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Robots are stealing your job: How technology threatens to wipe out the middle class

A few hours before I interviewed Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the co-authors of “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies,” the U.S. Department of Labor released a disappointing jobs report. The U.S. economy had only created 70,000 new jobs, the lowest monthly total since 2011. More alarming, the labor-force participation ratio (the share of Americans working or looking for work) had fallen to 62.8 percent — the lowest mark since 1977.
                                         Robots are stealing your job: How technology threatens to wipe out the middle class
The news was a depressing, but timely, reminder of why “The Second Machine Age” is an important book. Brynjolfsson is the director of the MIT Center for Digital Business. McAfee is a principal research scientist at the same institution. Their first co-authored book, “Race Against the Machine,” made a compelling case that recent advances in technology are placing workers under unprecedented pressure. Automation is destroying jobs, but in contrast to past history, new jobs are not being created in adequate compensation for what’s lost, (a point all too well underlined by the latest jobs report). “The Second Machine Age” reexamines this relentless march of the robots, but in the context of a technological landscape in which change is accelerating significantly faster than what could even have been imagined just a few years ago.

The emergence of Big Data, the exponential growth unleashed by decades of Moore’s Law (more and more computing power for less and less cost), and the logic of what the authors call “recombinant innovation” — the mixing and matching of our powerful new tools into a bewildering array of even newer, even more powerful tools — have replaced hype with a bewildering new reality. We’re headed somewhere new at high speed, and with no apparent ability to put on the brakes.

“The Second Machine Age” is fascinating because it is simultaneously hopeful and wary about how technological change is remaking our lives. The authors make a compelling case that the second machine age will deliver vast “bounty” to humankind. The overall size of the economic pie is sure to grow. As consumers, the options available to us will beggar description. But McAfee and Brynjolfsson are also quite clear-eyed about the alarming reality of how that pie is being sliced up and distributed. The numbers can’t be ignored: The bounty is growing, but so is what the authors call “the spread” — growing income inequality, greater concentration of wealth in fewer hands, unprecedented pressure on labor markets.
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How did this happen, and what should we do about it? Brynjolfsson and McAfee spoke with Salon by phone to discuss the challenges, and opportunities, of the second machine age.

You write: “The Second Machine Age will make mockery of all that comes before.” What does that mean? What is the second machine age?

Andy: The first machine age is the Industrial Revolution. The first machine age was essentially about amplifying our muscle power. What Erik and I are saying in “The Second Machine Age” is that we are now in the early stages of a parallel acceleration and amplification of our cognitive abilities. The line you quoted is an allusion to something Ian Morris said in his fantastic book, “Why the West Rules for Now.” As Morris was graphing human history, his lines went from basically horizontal to vertical at the outset of the Industrial Revolution. “It made mockery out of everything that had come before”: wars and empires and everything else.

Erik: These titanic changes have had a huge effect on human living standards, and in many ways we can learn from how things changed with the first Industrial Revolution and the first machine age. But there are also some key differences. As we augmented and automated muscle power and our ability to use that power to manipulate the world — not just with the steam engine but with subsequent general-purpose technologies like the internal combustion engine and electricity — it acted largely as a complement to human decision making. The power wasn’t very valuable unless you had someone controlling it and deciding what to do with it.

With the second machine age we are augmenting and automating a lot of cognitive tasks and it is not as clear that humans will be a complement to those kinds of machines. In some cases the machines will be substituting for humans. And that has a different kind of effect on the labor markets as well as on economic output.

So what, exactly, happened? For decades people have been making extravagant claims for the transformations that were sure to come from networks and digital computing. But for most of that period hype outpaced reality. Now, in the last four or five years, thing really seem to be speeding up. What changed?

Erik: We need to keep some historical perspective here. The early revolutions took a century or more to play out as each new general purpose technology kicked in. So we still have a lot ahead of us. I think we still have a century or more of complementary innovations to play out. But specifically to your point of what has happened recently — Andy and I have been astonished at how quickly things have just started happening in the past five or 10 years.

We were teaching a course where we talked about what machines could do well and what humans could do well, and we gave fine motor control and pattern recognition, and specifically driving a car, as examples of things that humans were particularly adept at and we didn’t think that machines would do any time soon.

Six years later we were riding down Route 101 in one of Google’s driverless cars! So we were wrong in how long that would take.

A big part of that has been the big data revolution, the ability to get around or sidestep some thorny problems that researchers have been working on for decades in language recognition and the perceivable world, not by using the traditional methods, but really just by throwing huge amounts of data at the problem. That’s one of the three big forces changing the world right now, along with exponential growth and what we call combinatorial growth.

