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* Posts by Nick Ryan

1115 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Google snags patent on price discrimination

Nick Ryan
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Re: I could have sworn

FLIGHTS - the trick (apparently) is to clear all the site (domain) cookies and go back in, otherwise every time you revisit the page the utter bar stewards up the price. If you're not up to this, then use Private Browsing mode to search for flights and compare and then close this mode, go back in and select the flight you want.

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It's time to burn the schedules and seize control of OUR TVs

Nick Ryan
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Re: You can lead a viewer to VoD

10 years ago I was trying to tell people that this is the way TV was heading, with a reduction in the importance of scheduled programming and a move to on-demand viewing... and in a lot of ways we're still not much closer to it.

There are, in general, 3 different type of viewers / viewing habits:

Some people like to have programs at set times because it allows them to schedule their lives (*) around something fixed and gives them a routine to follow, which makes them feel comfortable and secure. These tend to be the same people who go apoplectic when there's a schedule change due to something they're not currently interested in such as live sport or significant news event. Advertising can be sold on the time slot due to the age old established profiles of viewers during these fixed times.

Others like to watch what they want to watch, and are happy to wait for it to be "released" at a certain date and time but want to want to watch it at their convenience. In other words, these are the record it and watch it later people for which series link and smart EPG recording is so useful. Advertising can be sold in the breaks in these programs based on the program itself, however the slots before and after the program are of little value in this regard. Due to the recorded nature of the programs and therefore the availability of the fast-forward function, the adverts either have to be very recognisable or direct so they can be spotted even at 16-32x playback or embedded within the program itself as product placements. The viewers in this category are typically considered more affluent than the scheduled program watchers.

Another group are more "grazers" - they pick and choose what they want to watch in fairly arbitrary ways. With no real regard for schedules or planned recordings they tend to watch odd singleton items or pick up on series after (or part way) through their release. For these people, catch up TV and on-demand services are the enabler however advertising is hard to put in place as they are usually quick on the fast-forward function which leaves either non-skippable advertising (usually at the beginning of a feature) or product placement. Viewers in this category are generally of two camps - those who are happy to pay for content (such as on demand films) and those who aren't.

Most real people transition between these viewing profiles to some extent, for example using the "catch up" features to catch up with a scheduled series and then to switch to watching it live when it is released.

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Sci-Fi fans blow stacks at copybot attacks

Nick Ryan
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Re: Huh?

I took it that the video was just a background behind projected various folk being given awards.

Or was it that it was the entire award ceremony itself that was being streamed and then blocked?

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Nick Ryan
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WTF?

Huh?

So let me try to understand this... For a live presentation event, some dickhead decided to stream content down from the Internet somewhere rather than download everything in advance, checking that it all works, is high quality video and audio, the audio balanced to the correct levels and without adverts or anything else unwanted in the streams?

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AMD CTO spills 'Steamroller' core specs

Nick Ryan
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Re: What does ''emergency schedule handling'' mean

I think this is where the execution queue handler has to be either flushed or interrupted and higher priority instructions than the existing items in the queue executed instead. For example, when a high priority hardware interrupt is triggered it needs to use the processor resources with low latency rather than waiting around for a lower level process to complete.

It used to be "simple" when the persistent process chip state was just a few registers - add a higher number of registers, such as those in the non-core specialist functions, and execution queuing and things get "interesting".

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Samsung chucks 'free' Galaxy S III at dragon sketcher

Nick Ryan
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http://loonyletters.com/ms-sandwiches/

Ouch. Just how many security warnings can be generated from a single page?

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Microsoft's new retro-flavoured logo channels Channel 4

Nick Ryan
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FAIL

The logo change is a Sure sign of the deep infection of marketing droiditis in MS when, as well as a criminally ugly new user interface (that used to be called Metro), they've also done through a "corporate rebranding". We just need some whale song and some anally retentive justifications (excuses) for the new nuances that the rebranding inflicts in customers. Doesn't matter if it's fugly, usable or anything, as long as the marketing droids like it.

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Investor pulls out of Facebook, pumps cash into pork-printing joint

Nick Ryan
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It's an intriguing tech - and should considerably less damaging than the disgusting state of the US pork industry... whole rivers and eco-systems destroyed by the toxic run off from the "farms" (hard to really call them farms).

It also shows that a vacuum of real return when it comes to facebook, compared the the possibility of real, tangible returns, from a business that actually produces something. Getting in at the start of something like this artificial meat product, while possibly risky (partly due to the inevitable lobbying from established players and just risk of technical failure), could pay off very well.

