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The Mega Technology Thread - The Year Of Everything


YourFavGrandpa

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My total Prime Day haul was a new Fire tablet for the missus, in that Plum color. I'm more than likely done until November 1st, when I've got to pay for a lot of FGC stuff my wife has asked for this year. She's asked for some new stuff from Junk Food Arcades along with the parts to put something together, and stick art. I have an artist in mind for the art, and he does want to take the commission on. It's just the matter of having the money together to do both at the same time, is all.

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2 minutes ago, Hawkingbird said:

Budget phones are stepping their game up

 

This is honestly impressive for a $200 phone.

I watched that as well. He was paid by the phone company to provide coverage of it and they sent additional phones for him to give away on social media. It's an okay phone, not good, not bad, definitely not great; just okay.

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17 minutes ago, YourFavGrandpa said:

I watched that as well. He was paid by the phone company to provide coverage of it and they sent additional phones for him to give away on social media. It's an okay phone, not good, not bad, definitely not great; just okay.

It looks like a fine phone to have if someone just want the basics. I might get for one of my young relatives. 

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I used to only get flagships but now I buy midrange.  They are really quite good now.  Still wouldn't pay less than 300 though.  Once you drop below that you start getting more serious compromises. Something like a Galaxy A51/A71 is as low as I'd go without having to worry about what I'm missing. 

 

I'm using S10 Lite right now and it's dope. S20 FE looking good too.

 

If you don't live in the US then Xiaomi/VIVO/Oppo got some really nice midrange phones too.

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2 hours ago, misterBee said:

I used to only get flagships but now I buy midrange.  They are really quite good now.  Still wouldn't pay less than 300 though.  Once you drop below that you start getting more serious compromises. Something like a Galaxy A51/A71 is as low as I'd go without having to worry about what I'm missing. 

 

I'm using S10 Lite right now and it's dope. S20 FE looking good too.

 

If you don't live in the US then Xiaomi/VIVO/Oppo got some really nice midrange phones too.

I have strongly considered importing the Xiaomi Mi 10T, since it's about $600 before shipping from my usual tech spots in Asia. But more than likely I'm jumping ship off of Android and going with an iPhone due to the costs of financing the phone are about half that. 

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7 minutes ago, YourFavGrandpa said:

I have strongly considered importing the Xiaomi Mi 10T, since it's about $600 before shipping from my usual tech spots in Asia. But more than likely I'm jumping ship off of Android and going with an iPhone due to the costs of financing the phone are about half that. 

I only buy phones outright, so financing is never an option for me anyway.

 

The real issue with Xiaomi for me is that all the phones I'd want from them don't have the appropriate US 4G bands.  I used to buy Huawei flagships, which include 4G radios for basically every country in one device -- but their mid-range phones are just like Xiaomi and are missing the US 4G bands also.

 

Now that Huawei is screwed I've ended up with a Samsung.  Having lived in Asia I find that the US gets shafted when it comes to phone choice.  Asia has WAY more options at a lot of different price points.

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2 hours ago, Hawkingbird said:

Justice department is going after Google. They want to break up the company

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/google-breakup-may-be-needed-to-end-antitrust-law-violations-us-2313313

The majority of DOJs complaint surrounds the use of Google's search by-default in Safari on iOS. The vast majority of iOS users (present company excluded of course) are lazy as shit and instead of learning how to change the fucking search engine in Safari, they want the govt to step in and break up the whole company because people cannot/will not do anything. FOH with that shit.

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1 hour ago, YourFavGrandpa said:

The majority of DOJs complaint surrounds the use of Google's search by-default in Safari on iOS. The vast majority of iOS users (present company excluded of course) are lazy as shit and instead of learning how to change the fucking search engine in Safari, they want the govt to step in and break up the whole company because people cannot/will not do anything. FOH with that shit.

Google adspace is thrown in there too. 

 

Why would anyone change the search engine? What does it better than google? Do people even know Yahoo still exists? Bing is trash and no amount of forced integration on Microsoft part will get anyone to use it.

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1 minute ago, Hawkingbird said:

Why would anyone change the search engine? What does it better than google? Do people even know Yahoo still exists? Bing is trash and no amount of forced integration on Microsoft part will get anyone to use it.

