Tag Archives: Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series : All The Leaks So Far!

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series : All The Leaks So Far!

Take a look at the key details and specifications that has leaked ahead of the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series smartphones!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series : All The Leaks So Far!

Ahead of the official launch of the Galaxy S23 series, key details and specifications of Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphones have leaked!

Boosted Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

The Samsung Galaxy S23 smartphones will use a specially-boosted variant of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile SoC, which features a quad-cluster architecture:

  • 1 x Arm Cortex-X3 core (3.36 GHz, instead of 3.2 GHz)
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A715 cores (2.8 GHz)
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A710 cores (2.8 GHz)
  • 3 x Arm Cortex-A510 cores (2.0 GHz)

Here is a quick comparison between the boosted Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile SoC used in the Galaxy S22 series:

Specifications Galaxy S23 Series Galaxy S22 Series
Mobile SoC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CPU Clusters 4 3
CPU Cores 1 x Cortex-X3 (3.36 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A715 (2.8 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A710 (2.8 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A510 (2.0 GHz)
1 x Cortex-X2 (3.0 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A710 (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A510 (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 740 Qualcomm Adreno 730

200 MP Main Camera

Arguably the biggest upgrade in the Galaxy S23 Ultra is its new main camera, which is built around the 200 MP Samsung ISOCELL HP2 (S5KHP2) sensor, and features a slightly wider f/1.7 aperture.

This is a large 1/1.3-inch sensor with 200 million pixels, each of which is 0.6 μm in size. The Galaxy S23 Ultra camera will be able to combine up to 16 pixels to form a single large pixel – a pixel binning technique called Tetra2pixel.

The number of pixels binned will vary according to the photography conditions. In low-light conditions, up to 16 pixels can be combined to create a large 2.4 μm pixel, for a 12.5 MP photo.

On top of that, the new Samsung ISOCELL HP2 sensor also offers better auto-focus performance in low-light conditions through Super QPD autofocus. By using all 200 million pixels, which are physically grouped as four pixels under a single microns, the sensor can detect patterns in both vertical and horizontal directions for faster low-light focusing.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Everything Leaked So Far!

Similar Telephoto + Wide-Angle Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series will reuse the same 3X and 10X zoom cameras from the Galaxy S22 series, right down to their Sony IMX754 sensors.

The ultra-wide angle camera gets a newer sensor – the Sony IMX564, which appears to be an incremental upgrade of the S22 Ultra’s IMX563.

Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series smartphones will come in four colour options:

  • Botanic Green
  • Cotton Flower
  • Misty Lilac
  • Phantom Black

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Specifications Leaked So Far!

French specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (SM-918B) smartphone have leaked!

Specifications Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Display 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
– 1440 x 3088 pixels (500 ppi)
– 120 Hz dynamic refresh rate (1~120 Hz)
– 1750 nits peak brightness
Protection Gorilla Glass Victus 2 (front and back)
Water Resistance IP68
OS One UI 5.1 (Android 13)
Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
CPU 1 x Arm Cortex-X3 core (3.36 GHz)
2 x Arm Cortex-A715 cores (2.8 GHz)
2 x Arm Cortex-A710 cores (2.8 GHz)
3 x Arm Cortex-A510 cores (2.0 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 740
Memory +
Storage
8 GB + 128 GB / 256 GB
12 GB + 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
External Storage NA
Front Camera 12 MP camera, f/2.2
Main Cameras 200 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.7
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
10 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x zoom camera, f/4.9
Connectivity Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth : BT 5.3
USB : USB Type C
S Pen Yes, 2.8 ms latency
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Light, Proximity
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, Glonass
NFC Yes
Battery 5,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging 45 watt wired charging
10 watt wireless charging
Wireless PowerShare
Dimensions 78.1 mm wide
163.4 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
Weight 233 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series : Prices + Offers Leaked So Far!

Higher Prices

This is the only dampener amongst the leaks – be prepared to pay more for the Galaxy S23 smartphones! Here are the leaked prices for Europe:

Models Variant Launch
Prices
Premium Over
S22 Models
Galaxy S23 8 GB + 128 GB
8 GB + 256 GB
€949/959
€1019
+ €99/109
+ €119
Galaxy S23+ 8 GB + 256 GB
8 GB + 512 GB
€1209
€1329
+ €159
+ €229
Galaxy S23 Ultra 8 GB + 256 GB
12 GB + 512 GB
€1399/1409
€1589
NA
+ €139

Pre-Order Offer

While the increased price may be disappointing, Samsung will potentially boost pre-order sales by offering a free upgrade to the next storage variant.

For example, if you pre-order the Galaxy S23 with 128 GB storage, you will get the 256 GB variant instead. This is based on a leak on the Samsung UK Business portal that states:

Pre-order from Samsung.com by 16.02.23. Operates as a price discount:

Pre-order the larger storage variant (S23 256GB, 523+ 512GB, 523 Ultra 512GB) by 16.02.23 and pay the future price of the smaller storage variant (523 128GB, S23+ 256GB, S23 Ultra 256GB).

This free upgrade will only be offered for the pre-order period, and is essentially a 10% discount on the price of the higher-capacity model.

 

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

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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 S23 Ultra : Everything Leaked So Far!

Take a look at the key details and specifications that has leaked ahead of the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Everything Leaked So Far!

Ahead of the official launch of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, key details and specifications of Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphone have leaked!

Boosted Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will use a specially-boosted variant of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile SoC, which features a quad-cluster architecture:

  • 1 x Arm Cortex-X3 core (3.36 GHz, instead of 3.2 GHz)
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A715 cores (2.8 GHz)
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A710 cores (2.8 GHz)
  • 3 x Arm Cortex-A510 cores (2.0 GHz)

Here is a quick comparison between the boosted Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile SoC used in the Galaxy S22 Ultra:

Specifications Galaxy S23 Ultra Galaxy S22 Ultra
Mobile SoC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CPU Clusters 4 3
CPU Cores 1 x Cortex-X3 (3.36 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A715 (2.8 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A710 (2.8 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A510 (2.0 GHz)
1 x Cortex-X2 (3.0 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A710 (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A510 (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 740 Qualcomm Adreno 730

200 MP Main Camera

Arguably the biggest upgrade in the Galaxy S23 Ultra is its new main camera, which is built around the 200 MP Samsung ISOCELL HP2 (S5KHP2) sensor, and features a slightly wider f/1.7 aperture.

This is a large 1/1.3-inch sensor with 200 million pixels, each of which is 0.6 μm in size. The Galaxy S23 Ultra camera will be able to combine up to 16 pixels to form a single large pixel – a pixel binning technique called Tetra2pixel.

The number of pixels binned will vary according to the photography conditions. In low-light conditions, up to 16 pixels can be combined to create a large 2.4 μm pixel, for a 12.5 MP photo.

On top of that, the new Samsung ISOCELL HP2 sensor also offers better auto-focus performance in low-light conditions through Super QPD autofocus. By using all 200 million pixels, which are physically grouped as four pixels under a single microns, the sensor can detect patterns in both vertical and horizontal directions for faster low-light focusing.

Similar Telephoto + Wide-Angle Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will reuse the same 3X and 10X zoom cameras from the Galaxy S22 Ultra, right down to their Sony IMX754 sensors.

The ultra-wide angle camera gets a newer sensor – the Sony IMX564, which appears to be an incremental upgrade of the S22 Ultra’s IMX563.

Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphones will come in four colour options:

  • Botanic Green
  • Cotton Flower
  • Misty Lilac
  • Phantom Black

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Specifications Compared!

The specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (SM-918B) smartphone have leaked, and in this table, we compare it to last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra!

Specifications Galaxy S23 Ultra Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
– 1440 x 3088 pixels (500 ppi)
– 120 Hz dynamic refresh rate (1~120 Hz)
– 1750 nits peak brightness
Protection Gorilla Glass Victus 2 Gorilla Glass Victus+
Water Resistance IP68
Platform Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CPU 1 x Cortex-X3 (3.36 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A715 (2.8 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A710 (2.8 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A510 (2.0 GHz)
1 x Cortex-X2 (3.0 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A710 (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A510 (1.8 GHz)
GPU Adreno 740 Adreno 730
Memory +
Storage
8 GB + 256 GB
12 GB + 512 GB / 1 TB
8 GB + 128 GB
12 GB + 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
External Storage NA
Front Camera 12 MP camera, f/2.2 40 MP camera, f/2.2
Main Cameras 200 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.7
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
10 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x zoom camera, f/4.9
108 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
10 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x zoom camera, f/4.9
Connectivity Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Ultra-Wideband (UWB)
Bluetooth : BT 5.3
USB : USB Type C
Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth : BT 5.2
USB : USB Type C
S Pen Yes, 2.8 ms latency
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Light, Proximity
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, Glonass
NFC Yes
Battery 5,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging 45 watt wired charging
10 watt wireless charging
Wireless PowerShare
45 watt wired charging
15 watt wireless charging
Wireless PowerShare
Dimensions 78.1 mm wide
163.4 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
77.9 mm wide
163.3 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
Weight 233 grams 229 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Prices + Offers Leaked So Far!

Sadly, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will be significantly more expensive than last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra!. Here are the leaked prices for Europe:

Models Variant Launch
Prices
Premium Over
S22 Models
Galaxy S23 Ultra 8 GB + 256 GB
12 GB + 512 GB
€1399/1409
€1589
NA
+ €139

While the increased price may be disappointing, Samsung will potentially boost pre-order sales by offering a free upgrade to the next storage variant.

For example, if you pre-order the Galaxy S23 Ultra with 256 GB storage, you will get the 512 GB variant instead. This is based on a leak on the Samsung UK Business portal that states:

Pre-order from Samsung.com by 16.02.23. Operates as a price discount:

Pre-order the larger storage variant (S23 256GB, 523+ 512GB, 523 Ultra 512GB) by 16.02.23 and pay the future price of the smaller storage variant (523 128GB, S23+ 256GB, S23 Ultra 256GB).

