2653 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007
Between the lines
Apart from the pictures of "home" I like Alun's down-to-earth reviews. Yes, it mixes and matches tech trivia with extremely subjective values judgments: it's more substantial (heavy) which makes it of better quality. But it also concentrates on actually using the damn thing to do stuff.
However, what interested me most about this review was one of the bits of tech trivia:
Once again like the Xperia Z, the Z1 has a quad-core processor, but it has been bumped up from 1.5GHz to 2.2GHz making it one of the highest spec smartphones money can buy.
That is an amazing leap (~ 50 %) in 6 months and you can really start to see why Intel is worried. If the ARM <insert-pun-here> is able to bump speed and/or cores at that rate on a regular basis then Intel will have no business at all in 5 years.
Re: Never buying SONY again
@Deaths Pirate, sorry to hear about the hassles but to be honest that could happen with virtually any of the "brands" at the moment. It shouldn't but it does and because it does companies like Apple are able to charge a premium for services like "AppleCare" which provide the peace of mind that your statutory rights should give you. My advice is to threaten whoever you're talking to with the Small Claims court and that should improve the service noticeably.
Re: Another win for the open-source world
FreeBSD allows Sony to freely loot open source developers work...
Using open source is not in any way looting. It is using it as it was intended. Now we've got that sorted maybe you can get a life.
And this is news?
Sony has been using FreeBSD for years: the PS3 used it. Using FreeBSD for a project means not having to ask the lawyers which is a win for any real developer.
I'm still hopeful that Google will buy the carcass of BlackBerry, adopt QNX as the basis for Android and open source it. That would pretty much remove the reason for many to stick any of the buggy OSes you talk about.
Re: Installers, schmallers
What's wrong with `make install clean`? Splitter…
Mine's the one with a picture of a daemon in trainers on the back.
@Drewc thanks for the very open and informative discussion about this.
I think it's main purpose is an identity server tying the various other Google services you may or may not use together. The value grows as the network of those services grows. This allows it to recommend apps on the Google store that your Google+ contacts have approved of. I ignore that kind of thing and you can turn it off but it's certainly a lot less intrusive than other approaches and I can see its appeal. I don't do a lot of the "look at me" sharing stuff, after all what's e-mail for? But I will admit to finding Hangouts very nicely done. If Google can continue to put providing useful services first then I'm sure they'll get more and more successful and Google+ will simply be a part of those services and not something on its own. Companies will like it because, of course, it offers the prospect of single sign-on with the holy grail of detailed demographic data.
Must have been using Apple Maps! :-D
Re: Can we have .....
To be fair, French often translates like this: French words get translated using English homophones ("modalities" for forms for example) and as the structure of the two languages is similar the result looks like English but is largely incomprehensible and often feels pretentious.
Re: back controls
Horses for courses. There are times when your fingers will automatically be next to the controls you want to use: holding the phone to your ear and the side is probably better otherwise they can be fiddly to locate and having another set on the back would be an advantage. When using the camera then real buttons on the side/top are great.
Ericsson added lots of shortcuts to their buttons back in the day and I was a great fan. Now I've found the controls in the S4 Mini I'm happy that I can accept calls or decline calls with a fixed button and operate the camera with a fixed-button.
Pinch of salt
Usual Windows cheerleading from IDC. Best wait for more reliable real sales figures.
When comparing weight and portability it has to be compared with the MacBook Air, not the Pro.
Re: Maybe right, but probably not yet
Video calls never took off for two reasons: they are prohibitively expensive; it's inconvenient and uncomfortable to stay still and stare at a camera. This was never going to drive data use. 3G also had to compete with the usual problems of needing handsets powerful enough to use it and prices that could compete with the increasingly ubiquitous WiFi. To do that they had to swallow their pride and write down the
value of the spectrum licences they'd paid stupid money more.
Now, all new networks deployments can take advantage of a much more homogenous (IP-based) environment, making it much easier to offer data at marketable prices. So, even in developing countries, there is a huge market for mobile data but it won't be at 2003 European or 2013 American prices. Value-added OTT services are probably the key enablers.
Re: Well that is going to be a headache using IPv4
I want to keep this simple: IPv4 does not have a large enough address space to dish out IP addresses to 4.5 billion devices.
Well, yes but IP addresses are not distributed evenly, are there. I suspect that Canada, like the US has more than enough IPv4 addresses for the for near future. Meanwhile, Asia has run out several times over and Europe technically now has as well.
Of course, the longer providers drag their feet on the implementation of IPv6, the less well able they will be to deal with it when they have to and the less influence they will have on its future development. Hm, given the recent performance of the NSA that might not be such a bad thing! ;-)
Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis contends out that…
What does "contending out" mean?
Choice is important.
Personally, I only use IE when I have to for customers. As Windows hasn't been my primary OS for over 10 years I'm more comfortable with Opera and Firefox. But i do know people who got used to IE in the early 2000s when it was the best browser for Windows. I won't bash MS for MS sake and, for all their sins, it is worth pointing out that the IE dev team has worked hard to try and make a browser that at least renders as well as the others. It must be galling for those same people to see their work crippled by management.
Re: Bing is the reason for buying the entry level phone business
Is it still worth a loss of $ 1 bn a year? And Nokia's marketshare was down in some of the emerging markets like Mexico in the most recent figures, IIRC.
While it is important to stick with some things (technology, market) in the face of advice to ditch them, you also need to define criteria for success and cut your losses if you can't meet them. Both Lou Gerstner and Steve Jobs were able to do this. Microsoft's biggest mistake has been to lose focus and try and take both Google and Apple on at their own game, at the same time. It is the business market which has been the most loyal to MS and which has the best margins. Yes, there are threats from the competition but also the opportunity for Microsoft to grab the largest slice of the new markets: what price would businesses be prepared for Office on IOS or Android? And ancillary services to make it play nicely with existing infrastructure.
If Microsoft ditch Bing then regulating Google becomes a matter of paramount importance for anti-trust regulators around the world, a situation which is likely to provide more opportunities than continuing to pour money into it.
Re: I wish MS would abandon IE versions and disassociate it with Windows
Nail on head, hit.
That said, I think that MS is doing the right thing to force Win 7 onto IE 11. A lot of corporates migrated to Win 7 but haven't updated the browser since then because MS have such a confusing update policy, so this means still lots of IE 8 where it shouldn't be. They should, of course, make at least IE 9 available for XP. But they won't of course.
Pet peeve: I have a perfectly valid Win 7 VM but MS won't let me install IE 10 on it because despite having a serial number I haven't "phoned home" to legitimate it… Wonder how that VM will fare once they start forcing IE 11 on everyone.
Starting this summer I've noticed more and more people associating Groupon offers with poor quality from desperate or shady companies. So far this is merely anecdotal and probably due as much to knowing fussy people as anything else.
Re: The Groupon model
What shocks me most is that Groupon manage to make so little money on this parasitic model!
It has high acquisition costs - it generally requires real people to go out to those small businesses to setup the deals. And, as companies keep on getting burned by the experience it keeps on doing the same thing.
The key flaw in the business model, as your rightly point out, is that it is parasitic, ie. businesses suffer over time from it. I think there is some underlying sense in trying to improve yields of capacity but think this is limited to services with low customer retention such as restaurants, hotels and taxis. So, services like opentable, the endless hotel services and the new taxi services are likely to do well. But they will do so by improving the yield, which benefits both customer and service provider, and not by promising unsustainable discounts.
Re: You are all fucking insane!
The sad thing is that plenty of people are making plenty of money on this. But those of us trying to keep our distance from the whole thing are likely to find that our banks and insurance companies have "joined the game" for us. So we're likely to get just as shafted as the chumps who end up holding massively overvalued shares. Great. Can't wait.
The US recently changed the rules to make this kind of IPO even easier and the central banks keep up their easy money policy to stimulate demand because it is supposed to make us all feel more positive about the economy.
Mine's the one "This Time it's Different" in the pocket, ta.
re. rolling it up: this is possible with PlasticLogic's printed organic circuits and maybe Samsung are using some of that technology in the screen. I think larger formats like newspapers and magazines get rolled up for transport, but you're right about the form factor - the eye finds it much easier to orientate on a fixed layout like a physical page rather than on something infinite. Roll-on paged media extensions for CSS!
There's no doubt about it: Samsung is continuing to impress by doing real R&D and coming up with new things. Some of the time you go: just what am I supposed to be doing with this, which is just as it should be and the way it was when Xerox and co. also did real research.
