2793 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007
The problem with cherry-picking
Similarly, while an energy saving appliance used in the home might save you money as it may pay for its greater cost through lower electricity bills, it will not reduce carbon emissions. If less electricity is used, the power generation companies will have more allowances, which they will sell to someone else - airlines, maybe, or heavy industry - who will then be able to emit more carbon.
This is the principle of ETS which does encourage lower emissions by reducing the number of allowances over time. In theory, this will encourage industries that buy allowances to become more efficient as the prices of such rises. The scheme is set to avoid price shocks by reducing the numbers of allowances in the system only gradually.
The main problem, there have been smaller ones related to gaming the system as well, with the ETS is that there are too many emissions in the scheme. As a result there is little or no incentive to trade allowances which are below cost for those that need them. There are several reasons for this: firstly, effective lobbying allowed for very generous exemptions and allowances that were initially given to companies (but charged to customers); secondly, post-2008 recession; thirdly, faster than expected buildout of renewable capacity in Germany and elsewhere; fourthly, some but actually very little off-shoring of dirty production to countries outside of the scheme; fifthly, displacement to Poland which has massive allowances due to its traditionally dependence on coal for energy production and inefficient industry. Unsurprisingly, Poland is dead against any early reductions in the number of allowances.
Air travel is a poor example having only recently entered the ETS, something which China, India and the US contest is anti-competitive in itself. It's a moot point as to whether the gradual improvements in efficiency in the airline industry are related to this or just down to very high competitive pressures and the high price of fuel. As a recent entrant to the ETS the air industry has plenty of allowances of its own at the moment so we don't expect to see significant changes as a result of the scheme for a few years yet.
I pity the poor developers
Firstly, whoever came up with this deserves recognition. I think that Microsoft has finally realised that its only choice at the moment is damage limitation: website developers are seriously fucked off by having to support such completely different rendering engines without the pain of users switching on "compatibility" mode for sites which are standards compliant. Oh, I know there is another flag you can set to stop that, except I there are other workarounds for IE < 9 that you need that disable UA-compatible="IE=Edge". A proper migration path for all current versions of Windows would have made this all unnecessary. But, okay, web developers will accept a certain degree of pain to support paying customers.
But it's those poor customers who are suffering most as a result of the extremely cynical migration path the Microsoft chose - no one forced them to limit Windows 2000 to IE 6 or XP to IE 8. One of my customers still has a "don't use IE (8) for the internet" because it's still unsafe. It has been considered too much work to migrate to IE 9 and shortly afterwards to IE 10, whenever it becomes available for Windows 7. In the meantime Firefox LSR has been certified and rolled out everywhere (> 100,000 machines). The result is that people have dropped IE for everything except the usual ActiveX infested inhouse "browser" applications and management has been given I-Pads.
Then there is the site itself with friendly advice like this:
We've found that you have vendor-specific prefixes causing compatibility problems. This can help minimize compatibility issues in Internet Explorer and other browsers.
Well, colour me blue and call me Nansen if those two sentences are contradictory. Vendor prefixes are a world a hurt in themselves but using them does not cause compatibility problems because they are, er, vendor specific. Anyway, the site I tested doesn't use any vendor prefixes.
I suggest the IE team start polishing the CVs as they're going to be needing them.
If what you say is really true then: firstly, it underlines quite how braindead Microsoft's browser strategy has been in the past; secondly, it's another reminder of just how important it was that the European Commission took legal action against Microsoft. Whoever decided to make DirectX 10 a requirement and not an option was a fucking idiot.
Re: Even if the average fan doesn't get it
In its own way it's also an oblique reference to Apple's own original "Think Different" advert which I think ran at a SuperBowl: everyone recognises who is being attacked. Back then it was IBM and this is a more post-modern: it knows it is all about being in on the in-joke. Good attempt to move Samsung's image upmarket.
