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Facial recognition doesn't work as intended on 42 of 110 tested smartphones


A Dutch non-profit has tested 110 smartphone models and found that the facial recognition feature used for locking devices doesn't work as intended on 42 phones. The study, carried by Consumentenbond and its international partners, found that holding up a photo of the phone's owner is enough to unlock 42 of the tested smartphones. Any photo will do, such as ones obtained from social media, CCTV footage, or other means. The results of this study are worrisome. Using a printed photo of the owner's face is the first test that regular users, pen-testers, and attackers alike would use to break into a facial ID-protected smartphone before they move to try more complex attacks that involve creating masks or 3D printed heads of the phone's owner.

This sustainable smartphone could be a real game-changer for the planet


TL;DR: Do your part to be more eco-friendly with a Teracube smartphone for $289.99, a 14% savings as of April 27. The slowing down of travel, manufacturing, and day-to-day capitalist operations has sneakily made a positive impact on one thing that could really use it: the planet. But experts warn as soon as life returns to normal, the environment could wind up worse than before. So, if we truly want to help the planet, we all must make individual efforts to cut our carbon footprint in the long term. It may seem small, but one way you can help is to stop buying a new smartphone every two years.

France bans smartphones in schools


Under a new legislation, French students will be prohibited from using smartphones and tablets while at school. The law, which was originally parceled in President Emmanuel Macron's election campaign, was elevated to a matter of public health amidst concerns French youth has become super-connected. France endorsed a blanket ban on smartphone usage for drivers (even those who pull over) earlier this year, so more austere action in school settings is not unexpected. Agence France-Presse reports that a softer ban -- which prevented smartphone usage during class hours -- has already been in practice since 2010. The latest prohibition will completely forbid phone use between classes and even during meal times, although schools have been given the option to make'pedagogical' exceptions.

Google is building its own smartphone, report says


Yes, there's the Nexus line, which are phones that Google sells in close partnership with a rotating cast of hardware makers. But according to a Telegraph report, Google is going to build its own smartphone from scratch, just as it's done with the Pixel Chromebooks and tablet. The thinking is that this would allow Google to more directly compete with Apple for the high end of the smartphone market, which is still dominated by the iPhone in many Western markets. The Telegraph claims that "a senior source" tells it to expect the phone by the end of the year. But there's some evidence Google is moving in this direction.

The best and worst smartphones of 2020


Readers are very curious about smartphones. I get asked all sorts of probing questions, ranging from best/worst or most/least durable, to more esoteric questions such as which is the easiest to repair. I can offer some guidance on this, but I don't have the time needed to be stripping down and analyzing dozens of new smartphones every year. Zach Nelson, best known for his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, has made quite a name for himself over the past few years testing smartphones, and for the past few years has published his own smartphone durability awards videos. Rather than just focusing on durability, these videos also pick out the best/least repairable smartphone, the most innovative smartphone, which smartphone looks the best inside, and also which is the mot "delusive." I've watched the video and it does a good job of covering mainstream handsets.