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Comment Re:Time to stop super thin phones and fixed batter (Score 4, Insightful) 46

When you can create a design with a user-replaceable battery that is equal or better than a fixed battery phone for all of the following:

1. Weight
2. Thickness
3. Battery life
4. Waterproofness
5. Cover never falls off
6. Battery itself is sufficiently armored so as to be safe in an average hand bag or pocket

then patent the design & retire comfortably.

Until then, it’s hard. Stop playing armchair phone designer & materials scientist.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 357

If the cops roll up on a bank robbery in progress and you were found in the building with the people doing the robbing I'd suspect the cops aren't going to let you go because you had a video camera and claimed you were making a documentary.

Generally speaking, you're right, but if anything they'd hold you as a material witness, not charge you with robbery. Particularly if you had the press credentials and career accolades that Amy Goodman has.

Comment Re:Get it MFers? (Score 4, Interesting) 357

I have no first person knowledge, but having followed Amy Goodman's career for the last 15 years or so, it's inconceivable that she would be active in any attack or sabotage in anything short of a self defense situation if she were sucked into the fray. She's one of a dying breed of people who deserve to hold the title "journalist."

Comment Tinfoil hat? (Score 1) 552

According to Yondr's site, "simply step outside of the phone-free zone to unlock the case." Almost sounds like it's an active locking technology or a signal you pass through when you enter/leave. Stick their stupid sock in some kind of radio shielding to block the locking signal.

Failing that, seems like an Arduino & an SDR shield should be more than capable of broadcasting the unlock code. Anybody working on reversing this mess?

Comment Re:That is going to leave a mark (Score 1) 126

It's worth mentioning that the Apple iPhone I'm guessing you own likely has several key components that were manufactured by Samsung, depending on what generation it is. RAM, flash, displays, the SoC fabrication itself, all done by Samsung at different points in the iPhone's lifetime.

This is dated, but Does Samsung make iPhone parts?

Comment Re:That is going to leave a mark (Score 1) 126

This is nothing but a guess, but I think they over-promised on performance and current battery technology couldn't deliver.

If it's a flawed battery, you replace it with a proper one. Fine, done. I'd be floored if there was a charge controller logic problem that couldn't be fixed in software. They're either using an industry standard power management chip that's got millions of units worth of field testing or they've implemented it in their own SoC. If the former, the logic is solid and tested. There's some switches they can flip to control its parameters, but those are all pushed over from the SoC via whatever low-level driver package they wrote. Field updatable. If they implemented it all in the SoC, they should be able to fix it, also with a firmware update.

My guess is that they promised battery life claims that they couldn't fit into the phone with current best battery technology. They're pushing the limits of the lithium they could fit into their package and either over charging it to push that last bit of capacity into it, over-drawing and discharging it too quickly, over discharging it, or some other combination of power levels that are too much for *any* battery that would fit into the space they have to work with. They *could* make the phones stop burning if they tuned the power management to more conservative levels, but then they'd miss on battery life promises and probably be stuck with recalls or class actions based on false marketing.

It sounds like they may have tried to switch to a battery that could offer a *little* more and maybe tweaked the PMC settings as much as they could and still meet their battery claims, but it fell short in at least some devices / usage scenarios. Maybe they're getting some number of batteries that can't be stressed quite as hard as they're pushing them. Maybe certain usage profiles put more stress on the batteries, and only certain users are pushing it enough for the new combination to be dangerous. Either way, it sounds like marketing promised what engineering couldn't (safely) provide, and they're screwed. I'd think the only valid choices would be to redesign the phone to require less power or to make more room in the enclosure to include a higher capacity battery that wouldn't have to be run so close to red line to meet the phone's power requirements. Either way, not something they can do and get to market in a recall timeline. Pulling the plug until they can reengineer is the only option.

Comment Re:Non removable battery FTW (Score 1) 150

Non removable batteries in an iPhone are just the battery's plastic wrap outer layer with no puncture protection at all. Every phone I've encountered with a removable battery had at least some kind of plastic or aluminum exoskeleton beyond the thin plastic from the battery manufacturing to give it some chance of not instantly folding or puncturing and catching fire when it wasn't installed. That plus the mechanism to open and latch the case and the extra bracing required internally add up to quite a bit of overhead for something so tiny.

Comment Re:Non removable battery FTW (Score 5, Insightful) 150

It's common sense and physics. The additional plastic of the battery housing, the internal space in the phone to make a user-serviceable space inside, the exterior cover and latching mechanism to hold it on, etc. All of those things take up space and add weight. That space could be more lithium or a smaller, lighter phone.

You can convince me otherwise when you can demonstrate two designs (one with an integrated battery and one removable) that yield the same battery capacity and device size & weight using the same battery technology.

Comment Re:Non removable battery FTW (Score 1) 150

As a user, I'd much prefer the water proofing, smaller overall size / greater capacity, and other benefits that come from an integrated battery.

Sure, a removable battery might make this recall easier (assuming the flaw is solely in the battery & not in the phone). I'm really not interested in buying consumer devices that are designed with the idea of making it easier to replace the exploding battery though. Design & test the thing properly, and you won't have to do any recalls.

Comment Re:a deal is not always a deal (Score 1) 77

Cars & housing are special cases where specific pro-consumer laws protect you from fraud on the part of the seller. Places where "buyer beware" is a bit too open ended and the seller is required to behave honestly.

Corporate mergers are pretty much wild west in terms of negotiating the deal. Both sides are expected to do due diligence in determining the state of the companies being acquired. I'd be shocked if there wasn't some term in the agreement voiding it if the parties intentionally withheld material information related to the value of the company. Verizon might not want to invoke that if they still want the assets they're getting from Yahoo or if they don't want to go through the time & cost in court to prove who knew what & when. Using it as a bargaining chip to save some money might work out better for them than outright canceling the deal. It certainly affects the value of Yahoo. I can't imagine how many people have deleted their accounts in response to the news. (Yes, closing the barn door after the fact, but no sense continuing to do business with them.)

Comment Re:Best ways, huh? (Score 1) 58

I find paper lists far more cumbersome. They get lost or left at home. They can't be edited easily. My handwriting is dreadful. Can't write while moving or doing other things, etc. Siri can take a note no matter what I'm doing. The note is available on my phone, tablet, laptop, and two desktops near enough to instantly. I can delete it when done or revise it if necessary. I can share lists with family members, and we can all check off things as we do them or add more as we think of them. None of those are features I'd die without, but they certainly make a lot of life's activities run more smooway .

Clearly we use our phones differently, but I'd describe mine as indispensable to the way I prefer to live my life. The security of the data on it is very important to me.

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