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Samsung's Galaxy S9 Leaks Reveal All

Looks like Samsung are going to announcing a new flagship at MWC without any surprises left to unveil. 

A series of leaks have revealed an updated Galaxy S8, with the main improvements coming in the camera department and placement of the fingerprint sensor. 

The latter moves below the camera and will assuage criticism from those who say that's where it should have been in the first place. 

The camera looks to be the big deal on the S9 though. The main camera will feature a variable aperture, a smartphone first, whilst the bigger s9+ will also pack dual cameras as well. That rumoured f1.5 aperture promises to move photo quality on significantly.

That difference in camera units won't mark the only difference between the two versions, with the S9+ slated to pack more RAM and storage too. 

Which marks the is the first time that Samsung has offered a different experience on its flagship phones. 

The big question left to answer is around Samsung's ability to speed up Touchwiz to match…
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Quick Off The Mark, Pad & Quill Has A HomePod Nappy In Leather For $20

This is Pad & Quill's HomePod coaster, a super quick response to the news of marked furniture which broke earlier in the week.
It's $20 for a 4" leather disc, available in brown or black. It's a particularly elegant way of preventing your HomePod marking your wooden furniture.
I imagine this will only be the first of a whole legion of similar products though, so you may want to wait and see what others have to offer before pressing the button on this one.

Furniture Marks May Be The Price You Pay For Great Audio - And Not Just With The HomePod

Ring-gate is the new first world problem, mainly affecting customers of Apple's HomePod. The silicon ring used to dampen vibration from the speaker and provide a stable platform for the device marks certain oil finished wooden furniture. It leaves a white ring.
This isn't just an issue with the HomePod - pictures of Sonos speakers leaving similar marks are already floating around the internet. It seems that the best method of isolating and stabilising the speaker is most likely to mark surfaces.
Apple's response is fairly standard fare, the marks will clean off and you should think about putting your speaker somewhere else. In other words, it isn't Apple's fault. 
In truth though, the defence that every other speaker of this ilk does the same thing is less than we should expect from Apple.
If Apple was aware of the issue before customers and the media started experiencing it then blithely shipping the HomePod wasn't a customer friendly move. At the very least …

Google's Chrome Adblocker Is All About Saving Online Ad Revenue

From today users of Google Chrome will have an adblocker built into their browser in a move which Google clearly sees as critical to saving the future of online advertising. Given that most of Google's revenue comes from this source you can understand its concern.
The Chrome adblock tool only allows ads which comply with the Coalition for Better Ads or CBA. Given that Google is a board member of the Coalition you can be pretty sure it has ad revenue very firmly front of mind right now.
Google delivers more ads on the web than any one else. So the growth of adblockers has been detrimental to its business. By building in an adblocker which allows approved ads to be delivered, Google is clearly hoping that users will no longer feel the need to deploy third party blockers which are much more aggressive.
The CBA defines the ads which are unacceptable, with pop-ups, auto-playing video and ads which play before or after content being specific targets. On mobile there's also a maximu…

F1: Haas Shows 2018 Car, Halo Not The Carbuncle Expected

Haas has revealed its challenger for the 2018 season.The Ferrari powered VF18 is the first of this season's racers to break cover.
The important thing here is the way the Halo device has been incorporated into the design of the car, with the colour scheme cleverly disguising the device. It may not work as well on other colour schemes - Ferrari in particular might struggle - but here, the black and white livery works very well.
Expect to see more cars feature black areas of colour around the cockpit to support better visuals as more cars are unveiled.

Losing Smartphone Leader Probably Not A Big Issue For HTC

Chialin Chang has left HTC, effective immediately. The President of the smartphone division leaves to start his own AI business. With the bulk of HTC's smartphone division having transitioned to Google's control and the company's focus for smartphones irrevocably changed as a result, losing the incumbent leader seems like an opportunity rather than a challenge.
HTC is no longer a mainstream competitor in the market, despite producing some of the most desirable phones of the Android era, and particularly in the last five years. However, the company has failed to excite customers. Its size and lack of budget for things like marketing, plus poor decisions in the way it spent what budget it had, doomed those ambitions.
So new HTC - the remainder of the smartphone company left from the Google sale - needs to develop a new strategy. Focused in profit. Inevitably that means competing in the premium market with Samsung, Apple and, eventually, Google.
It's more than a company …

iOS Can Once More Be Crashed Via Text Message

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but it is once again possible to crash an iOS device, although in this case things are further complicated by the bug preventing access to any messaging platform in iOS once triggered.

The bug was first uncovered by Italian blog Mobile World and confirmed by The Verge. It involves sending a text message with an Indian character to an iPhone user. This will either crash the application in question, if it is already open or, if iOS shows a notification, crash the whole device.

Given that this affects all messaging applications it would point very much to a weakness in the code Apple provides to developers for message handling. The good news is that this appears to be fixed in the current beta version of iOS 11.3. Still the question remains, why is Apple's Messaging API so vulnerable to injection attacks and why hasn't Apple been able to find and fix the root cause?

Messaging has been a weakness of iOS since 2015. It looks like 2018 w…