* Posts by Jim84

135 posts • joined 20 Mar 2012

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BlackBerry wakes up, dunks Priv in Marshmallow

Jim84

Update for the Passport

Any chance of getting this on my Blackberry Passport?

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Grab your Hammer pants – it's the '90s again: Facebook brings Virtual Reality back

Jim84

Still stereoscopic

All the present VR headsets still use stereoscopic 3D (two slightly different images). So people will probably get eye strain with longer use. Pseudo holographic (lightfield) displays would help, but would people rather just stand next to an 80 or 100 inche lightfield TV that is like looking through a window?

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BlackBerry boss mulls mid-range Androids

Jim84

Android Fork

It seems that every phone manufacturer doesn't make money on Android handsets (although some must be surely?).

Could BB differentiate themselves from the pack by forking android and making it more secure? Would forking android make it more secure?

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WhatsApp at BlackBerry? For one thing, BBM's now free

Jim84

Re: And the end game is what, exactly?

Yes, BBM would have to do something that Whatsapp and Viber are not doing to get any market share. I know that it is more secure, but most people don't really care as long as much as how convenient the app is.

Perhaps they could integrate unblockable Firechat style messaging directly between phones and over local Wifi LANs and mesh networks to help people in autocratic places like Egypt and Hong Kong?

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BlackBerry's still losing millions – but hit its revenue target, finally

Jim84

BBOS 10 Android Skin

I really wish Blackberry would skin android so that the interface works exactly like that of BBOS 10, but can run android apps from the play store.

Are they just not doing this as a design or cost choice? Or would they need to fork android to achieve this?

Does their hub on Android work as well as the hub on BB OS 10?

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Silicon photonics boosted with UK fabrication research

Jim84

Laser Phosphor TVs in the future?

Could you use these nanodots on silicon lasers to realise a laser phosphor TV?

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Remix OS: China's take on an Android operating system – but for PCs

Jim84

Why x86?

Why not just produce cheaper laptops running on beefed up ARM chips?

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Don't fear PC-pocalypse, Chromebooks, two-in-ones 'will save us'

Jim84

Any threat

To the WinTel duopoly in desktops/latops/2 in 1s from ARM powered chromebooks? Or will Google experience the same problems in trying to get an OS (Android) to go from mobile to screen and keyboard as Mircosoft has in trying to go with Windows from laptops/destops to mobile?

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Google robo-car backs into bendy-bus in California

Jim84

Re: Skytran Vs autonomous cars

Wow, Ok 4 thumbs down. I don't really see why that comment was annoying people.

Perhaps some of the replies pointing out that a SkyTran system had already been done and had failed were annoyed that I had failed to realise this?

But, the difference between the SkyTran PRT and those elevated hanging German trains, or the Ultra Pods at Heathrow Airport, or the Morgantown PRT (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgantown_Personal_Rapid_Transit) is that all those systems require a costly evelated guideway or set of rails. Because the SkyTran is light and uses a single rail it's infrastructure is much cheaper than those other systems.

Other things that I think the SkyTran has going for it are that a single silver rail in the sky isn't the eyesore that an elevated concrete track is. Also because it is maglev the SkyTran can travel at 270 kph.

As fortune noted, the SkyTran might succeed because it is really really cheap:

http://fortune.com/2015/11/24/skytran-maglev-pod-system-tel-aviv/

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Jim84

Skytran Vs autonomous cars

This is why the future might actually be maglev pods on a rail above traffic (and pedestrians). The pods have a clearly marked right of way which is much easier for a computer to deal with. Plus it takes commuters out of competition for space with other ground based transport (trucks, bicycles etc).

http://fortune.com/2015/11/24/skytran-maglev-pod-system-tel-aviv/

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Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail

Jim84

"hot-swapping"

A company called Better Place tired that idea but went bankrupt. It seems that people want to own their own battery rather than be part of a battery sharing service. I suspect this has some deep psychological routes as most people seem to prefer owning cars to using a ride sharing service.

The other problem is that if everyone is relying on battery swapping then you'd need as many battery swapping stations as a modern city has petrol stations. The cost of building this, and having batteries waiting around everywhere could be huge.

