Category Archives: Mobile Devices Reviews, Articles & News

This section is where you will find everything on mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, phablets! We will share with you our reviews, articles and the latest news on these mobile devices.

Will Your Phone Get Hacked While You Vote In GE15?!

Will Your Phone Get Hacked While You Vote In GE15?!

Will your phone get hacked while you are voting in GE15?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Your Phone Will Get Hacked While You Vote In GE15!

This warning has gone viral on WhatsApp and social media, claiming that your phone will get hacked while you are voting in GE15!

The post is long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

For first time voters, it might be tempting to bring your phone along with you to document and record your experience voting for the first time.

However, the Election Commission (EC) has announced that the use of mobile phones inside polling stations will not be allowed.

As such, you may use your phone to kill time while standing in line, but you’d have to surrender your phone once you collect your ballot paper.

Read more : New SPR Rules On Bringing + Using Phone On GE15!

 

Truth : Your Phone Won’t Get Hacked While You Vote In GE15!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Phones Are Left On KTM Table In Individual Boxes

First, let us establish some basic facts about how phones are “surrendered” before voting in GE15:

  1. Each polling station (Saluran) will have two voting booths, allowing two voters to mark their ballots at the same time.
  2. The KTM (Ketua Tempat Mengundi – Head of Polling Station) will have two cardboard boxes – one for each phone.
  3. On the way to the voting booth, each voter will place his/her phone into one of the two cardboard boxes on the KTM’s table.
  4. After casting the ballots, the voter will retrieve his/her phone from the cardboard box.

The polling clerks and the head of the polling station (KTM) will NOT touch any phone. Voters must place and retrieve their phones by themselves.

Fact #2 : There Are Many Witnesses In Each Polling Station

Each polling station has at least one police officer, three polling clerks and a KTM (Head of the Polling Station), as well as two or more observers.

That’s seven or more people arranged along three sides of the room, which means the phones placed on the KTM’s table are visible to all of them. Any attempt by anyone but the voters to handle the phones would be instantly noticed.

Read more : New SPR Rules On Bringing + Using Phone On GE15!

Fact #3 : KTM Is Usually A Teacher Working In That School

In Malaysian elections, schools are generally used as voting centres, with classrooms converted into polling stations.

Usually, the Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) appoints teachers of the same school as the KTM – head of each polling station.

While this does not mean some of these teachers are not secretly awesome hackers in their spare time, it means that your phones are generally being watched by teachers.

If you can trust school teachers with your kids, you can certainly trust them to WATCH OVER your precious phone.

Fact #4 : Marking Your Ballots Take Less Than A Minute

The only time your phone is out of your view is when you are marking your ballots in the voting booth.

How long do you reckon it takes to mark X on one or two ballots, and fold them? Maybe 10 seconds? 20 seconds if you are slow. No matter what – your mobile phone will only be out of sight for less than a minute.

Do you actually believe any hacker would have the time to hook up your phone to any cable, never mind hack it, in less than one minute?

Fact #5 : Juice Jacking Requires Cable To Be Plugged Into Phone

What this “ethical hacker” is referring to is called juice jacking. Juice jacking requires a cable to be plugged into your phone. It cannot happen wirelessly, because it relies on USB vulnerabilities.

As noted in Fact #1, you will place your phone into a large cardboard box. You will be able to see that there are no cables present.

While you are marking your vote, the box containing your phone will be fully visible to at least six other people in the room, if you discount the “nefarious KTM who is secretly an evil hacker”.

Even a “nefarious KTM who is secretly an evil hacker” will have trouble taking your phone out of the box, without any of the other people in the room noticing, never mind actually plugging in a cable.

That’s why the real risk of juice jacking isn’t that 20-30 seconds you spend voting in GE15, but when you plug your phone into a free USB power socket.

If you are paranoid, just cover your phone’s USB or Lightning port with tape, before you place it in the designated box.

Fact #6 : Juice Jacking Vulnerabilities Have Been Mitigated

As ethical hackers reveal security risks like juice jacking, Google and Apple have taken measures to mitigate the risks.

Both Android and iOS, for example, no longer allow the phone to be mounted as a drive when plugged in over USB. You will get a prompt asking you to confirm the step, which is not possible for the hacker to do without first unlocking the phone.

There have also been many Android and iOS security updates that patch vulnerabilities that could potentially lead to juice jacking attacks. That’s why it’s so important to keep your phone operating system updated.

Please WATCH OUT about such FAKE NEWS on WhatsApp and social media.

Remember – democracy does not guarantee us a good government. Democracy only guarantees us the right to vote out a bad government!

Happy voting on 19 November 2022!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro Review: 24-bit Audio FTW!

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro is the latest AKG-tune TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation from Samsung!

Find out just how good it really is, and why its 24-bit audio support is something audiophiles will love!

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro : What’s In The Box?

First, let’s take a quick look at what’s inside the box.

Samsung kindly provided us with a better unboxing video than we could have done ourselves.

Inside, you will find the following items :

  • A pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro storage + charging case
  • Guide Start Guide
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable
  • Two sets of extra ear tips (small and large)

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro : Key Features

The Galaxy Buds 2 is the latest AKG-tuned TWS earbuds from Samsung, with a slew of improvements.

Despite its name, it is the second generation version of the ultra-premium Galaxy Buds Pro, and not an improved version of the Galaxy Buds2 we reviewed last year.

Comfort

These are amongst the lightest and smallest earbuds I ever tried. Each earbud weighs just 5.5 grams and are 15% smaller.

They feel less intrusive, and are also more discreet than the last generation Buds Pro – fitting snugly into your ear.

The earbuds come with medium ear tips fitted, but the package includes small and large ear tips, allowing you to swap them out for a snug fit.

IPX7 Water Resistant

Unlike the Galaxy Buds2, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro are IPX7 water-resistant, so you can carry on using them even in the rain!

While they are officially rated to withstand submersion in up to 1 metre of fresh water for up to 30 minutes, Samsung do not advise you use them at the beach or in the pool.

I should also point out that the charging case itself is NOT water-resistant, so please make sure you keep it dry. In addition, you must dry the Galaxy Buds2 Pro before you put them back into the charging case.

Even so, water-resistance is one of the things I love about Samsung wearables and smartphones. As a rather clumsy person, I’ve dropped my fair share of gadgets, and more often than not – into pools of rainwater, or even swimming pools!

Active Noise Cancellation

Budget ANC earbuds use one microphone, with mid-range ANC earbuds like the Galaxy Buds2 use up to two microphones to receive ambient noise for cancellation.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro uses three microphones with high signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio to expand the amount of ambient noise it can cancel, and you can tell the difference. Its ANC performance is markedly improved from the last generation.

I managed to test them out on two turboprop flights which are noticeably louder than your typical airliner, and they worked great! The noise outside the planes was greatly muted, and once onboard, it’s like you are in your own oasis of peace and quiet.

If you need to listen to someone speak, there is an Ambient mode that temporarily disables ANC and lets you listen to the outside world. When you take out one earbud, the other earbud cleverly switches to Ambient mode so you don’t get disorientated, and switches back to ANC when you put the earbud back on.

You don’t even have to turn Ambient mode manually like with the Galaxy Buds2. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro comes with the Voice Detect feature, which automatically activates Ambient mode when you start talking! Just make sure you enable it in your Galaxy Wearable app first!

24-bit Audio

If you are an audiophile, you will love the 24-bit audio support in the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro.

24-bit audio has been around for a while, offering higher audio resolution and fidelity. However, adoption has been limited so far to expensive music players and audio devices.

After all, the entire chain – from the music file to the music player (software or hardware) and the earphones / headphones, plus the connectivity between them – must support 24-bit audio.

So it’s great to see Samsung driving the 24-bit audio effort forward by making sure that its mobile devices support 24-bit audio. Just make sure you upgrade to the One UI 4.0 or higher, to enable its proprietary Samsung Seamless Hi-Fi codec.

Built on the Scalable Codec it introduced several years ago, the Samsung Seamless codec is able to encode full 24-bit audio to transmit to the Galaxy Buds2 Pro wirelessly.

The only downside is that it’s proprietary, and will only work with Samsung Galaxy devices running One UI 4.0 or higher.

360 Audio

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro also supports 360 Audio, which is basically their version of the spatial audio feature in Apple AirPods. It’s not enabled by default, because you may not want to turn it on all the time.

The 360 Audio feature only works with apps and content that support Dolby Atmos surround sound. When enabled, it delivers a 360-degree surround sound effect for a more immersive experience.

On top of that, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro supports head tracking, so the 360 audio you hear will actually change with your head movement!

While it doesn’t do much for music (very few are encoded for Dolby Atmos), you should enable it for movies and games.

Connectivity

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro connects wirelessly to your devices using Bluetooth 5.3, with support for AAC, SBC and Samsung’s new Seamless codec, but not aptX, LDAC or LHDC. Again, please note that the Samsung Seamless codec is proprietary, and will only work with their devices running on One UI 4.0 and above.

These earbuds do not offer Bluetooth multipoint connectivity, which means they can only be connected to one device at any one time.

They support automatic switching between Samsung Galaxy devices using the same Samsung account, but if you want to switch from your Samsung Galaxy smartphone to your laptops you need to manually switch using the Bluetooth menu.

Battery Life

The biggest problem I have with the Buds2 Pro though is its short battery life of about 5 hours with ANC enabled. I can get about 8 hours with ANC disabled, but that’s still on the low side for premium earbuds.

This is really a trade off – a larger battery (and consequently, longer battery life) would mean a heavier and more obtrusive earbuds. There is only so much Samsung can squeeze out of the tiny 61 mAh battery in each earbud.

The charging case with an internal 515 mAh battery provides another 13 hours of extra battery life (ANC enabled), or 21 hours (ANC disabled) – roughly 2.5 full charges.

They support quick charging though – a 5 minute charge will get you about an hour of battery life.

Pro Tip : Get into the habit of popping these earbuds into their case whenever you are not using, and you will never run out of battery life.

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro : Our Verdict

If you want the very best TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation technology from Samsung, there can be no doubt – the Galaxy Buds2 Pro is it.

It is amazing that such a small package comes with so many great features – 24-bit audio with 360 Audio, active noise cancellation with three SNR microphones, and IPX7 water resistance.

While the Galaxy Buds2 Pro is not cheap, those features do really make a real difference in the enjoyment of your music, videos and games.

For those reasons, I think it deserves no less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

Just be aware of its relatively short battery life, lack of Bluetooth multipoint connectivity, and reliance on a proprietary codec which limits 24-bit audio to Samsung devices.

If you are in the Samsung ecosystem and would like to enjoy 24-bit audio and/or surround sound, you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy Buds2 Pro.

But if you are not using a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, or do not need 24-bit audio support, then these are not the earbuds you are looking for. You are better off buying the cheaper Galaxy Buds2!

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro : Where To Buy?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is priced at RM899 / S$328 / US$229 / £189 / A$349.

Here are some online purchase options (prices accurate as of 11 November 2022) :

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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You Must Surrender Phone Before Voting In GE15!

The Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) just introduced a new requirement – you must surrender your phone before voting in the 15th General Election!

 

GE15 : You Must Surrender Your Phone Before Voting!

At 2:15 PM on 9 November 2022, the Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) issued an infographic detailing the 10 steps you need to take to vote on the day of the 15th General Election (GE15).

Eagle-eyed Malaysian netizens quickly spotted Steps 6 and 9, in which there is a new requirement to surrender your phone before voting, and collecting it back after you have voted.

Many people have asked me if this is true, as there was never such a requirement in the past.

It also did not help when people shared fake news claiming that phones are not allowed to be brought to polling stations during GE15.

 

You Can Bring Phone, But Must Surrender It Before Voting!

In the past, you are allowed to bring in your phone, even to the voting booth. However, you are not allowed to take a photo of your ballot paper.

In fact, it is an offence that will subject you to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a fine of not more than RM5,000, or both, if you are found guilty.

I checked with SPR and BERSIH and confirmed that this is a new but legitimate requirement in GE15.

You are allowed to bring your phone or smartphone to the polling station, but you must surrender it at the table of the Ketua Tempat Mengundi (Head of the Polling Station).

After marking and casting your vote, you will then retrieve your phone / smartphone from the KTM’s table, before leaving the polling station.

This will help prevent anyone from accidentally or intentionally taking photos of their votes / ballot papers, and hopefully, prevent vote buying.

Former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir himself asked the SPR (belatedly) to ban people from bringing their phones to the polling stations. One has to wonder – why didn’t he ask them to do this for all those years he was Prime Minister? #eyeroll

In any case, this is genuine news, so please share this article out, and let everyone know.

You can still bring your phone, but you must surrender it before voting, and you can only use it to selfies and photos after leaving the polling booth.

Happy voting to all Malaysians!

Just remember – democracy does not guarantee us a good government. It only guarantees us the right to vote out a bad one!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Fact Check : “Mexico Did It” Phone Virus Warning!

Will the “Mexico Did It” photo infect your phone with a virus in 5 seconds?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : “Mexico Did It” Photo Will Infect Your Phone With A Virus!

The warning about the “Mexico Did It” photo or image that will infect your phone with a virus keeps going… viral on WhatsApp and social media.

There are two versions so far – in English, and in Spanish.

