* Posts by Dave 126

8579 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

Dave 126
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Re: I would refuse to buy ANYTHING with built in Alexa

> Extra zero on the cook time.

Some microwave ovens provide superb examples of very bad UI design. Some have you press five buttons just to reheat a cup of tea for twenty seconds (and the sequence isn't in an intuitive order, either), when others have a two-knob design (power, time) that works well. Tech publisher Felix Dennis said that one of the joys of being a millionaire (besides the island homes, cocaine and attractive staff) is that every home he owned had the exact same model of microwave oven - so he wouldn't have to learn how to use a new one.

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Got any ecsta-sea? Boffins get octopuses high on MDMA – for science, duh

Dave 126
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Standard procedure for a come down is to gather round and watch BBC's Blue Planet. Dunno what the octopus equivilent would be.

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Flying to Mars will be so rad, dude: Year-long trip may dump 60% lifetime dose of radiation on you

Dave 126
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Re: Brave new world

And I thought your comment was going to be about subterranean video gamers.

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Dave 126
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Artificial magnetosphere

Some very early research has been done - of the single researcher with optimistic claims that the tech could scaled down enough to be used in a spacecraft.

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Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

Dave 126
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https://xkcd.com/2030/

Megan [a software engineer]: Don't trust voting software and don't listen to anyone who tells you it's safe.

Ponytail: Why?

Megan: I don't quite know how to put this, but our entire field is bad at what we do, and if you rely on us, everyone will die.

Ponytail: They say they've fixed it with something called "blockchain."

Megan: AAAAA!!!

Cueball: Whatever they sold you, don't touch it.

Megan: Bury it in the desert.

Cueball: Wear gloves.

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Dave 126
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Re: Scanning?

Paper voting can work just fine, but it's often poorly implemented in the US. A history is here:

https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/butterfly-effects/

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Dave 126
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Re: The Solid South

Flaws by lack of design. Every US state designs its own paper voting system, but they don't employ designers. So there's been the case of the "hanging chads' in Florida, and another state that mandated 8 pt text on the ballot forms.

If they can't bring the first bit of common design sense to paper ballots, what hope their electronic voting systems?

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Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

Dave 126
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Re: pathetic

Long before 5 billion years our planet will be hit by many asteroids of mass-extinction size. Having orbital technology, both for the telescopes to spot theses asteroids and the tools to divert them is in everyone's interest.

That just leaves the threats of nuclear war, climate change, nutters with DNA sequences making bio weapons etc.

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Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators

Dave 126
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Re: eSIMs make so much sense

I'd like the ability to have several handsets and choose one for whatever I'm doing that day - whichever phone I'm carrying will have my number. This is currently possible but involves the faff (and physical wear and tear of mechanical components) of swapping a physical SIM. A good phone for a long train journey might not be the best phone for a long hike or a night on the town.

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Dave 126
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Businesses?

The article talks about punters, but what about business that need widespread reception? Do have any clout when negotiating with network operators?

We had a technician come to our site the other day to inspect a gas tank, but he soon went away because apparently he needed some app for the task and his network is poor around here.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yay!

It's the first Reg article to report the new SIM / eSIM configurations correctly, though.

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The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

Dave 126
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Re: Apple ecosystem

> . I'd suggest it is a huge mis-judgement to assume that someone is rich because they own an iPhone

It's not an assumption. There have been reports on the Register to that effect, and testimony from app developers on other websites to the same effect. Depending how varied your social circles are, you can support this anecdotally.

I'd suggest, no, state, that your assertion that I made an assumption is itself an assumption.

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Dave 126
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Re: Exchange rate

The US uses different frequencies, no?

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Dave 126
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Re: Margins

Eh? Many Android vendors would dream of a $100 dollar margin on each unit sold. If they added $500 to the price they'd sell next to nothing.

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Dave 126
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Re: Apple ecosystem

Peripherals, services, and 3rd party software. The high street is awash with 'made for iPhone' headphones from Sennheiser etc al. There are also more niche hardware such as external microphones, Leica survey equipment, 3D scanners and cameras that work over Lightning.

Games and software tend to come to iOS first, because the platform is less fragmented, iOS users have more money and so spend more on apps, and Android software is easy to pirate.

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Dave 126
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Re: SE gone - so am I :-(

The SE wasn't announced alongside other iPhones in Autumn, but in an early Spring event - so there's hope yet for an SE 2. Will there be an SE 2? Hard to tell, gotta balance Apple's desire to sell phones to kids and those people who love the form factor, and their desire to have all apps developed for a narrower range of screen sizes.

A grand isn't Apple's minimum - the 7 and 8 models haven't been discontinued, and start at £450 - admittedly a big chunk more than the SE's £250.

