* Posts by Dave 126

7496 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

A mooving tail of cows, calves and the Internet of Things

Dave 126
Silver badge

A good reminder that IoT can refer to industrial control tech, as well as assigning addresses to physical objects. Poorly secured home gizmos of questionable utility are just a fraction of one definition of 'IoT'.

1
0

Did your in-flight entertainment widget suck? It's Panasonic's fault, claims software biz

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Panasonic has blocked other third party products

We've got quite a few Panasonic cameras kicking around the house, mostly a succession of TZ (Travel Zoom) models, but also an LX-5 and LX-7. Only between the latter two can the batteries be swapped. The chargers will only charge the battery they came with; annoyingly only a mm or two prevents a battery from fitting in a charger (obviously there is no clear identification on the charger as to which battery or camera it is associated with. )

However, if one pries the top half of the plastic shell off a charger and makes the PCB safe with PVC tape, the charger will be battery agnostic.

3
0

Palmtop nostalgia is tinny music to my elephantine ears

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Buy some HD25s

There was a similar model of Sennheiser used on Concorde... quite a few were available on eBay a dozen years ago with 'British Airways' printed on the headband. One assumes that BA wouldn't have specified them if they weren't durable.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

EDIT:

>They look like ones originally sold for early gen iPhones (because 3.5mm with wider barrels above the rings physically would NOT fit into the IPhone's recessed port).

Clearly you lot knew what I meant! :)

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Alternatively, a short 3.5mm male to 3.5mm female extension lead (about 2" long) will take the strain off your headphones' cable. The ones below are 99p for a two-pack. They look like ones originally sold for early gen iPhones (because 3.5mm with wider barrels above the rings physically would fit into the IPhone's recessed port).

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=3.5+male+to+3.5+female&noj=1&tbs=vw:l,ss:44&tbm=shop&srpd=8159865142164802484&prds=num:1,of:1,epd:8159865142164802484&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiIydCPp7rSAhWmIcAKHWguD4MQgjYIngU

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: A man after my own heart

Neutrik - they're the boyos! A stage lighting company I worked for would only use Neutrik DMX plugs when making up cables.

For my use though, I fancy something lower profile. I guess the downside of the 90° is that whilst they protect the socket against knocks to the plug, they relay more stress if the cable is yanked.

4
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: I've nothing of value to contribute

For noisy environments, I like using earplugs in conjunction with some good value over-ear Sennheisers. Cheap but effective, and whilst the ear plugs are biased against high frequencies this is only conducive to snoozing.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: A man after my own heart

Hmm, it's just struck me that the part of the headphones that disagrees with my hat is the headband, yet this component is redundant since the hat itself could be a stable platform for supporting the cans. Okay, not cans because there would be no force pushing them against my ears, but the battery and receiver for some earbuds could be stowed in the crown of the hat, as could the buds themselves when not in use. With magnets. Hmm...

Bugger fixing something, I'm going to cannibalise and improve!

10
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: A man after my own heart

I can see the the soldering iron now as I type. The issue is that my small stash of leaded solder, no doubt hidden under piles of broken or redundant gadgets, is harder to find! Oh, and if I'm to fix em, I'll want to fit my choice of 3.5mm jack to them (the low profile 90° type) which I'll need to order. :)

5
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

My main memory of using an Asus netbook was that the letterbox landscape screen made reading websites a chore - too much scrolling! Whilst a higher Res screen would have helped a bit, the issue was the aspect ratio.

Tablets are easier to read websites on because the can be rotated to suit, and because they are held closer to the eyes than netbooks were.

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

A man after my own heart

My own headphone behaviour is uncannily similar to that of Mr Dabbs.

I look at headphones in the shop when I don't need any new ones. My preference is for over-ear designs, except they are incompatible with my hat which I wear anytime it is raining or likely to rain... or sunny. I have preemptively reinforced the cable near the plug on various 'phones with Sugru, Sikaflex or heat-shrink tubing. Indeed, this cable issue is why I don't have a problem with a cheap dongle on the end - let an inexpensive doodad take the mechanical strain, be it 3.5mm > 3.5mm or otherwise. If I broke out the soldering iron now, I could repair at least four pairs of 'phones I have kicking around.

