318 posts • joined 21 Jul 2008
Re: IS MICROSOFT AN INNOVATOR?
" change would have happened more quickly without Microsoft."
That seems unlikely. For pretty much the first time in computing history the same OS ran on a range of hardware from a range of manufacturers and people could buy software knowing it would probably work. Windows95 was just good enough to bring in people who wouldn't otherwise have bought a computer.
"16-bit consumer computing with pre-emptive multitasking, graphics and sound was already available by the mid-80s in the Amiga. Other windowed GUIs were already available from DR (Gem) and Apple."
I had a number of Amigas and a Mac. Both were too expensive for mass market adoption. How much did an Amiga-1000 cost? How much was an Amiga4000 compared to a 486/100 running Windows 95? About three times as much money.
"And what did MS give the market? DOS."
Yes, and the market *chose* Microsoft.
Win3.11 drove homologation in the business world and Win95 did the same for consumers. Prior to Win3.11 my work environment had such an array of different machines and user experiences that anyone who didn't consider themselves a computer expert threw their hands up in despair. We had SunSparcs, a Mac Classic, a luggable Intel thing, IBM5250s for terminal access, a Merlin Tonto, heck even a BBC-B plugged into an EPROM programmer. Gradually we stopped using specific machines for specific things and began using whatever application we needed on a generic PC. It was a tremendous change.
"Without MS competition in both software and hardware would have accelerated, and it's likely the Internet would have happened 2-3 years earlier"
Windows led to an unprecedented acceleration in hardware design, leaving single manufacturer platforms dead in the water in a handful of years. That was possible *because* of a single mainstream O/S, not despite it. Consumer Internet became possible once 56K modems dropped into affordability and was largely enabled by large drops in the cost of telecommunications. I paid over £200 for a 2400bps modem in 1990 - how would the absence of Microsoft have removed that barrier to entry?
"What MS did was kill all competition and create a monopoly selling stupid, crippled, boring, computers"
That's your view. My view is that they enabled a dramatic increase in business productivity. They weren't amazing, mind-blowing machines, but they were just good enough and just cheap enough, and that's what the market demanded. If there was a better option on the table, that's what the market would have chosen. It didn't.
Re: IS MICROSOFT AN INNOVATOR?
Wasn't the key innovation to put 'good enough' affordable computing into the hands of the masses? A PC on every desk, a PC in most homes? A PC running Windows wasn't the technically best solution, or the most elegant, or most usable or stylish, but it was 'good enough'.
There are all sorts of reasons to not like Microsoft or their products, but to pretend that they weren't the driving force behind a massive and beneficial societal change is a little blinkered.
It's also quite easy to sneer at other people who are doing good in the world from behind your keyboard.
Re: The biggest hurdle
"In Bedfordshire our oh so politically correct police commissioner and chief constable have deemed certain minority groups can only be arrested for "significant crime"
Do you have any evidence for that? A cite? A link?
The crackdown in the UK has seen stolen metal heading for the continent instead - hence more thefts recently in the south east.
Re: He previously complained bitterly about the lack of hand lotion.
"Sadly norways idea of justice for a mass child murderer is putting him in a cosy prison with a playstation."
An eye for an eye leaves us all blind. Violence begets violence. Norway's response was admirable and mature, the sign of a country at peace with itself and confident of its place in the world. Breivik is in a place where he can harm no-one else, no-one has been made a martyr for others to avenge or imitate, Norwegians continue their lives in the manner they did before. Your anger says more about you than it does about Norway.
Re: He previously complained bitterly about the lack of hand lotion.
"I'm really beginning to wonder if the liberal ideology in scandinavia is more of a religion than a political point of view as they seem to cling onto it like a life raft regardless of anything that happens in the real world."
You mean their astonishingly low crime rate and a murder rate the envy of the word? Those kinds of things that happen in the real world? Equality, fair-mindedness and justice aren't some form of hypothetical politically correct concepts, they're how modern nation states should operate.
Abandoning their principles because of Breivik would award him a victory for his terrorism - he would have achieved the societal change he intended.
Re: Networking - not...
"I have always struggled to understand why there was never a single network provider that had the responsibility to provide good national coverage "
It would cost more. The last 10% in a ubiquitous network tends to cost about the same as the first 90%. That single provider would need to make some kind of return, even if they work on a utility basis, to be able to pay back whoever lent them the money to build it.
That leaves you with a more expensive network, and an additional party who needs to make a profit, being paid for from the same pool of users. Vertical integration only requires one profit.
All that boils down, I guess, to a fairly simple question - along the lines of; Does every mobile phone user want to pay an extra £5 a month to provide coverage where no-one lives, works or plays? The answer is likely to be "no".
You pay much, much less than you used to.
I bought my first phone in 1992/3 - it cost me £170, my contract was £25 a month AND calls cost 50p a minute.
Re: Am I imagining things?
"ISTR there is an EU-wide mandatory 6 year warranty against design faults."
That would be pretty hard to apply to someone hacking your computer. It would be similar to claiming that because your car was stolen there must have been a design fault and thus the manufacturer should give you another for free.
A vulnerability isn't a fault, in the same way that a car having windows made of glass isn't a fault. The obvious solution for MS if a court tried that approach would simply be to release one last update that disabled all networking capability, rendering the OS completely secure.
Re: A false mask of respectability...
I'm not sure why you've posted an extract of an ECHR document as evidence to support your claims about the EU. They're different bodies.
Re: A false mask of respectability...
"We have a right to life, unless the EU decrees that we should be executed."
What on earth are you talking about?
The EU is consistently a stronger defender of the rights of people than national governments. We should applaud its efforts.
Re: Verizon USA knows your passwords
I'm not seeing the risk.
Presumably your web account is userid and password protected? Presumably you don't have said userid and password printed on a poster mounted outside your front door?
I'm not sure what you mean by 'social engineering' your internal network passwords - social engineering requires an individual to be tricked into revealing something they shouldn't have done. Why does knowing your WiFi passcode make that easier? And why not just set the router to not allow new, unknown devices to connect?
Re: This is why
I'm guessing you're, erm, not a lawyer?
Re: In an all-IP network, a packet is a packet is a packet.
"The big reason is that some packets will always try to cheat:"
IP doesn't mean public. It would be madness to put the public telephone network on a public platform. The replacement IP core would either be a single purpose voice network, or it would be part of a private MPLS core where there's no incentive for packets to cheat.
It's even conceivable that a telephony core could use IP addressing with circuit or connection-oriented switching. As long as the external facing interfaces comply with whatever standard the FCC sets, the telcos are free I'd imagine to design the most efficient core they can.
Re: So is this gonna be Obamacom or what?
"Yeah, we could have avoided the horror of the invention of the transistor if we'd kept them small."
...and that pesky UNIX stuff...
Re: It's like reading a CDW catalog from evil mirror-world!!
"Subsonic acoustics is a contradiction in terms."
No it's not. There are audio signals that are rendered inaudible to humans by frequency or amplitude. Just because you can't hear them doesn't mean they aren't there - or that they couldn't be used for signalling to a device that can.
Re: No, up to 212 MHz
That seems pretty unlikely - the power levels involved are very low - they have to be to allow this stuff to work without the crosstalk from one circuit killing every other service running on the cable. I suspect the very deliberate propagation characteristics of airborne / land to air radio services might also protect against interference.
Re: While I was rummaging through a box...
There are companies selling a modern board that pretends to be a disk drive to your old computer and uses an SD card for actual storage. It's a clever solution - you don't need to mangle your old machine, you don't need to battle with analogue audio signals and you control it all using whatever user interface the manufacturer actually intended.
I don't believe it's compulsory to read them and I'm pretty sure other articles have continued to be produced during recent weeks.
Re: How the fcuk...
"going to garner 81% of the worldwide market share within a couple of years (Android), or go with the one that's going to be stuck on 3.6% market share (Win)."
You're mistaking O/S with manufacturer.
I've bought a Lumia, so has my wife. They feel like a distinct upgrade from Android and are far better value. I don't believe we're alone in this. It's been a pleasure to leave behind the tat-filled malware bazaar that is the Play Store - like Poundland with pickpockets.
What possible incentive would there be for a manufacturer to take on an additional O/S that runs the same apps as Android, when they already have Android?
How does that work?
You can't install any OS on any hardware today - the two being somewhat inextricably linked. That's as true for a desktop or laptop computer as it is for a phone or tablet.
Show me AROS running natively on a Mac and I might change my mind...
"Personally I think the first company that brings out a device with a keyboard like the BB of old will make a killing, regardless of OS."
There are a wide range of such phones on the market right now, this second. Nokia alone sell 4.
Re: Forgot editing
A strowger final selector has 100 selectable outlets (as opposed to a group selector which only has 10 selectable levels, horizontal rotation stopping at the first free outlet).
But if you're going to cheat and do it electrically there are easier ways and you might as well use your strowger kit to drive nixie tubes.
A praxinoscope with 40 slots of different height, each one making up a row of 80 pixels. The display is monochrome and each pixel is either white or black, achieved by a shutter being raised or not. As the drum rotates all the pixels in the slot are knocked down to display white when in a non-visible position and then a series of 80 punch pins that are 'scanning' the display activate the pixel to black (or not) by their position.
The whole thing is controlled by a series of gears to keep it in sync. The refresh rate is as fast as you can make the thing work reliably - the drum will need to rotate to at least 50RPM I think to make the illusion work properly but it's probably only realistic to refresh one or two rows per revolution.
If I could upload a picture I could sketch how this thing works - try this though; Imagine a clock face. At 12 is the aperture through which the illusion is viewed. The drum spins clockwise. At 2 is a bar that knock all the pixels in a given row back to white. At 5 is the pin mechanism to set the chosen pixels to black. The bar and mechanism are attached to a stepping mechanism that starts at row 1 and increments once with each revolution - returning to the top after row 40.
It's sort of time appropriate - the praxinoscope (using still photos) was invented in the 1870's.
Re: The last ever 'proper' Nok?
"but so little about them was Nokia apart from the branding and industrial design."
...erm - and the comprehensive suite of navigation, augmented reality, imaging and social networking apps.
I think you're rather missing the point...
Re: seems to raise a lot more questions than it answers
The problem with that being that it's hard to provision capacity for a rapid rise and fall in users of a given cell as a crowded train passes through it's coverage area without also disrupting the service of people working or living next to that same railway line, also using that same cell. It's cheaper and easier to build an overlay than it is to accommodate that traffic on the main network.
In urban areas the cell handover signalling for hundreds of users passing through multiple small cells at high speed, while trying to use the data connections, is something of an engineering problem.
Re: Sounds crazy and backwards
Comms and signalling to trains and staff uses GSM-R, a specialised variant of GSM. It's not appropriate to try and mix public traffic on that network and there's no provision for the kinds of bandwidth being talked about.
The rails can't be used as they are already carrying other, infrastructure level signalling information.
Without significant changes to the way mobiles pick a network connection cellular data's not a good option - which leaves WiFi. Hand-off between access points for a moving WiFi terminal device isn't great and so the remaining, easier technical option is APs on the train communicating with a regularly spaced set of wireless concentration and backhaul nodes, probably bolted to the frames for the overhead electrical wiring.
Re: Here we go again
Erm, they're not all brightly coloured. Mine's black.
Re: Moto X it is then!
Good grief, what is it with people wanting to run one company's OS or kit on another company's OS or kit?
I'd quite like to play Commodore 64 games on my Oric-1, but it's not going to happen. BB's environment and inherent security relies on the vertical integration of hardware, OS, servers and network.
If one of iOS, Android or Windows Phone (or a feature phone platform) doesn't do it for you, it might be your requirements that are wrong.
Re: Am I the only one...
For the price of an i7 laptop I could buy a typewriter, some paper notebooks, a full set of felt-tip pens and a portable DVD player - but it kind of misses the point.
Re: Just Imagine
Meego ended up such a tangled mess it needed starting again from scratch to be a viable long-term OS. that's exactly what Nokia didn't have the time or money to do. Their strength was always in hardware and their own apps - Android would have left them just another 'me too' with little to differentiate them - who buys an Android phone for the manufacturer's apps? This game's not over by a long shot.
Re: Am I the only one...
The sensor is 2/3" - the same as most compact cameras.
I think you're missing just how deeply zoomed some of those images are.
It's interesting how in the space of maybe three months the comments on Lumia articles have gone from "no-one will ever buy one" to "I've just ordered one", "my 720 does this", "my 620 does that". I'm seeing a fair few in the wild, and both me and my wife have bought 820s - which means we can do the party trick of opening a photo on one phone and sending it to the other just by touching the cases together.
I bought an 820 - and like you found myself seriously impressed at how well it works after owning Android. The hardware is good, certainly, but the OS is really very, very good. The simplicity and integration between apps - especially the Nokia developed ones - is exactly how a phone should be.
That will be because of the price differential. Plastic is a dreadful material to use, if you price your phone at a point higher than the mean annual income of the world's population.
Re: More and more frustration...
Why? I've switched from Android to a Lumia and it's really rather good. WP8 is excellent.
Re: Only one problem
We've got an array of devices on our house - iPad, Windows laptops and desktops, android phones and tablets and even a desktop running Edubuntu. I've got a WP8 Lumia - it's without doubt the best phone I've ever owned. When I switched from an Andoid mobile to my Lumia I felt like breathing a sigh of relief. That people think Android is a mature, reliable operating system ready for the big time amazes me. Don't get me started on the Play store rammed to the rafters with buggy, ad-crammed nonsense. It's the digital equivalent of poundland.
Re: Megapixels are not everything
It has the same size image sensor as most compact cameras - 2/3"
Re: Someone has to pay
I think the distinction with services like BT's Vision service is that they're not Internet. They use a portion of the ISP provided last mile to deliver content hosted privately. Conceptually it's the same as watching a film hosted on a NAS in your home on your Smart TV.
Just because something is using an IP network doesn't mean it's the public Internet - and it's a distinction that I think some of the net neutrality debates completely miss. If net neutrality laws are passed I think ISPs will shrug their shoulders and set about building private overlay IP networks to deliver content from their commercial partners. Akamai have built a very successful business doing almost exactly that.
Re: How would this even work?
The ISP and the content provider agree to provide a private connection between themselves that bypasses the public Internet and delivers that content at a guaranteed rate close to the consumption point. The content provider could even pay to put servers hosting content in exchanges/central offices.
The ISP hasn't limited or restricted the competitor's service, it's just made sure that its preferred content provider's packets have a much better chance of being delivered in a timely fashion.
It's common in Europe with ISP's video on demand services. Delivery is guaranteed because the service isn't being provided over the public Internet, it's being provided from a server in the telephone exchange hosting the end user and then delivered using a portion of the last mile access reserved for such content at the time the user asks to watch it. The important and relevant point is that it's not the public Internet and so any net neutrality rule would be moot. A content delivery network engineered end to end to ensure effective delivery beats best efforts public Internet every time.
Re: On the other hand...@Terry Barnes
Well the problem then would be that you'd never be able to go faster than that 1/50th. Today you get to use your connection at full speed all the way to the peering point if the network isn't congested. Insist on getting exactly your 1/50th and you've essentially gone back to a couple of hundred kilobits max.
Re: illegal for anyone to pay extra for a decent Netflix connection
Isn't that the problem though - expectations that aren't accurate? You're not buying a dedicated connection to the Internet, you're buying a last mile at a headline speed and then a share of some backhaul to a peering point. If you're consistently using more than your fair share in a way that is detrimental to the people you are sharing with, your ISP takes steps to redress that.
Maybe ISPs should be more upfront about contention ratios and the like, but there's a chance they'd just confuse people. You can buy uncontended high speed bandwidth from end-to-end but the cost is dramatically more than buyers of consumer broadband want to pay. It's cheap *because* you share it.
Re: Bus Lane? Try Ford Lane.
It's not that its prioritised as such - it's more fundamental than that.
A separate IP network, that isn't the public internet, delivers the special content to the edge of the network. Video on demand is served from a point as close as possible to the last mile - that's how businesses like Akamai make their money and it's how VoD services provided by ISPs work.
Net neutrality laws won't and can't change that. The traffic isn't Internet traffic, so how will a law applying to Internet traffic even touch it? Your ISP is reserving part of your last mile bandwidth to deliver non-public Internet IP traffic. If the law is framed to try and extend beyond the strict definition of the public Internet then MPLS becomes illegal and corporate WANs around the globe stop working.
I'd guess as well that ISPs *could* give all traffic equal priority but perhaps could neglect to provide enough bandwidth to the peering point that they know certain traffic comes from.
My view is that this stuff is too complicated and technical for any poorly-framed law to actually have the intended effect. The market should decide.
Re: On the other hand...
You're only really paying for your last mile speed. If you want guaranteed throughput all the way to a peering point you can have it, but it will cost you thousands. Consumer broadband is built down to a price - and that will be true all the time the vast majority of people buy broadband based on what's cheapest.
Contention of 50:1 means that things can slow down at busy periods - but it also means that the expensive part of the connection costs you only a 50th of what it otherwise would.
I'd go further and say that the Linux brand on a consumer device is the kiss of death. Normals are terrified of those 5 letters. There is space for niche products as Vertu have shown, but the carriers won't even think of lifting a finger to help - and why would they, what possible benefit is there in it for them?
Re: What technology.
"Philips also came up with the CDI"
Was the before of after Commodore's CDTV? Essentially an Amiga in a cd player box.
Re: Hang on, what?
I bought a Lumia 820 recently - it's undoubtedly the best phone I've ever had.
I even like Windows Phone - it remembers that the device is primarily a phone. Tiles look more modern than the icons on other platforms, in my opinion, and seem better suited to touch operation.
For the price of the phone in the review, a valid comparison is much higher up the model range than the 520.
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