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The Weekly Authority: 🎨 Flip out for Flip 4 colorways

Flip 4 colorways, Pixel camera leaks, Asus Zenfone 9 launch, a cryptography mystery, and more in this week's top tech news.
By
July 30, 2022
galaxy z flip 3 rear angle
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 205th edition here, with Flip 4 colorways, Pixel camera leaks, Asus Zenfone 9 launch, PlayStation’s summer sale, and more.

📚 This week, I’ve been reading The Haunting Season, a collection of ghostly tales for long winter nights (perfect for hot summer ones too). Probably explains why I haven’t had much sleep.

Popular news this week

Samsung:

Samsung Galaxy S22 Bora Purple Leak WinFuture
Reserve the next Samsung Galaxy and get up to $200 credit!
Reserve Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, Watch 5, or Buds 2 Pro now, get free stuff
You can now reserve a Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro directly from Samsung. Reservations are free and entitle you to a bevy of free stuff when you place your order. You have until August 10 to make your reservation.

Google:

OnePlus:

  • OnePlus reveals 10T colors, and confirms the alert slider and Hasselblad branding are gone — here’s why.

Motorola:

Xiaomi:

Apple:

Space:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

Reviews

Asus Zenfone 9 standing homescreen
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Features

google pixel 6 pro eyeglasses batman
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Weekly Wonder

decrypted ad the times
A decrypted newspaper ad about the Collinson expedition

In a week where we discovered iPhones were best for getting dating matches, I also stumbled across this interesting story from Vice, which suggests sending amorous texts was a thing long before SMS ever existed. But first, a mystery.

  • The story goes like this: Between 1850-1855, a series of unusual ads were published in the British newspaper The Times.
  • They appeared to be a totally random series of letters.
  • But now, almost 200 years later, codebreakers have decrypted some of them.
  • Turns out, they were encrypted messages from an Arctic Ocean rescue expedition.

We won’t go into the whole story here, but basically:

  • Explorer Lord John Franklin set out on an expedition from England in 1845, on a mission to find the Northwest passage (a sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific through the Arctic Ocean).
  • In 1848, Franklin, his two warships (Terror and Erebus), and his 129 men vanished without trace.
  • In 1850, Richard Collinson, an English naval officer, traveled to the Canadian Arctic to see if he could find out what had happened to Franklin, or discover any traces of his expedition. For the next five years, he hunted in vain.
  • Yes, that’s the same five-year time period the ads were posted in The Times.

Cryptography experts believed there may have been a relationship between the encrypted ads and the Franklin Expedition. Cryptography enthusiast Elonka Dunin, cryptography expert Klaus Schmeh, and journalist A.J. Jacobs set out to analyze the ads and figure out the encryption method.

  • Two past decryption attempts in 1980 and 1992 had failed.
  • Long story short, once decrypted, it was revealed the ads were actually messages sent back and forth from the Collinson expedition members to relatives and family in England.
  • Because The Times could be bought in any city around the world, it made sense to place the ads there, so they could communicate no matter where the ship sailed.
  • But it seems like the communications only worked once.
  • In 1855, Collinson “was able to get some news from home” when he obtained four copies of The Times in the town of Banyuwangi, Indonesia.

Not all 50 messages have been decrypted yet, so if you want to help the team out, you can look at the ads on a newspaper archive website.

What happened to Franklin and his men?

The story’s a long one, and you can read all about it over at the New York Times.

In brief:

  • In 1859, an official naval record was uncovered in a stone cairn at Victory Point, located on King William Island’s northwest coast, some 150 miles above the Arctic Circle. There were two messages. The first ended, “All well.” But the second reported that Franklin was dead. The Erebus and the Terror had become stuck in ice, and the men abandoned ship on April 25, 1948, marching some 600 miles south to a trading post.
  • Two of the men’s bodies were found in a frozen grave.
  • Though we still don’t know what happened to the rest of the men, a series of modern scientific studies suggested they probably died of hypothermia, starvation, zinc deficiency, or lead poisoning, along with general exposure.
  • The mystery has inspired countless artists and writers, including Margaret Atwood, Jules Verne, and Mark Twain. Iron Maiden even wrote a song about the sailors and their doomed expedition.
  • Artifacts from the expedition continue to show up to this day, with over 400 of them on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.
  • You can dive deeper into the mystery of the Franklin expedition with the Atlas Obscura “Beechey Island Graves” episodes (there are two parts), available on your favorite podcast app.

Dating decryption

encrypted love ads
Encrypted love notes published in newspapers in the 1800s

During her talk at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference in Queens last weekend, Jacobs revealed some other ads that had been decrypted, which were actually messages between lovers:

One, from 1856, read: “I have the most beautiful horse in England, but not the most beautiful lady. Your silence pains me deeply. I cannot forget you.”

At least he had the horse, right?

You may not be quite as literary as this fellow, but if you fancy giving writing your own dating messages a go, check out our roundup of the 10 best dating apps for Android. No, you can’t just post a selfie and hope your good looks will win them over…

Tech Calendar

  • August 2: Motorola Razr and X30 Pro launch (China)
  • August 3 @ 10 AM EDT: OnePlus 10T launch
  • August 10: Samsung Unpacked (Galaxy Z Flip 4, Fold 4, Galaxy Watch 5, and Watch 5 Pro?)
  • September 2-6: IFA Berlin
  • September 10 @ 9 PM CEST: Ubisoft Forward showcase
  • November 8: Skull and Bones release date on Xbox Series S/X, PS5, PC, Stadia, and Luna
  • November 9: God of War: Ragnarok launches on PS4, PS5

Tech Tweet of the Week

Next time you’re worried about failing, just take a look at this:

There’s a “Museum of Failure” in Sweden which highlights 150+ failed products. It’s meant to show that innovation requires risk-taking and failure.
Here are 10 gems you may not remember:
— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) July 21, 2022

Something extra: Love Calvin & Hobbes? This search engine lets you input almost any word or phrase (or a date) and it’ll show you which specific comic it features in.

Have a failure-free week!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.