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Dave 126
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Yep, came here to note that.

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World's oldest URL – fragments 73,000 years old – discovered in cave

Dave 126
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Re: Hmmmm...

You can't sharpen flint that way - you need to knapp (chip) it down to a sharp edge.

In any case, the markings aren't flint or scratches, they're ochre. Do read before commenting.

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Dave 126
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Re: Windows?

Well, these cavemen had Linux admin-style beards, so it's plausible.

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Dave 126
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Re: Clearly, it is ...

Yeah, there were cats, but of the huge brute variety with bastard big sabre teeth. Opposite of cute.

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Dave 126
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Not WWW but a drawing of...

... a thagomizer, named after the late Thag Simmons. The drawing was used for educational purposes.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thagomizer

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Apple in XS new sensation: Latest iPhone carries XS-sive price tag

Dave 126
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Re: No seperate headphone jack?

I use 3.5mm a lot in my car. I use 3.5 mm earbuds or headphones when I'm working. I hate catching the cable on things and having the buds pulled from my ears. Grr. Haven't yet invested in decent Bluetooth buds or cans.

Don't know where all my half decent wired buds are. They disappear like socks or 10mm spanners.

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Dave 126
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Re: World's fastest old phone in the palm of your hand

Eh? Music files haven't drastically increased in size, so what would you use all that storage for? Even movies are only a few GB a piece, how many do you need to watch on your commute between your home WiFi and the hotel? People use Netflicks these days. iPhone RAM quantity hasn't been a bar to games on the platform, nor to AR, an area Apple are active in. It might help that iPhone NAND storage is very fast indeed (see Anandtech) and developers know it, so shunting between NAND and RAM can be done nearly seamlessly for many tasks.

All the above is true of Android flagships. Most Samsung flagships only offer 4GB of RAM, OnePlus's 6GB RAM option largely considered a gimmick for now. Flagship phones have NAND so fast that high frame HDR video can be filmed without buffering.

According to one games website, it's hard to distinguish between popular game Fortnite on an iPhone X and a Galaxy S9. Fortnite developers have noted that porting the game to Android was a pain the arse though, due to variety of devices and OS version.

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Dave 126
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Re: Razr

That's the trouble - people now use phones for web browsers and video, whereas the original iPhone size - up to 5 and SE - was based around apps which for tasks like checking weather and train times had a much simpler (therefore better for small screens) interface.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bend over FanBoiz,...

If you haven't noticed that there's huge number of people in the world whose wallets are more than big enough to shrug off an iPhone (or Range Rover, or ounce of cocaine, or shit, just being able to go the pub five nights a week) many times over then you've clearly not been paying attention to what's around you.

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Dave 126
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Re: Ford Called

The iPhone RS keeps crashing, but it was genuinely the user's fault.

My mate once asked a Bristol copper why they weren't driving Focus RS cars anymore: "Yeah, we did have those, but the lads kept crashing them"

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Dave 126
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Re: Razr

The Razr was a phone Steve Jobs approved of. The Motorola Rokr - the one that had iTunes on it - he clearly didn't like. When he presented it on stage he held like it was a bag of dog poo.

Sidenote: if you think these iPhones are expensive, check out how much Samsung want for a modern Android clamshell phone (China only): £3,000

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/12/1/16724656/samsung-w2018-flip-phone-android-china

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Dave 126
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Re: Yawn....

> Increasingly hard on the pocket in more than one sense...

Sad to see Apple discontinuing the iPhone SE. Here's hoping that a successor is announced in a Winter / Spring event, as the original SE was.

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Dave 126
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People are enthusiastic about BXactions - an app that lets you remap that Bixby hardware button. I haven't got it working though for some reason (it requires plugging into a computer to unlock its features, and this stage fails for me. Possibly an antivirus clash. I'm finding I can't be arsed fault finding computers these days).

I'm surprised other phone vendors aren't providing a spare hardware button or two and letting users map them to common features such as Flashlight or Pause Audio.

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Dave 126
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Re: 6.5-inch OLED Screen

Feature complete Photoshop is coming to iOS next year - on iPads. The issue with a desktop on a small screen is obvious. The DEX system is handy for niche use cases, but only where you know you'll have a monitor, keyboard and cables ready.

Since Apple haven't even brought the Apple Pencil to iPhones, their policy of distinguishing phones from tablets (which are becoming laptop like) remains clear. They'd like you to buy both.

- sent from from DEX compatible Samsung.

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Dave 126
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Wait and see how the under the screen fingerprint readers mature. The OnePlus 6T will have one. There's optical ways of doing it, and ultrasonic ways - the latter Apple has some interest in. Though of course they have patents, exclusivity deals and interests in many things they don't end up using in products.

