* Posts by Dave 126

6736 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Why Apple's adaptive Touch Bar will flop

Dave 126
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Re: Hopefully Apple will listen...

once their sales collapse so hard that they carve a hole in their basement.>

They enjoying a lot of pre-orders, though much of that must be ascribed to the over-due CPU upgrades. However, I really don't think their sales will collapse. Let's agree to disagree until this time next year, Lisa :)

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Dave 126
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Re: Reminds me

>The "We've tried it before and couldn't make it work, so nobody can"-comment is so absurd and so overused, that you can hardly believe anybody making it these days.

Aye. I'm tempted to go through the Reg forum archives and see who here thought the iPad would be a flop upon its release - there were quite a few commentards who said it would. It would be even more fun if this process could be automated and suitable icons placed next to our handles!

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Dave 126
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In addition to better software support, the Apple touchbar has more capable hardware - it has ten points of multi-touch, and can be used as a slider or video scrubber. To compare it to Lenovo's virtual buttons is like comparing a scroll wheel to cursor keys.

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Dave 126
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Re: Been there, done that, didn't work.

>To be fair though, if it's implemented properly by the software manufacturers, rather than by the hardware manufacturer, it could work.

It seems Apple have got a few devs on board - Adobe, representing photoediting, Da Vinci representing video work and some music software. This is on top of the software Apple themselves make for internet, office tasks, photos, email etc

>However, so much software makes use of function keys, it seems arbitrary to change something just for a niche of users with MacBooks.

Here's the thing: by default, Apple's function keys haven't been function keys for years. They perform the functions that on a Windows PC normally require the 'Fn' button to be held down, such as screen brightness, volume, mute, media controls. They can be made function keys, but that is not the default OSX behaviour.

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Dave 126
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>Touch bar - pointless gimmick, I'm one of life's ESC users,

Fair enough, that's your use-case. Will you concede that Photoshop users can benefit from context-sensitive virtual sliders? Not only Photoshop, but many an application in video, photo and music.

I'm not a Mac user, so I'll keep on using keys or extra mouse buttons to modify the scroll wheel. I hear that some more modern Windows PCs actually have decent trackpads, but mine dates from the era when PC trackpads are just horrible - barely good enough to get you by when you've forgotten to pack your Logitech mouse.

Yep, like you I find my ageing laptop still up to the task! :)

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Dave 126
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Re: Worth $300 /400 extra?

I remember flight simulators that came with a cardboard keyboard template! These days you can get gaming keyboards with programmable RGB back-lighting - as well as gaming keypads and complicated-looking joysticks.

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Dave 126
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>Apple apparently forgot to make the screen touch.

They didn't forget - they just reckoned nobody wanted to be holding their arms out in front of them.

Where Apple do make a touchscreen computer, they think its more important that it be light than it is able to run applications designed for mouse and keyboard - hence the iPad.

Adobe make iPad apps that provide tool palettes for Photoshop on OSX - so hybrid touch interfaces for OSX do exist if a productivity application will benefit from it. This is on top of established support for Wacom stylus tablets.

Obviously, this requires you buy both a Mac and an iPad, but Apple don't mind that.

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Dave 126
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Re: Apples and Lemons?

Yep, Lenovo didn't have control over the OS as Apple do, they didn't have a suite of their own applications, and they didn't have enough market share to interest 3rd party developers.

All of the above were factors against Lenovo, before we even consider whether their hardware implementation was any good or not.

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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Dave 126
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The reasonably priced screen replacement scheme is interesting.

Edit: LG have had a scheme where they will replace a screen on some models for free, if you crack it in the first six months of owning the phone. It may be that other vendors have had similar schemes.

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MacBook headphone hell

Dave 126
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Re: There is zero need for a 3.5mm to Lightning converter

Annoyingly, Sennhieser only offer the spare cable in one length - 3 M - for about £15. My old Sennheiser cans - which are suitable for travelling about - would benefit from a 1.5 M cable. Oh well! I must see if the small mono plugs that go into the left and right cans can be sourced elsewhere.

My newer Sennheisers - ostensibly better - have a 1.5 M fixed cable but shipped with a cable extension.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

>Isn't this the same argument that would have someone spend £10+/metre on speaker cable and bi-wiring / bi-amping? ]

I have had laptops and phones in which I can clearly hear interference from the rest of the system though - 'goblin chatter' when I move the cursor, for example. Separating the analogue stage from sources of interference is a common-sense approach. It's the inverse-square law.