Re: "rather terrible advert"
I thought it was a reasonable piss-take of San Francisco hipsters.
Lack of value proposition
If this is about competing with ARM, while it's a start it's also flawed. ARM chips are cheaper and the designs come with the licence to tinker so companies can go to different ARM fabs with the specs and shop for the best deal, or do an Apple and make their own designs and then get a fab to make them. With Intel you pay more for the chips in the first place and then pay even more to be able to ask for modifications. At the volumes needed to make a difference and, assuming you need chip engineers to be able to spec any changes, it's better just to become an ARM licensee.
Nah, EBITDA still in use by a lot of companies who try and use it to smooth out kinks and show "underlying" performance.
The Economist reckons that even $ 17 is probably too expensive. I wouldn't mind but I know that somewhere down the line one of the companies I expect financial probity from (my bank, insurance company, pension fund, etc.) is bound to be sinking some of my savings into this IPO. :-(
Re: My Book Live 3TB
Mac osx being a labotimised (sic) rehash of it (Linux)
Obviously you need to brush up on operating systems 101 as well as your spelling…
Re: Standard "no problems here" comment
I tried the WD software when I bought my drive a few years ago and ditched for being slow as hell and not seeming to provide anything over Time Machine.
Still, I was impressed to receive e-mails from WD advising of possible problems and against upgrading to Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks).
Having been burned by Apple's releases in the past I'm more than happy to wait for the biggest bugs to be fixed first, though I've given up hope that they'll ever fix the Firewire bug they introduced in Snow Leopard which causes my system to stall every time Time Machine starts talking to external drives.
Re: Backup capacity
Who pays? Microsoft, of course. But it's a silly question. Arguments about CO2 and subsidies aside this kind of arrangement makes a lot of sense: the price of the energy produced by the the plant is fixed for pretty much forever. Yes, that includes some hedging for purchasing from the grid should supply not meet demand, but less so than buying entirely from the grid.
Assuming planned demand is close to expected output this makes the data centre independent of the utilities and avoids possible conflicts with other customers. Wind and solar make small, local power plants financially viable: who would build a coal, gas or nuclear power station with just 55 MW capacity?
Google-owned Motorola’s rumoured lower-cost alternative to the top-of-the-range …
That's a pretty impressive spec for something now considered low-end!
Re: Don't get it
It looks very much like Google is letting Motorola get on with the job of making phones. There are lots of reasons why Google doesn't make the Nexus devices with its own subsidiary, chief among is most likely not wanting to piss off your partners by competing directly with them.
But, you also need to factor in the lead time for new hardware projects: at least 18 months. So we are unlikely to see any really Googley Motorolas before next year. Google may continue to use Motorola as a quick technology test bed for new kinds of hardware.
I know it doesn't count but…
Orac from Blake's 7 has to be the best TV computer: infallible but cranky and fortunately with an off-switch!
The dishwasher powder, and especially the softening salt, promote corrosion. How heavy the corrosion is will depend to some extent on the hardness of the water: harder water needs more softening and more softening will mean more corrosion. There are tabs that you can buy that are designed for use with steel and silver (even more susceptible to corrosion) that I find really* do make a difference and now I only use them when washing knifes or pans.
In general, however, knives are easiest washed by hand. If you do wash them in the dishwasher then use the special tabs, use the shortest, gentlest cycle and take them out and dry them as soon as the cycle has ended.
* I recently bought a pH-meter to help identify the best water filter for the very heavy calcium content in the water here, so I do take these things perhaps a little too seriously.
Re: Ceramic knives?
Ceramic blades hardly ever get blunt but they are very brittle so it depends what use them for and especially what the chopping surface is like. If you chop quickly, say your slicing carrots, on a hard surface you'll quickly splinter it; on a softer surface you'll get years of use.
If a ceramic knife does need sharpening you can do it with an electric device but much better to take it to a knife shop and let them do it.
The figures for Vista, which has the same underlying improved security system found in Windows 7 and Windows 8, are nearly as bad as those for XP. Now, obviously the chart is supposed to be telling users that the more modern versions of Windows are inherently safer but it can also be read as, the longer an OS is out there the riskier it is and that infection rates like those of XP are only a matter of time for Windows 8.
