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Surface Duo review: not the top ten from tech press

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The dual-screen Microsoft Surface Duo began arriving in customer hands last Thursday, the same day the company lifted the embargo and allowed pre-shipped tech press to post reviews. This has resulted in a flood of information worthy of a category-defining device that has been eagerly awaited since its announcement almost a year earlier.

This blizzard of lighting was almost overwhelming, spanning tens of thousands of words, hundreds of images, and enough videos to fill a YouTube channel.

The reviews covered many questions, but most of them came to similar conclusions. The hardware is great, the software is still in need of work, and the performance is adequate, but comes at the expense of components that need updating.

The camera drew the most criticism, and rightly so, especially with this unusual device priced at over $ 1,400, and most reviewers have concluded that this is a gripping device that isn’t quite ready for primetime yet. But they all agreed that the partnership between Google and Microsoft is something worth paying close attention to.

It’s not just another phone, and the reviews offer a wide array of fascinating insights into why the Surface Duo is an interesting experiment and how it could improve over time. For those looking to find out more, I’ve compiled ten of the best reviews here for you to form your own opinion.

ZDNet

Surface Duo review: why I’m still confused by Microsoft’s dual-screen device

Our very own Mary Jo Foley has run her trademark “Non-Expert Surface Duo Review” highlighting the day-to-day experience of a person who primarily uses computer writing devices. She was pleasantly surprised by the Duo’s “premium and drool-worthy” hardware and battery life, which “actually live up to Microsoft’s all-day promises.”

Unlike most other reviewers, she found the Surface Duo’s camera “OK … not surprising, but … the image quality was acceptable and better than I expected.”

The real disadvantage of this device is the “incomprehensible” navigation. Bottom line: “Does the Duo make it more productive than a regular mobile phone because it has two separate screens side-by-side, as Microsoft claims? My answer in two weeks is no. Unintuitive gestures and constant guesswork about how the application will open and work slowed me down. ”

Facets

Microsoft Surface Duo review: double trouble

Dieter Bon of The Verge says the Surface Duo includes “all the right ideas” but “messed up with buggy software and a bad camera.” Not just bad, actually: “The Surface Duo camera is rubbish.… I would scold this camera on a $ 300 device. Surface Duo costs $ 1,400. Microsoft should just call it a webcam. It would live up to expectations. Plus, it’s a great webcam! ”

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Ultimately, Bon says he cannot recommend the Surface Duo in its current incarnation at its current price. “But,” he adds, “the Surface Duo has more than a few glimpses of vision and potential. Microsoft has the clearest and strongest vision for a new direction in mobile computing I’ve seen this year, but it’s taking a direction. and getting to your destination are two different things. ”

Wall street journal

Microsoft Surface Duo review: two screens, too many problems

Joanna Stern, who is one of the most discerning reviewers in the industry, notes the potential of the Surface Duo: “When it worked, the Duo seemed like the first true innovation in smartphone design I’ve seen in years. access to mobile cellular devices really reminded me of the original Surface: a new flexible design that can improve productivity. “

After cleverly enumerating many of the issues with the pre-launch of the device, her conclusion is not without words: “Microsoft’s new $ 1,400 tablet phone that looks like a book is not ready for me and not ready for you … I crave the real power and performance promised by this gadget of the future. It just has to really work. ”

Don’t miss the accompanying video starring Pop-Tarts.

Windows Central

Surface Duo review: tomorrow’s dual-screen phone … not ready today yet

As usual, Daniel Rubino made a thorough, well-organized review (with video) aimed directly at readers (and viewers) who are already familiar with the Windows landscape (and feel comfortable).

Rubino salutes the duo for the performance: “[N]o The Surface Duo can be blamed for performance. On the contrary, it is acceptable, and some may accuse me of being too generous. ” He suggests that the “so-so” 6GB of RAM is at least partly to blame, and the odd design decision for rival devices like the Samsung Note 20 Ultra comes with 12GB.

“Those who know Android, love Microsoft 365 and Office, and are constantly consuming information will benefit the most from Surface Duo,” he concludes. But even then, “Maybe wait a few months to see how the software improves.”

OneZero

Microsoft’s Surface Duo is the perfect combination of phone and tablet

Owen Williams is the mansion in this series of reviews, with an overtly enthusiastic review that begins with the premise that the Duo is “more of a foldable tablet than a smartphone. [for] a very specific group of people who love Surface devices (like me) and who care about getting more work done on the go with one device. ”

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He claims that using two screens “transforms … When I first started using Surface Duo, I was skeptical about how useful a dual screen was: I never wanted more screens on my phone. … But Duo not only convinced me that the extra space was worth it, it completely changed the way I think about how I use my phone. ”

Of course, not all is well. The camera is “good for video calls,” but “mediocre … compared to the Pixel or iPhone.” Overall, though, this is one that Duo designers will turn to when they need cheer.

Android Central

Microsoft Surface Duo review: a mess

The Android Central header speaks for itself. This is an in-depth review from Daniel Bader, who made a good faith effort to cover Microsoft-focused hardware and software despite using Google’s services fully.

Conclusion: “Surface Duo shouldn’t be available for purchase right now. Its software still contains too many bugs to ask people to spend $ 1,400 for the privilege of owning Microsoft’s smallest Surface. ”

Mashable

Microsoft Surface Duo review: is this the new norm?
Like many other reviews I’ve looked at, this one from Joseph Wolpe Mashable has undergone a name change since being first posted. The original title was “Is this the future of smartphones?”

And like all question-shaped headings, both headings ultimately lend themselves Betteridge’s Law of Headings: “Any heading ending with a question mark can be answered with the word” no “.

This is a thorough review, covering the same questions as the rest of the examples listed here, but the conclusion is much more optimistic: “I love Duo. Yes, despite all these bugs and the blatant lack of a front panel notification, it has the makings of something great … Just $ 1,400 is too much to ask for convenience, especially when it’s not a full service. ”

Fast Company

Microsoft Surface Duo review: two screens, unfinished software

Harry McCracken, who has been in the business long enough to see a lot of bloated devices, is quite skeptical of the Surface Duo. He found it “highly quirky, overcome by a combination of glaring bugs and usability issues that Microsoft didn’t quite solve.”

After listing some of these issues in detail, McCracken issues a wait-and-see verdict: “The company stresses that the Duo software is still under development and says it plans to release monthly software updates. The odds seem decent. that after one or two updates it will work much better. But even if I was amazed at the idea this device presents, I would wait and see and not spend my money right now. ”

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(And a historical footnote: one of my favorite McCracken articles of all time is 2012, post-facto look at another device ahead of its time: “A New Look at Newton”.)

Engadget

Microsoft Surface Duo review: addicting, expensive and messy business

Engadget’s Cherlin Lowe gives the Surface Duo what Ivy Leaguers might call “a gentleman’s C,” a score of 71 on a scale of 0 to 100 and notes that early results from the Google-Microsoft collaboration are promising:

“The Surface Duo is decent as a phone, rather poor as a tablet, and somewhat functional, like everything in between. That is when the software works as promised. But this is a $ 1,399 device that requires monthly updates from Microsoft to fix its many problems. ”

CNET

Microsoft Surface Duo Review: Cool Design, Sharp Performance

CNET’s Scott Stein opened his review by noting that the device “seemed promising … as the perfect little device for this new world of work from home.” And then it all fell apart in three stages: Stage 1: What a beautiful design. Stage 2: Hey, why isn’t anything working? Stage 3: How exactly do you use it? Stage 4: I miss my old comfortable phone.

Like many of his colleagues, Stein concluded that the Surface Duo takes time: “I like the idea of ​​experimenting, but I don’t like experiments that seem unpleasant. And right now I don’t understand who Duo is coming up with. But in a year it might be the best solution. ”

Gizmodo

Microsoft Surface Duo review: the start of the dual-screen revolution

Sam Rutherford cited his review noting that the Duo is “one of the most controversial phones in recent memory” and a bitter rebuke to the “causticity, mistrust and outright hatred” that the device has generated. This gives you an idea of ​​how it will end. “[A]In some cases, the $ 1,400 Surface Duo looks very experimental. But that’s to be expected when the device tries to start a revolution. ”

It has the same high notes (the design embodies “thoughtful elegance”) and low notes (disappointing characteristics and a “particularly disappointing” camera).

Therefore, it is not surprising that the conclusion is positive: “[E]Despite its flaws, Surface Duo is already an incredibly powerful business phone. … It’s Microsoft trying to replicate what it did when it created a new category of devices with the original Surface. It’s not ideal, but the revolution has already begun. ”

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Portugal has been “sending” SMS for 27 years. Peaked in 2012

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Portugal has been "sending" SMS for 27 years.  Peaked in 2012

The text messaging service, launched in 1995 in Portugal, peaked in 2012 with over 27 million SMS sent, and according to ANACOM data, that number has dropped to 10 million in 2021.

The world’s first SMS (Short Message Service) was sent 30 years ago, on December 3, 1992, by Briton Neil Papworth, a telecommunications engineer at Sema Group Telecoms, in the United Kingdom.

A Merry Christmas message was sent from Neil Papworth’s computer to Vodafone’s Richard Jarvis’ Orbitel 901 mobile phone.

The historic moment reached a new level in December 2021 when the first 15-character SMS was auctioned off as NFTs (“Non Fungible Tokens” or “Non Fungible Token”) for 107,000 euros during an event hosted by Aguttes in France. .

In Portugal, the messaging service was launched in October 1995 when TMN (currently MEO) and Telecel (currently Vodafone) were in the mobile carrier market, according to data sent to the Lusa Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM) agency.

In October 1995, Telecel first launched the feature for contract services that were not prepaid, a small percentage of the customer base, said Lusa Nuno Taveira, a former product manager for SMS and “messaging” at Vodafone.

One of the turning points in the development of SMS was in February 2000, when an agreement was signed between the three existing operators (after the introduction of Optimus in 1998, now NOS) allowing users to communicate between different networks, the regulator cites.

The first data available in ANACOM refers precisely to the year 2000, when the number of SMS reached 550 million, i.e. about seven SMS per active user per month.

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The peak of SMS traffic was reached in 2012, when each effective user sent 180 messages per month, for a total of 27,860,126 messages.

However, according to ANACOM, this number is decreasing. In 2021, 68 SMS were sent per effective user per month (-62% compared to 2012), for a total of 10,729,392.

Another turning point for SMS in Portugal was the introduction of prepaid services, which allowed mobile services to become mainstream, said Lusa Teresa Salema, president of Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações.

“We must remember that the mobile network first grows in higher segments. It was only after 1995, with the introduction of prepaid services, that we had a greater mass, and at that time, text messages also appeared with greater intensity and reached an absolute level. records,” he said, noting the arrival of the “famous MIMO developed at the time by Portugal Telecom in the laboratories of Aveiro.”

There are now more popular alternative ways to send messages, “instant messaging” such as Whatsapp or Messenger apps available for “smartphones” that combine text with the ability to send images, sounds, documents or popular GIFs.

In 30 years, SMS has had a peak in usage and is now in decline. But its use in advertising and marketing, from a security point of view, as an authentication factor or to create a particular spelling, such as using “k” to mean “it”, is a legacy that continues today.

However, the President of the Portuguese Communications Foundation stated that the technology currently available to the public involves the integration of several factors.

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“There are three things that are needed because, in addition to the equipment, access to networks with the bandwidth and speed that we currently have with optical fiber or 5G is needed. And “cloud” (cloud). These are three things that we need to have the services that we have now,” he analyzed.

Teresa Salema, who worked at the Companhia Portuguesa Rádio Marconi in the early 1990s and has a three-decade career in the sector, also defended that technology exists to “improve the quality of life as well as the health of the planet.” .

While there are better ways to send messages these days, Teresa Salema points out that all technology eventually finds its place.

“The fixed network has its own space. And SMS also has its place,” he stressed.

In the case of SMS, its popularity and widespread use via mobile phones ended with another service that had gained relevance earlier: pagers or the “beep-beep” service, he recalled.

“Today, in our museum, we only have what a written message of this type looked like. It was almost like a telegram, so it was even shorter than an SMS.”

