Phonearena on Sony's 4K smartphone

I'm not sure what to think about this article from +PhoneArena

On one hand, they tried to illustrate their point with pictures which is great.

However, showing what you see on screen in photos is very difficult.

Video would be a better medium, since the viewer can build a better visual representation thanks to the multi-frame interpolation operating in our brain.
Also, high resolution photographs is not the best medium to highlight the usefulness of high resolution displays, since depending on the content and capture, fake details coming from sharpening can appear better than higher actual resolution.
Small text or diagrams with a lot of details benefit from high resolution displays more.

With the current state of technology, I will take a Quad HD smartphone over a sometimes(rarely)-4K one any day anyway.
And please, don't kill it with sharpening: halos and artifacts mask and destroy the resolution advantage over 1080p most of the time.

#supercurioBlog #press #critic #display

Kill it before it lays eggs: On the Z5 Premium’s 4K UHD display and why it’s useless
When it comes to display resolution, the law of diminishing returns pretty much renders any discussion moot. In essence, it states that, in most things, at some point further increases in X will results in smaller and smaller gains of Y. Put otherwise, the more you increase pixel count given an identical panel size, the less and less every other pixel will count, as you’ll be reaching a fundamental limit—that of your eyes’ finite resolving power…

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T-Mobile vision of net neutrality

Today, T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced a list of video services that some customers will be able to stream off-quota.
For services missing from this list, the same customers are supposed to pledge the US carrier to add them.

Everyone seem to rejoice because they get more than before for the same price, which seems like a good deal.

To really rejoice however, you need to you factor out:

– US carriers are more expensive than most of European ones in price/GB of data with equivalent contracts.
T-Mobile could add more data for everyone, or lower the prices for everyone, right now. But no, the benefit concerns only a few manually-selected websites/companies it and keeps the prices and quotas as they are.

– Notice the absence of both +YouTube and +Vimeo in the list today. Don't you think those two matter in the video streaming landscape? What could possibly justify the fact they're missing in the initial list.
They both have a premium paid option, they both compete for dollars and attention with +Netflix or any other in this list.
But they're not T-Mobile approved, that's how things are.

– Concerning the remaining 99.9% of other websites, today, T-Mobile says: If they meet our requirements, we’ll investigate the feasibility of adding them. No one pays to join and no money is exchanged
* The requirements and investigation are completely opaque.
* No money is exchanged today according to them. Good luck finding out if there's not another kind of compensation. And what guarantees that next year T-Mobile will require a fee – or something else to all of these services: nothing at all.
* Do you really want your carrier to pre-approve one way or another the websites you're supposed to visit?
* How would you ask T-Mobile to add your favorite website to the list? You just need to beg them in public on Twitter. Free marketing, and.. fantastic privacy as well.

I mean, did everyone already forgot about the net-neutrality 101?
Free stuff ! Yay!!
I would suggest to think a little bit long term here before placing yet another US carrier in a position of unnecessary influence and power.

#supercurioBlog #critic

Binge On Streaming Video List
With Binge On™ and a qualifying rate plan, watch unlimited video without hitting your data bucket. Services include: Netflix · HBO NOW · HBO GO · Hulu · Sling TV · Sling Box · ESPN · Showtime · Starz · Movieplex · Encore · T-Mobile TV · Vevo · Vessel · Univision Deportes · Major League Baseball …

Source post on Google+

Misguided attacks against the Linux leader

I've just seen this article from the +Washington Post​​​ circulating, and it is worth questioning the real motivations behind it.

Lets start with the author: writes an article attacking +Linus Torvalds​​​ as a person and using fear regarding Linux security as a method to gain legitimacy.

But doesn't understand the difference between an OS and a Kernel, or at least has no issue confusing readers.

"Yet even among Linux’s many fans there is growing unease about vulnerabilities in the operating system’s most basic, foundational elements — housed in something called “the kernel"

And here's the type of stuff the security experts say:

"If you don’t treat security like a religious fanatic, you are going to be hurt like you can’t imagine."

Because we all known dogma and fanatism are the best answers – to any problems.. right?
Best of all, this is from a security expert associated to the NSA.

No wonder why Linus ends up saying fuck to this kind of crap.
Also, maybe he's not as vulnerable as some would like to initiatives to take control of the Linux project for the wrong reasons, using fear as justification.
I'm no conspiracy theorist, but curious elements are right here in the article already.

#supercurioBlog #security #critic

Meet the man who holds the future of the Internet in his hands — and thinks most security experts are “completely crazy”
Linus Torvalds created Linux, the operating system that dominates the online world. But a rift exists between Torvalds and security experts.

Source post on Google+

How most audio equipment reviews seem to happen

I wouldn't say reviewing headphones with a scientific approach and objective methods is an easy thing to do: It is not.
It doesn't mean it's impossible, by any means.

Today's article from +Engadget​​​​​​​​​​​ illustrates how it looks to me most audiophile equipment (or audio equipment altogether) is evaluated.
Heck, for ultra expensive audiophile stuff, broken is good enough!

