993 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
Re: The thing is...
"Is making it smaller and bunging in a GSM chipset really worth 2x the price?"
I've wondered this for ages. Phones have smaller batteries, smaller cases and smaller (albeit higher PPI) screens. From a completely uninformed viewpoint there seems to be little in it BOM-wise. The only reason I can see for certain phones costing a LOT more than tablets is the sales model. Punters spread out the cost of a phone purchase over a 24-month contract and so don't notice the cost. With tablets, the full purchase price is usually paid up front.
As an example, I just got my Mum a Samsung Galaxy Europa (i5500). For the phone, an 8GB memory card and in in-car holder/charger it was £66 off Amazon. It is a cracking little phone. The wife has had one since September and loves it (hence Mum wanting one). How can a Galaxy III cost more than EIGHT TIMES that?
Re: 7" tablets are brilliant
"But given the trend for phones is 4" or bigger (mines 4.7") if I'm going to invest in a tablet it needs to be a different form factor for a different job.
10" is perfect for portability but a use that's different enough from my phone to be worthwhile"
But, AGAIN, not everyone is the same. Whilst, yes, top-end smartphones are increasing in size (seen a lot of Galaxy Notes about lately) there is still a big market for cheaper, smaller phones. I couldn't use one any bigger than 3.5" for various (irrelevant) reasons. So having a 3.5" smartphone plus a 7" tablet works really nicely. On the other hand, my retired dad has a nokia dumb phone for out and about and a 10" tablet for using around the home and for taking on holiday - which works really nicely. He has tried to use my 7" tablet but finds everything too small for his needs.
Horses in corsets and all that.
I must admit, the rapid ubiquity of HDMI ports has been great for me. Just before we set off on Holiday with the kids in May I grabbed a £90 Android tablet from Amazon. On the way up the M6 I even manged to get a MiniHDMI to HDMI cable from the bargain bin (packaging damaged) of ASDA. With a USB Memory stick packed with films/cartoons for the kids and a Netflix subscription we were able to plug the cheapo tablet into the HDMI port on the telly in our accomodation to keep the kids/us amused and it even worked with the TV in the cabin on the boat on the way over. Only two years ago something similar could be acheived with a portable DVD player and a case full of DVDs but they were a bugger to cart about, the battery didn't last long and, inevitably with kids, the DVDs all got scratched to feck.
Yeah, I'm not too sure about edge to edge screens on phones either. What are you going to hold? How does the phone know the difference between the finger wrapping around onto the screen to grip it and you touching it to control the UI? It sounds nice in principal, I grant you, but the practicalities seem insurmountable. But then, I'm not a UI designer.
Re: I use KeePass
"Oh, you don't work in banking / government / large company where everything is locked down and you're not even allowed to install a non-Microsoft browser "cos of cequritey".
I DO work in such an environment and KeePass is the group standard used by all the various bits of IT along with HR and compliance.
Re: Exercise in pointlessness
"never understood why people mount TVs high on walls, are they trying to create that pub TV feeling!? Are they trying to create neck problems for themselves!? Are they just really chuffed that you CAN mount a set on a wall nowadays?"
No, they've had their first LCD cracked by their two year old driving a toy tractor accross it and now mount it high enough to keep it out of reach.
Re: bigger != better
Why are you "sick of" of manufacturers doing something? They aren't forcing you to buy them. There are litterally hundreds of choices out there. You can still get smaller smartphones. My contract came up for renewal so I got a Motorola Defy + which was a really nice size (flogged it on eBay for £170). My wife has a Samsung Galaxy Y which is even smaller. There are loads of smaller phones being released but they tend not to be at the very high end so you don't see reviews for them on sites like this. Sony (Ericsson) are little doing the Xperia Mini Series which are amazing phones with a really nice UI skin to get around the problem of the screen being so small.