From what I think (again, personal opinion): Apple has to have more than one option as well for web search in Safari, because limiting the amount of options available can inherently seem like anti-competitive behavior, which in turn can have the DOJs anti-trust lawyers rubbing their hands like Birdman. I'm surprised Apple hasn't been hit with a similar lawsuit over locking iOS down to the singular App Store, or Apple refusing to put backdoors in iOS for law enforcement. It will be very interesting how this plays out as well; especially if the anti-trust case is ruled in favor of the DOJ and Google is required to spin off those sections of their company.

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5 minutes ago, YourFavGrandpa said:

From what I think (again, personal opinion): Apple has to have more than one option as well for web search in Safari, because limiting the amount of options available can inherently seem like anti-competitive behavior, which in turn can have the DOJs anti-trust lawyers rubbing their hands like Birdman. I'm surprised Apple hasn't been hit with a similar lawsuit over locking iOS down to the singular App Store, or Apple refusing to put backdoors in iOS for law enforcement. It will be very interesting how this plays out as well; especially if the anti-trust case is ruled in favor of the DOJ and Google is required to spin off those sections of their company.

DoJ case against Google isn't centered around iOS. It's the fact that Google has 90% of the market share. The platform doesn't factor into that.

 

Apple is definitely in DoJ crosshairs when it comes to their app store. The DoJ brought in the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook to defend their respective companies business practices as they feel they hold monopolies in their respective markets like two months ago. I'm surprised that Google is getting this kind of heat before Facebook. 

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6 hours ago, Hawkingbird said:

DoJ case against Google isn't centered around iOS. It's the fact that Google has 90% of the market share. The platform doesn't factor into that.

 

Apple is definitely in DoJ crosshairs when it comes to their app store. The DoJ brought in the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook to defend their respective companies business practices as they feel they hold monopolies in their respective markets like two months ago. I'm surprised that Google is getting this kind of heat before Facebook. 

I do apologize, typical old man kneejerk reaction stuff. I did read a piece earlier from Barron's regarding the nature of the complaint that broke it down a lot better. The piece also stated that close to 35% of Google's overall search traffic requests this past year was from iOS if I remember the article correctly. (if that is indeed the case, then the following meme definitely applies): 

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So, as I promised in the VGG thread in General Discussion; some more details about the Stadia controller and a general wot I think after about 30 days with it:

Very Good/Good:

Ease of setup (initial setup was basically open the Stadia app, update the controller once, enter the pair code)

Very minimal latency on my end (I know from actual reviews, this is the most complained about part of the controller. Launched Destiny 2, and went into the Whisper activity for my test, and it was alright). YMMV, especially with more mainstream broadband providers (Comcast/Spectrum/et al). Also tried it with Battle For The Grid as well, there was a perceived movement and combo delay (if I had to guess, anywhere from 1-5f)

Controller feels great in the hand and the DPad is pretty good. It's not Switch Pro great feeling, but it's a very good first attempt at a controller by Google.

 

Bad/Very Bad/Turrible:

No controller memory at all in the phone app/website (meaning there's probably no controller id that can be saved)

You have to enter the pair code every time before you can play (universal pair code is Y,X,Down,X)

If you're into competitive multiplayer games, Stadia's matchmaking system is godawful because of how few people are using the service.

You're investing into technology that Google could potentially kill off if it doesn't work out.

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4 hours ago, YourFavGrandpa said:

So, as I promised in the VGG thread in General Discussion; some more details about the Stadia controller and a general wot I think after about 30 days with it:

Very Good/Good:

Ease of setup (initial setup was basically open the Stadia app, update the controller once, enter the pair code)

Very minimal latency on my end (I know from actual reviews, this is the most complained about part of the controller. Launched Destiny 2, and went into the Whisper activity for my test, and it was alright). YMMV, especially with more mainstream broadband providers (Comcast/Spectrum/et al). Also tried it with Battle For The Grid as well, there was a perceived movement and combo delay (if I had to guess, anywhere from 1-5f)

Controller feels great in the hand and the DPad is pretty good. It's not Switch Pro great feeling, but it's a very good first attempt at a controller by Google.

