340 posts • joined Tuesday 3rd June 2008 07:55 GMT
Re: The key to teaching is the teacher
@ A Non e-mouse
Certainly true that the teacher makes all the difference.
But the system so sucks that it's near impossible for them to function. Kids are inherently curious, but want to have fun and school is almost always the opposite. Pleasure of learning is replaced by fear of punishment. Compounded by UK private schools' obsession with sport played outside in a lousy climate -- another reason for dread.
US TV ads @Henry Wertz 1
Too right. Nobody I knew watched TV in the States.
We are rapidly approaching that situation here when ad breaks that used to be two per hour seem to be every 10 minutes now -- and last longer.
As someone said, the ads now reflect the fact that the only people watching them consume the kind of products that are advertised. So where UK ads used to be noted for their wit and style they now just bludgeon repeatedly.
Unsurprisingly there's preponderance of ads for sofas !
Surely Ireland has some say in this.
If Google claim that UK sales are entirely via Ireland, why do they employ people in UK to deal with customers when there is a large, well educated workforce in Ireland looking for work.
This is a matter as much for the Eire Government as for the UK. Google may be paying tax in Ireland but that seems to be minimised (perhaps in a similar sleight of hand). If Google are going to hide behind Irish tax law, they might at least employ a significant number of people there.
The home desktop PC.
I rely on the easy repair and upgrade aspects of the PC to keep vaguely in step with the technology without actually buying anything (at least not new as there are car boot sales for parts and PCs get dumped on the street around here).
But, every friend who has recently replaced a computer has bought a laptop -- some have added a tablet. Even I now have a fairly new laptop (repaired using found parts).
Much as I love my desktop, it's obvious they are any old iron these days.
Coffee with Steve Jobs ?
Of course the price would be higher -- and the temperature could be hotter.
Re: Perjorative @Robert E A Harvey
..........."Ultimately /all/ gardens are turd gardens."
Especially if you or neighbours have a cat.
"a news site which covers the culture of now"
Oh, please !
Go and stand in the corner. Pseuds Corner.
So that's what they were smoking.
When they put self-destruct capacitors on motherboards, in monitor, subwoofers, flatscreen tellies.
On the plus side (no pun intended), the pavements round here have been host to decent sized monitors and tellies which I've fixed for the cost of a handful of caps.
Re: Another reason not to look at Sun site.
Fewer people reading it, or people reading it less ? Really doesn't bother me and I make my living as a writer.
"I am William Boot of the US Embassy of Ishmaelia......."
Nice to see the Reg's writers read Evelyn Waugh (Scoop 1938). Could better have used Graham Greene (Our Man in Havana 1958).
The moment I hear someone pronounce footballer as footblr I switch off because I know that what follows will be terminally boring.
Another reason not to look at Sun site.
I thought the Metro (the London free paper, not the TIFKAM so beloved of our readers) was vacuous and stupid, but a glance at the Sun reassures me that, still, no-one loses money by underestimating the intelligence of the general public. Bring on the Paywall and, please feel free to quadruple the price of the printed paper. The less people read it, the better.
The generic £50 Android.
People in the emerging markets are the only ones buying basic handsets and they are, doubtless, tempted by unbranded Android models.
Good question as to where this leaves Nokia who rely on basics and don't have Android. But I think it will affect the global market pretty soon.
Aside from the fashion conscious, why would we not buy ZTE or Huawei -- they've been making OEMs for years and their branded offerings are looking good, not just good value. And after them, several other Chinese makers are becoming household brands in their home market.
"You'd be nuts to run your business using Office 365".
@ Mystic Megabyte
Too right, mate. It's common knowledge that even countries within the EU are aiming industrial espionage at each other. To store any commercially sensitive material in the cloud is just asking for it to be borrowed. Whatever assurances MS might offer, they are subject to US government control, formal and informal.
Take Sony back to its roots.
Sony was once pretty wonderful. My first tranny radio -- one of the first available in the UK. My first telly -- 9 inch monochrome which lasted nearly 20 years. Hi-fi components built like a tank. Invented the portable music player. The unique Walkman Pro. Excellent after sales support.
Now, they play second or third fiddle on portables having flirted with DRM on MP3 players, presumably due to the connection with Columbia record label. Laptops look nice but, apparently, have spotty technical support. Eclipsed in TV by Samsung. Also-ran in cellphones.
NO change, then.
........."LiveSafe will come preinstalled on Ultrabook devices and PCs from Dell starting on June 9. By contrast, a 12-month subscription for consumers' existing PCs and tablets will cost £79.99.......
......"All this is a big change from offering security software to consumers as part of a 30- or 90-day trial package"......................
