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* Posts by Dave 126

4322 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Apple stalls iWatch, 12.9-inch iPad from Quanta rumored for mid-2014

Dave 126
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Re: No, it wouldn't

>But why do you want to create content with a tablet? If you're doing that, wouldn't you want a laptop so you can run proper content creation software? I doubt Adobe is coming out with full featured tablet versions of their software suite anytime soon.

Because, for certain tasks such as drawing or a using a virtual mixing desk for audio, a tablet is better suited to the job. You use a keyboard for typing, you might use a gamepad (or a steering wheel, or a mouse) for gaming... whatever works best. There is no inherent reason why an ARM-based OS such as Android or iOS can't run decent productivity apps. Of course there will always be a role for machines that have lots of RAM, storage and IO, but the the underlying OS is irrelevant to the user as long as the UI is fit for purpose.

Adobe's take on it is not to replace laptops with tablets, but enable them to be a very useful companion devices.

If I was on site and wanted to make a note of dimensions, for example, a tablet with a sketching/drafting app would be my tool of choice.

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Dave 126
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Re: No, it wouldn't

>why does anyone think a 12.9" tablet is a good idea?

Wacom already make two (one Android, one full fat Win8) with a digitiser and stylus... A tablet that size would be better for creating content, such as touching up photos. I seem to remember reading that most 10" iPads spend most of their time at home, so a 13" screen is worthwhile if it brings some advantages.

Wacom aren't the only people trying to bring productivity to tablets- Adobe are bringing out their first hardware products soon, a pen and 'smart ruler'.

This is a market in which Apple have traditionally played a role, and the easier to sell niches (iPhone for pocket, iPad Mini for bag, iPad for sofa) are becoming saturated...

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Apple guru Sir Jony's RED beer can PC raises $980k for AIDS fight

Dave 126
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Re: Corporate Image Monopoly

That thing that Bono was looking for.... do you think he's found it yet?

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Dave 126
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> last week's auction included a set of rose-gold plated Apple earbud headphones

They are solid rose-gold, not plated.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/null-n09014/lot.5.html

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Samsung and HTC face Android 3D graphics test chart removal SHAME

Dave 126
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Oh well...

The fraction of people who consult benchmarks before buying is fairly small, and tend to read the likes of Anandtech. Of those people, I suspect a majority would have heard about these benchmark shenanigans, and would have quickly found online resources that give alternate measures - or a qualitative assessment - of a phone's performance.

So it would it seem that all Samsung and HTC's goosing of the benchmarks can only mislead a small sliver of their potential market.

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iCan't quite hear you: Apple teams up with Danish firm to make hearing aids

Dave 126
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Wearable tech?

Wearable [connected] consumer tech is still in its infancy, but our ageing population may result in more people wearing smart devices - even if they do look a bit clunky.

Watches that measure blood pressure and heart rate, and then communicate this data to a mobile phone, either to log it or to make it available to a district nurse or GP, would be an obvious example. Adding a Distress Call function to the watch would be suitable for some users.

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Little devil: Electric Imp is an Internet of Things Wi-Fi PC-ON-AN-SD-CARD

Dave 126
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Re: Looks fun...

I would have thought that the mouse itself governs its LED lamp; I'm not sure the PC can control it directly.

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Dave 126
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Re: conflicting form factors

Advanced information? I googled images for "Imp card pinout" and "Sd card pinout"... I was following a hunch that the creator of this kit a, knows what he is doing, and b, doesn't want to be sued into the middle of next week for bricked kit.

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Dave 126
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Re: Missing the point

>Devices are expensive because the design and certification costs for mains-voltage equipment are significant and there simply isn't a big enough market to for the cost-per-unit to be reasonable

I guess Low Voltage LED lights have helped here.

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Dave 126
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Re: Looks fun...

You can get a used Android phone off eBay for £25... easier than removing this Imp from whatever light fixture you mounted it in.

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Dave 126
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Re: conflicting form factors

Adding a plastic 'wumph' (boss? flange?) would add significant cost, both in tooling a new mould for the 'sd card' case, and for the slot it fits into. Such a flange would also risk mechanical damage to a device not designed to accept it, should a dopey user attempt to force it in.

