909 posts • joined Tuesday 10th April 2007 06:11 GMT
Makes a lot of sense
... a dual core processor with unbalanced cores - one for high and one for low power tasks.
Software support will be the important marker of this scheme's success or not.
Dead before birth
Who the hell cares about portable disc players?
Blu-ray uptake is pretty appalling really - partly due to content saturation (have a DVD, why buy the same content again?), the greed when it comes to pricing but also the supposed "benefits"... an extra hour or two of extras that (almost) nobody watches and improved quality that while distinctly better than DVD, the majority of jo-public don't care to even notice. Hell, half of the Blu-Ray players I've seen are connected to the TV using Scart cables or worse.
And this is before you take into account Internet downloads...
Not just Edinburgh
Was on Voda and had plenty of "missed calls" with 4 bars (out of 5) signal but the phone never rang. You can expect a few of these, as the caller might hang up before the phone actually connects, but when they also leave voicemail messages as well?
The exact same phone, prior to being unlocked, was on Orange and never had this particular problem.
Yeah, El Reg need to come up with a scale for something this small. Perhaps something based on the Jedward-Talent?
...or even the Beiber-Talent (ducks in case there are any True Beleibers lurking ready to pounce, not likely on El Reg but you never know...)
A display res. of 2048 x 1536? That'll be interesting to keep responsive and to keep the power consumption levels down, especially when full HD video is involved.
Of course, the latest chips are much more efficient at such video decoding and rendering but it'll be interesting to see it done.
Simple... then just create a new throw away facebook account. You never need to use it again, and why should you put genuine(*) info in it? Same goes for any service that needs an email account to active and use - just create a throw away hotmail account.
* I am of course a 105 year old Algerian grandmother with an Android fetish.
So we're back to the same old "speed, speed, speed" is everything about a driver.
Doing 40 mph EVERYWHERE (as previously observed above) is just deadly. 40 straight through a 50mph (limit) zone, then 40 straight through the 30 mph zone, then 40 past the school... and so on.
As is nonchalantly pootling up an ACCELERATION LANE onto a motorway or other fast moving road at 40 mph and having a long line of cars behind you. Then pulling obliviously onto the motorway and causing whatever unfortunate driver is in the inside lane to slow down massively or swerve to stop ramming the rear of the car.
Then of course there is the trick of driving at 30mph... 5 inches behind the fecking car ahead of you.
Slowing down massively when there is an oncoming car... on the other side of a two lane road.
Having no fecking clue whatsoever about what lane to be in around a roundabout. The hint is in the name - you go ROUND it, not straight over it cutting lanes as you do. And the inside (left hand) lane is not the lane to choose when going right.
But other than these minor problems... tracking speed will, of course, detect the bad drivers and punish them appropriately </sarcasm>
Bleh. Most of it is trash - Sky Sports savagely accentuate the 3D effect to make something filmed from 50 metres away look 3D, and I'm just tired of films that spend half their effects sodding well throwing things at the viewer.
When used properly, it can add an extra something to media... but when abused for the sheer hell of it, it frequently detracts. But then the same thing goes for the over reliance on special effects compared to acting ability, dialogue and plots.
Yep - IIRC viruses have already been found and written on these kind of peripherals. It won't be too long before the (GP)GPU that modern gfx cards sport start to get hit in a main stream manner, and it'll be down to idiot operating systems and "developers" forgetting security entirely and adding features that can be used in an insecure way or can escalate their access across a system.
Google could either think of this as bad, or could find the competition good and put more effort into improving their version. Who knows, the copy might produce innovations that features that could be fed back into google's version.
Not a lie at all. I can run down the road at a speed approaching 30mph. Especially when closing time is close. How close I approach 30mph is something else altogether.
Doesn't mean that marketing like this sucks less though
Form over function... again
The design of the FPL website has always sucked balls. Not so much the visual "pretties" (that often tend not to look so pretty, but frequently fail to just load) but the entire engine behind it. The visual design has undergone a much needed refresh, although hard to tell how much its improved functionally so far.
