2177 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007
Too expensive for what it is
If this was 100 USD it might sell, crippled though it is. At 500 USD I can't see many people bothering.
Android and ARM based notebooks will do a lot more for less.
Surely some kind of Fawlty prize for stating the bleeding obvious? Or does she pine for rote learning? Associative memory and documentation (as gerund) with an implicit division of labour are pretty key human traits.
I really must apply for a guest professorship at some US university so I can get on this gravy train (spending on US universities has far outstripped GDP for generations).
Blue or black screens
Doesn't really matter but it was NT that introduced the blue ones. Windows 3.x was still DOS and would crash if the wind changed. The error messages were pretty useless and based on the more informative OS/2 ones. You got no longing, but hey we had pretty colour icons.
The media love all the social shit because it integrates so well with their own agenda. Thus, the oodles of free publicity encouraging people to "join in the conversation" or "follow us on...". The media loves to talk about itself and what better way of doing that than encouraging all and sundry to do just the same, and what's wrong with selling them advertising at the same time?. And isn't it wonderful how "social media" is so democratic? And if "everyone" tells you you're right, then surely you must be? The end of mass media, my arse! It's just the beginning of mass delusion as we all inflate our confirmation bias bubbles. This week's Economist Special Report is devoted to the new media, and while it avoids the really tricky issues, it's still worth a read.
Sony already does wireless
But stateside only with the 9" "Daily Edition". Presumably negotiations elsewhere for the networks are trickier than for Amazon as Sony doesn't sell exclusively so has less of a chance to cover the charges through book sales.
I have 650 touch and I think it's ace. It fits snugly either into quite a few of my pockets and doesn't look ostentatious. I'm not that fussed about wireless as that eats battery time and copying books over by USB doesn't really take a lot of time, especially considering how long I tend to take to read a book. Plus, it takes both micro-SD and the littlest memory sticks which are even easier. Charges with the same cable as my phone, which is nice. Sound quality is excellent if you want to play music on it, though I suspect most people either have dedicated players or use the phone. Bluetooth would have been nice for that.
I could do with a slightly larger screen in the same size body - there's a good cm of casing too much around the screen. I don't use the touch screen very much but it is just very useful for things like looking up words by double-tapping them. A larger screen would also be good for the technical, ie. software, documentation but the PDF reflow almost entirely makes up for that. You only really how good it is when you compare the same file on different devices. Fortunately, Sphinx and other tools are making ePub common for docs so the problem will go away soon.
But the USP for readers over tablets - sunshine. Stuff just looks better and better in bright light.
There is no such thing as the "SQL model". There is the relational model and ACID compliance. And then you optimise for the business case - reading, writing or both. The relational model is pure mathematics so it really can be about finding the best fit to hardware and a good database will use all available memory for optimisation.
All a buzz
People I've been talking to who are excited about Google+ are not the technological elite. There is a sense of quiet admiration of something that looks like it might be useful.
You're right that people won't shift systems unless there is perceivable gain, though for SEO the advantage is pretty clear. Whether Google+ already has this in its platform or whether it will take the inevitable data breach at Facebook to scare people away or whether it will need something else to come along.
However, having recently nailed your colours to the mast by suggesting Facebook's IPO should be around 10^12 USD, what else are you going to say on the matter?
Forgive me if you heard this one but
Isn't this just a massive radial fan?
Make it easier
1) Stop the stupid activation shenanigans. People will either buy it or they won't. I bought it, stop threatening me. If you won't give me an update because I haven't "activated" my install and I suffer as a consequence I'll sue you. In fact I might sue you for threatening me in the first place. Make it easy for people to upgrade and install and market share will drive the reluctant to catch up.
2) Make the upgrade easier. AFAIK you can't go from XP to Windows 7. Maybe that has since been fixed but if not it is the best way to piss off your customers.
3) Get out of the browser wars. Buy Mozilla Corp if you want but stop trying to peddle outdated software with proprietary extensions as state of the art. IE 9 is *okay* until you look at anything even slightly mobile. Dump "compatability mode" and offer to fix those websites that would need it.
I like Windows 7 much more than XP - have it on bootcamp - but it still has some way to go in terms of usability. Am I the only one who suffers with windows that get moved to the top getting magically maximised?
What a load of trollfodder
Matt, have you ever heard of the PE ratio? How about the Robert Shiller PE 10?* A PE of 20 is already above the historical average and you are suggesting a PE of over 1000.
All pre-IPO stocks are overvalued at the moment as with nearly zero interest rates there are lots of freshly printed dollars chasing returns. But valuations are not values which is why such trends are called bubbles.
