Motorola Droid Turbo 2 Review by The Verge

[ The Verge ] Jacob Kastrenakes:

Motorola isn’t lying when it says this screen can’t be shattered. In my week with the phone, I’ve dropped it down flights of stairs, let it fall out of my pocket and onto the sidewalk time and again, and knocked it off of tables, chairs, and desks, all without sending a crack rippling across it. By all means, my Turbo 2 should be a mess — I’ve put it through more knocks and spills in a week than most phones will receive over two years — but its screen remains in impressive shape.

Shatterproof does not mean unbreakable, but it does mean if you have butterfingers the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 should be at the top of your replacement smartphone list. Of course, you can simply put a thick shockproof case on your phone for a lot less. But it would also look less pretty.

iPhone 6s Review by AnandTech

[ AnandTech ] Ryan Smith & Joshua Ho:

As with the iPhone 6, both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus use dual domain pixels, which make the subpixels look more like chevrons under a microscope. This improves viewing angles by reducing the amount of color shifting that occurs when the display viewing angle is changed. As far as I can tell, Apple continues to be one of the few OEMs that pulls this off effectively. Although contrast and luminance aren’t perfectly consistent with changes in viewing angles, it basically looks like the display is painted underneath the glass. The iPhone 6s Plus does a better job at pulling off this illusion as the higher pixel density helps to eliminate some of the fuzziness or pixilation that might otherwise occur.

I consider color accuracy very important because I’d like the photos I take to look as close to the real thing as possible.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in Basic screen mode produces detailed photos with extremely accurate colors. There are two areas where the Note 4 falls a little short of excellent. One is with red colors: reds are slightly washed out and sometimes appear to verge on orange. The other is lag. The Note 4 makes me wait a little bit before I can review the photo.

If you’re using an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus for any remotely color-critical work like viewing and/or editing photos and videos, it’s a pretty fair bet that you’ll be able to rely on these phones to provide an accurate color reproduction in pretty much any condition.

LA LTE SmartPole StreetLights

[ Forbes ] Aaron Tilley:

Los Angeles publicly announced Thursday that it is outfitting 100 streetlights with a type of networking gear called small cells in an effort to start improving cell phone coverage. Called SmartPoles, the streetlights are part of a collaboration between LED lighting giant Philips and telecom equipment giant Ericsson . The two European companies announced they were working together on a small cell product in 2014, and LA is the first city to rollout the technology.

Streetlights are everywhere — 120,000 can potentially be transformed into SmartPoles in Los Angeles — so adding LTE small cells is smart. I wonder though: might WiFi have been a better option? You can connect to the Internet with your laptop, tablet, iPod touch, and smartphone.

WordPress Is Popular: Powers 25% Of Websites

Matt Mullenweg:

Sometimes it goes up and down through the course of a month, but it’s still a pretty fun milestone that we can now say about one in four websites are now powered by the scrappy open source underdog with its roots stretching all the way back to a single person in Corsica, France. We should be comfortably past 25% by the end of the year.

WordPress is darn flexible, and that’s why I have stuck with WordPress for over ten years. I guess a lot of others like WordPress, too.

Although I’ve been happy with WordPress, a couple of weeks ago something went haywire with the MySQL database, which crashed the entire site. I was able to export a sql file, but when I tried to import it into a new locally hosted WordPress instance I ran into some errors. It didn’t take many google searches to find solutions, but there were many steps I had to take before WordPress was running with all 7000+ posts.

DISPLAYBLOG is back up again (phew!) and I look forward to another ten years. (I’ll be working on customizing the look and feel in the coming weeks.)

Tesla Model X

[ Tesla ] The front looks a little… flat, but overall the Model X is probably the sexiest SUV you can buy. The Falcon Wing doors has built-in proximity sensors and automatically adjust how they open in confined spaces. The sexiest SUV is also the fastest: the P90D version gets to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Ludicrous!

Microsoft Surface Book

[ Microsoft ] The Surface Book is a full-blown Wintel laptop and a full-blown Wintel tablet in one. And that dynamic fulcrum hinge!

[ Wired ] Margaret Rhodes:

The connective tissue between the Surface Book’s base and display is an isopod-like piece of aluminum that flexes back and forth thanks to four rotational points.

Unlike the pixel formats found in the iPad Pro (2732×2048) and 12-inch MacBook (2304×1440), the 13.5-inch 10-point multitouch LCD sports a clean 3000×2000 pixel format. I like that Microsoft took the effort to make it a nice, even, round number.

The Surface Book’s 267 ppi resolution is higher than the 13-inch retina MacBook Pro retina (227 ppi) and edges out the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (264 ppi).

Hardware isn’t everything, of course, but Microsoft is without a doubt innovating where it matters.

LTE Speeds

[ Macworld ] Stephen Lawson:

Still, some countries have opened up legitimately huge leads. The biggest standout is South Korea, where users enjoy LTE service 97 percent of the time. On carrier LG U+ it’s 99.6 percent, so effectively subscribers never have to fall back onto 3G. Korea is also home to the fastest single LTE operator in the world, Olleh, with an average download speed of 30Mbps. SK Telecom and LG U+ are also near the top for speed.

They got there partly through new technology. All the LTE carriers in South Korea use Carrier Aggregation, part of the bundle of specifications called LTE-Advanced, to combine two or more spectrum bands into a single fat pipe. U.S. service providers are far behind on adopting Carrier Aggregation.

In the U.S.:

  • Verizon: 84%
  • AT&T: 81%
  • T-Mobile: 77%
  • Sprint: 64%

The U.S. is a much larger country than South Korea so to blanket the entire country is harder, but the U.S. has more potential customers and therefore more profits. More profits should offset the difficulty in dealing with a larger land mass, to some degree.

Apple Titan

[ The Wall Street Journal ] Daisuke Wakabayashi:

There are many unanswered questions about Apple’s automotive foray. It isn’t clear whether Apple has a manufacturing partner to become the car equivalent of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that builds most iPhones and is known by the trade name Foxconn. Most major auto makers build and run their own factories, but that hasn’t been Apple’s strategy with iPhones or iPads. Contract manufacturing in the auto industry usually is limited to a few niche models.

Designed in Cupertino. Manufactured in Fremont (Tesla).

Apple has moved away from mass manufacturing physical products and Apple will likely continue to contract manufacture its Apple Car. The best bet would be Tesla. Tesla is one of the best — robot-based high-quality automated manufacturing — and is looking to scale up, to bring costs down. Apple can help scale.

Tesla is local too: made in the U.S.A., and right next door to Apple. Apple’s initial target market will probably be Silicon Valley. So an Apple-Tesla joint venture could be profitable for both. But this is all conjecture and it might be a long time before we get to sit in an Apple Car.

U.S. Spends More Time in Mobile Apps than on TV

[ Flurry ] Simon Khalaf:

[…] the average US consumer is spending 198 minutes per day inside apps compared to 168 minutes on TV. Please note that the 198 minutes per day spent inside apps on smartphones and tablets don’t include time spent in the mobile browser. In fact, if we add that time, the total time spent on mobile devices by the average US consumer is now 220 minutes (or 3 hours and 40 minutes) per day […]

With Apple’s recent announcement of its new Apple TV, apps will become the new way we spend time on our TV.