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Clover Health Loses Co-Founder Ahead of Expansion Outside New Jersey

Clover Health, an insurance startup propelled by Silicon Valley money, is losing one of its two founders. The setback comes about six months after an investment that valued the company at more than $1 billion.

Kris Gale told employees last month that he’s stepping away from his role as chief technology officer but will remain an adviser. He didn’t detail a reason for his departure, which he said would be official at the end of January. “Getting to this point took a lot out of me, and because of that, I can better serve Clover as an adviser going forward,” he wrote in a message to staff reviewed by Bloomberg.

Apple loses ground to Android in a few key markets

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Apple loses ground to Android in a few key markets

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84-year-old doctor who refuses to use computer loses medical license

By Marwa Eltagouri | Washington Post 

Aside from a fax machine and landline telephone, there isn’t much technology in the office of physician Anna Konopka, 84.

Instead, her patients’ records are tucked into two file cabinets, which sit in a tiny office next door to her 160-year-old clapboard house in New London, New Hampshire. Records are meticulously handwritten, she said. Konopka does have a typewriter, but it’s broken, and its parts have been discontinued.

With medicine in the United States becoming increasingly regulated — and as more doctors are expected to keep records electronically — Konopka’s style of doctoring had attracted about 25 patients a week. Some had complicated conditions like chronic pain. Some didn’t have insurance. Konopka says she would see anyone who can pay $50 in cash.

But she no longer can.

Konopka said she felt forced to surrender her medical license in September after New Hampshire Board of Medicine officials challenged her record-keeping, prescribing practices and medical decision-making, according to court documents. She is specifically accused of leaving the dosage levels of a medication up to a young girl’s parent and failing to treat the girl with daily inhaled steroids.

Konopka said the girl’s mother ignored her instructions.

State law prevents the board from releasing or discussing additional details regarding its now-closed investigation into the complaints against Konopka, a board member told the New Hampshire Union Leader. After Konopka surrendered her license, the board’s medical review subcommittee received additional complaints against her, according to court documents.

Konopka said she wonders if her license was in part taken away because of her inability and unwillingness to use technology to diagnose her patients or log her patients’ prescriptions as part of New Hampshire’s mandatory electronic drug monitoring program. The program, signed into effect in 2014, is an effort to reduce opioid overdoses.

In 2015, more than 16,000 people died of overdoses from prescription opioids, including methadone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every state except Missouri has created a prescription drug monitoring program, and most of those systems mandate some form of action by prescribers.

New Hampshire has one of the country’s highest rates of drug overdose deaths, according to the CDC.

Konopka, who was a licensed medical practitioner for 55 years, insists that patients prescribed painkillers were always given small dosages. If not for her prescriptions, they would be in constant pain, she said.

“The [electronic] system right now, with this opioid war, they have no common sense with what they’re doing. Bureaucrats who don’t know medicine — they are getting this kind of idea that they can handle this type of pain without narcotics,” she said.

“I prescribe a small amount of OxyContin and they are doing beautifully. … They can work, and many of them could not work for many years. They are partially employed or fully employed and have a normal daily life,” she said.

Doctors in recent years have been encouraged to get better training in prescribing opioids. The government in July reported that the number of opioid prescriptions written by health-care providers declined between 2012 and 2015. It’s an indication of progress, officials said, in curbing the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history.

Konopka was born in Rzeszow, Poland, in 1933, about 60 miles north of Slovakia and the same distance west of Ukraine. She tried to attend medical school under Joseph Stalin’s regime but was blacklisted, she said, because of her unwillingness to join the Communist Party. She was eventually accepted into medical school in the mid-1950s, after Stalin’s death.

She immigrated to the United States in 1961 and earned her license to practice after several writing exams and residencies. She began seeing patients at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Brooklyn, she said, and opened her private practice in New London 28 years ago.

Complaints regarding Konopka’s prescribing practices began in 2014 — primarily, she said, in the form of “lies” from other physicians. Then, a complaint was filed regarding her treatment of a 7-year-old girl who had seen Konopka about her asthma since she was 18 months old. Konopka said the girl came to her with tachycardia, a condition in which the heart beats too quickly. Konopka thought this was a side effect of the girl’s asthma medication, so she wrote the girl a different prescription.