Andy: There’s a great quote from Hemingway about how a man goes broke. “It’s gradually … and then suddenly.” And that really characterizes how digital technical progress has unfolded. Like you say, people have been making these big claims about what computers and robots were going to be doing for about half a century. And now we’re kind of there. That’s what motivated us to write the book. We were like, wait a minute: We didn’t think our cars were going to drive ourselves or our phones would talk to us without a person at the other end of the line. The exponential part of the story has to do with the fact that after Moore’s Law has been going on long enough, a difference in degree does become a difference in kind. And finally there is this idea of innovation as a combinatorial process. What people are doing is taking all these previous building blocks and adding digital blocks to them, and that’s led to this growth spurt that we’ve been seeing.

The other thing that we’ve been stressing is that both of us believe we ain’t seen nothing yet. What people are going to continue to do with these tools is just going to blow us away.

But is that something to be excited about or terrified of? Isn’t it a staple of science fiction that the kind of multi-recombinant exponential growth that you describe generally leads to Skynet or the Matrix?

Erik: Well it depends on which kind of science fiction you watch. There are at least two big genres out there. There’s “Star Trek” as well. But you’re right. We see two camps. There are the dystopians who see really bad outcomes. A lot of economists point to the relative stagnation of median income as a warning sign. But there is also some really good news. Innovation creates wealth. We are at record levels of wealth in this country, we are up to $77 trillion in household wealth. That’s a new all-time high. That was also part of what motivated Andy and me to work on this; this confusion we had about how you could have so many good things happening and so many bad things happening simultaneously. After digging into the data and talking to people we concluded that both the good and bad events had a common cause — this technological digitization of the economy.

The key economic fact is that technology can make the pie bigger, it can make the economy richer, but it doesn’t necessarily help everybody, in fact some people, even the majority of people, can be made worse off, even if the pie grows bigger.

That’s not what happened for the past 200 years, with the first machine age, but it does seem to be what’s happening now. In the second machine age we have a bigger pie but also more concentration of wealth. The median income is now lower than it was in the 1990s.

Andy: There’s no law that says technology makes everybody better off. Some people appear to be worse off in their role as people who want to offer their labor to an employer or to the economy. But the point about the pie growing is still a really important point, because in our roles as citizens or consumers, technological progress is fantastic news. Even as the music industry has shrunk we’re all listening to more music. Warren Buffett can’t buy more Wikipedia than anyone else can buy. Our health outcomes are improving a great deal.

You brought up Skynet. As Erik and I looked around we found ourselves becoming less worried about machines becoming self-aware and rising up against us, but we found ourselves more concerned about how, in our roles as workers, things are really getting challenging for a lot of people.

That does seem to be the defining question of the moment.

Erik: But none of these futures that we describe as possible are inevitable. You can have some really bad outcomes, you can have some really good outcomes — it is all going to depend on how we respond. The technology is only going to accelerate. If we respond correctly, then this is going to be good, good news. But it’s not going to happen automatically.

Whenever we talk about technology and jobs, some economists, and certainly lots of voices on the more conservative side of the political spectrum, will argue that any jobs that get lost in one sector of the economy will be more than compensated for by new job creation in other sectors. But that assumption seems to breaking down.

Erik and Andy: Yup!

Andy: There seem to be two things going on. Number one is that those commentators that you mention are looking back at the historical pattern and getting a great deal of confidence from it — as they should. The historical pattern is one of a succession of pretty smart people saying large-scale technological unemployment is right around the corner, and basically being wrong. The question for us, and Erik and I spend a lot of time on this: Is this time different?

What those commentators get wrong is the fact that while technological progress does grow the pie, there is honestly no economic law that says that growth is going to float all boats the same way equally.

Erik: This is the big question: whether or not the jobs will be there going forward. In the past they always have been, but Andy and I don’t think that’s automatic. Technology has always been destroying jobs, and it’s always been creating jobs, and it’s been roughly a wash for the last 200 years. But starting in the 1990s the employment to population ration really started plummeting and it’s now fallen off a cliff and not getting back up. We think that it should be the focus of policymakers right now to figure out how to address that, because it is likely that technology is going to have an even bigger impact going forward. So we can’t just ignore it.

So what can we do?

Erik: There are three high-level categories: education, entrepreneurship and tax policy. Each of those things needs to be reinvented and rethought. We need to fundamentally reinvent education, just like media and publishing and retailing and manufacturing and finance and just about every other industry has been reinvented. Our industry has been a real laggard. We need to rethink the philosophy of having people sit in rows and learn how to follow instructions; we should be fostering creativity, because the rote kind of skills are exactly what’s being automated. On tax policy, instead of punishing people hiring workers we should be rewarding them. Right now we tax labor, and one of the basic laws of economics is that if you tax things you get less of them. That wasn’t much of a problem for much of the previous history, but now it is having some really negative effects.

Andy: And the only thing I want to add on to that is that in the short term the robots and the androids and the AIs are not about to take all of our jobs in the next month or the next year. The progress, while astonishing, is just not that fast. So the right thing to do today is what Erik and I call the Econ 101 playbook for stimulating economic growth: education, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, immigration, basic research — you are not going to get disagreement among well-trained economists on these kinds of things.

