* Posts by Dave 126

7489 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Apple eats itself as iPhone fatigue spreads

Dave 126
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@DougS

Hehe, we've just posted much the same comment! However, I did note that James wasn't singling Apple out here!

There are things I would like from a phone that aren't currently provided - but hey, I'm a fussy bugger and a product designer! Hell, I'm the sort of weirdo who might get some genuine use out of a Project Tango (real-time 3D environment mapping) phone. The point about being a product designer is that you have to consider how people who are not like yourself will use something. The fun thing about product design is that it sits across disciplines, such as the science of materials (which can be tested, stretched, squashed, simulated) and people (who are surprising, and strangely resistant to being stretched and squashed)

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Dave 126
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>It is isn't happening now it is going to happen sooner or later. Here's hoping the phone and IT industry in general can focus on genuine innovation now rather than 'ohh it's 0.1mm thinner than last year with even roundier corners!'.

Yet nobody who has commented about the industry's lack of innovation in the last few years has said what their idea of an innovative smartphone would look like. I suspect that this is because current smartphones already do what people want them to do.

For nearly a decade, most of my mates had 'candybar' mobile phones, primarily for texts and calls, and even the later models with colour screens didn't really add much functionality. The style of phone everybody uses these days - oblong slabs composed mostly of a touchscreen roughly 5" in the diagonal - could not have arrived earlier, no matter how 'innovative' LG or Apple had been - because chips weren't quite efficient enough. As it was, the first iPhone was pushing at the limits of what people would bear in terms of price and battery life.

In the future, we might expect silicon to be yet more power efficient, and batteries to store more energy- that's when you can expect more obvious innovation. There is plenty of time and money being spent on achieving just that. Or when LG make OLED screens that can be rolled up. But hey, obvious innovation is overrated. There is a lot to be said for refinement. For around a century, bicycles have been three triangles made of welded metal tubes attached to a couple of pneumatic tyres. The design is a good un!

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I'm deadly serious about megatunnels, vows Elon Musk

Dave 126
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Re: All related to Mars

Hydroponic technologies are advancing quite nicely - Japan already boasts indoor multistorey lettuce farms. Not only can they grow more lettuces per square foot, but the plants are raised so that (the ageing workforce of Japan) don't have to stoop down to harvest them. Labour on Mars will be expensive, and your humans puny - so make food production as easy for them as possible.

Then there is the legalisation of marijuana in several US states, which means that the development of some hydroponic kit is more in the open, developing LED lighting sources that emit different frequencies at different times (some wavelengths work for photosynthesis*, other wavelengths influence the plant's budding cycles).

* There are different types photosynthesis pathways found in nature, some pathways being more efficient, some more tolerant of temperatures, some require a leaf to have particular structures. This is why we currently have botanists and geneticists working in this area to improve crop yields, and develop crops for the climatic conditions that might be expected in a few years time.

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Dave 126
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Re: Anyone buying the LA earthquake argument?

I seem to recall watching a documentary about a Silicon Valley tech billionaire deliberately causing an earthquake... Wait! Sorry, it was a James Bond film, A View to a Kill. Hmmm, best forgotten.

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WTF? Francis Ford Coppola crowdsources Apocalypse Now game

Dave 126
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Re: Tom Clancy Games @ Dave 126

Del Toro was working with Kojima on game that Konami cancelled, which is why he tweeted "Fuck Konami" as a Christmas message. Seems Kojima might have some sympathy for Coppola's attitude towards big film studios.

There is spoof photo of a Powerpoint slide doing the rounds on the internet, purported to have been revealed by the infamous Sony leak:

KONAMI - INTERNAL USE ONLY

2015 STRATEGY AND PLANNING

- Fuck Hideo Kojima

- Fuck Metal Gear

- Fuck Silent Hill

- Fuck It

- Fuck You

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Dave 126
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Re: Tom Clancy Games

On the subject of Metal Gear and its creator:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/38737220/hideo-kojima-says-games-and-films-will-merge-together

His latest game will feature the director Guillermo del Toro.

