For awhile now, we’ve been hearing rumors of anti-trust actions against the four main Big Tech companies.
Recently, the word is that actual charges will be brought starting in June of this year.
When you put all the recent stories together – along with some other interesting events involving Big Tech – it DOES look like something is finally about to happen.
But will any of it actually change anything?
It’s easy to be cynical, but I do see an opportunity here to make a difference…
As regular readers know, I’m not a big fan of the traditional smartphone craze.
Sure, they’re really handy gizmos, but the amount of data being hoovered up and shipped off to large service providers is a bit frustrating.
As if things aren’t bad enough on that front, it gets better! It turns out that even individual APPS running on your phone are spying on you – specifically, they’re tracking your location (among other things).
What’s more, your location data can be easily linked to you as a private individual. To top it all off, this data is bought and sold to anyone who will pay – and all in the blink of an eye!
A recent study about smart speakers revealed that they are, in a word, crap.
The study, entitled, WHEN SPEAKERS ARE ALL EARS: Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations, revealed that these smart gizmos are very often activated by words and phrases that have little to do with anything.
Of course, that means they are recording and sending audio clips when they really shouldn’t be.
Not to worry, though – we are reassured by the researchers that it’s no big deal!
Quick charging is all the rage these days.
We all want our smartphones and tablets to charge REALLY quickly via plain old USB cables.
But how do quick chargers actually work?
After all, USB itself is limited in terms of the power that it can provide…
Tune in and discover the magic of USB quick charging!
I’ve been using dumbphones for awhile now, but I started to miss some smartphone features.
Then a friend of mine mentioned LineageOS again. I decided to take the plunge… And I’m glad I did!
It IS possible to have a relatively private smartphone without all the Googley madness – even in this day and age.
But it does take a bit of time, patience, and some technical know-how.
Note that I don’t walk through the entire installation process here since it’s particular to your specific phone…
So, you buy a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for your puter.
You hook it up.
Then, a power outage or brownout hits…
POOF! Your puter reboots.
“Hang on”, you think, “Wasn’t my battery backup supposed to prevent this?”
Yes, it was… But there are a few things you need to check to make things work nicely…
There are quite a few smartphone cases, Faraday bags, and other little gizmos out there that claim to protect you from the phones RF waves.
A common method that people use is to line one (or both) sides of their phone case with good old aluminum foil.
So, the question is: Does tin foiling your phone really work? How much? And where exactly should you put the foil?
Watch to find out!
There’s a new flavor of Wi-Fi in town: Wi-Fi 6!
In case you’re confused, I’m talking about IEEE 802.11ax, the successor to 802.11ac (which is now called Wi-Fi 5).
Are you confused yet?
While I’m not a terribly big fan of wireless stuff, Wi-Fi 6 does include several improvements that increase capacity and speed for more connected users.
The question is: does Wi-Fi 6 go far enough, or is wired still better?
A lot of people these days are talking about protecting their online privacy.
We have hearings going on, threats of breaking up Facebook and other Big Tech companies, data leaks, and so on.
Many people are going so far as to boycott Google (which is easier said than done).
But so far, no one – except Mozilla – is talking about the biggest threat to online privacy: Browser Fingerprints.
This one’s a double header!
First, I quickly review the new Nokia 2720 Flip 4G dumbphone.
Then, I talk a bit more about exactly why dumbphones that run KaiOS are really NOT smartphones.
Did I mention that the 2720’s HUGE buttons are an absolute joy to use?
Or that it’s the first phone (of any kind) that I’ve had in years that actually fits in my pocket?