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Galaxy S9’s Animoji clone will supposedly be even better than the real thing

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When Apple introduced Animoji in September, it did so in part to make an important point. The TrueDepth camera that enables Face ID’s 3D facial recognition on the iPhone X has other uses beyond providing secure biometric authentication for unlocking and mobile payments. Once the iPhone X launched, Animoji went viral.

Of course, others could have launched Animoji-style 3D emoji well before Apple, but nobody did. Now that Apple has done it, top Android makers are racing to match it, proving once again that the iPhone still leads the mobile industry. Huawei was the first company to confirm that it will blatantly copy Animoji. Samsung’s Galaxy S9, however, might be the first globally available Android device to offer Animoji support. And Samsung might even claim that its solution is better than Apple’s.

A report from ETNews mentions some of the best features of the Galaxy S9, reaffirming what numerous other rumors have said for weeks. The Galaxy S9 will have the same design as the Galaxy S8 aside from the rear panel, which will feature a different camera, flash, and fingerprint sensor arrangement. The phone will be slightly thinner than the Galaxy S8 and will offer users access to a dual-lens camera, at least on the larger Galaxy S9+ model.

But ETNews also mentions the 3D Emoji feature, which is Samsung’s equivalent to the iPhone X’s Animoji. 3D Emoji are supposedly more advanced than Animoji, which would be a bold claim. The Galaxy S9 won’t have a front-facing camera as sophisticated as the iPhone X, so how can 3D Emoji be better than Animoji?

3D Emoji apparently creates a 3D character based on the face of the user and is able to detect fine movements. The feature can be used instead of emoticons in chat apps, and users will also be able to choose from a variety of different animal characters. The report also notes the Galaxy S9 does 3D facial recognition and iris recognition, suggesting they may be used simultaneously to enhance security. Again, the Galaxy S9 isn’t expected to feature 3D facial recognition like the iPhone X, so it’s unclear if Samsung’s solution will be anywhere near as secure as the iPhone X.

ETNews mentions the flexible aperture of the rear camera, which was listed in specs leaks before. The Galaxy S9 is expected to feature an enhanced low-light shooting mode thanks to this variable aperture. The handset is also rumored to get dual speakers and more Bixby features.

Finally, the report said the Galaxy S9 will be cheaper than the Galaxy Note 8, which sells for 990,500 won in the country, but that the Galaxy S9+ will cost more than 1 million won.

Fashion and music obsessed wanderlust. Resale clothing appreciator who fancies herself a well-crafted cocktail. Occasional photographer. Amateur sneaker head.

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Watch a drone crash into Apple’s new spaceship campus in Cupertino

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We’ve been watching footage of the brand new Apple Park in Cupertino, California filmed by drones for months, but over this past weekend, the inevitable finally occurred. A drone crashed into the complex. Matthew Roberts, who has been filming the progress of the Apple Park for years, was contacted by someone who lost control of their drone as it was hovering over the Apple Park this weekend in an attempt to find out where it had crashed.

After some time searching with his own DJI Phantom 4 Pro, Roberts eventually found the drone wedged between two solar panels on the roof of the facility. The original pilot got in touch with Apple to tell the company what happened, but there’s no word yet on whether or not he will get his drone back.

The good news is that, regardless of the drone’s future, the footage of the crash landing will live on. Roberts uploaded the footage on his channel, along with the video of him finding the crashed drone on the roof:

The pilot explained to Roberts that there were no signs of premature failure. The drone just suddenly plummeted to the ground, with the roof of the Apple Park breaking its fall. This is the first incident of its kind (or at least the first one we’ve heard of), so it might prompt Apple to crack down on allowing enthusiasts to fly over its campus in the future. While there doesn’t appear to have been any damage, the drone could have just as easily hit an employee.

That might hurt even more than walking face-first into a glass door.

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Samsung blasts its previous world record with massive new enterprise-grade 30TB SSDs

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Samsung has today unveiled a new line of SSDs for enterprise systems that doubles its previous world’s largest capacity. The new storage offers a huge 30.72TB per drive.

Samsung released its 15TB SAS SSDs for servers and other enterprise solutions back in 2016. Today, the company announced the news of its latest high capacity drives in a press release.

The new SSDs, PM1643 offer some amazing specs aside from doubling storage in these drives from 15TB to 30TB, which is a feat of its own. They also provide almost double the performance of its predecessor.

In addition to the doubled capacity, performance levels have risen significantly and are nearly twice that of Samsung’s previous generation high-capacity SAS SSD. Based on a 12Gb/s SAS interface, the new PM1643 drive features random read and write speeds of up to 400,000 IOPS and 50,000 IOPS, and sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,100MB/s and 1,700 MB/s, respectively.

Samsung’s VP of memory sales and marketing, Jaesoo Han also said the company will  be putting lots of focus on moving 10TB and larger SSDs forward quickly.

Samsung will continue to move aggressively in meeting the shifting demand toward SSDs over 10TB and at the same time, accelerating adoption of our trail-blazing storage solutions in a new age of enterprise systems.

While SSDs of this capacity won’t be available for consumer use, it is good to see such rapid growth. SSD prices have been dropping quickly over the past few years, with Samsung’s internal 2.5-inch EVO SSDs now available under $100, and 1TB versions for under $300. The companies T5 external SSDs (reviewed) can be found starting around $100 as well.

Check out Samsung’s full press release here for all the details on how it managed to create its 30TB SSDs.

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Bitcoin is back over $11,000

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It took Bitcoin more than two weeks to recover the ground it lost in early February when the most popular cryptocurrency in the world plunged below $6,000 for the first time since November. Bitcoin is nowhere near its record highs from mid-December when it hit almost $20,000, but the digital coin is finally trading above $11,000 again. Then again, there’s no predicting the crypto market. And because Bitcoin is on the rise, all other digital coins are slightly up or holding steady in trading on Monday. So what happened?

The crypto world is still riding a wave of positive news, which includes the White House’s official comments on the matter. Trump’s government isn’t ready to regulate Bitcoin yet, but it’s keeping an eye on it.

“I think we’re still absolutely studying and understanding what the good ideas and bad ideas in that space are,” special assistant to the president and White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce said at the Munich Security Conference in Germany last week. “So, I don’t think it’s close.”

That doesn’t mean regulation fears will subside anytime soon. As CNBC reports, Joyce also said that the government is worried about cryptocurrencies being used in illegal ways.

“We are worried. There are benefits to the bitcoin concept — digital cash, digital currencies,” Joyce said. “But at the same time, if you look at the way bitcoin works after there is a criminal act that takes place, you can’t rewind the clock and take back that currency.”

One country that’s very crypto-friendly, Switzerland, just came out with guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICO), which became a popular method of raising money last year with the help of cryptocurrency. Using ICOs, companies don’t have to adhere to the guidelines that surround VC and angel capital when they raise money. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published ICO guidelines late last week to regulate ICOs.

“The application of blockchain technology has innovative potential within and far beyond the financial markets,” FINMA CEO Mark Branson said. “However, blockchain-based projects conducted analogously to regulated activities cannot simply circumvent the tried and tested regulatory framework. Our balanced approach to handling ICO projects and inquiries allows legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with our laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system.”

One of the main banks in the Netherlands also announced late last week that it’ll use blockchain technology to replace escrow accounts. “With this new service, every individual client of the non-bank organization gets a bank account with the ABN AMRO Clearing Bank (AACB) via the blockchain,” the press release reads. “That way, fund flows between the organization and its clients are included in payment processes under regular supervision, guaranteeing the required transparency. This blockchain method drastically reduces administrative costs for the organization by eliminating escrow account management costs.”

Not all banks are happy with the Bitcoin surge. The Polish Central Bank (NFB) was just caught redhanded and admitted it paid a YouTuber to attack digital coins online. The bank also invested in Google and Facebook campaigns for the same purpose, according to NewsBTC .

Finally, there’s news about Tether, which just created 86 million EURT and 60.1 million USDT both based on the Ethereum, Finance Magnets reports. Tether faced intense criticism lately, for lack of transparency regarding its business model and the way it’s issuing tokens. Tether coins are supposed to be backed up by fiat currency. Therefore every USDT token should be valued at $1. The currency allows users to seamless trade coins online, by converting money to USDT or EURT rather than fiat coins.

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