* Posts by Dave 126

8315 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Dave 126
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Re: ...why are you holding your phone like that?

@Dan 55

There's a rather good documentary on BBC iPlayer at the mo about the rise and fall of Nokia. A range of Nokia phones - not just the nGage - that were held sideways against the head were used to illustrate Nokia's hubristic period.

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Crumbs. Apple has tweaked the MacBook Pro keyboard

Dave 126
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The keyboard has been revised, so wait and see if that's fixed the issues.

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Dave 126
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Re: ffs why so little RAM?

> i don’t understand why they are dragging their feet so hard on this.

Because of this:

"All of the 4th generation MBPs have been limited to a maximum of 16GB of RAM; this is due to Intel CPU limitations where Intel doesn’t support the current generation of low power RAM (LPDDR4) that Apple favors, and the LPDDR3 that Intel does support only goes up to 16GB. However it is possible to pair more than 16GB of memory with these Intel processors – so long as you give up the use of low power RAM – and this is the route Apple is taking" - Anandtech

So as a result, Apple are using more power hungry RAM and making the battery bigger to compensate.

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Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

Dave 126
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Re: I've got a better solution...

Labelling books, folders and toolboxes is fair enough since you can't see the contents without opening them... it's the labelling of jars 'Kitchen Utensils' (with spatulas and whisks poking out the top) that I don't understand.

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Dave 126
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Telememo watches

Casio still sell a range of inexpensive, reliable watches in a range of styles with a Telememo function. It's a bit fiddly to enter alphanumeric info into them though. A watch is harder to lose than a notebook. You can store a password and don't have to note which account it is for. If you lose your watch it can't necessarily be linked to you by a bad guy. Of course if you do lose your watch it'd be a good idea to have your passwords written down at home stored on waterproof paper in a half eaten jar of mayonnaise at the back of the fridge (or hiding place of your choice)

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Give Samsung a hand: Chaebol pulls back Arm to strike Intel's chips

Dave 126
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Re: Are there notebooks powered by low-end Xeons?

There are some mobile Xeon chips, but none aimed at 'general notebook users'.

If this isn't a mistake, then maybe the author can add a sentence to the article to clarify things.

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iPhone 8 now outsells X, and every other phone

Dave 126
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Re: @AC It's had its day.

I tried my first underwater video today with my S8, but the canal was a bit murky. Still, the slow motion video of my lurcher shaking off the water off after a dip came out very well indeed. (A recent update seems to have cured an issue with the phone dropping frames when capturing slo mo video. Other users report better results if they first drop the screen resolution from [stupid high] to 2220x1080)

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Dave 126
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Re: The 8 does prove a point

I chose an Xperia Z3 Compact due to its pocket friendly size and excellent battery life. When it died through accident I found a Nexus 5 to be light and slim enough not to be a pain in the trouser - though the battery was awful. Still, for a plastic it bounced and survived many drops into concrete - until the day it didn't.

A few years on I use my phone for more tasks than I did then, and I don't find the size of a Galaxy S8 (in a chunky case) that inconvenient. Like the Sony I appreciate the waterproofing. I was tempted by an iPhone 8 for its cameras, but it was just too big - and the S8 considerable cheaper since I bought it a few months before the release of the S9.

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Gemini goes back to the '90s with Agenda, Data and mulls next steps

Dave 126
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Re: Agenda?

Look on internet (possibly Instructables) for a young lad who made a chorded keyboard case for Android phones. A few micro switches, some Arduino, a small bit of code...

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GIMP masks font downloads, adds horizon fix in new build

Dave 126
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HDR support added in 2016

Ten years back I just couldn't use GIMP, but it seems it might be worth another look if I need to play with environment maps again.

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Hoping for Microsoft's mythical Andromeda in your Xmas stocking? Don't hold your breath

Dave 126
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Microsoft Hardware

I get the impression that the Surface computers were MS's attempt to show up other Windows PC vendors poor efforts - low res 16:9 displays and shoddy trackpads were the norm - whilst threatening to step on Apple's lawn (specifically hardware suitable for professional graphics applications). It doesn't matter too much to MS if you run Windows on a Surface or on a Dell or Lenovo, as long as you arent running MacOS. It seems to have worked, since mobile PC hardware has markedly improved.

And I'm pleased to draw attention to a non 16:9 laptop (other than a 3:2 Surface or 16:10 MacBook): The Huawei Matebook X Pro - high Res 3:2 screen, discrete Nvidia graphics as an option. Finally!

