* Posts by Dave 126

6501 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

R&D white coats at HP Inc will make corporate ID into wearable tech

Dave 126
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Re: So they want everyone on the planet to wear a badge ?

Whaaat? Where did they say that?!

All they are talking about is a badge or ID card that can authenticate it's proper holder, so that it is of limited use to anyone who finds or steals it. ID badges are common place in workplaces. Since ID badges are generally the same size as a credit card, any technology that works in an ID badge could potentially be ported to a consumer item like a credit card if there is a demand for it.

A credit card that requires input from its owner to be used? That would answer some fears consumers have about lost or stolen credit cards. Many people are already using the same concept - they can buy things using an object they carry (a mobile phone, via NFC or PayPal or whatever) but to do so requires their fingerprint or passcode to be entered first.

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Dave 126
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Re: "replace the badge with something you are already going to wear today"

Err, HP didn't mention garments.

FYI, the term 'wearable' in technology is generally taken to mean items that are worn similarly to jewellery (badges around the neck like necklaces or pinned to a shirt like a brooch, items worn around the wrist like a watch), or items such as spectacles or earphones. Whilst the term 'wearable' can encompass items of clothing, that is not its primary meaning in this context (and practically, electronics and washing machines are not natural allies)

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Dave 126
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> It could also be the firm is looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

Seriously? Irrespective of HP's 'solution', authentication of employees - or indeed of consumers accessing services - could be improved. The headache people have with passwords is an obvious place to start looking at this problem.

Obviously though, a name badge (designed to be visible to all) isn't the ideal place for an ersatz RSA dongle.

The biggest security issue around ID Badges though is cultural - I've worked on sites where we were told again and again to challenge anyone whose badge wasn't visible. Of course, few people did, because to do so would be bad manners...

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Oculus Rift review-gasm round-up: The QT on VR

Dave 126
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Article in brief

"In short: don't be an idiot and spend $600 on a first-gen [anything]" - a cheaper, sleeker more reliable version will be along in eighteen months.

Unless, of course, you have the so much money that you can afford to spend a bit here and there on novelties. In which case, fair to play you - I'd have spare cash too if I didn't spend it on beer (Augmented Reality?)

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Dave 126
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I don't want Virtual Reality...

...I do want virtual spaceships, alien worlds and explosions!

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We wrap our claws around latest pre-Build Windows 10 preview

Dave 126
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Re: "and the Windows app store remains disappointing. "

>If there was only some sort of file, you could download, or heck even go out and buy and just with a click or two, it would be there on your pc.

Of the various ways of adding software to systems (app stores, apt-get, software managers, and whatever it is that OSX does), the traditional Windows' method is my least favourite.

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Ever wondered what the worst TV show in the world would be? Apple just commissioned it

Dave 126
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Re: Many have tried...

>And completely lacking in technical accuracy, of course. Magical compression - really?

Yeah... but but if the writers of Silicon Valley knew what the Next Big Thing was going to be, they wouldn't be writing a TV show about it - they would be seeking funding! The 'Magical Compression' is just a McGuffin, a stand-in for a hot property made by a start-up that the big players want to get their hands on.

It is a satire about a culture and people, not a documentary about technology. So the writers' only choices for their McGuffin were:

1 Something that no one knows the value of (this would confuse the audience).

2 Something that already exists (this would confuse the audience)

3. Something that is impossible but clearly useful ( the audience knows it's impossible but choose to go along with it's utility)

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Dave 126
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Re: show about developers

- http://www.hooli.xyz/#inspiration

: )

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Dave 126
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Re: Any show about developers

>The answer's obvious..... ...... BOFH, the movie.

So the pitch to the studio execs might be:

"The IT Crowd meets Reservoir Dogs and Zombie Land"

We need to Matt Berry and Ben Wheatley involved.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia_(UK_TV_series)

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Dave 126
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Re: Any show about developers

And cringing scenes where B-list rock stars have to fake enthusiasm for the developer conference they've been paid to perform at!

Oh, the Silicon Valley TV series has nailed that, and many other facets of developer culture!

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Dave 126
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Re: Many have tried...

>Many have tried... ...all have failed.

