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Technology

Why Professionals Say to Avoid Nest

November 22, 2017

Nest thermostats look gorgeous but if your equipment isn't compatible, you are in for a lot of trouble setting up your thermostats. Having a 50-year-old home with AC and baseboard heat has made it difficult to get these devices to work properly.

Nest's tech support is good. We should know, we have spent hours on the phone with them to get the air conditioning working. A few months later, we learned the heat was not working properly at 3 am when we awoke to a home which was less than sixty degrees while air conditioning was being called for by the thermostat.

Thankfully, we were able to shut it down from our phone in bed.



Media and Obama Responsible for HBO Hack?

November 19, 2017

There is a direct trail from the U.S. media to the hack of HBO and many others. Of course the media isn't alone. It had an accomplice in the Obama administration that had an opportunity of a lifetime to put a stop to or at least slow down international hacking into the U.S.

In August of last year, we reported the Obama administration was preparing to elevate the stature of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, signaling more emphasis on developing cyber weapons to deter attacks, punish intruders into U.S.

Fog Computing is Booming and it Changes Everything in IoT

November 16, 2017

Name a market worth $18 billion in a few years with a 500% growth rate that almost no one knows about. If you guessed Fog Computing then well, that's because my readers tend to be above-average in their tech knowledge. 

For those of you who are new, here is a refresher on what the term represents. It is basically the idea of edge-computing as it relates to IoT devices.

Apple Responds to Our iPhone X Wireless Charging Complaint in One Day

November 14, 2017

Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad Review

November 13, 2017

When we received our iPhone X, we knew we had to try out the wireless charging feature of the new device. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X models are the first iOS devices to support wireless charging using the Qi standard we told you about some years back.



To that end we were sent a Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad for review. This charger is slim and light. You have to use your own power block/USB port as one is not included.



The first thing we tested was if we could use the charger with the magnetic plate on the back of our phone used to mount the phone on our desk and car vent.

Sadly, the metal plate blocks charging.









Facebook Fights Revenge Porn With Dumb Idea

November 7, 2017



Facebook is testing new technology that is designed to help victims of revenge porn acts.

This new tool is currently being tested in Australia, and the company says it plans to expand it to other countries if everything goes well.
It works on a database of file hashes, a cryptographic signature computed for each file.

Facebook says that once an abuser tries to upload an image marked as "revenge porn" in its database, its system will block the upload process. This will work for images shared on the main Facebook service, but also for images shared privately via Messenger, Facebook's IM app.



If we understand this correctly, if this works as planned, the world's most desirable people, looking to protect their nude bodies, will be uploading their photos to a single location, making it without a doubt, one of the biggest targets ever in the history of hacking.

Sure, Facebook says it's not storing a copy of the photo, but only computing the file's hash and adding it to its database of revenge porn imagery.





Dongles: The iPhone Weakness Samsung Begins to Exploit

November 6, 2017

Apple used to abuse Microsoft in its Mac Versus PC ads. They hired a chubby Bill Gates looking actor John Hodgeman to represent the PC while they hired the hip, cool and young Justin Long to represent the Mac.

One of the most compelling ads focused on the lengths PC users needed to go to to connect a camera to their systems.



The ad below shows the PC having a camera literally duct taped to their head.



Frankly it was embarrassing to use a PC after seeing these ads.

Apple however has unwittingly made itself a target of the same type of attack ad.

The minimalist designs Apple releases are gorgeous but they drastically reduce functionality. The Mac laptops and iPhones have this problem - thanks to reduced ports for things like headphones.

Users need multiple adapters if they want to use a 3.5 headphone with their iOS phone.

See the screen shots and video below Samsung is using to take on Apple. If they were to take the dongle concept and really focus on it in TV ads, it could put a dent in the Apple halo.





























Galaxy S8 Outdoes iPhone X in Freeze Test

November 6, 2017

The screen test below shows what happens when you put two of the top smartphones on the market - the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone X in water and then freeze them overnight.

Two frozen phones - which one will survive?





The Samsung is unscathed but the iPhone X loses its Face ID ability, its screen doesn't work properly and it seems to have lost its data.

Wait, what happened to all my data?




Even worse - the entire battery of the iPhone gets used up while the Samsung still has about 40% left.

Most likely, a gap opened up in the iPhone during its blowtorch melting causing water to get it. This in turn seems to have led to a short circuit or even more than one.

The iPhone X green screen of death - apparently competition with Microsoft BSOD is fiercer than we thought. 




Bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy S8 is an absolute champ in this test - iPhone X users should avoid leaving their phones in water in the freezer overnight.

The video below shows the freeze test comparison in full:























This iPhone X Feature Makes it Worth $1,000

November 4, 2017

You're driving in the car, come to a red light and decide to check e-mail. You double click the home button to open the mail app, delete a few emails and then look up after you hear the horn of the car behind you to see a green light. As you place the phone back in its holder, you begin to accelerate through the intersection.

Suddenly, you remember, you want to open the GPS app as you pass the intersection and proceed to the entrance ramp of the highway or freeway. You think about hard pressing the left of the screen and swiping to another app but you realize the phone holder is not so secure.

Senet LoRaWAN IoT Network Has Great Start on Global Ambitions

November 2, 2017

We estimate LPWAN connectivity could power half of the world’s IoT devices in the next five years. With range of more than ten miles and devices running on a single battery for a decade, we expect sensors and other IoT devices to be widely distributed. In addition, mass-production will reduce prices, meaning even greater distribution in virtually every industry.

Certainly, LoRa is a strong contender in the LPWAN space – the ecosystem is growing at a staggering pace.

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