyber security, we are seeing relative isolation from the effects of the recession,” said Clearwater, Fla. said Clare Rosso, CEO of (ISC)², an organization in the U.S. that certifies cybersecurity professionals.

“In the area of ​​cyber security, we’re seeing a strong hiring spree,” Rosso told TechNewsWorld.

One example of tech companies reasserting their control over employees is eliminating opportunities for workers to work from home. Not so among cybersecurity professionals, she stressed.

Rosso cited numbers from a study that will be released on Thursday that found 55% of cybersecurity professionals are either working remotely or have the flexibility to choose where they work, compared to 23% before the pandemic. Where do you work?

“What we’ve seen in the field of cyber security is that when employers force people to come back to the office, many people will move to a new job where they don’t have to go to work every day. ,” He said.

Rosso said organizations now have a greater understanding than before the pandemic of the value of cybersecurity professionals.

“Because they’re in such high demand, they’re not people you’re going to get rid of easily,” she said.

Rosso had this message for IT workers laid off from tech companies: “Get on cyber security, especially if you have deep technical skills. We have over three million open jobs for you to choose from.

Microsoft announced last week that it was moving ChatGPT to its Bing search engine and that it would only work through its new Edge browser.

AI in general, and generative AI in particular, are game changers because they are not only able to do more for you, but they can be made to interact with you as if it were a person. That’s a huge advantage, and Google clearly got caught napping. Ironically, this was usually Microsoft’s problem.

The graphical user interface (GUI) came from Apple, and Microsoft caught up. Server Unix came from (mostly Sun Microsystems), and Microsoft caught up. The browser came from Netscape, and Microsoft caught up. Microsoft’s history is intertwined with coming from behind and taking the first to market by out-executing. This time, Microsoft is the first to scale up generative AI, and its aggressive move has scared the crap out of Alphabet (Google), which appears to be in a panic.

With this one move, Microsoft has the potential to drive search traffic away from Google and repeat past successes against Apple, Sun Microsystems and Netscape. It feels like the more successful efforts of a pre-Steve Ballmer Microsoft, which seemed more willing to do what was needed to win.

This week, let’s find out what AI-powered Bing and Edge mean for search — and how Microsoft is taking on Google. Then we’ll end with my product of the week: Lenovo’s 30th anniversary ThinkPad.

Generative AI Advantage

In search mode, this means you can fully describe what you want, rather than trying to pretend you know boolean logic.

For example, I asked the new Bing, “Which James Bond movie has the most gadgets and is the most fun to watch?” And the service recommended “Thunderball”, which has the top-ranked Bond gadget and ranked sixth in popularity.

If you put that same query into Google, you’ll only get articles ranking Bond movies. In Google, you have to spend time asking additional questions to arrive at the same answer. Perhaps.

With chat activated (currently, chat is by invitation only as we try to make the chat application say things that embarrass Microsoft and then report what we’ve done on social media), you can refine You can interact with the tool to view your results and help you write them if you want to go further.

Judging by the quality of the answer Bing gave me, it was better than what I would have answered if I had been asked the same question – and it’s only getting better with time. I’d pick “Goldfinger”, forgetting that even though “Goldfinger” is ranked #1, “Thunderball” has most of the gadgets of “Goldfinger” and a ton more besides.

Along with the jet pack, “Thunderball” should rank near the top in both quality (the jet pack) and quantity (due to all the unique underwater and tracking gear). So, I can see that “Thunderball” was a better choice I would have made myself.

I mentioned that chat gets better with Bing turned on; Instead of doing additional searches, you can interact with the search tool to refine your request. This will allow you to refine your search by adding additional arguments even after the chat is closed; It doesn’t help you underestimate the initial usefulness of the tool.

It is my firm belief that, once you get comfortable talking with a computer, as we have abandoned “command line” interfaces for GUIs, we can move away from Boolean logic questions in favor of plain language interfaces. Will give up and eventually either combine or replace the GUI. speech interface.

why google is bad

The problem for Google is twofold.

First of all, it looks like Microsoft made the same mistake with search by treating its IE browser like a cash cow that requires no investment. Google’s other big problem is that the switching cost between Google and Bing is almost non-existent. If enough people move from Google to Bing, Google is screwed because there’s no solid mechanism to bring users back until it can match Microsoft before habits are formed.

This means that Google should have a comparable solution on the market that is fast enough to prevent migration to the more advanced Microsoft platform. While Google is clearly in a panic, it’s nowhere near where it needs to be. Unlike Microsoft, which makes most of its money from selling or renting things rather than from advertising revenue, Google’s revenue is tightly tied to search. If it loses its near-monopoly, it will be painful. Will be very sad.

Google is the established vendor, which means it has home court advantage in this fight, but with low switching costs and even a few weeks of usage, it could lose its installed base. Given how easy it is to try Bing, the ability (not just the announcement) to prevent users from making the switch before the same capability is provided is too weak.