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Bloke launches twinkly range of BBC Micro:bit accessory boards

Dave 126
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Haha, nice work there Mattel! But now, seriously, where the hell's my hoverboard?

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Modular dud drags LG to first loss in six years

Dave 126
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Re: Modular was always a silly idea

>If people can buy your brand and NOT buy your brand next, you lose long-term because there's no brand loyalty, and brand loyalty is what they want and, frankly, what they NEED to compete with Apple.

Add-ons that are proprietary to your brand (and thus give the consumer no reason to believe the system will be supported in future) are not that great an inducement to buy your brand. The only way that add-ons can be an inducement is if the consumer knows they can be used across handsets in the future.

It only works for Apple because users are already invested in iOS (through apps, and familiarity with iOS, etc) and the selection of 3rd party iPhone peripherals is of a critical size (and the user sees no downside in an add-on only working with iPhones). Apple's market share doesn't fluctuate wildly year-on-year, so developers and users know where they are.

Let's take apps as an analogy. Android phone vendors benefit from their being a large selection of apps that attract or tie the user to Android, but not to HTC, Sony or LG specifically. Whilst some people do exhibit brand loyalty, many Android users simply pick the best phone from any vendor for their needs every couple of years - and much can change in two years.

It is better to have a small chance a will buy your brand than no chance at all.

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Dave 126
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Re: Modular was always a silly idea

>Practical reason #1: Dimensions differ too much.

That's not an insurmountable problem, engineering wise. The add-on doesn't have to be the exact same size as the host phone. The Moto system uses magnets to connect, and doesn't require the add-on to clamp onto the side of the phone, so size isn't critical.

>"Political" reason #1: Because the brands are competing with each other, they feel they need to be the next Apple and be in control of the walled garden.

Agreed, it ain't easy to get them to cooperate. In countries where Apple has a large market share though, the Android vendors have scope for growing their shared pie. A vibrant ecosystem of pop-on batteries, ports, cameras, keyboards, speakers etc would give the customer another reason not to buy Apple. So even if the consumer has gone with your rival Samsung this time, they might consider your phone next time because it will work with their modules. Seriously, the fact that you walk into any supermarket or electronics store and see a range of 'Made for iPhone' headphones can't have hurt Apple. As an Android user, I found it frustrating that cable-mounted buttons never worked as they should, and that there has never been an agreed way of doing Android headsets. It was just a poorer user experience.

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Dave 126
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Re: @Dave 126

>No, what puts people off it is that it is a stupid fucking idea.

Well, it works quite well for cameras! But seriously, do you mean the idea of modular designs are stupid, or the implementations that you have seen?

The Moto Mod system uses magnets to attach add-ons, so attached mod wouldn't have to be the exact same size as the phone. That said, most phones I see are roughly the same size these days.

I've seen a lot of comments of The Reg over the years about wanting physical phone keyboards - a magnetic connector would be a good way of delivering such a thing. Physical keyboards can fail, so having it replaceable would be a good idea. Also, having it 'pop-off' if dropped will save the phone and keyboard some stress. And hey, maybe you have the keyboard attached when your work expects you to return emails, but you leave the keyboard off when you're wearing jeans. Further more, you could have a QWERTY, or a Blackberry style keyboard, or heck, even a chorded keyboard.

It would appear that people (not necessarily Reg readers!) at large do like docks (I've seen shitloads for iPhones and iPods over the years, though fewer now that people use Chromecast or Sonos) and a common connector would allow for docking when at a desk, as well as speakers, extended batteries when on the move.

There have also been inelegant ways of attaching game controllers to mobile phones... a magnetic data/power connector would help that. Again, there is no one single reason, no 'killer' app, for an standard connector, just lots of useful ones to suit individual people in different ways.

Google's Project Ara never struck me as a sensible consumer product. LG's G5 always struck me as a little inelegant and unnecessary.

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Dave 126
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Re: Modular was always a silly idea

>I don't think maybe modular is a to bad idea, although I do struggle to think what it could be used for, it looks like motorola have a projector add on for theirs.

Moto have a projector, a battery pack, a loudspeaker add-on and a camera with zoom lens. If other phone and add-on makers could use the same system, the appeal of each module to limited number of people would be less of an issue.

Personally, I'd like to attach a speaker to the back of my phone for when I'm pottering around the house listening to a podcast. However, many people wouldn't bother. Some people would have a genuine use for a thermal-imaging camera, or a high quality microphone set-up.

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Dave 126
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Re: Modular was always a silly idea

It seems to me that what puts people off buying a modular system is their lack of faith that the system will be supported in the future, and the limited number of modules available.

Both doubts could be answered by Android phone vendors getting together and agreeing on a standard connector that serves power, data and means of securing the module to the phone / tablet (some hope though - they never worked to the same spec for headsets with wired buttons, FFS). LG had a DAC module and a camera module... the market for either was limited, even more so if owning a particular model of phone was a prerequisite. The market is far bigger if a module fits most Android phones.

Phones today are already modular to a degree - you can connect an external DAC / amp to the phone's USB socket. Sony had a line of screen-less cameras that worked with phones, as well as a stereo condenser microphone that only worked with some Sony models. What these add-ons are not is elegant. For some add-ons (a battery case, a bigger speaker, a specialist camera) it would be better for them to add only to the phone's thickness and not add to its length or width - which any module using a USB connector would do. I like the look (I haven't tried it in person) of Moto's phone module connector on the rear of their handsets.

Nokia of course implemented a mechanical fixing system years ago - on both sides of their phones were two triangular indentations. These were used for car docks, and also for 3rd party joysticks for getting better Snake high scores. The 6210 had exposed rails for data and power at the base of the handset, and they continued inside the battery compartment so that a new battery module could also add Bluetooth.

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AI eggheads: Our cancer-spotting code rivals dermatologists

Dave 126
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Re: If the algorithm can be easily used on mobile phones,

>Last time I checked tensor flow used python. So unless you are running a BlackBerry (they did have a python runtime), the answer is no.

Um...?

TensorFlow was designed with mobile and embedded platforms in mind. We have sample code and build support you can try now for these platforms: Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi

- https://www.tensorflow.org/mobile/

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Dave 126
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Re: Nude selfies

I came here to seriously propose folk take nude selfies periodically. If doctor (or machine) can see that you have a mole that is bigger than it was last year / month, they can investigate further.

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HP Inc recalls 101,000 laptop batteries before they halt and catch fire

Dave 126
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Re: At least they can swap the battery

>devices get thinner (for no reason)

We would expect to see more Li-ion battery fires because there are more devices with li-ion batteries. We have seen fires and mass recalls in the past due to manufacturing costs being squeezed. We have also seen fires because the ODMs didn't know how to charge them properly.

The thinness of a device is only tangential to this issue - squeezing a battery into too small a space is not good for it, whether it is 4mm thick or 20mm. For what it is worth, if I had a flaming battery in a device of mine, I would rather it be a small flaming battery.

Devices get thinner because we carry them around or have to hold them. Ergonomic considerations, though having to be balanced with other considerations, are not "no reason".

>The next time this happens to something with an irreplaceable battery, will the company survive?

You've evidently not seen Samsung's recent financial reports this last week, have you? They're doing just fine.

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I've got a brand new combine harvester and I'll give you the API key

Dave 126
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Re: Swarm tractors

>In wet years it might take a couple weeks from start to finish to plant a typical (half square mile) sized field around here,

So then your crops on one side of the field would be ready for harvest a week or two before crops on the other side. Hmmm...

Still, your drone wouldn't have to return to the seed hopper to reload... seed could be shot through the air and intercepted by the drone!

Still not convinced, but some fun ideas. I don't doubt that farmers will be innovative when it comes to using drones.

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Dave 126
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Re: IoT or not-

Such as?

I've just re-read the article, and the man from John Deere only used buzzwords in order to provide examples of buzzwords.

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Dave 126
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>Not sure IoT is a good analogy for tractors, given that most farms I know have no Internet connectivity due to the fact that they are by definition rural places.

You'd think so, wouldn't you? However, the term 'Internet' in 'Internet of Things' doesn't necessarily refer to The Internet per se. 'IoT' been a deliberately broad term since it was coined in the 1980s because it was it referring to broad concepts.

