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Tech Fix: You Can’t Stop Robocalls. You Shouldn’t Have To.

The robocalls come when you are driving and they bother you at night. It doesn’t matter if you’re in bed or in a meeting. Here’s the worst news: There is really no way for you to stop them.I know this because for the past few years, I have been bombarded with robocalls alerting me that I owe student loans, or that I won a free vacation, or that I am being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.Like many people, I have tried the available solutions. I added my cellphone number to the Do Not Call Registry and installed apps that purport to block spam calls. Yet many…

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Apple and Qualcomm Settle All Disputes Worldwide

SAN FRANCISCO — For the past two years, Apple and Qualcomm have dueled on three continents over the division of billions of dollars of smartphone profits and even how much consumers pay for their phones.On Tuesday, just as a trial had begun in a federal courtroom in San Diego over a suit Apple had filed against Qualcomm, the two companies said they had essentially made up.The companies, one the maker of iPhones and the other the largest provider of mobile chips, said they had agreed to dismiss all litigation between them worldwide. They added that they had reached a six-year agreement for Apple to pay unspecified royalties…

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Travel Tips: The Key to Cheap Internet Service: A Local SIM Card

There’s an easy way to get zero roaming fees, inexpensive internet service and cheap phone calls when you travel. The trick is the SIM card, a tiny, removable chip, inside your phone.What is a SIM card?Subscriber Identity Module cards are roughly the same size, and indeed look like, the microSD memory cards you’d find in a digital camera. (Some phones actually have both microSD and SIM cards, but most just have the latter.) The main purpose of a SIM card is to store a small amount of data that lets the closest cell tower know, among other things, what wireless company you’ve subscribed to. For example, if…

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There’s No Afro Emoji. These Women Want to Change That.

Many people connected to the African diaspora have Afros. And like anyone else, they send emojis to their friends — a zombie, say, or a mermaid or a genie.But which emoji can they use to represent themselves?Right now, 2,823 emojis are recognized by the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit that provides standards for text on the internet and oversees emojis. Fifty-nine additional emojis are on the way, including a deaf person, interracial couples, a mechanical arm and falafel.Yet there are still no emojis of any person with an Afro, even though symbols exist for women and men with long and short hair, curly and straight hair, and blond,…

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Tech Fix: Protecting Your Internet Accounts Keeps Getting Easier. Here’s How to Do It.

When Facebook revealed last week that it had stored millions of people’s account passwords in an insecure format, it underlined the importance of a security setting that many of us neglect to use: two-factor authentication.That might sound like a mouthful, but it has become essential for our digital protection. What it stands for is basically two steps to verify that you are who you say you are, so that even if a password falls into the hands of the wrong people, they cannot pretend to be you. Here’s how two-factor authentication has generally worked: Say, for instance, you enter your user name and password to get into…

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Apple Violated 3 Qualcomm Patents, Jury Finds

Qualcomm won a legal victory against Apple on Friday when a federal jury in San Diego found that Apple owed the mobile phone chip supplier about $31 million for infringing on three of its patents.Qualcomm sued Apple last year, accusing it of violating patents related to improving mobile phones’ battery life.During an eight-day trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Qualcomm asked the jury to award it unpaid patent royalties of up to $1.41 per iPhone that violated the patents.“The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful…

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MWC 2019: Huawei Politics, Robots and Speedy 5G

BARCELONA, Spain — The Trump administration sent a delegation to Spain this week to make its case against the Chinese technology company Huawei at one of the world’s biggest tech trade shows. But the event, called MWC Barcelona, ended up being favorable ground for the Chinese maker of telecom equipment. Of the more than 100,000 attendees and 2,400 companies at the event, most ignored the efforts by the United States to impose a ban against Huawei for security and surveillance risks. Instead, they chose to focus on the coming introduction of long-hyped next-generation wireless networks, known as 5G, not to mention new foldable smartphones, robots and other…

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Tech Fix: What’s Next for Smartphones? Samsung’s New Galaxy Line Offers a Few Answers

ImageThe Samsung Galaxy FoldCreditSamsungSAN FRANCISCO — It’s hard to imagine how smartphones could get much better. Most are already zippy and equipped with jumbo screens, powerful cameras and face scanners. So what else can we look forward to?It turns out, plenty. For a peek at the future of the phone, look to Samsung, the world’s largest handset maker. On Wednesday, the South Korean company showed off a family of four new Galaxy phones that incorporate new technologies and features that may start spreading to other smartphones.Of the four new devices, one will work on next-generation ultrafast 5G cellular networks, which means it can download a movie in…

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New Emojis Are Coming: Interracial Couples, Guide Dogs, Falafel and More

Interracial couples. A guide dog for blind people. A person using a wheelchair.These were among the new emojis announced this week by the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit that provides standards for text on the internet and oversees emojis.The list — which includes 59 new emojis, as well as variants for a total of 230 options — emphasizes inclusivity. People will soon be able to create a “holding hands” emoji to reflect their own relationship, selecting for the skin color and gender identity of each individual. Other options include emojis showing a hearing aid, prosthetic limbs, sign language, a cane or a wheelchair.A host of other new symbols…

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Huawei and China, Facing U.S. Charges, Have Few Ways to Retaliate

SHANGHAI — Ever since Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer at the Chinese technology giant Huawei, was arrested in Canada nearly two months ago, Chinese officials have denounced the move as “wrongful” and “arbitrary” — a political affair cloaked in a judicial one.Now that the United States has laid out its case against Ms. Meng in greater detail, neither Huawei nor the Chinese government has easy options for responding or retaliating.Huawei, the world’s largest provider of the equipment that powers mobile phone and data networks, said on Tuesday that it was innocent of charges unveiled in Washington the day before that it had misled the United States…

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