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Author Topic: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.  (Read 1054 times)

dougal99

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2019, 05:42:03 PM »

One man's useless is another man's essential (or very nice to have).
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RST

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2019, 06:59:41 PM »

I think it depends whether you have one of these smart home devices or not.  I don't and have no perceivable need or desire for what they offer.  My younger colleague was trying to tell me I absolutely needed one and he said he just ordered a second.  When I asked if he'd ordered the second using the first one he looked puzzled and said "no I used my laptop".  I said didn't that kind of demonstrate a point?  I have actually had the mk 1 Alexa on my desk at work for a while now though (mine's not plastic)...

https://youtu.be/aqAUmgE3WyM

I am considering upgrading at some point when I get bored with it...

https://youtu.be/sC8sxy9vP_w

Smart electricity meters:  Not in my house and no wonder they're reportedley banned in some countries!  I'm with the published literature siding on the fact they're predominantly aimed at the supplier gathering personal data rather than doing you any favours.  Beware also it's been proven that the cost of the meter, and telemetry is passed onto the customer.  YOU pay for both whether you realise or not.  There's also no mobile signal where my meter is and I'll be damned if the electricity company is sharing my (copper) broadband connection unless they pay for it, or a new connection installed FOC, neither of which is likely.  I know how to use electricity efficiently -I also don't need timers or remote controlled devices to save electricity (and such devices slightly increase electricity use anyway unless you unplug them when they're "off").

As for smartphones.  I'm still waiting for a 3G signal, and I'm near a "city" apparently, not away in the sticks.  I don't think there's anything wrong with smartphones apart from the users.  I actually think they've rightly put tablets and ipads into the "minidisc" category.  I do disagree with "apps" though.  Why would I need a youtube "app", when I just go to the website.  I'm told I must have a bus timetable "app" now also.  No I don't, I just look at the website, or the timetable usually plastered on the bus stop wall.  I don't have "apps" because I have to buy from google, and I don't buy from google.


I like drawing analogies to stories or movies.  At the moment I can't work out whether we've started the progression to "Minority Report" or perhaps more likely "Idiocracy".  Our current world is becoming alarmingly close to 1984, but I think IF we can survive the next 100 years -Idiocracy will be more like it.  It's one of my favourite "no effort to watch" films, but I feel sorry for the next couple of generations who will be living alarmingly close to it, and never realise.

I'm not a technophobe!!!  I think I'm just with the others in the minority group above a certain age these days that like tech when it serves a genuinely useful purpose.  I'm very lucky not to have any disabilities apart from shocking stubbornness.  For those who are limited, I can see how accessability aids are important (so they should be), but not for a fully functioning, capable person.




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Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2019, 07:48:53 PM »

I'm fully functioning and capable, just got back from driving around Crete but achieving that status sometimes needs a bit of help! And I will take that where I can get it.

Colin
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Bob K

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2019, 08:48:03 PM »

Nice response RST.  I totally agree.  90% of what's on mobiles is useless rubbish to show off with.

No good for internet (far too tiny), keys are too small for big fingers, my real camera takes vastly better pictures.
Every update reinstalls annoying predictive text for automatic typos just as you send,

OK for emergency calls, that is about it.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2019, 08:53:22 PM »

For you Bob, fair enough but not necessarily for others as per my earlier post.

Use the bits you need and disregard the others and look at the cost accordingly.

Colin
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TheLongBuild

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2019, 09:08:59 PM »

Alexa for Prime Minister  8) 8) 8)

gingyer

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2019, 09:12:28 PM »

Going to jump in, but my iPhone is key to how my employment works now...


I work in the electrical industry and we now no longer receive "safety rule"  books there for we MUST have
access to the website and be able to access these documents online. Prior to attending site I am required to submit
on an email all my Authorisation, safety and qualification certificates, This means either I take my laptop everywhere OR
I use my iPhone, download it from my iCloud and send everything over.


I have also worked on the Railway and network rail has a superb app.
When you attend a railway job you must again present your credentials, it was a simple card and open to easy fabrication.
Network Rail have an app, when you get the training the training centre and employer take your picture and all your certs and upload them
and issue you a personal card with a scan code. now what happens is when you attend a site the COSS (safety person) takes your card and checks
using the app that you are the person who is the person standing there, they are trained and on what they are allowed to work on and too.
it also includes your Drugs and Alcohol testing record which is a BIG thing for the railway industry

as you can see smart phones are required more and more now just to go to work!
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RST

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2019, 10:18:13 PM »

In my previous job we contracted for the water industry.  We went to jobs the municipal guys couldn't or wouldn't do.  No mobile phone reception, VHF usually no use because of topography.  Some sites had an RJ11 port which you disconnected telemetry (after permission) to use, but the phone to plug in was usually missing, or didn't work and you spent more time saying "hello".  Often had to send a runner to drive 5k down the road to get a mobile signal hotspot, then drive back again to relay the message back.  When you were commissioning a valve, everyone from "central" office expected instant results -ER, I don't think so, hence why it takes 4h+ to drive to site, 4h to drive back -even in a 12h day it leaves little time to do anything and sometimes it needed 4-6h watching before the job was done.  Try doing that on Skye in tourist season! (no hotels for workers!!!).  We started quoting and did a couple of jobs for the local Rail Depot  -oh my god, it brought a new low to our expectations of safety and adherence to usual standards.  It was truly an eyeopener how badly some parts of the network off the main line are apparently run.  I'm glad I didn't get more involved before I left.  You're welcome to it on your iPhone -other parts of the rail network certainly don't follow the same principles!!!!
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RST

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2019, 11:05:22 PM »

Nice response RST.  I totally agree.  90% of what's on mobiles is useless rubbish to show off with.

No good for internet (far too tiny), keys are too small for big fingers, my real camera takes vastly better pictures.
Every update reinstalls annoying predictive text for automatic typos just as you send,

OK for emergency calls, that is about it.
...disqgree a bit there.

HTC, which I can't get anymore -no problems with keyboards.  When I went to oneplus and went back to the shop saying "what the flip2 with keyboards I was told it's the norm -HTC was just better in every respect, but they don't make phones now.  So it's not a smartphone problem for me, just stupid programming.
Actually I'm pretty embarrased to say as someone who progressed from having my own darkroom.  I've been DSLR for many years after initially withstanding the tide -but I cannot now argue that the smartphone is embarrasing.  Actually I partially retract that -HTC had embarrasingly good camers on their phones, now they don't do phones I'm struggling with the alternatives -but for 99.9% of the time I can understand why smart phones have become so good at cameras.  That said, I just ordered another New Nikon DSLR to play with properly.
...Smartphone updates though are crazy.  My HTC phones worked for years, no updates required, just worked perfectly.  I wrote a 500 Sony Xperia phone off after 2 months and one update which rendered it useless.  I will never "buy" a phone, or a Sony or Ericcson phone product ever again.  I can't buy HTC for love nor money these days.  Much Like Sony for Laptops!  My latest One+ wants to update every week.  To be honest the best it was was within 24h of taking it out of the box exept for finding out it didn't have an FM tuner!!!.  Every update since has degraded the camera, the alarm function (primary function for me) and the general stability of the phone.  I was told it's a hard learning curve for ex-HTC users whereas everyone else was generally used to a lower grade product or expectations from the start.  No HTC now so have to get used to the downgrade on the rest of the market.

My One+6 appears to be special though:  I have alarms set for xxam -it wakes me up half an hour before with a "notification" that an alarm is set in 30 mins.  I can't disable the alarm notification.  It also goes through random spells of the alarm ringing just one single time at certain points in the morning, like 04:38 -it only rings for half a second, doesn't coincide with any snooze or alarm patterns and doesn't ring long enough to wake up and work out whats happening, apart from being woken up permanently aferwards but falling asleep again when the real alarm rings.  Also, when the alarm does does ring, if I swipe a wrong way it changes the alarm screen to something else -and there's no way to get back to cancel the alarm, so it just rings and rings until it times out.  Then it's a mess cancelling previous and current alarms,and randomly it might ring again for half a second inbetween.

I like smart phones, but my One+6 does very bizzare things.  The software on it is so bad and nobody can seem to work it out (I work with programming guys).  No wonder it wants to update all the time.  The software on it is full of bugs and when they fix one they break another.  I'll never have another One+ product!  Still glad I don't like apples though.


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phil_parker

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #59 on: July 13, 2019, 07:17:09 PM »

...disqgree a bit there.

