News

Huawei faked several of its phones’ benchmark scores

Will launch a ‘performance mode’ to compensate

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Do you use benchmarks to judge phones? As the market matures, the once-lauded measurement has slowly deteriorated in integrity. Nowadays, most consumers review user experience, rather than read unquantifiable benchmarks scores. In fact, test scores have now ballooned to unintelligible hundreds of thousands.

As the benchmark nears natural obsolescence, companies have started hammering the final nails in the measurement’s coffin. Indirectly proving the test’s nearing extinction, Huawei and sister company Honor have abused the benchmark test to their advantage. Both companies have been caught faking their phones’ test scores.

Recently, tech website AnandTech has discovered the companies’ anomalies. Apparently, both Huawei and Honor have altered their phones’ responses to certain benchmarking apps. When users open these apps, the phones automatically ramp up their performance specifically to pump up the test’s numbers.

Basically, when you run a benchmarking test on these phones, the resulting score artificially amplifies how the phone really runs.

To be more specific, AnandTech proved this with popular benchmarking apps, 3DMark and GFXBench. Additionally, the affected phones include the Huawei P20 Pro, the Nova 3, and the Honor Play.

In response, 3DMark has officially delisted the phones from its catalog. The ban will remain until Huawei implements a fix for the fakery.

Surprisingly, Huawei has not denied the allegations. In fact, the company has indirectly confessed to the crime.

In a statement, Dr. Wang Chenglu, Huawei’s director of software, cites “other manufacturers also [misleading] with their numbers.” Additionally, he states that it is already “common practice in China.”

To further add evidence against their case, Huawei has announced a new “performance mode” for the upcoming EMUI 9.0. The new option will allow users to “overclock” their phones at the cost of more power. Ultimately, the company hopes that the boost will allow the phones to live up to their advertised benchmark scores.

Still, the damage remains. Like another fakery issue, Huawei has made the curious decision to puff up its high scores, despite already enjoying rave reviews.

Very likely, the shady marketing tactic will not bode well for Huawei’s perception in countries where it’s weak. Particularly, the company is still in hot water with the US government.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20: What to expect

Laptops

Janet Jackson can cause some old laptops to crash

Windows XP is affected

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next-gen Windows

Especially for a certain age group, Janet Jackson’s music is fire. However, if you’re an old, old laptop, you might not appreciate how fiery Janet Jackson is. In a recently discovered quirk, engineers have discovered that the artist’s 1989 hit, “Rhythm Nation,” causes certain laptops to crash.

Yes, it sounds made up. How can one song cause a laptop to crash? Apparently, the classic hit uses the same “natural resonant frequencies” as some hard drives made before. Even then, it still doesn’t sound real.

Unfortunately, there is no way to replicate the phenomenon, besides a report from The Old New Thing author Raymond Chen. He swears that the problem existed way back when. The issue affected laptops released around 2005 during the Windows XP era, particularly with 5400rpm drives. Most devices from that time period have already died.

Additionally, the issue was likely patched already. Chen states that affected hard drives eventually installed an audio filter that prevented the problem from occurring.

On the bright side, it also means that everyone’s laptops are safe from exploding because of Janet Jackson. Still, it’s a strange tale that confirms some audio files can wreak havoc on technology. Likewise, if you happen to have a functioning device from that era, you might want to keep it away from Janet Jackson.

SEE ALSO: Windows 12 might come out in 2024

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Apps

TikTok can detect what you type on screen

Through its in-app browser

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No one ever really thinks about in-app browsers. Though it’s one of the most unseen features of an app, the in-app browser allows for a moment of convenience when you need to open a link. However, a new cautionary tale is sharing the risks of using the feature. Particularly, TikTok and its in-app browser are reportedly capable of logging your keystrokes.

TikTok just can’t get out of its privacy-infused hole of controversy. For years, the platform has faced an unending barrage of controversies linked to whether the app leaks information to China. As a change, the latest issue isn’t exactly geopolitically charged. However, it won’t do the company any favors, either.

Recently, security researcher Felix Krause created a tool to analyze whether an app’s browser can potentially scrape data and change information for the user. The researcher also tested the tool with the world’s top apps. And, unfortunately for the platform, TikTok found itself on the top of the risky list.

According to the tool, TikTok can inject JavaScript, modify a page, and fetch metadata. It’s essentially a keylogger. To its credit, Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook all have the same capabilities.

However, the video-sharing platform has one key element that puts it above the rest: It doesn’t allow users to open links using the device’s default browser. You’re forced to use TikTok’s own browser when you open a link on the app.

Of course, there are a few caveats. For one, apps can bypass the tool, blocking users from seeing what in-app browsers are capable of. Secondly, the tool’s findings don’t necessarily mean that the app itself is malicious; it only indicates what it’s capable of. To reflect that, TikTok has said that it has not used the data for any malicious purposes.

SEE ALSO: TikTok might launch TikTok Music, its own music service

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India

India might force Apple to adopt USB-C soon

Exploratory talks have started

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It’s the world versus Apple. After years and years of proprietary hardware, Apple is finally facing a deluge of pressure to abandon the Lightning cable. The entire European Union have already decided to force device markers, particularly Apple, to adopt the universal standard, USB-C. Now, another country is joining in: India.

As reported by Mint, the Indian government has started holding exploratory talks with manufacturers to discuss the possibility of a common charging standard. While the talks aren’t decisive yet, it’s the first step towards legislation moving in favor of a standard.

Though the wording remains vague, a lot of pressure is on Apple. The iPhone maker is still one of the biggest opponents against adopting USB-C worldwide. Amid the company’s growing gallery of USB-C devices, the Lightning cable is still alive and well. A lot of other manufacturers have already moved on to the standard for its their ports.

Soon, the company might not have a choice. If a decisive law is passed, India will join the European Union and Brazil in potentially forcing Apple into the standard. It’s not an insignificant ally for the pro-USB-C camp, either. India is one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world.

Apple is unlikely to launch a USB-C iPhone series this year. The company is already expected to launch the next series in a few weeks’ time. If such a phone is coming, it might debut as soon as next year.

SEE ALSO: Another country wants to force Apple to go USB-C

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