4074 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
I wear a watch. I can see the time at a glance, without having to fumble in a pocket for my phone. With a twist of the bezel, I can set a reminder of a time (for cooking times, parking tickets etc) in one natural movement.... to accomplish the same on a phone takes a bit of fumbling, prodding, stroking, and returning it to my pocket.
There are a lot of functions that could be incorporated into a watch without it looking ugly or 'geek-chic' like a Pebble.
Even a single RGB LED unit can tell you whether an incoming call is coming from a someone you want to talk to or not, for example.
Being able to silence a phone by a double tap to your wrist would be desirable.
Being able to locate a phone in a similar way would be useful.
If you are only imagining a smartwatch as being like a mini phone on your wrist (a la Samsung Gear), then I can't blame you for being indifferent to the idea. However, if you break down the interactions you have with technology and perform a time-and-motion analysis, you might find that there is room for improvement.
Re: As a matter of interest ....
>So what's the fastest processor you can currently get that runs at 20W?
Probably some Intel ULV laptop part, but that is missing the point. Depending upon the task, you might be better off spending that 20W on a GPU or an ASIC.
The same is true here - these researchers are looking at how to make a system that does well at tasks humans find easier than traditional computers.
Re: El Reg has either deliberately or inadvertently got their description wrong
>What is actually being patented ? Isn't there a notion of "invention" involved in a patent.
A good question, and one that I can't answer from the application- the language is a little obtuse. However, just because I don't understand it doesn't mean that there isn't something of merit in it.
For sure, I'm no fan of the way these patent applications beat around the bush, dscribing many aspects of a device or system but not emphasizing the supposed novel concept.
What I can gather is that it is describing a specific method of assembling a device with a flexible PCB, using overlap.
Re: Wot they all said above
A modicum of common sense would dictate that you at least try to read the patent application before commenting on it, but hey ho.
Re: The mind boggles
>... but if its just a box it is beyond credible.
It's not just a box. I can't quite work out what it is, but it isn't just a box. Lots of description of manufacturing processes and the like.
Re: Wait, let me get this straight...
>Apple is about to patent the concept? Now? ...Really?
No, they're not. If you skim through the patent application before you comment on it (a crazy idea, I know), you'll see its not describing a concept at all. Its is concerned with a method of mounting a flexible PCB of adjustable length within an enclosure, using 'conductive foam' amongst other techniques.
I don't know enough to judge whether it has merit as a patent, but at least I know that I don't know enough.
The many references in the application to using a vacuum to test the seal of the gaskets, and of 'conductive foam' (useful for securely mounting parts in a device subject to shock) do suggest a wristwatch-like device.
Re: I may be wrong but...
>Yea, because everyone wants to buy an ex-mining card thats been thrashed to within an inch of it's life.
If it has been used almost continuously, then it will have been subjected to very little thermal cycling. This is in contrast to a gaming card which will probably have been through several hot/cool cycles a day.
Thermal cycling is more likely to cause mechanical problems with solder connections etc than a nice constant load. However, as another poster has observed, component designers better understand how to mitigate this these days.
There were some issues with the introduction of lead-free solder a few years back (some say it was the cause of the infamous XBOX 360 hardware failure dubbed the 'Red Ring of Death'). I have been told that a certain UK manufacturer of very advanced metrology equipment still uses lead-based solder, but only in kit that has been ordered by the Ministry of Defence.
Re: Other uses?
The clue is in the name.... Application Specific Integrated Circuits.
You could massage code for other algorithms to work on a mining ASIC, but you would lose the efficiencies of the ASIC, which is their whole point.
Litecoin was supposed avoid the whole GPU (and later ASIC) game, because it was based on part of the Scrypt Proof of Work... it differs from the Bitcoin PoF in that it requires much more memory. The idea is that CPUs can compete, and that specialist hardware gives less of an advantage. However, this is not the case, due to the way it was actually implemented in Litecoin.
Re: Doesn't add up
>...we're used to gold and the balance of it is in rough correlation to the balance of actual power and wealth, so it works as a good enough proxy. Bitcoins don't, at least not yet, and the disapproval from necessary institutions makes me doubt it ever will.
Fair enough, but most of us don't use gold as a currency, and the currencies we do use haven't been linked to it for decades.
The strength of currencies is sometimes seen as correlating with actual 'wealth' and power, except for when a financial crash reveals the convoluted games that have been played with it.
Maybe the skyscrapers of New York, the neo-classical architecture of many financial institutions and the ritual of a man with a red briefcase all play a part in the perception of currencies as 'real'.
Re: Doesn't add up
What to do with all these GPUs?
