13 things you need to know in tech for Friday, Feb. 15

Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.

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1. MWC 2019: Unmissable, for once

Mobile World Congress 2019, somewhat unexpectedly, is looking like one of the biggest events in smartphone tech for years.

  • Starting on Monday, 25 February in Barcelona, the media will be set for a whirlwind.
  • MWC 2018, last year, was the complete opposite.
  • It almost looked like we had to prepare for the death of Android devices at tech events Just one phone launched: the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Android Authority).
  • But as my colleague Oliver Cragg writes on Android Authority, MWC 2019 is a big deal, for big reasons, and as leaks and rumors build-up, it’s only going to get busier.

Here’s just a taste of what to expect from MWC 2019:

The foldable future gets ever so close to reality

  • We’ll definitely see the first wave of foldable phones from Android’s most premium manufacturers, although their release dates are less clear.
  • But Samsung and Huawei are both expected to tell us more about their coming foldable devices, and we might see surprises from LG and more from Xiaomi’s concept folding phone.

5G is really here

  • Real 5G smartphones will make the stage at MWC, including devices from Samsung, Oppo, Huawei, and Xiaomi – we expect.
  • Meanwhile, OnePlus has already confirmed it’ll have a 5G phone prototype on display.
  • Every 5G phone we know about.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 + LG G8 ThinQ

  • No big surprises here – we know the Samsung Galaxy S10 is coming on February 20th, and first preorders will arrive in-hand on March 8th. Samsung has told us themselves!
  • Between those dates is MWC, and reviews and hands-on with the new Samsung flagship will flow.
  • Not to be outdone, but likely to be outdone if we’re honest, the LG G8 ThinQ with vibrating OLED display, 3D front camera for face unlock, and a quad-DAC audio setup (with headphone jack) is also set for a launch at MWC.

A proper Nokia flagship

  • MWC 2017 was the birth of the new Nokia, and two years later, we more or less know we’ll be getting a true Nokia flagship, with the Nokia 9 PureView.
  • An OLED display, flagship internals, and a crazy penta-lens camera – it’s going to be interesting to see where HMD Global prices this, and how well it holds up.

Also:

  • Xiaomi is expected to go big, its first time on stage at MWC proper since 2016. We know we’ll see at least the launch of the Mi 9.
  • A new Sony Xperia XA3 with an apparently massively tall screen.
  • Oppo’s 10x hybrid optical zoom technology (@oppo)
  • A new Samsung tablet (@evleaks)? And more!

2. Samsung leaks upcoming wearable line-up via its own app (AA).


3. Also, Samsung is opening its first three bonafide stores in the US (AA).


4. The one thing Android phone cameras need to improve in 2019: video (CNET).


5. How Amazon lost New York (Bloomberg).


6. Apparently, Facebook is about to agree with the FTC to be fined billions for its various privacy news (WashPo). (The largest FTC fine ever issued was to Google in 2012, at $22.5 million.)


7. Also, Facebook maintains a list of people it tracks, with its own tools, because they’re persona-non-grata for various reasons, like they were fired (CNBC). The list is subjective and dystopian and many good insights emerged on this topic – like when Facebook interns, who skipped work to go camping, were busted by a manager who noticed they didn’t log on (@oliviasolon).


8. Elon Musk-backed OpenAI developed a new AI fake text generator that may be too dangerous to release, say the creators (The Guardian). I’m siding with this being hyperbole. It’s pretty good, but here’s a sample: “Wikileaks reports harshly on speculations of Linux adoption by rural tribal mobile device users.” Humans are still clearly better, and writing plenty of convincing fake news already.


9. On that note: Russian propaganda agents promoted anti-vaccination fake news that may have caused measles outbreak, researcher claims (Newsweek). It’s not the quantity of fake news, it’s the quality and the dedication to misuse.


10. Hacker who stole 620 million records strikes again, stealing 127 million more (TechCrunch).


11. “Ubisoft reports strong profits, doesn’t fire 800 people,” (PC Gamer). Oof.


12. Mint copy of Super Mario Bros. sells for $100,150 at auction (Heritage Auctions). (Interestingly, one of the co-buyers comes from Heritage Auctions itself, seemingly to sell it again.)


13. Airbus will soon end production of its A380 superjumbo (Engadget). Easily my favorite plane to fly, but its size has always been a problem. It’ll still fly for some decades to come, but twin-engine planes are all the rage for now.


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