56 posts • joined Friday 29th August 2008 22:18 GMT
There is at least a choice....
Android serves the market well with a wide range of machines are different price points. There will be attrition in time as the markets evolve. But, like other consumer items, competition will keep prices low. As always, it's the networks that make the money.
Better that than the fruity mobile - 1 OS, 1 device, high price.
Security is the USP
In spite of what AC says, I thought the key aspect of BBM was its 128 bit security. As with all security, the state will only allow its full use in normal circumstances. The London riots were an exception where BBM was used to stir up the rioting. But in normal circumstances its useful to know that your corporate messages (and even private ones) are secure.
As with all comms, the message needs to be platform agnostic and secure.
What about Manchester to Liverpool?
No way - we don't need this new fangled stuff. Why not use a horse and cart like we do now? I won't use it and neither will others....
But they did and the first public railway took off. Of course, that was those brave Victorians.
The thing about new developments is that it's always easy to see the downside. The upside takes decades to recognise.
Previous version also used feedback
I recall this was mentioned on El Reg for the last upgrade (FF20). Easy to disable by looking at the preferences.
Not too messy....
I got a Sony phone and love it. Way better than my iDevice for both pictures and music (which is an absolute delight btw). My 2c worth is that Google does not set any form of standards for apps, unlike the fruit company which actively encouraged its third party software developers to set a high bar. Android apps range from the truly terrific to execrable rubbish and only 3rd party comments can help sort out gold from the dross. Yes, it's a free market but good guidance to developers would help Android raise its game.
Not just the hardware
Then there was OpenStep which he bought in from NeXT and that laid the foundations for a solid unix OS together with a great looking WYSIWYG human interface. Apple had its fans pre-OSX, but that change to the OS moved them into a truly different league.
Re: If they make something that is useful...
A pure guess - a iTV. I.e. a Mac but with a built-in TV tuner that looks like a TV and designed for laid-back viewing.
On a NeXT machine
Damn - had a NeXT machine back then and downloaded that first web page just for fun and interest. But then the NeXT died and I had to move on to a Mac (OS9 in those days). Somehow that code got lost in the transition. I've had plenty of time since to regret that.
Maybe not netbooks but...
Just dug under the office desk and found - Psion 5, Psion Revo, Sony Clie NX70 & Clie TH55. All used as 'netbooks' to keep information and make notes at meetings, diaries etc.
Best of these IMO was the Psion Revo (Plus) with a usable keyboard, clear screen a menu bar for the apps and a neat clamshell design. Pity it didn't catch on. But it was a good tool at the time and way better than lugging round a large and ugly laptop running MS-DOS.
By far the best. Been using it for years and it's rock solid with a raft of really useful tools.
For years I've been using a password wallet system. One good password to access all the individual passwords - and it's a cross-platform tool (Mac, iThing, Android...). That way I have a different password for everything - and can use ridiculously strong passwords where needed. No-brainer really.
Re: How many stars have earthlike planets or moons?
I agree. The formation of a star will inevitably leave loads of extra matter as dust/rocks etc. Gravity will ensure the extra matter coalesces into a stars satellites such as planets which may themselves have satellites as moons. So my guess is that most stars will have satellites by default. It's just that they're difficult to detect from our little outpost in the vastness of our own galaxy, let alone the universe.
Interesting write up and great science. But "sulfur, ...., phosphorus"? Don't you love that US spelling consistency for science matters? At least we Brits had to accommodate centuries of legacy.
Re: Why not just build a solar panel that covers half the world....
The only zero carbon, scalable, power-efficient solution is Nuclear Power
ATM, through fission only. But if fusion can be harnessed, we'd all be in clover and could ditch those massively inefficient and unreliable generation methods such as wind and solar power.
So it's a mobile phone...
But what makes the fruit machine and the robot toys interesting are the 3rd party apps. It'll be interesting to see how many developers jump on board and whether the best apps get ported. Or maybe RIMs target will be the corporates who typically hate 3rd party apps 'cos of "security issues".
