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Samsung Galaxy S9+ takes top spot on DxOMark

Beats the Pixel 2 and iPhone X

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One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind whenever a new smartphone launches is, “How good are the cameras?” While it’s often subjective and difficult to gauge from early photo samples, imaging authority DxOMark’s numeric ratings provide a good idea of where a handset’s cameras stand.

The latest entry is Samsung’s Galaxy S9+. It launched during Mobile World Congress earlier this week and is the first Galaxy S smartphone to own dual cameras of any sort. The setup turned out well for Samsung, as the cameras have been bestowed the highest rating ever on DxOMark’s mobile scoring.

With an overall score of 99, the Galaxy S9+ is a point higher than the previous king, the Pixel 2, and two points above the 97 of the iPhone X and Mate 10 Pro. That’s an impressive feat considering how strong the competition was during our own camera shootouts.

Here’s the breakdown of the numbers:

Where the Galaxy S9+ truly shines is in the still photos department. Its 104 points are way above the previous top score of 101 by the iPhone X. Meanwhile, the 91 video score is quite good, too, losing only to the 96 of the Pixel 2.

DxOMark praises the Samsung flagship for having no real weakness. The Galaxy S9+ is strong in all aspects, and performs well in any lighting situation. Other advantages are the secondary lens on the back for optical zooming (something the smaller Galaxy S9 doesn’t have) and a true portrait mode that blurs out the subject’s background.

But before Samsung can celebrate, they have to accept that it’s still early in 2018. With flagships from Huawei coming out soon and both Google and Apple releasing even better smartphones later this year, these rankings can easily turn to another’s favor.

We’ll have to get the Galaxy S9+ in our hands for a full review before we can attest to these scores. Stay tuned for that.

Gaming

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game – Complete Edition out now

Took them long enough!

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Thanks to Ubisoft and their collaboration with Universal Games and Digital Platforms, you get to team up, fight for love and defeat the league of seven evil exes. Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game – Complete Edition celebrates its 10-year anniversary and includes Knives Chau and Wallace Wells downloadable content.

The game oozes inspiration from the iconic graphic novel series and 2010 Universal Pictures film. It sticks to the series’ humor and classic gameplay combo. You can even rediscover the beloved 2D arcade-style beat ’em up game familiar to fans! And, if that wasn’t enough, the 8-bit animation by Paul Robertson, the critically acclaimed soundtrack from Anamanaguchi, and original cutscenes from Bryan Lee O’Malley will get to you.

You’ll need to team up with up to three friends locally or online, revive each other and share health and coins to defeat your enemies. And, you can compete with friends in mini-games of dodgeball, battle royale matches or cooperate in either boss rush or survival modes.

If you want the game, it’s out on the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia and Windows PC, as well as on Ubisoft+, the Ubisoft subscription service and Amazon Luna for $14.99. The game will also be playable on PS 5 and Xbox Series X|S via compatibility mode.

If you’re a huge fan of the classic series, there are pre-order Limited Editions of the Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game – Complete Edition with exclusive merchandise and awesome features. Pre-orders for the physical and Limited Editions will be available for six weeks exclusively through limitedrungames.com.

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Computers

Cybersecurity threats to lookout for in 2021 and beyond

Threats to intelligent edge computing and 5G-enabled devices will increase

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Illustration/Sketchify via Canva

Researchers from Fortinet have identified several cybersecurity threats for 2021 that will greatly impact both the consumer and enterprise sector. By 2021, cybersecurity threats on intelligent edge computing and 5G-enabled devices will double as most companies continue to implement remote working schemes.

A new wave of cybersecurity threats will also arise due to advances in computing. These threats have the potential to disrupt a large number of businesses and consumers in the future. Thus, preparation and eventual mitigation are key to stemming the potential disruption by these threats.

Threats on the intelligent edge are on the rise

Intelligent edge computing is more popular than ever thanks to remote work with most employees making use of personal and interconnected devices to access the company network. However, intelligent edge computing presents new threats as cybercriminals exploit these “edges” (i.e. connected IoTs, personal devices) thanks to a decentralized approach by companies.

These threats can run the gamut from ransomware to malware. As intelligent edge computing booms, cybercriminals can specifically target edge devices with malware that could disrupt corporate networks. They can design malware that could understand usage patterns, adapt accordingly, and attack networks with little to no risk of suspicion. Moreover, sophisticated malware may spread through networks to propagate additional attack commands or disrupt more networks and devices.

Ransomware on the rise

This 2021, consumers and businesses should be more concerned with social engineering-based attacks and ransomware. One of the most common forms of social engineering-based attacks is phishing. In phishing, cybercriminals send fake emails supposedly from legitimate entities coercing users into sending their personal information. For example, a user may receive a fake bank email notice warning of impending account closure but contains malicious links instead.

Illustration/Sketchify via Canva

These attacks may even lock users from their personal data, holding them hostage until they pay a hefty amount of cash. Ransomware attacks do just that, affecting not only consumers but also the enterprise sector. As more businesses rely on edge devices for critical operations, the potential for a future ransomware attack rises significantly posing more risks than ever before.

Human lives are also at stake with ransomware attacks that blow out of control. An example of this happened last year when several hospitals across the US were hit by a variant of the Ryuk ransomware. As a result, several hospitals have to transfer their patients to other facilities since their systems cannot perform patient monitoring and other critical operations.

Advances in crypto mining and attacks on satellite-based networks

Bringing artificial intelligence and machine learning could also open up advances in crypto mining. While not inherently bad, cybercriminals can infect consumer devices more easily and gain access to system resources. When abused, crypto mining could potentially impact any device and affect users’ experience.

Meanwhile, network operators should prepare for more advanced attacks as they become reliant on satellite-based systems. Cybercriminals could infect a satellite base station and propagate malware to connected devices. Satellite-based networks could become a conduit for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in this way.

As an example, a cybercriminal could hijack a base station and inject scripts into other devices. In turn, infected devices could run malicious commands that could disrupt the connection of other networks.

Quantum computing, preparing for present and future threats

Quantum computers are the next big thing in computing, relying on qubits instead of the traditional binary bit present in all devices today. Research in quantum computing has made significant progress over the years, with working quantum computers not too far on the horizon.

Quantum computers, however, could also pose a new problem in the future. In the future, these can break traditional encryption algorithms rendering encryption moot. Fortinet advises businesses to adapt accordingly by using the principles of crypto agility.

Illustration/Sketchify via Canva

In the meantime, businesses can readily adapt to these threats through a careful combination of technology, people, training, and partnerships. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are also key technologies for preparing against and mitigating future cybersecurity threats. Businesses can train AI to spot attack patterns and identify threats even before they become a reality.

Partnerships are also vital in stemming the tide against cybercriminals. The enterprise sector, for example, could partner with law enforcement agencies for information sharing and dismantling of malicious networks.

Cybersecurity threats are here to stay

Connected devices have transformed society by enabling instant communication and richer user experiences. However, it also opens up new threats from cybercriminals willing to exploit and gather sensitive data.

There’s an old adage that says that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same adage applies all the more in cybersecurity. Threats are here to stay, so consumers and businesses should prepare and mitigate potential impacts as much as possible. Thankfully, it is easy to stay safe and protected by following best practices.

SEE ALSO: 6 tips to make your phone more secure and private

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Enterprise

Google completes acquisition of Fitbit despite antitrust probes

EU has approved the deal though

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Fitbit is a household name in the fitness tracking segment, and Google is among the world’s most famous websites. The two giants are now closer than ever since Google has finished the acquisition of Fitbit for US$ 2.1 billion.

However, the acquisition is still under investigation from the US Department of Justice over anti-competition and anti-trust charges. The Department of Justice said, “it has not reached a final decision about whether to pursue an enforcement action.”

In response, Google says, “it complied with the DOJ’s extensive review for the past 14 months, and the agreed-upon waiting period expired without their objection.”

Thankfully, Google won an EU antitrust approval last month for its bid after agreeing to restrictions on using customers’ health-related data. The Fitbit deal could have potentially given Google access to a huge amount of data. But Google has agreed not to use users’ health and location data for advertising.

In a blog published this week, Google outlined how it would protect users’ data, saying its purchase was “about the devices, not the data.” Google has also agreed that Fitbit data will sit alone, virtually quarantined, away from the marketing business.

Fitbit users will be able to continue connecting to third party services. If they prefer another health app, they will still have an option to connect their Fitbit account.

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