167 posts • joined Monday 2nd February 2009 13:42 GMT
The Three version of this has the wireless charging stand & case bundled for "free" (a relative term when you're paying them £30 a month). £500/24 = roughly £20 for the hire purchase, so on the Three package or the cheapest Vodafone one, you're effectively paying £10/month for the calls, which compares favourably to pay as you go. If you want or need a £500 handset, that is.
Re: Thought this might happen...
@xyz: "should one be wary of Rom/Alb/anians at bus stops with suspiciously large batteries next to them?"
Only if one is a racist. The technical point is a fair one, but the issue is surely about being wary of *anyone* at a bus stops with suspiciously large batteries next to them. Their country of origin is irrelevant.
Re: The problem...
This is a really interesting assertion (that Metro was designed for keyboard usage). I too would really like to see more details of the design principles, even just a blog post.
Re: Metro always looked useless to me as a desktop UI.
I got so fed up with the name "Magnus Pyke" being thrown at me when I was at school... Especially since Magnus Magnusson, another namesake and a far more interesting role model, lived just up the road.
(Sorry, that was completely off-topic. But some things you just have to get off your chest.)
Originality ain't what it used to be
Hmmm. Typing to get into applications, and swiping upwards to go home. What does that remind me of? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Pre_3
WebOS might have been crippled by poor implementation (ran like a drain on my Touchpad) and appalling management from HP, but it did have some really good bits of UI design. Perhaps this time they'll be better handled.
Re: And yet...
What? Marc Andreessen is a weeping angel?
(Point taken though. The blink tag was a truly awful creation, and led to some abominable web design for a while.)
That's why the G300 has done so well, at least in some circles - it does 80-90% of what most people need in a smartphone for £100, very much as the ZTE Blade (Orange San Francisco) did a couple of years ago. That's cheaper than your sweet spot, but fits well into my sweet spot!
"the USPTO has rendered a dispositive decision"
For a horrible moment I thought this was an ugly bit of lawyer-euphemism for "negative". Thankfully it's an ugly piece of lawyer jargon instead, being an adjective form of "disposition". Phew!
(Where's the icon for <wipes-pedantic-brow>?)
What's this anti-scientific nonsense doing on a technology website? For shame!
Perhaps the average readership of the Reg is not the target market for this device?
(Not that that should stop anyone being scornful of people with more money than sense, and the marketing drones who draw them in like ants to honey.)
Re: Romans 16:17-18
@Obviously! - Here on the Internet, we have this thing called a search engine, and there are innumerable online Bibles. Whatever you think of the Bible, the meaning of those verses, and the point the OP was trying to make with them, is pretty clear.
Re: To Dave126
@ribsome: I'm sure you know this, but the book of Genesis wasn't written originally in Latin... (Not that that stopped the Catholic church from treating the Vulgate as the only proper translation for centuries.) I don't have the Hebrew to comment on the original, but it's worth observing that the context is immediately after the story of the Flood, when Noah & his sons are being told to repopulate the earth. In the context of such a flood (for which there's little archaeological evidence), a few centuries of condom-free re-population might have been in order. But times change.
Re: Top Marks
What's different about only offering an iPhone app? Sounds just like the other lazy sheeple developers (cf. BBC etc) who think iOS is cool and developing for the most popular smartphone platform is too much like hard work.
That said - the restaurant sounds great and this is a good advertising ploy.
Back in the day (c1990) it was the one-word post we used to bring message threads back to the top of the list on the Cambridge University mainframe's bulletin board system. (Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.)
Re: Android didn't get to number one by people not standing it
@Waspy: Well I'm pretty keen on Android, but I wouldn't dream of paying even as much as £15-20 per month. That sounds like a lot of money to me. You can buy a perfectly good one for £100 on pay as you go (I bought an Orange San Francisco at this price two years ago; my wife recently bought a Huawei G300 at similar price; both are excellent), and for me about £10 top-up every six weeks or so gives plenty of data & texts. Spreading the handset cost over 2 years, that's about £11 spend per month. It's perfectly possible to do Android on the cheap and get very good results indeed.
Similarly, some stations on the West Coast mainline (with Virgin Trains for the time being) have posters up with QR codes for mini-timetables relating to that particular station. I've seen it at Coventry, but I'm sure it happens elsewhere. Again, corporate but not advertising.
Better bargain still...
It's even better than they're saying if you pay up-front - the newspaper subscription is £312 for 18 months at £4/week, so the Nexus 7 is effectively free. Except you have to give the money to Murdoch and read the Times.
If it were the Guardian, or the Independent, it would be a huge bargain. But it's never the good guys who go for these things.