No it isn't. They're still paying to add their stuff onto new machines which then have to be de-cluttered to perform properly. This idea that hardware mfrs can rent out space on our computers before we buy them damages our perception of the hardware and software brands.
I'm sure many people avoid McAfee or Norton products on principal because they have so annoyed them this way in the past.
Hope not more bloat....
I wonder if my experience is typical but recent Firefox versions seem slow, at least on on older machines. Opera now takes an age to load, but Google Chrome seems okay.
@ J 3 Re: Oh my...
Microsoft ads probably start life as decent ideas at the agency (unless the creatives are so defeated by previous rejections that they self-censor) and then get strained through the mesh of corporate politics and researched to death.
This is pretty typical of big (especially US) brands I've worked on. The resulting kludge often barely makes sense.
Microsoft example breaches a cardinal rule of comparative or "knocking" copy. You don't do it if you're brand leader because it just promotes less known brands -- and the consumer will see them as comparable with your own.
@sferix Re: Police Hunt Zombies - Official
To be fair to the cops, for someone dead in the street with no ID, but with a cellphone -- the records would help identify the body so relatives could be contacted.
@ Aldous: It goes in cycles
The fixie thing comes from bike messengers, a few of whom were amateur cycle racers. They'd traditionally use "Routier" type training bikes with fixed wheels like track bikes -- and drop handlebars for efficiency. The latter are unsuited to Central London traffic where keeping your wits about you is more important than aerodynamics.
Older Londoners like me who still ride touring bikes bought in the 1980s with drops and 10 speed gears, unneeded on relatively flat terrain, are an anachronism.
So the hip bikes make a sort of sense -- but please, the beanies, boy-beards and the hanging crotch drainpipe trouser ?
Nathan Barley/Jason Bradbury now there's a coincidence !
When I was with Orange the offshore call centre had signed me up under a phonetic version of my name and garbled my address. When switching to T Mobile (other arm of EE) I cleared this up so, presumably, the details passed onto Ipsos unethically by EE are now accurate.
Cue junk mail avalanche.
Re: Private companies DO do this
We may not like it but landlords, car hire companies are entrusting items worth many thousands £/$ to you and have better reason to demand ID than a mere retailer of electronic trinkets.
It's also a question of what they do with the information -- IT companies have the means and motivation to abuse that information.
Re: Bullies @Bernardo Sviso
You're probably right about Win7 v Vista size -- but Win7 takes maybe 8x the hard disk space of the original XP distribution.
Add an item 9 to your 8 in the above list. The demise of the Windows distribution CD (latterly DVD due to bloat) and, instead, just a disk image on the hard drive. Fine if the average laptop user ever gets round to burning a disk from it but how many do ?
Hard drive fails, those with the know-how to replace a hard drive, obliged to obtain a fresh copy of Windows. Others may just bin an otherwise serviceable laptop.
Microsoft can't lose.
" I'd like to see the data on how many of those millions grabbed a Win7 install and blew 8 away the minute they got their new desktop/laptop/fondleslab set up."
More likely, how many took the new W8 laptop back to the retailer and traded it for a refund -- or an Apple ?
Microsoft, the reason we hate you is the same reason everyone hates bullies.
1) People buying a new machine had to pay for Vista AND XP -- wasting a day uninstalling Vista and installing XP. When all we wanted was XP (unlike Vista it worked reliably and worked with our existing applications).
2) You introduced DOCX as the default save in Word so we had to buy a new copy of Office (not just Word as you used to be able to buy) or be cut off from other users.
3) Every new version of Windows is much bigger, so we spend on new hardware when the old stuff could be run for several years longer. I haven't checked Win8 but as it's full of stuff redundant to a desktop, like touch, it's presumably enormous.
4) Your are now trying to get people to rent Office (for about the same amount per annum as the cheapest old version was available to buy outright).
5) You try to make us upgrade every machine on a network when you keep messing about with Windows Networking so that one version won't play with another (even conflicts between XP Service Packs).
6) Let's not even go into the way you've treated hardware manufacturers.
7) Let's also not go into the treatment your competitors have suffered.
Naturally, not everyone will agree with every charge on this list -- but I suspect many will be able to add to the list.
So, it's a free phone on contract !
Admittedly a 99% discount sounds dramatic but plenty more expensive phones are free if you are prepared to sign a contract. Given the idiotic amount of time some Facebook users waste checking their page, the phone company could be on to a good thing.
However, it's hard to see the need for a dedicated Facebook phone when so many already include an app built in -- and I think anyone buying the Facebook phone is, in effect, admitting that they are an idiot.
