Stay for Surface on Windows

unduhanMicrosoft’s Windows 10 event, scheduled for Wednesday, actually could focus more on hardware than on the operating system, given that the next Windows 10 refresh is expected in March.

A new Surface device — possibly an all-in-one computer with a 21-inch or larger screen — could be in the offing.

Whether Microsoft will unveil updates to its Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book devices or showcase products from its OEMs has generated some debate.

Windows Insiders have been testing new Windows 10 features, including trackpad innovations, noted The Verge. It might announce a F.lux-like feature to reduce blue light in Windows 10, as well as a new HomeHub smart device control feature. Further, Microsoft might bring its Holographic shell to Windows 10 PCs.

What Makes Sense

“It’ll be a hardware event,” predicted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

“This is the expected refresh of the Surface product line,” he told TechNewsWorld, because “all that Surface stuff belongs to the Windows 10 group.”

Although some of the speculation may be groundless, “the all-in-one device makes a certain amount of sense because Microsoft hasn’t had a desktop Surface product yet,” Enderle pointed out.

“The smart money’s on the fact that they’ll probably have a Surface all-in-one, and the Surface Book and Surface Pro will probably be upgraded,” he said. “It’s about time.”

Improvements in battery life, higher-resolution screens, better touch technology, and “a better overall stylus experience” probably will be unveiled, Enderle suggested. “Everybody has improved their stylus resolution and screens have been getting better.”

However, don’t expect the Surface Book or Surface Pro to get any thinner, because “they’re already pretty thin and will run into thermal limits,” he noted.

The Surface all-in-one PC “is what’s most likely to be announced,” R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research, also said.

Expect deeper integration with Cortana services, Microsoft’s Power BI and more, he told TechNewsWorld..

Moving into AR, VR and Games

Microsoft also might push virtual or augmented reality, Wang suggested. “Look for the battle for VR and AR to continue. With the rumors of the iPhone 8 integrating VR and AR, this is a chance to pre-empt Apple.”

Microsoft might make “some type of announcement to counter Nintendo’s Switch with their devices,” he noted, “but we’re not sure if this will happen.”

The Nintendo Switch is a new home gaming system unveiled last week. It can be used in single player and multiplayer modes, and it lets gamers play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose.

Marketing Works

Redstone 2, the Windows 10 update scheduled for March, will have several new features, according to Wang, including an Office hub, better Bluetooth GATT support, onDemand sync with Microsoft OneDrive, interoperability among devices, and gaming services to the devices.

Windows 10 had a 22 percent share of the global operating systems market in September, according to Netmarketshare. Windows 7 continued to dominate with 48 percent.

Microsoft reported that revenue from Surface products grew 9 percent year over year in constant currency in fiscal Q4 2016, driven by sales of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

Rocks Worlds Technology

images-6Rez Infinite, one of the first virtual reality games for Sony’s new PlaystationVR, this week earned praise from early reviewers for its graphics and immersing qualities. Sony announced the game — an update of a remake — last year.

Featuring support for 1080p resolution graphics, along with 3D audio sound,Rez Infinite is designed for the PSVR, but it’s also compatible with the regular PlayStation 4.

Sega introduced the original Rez for the Dreamcast in 2001 and the PlayStation 2 a year later. It was a huge hit with fans and critics alike, and it earned an award from the Japan Media Arts Festival. It was featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 2012 exhibition, “The Art of Video Games.”

Instead of traditional gaming sound effects, Rez incorporates electronic music, which results in the audio being as important as the visuals.

A high-definition version, Rez HD, became available for the Xbox Live Arcade in 2008.

The latest iteration remains true to the original rail shooter music video game in many ways, but the Rez Infinite visuals and audio now are even more immersing through VR technology.

A Virtual Remake

The early take on Rez Infinite emphasizes the way it pays homage to the original while showing off the capabilities of VR. This game might have been just the right choice to show off Sony’s PSVR technology, because it is a blend of the familiar with something new.

“Some games are timeless,” noted Alexa Ray Corriea for GameSpot. “Rez is one of them.”

In addition, because the game is set in “cyberspace” rather than a more photorealistic environment, it makes a solid leap to VR.