I'm mildly upset at leaving my plastic over-ear Sennheisers in a pub the other week - I could fall asleep wearing them, and yet feel no discomfort on my ears when I woke. Still, I'd only taken them out of the house because I had lost or broken all the pairs of earbuds I've had.

I would never buy anything akin to Apple Airpods- far too easy to be loose if you're me. Might be tempted by the 'neck bud' form factor.

Keep hearing of cheap but very cheerful Chinese ear buds... think I'll consider them to be consumable items like drill bits or knives.

6
0

If we must have an IoT bog roll holder, can we at least make it secure?

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: IoT Bogroll - All logic has been flushed

In fairness to Vizio, LG had been previously caught harvesting data from their smart TVs. There is a Vizio TV sold by Richer Sounds that looks handy because it still has VGA in, in addition to more recent ports.

My mate has an LG OLED, but it isn't connected to the internet. Ohh, those perfect blacks on OLED are just lovely.

0
1
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: IOT Bog Roll holder?

NB. My idea is both useful AND secure!

The alternative is to have a printer mounted above the bogroll holder, so that you can read War and Peace directly from your two-ply as you use it, one sentence at a time.

Hmmm... Choice of ink would be crucial.

7
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: IOT Bog Roll holder?

Genius! Take apart an old mechanical mouse, connect one encoder wheel to the big roll axle. Interface the mouse's USB to a tablet...

Result: As you use the bog roll, you scroll through the eBook you are reading automatically!

9
0

Li-ion king Goodenough creates battery he says really is... good enough

Dave 126
Silver badge

The article only said sodium *could* be substituted for lithium, so if this new tech pans out it might be a case of choosing cheap or high density as the situation demands.

BTW, Lithium extraction is done by removing salts from water, not blowing up mountainsides. It does have ecological impacts if done poorly, but can bring money to poor places such as Bolivia and, um, Cornwall.

3
0

Silicon Valley tech bro's solution for homeless: Getting himself in the news. Again.

Dave 126
Silver badge

The Onion has covered him today, by coincidence!

Area Man Accepts Burden Of Being Only Person On Earth Who Understands How World Actually Works

http://www.theonion.com/article/area-man-accepts-burden-being-only-person-earth-wh-55427

5
0

Frustrated by reboot-happy Windows 10? Creators Update hopes to take away the pain

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time"

Since Vista, you mean. It just feels like decades! :)

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Stopped using

> How much lower will Windows nose dive over the next few years?

Walt Mossberg has written this week that he believes personal computers to change to ARM soon, citing Chromebooks, Windows Universal Apps and Apple. Being Mossberg, he thinks Apple is best placed, given their ARM expertise and range of existing iOS tablet apps.

http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/1/14771328/walt-mossberg-pc-definition-smartphone-tablet-desktop-computers

0
0

Samsung phones, Apple's iPhones are 'overpriced', says top Huawei exec

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: They're all mostly overpriced landfill.

I've just switched from a low-end (but very usable Huwaei) to a Nexus 5 (after fitting a new battery). Huewai was bought news half price for £45, has 4G, never annoyingly slow for basic tasks, poor camera - good value though. Nexus 5 feels fast, can't immediately imagine what anything faster could do. I knew that anyway, because it shares he same generation of Qualcom SoC as my broken-screened Xperia Z3C.

Downsides?

Huewai overlay subtly annoying for some operations. Stock Android on Nexus 5 has to be told not to bring up irrelevant notifications (related to Play Store and Google Maps) the whole damned time. Grrr. Nexus battery life not great (2300mAh), especially compared to my smaller-screened Z3C (a proper 2-dayer, a treat!)

The process of switching handsets was not as smooth as Apple, either. Numbers transferred fine (if you avoided Huwaei default of not saving to Google), but not SMSs ( could be done with an app though) or WiFi passwords ((Grr!).

It seems that if some has the money to avoid the Grr, I wouldn't blame them.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: reduced the wattage or the current

The UK charger that comes with the Galaxy S7 does 9v (IIRC) in addition to 5v, over microUSB. Presumably it only supplies 9v if it detects that it is connected to a compatible phone. It may that Huewai are adjusting the voltage too.

0
0

Boeing seeks patent for mobile device case with built-in fire extinguisher

Dave 126
Silver badge

I'm confused...