But checking a text whilst driving? Maybe investigate a text to speech accessibility function.

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Dave 126
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Re: Emergency call

Yes, it can be turned off.

Dropping your watch won't call the emergency services, since the watch knows it's not attached to you.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yawn....

Yep, it's boring, but that's not a bad thing. It's the difficulty in bringing anything radically new to a pocket device (size and power constraints) that forces designers to look at the small details. Polishing away lots of little niggles can lead to a markedly better user experience over time. Or in Apple's case, include long missing g features such as waterproofing, wireless charging and multiple SIM support (this isn't a jibe, Apple have done done things first too, and often find them very well. I don't see value in being first for the sake of being first, but some features were long overdue).

Look at Samsung - very little difference between the S8 and S9 other than the finger print sensor has been made slightly less awkward. Otherwise it's just a slightly better screen, slightly faster processor, slightly this, slightly that. And that's okay.

If you want a crazy radical phone, wait til next year when Samsung and some if their Chinese partners roll out some phones with flexible displays. But the first generation with likely be clunky, poorly supported in software and not proven to be durable. I'll take boring.

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Wow, great invention: Now AI eggheads teach machines how to be sarcastic using Reddit

Dave 126
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Re: Superhuman?

Indeed - my first post on this thread about a traffic warden is a cultural reference, one that is trivial for a computer to search for. Because it makes no sense in this context to any human who doesn't recognise it, it's also easy for a human to search for, but not all cultural references advertise themselves as such.

A human might write "We're going to need a bigger boat" (Jaws) or "life will find a way" ( Jurassic Park) a context where it makes sense in its own, so another human might miss that it is quote.

Then of course we have snow clones... We're going to need a bigger goat, self replicating resource consuming Von Neumann machines will find a way. Python? I hate Python!

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Dave 126
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It's a small, off-duty Czechoslovakian traffic warden.

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2-bit punks' weak 40-bit crypto didn't help Tesla keyless fobs one bit

Dave 126
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Indeed. I know one family member who has never had a car stolen, but she has lost property when she's placed it on top of the car whilst unlocking it and then driven off with items still on the roof.

Pros and cons again.

I'm envious of the cars that detect that you have the key, and will open part of the tailgate if you wave your foot underneath - hands-free access to the vehicle for dumping whatever you're carrying.

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Dave 126
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Re: Err, Dave126...

Oops! Oh well, at least even my van can keep up with a push chair. Unless it's a particularly steep hill.

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Dave 126
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Re: Problem-solution dichotomy

Number of times a car has been stolen * huge inconvenience of such. Versus:

Number of times a stressed parent holding has used keyless fob to lock vehicle after their brood has exited the vehicle * convenience of such.

Weighing of pros and cons requires numbers.

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Dave 126
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Cool, we can get a free ride in a Maclaren then! (Likely followed by a free ride in a Ford Focus with a fluorescent checker pattern on the side).

I saw a Maclaren the other day but my van, despite being white, couldn't keep up so I couldn't follow him to wherever he parked it.

Aston Martins and Teslas are common round here, Maclarens rarer than the very occasional Ferrari or Morgan.

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Nvidia promises to shift graphics grunt work to the cloud, for a price

Dave 126
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Re: "E-sports is the future."

In the book Freakanomics there's an examination of whether golf is a sport or a game. A disabled golfer requested a buggy between shots. The governing body denied it. The sponsorship and sales of golf gear hinge upon it being sold as a sport to occasionally unfit management type men.

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Dave 126
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Over a CAT network, probably not for games - you'd need high bandwidth between the main CPU and RAM, and the GPU. However, Thunderbolt is fast enough - though you won't get the most out of higher end graphics cards. External Thunderbolt GPU boxes have been around for around six years (Sony Vaio X), but it's only recently with newer versions of Thunderbolt, and support in Mac OS and from some gaming laptop vendors that the concept is gaining traction.

What you can do over a network is stream video and human input, so the game *runs* on your desktop PC but you play it on your laptop or Nvidia Shield tablet - or run the game in your PlayStation 3 and run it in your Xperia phone or PlayStation TV. I've only tried the latter, and it wasn't perfect with video compression artifacts and dropped frames despite both devices being cable connected to the LAN.

You can share a GPU over a network - or rather a machine containing a GPU - for applications where the GPU is fed some numbers and can return a result when it's good a ready - for example, simulating an explosion, ray tracing an architectural scene or, famously, simulating some protein folding. This requires a piece of client software running in the GPU machine, controlled by the host software in the machine you're working on. Bunkspeed Hypershot, used for rendering product images, works this way. You can the master software on a Windows machine to render a SolidWorks model, and it'll use the GPUs and CPUs on every machine (Windows, Mac, Linux) on your network to render the image more quickly.