Seeing todays post, looks like H265 would help alleviate the transmission bandwidth issues
If the price is right
I got Android on a Sony P mobe at half the price of the equivalent Apple. For this I get apps that are good (but not generally so good as Apple apps), a better camera, a terrific screen and super sound quality with decent ear buds.
As a long term Apple user, it was a brave step over to Android but well worth the effort.
British knowledge is simply taken abroad
As a chartered engineer who did R&D in the UK for a well known Japanese company for over 25 years, I know the point well. My experience is that we do R&D and creative engineering very well in the UK. What we do not do so well is passing that R&D to qualified production engineers who then turn R&D into great and reliable products. There are probably many exceptions, but the UK has lost the culture of developing people who have the skills to make advanced and reliable products that just work. It's this culture you find in the far East - methodical, thorough, detailed engineering that turns good engineering ideas into the reliable products that people want.
The longer term issue is that once the rot sets in, we start to lose the know-how and no-one wants to do engineering any more because it's seen as a dead-end. Gross oversimplification, but then I don't see many youngsters getting involved in engineering these days. Oh - and how many engineers are on the boards of UK companies? Thought so... mostly accountants and lawyers. We're all doomed :(
Re: The best science is the best guess.
And compounded by some complex issues such as time/space warp. I'm no expert on this, but there are paradoxes aplenty. We see ourselves (object A] as 4 billion light years from the centre, as does another object [B] 4 billion light years away in the opposite direction. But if we look at object [B] it isn't 8 billion light years away. Conclusion - space-time is curved. I suspect there is no actual centre of the universe - we are seeing other stars in a curved space-time as are others in different parts of the universe seeing us in curved space-time.
Now my brain's starting to hurt :))
Re: Pretty much useless for long-distance riders, then ...
>>>> say, something like a Garmin eTrex which takes a couple of AA batteries.
Hear, hear. And those AA batteries last for a very long time - 20~24 hours. Plus the screen is always readable. Did the E2E using the eTrex and it made navigation a breeze.
There's a clear dividing line between how users use a Desktop/Laptop and an iDevice.
Former - serious power, full-blown apps, decent keyboard and a multi-window screen.
Latter - apps with specific functionality, restricted capability, finger-screen interaction.
Both types great, just different uses. I ride a bike and drive a car. Will the car morph into a bike or vice-versa? No, each serves a different purpose.
DAB - does it work?
Great to have freeview in deepest Devon. But DAB simply doesn't work here. FM is hissy but usable. If I recall correctly, the problem is that DAB uses the old Band 1 frequencies (I think) and coverage was always poor and there's been no effort to extend coverage. So FM it is. At least it has the local programming that DAB never did.
I like my Sony phone...
Mine's a Sony P since I was buying direct from Sony and not from a network. After a few weeks of use, I like it. The screen's nice and easily readable - also a decent size. The memory is sufficient for all my apps plus music pictures etc. But what made me sit up was that the music player delivers beautiful sound quality; better than any other player I've had - including an iPod Touch. That holds for all music; classical, rock, modern and all.
It also has a good number of tools that I did not have on my last Android phone. I suspect not being network supplied means it comes with the full breadth of control. I was going to root it, but found there was no need so didn't bother.
The big issue for me is not the phone, but the sometimes indifferent apps. Apple apps certainly win in terms of quality. Some apps are the same - whether fruity or android, but there's a lot of dross in the robot shop.
BTW - it was easily upgraded to 4.04 though I didn't spot any big differences.
I can get an android phone for this price
I recently bought a Xperia P to replace an older android phone. At 259ukp it's only 10ukp more expensive than this iPod Touch. Ok, it has more modest memory, but the sound quality is better (for the same AAC files) plus it has all the extras - WiFi, GPS and compass in particular (and a cell phone of course). It also has a usable camera (8Mpixels FWIW). On the downside, Android apps are not quite a refined as Apple apps IMO. But with this sort of competition, Apple is now selling on name alone. The industry has moved on and Apple is in serious danger of pricing itself out with a device that is limited in the hardware department.
