10 Reasons a Tactile Home Button is a Must

Posted by tomachi on June 27th, 2019 filed in Smart phones, Technology

picture of upside down mobile phone

upside down phone - how can you tell? what if your life depended on it?

  1. Can wake the phone with one hand and one finger - even wearing gloves!
  2. Ability to answer the incoming call even if your screen is cracked
  3. Phone is still useful if you are blind or disabled
  4. So you don't have to keep flipping the phone around
    1. when you pull out of your pocket upside down
  5. So you don't accidentally press it twice
    1. Sometimes your finger taps but misses a touch button, and it requires a second tap attempt. This ambiguity is not possible with hardware, and in software even the slightest delay could potentially perceived as a missed tap, causing the speedy user to tap again.
    2. Within about 40ms is the maximum delay before the brain registers (about 2 clicks during alpha brain state). Probably these decisions are made based on the old industry standard 700ms for a "frozen app" perception upon a virtual button click, but that is an old standard, and this is a high performance mission critical button.
  6. Ability to rapidly switch out of phone app to perform another task during phone-call or full-screen
    1. How do you get to home when in fullscreen mode?
  7. Reduced accidental taps when typing quickly
    1. It is so distracting when typing extremely fast to suddenly be shown the home screen!
  8. Some Android versions you can get a task manager by holding the home button down.
  9. Phantom touch screen blindness. I've missed calls due to this on slow phones.
  10. Easy to tell  visually if the phone is the right way up when screen is off.
    1. Look at this image, is the phone the right way up? You sure about that?
    2. What if your life depending on it? What if you needed to make an urgent call in a stressful environment? Or if you hand had been chopped off? I can answer my phone with my teeth if I wish.

no home button on samsung galaxy

That's all for now. Here is a video of  a Nexus 4 sliding off a completely flat surface!

Tomachi's Top 20 CPUs for July 2019

Posted by tomachi on June 24th, 2019 filed in Hardware

Winners of the Tomachi's Best CPUs for July 2019 are:

  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X @ 3.5 GHz (Overall winner has best compute per dollar in top 50 fastest CPUs)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2640 @ 2.50 GHz (Most compute per dollar)
  • Intel Xeon Platinum 8176 @ 2.1 GHz (Absolute Fastest CPU by PassMark)

I've heard great things about the AMD Threadripper series of CPUs, $499 USD the overall winner comes in with a PassMark score of 21,847 and 43 points per dollar.

Intel must be doing something special to get so much work done with so little clock cycles in their Xeon series chips, which appear in both the actual fastest CPU and best value. At what would appear to be anomalous pricing, you can currently get a E5-2640 @ 2.5 GHz for only $29.

Perhaps Xeon works especially well with the PassMark CPU benchmark these results are based on, because it throws out a whopping 30,583 on the benchmark.

top cpus july 2019

The Full List

Google Sheets:  Original spreadsheet

I'm gonna write a book

Posted by tomachi on June 12th, 2019 filed in Science

This should be a best seller. Anybody know a good book publisher? Put them in touch asap.

world military industrial complex may have, in 2010, inadvertently prevented the people of Earth from experiencing the cultural revolution involved with a first contact with an off-world alien civilisation

Maybe Don't Use Aluminium Cladding

Posted by tomachi on June 1st, 2019 filed in Business, Environment, Politics

Aluminium is the propellant that gets the space shuttle into space!! It is just about the most powerful explosive you can get, hence why NASA used it powdered in the "solid fuel" booster rockets. This type of stuff needs to be subjected to some strenuous fire department testing. Like say putting an acetylene torch on the stuff for 60 seconds or similar.
Aluminium Cladding

Aluminium Cladding


A poignant post on Facebook from Rachel Moidart inspired this post:

This is what happens when ACP cladding ignites. It produced poisonous arsenic smoke that kills people before the fire even gets to them. It goes up like plastic explosives and the smoke poisons the land. Fletchers have recently been fined $30,000,000 dollars by Sky City for using ACP panelling on a development in Hobson Street. Aluminium Composite Panelling contributed to the high casualty rate and rapid spread of fire in Grenfell Tower, London.

I grew up in Latimer Road and we lost 72 people from our community. I have recently been involved in the struggle to protect Ihumatao from developers. Ihumatao is sacred land with ancient stone walled gardens and burial caves which was stolen from Maori in Auckland New Zealand. Fletchers are planning to put houses in this land. They are building a factory to pre fab two story town houses.

We have to ask what they are using to build the houses with. Most likely plastic composite panelling if it is being pre fabricated in a factory. They might not feel the need to change their practices if the building is only two stories as the current assessment of ACP as a fire risk only covers high rise buildings, where it may be difficult to jump out of a window should the building catch fire.

Unless we pressure the government to ban ALL ACP PANELLING it will not happen. In the UK the inquiry is still underway with NO RECOMMENDATIONS BEING MADE AS OF TODAY. We are still waiting for the results of the report which were due in spring and will be delayed. Nobody has been charged despite evidence that they knowingly compromised the lives of the residents.

This is a serious issue and is framed by social cleansing, gentrification and managed decline of social housing areas. The land under Grenfell Tower is now contaminated with arsenic and other toxic chemicals from the burning ACP panels. We need to stop Fletchers destroying heritage land and protect the environment.

Buildings made out of ACP ARE NOT FIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION AND ARE A LIABILITY, they endanger people’s lives. Low income families who have to live in these cheap houses are at risk. The environment and generations to come are at risk. The council still deems buildings with ACP as safe and Fletcher’s has demonstrated no responsibility to ensure the safety of residents either. It is time to ask the difficult questions and stop ACP poisoning the land for generations to come.


