* Posts by Dave 126

7500 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

At last, someone's taking Apple to task for, uh, not turning on iPhone FM radio chips

Dave 126
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Re: Google says that...

You missed the point. And your post is a copy paste job from Apple.

Many iPhones have had the hardware to receive FM radio due to the 3rd party modems, but the ability has never been activated by Apple. This is fairly well known.

Do iPhones receive FM radio? No

Do they contain an FM receiver? Yes

Also, don't copy paste the address bar of your Google search - what do you think all those characters that follow your search term are? Your search terms gave a result that had Apple's result at the top - less specific terms gave broader results.

- sent from my FM-less Nexus 5. Bah, Sony always gave me FM.

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Dave 126
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Re: Antennae?

If Radio 6 Music was on FM I would listen a lot. As it is, FM music stations are shit, so I listen to podcasts at about 25MB/h instead, or Radio 4 when's it's not being a bit shit. Or SD cards when I'm in my oven and vehicle.

When camping, a Ryobi 18v battery keeps its FM radio going for days, ditto any Sony FM radio and a few alkaline batteries.

If this guy is saying that FM radio is an emergency feature, he should mandate that phone OS should allow an aux cable to be an FM aerial (not all do unless tricked).

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh

I'm a user and advocate of FM radio. You give other examples les of 'museum' items and I won't contest them - but FM radio can be very battery efficient. FM occupies a good spot on the [choice, audio quality, ubiquity of receivers] vs [power consumption, poor reception, faff] graph that is yet unmatched.

Of course in the UK we have the BBC, whereas in the states you have a cacophony of shouting morons. The BBC ain't perfect but occasionally get some bright folk, and they don't shout that much. The Australian ABC.net/RN is better.

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Dave 126
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Re: Antennae?

You can get away with a 3.5mm Aux cable too, but some phones will insist you short some tips/rings before activating the FM radio. Once started, it's all good. Without shorting, the phone just gives the 'Headset is required for FM Radio' message.

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Dave 126
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The article says that FM radios use very little battery, which is true. However, if in an emergency scenario (phone masts disabled through wind, flood, WWW3 EMP etc) one turns on Airplane Mode (without which a phone will burn through its battery looking for a non-existant signal) the FM radio is disabled - presumably because of the architecture of these Broadcom and Qualcomm chips. Without activating Airplane Mode, the phone will soon run out of battery anyway.

Tldr buy a Sansa Clip.

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3D selfies? What could possibly go wrong?

Dave 126
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Re: Above the belt?

> I don't see why ML or CNN is needed

Because there isn't enough information in one photograph to create a 3D mesh using the traditional software methods (which calculate depth of features from points on multiple photographs). The ML is required because to create a convincing 3D mesh from an image the software must make assumptions about the way that people's faces work (eg Are dark pixels shadow or areas of darker skin pigmentation?), assumptions gleaned from prior 'knowledge' of human faces.

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Nokia updates classic comeback mobe 3310

Dave 126
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Yeah, WhatsApp does have some clear strengths over SMS, especially for coordinating group activities (camping or festivals for example, when battery life is more important than other features)

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Dave 126
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I seem to recall having WAP on a 3310... or maybe I'm thinking of the 6210 I had a couple of years later!

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Samsung flashes flash stash for flash motors

Dave 126
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Yeah, I can't think of what data would need to be stored such that 256GB would be required. For sure, having the last ten hours of several HD video streams would be handy for collision dispute resolution, and car diagnostic logs.

Cars will generate a shit ton of raw data, especially with autonomous systems, but that data will largely be used on the fly - only a fraction of it would be useful to store.

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Smartphone SatNavs to get centimetre-perfect GNSS receivers in 2018

Dave 126
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Differentiating between lanes separated only by height is an issue for the map data - the GPS unit itself can give you a 3-dimensional location coordinate. If the map data is in 3D - or more likely a format derived from past traffic GPS data, eg the upper lane eventually veers East) - there's no problem.

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Dave 126
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> How accurate is this new chipset supposed to be at motorway speeds?I would think it needs to be accurate to less than 2m in order to be able to distinguish specific lanes.

I for one travel at motorway speeds within a lane and not across them! Phone GPS units usually refresh once per second, some automotive units at 5 or 10 times a second. The accuracy of GPS isn't dented by speed (which is also calculated from the signals).

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Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck

Dave 126
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Re: Battery Material Source

Lithium is extracted in Bolivia, amongst other places. It's fairly widespread worldwide, and as demand continues to increase further sites will be developed. It may be the case that someone perfects a scalable way of extracting lithium from seawater, or another battery chemistry is developed.

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Dave 126
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Re: Pollution impact

The bicycle was once a toy exclusively for the rich. It didn't stay that way, and became accessible to many.

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Boeing slams $2m on the desk, bellows: Now where's my jetpack?

Dave 126
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Ultralights: Bicycles of the Skies - was how National Geographic covered them back in the seventies. Thanks for providing information about what happened to microlights since.

The silence criterion... Owls fly very quietly... lots of owls.. on string... Hmmm, will need to silence the upset squawking but that's an engineering problem.

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Bing fling sting: Apple dumps Microsoft search engine for Google

Dave 126
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Re: rolling out to all users over the course of the day

The word used three times in the first two paragraphs is 'default'.

It is changing the default search engine. Users can choose others, just as they always have.

Have another coffee!

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iPhone 8: Apple has CPU cycles to burn

Dave 126
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Re: Odd....

What gives you the impression that the iPhone only records high frame hi resolution in short bursts? I found no mention of such a limitation in any reviews. Obviously the NAND storage will fill up quickly, but it is quick enough.

If you revisit the list from which you copied and read down, you'll see 'Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps' - though apparently you need to switch the codec to HEVC.

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Dave 126
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The iPhone 8 uses Sony's new stacked camera sensors which have processing and memory built in.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/22/iphone-8-teardown-reveals-few-surprises-but-more-camera-details/

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Microsoft reveals details of flagship London store within spitting distance from Apple's

Dave 126
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> It also puts it just two minutes' walk – some might say pissing distance

Since this is a technical blog, shall we calculate the pressure required on one's bladder to piss the distance one can walk in two minutes?

We will assume that the walker and the pisser are the same individual, and that walking speed is limited by sheer number of other pedestrians. The pisser is at street level, the nozzle at average height.

For the sake of the sums, we shall ignore wind.

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Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

Dave 126
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Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

I've always observed taxi drivers driving in the way you describe of Prius drivers. I'd always assumed that taxis were slow to accelerate in order to save on fuel.

Watching taxis do entertaining U-turns has, for the last twenty years prompted me to mentally sing "Because Iiiii'm a taxi!" to the tune of of Baby Bird's 'You're Gorgeous' (Well, the Mark Radcliffe and Boy Lard's homage 'You're a bastard', but the tune is the same)

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How Apple is taming the ad biz. Just don't expect Google or Zuck to follow

Dave 126
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I've always been on Android, but now the iPhone 6s is priced at where the Android upper-middle range was a couple of years back, at around £450. That's £250 less than the iPhone 8, and most of what the 8 offers over the 6s is tweaks to the camera, and sensor and silicon stuff that largely benefits AR. Oh, and likely a longer update support period of course.

Still, I'll probably wait til next year and see what cunning stuff active IR 3D scanning stuff Qualcomm come up with (niche, but a niche I sometimes play in... would encourage me to dust off my RepRap 3D printer), or see how Google get on with their hardware efforts. Or see what the latest Chinese £200 special is like.

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Google's Big Hardware Bet: Is this what a sane business would do?

Dave 126
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Logitech have just released their first trackball in years. Pricey, but I've never regretted spending good money on the fancier Logitech mice:

https://www.logitech.com/en-gb/product/mx-ergo-wireless-trackball-mouse

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Attention adults working in the real world: Do not upgrade to iOS 11 if you use Outlook, Exchange

Dave 126
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> El Reg has already sounded the alarm about potential pitfalls in the update: it won't run any of your older 32-bit-only apps

Well done the Reg for alerting us to stuff that was announced several years ago. Clap. ... Clap.

Being snarky is one thing, being smug through disingenuity is another. Check yourselves.

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BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software

Dave 126
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> All software should be reliable. There is no excuse for unreliable software.

In an ideal world, for sure. However, many people if given an informed choice between a rock-solid local-only music player and a Spotify-enabled device that crashes once every hundred hours might choose the latter.

In fact, it's a choice many of us have already made in the home, choosing to listen to Spotify in houses where the Wi-fi might occasionally misbehave instead of just listening to an old MP3 player. Any gadget tinkerer has occasionally traded stability with for features. That's fine for gadgets, but obviously not cars.

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Dave 126
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I remember reading that QNX can be packaged to have a footprint the tenth of a comparable Linux solution. That and its real-time nature and battle-hardened reliability make it a better fit for many applications, except of course it isn't open source (it's open in that the source code is freely available, but royalties must be paid upon commercial deployment)

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Dave 126
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Good point. I was just thinking of the newer infotainment systems such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Unlike the traditional Radio, CD player, Sat Nav etc, they offer music and podcast apps like Spotify, and through an interface (though simplified) that the user is already familiar with from their phones.

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Dave 126
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I'm not sure that QNX is required for the infotainment system - which doesn't need the levels of reliability one would demand of the car's driving aids, sensors, drivetrain and autonomous functions. Android and iOS have a lead in apps such as Spotify et al, and in voice-driven controls.

That said, Blackberry have demonstrated Android apps running on their QNX-based BB10 OS.

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Falling apart at the seamless: Inside Apple's LTE Watch fiasco

Dave 126
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Question:

GSM devices must be able to contact emergency services - even without a SIM.

Is the same true of virtual SIM devices such as this watch?

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Google blows $1.1bn to hire HTC's Pixel people, forming one big happy handset team

Dave 126
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> Won't be the same with HTC but little reason at the moment to suspect that Google wants mimic Apple, because control of the supply chain and customer service is more important than hardware designers

The evidence is that Google has been selling phones under its own name. More evidence is that Google has been hiring SoC designers so that it has software and silicon expertise in house, as Apple does. Tight OS and SoC integration seems to have served Apple well, and is worth learning from. It might be that Google want to fully design their own chips as Apple does, or merely have its own SoC experts to better liaise and plan roadmaps with the likes of Qualcomm.

But yeah, leverage over the supply chain is important.

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Dave 126
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Re: About time!

There's lots of good phones that don't cost $1,000. The ones that do are trying to differentiate themselves in some way.

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Dave 126
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Re: About time!

If you want a range of genuinely different phones, look at Moto - the range includes phones with extra big batteries, snap-on extra batteries, phones with guaranteed shatter-proof screens, ultra-slim phones... take your pick. I mention Moto here because the were once controlled by Google.

If you want a physical keyboard, the the Moto Mod system is the sanest way I've seen of adding one to a phone - though it isn't available yet it's exceeded 100% funding on Indiegogo.

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GNOME Foundation backs 'freedom-oriented' smartphone

Dave 126
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Re: Comparison with the Planet Gemini?

Not all Gemini devices will have SIMs. Without having even a monochrome display on its outer lid I'm not sure how practical it will be as a phone - it seems pitched more as a companion to a phone, a laptop replacement but not a phone replacement. Various small Bluetooth headset devices with screens and call buttons exist - these could help.

Gemini can run Linux or Android.

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Dave 126
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> - last but not least the past is littered with glorious attempts to create a phone that finally breaks away from The Man

That was my first thought. I wish them well, but I hear past names on the wind, like SailFish, FireFox, Ubuntu Phone, Palm, BlackPhone... I haven't clicked through the link, so I don't know if this Gnome Phone has addressed why they think they will succeed where others have failed.

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Dave 126
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Re: i.MX6/8 !!??

Presumably the architecture of this Gnome Phone is such that it won't require binary blobs from ODMs for each security update. Even Android is finally moving in this direction with Project Treble.

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Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

Dave 126
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Re: Bad Idea

It isn't that pressing three keys at once is inherently awkward, it's that pressing *those* three keys is awkward. I can do it with one hand, but it requires a weird contortion to bring my middle finger under my palm.

That might be acceptable for an occasional system freeze, but isn't fun for a login many times a day.

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Dave 126
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The reset button doesn't bring up Task Manager!

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Dave 126
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Re: Brilliant idea

Windows NT.4 was pretty solid, but I guess that came at the expense of features found in Win98. It morphed into Win 2K and then XP, the latter being the one that really had to cope with evolving nasties on the internet.

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Dave 126
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Re: BREAK

> One key would have been too easy to press

Yeah, a one-key restart is bad, but a one-key Task Manager is no drama.

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Mobe reception grief turns LTE Apple Watch 3 into – er, a dull watch

Dave 126
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Bluetooth devices advertise to others which functions they are capable of, so, for example a phone never tries to connect to a keyboard as an audio playback device. A Bluetooth device can also listen out without advertising itself (the 'Make this device discoverable' setting).

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Dave 126
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Re: Bluetooth & wireless still alive?

Airplane Mode will still work -

it shuts down that whole chuck of silicon (which is annoying because in Qualcomm devices one loses the FM radio.)

Android's default behaviour for years has been to occasionally poll for WiFi networks (for location), even with WiFi supposedly turned off. (I'm sensitive to these things because I'm forced to - Nexus 5 battery capacity was always sub-par.)

The fear expressed in the article is that battery life will suffer in iOS - but that's a matter best settled by empirical testing. Any drastic drop will be fixed.

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Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

Dave 126
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Re: "you'd have almost no apps"

> The inevitable conclusion is that today's programmers, or at least the millennials, are lazy, uneducated and incompetent, and the centrepiece of their workflow is something that would look more at home in Toys R Us than at a software engineer's desk.

Okay... why single out the "millennials" when we've experienced stuttery computers for decades? Might the answer instead be that the grasp of people's home computer systems always exceeded their grasp?

It's the Red Queen effect. As soon as one feature is perfected someone (be it the user, the seller, the marketeer, the enthusiast) thinks of adding another, and at ever higher bitrates, pixel count and density, adverts per page, frames per second, milliseconds saved in latency, always ever faster faster faster. The coder might not have time to tie his shoelaces up if he's always running!

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Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

Dave 126
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Re: Ugh

And there has never been a version of Civilisation released for Android. The closest I've come is to install a Nintendo DS emulator on my Nexus and try to play that version of Civ... but playing a game written for a two-screen device on a phone isn't fun.

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Dave 126
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Re: Questionable advice

I've got a Nexus 5, it feels fast and snappy and runs anything I've had cause to throw at it. Google stopped supporting it earlier this year, 3.5 years after its release.

Even Google's Nexus and Pixel phones are sourced from a range of OEMs and contain components from a range of ODMs, and until Oreo the nature of Android was such that creating updates for specific phones was a headache.

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Dave 126
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Re: Updated with no drama.

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/09/14/iphone-x-hardware-flac-codec/

From the above article: The 7, 8 and X models apparently have hardware FLAC decoding. The ability to play FLAC on other models by software appears to be limited by Apple to save battery life.

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macOS High Sierra more like 'Cry Sierra' for Mac-wielding beta testers

Dave 126
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Re: Nuke it and start again

Well yeah, just restore the Time Machine system image. One would hope that that the sort of user who plays with Betas knows how to back up.

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Dave 126
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> The Fusion drives, offered in Mac Mini and iMac models sold from 2012 to 2017, marry solid-state and hard disk drive (HDD) hardware within a single enclosure.

'Fusion Drives are not physical devices. 'Fusion Drive' is a name given to a feature of Apple's Logical Volume Manager whereby partitions on a normal HDD drive and a normal SSD are combined into a pool. The user will see them as one drive with MacOS tiering them, replicating the most often used files onto the faster physical drive. Unlike pooled storage on Windows, a system can boot from a Drive.

It was one of the things Apple picked up when they were flirting with ZFS.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/6679/a-month-with-apples-fusion-drive/7

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+

Dave 126
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If you want to save battery, use the FM radio on a Sansa Clip. If you want access to an FM radio for emergencies then a phone really isn't suitable - the battery on a standalone FM radio will last weeks of occasional use.

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Dave 126
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Re: @Dave 126

@DougS

LCD and OLED screen costs have always been affected by yield rates. Small sensors and IR emitters far less so - for reasons that are obvious if you only think about it. Hint: area is L x W.

The 8 screens cost Apple about $50, the X screens currently $150.

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Dave 126
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Re: Rendered irrelevant by the iPhone X...

> I must have missed the bit about the X having 6GB RAM

And that does what for you exactly? RAM is meaningless beyond what it does for the user experience - so if you want to compare handsets on a task-for-task basis then go for it. Remember that they have different OSs, and different speeds of NAND storage, and of course different SoCs. Anandtech can give you a range of benchmarks and analysis, if you fancy.

You merely waving numbers around like a teenage game of Top Trumps suggests you've learnt nothing from the last twenty years of computing. It's actually embarrassing that a supposedly technical website like the Reg has readers that up-voted that simplistic fuckwittery.

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Dave 126
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The LG V20 has a *swappable* battery... the LG-built Nexus 5 has a *removable* battery. The distinction is that the former takes seconds and the latter takes a few minutes - and a small Philips screwdriver.

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Dave 126
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The Moto Mod phones allow a secondary battery 'backpack', reducing the number of charge/discharge cycles endured by the primary battery.

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