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.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Project: Irish Gardren And Discipline

“Time to turn that backyard into something out of this world,” I said to myself as I looked out the kitchen window at the mess of a yard outside.  I held the cup of morning coffee I made fresh with freshly coffee ground using a manual burr grinder.

I saw the possibilities.  What made me thinking more seriously about doing something with my yard was when a friend sent me his before and after photos of his new backyard in his new home in the Pacific Northwest. It was a small and simple garden but it was cozy. He’s still working on it with his wife with the help of a professional landscaper.

It reminded me of a garden I’ve seen in Irish cottages on photos. Tall green trees from neighboring yards, an assortment of plants and flowers with a stone pathway leading to a small bench. They even put in a bird bath. He sent me a couple of videos of birds playing and driving in the small pool.

Here us a photo of my yard. Yeah, it’ll need a lot of work.

I’ve thought about putting up a hummingbird feeder in the window in front of the desk where I am currently working from home due to the pandemic outbreak. I wasted away the weeks of lockdown in spring and I don’t plant on doing the same this summer.

One slays admired the rare English and Irish gardens I see during my runs through the neighborhood.

“What’s keeping me from creating one of my own. It’ll take time but I’ve got that, “ I thought. Maybe I said those words out loud. At five in the morning on a Study, there was no one awake to hear me speak.  And by next spring, It could be it finished.

There is only one thing that I need to make it happen. Discipline. Its a rare commodity these days for me. I set the mug still warm half finished coffee in the front step and sat down. A pen on my hand, I started stretching and planning. I’ll be making a trip to Home Depot tomorrow.

Discipline is important but so is the first step.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Apple Pencil on iPhone Will Happen But Be Prepared To Wait

Source:  On Apple.

The countdown for the next iPhone upgrade has started.  It depends on when the clock started but with a September iPhone event less than two months away, Apple fans and people with older iPhones or Android switchers are gearing up to get their hands on the iPhone 12 even in the midst of an pandemic and uncertainties going forward.  Along with the anticipation the plethora of news and rumors, mostly rumors, about what is new with Apple’s mobile devices.  One feature many iPhone users are likely hoping for is Apple Pencil support.  It ain’t happening this year.

With iOS 14 instruction and betas widely available, users have a good idea what Apple has planned.  A lot of times, new features in iOS 14 are not in the beta until after Apple announces new hardware and the features exclusive to the new devices.  Some new camera features in the native camera app were not in the iOS 13 betas until after Apple released the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.  It’s like that is the case with iPhone 12/12 Pro and iOS 14.

However, there are smokes that point to what Apple have planned.  For example, form factor leaks were on Twitter for at least a month.  Just this week, specs of possible batteries for the 2020 iPhones have become hot topics.  And earlier this year, news that the green iPhone Pro could make way for a blue one this year (which would be a shame).

As for Apple Pencil, the best reference of the pencil to an iPhone was a post back in June from an Apple blog site that mentioned Apple Pencil support on the iPhone is a wanted feature.  At this point, even a sketchy rumor about it would be greatly appreciated.  Alas, there has been nothing on this front.

This is unfortunate given that another rumor about the 2020 iPhone Pro is that it will have a bigger screen with a smaller notch than the current iPhone Pro.  With a screen that is close to 7”, having Pencil support would allow users greater productivity even if it may cannibalize iPad sales.  But even that is unlike unless users buy the iPhone Pro over the closest iPad competitor in terms of size, the iPad mini.  And Apple would definite want users to buy an $1000 iPhone Pro over a $400 iPad mini.  It is unlike that the iPhone Pro will cannibalize the 11.5” and 12.9” iPad Pros just because the iPhone Pro now supports the Apple Pencil.

More at On Apple.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Use Amazon's Boxes As A Shelter At Home Family Activity: Build Something Creative

Source:  Poopy Pond.

Amazon has a page dedicated to reusing their boxes to creating something new - condos, robot suits, or forts.  While I think it's possible to simply use them as storage boxes or folding them up into flat boards for reuse later, I think this is a great idea.

We are still sheltered at home due to the pandemic right now.  Perhaps, this is a fun and creative family activity especially if you've got little ones in the house who are restless.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Prediction: iPad Will Gain More Development and Productivity Use Pitting Mac Users against iPadOS Fans

Source:  On Apple.

