Researchers at an Israeli security firm revealed Tuesday how hackers can turn the “hallucinations” of a generational AI into a nightmare for an organization’s software supply chain.

In a blog post on the Vulkan Cyber ​​website, researchers Bar Lanyado, Ortel Keizman, and Yair Divinsky explained how they exploited false information generated by ChatGPT about open-source software packages to distribute malicious code into a development environment. May go.

He explained that he has seen ChatGPT generating URLs, references, and even code libraries and functions that do not actually exist.

If ChatGPT is building code libraries or packages, attackers could use these hallucinations to spread malicious packages through suspicious and previously undetectable techniques such as typosquatting or masquerading, he noted.

If an attacker could create a package to replace the “fake” packages recommended by ChatGPT, the researchers continued, they might be able to download the victim and use it.

That scenario is becoming increasingly likely to occur, he maintained, as more and more developers migrate from traditional online search domains for code solutions like Stack Overflow to AI solutions like ChatGPT.

already generating malicious packages

Daniel Kennedy, research director of information security and networking at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Markets, said, “The authors predict that as generative AI becomes more popular, it will begin to receive developer questions that once went to Stack Overflow. ” Intelligence, a global market research company.

“The answers to those questions generated by AI may not be correct or may refer to packages that no longer exist or may never have existed,” he told TechNewsWorld. “A bad actor seeing that could create a code package in that name to contain malicious code and is consistently recommended to developers by generator AI tools.”

“Vulkan’s researchers took it a step further by prioritizing the FAQ on Stack Overflow as they would put the AI, and see that packages that don’t exist were recommended,” he said.

According to the researchers, they queried Stack Overflow to get the most common questions asked about more than 40 topics, and used the first 100 questions for each topic.

Then, they asked ChatGPT, via its API, all the questions they had collected. They used the API to replicate an attacker’s approach to obtain as many non-existent package recommendations as possible in the shortest amount of time.

In each answer, he looked for a pattern in the package installation command and extracted the recommended package. They then checked to see if the recommended package was present. If it did not, he tried to publish it himself.

cluing software

Malicious packages generated with code from ChatGPT have already been observed on the package installers PyPI and NPM, said Henrik Platt, a security researcher at Endor Labs, a dependency management company in Palo Alto, California.

“Large language models can also aid attackers in building malware variants that implement the same logic but have different forms and structures, for example, by distributing malicious code across different functions, changing identifiers, By creating fake comments and dead code or similar technologies,” he told TechNewsworld.

The problem with software today is that it is not written independently, observed Ira Winkler, chief information security officer at CYE, a global provider of automated software security technologies.

“It’s basically a lot of software already cobbled together,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It’s very efficient, so a developer doesn’t have to write a simple function from scratch.”

However, this can result in developers importing code without properly fixing it.

Joseph Harush, head of software supply chain security at Checkmarks, an application security company in Tel Aviv, Israel, said, “Users of ChatGPT are receiving instructions to install open-source software packages that, while legitimate, could install a malicious package.” Are.”

“In general,” he told TechNewsWorld, “a culture of copy-paste-exec is dangerous. Doing this blindly from sources like ChatGPT can lead to supply chain attacks, as the Vulkan research team has demonstrated.”

know your code sources

Melissa Bischopping, director of endpoint security research at Tanium, a converged endpoint management provider in Kirkland, Wash., also warned about lax use of third-party code.

“You should never download and execute code that you don’t understand and haven’t tested by grabbing it from a random source – like the open source GitHub repo or now ChatGPT recommendations,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Any code you intend to run should be assessed for security, and you should have private copies of it,” he advised. “Don’t import directly from public repositories, such as those used in the Vulkan attack.”

She said that attacking supply chains through shared or imported third-party libraries is not new.

“This strategy will continue to be used,” he warned, “and the best defense is to employ secure coding practices and thoroughly test and review code – especially code developed by third parties – intended for use in production environments.” Is.”

“Don’t blindly trust every library or package you find on the Internet or in a chat with an AI,” he cautioned.

Know the source of your code, said Dan Lorenc, CEO and co-founder of ChainGuard, a maker of software supply chain security solutions in Seattle.

“Developer authenticity, verified through signed commits and packages, and obtaining open source artifacts from a source or vendor you can trust, is the only real long-term prevention against these Sybil-style attacks,” he told TechNewsWorld. There are mechanisms.”

opening innings

The authentication code, however, isn’t always simple, said Bud Broomhead, CEO of Wayaku, a developer of cyber and physical security software solutions in Mountain View, Calif.

“In many types of digital assets – and especially in IoT/OT devices – firmware still lacks digital signatures or other forms of establishing trust, which makes exploitation possible,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“We are in the early innings of generative AI being used for both cybercrime and defense. Credit to Vulkan and other organizations who are using language learning models to spot new threats in a timely manner and prevent this type of exploitation. are being tuned towards,” he said.

“Remember,” he continued, “it was only a few months ago that I could tell Chat GPT to create a new piece of malware, and it would. Now it took very specific and directed guidance to create it unintentionally.” And hopefully that approach too will soon be supplanted by AI engines.

If you are asking, “What is SBOM?” You’ll need to catch up fast. A software bill of materials is the first line of defense against software vulnerabilities that may be lying in wait, like unlocked backdoors in your network, ready to let hackers in.

The SBOM, like any bill of materials, lists the components of the finished product, so in case of a problem, developers can zero in on the cause and address it with as little disruption as possible. SBOM is the key to supply chain security, enabling more secure DevOps and better threat intelligence to maintain a more resilient network.

Two years after a ransomware gang disrupted US fuel deliveries by attacking a pipeline operator, supply chain attacks remain a major annoyance for security professionals. In the wake of the attack and the discovery of the Log4J vulnerability, SBOMs have gone mainstream as security professionals struggle to prevent future attacks.

Dominance of SBOMs and Federal Guidance

SBOM is having a moment. During a recent RSA conference, the federal government’s Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued guidance on the different types of SBOMs available and their use.

CISA has specifically been a promoter of the use of SBOM since Executive Order 14028 and Office of Management and Budget’s Memo M-22-18, which required the development of a reporting form for software developers serving the federal government. . CISA organizes SBOM-a-Rama meetings that bring industry types together to support CBOM development.

The CISA document is the result of a group effort launched in 2018, and like many group efforts, it can be cumbersome. The document’s introduction acknowledges as much, stating, “The different ways in which SBOM data can be collected can vary tool outputs and provide value in different use cases.” With this in mind, it is worthwhile to help clarify the types of SBOMs available and some of the possible use cases that may be most useful to an organization.

Decoding the 6 Main Types of SBOM

There are six main types of SBOM in use today as they move through the stages of the software development life cycle:

  • • design: An SBOM of this type is created for future or planned software and includes components that may or may not be present. It is usually developed based on an RFP, concept or specifications. While theoretically possible, it is hard to envision how this could help and how it could generate a machine-readable document that would meet the standards endorsed by the federal government.

    One possible use case for this type of SBOM is to alert developers to licensing issues that may arise when considering using certain components that will affect intellectual property or distribution of the finished product. This can help the SBOM development team identify incompatible elements prior to purchase and define a list of accepted and recommended components. This type of SBOM may also enable the team to source the best open-source components from a business perspective.

  • • Source: Similar to a build-type SBOM, it is generated in a development environment and includes all the source files and dependencies needed to build an artifact but leaves the build tools out of the process. It is usually generated by Software Composition Analysis (SCA) tools, with some annotations added manually.

    It’s hard to see a use case for this type instead of the more general build-type SBOM. Still, this SBOM can spot vulnerable components that are never run after deployment, giving the team a view into the dependency tree of the components involved. Therefore, it enables remediation of known vulnerabilities at the source, early in the development process.

    On the downside, it may lack the details of other types of SBOMs that involve runtime, plugin, or dynamic components, such as app server libraries.

  • • Construction: The most commonly used type of SBOM, it is a more complete list generated as part of the process of building the software that will run the final artifact. This approach uses data such as source files, dependencies, built components, build process ephemeral data, and previous design and source SBOMs. It relies on resolving all dependencies in the build system and scanning them on the build machine.

    Because actual files are scanned, this type of SBOM creates a more complete record with rich data about each file, such as its hash and source. Providing greater visibility beyond what is available from the source code instills confidence that the SBOM accurately represents the development process. This trust stems from integrating SBOM and finished product into a single workflow.

    On the downside, it is very dependent on the SBOM build environment, which may sometimes need to be changed to build the SBOM.

  • • Analyzed: This is sometimes referred to as “third-party SBOM” or binary SCA. It relies on scanning the artifact as it is distributed to work out its components; and uses third-party tools to analyze artifacts such as packages, containers, and virtual machine images. It does not require access to the build environment and can double-check SBOM data from other sources to find hidden dependencies SBOM build tools may have missed.

    Since it essentially reverse-engineers the components of the artifact, it can be a useful tool for software consumers who do not have an SBOM available or can verify an existing SBOM.

    On the downside, this type of SBOM often relies on loose estimates or risk factors depending on the context to test the components. Therefore the test can give some false-positive results. But the development team is also more likely to find libraries linked to the environment without realizing it, such as the OpenSSL libc, or others that build SBOMs, are often missed.

  • • Deployed: As its name suggests, it is a list of software deployed in a system, usually generated by compiling configuration information from the SBOM and installed artifacts. It can combine the analysis of configuration options and the examination of execution behavior in a deployed environment. It is useful to investigate software components, including other configurations and system components that run applications.

    Generating this type of SBOM may require changing installation and deployment procedures, and may not always reflect the runtime environment of the artifact as some components may be inaccessible. But the wide scope of this type of SBOM makes it an attractive option.

  • • Runtime: Sometimes called “instrumented” or “dynamic” SBOM, this type solves the blind spot in the deployed SBOM. In this case, the tools interact with the system and record the artifacts used in the running environment and loaded into memory during execution. This procedure helps avoid false positives from unused components.

    This type of SBOM gives developers visibility into dynamically loaded components and external connections and can give them details about which components are active and which parts are in use. This adds to the overhead of the network as the analysis has to be done while the system is running. Because it has to run for some time to use its full functionality, it may take some time to gather detailed information.

Final Thoughts on Selecting the SBOM

With these details in mind, selecting the right type or combination of SBOMs to meet your organization’s needs involves more consideration than simply choosing the first SBOM-generating tool available for compliance purposes.

Given the support of the federal government, SBOM is undoubtedly here to stay, and it could establish a solid foundation while introducing order into the sometimes chaotic process of securing software products.

A new report from a human resources analytics firm found that artificial intelligence threatens to replace a disproportionate number of jobs typically held by women.

According to the researchers at Revelio Labs, their findings reflect societal biases that have trapped women in roles ripe for AI replacement, such as administrative assistants and secretaries.

Revelio reached his conclusions by identifying about two dozen jobs most likely to be replaced by AI, based on a National Bureau of Economic Research study. Then it identified the gender breakdown in those jobs.

Women held many of those jobs, it noted. These included bill and accounts collectors, payroll clerks and executive secretaries.

“Women, as well as people of color, are under-delegated in occupations that are repetitive in nature when it comes to tasks. This means they are going to be disproportionately affected by any jobs that are fully automated. are,” said Nicole Turner Lee, director of the Center for Technology Innovation and a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization. Washington DC

“Those jobs have already seen a decline as a result of new technologies,” he told TechNewsWorld. “However, AI is more likely to be involved in roles where there is high repetition that can be automated. That automation often lends itself to low-level workers being ousted.

need people in the loop

Will Duffield, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a Washington, DC think tank, explained that if more women are in computer-related jobs than men, they will be more affected by AI displacement. However, he was skeptical that all of the jobs listed in the Ravelio report required only repetitive skills.

“It seems ludicrous to expect paralegals to be replaced by AI,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“The same is true for copy editors and auditors because, at the end of the day, you need humans to avoid making mistakes,” he said.

“AI may make workers more efficient, so there may be fewer jobs,” he continued, “but the idea that jobs will be completely replaced is quite speculative and highly publicized.”

“AI has to become more reliable rather than just another tool in their repertoire to replace people, letting them decide how much to trust,” he said.

“That’s not to say AI won’t be more reliable in the future,” he acknowledged, “but right now, it’s all pretty speculative.”

“There always needs to be some human in the loop to make sure the AI ​​isn’t causing unnecessary biases or inefficiencies,” Turner Lee said. “You still need people to manage it.”

facing severe disruption

Ravelio’s warning about AI’s impact on women’s jobs parallels one issued by the International Monetary Fund in 2018. At the time, the IMF estimated that 11% of jobs held by women – a higher percentage of jobs held by men – risked elimination due to AI and other digital technologies.

In financial services, for example, women represent about 50% of the workforce, but they hold only 25% of senior management positions, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group. The report notes that senior management positions are generally insulated from shocks caused by automation.

Women employed in this sector predominate in clerical and administrative jobs that are at high risk of attrition, such as bank tellers, who are 85% female.

The pattern also holds true in female-dominated industries such as health care and education, which are less at risk from automation, the report said.

BCG predicted that AI will disrupt employment patterns in a big way in the coming years. It stressed that companies, governments and individual women must be prepared to invest in new skills for the new generation of jobs.

However, Duffield recommended that workers think about the present rather than the future. “For the worker, it is now much less worrying about what new job you should train for as AI will replace you, rather than how to learn how to use AI in the job you are doing now,” he said.

promoted job impact

Workers who adopt AI may be surprised by its productivity gains. “It’s saving my company time and money,” said Deidre Diamond, founder and CEO of CyberSN, a cybersecurity recruiting and career resource firm in Framingham, Mass.

“I haven’t replaced people,” she told TechNewsWorld. “I’ve been able to expedite projects, expedite work.”

Ida Bird-Hill, CEO and founder of Automation Workz, a reskilling and diversity consulting firm in Detroit, also praised her productivity gains using ChatGPT. “I wrote a proposal that normally takes 100 hours in 11 hours,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Tales of productivity gains, however, are being overshadowed by grim — and somewhat distorted — predictions about AI’s impact on the workforce.

Hoden Omar, a senior AI policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank that studies the intersection of data, said, “The news cycle includes a series of claims about generative AI systems Jobs will be affected.” Technology, and Public Policy, in Washington, DC

“The perceived impact varies wildly from outlet to outlet, but the central message of the news media is clear – AI is here to take almost all jobs, not just blue-collar ones, white-collar ones too,” he told TechNewsworld.

