Newsletter: 16th February 2016

The Phones Show Chat is a popular podcast centred around the world of phones, obviously, and this week I was pleased to be a guest on the show. Myself, Steve and Ted discussed iPhones, Apple and the dreaded error 53 plus a few more select topics. You can listen to it here.

Sticking with phones, take a look at the video above of a concept flip phone by Kristian Ulrich Larsen. In a world where almost every smartphone follows the same form and where most deviate only slightly from a general theme, it dawned on me that using two screens that could be moved around as required could bring back the innovation, excitement and tech-lust that we enjoyed not so long ago. The video above actually shows three screens, but the ideas make so much sense it hurts and I would love to see the big manufacturers look at this form again. Not since the Psions has this been tried properly and I am convinced there is potential here to change everything, again.

Did you know that your brain actually works better in Winter? Apparently it does and Science Of Us takes up the story- “A pair of new studies challenge many of the popular assumptions about the psychological effects of wintertime, suggesting that we should look at the season in a new, brighter light. The weather might be gray and chilly, but the latest science says we humans are better at dealing with this than we usually give ourselves credit for, both in terms of our mood and the basic functioning of our brains. The first study is a massive investigation published recently in Clinical Psychological Science involving 34,294 U.S. adults. It casts doubt on the very notion that depression symptoms are worse in the winter months…”

“The lack of satisfaction among drivers is unsurprising, especially coming in the middle of a harsh winter for the ride-share company. Uber recently slashed its fares in over 100 cities. The reduction was meant to combat slower winter months, but it mostly just pissed off its workforce. Drivers, many of whom were lured to the app-based company on the promise of greater flexibility and higher take-home pay, say the fare cuts are forcing them to work longer hours for less money.” If the future of commuting is going to be Uber-like services, Uber needs to look closely in the mirror. More at The Verge.

The average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 in modern Britain is £231,843, according to a new report by an insurance company.” Worth every penny, I think. More at the BBC.

This Cheatsheet for Remembering the Effects of Aperture, Shutter and ISOcould be extremely handy if you are learning the basics of photography. Sadly I still don’t quite understand it… “For those of you bred on smartphone photography whom are looking to switch to single-lens reflex, and don’t know your f-stop from your L-train, here’s a handy reference guide that will at least get you started.”

“Like a comic-book villain transformed by a tragic accident, Weigman discovered at an early age that his acute hearing gave him superpowers on the telephone. He could impersonate any voice, memorize phone numbers by the sound of the buttons and decipher the inner workings of a phone system by the frequencies and clicks on a call, which he refers to as “songs.” The knowledge enabled him to hack into cellphones, order phone lines disconnected and even tap home phones. “Man, it felt pretty powerful for a little kid,” he says. “Anyone said something bad about me, and I’d press a button, and I’d get them.” Again, The Boy Who Heard Too Much is not an easy read, but it sure is an interesting one.

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