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A Phone That Has 2 Screens?

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This is the ZTE AXON M. This is a $725 smartphone with a special feature: a second screen that folds over the original screen. When unfolded, it looks like a small tablet. How does it all work? Is it worth it?
ZTE Axon M

The specifications on the phone are not all that impressive compared to the two screens. It uses an older Qualcomm processor and only has 4GB of RAM, and doesn't even run the newest Android software. The screens are both 5.2-inch 1080p displays. However, that really seems to be the only talking point towards this phone. ZTE has stated that they will be providing software updates to gradually improve the phone as time goes on. But is the price-tag worth the older hardware? How much is ZTE able to improve through small software updates?

ZTE Axon M

Dual screen mode is arguably the most useful option for this phone. Was it a success in that sense? I would say so. You can run two apps separately, like play a game while watching Netflix on the other screen while the phone maintains it well. However, there aren't many apps out there that are fully optimized for these two screens. There is an extended mode that runs a single app on both screens. The only apps that fully use this mode include the Play Store, Facebook, Chrome, YouTube, and Twitter. You can change around a few setting to make other apps run full screen across both, but it can be a hassle and experiences will vary per user.

Overall, the ZTE AXON M is a start for fold-able dual screen phones. It may not be the most modern or fastest phone on the market, but it does its' job relatively well and accomplishes what it set out to do. The question then becomes, where will phones go now? Is this the technology of future smartphones?

Review of the Phone
ZTE's website

Is the letter I causing you problems on iOS 11?

Posted Posted by William Hagerman in , Comments 0 comments

If you are an iPhone user like me and have the recent version of iOS 11, you might be experiencing a problem when it comes to typing the letter "I." The "I" changes to the letter "A" with a box with a question mark. I recently tweeted at Apple asking them for a solution to which they replied this simple trick. The trick will fix the problem until they release a new update within a few weeks.

Here are step-by-step instructions. If you would rather follow a video step-by-step, I am attaching a video at the bottom.

1. Open the settings app
2. Open the general settings
3. Scroll down to Keyboard settings
4. Open the Text Replacement
5. Click the + button to add a new text replacement
6. Under the "phrase" type in a capital I
7. Under the "shortcut" type in a lowercase i
9. Save this and it should fix it!


No Ifs, Ands, or Bots

Posted Posted by Madison Haskins in Comments 0 comments


Do you ever lie awake at night wondering what a bot is? The answer is most likely 'no'. While social media bots are not necessarily the most hot button topic at the moment, they are affect platforms like Facebook, and Twitter in a big way.

Essentially a bot is a programmable application that performs an automated task. When you think 'bot' you might think 'robot' or a big, clunky metallic machine that speaks in an a rhythm, but bots are a little less noticeable. For example, we have welcomed bots into our everyday lives like when we use Siri or Alexa. These are harmless, albeit sometimes sassy, bots that help us with everyday tasks. There is also another kind of bot that we may come in contact with in our every day lives and they are called internet bots and they can be quite disruptive.

A recent example of a disruptive bot was the Microsoft created named Tay. She was a 'teenage' chat-bot put onto twitter that you could interact with. The idea was that Tay would begin reading tweets on twitter, and then tweet out what she thought would be relevant with what her human friends were saying. This idea backfired in a big way when Tay began spitting out racist and offensive messages. So Microsoft said domo arigato and goodbye to Tay and removed her from Twitter

You might be thinking, "these bot things don't seem to be all that intelligent or even have the ability to cause harm to us. While this is true, there have been several movements for Twitter and Facebook to ban the bot. Bots started being seen as a serious threat after a sort of 'botnet' was created. The botnet is made up of millions of social media bots that target Twitter and Facebook accounts that are focused on public opinion. The bots send out millions of fake news messages and circulate the internet and confuse or convince people of wide and false allegations.

“We found that bots can be used to run interventions on social media that trigger or foster good behaviors,” said Ferrara. “This milestone shatters a long-held belief that ideas spread like an infectious disease, or contagion, with each exposure resulting in the same probability of infection. Now we have seen empirically that when you are exposed to a given piece of information multiple times, your chances of adopting this information increase every time.” - Researcher Emilio Ferrara

So yes, this is a serious problem. Typically we want people to have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and these bots cause a disruption in the way social media users process new information. Now it's up to you to decide what is true, and what is fake news.









So Long Drive, Hello File Stream

Posted Posted by John David Griffin in , Comments 0 comments

The days of the Google Drive desktop app are gone. Personal Google accounts are switching to the new Backup and Sync App while enterprise accounts, like your Harding account, are switching to a new program called Google Drive File Stream. Gone are the days of having all or almost all of your Drive cloned to your desktop. Now you can view and edit files without even downloading them. While you can still opt to download the files, if you choose to just stream your files, you will end up waiting less time for files to sync and using almost no space on your hard drive. You also will have access to Team Drives using the app, this will allow for greater collaborative efforts. File steam also employs a small amount of machine learning to estimate the odds for you needing certain files and preloading those file in the background to make it even faster.

So what are some changes you may notice with the interface of the app. Well the first thing you will notice is that the icon is different. 
You will also be able to see that the Google Drive folder is no longer just a local folder stored on your local device. It has become a network drive mounted on your computer.



When using the Mac version the menu panel that is housed in the menu bar has had a face lift as well. The menu in this panel is more stream lined and the interface was cleaned up to follow suit with the other programs in the Google suite.



No longer will we have to worry about the big, bad Google Drive app syncing overnight and taking up the last few gigs left on our hard drives.

The New Features on Google Calendar!

Posted Posted by Otmaro Esquivel in Comments 0 comments

Google calendar has added new features to the already famous calendar, let us explore what these are:


See Event Details.

New event details screen

When students are part of an event that is shared with multiple people, they will be able to see all the members of that event, also, there is new functionality for members of the event to attach documents or links to videos, this is the prefect tool to make sure everybody has access to the information needed for the event. All the details are shown once you do a left click to the calendar.

Adding New Events.

The interface for adding a new event is now a lot more friendly and intuitive. Same functionality still remains.

 New event settings page

More View Options.

Before, the only view options where:  Day, Week, Month, 4 days and agenda. Now, Google calendar can show event invitation status, such as declined and accepted.
Google calendars will also allow students to save the view setting they desire, say they change to view by 4 days. Next time they log in, the calendar will be shown by 4 day intervals, just like they left it.

New calendar view

Invitations.

Invitations can have different status: accepted, maybe going, not decided, or declined.

- Accepted events: Will show a solid color.
- Maybe events: Diagonal lines across the event will be shown.
- Not replied events: A box with no color will be shown.
- Declined events: The outline and the event will be crossed out. But shown if so desired.

Manage Settings in one Place.

In settings students can now change the calendar permissions or share a calendar.
Also, students can see all the deleted events, they will appear on Settings then, Trash.

If you want to try it out now, please follow this link (it works on non-harding accounts):
https://calendar.google.com/
and select: "Try new calendar"



The Future in Smartphones: Squeezable Phones?

Posted Posted by Jeremy Campbell in Comments 0 comments

Yes, a squeezable phone. What does that even mean, you might ask? Every phone is squeezable - we've all held on to our devices very tightly as we walk near open water, or as we lean over the railing to get the perfect picture. But it may seem that smartphones of the future (and present) will have another practical use for holding them so tight.
This summer, tech company HTC announced their new flagship device, HTC U11, which sported a quirky new design element - Edge Sense; the frame of this phone is pressure-sensitive. Sensors in the frame allow the phone to detect changes in your grip and give you new options for how you control your phone. A squeeze can take you into the camera app and take a picture, without ever touching the screen, or you can customize the settings to enact a number of different shortcuts.
Considering HTC's lack of popularity in the smartphone market lately, this random new idea seemed to have no future. Similar to Force Touch when it originally came out, this feature doesn't seem to have much of a point. More than likely, squeezable phones would have died off with the next round of flagships next year, except that it caught the eye of a tech giant.
Last month, Google announced the buyout of a part of HTC's smartphone development team. This month, Google released the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL smartphones with a neat new feature - they're squeezable. What seemed to be a random feature at first has become adopted by one of the largest companies on the smartphone market, the Android super giant. If Google thought it was worth investing 1.1 billion dollars in this feature, and feature's like these to come, then quite possibly this is the kind of feature we will see more of in future phones.


images from: https://mobilesyrup.com/2017/09/04/htc-u11-review/
https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/4/16405192/new-google-pixel-2-xl-phone-photos-video-hands-on