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Samsung tried to get customers excited. Then the lawyers spoiled it all

The launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy Book Pro laptops should have been an unqualified hosanna. But then I observed the caveats.

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Even the thickness may vary? What?

Screenshot by ZDNet

The minute I got up, I felt that frisson.

Samsung had decided to do something it’s rarely done: Follow Apple.

Here were new Galaxy Book Pro laptops that were excitingly light and brightly colored.

I rushed to learn more. Surely there was already a pulsating unboxing video with a white background, there to tempt me.

Yes, there was.

Here was a white box remarkably like the one Apple uses for its MacBooks. In fact, here was a presentation remarkably Apple-like. Or, the grudging would offer, Apple-lite.

The music may have been a little more clubland, but this was an unboxing for a new era, with pretty colors too.

Soon, though, my eyes kept twitching. The left one, in particular. It kept being dragged away to the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

I stopped and restarted the video to see if I’d been (yet again) imagining things. But no, there went my eyes again.

Here, you see, were more disclaimers than in your average online terms of service.

“Available components may vary, depending on model, country or region,” said the tiny words, as the Galaxy Book Pro was being removed from its box. So, in some regions, my Book Pro may have lesser bits than in others?

Then, as Samsung showed off its fast charging plug and adapter, some more chilly water was being hosed upon me, before I’d even protested: “Adapter type may vary by region.”

Even the poor cable had to be qualified with: “Data cable type may vary by country.”

Three disclaimers within the first 14 seconds was a little much. What sort of spirit-dampening lawyers does Samsung employ? Do they get out enough?

No sooner had I observed the lovely mystic blue, pink and silver colors than Samsung’s lawyers told me: “Color availability may vary by country.”

Oh please, Samsung. There are only three colors. Surely it’s not too much to deliver them to everyone.

I’d like to tell you things got better. We were nineteen seconds in and my spirit was descending.

But here was the glorious, Air-like thinness being displayed. Surely there could be no qualifier to that.

Oh, but there could: “Thickness may vary depending on display size, model, graphic configuration, and other factors.” What other factors? The temperature? The government in power? The mood of the country or region?

A blessed rest ensued. Until, that is, the 30th second. This was the moment when Samsung boasted of the unbearable lightness of its Book Pros.

And the lawyers said: “Weight may vary depending on display size, model, graphic configuration or other factors.”

This had become a little too much. I watched the rest of the video in a cross-eyed haze, as the disclaimers came thicker and faster than the Galaxy Book Pro. Were there 15? Were there 20? It certainly felt like it.

Some shots had three or four disclaimers, all stacked one upon another and the ultimate effect was of an odd comedy sketch where a newsreader is speaking and his co-anchor keeps interrupting with: “What he really means….”

I’m entirely prepared to believe these laptops are a large step forward for humankind.

I’m not sure I can say the same for Samsung’s lawyers.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/samsung-tried-to-get-customers-excited-then-the-lawyers-spoiled-it-all/

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ZDNET

A useful Android privacy feature that most people have never heard of

Android has a useful hidden feature that the iPhone doesn’t.

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Ever handed your iPhone to someone and then remembered that one thing that you don’t want them to see?

Maybe a photo, or a test, a personal message, something private from work, or your stash of cat memes you’re collecting.

Whatever it is, we carry a lot of sensitive stuff on out smartphones, and it’s only natural to what to keep that stuff private.

But the developers who work on Android have thought about this, and added a feature that allows you to be able to hand your phone to someone else, while keeping your information private.

Must read: The best Android apps for power users in 2021: Track data usage, test connections, and more

That feature is called Guest mode.

This popped into my head the other day following a conversation with an Android user who said they wished there was a way to lock their private data but still allow others to make calls and use the internet.

That’s what this mode does.

Guest mode creates a temporary account on your smartphone that is free from any of your personal information. No photos. No contacts. No messages. No files.

It also disables the phone feature, but you can choose to activate that if you want.

So, how do you access this feature? Well, it normally lives at Settings > System > Advanced > Multiple Users, but not always. If you can’t find it, a search for users should bring it up.

