203 posts • joined Thursday 11th June 2009 12:02 GMT
Hard G, Mr Wilhite (what sort of name is that anyway?)
And I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.
Same for folk who say "led" instead of Ell-Eee-Dee.
And folk who say "Snezz" instead of Super Nintendo.
If that's wrong I don't want to be right.
I thought that Ultraviolet was going to be a step in the right direction too...until I tried to use it.
Not only does it implement multiple layers of DRM and authorisation (distribution and some middleware/aggregated rights holder), but it is so fundamentally consumer-unfriendly that I swore I’d never use it again.
For example, having to download and install Paramount’s “DRM tool” to play back a disc is one thing, but to be asked to install two pieces of software to do this seems to provide yet more potential failure points in future, as well as being a pain in the arse. The quality wasn’t much cop either, certainly less than DVD never mind the Blu-ray that I’d purchased.
I’ve tried other streaming/download services with similar results.
I bought one of Fox’s Triple Play discs with a reasonable expectation of a high quality downloaded version, right? Wrong. Apparently a crummy bitrate 360p copy is apparently sufficient!
Then I upgraded the OS which invalidated the DRM and I had to phone California to request another validation code. This came with all sorts of draconian warnings that this was a one-time operation and if it failed I would lose the ability to playback.
Deleted/uninstalled all the files and downloaded a BD rip of that one!
The best I’ve tried is actually Tesco’s Blinkbox/Clubcard integration. Buy the disc in store or online and it’s available for streaming immediately on PC or my LG Blu-ray player. Great quality and hassle free.
Still DRM though which means it may disappear at any point, but at least with this service I have a physical disc to rely on.
Re: HTC has damaged itself
And that’s the reason I won’t buy an HTC, or Sony for that matter (although they appear to be making amends in this department).
Being stuck with a handset 1 or 2 major versions behind the Android curve when you’ve still got 7 months left on a contract is not a happy experience.
Once bitten, twice shy. Sorry HTC.
When you leave school* perhaps you'll find out that 'trying to get out of taxes' and 'finding the appropriate taxes to pay' are two sides of the same coin. Corporations have an obligation to generate value for their shareholders (not necessarily just maximise profit, as is often quoted) and part of this is achieved by minimising their tax liability.
If the regulations haven't yet caught up with modern international practices, allowing such 'avoidance', then it's hardly the fault of Amazon, Google or their accountants for exploiting such loopholes, is it?
Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of these shell companies in low tax regimes, but pillorying the corporates when it's the Govt/EU's own rules that permit this isn't the best way to effect change.
* Sorry, cheap dig but I'm down on my ad hominem quota for this year already.
Re: Goodness gracious!
$9B, not $9M
Them extra three zeroes make a lot of difference...
Oh no you jus dint...
*Adopts R. Stallman beard*
GNU/Linux! Get it right, please.
Re: Still with the tincy-wincy liddle screen?
Surely not? Adopting the way Android has worked for years?
Well I never.
Maybe now the Apple faithful*, having learned how Android avoids 'stretched phone apps', will stop bleating this whenever Android screen variance is mentioned?
*Disclosure: iPhone 5 owner, although not a very happy one
Blinkbox actually far closer to that than you may realise.
Of the things you mentioned only simultaneous playback isn't offered right now, but other than the dearth of content pretty much all of the rest is here today as a streaming service.
Of course, you've got to a) be signed up to Clubcard (with all that entails) and b) trust that they're in this for the long game, but hey.
As a service Blinkbox is actually pretty good, especially considering the Clubcard in-store/digital copy tie-in.
I've bought a few DVDs/Blu-rays from Tesco for the kids and now they're on Blinkbox app on their LG player in the family room I don't even have to fish the discs out of the boxes any more. Parent approved.
It certainly shows Ultraviolet how to make a product consumer-centric.
Awaits the Tesco haters...
Re: in-home LTE?
Current EE spectrum is generally in the wall-unfriendly lower end of the LTE spectrum.
Future providers, including BT, will use higher frequencies that are, so they tell us, much more conducive to indoor signal propagation.
Re: Am I missing something?
Because LTE would be seamless and requires no extra selection/authentication, providing you have mobile data enabled on your device
Many people switch wifi off when out and about to save battery, but with a BT LTE 'hotspot' in every router these are still available if you are in range.
Good on Google for pushing things forward.
