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Comment Not creepy, not at all ... (Score 1) 204

Who the f... thought that this is a good idea? That e.g. a woman would want to have her potentially naked photos "in the cloud"?

Oh and how long until this gets hacked and the juicy pictures leaked/sold? Amazon didn't take the lesson from the phone hacking scandal in the UK? This sort of device/service would be a goldmine for stalkers, creeps and tabloids hunting for juicy dirt.

Jesus Christ ...

Comment Re:I doubt this is correct (Score 2) 289

They were replacing the faulty batteries with the same type (= same dimensions & capacity), only from a more recent batch, because the original suspicion was a battery manufacturing problem, not a design issue with the phone itself. Remember the Sony laptops catching fire few years ago because of defective batteries?

So the conclusion is still plausible, because the replacement batteries have never fixed the underlying design issue - essentially equivalent of the iPhone's "bendgate", unfortunately with much worse consequences.

I am only surprised that Slashdot caught wind of this only now, this hypothesis has been around pretty much since Samsung has anounced the recall.

Comment Elephant in the room (Score 1) 274

This article once again ignores the elephant in the room - which is that 99.9% of consumers do not need to manufacture stuff at home.

It is both easier, faster, cheaper and better quality to buy it at the store.

It was the journalistic hype about a "revolution" that was supposed to come that fueled the rise of Makerbot and now those same journalists are crucifying the company for not being able to deliver on something the company didn't even originally target. It is ridiculous.

That's not to say that Makerbot didn't commit a ton of mistakes and howlers, alienating both their customers and investors. But that has little to do with any "revolution".

It is the same hype BS we see with autonomous cars, with AI, with virtual reality and many other things - journalists writing about things they barely understand based on corporate press releases and extrapolating far beyond of what the technology can actually do, because they don't understand neither the tech, nor basic economy.

On the other hand, when looking beyond the uncritical hype and the notion that everyone will have a printer at home, 3D printing is fine and sound - there are plenty of other manufacturers than Makerbot who make good and affordable printers. However, it is now a mature technology that people who need it have and use already and the most of the rest doesn't really care about. Same as CNC machining or laser cutting or whatever. It is not the "new shiny" frontpage material anymore.

Comment Re:Not very secure (Score 1) 478

The bigger problem is what happens when the SSD fails.

SSDs are components with limited life (flash has limited amount of write cycles), so that is a planned obsolescence built-in right there.

Replacing the SSD will mean either a very expensive Apple service intervention, or, more likely, a new notebook. Which was likely the idea from the start ...

Comment Load of ... (Score 2) 92

I am no Samsung lover, but sorry, that article is BS.

Insinuating that the model is "compromised" because of one freak accident and no other information (such as whether the phone had original battery or has been charged using original charger vs. some cheap fake Chinese special before) it is just sensationalism. There are millions of possible reasons why that could have happened and none related to a manufacturing fault.

I am in France and cheap and unsafe chargers are ubiquitious here, carried even by "serious" stores like Fnac or Boulanger. Normal person has no chance to know what they are buying. So it is well possible that the phone has been charged by a 3rdparty charger before (most people have several chargers at home for the various gizmos these days) and then the battery blew up a bit later.

Or the kid could have dropped the phone, triggering the runaway (shouldn't happen, but not completely impossible).

Comment Re:FOMO? (Score 1) 136

Because these guys are shipping what is basically the reference design from Intel packaged into a case, sans custom OS and with very little to nothing to develop?

That's not quite apples to apples comparison. Apple has pretty much everything custom - the motherboard, the OS, the peripherals on the MB, ton of tuning and tweaking so that the system doesn't only boot but actually runs well, etc.

If you want to compare, then look at major manufacturers that are using custom motherboards - e.g. DELL or Lenovo.

Comment Re:FOMO? (Score 4, Informative) 136

Sorry, but only person who has absolutely no clue about how a hardware product is being developed (and how long does it actually take!) can say nonsense like this.

