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CES 2019: Sprint unveils smart home Magic Box, confirms Samsung 5G phone

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(Image: Sprint)

Sprint has confirmed that it will be launching a Samsung 5G smartphone in summer 2019, as well as unveiling the smart home small cell solution with LTE called Trebl with Magic Box at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

The Sprint Trebl with Magic Box is Alexa-integrated to allow control of other smart home devices, such as the Harman Kardon sound that has 2x 8-watt speakers, three built-in far-field microphones, an embedded amp, Bluetooth, and noise and echo cancellation.

“At its core, Sprint Trebl with Magic Box is a completely wireless small cell that provides Sprint customers with enhanced LTE data coverage and speed-boosting capabilities,” Sprint explained.

More than 270,000 units of Sprint’s Magic Box — of which the carrier unveiled an updated version during Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) Los Angeles in September — have now been deployed across the United States.

The Samsung 5G smartphone, meanwhile, will connect to Sprint’s LTE and 5G networks, using its 2.5GHz, 1.9GHz, and 800MHz spectrum bands.

“Samsung is one of our key 5G network infrastructure Massive MIMO providers, so we are delighted that they will also deliver one of our first 5G smartphones, putting blazing fast connectivity right into our customers’ hands,” Sprint CTO Dr John Saw said on Monday.

The Samsung announcement comes after Sprint previously revealed in August that it is working with LG on the first 5G smartphone for the US in the first half of 2019, which will follow the launch of the carrier’s 5G network at the beginning of this year.

At the time, LG Electronics North America CEO William Cho said the tech company’s near 20-year partnership with Sprint will expand, with Sprint’s 5G experts to partner with LG in designing of the phone.

Saw told ZDNet during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in February last year that his carrier has the best 5G spectrum, with Sprint choosing its initial six 5G markets of Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston due to their high traffic and its spectrum holdings.

Sprint in May added New York City, Phoenix, and Kansas City to its 5G rollout roadmap.

See also: More CES coverage

In November, Sprint also announced that it is working with Qualcomm and Chinese tech company HTC to develop a 5G mobile smart hub to be released in the US during the first half of 2019.

The device will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform using the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, and will enable both 5G and gigabit LTE across multiple devices.

The carrier at the end of last year also said it is now providing more than 225 cities with gigabit-speed LTE, calling its network upgrades the stepping stones to 5G.

Included in the gigabit-capable cities are New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, Indianapolis, and Phoenix.

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Bob Iger Comments On The Apple Buying Disney Rumors In His Town Hall

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Disney’s CEO Bob Iger has publicly dispelled any rumors Apple is going to merge with the mouse-centered media giant. During a town hall with Disney employees, Iger described talk of an Apple takeover as “pure speculation” (via The Hollywood Reporter). While these rumors have been dismissed, talk of Apple acquiring Disney is nothing new. Iger himself had previously talked about a possible merger with the tech giant. In a 2021 interview with CNBC, the then retired Disney CEO speculated that Apple and Disney would have merged had Steve Jobs not died in 2011. Iger spoke about Jobs’ love of combining technology and creativity before talking about the hypothetical takeover. He said: “I’m pretty convinced we would have had that discussion. I think we would have gotten there,” (via 9to5Mac).

Iger did confirm some major Disney news during the call, though it isn’t as exciting as a merger between two of the world’s largest companies. He said that a hiring freeze put in place by his predecessor, Bob Chapek, will remain. Iger also confirmed that, as well as not being acquired, Disney had no plans to acquire any other companies during his second tenure. Disney has made a number of high-profile acquisitions over the years, with several of its most notable occurring during Iger’s first stint as CEO.

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The Secret Photos Feature That Makes Your Hidden And Recently Deleted Photos More Secure

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Much like with Notes, you can now set passwords for the Hidden and Recently Deleted albums in Photos and keep them locked and secure. This MacOS Ventura feature is enabled by default. You would be required to key in your Mac computer’s login password or use Touch ID to gain access to either of the two albums.

This is especially useful for people who regularly transfer photos into a secret space within the Photos app so that other people who may have access to the machine won’t be able to snoop and view private shots that easily. You can keep photos from being displayed in your library by following these steps:

  1. Launch the Photos app.
  2. From the sidebar, hit “Library.”
  3. Pick the photo or group of photos you’d like to conceal.
  4. Choose “Image” from the menu bar that runs along the top of the computer screen, then hit “Hide [number] Photos.”
  5. Click “Hide” to finalize.

Marked photos will then be moved into the “Hidden” photos folder, which can be accessed by going to “Library” again in the sidebar and hitting “View” from the menu bar in order to “Show Hidden Photo Album.” Since the password-lock feature is automatically turned on for the secret folder on MacOS Ventura, you may be required to enter your login password or use Touch ID (if you have it set up) to display hidden photos again.

In addition to hidden photos being password protected, other users who hop on your Mac computer will not be able to just check out or recover any newly deleted photos. Photos that were moved into the Recently Deleted album can be restored and moved back into the main Photos library within the period of time stated for each file.

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Sony Just Kicked Off A Huge ‘End Of Year’ Sale On PS4, PS5 Games

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In all, there are just over 800 items on sale across both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Not everything is games, however, as there are some expansions, add-on packs, and other forms of DLC that are also included in the savings. Filtering out the extras, it’s closer to 600 (573 or so) games and game bundles.

There is, of course, plenty of older stuff in the mix like 2013’s “Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag,” “Knack,” and “Murdered: Soul Suspect” (wow, remember that one?). But there are also a fair number of newer titles that are being discounted as well. If you were curious about “Gotham Knights” or you really want the X-Factor Edition of “NHL 23,” both are up for grabs at around 50% off. But if you want something that moves a little faster, there’s also the Digital Deluxe version of “Sonic Frontiers” for 30% off ($48.99).

If you want to check out the full list, you can find it over at the PlayStation Store or hop onto the online shop via your PS4 or PS5 console. Just look for “End of Year Deals,” or open the intrusive ad Sony most likely dropped in your system’s main menu.

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