Saturday, January 16, 2021

Hybrid iOS and Mac Device - It Would Need To Be Done Right

Source:  Google Search.

It is common knowledge that Apple's own chips used in the iOS devices for years and now on the just updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are very fast.  There is almost nothing on the market that comes close to the processing power and the amount of power it needs.  It's the main reason why Apple is moving away from Intel chips. Apple's chips are simply faster and runs cooler.  It is why Apple's iPhone blow competing Android devices out of the water.  It is why Apple can arm its devices with only a few GB of RAM and the Galaxy devices need 16 GB.  Given how fast Apple's new M1 chip is and the potential for even better upgrades in the future, it is time to revisit a subject hat has divided the Apple community:  a tablet that runs both the iOS and Mac OS.  

First let me say this, with iOS and Mac OS the way they are not, it would not work.  It would be a nightmare.  Mac OS would not work with the current touch interface that works so well on the iPhone or iPad.  I would not buy such a device even if it was available now.  And I'm sure there are other problems that goes along with this.  

However, make no mistake - such a device is something Apple either has thought about or is a bit further along. Think an engineer at Apple has not managed to get MacOS running on and iPad Pro?  Perhaps an iPad Pro with the yet to be released M2 chip running MacOS like hot knife on butter?  

It will require Apple to rethink how the touch interface would work.  It would require an intelligent interface that knows when touch interface works better and when traditional PC interface works better.  But there is another way that Apple will make this happen.

How exactly would Apple do this?   I'm going to come back with a couple of thoughts on this later.  For now, I think it is worth bring up this discussion again.  

Friday, January 8, 2021

Do Articles How around Get Fit Work?

 Source: Men’s Health

I need to lose weight and I’ve done what everyone else have done: diet, exercise, fasted.  Joined gyms, sign up for 5K runs with friends, ran with friends, ran by myself, and everything else I’m sure you’ve done. However, I would have some early success before I start gaining my way back. So, there is Internet articles about how to gain muscles six packs lose weight or how to become the next Iron Man really work? That’s what I want to find out after finding this article about a guy doing 100 Burpee’s per day. Does it really work? We’ll see.

However, I would have some early success before I start gaining my way back. So, there is Internet articles about how to gain muscles six packs lose weight or how to become the next Iron Man really work? That’s what I want to find out after finding this article about a guy doing 100 burpees per day. Does it really work? We’ll see.

 Today is my second day doing it yesterday.  I had a busy day I only did 40. Today, I had an even busier day but I managed to sneak in 60 burppees throughout the day. Now, I don’t think it’s meant for me to just spread out 10 burpees at a time throughout the day. But given my physical condition I could not do more than 10 at a time before I felt like I was going to faint.

Still, it was very promising. I think I can eventually get up to 20 to 25 burpees at a time.  I want to stick this out for more than just a week. Perhaps I’ll stick it out for 2 to 4 weeks. But I’ll be reporting back every few days on my progress. Doing temper piece at a time and spread it out throughout the day to get up to around 50 to 70 it’s better than doing nothing at all.

2 to 4 weeks. But I’ll be reporting back every few days on my progress. Doing temper piece at a time and spread it out throughout the day to get up to around 50 to 70 it’s better than doing nothing at all.

Anyway, it’s experiment. But ultimately, I think with anything whether it’s trying to lose weight learn new skills or trying to develop a new habit, it’s all about staying committed. I do think that these Internet articles, not just for working out, but about how to personal growth or developing a new skill or habit, works if you are willing to stick with it.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Why Is iMessage and Facetime Trending On Twitter

 Apple's iMessage and Facetime was trending for a while today on my Twitter feed on the Explore tab.  So far, I have yet to figure why.  So I kept at it.  Going through the feed.

Then I found this:  WhatsApp is integrating with Facebook Messenger (Arstechnica).  It means that Facebook will be combing through messages for ways to monetize user messages.  So, people are recommending iMessage, Signal, and other highly encrypted messaging apps.

At first, I had thought that perhaps Apple was finally bring iMessage and Facetime over to Android and possibly Windows.  Nah, didn't happen.  