Actually I'm pretty embarrased to say as someone who progressed from having my own darkroom.  I've been DSLR for many years after initially withstanding the tide -but I cannot now argue that the smartphone is embarrasing.  Actually I partially retract that -HTC had embarrasingly good camers on their phones, now they don't do phones I'm struggling with the alternatives -but for 99.9% of the time I can understand why smart phones have become so good at cameras. 
For the mag I run, I've just accepted a feature article where all the photos have been taken on a mobile. I wasn't sure, but two designers have checked them for quality and the pictures are good enough for a cover shot as well as large inside. I've had FAR worse submitted from people using a "proper" camera!
Like most tools, you can use them well or badly and the guy who sent the article in used it well.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #60 on: July 13, 2019, 08:03:04 PM »

It is still much easer to compose and control an image on a DSLR than on a smartphone with its touch screen controls. I use my phone as a backup if I don't have a proper camera available but for general work a dedicated camera is hard to beat.

Colin
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phil_parker

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #61 on: July 13, 2019, 08:05:50 PM »

Even easier if you can use the screen on the back rather than pear through the viewfinder, at least for closeup stuff. I love using a "proper" camera, but rarely do for model-making photos any more.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #62 on: July 13, 2019, 08:15:42 PM »

A matter of personal preference I think. I like the viewfinder method best and find it OK for almost all applications but I can see that others might prefer to compose the image on screen.
Whatever floats your boat!
Colin
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tsenecal

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #63 on: July 13, 2019, 08:24:51 PM »

for me, especially when taking pictures of models, the biggest difference between a "real" camera and my phone, is that i can mount the camera on a tripod.
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phil_parker

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #64 on: July 13, 2019, 08:30:41 PM »

Plenty of tripods out there for mobile phones nowadays.
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Baldrick

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #65 on: July 13, 2019, 08:32:48 PM »




  I was using a Canon SLR  until I bought a Samsung  smart phone.  I found to my surprise that the auto settings on the phone made it a cinch to get correctly exposed and sharp focused pictures under almost all lighting conditions that the Canon is now gathering dust. Added to which it is a one click operation to resize them to small and e-Mail the resultant directly onto the desk  PC.
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #66 on: July 13, 2019, 09:49:53 PM »


 
Must agree that nowadays, the inbuilt photo processing on modern 'smart phone', is mind boggling!

The HDR settings is sometimes far better that I can achieve with a DSLR or Mirrorless camera ..... and 2 hours in Lightroom!   {:-{

.... in fact , as you may have noticed, for last couple of years, most my show photos are now taken with smart phones!

 ( I sort of appreciate why the big camera boys don't include, built in, high end image processing .... but it's now getting very annoying! )


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Subculture

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #67 on: July 13, 2019, 10:31:26 PM »

There's an old saying, and not sure who it is attributed to, but always made sense to me- 'the best camera is the one you have with you'. Bearing in mind most people tend to carry their mobiles when out and about, if you have one with a decent camera, then it's most likely to be the one you're going to take a pic with.

Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #68 on: July 13, 2019, 10:36:59 PM »

Very true but for serious pics I still prefer a 'proper' camera with mechanical settings. I find the touch screen controls on mobiles a bit hit and miss unless you are just doing point and shoot.

But the general quality of images taken by mobiles is now seriously impressive.

Colin
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Taranis

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #69 on: July 13, 2019, 10:59:26 PM »

iPhone Xsmax in Portrait mode
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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #70 on: July 14, 2019, 12:37:28 AM »

A matter of personal preference I think. I like the viewfinder method best and find it OK for almost all applications but I can see that others might prefer to compose the image on screen.
Whatever floats your boat!
Colin

I use both. Viewfinder when using my DSLRs (goes back to my 35mm days) and screen on my compacts etc. even if they have viewfinders. I only have a cheap mobile for calls and texts so the camera isn't that brilliant. My wife is the smartphone user. I have a PC, laptop and tablet so don't want or need one.
Chris
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tsenecal

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #71 on: July 14, 2019, 05:22:19 PM »

Plenty of tripods out there for mobile phones nowadays.

but my phone doesn't fit any of the half dozen tripods i already own....  and the outrageously expensive tripod for it won't fit any of the cameras i own.
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phil_parker

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #72 on: July 14, 2019, 08:28:20 PM »

but my phone doesn't fit any of the half dozen tripods i already own....  and the outrageously expensive tripod for it won't fit any of the cameras i own.
If 2.59 is outrageously expensive, this isn't the hobby for you. I :-))
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tsenecal

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #73 on: July 15, 2019, 02:17:06 AM »

If 2.59 is outrageously expensive, this isn't the hobby for you. I :-))

i don't consider that junk to be a tripod...    I tried several of these types of things, and they can't support the weight of the phone...   you need to get into the $30 range before they are of any quality at all.
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