Actually, Mike Judge's Silicon Valley is really rather good, and unlike your 'hacker'-based examples it revolves around app developers and coders.

The well-received show Mr. Robot is about a hacker, and makes a fair bit of effort to be more realistic (of course there is artistic licence, and the story is filtered through a straight-up unreliable narrator.)

Still, if Apple is looking to what Netflix did with 'House of Cards' (an adaptation of a proven premise, lead actor Kevin Spacey always a draw), then myself I would have chosen a different topic. Still, it will be easier towait and see how it fares on Rotten Tomatoes than it is to prejudge it!

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Calm down, dear: Woman claims sexism in tech journalism

Dave 126
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I think it might be difference in approach... generally, women benefit more from encouragement than men, so a women's forum that was judgemental would soon be empty. It does mean that a forum where, at least initially, 'all opinions are equally valid' can appear daft to people who consider themselves objective and problem-solving, but it does encourage more people to participate. It does mean that more views are heard, and really you can't judge the merits or otherwise of an idea until you have heard it. This mottos is required, because it very common for people with good ideas to doubt themselves. As Bertrand Russell said: "Morons are cocksure, the intelligent are full of doubt".

Yes, men can benefit from encouragement too, but in so much of our society (I don't care whether 'tis nature or nurture here) men compete with each other, or value the sentiment "I'm shown myself this can work, so bugger the lot the of 'em I'm gonna do it anyway!". Sometimes this attitude is seen in successful women, too. Sometimes when a woman has experienced sexism early in her career it shows them that some people are just idiots and not to take any notice of them, and to instead to trust their own judgement. It is this trusting of one's own judgement that is often necessary to trail blaze. A lot of scientific advance has been made by rejecting - or at least questioning - the orthodoxy.

This competitive streak can also produce good results.

Okay, I'm massively over-generalising here, but that is inevitable. As a male on the edge of the Aspy spectrum, I value objectivity. And the lumping of individual females together as women (either by men, or indeed by women) has always seemed an odd approach, when its easier to know individual people.

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Dave 126
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Re: Ad revenue drying up is it?

Hard to call. I'd never heard of Gadgette before today. I quick look and it seems on a par with Gizmondo or Engadget or whatever. Even saw a gadget that I'd not seen elsewhere that I might find useful.

It was disappointing to see the some 'Trending topics' ads at the bottom (y'know, the ones "You wouldn't believe...' and '10 celebrities who came back from the dead sea thinner' etc.) However, that is far more to do with the state of online journalism (AdBlocker et al killing revenue, content confused with advertising) than it is to do with feminist issues specifically.

If the creation of a tech site for women is an admission that women might use some tech differently, then naturally tech vendors might send her different kit to review. The trouble is, there are some assholes on the internet (and they make a lot of noise), and if I as a man were to make an observation like "Women are more likely to carry a bag to work and the pub, therefore they might feel differently about the size of smartphone they use since a jeans pocket isn't always a limiting factor" my observation might be dismissed as sexist. Probably by a lunatic fringe, though. I'm pretty sure that nutters (and psychos, self-promoters, opportunists etc) can be of either sex.

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Dave 126
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Re: eh?

You misspelt 'masochistic' as 'mischievous'. Has your auto-correct got its undergarments in a twist?

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Dave 126
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Re: Call back

Eeek! Please everyone, make sure that Someone Else doesn't see this 'news' story:

http://www.theonion.com/article/no-one-in-womens-shelter-able-to-cook-decent-meal-5799

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Wait! Where did you get that USB? Super-stealthy trojan only drives stick

Dave 126
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Re: format before any use...

>HOW do you insert and wipe a USB stick without it running evil HID mode software?

Use a dedicated Linux/RecoveryOS box (a Raspberry Pi perhaps?) to format the USB stick. The Linux box itself is to be run from a fresh or read-only image every time it is booted.

Of course this doesn't help you if the USB stick pulls some more sophisticated shenanigans, such as presenting a different bank of storage after a pre-set period of time.

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Intel tock blocked for good: Tick-tock now an oom-pah-pah waltz

Dave 126
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Re: Stagnation...

>Let it not be said that all I do spew snarky quips and bring people down... behold the steering-assisted hand-held router.

