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Comment Re:Buy Apple. (Score 1) 193

They tell time: but my analog watch does that, even when I don't have my phone around.

The Apple Watch doesn't need your phone around to tell the time either. So; it's at least as good as an analog watch for this purpose (barring battery life discussions anyway).

They can buzz and show you text messages or phone calls, but they have to be within Bluetooth range of your phone anyway, so you will have your phone on your person and it can buzz you too. I don't see the advantage of this feature.

You don't need to be in bluetooth range, although that's one option- wifi works too. This is actually something I find quite useful:

* My phone is always on silent and I don't always notice the buzz. It's much harder to miss a wrist notification.
* I can quickly determine whether it's something that needs urgent attention or whether I can ignore it until next time I pick up my phone.
* I still have access and visibility while in the shower, swimming, or if I've left my phone in the bedroom while working in another room.

I hear you can use your apple watch to originate a text, but for the life of me I cannot imagine it being worth the extra effort to text with an obviously clunky user interface over using that phone in your pocket.

It's really not, but I guess it's nice to have it available as a backup option (eg. if somebody else is using my phone and I don't want to interrupt them; or if i'm in the shower or holding something heavy and an urgent reply is warranted). In practice I don't use this, but I can see that some people might find it useful. You can also talk and listen via the watch, not just text.

Then there are the "health and Exercise" features like a pedometer to count your steps or monitoring your heart rate, but in both cases doing that kind of sensing is hard so it turns out to be of dubious accuracy and limited application. The pedometer function can be approximated on your phone with almost the same accuracy level, and the heart rate monitor is more of a "it's faster" or "slower" indicator that is of zero clinical use beyond that.

Yes and no. I think that health tracking is a big deal in the long run, but I agree that what we have now has too many compromises to be a killer feature. It's still nice to be able to track your heart rate and other exercise metrics over time, notice how lifestyle changes affect your daily walking distance, etc. For people who are serious about exercise, I'm sure that this is a killer feature, although there may be cheaper devices if that's the only feature they want. It's also nice how Apple aggregates data from multiple devices.

Finally there is the battery life problem. These wrist worn smart devices are of significantly limited size and weight. Doing all the "smart" stuff requires power and power requires batteries that are sizeable and of significant weight. This means that the more stuff your wrist device does, the more often you will have to take it off for a few hours and charge it.

It is possible to flatten the device prematurely, much like it's possible to flatten a smartphone quickly. That said, it's good enough for normal usage and it charges fast. Some people charge it overnight. I personally charge it at my desk during the day; it only means taking the watch off for an hour. People who drive to work could charge it during the drive. Would it be nice to have it last a month or more? For sure. But the 1.5-day battery life is not a killer, or even a meaningful annoyance in most cases.

My standby analog watch can wind itself when I wear it and only comes off when I bathe or swim (because it's not water proof).

I don't generally take the Apple Watch off while bathing or swimming. This is a gen 1 watch, so it's not even officially waterproof but it's rated against anything short of diving so it's fine for doing laps in the pool.

.. not impressed with gadgets that really don't enhance our lives or serve a useful purpose.

I would say that they serve a useful purpose for the majority of people who buy them. Is it worth the money? That depends on your usage patterns and budget I guess. I'm certainly not in a hurry to upgrade, but I'm happy to keep wearing and using the one I have.

You've also missed at least two "killer features" that affect me personally. Other people probably have their own additions, but mine are:

* Silent turn-by-turn navigation. I can visit a foreign locale, request turn-by-turn navigation to a specific destination, and the watch will tap me on the wrist when i'm approach a turn. I don't need to walk around with a phone out looking like an obvious tourist or a target for somebody who feels like snatching a phone.

* Siri. While I find that Siri itself is a bit braindead, there are still situations where there are no real alternatives and where I don't want to pull my phone out just to issue a command. Being able to tap my wrist and issue a command (eg. to start or stop navigation while driving, or to play a particular song while driving) is certainly handy. Some cars have buttons to do this for you, but mine doesn't and I'm not about to buy a new car over the lack. The alternative would be reaching into my pocket, which means moving one hand away from the wheel and also relies on the phone being the "correct way up" so that I can reach it without trying to take it out of the pocket.

Comment Re:Did they ban VPNs, TOR, etc? (Score 1) 251

What's the point? If it's legal to use the VPN, then you just use the VPN directly without the added latency of TOR. If it's not legal to use a VPN, then the money trail is going to cause you problems even if they can't identify your traffic specifically. I'm sure there are edge cases, but I think for most people there's just no point.

Comment Re:Nothing to brag about (Score 1) 328

Radioactive waste can be contained and when reprocessed as part of waste disposal

Therein lies the rub. Firstly, while you're absolutely correct when things are working properly, nuclear is very hard to clean up after things go wrong. While the immediate effect might still be reasonably small in global terms, a much larger area (and therefore politically more problemtic) is affected in a nuclear disaster than in an equivalent coal-power disaster.