‘Hokum’ claims

Omar called many of the claims “hokum”. He cited a recent news article titled “OpenAI Research Says 80% of US Workers’ Jobs Will Be Affected by GPT.”

“The headline is eye-catching, emotionally resonant and easily repeatable, but it is narrowly true and broadly misleading,” she argued. “The figure comes from a research paper by OpenAI, but the paper does not say that 80% of jobs will be affected. It says the jobs of at least 10% of ‘about 80% of the US workforce’ could be affected.

“This means that the real statistic is that large language models may affect at least eight percent of the work in the US economy,” he continued. “Far less dramatic picture of research findings but more honest.”

Omar explained that the concern about AI taking jobs is based on the “lump of labor illusion”, the idea that there is a fixed amount of work, and thus productivity growth, such as from automation, will reduce the number of jobs. But the data tells a different story, he continued. Labor productivity has grown steadily over the past century – even if that growth has been slower recently – and unemployment is at an all-time low.

“It is becoming more and more difficult to wade through the hogwash of claims about AI, but if readers, and more importantly policy makers, are not prudent, they will make decisions based on unfounded fear or hype,” she warned.

Many technology leaders agree that while AI can be hugely beneficial to humans, it can also be misused or through negligence harm humanity. But looking to governments to solve this problem without guidance would be foolish, because politicians often don’t even understand the technology they’ve used for years, let alone something that’s just hitting the market. I have come

As a result, when governments act to mitigate a problem, they may do more harm than good. For example, it was right to punish the old Shell Oil Company for abuses, but breaking up the company shifted control of the oil from the United States to parts of the world that are not friendly to America. There was the improvement of consumer electronics, which shifted the market from the US to Japan.

The US has grabbed onto the technological leadership by the skin of its teeth, but there is no doubt in my mind that if governments act without guidance on how to regulate AI, they will shift the opportunity to China. That’s why Microsoft’s recent report titled “Governing AI: A Blueprint for the Future” is so important.

The Microsoft report defines the problem, outlines a reasonable path forward that won’t undermine US competitiveness, and addresses concerns surrounding AI.

Let’s talk about Microsoft’s blueprint for AI governance, and we’ll end with our Product of the Week, a new line of trackers that can help us keep track of the things we often have trouble finding .

EEOC Example

It is foolish to demand regulation without context. When a government reacts tactically to something it knows little about, it can do more harm than good. I started with some contradictory examples, but perhaps the ugliest example was the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Congress established the EEOC in 1964 to rapidly address the very real problem of racial discrimination in jobs. There were two basic causes of workplace discrimination. The most obvious was racial discrimination in the workplace that the EEOC could and did address. But an even bigger problem existed when it came to discrimination in education, which the EEOC didn’t address.

When businesses hired based on merit and used any methodology that the industry at the time had scientifically developed to reward employees with positions, raises, and promotions based on education and achievement When you did, you were asked to improve your company’s diversity by closing programs that often hired inexperienced minorities.

The system failed minorities by placing inexperienced minorities in jobs they weren’t well trained for, which only reinforced the belief that minorities were somehow inadequate, when in fact, they didn’t have equal opportunities for education. were given and counseling. This position was true not only for people of color but also for women, regardless of color.

Looking back now we can see that the EEOC didn’t really fix anything, but it did transform HR from an organization focused on caring and nurturing employees to an organization focused on compliance, which often meant covering up employee issues . than to address the problems.

Brad Smith Steps Up

Microsoft President Brad Smith strikes me as one of the few technology leaders who thinks broadly. Instead of focusing almost exclusively on tactical responses to strategic problems, he thinks strategically.

Microsoft’s Blueprint is such a case that, because most people are going to the government saying “you should do something”, which can lead to other long-term problems, Smith has set out to find what he thinks is a solution. What should look like, and that flashes it turned out elegantly in a five-point plan.

He begins with a provocative statement, “Don’t ask what computers can do, ask what they should do,” which reminds me of John F. Kennedy’s famous line, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you.” What can you do for your country, ask what you can do for your country. Smith’s statement comes from a book he co-authored in 2019 and has been referred to as one of the defining questions of this generation Was.

This statement brings into context the importance and need of protecting human beings and makes us think about the implications of new technology to ensure that our use of it is beneficial and not harmful.

Smith continues to talk about how we should use technology to improve the human condition as a priority, not just reduce costs and increase revenue. Like IBM, which has undertaken a similar effort, Smith and Microsoft believe that technology should be used to improve people, not replace them.

He also, and this is very rare these days, talks about the need to anticipate where technology needs to be in the future so that we can proactively and strategically anticipate problems rather than just respond to them. The need for transparency, accountability and assurance that the technology is being used legally are all important to this effort and are well defined.

5-point blueprint analysis

Smith’s first point is to implement and build on a government-led AI security framework. Too often, governments fail to realize that they already have some of the tools needed to solve a problem and waste a lot of time effectively reinventing the wheel.

Influential work has been done by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the form of the AI ​​Risk Management Framework (AI RMF). It’s a good, though incomplete framework. Smith’s first point is to experiment and build on that.

Smith’s second point is the need for effective security brakes for AI systems that control critical infrastructure. If an AI that is controlling critical infrastructure gets derailed, it can cause massive damage or even mass death.

We must ensure that those systems have extensive testing, thorough human oversight, and are tested against not only likely but unlikely problem scenarios to make sure AI doesn’t jump in and make it worse. Will do

The government will define the classes of systems that will require guardrails, provide direction on the nature of those protective measures, and require that the relevant systems meet certain security requirements – such as data centers tested and licensed for such use only. to be posted in

Smith’s third point is to develop a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework for AI based on technology architecture. AI is going to make mistakes. People may not like the decisions the AI ​​makes even if they are correct, and people may blame the AI ​​for things the AI ​​had no control over.

In short, there will be a lot of litigation to come. Without a legal framework covering responsibility, rulings are likely to be varied and contradictory, making any resulting remedy difficult and very costly.

Thus, there is a need for a legal framework so that people understand their responsibilities, risks and rights to avoid future problems, and find a quick legal remedy if a problem does result. This alone could reduce what would potentially become a massive litigation load as AI is now very much in the green when it comes to legal precedent.

Smith’s fourth point is to promote transparency and ensure academic and non-profit access to AI. It makes sense; How can you trust something you don’t fully understand? People don’t trust AI today, and without transparency they won’t trust it tomorrow. In fact, I would argue that without transparency, you shouldn’t trust AI because you can’t verify that it will do what you want.

In addition, we need academic access to AI to ensure that people understand how to properly use this technology when entering the workforce and to ensure that nonprofits, especially organizations that focus on improving the human condition have effective access to this technology for good.

Smith’s fifth point is to advance new public-private partnerships to use AI as an effective tool to address inevitable societal challenges. AI will have a massive impact on society, and ensuring that this impact is beneficial and not harmful will require focus and oversight.

He explains that AI may be a sword, but it can also be effectively used as a shield which is more powerful than any existing sword on the planet. It should be used everywhere to protect democracy and fundamental rights of the people.

Smith cites Ukraine as an example where the public and private sectors have come together effectively to create a powerful defense. He believes, as do I, that we must emulate Ukraine’s example to ensure that AI reaches its potential to help move the world toward a better tomorrow.

