January 31, 2017

Link: Keep Your LG 5K Display Away from Routers ☍

Sebastian Anthony for Ars Technica:

The spiritual successor to Apple’s Thunderbolt Display, the LG UltraFine 5K monitor, which only started shipping out from the Apple online store this week, appears to suffer from a major fault: when placed within two metres (6.5ft) of a wireless router, the display starts to flicker; move it really close, and the monitor goes black and becomes unusable. An LG Electronics support person confirmed the issue, saying it “only happens for the 5K monitors we have, not other LG monitors.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, 9to5Mac’s Zac Hall reports that his LG 5K monitor, under the duress of a nearby Wi-Fi router, can freeze the MacBook Pro that it’s plugged into, forcing a reboot to bring it back. When he moved the router (an Apple AirPort Extreme) from beside the monitor to another room, everything went back to normal.

I’ve been a fan of LG’s panels in general (iMacs use them, as do the ViewSonic displays I have at work and home) and their TVs, but this seems like a rather sloppy mess. Although in many cases my router wouldn’t be near my computer anyway, I’ve seen plenty of workspace/office pictures where a router is at the corner of a desk.

If only there was a company out there who made displays, routers, and non-Windows-based computers that all played nicely together…

January 27, 2017

Link: A Particular Outdated Android Phone ☍

Alex Dobie did some sleuthing for Android Central to figure out what kind of phone is being used by Donald Trump:

The New York Times has reported that Donald Trump still tweets from the White House on his “old, unsecured Android phone, to the protests of some of his aides,” contradicting earlier reports that the president had turned in the handset in exchange for a “secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service.” It’s difficult to know with 100% certainty which Android device Trump currently uses to tweet (or whether it’s the off-the-shelf model he likely used during his campaign, or some secured variant.) […]

So there you go. Trump’s personal Android phone is more than likely a Samsung Galaxy S3, released in 2012, and which last received a software update in mid-2015, with firmware based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

As noted in the intro, we don’t know for sure that Trump is still using this specific Galaxy S3. The two NYT reports conflict on whether he turned it in, or is still using it to fire out tweets from the White House. But if he is, and it’s the same consumer GS3 model he was apparently using as of February 2016, it’s safe to say it’s a good three years out of step with the latest Android security updates. Many Android security scares have come and gone since the GS3 got its last update in August of 2015.

This is some really good detective work, and really shows how iOS devices age versus Android devices, but it should be concerning if it is still that same Galaxy S3. There are way too many security holes and exploits available, especially on a device that received its last update just after the start of his campaign.

January 14, 2017

Link: Justin Blanton on the iPhone’s Tenth Anniversary ☍

Justin Blanton, who is using an iPhone 7 as his primary computer reflects on the iPhone’s tenth anniversary:

I used nearly every iteration of the various mobile operating systems that existed from 1998 to 2007, including Series 60, Symbian, PalmOS, Windows CE, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS, etc., and for a while I really missed playing with and testing them as they added this or that feature.

But gradually that changed as the mobile OS world fractured wildly and then eventually consolidated into just two real players, and the iPhone’s indispensability in my life continued to grow with each new release. The tradeoff has been more than worth it — I love the iPhone and can’t imagine my life without it.

Link: Brad Mangin Made More from Photo Gigs in 2016 with His iPhone Than His DSLRs ☍

Brad Mangin:

This iPhone assignment the final week of the year was the icing on the cake in a year that saw my business turn upside down. I have been a freelance sports photographer since 1993, with my main clients being Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball. PetaPixel wrote a story about me last year in which I talked about the changing business and how difficult things had become for me.

In 2016, the tide began to turn for me a little bit. I still earned my living shooting paid assignments and licensing stock images, but for the first time ever I made more money shooting paid gigs with my iPhone than with my Canon.

I can see how this would happen—the iPhone’s camera (especially on the 7 Plus) is getting good enough for many things and is way more convenient. I doubt DSLRs will die anytime soon, but having some controls, RAW support, and the ability to tweak on-device really has changed the process for some.

Link: Tech Bros Don’t See Women in the Future ☍

Erin Gloria Ryan for The Daily Beast:

I turned to the male friend I was with, a writer for another publication. I told him it seems strange that the tech industry has such a hard-on for Virtual Reality when it seems like the last thing a woman wearing makeup would want to do would be to put a thing on her face. Doesn’t it get sweaty under a VR headset? Doesn’t it pick up foundation along the edges? Doesn’t it leave red marks on the face, or mess up her hair? I’d never put something like that over my face. Women know that the punishment they receive for acts of vanity pales in comparison to the social fallout they’d face if they shirked male expectations for how they’re supposed to look. If one of the cheerleader models had shown up to PepCom with her makeup smeared and hair mussed, she’d be told to fix it or go home.

Huh, he said. I’ve never thought of that.