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The Notch contagion is spreading slower than phone experts thought

Dave 126
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Besides the subjective aesthetics of a notch, what are the functional downsides?

Whilst the first notch was the Essential phone, the functional equivilent was done by LG on their V20 in 2016 - a secondary display for notifications was placed in line with the camera and earpiece.

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While you were basking in the sun, the relentless march of the Windows-maker continued

Dave 126
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The oil-rich states aren't all idiots - they know that the oil revenues won't last for ever, hence the franchising of famous art galleries and bids to become international airport hubs.

As one of their leaders said decades ago: "The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stone"

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Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes

Dave 126
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Re: Shoo, camera (sorry)

I stopped to think of a legitimate use and thought of a TV promo spot featuring a football being kicked from the point of view of a boot - but nah, one would just use a GoPro or similar for that.

Reducing the number of upskirt photos is the reason many camera phones make a fake shutter noise that can't be disabled by the user.

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Relive your misspent, 8-bit youth on the BBC's reopened Micro archive

Dave 126
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Well I did aim some choice Anglo-Saxon words in the general direction of a small river after the log on the end of a rope swing snapped.

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Dave 126
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And you've inspired me to find an electronic copy of the Usbourne Book of the Future (1979) which I read a lot as a child in 1985.

It's got mention of Buckminster Fuller, space elevators, linear mass accelerators for shooting ore off the moon, giant flat screen TVs, watch phones that take their time from satellites, video discs...

Great stuff.

https://archive.org/stream/Usborne_Book_of_the_Future_1979_pointlessmuseum#page/n0/mode/1up

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Dave 126
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Cheers Dan 55, I remember hours reading Write Your Own Fantasy Games For Your Microcomputer by Usbourne, and plotting dungeons and sprites on graph paper. I don't recall actually doing any programming though for reasons I forget (it might be that that I only had a Vic 20 with cartridges and no tape drive, it might be because I was climbing a tree or damning a stream)

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Buttonless and port-free: Expect the next iPhone to be as smooth as a baby's bum

Dave 126
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When it comes to things I plug into to wall sockets, phone chargers use very little juice. Whilst it's not ideal that wireless charging is less efficient than using a cable, far more electricity could be saved by looking at other appliances and behaviours.

Where wireless-only charging would really inconvenience me as a user would be when using portable power banks, and if I wanted to charge in a hurry.

A happy compromise is phones with external nubs for receiving power, akin to MagSafe. A few generations of Sony Xperia featured such a system. The Nokia 6210 and earlier models could also be charged in docks using external contacts.

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Cops: Autonomous Uber driver may have been streaming The Voice before death crash

Dave 126
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Re: Lets...

> Uber... ..put a car on the road that clearly, from the video footage, wasn't ready.

Hence the testing with a human driver. How else can a be made 'ready' for the road?

If one wants to find an organisational failing, it might be in the area of psychology - i.e not putting safeguards in place to ensure the human driver is fully engaged with the job in hand. Perhaps requiring then to give a running commentary on the road situation, as is done in training for advanced driving licences (police drivers etc). If this police report is verified, then the human driver wasn't expecting her employers to routinely review video of her eyes.

The vast majority of vehicles on the road today have human drivers and no Volvo-style automatic braking.

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A pretty and helpful user interface? Nahhh. Is that really you, Samsung?

Dave 126
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Re: Killer feature maybe

I haven't used it myself, but people used to swear by an app called Tasker. I'm not sure if it required root to run, or only needed root for some features.

I'm not sure that you can have your phone recognise a car charger over a wall charger, other than your Samsung-supplied adaptive wall charger will supply more power than a 2.1 amp 5v car charger.

You might consider an NFC tag to alert your phone to where it is. Again, I've not tried this but forums might give you an idea of how well it works.

An alternative is to use an older or second hand phone as a dedicated car unit. As a bonus it could be a model with a larger (not necessarily that high resolution display) and its storage used for music instead of camera photos. However, you'd still be turning on the WiFi hotspot on your primary phone unless you stretch to a second SIM

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Dave 126
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Let's not forget...

.. . That sometimes vendor's additions (either the concept or the actual code) to Android are incorporated into AOSP.

I'm thinking of:

-Power saving modes (Sony, concept)

-LDAC (Sony, code)

-24bit audio support (LG, Code)

If Samsung create something useful that isn't patented, it could well be incorporated into Android.

