Daily dose

Good or Bad? Oppo Find X Pop-up Camera

Oppo has grabbed headlines thanks to its new flagship phone the Find X and it’s brave new feature: Pop-up camera.

The pop-up camera is a design feature brought on by the device’s record-setting screen-to-body ratio of 93.8 percent. That record was previously held by the Vivo Nex whose ratio is at 91.24 percent. To get the most space for the screen, the front and back cameras along with the fingerprint sensor was put in a top section that extends from the phone’s body.

Check out this video by The Verge:

John Callaham over at Android Authority thinks the pop-up camera looks cool yet cautions on the problems inherent with the pop-up design:

All-screen smartphones look cooler, no doubt, but having moving parts and pop-up cameras on top may not be the way to go. The most obvious problem with these kinds of designs is the use of mechanical parts to go up and go back down. Moving parts can wear down and fail over time (anyone who has experienced the failure of the power windows in their car can attest to that issue). While Oppo and Vivo claim to have conducted reliability tests on the mechanical parts on the cameras in the Find X and Nex to make sure they won’t fail, we will have to see if that actually translates to the real world.

Zach Epstein at BGR writes outright that it’s an awful idea:

There are two simple reasons Oppo’s Find X design is a horrible idea. First, it’s going to break. If you drop the phone and it lands wrong, or if you get too much dirt or dust in the area that houses the motor, that mechanism is toast. Heck, even if you keep it clean and don’t drop it, we’ll probably see a relatively high failure rate over time. Once it breaks, you won’t be able to use the cameras or even unlock the phone with any biometric authentication until you pay to have it fixed.

Another point they both agree on is that these new hardware design features on the current generation of smartphones is due to the lack newsworthy features. While smartphone makers are currently at work on some really cool features like Samsung’s “foldable” device, it may be some years before we see new phones that have really groundbreaking features.

Until then, what do you think of the Oppo Find X’s pop-up camera? Is it really cool or just another terrible idea?


#HINDIdependenceday – Can we repeat something we did 122 years ago?

History doesn’t repeat itself, we repeat history.

It’s my favorite quote by historian Ambeth Ocampo which, to me, simply means that if we do not learn anything from history or our past, we are bound to repeat it. Tragically or ironically or both, we Filipinos seem to have the collective habit of repeating the ‘bad parts’ of our history.

Take yesterday for example, our “Independence Day” commemorating the proclamation of independence by Emilio Aguinaldo 120 years ago. To be clear, that “independence” was from Spain which had colonized and ruled our islands for almost 400 years. We say and put emphasis on “independence from Spain” because shortly after that proclamation at Kawit, Cavite, we came under American occupation and colonization.

Ironically, the Act of Declaration of Philippine Independence contained the following:

“And having as witness to the rectitude of our intentions the Supreme Judge of the Universe, and under the protection of our Powerful and Humanitarian Nation, The United States of America, we do hereby proclaim and declare solemnly in the name by authority of the people of these Philippine Islands,”

Our history textbooks call this “benevolent assimilation”, the US subjugating our islands, robbing us of our independence, pillaging our natural resources and murdering thousands of our forefathers. Ironically, again, the same history textbooks fail and are even completely silent about how the US occupation was facilitated by our past leaders, led by the man who made the proclamation 120 years ago. He did not only proclaim our so-called independence that was “dependend” on a foreign power, he also proclaimed himself “egregious dictator.”

Which brought us to yesterday’s June 12, 120 years later independence still continues to be something complicated for our nation, succinctly captured in this photo by Christine Avendaño for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, taken before Rodrigo Duterte delivered his Independence day speech:

In the ordinary course of things, the photo would have been just one of the many that will serve as a memory of today’s programs. However, in the context of what has happened and what is happening in terms of the Duterte administration’s ‘pivot to China’ vis a vis China’s occupation of territories in the West Philippine Sea, one cannot find it hard to say that we, at the very least our leaders in government are repeating history once again.

We commemorate our ‘independence’ with all the formalities, speeches, parades, photo-ops, holidays, the whole official brouhaha, yet we find our so-called leaders embracing foreign powers that threaten our security, plunder our resources and steal outright from our citizens. We have a representative government yet its Chief Executive has acted and continues to do so in the fashion of a dictator. Dissent and criticism is dealt with violence, political persecution and oppression.

Like Aguinaldo before him, both leaders are surrounded by representatives of the ruling faction of society who has taken turns plundering our national coffers to protect their business interests, propagate themselves in power, collaborate with foreign interests setting aside and perverting the causes for which the Revolution began: freedom to steer our national destiny, taking our place in the family of nations and serving the common good so our people would prosper and our citizens are able to take on the pursuit of happiness.

120 years on, it is clear that the ‘independence’ we commemorate, despite the material and visual trappings, the parades and speeches, remain shallow and wanting. 120 years on our national project remains a complex and complicated work in progress. 120 years on we find ourselves repeating the shameful and disgraceful events of our history. 120 years on, can we not for once repeat something else? Can we not repeat that glorious act we took 122 years back? If you our history, you’d know what I am referring to.