It's just the staggering elementary mis-design of a database and the maintenance tasks behind it that require the entire thing to be offline so regularly is phenomenal. For hours after a days fixtures are complete the thing has often been unavailable... yes, there is a fair amount of data to process but why does this require that the entire database is unavailable? If certain features need to be locked out, for example transfers while re-calculating updated player values as the result of performances, then thats fair enough but why the entire thing?
And as others have already posted, its often unavailable near to the game week deadlines, often for hours before. This is down to what ought to be predicatable load, not database updates.
Of course, the thing is free therefore resources for it aren't going to be unlimited but on the other hand its damaging to the brand.
Re: <evil thought>
If only this wouldn't be so true. When (not if) automated cars turn up, there will be some out there who, just for the sheer hell of it, will to cause them to have accidents, brake suddenly and do anything else unwanted. Doubtless some will have hidden agenda (the tech nay-sayers) but others just for the thrills, malicious or not.
Wondered where these guys had gone.
Not to be too pessimistic, but there are a few points:
* The storage requirements of so much detail is large, very large. Even given a very efficient sorting and filtering algorithm, you can't get over the fact that such detail requires a lot of storage.
* Animation... never seen any with this system. Without animation it's all dull and lifeless. This isn't just animation of things sliding in various planes, it's about twists and bends as well.
* Reflections - still none. The "water" effect in the video is an inverted set of different coloured objects to give the appearance of a reflection. It's an acceptable trick, but now try combining this with trick with animation of the water surface... it's meant to be water, not a mirror.
* Still no sign of transparency, another important visual effect in graphics
* The scenes are extremely repetitive, probably due to having to keep the storage requirements even partly sane. Not even the angle of placement of the repetitive objects is varied, which does seem to indicate possible restrictions of the algorithms in use.
* Still no lighting and shadows, although the end of the video did promise that there are some. In which case, why not properly demonstrate this in the video, even if only a short clip at the end?
Not to say that the tech is without promise, but it's not far from ready for replacement of current tech.
Re: Win7 all *that* better?
Couldn't have put it better.
On one hand I utterly agree that once you have a tool that works well for you, why should you buy another one just because the manufacturer has released a new version. On the other hand, there's the constant security threat as old problems in old code get found and exploited, the continual improvement of systems (sometimes even to the perceived benefit of the user), and the need of a business such as MS who must introduce either a) churn or b) subscription / repeat charges in order to maintain their income in a market that in a lot of areas is saturated.
Churn is easy - make the old stuff stop working.
Subscription / repeat charges - this is harder if the company is so greedy as to charge to much that even the most maths-shy user can see the poor value in it or if there is no real or perceived benefits from a subscription model - such as extremely well developed code that is continually being improved both in terms of efficiency and new, useful (to the end user) improvements.
Disk vs Disc
Hard Disk, Floppy Disk
Optical Disc (CD, DVD Blu-Ray)
That's seems to be the "traditional" split of usage.
From what I remember...
It wasn't the fact that the licences wouldn't be cheaper with a large purchasing capacity, it was the fact that with the change to what is effect an annual rental process, the long term cost (even over a mere 3 year period) exceeds the stand alone purchase cost. After this period it's money for nothing.
This does omit the possibility of improved licensing procedures and reduced support costs, and the ludicrous situation where an OEM software suite installed on one PC can't be transferred to another when the first one bites the dust which, given reality, will occur quite often.
Balloon - not really a bad plan at all, as long as you can control the ceiling height properly. If these were filled with hydrogen (who *really* cares about explosions / leakage?) Just fill them quick and let them go and run like hell just in case. Or as a safety measure, have a lot of Oxygen at hand, after all, what could go wrong - the H would combine with the O and you'll just get wet and no explosion. There, sorted! :)
Just hang a smallish chemical rocket off it, fit a couple of stabilisers to it which will help to initially stablise the flight even at the height of the weather balloon and send it roughly upwards. At a reasonable angle you shouldn't need too long a burn to clear the atmosphere - after all the majority and hardest part of the launch distance has already been covered and you didn't need the rocket to expend valuable and heavy fuel reaching it.
Once in orbit (however you define that), have the rocket signal broadcast the insertion point (which will make the payload easier to track) and monitor the payload as it goes...
Simples. What could possibly go wrong :)
Go into a supermarket and look at the own store's brand products and compare to the well known brands of the same. Notice how the look and style is often copied by the store's own brands.