This free upgrade will only be offered for the pre-order period, and is essentially a 10% discount on the price of the higher-capacity model.

 

Please Support My Work!

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

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

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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Watch Out For TNG eWallet SMS Phishing Scam!

In this article, we will show you many types of TNG eWallet SMS phasing scam, so you can avoid them!

 

Watch Out For TNG eWallet SMS Phishing Scam!

People are getting these SMS messages that appear to be from TNG eWallet, but are really just phishing scams!

RMO TNG eWallet: Bantuan e-dompet kepada golongan B40&M40 RM1000 akan dikreditkan ke dalam TNG eWallet anda. Kemaskini maklumat dan semakan status di www.tngewalletbantuangov.com

RMO T’n GO Your account function has been closed. You need to confirm the device immediately. Follow my.tngwallc.com

RMO TNG Wallet: Permohonan GOpinjam anda telah diluluskan, RM3000 telah kredit ke TNG Wallet anda. Sila semak baki dan tuntutan anda di http://logtouchngo.cc

RMO GOV: Terima kasih atas sokongan anda dari kerajaan BN. Bantuan e-dompet kepada rakyat Malaysia berjumlah RM500 telah kredit ke TNG Wallet anda. Sila sahkan identiti dan semak baki anda di https://touchngoemy.top/

 

How TNG eWallet SMS Phishing Scam Works!

The many examples of the TNG eWallet phishing scam employ SMS spoofing technology to send you SMS messages that appear to be from the TNG eWallet team.

What most people don’t know is that – the TNG eWallet team will never send you any SMS messages to :

  • offer you money from government or other agencies
  • inform you that money has been credited to your eWallet
  • ask you to log into your eWallet account using a link
  • ask you to update your account information using a link

The TNG eWallet team warned users against clicking on any links sent by SMS, even if they appear to be genuine. Genuine TNG eWallet SMS messages will never have a link attached.

These links do not lead to the real TNG eWallet website (https://www.touchngo.com.my/), but use similar-looking fake domains, like:

tngewalletbantuangov.com
my.tngwallc.com
logtouchngo.cc
touchngoemy.top
ewallettouchng.top
touchngosign.com
touchngolog.top
logintouchngo.cc
touchngo.life
touchngologin.cc
my.touchngo.com
my.touchwalf.com
my.touchwalp.com
my.tngowalle.com
my.tngowallet.com
tngwallet.top

If you see such domains, you should be alert that you are being targeted by a phishing scam. NEVER CLICK ON A LINK in any TNG eWallet SMS.

If you click on any of these links, you will be taken to a page that looks like a genuine TNG eWallet login page, but is really a phishing scam page.

If you key in your login details, as well as your phone number and One-Time Password (OTP), the scammers will have full access to your eWallet, and can freely transfer out your eWallet balance.

As many of us link our credit cards to the TNG eWallet, the scammers can also reload your eWallet using those credit cards, and transfer the money out.

So make sure you IGNORE any SMS message that asks you to click on a link, even if it appears to be from TNG eWallet.

Please help to fight financial scams, by SHARING this article with your family and friends!

 

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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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SBF Flew Business As Judge Recuses From FTX Case!

The FTX drama continues as SBF was seen flying business class, while Judge Ronnie Abrams recused herself from the case!

 

Judge Ronnie Abrams Recuses From SBF FTX Case!

The FTX drama continues with the shocking announcement by US District Judge Ronnie Abrams over a potential conflict of interest.

On Friday afternoon, December 23, Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York recused herself from the FTX case.

The judge’s husband, Greg D. Andres, is a partner at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, which advised FTX in 2021. Though Andres himself did not personally advise FTX, Abrams chose to recuse herself from the case “to avoid any possible conflict, or the appearance of one.

The order also stated that Davis Polk & Wardwell previously represented parties “that may be adverse to FTX and Defendant Bankman-Fried,” though Andres allegedly did not represent those clients either.

RONNIE ABRAMS, United States District Judge:

It has come to the Court’s attention that the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, at which my husband is a partner, advised FTX in 2021, as well as represented parties that may be adverse to FTX and Defendant Bankman-Fried in other proceedings (or potential proceedings). My husband has had no involvement in any of these representations. These matters are confidential and their substance is unknown to the Court. Nonetheless, to avoid any possible conflict, or the appearance of one, the Court hereby recuses itself from this action. See 28

U.S.C. § 455.

This decision came just one day after Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was released from custody pending trial on eight criminal charges including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and violations of federal campaign finance laws.

It is unknown why Judge Ronnie Abrams chose to wait until now to recuse herself from the FTX case. But it should be pointed that it was a different judge – Gabrial Gorenstein, who approved the record-setting $250 million bond that did not require SBF to pay a single cent up front.

A new judge from the Southern District of New York will now have to be selected to oversee Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial.

Read more : SBF Released On “No Cash” $250 Million Bail Bond!

 

SBF Free + Flying Business On “No Cash Up Front” FTX Case Bail!

In the meantime, the disgraced FTX co-founder was spotted “chilling” in the American Airlines Greenwich Business Class lounge located at Terminal 8 of the John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City.