“Backgrounds that were once hazy have been replaced with updated, crystal clear pieces of the cyberworld,” added Corriea. “Colors are brighter, lines sharper. Enemies drift in and out of your field of view with a new smoothness. And in VR, Rez Infinite allows you to dive deeper into its world in ways previously impossible.”

The jump from the pre-high definition era graphics of the Dreamcast and PS2 to a true VR experience is highlighted in the reviews.

“I’m jealous of anyone who’s first experience of Rez is this virtual reality version,” wrote Matt Martin for

“This is clearly the way the game was meant to be played; it only took 15 years for the technology to catch up to the design,” suggested Ben Kuchera for Polygon. “Rez Infinite, played in virtual reality, seems like the ‘finished’ version of the game.”

Apt Killer App?

The reviewers may have loved the game, and it is likely that it will attract fans of the original — but the interest Rez Infinite spurs in VR might be limited

“I wouldn’t say that Rez is the killer app for PSVR, in itself,” said Steve Bailey, senior analyst for games at IHS Markit.

“Admittedly, for a number of people from my particular generation, who played Rez on the Dreamcast or PS2, it’s rather intoxicating to see the game realized for VR,” he told TechNewsWorld.

However, “Rez was always a niche darling that never found wide acceptance, and I don’t think that its role is going to scale to a broader audience where VR is concerned, either,” Bailey added.

New Tech Targets Human Creativity

images-5Microsoft made a slew of announcements at its New York City event Wednesday, focusing on the idea of user as creator.

Among its new offerings:

  • The Surface Studio, an all-in-one desktop computer with a touchscreen that’s 12.5mm thick;
  • The Surface Dial, a new input device that provides haptic feedback;
  • The Surface Book i7;
  • VR headsets for Windows 10 that use the same Windows Holographic platform as its HoloLens;
  • A revamped Paint app with 3D capability; and
  • Creator’s Update, an upcoming Windows 10 refresh providing 3D creation tools, live streaming, and custom Xbox app tournaments.

“Ultimately, technology is just a tool in the hands of humanity,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the event. It’s “a tool that helps amplify our ingenuity and creativity. New computing medias do not take shape by technology alone.”

The Surface Studio took center stage at the event.

“The Surface Studio is my favorite simply based on looks and the way it’s aimed at graphical productivity,” said Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

“It would be ideal for desktop publishing integrating graphics,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This makes productivity through graphical manipulation practical.”

The Surface Studio’s 4.5K ultra HD touchscreen stood out for Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

“All the OEMs buy screens based on price and yield,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Microsoft specified a screen that was matched to what Windows can do, which means this one product will work better with Windows than anything currently in, or coming to, market.”

The only other firm that has done that is Apple, Enderle noted.

Surface Studio Specs

The Surface Studio’s screen delivers 63 percent more pixels than a state-of-the-art 4K TV, said Terry Myerson, EVP of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group.

It works beautifully with a stylus pen, touch and the new Surface Dial, he noted.

The Key Elements of Great Options

Why It Is Vital For Businesses To Hire A Digital Transformation Service Digital transformation is a core concept of a business model, it is the process of transitioning their entire business from an old stale platform to a new digitally effective and also exciting business model. There are also a number of different things which go into this but it can also get to help most businesses to improve their various sales and also marketing for their own business. Digital transformation a number of times would get to bring their sales and also marketing from the physical world of phone calls, fliers and also mailings that they can get to send through utilizing the internet. These kind of older analog techniques are still valid but they are slowly becoming mostly less efficient over time, ecommerce technology have reached a certain point that they are beating physical advertising. People are still purchasing things more than ever before, they are purchasing various products on the internet apart from going into the store and purchasing various products from the physical store. Show rooming is a term which most retailers for people that would go into the store to get an experience with the physical product then look for the best price that they can get to purchase online. This is a truly good thing that companies can have as their business model because of the fact it would assist people to purchase the product in the store and also they can purchase these products on the website too. Companies need to take advantage of different review websites because of the fact they can show more information about the company and they must offer a social proof of customer for their various clients.
Short Course on Consultants – What You Need To Know
These customer reviews are the great force in demonstrating reputation on the online world, it the past it is used to be called word of mouth advertising but also new sites can allow a single customer to reach their whole market. Companies can also get to use social media because they are also treated like a billboard by them compared to a customer interaction platform, they can get to easily promote their products and also services to their clients.
Short Course on Consultants – Getting to Square 1
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Spurring Evacuation of Galaxy Note7 Snaps Plane

Southwest Airlines on Wednesday evacuated a plane in Louisville, Kentucky, after a Samsung Galaxy Note7 began popping and issuing thick smoke.

Samsung last month began replacing Galaxy Note7s globally, following reports of several of the devices catching fire or exploding. It blamed the problem on an “isolated” faulty battery cell issue.

The device involved in the Southwest Airline incident reportedly was a replacement phone, according to owner Brian Green.

Samsung has said it will verify whether the phone actually was a replacement.

The latest incident throws a pall over the future of the Galaxy Note series, which had been Samsung’s flagship line.

“Wall Street and some retailers might understand that the problem may not have been created by Samsung, but they will not care,” said Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University.

“Consumers will certainly care less,” he told TechNewsWorld. “All will hold Samsung responsible for its supply chain — and as a result, all will now rethink buying anything Samsung.”

Samsung officials may “be in denial, since they will likely view it as not their fault — but they specified the battery and chose the suppliers, and they cannot ignore the lingering impact on the Samsung brand and reputation,” Chiagouris said.

No End in Sight

“We are still investigating the Southwest Airlines 944 incident,” said Tammy Jones, a spokesperson for the United States Federal Aviation Administration.

“The FAA has issued safety alerts for operators and advisory circulars advising the airlines that they must have procedures for fighting these in-cabin fires,” she told TechNewsWorld.

The FAA previously issued advisories to airlines and passengers about the Galaxy Note7 in response to Samsung’s recall.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has begun looking into the issue, and has reached out to the FAA and Samsung.

The problem with the Note7 “may drag on for several months,” said Neil Mawston, a research executive director at Strategy Analytics.

The company “has millions of models in many countries to replace,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Dell’s big recall of millions of laptop batteries in 2006 took around six months.”

As smartphones become more complex, product glitches and recalls will become more common, Mawston predicted. “The iPhone, for example, was recently accused of ‘touch disease’ for a display glitch.”

The Fiery Fallout

Airlines have begun telling passengers on all flights that they must shut off their Samsung phones for the entire flight based on government directives, Chiagouris noted.

“In effect, the entire flying public is being constantly reminded about Samsung’s problems,” he said.

Samsung “will have to retire the Galaxy brand and Note models and introduce new ones to replace them,” Chiagouris suggested. The company also may have to offer longer warranties and rebates to regain consumer trust.

Samsung has two issues to fix, according to Mawston. “First, its quality control during design and production needs improving. Second, it needs better contingency plans for product recalls when things go wrong. It was caught on the hop by the Note7 recall.”

“Samsung’s base is now pretty much gone,” observed Will Stofega, a research program director at IDC.

Proportional Response

The Obama administration on Tuesday indicated it was considering a proportional response to retaliate against Russia for its efforts to influence the United States election process.

The administration last week officially linked Russian operatives to a series of cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and other organizations, which apparently were designed to influence the November presidential race.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed that leaks to WikiLeaks, DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 were “consistent with methods and motivations of Russian efforts” during a press gaggle on board Air Force One on Tuesday, when President Obama was en route to Greensboro, North Carolina.

“The intelligence community has assessed that the theft of this information and its disclosure is an attempt to interfere with the U.S. political system,” Earnest said.

Russia has used similar tactics in the past to try to destabilize democracies in other parts of the world, but those other countries were not as “durable and resilient” as the U.S., he added.

Any U.S. response would be “proportional,” Earnest said, noting that it was “unlikely that our response would be announced in advance,” and that President Obama might choose options that would not be disclosed.

Asked by a reporter whether those options would include sanctions or retaliatory activity against Russia, Earnest said he would not be specific in terms of foreshadowing potential responses, but that a range of options, including the two mentioned, were on the table.

Battening Hatches

The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last week issued a joint statement saying they were confident that the Russian government was behind various hacks designed to interfere with the U.S. election.

The hacks included scanning and probing of election-related systems in Illinois and Arizona.

Based on the hack attacks’ scope and sensitivity, it appears they were authorized by senior-level officials in the Russian government, the joint statement says.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson earlier this week said that 33 states and 11 county or local agencies had requested cybersecurity services from DHS to defend against further hacks.

The services range from cyberhygiene scans on Internet-facing systems to risk and vulnerability assessments, DHS officials said. The hygiene scans are done remotely, and state and local officials are given a report showing vulnerable areas, along with recommendations for improving online voter registration systems, election night reporting systems, and other systems connected to the Internet.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. — who joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in pushing the Obama administration to go public with the allegations — praised the official release of the evidence linking Russia to the hacks.

“We should now work with our European allies who have been the victim of similar and even more malicious cyber interference by Russia to develop a concerted response that protects our institutions and deters further meddling,” he said in a statement.

Hold Fire

The process of naming Russia as the culprit has become heavily politicized, observed Martin Libicki, an adjunct management scientist at the RAND Corporation and a distinguished visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. One side of the U.S. political aisle is calling out the Russians, while the other side is disputing the level of certainty.

“A U.S. administration response cannot help but play into the election season with the other side screaming bloody murder,” Libicki told TechNewsWorld.

It might make sense to wait until after the election to respond, he suggested. However, the Russians might then lose interest until the next presidential cycle.

It’s difficult to know definitively what specific evidence points directly at the Russian government, but it’s unlikely the hacks will change the outcome of the race, said Troy Hunt, a Microsoft regional director.

Flashy New Computers

Watch out, Apple. HP on Wednesday introduced a new generation of premium computer products that could generate the kind of excitement in the market that’s usually the domain of the folks at One Infinite Loop.

Among the new HP offerings are a new tablet-laptop convertible, a svelte laptop, an innovative all-in-one model, and a 4k display designed for dual screen setups.

“HP has absolutely raised their bar in design, quality and performance,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.

The new HP machines target the premium end of the PC market, he told TechNewsWorld.

“The target market for these are consumers who care a lot about design and performance and are willing to pay for it,” said Moorhead. “HP has been gaining premium PC market share in U.S. retail, so they must have obviously cracked the code there.”

Convertible and Laptop

HP’s convertible offering is the Spectre x360 (pictured above), which is 2 millimeters thinner than its predecessor and now weighs less than 3 pounds. It has a 13.3-inch FHD IPS display, four speakers and is offered with either an i5 or an i7 seventh-generation Intel Core processor.

It supports log-in via facial recognition and has up to 15 hours of battery life. What’s more, the battery can be charged 90 percent in 90 minutes via a quick-charge function.

The Spectre x360, available immediately, sells for US$1,049.99.

HP’s laptop offering, the Envy, offers more battery life than its predecessor — it has a runtime of up to 14 hours — but at 14mm thick and 3.15 pounds, it’s not as thin and light. It has a 13.3-inch display with a touchscreen option and an extra-wide glass touchpad.

All-In-One and Monitor

The Envy AIO 27 is HP’s all-in-one desktop unit. It has a 27-inch QHD 3.6 million-pixel display that is just 15mm thick, because all the computing and storage power resides in the monitor’s base.

The display supports a “low blue light” mode for improved eye comfort. The base has a sound bar with four speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen.

Other features include a webcam that pops into the display when not in use, support for sixth-generation Intel quad core i5 or i7 desktop processors, storage on a solid state drive of up to 256 gigabytes, a hard drive of up to 2 terabytes, and HDMI in and out ports.

The AIO 27 sells for $1,299 and will be available this month.

HP’s new monitor is the 27-inch Envy 27. It supports 4K video and has a micro-edge bezel. Its RGB color accuracy exceeds 99 percent and includes a Display Port, HDMI and USB C, which can be used to charge devices.

The Envy 27 will be available Dec. 4 for $499.99.

Apple Dropped the Ball

The new HP offerings meet an unfulfilled need in the market, said Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.

“These are premium-looking and well-configured products,” he told TechNewsWorld, “and given how Apple has dropped the ball advancing the Mac, there’s an opportunity on the premium side of PCs.”

Sinking PC shipments have spurred computer makers to intensify their efforts to impress.

“It’s become more incumbent upon the companies staying in the market to drive more profit from the premium end,” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst with Reticle Research.

“Of course, Apple has been strong in that segment of the market,” he told TechNewsWorld.

However, Apple is expected to pick up the ball again at the end of the month with a refresh of its Macintosh line of computers.

“It’s too early to tell if HP has upstaged Apple until we see what Apple comes out with next,” Moorhead said. “It does set a higher bar for Apple to cross, though.”

Waves of Internet Out Ages

Hundreds of websites — including those of biggies such as Netflix, Twitter and Spotify — on Friday fell prey to massive DDoS attacks that cut off access to Internet users on the East Coast and elsewhere across the United States.

Three attacks were launched over a period of hours against Internet performance management company Dyn, which provides support to eight of the top 10 Internet service and retail companies and six of the top 10 entertainment companies listed in the Fortune 500.

The first attack against the Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure started at 11:10 a.m. UTC, or 7:10 a.m. EDT, the company said. Services were restored at about 9:00 a.m. Eastern time.

The second attack began around 11:52 a.m. EDT and was resolved by 2:52 p.m. The third attack, which started around 5:30 p.m., was resolved by about 6:17 p.m., according to Dyn’s incident report.

“This is a new spin on an old attack, as the bad guys are finding new and innovative ways to cause further discontent,” said Chase Cunningham, director of cyberoperations for A10 Networks.

“The bad guys are moving upstream for DDoS attacks on the DNS providers instead of just on sites or applications.”

Dyn “got the DNS stuff back up pretty quick. They were very effective,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Compact Computers

Welcome to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that’s emerging from the shadows of this mind-crushingly terrible election season to pore over the latest gadget announcements.

On our ballot this time around are a microphone that can plug into an iPhone or iPad, a smartphone case with an E-ink display, and a flexible keyboard that houses an entire computer.

As ever, the ratings reflect only how much I’d like to try out each item with my hands, ideally before the world descends into post-election chaos. These are not reviews.

Portable Podcasting

I’ve tried dipping my toes into the world of podcasting with a friend this year. It’s been challenging to find times that work for both of us to get together and record, but for the two (pretty successful, I confess) trial runs we’ve had, I bought a Blue Snowball mic. I’m very pleased with the sound quality, so I’m fairly certain I’d be happy to have Blue’s latest microphone, Raspberry (pictured above).

It’s a gorgeous, portable little thing, which you can connect to a PC or Mac using a USB cable. However, it is also bundled with a Mini USB to Lightning cable to make it easy for you to capture quality audio using an iPhone or iPad.

There’s an included stand with shock-absorber feet, so that should help cut down on unwanted vibrations and rumblings. When taking the mic elsewhere, the stand folds over it for better portability. If you prefer, you can attach Raspberry to a standard tripod or mic stand instead.

The mic also has a headphone jack, headphone volume dial, and a level/gain control that doubles as a mute switch. That can come in especially useful if you need to cough — much better to cut out an unwanted sound during recording instead of in the editing process.

Magical Mi Mix On Xiaomi

On Tuesday fired another shot in the shrinking bezel wars, as it announced a smartphone with a front that’s more than 90 percent display.

The Mi Mix is a 6.4-inch phone that’s stylishly crafted by French designer Philippe Starck. It sports a feature set that indicates Xiaomi wants to compete at the high end of the smartphone market.

“For many years, Xiaomi has had a reputation of copying designs and branding from Apple and Samsung,” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst atReticle Research.

“This phone breaks with those designs,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“One factor for success is trying to get the greatest possible screen area into the smallest possible footprint,” Rubin said. “This design comes close to the ideal of an all-screen phone.”

The Mi Mix has a screen-to-body ratio of 91.3 percent. That compares to 67.7 percent for Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus.

Real Estate Grab

To expand the Mi Mix’s display, Xiaomi grabbed the real estate at the top of the phone occupied by the front-facing camera, ear speaker and proximity sensor.

It did that by moving the front-facing camera to the bottom of the phone, and replacing the ear speaker with a piezoelectric speaker that uses the metal frame of the phone to generate sound. It also replaced the infrared proximity sensor found on most phones with one that uses sound.

The proximity sensor turns off a smartphone’s display as the device approaches the ear. Most phones use an infrared sensor at the top of the phone to do that. The Mi Mix uses ultrasound waves and software to do it.

“We use the sound transmitter that’s already inside the phone,” explained Guenael Strutt, vice president of product development at Elliptic Labs, maker of the ultrasound technology, which it calls “Inner Beauty.”

“The sonic wave echos off the head, is picked up by a microphone, and the data is processed by our algorithms inside the phone,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We use components in the phone to detect the head — we don’t have to add a new sensor.”

Using sound to detect proximity also avoids issues that make infrared sensors unreliable from time to time, such as weather conditions or skin and hair coloring.

Top-Shelf Play

In addition to its eye-catching display, the Mi Mix has a 16-megapixel camera with phase-detect auto focusing, a generous 4,400 mAh battery, two SIM slots and a Snapdragon 821 processor. It supports high-definition audio with a 192 Hz/24-bit DAC chip, which users can listen to through a standard headphone jack.

Although the Mi Mix is officially a concept phone, Xiaomi will start selling it in China next week. Models with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage will be priced at US$516, and those with 6 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage will sell for $590.

“Xiami lost a lot of traction in China as Vivo and Oppo strengthened their position in the lower end, and Huawei and Apple took the high end,” said Carolina Milanesi, a principal analyst at Creative Strategies.

“I see the new Mi Mix concept phone as an attempt by Xiaomi to recapture the higher end of the market and reposition itself as an innovator,” she told TechNewsWorld.

Xiaomi already is a top global contender because of its performance in China, and it wants to challenge Huawei in the West as best-performing Chinese brand.

“If this phone really goes up for sale in the West, it might jump ahead of the iPhone in terms of sexiness and design appeal,” Newzoo CEO Peter Warman told TechNewsWorld.

Just the Beginning

It’s unlikely the Mi Mix will be made for the mass market, though, in Milanesi’s view.

“Chinese consumers love large screens, and the quality of the display looks fantastic,” she said, and “$520 is in line with their pricing strategy of delivering a high-end experience at an affordable price.”

That said, “it will be interesting to see what supplies will be, as I have a feeling that these phones are more focused on revamping brand than growing sales,” Milanesi added.

Xiaomi might be wise to sell as many Mi Mixes as the market will bear as fast as it can before competition heats up.

More designs like the Mi Mix will start appearing in the next 12 months, said Daniel Matte, an analyst at Canalys.

Theories in the Information Age

One of the most volatile conspiracy theories in recent times ended with a whimper last month, when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made the terse statement, “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.”

Though birthers may be with us always, it seems that many have turned their attention to other potentially scandalous topics — and they need look no further than the place most conspiracy theories are born these days, the Internet.

Scientists recently made a discovery that might explain why Trump’s search for President Obama’s “real” birth certificate resonated with his supporters — those most drawn to his promise to “make America great again.”

Highly stressed people are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, according to research published this spring in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Based on the responses of 420 U.S. adults surveyed, stress and discontent correlated with a higher likelihood of belief in conspiracy theories ranging from 9/11 being an inside job to the moon landing being produced on a Hollywood set, researchers found, regardless of the participants’ social status.

That offers some insight into why some people are more likely to believe, but it does not explain why they push away a preponderance of evidence in favor of the generally accepted answers to questions most people don’t even ask.

There always have been conspiracy theories, noted pop culture expert Paul Levinson, a communications professor at Fordham University, who pointed to all the wild ideas that emerged in the aftermath of the JFK assassination.

Social media have fanned the flames, making conspiracy theories more likely to spread, he said.

“Anyone can write anything, and it can be viewed by millions in the blink of an eye on Twitter. Millions can, in turn, easily retweet the comment or image or link,” Levinson told TechNewsWorld.