Smartwatch or Not-so-Smart watch


LG Watch Urbane Smartwatch

There are currently two types of Smartwatches available in the world, those that must connect to a phone and those that are independent. The latter is not nearly as common, which would include it’s own data and calling plan, but it is still a possibility.  Maybe most people do not want this stand-alone functionality, but should we want it at all?

The screen on the Smartwatch is quite small, even the Apple Watch isn’t much of a screen. And with the move toward larger screen in Smartphones, it’s a wonder how the world is interested in the tiny face of a Smartwatch.

Calculator WatchI wore a watch as a kid, and I certainly yearned for the possibility of a Maxwell Smart or Dick Tracy wrist-communicator.  I had a calculator watch in middle school and it was pretty chic in the geek circles that I ran in.  But it was a far dream to have the functionality available today in a Smartwatch. Still, I would not conceive of the Smartphone ideal for another decade.

It is my impression that the Smartwatch market is yet just another intrigue of the Tech Industry.  Many of us gave up our watches (myself included) when we purchased our first Apple Smartwatch mobile (cell) phone.  Only those who sought the elegance of jewelry or retained the business formality of the US East Coast, seem seek a clock on the wrist.

This is what I believe has happened in the presentation of the Smartwatch today, that we’re only barely scratching the surface of what can be or rather should be expected from a wrist-worn computer.  Where the Smartphone has become a pocket computer that happens to be able to offer the time and phone calls, it is in fact a pocketable computer. The Smartwatch that is tethered to your Smartphone is little more than a trinket or extension of that pocket computer.  Could it yet be the primary device or are we fooling ourselves into believing that it is anything other than a fancy time-piece?

Samsung Gear S SmartwatchThe Samsung Gear S and the LG Watch Urbane both have WiFi, although the Gear S goes a bit further offering 4G connectivity.  Both can operate at a distance that is greater than the limit of Bluetooth. However, the Gear S can operate at any distance from your phone as it is effectively a phone unto itself. But in being capable of separation from a Smartphone, or run alone, it is itself weak.

As the Smartphone is to it’s functional predecessor the laptop computer, so the Smartwatch is lacking not only in power, but battery-life and ease-of-interface. One automatically reaches the conclusion that the Smartwatch should not and in fact likely is not designed to be a stand-alone device.

Agent Smith SmartwatchIt might appear that someone has replaced the author of Get Outta My Head, with an impostor, by the assertions made in the prior paragraph.  But I assure you nothing could be further from the truth.  I want the Smartwatch to be capable of all that a desktop or laptop, but even the greatest of current technology does not appear to be able to prove such a fantasy.    To quote a famous  character from a science-fiction movie, “Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world.” (Agent Smith, The Matrix)  I agree with Agent Smith in saying that we lack the technical capacity to create a Smartwatch that rivals a laptop or desktop.  And that, for now, we should not try to act like we have one.

The Smartwatch is cool, no doubt, but until an interface comes along that does not require a tiny touch screen, I think that it should remain a watch (with benefits).



May the Fours Be With You

May The Fours be with you


Shamelessly carrying on in respect of May the Fourth, I say May the Fours Be With You.

It actually was a striking coincidence that I happen to have come upon this number of fours and it also being May the Fourth.  But if I can celebrate both Pi day and 2Pi day, then I can celebrate May the Fours.

So happy Fours! And May the Fours Be With You!


Note: if you can guess which vehicle this odometer reading originates from, then the Fours are strong with you.

Sony Digital Paper tablet 04

Sony Digital Paper Tablet (w/ Video)

Sony Digital Paper tablet 01

The Sony Digital Paper Tablet

Oh great savior of paper, Sony, you’ve finally done what Amazon never had the guts to do. A real electronic ink tablet, with all the bells and whistles that the Kindle never had.  Thank you very much.

Alas, why did this tablet not see the normal fan fare that you’d expect from a very useful device?  Is it the $1000 price tag? is it the 13.3″ full touch screen?  What about the WiFi and 3-weeks of battery life?  External Memory card slot? Still nothing?  Okay, so it only has 4GB of on-board storage, a measly 1200 x 1600 resolution screen and only 16 shades of gray scale.  But who cares about that crap, it’s a full e-ink tablet.

For now it is the closest thing I have yet seen that matches paper, letter for letter, word for word, and isn’t vaporware.  You can actually buy this tablet on Sony’s Direct to Consumer website (and a few other sites).  Considering the recent release of the Russian Yota Phone 2 with it’s dual screen action (one color led touch, the other gray scale e-ink touch), I think it’s high time something this cool hits the market.

If Sony won’t sing it from the roof tops,  I will.  Check out the video

Tesla Gigafactory vs Apple Campus 2

Tesla Gigafactory Vs Apple Campus 2

It seems that in Silicon Valley, it’s not about how tall your building is, but how wide and green it is.   Although the Tesla Gigafactory is not in Silicon Valley, it’s also much, MUCH larger than Apple Campus 2.  By nearly a factor of 4 larger is the Gigafactory than the new Apple campus building.

While this might not seem incredibly impressive on the outside, how many large warehouses or corporate campuses built in the last 10 years can claim carbon neutrality?  Tesla is building enough solar power into the surrounding areas that it the plant will be run on renewable-energy sources alone.   Apple’s Campus will also be completely carbon neutral.  On any level, these massive structures are more than just signs of industry power, but trend-setters.Tesla Gigafactory vs Apple Campus 2

Tesla Gigafactory Specs

  • $5,000,000 to construct
  • $100,000,000 in benefit over 20 years
  • 10,000,000 sq-ft (930,000 sq-m)
  • 500,000 cars per year
  • 6,500 new jobs

Apple Campus 2 Specs

  • $5,000,000,000 to construct
  • 7,600,000 sq-ft (710,000 sq-m) Lot
  • 2,800,000 sq-ft (260,000 sq-m) Building
  • 12,000 employees

19 Strangers Sent Me The Same Text Message Simultaneously

On the morning of Sunday, January 4th 2015, 19 strangers sent me the same text message simultaneously.   It read “Congratulations, you are one lucky customer getting a credit applicable to your next month bill, for more details visit [Shortened URL]”

Logically this is impossible, it is of course a bot that is spoofing ( or that has pilfered) these phone numbers.  But I found it interesting because I use Google Hangouts as my SMS app.  Previously, the SMS app on my smartphone would have looked at this message and left 19 separate messages with the same text.  Google looks at groups messages a bit differently.

Continue reading 19 Strangers Sent Me The Same Text Message Simultaneously