Haha! Thanks for that DropBear! Genuinely, I had not seen that before! It just goes to show that the difference between me an a MIT student is that I brain-fart an idea onto the Register, and an MIT student actually builds something potentially useful!

: )

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Dave 126
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Re: Stagnation...

>...where the applications are pretty much limited to watching surround panoramas

Some are professionally produced. And in any case, the same hardware can be used to watch traditional video content on a virtual big screen. I seem to recall the Sony Walkman also started life providing in-flight entertainment to a rich and well-connected person (the then CEO of Sony).

>That would be nice - as it is, they cost an arm, two legs, half a dozen kidneys and some change.

Some do, some don't. The higher end models are pricey due in part to the GPU requirements - but GPUs will always be sold anyway; Sony's planning a PlayStation 4.5 for driving 4K televisions and the same grunt could power a VR headset. And hey, Nintendo made a killing with its Wii console that wasn't trying to compete with the graphical prowess of its rivals.

Not sure why you cite the £500+ flagship models of Apple and Samsung... every midrange phone today is a match for last year's flagship. All you've shown is that there are a fair few people out there who will spend £500+ on a gadget when a far cheaper gadget will do much the same job.

>Have you actually seen what one of those "360" multi-cameras aimed at enthusiats (not even pros) costs? Clue: almost a grand. Yup, aunt Jane will surely start shooting her holiday pics and videos with one of those one any day now...

I wasn't just talking about a 360 rig, but the sort of post-processing that lets people watch a sports match from any angle ( very fancy post-processing). The very technology that Intel acquired last week. The sports viewing market is huge, and will happily punt on a few new technologies.

I don't really want to watch Aunt Jane's videos, but Aunt Martha in Australia might want to virtually relive a family reunion. Really though, the £1000 price range was what half decent camcorders were a few years back, and they only seemed to be used for family parties and the like.

>Is that why only every single game studio who obviously promised VR support in their Kickstarter a few years ago is now wishing they haven't, going on about how even though the engine they use allegedly supports VR but actually making the game interface work half-decently in VR is much harder than they expected?

This old chicken-and-egg scenario has been played countless times in IT. Why bother writing software for a platform with no users? Why bother buying a platform with no software? It always resolves itself one way or another.

>Yup, I'm sure those supporting folks are working together in such a sublime harmony pushing all in a single direction, not at all the way ants "collaborate" by pushing the same thing from all sides simultaneously...

Even their rival efforts serve to raise public awareness of VR.

>Because I'm so not seeing it...

You're trying very hard not to see it. But have an upvote for taking the time to expand upon your views. I do not agree with you sir, but will defend to virtual death etc etc

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Dave 126
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Re: Beginning of the end for Intel?

Only some types of game benefit from anything more than an i5 CPU - it's the GPU that makes the difference. I don't know how much that might change with Vulkan, DirectX 12 and AMD's APUs.

So yeah, Intel CPUs get more power efficient but don't get much faster - though they do boast less useless integrated graphics.

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Dave 126
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Intel's competitor is yesterday's Intel

- in that my laptop is around 5 years old and still works fine for me (CAD, Photoshop etc). It is because the Intel chip in my PC is fast enough already that I haven't bought an Intel chip since.

Curiously enough, my laptop has roughly the same RAM and internal storage as an iPad Pro. I'm not championing Apple now, but just noting that an ARM-based system is now being sold that could fulfil all my needs if specific productivity software was available.

(I have no idea about how fast an iPad's Imagination GPU is compared to my aging nVidia 9600M GS with 32 CUDA cores, but I get the impression that the iPad can shunt polygons around cheerfully enough for many CAD purposes)

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Dave 126
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Re: Stagnation...

Okay, a Magic Workshop.

The easy shorthand would be 'Tony Stark's workshop from the Iron Man movies'. More immediate, my 'magic workshop' might consist of a Kinect sensor and a projector. The idea is to better integrate the designing (paper, CAD) and the physical making (mixture of hand and machine techniques) for greater efficiency, whilst aiding safety.

- physical measurements I make are instantly available in CAD, or used to define driving dimensions I've already defined.

- a projector can help me mark out cuts

- cuts off power tools if my fleshy bits get too close

- a self-correcting 3D printer. Parts are printed within a 3D scanner, so the printer can correct for alignment in real time.