FYI:
They are going to publish an image that shows how Covid 19 is cured in Mexico and it is called “Mexico did it”, do not open it because it enters the phone in 5 seconds and it cannot be stopped in any way. It’s a virus. Pass it on to your friends and family. Now they also said it on CNN and BBC. DO NOT OPEN IT

Pass it on

Van a publicar una imagen que muestra como el Covid 19 se cura en Mexico y se llama “Mexico lo hizo” no lo abran porque entra al telefono en 5 segundos y no se puede frenar de ninguna forma. Es un virus. Pasenlo a sus familiares y amigos. Ahora lo dijeron tambien en CNN y BBC

 

Truth : There Is No “Mexico Did It” Photo / Virus!

This is just another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : This Viral Message Has Been Circulating Since 2021

The viral message about the “Mexico Did It” photo or virus has been circulating on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter since April 2021.

Fact #2 : This Is A Modified Version Of “Argentina Is Doing It”

This viral message is actually a modified version of an earlier fake message, which claims that a video on WhatsApp called “Argentina is doing it” will hack your phone in 10 seconds.

It just replaces Argentina with Mexico, a video with a photo, and changes it from a 10-second hack into a 5-second virus attack.

Those two fake news are, in turn, probably based on the even older fake claim that hackers are using greeting photos and videos to hack your phone.

Read more : Can Greeting Photos + Videos Hack Your Phone?!

Fact #3 : There Is No “Mexico Did It” Photo / Virus

There is no such thing as a “Mexico Did It” image or photo. Neither is there a virus called “Mexico Did It”.

There is also no known virus that can infect your phone with a virus simply using a photo or image.

Fact #4 : CNN + BBC Never Reported On Such A virus

It’s been over 1.5 years since this fake story first appeared on Facebook and WhatsApp, but neither CNN nor BBC has ever reported on a “Mexico Did It” virus.

Fact #5 : Image-Based Malware Is Possible, But…

Digital steganography is a method by which secret messages and other data can be hidden in digital files, like a photo or a video, or even a music file.

It is also possible to embed malicious code within a photo, but it won’t be a full-fledged malware that can execute by itself.

At most, it can be used to hide the malware payload from antivirus scanners, which is pretty clever to be honest…

Fact #6 : Image-Based Malware Requires User Action

In January 2019, cybercriminals created an online advertisement with a script that appears innocuous and would pass any malware check.

However, the image itself has an “almost white” rectangle that is recognised by the script, triggering it to redirect the user to the cybercriminals’ website. Once there, the victim is tricked into installing a Trojan disguised as an Adobe Flash Player update.

Such a clever way to bypass malware checks, but even so, this image-based malware requires user action.

You cannot get infected by the Trojan if you practice good “Internet hygiene” by not downloading or installing anything from unknown websites.

Fact #7 : Malicious Code Executes Immediately

If you accidentally download and trigger malware, it will execute immediately. It won’t take 5 seconds, as the hoax message claims.

Generally, malware won’t wait a few seconds before it infects your devices. Waiting will only increase the risk of detection.

Unless the malware creator designed it to only infect your phone when you are sleeping (like the early hours of the morning), it pays to execute immediately.

Now that you know the facts, please SHARE this article with your family and friends, and SUPPORT our work!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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iPhone Factory Under Lockdown, As Employees Flee!

The massive iPhone factory in Zhengzhou is now under another COVID-19 lockdown, after thousands of employees fled!

 

iPhone Factory Now Under COVID-19 Lockdown!

On Wednesday, 2 November 2022, China placed the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone under a new COVID-19 lockdown. This is where Foxconn has its largest iPhone factory, employing about 200,000 workers

The Zhengzhou industrial zone, located in the Henan province, was placed under “silent management” measures with immediate effect, and last for one week – until November 9, 2022.

  • all residents are barred from going out
  • only approved vehicles are allowed on the road

Foxconn said in a statement that its campus will continue operating under a “closed loop” management system, in which employees sleep, live and work in a bubble, isolated from the rest of Zhengzhou and the world.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters that such a lockdown could cut production of Apple iPhones by as much as 30%, and that Foxconn was working to boost production at their Shenzhen factory to make up for the shortfall.

Read more : Apple Freezes Use Of China’s YMTC NAND Chips!

 

Employees Have Been Fleeing iPhone Factory For Days!

For several days now, Foxconn employees have been fleeing the Zhengzhou factory, after some workers were placed under quarantine following a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Foxconn employees also complained of poor food quality, and a lack of medical care for those who tested positive.

On Sunday, 30 October, Foxconn said that it would not stop them from leaving, and many workers chose to walk back to their hometowns.

Videos of those employees climbing over fences, and walking away from the factory went viral. So did photos and videos of those Foxconn workers trekking across fields in the day, and long roads at night.

Some people were walking amid wheat fields with their luggage, blankets and quilt. I couldn’t help but feel sad.

Those videos galvanised volunteers from nearby villages to put out food and drinks for the workers. Foxconn and several local governments finally arranged transportation for them.

Workers who were transported back to their hometowns were quarantined on arrival. A belated measure that should have been initiated earlier.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 FlexCam Photography Tips!

Here are a few tips on how to maximise the FlexCam capability of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphone, to create unique and more appealing photos and videos!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : FlexCam Photography!

The Galaxy Z Flip4 is more than just a smartphone with a foldable display. Its foldable form factor allows you to make use of a more versatile photography method Samsung calls FlexCam.

FlexCam basically makes use of the Galaxy Z Flip4’s ability to “bend” the front and rear cameras at different angles for new perspectives.

This offers new creative ways for you to make use of the front 10 MP camera, and the dual 12 MP cameras at the back.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Battery Life + Charging Speed!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 FlexCam Photography Tips!

To help you maximise the Galaxy Z Flip4’s foldable form factor, here are a few FlexCam photography tips to get the best possible photos!

Take Photos At Any Angle!

Thanks to the Galaxy Z Flip4’s foldable design, you can now try out unique angles, and take hands-free photos without using a selfie stick or tripod.

You no longer need to ask your friends or strangers to take your photos. Just prop your phone on any convenient surface to take your photos from either the front or rear cameras!

Bonus : Try putting the Galaxy Z Flip4 on different surfaces and angles, to take photos and videos from different perspectives. Try both cameras too!

Steady Your Shot

Whether you are using the front or rear cameras, its foldable design allows you to place the Galaxy Z Flip4 on any flat surface, to give you a steady shot for both photos and videos.

Folding the Galaxy Z Flip4 also lets you get a firmer and steadier grip while try out new perspectives in your photos and videos. Its foldable design lets you record videos like a camcorder!

Bonus : The Galaxy Z Flip4 has an upgraded main camera with a 65% brighter sensor, which makes it even easier to take sharp photos even in low light conditions.

Night Mode + Night Hyperlapse

What you may not realise is that Samsung introduced three special night photography modes.

  • Night Mode lets you capture clear and bright photos even in very dim or dark conditions, by capturing multiple frames and combining them together.
  • Night Hyperlapse lets you create impressive motion videos at night, without any blur!
  • Super Night Solution minimises noise for sharp video at night, with enhanced OIS and VDIS.

With these three features, and the aforementioned brighter sensor, you will never have to worry about taking photos in the dark!

High-Resolution Selfies!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 has a large Cover Screen which doubles as a viewfinder for its dual 12 MP cameras, allowing you to take incredibly high-resolution selfie and wefie photos in both normal and wide angles.

Thanks to enhanced Quick Shot, you can take selfies and defies quickly using the rear cameras, using the Cover Screen to make sure everyone’s in the frame.

Don’t forget to give its Portrait Mode a try, for a more appealing portrait with better blurring of the background (bokeh).

Quick Shot can also flex open until FlexCam takes over, so you can capture hands-free photos at both high and low angles.

Now that we shared those FlexCam photography tips with you, be sure to give them a try with your Galaxy Z Flip4, and level up your photos and videos!

 

To Try FlexCam, Buy Your Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Today!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in four colour options, as well as a special Bespoke Edition :

  • Graphite – legacy colour
  • Pink Gold – new colour
  • Blue – new colour
  • Bora Purple – their signature colour this year

These are the available models and launch prices for the Z Flip 4 :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM4,099 (about US$920 / £760 / A$1,319 / S$1,267)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM4,399 (about US$987 / £816 / A$1,415 / S$1,359)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB Bespoke Edition : RM4,599 (about US$1,032 / £853 / A$1,479 / S$1,421)
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : RM4,899 (about US$ 1,099 / £909 / A$1,576 / S$1,514)

The Bespoke Edition is only available on the Samsung website, and requires 3-4 weeks to deliver, as each unit is custom-made.

Here are online purchase options :

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : Colour Comparison!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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WhatsApp Back Online After Going Down Globally!

WhatsApp went down globally for about 2 hours in yet another major outage! Here is what you need to know…

 

WhatsApp Down Globally In Another Major Outage!

WhatsApp went down globally for about 2 hours, in yet another major outage!

At around 3 AM Eastern Time / 3 PM Malaysia Time, WhatsApp users started getting disconnected from the messaging service, leaving them with a perpetual “Connecting” message.

Those using WhatsApp Web or Desktop were struck with the dreaded “Make sure your computer has an active Internet connection” error message.

Meta spokesperson Joshua Breckman acknowledged the problem, saying:

We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, this time, only WhatsApp is affected. Other Meta services, like Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, are still working fine.

Meta also managed to get it back online for most users in 2 hours, during which, people were “forced” to try out alternative messaging services like Telegram, Viber, Line and yes, even WeChat!

We know people had trouble sending messages on WhatsApp today. We have fixed the issue and apologise for any inconvenience.

 

Almost A Year To Last Major WhatsApp Outage!

This new global outage comes almost on the first anniversary of last year’s major outage which took out not only WhatsApp, but other Meta services like Facebook, Messenger, Oculus and Instagram!

That outage, which lasted about six hours, was caused by configuration changes they made to their backbone routers. Not because 13 year-old hacker Sun Jisu hacked them.

It is now believed that the changes were made to Facebook’s Border Gateway Protocol, a mechanism that exchanges routing information to help figure out the fastest route for any request.

Apparently, the changes “withdrew” Facebook services from the DNS system, making it impossible for anyone to connect to them.

Even worse, Facebook ran their own systems through the same servers, so everything from engineering tool, messaging services and even security systems that controlled the key fob locks were no longer accessible.

So their engineering team had to rush to their data centres to manually reset the servers there.

Needless to say, this will be a big wake-up call for their engineering teams, and in the words of Russell Peters – “Somebody’s gonna get a hurt real bad!

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!
Read more : Did 13 Year Old Sun Jisu Hack Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram?

 

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Chinese Spies Caught Interfering With HUAWEI Case!

Two Chinese spies were caught interfering with US federal prosecution of Chinese telecommunications company, HUAWEI!

 

Chinese Spies Caught Interfering With HUAWEI Case!

On Monday, October 24, 2022, the US Justice Department announced charges against two Chinese citizens, who were accused of working to undermine federal prosecution of Chinese telecommunications company, HUAWEI.

The charging documents charged two People’s Republic of China (PRC) citizens of two counts of money laundering, and one count of obstructing an official proceeding, specifically interfering with the pending prosecution of HUAWEI by the Eastern District of New York (EDNY).

  • Gouchun He, who is also known as Dong He or Jacky He, and
  • Zheng Wang, who is also known as Zen Wang

The US Justice Department called them intelligence officers of the PRC conducting foreign intelligence operations targeting the United States, on behalf of the PRC government and for the benefit of Company-1 (HUAWEI).

Recommended : US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

 

How These Chinese Spies Were Caught Interfering With HUAWEI Case!

The US Justice Department’s charging documents tell a really compelling story of how the two Chinese spies were foiled by the very asset they recruited.

When US Department of Justice apparently began their investigation of HUAWEI in 2017, Gouchun He and Zheng Wang recruited a US law enforcement official around February 2017. Unbeknownst to them, the official they recruited as their asset became a “double agent” for FBI supervision.

He and Wang began asking the official for sensitive information about the US government’s criminal case against HUAWEI, and received payment in return:

  • approximately $14,000 in cash
  • jewellery worth approximately $600
  • approximately $61,000 in Bitcoin

The official also received payments unrelated to this case (suggesting He and Wang asked for information on other cases) :

  • $2,000 via Western Union
  • $3,000 in cash delivered in person by He and Wang
  • $9,000 in cash and jewellery

Read more : HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Warns Of Tough Times!

After charges were announced against HUAWEI around January 2019, Gouchun He and Zheng Wang repeatedly asked their agent for secret information regarding the investigation and prosecution of HUAWEI:

September 2021 : The official was asked to provide information on meetings with the prosecution team at the US Attorney’s Office for EDNY on strategising for the jury trial.

October 2021 : In response to a request for documents, the official passed Gouchun He a document marked SECRET that purportedly claimed to discuss a potential plan to charge and arrest two HUAWEI principals residing in China.

The official was paid $41,000 in Bitcoin for that single page, and later paid another $20,000 in Bitcoin the same month.

December 2021 : Gouchun He told the official that HUAWEI “demanded to communicate with him/her directly”, but he allegedly “refused it” because “it’s too dangerous”.

The US official repeatedly indicated that he/she knew and expected the materials he/she passed would be shared with HUAWEI, and Gouchun He and Zheng Wang never denied that they would be sharing the documents or information with HUAWEI.

In fact, when the US official handed them the SECRET document, Gouchun He explained, “HUAWEI didn’t give me specifically feedback now yet [about the document], but they are obviously interested in it, and my boos and they need further information

Both Gouchun He and Zheng Wang then asked the US official for information on witnesses who were working with the US government to prosecute HUAWEI.

 

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Apple Freezes Use Of China’s YMTC NAND Chips!

