1695 posts • joined Monday 16th April 2007 14:57 GMT
When Sony lost the plot
Probably about the same time the content divisions started fiddling around with the hardware. Mini-Disc was unnecessarily encumbered with restrictions which meant that despite being great, affordable kit it remained a niche market. Ditto, DVD players.
Apple's great innovation was to encumber the iPod with just enough shit to keep content owners happy and continue. This left it free to fleece users with high-margin hardware updates.
Apple's recent rush to build walls around its platform is eerily reminiscent of Sony's (and others') earlier mistake.
And the irony is...
"The troubles" remain the largest threat to UK security according to MI5 and anecdotally underlined by the recent spate of bombings (and evidence of church cover-ups).
Smoke and fucking mirrors: the UK and the IRA, Spain and ETA, France and the Corsicans, Germany and the RAF, etc.. Is there a pattern? Yes, you're at most risk from those born and bred in your own country.
Fantastic sound, very comfortable, multipoint and great battery life. Works fine for me with SE G900, Nokia E65 or Samsung Wave or MacBook. A mate's got one and says the iPhone occasionally has problems but I believe problems with that Bluetooth stack are known.
What a tw?t!
Is wanting to be in a bukake shoot with Ms. Hilton okay? Actually, it's not something that particularly appeals to me unless she was bound and gagged at the time. Even then she doesn't really float my boat. Wonder if there is a Japanese word for that?
Diddum's place got broken into! But it's okay as the place is surrounded by police all sniffing her tweets and who don't need to wait for the 911 call to burst in and use minimum force to restrain aforementioned miscreant who's going down and will serve out his full sentence.
Fortunately, dear Paris is survived the ordeal and is still able to be a full member of society: spend oodles of unearned cash on items of questionable value. Maybe the police should consider chiropractors and wellness spas for all victims of potentially violent crime?
I'm a very happy owner of a Wave but given its spec I'm not sure if the claim of an OS for "feature phone" hardware really rings true.
OTOH given the number of devices sold and the steadily increasing number of useful apps and widgets (usually multi-platform), it's obvious that the hardware is getting some attention. T-Mobile, E-Plus and Vodafone are all heavily promoting the Wave here in Germany, T-Mobile are even using it to promote their live, mobile streaming of football matches and the screen really is fantastic.
I guess it's obviously very difficult to gauge the take up in the far East while we Europeans and Americans are slobbering all over the latest Google and Appleware.
Passwords still a problem
Much easier to work with keys and certificates. Though I guess they do open a single of failure if the passphrase is cracked.
To answer your question: technically, nothing
But you've got to hand it to Google for the headline grabbing and marketing. Once we get video, JS and canvas out the way I guess the bragging will be about drag and drop and local storage. Support for the new form widgets and time elements would be much more useful.
On the negative - Chrome is very greedy. I'm trialling <video> which to play nice with the as many browsers as possible is
<source type="video/mp4"> # Safari on iPad "bug" means mp4 first
<source type="video/webm"> Opera and Chome
<source type="video/ogv"> Firefox
<object...> # fallblack Flash or WMV
<a href="">Download link</a>
Encoding issues aside the interesting thing is that Chrome will start downloading all video files not just the first it knows how to handle. Embarrassing bandwidth battering fail from the chocolate factory.
Great tag line, Kelly!
"Uttering naughty words within the earshot of a minor without that minor's parent's consent... may not be a criminal offense in most U.S. jurisdictions, but I see that as a pity."
How can words ever be naughty? You would like to see America's jail population swelled even more by people going down for trivial offences, would you?
Where's the redneck icon?
Memory and bandwidth
Chrome's trick of one process per tab is extremely memory intensive and some of the loading tricks depend on lots of bandwidth. Nice if you've got oodles of both but that is not the case for everyone. Particularly in a corporate environment bandwidth can be an issue.
Microsoft deserves recognition for the work they've put into IE9 and the implicit recognition of the failure of their previous strategy. They may be the first to hardware acceleration but all the others have slated it in various forms.
Browser competition and choice is good. But I think we all know that we're about to re-enter the browser wars of 10 years ago with particularly Google and Apple trying to offer up content that "works best on their browser". Apple through its devices and associates, Google through its properties.
All hail the Moderatix!
Great name, terrible site
Web 2.0 design gone mad it just makes me sick.
* cheesy logo with shitty typeface
* shitty fake light effect on graphics
* photos from a furniture catalogue
I mean, there is clearly someone with talent at work but the end result is just so bad. And you could do so much with that name...
"You're holding it wrong"
Apple's brand is still very strong and even with this design error customers are still very happy as the iPhone is currently at a fashionable sweet spot. This one engineering error won't ruin the brand or affect sales too much. But it's definitely a scratch on the brand. "You're holding it wrong" is already becoming associated with technical problems and is tied in with the Apple brand.
With the competition breathing down Apple's neck with similarly capable and just as easy to use devices costing less than half price, it is going to get increasingly difficult to differentiate and justify charging such a hefty premium for a commodity. Premium brands must be managed carefully. I guess it's arguable that Apple's smoke bomb - all phones have issues - might work until they can manufacture hardware without this *fundamental* error. But if that doesn't work Apple will have a job on their hands. People are already switching from iPhone to Android when they renew their phone although the churn is probably less than new users.
In a recent test c't magazin was able to give slightly better marks for phone reception to the iPhone over the Nexus and the Desire (identical apart from the second mike on the nexus) and the Samsung Galaxy. But all the droids wiped the floor with the iPhone when it came to Wifi, which is an issue for price sensitive users. And price will, at some point, become an issue for users. Interestingly the one area where the iPhone still shines is battery life but it wouldn't surprise me to see the droids catching up before the end of the year - a more aggressive strategy on multitasking at the OS level and bigger, Li-Polymer batteries would probably do the trick.
For full disclosure: I'm a happy owner of a Samsung Wave (multitasks quite well, wonderful screen and not too big but battery life could be better) and pay € 15 per month with 100 minutes talk time and unlimited data. I could afford an iPhone but cannot ,for the life of me, see why it is worth the extra money, especially as it has a fundamental engineering error - a phone that drops calls isn't a phone. But I am also a happy MacBook owner.
Reinventing the wheel?
IE, for all its flaws, has had a tile view of open tabs for *years*. Opera has tabs + thumbnails + speed dial + easy access to recently closed tabs.
Most incisive criticism is that this is confusing tabs with bookmarks.
Good luck to them
I'm very happy with the Wave. The OS seems sound enough and apps are appearing even if most of them provide little utility. Good documentation is essential for any developer platform and more details about how Bada (all proper names are capitalised, Chimombi) will be welcomed.
The Python licence is not GPL-like it is BSD/MIT like.
Why do I get the feeling from your comment that by "taking terrorism seriously" you mean mass hysteria, dropping bombs on people and years of imprisonment without trial?
Europe has its own fine traditions of terrorism: the IRA, ETA, RAF to name a few of the more prominent ones. But you're right, we don't take them seriously.
Ireland is neutral so having an Irish passport helps a lot when visiting many Islamic countries.
As for Israeli-bashing - what people really target is the Israeli government or state rather than the people. It is insane to align statehood with religion.
Nice to see how data protection has come to mean "sharing it with as many as possible".
As for posting anonymously it makes pretty much no difference for Mossad on this non-https, Google-infested site.
You've got to laugh
I'm not going to join the bandwagon of those criticising the design. Yes, it is pretty shit but I think that's because it's "inspired" by the London Olympics stuff what with that catchy "Race online 2012" title.
Just grabbed this at near random:
"and it has some of the world’s cheapest broadband prices"
Utter fail. Prices are never cheap. But even then without a citation it's bollocks. Even the "according to the MLF finger-in-the-gash study of two minutes ago" would be an improvement as demonstrable or contestable. As it stands unsubstantiated drivel and that goes for most of the pamphlet.
"Offline households are missing out on average consumer savings of £560 per year."
hm, at least we have a citation. Hang on it's from those gravy train friends at PWC.
Anyway I wonder what the cost of entry to those savings are and where there likely to be had. Add to that some basic research on how shit the disadvantaged are at managing their money.
"3.6 million low-income households are missing out on total savings of over £1bn a year from
shopping and paying bills online."
Cunningly repeat the above figures as a new benefit. Shit argument made twice is still shit and that's without invoking faecal mathematics.
Paying bills online may be convenient but it is the businesses who save the money not having to deal with all that papery stuff.
I could go on but have little interest in this reverse beauty contest.
Full marks to MLF for keeping herself in the headlines. Bound to be worth some little junket and I'm afraid we'll be hearing more from her.
@Andrew you are right about the Pentile layout - horizontal lines have a discernible crenelation up close. However, I wouldn't say that this makes the display particularly of text any less clearer. Though I've yet to see one in the flesh, iPhone 4's display I can imagine that in some circumstances the difference is likely to be marked - c't magazine has said text on the iPhone 4 looks like it's "on" the screen.
But the mere fact that Wave is eminently usable outside in the sunshine is a killer. And on top of that the screen is very smudge resistant - it has that liquid shine to it that you think will be a fingerprint magnet and it just isn't a problem.
While the Wave seems to have some teething problems - battery life and GPS perhaps chief among them - and there will never be as many as for the Jesus phone, this is a lovely phone that fits easily in the pocket. It remains to be seen if Samsung can keep the Bada API close enough to Android to make ports or cross-development attractive for developers. At half the price of an iPhone 3GS it's a much better phone.
How do you expect the maggots to get onto such food? Any eggs laid are highly unlikely to survive the cooking process.
Besides the fact that before the maggots could hatch the smell of rotting protein is likely to have alerted or offended someone first. Anyone remember The Spark's stinky meat project?
I find many of your articles on the media industry well-researched and incisive and have certainly made me rethink my position. Maybe it's own my blinkers but I find this piece of opinion anything but.
It is all too easy to find and pillory the idiots in the debate. But it is just sloppy technique to employ the same black & white techniques of the idiots to criticise them. To ignore the depth of the debate.
For example the following two statements.
"The policies of carbon mitigation are now unsellable - they mean political suicide. In an election year it makes all the difference: Obama wisely won't touch it, the only Republican behind climate change has turned turtle, and it helped cost the Australian PM his job."
The Economist, not exactly known for sandal-wearing, has repeatedly come out in favour of a change in energy policy in general and carbon tax in particular. Most recently in suggestions for the UK's budget: http://www.economist.com/node/16377180?story_id=16377180
The same paper also sees Kevin Rudd's troubles largely down to his decision not to pursue environmental legislation. Something that his successor, Julia Gillard, seems keen to change:
Not that The Economist is right. I am just quoting differing opinions, although the difference in interpretation of Kevin Rudd' resignation is striking.
In your response to another comment you suggest that synthesising hydrocarbons as a rebuttal to the idea of running out of fossil fuels. Again, this is just sloppy: synthesised are by definition not fossil. As long as we have the energy required for the processes, and in the sun we have a convenient source, we can synthesise as many hydrocarbons as we wish. Indeed this is now a central tenet of renewables.
Many "green" ideas are questionable if not downright loony. Critique and debate are to be welcomed and polemic shown the door.
IE 8 uses Cleartype for font rendering in Windows XP and Cleartype is very nice. Without it some typefaces such as Georgia look pretty terrible. You can enable it for everything through the display settings.
Some basic economics
1) those component prices are facts. Or, to be totally correct - it is fact that those are the prices of those components.
2) the cost price of an object is the cost to produce a new one. R&D, etc. are important but not when calculating the cost* though I'm not sure about the severance payments made to the relatives of terminated Foxconn employees.
So, it's stonkingly good business for Apple and all credit to them for creating such demand. And while it's an impressive profit margin it's still way off what you can charge for luxury goods. Probably just as well now that other companies are producing equivalent hardware for significantly less.
* Low-value products like cola may include advertising in cost, because without it no one would pay a premium price.
It's a wonderful device for technical documentation which you can annotate. Has it got past the stage of technology demonstration? Does PlasticLogic have enough people for this kind of end-user product development beyond the cool technology which is eminently licensable? The second generation of plastic is in the works and colour is in the offing. I can happily live with a device that doesn't do video if I can effectively forget about having to charge it for a few days.
Not accelerated yet
Both Opera and FF are planning to introduce hardware acceleration in future versions. In order to prepare for this Opera has completely rewritten its implementations to take advantage of core OS functions. The IE test suite is pretty useful in indicating what can be done with the new toys (unlike Apple's turd of a demo). Of course, IE comes out top but I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Opera performs in some of the tests - lower frame rates than accelerated IE but still reasonable performance. FF was mainly too slow to be useful and it looks like the FF -> Chrome migration is happening. Worth noting that IE 9 won't run on all those XP machines out there while Opera still runs on Win98!
@Microsoft - kudos for adding support for Canvas. Already a reasonably heavy user of it with browsermob's charts.
"Protecting against this type of attack isn't simply a case of "sanitizing" the single-quotes, as this excludes valid names such as "Brer O'Hare", in which a quote is a perfectly valid character."
Wow - back to 1998 are we?
Statement and parameters should always be passed separately to the database. Not that this guarantees 100% security as the database still has to sanitise the parameters but this process is a damn sight easier to isolate and test on a per database basis. This just leaves the application developer to worry about all the other possible vectors (shell access, XSS). So, roll on automated security testing
Einstein at work?
Sorry, but what are you smoking?
There are already plenty of headers allowing browsers to check for modified content and, dependent upon user settings, optimise page reloading. But this is of no help when you load the page for the first time.
As for a list of parts - well, yes, this might be nice in theory but doesn't work for HTML. HTML is a flat file data serialisation that might, or might not contain embedded content (images) that the browser can display. The list of parts can only be deduced once the DOM (document object model) has been deduced from the HTML.
Yes, this is horribly inefficient but that's how it works unless you move over to a different format for content - binary such as PDF which has a convenient index? or do without the DOM altogether, JSON? Proxies such as Opera Turbo do something like this to reduce both the initial number of requests and the time it takes to transfer. The only fly in the ointment is getting everyone on board,
Aligning brands with fashionable causes (was Live Aid the start?) makes this kind of polarisation inevitable. As it's fashion-based it is also not long-lived just long enough for the media to milk it to death before moving onto the next thing.
Germany is already heavily subsidising roof-top solar panels. However, the yield in Europe, especially North of "the line" - the Main in Germany and Loire in France - so that the subsidy is not really cost effective. Indeed the projected costs at the current rate of 32 cents per KW/h are projected to double the electricity price in Germany (article in Handelsblatt yesterday http://www.handelsblatt.com/technologie/energie_technik/solarboom-treibt-kosten-sonnenenergie-wird-unbezahlbar;2604469 )
The basic ideas behind Desertec seem reasonable but what's missing from Lewis' article is that the project is currently just a feasibility study. A high-voltage DC network across Europe would certainly help provide power more efficiently for everyone and should help wean countries such as Spain off dirty and inefficient energy production.
Germany's respected business newspaper carried an analysis of Germany's world cup game (ha ha) against Serbia with an analysis of the turds spurted on the meta-facebook wannabe, tw*tter. In a nod towards those other idiots who think you can make money on stocks and shares by following the plotted curves. This was supposed to be journalism, although you could easily be forgiven thinking that hadn't been discovered here if you read any of the sports coverage which flips between felching the heroes when they're winning to demanding they be hung, drawn and quartered if they don't win - drawing is just as bad.
It's so depressing that I need a Marvin icon.
"Apple levels of UI performance are almost impossible for a platform that is geared to a wide variety of devices and vendors"
This conclusion is drawn at the end of the article without any supporting arguments in the article itself. It is, therefore, merely a statement of unsubstantiated opinion. Not good. My understanding is that, at least in terms of performance, the Google UI is comparable to iPhone on comparable hardware if not usability. In fact performance is heavily dependent upon the degree of direct access to the graphic hardware especially on such specialised hardware as the ARM ecosystems where the CPU cannot compensate for missing hardware or poor coding as well as the bloated x86 can.
If WinMeHa is based on Windows Mobile then it's based on Windows CE. That means there's:
Windows CE and derivatives
Windows NT and derivatives - Windows 7
Windows Phone 7 - which in turn is based on the .NET framework of the NT line
Given the scope that seems reasonable to me although getting onto the same underlying framework (.NET) for all has to be a common goal. The comparison with Apple is a strawman - Apple notoriously doesn't license it's "revolutionary" and "magical" mojo so it doesn't have to satisfy as many customers - can you get it to run on some of the very lower power hardware common in the embedded market? The linux-based stuff is probably more of a worry but .NET based clients might be very appealing in vertical markets - clients can be tightly coupled with inventory systems, et al.
