hardware – Are Apple silicon M1 Chip MacBook Air/Pro “laptops” usable on the lap?

I have a work-issued MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) running macOS Catalina, and it’s not usable as a laptop, because it runs too hot, making it impossible to hold on the lap for any significant amount of time.

There’s nothing in System Preferences to address the problem; I know it has very powerful fans, but they are generally turned very low and are inaudible, and there doesn’t appear to be any free software that would automatically control said fans to attain a desired thermal profile (e.g., maybe 35degC or lower) to make it usable as a laptop on a lap. This is confirmed by third-party reviews as well, as Notebook Check shows that it can run as hot as 42 degC on surface, when the ambient temperature is merely 19 degC, which possibly means mine’s running at maybe 45 degC at 23 degC ambient, which is surely not comfortable.

It is my understanding that the new Apple silicon M1 Chip are supposed to be much more energy efficient than the older processors; however, it’s also the case that MacBook Air no longer has a fan in the newest iteration.

Are the new M1-based MacBooks finally usable as actual laptops, to keep on the lap for an extended period of time? (Or is there any free software for MBP 16″ to reign in the thermal envelope?) And why doesn’t Apple offer any “laptop mode” options for its laptops, to automatically spin up the fans if the temps get uncomfortable for keeping on the lap? Windows has software like SpeedFan that does that easily.

How can you trust that there is no backdoor in your hardware?

Being someone studying cyber security, I can only give you a quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world” – not Gandhi

There is testing for hardware. I trust you have done your research on this, but here are some resources:

All we can do is fight for the things that we individually believe in. You can definitely be vocal and spread the word, just please be polite. We have to be ourselves and lift each other up constantly building our knowledge of software that is spying on us or components/tech that is actively insecure. Think about it. Someone had to find that vulnerability, someone has to fix it. That could be you, that could be me.

mining hardware – Is it possible to set up an Antminer S3 using a a Raspberry Pi?

An Antminer S3 operates as a stand alone computer, so you need no controller. The device is configured and managed through a web browser interface, so you can configure it from any web browser.

The only downloaded tool from Bitmain for the Antimer that runs on a PC is their “IP address finder” app, and you can use any of hundreds of apps to discover the IP address of devices on your LAN, including Fing.

hardware – Strange touchscreen problems on Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

I’m having a strange touchscreen issue with an Xperia Z1 Compact. It’s generally working fine with no obvious physical damage. Awhile back it was triggering random touch events. I eventually peeled off the factory-installed screen protection film and that problem went away – but there is a region of the screen that still has very strange problems: most but not all software buttons work – so typing works fine, but some buttons in the same region can’t be pressed. For example, after I did a full OS-reflash, there was a welcome screen to SMS/Messaging which I couldn’t dismiss. I thought perhaps messaging was crashing, but I later plugged in a mouse and was able to click on the button. Now messaging works fine. It was a large button in the same region of the screen as the keyboard (which works fine) so I don’t understand why I couldn’t press it.

Similarly, when I swipe, if I cross this region it is often interpreted as a button press – I suspect the swipe is “noisy” and is getting interpreted as button presses. But, as a very weird example, if I swipe left and right on the home screen in this region, the background will move but not the contents (app-icons/widgets). Normally both drag together – which is also the case if I use a mouse (this is possibly correct behavior – to alter the background region, although still odd that the mouse behaves differently). It’s almost as if there are 2 different aspects to the touch-interface and one is damaged in this region.

The only setting I can find is under language inputs I can adjust pointer speed but this doesn’t seem to have much effect.

Anyway, will keep using the phone for now with some frustrations but just curious if anyone has any explanation, similar problems, and possible solutions. Thanks.

coldstorage – How does a hardware wallet interact with the bitcoin network?

I tried to understand the principle how the hardware wallet sends transactions to another Bitcoin address since it is not connected via full node to the blockchain.
I found this answer: How do hardware wallets communicate with the outside world?

Do I understand it right that every hardware wallet company like Ledger, Trezor or Shiftcrypto run a full node (e.g. bitcoind) in their company network and every hardware wallet, which is connected via the locally installed company’s software at the sender’s computer just sends a request to this full node like this?

bitcoin-cli createrawtransaction "({"txid" : "mytxid","vout":0})" "{"myaddress":0.01}"

If so, do companies run it’s own (closed source) full node which works in a different way? The only exception seems to be BitBoxBase from ShiftCrypto, which is open source.

But basically, the principle of the transaction handling between the hardware wallet and the blockchain is always the same, right? So every company run it’s own full node. Only the transmission “protocol” between the hardware wallet and this full node is different and non-standardized, right?

hardware wallet – What is the difference between PSBT support in Coldcard and Trezor?