"Given that Goldman Sachs' junk mortgages are larglely responsible for the state of the global economy today"
That's a wonderful statement. Any evidence? Presumably, therefore, none of the responsibility lies with the people that took out those mortgages that they couldn't afford to repay and that were more than the house was worth? Of course, it is far more comforting to blame the Atlantic recession (I think you'll find the economy is pretty much tickety-boo in most of the rest of the world, thanks) on a couple of "Evil" companies than to accept that people are just greedy and allow their greed to blind them into making stupid choices.
"You just need to say "English" since, by definition, that is what is spoken in Britain"
Do you want to explain that phrase? Even as an Englishman I'm aware (reminded on a regular basis) that there is a fairly huge difference between England and Britain. And that is before we even get into the whole hornets nest that is the UK, the Crown Dependencies etc.
Re: Depending on battery life...
> I'd also have to add "has a message/missed call notification LED?"
It has an OLED screen so these are redundant. Just install NOLED on it and you can have all the notifications you want with all the information you wish. Simples. Of course, lacking physical LEDs, it should come with the software already installed!
Re: yep, indeed... not
Defeinitely not my experience either. I've owned HTC devices for many years. Must have had six or seven and the build quality has always been stupidly good. Sure, many of them were big, heavy and cumbersome but they felt like you could bludgeon someone to death with them without leaving any tell-tale signs.
Re: I remember...
"I'm still a bit skeptical about conversion from screen to real life though. After all, aiming with a mouse or a joystick"
The study did make a distinction between those who had used a traditional controller and those that had used a "similation" aiming device like a wii remote in a gun-mount.
Re: People who practice doing something turn out to be better at it
Incorrect. Have done plenty of both - though no real pistols. Just shot guns and air rifles. And, other than the obvious kick-back from a shot gun - which only takes a couple of shots to get used to - they are damn near identical. Aim, track, squeeze. It isn't difficult.
Well bugger me sideways
People who practice doing something turn out to be better at it than people who don't. Fuckin' hey! Research grant well spent, guys.
Re: If they really want better search results...
@h4rm0ny - I'm in the Isle of Man but connect through the comapny proxy in Dublin. Google is fine with this and returns geographical search results based on my actual location. Bing just tells me I'm wrong and that I live in Dublin. Believe me, I've tried over and over again. Bing seems to be fine if you're in the US but, in my experience (and I set Bing as my default for a good six months after the last raft of changes) Bing is not much cop for local searches if you live anywhere it considers abnormal.
Working - Ish
Last night I was able to install and run Google drive for both Windows and Android. However, the Windows install took forever to download and forever to connect and kept giving time-out errors along with a few more general errors. No such problems with the Android version but then, I only had half a dozen Google Docs in there and, as I couldn't get the Windows version to work, I couldn't see how well it synched new stuff.
Anyway, it all seems a bit shite compared to SugarSync.
Re: Its a good list.
Jet Set Willy WAS good but I think it is correct that the list focus on the original Manic Miner and not the sequel.
Love the list. I would have subbed "The Hobbit" for THGTTG but then, that's the point of these lists. They are personal possessions composed of shared memories.
It all looks a bit limited. It is really a shame they have gone with the crappy Dropbox model. Having to move all the stuff you want to sync into the "sync" folder is just crap. You end up duplicating stuff all over the place when the general idea of cloudy sync is to make life easier and avoid ending up with multiple, out of sync copies of things. I really don't understand why all these services don't just allow the user to choose what they want to sync from their current hard drive. I've been using SugarSync for longer than I can remember and, whilst a bit more expensive than Google Drive, it seems like a lot less hassle - especially given that the early interest in Drive seems to have brought down all their servers. I'm getting no response from Drive or the webpage!
A wonderfull piece that brings back many happy memories so a huge thank you for that. However, I can't believe any piece on the Spectrum is complete without mention of the Kempston Interface pack. This plugged into the back of the machine and, if memory serves (I was only 6!) went straight into the memory interface. It was sold as a general interface but was REALLY just so that you could plug in the same joysticks that your mates were using with their Comodore 64s. The only problem was, because it plugged directly into the memory interface, if you got a bit "enthusiastic" with your jojstick and pulled the cable out you killed your RAM. I have a vague recollection of this costing the better part of £100 to replace back then.