As for Facetime trending on Twitter, it could be that if people are going to abandon WhatsApp, they might as well consider Facetime as an option.

Facebook Bans Trump - Maybe Forever

Source:  The Verge, Buzzfeed.

Trump has many, many friends in the Congress.  Most if not all of them are Republicans.  So, news today that Facebook has banned Donald Trump, president of the United States for eleven more days, is not going to sit well with some of his devotees, especially those who are looking to become the heir apparent of the MAGA movement.  However, the move by Facebook has impressed me even though I am not a fan of Facebook or its CEO (I am no longer a Facebook user).  Twitter only banned Trump for 12 hours.

A few things are going to be predictable in the short-term.  Many Trump fans, First Amendment advocates, and right wing groups will denounce the move by Facebook.  They will threaten (which will get a few of them banned as well), they will vent, and they will consider other options.  But really, what other options are there at this time for conspiracy traffickers and MAGA supporters?

Over the long term, expect congressional hearings about the power of Big Tech and Trump advocates to continue to grind their axes against what they perceived as censorship against conservatives.  Most of it will be done as red meat for right wing, primary, and fringe supporters.  Just as he did during the last hearing, expect Matt Gaetz (who I think secretly dream of being Matt Trump) to berate Facebook and Twitter at future hearings without really asking any questions that is relevant to privacy or the impact of social media and regulation of social media.  

For Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the decision to ban Trump was clear.  Trump was attempting to stage a coup and encourage violence rather than condemn it and tell his supporters to back off.  Furthermore, Trump continues to lie about the fact that he did not win the election because it was stolen from him by frauds (which was largely rejected by the FBI, DOJ, his own attorney general, and state Republican officials).  

Here are statements from Facebook and Twitter regarding the Trump bans:

It's likely Facebook will allow Trump back on the platform.  He is a draw and source of revenue after all.  Twitter has already let Trump back since it's past the 12 hour ban.  It will be interesting to see what kind of impact these bans and pushbacks against Trump by members of his own party will have on his future social media updates.  So far, Trump has not said anything on Twitter.

Note: I just want to note that I'm not a fan of Donald Trump as a person.  But I'm also appalled by his conduct as president of the United States.  Regardless of whether it is a Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, or a moderate, I'm going to go write things as I see it if I think the person's conduct is wrong or does not have the public's best interests at heart.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Twitter Gives Trump A Twelve-Hour Time-Out, But Twitter Should Have Done This More Often

 Just Breaking:  Twitter just issued an lockout on President Trump's account for twelve hours after his series of false tweets about the election and lies led to the siege on the Capitol after Trump mobs turned into insurrectionists and attempted to keep Trump in office for another term (The Guardian).  The question is shouldn't have Twitter done this years ago?  Lies are that lies.  Conspiracy theories are just that:  conspiracy theories.  So Twitter should have marked them as such right from the beginning and clamp down this kind of tweets that all built up to what happened today.

I am a daily Twitter user and for the most part, Twitter works great for me.  I don't use Facebook anymore because it's worse than the swamp that Trump has created for himself and his cronies because Facebook has enabled the fringes of Trump supporters to thrive while Facebook monetizes off them to the detriment of the republic.  Twitter has has well but in my book, it's not as bad as Facebook.  But Twitter has a lot to answer for.

I do think that the new Congress should have a bipartisan commission to address social media and how toxic it can get if left unchecked or allowed to police itself.  I respect and support the first amendment but right now, the kind of tweets coming out of Trump and his fringe supporters is keeping facts from reaching people.  Facts and conspiracy theories and lies should not be out there as if allowing users decide on what they believe.  

It will not be easy.  So far, the congressional hearings in the last couple of years yielded nothing other than grandstanding by politicians (mostly Trump minions) that really does not address how social media can be regulated.  

And this is just the issues with toxic tweets for lies and falsehoods.  Privacy is still front and center for many users like myself.

I'm glad Trump has been given a time-out that really should have came earlier.  But Twitter has its share of responsibility for this dark chapter in hour history.  

