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Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 1) 250

That's one of the reasons I keep my Apple Watch in a bulky external case. TETHYS makes (made? Can't find it on Amazon any more...) a waterproof case that makes it safe to swim with the original Watch and makes it look like a 1980's throwback to a drugstore $20 Timex. For the same reason I never liked to use my white-corded, "please mug me & steal my iPhone" Apple earbuds, making my $400 Apple Watch look like a junker is a GoodThing.

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 1) 250

Have you ever used an exercise bike, elliptical or treadmill? Unless you keep your hands chained EXACTLY to where they want them and at EXACTLY the right amount of tension squeezing them, the heart rate monitor is pretty much useless. If you're at a public gym, most of them are completely broken a week after they open. The watch tracks my heart rate reliably all the time, even running outside or on a real bike.

And that's to say nothing of fumbling your phone trying to reply and stepping on it while you're working out. With an arm-mounted screen I can just tap my standard response much more safely. The way Apple Watch detects an either/or type question and lets you select one of the sender's options as a canned response is more than a little bit handy when working out.

We get it, AC. You don't want a smart watch. Realize there are more people than you in the world and different technology is useful to different people. It's okay if you don't think you'd find a use for one.

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 1) 250

What is it then? An extra, tiny screen for your phone?

YES! That's exactly what it is. It's a second tiny display for my phone that I can go swimming with and that doesn't have a camera so I can have it out in no-camera places without people freaking out that I'm filming. That's my killer app. YMMV, but it paid for itself this summer in the number of times I got a message that I might otherwise have missed or else would have avoided activities to stay near my phone.

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 1) 250

Watches are JEWELRY first

Lots of people keep trying to tell me that, but I think they're all nuts. I would not even consider buying a watch with gold or gemstones or other pathetic displays of meaningless luxury.

My Apple Watch is a second arm-mounted display for my iPhone FIRST. It's a time piece second, and as jewelry I could not possibly care less. It's a functional device. The fact that it comes in a nice form is .. well.. nice, but an afterthought for me.

It saves me pulling my phone out of my pocket when people contact me. That's especially useful in social situations where predominantly non-millennials take offense that their mere presence doesn't cause me to completely pause my life outside of their existence. For most of them, I can look at my watch and even poke at it a little to respond, communicating with other people in the way I'm accustomed to. That doesn't make them huff and puff the same way that pulling out my phone and doing the exact same thing would. It's also useful in situations where waving a network-attached camera around is considered gauche. I can check the time without freaking people out that I'm filming them.

The added motion & heart rate tracking are great for workouts, and a waterproof(-ish) extension to my phone is great in the summer. I can jump in the pool without disconnecting. (Apple Watch 1 isn't pool proof, but an external case that makes it look like an 80's throwback worked pretty well all summer.)

I understand Apple wanting to hit the market of people who buy a watch to look pretty, but I'm glad they made something that's functional rather than trying to pass off more useless bling. There's plenty of useless bling in the watch market (smart or otherwise) already.

Comment Re:Time to stop super thin phones and fixed batter (Score 4, Insightful) 46

When you can create a design with a user-replaceable battery that is equal or better than a fixed battery phone for all of the following:

1. Weight
2. Thickness
3. Battery life
4. Waterproofness
5. Cover never falls off
6. Battery itself is sufficiently armored so as to be safe in an average hand bag or pocket

then patent the design & retire comfortably.

Until then, it’s hard. Stop playing armchair phone designer & materials scientist.

Comment Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 357

If the cops roll up on a bank robbery in progress and you were found in the building with the people doing the robbing I'd suspect the cops aren't going to let you go because you had a video camera and claimed you were making a documentary.

Generally speaking, you're right, but if anything they'd hold you as a material witness, not charge you with robbery. Particularly if you had the press credentials and career accolades that Amy Goodman has.

Comment Re:Get it MFers? (Score 4, Interesting) 357

I have no first person knowledge, but having followed Amy Goodman's career for the last 15 years or so, it's inconceivable that she would be active in any attack or sabotage in anything short of a self defense situation if she were sucked into the fray. She's one of a dying breed of people who deserve to hold the title "journalist."

Comment Tinfoil hat? (Score 1) 552

According to Yondr's site, "simply step outside of the phone-free zone to unlock the case." Almost sounds like it's an active locking technology or a signal you pass through when you enter/leave. Stick their stupid sock in some kind of radio shielding to block the locking signal.

Failing that, seems like an Arduino & an SDR shield should be more than capable of broadcasting the unlock code. Anybody working on reversing this mess?

Comment Re:That is going to leave a mark (Score 1) 126

It's worth mentioning that the Apple iPhone I'm guessing you own likely has several key components that were manufactured by Samsung, depending on what generation it is. RAM, flash, displays, the SoC fabrication itself, all done by Samsung at different points in the iPhone's lifetime.

This is dated, but Does Samsung make iPhone parts?

Comment Re:That is going to leave a mark (Score 1) 126

This is nothing but a guess, but I think they over-promised on performance and current battery technology couldn't deliver.

If it's a flawed battery, you replace it with a proper one. Fine, done. I'd be floored if there was a charge controller logic problem that couldn't be fixed in software. They're either using an industry standard power management chip that's got millions of units worth of field testing or they've implemented it in their own SoC. If the former, the logic is solid and tested. There's some switches they can flip to control its parameters, but those are all pushed over from the SoC via whatever low-level driver package they wrote. Field updatable. If they implemented it all in the SoC, they should be able to fix it, also with a firmware update.

My guess is that they promised battery life claims that they couldn't fit into the phone with current best battery technology. They're pushing the limits of the lithium they could fit into their package and either over charging it to push that last bit of capacity into it, over-drawing and discharging it too quickly, over discharging it, or some other combination of power levels that are too much for *any* battery that would fit into the space they have to work with. They *could* make the phones stop burning if they tuned the power management to more conservative levels, but then they'd miss on battery life promises and probably be stuck with recalls or class actions based on false marketing.

It sounds like they may have tried to switch to a battery that could offer a *little* more and maybe tweaked the PMC settings as much as they could and still meet their battery claims, but it fell short in at least some devices / usage scenarios. Maybe they're getting some number of batteries that can't be stressed quite as hard as they're pushing them. Maybe certain usage profiles put more stress on the batteries, and only certain users are pushing it enough for the new combination to be dangerous. Either way, it sounds like marketing promised what engineering couldn't (safely) provide, and they're screwed. I'd think the only valid choices would be to redesign the phone to require less power or to make more room in the enclosure to include a higher capacity battery that wouldn't have to be run so close to red line to meet the phone's power requirements. Either way, not something they can do and get to market in a recall timeline. Pulling the plug until they can reengineer is the only option.

Comment Re:Non removable battery FTW (Score 1) 150

Non removable batteries in an iPhone are just the battery's plastic wrap outer layer with no puncture protection at all. Every phone I've encountered with a removable battery had at least some kind of plastic or aluminum exoskeleton beyond the thin plastic from the battery manufacturing to give it some chance of not instantly folding or puncturing and catching fire when it wasn't installed. That plus the mechanism to open and latch the case and the extra bracing required internally add up to quite a bit of overhead for something so tiny.

Comment Re:Non removable battery FTW (Score 5, Insightful) 150

It's common sense and physics. The additional plastic of the battery housing, the internal space in the phone to make a user-serviceable space inside, the exterior cover and latching mechanism to hold it on, etc. All of those things take up space and add weight. That space could be more lithium or a smaller, lighter phone.

You can convince me otherwise when you can demonstrate two designs (one with an integrated battery and one removable) that yield the same battery capacity and device size & weight using the same battery technology.

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