Everyone going 7" seems a mistake to me. The original iPad form factor seems ideal to me for browsing the web and watching video without having to zoom in on smaller text
Even though I agree with you that I think 7" is a bit small the I-pad most definitely has the wrong format for watching 16:9 or 16:10 video. The bigger screen comes with considerable added weight and as you almost always have to scroll down websites, the 16:10 format is less of a problem. The I-pad's 4:3 format does make sense in other applications but in turns out most people are using their tablets to consume media and portability and, therefore, weight is key.
Don't see you campaigning for a nuclear waster dump near your house. Nuclear is a money pit all on its own.
Point of fact
The BBC is thankfully not a "government agency" and terming it such detracts significantly from your argument.
maybe it's because I'm not a finance wizard but your charts seem to suggest that Sun's portfolio is still in decline even if the rate of decline has slowed.
Clearly, Oracle is benefiting from the ability to sell integrated systems such as Exadata but I'm not sure if they're really making headway elsewhere. They will certainly have pissed off shops with the way the handled OpenSolaris which has led to an apparently viable business for Illumos. Personally, I think they have handled MySQL right from a business perspective: keeping free users at arm's length; upping charges but devoting resources to paying customers. Quite how that will play out in terms of the forks (MariaDB and Percona) interests me less but it seems that the Postgres ecosystem continues to benefit from fears about lock-in. The EnterpriseDB presentation of 9.2 last week was very impressive in terms of performance, Oracle compatibility (the object type) and migration tools that are obviously coming from working with customers who are moving from Oracle to Postgres.
Of course, driving towards integrated systems might mean that Oracle is less interested in selling the database as a standalone product: IBM is after all more than happy to have its applications run on Oracle as well as DB2, but I do think that Oracle is possibly more dependent upon the reputation of its database.
Apparently Sun was pimping itself to IBM but IBM said no. I think a comparison of revenues since would suggest that IBM got it right.
Re: No dividends, ever, and no plans to start one
re. dividend versus capital growth. More recent (linked from) research show that dividends do matter. In practical terms it is money now versus the promise of future growth. The US approach of taxing stock sales at 15 % as capital gains and dividends as income (often > 30 %) is indeed an unhealthy distortion.
Re: The ability to open the latest word doc format.
@Ken - OpenOffice can cope quite well with .docx but less well with .xlsx files. At least I've found charts to be read only objects.
Re: Only one thing I use Office for
I, too, have always liked the outline view in Word and I do miss it in OpenOffice which only has page layout and web views. OpenOffice's performance on Mac OS is still a bit meh, but it suffices for most things.
I agree with dogged
The article really is poorly written with: speculation on speculation; innuendo ("go private to restructure and avoid pressure from the market") - which market; false dichotomies (PCs are either low-margin commodity products or high-end Apple) - Lenovo has been doing pretty well with the high-end Thinkpads; and inevitably poor conclusions.
Dell seems to be getting out of the consumer market and moving to servers and services. A tie-up with Microsoft would allow for the kind of horizontal and vertical integration that is currently popular: IBM, Oracle, HP are all doing something similar.
Re: Otherwise the specs for the 9.7-inch tablet and its Retina screen remain the same
@JDX - yes, undoubtedly some other stuff will have been updated to make room for the memory if nothing else.
It's still an eye-watering price, presumably to wave in the face of Windows Surface Pro waverers, in which case it's a good ploy: get the real thing.
Re: Oh. My. Fucking Gawd/ess.
You do know they get paid lots of money for this kind of shit? Although I think that they may have a bit of trouble charging for this particular kind of bollocks.
Anyway, The Economist reckons that outsourcing is, er, on the way out. Well, not entirely, it's more nuanced than that but worth more of a glance than Gartner's turd.
Gold plated bullshit
Aren't there awards for this kind of thing?
What I like is this inversion of the original social media paradigm where bosses were supposed to make themselves appear more human by writing blogs, etc. Now they are supposed to keep in touch with the drones using it.
I predict harder times for Gartner.
Re: We moved our hosts outside the UK
That is the dumbest reply to a post I have ever seen on ElReg
Well, while it's pretty stupid it's nowhere near as dumb as some of the stuff we get. Some of our commentards are, er, really gifted when it comes to getting the wrong end of the stick.You obviously don't read enough. Don't worry, stick around long enough and you'll soon lose the will to live and any hope you might have left for humanity!
Re: We moved our hosts outside the UK
Two things: firstly, you obviously don't seem to know much about jurisdiction in the EU; secondly, the UK law is only the national version of EU-wide legislation. But, please do carry on with your feckless approach to stuff. You might even want to start a Facebook group about it.
It’s a bit scary that I trust EU than I do the Tories.
I think that might have something to do with the high standards set by the European Commission' admission process. To be a Tory MP you only need to have to go to right school.
"Biz types have Tories' ear", oh really?
Apparently others beg to differ. Andrew Palmer of The Economist on Twitter:
The CBI has for years been begging successive governments to stop antagonising everyone else and try and change policies from the inside.
Cameron's speech was a thinly veiled sop to the Tory party's loony fringe and of little further political importance, apart from pissing off much of the rest of the EU.
UKIP can probably still expect to pick up plenty of seats at next year's European elections so that fucker Farage and his obscene chum can complain about the EU gravy train from the comfort of the EU gravy train.
Odds on Cameron not being Tory leader at the time of the next general election.
Re: "If Elop was not a Trojan horse, then he would have kept Symbian and Meego alive"
Personally, I can't wait until Eadon starts distilling his wisdom in published form. CEOs around the world are probably already thinking "now, what would Eadon do?".
the PCs it deemed the best were to be promoted under two labels: Hero PCs and Featured PCs
Trying to pick winners is exactly why state capitalism so routinely fails (unless you effectively control the market). Whoever came up with that idea at Microsoft should be shown the door. MS and Intel have in the past been so successful at blanket ingredient marketing - spunking billions on marketing campaigns just as long at the right version of Windows was prominently promoted. Cash-strapped manufacturers in an infamously low-margin business are not keen on funding their own expensive ad campaigns.
The ambitious hardware specs have, like other markets, left manufacturers little room for differentiation and forced them to take a bet that the market would love the high-end gear. However, few of them have the cash to take bets like that. Oh, and knowing that MS is picking winners and favouring the competition is hardly likely to go down well either.
SoCs are the future
The announcement is for those who've been away for the last couple of years also the end of the desktop computer in its various ISA forms.
Notebooks and similar designs (Raspberry Pis, I-Macs and MacMins, etc.) with even higher degrees of integration is what the market wants. I don't know about the rest of you but I can't remember when I last opened a desktop to change the chip or one of the cards. For additional components we now have fast enough buses (SATA, Thunderbolt, etc.). Desktops will still be around but expect to see them disappearing off websites and from shop shelves.
we thought it useful to point out that Apple's sales would have been higher had Cook & Co. better managed that task
Rik, that is exactly why Apple is considered to have underperformed in that quarter. It was what the board is paid for to get right. Personally, I don't buy the constrained supply argument too much; the flat profits look like a shift to the slightly lower margin products. This is fine except it does beg the question: when is the next high-margin device coming?
The rise in reserves is also not that impressive: companies with large cash piles are generally considered to be inefficient as returns on that cash are much lower than on products. This explains the current trend for cash-rich companies to buy shares back. There are likely to be calls for Apple to do something with that cash - either a share buy-back or a big acquisition.
Apple's business is still extremely healthy and anyone who doesn't envy it obviously isn't interested in money. However, it will be interesting to compare sales and profits growth with Samsung when they become available. Part of Samsung is now competing more or less directly with Apple but better able both to meet demand and sell higher-margin devices.
Finally, share price movements alone should be taken with a pinch of salt. You need to know the volumes and, if possible, the buyers and sellers. On and around numbers days the market is distorted by those making a quick buck.
Re: Evidence please
@Ed - I'm talking about PAYG top-up not contract. Technically, € 15 gets you "unlimited" here except you're throttled to GPRS once you exceed the agreed amount.
the cost of data will have to increase (Americans already pay a good deal more than Brits, as does most of the world)
Evidence for "the rest of the world" paying more for data than Britain. When I was last over in the UK I got 3 GB for £15 from Three on PAYG. Here in Germany I get 3 GB for € 15 which is about £13 so about 20 % cheaper or even cheaper on a PPP comparison.
Re: Too fookin' heavy
@JDX, I know what the integrated graphics are capable of. I'm just querying the wisdom of the HD 4000 in this product over another integrated solution except fatter margins for Intel.
Re: Too fookin' heavy
@Dave, thanks for the info. I wasn't really bitching about the HD4000, just about the copy which could be read to put Intel's graphic unit up against Nvidia. The combination of i5 and the HD4000 is certainly significantly more powerful than a Tegra 3 but that is down to the i5. Be interesting to see real world comparisons of the HD4000 against the Nvidia in tablet space, including power draw, of course.
I do have one question - WTF are people going to have 4k chips in their tablets for? Unless I've missed something they don't have the outputs that can drive the screens. That means paying for more silicon to sit there and draw power while doing nothing. I suppose that allows manufacturers to do the usual castration and sell two lines - one over-specc'd and over-priced and another, under-specc'd and still over-priced.
C'mon Google, quit farting around with Chrome OS and come up with a notebook flavour of Android!
Too fookin' heavy
0.91kg - not a chance. Get better significantly better specc'd megabooks (or whatever the term for them nowadays) that weigh only slightly more for less. And here's me waiting to spunk € 1000 on something to replace the 2.5 kg Thinkpad I have to lug around too often.
@El Reg - the copy seems to suggest that the Intel graphics is better than Nvidia's Tegra. While the Intel Core i5 certainly is beefier than the Tegra, the least said about Intel's graphic chips, the better.
Re: Is this for real?
On Android I don't know if the security is really much more of an issue than using the AppStore and I suspect this is sketch of how apps might distributed in the future. Yes, it's sort of ActiveX all over again but then what else is new in the software world?
Re: Big Data
Please register here for the next Bullshit & Bollocks Quarterly Technobabble Report. Annual subscriptions cost only € 10000 - can you afford to miss out on the next big thing?
@ Darryl - the world has shores? What, you mean apart from Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Huron? Are those Canucks up to something again? Next thing you'll be telling me is that the world is round and millions of years old!
Re: OI! Random Fanboi!
@jai - you might actually want to try using and Android before spouting such shit. I'm not sure if it's quite as comfortable as you suggest I-Phone's are but calendar, pictures and software are pretty painlessly synced. Oh, and there is a file system which stops stuff being deleted because "someone" doesn't think we should have it.
If I dare be contrary, the iPhone was judged as revolutionary because it was the first consumer device with a direct manipulation interface metaphor
Nah, UIQ let you do that years earlier. Okay, resistive screens don't do pinch-to-zoom but who actually uses that a lot? Opera mobile resizes intelligently with a double-tap which is far easier for this Neanderthal. Nevertheless the high-power (I mean power draw) I-Phone experience was beguiling because it was so immersive.
The sweetheart deals nearly cost Apple the game: all you can eat on AT&T's EDGE network was not exactly expensive for AT&T; not having 3G in Germany meant sales were about 10 % of what was expected.
To their credit, Apple worked damned hard to rectify the flaws in the I-Phone (native SDK and 3G support). Sort of exactly what MS hasn't done with moving from Windows Phone 7 to Windows 8.
Re: Apple reducing their price - burberry error
@Eadon - please tell us who owns the Omega brand?
Re: ... and tomorrow we will get the REAL numbers
Well, maybe. These numbers certainly sound like a load of fuck to me. ComScore relies on UA detection in browsers to identify markets and routinely comes up with a load of poo as a result. Apple will announce fantastic results - and however many gadgets they sold the results will be fantastic because of those very fat margins - but the full story will probably take a while to come through.
Re: BBC lefites
Oh fuck off, Eadon! Seeing as you're constantly spouting (ill-informed) evangelism of Free Software what do you think it makes you?
Is this related to Panorama?
Caught something of it yesterday on BBC News. Seemed to be an investigation into the owners of The Telegraph which led to some fairly strongarm responses.
