Fooling The Samsung Galaxy S10 Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

Someone has put up a post on imgur claiming to demonstrate unlocking a Galaxy S10 by 3d printing a fingerprint based on an image of the fingerprint,

First I simply took a photograph of my fingerprint on the side of a wine glass. I used my smartphone to take this picture, but it’s certainly not out of the question to use a long focal length DSLR camera to snag a fingerprint image from across a room…or further.

I then pulled the image into Photoshop and increased the contrast, and created an alpha mask.

I exported that over to 3ds Max and created a geometry displacement from the Photoshop image which gave me a raised 3d model of every last detail of the fingerprint.

I popped that model into the 3D printing software and began to print it. This was printed using an AnyCubic Photon LCD resin printer, which is accurate down to about 10 microns (in Z height, 45 microns in x/y), which is more than enough detail to capture all of the ridges in a fingerprint.

As the author of the post notes, if a smartphone is stolen, it is likely that a fingerprint of the owner will be found on the phone itself (especially if the user is repeatedly touching a specific area of the screen to unlock it, as someone using the ultrasonic fingerprint reader would be doing).

Samsung Introducing 12W Wireless Charging With Galaxy S10

It looks like Samsung is introducing 12 Watt Fast Charge 2.0 wireless charging with the Galaxy S10 line of phones. Other Samsung phones, like my Galaxy Note 9, top out at 7.5W fast charging.

In general, I use wireless charging for about 90 percent of my phone charging needs. Typically I only resort to wired charging when the battery is relatively low and I need the phone recharged quickly prior to an extended time away from any charging source (such as a long meeting).

As it did with the release of the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung is releasing a Duo Pad wireless charger that charges phones up to 12W on the left, and another phone or Samsung smart watch on the right. Companies like Anker apparently already make wireless charging pads capable of delivering up to 15W over wireless, so looks like I’ll be switching out all of my wireless pads once the Galaxy Note 10 gets released later this summer.

Maybe someday Samsung’s software will catch up to its hardware (instead we’re likely to be seeing them trying to make Bixby a thing until the end of time).

Samsung Wireless Duo Pad Charger
Samsung Wireless Duo Pad Charger

Consumer SSD Prices and Sizes

It’s interesting to see how quickly the per/gigabyte price for SSDs continues to fall as companies begin introducing bigger and cheaper models.

Back in February 2018, I bought a couple 2TB SSDs for some new laptops for about $500/each. Today, ten months later, those SSDs can be had on Amazon for $290, a 42 percent price drop in less than a year.

Meanwhile, Samsung recently announced consumer level QLC SSDs in 1TB/2TB/4TB capacities that will initially retail for $149.99, $299.99, and $599.99 respectively.

Aside from the relatively low prices, one of the interesting things about the QLC drives is their write endurance,

The 860 QVO, from the box, is given a write endurace rating equivalent to 0.3 Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD), which even for the 1TB means 300GB a day, every day, which goes above and beyond most consumer workloads. 

Better drives, larger capacities and cheaper storage prices. What’s not to love?

Samsung/Lexar Close to Releasing Their 512gb MicroSD Cards

A few days ago, Samsung’s Germany website published images of its new line of EVO Plus MicroSD cards which included a 512gb card. Today, AnandTech reported that Lexar announced its 512gb MicroSD card, which also meets the A2 Application Performance Class standard.

Retail price for these cards is likely to be in the $300-$330 range. Personally, I’m looking forward to throwing one of these into my Galaxy Note 9 so I can up my total phone storage up to 1TB (also, my 400gb Samsung MicroSD card only has about 14gb free).

Here’s hoping that these hit Amazon before the end of 2018.

The Difference Between Buying a Samsung Note 8 vs. Apple iPhone

So T-Mobile shipped my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 pre-order out a couple weeks early. While configuring and playing around with what is the best phone I’ve ever owned, I was struck by one of the main differences between buying a Samsung phone vs. what I observe when people buy an iPhone.

My wife has always owned iPhones, for example. She has never had the experience, to my knowledge, of paying almost $1,000 for a phone and then needing to do the following:

  1. Go to Google and search for “how do I disable Bixby.”
  2. Go to the Google Play store and find the BK Package Disabler(Samsung).
  3. Pay $2.49 for said package disabler.
  4. After authorizing the package disabler, use it to disable all Bixby services.

My wife and other iPhone users don’t do this for, say, Siri because in large measure they simply want to use their phones to accomplish whatever it is they want to accomplish, and they don’t mind Apple constraining their choices.

This is why I have never used iPhones. If I were the sort of person who wanted a damn button that I had no control over which launched an annoying voice command system, I wouldn’t buy Android phones.