Thurrott Daily: November 22

Thurrott Daily: November 22
The screen of my Surface Book separates from the base regularly. What could go wrong?

Tech tidbits from around the web.

11/22/2016 8:47:11 AM

Report: Galaxy Note 7 recall did not damage Samsung brand in U.S.

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To which I say, “yeah, right.” But a Reuters report claims that all is forgiven.

A global recall of fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphones did not appear to hurt U.S. consumers’ willingness to buy Samsung phones, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Sunday showed.

The survey conducted Oct. 26 to Nov. 9 found that current Samsung smartphone users were as loyal to their brand as Apple iPhone customers. It also found that people who knew about the recall were as interested in Samsung phones as those who did not.

Samsung was plunged into a global scandal after Note 7 phones caught fire this year, prompting a worldwide recall. Some customers reported fixed phones overheated, leading Samsung to take back replacements as well. Investors expected Samsung customers would turn to alternatives, chiefly Apple’s iPhone 7.

I wouldn’t go near any Samsung phone at this point.

Apple to offer free replacements of batteries for iPhone 6s with shutdown problem

I assume this issue likewise didn’t damage Apple’s brand in the US or elsewhere. But it’s fair to say that, between this issue at the “touch disease” problem that Apple users are also experiencing, there’s something rotten in Cupertino.

Apple said it would provide consumers world-wide with a free battery replacement for iPhone 6s devices that unexpectedly shut down.

The announcement Sunday came less than a week after a Chinese consumer-protection group said it received reports of iPhone 6s devices spontaneously shutting down though half their battery life remained. It is the second time in the past three years the company has offered a battery-replacement program for iPhones.

Unlike [with] Samsung, Apple said the iPhone 6s battery issue isn’t a safety matter and only affects a limited number of iPhone 6s devices manufactured in September and October 2015. Concerned consumers must contact Apple online, visit an Apple store or authorized service provider to learn whether a specific device is eligible for a fix—wireless carriers aren’t participating.

Google Pixel’s camera has a lens flare problem

And apparently the fix is as a simple as “don’t point the camera at the sun.” The ever-reliable Tech Times reports:

Several thousand Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone users said that they were noticing extreme lens flaring. The problem is causing images to appear with bright halos, and suffice to say, such an effect is not really a good one to have in all the pictures that users take. Here are some things you can try to solve the problem.

Never shoot pictures while looking straight at the sun or while in a room with a bright light shining at the edge of the Google Pixel or Pixel XL’s screen.

When shooting toward the direction of the sun, place the sun at the corner of the screen or off-axis.

If shooting indoors with a bright light, position the light behind the camera rather than to the side.

If following these methods do not work in erasing the extreme lens flaring on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, users will then likely have to rely on the upcoming software update that Google will be releasing to address the problem.

LOL. Ah geeze.

McLaren CEO admits to talks with Apple, but no bid was made

Remember those rumors that Apple was going to buy luxury carmaker McLaren?Reuters says that talks took place.

There was speculation in September that U.S. technology giant Apple had made an approach to invest in or buy McLaren, according to the Financial Times.

“There wasn’t a bid from Apple,” said McLaren Chief Executive Mike Flewitt.

“They visited. We talked. We talked about what they did. We talked about what we did. They toured. It never matured to a definitive proposition,” he said.

LOL: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare review: In space, no one can hear you snore

PC World’s review of the latest Call of Duty game gets in great zingers in both the headline and the sub-heading. Nicely done.

More like “Infinite Borefare,” right?

We used to talk about “Call of Duty killers.” Little did we know Call of Duty would kill itself.

A handful of brief highs and a heaping dose of spectacle do not make up for six hours of monotony, and after the successful intro Infinite Warfare struggles.

Apple kills its wireless router business

Bloomberg notes the passing of a once-excellent lineup of networking equipment.

Apple has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, another move to try to sharpen the company’s focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced.

Apple hasn’t refreshed its routers since 2013 following years of frequent updates to match new standards from the wireless industry.

2013? So they’re newer than, or at least as new as, the latest Mac Mini and Power Mac, at least.


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Conversation 17 comments

  • 442

    22 November, 2016 - 8:01 am

    <p>I fully believe that NOT ONLY has the battery issues harmed Samsung, a lot of other problems Samsung has had is harming them.&nbsp; I’m often asked what Android phone I recommend, most of the time there is a clincher&nbsp;part in that request to me about exploding batteries.&nbsp; Yes, it did hurt them.&nbsp; Along with many other missteps in many other products they have produced over the past few years with varying levels of poor results.&nbsp; Hopefully, they’ll at least stay good at TVs…</p>
    <p>I’ve been trying to enjoy COD IW, but this is one of those games that makes me sea-sick when playing it.&nbsp; I guess they forgot how to do mouse smoothing or something.&nbsp; It’s rare a modern game affects me in this way.&nbsp; So, I’m at odds as to why this one does.&nbsp; But beyond that, when I can stomach some play, I’m finding the game pretty fun.</p>

  • 2481

    Premium Member
    22 November, 2016 - 8:19 am

    <p>I will be honest I am hoping that the damaged brand makes them go back to removable batteries.</p>

  • 5273

    Premium Member
    22 November, 2016 - 8:36 am

    <p>I played through the COD:IW campaign in one sitting and enjoyed <em>maybe</em> half of it. The story and characters just didn’t connect with me. Except Ethan, who is a robot. I then played multiplayer up to Level 4 before ejecting the game and going back to a now three-year-old Destiny.</p>