I think a solution would be to have a bay at the back of the car with no battery in it, but where one could be robotically attached for longer trips out of town. Then you'd only need battery swapping stations in a ring around the edge of a city and on some intercity highways. You'd drop the battery off at the next city or on your way back to your home city.

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Boffins freeze brains, then thaw them – and they're in perfect order

Jim84

Show me

I think this is one of those technologies that the public will wake up to if and when a small mammal is frozen and then revived.

How long till they can preserve a kidney or other solid organ?

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Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

Jim84

Steel Fuel Tubes

Dounreay did prove that steel fuel tubes could withstand a high neutron flux. Moltex Energy plan to use them in their "Stable Salt Reactor" which will be trying to win a slice of the funding for small modular reactors being distributed in the UK this year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iRF6pilm3s

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What do we do about a problem like Uber? Tom Slee speaks his brains

Jim84

Natural Monopoly

Uber is just another Natural Monopoly like Facebook, Twitter, the power grid, or the London Underground.

As such it is probably best run by local government so that it can't extract monopoly prices. That doesn't mean the service should be provided by local government, it can hire companies to do that, or that it should be funded out of taxation.

If London already had a system where anyone could go on a website or app and hail a private car, and there were no barriers to anyone becoming a private driver like there are for Black cab drivers, then, well that's basically what Uber has managed to do with an App. The App just gets around the natural monopoly handed to black cabs by TfL.

Black Cabs did harm consumers, because they extracted monopoly prices. Uber harms the drivers and also the government coffers (I doubt they are paying loads of tax on their profits). The natural marketplace monopoly of an App should be run by TfL, not Uber, but any drivers should be free to enter or leave the marketplace.

Only problem with that is that it is easy for small groups of workers to unionise and bully the government into giving them perks at the expense of the consumer by threatening to vote for the oposition as a block.

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Chinese unleash autonomous airborne taxi

Jim84

parachute

Yes there are some obvious improvements:

- parachute on top for emergencies (some small aircraft have these now)

- props on top

- shrouded props

All this would add weight though.

To get the power density up, and given that cost doesn't matter that much at this point, how much would a fuel cell weigh and would it be better than just more batteries?

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It's curtains for you, copper: IBM boffins push the LIGHT FANTASTIC

Jim84

Laser Phosphor TVS

Surely if you can now get silicon chips that produce light this could be the ideal backpane for a laser phoshpor TV? Rear projection versions of this have been developed where a laser is scanned across the back of a screen using a chip of micro mirrors, but these screens are bulky. Having a tiny silicon laser for each sub pixel could solve that.

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Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

Jim84

LawBringer

This gun is coded to my DNA...

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Robotic exoskeleton market to grow 40 per cent a year until 2025

Jim84

You're making an implicit assumption that human wants are limited. French Rococo furniture and feng shui consultants are a powerful argument against this. In the end all resources, human as well as capital, are expended in sexual competition.

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After Burner: Sega’s jet-fighting, puke-inducing arcade marvel

Jim84

Re: G-LOC R-360 Cabinet

Am I the only person to think that this cabinet combined with oculus rift and eve valkarie would be amazing?

Or would the cabinets still cost 125k to make?

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Lower video resolution can deliver better quality, says Netflix

Jim84

320 x 640 for Australia!

That is all.

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Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL: Clear thoughts of Continuum with a snazzy camera

Jim84

Give up on ARM

Android has won the ARM smartphone market (with Apple creaming off the top end).

Microsoft should just start using Intel Atom chips in its mobiles (which apparently now match ARM for power usage) and stick a full fat version of Windows 10 on them.

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Microsoft shelves 'suicidal' Android-on-Windows plan

Jim84

Re: What 'app gap'?

Yeah but FOMO is a real thing.

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BlackBerry Priv: Enterprise Android in a snazzy but functional package

Jim84

Too small?

A lot of reviews on other websites are slaging off the keyboard saying that it is too small.

I still think Blackberry should produce versions of this phone exactly the same with and without the slider option. That way people who just want a better galaxy with Blackberry's software on top can have their option.

And it should try and do the same for the passport. I use a passport and the best thing about it is the width of the screen (yes you can turn an iPhone sideways but then the screen is ridiculously short).

Well done to Blackberry on creating a slider that is only 9.4mm thick, that is well and truly 'have your cake and eat it' territory.

