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Opinion Editorials

The absurdly priced iPhone X will cost even more in other countries

(OPINION EDITORIAL) If you think the 10th anniversary iPhone, iPhone X, is pretty pricey just wait until you see price comparisons from other countries.

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Duuuude, if you haven’t heard enough criticism about how much the iPhone X is going to cost, buckle up. Apple’s newest product is even more expensive in other countries. I mean yeah, it’s a computer and a phone and a gaming device in your pocket. But it’s also priced starting at a bit over $1000 in U.S., and the price just keeps rising as you look at other countries.

Is this hefty price worth what the Ten has to offer? Based on the promotions, the camera features alone might make the newest member of the iPhone family a worthwhile purchase for photographers who want pocket-sized cameras.

I felt slimy for the amount I paid to replace my iPhone 5 after drowning it. And yes, functional iPhone 5s still exist for purchase in 2017, but you can no longer find cases for them in physical stores. Disclaimer: since the 5’s release in 2012, I have refused to upgrade or get any other phone.

“I’m not a 5 fanboy, I’m just resistant to change.”

Since I have no context for Apple’s recent models, I may be too easily impressed with the X’s offerings. But man does it look cool. This is the first iPhone to offer an edge-to-edge screen, OLED technology, Face ID sensors, and wireless charging. Plus, there are three cameras built into the thing.

The X includes two rear cameras, a wide-angle and telephoto, both with optical image stabilization (OIS). OIS allows for better low lighting pictures, and new image compression technology halves file sizes. The wide-angle camera has an ƒ/1.8 six-element lens and a speedy 12MP sensor, while the telephoto utilizes a seven-magnet solution ƒ/2.4 camera.

For context, purchasing an f/1.8 lens alone will cost you at least $125, and f/2.4 lenses start around $400 at the cheapest.

That’s not including the camera itself, or any other lenses you might want. So at bare minimum, I figure at least half of the phone’s cost could be attributed to the upgraded rear cameras.

For the front-facing, there’s now Portrait Lighting, a beta feature for “studio-quality light effects,” utilizing depth-sensing cameras and facial mapping. Portrait Lighting sharpens focus on the subject, blurring backgrounds for professional looking studio shots.


Read also: Has production of the iPhone X even begun yet!?

Oh, and there’s also image signal processors to detect motion, lighting conditions, and other people in the scene to optimize photos, plus pixel processing, faster autofocus, and improved HDR. Plus, new filters, live photo editor, and animojis add some fun to the pictures.

Factoring in the cameras along with the processing power of the rest of the phone for games and apps, it makes sense that the X costs a stupid amount of money. It’s a tiny computer in your pocket. But tiny things break, and phones go out of style as newer upgrades are introduced.

As someone who killed two phones in water-related incidents within the span of a few months, expensive electronics are not really meant for me. However, the iPhone X is splash, water, and dust resistant. I mean, don’t abuse it, but a spilled drink or quick dunk in the pool no longer mean a death sentence for your phone.

However, Apple is still pushing those trash AirPod headphones, so even if I felt like emptying my savings account, it certainly won’t be on the iPhone X for this reason alone.

Update: An iPhone X has been spotted in the wild, video below

iphone x

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

Opinion Editorials

If Reddit goes IPO, will it have to shed its soul?

(EDITORIAL) Reddit is known as a firebrand, a bastion of free speech, but if they go public, will they be able to remain as they are now?

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Reddit, the eighth-most popular website on the Internet, is reportedly considering an IPO. As a site valued at over 1.8 billion dollars, this is great news for the company itself – but how much of Reddit will remain if the IPO goes through?

Reddit’s history is steeped in controversy, from minor incidents such as invasion of privacy and a few creepily quirky community members to allegations of child pornography and egregious hate speech. While Reddit’s policy has allowed it to tighten posting restrictions regarding the latter two, the fact remains that Reddit – for all its usefulness – is viewed by many as a ticking time bomb.

An IPO would certainly lend back to Reddit a degree of credibility not seen since its inception, but the problem is that Reddit itself (the haven of free speech and original content that made it so popular in the first place) might not survive the offering. Given the platform’s controversial past, many believe it likely that stakeholders would move to tighten further the restrictions on the platform, ultimately ending a significant era in Reddit’s history.

Admittedly, Reddit has come a long way since its early days of supporting user-created content regardless of persuasion: this past year saw entire subreddits shut down for violating the terms of use regarding hate speech, and the platform certainly has cracked down on illegal and abusive content. Unfortunately, the history might be too much to shake off going forward, which is why we think that Reddit’s branding won’t be a part of the final IPO.

