Author Archives: JC Torres

An open source contributor and holds doubly lethal degrees in Philosophy and Computer Science. When not working, he spends his time lurking and helping out in KDE Project.

Valentine’s text messages sent 8 months later due to buggy system update

Valentine’s text messages sent 8 months later due to buggy system update

Despite the proliferation of instant messaging services, our mobile-centric culture is still dependent on good old text messages. But what if those text messages never reached their recipients or only months after they made any sense? That's the rather strange situation that many in the US just experienced when Valentine's messages they sent months ago only reached their intended targets in November in the middle of the night.

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iPhone 11 Pro Max cameras fall behind Xiaomi Mi CC9, Huawei Mate 30 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro Max cameras fall behind Xiaomi Mi CC9, Huawei Mate 30 Pro

The smartphone market has also become a market for imaging sensors with cameras becoming one of if not the primary deciding factor in purchasing a new phone. The competition among Android phones is a close and strange one, with many of them using the same sensors. Apple's iPhones, in contrast, have always been in a league of their own and the latest iPhone 11 Pro Max is even more so with its first triple-lens system. DxOmark takes the phone through its testing protocols and, while impressive, still fails to wrest the crown from Huawei.

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Pixel 4 low screen brightness has a fix that requires root

Pixel 4 low screen brightness has a fix that requires root

If Pixel phones are supposed to represent Google's vision for the perfect Android phone, the Pixel 4 is doing a rather poor job at it. In addition to some concerns about face recognition security, the wasted potential of Soli radar, and the newly-revealed durability problem, the Pixel 4's screen is also generating some disappointment among owners. Fortunately, most of these problems can be fixed through software. Unfortunately, one such fix requires users to root their phones first.

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ZTE Blade 10 Prime and Blade A7 Prime available in the US via Visible

ZTE Blade 10 Prime and Blade A7 Prime available in the US via Visible

ZTE was the first recipient of the US government's wrath but, unlike Huawei, ZTE was forced to quickly bend the knee. Now that nightmare is far behind it and it is back in business. It has even reinstated its partnership with US carriers, like the Verizon-owned Visible. As proof of that, the two have just announced two new phones that try to address the mobile needs of those with very constrained budgets.

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Google App Defense Alliance will stop bad apps before they even hit

Google App Defense Alliance will stop bad apps before they even hit

The drama around Huawei's Google Play problem put a spotlight on the role that Android's premier app store plays in the mobile ecosystem. It is the official source of Android apps and advertises advanced detection and removal of malware or malware-infected apps. Given coverage tech news, however, it's clear there's still room for improvement. That's why Google has partnered with some mobile security companies to form the App Defense Alliance, promising to stop malware even before they have a chance to touch your phone.

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Gaming addiction in China leads to heavy curfew for minors

Gaming addiction in China leads to heavy curfew for minors

Gaming addiction, which the World Health Organization (WHO) recently categorized as a mental health disorder, is still a heavily debated topic in both psychological circles as well as governments. While some might not be quick to label it as a mental health issue, it's hard to deny that it is causing problems, especially for impressionable young people. Perhaps unsurprisingly, China is now reported to be imposing some very harsh restrictions when it comes to minors playing online games, a bit ironic considering the country's position in the gaming market.

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PinePhone Linux smartphone pre-orders start next week

PinePhone Linux smartphone pre-orders start next week

Linux users keeping tabs on the smartphone market may have long been wishing for an honest to goodness non-Android Linux phone. That almost came to be with Ubuntu Touch but Canonical sadly saw no profit to be made there. That mission has then been left to smaller companies that prize principles over profits, manufacturing and selling computing devices that value security and privacy more than anything else. One of those is PINE64 whose PinePhone is just a month away from becoming reality.

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Google Cardboard is now open source to keep the mobile VR daydream alive

Google Cardboard is now open source to keep the mobile VR daydream alive

In 2015, Google launched its formal entry into the world of mobile-powered virtual reality. Cardboard was revolutionary in the way it empowered VR experiences with nothing but, well, a makeshift cardboard headset with special lenses. But while headsets were relatively easy to make, the software behind Cardboard stagnated to the point of being forgotten. Now Google seems to be stirring things up a bit by trying to breathe new life into Google Cardboard, mostly be handing off its upkeep to the open source community.

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Firefox bug locks users out with a scam warning

Firefox bug locks users out with a scam warning

Scams have been in existence from the earliest days of human civilization but technology and the Internet have given less conscientious agents a broader and longer reach than ever before. Such scams cove a wide variety of techniques and consequences, ranging from the annoying to the destructive. A new breed of scams is now starting to go around affecting Firefox users that, while not entirely destructive, may appear so legitimate that it will scare users into some harmful reaction.

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Minecraft Earth Early Access available now in the UK and more countries

Minecraft Earth Early Access available now in the UK and more countries

The success of Pokemon GO opened up a new mobile gaming market that many want to cash in on. But as the reception of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite proved, not even developer Niantic Labs itself is always able to replicate that success. Many have tried to use that same collection and location-based formula and almost all have failed. Microsoft-owned Mojang is now also trying to get its and your feet wet with Minecraft Earth and it is now making its unique spin available in nine more locations around the world.

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AT&T unlimited data throttling lawsuit ends in $60 million settlement

AT&T unlimited data throttling lawsuit ends in $60 million settlement

Network operators have redefined what the word "unlimited" means, or at least as it applies to data. What they really meant was limited unlimited data that incurred consequences once you hit certain conditions. That may be common practice but AT&T may have tried to get away with it until the FTC slapped it with a lawsuit. Now five years later, the major US carrier has decided to just pay the fine, long after the case could have any significant effect in the industry.

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Pixel 4 XL isn’t as durable as its price suggests

Pixel 4 XL isn’t as durable as its price suggests

Even more than the Nexus phones before it, the Pixel phones, designed and "Made by Google", are supposed to represent the ideal Android phone. At least as Google sees it. That definitely works on the software side but by making its own phone, Google is risking that the overall package may be tarnished by the hardware. That may exactly be the case with the Pixel 4 XL whose price tag would make you presume it had more to offer.

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