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Amazon introduces Echo Spot: Your next bedside smart clock

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Amazon has just unveiled a number of Alexa-powered powered devices today. The newest of the bunch is the Echo Spot, a compact version of the Echo Show.

The Echo Spot delivers just about everything that its bigger sibling can, just in a smaller package. It still has a screen that you can interact with, but it’s now circular (we do like this better). We see it as a combination of the Echo Dot and Echo Show.

The size of the device makes it ideal for a nightstand or a desk. It’s like an alarm clock that can do more than just tell time and make noise. Using Alexa on the Echo Spot, you can command it turn lights on and off, or take advantage of its display to show your daily briefing, get the weather forecast, and check the calendar. Amazon also promotes it for use in the kitchen to set timers, and check out shopping and to-do lists.

With four microphones, the Echo Spot will be able to hear your voice commands across the room. If you have more than one, the devices are smart enough to respond with the closest Echo Spot available. It also has a front-facing camera for your video calls, which you can start by calling Alexa to do so.

Its built-in speaker can seamlessly connect with your Bluetooth devices or through a 3.5mm audio cable. The new multi-room music feature allows you to play your songs throughout your home, with synchronized music across all your Echo devices.

The Echo Spot is available in black and white, and is now up for pre-order for US$ 130. You’ll have to wait for a few months to get your hands on it, because shipping starts on December 19.

SEE ALSO: Apple HomePod competes against Google Home

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iPhone SE most searched during lockdown

Leads searches by a wide margin

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While recent reports showed that Samsung’s midrange offering made waves in sales during the first quarter of 2020, a different phone from a different brand started gaining attention while most of us are in lockdown — the iPhone SE.

While this report doesn’t necessarily suggest a strong sales performance, numbers from the iPrice group shows that there’s a huge spike in searches for the iPhone SE in Southeast Asia from March to April.

What’s interesting is while the iPhone SE was rising, smartphones from brands like Huawei, Honor, and OPPO were declining in the searches.

Rounding out the top three is the OnePlus 8 series and followed by Xiaomi’s Mi 10. Does this reflect your own searches?

iPhone SE

The new iPhone SE is a “zag” from Apple. While most other brands started venturing into the premium flagship territory, Apple did the opposite by providing a phone that looks like it came from the past, but has internals that can rival today’s flagships.

If you’ve always been curious about iPhones and/or iOS, this might be the easiest path to take.

Read our iPhone SE review or watch our video.

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Mi MIX Alpha could launch for commercial sale soon

Any guesses on the price?

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Xiaomi’s Mi MIX Alpha is a concept phone that the brand has shown off quite a few times. It means the phone isn’t ready for commercial production yet but we could see a similar offering soon in the coming future. There are hints and reports that Xiaomi could launch the Mi MIX Alpha soon.

The brand has maintained that the phone can be mass-produced today if needed. Xiaomi Product PR, Agatha Tang, shared a short video of the phone on Twitter. The phone has a 180 percent screen-to-body ratio thanks to a wraparound Flexible OLED screen.

Furthermore, pictures teardown pictures of the phone have been posted on Xianyu second-hand platform in China. The pictures clearly sh0w the motherboard, screen, cameras, and other modules. While the battery is missing, the post suggests that the Mi MIX Alpha could indeed be close to commercial launch.

The leak says Xiaomi is opting for the latest Snapdragon 865 processor with “Draco” as its codename. If true, Xiaomi will have a very unique offering in a market that’s currently dominated by foldable phones.

Coming to the other internals of the phone, it’ll have a 7.9-inch Flexible OLED display. So far, the concept sports a Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB RAM, and 512GB internal storage. On the rear is a 108-megapixel primary lens, 20-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. On the front is a 20-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 4050mAh battery with 40W fast charging.

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Facebook employees walk out to protest against Trump

Some have threatened to resign

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Besides other battles happening concurrently, US President Donald Trump is currently spearheading a war against the country’s most popular social media networks. After Twitter’s landmark moderation over Trump’s factually ambiguous tweets, the president signed an executive order to eventually regulate and control what social media can do for moderation in America. Naturally, Twitter went on the defensive, calling out the measure’s implications for liberty. However, Facebook is taking a different approach.

Though Mark Zuckerberg ultimately expressed wariness towards the executive order, he still called out Twitter as an unnecessary “arbiter of truth.” His stance naturally implies Facebook’s passivity towards potential false news posted on his platform. However, despite his stance, Facebook’s employees are much more divided.

On Monday, Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout in protest of Zuckerberg’s stance on Trump’s misleading information, as reported by The New York Times. Because the company is still working remotely, the protesting employees simply refused to work or automated email responses to indicate that they were protesting. Some have even considered resignation amidst internal turmoil.

Lately, Trump has posted antagonistic messages on his social media platforms regarding the brewing protests against George Floyd’s murder. Whereas Twitter has moderated Trump’s tweets fairly, Facebook has allowed Trump’s posts to slide. Facebook’s internal protests are targeting this lackadaisical approach to moderation.

If anything, the network’s protests marks a good change coming for the social media network in terms of moderation.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is adding a new care reaction to the Like button

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