Finale: A Better Tomorrow

Microsoft isn’t just going to governments and asking them to act to solve a problem that governments don’t yet fully understand.

It is laying out a framework for that solution, and must clearly assure that we mitigate the risks around the use of AI and have the tools and systems in place to address problems when they do occur. Remedies are available, not the least of which is an emergency stop switch that allows a derailed AI program to gracefully terminate.

Whether you’re a company or an individual, Microsoft is providing an excellent lesson here in how to find leadership to solve a problem, not just toss it at the government and ask them to fix it. Microsoft has outlined the problem and provided a well thought out solution so that the problem doesn’t become a bigger problem than it already is.

Nicely done!

tech product of the week

Pebblebee Trackers

Like most people, my wife and I often misplace stuff, which most often happens when we run out of the house and put something down without thinking about where we put it. Are.

Plus, we have three cats, which means the vet visits us regularly to take care of them. Many of our cats have found unique and creative hiding places so that they don’t get nailed or mated. So, we use trackers like Tile and AirTag.

But the problem with AirTags is that they really only work if you have an iPhone, like my wife, which means she can track things, but I can’t because I have an Android phone. Is. With the Tiles, you must either replace the device when it dies or replace the battery, which is a pain. Therefore, when we need to search for something, the battery often runs out.

The Pebblebee works like the other devices that differ yet because it’s rechargeable and will work with either Pebblebee’s app, which runs on both iOS and Android. Or will it work with native apps in those operating systems: Apple Find My and Google Find My Device. Sadly, it won’t do both at the same time, but at least you get a choice.

Pebblebee Trackers

Pebblebee Trackers: Clips to keys, bags and more; Tags for luggage, jackets, etc .; and cards for wallets and other narrow places. (Image credit: PebbleB)

When trying to locate the tracking device, it beeps and lights up, making it easier to find things at night and less like a bad game of Marco Polo (I wish smoke detectors did this) .

Because the Pebblebee works with both Apple and Android and you can recharge the battery, it serves a personal need better than the Tile or Apple’s AirTag — and 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.

Ever since OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, privacy advocates have warned consumers about the potential threat to privacy posed by generative AI apps. The arrival of the ChatGPT app in the Apple App Store has triggered a new round of caution.

,[B]Before you jump straight into the app, beware of getting too personal with the bot and putting your privacy at risk,” warned Muskan Saxena at Tech Radar.

The iOS app comes with an obvious tradeoff that users should be aware of, he explained, including this admonition: “Anonymized chats may be reviewed by our AI trainers to improve our systems.”

Anonymity, however, is no ticket to privacy. Anonymous chats are stripped of information that could link them to particular users. “However, anonymization may not be a sufficient measure to protect consumer privacy because anonymized data can still be re-identified by combining it with other sources of information,” said Joy Stanford, vice president of privacy and security at One maker told TechNewsWorld of the cloud-based service platform for developers based in Paris.

“It has been found that it is relatively easy to de-anonymize information, especially if location information is used,” said Jen Caltrider, lead researcher for Mozilla’s Privacy Not Include project.

“Publicly, OpenAI says it is not collecting location data, but its privacy policy for ChatGPT says they may collect that data,” she told TechNewsWorld.

Nevertheless, OpenAI warns users of the ChatGPT app that their information will be used to train its larger language model. “They’re honest about it. They’re not hiding anything,” Caltrider said.

taking privacy seriously

Caleb Withers, a research assistant at the Center for a New American Security, a national security and defense think tank in Washington, D.C., explained that if a user types their name, work location, and other personal information into a ChatGPT query, that data is anonymized. will not be done.

“You have to ask yourself, ‘Is this something I would say to an OpenAI employee?’ he told TechNewsWorld.

OpenAI has said it takes privacy seriously and has implemented measures to protect user data, said Mark N. Vena, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif.

“However, it’s always a good idea to review the specific privacy policies and practices of any service you use to understand how your data is handled and what is being protected,” he told TechNewsWorld.

As dedicated as an organization may be to data security, vulnerabilities may exist that can be exploited by malicious actors, said James McQuigan, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, a security awareness training provider in Clearwater, Fla. Said.

“It’s always important to be cautious and consider the need to share sensitive information to ensure that your data is as secure as possible,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Protecting your privacy is a shared responsibility between users and the companies that collect and use their data, which is documented in those lengthy and often unread end user license agreements,” he said.

built-in security

McQuiggan noted that users of generative AI apps have been known to insert sensitive information such as birthdays, phone numbers, and postal and email addresses into their questions. “If an AI system is not secure enough, it can be accessed by third parties and used for malicious purposes such as identity theft or targeted advertising,” he said.

He added that generative AI applications can also inadvertently reveal sensitive information about users through their generated content. “Therefore,” he continued, “users should be aware of the potential privacy risks of using generative AI applications and take the necessary steps to protect their personal information.”

Unlike desktops and laptops, mobile phones have some built-in security features that can prevent privacy intrusion by apps running on them.

However, as McQuigan points out, “While some measures, such as application permissions and privacy settings, may provide some level of protection, they cannot completely protect your personal information from all types of privacy threats, As is the case with any application loaded onto a smartphone. ,

Vena agreed that built-in measures such as app permissions, privacy settings and App Store rules provide some level of protection. “But they may not be enough to mitigate all privacy threats,” he said. “App developers and smartphone makers have different approaches to privacy, and not all apps follow best practices.”

Even the practices of OpenAI differ from desktop to mobile phones. “If you are using ChatGPT on the website, you have the ability to go to the data controls and opt-out of your chats being used to improve ChatGPT. That setting doesn’t exist on the iOS app,” Caltrider said.

Beware of App Store Privacy Information

Caltrider also found the permissions used by OpenAI’s iOS app a bit fuzzy, noting that “in the Google Play Store, you can look and see what permissions are being used. You can’t do that through the Apple App Store.”

It warned users based on privacy information found in the App Store. “The research we’ve done into the Google Play Store security information shows that it’s really untrustworthy,” he observed.

“Research by others into the Apple App Store shows that it is also unreliable,” she continued. “Users should not rely on data protection information found on app pages. They should do their own research, which is difficult and complicated.”

“Companies need to be honest about what they are collecting and sharing,” he added. “OpenAI has been honest about how they are going to use the data they collect to train ChatGPT, but then they say that once they anonymize the data, they can use it in a number of ways.” that go beyond the standards in the Privacy Policy.”

Stanford noted that Apple has some policies in place that may address some of the privacy threats posed by generative AI apps. they include:

  • requiring user consent for data collection and sharing by apps that use generative AI technologies;
  • providing transparency and control over how and by whom data is used through the AppTracking Transparency feature, which allows users to opt out of cross-app tracking;
  • Enforcing privacy standards and regulations for app developers through the App Store review process and rejecting apps that violate them.

However, he acknowledged, “these measures may not be sufficient to prevent generative AI apps from creating inappropriate, harmful, or misleading content that may affect users’ privacy and security.”