Apple just froze its original plan to use China’s YMTC NAND flash memory chips in their iPhones!

 

Apple Freezes Use Of China’s YMTC NAND Chips!

On Monday, October 17, 2022, Nikkei Asia (paywall) reported that Apple just froze its original plan to use NAND flash memory chips from Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation (YMTC)!

Apple had originally planned to start using NAND flash memory chips manufactured by YMTC in iPhones manufactured for the Chinese market, eventually purchasing up to 40% of its chip requirements from the Chinese state-funded company.

Those plans had to be put on hold after the US government announced stricter technology export controls designed to block China’s access to advanced semiconductor technologies.

The United States added YMTC – China’s top memory chipmaker – and 30 other Chinese companies to its “Unverified List” of companies that its official are unable to inspect to ensure compliance with its export controls.

The United States also initiated a new 60-day deadline for entities under the “Unverified List” to allow for complete end-to-end inspections, or risk even tougher penalties if added to the infamous “Entity List“.

YMTC is also being investigated by the US Commerce Department over allegations it violated earlier United States export controls by selling chips to HUAWEI, which was blacklisted under the Trump Administration.

Read more : US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

 

Apple Decision Stymies Earlier Preparations By YMTC

Apple’s decision to freeze its purchase of YMTC flash memory chips stymies earlier preparations by the Wuhan-based memory chipmaker to mitigate looming US export controls.

According to four employees who spoke to Financial Times, YMTC had been stockpiling foreign equipment for months after US lawmakers started urging the Biden Administration to punish it for helping the Chinese military and violating trade restrictions by supply HUAWEI with chips.

YMTC has also come under scrutiny over concerns that massive Chinese government subsidies allow it to sells its chips below market price, even at a loss, just to gain market share at the expense of other companies.

We’ve been doing everything possible beforehand to support existing production lines, such as stockpiling all kinds of equipment.
– Senior YMTC engineer

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

All that preparation was for naught, because Apple’s decision to freeze its massive purchase of YMTC flash memory chips is only the tip of the iceberg.

Other companies will similarly be forced to freeze or cancel their purchase of YMTC chips unless YMTC acquiesces to comply with audit requirements by US officials – a step the Chinese chipmaker is (politically) incapable of taking.

YMTC is, after all, China’s largest memory chipmaker, and a national champion in the country’s drive to build a domestic chip industry. It received 220 billion yuan (over $30.5 billion) in funding from both the Hubei province, and a national fund.

After the Biden Administration announced new chip export restrictions, the top three US chip toolmakers – KLA Corporation, Lam Research and Applied Materials immediately stopped sales and services to YMTC.

Despite its earlier stockpiling efforts, one YMTC employee revealed that the company only had enough wafers and parts for equipment repairs to last a year, but that’s assuming it won’t need technical support from foreign companies.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

[/su_note]

 

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Galaxy Watch5 vs. Watch5 Pro : Which To Buy?

Samsung is offering three different Galaxy Watch5 + Watch5 Pro models, so which should YOU buy?

 

Galaxy Watch5 vs. Watch5 Pro : How Different Are They?

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Watch5 series on August 10, and they have already made waves as their most durable and feature-packed watches yet!

In this article, I will go through their key features, so you can find out which Galaxy Watch5 model is best for you!

Three Sizes, Two Case Types, One Strap Size

Samsung offers three different Galaxy Watch5 models, each with a different case sizes, but fortunately – the same 20 mm strap size.

The size difference between the three models does not “look” significant, but they feel different and have different capabilities.

I highly recommend that you visit a Samsung Experience Store to try out the fit first, because how it feels and looks on your wrist is important.

Specifications Watch5
40mm
Watch5
44mm
Watch5
Pro
Model SM-R900 SM-R910 SM-R920
Body Size 40 mm 44 mm 45 mm
Body Material Armor Aluminum Titanium
Strap Band Width 20 mm
Dimensions 40.4 x 39.3 mm
9.8 mm thick
44.4 x 43.3 mm
9.8 mm thick
45.4 x 45.4 mm
10.5 mm thick
Weight 28.7 grams 33.5 grams 45.6 grams

All Models : Full Load Of Sensors

First, let me point out that regardless of which Galaxy Watch5 model you choose, you can rest assured that you will have access to the full load of sensors, including:

  • an improved BioActive sensor, with an increased surface area and more direct contact with your wrist.
  • accelerometer, barometer, gyro sensor, light sensor, and geomagnetic sensor

The BioActive Sensor incidentally is a unique Samsung chip that combines 3 sensors – Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart (ECG)  and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, to monitor and track heart rate, blood oxygen level, and even your stress level.

All Models : Same Performance + Connectivity

You will also be glad to know that Samsung did not skimp on the performance in any Galaxy Watch5 model.

All three Galaxy Watch5 models come with Samsung Exynos W920 system-on-chip, built on the 5 nm process technology. It features:

  • two Arm Cortex-A55 processor cores running at 1.18 GHz
  • an Arm Mali-G68 graphics processor
  • 1.5 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage, with 7.5 GB of available storage

All three models also support the same connectivity capabilities – dual-band WiFi-N with Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC with support for Samsung Pay.

They also support all of the main location systems – GPS, Glonass, Beidou and Galileo

All Models : Same Durability

Samsung also did not cheap out on durability. All three Galaxy Watch5 models are similarly tough, boasting a rugged military-grade case that is certified to withstand up to 5 bars of water pressure.

All three models are MIL-STD-810H certified, with dust and water resistance of IP68 and 5ATM. That means you can take them diving at up to 50 metres of depth!

On top of that, the Super AMOLED display of all three Galaxy Watch5 models are protected by Sapphire crystal, which is 1.6 times harder than Gorilla Glass with DX+.

44mm Watch5 | Watch5 Pro : Larger Display

The 44 mm Watch5 model, and the Watch5 Pro come with a larger 1.4-inch display, with a resolution of 450 x 450 pixels.

The 40 mm Watch5 model, on the other hand, comes with a smaller 1.2-inch display, with a resolution of 396 x 396 pixels.

I prefer the larger display, but this is really a personal preference. To really appreciate the difference, I recommend you check out the three models at a Samsung Experience Store.

Galaxy Watch5 Pro : Higher Corrosion Resistance

The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 has an Armor Aluminum case, while the Watch5 Pro has a titanium case. They are both tough and have excellent corrosion resistance.

However, titanium is more corrosion-resistant than aluminium, and is best suited for those who intend to put their watch through the toughest environments.

Galaxy Watch5 Pro : Route Workout + Track Back

As part of its health monitoring capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 series can track your sleep, and check your body composition.

But fitness enthusiasts will love the additional Route Workout and Track Back features in the Galaxy Watch5 Pro:

  • The all-new Route workout feature lets you import GPX format workout routes from your smartphone to your watch, syncing your route list.
  • Go the distance, then use Track Back to return right back where you started. Staying on track is easy thanks to voice or vibration-guided turn-by-turn navigation for cyclists and hikers.

All Models : Different Battery Lives, Same Fast Charging

More significant is the difference in battery life between the three Galaxy Watch5 models. They all have different battery sizes, with different battery lives:

Specifications Watch5
40mm
Watch5
44mm
Watch5
Pro
Battery Size 284 mAh 410 mAh 590 mAh
Battery Life Up to 40 hours Up to 80 hours
Charging 10 watt Qi wireless charging

I’m not sure how the Watch5 Small is able to match the battery life of the Watch5 Large, since it has a 30.7% smaller battery. But the smaller display would help, and it is possible that Samsung may have down-clocked its processor.

But there is no doubt that if you want the longest possible battery life in your watch, the Watch5 Pro is what you are looking for, with its rated battery life of up to 80 hours – just over 3 days!

All three models support Qi fast wireless charging, which will allow you to quickly recharge them. The Watch5 only needs 30 minutes to recharge from 0% to 45%.

All Models : Different Colour Options

What is also important to note is that all three models come in different colour options, which I summarised in this table:

Colour Options
Watch5 (40mm) Graphite, Silver, Pink Gold
Watch5 (44mm) Graphite, Silver, Sapphire
Watch5 Pro Grey Titanium, Black Titanium

The Galaxy Watch5 Small and Large models offer a conservative Graphite option, with two “fun” colour options.

The Pro version, on the other hand, is limited to a conservative Black Titanium option, and a cool Grey Titanium colour option.

Again, you need to physically examine these colour options, and try them out on your wrist at a Samsung Experience Store, to decide which looks best on your wrist.

 

Galaxy Watch5 vs. Watch5 Pro : Which To Buy?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro is geared towards adventurers and fitness enthusiasts, who will love its Route Workout and Track Back features.

Its titanium case will easily handle years of acid rain to salt water immersion, while its long battery life will be helpful for long outdoor excursions and field trips.

So if you are an outdoorsman, or someone who dives or goes on long treks, there is no doubt – get the Galaxy Watch5 Pro.

Both the Small (40mm) and Large (44mm) versions of the Galaxy Watch5 are targeted at “the rest of us” – people who want a digital exercise or healthcare companion.

It will help us monitor our health vitals, and track our exercises; while looking stylish enough to go clubbing with, or to attend black tie dinner parties.

If you don’t do triathlons like IRONMAN, or go into the wilderness, try on both the Small and Large versions of the Galaxy Watch5, and buy the one that feels and looks best on your wrist!

 

Galaxy Watch5 + Watch5 Pro : Where To Buy?

Here are online purchase options where you can buy the Galaxy Watch5 series (prices accurate as of Oct 14):

Malaysia

Singapore

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

  • Galaxy Watch5 (40mm) : $479
  • Galaxy Watch5 Pro : $697 | $697

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Performance Examined!

Take a look at the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, and find out how well it is a foldable computing + gaming powerhouse!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Flagship Class Performance!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 runs on the most powerful mobile SoC available for Android devices – the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

Fabricated on the latest 4nm Samsung process technology, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 boasts a powerful Adreno 730 GPU as well as eight processor cores in a triple-tier architecture :

  • a Cortex-X2 prime core running at up to 3.2 GHz,
  • three sustained-performance Cortex-A710 cores running at up to 2.5 GHz, and
  • four energy-efficient Cortex-A510 cores running at 1.8 GHz.

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is a higher-binned version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC that powers the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Its Cortex-X2 prime core runs at 3.2 GHz, instead of 3 GHz, while its Adreno 730 GPU runs at 800 MHz, instead of 720 MHz.

On paper, this is about as powerful as it gets in 2022, but let’s take a look at how it actually performs!

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Battery Life + Charging Speed!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Work Performance

We first tested the Galaxy Z Flip4 using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 3.0 Z Flip 4 Z Flip 3 S22 Ultra S21 Ultra Note20
Ultra
Mobile Platform SD 8+ Gen 1 SD 888 SD 8
Gen 1
Exynos
2100
Exynos
990
Performance Score 14429 13317 12860 12535 10523
Web Browsing 12097 11637 10442 10185 8865
Video Editing 7387 7762 7444 6336 6232
Writing 17593 15316 15471 15247 11112
Photo Editing 31762 25357 30177 37847 30789
Data Manipulation 12523 11938 9691 8310 6825

Unsurprisingly, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is about 8% faster than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 used in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and the Snapdragon 888 used by the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

It’s a nice boost, but you won’t actually notice the difference. For certain, it will easily handle anything you throw at it, whether it’s just posting your latest Instagram pictures or editing a 4K video.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Gaming Performance

For gaming, we tested the Galaxy Z Flip4 using 3DMark, with these results :

3DMark Z Flip 4 S22
Ultra
Z Flip 3 Note20
Ultra
Note
10+
Device SD 8+
Gen 1
SD 8
Gen 1
SD 888 Exynos
990
Exynos
9825
Sling Shot Unlimited 10690 11094 9248 8026 3327
Wild Life Unlimited 11144 9106 3952 4504 3288
Wild Life
Extreme
Unlimited
2636 2220 1174 1387 528

When it comes to less strenuous games (Sling Shot), the higher-clocked Adreno 730 GPU had no effect, but when we switched to Wild Life, we saw a 19% to 22% boost in performance.

For certain, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will crush any game you throw at it, but the Galaxy Z Flip4’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 gives you more performance headroom.

It also shows that you don’t really need expensive “gaming smartphones”. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 will easily handle any game you want to play.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Overall Performance

We then tested the Galaxy Z Flip4 using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu S22 Ultra Z Flip 4 Z Flip 3 S21 Ultra Note20
Ultra
Device SD 8 Gen 1 SD 8+ Gen 1 SD
888
Exynos
2100
Exynos
990
AnTuTu Score 889167 856357 696767 624411 522735
CPU 203090 205939 206228 166290 146783
GPU 402617 362669 242573 258995 215205
Memory 146002 135707 133586 120805 89376
UX 137458 152042 114380 78321 71371

The AnTuTu benchmark tells a slightly different story. The higher-clocked Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 pretty much performs as fast as the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – with a slight 3.7% performance difference.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 is about 23% faster than the Galaxy Z Flip 3, and a whopping 37% faster than  the Galaxy S21 Ultra!

But note that its temperature jumped by over 10°C! At peak performance, the Galaxy Z Flip4 can get quite toasty!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Performance Summary

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 is a svelte smartphone when unfolded, and yet super compact when folded. You would not expect performance to be a key selling point.

In fact, I expect Samsung to tune down the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 for better battery life. But somehow, Samsung kept its performance high, while improving its battery life in the Z Flip4!

In other words – you can have your cake and eat it too. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 is not just a fashion statement in your hands, it’s a computing and gaming powerhouse in a compact form factor.