Just how similar does something have to be before it is considered worth the effort of throwing more money at lawyers on the off chance something useful (for you) happens?
yet another law to show just how forward thinking our lords and masters are. It will protect us against the unscrupulous websites that prey on and steal our personal details, about our children no less. Is nobody thinking of the children?
Or, on the other hand, it's yet *another* layer of annoying beurocracy that legitimate businesses have had foisted down their throats and will be ignored by those that were abusing it in the first place.
With all their extensive CPU experience and immense financial clout you'd have thought that Intel would have come up with a half decent GPU by now. However they seem to be stuck in the game of pushing a god-awful instruction set and basic architecture as fast as possible. Not really surprising given the persaveiness of this architecture but disappointing nonetheless.
Pushing such a horrible and inefficient instruction set as the x86 one at the HPC crowd shouldn't seem to be much of a starter, even with the touted "ease" of writing code for it. I'm sure it'll take off in part due to this but when you're in the business of trying to eek every instruction you can out of a chipset, employing coders who can code for it compared to stock x86 coders who can just about do something other than click a mouse button, doesn't seem the most efficient way to tackle the problem and even in the short term the cost savings won't be great. Sure, x86 co-pros will make some ground, and as costs go down the usual mainstream inefficiencies of coder cost vs hardware performace will take a toll, but for the real high end systems still nothing will beat properly coded systems. But then how many (G/Co)CPU cycles do you really want to spend shifting a very limited set of registers around when they should be doing something useful instead?
All this, of course, and Intel produce some of the best code optimisation and compiler tools around...
I do agree that WinPho7 is pretty easy to use and fairly polished in use, it's just that it looks so awful and toy / plasticy especially compared to the polish that is available on iPhones and, to a lesser degree, Android phones.
@Aimed at the wrong market
They're (largely) useless for business because they're aimed at kids with the playschool appearance interface and repeated heavy marketing focus on xbox-live, social networking and everything else that _most_ business users neither need or especially care much for.
To make matters worse, bespoke apps that used to run on the old OS won't run on the new so that quickly shot down a lot of potential business upgrades to WinPho7 in a flash as few businessess want to fork out even more now for existing (legacy) applications to be ported to a new system and in the meantime concurrently run and supporting both old and new versions.
The old WM6 phones were horrible to use and often barely successful as functioning as a phone. Part of this was the daft idea of trying to cram a windows (95/3.1!) interface into a mobile, the unsuitability of the underlying OS to support reliable, smooth telecoms and the awful applications and operator shovelware that tended to push the poor things over the edge. However their MS-centric side of them made them a good choice for businesses... and would probably have been very successful if RIM hadn't already sewn up the market years earlier with good phones which were streets ahead of normal devices and had the centralised configuration and management tools that made deploying and supporting the things almost a pleasure. Almost. Don't forget that most businesses provide phones through their ICT department and the staff there have to deploy and support these things and anything that comes with the tools that makes this process easier is likely to get picked in preference to devices that don't or can't.
Now MS's marketing spin department is trying perform an about turn to shove a playschool user interface at businesses with built in "pocket this", and "pocket that" but are hanpered by the continuing strong marketing push of the device as a "toy".
Notice how most of the marketing for the other smart phone OSes is more targetted, carefully chosen and / or appropriate? Apple's marketing shows the device in potentially useful scenarios that could happen to anyone, business or personal, and covers scenarios from gaming and photos through to useful navigation and information tools and even for the gaming tends to show it in situations other than teen-brat usage. Android's marketing is similar to Apples which given the similar target audience is inevitable and in Europe, at least, RIM's is very solidly business and productivity orientated however this is beginning to change slightly. MS's marketing, on the other hand, is either "toy / games" or "office / outlook" with no real hint of it even being averagely useful or doing anything especially interesting or anything in between.
You forgot one
... when the maths co-processor was swallowed up and became integral to the main CPU. IIRC this was around the time of the DX (as compared to SX) processors. There wasn't really much (PC) CPU competition about at the time and even for larger systems everything had discrete maths units.
"However I dont hear anybody complaining about pabx mfgrs?"