On an aside - how would vegetarians feel about this meat? Some are veggies because of their dislike of farming and killing animals, with this aspect removed would they eat artificially grown meat?

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Creepy skull find proves Man penetrated Asia 60,000 years ago

Nick Ryan
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Re: How did they know where to dig?

Yes, that is pretty much exactly how such archaeology goes. It's not something you get into for instant results - you can be lucky sometimes but most of the time it really is scrabbling around in the dirt with nothing much to show for it.

...other than a stinking hang-over of course. The work is so dull, that evenings aren't often wasted.

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Android spanks Apple iOS in sales as fanbois hold out for iPhone 5

Nick Ryan
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A lot of iPhone users I know are holding out, for two reasons:

1) Their contracts are not up for renewal - 24 month contracts are the norm these days

2) The iPhone 4s, other than a very nice screen, has no advantages over their existing iPhone. Siri is a waste of time, the camera is an improvement but the previous camera was acceptable for most users.

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Microsoft reveals Windows RT OEMs

Nick Ryan
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There is one good point for these devices...

Multi-user support. The pain in having an iDevice (iPad) with multiple users is rather high. If you configure the device with mail then every joker in your household can access your mail and if you can't be bothered to enter card details or passwords for every app purchase (as in you don't want to have to remember them and "remember this password" functionality is very easy - this is common), then look forward to kids bankrupting you within a few weeks (or days).

Obviously, from an Apple point of view there's a simple solution - put a key code on the device and buy every member of your household one of their own. In reality however few are likely to spunk that much cash on easily broken toys for kids.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Expect lots of furious customers........."

That's PC World knackered then.

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Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'

Nick Ryan
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Re: Modern UI? Seriously?

"Bungle" would be more apt.

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SCO keeps dying, and dying, and dying

Nick Ryan
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Joke

Re: world's smallest violin

Oh no... for a moment there I misheard and thought we had a tiny pianist in the house...

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Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Nick Ryan
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Re: Efficient killing machines....

King of the Jungle?

Bear vs Lion - Bear wins.

Not sure how many Bears are found in jungles though :)

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Ice Cream Sandwich still a no-show for most Android users

Nick Ryan
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"What's truly disappointing is that the lion's share of Googly handsets – roughly 61 per cent of the total – are still running Android 2.3, codenamed "Gingerbread," a version that dates back to 2010."

No, what's truly disappointing is that the damn phone manufacturers are still releasing phones with 2.3, not 4.x

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Rackspace wolfs down own OpenStack dog food

Nick Ryan
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Aside from being an obvious advertorial... just how many flipping buzzwords and limited scope product names* are needed here? It makes it much harder to read than necessary.

* as in known only to a few in a tiny part of the industry

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Microsoft: Gmail rival Outlook.com will 'look good on your iPad' 

Nick Ryan
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Re: "We think the time is right to reimagine email"

"Where does this crap come from?"

..from the same dedicated dickhead marketing teams that repeatedly take well known, established brand (names) and for the sheer hell of it, rename them and make them worse every time.

Skype will be next...

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Samsung docs tease 11.8in, 2560 x 1600 tablet

Nick Ryan
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So this is where all the good res screens have gone. A few years ago laptops were heading to this kind of resolution and then along came widescreen laptops and netbooks and suddenly we were lucky to get anything much better than 700 vertical pixels.

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Samsung: 'Apple's proto-iPhone Jony is a Sony phone phoney'

Nick Ryan
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There are a few interesting points made in that document... the image of the phone designs / mockups and the final designs - with the iPhone in the middle, the points about the complaint being a small part of a large design and the "ordinary person" case.

It must be a Friday to have read that... :)

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BOFH: Shove your project managementry up your mailbox!

Nick Ryan
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Hahaha, far too many of us will have been in these meetings sometimes. Only one thing, other than non-mindless violence of course, for meetings like this: Bullshit Bingo!

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Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a 'catastrophe' for PC biz

Nick Ryan
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Re: I believe the MS is getting a unusually bad rap here on this one.....

Same here - thanks Phoenix50. Hadn't spotted that turn around.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: I believe the MS is getting a unusually bad rap here on this one.....

"Visual Studio Express is Free!"

Yes, but the (Latest Edition) free version can only build Metro apps, not normal desktop apps. That's the point being made here.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: I believe the MS is getting a unusually bad rap here on this one.....

It's not so much the internals of Windows 8 that's the problem (by a lot of accounts it works slightly better than Win 7 in some ways), it's the half baked incompetent and ugly user interface that's been bodged on top of it that's the problem. There are so many elementary basic design and user interface mistakes in Metro that it's a wonder that it's usable at all.