OK — but the Econ 101 playbook is the standard prescription for how to spur growth regardless of the external circumstances. Good times or bad, it’s what most economists would advocate. But you make a very strong case in your book that current “advances in technology are driving an unprecedented reallocation of wealth and income.” If we’re going through an unprecedented transformation, is the standard playbook going to be enough to cope with it, or are we going to have to explore more drastic alternatives?

Erik: Economic laws haven’t changed. We are in a different part of the technological landscape than we have been in the past, but basic principles like, if you tax something you get less of it, and if you don’t, you get more of it, are still true. We don’t have to throw out the concept of economics to understand how to respond to it the current situation.

Andy: For example, if we were to upgrade this country’s infrastructure so that the civil engineering society would give us a decent grade, instead of a D+, that would set the table for a much better business climate in the United States. Robots are still very bad at repairing bridges, so spending on infrastructure would result in jobs. If we could fix our immigration policy and let in these incredibly skilled people, talented people that want desperately to come to our country, if we could do that, we know they would create jobs. Immigration is a huge vehicle for entrepreneurship in this country. And if we make the climate for starting a new business more favorable we know the job growth would come. Over the next decent chunk of time we’re still confident that the Econ 101 playbook is the right answer even as the technology continues to race ahead. If that’s anywhere near correct, that gives us time to think about what to do, if we really are heading into this sci-fi future down the road, and we both think that we are.

But how do you deal with the political consequences of growing inequality — the broadening “spread.” You point out that the people who are benefiting the most from the current technologically driven productivity growth are the owners of capital. You can make a good case that as a result of this vast increase in wealth, the owners of capital have more political power now than they’ve enjoyed in at least a century. I would argue that they are using that power to stymie the kind of appropriate policy responses that would reduce growing spread and reverse spiraling income inequality. Technological change isn’t just screwing with the job market, it’s concentrating wealth in the hands of people who are actively resisting any efforts to ameliorate the problem. So the spread has serious political consequences. That seems like a really hard problem to crack.

Erik: It is. And we are very concerned about it. Our colleague Daron Acemoglu co-authored a book called “Why Nations Fail,” where he goes into great depth about how economic concentration can lead to political concentration exactly along the lines that you are describing and how that can lead to a vicious, self-defeating cycle that brings down the whole economy. We certainly don’t want to get into that kind of cycle, and that’s one of the reason we want to change the conversation to focus more on understanding what seems to be driving these changes in the economy. If we get the diagnosis right, I think we would be in a better position to get the right prescriptions.

Andy: What we don’t think is the right prescription is to say let’s make sure nobody else ever gets rich off new technology. That’s really not the way we want to go ahead.

Erik: But it has to be balanced with an equality of opportunity.

Andy: And the big worry, the reason why we quoted Daron in “Why Nations Fail,” is that he makes a very persuasive case that the rising inequality that you describe will eventually lead to a serious decrease in the quality of opportunity. And if that’s under threat we need to be concerned about that.

But how do you break the cycle when the logic of technological change is contributing to that cycle?

Erik: Well, you can’t take the attitude that there is nothing we can do. We do believe that technology is a driver of change, but it doesn’t follow that there is nothing we can do to shape the future. We think that education, entrepreneurship and tax policy can all help in increasing both the bounty and decreasing the spread. That’s our grand challenge.

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7 Hot Technology Trends in 2014

t’s a good time to be a technology investor. Over the past 12 months, tech stocks in the S&P 500 are up a scorching 25%. The coming year will feature no shortage of story lines with not only the emergence of technology trends such as “The Internet of Things,” but also continuing advances in the mobile world, social networks, and media.
                                  7 Hot Technology Trends in 2014
 We’ve laid out a full look at technology in 2014 in the comprehensive infographic below. We’ve identified key technology trends for the coming year, and how they’ll affect the world around us and investors. Not only that, but you’ll get an update on trends from 2013 such as the continuing dominance of Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) across the technology world and declining PC sales.

The best part is that sections in the infographic are clickable and lead to more in-depth discussion. Find social particularly intriguing? Click on that section to get a longer discussion on trends this year. Want to learn more about media changes in the year ahead? Simply click on the link to learn more.

Also, make sure to check out our exclusive investor hub with David Gardner, the Fool’s co-founder and best technology investor. In it, he provides not only discussion on some of his favorite trends for this year, but offers exclusive stock picks for 2014 and beyond. The site is only open for a limited time, so click here to access it before it’s gone.

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Samsung may launch a new Windows Phone 8 handset

A user agent profile for a phone with the model number SM-W750V is now up on Samsung’s mobile Web site. The profile lists Samsung’s Windows Mobile Lab as the group behind the device and shows Internet Explorer as the default browser, a sure pointer to Windows Phone. The file also reveals a few details about the phone, including a 1,080×1,920 display and LTE support.
                                      Samsung may launch a new Windows Phone 8 handset
A phone with the same SM-W750V model number has also been approved by the Bluetooth SIG, which lists North America as the target region. Finally, shipping documents from November uncovered by blog site SammyToday posit the same phone with a screen size of 5 inches.
                                     
