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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: The original Pebble won (Score 1) 141

by j2.718ff (#49130643) Attached to: Pebble Time Smartwatch Receives Overwhelming Support On Kickstarter

I was a supporter of the original pebble, and I still love it. I feel no need to replace it with anything else because it already does everything I want. Also, it looks like the new one is slightly bigger, which makes me less interested. However, I support the company, and like their general philosophy -- that the watch should supplement, not replace your phone. I like the 7-day battery life, and the ability to read the thing even in direct sunlight.

I don't see a strong need for color, but as long as it looks good, I'll support it. I don't see the microphone as an important feature, but maybe I'd use it, I don't know. So yeah, I don't plan on buying one, but neither would I argue against them.

Comment: Re:Just like the early PCs and recipes (Score 1) 248

by j2.718ff (#49051327) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

I like having the ability to control things with my smartphone, but my smartphone is definitely not the primary interface. The only case where I use my phone consistently is to control the thermostat. I'll turn on the heat via my phone as I'm leaving work so the house is warm when I arrive. If I'm hot/cold at night, I can adjust the temperature on my phone without getting out of bed. For most other tasks, however, it's easier to get up and walk to the appropriate switch.

It comes down to automating the tasks that make sense to automate. But as much as I enjoy being able to control my lights and garage remotely, I have to admit it serves little practical purpose, and certainly doesn't make my life any easier.

Comment: Re:Insteon Experience (Score 1) 248

by j2.718ff (#49051273) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

I have a similar setup, except I live alone. The feature I like the most is being able to control a switch, or group, from another switch. For example, I can double-tap the switch at the front door, or in my bedroom turn off all the lights in the house.

The other feature is to avoid re-wiring things. My living room has two switches. One is in a very convenient and obvious location, but controls a single obscure outlet. The other switch is harder to find, yet controls the ceiling light. Re-wiring these switches so the convenient switch operates the ceiling light would require a lot of work. But with inseson switches in both locations, I can easily tell one switch to turn the other on. Done! The only disadvantage is it takes about a second from the time you press the switch until the light turns on.

Oh, here's a cool one: I run tasker on my phone. It's set to send the signal to open my garage door when the phone is simultaneously connected to my car's bluetooth and my home wifi. Since that only happens when I'm about to leave, or about to enter my house, it saves me from pressing the button on my garage door opener. Worth the expense? No. But it's a fun toy.

Comment: Re:Touch screens in vechicles = bad idea (Score 1) 123

by j2.718ff (#48652375) Attached to: "Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars

I recently test drove a Chevy Volt. I was very excited about this car and its technology. But then I tried to turn on the climate control. Way too much touch screen interaction is required to do anything. If not for the touch screen, I might have bought the car, but now I won't even consider it.

Comment: Please no! (Score 1) 123

by j2.718ff (#48652339) Attached to: "Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars

I'd be willing to pay more money for a car without touchscreens. I want to be able to operate the controls by feel, without taking my eyes off the road. Besides that, any significant electronic system in a car will quickly become outdated. If the technology is that important to the driving experience, I'll get a mount for my cell phone.

Comment: Missing information: What do you want to do? (Score 1) 232

by j2.718ff (#48629151) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

At no point did you indicate what you might want to do with a smart watch. We might be able to make some guesses if you told us what kinds of things you commonly do on your smart phone. Without that information, any responses here will be less useful than a few minutes of googling.

I absolutely love my Pebble. Its primary purpose is in helping me to determine whether I should remove my phone from my pocket or not. The Pebble will show me who's calling me, or will display a text message, or the first few lines of an e-mail. Based upon that, I may or may not want to take out my phone. In my opinion, watches are not very convenient for data entry, so for any tasks that require actual input, I use my phone.

Comment: Re:Even the summary is factually wrong (Score 1) 91

by j2.718ff (#48523223) Attached to: Why Pluto Still Matters

I'm also having trouble with the term "beyond the gravitational pull". At what point is that? As objects get farther away, the gravitational pull decreases, and although it eventually becomes infinitesimal, it does not reach zero, correct?

Also, I'd imagine that when, for example, Uranus and Neptune are on opposite sides of the sun from each other, there isn't much gravitational pull going on between them.

Comment: better not be using facebook on the toilet (Score 1) 206

by j2.718ff (#48336185) Attached to: Zuckerberg: Most of Facebook Will Be Video Within Five Years

I use facebook on my phone, when waiting for something, often in public places, where i don't want to play sound, nor do I want to record a video. I doubt I'm the only one.

People may be posting more videos, but text posts are not going away. Let's look at phones for comparison. Video apps like FaceTime are readily available, but I rarely see them in use. SMS was introduced well after voice calls, yet that somehow has become very popular. Video isn't going away, but it's definitely not replacing other more convenient means of communication.

Comment: What's the range? (Score 2) 150

by j2.718ff (#48303781) Attached to: Smartphone App To Be Used As Hotel Room Keys

Can someone in the room next to mine wirelessly hack my door?

Any good locksmith will tell you that the best a lock can do is increase the amount of time it takes someone to break in -- it can't prevent the break in. But a person attempting to pick a lock in a hallway is a lot more conspicuous than a transmitter hidden next door.

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