It is no surprise why the Galaxy Z Flip4 is arguably the hottest smartphone Samsung introduced in 2022!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in four colour options, as well as a special Bespoke Edition :

  • Graphite – legacy colour
  • Pink Gold – new colour
  • Blue – new colour
  • Bora Purple – their signature colour this year

These are the available models and launch prices for the Z Flip 4 :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM4,099 (about US$920 / £760 / A$1,319 / S$1,267)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM4,399 (about US$987 / £816 / A$1,415 / S$1,359)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB Bespoke Edition : RM4,599 (about US$1,032 / £853 / A$1,479 / S$1,421)
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : RM4,899 (about US$ 1,099 / £909 / A$1,576 / S$1,514)

The Bespoke Edition is only available on the Samsung website, and requires 3-4 weeks to deliver, as each unit is custom-made.

Here are online purchase options :

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : Colour Comparison!

 

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Apple Watch Explodes, Apple Tries To Cover It Up!

An Apple Watch Series 7 exploded recently, and Apple tried to cover it up. Maybe that’s why there’s not much uproar over it!

 

Apple Watch Explodes, Apple Tries To Cover It Up!

An Apple Watch Series 7 user recently reported to 9to5Mac that his smartwatch overheated, started smoking and eventually exploded!

The user recently noticed that his smartwatch was getting much hotter than usual, and that the back of the Apple Watch Series 7 had cracked.

watchOS also started showing a warning about needing to shut down due to the high temperature. This happened while he was in his own home where the temperature was just over 70°F / 21°C.

He immediately called Apple Support, and his call got escalated through multiple levels, eventually landing in the hands of a manager who told him not to touch the watch until he heard back from them.

The next morning, the Apple Watch was even hotter to the touch, and the heat actually shattered its display!

When he picked it up to take photos to send to Apple Support, it started making “crackling sounds” and “exploded” just as he threw it out the window.

The exploding Apple Watch Series 7 left burn marks on his couch, and he visited the hospital emergency room out of an abundance of caution over the potential of lead poisoning from the burning Apple Watch.

When he reached out to Apple, he was told that his case was a “top priority”, and that he would receive an update by the “following Monday”. Apparently, it wasn’t top priority enough to deal on a weekend…

Eventually, he waited until Wednesday, October 5, 2022, to hear back from Apple – it arranged to pick up the Apple Watch for further tests in its labs.

Apple also sent him a document asking him to agree not to share his experience with anyone. Fortunately, the Apple Watch user declined to sign the document, so he could share his story. Otherwise, we would never have known about an Apple Watch Series 7 exploding!

 

Apple Watch Explodes vs. Samsung Phone Batteries Bloating

It is inevitable that comparisons will be made between this story of an Apple Watch actually exploding, and the recent complaints by influencers that their Samsung phone batteries were bloating.

First, let me point out that in both cases, we cannot determine cause and effect merely from a few cases (in the saga of bloating Samsung batteries) or one case (this example of an exploding Apple Watch).

Apple sold over 100 million Apple Watch models since December 2020, and Samsung sells over 270 million smartphones every year. So it is important to frame both incidences in that context.

While exploding or bloating batteries are a real danger that we must all be aware of, it is an unavoidable risk of using lithium-ion battery technology.

When the drama over bloating Samsung batteries first exploded (pun intended!), many people asked me for my opinion as I too have many smartphones that I keep for comparison tests.

I shared that so far, the only Samsung phone to bloat was an old Galaxy S7 edge from 2017, and many other smartphones from ASUS, Xiaomi, etc. have bloated on me. In fact, a realme smartphone is slowly splitting itself in two from a battery bloat in front of me right now.

So it isn’t exactly a “brand problem”. In fact, the worst brand for battery bloating in my personal experience is Apple. My 15-inch MacBook Pro suffered no less than THREE (3) sets of bloated batteries in just 3 years. So Apple fans really should not laugh at other brands over battery issues.

All lithium-ion batteries have an innate risk of bloating, catching fire, or even exploding. That is something we must all acknowledge.

Read more : Did Exploding Samsung Smartphones Kill 3 In Florida?

Of course, better design decisions and stringent quality control can greatly reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of such dangerous incidences. When hundreds of millions of lithium-powered devices are being manufactured every year, it is inevitable that many of them will bloat after some time, and a few will catch fire and may even explode.

That is why airlines forbid travellers from storing lithium-ion batteries, or devices with lithium-ion batteries, in their check-in luggage. That’s to ensure that if a fire does break out, it would be noticeable to the cabin crew, and can be tackled quickly.

What is most concerning though what happens when companies are made aware of battery issues. Do they take you seriously and treat you right? Or do they try to shut you up, to protect their reputation and sales?

What Samsung did was assuring, but probably only because they learned their lesson from the Galaxy Note7 battery saga. Apple did not suffer through such a traumatic event, and it shows.

Perhaps they should go through a similarly traumatic experience. Then maybe they will treat their customers a little better. The way they treated me when I reported my MacBook Pro’s bloated batteries is why I steadfastly refuse to ever consider buying an iPhone.

And trying to cover up this case of an Apple Watch exploding? That’s just not right…

 

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EU Orders All Brands To Use USB-C, Including Apple!

It’s official – the EU has ordered all brands to standardise on the USB-C connector for all mobile chargers, including Apple!

 

EU Orders All Brands To Use USB-C, Including Apple!

On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, the European Parliament voted decisively in favour of adopting the USB-C (USB Type C) port as the new standard for all portable devices.

The directive passed with an overwhelming vote of 602 MEPs in favour, and just 13 against (with 8 abstentions), and now heads to the EU Council for the formality of a final approval.

Once the Council signs off on the directive, it will enter into force 20 days after publication in the EU’s Official Journal. Member states will then have 12 months to transpose the new directive, and another 12 months after that transposition period, to apply the new rules.

Once these new rules are enforced, consumers will be able to use and share chargers since all portable devices use the same charging port.

The EU expects the directive to greatly reduce e-waste, and help consumers save up to €250 million a year on purchasing chargers of different standards.

In the EU, chargers alone account for about 11,000 tonnes of e-waste every year. So this directive will help to cut down on the environmental impact of disposing of so many old or unused chargers.

 

Details Of EU Directive On USB-C Standardisation

Here is my quick round-up of the new EU directive on standardising portable devices and laptops on the USB Type C charging port.

All Devices Must Come With USB-C Charging Port

What this means is that by the end of 2024, all portable devices sold in the EU must come with a USB Type C charging port.

Regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.

Small devices like smartwatches and health trackers that cannot fit a USB-C port are exempted from this requirement.

This directive is more or less directed at Apple which persists in using its own proprietary Lighting connector for its devices – everything from iPhone, iPad, AirPods and even its wireless keyboard and mouse.

The only way for Apple to get around this is to switch their new devices to wireless charging before the end of 2024.

All Devices Must Support USB-C Fast Charging Standards

Also important is the fact that the EU is going to force all brands to adopt USB-C fast charging standards.

While the legislation won’t stop manufacturers from implementing special fast charging capabilities, it will ensure that their chargers and devices support USB-C fast charging standards as a minimum.

All devices that support fast charging will now have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger.

USB-C Mandate To Extend To Laptops In 2026

On top of that, the directive also requires laptops to standardise on the USB Type C charging port by spring 2026.

This new directive will not please Apple MacBook users who just celebrated the return of the MagSafe connector, but it will be a great advantage for consumers.

Once enforced, everyone will be able to use their laptop’s USB-C charger to also recharge their other devices, because they all have the same USB Type port!

Dedicated Labels

The directive also requires brands to use dedicated labels to help consumers decide if their existing chargers will support their new devices, or if they need to purchase a new charger.

This will hopefully prevent consumers from being hoodwinked into purchasing a new charger with every new device, when their existing chargers will work just as well.

Dedicated labels will inform consumers about the charging characteristics of new devices, making it easier for them to see whether their existing chargers are compatible.

Buyers will also be able to make an informed choice about whether or not to purchase a new charging device with a new product.

Wireless Charging To Be Standardised Too

The directive also commanded the European Commission to tackle wireless charging interoperability by the end of 2024.

It highlighted the risk of brands using proprietary wireless charging technologies to “lock in” users, replicating what Apple did with its Lightning connector for wired charging.

Like with wired charging, the EU wants wireless charging to be interoperable as well.

 

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India Seizes US$678 Million Of Xiaomi Assets!

India just seized US$678 million of Xiaomi assets, over claims it made illegal remittances to foreign entities by masquerading them as royalty payments.

Here is what you need to know…

 

India Seizes US$678 Million Of Xiaomi Assets!

On Friday, September 30, 2022, an Indian appellate authority confirmed an April order by the Enforcement Directorate of India to seize Rs 55.51 billion (US$678 million).

The Enforcement Directorate found that Xiaomi made illegal remittances under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), to foreign entities by masquerading them as royalty payments.

The Competent Authority appointed under Section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act has confirmed the seizure order of Rs. 5551.27 Crore dated 29.04.2022 passed by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) against Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited under the provisions of FEMA.

The Company started its operations in India in the year 2014 and started remitting the money from the year 2015. The Company has remitted foreign currency equivalent to INR 5551.27

The Authority, while confirming the seizure of Rs 5,551.27 crore, held that ED is right in holding that foreign exchange equivalent to Rs 5,551.27 crore has been transferred out of India by Xiaomi India in an unauthorised manner and is held outside India on behalf of the group entity in contravention of Section 4 of the FEMA.

It was the Enforcement Directorate’s finding that the payment of royalty was a mechanism to (illegally) transfer foreign exchange our of India – a “blatant violation” of FEMA requirements.

This is the highest amount of seizure order in India which has been confirmed by the authority till date.

Xiaomi India is the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Xiaomi Group in China, and sells and distributes mobile phones under the Mi brand name.

Chinese companies are facing headwinds in India, due to political tensions that arose from a border clash between the two countries in 2020.

Since then, India banned more than 300 Chinese mobile apps, and tightened rules for Chinese companies.

 

Xiaomi Pushes Back Against Seizure Of Assets In India!

On Sunday, October 2, 2022, Xiaomi India issued a statement, pushing back against the seizure of its assets.

It clarified that more than 84% of its remittances were royalty payments made to Qualcomm Group, to pay for intellectual property used in its Indian version of smartphones.

It also asserted that all royalty payments were limited to sales done by Xiaomi India, and confirmed by the Qualcomm Group.

Finally, it stated that since it does not own or hold any assets outside of India, Section 4 of FEMA would not apply to its remittances.

We have studied the order from the Competent Authority and are disappointed with the decision as none of the factual and legal contentions raised by us has been addressed. We believe our royalty payments and statements to the bank are all legitimate and truthful. We would like to clarify few points regarding our royalty payments:

a) Xiaomi India is an affiliate and one of the Xiaomi Group companies, which entered into a legal agreement with Qualcomm Group (USA) to license IP for manufacturing smartphones. Both Xiaomi and Qualcomm believe that it is a legitimate commercial arrangement for Xiaomi India to pay Qualcomm royalty.

b) Of the entire IN 5551.27 Crore Xiaomi India paid to foreign entities, more than 84% were royalty payments made to Qualcomm Group (USA), a third party US listed company, towards the in-licensed technologies, including Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and IPs used in our Indian version of smartphones.

c) These technologies and SEPs are used across the entire global smartphone industry. Without these technologies, our smartphones would not have worked in India.

d) All royalty payments made by Xiaomi India were only related to sales done by Xiaomi India, and not for any other countries or regions. This has also been confirmed by the Qualcomm Group (USA).

e) These royalty payments were made via RBI approved and mandated banking channels and are legitimate commercial arrangements.

Moreover, we would like to clarify that Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited does not own or hold any assets outside India. Hence, as per our understanding, the Section 4 of FEMA does not even apply in this situation.

We will continue to use all means to protect the reputation and interests of the Company and our stakeholders. We remain committed to working with various authorities to resolve the issue.

Although Xiaomi states that it will “use all means” to protect its reputation and interests, it is hard to see what the company itself can do.

Perhaps it was an indirect threat of bringing the Chinese government into this fray. Whether China will step into what’s really a regulatory dispute remains to be seen…

 

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Galaxy Flextival : Free Flip4 TPU Case + Other Gifts!

Samsung just kicked off the Galaxy Flextival at Sunway Pyramid, where you can grab a FREE Flip4 TPU case, and many free gifts!

 

Samsung Galaxy Flextival : Free Flip4 TPU Case + Many Gifts!

Samsung just kicked off the Galaxy Flextival at Sunway Pyramid, to show off the new Galaxy Z Flip4 foldable smartphone from 29 September until 2 October 2022!

So take this opportunity to check out the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 in person. Bring your friends along, and claim a free Galaxy Z Flip4 transparent TPU case that you can customise together!

You can also take a look at the Galaxy Z Flip4 Bespoke Edition at this roadshow, and find out how it lets you express your own taste by combining different design elements.

The colour palette for the Bespoke Edition is meticulously curated by Samsung and offers five glossy glass shade options and three frame options that provide 75 combinations for the discerning customer to select from.

The palette includes Yellow, White, Navy, Khaki and Red for front and back covers and Silver, Gold and Black for frame colours.

This is also your final chance to enjoy exclusive free gifts worth up to RM1,648 and juicy deals when you purchase the Galaxy Z Flip4 or Galaxy Z Fold4 at this roadshow!

  1. Stand a chance to win a Samsung Freestyle projector worth RM4,999.
  2. Get a FREE Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Bluetooth (40mm) worth RM799.
  3. Get a FREE Gift Pack worth RM250
  4. Get free Samsung Care+ one year extended warranty, with 3 times Protective Film Replacements worth up to RM599.
  5. Trade in and own a Galaxy Z series smartphone for as low as RM1,969.

Even if you are not ready to jump onto the bandwagon, or have already purchased the Galaxy Z series smartphone, you can still get some awesome freebies at this roadshow :

  1. Get a mystery gift when you collect three stickers from any experiential zone!
  2. Galaxy Z Flip4 users : claim and customise a free Galaxy Z Flip4 transparent TPU case!
  3. Galaxy Z Flip3 / Fold3 users : get a free Protective Film replacement done on the spot!

Even though it is in Samsung’s interest to sell you the new Galaxy Z Flip4, I’m personally very happy to see them give older Flip3 and Fold3 users a free protective film replacement!

Read more : Galaxy Z Flip4 vs. Z Flip3 : How Different Are They?

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in four colour options, as well as a special Bespoke Edition :

  • Graphite – legacy colour
  • Pink Gold – new colour
  • Blue – new colour
  • Bora Purple – their signature colour this year

These are the available models and launch prices for the Z Flip 4 :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM4,099 (about US$920 / £760 / A$1,319 / S$1,267)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM4,399 (about US$987 / £816 / A$1,415 / S$1,359)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB Bespoke Edition : RM4,599 (about US$1,032 / £853 / A$1,479 / S$1,421)
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : RM4,899 (about US$ 1,099 / £909 / A$1,576 / S$1,514)

The Bespoke Edition is only available on the Samsung website, and requires 3-4 weeks to deliver, as each unit is custom-made.

Here are online purchase options :

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : Colour Comparison!

 

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Maybank To Fully Migrate SMS OTP To Secure2u!

Maybank just officially announced that it will fully migrate from SMS OTP to Secure2u, as part of efforts to crack down on scams!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Maybank To Fully Migrate SMS OTP To Secure2u!

On 28 September 2022, Maybank officially announced that it will fully migrate from SMS OTP to Secure2u, as part of efforts to crack down on scams!

By June 2023, all online activities or transactions involving account opening, fund transfers and payments, as well as changes to personal information or account settings, will require Secure2u authentication.

This announcement came after Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) ordered banks to migrate from the SMS OTP (One Time Password) to more secure authentication methods.

We remain highly committed in helping our customers to avoid being scammed by fraudsters.  This is done through existing security measures that are already in place and as we progressively rollout more measures that can help deter or minimise the likelihood of customers falling prey to financial scams.

We are also supportive of Bank Negara Malaysia’s announcement on 26 September 2022 in relation to the five measures to be adopted by banks in Malaysia to ensure higher standards of security, especially for Internet and mobile banking services.

The banking industry is committed to working together to combat financial scams which are increasingly prevalent in today’s digitalised environment.

– Dato’ Khairussaleh Ramli, Group President & CEO of Maybank

Read more : BNM Orders Banks To Stop Using SMS OTP To Fight Scams!

 

Details Of How Maybank Secure2u Will Replace SMS OTP

Secure2u isn’t new. It was introduced in April 2017 as a more secure way for Maybank customers to authorise Maybank2u and MAE transactions using Secure Verification (one-tap approval) and Secure Transaction activation codes (a 6-digit TAC number generated in the app), as an alternate to SMS OTP.

Maybank also revealed some details of how Secure2u will be enhanced as it replaces SMS OTP :

  • Only one Secure2u device will be allowed per account holder (customer) to minimise the possibility of compromise by a third party
  • Maybank will alert the customer by SMS, a push notification, and an email when Secure2u is registered on a new device.
  • In Q4 2022, Maybank will introduce a cooling-off period whenever customers enable Secure2u on a different device. This cooling-off period will give customers the opportunity to verify and report to the bank in case of any unauthorised Secure2u registration on a new device.

In addition to Secure2u, Maybank is heeding BNM’s call for tightened fraud detection rules and triggers, and has in place a call-back verification process to alert customers of suspicious transactions.

Read more : Maybank: New Secure2u Activations Only On MAE App

 

Maybank Advice On Fighting Scam

Maybank has a dedicated 24/7 hotline for customers to report financial scams at +603-5891-4744. Customers are advised to call the hotline immediately, as soon as they suspect that their banking details have been compromised, or whenever they notice suspicious transactions, so their bank accounts can be suspended swiftly.

Alternatively, customers can also contact the general Maybank Customer Care Hotline at 1-300-88-6688 to report scams / fraud, or to seek assistance in suspending their bank accounts.

Finally, here are some tips from Maybank on how to protect yourself while using online platforms:

  • Avoid installing/downloading apps/Android Package Kit (APK) files or clicking on suspicious links sent via chat messages such as SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger or other similar services.
  • Do not provide permission for any app to send or view your SMSes.
  • Do not ignore any warnings from your devices, especially when downloading or installing a new file.
  • Do not enter your banking details, especially username or password, in any suspicious apps or websites.
  • Always keep your antivirus software updated for constant protection.
  • Only download apps from the genuine app stores such as Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Huawei AppGallery and not from a link.
  • Be alert if you are being prompted to download a file that is not compatible with your device i.e.: iPhone/iPad device being asked to use an Android device to download a file.
  • Always look out for your online banking security image and phrase (i.e.: Maybank2u security image and phrase), to ensure the website and app are legitimate.
  • Do not root or jailbreak your device.
  • Update your mobile device’s operating system (OS) and apps regularly.

Finally, we must all remember to NEVER share with anyone (not even bank employees) details of our bank accounts.

Please SHARE this article and these tips with your family and friends!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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BNM : Banks To Stop Using SMS OTP To Fight Scams!

Bank Negara Malaysia has ordered banks to stop using SMS OTP, as a way to fight financial scams!

Here is what you need to know…

 

BNM : Banks To Stop Using SMS OTP To Fight Scams!

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has ordered banks in Malaysia to stop using SMS OTP (One Time Passwords), and migrate to a more secure form of authentication for online transactions.

This move comes after many Malaysians were hit by scams that bypassed the security offered by SMS OTP, leading to great loss of their hard-earned money.

BNM governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said major banks in Malaysia have already started migrating from SMS OTP to more secure forms of authentication.

 

BNM : More Measures Beyond SMS OTP To Fight Scams!

In addition to “banning” SMS OTP, BNM has ordered the further tightening of detection rules and triggers to block potential scams.

This includes adding a cooling-off period for first-time enrolments of online banking services, as well as devices being registered for authentication purposes.

Banks will also be required to set up dedicated scam hotlines, and provide convenient ways for customers to suspend their bank accounts if they suspect that those accounts have been compromised.

Banks also have to ensure that customers are able to reactivate their accounts after a reasonable period, after ensuring that their accounts have been secured.

Together with the financial industry, BNM will continue to ensure that banking and payment channels remain secure and equipped with the latest security controls. The effort to combat financial crimes also requires the support of all parties. As consumers, each of us are responsible for protecting ourselves from the threat of scams.

The reality, however, is that methods used by criminals will continue to evolve. BNM therefore continuously intensifies efforts and take steps to combat scams by introducing additional controls and safeguards from time to time.

– BNM governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus

Read more : Bank Negara Malaysia Email Scam Alert!

Despite these efforts, it is critical that we must all learn to safeguard our personal information and avoid downloading files or installing applications from unverified sources on our computer or smartphones.

We should also check our bank and credit card statements, and notify the banks once we notice anything suspicious.

Those who believe that they are victims of a scam should contact the Commercial Crime Investigation Department Scam Response Centre at 03-2610 1559/1599 or BNMTelelink at 1-300-88-5465; and lodge a police report to facilitate investigations.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Galaxy A Series Gets New Fun Mode!

Samsung just introduced a new Fun Mode for Galaxy A series smartphones!

Take a look at the new Fun Mode, and give it a try!

 

Samsung Galaxy A Series Gets New Fun Mode!

Samsung is introducing a new Fun Mode in the proprietary camera app of their Galaxy A series smartphones, which adds Snapchat’s AR Lenses!

Samsung Galaxy A series smartphone users will be able to use Fun Mode to add playful, quirky lenses to their photos, turning them into fun and unique content to share with friends, or upload to social media!

Fun Mode is powered by Snap’s Camera Kit, allowing businesses and developers to bring the power of Snap’s augmented reality into their own applications.

Galaxy users are constantly seeking new ways to express their creativity. Samsung is constantly innovating to empower users to do more of what they love.

That is why we continue to grow our partnership with Snap, one of the biggest and most creative augmented reality platforms, so we can explore further improvements and bring one of the best camera experiences to more users.

– Woncheol Chai, EVP and Head of Experience Planning Team at Mobile eXperience Business, Samsung Electronics

Samsung and Snap have been working to offer users around the world more engaging and localized experiences. In 2021, they launched region-specific AR Lenses in India, and since then have expanded to other countries including Germany, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, and Mexico.

Lenses are the way over 250 million Snapchatters engage with augmented reality every day, and we’re thrilled that these experiences delight and resonate with Samsung Galaxy’s community.

Integrating the Camera Kit into Samsung Galaxy’s proprietary camera is an opportunity to collaborate on compelling, local AR experiences and bring them to Galaxy users around the world.

– Ben Schwerin, SVP of Content and Partnerships at Snap.

To make use of Fun Mode, just update the Camera app in your Samsung Galaxy A series smartphone!

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Battery Life + Charging Speed!

Take a look at the battery recharging speed of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, and find out how its two refresh rate options affect its battery life!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Refresh Rate Affects Battery Life!

The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 offers two refresh rate options (Settings > Display > Motion smoothness) :

  • Adaptive : Get smoother animation and scrolling by automatically adjusting your screen refresh rate up to 120 Hz
  • Standard : Get longer battery life with a 60 Hz screen refresh rate

The Adaptive mode dynamically refreshes its main, foldable display between 1 Hz and 120 Hz.

By default, the Galaxy Z Flip4 uses the Adaptive mode, for smoother graphics, but you can choose to switch to the Standard mode for longer battery.

In the next section, we will look at how the two refresh rate options affect the Galaxy Z Flip4’s battery life.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4: Unboxing + First Impressions!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Battery Life Comparison!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 comes with a larger 3,700 mAh battery, which is 400 mAh (12%) larger than last year’s Galaxy Z Flip3.

To test its battery life, we turned off Automatic Brightness, and set its display brightness to 50%.

Why 50%? That is actually slightly higher than the average indoor brightness level of 40% during the day, and is what we usually use in all our mobile battery life tests.

It is important to fix the brightness level, to make sure the screen brightness does not change as the ambient brightness changes.

We then ran the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test until its battery capacity dropped to 20% several times, and this was the best result we obtained with the Standard and Adaptive refresh rates :

Will you look at that! The battery life for both options are now much closer than with the Z Flip3!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 has a battery life of just over 9 hours with Adaptive refresh rate enabled, and 10.25 hours with the Standard refresh rate!

Let’s compare its battery life at 60 Hz and 120 Hz, against the S22 Ultra, S21 Ultra and Z Flip 3 smartphones.

Standard Refresh Rate (60 Hz)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 naturally has the best battery life with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz.

But what’s really important to note here is that it is as power-efficient as the Galaxy S22 Ultra, about 10% more efficient than the Z Flip3, and 18% more efficient than the S21 Ultra!

Work 3.0 S22 Ultra Z Flip4 Z Flip 3 S21 Ultra
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 3,700 mAh 3,300 mAh 5,000 mAh
Battery Life 14 hrs 15 mins 10 hrs
14 mins
8 hrs 11 mins 11 hrs 22 mins
Utilisation
per min.
4.68 mAh 4.82 mAh 5.38 mAh 5.87 mAh

Adaptive Refresh Rate (120 Hz)

While the Galaxy Z Flip4 looks like the Z Flip 3, its energy efficiency was greatly improved to the point that the Adaptive refresh rate is really usable for most people!

Turning on adaptive refresh increase the Z Flip4’s power consumption by just 11%, giving you a very usable battery life of 9 hours 12 minutes!

That makes the Galaxy Z Flip4 about 14.5% more efficient than the S22 Ultra, 16% more efficient than the S21 Ultra, and 18% more efficient than the Z Flip3.

Work 3.0 Z Flip4 S22 Ultra S21 Ultra
Z Flip 3
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh
Battery Life 9 hrs
12 mins
10 hrs
38 mins
10 hrs
26 mins
6 hrs
44 mins
Utilisation
per min.
5.36 mAh 6.27 mAh 6.39 mAh 6.53 mAh

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Battery Recharging Speed!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 supports up to 20 watts of wired fast charging, but unfortunately, does not come with the charger in-the-box.

So we relied on the standard 15 watt Samsung fast charger than shipped with their previous smartphones – something we believe most users will end up doing.

But we used the 25 watt charger for the S21 Ultra, because it came with that charger.

Work 3.0 S21 Ultra S22 Ultra Z Flip 3 Z Flip 4
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh 3,700 mAh
Charger Output 25 watts 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts
Battery Life 64 minutes 64.5 minutes 88.5 minutes 98.75 minutes
Recharging Speed
(per minute)
62.5 mAh 62.0 mAh 29.8 mAh 30.0 mAh

Samsung appears to intentionally reduce the charging speed for their foldable Z Flip3 and Z Flip4 smartphones, probably to avoid producing excessive heat.

Hence they both recharge twice as slowly as the S22 Ultra, even using the same 15 watt charger!

Because of its larger battery, the Galaxy Z Flip4 fully recharges from 20% to 100% in just over 1.5 hours with the standard 15 watt Samsung charger.

