What I found particularly interesting in that one was the insight of the last questioned person, Kyle Wiens, co-founder and CEO of iFixit, who in turn brought me to Google’s (and Motorola’s) Project Ara:
This comes from a saved copy of Google’s ad of 2016, short before they buried the project – which would have been the phone-sized equivalent of the modularity of a PC, the best idea for smartphones until now in my humble opinion. Except of course, that it would have been the end of smartphone sales, except for parts… anyhow, shouldn’t we all get this instead of an upcoming Pixel 8 (or 9, 10, …)?
Whenever I hear the news, and listen to all the excitement about “artificial” “intelligence”, I am shaking my head. Now James Bridle has written a truly great article about it, called:
That’s a must read in my opinion, to set some perspectives right – and to learn that “It’s hard to think of anything more utterly stupid than artificial intelligence, as it is practised in the current era” (citation from the above article).
We’re just discussing these topics in Wikiloops for instance, as first members already came up with computer-generated lyrics. And even the basic questions about copyright issues aren’t that easy to understand, as I’d found in an article in Forbes a few days ago. But James’ article in The Guardian goes way deeper as you will find when reading it.
As I mentioned in this post’s headline, I consider these recommended reading. Thanks for your interest.
I’ve read the very positive reviews in The Guardian and also in Trusted Reviews about the new Nokia G22 mobile phone. This new device does indeed stand out of the crowd because like a Fairphone 4 you can pretty easily repair it yourself – changing its battery for instance would take mere minutes, and would require almost no special tools. I’ve looked it up, and it starts at around 180€ in the price comparison engines – far cheaper than the Fairphone.
That alone and in itself is applaudable indeed, and we all should give HMD/Nokia credits for it.
Last weekend, we walked through a big chain electronics store, and when coming past the mobile phone section we saw quite a number of people standing around the Xiaomi/Redmi exhibited parts. I’ve had a short glance, and wow, these had really gorgeous displays, must have been OLED, although I didn’t really look them up until now. And they, too, were about 180€ – no wonder that people flocked around them like flies around honey.
And that is probably the Achilles heel of the new Nokia G22 – which comes with a rather huge 6,52″ IPS display with a mere 720×1200 pixels – not even Full HD! They even got it wrong on their own website, because an aspect ratio of 20:9 means that it has in fact 720×1600 pixels – but HD+ also means that for normal video content, 720×1200 is about right (should read 720×1280 for that)… come on, Nokia/HMD, even the Google Nexus 5 from 2013 did far better than that – it had an IPS display as well (OLED wasn’t really a thing in 2013 yet), but at a much cuter 4.95″ size it had Full HD, which easily beat even Apple’s SE line until today.
That Nokia G22 does everything else quite right, and it even comes with a headphone jack. It would be perfect if it wouldn’t be a) that big, and b) come with that lame excuse of a screen. It almost hurts to see a good idea ruined through corporate greed like that!
HMD Global has their phones made by Taiwanese maker Foxconn who have facilities in Vietnam and who also make Google’s and even Apple’s phones. But would customers respect that, or rather take a similarly cheap Chinese brand like the -mi ones I saw on display? That large crowd of people around their display stand wouldn’t probably have a second look onto the Nokia G22 in direct comparison, which is sad.
So my advice to HMD would be: great start, people – now make it 20$/€ (10%) more expensive, and give us a nice OLED display with at least FullHD. Oh, and making it a bit smaller, like 6″ or so, would also be nice. Thanks for your consideration.
Oh, and to the reviewers of other sites:
It also helps not only to look at the makers’ support cycles (like in this case, three years), but also to help/hints about the possibility to unlock the devices’ bootloaders, so that after the end of these support cycles, we can easily unlock the devices, and put something with longer support onto them. I’d love to read any news about that, and if the makers don’t claim anything, ask them – you’re journalists, aren’t you? And as jourmalists you should ask questions, not only repeat the maker’s ads. Thanks a lot.
… is the same as my blog header photo, but heavily blurred with The Gimp‘s “Lens Blur”, using a radius of 200.
I took inspiration from the wonderful wallpapers (especially the “Sage” one) of the Google Pixel 6a mobile phone, which let you really concentrate on your foreground instead of the underlying background. See here as an example:
See how much the browser window and also the Conky system monitor stand out if the background just isn’t that sharp and detailed? What a simple but effective idea from Google’s artist crew; bravi! See 9to5google, and especially this image which would also be big enough to cover my desktop…
Have to agree with deboraey’s review of the Belgian series GR5 (here also titled “Missing Lisa”) – the characters are really nice and believable, the photography is just stunning at times, and the thought of walking 2000+ kilometres is wonderful… 9/10 from me as well.
