* Posts by Dave 126

6177 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Italians rattle little tin for smartmobe mini lenses

Dave 126
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Sounds like geckos' feet

Medical bods have been interested in a non-adhesive but very grippy surface for a while - potential applications include holding back skin during surgery.

Geckos achieve this by having an extremely high surface area of their pads - a surface which sub-divides many times.

https://robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ronf/Gecko/

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Auto erotic: Self-driving cars will let occupants bonk on the go

Dave 126
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Re: Windows

You can already buy LCD-based films for windows, that will switch from transparent to translucent at the flick of switch.

It's available as a self-adhesive film for easy retrofitting to windows, apparently.

http://www.invisishade.com/

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Dave 126
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Blobby cars?

Look back to the past...

The only product known to have been bought by what is to believed Apple's car division is a 1959 Fiat 500 Multipla:

http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/gallery/FIAT-600-Multipla-2342_18.jpg

It doesn't look completely dissimilar to the Google car, but is more attractive. The use of interior space is good too, and could be further advanced with an electric drivetrain.

Who knows, it's all conjecture. Jony Ive is known to be a Fiat fan, though his daily vehicle is a chauffeur driven (at his bosses' insistance) Bentley Mulsanne

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Dave 126
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Re: Fatal flaw in self drive?

Indeed.

Volvo believes that Level 3 autonomy, where the driver needs to be ready to take over at a moment's notice, is an unsafe solution. Because the driver is theoretically freed up to work on email or watch a video while the car drives itself, the company believes it is unrealistic to expect the driver to be ready to take over at a moment's notice and still have the car operate itself safely. "It's important for us as a company, our position on autonomous driving, is to keep it quite different so you know when you're in semi-autonomous and know when you're in unsupervised autonomous,"

Volvo's Drive Me autonomous car, which will launch in a public pilot next year, is a Level 4 autonomous car — this means not only will it drive itself down the road, but it is capable of handling any situation that it comes across without any human intervention. As a result, the human doesn't need to be involved in the driving at all. If something goes wrong, the car can safely stop itself at the side of the road.

- http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/27/11518826/volvo-tesla-autopilot-autonomous-self-driving-car

(Please don't take this post as a recommendation of Volvo's products - I'm no expert. However, their approach does strike me as being safer. There was a racing video game called WipEout which featured a 5 second autopilot 'powerup' - resuming control of the racing craft always gave me nervous, and would occasionally result in me crashing my virtual vehicle. )

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Dave 126
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Re: If you are required to be available to take over

@DougS

This is exactly the point that Volvo are making. They claim they are making a system that can drive in all situations, and they are critical of Tesla's system that still requires a human driver to suddenly take over in the event of something unexpected occurring on the road.

Also, the size of a Volvo is more amenable to horizontal dancing than a Tesla... I think Volvo's marketing department has missed a trick by not making more of this!

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Wi-Fi network named 'mobile detonation device' grounds plane

Dave 126
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Re: Lots of lateness

People have said on forums that they give their phone's WiFi hotspots names like 'FBI Surveillance Van' to deter leeches, and 'Ebola Response Unit 2' just for the giggles, but just for when they were in earth-bound cafes - none of them advocated silliness on a plane.

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SpaceX adds Mars haulage to its price list

Dave 126
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Re: Less than $200 an ounce

According to this still from the documentary 'Total Recall', Trump has already been to Mars:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7114/7423325574_33f7ee54aa_b.jpg

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Watch it Apple: time has come for cheaper rivals' strap-ons

Dave 126
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Re: Android wear

Good to her that the Sony Smart Watch 3 is working well... Sony actually had a connected watch years, but their first attempt didn't receive great reviews (would too often lose connection, apparently).

Another Sony gadget that makes some sense - and could be considered a 'wearable' - is their usb-stick-sized Bluetooth Headset. It can clip to your top like small MP3 players, and can be held to your ear to make calls or you can plug wired earphones into it, as you would a phone. It includes media controls, for playing back music from a phone, or can function as an FM radio independently of the phone. It also has a monochrome display for phone notifications. It makes sense for people with big phones, or for people whose phones live in the bottom of a bag.

I'm not recommending it here - you can find your own reviews - but I'm mentioning it because it is curious that so much coverage and discussion of 'wearables' omits devices like this.

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Dave 126
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Re: Too late to market...

This was a nice thread until you came along with your ad hominem attack. Everyone was showing consideration for other's points of view, even if they didn't agree with them. Well done.

Most of the people on this thread either don't wear a watch, or don't want a smartwatch to do as much as an Apple Watch - so its strange that you should feel threatened by one comment in support of it.

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Dave 126
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>Only annoyance is the Citizen only seems to work with iPhone.

When it was first released, it, like the Casio, only worked with iPhones because Android didn't support Bluetooth Low Energy at that time (though a some Samsung handsets had the hardware).

Sadly, there still appears to be no Android version - and a plea on XDA has gone unanswered. Maybe Citizen didn't sell enough of them, so haven't invested the time into an Android version?

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Dave 126
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Thank you mentioning the Chronos. If could be made cheap enough - which it could be if it there was enough demand - people could buy two, and swap one for the other when the battery is flat.

Casio and Citizen also make Bluetooth watches, with 1 year plus and indefinite battery lives respectively. But hey, neither look as good as a 1969 Omega Chronostop!

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Dave 126
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Have an upvote for the Red Dwarf reference!

However, I do see a lot of fitness trackers on the wrists of people on the street. So maybe niche, but not too rare. I might take small issue with 'fitness fanatics' - they have been using dedicated heart-rate monitors for years - because I get the impression that many of these fitness trackers are worn by people hoping to wear to lose a few pounds.

On the other hand, I've only seen four Apple Watches 'in the wild' since its release.

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Dave 126
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Re: “a category waiting for a market”

Actually, it's a category that aims to be the solution to real problems, but so far the implementations are not quite there.

Being able to 'page' a phone to find it - useful. Quick check of notifications - useful. Programmable function key to activate a phone function (e.g dictaphone) - useful. None of which require a colour screen or heavy power draw.

The Apple watch, to my taste, tries to do too much.

Citizen and Casio come closest in my book - the Citizen just looks like a analogue-handed 'sports' watch. A touch too brash in its styling for me, but it looks just like a normal watch.

Still, it is subjective. Some people on the Reg don't see the point in even having a conventional watch - and if they wake up next to an alarm clock, drive to work (dashboard clock) and sit at a computer (desktop clock) - I won't disagree with them.

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Q. What's the difference between smartphones and that fad diet you all got bored of? A. Nothing

Dave 126
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Re: No Choice

>In a bygone era there was a wide choice of different style phones with differing specs.

Indeed. The picture used to illustrate the article is of the Xperia Go, which was ruggedised and waterproof (sadly it was crippled by too little RAM, and couldn't cope with the version of Android Sony updated it to). Since then, Sony haven't asked you to choose between a fast flagship phone and a waterproof phone.

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SpaceX: We'll land on Mars in 2018 (cough, with NASA's help)

Dave 126
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Re: Why send it empty?

>as many rolls of gaffer tape as will fit!! And a few packs of chewing gum and maybe a ball of string for good measure.

According to 1950s Sci Fi B-movies, it's the underwires from ladies' bras that are used to fix some critical machine, for some odd reason. It would seem technology has moved on since then!.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why send it empty?

A manned mission would require a much larger spacecraft, so the addition of what little you could fit in this Dragon module won't be super helpful. Then you have the problem of the retrieving whatever useful gear the dragon is loaded with - a manned mission might land dozens or hundreds of miles away.

I'm sympathetic to your point though... how about some scientific equipment, or a rover?

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Dave 126
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Re: How on Earth (or Mars)...

> Is he going to melt the ice-caps? Seriously?