>The audiophile "market" is utterly full of crap.

I agree -my amp and speakers are from the 1980s. However, can all agree that a modestly priced amplifier and speakers usually sound better than speaker docks, which in turn sound better than laptop speakers? That I wouldn't use my phone's speaker for music doesn't make me an 'audiophile' - it makes me someone who likes music.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

>So having a generic little D-to-A converter plus power amplifier built into the headphones will sound better than a half-descent D-to-A and PA?

Why would you assume the DAC in the headphones would be 'generic' whilst the DAC in the phone would be 'half decent'?

Headphones are sold on sound quality. Phone are sold on a myriad factors.

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Dave 126
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Re: more headphones with their own DAC and amp will be available

>Which given space, cost, battery will generally be inferior than built in DAC & Amp in a phone, tablet, laptop, which will have a DAC and Amp ANYWAY for the built-in speakers

Battery? Headphones take power from the USB / Lightning connection. Clearly you've looked into this Mage.

Cost? I'm looking at my first DAC right now - a Gravis Ultrasound card. Its 16 bit playback and wavetable synthesis cost around £200 in the nineties. Last DAC I bought was a USB jobbie for £3 - though it is a bit shit. Still, a half decent DAC and amp won't add too much to the cost of a pair of headphones, and allow you other niceties such as battery-free noise-cancelling.

I don't know why you think a pair of headphones will incorporate a poorer DAC than any given phone. Who would you trust more - Sennheiser or Alcatel? It is only recently that phone vendors have started using sound quality as a differentiator - I think there was a variant of the Samsung S3 that used a Wolfson DAC, and LG have been pushing it since their G2.

Some people hold on to a favourite pair of headphones for years, even if they change their phone every 2-3 years (its usually only the cable that fails, and good headphones let you swap that). In any case, the inside of a phone isn't the ideal place for the analogue stage - back in the days when we still bought HiFi, we called the units 'separates' for a reason. The analogue output in my Dell laptop is poor - I can hear the cursor move. My phones have varied - my Sony Z3 was pretty good.

I wasn't - and I'm not - defending Bluetooth audio (though it doesn't necessarily require re-encoding if source and target play nice together... one would hope that Samsung > Samsung will for some codecs, just as we would Apple > Apple). I was merely stating, contrary to the OP's claim, that fact that some decent Lightning headphones do exist. Amusingly, this statement of fact seems to have upset some folk.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

>There are no decent headphones available with a Lightning plug.

The Philips Fidelio M2L headphones use Lightening. The Fidelio range has previously been well received, and first reports suggest that letting the headphones use their own DAC (thus shortening the analogue path) only makes them sound even better.

Down the line, more headphones with their own DAC and amp will be available (on USB as well as Lightening), rendering the quality of the source device moot (as long as it can stream the data without hiccup) as regards sound quality.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why are you giving them ideas?

>Apple would remove the keyboard if they thought they could get away with it.

Like the Macbook Wheel?

It uses predictive sentence technology:

http://www.theonion.com/video/apple-introduces-revolutionary-new-laptop-with-no--14299

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Sound-mufflers chuck acoustic sleep blanket at the noise-plagued

Dave 126
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Re: Not noise cancellation. Not at all.

>And why the heck does everyone think Bose invented this either?

Because Bose marketed it heavily at consumers, often in the same glossy newspaper supplements as they have long advertised their other wares.

There is lots of aviation technology that only later is affordable for Joe Punter. Additional examples include e-ink (several kg of flight manuals cost fuel) and eyeball tracking.

In any case, it doesn't bother people where a technology originated from... they only need to know who they can buy it from. Oh, and they don't want to buy a 'how', they want to buy a 'what'.

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Ex-soldier slapped with sex offender order after flouting private browsing mode ban

Dave 126
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Re: Infantilization is now an officially recognized disability?

The trick is to swap the exercise book in which you drew the naughty pictures for an otherwise similar

-looking exercise book.

Maybe this is why they say public school is good training for prison - or indeed, public life.

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Dave 126
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>it appears no different from being prosecuted for having an encrypted file for which you cannot offer the decryption key to the police when requested.

It's not an encrypted file, it's just a log of some atmospheric noise I recorded.

Shit, the 'Forgotten your password? Click here to send reset email' button gets a lot of use from me.

