396 posts • joined Friday 12th June 2009 19:40 GMT
Re: TP Link TL-WDR3600
I picked this mostly as a platform for OpenWRT, though of course there are plenty of similarly priced options, depending on the exact functions you require. Raspberry Pi gets all the love at the moment, but for some sorts of projects that need a small Linux system, I feel that you are very probably better off with something like this - even if not this exact model.
That may indeed be the case; I don't recall the UK stockists lists being available when I wrote the piece. So, apologies.
Re: Canon AE-1
Still lots of places you can get it developed. Black and white is very easy to do at home - I more or less taught myself, with the aid of a handy PDF from the Ilford website.
Even colour, despite some dire warnings about temperature control, isn't impossible to do, and given the shocking increase in postal charges in recent years, you may well end up saving money compared to professional development, even after picking up the kit secondhand (around 30 quid for a chemical pack that will process a dozen E6 films).
One of my friends does C41 processing at home, heating things up with a fan heater and using an old Agfa Rondinax tank, so there's not even any messing around with a changing bag: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6e4Kl41OKU
Yes, digital film is effectively free, but that's not always a good thing.
There are indeed some excellent amateur digital photographers, which is certainly to be applauded.
There are also legions of people who, thanks to the 'free film' now experience amazing destinations not with their eyes, but through a small screen on the back of a camera. I saw many of them when I was in Italy this summer, and I wonder how many of the photos will even be looked at more than a couple of times.
To me, that's one of the decidedly mixed blessings of digital - it can encourage the mentality of "shoot lots and some will be good, by the law of averages."
Using film at least forces you to think "I only have 36 shots" and certainly I find that I spend more time looking round, taking in the splendour of somewhere, and deciding what might make a good shot, from a particular angle. And, when I do return home, I have the memory of actually drinking in a magnificent sight with my own eyes, rather then second hand.
Of course, I'm not saying everyone does this with digital, but I've seen many people who certainly give the impression that that's what they're doing. And if you find yourself slipping into that habit, and don't want to mess around with film, it can sometimes be helpful to simply imagine that you are, and limit yourself to a number of shots per day, or per location, as a way of forcing yourself to stop, and look, before shooting.
Re: What about "phone only" extension wiring?
Might be worth investigating HomePlug over Twisted Pair? That allows you to use phone wire to extend a network. Not cheap, but a single pair to a remote building could actually drive several IP phones.
Re: concurrent calls
It can, but you can also route all or some calls through the PBX. For example, it's possible for 3CX to transcode between different codecs, which may be useful for some people. And of course there are things like automated assistants, hold queues and so forth, where the PBX will be handling the call. If a call is from a SIP phone on a private network range to something outside, it's also going to have to do some fiddling around to direct traffic appropriately.
There's an explanation of the different ways it can work at http://www.3cx.com/blog/docs/media-server/
I've been using 3CX for a few years, though I'm still on an earlier version. I found that it was simplest - though the newer versions do have blacklisting - to lock down the incoming SIP ports to the IP address of my trunk provider. At least passwords aren't defaulted to the extension number any more; that was a recipe for disaster.
I never got hacked, but I did find that the rate of attempts was way too much for the small windows box running my installation to cope with. And since I only have two channels, to replace an old ISDN2e setup, it was easiest to just limit incoming calls to the registrars, much as I'd have liked to be able to let people simply use my email address as my SIP address.
On the whole, it works, and I have various auto attendants and black/whitelists set up to ensure that I don't get pestered by telesales scum. But you do have to jump through some hoops to set up things like that, certainly in the version I'm using.
Still, it's way cheaper than having ISDN, especially as the SIP provider I'm using (Gamma Telecom) doesn't charge a monthly rental per number, just per SIP trunk channel. I've got a Fritzbox hooked up to it, providing me with two analogue ports and a DECT basestation. That gives me a link to the phone service over the ADSL line, in case the broadband fails, and also links in the entry phone - SIP entry phones are still horrifyingly expensive.
Things like that, of course, are one reason why a cloud based solution would be slightly bonkers for me - I don't want to find out that because the broadband has gone down, I no longer get notified when someone's at the front door.