Balls Of Steel - Unity Game Dev Demo

Posted by tomachi on April 24th, 2019 filed in Game Development, Visuals

Here is a simple proof of concept game environment and creative product offering I made to test out my enhanced Google My Business Listing and Unity and get a feel for it... Click the image to load, it will take a while, it's a game environment.

Promotional "Branded VR Experience"

$2,000.00–$5,000.00 NZD
Imagine your company logo printed on huge spheres in a 3D VR environment you can roam around inside shooting glowing beams around the place! Made in Unity, and playable on PC, macOS, WebGL, Xbox, Playstation, iOS and Android are all formats we can export to. Talk to us now! See demo interactive at https://www.funk.co.nz/ballsofsteel
Demo playable WebGL game demo

Demo playable WebGL game demo


Inside Facebook's automated abuse algorithm

Posted by tomachi on March 28th, 2019 filed in Technology

Facebook should confess / remind / admit that it is next to impossible to become "censor of the internet" and push back some. Stand up for themselves. Having said that however, I am not a fan of their requirement people use their real names: This seems to lead to cases of impersonation: Consider the case of Hanif who's responses from the system said that she was the imposter, because the imposter profile had 4,000 friends and a bulk of pictures - she was unable to have it taken down!

Facebook's abuse algorithm assists it's staff by recognising and filtering duplicate abuse reports in order to more efficiently flag violations such as nudity and pornography, the representative explained. If Facebook receives 1,000 reports on the same thing, the algorithm will streamline the process so humans aren't taking action on all 1,000.

Manually reviewed abuse responses from Facebook should contain a line such as: "Your case has been reviewed by a human. We use form responses due to the high volume of cases we review and use automated systems to assist in our processing of your case. If you wish to speak with a real human, this costs $0.59/minute etc". Provided an option for a paid voice line. This would be an incredibly effective method to enable real peoples request to cut through the spam, since spammers don't like to paid for things.

Stop using your real name

They should cease suggesting people use their real names. I don't, but I was somehow able to change it back in 2015. Probably because I changed mine in the sweet spot between January - when a guy called Phuc Dat Bich had just won the right to use his real name appeared - and November - when it was revealed to be a hoax!

In January 2015, a 23-year-old Australian bank employee claiming to be named Phuc Dat Bich posted a photo of his passport identification page to Facebook, protesting that the company had unfairly shut down his account for being "false and misleading".

Phuc Dat Bich

Phuc Dat Bich

"Is it because I'm Asian? Is it?" he asked. The BBC reported that in Vietnamese the name is pronounced similarly to "Phoo Da Bi". After his reinstatement, Bich posted a thank you note to supportive Facebook fans, stating he was "glad and honoured to be able to make people happy by simply making them laugh at something that appears outrageous and ridiculous". In 25 November 2015 "Phuc Dat" published a further message admitting it was a hoax. The video this BBC page is amusing.

In August 2012, Facebook estimated that more than 83 million Facebook accounts are fake accounts. As a result of this revelation, the share price of Facebook dropped below $20.

In 2008, a woman in Japan named Hiroko Yoda had her Facebook account suspended over her surname somehow being confused with Master Yoda from Star Wars fame. In USA, a native with last name "Kills The Enemy" ran into trouble: Robin Kills The Enemy is a resident of the Sioux Rosebud reservation in South Dakota had been using "KillsTheEnemy"as a last name up until she contacted Facebook to try and change it to the regular spelling with spaces.

In 2015, a Gaelic-speaking retired policeman won the right to use his Gaelic name on Facebook, even though it was not his legal name. Some Scottish Gaelic surnames, such as NicIllAnndrais, contain more than two capital letters and are still disallowed by Facebook (according to Wikipedia):

The Facebook real-name policy controversy refers to the controversy over social networking site Facebook's "real-name system" dictating how people register their accounts and configure their user profiles. The controversy stems from a policy that those who have been adversely affected describe as penalising users who are in fact using their real names which Facebook has nevertheless deemed to be "fake", while simultaneously allowing anyone to create fake yet plausible-sounding names, as well as obviously implausible-sounding names comprising word combinations that Facebook's software fails to recognise as unlikely to be real because their alleged nonstandard spelling or confusion with fictional characters. Facebook furthermore prohibits users from accurately representing names which according to the site have "too many words", and prohibits initialising first names, preventing users who do so in real life from formatting their own names as they see fit.

Food for thought. Maybe I should add a Facebook comments feature to my blog. Or then again, maybe not.

Fake News

Facebook terms show the use of algorithm to adjust "post distribution", I believe this is called EdgeRank, and it's formula to show if someones post will appear on your screen is roughly: FriendAffinity * MediaItemURLPopularity / TimeSincePosted. 

Reducing the spread of false news on Facebook is a responsibility that we take seriously. We also recognise that this is a challenging and sensitive issue. We want to help people stay informed without stifling productive public discourse. There is also a fine line between false news and satire or opinion. For these reasons, we don't remove false news from Facebook, but instead significantly reduce its distribution by showing it lower in the News Feed.


They do a good job here. The titles of the section are shown below the only I quote was the first one:

  • Credible violence - We aim to prevent potential real-world harm that may be related to content on Facebook. We understand that people commonly express disdain or disagreement by threatening or calling for violence in facetious and non-serious ways. That's why we try to consider the language, context and details in order to distinguish casual statements from content that constitutes a credible threat to public or personal safety. In determining whether a threat is credible, we may also consider additional information such as a targeted person's public visibility and vulnerability. We remove content, disable accounts and work with law enforcement when we believe that there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety.
  • Dangerous individuals and organisations
  • Terrorist activity
  • Organised hate
  • Mass or serial murder
  • Human trafficking
  • Organised violence or criminal activity
  • Promoting or publicising crime
  • Coordinating harm (org crime)
  • Regulated goods