* Posts by Dave 126

7698 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Dirty carbon nanotubes offer telcos chance at secure quantum comms

Dave 126
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Re: ARyl --> Contains a benzene ring

Presumably the range of the photon in FO cable doesn't depend on how that photon was generated.

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Dave 126
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To explain it reasonably well requires more room than the article can give it. Try here:

http://gva.noekeon.org/QCandSKD/QCandSKD-introduction.html

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HP Inc reveals dockable, wearable VR workstation for the office

Dave 126
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Re: Chocolate bicycle.

Traditionally CAD wasn't mainstream, but in some sectors its very high price was still more than worth while for the savings it brought. The mainframes used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I don't have enough technical knowledge to judge if there is some way of not having to carry the PC around. Is there no wireless protocol (radio, visible light spectrum or whatever) that can allow a round trip of input from the users helmet to a workstation and back again with sufficiently low latency? We keep hearing of promising experiments with Li-Fi, and I would have assumed those high frequency market traders have funded the development of optical signal switching gear.

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Sun of a b... Rising solar temp wrecks chances of finding ET in our system

Dave 126
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Re: yep, we're interested in the water UNDER the ice

The tidal forces generate enough warmth to melt water, but do they crate points of heat that might cause interesting chemistry (like our seabed vents) to occur?

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New iPhone details leak: Yes, Apple is still chasing Samsung

Dave 126
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Re: $1400?

People who have a spare $1,400 to spend on a phone are the same who have enough spare cash to buy wireless headphones, Lightning wired headphones or just a dongle for each one of their existing headphones.

It's the people who buy a $140 phone who are most likely to require a 3.5mm socket.

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Dave 126
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Re: Project Tango

Basically, I've been wanting to mess around with this 3D machine vision malarky since that MIT student got a MS Kinect connected to a PC with two days of its release.

Like a camera, the tech might really come into its own once it's available on a handheld - or at least portable - device.

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Dave 126
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Re: AR

Low latency machine vision (i.e object recognition etc) has applications beyond games. Engineers, architects, designers and tinkerers will get at least something out of it (just as they have from CAD which benefitted, like games, from GPUs. CAD, to my mind, allows ideas to escape the computer and exist in meatspace. AR may similarly. )

No doubt people will use AR as a way of selling stuff, too - try a jacket on virtually, capture your shirt size from your body, see what your kitchen looks like painted blue. It might prove to be these type of applications that gets AR onto popular handsets.

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Dave 126
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Project Tango

Project Tango. Currently pricey. RAM intense. Google hiring SoC engineers.

Apple ARkit currently power hungry. Apple has been hiring GPU engineers for some time.

Microsoft boast of custom silicon in their HoloLens.

I look forward to seeing the results of experiments in this field.

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GPS III satellites and ground station projects get even later as costs gently spiral

Dave 126
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Re: Do you have any idea how GPS works?

Yeah, those piggy-backed Search and Recuse payloads may have been what confused the article's author.

Indeed, after following the link in the article it was this Search and Rescue bit which caught my attention, and prompted some googling on my part.

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Apple exits music player biz by killing iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle

Dave 126
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Mea culpa

Oops! I stated the capacity of a MiniDisc above as being 700MB, when of course it was closer to 100MB. The playtime of 74 or 80 minutes was equivalent to a 700MB CD, but of course MiniDisc used ATRAC compression.

This means that the iPod held the equivalent of 50 Minidiscs. More than a sockful, that's a veritable shoebox.

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Dave 126
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Re: At the time, most PCs did not yet have USB 2

Hey DropBear!

64MB hey? That's... nearly an entire album's worth of music, enjoyed through whatever headset Nokia supplied you with! You groovy ursine cat, you!

Hehe, my first MP3 player was a matchbook-sized LG with 32MB... I took it back to the shop because it was next to useless!

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Dave 126
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Re: At the time, most PCs did not yet have USB 2

FireWire would have been ubiquitous had Steve Jobs not upped the licensing fee per port. This gave Intel cold feet, who were in a position to bring it to most PCs. A meeting between Intel and Jobs didn't go well (shocking,I know)

Sony computers had FireWire because:

- Sony made DV and miniDV camcorders with FireWire connections (i.LINK as they called it, because Sony execs didn't want to use a 'cooler sounding' name than Sony.)

- Vaio stood for Visual Audio Input Output

- The Vaio range was created by the Japanese Sony designer who created the PlayStation. He was a huge fan of Esslinger's work for Apple - note the grooves on the PlayStation. His team also used Macs, after he'd been exposed to them in the US.