Currently available in ZDF and/or in MediathekViewWeb (and for Android phones, in the Zapp App), German trailer is here if you can receive that (I think ZDF heavily geoblocks, so apologies if this is empty or not working for you):
And right he is of course, but forgetting that a) some iPhones were supported equally long, and that b) there are third party offerings like for instance LineageOS (just to name the most well-known one) who easily top that – for the mentioned Fairphone 2 for instance, there’s Android 11 in form of LineageOS 18.1 available.
And that’s far from the end of it – on my Google Nexus 5 I had an (unofficial but still great) version of LineageOS 20 which equals Android 13 – and that was a device which was even 2 years older than the Fairphone 2, and which LineageOS officially supported until 14.1 (Android 7).
So the real question before buying any new phone should be: is it supported by LineageOS and other 3rd party offerings? Do the makers at least give you the option to unlock the devices’ bootloaders so that you *can* install something different than the makers’ version of Android? For Apple’s iPhones and the iOS, the answer is generally “no”, so despite their long support through the maker they still lose against “open” Android phones like all devices from Google themselves for instance. See the devices listing on LineageOS, and if your phone is as old as a Nexus 5, don’t forget to mark the “discontinued devices” checkbox – if you find yours there, then there’s a great chance to also find some newer ROMs on the site of the XDA Developers.
The jury is still out, but at least with Android 13 on my late brother’s Pixel 3a I can even use my banking app, haven’t found many bugs even in that unofficial ROM yet.
So would I like to have a newer phone than that? Definitely yes. Do I really need one? Not so sure yet, although having Google’s quarterly “feature drops” is of course something really nice.
So if you’re reading articles about the longevity and the support cycles from manufacturers, don’t forget the third party aspect, it’s an important one in my opinion.
When three days ago I asked why things have to grow, I also meant that in regards to a swelling battery in one of our phones – again. This time it’s my Pixel 4a which is kind of hard for me because I consider that the perfect phone regarding size, features, and all…
So my first reaction was to change that battery, and I looked up videos about it and thought: “Oh my…”, because with *this* device it’s really hard. So I looked up an estimation for repair costs at Google, and oh my again…
Don’t know if you can see that, but it says 326,06€ – which is more than a new Pixel 6a would cost either on mail order or in local electronics shops.
So for now I switched over to my brother Willi’s last one, the Pixel 3a. I had installed LineageOS 20 (Android 13) on it already, and after moving over the SIM card as well as some data, it almost looks the same like on my 4a:
So let’s see. Haven’t tried everything yet (like my banking app for instance), but so far this looks good…
The next version of Debian Linux will default to Pipewire, so it’s always good to see developers doing some work on/with it. Enrico is actually one I’ve met, he’s a very nice and extremely capable guy. Found via Planet Debian. And like always, thanks for reading.
In case you can’t read it: from the left, we have the Google Pixel 3a (from my late brother), my Google Pixel 4a, then our kid’s Pixel 4a 5G, and at the right Mitchie’s Pixel 6.
And with their latest line, even Apple now left away the “mini” version of their iPhone, so in case you want small, you’re left with the 13 mini, or on Android, with the Asus Zenfone 9 (which even still has a headphone jack).
The Pixel 7 is a bit smaller than the Pixel 6, and the (to be announced) 7a and 8 are – like the 6a – also a bit smaller than the Pixel 6 (at least, we hope so). But that 6a still has a 6.1″ screen just like a now “normal” iPhone 14 or 13, so the question is: why do they have to grow all the time? Are our pockets getting bigger as well, like our garages and even roads for the ever growing cars? Are we humans getting bigger and taller all of the time?
Some things are hard to understand for my (small, pun intended) brain… but I don’t think that bigger equals better. My 4a has about the perfect size, and the guys over at XDA Developers wrote in their “best phones” article:
“Many of us at XDA actually think the Zenfone 9’s 5.9-inch screen is the perfect “small” size, as the iPhone 13 mini’s 5.4-inch panel is just a bit too cramped for most modern content.”
And that’s what I think about the 5.81″ screen of my Pixel 4a as well. Just right for my hand and eyes… and if “modern content” means more whitespace, well I could do as well without…
Like always, thanks for reading.
P.S.: just checking on the battery of my Pixel 4a – last full charge was exactly 48 hours ago, and my gsconnect (kconnect but for the Gnome desktop) shows it with still having 31% of its charge: