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* Posts by Dave 126

4212 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Nvidia's skirt-chasing chips ogle babes, eyeball Twitter and YouTube

Dave 126
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Re: End User

>Just don't see the average Joe snapping away at pretty girls to identify her shoes

Average Joe maybe not, Average Jolene possibly... though Jolene might just ask the pretty girl where she got those gorgeous shoes. As a demo of the tech though, clothes might interest more people than agricultural or military applications.

In another Reg article today, some pervert in a pet shop was caught trying to use an iPad app to identify what brand of knickers an attractive female shopper was wearing.

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Samsung: We're doing smart watches too

Dave 126
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Re: Rolex?

Just a thought: As our population ages, more medical devices will be worn- either transmitting data to doctors or relatives in real-time, or logging it to provide more data points for the quack to work with.

This ageing population may be the reason why many posh watches (in the £1500+) are now often around 42mm in diameter instead of the traditional smaller faces... changes in taste might explain it, but it might also be a consequence of there being more wearers with presbyopia- especially since a posh watch has been a traditional retirement gift.

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Dave 126
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Re: Working on it for so long...

>Yeah, 30 seconds after information about an Apple watch - sometimes i think Apple make stuff up, leak it to see what Samsung does. Quite funny really.

Not really: Samsung and Sony have both made smartwatches before. On top of that, all firms are finding that their smartphones are getting more mature and thus less exciting each year. Add to that the 'just around the corner' promise of flexible components such as displays and batteries, and advances in wireless charging and processor efficiency... and you'll see why these watch stories are emerging at the same time.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm pretty sure neither of them were first to smartwatches

>So who's patents are they?

Full-blown watch-phones were sold years ago (but they just weren't worthwhile for fairly obvious reasons) and the concept itself can't be protected by patents- see Dick Tracey. What might be covered by patents are the clever things you do to implement the concept.

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Dave 126
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Re: ...

@ Mr Hagood

- Indeed, the first working watch-phone was made years ago- it didn't catch on for the very reasons you outlined: Ergonomics.

@ Eddy Ito

I've seen that design in concept form over ten years ago (it was featured in 'Spoon 100', pub. Phaidon) - the strap was like those wrist snap toys - when removed from the wrist it was rigid, and placed the mike and earpiece in the correct place). Whilst it neatly answers most of the ergonomic points raised by Mr Hagood above, it was before the raise of the 4"+ screened smartphone, and I suspect that people will be happy to keep a handset in their pocket for the screen-based functionality it offers.

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Dave 126
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Re: If this is a "watch" I'd be very surprised

>A real GOOD watch will go for £300-£400, anything less and the shops consider them 'fashion' watches they expect to last only a few years...

The Casio G-Shock with low power Bluetooth remote control for iPhone is to be released at around £111, and like other G shocks is designed to last upwards of ten years http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/49247/casio-g-shock-gb-6900-watch-other-colours. Other specialist functional watches - like those for hikers with barometers and altimeters etc are rarely more than £150. In fact, there seems to be a bit of gulf between things like the Seiko Kinetic at around £200, and the brand-name sapphire crystal mechanical watches at around £1500.

You do raise a good point, though- more than even a phone, a 'smart watch' will benefit from year on year improvements in electronic energy efficiency and battery improvements.

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Dave 126
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Re: If this is a "watch" I'd be very surprised

>Well, we'll see, but I wouldn't have thought there was much in that idea to justify a company as large as Apple getting involved

This was a thread about Samsung, not Apple. I only reiterate that because they have a much larger product portfolio than Apple. Haven't Samsung made a smart watch before? Sony certainly have.

Samsung have used the 'throw it at the wall and see what sticks' approach. If they make a 'smartwatch' - or merely a 'connected [to a phone] watch' - it is conceivable that they might make a simpler model. My friend used to have a Samsung phone the size of pack of chewing gum- damned near unusable, the keypad was two tall columns - but it shows Samsung are happier to try more product variations than Apple. Maybe the people who bought into the crowd-funded Pebble watch will come to find they actually want a simpler device, and fund its development to greater adoption. Who knows?

> No good asking most people what innovation they want, because we more commonly know what we want when we see it, rather than (always) being able to describe that. The art of technology innovation is being able to invent (or further refine) something that is workable, that people will want, but generally aren't crying out for.

Those were sentiments expressed by the head of Sony Design in the '90s, and in their way are just a rephrasing of Henry Ford's "They [the people on the street] would tell me they wanted a faster horse". Nevertheless, those remarks were about focus groups and mass markets, respectively, but this is The Reg. Its readership is self selecting. The people commenting in the Reg forums even more so, hopefully because they have mulled ideas over before posting. Also, Reg Commentards may have had a few gizmos in the past, and may have some interesting input on what works and what doesn't. Some may have had experience of using or implementing technology that may overcome the technical hurdles- the chief two in this case being the power supply and user interaction.

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Dave 126
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Re: If this is a "watch" I'd be very surprised

> for most other things the screen will be too small.

My phone can communicate a range of alerts and states with a single RGB LED: Blinks blue, green or white for text message, email, or phone call, blinks red for low battery. Solid colours during charging to show progress.

A similar system on a watch would allow it to masquerade as a normal analogue watch if that what the user wants.

>On the other hand, I have no idea what a smartwatch is meant to do.

What might you want it do? Personally, I'd prefer a limited range of well-implemented features to a full Dick Tracey effort. A tap on the watch face to silence my phone, for example, or a twist of the bezel to control my phone's media player.

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Another MYSTERY evacuation: Google UK empties swanky offices

Dave 126
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Re: I realise Google are crap at anything to do with customer service...

>... but I didn't know they were just as poor at informing their employees about why things go tits up.

You've never heard the HR dept expression "Make them part of the facilities management team, where they can't do much harm"?

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Dave 126
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Re: They almost look like normal people

And normal people have large elliptical eyes, green skin and no body hair?

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Kinky Android X-ray app laid bare as malware

Dave 126
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Re: I can understand why people were duped

I have nothing against girls in Basingstoke, but always found it a strange claim on pesky web adverts, since I live no where near Basingstoke. Nor, as far as I know, does Basingstoke enjoy the same reputation in popular culture as, say, Ipanema or California.

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Dave 126
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Re: I can understand why people were duped

>I do worry about the kind of person that thinks a free app will do the same job though.

Yeah, you'd expect that you'd at least have to prise the camera module apart and remove the IR filter.

In other news, pills won't make your member bigger, belly fat can be shed by diet and exercise, and girls in Basingstoke do not want to meet you.

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Dave 126
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Re: This gave me an idea

I haven't tried it, but unless the tracking was very accurate, there would be a risk of falling into the 'uncanny valley'. It might be more suitable for 'cartoonising' the subjects, for fun and giggles though.

Of course, you could cover the subject in ping pong balls on a stage next to a render farm, as was done on Avatar- a rough rendering was done in real time during the actors performances, to give the crew an idea of what the eventual scene would look like.

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Dave 126
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A batch of Sony camcorders...

...were withdrawn from sale many years ago, because of the way a 'low light mode' was implemented. However, this Infra Red detection actually made people look as if they were just wearing underwear.

Those units that Sony couldn't recall sold out very quickly indeed.

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ICO clamps down on nuisance calls, slaps £90k fine on Glasgow firm

Dave 126
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Re: They aren't a fly-by-night company. They've existed since 1984

Try Companies House.

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Dave 126
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Re: The fault is that caller ID is useless

My friend has BT block all calls from 'number withheld' to his landline. The NHS and other gov services are obliged to call him on an identifiable number.

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Drilling into 3D printing: Gimmick, revolution or spooks' nightmare?

Dave 126
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Re: Niche-not

Okay, fair enough....

If you offered people a Star Trek-style 'Replicator' - any object, any material- including meals - then yeah, for sure, most people will say 'Hell yeah!' However, even on the Starship Enterprise, I would imagine that there is a central replicator that is dedicated to making uniforms, and another that is tuned to the production of Phasers. There would probably be a replicator that makes replicators. I.e, if you have the technology to make a machine that makes anything, then you will have the technology to make a more specialised machine even faster/efficient.

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Dave 126
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Re: Part of the process

>Hmm... there's no need to go with all that complexity

A wax-printing desktop machine (a few hundred dollars), plus the kit required to cast aluminium is with the reach of anyone who wants it. A selective laser sintering machine? I wish!

Someone might be able to reformulate 'silver clay' for use in small 3D printers - silver particles suspended in a clay-like binder, which after the sculptor has created their desired form is placed in the kiln. It produces something like 95%+ solid metal part after firing.

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Dave 126
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Re: Dremels

Thank you Alan for engaging with the question. True, a Dremmel can be an accompaniment to a 3D printer, as well as an alternative to a 3D printer for some tasks.

Yeah, I've spotted a fair few in B&Q, but still: I only know two people who own one. They are no where near as common as 18v drills.

Still, 18v drills, like timber yard CNC routers, are handy for real stuff - like furniture and shelves. Dremmels and 3D printers are for smaller fiddly things that are often mass produced anyway.

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Dave 126
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Re: What about the environment?

>you know where most of it will end up!

shredded and put back into the machine's hopper?

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Dave 126
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Re: have i seen this before?

'Print on demand' is a bit in-between... if you need the book this week, order it from a large warehouse somewhere and enjoy the savings given to you by economies of scales or the second hand market. If you need it this minute, download a copy to your e-reader.

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Dave 126
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>Hobbyists will also aspire to them, its going to be the hardware hackers equivalent of a lathe some weird guy

you know will have one in the shed.

That's my take on it... 'Consumer' 3D printers will mainly appeal to people who already have lathes, Dremmels, tap and die sets etc.

Another model is that of a local bureau, servicing end users and other local businesses. Our local timber yard does CNC milling for £100 / hour (but it is such a big sturdy (and expensive) machine it can do jobs quickly, so depending upon the design it only adds 20 - 40% to the cost on top of the material) but you don't hear tech sites making as much noise about an arguably more useful technology (for making furniture, shelves, children's play equipment etc), though buzz-phases such as 'virtual manufacturing', 'long tail', and 'thousands of markets of a few' get invoked from time to time.

Something can help the bloke on the street make use of these services might be devices like the Kinect- MS's new SDK (for the Windows version, not the cheaper but near identical XBOX version) could easily be built upon to scan the back of your car and give you a 2D DWG of a replacement parcel-shelf. It has the bonus of making people look like Hans Solo in carbonite. Oh, a free DWG editor, including a version for your penguins http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/#xtor=AD-508-[swfreetools]-[middle]-[intext]-[www.solidworks.com]

Hell, even the upcoming Playstation 4 allows for 3D modelling in a way that looks like it could complement traditional packages.

Other noises are being made about 'additive manufacturing', in which related technologies are used to achieve shapes and form that are hard to make by traditional means. Substrates for catalysts are an example, since they require a very high surface area to volume ratio. Another example would be structural components with 'property gradients', such as a beam of constant cross-section but of varying mechanical proprties along its length. This is possible using Selective Laser Sintering, using materials such as titanium. Such things are used in aerospace and motorsport- but then they tend to have small production runs anyway.

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Dave 126
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Re: Part of the process@Dave 126

>- the only complication is scaling the pattern to allow for the shrinkage of different metals in casting.

Moulding simulation and design software has been around for a while... it'l cost you, though!

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Dave 126
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>The chances of a home 3D printer being able to turn out a component of the accuracy and strength to replace the carefully designed and made door catch on a machine is in my view slim

It was 'carefully designed and made'.... 'carefully designed and made' to fail that is, and thus steer me towards their on-line spares shop! That was kind of my point, that their business model is compete on price in the showroom, then recuperate the cost by selling the spare parts. A business model that might conceivably be disrupted if a 'made to measure' plastic parts printing bureau (using some sort of Fused Material Deposition process but then chemically cured to create a thermosetting plastic part)

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Dave 126
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Re: Part of the process

I've heard of people printing in wax.

These samples look good:

http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/520-very-high-detail-printing-also-in-wax.html

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Dave 126
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>But surely the fittings on that small plastic door latch are proprietary IPR

Good point, don''t know how it would work here. In the automotive industry, car manufacturers are not allowed to invalidate car guarantees because quality 3rd party parts have been used during servicing.

I wouldn't be ordering a specific Whirlpool part, but rather a piece of material of "X by Y by Zmm, with two 9mm holes, and an angled boss of 18 mm by .... " (well, I'd be submitting a CAD drawing, or maybe the bureau can do something with photos using clever software).

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Review: Sony Xperia Z

Dave 126
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Re: Are memories of Sony's Digital Walkmans....

Possibly, SonicStage was pretty awful. Still, so is Samsung's Kies phone management software, and it doesn't seem to have hurt them!

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Dave 126
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Re: i've just got one of these

And the problem with supporting a codec is...?

True, Sony are the only company I know of to be named in an XP BSOD (SonicStage, and MS abandoned their traditional esoteric hex to name Sony as the culprit... as New Scientist remarked at the time "We cannot even begin to imagine the level of acrimony that lead to this message being displayed")

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Dave 126
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Re: "Sony promise to update to 4.2 soon..."

See how they have supported all their 2012 handsets. My Xperia P has already been updated to ICS, and is getting JB this month (whatever, ICS seems good enough).

Sorry you got stung, but those 2011 handsets seemed a bit lacking in RAM at the time.

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Dave 126
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Re: Noooooooo!

My Xperia P works very well for voice calls, and I've heard good things about other Xperia handsets... Don't know what the Z is like.

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Dave 126
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Re: Avoid - screen scratches very easily

Oh well. I stumbled across some forum reference to this anti-shatter layer when I was trying to track down an official Sony replacement for the screen-protector included with my Xperia P. Some people suggest that you just remove the scratched 'anti-shatter' layer http://talk.sonymobile.com/thread/41307?start=0&tstart=0 (how-to video in above link), and install a screen protector ASAP. I can't vouch for the advice given above, but it might be worth you having a look.

The included screen protector worked and protected my screen, but eventually became scratched itself . I bought a replacement at a market stall, but it was poor, and quickly became covered in microscratches, making the thing tricky to use in sunlight (hence, I searched for an official Sony one, since the first had been good). Thankfully, being a 4" phone a widely-available iPhone 5 protector can be cut to fit.

A bit of care is required to install them, but as long as you are in a fairly dust free environment and take care to clean the screen with the included cloth, it should go okay. Don't worry about little bubbles, they can be pushed out to the side after it's laid down. I'm sure the nice young man in your phone shop will install it for you if you buy it from him.

Good luck.

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Dave 126
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Re: i've just got one of these

My pet peeve with the Sony Walkman app is that is doesn't support WMA. Otherwise it is very good.

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Dave 126
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Re: After so many many SE phones...

>but nobody else is doing high end waterproof phones right now.

Well, there was that recent Reg article that suggested that a waterproofing process is applied to quite a few handsets, to reduce returns. However, it isn't usually advertised, as the first thing some people do is to 'test' it by deliberately dunking it it water.

I remember being in school and playing baseball in a classroom using a tack hammer as a bat and a Casio G-Shock as a ball. No harm done. A few years later I deliberately dropped another G-Shock from a first-floor window onto concrete, and having to get it fixed on warranty (which was honoured, but the parts took an age to come from Japan).

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Dave 126
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Re: "Currently running the show is Android 4.1.2 though Sony is promising an upgrade to..."

>Sony promising. Precisely why I wouldn't get one.

All of last year's Xperia phones have been upgraded to ICS, and most of them are receiving a Jelly Bean update this month. When I got my Xperia P, many of the online forums echoed the negative view you have just expressed re Sony's abandonment of 2011 models, so it seems they have listened and upped their game.

-http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/sony-starts-rolling-out-jelly-bean-for-xperia-users-1130304

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Dave 126
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Re: watching video is surely one of the reasons you’d buy an Xperia Z

@Miffo "Not sure why you're thinking about that mate -nobody is saying a phone shouldn't have a loud speaker." Er, JDX, did say just that, I think it was to him that David Webb was responding.

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Dave 126
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Re: i've just got one of these

Hmm, like MP3 players 'back in the day', when you had to select a country outside the EU to get a decent volume. Not that I'm cavalier with my hearing (tinnitus sounds like hell) but headphones do vary.

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Dave 126
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Re: I like the waterproof feature

>or a charging port that doesn't mind getting wet and I'm sold

Seems Sony have anticipated your concern:

Those two exposed metal contacts on the side next to the uSD slot are for charging. [Charging cradle an optional extra, I would imagine]

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Dave 126
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Re: @AC 13:21

Yeah, I was thinking of the watches with complications that are sold for prices akin to a new Rolls Royce or Bugatti.... y'know, the kind that are favoured by Russian politicians:

" Take the Deputy Mayor of Moscow, Vladimir Resin. His DeWitt La Pressy Grande Complication is worth a whopping $1.03 million. The head of Russia’s state bank VTB rocks a $240,800 Patek Philippe. The CEO of the state’s gas monopoly, Gazprom, sports a $112,100 Breguet. The brutal leader of Chechnya’s Bovet goes for around $300,000. President Dmitry Medvedev’s $32,200 Breguet seems almost modest. And the list goes on."

-http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2009/10/russian-officials-sporting-watches-worth-up-to-1-million/

An extremely waterproof Rolex Submariner? Tch, a 'mere' £5000.

Putin's wristwatch collection is estimated to be worth six times his annual salary.

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Dave 126
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Re: Icon says it all

I'd check out side by side photo comparisons before agreeing with AC... there have been a few reviews that suggest the camera isn't as great as the specs suggest, but maybe the reviewer missed a trick. Who knows.

That said, I'd agree with AC in that I try avoid flash in most circumstances, and that if I have to use it I try to bounce it or diffuse it somehow.

Hmm, just found some photos taken on my Xperia P on Friday night in a dark pub... the images are grainy, but recognisable - the camera seems to have made the most of its limited capabilities.

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Dave 126
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Re: After so many many SE phones...

>Touchslab phones are the norm now. Where's the innovation?

That's a charge that has been levelled at all the phone makers... you could read Sony's inclusion of waterproofing as an acceptance of this, that phones have matured and should be refined to be durable. I mean, the only wristwatches that aren't waterproof these days seem to be ludicrously expensive status symbols.

I note that Sony's tablet is waterproof, as well. Only on Sunday I went to a cafe, and the lass behind the counter had an iPad on a cook-book stand, wrapped in clingfilm. I don't know if she was using it for recipes, stock control or simply playing music... but it seems there is a demand in the real world for something that doesn't mind a bit of gunk.

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Dave 126
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Re: Icon says it all

Curious... Esskay appears to be a sensible human being, so it must just be a matter of taste and individual user needs: I'd personally consider waterproofing to be a better feature than a xenon flash.

The sensible way to implement better flash on phones would be to make the flash a separate unit, remotely triggered by the phone camera - not only would a xenon flash be available to all those who want it, but it would also be more flattering to the subjects by reducing the 'albino rabbit in headlights' look.

Right, I'm off to see if there is anything approaching an Android feature request list ...

: D

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Dave 126
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Re: watching video is surely one of the reasons you’d buy an Xperia Z

I'm absolutely with you on wanting to bash sodcasters about the noggin, but I do regularly use the speaker on my phone when I am out of earshot of other people. Not for music, but for spoken-word podcasts it's fine.

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Dave 126
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Off the top of my head..

Challenge accepted:

Last year: The U (cheap), the P (less Cheap), S (higher end), T (big screen), TX (big screen, swappable battery), Go (like the U but waterproof), this year the Z. I may have missed a few, though.

Sorry, I only know this cos I've been searching the web for when Jelly Bean wobbles towards my handset (end of this month, apparently... )

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Google turns Street View into Mountain View

Dave 126
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Re: Abominable!

Yeti spotted urinating behind a parked car, Yeti mooning the camera, Yeti giving the camera the finger, Yeti spotted by Mrs Yeti with another lady Yeti...

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Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode

Dave 126
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Re: Software Bug? Or a message for us they are going to delete???

"You have been found in violation of our parking policy. Please pay the sum of £85. If you pay with in the next ten days, this amount will be reduced to £45. Please do not interfere with this notice"

And then you would have wished you'd given the rover a bigger LASER.

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Dave 126
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They no doubt have error checking and redundancy, but when conditions are shit why not take a few weeks off til they get better?

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Dave 126
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>but you can see the camera in the picture?

What you see is a different camera... the one that took the pics is mounted on a robotic arm.

"The rover's robotic arm is not visible in the mosaic. MAHLI, which took the component images for this mosaic, is mounted on a turret at the end of the arm. Wrist motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the mosaic's component images. The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images or portions of images used in the mosaic. Please check video explanation by NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=156880341 "

-http://www.360cities.net/image/mars-panorama-curiosity-solar-day-177#13.70,23.50,110.0

The link includes an 'interactive panorama' of the same image(s).

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4K video may wow vidiots, but content creators see pitfalls

Dave 126
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Re: Is there any point at the consumer end?

>And there is the Hollywood crap "Ultraviolet" for more compressed to hell junk.

I thought Ultra-violet was an additional service to people who had bought DVDs or Blu-rays and also want to watch the content on a mobile device or have it streamed to their mate's house (both situations where the content would probably have to be compressed anyway). I.e studios are trying to give average consumers something approaching the convenience enjoyed by those folk who immediately rip their discs to their own home server (because if the studios didn't make this effort, more people would educate themselves about ripping and removing DRM from discs for the sake of convenience).

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Paying a TV tax makes you happy - BBC

Dave 126
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Re: I want to like the BBC

It's a competition thing. Take the BBC's radio plays, for example: If the BBC made their entire back catalogue available on demand, it would make life hard for commercial rivals, such as those producing audio books.

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Dave 126
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Re: Boo hoo hoo

Have you considered working as a columnist for The Daily Telegraph?

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