* Posts by werdsmith

345 posts • joined 16 Feb 2011

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Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

werdsmith
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Re: Looks ok but...

E-ink would be more practical

Oh yes, somebody please produce a laptop sized colour memory LCD screen. This would make my garden into my office on sunny days and work life would be very sweet indeed.

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werdsmith
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Re: Displays not being updated?

There are a million dullwitted people who don't get that, and for them having lots of pixels that they can't see is important for bragging rights.

It is the Top Trumps school of evaluation at work, the number has to be higher regardless.

My car is better than your car because mine has seven wheels and yours only has four.

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No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

werdsmith
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Re: True. Things Just Happen

I ended up getting married and the children came along and it all just happened as life goes on. There was never any need to go looking for any of that, it all came to me without me putting in any effort.

I suspect if I had gone about it strategically and brought the same circumstances about using artificial image-enhancing crap then it might not have felt so 'right'.

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werdsmith
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Assuming that these experiences are all repeats of a similar experience, we are still where we were.

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werdsmith
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It's all BS.

The watch won't bring you any closer to any experience worth £17K.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

werdsmith
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Re: Human nature

" when I'm sat at the lights an inattentive driver crashes into the back of me at 50mph, "

But the notion says that there won't be an inattentive driver, because of the spike on his steering wheel.

The "spike in the steering wheel" idea is nothing more than a thought experiment but quite a good one.

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werdsmith
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Re: If you need to be seen, sidelights.

There seem to be hundreds of road traffic act rules and highway code guidelines that have been lost to many people just like this use of lights example. A few people make up their own highway code, and people start to copy like sheep. When there's an accident they swear they were in the right, even describing their actions in accordance with the unofficial highway code, only to get a shock from the insurance company and the police.

One colleague of mine was waiting at a T-Junction. An approaching car flashed lights (official highway code says flashing lights = "look out I'm here! warning", unofficial highway code = "I'm yielding right of way to you"). He proceeded, there was a crash, he was prosecuted.

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Drug drone not high enough: Brit lags' copter snared on prison wire

werdsmith
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Re: *shakes head* @Bob

If prisons are built away from a population centre, first of all, there is a huge outcry about using precious green-field sites for prisons, and then if they do get built, a new population centre grows up around the prison, because people working in the prison tend to like living close to where they are working.

New prisons are built away from population centres.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/Rye+Hill+prison/@52.327527,-1.242744,1831m/data=!3m1!1e3

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Audi TT: It's NOT a hairdresser-mobile, the dash is too flash

werdsmith
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Re: It's an Audi TT

@swampdog, why do you openly admit to being an idiot driver?

If you encounter another road user who is being a fool, then just let them get on with it and move away, and when you have some distance between you, continue serenely and safely on your way. Then you will be on your way to becoming a good driver and it won't be necessary to waste your money on short-lifed high grip tyres.

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werdsmith
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Re: I just want a dumb car

Putting technology like this into a car is just wasted effort since the car will be obsolete for most of its useful life.

Most of the the people who will buy the car will be taking out a 2 year PCP deal and handing it back for another one at the end of the contract so it's not going to bother them or Audi.

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Apple Watch is like an invasive weed says Gartner

werdsmith
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Apple Watch

The Pebble folks tweeted to say that orders for the new Pebble Time watch doubled following the Apple iWatch announcement. Partly due to people disappointed with the Apple watch, and had been holding off whilst waiting to see what Apple came up with.

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Internet Explorer LIVES ON, cackle sneaky Microsoft engineers

werdsmith
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Re: Less is more, not

"Her company website said: "To log in use Internet Explorer 9 or less""

To which you responded by deploying your Register Reader's skill set and spoofed the user agent id.

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$17,000 Apple Watch: Pointless bling, right? HA! You're WRONG

werdsmith
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Re: That mailing list

To a homeless penniless person, I have more money than sense because I blow £50 on a Chinese Takeaway and some booze when I could make do with a packet of instant noodles and some cider.

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werdsmith
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Re: That mailing list

The people who will buy it needn't be mugs or stupid, they just might be incredibly wealthy.

It would be stupid for me to buy one, because it would take me a few months working to earn that cash. But there are enough people on the world who collect supercars and buzz around in private jets, that would not notice £17K out of their daily spend. Then they will play with it for 5 minutes, stick it a drawer and forget it forever and not give as hit.

£500 return to New York for me. £6K first class for them. At the end of the flight we are both queuing at the same US Border Agency check. Or £300 budget Airline for me and the wife to get to Rome and back for a weekend. £20K on a private jet for them. Money is all gone at the end of the trip. Do they care? Do they need to care? Does that make them stupid because renting a private jet is as easy for them as an Indian takeaway meal for me? I say ridiculously profligate, but they are not mugs.

People need to stop looking at this watch from the perspective of their own little worlds.

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BBC gives naked computers to kids (hmm, code for something?)

werdsmith
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Re: 30 years on - Same stench as the Acorn BBC Computer

could probably be executed with far greater reach and efficacy as a browser app simulator coupled to a BBC educational series of programmes.

I believe that this is exactly what is planned, and the browser part already exists as a beta project. The BBC will be making programmes and also including it in existing series like Dr Who.

And the kids will get to carry the hardware with their creations around with them.

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werdsmith
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x7

" I hear what you say, but it seems to me more likely that a near-15 year old is more likely to be in tune with 11-13 year olds than you are.

The point is that with a Pi, things ARE "doable". with this BBC device they appear not to be - or if they are, they're not significant enough to maintain the kids attention"

I have both a 14 year old (15 in June) and a 13 year old.

And got a completely different response from them both compared yours.

So being "in tune" as absolutely irrelevant. Unless you believe all children are absolutely identical.

With a Pi, things are doable at school Except.

They have to have wires coming out of all four sides, they have to find a HDMI monitor (most schools still rely on VGA stock) or a HDMI to VGA adaptor.

Then when they are up and running what can they do? Hello World?

With this thing, the 13 year old plugs it into a USB port and goes to a web page and the LEDs flash.

Will it hold their attention? No, we hope not. It's just the spark, then they move on to the Raspberry Pi. Or more likely they run Python Idle on the computer they were using with the Micro Bit because they still can't plug the Pi into a VGA monitor.

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werdsmith
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"Based on my experience of school children, 20% will have "self" destructed within a couple of months."

Based on my experience of school children, 2050% will have "self" destructed been sold on Ebay within a couple of months.

Fixed.

But hopefully the spark will catch the right kids.

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werdsmith
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"showed this to my son - coming up to 15 - and his reaction was "what a piece of shit. No kids will use that. Give them something they can actually use to make something - like a Raspberry Pi"

This device is not aimed at him. This will be aimed at 13 year olds and the idea will be to spark an interest and demonstrate that these things are doable, then they might go looking for a Raspberry Pi as their interest expands. If your son has already done some making with a Raspberry Pi then he is well past the target students for this device.

Remember the Recorder music lessons in primary school? No kid wants to grow up to be a recorder player, they want an electric guitar. But the recorder was the simple cheap instrument that was used to find the kids with the aptitude and inclination.

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werdsmith
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Re: Pedantic point of order @petur

The strange thing about Clarkson and Top Gear, is that some people don't like it - but more than that they seem to be want to be outspoken about not liking it. As if they are trying to impose their supposed intellectual superiority by letting everybody know they don't like Top Gear and Clarkson.

There are many programmes and people on TV that I would switch off immediately they appear, but somehow I don't feel the need to crow all over the web about it.

You don't like Clarkson? Well thanks for letting us know. What else are you over-compensating for?

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werdsmith
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Re: teach some fun little Vb projects

As VB went out of Mainstream support with VB6 10 years ago, it wouldn't surprise me if some teachers still think it's current.

VB is still number 10 in the Tiobe index though, right behind VB.NET which is at number 9 this month.

Staggering.

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werdsmith
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Re: Sorry to be a killjoy, bit it's dumb. @werdsmith @peter

@Peter Gathercole.

Yes, I was quite clumsily attempting to support your comment. It is stupid to compare it to a BBC micro in that it is being handed out for free so a million kids have the opportunity to make a tenner on Ebay.

The BBC Micro (at least for me) was so elitist (no Braben pun intended) and hard to get near that it never really achieved its potential.

I believe the other very similar looking existing device does have a li-poly battery and doesn['t use a case. There are some things that look like eyes that go where the buttons are.

The big through plated holes are, in fact, lace holes to help make it wearable.

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werdsmith
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Re: Great idea and all that...

Thank m0rt, that needed saying. I would have clicked on your upvote thingy, but I am older than 12 so written gratitude will have to suffice.

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werdsmith
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Re: Sorry to be a killjoy, bit it's dumb.

The BBC Micro of old cost the equivalent of about £1500 in todays money.

I recall that they were not readily available to most people.

I saw one once, in a magazine.

This little thing is like an Arduino Leonardo with a 5x5 LED grid and some lace holes to make it wearable (with a li-poly battery) If we are to believe the prototype photos are like the intended final product. It seems to be to be very much like an existing device, so it's just an adaptation. It seems to have IO pins too. I don't think that this will be about the device itself, but the bulk of the effort will be in the supporting resource and educational material.

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werdsmith
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Re: who the hell is going to teach this stuff?

But I'm not sure if this is BBC money well spent or not.

Not.

Because it's not BBC money (at least the hardware isn't). I guess the BBC will spending some money making the educational TV programmes, but that is their public service remit.

There are 9 partners:

ARM

Barclays

element14

Freescale Semiconductor

Lancaster University

Microsoft

Nordic Semiconductor

Samsung

ScienceScope

Technology Will Save Us

So don't worry, your license fee money is still available for East Enders.

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werdsmith
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"This still-in-development device, part of the wider Make it Digital initiative, is not unlike a Raspberry Pi ."

This still-in-development device, part of the wider Make it Digital initiative, is not unlike a Raspberry Pi.

Fixed.

so we may be heading for a rematch of the notorious Sinclair Vs BBC Micro fight in the 1980s.

Except a quick check would have shown that Raspberry Pi have not only endorsed this move, but are one of the education partners in the project.

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'Boozed up' US drone spook CRASHED UFO into US White House

werdsmith
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Re: For the Nth time

Why must it be a Parrot AR?

The cheaper ones like the Parrot, DJI,and 30QX are designed to lift a Go-Pro with a gimballing mount and not much more.

But for a few hundred more they start to get more capable and there are numerous self build designs, hexacopters which use more powerful motors.

If you only need 1 minute of flight time then these could easily carry a significant quantity of plastic explosive.

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Flying cars will take to the skies in 2017, if government allows

werdsmith
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I don't believe that draggy airframe will cruise at 125MPH with that pusher prop, more likely 125 is the Vne.

Also, 81 MPH is a high rotate speed for this class of aircraft, so it is going to need some big fields.

I suppose it gives the trip option though, to return if the weather changes. Convention flight only light aircraft are easily grounded by bad weather for most private pilots. Which is a real pain if you hop over to Le Touquet on a Sunday morning, to find in the afternoon unforecast low cloud and rain is in the channel. You are left with a few choices: 1. get accommodation and wait for the weather to clear (could be days and your passengers need to get home); 2. leave the aircraft where it is and return by ferry/tunnel/train; 3. Lie to French ATC about your instrument rating and risk the trip back illegally and uninsured with danger of death.

None of them are very convenient options.

So folding back the wings and driving on to a ferry would work nicely as a cure for get-home-itis.

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Improved Apple Watches won't get more expensive? Hmmm

werdsmith
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Re: Hmmm... smoke and mirrors?

" living in smaller houses than their parents (and renting them) etc., etc."

I live in an equivalent sized house, but in a "nicer" area.

However, my parents drank and smoked a lot. I can't actually afford to drink and smoke as much as they did so I don't, therefore I am healthier and my quality of life is better. Health tax works!

Hey! Every cloud!

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Musk: 'Tesla's electric Model S cars will be less crap soon. I PROMISE'

werdsmith
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For most people that means owning another car. And if you have a 'spare' car that you're not using every day then there's not much point, environmentally speaking, in having the battery powered car

Those are what are known as "rental cars".

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Dream job: Sysadmin/F1 pit crew member with Red Bull racing

werdsmith
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Pay

Wasn't it reported that Red Bull and Mercedes staff got a 10K bonus when they won their championships?

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werdsmith
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Re: Sod moving back to Milton Keynes,...

It's a short distance from Caldecote Lake, and a 10 minute walk to Bow Brickhill train station.

It has been Stewart and Jaguar before, moved there from Blakelands.

My brief experience in F1 was to contract on telemetry. It was more secret than some of the gov stuff.

Wouldn't be secret now though, long since obsolete.

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Ark scoops £700m to host ALL UK.gov's data centre needs

werdsmith
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£700 million won't go far on the salaries of SC cleared contractors in the M4 corridor.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

werdsmith
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Re: Why?

"Why are 'licence' fee payers having to cough up for this?"

They are not.

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werdsmith
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Re: Copyrights?

"Have the BBC, in gleefuly giving away my reluctantly paid licence money, considered Googling 'Micro Bit'"

How about googling to find out who is really paying for these devices?

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werdsmith
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"I wonder if this comes out of the license fee?"

Nope. These are couging up for the hardware.

ARM

Barclays

element14

Freescale

Microsoft

Nordic Semiconductor

Samsung

ScienceScope

Technology Will Save Us

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werdsmith
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Re: The BBC should have bought a stockpile of Pi's and gave them out

RISCOS runs on the Raspberry Pi and features BBC Basic.

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werdsmith
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Re: Ha

License fee blah blah.

BBC are making some programmes for this device and lending their name.

Manufacture is funded by the 9 formal partners.

ARM

Barclays

element14

Freescale

Microsoft

Nordic Semiconductor

Samsung

ScienceScope

Technology Will Save Us

Turns out that particular horse isn't actually that high.

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Ban Minecraft? That's jive, Turkey!

werdsmith
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Re: it encourages the raising of pigs for food

"And, if you think about it, cows give meat and skins, chickens give meat and feathers, whereas pigs only give meat."

cows give milk and meat and skins. Chickens give eggs and meat and feathers. Pigs give skins, meat and bristles and a great deal of entertainment.

There's Babe, Pinky and Perky, Pig from Pipkins, Warner Brothers Porky Pig, The Tamworth Two, Napoleon (Animal Farm) etc.

What's not to like?

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werdsmith
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Forget the violence, many a GCSE grade has been lowered because of Minecraft obsession over schoolwork.

And it uses Java.

More than enough reasons to banish it forever.

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Can't pay $349 for an Apple Watch? Get a Chinese knockoff for less than $50

werdsmith
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Re: "In the end, you sometimes need to be an expert to tell the difference between real and fake."

"The other day someone showed me a Rolex knockoff that cost £6. I needed my close up glasses to spot the small manufacturing flaws in the case and strap, and the mechanism is actually mechanical auto-wind."

I had a Rolex knock off in the 80s, it was a permanent drawer resident, but it had a self winding clockwork movement, and sweeping second hand, everything. A colleague brought it back from Singapore.

It's best not to try and look inside the minds of the super rich, it's almost unbelievable to a standard salary earner. But it's enough to say that Apple know they have a market and will shift watches and make money.

And for those that don't get the idea of Smartwatches, don't buy one.

I don't get cigarettes and I never have. So I don't smoke.

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Chewier than a slice of Pi: MIPS Creator CI20 development board

werdsmith
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Re: Media Center

""Then make one. I'm sure you could detect a button push and trigger shutdown."

So I can't comment on a shortcoming in a device that prevents it functioning well in a certain role unless I produce a workaround that solves my personal need but doesn't do anything for anyone else?

Why not just accept it'd be nicer if it had a soft power button built into it."

Like many of the Pi shortcomings, somebody developed a soft power button add on very soon after the Pi appeared in 2012. There are more than one version, there's one that auto shuts down the OS in a car when the ignition is off. There are other pushbutton ones etc.

Yes, it would be better built in for sure.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

werdsmith
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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

A glorified and expensive chromebook,,,,,,,

That can run XCode.

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werdsmith
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Re: None

"The iPad only has the one port (and a 3.5mm audio) and that seems to be considered acceptable."

