The wife just stuck her head into the study wondering what in earth was making me laugh so loudly. Best ending in a long while!
1080 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
The wife just stuck her head into the study wondering what in earth was making me laugh so loudly. Best ending in a long while!
Whenever I have a play with a HTC One I do love the device BUT - those speakers top and bottom make it feel huge for a 5" phone. That wouldn't be an issue if the One Mini took Sony's approach and just gave you a smaller version of the One. But it doesn't. Assuming they keep to the practices of the earlier One Mini models you end up with a distinctly mid-range spec at an eye-wateringly top-end price.
Which is a real shame as I do think it is a brilliant phone.
> Evolutionary biology knows all about faking it
I think you missed the point slightly. If the female goes for the male, whether he is faking it or not is irrelevant. The point is that she CHOSE him and therefore the "faking", as you put it, was successful. The point is for her to chose the mate most likely to provide offspring that will go on to have offspring. So, in a sense, there is no "fake". Whoever she chooses is the real deal as defined by HER choice, not his actions.
This was brought up in Prime Ministers Questions by a conservative MP about 2 months ago. She raised a question about an elderly constituent of hers being scammed over and over again by unsolicited calls and asked why the government hadn't clamped down on this despite repeated promises to do so.
Cameron's answer, partially in the form of a joke, centred around the fact that all the political parties would be cold calling and spamming as many of the electorate as they possibly could over the next few months. I'm paraphrasing, clearly. He worded it in such a way as to suggest cold calling was a fundamental part of the democratic process and it was difficult to legislate against "bad" cold callers without effecting "good" cold callers.
I think I've figured this out. We have a £25k car with £15k worth of hybrid technology that serves only to overcome the weight penalty of the £15k worth of hybrid technology but allows you to sell it to the sort of people who wouldn't be seen dead in a £25k car.
I think you illustrate the Beebs main problem perfectly, by making the same mistake they seem to make. Firstly, you say the Beeb should " fill a void, providing news and programmes that the market won't make". And I agree, that is what it is there for. But then you say you "want it to...Broadcast, rather than narrowcast to niches".
Surely this is something of a dichotomy. If something is of general, broad interest to the population then it is something the commercial channels will be making or, if they haven't thought of it yet, will want to make. After all, they want to sell advertising to as many people as possible. The voids, the gaps, the spaces in which you seem to believe the Beeb should be working are, by their very nature, niches.
The Beeb does the same thing. It seems to judge it's own success by viewing figures and "reach" when you could almost make the opposite argument. Once a program or format becomes successful, the commercial operators will always copy it. Arguably, at this point, the Beeb has carried out its function and should stop and move onto something else.
Why does the BBC, an organisation whose main function is to make programs nobody else makes, make Eastenders, a southern copy of Coronation St? Why is it allowed to bid for football rights when that uses public money to inflate the value of those rights which are then sold to the public? Why does it have two mainstream music radio stations?
The BBC needs to be cut back hugely and should not be allowed to enter segments already catered for and should be forced to leave segments if it succeeds in creating new ones that come to be adequately served by the commercial operators.
"Why translation companies should be so bad at this stuff I don't know..."
The answer is quite simple. Like many companies today, they are an IT company - but they haven't realised it yet because all the people at the top are translators. Banks are IT companies - literally every little thing they do is IT. But they haven't realised this yet because everyone on the board is a banker. Accountants are pretty much the same. There are loads and loads of examples of entire industries which should now fall under IT and therefore should be driven by IT at board level. But they aren't. Because nobody at the top as the least idea that they became an IT company over a decade ago.
yep, that's because it relies on users to provide feedback as to whether or not in contains inappropriate content. So, until a video is flagged by someone as inappropriate it is assumed to be suitable for all.
Content for the new app will, allegedly, work the other way around. Everything is banned until it has been approved for YouTubeKidz or whatever they call it
I beg to differ but any fule know the strongest substance known to science is dried on wheatabix.
I keep trying out Sunrise. It looks gorgeous and it is very good at presenting lots of information on a small screen. However, I also remove it within a few days. Some of the usability is awful - particularly around setting reminders and so on. A bit of input from a new development team might be just what it needs - as they as they don't let the MS GUI team anywhere near it.
How did they find a statistically significant control group of non-drinkers in the UK? Even most of the Methodists I know regularly exceed the recommended weekly maximum units.
I think that very zoomed in bit of Southampton IS just very flat or is so zoomed in the software has removed the contour lines. The image above clearly shows them as present and (presumably) correct.