Re: Why 4K?
It won't look blocky because the up-scaling is done within the set and will (depending on the upscaling algorithm chosen) try to use intelligent processing depending on the local content. Or, failing that, use one of the well established video upscaling algorithms. The same techniques used today to upscale SD content to HD screens
I forgot to add that the homeplug technical white paper (here: http://www.homeplug.org/tech/whitepapers) claims that the system was tested with the FCC and was adjusted to ensure minimal interference with the HAM bands. I'm not presenting this as a justification, but it's helpful to realise that the interference issue has been long-standing and there are test results to be perused.
Sorry Radio Hams but...
I wanted to get the interweb to my TV but with the WiFi router and TV at diagonally opposite ends on my house, WiFi was just too weak to hack it. Went for home-plug with some trepidation because of earlier worries about the RF radiation from unscreened power wiring (this idea is at least a couple of decades old now). I haven't measured the noise profile, but have no obvious problems with radios etc. and the TV internet works well.
I live in a rural area with DVB but not DAB. I'm not surprised DVB is unaffected cos the frequency is too high, but DAB uses the old band 2 TV channel (if I recall correctly) so I'm not sure there's any issue there.
Root it first?
So who's going to be the first to root it so you can get rid of the built-in cr*p apps and spyware? Then it might be a reasonably nice, cheap phone that doesn't accumulate unwanted network charges.http://www.reghardware.com/Design/graphics/icons/comment/big_brother_32.png
"...Thus in the US this would be "someone who can do for 25 cents what any damn fool can do for a dollar...."
As AGC said - "a nickle" which, for us Brits needing to be reminded, is 5 cents
Loved the ST
My first foray into computers was the Atari ST - with a mouse and GUI. Never did the joystick thing. But the ST did have Lemmings which had me well hooked. Shame it was bought out by a certain Japanese company for their console.
Surface area wins
No surprise using tape for archives is best (for now). Discs can pack the density, but one tape contains a massive surface area. Sort of like 2.5D storage. Holographic discs have been touted and might finally take the crown, but there have been more promises than delivery. Maybe this is changing (see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/20/hvault_stirs/)
Re: Some of you are short-sighted (but only metaphorically)
I was short-sighted as a kid, wore glasses, then contact lenses. As I aged, one contact lens was weakened so I could read with one eye and see long with the other. Then I got my eyes lasered to the same prescription. So I could still read without specs up to 60 (in good light). But I've finally crumbled and had to pick up a cheap pair of reading glasses for low-light reading. Having one eye for reading, the other for long works - really. But you need to find out which is your dominant eye if you use contacts (or get laser treatment).
Re: Only 2880H pixels?
And my eyes only stay in the centre of the screen - riight?
Re: Only 2880H pixels?
Over your entire field of view (assuming a fixed eye).
But after writing my post I recognised that a viewer would never view the screen so close that it occupied the entire retina (though I *have* seen some folks do that). But for most users for whom the screen is only impacting part of the retina, the pixels are indeed small enough to be classed as retina resolution - or close enough as makes little difference.
Only 2880H pixels?
Visual measurements show that good human eyes have ~4K pixels horizontally. So as numbers go, the new Macbook is not there at 2880 pixels. But it's close.
And now they've (falsely IMO) claimed a retina display how will they pitch the next resolution upgrade? "The all new retina display plus"??? Oh well, marketing will figure that one out with even higher resolution BS.
Retina - assuming the screen occupies the maximum visual angle so that that the user perceives only the screen, then the screen impacts over the whole retina. Given that the visual acuity of the eye is approx 4K pixels, then this screen is not retina unless the user backs off until the screen impacts only a portion of the eye.
So if the screen is (say ) 4096 pixels horizontally with pro-rota for the vertical axis, then it's arguably a retina display. The values given in the system info will tell all.