Sam Bankman-Fried was accompanied by his parents, FBI agents and lawyers. He had full access to what looks like an Acer Predator gaming laptop, and a smartphone. When he was asked for a photo, SBF replied, “Haha maybe not today“.

You may recall that, on December 9, SBF claimed that he did not have access to (much of) his professional or personal data, despite having obvious access to a laptop and a mobile phone.

1) I still do not have access to much of my data — professional or personal. So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like. But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th.

SBF was later spotted in the Business class section of an American Airlines flight, “disguised with a beanie”. He appeared to be engaged in conversation with a suited executive.

The suited executive could be his lawyer, Mark Cohen, who may have been accompanying the disgraced FTX co-founder to his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, where he has to serve his house arrest while awaiting trial.

Recommended : Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang Plead Guilty To FTX Fraud!

 

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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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Did Man Using Bluetooth Get Electrocuted Near Train?!

Did a man using Bluetooth earphones get electrocuted by the high tension power cable of an electric train?!

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

 

Claim : Man Using Bluetooth Got Electrocuted Near Electric Train!

A video showing a man getting electrocuted and falling onto train tracks has gone viral, together with a message that claims that it happened because he was using Bluetooth earphones too close to the train tracks!

As the Bluetooth was activated on the mobile phone, the current came from the high tension cable of the track and reached the brain through the ear phones

And what happened next? See it yourself

Avoid using Bluetooth on the railway platform while travelling and standing “close to the train track” on the platform. 16/12/22

 

Truth : Man Near Electric Train Was Not Electrocuted Using Bluetooth!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and shared on WhatsApp and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Incident Happened On 7 December 2022

First, let me just confirm that the video is genuine, and was recorded by a CCTV camera at the Kharagpur railway station in West Bengal, India, on 7 December 2022.

It did not happen on 16 December 2022, as the fake viral message claimed.

Fact #2 : Man Was A Train Ticket Inspector

The man was not a train passenger wearing Bluetooth earphones. He was a ticket inspector – a Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) to be precise.

There was no mention of the ticket inspector wearing headphones or earphones of any kind in the incident report.  As he was working on the job, he would not have been wearing any earphones, much less Bluetooth earphones.

Fact #3 : He Was Hit By A Falling Live Wire

While the ticket inspector was speaking to another person, an electrical cable that was in contact with the Overhead Equipment (OHE) live cable fell on him.

He was electrocuted by that loose cable, with sparks coming off his shoes and head. The ticket inspector fell backwards onto the rail tracks as the other person ran away in fright.

Fortunately, there were no passing trains, and after a few seconds, onlookers (who were probably stunned) came to help him. Miraculously, the man was taken to the hospital, and survived with only burn injuries!

If you look carefully at the video, you can see the cable when it sparks up on touching the ticket inspector’s head.

Fact #4 : Railway Official Confirmed Live Wire As The Cause

Chennai railway official, Ananth Rupanagudi, confirmed the incident, and explained that it was a freak accident that occurred because a long piece of cable fell on the man’s head.

A freak accident – a long piece of loose cable, taken by a bird somehow came in contact with the OHE wire and the other end came down and touched a TTE’s head. He suffered burn injuries but is out of danger and under treatment – at Kharagpur station yesterday afternoon! #Accident

He also revealed that the cable was very long – about 6 to 8 metres in length, and it was touching the OHE live cable on the other end.

Fact #5 : Incident Had Nothing To Do With Location / Bluetooth

To be clear, this incident had nothing to do with the man “standing close to the train track”. It also had nothing to do with using Bluetooth earphones.

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology. It is simply not possible for anyone using Bluetooth devices to get electrocuted by nearby power cables, even if they are exposed.

Now that you know the truth, please help to SHARE this fact check article so other people won’t be fooled by this fake news!

 

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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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Apple To Move MORE iPhone Production Out Of China!

Apple has accelerated its plans to leave Zhengzhou in China, where the massive iPhone City manufacturing zone is located!

 

Apple To Move MORE iPhone Production Out Of China!

As anti-government protests continue across China, Apple is accelerating its plans to leave Zhengzhou – where the massive iPhone City manufacturing zone is located!

Apple CEO Tim Cook is now eyeing Vietnam and India as new manufacturing hubs to replace Zhengzhou, where Foxconn workers earlier fled amidst repeated protests.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple now plans to move to 45% of iPhone production to factories in India, and ramp up production of its MacBooks, Apple Watches and AirPods in Vietnam.

Those moves come with serious challenges as Apple faces having to deal with different regional government bureaucracies in India.

Meanwhile, Vietnam only has 10% of China’s population, and can only handle a 60,000 person factory – far smaller than the 300,000 person “iPhone City” in Zhengzhou.

So Apple is still considering switching to other suppliers in China – Luxshare Precision Industry Co. and Wingtech Technology Co., although these alternate plans may be jeopardised by the Chinese government’s persistence with its Zero COVID policy.

Read more : China Lifts Some COVID-19 Restrictions Over Protests!

 

Apple Earlier Planned To Move iPhone Production Out Of China!

While Apple had been planning the move for months due to the Chinese government’s insistence on Zero COVID policy, the recent uprisings at its Zhengzhou manufacturing hub has accelerated those plans.

In November, iPhone City in Zhengzhou erupted in violent protests by Foxconn employees over strict Zero COVID policies and pay disputes, prompting a lockdown.

This forced Foxconn to offer $1,400 to quit their jobs, and later, a $1,800 bonus to stay. Even so, manufacturing at Zhengzhou is down to about 20% of its capacity.

Foxconn has tried to shift some of its production to its Shenzhen factory, but it cannot make up the shortfall, which is reported to be as much as 6 million iPhone Pro smartphones.

Things got so bad the Chinese government even called on military veterans and CCP members to work at the iPhone City factories as volunteers!

 

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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Apple Limits AirDrop To Help China Prevent Protests!

Find out how Apple has quietly limited AirDrop to help China prevent anti-government protests!

 

Protestors In China Use AirDrop To Organise + Bypass Censors!

China has been rocked by anti-government protests, that started at the in Zhengzhou, but later spread to at least seven cities.

Despite efforts by the CCP government to censor and block efforts to organise demonstrations, Chinese protestors were able to bypass the “Great Firewall” using the Apple AirDrop feature.

AirDrop is a proprietary feature that allows for the wireless transfers of files between Apple mobile devices and computers. It was used to great effect in 2019, when protestors in Hong Kong used it to bypass the China’s “Great Firewall” and organise their demonstrations.

Now, Chinese citizens are using the AirDrop feature of their iPhones to circulate information about planned demonstrations, or memes and messages opposing Chinese President Xi Jinping, or the Chinese government.

Since AirDrop communicates directly between Apple devices, it works even when the authorities shut down mobile communications and Internet connectivity.

Read more : iPhone Factory Under Lockdown, As Employees Flee!

 

How Apple Helps China Limit Protests Using AirDrop!

Unfortunately, Apple quietly introduced an update on November 9, 2022 to severely restrict the AirDrop feature on iPhones sold in China.

In the past, iPhone users in China could set AirDrop to accept files from Everyone without any time limit, allowing them to discreetly send and receive files from strangers.

The iOS 16.1.1 update introduced a 10 minute limit for AirDrop, making it impossible to receive files from strangers.

While it is still possible to receive files from strangers, users will have to repeatedly reset the setting to Everyone for 10 Minutes, which is not practical.

On top of that, the new time restriction on AirDrop affects all iPhones sold in China, regardless of which country your App Store account is based in. So foreigners who purchased their iPhones in China will be similarly affected.

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

It is not surprising that Apple would bend the knee to the CCP government. After all, China accounts for almost a fifth of Apple’s total sales!

In 2021, it was even reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook signed a secret $275 billion deal with China in 2016 to “solve” regulatory problems.

The relationship between Apple and the CCP government in China appears to be so strong that when Foxconn employees fled the massive iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, Beijing ordered military veterans and Communist Party members to fill in for the labour shortage!

It will now be up to the Chinese protestors to figure another way to bypass the Great Firewall. Jia you!

 

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Is FIFA Giving Free 50GB Data For World Cup 2022?!

Is FIFA offering 50 GB of free mobile data to stream World Cup 2022 matches with no interruptions?!

Take a look at the viral offers, and find out why they are just scams!

Claim : FIFA Is Giving Free 50GB Data For World Cup 2022!

People are sharing viral offers for 50 GB of free mobile data to stream World Cup 2022 matches without interruption. Here are some examples :

* FIFA is giving people around the world 50GB of data for free to watch the 2022 Cartel [Qatar] World Cup.*
* I Have Received Mine.*
* OPEN THIS*

* FIFA memberi orang di seluruh dunia 50GB data secara percuma untuk menonton Piala Dunia Kartel [Qatar] 2022.*
* Saya Telah Menerima Milik Saya.*
* BUKA INI*

FREE 50GB DATA PLAN FOR ALL NETWORKS

PERCUMA PELAN DATA 50GB UNTUK SEMUA RANGKAIAN

 

Truth : FIFA Is Not Giving 50GB Free Data For World Cup 2022!

This is yet another SCAM circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why you must avoid it!

Fact #1 : FIFA Is Not Offering Free Mobile Data

First, let me just say it out loud and clear – FIFA is not offering free mobile data anywhere in the world, just to watch World Cup 2022 matches.

FIFA makes its money through sale of television, marketing and licensing rights for World Cup 2022, so there is simply no reason for it to provide free mobile data to stream the matches.

Fact #2 : FIFA Would Never Give You Anything Free

Please do NOT be naive. No one is going to give you free data just to participate in a survey!

FIFA is a corporation whose business is to make money, not a charity to give you free data.

Fact #3 : They Do Not Use Official FIFA Domains

Genuine FIFA promotions would be announced on the official website at www.fifa.com, or their official social media accounts:

  • Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/fifaworldcup/
  • Twitter : https://twitter.com/fifacom
  • Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/fifaworldcup/

They would never run contests or promotions via dodgy domains like “subsidy.buzz”, “50g.kxoe1.xyz”, “50gb450.xyz”, or “zlqxt.top”.