Samsung has already dabbled with Windows Phone handsets via its Ativ lineup, but its clear priority has always been the Android market. The latest clues about a new Windows Phone device could signal a renewed interest in Microsoft’s mobile OS.
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Apple iPhone 7 Specifications, Release Date, Features, Price

Apple is already gathering its gear for the upcoming Apple iPhone 7. Apple iPhone 7 is Apple’s upcoming Smartphone planned to be launched after the launch of iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. Apple iPhone 7G is going to be the 7th generation Apple Smartphone and will be coming loaded with some futuristic features. Apple iPhone 7 design and production is still to be decided  by Apple but Apple has a lot of concepts and theories to design the Apple iPhone 7 Specifications and Features. Apple is always a standalone competitor in the Global Smartphone market due to its elegance and fan following. Apple has always been a more than smartphone and people look at iPhone as Brand and lifestyle rather than just Smartphone.
                       Apple iPhone 7 Price in India
Apple iPhone 7 Smartphone
Apple is currently testing out the Specs and Features with which the Apple iPhone 7G is coming. We have a full report about the Apple iPhone 7 Specifications and Price Reviews which can really gain the shape of true Apple iPhone 7. Well lets have a look at the Apple iPhone 7 Release Date, Full Specifications, Price Rumors and Reviews.
Dont say that you have seen enough of Apple iPhone 5 and Apple iPhone 6 because you will be just amazed by the Apple iPhone 7G and what it got in the box for you. Apple iPhone 7 Smartphone is having a large most probably a 5 inch HD Touch Screen Display and apple might remove the Apple Home button from the front body display of iPhone 7G. It is very clear that every Apple Smartphone is having a large screen than its predecessor so iPhone 7 is having  a large screen than the iPhone 6′s screen which is rumored to be 6 inch phablet or a 4.8 inch smartphone display.
Apple iPhone 7 is powered by a quad core A8 chip or higher because as the display of iPhone 7 is getting bigger it will be needing a bigger processor to make it run with more functionality. So a Quad Core A8 Chipset Processor in Apple iPhone 7 will do just about fine. Apple iPhone 7 will be coming with 4G network capabilities.
Apple iPhone 7 Launch Date
                                                      Apple iPhone 7 Images
Apple iPhone 7 Full Specs
                                                             Apple iPhone 7
Apple iPhone 7 Features includes a 20 MP rear camera with 1080 pixel HD recording and a 8MP front facing camera for photography and video calling. Apple iPhone 7G is coming with a 256 GB memory as the iPhone 6 is already coming with 128GB memory set so the memory of 256GB for the iPhone 7 is not a big deal. Apple iPhone 7 Specs includes an integrated projector as well which might consume a lot of battery power but still it is a futuristic advancement for Apple iPhone 7 . Apple iPhone 7 Battery will be larger than the iPhone 5s because the 7th generation display and applications will need more power consumption and we are expecting a 3000mAh Battery for the Iphone 7.

Apple iPhone 7 Specifications and Features

  • 5 inch HD Touch Screen Display
  •  Quad Core A8 Chipset Processor
  •  20 MP rear camera with 1080 pixel HD recording
  •  8MP front facing camera
  • 256GB Memory
  • integrated projector
  • 3000mAh Battery
Remember that these are still rumors about the Apple iPhone 7 Specifications, you have to wait till the official Full Specifications of Apple iPhone 7.

Apple iPhone 7 Price Reviews

There is no official about the Price of iPhone 7 Globally anywhere for now. However as by seeing the Specifications and Features its gonna be coming with the expected Apple iPhone 7 Price in USA might be $800 or more because the Currency might change a bit in a year or two and the price might differ. Now if we are guessing now then Apple iPhone 7 Price in India will definitely touch Rs. 60k .

Apple iPhone 7 Release Date

As we are currently going through the fifth generation of the Apple Smartphone and the six generation is still going to arrive before the Apple iPhone 7 Release Date. Most Probably the Apple iPhone 7 Release Date will be coming in late 2014. However please Date we are just at the Rumors stage of iPhone 7 and these Specifications, Price and Release Date of Apple iPhone 7 might differ in future a little bit.
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iPhone 6 Release date, Specs, Price, News, Rumours & Amazing Features

All eyes are currently on the brand-new Apple launch event, which should see the last products that are going to be released this year. While the iPhone 6 isn’t going to be among the list of products, by seeing the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display we’ll get a better idea of what Apple’s been working on for its iOS devices.

Combined with the information we have from the recently launched iPhone 5s and iOS 7, we should get a better idea of what Apple is planning for its next smartphone, the iPhone 6.

Of everything that we know now, the biggest bit of information is than the iPhone 6 is going to have a larger screen that the iPhone 5S. Although sales of the iPhone are high, the Android competition has all moved to large-screen Full HD models, with the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4, so it makes sense for Apple to compete on screen size.

In this article we’re rounding up all of the iPhone 6 rumours. We’ll give you all the current information on the release date, price and specs, filtering the information to help work out which rumours sound most likely.

iPHONE 6 RELEASE DATE

Guessing Apple’s release dates is a complete and utter nightmare, with practically every prediction wrong. It’s clear, given that the iPhone 5S was only released in September, that we’re not going to see the iPhone 6 until 2014 now.

Apple usually has products on sale for a year, but the iPhone 6 feels like a different proposition to us. Rather than a replacement for an existing iPhone, it’s more of an addition to the line-up. We kind of see it replication what Samsung has with the full-size Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, with the exception that Apple’s small phone, the 5S, is still really powerful.

Tim Cook has hinted at new products coming soon autumn launch in a call with investors. “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014,” Cook said. As we know now, the products Cook was talking about are being released on the 22nd October and include the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2.

That would seem to be it for 2013, so we’re going to have to wait until 2014 for the iPhone 6. However, relatively speaking, it seems fair that we can expect the handset soon, particularly as Apple’s Canadian arm has apparently already leaked the iPhone 6. If we had to be pushed on a date, we’d say that early next year, between March and May would make sense. This would give Apple enough distance from the iPhone 5S, and give it a chance to take the limelight away from Samsung, which will be looking to release its Galaxy S5 handset around the same time.

iPHONE 6 NAME

One of the biggest questions is, will the iPhone 6 even be called that? We were all caught out when Apple decided not to go with iPad 5 for its new tablet, choosing to go with the iPad Air instead. There’s every good reason why Apple might follow a similar strategy with its new iPhone, perhaps even going for iPhone Air.

The reasons for changing the naming strategy will probably depend on when the next iPhone is launched. If, as expected, it’s launched early next year, that would mean that the iPhone 6 would only be released around six months after the iPhone 5S. For people that have bought the iPhone 5S, the new model with a higher iteration would immediately look like the newer and better phone; however, it would seem that Apple’s plans for the iPhone 6 are to bring out a model with a larger screen that sits alongside, not in front of, the iPhone 5S.
With this rational, it’s easy to see Apple deciding to call the new line something like iPhone Air, so that the existing iPhone line with its smaller screen can continue.

iPHONE 6 SCREEN

It seems pretty clear at this point that the iPhone 6 is going to have a larger screen than any iPhone released to date. The question that has to be answered is, how big will the screen be? Early rumours suggested that there would be a 4.8in screen, but more recent rumours have suggested that the iPhone 6 could have a 5in screen.

According to Japanese tech publication MacFun, the 5in screen will have a Full HD resolution of 1,920×1,080. From a certain point of view this makes a lot of sense, as there are already a lot of Full HD phones out there. However, we think that the resolution could be wrong, mostly because of the way that Apple works.

Apple has always been very careful in its resolution choices, so that apps look right on all of its devices. So, when Apple first went Retina with the quadrupled the resolution of the iPhone 3GS from 480×320 to the iPhone 4’s 960×640. Quadrupling means that the horizontal and vertical resolutions are doubled, which makes scaling of old apps easy. When the company went widescreen, it kept the same horizontal resolution of 640 pixels, so old apps would run properly, but just with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

Moving to 1,920×1,080 would mean scaling up the current iPhone’s resolution of 1,136×640 by 1.69 times vertically and 1.69 times horizontally. That’s not such a clean method of scaling and there could be some issues with getting apps to work properly. As a result, Apple may decide to go for more resolution than it technically needs for a Retina display, quadrupling the current iPhone’s resolution to 2,272×1,280 instead.

While Apple has not previously made a large-screen phone, upping the screen size for the iPhone 6 makes a lot of sense. It means it can compete with the large-screen phones from other manufacturers and keep the iPhone 5S as a smaller alternative, giving iPhone users more choice. The latest rumours have suggested larger, curved screens in both 4.7 and 5.5in sizes, which would compete with the current crop of Android smartphones and larger phablet handsets.

Tim Cook has said, “Some customers value large screen size, others value other factors such as resolution, colour quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, compatibility with apps and many things. Our competitors had made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display. We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist.”

What that statement says, to us, is that Apple won’t ship a large-screen iPhone until it’s managed to iron out all of the trade-offs. A thinner screen, to make a lighter phone, could well be the right way to go, then.

It’s no wonder, then, that Apple may also be considering the screen technology that it uses, with a Sharp IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) screen top of the list. This new technology allows for screens that use less power and are considerably thinner. Rumours certainly picked up when the Sharp IGZO technology was demonstrated at CES 2013.

