1290 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007
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: Ironic possibility
I used to know a girl named "Patience". Yeah, that name didn't particularly fit... :)
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...
Re: How about lettering??
Just paint it black with "NSA" is ominous red lettering on it. It'll be fine...
3D printing may well be the future of manufacturing, but for now it’s a hobbyist’s toy
It's currently used extensively for prototyping rather than end manufacturing. Being able to knock up interlocking (ish) parts at something like 1/4 scale in a day is a tremendous cost saving and really works to push and develop components quickly and cheaply. Good CAD systems are all very well, but having something that's close to the final product in your hands, albeit scaled down, makes the process of iterating improvements so much easier.
And while a lot of hobbyists do use them, they are also really pushing the boundaries of what can, or should, be done in the medium and this is a good thing. So what that there's a lot of poor quality dross out there... there are some really clever uses as well and that's the important point.
Would love one myself, but just don't have space in the current house... :)
It's useful to turn this specification around a bit and compare it to tablets rather than full blown laptops.
I have the latest Nexus 7 and it's a great bit of kit for the money, really nice screen with a good resolution (not ****ing 1366x768) , fast processing that's easily fast enough for what I need and the battery easily lasts all day of pretty solid usage. It comes with a 2.5A charger (or something like that) which charges up really quite quickly as well.
Why the description of the Nexus 7? It doesn't have a keyboard - add a keyboard and you get something very similar to a ChromeBook. So there's no real reason why a device like this couldn't charge using a "standard" tablet charger.
Re: And yet....
"Could care less" = Americanism of "Couldn't care lass" - which actually makes sense.
Why do the Americans bring sexism into everything? :)
Re: What hasn't been mentioned....
Whilst the ad app developer has been contacted about the vulnerabilities, no-one seems to have addressed why on Earth the software had this capability in the first place.
Exactly. Command-and-control functionality doesn't get "accidentally" coded and put into an app library.
Unfortunately as I read it, the player will (must) always be net connected and will check into a central database somewhere. If that database says that you have every copied a film, then the player will be crippled.
Due process. Heard of it.
Re: No need to remove watermark
Well, if you decompress the video into full RGB and then compress it again, that alone should probably kill or disrupt any stego that was in the original stream.
A good scheme would survive this as well. Data can be hidden into content in all manner of ways, and much of this would indeed survive the re-encoding process. Think about the basics - on a 100 minute movie running at 25 there's 150000 individual frames. If a 20 character (160 bit) watermark could be encoded in a single spot (not pixel, think screen location) with one bit per frame it could still be encoded over 900 times sequentially. That's just video, IDs can be encoded into audio as well.
Re: When will these idiots realise
No matter what your employer's repeatedly chant to themselves... and inflict on those of us that actually buy content... piracy is not theft. Piracy is copyright violation... as in making a copy of something without the copyright holder's permission.
I'm not saying that piracy is right, but try to get things right rather than just mindlessly repeat the same old, tired and massively debunked, arguments.
Re: My message to the movie industry
...you still don't get it? Despite what your employers have told you, and the incessant lies locked on at the start of a lot of video media, piracy is not theft, it is copyright violation: i.e. making a copy of something without the copyright holder's permission.
I'm not stating that piracy, is right, but your incessant (anonymous) protests that it "takes money from artists" does not help in any way. Your argument about "quality" vs "piracy" is flawed as most distributors rather than face up to the fact that they are charging too much for content of dubious quality in a period of massive financial hardship is not the reason for lessening profits, instead "piracy" is the problem. This approach is akin to sticking your head in the sand and with fingers in yours ears shouting loudly that everything is fine and that you can't hear anything and by the way, if anything isn't fine then it's not your fault anyway.
Things change, the world and the financial dynamics that it too much relies on change as well. So rather than chasing one failing strategy time and time again, thus pissing off more and more of your customers that were happy to pay previously, how about thinking different? You may be surprised at how many people will voluntarily pay a fair price for something, sometimes even more, if they know that the money is going to the right place and for the right reasons.
Re: Digital signature conundrum
The techniques will be much more subtle and distributed in nature than this. If I was doing this (which I'm not), I'd start with multiple unique IDs (of varying lengths) that are either keyed together mathematically (also effectively encrypted) or in a database linking them. Some frames would include the entire of one or more of these IDs, other times parts of one or more ID, all encoded within the audio or video streams in various methods. In addition I'd add various white-noise changes to obfuscate the actual IDs within digital "noise".
The kit required to embed all these IDs will not be pleasant for content broadcasters as they necessarily make a lot of bandwidth savings from using broadcast techniques (i.e. same version to multiple subscribers). Creating a unique version for each subscriber and transmitting each of these would increase the required bandwidth beyond the capability of most networks to manage, and definitely beyond satellite transmitters. The noted alternative would be broadcasting an encrypted version and having the local hardware perform the decryption and embedding further watermarks locally (the version supplied to the broadcaster would already by watermarked to identify leakage there). Having remote, user accessible systems is where the whole scheme will break down...
