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Comment: Re:Some good data... (Score 1) 364

by Thumper_SVX (#49628843) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

You don't need personal knowledge, it's about business platforms. One is about selling hardware for a profit, one is about monetizing users. And the way most companies monetize users is data mining. Spying is their business model.

I hate to say this, but if you honestly believe that Apple isn't above double-dipping here then you're sorely mistaken. A very quick Google search turns up plenty of reports of data being reported back to "the mothership" on iOS just as much or maybe more than Windows or Android. Yes, Apple makes money on the hardware but they're also a publicly traded company with a mandate to basically print money for their shareholders. Said shareholders (and the board) would have a fit if Apple were leaving that much obvious money on the table.

Comment: Re:Poor Linux support (Score 1) 199

by Thumper_SVX (#49353585) Attached to: What Makes the Perfect Gaming Mouse?

I can say I use a Roccat Kone XTD and it's my favourite mouse I've ever used. I don't really care about the bling... it's actually not all that bad. What I care about is good tracking, weight and button response and this thing has all of them in spades :)

The Linux support is also really good, as you said. Their engineers really are geeks like us :)

Comment: Re:Symmetric mouse (Score 1) 199

by Thumper_SVX (#49353555) Attached to: What Makes the Perfect Gaming Mouse?

See, the only thing I don't like here is that it's wireless.

I have used wired and wireless mice for a long time and have quite a collection, but I've pretty much abandoned wireless mice for all but simple usage when on the road because of interference or battery life issues. Bluetooth in particular is usually horrendous, dongle-mice tend to be better but still have issues on occasion.

I have three active computers I use a lot so have different mice. My work system I use a wired Dell mouse; a K251D ( which for a cheap mouse is bloody fantastic. Good tracking, decent if bland shape and adjustable sensitivity. Not a good gaming mouse, but for a great all-purpose one it's awesome.

On my gaming rig (the one I'm typing on) I have a Roccat Kone XTD ( which is one of my favourite mice to-date. It's shaped perfectly for my right-handed self, has great adjustable weight (I packed it with all the weights that came with it) and a brilliantly sheathed cable that's incredibly long.

My wireless mouse of choice on the road is a Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse ( It's wireless with a dongle, but collapses flat so it can be packed neatly in my laptop bag. Perfect on the go, works on just about every surface I've thrown it at and gets great battery life. I use it with my work laptop when on the road and my Surface Pro.

Now having said all that I do like a lot of Logitech's gaming gear. My keyboard is a G710+ and I have a G13 that when used with the Roccat is brilliant. I just haven't found a Logitech mouse I really liked to be honest; the Roccat fell perfectly into my hand when I tried it and I pretty much got it on the spot it was that good. Still, this one looks pretty good except for the wireless part... as I said I just don't do wireless for gaming :)

Comment: Re:Is the smartwatch fad stillborn? (Score 1) 60

Honestly, I think it depends on a lot of factors.

For the record, I own two smartwatches; the original Pebble and a Moto 360. The Pebble has mostly been relegated to a drawer because I just don't use it any more... probably go on eBay pretty soon. My Moto 360 gets used daily because it's really handy for my work. I work in the tech field; I'm a consultant for a large company who travels all over two states talking to customers about their technology needs.

For my part, my Moto 360 nearly always gets questions at the table. "Do you like it?" "Is it useful?" etc. and I'll tell you exactly what I've told them; it depends a lot on your use cases.

I use my 360 all the time. It's right there on my wrist, so even while driving if I receive a notification that I've received a text message I can flip my wrist over and check the summary on my wrist to see if I need to respond to it, or if it can wait until I get to my destination. I don't need to pull my phone out of my pocket or retrieve it from my jacket that may be hanging in the back of my car (depending on where I put it). I get reminders of appointments and again I don't have to rely on my phone to do the same. In fact, because the alarm on my 360 is vibrate only I can actually turn the notifications completely off on my phone most of the time and I still know what's going on. Similarly, in a meeting when my phone rings I can immediately see who's calling at a glance and throw it off to voicemail. I also like the ability to use the microphone in my 360 to set timers, set an alarm, bring up the weather etc. For my use case, it works extremely well.

There are some things I wish my 360 did though that would be cool. I wish airlines in particular would get with the program and allow me to bring up my boarding pass QR on the screen of my watch rather than digging for my phone. American Airlines already has an app for the Android Wear OS, but it doesn't do that... annoying. But as a general rule these are niggles that will be ironed out as/if people buy more of these devices as you said.

I'll also note that because I'm not turning my phone on every time there's a notification or I want to know the time, my battery life on my phone actually increased when I moved to a smartwatch.

As far as charging every night, that's less of a problem than you might think. I don't wear my watch to bed, so I have my Moto 360 charging base sitting on my nightstand right next to the cable for my phone. Instead of setting my watch on the nightstand itself, I set it on the charging base and voila... no problems. It's no more a chore than setting it down, really. Yes, it can be frustrating if you are traveling and forget the base, but that's also true of forgetting charging cables for any of your other devices. So far it hasn't been a problem. Battery life also isn't half bad on the 360; I can get about 30 hours of tested time out of mine... given that I charge it nightly that's pretty bloody impressive and I have no complaints about it.

I do agree though that this is still a nascent industry... people haven't really found that killer app for a smartwatch yet, but for people like me who are natural early adopters, techies and people who just like stuff like this I think there's still a market.

Comment: Re:Logitech G710+ (Score 2) 452

by Thumper_SVX (#49275145) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

Seconded on this. I type a lot for work and I love my G710+. There's also a newer version, oddly called the G710 that replaces the Cherry MX Brown switches with the Blue, but I have not used it so I can't really judge.

I find the inverted decoration good; remember it's a gaming keyboard so the decoration is to highlight gaming keys (like W,A,S,D etc.). While you might not need it, it is nice. I also like the fact that it's lit; not because I ever really look at it, but seeing the keyboard lights at the bottom of my peripheral vision certainly does help when positioning my hands to type.

Having said all this good stuff though, it is a bit bulky. It has an extra row of gaming keys down the left hand side and a set of media keys on top. Plus, Logitech elected to make it tapered to a larger base. This makes it quite a large keyboard, but in my opinion it's totally worth it. For a mechanical it's also pretty quiet, though definitely not silent :)

Comment: Re:Never heard of it (Score 1) 101

by Thumper_SVX (#49233061) Attached to: Gigaom Closes Shop

The only reason I even knew it existed was because of This Week In Tech podcast that I've listened to for years. They often had Om Malik (the founder) on the show and he was entertaining enough to listen to. However, I didn't go to the site more than two or three times because they offered me nothing new. I get all my tech news from Slashdot (though less and less these days), ArsTechnica and Reddit. I don't need another news site... in fact I often think I need to trim down that list. Oh, you can probably add Gizmodo to that, though I am not sure I've been there in a while.

I think their problem was lack of advertising, and lack of a really compelling reason to go there. No-one knew about them and those who did had little reason to return because they offered nothing new.

Comment: Re:Delusion (Score 1) 450

by Thumper_SVX (#49233021) Attached to: Reactions to the New MacBook and Apple Watch

But WiFi is a shared infrastructure, whereas Ethernet is dedicated. That does make a big difference when you have a lot of users in a small area. And no, adding access points doesn't help much because you end up causing interference unless you place the AP's properly and actually decrease the bandwidth.

And yes, I've seen an entire building taken out by interference from a nearby failure of a radio tower. The poor IT guys in that building were being screamed at and completely unable to do anything about it until the radio station repair guys arrived onsite and shut the tower down which took several hours.

Besides, there are still understandable and well-founded concerns about the security of wireless. In most businesses I work in the wireless is used for non-critical and low-speed applications like cellphones and tablets. Laptops get connected to WiFi only if they're in a conference room and even then it's rare. I don't know where you work, but I imagine it's somewhere startup-heavy like Silicon Valley where they go WiFi because they're too cheap to cable the building. It's not sustainable.

Trust me, these are the "warts" on the wireless market that vendors usually don't tell you about because they want to sell their wireless solutions that'll be obsolete in two years and then they can sell them to you again. I work in the industry... I actually sell enterprise wireless every day as part of my job (got two deals closing this week). Unlike you, I'm actually honest with my customers about the downside because by doing so I gain trust and become their trusted advisor which is why I'm damned good at my job.

Comment: Re:Gigabyte Brix Pro is still the mini-PC champ (Score 1) 60

by Thumper_SVX (#49136507) Attached to: Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested and Benchmarked

I've had a NUC for a couple of years now as a media PC in my entertainment center. It's actually really bloody good and there is zero fan noise. Well, the fan noise is inaudible over the ceiling fan I also have in my living room. Even under incredibly heavy load I've never heard the fan rise above a very quiet whine, and honestly media decoding is NOT heavy load.