Once you see those random domains, click delete. Or just ignore. DO NOT CLICK.

Fact #4 : They Are Advertisement Scams

After you click on the link, you will be redirected through a series of hidden advertisements before you arrive at the “offer page”.

The offer page will ask you a series of simple questions. Regardless of your answers, you will be congratulated and told you won the 50 GB free data plan for three months.

You will be asked to key in your mobile number to receive the free mobile data, but you will never receive anything. In one variant, you are even redirected to more advertisements, including a video advertisement.

Fact #5 : Brands Won’t Ask You To Forward The Contest

To get that free 50 GB data for three months, you are asked to share the “contest” with 12 friends or groups on WhatsApp.

That’s a clear sign of a scam. No brand will insist that you must share their contest or free offer with WhatsApp friends of groups.

Please do not click to forward their offer to your family and friends. They will not appreciate being scammed with your help!

Fact #6 : They Can Potentially Be Dangerous

Similar scams in the past have more dangerous variants, where you are asked to :
a) install an app, which is really a malware to keep sending you advertisements
b) enter your banking or credit card details, ostensibly to prove your identity or some other excuse

Needless to say – proceeding with this step will open you up to great risk of monetary loss. DO NOT PROCEED!

If you install their malware, you will start receiving promotions, some of which will ask you to send an SMS to receive expensive free gifts like laptops and smartphones.

If you proceed to send the confirmation SMS messages, you will be subscribed and billed for international premium SMS services.

This is VERY DANGEROUS. Never agree to download and register for any unknown app from a website.

Always download your apps from an official App Store like Google Play Store (for Android smartphones) and Apple App Store (for iPhones).

Fact #7 : They Are Just Another Example Of Online Scams

These are just more examples of online scams offering freebies.

Now that you know the facts, please WARN 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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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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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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Malaysia GE15 Election : Do’s And Don’ts Of Voting!

Here is a quick summary of the do’s and don’ts of voting on GE15 – the 15th General Election in Malaysia!

 

Malaysia GE15 Election : Please Do This!

Here is a quick summary of what you should do, when you head out to vote in the 15th General Election on 19 November 2022.

Check Your Voting Details

Before you leave home, please make sure you check your voting details using the SPR Semakan Daftar Pemilih (Electoral Roll Review) page.

At the very least, find out where is your voting centre and its opening and closing hours, which may have changed from the last election.

While this is not necessary, it would be good if you can note down your Saluran (polling station) number. This allows you to avoid checking for your Saluran at the SPR barung, and directly head to the polling station=.

Read more : Must You Print Details + Vote Within 2 Hours?!

Bring Your Original Identification Document

This is the only thing you must absolutely bring with you to vote in GE15 – an original identification document. Here is a list of what is acceptable:

  • MyKad identification card
  • Malaysian passport
  • Malaysian driving licence
  • Temporary identification document (JPN. KPPK09)
  • Official JPN Receipt for Lost Identification Card Report (JPN. KPPK11)

Please do not bring a photocopy of your identification document. It must be the actual identification document.

Wear A Face Mask

Wearing a face mask is mandatory for COVID-19 positive voters.

All other voters do not have to wear a face mask, but it is strongly encouraged to wear one, as it will help prevent any potential infections by COVID-19 positive voters.

Read more : GE15 Voting SOP For COVID-19 Positive Persons!

Practice Safe Distancing

Ensuring a proper physical distance is mandatory for COVID-19 positive voters.

All other voters do not have to maintain a physical distance, but it is strongly encouraged to do so, as it will help prevent any potential infections by COVID-19 positive voters.

Bring Your Mobile Phone

If you are COVID-19 positive, you should bring your mobile phone with MySejahtera installed, so the KKM officer at the voting centre can check your health status.

All other voters do not have to bring a mobile phone, but may do so.

Sanitise Your Hands

After your identity is verified, you will be asked to dip your left index finger into indelible ink.

COVID-19 positive voters MUST sanitise their hands BEFORE dipping their finger into the indelible ink bottle.

All other voters do not have to sanitise their fingers before or after dipping their finger into the ink bottle, but may do so.

It is recommended that you bring your own hand sanitiser, but the SPR will also provide hand sanitisers at the polling station.

Read more : GE15 Guide : What Must Voters Do On Election Day?

Use A Different Hand To Accept Ballot Paper

The indelible ink takes a minute or so to try, so it is recommended that you use a different hand to accept the ballot paper from polling clerk.

This prevents the ballot paper from being stained by the indelible ink. While this will not spoil your vote, it is still best to avoid staining the ballot paper at all.

Check Your Ballot Paper

Depending on your constituency, you will receive one or two ballot papers – white for Parliament, and peach for State.

When the second polling clerk hands you your ballot paper(s), please check to make sure:

  • the ballot papers are printed correctly,
  • they have half a certified SPR stamp and a serial number,
  • they are not torn or damaged in any way, and
  • they are not marked in any way.

If there are any irregularities, point them out to the polling clerk and/or ask the SPR officer for assistance.

Put Your Phone In Silent Mode + Surrender It

Before you go to the voting booth, you MUST place your phone at a designated box on the Polling Centre Head’s desk.

To avoid interruptions, please place your phone on Silent mode, before placing it in the provided box.

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

Mark Only Once Per Ballot Paper

It is important that you make only ONE VOTE per ballot paper. If you mark the ballot more than once, it will spoil the vote and your vote will not be counted.

Mark The Ballot With A Cross

Best practice is to mark the empty box next to the candidate or party of your choice with a cross (X).

While the counting clerks will accept other marking like a tick, or even a slash, it’s best to avoid all doubt by marking your choice with a cross (X).

Mark The Ballots With A Pen

Each polling booth will have a pen or pencil, and both are accepted ways of marking your paper ballots.

If you wish to avoid all doubt your vote will not be changed, you are allowed to bring your own pen to mark your paper ballots.

Drop Ballots Into Correct Box

It may seem obvious, the first voter of the day for each polling station may make this mistake, as the voting boxes will be empty.

So please make sure the White ballot paper goes into the box for Parliament, while the Peach ballot paper goes into the box for State.

 

Malaysia GE15 Election : Please Don’t Do This!

Here is a quick summary of what you should NOT do, when you head out to vote in the 15th General Election on 19 November 2022.

Do NOT Wear Clothes With Political Names / Logos

There is no dress code to vote in GE15, but voters are PROHIBITED from wearing clothes with names or logos or symbols of any political candidate, or political party within 50 metres of any voting centre.

Anyone who breaks this rule under the Election Offences Act of 1954 will face up to a year in prison, and/or a fine of up to RM5,000.

Do NOT Bring Items With Political Names / Logos

You are also FORBIDDEN from bringing any items – bags, caps, umbrellas, or even earrings and brooches – that have the names or logos or symbols of any political candidate, or political party.

Anyone who breaks this rule under the Election Offences Act of 1954 will face up to a year in prison, and/or a fine of up to RM5,000.

Read more : Is There A Dress Code For GE15 Election Voters?!

Do NOT Use Your Phone In Polling Centre

You are allowed to bring your phone and use it at the voting centre. However, once you reach your Saluran (polling station), you are NO LONGER ALLOWED to use your phone.

SPR will place notices and posters warning against the use of phones or smartphones inside and outside every GE15 voting room.

Do NOT Take Photo Of Your Ballot Paper

Before marking your ballot papers, you must place your phone in the provided area on the table of the Ketua Tempat Mengundi (Head of the Polling Station).

Please note that it is an offence to take a photo of your ballot papers showing your vote. If convicted, you are subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a fine of not more than RM5,000, or both.

I hope you found this guide useful. Please feel free to share this out with your family and friends.

Happy voting on 19 November 2022!

 

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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What Must You Do Before + During GE15 Election?

Find out what must you do before GE15 – the 15th General Election in Malaysia, and on election day itself!

 

What Should You Do Before GE15 Election Day?

Thanks to the Undi18 constitutional amendments that expanded voting rights for Malaysian citizens from 15 December 2021 onwards:

  • the minimum voting age was reduced to 18 years
  • automatic voter registration – all eligible voters would be automatically registered and allowed to vote

There is no longer a need for you to register to vote, but you should check your voting details at least one day before Election Day.

Use the SPR Semakan Daftar Pemilih (Electoral Roll Review) page, which will give you important information like:

  • Pusat Mengundi : Location of your voting centre
  • Saluran : Your assigned polling station at the voting centre
  • Bilangan : The number of voters assigned to that polling station
  • Masa Mengundi : Voting time for your voting centre
  • Masa Keluar Mengundi Yang Digalakkan : Recommended time to go vote
  • Hari Mengundi : Election day

While it is not necessary to print those details, if you can write them down and bring them to the voting centre, it will help the election clerks speed up your registration.

Read more : Must You Print Details + Vote Within 2 Hours?!

 

What Must Voters Bring On GE15 Election Day?

The only thing voters MUST bring is one of these identification documents, in order to qualify to vote on Election Day:

  • MyKad identification card
  • Malaysian passport
  • Malaysian driving licence
  • Temporary identification document (JPN. KPPK09)
  • Official JPN Receipt for Lost Identification Card Report (JPN. KPPK11)

In addition to their identification document, COVID-19 positive persons MUST also bring:

  • a face mask that is worn at all times, except during the facial identification process
  • a smartphone with MySejahtera installed, for KKM officers to check your COVID-19 status

These are recommended (not necessary) items that voters may choose to bring:

  • your own hand sanitiser – recommended for COVID-19 voters
  • your own pen – recommended for COVID-19 voters
  • your own tissue paper – to wipe off any excess indelible ink

 

What Voters Cannot Bring On GE15 Election Day?

Voters are NOT allowed to bring any item (like umbrellas, bags, and caps) with the name of any electoral candidate, or the symbol of any political party, into the voting centre.

