- Beautiful nonsense for autonomous life Rotofarm
- About Samsung Unpacked, Galaxy Note 20, Google and Microsoft
Beautiful nonsense for autonomous life Rotofarm
The 7th month has passed since the world lives in a pandemic. Everyone is used to it, they don’t applaud the doctors, no one wears masks, and they didn’t even try gloves. And the coronavirus is no longer perceived as a terrible disease, but as a conspiracy of officials not to do their job. This is how an elderly woman shouted at an employee of the St. Petersburg MFC, who refused to let her into the building without a mask and gloves and asked to sign up in advance by phone. The woman, on the other hand, shouted that it was impossible to sign up. In general, it is so. For example, an entry for Rosreestr is scheduled for 3 weeks in advance, the answering machine reports, after which the connection is broken. For me, the courier has become a symbol of the pandemic and masks. He arrived in a mask, gloves, handed out the invoice. Taking the document from me, he lowered his mask, sneezed in my face (which looked indecent even outside the conditions of the pandemic), then turned around and left. After that, just in case, I began to meet couriers on the street at the entrance. Still, there is more room to maneuver.
The situation with the pandemic is akin to concerns about the safety of personal data. In both cases, protection is ensured by the rules of hygiene – digital or sanitary. And in both cases, people are more likely to wear virus blockers amulets, install ad blockers and independently remove Google services from smartphones, being confident in the correctness of their actions. Many companies make money by releasing products that indulge the shamanism and superstition of citizens. But the coronavirus contributed rather not to the appearance, but to the accelerated development of a number of gadgets.
Generations of millennials and Z have been criticized by boomers for not buying a home, preferring to live in rented apartments. The coronavirus has put everything in its place, and in the US, the real estate market has seen a rise in sales. People realized that quarantine is more pleasant to experience in their own home. The logical consequence of this was the desire for autonomy, which gave rise to a number of interesting products.
More than once I saw ads on YouTube for various variations of home gardens. Rotofarm takes this story to the next level. And even I wanted such a thing to go home. Probably not for the sake of benefit, but because of beauty. Rotofarm is a 0.6 meter diameter wheel, in the center of which there is a lamp, and any useful green tea grows on the walls. The wheel, if I understood correctly, makes a full revolution every 46 minutes. As the creators write, it turns out that gravity (you heartless bitch!) Slows down the growth of plants, and rotation allows you to neutralize this effect, and everything grows 2 times faster.
Coconut fiber plays the role of soil, and the lamp mimics sunlight by enhancing the red and violet colors of the spectrum, which should promote more vigorous growth. At the same time, the lamp can also do sunrises and sunsets. You can, of course, close everything with a special plug that does not let light from the lamp into your apartment.
This whole story, of course, is doubtful, since although the wheel is beautiful, but small. It contains 10 slots for planting plants. Lettuce takes about 40 days to mature, and arugula takes 25 days. According to the inventors, the “wheel” reduces the time by 2 times. For a continuous loop, more slots are needed, more wheels. But the inventors of rotofarm say that the product is great not only for growing lettuce, but also for medicinal marijuana … In this case, of course, if individual treatment is meant, then there are no questions. However, the emergence of such products suggests that people have a need. Do not go to the store, where there are dangers and diseases, but grow it yourself.
About Samsung Unpacked, Galaxy Note 20, Google and Microsoft
Last week a presentation of a line of gadgets from Samsung took place. Detailed materials about all new items were published on the pages of Mobile-Review.com.
I want to briefly share some common observations about Samsung, Google and Microsoft.
- Debates about which is better, Samsung or Apple are still popular among technologists. The reasonable component of these disputes, in my opinion, has long been lost, and what is happening is more like a clash of football fans, when it is not the meaning that is important, but the movement itself.
My sympathies are still with Samsung, and specifically with the Galaxy Note line. The Galaxy Note has been arguably the most distinctive device on the Android smartphone market for years. They do not set trends, they do not try to copy them, but Galaxy Note has firmly occupied the niche of communicators for professionals with a bias in both management and creativity. Sometimes it seems that the Galaxy Note is what Blackberry devices were supposed to be.
- Samsung is following the path of Apple, creating a list of company friends who are given devices for review. From a marketing point of view, absolutely the right decision. In a difficult falling market, there was still not enough for some idiot to express his opinion, spoiling multimillion-dollar investments in promotion. So as smartphones appear in stores, I will definitely go to watch it live. Videos and photographs somehow do not convey the size of the camera unit – it seems that it is some kind of unreal colossus. And, of course, it’s very cool that a matte finish is now available. It is imperative to watch and touch.
- Despite the interest and love for the Galaxy Note line, I did not master the presentation from the first time and then inspected it in parts. I watched the last presentation of Apple WWDC 2020 excitedly and even upset when it was over. And this is perhaps the main advantage Apple has over other smartphone manufacturers. It does not apply to technical content, screen technology, or camera pixels. Apple is good at telling interesting stories and captivating people. And this is what ordinary buyers need. People want to live interestingly, and Apple promises them this through its products. Samsung’s presentation, relatively speaking, is similar to a school textbook. Well written, but still … You sit and watch as one of the presenters at the presentation in the picture below.
