4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone 6 Leaked Case Preview

Comparison of 4.7" and 5.5" iPhone 6 Cases

Comparison of 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone 6 Cases

As the expected release date of Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 6 approaches, leaked photos and products continue to surface that feature a new form-factor in 4.7″ and 5.5″ sizes.

Thanks to multiple OEM manufacturers, TechZany was able to get access to various cases and parts for the 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone 6. Although we haven’t yet seen the official housing or back casing of the iPhone 6, these cases and parts come from a very credible source in China. They’re modelled from the iPhone 6 “dummy phone” which is used in the factories for iPhone 6 prototyping. These parts and new form factors have also been confirmed within the supply chain.

5.5" iPhone 6 Case

5.5″ iPhone 6 Case

It is expected that the 4.7″ iPhone 6 will be available in September, following the annual hardware update schedule. However, the 5.5″ iPhone 6 will not be available until later in the year, or early-2015 due to manufacturer issues with hardware design, according to multiple sources.

The hardware mockups, dummy models, and cases that have emerged seem to follow a consistent design on the 4.7″ model. As for the 5.5″ “iPhone 6S” or “iPhone Note” (As it’s being called by some Chinese manufacturers), there is the possibility that Apple will reveal this later in the year, rather than at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2nd 2014. It may also have some unique features or technology that isn’t currently being tested nor available in the supply chain and therefore, would not be demonstrated in these preliminary case designs.

Check out the photos below! For other photos, details, and information about the upcoming iPhone 6 (and other Apple products), follow @TechZany on Twitter!

4.7" iPhone 6 Dummy Models

4.7″ iPhone 6 Dummy Models

 

4.7" iPhone 6 Case

4.7″ iPhone 6 Case

Comparing 5.5" iPhone 6 to iPad Mini

Comparing 5.5″ iPhone 6 to iPad Mini

 

5.5" iPhone 6 Bottom Ports

5.5″ iPhone 6 Bottom Ports

 

5.5" iPhone 6 Photos from OEM

5.5″ iPhone 6 Photos from OEM

iPhone 6 Camera Modules

iPhone 6 Camera Modules


iPhone 6 Dummy - White

iPhone 6 Dummy – White


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F.lux Promises To Help You Sleep

According to research done by the American Medical Association, exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of electronic media, can disrupt sleeping and intensify sleep disorders. F.lux makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, specifically dawn and dusk. The warm colours at night can help your eyes adapt and diminish strain. When it’s time to sleep, it will become a much more comfortable transition into a darker environment.

Night-time exposure to blue light keeps people up late. F.lux adjusts colours in a way that reduces the stimulating effect of blue light and the developers have documented the science to prove it!

The science that explains why blue light keeps you up was begun many years ago in the study of bird migration, and it continued in humans with the discovery of a new photoreceptor in the eye, called Melanopsin. Many are familiar with the “rods and cones” that provide our visual capabilities, but it was only about 15 years ago that retinal ganglion cells containing melanopsin, which are sensitive to a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range, were discovered, and their unique effect on sleep was investigated.

https://justgetflux.com/research.html

Version 30.1 of F.lux preferences - latest version

Version 30.1 of F.lux preferences – latest version

When the sun sets, F.lux makes your computer look like your indoor lights and in the morning, it switches back to sunlight again. The options are fully customizable, and you get to choose a strength that works for you. Depending on the amount of windows in your room and type of lightbulbs, your settings could be different than mine.

I’ve been using F.lux for the past six months and now I can’t live without it. I don’t generally have trouble sleeping, but I still feel much more comfortable staying up late, in front of a computer screen. It’s an easy transition from sitting in front of 3+ displays, to laying in bed. Continue reading

The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance

headerOn February 11th 2014, many activist groups, companies, and online platforms will hold a worldwide day of activism in opposition to the NSA’s mass spying regime. Thousands of websites are protesting online but they’re also going to be on the streets. Events are planned in cities worldwide, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago, Copenhagen, Stockholm and more.

