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  • TECH

    Samsung's A series phone is a big fat L

    Life, James Hein, Published on 26/10/2022

    » Nothing at all back from Samsung corporate on the A53-5G, if that changes I'll let you know. The new phone is a brick and after some research it turns out that more often than not Samsung only has a local warranty. I've since spoken to a number of people who've had issues with charging.

  • TECH

    Those pesky pixel trackers

    Life, James Hein, Published on 12/10/2022

    » I've written about the tracking in TikTok. I recently found out you don't need to have the app installed to be providing tracking data to this platform. The term you need to learn today is "tracking pixel".

  • TECH

    Waste no time, delete your TikTok

    Life, James Hein, Published on 28/09/2022

    » Most people know that social media platforms collect their personal information. Location, ordering patterns, browsing history and more are passed into Google, Meta, Amazon, Twitter and others' analytics. The newest and potentially scariest of these is TikTok.

  • TECH

    When AI is not smart enough for the job

    Life, James Hein, Published on 14/09/2022

    » I was wondering what to write about this week and then I saw the Japanese Amazon story and how it relates to artificial intelligence. Labour unions in Japan have been a thing since World War II, but delivery drivers for Amazon Japan were not unionised, until recently.

  • TECH

    Colour e-ink phones are here

    Life, James Hein, Published on 31/08/2022

    » It seems like it has taken forever, but colour e-ink phones are finally starting to arrive. Enter the Hisense A7 CC, with a 6.7-inch screen that can display 4096 colours at 100ppi.

  • TECH

    The reality of AI is less scary than the movies

    Life, James Hein, Published on 17/08/2022

    » I was talking to someone at work recently and mentioned the Palm Pilot. He never heard of it. Some of us remember it being released in 1996 before the smartphone and social media, and in the early days of the internet. It drove the creation of the smartphone, though the people at Intel at the time didn't see how a portable, hand-held device like this could become common. One of the founders and inventors was Jeff Hawkins who also founded Handspring and worked on the Treo that evolved into a very early smartphone with a camera, which this brings us to today's topic, artificial intelligence.

  • TECH

    Protect yourself when online

    Life, James Hein, Published on 03/08/2022

    » A friend of mine, let's call him Dave, wrote to me recently about identity theft. He told me that all of his identifying information like phone numbers, email addresses, old passwords and his usual security questions, were all available on the dark web. He also had a number of notifications of personal information breaches that resulted in fraudulent charges, the need to replace credit cards and attempts to set up fake bank accounts in his name. The latter is used if a hacker is planning to get into your other accounts so they can transfer funds to themselves under your name.

  • TECH

    Metals and energy shortage is a looming threat

    Life, James Hein, Published on 20/07/2022

    » I know the word rare gives it away but the world is facing a rare earth metals shortage. The Chinese are currently the largest producers of this resource and they recently cut their production by half. Turkey is another potential source but that region has been unstable for centuries. Most modern technology cannot expand further without these resources and the whole idea of ramping up renewables requires lots of them. Elon Musk has said we don't have enough in the world for all the plans of our governments and other experts agree.

  • TECH

    Scams on the rise as inflation bites

    Life, James Hein, Published on 06/07/2022

    » We start this week with a webserver with extras in a single file that runs on any x86-64 operation system. Enter redbean 2.0. Created by Justine Tunney, it uses the "Actually Portable Executable" that you can read about here, justine.lol/ape.html. When you compile a program to its native binary, in this case x86-64 code, and don't call any external code, then the only difference between a Windows and a Linux would be the file format. If you can solve this, then it could run on any platform. To do that you need Cosmopoliton libc because any real program needs to make some calls, in this case the standard C ones. So, with Cosmo and the APE format, you can write a C program and compile it to a single file that will load and run on six very different operating systems and the same binary can also be booted directly from the PC BIOS. It's not perfect, but any programmer would be scratching their heads by now. Pause for techie amazement.

  • TECH

    EU demands Apple play fair

    Life, James Hein, Published on 22/06/2022

    » It looks like the Apple-specific charging cable may be a thing of the past with the European Union demanding that all smartphone makers use a universal USB-C port for wired charging by 2024. The same rule will be applied to many other electronic devices like tablets, cameras, headphones, handheld video game consoles and e-readers. In the future, laptops will need to follow the same rule.

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