2055: "Bluetooth"

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2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:40 am UTC

Image

Title Text: Bluetooth is actually named for the tenth-century Viking king Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson, but the protocol developed by Harald was a wireless charging standard unrelated to the modern Bluetooth except by name.


Personally, I don't understand the appeal of wireless technology that is popular because it's "newer" or "cooler." I have the same problem with touch screens. They're less reliable than the tech they replaced. They make things more difficult. Physical inputs work. Wires work. Technology is supposed to make your life less difficult, not more.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby NotAllThere » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:00 am UTC

I've been using my touchscreen laptop for a couple of years now. Works fine, and does make things easier for me.

I got locked out of my house late at night once. No-one answered the doorbell, so I switched on the amplifier using my phone, started streaming Otis Redding's "Open the door", and gradually increasing the volume until someone came down to investigate and let me in.
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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:29 am UTC

True story: on a road-trip a while ago, someone in our vehicle was talking on their mobile(/cellphone/handy/whatever-your-local-term) to someone in the other vehicle to coordinate things, and suddenly their voice started blaring out of the in-car stereo.

This was, it seems, as the other car with the other person passed us. The other party having linked their bluetooth phone to our vehicle's hands-free system when they had previously been in our vehicle, and so for the small time they were in range again it auto-connected.

(The satnav also kept switching to voice-activated mode during conversation. Only my voice, it seemed, and never did I say its name, and if I tried its name (also "Alexa", "Siri", "Google", just in case) it didn't respond. But then I'm used to my android tablets suddenly popping up the Google App "Listening" screen at random moments - and I've tried to turn it off, but can't - so I've gotten quite used to that. Though this has nothing to do with bluetooth.)


I have three bluetooth peripherals, myself: Headphones that came pre-keyed with an MP3 player a decade ago (they physically broke, though they'd still play, and used up too much power to use anyway so I switched to wired headphones), earphones that I bought to pair with my tablets (they physically broke, and again I'd seen device batteries bleed power like I'd opened a vein, so not used much or replaced) and a mini-keyboard which I occasionally use with this tablet (is not yet broken!), but not while I'm far from a recharge or a recharge for my recharge packs, like now.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby orthogon » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:27 am UTC

This totally triggered my paranoia, so the last panel came as a huge relief. I'm constantly convinced that I have a worse time than most with this kind of stuff. My Sony phone, for example: the Bluetooth stops working after a couple of hours and needs a full restart of the phone to fix. (No doubt an earlier version would come good just from turning Bluetooth off and on again, but that workaround couldn't be allowed to last). I have two Echoes, and when you ask one of them for music, it plays on the other one. I don't even.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:06 pm UTC

I have one bluetooth enabled device.

At some point, I'll no doubt get a second, and be able to actually experience the wonders of bluetooth functionality...

WriteBrainedJR wrote:Personally, I don't understand the appeal of wireless technology that is popular because it's "newer" or "cooler." I have the same problem with touch screens. They're less reliable than the tech they replaced. They make things more difficult. Physical inputs work. Wires work. Technology is supposed to make your life less difficult, not more.


As someone who remembers GBA link cables, having wireless handshaking rather than having to buy separate cables and tether yourself to someone rather than simply being physically in the same (or a nearby) room, is a definite benefit.

Touchscreen has some benefits - getting something mouse-like without having to have a mouse/trackball in addition to the other hardware has definite advantages. Nintendo's first-party games for their touchscreen-enabled devices have made good use of the technology, though third-party games tend to have trouble figuring out what to do with Nintendo's devices' capabilities.

As a checklist feature, "touchscreen" and "bluetooth" are just that - checklist features - but they do offer benefits that a wire or a keyboard or a mouse or a dozen or so buttons don't, in addition to their disadvantages relative to the older technology.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:35 pm UTC

NotAllThere wrote:I've been using my touchscreen laptop for a couple of years now. Works fine, and does make things easier for me.


When you say a touchscreen laptop, do you mean a laptop with a touch-enabled screen that otherwise works like a regular laptop? Or do you mean a dual-screen laptop that only has touch inputs? If it's the former, I totally get that. More input options isn't a bad thing. My laptop is actually like that, because the one that had all the features I wanted could only be bought with a touchscreen. I wouldn't have paid for the touchscreen if I had the option not to, but since I can still just use it like a regular laptop, it's fine. I might even use the touch screen more regularly than once every few months if I didn't absolutely hate using them (and if I didn't have fifteen years of laptop use habits that kept my hands off the screen).

For me, a dual-screen laptop would be a nonstarter.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby MrT2 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:37 pm UTC

I have an android phone with bluetooth, I keep the bluetooth turned off, but every so often I'll notice the bluetooth icon in the corner and have to turn it off again. Absolutely no idea what is turning it on.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:00 pm UTC

MrT2 wrote:I have an android phone with bluetooth, I keep the bluetooth turned off, but every so often I'll notice the bluetooth icon in the corner and have to turn it off again. Absolutely no idea what is turning it on.

That's a frequent software bug. Nothing to be concerned about.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby ijuin » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:15 pm UTC

For me, having a cable connecting my mouse or keyboard to my computer is a desirable feature—I am the sort of person who would misplace my mouse if it was not physically tethered in place. The same applies to headphones—a pair of AirPods would be lost within a week.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby edzieba » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:42 pm UTC

I guess I've just had 'good luck' with Bluetooth then. Across multiple phones and headphones/speakers I've had nearly zero issues. About the only actual problem is when a sink devices advertises support for 'multiple' sources, but has no user-selectable logic for when it encounters multiple active paired devices, though that's a nonissue if you only turn on source device Bluetooth when you're using it anyway.
I dumped wired headphones for wireless for portable devices a good half-decade ago, haven't missed it since. If for some reason I want better fidelity output, I'll just skip a portable device's internal audio components altogether (stuck in a metal can with all the noisy HF components) and drive headphones through e.g. an ODAC + O2. But for actual portable use? Environmental noise is going to overwhelm any audible difference between perfect-response wired headphones and half-decent (and admittedly there are some terrible devices around) Bluetooth headphones.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby orthogon » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:05 am UTC

edzieba wrote:I guess I've just had 'good luck' with Bluetooth then. [...] [X is] a nonissue if you only turn on source device Bluetooth when you're using it anyway.

I've seen this "workaround" suggested for a lot of issues (e.g. WiFi authentication fails if Bluetooth is turned on). But that's no good if you need it to connect to a smartwatch.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby hamjudo » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:47 am UTC

orthogon wrote: But that's no good if you need it to connect to a smartwatch.

My smartwatch is configured to do a long buzz when my phone goes out of range or when the Bluetooth stack gets confused.

When I feel the buzz I check my phone. If the phone is with me, I restart the app. If I left my phone behind, I go back and get it.

I was paid to write an app that connected to some custom hardware over Bluetooth. I spent a lot of time finding different ways the Bluetooth stack could get wedged. Then more time figuring out how to unwedge the stack.

Since the company that was paying me was selling both the tablet and the remote device I only had to worry about one set of hardware and one set of software. In use the hardware was always sending data back, so the connection was constantly being tested. When the data stopped flowing, it tried simply reconnecting, and then it restarted progressively more stuff. I spent an insane amount of time twerking timers to optimize the reconnect strategy.

I imagine it is much harder if you don't control both sides of the conversation. For testing, I induced failures by creating packet loss.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby keldor » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:31 am UTC

My tablet has a detachable keyboard that uses Bluetooth. It's annoying because the keyboard goes into sleep mode if you don't type anything for a while, and then takes a few seconds to wake up and work again. Also, it looses connection entirely occasionally during sleep/wake, and the best way to fix this seems to be rebooting the tablet. Turning off and on Bluetooth sometimes works, but isn't always good enough.

The keyboard is completely wireless and uses inductive charging to recharge off the tablet when it's in the "closed" position. I wish it would charge in the "open" position instead, therefore removing the need for it to go to sleep in the first place. :P

Tablet's a Pixel C, in case anyone's wondering.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Old Bruce » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:52 am UTC

hamjudo wrote:
orthogon wrote: But that's no good if you need it to connect to a smartwatch.

I was paid to write an app that connected to some custom hardware over Bluetooth. I spent a lot of time finding different ways the Bluetooth stack could get wedged. Then more time figuring out how to unwedge the stack.
.... I spent an insane amount of time twerking timers to optimize the reconnect strategy...

The problem is you should have been tweeking the timers.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby somitomi » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:40 am UTC

edzieba wrote:I guess I've just had 'good luck' with Bluetooth then. Across multiple phones and headphones/speakers I've had nearly zero issues. About the only actual problem is when a sink devices advertises support for 'multiple' sources, but has no user-selectable logic for when it encounters multiple active paired devices, though that's a nonissue if you only turn on source device Bluetooth when you're using it anyway.
I dumped wired headphones for wireless for portable devices a good half-decade ago, haven't missed it since. If for some reason I want better fidelity output, I'll just skip a portable device's internal audio components altogether (stuck in a metal can with all the noisy HF components) and drive headphones through e.g. an ODAC + O2. But for actual portable use? Environmental noise is going to overwhelm any audible difference between perfect-response wired headphones and half-decent (and admittedly there are some terrible devices around) Bluetooth headphones.

Guess I'm lucky too, I never had trouble with audio-related uses. My laptop occasionally has issues reconnecting with a paired device and transfering files from the phone is kind of a gamble, but that's about it.
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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby richP » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:14 pm UTC

hamjudo wrote:...
I was paid to write an app that connected to some custom hardware over Bluetooth. I spent a lot of time finding different ways the Bluetooth stack could get wedged. Then more time figuring out how to unwedge the stack.

Since the company that was paying me was selling both the tablet and the remote device I only had to worry about one set of hardware and one set of software. In use the hardware was always sending data back, so the connection was constantly being tested. When the data stopped flowing, it tried simply reconnecting, and then it restarted progressively more stuff. I spent an insane amount of time twerking timers to optimize the reconnect strategy.

I imagine it is much harder if you don't control both sides of the conversation. For testing, I induced failures by creating packet loss.

Lucky you got paid. Most companies would have believed the Bluetooth hype. I've attended a couple of seminar/tutorial type events for Bluetooth development, and the big selling factor is always how great things will be if you design with their Bluetooth module, because "Bluetooth is a standard so you don't have to spend a bunch of Engineering time to reinvent the wheel". Your experience is more of what I'd expect in the real world.

(re: "twerking" vs. "twerking": anyone else just assume it was a leftover word filter from the Madness? Seems like a substitution the mods would love)

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby somitomi » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:53 pm UTC

richP wrote:(re: "twerking" vs. "twerking": anyone else just assume it was a leftover word filter from the Madness? Seems like a substitution the mods would love)

Yeah, the forum has a couple amusing wordfilters all year round, "because it's funny" (according to the rules anyway, your mileage may vary).
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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Isaac Hill » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:12 pm UTC

One of my baby teeth didn't fall out. The adult tooth grew in, pushing the baby tooth to the side. The baby tooth then turned blue, I assume due to lack of blood flow/oxygen. It was also loose, since it wasn't connected to the gumline very much, so I tended to chew on the other side of my mouth so as not to wiggle it. The dentist removed the blue tooth, with just a slight tug, when I was around 19.

Now, the name of this technology makes me think of a dying, (or dead), obsolete annoyance that I'm better off without.
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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Archgeek » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:57 pm UTC

Old Bruce wrote:
hamjudo wrote:
orthogon wrote: But that's no good if you need it to connect to a smartwatch.

I was paid to write an app that connected to some custom hardware over Bluetooth. I spent a lot of time finding different ways the Bluetooth stack could get wedged. Then more time figuring out how to unwedge the stack.
.... I spent an insane amount of time twerking timers to optimize the reconnect strategy...

The problem is you should have been tweeking the timers.

I would've tried tweakin' them, myself.

Edit: this, is why we use the preview button...
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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Western Rover » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:13 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:For me, having a cable connecting my mouse or keyboard to my computer is a desirable feature—I am the sort of person who would misplace my mouse if it was not physically tethered in place. The same applies to headphones—a pair of AirPods would be lost within a week.


The glory of having different kinds of people around. For me, I'm the sort of person who's accidentally catches the wire and either yanks the earphones off or pulls the jack out several times a day. Then I have to rewind, because I listen to books or podcasts rather than music (which also means I don't have to worry much about audio fidelity). The biggest difference I noticed with Bluetooth was it would just stay on my ear.

Plus, I haven't seen a wired earpiece that just barely goes into my ear canal while deriving its support from a bracket around my outer ear, like a Bluetooth earpiece. All the wired earpieces I've seen either go all the way into my ear canal, which bothers me over the long term, or they sit on top of my head and cover my ears, which seems dangerous while driving.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Leovan » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:56 pm UTC

I have a cheap Chinese Bluetooth headset that loops around the back of my head and basically hangs on through tension between ear and back of the head, which means I can have the actual earpiece barely enter my ear. So much more comfortable than any other I've tried. Though it's a horrible system for running, which is it's purported purpose. The range goes all the way out of the office and to the printer if I turn my head to the right. My expensive set barely reaches to the door. Probably because the CE stands for Chinese Export rather than Conformité Européenne. I've been using it daily for 8 hours a day for the last 3 years. Mechanically it's falling apart from dropping it on the floor and running over it with the chair when going to pick it up, throwing it on the table when in a rush, etc. But so far glue, a twisted paper clip, and melting plastic pieces together with a soldering iron (and also re-soldering a wire or two) have kept it working. I think I had to restart it once or twice for no reason, but otherwise it's hassle free. Oh, and it only speaks Chinese so I just assume when it starts yelling at me over the music the battery is low. That happens sometimes when I forget to recharge it over night.
When this one finally dies for good I'll probably pick up another one for $18.
My Dad got a nice over-ear headset for commuting for his birthday. When he was pairing it I wanted to see if my phone could connect too (I had just gotten a new phone and hadn't tried Bluetooth with it yet). I was faster and now my phone has priority over his. When he's using it in his office with the door closed and I come to visit, I can just turn on my Bluetooth by the door and his music will switch to mine. He loves it every time :)

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:17 pm UTC

Western Rover wrote:Plus, I haven't seen a wired earpiece that just barely goes into my ear canal while deriving its support from a bracket around my outer ear, like a Bluetooth earpiece. All the wired earpieces I've seen either go all the way into my ear canal, which bothers me over the long term, or they sit on top of my head and cover my ears, which seems dangerous while driving.


I took the rubber pieces off some El Cheapo jogging headphones, and they do that.

Actually, that's not quite accurate. The rubber pieces fell off and one of them got lost. They're trash, a truly awful set of headphones, but I expected that when the guy at the store wouldn't sell me the headphones I actually wanted and I bought the cheapest set I could find that didn't go over the head or rely entirely on being wedged into my ear canal to support their weight. Anyway, you could probably do the same thing with better quality headphones and they'd work the same way, except much better.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:19 pm UTC

Western Rover wrote:Plus, I haven't seen a wired earpiece that just barely goes into my ear canal while deriving its support from a bracket around my outer ear, like a Bluetooth earpiece.

https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/webapp/wcs ... 31848976-p
Image
http://www.argos.co.uk/product/7369043
Image

I've had that type or other (neither of those exact kinds), in the past. The 'ear hooks' have tangled in the midst of luggage/pockets and broken/been awkward to retrieve. I prefer wired earbuds. Very little to break. The wire is the wire, and liable to tangle even if described as 'non-tangling' (often means it's a wide and flat profile so that it's twist-proof, or at least obvious when it twists so you don't get accumulated helicity) and I know wirelessness is the attraction where there is no chance of accidental 'plucking' or catching of the wire and forcing the speakers off/out/from the ears or jack from the device (or both; or not so easily disconnecting, so as to actually launch things that shouldn't be launched across rooms or roads).

There's a type of earphone (sometimes advertised as 'soft', but for no reason I can see as they're as hard-shelled as they can be) that are designed to be pinned by the pinna (aka auricle) without going into the canal. They just never work for me. The buds-with-rubber-grommits (often with smaller and larger grommits you can use if necessary, but I rarely need to change them) do me best.

My wireless ones were like that, wireless except for a rubber-band link. It kept them together, and must (as the charging port was only in one plug-assembly) also have had at least a charge-carrying wire through it. These broke when they tangled and jammed in luggage and the extrication broke the 'pin with the grommit on it' off of the flat bit (bulkier than the wired plug-ends, for obvious reasons).

All the wired earpieces I've seen either go all the way into my ear canal, which bothers me over the long term, or they sit on top of my head and cover my ears, which seems dangerous while driving.
IMO, any ear-based speaker is dangerous while driving. Obscures ambient noise that you might find it necessary not to miss. Rogue noises played into your ears (intentional or unintentional sound effects from the sound-source) aren't differentiatable as not coming from outside. Less so than a non-private in-car speaker (even with surround-sound capability).

But each to their own.

(Though the number of casual bike-riders - the kind that ride on the footway, but unfortunately not just - that wear Beats-style over-eaark headphones… The dangers they can face from deliberately removing one entire sense makes me almost glad they aren't trying to sensibly ride upon the road.)


For home-use I have wireless (not Bluetooth, something proprietry with a powered base-station transmitter) over-ear headphones. A bit battered, needing a set of spare AAAs (rechargable, kept in several matched pairs in ready-to-use and waiting-for-recharge queues - because… why not?) but gives reasonable connectivity from my media machine out to nearly the full lengths of front and rear gardens, and thus all throughout the house. I'm listening to a Doctor Who audio drama on them as I tap this out. My non-media machine (with things worth listening to) has fancy but source-powered headphones connected to it via a long socket-to-plug extension cable, sufficient to reach around the room (and even part way into another) for a little bit more freedom than without the extension, but still has (a managable amount of) 'umbilical' nature to it.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby cct » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:57 pm UTC

It never before occurred to me that, of course, a medieval warrior king would have used a wireless charging standard. (Which may actually have involved a flag-type "standard.")

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby kharnynb » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:20 pm UTC

MrT2 wrote:I have an android phone with bluetooth, I keep the bluetooth turned off, but every so often I'll notice the bluetooth icon in the corner and have to turn it off again. Absolutely no idea what is turning it on.


It's some kind of google location service, you can turn it of in the location settings.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby hamjudo » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:04 pm UTC

Archgeek wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
hamjudo wrote:
orthogon wrote: But that's no good if you need it to connect to a smartwatch.

I was paid to write an app that connected to some custom hardware over Bluetooth. I spent a lot of time finding different ways the Bluetooth stack could get wedged. Then more time figuring out how to unwedge the stack.
.... I spent an insane amount of time twerking timers to optimize the reconnect strategy...

The problem is you should have been tweeking the timers.

I would've tried tweakin' them, myself.

Edit: this, is why we use the preview button...


What else would you call it other than "twerking"? For those of us that have built USB HID devices into our chairs, we enter keyboard events by moving our butts. It seems to me that twerking is the most appropriate word for that style of coding.

The first definition of twēak from the dictionary is not appropriate, and the next definition was labeled informal. We all know that this is a formal place.

Code: Select all

 twēak
/twēk/
verb
gerund or present participle: twēaking
1. twist or pull (something) sharply.
   "he twēaked the boy's ear"
   synonyms:   pull, jerk, tug, twist, twitch, pinch, squeeze
            "she twēaked his nose"

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Old Bruce
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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Old Bruce » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:31 pm UTC

hamjudo wrote:
Archgeek wrote:
Old Bruce wrote:
hamjudo wrote:
orthogon wrote: But that's no good if you need it to connect to a smartwatch.

I was paid to write an app that connected to some custom hardware over Bluetooth. I spent a lot of time finding different ways the Bluetooth stack could get wedged. Then more time figuring out how to unwedge the stack.
.... I spent an insane amount of time twerking timers to optimize the reconnect strategy...

The problem is you should have been tweeking the timers.

I would've tried tweakin' them, myself.

Edit: this, is why we use the preview button...


What else would you call it other than "twerking"? For those of us that have built USB HID devices into our chairs, we enter keyboard events by moving our butts. It seems to me that twerking is the most appropriate word for that style of coding.


...

I will Never visit you at your place of work in case you work with a laptop.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Mikeski » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:49 am UTC

hamjudo wrote:What else would you call it other than "twerking"? For those of us that have built USB HID devices into our chairs, we enter keyboard events by moving our butts. It seems to me that twerking is the most appropriate word for that style of coding.


I now understand the crazy emergency room stories about having to remove an input device from someone's rectum.

I just need explanations for all the other things found in them.

(No, I really really don't.)

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Flumble » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:01 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:I just need explanations for all the other things found in them.

Well, you see, when a person and an object like each other very much, they play doctor and give each other a health checkup, including a thorough search for hemorrhoids. Or maybe I'm mixing things up... I could've sworn it involved a priest at some point too.

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Re: 2055: "Bluetooth"

Postby Keyman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:41 pm UTC

Can't claim to be as tech-intensive as some, but for me the 'standard' earphones that came with my last two iPhones (see? I told you) work well enough for most purposes, but.... For them to stay in, I have to put the right bud in the left ear, and vers vicea. And if I put my phone in my shirt pocket, I rarely get tangled in anything.
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