I'm not an MS apologist but MS is simply going through the pains of platform transition (remember Mac OS "classic?", yellow box, blue box, etc?) Getting a good OS for the non-Intel platforms is certainly a challenge but MS still has lots of appeal to the corporates wanting to integrate their systems.
Fair and balanced?
While I agree that most solar energy subsidies are grossly excessive the report neglects that most energy production enjoys subsidy of one form of another. Does your economist have the figures for the cost per employee of the nuclear subsidy?
Economically Spain's subsidy of electricity consumption through price controls is probably an even bigger burden but politically more difficult to remove.
As to the reference about digging and filling holes - this is perfectly good economics cf. both deforestation and subsequent reforestation be counted as growth. Doesn't make it sensible but it is good economics.
You're missing the obvious
Some kind of evil mad scientist has been working on piranhas adapted to the English, well Kentish, climate as part of a bid to take over dear old Blighty and use it as his base to take over the world...
... where's the Dr. Evil icon? muahaha!
Working fine for me
@Andrew - "it doesn't bugger up your existing settings". That's right as it has its own ~/Library/Application Support/Opera 106 and ~/Library/preferences Opera 106. Clumsy if you want to maintain your existing settings as there is no option to copy them so you have to do it by hand. OTOH this means that an Opera beta cannot trash your existing install.
@Dave Mundt - no memory leak on the 10.5 series on Mac OS here. I usually run Opera for weeks and memory use is not excessive and considerably less than FF. Have you submitted a bug report?
@J 3 - password management is a pain. I have a problem with El Reg but I think this is either down to blocked content or cookies (El Reg loves cookies). Not sure if I'm the biggest fan of auto-completion à la FF or Safari but it could probably be sensibly extended. Manageable key values? I love the new quick access to site preferences via the GeoLocation symbol in the address bar!
As for speed - it feels a close run thing on Mac OS between Chrome and Opera. But sites like The Economist are always held back by the slow delivery of the embedded adverts even if they are blocked.
For those wanting to try out some of the new HTML5 toys above and beyond Apple's narrow view Monday's build has a view links to try:
Nothing to see
Bing has always worked in the search box but I've hardly used it. Cuil is good enough most of my queries and failing that Goggle.
Bing was added to Speeddial search in one of the recent desktop team builds and announced as such. No stealth here and the competition amongst search engines is good for all.
For some reason Opera isn't "magical and revolutionary". It's just damn good at its job!
Hard sell HD
It's been around since the early nineties and repeatedly fails to catch people's attention - the eye really doesn't care about that much detail so you only the few geeks that get hard on whenever pixels are mentioned care. But distribution is a key problem and there is not a great offer of HD DVB-T (not slated for use at all in Germany for instance). HD has been around for longer for satellite and cable services but for the rest of the unwashed masses IPTV is probably the way to go. And if you have IPTV you have web clients as a secondary product.
OTOH I think this might be the first overhyped world cup. Not a few people I've spoken to are sick of it already. Sure, we'll watch matches but will we really care that much? South Africa is a great stage of wonderful landscapes, moving human narratives, highly paid gladiators playing in front of the starving masses... The problem is that this is too much Hollywood and not enough "Holly St" (Columbia, SC).
Shootings and kidnappings may be necessary to keep up the viewing figures.
Awesome frikkin' lasers
You can do anything with them but do these work like the bells of Unseen University? I mean does everything get bathed regularly in darkness? Is the sunlight sucked out of the room? Is this the solution to global warming? Point the gun at the earth to syphon off excess heat?
So many questions for our new overlord, Emperor MingMing, to answer.
Give the guy a break
He's obviously not very well.
There was noticeably less whooping than at previous keynotes - the loudest was the gyroscope which will definitely allow for some very cool stuff. The phone looks great - the display is fantastic and developers are making money. But the rest was missing the wow factor. Bound to happen so or later and as long as people are handing their money over for the toys and the "apps" they must be doing something right. Farmville on iPhone - I wonder if Facebook should worry. Turning the Jphone into a tamagotchi certainly sounds like a money winner to me.