Google can do what Steve Jobs and Apple do in their sleep and dislike generative AI and ChatGPT until it catches up. But Google is not a marketing-focused company. Considering how much of its revenue comes from advertising, I think it’s ironic because it should be really good at paying the bills. Sadly, Google is not. Even if it were, its history of selling user information means that Microsoft’s effort to tank FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), its biggest lever, would backfire badly.

So, it appears that Google is triple-screwed. It has no counter-offer in the market, it doesn’t have the marketing potential for the FUD Microsoft offering, and it’s already considered less secure than Microsoft’s, which means it’s going to deter people from trying. Can’t use any security logic effectively. product.

Conclusion: The Surprising Return of Microsoft

When I started covering Microsoft in the early ’90s, it seemed like it could do nothing wrong. It rolled over Apple, flattened Sun Microsystems, kicked IBM’s butt, and helped put Netscape out of business. With the launch of Windows 95, it did the impossible by getting people so excited about an operating system that they were ready to buy it. An Operating System!

But then that century was over. Over the next ten years, Microsoft stalled with the Xbox, failed with the Zune, lost dominance with its IE browser, lost its phone business, and successively lost two CEOs. In the last decade, its reconstruction began. Azure was a huge success, Windows was vastly improved, and it fixed its tarnished reputation — and got out of some conflicting problems.

In this decade, the company has started looking like old Microsoft by competing with Google. Now it looks like Google is on the ropes, and Microsoft has the edge (pun intended). Execution will be key, but Microsoft has been executing very well of late. Suddenly, Generative AI and ChatGPT are trending positively, and Google is scared. This is going to be a very interesting decade. Nicely done!

tech product of the week

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition

ThinkPad Anniversary Edition represents the ThinkPad brand.

While Microsoft Surface products are closest to the Apple products in the market as a family, ThinkPad has a brand that is second only to Apple in terms of recognition and reliability. In a way, if you think of Apple as representing design-over-function, the ThinkPad is function-over-design. Put another way, the Apple is the sports car you drive for fun, but the ThinkPad is the pickup you drive for work.

Both brands have power and recognition (you can identify both product lines from a distance) but very different focuses and user experiences. Lenovo generally operates on lower margins than Apple, which means you usually get more for your money from Lenovo products. Until Lenovo recently went out of stock, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition was a steal at $1,891.45 if you wanted the most secure, reliable, work-focused laptop.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon - 30th Anniversary Edition

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition (Image credit: Lenovo)

Thinkpads convey a professional vibe which means they arguably enhance your work related presence and potentially enhance your work related status just by being seen with one. Other brands, especially those that are more consumer-oriented, convey a less professional image that can detract from your subjective assessment and your business success.

In short, when you come out with a ThinkPad, people generally know you mean business. This is useful when trying to convey a professional image in anything other than animation or graphics, where Apple still has a strong brand.

Sometimes, you just want people to take you seriously when you have a laptop you can depend on. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition is just that, so it’s my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Microsoft may have ushered in a paradigm shift Tuesday with the release of new versions of its search engine, Bing, and web browser, Edge — both now powered by artificial intelligence.

Available in preview on, new offerings combine browsing and chat into a unified experience that makes both work better. When performing a search, for example, more relevant results are displayed, and for information such as sports scores, stock prices, and weather forecasts, results may appear without leaving the search page.

For more complex questions—such as “What can I substitute for eggs when baking a cake”—Bing can synthesize an answer from multiple online sources and present a summary response.

Searchers can also chat with Bing to further refine a search and use it to help create content, such as travel itineraries or quizzes for trivia night.

In addition to the facelift in the Edge browser, there is also an AI function for chatting and content creation. You can ask it to summarize long reports, pare them down to the essentials, or create a LinkedIn post from a few prompts.

“AI will fundamentally transform every software category, starting with the biggest category of all — search,” Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

paradigm shift

When you integrate AI with search, you can get the best of both worlds, said Bob O’Donnell, founder and principal analyst at Technalysis Research in Foster City, Calif., a technology market research and consulting firm.

“You can have the timeliness of a search index and the intelligence of natural language-based chat and summary tools,” O’Donnell told TechNewsWorld.

This video demos the new Bing Chat experience:

“What they’re doing is ultimately making the computer smarter,” he explained. “It enables them to deliver what they have to say, not necessarily what has been said.”

“It’s going to take some time for people to get used to it, but it’s dramatically better,” he said. “Its time savings and efficiency are off the charts.”

“I think we are in the midst of a paradigm shift,” he said.

Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City, explained that bringing AI into Bing is just the tip of a larger Microsoft strategy.

“It’s not just about Bing, which is the low-hanging fruit for the integration,” Rubin told TechNewsWorld. “They want to integrate AI into a lot of their products — Office, Teams, Azure.”

“It may help Bing in its long-standing competition with Google, but it’s really much more than that,” he said. “They wouldn’t have made this level of investment if it was about making Bing more effective.”

bard of google

Microsoft’s action comes on the heels of Google announcing on Monday that it was bringing an AI conversational service called Bard to a group of “trusted testers.” Bard is based on Google’s natural language technology, LaMDA. Microsoft is using OpenAI technology in its offering.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a company blog that Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our larger language model. It pulls information from across the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.