That's all it is no big deal and not worth two pages of whinging. It's a tablet with a keyboard that runs OSX. For people who would like to type on a proper keyboard and use a mouse but need no more than a laptop. For most general mobile stuff it won't need anything plugging in.

The article seems to be written by yet another one of those people who believes that their own personal requirements apply universally.

As for the watch, it's just Apple getting in on the game. Competitors are already doing them and selling loads of them. I find the smartwatch incredibly useful, I appreciate that some people don't get it but an open mind is not really that hard to keep.

I wouldn't want the apple version of a smartwatch though,when there are cheaper, better ones.

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

werdsmith
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Re: Waterproof?

"I could be wrong, but I think the waterproofing goes on the outside."

Yes, you are wrong.

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werdsmith
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There are enough people in the world to consume countless Bentleys, Astons, Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches, Range Rovers, etc who own yachts and travel in private jets. These people can splash £10k on a watch and leave it in a draw for 99% of its life because they have many other expensive watches. Apple will sell enough of these and make a shed load more cash. What you and I think about that doesn't matter in the least. We are not the target market and common sense notions about obsolescence are totally irrelevant.

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Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

werdsmith
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Re: Uncomfortable?

"We are, but there will always be a number of people who, for example, threaten to rape women with whom they disagree, sometimes going so far as to prove they know where said women live."

Surely that's already covered under the common law.

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Apple Watch: HOT WRIST ACTION plus slim $1299 MacBooks - and HBO TV

werdsmith
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"Or so it claims, looking like the pebble is a better option"

No doubt.

Pebble Mk1 is a better and more useful smartwatch than the Apple attempt.

Not to mention that it is favoured by people who like to develop and it's a doddle to develop for (a bit like an 80s home computer) and there is a web based IDE where you can write, build and install an app in about 2 minutes.

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Oi. APPLE fanboi! You with the $10k and pocket on fire! Fancy a WATCH?

werdsmith
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Re: Hmm...$10,000...

"rumours are that the AppleWatch won't need a button press to view the time or latest alerts, you just need to move your arm so you can see the watch face"

Excellent. Keep still, save battery.

It'll be perfect for when I'm asleep.

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werdsmith
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Re: Hmm...$10,000...

Do we need watches to tell the time? If I look around my desk, the time is on my monitor screen, my mobile phone and my desk phone. The office wall clock is superfluous. If I go out into my car there is a clock that is kept accurate by RDS signals over the air. In town there are enough time telling devices to cover the time where there isn't one in sight (a few minutes max). I'm generally aware of the approximate time anyway without seeing a clock. At home, the time is on my TV, kitchen cooker, hifi, DAB radio, alarm clocks.

Why do I need a watch?

Back in the old days, the only sources of time out of the home were the position of the celestial bodies (not reliable in UK because they often hide) or a clock on a church tower. People carried a small pocket watch on a chain in a pocket. Looking at the time required them to pull the watch out (using the handy chain) open the front casing, observe the time, close the case, replace it in pocket. Then, in the 20th Century, advances brought us the little clock that could be strapped on your wrist and observed by just turning a wrist towards the face. Even with busy hands - brilliant!

The other step forward was the quartz watch with the eternal battery life -eliminating daily winding.

Then, in the 21st Century **** me, people regressed back to using the old retrieve from pocket, open case, observe time etc etc, but this time without the handy chain to help them! And all this in a world where the correct time is everywhere and we don't need to look at the time! And daily winding (charging) is back too!

So what are watches useful for? Well, these mobile phones can give us personalised information, that isn't a common and the same for all of us and ubiquitous. Our feed of information and communication that arrives through our phone. The smartwatch is the step forward from the pocket watch on a chain to a quickly observed wrist twitch that happened with the introduction of the wrist watch.

But it isn't. Because most of them are impractical devices using inappropriate tech, that need a button press with the other hand. Only Pebble have got it anywhere near right so far.

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In assault on American values, Lockheed BLASTS PICKUP with RAYGUN

werdsmith
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Re: input vs. output

"A Challenger 2 tank engine will put out close to 1MW"

A sabot round from the Challenger 2 tank will make a bigger mess of the car than the laser did too. And it would take about 1 second.

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