The wifi stuff is just smoke and mirrors. Conference audiences do soak up all available capacity and wifi's management is pants but it still should have been possible to set up a dedicated demo-only network with minimal interference from the audience. Some poor bugger has probably got of trouble for that fuck up. Kudos to Jobs for thinking on his feet and offering it to the crowd.
Facetime on wifi only may have been a cover for some kind of LTE availability next year.
But Google IO has probably generated more buzz on the whole and Jobs' needless abuse of Android and AMOLED was a sure sign that he's started looking over his shoulder.
Which court case first?
Cisco already has an operating system called IOS. I assume Apple is paying for the name privilege.
Apple's proposed advertising model is blatantly anti-trust. There is no need to be so greedy.
Nice kit but still a disappointment and you're right about video-conferencing needing bandwidth - I reckon quite a few access points would struggle with it as wel. But a new system?
Lots of people know all about video-conferencing system but Cisco's TelePresence has already set the standard and someone who knows network infrastructure would have to be involved in any roll-out. But who really uses video-conferencing? It was fun to play with 15 years ago on NetPhone and stuff but the novelty soon wore off and hasn't returned.
Now for the disappointment - why isn't it 3D? As noted in the piece on the new Motorola phone - adding a flash and second camera and microphone doesn't really count as innovative any more. Apple has definitely passed the baton to HTC and others on this but will still make a lot of money from this. Thing is, what's next? And will Apple be the company to show us?
Gruber's valid point
Yes. http://dev.opera.com contains lots of examples. After all it is where the <video> tag debuted.
HTML5 isn't complete and Apple's support for it (especially the new form widgets) isn't complete either.
The demo is seductive but poorly implemented. At least the IE 9 showcase doesn't really on browser sniffing to work.
Certainly a good idea to dose the neurons with stimulants before approaching keyboard.
The irony is in the mock outrage on the scientific value of the report which so angered our HYS friend. It's a sort of post-modern, Ben Eltonish irony but, as it still puts interpretation at a distance to experience, it is still irony. The more traditional irony is the lampooning of the science rather than the questionable value of this supposedly new investigation into established fact - the body develops tolerance to stimulants.
Would that be "iconically ironic"?
God, I'm so sharp I'd cut myself if I could get out of this straitjacket! That would make a good icon for funny puckers like me!
Fuck me but you're dull
Lewis' article is not derisive simply nicely ironic. But you obviously don't appreciate the difference.
@Lewis lovely stuff. But what's that big word in the article? Is it another attempt by so-called scientists to bamboozle us with jargon while they are lying through their climate-changing and presumably pearly white teeth?
can be milked forever. "Shiny, shiny" trumps "value" every time.
I've got unlimited (throttled after 5GB a month and VoIP is not alloed) in Germany for € 10. Needless to say tethering does not cost extra works fine with my SE G900.
Duplex VoIP runs at least at 16 kb/s. This might be less on LTE as that it is entirely IP based and wouldn't have the additional overhead that VoIP on GSM/UMTS currently has. That isn't the real problem. Even at 0.2 cents a minute Google could not afford to offer the service for free (your argument) and that's totally ignoring termination charges of around 10 cents per call. There are millions of call minutes a day.
Sure, there is a huge markup on voice calls on mobile networks (total national voice flatrates cost around € 100 a month which gives you an idea of what the marginal cost is). The profit is why the spectrum is licensed. But the comparison with data charges doesn't hold water. Data charges have been reduced to encourage take up but the big problem (it's better to make some money rather than none out of the asset) with mobile data is cell contention. No matter what technology you use, you quickly end up having to ration bandwidth on a cell and most licences stipulate that voice gets priority with possibly severe penalties for call dropouts. LTE will let the networks manage bandwidth better, scale better and build cheaper networks. But the investment costs are still so large, that with charges continuing to drop, it doesn't make sense to build your own network anymore. So, networks will in the future increasingly be build and managed by the equipment makers and capacity will be rented to operators. In this model the actual details of the technology - LTE, WiMax, satellite, femto-cells - becomes less relevant and more varied offers such as guaranteed but premium bandwidth will arise alongside the bargain basement services as currently available for fixed line services. This infrastructure model does make more sense for Google and Apple trying to offer and charge (one way or another) for added value services.