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Comment So much hate (Score 5, Interesting) 330

I didn't want one either. So much so that when my wife surprised me with an Apple watch for Christmas last year, I could hardly hide my disappointment. Thinking "I really didn't *want* one of these"...

But having used a smart watch for a while now, I absolutely love it. Why?

1. The haptic feedback. I run my phone on silent 24/7, which meant that I was constantly having to double-check that I didn't miss a message while walking around. There's no missing or mistaking the prominent tap from the watch so this problem is solved. No more missed messages and no more randomly checking my phone.
2. The weather. I wouldn't have predicted this one, but having the current weather conditions plus the day's high/low temps on the watch face is super useful. I probably look at my watch for the weather conditions almost as often as I look at it for the time.
3. The general freedom of not needing my phone in my hand. In lots of small ways throughout the day, a well-functioning smart watch is another one of those "living in the future" joys. Sending messages by voice without even pulling out your phone, pausing/resuming podcasts while mowing the lawn, getting haptic navigation directions while having an uninterrupted conversation... a good smart watch is clearly a step forward.

As a former skeptic turned believer, it's a shame to see so many people dumping on these devices without having the chance to really see what they offer.

Google

Submission + - Gmail is down

Ghazgkull writes: According to the official Gmail blog the Gmail web app is down today. "We know many of you are having trouble accessing Gmail right now — we are too, and we definitely feel your pain." According to the blog, Gmail users can still access their mail via IMAP or POP.

Reznor Follows Radiohead, Offers Free Album 327

An anonymous reader writes "Convinced the current music business infrastructure (requiring artists to rely on labels) is broken, Nine Inch Nails front man, Trent Reznor, released his band's new album, Ghosts I — IV (Ghosts Volumes One though Four), on Sunday at 6 PM via his official site, marking yet another business experiment for this artist in the changing music market."
Wireless (Apple)

Submission + - Apple releases iPhone update 1.1.1

CheekyBastard writes: Apple has, as of today, released the long-anticipated software update for the iPhone. Version 1.1.1 was released this morning and features myriad updates, though not all of what was expected. Apple's security fixes are listed here, and a decent run-down of added features can be found here.

A quick list of notable features includes:

— iTunes wireless store
— Easy access to caller-specific ringtones
— Mail attachments (e.g., PDFs, Spreadsheets) can now be viewed in landscape mode
— Stock and Weather listings are now swappable (order listed)
— Additional text-message sound effects
— Data roaming on/off switch
— TV-out
— Developer debugging for Safari (accessible by setting)
Privacy

Submission + - Clear win for paper voting (elsevier.nl)

geschild writes: In what can only be considered a clear victory for 'Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet' (We don't trust electronic voting devices), Ank Bijleveld, the Dutch undersecretary for the Interior said that the next big election process in the Netherlands, for the European Parliament, in 2009, will most likely be held using pencil and paper.

This declaration followed the advice of a report titled 'Stemmen met vertrouwen' (voting with trust) that proposes a return to paper voting. The report states that paper voting presents the most assurances for a transparent and verifiable voting process.

The report does not completely preclude the use of computers but suggests that computers should only be used to print the vote on a paper ballot that can be verified by the voter. The vote would not be retained on the computer but the paper ballots could be counted electronically after the polls close.

Common sense seems to have prevailed on electronic vs paper voting, at least in the Netherlands.

Announcements

Submission + - Open Source Dev Labs and Free Standards merge

pan_piper writes: From a Zdnet article...

The Open Source Developer Labs and the Free Standards Group, two groups trying to standardise and steer Linux, have merged in an effort to increase their influence.

The new group is called the Linux Foundation, the companies plan to announce today. "It made sense to combine two organisations that serve a similar function and have a lot of similar members," said Jim Zemlin, who had been executive director of the Free Standards Group and now is leader of the foundation...
Security

Submission + - Defense Witness in "Spyware in school" cas

boyko.at.netqos writes: "Network Performance Daily offered Mr. Herb Horner, the defense expert witness in the case of Julie Amero, the Connecticut substitute teacher convicted and awaiting sentence for what defense argues was a spyware infection, a chance to speak out on the case. (Tomorrow NPD hopes to have commentary from Detective Mark Lounsbury, who testified for the prosecution at Ms. Amero's trial.)
From the article: 'We asked the prosecution to arrange for the defense to have unfettered access to the internet so that we could reenact the events of October 19, 2004. It was not granted. I went to court with two laptops and a box full of reference material prepared to very clearly illustrate what happened to Julie Amero. But, the prosecution objected because they were not given "full disclosure" of my examination. I was allowed to illustrate two screens, that of the www.hair-styles.org [do not click], and www.new-hair-styles.com [do not click] sites. This was one of the most frustrating experiences of my career, knowing full well that the person is innocent and not being allowed to provide logical proof.'"
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - PS3 In Stock; Possible Sign of Weaker Demand

freshmoon7 writes: Sony's Playstation 3 game console can be found in over one half of video game retailers, according to a new report, while Nintendo's Wii game machine can be found in a few stores, a sign that demand may be weakening. A report from American Technology Research said on Monday that 58 percent of the 150 stores that it surveyed had Sony's next generation game system in stock, while only 3 percent had the Wii, Paul McNealy of American Technology research said

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