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  • Smartphone with a ​tobacco/cig​arette smoke detector?

    @evildictaitor: Interesting but need some actual product available with performance reviewed before saying "done". If you've already seen such test results then link those please.

    Interesting thing about this is that the tobacco smoke smell sticks to clothes quite quickly. I can smell that with no smoke present. So what I am smelling then and does the detector go off based on what.

    edit: I found that the first product had link to http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/09/ntr.ntt007.abstract

    Based on the approach I would wonder about the longevity of it - unless it recalibrates or cleans itself automatically (though you'd think as the smoke sticks around to even hard surfaces, eventually it needs some sort of replacement or cleaning).

  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    I'm still a bit bummed about the lack of 3G+LTE in it. Surface 3 (not pro) has that option but the processor is half the speed of the Core M Broadwells (probably noticeable debugging C#) and I haven't yet checked if the new type cover for the non-pro is any better.

    I suppose one just has to take multiple gadgets (like external battery back and some sort of dock). The scenario I'm thinking of is if you go travel, you could leave some of that stuff in a hotel room or whatever and take the extra weight only if you know you might need it - with heavier laptop you'll take it with you always.



  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    @elmer: Well the coolness is really a function of how much there is going on and at what freq&voltage. Earlier I specified that I should be able to have an OS that has nothing going on unless I start it. So if Apple/MS take that to heart, the battery consumption and thus power use and heat should be zero.

    I'm currently using a 10 year old Pentium M laptop with a customized power policy (just through the power options/advanced menu, nothing special). I set the % values based on monitoring cpu clocks to such that the old laptop runs without turning the fan on and stays at about 35-40 C. So if "cool" is defined at say 30 C, I think it's feasible. (That laptop is running software that keep the network and cpu active constantly - the power policy caps the Mhz at ~500 - the cpu load stays at about 30% - so it's not quite literally "constantly" as that would be 100% use)


  • Smartphone with a ​tobacco/cig​arette smoke detector?

    I'm surprised no one has come up with this idea.

    A lot of people have the problem where they move to a house and everything is cool and then some neighbours move in that smoke all day (or atleast when you open the window, I wonder if they hear the sound and think another smoker is coming out they could talk to etc).

    The smokers have the huge benefit that they breath the smoke through a filter. The smoke coming through a window is unfiltered. So this is clearly a major health issue (actually the bigger health issue is that you can't leave the window open so various plasticizer etc based synthetic materials decompose or degas and cause toxic air issues).

    Now obviously, such specific and very sensitive smoke filter has not been done before (all the existing cig smoke sensors I found are either slow to detect or detect UV from the lighter instead of smoke) because this kind of detection would require lab-grade computer analysis for air quality.

    But if required sensor was in a smartphone or some cheap accessory that sent the raw data to smartphone for analysis, then you could build a specific smoke detector for I'm guessing less than $100 if mass produced.


    How would such detector be built?

    Well first you would need some sort of means to circulate air through it without a fan. This is clearly possible as there are "fanless fans" (eg. dyson bladeless fan without moving parts).

    Then you need to probably shine a broad spectrum light through the air and use a spectrum analyzer and some processing to recognize the specifics of the smoke. (this tech exists already used in varius ways to detect things, even from long distance)

    Last but not least, wireless alarm would be triggered by the smoke to inform the smokers that they should buy not only "tobacco filters" but similar technology as used in factory pipes - I think they're called smoke scrubbers. I'll leave it to the smokers to figure out how to effectively install them. Or they could just move to testing the electric cigs that atleast are only as bad for 3rd hand exposure as 1st hand exposure (as they don't use filters and don't have those 2000+ substances of tobacco smoke).


  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    (as I want to run dead silent fanless without heating the system up too much this is some relevant stuff)

    Some interesting info I found at AT comments that may apply to the MacBook (atleast if running Windows) - though the numbers may be a bit different as I think all this is OEM configurablen (also seen some Intel tools that may allow user to tweak the CPU directly):

    I tested throttling on my ux305 with occp. Idle frequency when running on battery is 800mhz. When plugged in the mains idle freq. is 2ghz.
    100% CPU load will make the CPU spike @ 2ghz, but quickly settle @ 1.5ghz. 100% CPU and GPU will make the CPU settle @ 700-800MHz. It doesn't get hot so I'm guessing it's because of the power usage. (There is one newegg review saying ux305 gets hot but didn't spec what they were running)

  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    Mac reviewer says he'd be envious of 14" version of similar design and atleast 2 type-c ports. I'd be too. I'm currently projecting that the MacBook 12" price will drop by $500-700 once it's clear there's something bigger in similar weight available. This poses a question : Should I just get the Zenbook 13" for now and see what's out in a year ... Or get this and expect to pay that $500-700 for the privilege. The key issue with SP3 is that the touchcover isn't good enough, reports indicate people prefer to use some other keyboard instead but when you do that, it's even more of a tablet + keyboard combo than something comparable to a laptop. So if your primary use is touch/tablet then SP3 makes more sense. The best choice really depends on usage (obviously) - assuming the screen/keys/touch(pad) have no obvious issues (quality of all 3 are critical to me).



