366 posts • joined Saturday 13th June 2009 11:19 GMT
Re: Surging iPad sales?
iPad sales are up 27%, sounds like a surge to me. The doom and gloom headlines focus on Apple only narrowly meeting its targets and "only" making $9.5 billion in profit, but that doesn't mean sales are down. The only problem Apple have at the moment is shrinking profit margins on what they sell, hence why profits aren't higher than ever.
Isn't this just the usual lull as people put off buying until the latest version comes out? It happened right before the iPhone 4S and 5 launched and was interpreted as the end of Apple then too...
Re: Android permissions design
iOS let's you block (or allow) apps access to location services (GPS), contacts, calendars, reminders, photos, Bluetooth sharing and Twitter/Facebook. There's no permission for calls or SMS as I believe those just aren't allowed at all.
While it's de rigueur to criticise iOS around here, I think the permissions model is actually pretty good.
Maybe the black iPhone 5?
There were a lot of reports early on about people getting black iPhone 5's that already had scratches and marks on the black coating on the antenna. Maybe Apple sent back the worst of these?
So would you knock on the door of your neighbour who is a doctor in the evening and ask him to look at <insert symptom here> or would you phone your GP and book an appointment?
"There is no mainstream party [...] which offers to dismantle these crippling stealth taxes"
What about UKIP? They're polling ahead of the Lib Dems, they should be considered a mainstream party if the Lib Dems are. UKIP's energy policy is pretty much exactly what this article calls for:
<-- Mushroom cloud, because we need more nuclear.
Re: So mfg can't be a**ed to do the system tuning necessary
I'd imagine crap handsets sell quite well to people due an upgrade who want "one of those touch screen thingies" and think the only difference between models is in the colour of the casing.
They probably don't want to have to replace the seats in the C'eed after she's sat on them.
Netflix is winning for me at the moment as they have all the surviving B&W Classic Doctor Who stories. Now if they could just hurry up and start adding Jon Pertwee's stuff and beyond it would be even better....
"Google only started making public beta builds of Firefox"
Is that line from the story a typo? Shirley it's Mozilla producing these betas?
Very true, although I'm planning on grabbing Arkham City so I can play it on the tablet while the main TV is being monopolised with X-Factor/I'm A Celebrity/Strictly/Master Chef/etc/etc. That's going to be the main advantage of the Wii U for me I think.
This is the mentality that allows politicians to flip houses by renting them to each other. It's not specifically prohibited in the rules so therefore it's OK. There's a spirit of the law and a letter of the law, and just because a company or a person is rich enough to be able to operate out of Luxembourg doesn't mean it should be allowed.
The fact that the EU continues to allow it just shows what an insidious organisation it is. Being on the referendum.
The tax bill for the small company I work for was £69,000 for last year (and that was a very quiet year). That's up to two salaries being eaten up by taxes. If Starbucks, Google, etc paid more of their fair share maybe smaller companies could finally be given a break on taxes.
I suppose the counter argument could be that if Apple, Amazon, etc started paying more they would have to increase prices which would negate any additional spending power afforded to employees, but given the obscene cash reserves of these companies and the vast sums the executives earn it seems they could easily afford to sacrifice some profit margin.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not the socialist type who thinks taxing everything is the answer. I'd much rather see lower taxes overall than the current mentality of taxing everything that moves. However, there are rules on taxes and I want to see them obeyed fairly across all businesses, rather than the current situation where large business can afford to avoid all tax responsibilities increasing the burden on smaller business.
... the good old update that definitely, positively, absolutely won't need you to restart your device... except that it always does.
If anything/anyone promises me that a reboot won't be needed I automatically assume there will be at least two forced reboots before everything is working again.
Also, the more mission critical the device being updated the more likely the update is to go wrong.
Re: Could this be another hoax?
Yep, another hoax: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11766909/1/apple-investors-can-relax-a-little-bit.html
Could this be another hoax?
I seem to recall the recent claims that Samsung were going to stop selling screens to Apple turned out to be false (although I can't seem to find any links to it anywhere). I wonder if this will also turn out to be false?
Given how widely the screen thing was reported I wonder if this could be some deliberate attempt to kick Apple square in the share price?
This is so true it's practically the exact conversation I have every other day (except without the cattle prod and carpet roll sadly). The moment you start letting the lusers dictate stuff like this is the moment you lose control over your systems.
I'm not sure why anyone would want to use Kindle etc for comics anyway. Comixology's app is much better with the "guided view" feature that zooms and borders each panel in the comic book. Plus all the comics are scanned at a high res now so iPad 3/4 and Nexus 10 devices get really sharp looking comics. Then of course there's the selection on Comixology which is absolutely massive with hundreds of publishers on there.
I'm off to read some more Avengers...
That would be me then...
I switched after Google brought in their privacy changes. So far Bing has been pretty good, although on occasion I've had to go back to Google because Bing just isn't finding anything relevant.
Still one of my absolute favourites
This game was amazing when it came out and I still enjoy replaying it. I had both the PC and the Playstation 1 versions of the game. The PS1 version was actually quite compromised, they took out the iMUSE system and just streamed pre-recorded versions of the PC midi music from the CD. The framerate on the PS1 was also a bit dodgy and the controls often required some quite convoluted combinations to switch weapons or run and jump.
On the subject of iMUSE, I think this was one of the last titles to use midi music. It had a fantastic score with lots of unique themes and cues (I think it was by Clint Bajakian). Sadly LucasArts moved on to chopping up bits of John Williams music for future games. While having full orchestral music was nice, I think the lack of a composer creating music specifically for each level was lost. The end credits music to Dark Forces in particular is one of my favourites.
I do remember being slightly annoyed that the longest cut-scene was the one at the end of the first level (and was included with the demo). Based on the demo you'd expect massive cut-scenes after every level but usually you'd get little more than a shot of the Mouldy Crow flying away from an explosion...
Does anyone remember the box to Dark Forces? There was a screenshot of a map to a level not in the game. As I understand it this was the original first level but it was dropped as it was considered too complicated.
A few years back some fans attempted to re-create the game using the Jedi Academy engine. I believe they re-made most of the game but there were a few levels that were never finished. Their website is here: http://darkforces.jediknight.net/
I think this is the first game to ever use a texture on a wall to display vital information (when in the vault on Coruscant). I remember wondering about that area for ages until I realised that the map on the wall was actually updating as I opened and closed doors and was meant to be used to guide you to the centre of the vault. I'd never seen anything like it before then and it really blew me away as suddenly walls could do more than just be barriers.
Dark Forces 2 Jedi Knight is also an absolute favourite of mine. I really wish LucasArts would consider making another one (and preferably not the shallow experience that was Force Unleashed)...
Re: iPad 4?
My conspiracy theory is that the A6 was always meant for the iPad 3 and that Apple hit delays producing it. This required a stop-gap which was the A5X. The only problem being it was fabbed at 45nm and the quad-core graphics needed to push the retina display created a very large and expensive chip.
Therefore the costs of the chip meant it was always going to be a temporary solution that would be replaced with a more cost effective 32nm A6 as soon as was feasible. I believe that was the plan all along and is why the third gen iPad was just called "the New iPad" and the fourth gen is called the "iPad with Retina display" to avoid blatantly incrementing the version number twice in one year. That Apple also had a new dock connector to help justify updating the model is probably just lucky happenstance.
I'm undecided about this...
I'm genuinely not sure what to think of this news. Without clear examples of what Forstall did and didn't contribute it's hard to decide whether him leaving is good or not. I know most people hate skeuomorphism but I quite like it in some iOS apps.
The notes app looking like a notepad is nice and I like the unfolded treasure map style of the "Find my iPhone" app. That said I'm less keen on the diary app and detest the green card table of the Game Centre app. So for me it's hit and miss.
I suspect iOS might look a bit dull if everything was reduced to just standard buttons and boxes. Safari and Mail look fairly plain, but then I don't want the UI of them distracting from looking at web pages or emails, so they work well as they are.
While Forstall sounds like a bit of a nightmare obsessing over apparently minor details, sometimes getting the little things right is what makes a successful product. It certainly worked for Jobs. I love Jony Ive's industrial designs, I just hope that translates to making good software user interfaces as well.
Re: "the closest thing you can get to indestructible"
Thanks for the reply. If the M11X is coming back I will be over the moon! Squeezing that much high-end kit into such a small casing really is something for them to be proud of.
"the closest thing you can get to indestructible"
I'm not sure I'd describe an Alienware laptop as indestructible. My first m15X has had the hinges replaced three times already and the current hinges are on their last legs. My first M11X also had hinges that disintegrated with normal use. Only my current M11X R3 is still working without problems but I treat it with kid gloves. They seem to be made from 99% plastic and just don't last very long.
Given the premium pricing of Alienware's systems I'd like to see a move towards the build quality of Apple. In fact the 15" Retina Macbook Pro with its overclocked Geforce card certainly looks like it could be quite a decent gaming system once you put Windows on there...
My M11X R3 has been fantastic as a gaming laptop. It's small yet powerful and the i7 CPU and discrete Nvidia 540M mean it can run just about everything I throw at it with a decent frame rate. It's been a perfect portable console replacement, running Arkham City, Mirror's Edge, Mass Effect, GTAIV, Saint's Row, etc with everything usually set on max details. It's only running at 720p but that's plenty for a laptop screen and I prefer 60fps over something that will bog down trying to fill a 1080p display.
Sadly Alienware seem to be abandoning the smaller gaming form factors. The M11X hasn't been updated this year and the next smallest system the M14X doesn't have a particularly competitive graphics chip. It's only when you look at the 17" and 18" systems that you can start to get higher end components. I really don't want to drag something as massive as the M17X or M18X around. 15" is the maximum size I'd consider buying and even then it would need to be closer to the Retina Macbook Pro's form factor for me to contemplate it.
I reckon my M11X will still be useful until the next generation of consoles arrives some time next year, but after that I'm not sure what I'll be replacing it with. At present it probably won't be an Alienware. :(
So the question is....
How many other Kindle owners out there have had their collection wiped by Amazon and not been fortunate enough to garner any kind of attention in the press to force Amazon to change their minds?
The only snag...
... is it only has Intel's HD4000 graphics chip on board. The 15" model has an overclocked Nvidia 650M which is at fairly decent for games (although not ideal for running at the full resolution). I can't see many games being able to run at "retina" resolution with Intel's piddly graphics on board on the 13" model.
Re: It has to be said...
I doubt Google would have rolled this out to iOS, it looks like something that would be added to their vector maps but not the static tiles version that iOS was stuck with. It's probably worth mentioning that Apple's new maps also have building and house outlines for many cities and can also display them in 3D (using a simplified version of the 3D flyover data).
Re: But how
If there's something missing you tap and hold on the location until a pin drops onto it. Then you choose "Report a Problem" -> "Information is incorrect" and then enter the name, address, phone, hours, URL and category of the location. I've done it a few times now and they've appeared fairly quickly.
One bit of speculation I've seen recently is that Nvidia are up to their old tricks and are blocking Sony from putting the RSX and Cell onto a single chip. Nvidia pulled something similar with MS on the Xbox 1 so I wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia were doing it again, especially if the rumours of AMD winning the design for the PS4 are true.
So all Sony can do is try to save costs elsewhere like on the system casing and drives.
When it happened to MS they just dumped the Xbox 1 and moved on to the next generation. Sony on the other hand don't really have that luxury as the whole company is currently struggling to turn a profit. If it were up to them I'd bet they would have loved to stick with the PS3 for another 5 years!
Where's the article rating feature gone?
Just curious but why has the ability to rate an article disappeared? Has it been disabled because it was being abused? I've noticed iOS/Android articles tend to be quite harshly rated if the author says something unpopular, even if there's nothing specifically incorrect or inaccurate to the journalism.
Re: The problem is ALWAYS the PEOPLE.
Indeed. While it's currently cool to bash Apple's maps, I think the underlying system is fairly competent, it's the data that's crap. Throwing more programmers at it isn't going to help, like you say it requires lots of cheap eyeballs to sort out the flaws in the data.
If it's an advantage it's one they're squandering
I'm pretty certain if MS were to launch a tablet and phone combo with ports/spin-offs of Gears of War, Halo, Forza, etc it would garner a significant amount of gamer interest. However I've seen absolutely no signs of MS trying to use their IPs to their advantage.
Microsoft's decision to sell ARM and x86 tablets is also a baffling one to me. Don't get me wrong, I love ARM but based on the rumoured specs of the x86 Surface with an i5 CPU in there it's far more interesting as it has the potential to run fairly recent PC games and a significant proportion of emulators. Why MS isn't going full steam ahead with that platform I don't know.
I think MS are sitting on a gaming goldmine and they're ignoring it to faff around with Notro and hiding the start button...
How does the benchmark differ between platforms? Surely it's not much use as a benchmark if it doesn't perform the same tests on both? I've never used it so I've no idea why it's not able to produce a comparable result.
That said, it doesn't look like a very reliable benchmark, half the Galaxy SIII results show the devices have 0KB in cache and the number of cores varies all over the place, with many showing 1 or 3 cores! There are also lots of overclocked SIIIs with scores the same as or lower than stock SIIIs which makes me wonder if people are somehow overclocking during the benchmark and then scaling back to stock when it reads the clock speed... (http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/chart?q=model%3A%22Samsung+Galaxy+S+III%22+platform%3A%22Android%22+architecture%3AARM+bits%3A32+)
I also question the validity of a benchmark that doesn't appear to test the GPU's performance. Given that both iOS and Android accelerate the UI using the GPU it would make sense to take GPU performance into account. Also, looking at the benchmark it tests things like image blur and image compress using the CPU, which are tasks more suited to using the GPU.
I also think the A6 is quite a surprise. All the predictions were it would just be a downclocked A5X or a clocked up 28nm version of the A5 like in the recent iPad 2 refresh. Of course it could still be one of those two, just with a new name, but for it to deliver double the performance it might have more under the bonnet than expected. I doubt it's a quad core though as I'm sure they would have mentioned it!
I wouldn't exactly call the new app "better"
Personally I'm not hugely impressed with the new YouTube app. For starters my biggest pet peeve still hasn't been addressed: playlists don't auto-play the next entry in the list, it still has to be done manually. My next biggest gripe is background playback is gone, so I can't carry on listening to something while doing something else.
They've also used their own progress bar on the videos meaning the "fine scrubbing" feature is lost. Playlists and favourites have been buried much further down into the menus. There's no ability to add videos to the Watch Later list either.
Also, unless something has changed in the last few hours, the app isn't universal so there currently isn't an iPad version of the app, which is going to be a bit crap if iOS6 launches and the iPad is left without a YouTube app (I'm not a fan of the mobile site as it doesn't play full screen, it leaves the browser controls visible and just fits the browsable area. I've no idea why they did it like that as the iPad is perfectly capable of playing videos full screen on other websites).
All in all, not a good start. :(
I would argue that unless you have an N64 USB adaptor it's tricky to enjoy Ocarina of Time with an emulator. The N64 had six face buttons on its controller, while most joypads only have four. This means the C-buttons cannot easily be mapped to the face of a controller.
On the Wii Virtual Console version, Nintendo have mapped the C-buttons to the analogue stick, which I found to be usable but not ideal. Often I would try to select one item and accidentally nudge the stick too far along another axis and end up using something else entirely. It's also pretty fiddly when you want to rapidly fire arrows or the slingshot.
Also, I find most emulators can't use the rumble on modern joypads which means the Stone of Agony doesn't work either.
I think the best options are to get an N64 pad and USB adapter for the emulator or play it on the original hardware or get the 3DS version.
Agreed, I generally find IE8 to be quite well behaved only requiring a few specific CSS hacks to make sites work (if any). Compared with the huge amounts of extra CSS I would have to generate for IE6 and IE7 it's a big improvement. Debugging on IE8 is crap, but generally I find the JS engine to be fairly well behaved too. It's not perfect but it's good progress.
If anything, I wish other browsers supported the <!--[if IE 6]> way of hiding browser specific stuff, as ever so occasionally Safari or Opera will display differently to everything else and it would be nice to have one tidy method for including specific .css hack files rather than doing anything server side or in JS to detect other browsers.
Re: Trevor, I love you
I remember the good old days at Uni working on a Java applet game for my final year project. Back then (~1999) Microsoft were busy trying to sabotage Java by including their own Virtual Machine with Windows. Their Win 98 VM was an interesting beast in that it was much faster than the Sun VM but also much less compatible (for example Sun's VM would run the midi music in the game, the MS VM could only manage to play wav files IIRC).
Even better was Microsoft's VM on Win NT, which would randomly stop the for loops in my code whenever it felt like it, causing all sorts of odd bugs. Of course Microsoft's piece de resistance was J++. It allowed you to use all sorts of proprietary Windows components in your apps and applets to ensure they wouldn't run on anything other than Windows. An epic piece of evilness by MS. They just aren't as devious these days...
Re: Just when you thought it was safe to make a cup of tea....
Yes, just what I was going to say! I remember Invade-a-load popping up the first time the game was loading and thinking it was an utterly brilliant way to deal with the long load times. Anyone know if it was C64 only or if the Speccy version had it too?
Re: good, this can only be useful
Yep, when I first heard the news I was a bit worried/disappointed as I do use the app quite a lot, but if Google can release a decent standalone app I'm hoping they can add in a lot of features that I've been missing for some time.
In particular I'm really hoping for proper playlist support where it can automatically play the next video in the playlist (along with shuffle and loop options), automatic background playback would be nice and the ability to add videos to a quickplay list would also be very useful.
I just hope Google don't cripple the app as part of the on-going tit-for-tat between them and Apple.
Re: iCloud works for me.
Same here, it would be nice if the article author had put a bit more detail into what specifically iCloud was failing to do for him. I find my appointments, notes, documents, reminders, music, etc all sync very nicely. I've never had something not show up or a sync fail.
My only real criticism of iCloud is that parts of it aren't free (iTunes Match would be nice to have, but not nice enough that I'd pay for it) and that for no explicable reason if you switch iCloud sync on, your device will no longer automatically sync with your desktop, it has to be triggered manually. I don't really see why that restriction exists. Surely two automatic backups are better than one?!
Does AnTuTu use JNI/NDK?
I'm curious about the difference between the AnTuTu benchmark and Sunspider. Obviously they're very different tests but while AnTuTu suggests middling performance the Sunspider result suggests a chip that can keep up with the quad-core chip in the SIII.
So I'm wondering is AnTuTu running via the Binary Translator and taking a performance hit or is AnTuTu multi-threaded and showing up limitations of the Intel chip when trying to run several threads at once?
If they're so close, how come David Cameron has an iPad?
Re: Experience learnt from Vista
Until today I didn't think Microsoft could possibly fuck things up worse than they did with Vista, but it appears I was wrong...
Re: Good words
I'm not so sure about the lack of any guidance on programming languages. If it's anything like my computer science degree where every lecturer rolled out their favourite obscure pet programming language (including one lecturer who'd written his own) I think there's a risk of kids being taught a language that has little industry demand.
While I do think being exposed to so many different languages helped hammer home how similar most of them are and how easy it is to learn a new programming language from scratch, I can't say I've ever had cause to use my skills in things like Eiffel or SmallTalk and would rather have had more time getting deeper into C or Java.
Still, if the alternative is everyone leaving school with just Visual Basic skills I'm all for a little diversity!
Video in a window
I know it might sound funny, but the ability to keep a video playing in a little window while I do other things is actually something that has me seriously considering the Galaxy S III as my next phone. I might be very happy with my iPhone 4, but Apple now really need to do something amazing to keep me from switching. If their next phone is another 4s they've had it, even if there are fewer games on Android.
So what's going on with the Like/Dislike buttons on YouTube?
They disappeared for me about 2 months ago to be replaced with the G+ button, but then about a month ago they came back. Are they appearing/disappearing for people at different times or am I missing the point about what's going on?