They ARE cool (I have two) but, if I've understood it correctly, this configuration would solve one major problem the those (or any) repeaters. With repeaters, your device sees it as another wifi network that just happens to have the same SSID and security as the original Which is fine for static devices but a real PITA for laptops, tablets, phones etc. If I have my laptop in the living room it will attach to the homeplug WiFi extender - fine. If I then wander down to the other end of the house, it can still JUST ABOUT hold onto that signal - which it does, even if the signal is so poor that bandwidth is abysmal and even though it is now within 3m of the original router! I have to manually switch it over (or, actually, just hit the function key that toggles WiFi off and on again. When it switches back on it connects to the strongest signal).
A mesh doesn't have that problem as the device only sees one network and the mesh devices sort out all the complicated handover stuff in the same way a mobile phone network does.
Good question. It isn't about the quantity of sleep per se. It is more about the quality of sleep. Your body/brain go through two distinct phases whilst asleep (a cycle) and most people would look to go through roughly 4 of these cycles in a night. You could get a full 8 hours sleep but, if it turns out your sleep cycles are a little bit longer than 2 hours you might actually be waking up during the 4th cycle (and probably during the dreaming or REM phase, which is regarded as the most important). In which case, you've only really had 3 cycles - or about 6 hours sleep even though you've been asleep for 8 hours and might feel fine. Do that too often and you'll start to build up a sleep "debt" and feel generally shitty.
Note - all of the above is "roughly speaking" as everyone is different. That's why a sleep monitor CAN be a good idea. Have a look at the link below for more detail;
I'm not sure Chrome is so fast any more. It seems to be suffering the same bloat as all the others. It was only fast when it was new and unencumbered with legacy code. According to task manager, each of my current Chrome tabs is taking anywhere between 67-230Mb. I have 14 instances and 6 of them are well north of 100Mb. These days, chrome uses the vast majority of my resources and chugs along as slowly as Firefox or IE ever did.
Here on the Isle of Man we have the standard setup you describe, only a bit more expensive. Line rental works out at close to £15/month with another £15/month for the cheapest broadband (16Mb). However, it is perfectly straightforward to drop the landline completely and switch to a microwave only broadband connection. They start at about £15 for the same sort of speed. I went for a 40Mb connection for £25. So I'm paying £5 less per month than a standard landline connection but getting a much faster speed and I live in the arse end of nowhere. Surely such things must be available in the UK, even if only in the larger towns and cities?
So, that's why Pete's gone to Iceland!
"The power and volume buttons have been thoughtfully positioned. The same goes for the 3.5mm audio jack and micro USB port"
Where though? Yours and my ideas of "thoughtfull" might be very different and none of the images used show any of the ports - just what looks like either the SIM Card tray cover or the MicroSD Card slot cover on the side.
I'm just getting to the point where a 16MB (actually getting about 11MB) ADSL line isn't quite enough for our family so we'll probably upgrade this year. The only real option being to go up to 40MB. But I would consider us atypically heavy users. For most, 16MB is plenty so they don't see the need to spend more on a faster connection. There needs to be stuff out there that justifies the outlay but companies (understandably) don't want to put the content out there when people don't have the ability to access it.
> Young people today! What do they teach you at school?
Young people? The Decimalisation in the UK happened in 1971 and I believe schools were required to teach metric units from 1969. You'd need to be in your late 60s to have left school before that all came in. And, though I wasn't born then, I'm reliably informed that they were already teaching the metric system for many years before the act was passed.
Apparently this is an ancient system used to measure weight by our forebears and equates to 780g - for those equally as baffled as I was.
Sony sold a gadget for about the £12 mark that was basically just a small bluetooth audio transmitter with a 3.5mm jack. You plugged it into anything with a headphone socket and it allowed you to listen to it with bluetooth headphones. I used to use one to listen to the telly whilst on the treadmill (the treadmill was so noisy I couldn't hear it any other way). Presumably you'd only need the same widget but to work in reverse?
"And, anyway, if the CIA can only account for around half of all UFO sightings, then what the hell else was up there peering down on citizens of Planet Earth?"
The Russian planes spying on the US.
I know a few people whose companies have switched them onto Android (mainly Galaxy S4s) for lack of a decent Blackberry who will be battering down the door of their IT managers looking for one of these. Never saw the attraction myself (but I'm happy to acknowledge I was never the target market) but I know so many with a crackberry habit for whom Android just couldn't quite scratch the itch.
I went for a cheapy USB adaptor off eBay (about £3). It works, but it isn't great and I wish I'd gone for a Dock rather than an adaptor as the tension in the cable often pulls the thing loose meaning I wake up in the morning to a dead battery.