The platform’s developers’ dedication to free speech and truth-seeking is what makes Reddit so fantastic, and that’s not liable to change – it’s the most marketable aspect of the site, after all – but perhaps the rationale behind going public lies in a sense of duty rather than routine. 2017 has seen some of the most reprehensible instances of false reporting and deliberate misguidance in recent history; maybe Reddit’s team feels that they can provide a stable news platform at the cost of some personality.

At any rate, the IPO itself isn’t set in stone, and is unlikely to take place for quite some time. As the situation develops, it will be interesting to see if Reddit embraces its past, or sheds it altogether.

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Opinion Editorials

‘Follow your passion and the money will follow’ is bulls**t advice

(EDITORIAL) Following your passion can create success, though it may not be financial. So should you really just “do what you love” and hope for the best?

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If you asked anyone who knows me, they would tell you that I’m a strong advocate for people following their passion. However, when I encourage people to pursue their dreams, this comes with a big asterisk.

I recently heard someone use a phrase along the lines of, “if you do what you love, the money will follow.” Um… no.

While it’s great that you’ve found something you’re passionate about, that’s only a trillionth of the battle. You need to be willing to work your ass off and be willing to sacrifice everything in order to make that enthusiasm into a success.

Most people that have started their own business will tell you that it took a while into the process to begin paying themselves. Again, if it truly is your passion, this is all worth it in the end. But if you like food and shelter, it might not be.

Say, for example, your passion is acting and your goal in life is to become a famous movie star. Now, you can’t pull a Tobias Funke and simply say, “I’m an actor” and then expect everything to miraculously fall into place.

Like any other passion, you need to invest in yourself. You’ll need to get headshots, take acting classes, and find a flexible day job that allows you to go on auditions. Cutting corners on any of this in order to expedite the process or save a few bucks will end up hurting you in the long run.

For the sake of this article, let’s define “passion” as loving something so much you couldn’t imagine doing anything else… you would even do it for free. And, as there is no correlation between having passion for something and money, you just might.

While doing what you love is admirable, be aware that it may take an incredibly long time to see results in the form of numbers. Because of this, it’s wise to always have a back up plan to support yourself financially and pursue passion with a strong business plan in tact.

It is never wrong to want to follow your passion. I personally think that everyone should give it at least something of a shot during the course of their career so that you never ask “what if?” But following passion because you read a cliche statement can lead to major financial and emotional losses, so put on your business hat before blindly chasing dreams.

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Opinion Editorials

Tech CEO tweet ruins years of a young designer’s hard work

(EDITORIAL) With a tweet here and there, thoughtless questions have potentially bullied a young Asian woman in tech out of her career.

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It’s hard enough for women, particularly women of color, to make it in the world of tech, without rude jerks questioning if you literally exist.

Sadly, that’s what happened to Naomi Wu, also known as “SexyCyborg,” a 23-year old cyberpunk superstar from Shenzhen, China who has amassed a huge following for her 3D printing experiments and other techie pursuits. Wu has 140,000 followers and millions of views for her YouTube channel, where she shows off her experiments and provides educational tutorials.

Unfortunately, some rude dudes from America can’t seem to imagine that a young Asian woman is capable of the feats that Wu has accomplished.

Dale Dougherty, CEO of the DIY magazine Maker (and an official schmuck), has cyberbullied Wu so badly that it is said to have damaged her career. He tweeted, “I am questioning who she really is. Naomi is a persona, not a real person. She is several or many people.”

This despite the fact that Wu says that she has actually spoken to Dougherty, and that he knows she is real. “For Westerners who don’t understand the important of reputation in China it seems like a very minor thing,” says Wu, “it is everything here and there’s no repairing this.”

Wu has even lost a sponsorship deal from a 3D printer company over the accusations that she isn’t who she says she is.

Dougherty eventually apologized, but Wu says that “the damage had been done” at that point, and that Dougherty knew the accusations would be “devastating” to her “reputation and professional prospects.”

Wu says that the attack is motivated by white male entitlement to tech spaces.

She says that she can’t imagine Dougherty attacking “a white lady from San Francisco.” Wu has been an advocate for diversity in tech and maker spaces. “I kept pushing for more inclusion – not just me, other underrepresented people,” she says. “They didn’t like being pushed. This is payback.”

We stand behind Wu as she continues to push the edge in tech spaces, and say shame on you to bullies who won’t make space for women and racial minorities. Sorry you’re not as cool as SexyCyborg, but that’s on you and you need to get over it.

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