I'd almost be tempted to go onto eBay and start building a render farm... except that renting the GPU cycles from the cloud is becoming a viable option.
Re: re "unless you can find a better use for them"
That is my first reaction, but compared to the energy, pollution and human fatalities associated with the mining of real gold, it appears to be the lesser of two evils.
Ultimately, there is a requirement to prevent Alice from writing as many "I, Alice, owe Bob $20" notes as she wants - 'double spending'. A public ledger is a good idea, but without a Proof of Work, there would be nothing to stop Alice from controlling 50%+ of the public ledger.
Re: Wot no Doom?
>Wot no Doom?
I think it was inferred that the article was about two-player games that only required one computer/console. All the action can take place on one viewport (typically fighting and sports games, but also MicroMachines) or else by use two viewports (split-screen), such as used by racing games and shooters. That said, I broke that convention in my OP by including Tetris, which in its most familiar incarnation required two GameBoy consoles and a link cable.
Not everybody had two PCs in a house, and lugging a friend's PC (and a heavy CRT monitor!) was a bit of a hassle. I did play Doom (and NASCAR Racing) over a null-modem cable, and it was great.
I also played 8-player Descent at school, on some networked Apple PowerPCs... setting it up took a few minutes because we had to take turns with the single game CD. It was well worth it though!
Re: My fondest gaming experiences have been two+ player:
Thanks Ace, I knew that some titles must have slipped my memory!
I also loved Time Bandit on the Atari ST, a two player top-down shooter / adventure game, with some levels being a homage to Pac-Man and Centipede. If one player died, they could still accompany the surviving player as a 'ghost'. Alas, the PC version has bugs, including one that prevents the players from being able to shoot.... how the hell did that ever get released?
You want to search for 'Scorched Earth'.
You can set as many human or CPU players as you want, and edit other parameters. Basically, its a turn based canon game, with control of elevation and force. You can edit wind and gravity, and the weapons available. Wining rounds earns money that can be used to buy weapons and stuff like parachutes, shields and fuel.
There is also a 3D version, and various 2D clones, including browser and Android versions.
Okay, it's not the BBC game you remember, but it should be close enough to satisfy, and flexible enough for you to make it simpler, if you wish.
My fondest gaming experiences have been two+ player:
Worms (makes good friends curse each other: a good thing!)
I don't do PES or FIFA, though I know folk who play little else
Mario Stadium Soccer (bonkers)
The Chaos Engine
GoldenEye 64, and later, Halo Combat Evolved (most FPS games wanted a LAN or null-modem cable for multiplayer. Split-screen gaming is fun and easy)
Special nod to Portal 2, a set of puzzles that require two players to solve.
Hmm, most of these can be divided into Racing, Fighting, Ball Sports or Shooting.
I haven't actually plugged in my console for over a year. I've had a few sessions of Worms with friends, and a lost weekend when I discovered an Android port of Dune 2 (finally, a use for my Galaxy Tab 10.1!), but that's about it!
>If its Hardware related, and presumably ALL SGS-Vs have this Bug.
A presumption, as you say.
Samsung often use different parts for phones with the same model number... witness the S4 which had an octocore SOC in some markets, and the S3 - some versions of which boasted a Wolfson DAC (so sought after by some audio-heads, apparently.)
Presumably the Reg has a stylebook, outlining the meanings of knacker, brick, bugger up and fry,
Re: Anti innovation again,
They do tend to use the the 'might' a lot, but I thought that was just to cover any loopholes (e.g it matters not if a screen is CRT, LCD, IPS, OLED etc).
As far as I can work it out, it has something in common with a camera obscura...then it starts using equations... eek.
>because it's on "a mobile device"
Who said it was for a mobile device? From the Patent App:
Growing interest in the applications of 3D viewing is evident not only in the field of computer graphics but also in a wide variety of other environments such as education, medical diagnostics, biomechanical engineering, etc.
Looks like workstation stuff to me.
Re: Anti innovation again,
People are free to use parallax systems, volumatriuc systems, VR systems or stereoscopic systems for 3D games... this system is none of the above. I was hoping someone here would be able to explain how it works for me.
Re: You lot remind me of Mary Whitehouse
Exactly. I came into this thread in the hope that smarter Reg readers would have read the patent and would help me understand the principle upon which it is based.... instead it's the usual knee-jerk reactions from people who haven't read the patent.
Re: Women are more important for the survival of a population -@boltar
>Get those female friends of yours down the gym and see who can lift the most. Unless you're the archetypal 7 stone weakling you'll breeze it.
I'm strong enough thanks (not all of my work involves IT) and physically stronger than most, but not all of, my female acquaintances. Some of them are in the military, some are rowers or rugby players. Which was kind of my point- individual humans can always defy expectations.
Re: "They've been selected and purified over time."
Well, the artificial selection of quickly evolving yeasts is central to development of 'premium' lagers, and required a degree of scientific understanding to achieve. See Louis Pasteur, and why he wouldn't have his books translated into German.
Re: Genetic elite!
>Comforting thought, I always find
Agreed. We the products of filtered luck!
Women are more important for the survival of a population
Were a fair proportion of young men to get themselves killed, the surviving men would be able to assume their reproductive 'duties'in their place. i.e the population as a whole is more tolerant of a loss of men than it is of women.
This might be why men, and young men in particular, are likely to commit reckless acts, be it extreme sports, criminal acts, reckless driving or risky activities in a more 'noble cause' such as military service or exploration. There are far more men in prison than women. There are more men mentioned in The Darwin Awards.
Men are disproportionately represented at the other extreme, too (though factors beyond intelligence, such as work/life balance, play a large part in why there are more male than female Nobel Laureates, or chess grandmasters or whatever). Whilst men and women have an average the same I.Q (not a perfect assessment, it is true) the standard deviation from the mean is greater in men. The resilience of a population as a whole is more tolerant of very stupid men (who may well get themselves killed by trying to eat a bear, or by stealing copper from a high-voltage sub-station) than it is of very stupid women (who are rare).
Of course, this is just statistics about groups, and should never be used to presume anything about the abilities of any one individual. "Test, don't guess".
In fact, I can't think of a single skill or attribute I possess that I haven't seen done better by a female I have know personally, though my mechanical skills are better than most (but not all) females I know.
6 - wait until they themselves are ready to release a new product. This would be the most likely explanation, given their past behaviour.
Re: The Facts..........
>The iPod wasn't new or innovative, just better marketed and more expensive. No Apple Tech. Only rip of Dieter Rams Braun styling.
Few PCs had USB 2.0 at the time of the iPod's release... the first model iPod was FireWire and Mac only. I was studying Product Design at the time, and the iPod was the first mp3 player that appeared to offer a marked improvement over our MD players, mainly due to its sheer capacity. That same capacity necessitated a different UI to those used in MD players... indeed the Sharp MD722 boasted a scroll wheel a couple of years before the iPod, but it was only used for text entry and cueing within a track - not track selection itself.
Solid state memory was so expensive that the first MP3 players started at 32 MB.
> Only rip of Dieter Rams Braun styling.
Dieter Braun was not a stylist, or even an Industrial Designer. He was a Product Designer or, as he prefers due to the common misconception that 'design' only covers appearance, 'Form Engineer'. His Principles of Design were there for all to read, but to actually implement them requires time and skill.
Established artist experimenting with consumer tech?
Reminds me of David Hockey's iPhone pictures:
Especially in light of the OP's point about the kit shown in the last photo being present in many pockets these days.
Live music is alive and kicking - it has to be, since record sales are down. The more awful the mainstream has become, the healthier the alternative scene. Heck, there's young people listening to folk music these days, as well as other genres. The radio won't give you this impression, but gig posters and the internet might.
>Apple are notable precisely for not falling victim to the Inventors dilemma. They have a history of being prepared to cannibalise their own markets and existing revenue streams
Compare and contrast with Sony, who had all the ingredients to make an 'iPod' before the iPod, but didn't .... and even the first few generations of Sony HDD 'jukeboxes' were tied to the awful 'Sonicstage' software and only played ATRAC files. Perhaps Sony's publishingt wing had something to say? Similarly, the MiniDisc was good, but it didn't allow 2nd generation digital copies, and the DataMD arrived late in the game. Had Sony make a 1GB MiniDiscHD (normal MDs were around 100MB for a quid per disc, making them very cheap compared to ZIP disks or flash memory at the time) player with wider codec support and the PC connection, it would have been very competitive against the 1st and 2nd gen iPod.
Yeah well, the rest of the mobile industry brought it on themselves... Samsung never twice used the same proprietary connector on their pre-microUSB phones, Sony used a variety of different connectors, too. Nokia shipped hones that sported a miniUSB socket, but wouldn't accept a charge from it...
In fact, it was only iPhone and Nokia users who had a fair chance of being able to borrow a compatible charger in the workplace or at a friend's house.
Anyway, the rest of the industry is about to change to a different connector again... one that roughly resemble the connector Apple are currently using.
Re: Remember how they were going EPEAT free.......
>I don't find all that glue they use to keep users and 3rd party repair companies out, making laptops and tablets very disposable green at all.
That would suggest that you might not be a product designer or manufacturing engineer, then.
There is a difference between making a product easy to repair and making it easy to recycle.
It's cheaper to dismantle end of life products in a batch process. Glues facilitate this processing, since heating a batch of products in an oven is cheaper that employing someone to unscrew two dozen mechanical fastenings per unit. The trend in legislation is such that it is in the manufacturer's interests to make product end-of-life disposal easier and cheaper.
True, it is often better to repair than to recycle, but not always... you could hours fault-finding a PCB, but why would you if it only cost $5? In any case, with greater miniaturisation, things are only going to get harder to repair, even with the best will. However, they generally get more reliable, too.
Re: I've got an idea
>I would keep the phone width the same as it is and make it tougher with a larger battery capacity....
But if the phone is made thinner, the end user is free to choose from a plethora of after-market cases, allowing them to pick one that offers the best compromise between protection and bulk for their own situation. Someone on a building site might choose a bigger case than someone who works in a carpeted office, for example. Batteries and external battery packs, likewise - some people send their days closer to a phone charger than other people do.
toughness is not the same as rigidity. I seem to recall a proverb about a sapling and a mighty oak in a storm...
My mate owned a Hitachi disc cutter for his work. When it refused to work one day, he was looking at a £60 repair bill. As a stop-gap, he bought a Lidl home-brand disc cutter for £50, and it's served him well so far.
Re: Very nice piece of kit.
I use headphones for music, but I often use my phone's built-in speaker for listening to podcasts when it won't disturb other people.
That said, small Bluetooth speakers seem pretty cheap these days, for podcast duties. I personally would prioritise waterproofing over speaker volume.
Er, I'd have thought that capturing video at 4K allows more scope for removing shakiness in post-production, especially if you're only really looking to output 1080 video. Cropping to 'zoom' is another option that capturing at a high res allows you.
C'mon JDX, you're normally one of the sensible ones here!
Re: Yes, no doubt. And no - no possible way
That's the lovely thing, there are different cameras to choose from the trade-off between image quality, size and versatility.
Re: 90 degrees
Panasonic have done that too with their 'folded lens' cameras, including the TZ1, that twin-lens stereoscopic camera, and I think their 'tough' compact cameras.
If in doubt...
... about whether your phone will work, then XDAforums is a good place to check. It will appear high in the Google results for "[My Phone Model] USB OTG support" anyhows.
Re: I don't get it. Can someone answer if you have one?
Exactly. Reports of using USB thumb drives with a microUSB > Female USB A cable suggest that thumbdrives vary in their power consumption... i.e, some work with phones, but some just don't.
Reminds me of...
.. those devices people wear behind their ear that sounds an alarm if they start to fall asleep whilst driving.
Re: Take note US
Oh, the arts and GCHQ...
Re: I wonder...
Re: I wonder... ...interesting Boeing and Rolls Royce are very quiet on this.
Not really. RR often take real time telemetry from their engines in service, and when fitted to Boeing aircraft this service is combined with Boeing's offering of real time data to the airline, to better plan service schedules. However, it an option offered to airlines at extra cost, so is only present on about 75% of that model of Boeing.
>It's interesting that the android top end appears to be a three-horse race this time out. The S5 vs the M8 vs the Z2.
Just as it was a race between Sony, HTC and Samsung this time last year... with LG seemingly out of sync, since they released their G2 several months after the other 'flagships', though it was the first phone to sport a Snapdragon 800 SOC. There's every chance its successor will be announced before too long.
Re: Wot? No wireless charging?
Or even just two external contacts on the phone and a charging cradle, which is the solution Sony took with their waterproof Xperia Z to minimise faffing with a port cover.
Re: Tough choice
Alas, as a business model the idea of giving away a fairly pricey bit of hardware that is of interest to only a fraction of customers of the phone is not a good one.
I would hazard a guess that most of us would prefer them to drop the rice of the handset instead, so it is more in line with the likes of the Nexus 5 or LG G2 (around £300 to £350 which both feature much the same SOC as the S5)
Re: Tough choice
>As far as I can see basically nothing interesting (technically) has happened in the mobile phone world for the last couple of years.
Nothing too exciting, I agree, but the steady improvements in speed, battery life and waterproofing etc are welcome nonetheless. The need for vendors to differentiate themselves in more subtle ways (better cameras, high definition audio, microSD support, removable batteries) has lead to more mature, polished products- albeit ones that are in essence much the same as handsets from a few years ago.
>The resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels is the same as the Galaxy S4
I can get that resolution in a phone, but not in a laptop? There'll be cats and dogs living together next.
Have a look at Telegram:
I haven't used it myself, but it looks promising.
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