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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

    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.

  • News & article

    Privacy an artefact of times past

    Life, James Hein, Published on 18/07/2018

    » If you have learned nothing else from my many years of writing, it should be that unless extraordinary steps are taken, personal data privacy doesn't exist, except perhaps in the deluded minds of government officials. The only thing privacy laws do these days is stop you from returning someone's lost phone. In just one day in the news, I read reports about Huawei infiltrating Facebook, another Spectre CPU problem, political data harvesting in the UK, insecure military servers in the UK, Chinese hackers interested in Cambodia (and the rest of the world) along with other items about lost or hacked data. Yahoo and Google collect far more than the whole of the US spy agencies combined, though at least the latter doesn't deliberately spread it around or sell it to marketers.

  • News & article

    What will 5G mean for you?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 25/04/2018

    » Is 5G going to save those people with bad internet connections? As the world moves more towards mobile platforms, users want faster and more reliable services. I know I do. 5G is being touted as the way to that future, with the promise of a high-def movie download in seconds and other benefits, like better access to the often-mentioned Internet of Things, or IoT.

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