In addition, the Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações, now 25 years old, has a dual mission of “preserving and displaying the entire heritage of the communications sector in Portugal” through the Communications Museum in Lisbon.

Teresa Salema said the history of communication is “much longer” compared to the decade in which SMS was born, and in Portugal it is “five centuries ago, in 1520, with the creation of the postal service”.

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“At one time, King D. Manuel created a postal service specifically to support the Portuguese maritime expansion. Because, as is obvious, any economic development is based on a communication network,” he stressed.

The Museum of Communications now has an exhibition to mark its 25th anniversary where you can “touch and experience objects” of old and working technologies such as the typewriter, fax, telex and some GSM equipment, including Nokia co the famous game “Snake”.

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To check for viruses, certificates from Samsung, LG and others were used.

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To check for viruses, certificates from Samsung, LG and others were used.

Security certificates used by major smartphone and component manufacturers have also been used to sign at least 10 Android malware. Validators serve to ensure the authenticity of official software and operating system features, including access to restricted permissions that put users at high risk if misused.

The certificates of four companies were used irregularly: Samsung, LG, MediaTech and Revue. However, the total number of validators that raised the warning sign is higher, and the companies responsible for them cannot be identified; Similarly, it is not known exactly what led to the compromise of these elements, which could be obtained as a result of leaks, intrusions into internal systems, or even the actions of malicious employees.

Be that as it may, the following packages related to malicious applications have been found to be dangerous and use illegitimate certificates:

  • com.russian.signato.renewis
  • com.sledsdffsjkh.search
  • com.android.power
  • com.management.propaganda
  • com.sec.android.musicplayer
  • com.houla.quicken
  • com.attd.da
  • com.arlo.fappx
  • com.metasploit.stage
  • com.vantage.ectronic.cornmuni

According to the Android Vulnerability Partners Initiative (AVPI) report, the use of such certificates by applications can grant them privileged access to smartphone data, as well as block functions such as intercepting and making calls, collecting information, and downloading or deleting other applications. . Essentially, the validator gives the software the same level of control as the owner of the device itself, if not more, allowing it to launch targeted and destructive attacks.

Although no specific campaigns were identified, the certificates were present in software that contained Trojan horses, displayed inappropriate ads, stole data, or delivered viruses. However, according to Googlewhose researcher Lukasz Severski of the Android security team was responsible for the detection, there is no indication that the malicious apps were present in the Play Store, ultimately reducing the scale of the attack.

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The report was only released now, after the manufacturers were notified so that the certificates could be updated and the versions used by the attackers are no longer valid. Meanwhile, Google indicates that it has recommended that all affected companies immediately investigate the causes of the incident, as well as reduce the number of signed applications and resources in order to deter this type of misuse.

End users are also protected from further exploits even if they have downloaded malicious apps on their smartphones. Since the certificates that would guarantee fraud no longer work, they cannot work, with the usual recommendation to only download software from official sources, accompanying a warning, as a way to minimize future risks.

Source: APVI, Beeping Computer

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James Webb Telescope Reveals a New View of the Pillars of Creation

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Nearly 30 years ago, the Pillars of Creation stunned the world of astronomy when they were photographed by NASA’s famed Hubble Space Telescope.

Now a new generation can take a fresh look at the spectacular spectacle after the $10 billion (£7.4 billion) James Webb Hyperspace Telescope captured the same tentacles of gas and dust.

Resembling a ghostly hand, the Pillars of Creation are part of the Eagle Nebula, which lies 6,500 light-years from Earth and is known to be a source of star formation.

This week, NASA and the European Space Agency unveiled another look at Webb’s sharp eye feathers.

Bonito: Nearly 30 years ago, the Pillars of Creation stunned the world of astronomy when they were photographed by NASA’s famed Hubble Space Telescope. Now a new generation can take a fresh look at the spectacular spectacle after the $10 billion (£7.4 billion) James Webb Space Telescope captured the same tentacles of gas and dust (pictured).

Hubble took the first image of the Pillars of Creation in 1995. It provided the first evidence that stars could be born inside pillars.

What are the pillars of creation?

