The futuristic Xiaomi facial recognition

On my Xiaomi Mi 5X, after installing one of the BETA weekly updates, a new feature appeared: unlocking the phone with facial recognition, iPhone X style.

Intrigued, I immediately activated it, but I had with very low expectations: while on iPhone X there is a 3D scanner that can recognize an “alive” face from a photo, on other phones is much more “basic”, since it uses the front camera.

Anyway, I do not have anything important on the phone, so the possibility that someone else can unlock the phone by showing a picture of me is not a big deal.

I immediately saw how convenient it was: I raise the phone, the screen turns on automatically, I look at it, it unlocks. Fantastic. Indeed, better than iPhone X, because you do not have to swipe your finger to confirm, and anyway, I could always unlock via fingerprint on the back sensor! The best of both worlds!

Then one evening I went out and the phone unlocked in an almost completely dark room. Wow, in this room it’s so dark that I can not recognize people with my own eyes, how the phone could manage this?. Then I thought… an iPhone X uses some kind of Kinect (Apple acquired the company that invented the Kinect sensor a few years ago) and manages to see in 3D in absolute darkness, while my phone uses a common photo sensor, not able to see in the dark.

What a Kinect can see in the dark

I tried the recognition on an Asian face and it unlocked! I had low expectations on security, but I did not imagine that he was totally incapable of distinguishing an Asian face from a European face!

I immediately disabled it…

Google Play Store is always waiting for Wi-Fi

For several days, at least on my phone, Google Play store can’t download any app, is always waiting for Wi-Fi.

But I’m connected to Wi-Fi!!!

I saw that you can fix it by going to Settings> Apps> Google Play store and then “uninstall updates”

After a while, unfortunately, Google Play store will automatically update to the broken version, stopping again to function. I hope they can fix this problem as soon as possible 😢

No Super Mario Run on rooted phones

Finally, after waiting for months, Super Mario Run is available on Android too! (A totally inexplicable delay – being programmed with Unity, compiling a version for Android it is a matter of a few hours!!!)

I go now to install it! Play Store can’t find it. Strange. I search it from my computer, and I got his:

What does it mean that the app is not compatible with any of my devices???

I have an horrible feeling… maybe they got the same brilliant idea of Pokémon GO and then block the app on rooted phones? The game doesn’t really have online multiplayer, just racing against “ghosts”, and everyone could potentionally cheat via a MITM attack or a cracked APK.

Ok, maybe it’s just a simple check before the installation, just download the APK from some other shady store and it will work, right?

No, as soon it can see that your phone is tampered, it exits immediately!

WTF!!! 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩


What to do if the proximity sensor on the Redmi 3S doesn’t work anymore

As a secondary phone I use a Redmi 3S. Recently I noticed that the proximity sensor wasn’t working anymore: when I called someone the screen wouldn’t turn off, and I was activating the device with my face, disabling the mic, placing the call on hold, opening apps, and so on…


To solve this problem I had to:

  1. Turn off the phone
  2. Turning it on while pressing the “volume up” key
  3. On the engineering screen, press 中文 (chinese language), to have the menus in english. (Yes, it’s not intuitive, you have to press on 中文 for english and press on english to have chinese…)
  4. Now choose “single test” and then “proximity sensor”
  5. Keep the phone upright and with the proximity sensor not blocked and press “Calibration”
  6. Tap on “pass”, go back and tap on “power off”.
  7. Restart the phone
  8. Now we can see that the sensor it’s working, either by calling the *#*#64663#*#* (a secret app for testing will appear) or by placing a phone call ✌

Pokémon GO: my adventure ends here

pokemon go no rootI opened Pokémon GO for my evening stroll and … game over!

They blocked the game on any rooted phone!

On Android, root is a must have, so I won’t remove it just to play a games that eats batteries like cakes! (One day I’ll write “10 reasons to get our phone rooted”)

It’s like as the ban on clippers on airplanes: totally useless!

If they wanted to ban cheaters: they’ll continue to cheat, with Magisk, Tasker and Xposed, they can continue to use the fake GPS, move around using a joystick instead of waking, catch chance calculators, and so on.

If they wanted to ban map scanners: they are using a program written for it, so they’ll just use the old API or pretend to be an iPhone.

I could continue to play it by setting Tasker to disable root via Magisk Manager as soon as the game is run, but is it worth?

Well, I removed the game and left an one star review, my battery thanks me 😂

When a good idea is not enough: before Pokémon GO

This morning I read an article on where there’s a video showing a Pokémon GO “clone” from 2011. This is the trailer:

So, has Niantic copied the idea?

I don’t think so. The idea is similar but the game play it’s totally different.

Ok, the game isn’t working anymore, and if it still was, i wouldn’t work outside Korea (Olleh is a brand of Korea Telecom), so I didn’t personally try it, but from the video I can see the difference.

The purpose in Olleh catch catch was to catch as many Mon as you can, and then convert the points in coupon, while in Pokémon GO you gotta catch ’em all™ and become the strongest trainer.

It’s also monetized differently, in the first one, the target is increase customer loyalty, go in partner stores to gain coupons to spend in partner stores. In Pokémon GO instead the devs make money from in-app purchases (power-ups) or pokéstop sponsorships.

In the end I think that Niantic didn’t got inspired at all to this game, but simply has took (their) Ingress and simplified the gameplay in order to make it appealing to any age range.

What do you think?

The washable phone

On my first article wrote on Dandandin in the 2009, I talked about the “new” 3D phones fron Japan. We never got them, we got an autosteroscopic 3D screen 2 years later with the Nintendo 3DS and only one smartphone, the HTC Evo 3D, which I never saw in stores.

The 3D mania,let companies create products like the 3DeeShell for the iPhone, but were commercial failures.

Now, it’s trendy to make waterproof phones, but while Sony says that’s better to don’t get their waterproof phones wet, Kyocera in Japan launches the DIGNO rafre, the first smartphone washable with warm soap.

See the ad:

The official page doesn’t go in deep detail over the specs, but tells us more details: foam-resistant, scratch-resistant, and so on

In Italy an year has 13 months

…this is what the Italian phone companies have decided to do, to get some free money from their subscribers.

How they did it?

They changed every existing contract from “monthly payment” to “pay every 4 weeks”. There are 52 weeks in an year, so they get a full free month every year! A nice way to increase their price almost 10% without let the average customer notice it on the bill!

TIM and Wind got fined 400000 euro from the Government, but that’s not enough. With 20 million customers, they will steal 200 extra millions euro every year (assuming that an average phone plan is 10 euro). Just 400k it’s not enough, they’ll just pay the fine and continue getting the free extra money.

Farewell to Bump

Did you use Bump? Did you like the idea to seamlessly transfer pics from Android to iOS by bimply “bumping” the phones? It was useful because for marketing reasons Apple allows bluetooth transfers of pictures only between iPhone 5 and higher. (iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 = FAIL, Rest of the world to iPhone 5 = FAIL)

Well, Bump has been acquired by Google and, this means it has to die. In the next days it will be retired from the market.


What a pity.

The Sims freeplay sucks!

Some months ago I noticed a new game for my BlackBerry Z10: The Sims freeplay. Lots of enthusiastic reviews, console-grade quality, I was so excited. But I was in holiday, and I couldn’t download 700 megabytes over 3G.

Recently I remembered about it: now I’m at home, and with unlimited wifi I downloaded it.

It’s cool, it’s polished, I waste about one hour to create three Sims and then I run out of money. It’s ok, I’ll continue tomorrow, I tell to myself.

But the day after I’m just too busy at work I open it after a few days while I’m waiting at the post office.

Shock! All of my Sims are dying! I supposed that the game was pausing while it was closed! Well, not a big issue, I say. Just take a quick nap, a fast shower, watch some TV and some chit-chat between them.

WRONG! Now it works in real time! If you sleep, it takes 8 hours, if you want to watch tv, it takes 30 minutes; 2 hours to cook, and so on. And no, you can’t just give them a list of tasks to do while we are away! Moreover: the Sims aren’t self-sufficient! They need to go to pee? Even if they aren’t doing anything, they won’t go unless you tell them!

QSo, if you don’t play at this game for a single day, you have to waste three days to restore health levels… or you just PAY and continue playing!

Of course, with the big amount of RAM on the BlackBerry Z10 (four times as the iPhone 4S and twice as the iPhone 5s), it’s not a problem to leave the game running on the background forever and take a look every 5 minutes “hey, take a shower”, “hey wash your hands”, but in this way it becomes an addiction, it’s an unhealthy habit, it’s not a game!

I had three options:

  1. Leave it running on the background and dedicate my life to it
  2. Pay a couple of dollars EVERY TIME I play
  3. Uninstall it and leave an 1-star review

Guess what I did…