12 things you need to know in tech for Monday, Jan. 28

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Samsung is ditching plastic packaging

Something slightly different for your Monday, but let’s start the week with good news.

Turning up the heat on packaging:

  • Samsung Electronics said on Sunday it will replace plastic packaging with eco-friendly materials across its full range of products, from home appliances and TVs to smartphones and tablets (Samsung).
  • Samsung says it will use recycled/bio-based plastics, swap paper to certified fiber materials, and change the design of many elements of hardware.
  • For example, it will swap the glossy exterior of phone chargers with a matte finish, and eliminate plastic protection films, to reduce plastic use, and go for pulp material phone trays, rather than plastic.
  • Samsung will start swapping materials this year, and aim to increase its circular economy policy. By 2030, Samsung says it plans to use 500,000 tons of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tons of discarded products – both cumulative totals from 2009.

Samsung cases

Now…

  • Of course, many companies including those in the smartphone space have been more aggressive in reusing materials. The HTC Evo 4G from 2010 is a notable example (Imgur, via reddit)
  • And of course, many would point-blank remind Samsung that it can make a bigger impact by offering Android updates, along with better software/hardware support for its devices beyond 24-months.
  • It might be a band-aid on the burning earth, but it’s the right thing to do.
  • Apple’s announcement of using recycled aluminum in its newest devices was a big moment for the circular economy last year, as well (Earther).
  • Let’s hope it continues!

Here’s everything else happening:

1. Samsung reportedly in talks to buy company behind zooming camera tech (Android Authority), which Oppo is current using.


2. Google Pixel 3 Night Shot compared to iPhone XS, and it’s not really close (AA). (Y’know, if you trust and believe Google’s marketing.)


3.  Why Google bans ad blockers, but is actually fine with ad-blocking browsers (AA).


4. The best apps for managing your kid’s phone (Wirecutter).


5. Report: Samsung SmartThings still hasn’t earned my trust in the smart home (CNET).


6. Mark Zuckerberg’s WSJ op-ed was a message to would-be regulators: Hands off our ad business (Recode).


7. When VanMoof, a super- cool bike company, put a TV on its box shipping damages went way down (Bicycling.com)


8. ‘Businesses will not be able to hide’: Spy satellites may give edge to those betting on the economy by measuring activity (NY Times).


9. More images of Ultima Thule from NASA, the most distant object ever explored (Cosmos).


10. Take this test to figure out how tone-deaf you are (Harvard Music Lab). Desktop-only, for now, and the server is a bit slow because it’s new and unexpectedly popular?


11. What is your favorite “holy crap this actually works” trick? (r/askreddit). Including swearing at automated voice answering machines to get a faster response.


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Source of the article – Android Authority
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