Re: Oh come on!
> You should read some of the tabloid press now and again then
No. I shouldn't.
I think this looks STUNNING and the cost is pretty decent too. But a lack of storage (only 13GB available and no SD card slot) plus an old OS is going to make it a hard sell.
After someone used the old "Just because someone leaves the front door unlocked doesn't mean you can just waltz in and take what you want" (which is clearly bollocks as nothing was taken) I was trying to think of a more apt analogy. In this case it was more like Norwich have put posters up in the living room window pointing out into the street and are pissed off that someone took a photo of the poster and then re-printed it.
Re: Who's it for?
Assuming you were being serious and not just trolling;
How am I supposed to measure the contents of a fully sealed oil tank by "getting off my fat arse"?
How am I supposed to stop my son's bedroom dropping below 16C by "getting off my fat arse"? Do I get up every 30 mins during the night, take a temperature reading and either turn the heating on or off?
Or, for the example someone gave above of dumping excess solar energy into the immearsion, should he remain at home all day to do this or do you advise running home every few minutes to switch the relay manually?
Slowly creeping in
I started reading this thinking "Oh god, another Tomorrow's World special on things that will never happen".
Then I realised, we already have a signal-man that uses an accoustic sensor to monitor the level of oil in the tank and calls the oil company for a re-fill if it gets too low. I didn't even pay for that - the oil company supplied and fitted.
And, when we got our new oil-fired boiler three years ago they threw in a wireless controller. So the heating is fully programmed and, for example, I can stick it in the youngest's room overnight (which tends to be the coldest) and it will ensure the room never drops below 16C.
I also have a £15 all-in-one remote which, from a single button press, will turn on the TV and blu-ray and switch the TV onto HDMI-1 (amongst other things).
And, whilst not automated yet, we get our shopping delivered each week by Tesco. I can use my Android phone, during the week, to take a snap of the barcode of anything I've emptied (cereal boxes etc) and they just get added to the list. On a Monday night I then log in to the current order where it tells me what I ordered last week, what I usually order and if there are any specials on things I've ordered in the past. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the list and it gets delivered Tuesday night. I can see that process becoming more and more automated over the next few years.
Home automation isn't just coming. It is here. But it is here in ways that we tend not to notice - which is surely the whole point.
Re: San Fran
It is actually the same processor (Arm-7), just clocked up to 1GHz - so still no official Flash support. Also, I don't like the look of that back cover. My SanFran has proved itself to be pretty waterproof (mine gets used in Mountain Rescue as a navigation device and tracker beacon). With bloody great holes cut out of the the case for the camera lens and flash any tiny bit of moisture is going to kill this. Which is a shame as, low-res-screen not withstanding, it was looking pretty good.
"Why are the comments most hostile to authors always the most illiterate?"
Given "illiterate" means "an absence of literacy" surely you can't have a "most illiterate" as that would be the greatest amount of the absence of something?
Should be "least literate"
10% of an Apple Turnover
Sounds tasty but wouldn't keep me going for long.
Re: wife one of these for Xmas and they love it !
They? How many wives do you have?
Re: How many more?
I really don't understand your point. This piece is about Google being a monopoly. This is why Google keep being investigated. They are not doing anything illegal per se. It is simply that different rules apply to them in the same way that Microsoft cannot do things that Apple can because MS has 90% of the OS market and Apple has less than 10%.
But these rules are not black and white. The rule is that you cannot use your monopolistic position to leverage further market gains or to unfairly influence other markets. That isn't a yes/no tickbox. That is up to competition commissions to interpret the rules, argue with lawyers and come to considered opinions.
Original or not, he's £100K up - well done that man!