When you hear of some of the horror stories it's amazing that other major providers don't even offer two-factor auth on their email products.
Yes, the intermittent requirement to authenticate via app or phone call is irritating, especially when you have multiple devices that are in a constant state of flux, but the alternative is far more troublesome.
The main problem is the classic 'explain it to your dear old mum' quandary. How can I express the benefits of the likes of one-time passwords and two-factor auth to her in a meaningful way that allows her to
a) take the benefits on board, and
b) see that they outweigh the inconvenience
And that is before expecting that she'll actually be able to navigate what is, for most people, quite a convoluted process to get it all set up, plus the ongoing maintenance.
Smart TV has a problem
The problem I have with "smart TV" functionality is that it is so woefully slow and unresponsive compared to other devices that we use nowadays.
On my tablet or phone I can start the You Tube app, click through or search for a video and be watching it in under 10 seconds.
Try to do the same on any "smart TV" that I've tried and you've got to navigate the menu system, wait for it to sort itself out, load the (presumably heavyweight Java) app, then try to navigate the UI with the customary 0.75 second lag on the controller/text entry, then watch a spinner/throbber for another 5-10 seconds before the video starts.
Same broadband connection, an order of magnitude longer to get going.
And woe betide if you want to quit watching You Tube and go into Netflix. For that you've got to quit to the beginning and start the process all over again!
Until the devices can offer smooth, easy UIs like Android or iOS then they'll never be adopted in anything like the numbers that manufacturers hope.
Don't get me wrong, I make use of it at the moment but it is far from a pleasant experience, and the annoying thing is that the technology to enable a fast, responsive UI is already in there (if an RPi can do it...), but ignorance/inability/pride/intransigence prevents it being implemented.
Plain English for us dummies?
So, will this mean I'll be able to get 4G on my current iPhone 5 without having to sign up to the laughable 'upgrade' that Vodafone were proposing due to their frequencies not being compatible without a new handset come the rollout?
If so, good news!
If not, meh.
Apple is the Über Troll. Watch the paroxysms of rage and impotence engulf forums across the globe!
Re: Consolation prize...
My guess is Simbu is slightly more au fait with websites devoted to specialist imagery of, erm...'larger' ladies.
The problem is that the BlackBerry market is, of right now, a dwindling user base of corporates who only want security and to maximise any value from their previous BBE investments, and a primarily teen audience who want free/cheap handsets for BBM.
These new handsets satisfy neither group from what I can see. Not cheap enough for the teens and there's nothing that will stop the drift to other platforms by the Enterprise crowd who've now had a taste of sweeter treats elsewhere.
Final nail in coffin? I'm betting BlackBerry will attempt to position these as premium devices and charge accordingly. That, coupled with the limited availability (March/April for US and Q10?) will erode any slim chance they have of pulling this off.
Don't worry, weary hacks, you can continue to use the
RIM BlackBerry gimmick for as long as, well, All! Of! Your! Other! Gimmicks!, bitch.
We wouldn't want it any other way.
BT etc. not always a poor choice.
Funnily enough, AAISP were the one ISP who resolutely could not offer me a decent service.
Was on Zen and got a steady 3.5Mbps.
Switched to A&A and got decent speeds during the day but it dropped significantly at other times, to <0.1Mbps at the weekends with lost packets etc. Not even enough to run the Openreach speed tester to completion.
Thought AAISP were meant to be the bomb on things like this so gave them a chance to sort it, but I'm not 17 any more and have no interest in participating in midnight IRC chats with support bods so after a few frustrating months I switched to BT and got, you guessed it, decent service again.
By no means representative I'm sure, but evidence that you're not always better off away from the big names.
I got stuck in a buggy, illogical workflow loop as the upgrade forced me, unannounced, to change my Apple ID into an email address.
Only my email address was, they said, linked to another account and they conveniently decided that the DOB held for my account was different to that which I was entering to validate myself (it wasn't, as confirmed when I eventually got into the account and made the necessary changes).
1 hour of frantic faffing about, a forced help forum account set up to view answers (grrrr...), 11 emails for password/email changes and a whole lot of swearing and abuse directed at 1 Infinite Loop and I finally managed to get my phone working again though.
Fond memories of using Lotus 1-2-3 on an HP 95LX. Surprisingly usable for the size and time.
I wish Google Spreadsheets was as responsive!
Re: To survive
This is the reality; there is no 'death of the High Street', only a failure to adapt quickly enough.
Thriving High Streets, filled with independents? We can but dream.
Re: Waterproof means no user changeable battery.
Wasteful it may be, but the subsidy market that has developed in the UK and elsewhere tends to drive people to a biannual upgrade, and the pace of technological change in such a mature market drives this as devices from even three years ago can start to feel very limiting.
Hence, very few keep phones for more than about 2 years.
We may not like it but there's little that will affect this result of marketing/technology in the short to medium term.
Re: Waterproof means no user changeable battery.
I'm aware of the need for multi-SIM devices elsewhere, but we're talking high-end 1st world smartphones here, not low-end emerging market devices.
I'll happily admit that this market demands multi-SIM capability, but that's not really relevant to this device or to our market. How many multi-SIM devices are sold in the UK each year? <10,000?
Horses for courses.
Re: Waterproof means no user changeable battery.
Well yes, but Apple are 'special' so get away with having their own proprietary connector. Hold on, make that TWO proprietary connectors.
As I said, special.
Re: Waterproof means no user changeable battery.
2013 marks 20 years of mobile ownership for me. In that time I've had over a dozen devices from Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and Apple, and yet I've *never* had to replace a mobile phone battery, despite having owned some phones for well over the realistic nominal phone lifespan of two years.
I'm amazed that people are still hung up on the fact that batteries need to be user-replaceable.
Sure, failure etc. (thanksfully rare) will necessitate a service call, but to me the convenience, packaging and cost advantages hugely outweigh this.
Apple and their iPhones have their faults, but chief among the things they're got right is proving the fact that factory-sealed batteries are not an impediment to adoption by most users. Before the iPhone there were few if any phones that didn't have replaceable batteries. It was just one of those accepted norms that were blown away.
Yes, there will be some users that demand flexibility (and I'm sure people will pipe up to say they absolutely definitely cannot live without n batteries to run their always-on,mission-critical cellular lifestyle), but much like rugged or dual-SIM devices, time has proved these are not really concerns that the majority share.
I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people only take the battery out when they get the phone to install the SIM, or to do a hard reset if advised by mobile forum/customer service rep, not mentioning any names... /cough/Blackberry/cough/
The rise of practically onmipresent chargers (thanks to standardisation of connectors to two types- Micro USB and Apple) means that judidious topping up at home, work and in the car is all that is required for most people.
Flame away, desperately important multi-battery types :)
Apparently we're in a similar situation. Cost of installing new power cables/ducting is all that is stopping our cabinet going live. Tacit admission from BT that they will now never do it.
Fobbity fob fob fob
Another one of the 'keeps getting put back three months' club here. Disappointing to see club membership levels are so high.
Re BT's response; what a load of bollocks. "publishing its best estimates", eh?
One, admittedly small, part of the reason we bought our new house last February was because of the imminent FTTC availability. We'd had it in our previous house and jolly nice it was too.
Only recently have I realised the complete arse BT have made of this.
Re: This depends on the ideas it inspires
A Nintendo engineer travelled through time from 2010 and read your post.
Two years later, et voilà! - the Wii U Gamepad.
Re: Well when you've been dumped by everyone else...
"Enhanced" would be one word, "weighted for" would be another. Well, two actually.
I don't expect for a minute that any Tegra 3-optimised versions on TegraZone are 'better' for it, just that Nvidia will have guided the dev's hands when choosing which bits to spice up (the bits the T3 can do well) and which bits should be toned down (the areas where it sucks, and this is likely where more effort was expended to ensure high frame rates).
My old Matrox Mystaque came with 'optimised' versions of games. They sucked ass, but this was highly appropriate as the video card did too.
Nvidia has a history of hyping their SoCs up to the nth degree, backed with glitzy demo vids, only to launch an underwhelming product. I see little to suggest that Tegra 4 will be any different and the Adrenos and Malis of this world will continue to run rings around it it many critical departments
OLED energy efficiency? Hmmm...
"Our monitors, televisions, laptops, smartphones and tablets are now capable of delivering a picture quality that makes us grin without forcing us to recharge often enough to make us groan."
My experience with OLED screens is that they are no less energy-hungry* than backlit LCD screens, so while they do have many benefits, energy efficiency is not really one of them at this time. Plus, the well documented issues with producing durable and cost-effective OLED screens of larger sizes pretty much means OLED "monitors, televisions & laptops" remain a possibility for the future, rather a reality today.
* OK, I know that in lab conditions that, compared to a similar LCD, the OLED will consume less energy showing a dark image and more showing a light one, but in general this usage evens out on average. I dare say that with an optimised (i.e. dark) UI and apps, OLED could be made to go much further.
Re: Second Life?
OK we get it NS, you enjoy dressing up in skimpy outfits just like the rest of us.
(p.s. a wee hello from Chunky, ex of MLR)
Fibre rollout, delivering between 2 and 24 mbps? That'll take three years?
Meanwhile nothing I or the Parish council in another semi-rural part of the home counties can do will convince BT to actually go ahead with their promised FTTC upgrade. Just keeps getting pushed back by three months at a time. Exchange is enabled, cabinet installed, they just need to power it up.
...for VMware's certification racket!
Re: Meanwhile Britain
Lewis? Is that you ?
Great. Maybe Apple can now instruct their map app that there is a large urban centre called Luton, Beds. (pop. 203,000) just North of London off the M1, replete with international airport, and to stop directing anyone looking for directions to 'Luton' to the tiny village of Luton, Devon (pop. SFA) instead?
Re: more than apps
I was going to comment almost exactly the same thing. Having recently switched to iPhone from Android (and borderline regretting it) I now realise that I wasn't even aware how slick the de facto Android/Chrome syncing of just about everything across phone, tablet & PC (Win, Mac or even Linux I guess) had become.
Trying to straddle two ecosystems is almost impossible if you want to achieve seamless syncing. Articles like this
only illustrate how broken Google syncing of the simple things (mail, contacts & calendar) is on iOS, never mind the hidden stuff like browsing tabs, history, custom dictionaries etc.
Re: Low end?
Low end is <£100 Chinese jobbies, not the Nexus 7.
The cheapo tablets are generally compromised in some way today, but they have their place and in time will become competent and valid choices. But to me the Nexus 7, helped by the Kindle Fire, has defined the sweet spot for tablet pricing.
It's certainly shaken the market up a bit, a market which had been labouring under the misapprehension that it could release mediocre 7" devices for about 60-70% of the price of an iPad.
Surface needs to be in this price range or it will die an embarrassing death. When I can by a 32GB Nexus 7 and a Samsung Chromebook for the price of a single entry-level Surface you know there's something wrong in Redmond.
Horses for courses, not everyone needs OMG TEH MEGGZ. I doubt I've ever had more than 2-3GB of stuff on a phone.
Even now I have a 32GB device it's mostly empty.
HD video can certainly swallow up '000s of GB if you're a prolific shooter, but I'm in the same boat as you, <1TB of 'backup-worthy' data.
Re: All that effort
I was summarising the journey that most owners....
Oh, just forget it.
I forgot the step "finds batteries for the Wiimote".
What's that? Lovefilm on Wii?! Great! I can't wait to dig the old thing out, figure out how to plug it all in again, download the inevitable software update, download the Lovefilm app, navigate through its inevitably clunky menu system then watch stuff I've seen before in glorious 480p!
No year, everything sorted by day/month?
What are you commentards railing against what has been demonstrated to be over many years, El Reg's default world view?
It's what we expect here...and want?
Other sites are available, you know.
So, you could have a PC that runs Windows Windows, a tablet that runs tablet Windows that isn't Windows Windows, a phone that runs phone Windows that isn't Windows Windows, and now possibly a tablet that runs tablet Windows that isn't phone Windows or Windows Windows?
Ahh, I get it now!
Why not go the whole hog and introduce Kin Windows and Zune Windows devices too?
All options covered, can't fail. Cash or cheque is fine, Mr Ballmer.
The writing has been on the wall for years now, how are the Intels and Acers of this world caught on the hop?
My 3 year old Dell Core 2 Duo does just fine for home office duties, I can't see me replacing it unless it blows up. When it does I'll build my own with decent brand but low-end bits.
I've realised I'll probably never buy my kids their own PC as they'll just use tablets or phones for most of their computing needs (they're getting Nexus 7 & LeapPad 2 from Santa this year), so as Jeff Attwood says, that might be the last PC I ever own.
And as for Ultrabooks, pah! Surely no-one was going to fall for that?
Sure, mad gamers will demand silly CPUs and GPUs like I did in the 1990s/early 2000s, but for the 99% it simply doesn't make any sense to spend more than about £350 on a PC/notebook.
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