... which probably means that I need to learn more. That said, I will still ask:

Since the C02 canister adds weight and bulk, why not use a less power-dense battery of a more stable chemistry such as NiCad and dispense with the CO2 canister? Can it be that a Li-Ion battery plus CO2 canister is still a more power-dense arrangement than a NiCad battery?

Ideas?

3
0

Polls? How very 2016. Now Google Street View AI scanner can predict how people will vote

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Its called Surveillance-Capitalism - And its just beginning

That ain't the least of it:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage

It would seem that Google and Facebook are the monkeys and Cambridge Analytica is the organ grinder.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: What car?

There tend to be fewer bumper stickers than there are cars, thus fewer data points. Ditto Truck Nuts.

1
0

You want a 4-SIM mobe? Never mind why – your wish might come true

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Didn't you guys..

@ Doug

Hiya. To clarify - the Moto Mods use a magnetic connector on the rear of the phone (for two way power low and high speed data), not the bottom or side is where a USB port would be. Your post suggests that you may be thinking of LG's failed modular system, which did require removing the 'chin' of the phone.

LG's system was daft. Moto's system is technically good, but would be very good if it were opened out to other vendors. Whilst their physical connector is proprietry, it is built atop the open Greybus system, and Android nativity recognises most added modules as if they were a part of the host phone.

Regards

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Didn't you guys..

They assessed the 1st generation of modules, and assessed them to be useful (the battery), humdrum (the speaker... handy for podcasts), largely redundant (the camera, one probably has a better compact zoom camera already), and not great (the projector). This article is about new modules.

These existing modules neither prove nor disprove the utility of Moto's connector. What will decide its fate is market faith in Moto's continuing support on future models.

A great shame this connector is proprietary- wider adoption by Androud would be a great differentiator from Apple. Imagine Psion-style keyboards, game pads, specialist sensors (3D scanning, IR imaging)... Heck, the one issue with Sony's QX 10 screenless camera for Android (same lens and sensor as the widely lauded RX 100 compact camera) was that its wireless connection to the host phone was flaky.

0
0

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Nope

>Which can probably be mitigated by having a battery underneath the keyboard as well, to be hooked up as a power bank, but the setup won't be very elegant.

I reckon it could be done... The Moto Z actually has a fairly small internal battery, and a two way power/data magnetic connector. If you place a second battery under the keyboard module, and use a cunning sliding mechanism to place some support (a la the original Psion) it should be stable.

It isn't necessary that it work with every phone, just each year's new Moto Z equivalent.

[By the way, I would like to thank you all for your understanding; I've harped on quite a bit about Moto Mods this last two weeks, and you've all understood my enthusiasm has been for the possibilities such a system could open up - especially if open sourced or licensed out -and that I haven't been cheerleading for Motorola per se. In fact, I feel a bit sad that it is a proprietary connector]

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: "Ships November 2017"

It would be nice if the Reg commissioned a guest article about Product Design and hardware development. Firstly, it would be an interesting diversion, and secondly it would dispel a few oft-repeated myths.

5
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Good for watching video

I don't personally watch video on a mobile much, but this Gemini seems suited for watching video whilst commuting by train.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

If the keyboard was developed as a Moto Mod, Motrola would contribute to the development costs. (See Moto article on Reg today).

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Problem with screen unprotected and facing out

I guess a common scenario will be the user wanting to take/make voice calls whilst the Gemini is in its 'open laptop's position, so that the user can take notes or refer to information during the call. If so, then a wired or Bluetooth headset will be a given anyways.

Such a Bluetooth earpiece could be designed to 'dock' with the Gemini using its USB-C port, sitting flush when not in use.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: IndieNoGo

> I've had less bad experiences with Kickstarter. Is that just luck?

I can't speak about you specifically, but there has been research that indicates some individuals will consistently buy products or systems that fail in the market (thus never pick up 3rd party developer support, and lose vendor support), even if they are technically superior.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

> they have to crowdfund rather than seek investors - because NOBODY else but fanatics under the illusion of hype will touch them.

Investors will want to make lots of money on a successful product, in part to cover the losses they make backing unsuccessful products.

You're correct in that vocal enthusiasm doesn't necessarily translate into high sales. In fact I commented here a couple of weeks back (before any Gemini announcements) about the idea of crowdfunding the Psion-style keyboard "that many Reg readers keep telling us they want". [I wrote it in the context of an industry wide modular system akin to Moto Mods. Moto Mods are a proprietary magnetic physical connector built atop the open Greybus electronic standard. It seemed to me that it would be cheaper to crowdfund a snap-on keyboard than it would an entire pocket computer]

6
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

> So why should it be a problem to get [this new keyboard] right?

It's not a total replica of the old keyboard - it uses a magnetically sprung mechanism, just for one example of a difference. Then there is the process of refining the manufacturing once the design is nearly finalised.

Good hardware can be a time consuming process to get to market, and there is nothing to be gained from assuming otherwise.

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: 18:9?

In the words of Bender Rodriguez:

"Popular? I'm pure lowest common denominator, baby!"

Using the LCD to describe LCDs is useful... It's clear how much taller a 16:12 (4:3) screen is than a 16:9

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Entertaining

If it runs Android, why would Google care if you bought it in place of a Chromebook?

And for that matter, would ChromeOS work on this Gemini hardware for the educational market?

(A slightly larger device, effectively a clamshell Newton with keyboard, was made by Apple but only sold to schools. Name escapes me ATM)

6
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

The Reg has featured this device because their readers have been expressing a desire in such a device for years.

The hinge was a crucial part of the original Psion device - the Reg readers who used it know why - and not just a small detail.

This Gemini is still being crowdfunded, so I'm not surprised they haven't finalised the keyboard, which will be the hardest part to get right. Prototype, test, repeat. They will, but hardware development takes time when you're doing more than just assembling off the shelf parts from ODMs. There is no point in them showing off a V.0.6 keyboard.

Speaking of which, most other phones at MWC are boring oblongs, much like the one you probably own. The Gemini is interesting.

18
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

That's a valid point - even a small monochrome display on the outside would allow the user to see the number of an incoming call before answering.

One solution would be to use this Gemini with that Sony device that clips to a shirt pocket. It's a small Bluetooth device with small display, and is held to the ear like a mobile phone - but it also has a 3.5mm jack for a normal wired headset. It is also a standalone MP3 player and FM radio.

0
0

The most l33t phone of MWC: DarkMatter's Katim

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Really Secure...

Android Open Source Project does not equal Google Play Services. The clue is in the name. The hard bit is getting open source drivers from the hardware component manufacturers, but you're safe from Google.

Try to refrain from commenting if you'd be better off reading up instead.

5
2
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Interesting

What exactly is the attack surface offered by a USB socket with no data pins?

Remember that wireless charging isn't as quick as wired charging.

0
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Regulations

All phones allow you to make emergency calls before they are unlocked, even the iPhone which had the FBI making lots of noise... No reason that couldn't be the case here.

This phone claims that the NAND-cloning technique assumed to have been used by the FBI won't work.

0
0

Autonomous cars are about to do to transport what the internet did to information

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Disruptivity

>As is pointed out in the article, come the robot revolution the price of mass produced consumer items will fall and volumes will rise, this includes personal transport.

The cost of cars will fall, but the cost of the land on which you have to park them probably won't.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Trains

Wrong type of blood on the track.

2
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Instead of delivery, build on-site

>There will be racing tension between those who build on-site and those who ship finished goods.

You will still need to get the material feedstock, metals, plastics etc, to the 3D fabricator. It only changes factors like bulk - i.e a washing machine or fridge is bulkier than the materials used to make it.

EDIT: Charles and Steve beat me to it!

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Works for cities

>This will all work for cities, but not rural areas.

The article covered a few things, so I'm not clear as to what you don't think will not work in the countryside. Could you expand on it a little?

I didn't see anything in the article of a binary 'work/won't work' nature. In the future one might use Uber in a city, whereas in the countryside you might choose to own an autonomous vehicle for your own use, but then lend or hire it out when you are not using it - your ownership would give you priority. Today, the old lady without a car who lives next door doesn't mind when she gets a lift to the supermarket - she's happy to work in with the schedule of the neighbour who drives. Shopping is flexible, a hospital appointment isn't.

There are of course lots of factors. An example would be that in the countryside car parking isn't as tricky as it is in the city, a factor that can make Uber or Lyft more attractive than taking your own vehicle.