A new product like the Surface computer or Mac Book is in development for more than a year, often even 2-3 years. And in the latter stages you need actually a stable and working system so that things like drivers can be developed, OS adapted, demo units produced, CE/FCC testing done, etc.

So if a new CPU/chipset combo shows up in the last 9-12 months of the cycle, it is simply too late - it would delay the release of the product by at least that much. This is *not* about just swapping a motherboard/CPU/GPU - the board for the chips needs to be actually *developed* first, before you can even start thinking about integrating it into a product.

The risk mitigation is also important, but that comes into play only after everything above is sorted out already. If there is nothing new to put in your product, you have no "unknown" to fear in the first place.

Comment Re:Limitations of VR (Score 2) 125

I did and I am following the project from the start.

It is an interesting idea and innovative approach to how to produce 3D images. I wouldn't actually call it AR, it is more a general mixed reality setup, because it doesn't really attempt to overlay registered virtual image over the real world - it displays computer generated imagery over a specially prepared surface (the retroreflective foil).

I think it will be interesting novelty item for the entertainment, but probably not all that big there. It depends a lot on what kind of content will be available. Also CastAR needs the multiplayer games to really shine - similar to what made Wii popular. The games were basic, but it was fun playing with friends in the same space. That is both a boon and a bane - how many gamers actually have someone to play together with next to them all the time?

Where there is a much bigger potential for that technology is the professional market - it is one of the very few technologies that is capable of displaying proper multi-user stereo in the same shared space. E.g. CAVEs that are able to do so can typically handle 2 simultaneous users max and cost millions. CastAR can handle 4 simultaneous users in the same space at least and costs a few orders of magnitude less ... This is huge for collaborative applications, such as planning, design review, training, etc. I think that is where it will be flying off the shelves because there simply isn't a system with comparable capability for a similar price on the market.

Comment Re:Limitations of VR (Score 2) 125

I am working as both researcher and developer in this field for almost two decades.

There certainly isn't a "lack of a killer app" there. However, there is one big difference - I am talking about professional market. Simulators & marketing are one thing (even though those rarely focus on HMDs but rather on projected displays - HMD is cumbersome).

Then you have training applications - machine operators, surgery training, maintenance training, safety procedures, dangerous materials handling, you name it. Of course, military training too, even though that is a complete different market.

Another category I have been involved with are various medical therapy applications - psychology and psychiatry - e.g. various phobias, even additiction therapies, PTSD is successfully being treated using VR, pain distraction applications (e.g. for severely burned people, dentists or some cancer sufferers).

And those are just the domains I have been somehow involved with or seen around me. Retail/consumer market is a different story and there I see VR mostly as niche within the larger gaming/entertainment market. Things like 360 videos and watching TV using HMDs will likely fail as that is pretty much pointless and the novelty of it fades very quickly.

Concerning AR - I am not that sure. For one, AR is very overrated. The AR applications are perhaps numerous in movies and Hollywood (everyone wants a Terminator-like HUD, right?!), but not in reality. Stupid stuff like superheroes jumping out of cereal boxes were interesting perhaps 5 years ago. There are also numerous problems that would have to be overcome first and not all of them are technical ones.

* There is AR and "AR". Google Glass was not AR but a personal HUD - if there is no registration between the image overlay and the real world, *it is not AR*. Glass was incapable of that.

* Contrast - optical see-through displays have inherently poor contrast and daylight visibility, digital see-through (using cameras) tend to suffer from lag, motion blur and poor dynamic range (big issue outdoors in sunlight, for ex.)

* Fragility - most AR displays are very fragile pieces of glass and electronics, not robust to day to day abuse. Can be solved, but at the expense of aesthetics and price.

* There is *no* robust tracking soluton for AR that would work both indoors and outdoors, have sufficient accuracy for registering overlays over objects beyond simplistic labels (think satnav instructions) and would not require enormous computational power. Projects like Tango are getting close, but still no cigar. This is actually *THE* problem we are fighting almost every week at work when clients ask for an AR application - nobody wants markers, but pretty much nothing else works with sufficient accuracy and low overhead.

