"I seem to recall from a while ago that a surprising number of passive things go on while the phone is off. The OS may not be running, but it's not the only thing tracking you."
Back when the Snowden thing started, he mentioned things like that, which was then vehemently denied by the manufacturers. They saw no way how the radio could be powered with the phone switched off. Of course, he was in a good position to be paranoid about phones with the firmware modified by TLAs.
There are phones that can wake up from power off to sound an alarm. Presumably, they boot some lightweight OS image that's just enough to play the alarm audio and display a snooze button. A phone like that could be modified to wake up with the screen off and the radios on (and remember the unlock code for the SIM). But that doesn't mean that phones work like that out of the box. There would be trouble with the FCC and FAA if phones did that during air travel, not to mention unexpected data roaming fees.
"this [4G off state] might result in data-checking apps (e.g. your e-mail app) not getting notifications that an e-mail has arrived."
You got it. Or rather, apps stop polling for data if there is no internet connection. With the 4g radio in standby (only listening for incoming calls) it doesn't consume much power.
"So perhaps it could turn on the data for 5 minutes every hour to allow background apps to pull data. I wonder just how much battery life an app like this would save."
There are apps (e.g. juice defender) that can disable data sync or even mobile data (iirc) and briefly enable it at set intervals, so that all apps wake up and sync at the same time. You could also try to do that manually (it's the widget with two half-circle arrows). I tried JD in the past, but found it too much a pain that Whatsapp messages came in with a delay and that I had to wait for mobile data to become active whenever I wanted to look up something.
"Battery doctor already does this, I've had it on my phone for a year or two, it simply terminates one or two dozen apps that somehow run themselves for no good reason - has a whitelist too."
BD seems like snake oil to me. From the app description:
- Disable unnecessary apps that drain your battery! Task Killer kills tasks with one click! -- The ones that drain the battery are background services and you can't really kill them without root; the OS will restart them after a while. You can disable the service manually in the Android settings if you want, although i'm not sure that it survives a reboot. Killing "tasks" (recently opened apps) won't help the battery at all since those don't run but just sit idly in memory until the memory is needed for something else. After that, the "task" just a shortcut icon in the recent-apps list. Killing an app is only useful if it's stuck in an unresponsive state. Killing a "task" generally won't kill the background service if the app has one.
- Unique 3 Stage Charging system! -- Unique, WTF, that's how every Li-ion charger works. No way that an app can influence the charging circuitry of the phone.
"AES instructions are included by default in almost every single processor produced in the last 5 years."
Not in the i3-3xxx mobile cpus (released 2013), celeron N29xx (released 2014), Pentium N35xx (2014), and so on. I.e. my laptop and my SO's... (we're more interested in battery life and compactness)
And ssh on my phone (ARM) isn't particularly fast even if the hardware supports it. Can't tell whether dropbear and ssh client actually use AES instructions.
"in order to calculate which pages are linked to by good pages, and are therefore also good. It's recursive across the whole internet"
You speak in the present tense, but I think it's widely believed that today, the original pagerank algorithm plays only a minor role. The original algorithm was very easy to game by building a site with a million auto-generated pages, all linking to each other and to the main page. How they actually do it today is a closely guarded secret, although it's likely that links between sites and internal links play a role.
OK, I was reading and posting from a phone screen while commuting. From a laptop screen and based on your screenshots, I agree. The Hack-i looks like a tiny backslash, quite disrupting the flow of reading. The Hack-a at your rendering looks like a small 8 when viewed from a distance, unlike the Dejavu-a.
Next time you post screenshots, make sure that they will fit in a browser window with menu bar on a 1366x768 sceen, though. The browser was messing them up by an additional scaling.
"When setting up an access point, it should be possible to designate it as "expensive", and by default devices should adhere to this and try to limit unnecessary data usage"
Android has a feature (settings / data usage / menu / mobile hotspots) to do exactly that. Android also seems to detect if it is tethered to another Android phone but I'm not sure how that works. iPhones certainly don't recognize Android hotspots, as a I learned when my friend's iPhone downloaded 50 MB roaming data in 3 minutes when she just wanted to check her email.
"These tests should have been part of the product test and qualification plan."
I suspect that they don't test the device in their final assembled form because of the tight development and release schedule for thus kind of devices. Redesigning the spring mechanism and setting up the production lines could mean months of delay.
They need to trust their engineers to catch this kind of problem while the design only exists as a CAD model. Unfortunately that didn't happen this time...
"Because people who type all the time don't like to have their wrists twisted"
I use a regular(*) keyboard and my wrists are straight. In the home position, my index fingers are a bit more stretched than my pinky fingers to correct for the angle. I used a MS Natural keyboard around 1997, but I felt that it made my rsi issues worse. Learning about proper desk height and arm/wrist position helped much more, but back then it wasn't so common to have adjustable desks.
(*) Actually, I use a thinkpad keyboard with trackpoint, in Dvorak layout. I even attached an external thinkpad/trackpoint keyboard to my non-thinkpad docking station because I hate that hp elitebook keyboard.
Actually, i'm typing this with my right thumb on a 5-inch phone, in portrait mode... 6666... yep, right hand.
"A gun can puncture the pressure hull of the plane, and considering it's altitude, that would be both unpleasant and potentially life threatening"
That's not the real problem. A 1 cm2 hole will leak around 20 liters of air per second, which is negligible to the 500+ l/s of air that needs to be refreshed in a typical 200-passenger aircraft to keep the passengers from suffocating.
A bigger problem is that the bullet can damage electrical and hydraulic lines on the way out.
nohup rm -fr /&