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Biggest problem with virtual reality: It can be a little too real for people

Jim84

Just buy a giant mechanical powered hamsterball and stick in in your garage.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Jim84

So my laptop has made my boyfriend infertile, we'll see about that!

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BlackBerry emits Android mobe as biz goes down the Priv

Jim84

Re: Updates

Yes I think Blackberry should try and use a forked version of Android rather than just stock android, focus on security, and skin it so that it looks and works like BBOS 10 (which I find really good). Although they probably shouldn't try and use Cyanogen OS, as El Reg's past reporting on the Oneplus 2 debacle in India shows that Cyanogen OS may just be a clever way for google to discourage anyone else from trying to produce a version of Android without google's apps pre installed on the device.

It depends on whether or not Blackberry have the software development resources to do this though. None of the Android handset makers seem to be able to produce a decent skin for some reason.

I'm not sure about this slider phone, yes a slider does solve the "smaller screen" problem that the classic/passport have, but slider keyboards never seem to be as good as the keyboards on the classic.

Also Blackberry had a good idea in making the keyboard capacitive, then bollacked it up.It should have worked like the capacitive trackpad on the classic or bold - you use it to move the cursor around like you do with a mouse to edit text. Instead they used it to scroll the screen up and down, which you can already do with your finger on the screen. I slapped my forehead when I got my passport and realized that the capacitive keyboard was used for scrolling and not placement of the cursor(chicklet) in text.

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Jim84

Hopefully they can skin Android so it looks and runs exactly like BBOS 10 on the Passport.

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Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

Jim84

Apps, Apps, Apps + 2 questions.

The real problem is the lack of a complete app store. Reading this article I thought "Oh, I might give Here Maps a try". But then it wasn't in the Blackberry World app store, or in the Amazon app store. I went to the play store in my chrome browser on my PC, and there it was.

Yes I've read that there is some way to "side load" apps onto blackberry 10 by downloading apks, but screw that.

All android phones seem to have the same slightly shitty User Interface. What I'd like for the Blackberry Priv is for the user interface to work exactly like that on the Blackberry passport, hub included.

So the questions:

(1) Could you make a blackberry phone running android with a user interface exactly like that of BBOS 10, or is there some way that android restricts/prevents this?

(2) Why isn't Nokia Here Maps in the Amazon App store??

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Deluded Aussie geeks hail Turnbull's elevation to prime minister

Jim84

NZ 1 Aus 0

How is it that New Zealand has already managed to build out fiber to the premises for most urban centers, yet Australia can't seem to manage this?

Oh that's right, the NZ government saw as a key obstacle the former state telecoms monopoly (called Telecom) and set about playing hardball with Telecom to force it to 'voluntarily' split itself into a consumer retail company and a separate infrastructure wholesale company.

Why was similar political will lacking in Australia (usually a fairly radical place that takes a dim view of monopolists)?

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Sign of the telly times: HDR shines, UHD Blu-ray slides at IFA

Jim84

Re: When HDR becomes prevalent ...

So what is superior OLED Hdr or LED LCD Hdr?

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No, Siri – I said PAWN stars! New Apple TV gets voice, touch control

Jim84

Why are Apple playing so nice with Cable Companies?

Apple didn't delay the release of the iPod just so that they could sign up content deals with music companies, they just went ahead and released a device that was more than capable of playing everyone's entire (pirated) digital music collections. All you had to do was import the mp3s into iTunes.

Why not make Apple TV the same for TV and movies? Right now there is a lot of faffing about as your Apple TV needs to connect to an iTunes library on a local mac/pc, but surely it is not beyond Apple to put iTunes as a built in app on the Apple TV device itself that then seemlessly pull any content stored on Nework Accessable Storage or iPhones in the vincinity?

Or they could have whacked a 2TB 2.5 inch hard drive in Apple TV, or allowed it to stream media files stored on iCloud.

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Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: El Reg on the hydrogen highway

Jim84

More articles on the Dearman engine please

The Dearman engine runs on liquid air/nitrogen, which is a better for automotive engery storage than either batteries of hydrogen.

The real problems with hydrogen fuel cells are:

- Cost of the hydrogen, sure industrial hydrogen can be cheap, but fuel cells require 99.99% pure hydrogen to avoid fouling, and the cheapest way to produce that is (expensive) electrolysis (cheaper than filtering dirty hydrogen).

- Expensive storage and transport of the hydrogen (requires specially lined pipes as it embrittles steel).

The Dearman engine also provides 'free' air con, and is being trialed in refrigerated trucks in London.

http://www.dearmanengine.com/#!Time-the-UK-woke-up-to-Cold-Economy-–-Toby-Peters/ccrp/55afba8b0cf24f011b6475b4

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EU clears UK to give £50m to SABRE space launcher engine

Jim84

Fast travel around the earth

I'm more excited about traveling from Sydney to London in only 4 hours.

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Reclothed BlackBerry Passport launched as Silver Edition

Jim84

Capacitive Keyboard

I have never used the Capacitive keyboard other than as a physical keyboard. I imagined that it would be used to move the cursor around in text like the 'trackpad' on the classics. But this never seems to work in any applications.

What really surprised me is how much I like the wider screen. Yes you can turn a galaxy/iphone sideways, but then the scrolling real estate is reduced to less than that of a passport.

But I can't see the Passport ever selling in large numbers due to it's weird size and shape. Also the rubber back is actually really good, but will initially put people off in shops.

My layman's wish is that Blackberry would produce 4 phones each year:

- Classic

- Budget classic with the same screen, but everything else cheaper parts.

- iPhone/Galaxy alike with a capacitive trackpad/nub combo home button.

- Slightly thicker version of the iPhone/Galaxy alike with a somehow decent slide out keyboard.

My other wishes are for a metal back that is somehow dimpled so that it is not slippery, but is still cool to the touch (the iPhone 6's are ridiculously slippery). Also for the classic and slide out to have two or more LED lights under each key, lighting up different characters on the key, allowing for a contextual keyboard.

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Petrol cars are dead in the water, says Tesla CTO waving numbers on the back of an envelope

Jim84

Dearman Engine will win

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/10/nitrogen-cycle

The Economist has already called it, a better way of storing energy for motive power is a Dearman liquid nitrogen/liquid air engine.

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Feeding the XPoint cuckoo and finding it a place in the storage nest

Jim84

Re: Consoles

I think Nintendo's next console (the Nintendo NX) is coming out a lot sooner than 2020 given the failure of the WiiU. Although XPoint will probably be too expensive.

Can someone explain how XPoint will lead to better games?

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BlackBerry vows to make even fewer phones

Jim84

Moon on a stick wishes

Typical blogger comment here, but they should just do four phones per year. An iPhone alike, a slightly thicker version of the iPhone alike with a slide out keyboard, a classic device, and a cheap materials version of the classic device. The home button on the iPhone alikes should be raised rather than recessed and able to act as a trackpad like that on the current classic.

It is a shame that they don't seem to be able to get all Android apps working in BBOS as there are clearly benefits to making both the hardward and OS.

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FEMALE BLOOD-SUCKERS zero in on human prey by smelling our BREATH

Jim84

Re: Dettol and baby oil

Is it really beyond human ingenuity to build a device that attracts and then kills mosquitos? Do the bastards adapt to all attempts or something?

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Self/Less: Crap science, eyebrow acting, and immortality for the 1%

Jim84

The Prestige

@LeeMing - Aren't you a copy of yourself though? Have you ever been knocked out? If they could grow a copy of you, and the copy woke up and didn't see the original, it wouldn't know that it was a copy.

This will probably never be possible, but it makes for some fun thought experiments. See the Christopher Nolan's film "The Prestige" for a good example of this in fiction.

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Microsoft: This Windows 10 build has 'NO significant known issues'

Jim84

Bring back clippy

I really want a mod that skins cortana into Clippy. "Looks like you're trying to open a word document...". Some of the most annoying words in the English language.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

Jim84

Nuscale

Nuscale power have an interesting SMR rector that uses standard uranium oxide fuel rods. The big innovation is that they have designed the rector so that there are no powered pumps or moving parts, and the whole thing sits in a giant pool of water. If the plant loses power then the magnetically suspended control rods drop, and the thing winds down to a power level where it can air cool itself forever long before the water pool evaporates.