800px-AaronSwartzPIPA

Swartz protesting against SOPA
(2012 – Photo by D. Sieradski)

“The Day We Fight Back” was announced on the anniversary of the tragic passing of well-known Internet activist Aaron Swartz. He was a computer programmer, writer, and political organizer involved in the development of RSS, the organization of Creative Commons, web.py, Reddit, and his own company, Infogami. In 2011, he was arrest by MIT police after systemically downloading academic journals stolen from JSTOR. After JSTOR and MIT decided NOT to take the case to court, or hold him responsible, US Federal prosecutors took action, charging him with two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This resulted in $1 million in fines plus 35 years in prison. After being denied a plea bargain two years later, Swartz was found in his New York apartment, where he took his own life. Continue reading

How to Find the Best Internet Service Provider

[Guest Post by Carmen]

Taking the time to choose a good internet provider can often save you a lot of time and frustration in your internet travels. Many providers take steps to appear as the best option to potential customers, such as aggressive marketing, “one time” offers that are often too good to be true, and social engineering. Knowing the common terminology and spending time going over potential options can help you make a much more informed decision before signing up with an ISP (internet service provider).

Before I can go into the details of negotiating tips and telltale signs of questionable practices, going over the types of Internet connections (the technology that your internet provider uses to deliver service to your house) is vital. In most countries, three prominent technologies are usually used by providers to deliver an internet connection to your home or office.

A digital subscriber line (DSL) is one of the most common types of connection worldwide.  DSL is usually offered by the same company which offers landline telephone service in your area; however, other secondary companies may offer DSL service as well. Under the right conditions, DSL can reach fairly high speeds (50 Mbps+); however, speeds may vary depending on distance from the provider’s node (where the internet is converted to a signal that is capable of reaching your home).  DSL providers often advertise speeds higher than what you are capable of actually receiving. The best way to know if you are truly able to get the maximum speeds would be to ask neighbours.

Cable internet comes in at a close second to DSL, in terms of availability. Cable internet is usually offered by your local cable television company and ran over the same infrastructure as cable TV. This type of connection can reach very high speeds (100+ Mbps); however, the speeds offered by cable internet providers can vary based on the standard used (DOCSIS 3 is the latest cable internet standard, offering theoretical speeds of 300+ Mbps) or back end network capacity. With cable internet, reaching the maximum speeds is usually possible at least at some points in the day. Unlike DSL, network congestion can be a problem with cable. As providers upgrade their networks to meet the demand, this is less of a problem.

Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is another viable option and alternative to the two other major options. FTTH uses light over a glass wire to transmit internet. Once reaching the home, there is equipment to convert that fiber signal in something that your devices can understand. With current technology, fiber can reach the highest speeds of all the major methods listed above (1000+ Mbps). Fiber internet can often be expensive however, this is not always the case.

These are the three major technologies currently used for internet service worldwide however there are many other technologies available such as Satellite and Antenna (3G) internet that are in use as well.
Continue reading

Downgrading From OS X Mavericks to Mountain Lion

Apple.com/osx

Apple released OS X Mavericks in October 2013, the tenth major release of “The world’s most advanced operating system”. Hours after the release, I quickly upgraded the OS on my primary system, a late-2012 27″ iMac.

OS X 10.9 introduced several new features but, as expected, it also introduced several major bugs and removed features without good reason. After being frustrated with Mavericks, as many have, I decided to downgrade to 10.8.5 (OS X Mountain Lion).

A brief and condensed list of bugs and issues I found in OS X Mavericks:

  • There are a few incompatible applications that users were accustomed to using in Mountain Lion which no longer functioned, or caused some instability. RoaringApps.com is a trustworthy crowdsourced website for checking OS compatibility.
  • You lose control of scrolling with a Magic Trackpad, at random times through the day. A full system restart is required. Many users reported this on the Apple Support forum, and it’s still not resolved.
  • I love the new Multi-monitor features advertised in Mavericks and this was one of the reasons I upgraded so quickly. My main workstation is composed of 3 displays so it’s extremely important Apple handles this with care. Once again, they failed.
  • Shared network drives, screen sharing with other Macs on your network, AirDrop? Forget it. Not going to work if you’re using Mountain Lion on any of your other networked Macs. Theoretically it will … but implementation was subpar and obviously rushed.