He explained that the Bard will initially be released with a lighter model version of the LaMDA. This much smaller model requires significantly less computing power, allowing us to scale to more users and allowing for more feedback.

He added that we will combine external feedback with our own internal testing to ensure that Bard’s responses meet a high standard in quality, safety and real-world information.

Pichai wrote that when people think of Google, they often think of quick factual answers, such as “How many keys are on a piano?” But increasingly, people are turning to Google for deeper insight and understanding — like, “Is piano or guitar easier to learn, and how much practice does each require?”

AI can be helpful in these moments, synthesizing insights for questions where there is no right answer, he continued. Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in search that deliver complex information and multiple perspectives in easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether it’s looking for additional perspectives doing, such as blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going in-depth on a related topic, such as the steps in getting started as a beginner.

Pichai said that these new AI features will start rolling out on Google Search soon.

leg up on leader

The question is, will “soon” be too late?

“Suddenly, the Microsoft search product is going to be much better than what Google has to offer,” said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore.

“We’ll see how many people start making the switch,” Enderle told TechNewsWorld. “The switching cost between Bing and Google is non-existent. With switching costs so low, the question will be how many people switch to Bing and how bad will Google hurt?”

“It will take time for Google to catch up,” he said. “In the meantime, people will be establishing habit patterns with Bing, and if people are happy with Bing, why go back to Google?”

He added, “This appears to be a well-executed, dark strategy to battle Google, and Google, for whatever reason, was not adequately prepared.”

Incorporating AI into search helps Microsoft get a leg up on Google, maintained Ed Anderson, research vice president and analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory firm based in Stamford, Conn.

“Microsoft beat Google to the punch in terms of bringing AI-assisted search to Bing and Edge,” Anderson told TechNewsWorld. “How closely Google is toying with its search engine and browser remains to be seen.”

rewrite search rule

O’Donnell believes the new Bing search could make some headway against Google for eyeballs. “It’s the kind of thing that once you try to explore with this new type of engine, it becomes difficult to go back to the old one. It’s so much better,” he said.

“Microsoft is trying to rewrite the rules of the game,” Rubin said. “What is at risk is not only Google’s search leadership, but also its revenue model. Displacing search with an engine that can provide answers without redirecting you somewhere will require rethinking the entire search revenue model.

However, Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news, comment and analysis website, pointed out that not only does Google have a wealth of experience in AI, but it also has extensive resources that it has built up for search over the years.

“What Microsoft revealed is impressive, but the usage that Google shows needs to be better,” Sterling told TechNewsWorld. “It can’t get a little better. It has to get better.”

“There is an opportunity here because of concerns about privacy on the user interface and the quality of search results and ads,” he said. “There is an opening, but Microsoft needs to take advantage of those variables. It remains to be seen whether they can do that.”

OpenAI CTO Mira Murati on Sunday courted controversy over government oversight of artificial intelligence when she acknowledged in an interview with Time magazine that the technology needs to be regulated.

“It’s important for OpenAI and companies like ours to bring this into the public consciousness in a controlled and responsible way,” Murati told TIME. “But we are a small group of people, and we need a ton more input and a lot more input into this system that goes beyond the technologies — certainly the regulators and the governments and everybody else.”

Asked whether government involvement at this stage of AI’s development could hinder innovation, she replied: “It’s never too early. Given the impact of these technologies, it’s very important for everyone to be involved.” Is.

Greg Sterling, co-founder of the news, comment and analysis website Near Media, agreed, saying that since the market provides incentives for abuse, some regulation is probably necessary.

“Deliberately designed disincentives against unethical behavior can reduce the potential misuse of AI,” Sterling told TechNewsWorld, “but regulation can also be poorly designed and fail to prevent any of .

He acknowledged that regulation too early or too heavily could hurt innovation and limit the benefits of AI.

“Governments should convene AI experts and industry leaders to jointly draw up a framework for possible future regulation. This should probably also happen internationally,” Sterling said.

consider existing laws

Artificial intelligence, like many technologies and tools, can be used for a wide variety of purposes, explained Jennifer Huddleston, a technology policy research fellow at the Cato Institute, a Washington, DC think tank.

Many of these uses are positive, and consumers are already experiencing beneficial uses of AI, such as real-time translation and better traffic navigation, he continued. “Before seeking new regulations, policymakers should consider how existing laws around issues such as discrimination may already address concerns,” Huddleston told TechNewsWorld.

Artificial intelligence should be regulated, but how it is already regulated also needs to be considered, added Mason Kortz, clinical instructor at the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard University Law School in Cambridge, Mass.

“We have a lot of general rules that make things legal or illegal, regardless of whether they’re done by humans or AI,” Kortz told TechNewsworld.

“We need to look at the ways in which the existing laws regulate AI, and what are the ways in which they are not and there is a need to innovate and be creative,” he said.

