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Samsung is fast this time: the December Security Update is available to Galaxy S7 devices in Belgium. Let’s call it an early Christmas gift ;-)

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To Boldly Go…

A few days ago, Voyager 2 did what Voyager 1 did a few years ago: to boldly go where no Man has gone before! If ever there was a moment to quote Star Trek, this is it.

Click here to see NASA’s video about this event

A month ago, I linked to a BoingBoing post about the puzzles of Tim Klein. Nothing fancy, just my way of remembering some of the wonderful creations that reach my computer over the Web.

As it turns out, that BoingBoing post was the start of a “viral infection”: Tim Klein’s puzzles went all around the world. Even more interesting: Rusty Blazenhof, author of the original post, has tracked the chronology of “going viral” for this post – spreading out via blogs, but mostly through Facebook and Twitter (of course!).

Click the image to go to Tim Klein’s portfolio

If you haven’t seen Tim’s work, don’t hesitate to click the image above. You may want to exercise patience if you’re thinking about acquiring one of them: you’re not alone, thanks to the Internet!

As an amateur photographer, I care much about the image quality of my camera. That’s one of the reasons I switched cameras so often once they replaced film with chips: starting with Nikon Coolpix E885 and CP5400 over a series of Nikon D’s (70, 80 90, 7000, 5500, 5600) up to my current Panasonic Lumix G80 and GX9. Naturally, I also wanted a decent camera in my smartphone, although my phone was never meant to replace my camera. Even when just going to work, I always carry what I call a real but “general purpose” camera with me, be it the Fujifilm X20 or the GX9: you never know what you’ll see while traveling ;-)

There’s been a lot of talk about the quality of the latest smartphone cameras: is two cameras better than one? Is three better than two? Do you need more pixels or would it better to have bigger sensors and separate lenses? Is the Google Pixel 3 a better camera than the latest iPhones? And so on…

What is the best smartphone camera of 2018? Well, the answer is simple, if you believe Youtuber & Video Producer Marques Brownlee. He ran a competition on Twitter; he called it “The Blind Smartphone Camera Test“. Conclusion: forget about the “best” smartphone camera (technically speaking), social media consumers just care about pictures that are bright enough. For the full report, head over to Youtube:

This much is clear to me: if you’re just posting images to Instagram, you don’t need to have the best smartphone. Personally, I’ll stick to real cameras, thank you.

On Monday, my S7 indicated that a new software update from Samsung was available for download and installation. This time I didn’t wait. The installation went smoothly, and there you have it: the November 2018 security patch is now on my phone. Too bad even Samsung (in Belgium) is not capable to give us a few details about what the update entails – you’ll have to visit the SamMobile website for that. According to them, the 227 MB download contained only security updates.

The G930FXXU3ERJE software update for the Samsung Galaxy S7

Meteorologically speaking, the autumn of 2018 is over, and winter is coming ;-)

Our solar panels are very happy with the three past months, since these months generated more electricity than ever before during this period of the year. Since the efficiency of photovoltaic panels diminishes slowly with the passing of time, the only conclusion must be that there was more sunlight to catch than any other autumn in the last 9 years. The year as a whole wil also be above average, that is already clear now – even when December isn’t supposed to add big numbers to the current total.

From the Improbable Research website:

Inventor (and IP / patent lawyer) Michael Mansour Ahmadshahi Ph.D., Esq. has just been granted a US patent for his ‘Signal-activated lingerie’ which incorporates a remotely activated (un)fastener “causing the lingerie to fall off from the wearer’s body” when it receives the appropriate signal.

It is quite remarkable that the “inventor” only mentions “clapping of the hands” and “voice-recognition” as possible signals. Given the context, I would have expected “enthusiastic whistling” to be part of that list.