910 posts • joined Tuesday 10th April 2007 06:11 GMT
Re: BeiDou needed?
BeiDou support is definitely important for the PRC. Firstly, the PRC launched these satellites and it's important to demonstrate that they are in use, and likely important for use other than military purposes. The fact that this satellite network is not reliant on the goodwill of the US government is also a very important point and aside from the obvious military angle it is also a statement of place as a world power that the PRC is not reliant on external services to operate.
He's just lucky he's not wearing the wrong kind of gloves, let alone holding it wrong.
Yep, it's that time of year when you can either freeze your fingers and answer your phone or leave the bugger. (yes, I know there are alternative ways of answering a phone).
It looks like a fairly standard SD card, just embedded in the device. While this seems odd, it might make a lot of sense and may be cheaper than embedding flash chips directly. It'll certainly be considerably easier for Motorola to provide different storage capacities without having to potentially go through expensive redesign and certification processes - just swap the "removable" storage and that's it.
Re: The VERY definition of Android Landfill
In some ways I agree with non-removable batteries:
* It greatly reduces failure with the interface between a movable (eg re-movable) device. It's the moving parts that tend to fail and a re-movable interface counts on this point.
* The design can be optimised for a more awkward shape or profile battery that doesn't require to be removed. The battery container can be of a different material to a removable battery thereby saving on weight and cost.
* No removable batteries largely prevents the usage of 3rd party batteries of unknown safety and quality. This greatly affects the reputation of a device.
* Having a fixed battery allows all of the battery control (charging) circuitry to be embedded in one place rather than spread between the battery and the separate power circuitry. This is another cost saver.
On the other hand, while I quite like having the option of a removable battery (my current phone has one), I'd rather a more efficient overall system (chipset, os, applications) that doesn't murder a battery than have to safely carry a replacement battery around somehow. The reality is that these devices will be EoL within a few years and these batteries, if they're good enough quality and the charging circuitry is good enough, will easily last that long.
No wonder Samsung's executives have all been summoned for a global discussion... with phones like this that for many users (e.g. the majority of Joe Public) do just what they need with the performance of the Galaxy S3 at a very very good price.
The Galaxy S3 has more features, and from one point of view I like Samsung's approach of throwing features until they see what sticks in the real world, and possibly for willy-waving tech-heads as well, producing a simple, clean but capable device like this should concern them. A lot. Apple should be concerned as well because this device does everything and more of the iPhone 4, just a lot cheaper.
It'll be very interesting to see one of the reputable teardown sites take on this device and their projected BoM.
Re: Hated hated hated
All those shortcuts like Alt+F4 no longer work
While I'm no fan of the Win8 shell (user interface) as it sucks balls on almost every level unless used on a touchscreen tablet, I have not noticed the lack of the old keyboard shortcuts as they work for me. I haven't yet wasted time on Microsoft's Office Metro applications, so maybe Microsoft decided to hack their applications in their usual non-standard manner (*) and removed the standard shortcuts, but for everything else I tried they worked ok.
Win8.1 is a step in the right direction compared to Win8 but only because it's possible to mask some of the Metro ghastliness and user interface (UI/UX) failures.
* It's always amazed me at Microsoft's stupidity in this regard - the Operating System should provide the look and feel of standard windowing elements however with Microsoft Office, they re-implement the latest look and feel of the latest Windows version in the application instead. While this means that Office 2007 looks near enough the same when running on Windows 7 as Windows XP, it defeats the entire rationale behind the operating system (technically, the shell, but MS have merged them on their mainstream OSes so it makes little difference). But given the awful bodge job hack-from-hell-that-draws-everything-twice that the Windows XP theme layer was on top of the standard windowing elements, I suppose it should be no surprise.
In many ways Intel have only themselves to blame. The x86 instruction set is horrible to use, overall quite inefficient and has a large overhead compared to instruction sets that were designed rather more recently or have retained a cleaner implementation. IMHO it's the backwards compatibility of the x86 instruction set that while being an amazing strength for desktop computing has prohibited the use in leaner and more efficient devices.
