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Recode Daily: Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S9 smartphone thinks it’s a camera

Plus, the NRA rewards FCC Chairman Ajit Pai with a rifle for running net neutrality out of town, sometimes “smart” things aren’t as good as the old dumb things, and John Oliver is free to troll coal barons with giant squirrels.

Demonstrating the new Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone at the Mobile World Congress on Feb. 25, 2018, in Barcelona, Spain.
Demonstrating the new Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone at the Mobile World Congress on Feb. 25, 2018, in Barcelona, Spain.
Lluis Gene AFP / Getty Images

Samsung unveiled its answer to iPhone X with its new flagship Galaxy S9 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over the weekend. The new phone looks and feels a lot like last year’s S8, so Samsung is talking about the S9 as if it were a camera, deemphasizing the “phone” while emphasizing new features such as stereo speakers and augmented-reality-based emojis. Here’s a hands-on preview from the showroom floor, and here’s a roundup of the other interesting stuff from the world’s biggest mobile tech trade show. [Harry McCracken / Fast Company]

The NRA presented FCC Chairman Ajit Pai with a “courage under fire award” — and a rifle — to honor his efforts to roll back net neutrality. At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Pai was presented with the award, which is named for Charlton Heston and has been bestowed on Vice President Mike Pence and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh. [Tony Romm / The Washington Post]

Facebook should have to pay a fine if it can’t get rid of bots, said Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. The recent spate of harassment and conspiracy-mongering following the Parkland shootings raises some questions: What do these social media sites believe in? Are their community guidelines informed by these values and enforced the same way for everyone? And if they can’t answer those questions — why should we use them? [Eric Johnson / Recode]

Here’s how Newsweek fell apart. Interviews with more than a dozen current and former Newsweek staffers make it clear that the magazine’s core had rotted long before a January raid by the Manhattan district attorney, the accusations of improper ties to a religious institution and the recent rounds of well-publicized firings and resignations. [Will Oremus / Slate]

With all the hype surrounding so-called smart things, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the old dumb stuff is just better. Some of the most mundane devices are designed to accomplish a simple task extremely well — and in some cases they still execute those duties better than their high-tech brethren. Consider: A wristwatch vs. Apple Watch; an alarm clock vs. Amazon Echo Spot; and a piece of paper vs. a tablet. [Brian X. Chen / The New York Times]

On the 20th anniversary of the Starr investigation, which introduced Monica Lewinsky to the world, she reflects on the changing nature of trauma, the de-evolution of the media and the hope now provided by the #MeToo movement. [Monica Lewinsky / Vanity Fair]

Top stories from Recode

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What did Barack Obama say at his secret sports speech in front of hundreds of people?

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This is cool

A judge ruled that “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver has the right to hire human-sized squirrels to troll West Virginia coal barons.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.