That gives us a battery life to recharging time ratio of about 6.22:1, which is pretty decent. You get about an hour’s worth of battery life for every 10 minutes of recharge.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in four colour options, as well as a special Bespoke Edition :

  • Graphite – legacy colour
  • Pink Gold – new colour
  • Blue – new colour
  • Bora Purple – their signature colour this year

These are the available models and launch prices for the Z Flip 4 :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM4,099 (about US$920 / £760 / A$1,319 / S$1,267)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM4,399 (about US$987 / £816 / A$1,415 / S$1,359)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB Bespoke Edition : RM4,599 (about US$1,032 / £853 / A$1,479 / S$1,421)
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : RM4,899 (about US$ 1,099 / £909 / A$1,576 / S$1,514)

The Bespoke Edition is only available on the Samsung website, and requires 3-4 weeks to deliver, as each unit is custom-made.

Here are online purchase options :

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : Colour Comparison!

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Maybank: New Secure2u Activations Only On MAE App

Maybank will only allow new Secure2u activations on their MAE app, instead of their Maybank2u app!

 

Maybank : New Secure2u Activations Only On MAE App

From 26 September 2022 onwards, Maybank will only allow new Secure2u activations on their MAE e-wallet app, instead of their Maybank2u banking app.

Secure2u is a mobile app-based authentication method for your banking transactions, which replaces the SMS TAC that is vulnerable to SIM swap attacks.

This change only affects new Secure2u activations. If you have already activated Secure2u on your Maybank2u banking app, then you can continue to use the Maybank2u app to approve your transactions as usual.

Maybank will also move two Amanah Saham National Berhad (ASNB) services from the Maybank2u app to the MAE app permanently, starting 7 October 2022.

  • View own and child’s account balance(s)
  • Make transfers to own account(s) via Favourites

This shifting of features is part of Maybank’s push to “encourage” its customers to switch to their MAE e-wallet app, and it plans to phase out the Maybank2u app eventually.

By moving customers to MAE, Maybank is hoping that they might start using its e-wallet feature, as well as reduce its need to develop and maintain two separate mobile apps.

 

12-Hour Activation Delay For Secure2u In MAE

To further strengthen the appeal of the MAE app, Maybank is going to boost the security of its Secure2u feature.

Starting 8 October 2022, the Secure2u feature in the MAE app will be enhanced with a 12-hour activation period to prevent unauthorised activations.

Those who activate Secure2u in MAE on a new device will need to wait at least 12 hours, before they can begin using the Secure2u feature to authenticate any transaction.

The idea is to give the account owner at least 12 hours to detect any potential fraudulent attempt to activate Secure2u on unauthorised devices.

 

How To Set Up Secure2u In MAE

Setting up Secure2u in the MAE app is straightforward :

  1. Install the MAE app from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or HUAWEI AppGallery.
  2. Launch the MAE app, and tap More.
  3. Tap on Settings at the top of the screen.
  4. Tap on Maybank2u and log into your Maybank account.
  5. Tap the toggle button next to Secure2u to enable it.
  6. Tap on Activate Now.
  7. Key in and confirm your mobile number.
  8. Maybank will send a One-Time Password (OTP) to you via SMS.
  9. Key in the OTP number and confirm your device name to authorise the change.

That’s it! Then you just need to use your MAE app (instead of SMS TAC) to authenticate your future banking transactions on Maybank.

 

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How To Turn On Two-Step Verification In Telegram!

Find out WHY you should turn on two-step verification in Telegram, and HOW to do that!

 

Why You Should Turn On Two-Step Verification In Telegram?

Two-Step Verification is a feature that protects your Telegram account from being hijacked by hackers and scammers.

It blocks illegal takeover of Telegram accounts, by requiring a secret password that only you know. And it lets you recover your account via email.

This prevents hackers or scammers from taking over your Telegram account, even if you accidentally share with them the login code.

Read more : Beware Of Telegram Screenshot Hack + Scam!

 

How To Turn On Two-Step Verification In Telegram!

In this guide, I will share with you how to turn on two-step verification in Telegram.

Step 1 : Open Telegram.

Step 2 : Go to Options > Settings > Privacy and Security.

Step 3 : Tap on the Two-Step Verification option.

Step 4 : In the Two-Step Verification screen, tap on the Set Password option.

Step 5 : Key in your preferred password, which can be any combination of capital or small letters and numbers.

Step 6 : You will need to key the same password again, to confirm it.

Step 7 : Next, you can create a hint to remind you of your password. This is optional, and you can skip it if you prefer.

But if you key one in, the hint will be displayed whenever you are asked to key in the password in the future.

Step 8 : After that, you will have the option of adding a Recovery Email address, just in case your account is hijacked.

This is optional as well, but I highly recommend you add a recovery email, which is simply the email address you use.

Step 9 : If you entered a Recovery Email address, Telegram will now send you an email with a 6-digit code to verify that email address.

Step 10 : Look for the Telegram verification code email, and key in the 6-digit verification code.

That’s it! You’re done! From now on, you will be required to key in the password whenever you log into a new device.

This will prevent hackers / scammers from taking over your account, even if you accidentally give them the Login code you receive by SMS.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Beware Of Telegram Screenshot Hack + Scam!

Watch out for the Telegram screenshot hack and scam! Find out how the Telegram screenshot hack and scam works, and what you can do!

 

Telegram Screenshot Hack : New Twist To Old Trick

My friend just got hit by the Telegram screenshot hack, and the hacker is now trying to scam everyone on his contact list!

The Telegram screenshot hack is a new twist to an old trick, and here is how they do it…

Step 1 : Identify A Suitable Target

After obtaining a legitimate Telegram account through phishing or other means, the hacker reads through the messages to identify a suitable target – usually a close friend whom you often chat with, and trust.

For the purpose of our example, the hacker stole your friend’s Telegram account and has identified you as a suitable target.

Step 2 : Attempt To Login From Another Device

The hacker installs Telegram in another device and attempts to log into your account. He only needs the your phone number to do that.

The login attempt triggers Telegram to send a Login code to the your registered devices to authenticate the login. Usually, that’s the Telegram app in your smartphone.

Step 3 : Ask For A Screenshot Of Telegram

Traditionally, this is when the hacker will use your friend’s Telegram account to message you and ask for that Login code. However, asking for the Login code may trigger suspicion, so hackers have now come up with a new twist.

Instead of asking you for the Login code, the hacker will use your friend’s Telegram account to ask you to take a screenshot of your Telegram app and send it to him.

What harm is there? After all, many of us take screenshots and share them with family, friends and even on social media!

The problem is – the screenshot will accidentally reveal your Telegram Login code! Take a look at the actual screenshot my friend sent – it clearly shows the Telegram Login code!

Step 4 : Terminate All Other Sessions

The hacker will immediately use the Login code to log into your Telegram account on his device.

Then he will terminate all other sessions from that Telegram account, which means you get logged out from your Telegram app on your own smartphone!

Step 5 : Change Password

To prevent you from logging back in, and terminating his Telegram session, he will change the password.

Step 6 : Scam Your Friends

Now that the hacker gained control of your Telegram account and locked you out of it, he is free to scam your friends.

In this case, my friend’s contacts all started getting pleas to borrow money for some kind of emergency. The hacker will, of course, promise to pay you back quickly.

Your unsuspecting friends may not realise that this is not you that they are talking to, and may end up sending the hacker money.

In this case though, my friend managed to quickly alert us via WhatsApp that his Telegram account was hacked, so we didn’t tall for the scam.

One of his friends toyed with the scammer, and obtained the bank details. That is obviously not my friend’s name or account number!

 

Telegram Screenshot Hack : How To Prevent It?

Now that you know how the Telegram screenshot hack works, you can pretty much figure out how to prevent it.

Here is my quick summary for those who didn’t go through the whole process above :

  1. Do NOT send anyone your Telegram Login code. Not even anyone claiming to be working for Telegram.
  2. Do NOT send anyone a screenshot of your Telegram app. Even if it’s not a scam, it reveals portions of your chats!
  3. Turn on Two-Step Verification in Telegram. This lets you recover your account, even if you accidentally let someone take over your account.

Read more : How To Turn On Two-Step Verification In Telegram!

 

Telegram Screenshot Hack : How To Recover Your Account?

If you failed to turn on two-step verification, there is still a way to recover your Telegram account after it is stolen by a hacker.

For these steps to work though, you need to have access to your phone number. You must also do this quickly, as the hacker will be alerted to your attempt.

Step 1 : Open Telegram.

Step 2 : Log into your Telegram account using your phone number.

Step 3 : You will be asked if you have the correct number. Click Yes.

Step 4 : Telegram will send a 5-digit code to all your devices with Telegram installed. You won’t receive it since the hacker has already terminated all other sessions.

Step 5 : Click on the option just above the keypad – “Send the code as an SMS“.

Step 6 : You will now receive an SMS with the 5-digit code. Key it in, and you will now have access to your Telegram account.

Step 7 : Go to Options > Settings > Privacy and Security.

Step 8 : Scroll down and tap on Devices.

Step 9 : Tap on the option – Terminate All Other Session – to boot out the hacker.

Bonus Step : Turn on Two-Step Verification to prevent this from happening again!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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OPPO To Stop Providing Free Chargers Next Year!

OPPO will stop providing free chargers with their smartphones, starting next year! Here is what you need to know…

 

OPPO To Stop Providing Free Chargers Next Year!

OPPO is giving up one of its key advantages over its competitors next year – its high-performance charger, which is included with every smartphone.

While announcing their new Reno8 smartphone, OPPO Vice President for Overseas Sales and Services, Billy Zhang, revealed that it would stop providing in-box chargers starting next year. Instead, OPPO will provide them as optional purchases in stores.

OPPO won’t immediately stop providing in-box chargers, but will phase them out in stages. So expect them to retain the in-box chargers for the higher-end models at least for some time, as a way to differentiate from cheaper models.

But the message is clear – eventually, all OPPO smartphones will stop coming with in-box chargers.

If you are an OPPO fan, make sure you keep your VOOC / SuperVOCC charger. Your next OPPO smartphone may not come with one.

Read more : OPPO 125W Wired + 65W Wireless Charging Tech Details!

 

OPPO To Lose Advantage By Not Including Free Chargers

While many brands have followed Apple in not including chargers in the box of new smartphones, OPPO made the smart move by continuing the provide them.

One of the key advantages OPPO has over the other brands is its VOOC series of fast charging technologies, like 125 watt SuperVOOC wired charging and 65 watt AirVOOC wireless charging.

These are proprietary technologies that only work with the provided in-box chargers, so OPPO really needed to provide them in every box.

You can still charge OPPO smartphones with USB chargers from other brands, because they still support standard USB charging technologies. They will just charge slowly. Without the in-box charger, OPPO smartphones will lose their key advantage over their Android rivals.

Sure, OPPO will make sure you can buy their special VOOC charger in store, and will probably include one as a pre-order or early bird sweetener. But this decision will turn OPPO into yet another Android brand.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 + Fold4 Roadshow + Deals!

Samsung Malaysia is kicking off the Galaxy Z Flip4 + Galaxy Z Fold4 roadshow with plenty of deals! Check them out!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 + Fold4 Roadshow

Samsung Malaysia is kicking off three major roadshows to promote their latest Galaxy Z Flip4 and Galaxy Z Fold4 foldable smartphones!

Make sure you drop by these roadshows and grab the deals offered there!

Roadshow Location Date
Imago Mall KK, Sabah 9 September to 11 September 2022
Gurney Plaza, Penang 9 September to 11 September 2022
Sunway Pyramid, Selangor 29 September to 2 October 2022

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 + Fold4 Roadshow Deals

Here are the launch deals available at the roadshows, as well as online :

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

  • Available colours : Bora Purple, Blue, Pink Gold, Graphite
  • Available storage capacities : 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
  • Free gift #1 : Samsung Core+ 1-year extended warranty + 3 protective film replacements
  • Free gift #2 : Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Bluetooth 40mm (worth RM799)

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Bespoke Edition

  • Available colours : Customisable
  • Available storage capacities : 256 GB
  • Free gift #1 : Samsung Core+ 1-year extended warranty + 3 protective film replacements
  • Free gift #2 : Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Bluetooth 40mm (worth RM799)
  • Free gift #3 : 2% Samsung Rewards Points
  • Free gift #4 : Free Samsung Clear Slim Cover (worth RM99)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4

  • Available colours : Graygreen, Beige, Phantom Black, Burgundy
  • Available storage capacities : 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
  • Free gift #1 : Samsung Core+ 1-year extended warranty + 3 protective film replacements
  • Free gift #2 : Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Bluetooth 40mm (worth RM799)

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4: Unboxing + First Impressions!

Samsung sent me their new Galaxy Z Flip4 foldable smartphone, and here is my unboxing and first impressions!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Unboxing : What’s In The Box?

Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 launch happened just as I was going to fly to the UK, so I only received it when I got back.

First up – here is my unboxing video of Samsung’s new compact foldable smartphone!

Once you unbox it, you will only find these items :

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphone
  • Set of documents – quick start guide in two languages, a warranty card, and a Samsung Pay pamphlet
  • USB Type C to Type C cable
  • SIM card extractor pin

It does not come with any charger, or earphones. Not even a TPU case to hold you over until you get a better case.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : My First Impressions!

Just before the launch, I was one of the few who had the rare opportunity to get my hands on not one, but four Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphones, which allowed us to do a proper colour comparison.

And now, I present to you – my own hands-on experience with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphone.

I apologise for the shaky video – Samsung still insists that I do not take photos or record videos with a smartphone, even though it’s their own Galaxy S22 Ultra!

Samsung maintained the same design from last year’s Galaxy Z Flip 3, so you will probably not be able to distinguish between the two models.

Like the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Flip 4 has a large 6.7-inch display that folds in half, turning the Z Flip 4 into a really compact device.

Incredibly, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is water-resistant, even though it is not dust-resistant due to its hinge mechanism. And it is protected on all sides by a tough Armour Aluminium frame.

When folded, you can use the 1.9 inch Cover Display to view notifications and messages, as well as make quick replies and actions.

When unfolded, you can just about see the folding crease in the display, but it’s something that you learn to ignore after using it for some time.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : What You Need To Know!

On the left side, you will find the SIM card tray. At the bottom, you will find the USB port, as well as the speaker and microphone ports.

On the right side are the Power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor, and the Volume control buttons. At the top, you will only find another microphone port.

In the front, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a 10 megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture. You can see a row of speaker ports just above this camera.

At the back are two 12 megapixel cameras – a main camera with f/1.8 aperture, and an ultra-wide angle camera. Samsung also made the bezels just a tiny bit thinner, although you may not notice.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Specifications

Here are the key specifications for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 smartphone :

Specifications Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 5G
Main Display 6.7-inch Infinity Flex Display
Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel
1080 x 2640 pixels, 425ppi
120 Hz adaptive refresh rate
900 nits (HBM), 1200 nits (peak)
Cover Display 1.9-inch Super AMOLED display
260 x 512 pixels, 302 ppi
935 nits (HBM)
Protection IPX8 Water Resistance
No Dust Resistance
OS Android 12 with One UI 4.1.1
Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 5G (SM8350)
CPU 1 x Cortex-X2 core (3.0 GHz )
3 x Cortex-A710 cores (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A510 cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 730
Memory 8 GB
Storage 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB UFS 3.1
Front Camera 10 MP camera (f/2.4)
Main Cameras 12 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
Audio Stereo speakers tuned by AKG
Surround sound with Dolby Atmos
UHQ 32-bit and DSD64/128 support
Connectivity Network : 5G / 4G / 3G
Wi-Fi : 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e
Bluetooth : BT 5.2
USB : USB-C 3.2
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Side-Mounted
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Hall, Proximity, Light
GPS GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS
NFC Yes
Battery 3,700 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging Wired : 20 watt
Wireless : 10 watt
Reverse wireless : 4.5 watt
Folded
Dimensions
71.9 mm wide
84.9 mm tall
15.9 mm to 17.1 mm thick
Unfolded
Dimensions
71.9 mm wide
165.2 mm tall
6.9 mm thick
Weight 187 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in four colour options, as well as a special Bespoke Edition :

  • Graphite – legacy colour
  • Pink Gold – new colour
  • Blue – new colour
  • Bora Purple – their signature colour this year

These are the available models and launch prices for the Z Flip 4 :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM4,099 (about US$920 / £760 / A$1,319 / S$1,267)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM4,399 (about US$987 / £816 / A$1,415 / S$1,359)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB Bespoke Edition : RM4,599 (about US$1,032 / £853 / A$1,479 / S$1,421)
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : RM4,899 (about US$ 1,099 / £909 / A$1,576 / S$1,514)

The Bespoke Edition is only available on the Samsung website, and requires 3-4 weeks to deliver, as each unit is custom-made.

Here are online purchase options :

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : Colour Comparison!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Apple Pay Setup Guide : How To Register Your Cards!

Now that Apple Pay is available in Malaysia, here is my guide on how to set it up with your debit / credit card!

 

Apple Pay Is Now Available In Malaysia!

Apple Pay was first launched way back in September 2014, together with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. However, its global availability was slow and some would say, tortuous.

For years, Apple fans in Malaysia have requested for Apple Pay to be introduced in Malaysia, and could only look at Singapore in envy, when Apple Pay was introduced there more than six years ago in April 2016!

But the wait is over! The steady drip of leaks has finally culminated in actual confirmation that yes, Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia!

While this guide is based on credit cards in Malaysia, it will work in other countries too, as long as Apple Pay is supported.

 

Not All Banks Support Apple Pay

First of all, you must understand that not all banks support Apple Pay. Here in Malaysia, only three banks support Apple Pay at the moment.

Banks In Malaysia That Support Apple Pay

You will be able to register debit and credit cards issued by these banks :

  • AmBank
  • Maybank
  • Standard Chartered Bank

Banks In Malaysia That Do Not Support Apple Pay

You won’t be able to add debit or credit cards from these banks :

  • CIMB
  • Citibank
  • UOB
  • OCBC

I will update this article as and when I find out what other banks in Malaysia support, or don’t support, Apple Pay.

Read more : How To Add MySJ Vaccine Certificate To Apple Wallet + Health

 

How To Register Your Card In Apple Pay

To help you register your debit / credit card with Apple Pay, here is my step-by-step guide :

Step 1 : Open the Wallet app in your iPhone.

Step 2 : Tap on the Add button to “Add a credit or debit card to get started using Apple Pay”.

Step 3 : In the next screen, tap on the Continue button.

Step 4 : You will now be asked to “scan” your debit / credit card using your iPhone camera, positioning it within the frame.

Step 5 : The Wallet app will try to pick up important details of your credit card like :

  • Name
  • Credit card number
  • Expiry date

If nothing happens, that means it cannot read the details off the card. Then you will need to tap on the Enter Card Details Manually option at the bottom.

Step 6 : Whether your card details are detected or not, verify the key card details required by Apple Pay :

  • Name
  • Card Number
  • Expiry Date
  • Security Code

If the detected details are wrong, edit them to make sure they match your debit / credit card.

Step 7 : You will need to key in the Security Code, which is a 3-digit or 4-digit CSC (Card Security Code) / CVV (Card Verification Value) / CVC (Card Verification Code) usually printed on the back of your debit / credit card.

Step 8 : If your credit card is not supported, you will get a pop-up message saying :

Your Issuer Does Not Yet Offer Support for This Card

Ask your issuer if they offer cards that support Apple Pay.

If your card is supported, you will see a list of Terms and Conditions. You will need to tap on Agree to continue.

Step 9 : The screen show details of your credit card while the Wallet app sets it up for Apple Pay. Just wait for a few seconds.

Step 10 : You will now be asked to verify your card for Apple Pay, usually through Text Message. Tap Next to continue with the verification process.

Step 11 : You will receive an SMS with a 6-digit One Time Password (OTP). You need to key that in within 2 minutes :

Card enrolment OTP for your digital wallet is XXXXXX. It will expire after 2 mins. If you have not performed this, please contact the bank.

Step 12 : Tap Next after keying in the OTP, and you should see the Card Activated notice.

That’s it! Your credit card is now ready for Apple Pay. When you open your Wallet, you should see that debit / credit card listed.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Sources : Maxis + U Mobile Decline 5G Network Stake!

Sources have confirmed that both Maxis and U Mobile do not plan to take up a stake in DNB – the government-owned 5G agency!

Here is what you need to know, and what it means for 5G adoption in Malaysia!

 

Sources : Maxis + U Mobile Decline 5G Network Stake!

Sources just confirmed to Reuters that both Maxis and U Mobile do not plan to take up a stake in Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) – the government-owned 5G agency.

According to three people familiar with the matter, Maxis and U Mobile do not see any benefit in becoming a minority shareholder of DNB, but they will remain in talks to gain access to the DNB 5G network.

It is possible that Maxis and U Mobile made this decision to pressure the government into allowing a second 5G service to be setup.

One source said, “[The parties] will have to try and restructure the deal”.

But until one side acquiesces, the rollout of 5G for most consumers in Malaysia will be further delayed.

 

Maxis + U Mobile Is Out, Will Other Networks Buy 5G Stake In DNB?

Maxis, U Mobile, Celcom and DiGi had earlier proposed to take a majority stake in DNB, but that was rejected by the government.

So the four main mobile network operators are now lobbying for a second 5G network – the Dual Wholesale Network (DWN) model, instead of a single whole network controlled by DNB.

With Maxis and U Mobile out, the Malaysian government’s plan to sign agreements with the other mobile networks has been disrupted.

In fact, the deadline ends today (Wednesday, August 31, 2022) for the six mobile network operators in Malaysia to agree on whether to take a combined 70% stake in DNB.

Until now, only Telekom Malaysia and YES – the two smaller telcos – have signed up with DNB to provide 5G access, with TM still running tests, while YES offering very limited 5G coverage in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Can Greeting Photos + Videos Hack Your Phone?!

Can hackers use greeting photos and videos to hack your phone, and steal your data?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Greeting Photos + Videos Can Hack Your Phone!

People keep sharing this warning about greeting photos and videos, which claims that they can hack your phone and steal your data.

It’s a long message, so just skip to the next section for the facts!

Hello Family and friends,

Starting tomorrow, Please do not send network pictures. Look at the following article to understand. I’m going to stop too.

Please delete all photos and videos of Good morning, Evening and other greetings and religious messages as soon as possible. Read the following article carefully and you will understand why.

Read all! Please send this message urgently to as many friends as possible to prevent illegal intrusion.

 

Truth : Greeting Photos + Videos Cannot Be Hack Your Phone!

Many of us get spammed with Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening photos and videos every day from family and friends.

While they often clog up Facebook, Telegram and WhatsApp groups, they really cannot hack your phone. Here are the reasons why Good Morning messages are very irritating, but harmless…

Fact #1 : Shanghai China International News Does Not Exist

The news organisation that was claimed to be the source of this warning – Shanghai China International News –  does not exist!

Fact #2 : Greeting Photos + Videos Not Created By Hackers

Hackers (from China or anywhere else) have better things to do than to create these greeting photos and videos.

They are mostly created by websites and social media influencers for people to share and attract new followers.

Fact #3 : No Fraud Involving Greeting Photos / Videos

There has been no known fraud involving Good Morning or Good Night messages, videos or pictures.

Certainly, half a million victims of such a scam would have made front page news. Yet there is not a single report on even one case…. because it never happened.

Fact #4 : Image-Based Malware Is Possible, But…

Digital steganography is a method by which secret messages and other data can be hidden in digital files, like a photo or a video, or even a music file.

It is also possible to embed malicious code within a Good Morning photo, but it won’t be a full-fledged malware that can execute by itself.

At most, it can be used to hide the malware payload from antivirus scanners, which is pretty clever to be honest…

Fact #5 : Image-Based Malware Requires User Action

In January 2019, cybercriminals created an online advertisement with a script that appears innocuous and would pass any malware check.

However, the image itself has an “almost white” rectangle that is recognised by the script, triggering it to redirect the user to the cybercriminals’ website.

Once there, the victim is tricked into installing a Trojan disguised as an Adobe Flash Player update.

Such a clever way to bypass malware checks, but even so, this image-based malware requires user action.

You cannot get infected by the Trojan if you practice good “Internet hygiene” by not downloading or installing anything from unknown websites.

Fact #6 : Malicious Code Executes Immediately

If you accidentally download and trigger malware, it will execute immediately. It won’t wait, as the hoax message claims.

Deleting Good Morning or Good Night photos or videos will free up storage space in your phone, but it won’t prevent any malware from executing.

There is really no reason for malware to wait before it infects your devices. Waiting will only increase the risk of detection.

Whether the malware serves to take over your device, steal your information or encrypt it for ransom, it pays to do it at the first opportunity.

Now that you know the facts, please SHARE this article with your family and friends!

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Galaxy Z Flip4 vs Z Flip3 : How Different Are They?

If you are using the Galaxy Z Flip3, you may be wondering – how different is the new Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphone?

In this article, I will share with you the key differences… and similarities between the two foldable smartphones!

 

Galaxy Z Flip4 vs Z Flip3 : How Different Are They?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 builds upon the excellent Galaxy Z Flip3 from last year, offering an improved version of the compact foldable smartphone.

If you are comparing both devices side-by-side, it’s really hard to tell them apart… because Samsung essentially retained the same design.

When folded, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is slightly (1.5 mm) shorter, and imperceptibly (0.3 mm) narrower than the Galaxy Z Flip3.

When unfolded, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is even more alike the Flip3 – just 0.8 mm shorter and 0.3 mm narrower. If you don’t compare them closely, you might not be able to tell them apart!

They both have very similar weights too – the Galaxy Z Flip4 coming in 4 grams heavier at 187 grams, instead of 183 grams for the Galaxy Z Flip3. Again, you can’t really tell them apart.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : My Hands-On Experience!

Most of the upgrades in the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 are internal… and out-of-the-box.

4nm Processor

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 naturally has a newer and more powerful processor than the Galaxy Z Flip3.

Manufactured on the more efficient 4nm process technology, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is the fastest processor money can buy in 2022.

But the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 used in the Galaxy Z Flip3 is no slouch, and you would be hard-pressed to tell their performance apart, outside of benchmark scores.

Main Camera Changes

Samsung retained the same 10 MP front camera, and the same dual camera setup at the back from the Galaxy Z Flip3 :

  • a 12 MP Dual Pixel camera, with f/1.8 aperture, and
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide camera, with f/2.2 aperture

Larger Capacity

Samsung is also offering a larger 512 GB internal storage capacity option for the Galaxy Z Flip4. This will be useful for those who need additional storage for photos, videos or documents.

Bespoke Edition

Samsung will also offer a special Bespoke Edition for those who want to customise their Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphone.

The Bespoke Edition is only available with 256 GB of internal storage on the Samsung website, and requires 3-4 weeks to deliver, as each unit is custom-made.

Samsung Care+

The biggest upgrade, I would argue, is the new Samsung Care+ warranty, which you can purchase or obtain for free as part of the pre-order offer.

With Samsung Care+, you get 2 years of device warranty including THREE (3) protective film replacements for the Main Display.

The device warranty itself covers repairs for accidental damage (including liquid damage), as well as device replacement if it cannot be repaired. Talk about peace of mind!

 

Galaxy Z Flip4 vs Z Flip3 : Specification Comparison

Here is a table I created to make it easier for you to compare the two models:

Specifications Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3
Main Display 6.7-inch Infinity Flex Display
Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel
1080 x 2640 pixels, 425ppi
120 Hz adaptive refresh rate
Cover Display 1.9-inch Super AMOLED display
260 x 512 pixels
Protection IPX8 Water Resistance
No Dust Resistance
Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
CPU 1 x Cortex-X2 (3.2 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A710 (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A510 (1.8 GHz)
1 x Kryo 680 Prime (2.84 GHz)
3 x Kryo 680 Gold (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 680 Silver (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 730 Qualcomm Adreno 660
Memory 8 GB
Storage 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB 128 GB / 256 GB
Front Camera 10 MP camera (f/2.4)
Main Cameras 12 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
Audio Stereo speakers tuned by AKG
Surround sound with Dolby Atmos
UHQ 32-bit and DSD64/128 support
Connectivity Network : 5G / 4G / 3G
Wi-Fi : 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e
Bluetooth : BT 5.2
USB : USB-C 3.2
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Side-Mounted
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Hall, Proximity, Light
GPS GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS
NFC Yes
Battery 3,700 mAh Li-Po battery 3,300 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging Wired : 20 watt
Wireless : 10 watt
Reverse wireless : 4.5 watt
Wired : 15 watt
Wireless : 10 watt
Reverse wireless : 4.5 watt
Folded
Dimensions
71.9 mm wide
84.9 mm tall
15.9 mm to 17.1 mm thick
72.2 mm wide
86.4 mm tall
15.9 mm to 17.1 mm thick
Unfolded
Dimensions
71.9 mm wide
165.2 mm tall
6.9 mm thick
72.2 mm wide
166.0 mm tall
6.9 mm thick
Weight 187 grams 183 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 comes in four colour options, as well as a special Bespoke Edition :

  • Graphite – legacy colour
  • Pink Gold – new colour
  • Blue – new colour
  • Bora Purple – their signature colour this year

These are the available models and launch prices for the Z Flip4 :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM4,099 (about US$920 / £760 / A$1,319 / S$1,267)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM4,399 (about US$987 / £816 / A$1,415 / S$1,359)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB Bespoke Edition : RM4,599 (about US$1,032 / £853 / A$1,479 / S$1,421)
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : RM4,899 (about US$ 1,099 / £909 / A$1,576 / S$1,514)

The Bespoke Edition is only available on the Samsung website, and requires 3-4 weeks to deliver, as each unit is custom-made.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 : Colour Comparison!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Warns Of Tough Times!

HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei just warned of tough times ahead, and called for his company to go into survival mode!

Here is what you need to know…

 

HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Warns Of Tough Times!

On 22 August 2022, HUAWEI founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei posted a memo on its internal network, stating that “The entire company’s business policy should shift from the pursuit of expansion to the pursuit of profit and cash flow“.

In Ren’s opinion, the global economy will continue to decline and be in the doldrums for the next ten years, putting HUAWEI under great pressure.

He also said that it is unclear if HUAWEI can survive the 2023-2024 financial year, partially blaming its woes on a “continued blockade” by Western countries.

Therefore, he says HUAWEI must focus on its own survival, and shift from expanding to pursuing profit and improving cash flow over the next 3 years. To that end, the CEO said that HUAWEI will completely abandon its business in certain countries.

The HUAWEI CEO also said that the “chill” in business sentiment to be passed down to HUAWEI employees, linking their bonuses and promotions to business results. In addition, he called for responsibilities to be consolidated, which sounds like euphemism for job cuts.

This alarming memo by its CEO comes after HUAWEI – China’s largest company – saw revenue decline by 14% in the first three months of 2022, with its profit margin narrowing to 4.3% from 11.1% just a year ago.

The HUAWEI CEO appears to believe that China will experience a much longer and persistent economic slowdown spreading far beyond the current collapse of its real estate sector.

It is surprising to note that Chinese censors has not removed the memo, which suggests the HUAWEI CEO has enough clout to speak openly. His memo went viral on Chinese social media, and has been discussed and shared by more than 100 million Chinese netizens.

Recommended : Can HUAWEI Phones Get Free Calls + Internet From BeiDou?

 

HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Tough Times Memo : Key Points

Here are the key points from HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei’s “tough times” memo, machine-translated from NetEase:

Live with quality in the next three years

We have to see the difficulties faced by the company and the difficulties in the future. The next ten years should be a very painful historical period, and the global economy will continue to decline. Now, due to the impact of the war and the continued blockade and suppression by the United States, the world’s economy is unlikely to improve in the next 3 to 5 years. Coupled with the impact of the epidemic, there should be no bright spot in the world. Then the consumption power will be greatly reduced, which will not only put pressure on the supply, but also the pressure on the market.

Under such circumstances, Huawei’s overly optimistic expectations about the future will be lowered. In 2023 and even 2025, we must take survival as the main program to survive, and survive with quality. This slogan is very good. Every business must be carried out carefully.

If we have a little bit of hope in 2025 as planned, then we must first find a way to get through these three difficult years, and the basis of survival must be adjusted to focus on cash flow and real profits, not just sales revenue. The respite period of our life is 2023 and 2024. We are still not sure whether we can break through in these two years, so every mouth should not tell stories, but must talk about realization, especially when conducting business forecasts, do not No more illusions, telling stories to deceive the company, losses will be deducted from your food package, first of all, you must survive, and if you survive, you will have a future.

Blind investment business to shrink

The 2023 budget should maintain a reasonable pace, blind expansion, and blind investment in businesses should shrink or close.

The entire company must use the budget effectively, and cannot blindly close all projects. The manpower saved will go to the front line, continue to optimize the organization’s business, rationally staff the ICT infrastructure, or our black land granary. Competitive complex hardware platforms and complex software platforms, and the projects that hang on to ride on them must be picked out. The legion is to build a basic information platform and sell ICT better. The infrastructure is not for the ecology. The terminal is the foundation for our rise and breakthrough in the future, but it should not be blind. Now we need to narrow the front lines, concentrate our troops to fight the war of annihilation, and increase profits.

Huawei cloud computing should focus on supporting Huawei’s business development in a down-to-earth manner, and take the road of supporting the industrial Internet. Digital energy has increased investment in the strategic opportunity window, created greater value, contracted institutions, and strengthened combat teams. Smart car solutions cannot be rolled out on a complete front. It is necessary to reduce the research budget, strengthen the business closed loop, and take a modular approach to R&D, focusing on a few key components to be competitive, and the rest can be connected to others.

In addition to the main goal of continuous investment for survival and profitability, businesses that cannot generate value and profits in the next few years should be scaled down or closed, and human and material resources should be concentrated on the main channel. We must face the reality and not be too far away. The great ideal is to cut through the mess quickly, and the surplus personnel will be adjusted to the strategic reserve team, and then they will be combined into reasonable positions to grab food.

The peripheral business must be taken out of the strategic core. After the marginal business is taken out, we first evaluate whether it can be done well and how much resources are needed to do it well. If it is not possible to do a business with huge resource consumption, it is better to open it up and let others do it after closing it. We must do it, and if we do not do well enough, we will reorganize the combat team and change cadres. If there are some windows of opportunity, we expand the strategic resource pool of strategic reserve teams and cadres and experts, and form commandos to attack in the window of opportunity.

Adhere to seeking truth from facts, and shrinking in the market must be firm. We used to embrace the ideal of globalization and aspire to serve all mankind. What is our ideal now? Survive and earn a little wherever you have money. From this perspective, we need to adjust the market structure and study what can be done and what should be abandoned.

Give up part of the market

The first focus is on value market value customers, and the main force is used in the middle section of the normal distribution curve. In some countries, we completely give up in the market. We also have a fat meat market, and the people who used to eat bones are transferred to eat fat meat.

Second, for hard-fought countries and regions, as an assessment and training base for new cadres to be promoted in the future, some countries have low output. Although we still have to do it, should we no longer send soldiers to guard the top of the snow, because he will still be a soldier after he comes down? Xueshan Mountain is a test of people, and potential new cadres will have the opportunity to be promoted to army commander. Because it is easy to integrate a small country, he calculates from the estimated budget, contract, tender delivery, working hour quota, and the solution is all done together. When I came back, I passed 5 and 6 on the cadre’s resume and passed the threshold of 11 generals in one day. Of course, some employees have been on the frontier for a long time, and their incomes have decreased when they return to China. There is also the issue of children going to school.

Third, employees returning from overseas should have priority in obtaining skills training and job opportunities. Employees returning from overseas must have a period of protection to protect them from their posts and ensure that they receive certain training. The skills of personnel in difficult countries may be worse than those in China, because they do not have a realistic combat environment. How can they improve? Just like a soldier on the plateau, although he stood very high, he did not absorb any cosmic energy. They paid the price. They could not take the exam as soon as they returned to China, and then they were eliminated. No one wanted to go to such difficult areas, so we have to It is guaranteed that the returning employees have job arrangements and a relaxed study time. As for his ability to catch up during this period, it is another matter.

Financial planning needs to be done for cash flow. In times of crisis, the main purpose is to make blood. Although we say that it will improve in 2025, what if there are no shells by then? So that’s a wonderful plan, we have safe food measures.

The company has two major expenditures to distribute dividends to employees, including wage stability, which is to enhance internal confidence and cohesion, and repayment of loans to banks, which is to enhance the society’s trust in us. For projects that already have obvious potential risks, don’t have any illusions, and surface them as soon as possible, let the audit come to a conclusion, and quantify the risks. At the same time, it is still possible to continue to manage these assets that have been eliminated. Through management, risks can be turned into appropriate returns. We should not have a bubble in our hearts. When we look at the report, we will be very determined, but we will not actually be able to make money. to the money.

Let the chill pass to everyone

Consolidate responsibilities, and link bonuses, promotions and promotions to business results, so that the cold will be passed on to everyone.

First, in this year’s and next year’s assessment, the weight of cash flow and profit should be increased. It is better for sales revenue to decline a bit, but profit and cash flow to increase. The bonus for operating profit growth should be a little more, so as to encourage everyone to compete for profits.

Second, each responsibility center signs the assessment responsibility letter. The company should aim at the KPI-based reciprocal reward mechanism. The normal promotion and upgrading will remain unchanged next year, but the link with the equivalence of responsibility should be strengthened, which makes people feel cold year after year. , but we need to be patient and enthusiastic in our transition. I once told the executive board that the basic salary framework should not be changed. This is a rigid indicator, but if the employees are excellent, they can be promoted and upgraded, and the bonus can be very flexible. Why is it elastic? Encourage everyone to go to the battlefield to grab food, the front line is different from the agency.

Third, the bonuses of various businesses this year must widen the gap, and it is absolutely not allowed to force everyone to achieve the short-term goal of grabbing food. In the past, the company’s policy was basically to settle things down. Everyone didn’t feel the cold in winter. Everyone covered the quilt, but it was a little thicker and thinner. At the end of this year, businesses with more profit and cash flow will have more bonuses, and businesses that cannot create value will have very low bonuses. They don’t even force the business to commit suicide and pass on the cold.

At present, we have to survive, not to fight for our ideals. The legion competition is the year-end bonus, because the bonus is not given by the company, but the profit earned by the legion itself, and part of it is handed over to the company. If we cannot earn food, we must dare to Bonuses are not given because the basic income of the employees covers the necessities of life. Of course, some strategic businesses cannot create value in the short term, which we can determine through evaluation, but many marginal businesses with poor performance must be cut off. This is adjustment, consolidation, enrichment, and improvement.

Invest at all costs at the point of survival crisis

Quality is the primary productive force. We must adhere to this line. R&D must be responsible for the quality and performance of products, and we promise that service experts must have comprehensive capabilities. Poor quality products are a shame for R&D personnel. This sentence should be posted on On the wall of the R&D office area of ​​the R&D office, the rate of network failures around the world is getting higher and higher, and an accident may destroy the trust system of the entire market.

100-1=0, for our research and development, the research and development of single boards, the research and development of single devices, and the research and development of systems must put quality first. Quality is the best support guarantee for R&D and manufacturing personnel to market service personnel. If the quality of the product is not good, it is equivalent to letting the brothers brave the hail of bullets, ice and snow, hot and sweltering heat, and the new crown virus is charging on the front line. Therefore, we need to establish a reverse assessment mechanism. The first-line reverse assessment should not only assess the service organization of the agency, but also extend to the product line. If the quality is not good in the office, then the front line should be narrowed and the competitiveness should be improved.

We need to improve the status of the service system, and service experts must have a comprehensive ability to judge the network experience of accidents. In the past, we paid more attention to R&D than service, but now we also need to pay attention to the service system.

Reasonable, scientific and reasonable control of inventory. We must change from panic-stricken self-rescue in the past to high-quality self-rescue. We must pay attention to reducing inventory reasonably, and do not cause insufficient profits and tight cash flow of the company due to excessive inventory, which constitutes our new crisis. We can invest at all costs on strategic key opportunities and existential crises, but we cannot spend money on non-strategic opportunities.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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