#qi-hardware IRC log for Thursday, 2015-03-05

rjeffriesDocScrutinizer may find this item interesting. http://www.araprototype.com/news/sennheiser-finally-introduces-their-audio-modules/00:28
DocScrutinizer51araprototype AWESOME00:29
rjeffriesI suspecte dyou'd appreciate that module00:30
rjeffriesProject Ara has the potential of becoming pretty interesting. I like teh interconect architecture00:31
wpwrakara is to smartphone-making as lego is to civil engineering :)01:05
whitequarkgood one01:06
whitequarkwpwrak: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214729/James-May-size-Lego-house-wants.html01:07
wpwrakthat pretty much sums it up :)01:13
rjeffrieswpwrak: a clever turn of phrase, but you are dismissing an innovation that while not what you want or need, will be useful for millions of less expert people who are NOT hardware/software engineers01:53
whitequarkno, it will be not useful01:53
whitequarkwhich is the point01:53
rjeffrieswpwrak teh modular smartphone is meh. But small mosular inexpensive computers can find many use cases.01:54
rjeffrieswhitequark why do you think Project Ara is a dead end?01:54
whitequarkmodular smartphones or similar things are, mostly, impossible, and pretty much entirely, lack any benefit at all01:54
whitequarkit was discussed here already01:55
rjeffriesyou say impossible. I say lets see what they come up with. the snap togethetr megnetic closure plux exoskeleton and high speed serial bus interconnect is interesting (to me;)01:55
whitequarkthey're not actually aiming to make a product01:56
whitequarkthey're doing it for PR and/or acquihire01:56
wpwrakit may be a nice research platform, too02:22
wpwrakrjeffries: the main issue is that modular immediately drives up the price. massively. so the choice is not "cheap monolithic phone vs. cheap modular phone" but "cheap monolithic phone vs. modular phone where each single module costs about half the cost of the cheap phone"02:23
wpwrakand then there are other things like integration, technological obsolescence, etc. for example, if they revise their interconnect, you'll very quickly have to throw away your now obsolete modules. but even if they religiously maintain compatibility - note: google just announced they won't support chromium for android 4 anymore, and that's just software - issues will creep in at higher layers02:25
wpwrakand there's always the risk of undiscovered bugs. e.g., there was some pci revision in the pentium days, i think when the critters passed 100 MHz, which broke a lot of old seemingly good cards. even though all that was supposedly compatible.02:26
rjeffriesI understand and agree that modular phone will not be cheaper. anyway I get it the qihardware gang is convinced Ara will come to nothing. But I think it could become a modest sucess. As I recall, this group also dismissed Raspberry Pi, amybe that attitude continues, 4 million units later. Whatever.02:29
whitequarkrjeffries: i personally bet you $1000 (adjusted for inflation) that in two years project ara will become nothing02:31
whitequarkfail, be closed, "go on an incredible journey", spun off and die, just abandoned, as google likes to do it02:32
wpwrakyeah, we should have a lot of money. then when some abomination like the rpi sticks out its head, we could make something decent and nip it at the bud.02:32
wpwrakbit in the case of smartphones, the industry is already taking care of that, hence doom for ara :)02:33
wpwrakbut i like google's approach: try something crazy, make all the mistakes you want, learn a lot, then bury it but keep the experience you gained02:34
whitequarki don't. it's done at the expense of its users02:34
whitequarkwhich are treated as moneybags and/or data mines02:35
whitequarki have absolutely no interest in advancing google's cause02:35
wpwraksmart users will know what they're getting themselves into. stupid ones will lose their money anyway ;-)02:36
whitequarkthat could justify a scam, you know02:37
rjeffriesI get it that wpwrak would prefer a more open approach to RaspberryPi. Fair enough. But it does not IMO amount to an "abomination" it is very cost effective, is produced in volume with excellent build quality, It serves a need and meets many not all use cases. Why be a hater? ;)02:38
wpwrakbecause it promotes non-open02:41
wpwraki wish the chinese chip makers were a bit more flexible. they don't care much about the western style of secrets anyway, and they have excellent technology. alas, there are very few companies that manage to bridge that gap02:42
rjeffriesrockchip shows some promise methinks02:43
DocScrutinizer05whitequark: (lego house) HRRRHRRRR good one, exactly to the point02:44