Thursday, December 24, 2020

COVID Update: I think I Am Getting Better But Not Out of the Woods; Apple Watch Helped Me Find Trend (Downward and then Back Up)

My Apple Watch oximeter has been return values of 91-93% during ongoing battle with COVID-19.  Prior to my infection, I have never seen anything lower than 94%.  So, something definitely is affect my ability to breath properly.  If I breath too deeply, I would get into a coughing spell that affects my upper body and it would ache all over, feeling as though my body is going to fall apart.

I have been getting chills and spikes in temperatures, usually signaling that it was time for another Tylenol.  And last night, I woke up after finding myself in heavy sweat but feeling much better than any other night.   I am still trying to determine if that is a good thing or not.  It happened again this morning as I was working.   I felt cold but it was not the type of chills I was feeling earlier during the week - they felt like the cold embraces of death's fingers.

And then this:

I saw a few in the range of 86-91% for a day before climbing back up.  The 86% was the lowest.  I was about to emailed my doctor but I decided to wait it out and see if my condition continue to improve.  Luckily, it did.

I don't know how accurate my Apple Watch 6 oximeter really is.  I have definitely used it as a general guide to see how the trend goes.  Prior to getting Covid, I had been running a lot on November and had seen my oxygen level gone up a couple of percentages to 98-99%.  I was pretty excited by it and the weight loss I was losing.  December was supposed to be a continuation.  But then...

As these last few days, I saw a downward trend when I started developing breathing issues and the trend back up.  

Overall, I'm really glad I got the Apple Watch 6 just for its ability to measure the level of oxygen in the blood.  Again, as far as accuracy, well, Apple may need to work on it.  I really don't know (I have read a few articles regarding the accuracy of the oximeter but not really seen anything support its accuracy) if Apple needs to or not.  

What I find most annoying are the unsuccessful measurements.  I'll have to test the placement of the watch on my wrist to see if I get more successful readings than not. Or else, Apple has do something for users to get better and successful readings or through better hardware upgrade on the Apple Watch 7.

Again, if you're contemplating whether to get the Apple Watch 6, hands down - Yes!  Get it!  

And to my dear readers, stay safe and head all safety protocols and public health guidelines and warnings. Covid sucks.

Monday, December 7, 2020

2020 - News, Social Media, and Your Bubble - Perfect Storm For Echo Chamber and What I Did To Escape It

Wow, 2020.  It's not over yet and if you read my previous post, well, things have gotten worse.  And yeah, it was COVID related.  When we look back at this year, will we be talking about the pandemic, Trump and the election, or something you read on social media - maybe it's a conspiracy theory or two or a group of like minded people reinforcing certain ideas and notions, bouncing back and forth in a social chamber?

The roles played by social media without a doubt will be studied for years to come.  The focus will likely be the deleterious effort it had on open societies such as ours.  And the question will be if this was a temporary effort and for a period of time or will others takes things further.  

Here are some questions that needs to be answered:

  1. Does the effects of social media go away as a new generation of users go online who are also more savvy about its uses?
  2. Will the toxicity level drop after Trump leaves office?  
  3. With Trump almost certain to position himself as the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, he is planning a shadow government on Twitter?
  4. Does Facebook and Twitter have what it takes to clamp down on conspiracy theories?  
  5. How will the Biden presidency use social media?  
With the election behind us, President Trump has not only refused to concede but continue push a dangerous narrative that he lost because millions of Americans are part of a conspiracy to rig the election against him.  His latest tweets in the last 24 hours has been from his Georgia rally yesterday.  He has continued to feed his base, demonized the Democrat senate candidates, and recycled the same rhetorics from the presidential campaign.  Frankly, it's par for the president.

We will not know until after Biden is sworn in and starts living in the White House how Trump will use social media.  It's unlikely we'll see anything different.  We have seen in this term that Trump has not shown a willingness to learn and change.  

As for Biden, we may look at the Obama administration for guidance with one big change:  a more engaged White House speaking to the American people.  One of the first acts Biden plans is to request Americans wear masks for 100 days.  I can expect Biden or Dr. Anthony Fauci to continue to engage the public on a more personal level.  At the same time, Biden's last week was on 11/7, the day after the election stating "America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me."