- jigsaws with steering assistance

- mixing catalysts can be done with audio cues, so no measurement vessel is required.

I'm just brainstorming, purely to provide examples of interacting with computers without a mouse and keyboard.

An example of a 'smart desk' might be HP's Sprout desktop, which incorporates a 3D scanner, camera and projector, for rapid back and forth between physical media (pens and paints) and virtual (Photoshop, CAD etc).

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Dave 126
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Re: Stagnation...

>Mass market VR gear? That's as likely now as it was 20 years ago, in other words: not going to happen.

It's not just VR - the related technologies (Intel's RealSense, Google's Project Mango, MS's Kinect, plus Qualcom and numerous video-stitching cleverness) have applications in machine automation (most disruptively, potentially, self-driving cars), and in changing how many of us interact with computers*.

On the VR front, things are very different to 20 years ago when the only consumer headset I remember was from Forte Technologies. Here's why:

- low cost of entry for consumers to dip a toe in the virtual waters (just pop your 5" smartphone into a $5 lens contraption)

- more sophisticated, dedicated headsets inexpensive since they share components (screen, gyros, accelerometers) with smartphones

- video content cheaper to make, due to cheaper multiple digital cameras and fancy post-processing.

-straightforward support from game-creation engines

- support from widely recognised consumer brands, such as Sony, Samsung, Steam, Intel, Qualcomm

I'm not saying that mass market VR is a sure thing, but the landscape is very different to the mid 90s.

* I'm not a coder, and I'm not talking about flying through a file system a la Neuromancer or Jurassic Park. I'm a product designer and I want a magic workshop.

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HP Inc won't shake you down for ink in 3D printer era, says CTO

Dave 126
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And check it out:

Solder that doesn't require heat at the point of application. The molten is contained within micro-spheres that contain no nucleation points - so the solder remains liquid at room temperature. Upon application, the spheres are broken and the liquid solder solidifies.

There ain't half been some clever bastards!

: )

http://cen.acs.org/articles/94/i11/Soldering-without-heat.html

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Dave 126
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Oi, don't knock the chemists! : )

But seriously, don't. They are always making the lives of people who make stuff easier. Not just in the 3D printing space, but in manufacture and construction. They go largely unsung, too.

It is just lovely to use two-part car body filler - it doesn't sag, can be carved before it sets, and can be sanded to an incredibly smooth finish with 15 minuses of application. It is just so handy.

It saves so many headaches to have a tube of moisture-cured polyurethane adhesive/sealant/filler. It can be applied in the wet, is waterproof, over-printable, remains permanently elastic, and can be given a good finish.

Yesterday I was looking at the wares of a company who make masterbatches (mixed materials) for injection moulding. Chemists are forever fine-tuning every variable for the benefit of their customers. A geeky example - plastic dyes that don't stick to the screws and niches of IM molds, so that switching production between different coloured parts is quicker, easier and more economical.

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Something useful from Cupertino?! Apple sees the light – finally

Dave 126
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Re: Having an OS with a black background makes it less important

Yes, I've seen this feature in specific apps before (notably Google Books).

No, it is not realistic to expect people not to use their phones to access the internet.

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Dave 126
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Re: Already baked into my phone

>@Dave, sorry to disappoint you, but f.lux IS available for Android.

Ah, so it is. That's new. Last I went looking for it (I'm an Android user) it wasn't available. The retrieval date for the Wikipedia article suggests the same:

The developer announced that an Android version is in development. [9] [ "F.A.Q.". f.lux. Retrieved January 15, 2016 ]

My point stands that the Android was the last mainstream OS that f.Lux came to (after OSX, Linux, Windows and jailbroken iOS), though of course searching the Google Play Store for f.Lux has resulted in similar products for some time.

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Dave 126
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Re: Already baked into my phone

Apple didn't copy 'Android'. Apple copied f.Lux because it is a good idea... and available on Windows, OSX, Linux and iOS, but not Android. So what? Further more, Apple bake it into a popular OS and bring it to people's attention.

f.Lux is great, but useless to you if you've never heard of it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh

>I hope they don't think they can patent or copyright this?