DocScrutinizer05I'd rather put my tears into google glass than into ara02:52
DocScrutinizer05ara is a hoax02:52
DocScrutinizer05even when they start selling real hardware it is and stays to be a hoax. It won't deliver on anything it promises02:53
DocScrutinizer05it can't02:53
DocScrutinizer05you *might* be able to make a bargain during the period where they possibly sell stuff for dumping pricetags, to prove something they will not succeed to prove in the end02:55
whitequarkwell said02:56
whitequarki think glass is canceled as well02:57
DocScrutinizer05yes, but they wanna restart it02:57
DocScrutinizer05just *look* at http://www.araprototype.com/news/sennheiser-finally-introduces-their-audio-modules/  -  it's clearly nonsense, who would wnat that shape in their *phone*? and technically, a noise cancelling 2nd mic *needs* to sit on the opposize side of your device, _not_ in a tiny module next to main mic03:01
DocScrutinizer05>>comes fully equipped with a  noise-canceling microphone and an amplifier, which is able to record and play the audio of your choice with high force and undisputed clarity<< LOL, where is the SPEAKER for that, in your ara brick cluster?03:04
DocScrutinizer05not to ask for speakerS (plural, for stereo)03:05
DocScrutinizer05(same applies for microphones by the way, analog to what I said about noise cancelling 2nd mic)03:06
whitequarkyeah, every proper noise cancelling phone i've seen comes with mics on opposite sides03:09
whitequarkand even then it doesn't always work03:09
DocScrutinizer05on a sidenote: since at least 5 years I considered one or another time to make at least the modem module of a smartphone pluggable, to eventually swap it for a better RAT (think LTE), maybe even SAT phone (suraya or sth). Each time I came to the conclusion that it's damn hard to implement even this simple thing. Let's start with antennae and not end when it comes to thermal management03:10
DocScrutinizer05then look at, and compare, GPS implemented in a separate chip (aka "module/blok") vs GPS integrated into modem and benefitting from synergies by U-TDOA etc03:12
DocScrutinizer05my N900 with its GPS attached / integrated in/to cellualar modem can achieve a cold TTFF of <5 seconds, even indoors, while the phonebloks GPS will suck donkeballs as long as that project continues its zombie life03:14
DocScrutinizer05~listvalues U-TDOA03:21
infobotFactoid search of 'U-TDOA' by value returned no results.03:21
DocScrutinizer05~listkeys U-TDOA03:21
infobotFactoid search of 'U-TDOA' by key returned no results.03:21
DocScrutinizer05~trilateration is <reply>see U-TDOA03:21
infobotDocScrutinizer05: okay03:21
DocScrutinizer05~U-TDOA is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-TDOA03:22
infobotokay, DocScrutinizer0503:22
DocScrutinizer05~listkeys triangulation03:22
infobotFactoid search of 'triangulation' by key returned no results.03:22
DocScrutinizer05~triangulation is <reply>see U-TDOA03:22
infobotokay, DocScrutinizer0503:22
DocScrutinizer05~triangulation 03:22
infobotsomebody said u-tdoa was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-TDOA03:22
rjeffriesThe argumentsI hear re "Ara will fail" are: 1) technically not possible 2) formfactor is not desirable 3) cost will exceed what users are willing to pay 4) Google sucks so Ara sucks. LOL04:24
rjeffriesI do not see Ara as a mobile phone (mainly) rather as a flexible snap together hardware platform, Often it will not even have a 3G or 4G radio. more liely wi-fi and Bluetooth.04:27
wpwrakwell, it is a platform. but it's not a mass-market platform. consider development boards for microcontrollers. they can easily cost some USD 500-1000. for chips that are inexpensive. but the board isn't.04:33
wpwrakso if you accept that ara is rather in that segment than in the rpi/arduino/etc. segment, then your expectations will be fine04:34
wpwrakit also means that those who actually pay for it will be very focused and will be quite different from your typical kind of end-user04:35
wpwrakthis in turn affects what will be available for it. i mean, look at linux in 1995. you had a few "nice" things that may have pleased end-users, but most of the software was aimed at developers.04:36
wpwrakfor ara, you may see the occasional all-the-way-to-the-end-user-experience demo, but it'll be just that. there will be very little incentive to actually keep such things alive.04:37
rjeffrieswpwrak we've pretty much beaten Ara to death. But it won't be $500, maybe $125USD for a wi-fi starter with modest display and a battery. I'm happy to allow the market and customers to decide. It's not a threat to anelok, that's for sure.04:38
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