Alright then... Avaya. Their (management and end user) software is indescribably awful in almost every way and their product retention and support for anything over a couple of years old is along the lines of "what product? don't remember making that!"
Happy now? :p
Re: fn key
Yes, forgotten about them omitting the Windows key for such a long time. That was a real pain that was barely fixed using custom keys.
I agree physically about the keyboards though, the keyboards are generally good quality, although the dumb-arse fn-key positioning is the biggest bug bear for me when moving to use normal keyboard... aside from the damn forward and back navigation keys that I accidently hit all the sodding time of course. Wouldn't be so bad if it was possible to disable these keys without using a shovel load of crock-ware, however the fn key is fixed in a stupid place.
Could be worse - could be the cretinous Logitech (?) keyboards that had a function key lock that default to not using the function keys and instead mapped to dumb "media" functions instead.
E-mail... doesn't matter as long as MS Live, MS Mobile X and whatever else junk are part of MS Lync still work. Ish. Marketing tossers :(
Saw an unrelated MS presentation the other day and *ALL* they ineffectively pushed was MS Live, MS Mobile and MS Lync and how the entire world will be a better place with them. No mention and utter glossing over about what end users and support staff might possibly want - i.e. reliability, accountability and good diagnostics for *when* things go wrong (*).
(*) Because, to be fair, things always do go wrong (not just MS) but it's and damn sight easier when it's more transparent and the logs are present and comprehensible you stand a hope of figuring out the cause. Most problems are relatively simple to fix... as long as you can work out what the problem is.
Keyboard... wonder how coffee proof it is. And "good" to see that the a-holes at Lenovo are persisting in putting the f***ing Fn key in the place of the Ctrl key as usual. Barstards, causes so many problems when switching between Lenovo and normal keyboards.
Sometimes marketing drones should be shot. What next? MS will hire the annoying arses that are responsible for the Halifax ads?
Except... for when the US Pres. turns up on a tour at which point jammers accidently get turned on anyway.
It's not the radiation when you're at Mars that's the problem... it's the radiation on the way to Mars that is.
Mars itself will provide some protection from radiation - not a lot, but a hell of a lot more than a stock space vehicle will. As already noted, living in caves is an easy first step, with rock built structures the next.
Shaking Fist (or just rage, such as purple head spitting). Could be the Flame icon is good enough?
Generic Angel / Demon icons
Balance / scales
Moderatrix - need we say more?
Web 2.0 / marketing fluff
Lizard overlords - so special they need their own icon
Just improving the current icons would be a good start, some a pretty lame.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
WIndows Registry - a bad idea from the offset and the start of a great many problems. However this does not mean that mixing program files and data files is a good idea, just that writing anything into the registry is dumb. Want to recover your application from a failed OS install and your application has written important configuration settings into the registry? Forget it. On the other hand, if the application has *correctly* asked the OS for where it should store data files and put them there, you can easily recover them.
You are completely right about various apps doing stupid fecking things and "requiring" admin rights or at the least any pretence to security removed.
By the way, the MS documentation on where to store where is well over 10 years old, it's just a shame that MS frequently fail to adhere to any of it themselves with their applications. Not right to imply that all the problems are down to 3rd party software though, as a good pile of the problems are embedded within Windows itself.
If you want a real laugh...
Step through some of the calls in a CPU view mode and you'll start to wonder just when you'll ever get to the code that actually does what it's intended to do. There's so much boilerplate (mostly unnecessary) that it feels like 95% of the code is non-constructive - it's no wonder that even with multi-core 3GHz systems with 8GB RAM everything is still so flipping slowwwwwwwww....
No Rob = No Watch
Can't say much more than that... the final series (not the special) was utter drivel. The other series had their ups and downs of course, but the final series had nothing going for it except the grateful realisation when the final episode went past and you realised there were no more.
What kind of C64 is the image at the top of the article? That's *not* a C64 keyboard as I remember them... There are no key graphic symbols, and the Run/Stop and Restore keys are entirely missing (almost fondly remember having to hit that damn Restore key quite hard to get it to work when resetting the system).
And there I was thinking that a lot of these techs, and power generation in general, are still waiting on good electrical storage systems. i.e. Supercapacitors (or whatever the insane rated ones for grid leccy storage would be called) are generally the answer. This way power generation can be more constant, thus more efficient.
