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  • News & article

    Do you have a fear of spying?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 11/10/2017

    » So how safe do you feel in your home security-wise? I'm not thinking of malware but the ability for someone to snoop on you visually or through audio. There have been some concerns about devices like the Amazon Echo and similar being used to tap into what you are saying with everything recorded on servers that authorities could get from say Amazon.

  • News & article

    Size counts in the world of IT

    Life, James Hein, Published on 04/05/2016

    » When it comes to implementing systems, it is all about scale. If you have ever been a system tester you will know that what works one at a time may not work well if a whole bunch of them are processed all at once. Those who have ever used an old fashioned typewriter will understand this. Volume testing and scalability of system is one of the biggest problems a development testing team faces.

  • News & article

    Computing genetic manipulation

    Life, James Hein, Published on 20/05/2015

    » What is the next big thing? Microsoft and some others would like you to believe it is all things cloudy. The problems with that are factors like communication channels between continents, security of information, the reliability of a server somewhere else versus on-site and the army of hackers trying to get into all that information just sitting there. If you have seen the intro to CSI: Cyber you will know what I mean. Another group want it to be virtual reality glasses for all, but as the Google Glass demonstrated, people walking around with even small glasses were not appreciated. At least the VR goggles will mostly be at home. This technology still has quite a way to go.

  • News & article

    There's no such thing as free tech

    Life, James Hein, Published on 21/01/2015

    » Can hackers really ruin your day? Consider the story a friend of mine recently told me. He has been playing the game Stronghold Kingdoms for a couple of years now. Apparently, as a result of hacking, some players gained points and certain advantages and had their accounts spoofed. 

  • News & article

    Facebook guilty, Huawei continues to claim innocence

    Life, James Hein, Published on 13/03/2019

    » I've been thinking about the new foldable phones. For many years, I have been hoping for a foldable e-book that has, to date, not materialised in a form I'd want to buy. There is something about the traditional book format that is familiar and comfortable. The first releases of foldable phones are aimed at those with lots of spare cash and who want to dip their fingers into the technology. These buyers form a baseline for the manufacturers to build on. I see this as testing the waters and I expect to see Apple jump into the market in the near future, as they have a bucket load of patents for similar technologies.

  • News & article

    AI-aided hope on the horizon

    Life, James Hein, Published on 13/02/2019

    » Despite some of my criticisms in the past there are some excellent examples of emerging artificial intelligence technologies. I've mentioned some of these from the medical world in earlier articles but a new one caught my eye this week, figuring out in which hotel a picture was taken. No, not to help people remember where holiday snaps were taken but to track down human trafficking where pics of women are taken to sell them for sex. The three groups behind this identification technology are from George Washington University, Temple University and Adobe, all in the US. Like many AI systems a large amount of source data is used and to help with this more than a million images have been collected from 50,000 hotels worldwide. Using all the room elements in backgrounds a neural network is being trained to identify a hotel chain and then a location.

  • News & article

    You can forget HAL 9000

    Life, James Hein, Published on 05/12/2018

    » It has been over five years and it was time for a new PC. It took a while to pull together, required an eclectic set of carefully chosen components, and I paid someone to put it together for me, having done that myself too many times in the past.

  • News & article

    Huawei still some way behind rivals

    Life, James Hein, Published on 21/11/2018

    » I've had some feedback expressing surprise that I invested in a smartwatch. Yes, I didn't think I'd see the day either, but it does function very well as a watch with changeable faces and at a price point that's far below some of the faces it can duplicate. The always-on test was a success in that I only turned the watch off when I wasn't using it on some evenings. It also does sleep tracking, which perhaps provides a sterner test, but it still provided a week's worth of use making it usable for many. On a longer trip you would need to take the charger along. Note that for both tests, I kept Bluetooth on the whole time.

  • News & article

    A lot of money for fairly little phone, Apple

    Life, James Hein, Published on 26/09/2018

    » So, the news of the week, or at least as I write this, is the release of the new Apple iPhone range. There are three models ranging from the 5.8 and 6.1 inch models up to the XS Max at 6.5 inches. The latter is a real departure from the early days of Apple declaring that no one needed a large-screen phone. Compared to the latest phone specs across other brands, the features in the new iPhone range are not so special. They do all have very special prices and the bottom of the line starts at US$749 (Thai prices are TBA) and goes up from there topping out at $1449, which would make the whole range easily the most expensive phones per feature on the market today. For this you get no fingerprint reader, no headphone jack, average pixel density and cameras, no expansion memory port but dual SIMs, wireless charging and face detection. Even my most ardent Apple-lover friend will not be forking out their cash for those kinds of prices. I don't expect this range to sell anywhere near as well as earlier models. Seriously, what were they thinking?

  • News & article

    Australia still trailing Thailand in broadband coverage

    Life, James Hein, Published on 12/09/2018

    » Wither now comms in Australia? With the National Broadband Network or NBN a certified failure, Australia seems to be working hard to ensure that to make the NBN look reasonable, any emerging 5G network must be made to hobble by banning technology companies like Huawei from providing the same kind of support it has been giving over the past 15 years to the local telcos. The given reason is a lack of trust in any Chinese company, keeping the spying eyes of China out of the country. To be fair, there is some justification for this, as China has not been the poster child of espionage abstinence across the globe. What earth-shattering useful secret info they might get from the Australians is debatable, but it looks like the Land Down Under will not be improving their communications any time soon. Thailand is still well ahead on that front.

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