 

Bad/Very Bad/Turrible:

No controller memory at all in the phone app/website (meaning there's probably no controller id that can be saved)

You have to enter the pair code every time before you can play (universal pair code is Y,X,Down,X)

If you're into competitive multiplayer games, Stadia's matchmaking system is godawful because of how few people are using the service.

You're investing into technology that Google could potentially kill off if it doesn't work out.

Does the pad work on its own as an xinput controller?  I like the pad but don't really care about the service.

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@YourFavGrandpaThanks for the insights into the Stadia controller. Honestly I think Stadia itself is a dead man walking. Say what you will about MS, but they've approached the situation properly. Whether you like physical, digital, streaming, or a subscription service they've got something for you. Google, I just don't know what they were thinking with Stadia.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/24/2020 at 9:26 PM, misterBee said:

Does the pad work on its own as an xinput controller?  I like the pad but don't really care about the service.

Sorry for taking so long with this. Been busy as fuck with work. 

So the good news:

Stadia Controller does come up as a XInput controller (and is viewable/testable in joy.cpl). All buttons and everything work fine. 

Working along that theory, it could probably be used on PC (and Steam/everywhere else) without connecting to Google's servers. Keep in mind, you would probably have to do the initial firmware update for the controller, but that would be all that's needed.

Edit: DPad doesn't work in joy.cpl, analog sticks do.

Edited by YourFavGrandpa
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Current technology deals for Black Friday (that I've seen):

Airpods Pro @ Walmart for $200
Google Store has various deals, including a powder blue Pixel 5
Amazon - nothing yet
Best Buy - all kinda shit (personal favorites include a 1TB Samsung SSD for $100, 400gb Nintendo-themed MicroSD card for $60)

Edited by YourFavGrandpa
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On 11/22/2020 at 1:37 PM, Hawkingbird said:

I brought a Facebook Portal mini for my mom. Best Buy got them on sale for $65 on Black Friday. I got it so we can facetime easier with my sister and my aunts who she frequently video calls. I rather not let a Facebook camera in the house but she's a heavy WhatApp user. 

With Facebook's bullshit going on, I'd rather not bring a damn camera that belongs to them into my house. My daughter-in-law's house sure, but not my fucking house!

Also have tentatively decided on a new phone, since the missus is getting a pretty hefty EOY bonus this year. Have decided on getting either a 256gb iPhone 12 Max; or I'm gonna ball out and say fuck it and get the 512gb. I've gotten beyond frustrated with my OnePlus phone, since unlocking the bootloader also cripples your access to Google Pay. Had Magisk working on the phone until about a month ago; when Google updated the detection methods and bodied Magisk.

Edited by YourFavGrandpa
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  • 4 weeks later...

Buying stuff for this new iPhone is a lot different from when I bought my 8 Plus, almost two years ago. When I got that phone originally, I spent so much money on accessories at the carrier store, and I really didn't know any better between the carrier store accessories, and that it is infinitely easier (and cheaper) to purchase the accessories prior to buying the phone on Amazon and the like. 

The only things I'm really missing now are a larger charging pad (wanted the missus and I to have a dedicated spot to set our phones down every night and charge), and either a wireless charger/phone holder for the car for her and I to each have. Oh, and a(n) updated Yubikey. 

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On 12/19/2020 at 3:43 PM, YourFavGrandpa said:

Buying stuff for this new iPhone is a lot different from when I bought my 8 Plus, almost two years ago. When I got that phone originally, I spent so much money on accessories at the carrier store, and I really didn't know any better between the carrier store accessories, and that it is infinitely easier (and cheaper) to purchase the accessories prior to buying the phone on Amazon and the like. 

The only things I'm really missing now are a larger charging pad (wanted the missus and I to have a dedicated spot to set our phones down every night and charge), and either a wireless charger/phone holder for the car for her and I to each have. Oh, and a(n) updated Yubikey. 

 

I have  yet to be sold on wireless charging.  I used it on my Palm Pre back in 2011 and it worked fine but I never felt like it was something I really needed.

 

I'm more interested in qi-compatible wireless mice -- if I've got to recharge my mouse I'd prefer to use a qi charging mat instead of plugging it in/using a proprietary dock.

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3 hours ago, misterBee said:

I have  yet to be sold on wireless charging.  I used it on my Palm Pre back in 2011 and it worked fine but I never felt like it was something I really needed.

I like to have it personally so I don't have to have a power brick and cord running from my power strip across my table to charge my phone. OnePlus finally gave in and allowed wireless charging, but it's only on the 8 Pro; and their wireless charging spec (Warp Charge WIreless 30) can only be accomplished with their wireless charger, and is not an default standard; so you're stuck with their one if you want to have your battery topped off fairly quickly.

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I've been using my iPhone 12 Pro Max for a couple of days now, so here's my initial impressions of the phone: 

1.) Holy fuck is this thing big (*cue that's what she said jokes here*)

2.) Battery has been a fucking champ, it took a full day almost to run the battery down to 20%. Battery took just over an hour to charge back up to 100%. 
3.) Outside of one minor issue with my bank (over verification), I have all of my debit/credit cards entered and can be readily used in Apple Pay.

4.) Camera is fucking ace. The camera combined with something like Halide means that I'm going to be taking a lot more pictures of my grandkids.

5.) Everything is fast as fuck. Really the only thing left for Apple to do with their mobile devices would be to put in high-refresh rate screens (I'm locked in for 2 years, so I will not be updating to the 2021 iPhone).

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Funny how everyone getting upset Flash is no longer supported, but when this was first enounced 2 years ago most people's replies where they don't even use Flash any more. 

There is the ruffle Flash Player emulator, which the Home Star Runner website runs on now. 

Edited by DarkSakul
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Oh yeah, Homestar Runner still around. They are slowly upgrading everything for a while over to Ruffle, but they are also converting alot of the cartoons over to Video on You Tube as well. The menu's work now on Homestar as well, but not all the games yet as Ruffle is still in Development.
The Brothers Chap haven't been as active as they both work in the Animation Industry.

I know Matt Chapman worked on Season 1 of Gravity Falls for Disney.

I also know one of the biggest supporters of Ruffle has been Newgrounds, they are listed as a Diamond level sponsor to the project. 

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11 hours ago, DarkSakul said:

Oh yeah, Homestar Runner still around. They are slowly upgrading everything for a while over to Ruffle, but they are also converting alot of the cartoons over to Video on You Tube as well. The menu's work now on Homestar as well, but not all the games yet as Ruffle is still in Development.
The Brothers Chap haven't been as active as they both work in the Animation Industry.

I know Matt Chapman worked on Season 1 of Gravity Falls for Disney.

I also know one of the biggest supporters of Ruffle has been Newgrounds, they are listed as a Diamond level sponsor to the project. 

 

Does any work need to be done to convert to Ruffle?  Seems like Ruffle is just a flash player substitute/emulator.  I assume old .swfs will work fine without modification.

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3 hours ago, misterBee said:

If it saves lighting profiles onboard than it's already better than most of their recent mice.

I'm screaming over here. 

So I found out my wife is intentionally stonewalling my purchase of a Apple Watch SE. Before I bought my 12 Pro Max, I did contact Apple and ask if the Fitness+ content could be put on another TV via Airplay; that's a big ol' nope. Have to pony up for an Apple TV as well to get the full use out of it.

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  • YourFavGrandpa changed the title to The Mega Technology Thread - The Year Of Everything

For those of you who are so inclined:
Samsung S21 Android Phone Lineup

The S21 Ultra is really nice, and does have some really nice and updated features compared to my 12 Pro Max. If Google wasn't on my shitlist for the contactless payment stuff with my OnePlus, I would have maybe picked this over what I have now. 

 

I also like that Samsung brought out a Tile competitor in the SmartTag, but $30 for a Bluetooth LE tag that only works with Samsung phones; makes this an immediate no go for me; not because of it only working with Samsung phones. Would I like for this to have been OS agnostic? Sure! But Tile is pretty much the gold standard for these at this point, and short of Tile being bought by Samsung or Apple (moreso Apple); I am looking at buying one of the Tile smart tags over Samsung's offering or Apple's rumored offering, just to help me keep up with keys.

Edited by YourFavGrandpa
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Update on my keyboard switches: 

They're not being delivered on Monday. They're being delivered today, like in a couple hours from now if anything. 

So after I get back from taking our cat to the vet here after while, I'll pull my dark yellows out and put those in. Normally, I pull my keycaps completely off, then put the new switches on. I'll probably replace them a row at a time.

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