Re: Isn't this exactly the way Blackberry crashed and burned?
@ Andy Prough
Apple makes its money from hardware not software. With Google able to provide Android to vendors for minimal fees (free for some) Apple would need to come up with a different business model to be able to charge significantly for the OS.
The experience with the clones of the 1990s was a salutary one, though I suspect that if it had gone to doing software only things might have been different.
Re: Isn't this exactly the way Blackberry crashed and burned?
Additionally, I'd be willing to bet that the profit margin per device is much higher, for Apple, so they can sustain a loss in market share, especially since the market is growing, without effecting their bottom line.
It is affecting the bottom line, it was in the latest earnings call. The price adjustments for the I-Pad have been most marked over the last 12 months:
Re: Niche Product
Apple's sales are not increasing - < 1 % growth in volume.
Re: But how many of the Android tablets are landfill?
The figures quite clearly point to substantial growth at the premium end with Samsung's and Lenovo's sales. Apple is still holding its own, but as SuccessCase points outs, these sales include the less-than-premium I-Pad-Mini.
Weird thing for IDC figures no mention of stellar MS' performance is.
Re: Peak Apple
Mount Everest has also peaked, but I don't see many signs of it being broken up for crazy paving just yet
Not sure about that - isn't India still moving north?
Mount McKinley, however, definitely has peaked losing about 20 m since the 1950s!
Have to agree that Hangout has become the best OTT messaging application out there and it runs on everything.
To put that into perspective, Apple's "flop" iPhone 5C phone, which borrows its design aesthetic from Nokia's distinctive Lumias…
Andrew, you're better than this. It's not my taste but the 5c is very much in the mould of the I-Pods which have been in garish colours for a decade.
Re: How many of these are nasty Galaxy mini landfill phones?
I don't like their attitude to updates or the changes they've made from stock Android.
The update policy, along with that of other manufacturers, has got a lot better. I think this has had as much to do with having the right people managing the software and its distribution as official policy. Kies used to be the biggest pile of shit out there, and on MacOS it pretty much still is. But now that OTA is working well that hardly matters.
I find the UI fine but wish it would be easier to uninstall some of the apps that come preinstalled and that don't interest me at all. Then again rooting is hardly a problem, Samsung have never really tried to stop users doing it.
S4 Mini vs HTC Mini - very much a matter of choice. I prefer AMOLED screens and the ability of using an SD card. The S4 Mini has some interesting options hidden in there - press home button to answer a call and gives me 2 days of use with the right settings.
The evidence is in the figures: revenue up slightly for the same quarter as last year, earnings down slightly.
Well, you're essentially restating what I said: 8 million a month is impressive whichever way you look at it. However, Apple is now available on all US networks and in most countries and its year-on-year sales show little growth, similar IIRC to Samsung's summer figures. This indicative of the Smartphone market reaching maturity which is why there are all kinds of questions as to "where is the growth going to come from?". Personally, if it was my company I'd be more than happy for things to stay like that, as long as I got a nice dividend to reflect it. But that's not necessarily the way Wall St thinks. The recent hires indicate that Apple is going to move towards being brand first and foremost, I'd argue that it has traditionally been both brand, quality and technology.
I guess we'll see.
After reporting that it had sold nine million of the new iPhones in their first weekend of sales ...
So that's 9 million of 34 million in one weekend. That's very impressive business but does seem to cast the rest of the quarter in a not so brilliant light. Well, at least in terms of growth. I'm sure there are plenty of companies out there who'd like to be selling 8 million phones a month, especially with Apple's margins. However, it does seem to confirm that growth in that market has come / is coming to an end.
Relatively specific use case, sure, but there was usefulness in RT long before Nokia was around, you just had to look for it.
Did you pay the original price? I think the point is that the original RT was too expensive for consumers and too weak (no Excel macros, no Outlook) for professionals.
Re: Just to put this in perspective....
Yep, the way the suggestion sailed through parliament (the number of amendments is not as important as the substance remained largely untouched) indicates that and the recent disclosures of spying have probably pushed Germany and France into supporting it. The best Cameron can hope for would be an opt-out but even that is unlikely as it's about the single market, so even if some kind of compromise is available the courts might choose to ignore it.
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