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Comment: Re:Disappointing (Score 1) 730

by necro81 (#47865807) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

The iPhone 6 is 4.7", and might fit your hand better than the 4.7" phone you had.

Because Apple measures inches differently than everyone else?

Apple. Measure Different.

Joking aside, what you say is possible, since the screen's diagonal measurement is hardly the only metric for the size of a phone. Aspect ratio, bezel width, thickness, sharpness of corners - all of these impact "holdability"

Comment: Arduino Compatible (Score 4, Interesting) 47

by necro81 (#47865435) Attached to: Intel Releases SD-Card-Sized PC, Unveils Next 14nm Chip
The Dev Board that Edison plugs into appears to have Arduino R3 headers on there, presumably for plugging in Arduino-compatible shields. That's interesting, and makes a fair bit of sense: there are thousands of Arduino-compatible shields out there, and adding some serious computational power in there plus wire(d)(less) networking opens up a lot of possibilities.

Comment: Re:WiFi Calling? (Score 1) 730

by necro81 (#47865177) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

I suppose Apple had to join in on the 2009 smartphone market at some point. 5+ years too late, better than never?

So your 1009 WiFi calling transitioned from WiFi to cell networks without dropping call?

In the year 1009 my WiFi calling was implemented using swallows carrying the messages from place to place. Of course they had to drop them - do you think I was going to try and catch that damn bird myself just to get a message?

Comment: Re:Trust us with your payments (Score 5, Insightful) 730

by necro81 (#47865091) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

So if you lose or upgrade your phone you have to re-setup all your stored cards? That doesn't sound very Apple like.

If you lose or upgrade your phone you have to re-setup your TouchID information. Apple contends, and I haven't seen any research to contradict their claim, that the TouchID information resides solely on the device, not in the device backup, not in the cloud. So there is precedent for something that may not ordinarily seem "Apple like."

It's not like it is that hard of a procedure to re-enter your credit card information. How many cards are we talking about here? How long does it take to enter that information? One minute per card?

Comment: Re:I really don't my vital body parts to be on wif (Score 1) 183

by necro81 (#47863679) Attached to: In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

Then how exactly you want to control it? Artificial heart won't speed up/slow down automatically in response to oxygen needs of your body because it is not controlled by nervous system

Controlling it with a smartphone isn't going to cut it either. How often, and how quickly, does your heart rate change by more than, say, 5%? Ten times an hour? More? Do you really want to be whipping out your smartphone every couple of minutes? What if you set it wrong? What if you fat-finger yourself into a blackout? What if the phone's battery is dead? The list goes on and on. It's a terrible user experience! Ask people who wear portable insulin pumps - devices that need input tens of times per day, and can be lethal if done wrong. (Some of them can be operated via smartphone these days, too.) They will tell you, emphatically, that they don't want to interact with that damn thing any more than is absolutely necessary.

No, you want the device to have its own closed loop mechanisms for controlling heart rate. The heart doesn't respond solely (or even primarily) to the nervous system. It responds to blood pO2, pCO2, and other chemical signatures in the blood. These characteristics, too, can be used as the feedback signals for the internal control system. The use case described in the summary - commanding it into certain pre-programmed profiles - is conceivable, but I don't think you necessarily want to rely on that.

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 5, Insightful) 455

by necro81 (#47773827) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Well, if the police have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear.

Most in the Slashdot crowd would scoff at using the "nothing to hide" argument as it applies to more widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens. At the same time, they would happily use it as a justification for more widespread "surveillance" (e.g., transparency and monitoring) of police, intelligence services, and government in general.

I do not think this is an example of doublethink, or a double standard. It's not a double standard if the situations it's being applied to are, in fact, different. There is a very big difference between the private matters of private citizens and the actions of government employees in the conduct of their public roles. For that reason, always-on police cameras seem quite reasonable, so long as they can be switched off or set aside as soon as the officer goes off duty and resumes being a private citizen.

Many of the arguments raised in debunking the "nothing to hide" argument are worth considering, and should guide the proper implementation of police cameras and other "watching the watchers" efforts. I don't, however, think the arguments are forceful enough for us to not implement police cameras, though.

Comment: Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (Score 1) 137

by necro81 (#47763877) Attached to: HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard
It's likely that there's actually more than 2A going through that cable due to power factor and reactive current. The 2 A on the nameplate is the net current that is drawn by the power supply, but if the power factor is not close to 1.0 (low- to medium-quality switching power supplies have power factor around 0.6), then there could be significant reactive current, well beyond 2 A, flowing through the cable.

USB transfers DC, and so shouldn't have any reactive current.

Comment: Re:Material selection (Score 2) 162

by necro81 (#47711149) Attached to: Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity
Curiosity's RTG, like most that came before it, is powered with Plutonium-238. Pu-238 is an alpha-particle emitter, meaning that the radiation is easily blocked by most solid objects (as opposed to, say, gamma or neutron radiation, which require significant shielding). The radiation levels that leave the RTG housing would, I expect, be non-significant compared to the ambient radiation on the surface of Mars.

UV radiation would be a bigger problem as far as plastics are concerned.

Comment: Re:BarbaraHudson is an absolute idiot (Score 1) 89

by necro81 (#47702121) Attached to: Blackberry Moves Non-Handset Divisions Into New Business Unit

My, how times change. The first iPhone came out a little over seven years ago, to widespread mockery: "It has no keyboard!" "It's too expensive!" "Businesses and government will never abandon their Blackberries!" And now Blackberry is a shadow of it's former self, and we're arguing whether they're totally doomed or not....

Well, this is slashdot - what else are we supposed to do? If we weren't griping, sniping, and tearing everything down, we might actually go out and create something freakin' amazing!

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970

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