This Week In Tech – FNB has an announcement, Nokia aims for world domination and you learn how to spot Fake News, by helping to spread it.
Published: Wednesday, February 28th 2018
This week in tech news saw FNB make some smart changes, Fake News becomes our new calling and tough guys finally get a real, tough phone to match their camo pants and paracord bracelets. Speaking of phones, Nokia certainly hasn’t been resting since ‘the great resurrection.’Let’s take a closer look.
Nokia Makes Our Brains Explode
The demise of Nokia has been predicted many times. But, just like brightly coloured skinny jeans, cat memes and Keith Richards, Nokia just flat out refuses to die. In the late 90’s, Nokia phones became synonymous with dependability, indestructibility and affordability. They were the market leaders, in a world without much actual competition. Then they made a couple of silly choices.Fast forward to today, HMD Global has resurrected the brand from certain doom. Not only this, but HMD has led the brand back to prosperity in a new world inundated with too-much-choice.In the fourth quarter of 2017, Nokia sold 4.4 million smartphones, outperforming HTC, Sony and Google. The company is producing good quality smartphones at affordable prices. Part of their success can definitely be attributed to their decision to finally, mercifully, go with an Android operating system.Nokia gives us a pure, stripped down version of Android.The company certainly hasn’t been resting since their much-publicized reboot. Today, the company is not only working on other products and services, such as Nokia Wi-Fi and the 5G connection, but they’re practically flooding the market with great new phones.HMD began the roll-out with announcing the Nokia 6, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and the flagship Nokia 8. And of course, they brought back the beloved 3310 in retro form. More recently, and sticking to bringing back those nostalgic hits, Nokia has announced that it will be bringing out a retro version 8110. That’s right, the awesome banana phone Neo used in The Matrix.Next up, the Nokia 1 will be launched with Android Go. We’ll also see a 2nd generation Nokia 6, a new Nokia 7 Plus and a brand new flagship model – the Nokia 8 Sirocco.
FNB Drops Fees
Most valuable banking brand in South Africa, FNB, made a welcome announcement earlier this week.Say, for instance, an unethical 'financial advisor' posing as a loan-sourcing service 'persuades' you to unwittingly sign up for a service you didn’t really want. Next thing you know, you’ve got money coming off of your account. In order to cancel that unauthorised debit order, most banks charge you a penalty fee.People’s Champion, FNB, has decided to waive all fees for stopping unauthorised debit orders.The bank’s Consumer Core Banking CEO, Ryan Prozesky, has said that the issue of unauthorised debit orders is of great concern to the company.
“We believe that eliminating fees associated with stopping debit orders via our electronic channels will empower customers,” said Prozesky. “Customers will no longer be charged for stopping unauthorised debit orders of less than R200 through the FNB App, Online Banking, and USSD.”
Anything higher than R200 can be disputed, but will still come at a fee.FNB has stated the intent to clamp down on business customers who are facilitating unauthorised collections. They will not only be looking at their own clients, but also non-FNB businesses that are processing dodgy, illegal debit orders on FNB clients.
The world has spent a considerable amount of time and resources trying to understand fake news. How do we spot a bogus story? Why do we continue to fall for it all? How does fake news influence our day-to-day lives, from politics to religion to personal tastes and beliefs? Who can we trust?Social Media has begun a fake news witch hunt, aiming to flag down and destroy all forms of misinformation. US President Donald Trump even handed out Fake News Awards for the most ‘dishonest and corrupt’ media outlets.It has become prevalent and invasive. While some of it is good for a laugh, those who don’t know how to spot a fake news website will often believe and spread these stories. A lot of it, as you can imagine, can be incredibly harmful.What better way to understand how it all works, in a modern society, than to make a game out of it?Bad News is designed by members of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab and media literacy group, Drog. The goal is to teach players about digital misinformation by turning us into the actual sources of it.As the player, you begin with a small Twitter account and the aim is to gain followers and popularity. How do we do this? The same way the real purveyors of fake news do it – by playing on the reader’s anger and fear.Beware, though, you’ll also have to deflect criticism, defame naysayers, crush your opposition and employ every dirty trick in the book to get ahead. By the end, though, you’ll be all the more wiser.
Land Rover Releases The Toughest Phone In The World
To venture boldly where no iPhone or Galaxy S8 has dared to venture before, that is the dream. Outdoorsy folk who watch a lot of survival shows or do all their shopping at Cape Union Mart know that rugged, tough-as-nails phones have been around for a long time.It’s called the original Nokia 3310.Cat also gave it the old college try, and now its Land Rover’s turn. You may find yourself asking, why would a car manufacturer make a phone? Well… for funsies, we suppose.The press release states that the phone is ‘designed for people who live for adventure and need a phone that can survive whatever it’s put through.’The new Android smartphone, called the Explore, is modelled after Land Rover’s own powerful Discovery vehicle. It is built to survive the elements. Water-proof, cold-resistant, drop-proof, mountain-lion-attack-proof, heat-resistant, comes with a monstrous V8 engine…Wait, we got mixed up there.The Explore is basically the Bear Grylls of rugged phones, and includes genuinely useful features for hikers, adventurers, volcano-explorers and beard-growers. It can be controlled with both wet hands and gloved hands. It comes standard with a two-day battery life, but can be fitted with packs that allow for additional days. You also get professional mapping software, a GPS antenna, a compass and an SOS light.And of course, it is compatible with all Land Rover smart apps.