* Posts by Argh

163 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jan 2010


Building Excel-like UI for Uber's China ops exposed Microsoft calculation quirks


Iterative calculation

Excel supports circular references with iterative calculation. You can configure the maximum number of iterations and the epsilon.

Japan complains Fukushima water release created terrifying Chinese Spam monster


No, that's Trinity, you're thinking about the fossil marine arthropod that occurred abundantly during the Palaeozoic era.

Russian ChessBot breaks child opponent's finger


If the robot player has an angle grinder, that is likely to be even worse for the fingers of children.

From cash machines to commercial kitchen appliances, Doom really will run on almost anything


Doom on a pregnancy test

Unfortunately, it wasn't really on a pregnancy test. The screen and microcontroller had both been replaced and put in to a pregnancy test shell.

S20 Ultra 5G: Samsung unfurls Galaxy flagship with bonkers 108MP cam, 6.9-inch display


Re: 108 Mpixels in a phone?

It's another way of doing a zoom, by cropping the image to a more standard resolution.

I'm not sure about with these phones, but previous phones with high resolution sensors have also used them to reduce noise by downsampling to a lower resolution as well when not zooming.

Pack your bags, you're going to America, Lord Chief Justice tells accused Brit hacker


Re: Odd thought

Yes, to an extent: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK%E2%80%93US_extradition_treaty_of_2003

Imagine finding this bad boy in your shower: Brit startup pulls the sheets off Moon spider mech


It's all fun and games until it injects you with acid and explodes, a la Runaway: https://youtu.be/bodOMl_o-3g?t=16

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean Google isn't listening to everything you say


There's also "Hey Google", plus the speakers can be configured to keep listening for follow-up actions for a few seconds after responding, without the trigger words. This could gather a lot of extra audio when enabled, as you often only make a single query then go back to talking.

Oz watchdog claims Samsung's leak-proof phones ad campaign doesn't hold water


I can imagine that some people might want to take underwater photos in a pool.

Facebook won't nuke deepfakes? OK, let's tear up those precious legal protections from user-posted content, then


Re: Google ads

Being asked questions? Is this in Opinion Rewards? If so, one of the first questions it asks you is if you're male or female. A lot of people put female, as they get more cashback for it. Perhaps you did that and forgot?

Akamai CEO: Playing games from the cloud? Seems too expensive to be viable right now


The $10 a month subscription is for the "pro" package, which gives 5.1 surround sound, 4k video streaming and some other stuff (game discounts and I think free games while paying the subscription, but the only free game at launch will be Destiny 2).

Google has said that in 2020 there will be a free base package that just does stereo sound and 1080p video streaming, where you just pay for games. You also won't need to pay for additional hardware if you already have a controller of some kind and a chrome browser.

The $130 founders edition package includes a Chromecast ultra, controller (which can also be used as a HID wired controller for other devices, from what I've read), and 3 months subscription, plus an extra 3 months to give to someone else (possibly not useful until the base package is available).

Assuming what they've said is true, and the streaming is reliable with very low latency, the prices seem reasonable at the moment.

iOS 13 leaks suggest Apple is finally about to unleash the iPad as a computer for grownups


Re: file system access

I run Linux on Dex, which provides an Ubuntu desktop environment in a container on my Note9 when it's plugged in to a monitor (a basic terminal is also available when not plugged in). Unfortunately the UI is a bit slow, as it's basically a VNC view, but it can happily run some IDEs I've tried, as well as a variety of other tools.

NexDock 2: Electric Boogaloo. Crowdfunded laptop shell sequel touts less plastic, more pixels


Re: limited amount of phones supported

It won't work even with some newer phones like Pixel 3 either, which will get Android Q, as Pixel 3 doesn't support HDMI over USB-C.

Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass


Re: How is alphagoog off the hook here?

It's common for apps that allow incoming calls (including the phone app itself) to not need the phone to be unlocked in order to answer calls.

This one weird trick turns your Google Home Hub into a doorstop


Re: chromecast based

Android Things has significantly higher hardware requirements. I don't believe the Google Home Hub meets these requirements, which is why it's cheaper than the other Google smart displays.

Ah, um, let's see. Yup... Fortnite CEO is still mad at Google for revealing security hole early


Re: I learned something

If you use iOS, I hope you're also avoiding their app store like the plague. If you are, good luck installing anything from elsewhere. At least Android allows 3rd party app-stores (which can be given permission to install other apps with no warnings after the initial acceptance of the permission for the store), or installing individual apps.

Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer


Re: Google takes revenge

You can stop being asked for contributions in Maps by going to:

Settings > Notifications > Your Contributions

Or if you're on Android Oreo, you can configure the app's notification channels instead.

Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy


One huge problem for the majority of people is that installing LineageOS will replace your great quality phone camera (assuming one of the recent flagships) with a very average quality camera.

You'll also be losing pretty much any stylus support if you get it, so you'd be throwing your money down the drain if you did it with the Note range.

For all the excitement, Pie may be Android's most minimal makeover yet – thankfully


Re: can you get updates only yet?

There are Android phones with physical mute switches -- e.g. the OnePlus range (from 2-6).

Game over for Google: Fortnite snubs Play Store, keeps its 30%, sparks security fears


Re: No brainer

They charge that because that's what Apple charge.

It's not a coincidence -- it's the same reason Google keep charging almost exactly the same amount for the Pixels as Apple does for the equivalent iPhones.

Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC


Re: Funny Sound Bite on Radio 4 This morning

> The sound of apple fan boys cheering as they announced a built in App to restrict the time you use your phone was funny.

Remember that at apple events, a fairly large proportion of the audience are Apple employees, they reserve a lot of spaces for them to make sure they get enough whoops, particularly if it's a reveal event with journalists (who tend not to whoop much).

Microsoft floats feelers for fake worlds


These haptic gloves that I saw on this video the other day look more impressive (but still look very clunky and prototypey): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK2y4Z5IkZ0&feature=youtu.be&t=95

iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles


Re: Presumably Android would have to be tweaked...

The "Essential" Android phone came out before the iPhone X and already has a small notch in the top. I haven't looked in to how well their version of Android handles it, though.

Google is adding official support for notches in the next version of Android though, apparently.

The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury


Re: So, plays tunes you own, alarm clocks stuff you set and listens to everything you say 24/7

> Who on earth has their spouse in their phone under the name "My Wife"?

You don't need to. On the phone, at least, if you ask to call your wife, mother, sister, etc. it will ask you who that is, then assign that information to them (I think in the "nickname" field of the contacts), so it will work in future.

I don't have a Google Home to test with, but it works fine on the phone or through Android Auto.

Web devs griping about iPhone X notch: You're rendering it wrong


Not really important but quite a few Android phones have rounded corners on the display already, and the Essential Phone has rounded corners and a notch at the top (although a smaller notch than the iPhone X).

The corners might be rounded differently to the iPhone X, but they looks similar from a glance. You can also get apps on Android that will overlay rounded corners on older phones.

Stephen King's scary movie reboot provokes tears from 'legit clowns'


Re: It wasn't It.

1988 was a good year for terrifying children with things they might see each day. "The Happiness Patrol" in Doctor Who that year also had that killer Bertie Bassett as well.

Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...


Samsung bought Viv which was made by the original creators of Siri, so I would expect Bixby to have a lot of that functionality. This also makes a comparison between Bixby and Siri more relevant.

Samsung revival hamstrung by 2014 Google deal – analyst


Re: You sure about that?

They still offer their own calendar. I installed Google Calendar and disabled the Samsung one.

Similarly, there are still multiple email applications (Gmail and a Samsung one), even though the Gmail app can pick up from any account now.

I'd be surprised if Viv isn't fully functional.

Living with the Pixel XL – Google's attempt at a high-end phone


Re: Wanna buy a Pixel?

I think you mean Micro SD slot. It definitely has a SIM slot (well, nano SIM, I think)

Analyst: iPhone 7 points to price jump


I really hope that there is something pretty special about it, as it looks like they're going to charge a premium price for it, and from leaked images, it has massive top/bottom bezel (particularly as it uses on-screen navigation keys and no "proper" stereo speakers -- might have something similar to the HTC 10), and will not be as water resistant as the S7. The S7 still has one of the best cameras around (similar to the iPhone 7 plus, with each doing slightly better in different conditions from what I've seen here: http://www.cnet.com/special-reports/cameras-compared-iphone-7-plus-vs-galaxy-s7-vs-iphone-6s-plus/). I particularly hope that HTC/Google have stepped there game up here.

F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK


Re: Bah!

Probably 5 miles rounded up?

Also 33 km would be 20 miles rounded up.

Google tells Android's Linux kernel to toughen up and fight off those horrible hacker bullies


Re: Patching speed is probably the issue

I'm not sure about the cheaper models, but the flagships (Galaxy S and Galaxy Note) tend to be updated regularly, at least for security patches.

My 2+ year old S5 is still updated almost every month.

If you are using a network branded phone, this may not be the case, particularly if you are on EE/Orange, who seem to be the worst for regular updates, from looking at firmware releases. Flash an unbranded firmware, if you can,to get the updates .

Forget Game of Thrones as Android ransomware infects TVs


Re: Killing TVs, a step too far

> What could the manufacturer do?

> a) Disable sideloading/fastboot/adb/etc... Although Kodi on a TV would be nice, I could live without it as the TV would just be another device to babysit.

You don't need sideloading/fastboo/adb/etc to run Kodi. It's on the Play store.

> b) Include a reset pinhole. And let's face it, you need it with Android.

Never needed it before and I've been with Android a long time. I have had to hold down the power button for a few seconds to force a shutdown though, I guess that's the same thing. The iPhone has the same feature though, with power button and home, and I know that's been needed a lot by friends.

I don't know about Android TVs, but most (all?) Android phones can be wiped from the bootloader by holding a combination of buttons. I agree that some way of "factory resetting" a TV would be useful. My very old "Smart" TV (most smart functions no longer functioning, as it's so old and the services have changed) already has that on a menu, so I'd be quite surprised if it wasn't available on newer TVs.

Google Chrome deletes Backspace


"Page back" key

I don't remember having any issues in the past with backspace, but my T510 Thinkpad has a "page back" key that I have hit many times, next to the "up arrow" and "left arrow" cursor keys. Browser extensions like "Lazarus" to save forms automatically have saved me a lot of time due to this issue!

Google-backed Yieldify has acquired IP from ‘world’s biggest patent troll’


I've looked so that others don't have to. From their website, it looks like they try to "re-engage" you on a site, if you leave it for a bit.

The examples they gave:

If you leave a retail website with a non-empty basket, it will email you occasionally (possibly with deals as an incentive).

Similarly, if on mobile you switch away from the tab or browser and come back, it can pop-over an advert/deal as an incentive to continue.

Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition


Re: Alternate operating systems

If they get rid of the compatibility tests, it will also make it fun to try and find apps that work as expected with your phone. Back to the good old days of early Android. Those apps with embedded maps? They won't work on phones without the maps APIs. You want to monetise? You'll need to implement a load of different payment APIs for all the stores.

A lot of the APIs were moved in to other services from core Android, so that they could be updated without a full firmware update. That's pretty important as a lot of carriers and manufacturers rarely provide firmware updates.

Ideally (from my point of view) they'd move even more of them out so that even more security and other bug fixes could be easily fixed. For example, the stagefright bugs weren't able to be fixed without a firmware update, as they were in the core OS.

Google tried to be funny, cocked it up, everyone thought it was a bug


Re: <sigh>

> and one from a funeral director to a client who had just had a bereavement

That was a made-up example by the twitter poster, not a real example. He even clarified it later in the thread:

>> I thought it was super apparent, but just in case—I made this GIF as a cautionary tale/worst-case example. Not real.

> Or that adding 'hilarious' features to core functionality of a platform that is expected to work day in, day out by business and private users alike probably isn't the finest of ideas.

Google do things like this fairly often, but this one is particularly suspect as it has some pretty big non-cosmetic effects and has replaced an existing button rather than adding a new one. If, as reported, it also affected users that did not press the "drop the mic" button, it was terrible.

For what it's worth, Google Apps accounts for businesses (i.e. paying customers) did not have this feature added.

Something useful from Cupertino?! Apple sees the light – finally


Seem to recall that the night mode was in the Android Marshmallow beta (removed for release), and it's also in the current Android N beta.

It's BACK – Stagefright 2.0: Zillions of Android gadgets can be hijacked by MP3s, movie files


Re: Mmm...

There are apps to check to see if you're vulnerable.

Samsung have pushed out fixes for the original Stagefright issue to stock (non-carrier branded) devices, but I haven't had an update for a long time on my EE S5 and it's definitely vulnerable.

I'm not sure about the stock S5 Mini.

3D printer blueprints for TSA luggage-unlocking master keys leak online


Re: I never

I've only had the note in my case once, but I know my case has been looked in multiple times, due to cable ties being cut, contents rearrangement and sometimes internal zips/clips opened, that wouldn't be at all likely even with all the damage bags take. I didn't think they bothered officially letting you know, now.

Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android


Re: @Twilkins - yup, me too...

I'd really like to unlock my EE S5 to get the latest unbranded ROMs, but as I have a terrible EE signal in the house, I need the EE Wifi calling functionality which isn't available on the unbranded phones.

Unrelated to the article, but on the topic of Wifi calling, it would have been nice if the phone stopped trying to use the radio when Wifi calling is available, as the low signal while at home still destroys the battery life due to the radio working at full power.

PINs easily pinched with iPhone-attached thermal imaging kit


Re: Thermal sensor resolution

I'd expect it's something like the FLIR ONE for iPhone and Android?

The thermal imaging resolution is 160x120, but it also uses a regular camera to add more detail combined with the thermal image.

OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android


Re: Carbon not Kevlar

No, it's Kevlar. Actual DuPont™ Kevlar®. Likely not very much of it, though.

Uninstalled Google Photos? Thought your pics safe from slurping? WRONG, bozo


Re: So

If you find it, report it, please, don't just delete it.

Saying you're guilty for repairing a PC containing illegal media is like saying that if you work at a till, then receive money, check it immediately and find it to be counterfeit, you're still guilty for being in possession of it.

The guy who found porn on Gary Glitter's laptop in PC World reported it and there was no legal action taken against him, of course.

'Hackers racked up $$$$s via the Android Play Store, and Google won't pay me back'


The real story

Isn't the real story here that account credentials have been leaked from Google, according to the suit?

I'd have thought that if there was any evidence of this, it would be a huge story. As Irongut says, more likely to be a compromise at the users end.

NO BRAIN needed to use Samsung's next flagship mobe


Re: If you buy it do you own it? ...or... Will the device start overlaying Ads over the photos?

Here maps (from Nokia) works well for offline maps on Android. I haven't looked to see if the maps can be synced with rsync though. Maybe, if you're rooted. Obviously Firefox and VLC are already available. If you don't log in to a Google account for anything, you can be quite Google free if that's your thing. It's convenient to have an app store of some kind though. Perhaps install Amazon?

A lot of phones have dual booting options available as well, if you look on sites such as XDA-Developers. Invalidates the warranty, I'd expect (some people disagree about this saying EU law allows it).

I think hypervisors will become popular in time, particularly as Android phones are now starting to ship with 3GB of memory.

Oh BOY! The MICKEY MOUSE Apple Watch is no heart-throb


Re: In ten of fifteen years' time,

I suspect that it may be more like "We only shared heartbeats and medical data?", as loved ones will share the composition of their excrement with each other, analysed by their iLoo.

THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug


Re: Remind me again why Android's crappy update system is good?

The majority of phones I've seen ship Chrome, which will auto-update happily.

Some phones (particularly older ones) ship an AOSP based browser, usually also customised by the phone manufacturer, which has this issue.

Android does allow such applications to be updated in the Play store, and some manufacturers have started to do this, e.g. manufacturers putting cameras, etc. in the Play store so they can be updated easily. Unfortunately, this has only started to happen fairly recently and I haven't yet seen a manufacturer customised browser updated via the store.

So -- it's not an Android issue, it's a manufacturer issue that reflects badly on Android.

Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then


Yes, I liked Gauntlet, but Gauntlet 2 made it so much more fun with a much wider variety of features ("Blue valkyrie is it", "Green elf now haaas... reflective shot"), although the option to have all 4 players with the same class (e.g. "Red elf", "Green elf", etc) took something away.

Apple fanbois to talk at the iWatch, INSPECTOR GADGET style – report


Re: Boring...

Agreed. It's going to be interesting to see what Apple come up with. I'm sure it will be a big success because:

a) It's Apple and their target demographic tends to have a fair amount of cash available to spend on tech.

b) It will likely look really nice (unlike the 2 currently released Android Wear devices -- still waiting on the Moto 360, which looks chunky but unique!)

If Android Wear somehow became compatible with the iPhone (may be difficult due to Apple not liking anything with "Android" in the title for apps -- e.g. the Android Central news app can't get in to the App Store, and Chromecast is based on Android but used the Chrome name to get on to iOS), it could make things interesting. I know that as an Android user, I would prefer something cross-platform compatible in case I feel like changing devices. I treat services that I use in the same way, generally veering away from platform specific services.

Obviously the iWatch will not be Android compatible.