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Comment Re: Watches are worn as bling (Score 2) 319

I like Skagen, and they're a rare example of clean design at an affordable price. I especially like an Ancher model -- the arabic version with leather band for general wear and the baton dial for dress. The Holst with day/date dials combines two things I don't usually like (subdials and day/date complications) but does it in a way that I actually like quite a bit. For me it's not the existence of the complication per se, but the readability of the watch. Unfortunately the Holst is a bit on the thick side, but you can't have everything. Shave 3 mm off the thickness and you'd be looking at a $1000 watch.

There are few odd missteps in the lineup. Their rectangular dress watches have batons in a circular pattern, which is a bit... unusual. They also have a watch that has a month calculation. It's done nicely, but it's an utterly ridiculous feature.

Overall Skagen designs remind me of Baum et Mercier at about 20% of the price, and just little bit more Scandanavian if you know what I mean.

Danish Design watches seem pretty similar; I wouldn't be surprised in they came out of the same company. They almost certainly use the same movements. Ironically the faces seem less Scandinavian to me but what do I know? One of their designs reminds of the famous Swiss railway clocks.

I don't have watches from either of these companies because I focus on vintage pre-80s watches.

Comment Of course there is. (Score 1) 86

Smart people usually spend slack-ish time examining things they *might* want to do. It doesn't mean they *do* want to do those things, but one thing most of us know by now is whenever you're asked to do something, "in a hurry" is the default pace, and yet "slapdash" is not acceptable. So you don't want to be in a position where you use time figuring out how to use Material Design that you need for coding or testing.

And even if you don't use those little hypothetical forays, they're still valuable in understanding your competition, both weaknesses and things you can learn from them.

Comment Re:How dare you try to get around us regulating (Score 2) 85

And yet other companies manage to stay in business without committing fraud.

The reasons for emissions regulations are so that when consumers make the cost/performance tradeoff when buying a car, they don't externalize costs -- which is an economist's way of saying make other people pay for their choices. A car would be cheaper and perform better if it didn't have a catalytic converter (just dump your partially burned hydrocarbons on everyone else), EGRs (just dump your NOx on everyone else), PCVs (spread engine oil over everyone else) and mufflers (dump your noise on everyone else).

All of that stuff you'd be dumping on everyone else costs everyone else. You can argue about precisely how much it costs them, but it is certainly not zero.

So let's turn your little rhetorical device around: How dare you fraudulently make the public subsidize your business?

Here's the thing about markets: they're not about making everyone happy. They're about efficient distribution of resources. If costs go up producers are unhappy and some of them go out of business. That makes the owners and workers unhappy, but it is a rational response to costs going up. Dumping those costs on others and pretending they don't exist isn't rational; it's hysterical.

Submission + - Apple removes ESC key new Macbook "Pro" ( 2

fyngyrz writes: The Mac "Pro's" ESC key, used by many at the console / shell level, has apparently succumbed to overwhelming... courage. Er, design intent. Yeah, that's it. You have to admit, Apple is brave. No console-friendly person will be happy with this. I suspect that will be true to a degree where they'll be happy with... something other than a Macbook "Pro." BTW, those aren't "scare" quotes. Those are "no, wrong word" quotes. I could have gone with "pro[sic]", but... oy. Oh. And hey. You didn't want function keys, did you? Of course not... Okay, one hopes these missing features will at least sometimes, possibly, appear on the new touch bar, there to blunt the ends of your fingers as they use a key-striking habit to stomp on a touch surface.

Submission + - Benchmark Battle October 2016: Chrome Vs. Firefox Vs. Edge

Krystalo writes: It’s been more than a year since our last browser benchmark battle, and the competition remains fierce. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge have all gained a variety of new features and improvements over the past year. It’s time to see if any of them have managed to pull ahead of the pack. It appears that Edge has made the biggest gains since last year. That said, browser performance is improving at a very rapid pace, and it shouldn’t be your only consideration when picking your preferred app for consuming Internet content.

Submission + - Strange signals from star survey may be evidence of intelligent life (

Okian Warrior writes: A recent paper reporting on strange artifacts in the spectra of 234 stars is raising eyebrows in the Astronomical community.

A Fourier transform analysis of 2.5 million spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey was carried out to detect periodic spectral modulations. Signals having the same period were found in only 234 stars overwhelmingly in the F2 to K1 spectral range. The signals cannot be caused by instrumental or data analysis effects because [various reasons...]

Finally, we consider the possibility, predicted in a previous published paper, that the signals are caused by light pulses generated by ETI to makes us aware of their existence. We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis. The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the Sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis. However, at this stage, this hypothesis needs to be confirmed with further work.

Comment Re:Watches are worn as bling (Score 3, Informative) 319

Watch collector/restorer here.

I don't like the huge, fat watch thing either. Nor am I a fan of subdials and other complications for daily wear. And here's the thing: for the most part ostentatiously big, fat, complicated watches are a low-end phenomenon. As you go higher hundreds and then into thousands of dollars, visual complexity shrinks until you are looking at something like a Rolex Milgauss for about $5000. The Migauss is somewhat fatter than I'd prefer because it's very robust -- it's designed for every day use. For dress use, if cost were no object, I'd wear something like a Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, which is 2.6 mm thick and 20.6 mm across. It's small, but the clean design means it doesn't have to be big. For that reason I wouldn't spend the additional $10,000 for the date complication.

Smartphones haven't eliminated the usefulness of wristwatches; they've just eliminated the usefulness of all the gee-gaws on watches for purposes other than telling time. You don't need the day/date complication, and you don't need the stopwatch or countdown timer, that stuff just makes a watch complicated to operate and hard to read. All you need is the hour, minute and second hand. I also make extensive use of a rotating dive-watch bezel for timing things like runs. When I rebuild watches I sometimes replace the face to cover up the day/date complication because it just clutters the design.

That's the problem with watches: it's hard to find a thoughtfully-designed, stripped down watch for under $500. But you can find them. One of my favorite cheap watches is a Casio that costs only $15 on Amazon -- I think of it as a disposable watch. It is very, very cheap in every respect, but it tells time as well as a $5000 Rolex and has similarly clean design. The only changes I'd make would be to improve the lume and remove the day/date complication.

Anyhow, if you showed up wearing a Patrimony I'd be impressed -- not because you spent $12,000 on a watch, but that you'd spent $12,000 on a watch whose value only a serious connoisseur would recognize. If you want to impress the ignorant, go big. If you want to impress the sophisticated, go simple.

Submission + - AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal (

schwit1 writes: The telecom giant is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement—without a warrant—and earning millions of dollars a year from taxpayers.

Hemisphere isn’t a “partnership” but rather a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of millions of dollars per year to taxpayers. No warrant is required to make use of the company’s massive trove of data, according to AT&T documents, only a promise from law enforcement to not disclose Hemisphere if an investigation using it becomes public.

Hemisphere is used far beyond the war on drugs to include everything from investigations of homicide to Medicaid fraud.

Submission + - Google Chrome To Make Certificate Transparency Mandatory In 2017 (

An anonymous reader writes: Google Chrome will make certificate transparency obligatory for domains issued from October 2017. The announcement, by Google software engineer Ryan Sleevi, makes clear that the Chrome team will extend all necessary help to certificating authorities to prepare them for compliance in the next twelve months. 'Although the date is a year away, we encourage any participants that wish to have their use cases addressed to bring them forward as soon as possible during the next three months. This will ensure that the IETF, the CA/Browser Forum, and the broader community at large have ample time to discuss the challenges that may be faced, and find appropriate solutions for them.' The Certificate Transparency open framework, which has been criticized over privacy aspects, uses logs to which information can only be appended (not removed or altered) to provide an authentic chain of trust which is capable of detecting compromised certificates in hours rather than the days, weeks or months involved in traditional propagation.

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