Archive for Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+ Are Coming To Telus

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 26, 2018 by itnerd

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are coming to Telus and their customers looking to pick up Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones can pre-order online at Telus starting today.

To sweeten the deal and get the most out of their new smartphones, Telus customers who pre-order the new Samsung S9 or S9+ between Feb 26 and Mar 15 will receive a $150 bill credit applied to their accounts.

As usual, some restrictions apply. But you use the links above to get all the details.

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Samsung Unveils Galaxy S9 Series At MWC

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 25, 2018 by itnerd

Samsung today unveiled its latest Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagship smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Here’s a video of the introduction:

The key features of Samsung’s latest and greatest are:

  • The smaller Galaxy S9 features the same 5.8-inch Super AMOLED QHD+ bezel-light display and a single rear-facing camera with a fingerprint reader placed just below the camera sensor.
  • The Galaxy S9+ has a 6.2-inch Super AMOLED QHD+ screen and a dual-camera setup.
  • Both also have the same 8MP f/1.7 front-facing camera.
  • The Galaxy S9 will include 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage with the S9+ having 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage
  • Both phones come with Android 8.0 Oreo
  • The two phones have a dual aperture camera which will be able to switch between f/2.4 and f/1.5. Thus the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will have the flexibility to take photos and videos in different lighting situations.
  • The Galaxy S9+ brings a secondary camera which will use a wide-angle sensor to capture more of what you’re seeing. The most significant difference is that the dual-camera array is now lined up vertically with the fingerprint sensor being placed below them.
  • The phone has the ability to capture super slow-motion video at 960 frames per second.
  • Samsung has a new feature called AR Emoji which maps out more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model that reflects and imitates expressions, like winks and nods, for true personalization of emoji’s. If that sounds like the Animoji feature of the iPhone X, you’d be right.

Both phones will be available on March 16 with pre-orders starting on March 2. Colors include Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue.

 

Google Announces Android Enterprise Recommended program…. Without Samsung

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 22, 2018 by itnerd

Google has announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program, an enterprise focused initiative that highlights devices that follow best practices for professional use. It also lays out a set of requirements that OEMs must follow. Speaking of OEM partners, here’s who’s on the list at present:

  • BlackBerry KeyOne and Motion
  • Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL
  • Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, and P smart
  • LG V30 and G6
  • Motorola X4 and Z2
  • Nokia 8
  • Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, XZ Premium, XA2, and XA2 Ultra

Now if you’re thinking “hey, why isn’t Samsung on this list?” you’re not alone. It’s strange that the biggest maker of Android phones on the planet, not to mention the one manufacturer that has biggest presence in the enterprise space isn’t here. But they did have a line in their blog post that says “You can expect more Android Enterprise Recommended devices to be added in the coming weeks and months.” So maybe when the Galaxy 9 ships they’ll appear. But still it is curious.

Samsung & Roku Smart TV’s Are Vulnerable To Pwnage Study Finds

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 8, 2018 by itnerd

Consumers Reports is running a story that claims that smart TV’s made by Samsung and Roku have security flaws in them that make them easy to pwn:

Consumer Reports has found that millions of smart TVs can be controlled by hackers exploiting easy-to-find security flaws. The problems affect Samsung televisions, along with models made by TCL and other brands that use the Roku TV smart-TV platform, as well as streaming devices such as the Roku Ultra. We found that a relatively unsophisticated hacker could change channels, play offensive content, or crank up the volume, which might be deeply unsettling to someone who didn’t understand what was happening. This could be done over the web, from thousands of miles away. (These vulnerabilities would not allow a hacker to spy on the user or steal information.) The findings were part of a broad privacy and security evaluation, led by Consumer Reports, of smart TVs from top brands that also included LG, Sony, and Vizio. The testing also found that all these TVs raised privacy concerns by collecting very detailed information on their users. Consumers can limit the data collection. But they have to give up a lot of the TVs’ functionality — and know the right buttons to click and settings to look for.

Well, that’s not good. And it reinforces why I will never have a smart TV in my home. Though I will admit that I do have a Roku device which I use frequently. But that’s likely not going to get disconnected anytime soon.

Having said that, Roku shot back at this report very quickly by saying that there’s no risk and giving details on how one can protect themselves. Which to me seems a bit counterintuitive seeing as there’s supposedly no risk according to the company. Samsung on the other hand had something different to say:

In an emailed statement, Samsung said, “We appreciate Consumer Reports’ alerting us to their potential concern,” and that the company was still evaluating the issue. The company also said it would update the API to address other, less severe problems related to data security that CR uncovered. Those changes “will be in a 2018 update, [with timing] to be determined, but as soon as technically feasible,” the spokesman said.

The bottom line is this. If you put anything on the Internet, your car, a light bulb, or whatever, it can get pwned by hackers. Thus before you put anything on the Internet, think long and hard about the risk that may present to you. Because this sort of thing isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Samsung Boss Gets Sprung From The Clink

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 6, 2018 by itnerd

Remember when Samsung boss Lee Jae-yong got tossed into jail for five years over bribery charges. Well he just got sprung from jail yesterday:

Lee Jae-yong, a 49-year-old billionaire, was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges in August and sentenced to five years in prison. But a higher court on Monday cut the sentence to two and a half years and suspended it for four years.

Great. I guess this billionaire got off easy. Crime does seem to pay.

 

Some Samsung Galaxy Note 8 & Galaxy S8 Plus Reportedly Shutting Down & Not Powering Up Again

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 30, 2017 by itnerd

It seems that Samsung might have phone issues again. The good news is that they’re not blowing up. The bad news is tha Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus units in the hands of customers are  reportedly refusing to charge, leaving them with dead devices.

Here’s a YouTube video that someone posted of this phenomena:

This is being reported by AndroidAuthority who says the issue occurs after the phone falls to 0% battery and switches off, following which the device becomes completely unresponsive. It’s not clear how widespread the problem is. But Samsung is swapping affected phones. Thus if this happens to you, your best course of action is to reach out to Samsung for a replacement.

Review: Samsung 850 EVO Pro 2.5″ SSD

Posted in Products with tags on November 2, 2017 by itnerd

As part of fixing this problem with my wife’s MacBook Pro, which led me to fixing an even more serious problem, I replaced the Samsung 850 EVO drive that I popped into it with a Samsung 850 EVO Pro that I had lying around. Now, when you toss the word “pro” into a product name, it implies that it should be better, faster, and stronger. So, is it all of that? Let’s start with the main differences between the two drives:

  • The 850 EVO Pro has faster sequential read speeds of 550 MB/s vs 540 MB/s for the 850 EVO.
  • The 850 EVO Pro consumes slightly less power when reading or writing. In this case, 3.3W reading and 3.4W writing for the 850 EVO Pro versus 3.7W reading and  4.7W writing for the 850 EVO.
  • The 850 EVO Pro is rated to last 2 million hours versus 1.5 million hours for the 850 EVO.
  • The 850 EVO Pro has a 10 year warranty versus the 5 year warranty that the 850 EVO has.

So in short, the 850 EVO Pro will consume less power, is a bit more durable, and reads data a hair faster. To test the latter, I I gave my wife her MacBook Pro back after I dropped the 850 EVO Pro in and asked her if she could tell the difference. She couldn’t. But I did note some minor speed gains here and there when I tested it before handing her MacBook Pro back to her. But the differences aren’t substantial enough that the average user would notice at all.

So given that in the Samsung 850 EVO Pro is somewhere between an 18% – 23% price premium over the 850 EVO of a similar size, is there a reason to buy this drive? Well, if you need an SSD with a much longer warranty, lower power consumption and increased durability, then there is a reason to get the 850 EVO Pro. Those are the things that will appeal to people who beat up their hardware or want to get every bit of battery life out their laptop that they can. Or they simply want peace of mind which is a valuable thing to have. If however you are looking for a massive speed boost, look at the much cheaper 850 EVO as it is almost as fast as the 850 EVO Pro, has a still serviceable 5 year warranty, and you can pocket the cost difference for a night out with your significant other. In fact, for most people out there, I would recommend the latter path.