I'm still sadistic enough to occasionally step through code at the instruction set level...
"So you want to keep data which is local, only ever going to be local, only needed locally, never accessed remotely, not WANTED to be made available outside our building, which can only WEAKEN our security by being off site, hosted offsite."
I'm considering printing this off and taking it with me whenever I meet Yet Another Cloud Pusher.
When all you can do is negatively attack your competitors rather than promote how good your own products and services are, you've already lost.
Both the market and the plot.
Re: Microsoft account needed for Facebook? ??
I read it more that you need a Microsoft account (e.g. app store account) in order to either download the apps, updates to the apps or to store the settings - which is much more explainable and even moderately sensible, compared to needing an MS account to access these services.
Re: Ok, excuse me for asking but HTF do they know it is from Mars?
It's down to overall ratios of trace elements compared to known (current) ratios on the various planets.
It's never 100% conclusive because some other solar body could just happen to have a make up, or region, that is similar enough to Mars that a bit of it knocked off that happens to land on Earth could match.
The formation and type of rock can help determine if it came from a planet or not (formation under gravity is very different to under low or none) and trapped atmospheric gasses are also indicative of where a rock initially formed. Where there are trapped atmospheric gasses the list of sources is quite short (few planets / planetoids have ever had or have an atmosphere) and they are quite different from each other.
This beast sounds much more like a (server software) development laptop or a heavy duty demonstrator than anything any more "normal" user would ever think appropriate.
As far as I understand it, the Japanese (TV) manufacturers steadily out-sourced production of their TV components to cheaper labour markets in order to keep prices down with local (Japanese) labour rates souring. This improved the manufacturing capabilities of the foreign manufacturers as they needed to maintain the quality that the Japanese brands depended on at the time. Steadily more partnerships and cross manufacturing deals were formed and the foreign manufacturers were driven to put research into better manufacturing methods and through this quite rapidly accumulated an important share of the knowledge to the point that they started investing in the next generation technologies directly rather than as "just" a third party manufacturer.
Doesn't take a genius to see what happens next...
Most growth and effort appears to be in the smartphone / tablet market. In general, people just don't want to carry around yet another damn device, just to do what an existing device can largely do. Hence the plummeting sales of compact camera, audio players and satellite navigation devices. I'm not saying that a discrete product specialised for a task won't be better than a more general device that can also do it, just that for many people the combined version is good enough these days.
Re: "lacks plat techtonics"
It wouldn't necessarily need to be solid all the way through. The top (eg) 500 km could be solid, with a more liquid core. Such a crust would likely be too thick for plate tectonics. In my limited understanding, such a situation could be relatively common for a cooling planet.
Re: Unified Memory
Agreed. While explicit memory transfers are a PITA unless the development environment provides good tools, having implicit, potentially unknown, memory transfers is just asking for inefficency. Pretty much a similar level to the inefficency that's anywhere near anything remotely .net where a "string" is involved.
However massively parallel programming is a bugger to get your head around when it comes to the coordination of many processes that may, or may not rely on any of each other, and while forward planning by initiating a memory fetch of blocks that will be of known interest is easy at the first level, it very rapidly gets far too complicated. Eventually other than for a few, much more sadistic than I am, coders, it will turn out to be more efficient to have a suitably "smart" development environment perform many optimisations.
Re: And dont do it in paper format!
Definitely with you on the video. It's useful for some things, but many guides would be far better served as text as images so you can take it at your own pace, in an office, without blaring out random adverts and drawling voices all the time.
Re: I still have some old Borland manuals
Thinking about this, it does feel true. The older the software/manuals, the better the manuals were.
These days you often can't even find a manual when there should be one, even online.
... grumbles and glares at HP for providing a paper version of a disclaimer in 50 languages, and included a CD with the same but failed to provide even a basic "this is the product and what to expect from it" one page manual sheet. It may have been just a docking station, but knowing that it was expected to have lights on the network connector and the specification of the network connector would have been nice when troubleshooting it :)
The other extreme annoyance I have with many websites... entering credit card details.
My card number is presented on my card with a space between every group of four digits. A computer is very capable of stripping out such card numbers when processing the number. So why the **** do so many websites insist that the number is put in without any spaces? Or, as is often the case, just error when you do and don't indicate why.
The other occasions when I'm wound up by entering card details, is when the website numpty insists on putting names instead of numbers for the start and end months. I've never come across a card with names instead of numbers so why was this website doing this? When challenged, they claim to have done this idiocy on purpose to stop bots.
Am I the only one...
Am I the only one... who after reading about this kind of reprehensible arsehattery, feels a sudden need to start downloading and distributing as much copyrighted material as possible just to spite and stick a finger up at them while we can?
Still pricey... while no doubt that they are well engineered kit (product designers I know often marvel at the quality of the design components) they are far from throw-away devices although the number you see in the hands of small children you'd think that they are.
Maybe partly as a result of knowing so many designers and reading all the marketing blurb about "smaller", "lighter", etc but is still annoys me when I see comments like "A protective cover would seem like an essential accessory for this model.". Apple have gone to all the effort to produce a nicely designed device, with good looks and usability... only for it to be stuck in a big, ugly, heavy cover or case... it largely defeats the point in such good design in the first place.
Great. So now extremely inefficient apps can be written by default for iOS and Android as well as Windows (various versions).
Re: That’s changed my opinion of Research Machines
Same here, it was nice to see the work and effort they put into it all. Otherwise all we'll remember about RM is the "under powered PC clones with obscenely expensive support contracts".
Oooh... some memories of these beasts.
The ignition key and buttons to start the damn things... the obscene oddities in the version of basic that was inflicted on us, along with having to purchase floppy disks (yes, properly floppy ones) and then having to somehow keep them intact and undamaged which was a mission for teenagers. In the end all disk were kept in filing next to the computers which was entertaining when those closest to the metal of the cabinet started to exhibit odd failures... (luckily not mine).
And that's before you looked inside the things, with boards held in place with elastic bands which, appearing to be bog standard elastic bands, deteriated over time. Some of them had sellotape (single sided sticky tape for those that don't recognise the brand) holding key components together as well. We found string a good, persistent, fix for many hardware issues.
Other than being a system that was available and therefore encouraged active computer use, there was very little to like about the 380Zs. Especially when a year after my course started we got RM Nimbus systems instead - phenomenally overpriced and non-standard but a real step forward compared to the 380Z. Mind you, my take both of these was comparing them to the arguably rather superior home systems that were out at the same time but it took a brace computer science teacher (at this time, they were invariable maths teachers with an interest in computers) to suggest using something other than a BBC computer or an RM system but they were out there.
Re: Iffley Road
I remember quite a few of the older houses in Iffley Road having basements. Basements and students weren't particularly a good combination but they were definitely there.
Re: Hot ice
Technically it will have some weight, or at the least some component parts will have some weight due to the gravity of the overall object itself.
Re: One of the most recognised web icons,...
Could be why Google have the simpler + as it not only ties into their G+ branding but is probably less likely to have a (negative) cultural specific social meaning.
Re: @Brenda - A bit harsh
For some reason I've been down-voted on this in the past, but my opinion on 64 bit in phones / tablets is that in the future it will enable some much more efficient usage of storage (aka unified storage). Getting everything prepared for the future is a good thing. Yes, the marketing idiots and trolls here will shout about it being great, but it doesn't make a squat of difference other than the ARM chips in use are rather faster and more efficient than the previous ones... it's just that they happen to be 64bit as well.
When you have 2GB of RAM in a device, 32 bit addressing is fine and efficient. However even these current devices usually have access to 32/64/128GB of additional storage. Storage is changing (see today's El Reg article on memristor future 100TB storage products) and the differentiation between volatile storage such as RAM and non-volatile storage such as Flash storage is lessening to the point that it many cases it will make a lot more sense to consider the non-volatile storage not as a traditional storage medium but part of the addressable space of the processor. Apple, with their closed shop approach, are in a much better position than other vendors to take advantage of this and the efficiency gains it will give. That's for the future though, for now it's the improved chip rather than it being 64bit that's most important.
Firstly I mis-read the article, reading 100TB as 100GB (it's early), which for a new technology would have been a start but not awe inspiring.
While 100TB is a mean amount of storage in one array, what's the individual unit capacity going to come out as for more normal storage "devices"? It's those that I'm more likely to see personally, with even moderately lunatic amounts of storage available at high speed which will make a big difference in mobile (hand held) devices and laptops / desktops. Power use will be important as well, does anybody know what the power consumption is shaping up to be in these kind of storage systems?
I confidently predict that applications will become even less efficient to make up for the increase in speed. :)
Personally I've never been exactly convinced by the basic theories of dark matter and dark energy. To me it all feels too much like "we've made something invisible up to make one set of theories work". On the other hand, I'm not a theoretical physicist, I just (try to) talk semi-coherently with some of them.
The good thing about science, is that when a theory is put forward and it's been shown to be almost certainly wrong, science can move on and try out a different theory. The bad thing about science is that's it's run by people and people have a habit of clinging onto incorrect theories for personal reasons (which are very understandable if you've spent 15 years of your life trying to "prove" something). Many of history's very eminent scientists have stuck rigidly to incorrect theories even while some of their other, well known, work was outstanding.
They built millions of the things...
They built millions of the things... and like almost every other business they try to do this building as cheap as possible to keep the costs down. Quality is always going to be a problem eventually even for systems that are almost entirely machine assembled - iPhones being what they are have a lot of manual assembly and this involved people who will make mistakes sometimes.
Rigorous testing probably catches most of the assembly problems, but for devices that (for whatever reason) don't charge or hold their charge as well as they should over a relatively long period, this type of problem won't be picked up. Hopefully the exact problem will have been fathomed out by now and the Apple engineers will have something in place to change their designs to make it less likely to happen in the future. Apple probably can't say how many are affected or may be affected due to the nature of the problem so arguing numbers probably won't work and given the lawyer-friendly nature of the US would open them to class action suits at the drop of a hat if the exact numbers or percentages are predicted or known.
Re: site license
As noted above, I can see this is good for Cisco in the long run as having a widely available standard * video decoder library available is good for interoperability with their video conferencing, and as video is moving (aka being pushed by suppliers) into more mainstream systems then not having to provide bespoke plugins for every damn device is a good thing. The side effect is that it opens up the usage for other players, but IMHO that only strengthens the technology in this case.
Also, don't forget - this seems to apply to the decoder... encoding is likely a different licence altogether.
* standard in this case is commonly used / available, not necessarily an agreed upon open standard - just something that is available almost everywhere and works almost everywhere. Such as Flash or PDF (ignore the details and problems of these two, but the concept is the same - you can produce a PDF document and generally expect somebody else to be able to read it)
ooooh... El Reg... I like. An "Edit" button for posts. Just had to try it! :)
a f*#k 'em attitude?
Definitely what won't work, what they need is an "innovative" integrated "open" solution. :)
For example, rather than cloud file storage being tacked on as an Operating System afterthought and botched in the same ghastly, quasi-usable way as "libraries" in earlier full Windows OSes, actually properly integrated. The important thing, is it must be fully, 100%, utterly open, not MS's traditional half baked, only available fully internally with agendas to "support" MS technologies that 95% of users really don't want or need.