Curved glass is also a possibility. Although it’s unlikely Apple would ever opt for something as radical as Samsung’s Galaxy Round or the LG G Flex, glass that curves around the edges of an otherwise flat handset would give the iPhone 6 a pebble-like feel that wouldn’t dig into your hands like the angular lines of the current generation iPhone.

iPHONE 6 TOUGHER CONSTRUCTION

Although beautifully made, the iPhone is just as breakable as any other smartphone, with plenty of people walking around with cracked screens after a drop. Apple appears to be working on a solution to this problem, toughening up its products.

A new deal could signal a [href=”http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/smartphones/1303525/new-apple-deal-could-signal-sapphire-screen-for-iphone-6″]super-tough sapphire screen for the iPhone 6[/a].

According to reports, Apple has struck a deal with GT Advanced technologies to produce sapphire glass in a plant in Arizona.

The deal was announced by GT Advanced Technologies in a regulatory filing. “The sapphire glass that GT will make in the facility will be used to cover the camera lenses in Apple’s phones and the fingerprint-reading devices in its latest products. GT’s technology also can be used to make scratchproof glass covers for smartphones, although it is not used for that purpose by Apple today”.

Apple is due to pay $578m, which GT Advanced Technologies will use to buy and operate sapphire production equipment in a new Arizona facility. GT Advanced Technologies will pay back the Apple over a five-year period.

While the deal should, in the short-term, provide Apple with the materials it needs for existing components, there’s a long-term plan, too. As part of the deal, GT Advanced Technologies will “deliver low cost, high volume manufacturing of sapphire material” using a large-capacity furnace.

Synthetic sapphire glass gets its name because it’s transparent, although it’s not technically glass. However, sapphire’s advantage over glass is its incredible durability and hardiness. Sapphire has a value of 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, putting it just behind diamond. This means that it’s extremely difficult to break, resulting in fewer broken iPhones, saving money in repair costs.

GT Advanced Technologies makes roughly $29 million in revenue from sapphire glass today, but predicts to make between $600 and $800 million in 2014. That huge spike looks likely to come from providing Apple with screens for its next device.

As well as looking at the screen, Apple is also said to be looking at toughening up the case by investigating liquid metal for the iPhone 6.

Liquid metal would encase the iPhone 6 is a super-tough metal, built up layer-by-layer, making it a lot hardier and more difficult to break. According to new information, Apple has put in five patents for liquid metal.

One describes how bulk metallic glasses (BMG, or liquid metal to give it the more familiar name) would be layered on top of each other to create components. The main focus on this invention is via 3D printing, allowing Apple to build components and cases from computer-generated designs.

According to the patents, Apple has stated liquid metal’s uses: “A telephone, such as a cell phone, and a land-line phone, or any communication device, such as a smart phone, including, for example an iPhone, and an electronic email sending/receiving device. It can be a part of a display, such as a digital display, a TV monitor, an electronic-book reader, an iPad, and a computer monitor.”

What’s more Patently Apple, which found the information, believes that Apple has already used liquid metals in the iPhone 5S, suggesting that the technology is already available. It’s clear, then, that Apple is interested in liquid metal for the iPhone and iPad range, so it’s now a matter of when.

                       iPhone 6 liquid metal
Liquid metal could make the iPhone 6 a lot tougher than previous models

iPHONE 6 DESIGN

If Apple does opt to change the screen size for the iPhone 6, it will almost certainly introduce a new handset design as well. Rather than simply scale up an existing iPhone, a new look would better differentiate the new handset from its predecessors. Although far from official, some early speculative renders give us an idea what a redesigned iPhone 6 might look like.

iPhone 6 render

The renders, published to Yanko Design, show what the iPhone 6 would look like with a larger screen, thinner bezel, rounded edges and no home key.

iPhone 6 render

We doubt Apple will retire the home key any time soon, as iOS depends on it so heavily. The company also just introduced the TouchID fingerprint sensor with the iPhone 5s, and removing it a generation later would be an admission of failure on Apple’s part. Even so, we’re big fans of the larger screen and ultra-thin bezels.

iPHONE 6 TOUCH ID

Touch ID, the fingerprint reader, was the one of the big talking points for the iPhone 5S. Recent rumours suggest that Touch ID will also come to the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2, so we’d really expect it on the iPhone 6.
Touch ID works brilliant and encourages people to be more secure, as using it requires a passcode to be set. At the moment, Touch ID can only be used to unlock the iPhone and to authorise iTunes and App Store payments, but it would make sense for Apple to be thinking about new applications for the technology. We can easily see a future where banking apps, for example, are authenticated through the phone.
For the technology really to be taken seriously, we’d expect to see it in as many mobile devices as possible, which obviously includes the iPhone 6. The only real question is, will we see Touch ID open up any new features? If Apple was to include a NFC chip, then Touch ID could be used to authenticate payments. We’re not necessarily expecting NFC, though, as Apple has so far been dead set against including it.

