Sunday, December 09, 2018

Night Sight

The camera on Google's latest Pixel 3 smartphone introduced "Night Sight" capability in the Camera app. Initially it was available on only Pixel 3s but has trickled down to all Pixels with varying capabilities.

But Android is a community of hackers. Almost immediately this new Camera app was cross-ported to several other Android phones.

Of course my current Essential PH-1 was one of the ports.

I've installed a couple of the ports. Here's a comparison of a photo taken with the OEM Essential camera app and a port (AeroZero_P3_GC_6.1.013_ABC_2.apk) of the Night Sight camera:

Why have I installed a couple of the ports?

Well, honestly they're still a little rough around the edges.

For example, the Essential PH-1 lets you set an app to launch on a double-press of the power button. Typically that is set to the camera app. On the first port of the Night Sight camera that I tried would prompt for additional permissions when invoked with the double-press of the power button.

The second port I tried consumed a lot of battery and wouldn't take photos back to back while is was doing HDR+ processing. The delay due to HDR+ processing may be normal but I hadn't run into it before.

Current status is that I have a Night Sight camera app (GoogleCamera_6.1.013.216795316-debug.apk) installed but it is not my default camera.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

PayPal Preapproved Payments - Update

This is an update to an old post of mine but it is worth repeating from time to time, especially in this season of online shopping.

Recently we bought something from Wayfair and used PayPal to pay for it. We selected to use a debit card as payment to PayPal. We thought that was relatively safe as Wayfair wouldn't have access to the debit card and could only process that one transaction.

How wrong we were.

My wife was subsequently buying something else from Wayfair and chose to pay with PayPal. The checkout went smoothly. Too smoothly.

She noticed that even though she had chosen to pay with PayPal she had not been prompted by PayPal to approve the charges.

That was odd.

While the charges were acceptable giving Wayfair the ability to process charges and debits against her checking account without our approval is not what we had intended.

It turns out that a during the previous purchase from Wayfair that was paid for with PayPal, Wayfair categorized the PayPal transaction as requesting an agreement for automatic payment approval.

This wasn't obvious as we approved the PayPal transaction at the time.

And PayPal doesn't make it easy to find these agreements on their site.

Here's how to find them.

Login to PayPal as normal.

Then up in the top right is a little gray gear (1). Click on that.

On the next screen scroll find "PAYMENTS" (2). Click on that.

There will be a section of "Automatic payments". Look down and find "Manage automatic payments" (3). Click on that.

You'll get a list of "Automatic payments". Click on "Show active". You may need to click on "See more" to get the entire list.

Click on each merchant in the list. On the next screen click on "Cancel" if you want to cancel this payment agreement.

A little bit of advice, don't cancel "iTunes and App Store".

This verges on sneaky, both on the part of the merchant and PayPal.

And while I have your attention on PayPal, go read this.