Verizon wants you to pay $650 plus $85 a month for a 5G hotspot

Found on Ars Technica on Saturday, 20 July 2019
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Verizon yesterday announced its first 5G hotspot, namely the Inseego MiFi M1000 that Verizon is selling for $650. On top of the device cost, the monthly fees for 5G service will be higher than 4G even though Verizon's 5G network barely exists.

But the fine print states that customers get 50GB of high-speed 5G data, and 5G speeds are reduced to 3Mbps after that.

Verizon has said its 5G users "should expect typical download speeds of 450Mbps, with peak speeds of above 1.5Gbps and latency less than 30 milliseconds."

So in about 15 minutes your monthly traffic is busted and you connections are throttled. It's about time that this BS-bingo about 5G ends.

Samsung asks users to please virus-scan their TVs

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 18 June 2019
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Does Samsung believe there's a real danger of malware infection on its smart TVs? Obviously, any computing device with random-access storage can run malicious code.

The best way to keep your big, expensive smart TV safe is never to allow it access to your network in the first place.

Everyhing that is network-connected can be exploited; and the security history in the IoT world shows well enough that it will happen.

3D-printed guns are back, and this time they are unstoppable

Found on Wired on Wednesday, 22 May 2019
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Unlike previous attempts to popularise 3D-printed guns, this operation is entirely decentralised. There’s no headquarters, no trademarks, and no real leader. The people behind it reckon that this means they can’t be stopped by governments.

There is no way to stop the anonymous file sharing of 3D-printed guns online. Whether they’re just pretending to be doing this for reasons of liberty or otherwise, their message is clear: it’s already too late to stop.

It was just a matter of time. Knowledge, good or bad, can not be kept under tight control forever.

Millimeter-wave 5G will never scale beyond dense urban areas, T-Mobile says

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 22 April 2019
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While all four major nationwide carriers in the United States have overhyped 5G to varying degrees, T-Mobile today made a notable admission about 5G's key limitation. T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray wrote in a blog post that millimeter-wave spectrum used for 5G "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments."

Despite Ray's realism about the limitations of millimeter-wave signals, T-Mobile hasn't shied away from exaggerating the benefits of 5G.

No, 5G will not be the next saviour, despite what marketing guys preach. It is just a wireless network with shortcomings that should be treated as such. Don't fall for the propaganda.

Bendgate 2.0: Samsung’s $2,000 foldable phone is already breaking

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 18 April 2019
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During the run-up to the device's launch, there were concerns about the durability of the folding display, and now after just a few days with the public, the device is already experiencing problems.

It looks like Steve Kovach of CNBC has experienced everyone's worst fear: his Galaxy Fold display broke right along the fold crease—all the pixels in the folding area went black and the screen started flickering like crazy.

The early hype for the Galaxy Fold seems to have struck a chord with consumers, with Samsung.com citing "overwhelming demand" and selling out of Galaxy Fold pre-orders in just a day.

Samsung will have fun times after the device hits the masses. The display might work fine in the laboratory, but the life is different outside.

Self-driving cars won’t happen this year no matter what Elon says

Found on I, Cringley on Sunday, 24 March 2019
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The idea today is to eliminate drivers from door-to-door, which is way harder. But we could do that, too, if it wasn’t for interacting with millions of drivers who are still controlling their vehicles the old fashion way, which is often in a barely competent fashion.

I’m guessing that most cars from 2020-on could be self-driving with only a software upgrade, which is why Elon Musk is predicting Tesla will have full autonomy by the end of 2019. But notice that Elon isn’t predicting Tesla will be allowed to have its cars drive themselves everywhere.

Self-driving cars might be a nice concept for some, but not everything in life should be handed over to a computer. Especially not when all those systems for whatever reason are supposed to be always online. The past has enough examples how missing or badly implemented security left the doors wide open for abuse. If your computer gets infected it might be annoying, but if it happens to your car it might be deadly. Sure they say that self-driving cars are more secure, but wait until there are enough of them on the streets so they reach a valueable target size.

Texas is trying to block Tesla from even servicing its cars in direct sale battle with car dealers

Found on Electrek on Sunday, 17 March 2019
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The local car dealer lobby is using old laws meant to stop automakers to compete with their own franchise dealers to block Tesla from selling their own cars directly to consumers even though Tesla never had any franchise dealers.

Texas’s use of direct-sale laws was already ridiculously abused but they are now pushing it to a whole new level of stupidity.

It should not matter who repairs a car; as long as it is done right.

5G is 'ready' once you redefine 'ready'... and then redefine 'reality'

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 06 March 2019
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If the industry had one job at Mobile World Congress last week, it was to tell the world that 5G – the biggest thing since "electricity or the automobile", according to Qualcomm's CEO* – was almost upon us.

5G is really an umbrella term that covers so many new technologies and opens up so many new business use cases. Under the umbrella is almost every theoretical use case, business model and bleeding edge labs innovation any one has dreamt up in the past decade.

5G is the next dotcom bubble. Salespersons are lobbying politicians, and that means a big failure is about to happen.

Samsung announces the Galaxy Fold, a phone that opens into a tablet

Found on Venturebeat on Thursday, 21 February 2019
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Called the Galaxy Fold, the smartphone/tablet hybrid sports dual screens: one that folds in half like a notebook, and another that works just like any other.

Thanks to a highly durable adhesive and a “sophisticated” hinge system with interlocking gears, the Fold’s 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED (4.2:3) primary screen can undergo “hundreds of thousands” of flexes without sustaining any sort of damage, Samsung says.

"hundreds of thousands" is a pretty big number; time will tell if there is a Foldgate coming.

Nest Secure had a secret microphone, can now be a Google Assistant

Found on CSO on Wednesday, 20 February 2019
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If your IoT device secretly contained a microphone, which was previously undocumented, would you be happy when the device maker announced an over-the-air update that can enable the microphone for virtual assistant voice functionality? That’s what happened with the security alarm system Nest Secure.

Still, sheep will keep buying and "Internet of Trash" devices will only get worse.