Google Updates When They Stop Supporting Pixel and Nexus Phones

Pixel will be supported until October 2019, and Nexus 6P is up to September 2018.


It is understandable, since as the generation of phones aggregate, it would be too busy to support all of them and it would be nearly impossible to have bugs in it.

But at the same time, it is sad to learn that when the old phones are still usable, it will be unsupported. The hardware won't expire till 5 years, 10 years maybe. But the software is outdated within 2 or 3 years. Why? Is it really necessary to stop supporting old phones that fast? Continue reading Google Updates When They Stop Supporting Pixel and Nexus Phones

Incomplete data causes complicated learning model?

Just an idea. Today, machine learning or deep learning largely rely on the data, the volume of data. If we have millions of images of a single object, we can train the model and eventually approximate a function that maps the image into the object. The resulting model could be complicated, requiring multiple layers of neurons and requiring days to months to train the model.

What if the complexity of modeling and training is caused by incomplete data. Here I do not mean that millions of images of a single object are not enough, are incomplete. I meant, if it is true that image of a single object is incomplete. For example, when human see a dog, running on the ground, we may obtain additional information about the dog to recognize that it is a dog, like from sound, e.g., dog barking.

Control Smartphones and Wearables Under Water

Smartphones and wearables are now waterproof. This is great. It means we can shower without taking off the smartwatch; we can swim but won't miss messages/notifications; and we can surf and still pick up phone calls even if the device dropped in water.

All these sound great, but touch screens are water-unfriendly. Whenever there is some water on the screen, the touch screen just went nuts. Either it is unresponsive or it randomly clicks like there is a ghost. Water affects the screen capacity change caused by human skin and destroy the functionalities of the touch screen.

Let's look at some alternatives. Continue reading Control Smartphones and Wearables Under Water

Unlock Samsung Gear S2/S3 (AT&T)

Not sure if T-mobile follows the same procedure but I find the original solution here for S3 Frontier (AT&T). It apparently works for S2 also. I have no idea why AT&T does not release this and claims they cannot unlock wearables (in 2016).

Here is a log of the procedure, verified by both XDA folks and me.

First, you need to get the unlock code (from here at AT&T). If you are not the account holder, ask them to follow the procedure for you. To get the unlock code, you need to find out your smartwatch's IMEI number at Settings > Gear Info > About Device. For me, the request takes about 2 business days. Some people did not get it in couple days and pinged at the customer service and went it through.

Anyway, suppose you have the 8-digit unlock code now. You get it from the email asking you to follow the procedure by first "power off the device and remove the SIM card". Yea, you can never do that for Gear S2/S3 because they use eSIM.

Thanks to slapshot2286, we can unlock the device by doing the following.

  1. Go to Settings > Gear Info > About Device and scroll down to Software Version
  2. Tap Software Version 5 times and a keyboard will show up
  3. Type #7465625*638*# and another dialog shows up, which says "Personalisation" followed by "Enter NCK"
  4. Enter the unlock code you get from AT&T and tap OK

You will then see SUCCESS indicating you have unlocked your Gear S2/S3. Period.

Vultr upgraded the plan

This is awesome. Vultr recently upgraded the $5/month plan so that I now have 1GB memory with 25GB storage! YAY!

And what is more fun is there is $2.5/month option, which has less bandwidth, storage, and memory. The only thing is there is no possibility to downgrade a plan, otherwise I might just go for this one (since my old plan was 768MB memory and 15GB SSD).

Here is the referral link if you are interested in it. I'll answer any questions if you get any.

Switch From StartSSL/StartCom To Let's Encrypt (Enable HTTPS For Websites)

Last year I was suggesting to use StartSSL/StartCom to get free SSL certificates and easily enable HTTPS for websites. Apparently now Chrome and Firefox have distrusted their certificates and considered my site as a "malicious" site after then. I went online and looked for alternatives and Let's Encrypt is a really great service (free & more freedom). Here I log the process how did I switch to certificates with Let's Encrypt.

In this log/tutorial, I assume websites have already enabled SSL (e.g., using conf.d in httpd as demonstrated in this earlier post) and are using Apache version less than 2.4.8. Also, I'm using Debian 7. Otherwise, try to follow instruction here. Continue reading Switch From StartSSL/StartCom To Let's Encrypt (Enable HTTPS For Websites)