iPHONE 6 iOS 7

We already have iOS 7, so it makes sense that this operating system will be used for the iPhone 6. It’s possible, given that the iPhone 5S has features specific to it, that the OS will be updated to introduce new features with the new handset. For example, it could enable NFC is Apple decides that it wants the technology to use for mobile payments; we wouldn’t bet on it, though, as it seems steadfastly against it.
                      iOS 7
iOS 7 was released with the iPhone 5S, but a tweaked version could come to the iPhone 6

iPHONE 6 CAMERA

For the iPhone 5S Apple upped the physical size of its 8-megapixel sensor, meaning that each pixel gets more light. In addition, it upgraded the lens from an f/2.4 model to an f/2.2 model, increasing low-light performance again. Combined with the A7 SoC, the camera has a couple of neat modes, including a 10fps burst mode that goes on until the phone’s memory is full, and a 120fps slow-motion mode.
It would make sense if Apple was to use this sensor in the iPhone 6, although, given it’s a bigger phone, with more room inside for components, it could well up the pixel count, with a 12- or 13-megapixel on the cards.

iPHONE 6 GAZE DETECTION

A bigger screen requires more power, so any technology that can increase battery life has to be good. For the iPhone 6 Apple could be about to revisit gaze detection technology, where the phone can tell if you’re looking at the screen or not. If you were to look away, the phone could pause a video playing and turn the screen off. PatentlyApple has dug up the full information on how the technology is likely to work.
Given that Samsung has similar technology in its Galaxy S4 smartphone, we’d say there’s a high chance that Apple will follow suit and implement its own version.

iPHONE 6 STORAGE

In terms of storage, 64GB has been the top model for a couple of years, and continues to be so for the iPhone 5S. We’re not expecting this to change for the iPhone 6, although we know that the Apple can make a 128GB model, thanks to the recent launch of a 128GB iPad 4.
The new model doubled the maximum capacity of the previous high-end iPad (64GB). This update was said to be about increasing the variety of uses for the tablet, with Apple stating that more storage was good for large files for use in applications such as CAD and music production. It’s also a more useful amount of storage for photos and videos.

iPHONE 6 A7 SoC

At the moment, the Apple A7 system-on-a-chip (SoC) is the main focus for the company. This is the first 64-bit mobile chip and it’s extremely fast. In fact, in our benchmarks on using the iPhone 5S, we found that the A7 is by far the fastest mobile processor. Apple has now used the A7 chip in both the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display.
Where as in the past Apple had to tweak the graphics part of the SoC to work on an iPad’s screen by adding quad-core graphics (the latest chip with the A6X), with the A7 this isn’t required. Instead, the A7 is fast enough as it is.
With that in mind we’d expect to see the same chip used in the iPhone 6. However, the only caveat is when the phone comes out. If it’s early next year then we’d expect the A7 chip to be used as is; if the release date is closer to the end of next year, then we could see a tweaked version, perhaps even a quad-core variant.

iPhone 5S internals

iPHONE 6 PRICE

Apple typically releases its new models at the same price as the old ones. If that holds out, then, and assuming that the 16GB model is dropped, we’d expect the 32GB model to cost £529, the 64GB model £599 and the 128GB model £699. However, if the company continues to sell the iPhone 5S, we could be in for some new pricing, with the iPhone 6 a premium model that sits above it, in which case all bets are off and we have no idea how much it will be.
If Apple does decide to make an iPhone with a larger screen, there’s also a good chance prices will increase too. Susquehanna analyst Chris Caso, speaking to AllThingsD, predicted that there could be a $50 to $100 premium for a larger iPhone 6, compared to the 4in iPhone 5s.
Although this goes against Apple’s tradition of keeping prices the same across generations, it’s not a rule the company is afraid to break every now and then. Last month’s iPad Mini with Retina display launch introduced a $70 premium over the entry level model, so a price hike isn’t out of the question.
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Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

When Samsung first released the Series 9 in 2011, it quickly became one of our favorite laptops of the year. Then, once Intel threw its marketing weight behind Ultrabooks, it became our favorite Ultra. But the Series 9 was born in the Windows 7 era, and it became harder and harder to recommend as touchscreens became the standard. Now, though, we have the ATIV Book 9 Plus, the first truly flagship-level Ultrabook Samsung has released since Windows 8 came out.
                     

