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This Week in Technology: Samsung, Tech Show, and More


Samsung Unveils New Phone In Surprise Oscar Commercial

Samsung unveiled a new phone in a surprise new ad during the Oscars Sunday night. The device, named the Galaxy Z Flip, is a square phone that opens like a flip phone. However, while different colors for the device were shown, other details were hazy. Consumers will be happy to know that the experts expect it to cost less than Samsung’s previous device, the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung broadcasted the ad two days before it unveils the device at an event in San Francisco. “The new Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone will create a halo effect for Samsung’s brand and help it better compete with Apple’s pricey models,” said Tom Kang, an analyst at research firm Counterpoint.

Sony And Amazon Pull Out Of Major Tech Show

Sony and Amazon are the latest companies to pull out of a major tech show following China’s coronavirus outbreak. The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona usually attracts over 100,000 guests. The organizer has also said that the event would continue as planned. However, LG, Nvidia, and Ericcson won’t attend the convention, and other companies are considering pulling out as well.

The GSMA, the organizer, said, “[While we] confirm some large exhibitors have decided not to come to the show this year with others still contemplating next steps, we remain more than 2,800 exhibitors strong.” However, it did confirm that it put extra safety measures to make sure that the attendees were safe.

Glencore Signs 5-Year Deal With Samsung SDI

Glencore signed a 5-year deal with battery maker Samsung SDI to provide 21 tons of cobalt. The recent boost in electric car development pushed battery and carmakers to secure deals for raw materials like cobalt. However, Congo-sourced cobalt, which accounts for 60% of global supply, has come under scrutiny due to the possible use of children in mining.

Both Glencore and Samsung said that they are relying on the ethical production of the cobalt. They also agreed that the Congo operations will be independently audited each year. Recently, overproduction has pushed the price down from $95,000 a ton to $34,000.

Bill Gates Has Not Commissioned A Hydrogen Yacht

Contrary to popular belief, billionaire Bill Gates has not commissioned a new hydrogen-powered yacht from Sinot. Inaccurate reports said that Gates paid $644M for the new yacht. However, Sinot confirmed that Gates did no such thing. “Aqua is a concept under development and has not been sold to Mr Gates,” a spokeswoman said. Bill Gates has yet to respond to a request to comment.

US Charges 4 Chinese Hackers For Equifax Breach

The US charged four Chinese military hackers for the 2017 Equifax breach that affected 150 million US citizens. “This was a deliberate and sweeping intrusion into the private information of the American people,” Attorney General William Barr said. The Chinese Embassy didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment.