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Comment Re:Technology isn't advanced enough yet (Score 1) 330

The Pebble has an always on display that is perfectly readable under normal room lighting levels and also bright sunlight. In darker rooms and night-time a simple flick of your wrist is all it takes to turn on the back-light to display the time, or navigate a dark house. I had a basic Pebble, but have upgraded to the Pebble Time Steel, with colour e-ink display and metal band. The standard watch faces are fine for some people, but I wanted a little more. I've some fairly basic programming skills (20 years rusty), and I've been able to create my own face that has just the elements that I want. I've had fun learning about: math for the hand movements; generating and displaying tick marks; adding vibrations for a basic chime; displaying battery levels.

Battery life sitting at about 9 days, which I could extend if I took out the second hand movement, smooth moving hands (and didn't update the whole display every second). When it's getting flat, I can charge it fully while having a shave and shower.

I'm more than happy with mine.

Why on earth would you ever need 30 fps on a watch?

Comment Re:It could be if..... (Score 1) 435

I work in a school where some of the student/teacher laptops are touch and some not.

I don't need or want touch on a desktop - I've got a full keyboard and and a real mouse.

On my personal macbook pro - touch would be nice, but the mac's touch-pad is pretty sweet, though occasionally I connect a real mouse

On last year's laptop, a 12" windows laptop with a tiny touch-pad - it is crying out for a touch screen.

On this year's model laptops that have windows 8, touch screen and a touch-pad too - it is awesome.

For fast use the touch screen, clicking dialog boxes, installing software, fixing things - you generally don't have to keep typing.

For accurate use the touch-pad. editing, anything that uses both keyboard and mouse.

Comment Re:Yes - known for years. (Score 1) 435

Although you can boot Windows on a Mac, you don't have to do that. Windows, including Win 10, can be run safely in a Parallels or VMWare sandbox.

On a Mac you can have both of these - my Windows 7 bootcamp install is also the VMware target. So I can run it natively for games, and later as a VM if for I'm working on OSX. Not upgraded yet to 10 - hoping it works just as well.

Comment Re:It's "not just the about the money!" (Score 1) 297

That is one major advantage to OS X. You can make a drive image and boot off of it. Helps for migration testing and backups. It really frosts me that Microsoft hasn't figured out how to do that yet. I can keep a 128 GB flash drive in my bike bag and restore my laptop anywhere in the world I can get a new HD. Pretty damned convenient.

I love the fact that the included OSX backup (and dead simple) program Time Machine, creates a bootable USB backup - there's nothing remotely similar in Windows land but should be.

Comment Re:Always backup your data to a different machine! (Score 1) 297

I have to disagree - Yes, I personally go for a waaay more paranoid backup approach, but just backing up to an external USB HDD (though with a "real" backup, not his manual drag-and-drop BS) puts someone a whole world of hurt better off than 99% of computer use

If Grandma calls and says her HDD died and she hasn't "run that DVD backup thing" in a few months, well gee, sucks for you, granny! If, however, she calls and asks for help getting her nightly USB drive backup reinstalled to a new computer, hey, cool, she's lost almost nothing.

Once my parents had access to a decent internet connection (not just a modem) then I soon transferred them over to use Crashplan and have everything backed up at my place on an old Windows Home Server - works perfectly fine, and I get an email if the backup fails or doesn't run regularly.

Sure I'd have to build a new PC if theirs fails but all dad's family tree info and photos are safely backed up at my place (and online too)

Comment Re:Quantity doesn't matter... (Score 1) 301

...when the damn USB interfaces are crammed so close together that I can only plug one thing in at a time anyway.

Don't worry though, I'm sure that design consideration is right around the corner. I mean, we consumers have only been complaining about that bullshit for years now...

Recently passed through KickStarter


Comment Re:Three (Score 1) 301

Three. One for the mouse, one for the cable to the USB hub with the external hard disks in the shelve, and one spare one (e.g. for a USB stick, or to connect the smartphone).

Would this be of any use to you?

A recently funded KickStarter project.

https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... (which you can order through)


Comment Re:ST only needed transparent aluminum for... (Score 1) 247

What is this Star Trek IV you speak of? On a related note, isn't it weird how they skipped straight from ST II to ST VI, and Spock was suddenly back with no explanation?

Likewise, I'm still waiting for the release of Star Wars Episodes I, II, & III to be made.

There was an attempt a few years ago by some George Lucas look-alike, but they were far too silly to really be part of the story:

Midichlorians and a Jar like character - strange ideas for a semi-decent sci-fi story.

Comment Re:What if... human's just weren't cut out for it? (Score 1) 272

As for humanity surviving on Earth - aside from a "grey-goo" scenario, or malevolent AI bent on human extermination, I can't think of anything that would actually present a credible threat to the species. Now lot's of things could bring about the collapse of our civilization, or even *almost* wipe out the species, but even a 99.9% extermination rate would leave 7+ million people - twice the population that is estimated to have existed before the birth of agriculture. Even a 99.9999% extermination rate would leave 7+ thousand people - more than the estimated population during the worst of the last major ice age. And those few survivors would have access to a wealth of knowledge and technology undreamed of by our ancestors - I doubt they'd have trouble eventually rebuilding a new civilization, at worst it might take a few thousand years - and we've been tool-makers for over a million already.

The biggest problem that people starting to rebuild civilisation after most of us have been wiped out - is going to be energy sources, then metals.

All of the easy to get to coal, oil and metals have been strip mined and basically used up - the really hard to get to stuff (which they won't be able to get to) is going to be all that remains.

The coal and oil could eventually be replenished, but only in geological timescales (and favourable conditions)

I suspect they'll be a stone-age people until a passing UFO checks out the world that suddenly went quiet.

Comment Re:Long story short (ad-less) (Score 1) 173

For my desktop 'games' machine - I went the path of booting from a normal 500Gb HDD, that also had a partition for media.

I had a 250Gb SSD used for just games only - LotRO, Firefall.& all steam (easy enough to move the library to be on the SSD)

Turn on PC, go make cuppa, return and check any updates done, play games from the fast...

Brought some 120Gb SSD as early Christmas present for myself to replace that boot HDD and another,

Also found that a Windows 8.1 touch laptop with only 2Gb memory is perfectly fine with an SSD - was forever swapping but usable with HDD.

Comment Re:These idiots are going to ruin it for everyone (Score 1) 132

Drones are so much fun and you can get so many cool photos and video from them.

Yet these morons flying drones near airports are going to ruin it for everyone. Expect to see them heavily regulated or banned soon.


Recently on the news in Australia. If they see drones operating near bushfire where water bombing aircraft/helicopters are flying they will ground them.


Current regulations are that drones have to be 30 metres away from people, they are not be used in built-up areas, not to exceed 400 feet in height and not be flown in controlled air space, but there is no law against flying near bushfires. Drones must not create a hazard for other aircraft, but if the device was several hundred metres away from its operator, how would they know if a firefighting aircraft was approaching?

Comment Re:Windows app that displays these meaningfully? (Score 1) 142

I work at a school and see plenty of failing laptop drives - mostly from kids not sleeping their laptops while walking around.

We use (currently) PartedMagic Linux distribution on a boot USB. The "Disk Health" tool happily reports on failing drives and gives reasons.

Added bonus is that Linux is better than windows at allowing data to be copied from a failing drive (and doesn't care about the NTFS file permissions)

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