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Microsoft unfurls patent lasso, snares Linux servers

Nick Ryan
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Re: Minor

"My statements stands. It's a hollow protection racket, a vile business practice and reeks of a company unable to compete in a changing market."

While generally I agree, there's also the flip side. MS is a commercial entity and it is their duty to make as much money as possible for their shareholders. They're big enough to design, create and sell products and services as well as hound money using legal means.

It doesn't make it particularly morally right, but this is business. We've heard all this practice but, in reality, would it stop us purchasing more MS products in the near future?

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Dell uncloaks trio of muscular mobile workstations

Nick Ryan
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Re: Nice i guess but

Easy...

Project not operating as customer expected because:

* Sales rat sold the impossible

* Manager agreed to unfeasable delivery time

* Developer had to cobble together the best they could in half the time required, usually with a vacant spec. document and requirements that will change up to the delivery date.

End result? Developer is sent to customer site, laptop in hand, and has to bodge and prod everything until it works. This tends to need a laptop, and a good one at that else even a manager can spot that the developer is a little hamstrung on a 1080x768 pixel screen laptop with 2GB or RAM.

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HTML 5 gets forked up

Nick Ryan
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Many W3C members have a nasty habit of being extremely evangelical about their own limited points of view and detest anything that is not exactly what they have penned. Even improving on what they might propose is often seen as a personal attack. As a result, I've spotted countless good things discarded, many bad things implemented (e.g. as mentioned above, a new and utterly daft approach to closing tags that undoes all of the progress in making the structure more controlled and therefore reliably parsable by a browser).

Some of the biggest new features of HTML5 are barely usable at the moment due to the fragmentation or optional implementation status of major components - i.e. video and canvas elements, resulting in being forced to use large JS libraries to produce dynamic code and to handle the browser by browser (and version by version) specifics.

The situation is made harder as a lot of the new features have little or no backwards capability either without adding stupid code for no reason - for example the very useful "header", "article" and even "footer" tags... Ideal places for styles to be attached but ignored by older browsers and even some "html5 browsers" and therefore you have to insert additional div and span elements just to put in the styling - at which point why bother with the "header" and "article" tags? It's just becoming tag soup.

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LG readies bonkers big telly for sale

Nick Ryan
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Oddly, £14k seems like a not-too unreasonable price for something this insane. It wasn't too long ago that much lesser tech was about the same price.

Will be hard to justify buying, let alone finding space for the screen, girders to help it frustrate gravity and the lounger for the girl.

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IT pro to storm Everest in Bletchley Park cash quest

Nick Ryan
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Re: Paying for someone's holiday?

If you look at the website then there are two options:

Charity "funded" or "self funded". If you pay £1650 then you could still try and get charity for it - the difference is that all money given to charity will actually go to charity rather than £1650 to the costs plus some other random amount to the arbitrators.

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Study: Users prefer Google+ over Facebook

Nick Ryan
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Re: Timeline?

It's not just the iPhone app as well, I don't know anybody who's especially enamoured with the Android version either. Both do a multitude of annoying things, generally very slowly. In the same period of time you can load up the full desktop version, check whatever you need, post, edit or whatever takes your pick. It's a shame that it can be a pig to stop it going to the awful "mobile optimised" website.

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McDonalds staff 'rough up' prof with home-made techno-spectacles

Nick Ryan
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WTF was he doing in a McDonalds in Paris anyway? Paris allegedly home to cuisine cooking after all...

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Olympics security cockup down to software errors - report

Nick Ryan
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Private vs Public

When it comes to large organisations, unless they grow well and the people at the top are very good (usually they aren't that great at anything except CV polishing), then there's often little difference between the inefficiencies of large Private and Public organisations.

The problem usually relates to far too many layers of management, far too much reliance on KPI statistics to "prove" compliance (note: this is different to "success") and far too few people actually doing the work that is meant to be core to the organisation.

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Microsoft pops preview of 'biggest, most ambitious' Office yet

Nick Ryan
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"We've transformed Office to embrace design concepts shown in Windows 8 and Phone 8 and in Metro. This wave of Office is the biggest and most ambitious we've ever done."

or translated:

"We've transformed Office to embrace the monumental design fuckups championed in Windows 8 and Phone 8 and in Metro. This wave of meaningless marketing driven Office user interface changes is the biggest and most ambitious cockup we've ever overseen."

As for how the applications work, will have to try them soon enough to be sure. However the eye hurting caps on menus, lack of distinction between document and controls and general white-on-white glare isn't encouraging me to do this. The changes in powerpoint do look like a good thing, but we'll see how they work in practice.

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Behold: First look at Office 2013, with screenshots

Nick Ryan
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More UI Fail

...but that's what you get when you have a top down idiocracy such that MS operates.

You'd have thought that the idiots would have at least taken into account some of the developers concerns with Visual Studio but no. After all, these are the people at the cutting edge of trying to make stuff on Windows and there are a lot of very talented UI designers in there.

But no, mobile device touch screen focused, bland, ugly, barely usable, unfriendly and unwieldly user interfaces are what has been dictated from on high so that's what we're going to get.

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Microsoft to announce new Office version on Monday

Nick Ryan
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Bullshit marketing

It's the nonsense bullshit marketing justification that comes from MS that's most annoying....

I sat through a presentation where MS "justified" the new ribbon interface by enabling every toolbar possible in MS Word 2003 and compared this with the new ribbon interface. They weren't impressed when it was pointed out that only a fecking retard would enable every toolbar simultaneously and some of the toolbars would normally only appear when required.

There are some good things about the ribbon interface - as in the functionality is usually better grouped than the often irrational placing of menus in the old MS Office (menus that were compounded by the idiotic default of hiding everything that isn't used twice a day). What Open Office did for the menus was to keep them largely the same but rationalise the placement of some items - the effect was an interface easy to use and familiar but with improvements - i.e. evolutionary. Bringing in the ribbon interface at such a size was a bad move though as it takes up so much vertical screen real estate on a lower resolution screen that it severely impacted usability - and if the horizontal space wasn't great either than many functions were lost in a 3x3 pixel drop down that was far too easy to miss (Office 2010 improved on this with some smarter collapsing).

Usually though, with the entire Office suite, the only thing that changes is the front user interface. Frequently exactly the same unfixed bugs are present and many of the settings popups are identical. While there is some merit in not fixing what isn't broken, when these screens are the setup windows of Microsoft Outlook, this really doesn't apply.

Given how pathetic the Metro interface is and that MS Office 2013 is bound to ape it's look and "usability", it's no wonder that MS have been hiding the new version. MS Office is their big cash cow, breaking it is not something to be done likely but if a homicidal user-interface is being championed at the upper level of idiots then, especially at a company that runs internally like MS, this is what is going to happen and nobody will dare to speak out about it.

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Metro, that ribbon, shared mailboxes: Has Microsoft lost the plot?

Nick Ryan
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Re: Microsoft doesn't even like public folders

For years MS have been trying to ditch public folders, in favour of pushing all users towards something quite horrific instead - i.e. Sharepoint. Even the most backward MS lackeys have realised the danger in this and how so many organisations rely on public folders that removing them in an upgrade would just kill the upgrade.

As for Sharepoint, all recent MS Office "upgrades", as in a marginally different interface on the same bugs, have featured a growing creep of "push the users onto Sharepoint". Sharepoint, on the other hand, is the same grossly inefficient bug ridden IIS extension that doesn't really know what it wants to be. Some things it does fairly well however unfortunately most features are at best acceptable. Again, the last few upgrades have done little more than tweak the user interface slightly on the same bugs while not removing any of the enormous frustrations, for example trying to do something devastatingly complicated such as relational data in a Master > Detail relationship.

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WTF is... WiGig

Nick Ryan
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...so maybe the ideal home roaming setup will be to have a "base station" in each room where the light fitting would be in the centre of the ceiling and to network these base stations together with wired gigabit (or faster). This would allow very high speed links for devices roaming between rooms and the placement of the base station outside of the general clutter should be good for links - as in when there's no direct link because of a sack of water in the way, it can still bounce off a wall.

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Cut'n'paste UK launch for cut-price Motorola Android

Nick Ryan
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Re: Please, T-Mobile, Don't bork a good phone like Orange do

So true.

Orange always seem to be the worst as well, actively removing useful things and then adding crud and trial junk everywhere. For example ever seen the number of ringtones an orange phone has, then compare it to the base vanilla release and there are many, many more. There is, however, likely to be an orange "buy ringtones" app somewhere close... I've had orange mobiles which were so chock full of trial games which took so much of the available storage space that you couldn't even download the full paid version if you did pay for it.

If branding were limited to stickers / transfers on the case and logo'd backgrounds and sounds the world would be a better place. And I'd be factory unlocking fewer Orange mobile phones. Which would give me more time at the pub. aka. a better place.

If they want to put in trial games on special deals to upgrade, then this isn't a bad thing - after all they get kick backs from the sale of the game and hopefully we get some good games. But as the AC stated, they have to be removable...

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Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Nick Ryan
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No storage...

If it had storage, (i.e. MicroHD) then I'd get one as soon as. However without, it's a bit pointless in a lot of ways for what I'd like to do with it.

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Lookout mulls flagging privacy-invading phone apps as adware

Nick Ryan
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Re: If only...

Rooting your phone is NOT the only way to get rid of carrier crud-ware. You can just install the base, un-carriered, version of the software for your phone. Other than getting rid of the carrier junk and branding, you also don't have to suffer with waiting for the carrier to bother to release an updated version of the software for your phone - just use the manufacturers version. You do, however, have to put up with whatever the phone manufacturer puts into the base version, but currently this usually there isn't too much at this level on most devices.

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Museum of Computing recognised as PROPER MUSEUM

Nick Ryan
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Now if only some of the reg hacks can visit it and learn that there was something other than Macs and PCs in the 80s and 90s... ;-)

The evolution of computing can be very interesting, but only if presented well and in context - it doesn't have to be exceedingly dry. Seeing the various advances as they were made and how they were received in the market (or not in some cases) is a curious thing to observe and could be an object lesson for investors, not just the curious. The changing role of computing within society, from military, education and then into business finance and from this moving to all areas is a huge topic all of itself. There are still quite a lot of people around who remember the "computing room" (aka basement) that could effortlessly provide heat for the rest of the building. Puts into context the thermal envelopes of modern systems.

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Door creaks and girl farts: computing in the real world

Nick Ryan
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Because a CD is such a good solution compared to a simple USB memory stick? After all, one fits in a pocket or onto a keychain, the other doesn't. One can effortlessly store 10-12 times the amount of data as the other and do so in a smaller package. One is considerably faster than the other and can be easily rewritten as often as required, without having to wipe and rewrite the whole thing every time.

And as noted by a previous poster, this is why we keep a USB CD/DVD for the occasional times when needed.

Of course, this is before a cretinous laptop manufacturer decides that you don't need USB or that you only need a single port or the ports that are there are not the normal size...

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Used software firms win small victory in shrinking on-premises world

Nick Ryan
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A sensible ruling, with some sensible and thought our provisions - i.e. you can't just divvy up a licence for 25 users of software X between 5 buyers.

I can see what some of the scumbag companies will do now, they'll remove any concept of unlimited life licences and switch to timed licences throughout. If you're the registered "owner" of the licence (according to the supplier's master list), then they might just give you a new licence when your expires if you ask nicely - thereby killing a lot of resale opportunities and giving their upselling team the chance to do some more selling to a customer who at the very least is an active lead.

Will this also knock out MS's ghastly OEM OS licensing terms as well?

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Facebook phone app attempts to seize ALL YOUR MAIL

Nick Ryan
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Re: Hmmm

What FB app? :)

I didn't root my phone, I just re-installed it with the vanilla release from the manufacturer without all the operator crap shovelled onto it.

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Nick Ryan
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Stop

If I understand it correctly, it's the Facebook App (i.e. the slow, unstable unreliable pile of shite that is prompted to be installed everytime you go to the facebook page on a mobile) that is doing this. Adding facebook sync to the Android contact manager does not overwrite email addresses as each contact source's data is maintained separately and only shown together in the user interface - which is how it should be.

I uninstalled the crappy FB app a while ago and just used a browser to access facebook - the experience was far better, especially when prohibiting the asshat "mobile" web version and forcing the use of the normal desktop web version. For example, while the app took 3 minutes to not show a list of status updates or messages, the web page would display them pretty much instantly. I've yet to understand just how or why they managed to make the app so useless.

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Web stat WTF: iOS beats Android 3 to 1, iOS and Android tied

Nick Ryan
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Re: Disabling data....

You can still have the devices connect via wifi, and with access to various access points many users don't need, or sometimes even want, mobile data as well.

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Just how do you build the perfect Olympic stadium?

Nick Ryan
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8 to 15 people per square metre

How?

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War On Standby: Do the figures actually stack up?

Nick Ryan
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Re: I'm fed up with gear without mechanical switches.

"I use my machine in a way so I don't lose data that way"

You mean you don't turn it on? Windows spends an inordinate amount of time writing to the hard disk for various reasons - registry, logging and virtual memory are probably the top 3. How do you avoid using these while still running windows?

If you boot from an optical drive and run in memory then yes, you won't run the risk of damage to a file structure

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Nick Ryan
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Re: actually

How exactly do CHP systems save electricity? Changing the origin is one thing, saving another.

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