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Dave 126
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My S8 works fine, my first Samsung since a feature phone in 2008 . Feel free to trawl my old posts to see my previous Androids have been an Xperia P, Xperia Z3 Compact (both close to stock Android) some cheap but surprisingly cheerful Huawei (couldn't budge their weird launcher, other weird changes to Android), a Nexus 5 (stock, obviously). No complaints about Samsung's skinning of Android in the S8 after one switches the soft Navigation keys to Android standard and turns a couple of things off.

Still competition is good, so if you buy Sony, LG or Motorola, you'd being doing me a favour.

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Dave 126
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Re: I hate Samsung phones

That's weird - there's no Facebook on my S8... I must have deleted it. Maybe you got your phone through a network operator.

The camera UI isn't the best, and no, I don't know why it sometimes starts up using the front facing camera (double tap of power key).

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Dave 126
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Similar techniques have been used on iPads and other devices for years. The software doesn't simply ignore touch input on a margin of pixels around the screen but rather uses algorithms to distinguish between what is probably a deliberate prod or swipe and what is probably an accidental brush or tap.

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Dave 126
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Re: Form over function

Numerous websites report the Galaxy S9 has Project Treble - as Google mandate that all phones that ship with Oreo must do. The S8 which shipped with Nougat does not support Project Treble and may never do.

Not only does Project Treble allow for swifter updates (something Google wants), it also makes life easier for the custom ROM crowd as Android builds don't have to be so fine tuned for specific handsets.

Google worked with Samsung to draft the Enterprise Certified guidelines, but Samsung declined to be a launch partner. I don't know why, it may be because Samsung has it own enterprise administration tools it wishes to promote (Knox).

https://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-s9-plus-project-treble-841067/

https://www.androidpolice.com/2017/11/25/googles-project-treble-start-custom-rom-revolution/

https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-launches-enterprise-android-device-recommendation-program-omits-samsung/

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Dave 126
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Re: Form over function

No, sorry. Android updates are (or rather, have been) slow because of the process: Google creates new Android version, sends it to silicon vendors for them to release a binary driver blob if they can be bothered, they send that to the phone vendor, test, repeat, phone vendor combines binary blobs with new Android and their skins, tests, if applicable sends to regulators and network operators, test, maybe repeat.

Of that, the vendors skin, which is often not much more than an app, is not the stage that takes the time.

Since we're talking about Android P here, the first phones to get it will be those that *shipped* with Oreo (here, Galaxy S9) and thus are built atop the modular nature of Project Treble - which means new versions of Android aren't dependant on silicon vendors creating new blobs.

Judging by the past, the S8 which shipped with Nougat (no Treble) will likely get Android P beginning of next year.

I've been suspect of TouchWiz in the past (so have had more stock Android phones from Sony and Nexus) but my S8 is actually fine (once I'd flipped the navigation soft keys, t and urned off Bixby and Edge Actions.

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Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

Dave 126
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Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

White hands on a dark grey background - it's rare to see a watch display the time as clearly as an Omega Chronostop. A new company called Roue* come close but no cigar.

*On the subject of targeted advertising, I saw an advertisement in the Register for Roue after writing a post about the sheer functionality of old Omega, Braun and Seiko wristwatches - the very brands Roue state as their inspirations.

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Dave 126
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Re: someone can tell me

You'd need a team of auditors to screen applications for spyware - the job is too big to do it yourself. This auditing could be open source (for apps whose developers wish to disclose the source code to all and sundry including competitors), or could be run by a company that uses its business model (hardware sales plus hefty percentage of app store sales) as a differentiator to Google's (data collection to fuel advertising). You'd have to pay a bit more upfront for the latter, and even more so if you use the same administration software that sensitive organisations use (e.g Blackberry Suite for iOS).

Auditing the source code is time consuming and thus unfeasible (remember how long it took a team to audit TrueCrypt) but I guess a middle ground might be crowd-sourced monitoring - i.e, everyone inspecting packets sent from a phone with 'Bob's Scientific Calculator' installed against a control. However, this would only catch the trawlers, not the tailored attacks.

Another approach is to spoof the data harvesters with false information as Safari has done for a few years now. It's still cat and mouse, but at least you're denying them the low hanging fruit.

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Ailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm kicks crisis meeting into long grass

Dave 126
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Why?

Is there any reason why the people who wanted a portable ZX Spectrum gaming experience didn't buy a PlayStation Portable and run an emulator?

As a bonus, they can also play C64 games, and, gasp, PlayStation Portable games.

I believe a similar emulator is available for PlayStation Vita machines.

For all these Sony consoles, the method of enabling homebrew software, including emulators, depends upon the firmware version.

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Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

Dave 126
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One thing Eelo could do...