Consider an OS that could just open a DropBox file and save it back seamlessly, with no external interfaces, no further messing, just a user-facing persistent storage area that is seemlessly available across their devices. Now consider that other Cloud storage providers could supply their own "cloud file system drivers" and compete on the same platform, providing the same services. No separation, no segration into "MS" vs "non-MS", just competing at this level on performance, quality of service and cost. With this arrangement organisations that don't want to throw their own, privelidged data into the hands of others would be able to manage it on their own servers or private cloud and users would still get the overlaying applications and interface the same as before, just the end storage repository would be different.
However this pipe-dream would never happen at MS, as they only seem interested in doing something other than proving an Operating System, are only really interested in foisting their own marketing plan driven "solutions" on unwilling users and switch them all to a more expensive subscription plan and make it hard for them to switch solution providers.
Re: Battery Life
You're operating the charging of your devices correctly, as this is how the designers and manufacturers expect you to operate.
There is definitive information on how to look after devices, however this it can be hard to get to with all the white noise, voodoo, superstitions and every other bit of rhetoric there is out there.
Here's the basics:
The quality of the charging circuit makes all the difference, a better quality charging circuit charges at the appropriate rates for the overall capacity, current capacity and other performance indicators. Using no-name external chargers to charge your device batteries is often a bad idea as they often include poor quality charging circuits. Mobile phones have the charging circuits built in to the device (they're not in the AC/DC>USB converter), however when you have removable batteries you have the option to circumvent this (unless the charging circuit is built into the battery itself). For reasons like this you can see why Apple keep their batteries largely unremovable.
Overcharging is one of the worst (normal) things to do to a LI battery. Again, the better quality charging circuits prevent this. While it may sound like a simple problem, definitively knowing when a battery is "full", or more accurately, near full, given that measurements can vary depending on various factors is a bugger. As detection at the near-full end of the scale is harder to be accurate the closer to full the battery is, for battery longetivity many devices employ a scheme where they do not charge at 99%, instead they only start charging at 97% or similar. Completely emptying a LI battery is the next worst thing to do to them (although it can be argued the other way round).
As noted, the other serious headache is trying to work out what the capacity of a battery actually is... :)
Re: Do space optimisation nerds exist?
Oh dear, that's just too true.
On the other hand, without size optimisation if things were to go the same way that most Windows applications operate with regards to the optimisation of processor time, we'd be stuck with tablets that are about 2 metres thick.
Efficiency != Buy newer hardware
Unfortunately there are many variables in even downloading and updating files, such as:
Many small files take longer to download and update compared to fewer large files. This alone makes the "total bytes downloaded vs total bytes to download" calculation inaccurate.
In order to optimise the delivery of small files, sometimes they are packaged up in a larger file. This larger file then needs to be unpackaged / decompressed to extract the smaller files, the speed of this is dependent on the contents, encryption and finally the creation of the many smaller files.
Many download systems support on-the-fly compression, the compression of files in this way means the total bytes downloaded compared to the total bytes expected (once decompressed) can vary wildly, and some files just don't compress very well anyway.
This is before the problem of actually updating and checking files comes into play? e.g. a good downloader will do a CRC check of some form of the downloaded file compared to the CRC that it expected. And to double check the CRC as well just for good measure. Again, the CRC check time varies depending on the number and size of the files involved, too many files and the CRC check files become a notable download issue all on their own.
This is before the actual patching of files takes place, which given the ball-ache of anything .net / com / activex nature the process of scanning, registry mangling and horrible version control attempts adds an utterly indiscriminate amount of control to a given process, particularly when many libraries are inter-dependent where a full transactional update is required as a single atomic update just won't do the job.
I'm so glad I don't have to calculate the install times... :)
Re: "Preparing to install"
You missed the other Adobe glorious trick: Start installer, delete installer, fail for some reason (and it's important not to tell the user what the problem is), then leave user having to re-download the installer again to retry the install.
Re: Mickey Mouse
Perhaps Disney and Microsoft are having a technology exchange.
The Disney's Mickey Mouse department seems to have have been involved in some inter-company projects with Microsoft's User Interface / eXperience department.
Yeah, yeah, I know... I'll get me coat...