More coal please
This is a message from the Chinese National Union of Coalminers and the American Coal Lobby
Harping on about "global warming" was always going to lead to problems but it was also always more marketable than "human induced climate change" or electorally unpalatable discussions about the politics of oil.
Whether or not we understand the science of climate change, it's still probably too mindboggingly complicated for us to model properly. But that is not really a good reason for pollution as usual or sending more people to their deaths.
Anyway nice to see companies like Schneider Electric (re)introducing the "negawatt" to their advertising.
Will no one think of the copper?
Anything that encourages fibre optic over twisted pair is to be welcomed with open arms.
What are the arguments for the install?
1) This will leave me without a backup machine, currently a Mac Mini
2) Neither my Canon scanner, nor my OKI printer will work
3) I get some new eye candy and some more Apple lock in.
Pretty compelling upgrade.
Lawyers will love this
Anything that has been FCC certified will have to carry on working. If not it's the FCC who are liable.
So, in the blue corner we have the telcos and GPS industry both with deep pockets and in the red corner we have a company with a dodgy business model and rapidly dwindling cash reserves...
Okay, I'll bite
"But the way we know [where a visitor is from] is by the cookies".
Mr Worstall has managed plumb new depths after the "standards" fiasco. This statement is entirely untrue, cookies are used for maintaining state and if you really want to know where some is from you can always use the HTML5 Geo extensions to ask their permission.
Is this the end of journalism on El Reg as we know it? Or just a cunning plan by El Reg to show us what we will have to read if we don't opt-in into snooper cookies?
A few answers to other questions in a possibly vain attempt to stop the spread of ignorance:
* LSO's are covered just as much as http cookies;
* If free analytics are really worth that much then why are they given away? Answer because visitors are unwittingly paying the price by providing lots of personal information about their browsing habits; there are alternatives
* Snooping advertisers are selling the information they gather on your customers to your competitors;
* Omniture already conforms to European data protection legislation. Same origin cookies would be preferable with scrubbing (anonymisation of the IP address) as soon as possible
* The legislation will not be the end of the world as we know it
3 % GDP growth per annum is pretty damn good if you can get it. Anything above inflation, adjusted for population, is good. Unlikely for the US at the moment, though, with negative real rates inspiring various assets bubbles including tech stocks.
As the article suggests the predictions sound like a lot of wishful thinking. If investment in one area really does outstrip GDP for any period of time it can only mean either investing less in other areas or simply importing all the equipment. Also, how do such predictions square up with the cloud utopians who promise cheaper hardware?
Does Samsung really care?
Samsung electronics seems to be running at capacity and selling everything it can. Indeed, in some areas such as the gorgeous OLED screens it doesn't have enough capacity.
As for cachet - I'm not sure if other Apple competitors will want to be on the same books as such an "esteemed" customer, likely to get the best components both earlier and cheaper than they are.
Storm in a tea cup?
While somewhat undiplomatic Dotzler is probably entirely right. Corporates who really care should be submitting test cases to Mozilla and have a vested interest in upgrading regularly and ensuring their "enterprise requirements" are catered for.
The whole major, minor, patch release strategy has had a coach and horses driven through it by Google, who update your browser without your consent. Where's the hue and cry about that? Will Google provide LTS for its browser? Possibly, but it's just as likely to require regular new versions for working with its websites and applications and, as they are unlikely to work on Neanderthal Explorer, people will just have to bite the bullet.
I didn't say Ubuntu on phones
But Ubuntu will, apparently run on Android tablets and netbooks. Wouldn't surprise me if some people hadn't got it working on phones as well but I imagined it to be less useful on them.
The browser as on the desktop
Oh great, pity the user interface is completely different. Oh, it's IE9 which can do a bit of HTML5 (limited video support, no SVG animation, poor canvas, etc.) but is already outdated and outclassed by almost all other mobile browsers and as it's not cross platform no chance of synching bookmarks, etc.
Hardware looks okay but then it looks like just another windows mobile. Unless MS decides it's worth pissing off the other suppliers by giving Nokia exclusive access to feature it's got less room for differentiation than on Android. And if MS does decide it's worth pissing off other suppliers, it's easy to imagine how that might affect their other channels - the only OS running on quad core ARM netbooks at Christmas will be Android. Well, presumably some people will put Ubuntu on theirs.
475 MB here and apart from avoiding the recent itunes update I already have them all. Is his Jobness distributing little Stevie horcruxes?
Hope the IPv6 fixes include something that repairs the broken firewall - worked in 10.5 but has been broken in all the 10.6 releases.
The short version
IBM was getting stiffed by Microsoft for years before the split: IBM stupidly paid Microsoft to develop OS/2 for them and tried to marry it to the PS/2 line for too long. Despite the undoubted technical superiority of the microchannel architecture it was as much this strategy as anything else that put people off OS/2. In the medium term the customer lost out with the crappy VESA local bus but it was so cheap and we got sucked into the Wintel spiral of despair.
Memory requirements, providing you were running the unfortunately single-threaded Presentation Manager, weren't that bad and you pre-emptive multitasking, a fast file system with support for extensible metadata and peripheral sharing and a kernel you couldn't kill. This is why OS/2 was used in all kinds of embedded devices such as UPS tracking pads. The banks loved it, of course, because it had wonderful terminal emulation. Later on it ran Windows better than Windows - virtual machines known as DOS boxes with more memory than DOS could handle on it's own but this just encouraged more Windows development.
I do remember Lou Gerstner saying something* like he thought OS/2 could win the wars but it wasn't worth the cost. IBM then concentrated on making more money from Windows than Microsoft and bought Lotus and others. The companies who stuck with OS/2 seemed to have to spend less on system upgrades over the next ten years because they were able to do so much with the hardware.
* Source OS/2 Inside, I think.
Not worth the extra cost
The shuttle has proved this beyond all reasonable doubt: those features might be nice to have but make the whole thing less flexible, more unreliable and hideously expensive. Better to give the wetware parachutes or M&M certificates at least, or have something that can survive long enough in the ocean for pickup.
I guess this is grammatically correct but surely you don't want to get even more inefficiencies from software development?
Openness is all well and good but this isn't necessarily a black and white, winner takes all situation. Apple still has a reasonable value proposition for both consumers and developers, as does Microsoft on the desktop. Google's success may well be less due to the openness of Android than the absence of licence fees plus the determination to put in the hardware support required.
Quietly getting on with the job?
Seems like ESA is getting close to "serial production" of the ATV but still a lot of missions still to fly to show just how good the ATV is and, presumably, before they send one filled with wetware.
Fantastic article, Mr Haines!
Okay, I'll bite
Scrunchies - you really don't want to know (because they are boring hair accessories)
The Dalai Lama joke is a pun on: make me (at) one with everything (in the world); and make me one (pizza) with everything (from the menu on it). Most puns are shit but I have to admit I quite like this one.
Not directly related to this article, which is an admission of how the deregulated utilities have repeatedly been able to shag the customer, but about Lewis' favourite bugbear - renewables. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer, of Viagra fame and not renowned for its hippy tendencies, is currently operating its Freiburg plant with 93 % of power being supplied by renewables, because this is the cheapest and most reliable thing to do*. The move to 100 % is planned.
ROI within 2 years - http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/hintergrundpolitik/1481701/ (in Jorman)
I don't care that much about climate change. I do care about reliable power and that pretty much means you have to produce it yourself. Even with considerable capital investment that *does* pay off.
Cross my palm with silver...
and I might tell you. On the other hand, I might come up with a third opinion! Don't lawyers lead a great life? :-)
I suspect the whole thing is up for negotiation - full details of what's on offer should be available from the administrator. Should be remembered that Google's bid is as much to get the ball rolling as anything else. Though it seems to have Microsoft foxed - maybe they simply prefer to overbid on patent-light companies (Skype) when there is no one else bidding? Note to self - set up company with "web scale" - is there a cream for that? - but few assets and just wait for the offers!
"But does it have the will to buy the last-standing privately held database vendor?"
You have completely omitted that EnterpriseDB sells its own version of Postgres and that its business has been doing very nicely since Sun borged MySQL and Oracle borked the Sun acquisition; the Oracle compatibility certainly helps. Netezza is another Postgres+ (in the sense of added value) vendor. For customers there is a lot of sense in keeping things the way they are which may be why Postgres has been making such great strides recently, 9.1 is really going to get a lot of interest.
Anyone using IPv6 should enable the privacy extensions which prevent your local ip address from becoming unique. Instructions (in German) just choose the commands for your OS:
Clearly network resources are currently not sufficient to do away entirely with local storage at the moment but the plan is very much to turn Apple into the gatekeeper of your data by pretending there isn't a file system that you can access independently. Once this principle is established the devices you sell can become simply by reducing or removing local storage options. A Macbook without USB for instance using Thunderbolt to license only storage systems which sync with online storage.
A mate of mine who has both an iphone and an ipad and loves them both finds the lack of a file system to be the biggest single problem and a good reason for not buying their eventual replacements from Apple.
I think the benefit would be getting a service the fanbois like to use already rather than having to build it and convince them to switch. Then aggregate and mine the personal information people are only too happy to provide for all its worth - the fanboi social graph can probably be turned straight into sales opportunities.. Apple has the cash to buy Twitter straight from the VCs but might want to wait until it becomes clear that an IPO is never going to happen. Wouldn't surprise me if equity hasn't already been obtained to avoid a potentially expensive bidding war. Faecesbook frozen out for obvious reasons - more difficult to own the data exclusively and probably too expensive to be worth it.
Apple to buy Twitter?
Would seem almost logical from integrating the service so deeply into the OS and presumably providing the necessary data snooping services twats want - share pics and thick URLs. Maintain the web site and shutdown third party clients as part of a two-tier system which will make money buy selling hardware - twats who want to tweet from their phone will have to buy an Apple phone.
Is it just me or is the proposed service somewhat underwhelming? How much instant sync is required? For me that is pretty much limited to contacts and appointments. The music thing is a solution looking for a problem for me even though I can imagine there will be hordes who will love it.
But the background synchronisation of everything without a "sharing" option looks like a mistake. Something like Dropbox already allows me to do the background stuff transparently, across platforms and works surprisingly well (let's ignore the security issues for now). But it also offers a simple way to share stuff, surely the sort of the thing you want to do with photos? I guess the 10 device limit might come in there but there is a difference between showing gran and grandad the latest pictures and sharing your music collection with them. But maybe icloud comes with a public interface to the photos?
Coming back to security - this is going to be a nightmare for all these services.
It's a fecking biscuit, idjit!
What it means is... "Track me"
"Like" has been Facebook's USP for the collection of hopefully reliable demographic data: "23 % of people who visit your site are between 20 and 25 and earn more than ... per year". All these buttons set a cookie check whether they can identify you if you are logged in.
No wonder Google wants a piece of this action before the notoriously slow data protection authorities put a stop to it.
What is interesting is that people would be up in arms if they thought a government was behind it but roll over meekly if they think it is because a private company is giving them a chance to make a difference. Companies don't give a shit if you like XYZ as long you buy it.
Frack for Fuck!
The high court (best approximate translation of Oberlandsgericht) in Cologne has just overruled an injunction against someone for sharing an audio book and created a precedent by distinguishing between individual customers and commercial use*. As far as I can tell this won't stop copyright holders or their representatives obtaining addresses and writing letters but does limit the scope for injunctions and fines. This one is likely to run and run.
* http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/OLG-Koeln-staerkt-Rechte-von-Verbrauchern-bei-Tauschboersen-Abmahnungen-1253433.html (in Jorman, of course)
Pile of shit
BSD, MIT and Apache licences take the politics out of open source. Any hoohah about GPLing BSD code is more about the hypocrisy of applying the GPL to something that is already open source. Inasmuch as commercial use is more or less encouraged you can argue that this is both inconsistent and sour grapes but it's really just a storm in a tea cup.
For US corporations the BSD licence means they are more likely to contribute back, should they ever feel the need, as they don't need to get the lawyers involved and this really does lower the barrier to entry. See the work on Postgres or Juniper's contributions to BSD and why Trac changed its licence.
Intel press release?
That's what this piece reads like.
For years people have been championing the "openness" of Linux as the key to the mass market and we're still waiting for it to happen. Oh, wait. It has happened - it's called Android.
Intel is desperate to get into the small device market to sell x86 and has poured resources into development and marketing sweet talking partner after partner into making public statements about releasing a mobile phone or something based on the next "platform" only for the devices to be MIA. And Microsoft going very much the same way with hardware manufacturers seeing much more business with Android and, so far at least, no competitor with an unfair advantage, assuming they ignore Google while MS has effectively demoted them all to tier 2 status now that Nokia has got into bed.
So there is the licensing - Android is more or less free. For manufacturers it is obviously "free enough" and Google is hard at work giving them what they want. There is a "FAT" tax but many manufacturers may be willing to pay that as the price of interoperability. Perhaps more importantly the ARM chips on which all the stuff is running are significantly cheaper than anything from Intel and are better in the "power to weight" ratio so important for all the gadgets; and that is the only hardware Intel has ever been interested in. True, this has been less of an issue for set top boxes but they have so far been spectacularly unsuccessful - Google's abortive Intel based Android boxes a case in point.
So Intel commissions UI makeover after UI makeover and still fails to convince, although I think the budget pails in comparison with what Google has reportedly thrown at Android. At the same time Android and Apple continue to attract developers to established and growing markets. As getting existing programs to run on the new form factors - what applications are these precisely? Photoshop, Office, Autodesk? First of all, arguably the most portable full stack framework Qt is currently languishing inside Nokia, future definitely in doubt as it certainly doesn't have one with WP7. Furthermore, in contrast to what is suggested in the article you can program for Android using the standard tools, just not a whole heap of people really interested in porting the Posix world to the phones just yet but that may change.
To our glorious linguistic leaders
We salute you!
Pretty much, yes.
Nice as it is you are confounding two separate issues - posting on the internet is akin to making a public announcement and given how keen social networks are to collect (and sell) your identity you should always bear this in mind. This is more a less what has happened in Germany with the two cases I referred to. A casual remark at the pub is not likely to land you in court in post-Cold War Europe unless the pub is a virtual one... This is one of the points that Evgeny Morosov makes in "The Net Delusion" as the secret police of governments around the world start to trawl the networks to root out their detractors.
The alleged affair is still a private matter. The attempt to sell the story is, therefore, a breach of this privacy and a public interest justification is required. In this particular case I fail to see the "public interest" and would rather the media covered some of the more egregious abuses of power.
As for serial prosecutions I don't see anything stopping the courts issuing fines like parking tickets* once a precedent has been established, this is after all pretty much how DCMA works, and, fortunately, the courts are legally independent of the politicians and not the least bit interested in re-election.
* My familiarity with the law in this matter is admittedly limited so I more than happy to be corrected on this.
Privacy, anonymity, personal and public opinion
As usual the media is busy muddying the waters on this. As two cases in Germany make only too obvious: there is no such thing as anonymity on social networks. The head of the works council at the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau has just been sacked for remarks on Facebook and workers at Daimler have been brought to task for clicking "Track me" on a page making defamatory remarks about Daimler's CEO. http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/0,1518,764788,00.html (in German)
There might be those who think that the privacy and anonymity of these people should be protected and this is the sort of thing that the human rights convention seeks to guarantee. But you can't have it both ways. If you want your privacy protected then the same protection applies to others.
Apart from the legal importance of alleging something there is also a distinction between a private and public opinion. Holding an opinion about someone and even discussing it with friends might land you in court under charges of slander or common abuse but this is highly unlikely. But publishing this opinion on a public forum which might range from a poster on a wall or post on a forum is a different matter and very likely to lead to legal action. This is why the press is accorded a certain privilege in such matters - it may report allegations and has the right not to disclose it sources but it has a duty of care to check its facts before doing so and may be held accountable for this. The anonymity of the source is the cornerstone here as it guarantees a safe harbour for whistleblowing and something for which we should all be grateful. Hearsay, of course, is not protected which is the reason for the injunctions.
The "I'm Spartacus" argument is frankly a bit of a red herring. If contempt of court is established in one instance then there is a precedent and incentive for expedited enforcement in all others, presumably fines sent through the post. Posting any of this shit on a social network, which unless otherwise stated, can be considered a public space is an invitation for exposure as identity is the currency of preference - anything you say will be written down and may be used as evidence.
Not just cookies
The law covers other things like the right of customers to change telephone companies in under 24 hours. As important as the data protection and privacy issues are is there any chance of more coverage of these pro-competition aspects of the law?
The main reason for the Commission wanting to see rapid adoption of the law is that, because the internet famously knows no borders, as soon as one country implements it the gate is opened for litigation. Oh, and the Commission has a pretty large remit when it comes to enforcing competition law.
"e) please Bob"
a) does beg the question of whether anyone would notice - putting one pile of shit on another pile of shit?
Got to give them credit for trying to close down any external connections that definitely will not generate any revenue for them even if it means shelling out wad of OPM to do so. Got to stop imagining those yoga and coke-fuelled investor meetings where they discuss the business strategy.
Groundless rumour mongering
The law came from the commission and was passed by the parliament. All member states were consulted. In some places that counts are democracy.
Cookies should a lifespan of the session length *at most* except when used to store user preferences. There is some mismatch between cookies on The Reg as some definitely timeout (ability to post) whereas others (logged in status) don't seem to.
EU Cookie law starts going into force tomorrow.
Your comment makes no *grammatical* sense let alone the rest. Who or what is "Nokia Opera"?
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?
- Review 'Mommy got me an UltraVibe Pleasure 2000 for Xmas!' South Park: Stick of Truth
- The land of Milk and Sammy: Free music app touted by Samsung
- Privacy warriors lob sueball at Facebook buyout of WhatsApp