...is to provide a way for developers to publish apps without them being made available for people sideload for free. There's not currently a great incentive for Android app developers to abandon In App Purchases and Ad-Supported business models. Compare this to the Apple App store where more apps are bought outright, and users spend more. This is why many apps are available on iOS first, and some never come to Android.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm uncertain...

> Knowledgeable techie-types like ElReg readers may go for this, but for "Mom & Pop" this will be just like asking them to run Linux instead of Windows on their laptop.

It's worse than that: out if the 'mom and pop' segment, Eelo won't sell to those who have already bought into iOS because it's simpler. And then, other parts of the 'mom and pop' segment will have iPhones because they have read about Googly privacy concerns in newspapers. Nor will Eelo sell to moms and pops who are happy with their Nokia 3310 'for emergencies' thank you very much.

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Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

Dave 126
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So there's three of you who think that DJs use audio out from an iPhone instead of balanced output from a FireWire/Thunderbolt soundcard? Okaaaay

Some DJs will use an iPhone as an XY control surface (ersatz Kaos Pad) in conjunction with with other devices. Some will even take advantage of its gyros and accelerometers. Either way, its just a control device.

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Dave 126
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Re: Don't worry about the DJ's...

Nobody uses just iDevices, but they are common as part of a setup. They're not typically used to output audio though - there are external DACs with a variety of balanced outputs for that, usually from the MacBook as you say. The low latency and compatibility with legacy standards (eg wireless MIDI) make iPads good control surfaces. A multi-touch screen offers a better UI for some applications (eg a virtual mixing desk) than a MacBook does.

DJs use a variety of gear, some just using two turntables and a cross-fader, others using time-stamped vinyl to control digital music, others a Kaos pad or other XY pad to apply effects in real time.

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Dave 126
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In this context the iPhone is usually a control device - iPhones have always had MIDI baked in.

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Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

Dave 126
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Re: it is not the customer's job to adapt

> I never understood why people dont like it..

It wasn't the Ribbon per se that people didn't like, it was the way MS used it to replace menus (except on Macs where Apple's rules meant the menus had to remain).

Before the Ribbon came to Office, I'd used a ribbon-like Command Manager in a CAD package. The difference was that menus, customisable toolbars, and radial menus where still present, as well as keyboard shortcuts. The Command Manager was optional and could be repositioned - though it was pretty useful in its default spot. The user had complete control of the workspace. The other difference was that due other tool pallettes and windows, vertical screen space was at such a premium as it is in a word processor.

Also: why don't more applications use pie menus (aka Radial Menus)? They're quick, require little moving of the mouse, and work well with muscle memory.

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OnePlus 6 smartphone flash override demoed

Dave 126
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***This vulnerability doesn't require the phone to be unlocked with a passcode / fingerprint / pattern.***

That's the damned point. It's a vulnerability. If you can install a new OS *after* authenticating yourself to the phone as its rightful owner - that's a feature.

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Dave 126
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Re: Next stage lose the PC

USB OTG isn't required - headless, battery operated PCs are already available, not much larger than a thumb drive. Not sure USB OTG would work - since it requires the phone to be the host.

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Dave 126
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Seriously, a lot of people here have got the wrong end of the stick.

https://www.xda-developers.com/oneplus-6-bootloader-protection-exploit-physical-access/

In no way can it be described as a 'feature'. The *option* to leave a Yale lock open using that little nubbin is a feature. This is akin to a lock that can't be locked at all - clearly a bug.

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Dave 126
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Given the upvotes given to Steve the OP, it would appear there's general misunderstanding here. Perhaps the article should be rewritten for clarity?

It is desirable for many owners to be able to load their choice of OS on their device. I can't see how it is desirable for an owner to be unable to prevent an attacker from loading an OS on their device - which is what this story is about.

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Dave 126
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Just the 6. The 5T had a less serious flaw in that it required the user (having first unlocked their phone) to turn on USB Debugging.

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Dave 126
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A phone is more prone to being lost or stolen than a PC - or even just mislaid for half an hour. Of course if you have people's sensitive data on your laptop then you are legally obliged to encrypt it.

The issue here isn't that the OnePlus 6 can load an arbitrary boot image, but that an arbitrary boot image can be installed by someone other than the owner.

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Dave 126
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> Is that a vulnerability? I'd pay extra for it.

It is a vulnerability - it means anyone with physical access to your handset can put whatever they want in it without your knowledge. This is in contrast to a phone that requires the user to unlock it and turn on USB debugging and jump through other hoops before flashing it with a new OS image.

