Tough enough?

Watching a feature film on commercial TV with ads earlier this evening – not something I do all that often these days – I was interested to see Samsung’s latest ad campaign referring to their new phones as : "Our toughest foldables yet."

Not the highest bar they’re setting themselves there, I thought. Then I visited their web site and found this statement:

Designed to shatter expectations
Scratches and damage are no match for this phone. The exterior front cover and back cover on Galaxy Z Flip3 5G are made of the toughest Gorilla Glass yet on Galaxy Z: Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™.

So, they’re hoping that tackling their earlier foldables’ bad reputation by pretending that last time wasn’t a fiasco and emphasising the "toughness" of the glass this time round as if this was just a routine marginal upgrade from one generation on materials to the next 1 will get this generation of product over the hump.2

Time will tell how that works out for them. Not sure I like their chances.


  1. Just like a new generation of phones coming with a slightly higher screen resolution or a moderately better camera or a slightly faster processor compared to the last one. Is incremental change really going to do the trick given how far short the last generation fell, or are Samsung just hoping that most phone buyers didn’t pay attention to the technical press in relation to the epic embarrassment they delivered last time round. 
  2. Wasn’t the problem last time round less how “tough” the glass was and more that the bits of the design that needed to be flexible turned out to need to be incapable of coping with that need without seriously degrading their performance as glass to display an image on? Will it all turn out that it depends on what you mean by “tougher”

‘Come From Away’ coming to Apple TV+

‘Come From Away’ Film Adaptation Gets Apple TV+ Premiere Date:

The musical tells the true story of 7,000 people stranded in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland after all flights into the US are grounded on September 11, 2001. As the people of Newfoundland graciously welcome the “come from aways” into their community in the aftermath, the passengers and locals alike “process what’s happened while finding love, laughter, and new hope in the unlikely and lasting bonds that they forge.”

This musical – possibly the most thoroughly Canadian bit of content I’ve heard of in years – has been on my to-see list for quite a while, so given the lack of opportunities for catching it live in a theatre lately this is a nice bonus. I knew there was some reason1 I kept paying2 that Apple TV+ subscription.

[Via r/tvPlus]


  1. Apart from Ted Lasso, and the prospect of more seasons of For All Mankind, and the imminent adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation series, and whatever chance there is that Mythic Quest might return for another season despite word that there is “no plan yet” for that at the moment. 
  2. Well, given the way Apple have extended free months of Apple TV+ at the drop of a hat I don’t get to pay for it again until next January, but I’m perfectly willing to pay for Apple TV+ when the time comes. (I don’t see myself paying for an Apple One package any time soon.) 
, 10 August 2021. Category: Uncategorized. Tagged: , .

Thermocline of Truth

Rob Millar provides us with an excellent explanation of why the Royal Mail let the prosecution of so many postmasters happen when the organisation couldn’t believe1 that their new IT system was screwing up so badly:

[Generally speaking,…], those at the bottom of an organisation have a fairly accurate view of what’s going on. They’re close to the detail; they know whether their area of the project is on-track, and can infer from that the state of the wider project.

Those at the top, though, have no such first-hand knowledge. They rely on the bubbling-up of information from below, in the form of dashboards and status reports. But, […] those status reports tend to produce a comically optimistic view of the state of the project. Individual contributors presented a rosy picture of what they were working on to their line managers; middle managers gave good news to their bosses; and senior managers, keen to stay on the promotion track and perhaps hopeful that other parts of the project would fail before theirs, massage the truth yet again.

A couple of decades from now, is the phrase "the thermocline of truth" destined to be part of the received wisdom about how big organisations do major IT projects?

[Via Memex 1.1]


  1. You’d like to think that the middle managers and their superiors would be asked some hard questions about whether they were worth their salaries if they didn’t (officially) notice a problem on this scale. 
, 31 July 2021. Category: Uncategorized. Tagged: .

Missions season 2

Season 2 of BBC4’s French speculative fiction series Missions has popped up on iPlayer.

I wish it hadn’t been so long since the first season aired (May 2018), because while I had a vague recollection of the show’s big plot points I’d almost entirely forgotten much about the characters and their relationships, which meant that I spent the first couple of episodes of the second season trying to remember which characters had done what back in 2018.1 After a couple of episodes I’d got my head round what was going on, and I was glad I hadn’t gone to the trouble of a full rewatch.

Basically, the story in season two is directly connected to what went on in season one, but it’s very clear that humans are, at best, pawns in a vastly bigger story that is nowhere near being explored by the close of season two. Based on what we’ve seen so far, I have little confidence that season three will suddenly turn this into an interesting story so I think I’m done with Missions.


  1. Granted, iPlayer still has season 1 available, but I wasn’t inclined to do homework for the new season by rewatching the previous season. It wasn’t that impressive a show, or one I was all that certain that I’d follow through on once the plot started rolling out. 

Rescue at sea

Part of me thinks it’s a shame that the RNLI didn’t increase the default preset donation figure on their web site’s donation page from £20 to £50, because they could have really cashed in after Nigel Farage’s comments this week as people reacted by rushing to the RNLI web site and looked for the quickest, easiest way possible to throw some money in the organisation’s direction.

The RNLI are one of those charities that conservatives and centrists and left-wingers alike used to approve of, groups of private citizens voluntarily taking responsibility for part of an activity that one night imagine an island nation would definitely need, yet which governments don’t provide on the scale required. A shame the need to stoke a culture war has pushed right-wingers in this bizarre direction, where rescuing human beings from the risk of drowning at sea is deemed to be a political act rather than a humanitarian gesture.

Here’s hoping the RNLI see a huge surge in fundraising this year.

[Via RT by Neil Gaiman]