Time was when The Telegraph was serious if right-leaning paper: obviously against foreigners but appreciative of them especially if they could play cricket with excellent sports coverage. It now seems to have a bigger agenda than any of Murdoch's rags.
Who else is on the BBC's blacklist? Presumably any of the sherbet dippers and dope fiends: Frank Bough, Craig Charles, etc. (I'm afraid I'm not that familiar with the subject); adulterers (Brucey, well the list is probably endless…); petty criminals (Stephen Fry); wife-beaters (Geoffrey Boycott); blokes who have had sex with possibly underage women (all the bands since The Stones and most of the DJs of the 60s and 70s). We'll soon be back to the 1950s with the Light Programme featuring the charts from Chile and Percy Edwards bird impressions (I shit you not this was what was on offer in 1953, i.e. pre-satellite).
We need a catchy new slogan like: "do yourself a favour, stab a Tory today". Just waiting for that nice Mr Worstall to explain to us how this is not hysteria and all in our best interests.
Re: Not great
People always have written for implementations and not standards viz. the recent decisions by Opera and Firefox to support the webkit-prefixes in CSS. Browsers can be developed for standards but websites always have to be tested in browsers.
The real problem with a monoculture is, as we saw with IE 6, that it stifles innovation. Even if Webkit would, in theory, mean that vendor lock-in could be avoided there are still huge problems about security: what are the incentives to continue development without any competition?
There's been no announcement so far so it will be interesting to hear the details as and when.
It's not over until the fat lady sings
Here in Germany TV is extremely political. The private companies have always moaned about how much they have to pay to be received on anything but satellite but in the end they have gone along with all the requirements. Licences are awarded on a per state basis, so in order to be able to broadcast in Bavaria, RTL had to set up the headquarters of one of its channels in Munich. If it looks like the costs for DVB-T are going to be borne by the public channels I can see the commercials being forced to pay whether they're on board or not - there is a similar argument going on about cable at the moment. Not that the commercial channels will be much of a loss anyway as they are really crap. German TV is, in general dire, with the most common refrain of my demographic being "oh, there's usually something good on ARTE…". Think of Channel 5 on a bad day and then roll it in shit and leave it to fester for a couple of years. The private channels here are suffering long term from being spectacularly uninventive and largely indistinguishable.
If they do get dropped from DVB-T it might leave room for some more interesting channels such as the Dutch and Belgian public broadcasters - even public access would be better than the commercial channels! Or HD. I've no idea why there are so few channels here on DVB-T and none in HD.
Re: Full of crap
Yes, the report does smell like the usual industry-funded piece of crap designed to justify either price hikes or cuts in the quality of service or, most likely, both.
LTE has never really been about more bandwidth for users but more efficiency for operators who can drop the pesky need to provided expensive connection-based services for voice. However, if UMTS has taught them anything it should be that the market will accept only a certain degree of gouging before looking for alternatives.
Re: Too high priced?
And the Nexus 10 costs even less and offers arguably even more…
Re: Interesting view
The anecdotal trap: just because it works for you doesn't mean that the criticisms of the article aren't wrong. It sounds like you have bought an expensive remote control for your desktop.
Sales of 1 million in a quarter including Christmas are just plain dismal: the market has rejected Microsoft's value proposition and this despite huge advertising and marketing campaigns. Apple already has the walled garden and through the volume of its sales has convinced by developers and corporates to let it into their space. For the masses cheap Android tablets are proving increasingly attractive media consumption devices that are extremely portable, significantly more so than the Surface and the reason why Apple has developed the I-Pad mini. Where is the Surface mini? And why has Samsung so noisily abandoned the market?
You are right to point out that more and more apps will be developed for Metro, though how many will be compiled for ARM remains to be seen. Windows RT might just be a stop gap for Microsoft while Intel and manufacturers work on Surface Pro tablets which might well prove popular, albeit by cannibalising notebook sales but only in significant volumes if they are cheap enough.
Move along, please. Nothing to see
Software vendor complains of poor sales to industry. In other news: earth still orbiting the sun.
