Archive for May 3, 2019

Facebook And Instagram Ban Extremists From Those Platforms…. Why Did It Take Them So Long To Do So??

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 3, 2019 by itnerd

From the “it’s about time” department comes this story that details that a number of extremists have been banned from Facebook and Instagram:

In an effort to contain misinformation and extremism that have spread across the platforms, Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have banned Alex Jones, Infowars, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and Paul Nehlen under their policies against dangerous individuals and organizations. They also banned the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic statements. 

I’ll be frank. This should have happened years ago. It’s no secret that those people have violated the terms of service of these two platforms for years. To illustrate this, here’s the terms of service from Facebook which links to their Community Standards which has specific references to hate speech. And one can argue that all of the people who got banned were irresponsibly stirring up hatred and violence against people, ethnic groups and faiths that they didn’t like. In other words they were banned for being hate mongers. The thing is that this is not new information. But I suspect because there are several big spotlights on Mark Zuckerberg and company at the moment, they felt that they had do punt these people off their platforms now.  And Facebook seems to be doing this in other places as here in Canada they banned a number of individuals and groups including the controversial far-right political commentator Faith Goldy  and white nationalist crusader Kevin Goudreau. Google these people and you’ll see why they got banned.

Here’s the bottom line. Respectful disagreements are fine. Honest arguments to support one’s choices and points of view are fair game. But dishonest hate speech and attempts to stirring up violence are uncivilized, anti-social and should be shunned by any functioning civil society. As far as I am concerned, Facebook is right to do what they are doing and they should do more on that front. But it shouldn’t have taken them this long to do it.

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A Samsung Galaxy S10 Has Exploded… Samsung Blames “External Impact” For The Explosion

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 3, 2019 by itnerd

PR types at Samsung must be on high alert because there is a report that a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has exploded in South Korea. But before we say that this is a repeat of the Note 7 exploding batteries fiasco, Samsung claims to know why this happened:

After a report circulated Tuesday that Samsung denied reimbursing a South Korean customer whose Galaxy S10 5G exploded, the company has explained why. In a statement provided to CNET, the company says that the cause of the damage wasn’t a malfunction but rather the result of “external impact.” 

“After retrieving the device from the customer, Samsung has closely inspected the device and concluded that the damage was caused by external impact,” a company spokesperson said. 

According to the AFP, via The Economic Times of India, a user of the 5G handset identified only by his surname, Lee, claimed his phone blew up “without reasons.” 

“My phone was on the table when it started smelling burnt and smoke soon engulfed the phone,” Lee told the outlet, going on add that he “had to drop it to the ground when I touched it because it was so hot.” 

If you check The Economic Times story, the picture of the phone in question looks pretty scary. But anyone who reads this has to keep in mind that this is a sample size of one. When the Note 7 fiasco happened, those phones were exploding right, left, and center. So I’d be sitting and watching to see if there are other reports of this in the coming days. If not, I’d call this a one off. Another thing to consider is that we’ve had reports of the the odd iPhone exploding over the years. So this sort of thing does happen from time to time. But because of the past history of Samsung when it comes to exploding phones, they may…. key word being may…… be getting more attention than they deserve. But we will see.

 

 

Review: TP-Link Deco AC1200 M4 Whole-Home Wi-Fi System

Posted in Products with tags on May 3, 2019 by itnerd

Mesh WiFi is the in thing to get if you have a large home and you need to get WiFi to every corner of it. The catch is that mesh WiFi is usually expensive. But TP-Link is here to change this with the Deco AC1200 M4 Whole Home Wi-Fi system. I got a two node system to test out and here’s a look at one of the nodes:

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It’s a tower that looks really looks good and will fit into any decor. Oh and you can get any color you want as long as it is white.

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They also have a pair of gigabit Ethernet jacks. One can be used to connect to your ISP’s modem. The other you can use to plug a wired device into it.

As for specs, TP-Link brings the following to the table:

  • 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
  • 300 Mbps on 2.4 GHz
  • 867 Mbps on 5 GHz
  • Router/ Access Point Mode
  • Optional Ethernet Backhaul
  • Guest network
  • MU-MIMO
  • Auto Path Selection
  • Self-Healing
  • AP Steering
  • Band Steering
  • Beamforming
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT

These are very solid specs. The only thing that is missing is a web based GUI for nerds like me. In the absence of that, you have to use the Deco app to do the setup which is dead easy. The app is available in iOS and Android flavors and from unpacking to having both units fully operational, it took me less than 1 hour. The mobile app does an excellent job taking you step by step on how to configure each device, and the entire setup worked flawlessly. This should be something that anybody can do without outside help. I also performed the first firmware update on the nodes directly from the mobile app as well and that too was easy.

In terms of coverage, two units which should be good for 3800 sq feet of space had no trouble covering my sub 1000 sq ft condo with surprisingly speedy WiFi. I was able to stream 4K video for example to my TCL TV without a hiccup. The app also has options for anti-virus protection, parental controls, and a quality of service. That way you can control access, protect yourself, and tweak things to get the best performance.

That all sounds great. But do I have any gripes? Well, other than the lack of a web interface, not much that I could find during my testing. Given that the price is $235.99 CAD for three nodes on Amazon, $169.99 CAD on Amazon for two nodes, $127.99 CAD on Amazon for 1 node, this is the best value for mesh WiFi that I am aware of. The Deco AC1200 M4 Whole Home Wi-Fi system deserves a good look.