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Dave 126
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Re: At the time, most PCs did not yet have USB 2

> It was the iTunes and marketing that made it a success. Anything else is Apple propaganda. It wasn't the only player to use an HDD to get round the high cost of flash (then).

For the love of God Mage, are you actually suggesting that the iPod offered nothing over that large, clunky piece of shit that Creative made (the one the size of a CD Walkman)? Seriously? The one with the ghastly UI. Really? Or have you got your dates confused?

Look, some of your past posts suggest that you've got your timeline of events out of order, but also that you are not a complete fool (even though you haven't gone back and checked your facts despite links being provided for you). So, your memory is a bit muddled, that's alright. Easy to fix: read up on stuff. Not now though, it's nearly pub time. Have a good weekend.

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Dave 126
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To be fair, I was pleasantly surprised at the choice available when I looked into it. Options are much wider than they were a couple of years back. I guess we have high capacity microSD cards to thank for it!

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Dave 126
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The Android based players (and phones) give the option to use a music player (UI) of your choice, and of course use their fine hardware for streaming too.

The advantage of a dedicated player (Android-based or otherwise) over a phone is that they have better physical controls.

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Dave 126
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The Clips are good. The iRivers were great - more features than an iPod - but a scroll wheel would have made them even better. Where the iPods do well is working well with a whole range of wired headphones with remote controls (volume, pause and track skip) from every reputable headphone vendor, available from every high street. There was also a time when iPod docks were near ubiquitous in friend's houses, too, when 3.5mm aux cables always went missing.

Still, were getting to the point where the sound quality if the player is irrelevant - the DAC and amp will be in the headphones, tuned to the physical drivers. Let Samsung spec the DAC, or Sennheiser? I'll take the latter, ta. Sony have donated their high quality Bluetooth audio protocol to Android. The player itself had been relegated to storage (or streaming client) and UI. Keep your phone tethered to your amplifier by a cable, or sit back on your sofa and stream to your Chromecast? Again, the latter.

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Dave 126
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Re: podcasts

It's a bit of give and take. The easy to use and desirable nature of the iPod gave Apple a base to negotiate with record companies and get iTunes going. The presence of iTunes was then an unique selling point of the iPod. Initially iTunes had DRM on music, but once Apple's hand was strong enough, Steve Jobs removed it.

Still, the iRiver Hxxx series of player/recorders had a USB Host socket (microUSB OTG), so content could be copied from one device to another without a computer. I suspect Apple would have had a hard time negotiating with the record companies if the iPod had such a feature (indeed, even with a computer, it was not straightforward to get music *off* an iPod. Apple could plausibly tell the record companies that people couldn't just visit each others homes and swap their whole music libraries).

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Dave 126
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Re: Oh no, we need something other than iPhone to prop us up

They probably can't be arsed to retool for Lightening-based iPods, to bring their vision to bear.

Side note: I was chatting to a landowner yesterday, who was thinking of getting into the taking money from rich people game by setting a 'glamping' site. He said that customers all demand wi-fi these days, even if they don't want power. Turns out that where once they would have filled up an iPod, these days they want Wi-fi to listen to music over Spotify.

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Dave 126
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I like my Sansa Clip players. Only issue is that they are small and black, thus easy to lose or leave in trouser pocket in washing machine. When camping, it's nice to have a FM radio, too, whilst leaving phone turned off (Airplane Mode tends to disable FM radio reception on those phones that have it. )

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Dave 126
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Oh, Android used to have an issue with the number of files it could index. (Archos made a 500GB Android player, and my mate filled it with tens of thousands of medium bitrate mono audio files he'd ripped from vinyl and recordings of 1960s pirate radio). This issue has probably been fixed now, and if you want the large capacity for fewer, high bit rate files you probably won't encounter it anyway.

The cheaper FiiO players use their own Linux variant, the pricier ones a custom Android. Reviews suggest that they play nice with Fat32 and exFAT SD cards.

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Dave 126
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Re: Rewriting history again, Like iPhone

Mage, you've written this stuff before, and you've been corrected before. With links and evidence. Please pause.

At the time of the iPod's release, solid state MP3 players were prohibitively expensive per MB, especially compared to Minidiscs (£1 per 700MB disc from Richer Sounds). These MP3 players were a clear proof of concept, but they could not be called a 'tested market' as you call it. It was clear to everyone (even us then Product Design students) that solid state would one day rule, but that time was not then (Sony had refined concepts dating back several years, of the hardware and of UIs on the device and host computer). We were also aware that IBM, prior to merging with Hitachi, had a micro hard disk (1" not the 1.6")- it was being touted in the trade press. It was a given that a HDD MP3 player would arrive at some point.