As it is, it won't damage anything it is wrongly inserted into, it just won't do anything. In this respect, it is no different to inserting an SDXC Card into an older, plain SD Card device.

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Flash stash on toppa platta: WD's tasty Black² 1TB combo for LAPTOPS

Dave 126
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Re: Shame it's not supported on Apple kit

>I know Apple's equivalent is their "fusion drive", but I can't seem to find this as a standalone purchase

You can't find the Fusion Drive for sale because it is not a physical product- it's actually a Logical Volume Manager baked into OSX's CoreStorage.

You can build your own Fusion Drive if have a suitable Mac*:

http://blog.macsales.com/17624-os-x-10-8-3-provides-fusion-drive-setup-option-for-non-fusion-drive-equipped-macs

*if you have one of the following:

A Mac that you can install both a Solid State Drive and a Hard Disk Drive into. So that’s the iMac (2009 or newer), MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer) with Data Doubler, or MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer) again with Data Doubler, Mac mini (Early / Late 2009, Mid 2010 Server, and Mid 2011 or newer) with Data Doubler Kit or Data Doubler where applicable, or Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer).

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Meet the BlackBerry wizardry that created its 'better Android than Android'

Dave 126
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Re: All worthless thou.

>Go get a Nexus5 and save yourself the grief that will surely accompany BB10 ownership.

>>I have followed your advice and am still trying to work out where to insert my SD card. Also, I can no longer go two days between battery charges. How do I fix this?

Er, trade it in for an LG G2?

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Dave 126
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Re: The next step

A bit like Samsung's KNOX efforts, then?

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Julie Larson-Green: Yes, MICROSOFT is going to KILL WINDOWS

Dave 126
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Re: Where do all these feet come from?

And of that Windows-only software, some lends itself to being run on a remote server and accessed from any OS.

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Xbox One FAILS to beat PS3 - yes, PS 3 - week one sales

Dave 126
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Wasn't the PS3 amongst the more affordable BluRay players on launch?

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Dave 126
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How so? Were either the XBONE or PS4 were to die on the vine, there would still be competition between software publishers.

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Confirmed: Apple gives nod to gobblement of Kinect-maker PrimeSense

Dave 126
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Re: R&D budget increased again

That's a big part part of design. We all do it... putting up some shelves? Let's see what brackets are available from the hardware store. Making an MP3 player? Let's see what HDDs Toshiba will sell us in six months time. Making a handheld device? Let's see if there are any small companies using novel human input methods we can buy (FingerWorks)

It's usually cheaper and easier to go shopping than it is to make everything yourself.

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Dave 126
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Re: Or...

Depends on the licensing deal MS signed with them. MS might not have been daft enough to bet their future products on technologies that could be suddenly whipped away from them if the originating company was bought by a rival.

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Dave 126
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Re: Apple TV set or gaming?

Gaming and Apple: Discuss.

Really, it's a weird one. It seems Apple have never put that much effort into games. They have had the market position to release a reference design game controller add-on for iDevices (Nintendo's turf), but never have done. The only game I remember Steve Jobs presenting was Halo, back when it was a Real Time Strategy work in progress. The Pippin died with the rest of the Apple clones.

It's almost as if gaming is an area Apple are wary of, maybe because the market used to encourage perpetual hardware upgrading.

True, may games are released for iOS, (some even working between devices such as an iPhone and an iTV or iPad) but Apple don't seem to talk it up beyond updating their mobile graphics hardware (which has utility besides running games).

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'Best known female architect' angrily defends gigantic vagina

Dave 126
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Re: No idea

That would be a lamb sausage, then... pork isn't a popular meat in those parts.

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BRAGGIE-GASM: Rotund DOTCOM copies MILEY CYRUS on XBOX DAY!

Dave 126
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Well...

There is always Photoshop... Here's me taking tea with Cameron Diaz, and using a Playstation 5 as a place mat. On the moon.

And here's me and Kofi Annan on the piss, dancing atop a Steinway piano having just broken into the Royal Albert Hall for a giggle.

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Super-stealth FLYING CAR prototype seen outside GOOGLE HQ

Dave 126
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Re: Ever been close to a Heli?

I'm not sure that anyone expects it to take off vertically.

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Dave 126
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Not only that, but one tech billionaire is making himself a car that can convert into a submarine! (Or rather, has bought a submarine that looks like a car and wants to make it work as a car as well)

Isn't like being a kid again, and your friend has got a really cool RC car but won't let you have a go with it? (sorry pal, the batteries are flat and will take 3 hours to charge)

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Dave 126
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Re: hmm

>Re "Making the fans movable just adds weight and complexity when all you actually need is for them to be individually controllable." Ah, yes. Making ten different fans individually controllable will decrease the complexity of the control system. I stand in awe of your logic.

Moveable fans = *mechanical* complexity = more weight

Fan speed individually controllable = more control electronics = negligible increase in weight

The processing required to control multiple fans can be fitted into a very small quadcopter, to stunning results.... have a look at:

http://www.ted.com/talks/vijay_kumar_robots_that_fly_and_cooperate.html

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Star Wars exec: These ARE THE DROIDS I was LOOKING FOR

Dave 126
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Re: Smart PR move

I hope it's good, because of the cast - Gary Oldman, Michael K Williams, Samuel L Jackson - but it probably won't be. On the bright side, the bad press surrounding this (and the remake of Total Recall) appears to have killed the mooted remake of Starship Troopers, another Paul Verhoeven classic.

Oh, if you like the satire, and don't mind a limited effects budget, Starship Troopers 3 has the tongue in cheek attitude (and Johnny Rico) of the first film.

I would say I'd like to see another satirical sci-fi Verhoeven film, but then recent efforts by fellow 1980 sci-fi directors J. Cameron and R. Scott have been disappointing / infuriating.

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Dave 126
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Excellent!

I've never heard of the R2D2 Makers Club either, though I did stumble on a YouTube video the other day of a man making his own Iron Man outfit. (I was making something completely different, but thought his technique of preparing polysterene with three coats of PVA before applying car body filler - otherwise it melts - might be useful)

The video links to his website http://xrobots.co.uk/ and it would seem there are worse places to go to if you want to build an R2-D2 - he shares his tips on techniques and materials, using foams, plastics, 3D printing, electronics etc. He is also a Raspberry Pi user, though it seems he hasn't had much of chance to play with yet.

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Bill Gates orders HITMAN to KILL right-hand man STEVE BALLMER

Dave 126
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"Simpsons done it"

Bill Gates: Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can't figure out what, if

anything, Compuglobalhypermeganet does, so rather than risk competing with

you, I've decided simply to buy you out.

Homer: I reluctantly accept your proposal!

Bill Gates: Well everyone always does. Buy 'em out, boys!

[Gates' lackeys trash the room.]

Homer: Hey, what the hell's going on?!

Bill Gates: Oh, I didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks! [insane

laughter]

Sadly, Bill Gates didn't guest star; instead he was portrayed by Hank Azaria (Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy)

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Dear-ly beloved: Apple’s costly iPad Mini with Retina Display

Dave 126
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I think AC may have been referring to some studies, reported here in the Reg, that a larger proportion of iOS users pay for their apps. He's correct.

July 2013 http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/07/18/iphone-users-pay-average-of-19-cents-per-app-android-users-pay-just-6-cents

July 2011 http://gigaom.com/2011/07/11/ios-users-buy-more-apps-and-pay-more-for-them/

July 2013 http://bgr.com/2013/05/31/android-ios-app-revenue-whatsapp/ "In April 2013, the Google Play vs. iOS app revenue balance stood at 27% to 73%. "

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Dave 126
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Anandtech report 13.6 hours for a 720p H.264 video, though they make no mention of screen brightness or WiFi state. Reg got six-and-a-half hours for a 1080p when Wi-Fi was connected, and the screen brightness set at 50 per cent.

I don't know if the discrepancy is in the video codec, the higher bitrate, or the WiFi and screen.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7519/apple-ipad-mini-with-retina-display-reviewed/5

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Dave 126
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>The beauty of a small tablet is that it can fit in a suit or jacket pocket ..... the iPad fails in this respect. Also makes it poor for watching movies.

That's an inevitable consequence of the iPads screen's 4:3 aspect ratio - until such a time as a foldable display is available. I've used netbooks with 16:9 letterbox displays that I've found frustrating for general web-browsing.

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Dave 126
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>I honestly can’t see a reason for Joe Soap to favour one over, say, the Nexus 7

Software, software, and the odd bit of hardware. Most people will have their needs met by the range of apps available on Android, but there are some who will be better served by iOS - particularly in the area of music creation. More annoyingly for me (I'm an Android user) is the range of 3rd party hardware that is designed to work with iDevices (most commonly, the remote controls on wired headsets - and there is no one single Android system; even a single vendor like Sony have released Android devices with slightly different headset implementations), and hardware that works in conjunction with apps only available for iOS (some DSLRs, Adobe's upcoming Napoleon Ruler and Mighty Pen)

The converse is also true; there is no waterproof iDevice, none with built in IR, none that has NFC (though its a feature I've never used on my phone).

It's up to the individual user to asses their own wants. and decide if its worth the £100+ price difference.

(Though the Reg is not guilty of this, I'm getting bored of reading reviews of smartphone apps and games on tech-sites, and only reading at the end of the piece that it is available for iOS)

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HURRI-KANO: Raspberry Pi kit for kids STORMS past funding target

Dave 126
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Re: BUSI-ENGI-KANO

Get yourself down Lidl (or was it Aldi)... I was in one of them on Monday and they were selling 'radio solder' with real lead in it. The new lead-free stuff (which I thought had been banned from sale) can be trickier to use (less grace time between heating it with flux and applying it) and less reliable.

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Lumia 1520: Our man screams into ENORMO new Nokia phondleslab

Dave 126
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I used to get authentication errors when trying to connect to the internet on older Samsung feature phones when the time and date were wildly incorrect (usually following a battery removal).... again, it wouldn't have hurt to put a 'Is your device showing the correct time and date?" prompt alongside the error message.

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3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

Dave 126
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Such software already exists, kind of. Midrange CAD packages often have a 'Scan to 3D' module, to allow the output of a laser scanner (a point cloud) to be turned into a mesh, or to be used a reference to create curves (which are then used as reference or to loft surfaces.

After that, there is a 'Start feature recognition?' dialogue, which attempts to convert the 'dumb geometry' into features, within a tolerance (i.e, this shape is an approximation of a cylinder, so let's call it an extruded circle. Now that it is a defined 'feature', the variables such as circle radius and extrusion length can be modified.

It's not perfect, but it would be easier to write software to recognise specific features (a simple gear cog, for example) and then perform fairly standard modifications (compensate for wear at the end of the teeth)

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes, a "solution looking for a problem"

Lasers are often used for cutting sheet metal (having no mechanical link between the workpeice and the tool is a good thing- you don't have to build your X-Y mechanism to withstand torque and vibration), and for etching serial numbers and the like. There is also a hard-wearing marking technique, where a chemical is sprayed onto a piece and activated by a laser, leaving text or a logo - the remaining chemical is then washed off.

Laser measuring and surveying is also very useful. '3D scanner'.

Lasers are also used to calibrate in real time the adjustable mirrors of ground-based telescopes to adjust for atmospheric interference.

Lasers can also be used for a form of 'additive manufacturing' nee 'rapid prototyping' called sterolithography (the process that gives .STL files their name) in which two laser beams activate a photo-cured resin at the point of their intersection.

They make your sent-from-the-future killer cyborg look cool (though in 1984 the laser sight on Arnie's handgun had to be powered by a hidden battery and cable running up his sleeve).

They might, maybe, one day, possibly, play a part in commercial fusion energy production.

Not sure if if mentioning Jean Micheal Jarre and the Ozric Tentacles helps my case here.

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Cocky Microsoft strokes soft tool in public for 3D printing on Windows 8.1

Dave 126
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Re: He who laughs last...

>Free and easy to use entry level CAD/CAM software.

I haven't used Sketch Up (now owned by Google) but I've been led to believe it satisfies these criteria.

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Dave 126
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Re: Any colour as long as it's white?

Coloured 3D printers do exist, but the assumption is that either the colour doesn't matter ( a prototype to assess the form and fit) or that you are going to have to sand, fill, sand, prime and paint anyway (an appearance model). Defects in lighter-coloured objects are easier spot, because shadows show up more.

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Magnetic slurry could deliver heatsink-as-a-service

Dave 126
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Re: Neat.

Wasn't there a big American car that could, in the case of radiator damage, run on just a couple of its cylinders, and then switch to the others to avoid overheating? I seem to remember it on a Top Gear episode over ten years ago.

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Boffins ponder wireless 'hetnets' as home backhaul helpers

Dave 126
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Re: How do the propose to stop spy agencies and other criminals listening in?

Dunno. Maybe wait for that crowdsourced audit of TrueCrypt to be completed?

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Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

Dave 126
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Re: Between the lines

The Anandtech review of the LG G2, which share the same chipset according to this review, suggests the chipset is responsible for a good bit of the extended battery life.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Like all Xperias the battery is fixed in place."

The battery in the Xperia Go is replaceable, but the one in the Xperia P is not- that I know from first hand experience. Other models in the range I have to take someone else's word for.

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Dave 126
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Re: Making waterproof their own

The Samsung S4 Active is also waterproof, but apparently hard to find as part of a UK tariff.

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Dave 126
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I use the FM radio on my phone from time to time. I wish it had a sleep timer though, so that falling asleep with it on doesn't deplete the battery fully.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bigger not always better

@LarsG

Behave.

Sony do update phones. My 2012 Xperia has been updated to ICS, and then again to Jelly Bean, with a smaller update after that. Not only that, but XDA consider them the friendliest vendor for custom ROMs.

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Schiller: 'Almost everyone' at Apple works on iPhones - not Macs or anything

Dave 126
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Re: yeah right.

I guess the iPod Touch is the 'budget iPhone' - it does most of the things the iPhone does, but since you're not paying full-whack then you are limited to only using it to its full in WiFi hotspots (for teenagers that means at home, round at their mate's house, on school and college campuses, coffee shops and burger joints... i.e: most places for the urban teenager)

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Dr Wolfram touts coding language to revolutionise mankind ... just like Wolfram Alpha did

Dave 126
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Re: I don't hold out much hope if WolframAlpha is a guide

It got there in the end for me... I had to click on the suggested link 'closest star to earth', and then it stalled for a minute, then gave me the answer 'The Sun'. However, a chart of the six closest stars was presented at the bottom of the page.

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Dave 126
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>most of the problems I see in our software relates to requirements that have not been adequately communicated.

That was one of the points of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL wasn't 'evil', and 'he' hadn't malfunctioned (like many prior sci-fi computers and robots); 'he' had merely been given poorly communicated instructions by humans who hadn't fully simulated the scenario (because of very human political considerations).

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Dave 126
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I just tried Wolfram Alpha on "Which city is farthest North?", and variations such as "most northerly city" and "northern city" etc... I liked the way it showed its 'thinking' (e.g it tells me that it assumes 'Northern' to be the name of a band), but it didn't give me the answer I was looking for.

I now know there is a city called North, South Carolina.

Oh well.

However, if there was a consistent and widely used synatx or language for phrasing search terms, I might be inclined to learn a bit of it.

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The right time to drink coffee

Dave 126
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Re: Only DECAF for me.

The other thing that can mess with your sleep is light of the wrong intensity and colour ('colour temperature', or 'white balance'). You can lie in bed and snooze off whilst reading a dead-tree book by the warm light of a incandescant bulb (or alternative of the right colour), but the typically cool light of a TV, laptop or tablet is the enemy of sleep because it messes with our circadian rhythms.

I use a freeware application called F.Lux on my computer, that changes the colour temperature depending on the time of day and the date (and one's location on the Earth). It basically means that the 'white' on my monitor more closely resembles a sheet of white paper in the room, since by day the room is lit by sunlight and at night by a 'warm' LED.

F.Lux can be disabled for an hour for 'colour accurate work', but it makes you think how the room's ambient light can affect your perception of colours on screen.

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