People in more rural areas are already used to things taking longer - today someone in a remote hamlet might take a half-hour round trip to a shop by car, whilst their cousin in a city pops a minute up the street by foot. Of course many people in more remote areas simply give more thought as to what they will need for the next few days.

For sure, a lower population density will mean greater distribution costs ( It is only because of legislation that the Royal Mail can't charge more to deliver to more remote addresses. )

2
1

You're Donald Trump's sysadmin. You've got data leaks coming out the *ss. What to do

Dave 126
Silver badge

Whilst this article was informative, I found this more entertaining:

Press secretary Sean Spicer is cracking down on leaks coming out of the West Wing, with increased security measures that include random phone checks of White House staffers, overseen by White House attorneys....

... Spicer also warned the group of more problems if news of the phone checks and the meeting about leaks was leaked to the media. It's not the first time that warnings about leaks have promptly leaked. The State Department's legal office issued a four-page memo warning of the dangers of leaks, and that memo was immediately posted by The Washington Post.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/sean-spicer-targets-own-staff-in-leak-crackdown-235413

24
0

Motorola's modular Moto Z: A fine phone for a weekend away

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Add-ons become obsolete with the phone... and if they're not very cheap....

> outside true industry standards you rarely see add-ons interoperability across brands.

Too true... I mean, there isn't even a standard for Android-compatible wired headset microphones and remote transport controls. Even within the same brand (Sony would use a different value of resistor in the headset between one generation of Xperia and another - and this is just the one I know of because I researched it). Meanwhile, every supermarket in the land stocks a choice of headphones with mic and transport controls that will work with all but the newest iPhone.

This lack of full headphone interoperability doesn't help Android brands steal customers from each other, but if they did knock their heads together they would erode one reason some people go with Apple.

Ironically for a 'closed' system, iDevices have always been well supported by third party peripheral vendors, from Sennhieser to Logitech - chiefly because they can be confident that Apple will sell X million units of a certain model for a couple of years. If Apple made iPhones with a similar module connector to Moto's, there would likely be more modules available than the few that Moto currently offers.

On that note, Moto's website says they have set aside $1 million to help people develop new modules, with the most promising developers winning a trip to Chicago. I wouldn't sniff at that, but can't help thinking I'd rather go somewhere warmer!

[ The only brand-specific 'module' I have ever bought for a phone - ignoring cases - is a stereo microphone for my Xperia Z3 Compact, using Sony's 3.5mm TRRRS port. It was made for the Z2, and wasn't recognised by name by the Z3C's software, though it did work. Now that my Z3C is awaiting anew screen that it probably will never receive, I've lent the microphone to friend indefinitely. ]

1
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

You're right,it is a shame... You could assemble yourself a 1980s style Gordon Gecko brick of a phone just by adding more battery modules! :)

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Stupid

> If I know I want better battery life from the get go, I'll buy a phone with a bigger battery.

What advantage would that bring you Charlie? Genuine question.

Lots of Reg readers have expressed a desire for a phone with swappable battery,and here it is but better (phone doesn't restart during battery swap)

3
0
Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: Battery life

Ug? There are no universal main batteries for mobile phones because most don't have removable batteries.

You can still use a generic USB power bank - this Moto system just gives you an extra option. I would imagine that the people who use their phone so much that they deplete their battery daily are largely the same people who don't want to be offline / uncontactable for a couple of minutes when swapping the phone's battery.

2
1

Google to annihilate online trolling with ... tra-la-la! Machine! Learning!

Dave 126
Silver badge

Re: What a world to live in!

> I expect this to be deployed in "safe spaces" to administer a rightful tasering to anyone exhibiting more than his share of daily illiberalism.

Look, the best argument you can make against safe spaces is to use the intellectual freedom properly, and not just roll out some clichés or attack some stereotypes. If you're going to fight for the right to express well thought out views regardless of offending people, then think well.

Yes, there are some idiots on the left who are far too easily offended - and trust me, I talk to them firmly but kindly when appropriate. Even John Stewart would agree with you. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't some systemic issues which add up in a raw deal for many people, be them former coalminers or descendants of plantation workers.

Anyway,enjoy your Friday!

0
4

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017