At the time, most PCs did not yet have USB 2, so there was no easy way to transfer music quickly. Those of us with Minidiscs (we were students, a key market demographic for such gizmos) used TOSLink to copy CDs. The graphic design students had Macs with FireWire ( for high resolution scanners, soundcards and MiniDV camcorders) which was plenty fast enough for music.

The iPod was released, and it was good. Not that we bought it - it was bloody expensive and only worked on Macs. However, it was a very well designed product. It charged and synced over a single cable, and whilst being comparable in size to a MiniDisc player it was far smaller than a sock full of two dozen Minidiscs. Whilst my Sharp MD722 had a big scroll wheel, it wasn't used for track selection (no need for a single album). It offered clear advantages to the user over what had gone before - capacity, size and user interface. That prior Creative Jukebox based on a laptop HDD and styled on a CD player was just horrible.

If course in time similar products emerged, usually using the same Toshiba HDD. I had the Creative Nomad Zen (poorly made, the 3.5mm jack soldered directly to the PCB), returned under warranty for an iRiver H320 (superb, more flexible than an iPod, could record line in and mic, could have used a scroll wheel for navigating big libraries though!). The Sony Music Vault - nice hardware but hampered by not being able to play MP3 players, only ATRAC ( this probably resulted from pressure from Sony's publishing wing, and indeed is probably why we aren't now discussing the Sony iPod - they had all the parts they needed from a technical perspective). Etc etc.

All the while, the cost of solid state memory was falling, as all people au fait with computers knew it would, and Apple could see their portable music lunch being eaten by mobile phones (the word 'convergence' had been bandied around Product Design circles since around the year 2000, probably best personified by the Palm-based Sony Clie PEG NX60, in contrast to Steve Jobs' 'Digital Hub' presentation), and Jobs was persuaded to explore an Apple Phone. Hehe, he didn't like having to present a 'Motorola ROKR with iTunes' on stage!

Oh, I repaired my iRiver by giving it a hard disk from a dead iPod, a straight swap - so what's this you're writing about ZIF connectors? A later generation, I assume?

The iPod was a very well thought out implementation of other people's technologies - but hey, a good implementation is important and a skill not to be underrated.

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Dave 126
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Check out offerings from FiiO - something in their range, starting at around $100, should ticket your boxes. Most will take 256GB micro SD cards. Their pricier X5 MKiii has two SD card slots. If you search for reviews, you will read of their competitors, such as Cowon. Your cup runneth over!

Alternatively, consider a phone such as the ESS Sabre DAC variant of the LG V20. ESS are spoken of by hi-fi heads in the way that Wolfson or Burr Brown used to be. It supports a 256GB SD card, which in addition to its 64GB of internal memory takes you over 300GB. It can be had for far less than sone dedicated exotic MP3 players from iRiver, Sony, Cowon or Neil Young (yeah...). If you run it in Airplane Mode then the battery will be fine. The interface will be fast, which isn't always the case for dedicated MP3 players - and for a large music library you will want slick scrolling.

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Dave 126
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Re: Proper Full English

If you can't get proper tea to drink with your full English breakfast then engine degreaser makes an acceptable substitute. And vice versa.

Sadly, the best 'English' breakfasts are in Cardiff at Tuck-Ins. They used to open at 3am to serve bin-men and taxi drivers, and the occasional international rugby team after a post-match drinking session. You could feel your arteries fur over as you ate, the bacon was that good.

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Dave 126
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Great. Now I've got Procol Harem's A Whiter Shade of Pale in my head, set to images of eggs being fried in grease.

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Dave 126
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Re: Nobody has mentioned toast....

It's impossible to find a good breakfast in the posh part of Bristol... all the eateries keep finding new ways of faffing them up. There was a very good greasy spoon Clifton before it moved down to the city centre, then it closed down completely - its name escapes me.

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Dave 126
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Re: Scrambled eggs

Why not both? :)

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Dave 126
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Re: Proper Full English

I'm with TheBishop all the way here. If someone put a touch of cheese and butter into the baked beans during cooking I wouldn't object, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: Runny eggs ?

Runny yolk, yes please. Runny white, no thanks - unless I'm in France eating a galette crepe complete, in which case I 'do as the Romans'.

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Inside the ongoing fight to stamp out govt-grade Android spyware

Dave 126
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How does the marketplace for bug bounties work? Does the NSA outbid Google, for example? Or do criminals pay better? Are these zero-day vulns still stumbled upon by individuals, or do they require teams of skilled and motivated folk?

Just idle curiosity on my part. I'm not a security researcher. I imagine a paycheck from Google or GCHQ would be less hassle to receive than some crypto currency from Uncle Tony. What price a Google night's sleep? :)

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Dave 126
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Re: "to target older versions of Android that are no longer being patched "

Google made a few compromises to get Android to market ASAP in the wake of the iPhone. One compromise was to placate phone vendors by allowing them to faff around with Android. Another was Android having to be built for specific hardware versions, requiring new binary blobs from silicon manufacturers over whom Google have little leverage. Google's Project Treble is their new attempt to make Android more modular so that updates can be rolled out without needing effort from Qualcomm, Broadcom et al. Note that Chromebooks were built with the benefit of lessons Google learnt with Android.

None of which will protect you from zero-day vulnerabilities. Or spanners*.

If you want something, you won't get it unless you pay for it. That currently means a Google Pixel phone (now that the Nexus line has been discontinued) or an iPhone.

*https://xkcd.com/538/ Security

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OnePlus cash equals 5: Rebel flagship joins upmarket Android crew

Dave 126
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Re: meh

> Fail to understand the mania for camera quality on a phone, even the best camera phones are dismal compared to low end cameras because physics

Because even a phone camera is better than no camera at all. Most people have their phone with them most of the time, few people always carry a dedicated camera.

You could equally say "I don't understand the mania for APS-C dSLRs, they are dismal compared to full frame cameras". There has always been a trade-off between image quality and convenience (read: size), but phone cameras have a head start on this graph: the screen and battery are already present. Indeed, Sony removed the screen and storage from their excellent RX 100 compact camera and offered it as a bolt-on for phones (though sadly the implementation wasn't flawless)

Whilst a phone camera will be poor in low light compared to a £500 compact camera with a 1" sensor such as the RX 100, in brighter light a phone camera is often more than fit for purpose (most people won't be printing out A3-sized hardcopy).

Phone cameras these days are surprisingly good, due to there being market demand for them.

If you still don't understand, you must be trying very hard to not understand.

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Dave 126
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Re: No microSD port?

Oops, no edit on mobile site:

I meant to write: " ...dozens of gigabytes (which really, I can imagine *ONLY* a large music or video library requiring)..."

Okay, time for more coffee! :)

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Dave 126
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No surprise re camera

It shouldn't surprise the reviewer that the camera's result don't match the hardware specs on paper. Most high end phones use Sony sensors, yet Sony phones have never output the best images compared to reviews of Samsung, Apple or indeed Google's Pixel phones. The image processing software/firmware on the phone evidently makes a lot of difference.

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Dave 126
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Re: No microSD port?

I have previously chosen phones with an SD slot, but found it more trouble than it was worth. Why? Some apps will shunt their data to the SD card automatically, which means that they get confused if you pop out the card to use elsewhere (for example, my MP3 player, my car stereo and my camera all use SD/micro SD cards). This immediately negates the idea of using the SD card to conveniently shunt data between devices (I.e use phone to download podcasts to car stereo, or use phone to email pictures taken with my Lumix camera). Plus, the damned things are small and easy to lose.

If I really wanted dozens of gigabytes (which really, I can imagine a large music or video library requiring) then I would use USB OTG and a twin-headed (micro USB and USB A) memory stick. It might be inelegant, but that doesn't matter if I'm sat on an airline seat watching video.

This is just my personal experience, YMMV.

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Valley VC sues blogger after sex pest claims, discovers writer is a male tech biz rival

Dave 126
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Only the people within the company who are fluent in Japanese could have done it. Assume more than one, less than fifty. Of those, not all would have a motive.

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iRobot just banked a fat profit. And it knows how to make more: Sharing maps of your homes

Dave 126
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Well, I was going to rob this house, but decided not to because I didn't know what the internal layout was. Even though it was a standard Georgian terrace house of which I've seen dozens, I just didn't feel comfortable climbing in without a sketchy point-cloud representation of its insides.

/s

Meanwhile, theft of phones has gone down *because* they are connected and can shop the thief or be disabled.

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Sensor-rich traffic info shows how far Silly Valley has to drive

Dave 126
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Odd article. It was one direct quote from a press release, no link to the original, followed by some error-strewn extrapolation from AO.