Call for federal AI privacy legislation

“OpenAI is just one company. Several are building large language models, and many more are likely to crop up in the near future,” said a senior AI policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank studying the intersection of data, technology. Tank Hoden Omar said. Public Policy, in Washington, DC

“We need a federal data privacy law to ensure all companies follow a set of clear standards,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“With the rapid growth and expansion of artificial intelligence,” said Caltrider, “there is certainly a need for solid, robust watchdogs and regulations to keep an eye on the rest of us as it grows and becomes more prevalent. “

If you look ahead at the roadmap to 2024, there are some impressive parts coming from AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm all targeting your PCs that will dramatically change how these machines operate.

This period is when hardware tries to catch up to the generative AI trend, and our PCs, tablets and smartphones get smarter. But the real battle will be over PC CPUs that will get faster GPU and NPU capability — or VPU if we’re talking about Intel — and should get a huge bump in performance and battery life as a result.

Given that all of these products will be relatively new, their real benefits may not appear until 2025 as software evolves to take advantage of the latest hardware features. Let me lay out the battlefield for you and show that this battle will also open the door for new competitors like Nvidia who will step in to shift the market.

We’ll end with our Product of the Week, a new workstation from HP that’s one of the quietest I’ve ever tested.

Intel has a market to lose

Intel is the established vendor when it comes to mobile parts, so this battle is on Intel’s traditional battlefield.

The product to watch is named Lunar Lake, arguably the most significant advancement Intel has ever made for the PC platform. On paper, this product should be more than good enough if it weren’t for the fact that Intel has reduced both layoffs and wage adjustments where employees earn less. These two events are generally very damaging to morale and productivity and may call into question the timely release of this product in 2024.

Furthermore, the revolutionary nature of this product will require a much stronger campaign than Intel has executed recently. It continues to struggle to retain a chief marketing officer at a time when it will need a Dennis Carter-level exec. Intel hasn’t adequately supported CMOs since the beginning of this century, which adds to concerns about the company’s ability to perfectly execute this launch.

Fortunately for Intel, it’s a vendor entrenched in mobile parts. However, AMD has been making inroads, so failure to execute here could give AMD and Qualcomm a huge boost in their efforts to dethrone Intel.


Lately, AMD has been firing on all cylinders. When it says it’s going to do something, it does.

AMD expects to have a product similar to Intel’s Lunar Lake to market in 2024 and has indicated it will increasingly pivot to generative AI tools to make it happen.

The use of AI in this context is doubly important and may indicate some risk as AI remains a driving force, and vendors actively using the technology should have better insight on how to optimize hardware for it . Additionally, we expect AI to be a significant sales driver for this entire PC hardware segment.

Again, though, as with Intel, exposure for AMD is marketing. Never a marketing powerhouse, AMD is like most engineering-driven companies in that it downplays marketing, which means it can’t get the credit for its advancements it otherwise would.

With the right marketing campaign and an Intel miss (as mentioned above, it’s the last possibility), AMD could take over a dominant laptop share. But this potential cannot be fulfilled without the interest or ability to fund and run such a campaign. Should Intel miss its deadline, AMD is likely to have the most to gain, given that it will already be on the market with a similar option.


Qualcomm is in a unique position because of its dominance in the smartphone space. It is developing a brand new PC processor design co-developed with Nuvia, which Qualcomm acquired in 2021 for $1.4 billion. Interest in integrating smartphones with PCs is growing, and no one should be able to do this better than a vendor working aggressively to improve both platforms.

However, to make this work, Qualcomm’s marketing requirements are much higher than those of Intel or AMD due to its negligible presence in the PC market. Qualcomm recently lost one of its early design wins, the HP Folio, to Intel, even though the resulting product only offered a third the battery life of earlier Snapdragon-based alternatives.

Qualcomm’s high marketing requirement is because it is different from most. Intel and AMD are both x86-based, while Qualcomm is distinctly ARM-based. ARM is not happy with Qualcomm or its effort as it feels that Qualcomm should pay more for PC platform license. The litigation between ARM and Qualcomm has the potential to significantly damage the initiative, and Qualcomm is already in the weakest position of the three vendors mentioned so far.

This brings us…


Nvidia’s plan to buy ARM fell through, leaving the company high and dry on the CPU side but continuing to execute well with its GPU products. Nvidia also licenses from ARM, but, unlike Qualcomm, because of its much smaller commitment to that company, it may have switched to RISC-V, an equivalent product to ARM that survived the failed acquisition due to ARM’s financial troubles. appears to be lacking.

Nvidia is a wild card here, but has a greater AI presence than all three vendors combined, so whatever they do next will have a significant impact on the market. Its latest RTX 4060 card is an impressive display of the level of performance a vendor can bring to market for little money.

With the right combination of CPU, GPU and NPU (Neural Processing Unit), Nvidia can enter and steal this market from other players. We don’t know what Nvidia will replace ARM as it gets closer to becoming a solution vendor.

wrapping up

2025 will be the year of the massive laptop chip wars with Intel but weak, AMD doing well but underwhelming marketing, and Qualcomm not yet on the market with its next-gen PC parts and its Appearing to reduce marketing.

If any of these vendors can go ahead and meet their timeline objectives and find a way to finance the demand generation marketing for the new parts, they can adapt or take over this market.

While I listed Nvidia as a wildcard, RISC-V is also a wildcard and could be used by Qualcomm, Nvidia, or some up-and-coming vendor to pivot the market to a more forward-looking AI-focused alternative to x86. can be done.

The good news for all of us is that in 2024, at least by the end of it, we should see laptops with 20+ hours of battery life without sacrificing performance. I hope we also see some new designs that better embrace sustainability and reduce electronic waste.

tech product of the week

HP Z8 Fury G5 Tower Workstation

Workstations are an interesting product category because it’s usually the engineers using it that specify their configuration, rather than the IT department. These tools are directly linked to the productivity of the engineer, graphics artist, researcher, architect, or other creative professional.

Workstations come with industrial processors, usually from AMD, or in this case, Intel Xeon, and a professional GPU from Nvidia or AMD. This HP Z8 Fury G5 has an Nvidia T400 card. They are also equipped with error correcting code (ECC) memory, which is rarely used in mainstream PCs, to reduce errors in the coding done on them.

Priced starting at $5,320, the HP Z8 Fury G5 is a fine mid-range workstation with solid performance and some of the quietest usage experiences I’ve ever heard. This thing redefines cool. My main PC is a water-cooled unit, and even it makes more noise than this HP box.

HP Z8 Fury G5 Tower Workstation

The HP Z8 Fury G5 Tower Workstation packs quiet performance into a lightweight design. (Image credit: HP)

Another differentiator for this HP workstation is that it uses Wolf Security for its security, which is arguably the best of the OEM-based security programs.

Finally, this workstation is surprisingly light, 10 or 20 pounds lighter than my gaming rig, which is unusual for workstations as they’ve traditionally been a handful. But this one was surprisingly lightweight, which makes it very useful for some remote implementations, especially when office space is fluid and frequent PC movement is required.

The HP Z8 Fury G5 Workstation is an impressive product—from its low error rate performance to its noiseless fan and relatively light weight—making it ideal for my product of the week.

Let’s get something straight: If someone had time traveled to 1995 and told me that AMD might be able to “save” the laptop market from Apple in 2023 with their chips, I’d immediately ask them It would have been how many drinks they consumed.

After all, the late 1990s were a different time and place for the PC industry. Intel was the undisputed king of the industry – especially in the desktop realm, as laptops were a relatively nascent market – and its company-owned foundry allowed it to release new processors at a cadence that not only impressed but rivaled competitors such as AMD. Also used to keep in the bay.

As someone who worked at Compaq which qualified and marketed AMD processors for its Presario consumer brand PCs as a hedge against Intel’s impenetrable pricing strategy, in my experience, AMD has a lot to work for. Easy had the reputation – but a Keystone Copes masterful for bad, sometimes abysmal, execution.

That’s how quickly things changed after CEO Lisa Siu came to AMD in 2012.

New AMD chips could challenge Apple silicon

Apple shook up the PC world when it started shipping its own chips, Apple Silicon, in late 2020. Intel.

Because Apple owns the entire hardware and software stack, which allows the company to optimize its macOS for enhanced performance, Mac desktops and laptops quickly became hot, in-demand items. While Windows PCs have a higher market share (about 58% versus 30% for macOS), Apple’s sales have steadily increased over the years.

However, the Windows laptop market may get a boost. Recently, AMD unveiled a new laptop CPU for thin and light devices that, according to the company, outperforms Apple’s M2 model from a year ago. Is this a true win for AMD, or is the company selectively focusing on specific performance metrics that distort the real story?

some important background

A few months ago, Intel released its Core i9 13980HX, a “notebook” CPU—a charitable description, at best—that it claimed outperformed Apple’s current fastest processor, the M2 Max. Although accurate claims of performance victories were technically valid in some areas, there were several limitations attached to such claims.

At first, the Intel processor was a highly unusable “notebook” chip because it lost all of its performance benefits the millisecond it ran on the battery and ate up watts like a man lost in the desert dying of thirst. Plus, whenever a notebook does something strenuous it generates a ton of heat to keep the fan running at full capacity. Finally, at almost seven pounds, it wasn’t exactly wide.

Still, it outperformed the M2 Max for some popular but specialized processor-intensive applications with a more powerful video card and frequent plugged-in use while wearing noise-canceling headphones. Although the concessions were a serious temptation for most Apple consumers, Intel struggled to put one of its CPUs on an even playing field.

This type of misstep has resulted in Intel inadvertently assuming that Apple’s M-series is the de facto industry leader, with continued advances in desktop and mobile computing, power and chip efficiency, and integrated graphics capability. Starting with the first M1 machines, Macs became much faster than any Windows PC in daily use, except in dedicated gaming rigs.

It’s AMD’s Time To Step Up To The Plate

The newest member of AMD’s Ryzen 7 family, the 7840U, is the chip the entire PC industry is talking about.

It’s immediately clear that this chip is a far more credible competitor than Intel’s 13980HX. Contrary to Intel’s insidious “notebook” characterization, the 7840U is actually a processor built specifically for thin-and-light laptops. As a result, it should generate less heat and work more effectively, and that’s just for openers.

Since AMD only introduced this new chip in late April, no production machines have used it in real-world testing yet, which is a moot point. Despite this, AMD recently posted a series of vague benchmarks that it says demonstrate greater performance over Apple’s native M2 processor, which is used by the Mac mini, MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and two iPad Pros. done in versions.

AMD Ryzen 7840U vs Apple M2

Frankly, it’s still unknown whether the 7840U can maintain this apparently impressive performance on battery and how much battery it uses for comparable workloads as there’s no real system to test it on.

The overly general description of important areas of comparison, the narrow differences between the two chips in all but two categories, and the absence of details and sourcing for any conclusions raise concerns that must be validated in real-life testing.

AMD Ryzen 7040U Series Performance Chart

AMD Ryzen 7 7840U, part of the Ryzen 7040U series, benchmark performance vs Apple’s M2 (Chart credit: AMD)

Even if we accept AMD’s statements on their merits, a closer examination reveals that the company only offers distinct advantages in two of the six areas that its marketing team touts. Chosen as a “proof” of excellence. The other four results can be essentially bounded within the benchmark test margin of error.

Without question, real-world testing on real equipment can differ greatly from the marketing department’s benchmarks. Still, based on these and other early findings, there’s some evidence that AMD appears to have credibly — if only partially — challenged Apple’s M2 hegemony and significantly edged out Intel’s Core i9 13980HX. Which raises even more questions behind Intel.

With that in mind, the Ryzen 7 7840U is a fully integrated laptop chip that looks to compete with the base M2 processor and perhaps the M2 Pro in some areas. This is quite an achievement.

Even though the benchmarking suite scores are competitive, there are other things to consider, as games I tried to play on the Intel Core i9 13980HX laptop experienced a dramatic performance degradation when forced to operate on battery power.

closing thoughts

It’s too early to declare AMD’s 7784u as the new heavyweight champion, competing favorably with or even surpassing Apple’s M2.

From a reputational perspective, AMD recognizes the stakes here. We must assume that AMD measured the metrics for their comparison table under the laptop’s optimal conditions: when connected to AC power and without considering factors such as heat and battery consumption. From my point of view, this approach looks completely logical.

But let’s be clear. My conversations with AMD confirm that the company is working overtime to produce the best performing silicon possible. In my discussions with AMD executives, they are not dismissing Apple’s engineering capability (unlike Intel).

The post-pandemic PC market is currently in a growth funk, something that’s unlikely to change for several quarters. Companies like HP, Dell, and Lenovo have created some of the most beautiful laptop designs we’ve seen in years. However, without best-in-class chips, consumer and corporate customers may be inclined to consider non-Windows alternatives, despite the generally higher prices for Apple products.

If AMD’s 7840U turns out to be as advertised, it will give Windows laptops a much-needed jolt of adrenaline. No one likes any company, including Apple, to operate without competition, and AMD’s work here could be music to customers’ ears.

The distinctive functional case, all-day battery life and advanced features give you every reason to buy the HP Poly Voyager Free 60 Series Wireless Earbuds if you travel for business or spend time working on a computer and smartphone.

Enterprise workers in office settings are ideal users of these high-end and specially designed earbuds. Remote corporate employees also gain a tremendous amount of added functionality to enhance the convenience of their workday.

I have yet to find a set of earpieces that compete successfully with the features packed into these relatively small yet well-fitted dual devices.

However, the cost is also in the higher price range than most people would be willing to buy out-of-pocket. But if your needs go beyond wireless convenience for phone calls and listening to music throughout your workday, HP gives you a compelling list of reasons to plug in a pair.

Pricing and Purchasing

For some potential users, the performance outweighs the $329.95 price tag for the premium product – the Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC that comes with a touchscreen charging case and more.

Two less-endowed but still great performing versions of these earbuds start at $229.95.

The starting price gets you the Poly Voyager Free 60 model that comes with a standard charge case that offers premium call and music features. The dependability and reliability of this unit is designed for what HP calls “prosumers”.

Poly Voyager Free 60 Series Wireless Earbuds

The Poly Voyager Free 60 wireless earbuds and basic charge case, shown here in Carbon Black, are also available in White Sand. (Image credit: HP/Poly)

In addition to the HP/Poly website, you can find these earbuds at B&H Photo and other online outlets.

Be careful when searching for this product. I found it listed under the Plantronics label on Amazon and elsewhere. Based on the price and product description, such listings that are not branded as HP appear to be older units rather than the latest product releases from HP.