Musk did mention an idea to continuously detonate nukes above the Martian poles, to create two temporary 'suns'. Was he serious? I don't know. My assumption was that it would be pointless trying to create an atmosphere on Mars without a magnetosphere to protect it from solar wind, but then Musk has access to people a million times more expert than myself. If someone can point me towards an informed online discussion on this subject, I'd be grateful.

Surprisingly, some of the homework for creating what is in effect a magazine-fed nuke gun has already been done for Project Orion - the idea of launching a massive spacecraft from Earth by firing a nuclear bomb behind it every second.

http://mashable.com/2015/10/02/elon-musk-nuke-mars-two-suns/#nWFrq_I7Vqqh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

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Dave 126
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Re: !!!*!!!*!!!*!!!

An entertaining movie (seemingly) inspired by an event in 2010: Odyssey 2:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/europa_report/

Critics Consensus: Claustrophobic and stylish, Europa Report is a slow-burning thriller that puts the science back into science fiction.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

Dave 126
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Re: Poor IT Standards at this outfit

>Why on earth would you want to buy Linux when it available free of charge.

There are some good reasons for buying a Linux PC - all the drivers will be supplied and tested. This isn't a comment about the availability of Linux drivers - I understand that's all good - but of assurance. It happens in the Windows world as well - CAD vendors have lists of certified workstations that have been extensively tested with their software. You have the peace of mind that the hardware, drivers, OS version and application version will all play nice together.

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First rocket finally departs Russia's Vostochny cosmodrome

Dave 126
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Re: Trees

Trees being trees, were there before the cosmodrome was built, and why clear more than you need to? There is also a fringe benefit - should there a Rapid Unplanned Disassembly, the trees would help attenuate the force of any shockwave before it hits the command bunker (this is why trees were planted around the oil refinery in Milford Haven). Of course, the trees wouldn't be necessary at the cosmodrome - the bunker would be strong enough anyway, and placed at an appropriate distance from the launch pad.

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Apple man found dead at Cupertino HQ, gun discovered nearby

Dave 126
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This argument has been played across the internet so often over many years. Quite why, I don't know - the evidence largely speaks for itself.

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Dave 126
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Re: Advice, too late

Ever since I heard the news of Apple's stock price drop on the BBC World Service last night, I have checked the Register for an article. Reading a mention of it appended to this news doesn't sit well with me - not sure yet why yet.

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LG: Stop focusing on Apple and Samsung. There's us. And our G5. Look at it. Look at it

Dave 126
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Re: Does it take an SD card?

Okay - I'll give you some credit - the idea of having two batteries so that one can be 'hot swapped' is a good one - I've suggested the same in these forums before ( the secondary battery only has to be good for five minutes or so, enough to swap the primary battery with some margin).

The SD card - in the time it took you to wrote about, you could have googled it. Yes, it has an SD card, no, it doesn't support all the ways of using it that the new Android would otherwise allow.

The battery - you're griping about it, but the G5's battery is replaceable.

Extra GPU? Why have it attached to the phone? Makes more sense to have it in a HDMI stick and just use the phone to shunt content to it. The last LG model did 4K playback on screen, but the problem of shifting it to a TV is more likely to be that of interconnect standards.

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Dave 126
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Re: IR Blaster

>Some other asshole who thinks he has the right to control TVs in establishments that he is merely a customer in will decide to turn up the volume to ear piercing levels,

Any decent establishment will either:

- have no televisions, or

- have the television's audio routed to an amplifier behind the bar - nobody wants the tiny noise that comes from the speakers internal speakers.

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Google Loon balloon crash lands in Chile

Dave 126
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Re: I'm not saying it's aliens...

Ah, it turns out I had seen it, but had also forgotten.

"Our minds our but dung heaps for the seeds of other people's thoughts" etc

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Dave 126
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I'm not saying it's aliens...

...but it's aliens.

Hehe, back in the nineties, and the heyday of the X-files, nutters might have said this was a crashed UFO and the Balloon story was just a cover-up. These days, since for the last decade a lot of people have carried a (phone)camera in their pockets most of the time, there have been no large corresponding rise in the number of picture of UFOs, Nessie, Bigfoot etc.

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Pro who killed Apple's Power Mac found... masquerading as a coffee table

Dave 126
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Re: iFurniture next?

>iFurniture next? Maybe this is the next business direction for Apple?

I know you're joking, but Apple now employ Marc Newson, whose Lockheed Lounge set the record for a 'design object' when sold at auction.

http://www.dezeen.com/2015/04/29/marc-newson-lockheed-lounge-new-auction-record-design-object-phillips/

>rounded corners that are patented,

That was what in the UK we would call 'Trade Dress', like the shape of the grills on an Aston Martin for example, but confusingly called a 'Design Patent' in the USA. Whether or not Apple's implementation of the rounded corners is enough to qualify as a design patent is a valid question, but it was never a 'Utility Patent' (USA) or 'Patent' (UK).

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RIP Prince: You were the soundtrack of my youth

Dave 126
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Re: Death Warms Up Your Hits

Well, there was quite a buzz around his sell out shows in London (he said he would play as many nights as required for everyone who wanted to see him to see him) and his blistering Super Bowl half-time show.

But yeah, I accept your observation. Maybe you can instigate an annual "Spontanous celebration for famous living person we've not heard much of for a while Day"?

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Dave 126
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Re: Atmospheric Nuclear testing when they were kids?

That article only talks about thyroid cancer ( where the body naturally concentrates iodine, radioactive or not), and I'm suspicious of its tone. Even if I wasn't, then on the assumption that many different environmental factors can contribute to cancer risk, there are just too many factors to take into account. Only the other day, I was listening to the Australian BC Radio National Science Show, and a segment was the risk of throat cancer from cunnilingus (men are more likely to get it as a result of the HPV virus after accounting for hetro/homo folk, so working assumption is that women are afforded some resistance if they encounter it in the cervical area. So yeah, a populations sexual behaviour can change, as does food, chemical pollutants, working patterns, worrying, reading the Daily Mail, etc etc etc etc.

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Dave 126
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>Yup, better have that Kim Kardashian live rolling Twitter tribute piece ready to print, just in case 2016 continues to deliver.

He's a video of Prince telling kim Kardashian to "get off the stage!":

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgxwbt_prince-kicks-kim-kardashian-off-the-stage_news

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Dave 126
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Re: Not my kind of music

He rips it up in a few genres of music... it wasn't really brought to my attention just how stunning a guitarist he was until about ten years ago.

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh

He's had more that two hits as himself, and he's also written hits for other artists, as well producing them. He's had his own attitude towards the music industry, and was releasing several albums a year which were only sold through his website for a period. But all that doesn't really matter, just watch the man play the guitar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMknUo6O9jQ&feature=youtu.be

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Dave 126
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Re: Unexpected

It's a little known fact that Keith Richards can't be killed by conventional weapons.

(According to the Preston from Wayne's World 2, AKA Danny the Drug Dealer from Withnail and I)

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Dave 126
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Re: Seems to be a mass die-off of celebrities at the moment

Re: Seems to be a mass die-off of celebrities at the moment

This was covered by the BBC radio programme 'More or Less' which, in conjunction with the Open University, looks at statistics in public life.

They of course noted the difficulty, because of fuzzy definitions of what one considers a celebrity, but after some analysis they concluded that yes, 2016 has seen more famous deaths than would be expected.

The Guradian's analysis, on the other hand, appears to just be yabbing in about how many z-list celebrities there are these days. Ah well. Prince, Bowie, Rickman, Wood, et al were no mere celebrities, they were famous for being very good at stuff.

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HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

Dave 126
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Re: Meh

>Not really. Speakers should be listed about 20th on any smartphone manufacturers list of importance. >Speakers in phones will be hamstrung whether you invest millions in micro speaker tech or not

A person who listens to spoken-word podcasts whilst cooking is no weirder than someone who wants to snap pictures of their day. Speakers are used for more than just music.

When it comes to music, I agree with you - I'm quite fussy about audio reproduction. I'm not an audiophile nutter, but small tinny speakers do my nut in. I'm perfectly happy with my bookshelf speakers and 30W amp, bought for about £100 many years ago.

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Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

Dave 126
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Re: So you're saying

>What other OS options do the manufacturers have? Not iOS, not Blackberry's.

Well, you've just identified an area where the idea of competition breaks down. You can't have true like-for-like competition for thing like bus services, cos that would mean that every half hour three buses from different companies turn up at the same bus stop. Software support for OSs is similar - much wasted work (inefficient) to supply users with much the same application but for various OSs.

Another example is eBay - sellers want the most people possible to bid on their goods, so why would they advertise on another service? The very nature of eBay precludes competition.

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Dave 126
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Re: Alternate operating systems

>Is this not a wish to express to your phone supplier?

@ Tom dial

Google doesn't allow a phone vendor to use Google Play Services if said vendor also sells phones running a fork of the Android Open Source.

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Dave 126
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Re: A lot of the APIs were moved in to other services from core Android

>The solution to this problem (carriers and manufacturers not providing updates) is to cut out the middle men and have an update mechanism that works without them. I don't expect my internet provider to manage pc updates for me, why should my mobile provider be updating my phone?

There are technical reasons why that is not possible with Android. If it could be done, Google would have done it already. Moving more APIs to Google Play services is a half-way house (but may slso serve their business motives by differentiating Google Android from ASOP). Google's other OS, ChromeOS, is updated as required, and when buying the hardware you are told how many years it will be updated for.

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Business gadget-makers eyeing modular LG G5 smartmobe

Dave 126
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No, it is not as modular as the Freephone, but it is better. The Freephone doesn't have much of a choice of components - one can buy a spare camera module, for example, but one can't choose from a range of camera modules. Most people would be better served by buying an LG G2 (equivalent or better spec) and pocketing the change.

Whilst my interest is piqued by the LG G4, the choice of modules (and the concept of investing extra in just one handset, being either abondoned or locked into LG, are concerns) isn't really grabbing me. The B&O DAC would be nice, but the G2 already had a very good audio pathway, and the circumstances in which i might want to sit and listen to high quality audio don't preclude against just using a USB Audio-based solution.

Adoption of the G4 by companies (I'm thinking barcode scanners, receipt/label printers, card readers, temp probes etc) would extend the lifecycle of LG's module format, and perhaps reassure consumers that the concept they have bought into won't be dropped next year.

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Dave 126
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Re: No such thing as a free replacement screen

Also, if LG are sometimes paying for a broken screen then it creates an incentive for them to design their phones in certain ways: They might use an aluminium bezel rather than ABS (protects against sharp impacts to the edge of the screen), or they might arrange the internals of the phone to make the screen easier to swap out.

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Dave 126
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Re: No such thing as a free replacement screen

It's true that all buyers indirectly pay for the cost of the replacement screen, but the cost to LG to replace a screen is far lower than the cost to Jo Public would be.

Screens are sold around the £30 mark, but (depending upon the model of phone) repair shops and repair-and-return services charge around another £50 in labour. It obviously wouldn't cost LG anywhere near the same amount.

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How Apple's early VR experiments accidentally led to RSS

Dave 126
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Haha, Wired's predicting the death of the web browser isn't that unusual a booboo for them, bless. I don't know if anyone actually takes them seriously, but I occasionally read as I might the The Onion.

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How much faster is a quantum computer than your laptop?

Dave 126
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Re: Time to solve one of those "10^77 years" IT Security Cracking problems

>Past time for DARPA to set the rules for a formal competition.

No, no it isn't.

Breaking conventional cryptography requires a class of quantum computer that Shor's algorithm - which D-Wave has never claimed to be capable of.

Quantum computers than can run Shor's algorithm have been built in the lab, but only up to a few qubits - far too small to be of any use in factorising large numbers (and thus breaking encryption as we now use it). In the event of researchers making significant progress in this area, DARPA or the NSA would not have to hold a competition - they'll already have been paying for the lab. In any case, it would be trivial for even an amateur mathematician to quickly determined if it worked or not.

The D-Wave is a different beast. The smoke and mirrors to which you refer are due to the difficulties in finding fair tests. Still, there's enough uncertainty for Google to take a punt on it, as they should if there is even a small chance it can be made to work for them, finding low points in fitness landscapes.

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Dave 126
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Re: Quantum computers

>how do you go about checking the machine got the right answer if it takes a several hours to run the program? It would take years on a regular supercomputer.

Checking a single answer can be done near instantly on a classical computer, for many types of problem. The issue is, you have 10^daft possible solutions to choose from - and it is this area that true quantum computers will excel (if someone ever manages to build one).

If you are still doubtful about your quantum algorithms, you could test them with problems to which you already know that answer (because you have constructed the problem for this purpose, from the answer and working backwards)

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Woz says wearables – even Apple Watch – aren't 'compelling'

Dave 126
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Re: Network Connection

>You listening Casio? Simple and low power is what you do...make this. Now!

Casio have already made some contenders:

1. a G-Shock with Bluetooth phone notifications etc 1 year battery life

2. an Android Wear outdoors watch with all the bells and whistles. Normal Android wear battery of a day or two, but can switch to low power mode and last a couple of weeks.

The trouble with your spec list is you have a low power screen and high power parts such as a cellular radio and GPS. Many people wanting a GPS system (walkers etc) will want some sort of phone, if only for emergencies, so market is small for watch with own cellular radio. Still, you've outlined your own use-case, and shown original thought so have an upvote!

(And of course a phone is no substitutes for planning and preparation when hiking)

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Apple pulled 2,204lbs of gold out of old tech gear

Dave 126
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Re: Cost is dropping as automation kicks in

> Apple has every incentive to improve costs on this type of recycling

It's one of the reasons manufactures use glue instead of screws. It's easier to heat a batch of devices in an oven than it is to unscrew them all.

Apple's limited product range also aids them in recycling, as does the use of aluminium (rather than carbon- or glass-reinforced resins) in their laptops.

Its been the intention of many territories to make end-of-product-life the responsibility of the manufacturer for around twenty years now. None of this should be surprising.

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Dave 126
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>Why sell it if you're only going to buy more on the market anyway?

That would make sense if their recycling plant was next door to the factory for new devices. However, if you have recovered the gold in the US, there isn't much point in shipping to China yourself.

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Dave 126
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Re: Love 'em or hate 'em...

>You don't make piles of cash by selling stuff that lasts or is easy & cheap to fix.

Really? Can you support your claim in any way?

http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/laptop-brand-ratings

http://www.zdnet.com/article/consumer-reports-notebook-reliability-survey/

http://www.digitaltrends.com/buying-guides/which-laptops-are-the-most-reliable/

If Apple's business model is to sell gear at a high margin, and find ways of enticing repeat custom through making newer, lighter faster etc models, then it is of no advantage to them to make flaky kit. I'm a bit confused of why you think it might be.

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NZ hotel bans cyclists' Lycra-clad loins

Dave 126
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That's a bit harsh. What about Tron Guy?

http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/web03/2012/5/5/15/enhanced-buzz-24959-1336247132-3.jpg

(Don't worry, this isn't one of Mr Maynard's more revealing poses!)

Anyway, my pragmatic approach would be for the hotel to keep aside some baggy cargo shorts for any Lycra-clad men who arrive.

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Apple assumes you'll toss the Watch after three years

Dave 126
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Re: The Ghost of Tommy Cooper

Or Terry Pratchett's

Light a man a fire and you'll keep him warm for a night. Set a man on fire and you'll keep him warm for the rest of his life

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