Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Smart fitness bands to supersede smart watches

Smart watches haven't been greeted with too much enthusiasm but the freshly presented (in Barcelona, along with two old-fashioned smartwatch models) Samsung Gear Fit seems to be different – an instant leader in the industry of wearables according to many tech pundits.

Here it is pretended that the configuration of the background image for your watch so that it fits your outfit is the most important functionality of this $150 gadget. See also another hand-on video, other videos, CNET review, Google News.

For $150, this fitness band plus watch would be sort of OK. But I think that this wearable concept could be pretty good for a phone, too. I am actually surprised that this model isn't popularly equipped with a phone. Just think how natural it is to place your watch near your ear – the microphone could be on the other side of the watch (and it probably is there).

Some long-lived battery like the radioactive NanoTritium battery could be helpful for such devices, too. Batteries haven't made too impressive progress in the recent 100 years. At least, someone should create a network of public pay-for-recharge wireless rechargers. Also, these wrist wearables could find a way to exploit the biological energy produced by your body (can you do it without the circulation of blood through the smart device?). Note that a human body burns 2,000 (kcal) times 4,200 (watts) in 86,400 seconds which is 100 watts in average (including resting) – getting 1 useful watt out of it should be possible.

(If you make your first $1 million with any of these ideas, kindly send me 5% of the profit LOL.)

As the miniaturization continues, I think that the optimum and least annoying positioning of such smart devices will become increasingly important and diverse. Wrists and glasses are fine but there may come a time when smart devices will be built into earrings, belts, shoes, rucksacks, artificial bones, and other places, and they will finally start to do many things that science-fiction writers may have noticed but that are surprisingly easy to become a reality.

Zeman vs Klaus in the European Parliament

Five years ago, Czech president Václav Klaus gave a speech in the European Parliament. It was a rather deep criticism of the European trends. The Euronaive fanatics began to leave the hall; see TRF on the talk and the booing.

My primary aim while choosing Zeman in the presidential elections one year ago was to preserve some self-confident independence of my country from the EU – to the maximum extent possible. However, when I watched his analogous speech in Strasbourg today (at noon) – see the excerpts here – it was very clear that Zeman is at most an amusing silly parody of Klaus.

His English is the authentic Czenglish of a Czech high school student. If you want to see what Czechs' English after some English classes at school – if they are Czechs unexposed to authentic English – looks like, you should listen to this speech (yes, most of us display some aspects of this Czech English even many years after our direct experience with native English speakers). The sounds perfectly match some would–be Czech words that the English pronunciation may be transliterated as to get a good approximation of the English sounds. So I actually understand his pure sounds perfectly. However, his grammar and his choice of individual words is also slightly wrong. In some cases, I actually had a trouble to understand what he wanted to say but after some time, I think that I have solved all these puzzles.

At any rate, he wanted to be pro-European, so there were references to Kissinger's question "What is the telephone number of Europe" and the final sentence was a sophisticated proposition "Europe is e good sink". However, he also attacked the fluorescent light bulbs (he used some bizarre term "light economy safety bulbs") which make his cottage look like a cemetery. He criticized the Common European Cheese, the European bureaucracy, the European boredom, the European grey color, the nonsense move (=transfers) of the Parliament from Strasbourg to Brussels and "contrarywise" (=backwards), and he "recommended to the dear imbeciles in this hall to drink the Czech beer which is the best beer in the world". However, he is drinking more powerful stuff these days (Slivovice).

Zeman also announced that Czech Republic (without "the", in his case) would not hurry up too much while adopting the euro. He would also criticize Danny the Red, the high-tier green Marxist jerk of the EU, but not because of something essential (see Klaus' or mine criticism of the Cohn-Bendit et al. manifesto). Zeman only disliked the "discrimination against the old Europeans such as Zeman himself" that Danny the Red committed when he urged the young (!) Europeans to unite.

So my previous Klaus-related pride has mostly fell out of the window but I still feel sort of pleasant and relaxed during similar speeches that faithfully show some kind of the stupidity, skepticism, and pragmatism of the Czech people, including the elite, and our trouble with the languages (Zeman is still clearly in the better 1/2 of the top Czech politicians when it comes to languages), too. (He said that he decided to speak in "English" to save the money for the translators.) If anyone else were elected the president, I think that I would be suffocating of the lack of oxygen and of the excess of other gases when he or she would be climbing the EU apparatchiks' buttocks.

Zeman at least works to preserve some ambiguity about our excitement about the EU, some humor, and independence although his criticism of the EU is vastly more superficial and more focused on irrelevant details than Klaus' criticism.


  1. "there may come a time when smart devices will be built into earrings, belts, shoes, rucksacks, artificial bones, and other places . . ."

    Necklesses? Bluetooth could connect a bunch of devices so you wouldn't have to have them all in one place. Whatever. I won't be here.

  2. "However, his grammar and his choice of individual words is also slightly wrong."

    True of you too, to a very slight degree. However, it adds a kind of charm to your writing. Not sure about you speech though. Are there any recordings of you talking on the web?

  3. Thanks but if you can't figure out that my English is better than Zeman's, it must be because you don't speak English, either.

  4. " smart devices" A typical DARPA-funded hacker escapade was
    reverse-engineering Ford Escape and Toyota Prius software. A laptop wirelessly talks to a car,
    e.g., OnStar. Blast the horn, disable or
    seize the brakes at high speeds. Kill
    power steering, spoof GPS, run
    speedometer and odometer displays to any value.
    Violently jerk the steering at will.
    The ever so clever 2014 Mercedes Benz S-Class is demonstrated Swiss
    cheese, smoke through a screen door, to
    remote code execution. Die by wire. The Internet of Things is all good to go with
    the Ministry of Love.

    Books are nice because my vicious idiot government must show up in person to end them. A smart device is only as smart as is centrally tolerated. Flash crowd, flash murder at a keystroke.

  5. John F. HultquistFeb 26, 2014, 8:25:00 PM

    I grew up in the hills of western Pennsylvania and some say
    I do English slightly wrong! “Charm” has
    not been attributed thereto.


    Regarding the fluorescent light bulbs: We visited the COSTCO
    store yesterday. There were perhaps a
    dozen varieties of LED lights including domes for ceilings (I’ve already
    installed one with the claim that I won’t have to stand on a chair for 50,000
    hours to change it). Many now are dimmable and the screw-in types come in all
    shapes and sizes. I think the color is
    fine and I enjoy the long time between replacement – on my small shed I need a
    ladder and 3 hands replace a bulb. Cost
    is coming down also.

  6. phone strapped to your wrist. is there such a thing as wrist cancer yet?