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Showing posts from August 12, 2018

Smartphone Fixation Responsible For Rise In German Child Drownings

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The German Lifeguard Association has warned that smartphone fixation has been responsible for a rise in the number of child drownings this year. Despite warnings to put their phone away and supervise their children, parents and guardians are too focused on their phones to be aware when their children have got into difficulty in the water.That’s pretty gruesome news - if it’s true, there is some dispute of the relationship - which suggests the German government needs to take action to ensure users aren’t killing their children in order to use Facebook or Instagram.That could take the form of signal blocking devices in public swimming baths or beaches, or banning the use of phones in these places full stop. Parents have failed to heed warnings, now it becomes something which needs to be legislated.

In Suspending Tesla Whistleblower, Twitter Has Set Itself A New Standard

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Martin Tripp is currently in dispute with Tesla over alleged data theft and a whistle blowing complaint. Today he published to Twitter a large chunk of information to back his case - photos of damaged batteries, scrap being stored outside of Tesla’s claimed standards and a list of Tesla VINs of cars claimed to have the damaged battery packs. Also in the pictures was a sneak peak of Elon Musk’s email address. Within a couple of hours Twitter had suspended Tripp’s account and removed the images. For a company struggling to control the posting of hate material, that’s a incredible reponse time. So now we know that a couple of hours is all the time required to respond to a complete, we should be holding Twitter to this as a new standard. Racism, misogyny, hate speech, these are things banned by Twitter’s terms and conditions. Now let’s see the company wield its ban hammer with a similar alacrity as it did with Tripp.

Motorola Redefines The Term ‘Shameless iPhone Ripoff’

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Since Apple released the iPhone X a whole host of OEMs have been releasing lookalike Android phones. Now there’s a new king of the lookalikes in town, and it’s the Motorola P30. This phone goes beyond being a lookalike and becomes a clone of the iPhone X. I mean look at the publicity image above. Did you even realise you weren’t looking at an iPhone X? Now I’ve discussed why Chinese OEMs are doing this - having a phone which looks like an iPhone captures a market segment which wants an iPhone, can’t afford an iPhone and wants to masquerade as an iPhone owner to casual observers. That’s something which doesn’t seem to be likely to play well with a Western audience, but I wonder whether Lenovo would really care about that.

SEC Investigating Elon Musk For Securities Fraud?

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It appears that Elon Musk’s trigger happy tweeting finger may have got him, and Tesla, into deep trouble, with breaking reports suggesting that the SEC has begun an invesitgation into the claims funding was secured to take Tesla private, sending the company’s shares skyrocketing. Since the original tweet was posted it has become clear that by no valid understanding of the phrase ‘funding secured’ had Tesla or Musk secured any funding. Which makes Musk’s tweet fraudulent and opens him - and Tesla - up to the possibility of charges. Now, this isn’t to say that Musk won’t secure funding for his plan - certainly he seems to have some interest for Saudi Arabia in providing the funding - but at the point at which he does he may already be barred from serving on the board of Tesla (or any other US Company) or even facing jail time. Market manipulation is a serious crime, and generally it’s played out in a much more subtle manner than this (the rise and fall of Apple’s shares around earnings …

F1: Alonso’s Retirement Decision Came Years Too Late

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The announcement that Fernando Alonso is to retire from F1 at the end of the season is far from surprising, and whilst some will be sad that his career is ending, it seems to me that the Spaniard hung on too long. Alonso’s speed hasn’t been in question, his ability to court controversy, to burn bridges and whine endlessly? That’s not in question either. And his consistency isn’t great either. Having spent most of 2006 moaning about the FIA’s favouritism for Ferrari, he later signed for Ferrari.Only after a traumatic year with McLaren, where he failed to see off a rookie Lewis Hamilton and the pair of them managed to throw away a certain Championship with bickering and intrigue. Then, ejected from McLaren, Alonso returned to Renault where his involvement in the Crash-gate scandal was questionable at the very least.Back at Ferrari, Alonso failed to achieve a third World Championship despite coming close on a couple of occasions; before terminating his contract with the team two year ear…

Yes, Google Will Do Anything It Can To Track Your Location

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Turning off Location History on an Android phone doesn't stop Google from tracking you. Far from it - and the Google makes it clear when you disable the feature. Google tells you it will continue to improve your Google experience by tracking locations whenever you use a Google product - Maps, Gmail, Chrome, etc.
That shouldn't be a surprise to anybody, because knowing where you are and where you've been are key components of the picture Google builds up about you in order to better target the adverts you see. Those ads - somewhere on the right there if you haven't got an ad blocker installed - only earn Google money when you click them, so it has to be sure that what it displays is something you're already interested in.
Aside from where you go on the web, knowing where you go in the real world is the best piece of information to help Google guess what ads it should be displaying.
So if you're regularly visiting car dealerships, buying pizza or visiting the ch…

Group FaceTime Postponement A Signpost To Improved Update Quality From Apple

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I have noted in the recent past that Apple has been guilty of some poor quality control in its platforms updates. Frequently having to push out many and varied bug fixes after it updates iOS or macOS as users uncover a whole legion of Frankenstein's monsters hiding in the new code they have trustingly installed on their devices.
There probably aren't any more issues that you might find in an Android or Windows update, but that's no vindication. Apple supports a handful of devices all of its own design and manufacture. Google and Microsoft are pushing up date to hundreds if not thousands of devices from different OEMs.
So the news that Group FaceTime has been pulled from the latest iOS12 Beta - which in itself got pulled less than a day from release - is a good thing. It is Apple saying that we've listened to feedback from the brave souls who installed test software on their devices and decided this feature isn't ready for public consumption.
I'm looking forwar…

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Thoughts

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The Galaxy Note range has always boasted a loyal following, even in the midst of the Note 7 disaster. That’s primarily for two reasons. Firstly it has always been Samsung’s range topping device and secondly because it has the S-Pen. The second item has always been the better reason in my view. A stylus on a phone was a pretty standard before the iPhone made capacitive screens de rigeur. Now the Note is the only real stylus option available for phone buyers. Five years ago that made the Note a must have device for note takers. Since then, first Microsoft and then Apple have broadened the availability of stylus equipped devices. And a Surface or an iPad is a much better proposition for almost every note taking scenario. Which leaves the Note 9 to stand on the rest of its capabilities. And that looks like rocky platform to base such an expensive purchase. The Note 9 is a huge phone. Nominally, its not much bigger than the S9+ but in the hand and in the pocket it really is. That’s going t…