Feeds

* Posts by Richard 12

1428 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Who killed ITV Digital? Rupert Murdoch - but not the way you think

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I have a genuine ITVDigital monkey :-)

I got one of those too - I gave it to my sister, and now you tell me it was worth something?

I signed up because I was in a rented student flat so dishes and cable were both out.

Then spent a year cleaning up the direct debit mess after they went titsup...

0
0

Nvidia shows off first 'Kepler' GPUs

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: re: efficient performance, while consuming the least possible energy

A large and slow fan is much quieter than a small and fast one even if they move the same mass of air.

So you want a big fan if you can.

In my desktop the GPU fan is the only audible one, and it's by far the smallest.

At some point I will have to sort that out.

0
0

Elsevier's backpedalling not stopping scientist strike

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Pay?

True, those stupendously fat margins make up most of it.

That is what the argument is about - making excessively large margins. Especially galling becuase the vast majority of the work is done for free - the only thing the publisher is actually doing is collating, printing and distribution.

The prices they charge don't match up with what they do. Compare with other low-volume printers, eg Lulu, and the various University presses.

3
0

Big Media drags 142,000 through UK's courts IN A YEAR

Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

WTF are you smoking jacobbe? It's £12.13 a month!

The licence fee is £145.50 a year from April, and is fixed until 2016.

To put it another way, it's approximately half what the very cheapest Sky TV pack costs.

The monthly cost is less than a 20 pack of cheap beer from Tesco, or a meal for two from KFC.

It's even less than taking two people to the cinema. (In London that's even before you buy any popcorn!)

I'm sure you can come up with other comparisons.

If (as an extreme example) you really did only watch and listen to an average of one hour of BBC TV and radio a day, that's 40p an hour - less than iTunes.

Are you really saying that nothing the BBC makes is worth that to you?

2
0

Firefox gobbles H.264 to serve up vids to mobes, slabs

Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Can see the analogy.

@ath0

I repeat, supremely disingenuous. (That means true but phrased in a way intended to give the entirely the wrong impression, in case you were previously unaware of the word.)

Perhaps I could rephrase that precise statement you quoted:

H.264 and other MPEG-like encoders are better at screwing up the source material in the way that MPEG-like encoders screw up the source material.

Or perhaps another example would be clearer:

The Pope is better at being a Catholic than at being a Muslim.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Can see the analogy.

Rather disingenuous statement there, ath0

All lossy codecs show demonstrable loss of quality when re-encoding something that's already been compressed using another lossy compression method.

That's true of MPEG2, of VP8 and of H.264.

Even the original CCDs (or film negatives!) are lossy compared to the original light.

It's a fundamental of information theory - once the data is gone, you cannot get it back.

4
4

Microsoft accused of leaking RDP attack code

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: "Confidential Inform,ation is to be protected"

Irony... That's like steely, but softer, right?

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: "Confidential Inform,ation is to be protected"

It is used in hospitals. And airports.

In hospitals it's even running life-critical functions.

The main point of that famous clause is to indemnify Microsoft, not to improve safety.

- You find that clause in the spec. literature of damn near everything, from PCB material on upwards, so what do you do?

1
0

Charge of the Metro brigade: Did Microsoft execs plan to take a hit?

Richard 12
Silver badge

@dogged - They were all sold Vista, whether they wanted it or not

That's the thing - for quite some time, it you bought a computer from any OEM you got Vista pre-installed.

Almost all corporates wiped it back to XP SP2 using the corporate image - and all of those rollbacks to XP were still counted as Vista.

A lot of 'home' users probably did the same shortly after finding their hardware didn't work properly. Either that or they returned it as 'broken'.

I would not be surprised if >50% of the "Vista" sales were actually running XP SP2.

That said, the trainwreck was mostly the new driver model. MS changed everything about drivers so all existing hardware stopped working until the hardware people could update their drivers. That's a big job!

7 had the advantage of more time - the new driver model had been out for a while by then - and also added a host of shims to let legacy hardware and code work.

(Most of these shims don't work in the 64-bit edition, which is a pain but unsurprising.)

1
1
Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: @Ken Hagen

@dogged

That's kinda the point. "Click in the bottom left corner of the screen".

"Why? There's nothing there!"

"Trust me, just click there"

"I tried and nothing happened."

"All the way into the corner. Move the mouse down and left until it stops."

"My mouse fell off the table."

That's even before the fun and games of multiple monitors - if the "primary" isn't bottom-left then you're well and truly ****ed.

It's quite difficult to click on a single visible pixel. A single, invisible pixel is...

We've spent the last couple of decades making things look 'clickable', as if they are physical buttons. Even making them change colour to announce "Click me! Click me!" if you hover the mouse over them.

Metro removes all that. It takes away all the visual clues that every desktop interface has given users since the dawn of pointing devices.

That's painful.

2
0

How a tiny leap-day miscalculation trashed Microsoft Azure

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Whoever designs system that have changable clocks will always have problems

mad physicist Fiona, you appear to have spectacularly missed my point.

You aren't describing processing, that is all formatting. You'll need to do that no matter how you store the time internally, but you don't need to do it very often.

It's not as complex as the existential questions you get from storing and processing in local time - that way you don't know what time it was by the time it's stored to disk, because the local time definitions may have changed. Thus any stored local time also needs the definition of local time at the time to be stored alongside it to use in all future processing.

UTC changes much less often than local time, so that processing lookup table is much smaller - it will have 35 entries in total as of the end of 2012, all of which are +1 second and published in advance.

As opposed to the local time tables which are complicated enough to be worth defending a copyright claim over and change regularly on the whim of world politicians!

Storing local times means that your data set is dependant on those local time tables, and every single data point must state the timezone it was recorded in, for the data to be useful for any purpose at all.

Storing UTC means you can do almost all processing with no lookup tables at all and be fairly accurate about intervals - only 35 seconds out in 50 years - or have one adjustment lookup table that is valid for all data points.

Yes, you still need those complex lookups to display to the user but you don't need them for your data set to be useful.

Incidentally, Windows has been UTC internally since Vista, although its monotonic clock remains irritatingly 32-bit. (49.7 days is a magic number)

1
1
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Whoever designs system that have changable clocks will always have problems

Storing and processing in UTC removes >99% of the complexity.

You're left with the two (and only two) issues of leap year and leap second which happen roughly every four years and 1-7 years respectively.

As opposed to using local time, which for most people changes twice every year as well as the above leap years and leap seconds, and doesn't stay the same year-to-year either.

On top of that, most people who can afford computers also travel, so that's additional local time changes.

So, what to do? Store UTC and handle leap years and leap seconds, or local time and handle leap years, leap seconds, DST, political timezone changes, travel etc?

TAI would be better, but no common OS uses it internally and neither does the general Internet, making it more likely to be wrong.

3
2
Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: @AC

Time is actually very easy:

Store and process in UTC.

Displaying time to the user and parsing user input is harder, but once you're always storing and processing in UTC it is no longer critical to the operation of the machine.

I've long since lost count of the number of failures caused by storing and processing in local time.

Local time changes.

3
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: @AC

No it wasn't.

It was a total and utter **** up that is only possible if you genuinely have no idea what you are doing.

The reason is simple: This failure is only possible if you're processing the date as three independent numbers.

Listen very carefully Microsoft, I will scream this into your ear only once:

DATES ARE NOT THREE NUMBERS.

DATES ARE NOT TEXT.

A datetimeis a number of intervals after an epoch. Never anything else.

Feel free to pick your interval (either days or seconds would be sensible in this case) and your epoch, but doing anything else is sheer insanity that should result in instant termination because no programmer working with dates in any capacity should be that ****ing stupid.

I've known this since I was 12. Yes, this is quite literally a childish blunder.

The worst part is that you have to deliberately make this mistake these days, because every single modern framework comes with a Date or DateTime object that handles it for you. (Though 1900 and 2100 might be a problem in some.)

Heck, even Excel handles it!

12
0

UK kids' art project is 'biggest copyright blag ever' – photographer

Richard 12
Silver badge

Actually, many commentards are

The point is that this organisation is teaching kids "You must give away your Copyrights to large organisations, only big companies can own copyrights. You are small, you cannot."

So, is it surprising if these children grow up thinking that copyright doesn't matter, only big organisations can have it. When they were little some organisation 'stole' their copyrights, so why not infringe it.

An easy train of thought goes:

It's not like they are affecting real people by infringing. That company probably 'stole' the copyrights in the first place like someone did to theirs. So clearly they should take it back!

Put another way, if we want these kids to respect our copyrights then we should respect theirs, and teach them what copyright actually is.

3
0

Could tiny ebooks really upset the mighty Apple cart?

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Who cares about the publishers?

All of which can be hired.

Typesetting is dead already, especially with ebooks. It's entirely automated except for artistic purposes.

Illustration is often driven by the author anyway - they have a preferred partner to do that. So they could hire them at a percentage.

Cover design usually isn't but should be (how many books have you read where the cover bears no resemblance to anything in the book?

Editing - that is selecting which books a publisher is actually going to take. Self-published don't do it.

Copyediting can be hired easily at quite low rates, ironically made cheap by publishers.

Which leaves marketing and lawyers, neither of which tends to be very valuable these days. When was the last time you saw an advert for an author you hadn't heard of, or a lawsuit against an author of fiction?

Ok, non-fiction may want lawyers.

You forgot the real reason why authors want publishers though - advances. They would quite like to eat while waiting for the first royalty cheque.

Except that advances are getting rarer and worse...

0
0

Tony Blair closes RSA 2012, denounces WikiLeaks

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: @JDX

Yes, they must.

In the case of 'sensitive' undercover operation then not during, but shortly after.

Otherwise how can anybody possibly know whether they are appropriate?

You're basically saying that the police/special forces should be permitted to wander around murdering anyone they like, because they think it was justified.

So ALL must be divulged. The only grey area is when.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: @ Mahatma Coat

"A perfect/worst case example: Silvio Berlusconi, kept in power by a corrupt "AV" voting system where you have absolutely no say in who actually gets elected at all, you just get to choose the proportion of MP's taken from each party."

Italy uses a kind of PR, it's not even vaguely related to AV. (And Party-list representation is generally considered a rather poor form of PR.)

AV is "I want candidate A. If I can't have A, then I want B.".

This is trivial to understand by anyone who's ever asked someone to pop to the local shop to get some biscuits.

"I'd like chocolate hobnobs, if they don't have any then ginger nuts are fine."

AV allows you to vote for the one you want, and to say which alternative you can live with.

FPTP forces you to vote 'tactically' - you cannot vote for the one you want, you have to vote against the one you hate.

Unfortunately both Labour and the Conservatives knew damn well that AV would damage their future prospects so launched a massive FUD campaign against AV.

Did you notice that the entire against argument was "AV costs too much", "You're too thick to understand AV", "It might cause hung Parliaments"?

No reasoning. In fact nobody ever gave a single indication as to why AV would be a worse way to choose your MP than FPTP.

- Incidentally, the reason FPTP reduces the chance of Hung Parliaments is because it results in a two-party system for each candidacy.

Look at your local polls - there will only be two parties that stand a chance in your constituency. Mine happens to be Labour/Conservative, like most. Sheffield Hallam (Clegg's) is Liberal Democrat/Conservative.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: @ Mahatma Coat

I did.

Unfortunately the Sheeple voted against AV.

3
1
Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

@JDX

Analogy fail - Politicians are not parents.

MPs are supposed to be our representatives to the Crown - that was the point of the House of Commoners back when it was invented - a way for the 'common people' to exercise some control over the monarch.

They are our delegates. Our underlings. Our servants.

The ones to whom we, the public, have delegated the (boring) task of carrying out the functions of Government in line with our collective will.

That is what a Parliamentary Democracy is, involves and requires.

Thus is it self-evident that they must have all their actions exposed to the public eye - because otherwise how do you know that they are doing their jobs?

(Although the definition of 'common people' wasn't quite what we'd recognise today.)

The idea that MPs are some kind of 'parent' is dangerous and must be erased - that way lies dictatorship.

13
0

Microsoft 'yanked optical drive from Xbox 720'

Richard 12
Silver badge

Send a disc to MS for a licence?

You mad?

They will expect you to buy it again.

And again, and again.

In their world you never owned a copy in the first place.

This is purely a way to shut down the second-hand market completely and being able to lend a game to your friends and relatives, ensuring that everybody pays full price.

At least with PC gaming you have the choice to avoid Steam etc.

0
0

Nuke clock incapable of losing time chimes with boffins

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Chimes are one thing

Fundamentally impossible unfortunately, DAB simply cannot do real-time transmission or reception.

FM only suffers speed-of-light delay, DAB adds huge compression and decompression delays, and as each 'block' is compressed separately it's impossible to reduce the delay to less than one block of time, even if the processors at the BBC and in your radio could do it instantly.

Which it can't - and your radio is probably really slow.

0
0

Cash-strapped graduates sell their own faces

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Paying off your student loan is the worst idea possible

What on earth were you buying?

I went through Uni on a smaller student loan than you will have received on worse terms than you*, and did a post-grad degree as well.

When I finished I had a big student loan, and no other debts at all.

Perhaps some of that was because I did a summer job each year, but why the hell shouldn't you?

*I went through just after the terms became infinite, even surviving bankcruptcy. Shortly after they became limited to 25 years, and under the newest terms very few people will ever actually pay back the absolute amount borrowed. It's literally free money.

0
2

BBC iPlayer boss: smart TVs not sufficiently simple

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: If it doesn't pass the Mrs Miggins test it's a fail

The problem with CEC is that nobody supports it. That's according to several STB manufacturers, who presumably know what they are talking about.

If all your equipment is from the same manufacturer and the same generation, then maybe it works. Otherwise, it basically doesn't.

My STB, DVD player and TV all supposedly support CEC.

Unfortunately, it doesn't actually work. I only had it turned on for a few hours before giving up and turning it off - it felt like each source was grabbing control at random!

I'm sure there was some kind of logic to it, but I couldn't find it and it never got anywhere near matching my expectations.

There's simply almost no interoperability. Abject fail.

0
0

Court rejects Tesla’s latest libel spat with Top Gear

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

A "proper" charger?

Top Gear were very specific about the charging times - if you use a standard UK 13A socket (~3000VA), it'll take 17 hours.

The "4-hour" charger is a 240VAC, 70A connector and apparently needs a 90A supply breaker so probably draws that on the supply side (at least sometimes).

My house service fuse (like most UK houses) is 100A. Thus charging this vehicle using the 4-hour charger requires 70 to 90% of my entire household electricity supply - leaving me a grand total of 10A to (maybe) 30A to run my entire house.

Thus if you turn on the kettle, or (god forbid!) while charging - pop! You're in the dark. Computer, TV and lighting? Forget it! And don't even consider an electric oven, hob or shower!

If you're unlucky then you'll blow the service fuse - which then requires an electrician callout to replace.

In other words, the 4-hour charger actually requires its own dedicated supply to be installed from the local substation. In the UK this can only be installed by the electrical supply company - in the US this varies from place to place.

The 6-hour charger needs a 50A circuit, so is plausible assuming you only have one of electric hob, oven or shower and not too many gadgets around the house.

2
0

UK-French drone aircraft blueprints nicked at Paris station

Richard 12
Silver badge
Happy

This is why briefcases are crap - trivial to nick.

Rucksacks are so much better because you don't have to put them down to do common stuff like buying a ticket.

Papooses are best, as they are always in front of you so can't be surreptitiously picked like a rucksack can.

Solved - all serious businessmen carrying important stuff should be using a papoose. It won't look daft if everyone does it, right?

0
0

RIP: Peak Oil - we won't be running out any time soon

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

@Loyal Commenter

Erm, you might want to read the post before unleashing castigation.

ltzman was pointing out that large-scale "renewables" of all current technologies requires destruction of similar orders of magnitude as cutting down the Brazilian rainforests for farming - something that is generally considered a bad idea.

On a small scale they seem ok, even useful - solar panels on your roof, couple of wind turbines nearby, tidal generator in a couple of easy and effective places, the odd field of biofuel.

The trouble happens once you start to scale it up to the kinds of size a country needs - solar, wind and biofuels use massive land area, tidal destroys very large intertidal habitat, and then all except biofuels require near-equal capacity generation to be on warm or even hot standby - burning plenty of gas or biofuels to do sweet FA in case the wind drops/sun goes behind clouds and spun up in time for sunset/tide change.

Unless of course you're ok with the idea of simply blacking out large parts of the country very often, and probably doing a cold start of the Grid once or twice a year. Hint - we've never done a cold start, and don't really know if we even can.

The only current "zero-carbon" technology that doesn't require large-scale destruction is nuclear fission.

Funny that.

16
5

GPS jamming rife, could PARALYSE Blighty, say usual suspects

Richard 12
Silver badge

That bit made me laugh out loud on the Tube this morning

I did get a couple of funny looks.

0
0

Cameras roll on 'blockbuster' new Who series

Richard 12
Silver badge
Happy

That's because the British will rule the future

We ruled the past, and we shall rule again! Mwuhahahaaa!

Our main weapon is surprise! Surprise and comedy!

Among our weapons are comedy, surprise and a flag. Do you have a flag?

8
0

LOHAN flashes fantastical flying truss

Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Apex Down is in fact correct - assuming pickups at each end, load in the middle.

Manufacturers of triangular truss actually recommend this way around.

For examples - see OPTI Trilite, and Litestructures

Also see these for examples of how to wrap the string holding the truss to the balloons - you want the string to go around all the chords, not just the top two.

The reason is quite simple - many materials are stronger in tension than compression, so you want two bars in compression and one bar in tension.

With wood it's more complicated.

Along the grain sapwood is stronger in tension than compression, and heartwood vice-versa. Across the grain wood is weak in tension and ok in compression. So you want the grain to run along the beams - which it will as balsa rods would barely survive otherwise.

I doubt you're getting balsa heartwood - not sure it even really has any!

0
0

Google swings new mobile unlock patent punch at Apple

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Am I the only one

It's easy to poke a touchscreen while getting it out of your pocket.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Mushroom

I'm happy with that

"Using Voice Control to Unlock" is obvious and should have no protection whatsoever.

A specific method of listening to and parsing the voice command is a different matter.

Equally, a specific method of determining how a finger has touched the device (capacitive screen) could be a new thing.

Saying "The user touches the screen and slides along" is so obvious that not only was it being done before Apple filed, almost every touchscreen phone since the Neonode N1m has done it - iPhone, all HTC WinMobiles, etc.

If the US Patent Office doesn't switch from "approve everything, let the courts decide" to "examine everything like we're supposed to" soon, then there really is going to be an implosion.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Jai - no it bloody wasn't. Application D/282,837: July 30th 2007

Exactly one month after the iPhone 1 was released.

2
0

LightSquared scrabbles to save itself after FCC stops LTE plan

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: If a car strikes you on the shoulder of the road

To use a car analogy:

LightSquared bought some train wheels. Then they realised that trains are too expensive and wanted to make cars with those wheels.

So they asked the FCC for permission to use these train wheels on normal roads.

The FCC replied with "You can use those new wheels if you can prove to other road users satisfaction that they don't damage the road".

It turns out that train wheels do damage tarmac, so they can't use them. End of story.

Now you could argue that the FCC should never have allowed LightSquared to try to show that they could co-exist with GPS. Unfortunately that does mean you want the FCC to always give a flat "No. Go Away" answer to any possible change-of-use in a band.

That's probably going a bit too far.

0
1

Anglo-French nuke pact blesses 4th-gen reactors

Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

The UK buys about 1-2% of our electric from France already

And about the same from the Netherlands.

- At the time of posting this, UK demand was 44GW, with 1% being met by France (482MW), and 2% by the Netherlands (892MW).*

Wouldn't it be brilliant if we didn't have to buy all that power from the continent?

*This is instantaneous, but the France > UK interconnect is almost always importing from France.

1
0

HELLISH LOVE INFERNO TO SWEEP LONDON

Richard 12
Silver badge
Angel

About the only way a good steak can be underdone

Is when it's still going "Moo".

Steak tartare is lovely stuff.

Of course it does need to be a good steak.

2
0

Google will swap you a box of crisps for your web privacy

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Sorry Mr Hanff, but you didn't do your research this time.

Google are offering to pay $5 for joining and $5 per three months of snooping, up to a maximum total of $25.

So that's $25 for a one-year snoopathon.

Just one year, not forever.

It's also a browser plugin, thus trivial to disable or uninstall - and you could decide to do most of your browsing on a different browser without the plugin. If Chrome isn't your normal browser you'll probably do that anyway out of habit.

This is a step in the right direction - it's saying "We value your personal info enough to pay you to collect it".

I agree with you that the price they are offering is too small, but at least they're now making an offer.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Angel

So what's the problem?

It's opt-in and you're being paid for it.

That's a much better deal than even the on-street surveys - those are normally a £5 gift voucher for half an hour of your time. This is a £15 gift voucher and none of your time.

Those of you who are frothing about it - would you let them do it for £1,000,000?

How about £500,000?

Now we're just haggling on the price!

1
0

Music fans not welcome in RIAA-backed .music

Richard 12
Silver badge
Happy

$185,000 to ICANN.

It's well published.

I think they should go for it - there's no better way to prove that ".brand" gTLDs are completely useless.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

The RIAA don't want to become irrelevant. That's the point.

Presumably they are the organisation stumping up the silly money to pay ICANN for the .music TLD, thus as they would own it they can of course do whatever they want.

Doesn't mean anyone will go there.

What they appear to have missed it that refusing to accept musicians makes it very clear that they have never had any intention of assisting musicians and other content creators, preferring instead to ensure ancient history stays in copyright.

They also became irrelevant a long time ago - but like any trade association, they live on subscriptions from their members and will do anything at all to keep them.

2
0

Roku rocks media streamers into UK

Richard 12
Silver badge

That rather surprised me as well

It does appear that you can't stream from your local storage, which is weird.

- Netflix/Lovefilm is nice, but I've already got both iPlayer and ITV Player on my PVR.

I would like to stream back the recordings I've backed up, it's tedious to copy back and forth to the PVR.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Tom's Hardware ****ed up.

That particular 'story' was extrapolated from a garbled rumour they scraped from someone else and totally misunderstood*. They have since posted an update.

But please, carry on believing it. More chance of me getting one from the first batch in 10 days time.

The educational package is Q3 2012. This should not surprise anyone, on account of that being when schools start in the UK.

*I'm stretching to give T's H the benefit of the doubt here. I'm not exactly convinced they deserve it.

0
0

New sat data shows Himalayan glaciers hardly melting at all

Richard 12
Silver badge

@quarky - Nope. Maybe melting, maybe freezing.

Either way, it's very small.

It's rather like saying you've "lost" 50g of bodyweight by using your bathroom scales. The tool just can't measure it.

However, it is definitely not melting at anywhere near the rate that was predicted/previously claimed - I've lost track of which that was.

0
0

Ofcom: Make it easier for punters to switch ISPs

Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

When I switched away from BT it was pretty seamless

In both phone and broadband I had a maximum of a couple of hours with no service - probably less. I don't think the phone stopped working at all line rental magically transferred.

No "engineer" or anything.

So why does BT insist on it when nobody else does?

Even Virgin usually don't charge when they really do need to send a real person to drill actual holes in the walls and pull real wires.

0
0

Ten... Freesat TV receivers

Richard 12
Silver badge
Happy

It's great to finally see a competitor to the Foxsat HDR

It seems utterly insane to me that it has taken this long for anybody to catch up to the Humax Foxsat HDR - two to three years? Every other field of consumer electronics has been through at least one if not two generations in that time, yet Freesat HD+ is unchanged.

So it's not exactly surprising if Humax have been somewhat resting on their laurels - perhaps now that Samsung have a device that is roughly as good they'll hurry up on bringing out something even better.

- I would love a set-top box that would let me stream video from my home network. I can stream from my Hummy, but not back - and that is a great shame.

One comment on these reviews though - only one picture of the remote for any of these devices, and no pictures of the EPGs at all.

It's fair enough that you don't go into much detail in these Ten... reviews, but those are the two things that we'd be looking at all the time.

- The manufacturers seem to try to avoid letting us see the remotes whenever possible, and the remote can often make or break a device.

0
0

Has Microsoft finally killed off Windows 8 Start button?

Richard 12
Silver badge

They have done a lot of work on booting faster.

Vista went to sleep by default, to flatten the battery in your laptop faster!

Joking aside, Windows 7 does appear to start up fairly quick compared to previous, and is immediately usable, as opposed to the XP 'now wait until ready' behaviour.

Plus they did some clever pre-fetch stuff, esp. for SSDs.

There is a lot of useful stuff under the bonnet, unfortunately the GUI re-designers seem to snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory on a regular basis.

One wonders what hardware and applications these GUI designers are using on a daily basis, as it rarely seems to match common reality.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

So there is a Start button, you just cannot see it

How exactly is that better?

That is almost as undiscoverable as it is possible to be!

- Why would a user blindly click on an empty space?

I think the only thing to top that is the 1-pixel gap between Start and the edge of the screen in Win95, a truly massive victory for the graphic artist over usability.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

The ribbon is worse when 'hidden'

For some reason in that mode it pops up hiding everything in the top of your document.

Thus you can't see the thing you're changing.

It's true that menus do that, but only for a section rather than full screen width, and toolbars do not!

The ribbon is also always at the top, at a time when widescreen monitors were rapidly becoming the only ones you can buy.

So, while a change in UI might have been excusable, the ribbon is not.

0
0

Five ways Microsoft can rescue Windows Phone

Richard 12
Silver badge

@dogged

Mostly because they already have a set-top-box for Free(View/Sat)(HD)(+), Virgin and/or Sky.

They may well have also forgotten what the actual TV remote looks like by now as the set-top-box remote is all they ever use.

Of course, they could not care less which OS that STB (or even smart TV) is actually running, because they never, ever see it.

Which is exactly as it should be - those are appliances, not computers.

0
0