95 posts • joined 29 Aug 2008
Last 'upgrade' failed for me
I'm on 10.8 and generally upgrade. But 10.9 was a no-no when they finally removed sync services (earlier "upgrades" left out SS, but they could easily be re-installed - but not so 10.9). I like to sync the contacts and calendars between my personal and business accounts locally (using Sync Together which I kept installed in spite of its removal in earlier "upgrades"). The latest OS now forces all users towards using the cloud. But no way am I going to use the cloud for intra-machine account syncing). The worst thing Apple have done in all the time I've used the OS (and I started with a NeXT slab).
This latest "upgrade" is a definite downgrade for me. AFAIAC, Apple has gone sour. I sympathize with others who are using Snow Leopard.
Glad I didn't "upgrade" to 10.9
I dumped 10.9 the day I upgraded. Went back to 10.8 straight away. The reason - sync services were removed so I had to use a "cloud" account to sync my personal and business address books and calendars. No thanks Apple, I lost my faith in you that day.
Windy on Mars?
So what is the surface pressure? And what are the constituent gases and ratios? I guess the gas types and pressure could lead to some interesting experiments here on earth. Just curious.
Re: GPS in smartphones
My handheld GPS device uses 2 AA cells (rechargable or standard) and lasts over 24 hours. I do long cycle rides and rely on the GPS to get me around - typically 10 or 12 hours. I did the 1000 mile Lands to John O'Groats ride and only used 6 AA cells in total with continuous map location tracking.
OTOH, my smartphone lasts a limited number of hours on a charge and is not sufficiently rugged to use in inclement weather, vibration etc. so it's kept well protected from the elements.
Both have their uses, but if I wanted to have a reliable location for all conditions, it's the dedicated device that wins hands down.
It'll be interesting to see if this low level of battery usage remains when tracking several GPS systems.
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 and the mobile companies paid the network provider through usage charges. That's the way the TV system works and it ensures mostly good coverage.
I guess they're heading the right way with the mast/aerial sharing. As it is, coverage is always quoted as % population and not % area. They are far from the same thing and this will not do much to improve areal coverage.
"Recent disclosures over domestic surveillance and GCHQ spying on citizens aren't much of an issue to the public"
The trouble is that those who wish to create mayhem for whatever reason are not so easily identifiable and keep a low profile. So how do you find out if there is terrorist activity afoot? I'd rather GCHQ did their job than end up with a major terrorist incident. I guess most folks recognise that domestic surveillance is both a curse and a blessing. The question is whether surveillance is used for the right reasons. It's not an excuse for keeping tabs on everyone. It's also essential we maintain an independent press to bring wayward politicos to heel. My 2c.
Re: Have to agree with many points
Your vague memory is correct. FWIW I don't know the current status.
Neurotic Firefox User
Surely a user of a cross-plaform browser is aiming to be platform agnostic, right? But neurotic?
4K will be available real soon now.....
As I've posted before, 4K is about the same resolution of the eye. For large screens it really does makes a difference. D-Cinema wrote 4K resolution into their standards (but 24Fps only, not 48Fps and so no stereo-3D - hurrah!). It's not new. I suspect there are 4K D-Cinema systems in use already.
Engineers have been talking about 4K and beyond for years. NHK even demo-ed 8K at IBC some years ago. As with all new tech developments, the prices will fall to levels that will sell - to those with fat wallets first, but with trickle down over the years to the more cost-conscious. Optical discs first at a guess (Violet-Ray?). Then maybe sat channels. Freeview bandwidth is somewhat limited so that'll probably be last. But it will happen IMO.
To "Piro" - optics and quality is a given. There's no point in doing this unless you can see the difference.
But here's a puzzle...
When stuff emerged from the BB, why did it get clumpy? There must have been something that pushed matter apart before gravity took over to coalesce matter into stars and galaxies.
Re: Just a simple question.
This post is very enlightening. I'm reading a book ATM which shocked me... when the universe began, it was space-time that started. There was no time before the BB. How could time alone exist when there was nothing else? So prior to the BB, there was nothing, no matter, no space, no time, absolutely nothing at all. It makes sense but it's still hard to grasp because it's beyond our experience.
Re: Sadly too
The medics requested I desist drinking coffee as it was contributing to my heart flutter. I managed to negotiate 1 mug a day. It's great stuff, but too much can allegedly affect some folks adversely. A quick search of recent literature (http://www.menshealth.com/health/protect-your-heart-with-coffee - other sources also available) suggests that a daily cup or 2 might actually help heart function, but drinking 10 or more is asking for trouble.
They used gravitational lensing so I could guess that this would result in some flaring. That's just my guess though. Maybe someone has a more definitive explanation.
We've been here before....
It's a bit like CD v SACD in the audio world where Joe Punter responded with a yawn. Yes, SACDs exist and if you have good kit and ears you can tell the difference, but it hasn't been the success that was originally anticipated.
Likewise with 4K TV - a just noticeable difference compared to 2K TV that many could not care less about. Cinema also has 4K imaging, but most theaters use 2K and their screens impact more of the viewers eyeballs than a typical domestic TV layout.
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.
Population coverage - not area coverage
"rolling out 4G to 98% of the population by the end of 2014". So plenty of not-spots and probably marginal in most rural areas. Usual story.
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.
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