Impossible to not know someone who uses Whatsapp? Not if you are in China, but I don't think you are.
75 posts • joined 6 Jul 2012
Fitness tracking seems to be what people want, with a few smartwatch features thrown in. Fitbit et al are selling by the bucket load.
They have a pedometer, sometimes with google fit integration
They measure Heart Rate etc.
Some are waterproof (though you'd have thought that was a basic feature of a fitness tracker?)
They give alerts from your phone (in case by some amazing fluke its not in your hand/pocket/bag)
The smartwatch is alive and well, its just not what we thought it was.
When Apple launched the first iPhone in Jan 2007 we suddenly had an exciting new thing that had never existed before.
But since then its just been incremental development - better cameras, bigger screens, longer runtime, but essentially the same thing nearly eleven years down the road.
Its no wonder we are a bit jaded.
'Could they come up with a compelling reason to make people ditch Alexa? Somehow I doubt it'
I'd have agreed with you until I bought an Echo Dot, used it for a week and sent it back. It just seemed so much harder to do things by shouting compared to typing or even speaking into my smartphone. You have to discover the correct expression for what you want to do (Google search needed first) and then say it a few times and maybe it will work, but by then you've given up the will to live.
Somehow I expected more and maybe Google Home would suit me better, but for now at least - I ditched Alexa.
I was so pleased to hear of this new faster Firefox I immediately installed it on my Macbook Air, gave it a whirl to see if it really is faster and made it my default browser.
Then I noticed my lap getting warm, huh? Oh, FirefoxCP Web Content is using 105% of CPU. Great.
Oh well, I really wanted to like it it but its back to Opera; again.
I'd say it depends how you define 'won' - there are certainly a lot more Android phones sold, but Apple make way more money off iPhones than all the Androids put together. A quick search shows that Apple make around 80% of all smartphone profit, leaving just 20% for all the rest.
(I don't own or use an iPhone)
This is hypothetical nonsense; its us poor humans who may occasionally be 'slow to respond' because our attention was distracted, visibility is poor or a host of other reasons. The car will see the sign and respond the same way every time, it won't occasionally be slow.
In fact If the car has up to date mapping (an OTA download for sure) then it will know where all the speed limit changes are without signs. Signs (other than temporary ones like road works) will not be necessary for self driving cars to perform, but if they are useful / interesting for the humans in the vehicle they will surely be an option on the car's information display system; physical signs will go the way of hitching rails and blacksmiths.
Isn't that how science and technology progresses, early versions are not great but incremental improvements really add up as the years pass. My first desktop computer wasn't that good either, but now look at them... well perhaps that wasn't the best example, but you know what I mean.
We read of endless security issues caused by IT professionals having not applied crucial patches so the chances of Joe Public doing it correctly and in a timely manner are basically zilch.
Autonomous cars will need to apply updates (patches) automatically, just like smartphone apps do now.
Agreed, never use my self parking its such a faff. I think the problem is with the implementation not the general idea, if it just realised you were hovering near a parking space and said 'park here sir/madam?' and then got on and did it, that would be great. But the system on my car is so unintuitive I can never remember how to do it, which is surely a sign of bad design.
We part company on self driving though - bring it on, I can't wait.
I had a complaint from some of the people in an office that it got too hot in summer and too cold in winter, so we got a builder in to fit some more insulation. I helped him a bit (ok, I watched) but it turned out to be much more difficult than we thought to get at the area concerned, so after a couple of hours of faffing about we gave up.
The office users told me some time later that it was much better now!
Its a waste of time worrying - in 40 years of driving I've never had to choose between running over X or Y group of vulnerable people, I just do the best I can and hope it never does.
As the article makes plain, we as humans are doing a terrible job at driving - nearly 2000 deaths / year in the UK and we are one of the better ones.
So I'll leap into a self driving car as as soon as I can afford one and in the mean time carry on listening to my smartphone and sat-nav system arguing with each other.
<Nevertheless, it does show the direction Uber is taking its self-driving car research. Rather than go fully autonomous, Uber will hire human drivers to do the difficult driving, refuelling and loading, and rely on software for the more simple stuff.>
A strange view, surely Uber et al are taking this step by step in the same way that all development is done. They don't want human drivers at all, not for the easy bits nor for the difficult bits, but the state of the art and the views of society and government don't make that practical quite yet.