* Battery life - AR needs to be mobile to be really useful which means batteries. Something iike Tango running full tilt tracking and displaying of the 3D scene would likely run out of battery within an hour or two. Or shut off due to overheating because of the heavy computation going on (see the GearVR problems with that - and GearVR is not doing any tracking at all).

And now the non-technical issues which could be the largest problem, in fact:
* Most people don't want to look like Borgs from StarTrek wearing headsets. Not an issue in the pro market, but enormous problem for consumer market. Google has learned that firsthand with their Glass.

* We are far from headsets being socially acceptable. Both the cameras and the lack of eye contact/apperance of being distracted are an issue. Perhaps this will change as these devices become pervasive (talking on a phone in public used to be a social no-no too), but until then it will be a major hurdle for adoption.

Comment Re:GPL vs BSD-etc. (Score 4, Interesting) 117

No we can't. Circuit schematics is generally not copyrightable, because it only documents the workings of something else - a physical circuit. It is not considered a work in itself.

Even if it was, then the only thing that copyright license would do is to protect the schematics - not someone reproducing the actual circuit. For that you would have to patent it - which may not be possible (circuit is well known, for ex.) or not practical (patenting costing more than the widget itself). Not to mention that patents are not likely to stop an Asian fly-by-night cloner.

Comment Several problems here (Score 4, Insightful) 117

First - it is not really an open source project if it doesn't want to publish the design files/documentation. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep that secret, but then, please, don't use the "open source" moniker.

Second - yes, the issue with clones is real - just look at Saleae (they produce USB logic analyzer). Their original hardware was widely cloned, because it was basically just a repurposed devboard for a common chip loaded with custom firmware that they made freely downloadable.

That said, the Saleae case also shows how not publishing the design files is ineffective - Saleae didn't publish anything, but all it took for the device to be cloned was someone buying a genuine one and reverse engineering it. It is not that difficult to do if someone really wants to do it.

So in the end who gets punished by the files not being available? Certainly not the cloners but more likely your own legitimate customers who will have more tricky time integrating the device into their own projects or repairing it.

Concerning support of the 3rdparty clones - nobody should be obligated to support unofficial hardware. Just don't be an ass about it, pulling another FTDI (company that tried to sabotage/brick the clones).

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 1) 867

So what are you proposing?

Voting Trump in protest? That will definitely help your cause if he wins and ruins the country in the process. But you have made your point about Clinton, yay!

Voting for a 3rd party/independent candidate? With the current election system in place, you can as well give your vote to Trump in such case. It is about equal to throwing your ballot in the trash - your vote won't count.

Not voting at all? That's the same as above - your voice will not count.

I am European, so this thing touches me only tangentially at best, but I see this "logic" here as well - "Party X/candidate Y is corrupt and incompetent, let's vote for a fringe/nutcase/extremist party Z in protest! That will show them! They cannot be worse than them anyway!"

The only result is the extremists gaining power in parliaments and once there, proceeding to show that they are even less competent and even more corrupt than their predecessors, because it is easy to run on a platform of "being against something". However, governing means that you have to actually bring *implementable* solutions to the table, not only soundbites for TV. That is where these parties universally fall flat on their faces.

Just look at what happened most recently in UK with the brexit vote or what is going on with Le Pen in France where her party controls some of the city councils. They are preoccupied with such important stuff like banning halal food from school canteens or banning veiled women from beaches, but not really addressing crime, dealing with unemployment or drug dealers. And then there is a new scandal about Front National deputy doing this or that almost every other day (usually involving graft, racism or worse).

So that is what you get for your protest votes.

Comment Re:"Signature Edition" ironically pushes me to Mac (Score 2) 491

Actually Lenovo offers also machines without OS, including laptops, so this locked down BS is not the only option there. They are obviously doing that to lower the sticker price (machine with Windows is about $100 extra), but it is possible to get one of these.

I am not sure wheher they are offering them in every market, but e.g. in Slovakia they are available

A year ago I have got an E31 laptop with the new Skylake CPU and no problems with Linux or pre-installed malware whatsoever on it.

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