Because it is small the rectors can be factory built, avoiding cost overruns and long in field construction times.

Because it is small the complex can be built in a hole in the ground (basically a bunker) rendering it earthquake and airplane proof. And if you stuck it on a hill it would be Tsunami proof too.

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Humongous headsets and virtual insanity

Jim84

Pseudo Holographic TV

I have a feeling that Pseudo Holograms might be the next big thing for TV, while VR might be restricted to solo gaming. The other thing limiting VR in the near term is that you need an enthusiast level PC to run a headset with enough FPS.

On the other hand Dolby Atmos for sound looks absolutely awesome for regular TV as well as VR. Although not that many people have a full 5.1 speaker set up in their living room. The main problem is plumbing in all the power wiring for the speakers. And these cables get dusty and horrible. Perhaps if wireless power over 2m takes off (Witricity reckon they can do it) then people will just be able to stick speakers to walls and place them on stands behind the couch.

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Windows Phone is like religion – it gets people when they are down

Jim84

Bring back the E6

I wouldn't mind an updated version of this with windows phone 10 on it.

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What an eyeful: Apple's cut price 27in iMac with Retina Display

Jim84

Still has a mobile graphics card in it

I understand that they probably can't fit a full sized Nvidia 980 or AMD R9 290X card into an all in one PC. But you might be better to wait for the next refresh as AMD will by then have greatly reduced the size of their card through the use of High bandwidth Memory (HBM).

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-gpu-radeon-2015-hbm,29054.html

On the other hand if you wait 6 months you can almost always get a much better computer...

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Hyperloop tube trains, killer AI, and virtual skydiving: Yes, it's the Pioneers Festival

Jim84

Looks like 5 TED talks squashed together

Hyperloop - could actually work. But will need Billions to develop and Musk has already maxed out his credit trying to get into space.

Graphene - Is still a manufacturing breakthrough away from being practical. I hope it doesn't take 10+ years like OLED Televisions.

AI - So many predictions about this it is boring.

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Roku 3: Probably the best streaming player on the market ... for now, at least

Jim84

DLNA

OK I see that the Roku 3 New can do DLNA streaming from a local storage device/NAS by installing the "Roku Media Player App". But why not just have that functionality installed out of the box?

Also another add on that seems to be fairly obvious to me is some kind of rudimentary social network so that I can have a recommendations stream based on what my friends are watching, or what my friends share or hit the like/love/recommend button on.

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Microsoft HoloLens or Hollow Lens? El Reg stares down cyber-specs' code

Jim84

The lack of wires is cool but...

...a lack of wires has got to limit the graphical power. And as an early large function of the Hololens and other headsets seems to be gaming, surely this is an Achilles heal.

Still Witricity have been promising to make wireless power over a few feet real for some time now. It if is not vapourware then perhaps MS could use or buy their tech. Even in that case though it would be better if they figured out how to screen share the output of a desktop PC's graphics card to the Hololens. I know that current screen sharing introduces lag, but surely there must be some way around this? We're not talking Gaikai over the internet streaming of 3D, just streaming in the same room.

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Nobody should have to see their own rear, but that's what Turnbull's NBN will do to Australia

Jim84

Too much hassle

I'm going to guess that wearing a VR headset to watch the football will be too much hassle. People don't wear 3D glasses, and they are lighter and more convenient. I think large pseudo holographic TVs are the future.

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Hackable media box based on the Raspberry Pi compute module: Five Ninjas Slice

Jim84

Pirate media player - This can play NAS stored files

I think Apple TV can't play (potentially pirated) media files on your NAS drive (at least my flat hasn't been able to figure out how to do this with Apple TV). I tried to read if Roku could do this, but got lost in walls of text in review focusing on its Netflix support.

I think this is the main difference between Slice and Roku/Apple TV? Please correct/abuse me if I am wrong?

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BlackBerry gets flirty with QWERTY IP, launches $275 Leap

Jim84

Dual curve

Not to sure about the dual curve, just seems like another gimmick from Samsung in their "throw everything against the wall and see what sticks" strategy (still it worked a treat with phablets).

But a querty slider looks pretty tasty. The only thing I am worried about is that the keyboard will be horribly compromised like the keyboard on the old torches.

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