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Comment: A good initiative (Score 1) 98

by Camembert (#49555251) Attached to: Apple's Next Frontier Is Your Body
When it was launched I found it more interesting than the watch which was presented at the same event. I also think that this initiative would not hace come from Jobs. And even habitually Apple bashing slashdotters must grudgingly respect that it is open source.
One of the research areas was particularly interesting: it was if I remember well a study about asthma symptoms, and the participants phone location was used together with a grid of a few 1000 air polluants sensors in New york city, to better find correlation.
With future generations of the Apple watch likely gaining in sensors (I read that they hired a guy who made a phd out of creating a non-invasive blood glucose sensor, for example), I can indeed imagine that more and more diverse research with 1000s of participants can become much more easy to realise.
Yes, cynical slashdotterd will perpetually try to focus on negative sides of anything Apple does, yet this is in my opinion a worthy service, one that we should rather be thinking about how to create valuable research with.

Comment: Tempting, but I will wait for v2 (Score 1) 290

I experimented with it last friday. I thought that it looks and feels quite premium, more so than pictures suggest and more so than other smartwatches I briefly tried. The straps and bracelets are very well thought out. I expect it to inflict real pain on the quartz market, most of the fashion watches you see in malls, also Tissot and quartz Seikos.
For a v1 it is quite impressive but I will wait for v2. Apple is usually interesting in v1 and in v2 they make their products really mature. I do expect extra sensors (they hired people with phds on this subject), like blood sugar sensors. Health will become a killer app in the coming versions, which will drive mass adoption. All in my opinion of course. And there will be interesting competition coming.
While I expect it to kill most but the cheapest quartz watches, I also do expect the apple watch to increase interest in pure mechanical watches. Many young people do not wear a watch. I can see ever more powerful smartwatches to become popular with them, and because of that it wouldn't surprise me it becoming a gateway for mechanical watches to wear during dressed moments for example.
Again all in my opinion.
All in all I found it quite tempting.

Comment: Re:What can it do? (Score 0) 94

Well, the fashion part is debatable. It has been featured in highly fashionable magazines a few times already, also worn on cover pages of fashion magazines. I expect that Apple's miss Ahrends is at least partly behind this. Yes, pushing the watch to become fashion, yet she was very successful in revitalising Burberry, she knows how to deal with the fashion market.

Comment: Re:My favorite one... (Score 3, Informative) 94

It can track and tell time!

Yes, but not for very long. If you really need to know the time accurately, it is recommended that you also wear a regular watch.

Actually the watch should be accurate within 50ms. Very good by anyone's standards. I assume it checks the official time once per day through the user's iPhone.

+ - Interesting Tim cook interview->

Submitted by Camembert
Camembert writes: Over at Fast Company, there is an interesting interview wih Tim Cook. You don't have to be an Apple fan to find it inspiring reading (in my opinion). Cook goes in detail about the focus on excellence rather than numbers; the culture of intense cross-skills collaboration, etc.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Swiss vs Apple marketing (Score 4, Interesting) 389

For info I am interested i watches, with a little collection including several vintages. Nothing truly expensive, most even cheap, I do simply like the mechanical engineering.

This being said, the Swiss watch industry has been carefully marketing its expensive mechanical watches, creating that impression of refined heirloom engineering and jewelry, while by and large you pay simply for marketing and big profits. Very little real innovation happens in the world of mechanical watches. There is the coaxial escapement from Daniels, but what else was recently introduced? The price of luxury watches goes mainly to profit, marketing (posters with Daniel Craig everywhere), boutique costs. In a way you don't get more real engineering quality in many swiss watches than in a gold apple watch.

Then comes Apple. As a watch enthusiast, while I am not yet conviced about the current utility of a smartwatch, I was immediately impressed by the attention to materials and the straps & bracelets. Barely any innovation happened in that respect in the traditional watches. Look how the lugs are easily exchanged and are ideally adapted to each strap. There is the refined bracelet that you can resize without tools. The magnetically closing milano mesh (admittedly this would not work with a mechanical watch), the way the sports band folds under (this was first done by designer Newsom in his rare Ikepod watches, no coincidence that he is on the Apple design team now). I like how Apple did not simply add a strap to a watch but truly thought it over from scratch.
Then there is the marketing, where health will become even more a cornerstone in future iterations, since they have hired people specialised in medial sensors. Everyone wants to be healthy, I think this will be the "killer app" going forward. And even in v1, there are several millions of happy iphone users who will be curious to try it, I think that it is indeed not a stretch to imagine it selling a few million pieces by EOY, with real ramp up coming from v2 onwards.