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Annoyingly precocious teen who ruined Trek is now an asteroid

Dave 126
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What the hell?

A British IT new site runs a story about Wheaton but makes no mention of his involvement with NewTek and their Amiga Video Toaster 4000? For shame, you should treat the man with the respect due the bona fide geek that he is. As a lad, he typed in BASIC games from magazines into his Atari 400.

The Video Toaster was used for Babylon 5 and the Abyss, and part of it, LightWave 3D was spun out and has been used in films ever since.

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The rise, fall, and rise (again) of Microsoft's killer People feature

Dave 126
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Re: Talking to people at the computer

>What does that have to do with a UI that looks like it was designed for 12year olds to make it easier for them to chat with their BFFs?

Collating communications by contact as opposed to application. If you look at my post, you'll see that whilst I acknowledged that some people work alone, I also observed that some many people's job involve a lot of communicating with other people. It really isn't hard to see that in some circumstances a chronological list of past messages - regardless of whether they done by phone, email, text or document update - would be useful.

The OP, on the other hand, said that because it didn't suit that way he worked then the feature should be removed - he expressed his problem as being the with the concept itself, not the appearance of the implementation.

Hope that's clearer for you, AC.

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Dave 126
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Terminator

Re: People Killer

Seems you forgot to add an icon to your post, Monty!

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Dave 126
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Re: Talking to people at the computer

>That is a fair point, but unfortunately Windows now seems to be aimed at those who are more used to a tablet or phone UI and who's main use for a computer of any sort is for "Social Media".

In many disciplines, from engineering to admin there is a need for collaboration with others, by phone, email, shared storage, text, document control, whatever. It isn't just 'Social Media' as you put it. Really, there are a great many jobs cannot be done by just one person. Even jobs that are largely done solo require an initial brief and meeting with a client, regular updates, submission of the work, billing and perhaps some after sales communication.

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Dave 126
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Re: Talking to people at the computer

>If there's one thing I'm not interested while on the computer, it's talking to other people. Keep this crap out of the OS and keep it in Skype or whatever so that it will turn off when I tell it to

Many people do have a workflow that involves communicating with others (especially those people who use Windows and Office etc), from the brief through to final invoice, so having information and documents summoned by a contact is not an unreasonable idea. If your way of working is more solitary, that's fine - but I believe the article addressed why such integration won't work as a standalone application.

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Google loses Android friends with Pixel exclusivity

Dave 126
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Re: what does android updates have to do with ads

>People get the ads in the apps regardless of what version of android they have.

Not exactly. Later versions of Android are more permeated with ads, and ads delivered in different ways, and each new feature or service is a chance to collect more user data (used to generate or match ads). For examples; search for local places in the dialler, Google Now.

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Linux is part of the IoT security problem, dev tells Linux conference

Dave 126
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Re: Rolling your own vs. getting Linux

>That will only change when someone comes up with another IoT OS that's easier to develop for than Linux... and makes it free, of course.

It seems to be a wasted opportunity for Blackberry.... not only do they own QNX (which has a footprint a tenth the size of Linux, and is an RTOS of long standing in industrial control systems) but also Blackberry themselves have a good reputation for security amongst the public. Oh well.

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Dave 126
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Re: Be worried? What, me worry?

>more to do with the market creating consumer demand for relatively useless products.

I think they have failed at creating a market demand because: I'm seeing any demand for the current generation of of IoT gear. And I don't think think that we see demand for it until it is not shit.

It's like smartphones - most people stuck to their old Nokias until Android and Apple were good enough... it took a few years before the advantages of a capacitive touchscreen phone made up for its disadvantages (price, battery etc) for the average user.

The first generation of MP3 players weren't a good choice compared to MiniDisc. Energy-saving lightbulbs were shit (CFL) and now they are good (LED). The internet and later WWW was around for a long time before Joe Average bothered with it. Digital cameras... well, you know it.

(PS, that's a curious definition of the Invisible Hand you have there! Have a read up on Complex Adaptive Systems - the concept is that the 'invisible hand' is an emergent phenomenon, not a deliberate one. It is true that companies set up t produce gear that we are no longer buying will try to sell us new stuff we don't need, but that isn't what the invisible hand refers to! :))

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Dave 126
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Re: Not dumb enough

>(1) Many IoS devices, and ideas for devices, really are just solutions looking for problems. Nobody needs an IoS kettle or lightbulb, not really.

Many people don't, but in countries with ageing populations there will be some scope for home automation. If people can't make something as simple as a lightbulb secure, then we should be very worried about more complex systems in banking, food production, power generation, remote health monitoring etc.

I agree though that many products on the market are shite, and are being sold for their own sake. However, it is a very immature market, and the average Joe hasn't rushed out to fill their house with IoT stuff. The billionaire Joe has had home automation products available for years, though usually wired into the walls.

What is encouraging is that an awareness of how insecure today's IoT offerings are has reached the mass media (Radio 4, at least), so perhaps there is scope for security to be improved through market forces?

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'Exploding e-cig cost me 7 teeth, burned my face – and broke my sink!'

Dave 126
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Re: Sounds like me to be a good reason....@Herby

"I tried to see things from his point of view,

But I couldn't fit my head up his arsehole too"

- The GLC

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Dave 126
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Re: Damaged his sink?

Commenters on other websites suggest that the eCig he was using didn't have any controlling circuitry between the battery and the heating coil, leading to this situation. i.e he wasn't using the LG battery within specification.

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Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

Dave 126
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Re: Click baity headline is click bait

The majority of Reg readers, and other star gazers (armchair or otherwise) know that 'Alien Megastructure' is shorthand for 'Hmm, we've observed something weird that we can't yet explain'. The use of the phrase isn't to deceive, but to make you feel a part of the gang you in the joke.

Were a flying saucer the size of Australia suddenly appear in Earth orbit, I'd likely hear about it on the radio ("We interrupt this broadcast with a special bulletin..." ) and would then drive straight to the pub. There I can find beer, lots of beer, some physicists and, should the UFO prove to unfriendly, a willing member of barstaff to spend my last five minutes with.

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Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

Dave 126
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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

I once opened my car door on a slow-moving cyclist. Once. I felt awful. Physically he was uninjured but a little shaken up. His fall was broken by some horse dung. I gave him my details and he rode off. My face must have been showing some shock, because some builders on a nearby house roof shouted down to me "We saw what happened. Are you alright mate? It was an accident"

The next day I saw the cyclist again on the same street carrying a suit bag, and he assured me he was fine. He even declined my plea to pay for his dry cleaning.

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UK's lords want more details on adult website check plans

Dave 126
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Re: Are you 18

The character 'Al Murry - Pub Landlord' had similar thoughts upon asking a youthful-looking prospective customer his date of birth... "No! The entire foundation of the British licesnsed trade rocked to its core!" ( I paraphrase cos it's been a long time since i've watched it. Still, his manifesto in the last general election, running against Farage, was glorious.)

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Father of Android II: A Hardware Comeback

Dave 126
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Re: "Expandable" smartphones have already flopped multiple times

Implementation Vs Concept.

Project Ara was a test of concept - it was trti g to do too much. LG's system was too proprietary and there was little confidence the system would carry onto new phones, so people were reluctant to invest in the modules. One of modules was a fancy ESS DAC / amp combo - functionality that can be added to any phone with the right type of USB, or indeed Apple's Lightning connector.

It isnt a connector that makes iPhone add-ons a thing, it's the limited number of shapes, making life easier for battery cases etc.

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Dave 126
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Hmmm, maybe that's what he did with it. Oh well. He'd been loyal to Nokia for while - he even had a Symbian Nokia 7650 - the first Nokia with a camera - which he left in the pub, leaving naughty pictures of his girlfriend to be found by some of the regulars. This was around 2002, thankfully before the days of Facebook and easy photo uploading.

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Dave 126
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Re: connector

>But if the SD cards starts breaking, I can at least replace it. If the internal memory of a device breaks, the device is essentially bricked.

No reason that the camera couldn't have the successor to SD inside it (XQD cards are based on the PCIe bus). It's just that swapping a card between devices is inconvenient and creates the possibility that the user will drop or lose it, or get fluff and dust in the wrong places. Whilst your experience is that solid-state memory is the first thing to go wrong, my experience is that physical card connectors also are prone to mechanical failure or intermittent issues caused by dusty or dirty contacts.

I didn't fully explain my line of reasoning though: with PCIe speeds, the camera and laptop (or phone) would only have to be in contact for a few seconds - almost a kiss-to-transfer operation. Or a camera can dump photos to a tethered phone as it takes them (so that the photos are stored on an encrypted volume).

More widely, an industry standard power/data/mechanical dock/module system would open the door to some genuinely useful and convenient gadgets.

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Dave 126
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And Symbian, by the time it started to be adopted on consumer handsets, was looking antiquated. It was based around hardware limitations (small RAM, no GPU) that were becoming no longer relevant. Nor was it free of bugs - my mate's N60 got the pint where it would take minute to open an SMS text message.

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Dave 126
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Re: connector

The Moto system looks good, and securely attaches modules to the phone... It would be nice if they opened it up to other parties. I just can't see it achieving a critical mass of adoption if it remains proprietary.

At present, there is a speaker, battery, projector and zoom camera available. The system looks mechanically suitable for a physical keyboard too - so if it were open, those of you clamouring for a qwerty could put your money where your mouth is and Kickstart one.

I would also like to see the system extended to digital cameras and laptops - just place camera on laptop and have all photos transferred in seconds (SD cards are limited by the bus, are fiddly, easy to lose and insecure because no camera encrypts them).

Physical connectors negate to need to charge yet another device.

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Google floats prototype Key Transparency to tackle secure swap woes

Dave 126
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Re: Explanation?

Google says it is a work-in-progress (and they want input and feedback from the community). However, Google say it is inspired by CONIKS, and provide a link to this PDF which contains diagrams, graphs and maths:

https://eprint.iacr.org/2014/1004.pdf

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Uber, Apple, Amazon and Sully Sullenberger walk into a bar – er, self-driving car committee

Dave 126
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Re: No crash

There is a difference between landing and crashing, just as there is between on to and in to (the ground, a river etc)

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Dave 126
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Re: Sullenberger: the movie

The consensus view on Rotten Tomatoes suggests that Sully is a typically well made film from its director Clint Eastwood:

As comfortingly workmanlike as its protagonist, Sully makes solid use of typically superlative work from its star and director to deliver a quietly stirring tribute to an everyday hero.

Mr Eastwood has a reputation for knocking out good films ahead of time and under budget.

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Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

Dave 126
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>I can stop the stand-alone clock's alarm without properly waking up. The snooze and cancel buttons can both easily be found by touch.

'Hardware hacking' is your friend! Just prise off the plastic buttons with a screwdriver - you will then have to hunt around for a pen or matchstick to silence the alarm!

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Dave 126
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Re: >So Mr Average uses his smart phone as an Alarm clock and map.

>True buts its all about pro's and con's or compromising when your battery hasnt gone flat.

Not a valid complaint: if your battery has gone flat because you are using your phone instead of a discrete camera, calculator, book etc, then you can carry an extra battery pack and still be making a saving on weight and bulk over carrying discrete devices.

>Books wont damage your eyes as much or keep you awake due to being exposed to too much blue light at night which suppresses melatonin...

You can use a blue-light filter such as f.lux to have the phone screen emit similar light to that reflected from the page of a book. I believe Google have it baked into their eBook app, as Apple have done with iOS.

>I can enjoy my time to a higher degree by not being at everyone elses beck and call which happens most often at the least convenient times,

Android has a 'Do Not Disturb mode, with settings (so, for example, the phone will block all calls except those from a frail family member, for example). I imagine iOS has something similar.

>I can enjoy wearing a nice watch instead of carrying around a device more loaded with bacteria & virus

I wear a watch too, but my phone makes a superior alarm clock because it is louder than the alarm on my Casio, and offers more useful options. Oh, and most of the time I wear a mechanical watch wich doesn't have an alarm function.

>I can read newspapers, listen to the radio, watch tv or watch a film if I dont want to waste time doing the job of an editor, programming director to filter out the rubbish

Me too. However, the science and cultural output of Australian radio is superior to that on my native Britain's BBC radio stations. Luckily, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/ just lets me listen to it. Also, the pop music stations on FM in the UK are largely shit, whereas Radio 6 Music (on DAB and Internet) is good... in my it is easier to listen to it (or thousands of other music stations from around the world) over WiFi. You can boost or relay your WiFi signal; you can't do the same for a dodgy DAB signal. I do like FM though - especially the brilliant battery life of an FM receiver.

>I can take comfort in the fact that spooky hackers are not reading my every thought and predicting my actions if I carry a diary or filofax around with me.

And then kick yourself when leave the only manuscript of your great novel on a rail platform, as did T.E Lawrence. Or have someone take a peek at your diary when you're not looking - no hacking required! There are pros and cons to all approaches, and I still read books and newspapers, and listen to FM radio, know how to use a map and compass etc (in fact a major point you could have made is that of redundancy). However, I feel that the examples you provided aren't as clear cut as you presented them to be.

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Dave 126
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Re: Pareto analysis

>While it might be true that 80% of "features" on a phone go unused, has anyone asked why?

It isn't an observation peculiar to phones, or even technology in general. The 80/20 rule of thumb holds true across a staggering range of natural and man-made phenomena. So yes, people have asked 'why', but the answer lies in statistics, not in phone OS design. Oh, not every rarely used phone feature is 'fluff' as you put it: in ten years of using feature/smart phones, I have only used '999' once (It is a feature that I can dial '999' without a SIM and using any availavble network).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

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Dave 126
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Re: Um

Skoda made brewing plant and iron work for roads, too, amongst other things.

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Dave 126
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>... according to a survey by uSwitch. The comparison site asked Joe Public to name their favourite smartphone features.

From this we can assume the vast majority of respondents use electricity, internet, phones and insurance. Not a randomised selection, but visitors to uSwitch are a not terrible proxy for the bill-paying population at large.

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Dave 126
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> car-like devices that cannot transport you from A to B.

They're called sheds. Comfy seat, stereo, reading light, heater, USB power outlets... why d'ya even want to go anywhere?

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Dave 126
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Re: Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

Old Nokias and feature phones would wake from power-off for a scheduled alarm, but not all Android phones will. Therefore, if I'm low on battery but need an alarm to wake up I'll put the phone in Airplane Mode.

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Smart fingerprint padlock startup to $320k backers: Sorry for the radio silence

Dave 126
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It really shouldn't have glossy finish, since it might retain the owner's fingerprints.

I don't know why they used an Industrial Designer, and not a Product Designer (which is a more integrated role that considers the eventual manufacture throughout the design process, as well as function and appearance etc). Really, it doesn't need to look different to a conventional padlock, and by drawing attention to itself it will only encourage kids to smash the sensor with a rock.

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Train your self-driving car AI in Grand Theft Auto V – what could possibly go wrong?

Dave 126
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> Still I wonder whether the pixel output will be on a one to one basis, or whether GTA can output more pixel data than the receiving learning to drive AI.

Indeed, my thoughts were whether the GTA game can be made to output several camera views simultaneously to simulate the multi-camera setup that Tesla et al use.

Lots of real racing teams use a simulator called rFactor 2 for 'testing' new car setups and driver practice, such is the accuracy of its physics - it even simulates the multiple layers of tyres with respect to temperature and wear. Of course it is geared towards track racing, not the everyday world of traffic lights and pedestrians, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't pressed into service developing AI code in future.

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Wi-Fi for audiophiles: Alliance preps TimeSync certification program

Dave 126
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Re: Amazed that this stuff is so difficult

This protocol is for convenience, something our stereotypical audiophile isn't fussed by.

Multi-room audio was done by B&O decades ago, and since then by Apple, Sonos and Google Chromecast. It's a slightly different, and probably bigger, market to the gold-plated TOSLink brigade.

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