As you’d expect, it trades in the Series 9’s matte, anti-glare display for a touchscreen. What’s more, though, Samsung also cranked up the resolution, retiring that old 1,600 x 900 panel in favor of a 3,200 x 1,800 one. And, of course, it steps up to a newer Haswell processor, which promises not just faster performance, but also longer battery life (not that endurance was a problem on the original). So is it still our favorite Ultrabook? Pretty much. Read More

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Apple iPad 5 Price, Specifications, Features

EXPECTED COLORS:-
  1. Black
  2. White

EXPECTED MODELS AND PRICING FOR Wi-Fi Only:-

  1. 16GB £399
  2. 32GB £479
  3. 64GB £559
  4. 128GB £699( $799 (US))

EXPECTED MODELS AND PRICING FOR Wifi/3G variant:-

  1. 16GB £499
  2. 32GB £579
  3. 64GB  £659
  4. 128GB £799 ($929 (US))
EXPECTED FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS:-
  • Display 9.7-inch Retina display resolution  2048×1536 pixels and with a pixel density of 264 ppi with GF2 touch-screen technology
  • OS iOS 7 with i Cloud
  • Processor A7
  • RAM 8GB
  • Up to 128GB of storage
  • Version 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and possible 132GB
  • Advance Wi-Fi and LET technology
  • Siri
  • Air Play and Air Print
  • more than 375,000 iPad apps
  • up to 12hr battery life
  • Colors Black and Silver
  • Rivals Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Google Nexus 10
  • Release date Early Sept. 2013
  • Est. Price £399 to £659

Unlike last year, when the launch of iPad 4 followed just 6 months after the launch of iPad 3, Apple has taken considerable time to redesign and ‘re-innovate’ some considerable aspects of its 5th-Generation form factor of the iPad series – The Apple iPad 5. Apple has invested a lot of time in rescaling the size and fitting the chips-in proportionately. Apple iPad 5 has a 9.7-inch IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) screen that uses up to 90 percent less power and greater electron mobility when displaying non-animated images, and has an aspect ratio of 4:3 with a maximum resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels with a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch (PPI). Moreover, Apple iPad 5 is very sleek and thin at just 7.2mm of thickness. The IGZO technology helps to improve the battery life considerably when iPad is at standby or is being used to watch non-animated or still images. Apple iPad 5 has a slimmer build-up and much thinner bezel than its predecessor. It has rounded corners, in consonance with iPad Mini and not only that, with improved screen and thinner build-up, the iPad 5 weighs much lighter than the iPad 4. The LED backlit IPS display is faultless.

                                             
Apple has continued with its A6X quad-core system-on-chip processor technology that can support New Retina display, without any greater heat-up or battery drainage. There are no hiccups in accessibility and navigation. The New Retina display is a bit tweaked, carrying on legacy of all the beautiful features with it. Among the other new features, include the new feature of wireless charging. Wireless charging being in vogue, every vendor seems to be investing in it to create their own niche in this segment and Apple has patented a new ‘innovative’ way under which a ‘Smart Cover’ has in it, an inductive charging transmitter for functional wireless charging. This feature, is obviously optional. In terms of opticos, Apple iPad 5 includes an 8MP rear camera to give a dazzling maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448pixels. In its segment, Apple iPad 5 is all set to compete with Google’s Nexus 10. In terms of storage, Apple iPad 5 is available in variants of storage capacities, which includes 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. Apple iPad 5 is enabled for 4G mobile broadband connectivity over major UK and US telecom service providers. The upgraded Wi-Fi from iPad 4 is carried on with the usual Bluetooth connectivity option. The battery life is touted to last 10hours in a single charging which is further supported by the fact that iPad 5 now features IGZO screen and redesigned light machinery inside.

                                                                                                                            

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Galaxy Note 8.0 Review: Can Samsung Challenge Apple In Tablets Too?

It seems like Apple and Samsung are constantly parrying each other. 
Samsung launches the Galaxy S III; Apple launches the iPhone 5 a few months later. Apple launches a new iPad; Samsung launches one of its new Galaxy Tabs a few months later. 
samsung galaxy note 8.0 home screen
Now we have Samsung’s answer to Apple’s iPad Mini: the Galaxy Note 8.0. It’s an 8-inch Android tablet that has a special stylus called the S Pen, just like Samsung’s other Note-branded devices. It can also do a lot of things the iPad can’t, like run two apps at the same time in a split screen.  Read More News>>
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A Closer Look at The Nine Sensors inside Samsung’s Galaxy S IV

Samsung have been delivering quality Android handsets ever since the original Galaxy S and regardless of what you think about their build quality and their software, there’s no denying that Samsung know how to pack a smartphone full of features. The Galaxy S IV has been one of the most anticipated smartphone releases in recent memory and of course, there was a lot of disappointment when Samsung announced a phone so similar to last year’s Galaxy S III. This isn’t to say that the Galaxy S IV is a bad phone, far from it, in fact I think Samsung did the right thing in keeping things much the same. We all know that the latest and greatest from Samsung is packed full of sensors, chips and fun-loving features but, what the hell are these sensors, and what do they do?
 galaxy s4
The Galaxy S IV comes with a total of nine sensors and they each serve a different purpose, and the data from each is used for a different function. We’ll let Samsung show off the sensors for you, with this good-looking poster: Read More News>>
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Sony Xperia line gains smaller SP and L phones

News: Sony Xperia line gains smaller SP and L phones

Set to become available next quarter, the SP phone offers a 4.6-inch screen while its slightly more diminutive cousin sports a 4.3-inch display. [Read more]