You're in a hole Steve.....
....so stop digging.
Office 365 will sink Microsoft deeper than the Win8, WinPhone and Surface cockups. No home user is going to willingly rent Word (because that's the only part of Office most use regularly) for serious money annually when they can go on using the version they already own or get an equivalent for free.
Re: Lucky the lil sweetie isn't American
Still using a secondhand E71 -- QWERTY keyboard and decent battery life. Not much good for internet but , when temporarily without landine broadband, was able to import of BMP files to send as email attachments on a regular basis. Felt weird doing on a phone what I normally did on a desktop PC but it worked !
In theory should have been able to do better with a Blackberry with touch screen plus QWERTY but the slide out keyboard only suited tiny fingers. Current BBs are a nice change from generic Androids but the price is too high.
Haven't learned Lesson One from Apple.
If the product is right, people will pay the price.
You don't have to waste capital and lose income churning out new models to fill every price point.
By all account the Win phones are pretty good but sales mainly rely on them being cheaper.
Boy Beard Ban, please !
IBM used to have (or allegedly had) a rule of no pipe smokers, no beardies. I think they assumed that both wasted a lot of time fiddling. Mrs Thatcher had a similar prejudice.
I can't quite understand why older men going grey (or white) would want to multiply the problem by growing grey/white facial hair. Presumably to make up for thinning on top. I'm wary of men who sport beards and heavy glasses -- clearly they are hiding behind these contrivances !
But maximum odium for young hipsters with wispy beards -- the sort who may also wear skinny trousers that hang around the crotch and beanie hats. I guess the sought effect is to look like one of Garibaldi's guerrillas, though this seems less than convincing when seen with iPad in manbag around coffee shops in Hoxton.
In 1985 I and one other ad copywriter (that I was aware of, anyway) brought computers into our workplaces simply for word processing.
We could see the vast inefficiency of a pool typist trying to decipher handwriting and repeatedly retyping drafts (usually introducing errors) as they were modified by ourselves and clients.
We could see this, but management couldn't. So we bought the machines ourselves (Sirius and Apricot costing well over a thou, plus printer). Later his employers conceded that they would pay half the price of his next machine.
Soon enough creative depts all over London were sprouting personally bought Amstrad PCWs.
When management realised the benefits, everyone got a computer -- but they were networked and the only choice was between single brand PC (writers) and Apple (art directors). And no more bringing in your own software -- though I recall Doom or Quake soon got networked.
Deliberately misleading nonsense.
Seems that these days anyone offering a product which is moderately complex do their best to make it more so. Then they employ ad campaigns that appear to make it simple again -- best/worst example, the Orange campaign involving animals (Dolphin ? Raccoon ?) to represent different packages.
As an adman I have to say this goes against my instinct to try to communicate actually complex products (cars, hifi) in a comprehensible manner, though I refused to work on life insurance business because I found it so boring and confusing that I felt incapable of doing good work.
As revealed by the fact that PlusNet is just BT in drag, with the exception of Virgin, ALL these brands are selling essentially one product -- internet over BT's copper wires (whether via Fibre to the Cabinet or not).
Even Virgin sells this where it has no infrastructure. Actually, Virgin seems to have "lost" some of the cabling put in originally by the firms it took over -- in our street, every building has a small hatch in the pavement which accesses cable below, but Virgin resolutely deny that we can have fibre-optic internet.
As per energy tariffs, we need legislation to force internet and cellphone service suppliers (often the same companies) to clarify and simplify their offerings with no "free" phones or "half price for 6 months" or "unlimited" that isn't.
My, but it's warm in here...
...I'll just have to slip into something more comfortable !
Yes, I was shocked that Adobe tried to stick me with McAfee when I updated. Presumably part of the aim of updates is to improve security and performance, which does not in my book include stuffing unrelated, unwanted, material onto my hard disk.
In short, Adobe products should be regarded as potential malware until they clean up their act.
As for McAfee -- I guess the only way they can get their products to be used is by paying other people to sneak it onto our computers. Hardly a recommendation.
Yahoo trying to force users to upgrade, again.
Forget adding features, Yahoo users aren't interested -- e.g. the site's sad attempt to create a social hub. Cue tumbleweeds !
Yahoo should stick to its email and news core and leave its customers in peace.
A few years back Yahoo launches an allegedly new and improved email service and was greeted by silence by existing customers who stayed resolutely with Yahoo "classic" -- so much so that Yahoo seemingly shelved plans to force users onto the new service.
Now they're at it again -- I recently received a message that Yahoo users would have to move to a new Yahoo service in June.
I have no such plans, so we we'll see who blinks first.
Re: My problem with T-Mobile contracts is
@dazed and confused ".........why doesn't either T-Mobile of EE's customer service departmental have an email address! Don't they want to join the 20th century yet?......."
Simple, they want you to ring them.
A solution is to obtain the e-mail address of the CEO Olaf Swantee (see EE website) and ask him to forward your email to the department or staff member concerned.
Alternatively write snail mail to Board Member responsible for customer service, MsJackie O'Leary asking her to take the matter up.
My guess is once enough people start taking up the time of these exec's personal assistants, EE will be more aware of customers' issues -- and make it easier to contact the lower paid guys who are supposed to deal with complaints.
first step, transparency
Once customers can see the real cost of phone and airtime they should be able to make more informed choices. The present confusion-marketing business model will end, if not through consumer choice then via legislation.
The incentive to upgrade to a "free" new phone may diminish as the technology matures and most phones on contract are smartphones regardless of price -- witness the proliferation of £100 Android and new Winokia models.
Re: This is good news
Slightly off topic, but do all respond to nuisance commercial callers by pressing 5 (or whatever they ask) "to speak to one of our agents". Then walk away and have a cup of tea. Eventually your phone will emit a piercing tone to tell you that the other end has hung up. Wastes their time, costs them money. You may then receive fewer calls of that type.
Didn't reports surface fairly early on that the new iPhone was proving difficult to build.
Based on my experience of dismantling iPods (thin ribbon cable attached to a plug that's hard to unhook, result unhappiness) -- I avoid fixing Apple products.
Also Foxconn -- little or no end user support on their site, bulging capacitors on a couple of mobos I've seen.
Re: Win8/Office365 driving customers away fromMicrosoft.
@ El Andy
You are right, I was hasty. But judging by the upvotes I'm not the only one who feels something is wrong with Win8 compared to the relative ease with which one moved to XP (or in my brief experience) to Win7.
Incidentally, 5 minutes ago received message from another friend -- in Upstate New York -- saying she had returned her new Sony Ultrabook which she otherwise loved to the retailer due to user issues with Windows 8.
Re: Win8/Office365 driving customers away fromMicrosoft.
@ Matt Evans
You are wrong and unnecessarily rude.
The very fact that you use terms like "charm bar" (whatever that is) and effectively admit that I (who have used PC since 1985 starting with MSDOS) may have become confused says all one needs to know about the misguided piece of software that Win8 is.
I don't use Win7 regularly but that was far less of a culture shock and I'm not sure that even had I used Win7 more I would have been comfortable with Win8.
Sure, given a longer spell with Win8 I would probably get the hang of it, driven by my curiosity about such things. But I'm not talking about people like us, my friend is far more typical of the average user.
Win8/Office365 driving customers away fromMicrosoft.
Just spent an afternoon with a friend after she called me to help with her new Win8 laptop as she was suffering what she described as tears of rage trying to navigate Win8.
The "swipe" action I inadvertently executed while using the touchpad kept producing a black border and a box containing the time/date and frequently replaced Internet Explorer on screen with something else -- luckily I discovered that pressing Esc key took me back.
I couldn't find My Computer or Windows Explorer but after identifying a taskbar icon as representing folders I stumbled across a screen called (something) Assist which is basically My Computer under another name and style.
Next she wanted my advice on why, when trying to open a Word document, she had been whisked off to an offer to rent (not buy) Windows Office 365 for over £70 per year !!
I steered her instead to the Open Office site.
So a customer infuriated by Win8 turning her experience of her new computer into a struggle. And a potential application sale lost.
Do Microsoft seriously think companies are going to adopt Win8 if it produces this kind of reaction, multiplied across dozens or hundreds of staff ?
Re: Samsung are deceptively putting other manufacturer's sub-par panels in their TV's
Yeah, it's called second sourcing. Most manufacturers use components from a range of suppliers -- often from rivals, most obviously when they don't themselves make a suitable component. Hard drives are a good example -- where a manufacturer didn't make a drive of a particular size they'd add one from a rival (and probably the rival did the same).
Crackers, Crackers or just crackers!
"Then crackers claiming to be from Anonymous appeared to have taken over the Facebook page of the WBC.....
Tham thar cult members themsels already count as Crackers in both traditional meanings of the word. Hicks from Paddidilysquach, Kansas -- or simply bonkers.
Re: The welsh lobby
I'm ancient enough to remember when the only thing on BBC telly on (I think it was) Saturday mornings was Welsh language programmes form BBC Cymru . As a Londoner I was irritated and puzzled as to why we were being subjected to this -- later I learned about Political Correctness.