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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

richtopia Think about manufacturing (544 comments)

I'm speculating here, but think about ruggedness and costs of manufacturing associated with a moving keyboard.


  • Testing a moving part
  • Competing with thinner phones (keyboards add thickness)
  • Layout of phone given the need for a hinge, PCB, battery in the package
  • Relatively unique design; I imagine the assembly line for slate phones are very simlar
  • Finding a supplier for the keyboard


  • Phones are quite water resistant now, a hinge gives more opportunities for leaks
  • Moving parts break
  • Individual keys break

I think the only hope is for a nerd targeted phone, as people who need to type commands with weird symbols really benefit the most from a physical keyboard. But I am not holding my breath, and a bluetooth keyboard can cover the instances where I need to type in that fashion.

about 1 month ago

What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

richtopia Does Slashdot count? (152 comments)

So many definitions are needed to answer this question. Assuming that written text is considered media, how do you define a unit? Is it time spent with the media? Is it the number of distinct topics viewed (each episode of a show count as one)? Or is it the storage required for the media?


about a month ago

Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

richtopia Re:Wow. (204 comments)

I admit that when I saw his design the first thought was backpacking only. Imagine washing something burnt off the bottom of that; I would only want to boil water in it.

The issue with this pot in backpacking is that it looks heavier, and people get crazy when it comes to losing a couple grams. I imagine that you will save fuel in the long run but you also will have trouble storing stuff in your pot (my 1L pot is the perfect diameter for butane canisters to slide in).

Props for the invention, and honestly if you want to make something expensive and marginally better than the rest of the products on the market backpackers are a decent choice.

about a month and a half ago

New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

richtopia Re:Now I'm confused ... (380 comments)

It is a density issue. Hydrogen is difficult to transport and store. One solution would be to truck ammonia to the service station, where you can dump it into below ground storage and generate/compress H2 on demand. The other option would be to perform the H2 generation onboard of the car, but the issues of the toxicity of ammonia would still require fancy fuel tanks so I think the local generation model would be superior.

about 2 months ago

Russia Wants To Replace US Computer Chips With Local Processors

richtopia Re:Where are they going to fab the chips? (340 comments)

No, but I don't know of any Chinese companies producing steppers or any other of the multi-million dollar tools required to fab a processor. You may be able to get away with used equipment but then you are giving yourself a handicap and won't get any support from the parent companies.

about 2 months ago

Russia Wants To Replace US Computer Chips With Local Processors

richtopia Re:Where are they going to fab the chips? (340 comments)

I doubt that a fab could even be built as Russia is on a couple technology transfer lists. When they state Russian made I imagine it will actually be sent to TSMC or other foundry with design in Russia

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?

richtopia Safety Deposit Box (208 comments)

You still control it, yet it is remote and will be properly searched when you die. You can put a usb key in or some paper documents with the relevant information.

about 2 months ago

SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

richtopia Re:Kerbal Space Program (105 comments)

If KSP has taught me anything, it is that computer controlled rockets (MechJeb) can land vertically very reliably.

about 2 months ago

I Want a Kindle Killer

richtopia Re:It nearly exists (321 comments)

Thank you for posting this, it is almost exactly what I've been looking for. I wish there was a discount version without the radio/solar for urban backpacking, and a colour eink would really help with maps, but I'm thrilled to see demand for a traveler's eink device.

about 3 months ago

I Want a Kindle Killer

richtopia I want the hitch hikers guide (321 comments)

It isn't that far off. An eink reader designed for travel, with lonely planet or wikisherpa included. It is also one of the few proper applications of a colour eink screen, as maps do not need to be vibrant but colours are vital to a map.

I could go on, but I know this is a fantasy. I hope one day a colour eink android or linux tablet arrives so I can install applications similar to this use case, but I am not holding my breath.

about 3 months ago

Which desktop environment do you like the best?

richtopia Luna (611 comments)

Just because Microsoft does not love XP anymore doesn't mean you should ignore it!

Or wait- I guess you mean Linux DEs. Which one looks the most like Windows95? I bet you that one will win.

about 3 months ago

How Predictable Is Evolution?

richtopia Re:Seems somewhat predictable ... (209 comments)

Convergent evolution also depends on how you define two features similar. For example, the convergent evolution of oxygen carrying blood in Cephalopods could be a counter example to the prediction argument, as their blood has oxygen bind to copper.

So both bloods were evolved to perform the same task of moving oxygen, however they use two different mechanisms to perform the task.

about 3 months ago

Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

richtopia Hydrogen is both (659 comments)

Hydrogen vehicles these days are series hybrids with a PEM fuel cell and Li battery pack. Think of a Volt but fuel cell instead of ICE.

about 3 months ago

Why Mobile Wallets Are Doomed

richtopia Other countries (272 comments)

Just let these innovations arise in other countries if the USA has such a backwards infrastructure. Even credit cards are more secure in other countries (chip and pin may be flawed, but it is still better than the magnetic strip and signature of the USA).

about 3 months ago

Who controls the HVAC at work?

richtopia Re:The HVAC isn't for us meat bags (216 comments)

It also means that the air is particulate free. During some of the meaner dust storms here in AZ I've headed into the clean room to check on my tools.

about 3 months ago

Who controls the HVAC at work?

richtopia A Candle (216 comments)

A nice shield prevents people from touching the thermostat in my old office. So a candle was placed directly below the thermostat in the summer to coax on the air conditioning.

about 3 months ago

The Feature Phone Is Dead: Long Live the 'Basic Smartphone'

richtopia This can only happen if we avoid mobile OS bloat (243 comments)

It is easy to claim that Android can be used on these types of devices, however these devices will have little memory to keep price down. If you could load Android 4.x onto the original HTC Dream then by all means bring on the low end phones.

Still waiting to see how FirefoxOS compares, as they are going after the low end market but I know that Firefox on Android is not the best with limited memory (I believe that Opera Mobile takes that title, so naturally it is discontinued).

about 4 months ago

The Ways Programming Is Hard

richtopia Car anology please! (278 comments)

I just don't get this bridge thing... I know cars drive on them but how does that relate to anything!?

about 4 months ago

OnePlus One Revealed: a CyanogenMod Smartphone

richtopia Re:And As Usual... (196 comments)

I used to think that reliability was also a reason for the non-removable battery, however the new Samsung S5 claims to be certified for dust resistance and water to 1m.

For the daylight readable screen I've never seen any phone with one (or ebook reader or tablet for that matter), so I suspect there is just a lack of technology. We've seen prototypes and demos, but there may just not be high volume manufacturing in place for these screens.

about 4 months ago


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