Feeds

* Posts by Steve Evans

2355 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Much whining...

Except does it actually stop Sammy or HTC making their next new phones?

No.

Will it give them stiffer competition, and possibly a bit of motivation to get updates out to their users a bit faster when Silver phones appear?

Hopefully.

3
1

Stephen Elop: I was RIGHT to BURN the PLATFORMS

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

"But Elop and R&D go together like Max Clifford and...

Er, I can't finish that sentence on this site, can I?"

You can, the court case is over, he's been found guilty.

0
0
Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: trojan horse

Indeed.

I know Nokia did need a kick up the corporate arse, and a few layers of management culled, but Elop arrived from Microsoft, with a firm Microsoft mindset. I find it impossible to believe that what he did was for the good of the company he was supposed to be running, and not following a Microsoft directive to assimilate.

Nokia had a history of great hardware (which admittedly floundered on the later models like the N97), but they were hardly beyond rescue. They had various R&D projects on the go, including Android, a booming platform.

Instead they are told to dump all of those, and go with this new Microsoft vapourware.

Even so, HTC launched phones running on the platform before Nokia could!

All eggs placed firmly in one basket, and then that basket runs off and gives another company first choice... Niiiice...

Watch that share value tumble...

Watch Microsoft reach for the cheque book and grab the bits it wants.

So typically Microsoft, and so obvious to everyone, and we're not talking hindsight here! I can only assume the Nokia board members got an offer they couldn't refuse, they couldn't really have been that incompetent by accident.

13
1

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Virtual box...

Now if only I could get it to run under VBox at >VGA resolution... Grrrrr!

0
2

CEO Tim Cook sweeps Apple's inconvenient truths under a solar panel

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Outgassing

Or maybe not working them all into such rapid upgrade cycles...

"Don't worry kids, you won't be out of date this year. No new phone launch until 2016... We'll just release lots of software features you really want onto your 4s... We've kind of run out of gimmicky hardware to add on for the moment anyway..."

3
0

Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Hateful

Well if I were a iPhone fan, I'd want a bigger screen.

I'm a man, with man-size hands. A single finger obscure half a dozen letters on the teeny tiny virtual keyboard. Given that my fingers aren't sharpened to a point, it can get tricky to type at a useful speed on any of the iphone models.

1
0

Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

Steve Evans
Silver badge

"the historic meeting of Chelsea Clinton and Lilly Cole 98 views as we write"

Ooooh, only two more and she can collect another £200k for demonstrating impact at uberscale...

*jeeez*

2
0

GoPro's new lens: Like a GOOGLE STREETMAPS car... for your life

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Not much new

And expensive grin!

The problem with these kinds of device is when you try to stretch the image back to get regular frames, that shot where the pedestrian stepped out in front of you for example, you discover that one edge will have been sampled by only a few photosites on the sensor. The pixels per inch will be far greater on the other edge, so the resolution varies across the image!

So there's little point bigging up the quality of the mirror when the sensor is being misused to such a huge extent!

0
0

Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Suspected as much...

Earlier this year they initiated a "you need to access your profile via the website every 30 days to keep it alive" policy.

Which was slightly annoying, but they did at least send you a reminder email when you got close to 30 days.

It came as no great shock when the "we're killing the free accounts completely" email arrived over the weekend. I guess the 30 day death hadn't pruned as many as they had hoped.

Glad my Vigor has a huge list of dynamic DNS services it will work with :-)

Good luck DynDNS, you've been very stable and reliable. I only needed to contact you once, and on that single occasion your humans were fast and efficient, but I just don't need all the paid account bells and whistles.

1
0

Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

Steve Evans
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

You owe me a new keyboard!

HMRC have 85,000 PC's running XP?

How many people have they got sitting in front of computers in there? XP is a desktop OS after all, not a server. That a not insignificant %age of the entire UK work force!

Talk about bloated government body.

6
3

BEHOLD the HOLY GRAIL of TECH: The REVERSIBLE USB plug

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: We have all experienced Schrödinger's USB stick

Sometimes I suspect that I'm the only person in the world who has noticed that the metal rectangle of the standard USB A plug has a join... And the join is on the bottom!

1
1

BT Tower to be replaced by 3D printed BT Tower

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: 10 Downing Street

Indeed!

Somewhere in Shoreditch there is a "trendy" running about screaming "Who leaked it!?!?!".

0
0

Boffins demo FIVE MICRON internal combustion engine

Steve Evans
Silver badge

They might make some awesome nano-tech, but their soldering is shocking!

1
0

CIA snoops snooped on Senate to spy spy torture report – report

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Well the law makers were so keen on hyping TERROR and having us all live in fear...

Well look what you've created!

Sorry, still trying not to laugh. (failing)

8
1

Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: It's crap

Not to mention the * and # used frequently in his outbursts...

Actually, maybe not the latter, he couldn't find it on the keyboard!

5
0

HTC One grabs BEST SMARTPHONE gong

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

A slight correction...

Before Apple jumped in, and made tethering a "paid for" update for the iphone, the rest of world+dog had been tethering and using their 1GB/month data as they wished.

Since then all the mobile carriers seem to have got fussy over exactly how you're using that 1GB/month, and charging you if you want to tether it off to something else...

What difference does it make exactly? It's a 1GB/month contract! Why should you care if I use 1GB on my phone, or do exactly the same on my laptop via a tether... It's still coming out of the same 1GB/month pot!

So thank you Apple.

5
3

Computer expert and broadcaster Ian McNaught-Davis dies at 84

Steve Evans
Silver badge

I remember Mac fondly from his Beeb presentations. He always seemed enthusiastic and explained things perfectly to my precocious pre-teen ears. things. Although I sometimes wondered if he'd like to strangle the technologically challenged Serle, I know I did.

RIP Mac.

7
0

Reports pump fuel into iCar gossip: Apple in 'talks' with Tesla

Steve Evans
Silver badge
Coat

NOOOO!

OMG, don't let the arty-farty Apple boys have any say in the design... It'll be a triumph of form over function...

Don't believe me?

Well do you think they'll let anything they produce go out of the door with windows?

Mine's the black one with the beanie hat sticking out of the pocket.

4
1

How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Ah, Statistics...

Whilst I'm not convinced by his calculations, his findings do actually tie in with mine.

As with most long in the tooth IT guys, there are things which we suffered back in the dark ages which have stuck with us for life. For me it was Seagate drive death... We're talking 400meg drives here! (Yes, that long ago). Unfortunately I was a field engineer at the time, and covered so many miles just to replaced dead Seagate drives that I still wouldn't use them for anything more than a doorstop! (Actually I lie... I took them apart and used the platters to hang from the plum tree to stop the pigeons eating all the buds).

When my data storage needs at home expanded to the point I really needed to think about redundancy, I opted for "special" raid edition drives, only to have two of them die within 12 hours of each other when I was away from home. They were 6 months old. Don't worry, I also had backups.

I replaced those drives with the next model up (went to 500gig from 400gig, but the same brand, and still specific raid drives), upgraded the power supply in the server that contained them, put it on a better, mains cleaning, inline UPS, and increased the air-flow.

This time the first drive failed after 4 months!

I then decided to start again. Dumped all the drives, working or not, and bought a load of cheap Fujitsu 1TB drives, plus a couple of spares... Never needed the spares. They were still running perfectly reliably when I replaced them with 2TB Fujitsu consumer drives... And that's where things are today. The 1TB drives have ended up being used in all sorts of machines, and I've never had a single one give the slightest hint of failure. The 2TB are still whizzing along in the RAID, the uptime of which is now over a year.

All the spares have been pinched for other things (really shouldn't do that!), such is the confidence they have given me.

Meanwhile, in the work environment, I've seen more specific raid drives die in under a year than I can remember... Some things don't change.

4
0

Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

Steve Evans
Silver badge

There was indeed.

At the end of the credits, there was a bit of text correcting all the inaccuracies, such as it wasn't the USA who forced a U boat to the surface, boarded it (even though it was about to sink) and retrieved the wheel settings book from the wireless room, it was the royal navy.

1
0

Sinclair's ZX Spectrum to LIVE AGAIN!

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: What the...

As I've said elsewhere, there are things that should be left in the past and not resurrected.

The dead-flesh keyboard is just below smallpox on my list!

1
3

Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Nothing new here

I saw the BBC report on the TV last week, so I'm glad to see you cover the issue here.

I found the whole tone of what the Bletchley Park trust said and did disgusting and completely out of touch.

As other have said, the men in suits have moved in.

The whole charm of this place was it's Heath Robinson nature. Sure leaky roofs need fixing, but the whole place was a lash up in the 1940s, and should remain that way.

To replace it with a glossy plastic "visitor experience" is turning it into a theme park.

72
0

What can Microsoft learn from 'discontinued operations' at Nokia?

Steve Evans
Silver badge

For me the rot set in even before Elop.

Nokia were never really bleeding edge, but they made good reliable phones for most of the 10+ years I owned them, right up until the last couple of years when the lack of updates to known bugs (or allowing the carriers to customise, and in effect blocking bug fixes) crippled Symbian phones. The N95 for example, was actually a good phone if you jumped through all the hoops to reflash the model number to generic Euro so you could get the updates direct from Nokia. Unfortunately Joe Public didn't know (or what to know) this, so he was stuck with the carrier branded firmware the phone arrived with. Unfortunately the OTA update ability of the N95 seemed to coincide with Nokia developing a "It's okay, we know it's got bug, we can ship it, we'll fix it OTA later"... Which of course they couldn't if you had a carrier branded phone. For some reason, even non UK carrier branded handsets had a weird UK firmware, which caused any firmware updates to be delayed just getting over the border.

Things were not learnt (by them or me!), so when the N97 arrived with a touch screen lashed onto Symbian, and an incredibly generous 32gig of storage plus microSD, it had horrendous bugs. Unfortunately even flashing to generic Euro didn't help this time as Nokia had got your money, and didn't seem to give a hoot about the bugs any more. One of the more major ones for me was the terrible GPS. Various hardware modifications to the antenna failed to improve things, leaving the conclusion that there were serious hardware/software problems deeper inside.. Support dried up before the mobile contract finished, and I even managed to get censored on the Nokia support forums for "disrespecting Nokia" for pointing out that if they didn't support customers they would soon have nobody to support, and therefore no job!

Oh how I laughed 6 months down the line when Elop arrived and proceeded to dismantle the company from the inside.

The N97 was the last phone I bought in a contract bundle, and also the first I abandoned before the contract was over. It was replaced by a phone purchased outright..

It was Android, and so was my next one, and so is my tablet, and my old tablet which has been handed down to my mother. Both my brothers now have Nexus 5's... My mother is still using an old Nokia N70 I gave her many years ago, but she wants a better camera for the grand kids... Not 100% sure which one I'll buy her, but it'll be running the same OS as the tablet she has got used to.

"Treat them mean and keep them keen" is not a good motto for business.

2
0

If your telco or mobe provider hikes 'fixed' contract fees you can now ESCAPE - Ofcom

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Easy to bail...

It's been pretty easy to bail out of contracts recently, especially ones with T-Mob/Orange. They've been tidying up their cells, and reducing overlap.

This has resulted in some areas losing coverage completely. Which is exactly what happened to my brother. Suddenly no signal at home.

After he heard of a neighbour getting released he thought he'd have a go. It took a couple of phone calls (first 2 agents wouldn't release him mid-contract), the third agent was a bit more sensible as they were failing to provide the service he'd signed up for, and had been using happily for several months, and let him go... 12 months into a 24 month contract. He kept the phone. No fee (their breach after all).

2
0

UK smut filter may have sent game patch to sin-bin

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Somehow I don't think so.....

Or Cocking, West Sussex GU29

Lady Hole Lane, Ashbourne, Derbyshire

etc etc...

1
0
Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Well that's my holiday ruined!

You joke, but this happened a few years back. I think it was AOL who introduced a similarly badly thought through, and implemented, nanny-net that wiped Scunny from the map.

Nice to know that all the lessons have been learnt so well eh?

2
0

Large Hadron Collider competition: VOTE NOW to choose the WINNER

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Heroes 4

I'm Steve

(Just about resists saying "and so's my wife")

1
0

App to manage Android app permissions

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Anyone see a price anywhere?

"EDIT: Back to App Ops for me. It may well keep me from upgrading to KitKat on my Moto G."

If you don't mind rooting, you can run app ops on standard KitKat.

1
0

BlackBerry sues American Idol host's company for 'blatant' patent infringement

Steve Evans
Silver badge

What would be really annoying for anyone who bought into the new BB cool-aid would be if this keyboard introduced the rather useful shortcuts which BB forgot to keep in their latest implementation.

7
1

Haswell micro: Intel’s Next Unit of Computing desktop PC

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Far too expensive

For a little silent media consumption box to chuck behind the TV and turn your "thick" TV into a "smart" one, it's way too expensive.

There are plenty of little linux based boxes which can provide a webkit browser and stream your music and movie collection from a network share for far far less.

