Every day we wake up, drink some coffee, get ready for work and check on the latest tech. So here’s a handful of news stories from around the tech world condensed to fit into that first cup. These are things you need to know before you step foot out of your door (or in front of a webcam) and into the real world this morning.
Samsung Display Unveils Rollable OLED Panels at SID Display Week 2023
Samsung has announced its new display technologies at SID Display Week 2023, including a rollable OLED panel that can extend like a scroll. The Rollable Flex display can change its length from 49mm to 254.4mm using an O-shaped axis, allowing it to be used as a monitor, tablet, or laptop.
The company also showcased its Sensor OLED display, which can recognize fingerprints anywhere on the screen and measure health information such as heart rate, blood pressure, and stress level.
Samsung also exhibited its Flex In & Out and Flex Hybrid displays, which can fold and slide in various ways to offer more screen size options for smartphones. The company said these displays are aimed at enhancing the portability and convenience of devices without compromising on quality.
What to Expect From the Microsoft Build 2023 Developer Conference
Microsoft’s annual developer conference, Build 2023, will take place online from May 25 to May 27. The event will showcase the latest innovations and updates for Microsoft’s platforms and tools, such as Windows, Azure, Office, Visual Studio, and more. Developers can register for free and access over 300 sessions, workshops, and keynotes. Some of the topics that will be covered include:
- The future of Windows development, including the new Windows 11 features and the Project Reunion framework
- The latest advancements in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning with Azure
- The new opportunities and challenges for hybrid work and collaboration with Microsoft 365 and Teams
- The best practices and tips for building cross-platform applications with .NET, Xamarin, React Native, and Flutter
- The new capabilities and enhancements for web development with Microsoft Edge, Blazor, and ASP.NET
Build 2023 is a great opportunity for developers to learn new skills, network with peers, and get inspired by Microsoft’s vision for the future of technology. To register and learn more, visit https://mybuild.microsoft.com/.
Meta hit with record $1.3 billion EU fine over data transfers
Meta, the owner of Facebook, has been fined a record 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) by the European Union for transferring data of its EU users to the US in violation of data protection laws. The fine, announced by the European Data Protection Board on Monday, is the largest ever imposed under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and surpasses Amazon’s 746 million euro fine in 2021 for a similar breach.
Meta has also been ordered to stop transferring user data from the EU to the US by October or face further penalties. The company said it would appeal the decision and the fine, arguing that data transfers are essential for the global open internet and that it complies with EU-US data privacy frameworks.
The ruling stems from a 2013 complaint by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, who challenged Meta’s data transfers after revelations of US surveillance programs by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The case has been ongoing for nearly a decade and has led to the invalidation of two previous EU-US data transfer agreements.
Samsung Sticks with Google as Default Search Engine Despite
Bing’s AI boost
Samsung has decided to keep Google as the default search engine on its smartphones, after considering switching to Microsoft’s Bing. The move would have been a major blow for Google, which pays billions of dollars every year to be the default search provider on popular devices.
Bing has recently gained generative AI capabilities, powered by ChatGPT, which could make it more competitive with Google’s own AI chatbot, Bard. However, Samsung reportedly suspended an internal review that explored the possibility of changing the default search engine, and opted to maintain its 12-year partnership with Google.
The decision may not be final, as Samsung said it could still revisit the issue in the future.
TikTok and Users Sue Montana Over Its Ban of the App
TikTok and five of its users in Montana have filed lawsuits to stop the state from enforcing its ban on the popular video-sharing app. The ban, which was signed by Governor Greg Gianforte on Wednesday, will take effect on January 1, 2024 and impose a $10,000 a day penalty for accessing TikTok in Montana.
The lawsuits claim that the ban is unconstitutional, preempted by federal law, and violates the First Amendment rights of TikTok and its users. They argue that Montana has no authority to regulate national security and foreign affairs, which are the exclusive purview of the federal government. They also contend that Montana’s ban is based on unfounded concerns about TikTok’s data security and content moderation practices, and that it suppresses more speech than necessary to protect minors.
TikTok’s spokesperson, Brooke Oberwetter, said that they are challenging Montana’s ban to protect their business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. The users’ lawyer, Ambika Kumar, said that they are determined to see that the “misguided and invalid law” is permanently enjoined.
Montana’s attorney general, Austin Knudsen, who is named as a defendant in both lawsuits, said that he expected legal challenges and is fully prepared to defend the law that helps protect Montanans’ privacy and security. He also said that he expects that the US Supreme Court will likely have to weigh in on the issue.
Solar-Powered Technology Converts CO2 and Water Into Liquid Fuel
Scientists have developed a solar-powered technology that can convert carbon dioxide and water into liquid fuels that can be used as drop-in fuel for cars. The technology mimics photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to make food.
The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, used a copper and palladium-based catalyst to produce ethanol and propanol, two high energy density fuels that can be easily stored and transported.
Unlike fossil fuels, these solar fuels are net zero carbon and renewable, and unlike most bioethanol, they do not compete with food production. The technology is still at laboratory scale, but the researchers say it is an important step towards a fossil fuel-free economy. The results are published in the journal Nature Energy