Would this be...
Would this be one of the classic jet engine turbine drives? i.e. one that whirs, clunks and whines itself at startup until finally it somehow manages to settle into an amost tolerable noise?
Had to love those old Seagate drives, and just old drives in general. With their assortment of interface types (MFM anyone), disk capacity IDs, and all the general pain of IRQ assignment - want your MFM adaptor card to work at the same time as the serial cards and the keyboard? Get your graph paper out, cross reference the IRQs that each will use and try to find a best fit!
Gave up (seriously) watching Dr Who when they decided to cast as many rubber faced goons as possible as the Doctor. Daft sidekicks have often been a part of the series make up though. Just something that doesn't appear to be want to be yet another lame karate kicking sword fighting pointless Hollywood-style movie remake would be a fine start.
In any case, the scariest thing about some of the older Dr Whos was wondering whether or not the set would collapse on the actors...
@CADmonkey - I used to hate Windows 7
Finding files - I've found the search box in Windows Explorer to be quite useful for simple searches. For anything more complicated (much rarer) the I'd obviously use a better tool.
To fix the explore tree-list operation, in Windows Explorer, click Tools > Folder Options and tick both boxes in the Navigation pane "Show all folders" and "Automatically expand to current folder". That's all it takes to restore a little sanity.
Disturbingly enough, Win 7 out of the box is crippled by the "effects" and other stupdity that effortless turn a fast system into something that feels like it runs like a snail nailed to sandpaper... unfortunately this detritus isn't as easy to find where to turn off. Right click on Desktop, select Personalise, then select "Ease of access centre" (bottom left of window), select "Make the computer easier to see" and in the "Make thing on the screen easier to see" section tick the "Turn off all unnecessary animations (when possible)". Hit OK and all of a sudden your experience will improve immeasurably as no longer are there pointless and annoying delays while Windows fades, slides and expands stuff into and out of view. It's not that nice effects are bad, it's just that they shouldn't make things slower just for the sheer hell of it.
To fix one of the other dumb-ass problems in Windows 7, that of password expiry notifications typically being on screen for around 5ms is, again, to go the "Ease of Access Centre" but this time select "Make it easier to focus on tasks" and change the "Adjust time limits and flashing visuals" and set the drop down box for "How long should Windows notification dialog boxes stay open?" and set it to a sane value - i.e. minutes (don't forget, 5.0 seconds seems to include windows decision and dithering time so the display time is somewhat less than 5.0 seconds).
Likewise, one of the "new features" is that the notification area on the task bar has a whizz bang and utterly useless feature to stop popups. This generally prevents the user from seeing anything important and its implementation makes the entire feature not only pointless but actually a problem. The best option is to just disable the feature. To do this, right click on task bar, select "properties", then click "Customise" in the "Taskbar" tab and in the "Notification Area Icons" page tick the option "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar". Now you won't miss sometimes critical notifications.
Start > Run option - this can be restored by going to the same "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" dialog, clicking on the "Start Menu" tab, clicking the "Customise" button and two thirds of the way through the options is an option to restore the "Run" command to the start menu ("Run command").
Not that there aren't some remaining real ass-hattery things in Win 7, but I've found that with these tweaks it's generally smooth and fast again. The remaining real annoyances are the ludicrous file copy dialogs that tend to spend more time "discovering items" than actually copying and the batshit insane control panel that can now only be used by using the search feature in the explorer window that displays it - not that this search doesn't work well (it does) but it's more clicks and key presses to perform a once fairly rapid task.
@irish donkey - Maybe a schoolboy error
The schoolboy error may be that you did an upgrade. The *only* way you should ever upgrade a Windows OS installation is to slam in a new disk or format the old one and install from scratch.
Not sure if you did though, as I can't remember whether or not it is even possible to do an in place upgrade from Win XP to Win 7...
The "fuzziness" on your screen was almost certainly due to not driving the TFT monitor at it's native resolution (a very common problem). One other possibility may be that it's just the desktop icons that look shite - in this case click on the desktop, hold down the Ctrl key and spin the mouse wheel until the icons look sane again!
Don't start the Comic Sans argument... El Reg's forums will collapse under the weight!!!
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