So you advocate cluttering your nice and neat desk with USB extenders because you think that removable media should be hidden away in the most awkward place to reach (with the possible exception of bundling it into the mains plug somehow). That these hidden ports also includes SD, not just USB, which is even more dumb as SD is generally only removable media while USB can attach to other devices where you might want to hide the cables.
Re: Has to be
It is very important that all the controls are also painted matt black.
Re: Nothing will make airships viable.
I'm glad that I'm not the only one to wonder this.
AFAIK the principle of airships is that the density of the [filler] is less than the density of the air displaced thereby giving a positive lift, very much similar to the basic principle of things floating on water.
Possibly down to the pressure of the gas used as the filler keeping the containers in shape while keeping the density lower than the surrounding area, otherwise we'd need a very strong container as all the pressure would be from the outside pushing inwards, and such a container could be heavier than the weight of the air displaced.
Re: Jesus there's room for everyone..
I thought that one of the big problems with BMWs is the shoddy build quality of some components that result in their almost instant failure once they leave the showroom.
Indicators, for instance.
Re: err ,,,,
But what do I know, eh? I'm from a country that mostly works.
You are? Just out of curiosity, what country is this?
Re: XP is good enough
Very true, and to extend it... a computer is a tool to help you to get a job done. If a tool continues to work and continues to allow you to get your job done using it, why would, or even should, you need to replace it? This is, quite correctly, how the majority of small businesses and similar users see their PCs - tools to get a job done.
I think I need to take some tablets now... :)
In many ways I completely agree.
There are muppets on both sides... one set with their fingers in their ears swearing blind that we can poison entire eco-systems, wreck global and regional cycles (nitrogen cycle is gone already through massive use of nitrogen fertilisers, the effect of this is a different discussion) and on the other side where some are predicting massive temperature rises or large and (possibly) frequent temperature variations that would become "normal" as a result of the damage and we should throw millions / billions their way to look into it or to mitigate it.
A large problem is that predictions can only be accurately be tested (verified) after the event. At which point it's (a) too late to do much about it and (b) often nobody will believe you as they'll think that you adjusted your figures to match reality and besides, one accurate prediction needn't mean future ones will be accurate.
A major stumbling block is that the ecosystem is a hugely complicated, and even studying the current interlocked cycles and feedback systems is a monumental task, predicting what would happen as a result of even subtle changes to one of more of these systems is vastly more difficult. For example, while a huge amount of impact could be predicted as a result of one action, another previously insignificant cycle could counterbalance the impact and the net result is minimal. However the upsurge of that balancing cycle could mean that another cycle is now unstable and one more tip could break something else... or not. Basically, I don't particularly envy the poor souls who have go through all of this and then stand up to the "scrutiny" from the deniers or the advocates of apocalypse.
All we can really say is that poisoning our environment is bad. The level and extent of the bad, well that's something very hard to quantify.
They do need to market the phones considerably better.
When the adverts are framed in Microsoft Blue with the name Microsoft all over it... that's not a selling point. Take a brand that is almost universally hated (we all hate MS at times, certainly don't trust them) and is often used in equivalence with unreliable and use that as the main branding of a phone advert? Hmmm
Samsung don't advertise their devices as GOOGLE GOOGLE GOOGLE or ANDROID ANDROID ANDROID, and forget what the phones do and what they're there for. Apple don't go iOS iOS iOS, blah, they similarly tell you what the device is promised (except it's all beta software) to do... And yet almost every Nokia phone advert I see is predominantly "Microsoft".
3D printers can be fed with different colour stock, and while this is sometimes useful, on a project like this a "natural" colour would be better as the addition of the colour dyes can quite significantly change the mechanical and thermal tolerances of the plastic.
IIRC non-smooth surfaces on air bound surfaces do work due to the way they change the effective air density around them through the micro-vortices created. Something like that anyway :) A linked effect can be had from blowing air out the front of a air-bound object.
It was only a few years ago that sharks were found to employ a similar effect in water explaining in part their comparatively rough skin and just how fast and efficiently they can move in water. An artificial surface similar to it was used on some yacht or other in the Americas Cup, which led to all kind of secrecy and marketing / publicity shenanigans going on.
Re: reset while windows was running ...
I'm still waiting for a fully journalled version of NTFS...
- +Analysis Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
- Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
- Pics It's Google HQ - the British one: Reg man snaps covert shots INSIDE London offices
- White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
- The END of the FONDLESLAB KINGS? Apple and Samsung have reason to FEAR