At the point where function itself is optional, you can guess the importance given the the actual product performance…

"But the more I think about it, the more it doesn't matter."

#supercurioBlog #audio #critic

I didn’t listen to a pair of $55,000 headphones

Source post on Google+

A few notes about +Ars Technica comments on +HTC One A9 Audio

There's also a 24-bit DSP on-board, which upscales audio to 24-bit, as well as 24-bit DAC.

Fact is you'll be hard pressed finding a DAC installed in a phone during at least the past 5 years that are not accepting 24-bit wording on their bus, with at least 24-bit fixed-point DSP & oversampling, then converting to analog in 24-bit as well (some in 32-bit now as well)

There's no such thing as 24-bit "upscaling"
Or if you wish, everything audio out here already does that with a simple integer multiplication, you just didn't know about it.
But it's just an arithmetic operation, it doesn't improve the quality in any way.

However, does the system preserves this resolution from the audio player API, through the software mixing and processing and eventually to the Linux audio driver, that's something else.

iPhones benefit in dynamic range from 24-bit audio, when playing 24-bit files or even with 16-bit at lower volumes thanks to the volume mixer, but not many Android devices do even since Lollipop that adds 32-bit floating point audio.

Concerning what the marketing material and PR people say, I learned to not trust any of it regarding audio, you can only rely on measurements, they'll say whatever buzzword – sometime in good faith with no correlation whatsoever with reality.

My advice, as usual: measurements 🙂
If you want to know how to do that for your next article: let me know, I'll show you.

#supercurioBlog #audio #quality #press #critic

HTC One A9 hands-on: A midrange smartphone that feels like a flagship | Ars Technica
A solid, aluminum unibody paired with decent internals and a nice display.

Source post on Google+

+Engadget​ misguided when reviewing the Chromecast audio

In cons:
* Audio quality may not be up to par for discerning listeners

For anyone out there who's spent a decent amount of money on audio speakers, there's a chance that the hardware inside the Chromecast Audio won't be of high-enough quality for such a purchase to make sense.

So how +Engadget​ evaluated the audio quality: Maybe guessing from the price point or something?
As usual, it would be nice for the press to abstain rating the quality of things they have no idea how to evaluate.

I look forward receiving mine, and will try to find a way to actually measure its analog audio quality, also the digital one (mostly: to see if there's re-sampling involved)

#supercurioBlog #critic #audio

Chromecast Audio review: Give your old speakers a new brain
Google’s audio-only Chromecast won’t make sense for everyone, but for a certain kind of customer, it’ll be a no-brainer.

Source post on Google+

Cool photography product for raw shooters especially (iPhone accessory)

It seems compact enough to be in your pocket when you'll get out: more than Sony QX smart lenses although at the expense of a zoom lens.

+DxO is being dishonest by using the DSLR comparison we read too often: "The power of a DSLR"
They argue that the DXOMark sensor score is "Up to 85" which is slightly higher than as a last-gen Sony 1.5x crop APS-C sensor, despite the DxO One use a Sony 1" sensor.

Actually this is is a theoretical score calculated by using computational photography blending multiple exposures, comparing apple and oranges.
So.. yeah, there's that.

It's good to see new cameras implementing computational photography methods however, including for RAW!

The website announce 650€ to pre-order it, then tell me it will be available only in the US for now (I'm in France)

#supercurioBlog #camera #DNG #critic

DSLR Quality Camera in Your Pocket | DxO ONE |
Get the world’s smallest 1-inch sensor camera and capture beautiful, high-resolution photos anywhere.

Source post on Google+

Excellent question from +Aden J Purcell:

Apparently the display on the G4 follows the DCI color space instead of sRGB. Do you know if this is a good thing? I thought movies were mastered in sRGB, not DCI? And even if LG has accurately calibrated the G4 to DCI, could they have messed up the gamma? Or is a 2.2 gamma part of DCI meaning LG can't mess with it otherwise they can't market their device as DCI compliant?

Like +Samsung Mobile has done before, marketing their Super AMOLED devices as color accurate according to the Adobe RGB standard to appeal to photographers, +LG Electronics described the LG G4 display as following another standard they call "DCI"

First of all, DCI acronym stands for "Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC" and not the name of a color standard.
Assuming they are talking about DCI-P3 color gamut, it's the gamut part of one of the color encoding formats for professional cinema projection.

– white point coordinates x: 0. 314, y: 0.351 vs sRGB x:0.3127 y: 0.3290
– gamma 2.6 vs sRGB around 2.2 average
– pretty wide gamut, color primaries color hues not being the same as sRGB: green has less yellow, red has less orange,

A comparison of sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts by +Jeff Yurek's blog:
Additionally, the white point is not even the same.

Today, Android applications lack color management abilities which would allow to convert one color encoding to another and display content as intended on various displays seamlessly.

+LG Electronics throws in the "DCI" name to impress reporters and customers with the intent to convince them of the benefits in color accuracy and true-to-life color reproduction of their new display.

However, when checking what they're mentioning stands for, it is clear that displaying today's content, which color are encoded using sRGB (Rec.709 gamut and around 2.2 gamma) on a "DCI-P3" display (wide gamut and gamma 2.6) would lead to particularly inaccurate color rendering.
Colors would not be rendered with the right hue, look too intense (over-saturated look), and annoyingly too dark due to the gamma 2.6, which increases saturation even more.

In conclusion, +LG Electronics is proud of their new wide-gamut display but please don't be fooled by the marketing mumbo-jumbo employed.
It doesn't correspond to any professional standard or any standard altogether, it will distort colors instead of rendering them faithfully, and this is mostly a response to Samsung, just as bogus Adobe RGB accuracy claims.

Source: DCI-P3:–p3-emulation.pdf

#supercurioBlog #LG #critic #marketing #color #display–p3-emulation.pdf

Source post on Google+

+Charlie Demerjian, whom I had the chance to meet during #MWC15 at #Saygus booth while measuring the V² display wrote an article based on an investigation of what has been referred as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 overheating rumor

First of all let's establish something:
Declaring that a SoC "overheats" makes no sense today.
For several years, every single high-end/midrange SoC "overheats" during sustained usage and the only reason why the devices we use daily hopefully are not self-destructing and burning our hands is because of thermal management throttling the frequencies and voltages based on the actual temperature measured on the CPU, GPU, board and battery.
This is the role of power management and thermal management.

Now when the 810 overheating story came out initially, it was from Korean sources and linked to Samsung.
The first thing I thought then is that it was rather obviously a communication strategy to promote Samsung's 14nm incoming competing product.

Then after watching +Michael Fisher's videos about LG's G Flex 2:, performance or optimization issues appeared more credible.

Then after playing with each Snapdragon 810 devices during #MWC15 , I mostly changed my mind on the subject:
– The demonstrated G Flex 2 performance was stunningly poor both on performance and UI smoothness
– The demonstrated Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet was even worse, being simply unable to run Android 5.0 system UI and launcher without massive dropped frames.
– The demonstrated HTC One M9 appearing not as fast nor as smooth as its M8 predecessor: dropping some frames when scrolling in Settings app, an UX regression impression increased by a higher touch latency.

So while I never bought the overheating rumor itself, since #MWC15 I concluded that it was likely that the Snapdragon 810 platform, both hardware and software at that time was suffering either from:
1/ noticeably poor performance tuning / frequency governor / power management optimization.
2/ a definite design issue, 4 A57 cores + 4 A53 + Adreon 430 GPU package on the same 20nm process leading to a power efficiency that's not good enough for satisfying performances in a smartphone.

1/ appearing a lot more likely than 2/

So while I still think that the overheating rumor was originated from an intent to promote as superior Samsung 14nm SoC, I also concede that Qualcomm made some damage by not communicating transparently enough on the fact their 810 platform power management and performance optimization was, or is still very much a work in progress.
Showcasing the LG G Flex 2 as proof the 810 had no issue was not the best choice.

We shall learn more about the Snapdragon 810 real world experience with the incoming HTC One M9 review, very soon.
The M9 review units have received a system update just a few days ago and hopefully it contains the latest and greatest Qualcomm tuning.

via +Stig-Ørjan Smelror via +Carlos-Cristian Radan

#supercurioBlog #critic

What is behind the fake Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 overheating rumors? – SemiAccurate
SemiAccurate has been following a massive FUD campaign for a few months and the rabbit hole has lead to some interesting places.

Source post on Google+

Tonight I measured a Galaxy S6 unit in all its screen modes:

– Adaptive display
– AMOLED cinema
– AMOLED photo
– Basic

To anticipate some marketing or analysts claims, here are graphs and data representing the display of one unit, at 100% brightness.

Note: Those are based on preliminary results from a colorimeter only and I will apply some corrections based on the readings of a spectrophotometer.

If you look only at the 2D CIE 1932 gamut and saturations graph, the gamut and saturations seems to match rather closely to the sRGB or Rec.709 standards. It will affect the CIE diagram slightly but not the curves.

However it would be a mistake to claim that this display is color accurate to any existing standard, the reason being that the grayscale luminance and gamma response are wrong.
In fact, the average gamma ends up at 2.49 here which is really high: it makes things darker and more contrasty than they should (an approximate average gamma is 2.2)

So while the screen might look satisfyingly accurate if you look only at one particular graph, the Galaxy S6 display in Basic mode can't be trusted for color-critical work like video or photo editing.

Also, because of the correction required to reduce the saturation that's mechanically increased by a higher gamma, the overall appearance in Basic mode is inconsistent, and looking "off" to a trained eye.

There's more to say about the other modes but that'll be for later 🙂
The real #MWC15 starts in less than 8 hours!

Don't hesitate to point authors of a claim like "very accurate display", "most accurate ever" to the graphs attached.
They're making a mistake in their analysis: you can't look at only a fraction of the data, represented in a specific way and claim that it validates all the rest. But apparently it's a very common mistake.

#supercurioBlog #display #measurements #color #critic #Samsung


In Album About Samsung Galaxy S6 Basic screen mode

Source post on Google+