I left Mountain Lion installed on a small 150GB partition before upgrading to Mavericks. The idea was that I could launch Mountain Lion at any time, just in case I didn’t find the new OS to work for my needs. Unfortunately, that caused more trouble than it was worth. With only 6GB left on the Mountain Lion partition, it quickly filled up and I needed more space. I tried deleting the Mavericks partition and allocating the free space to Mountain Lion, but it’s not that easy. (even while running Disk Utility from an external drive). Long story short, I ended up formatting the entire SSD (including the Mountain Lion recovery partition, yikes!)

Of course I kept a backup of all my data, thanks to Apple’s Time Machine (Which I no longer recommend using, by the way). This was not the concern. The next real challenge was finding, and installing, Mountain Lion. Why does Apple make this so complicated? And why do these bugs even exist? Short answer – OS X developers at Apple don’t support or think in the mind of the minority; most users would never notice the bugs and complications in Mavericks that we geeks (ahem, power users) do.

A persistent banner ad seen in the Mac App Store. Apple is encouraging all users to upgrade to Mavericks as soon as possible.

A persistent banner ad seen in the Mac App Store. Apple is encouraging all users to upgrade to Mavericks as soon as possible.

Rushing to download and install Mavericks back in October, I copied the installer onto the same SD card that Mountain Lion was on, replacing and deleting 10.8 forever. Installing via SD card was out of the question.  :-(

No problem, I can just download Mountain Lion from the App Store like I did last year? Wrong again – it’s not longer available in the Mac App Store and shows an error when attempting to download. At this point, I’m quite frustrated.

After a vast amount of searching, I found a clean copy of Mountain Lion on a popular torrent website. 1.5 hours and 4.5 gigabytes later, I inspected the installer package to notice it was completely mangled so I don’t recommend trying this. I ended up purchasing an Apple Mac Developer account, solely for the purpose of downloading an old OS. Apple provides many past versions of OS X and iOS to developers who want to test their app for previous generation products. Continue reading

Live Streaming Video using AVConv and the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized $35 computer that can be used to accomplish many tasks similar to what a desktop PC can do. This includes spreadsheets, word-processing, games, and even…live video broadcasting! By connecting a powered USB Hub and webcam to your Raspberry Pi, you can broadcast live video to an unlimited audience for free. I’ll show you how this is possible.

Please be patient and read through the entire tutorial before attempting.

What You NeedCredit: Wikipedia.org

Getting started requires a few peripherals. To start up your Raspberry Pi and do initial configuration, you will need an HDMI cable, USB keyboard, and USB mouse. In addition:

Recommendations

  • Use the raspberry pi “headless”. Do not run the desktop version of Rasbian on your Pi (xwindows). It uses an excess amount of RAM and precious CPU power that you need to reserve for your live video compression and streaming. Instead, use the command line interface or access via Secure Shell from another computer. (optional)

  • Assign a static local IP to the Raspberry Pi. (Configuration can be found in: /etc/network/interfaces). This is useful when accessing the Pi remotely. (optional)

  • Don’t use a Raspberry Pi enclosure that limits heat transfer and airflow.

Preparation

Update your software repository to the latest version by running the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Plug in your devices.  Webcam –> Powered USB Hub –> Raspberry Pi

Install Screen (optional):

apt-get install screen

Restart your Pi device:

reboot


Installation

To transcode and broadcast the video, you will need to use a Linux application called AVConv (similar to FFmpeg). It is a command line program for transcoding multimedia files using the Libav Multimedia Framework. FFmpeg will give you the same result, but I personally prefer AVConv for ease-of-use.

To Install AVConv, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install avconv

Continue reading