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Richi Jennings
Editor, analyst, writer, fool.
Editor, analyst, writer, fool.


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“People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it's the other way around.”
― Terry Pratchett (RIP)
/v @Danealle13

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Rarely do I see such a well-made accessory these days. In comparison, everything else seems like cheap, plastic tat.

This USB-C phone dock is beautifully put together. It's weighty and finely milled. It stands firm on its non-slip base. Notably, the mechanism for adjusting for the size of phone is elegant and practical.

My only suggestion for improvement is to not use a captive cable. Instead, it would be better if the dock had a USB-C socket at the back, so I can use my own cable. That would allow me to choose a longer cable, or one that terminates in USB-C (some phones come with chargers that have a USB-C socket, not -B).

Speaking of the cable, the quality lets the side down a little. In a world where tough, braided cables are the norm, this generic white plastic outer almost seems out of place.

But I have no hesitation in giving this puppy four stars. Excellent value for money. [£]

Full disclosure: I was asked to review this product by Meamor/BaiXing, but this review is my genuinely independent opinion.

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Hacking comes to #DNA: Groundbreaking or utter #horsefeathers?
—this week’s #SecurityBlogwatch for @TechBeaconCom

10 out of 10 for creating press coverage. But it’s not as if the research is entirely clickbait.

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This “cigar-lighter” charger seems sturdily made, and charges my Motorola Nexus 6 really quickly. In fact, it's the first car charger I've found that can actually add energy to the phone battery while it's running Waze with the screen on full brightness. QC FTW!

It also charges my partner's LG Nexus 5X quickly, via this USB-C lead: (Why, yes, we are an all-Nexus household—we also have a Nexus 9 tablet.)

Aside from the amusing brand name, I can't see anything I'd change about this kit. It's great value. Of course, I'll update this review if anything goes wrong. [£] [$]

Full disclosure: I was asked to review this product by Czznn/Sunglo, but this review is my genuinely independent opinion.

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Crystal ball corner: The future of enterprise storage
More data is generated daily than ever, and it has to go someplace. Will it be flash or traditional disk?

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via +Esther Schindler​...
Say goodbye to your keyboard
The human-computer interface is changing: Welcome to a world of holograms, augmented reality, and thought-controlled Word docs. #HCI #UX

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via +Steven Vaughan-Nichols​ (who else?)...
Mint 18.2 isn't just the best Linux desktop, it's the best desktop. Period. End of statement.

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Marcus Hutchins (@MalwareTechBlog)—FBI arrest affects chilling effect
Assuming Hutchins is innocent, what next for other legitimate security researchers? If the FBI and DoJ are now criminalizing every white hat who creates a PoC, they risk marginalizing the US’s role in infosec.

#SecurityBlogwatch for @TechBeaconCom 

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K&F Concept Camera DSLR Microphone
This is a pretty decent, lightweight microphone, suitable for most DSLs and superzoom/bridge cameras that have a standard mic socket.

It's got a cardoid response (with a fairly good rejection of sound from behind, but it cannae change the laws of physics). Sound quality is great for the price. Noise isn't overwhelming, as some older reviews say -- I suspect the internal electronics have been upgraded since then.

Speaking of which, as a condenser mic, it needs power to drive those internal gubbins. So the package comes with a lithium button cell (not rechargeable). Mine hasn't run out yet, so I can't verify the 50 hour battery-life claim. Replacements are easily available, such as this six-pack, branded Panasonic:

Curiously, I see one or two Amazon reviews saying the sound quality is no better than the built-in mics in their cameras. Either their cameras have excellent microphones, or they made the same mistake as I did at first: I failed to push the jack fully home! The Fuji socket is rather stiff, and it's recessed so it's hard to see that the jack isn't properly in.

Also, don't forget it's a mono mic. I'd have thought this was obvious, but apparently not so!

What would I improve? It would be good to have a low-battery indication. Also some rubber construction between the body and the camera mount might help attenuate the transmitted handling noise when you zoom, focus, etc.

In case you were wondering, the body is 130 mm long with its foam sock on, and it sits 65 mm above the flash shoe. Unboxing photos attached, plus a photo of it attached to my Fuji X-S1.

Amazon UK: [£]
Amazon US: [$]

(If you prefer not to deal with Amazon, the K&F's site is

Full disclosure: I was asked to review this product by K&F/dcmall, but this review is my genuinely independent opinion.
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