723 posts • joined Tuesday 10th April 2007 06:11 GMT
Re: Oh no
It's not hard to run 3rd party browsers. Chrome installs in user space and not program files (not a good idea, re-merging of sodding data and apps, but this is the windows way) and there are quite a few options when it comes to running apps without installing them. "Portable Apps" being one of the most well known of these.
Yep - it does seem that way, but then to be honest nothing much "new" or "interesting" was expected with this phone despite all the hyperbole.
It would be nice if iOS got a refresh though, it's now feeling very clunky and unloved and while there have been some incremental improvements, they've not been a lot. Keeping it similar does aid continued adoption rather than the "arg... where did they move that to this time" feel that can come across otherwise.
I know a few people have been putting off new phones for iPhone 5, will be interesting to see how the sales (not shipments) go. It's beyond time apple did something interesting rather than evolutionary with their phones. The displays are nice, the camera sounds good, siri will doubtless continue to be a useless waste of space and making a nicely presented and designed phones thinner and thinner only to have ugly-as-sin cases to enclose them just seems an ongoing exercise in futility.
Re: HTML5 development
we have to accept that it's a constantly moving target but also that this is not as bad as it sounds because degradability is built-in. The HTML 5 syntax alone is a huge leap forward.
If only this degrability theory was true. It's not. You cannot use the (useful) new tags because if you do, the presentation (styling) will be omitted by the vast number of useless browsers out there. As a result, you have to wrap the new tags in old tags (mostly div and span) and apple the style to these - at which point, why bother with the new tags?
The HTML 5 syntax isn't a huge leap forward - in some ways it's a headless rush backwards towards the "golden era" of mismatched tags. Take the example of browsers having to double guess what a web page markup really means... for example is "<p>foo<p>bar" two different paragraphs without closures or is it one paragraph embedded within another without closures? The gobsmacking idiocy of this backwards step must have the developers of the various web browsers clawing their eyes out.
I'd love HTML 5 to take off, but in reality it's not much more than an exercise in frustration - and that's before you start to get involved in the quasi-religious ideals of some of the actual writes of the standards and their own "lalalalalala (hands over ears) - not listening" approach to even exceedingly well reasoned and presented feedback.
There is one valid point in here though... The irrational desire from some UI monkeys to slavishly attempt to mimic real world interface elements on a computer screen. Here I'm thinking of those on idiotic screen re-creations of TV remote controls to control video applications, those almost impossible to use twist knob controls that infest far too many audio manipulation apps and the daft LED segment style numeric, or worse - alpha-numeric, displays
Ah... and there's the key design element. Hiding interactive elements over a screen letting a user randomly thumb the interface until something happens. Because it's true, most users will get frustrated and eventually find some of these functions "charms" (or whatever BS term they'll be next week) and maybe even remember where they are after a few uses. At least some of them will be found anyway anyway, most likely they'll find one that does something and consider it their lot.
<sarcasm>Sounds like intuitive user interface design perfection to me.</sarcasm>
IBM (Lotus Notes) lost it when IBM decided that they no longer gave a shit about anything other the large enterprise customers. From that point on it started to cease to be relevant.
This leaves the more commonly used Microsoft alternatives of Sharepoint and Exchange. As in Sharepoint that is indescribably awful in most ways, where the best it manages is adequate at basic functionality, and Exchange which is stunningly resource intensive and can sometimes be a real PITA to do what ought to be basic maintenance. I'll happily admit that the management of Exchange has improved in recent versions, despite MS's insistence on focusing on Lync and their rather obscure take on "Unified Communications".
Re: All part of Apples master plan
It is also a very good business practice to diversify your suppliers:
a) A range of suppliers (should) keep prices lower or more stable and quality high
b) If a supplier goes under, you still have others
c) Supply problems at one supplier are less business critical
Basically the "single point of failure" principle.
When I did my exams at school it was the block system... therefore I couldn't do both English and Computer Science(*) at A-Level - which rather upset my English teacher but I wasn't too worried at the time. Couldn't do Computer Science along with Art (GCSE or A-Level) either, which was more of an upset though. There are always going to be some scheduling conflicts, but sometimes the rationalisation between the blocks is gob smacking in its weirdness.
(*) And yes, it really was Computer Science. We started off learning logic diagrams and made our way up from there. No "how to apply a shitty effect to a Power Point slide" classes for us - probably part;y due to Power Point not existing at the time but also due to have a very good teacher who did care.
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.
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.
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?
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".
Ouch. Just how many security warnings can be generated from a single page?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Re: Modern UI? Seriously?
"Bungle" would be more apt.
"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
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
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...
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.
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... :)
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!
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.
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.
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.
"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?
Re: Nice i guess but
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WTF was he doing in a McDonalds in Paris anyway? Paris allegedly home to cuisine cooking after all...
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.
"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."
"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.
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.
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.
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.
...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.
Re: Please, T-Mobile, Don't bork a good phone like Orange do
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...
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.
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.
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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