Please Don’t Do This – Conspiracy Nut Tears Out NFC Antenna on Samsung Phone

nfc radio antenna samsung batteryWe’re all a little on edge about what our phones can do, how they store our information, and how other people might be able to access things like our location. It’s easy to get a little freaked out by technology you don’t understand.

Case in point, Nick Browne posted this video on Facebook, as he was concerned about something strange attached to the battery of his Samsung phone. (Language in video might be a bit NSFW)

Remember, every time you shoot video in portrait, God kills an orphan girl’s kitten…

That is a strange looking antenna to be found on a battery, but what Nick has torn off here is his NFC antenna. That’s the radio you can use for things like “tap and share” or “tap and pay”. It’s kind of odd that Samsung builds it into the battery, but it likely discourages folks from buying third party batteries that don’t include the antenna as it’ll disable the NFC function on their phones.

And let’s be honest here, while Nick seems to have some issues with race relations, if someone really wants to hack your phone, and steal your photos, they certainly don’t need to install an antenna on your battery to do it.

It does look a little strange, but we can learn from Nick here not to freak out and start tearing pieces off of our gadgets if they’re things we don’t understand. Thankfully for Nick, to restore NFC on his Samsung, all he needs to do is buy a new battery, and NOT tear off the label again…

Sunday Fun: Fighting FUD One Comment at a Time…

It’s a fact that many people stop reading an article after they finish the headline. Makes it rather difficult to discuss nuance when some people trust the “knowledge” they glean from click bait or sensationalized headlines.

Case in point, last week a story started circulating about a new type of malware that can track you and the contents of your phone even when your phone is off. Sounds freaky right! RIGHT! OMG! NO!!!

Screenshot (6) cropWe were treated to a bunch of “falling sky” editorials, a number of people trotted out old talking points about Android and the security of “open” platforms, but few mentions of the actual exploit were made beyond a pithy “requires root access”.

Thankfully this is the internet where we can often turn to the comments for more info.

Screenshot (9) cropRekt.

Just a bummer though that many people stopped at the headline…

Informal Poll: Is HTC’s Rap Video So Bad It’s Good?

Now I LOVES me some schlock. The best “bad” media is made from passionate people, who really believed in their project, but lacked the resources to properly execute.

That’s maybe why I’m torn on HTC’s “funny” rap video here. I’d imagine that HTC has enough cash to compete with the budget of a single Digital Short from SNL, right? Trying to make something look “bad” or “low budget” is a tricky thing to pull off. It’s like asking a singer to purposely sing off key.  It’ll never be as funny as someone who knows they’re a terrible singer belting their favorite karaoke jam at the top of their lungs.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and HTC’s delivered a masterpiece. Your comments below will certainly be appreciated…

Google Accuses Microsoft of Copying Search Results on Bing

Ok. I’m a fan of Microsoft’s recent moves, but this is hilarious.

Engineers at Google started to suspect that Bing was copying their search results, so they set up a sting, tying nonsensical strings of letters to dummy web pages. Quickly after indexing each page and fake word search, Google Engineers found they could search for the same nonsense and get the dummy page on Bing.


Microsoft has yet to comment on the matter, but it would appear that not just consumers, but even Bing prefers Google…

Read up on the whole experiment and sting on Google’s blog.

Friday Fun: Daughter & Father Record their Reactions to Watching Scary Film – Hilarity Ensues

the_conjuringFamily bonding at its finest!

I’m a sucker for scary films, and I loves me a good reaction video. This Father (who isn’t a fan of horror) stuck it out for some Daddy Daughter bonding and captured some hysterical moments of fright while the two watched The Conjuring together.

I loathe horror films, but my oldest daughter has a penchant for them. She thought it would be cute to record ourselves watching The Conjuring. My embarrassment is for your pleasure. Enjoy!

Samsung Targets iPhone Battery Life in “Wall Huggers” Commercial

samsung wallhuggers commercialI haven’t always loved Samsung’s snarkier spots, but this one is tickling my funny bone. If you’ve traveled recently, you’ve probably noticed this phenomenon of people crowding the outlets at airports.

As more and more phone manufacturers rush to enclose their device’s batteries in non-removable shells, I have a soft spot for Samsung continuing to provide us with removable back plates. Funny to think that the company working hardest on waterproofing and rugeddizing their phones, also continues to let consumers swap out their battery.

But I digress. Here’s Samsung’s latest assault on the iPhone. Enjoy.

AT&T Offers $450 to T-Mobile Customers Looking to Switch

ATT logoThe carrier wars are already heating up for 2014. After failing to acquire T-Mobile, and being forced to dump cash into their coffers, looks like AT&T is getting a little tired of competing against their own money.

Taking a direct shot at Lil’ Magenta, AT&T announced today that T-Mo customers switching to AT&T, and trading in their old phones, would receive up to a $450 credit per line on their accounts. The credit is designed to ease the sting of paying a termination fee for those increasingly few on contract, or to offset the cost of a new phone or tablet.

This looks like an early warning shot from AT&T, as we’ve been hearing rumors of T-Mobile offering a similar “Switch to us” credit. Maybe AT&T got tired of T-Mo beating them to the punch on things like faster phone upgrades, and “zero down” phone subsidies.

It’s fun when companies get frisky. Full PR after the jump.

Continue reading “AT&T Offers $450 to T-Mobile Customers Looking to Switch”

Waze introduces Kevin Hart as new sassy voice to download for turn-by-turn navigation

waze windows phone app review somegadgetguy (2)Rewind several years (I honestly can’t remember how far back), and you be talking to a younger GadgetGuy who was probably flipping out about how cool it was that he could download a John Cleese voice pack for his Tom Tom GPS. It was awesome, and funny, and fresh. One of the first true celebrity partnerships for geeky tech gear, and it was much preferable to the disembodied soulless voices we were normally (and kinda still are) treated to.

Return to the present, and all that’s old is new again. Waze has announced a partnership with comedian Kevin Hart, and he’ll be adding some snark to your daily commute! It’s cute how they shoot this as if he has no idea what he’s doing…

It’s rolling out to Waze users, so not everyone will have it yet, but check in by going to your Waze settings, go to Sound, then select English – Ride Along. Enjoy!