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Comment FX!32 (Score 1) 85

Microsoft produced a version of Windows NT for DEC Alpha and threw in x86 emulation layer called FX!32 so it could run existing software. It worked but it ran like a dog, far slower than native x86 instructions. And not for want of trying because it did machine translate instructions to try and execute code natively.

I really don't expect the picture to be any different with x86 over ARM. I expect they'll machine translate x86 instructions into native ARM instructions in some way and cache them somewhere, but the results won't get anywhere close to x86 performance and there'll be a whole bunch of caveats about software it will or won't run. It'll probably be fine for running more sedentary apps.

I very much doubt anybody will be playing Crysis 2 on it. In fact I'd be surprised if any remotely demanding game played on it. Not just just because of the emulation but because no game would be tested with the GPU so they are liable to break hard for one reason or another.

Comment Re:They should release the keys / apis (Score 1) 186

I don't know if they have the rights or not to say it's a dick move, but I don't blame them for Pebble's problems. Pebble almost got the idea right - their watch lasted longer than others, had an always on screen and was relatively phone platform neutral. Probably what ultimately did them in is that their watches were damned ugly and they gained a whole lot of competition from some very rich companies. All the fitness devices converged on one side with the Apple / Android Wear devices on the other. It's not exactly a huge market to start with and they were squeezed out.

Comment Re:They should release the keys / apis (Score 1) 186

Because the platform's dead. Assuming Fitbit have the rights to the platform, what have they to lose from such a move? Do you think any Pebble owner is going to upgrade to Fitbit if the company just lobotomized their old watch? Of course not. If they have the rights it would make sense to generate some good will by turning over the platform to the community in some way.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 186

I'm not sure I see the logic of blaming Fitbit that Pebble sucked at business. Or that people keep buying technological dead ends.

However, it would be a very good gesture if Fitbit had the rights to the platform and unlocked it for the community. Personally I think the best course of action would be to avoid smart watches altogether in their present form.

Comment They should release the keys / apis (Score 1) 186

If Fitbit are going to dump the platform they should just throw it open to generate some goodwill. At least the APIs and any publishing keys necessary to install apps. I don't see Fitbit garnering much loyalty from Pebble owners otherwise, nor commercial advantage from not doing it.

And on a general point this just demonstrates why "smart" watches suck. They're closed platforms and when the platform is discontinued you're left with a bitrotten brain dead piece of crap. Just one more reason to buy a dumb watch.

Comment I think the answer is obvious (Score 2) 273

3D printing is still fiddly, complex, error-prone, expensive and slow.

FDM style printers (the cheapest kind) require wrapping your head around calibration, nozzle diameters, temperatures, slices, alignments, supports, bed heating, the properties of PLA / ABS and all the rest. If you're lucky you'll set the printer going and hours later your efforts will yield some crudely finished single colour part. If you're unlucky you'll come back to discover something that has skewed left, warped on its base, or turned into some dante-esque spider's web that has stuck to everything.

Maybe SLA is better? Well it certainly yields better parts for sure (assuming it cured properly, but then you also must have space for a wash station. And all the sticky, smelly gunk resins to work with that get on EVERYTHING. Beyond that you've got stuff like SLS, SLM etc where things get more interesting. But now we're talking industrial equipment with the costs and power consumption to match.

I think the most likely form of 3D printing to take off is one which hasn't gotten much press - laminate printers. The price has to come down much more than where it is to be consumer attractive but I think that's viable.

Comment No answer doesn't mean yes (Score 1) 588

Only one responded, the others didn't. That could have as much to do with who asked the question to who as it could to the question itself.

Anyway I expect that if this administration-to-be were to go down this path of fuckwittery they sure as hell wouldn't get any cooperation from any tech company. I expect their efforts wouldn't get much cooperation from anybody for that matter.

Comment Re:Still a need for what he was origally doing (Score 1) 75

Exactly. Maintaining phone firmware is an enormous drain on resources and generally a pain in the ass. Cyanogen had the capacity to streamline the process and do it cheaper and better than any in-house team and still make a profit. Instead they declared they would "destroy" Google. I bet interest in their business model virtually dried up over night after that - Google putting the screws on mobos or the mobos themselves choosing not to associate with such hubris.

Comment Re:Still a need for what he was origally doing (Score 3, Interesting) 75

The easiest way to turn CM into profit is to sign some contracts with phone manufacturers or network operators and produce versions of CM under a support contract. Cyanogen Inc actually did that with the OnePlus but almost immediately fell into a dispute with them because they'd also signed some exclusivity contract with a no-name phone maker for the Indian market. This dispute ended up with OnePlus rolling their own firmware. So Cyanogen simultaneously proved they had the technical prowess to produce commercial grade firmware and absolutely no business acumen to go with it causing the whole thing to collapse. After that little disaster they declared war on Google. They lost.

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