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Comment: The smartest smartwatch is dumb (Score 1) 82

by Misagon (#46791313) Attached to: Samsung's Position On Tizen May Hurt Developer Recruitment

I think that Samsung and Google are doing it all wrong.
They are still making smartwatches be "companion devices" to smartphones, yet you still have to write custom code to run on the device.

I think that the best type of smartwatch would be one that would act as a dumb terminal to the phone. Let it act as a second screen to the phone with a few button/touch actions plus a few sensors that feed data in the other direction. That would satisfy the most common use cases where a smartwatch would be useful. The others could be hard-coded not as apps but as system features.
This would be best for the developer, as you would only have to develop one app - not two.
This would be best for the user, as the program code on the "watch" could be simple you would need only a microcontroller that runs at tens of megahertz, and you get long battery life approaching what you are used to get in a watch.
But of course, such a device would be too cheap to make and Samsung would not be able to sell it at a premium...

Comment: Re:Kinesis Advantage Keyboard (Score 1) 661

by Misagon (#46791145) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

I would say that the Kinesis is in a class above any Microsoft keyboard in terms of ergonomics.

Not only are the hands slanted, but there is more separation between the hands.
It has low-force mechanical Cherry MX Brown key switches that are relatively smooth, where as the Microsoft keyboard's keys bind horribly on off-centre key presses. (Cherry MX key switches are all the rage among PC gamers right now... ;) )
The lack of numeric keypad is actually ergonomically better in that it allows you to keep your mouse closer to your centre.
The keyboard layout can be fully remapped (without drivers, stored in the keyboard) and it can record macros.

Drawbacks is that 1) you must touch-type properly using all fingers and that 2) the keyboard is quite high because of its curved key wells.
#1 isn't really a drawback in the long term though, as learning proper touch typing will make you a better typist overall. It is easier to learn touch-typing on a Kinesis than on a flat keyboard.

Comment: Re:Model M Keyboard FTW (Score 1) 661

by Misagon (#46790845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Nah. The plastic nubs holding the barrel plate to the steel backplane tend to break one by one, and then the barrel plate cracks at the hinges. (it was moulded flat)
Enthusiasts often "bolt mod" their Model M keyboards with missing nubs: cut off the remaining nubs, drill up through the barrel plate and install proper nuts and bolts of steel instead. (not necessarily all in that order)

Comment: Re:pen-tablets in late 1980s (Score 1) 266

by Misagon (#46774347) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Indeed. I remember laptops made for Microsoft's "Window for Pen Computing" which was a special version of Windows 3.11 ... and this was back in 1992.
There were different types of swivelling screens like on laptops made today for Windows 8.1. Lenovo Yoga and Dell XPS are not novel in the slightest.

Comment: Re:APL (Score 1) 188

by Misagon (#46760915) Attached to: The Security of Popular Programming Languages

Large systems are still being done in APL.

The Swedish medical journal system TakeCare is one example. It handles practically all journals in the greater Stockholm area. It has sure had its slew of security problems, although I don't think that those could be attributed so much to the language as to sloppy sysadmins.

But hey... a few years ago I thought that nobody would use Erlang for anything significant, until it became a popular language for web services.

Comment: Re:Nah...TL:DR (Score 1) 115

by Misagon (#46703973) Attached to: Google Chrome 34 Is Out: Responsive Images, Supervised Users

The only option would be "some other wavelet-based image format".

JPEG-2000 is completely different to ordinary JPEG. It is crippled in that the encoding is quite complex, has a tonne of different ways it can be encoded and is therefore difficult to do at speed. The software decoders that are not dead-slow are proprietary.
You wouldn't really win anything with using JPEG-2000.

Comment: Skimming is nothing new (Score 3, Insightful) 224

by Misagon (#46692021) Attached to: Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

I was surprised when I was a kid back 25 years ago, that my dad could skim through text very fast.
He worked as a journalist, and as such he was used to skimming through a lot of text to find the good bits that he could use as leads and sources for his articles.

The difference to the Internet today, is just that more people are exposed to larger amounts of many different types of text, just like "text-workers" like my dad was back then.

Comment: Completely at the patients' discretion (Score 1) 157

by Misagon (#46637049) Attached to: Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?

I think the general rule should be that the patient should decide about his/her own health.
I have met and heard about people that have had various conditions that have opted out on diagnosis, because they want to opt out on a certain treatment. People who have had cancer multiple times and would rather die from cancer the next time than suffer through radiation therapy and chemo, or people who have had an implanted automatic defibrillator that has provided a very painful experience.

If any kind of medical test is done, be it genetic or otherwise, then the test results should automatically only be available to the doctor who had requested the test. Permission to /portions of/ the test results should be available to other doctors only if the patient gives explicit permission.

Comment: Re:Stay out of the watch biz... (Score 1) 97

by Misagon (#46618277) Attached to: What Apple's iWatch Can Learn From Pebble

I see the smartwatch + handsfree headset as something that could be easier to use for many tasks than whipping up a smartphone, especially if the phone is larger than an iPhone.

Many tasks on a smartphone requires two hands if you are going to hold it safely or use multi-touch. A smartwatch requires no hand to receive a text/message, and one hand to touch/press a button.

You could leave your smartphone in the pocket or in your bag until you need a big screen or do a lot of input.

Comment: Re:Rentals are too expensive (Score 2) 323

Streaming services are dependent on the distributors supplying them with movies. First thing to know about the movie industry and streaming is that the movie industry is conservative. Second that it is very possessive about its property.
This means that the movie distributors pretty much set the terms for the streaming companies and not in a way that is in tune with the times.
They dictate the time windows that movies will be available and often also the price at which it will be available to the consumer. Movie distributors often set these the same as for rentals of physical DVDs or VHS cassettes before that.
They also mandate the use of one of a few approved DRM schemes and other restrictions, and they are not so eager to allow downloads - and they could see large buffers as being that.

Next, you should know that online streaming is not cheap for the service. The servers and the networks cost real money.
That together with the remuneration to the movie distributors means that the profit margin can actually be quite small.

It has been a couple of years since I worked in the online movie streaming business, but I would be surprised if these things changed very much.

Ma Bell is a mean mother!

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