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The US is offering a $10 million reward to prevent election hacking

Better be safe than sorry

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For ages, civilization has announced a bounty to get a hold of criminals. The tactic usually works because money acts as a motivating factor, prompting everyone to be on a lookout. The US is using the tried and tested method to ensure its 2020 Presidential election aren’t meddled with.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would offer a US$ 10 million reward to arrest anyone who interferes in the November elections. It includes attacks against US officials, US election infrastructure, voting machines, and also candidates and their staff.

Pompeo did not specify Russia but the US intelligence community has previously confirmed it expects another effort by Moscow as well as other US adversaries in the 2020 election.

The country is taking immense caution amid the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure fair elections. In 2016, many alleged that the elections weren’t fair since foreign entities had interfered. No substantial proof has been found yet, but it’s a widely known fact that hackers leveraged Facebook’s vulnerability to attack users psychologically.

“Such adversaries could also conduct malicious cyber operations against US political organizations or campaigns to steal confidential information and then leak that information as part of influence operations to undermine political organizations or candidates,” the State Department said.

Russian involvement has long been suspected and the US is already busy fighting a trade war with China. The hostile geopolitical scenario could be a perfect recipe for disaster if sharp vigilance isn’t maintained.

Modern warfare is pivoting towards digital offensives and the US has experience from both sides of the coin — a perpetrator as well as a victim. The US used cyberwarfare to derail Iran’s nuclear program. In retaliation, American companies are always a target, as proved by North Korea’s infiltration of Sony Pictures in 2014.

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Leica is looking for a new partner after breakup with Huawei

Xiaomi could be the next partner

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Leica

Leica and Huawei made cutting-edge phones that could go toe-to-toe against professional cameras when it comes to photography. Sadly, the partnership may have to an end as reports suggest the lens maker is looking for a new partner after ditching Huawei.

According to Teme on Twitter, Leica and Huawei have decided to call off the partnership. It isn’t surprising because Huawei’s P and Mate series are radically hit due to American sanctions, barring it from using Google Play Services, Arm chipset architecture, and more. Sales have dropped massively outside of China, and its Honor division has been sold to another Chinese conglomerate.

However, it doesn’t mean Leica has given up. The German optics giant is now looking for a new partner, and the probable candidates include Xiaomi and Honor. Teme suggests it could be Xiaomi. But Leica could also proceed with a multi-brand partnership similar to Zeiss, with possible candidates being Xiaomi, Sharp, and Honor.

The partnership adds a lot of weight and becomes an instant selling point for many photography enthusiasts. Leica’s implementation on Huawei’s phones has received critical acclaim, beating benchmark numbers and setting new records.

Recently, OnePlus teamed up with Hasselblad to deliver an above-average experience but failed to impress. With Huawei on the sidelines right now, there’s an excellent opportunity for companies to join the trend and dominate the photography segment.

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OPPO Reno6 series leaks, likely to launch on May 22

Just a week to go!

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File photo: OPPO Reno5

OPPO Reno6 series is said to launch quite soon and will replace the Reno5 lineup. The Reno6 Pro and Reno6 Pro+ have recently received 3C and TENAA certifications, revealing quite a bit about their hardware.

It’ll make its debut at the brand’s mid-year gala event that will be held on May 22nd. The Reno6 Pro+ will have a 6.55-inch display and a 2200mAh battery. It’s expected that to have two battery packs, so the total output should be ideally 4400mAh. Rumors suggest it could sport a Dimensity 1200 chipset, though this can’t be confirmed immediately.

The Reno6, on the other hand, shall house a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, punch-hole cut-out, and a 90Hz refresh rate. The device might ship with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage that could be expandable. The Dimensity 900 SoC is expected to offer better performance than the Dimensity 820 and Snapdragon 768G chipsets.

The cameras could have a 64-megapixel primary shooter and a 32-megapixel front camera for selfies. Details about the other rear sensors aren’t available right now.

We’ll just have to wait a week to find out what OPPO has in store for everyone. The Reno lineup has worked wonders for the Chinese brand in the midrange segment. Despite OnePlus’ Nord, the Reno lineup has stood strong and continues to attract photography enthusiasts.

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ASUS Zenfone 8 Series: Price and availability in the Philippines

Pre-orders come with a freebie!

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Zenfone 8 Flip

Yes, they’re back for real! After skipping a couple of generations, ASUS is bringing back the Zenfone to the Philippines. They’re bringing over both Zenfone 8 Series phones — the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip!

Both phones are flagship level being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. But they’re pretty different. Here’s a quick look at their specs side by side.

Zenfone 8

Zenfone Flip 8

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Display 5.9” Samsung AMOLED, 120Hz 6.67” Samsung AMOLED, 90Hz
OS Android 11, Zen UI 8 Android 11, Zen UI 8
Configuration 6GB + 128GB

8GB +128GB

8GB + 256GB

16GB + 256GB

*No storage expansion

8GB +256GB

*Up to 2TB storage expansion via MicroSD

Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Cameras 64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

12MP front-facing

64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

8MP telephoto

*Flip camera module

The Zenfone 8 is unique in that it offers flagship capabilities in a compact body. The phone has a 5.9″ display Samsung AMOLED display. For comparison, the closest thing to it overall is the iPhone 12 mini which has a 5.4″ display.

Watch our Zenfone 8 review

 

Meanwhile, the Zenfone 8 Flip is ASUS sticking to their guns and offering something unique in the flagship segment. As the name suggests, this has the Flip camera module. So when taking selfies, you’re essentially using the best cameras on the phone that’s typically only on the rear for every other flagship.

Read our Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

Zenfone 8 Flip

Price and availability

The ASUS Zenfone 8 Series is available for pre-order starting May 14, 2021 at official ASUS Concept Stores,
accredited online and offline shops. Successful pre-orders will get a free Rhinoshield Solidsuit Hardcase and a JBL Go 3.

Pricing are as follows:

  • ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip, 8GB + 256GB, Galactic Black and Glacier Silver — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 16GB + 256GB, Obsidian Black — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 8GB +128GB, Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver — PhP 34,995
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