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Wisconsin badgers Apple to cough up half a BEEELLION dollars for ripping off chip designs

Dave 126
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Re: Hey, Apple!

According to AAPL on the NASDAQ, pretty damned well.

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Expect the Note 8 to break the bank (and your wallet)

Dave 126
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Re: Did they miss the austerity memo?

They might also have got the 'rising wealth inequality' memo. Just because some people are skint doesn't mean everybody is.

There are plenty of 'more than good enough' phones at the budget end of the market these days (when once cheap Androids were frustrating to use). Indeed, there isn't much in these high-end phones to grab my attention, though I'm watching developments in real-time 3D scanning with interest (Google's Project Tango, whatever ARKit Apple has up its sleeve after parting ways with Imagination Technologies, or possibly some silicon from Microsoft or others being licenced out)

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Dave 126
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Re: Don't worry

RED (the company that make high resolution video cameras) are looking to release an Android phone around $1600. The concept is modular, with their marketing materials showing so many bolted-on components that the phone is buried behind lenses, storage and batteries. No joke (link below). It reminds me of that Naked Gun sketch where OJ Simpson starts assembling a sniper rifle and ends up with a turret-mounted anti-aircraft gun.

- http://www.red.com/hydrogen

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Dave 126
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Extra buttons

Of the functions I would like to assign to an extra hard-button, a digital assistant wouldn't make the list. The humble flashlight would probably be top. Camera. Dictaphone.

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Repairable-by-design Fairphone runs out of spare parts

Dave 126
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If you want to be green, the best option is to buy something well made and a bit over-specced, and to keep it for as long as possible. A vendor with a reputation for continuing software updates is a big plus too.

Android and Apple alike, the most common points of failure are the screen (gravity and glass being what they are) and the battery. Beyond these, trying g to make cameras and silicon replaceable just introduce too many compromises (bulky unreliable connectors etc).

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Dave 126
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Re: Why on earth didn't they just use standard components?

> Multiple manufacturers != long manufacturing life.

The classic iPod battery was available for years, even off the shelf in Maplins... It fitted the iRiver Hxxx series players, too, if you reversed the cable polarity. I can't think of a product today that has enjoyed a similarly long production life, though I assume there must be for things like £500 portable audio recorders.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why on earth didn't they just use standard components?

"Oh Lisa honey, I don't think we can afford to shop somewhere with ethics"

- Marge Simpson

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Dave 126
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Re: 4 year life?

How long will Qualcomm keep supporting the Snapdragon 801? It's the SoC that is in the Nexus 5, which Google has stopped support.

For newer handsets that will get Android O, there is a good chance that Google's Project Treble will make it easier for vendors to roll out Android updates.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Dave 126
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Re: The end

Picasa is also very fast to use for cropping, straightening and other quick tweaks. There's no need to go through a Save As dialogue either, as changes are not applied to the original file (but will be to the exported or emailed output).

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Bluetooth makes a mesh of itself with new spec

Dave 126
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Re: mesh ?

> apart from asset tracking why would you use bluetooth 5 vs a cheap bluetooth 4.2 controller ?

The article was about Bluetooth Mesh, not Bluetooth 5, but okay... BT 5 has the option of either faster data rates, or of greater range. Useful for remote sensors etc. The Samsung Galaxy S8 already has BT 5 hardware, just as a previous Galaxy model had BT 4 hardware before it was supported by Android. It's better to have the hardware and not need it than to need it and not have it.

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Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

Dave 126
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Re: The ZX Spectrum does not have 'apps'.

Program was the original English spelling, but Programme was used on Victorian entertainment posters to bring a little faux French glamour. Personally, I use program in a computer context, and programme in an arts and entertainment context - but that's just me.

The Americans use program, and indeed a lot of American spellings were a deliberate attempt to remove the French influence (eg Colour color, vapour vapor) from their English.

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Dave 126
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Re: C90 cassette, as that medium was the dominant way? No!

Anyone interested in obscure audio media and playback devices could do far worse than check out Techmoan.

http://www.techmoan.com/blog/category/hifi

He has many YouTube videos where he discusses the history things like Elcassette, RCA Victor tape cartridges and many others. He usually buys the playback kit off eBay and then dismantles on video to make it work again.

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Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

Dave 126
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Re: Having had Dengue Fever,

There's a 2010 article, titled

A world without mosquitoes:

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100721/full/466432a.html

Basically, the effect of eradicating mosquitos would be minimal, though some fish might have trouble adapting to another food source.

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