  • 5516

    22 November, 2016 - 8:50 am

    <p>I ditched my iPhone 6 for a Galaxy S7 earlier this year and have no regrets. It’s a great phone. I’ll certainly give Samsung another look when it comes time to get a new phone in a couple of years.</p>

    • 4282

      22 November, 2016 - 10:49 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#26694">In reply to </a><a href="../../users/captobie">captobie</a><a href="#26694">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>Same here with iPhone 6, S7 Edge. Took some getting used to as I’d only ever been on iOS on a smartphone, but I have no complaints. I find the flexibility of Android enough to make up for it’s few shortcomings.</p>

  • 5510

    22 November, 2016 - 9:18 am

    <p>I am not surprised that the Note 7 fiasco didn’t hurt Samsung’s brand. That’s because it handled the whole situation very well. Let’s face it, Samsung makes the most feature packed and stylish mobile phones in the world and people love them. After all, they are the #1 phone seller in the world (with Apple being #2). Because of the Note 7’s failures, the Note 8 will most likely be the best phone in the market, in terms of feature and raw power….just in time for the 10 year anniversary iPhone (8).</p>
    <p>If Apple were to claim a large stake or just (outright) own McClaren, that would be such a GREAT MARKETING MOVE on their part for their other products. If would solidify their (perceived) status as a luxury but affordable producer of goods. It’s kinda like Louis Vuitton. Women love the brand; can’t afford it; but find a way to buy bag from them anyway. If they can’t buy a bag, then they’ll go for a wallet. In this case, the wallet here would be any of Apple’s waning consumer products.</p>

  • 180

    22 November, 2016 - 9:22 am

    <p>Paul, so is the screen slipping loose? I’ve not seen that, but I have a SB, and that’s definitely.. concerning. For such expensive hardware.</p>
    <p>At least it’s the only problem the Surface Book has seen, right?</p>

  • 412

    Premium Member
    22 November, 2016 - 9:51 am

    <p>Count me in as one who has been disappointed with the Pixel Camera…I also get the lens flare…Compared to Moto Z Force:</p>
    <p><a href="!AmK3qzFi4lchreBy0dEA51QC-Zr1dw&quot; target="_blank">Pixel Lens Flare</a></p>
    <p><a href="!AmK3qzFi4lchreBx1zCWokQAG3vXbA&quot; target="_blank">MotoZForce</a></p>

  • 6014

    22 November, 2016 - 10:40 am

    <p>So… my question is, why is Apple abandoning so many product categories?&nbsp; My understanding was that the Apple routers were great products.&nbsp; Are they dropping those so they can introduce some kind of Apple Home Hub for IoT or something?</p>

    • 6367

      22 November, 2016 - 10:47 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#26756">In reply to </a><a href="../../users/Daekar">Daekar</a><a href="#26756">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>It’s simply about money. They don’t make enough selling routers to justify having a whole team work on it. Personally I can’t blame them. It makes sense for them to put all their resources into their biggest products.&nbsp;</p>

  • 5496

    22 November, 2016 - 11:26 am

    <p>If it was Apple and not Samsung that were catching fire. And Reuters said it didn’t hurt Apple. Paul would believe it.</p>
    <p>Lens flare is a problem on an camera, not just the Pixel.</p>

  • 5027

    22 November, 2016 - 11:31 am

    <p>of course the Samsung brand did not get hurt by the battery issues, not among normal consumers. Most I talk to have not even heard of the issue in the first place, and most of the time people have a very short memory.</p>
    <p>In 2 months, most will not even remember there was an issue in the first place. That is how a lot of people are today, short attention span, and lack of interest.</p>
    <p>but shiny new thing…must buy</p>

  • 8578

    22 November, 2016 - 12:24 pm

    <p>I own an airport express which worked fine except it came apart due to bad structural design. But Apple has always prioritized aesthetics over durability (not that the router was all that pretty anyway).</p>

  • 1816

    22 November, 2016 - 12:35 pm

    <p>Report: Galaxy Note 7 recall did not damage Samsung brand in U.S.</p>
    <p>Trump has proven beyond a doubt that there is no such thing as bad publicity.</p>

  • 5501

    Premium Member
    22 November, 2016 - 2:09 pm

    <p>Aww, man. &nbsp;I hope the CoD: IW campaign isn’t *that* bad. &nbsp;I just finished the Advanced Warfare campaign, and I thought it was a heck of a roller-coaster ride of fun. &nbsp;And I’m mainly interested in that as opposed to the multiplayer. &nbsp;I guess I’ll find out.</p>

  • 3072

    22 November, 2016 - 2:21 pm

    <p>I wonder if Apple has eyes on Sonos. &nbsp;It would fit their luxury brand style/pricing, further their music offerings and potentially replace their networking device segment.</p>
    <p>Assuming if they did buy Sonos they could initially leave the support for other streaming services but vastly improve the apple music experience on those devices. &nbsp;They could also add native support to network any apple device via the mesh network and hook into apple TV for the home automation piece.</p>

  • 8626

    22 November, 2016 - 4:53 pm

    <p>Regarding Samsung, &nbsp;the problem was solely with the Note 7, given the number of S7 and S7 Edge in the market that are not catching fire, consumers look at it’ as just a fluke. On the other hand Note 7 owners, know there currently isn’t a smartphone with comparable functionality, so if Samsung released a Note 8, plenty of Note 7 owners would still buy it.&nbsp;</p>

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