Saturday, July 4, 2020

OnePlus 8 Pro and Software Restrictions

Introduction

OnePlus released its new phone: OnePlus 8 Pro, and the 4 cameras on the phone are quite superb. One of the cameras is capable of doing Photochromic picture filters.

A rumor spread out that this filter allows to see inside plastic devices, and maybe under clothes. You can see a video here showing the feature. It seems like the Chinese government took an extreme approach to this rumor, though it's false, and asked OnePlus to block the feature on the phones.

TL;DR Summary

The Chinese model variant IN2020 has some features locked based on the hardware model. Do not buy the IN2020. Changing the software won't help.

Details

Even if you buy the variant that has the international firmware/operating system (OS), the feature is checked against the hardware model, so it will not work.

If you do not care about the Photochromic picture filter, then this will not be an issue for you. There's no telling if other feature would be blocked in the future, if asked by the Chinese government, on the Chinese variant IN2020.

Other OnePlus 8 Pro variants: IN2021 (India), IN2023 (Europe), IN2025 (Global). These variants are not affected by the feature lock on the camera.

Also, the IN2020 Chinese variant comes in 2 flavors: either with OxygenOS (global OS) or HydrogenOS (China OS only).

You can grab any OS build and flash it on the phone. Check this guide [Repo of Oxygen OS Builds]. Remember, flashing a different OS will NOT remove the feature restrictions on the China variant. It's locked by checking the hardware model, which cannot be modified. You might need this guide [Unbrick tool to restore your device to OxygenOS] to unbrick your phone, if you did something wrong.

Where to Buy

I have sold back the Chinese variant that I bought, and instead ordered the EU variant (IN2023) from Amazon Germany as they offer global shipping and delivered directly to my house.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Blockchain Council: Not Worth It

Introduction

Some time last year, I was seeing a lot of people talking about blockchain certification and others claiming to be certified experts. Being someone who's seen the start of it all since 2008, almost all these certifications smelled like scam.

I looked around and saw Blockchain Council being touted. I paid them to see what they're actually offering.

TL;DR Summary

The site is run by a single person who's showing off as an entrepreneur, but has no real product to show. The study material is very basic, filled with typos and mistakes, and the final exam has almost no relationship to the material and many of the questions weren't even part of the material; a trick to have you take the exam multiple times (and pay more).

Additionally, the site owner shoves his own product into the material to promote it, but doesn't include other competing products. That's quite unprofessional.

Even though the certificate says "Certified Blockchain Expert", the end result is that you're not an expert in any form. You'd only learn basics, that are available for free on the internet already.

Registration and Education Sites

The main site used to register is www.blockchain-council.org but after registration, you're redirected to another one www.toshacademy.com -- What is Tosh? Or better yet, Who is Tosh?


Self-Promotion and Ownership

Looking around for what and who owns the site, I found this: www.toshendra.com


Looking around for who Toshendra Sharma is, I found this article on Forbes India promoting him, even though there was no product to show for at the time, so what was the promotion and hyping the person for?!

Link: http://www.forbesindia.com/article/30-under-30/30-under-30-toshendra-sharma-a-messiah-for-cyber-security/42329/1

Link: https://www.forbes.com/profile/toshendra-kumar-sharma/

So what are his companies to deserve a mention on Forbes? The companies are defunct and dead. 2 sites are dead and no product was actually delivered and finished.

Link: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/wegilant#section-overview

Typos

The typos are scattered across many slides, that it looks obvious the whole thing was cooked on a haste and not taken seriously nor professionally.

"Sierra Leone was among the first country" should've been "Sierra Leon was among the first countries"

"to conduct the same" -- the phrase "the same" is often used by people from from India. Not that there's anything wrong with Indians, but shows that the content was made by one individual, and he's likely to be Indian.

Notice the bullet points. The first one ends with a full-stop, but the others are left without one. No consistency.

"minor node" should've been "miner node."

"%tage" should've been written as "percentage" -- the fact it was written that way shows the level of unprofessional work.

"RecordsKeeper" is the product the creator of the site is trying to promote throughout the material.

In the blockchain architecture, one layer is shown as "insensitive layer" where it should be "incentive layer" -- I wasn't whether to laugh or cry when I was going over the material.

Worthless Certificate



I totally do not recommend wasting money on this nor fueling this terrible "business." -- I wouldn't label it as scam, but it's certainly not an "expert" body to judge people, and definitely not teach them.