Lockdown Mode for Android

With Android Pie, Google finally added a lockdown mode similar to iOS’s panic mode which allows a user to quickly set a phone so it can only be unlocked with a password or PIN. This allows a user to use facial recognition or fingerprints for most unlock situations, while being able to switch to password only when, say, being pulled over by police.

The toggle to enable lockdown mode is in the Security & Locations options under the Lock Screen Preferences. Since Android manufacturers tend to customize these settings, I just did a search for “lockdown mode” to get to the correct setting.

Once enabled, users simply need to hold down the power button which will display a number of options including one for “Lockdown mode.” Selecting that option will place the phone in lockdown mode and require the password to access the phone.

Once the phone is unlocked with a password, it will revert to whatever normal methods of unlocking the phone are set. This is only intended to lockdown the phone temporarily not change the unlock behavior permanently.

This capability presents a nice security tradeoff. I can make my phone relatively easy for me to unlock during most situations, while still having the ability to quickly force my phone into a more restricted mode that would be harder to access.

Getting Free KFC Like A Boss


A 27-year-old student was arrested for eating at KFC for free for a year in South Africa. He used to tell the employees that he was sent from the KFC headquarters for quality check.

The man whose name has not been disclosed was a student of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. He ate for free every day for a year from different KFC outlets by repeating the same story every time.

Every single time he used to walk into a KFC and with a lot of confidence and tell the employees that he was sent from the KFC headquarters for quality assurance of the food served in the restaurant.

Seagate Is Shipping 16TB Hard Drives

According to Anandtech,

Continuing the march of progress in the HDD industry, Seagate has revealed that they have started shipping their 16 TB PMR hard drives. In a quarterly earnings call last week, the company reported that the drives have been shipping since late March, with current shipments coming ahead of high volume production of the drives. Seagate in turn expects to kick off mass production in the second half of 2019, and by Q2 2020 the new 16 TB drives will be its highest revenue SKU. What is particularly noteworthy here, besides the capacity of course, is that these drives do not use next-generation heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. Instead, they’re based around conventional magentic recoding (which is a new way to call perpendicular magnetic recording, PMR), which is being boosted by two-dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR).

. . .

For a number of years Seagate has implied that HAMR will be first used for 16 TB drives, so the unexpected shift to CMR + TDMR raises several question about the the state of the market and the technology. Is the delay client-driven, with the company’s clients wanting to stick to proven technologies for another round? Or, since HAMR HDDs use different components (new media, new heads, etc.), do the manufacturing costs of HAMR hard drives present a hurdle to manufacturing and/or client adoption? Or is the change in plans due to something else entirely?

Get More From Books By Not Reading Them!

Big Think is a TED Talk wannabe, and like TED it frequently features videos that are pablum for shallow thinkers (it does run extended monologues with authors about their books on occasion which is why I follow it and which makes the rest of this post so ironic).

On Sunday, April 28, Big Think outdid itself with a 4 minute video titled “Want to get more from books? Stop reading them cover to cover.”

The general tenor of the video is captured by the thumbnail which features an opened book and text that reads “Blah Blah Blah.” Because the problem with books is all of those words.

In the video, Shane Parrish of Farnam Street laments that people start reading a book and sometimes stop. Parrish recommends a contradictory approach in which the reader is supposed to essentially skim or view only select chapters, and then “extract” the basic arguments of the book without the context of reading the entire book,

It’s your job to extract what you need out of the book. And I think that extracting what you need, you can just read the table of contents, read the introduction, maybe read the conclusion, and skim a little bit. And is this a book that I want to read in its entirety? And most of the time, the answer is going to be no. A lot of the books that are published today could easily be 20 to 40 pages. You would get everything that you need out of that book. So it’s a big waste of time to read it cover to cover. But if you want to extract the general principles from the book, or the sort of like argumentation that the author’s making, you don’t need to read every little anecdote that’s put in there, or every story about Billy and Bob. You just need to know what is the framework for this argumentation?

Okay, first you don’t obviously need to read all books cover to cover. As someone pointed out in the YouTube comments, no one expects to read a cookbook from cover to cover, for example.

And, frankly, the sort of books that Parrish cites as examples–the poorly written and often nonsensical guides to “leadership”–may be the sort of books that are shallow enough that the best approach to reading them is, in fact, not to read them at all.

But there is value in reading books that goes well beyond trying to find the handful of pages that could be pulled out of context for a listicle or series of bullet points to add to yet another mini-manifesto. Understanding and even struggling with the nuances of an extended argument is an important part of learning and understanding.

The claim that you can get the same thing out of a serious book with a brief skim and maybe a chapter is the intellectual equivalent of thinking you’re going to be in top physical shape using nothing but one of those 7 minute workout apps.

There isn’t one weird trick. There aren’t just three easy steps. There are no shortcuts.