Where is all this OTT revenue that the article talks about? How do Skype's worldwide profits stack up against world mobile telephone profits? Or even just against the pre-VoIP calling-card business of least-cost-call-back routing?
Operators have a terrible record of implementing compatible services. They have to do telephony because it's in the licence but it took third parties to discover the potential of SMS. Industry-led MMS has been a debacle. Not that the solution are vertically integrated silos: FaceTime, GoogleTalk, Skype. No, internet-based, ie. truly cross-platform and cross-networks tools are the only solutions.
Twice as fast?
Speed obviously isn't the selling point for this: twice as fast means about one generation of mobile phones and that in a small part of user experience. Offloading stuff to hardware via, say WebGL or CSS, brings a lot more. It's far from perfect but the slow and steady development and adoption of HTML 5 (including CSS and JS) is gradually moving things along.
Re: I'm one of that 12mil
Can't comment on the Android App but I think the article is mainly about the Kobo hardware. I think it's only exists to demonstrate that you can use the books you buy on any of your devices which is an important factor for many. On my Samsung Tab I have Aldiko for books and have not had any problems with it.
Re: Just a consumer.
I understand where you're coming from with reference to large PDFs. The Sony's do a damn good job at reflowing PDFs to fit but at the end of the day there are times when you need the format which is why I was prepared to sell a kidney when PlasticLogic announced the Que. Unfortunately, they never delivered but they have demonstrated the potential of this kind of display technology.
Now, back to books. One of the reasons for me to have an e-reader and/or tablet is access to technical documentation when on the road. Fortunately, an increasing number of my stuff exists as Epub as, Sphinx be thanked, pretty usable on whichever device. When it comes to books, I've never read a Mills & Boon but I guess they're no worse that what I do like to read, and having a degree in the subject I like to fancy that I know what I'm talking about.
It doesn't really matter what you read. What does matter is how you read and the Kobo's are remarkably good - I used to have a Sony and I know a few people with Kindles so I can compare. All the new devices are remarkably similar when it comes to the hardware: hi-res, hi-contrast e-ink pearl screens, diffused lighting, size and weight. The new screens are very crisp, not that 800 x 600 was ever bad really but I now get approximately equivalent line lengths as you find in Penguin paperbacks. The lighting makes a huge difference even indoors as just switching it on a bit increases contrast and legibility. Page refreshing is now pleasantly fast. I was used to the hardware buttons for page for and back on the Sony and thought I'd miss them on the Kobo but as you just need to nudge the screen it's not proving to be a problem and means little or now smudging, or as in the case of swiping, scratching.
But the software also matters. Sony is the dogs bollocks when it comes to PDFs, no arguments there. But Kobo lets you adjust line height which is very important when it comes to readability. The built-in shops all feel a bit weird and constraining but the Kobo shop is not geographically restricted - important to me as an ex-pat as I know a few Jormans who've had to register with US addresses just so they could buy books and keep them on their devices. With the Kobo you just change languages and get more books offered in that language. Sync seems to work okay though side-loading books seems to need a one-time authorisation by Adobe. The Glo is pretty light and will fit in a jacket pocket, which is good in summer when I'm feeling a bit Bohemian as Proust and Joyce certainly don't fit!
Re: the tin foil hat wearer in me is deeply troubled
Think of the benefits that the revolutionairies you mentioned would have found from having facebook.
I suggest you look up "samizdat".
Of course, one interesting conclusion that could be drawn from your suggestion is that revolutions are more likely now that the Nathan Barley's of the world have access to such great technologies. Should we all now flock to the Sugar Ape banner? What are our demands? Smoked salmon lattes? Geek pie hair cuts for all? Easy to see the powers that be tremble before massed ranks of people playing muff, cock, bumhole!
@Miek, yes we know that. We just don't see the connection with Alfresco's CMS. Is it, for example, a Linux distro?
- Product round-up Coming clean: Ten cordless vacuum cleaners
- Review We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best
- Product round-up Too 4K-ing expensive? Five full HD laptops for work and play
- 'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
- Worstall @ the Weekend BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity