LG claims its new ‘Real Folding Window’ display material is as hard as glass

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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 Z Flip 3 devices did very well in their home country, market research groups like Counterpoint believe foldable shipments are bound to grow in the coming years. Foldable devices might soon no longer be niche products, LG has developed a new material that could help make that a reality. LG Chem has designed a new type of cover window — that is, the outermost pre-installed part of displays protecting them from impact — that it says is as hard as glass while also having the capability to prevent fold impressions on the connecting part of a device. 

The company calls the material “Real Folding Window,” it’s made of PET film coated on both sides with a new coating technology it developed. A spokesperson explained: “Unlike existing polyimide films tempered glass-type materials, the cover window that applied LG Chem’s new coating technologies will maximize flexibility, while also providing optimized solutions for foldable phones such as making improvements to chronic issues like fold impressions on the connecting part of the screen.”

In addition, the Real Folding Window can be folded both outwards inwards unlike current counterparts that are optimized to be bent one way. LG Chem says it’s thinner than tempered glass, is priced competitively has been tested to be able to endure being folded over 200,000 times. 

While the coating on both sides is only a few micrometers thick, the company is developing another type of Real Folding Window that doesn’t use PET film. The idea is to create a very thin cover window for use in devices like foldable phones rollable displays. LG Chem is planning to start mass producing the Real Folding Window in 2022 to start selling them the year after that. 

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PayPal acquires buy now, pay later provider Paidy

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PayPal is continuing its push into buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services with the acquisition of Japanese company Paidy for 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion), Bloomberg has reported. That represents its second largest acquisition to date after the $4 billion dollar purchase of online coupon aggregator Honey. 

BNPL services let users divide purchases into multiple payments with paying any interest. Instead, PayPal other providers make money by charging fees to merchants when a consumer buys a product, much as credit card providers do. PayPal’s move follows Jack Dorsey’s Square much larger acquisition of Australian BNPL firm AfterPay for $29 billion. 

Paidy differs from other BNPL firms in that it allows Japanese consumers to purchase items online then pay them off in person at local convenience stores. PayPal doesn’t currently offer a BNPL service in Japan, so the acquisition will help it break into that market. 

“Paidy pioneered buy-now-pay-later solutions tailored to the Japanese market,” said PayPal Japan chief Peter Kenevan. “Combining Paidy’s brand, capabilities talented team with PayPal’s expertise, resources global scale will create a strong foundation to accelerate our momentum in this strategically important market.”

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Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is an ultralight laptop with an OLED display

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Lenovo has announced a new lineup of PCs, tablets monitors at Tech World 2021. The most notable of the bunch is the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon — a 14-inch Windows 11 laptop that weighs 2.37 lbs is equipped with an OLED display made by Samsung. As its name implies, the device’s chassis is made of carbon fiber magnesium alloy for lightness strength. Its display has a QHD+ resolution 16:10 aspect ratio, with features that include a 90Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision true black certification. Customers can also opt to get a touchscreen version that’s strengthened with Gorilla Glass. 

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The device is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800U Series Mobile Processors (up to 8-core) with AMD Radeon Graphics, customers can get the NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics card as an optional install. Buyers can also equip the laptop with up to 16GB of RAM up to 1TB of SSD storage. Other features include up to 14.5 hours of battery life, WiFi 6 built-in Alexa support with an Alexa Show experience. It will be available in Cloud Grey starting in October 2021 with prices starting at $1,290.

Another notable device in the brand’s new lineup is the Chromebook Duet 5. It’s a 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrid running Chrome OS with access to Google Play. The device has a laptop-grade keyboard that can be detached from its 13.3-inch OLED display is powered by the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 SoC. It comes with 256GB of SSD storage up to 8GB of memory. The Duet 5 will also be available in October in Storm Grey or Abyss Blue for at least $430.

Those who prefer a larger laptop could get the ldeaPad Slim 7 Pro instead. It’s a 16-inch Windows 11 laptop with a QHD IPS screen, powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800H Mobile Processors. The device can be equipped with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU can have up to 16GB of RAM up to 1TB of SSD storage. It will be out in October for at least $1,449.

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Study finds growing government use of sensitive data to ‘nudge’ behaviour | Data protection

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A new form of “influence government”, which uses sensitive personal data to craft campaigns aimed at altering behaviour has been “supercharged” by the rise of big tech firms, researchers have warned.

National local governments have turned to targeted advertisements on search engines social media platforms to try to “nudge” the behaviour of the country at large, the academics found.

The shift to this new brof governance stems from a marriage between the introduction of nudge theory in policymaking an online advertising infrastructure that provides unforeseen opportunities to run behavioural adjustment campaigns.

Some of the examples found by the Scottish Centre for Crime Criminal Justice (SCCCJ) range from a Prevent-style scheme to deter young people from becoming online fraudsters to tips on how to light a candle properly. While targeted advertising is common across business, one researcher argues that the government using it to drive behavioural change could create a perfect feedback loop.

“With the government, you’ve got access to all this data where you can see pretty much in real time who you need to talk to demographically, then on the other end you can actually see, well, ‘did this make a difference?’,” said Ben Collier, of the University of Edinburgh. “The government doing this supercharges the ability of it to actually work.”

The British government’s fondness for minor behavioural modification tactics began in the David Cameron era. Since the foundation of the Behavioural Insight Team – or “nudge unit” – at No 10, ministers eagerly looked for tweaks to help people pay car tax or encourage people to buy loft insulation.

The examples of influence government uncovered by the SCCCJ range from deeply serious to almost endearingly silly. At one end of the spectrum is the National Crime Agency’s “Cyber-Prevent” programme, which involves identifying young people at risk of becoming involved in cybercrime.

Some arms of the programme, which is modelled on the anti-radicalisation Prevent scheme, involve traditional “knock talk” visits, where NCA officers make a home visit to try to work with the young person’s parents to steer them to a different life path.

But that part of the programme also involves the NCA collecting a substantial amount of data about the young people it visits, which can be used to craft profiles of the typical “at-risk” teen. Those profiles can then be used to run an “influence policing” campaign, using targeted advertising aimed at UK teens with an interest in gaming who search for particular cybercrime services on Google.

“Beginning as simple text-based adverts, the NCA developed them across a six-month campaign in consultation with behavioural psychologists using the data they were collecting from their operational work,” the researchers write. The adverts were also linked to major gaming conventions, advertorials were bought on gaming websites.

At the other end of the spectrum, a fire safety campaign decided to go for the most obvious possible targeting route, said Collier. “The Home Office were essentially boasting about their use of people’s purchasing data via Amazon targeting categories. They’d basically scooped it up so that if you bought candles or matches, that would be used to target you with audio adverts over your Amazon Alexa with fire safety tips. So you buy the candles when you’re out, you come home your Amazon Alexa starts giving you fire safety advice.”

While it’s usually good for the government to achieve goals like reducing house fires or preventing cybercrime, Collier his colleagues warn that the rise of “influence government” could cause harm. Not only does it encourage departments to play fast loose with personal data – using notes from an interview under caution to build a profile of a typical cybercriminal, for instance – it can also focus negative attention on vulnerable disadvantaged groups in ways that could be counterproductive.

One set of anti-knife crime adverts, for instance, was targeted at fans of drill music on YouTube. The researchers warn that being followed around the internet by mentions of knife crime could make young people more likely to think that knife-carrying was common, ultimately helping convince them to carry a weapon.

Frequently, such campaigns are outsourced to third-party marketing agencies, a practice the researchers argue must stop. “They are frontline policy interventions need to be seen as such, subjected to the same public debate, scrutiny accountability as other such policies,” they argue, because they ultimately have the “dual effect of opening up the intimate spaces of citizen lives to state control on one hexpanding the sources of data used by the government to target policy on the other”.

The Cabinet Office has been contacted for comment.

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Microsoft snaps up in-browser video editing software startup Clipchamp

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Microsoft’s latest acquisition could add an easy-to-use video editing experience to its software suite. The tech giant has purchased a startup called Clipchamp, which is known for its in-browser video creation editing tool. In its announcement, Microsoft says Clipchamp’s approach combines “the simplicity of a web app with the ability to process video using the full computing power of a PC with graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration,” which is “something that was formerly limited to traditional video applications.”

Clipchamp specifically targets non-professionals non-creatives — people who don’t have or know how to use specialized software for videos, in other words. “Our mission is to empower anyone to tell stories worth sharing millions of people around the world… We will continue to make video creation even easier, more accessible fun,” company CEO Alexander Dreiling wrote in a post announcing the acquisition. 

Neither party has disclosed the terms of their agreement, but as CNBC notes, Clipchamp said in July that it has 17 million registered users with an adoption rate that’s up 54 percent year over year. The service saw huge growth in 9:16 aspect ratio exports, in particular, which are commonly used for TikTok Instagram or Facebook Stories. Microsoft was one of its clients before the acquisition, along with Google. While Microsoft has yet to announce how it will offer Clipchamp to its customers, it called the tool a “natural fit” for its cloud-powered productivity experiences in Microsoft 365. A spokesperson also told CNBC that the tech giant will eventually introduce a process to convert existing Clipchamp users to Microsoft subscribers.

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