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* Posts by Dave 126

4072 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Microsoft announces iPad amnesty for fanbois

Dave 126
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>"Microsoft will be hoping that customers use the dosh to buy a new Surface RT or Pro tablet, perhaps failing to notice the poor reviews it has clocked up."

Links to those reviews please! I knew the RT had clocked up poor reviews, but many reviews of the Surface Pro are middling to positive.

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TWO can play this 64-bit mobile game, says Samsung, crossly

Dave 126
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Re: Forget 64 bits, and fix the 1 bit that's broken - the battery

Didn't Motorola have a range of phones, with some variants having big batteries? (US-only, IIRC).

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Dave 126
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Thank you Larry, I'm glad some people here actually come here to speculate about where things might be heading in the future, rather than just bashing one brand or another.

Personally, I'd like a headless laptop in small form factor that use a tablet (or two, why not?!) as its display, but I don't think something like that will come from Apple.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why does Samsung have to wait for Google?

>n the past vendors have donated bits to Android

I'm hoping that LG donate to Android the work they've done to support 192Khz 24bit audio on their latest flagship handset. They've certainly released APIs to third party AV app developers.

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Dave 126
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>lets face the facts; Apple user's are not smart people

Yeah, judging how smart people are for their aptitude in a specific area of knowledge... that's clever. There's a fair chance that your father knows more about tuning motorcycles for speed, or carpentry perhaps, than you do - that doesn't by itself make you a moron.

I'd rather my doctor be smart at medicine, I certainly won't consider her to be an imbecile for choosing an easy-to-use phone. Messing around with Android ROMs might be fun and all, but I can appreciate that it not to everybody's taste. Some people paint, create beautiful gardens, bake great delicious cakes or play musical instruments instead.

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Nokia's 41Mp Lumia 1020 'launches' in UK - but hoi polloi must wait

Dave 126
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Out of curiosity, are you put off by the actual UI, the availability of particular apps, or the online services that winPho works well with? Just asking.

I'm an Android user, but I wish WinPho well - competition is good for Android, and iOS isn't really a competitor to the whole range of Android devices.

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Dave 126
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Hehe... and if you're feeling really daft, there is the Samsung Galaxy NX, a 'compact system camera' (or EVIL -electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) with 4G wireless connectivity. Trouble is, it cost more than a WiFi-only NX camera and a Galaxy S4 phone combined. Oh, and you can't use it as a phone.

http://www.samsungmobilepress.com/2013/06/21/GALAXY-NX-1

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Dave 126
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Re: Game over already

>With half the megapixels, the Xperia Z1 produces better, more detailed pictures in the real world according to reviews.

Which reviews? I read up on the Z1 when it was released and whilst it looks to be a damned fine handset, I don't recall any reviewers being amazed by its camera. However, the Z1 does take better pictures underwater than the Nokia, on account of the Nokia not being waterproof.

Nokia's approach takes a nice and simple approach based on the observation that most zoom photographs are taken during the day (landmarks, sports) and most low-light photos are taken at wide angle (indoors, parties, street scenes), so either cropping or interpolation is used accordingly.

If the Z1's camera were that good, Sony wouldn't bothering with their 'Smart Lens' (basically the lens and sensor - but not the screen - from one of two of Sony's existing compact cameras, one of which, the RX100 M2 is very well regarded)

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Intel touts 2-in-1s, the 'new' reincarnation of convertibles

Dave 126
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Re: 2 in 1

>Best at none.

Really? I really can't see where the inherent flaw with something like the Lenovo Yoga (the laptop that can assume a 'tent' position or emulate a tablet, albeit a fat one) is. The hinges might add a few grams, but that's about it.

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Dyson takes Samsung to court in UK over vacuum cleaner

Dave 126
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Anecdotal evidence, but...

...I don't see Dyson vacuum cleaners in skips any more... ten years ago they weren't an uncommon sight, usually with a snapped handle. I can only assume that they have improved over the years.

A Henry... now that's a vacuum cleaner!

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Intel reveals 14nm PC, declares Moore's Law 'alive and well'

Dave 126
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Re: Moore's Guidline or Observation is not a Law...

Tell that to Sod, or to Murphy. Tucker's Law is a variation of Sod's Law, but with added profanity.

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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Dave 126
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Re: It is affordable and useful

>"Since those seem to be your two main use cases, the iPhone is not a suitable device."

You missed the part in his original post about the technical apps he finds useful on the Apple App Store.

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Dave 126
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Re: "space gray"

Bronze - 70s retro. Will it fade to Zune brown?

Fixed it for ya!

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Opera unveils iPad-only browser

Dave 126
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Re: Eh?

I love pie-menus - hold RmouseButton and swipe West (or NW, N, NE, E etc...) - in the software that uses them.

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IRON MAN MUSK: Elon reveals Tony Stark-style 3D design smarts

Dave 126
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Re: I call bullshit

@killakrust

Agreed, the spinning and zooming is not at all impressive, especially since the CAD software probably made the 'view' commands open long ago (so that human input devices like the 3D Connexions SpaceNavigator can be used with it). Even before the Leap was released, its forums had lots of discussions about using it with CAD, and requests for people to help develop drivers.

A good Leap CAD interface for creation (rather than review) can be made, but I suspect it would have to be designed around the Leap, rather than using the Leap as a bolt-on. Before that happens, a lot of experimentation will be required to discover what works best.

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Dave 126
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Re: I call bullshit

>Engineering is parameter driven. All important thicknesses, angles, lengths are set by entering numbers on a keyboard

Actually, CAD workflow is usually to 'sketch' the design intent, and then 'constrain' the entities to each other and add dimensions. You might enter these dimensions with a keyboard, or they may be derived from the results of a simulation, a parts catalogue or a spreadsheet, or be defined with respect to another entity.

With constraints, mouse-using designers don't rely on pixel-perfect accuracy - they use 'snaps', which can work in 3D just as with a mouse. Relations between entities can be revisited and edited at any time.

Even if you want to type in your dimensions, the Leap is capable of recognising when your fingers are above a number pad. It could even allow you to use your desk as a virtual keyboard if you wanted. However, voice input would work better for a lone Tony Stark in his own workshop than it would for an engineer sharing an ofice with others!

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Dave 126
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Okay...

There have been threads for 3D CAD on the Leap Motion forums, even before the device was released, about this very sort of application. There was nothing surprising in the video, except that the presenter looked like Christopher Walken.

I've been wanting the Reg to feature the Leap and so steer some Reg commentards towards the Leap forums, because it is clear that the UI is in its infancy. It will take more than just hooking up to the CAD software's existing 'view' APIs to get the best out of this sort of set-up.

Another aspect of the 'Iron Man' workshop (as featured in the films) is a situation-aware assistant in the workshop; there is no division between Tony Stark's CAD workstation and his physical workbench. Something like this can be done today with Kinect and Siri-like kit. Basically, make the entire workshop an extension of the CAD interface, in such a way that designs can easily moved back and forth between the real and the virtual.

A workshop that makes a note of your spoken dimensions every time you pick up a measure tape. A workshop that photographs and digitises your back of an envelope sketches. A workshop that creates a CAD layout based on where you've placed some cardboard boxes (cardboard and duck tape is often a better and quicker way of appraising a design than a CAD simulation). A workshop that can use a laser to project cut lines.

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Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

Dave 126
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Re: Truth or consequences

>" In fact there was something on Radio4 about this the other day, "Word of Mouth" if I recall correctly where they were investigating what you can and can't say about people. The BBC lawyer they were speaking to was crystal clear that you can be honest about former employees and there is no problem with that at all."

That was a good programme, and the concepts explained clearly. In the same sort of way that journalists have an obligation to their readers to provide accurate information, so do former employers.

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Want the latest Android version? Good luck with that

Dave 126
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Re: MTP vs UMS

Cheers Jordan, that's a good link!

"However the cost [ of a unified storage model] is that Android can no longer ever yield up the storage for the host PC to molest directly over USB. Instead we use MTP. On Windows (which the majority of users use), it has built-in MTP support in Explorer that makes it look exactly like a disk."

The annoying thing is that MTP support in Windows Explorer might look like a disk, but doesn't behave like a disk. Example: Explorer doesn't present an 'Open with...' option in the context menu for files on a MTP device. So, even if you normally have .JPGs associated with Picasa Photo Viewer or IrfanView, Explorer will open pictures on your phone with Windows Photo Viewer (urgh).

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Dave 126
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Re: MTP vs UMS

Some Sony Xperia phones give you the option to connect as Mass Storage Class, since Google did away with it.

Just what is the world coming to when a Sony device connects to a computer more easily than its rivals, and without any special software? It must be the end of days...

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Dave 126
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Re: Windows Mobile was worse!

>Google need to be a lot firmer with operators and manufacturers.

Google don't need to get firmer because they have introduced a cunning workaround. Basically, Google have moved much of what Android does into a piece of software that is updated through the Play Store, and so doesn't involve the carriers in any way.

Have a look at the linked article in the first post.

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Dave 126
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Does it matter?

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/balky-carriers-and-slow-oems-step-aside-google-is-defragging-android/

"Google's strategy is clear. Play Services has system-level powers, but it's updatable. It's part of the Google apps package, so it's not open source. OEMs are not allowed to modify it, making it completely under Google's control. Play Services basically acts as a shim between the normal apps and the installed Android OS.

"Nearly everything that can be moved out of the main OS has been. The only features left that would require an OS update are things like hardware support, Application Frameworks APIs, and Apps that require a certain level of security or access (like the lock screen, Phone, and Settings apps).

"This is how you beat software fragmentation. When you can update just about anything without having to push out a new Android version, you have fewer and fewer reasons to bother calling up Samsung and begging them to work on a new update. When the new version of Android brings nothing other than low-level future-proofing, users stop caring about the update."

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Xiaomi plans global domination with fast smartphones and software

Dave 126
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Re: Good grief!

Their stated aim has been to sell hardware at close to cost, and to sell services on top. Their custom Android ROM (available for a range of phones from different manufacturers) looks interesting, with what look to be genuinely useful improvements over stock Android:

http://en.miui.com/features.php

I hope they do well!

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Smartwatch craze is all just ONE OFF THE WRIST

Dave 126
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Re: How refreshing

Grease? That's the fun thing about engineering very small things - cube and square roots being what they are, friction becomes more of a concern the smaller things get; hence the use of jewels as bearings in mechanical watches.

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Dave 126
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Re: Orly?

But what happens if someone uses an EMP weapon?!!!

(I'm joking : D )

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Dave 126
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Re: nothing wrong with digital watches

Er, most analogue watches are as accurate as 'digital' watches... the quartz timekeeping mechanism is the same in both types. Most mechanical watches are analogue, but not all analogue watches are mechanical.

I wear a quartz analogue watch, and find the rotating bezel a far quicker and easier way of noting a set time (ie when my parking ticket expires, or when I put a pie in the oven) than fiddling with my phone's countdown time. The benefit of wearing the watch (always having quick access to time) might be low, but the cost of wearing the watch is also low (it's small, tough, isn't shabby-looking and only requires attention every few years) is even lower.

Functions, that used to be on my digital watches (chiefly alarms, perpetual calender) I use my phone for, becuase it does them better .

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Dave 126
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Re: The big thing about digital watches

>the ritual of listening for the BBC radio time pips to set their watches.

And that's ANOTHER thing that is wrong with DAB! It's a few seconds out!

/end shout

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Dave 126
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Re: I remember watches ( Charles 9)

>What piece of shit phone do you own that won't work at all unless it has a signal?

I can't answer that. However, I don't like the fact that most Android phones can't wake themselves up for the alarm clock (so if you are low on batteries and have to wake up at certain hour the next morning you have to use Airplane mode and cross your fingers), something all my previous dumb- and feature-phones could do.

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Now we know why UK spooks simply shrugged at SSL encryption

Dave 126
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Re: They're doing their job.

>How afraid I, as a private individual, should be of this sort of thing, I really don't know.

There is probably little reason to be afraid of the NSA or GCHQ themselves. There would more risk of one of their employees taking out a grudge on you for some imagined slight, and abusing these systems for that end (BOFH style). If Snowden could access more than he was supposed to, then so could someone with less idealistic (okay, the jury is out) motives. Still very unlikely though.

Of course the real fear is that we don't know what governments will look like in ten or twenty years time... were a totalitarian regime come into being, it would have some handy tools for bashing any dissenting voices.

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Dave 126
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Re: The code-ring on the golf course

>Most intelligence data is time-critical. It has a very short shelf-live.

That said, being able to read in 2223 messages sent between foreign powers and their embassies in 2013 (store data now, wait for Moore's Law to help out, decrypt) would still be of great benefit. It would give some valuable insights into your rival / trading partner, such as the difference between what they say and what they think.

Some games are short term, other are much longer.

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Finns, roamers, Nokia: So long, and thanks for all the phones

Dave 126
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Re: Lumia 1020 don't understand the fuss.

Yeah, you can.... but not at the same compact size. Heck, you can get a proper DSLR plus kit lens for £300, but people still buy compact cameras because, well, they are compact. If you haven't got your camera with you at the time, you can't prove that the Loch Ness Monster when you catch it making love to your car.

(The nice thing is that manufacturers are picking up on this, and the range of high quality yet pocketable cameras has swelled in the last couple of years, to suit many definitions of 'pocket' ... RX100, LX-7, X-10, S-110)

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Dave 126
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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

>I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone... ... but there's no way I'm moving to Windows Phone

Sony has your corner. Basically they've stuck the important internals (lens, sensor, processor) from the very-highly rated RX100 M2 compact camera into a smallish unit that uses your phone's screen.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/06/sony-qx10-qx100-preview_n_3878299.html

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Hands on: Panasonic bakes a 20-INCH tablet for big biz to swallow

Dave 126
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Re: One problem...

Some do make that requirement, but most allow consumer hardware, or can be tricked into thinking your GeForce is a Quadro. Anyway, in the article:

However, the Performance model won’t be seen until 2014 and benefits from a Core i7 chip (TBA), 8GB of RAM (16GB max) with an Nvidia Quadro GPU.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's CAD, Jim...

There are some applications that work better with a touch-screen (a virtual mixing desk, for example), just as there are many that are better used with mouse and keyboard, or indeed a stylus.

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Wrist SLAP: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch hands-on

Dave 126
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Re: Meh

Cheers Wize, your suggestion of a cheap camera pen from Alibaba seems much less hassle than having my eyeballs swapped out for some Nikons, and far safer than plumbing up some wormholes.

Alas, your handy tips won't be of much us to me, cos I never had those blackmail and voyeurism neuro-cartridges implanted in my brain (back when they were on a buy-one-get-one-free special offer)

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

>I don't need a heart monitor.

You probably don't, at least not now and for many more years to come I hope! However, some people would benefit from one- and their GP might appreciate a week's data log when a patient presents with some chest symptoms. Many people, usually the more elderly, have emergency call pendants. 'Wearable tech' is already here for some limited cases, and may move in towards the mainstream.

Some people wear what looks like a piece if jewellery but marked with information, to alert medics to drug allergies and the like. Obviously a pendant or bracelet is less obtrusive than a current-generation smart-watch, but electronic kit tends to get smaller over time.

I agree about the camera - it adds bulk and can make people feel awkward. However, I suspect Samsung's intended market for this Mark I product are those that want every conceivable feature whether they need it or not (ie Galaxy S4 owners... friendly joke : ))

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Dave 126
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Re: "...should work with any Android handset."

Samsung's decision to limit this watch to some specific handsets makes more sense if you see the Gear as dipping a toe in the pool. It's a Mark I product.

Not many people will buy a smart watch right now - even those interested in the concept will choose to wait until (if) such things mature a little bit. So that leaves the determined first adopters as the target market, many of whom are the sort to have bought a Galaxy S4 or Note already because they are amongst the highest spec'ed handsets around.

Samsung probably don't expect to sell millions of this model, haven't tooled up for it- so if supply of the Gear is limited they might as well limit the list of compatible handsets to those that show the Gear off to its best (or at least the phones with the right hardware and that Samsung have control over).

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh

In a Iain M. Banks story, the Culture visit Earth and remark incredulously upon a No Photography notice in a museum:

"They want to own the light?"

William Gibson is a bit more inclined towards prosthetic-eyeballs, so that glamour films can be captured from the starlet's point of view. If prosthetic eyeballs are ever introduced for medical reasons, there will likely be some call for DRM so that images transmitted to the brain can't be backed up for future replay.

Arthur C Clarke employed wormholes to explore the issues of a zero-privacy world.

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Dave 126
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Re: Oh dear

>http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/30/4677066/google-acquires-android-smartwatch-manufacturer-wimm-labs

Apparently Google snaffled up smart-watch makers WIMM a little while back. I'm ignorantly assuming that some of the work done on Google Glass is transferable to a smart-watch, and vice versa ( similar constraints, such as power efficiency, battery placement, unorthodox UIs, as examples).

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Dave 126
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>I know they want to try and build a brand but it's built on Android so should work with any Android handset.

Good point. I'll wait and see what turns up on XDA-forums down the line.

To be fair though, most current Android phones don't have the right Bluetooth hardware- though I'm sure that will be different in a years time.

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Dave 126
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The first iPhone wasn't 3G (because it would have made the battery life a standing joke) and it didn't allow copy/paste (presumably to make the UI simpler). A case can be made for those omissions.

Samsung don't like omitting anything it seems (to delight of my inner geek), putting in more features than are needed, and producing something that is too pricey and too bulky for many.

Where smart-watches might come into their own is amongst the more frail amongst us- the Galaxy Gear watch already features an emergency help feature (pressing the power button three times repeatedly sends text messages and location information to pre-selected contacts) and a heart-rate monitor.

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It's the software, stupid: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch bags big apps

Dave 126
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Re: strange idea

People who have a Rolex can usually afford to have several watches, a cheap Casio for the swimming pool, a heart-rate monitor for the gym, some old military-issue on a NATA strap for more casual events.

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Dave 126
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Re: Modify a previous design

Apple could have easily bunged some Bluetooth chippery in their old Nano and sold it as a connected companion to the iPhone... it would probably have been alight, and occasionally useful (a remote control for media playback), but it wouldn't have been without some obvious flaws.

The Reg did report recently on an Apple patent for a micro-perforated aluminium touch screen- it's looks like a sheet of normal aluminium, but tiny holes allow for pixels to be seen through it, and touches can be sensed through distortion of the sheet. The patent application mentioned keyboards (the current Apple Wireless keyboard has a power-indicator LED that is nearly invisible when off) but the technique has some obvious potential for a smart-watch.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bastards!

The HTC One might do it:

http://www.androidcentral.com/htc-one-android-43-gets-bluetooth-40-certification

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Dave 126
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>Only Casio’s Bluetooth G-Shock smartwatch comes close to the look of a "real" watch.

Er...?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Citizen-Proximity-Bluetooth-Chronograph-AT7030-05E/dp/B009LDL7UO

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Dave 126
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Re: Getting your imitation in first?

There have been watches with cameras on for... well decades. I'm sure I remember reading about a Cold War-era spy camera mounted in a watch, but all my search terms return are links to that GP who used a modern digital camera watch to film his abuse of patients.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bastards!

Samsung isn't really shooting themselves in the foot - they are just ahead of the Android pack and waiting for them to catch up. They have put Bletooth LE hardware in their kit before support for the standard was rolled out in the last major Android update.

Oh, Google bought a smartwatch start-up a few years ago, but the deal was kept secret until last week when some law firm leaked it. If you wanted to develop a smartwatch in secret, you could do worse than to make a song and dance about some smart-spectacles you are also working on.

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Dave 126
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Re: If only...

You'd still be limited to iDevices, newer Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets, and some MS Surface and Nokia gizmos - most Android devices lack Bluetooth LE hardware.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: The mobe for CHUCK NORRIS TYPES

Dave 126
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Re: I like it except for one detail

The Sony Xperia Z has two external studs so it can be charged in a (optional) cradle without having to faff around removing a rubber plug from the microUSB socket... I couldn't see anything like that on the S4 Active judging in the pictures in this article.

That said, just because one co-molded plasticky-rubbery flap breaks off after a few hundred open/close cycles doesn't mean that all of them do.

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Reports: NSA has compromised most internet encryption

Dave 126
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Re: You'd be...

Smiley does not retrieve his Ronson cigarette lighter from the ground, after it is dropped by his nemesis.

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