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After Math: Stunning figures

This week in large numbers.
Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
February 16, 2020
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The news just wouldn't stop dropping this week. First, Parasite absolutely dominated the Oscars, everyone was convinced Bill Gates bought a hydrogen-powered mega-yacht for a hot second (surprise, he didn't), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political party left the entirety of its voter rolls -- millions of records -- just swinging in the breeze, and the massive $26.5 billion T-mobile/Sprint merger finally got the court's blessing to move ahead. And those were the tame ones! What we've got for you below, hooboy, just some jaw-dropping numbers.

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Puerto Rico's government lost $2.6 million to a phishing scam

I'm disappointed in you, Puerto Rico. Getting snookered for seven figures by a run-of-the-mill phishing scam is the sort of behavior I'd expect from Florida, but you should know better.

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WhatsApp now has over 2 billion users

It make have taken a decade but WhatsApp hit a major milestone, crossing 2 billion registered users. The company also took a moment to tell the intrusive surveillance apparatuses of various western powers (ahem) exactly what they could do with their government backdoor requests.

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Android saw a 98 percent drop in apps asking for call and text data

Given how it treats its employees and keeps cozying up with the Pentagon, it's easy to forget that Google's motto was once "Don't be evil." But every once in a while the tech conglomerate throws its users a bone and does something genuinely helpful. In this case, the company cracked down on app makers abusing feature permissions, resulting in a staggering 98 percent reduction in apps asking for call and text data.

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Nikola Motors unveils hybrid fuel-cell concept truck with 600-mile range

Say hello to The Badger, a hybrid electric/fuel cell pickup concept from startup automaker Nikola Motors. It will reportedly be able to travel 300 miles on a single charge or up to 600 miles when utilizing both power plants. That's going to be necessary since 600 miles is approximately the distance between hydrogen fuel stations these days.

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The Galaxy S20 and S20+ sport fast screens and crazy sharp cameras

Yes, I agree that the new Galaxy S20 that Samsung showed off this week during an event in San Francisco is an impressive piece of hardware, including a stupendous 100x zoom capability. I'm just saying, maybe it's not $1300 -- aka your share of rent this month -- impressive.

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