Article note: This looks like a ridiculous amount of fun that I don't have time for right now.
Are you a hacker who happens to miss their Blackberry? Looks like there’s a new product that’s just your speed: the “Beepberry.” It literally grafts the keyboard of a Blackberry Classic onto a pocketable custom board designed to fit a Raspberry Pi Zero W, all paired with a 400 x 240 “Memory LCD” screen that looks like it was ripped from an old graphing calculator — but is a bit more sophisticated.
Beepberry is designed by Eric Migicovsky, founder of the gone-but-not-forgotten Pebble smartwatch and more relevantly co-founder of Beeper: the hacky all-in-one messenging app that stuffs every service from WhatsApp to iMessage (using a jailbroken iPhone) into one place.
I’m excited to introduce a little side project I’ve been working on:...
Article note: There have been plenty of disappointments for B5 followups (...both because some didn't come to fruition and because some probably shouldn't have), this sounds both promising and credible.
“Travel across the galaxy with John Sheridan as he unexpectedly finds himself transported through multiple timelines and alternate realities in a quest to find his way back home. Along the way he reunites with some familiar faces, while discovering cosmic new revelations about the history, purpose, and meaning of the Universe.”
As Straczynski hinted, many of the original surviving cast members are returning, including Bruce Boxleitner (Sheridan), Claudia Christian...
Article note: Because perverse incentives.
The vendors aren't building devices for customers, they're building profit-seeking vessels for VCs and megacorps.
If you build good devices, they need to work offline, without a subscription or external connectivity, and they need to freely interoperate over open standardized interfaces... and those conflict with the profit-taking misfeatures that attract funding.
Article note: Connected health gadgets are a mistake.
The value proposition to the manufacturer is almost entirely in terms of data harvesting, and health data is about as personal as it gets.
Plus, they're now bricking the devices since they didn't monetize them in the reprehensible ways they considered.
...Now can we get some decent offline health trackers?
Amazon is discontinuing its Halo project, including the Band and View fitness trackers and the Rise bedside sleep tracker, making the devices useless on August 1. Amid the company's largest-ever wave of layoffs and reports that even the popular Alexa voice assistant has failed to bring in money, this wasn't surprising. It's still sad, though, to realize that countless devices will become obsolete and at huge risk of becoming e-waste (despite Amazon telling customers to recycle devices through its recycling programs, all costs covered).
But perhaps it's just as well, because a report from The Verge today claims to peer into Halo's last attempts at survival. And the Halo that Amazon reportedly tried to realize is one we're happy not to encounter.
Halo reportedly creeped out its own creators
Reported plans for Halo could have pushed products to gather more data on how users exercise in order to provide virtual rewards, to offer recommendations, and to track performance. However, the features Amazon is said to have explored sound potentially invasive, collecting uniquely personal data.
Article note: Looks like the intrusive cloud-based health tracker gold rush is over and the fad-chasing tech giants are out. Maybe it turned out that the collected data wasn't as saleable as expected.
Can we get some fitness devices that aren't IoT cloud-tied bullshit now?
Amazon is giving up on its health-focused Halo devices. The original Halo Band and the Halo View fitness trackers, as well as the Halo Rise bedside sleep tracker and the products' supporting app, will all "no longer function" on August 1, Amazon confirmed today.
Amazon's Halo devices also worked with a Halo subscription service to let users manage health insights from the gadgets. Amazon's pages for the Halo subscription and devices are no longer active.
In a blog post confirming the news, Amazon shared an email sent to Halo customers. Part of it discusses refunds for recent purchases:
Article note: This is written through a _super_ warped lens, possibly the lensing effects of David Patterson's ego.
Article talks about VLIWs as "The Next RISC" without Josh Fisher's Trace Scheduling and MultiFlow, or Apollo's Prism or Cydrome or...basically anything that happened in the 80s. It doesn't even mention the dead elephant in the room, Itanium (yeah yeah, Intel liked "EPIC" to describe their even longer words, it's still a static VLIW, and it still didn't really work).
It also avoids comparisons to the "modern" (...starting with the Nexgen NX586->AMD K6 and Intel P6 designs from around the time Transmeta was founded in '95) superscalar multiple-issue out-of-order dynamic-JIT-in-hardware type designs that largely beat firmware code-morphing (and everything else) out because even though they worked on a small peephole of instructions with dumb heuristics, they could do dynamic shit to keep the pipeline full.
Plus, I now object to anyone who acts like RISC-V is "one" instruction set, it's a pile of disjoint extensions, many of which implement ideas which were neither new nor good at the time they were bolted on.
Article note: Well, that's unfortunate, iOS would be _way_ more interesting if it allowed side-loading without a gigantic brittle hassle.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed last year's district court ruling that Apple did not violate antitrust laws by forcing iOS developers to use its App Store and in-app payment systems. The decision is yet another major blow to Epic Games, which first challenged those Apple policies in a 2020 lawsuit.
"There is a lively and important debate about the role played in our economy and democracy by online transaction platforms with market power," the court wrote. "Our job as a federal court of appeals, however, is not to resolve that debate — nor could we even attempt to do so. Instead, in this decision, we faithfully applied existing precedent to the facts."