Having got an Android phone in my Xmas parcels, I've spent far too much time messing about with Android. Multi-user, multi-tasking unix it may be, but the implementation is a fail - aided by the phone companies who want phones that they control.
For all the issues some have with Apple, the product range is reliable and doesn't mess you around.
My next task is to root Android. Says it all - fail :(
Having an iPod Touch, cos I Iive in a remote valley where there's almost no signal, I upgraded my old Sony 810i PAYG for a Wildfire S for those times I have access to a signal. My experience of Android and apps has been a less than satisfactory service. The Android store setup was clunky and it doesn't come anywhere near the user experience of that other store. The Wildfire device is reasonably good phone (though the sensitivity is not as good as my old Sony 810i), just the store and the apps don't match that of the fruit company.
Am I surprised by the poll? No.
Although time is a reference point, it is currently synchronised with earths rotation (hence GMT). But if atomic time takes over, there's no synchronisation with any point on earth - i.e. the location on earth for each rotation will change slightly and accumulate a significant shift over the years.
I can only understand this working if we accept a shift in the atomic reference point every few years to re-calibrate it to a reference point on earth (e.g. Greenwich Observatory).
BTW, don't knock the Victorians, longitude at sea was solved by the admiralty well before Queen Vic came to the throne.
Let's start at the beginning
Apple bought Next and with it Avie Trevanian and NeXTStep. I had a Next box and the beauty of the OS was its layered model which meant the OS could support any processor as needed. Likewise, the UI was a brilliant concept sitting on top of a unix core and way ahead of the other UIs of the time. It made unix user-friendly. To me as an engineer, this was heaven-sent design. Sadly, NeXT failed to get enough sales to survive. Fortunately, Apple bought NeXT and the rest is history.
It's nice to see that good OS design was one of the factors that helped Apple succeed. I doubt they could have done it if they'd stayed with OS-9.
All the calculations are related only to pixels. But pixels do not translate directly to resolution because Nyquist theory gets in the way. A number of factors will come into play in trying to work out how to balance maximising viewable bandwidth against the avoidance of alias frequencies. If screens have a high enough number of pixels than is needed for display, then alias becomes a non-issue. But if you receive a genuine (i.e. not up-converted) 1920*1080 picture, then a 1920*1080 screen cannot show all the resolution available in the 1920*1080 picture. The actual displayed resolution will be reduced by a certain factor - let's say 75% H and 75% V. This means that what the screen can present is lower than the calculations shown.
The unrealistic way to get near to the screen resolution is to down-scale super-sampled source pictures (say 4096*2160) to 1920*1080 and then up-scale back to 4096*2160 at the receiver. Ridiculously expensive of course so it's not done (at least not yet). That said, it's why SD pictures look so much better on an HD screen than on an SD screen. The point is that a bit of over-scanning helps to get a better result. The calculations in the original post do not make that point.
Psion 3 anyone
Now if that lower screen is touch sensitive, you might get a soft keyboard and finally get back to the much missed Psion 3 clamshell design.
But they also need to get that overall shape and design just right to have the correct feel and hard edges don't do it. So I for one hope this is not the final story.
4K for optimal viewing
Some non-rigorous visual acuity tests I did around 10 years ago suggested that 4K was needed for immersive viewing (i.e. when the image extends across the whole retina). Beyond that, there was no discernable viewing difference.
So the current HD does well for sit-back TV viewing, but D-Cinema was right to select the 4K*1080 images as many in the audience will get a fully immersive view (at least on the front rows).
The NHK work for 8K is a logical next step, but probably the best part of that package was the 24-channel 3D sound system (yes - sounds from above!). I saw the 8K work over a couple of years and it provided images that extended beyond your view. This is the real-world of course - you focus on what you want to see then move your head to see something else. So super-immersive viewing does have some application. But the main thrust of the NHK work was to show a long-term plan and no-one expects this to be in a private home any time soon.
But there are those who have special needs - think military and marketing. Maybe 8K will make its mark sooner in such specialist markets.