So, yes, it's not bad. And when I made the switch from ISDN three years ago, I did look at Asterisk, but 3CX seemed a bit more straightforward to set up then. I'm not sure that would necessarily be the case now, however.
I recall a text book I saw at school, or perhaps it was a really old promo film, in which it was promised that we would have "electricity too cheap to meter."
That turned out well.
I still have a box here with some floppies for the 380Z; 72k per side, formatted. They have CP/M 1.4B on them, and if memory serves, probably ZASM for the assembler, and the rather quirky TXED text editor.
I remember too the manuals with their pages stating "This page intentionally left blank", and the prompt when you turned the box on "COS 3.4C/M", before pressing B to boot from the top floppy drive.
The one we had at school was eventually upgraded with the "hi resolution" graphics board, which would be changed to use as an additional 32k of memory instead, by pressing M, I think, at the COS prompt.
Great for learning or tinkering, of course, was the software front panel; ctrl-F if I recall, which you could use to see the registers, or even laboriously type in hex code from magazines. Type J 103 to resume your current program at the CP/M entry point.
Just for the hell of it, I once wrote an address book program that could dial phone numbers; I think I used a 2k ohm resistor, though perhaps it was more. It was wired in series with the cassette relay from the separate dual cassette control box, and the program turned the relay on and off rapidly to simulate pulse dialling.
The printer connected was an Anadex; can't remember the model number, but it was a hateful little beast.
Re: Why Pay Pal... ?
Yes, that would be the case, I expect. You've bought PayPal credit, is one way of looking at it. And the card companies don't want to be involved with that. I suspect that if, for example, you bought a voucher for John Lewis with your credit card, and later used the voucher to buy a toaster that turned out to be faulty, they also probably wouldn't want to entertain claims regarding the toaster, since that's not what the card was used to pay for.
When paying if you're signed in, you can select a linked bank account as a source of funding, but again, I suspect that that will be treated by the bank in the same way as topping up your PayPal balance, and probably is treated internally as two separate transactions, even though the UX presents it as seamless.
If you want the full credit card protection, then you should always pay using something that is directly charging your credit card for that transaction. And it's that area where, from the point of view of a small shop or club, PayPal is very useful, because with a premier account it's easy to offer people the credit card option, without the normal overheads. I imagine a fair number of people will still feel much happier paying using their card, and getting the protection they have that way, than using PayPal natively.
I do find them a nasty company to deal with - like eBay, any queries are almost always answered by scripted responses, whether via email or phone, that may at best have a tenuous connection to what you actually asked. If other Reg readers could recommend a way for small websites to actually get people to give money that's simple, allows them to use their credit cards, and doesn't require guessing in advance how much you might persuade people to donate and picking a pricing plan that might mean you end up worse off, I'd love to know about it.
I get the feeling that no one really enjoys dealing with PayPal; it's just that in a lot of situations, there aren't any easy or obvious alternatives.
Re: Why Pay Pal... ?
I don't believe I've ever had a chargeback, so I can't speak from experience at that end. But if you use PayPal to pay by credit card, and it appears on your bill, it's just like any other transaction. You can query it with your card company, and I would imagine that if you declare it to be fraudulent, they will do a chargeback, and the consumer doesn't end up out of pocket. From the point of view of the consumer, the only difference is that they merchant that has actually charged their card is PayPal (and if you donated to one of my sites using your card, it would appear as "PayPal *Nigel" on your statement.
So, no difference in consumer protection at that end of things (there will, of course, be slightly different rules if you pay using a PayPal balance).
A quick skim of the help suggests that PayPal leave it up to the credit card company to decide if the chargeback should happen; the merchant may (depending on whether it's something with seller protection or not) take a hit of the original amount, plus £14 processing fee.
So, pay by card via PayPal (where all they're really doing is acting as a card processor without requiring upfront fees from the merchant) and you have exactly the same protection as using a card anywhere else.
Pay using a PayPal account, and you're subject to the usual PayPal rules, and their own quirky interpretation of them.
