From Palm Scanning at Whole Foods to FTC Changes and more! | Tech News

The world of tech is a buzz, and we have the latest news you want to know. Reads for a bite-sized version of the major headlines in the world of tech news. From palm scanning at Whole Foods to FTC Changes and more, check out this week’s blog below:

New Sensors Could Transform Prosthetics and Robotic Limbs

The UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND reports a new project to develop advanced pressure sensors for use in robotic systems that could revolutionize prosthetics and robotic limbs. The project seeks to develop sensors that would help improve robotic motor skills and dexterity by using highly accurate pressure sensors to provide haptic feedback and distributed touch. These enhanced sensors, made from 3D graphene foam, offer unique properties when put under mechanical stress. According to the researchers, the 3D graphene foam has the capability to mimic the sensitivity and feedback of human touch. The project contends this could transform how robotics can be used for various applications, from surgery to precision manufacturing.

6 Ways to Keep Your Phone Cyber-Safe

If you use a cell phone, you are walking around with a ticking cyber bomb in your pocket. An ever-present and growing threat to smartphones is malware. Although Apple and Google-controlled software stores are vigilant in weeding out unsafe apps, many cell phone users rely on third-party download repositories that run riot with infectious malware. And this is not the only threat. Cybercriminals slip malicious mobile malware onto your phone through various methods. All you need do is visit the wrong website or open an attached document to enable malware.

Know the Risks
  • If your phone has one or more of these symptoms, the cause could be malware:
  • Unusual messages and pop-ups 
  • Messages that are inappropriate or unwanted ad pop-ups are signs of malware or spyware. 
  • Titles in your app drawer or library you do not recognize. An internet search for the title may indicate if the app is safe. Delete all unknown app titles.
  • Slow performance. This might mean that you are almost maxed out on your available RAM (random access memory). Remove unused apps and restart your phone. If the slowness remains, suspect malware.
  • High internet usage and/or increased battery consumption 
  • Unusual noise or static on your phone connections. This indicates that a surveillance app is snooping on your phone conversations. 
  • Unusual voicemail messages or text messages. Getting messages and calls from unknown parties clearly indicates that your phone may be compromised.

New foldable smartphones from Samsung unveiled

In a bid to cement its leadership in an expanding niche market of high-end foldable smartphones, Samsung Electronics unveiled its latest model on Wednesday. Samsung said it is aiming for foldable phone sales to surpass that of its past flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note. Foldables have helped Samsung differentiate itself from Apple, Samsung’s key competitor.

FTC Pushes for Change on How Big Tech Handles Data

This week, the FTC issued a new notice that calls on input for how tech companies should handle consumer data. This notice is the first step in creating binding rules for the industry. Likewise, the filing calls for public comment on data collection, algorithmic discrimination, and commercial surveillance. The questions, of course, suggest that the commission is focused on how to handle data collection better as the digital age continues to evolve and expand. 

Apple Focuses on Funding Podcasts that Can be Converted into TV Shows

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple has signed a deal with Futuro Studio to fund the development and production of future podcasts. Likewise, the podcast producer will provide Apple with first refusal on the rights to turn any podcasts into a film or TV show. Of course, this would not be the first time Apple has turned podcasts into content with the recent series WeCrashed and The Shrink Next Door.  As of late, long-form podcasts have become a source of inspiration for several TV shows and streaming services. Other Networks have already jumped on the podcast to the tv-series bandwagon, like Hulu’s The Dropout.

Whole Foods to Soon Allow Hand Scanning for Payment

You will soon be able to checkout at a Whole Foods store near you with the swipe of your hand. Amazon has announced its palm scanning technology will expand to an additional 65 Whole Foods locations across California. First introduced as a part of Amazon’s One payment service in 2020, the technology was only available at limited locations. The feature has already begun rollout in Malibu and Santa Monica. Likewise, customers can set up their Amazon One payment system by registering their palm at a kiosk or point of sale for a participating store.