Scams everywhere

I mentioned a dodgy hard drive on Amazon a few days ago which transpired to be nothing more than a fraud.

And now it appears that Walmart is listing a similar product, a 30TB SSD for just $39. From arsOn the inside, this “SSD” looks like two small-capacity microSD cards hot glued to a USB 2.0-capable board. This board’s firmware has been modified so that each of these cards reports its capacity as “15.0TB” to the operating system, for a total of 30TB, even though the actual capacity of the cards is much lower.

Computer Clan has covered products like the above in great detail. The main advice is never buy a no-name brand product.

And then I found the below video from Atomic Shrimp which looks at an obvious smart watch scam. It does appear that this kind of deception is becoming more common.

It is remarkable that the ‘smart’ watch above sounds exactly like the aPhone that I reviewed back in 2008! Below…

11TB Portable External Hard Drive for £75 (scam?)

Amazon listing: 11TB Portable External Hard Drive,Mobile SSD,Solid State Drive,SSD Hard Drive Slim Storage Drive with USB 3.0 C Port for PC, Laptop and Mac

This has to be a scam. Actually, one review and it would appear to be more than a little dodgy. How does Amazon allow things like this? Actually, look at the company selling these and every SSD they sale appears just as dodgy. Sounds like small USB sticks stuck inside plastic housings.

The Dream Desk Setup

This guy has gone a bit over the top, but it is almost always worth spending some time making a decent desk setup at home. In particular the way you are sitting is HUGELY important- I found that out to my cost and my ignoring the correct posture caused more than a few back problems for me.

Is Apple scaring the auto industry?

Which explains why carmakers are feeling more threatened than ever by the idea of handing over their user experience to a savvy outsider. As Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives explained to Marketplace.org, “Auto is a massive industry for Apple because it’s just a further expansion of its ecosystem. Its goal is to be more and more entrenched in consumers’ life.” Monetising gas station tip-offs is the tip of the iceberg; CarPlay’s integration of apps for everything from parking spot finders to EV charger locators suggests the monetised possibilities are endless… More here.

I’m almost tempted to compare it to macOS running on computers made by multiple manufacturers. You would only remember the software and what’s behind becomes a mere commodity. Auto makers would not like that at all.

Startling Tech

Google. It snuck up on me as the fallback search for Yahoo back in the day. When I realized it did a much better job of searching my site than my own homebrew search functions… and it was doing that for, like, every site on the web?
iPod. Again, a matter of scale: 1,000 songs in your pocket is just amazing… More here.

A decent list of startling tech from Kirk. I am, however, surprised that the iPhone is not in the list- that ‘Slide to touch’ moment blew my mind when I first saw it.

Free trials can end up being anything but

I took out a free three-day trial with a US company called Speechify, which converts text into speech so you can listen to articles instead of reading them. As someone who likes to learn on the go, I wanted to see whether this technology would work for me.

It didn’t, so I cancelled my subscription via my Apple account well within the trial period.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I received a notification from my bank three days later telling me Speechify had deducted £105.64 from my account to pay for an annual subscription… More here.

It’s far too easy to miss small payments at times, but I have experienced companies who seem to work on expecting a certain percentage of people to not notice such things. They are called scumbags.

The Dyson Zone™🤣

Today, Jake Dyson has unveiled the Dyson Zone™, Dyson’s first step into wearable technology. The Dyson Zone™ is a set of noise cancelling, high fidelity over-ear headphones which simultaneously deliver immersive sound to the ears, and purified airflow to the nose and mouth. The result of over a decade of air quality research and development, the Dyson Zone™ air-purifying headphones simultaneously tackle the urban issues of air quality and noise pollution… More here.

I would buy this…

if it wasn’t likely to be needlessly expensive like all other Dyson products

if it didn’t look completely rediculous

if the £300 Dyson fan we bought (we returned it within the hour) worked better than the £50 normal fan we bought the next day

if our cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner hadn’t broken just after 1 year when the guarantee had expired, and if the subsequent Tax vacuum we bought wasn’t a better performer in every area for a third of the price

and if James Dyson wasn’t a staunch Brexiteer who has much of his production undertaken abroad. I will never buy a Dyson product again.

Strict new laws to stop phone use while driving

Making calls, texting, taking photos or videos, scrolling through playlists and playing games will all be prohibited. Anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving could face a fine of up to £1,000 as well as six points on their licence… More here.

This is such a difficult area to build rules for, but if anything I see more people using their phones while driving, especially delivery drivers, than ever before.