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TECHNOLOGY

Trump’s First Weeks Spawn Anxiety for Some, Optimism for Others

President Donald Trump's first weeks in office have spawned anxiety and even arguments at some workplaces, putting owners -- especially at smaller companies -- in the position of needing to protect peace and productivity.

At software maker BetterWorks, CEO Kris Duggan has noticed a drop in productivity since Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, with staffers distracted and having less energy as some of their focus shifted to politics.

"They're wound up, thinking about what march they're going to," says Duggan. His company, which makes business management programs and has a staff of about 100, is based in Redwood City, California.

Duggan says he's aware that employees aren't getting much rest on weekends -- instead of decompressing, they spend time on social media, sharing content that makes them uneasy.

Divided feelings over Trump's policies and personality affected workplaces of all sizes before the election too, but owners say there are more discussions now between co-workers that can turn disruptive. While plenty of workplaces haven't had issues or say their employees feel reassured by the new president, others say staffers have been subdued and distracted.

A survey conducted after the Republican and Democratic national conventions last year found a quarter of the 927 workers questioned said political conversations at work negatively affected them, reducing their productivity and creating stress. The survey, released the American Psychological Association, a professional organization, also found that a fifth of the participants were avoiding some co-workers because of their political views, a sign of increasing hostility in the workplace. There are few signs those emotions have waned.

After Trump issued an executive order restraining immigration from seven Muslim countries, staffers at Lou Hoffman's marketing company started worrying about a co-worker from one of those nations who's in the process of applying for a green card. The employees were concerned that she might be sent... Read More »

Wireless Wars Heat Up as AT&T Joins the Unlimited Data Fray

AT&T appears to be the last domino to fall in the war for unlimited data plans that broke out among cell phone service providers recently. The company is following competitors Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint in allowing customers to sign up for such plans.

Technically, this is not the first unlimited plan AT&T has offered. Previously, customers who were also subscribers to either its DirecTV or U-Verse had the option of signing up for unlimited data. Now that requirement is effectively being waved for all customers. But the offer is far from a slam dunk for cell phone users, particularly when so many options are now available.

Important Caveats

AT&T's new unlimited plan is priced at $100 a month for a single line and an extra $40 per month for each additional line, with maximum of four. For customers with four lines, AT&T charges $180, including a $40 credit that takes effect after two months, meaning that users will pay $220 for the first two months. Business customers will also be able to sign up, and take advantage of a deeper corporate discount.

The plan includes unlimited calls between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and unlimited texts to more than 120 countries. Customers will also be able to add AT&T's Roam North America feature for no additional charge, allowing them to use voice, text and data while in Canada and Mexico.

But there are some important caveats. For example, AT&T said that it has the right to throttle down network speeds after the first 22 GB of data are consumed. The plan also does not include hotspot data, something that is included in each of its competitors' plans.

The plan also comes with something called AT&T Stream Saver activated by default. The setting limits video resolution to below HD, so many users... Read More »

What Big News Can We Expect from Apple’s WWDC this Year?

Returning to its San Jose roots after being held in San Francisco for the past 14 years, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to bring some big announcements, including a possible sneak peek at the iPhone 8, expected to launch later this year.

Yesterday, Apple announced that its 28th annual WWDC will run June 5-9 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. In addition to a lineup of keynote speakers, the conference will also feature a number of technical sessions, hands-on labs with Apple engineers and "very special experiences around San Jose throughout the week."

There's plenty of reason to expect the iPhone to have a high profile at this year's WWDC, as 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the debut of the iconic device. In addition, Apple will likely take the wraps off the latest version of its mobile operating, iOS 11, as well as announce updates to the macOS desktop system, watchOS and tvOS.

Expect Siri News, 'Premium' iPhone Design

As usual, Apple isn't providing many details about the WWDC lineup and announcements at this point. However, the company noted that developers will be able to register for tickets, to be offered via random selection, to the event starting on March 27. Those who can't nab tickets or make it to San Jose will be able to watch the conference via live-streaming.

With other tech competitors regularly rolling out new digital assistants and bot offerings powered with machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Apple is also likely to provide some news about updates to its Siri AI. Unveiled at last year's WWDC, iOS 10 already added a number of new Siri-powered capabilities. At last year's event, Apple also launched SiriKit, which opened up the AI to developers who want to create new Siri-integrated apps.

According to the Apple-focused... Read More »

iPhone 8 to feature wireless charging: More details on it

New York: Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 this year is set to come with wireless charging which will enable users to charge the phone without having to plug it in. “Apple will sell separate wireless chargers made by Luxshare, the Chinese company behind the inductive charging in the Apple Watch,” Forbes.com reported on Sunday. Apple is also […] Read More »

Samsung Pay in India soon

NEW DELHI: South Korean tech giant Samsung is planning to launch its mobile payment wallet ‘Samsung Pay’ in India in the first half of 2017, media reports said. According to a report in Mashable India, to bring Samsung Pay in India, Samsung has partnered with American Express and is mulling over “exploring opportunities with giants […] Read More »

Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge getting Android Nougat update in India

NEW DELHI: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge users have started getting the latest Android 7.0 Nougat updates. The size of the update is 1290.74 MB. Previously it was reported that Samsung will be updating its premium flagship phones directly to Android 7.1 Nougat instead of the 7.0. The Android 7.0 Nougat was released on August 22. The […] Read More »

Android pattern lock can be cracked in just five attempts

LONDON: The popular pattern lock system used to secure millions of Android smartphones can be cracked within just five attempts – and more complicated patterns are the easiest to crack, security experts have warned. Pattern lock is a security measure that protects devices, such as mobile phones or tablets, and which is preferred by many […] Read More »

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploded because of batteries, reveals Samsung; Galaxy S8 launch delayed

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics says flaws in the design and production of batteries used in its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, not its hardware or software, made it prone to catch fire. Samsung said Monday that it was responsible for not ensuring the design specifications given to its suppliers were failsafe but believed its investigation into the […] Read More »

Vivo V5 Plus launched in India: Price, specifications, features, availability and more

NEW DELHI: Chinese smartphone brand Vivo on Tuesday launched its much-awaited Vivo V5 Plus, an update to its previous flagship device Vivo V5, with 20MP dual front camera. V5 Plus features a 13.87cm (5.5) FHD display, with curved edges and ultra-narrow bezels for a more comfortable touch. The device runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core CPU […] Read More »