Technological World for November 27: Samsung Galaxy Fold coming soon, Sacha Baron Cohen calls for regulation of social media, WWW creator's Contract for the Web, WiZ LED bulbs

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This week, Sacha Baron Cohen provides a crystal rationale on the need for regulation of the “Silicon Six” products and services, Tim Berners-Lee is calling for governments and companies to sign the Contract for the Web (which he invented), and WiX LED lightbulbs are an easy way to get in on smart lighting in your home. But first, Samsung is ready to show you the Galaxy Fold smartphone. Are you ready to try it?

Get your own hands-on experience with Samsung’s folding smartphone

Samsung has done some redesigning on its Galaxy Fold device, and the company wants you to try it out for yourself.

Starting December 6, you can visit the Samsung Experience Store closest to you for a chance to get hands on with the folidng smartphone.

If you really like it, you’ll be able to purchase one for yourself at the cost of $2,600.

And to guard against any further catastrophes from people using the device, everyone purchasing a Galaxy Fold will also get Samsung’s Galaxy Fold Premier Service, “including Fold Concierge and a screen replacment offer”.

When open, the Galaxy Fold has a 7.3-inch display. The cover display is 4.6 inches. The smartphone has a dual-lens camera on the front and a triple-lens camera on the back.

There are three Samsung Experience Stores in the Greater Toronto Area, one at West Edmonton Mall, and one at Metrotown in Burnaby.

Sacha Baron Cohen schools us on the real dangers of social media

Last week, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was presented with the International Leadership Award by the Anti-Defamation League, an organization founded to stop anti-Semitism that has extended its mandate to include cyberhate, bullying, and “contempt for anyone who is different”.

The award is given to “exceptional individuals who combine professional success with a profound personal commitment to community involvement and to crossing borders and barriers with a message of diversity and equal opportunity.”

Cohen’s scintillating keynote address has gone viral.

In it, he talks about how the “Silicon Six” – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey – are “imposing their vision on the rest of the world, unaccountable to any government and acting like they’re above the reach of law.”

These platforms are, Cohen suggests, “the greatest propaganda machine in history,” invoking a headline in Haaretz that wondered what the Nazi propaganda machine would have done had it access to such tools.

“Freedom of speech is not freedom of reach,” Cohen says. He’s right in calling for regulation of this medium.

Inventor of World Wide Web has a plan to make it a more positive place

Tim Berners-Lee is the guy who created the internet as we know it. And he’s worried.

In an interview with the Guardian, he said, “I think people’s fear of bad things happening on the internet is becoming, justifiably, greater and greater. If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.”

To drive that effort, he facilitated the development of a Contract for the Web, which puts forward nine principles, three for governments, three for companies, and three for citizens:

  • Ensure everyone can connect to the internet
  • Keep all of the internet available, all of the time
  • Respect and protect people’s fundamental online privacy and data rights
  • Make the internet affordable and accessible to everyone
  • Respect and protect people’s privacy and personal data to build online trust
  • Develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst
  • Be creators and collaborators on the Web
  • Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity
  • Fight for the Web

Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are signatories to the contract. For whatever that’s worth.

WiZ LEDs make it easier to experiment with smart lighting at home

I’ve been lucky to get a chance to play around with programmable and connected LED bulbs over the years. But not everyone can justify the expense.

Well, the new WiZ bulbs are only $20, and as they are LED they’ll last a long time.

The other thing that makes them great for people who are just getting in to smart home tech is that you don’t need a piece of hardware to act as a bridge or hub. These bulbs connect directly to your Wi-fi network and you use a smartphone app to configure them.

They can also be used with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.

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