  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    I see there's <1KG 14" laptop from LG (14Z950) out but it's not widely available (and who knows how heavy power brick it has - just interesting in the sense that atleast it's possible to have 14" at that weight with a keyboard).

    I wouldn't buy a laptop without seeing the screen and test driving the keyboard and touchpad. With SP3 touchcover I kinda felt the touchpad is too small and keyboard in the macbook 12 is probably a bit better though would require some extensive testing to say for sure.

  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    @Ian2: I passed a recent SP3 sale as I couldn't get a good idea if it would run fanless under minimal load and at the time it felt like SP4 could be released sooner. Now I'm not so sure when it's released. Also at that 12" inch if you sum weight the device, adapters and keyboard, for my use I'd rather have lower weight than more sustainable peak performances. (I have desktops for doing sustained 100% loads and my mobile use would be more of editing stuff, remote compiling and so forth). Ideally I'd have like 14" 3:2 and as low weight with the power adapter + decent keyboard as possible. There's also too much complaining about Lenovo quality. I haven't quite decided because of all the issues above and the price is too much given all the compromises.

  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    So having thought about this Macbook 12 more seriously. If Apple gets to their senses and

    1. increases vertical resolution (>1440)

    2. increases key travel

    3. increases ports

    4. adds sim slot / lte / 3g

    5. magsafe in the power adapter end of the type-c with low friction cable

    6. stops with 1 year warranty non-sense (that may be a good warranty in USA but it's a joke here)

    And does all that without increasing the weight by more than 100g then I could give this a thumbs up. The way it is now, I don't think it's worth what they're asking unless you're expecting to gain something by "flashing" your "gear"... The price will probably correct steeply once they come up with something that addresses those issues (new Air perhaps).


  • I predict the new Macbook 12" will sell a lot ... if

    So I had first impressions with this at a shop (if they had the best configuration I might've got it, need something ultraportable asap as I needed stuff last year but there was nothing I liked around and I don't want to pay $$$$ for something with issues that can be seen within 15 minutes of testing as that just spells theres likely more issues that flew past QA):

    1. Feel of keys may be acceptable for light use except...

    2. The spacebar doesn't feel the same as the rest of the keys (tried various colors of the cheapest model). It seems to require less force to press down. The concerns here are: is it too easy to accidentally press and whether the longevity is good (already found a report of some sort of issue with the spacebar)

    3. The only usb type-c was quite tight to pull out but atleast it was decently easy to plug back in. I'd definitely prefer some way of having that magnetic power connector there too and ability to choose whether you want 2 type-c ports of 1 + 3.5" jack... (I'd rather have the audio stuff in a type-c usb dongle with 3.5" in+out, type-c and wireless audio in one dongle)

    I'd sacrifice some slimness for more ports - couple more ports shouldn't add much weight if everything else stays same.

    edit: You could put the magsafe connector in the power adapter end. I didn't notice if they had done this

    4. The factory configuration option of 1.3 Ghz (->2.9 Ghz) also has vPro and TSX. So if you happen to use something in future that would benefit of TSX, you could be missing out possibly noticeable gains by going with cheaper model.

    5. It's likely these broadwell models won't be around that long and Skylake could have a bit more single threaded x86 perf at same frequency.

    6. The screen opens with one hand and the angle is just wide enough (wider than Zenbook ux305)

    7. Viewing angles are good enough for single user though nowhere near my 15" oled tv nevermind a CRT. I didn't have a chance to view it in dark room. I haven't really liked any of the Apple displays in past - this could be best so far in this size but I would need more time to determine that.

    8. Pad mouse pointer lags bit less that typical portable PC's but it still lags. Acer laptops don't have noticeable pointer lag. Just barely within acceptable I'd say.

    It's pretty serious kit for its weight as that includes the keyboard and the power adapter looked very light tiny and lightweight too. There's probably more competition coming to this space "soon" but if I want soon to be "now" then this is very high on the list. Shame about the spacebar, that is really my biggest concern here from this 15 minutes of trying it.