I think that the apple watch and the more refined android smartwaches will start to bring havoc to the sub $1000 segment of traditional watches from this year onwards. Luxury mechanicals will still sell, but the perception of the public about their worth may well change, I am not sure that the traditional Swiss marketing "you're looking after it until you pass it on" will have staying power.

Comment: safer than dvds (Score 4, Interesting) 62

by Camembert (#49171161) Attached to: Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement
I once read that sometimes the secret service in N. Korea would switch off the electricity of a block of houses and then do a raid. DVD players would be stuck with the disc inside, and if it turned out to be a western movie then the owner had a real risk of being executed. The solution was to use UPS. Of course usb sticks are easier to conceal.

Comment: More successful companies should do this (Score 5, Insightful) 191

by Camembert (#49028819) Attached to: Apple Invests $848 Million Into Solar Farm
Obviously, this initiative will generate plenty of snarky comments and cynicism over here because, well, Apple.
But if we take a step back I think it is great that a company sets this example to combat climate change while it would be so easy not to anything that doesn't bring direct shareholder revenue. I hope that more successful companies follow this example.

Comment: Re:Not all audiphiles are like this (Score 1) 418

There are some basic fixes that make a big difference, like using a carpet when you have a reflective floor. And the positioning of the speakers. Etc. But not many spouses would be supportive of going all out on acoustic treatment in a living room, already visible floorstanding speakers can be a struggle to get accepted.
In my experience, in most living rooms where some basic good sense is applied, a more advanced speaker will sound noticeably better than a basic one.

Comment: Not all audiphiles are like this (Score 5, Informative) 418

Just a note of perspective. It is easy to tag audiophiles as naive fools with too more money than sense.
But not all are like that.
I am quite interested in good rendering of favourite music, so are a few friends. We do indeed try out hifi gear, but that doesn't mean we all fall for this snake oil product.
By and large most people are used to the sound of multimedia speakers or mini systems. For a music lover, it is possible to get so much better results, and it does not need to cost crazy money on crazy products for a decent result.
So far I find speakers having the largest influence on the end reproduction quality. There is some difference between the electronics, but once you are beyond the bare basic level the differences are getting smaller. But speakers are worth spending money on if you are a music lover using a good quality music source.

Comment: Asian success was not unexpected (Score 4, Interesting) 534

by Camembert (#48922085) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever
I live since a few years in Asia (first Singapore, now Hong Kong). 3 years ago I saw lots of people with iphones in de metro, gradually this shifted to mainly big Samsung phablets which are really popular here. Switcher friends told me that they liked their iphone 4/4S but they simply like a bigger screen more.
Now, the iPhone 6 Plus is (very visibly in the metro) stealing customers back from the Android camp, often these are switching back buyers.
I did ask a few colleagues about their switch back, the general opinion is that while they needed to unlearn a few Android habits, they thought that the Apple gear worked very well, and (ALWAYS a factor mentioned by the lady colleagues) they thought that the iphone was simply a beautiful, elegant device.

I upgraded 2 months ago from a 4S to the 6 Plus myself. I am not so impressed by hateful online arguments (nor do I have a problem with Android phones), and it must be said that it works indeed very smoothly. It is still just about portable and the comfort has made me almost abandon my old ipad (between the 6Plus, and the small MAcbook Air the ipad sits now a bit uncomfortably). Also, the camera is remarakable. Without doing scientific tests, I have the impression that the general image quality is akin to my old Nikon D200 (without the nice bokeh of course), the pictures are more than good enough for most casual uses.

Comment: Re: Dizziness (Score 1) 74

by Camembert (#48815757) Attached to: Ars: Samsung Gear VR Is Today's Best Virtual Reality
GP here: in the apps that I tried there was no lagginess nor was the accellerometer too inprecise, it sas simply a matter of living an illusion of movement that the body doesn't feel that gave me an unpleasant feeling. A VR app where I just looked around without moving (like, an aquarium app where sharks swim around you, or the zeiss cinema app) work very well without nausea.
So these are my experiences with the iphone 6plus and the stooksy set, I expect that the Samsung experience will be roughly similar.
A killer app: VR point of view porn videos. I am not a big porn consumer (no, really), but I was curious enough to download a trailer from a vendor site. The visual effect was shockingly convincing. Most strange was in fact seeing tattoos on "my" arms.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.