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Comment PC slowdown started before Windows 8 (Score 1) 737

The current slowdown in PC sales started well before Windows 8 was released to the public and oems. As someone who holds a little bit of money in AMD stocks, I followed their press releases and they were claiming some slowdown in spring of 2012. If you look at Intel's financials, they were also experiencing an inventory buildup of the latest and greatest ivy bridge CPUs and had to idle more 22nm fabs than usual just to keep their margins and income up.

The fact is that smartphones and tablets have replaced PC notebooks for some tasks like email, calendar/scheduling, and instant messaging. If a certain percentage of the population used a PC primarily for those things then they might delay upgrading their PC and instead get a smartphone.

Comment Re:Tablets could be good for drawing and note taki (Score 1) 108

I appreciate the suggestion but I very much remain dubious they will get it "right". While I don't have anything against those features they are superfluous. Someone needs to get drawing and note taking right. It should work very much like writing on a paper note pad and be very easy to use. Every pen implementation I've seen so far gets carried away with handwriting recognition and other theoretically nifty features (which rarely work very well) but don't make just writing/drawing easy which is the bit that actually matters. It's more important that *I* be able to write and recognize what I wrote than the computer. I remain hopeful but so far every attempt I've seen has fallen badly short.

In fact, the note series does let you just scribble or doodle or whatever. The handwriting and formulae recognition is a feature you need to tap to activate.

Comment Re:Tablets could be good for drawing and note taki (Score 1) 108

You may be looking for the galaxy note series from samsung. The whole series (note 1, note 2, note 10.1, note 8) have features like formula match, which reads your handwritten equations and tries to guess what the formula was, shape match for diagrams, and handwriting recognition.

Comment Re:because microsoft is always completely original (Score 1) 199

The hardware part was done by a 3rd party, but the software to do the skeleton tracking and other things was all done by Microsoft. Basically the hardware combined a regular camera with an IR camera in an intelligent way to do range imaging. To get from just the camera to what you have with Kinect takes an awful lot of intelligent algorithms. I think that qualifies as innovative.

Comment Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (Score 1) 196

The use cases would be: 1. People who like fitness bands, will likely appreciate the tighter integration that would come from using a smart watch and smart phone from the same manufacture. 2. People who get a lot of notifications, (texts, calls they might not answer, calendar events, etc.) will be able to determine if the notification requires immediate attention without the disruption of pulling out their phone. 3. Combined with a headset allows you to operate your phone and music without needing voice control or to take out your phone. 4. makes checking the time slightly quicker.

All of those things have already been implemented by the current crop of smartwatches, although I don't think there is one that implements all 4 points at the same time. Motoactv does (1) and (3), Sony Smartwatch does (2) and (3), and Metawatch does (2), (3), and (4).

Comment Re:Testing blood though the skin viable? (Score 1) 322

Interestingly, smoking, but not drinking, is one of the things that insurance companies will still be allowed to discriminate on in the Affordable Care Act. So if you are a boozehound they can't increase your rates but if you are a smoker then they can charge you more. The other things that can still affect your rates are your age, whether you are married w children, and what area of the country you live.

Comment Re:Testing blood though the skin viable? (Score 1) 322

I hope there's good privacy controls on the data as I'm sure your insurance company would like to have that data too. "We're sorry sir, but we we're canceling your policy because you are pre-diabetic and you drink too much"

Obamacare makes it illegal to refuse coverage for pre exisiting conditions as of 2014.

Comment Re:Does it matter? (Score 1) 226

It might have to do with the audio lag in the android sound system. Android uses something called audioflinger which had a very high latency. This became apparent to me when I tried running some emulators on my phone a year ago. Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) seems to have fixed this issue

Comment Re:I'll be the first to say... (Score 1) 943

Vending machines that take the Susan B. Anthony dollar should also take the newer Sacagewea dollars and Presidential dollars, because they were manufactured to be electrically compatible.

I think you mean dimensionally, not electrically.

No, I mean electrically, as in vending machines measure the electrical impedance of each coin you stick in to determine if you are actually inserting US currency and not iron slugs/foreign coins.

Comment Re:I'll be the first to say... (Score 5, Informative) 943

This might be correct if the dollar coin were a new thing, but dollar coins have been in circulation since the Carter administration. Vending machines that take the Susan B. Anthony dollar should also take the newer Sacagewea dollars and Presidential dollars, because they were manufactured to be electrically compatible. So any vending machine that has been updated since the 80s should accept dollar coins.

Comment Re:DOA.. (Score 1) 377

Firefox and Chrome Mobile have the option to "request desktop mode". Unfortunately, a few sites seem to want to give you the mobile site anyway. Also, there is no option to make this a permanent setting. Opera Mobile has an option in the settings to change the user agent to desktop. This has worked every time for me and is much more convenient than requesting desktop mode every time.

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