In revoking Konopka’s license, New Hampshire Board of Medicine officials said Konopka failed to confirm the girl’s diagnosis with additional follow-up tests or refer the girl to a cardiologist, according to court documents.

“I’m not sending my patients to this doctor and this doctor. I treat everything. I have enough experience and can treat any disease,” said Konopka, who added she would seek help from other doctors when she felt she needed it.

She said modern medicine encourages doctors to use electronic records to diagnose patients. But Konopka said she does not want to learn how, as she feels she is experienced enough to diagnose a patient by examining them and talking to them.

“Even if I knew how to use [the electronic system] I would be unwilling,” she said. “I cannot compromise the patient’s health or life for a system. I refuse to,” she said.

While research shows the electronic systems — especially when mandated — are effective, doctors have complained about the time it takes to log information into a database when they are already burdened by paperwork requirements.

Konopka is fighting to regain her license, which she agreed to voluntarily surrender in September after she was told it was the best option for her patients, she said. If she voluntarily surrendered, she would have until Oct. 13 to wrap up her practice as she fought to get it back. About 30 of her patients have written letters of support on her behalf.

“It stinks, but you have to find a new doctor, and it’s a rat race,” one of Konopka’s patients, Stanley Wright, told the Associated Press. He saw her during the past year for chronic back pain. “The doctor I had before was overmedicating me, and she gives me a lot of herbal stuff and I was doing a lot better. Now, I’m back to being screwed. I don’t know what to do.”

But on Nov. 15, Merrimack Superior Court Judge John Kissinger dismissed Konopka’s case to regain her license.

“It is clear to the court that Dr. Konopka has spent her career helping people in her medical practice and has a genuine commitment to address the needs of those not able to afford medical care elsewhere,” Kissinger wrote in his ruling. “Her motivation to seek an injunction allowing her to continue to practice comes from a sincere desire to help her patients.”

Allowing Konopka to continue her medical practice, however, would be inappropriate and would “ignore the process established by the legislature to regulate the practice of medicine in this State,” Kissinger wrote.

A doctor who won’t use a computer loses her license to practice medicine

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Internet loses it over Japanese game show

WHILE Australians are sitting through our umpteenth season of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Japan is showing how game shows are really done.

One of the country’s latest creations to get noticed involves Lycra-clad contestants trying to scale a set of slippery stairs – and the internet is going crazy for it.

Six contestants dressed in colourful bodysuits vie for the prize at the top of the staircase while a studio audience cackles at their misfortune as they slip and fall to the bottom, often collecting their opponents on the way down.

Think Steven Bradbury’s infamous 2002 Winter Olympics moment but on a particularly perilous set of stairs and the ice skaters are power rangers.

It’s pretty funny, and strangely engrossing.

It appears this particular game features as part of a biannual quiz show containing a raft of different challenges and games.

But whatever it is, the world needs more of it.

iPhone X Loses Out To Pixel 2 In Controversial Benchmark

On release, Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus shot to the top of DxOMark’s respected camera benchmarks only to be beaten almost immediately by Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, whose short-lived victory was itself toppled only a day later by Google’s fearsome Pixel 2.

However, with the superior camera hardware of the flagship iPhone X still untested, Apple had yet to play its trump card.

The new iPhone X features Apple’s most advanced camera. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The results are now in, and those hoping for a chart-topping score ahead of Google’s Pixel 2 are going to be disappointed, but drilling down a little further into the results reveals some very good news for those who are now minus the $1,000 just spent on their shiny new iPhones.

iPhone X sits in second place

With a DxOMark Mobile score of 97 points and tying with Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro for second place, the iPhone X now sits just a single point behind the reigning champion, Google’s Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL.

DxO

Apple’s iPhone X takes second place close behind the Google Pixel 2 in DxOMark Mobile.

However, as is always the case with such complicated benchmarks, the overall score tells only part of the story.

iPhone X Has Best Overall Photo Score

The iPhone X may have failed to secure the top spot in the DxOMark mobile charts, but it’s important to look beyond the overall score when deciding which smartphone camera is best suited to your needs. Not that anyone buying an iPhone X will be doing so simply for the camera anyway.

According to DxOMark, there are key test criteria in which the iPhone X camera outperforms all others, and the most significant of these is arguably the most important of all – taking photos.

DxOMark Mobile is split into separate ‘Photo’ and ‘Video’ categories, each of which is further subdivided into subsections: nine for photo and seven for video.

Leaving aside video performance for now, the iPhone X achieves the best-ever DxOMark Photo score of 101 points for stills photography, edging out both the Galaxy Note 8 and Mate 10 Pro by a single point and standing two points clear of the Pixel 2.

DxO

DxOMark Mobile full results for the iPhone X. The best ever photo score isn’t matched by the video score.

So while the iPhone X may not earn you the bragging rights that come with a top spot in the charts, if you rarely shoot video it’s effectively the best camera according to DxOMark.

The camera was praised particularly for its exposure, shadow and highlight detail as well as accurate colour rendition in all lighting conditions.

…but only under certain conditions.

However, it was also noted that autofocus is sometimes a little slow and the camera tended to underexpose flash-only shots and cause some ghosting on moving subjects.

It also produced less than impressive results from the indoor backlit window portrait, where the subject was underexposed while the sky through the window was overexposed and became pure white in the highlights. This is a scenario where the Google Pixel 2 excels, thanks to its formidable HDR+ mode.

DxO

Here, the iPhone X has underexposed the subject while overexposing the background through the window.

This isn’t a rare shooting scenario and In our own tests, the Pixel 2’s superior HDR capture comes into play in most shots where dynamic range is an important factor.

In samples taken by Forbes contributor, Gordon Kelly, the Pixel 2 clearly shows superior control over highlights and shadows.

It’s all about zoom and bokeh

And this is where interpreting the DxOMark results starts to get tricky: Despite its lower score of 99 points, the Pixel 2 outperforms the iPhone X convincingly in ‘Exposure Contrast’, ‘Color’, ‘Autofocus’, ‘Texture’ and ‘Flash’ tests.

The iPhone X, on the other hand, performed better at ‘Noise’, ‘Artifacts’, ‘Bokeh’, and especially ‘Zoom’ where the single-lensed Pixel 2 is clearly at a disadvantage against the iPhone X’s dedicated telephoto optics.

So, if you don’t make heavy use of both zoom and bokeh effects, the Pixel 2 seems to produce far better stills than the iPhone X.

Gordon Kelly

The iPhone X (left) captures less dynamic range than the Pixel 2 XL (right), resulting in blown-out highlights in the windows.

Better than the iPhone 8 Plus.

The iPhone X features an improved telephoto lens compared to the iPhone 8 Plus, featuring a wider aperture (f/2.4 vs. f/2.8) with optical image stabilisation (OIS), which helped it deliver significant improvements.

The wider aperture allows more light to be captured with each shot and is aided still further by the OIS which allows for a longer exposure time with reduced camera shake.

DxOMark’s ‘Zoom’ score relies heavily on the performance of the telephoto lens and this results in the iPhone X achieving a noticeably better ‘zoom’ score of 58 points vs. 55 points for the iPhone 8 Plus.

The iPhone X pulls ahead even further from the iPhone 8 Plus in the ‘Artifacts’ test, although there’s no clear indication from DxOMark as to why this might be the case.

The telephoto lens also plays a big part in creating ‘portrait mode’ shots, which keep the subject in sharp focus, while softly blurring the background (and sometimes foreground), mimicking the output of an SLR camera.

DxOMark noted that the iPhone X, therefore, delivers sharper portraits then the iPhone 8 Plus, although it still suffers from some issues when artificially separating the subject from the background and both achieve a score of 55 points in the ‘Bokeh’ test.

Anyway, from these results it looks like those who skipped the iPhone 8 Plus to wait for the superior camera of the iPhone X may have made the right decision.

What about Video?

Unfortunately for Apple, the video quality of the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus, both with a DxOMark Video score of 89 points, lags significantly behind the 96 points scored by the Google Pixel 2 and this is why the Apple flagship fails to reach the top overall chart position despite its superb photo score.

It’s biggest video-related problems were image noise and autofocus performance, both of which were significantly outclassed by the Pixel 2.

What’s not covered by DxO?

While the DxOMark tests are quite rigorous, there’s a whole lot more to a camera than is revealed by such benchmarks. The iPhone X’s overall DxOMark score may not be the highest on record, but it does come with some powerful features not found in much of the competition.

Despite its less than stellar DxOMark Video score, Its video capabilities are far ahead of the competition in some respects, such as support for 4K recording at 60 fps and 1080p at up to 240 fps for smooth slow-motion effects. The Pixel 2, by comparison, offers no slow-motion 4K mode and 1080p is limited to 120 fps.

Again, the significance of DxOMarks scoring will depend very heavily on your own preferences and usage scenarios.

Let’s also not forget the iPhone X’s front-facing TrueDepth camera which enables Animoji; body and face detection; and ‘portrait mode’ selfies. And then there’s Apple’s popular ‘Portrait Lighting’ mode which enables studio lighting and creative background effects to be created in camera.

Apple

Apple’s ‘Clips’ app makes use of the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera to create immersive 360-degree environments for selfies.

The respective camera apps also offer vastly different experiences. Where Apple’s camera is designed to be as simple as possible (although growing in complexity with each added feature), others offer far more control at the possible cost of ease of use. Huawei’s camera is a prime example, where the user is presented with a bewildering array of options and sliders even before the more complicated ‘Pro Mode’ is enabled.

Apple is also pioneering the use of HEIF for images rather than the familiar, but less capable JPEG. The smaller size of the new format allows more pictures to be stored and, more importantly, allows different types of content to be stored within the file, such as animations and 3d depth information which allows ‘portrait mode’ images to be edited later and in third-party apps.

Apple’s recent iPhones also support ‘wide color’ mode, where the camera captures a broader range of colours than the more usual ‘sRGB’ mode. More importantly, they also have the capability to display these extra colours. Google’s Pixel 2 doesn’t currently support this, despite having hardware which could easily do so.

Conclusion

The iPhone X hasn’t topped the DxOMark charts, but it still turns in a phenomenal performance – especially when considering stills photography where it delivers the best results of any smartphone yet tested. However, a large part of that score comes from zoom and bokeh performance, leaving standard everyday shots falling behind the competition.

While the measured video performance proved less impressive in DxO’s tests, its slow-motion capabilities and front-facing TrueDepth camera give it capabilities beyond its rivals, even though they may score higher for pure image quality.

No-one wants to come second in a test, but once again this is a situation where there’s a lot more to a camera than how well it performs in the DxOMark benchmarks.

See DxOMark for more details.

___

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Samsung loses top smartphone vendor spot to Apple in US

055be_Apple-iPhone-7-vs-Samsung-Galaxy-S8-camera-840x473 Samsung loses top smartphone vendor spot to Apple in US

There has been a tug-of-war between Samsung and Apple for the top US smartphone vendor spot for some time. Not only are the companies closely matched in terms of sales figures, they tend to release their major products in different quarters: Apple launching its new iPhones in the latter half of the year, and Samsung releasing its Galaxy S flagships during the first. This leads to peaks and troughs for both companies, which regularly sees them cross over in terms of US smartphone shipments.

Despite Samsung remaining the top dog in the global smartphone market in Q3 2017, research company Strategy Analytics suggests that Apple has once again regained the top spot position for the US.

US Supreme Court will not hear Samsung’s appeal in patent loss to Apple

Samsung shipped an estimated 9.9 million phones in the US for Q3 2017 compared to Apple’s 12 million iPhones. This resulted in a 30.4 percent market share for Apple versus 25.1 percent market share for Samsung, thus ending Samsung’s reported two-quarter run as the top smartphone vendor in the US.

Though Apple will almost certainly lead Q4 2017 also, competition between the two companies is fiercer, and more complicated, than ever. Apple just launched its tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X, which is probably going to become one of the biggest selling smartphones ever, while Samsung stands to earn potentially billions of dollars from the phone thanks to its partnership with Apple as a components supplier.

Samsung may now struggle to climb back to the top US smartphone vendor spot until after the release of its Galaxy S9 next year.

Doctor who refuses to use computers loses medical license

– Holding manila folders filled with pages of her handwritten reports, Dr. Anna Konopka insisted her system for keeping track of her patients’ medical conditions and various prescriptions works fine.

But the New Hampshire Board of Medicine disagrees. It is challenging the 84-year-old New London physician’s record keeping, prescribing practices and medical decision making.

Part of their concern is her remedial computer skills, which prevent her from accessing and using the state’s mandatory electronic drug monitoring program. The program, which the state signed onto in 2014, requires prescribers of opioids to register in an effort reduce overdoses.

Konopka surrendered her license last month and went to court Friday in an effort to regain it.

Konopka doesn’t have a computer in her office and doesn’t know how to use one. Two file cabinets in a tiny waiting room inside a 160-year-old clapboard house hold most of her patient records. The only sign of technology in the waiting room is a landline telephone on her desk.

“The problem now is that I am not doing certain things on computer,” said Konopka, who emigrated from Poland in 1961 and has decorated her office with family photos and symbols from her homeland. “I have to learn that. It is time consuming. I have no time.”

According to the state, the allegations against Konopka started with a complaint about her treatment of a 7-year-old patient with asthma. She’s been accused of leaving dosing levels of one medication up to the parents and failing to treat the patient with daily inhaled steroids. Konopka, who agreed to a board reprimand in May, said she never harmed the patient and the issue was that the boy’s mother disregarded her instructions.

Four more complaints have since been filed against Konopka. The board in September voted to move forward with a disciplinary hearing on those complaints. But before the hearing was held, Konopka agreed in October to give up her license – something she said she was forced to do.

Konopka has built a loyal following in New London, population 4,400, and surrounding towns because she brings a personal touch that is attractive to patients weary of battling big hospitals and inattentive doctors. She often attracts patients who have run out of options, many with complicated conditions, such as chronic pain. She also draws patients who have no insurance and little means to pay. She takes anyone willing to pay her $50 in cash.

“I’m interested in helping people. I didn’t go to medicine for money, and I didn’t make money,” she said, noting she works alone and can’t afford things like and administrative assistant or even a nurse.

Her ongoing fight with the state has prompted scores of patients to write letters on her behalf and call her repeatedly to check on her case. Several of Konopka’s patients attended Friday’s hearing, some admitting they had struggled since she stopped seeing them.

“It stinks, but you have to find a new doctor, and it’s a rat race,” said Stanley Wright, who saw Konopka the past year for chronic back pain. “The doctor I had before was over-medicating me, and she gives me a lot of herbal stuff and I was doing a lot better. Now, I’m back to being screwed. I don’t know what to do.”

At the hearing, Konopka told Merrimack Superior Court Judge John Kissinger that her inability to practice is putting her patients at risk because they are having a hard time finding another physician and getting drug prescriptions.

“If I close my office, they will be without medical care,” she told the court. “Some of them need medications. Who will prescribe for them if I don’t have a license? I worry what will happen to them.”

Kissinger did not rule Friday on Konopka’s request.

Assistant Attorney General Lyn Cusack said Konopka’s request should be denied, arguing the doctor has been given plenty of time to close her practice and help patients find other doctors. She also said Konopka hasn’t provided any evidence she was forced to give up her license. If she wants to get her license back, Cusack said, Konopka could file for reconsideration with the Board of Medicine.

Outcome Health Loses Operating Chief Vivek Kundra

One of the top executives at prominent Chicago startup Outcome Health has left the company three months after he was given control over most day-to-day operations.

Vivek Kundra, whose resignation was announced Friday, was among Outcome’s highest profile hires this year. Before joining the company in January, he was an executive at Salesforce.com Inc. and the first chief information officer of the U.S. during the Obama administration.

Internet loses it as Dodgers rally past Astros, force Game 7

  • 1c948_920x920 Internet loses it as Dodgers rally past Astros, force Game 7

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Browse through the photos for the best reactions to Game 6 of the World Series. 

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Browse through the photos for the best reactions to Game 6 of the World Series. 


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This World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers has been pretty great, but I’m starting to have concerns for everyone’s mental health/emotional well-being.  

How y’all doing out there — holding up OK?

This has been a pretty stressful few days — regardless of who you are rooting for — but it is important to remember that it’s just baseball and if it gets too intense for you, just know there is always a part of the internet that is watching exactly what you’re watching, just to make fun of it. 


Tuesday’s Game 6 of the 2017 World Series didn’t have as much offense as Game 5 did, but the drama was there just the same.

Justin Verlander seemed untouchable on the mound for the Astros, but it all fell apart in the sixth inning and the Dodgers eventually closed out the game for a 3-1 win to force a Game 7 Wednesday night. 

The Astros offense was absent, except for a solo home run from George Springer which gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. 

If Houston hopes to win its first World Series, it will need to give Lance McCullers much more run support on Wednesday. 

Browse through the photos above for the best reactions from Game 6 of the World Series. 

Police: Darien Woman Loses $9K In ‘Software’ Computer Scam

DARIEN, Conn. — A Darien woman reported that she was scammed out of $9,000 after falling for a scheme presented by a caller, police said.

The woman said she received a call from a male who indicated that he worked for a subsidiary of Microsoft, and said that his company owed her money as a reimbursement for computer software she had purchased, police said.

The caller instructed the victim to download a program called “Any Desk” so he could guide her through the reimbursement process, police said.

The caller used the downloaded program to connect to the victim’s computer, police said.

As the caller was explaining to her how the money would be transferred, he was moving money within her bank accounts to make it look as if a deposit had been made, police said.

The caller stated he would be over-depositing, and that she would need to refund him $9,000, police said.

The victim then went to her bank and withdrew the $9,000 she believed had been deposited by the caller, police said. She then deposited the money into the account specified by the caller, police said.

But after reviewing her account, the victim realized that no deposit had ever been made to her account and she had deposited her own money into the caller’s account, police said.

The police investigation into the scam is ongoing.

The Darien Police Department warned that many computer/phone scams “involve some sort of overpayment/reimbursement transaction between the scammer and victim.”

The scammer “overpays” the victim — in a variety of methods — and requires the victim to reimburse them the overpayment, police said.

The money that the victim reimburses ends up being their own money, police said.

If you are approached with this overpayment/reimbursement scenario, remember that this is not a normal business practice, police said.

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Man loses gold teeth, iPhone, $400 in drug deal gone bad, PBSO says

Instead, he found himself being robbed by gang members of $400 cash, his iPhone and his removable gold teeth, according to authorities.

Internet scorches Butch Jones after Tennessee loses to South Carolina

Down goes Tennessee … again.

Two week after an embarrassing loss to Georgia, the Volunteers lost against Saturday. And it creates major questions about the program under coach Butch Jones.

The Vols lost to South Carolina 15-9 at Neyland Stadium. The result dropped Tennessee to 3-3. The Vols haven’t scored a touchdown since the second quarter of the victory against Massachusetts on Sept. 23.

As you can expect, fans had thoughts about Jones’ hot-seat situation after the game. Here’s a sampling of the reaction.

Windows 10 Mobile loses another big champion: HP drops its flagship Elite X3

41ccc_hp-elite-x3-mobile-extender Windows 10 Mobile loses another big champion: HP drops its flagship Elite X3

The Elite X3 alongside the 12.5-inch Mobile Extender device.


Image: HP Inc

HP has confirmed it’s not making any more of its Elite X3, one of the few remaining Windows 10 Mobile handsets available.

The Elite X3 was a showcase for an interesting Windows 10 Mobile feature called Continuum, which allows the smartphone to be connected to a big screen and keyboard, and function pretty well as a desktop computer.

It is sold in bundles that include a Desk Dock, which provides a range of connectors, and a Lap Dock, a laptop-like device without local processing or storage capability that only functions when used in conjunction with the Elite x3 phablet.

According to The Register, which first reported the story, HP had planned a number of products but this strategy was cut short when Microsoft changed its own mobile plans.

In a statement HP told ZDNet: “Many customers are finding value in HP’s 3-in-1 device, the HP Elite x3. It enables mobile workers, including first responders, field services, and others to have a smartphone that can provide a tablet and PC-like experience — the one device for them.

“We will continue to fully support HP Elite x3 customers and partners through 2019. We will continue to evaluate our plans with Windows Mobile as Microsoft shares additional roadmap details. Sales of the HP Elite x3 continue and will be limited to inventories in country. HP remains committed to investing in mobility solutions and has some exciting offerings coming in 2018.”

When ZDNet reviewed the Elite X3 late last year it described it as the ‘most compelling Windows 10 Mobile phone yet’, however HP’s move is not hugely surprising.

Microsoft has all but abandoned Windows 10 Mobile smartphones, and now so have most other handset makers.

Microsoft’s own website now only lists two handsets: the Elite X3 and the Alcatel Idol 4S. However German company TrekStor and the UK’s Wileyfox have both said they will be building handsets too.

Despite spending buying Nokia’s phone business in 2014, which was meant to catapult Microsoft back into the top echelons of the smartphone market, its phones never really made enough of a breakthrough against Android and iOS devices.

A mere two years later Microsoft was forced to swallow a $7.6bn writedown on the acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business, and cut 20,000 jobs in the process. Since then Microsoft has been slowly stepping back from the smartphone business to the point where it has now all but vanished.

Microsoft never quite rules out the idea of having another go at mobile, perhaps with its new Andromeda hardware and software, but it will find it an uphill struggle as its customer base continues to shrink.

MORE ON WINDOWS

iPhone 8 Plus loses its camera crown: One-lens Pixel 2 snatches it with record score

9798a_screen-shot-2017-10-06-at-13-49-02 iPhone 8 Plus loses its camera crown: One-lens Pixel 2 snatches it with record score

DxOMark testing finds the Pixel 2 features very good color rendering.


Image: DxOMark

The iPhone 8 Plus’ brief reign over the smartphone camera world is over, according to mobile camera-testing outfit DxOMark.

The iPhone 8 Plus may have set a new standard for smartphone cameras in DxOMark’s tests last month, but now the one to beat is the single-lens Pixel 2.

The Google phone got an overall score or 98, topping the dual-lens iPhone 8 Plus’ and Galaxy Note 8’s 94. The first Pixel attained a score 90 and was the top camera phone until the iPhone 8 Plus arrived.

The Pixel 2 features a 12-megapixel main sensor, dual-pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization, HDR+, and a new Portrait mode enhancement.

Despite the new top score, if you love zoom and natural-looking blurry Bokeh backgrounds, the better choice is the still dual lens iPhone 8 Plus or Samsung’s Note 8. But on all other fronts the Pixel 2 offers better photography and video, according to DxO’s review.

The Pixel 2’s background blur effects have improved over what the Pixel offers, but they’re not as natural looking as the iPhone 8 Plus’s camera, the reviewers found.

9798a_screen-shot-2017-10-06-at-13-49-02 iPhone 8 Plus loses its camera crown: One-lens Pixel 2 snatches it with record score

Reviewers reckon the Pixel 2’s background blur effects have improved but are not as natural-looking as the iPhone 8 Plus’s.


DxOMark

Nevertheless, the Pixel 2 is unbeatable as a mobile device for videographers. Compared with the first-generation Pixel, DxOMark found significant improvements in the Pixel 2 video performance, which is currently the best it’s tested. It offers a high level of stabilization, and is good at preserving detail while reducing noise.

The reviewers were also impressed with the Pixel 2’s autofocus, which was quick, accurate and consistent when focusing in all lighting conditions.

The camera offered great exposure and contrast in bright light and performed decently in low light. However, in very low light the Pixel 2’s shots are underexposed.

One weakness was that it produces visible noise in certain shots, such as when rendering blue skies.

Overall, DxOMark judged that the Pixel 2 has one of the best cameras for just about any photo or video scenario, with the exception of zoom and Bokeh.

Previous and related coverage

iPhone 8 Plus vs Galaxy Note 8: New camera tests say it’s too close to call

Samsung’s dual-camera Galaxy Note 8 joins Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus as the best phones for photography lovers.

DxOMark report: Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus set new standard for smartphone cameras

The HTC U11 and Google Pixel reigned at the top of the DxOMark ratings for several months, but the new Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus just beat them out and set the new bar for smartphone cameras.

More on Google’s Pixel 2




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