Guest Mode on Android

Guest Mode on Android

When you find it, you’ll see it at the bottom of the list of Google accounts tied to the handset. To switch, tap on it, and the handset will switch over.

The process is fast and only takes a few seconds.

To switch back, navigate back to Multiple Users and tap Remove Guest.

If you want to give the Guest Mode access to the phone, before going into Guest, click on the cog next to it and enable Turn on phone calls.

Guest Mode can also optionally make calls

Guest Mode can also optionally make calls

Also, for quick access, you can make this feature available from the lock screen. Handy if you use it regularly.

It’s a cool feature that helps keep your private stuff private.

That feature is called Guest mode.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/a-useful-android-privacy-feature-that-most-people-have-never-heard-of/

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ZDNET

Cisco to acquire Sedonasys Systems for innovative NetFusion platform

Cisco said the Sedona NetFusion platform is the first to deliver complete network abstraction and control.

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Cisco announced on Tuesday that it was acquiring Hierarchical Controller market leader Sedonasys Systems in an effort to beef up its multi-vendor, multi-domain automation, and software-defined networking offerings.

Kevin Wollenweber, vice president of product management in the Service Provider Network Systems for Cisco, explained in a blog post that in order to expand the internet and operate networks at massive scale for the billions of new users coming down the pipeline, the internet had to be reinvented in certain ways.

Cisco is acquiring Sedonasys Systems primarily for its NetFusion platform, which has a Hierarchical Controller (HCO) that it said, “enables multi-vendor, multi-domain automation, and software-defined networking.”

Wollenweber said the Sedona NetFusion platform was the first company to offer “complete network abstraction and control” that helped CSPs manage their networks across a variety of domains, vendors, layers, and technologies, all as one single network.

The addition of Sedona NetFusion to Cisco Crosswork portfolio will allow the company to offer a more advanced network automation platform for Cisco’s Routed Optical Networking Solution.

“HCO is the brain that enables transformation like 5G network slicing, routed optical networking, and disaggregation. We have one simple goal in our network automation strategy — simplification,” Wollenweber said.

“Now, CSPs can gain real-time, dynamic, and seamless control of IP and optical multi-vendor networks together. They can quickly move from clunky, manual operations across siloed teams and technologies to a completely automated and assured network that’s easily managed through a single pane of glass.”

With Cisco Crosswork and Sedona NetFusion, users will have access to a real-time replica of the entire network to predictively manage any changes to the deployment, connectivity, and activation status of all network inventory.

Operators can preview optimization, assurance, and changes, and then commit them as needed, Wollenweber added.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/ciscos-to-acquire-sedonasys-systems-for-innovative-netfusion-platform/

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ZDNET

Colonial Pipeline cyberattack shuts down pipeline that supplies 45% of East Coast’s fuel

The attack highlights how ransomware and other cyberattacks are increasingly a threat to real-world infrastructure.

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Colonial Pipeline, which accounts for 45% of the East Coast’s fuel, said it has shut down its operations due to a cyberattack.

The attack highlights how ransomware and other cyberattacks are increasingly a threat to real-world infrastructure. The company delivers refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil and fuel for the U.S. Military.

In a statement, Colonial Pipeline said:

On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was engaged, and they have already launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident, which is ongoing. We have contacted law enforcement and other federal agencies.

Colonial Pipeline is taking steps to understand and resolve this issue. At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation. This process is already underway, and we are working diligently to address this matter and to minimize disruption to our customers and those who rely on Colonial Pipeline.

Cybersecurity: Let’s get tactical | A Winning Strategy for Cybersecurity | Cyberwar and the Future of Cybersecurity

Here’s a look at the Colonial Pipeline system affected by the cyberattack.

colonial-pipeline-system-map.jpg

Colonial Pipeline’s shutdown should it continue may lead to supply shortages since it covers so much territory in the US.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/colonial-pipeline-cyberattack-shuts-down-pipeline-that-supplies-45-of-east-coasts-fuel/

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