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Dave 126
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The internet connection might be paid for by mommy and daddy for Netflicks, just as how in the nineties a £1,000 PC was bought by parents for work but a teenager could play games on it on the side.

Competitive gamers often retire by the age of 30, so a good chunk of their gaming career is spent when they are still in education and without a job.

NVidia making cards for the cloud doesn't stop them making cards for home rigs, especially since the demand from crypto miners has eased off. It's not only Nvidia who are looking at streamed gaming - Microsoft are looking at it too. Previous efforts haven't taken off, as you say, but then fibre broadband is becoming more common today.

Nvidia are talking this up because they are not selling to Sony or Microsoft consoles.

For gamers who aren't as twitchy, sone might prefer to spend a two hours a week playing on sumptuous graphics instead of ten hours a week on moderate graphics for the same money. See the recent demonstrations of real-time ray-traced game footage (can't remember if it was the Unreal engine or Unity or whatever ) using daftly expensive GPU arrays. With the cloud you can rent as much processing grunt as you want.

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Dave 126
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Re: $2,000? Try $500!

I can see higher resolution, frame rate and draw-distance giving competitive advantages, but I'm not sure that other GPU-taxing effects such as fancier lighting effects and more leaves on virtual trees effect the actual gameplay. But hey, Doom was fun on 486 hardware, GoldenEye was fun on N64 hardware, Halo was fun on XBOX hardware... if you're focusing your crosshairs on your mate's avatar's head you don't have time to admire the virtual scenery.

Well, I say that, but there's a fascinating article over on Quantamagazine at the moment about how windows and houseplants in real life can act like pinhole cameras can allow inferences as to what is around a corner. Obviously this sort of effect won't be in the first few generations of real-time ray-traced games, but simpler effects such as reflected light might give you a clue that some virtual bastard is hiding around a virtual corner with a virtual shotgun as you're running for the rocket launcher. Again. Bastard.

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Dave 126
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Re: LAN parties.

Err, the people who go to LAN parties buy gaming rigs and run the games locally, just as they do today? Nvidia and AMD are still happy.

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Dave 126
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Re: Taking away half the fun.

There's currently enough people living with fibre broadband for LG and Samsung to sell 4K HDR televisions for Netflicks; they don't need to wait for 60% or whatever coverage of the population in order to start shifting units.

Anyway, people living out in the sticks have alternative forms of recreation to video games, such as mountain biking, surfing and drinking cider.

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Dave 126
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AMD

If the aim really is to level the playing field and test the player and not the machine, the obvious solution is for all players to use the same standard hardware... like a PlayStation or Xbox. Neither of which help Nvidia, since they are powered by AMD GPUs.

Even in PX gaming - mouse and keyboard games like DoTA, one would have thought that people watching the tournament would get find it more fun if the competitors had to use a specific gaming PC. I don't know how the sponsorship money works - there's clearly an industry desire to have people spend thousands on machines they only need to catch up with the Joneses.

Small thought: the players need equally low latency to each other. However the spectators could watch a more visually impressive display - realtime ray-traced game footage at the expense of a few more milliseconds.

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Dave 126
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Re: 3ms latency...

Do bear in mind that in competitive online gaming, there latency that matters isn't just between the mouse and screen, but between a player in London and a player Madrid or New York. For sure, during 'e-Sports' competitions players are assembled on a Local Area Network, but that isn't how they usually get to practice.

Placing the accelerator in a cellular base station only makes sense if all the players are in the same geographic area.

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It's here! Qualcomm's new watch chip is finally here! Oh, uh, never mind

Dave 126
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Some of the new Citizen watches look attractive enough - not as 'sporty chronograph' as their predecessors. Having only hands and dials it can alert you to a notification but not display message contents. Battery life is indefinite in the Eco-drive models. Similar capabilities from Casio, around 18 months between battery changes. Their not particular small - though even finding normal watches at a sensible 38mm is quite hard these days.

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Nokia reinstates 'hide the Notch' a day after 'Google required' feature kill

Dave 126
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Re: It is all Apple's fault

Actually it was LG with their V20 who first put notifications in line with the camera and ear piece, ( by means of a secondary display ) not Essential Phone.

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Dave 126
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> And still pay a premium price for not being able to use the whole screen.

There isn't a premium price - the notch is cut as part of the same process as the whole screen being cut out.

You're not losing a slice of screen, you're actually gaining a couple of 'ears' of screen for the most important icons.

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