In a few years we will be comfortable with transportation and many other tricky tasks being done by computers and it won't be many years after that when we will be wondering how on earth humans did these things. Like navigating around the world with nothing but a sextant.
I agree wholeheartedly with anything that declutters our urban landscapes. The problem is town hall planners; they never have a meeting on a Friday afternoon that goes 'Thats it, we've got enough signs and lines and traffic management blight everywhere, we can all quit now.' Oh no indeed, they keep on adding new stuff every week making it harder and harder to walk down the pavement or drive down the road, and a good deal harder to enjoy the beauty of our villages, towns and cities.
If this gives quicker, more reliable mobile broadband too, that's icing on the cake.
"The UK government does not have a clear strategy on how to maximise AI and robotics for economic benefit"
Businesses develop and market AI and robotics and other businesses decide where and how to use it based on the economic benefits they see in its use. Government has a very poor record of understanding technology, and there is no need or benefit in their attempting to develop a strategy. The businesses paying over hard cash have the biggest incentive and are best placed to evaluate the economic benefits of their purchases.
This is like holding a cafe responsible for someones wrong doing because they used the cafe's power socket to charge the laptop they used in the planning, or sat under the cafe's electric light so they could see what they were doing, or used the water in the toilets to wash the hands that wrote the plans.
WiFi is just a utility like electricity, gas or water.
I don't think anyone expects auto-pilot / driving-assist / fully autonomous cars to be perfect; we will still have accidents for lots of reasons. However, the consensus is that we'll have a lot less accidents, and as we gradually perfect the systems the accident rate will continue to drop. Someone clever said 'science progresses one death at a time' and I expect it will be the same with this technology.
If the self drive system needs you to pay attention its not good enough, I imagine I'd stop paying attention very quickly once I'd got over the initial excitement. This is a backward step perhaps introduced as a placatory measure, but it can be no more permanent than having men with red flags walking in front of the car.
Imagine being paid to examine thousands of Excel spreadsheets looking for these errors. Aside from the incredible tedium (give it to the office junior) its nice way to spend time in a warm comfortable office with no deadline or particular objective in mind and you can then feel good about publishing 'important' research.
We are where we are and hoping for a second (third?) referendum or saying the first one isn't binding is not helpful.
What we need to do now is turn this into an opportunity and get on with being successful in the world in the way that no EU country is managing to be. The EU, or more probably the Euro, is dragging even a power house nation like Germany into the doldrums. We have to start working on doing better out of the EU than we have been while in - which incidentally isn't bad thanks to holding on to our own central bank, currency and control of interest rates.
Three's Feel at Home works fine for me in France. They don't allow tethering but otherwise I always find a partner network with good service.
A good alternative is to buy a local sim when you travel, but as there are many 4G bands UK phones usually won't provide 4G service in the USA, China etc.
We may not be windy enough or sunny enough but that doesn't mean we have to cut down on energy use because the only alternative is carbon fuels. The solution to our energy problems is at hand and has been for decades - nuclear power. We should of course supplement nuclear with offshore wind and solar farms but our base generation should be modern, safe nuclear power.
Look at our neighbour across the channel - France is 90% nuclear and the remainder mostly hydro. That hasn't stopped them wasting huge amounts of money on wind turbines though.
I had to use MS products for years when I coded for a living and in retrospect it was a terrible experience. Of course, at the time we thought that's just how software was; full of bugs, regular crashes, reboots to solve lock ups, frustrating, a new UI with every iteration.
Then along came Novell Netware which just ran and ran, didn't need rebooting every day and didn't crash - spooky, so software didn't have to be cr*p after all, who knew? And Linux proved the same thing.
So now I don't have to use anything MS and its great to be free of it. I wonder how long they've got left before they become the next DEC.
The authorities failed again in Brussels and they need someone to scapegoat. Blaming encrypted communications and Edward Snowden takes the monkey off their backs and puts it somewhere else.
If they had access to every word written and spoken electronically it would make no difference, except that they'd be blaming pigeon breeders for selling their birds without sufficient care and telling them that it was their responsibility to be aware of the contents of every note the birds subsequently carried.
'If only there was a form of personal transport that was super energy and space efficient'
And while it's users were getting healthier and fitter it could have a battery and a motor to help then up hills. It would be nice if it could keep them dry and warm too, like a car - drat.
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