Re: On the balance of all evidence ..
And thus crushes the entire "leave it run overnight" witticism.
Answer Files are the "solution" here. However how many of us are going to bother to create a damn Answer File and slipstreaming this onto the update media or to download and apply the updates separately in order to apply the Answer File for <insert random friend or relative's name here>'s computer?
Internet Explorer and Security Essentials are the chief culprits here when it comes to requiring an answer in the middle of an update. I've learnt to exclude these from overnight updates and to apply them, and the inevitable subsequent updates, more interactively.
Re: 2hrs 45minutes and still not done !
I'd rather not be the bleating Linux fanboy but how on earth can you sing the praises of an update mechanism that will download multiple different versions of the same file (because they're encased in binary blobs,) so that it can install them over the top of each other in sequential order?
To be fair, while appearing very stupid and annoying, this is to allow subsequent rollback and patch removal. Or to try to explain a better better: this isn't to allow the current patch in question to be removed, it's to allow subsequent patches of the same file to be removed, reverting to a "known good" combination of files and libraries.
While sending diff's of the various files would be useful, having the version to apply the diff to in the first place is another problem. This problem is compounded with the signing of Operating System (or in MS's terminology, everything they want to bundle with the Operating System) - the signing of these files is a good thing but it does introduce further complexities.
I'm sure they could do something to improve the situation, but sometimes simplicity is best, even if it is inefficient... but when was the last time MS actually did something efficient?
Re: A working brain?
In some ways using matchsticks is preferable to using imaginary money backed up by resources that also don't exist.
Rekoo UK ought to have at least one position open for a native English speaker that is also fluent in Chinese as compared to using automated language translation systems.
Childish humour? Probably, but I can't help almost sniggering at their website where one of the pages is:
HOME > Corporate culture > Stuff graceful bearing
Re: Oh No, someone is picking on Google!
Oh No, someone is picking on Google!
I think it's more "oh dear, yet another anonymous troll" than anything else.
If you want to troll to provoke reaction, that's fine... but there's an icon for that :)
if you want to be treated as yet another paid-shill by trolling points without any facts to back them up, then continue posting as AC.
On the other hand, if you want to make a valid point, then don't do it anonymously, explain your point and your reasons and enter into discussions about it rather than name calling or blinkered copy-and-paste statements.
Re: Witch woman
Eeek. There's some magic going on there alright. There must, be, there's some serious gravity defying, clothing hugging going on (much more than "tit-tape" could ever manage).
That's an impressive building, and if it winds up looking anything like the mocks up would be an asset to the area. Shame about the R&D "huts" flung to the side and the massive double story carparks for the lesser staff 1/3 of a mile away, but at least the car parks aren't 2 square miles of asphalt.
As for the town, the impact of having a company such as Apple head quartered there is massive, there will always be a huge amount of pressure from the area's largest employer (by far), such that pretty much anything they want they get. The danger, like the mining industries in the UK (and other countries), that dominated areas to the extent they built whole towns for their workers, is what happens to the area when it goes wrong?
screen-orientation lock button
Finally. Anybody who's ever tried using a device like these to read e-books knows the absolute necessity of this functionality. And to stop the bloody screen rotating when being jostled...
Well... all this and price gouging by the energy companies (shareholder return is the only thing that matters - investment is contra this) and the lunatic Green fringe's sway that means that nuclear power, even though it can be implemented safely and effectively, is largely dead in Europe.
So finally, for the sake of us all on these boards, create a login, makes it easier to spot the stupid posts by just looking at names.
But they do have logins that they have to register for. See the "[ ] Post anonymously?" check box above the edit box? Tick that and you too can post anonymously.
Not defending them, just pointing this out in case you didn't realise it...
- It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources
- iSPY: Apple Stores switch on iBeacon phone sniff spy system
- Pic NASA Mars tank Curiosity rolls on old WET PATCH, sighs, sniffs for life signs
- How UK air traffic control system was caught asleep on the job
- Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps