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1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:36 pm UTC
by Unclevertitle
Image

Title Text: We understand your privacy concerns; be assured that our phones will never store or transmit images of your face.

Finally, a phone that addresses the whole annoying eye contact thing.
Hey, why is there this dark spot in the center of every video I watch on my phone?

Seriously though, I do long for a day when there's some kind of temporarily transparent section of the screen we can hide the front facing camera behind so that we can finally address that eye contact problem. It's just so weird seeing someone always looking off the the side when talking to you and really awkward being kind and addressing the camera directly instead of the screen.

And then something that displays as well as the rest of the screen in other situations.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:54 pm UTC
by orthogon
Unclevertitle wrote:Seriously though, I do long for a day when there's some kind of temporarily transparent section of the screen we can hide the front facing camera behind so that we can finally address that eye contact problem. It's just so weird seeing someone always looking off the the side when talking to you and really awkward being kind and addressing the camera directly instead of the screen.

The solution is a half-silvered mirror at 45 degrees like on a teleprompter. Actually that's almost silly enough to feature on the xkcd phone 7...

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:55 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
Micromechanical Devices on the camera behind the screen, linked to facial recognition of the image should position the outgoing camera sufficiently to create permanent eye-contact as it(/they?) lurks behind the transparent eye(s?) of the image of the other user.

Add further facial recognition on the outgoing image, either to "distort to centre" or else anti-distort the image so it doesn't looks like it is following you, when you move your head away from the camera view, and the interaction should be complete!

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:13 pm UTC
by BrianK
You could put one camera in each corner of the screen and synthesize a Picasso-esque flat image from the four perspectives.

Great, now I feel a need to take 4 selfies and stitch them together with Panorama Factory. Sigh.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:47 pm UTC
by cellocgw
Or just put a bright red LED next to the camera lens. Everyone will stare at that. (only partly kidding -- look at the "hot camera" light on studio TV camera rigs)

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:12 pm UTC
by orthogon
The flu vaccination ought to be do-able. After all, viruses are more-or-less just strings of DNA, and DNA strings are just bit (tidbit?) sequences. Ideally, you need a way of downloading these sequences directly to the human immune system, but in the meantime the phone could synthesise strands of DNA and inject them, or something. (I'll leave the pesky details to the biochemists). This would also have the advantage that the selection of the flu strains could be left until later in the year, whereas currently the strains have to be selected many months before the flu season to allow time for manufacture of the vaccines. In fact, updates could be released continually during the season, just like for computer viruses. The influenza genome only seems to be around 12kbp, i.e. about 3kB, so it wouldn't even trouble your mobile data cap.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:13 pm UTC
by Yu_p
I liked the "screen goes past the edge" part the most.

Given my experience with the Galaxy S7, where whenever I use it outside the bumper I keep acidentially triggering border-tap actions in apps while typing, I have come to seriously doubt that full-width displays make sense. Same with the thin designs. Without a bumper the phone is unconfortably thin, such that it is hard to hold. The slippery glass-cover didn't help either; At the end a bumper was unavoidable, but it interferes somewhat with edge-swipe gestures (better though than triggering them with the palm of my hand, when the edge of the phone digs into it while typing with the thumb). Come to think of it, I can't really remember what my phone actually looks like.

I'm happy iPad's don't have those huge borders of the first generation anymore though. The iPad mini (and later the iPad Air series) did that part really right. Also the finger-print reader; The circular shape and relatively large area result in a far better recognition rate than on my Phone. (Also, if it mis-detects the finger 3 times, it asks for a password, instead of allowing me to retry until the device is locked on a countdown, as it is implemented on my phone...).

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:25 pm UTC
by da Doctah
And the headphone jack is in the box back home on my desk....

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:15 pm UTC
by gd1
So it's safe only from t>=6 months to t<=8 months and then at t>8 months but less than 10 months it's unsafe, it's safe at exactly t=10 months but not t of 10 months plus any amount of time greater than 0 (even 10 months and 1 second for example)? Safe again from t>=18 months and t<=3 years, and t>=12 years?

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:35 am UTC
by Soupspoon
Yup. As long as you keep it in water for at least a few moments in every half hour, though for any amount of time you like.

Putting that dishwasher on an eternal cycle may be the answer!

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:17 am UTC
by CharonPDX
will never store or transmit images of your face


Can we please get this added to *ALL* phones? With no ability to disable it?

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:48 am UTC
by Weeks
CharonPDX wrote:
will never store or transmit images of your face


Can we please get this added to *ALL* phones? With no ability to disable it?
this is why I wear a mask.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:50 am UTC
by Steve the Pocket
Dishwasher safe isn't that far fetched of a feature; how hot do those things get? We've already got ones that are waterproof.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:15 am UTC
by Soupspoon
Weeks wrote:
CharonPDX wrote:
will never store or transmit images of your face


Can we please get this added to *ALL* phones? With no ability to disable it?
this is why I wear a mask.
This is why I talk out of my ass.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:30 am UTC
by Groundsplitter
our phones will never store or transmit images of your face.

This promise/limitation is utterly fascinating.
Apart from making the centered front camera pointless, I also have to wonder how the phone will know when its camera is even seeing your face when it can't store it for identification purposes in the first place. Is it just your face that it won't store or transmit, or anyone's?
If my girlfriend borrows my phone, can it store or transmit her face? Can she use my phone to take a photo of me when I'm not using it? But then the phone would have to know that it's me somehow, and we've already established that it never stores my face. Unless it blocks all attempts to store or transmit any faces, in which case you can't take a photo of anyone.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:08 am UTC
by BlueSloth
Groundsplitter wrote:
our phones will never store or transmit images of your face.

This promise/limitation is utterly fascinating.
Apart from making the centered front camera pointless, I also have to wonder how the phone will know when its camera is even seeing your face when it can't store it for identification purposes in the first place. Is it just your face that it won't store or transmit, or anyone's?
If my girlfriend borrows my phone, can it store or transmit her face? Can she use my phone to take a photo of me when I'm not using it? But then the phone would have to know that it's me somehow, and we've already established that it never stores my face. Unless it blocks all attempts to store or transmit any faces, in which case you can't take a photo of anyone.

I guess it must store a hash of your face. Hopefully it uses a secure hash function and salts the hash to stave off rainbow table attacks.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:19 am UTC
by Flumble
Weeks wrote:
CharonPDX wrote:
will never store or transmit images of your face


Can we please get this added to *ALL* phones? With no ability to disable it?
this is why I wear a mask.
No intelligence agency cared who you were until you put on the mask.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:23 am UTC
by Soupspoon
BlueSloth wrote:Hopefully it uses a secure hash function and salts the hash to stave off rainbow table attacks.

So long as you try not to take a picture of this...
Spoiler:
Image

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:19 pm UTC
by orthogon
Soupspoon wrote:
BlueSloth wrote:Hopefully it uses a secure hash function and salts the hash to stave off rainbow table attacks.

So long as you try not to take a picture of this...
Spoiler:
Image

As a fellow Brit of a certain age, don't you mean this?
Spoiler:
Image

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:00 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
I certainly didn't watch such smut, on weekday dinnertimes, at ten past twelve, for a couple of decades...

:P

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:49 pm UTC
by Weeks
Flumble wrote:
Weeks wrote:
CharonPDX wrote:
will never store or transmit images of your face


Can we please get this added to *ALL* phones? With no ability to disable it?
this is why I wear a mask.
No intelligence agency cared who you were until you put on the mask.
If they took off that mask, would I die?

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:41 pm UTC
by Darkhand
orthogon wrote:
Unclevertitle wrote:Seriously though, I do long for a day when there's some kind of temporarily transparent section of the screen we can hide the front facing camera behind so that we can finally address that eye contact problem. It's just so weird seeing someone always looking off the the side when talking to you and really awkward being kind and addressing the camera directly instead of the screen.

The solution is a half-silvered mirror at 45 degrees like on a teleprompter. Actually that's almost silly enough to feature on the xkcd phone 7...


With the iPhone X showing off all this real-time 3D image manipulation we can do on a phone now, why not use it to change the gaze direction of the user's eyes? Just make it look like you're looking into the camera. Make it one of the options like the masks they showcased. Boom, solved, no mirrors or transparent displays needed.

You heard it here first, for proof that some iPhone dev stole the idea from me originally.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:15 pm UTC
by qvxb
The next version will have the Shroud of Turin-style facial unlock replaced by Goats Head Soup-style facial unlock.

The (oxymoronic) burns clean coal feature will be dropped because of objections by Black Lungs Matter.

Re: 1889: "Pepsi"

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:46 am UTC
by Eternal Density
I think this is my favourite of these yet.
Especially the screen, CPU, 4k pixels, wireless port, pore cleaning (dank xkcd reference!) and out of water survivability!

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:26 pm UTC
by airdrik
the Burns Clean Coal feature has me wondering about the possibility of having a phone/mobile device powered by burning coal. Probably not practical due to all of the mechanics and physics of turning the heat energy produced by the coal into electrical energy. But, assuming you had all of that figured out, what kind of "battery" life could you get out of a little disk of coal that you can fit through the "wireless" charging port (ashes ejected prior to adding a new coal disk "battery")?
(Interestingly he included both Burns Clean Coal and Solar-Heated as either one should be sufficient for all of your phone-heating needs (besides that the CPU usually does a pretty good job of this by itself, though most of the time with modern phones/CPUs you aren't doing anything CPU-intensive enough to notice, which may be why he added the Solar-Heating?))

High Thread Count CPU: ~ 400 threads for that extra softness (which helps especially when you drop the phone).

3-G Acceleration - I wonder how that works? is it that it's been tested to work at up to 3 Gs? Does it start spinning rapidly when using certain (older) networks? Does it fall faster than expected when dropped?

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:36 pm UTC
by HES
airdrik wrote:the Burns Clean Coal feature has me wondering about the possibility of having a phone/mobile device powered by burning coal.

I mean, my phone was effectively powered by petrol for three weeks on my last road trip.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:54 pm UTC
by orthogon
airdrik wrote:the Burns Clean Coal feature has me wondering about the possibility of having a phone/mobile device powered by burning coal. Probably not practical due to all of the mechanics and physics of turning the heat energy produced by the coal into electrical energy.

That's kind of the problem that a fuel cell aims to solve. You try to produce electricity directly from the chemical oxidation reaction, rather than by making heat as an intermediate step. I can never figure out how they work and all explanations sound like magic. There's always something like "the electrolyte is a substance specifically designed so ions can pass through it, but the electrons cannot". (To be honest the same is true of explanations of how batteries work).

I'm not sure anyone's seriously considered making coal fuel cells, though. Carbon (i.e. coal) fuel cells are apparently a thing.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:57 pm UTC
by typo
HES wrote:
airdrik wrote:the Burns Clean Coal feature has me wondering about the possibility of having a phone/mobile device powered by burning coal.

I mean, my phone was effectively powered by petrol for three weeks on my last road trip.

There's a steam tourist train near here (South Simcoe Railway) and the conductor and engineer communicate using steam-powered two-way hand-held radios. There's a steam turbine on the locomotive that drives a dynamo to power lights and such; they charge the radio batteries from that. Very cool.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:57 pm UTC
by somitomi
typo wrote:
HES wrote:
airdrik wrote:the Burns Clean Coal feature has me wondering about the possibility of having a phone/mobile device powered by burning coal.

I mean, my phone was effectively powered by petrol for three weeks on my last road trip.

There's a steam tourist train near here (South Simcoe Railway) and the conductor and engineer communicate using steam-powered two-way hand-held radios. There's a steam turbine on the locomotive that drives a dynamo to power lights and such; they charge the radio batteries from that. Very cool.

Most steam locomotives were equipped with an onboard generator to power all sorts of lights on the locomotive after electric lighting became bright and reliable enough to outperform acetylene lamps. What I find odd is that (as far as I know) the general view on locomotive headlights until a couple decades ago was that their purpose is making the locomotive visible from a distance. The reasoning was that there's no use seeing ahead since the train is unable to stop in front of any obstruction by the time it could be seen even in broad daylight.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:27 pm UTC
by Flumble
Today I learned (on dutch trains) the lights are mostly for signalling, rather than for seeing or for being seen. Well, they (notably the third headlight) are a bit for 'being seen', so that at a crossing the train driver can distinguish an oncoming train (hopefully on the other track) from a random car (that shouldn't be on either track).

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:17 am UTC
by svenman
Flumble wrote:Today I learned (on dutch trains) the lights are mostly for signalling, rather than for seeing or for being seen. Well, they (notably the third headlight) are a bit for 'being seen', so that at a crossing the train driver can distinguish an oncoming train (hopefully on the other track) from a random car (that shouldn't be on either track).

Signals are there to be seen, though (unless they're acoustic, but that's not the kind we are talking about here).

Unless you're making the point that the front and rear signals are not so much there to help you see the train but rather that once you've noticed the train, they're there to help you identify the direction of travel, when it isn't clear from the train's movement itself. But I disagree: at least in the dark, they are definitely also meant to make you notice that there is a train in the first place.

Re: 1889: "xkcd Phone 6"

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:30 am UTC
by Eternal Density
I just learned that there was some kind of Apple event last week, which I figure is what prompted this comic.