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Apple deciding what to do with the sucky iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor

(TECH NEWS) One of the biggest rumors surrounding the release of the iPhone 8 is the struggle Apple seems to be having with the fingerprint sensor.

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The controversy

The Apple brand has been synonymous with innovation for the past decade. Every new release of the iPhone seems to garner a cult following, despite no major changes to the basic design of the phone (except for the possible switch from 30-pin to 8-pin and removal of the headphone port).

The current iPhone controversy centers around the fingerprint sensor.

Despite flagrant rumors, and a few false design leaks, Apple is not currently considering moving the fingerprint sensor to the rear of the phone.

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Where will the sensor be placed?

While this seems to be a sound design choice, they are still having technical trouble deciding exactly how to effectively implement the front fingerprint sensor. According to Madison.com, a research note from an analyst at Cowen and Company, Timothy Arcuri, states Apple is currently deciding between “three potential implementations.”

The three choices include: “Thinning the cover glass for the fingerprint area (cover glass cutout), creating a pinhole through the glass for optical or ultrasonic fingerprint sensing, or, replacing the AuthenTec Touch ID with a ‘film’ fingerprint sensor that is integrated with the display.”

Rumor mill

Part of the struggle may lie in another rumor, that the iPhone 8 will feature a bezel-less design.

Instead, rumors say the iPhone 8 will come with a polished stainless steel metal frame, and an all glass front, possibly with curved glass on top (similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8). If this particular rumor is true, it could explain why the implementation of the fingerprint sensor is proving difficult.

Also, rumors say that Apple has planned to remove the physical “home” button from the iPhone 8 to accommodate the edge-to-edge screen and since this button previously housed the fingerprint sensor, Apple may be having difficulty revamping this element of the design, especially given the additional rumor about the change to the display.

Many analysts have stated that Apple plans to change their trademark IPS LCD displays for a TrueTone OLED display.

If this is true, it could again, explain why they are struggling to implement that sensor in both an aesthetically pleasing and technically useful way.

A change in sales?

While this may not sound like Earth-shaking news, it has the potential to delay shipments of the beloved device. Arcuri states this delay could be one or two months, or as long as early 2018. This could be frustrating for some customers who rely on the timely release to upgrade around the holiday season.

However, if Apple proactively takes pre-orders earlier than usually, customers may not notice the delay (as much). This could mean fewer people upgrade to the iPhone 8 and may choose instead to opt for a more economic iPhone model, which could in turn damage sales of the newest model.

What do you think: will the delay of the sensor placement damage sales or will iPhone lovers simply adapt to the delay?

#ios8

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Tech News

Facebook starts handing out merit badges like we’re Girl Scouts

(TECH NEWS) Facebook offers merit badges to users, and it’s pretty neat, but we’re also rolling our eyes.

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According to some Facebook Group administrators, Facebook has today rolled out merit badges. So far in the wild, we’ve spotted “Conversation Starter” which praises the admin (or user) for starting engaging posts that got the conversation going.

We have asked numerous users if they’ve seen these badges, and so far it appears that only one badge has been rolled out, potentially with more on the way. Upon logging into the group where you have earned a badge, you’ll see a notification at the top of the feed informing you of your new badge (get out your vest, it’s time to start collecting them all)!

The merit badge that you’ve earned shows up in your profile when other group members (where you’ve earned the merit badge) click on your face:

Currently, when an Admin posts in the group, it still only has their Admin badge next to their name, not the “Conversation Starter” or other badges lined up next to it, but if a regular group member has posted something engaging, the badge appears next to their name (it may be a one-badge-limit so far, maybe hold off on buying a Girl Scout vest for your badge collection):

Lastly, users apparently do have control over the display of whichever neato merit badges we eventually earn or collect:

There is no word on what the ultimate plan is or what merit badges will be awarded, and it appears to be limited to Facebook Groups at the present.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update the story as we learn more. For now, if you want a badge, you can at least get a “Conversation Starter” badge in Facebook Groups, so go get ’em – we’ll soon know which other badges we can earn slash collect slash compete for slash game.

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Tech News

Slack video messaging tool for the ultra lazy (or productive) person

(TECHNOLOGY) Courtesy of a company called Standuply, Slack’s notable lack of video-messaging options is finally addressed.

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Slack — the popular chat and workflow app — is still going strong despite its numerous technical shortcomings, one of which is its notable lack of native video or audio chat. If you’re an avid Slack user, you might be interested in Standuply’s solution to this missing feature: video and audio messaging.

While it isn’t quite the Skype-esque experience for which one might hope when booting up Slack, Standuply’s video messages add-on gives you the ability to record and send a video or audio recording to any Slack channel. This makes things like multitasking a breeze; unless you’re a god among mortals, your talking speed is significantly faster than your typing, making video- or audio-messaging a viable productivity move.

The way you’ll record and send the video or audio message is a bit convoluted: using a web browser and a private Slack link, you can record up to five minutes of content, after which point the content is uploaded to YouTube as a private item. You can then use the item’s link to send the video or audio clip to your Skype channel.

While this is a fairly roundabout way of introducing video chat into Slack, the end result is still a visual conversation which is conducive to long-term use.

Sending video and audio messages may feel like an exercise in futility (why use a third-party tool when one could just type?) but the amount of time and energy you can save while simultaneously responding to feedback or beginning your next task adds up.

Similarly, having a video that your team can circle back to instead of requiring them to scroll through until they find your text post on a given topic is better for long-term productivity.

And, if all else falls short, it’s nice to see your remote team’s faces and hear their voices every once in a while—if for no other reason than to reassure yourself that they aren’t figments of your overly caffeinated imagination.

At the time of this writing, the video chat portion of the Slack bot is free; however, subsequent pricing tiers include advanced aspects such as integration with existing services, analytics, and unlimited respondents.

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Tech News

This phishing simulator tests your company’s (lack of) readiness

(TECHNOLOGY) Phishero is a tool which tests your organization’s resistance to phishing attacks. Pro tip: Most companies aren’t ready.

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In the wake of any round of cyberattacks, many organizations question whether they’re prepared to defend themselves against things like hacking or other forms of information theft. In reality, the bulk of workplace data thievery comes from a classic trick: phishing.

Phishing is a catch-all phrase for a specific type of information theft which involves emailing. Typically, a phishing email will include a request for sensitive data, such as a password, a copy of a W-4, or an account’s details (e.g., security questions); the email itself will often appear to come from someone within the organization.

Similar approaches include emailing a link which acts as a login page for a familiar site (e.g., Facebook) but actually stores your account information when you sign in.

Luckily, there’s a way for you to test your business’ phishing readiness.

Phishero, a tool designed to test employee resistance to phishing attacks, is a simple solution for any business looking to find any weak links in their cybersecurity.

The tool itself is designed to do four main things: identify potential targets, find a way to design a convincing phishing scheme, implement the phishing attack, and analyze the results.

Once Phishero has a list of your employees, it is able to create an email based on the same web design used for your company’s internal communications. This email is then sent to your selected recipient pool, from which point you’ll be able to monitor who opens the email.

Once you’ve concluded the test, you can use Phishero’s built-in analytics to give you an at-a-glance overview of your organization’s security.

The test results also include specific information such as which employees gave information, what information was given, and pain points in your current cybersecurity setup.

Phishing attacks are incredibly common, and employees – especially those who may not be as generationally skeptical of emails – are the only things standing between your company and catastrophic losses if they occur in your business. While training your employees on proper email protocol out of the gate is a must, Phishero provides an easy way to see how effective your policies actually are.

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