81 posts • joined Friday 29th August 2008 22:18 GMT
You still need that techie shit
You can create a great UI with minimal effort using Cocoa. But the bit under the hood still needs real work, depending, of course, on what exactly you want to do. Maybe there's core code out there that does the tricky bits you want, but then it's hardly going to be a truly novel app if you're just putting together a few lego blocks. But Cocoa is really great if you're a creative and need to create a custom or non-commercial app that can address some specific requirements not met by commercial software.
Use a software passbook?
It's good policy to use a different password for everything. So you know what they all are, use a password keychain with one memorable but really strong master keyword to unlock the keychain. Yeh, I know that word is used by the fruit vendor, but there are third party cross-platform keychains which also do the job. The one I use is available for at least android and apple on both desktop and portable devices. But it doesn't excuse using a poor password in any instance. It only makes it easier to assign strong and different passwords for everything and have easy access to each of those individual passwords through a master password.
Evolution - of course
When you buy a computer, it will be the subject of many upgrades during its lifetime.
So the PS4 console is no different? No surprise.
I also went to a Poly and my employer (now BT) sponsored me to take HND. I then had to leave employment to get onto the CEI Pt2c course to get onto the C.Eng route. Got that and have the post-nominals. I did at least find a company that respected the qualifications and I was part of an r&d group full of well qualified people. But that was because the parent company was a well-known Japanese organisation that respects engineers and continues to do so.
I don't know why it is that so many engineering companies do not understand that highly qualified engineering staff may be expensive, but are the creative force that makes many a company tick. Accountants and managers do not create wealth, only re-distribute it (and then take the credit).
With that amount of flash memory, I guess (and hope) it has embedded FEC for the inevitable bit errors (or at least some error detection).
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
If there's a chance of life, it will happen IMO. How that develops will depend on many factors, but intelligent life will depend on a long development trail under favorable conditions. I agree that, given the number of stars in our local galaxy it will be teeming with life. Some of it might be even beyond TV ;)
DAB - fix it or forget it
Doesn't exist where I live. I used to get it in Hampshire so I have a receiver, but here in West Devon - no chance. Unless this proposal also includes a plan to extend reception to remote locations plus reception on the move, it has to be a dead duck.
I use Pocket Permissions to see what's going on, Task Manager to see what's running and Uninstall Master to remove anything remotely untoward. Watchdog is useful too. But ack, there's always a risk with the Android market. Probably a greater risk on the alternative markets. But then which is more fun - a Volvo or an old-style Mini?
Errr, MacOS was derived from OpenStep on the Next box. Not to say they don't innovate as well as buy-in.
New ROM - Why?
I've rooted my Xperia P so that I can get more control over my phone and get certain apps to work properly. I did install a new ROM for a previously rooted phone, but the difference wasn't worth the trouble. That's not to say there's no benefit to using a custom ROM; it's that getting control of your phone with root access allows a number of useful admin apps to do their job as intended.
DAB coverage improvement
Get DAB rolled out to all parts of the country that have FM reception.
It's the novelty surely
A patent requires novelty in whatever form the novelty is implemented. If it's implemented in software, so be it. Just as with hardware.
That patents are sometimes poorly examined for their novelty is down to the examiner. And there is a ton of prior art so sometimes a patent is granted mistakenly. An outright ban on software patents is a mistake IMO. But any proposed patent implemented in software does need to make clear that it is the novelty behind the code that is being patented - not the software itself. Specific software code should be protected under copyright, not patent.
Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.
Why? Apple USB ports will take any USB mouse.
I tried various methods to get Wndows on a Mac disc partition and VMWare was the least painful and (IMO) proved the best way. In line with the Mac philosophy - "it just works". That said, there's only the rare occasion when I need to use it, but it's there when I do.
He who pays the piper....
<an "external monitor" – whose salary would be paid by Apple>
What guarantee is there that the monitor would report on compliance issues if paid by Apple?
Had a P model for nearly a year now and loving it. Yes, some compromises with memory etc, but that was my choice. Sound quality on the supplied earphones is outstanding. Camera shots acceptable, but no mobile phone can really compete with a dedicated camera that has a decent lens. Syncs contacts and calendar to my Mac with SyncMate. Biggest issue is that Android apps are less well presented than equivalents on my iPod. But that's Android and not the phone.
It might have merit
There are already cars with settings customizable for an individual driver. Useful, but don't pick up the wife's key :)
This all hinges on car designers wanting to offer the interface and protocols to operate with a mobile device. If one of the big manufacturers really wants this, then it might just take off and other car manufacturers adopt. Though patent licensing fees would need to be low IMO. Or wait until the patent(s) expire.
I'm no defender of the fruity firm, but this patent could just have some legs. And if it does get implemented, don't pick up the wife's PDA....
The questions are....
Even our local galaxy is so large that it's almost certain that there's life in some form within it. So the questions are one of transmitted power and temporal coincidence rather than "if".
Even in terms of our local galaxy, the probability of having those two factors in our favour is very, very small IMO. Our problem is that if (and that's a big "if") we receive a signal with some form of structure that could be regarded as having some form of intelligent component, any response we sent would probably not be received until after our demise. But that should not stop us trying. It's part of human nature to be curious about our surroundings - even if they are beyond reach.
Given the choice, I agree we need to pay more attention to the large rocky objects within our own solar system that could do us serious harm. Hugely more important than the detection of LGM.
How many FB users realise, or care, their posts are accessible and subject to data harvesting? It's not 1984, but I wonder what George Orwell would have made of it?
Interesting comment on interlace. For the record, it was a neat attempt at the time to halve the bandwidth by deleting information the eye could not see so well. Crude, but effective. There's no excuse now with far better methods to get the transmission/recording bandwidth reduced which, for the most part, keep the important parts of the picture intact. In an ideal world, we'd shoot the original material at obscenely high picture rates and resolutions, then use the best techniques to get the bandwidth down to the available transmission rate or recording capacity for optimal reception at the eyeballs. We're not there yet, but we've now at least got away from the crude analogue compression techniques.
Nice article BTW.
Isn't oxygen needed to brainstorm?
Noticably low levels of oxygen on a commercial flight in my experience. In all the flying I've done, I found creativity is poor at altitude. Unless they pump up the oxygen level for this boondoggle.....
The lesson is stealth
Enigma was cracked by Bletchley Park, but actions were only taken when it could not point back to the code-crackers success. This undoubtedly meant some tough decisions at times. Clearly the art is to act in stealth and leave your target perhaps guessing, but not knowing. The devil is in the detail; but leaving any form of evidence is careless and can only lead to the target trying to evade the embrace and perhaps succeeding in their endeavour.
Since the intelligence agencies know this well, I suspect it's more complex than made out. Then again......
Precedence for this?
I recall that during the London street riots, mobile security was lowered specifically for BBs so the bobbies could track the rioters. Also, it produced evidence for the prosecuters to use in court.
No-one mentioned the audio...
I have a P model which I love. Does everything I need but, best of all, plays fine detailed music - the best I've heard on any portable device (including one from the 'malum'** company). Power consumption is good as long as the WiFi is switched off.
** hint... latin name
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 :))
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