HP acquired Poly last August and rebranded the new release but kept the Poly moniker. For example, the Poly name is on the charge case, and even the Poly app doesn’t have an HP label.

For stepping up to $279.95, you get the Poly Voyager Free 60 UC earbuds with a standard charging case and enterprise-grade audio and music features. This edition is Microsoft Teams/Zoom-certified and designed for enterprise users.

Unmatched Premium Features

One of the really impressive performance factors of these earbuds is the Poly Voyager Free 60 UC’s ability to fight off ambient noise during calls and video sessions that affects both sides of the conversation.

This product reduces background noise during calls with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). Between calls, the same ANC functionality reduces background noise and provides the ability to listen to music in high quality thanks to three environment settings.

One of them, Transparency Mode, lets you hear your surroundings without having to remove one or both of the earbuds. If you remove one earbud, it will pause the soundtrack playing from the connected device.

Voice production is at a premium level, stemming from the six microphones, stem design, and noise-canceling circuitry called NoiseBlock, which is AI-powered.

With the help of multi point connectivity, users can stay connected to two devices simultaneously. The technology associates the phones as Phone One and Phone Two, regardless of whether one of the devices is a speakerphone or a computer.

Smart Charge Case Does More

Another advantage of the Voyager Free 60+ UC earpiece is the unique charging case. All three Voyager models come with cases that wirelessly charge the earbuds in the rechargeable case and have Qi charging capabilities.

The free 60+ UC model goes well beyond that limited functionality. The smart charging case features a color touch screen with three control panels for customizing configuration and earbud controls.

poly voyager wireless earbuds charging case

The Voyager Free 60+ uC touchscreen charge case displays the charge status of the case and the battery level of each earpiece. (Image credit: HP/Poly)

The case charges with a USB cable that connects to a computer or wall power plug. When the earbuds are in use, their case is wirelessly connected to control voice functions showing battery charge status, listening environment settings and volume controls.

You can easily switch between connected devices. The case lets you connect to external audio sources via the 3.5 analog audio input.

intelligent design

The oval shaped design and includes three shaped rubberized ear shields that provide extra wearing comfort to the earbuds. The tips are designed to reduce pressure in the ear while providing superior audio isolation.

You can use both pieces in either ear for extended use. For long-term travel listening, for example, you can simply insert one earpiece into either ear while the other is charging in the case.

The earbuds offer up to 5.5 hours of talk time with the ANC on. If you don’t need the ANC, the usage time is even longer.

The Smart Charge Case provides up to 16 hours of additional talk time and comes with a USB-C port for charging on the go. The case also includes the BT700 Bluetooth Adapter for advanced functionality.

The inclusion of a USB-C to 3.5mm audio cable is a really neat feature that lets you plug the charging case into almost any modern device and use the earphones wherever a physical connection is needed instead of wireless connectivity. uses.

The included USB receiver tricks the host computer into pairing the earbuds without needing to open the computer’s Bluetooth stack to connect the dongle. The result is a more seamless user experience than built-in Bluetooth on a computer.

Video credit: HP/Poly

long stem functionality

The stems of the Poly Voyager Free 60 series earbuds are longer than other wireless ear devices. The oval shaped tip adds to the comfort factor and makes the earpiece very easy to hold, insert and remove.

A small button on the bottom of each stem plays or pauses music and answers calls. Press and hold it for two seconds to activate Google Assistant and offer even more functionality.

A touch sensor is located along the middle portion of each stem. Swipe it up and down to change the volume or mute the sound.

It took me a while to get used to the swiping motion to activate functions, and I didn’t find it very comfortable to use in conjunction with the smaller buttons on the bottom.

app power handy

Last but certainly not least is the Poly Lens app, available on Google Play and the App Store. You can just use the earbuds and get an excellent out-of-the-box user experience.

But I didn’t find it any less convenient to reach for my smartphone to adjust additional settings. It’s similar to using a smartphone app to aid in setting up my smart watch, and as a complement to a smart TV remote control device.

You need the app to handle software updates for the earpieces and smart charge case, and to access detailed configuration options for setting up your earbuds to your preferences. The app offers a long list of toggles and sliders to tweak every possible decibel and frequency to fine-tune your productivity and enjoyment.

Enhanced Communication Features

Advanced SideTone technology lets you be aware of how loudly you’re speaking. I never lost my boisterous vocal projection learned in my early days of public speaking classes. This special feature helps me not to strain my voice.

The earbuds are designed with a wide microphone pickup area so users can adjust the wearing position for maximum comfort.

The Poly Voyager Free 60 Series wireless earbuds are available in two colors: Carbon Black and White Sand.

Google has started taking pre-orders for its first foldable phone, with shipping of the gadget in June.

The Pixel Fold will sell for US$1,799, which is comparable to its main competitor, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4.

Google is late to the foldable market — though not as late as Apple, which doesn’t have a foldable yet — but it’s taking advantage of its timing by targeting some of the Galaxy Fold’s perceived shortcomings.

For example, Google’s folding phone is slim and has a wide body for easy handling. The wider body also allows for a better aspect ratio for viewing its front and interior OLED displays.

“The Pixel stands out by having a wide aspect ratio. It’s ideal for content consumption,” said Brad Akuse, a mobile industry analyst at Circana, a global market research firm.

“The Samsung Fold has a more square screen, so you get black bars when you view content on it,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“When closed, the Pixel matches the dimensions of a regular phone with the advantage of a fold,” said Bob O’Donnell, founder and principal analyst at technology market research and consulting firm Technalysis Research.

“Samsung is a bit longer and thinner,” he told TechNewsWorld.

First Gen Blues?

At the heart of the Pixel Fold is the Google Tensor G2 processor, which Akyuz claims isn’t as powerful as the chip used by its competition. “The Galaxy Fold runs on the top-of-the-line silicon on the market,” he added. “The Pixel Fold uses its own chipset, which is not on par with the ones used by Samsung.”

In the past, he said, Pixel phones have had issues with their silicon. “We don’t know if that’s going to happen with the Pixel Fold, but I would say there’s a lot of peace of mind with the Galaxy Fold,” he said.

He also mentioned that the Pixel Fold is a first generation device. “Samsung Fold is in its fourth iteration,” he explained. “Samsung has gone through a lot of headaches that Google may have to go through.”

“We don’t know what kind of problems Pixel Fold customers might be facing and how Google might be able to address them,” he added. “With the Galaxy Fold, we have a pretty good idea of ​​Samsung’s game plan.”

Still, the Pixel Fold outdoes its competition in a few other areas. It has a bigger battery, for example, and three cameras – a 48-megapixel main sensor, a 10.8MP ultrawide camera, and a 10.8MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom. It can also take pictures remotely with a palm gesture.

Foldable phones appeal to business travelers

Still, that $1,800 price tag limits the audience for this Google offering and its foldable brethren.

“At the moment, we only see early adopters buying folding phones,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a technology advisory firm in San Jose, California.

“They are still seen as a novelty, although they are starting to turn the corner,” he told TechNewsWorld. “As prices come down and more are offered, these folding phones could become a huge market in the future.”

Foldables also appeal to businessmen on the go. “I’ve found that when I travel, I can use my foldable and not carry my laptop,” said Nabeela Popal, a research director on the IDC Worldwide Tracker team.

“I found I could be productive. It made a difference,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“Foldables aren’t for everyone,” O’Donnell acknowledged, “but for some people, they’re a slam dunk because you get the equivalent of a smartphone and tablet in one device. It’s a lot of fun.”

“I love mine,” she continued. “I can look at documents on the phone and actually read them.”

Accuses said Samsung’s Fold line benefited from discontinuing the Galaxy Note series in 2022. “The Z Fold was able to attract many Galaxy Note customers,” he said, “who are known to buy these devices for business use, for productivity purposes.”

“The larger real estate on the display side allows for a richer user experience, especially for applications designed for this form factor,” he added.

Bright Spot in the Black Market

Aside from price, durability appears to be a barrier for some consumers entering the foldable fold. “You still have many consumers who are not completely convinced about the durability of foldables,” Akuse said.

He recalled a recent Circana survey conducted at a trade show, which found that of those consumers not interested in purchasing a foldable smartphone, 30% said durability was a driver for not considering a foldable smartphone.

“Two years ago, that figure was 40%,” he observed. “Samsung has done a really good job of improving the form factor, making it more durable, but also giving consumers peace of mind when it comes to servicing the device.”

While foldables are a niche product, they are a bright spot in the smartphone market. “The smartphone industry is going through a steady quarter-on-quarter decline,” Popple said. “In 2022, we see a 12% decline in the market and 15% in 2021. However, within this, we have seen the foldable segment growing at a brisk pace, albeit from a smaller base.

“Three years ago, a lot of people questioned whether foldables were going to become a real trend or fad, something that’s cool but will end up like 3D TVs,” he continued. “From what we’ve seen in new products over the past year and pickup – 100% growth in 2022 – foldables have been a silver lining.”

Pople acknowledges that the technology has a long way to go, but believes that the form factor is here to stay.

“Consumers love it,” she said, “and when software catches up to this new hardware, we’ll see it become more popular.”

Without Apple in the market, he noted that IDC expects 3.5% of the smartphone market — 50 million units — to be foldable by 2027. “If Apple enters the segment anytime in the next five years,” he said, “that number will definitely skyrocket.

Tele, a company started by Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin, announced Monday that it is offering 500,000 55-inch 4K TVs to the public for free, as part of a business model that In which advertisers have picked up the tab to upgrade the consumer’s entertainment.

At the heart of the model, which has been in the works for two years, is a dual-screen Smart TV developed by Tele. The One Screen is a 55-inch 4K HDR home theater television display, divided by a five-driver sound bar from the smaller Smart Screen. The Smart Screen displays information such as news, sports scores and weather, as well as advertisements, which are displayed continuously in a dedicated area on the right side of the Smart Screen.

In addition to TV programming, the hardware supports video calling, video games, AI-enabled voice assistants, music services, and motion-tracking fitness programs.

“Television is the greatest innovation in television since color,” Pozin said in a statement. “Tele is a revolutionary step for both consumers and advertisers.”

“For a long time,” she continued. “Consumers have not been equal parts of the advertising value exchange. Companies are earning billions of dollars from advertisements served on television, yet consumers have historically had to pay for both TV and the content they watch.

“That all changes today,” he said. “When I co-founded Pluto TV, we created an entirely new model that offered viewers amazing TV content for free. Now, with Telly, we are providing real television for free as well.”

consumer business

‘Tele will help streaming companies afford the content they need and want through an always-on advertising experience,’ said Elizabeth Parks, president and CEO of Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company in Edison, Texas.

“We forecast that the number of households using ad-supported streaming services will grow from approximately 37 million households in 2022 to 52 million in 2027, a compound annual growth rate of 6.7%,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Pozin estimates that TVs with the Tele’s specifications and capabilities are selling for US$1,000, although 4K TVs are selling for less. “Tele will be interesting for households that have limited budgets but are open to advertising,” said Brett Sappington, vice president at Interpret, a global consumer insights agency.

“Currently, users can buy an entry-level 55-inch, 4k smart TV for $300 to $400,” he told TechNewsWorld. “So, users will be considering the tradeoff of always-on advertising versus an advanced TV.”

Mark N., president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif. “Tele is one of the more intriguing attempts to address the market of users who are willing to trade up their data in exchange for free TV,” Vena said. ,

“It could be attractive to a non-trivial number of users willing to make that commitment, as the TV is a 55-inch HDR model, priced at $600.”

‘Giant Leap Forward’

Richard Greenfield, general partner at Lightshade Ventures, the firm that co-led Tele’s latest funding round, calls Tele “a giant leap forward, taking advantage of the explosion of the connected TV advertising market and consumers’ desire for more control and interactivity.” does not”. Disrupt the TV watching experience.

“The unprecedented dual-screen design enables advertisers to completely re-imagine the living room experience, while offering consumers an incredible TV at an easy-to-use-yes-free price,” he said in a statement. “

Tele Smart Screen displays news, sports scores and advertisements

The tele smart screen displays information such as news, sports scores and weather updates, as well as advertisements running in a dedicated area on its right. (Image credit: Telly)

Parks said free ad-supported content is potentially the next point of difference between streaming services and their hardware platform partners.

“We expect this will also pave the way for more interactive advertising experiences and TV-based commerce experiences,” she said. “Our data shows that 50% of US Internet households are concerned that T-commerce will disrupt the programs they are watching. Moving ads to another screen may provide more T-commerce opportunities.”

Increasingly, streaming providers are tapping into interactive ads, said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City.

“They send you to a destination or let you scan a QR code to send information to your cell phone,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Tele may open up some new opportunities that weren’t ripe in the past.”

Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore., however, cautions that advertisers need to be in sync with their audience’s sensibilities. “Ads will need to be something users don’t mind seeing,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Otherwise, they are likely to be creative in finding ways not to see it.”

“People don’t like advertising,” he said. “Just putting them on a dedicated screen doesn’t fix it. You also need to look at the ad content to see if you can come up with a format that doesn’t detract from the content the user is viewing.” Not there.

volume issue

Sappington explained that consumers like free things, but their commitment to them may not be as strong as they are to things they pay for. “Some consumers can simply exit their tel if they don’t like it or get tired of the commercials,” he added. “Others may try to make a quick buck by reselling it on Facebook Marketplace or elsewhere.”

He said that giving away hardware to make money is not a new thing. For example, mobile carriers have given away cheap smartphones in order to take advantage of mobile data plans.

“The key is being able to generate enough ongoing revenue to make it profitable,” he continued. “That said, an ad-supported television is certainly new. Controlling the entire screen is a powerful position that companies have been competing to win for years.”

Park agreed. “It’s definitely a new model,” she said. “Advertising revenue is a significant part of the revenue mix of smart TV and streaming media player makers, but the business model has so far required in-device purchases.”

Rubin recalled a company in the late 1990s called Free PC that tried to subsidize free computers with advertising along the perimeter of the computer’s display.

He said, ‘The issue has become big. “They couldn’t reach enough audiences to attract enough advertising revenue to make the business viable.”

“It’s going to be one of the biggest challenges here as well,” he continued. “Demand side will not be an issue. There are a lot of people willing to take a chance on something that is free.”

“The question is on the supply side,” he said. “Can they make a convincing case for advertisers about the quality of their audience knowledge being the kind of investment they need to sustain the business model?”

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