In terms of how it helps the buyer, I suppose that's really just that it makes it easier for some people to provide a way for you to give them money that doesn't involve putting cheques in the post. A lot of people will be far more likely to give to something, whether it's one of my websites, or a cloud funding type of thing, if they can simply use the 'normal' way of paying, which is credit card. So, yes, the convenience is mostly for the seller/fundraiser, but being able to process cards does make life simpler, and the process more understandable, for a proportion of customers/donors
Re: Why Pay Pal... ?
For some things, PayPal is about the only affordable way to make these things possible. For example, a couple of the sites that I run rely upon donations from the users. On one, we have had an average of four donations per month over the last four years, increasing if we run things to encourage people to give - but even then, I don't think we've ever broken 30 payments per month.
At that level, it simply isn't economic to have a normal agreement with a credit card processor, and your own merchant account; yes, you can get a virtual terminal from Barclay, for example, for £10 per month, but there are merchant fees on top of that, and the need to be audited for PCI compliance, etc etc. So, for low volume things like that, a pretty hefty percentage of our monthly donations would actually end up being spent on banking and transaction fees - in a quiet might, it might well be as much as 50%.
PayPal is an incredibly annoying company to deal with; their inability to understand that not everything works the way it does in the US, and to suspend an account while they ask you to produce documentation that you neither need nor have, is frustrating, to put it mildly.
But for many smaller organisations who don't have the infrastructure or resources to go down the route of arranging a merchant account of their own, the percentage fees that PayPal charges are, while more than I'd like them to be, rather easier to bear.
Re: @Alfred - Small kids making a mess?
Because if you're paying for the car, the people operating it know who you are.
It's exactly the same way clubs in the UK work at the moment; when I use a Zipcar, if it's in a state when I get in, I call them and the last person to rent that car will be asked about it. Similarly if I spot damage when I get to the car. You check the log, and if it's not there, then you call it in and make a note.
It works very well - for certain types of people. I definitely don't need to have a car sitting outside my flat, which may only get used a couple of times a month. Having one three minutes' walk away that I can use for £6 an hour whenever I need it is great.
And for those times when I do want to go on a really long trip, I have my old classic car.
If the Zipcars could drive themselves, I'd be very likely to use them more often; not necessarily to commute, but for things like social events - likely cheaper than a taxi back after the Proms, for example, and I could have a drink too.
Crimson Fist ?
Snigger. I wonder what his super power is. Collapsible hands?
I'm a great fan of the Matias Tactile Pro; I have version 3, but the key switches are the same ALPS ones as in the latest (and in some of the classic Mac keyboards). I had the original one too, and wore it out after several years. Not that cheap - £100 - but well worth if if you really do spend a lot of time writing. It says 'For Mac' but it's USB, and works just fine for Windows. For Mac users, though, it's even more useful as all the odd symbols are on the keycaps too, which saves remembering them.
Re: Access to the internet
@Corinne Not to mention, of course, that in many places libraries are being closed down, or having their hours cut, in an attempt to make savings.
The government will of course point to ideas like those espoused by Martha Lane-Fox, with £10 a month internet connections and £100 PCs, seemingly oblivious to the fact that for some people that's still a pretty substantial chunk of cash (and a £10 a month internet connection will very likely require a phone line costing at least that again, too).
Of course, there will be those who say "but if they can afford beer/fags/satellite TV they can get a computer and an internet connection" and perhaps that's true to an extent. But it also reveals a mindset that says "if you're poor, you must spend your money how we tell you, not how you want to."
And ultimately, what this really does is direct the poor to spend their lives and their money in a certain way, in order that the treasury can save a bit of money to bribe the middle with tax cuts in time for the next election.
Re: Not to worry
Surely a zombie would count as non-domiciled? And hence pay the square root of bugger all in UK tax
Re: Useless really
They don't strip it off every SIP call; my calls from home go via a Gamma Telecom SIP trunk, and people I ring on BT lines do get my caller ID; I'm pretty sure they also get the ID when I ring via the backup SipGate account too.
So it's not a blanket thing stripping at all.
TPS are useless. So are Verizon UK
I used to have an ISDN2 line, with a block of ten numbers; I ported those all to VoIP a few years back. But having ten sequential numbers, it's very obvious when a robo-dialler is attacking me. Call comes in on the business line first, silent. A short time later, on the ex directory line, silent, and then usually by the time it rings on the 'public' number there's someone there (and doubtless, the unused numbers in the gaps have been pestered too).
All the numbers that ring are TPS registered; the vermin don't care, and lie when you ask them for their company name or address.
A huge number (by which I mean almost all) of the UK caller IDs that are presented to my VoIP system turn out to have been allocated to Verizon UK. So as far as I'm concerned, they're facilitating law breakers, and are just as guilty. Perhaps if the phone companies themselves were fined, they'd make sure their customers behaved.
Meanwhile, since everything is routed through 3CX, I have varying degrees of filtering. All incoming numbers are checked against a list of the common cold calling numbers, which are routed directly to a message reminding them they're calling a TPS registered line and breaking the law.
Anonymous or unknown numbers go directly to voicemail.
On the public number, an automated response tells people what number to press to speak to me, and warns them I'm not interested in sales and surveys, and will be very rude to them if they do press it.
On the ex directory number, numbers for the more bewildered members of the family are whitelisted, while everyone else has to answer a maths question; press the right numbers and the call is connected.
It works pretty well; but the fact that anyone has to go to these lengths to avoid harassment - seven cold calls in 10 minutes one day - shows just how feeble the TPS is; hardly surprising considering it's an offshoot of the Direct Marketing Association.
Mandatory caller ID plus fines for both companies and the telcos that enable them, and in extremis the death penalty and confiscation of assets might finally stop these people.
Re: The two channels should be, since we're paying for them
Not quite sure in what sense you think you're paying for those (rather than any other channel with ads on), as neither channel is licence fee funded. But with a bit of luck, Film4 HD might be a possibility, were the joint BBC/C4/Arqiva proposal to be picked. Though knowing our luck, they'd do HD versions of More 4 and E4 instead.
There's already at least one proposal for broadcast use of the space, from the BBC, Channel 4 and Arquiva, which would most likely see an additional BBC channel, plus the red button, and perhaps two additional channels from the C4 stable getting HD simulcasts.
The aim, of course, is to get more people to buy kit capable of receiving DVB-T2/H.264, which will enable a later wholesale shift of Freeview to those technologies, which some think is essential to maintaining a Freeview service as the bandwidth available contracts.
So, to a large degree, I think this is a stalking horse, as I explained in a post of my own yesterday
"Fortunately Citroen aren't in the aviation business."
Not now, but they did make a helicopter: http://ranwhenparked.net/2012/08/13/a-look-at-the-citroen-re-2-a-wankel-powered-helicopter-video/
Leaks can be a bit of a nuisance with the hydraulic systems; I had a somewhat startling moment in my CX GTi Turbo, when I realised the steering was a bit heavy (ie, barely functional; a Diravi with no hydraulic assist is hard to shift). So I applied the brakes, only to realise that they weren't working either, and all I could do was use the gears and the handbrake to slow down and hope that I coasted to a stop before I hit anything.
Fortunately, I stopped a few feet short of a parked van.
On a hydraulic Citroen (certainly CX and DS, which I stilll have), there is no mechanical link to the brakes; if the hydraulics fail, you need to hope for the best.
Re: Now TV
Hopefully, there may be some figures for NOW TV issued as part of Sky's results, which are due out next week - they weren't willing to share anything in advance of that.
No, those are the UK figures - those for the US (obtained via the Netflix API) are 9154 films and 4989 TV seasons. UK figures are from the Oric website - there isn't a UK API at the moment - based on their own research.
Re: poor iPhone 5 = 90%?
Yes, that's the way these round-ups are usually done, because otherwise you end up with two different scores for the same product, which gets rather confusing.
Some of the elements of the score include, for instance, value for money, but that could change each time a new product is launched in the same market - the Nexus 4 makes some of the other androids look less good value.
All you can treat a score as is an evaluation at the time it was reviewed; a phone that got 95% three years ago isn't necessarily better than an iPhone 5 with 90% this year.
Re: Lovely advert by Reg for Apple.
Really? Two paras at the end - one of which pointed out a UX failure on Apple's part - and a mention of how iPlayer is mostly used early on, and the article's an advert for Apple?
Somehow, I think your own bias is showing there.
Honestly, not everything is about Apple.
Re: Cheap netbook connected to the TV via HDMI/VGA w/ wireless keyboard is far superior IMHO!
The problem is that, while that may be a solution for many Reg readers, it's probably not the best solution for their friends and relatives, who do need something that's simple, straightforward, and isn't going to require you connecting via VLC to handle a Windows update from time to time, or the occassional reboot, or whatever other administrative things we take in our stride, but most people simply don't want.
I know people who, when they can't figure out why there's no sound (and it's usually something like a partially disconnected SCART, or volume set wrong/muted on one of the devices) will simply decide to turn the TV off and read a book, rather than fiddle round, in the hope that the next day it'll have magically solved itself.
And those, I think, represent a far greater number than the people who will be happy with a netbook and a qwerty keyboard in the living. It's those people whom the makers of TV sets should be thinking about, and figuring out how they can do this clever stuff without making it even more likely that people will just give up and think "there's nothing on, may as well cut the grass"
Re: You missed half of the UI
We could probably do another whole article about the remotes; the weird choices between shiny metal look membranes, or real buttons, some of which click, others which just wobble.
Odd concentric circles of buttons, which almost guarantee that half the time you're trying to move to an option, you accidentally press the outer circle instead, and back right out to live TV, or launch something completely different.
Remotes that have icons that mean absolutely nothing - I was on the second Toshiba set of a recent batch before I realised there actually was a dedicated "Toshiba Places" button on the remote, because it just looked like, well, an empty speech bubble, and what the hell does that mean?
The secondary remote that comes with some Samsung sets is quite interesting; top half is effectively a trackpad, with a few raised areas for some key functions, which makes it a bit simpler to get to on screen icons by moving your finger around. It also has a built in microphone, which is a little more reliable - especially in a noisy room - for speech control than having to shout at the TV.
But yes, remotes are often overlooked.
Re: Dream telly
Personally, if it's going to be a flat panel, then you may as well forget about the sound altogether.
You're never going to get really decent sound out of a box that's thinner than an old transistor radio, in my view. Sure, they may try to take the rough edges off by processing it to buggery, but frankly even a pair of £50 bookshelf speakers from Richer Sounds are likely to do a better job than the speakers built into most flat panels these days.
Re: “Click here for additional assets”
I appreciate that the string may appear in more than one place; that particular abomination crops up in the Demand 5 app, and also in the LoveFilm Trailers section, which both have the same look and feel, so I presume it's part of a Sony application framework.
If it can't be tweaked for each app, then "Click OK for more" would at least be somewhat clearer to ordinary people; if you've highlighted something that says "Drama" and the message "Click OK for more" appears, then it's probably reasonably clear that you'll get more items in the Drama category.
But the message as it stands is just horrible, and not a form of language that I think any ordinary person ever uses.
And it was things like that, and the ridiculous 35 pages of terms in a web browser, that made me think "Didn't Sony let ordinary people sit and play with these TV sets, and ask them for feedback?"
Of course, other manufacturers are guilty of similarly stupid things; but given the position Sony used to have in the TV market, I felt it particularly shocking (and perhaps a good example of why they don't have that position any more) that there were so many elements in their UI that I felt, frankly, just showed a lack of attention to detail.
Re: iPlayer 2 Click Fail!
Yes, indeed if the TV's off, then you'll have to press more buttons; sorry, for not mentioning that.
Nevertheless, the fact is that there is an established, and consistent method of launching the BBC's catch-up service. I'd dearly love to see that implemented too on the other channels, so that the same two pressed would launch catch-up for whichever channel you happen to be watching. It would certainly be technically possible, and wouldn't it be handy if there was that consistency, just like people used to know to press text then 888 for subtitles?
One of the many (I have a long list, but only so many words to write for an article) things that annoyed me with those Samsung apps is the way that you don't discover they need updating until you try to launch them, whereupon you have to sit twiddling your fingers for a few minutes while the new version is downloaded.
Sod that, I'll go make a cup or tea, or do something else. Why they can't update in the background like, for example, a £100 android phone, is beyond me.
Re: Never mind the UIs
The latest Samsung 8000 series sets have an "Evolution" slot, enabling them to sell you upgraded memory, processor and so forth, so that you can be "future proof" when they come up with other exciting new services.
Given their history of updating software on some sets, it will be interesting to see if there ever is an evolution card.
Re: first smart tv....
Having just looked at quite a few, I do think that, in some regards, the Panasonic SmartViera interface at least has the merit of simplicity, in terms of finding the various apps, with its 3 x 3 grid that that the live TV in the centre. You can move things around, you'll only ever have eight items on the screen, so you can see them clearly from the sofa, and you can put the things you use a lot - and I doubt many people will use more than eight - on the first screen.
It may not look as fancy as some of the others, but it's certainly less cluttered and simple to navigate with a remote.
The Squariel was for BSB - British Satellite Broadcasting - not BDB, the terrestrial outfit.
But anyway, here's a rare sighting of a squariel in the wild, just down the road from me:
Re: Freeview also made technical changes
The 8K/2K switch was much later; it was changes to QAM that made the difference to robustness; the 16QAM gave slightly less bandwidth, but with fewer reception issues.
I had ONdigital pretty early on, but the reception on the commercial muxes was - even in London with a huge aerial - pretty ropy at some times of year.
Re: O2 are trialling something similar
For voice calls from the Nexus, you could do what I do: run 3CX (there's a free version) on your PC at home, and set up a VPN connection to it; the 3CX (or any other) SIP client can then connect to your system at home via the VPN and make calls that way. If you want to use an analogue line, substitute 3CX for a cheap SIP FXO adapter or a router with one built in like a Fritzbox, though the whether or not it's worth it depends on how you'd be charged by the ISP/Phone company for their own service
I understand why some people think this is patronising, but equally there are some who simply don't want to bother with fiddling around, chargers, and learning how to use a new gadget. We've recently sorted out a phone for my grandmother to use in her room.
She's not far off a century, and still know what's what, but she simply couldn't get on with one of the 'senior friendly' mobiles. Yes, if we persevered, I'm sure we could have taught her how to use it.
Instead I bought a Nokia 22 GSM terminal, which has a PAYG SIM in it, and a perfectly ordinary phone plugged in. In this situation, that's the most sensible solution; given that you can pick up a fixed GSM terminal for 50 quid, it's not an expensive one, either.
It's a nice idea, if it simplifies things for people - but pretty much what I've been doing for a couple of years using the standard SIP client built into my Nokia E72. Press the right hand soft key to make a call over the internet, and it signs into the 3CX server at home.
With the daily data packages, and given how little VoIP calls use up, it's cheaper to make calls that way than by using roaming, even over 3G
One immediate advantage that springs to mind is that if they want to get the likes of Netflix on board, many of those already have an app, and hence experience, with delivering their content on the Android platform.
If you're a big player, like a major TV manufacturer, you can probably persuade people like that that they should be creating a version of their system for your equipment. Much harder to do if it you're a small company in a small market. So, use a platform that they know, and which won't be exclusive to your kit - bar, say, a few UI tweaks - and I think you'll stand a much better chance of getting those services on board.
Well, yes, you could just upgrade OS. Some of us don't really have that luxury, because of specific apps.
For example, when I work for one publishing house, we use a particular version of Quark CopyDesk; certainly with Lion, it wasn't actually possible to get it to install - otherwise, I'd have bought a new mac when my old one failed, a week after the launch of Lion.
And yes, a newer version of CopyDesk might well work just fine, but that's not what this publishing house uses. And they're not going to upgrade every single system in the building, to accomodate a few people who have brand new versions of OS X. The same is likely true of other companies as well, where an OS upgrade could necessitate a much much larger expenditure on other software upgrades (hello, Adobe, Quark; would you like to mug me first, or shall I just hand over my wallet straight away?)
While MS at least kept things like XP available for some corporates for a while, Apple doesn't seem to do that, which is a shame, and in my view weakens their position in some of their traditional markets.
Sure, I could use the incredibly hideous web portal for QPS; I could also stick nails in my eyes, which would probably be more productive.
Essentially, it may only be £20 to upgrade, but for some of us, it will result in much reduced productivity, or a lot of extra expenditure on new versions of software that aren't, honestly, strictly needed.
That's not always possible, depending on how the firmware's built. With some products, the core chippery documentation is only available under NDA - I'm looking at you and the EMMA2, NEC - and some of the basic libraries may be supplied by the chip maker.
That can mean that it's far from simple to take the code and simply give it away, even if the administrator could be persuaded of the value of doing such a thing.
I think it's a case of simply being too small, and not having the massive marketing budget of companies like Sony or Panasonic. The likes of those can throw money at a product, and even when it's a bit clunky - as DVRs from both those companies have been at various times - people will still buy, because of the name on the front of the box.
To be successful in a niche, I think you need a unique selling point and something that will help build a community - as I was a little instrumental in doing with the Topfield products in the UK, via toppy.org.uk; that was possible because of the potential to tweak and add your own software, which appealed to a lot of people online.
Without a USP around which you can build a community, a big marketing budget, or a 'heritage' name like Roberts Radios, I think it's going to be very hard for a firm to achieve the economies of scale that are probably necessary these days.
The boxes are, with recent firmware, pretty up with all the current Freeview HD spec - red button, IPTV channels, and of course SD and HD in H.264/DVB-T2 as well as MPEG2, so I think they should be fairly ok for a while; any substantial changes over the next few years are more likely due to be shifting of muxes to fit in 4G, or conversions of muxes from T to T2, all of which it will cope with just fine.
It wouldn't surprise me (and this is just speculation, nothing more) to see remaining stock popping up somewhere like Morgan Computers.
Re: 'tis odd
Oddly, nope - it can support higher; the E6 for example manages 640x480 on a smaller screen. But I think one of the possible pitfalls is that, while the OS can support better, many apps may have been coded on the assumption that it wasn't - hence some E6 owners have found some apps don't work so well on it.
And, of course, with Symbian effectively knifed in the back, I would imagine many developers may not want to make the effort to rewrite their apps. A new flagship phone that ran fewer apps than last year's models would probably annoy some of those who'll buy it because (or in spite of) the OS.
So, that, and probably a lower BOM perhaps nudged in the direction of keeping things as they are, which is a shame.
I'm on my third Apple laptop of the last decade or so; certainly with the first, and I'm pretty sure with the second - but not with the current 4 year old - various adaptors for the display were included, offering things such as VGA, S video or composite outputs.
And none of these has been a top of the range model, though they weren't entry level either. Yes, many people may never need an ethernet adaptor, but quite a few will - and I'll wager it'll be a larger number than ever used an S video output from a G4 PowerBook.
If they'd never been in the habit of including useful adaptors at all, then one could be more sanguine about having to pay extra for ethernet. But it really does seem a shame to have stopped such a helpful practice, to put it mildly.
Re: Maybe worth a look.....
No multi-tasking, I'm afraid, as it's S40, rather than Symbian. And missing out on GPS is a nuisance too, but if you can live with those limitations - and many will be able to - then yes, these potentially offer much of what many users will want, without the traditional smartphone drawbacks.
Re: against Nokia
On the whole - and it's had quite a few software updates since launch - I've been very happy with my E72; it's sometimes a bit of a pig for web browsing, though Opera makes things a little more acceptable.
One of the reasons I still stick with it is because it does the phone things really well, and those seem to have been rather forgotten by some of the other OSs, in my view.
And, ProfiMail is an excellent IMAP client for Symbia; playing with a Galaxy Nexus at the moment, and while the stock email is better than the execrable G1 (which put me off Android for years), it's still not as good as ProfiMail.
- It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources
- Xmas Round-up Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking
- How UK air traffic control system was caught asleep on the job
- Pic NASA Mars tank Curiosity rolls on old WET PATCH, sighs, sniffs for life signs
- Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps