The FaceID Only Conundrum

New tech is not always better just because it is new.  Over the last year while rumors of FaceID becoming reality on the next phone were out there, we also heard how Apple was working on getting TouchID working on the screen.  Well they didn’t, and now it’s FaceID only on the iPhone X.   Judging by the first reviews this move will be a tad controversial.  I have two worries.

  • Checking the phone discreetly is now impossible.  If you are in a meeting, out for a meal, or just walking down the street a great feature of the iPhone was unlocking it while taking it out of your pocket and just peeking down at the screen. The phone never had to get a few inches outside your pocket and you had the ability to respond quickly to message, read a note, etc.  Now if you want to unlock it, the phone has to see your face.  
  • The other worry is Apple Pay. I know there is a new gesture (double tap power button) to launch Apple Pay, but again your face to authorize?  This is where the previous home button was perfect.  

Both of these issues can be resolved if you use an Apple Watch with your phone.   I wonder if Apple starts pushing the Watch as the “needed” accessory to get the everything working as it did before.  I know it would not be Apple like, but I wish they just put a fingerprint sensor on the back like Google did and let you unlock with your finger or your face.  We will all find out in just a few days if my worries are founded.

48 Hours With the Samsung Note 8

I have been using iOS as my main phone for a few years, but I always have a line with an Android device on it for testing and playing (I also had a third line for Windows devices, but alas that is no longer needed).  I have had Nexus devices, the original Moto X, as well as two from Samsung.  So it was time to replace the S6 with a newer Android device.  So now I have a Note 8! I am going to write more about this after using it for a few more days, but a few notes.

  • The screen on this phone is breathtaking.
  • Samsung has finally figured out Android.  While the tech press goes on and on about "vanilla Android" and devices that run it they miss a huge point.  Most people are not tech nerds, and they want a finished product out of the box.  This is why Google has now started adding their own differentiators on the Pixel devices whereas the Nexus devices did not.  Yes you can still change defaults, but if you don't you have a device that works and works well.
  • A big concern I had going in was Bixby. Again after reading about the device online all I kept reading about was how Samsung has Bixby instead of Google Assistant when Assistant is better.  Turns out this is not true.  First the phone has Assistant and Bixby turned on by default when you get your phone.  They have different trigger words, but holding the home key down launches Google Assistant the same as it does everywhere else.  It also turns out that Bixby and Assistant do different things and have different uses.  Imagine complaining your phone came with the Gmail app because it comes with a browser that can also access that Gmail.  That is pretty much what is going on here.

I am going to put my phone through the paces, but here is my home screen as I start my first work week using this phone as my main device.  The second image is from a Samsung slide over feature.  You swipe in from the right edge and you get a list of apps, people, or tasks that you always want access to. I have put most of my messaging apps there and have been using it a lot.  This was a feature I thought I was going to disable.

Update: One thing I was rightfully worried about with this phone was the awful location of the fingerprint reader. Well it's not great, but once I put a case on I found it much easier to use. I was also plesantly surprised how well the iris scanner works.  I had only used this before on a Lumia 950 and the process was slow and clunky so had low expectations. Samsung also offers facial recognition to unlock, but it's not secure so just skip that.

Amazon Link to case: Spiegen Thin Fit for Note 8

More to come......

The Time for the Gun Debate Was Yesterday

What to Bring to the Gun Fight | Crooked Media

Republicans have defined the terms of the debate on guns and instead of trying to change those terms, we have resigned ourselves to playing on their turf. The Democratic approach to guns is one of the last vestiges of the mushy strategic applesauce that dominated 1990s DLC-style centrism—the only way to beat Republicans is to try to sound more like them. It is a defensive posture borne of a defeatist mindset that is more a product of Democratic psychology than of political reality. Democrats speak softly and carry a small stick to the gun fight because they have convinced themselves that Republicans have the law, politics, and a presumption of victory on their side. The truth is less daunting, but unless Democrats come around to that truth, the presumption of Republican victory will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Glad to see a group of writers actually writing. This is an important read.

Sports is Not Enough

The First Vegas Hockey Game Was Proof That Sports Can't Heal Tragedy - VICE Sports

After the largest mass shooting in American history, all the horror of the real world was displayed on the ice Tuesday night. First responders, many reluctantly accepting cheers from the crowd as they walked onto the ice, were there to receive thanks from the fans. But they were also a reminder of how everything can and will go bad in a moment's notice.

The problem is that something needs to actually come of their presence. What needs to follow is more than just a hockey game. We need to see this parade of heroes, take the next step and say to ourselves, "It would be great if these men and women didn't have to be heroes as often as they do. Let's do something about it."


Dave is exactly right. The Vegas Knights did everything right last night, but this should not be on them nor any other group of athletes. This is on all of us to demand more be done.

Sunday Funday

Anytime you can spend a day at the beach, you do it. So even the rain could not stop us from enjoying an unseasonably warm October Sunday in Asbury Park!

So @wheresmonica had her first pork roll, egg, and cheese!

A post shared by Darren Cohen (@realdarrencohen) on

A lot of exercise + ? = Happy wife on a football ? Sunday!

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What Does This Mean For Keith Hernandez?

The Mets stunk, the manager is out, they have awful ownership, and I can go on. With all of that the one thing the Mets have had over the last decade is Gary, Keith, and Ron. At the end of the game today we saw this. https://twitter.com/goodfundies/status/914618299010486272

Do not do this to us Mex!

Updated: Maybe we can relax

https://twitter.com/AnthonyDiComo/status/914640858099716096

Update to the Update: Keith is working the post-season!

https://twitter.com/NYDNSports/status/914658453632749568