It would be far preferable if Sony had just gone with Qi wireless charging. I had it on the Nexus 4 and it is really hard to take the step backwards.
Erm, there is no Z2 Compact?
Bizarrely, Sony produced a Z1, Z1 Compact and Z1 Tablet.
Then the Z2 and Z2 Tablet - but no Z2 Compact
Now the Z3, Z3 Compact and Z3 Tablet
I think it was because the Z1 Compact was so delayed it only came out a month before the full-sized Z2.
"there was NO excuse for a 6 hour trilogy to cover a 2 hour story"
Six hours? You're kidding aren't you? Try EIGHT hours!!! It is almost 2 hours longer than the original Star Wars Trilogy and if you think of all the things that happened in Star Wars and then the six incidents that make up The Hobbit???
"The TV manufacturers really have taken us for chumps"
This isn't true. There ARE LCD TVs with decent sound out there. Samsung do an excellent 40" TV with superb picture and sound for about £400. But it is thick and has a large frame. It doesn't have 3D and doesn't have Smarts. So, the public choose the fancy, slim, 3D, smart versions that cost a couple of hundred pounds more and look pretty.
So who are the chumps?
If the Maxwell is as good as the review suggests and such a bargain at £230, it is currently on at eBauyer for £140! That sounds (geddit?) like a bit of a steal.
I have a 5-year-old HP WiFi printer that I got for £40 from WH Smiths. I've been able to print from Android for years because HP produce an Android app. It works flawlessly from £30 cheapy Android tablets through to a Sony Xperia Z1. I've never even bothered to work out "how" it works. It just does. Might be over the cloud from HP. Might be direct over the WiFi connection. Who cares?
Do HP (and others) not produce similar apps for Chrome? I kind of just assumed they did. It pretty much defeats the point of buying a cheap Chromebook if you then have to go out and spend a fortune on a top of the range printer that, at best, might work slowly and poorly.
"So what we need, is systems for end users which aren't horribly fragile and full of scary warnings"
To be fair, the reason you could feck about with a C64 or Speccy 48k was because the OS was in ROM. There was (almost*) nothing you could do that couldn't be fixed by turning it off and turning it back on again. And the reason windows locks down a good proportion of the file system is because, if you delete some of those files, you really CAN bork the OS and create hours of work for yourself or (more likely) IT. I know I've had to resort to a Windows re-install after a bit of over-zealous tidying up and I can't imagine I'm alone.
*almost - okay, you could completely destroy a Speccy by knocking the kempston joystick interface out of the back whilst playing a game but, as I spent 17 as a coder repeating ad naseum, "that's a hardware issue".
Whilst that looks simply awe inspiring I can't help feeling you have lost sight of the original experiment. We're looking for Post-Pub nosh here. Anything that requires a list of ingredients, specialist shopping trips, 40+ minutes of cooking time and a sauce that needs straining just doesn't qualify. In a Post-Pub scenario you would have fallen asleep and set the whole house on fire long before you began the process of building the layers. And, frankly, if you have the co-ordination, post-pub, to strain a sauce, then you're simply not trying hard enough.
Post Pub should be limited to a MAXIMUM 6 ingredients and the only sauce required should come from a bottle. That's the beauty of the bacon sarnie - it's simplicity!
Sounds like the Samsung 5000 series TVs - they also do pretty reasonable sound to boot. They're thick, ugly and have a pretty massive bezel but they are also cheap, focus on picture quality over design and gimmicks and can play any media format I've ever tried from the USB port. Network playback, alas, is limited to you having DLNA configured correctly and there just aren't enough virgins in these parts for me to sacrifice to the DLNA gods even if the Moon WERE in the 8th house.
Those Sony TV's look awesome and I would be very tempted but for one thing not mentioned in the review or on some of the sites selling them. The stand folds back around to form a wall-mounting bracket. This is brilliant IF you don't already have a wall bracket. If you do, none of the current Sony TVs will be compatible with it.
Now, I'm all for innovation and a built-in wall mount is great. But the VESA mounting standard has been around for decades and I can't remember the last time I saw a TV or monitor that wasn't compatible. My walls are built out of Manx Stone. It was an absolute pain in the arse to put the brackets up. We got through two titanium drill bits (they melted). Those are not going anywhere.
"..carbs and sugars are more or less instant energy while fats are stored energy in terms of how your body deals with and uses it. If you have a regular carb and sugar intake then the fat never gets used and just keeps going into storage..."
That's not 100% accurate but close enough to be useful. In reality, your body tends to burn a blend of carbs and fat all the time but the proportions vary enormously depending on what energy is available in what form and what demands you are placing on the body at the time. In fact, the body needs sugars (glycogen) to break down fats so it can't really act in isolation. But it is certainly useful to think along those lines.
Plenty of people actually like to go for a run or walk first thing in the morning, before breakfast, to "wake up" the fat-burning mechanism within the body before they consume any carbs. Studies have shown it to be quite beneficial. It's a good idea to take something with you, though. if you aren't used to it your body could react badly so it's handy to have something sugary with you just in case.
I've been doing ultra distance races and challenges for a few years now. Obviously, this involves paying careful attention to my diet so I've spent considerable time over the last 4-5 years reading up on this sort of thing and had come to the same conclusion. I even know athletes who have completed an 85 mile race having both trained and raced on a zero-carb, high fat diet. But I wondered if this was just an endurance sports thing.
However, having been made redundant last year I decided to switch careers and am now training to become a personal trainer. I was a bit apprehensive. I assumed I was going to be taught the same old shite. Low fat, high carb. Official government policy. The reality has been that academia are teaching exactly what this article and my own experiences had already found to be true. Fat is good - as long as it is the correct fats. There is a surprising amount of Chemistry for a Personal Trainer course and plenty of focus on what the fats are, how hydrogenated fats are manufactured, what these fats do to "confuse" the body etc. The same goes for sugars and sweetners.
But it really does seem to be only government health authorities that still peddle "Fat is bad". Colleges, the health industry and athletes seem to have cottoned on quite some time ago.
"....for quite a while"
It was good but without anyone "having an accident" or, at the very least, the Accounts Team having all their work backed up to null (Hey, the backups were fast!) before a complete server outage I'm not sure it could count as "Best".
We've had a WD TV Live for several years now. Western Digital still release fairly regular updates adding new channels. It does Netflix (which is its main purpose) but can also do iPlayer, blinkbox, youtube, spotify, TuneIn and many others. After Netflix, the main use I put it to is streaming all the films I have stored on my NAS. It has HDMI and Composite output, USB input, WifI, Ethrnet, is absolutely tiny, comes with a proper remote but can also be used controlled via an app. Plus my Android Phone and Windows 7+ can see it to stream content to. I've not come across a video format it doesn't support including subtitle files. At around £60, unless you need Amazon Video, I really don't think it can be beaten and if it died today I'd order another without hesitation.
"Well, going in with low expectations is the surest way to avoid disappointment."
That's so true. I went into the first Hobbit film expecting it to be awful and, despite the fact that it wasn't exactly brilliant, I came away delighted because it had exceeded my expectations. Unfortunately, because of this, I went into the second film feeling faintly optimistic and came out disappointed. On reflection, it wasn't a bad film. Probably on a par with the first, but my expectations were so much higher I was thoroughly fed up. Thankfully I'm back to expecting No. 3 to be a massive pile poo. "Massive" being the operative term. How can he make three 2.5+ hour films out of a single, fairly short book? Even if the film is good enough to keep the rest of me awake, my backside will surely be asleep well before the end.
Yes, and I have a theory as to why. If I leave my phone on the charge pad overnight, once fully charged, the phone and pad communicate to say "Hey, I'm full, you can turn off the current now". This might happen at 2am. Of course, by the time I wake and pick up the phone it hasn't been charging for the last five hours or so - but, Android isn't reflecting this. It is on a charge pad and had been fully charged so Android shows 100%.
I find it drops VERY quickly for the first hour or two and then levels off so I think it is Android just catching up with the fact that the battery has been draining for five hours or so. To mitigate this I have phoneweaver installed (an automatic profile manager). At midnight it switches into night mode which turns most things off (bluetooth, WiFi, phone data, data sync etc). It still works as an alarm clock and I can still get calls and texts but it is basically a dumb-phone until 7am when everything gets automatically switched back on. That way, the drain over that five hours or so after it has finishes charging is minimal.
Of course, I could be talking utter bollocks.
How does a year-on-year growth of 7.2% qualify as a crash? I wish my Salary were crashing like that!
The PC market seems to have completely stagnated. Two years ago last August I bought a 17.6" full-HD laptop (matte finish). It had a Core i5, 8GB of fast RAM, 1TB spinning drive, 128GB SSD, NVidia 660M Graphics (2GB DDR5) and a DVD drive. In other words, it had almost exactly the same spec as the Inspiron 17 in this group (slightly better here, slightly worse there but much of a muchness). It also looks remarkably like the Chillblast (i.e. remarkable only for its dullness). And it cost £800. How can the same machine be £50 more expensive over 2 years later? Whatever happened to Moore's law?
I used to buy a machine, upgrade the RAM and storage after year 1, sell it and replace after year 2. I can't see me replacing the laptop for another 2 years at the very least as I'm probably not using a fraction of the power yet. The same goes for the Core i3 desktop I'm typing on at the moment - a 2.5 year old HP that cost about £350.
I'm not saying it is a bad thing. Just strange that we seem to have reached a plateau where all machines are just good enough to do what we want. Benchmarks seem to be the only way to tell one from t'other.
"the amount of space left in the rear when the front seats are pushe right back"
I'm 6'3" (or 1.9m in real money). I have an i10 and can comfortably sit behind the driver's seat when adjusted for me (1 click from all the way back). My Dad has a BMW 520 and I can't even sit behind the seat when its adjusted for him (5'8") let alone me. Small city cars are actually far better for leg room than a standard family saloon/hatchback because all the seats are very upright in a city car. You're average mondeo/A4/320 etc. has very low seats so the tall have to stick their legs out a long way to get comfy. It also makes them a pain to get into and even worse to get out of for anyone with mobility issues.
Someone opposite me has had one for a couple of months now. Even after two months, every time I see it sat in the drive, for a split second, I think it's been in an accident. Something about the grey used for the front-cross makes it look, to my eyes, like a replacement panel that the repairers haven't got around to spraying yet.
On the other hand, I quite like the instrument binnacle (rev-counter aside).
I don't really remember Chips, Cheese and Gravy being around until the late 80s whilst Wikipedia suggests Poutine has been around since the 50s in Quebec. I'd suggest they probably arose independently of each other. I haven't tried poutine but I'd imagine the use of curds rather than chip-shop grated cheddar would make quite a big difference to the taste - though they both look like pig swill.
According to the books, the national dish on the Isle of Man is spuds and herring. However, any local will tell you the REAL national dish is Chips, cheese and gravy, eaten after several pints and a few too many shots. It looks like it's already been eaten (at least once) before and then rejected and I'll admit I resisted trying it for many, many years. However, with a good slug of vinegar it really does taste amazing and is the perfect Friday night post-pub nosh.
You do get some strange looks if you ask for it at any chipper on the "mainland" though.
"I'm no rocket scientist but if they did manage to find the lander, how about re-positioning Rosetta's solar panel array to reflect sunlight down to the shadows in which lander resides?"
This was put to the panel during the google hangout on Friday lunchtime. All three of the panel laughed. One of them did then give a fuller answer which included the fact Rosetta is orbiting, not geo-stationary, you couldn't make it geo-stationary, it wouldn't reflect enough light and a few others besides.
It takes a bit more than twice as long but that's fine because, when charging requires absolutely no effort on your part you find you automatically change your behaviour. When you sit at your desk you just take the phone out and put it on the plate. It sits there trickle charging. Same when you get home. I have a plate on the coffee table in the living room. I sit down, the phone goes on the plate. It also means I'm not fidgeting about in my pockets every time the phone beeps. It is sat on the plate next to me, charging, and I just have to glance over at it to see if I can ignore it or it's actually something important.
It probably doesn't matter how much others enthuse about it. As the writer of this piece suggests, you just need to experience it yourself and, when you do, I suspect you will end up buying 2 or 3 plates and wondering why the rest of the world hasn't cottoned on yet.
Picked mine up for about a tenner of eBay (slightly more than £10 but it was 18 months ago so I forget exactly). Worked perfectly with my Nexus 4 and there was no need to position it exactly. As the author says, you begin to regard plugging a phone in as ridiculously antiquated and I can't believe, so long after it first appeared, that wireless charging isn't already THE standard.
I thought the point of the Nexus devices was A) to showcase the latest version of Android in vanilla format and B) to do so with good enough hardware and so keep the costs low?
By switching tack and using the very latest processor, screen tech, GPU etc they have pushed the price up to (as someone above mentions) laptop levels but, even more bizarrely, they are now competing with other Android manufacturers flagship phones.
Now, this might sound a bit "conspiracy theory" but is this deliberate? We all know that, Apple aside, nobody seems to be making money at the top end any more. Also, there is very little money to be made at the bottom end of the market where the Chinese landfill devices dominate. This leaves the bigger names battling it out in the mid-range - EXACTLY where the Nexus devices have sat. Reviewer after reviewer has said for years now that if you want a mid-range device you can't go wrong with a Nexus.
So, has Google moved the Nexus into the upper echelons at the request of the bigger manufacturers to clear space for them to fight it out in the middle.