No, many similar products already exist. f.Lux say their product is patent pending, but I've heard of no great spats between them and makers of similar software. Nor can it copyrighted, naturally.

>It MAY work for OLED screens, but LED lit LCD are violet/blue LEDs with yellow phosphor to provide the "white" backlight and this idea is poor on them

You''ve misunderstood LCD screens. The resulting white light is filtered through LCDs. Hence the name. And I can confirm that f.Lux works very very well on my LED-backlit LCD screen.

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Dave 126
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Re: f.lux on PCs does the same

Likewise. It's possibly the one app I've spread the word about in real life.

It's good that it's been baked into an OS. f.Lux have never charged for their software, and doesn't carry advertisments. I did notice this on their website, though:

f.lux is patent pending. Do you make a cell phone, display, lighting system, or other cool sleep tech, and want to talk about collaboration? Email us:

Reading behind the lines, it's as if they've always wanted Apple to make them a deal. I don't know that has happened. Of course granted patents only cover the 'how', not the 'what', and Apple could likely have found their way around any fLux patent.

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Samsung Galaxy S7: Big brand Android flagship champ

Dave 126
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Re: "Parallax Distortion"

>Yes, back in the day they used to make special cameras for this sort of photography

They are called Tilt Shift lenses, are used in architectural photography.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_control_lens

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Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

Dave 126
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Re: Built in SIM card?

>I thought the built in SIM card idea had surfaced and died a couple of years ago.

Nah, the soft SIM has been present and correct in some iPads since Apple introduced them in 2014. There is still a physical SIM slot, so you can put in a locally-purchased SIM if that suits you. Obviously the negotiations with telcos were different for data iPads than voice iPhones.

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Dave 126
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Re: The important bit

I have a Z3 Compact (4.6"), and it is significantly wider than the 4" iPhone 5.

I have average-sized hands for a British male, and my thumb can easily reach 80% or so of the Sony's screen, and 100% with a slight stretch. If the dials on my use-case were twiddled so that I spent more time speaking on the phone, I might have chosen a 4" phone (if a 4" Android with fast internals existed) because it is just that little bit more secure in the hand (the hand is closer to it's relaxed, slightly curled position).

A 4" phone is like playing cards, designed to be easy to hold in a hand. A 5"+ phone is like a postcard, better for displaying a picture. All design and engineering is compromise.

>It looks like Apple may be starting to reduce prices in the face of the Chinese starting to think about Europe and the US.

Also Apple's plans regarding China and India. Don't overlook how much cheaper the new iPhone 5 SE is compared to all of Apple's previous new up-to-date (internally) iPhones.

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Dave 126
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Re: 4 year old phone design resuscitated

> but I was a bit surprised to see this new phone in an ancient (in tech terms) case.

This iPhone 5 SE is in an old industrial design to differentiate it from the pricier 6S and 6S Plus models, with which it shares most of its critical components (SoC, camera).

The iPhone SE is cheaper at launch than even the plastic iPhone 5C. This is the first time Apple has offered a fully up-to-date iPhone at such a low (by their standards) price.

I like Sony's Xperia phone designs, and don't think they should change for change's sake, though I can't help but note that if my Z3 Compact had an aluminium bezel like the iPhone 5S/SE it wouldn't currently have a broken screen (The Z3 Compact is a great phone, but the official Sony case is rubbish, and only protects the phone on three sides... and guess which side fell against a sharp edge)

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Dave 126
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Re: Differentiation is skin deep.

>They have had a pretty good run and there main job now is not to lose customers. They are definitely in maintenance mode.

I largely agree, though I will note that 'the next big thing' is an 'unknown unknown'.

In support of your statement, the iPhone SE is the cheapest ever new iPhone, cheaper than the plastic iPhone 5 C was at launch. For the the first time, a new iPhone with the latest internals and camera (more or less) is less than £400. This is the price range that I bought my last Android phone (Xperia Z3 Compact) just over a year ago, and until recently was full of Chinese phones with the same specs as pricey Korean flagships (though these have begun to drop to the £200 ish range, if you can find one).

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Dave 126
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Re: What makes a Pro?

Apple's nomenclature is becoming a little unwieldy, it's true.

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Dave 126
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Re: Snide remarks

>Yep, 'cos my ever increasing photo collection is so easily stored on some poxy little device with only 128GB storage.

I wouldn't trust my photo collection to any one device, be it a laptop with two HDDs or a tablet. At a minimum, you should have any data you care about backed up to another device. Ideally in another building. Many routers have a USB socket for doing this on the cheap with an external HDD, and better performing NASs aren't much more - especially if you compare all the time you've invested in taking 500 GB+ of photos.

You can even configure your NAS to encrypt your data before copying it to the cloud, or get a second unit in your shed or friend's house - in case of fire or theft.

If you're that serious about your photos, you'll nip over to Anandtech and review the colour accuracy of screens from Apple, Samsung, MS, Lenovo etc. For serious workflows, local storage really isn't the chief criterion http://www.anandtech.com/show/9766/the-apple-ipad-pro-review/8

(Typed on a Dell with a 128GB spinning-rust HDD that is perfectly good for CAD and Photoshop. I'm not the only one using a 5 year old laptop, either)

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Dave 126
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Re: maybe next year ...

>They will discover there is also a market for candy bars,

These are widely available and cheap.

>flip, sliders and BB style QWERTY.

Get on Kickstarter then - easy enough to test the waters. If portable text input really is your thing, a phone case incorporating a Microwriter-style chorded keyboard would be a very good solution (and cheap to prototype and manufacture). The only downside would be the learning curve, but typing speeds faster than a small QWERTY would soon be achieved. It would also be suitable for blind users, and discreet note taking.

As for a BB style keyboard... give it a year or two and see if BB's hardware IP gets licensed out.

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Dave 126
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Re: Miniature big iPad

>I'd also like a machine with a bigger screen, say around the size of a book for when I want to read stuff, like when I'm on the train. ...

>Microsoft - you might also want to consider this too

The crazy thing is, Microsoft had a prototype years ago that was the size of a thin paperback that opened out to reveal two screens. It was called the 'Courier', and rumour is that Bill Gates told Ballmer to kill it. Obviously it wasn't suitable for watching films, but would have been very good at collating and annotating information, and making notes and sketches. It would also be the perfect companion to a 4" phone.

I really want a jacket-pocket sized tablet with high-end stylus for making sketches on the go (and of course, CAD allows sketches to become virtual models, force diagrams, rapid iterations, whatever). Think a iPad Mini Pro, but I don't care who makes it as long as the screen and digitiser are up to par.

It's interesting to note that Apple's Marc Newson has always recorded his initial concepts on a conventional A5 notepad (you don't need acres of space to sketch the essence of a concept - you can expand upon it later when you're back at your desk). Jony Ive isn't much of a computer user either - he prefers sketches and hand-formed materials at the initial design stage.

Of course designers have niche needs (greater than twittering or watching movies), which is why MS killed the Courier, and why Apple never bothered (before the iPad Pro) to step on Wacom's toes with something like a stylus-driven MacBook.

Interesting times.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good phone makers start to recognize there's a market for 4" devices...

Aye. I have a Sony Z3 Compact, but even that has a 4.7" screen and is quite a bit wider than an iPhone 5.

We all have different preference and compromises, but it'd be good to have a choice.

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FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help

Dave 126
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>How annoying would it be if, as stupid as it sounds, it turned out they did actually just copy all the data and crack the pin code in a VM?

That wouldn't work. You would also need the device's hidden ID, so get your acid and diamond tools ready.

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Dave 126
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Re: Iceberg aircraft carriers

A boat made of ice is self-repairing. It works.

However, espionage by psychic flying on the astral planes or whatever is pure hokum.

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Dave 126
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Re: Entirely predictable...

>Edward Snowden said weeks ago that the NSA didn't need any help from Apple.

Apple have released a few iterations of hardware and firmware since Snowdon was in the game.

This Apple/FBI spat actually goes back 18 months when Apple released iOS 8 and closed a loophole the FBI had been routinely using. Apple even sent the FBI a beta of iOS 8.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-03-20/the-behind-the-scenes-fight-between-apple-and-the-fbi

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What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

Dave 126
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Re: Good Ship Venus

Upon the wretched penguins

The crew committed grave sins

The birds they trussed

For a might thrust

Whilst grabbing hold of their wings

- I'm sure Loudon Wainwright III could pen better, filthier lyrics.

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Intel in 3D and virtual reality dash

Dave 126
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Re: Didn't we do VR back in the '90s?

We also did PDAs in the nineties, but the Apple Newton and even PalmPilot never achieved the ubiquity of today's capacitive touchscreen phones.

Tablet computers had been kicking around for a long time, but again were niche and largely built around Intel chips and WindowsXP Tablet Edition. They didn't become popular until SoCs became more efficient and more suitable GUIs had been developed.

Today's VR has some big advantages over efforts in the nineties:

- very low cost of entry for consumers to test the waters, if they already have a 5" smartphone they can cobble up a headset with some cardboard and lenses. More sophisticated integrated headsets are cheaper to make today (LCD screens, gyros and accelerometers) than they ever have been.

- content is easier to create. Live action VR content is easier to create today, with multiple HD cameras and clever software trickery allowing passible 360 scenes to be captured.

-support from some big players in the consumer space, such as Sony, Samsung, Facebook, Steam, Intel etc. In the nineties, Forte Technologies made a VR headset - but only really Gravis Ultrasound users had heard of them.

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Facebook, WhatsApp farewell BlackBerry

Dave 126
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>Quite a clear example of why the concept of downloadable "apps" for phones was stupid from the very beginning.

In the beginning, apps were a solution to:

-sub optimal text input

-low mobile data allowances

-integration with phone hardware that the browser couldn't do.

Things are different now. There are still some good reasons to have apps, and also moves by Google to use an app without installing it.

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Dave 126
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>Quite possibly due to the fact I don't see the point in CandyCrushSodaFarmStoryFriendsVajazzle.

That's akin to saying you don't see the point of a record shop because you don't like the high-selling pop music aimed at teenagers. Nor do I. There will still be a Jazz and Classical section towards the back of the store though.

Okay, that analogy is showing my age!

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Dave 126
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>I don't know, linking human psychology to the internet and bringing out the worst in people is a bit far fetched.

Libraries give information, but within the context of a dry, academic, lethargic environment. On the internet, some impressionable fools are able to find like-minded idiots, and achieve confirmation bias. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Beyond that, it is hard for me to judge in personal experience. I'm just glad that I came of age after 'gonzo' pornography became the norm (through the internet*). It's weird being with women ten years younger than myself and have them ask me what I want in such a way to infer that their perspective and that of their past partners has been informed by stuff they've been watching since their early teens**.

As an adult, I have no problem with the Marquis de Sade... it's clear from his comments about wanting to rape the sun that he was expressing a vector, not a destination, and that itself was a valid comment upon the insatiability of desire. Or whatever. The point is, I'm not taking him literally in a 'monkey see monkey do' kind of way. My views are informed by drinking lots of tea and beer with individual females.

*Of course, teenagers in mainland Europe in the 1990s could get their fill of smut from cable TV. Knowing them as adults in their twenties they seem just as well adjusted, if not better, than us censored Brits. Somerset Maugham commented about the inverse relationship between sexual material and sexual violance.

** Nothing new. According to one old dear, sat in her garden with a pith helmet and a garden gun because "the herons are after my gold fish again", anal sex was "all the rage" in the 1930s. One can't get pregnant in that way!

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Dave 126
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...there was no tin-opener to be found. . .I took the tin off myself and hammered at it till I was sick at heart, whereupon Harris took it in hand. We beat it flat; we beat it back square; we battered it into every shape known to geometry - but we could not make a hole in it. Then George went at it, and knocked it into a shape, so strange, so weird, so unearthly in its wild hideousness, that he got frightened.

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Dave 126
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Re: 3 men in a boat

I read Three Men on the Brummel after reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five. The latter, being set during the fire-bombing of Dresden in WWII read as a lament for the city. Three Men on the Brummel clicked with me for being an account of the city as it once stood.

That, and the narrator's observation that all by-laws are enforced by exact fines, thus any normal young Englishman could visit Germany and steal a policeman's helmet and walk on a lawn, and able to budget for his holiday down to the pfennig.

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Dave 126
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Re: I Keep Remembering It

>someone who asks how he can murder his wife

Poison her with chocolate. All chocolate is deadly toxic to wives.

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