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Google Pixel 5 review: new phone, old tricks

The amount of effort Google seems to put into its Pixel phones while simultaneously ensuring that they look and feel mundane never ceases to astonish me. The new Pixel 5 is the epitome of this trend, though it’s been present since the beginning.

The Pixel 5 is unassuming. Instead of pushing the state of the art forward, Google has seemingly retreated to simpler, more reliable, and less expensive technology. The Pixel 4 had face unlock, squeezable sides, and a literal radar chip. The Pixel 5 has a simple rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that harkens back to Android phones from 2018, not 2020.

And yet, it’s still a very good phone for $699. It’s not impressive or flashy. By spending just a little (or a lot) more money, you can get better specs, larger camera arrays, prettier screens, and fancier designs. The Pixel 5 is trying to sell something else, sometimes to

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iPhone 12 has 5G, but Apple still has us questioning why we need it

Tim Cook Apple 5G

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday talked up the iPhone 12 lineup’s new 5G connectivity.


Apple

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple this week gave users plenty of reasons to want a new iPhone 12, much as it does every year. The camera is better, and so’s the processor. The display, with its “ceramic shield” technology, is more durable, and there’s even a Pacific blue iPhone 12 Pro. There are now four new models to choose from instead of three, and the overall phone’s been redesigned for the first time since 2017. Oh, and did you hear? All phones in the iPhone 12 lineup also come with 5G. 

The next-generation cellular technology was front and center in Apple’s virtual iPhone launch on Tuesday. Apple showed us its secret, padded anechoic chamber where

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Intersectional Gender And Pay Parity In Tech

AnitaB.org CEO Brenda Darden Wilkerson shares top takeaways focused on driving change toward intersectional gender and pay parity for the tech industry coming out of vGHC 2020.

Where to start? This was the question that opened the annual Grace Hopper Celebration several weeks back as it has been the topic leading millions of conversations on the pandemic, social justice, political unrest, natural disaster and more. In acknowledging the many trying moments of recent months, especially within the setting of a celebration, the focus became less about what one might expect to hear, and more about what needs to be said.

When it comes to achieving intersectional gender and pay parity around the world, let alone in the tech industry, figuring out where to start is an

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Blockchain Bites: Your Guide to Invest Ethereum Economy

Ethereum art (CoinDesk archives)

At stake

Invest: ethereum economy, a full day of conversation, workshopping and networking around the future of money, goes live today at 9 a.m. ET.

Starting off with a keynote speech from Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin, the virtual event will also see appearances from MakerDAO Co-Founder Rune Christensen, Gauntlet CEO Tarun Chitra and CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert, among many, many more. 

The most in-depth conference to date dedicated to the Ethereum economy is a gated event. You can register now to gain access to the day’s panels as well as video-on-demand content released in the coming days. 

Related: First Mover: Privacy Is Litecoin’s Ace in the Hole as JPMorgan Touts Bitcoin

First, a few words from Leigh Cuen. 

Value proposition?

The fully virtual CoinDesk invest: ethereum economy is kicking off with a keynote from none other than Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, delivering a speech titled “Eth 2.0 and the

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In City Where China Welcomed the World, Xi Prepares for a Colder One

When China first opened to overseas investors, the country was desperate for foreign technology to revive its growth. Now, as China faces rising global barriers, its leader, Xi Jinping, is urging greater domestic innovation.

Mr. Xi delivered this message on Wednesday while making an anniversary pilgrimage to the southern city of Shenzhen, which in 1980 was established as a “special economic zone” next to the global financial hub of Hong Kong. Shenzhen quickly became an incubator for “reform and opening up,” the strategy championed by the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping that paved the way for the country’s decades-long economic takeoff.

Forty years later, Mr. Xi said China still welcomed foreign investors, but he also said it must prepare for a less welcoming world. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the rise of barriers to the free flow of goods and technology, Mr. Xi said, a theme that he has stressed recently.

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iPhone 12 with 5G, HomePod Mini and more: Everything Apple just announced

2020-10-13-11-06-15

Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Another year, another iPhone. (Did I say that last year?) This is the iPhone’s last year of tweendom before it hits teenhood: Apple announced its four-model iPhone 12 line on Tuesday, the first major revamp of the iPhone’s design since 2017’s iPhone X, which introduced face unlocking and better screen technology. This year they sport an array of colors, more models and 5G wireless support across the lineup. In addition to the HomePod Mini smart speaker, we were treated to the MagSafe wireless charging system for the iPhone and a stealth release of the $50 Beats Flex wireless headphones.

Here’s how you order iPhone 12, Mini, Pro and Pro Max models, on different days and at different prices.

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Don’t Buy an iPhone 12 Just for 5G

Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup, revealed Tuesday, has plenty of the upgrades you’d expect: a faster processor, a better camera, a new design. But the feature that’s getting the most hype is the new 5G wireless chip, which will let the devices connect to the latest high-speed mobile broadband networks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook talked up the benefits of including the new cellular standard in the iPhone 12 line, citing improvements on everything from video streaming to consumer privacy. “Each generation of cellular technology on iPhone has enabled breakthrough innovations and entirely new opportunities for our developers and our users,” said Cook during the virtual event. “For so many people this all becomes real with 5G coming to iPhone.”

It’s about time the iPhone gets 5G, a feature that’s been available on Android phones for years. But whether 5G is really a selling point is out of Apple’s hands—in

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New features and some new hurdles

Is the iPhone 12 worth it?

My takeaway: Most people don’t need an iPhone 12 now, but you might want one in a year or two … by which point there could be an iPhone 13 or 14 with 5G. The iPhone 12 is the phone you buy because you’re planning to hold onto it for a while.

Normally after Apple unveils a product, I get the opportunity to spend a little time with it. This launch offered only a first-look-but-don’t-touch, because coronavirus pandemic precautions pushed Apple’s event online. Until professional reviewers get our hands on the new iPhone, we’re left to judge based on what Apple claimed in its prerecorded video and on its slick, computer-generated renderings.

That’s all the more reason to bite into this new iPhone with a healthy dollop of skepticism. Apple doesn’t really compete with Android phones for our business anymore. For most iPhone owners, the choice is when to upgrade,

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China’s Xi Jinping spotlights Shenzhen as future for economic growth, Hong Kong given back seat

China’s President Xi Jinping praised the tech-hub city of Shenzhen in a landmark speech on Wednesday, leaving some puzzling over the future of nearby Hong Kong, as China’s traditional global foothold.

Xi said Shenzhen, often dubbed China’s Silicon Valley and home to tech giants Huawei and Tencent, was making “historic leaps” and “achieving miracles.”

He also announced that the area would be given more leeway to pursue opening-up reforms and become a “model city for a strong socialist country.”

Once a small fishing village adjacent to Hong Kong, Shenzhen is now home to about 13 million and was transformed in 1980 by veteran Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, after he designated it a “Special Economic Zone,” carving out capitalist privileges in the staunchly communist country.

Retracing Deng’s footprints 40 years later during his own southern tour this week, Xi announced Shenzhen would again become a testing ground for foreign investment and

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