It is likely the Biden administration will use official government accounts to relay social media messages vs President Trump using his own account.  At the current stage, Trump has almost a 4.5 times advantage in followers over Biden (Trump has almost 89 million followers vs Biden at 20.6 million.  President Obama has almost 127 million.)

As for the rest of us, who will we follow and how will we use social media in 2021?  Personally, I do not updates much as I used to.  And I'm all over the place when I do tweet - tech news, opinions, and, occasionally, a social/personal one.  For me, social media is a tool.  I use to gather information and sharing tweets. I try avoiding becoming a mindless drone among legions of retweets.  I like that Twitter is looking to implement an extra step to keep people from simply hitting the retweet button - basically, you're forced to read the post first before instinctively retweeting it (Techcrunch).  Other features like a warning to users about liking tweets with misleading information.  

Social media will continue to grow and mature over the next year as they fine tune the social graph to avoid much of the more free Wild Wild West of the last four years.  I think that's good and users will respond accordingly.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

COVID - Tech Helps But Being Smart Is Key To Minimizing Chances of Infection

We found out this morning my wife has COVD-19.  She's fine.  I went to get tested today.  Initially, the doctor told her that she has a cold since she does not have breathing issues.  We used the oximeter on Apple Watch to keep tabs on our blood oxygen levels (so far so good - there were times when it did not work).  Right now, there is a lot of technology out there to help us keep safe and with recovery.  

One thing that technology cannot duplicate for you is common sense and keep following the rules - social distancing and wearing masks.  This is not an issue about being macho (like it was for me way in the beginning).  I quickly adopted wearing masks.  More than the fact that "everyone is doing it", I want to make sure I do not infect anyone else.  In order to do that, I must not get infected.

Of course, too late for that now.  We are fine.  But we are waiting for results for other people who I have come intact with.  And a couple of them are in the high group.  If anything happens to any of them, I wish I could exchange places with them.  

Since this is mostly a tech blog, I want to convey to everyone that there is nothing more important than using common sense and following the local, state, and federal guidelines when it comes to Covid.  It's very infectious and it can really ruin your day if not your life.  I feel this episode has left a mark on me that will live with me for each and every single day.

I am in a position that could irrevocably change other people lives for the worse if not their deaths. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

With Cellular Apple Watch, It’s Okay To Leave the Phone At Home

With my Apple Watch 6, I’ve finally ditched the iPhone and feel comfortable going out without it. Not just for a run but also on trips to the markets and running errands.  It is only a matter of time before more mobile users feel comfortable going about their life without the digital appendage knowing as the smartphone. And this could be a generational shift in mobile computing. 

I still have an iPhone.  In fact, I am contemplating upgrading to the iPhone 12 mini. Green to be exact. So I’ll still be a mobile warrior in the traditional sense. But at times, It has dominated my time and feel the iPhone is an indispensable part of my life. People, isn’t. 

It’s a tool. A bicycle for the mind as Steve Jobs so eloquently put it. There are times when it should not be without you.  Even now , your mind should be allowed to walk and find other ways of getting around. I’ve done that.  Perhaps I’m a product of my generation and was not born in the last twenty years so I still remember times when you carry around books to read and notebooks to jot thoughts and journal entries.  I’ve gone back to that.  And I’m loving it.  And if I may and I’m rather proud of it, I have gotten looks because I’m at a public carrying reading a book and writing on paper with a pen.  

I still a mobile warrior.  I still spend time each day on the iPhone helping my clan win wars in Clash of Clans, reading and posting on Twitter, and keeping in touch with my college buddies on whether we should all chip in to buy out our inept football head coach.  

With the Apple Watch 6, I am still connected because of the cellular service. So, there is almost no anxiety when it comes to being disconnected. Think of it as a nicotine patch for slowly moving away from the all consuming mobile phone life we are all a part of. 

I’m now more selective and feel less need to answer things right away or reading up on the latest news.  I can still do that on the watch but I have also found that there is no need to answer emails or messages immediately. Things happen in the world whether I read about it or not - and a lot of time, it doesn’t not affect us directly at all.  

I’m wiring this post in an iPad mini and I have no idea where my iPhone is.  While I am still decades away from retirement, I can see myself with just the Apple Watch and an iPad (one day, the Apple Watch will be completely free of the iPhone).  For staying connected, I’ll have watch.  For real computing and life needs like coding or watching pictures and editing them, I’ll have the iPad mini.

What do you think? Are you ready to leave The smartphones at home?  Would it make it easier if you were still connected through a mobile computer on your wrist?

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Apple Watch Needs A Thermometer - With Heart Rate and Oximeter and Other Health Data, It Could Help Users Avoid Spread Covid

  Apple will release the next Apple Watch in less than 2 months.  There are a lot of rumors out there but there is no concrete evidence what new medical sensors will be included if at all.  While oximeter is the likely candidate given the era of Covid we live in (and Apple likely has been working on it for years), another overlooked feature is just as important it not more so:  a thermometer.

When I was little, electronic watches was all the rage.  Watches that play games.  Watches that has a number pad on it for doing calculations.  The Apple Watch can do all that.  But I also had a Casio watch that was able to give me the temperature.  I did a search on Amazon and found that Casio still sell watches like these.  For you kids out there, sure look and feel a bit vintage.

The Casio one measure the temperature outside, not body temperature.  But fear not, such a technology already exist and Apple should be able to build a body temperature sensor into the Apple Watch.  

During the initial month of the Covid lockdown in Asia, I often saw someone outside of a building taking temperature of people before they are allowed into the building.  I thought that was pretty cool.  We see that here in the US but it's not enough.  Often, the infected are asymptomatic and able to spread the disease.  With the right combination of sensors, we might be able to detect possible infections before symptoms develop.  In a study, researchers found signs of Covid infection 9 days before symptoms developed using watch sensors.

Consider if Apple Watch, which already has a heart rate sensor, is paired with an oximeter and body temp sensors, it would provide even better warnings about Covid infection and perhaps even earlier warning signs.  

A ring called Oura has a body temp sensor that is widely used by the NBA in the current season at the Orlando Bubble. With the Oura, the user is able to get a wide range of data on his or her body through the day, it even tracks sleep.  This allows the user or in the case like the NBA, to see the readiness of its players and see if they could be suffering from any ailment like Covid.  

An Apple Watch with similar sensors could also do the same thing, and possibly more given that there is a bigger market for it than the Oura at this point.  With more data, volunteers could also allow researchers to pool more information regarding health and diseases.  A variety of early warning signs could be developed not just for corona viruses but others as well.

And I could really use something like this for my Apple Watch.  There are been times during the last couple of months when I thought maybe I was infected.  I could not tell if it was just allergies or something worse.  Of course, once I turned on the air filter and after half an hour or so, my symptoms went away. Perhaps with these sensors in my Apple Watch, I could save myself from worrying about nothing.  After all, I had not gone out during my allergy period so it was not likely I had caught Covid.

Oh, if I want all that now, I can get the Oura.  However, I'm not a ring person. As great as the Apple Watch is, well, let's just say that I tolerated it on my wrist.  I would not want something that I have to wear 24/7 on my fingers.  

Bottom line is that there is much improvement that Apple can make to the Apple Watch.  It's impact has been felt widely, mostly from people staying or getting healthier, but also from people saved by the watch because it had warned them of a previously unknown medical condition.  With the oximeter and body temperature sensors, the Apple Watch and save tens of thousands more if not millions during this pandemic.

Note:  Here is a link to the Apple Watch at the Amazon store if you like to help out.  I don't know how much I would get from Amazon if you buy your gears from them through my link but anything would sure help.  

Facebook's Many Faces - Delicate Balancing Acts To Optimize Profit And No One Is Full

I continue to have a Facebook account.  I check in on it once a month really to make sure it has not been hacked like those of some of my friends over the years.  So far, so good.  Other than that, I don't really care at all what goes on my timeline and who went where and first world complaints.  What I am concerned with is the amount of fake news and hate that have appeared.  I can unfollow people who are spewing nonsense and trash but I cannot unfollow the ads.  And recently, Facebook's dealings in India shows just how critical of a role that social media is playing in creating division within society.

Perhaps, one can make the argument that the social cracks was already there.  However, Facebook is doing nothing mend those cracks.  In fact, it is widening them and creating new ones that was not there before.  All of this is being done not for the sake of policy shifts or politics but profit.  

Facebook favored prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling party,  Bharatiya Janata Party and extremists.  Hindu nationalists have advocated hate speech and violence against Muslims without Facebook executives doing anything about it even after concluding such violations was rampant.  "T. Raja Singh has said Rohingya Muslim immigrants should be shot, called Muslims traitors and threatened to raze mosques",  according to the Wall Street Journal.

All the while, Mark Zuckerberg has railed against China, which I agree with him on.  However, do not think for a moment if Facebook was allowed to operate in China that Zuckerberg would not hesitate to tow the Community Party line if it means Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp earns billions more in revenue.  If Facebook was in China and the Communist Party was advocating stronger action against its minority populations including the Tibetans and Uighurs, it is unlikely Chinese Facebook executives would even think about removing the post.

Personally, as an American and supporter of the First Amendment, which states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances", I am fine with people saying whatever they want, within limits of the law.  And I do want to know what people are thinking - I advocate people speaking up regardless of political affiliation, gender, or race.  I may not agree with them.  

Social discussions are about shades, not just black and white.  It is not black and white. There are just some things we all know crosses the line. Advocating violence or hate, yelling fire in theaters, and so forth.  We have all had this discussion in school before.  

With social media, social and political discourse has reached a level never seen before.  However, what we are seeing are not constructive debates but at times, intelligent discussions end up deviating into shouting matches that are filled with false facts and fake news.  We have leaders yelling fake news to real news and facts that does not fit their narratives or agendas.  Ask enough people to wear a mask and you'll see where that gets you.  

Back to Facebook.  I am heartened that at least here in the US, public opinion and laws are still strong enough to force Facebook to do the right things when some profit are on the line and they forced to take some heat from segments of the political spectrum.  But that is also about money as well - lose a few million from the alt-right or billions from the larger more mainstream users.  

To be fair, Zuckerberg himself is navigating Facebook through uncharted territory.  There was no such social media experiment in the past that help guide him.  And he has pressed Congress to come up with laws and regulations regarding speech on social media.  For now, I am glad that Congress has not done so.  It has nothing to do with the freedom of speech.  Rather, I think they just do not know what laws we need.  

For now, Facebook is choosing to make money in each country by sucking up to whoever in charge even if it means hate is allowed to prevail.  

Saturday, August 15, 2020

A Futuristic Superyacht Is What I'll Splurge On After I Earn My First Billion

If you have a few hundred millions of dollars to spare, perhaps I can interest you in the Thor Explore yacht from the Gresham Yacht Design.  at 100 meters, more than the size of an football field (yeah, you can do your daily jogs around it with the view of the ocean horizon on one side and perhaps the shores of Santa Monica or any beach or island of your choice in the Pacific or the Mediterranean on the other side), skip around the world with your posse, or just stay on board in the newly designed concept saloon and decks. 

More than that, Hollywood could take a cue from the the designers at Gresham and learn a thing or two about the designs of the next starship for summer science fiction blockbusters.   

Now for someone who still rocks a 15-year old car, I have to admit that once I make my first billion, I'm getting me a brand new sweet ride. And it would be this.  Surprisingly, while I get car sick, I don't get air or sea sick at all.  And this would be perfect.  I mean, after all, I've been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic back in March.  I would not mind working from the Thor Explore here.  Plus, I'll be doing my own social distancing and isolation with a few of my pals.  

Looking at these concept artwork, who would not want one of this if you can afford it.  There is a beach club, aquarium, skylight that it out of this world if for whatever reason you feel being out in open water is not, well, open enough when you are inside the ship, and lots of glass floors.  Oh, and the glass floors can be turned opaque for privacy.

And it even has a large hangar that future owners like myself can put in an assortment of toys for, you know, the away missions to shore or if you just want to jet-ski around the water.  It is even big enough for a personal submarine. I didn't even know where was such a thing.  As a future billionaire, I think I have a lot to learn about being one and what's available to me.

To put this in some perspective, at 100 meters long, the 747 max out at 76 meters and the biggest US aircraft carrier is 333 meters.  So at 100 meters, the Thor Explore is all that big.  And after a quick visit to Super Yachts, with the average super yacht coming out to around 160 meters, maybe my 100-meter space-age Thor Explore could be called "cozy".  

As for cost and ownership, there is not one for the Thor Explore right now.  According to Forbes, a 180-meter one commissioned by a rich Middle Eastern price cost $600 million.  With only one billion to start, I won't go there.  But smaller more ones for down to earth poor billionaires like me can certainly afford to get one for $200 million.   Steve Jobs commissioned one before he passed.  The Venus comes in at the time around $150 million at 78 meters.  Sadly, the Apple founder passed before he was able to use it.  Also, many Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street giants also have little boats like the the Thor Explore.  

So, Gresham Yacht Design, expect a call from me between Monday and never.  We need to sit down and talk about my own boat.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Corning's New Gorilla Glass Victus Is What You Want On Your Next Mobile Device But It'll Probably Scratch Just As Easily

Source:  CNET, Corning.

We all drop our phones or, worse, tablets.  You've seen laptops fly off your desk somehow.  Well, at least on the phones, there seems to be more protection by way of a reinforced and engineered glass, typically the Gorilla Glass from Corning.  And every few years, Corning comes out with an upgrade.  Coming to your next smartphone, the CORNING® GORILLA® GLASS VICTUS™is going offers more protection. Well, we'll see, won't be?

Every year, whenever there is a flagship phone device, whether it's Samsung's Galaxy luxury phones or Apple's fall iPhone update, someone will inevitably film themselves dropping and try to destroy the phones by dropping them onto the pavement right outside the store.  And I've seem a few of them.  These guys don't have to try.  After a drop or two, the familiar web of cracks appeared on these minutes old phones.  

After looking at Corning's promotional videos and the testing involved, I can't help but feel perhaps that this time, it may be different.

I'm going to drop my iPhone a few times.  A friend dedicated to the Android has dropped her Pixel more often than I care to count.  She has a case on her phone and that has so far kept the glass on cracking.  I've dropped my XR a few times and luckily, the landings have rolled my way.  But I can't way the same for the iPhones from other friends and my nephews.

Corning claims the Victus glass can withstand up to a 2 meter drop.  I'll be honest and say that I have never had a drop that is more than 1.5 meters.  Most of my drops are about 1.2 or 1.3 meters depending on where hand is at the time.  Having said that, if a phone with a Victus glass is going to be fine at 2 meters, I am heartened to know that it'll be okay at 1.5 meters.  

Of course, we'll have to see how it goes with those Youtube guys on opening sale day for the flagship devices.  Even if they eventually manage to get the glass on the iPhone 12 to crack, as long as it takes a dozen or so drops before that happens, I am going to be very happy with the results.  These guys go for the clicks so in order to bait in the views, they are not going to be gentle.  

How about scratches on the Victus glass?  I'll probably have a case for my next iPhone I buy with my hard earned money.  So, unless it's a freak accident, I'm not going to worry a lot of drops. It's the scratches that'll gnaw at me.  According to Corner, the new Gorilla glass can withstand up to 8 newtons (force) while competing products scratch easier at 2-4 Newtons.  Even with the real world scratch level is at 6-7 newtons, I would definitely pay a premium for the new glass.  

What does that even mean?  Well, let's say you set something that is 102 grams (two candy bars) on a point.  That's what it appears the testing is like being conducted by Corning.  2-4 Newtons is four to eight candy bars.  And 8 Newtons is 16 candies.  Give or time.

Then again, according to a Life Hacker article, the scratches on your phones over the years is not coming from the coins or keys in your pocket.  The culprit is grains of sand - you know, glass.


And The Verge has said that scratch resistance has not improved since 2014 and the reason is Corning's attention to glass resistance to cracking than scratches.

Will the Gorilla Glass Victus be any different?  Probably not more so than the last generation Gorilla glass.  For a while, there was excitement in the Apple domain that it could switch to sapphire which would be tougher than even the best Gorilla Glass and nearly scratch resistance.  That never came to be as the manufacturer Apple contracted with could never fulfilled its promise to Apple.