Re: a fragile "Mother Nature" is harmed by anything humans do
"Animal populations naturally level out at the resource levels the environment can sustain"
And HOW do those "animal" populations level out their resource levels? By using too much and then suffering the consequences in terms of population loss.
You have just rather wondefully made the EXACT point the article was making. Your only mistake was to use the word "animal" as if we are not one.
MS's Big Mistake
Microsofts big mistake was to try and impose change on developers. Everyone in IT knows developers are there to impose unwanted change on others - but god have mercy on the soul of anyone who tries to do it to them. WE DON'T LIKE CHANGE.
MS had done some half-arsed studies to justify the change but, of course, we all know that, in reality, some marketing bod had asked what they could do to polish it up, give it a visual make-over etc and some tit fresh out of UI design school with a "Cool" idea suggested mono-chrome. The study was just there to confirm a decision that had already been taken.
Of course, back in the real world, programmers use keyboard shortcuts for 90% of the stuff they do so the UI makes feck-all difference to them.
an "advanced" developer?
Or is it one of those questions whereby, if you need to ask, you aren't one?
Re: Megashark vs Giant Octopus
I got this out to watch on DVD about a year ago after hearing it might be in the "So bad it's good" category.
The only 2 hours of my life that have ever felt longer were 7-9pm this last Tuesday evening when I had to sit through my 5-year-old's end of term school concert. I've barely slept since.
I get what you're saying about the screen but endomondo reads out your speed/pace every mile or at the push of a button (phone or headphones). Also, something like the San Francisco is only around 100g. Assuming you're going to want to carry a small phone with you anyway for emergencies then the combined weight of the watch and phone is going to be more than the one device.
The only advantage I can see to this is that, when its battery dies, you still have your phone available.
And, I'm sorry, but 9 hours (at best!) just is NOT long enough.
Shame about the awful battery life.
Quite right on the price. I just replaced my All in one remote with a new model for £15. It does 6 devices, macros and the rest of the family can use it when I'm not there - which isn't the case with a mobile phone. I'm sure there IS a market for this but it has to be quite limited; consisting of people who either live alone or where everyone in the house has an Android or iPhone and doesn't mind having to start up an app on their phone just to change channels on the telly - which would rule my wife out for a start.
Re: Slight quibble about terminology
There are some that listen with our ears and some that listen with a bunch of electronic sensors hooked up to analysis software producing pretty graphs. If you prefer the latter there are plenty of specialist sites that cater for you...
I don't need a graph to tell me if (A) sounds better than (B). If "better" is too subjective then see the earlier statement. In any case, nobody in their right mind would spend £200 on a speaker dock without auditioning it first. The review is there to say "Hey, this piece of kit is really rather good and, if you're into that sort of thing, you should give it a go".
Re: Odd shortfall
I bought two Arcam amps <cough> years ago for a total of around £900 - and the remote control was not only an extra £35 but was also just as cheap and nasty looking as this one. It seems to be an Arcam "Thing".
Nothing wrong with the amps though. Still going strong - although the power LED no longer lights up on the power amp.
Missing the opportunity
Whilst these chips are used in Netbooks they are also used in ultra-low power nettops where - until now - they had to be accompanied by NVidia ION graphics chips in order to make them useful. This upped the cost and the power-draw. With a decent graphics chip in there you remove the admin overhead (NVidia tools are not exactly lightweight) and, whilst the Corei graphics aren't gaming standard they are pefect for driving a 1080p telly across a HDMI connection.
Can't wait. My two ASROCK ION nettops are 2.5 years old now. They are both starting to make funny noises and I've been looking around at what to replace them with if/when they go bang.
Re: Open your mind!
"You'll be living in a very confined space, eating your own shit, drinking recycled piss and breathing your neighbours farts, for the rest of your natural life"
So that would be just like now then, yeah?
Strangely, the Reg has missed the important part of this interview. He says he will not be carrying fuel with him for the return journey. This was covered in Rubin's Mars proposal to NASA 20+ years ago but nobody seems to have mentioned it since. You send small rocket-fuel generation plants out a few years before you need to travel. Land them on Mars and set them off generating rocket fuel (all the ingredients are there). Wait until you know the fuel is there, ready and waiting and then set off with just what you need for the outward journey.
It is a bloody clever way of doing it. It is both safer AND cheaper.
As I say, I'm surprised the Reg didn't pick up on this part of the interview as it seemed like the one bit of genuinely interesting science/engineering in the interview. The rest was the usual (unfortunately, entirely necessary) hype and self promotion.
"Broadcast (multicast would be a better term) is a stupid model - it makes no sense today."
"What the hell sense does that model make ? It is totally insane."
"Admittedly, the public are slow to change their habits - most now have PVRs but still sit down to watch the news at 6pm, or sit through the adverts on coronation street - but it is only a matter of time before the wake up and demand personal media when they want it, where they want it surely ?"
I'm sure all of this made perfect sense when you wrote it but do you mind explaining WHY broadcast is a "stupid" model, why it is "insane" and why the public will "wake up" and start behaving like you?
After all, unless TV rules your entire life how do you ever get to find out which programs you might like to watch unless, every once in a while, you just sit down and watch what is being broadcast? I ask this as a parent who hasn't watched TV in about 6 years and now has absolutely no idea what is on that might be worth watching - as best as I can tell, unless you like reality "talent" shows, the answer is "very little".
Without broadcast we will surely end up with a hollywood model for TV where, once something proves popular, it just gets made over and over until people get sick of it and then they flounce around for a few years producing garbage until someone stumbles upon the next big thing.
Why the BBC?
The BBC should only be allowed to enter areas where there is no suitable private alternative. Wasn't that the point of the BBC? Using its unique funding structure to make programs, offer services and take risks that the private sector wouldn't or couldn't afford to?
So WHY is the BBC offering to do something the private sector is willing to do and would do at a fraction of the cost? By all means make the BBC archives available but do so by allowing private comapnies to bid for the rights to convert and host them.
Re: A few suggested rating rules...
Never seen Mystery Men - but after that description I REALLY want to
Re: Never Ending Story 2
They made a part 3? For the love of humanity!
Re: Greg J Preece
I agree with most of what you say but not that this makes it a "worst film". All of that just adds up to a bad personal experience and most of that is just because you watched the originals as a kid. If you get that upset every time hollywood screws around with things you're gonna spend a lot of time in therapy.
Star Wars - Phantom Menace did the same thing for a lot of us in our 30s/40s but that doesn't make it a "Worst Film". Pretty bad, yes, but by Hollywood standards by no means an absolute stinker (and I recently had the "joy" of being dragged to the new 3D release by my Star Wars obsessed 5-year-old so the pain is still all too fresh).
Never Ending Story 2
Certainly felt like it...
What risk would the publisher's be taking in supplying stock to Game? This isn't a furniture store where the value is in the stock. The value is not in the 0.5p plastic disc or the 1p box it sits in. The value is in the IP of the game and the key/license to play it, surely? If game goes under the publisher can just rescind the license keys supplied and they have lost virtually nothing.
Re: Its Great For the Light Bulb Manufacturers...
"It also seriously sucks to be anyone who needs to use any of the Emergency Radio Frequencies, which are also jammed by bleedover from them."
Strange, I've been using my Emergency Services radio (TETRA) for about 7 years now. Off the top of my head I'd say I've been using HomePlug for 6 of those and have never noticed an issue. In fact, I've never even heard it mentioned.
Always out of step
When everyone was using smaller and smaller phones I was using Windows "Mobile" bricks like the XDA, XDA IIs etc. They had 3.5" screens but were huge and the IIs weighed 285g. Now everyone wants bigger devices and I'm still using a 3.5" screen, although in the much smaller, slimmer and lighter shell of an Orange San Francisco. That size seems just right to me. Bigger would be handier sometimes but then, other times, so would smaller.
- Updated Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
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- Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
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- Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders