Weekly links #2

Written on 12 October 2015, 08:34am

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Apple Camera?

I, for one, would love to see Apple develop an iPhone 7P. The “P” is for photography. Add back 2mm to the device’s profile, which would enable a larger battery, and install an even better camera (bigger lens, bigger sensor) for people who love photography. I would easily pay a $100 premium for the specialized device. I have to think they would sell more of these than the iPhone 6c.
The One Thing Apple Understands is Photography
plus 5 reasons Apple should make a professional camera


An European alternative to Soylent:

Update, 1 month later: I could not get used to the taste. And I’m sorry about that, the prospect was extremely appealing 🙁

Eating a diet considered healthy by scientific standards is difficult. These requirements can only be met with a varied and well thought out diet.
We have developed a formula which combines all nutrients recommended by dietitians in a powder, which we call BERTRAND.


Security Keys

With 2-Step Verification, Google requires something you know (your password) and something you have (like your phone) to sign in. Google sends a verification code to your phone when you try to sign in to confirm it’s you. However, sophisticated attackers could set up lookalike sites that ask you to provide your verification codes to them, instead of Google. Security Key offers better protection against this kind of attack, because it uses cryptography instead of verification codes and automatically works only with the website it’s supposed to work with.
Using Security Key for 2-Step Verification

A few notes about security keys in general and YubiKey in particular:
– the security keys do not need batteries or mobile connectivity (as the cell phones receiving security codes)
– full YubiKey product lineup
– the blue YubiKey implements the U2F standard and works with GMail, Dropbox and GitHub
– the most expensive YubiKey version works also via NFC with the supported devices
– the other ones must rely on a recent Chrome version and on a device with an USB port
– if the security key is not available, the normal security codes (received on cell phones) still work
yubi keys


A few question and a thought

Written on 10 December 2014, 10:50pm

Tagged with: , ,

iPhone sensors

1. proximity sensor (to turn off the screen when you talk)
2. ambient light sensor(to dim the screen on low light)
3. barometer (to determine pressure/altitude; starting iPhone 6)
4. accelerometer (measures acceleration; analyze the direction in which the device is moving)
5. gyroscope (measure rotation/orientation)
6. magnetometer (measure the strength or direction of magnetic fields)
In addition to that there is the GPS signal receiver. Read more about
the differences between accelero/gyro/magneto sensors.

That being said, I would like to know:
1. Which sensors are turned off in airplane mode (accelero/gyro/magneto/GPS)
Apparently only the GPS. Even though even that is not really necessary, since it only receives signal. In fact, some Android-powered phones do not turn off GPS in airplane mode.
Note: Apple says that airplane mode disables cellular, wi-fi, bluetooth, GPS and location services. Saying that airplane mode disables location services is a bit redundant since the location services uses a combination of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS to determine your location.

2. which sensors are used by the compass app (app partially works in airplane mode)
According to my tests (so based on empirical data 🙂 ) – the compass app works with a combination of 3 (accelero/gyro/magneto) sensors available in airplane mode. If GPS is also available, then the latitude/longitude are also displayed.

3. which sensors are used by Room Scan app (app works fine in airplane mode)
Again, based on empirical data – a combination of accelero/gyro/magneto. No GPS use.

I did not find the answer yet. Keep digging.

Can machines determine what’s beautiful?

Services like Foap or EyeEm try to sell your casual smartphone pictures. Not a bad idea, considering the huge number of ‘mobile’ photos and the success of instagram.
But what I find a bit over the line is this:

Now that the company has the layer of machine learning up and running (and learning new concepts every day), EyeEm is “training” its algorithms to identify which photos actually look good. By looking at things like which objects are in focus and blurred, what’s located at each third of a photo, and other identifiers of “beauty,” the ranking algorithms determine an EyeRank of aesthetic quality for each photo and applies an aggregated score to each photographer.

Because sure, let’s leave the machines tell us what’s beautiful. Humans are not good at it anymore. Makes sense.
On a completely unrelated news, some smart people see the threat in the Artificial Intelligence and forecast that the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.

moon steps