An oil spill might be more comparable actually, but even there, hard radiation is much harder to clean up, and a much more dangerous environment (to humans, at least) than oil. Oil spills also likely to be further away from human population centers (easier to transport efficiently) which, while not a sound environmental argument, is pretty sound politically.

Secondly, there's historically been some conflict of priorities between "use nuclear fuel efficiently" and "don't allow anything that could be turned into a weapon".

I'm not anti-nuclear as such, but I do think that it's politically problematic and that "environmentally safe" fission power at large scale is a lot more expensive than what we're willing to spend on energy today.

Comment Re:Had this same issue with my 6s in the USA (Score 1) 73

Pretty much the same issue with my 6. The phone battery bottoms out at anywhere between 10% and 50%, depending on the day. Plug it in to a charger and 10 minutes later it's back at 65% and will run for a few more hours. I've been putting this down to a prematurely aged battery, but it's not something that has happened with my previous iPhones.

Comment Re:Google's reasoning makes no sense. (Score 1) 170

Anyone from Europe who goes to will be redirected to their own site like and be given search results that comply with the local laws.

Now why should that same law apply to someone who gets redirected to

To play the devil's advocate:

A child walks into a bar somewhere in the U.S.A. The bartender refuses to sell her alcohol, because she's clearly underage. The child walks to the other end of the bar, which has an Australian flag and promotes Fosters. The bartender there is happy to serve her, because clearly she's no longer subject to the local laws? The kid is still in the same country. Everybody knows it, nobody is fooled because she's standing under a different flag.

So it is with internet traffic, unless you're going through a VPN or similar. Something so trivial as accessing the site through a different domain name should not be considered sufficient grounds to excuse ignoring the local law.

If the user was actually located in Australia at the time, fair enough. But that doesn't appear to be what's going on here.

Comment Re:Michael Jace was several years ago. (Score 1) 47

Are you saying Apple's programmers are now able to create a computer program as complex as an operating system with no bugs and no flaws whatsoever?

This is a good point in general, however the kind of security we're talking about here is restricted to the "login screen", not the general purpose OS. That's a much smaller attack surface. Once you've logged in, and are running third-party code on the device, you're much more likely to be able to break something.

It's reasonable to say that GP's claim of them "getting reasonably close to having an airtight phone, assuming you have it locked" is accurate. There will always be workarounds (decapping the chips, forcing the owner to reveal the passcode, etc.) but short of a screw-up on Apple's side, the practical options for bypassing the lock screen via a hack are getting more and more limited.

Comment Re:To bad the screens burn in... (Score 1) 157

LCD panels don't age in a way that makes the colors change, so they don't get burn in (the closest thing they get to burn in is image persistence, which is only temporary.)

I keep hearing this repeated, but it isn't really accurate. We have some iPad 2 devices which were used with their screen permanently active for a few weeks, frequently showing the same image. They're still burned in with the same image several years later, despite us changing the usage pattern to avoid displaying a static image.

Comment Re:my-pntbtr-add(list_eria) (Score 2) 118

I'd disagree, for the most part-

* Consumers are asking for something like this. Not everywhere, and often because they know it's generally not up to them, but platform lock-in is a pain for many people. "I have to buy a PS4 for this game." "This product isn't going to support Mac." "Only on iOS." "Requires Flash."

* Devs are definitely asking for something like this. "Can we afford to port to platform X? Can we afford not to?"

How things are now, we're talking about a lowest-common-denominator problem, so only a small subset of problems are solved. Hopefully this will improve over time, until the majority of problems are solved and only edge-case problems require specific platforms.

Comment Re:Mixed backend languages is recipe for subtle bu (Score 2) 255

From up-close-and-personal experience with Objective C and C++ (also Smalltalk), these languages have substantially different semantics regarding class identity (primarily: what version of overridden member functions you get) during construction and destruction. I wouldn't be surprised if Objectivce-C++ had yet another semantics, pulling "features" from both, and I have no clue about LVMM.)

Objective-C++ mixes the syntax of the two languages, and allows you to use either a C++ object or an Objective-C object at will, however it does not make C++ objects into Objective-C objects or vice versa. Any semantics relating to C++ objects still applies to C++ objects, and no additional semantics are implied.

In short: things work as you'd expect, and there are no hidden gotchas.

The only real complexities are what happens when you embed a C++ object as a member inside an Objective-C object (this doesn't change the semantics of the C++ object itself, but obviously may change the point at which the whole thing is destroyed) and what happens when you reference an Objective-C object from within a C++ object (some of the automatic refcounting syntactic sugar goes away and you have to actually understand what you're doing.) These don't introduce difficulties for the compiler, but could potentially be confusing for the programmer.

I'm sure clang has its fair share of bugs, and I'm sure that GCC does also, that's just the nature of any complex codebase. The shared backend isn't really a contributing factor, any more so than them both emitting x86 machine code is a contributing factor.

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