OnePlus 7 Series Launch Event 14 May



As expected, OnePlus have announced the launch events for the OnePlus 7 Series in London, New York, Bengaluru and Beijing. Branded “Go Beyond Speed”, the teaser trailer is a short 11 seconds long.

With the moniker of “Series”, there’s now no doubt there will be more than one model, and they’re going to be different designs. Expect to see a 7 Pro to go up against the top-tier Samsung devices alongside a more humble 7. The video, posted to Twitter by Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus, allegedly runs at 90 fps which suggests that the new (7 Pro) phone will have a screen with a matching 90 Hz refresh rate. That’s up from the normal 60 Hz of an ordinary smartphone. I don’t know how to confirm the video frame rate so will have to take it on trust.

Never Settle LogoThe trailer doesn’t reveal much else. There are the expected swooshes, curves and vents but no real giveaways as far as I can tell, though it looks like the ever popular alert slider is still there. There are some renders of both the 7 and 7 Pro floating around the web, with the 7 Pro sporting a pop-up camera. The 7 looks substantially the same as the 6T so expect the same in-display optical fingerprint reader.

As usual for OnePlus, there are opportunities to buy and win tickets for the launch events. Checking the London event, tickets are still available at GB£16 for early birds. It’s GB£30 after Thursday and the ticket gets you swag and snacks as well as entry to the event. If you can’t be there, it’ll be streamed live too.

The launch events are:

  • London, United Kingdom
    Time: 4 PM BST, May 14
    Location: Printworks London
  • New York, United States
    Time: 11 AM EDT, May 14
    Location: Pier 94
  • Bengaluru, India
    Time: 8:15 PM IST, May 14
    Location: Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre
  • Beijing, China
    Time: 2 PM CST, May 16
    Location: Yanqi Lake

Of course, the big unknown for both the 7 and 7 Pro is price and we’re unlikely to discover that with any certainty until 14 May.


Samsung Postponed the Launch of the Galaxy Fold



Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the fancy smartphone has been called the world’s first foldable phone, has problems. The issues were big enough for Samsung to postpone the launch of the Galaxy Fold.

To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.

In a statement posted in the Samsung Newsroom, Samsung said that the device “needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience.”

Samsung said their inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. There was an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance. Samsung says it will “enhance the guidance and use of the display including the protective layer”.

CNBC reported that the screen on their Galaxy Fold test unit began flickering and then stopped working completely after just two days of use.

According to CNBC, others who had test units had the same thing happen after they removed the protective film on the top of the screen. However, CNBC stated that they did not remove the protective film. They also did not drop the phone, and did not expose it to any substances that could get inside the phone.

A flickering screen, that stops working shortly after the phone starts being used, is a problem. This is especially true on a phone whose main attraction is the gimmick of having two, foldable, screens. I think that customers who want to get a new smartphone in the near future will choose one that does not have the issues that the Galaxy Fold currently has.


Google Improves EV Charge Point Info in US and UK



As an owner of a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), I’m not as reliant on charging stations as my battery-only (BEV) colleagues, but there’s still an element of frustration when pulling up to recharge only to find the station is either full with charging cars or isn’t working at all (I’m looking at you e-carni).

Google Maps has always had some information on charging points but starting today, Google Maps will show real-time availability of charging ports, plus extra information such as where the charge station is, whether the location is open, what sort of port types are available and charge speeds. Over time, there will be additional information from other EV drivers including photos and reviews. The charging point info is available across platforms – web browser, iOS, Android and Android Auto, though an update from the relevant app store is needed.

Just search for “ev charging stations” in the area of interest to see the locations of the points.

Looks like it’s still a little bit of a work in progress as charging information only seems to be available on certain charging networks but it’s a good start. Thanks Google.


On the Road #1363



The first episode in the new studio and the levels are way too hot. I should have done a test recording prior to the episode. Lots to share here tonight and a quick episode for you tonight. Next episode will be Wednesday this week versus Thursday. Have fun with this one.

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UK Government Feeds Alexa and Google Home



Good news for Alex and Google Home users in the UK. The government’s

The head of GOV.UK, Jennifer Allum, said, “We want to simplify people’s interactions with the government, making information clear and accessible to everyone.These results are promising because voice services can be a really convenient way to get information, particularly for people who find computers and phones hard to use.

You can ask Alexa, “When is Brexit?” which she answers accurately, but sadly she doesn’t seem to know who my Member of Parliament is. Then again, Alexa only has useful information…

Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash


Sri Lanka’s Government Blocked Social Media After Attacks



A wave of bombings happened in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Targets included churches, hotels, and an apartment complex. At least 290 people have been killed and 500 were injured. While this was happening, Sri Lanka’s government blocked access to social media sites.

Sri Lanka’s government moved to block Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram – all owned by Facebook – on Sunday out of concern that “false news reports… spreading through social media” could lead to violence. The services will be suspended until investigations into the blasts that killed more than 200 people are concluded, the government said. Non-Facebook social media services, including YouTube and Viber have also been suspended, but Facebook and WhatsApp are dominant platforms in the country.

The Guardian reported that this was not the first time Sri Lanka’s government blocked social media in an effort to prevent misinformation from spreading and resulting in violence. In March of 2018, the government blocked several social media platforms amid hardline Buddhist violence against Muslims. Some of that violence was fulled by hate speech and false rumors that were spread on social media.

Social media websites need to vastly improve their ability to keep people safe. These companies need to wake up and realize that what what is said – and passed around – on the internet can have devastating real-world repercussions. They must do a better job of removing misinformation.

Personally, based on Sri Lanka’s history, I think their government did the right thing by blocking social media websites while police were investigating the cause of the bombings. I think this action likely prevented people, in a time of crisis, from being unfairly influenced to target other people with violence. The government may have saved some innocent people from being harmed or killed.

The big problem, of course, is that blocking social media was necessary. If Facebook (and other social media companies) were quicker to remove misinformation, Sri Lanka’s government would not have needed to block it. People could have used social media to let their families know that they were safe.

Another thing to consider is that many governments are not going to block social media platforms in their countries during a crisis. This could lead to misinformation spread online resulting in additional violence in “the real world”. Social media companies need to be more responsible about what they allow to spread on their platforms.


23 Million People Use 123456 as a Password



Despite all the warnings, 23 million people worldwide use the password “123456”. This is according the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre which analysed the Have I Been Pwned data set to produce a list of the top 100,000 passwords.

It’s frankly embarrassing – here’s the top 10. Anyone who uses any of these should have their computer, tablet and phone taken away from them immediately.

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. password
  5. 111111
  6. 12345678
  7. abc123
  8. 1234567
  9. password1
  10. 12345

Looking through the full list, there’s a reasonable selection of expletives, and for Brits, variations on “Liverpool” appear twenty eight times. For non-Brits, Liverpool is not only a city in the North of England but a premier league football (soccer) team. James Bond 007 is rich pickings too, with variations into the teens. No matter how smart or unique you think you are, there’s someone else who thinks the same.

The NCSC recommends using three random words for passwords such as “tablehouseblue” and  not to re-use passwords between accounts. It particularly suggests to always have a different password for your email account.

Dr Ian Levy, NCSC Technical Director, said: “Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided – nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band. Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.

You can read the full UK Cyber Survey and there’s more analysis on the password list in this article.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash