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Tom Gagne
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I'm taking another shot at the Samsung Gear S2. This time, the price is right. It was free.

Verizon offered a promotion--if I purchased a Samsung S7 or S7 Edge before some date in March, I could get a free Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch.

It arrived last week, and so far it's working out. Because it's was free I'm not afraid to wear it. I only use it to tell time and look at and reply to text messages--sparing me from having to pull out my phone which is especially annoying when I'm driving.

Would I pay $300 for these two features? No. I might be willing to pay $40-$80, but not $300.

I should add the battery life is fine. With the watch on all the time (it dims after 15 seconds) it used only 47% of the battery.

Amazingly, its speech recognition for replying to text messages worked perfectly.

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Too often I run across little things that make my job easier or more enjoyable, but I haven't the time to do a whole article--so I write nothing.

Here I just want to share something small to see if I can get something going.

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Clip of the day : logging SObjects without nulls
// sobjects are difficult to read with all the "field=null" values, so
// return a string without them.
public string stringWithoutNullFields(string aString) { return aString.replaceAll('\\w+=null',''); }
public string toString(SObject anSobject) { return s...

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+Brian Piggins, here's Duolingo's own announcement.
대단하다! At long last, we’re building a Korean course! You’ll be singing along to K-pop songs in no time. : )

Get notified when it's ready:

+Brian Piggins, I know you're more fluent in Korean than I am in French, but I just read that Duolingo is preparing a course on Korean. I'm enjoying its French course, and as they're free...

+Jacqueline Doan is a great colleague to work with, and congratulations to her becoming girlygeek of the week!

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Online vehicle registration system at risk, state says

I suspect HP may be embarrassed of its code quality, but whatever its quality, it's "work for hire" and belongs to the state. This isn't to excuse the state, which may have been a bad customer, but it's still the state's code.

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I returned my Samsung Gear S2 Friday after wearing it for two weeks.  This was in addition to wearing an LG Watch Urbane for two weeks before that.

In the end, I decided I didn't need a smart watch because essentially they fail at their number one job, telling me what time it is.

They fail not because their time is incorrect.  They fail because to tell me the time the watch face must be on all the time.  When the face is on all the time the batter drains faster than when it's off.  That makes sense, but now I have to charge the watch every night--a problem my Timex Expedition doesn't have.

Additionally, the watch needs to communicate with my phone via Bluetooth, which meant my phone battery drained faster--no longer able to last a night while I listened to Audio books falling asleep.

Lastly, having a $300-$350 watch on my wrist made me self-conscious about damaging it.  A watch is something I wear almost all the time, and sometimes a watch may bump against something that /could/ damage it.  Damaging my $40 Timex is a lot less worrisome than an Urbane or Gear S2.

On the design side, Samsung's rotating bezel is genius, and made the watch's features easier to browse and locate, but I was never able to load ESPN for Gear on it because it complained the phone wasn't connected to the watch, even though they were always connected.  This brought up another problem, customer support.  

Devices as omnipresent as watches need to work without customer support.  Features must simply always work else they value of the device plummets every minute I spend trying to figure out why ESPN for Gear didn't load.  If there isn't an 800 number to solve my problem in mere minutes, then it's simply not worth $300+ dollars or the added expense of having to replace it in-case it collides with the vice on my workbench.  

In the end, I'm glad for four weeks with two great watches.  It totally removed any immediate desires I have for a smart watch and saved my family $300 on what may have been a bad birthday or Christmas gift.

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Similar to how government regulations favor larger, established companies over smaller firms. How to overcome this?

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