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Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020

Dave 126
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Re: I have a Skull Canyon

https://www.anandtech.com/show/10343/the-intel-skull-canyon-nuc6i7kyk-minipc-review/4

In which Intel's Iris Pro graphics are discussed. Tl.dr should be fine for light gaming.

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Dave 126
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> AMD, for once, are following the right path, while Intel just flounder like they usually do.

Intel are playing the on-package GPU game too. See EMIB and Intel CPUs with AMD GPUs.

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Dave 126
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Re: Always good to have competition to rein in that nVidia/AMD duopoly

> There are many other GPU creators out there. Qualcomm, ARM, Imagination

And Apple and Google too. The former having ended its relationship with Imagination Technologies. Google and Apple likely looking at mobile GPUs that do more than shade polygons, but can also be more efficiently put to other tasks such as DSP and object recognition.

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Dave 126
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Re: Beat them on packaging?

Yet it was an Intel packaging technology, EMIB, that allowed them to combine an AMD GPU with an Intel processor:

https://www.anandtech.com/show/12003/intel-to-create-new-8th-generation-cpus-with-amd-radeon-graphics-with-hbm2-using-emib

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New York State is trying to ban 'deepfakes' and Hollywood isn't happy

Dave 126
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Oliver Reed in Gladiator - though he was partly through filming before he passed on. Carrie Fisher in Star Wars Rogue One ditto - though she'd completed her filming, they used CGI to recreate a c. 1978 Ms Fisher. Peter Cushing, similarly recreated, was sadly long gone.

It seems Lucas Film are routinely making 3D scans of all their actors (and puppets) for future reference:

https://www.esquire.com/uk/latest-news/a19742240/lucasfilm-digitally-scanning-faces-star-wars-cgi-princess-leia/

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Motorola extends modular phone adventure for another year

Dave 126
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Obvious mods:

Game controller. Tricky because Android devs don't make much money from games due to the ease of piracy. Many Android titles that would benefit from a physical controller don't support one (I've tried, using an Xbox controller over USB OTG).

Camera Sensor. There is a zoom camera Mod, but it isn't as great as Weird Sony's QX100 which was an RX100 without a screen - it talked to a phone by radio. A Moto Mod would solve the shortcomings of the QX100. However, it was a serious bit of sensor and lens, too much of an investment to tie to a single phone. Sony discontinued the experiment.

Speakers are less obvious. You either want a speaker built into the phone for podcasts, or you want something bigger than a Mod for music - there isn't a sweet in-between zone.

The obvious and sustainable market for Mods would be in industry - barcode scanners, thermal cameras etc - that is to say, many niche markets.

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Dave 126
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Re: Is anybody listening?

For people wanting to continually use a phone throughout the day, a Moto Mod battery pack is a better option than a removable battery since it incurs no down time whilst the phone is power cycled. For people wanting to extend the life of their handset by changing the battery, the cost of having it done by the original vendor or 3rd party shop is small compared to the original price of a premium handset (removable batteries are still found in low and mid range phones).

For safety reasons a removable battery must have a durable, hard to pierce shell (especially if it's slung in a kit bag) that is bulky (a slimmer metal shell would interfere with the phone's radios), so it results in several millimeters extra thickness over an internal-only battery that could otherwise be used for storing power.

The need for a removable battery is further mitigated by rapid charging and the ubiquity of power sources, planes trains and automobiles. In the case of no mains or vehicle power outlets, power banks are inexpensive and universal (an investment not lost when a phone is eventually changed) and, whilst ungainly, don't need to be attached to a phone for very long (rapid charging again).

Then of course there is the economics - why would a phone vendor go out of their way to appeal to a group who by their own admission only want to buy a phone every three years?

You could get yourself an LG V20 with a Snapdragon 820 SoC with removable battery - and as a bonus it not only has a 3.5mm socket but a socket driven by an ESS Sabre DAC and amplifier.

I'm not against removable batteries, I'm just trying to outline how the current state of affairs came to be.

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watchOS 5 hints at new Apple wearables and life beyond the Watch

Dave 126
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Re: cheapest option wins

Skagen are thin and light, but they are still around today's near ubiquitous diameter of 42mm. Watches used to be around 38mm, which is all you need if the display is clear and uncluttered ( which Skagen are). Examples of 38mm watches include the afore mentioned Omega, Dieter Ram's watches for Braun, the similar looking quartz Seiko worn by Steve Jobs in the 80s and many a Timex.

I like what Skagen do, which is why I'm frustrated they just go with the herd regarding watch size. I'm not anti big watches, I'm for variety.

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