Voters are also NOT allowed to wear clothes that have the name of any electoral candidate, or the symbol of any political party.

Read more : Is There A Dress Code For GE15 Election Voters?!

 

What Should Voters Do On GE15 Election Day?

Step 1 : Once you arrive at your voting centre, you can either :

  • head directly to your Saluran (polling station), if you already know your Saluran number, or
  • ask the SRP Barung agent there to check your Saluran number.

Step 2 : Queue outside your assigned Saluran, for your turn to enter the polling station.

Please note that you are NOT allowed to use your phone at the polling station.

Step 3 : Once the police officer at the polling station lets you in, you need to hand over your identification document (e.g. MyKad) to the first polling clerk.

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

Step 4 : The polling clerk will verify your details against the electoral roll, and perform a visual identification.

At this point, COVID-19 positive voters must pull down their face masks. Please take care to stand at a distance, and avoid speaking, and quickly put the face mask on after the clerk confirms your identity.

Step 4 : The polling clerk will then ask you to show both your hands, to confirm that you do not have any fingers marked with the indelible ink – evidence that you have not voted yet.

Step 5 : The first polling clerk will hand your identification document to the second polling clerk, and loudly call out your identification card / passport number and name. Please make sure that they are both correct.

Step 6 : You will be asked to move to the second polling clerk, who will hand your identification document back to you.

Step 7 : The second polling clerk will ask you to put out your left index (second) finger, to dip into the indelible ink bottle.

COVID-19 positive voters MUST sanitise their hands BEFORE dipping their left index fingers into the indelible ink bottle.

Read more : Must You Sanitise Hands After Dipping In Indelible Ink?!

Step 8 : Head to the next table where the third polling clerk will hand you your folded paper ballot(s).

You will get a white ballot for Parliament, but you may not receive a peach ballot for state – it depends on your constituency.

Just in case the indelible ink on your left index finger is still wet, take your paper ballots using your right hand.

Step 9 : You will now be asked to head to the table of the Polling Station Head (Ketua Tempat Mengundi, KTM), to deposit your mobile phone in the provided box.

Step 10 : You can now proceed to the voting booth, where you can now unfold the paper ballots.

Although ink smudges will not void your vote, try to unfold your paper ballots once the indelible ink has dried on your left index finger.

Step 11 : Choose your candidate by marking each paper ballot ONCE with an X in the empty box on the far right using the provided pen, or your own pen.

Step 12 : Fold the paper ballots once you are done, before you leave the voting booth.

Step 13 : Drop your paper ballots into the respective polling boxes for Parliament (white) and State (peach).

Step 14 : Collect your mobile phone from the table of the Polling Station Head (KTM).

Step 15 : You can leave the polling station, and the voting centre.

I hope you found this guide useful. Please feel free to share this out with your family and friends.

Happy voting on 19 November 2022!

 

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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New SPR Rules On Bringing + Using Phone On GE15!

The Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) just issued a notice on new rules on bringing and using your phone during GE15 – the 15th General Election!

 

SPR : You Cannot Use Your Phone Inside GE15 Polling Station

At around 10 PM on Monday, 14 November 2022, the Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) issued new rules on how voters can use their phone when they go to vote in the 15th General Election.

You are allowed to bring a phone or smartphone with you to the voting centre. However, you are forbidden from using your phone once you get to the polling station (Saluran) – the room in which you will receive and mark your voting ballot.

SPR will place notices and posters warning against the use of phones or smartphones inside and outside every GE15 voting room. Here is the official SPR statement, with my English translation:

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia (SPR) telah memaklumkan kepada semua pengundi bahawa penggunaan telefon bimbit di tempat mengundi (saluran) adalah tidak dibenarkan. Sebagai peringatan, notis atau poster larangan penggunaan telefon bimbit akan diletakkan di luar dan di dalam tempat mengundi.

The Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) has informed all voters that the use of mobile phones at polling stations (Saluran) is forbidden. As a reminder, notices or posters prohibiting the use of mobile phones will be placed outside and inside the polling station.

This SPR decision will help prevent anyone from taking photos of voters making their choices, and reduce the potential for vote buying and election fraud.

 

SPR : You Must Surrender Your Phone Before Voting In GE15!

SPR also officially stated that you must place your phone in the provided area on 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.

Here is the official SPR statement, with my English translation:

SPR telah menetapkan bahawa pengundi yang membawa telefon bimbit ke tempat mengundi perlu meletakkan telefon bimbit di tempat yang telah disediakan setelah menerima kertas undi dan mengambilnya semula setelah selesai mengundi.

SPR has ordered that voters who carry mobile phones to the polling station must put the mobile phone in the provided place after receiving the ballot papers and retrieve it after they have finished voting.

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

Read more : You Must Surrender Phone Before Voting In GE15!

 

Please Support My Work!

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

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

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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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!

 

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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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Can Mexico Did It Photo Infect Your Phone With Virus?!

Can the “Mexico Did It” photo infect your phone with a virus in just 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 like Facebook and Twitter, 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!

 

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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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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!

 

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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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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 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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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 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!

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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