I’m on the uphill climb to becoming a power user.  Where I am depends on where I will eventually end up - programmer, designer, or both.  And as I wake up to the potential of what Apple is doing with iPadOS, I think Apple should increase the battery life on the iPad as they have done in the last couple of years and should give users the same feature for battery usage that is available on the iPhone:  Low Power Mode.  Either the LPM, longer battery life, or both will take the iPad to places Pro users want and perhaps even supplement laptops as the go to device for mobile warriors.

As more information is revealed about what Apple has planned for its next Apple Silicon for the Mac, I think we can and should expect great things from Apple for the iPad as well.  It means others, myself included, will need more than 10 hours of battery life that Apple has stubbornly stuck its guns to since the introduction of the original iPad.  Since then, we have had varying degrees of 10 hours of battery use.  

And with the iPad Pro, the time it takes to charge it taking longer, now is a good time for Apple to increase the battery life from 10 hours to 15 hours.  That's right - a 50% increase.  After all, Apple has managed to do this on the iPhone.  It's within Apple's technical ability to do this for the iPad as well.  While that may mean taking longer for the iPad to be charged, it's not an issue as many of us likely keep our iPadOS devices charged overnight so that it's ready to go in the morning.  

No longer as we streaming videos from Youtube or Netflix on Apple's tablets.  We are not only reading books or comic books or play games on them.  We are doing work - processing videos and photos.  Writing and compiling codes.  Creating contents.  You know, using the iPad as the main computer.

This comes to my next point about power use and battery life - when Apple moves the MacBooks from Intel to Apple Silicon, we were told that Apple's own chips will be faster and more efficient.  All things being equal including the MacBook form factor, the battery life should also increase as well.  The MacBook and MacBook Pro also have a 10-hour battery rating from Apple.  If Apple Silicon is going to perform better than Intel's chips, it stands to reason that Apple will increase the battery life of the MacBook as well to demonstrate to users why it's worth it for Apple to move its computer platform to a different chip.

Therefore, it stands to reason that the iPad will benefit from this move and also see its battery life and overall performance and efficiency increase as well.  

As a result, we will see a major shift in mobile computing in the year to come - more people will find that all they need is an iPad for app development and Apple's competition will come from Mac users versus iPad users trying to outdo each camp.

Chromebook - The Ultimate Mobile Development Device (Maybe)

I'm a newbie when it comes to development and I need a starting point.  Recently, I inherited a Chromebook that I bought my nephew when his broke (sort of - it was resurrected by Best Buy).  After getting it to work again, I got it back.  As a Mac and Windows user, what would I have a Chromebook for?  Having no need for more than one machine, it sat there for a couple of weeks.  So I'm thinking while I have a need to improve my skills for the workplace of tomorrow, maybe I can use the Chromebook for building and improving on those skills.

So, I'm going to start as a newbie - I'll need a starting point, I'll need to make mistakes and learn from them, and I will gauge how the $300 Chromebook compares to my older an more expensive MacBook (from 2016) and a Windows tablet (I got it as a work laptop but it is too slow for massive Excel and database use) that I have turned it into a machine to learning cyber security.

My starting point is Python.  Now, I've thought about Javascript.  I might still do that months down the line as I feel more comfortable working with SQL, Python, and Swift on the Mac.  All these I believe are important skills that I will need if I find myself in a position to reevaluate my future or use them to improve the work that I am doing now.

So, day one.  I'm reading these posts on developing on a CB and Python.  
  • Techrepublic - Developers can now code on Chromebooks thanks to Linux support on ChromeOS
  • Alex P Miller - Data Science on a Chromebook: How to run Jupyter, Python, & R locally in ChromeOS
  • TechnoKids - How do I Use Python on Chromebooks? Trinket and TechnoTurtle
  • Medium - Setup a Chromebook for web development
  • Martech With Me - 7 Ways you can code in Python with your Chromebook for free
I'm going to test out what I eventually learn on the Mac and iPad as well.  I believe the tablet to be the ultimate development machine once the development tools from Apple, Google, and others are more mature.

My goal to get practical - turn what I learn as quickly as possible onto real world use.  I believe the issue with a lot of people who get started into coding or being to think about it and quickly give up is because they don't see the practical application almost immediately.  

I would appreciate pointers from other newbies as well as people who can put me and others in the right direction.

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...