The Coldcard handles PSBT directly and natively. A PSBT can given to the device by writing it to a microSD card and inserting the card into the device. It will be able to load the PSBT and process it as a transaction. Additionally when communicating with the device over USB, PSBTs can be given directly instead of being packed into another data structure.

However other hardware wallets like the Trezor do not have this capability yet. Instead these must be given transactions over USB and those transactions must be packed into device specific data structures. The HWI software does this translation for users – it takes PSBTs and converts them into the format that each hardware wallet uses.

How is the interaction between an Hardware Wallet and the blockchain?

I tried to understand the principle how the hardware wallet sends transactions to another Bitcoin address since it is not connected via full node to the blockchain.
I found this answer: How do hardware wallets communicate with the outside world?

Do I understand it right that every hardware wallet company like Ledger, Trezor or Shiftcrypto run a full node (e.g. bitcoind) in their company network and every hardware wallet, which is connected via the locally installed company’s software at the sender’s computer just sends a request to this full node like this?

bitcoin-cli createrawtransaction "({"txid" : "mytxid","vout":0})" "{"myaddress":0.01}"

If so, do companies run it’s own (closed source) full node which works in a different way? The only exception seems to be BitBoxBase from ShiftCrypto, which is open source.

But basically, the principle of the transaction handling between the hardware wallet and the blockchain is always the same, right? So every company run it’s own full node. Only the transmission “protocol” between the hardware wallet and this full node is different and non-standardized, right?

mining hardware – How to Reset Dragon Miner 1TH/s IP Address?

How can I reset the IP address of a Dragon Miner 1TH/s machine?

Mistakenly, I entered the wrong IP in the miner when changing the network IP address, and now my miner is not visible on the network. What I entered was like “IP 192.168.1.100.4”.

So how can I reset my miner? It has the SD card option.

private key – Using a dedicated phone as “hardware wallet”

Is there anything inherently insecure about using a dedicated Android phone as a “hardware wallet”?

A dedicated phone implies:

  • a clean ROM without gapps, i.e. Lineage OS without root

  • full phone encryption enabled

  • no other apps installed apart from a wallet app such as Mycelium, Breadwallet, GreenBits, Samurai, etc.

I realize that the majority of Android phones don’t have (yet) a secure element like trezor or ledger devices, and that system apps might have unlimited privileges, but what are the main issues or specific attack vectors to be aware of in such a setup as compared to dedicated hardware wallets?

My understanding is that physical access to a trezor or ledger is useless if the attackers don’t have the pin or passphrase and that these devices are built in such a way as to make hardware extraction of private keys impossible or financially unfeasible.

Is a comparable level of security achievable with an Android device with full phone encryption?

Also, does setting a pin code in a software Android wallet mean that the private keys are actually going to be encrypted or is the pin just for opening the UI?

Any data on which wallet apps protect the keys in a way which makes their extraction impossible without the pin code/fingerprint?

smartphone – How to select a cell phone (mobile phone) that will have the best camera hardware and software?

Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began, I had the opportunity to attend a few art gallery openings that featured photography.

What surprised me was that some of the photographs were taken using cell phones (aka mobile phones, smartphones, and cameraphones). What surprised me even more was that some of these photos were enlarged to over 2m wide, and still looked good.

My first quality camera was medium format (followed by large format), so this was a real eye-opening experience for me.

As all photographers know, the foremost challenge to taking a good photograph is actually having a camera with you when you see an opportunity.

Cell phones have given us an easy-to-carry and portable solution to almost always have a camera (and even a short-range flash!) with us. But finding a cell phone with quality camera hardware and software can be challenging. Four issues make this especially challenging:

  1. Cell phone models are constantly being introduced, making previous comparative reviews less valuable.
  2. Cell phone brands and model availability are not consistent around the world. This is partly because different technologies and frequencies are used in different regions.
  3. Cell phone prices vary considerably, and different people have different budgets. Phone XYZ might technically offer the best combination of hardware and software, but it might be twice the price of a device that is 99% as good.
  4. The cameras of many cell phones get great reviews because they generate reasonable quality images if you never enlarge your photographs. But once you enlarge them to sizes appropriate for hanging in a gallery, quality often (but definitely not always) degrades to unacceptable levels.

Taking the above into consideration, how does a photographer select a cell phone that will have the best camera hardware and software that will meet their desires (those desires, of course, tempered by an understanding of the current limits of technology, manufacturing, and form factor)?