Sure they don't have the CPU grunt of this Intel box, but then again it's not needed for this kind of use.

I doubt it's required to run a thin client either.

So it can run windows... I guess that's a more unique selling point, but is that really a requirement for the end use I can see this being put to? It just leaves me wondering exactly what the intended end use of this thing really is?

5
0

BlackBerry ends write-off of a year with $4.4 BEELLLION write-down

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: On the positive side...

If BBM on android is an example of their current work, they're truly doomed.

First it hung when I first tried to sign in, because I'd set up my account on the PC only 30 seconds before, and that was too fast for it. No message though, just a white screen.

Then once I did get in ten minutes later, I added two real BB users to my BBM contacts and sent a few messages back and forth... and then discovered a problem... There is no log out. No exit... You can never escape... well you can, you have to terminate the app with extreme prejudice.

Logged in later to check I hadn't missed an obvious "allow logout" option, and was surprised to see I had a contact request to join a chat... from myself!

How odd I thought... And hit accept (out of curiosity more than anything else)... This appears to be the hidden logout function, as the app exploded.

Settings/Apps/Uninstall.

And this was the app they released after the aborted release cock-up and month long wait... I don't even want to think how flaky the first attempt must have been.

RIP BB, if we're honest you've been rotting for quite a while now, and the smell is starting to annoy.

2
1

$1,000 BOUNTY offered for FINGERPRINTS of a GLOBAL SPY CHIEF

Steve Evans
Silver badge

I should just send in 5 random shot glasses with fingerprints on them and claim £5k.

It's not like they'll be able to verify the prints is it!

1
0

Google tells EFF: Android 4.3's privacy tool was a MISTAKE, we've yanked it

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Some creepy apps out there

And with that, the Facebook app is removed.

Not only is there more functionality from m.facebook.com, but a web page cannot trawl my phone with excessive permission.

6
0

Oz couple get jiggy in pharmacy in 'banned' condom ad

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Probably your standard complaint pattern...

Mary Whitehouse style person witnesses ad and is offended and writes to world plus dog to complain.

World plus dog read complaint and write to complain, having never actually seen it.

11
0

We'll predict your EVERY MOVE! Facebook's new AI brain talks to El Reg

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Oh yeah?

Did you predict I was going to be offended by the permissions grab of the Android app update and hold out until forced to update?

Only to then block half the permissions with App Ops?

And then discover that the one new feature I really wanted (edit) doesn't actually work properly?

And then to go back to using m.facebook.com (which is *STILL* more functional than the app).

Oh, and I prefer G+ these days anyway.

0
0

Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps

Steve Evans
Silver badge

UK?

Be nice if it supported being sold in 10 new countries.

Last time I looked the UK price via Amazon was almost £50, which is NOT $35!

Come on Google, sort it out.

5
0

If you want an IT job you'll need more than a degree, say top techies

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: A time machine helps, too.

I dunno, some of us old timers still have a few tricks up out sleeves.

I remember a few years back we had a new graduate start at the office. He was a good programmer, but was always using the latest and greatest technology. For example he'd define classes when a record set would have been fine.

One day I heard him cursing, and asked what was wrong. He'd been generating some automatically for something or other, and had typo'ed the file extension, and was manually plodding his way through them on windows, renaming them.

I popped open a command prompt, type a quick rename command and then closed the command prompt.

He looked at me like I'd just performed some kind of witchcraft!

I honestly don't know what they teach them these days, but it doesn't seem to include basic command line stuff.

Needless to say, I was seen as some kind of geek god after that! lol!

Which was nice.

16
0

Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Very little I would guess except for the energy storage and recharge method.

Once the energy is "stored" either in a coiled spring or a weight high off the ground, its release will be governed by a few gears and a governor wheel (basically a gear with big fins on it). Couple this regulated rotational speed to a dynamo and you have power until the stored energy runs out.

To my mind it's not exactly innovative, in fact it's verging on the Apple level of obvious, but hey, if nobody else has built one, good luck to them.

I'm sure they'd be able to get dozens of patents from the US patent office.

5
1

Assange flick The Fifth Estate branded 'WORST FILM OF THE YEAR'

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Impressive...

Within only a few seconds of mention the Guardian, the typo hits...

0
0

Moto G: Google's KitKat bruiser could knock out, bury Landfill Android

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Here is my proper review

it read like an analysis of Gingerbread!

2
0

HP’s ENORMO-SLAB: The Slate 21 MONSTER tablet

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: great idea

I hate to tell you this hammarbtyp, but there will be a M$ tax in there.

It's got a SD card slot, which means a FAT file system, which means M$ licencing...

Sorry!

2
1

PANIC OVER DROOPING house prices hits MEMBER-shaped estate

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Obviously nothing to do with

Or that it's in the Wirral?!

5
1

Dear-ly beloved: Apple’s costly iPad Mini with Retina Display

Steve Evans
Silver badge

@A/C 12:12 - you're so bwave!

Okay troll, I'll bite.

The original N7 out specced the original iPad (which appeared after it).

Shall we compare the 2013 models?

iPad 7.9-inch retina display 2048x1536 324ppi.

Nexus 7 7-inch IPS LCD display 1920x1200 323ppi

Did you have a point to make? Because I can't see it here. The long side is almost identical, and the short side is only smaller on the Nexus because it's 16:9 instead of 4:3... A size which means it slips into the back pocket of my jeans, or the inside pocket of my jacket.

Want GPS so you can tether your tablet and use if as a large satnav or use other location based services?

Nexus 7, no problem, GPS is a standard feature across the range.

iPad, no. You need the 3G enabled model (£££$$$)

I would guess you've never even touched a 2013 Nexus 7, it's beautifully made, and doesn't want to slide out of your hand like the iPad (for those times when it's not comfortably tucked into your jacket pocket).

As to why people continue to buy iPads? Easy... It's either:

1) Investment in iOS apps

2) Lack of knowledge of the alternatives

3) Baaaaaaa

I'll stick with my 2013 N7 (costing £10 less than the 16gig fruity alternative) thank you very much.

4
1

Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

Steve Evans
Silver badge

@Toastan Buttar was Re: Z80 vs 6502?

Blimee, you really have developed no ability to banter in all these years? You really must have been a hoot at the local computer club in the 80s.

And you call me a prick.

Grow up.

0
0
Steve Evans
Silver badge

Z80 vs 6502?

Well the 6502 wins of course... My Beeb still works... How's your dead-flesh keyboard toy? :-p

Curiously enough I recently corrected an implementation of Bresenham’s algorithm, it was on an ATmega chip, which has comparable storage and grunt to the 80's home computers, although the monochrome 128x80 pixel LCD panel is slightly below the resolution of the Spectrum.

1
1

You THINK you're watching your LG smart TV - but IT's WATCHING YOU, baby

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Oh dear...

It looks like the days of vaguely trusting companies is now at an end...

My home network shall be changing from a black list configuration to white list.

Although a proxy which modifies any messages from the TV to those domains to include nothing but profanities is very tempting...

Oh, and LG, I was just about to purchase one of your smart TVs... guess what, I won't be now, the Rasp Pi will be taking care of all the smart stuff from now on.

4
0

Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it

Steve Evans
Silver badge

Re: Brightness schmightness

I saw that, and the following sentence which stated you could turn it up higher..

I then translated the original El Reg paragraph into "The default brightness is lower than Samsung".

And then replied to my own translation with "and so what?"

2
0
Steve Evans
Silver badge

Eight megapixels isn't as good as some of the competition...

Oh please, the megapixel number is pure willy waving, but with even less to back it up.

Over a certain threshold (about 5Mpixel in my books), there simply is nothing to be gained by going higher on a phone camera. Lets face it, you're not producing an A0 billboard picture. I'd be amazed if the pictures you take ever get any further than facebook/G+.

In fact less pixels can be good for low light images. If the sensor is a constant size, the photosites will be bigger. Meaning they will catch more of those elusive low light photons, making them easier to detect without having to resort to amplification and its associated noise.

To put things into perspective, a 1080 HD TV image is only 2Mpixel - Oh dear, have I just done an "apple retina" job on you? Can you now not see your monitor? Does the entire desktop look like Mine Craft all of a sudden?

So please, don't judge cameras on megapixel alone, there are so many more things it depends on. If not then I challenge you to produce a better photo with an xyz Zillion pixel phone camera of your choice, and I'll use a far lower pixel count device I have in the draw.

It's made by Nikon.

2
0

Inventor whips lenscap off 3D-printed pinhole camera

Steve Evans
Silver badge

I took a Nikon DSLR, threw away the lens, drilled a hole in the body cap, covered that with foil, and stuck a pin through it.

Works great!

Who needs AF, although the metering is somewhat upset by the experience...

Has anyone seen where my nifty 50 went?

1
0