My particular one is an i3-3217U based machine with a 128GB MSATA SSD. Yeah, I'm a geek traitor in that I run Windows 8 on it, but mostly so I can play all my XBox Video movies and TV shows that I own as well as Netflix et al. Turn it on, boots in about 5 seconds and runs great. Not that I have to boot it often, mostly when I update it. Yeah, the SSD is small, but I have a ~12TB Linux server that shares out some of the drive space... that's where the movies go :)

Comment: Re:Burned... and out of there. (Score 1) 99

... and how much would I have paid for an equivalent Apple product? Oh yeah, there isn't one.

Like it or not people have specific needs. For the specs I got the AW15 is comparable to an identical box from Sager or MSI... and MSI are cheap plasticky crap with nice internals while Sager has questionable post-sales support. Besides, only a complete retard pays retail for an Alienware; Dell has LOADS of discount coupons you can easily find on forums... for my part I paid about 75% of the MSRP for my machine only two days after it had been announced at CES.

There also isn't really an equivalent Lenovo or anything else out there that isn't in the same price range. This is a mobile gaming workstation... you tell me where to get better value with similar quality and support and I'll gladly vote with my dollars next time. This time, Alienware/Dell got my money because I felt this was the best for the money at this time.

Comment: Re:Burned... and out of there. (Score 1) 99

Thanks for posting AC...

One month in, no issues. Also for the record I have two other Alienware laptops that have been rock freaking solid except for a broken lid hinge on an Alienware M11X that was fixed by Dell under warranty. By sending a tech to my house no less. The other (an M11XR2) has also been rock solid.

Oh, and I know you're trolling... but Windows 8.1 is a fine operating system. Used it on my Surface Pro since release, before which it was Windows 8... and I've run W8 in some capacity since release.

Comment: Burned... and out of there. (Score 4, Informative) 99

I've been burned by Apple one too many times now. I've been affected by manufacturing "difficulties" on every Apple product I've owned in the last 10 years with the exception of one; a 13" Macbook Pro that I only owned for 6 months because it was.. well.. crap. The "Pro" label was definitely an affectation rather than a true calling. I had a first-gen MBP that had the "squealing CPU" problem that Apple refused to acknowledge either... but they eventually relented and replaced the system board for one that squealed only slightly less. I've also had GPUs that just went completely tits up requiring a system board replacement... I'm probably forgetting a lot of the problems now, but the most reliable Macs I ever had weren't built by Apple.

And in fact my 2011 15" MBP just happens to be at a third party repair right now to not just fix the problem but actually replace the lead-free solder balls with the real stuff... so mine won't fail again. But I don't care. It's possible it might go to my son or it might go on eBay when it comes back.

My new platform of choice is an Alienware 15 running Windows 8.1, with an Ubuntu install I might also use when there's some support for the 970m GPU in here. I have a Surface Pro as well and it's great. Much as I used to despise Windows I find myself back in the Windows world because competition here is good. As a result, products either work or people go elsewhere; you don't have that option with Apple so they really don't care when their manufacturing processes fail miserably.

I have already voted with my wallet here. I've had enough of beta-testing gorgeous but fundamentally flawed products and defending them to my friends. Besides which, the operating system in which you function no longer matters; it's the applications that matter. It used to be that the best creative applications were on Mac, the best games were on Windows. Well guess what... the best games are STILL on Windows, but the best creative apps are available on both. And the fact that from my perspective OSX has become drastically slower every release since about Leopard is just the icing on the cake for me. Under Windows 8.1 my applications launch... and run... and my system rarely has any appreciable slowdowns. OSX occasionally just decides "Oh hey... yeah I know you asked me to do something but I'm busy over here doing some random and unrequested task to send your personal information back to Apple so you're going to have to wait. My manufacturer's data mining is more important than you."

Screw Apple. I'm done with them.

Comment: Re: thatsracist.gif (Score 1) 823

by Thumper_SVX (#48898369) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Do you have statistics that show the percentage of race listening to rap music at stupidly high volume? Probably not... neither do I. However, I can point out (even though you're AC, so I'm really just talking into a hurricane here) that around here the kids listening to said rap music are predominantly white or Asian... not black. Given my area is a pretty well mixed community that's an impressively sad statement.

Yeah, most rap artists are black. So what? OP didn't make any statement of race, he just made a statement about kids in their cars who have no concept of midrange or treble. They're all about the bass :P

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. -- Sir Francis Bacon