Turns out my 1024 bit keys are themselves just ascii art of kittens.

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Microsoft flips Google the bird after Windows kernel bug blurt

Dave 126
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>"One, you are irresponsible; two, you are wrong"

"I didn't steal your horse, and it turned out to be a shit horse anyway."

??

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

Dave 126
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Re: "Oh look!! It has a display. And a keyboard."

> the USB format started in 1994. Since then (over 20 years), the speeds have increased 4 times. 3 of those times, the form factor for the connector to the PC did not change AND the new versions were all backwards compatible.Can't say that for Apple... Your argument is weak and your fanboi is showing.

FireWire (IEEE 1394) wasn't just an Apple effort, it was a group effort for high resolution scanners, digital video and external soundcards. On Sony kit it was called iLink. USB 1.0 wasn't up to those applications (it was more for joysticks, mice, keyboards etc), and even USB 2.0 which arrived much later, wasn't as suitable for streaming data as FireWire.

Similarly, Thunderbolt is an Intel effort (though Apple contributed the name, because Intel's original name, LightPeak, wasn't suitable after they ditched the fibre optic for copper). Again, it does stuff USB can't do - such as place PCIe devices outside the computer. PC vendors have been slow to adopt it, but we're beginning to see applications such as external GPUs for laptops.

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Dave 126
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Re: Apricot?

>This is approaching being a tablet with keyboard, the I/O is so poor.

Eh? It has 4 USB Type C ports, each one of which can do power, USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort and HDMI.

The I/O is broad, fast and versatile.

True, there will be a bit of a faff for a while you're still using USB-A memory sticks and the like, but there's a good selection of 3rd party hubs and dongles thanks to the USB-C-only Macbook last year.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Oh look!! It has a display. And a keyboard."

>No USB sockets. Was a joke. Now a fact.

No USB [Type A] sockets.

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Dave 126
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Re: Strip or screen...

> ...tiny strips for DJing, how cool. Couldn't help but think 'just put your hands on the bloody screen man'.

It was just to demonstrate that the touchstrip had ten-point multitouch, and had low latency. If the DJ wanted more room for virtual knobs and sliders, he could use a variety of kit, including an iPad - which, like the original iPhone, has low latency and wireless MIDI baked into its OS (so the iPad can easily control the software on the Macbook).

In essence, the touchstrip is a thin iPad screen. Indeed, Adobe have had an iPad app for Photoshop tool palettes (controlling the host application on OSX) for a few years now.

It's curious that in two days we've had two different answers to 'How can I change the size of my Photoshop brush on the fly?' - MS's Knob, and Apple's Touchstrip.

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Dave 126
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Cuda

What are the advantages of CUDA over OpenCL? I know a few of you here use it.

It seems that CUDA ties you to one vendor, but application developers such as Da Vinci made the switch without too much fuss when the AMD only Mac Pro came out

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Microsoft goes back to the drawing board – literally, with 28" tablet and hockey puck knob

Dave 126
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Re: "Promised" 3D in Powerpoint?

I'm now thinking of the 3D holographic shark in Back to the Future 2 - the shark that scares Marty outside the cinema to advertise 'Jaws 19'.

As a Powerpoint demonstration.

Until then, we have this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RxHvQ0eHXA (Chang: Just a guy who knows PowerPoint)

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm confused.

>Why does a desktop computer, designed to be placed with its back against a wall or tilted so that its back goes down to the desk, have both front _and_ back mounted cameras?

It could be handy for snapping handdrawn sketches ( or small objects you want to sell on eBay or Etsy) at a 'good enough' resolution. If so, then Microsoft should supply it with an 'L' shaped power connector, so that the cable doesn't stray into the shot.

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Dave 126
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>Isn't the Professional Edition supposed to be the one people create on?

We used to have professional (Pro) titles such as 'product designer', 'carpenter', 'steel fabricator' and the like, but these days the term 'maker' (read: Creator) is widely used for amateurs, hobbyists and small-scale manufacture.

Generally, for hobbiest CAD, CAM, CNC and interfacing with old bits of kit, Windows is the OS to use, despite its idiosyncrasies and frustrations.

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Dave 126
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Re: The silver hockey puck works on and off the screen.

>Why do almost no screens (and none on laptop) support portrait, though many graphics drivers do?

The screen (and GPU + drivers) on my laptop support Portrait orientation just fine. The issue is that I find the keyboard difficult to use when my laptop is sat on its side. :)

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Dave 126
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Re: I want!

You have two main issues:

1 - Protecting the screen area from scratches (bits of metal, dust from diamond tools etc). This could be done with a sacrificial plastic sheet, as many people use on their phone screens.

2 - Dust ingress into the base unit. You should be able to knock yourself up a slim enclosure with dust filtering, though you might have to actively drive air through the filters in order to provide sufficient cooling. Still, some 9 mm plywood, some vacuum-cleaner filters and a couple of fans won't break the bank.

The hinge areas can be protected with - at minimum - a plastic bag and some duck tape.

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Dave 126
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Re: Perfect for the wannabe creator market

>this specs seem to fall short of anything really useful for professional use , especially the weird screen resolution.

What the hell are you talking about? Damned near every non-Surface Windows laptop is 16:9, which isn't great for many purposes. Macs are 16:10 (the same as my ageing Dell) which is handy - even for editing full-res 1080 video you have some spare vertical pixels for a timeline.

Professional applications - CAD, Photoshop - tend to allow the user some freedom in how toolbars and palettes are arranged in the workspace. If you were a professional, you would know that.

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Let's praise Surface, not bury it

Dave 126
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Re: It is in fact interesting that the last three years or so have seen something that.....

It's only Microsoft (4:3) and Apple (16:10) making laptops with displays other than 16:9 , as I've been observing in these forums for quite a while now.

If anyone knows of any exceptions, please let me know!

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Dave 126
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Re: They fluffed it ages ago

Whilst it would have been nice if MS had made an ARM version of Windows that could run any Windows application (without performance penalties), it isn't possible. Mark this one down to 'technical hurdle', instead of 'strategic fumble'.

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I've arrived on Mars. Argggh, my back!

Dave 126
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Re: Spin is the answer

>A spin that provides somewhat less than 1g, say 1/3 g + lead-lined helmets and shoulder pads!

Just a thought: A very wide brimmed hat, worn in a vertical wind tunnel (think of the opposite of those wind tunnels that sky-divers use for practice!

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Did Apple leak a photo of its new Macbook Pro in an OS update? Our survey says: Yes

Dave 126
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OSX lets you toggle between Function Keys and controls for volume and Wi-Fi etc on their existing keyboards.. By default, it's set to the latter.

For controlling volume (or Photoshop brush size, for example) a well implemented touch-strip may be a better than traditional keys.

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And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Dave 126
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Re: Let me "Google" that diagram

>Google's business is personalized and interactive advertisements - nothing more.

Er, no. If you are a business, you can pay Google for email and office suite* - no ads. So your statement is demonstrably incorrect.

Given this article made explicit mention of a $250 / year subscription fee for this device, it would appear that the grasp of your opinion is greater than the reach of your knowledge:

*Unlike Google's consumer offerings, which may show ads, we do not collect, scan or use your G Suite data for advertising purposes and do not display ads in G Suite, Education or Government core services - https://gsuite.google.com/intl/en_uk/faq/security/

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BlackBerry DTEK60: An elegant flagship for grown-ups

Dave 126
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Re: Nice as it may be to have oodles of camera info

>What is the phone call quality, good, bad, or indifferent? That is the one thing that always gets forgotten in reviews of phones

The article said this would be addressed in the full review. This article was marked as a 'hands on review', which by tech blog convention means a quick first look and feel.

However, one would expect the call quality to be on par with every other Snapdragon 8xx-based phone out there - i.e it works.

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Finally, that tech fad's over: Smartwatch sales tank more than 50%

Dave 126
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Re: Things that a smart watch is good for

>You are up there with car salesmen who wear giant divers watches, because who knows, they might have to adjust the time wearing thick neoprene gloves in 80feet of icy North Sea water...

The selection of conventional watches of a sensible size (the traditional 36 - 39 mm) is surprisingly limited these days. 43 mm seem to be the norm, which is just a bit daft.

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Dave 126
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Re: How about a watch that...

>To be honest, I do have a bit of a problem with the idea that people are to friggin' lazy to reach for their phone to read texts and pick up a call.

I'm too lazy to reach into my pocket for my phone if all I want to do is read the time. That is why I wear a watch (currently a £5 Casio, though I have a windup for when I scrub up). It is simply quicker and more convenient.

Every time I pull my phone out of my pocket there is a small (but real) chance I will drop it, and other the lifetime of a phone those chances add up. There is also a chance there will be water, mud, oil or some other grime on my hands, substances I would rather keep on the outside of my clothing and off my phone.

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Dave 126
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Re: Batteries

>The watch form factor is just too small to do anything much other than well be a watch.

A small display can communicate the time just fine - as traditional watches do by hands or segmented LCD display. However, there are other data or states that can also be communicated just fine on a small display, such as a message notification. Even if only using watch hands, lots of useful info can be read - speed, altitude, direction, time. Even a single RGB LED can communicate useful info (type of incoming message, battery level etc, as seen on Blackberry and some Android phones already).

Casio and Citizen both makes watches with this sort of functionality, both with 1 year + battery life.

Personally, I'll wait til SoC and battery tech allow a smartwatch to be smaller, and the cost of selective laser sintering of titanium becomes cheap enough to let me design (or rather, copy a 1969 Omega Chronostop) my own watch case. It will communicate to me by vibration and through its hands ( the hands will 'dance' at 6 o'clock for a text message, for example).

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Dave 126
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Re: Garmin

>I would have thought that doing anything based on wrist flicking may be prone to error, as in introducing a very badly timed variant of butt dialling :).

It's only to turn on the display :)

Even some conventional LCD watches have used a similar mechanism to temporarily turn on the back light (thinking of a late-nineties Casio G-Shock).

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Swedes ban camera spy-drones for anything but crime fighting

Dave 126
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Re: But cams on the ground are bafflingly just fine

It's baffling to the Reg's sub-headline writer, though he often gives the impression that he's neglected to take his dried-frog pills.

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Is Google using YouTube to put one over on Samsung?

Dave 126
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Fair Use through Parody was the first thought that came to me upon reading this article.

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Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

Dave 126
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Re: Beagle 2

The good Prof did know that his wasn't the only Mars mission to fail. The Soviets took a few stabs at it before the US succeeded with Viking.

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Dave 126
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Re: 4 Kelvin Moles?

Grampa: "The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it!"

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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

Dave 126
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I know of a local billionaire who, despite a garage of exotica, drives a MINI on a daily basis - for the country lanes between his house and high tech factory, it's evidently the tool for the job in his opinion.

The police were called by a concerned citizen a few years back, boy racers in the car park of the factory pulling doughnuts, apparently. Plod arrived to find some gents in their late sixties and lots of tyre smoke. "Ah hello officer... ah yes, I see... well, my name is Sir David, this is my car park, and this is my Lamborghini... No, no problem at all officer, we'll be done in a couple of hours. Have a good day now"

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Dave 126
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Re: I am astonished

I liked my Renault 5. It was like a go cart, and lots of fun. It wasn't even a silly Ali-G turbo version with a dump valve, either.

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Dave 126
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Re: Are you saying the mini revamp was a success?

I don't like the MINI Coopers - mainly because they are usually driven very slowly given their sporty badge. I can only assume it has been bought by the spouse of the slow driver for when they need to borrow it.

However, the early BMW MINI wasn't bad, and one fella I know drives a red one every day. His other car? A 1963 Mini Cooper that he has lovingly stripped down to every component, painted, and rebuilt. Again, red, with British Racing Green inside the engine bay. Indeed, he's had it for decades, but told me that it was only with the rise of the internet that he was able to source some certain refurbished parts.

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Nintendo's new console-tab

Dave 126
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Re: Looks ok

Plus one for mentioning the social aspect. Too many games for XBox and Playstation only do multiplayer over LAN or internet, overlooking the idea that people might want to play with the people they are actually in the same room with. Even the new version of Halo, which traditionally offered split-screen multiplayer, has abandoned it.

Early reports suggest games for this new Nintendo console will buck this trend.

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Dave 126
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Re: I really only...

Backwards compatibility is 'nice to have', but not a deal breaker - people with a collection of older games will generally still have the correct hardware to play them on, and if the hardware fails then a replacement can be had for next to nothing from eBay or (eventually) a charity shop.

I've got two GameCubes I've bought for a tenner - both working. I only want a few choice games - but even second hand they still command good money.

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Here's how much HP's 3-in-1 PC replacement will cost you

Dave 126
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Re: So what happens...

>So what happens when you can't get a network connection... ?

Same as for any other application or task that requires a network connection, such as sending an email, booking travel tickets or consulting a supplier's online price list.

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