For example, he said there is no general rule regarding autonomous vehicle liability. However, there are still plenty of areas of law to consider if an autonomous vehicle causes an accident, such as negligence law and product liability law. He explained that these are potential ways to regulate the use of AI.

need a light touch

However, Kortz acknowledged that many of the current rules came into play after the fact. “So, in a way, they’re like second best,” he said. “But they are an important measure when we develop the rules.”

“We should try to be proactive in regulation where we can,” he said. “After harm is done, there is recourse through the legal system. It is better not to be harmed.”

However, Mark N., president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif. Vena argues that heavy regulation could stifle the booming AI industry.

“At this early stage, I’m not a big fan of government regulation of AI,” Vena told TechNewsWorld. “AI can have a lot of benefits, and government interference can eliminate them.”

Such suffocating influence on the Internet was lessened in the 1990s, they maintained through “light touch” regulation such as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which allowed online platforms to limit the amount of third-party content displayed on their websites. granted immunity from liability for.

However, Kortz believes the government can put the brakes on something without shutting down an industry appropriately.

“People criticize the FDA, that it’s prone to regulatory capture, that it’s run by drug companies, but we’re still in a better world than pre-FDA, when anyone could sell anything and Anything can be put on the label,” he said.

“Is there a good solution that captures only the good aspects of AI and blocks all the bad ones? Probably not,” Vena continued, “but some structure is better than no structure.”

“It’s not going to do anyone any good to let good AI in and bad AI out,” he said. “We can’t guarantee that good AI is going to win that battle, and the collateral damage could be quite significant.”

regulation without throttle

Daniel Castro, vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a research and public policy organization in Washington, DC, said there are some things policymakers can do to regulate AI without stifling innovation.

“One is to focus on specific use cases,” Castro told TechNewsWorld. “For example, regulating self-driving cars should look different from regulating AI used to generate music.”

“Another is to focus on behavior,” he continued. “For example, it is illegal to discriminate when hiring employees or renting apartments – whether a human or an AI system makes that decision should be irrelevant.”

“But policy makers must be careful not to unfairly hold AI to a different standard or apply incomprehensible rules to AI,” he said. “For example, some safety requirements in today’s vehicles, such as steering wheels and rearview mirrors, may not make sense for autonomous vehicles without passengers or drivers.”

Vena would like to see a “transparent” approach to regulation.

“I would prefer regulation requiring AI developers and content producers to be completely transparent about the algorithms they are using,” he said. “They could be reviewed by a third-party body made up of academics and some commercial entities.”

“Balance being transparent around the algorithms and sources of content AI tools derive from should encourage and reduce abuse,” he stressed.

plan for the worst case

Kortz said that many people believe that technology is neutral.

“I don’t think technology is neutral,” he said. “We have to think about the bad actors. But we also have to think about the poor decisions of the people who create these things and put them out there in front of the world.”

“I would encourage anyone developing AI for a particular use case to think not only about their intended use, but also what the worst possible use for their technology is,” he concluded.

The metaverse may be a new niche in the retailer consumer experience, but it’s off to a disappointing start becoming a business communications outlet.

The consumer fascination for today’s metaverse signals a significant shift in the way people use technology. If the metaverse begins to exist and operate in totality, marketers clearly shouldn’t miss out, says Marcel Hallerbach, co-founder and chief innovation officer at product-to-consumer (P2C) platform firm ProductsUp .

Hollerbach suggests that this could become the focus of change in how we conduct business in the workplace and how we engage with colleagues to complete daily tasks.

According to some early industry accounts, consumers care about the metaverse and are increasing their knowledge of it. In fact, 47% of American consumers can define the metaverse relatively accurately.

This makes it essential for marketers to gain proficiency in navigating the metaverse to reach consumers. Industry watchers estimate that by 2026, at least 25% of people worldwide will spend at least one hour per day in the metaverse for digital activities, including work, shopping, education, social interaction or entertainment.

If that prediction is to materialize, organizations will need to understand the mechanisms of the metaverse and how to market to consumers within it. As in the dot-com era, companies that do not come to market with this new technology will be considered laggards.

“There are two things for brands to know about implementing their products in the metaverse. First, ignore the pessimistic view that the metaverse is dying and not profitable. Second, brands can still drive product sales and overall workplace efficiency. actively engage in the metaverse for,” Hollerbach told TechNewsWorld.

commercial use

Meek Jordan, ProductUp’s chief people and culture officer, predicts that the metaverse will drastically change the 9-to-5 routine in workplaces. New technology will transform how teams communicate in a post-pandemic world at large.

Creating a virtual space for employees to interact in both the office and remote locations is just the surface level. Over time, the metaverse could change how employees do business, undergo training, and communicate with others both internally and externally, Jordan said.

However, the metaverse as a business tool is far from being on solid ground. 2022 was the year of experimentation for marketers, and chances are that won’t change in 2023.

Many advertisers have struggled to find new ways to connect with audiences. Marketers also faced inflation, economic uncertainty and ever-changing data and privacy regulations, according to Nancy Smith, CEO of Analytic Partners, a commercial mix analytics company.

For this year, she predicts that the metaverse will not be scalable, pushing brands back to real-life experiences. While many marketers have felt compelled to enter the metaverse to explore and experiment, virtual channels will not be the right way to attract customers in 2023.

“Audiences have been starved for human connection for more than two years now, and brands that can leverage engaging, in-person experiences will have the upper hand,” Smith told TechNewsWorld.

opportunities still shaping up

Brands also need to learn that the metaverse is not a quick-profit opportunity, suggested Johan Liljeros, general manager and senior commerce consultant at Avensia, an omnichannel commerce strategy services company.

“The development of Metaverse is a long-term investment. Gen Z and Gen A will be the drivers, and they will continue to grow as the generation becomes a stronger economic force,” Liljeros told TechNewsworld.

He added that it will affect the older generations as well, as the younger generations introduce them to that technology. He believes that older generations will use the technology around the Metaverse, or the Metaverse itself, for experiences, travel/tourism, health and shopping.

Liljeros sees brands increasing sales of their consumer goods within the metaverse. Opportunities include selling digital representations of products like fashion and makeup, buying advertising space in games, or AR environments where you can now buy airspace for your ads or coupons.

“Not only will the audience continue to attract retailers and brands, but the Metaverse also creates a more immersive and social shopping experience where you can literally go shopping with your friends and loved ones,” he said.

Misguided or Lost Technology?

Mark Zuckerberg announced the vision of Facebook’s Metaverse in October 2021. Its development is still far from that vision. Meta’s recent moves fuel the narrative that the metaverse is doomed given Meta’s losses in the stock market [since October 2021] and company [recent] Significant layoffs, Hallerbach observed.

“However, brands need to recognize that the metaverse is a major digital transition like the internet. Once established, early adopters of the metaverse will benefit,” he said. “Despite all this, Meta announced that it will spend 20% of its costs in 2023 on development for Reality Labs, which is Meta’s Metaverse group.”

From a company culture perspective, the metaverse offers a potential opportunity to address a major issue that has plagued workplaces since the start of the pandemic — employee engagement, Hollerbach offered. Most employees are tired of staring at screens and talking back and forth with little or no opportunity to interact with each other.

“With Metaversal’s capabilities, normal operations can be conducted remotely, but ‘metaversal’ capabilities provide the opportunity for more employee interaction,” he countered.

factors to fix marketers

According to Hallerbach, marketers and retailers recognize the potential of the metaverse. Some 56% of media buyers are investing in or considering metaverse advertising and marketing initiatives.

He suggested that the hesitation of 44% of marketers and retailers to fully implement their organization and products in the Metaverse is a wait-and-see strategy to see what the Metaverse can do with their product. What’s missing so far is a standard way for retailers to get involved as the Metaverse hasn’t been fully rolled out yet.

One of the biggest benefits marketers and retailers can count on when they invest in Metaverse is complete control over a product’s online presence. Customers can interact with products, research the brand’s mission statement and goals, and even play games virtually.

“Currently, the technology to create such an immersive experience is still under development. But this is the biggest benefit I see for retailers and marketers,” Hallerbach opined.

Transforming Traditional Workplace Operations

Hollerbach is confident that after two years of using videoconferencing technology like Zoom, being able to interact with other employees in the metaverse will be a welcome addition to an organization’s tech stack. It will offer a level of peer-to-peer personalization.

But how organizations implement using the metaverse is an important process. Execution should be done methodically, unlike what happened at the beginning of the pandemic.

“It should be used in a way that provides real value to employees. Nearly a year after the initial announcement of the Metaverse, there are few concrete examples of continued ‘Metaversal’ use by companies,” he said.

By slowly working it into the core structure of remote working and taking time to understand what works and what doesn’t, employees will become more accustomed to using the technology and more receptive to its purpose. From the very beginning the goal was to increase the level of people-to-people contact.

“By meeting that goal specifically in the workplace, Metaverse aims to combat employee burnout and videoconferencing exhaustion, as well as make remote or hybrid employees feel more connected to their organizations,” he offered.

budget and timeline

Metaverse is still developing key technologies to make the final product possible. Technologies such as 5G, AI, edge computing, AR and VR are still not advanced enough to create a virtual environment as envisioned by Zuckerberg in 2021, according to Hallerbach.

He advised that another aspect which is often overlooked is that the technology should be sold at a reasonable price. Otherwise, adoption would be a long process due to budgetary constraints.

Market conditions are forcing companies to focus more on their core business and less on experiments. This is the main driver of the slowdown in the adoption of the metaverse, he warned.

“Some experts are suggesting 2040 as a date when we can begin to see what the metaverse is capable of itself. I believe that is a fair assessment,” Hallerbach concluded.

There is nothing more embarrassing than sharing or forwarding something you think is true and then being criticized because whoever received it knows better and thinks you are an idiot.

When I worked for a multinational company, I used to send out an email newsletter of things that I found interesting and relevant to our work. As long as I forwarded something about my company that wasn’t even remotely true because I didn’t verify the source, people were fine with it. That was the end of my newsletter, and suddenly I had a whole lot of executives convinced I was an idiot. This didn’t do my career any good.

This was before we had the internet, though we had email, and things have gotten worse since then. Now we can announce our stupidity not only to our boss and colleagues but to family, friends and thousands of people we have never met on social media.

None of us have time to research or fact-check every piece of information that comes our way. If you’re like me, you find a lot of things that aren’t true.

Today, fake news covers politics, medicine, investing, cryptocurrencies, science, and even dating (here’s a boy in Oregon using dating apps to kidnap and rape women). Also, there are frequent competent attempts to trick us into providing information that could result in identity theft.

How do you fix this problem? OtherWeb is a fascinating effort to help people access the truth, not by moderating fake news, but by helping you fact-check it yourself, so you can determine whether or not the information is fake as you process it. are part of.

Let’s explore the otherweb this week. Then we’ll end with our product of the week: a new smartphone from Samsung that’s a cut above the rest when it comes to video making.

fake news

Right now, one of the problems with fake news is that many people use that designation for anything they disagree with or feel bad about when the term should only be used when the news is false or misleading. Are. Furthermore, there is often disagreement as to whether a piece of information is incorrect.

For example, there are a number of stories that indicate that Earth’s core has not only stopped rotating but may have started rotating backwards — and recently, another credible source says it’s all BS. Is. Now, if you’ve seen any of the movies that suggest the event will end the world, having the Earth’s core spin backwards is certainly scary.

Recently, I read an article on Forbes that argued that all other articles are BS because the people who wrote them didn’t understand the study they based their articles on. Can you imagine casually bringing up this topic with someone you were trying to impress, only to have that Forbes article shoved in your face with the implication that you are clueless?

I’m not saying that either situation is perfect, though, since while we’re still here, the “end of the world” scenario looks off the table (good news for a Monday). But had you known both articles existed, you could have nuanced your comment, chosen another topic, or taken a side and made a more credible argument – ​​repeating fake news Rather than getting caught, even if you heard it from what some consider to be a false reliable news source.

An obvious improvement is to stop bringing up topics you don’t directly know about. Sometimes, it just seems like the safest route. But we still make decisions based on what we read, so knowing the risks of taking what we read as truth allows us to make better choices not only about what we share but how we share it. meets.

other web solutions

That’s what Otherweb attempts to do. It’s a news-focused network like Twitter, but with an emphasis on making sure you have the information you need to determine whether a story is true. It allows you to choose trusted sources to build your feed, and it uses transformative AI to scan relevant pieces of news and correct headlines.

How many times have you clicked on a link on Google thinking the story interested you, only to find that the title has nothing to do with the content?

Otherweb also summarizes the article in bullet form so you have a brief overview on the content, which can save you from wasting your time on the site, and you can use the sliding bar to see what type of content you want. .

Unlike most other such services, which use someone else’s search engine (usually Google), OtherWeb has its own, and at least for now, it is not ad-funded, so search results are not included in the list. The medium has neither the desire nor the need to optimize advertising revenue. , You get close to what you want to find without having to dig through all those paid and prioritized results that make your search that much harder.

Be aware that, at present, Otherweb has not worked out its revenue model and will wait until its user base grows to critical mass before surveying it to figure out how to monetize the service. This means the firm is limited in terms of funding, and there will be changes that may include fees to use the service or advertising to fund it. This will probably end up as some kind of hybrid model where you can choose to pay and use the service without ads or get the service for free but with annoying ads.

The OtherWeb will never be the financial powerhouse that Google is, but given its differentiator is accurate news, it should be able to better balance the needs of advertisers with the needs of users. I would still recommend paying for the service to remove the possibility of your results being contaminated by any attempt to maximize advertising revenue.

wrapping up

In my business, fake news is a career-ender, so I’m always on the lookout for services and sources that can help me identify and avoid it.

Right after 9/11, I saw “Loose Change,” a very well done conspiracy video that argues convincingly that the US was behind the attack on the twin towers. I almost became a believer because I had never seen such a well made fake story. Luckily, the one person I spoke to about it immediately set me straight, and I haven’t written a column that will forever make me an idiot. But it was a very close call.

While still in its infancy, it seems that Otherweb does a pretty good job of helping me determine if a story is fake, thus protecting my reputation from otherwise silly mistakes.

Another interesting aspect of this service is that it is completely open-source and collaborative. So that anyone wanting to do something similar but with a different spin can do so, showing that the people behind this app are less interested in revenue than in fixing the fake news problem.

Check out otherwebs if you get a chance. Log-in is required, so you must sign up with the site in order to use the service. We have very few people and companies focused on making the world a better place, and I want to see that change.

Maybe you too can avoid that next embarrassing moment where you face criticism for repeating a fake news story you didn’t know, but you should have known, was a hoax.

tech product of the week

samsung galaxy s23 ultra

Samsung is an interesting company and one of the few that has the potential to compete with Apple head-on. To date, Samsung has underperformed its potential because making its stuff work together doesn’t seem to be a priority, at least for now. I think this was the big news at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event last week. It’s started working “better together”, and it’s doing it better than Apple.

The difference is that Samsung products still work with other vendors’ products but still work better with other Samsung products, whereas, often, similar offerings from Apple Only Apple products that substantially limit Apple’s total addressable market (TAM).

For example, the Apple Watch, which is still the best smartwatch on the market, won’t work with Android phones, which limits the TAM for that watch to about one-third of what it might otherwise be. Samsung usually avoids that limitation, and its smartwatches are catching up to Apple’s.

But Samsung really hit it hardest last week with its Galaxy S23 Ultra. The picture and video quality of this new phone can output up to 200 megapixels for photos and 8K and 30 fps for videos, which is in line with professional cameras and can be used on almost any kind of high quality professional-grade camera. Can be used to make movies and pictures. Light.

samsung galaxy s23 ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will be available on February 17, 2023. (Image credit: Samsung)

Its seamless connection to laptops, especially the Book3 series announced at the event, will make a professional photographer take notice because they’re transferring RAW files, not the compressed files you usually end up with. I was a professional photographer, and even my experts couldn’t do what this phone could do.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a Pro-Video mode that opens up all the settings. Assuming you know what you are doing, this allows you to create amazing pictures; If you don’t, it uses AI to do all that for you. I’m pretty sure a non-photographer with this phone could go way beyond what I could do as a pro at the time.

decent mechanical digital image stabilization, advanced high-speed focusing, nightography to take great pictures in low light, and the fact that it uses Qualcomm’s most advanced technology which is a processor solution designed jointly with Samsung As it appears, this phone really stands out. Outside.

The performance jump compared to last year’s phone is pretty extreme, too, with a 34% jump in CPU performance, a 49% jump in NPU performance (AI), and a 41% jump in graphics, making it a gaming flagship. Smartphones and showcasing is a big part of it. How far has it come. Oh, and it has a 1,750-nit display that’s huge and should allow you to do things in bright sunlight that you can’t do with your current phone.

Granted, as you’d expect, it’s not cheap to date, with a list price of just under $1,200, but if my heart doesn’t have lust for this phone, this is my product of the week.

Well, I’ve been impressed with the amount Samsung spends on launch events in the past, but less impressed with the execution. Samsung executed this latest launch event almost perfectly, and credit goes to the team that prepared it. They spent more time pointing out why you want a certain feature than device speed and feed, which has always been a best practice. Nicely done! it’s worth seeing.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

It’s no secret that smartphones have dramatically destroyed the traditional digital camera space over the past several years. According to Statista, worldwide revenue for digital cameras in 2022 was US$21.26 billion, down from a high of US$29.03 billion in 2014.

At the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S23 series. Given the specifications and new features in this new smartphone lineup, it’s hard to fathom how the traditional digital camera space will ever recover.

Besides that, Samsung had a few things to announce in the laptop space. Let’s highlight some of the items that caught my attention.

S22 Ultra on steroids

While it could be said that the new S23 Ultra is just an iterative update of the existing S22 Ultra, the revised features are nothing to sneeze at: an updated Snapdragon processor, a new 200-megapixel primary camera sensor, and a relatively modest body of the change device.

The S23 Ultra retains its S Pen, an integrated stylus. Thankfully, Samsung decided not to hike the prices compared to the existing flagship S22 Ultra. Samsung devotees will be pleased to see that the S23 Ultra has a starting MSRP of $1,199, but now comes with 256GB of storage, double that of last year’s model. Unfortunately, don’t expect the egg industry to emulate Samsung’s pricing strategy.

samsung galaxy s23 ultra specifications

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Specifications (Image Credit: Samsung)

As has been the case for the past several years, the big news is the premium high-res camera on the S23 Ultra. The device has grown from 108 megapixels on last year’s model to 200 megapixels this year. However, before anyone gets too excited about capturing 200-megapixel images with it (just imagine the file size), the S23 Ultra’s computational photography capabilities stitch together 16 pixels to enhance light and 12 -Megapixels makes the image more practical.

Of course, you can change the phone’s settings to take a 200-megapixel image, but these sizes are usually only needed by professional content creators who need high-resolution wall-sized images. Much more helpful is Samsung’s claim that the main camera’s optical image stabilization is significantly inferior, automatically correcting for 22 degrees of vibration compared to the current 1.5 in the S3 Ultra.

dslr replacement

A few other subtle “under the hood” tweaks for the S23 Ultra caught my attention. The S23 Ultra includes a “Vision Booster” tone mapping algorithm that not only boosts the screen for viewing in very bright light environments but can also adapt to a wider range of lighting, allowing the device to improve battery performance. gets permission.

What stood out to me during the event was Samsung’s continued positioning of its premium smartphone as the fundamental replacement for professional video and film production.

To that end, renowned film director Ridley Scott, in a recorded interview broadcast during the program, impressively explained how he used the high-end Samsung to shoot nearly all the footage in his latest film, professional-grade video quality and capability. use smartphone. To shoot in small spaces that is not possible with large legacy DSLR cameras.

Ridley Scott in Samsung Galaxy Unpacked, February 1, 2023

Director Ridley Scott discusses how he uses a Samsung smartphone to shoot movie footage. (Image credit: Samsung)

Of course, it’s got something of a “me too” aspect, considering that Stephen Spielberg used an iPhone to shoot a music video last year.

Nevertheless, Samsung (along with Apple) will continue to embrace computational photography in its premium smartphones. Like the youthful alter egos in Stephen Spielberg’s “The Fablemans” — which is nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars — it’s breathtaking to consider the effect modern smartphones are having on young filmmakers.

new galaxy laptop

Galaxy Book 3 presentation at Galaxy Unpacked 2023

image credit: author

While there were no new tablet, earbuds, or smartwatch announcements at Galaxy Unpacked 2023, Samsung’s new laptops received significant attention. Samsung has a modest laptop market share in the United States compared to competitors such as Dell, HP and Lenovo, but these new models may raise some eyebrows.

Galaxy Book 3 Ultra

Slim and sleekly designed, Samsung’s new Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is a credible challenger to the acclaimed Apple MacBook Pro. With a 16″ AMOLED display with 3K resolution of 2880×1800 and 120Hz refresh rate, this laptop has one of the brightest and most vivid screens I have seen.

Sporting a top-shelf Intel 13th Gen Core i7 or Core i9 processor with the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics, it’s perfect for gaming and professional content producers.

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra

Galaxy Book 3 Ultra (Image Credit: Samsung)

I like Samsung’s option for discrete graphics because it supports Nvidia Broadcast Capability with eye contact correction, which is essential for podcast production and videoconferencing. With such horsepower in a compact and impressively slim form factor, I’ll be interested to see how loud the unit gets, which was impossible to assess given the ambient noise in the event’s demo area.

With a starting price of $2,199, it’s an interesting alternative to a comparable MacBook Pro at a more affordable price.

Galaxy Book3 Pro 360

More modestly priced laptops were also announced. Samsung’s new Galaxy Book3 Pro 360, which comes with a 16″ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh, has a touchscreen and integrated stylus. This model uses Intel’s 13th-generation i5 or Core i7 processors and includes optional 5G radio support and standard Wi-Fi.

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360

Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 2-in-1 Laptop with S Pen (Image Credit: Samsung)

Available in multiple memory and storage configurations, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 starts at $1,399.

Galaxy Book 3 Pro

Finally, Samsung announced the entry-level Galaxy Book 3 Pro with a starting price point of $1,149. This model is available with a 14″ or 16″ AMOLED display, Intel 13th Gen processor, and more modest memory (8GB, 16GB, and 32GB) and storage configurations (256GB, 512GB, and 1TB).

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro Graphite

Galaxy Book3 Pro in Graphite (Image Credit: Samsung)

analyst views

It’s hard to assess the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event in proper context until Apple starts showing its cards, starting with WWDC in the June time frame, followed by the expected iPhone 15 announcement, usually in September. it occurs.

At the moment, Samsung is stepping up the accelerator on the computational photography aspect of smartphones. Interestingly, no new foldable smartphone designs were announced at Galaxy Unpacked 2023, indicating limited market appeal for these devices due to high pricing and unconvincing use models.

Samsung may not like to admit it, but the company — and the industry — needs Apple to jump into the category and validate the space. However, if industry rumors are accurate, Apple may not introduce a foldable smartphone (or tablet) model until 2024 or even 2025.

ecosystem benefits

Beyond the hardware aspects of the laptops launched yesterday, it is worth noting that Samsung stresses the importance of a unified ecosystem among consumers. Apple has built a multi-billion-dollar business convincing consumers that owning Apple-branded devices has integration properties that allow content to be shared seamlessly and from device to device with a common user experience. But you can start working again.

Samsung’s Galaxy Book experience puts a user’s entire library of Galaxy apps and features in one place, making it easy to manage a user’s Samsung account.

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Series Multi-Device Experience

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro multi-device experience presentation. (Image credit: Samsung)

Other PC vendors have attempted to do this with similar results, mainly due to the OEM differentiation dynamic and the open nature of Windows, which does not easily facilitate a shared experience. It remains to be seen whether Samsung can pull it off or not.

It also doesn’t help that iPhone users — roughly half of the entire smartphone market — aren’t part of the legacy Windows ecosystem from a text messaging standpoint. The inability to access iMessage on a Windows device is one of the main reasons I remain tied to the Apple ecosystem, even though Windows-based devices are often more attractively priced and featured than comparable Apple products. I suspect I’m not the only one stuck in this quagmire.

Regardless, due to its presence in the legacy smartphone market, Samsung is one of the few companies that could offer an interesting alternative to Apple’s ecosystem. While the company is playing catchup with Apple to an extent, credit to Samsung for offering a reliable option for consumers, as it is always a win for consumers when they can make the wise choice that best suits their usage model. best suited for the needs.