This is one of the most iconic space features ever captured on camera.

The Pillars of Creation was first captured by NASA’s Hubble Telescope in 1995 and re-captured in 2014.

Now, almost 30 years after we first saw the dying formation, it has been captured again by NASA’s new James Webb Super Space Telescope.

The Pillars of Creation, located 6500 light years from Earth in the constellation Serpens, are part of the Eagle Nebula.

It is known to be an important source of star formation.

Gas and dust in tentacle-like tentacles give rise to stars, including many very young, and some now photographed only a few 100,000 years old.

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In the 1995 Hubble image, blue represents oxygen, red represents sulfur, and green represents nitrogen and hydrogen.

The pillars are bathed in scorching ultraviolet light from off-screen clusters of young stars.

The winds of these stars are slowly destroying towers of gas and dust.

The most recent image was taken in the mid-infrared range, which dims the brightness of stars and captures only streams of gas and dust. It gave a new way to experience and understand amazing composition.

Webb has instruments that can see in different wavelengths of infrared light.

In October, experts published an image of the Pillars of Creation taken with the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and then added an image taken with the Mid Infrared Light (MIRI) instrument.

Now they’ve stitched the images together to create a breathtaking image that shows the best of both worlds, showing bright edges of dust where young stars are just starting to form.

NIRCam shows newly formed stars in orange outside the pillars, while MRI shows layers of dust forming.

“This is one of the reasons this region is filled with stars – dust is a key component of star formation,” NASA said.

The bright red fingertips on the second column indicate active star formation, but the stars are still very young – according to NASA, they are only 100,000 years old.

It takes millions of years to fully form.

“By combining images of the iconic Pillars of Creation from two cameras aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the cosmos is framed in infrared glory,” writes Webb’s team.

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They said it “fired up this star forming region with new details.”

When clumps of gas and dust of sufficient mass form at the poles, they begin to collapse under their own gravity, slowly heating up and eventually forming new stars.

“Newly formed stars are especially visible at the edges of the top two pillars — they’re practically visible,” Webb’s team said.

Almost everything you see in this scene is local.

The distant Universe is largely hidden from our view by the interstellar medium, consisting of rarefied interstellar gas and dust, and a thick layer of dust in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

“As a result, stars take center stage in the Pillars of Creation web show.”

The Pillars of Creation are located in the constellation Serpens.

New Super Space Telescope: Webb (pictured) has instruments that can see multiple wavelengths of infrared light.

In October, experts released an image of the Pillars of Creation from the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam).

Then take a picture of a mid-infrared (MIRI) device.

It houses the hot young star cluster NGC6611, visible through modest backyard telescopes, cutting through and illuminating the surrounding gas and dust, creating huge holes and hollow pillars, each a few light-years across.

A 1995 Hubble image hinted that new stars were being born inside the pillars. Due to dust clogging, the Hubble Space Telescope’s visible-light image could not look inside and prove that young stars were forming.

So NASA brought Hubble back for a second visit, allowing them to compare the two images.

Astronomers have noticed a change in the jet-like feature moving away from one of the newborn stars inside the pillars.

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Between observations, the length of the jet increased by 60 billion miles, indicating that the material in the jet was moving at about 450,000 miles per hour.

James Webb Telescope: NASA’s $10 billion telescope designed to detect light from the oldest stars and galaxies.

The James Webb Telescope has been described as a “time machine” that could help unlock the secrets of our universe.

The telescope will be used to observe the first galaxies born in the early universe more than 13.5 billion years ago, looking for the sources of stars, exoplanets and even our solar system’s moons and planets.

The huge telescope, which once cost over $7 billion (£5 billion), is believed to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

The James Webb telescope and most of his instruments are around 40 K, about minus 387 Fahrenheit (minus 233 degrees Celsius).

It is the largest and most powerful orbiting space telescope in the world, capable of looking back 100-200 million years after the Big Bang.

The infrared observatory orbiting it is about 100 times more powerful than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA prefers to think of James Webb as Hubble’s successor rather than his replacement, as the two will work together for a while.

The Hubble Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990 by the Space Shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It orbits the Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour (27,300 km/h) in low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles.

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