- The new smartphones will run on two chipset variants – Exynos 990 and Snapdragon 865 Plus. This technical point has attracted attention for two reasons. The Snapdragon 865 Plus is an updated chipset introduced just recently. Exynos 990 has been with us since the beginning of the year. The Snapdragon 865 Plus is 7 percent more powerful than the regular version, which in turn was 10% more powerful than the Exynos 990. Thus, the performance gap between the two chipsets is about 15%. For comparison in electronic parrots, you can see the slide below. The average user is unlikely to notice the difference in performance. But Samsung is trying to cultivate the image of a technology leader, and what is happening shows that it will not be able to keep up with progress. The situation is somewhat similar to Intel. In both cases, companies that own their own facilities are inferior to those who work with contract factories.
The situation with different chipsets also attracts attention by the fact that Samsung itself does not comment on the reasons why smartphones based on Snapdragon and Exynos are supplied to certain markets. This year, both the S-series and Note-series are arriving in the South Korean home market and in the US with a solution from Qualcomm. Taking into account that the home market is important for the company from an image point of view, the preference for a foreign product over a domestic one raises questions.
How Google is losing Android and why it’s bad for Samsung
The second presentation was held in close cooperation with Microsoft. While promoting this topic, I thought that, despite being tied to its services, Google’s position in the mobile market is not as unshakable as it might seem. If you remember, earlier Samsung worked closely with Google. The company’s smartphones received new features almost a year earlier, which were then presented at Google I / O.
Now Google is systematically “losing” supporters. The company did not part with Huawei of its own free will, but in the end there was a situation where the largest manufacturer in the world makes (and quite successfully) smartphones without Google. In early September, another Mate 40 will be shown on the Kirin 1000 chipset, which, apparently, will become the last chipset from TSMC … From September 15, cooperation between the companies will be banned from the United States. This, by the way, will only stimulate the split and the transition of China to its own technologies.
If we add to the box that Chinese companies (BBK Electronics and Xiaomi) occupy the second place in terms of volume, which will also abandon Google when the confrontation between the United States and China intensifies, then the situation is interesting.
Taking into account that the share of smartphones / tablets on the Internet outweighs the share of computers, even in theory the situation when most of the smartphones in the world will be produced without Google services looks, to put it mildly, unpleasant. On the other hand, Google finally has a compelling argument for anti-monopolists.
For a long time, Google was on the side of Samsung, which is generally tightly tied to Google, but smartwatches have been coming to Tizen OS for a long time, and by default, Bixby is called on smartphones, not Google Assistant.
For Samsung, cutting back on Google is also fraught with risks. I consistently promote the idea that in the next 2-3 years, the smartphone market will be redistributed, when newcomers take the place of old leaders. Cooperation with Google allowed Samsung to be the first to integrate new solutions and to play the role of the most innovative and exemplary devices. Today, if you look at both the performance ratings and the camera quality ratings, Samsung solutions are at the bottom of the top 10. And aside from highly specialized solutions like the Galaxy Note, there is less and less reason for ordinary users to pay for Samsung.
Goose is not a pig’s friend, or about the friendship between Samsung and Microsoft
Continuing the thought from the previous paragraph, it should be noted that Samsung understands this and through cooperation with Microsoft is trying to create a unique ecosystem partnership. Much of the presentation was devoted to interaction between Samsung and Windows. Kostya Ivanov has translated excellent material from The Verge on this topic.
However, the Samsung + Microsoft situation is not a friendship story. If you remember, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stabbed Windows Phone with an unwavering hand, pushed Windows off the pedestal, reorienting the company to cloud services and Azure. As I see it, the partnership with Samsung is due to the fact that the company makes the best Android smartphones on the market, according to Microsoft. Here you have the best quality and high productivity, and most importantly – wide sales.
Thus, for Microsoft, friendship with Samsung is a kind of massive beta test of how the company’s services will work on smartphones. Last year there was the initial introduction of the Link to Windows function, this year they uglikil and added game streaming. Microsoft has a goal of distributing its services, so it will definitely not get stuck and in the future leave them as a unique feature of Samsung. Rather, after a run-in, Microsoft will release “blotches” that will allow any manufacturer to put Microsoft products on smartphones or integrate them into the system by installing a third-party application. And Samsung in this situation will remain “with a nose”.
Microsoft Surface Duo
And speaking of Microsoft, one cannot fail to mention that the company will finally officially unveil its Surface Duo foldable smartphone in the near future. A device with two screens. In some ways similar to the idea from LG, which is promoting the option of a case with an additional screen.
The screen is 5.6 inches when folded, 8.3 inches when unfolded. The device will be able to unfold 360 degrees. Android 10 will be updated to 11th version. As a Snapdragon 855 chipset.
The device should not be judged harshly. Despite the fact that Surface Duo will go on sale, it is more likely not a commercial sample, but a model for enthusiasts, on the basis of which Microsoft will show its vision of development in the smartphone segment. The idea is too radical to be implemented now in partnership with Samsung. But if users like the option, then an easy partnership with LG can catch up by presenting versions for both flagships and mid-range, thanks to LG Velvet.
Taking Samsung as an example, we see a company that has reached its peak as a manufacturer of smartphones and components. However, the attempt to create the notorious ecosystem that will connect users has so far failed. A string of partnerships keep you at the top of the pedestal, and for now (believe it or not) Samsung’s solutions are the best in the Android world. The only trouble is that, unlike Apple, Samsung’s solutions can be much easier and easier to reproduce by competitors, since the same Microsoft will only be happy if its products are based on smartphones from other manufacturers.
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