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Showing posts from May 24, 2015

External Storage Returning To Nexus Devices

Google has been down on expandable memory for more than a little while now. Nexus devices abandoned micro SD cards several generations ago. It's been the biggest downside to buying one of Google's own brand Android devices.
Things will be changing for the better when Android M arrives. The latest revision of Android will now automatically encrypt an inserted memory card and format it as a logical extension of the internal storage.
It's better than nothing I suppose, but it does present some future issues. Like being unable to swap memory cards between devices, data loss if your device faiIs and reliance on the cloud for all your future  device backups.
Fortunately other OEMs have retained micro SD card shots on their Android devices so it's possible to retain some of the benefits of expandable storage without having to wait for Android M.

F1: Lotus Disproves Verstappen Brake Test Claim

After a pretty impressive Monaco Grand Prix weekend Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen ended his race buried in the tyre wall at Ste. Devote. It was an unfortunate way to end the race, doubly so when the race stewards dinged him for a five place grid penalty for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix. lt was an inexplicable decision for what appeared to be little more than an unfortunate misjudgement and a racing accident.
Perhaps we now have some better insight into the thinking behind the penalty.
Yesterday Verstappen made several claims that Lotus driver Romain Grosjean had brake-tested him and that was the cause of his race ending crash.
Given these claims were made after the stewards had handed out the penalty, these claims smelled decidedly fantastical. The stewards have access to all of the telemetry data from the cars so if Grosjean had braked early to cause Verstappen's accident they would surely have been made aware of it and tempered their decision accordingly.
Lotus weighed i…

FIFA Corruption On Epic Scale

Today will go down in history as the day that changed football forever. The FBI undertook a number of dawn raids to arrest officials whose duty had been to ensure the integrity of the sport, but who appear to have colluded in one of the longest running and most lucrative examples of corruption that sport has ever seen.For details of the arrests and allegations you won't go far wrong with the BBC's report here.The question no-one seems prepared to answer is what happens to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, due to be held in Qatar and Russia and now almost certainly tainted by the knowledge that they were secured as a result of the bribery of corrupt officials.It is unthinkable that these tournaments should proceed as planned. FIFA should immediately call a halt to the proceedings, particularly in Qatar where the death toll of migrant workers rises on a daily basis.The 2022 tournament bidding process can be re-done, however it is too late to do that for 2018. Either the tournament s…

New iPhone Dock Uncharacteristically Shoddy

Docks used to be the norm, plonking your phone on the desk and plugging it in? Too much effort when you can drop it into a dock and have it at a usable angle as well as fully connected. Apple has always offered a dock as an accessory for its iPhones, except for the iPhone 6 and 6+, which have had to do without since launch.
Apple have filled this gap with a new dock which promises to be the last iPhone dock you ever buy. However once you see it you'll probably decide that it's actually the last iPhone dock you should consider buying, because its design is flawed.
Unlike previous docks where the connector sat in a channel which helped to support the device and made for a good solid platform for tapping and dragging, the new Lightning dock's connector is raised above a flat surface, and when you place your iPhone on it the only thing holding it upright is the Lightning connector itself.
I dread to think of the forces being applied to the connector, especially if you happen …

F1: Hamilton Contributed To Monaco Screw Up

Lewis Hamilton dominated the Monaco Grand Prix almost from start to finish, yet ended the weekend with only a third place to show for his troubles. The result of a miscalculation by the team in the safety car period which followed the accident between Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean.
Completely blameless then. Apparently not.
Looks like the team initially intended to keep Hamilton out, but concerned he would face Rosberg and Vettel on newer, supersoft tyres which would be much faster than the aging softs on his Mercedes, Hamilton himself asked to come in for a tyre change.
Mercedes made two errors. Firstly, it failed to calculate the delay Hamilton's pitstop would entail, dropping him behind both Rosberg and Vettel; and, secondly, they failed to tell Hamilton that Rosberg had not stopped and nor had Vettel.
For Hamilton's part he lost the race by failing to back himself. He didn't believe that he could hold Rosberg and Vettel back if they were on newer tyres than his o…

Microsoft To Buy Blackberry At $7bn? Sounds Steep

Blackberry has done a half decent job of slowing its decline into irrelevance, diversifying its product lines and spreading its software further. Its the services division which offers the biggest glimmer of hope for the business though, with mobile device management, messaging security and its embedded software offering some marketable assets to tempt buyers.
Tempting in those buyers seems to be the only prospect that Blackberry has for the future. Although rumoured interest from Samsung hasn't materialised, it hasn't stopped the whispering. Now Microsoft is the apparent suitor, with the services division being a big enough drawer to coax $7bn out of the Microsoft war chest.
That's more than Microsoft paid for Nokia. And it seems awfully high. Especially when you look for value from that purchase.
Personally I'd be happier to hear that Microsoft was considering an acquisition of Nokia's Here Maps division. That hasn't even begun to be conjecture yet. Either w…

F1: Verstappen Monaco Penalty A Nonsense

Max Verstappen had quite a weekend in Monaco, fast and fluid through free practice, sensible in qualifying and tactically astute during the race, where he pulled off some tidy passes. 
He also directly influenced the result of the race, when he caused the sport's first Virtual Safety Car period and then the Safety Car which flummoxed Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton to the extent that they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Perhaps driver steward Tom Kristensen is a big Lewis Hamilton fan and wanted to punish Max for Lewis losing the race, because the penalty for the accident - a five place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks time - has no other explanation.
It's a complete nonsense.
Verstappen's accident with Roman Grosjean was just that - a racing accident, an attempt to overtake that didn't go as planned. Verstappen tried to dummy the Lotus driver into Ste. Devote, the tight first corner at the bottom of the hill. As he switched from le…

Kiwis Can Get A Great Deal On The HP Stream 7 Right Now

I previously had a look at the HP Stream 7 tablet, a budget device running Windows 8.1 with Bing. I was quite impressed with it at the time, given its low price it was a convincingly good piece of kit. Anybody in New Zealand who might have been holding off buying one because it was still too expensive should rush out to The Warehouse, where the diminutive Windows tablet can currently be picked up for just $149. That's an absolute steal.

Indycar Safety Team Saved Hinchliffe's Life After Practice Crash

James Hinchcliffe's practice accident at Indianapolis looked pretty nasty, but not particularly life threatening. However Racer is reporting that the Canadian's life hung in the balance after the impact.

The right front suspension was punched through the carbon fibre tub of Hinchcliffe's Dallara, passing through his right thigh, left thigh and then spearing up into his pelvis.

When the Indycar team arrived at the scene Hinchcliffe was in the process of bleeding out, presumably because one or both of his femoral arteries had been severed by the suspension.

The work done by the safety team should be highly praised. When they arrived at the scene Hinchcliffe was impaled in the car and losing blood at a life threatening rate.

Extracting and stabilising the driver in these circumstances was a magnificent effort.

The dangers of sending drivers around a concrete-lined bowl at speeds in excess of 230 mph have never been more apparent.

Apple UK Apparently Outs iPhone 6C

Steve Jobs is probably spinning in his grave right now, as super secretive Apple has apparently let slip the existence of an upgraded 4" iPhone based in the style of the iPhone 5C. The mistake occurred on an Apple UK page for the new Lightning dock for iPhone.
The image above, shows a 5C-like device supporting a Touch ID sensor, clear evidence of this being based on a later iPhone than the current 5C, which channels the spirit of the dead iPhone 5.
As the Forbes article  suggests, this probably means that the new device will also have support for Apple Pay, making it the most advanced 4" iPhone Apple has ever shipped.