Skip the link to demagoguery please
I think this is a great article, but the link to Niall Ferguson's dreadful Reith Lectures (embarrassing in their partisanship given that he's a serious scholar) is wide of the mark. Surely this is a different case altogether? I disagree with Ferguson that the bankers were over-regulated, but the point is that they were being trusted with other people's money to manage, so need in some form to be watched and to be stopped from misusing that money. Users of a software product are in a completely different position - we're not placed in a position of trust in any respect. OK, it was only intended as a partial analogy, but given that it rests on such dodgy grounds to start with, it doesn't really work.
Re: Ashley & Michael
As a book of Christmas cartoons I had some years ago put it, "Jesus? Why would you want to give him a Puerto Rican name?"
Did they not have UK stores for a while but shut them down? Or am I confused with a different American chain? I remember at least three large bookshops (in Glasgow, Milton Keynes and Stockport) which I'm pretty sure were Barnes & Noble, and were really quite good. But now gone.
Chimp, prince, spot the difference
I like that the Telegraph article has a link to piece entitled "Anybody would think he’s human..." in the sidebar. (It's above a photo of a chimp on a bike.) Coincidence?
Re: WTF is GiffGaff
"they expressly forbid tethering"
I don't use GiffGaff but this is only partly accurate. They do indeed expressly forbid tethering on their £10/month package, but they have other packages on which they do allow tethering (their data-only 'gigabags' starting at £5 for 500MB lasting one month).
Re: I'm impressed
I also think this is an excellent review, once of the best I've read for the new iPad. The point about not having a monopoly ecosystem is an important one - all through the IT world, systems are better if they have competition. And there's nothing wrong with liking Apple on a partly subjective basis. The subjectivity comes across as a lot more nuanced and well-grounded than Charles Arthur manages at the Guardian (a good journalist and a well-informed man, but manages to sound like a fanboy even when he's trying not to be).
Re: LibreOffice may be coming too
What, like OfficeSuite Pro, which was recently available for 25p in the big Android apps sale? (OK, normally it costs more.)
Re: Windows Phone 7 ?
"Until someone realizes mobiles need this level of simple upgrading then there is always going to be po'ed customers wondering why they can't at least try out the latest apps etc."
I don't quite get this post. Are you referring to OS updates or app updates? If it's the latter, then Android at least manages something quite similar to your Thunderbird & Firefox experience via Google Play - I regularly get notifications of app updates, and it's very easy to go in and install them; I presume iOS does something similar via iTunes.
What's more of a problem for Android is the OS update cycle, which is partly a result of there being so many Android handsets, each with specialised drivers etc; and partly as a result of manufacturers/operators insisting on installing their own junk on top of stock Android to differentiate themselves from the competition. Unless you go down the Flash ROM route (not hard but not for the average punter) it makes it difficult to keep up.
Apple is better in this respect, of course, but they have it easy with supporting just a few handsets at a time (and refusing to support some of them) - and even there you have to accept that if you want the upgrade, you take their broken Maps apps etc.
"He never married"
Does that still mean what it always used to mean in obituaries?
Re: My diagnosis....bad value for money
"To be honest, most people only use a tablet for web browsing, messaging and email once the novelty has worn off anyway, so why spend more to get less when pretty much any Android tab over £100 will do the job perfectly?"
I use an Android tablet, and I agree about the value for money issue. But I can't agree about just using it for web + email. It's extremely useful for document viewing at work via Dropbox, and for updating files on the go. And there are plenty of good apps if you want them.
Rubs hands with glee...
As an academic teaching the evolution & failures of information systems, this looks like potentially very rich case study material a few years on!
Re: According to this...
SMA? Don't they make powdered baby milk?
(Mine's the one with the "baby on board" sticker.)
Re: Only on a hardware reader
"Members who own Kindle devices can also choose from thousands of books -- including more than 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers -- to borrow and read for free, as frequently as a book a month with no due dates, from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library".
Clicking through to the link for the Kindle Owners' Lending Library confirms that it does not work with Kindle apps on other devices.
So it's only a good deal if you've got the kit.
Re: Fear not
Suomi on todella kova kieltä!
(props to Google Translate)
Re: MS wants to use skype to lock people to windows
I think it's unlikely they'll make it Windows-only. Risky to generalise from my own experience but... I'm a light user of Skype, though I find it very useful when I need it. However most of my calls are pre-arranged with the person at the other end. If MS chose to make Skype Windows-only, it would be extremely easy to arrange with the people I wanted to talk to, that we'd just use another platform. I think many others would probably do likewise.
Re: An HP Touch rerun
Well if it went the way of the HP TouchPad, that would be more like 7 weeks. Disastrous for HP, but brilliant for consumers. I have one, recently put Android on it and it runs like a dream - fantastic hardware once you get past its somewhat incomplete onboard software. If Microsoft did something similar, they'd do a lot of people a big favour!
My hunch is that they won't though, and that the Surface will do well, at the least with the corporate sector who are extremely committed to Microsoft. The iPad's sold well in that market (all the senior managers at my work have one), but I can see the lure of MS and especially of full-blown Office to be pretty tempting for corporate IT depts.
Recognition of Mary Somerville
She did at least have an Oxford college named after her (albeit posthumously), which is better going than a programming language that's now hardly used outside the military.
Proper recognition of women in the history of science is very difficult. I wrote a book a few years ago on the key figures in systems & cybernetics. Despite a lot of agonising, we were only able to include 3 out of 30 who were women. That wasn't because we didn't try, it just reflected the sexist history. It may also have reflected our own biases, of course.
Re: 50,000 Elves? Sindar or Noldor?
Never underestimate human stupidity or laziness
I have a bit more sympathy. Regarding free vs paid, multiple versions of Android apps often exist, some free & some paid; it's not always obvious (even from the Google Play description) which is which. I have no sympathy for someone knowingly trying to get a paid app for free, but it's possible at least people scammed in this way didn't know what they were installing.
On the matter of permissions: undoubtedly it's really important to read permissions very thoroughly before accepting them when installing a new app, especially if they say "things that cost you money". But the longer and more comprehensive some permissions lists get, the more they feel like the Android equivalent of click-through EULAs - at best the average user will scan the list in a couple of seconds in case anything jumps out, but more likely they'll just say "sod it" and click accept without reading... Not the best policy, but human nature.
"But since most folk will still call this a backlight, I think we can afford not to be too pedantic about it."
Well it's your party so you can be not too pedantic if you choose. But I have to say that for me, "backlit" = LCD screen - at first glance I assumed this was another tablet-style screen rather than eInk screen. Arguments still rage which is better, but they're clearly different. Of course the article itself makes it clear this is an eInk screen, but first impressions matter a little bit.
Re: What Theory?
Activity theory is neither as obscure nor as Marxian as the article and comments imply. It's a pretty mainstream part of human-computer interaction theory. It has its roots in Soviet psychology, but has long since gone beyond those. It's really very interesting, and has particularly been influential in Scandinavia (notably through the work of Yrjö Engeström, who's Finnish like Nokia and is not especially Marxist at all). There's a good article on AT at http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/activity_theory.html.
ARM invented their IP, and continue to develop it. So no, I wouldn't call ARM a patent troll. Vringo and the like simply bought it, and appear to be doing nothing with it apart from sitting on it making money from other people's hard work. Which makes them pretty trolly.
Re: It's Virgin Media FFS
I've had Virgin Media for TV, internet & phone for more than four years now, and mostly very happy with it. We have the odd problem now and then (such as router going down for no cause every few days, sound sometimes not working on CBBC first thing) but it's mostly pretty minor stuff. I've seldom had cause to call customer services though, and when I have I've regretted it.
Re: No matter how much bandwidth you generate
@Flugal: "Why do people feel the need apostophise acronyms?"
Agreed about the apostrophes, it seems a very odd practice. It's a form of greengrocer's apostrophe. While we're enjoying some pedantry, I personally wouldn't regard LOL as an acronym, as I pronounce it letter-by-letter (EL-OH-EL) rather than as a single word ("lol" to rhyme with "doll" or perhaps with "coal"). In that case it's an abbreviation rather than an acronym. Just saying, and others may pronounce it as a single word anyway.
(No doubt there are errors in the above paragraph, and I will get the usual fate of pedants of being hoist by my own petard.)
Download =/= upload
This sounds perfectly dreadful for all the reasons you say... if it's true. As commentators on the BetaNews page observe, the announcement is really ambiguous. It say you won't be able to "download Google Docs in Office 1997-2003 format (.doc, .xls, .ppt)". If "download" means just that - downloading a file held in Google Docs/Drive to your PC, in a format of your choice - then all this change entails is restricting the choice of download format.
The announcement says nothing at all about *opening* (i.e. uploading) files in Office 1997-2003 formats. It may be implicit that this won't work, or it may be quite the opposite. It's a perfectly good reading of the announcement to assume that we'll still happily be able to upload & open older Office files in Google Apps after Monday, just not export from Docs into those formats. But it is a bit unclear!
Re: Change the record...
You're right about Google Maps labelling. It's not perfect, especially in terms of the places that businesses and buildings are labelled. I wouldn't (and don't) trust it in that respect (though I'm a happy Android user). But it does sound like Apple are worse. The early version point about the new Apple Maps is a red herring, IMHO, because Apple had a good map application on their phones (albeit without turn-by-turn navigation) which they chose to throw away in favour of an inferior application.
They're not running Symbian. They're running S40, Nokia's old but much updated own OS, with a new skin. No doubt the latest version of S40 has learnt from Symbian, but it's a different thing.
For a low-end phone this looks pretty good - won't get much publicity because it's not a 'smartphone' (ie it won't have a wide range of apps) but the build quality and installed software looks strong.
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