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* Posts by Mark .

1857 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Relax, Hollywood, ARM's got your back: New chip 'thwarts' video pirates

Mark .
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Re: x86 > ARM

OS X has never supported 68k, and PowerPC was ditched years ago. IOS is not OS X, nor even uses the "Mac" trademark (it's just a brand name - today's "Macs" are x86 PCs, with nothing but name in common with the original Macintoshes - and even the name isn't entirely the same).

By your logic, Windows supports PowerPC, x86 and ARM.

Talking about 68K and PowerPC are irrelevant anyway, since the OP didn't say only x86 was worse, he said "there is little sensible alternative to ARM", which would include PowerPC and 68K.

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Re: x86 > ARM

So everyone here who uses Linux is doing it on ARM boxes, because "there is little sensible alternative to ARM"?

I doubt it. These arguments are silly - ARM has its advantages, and is overall more popular (I believe it's been this way since the 90s) but doesn't come close to x86 for high end performance. The idea that the only reason for x86 is those people stuck with Windows x86 compatibility is not very well supported. (And anyhow, Windows now does support ARM - the only platform stuck on x86 is OS X.)

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Inside Intel's Haswell: What do 1.4 BEELLION transistors get you?

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Re: I would rather have two more cores than any of that graphics crap

So do I, but even with a dedicated GPU, laptops can now use the Intel GPU most the time, switching to the faster GPU when needed, saving battery life, and reducing overheating.

And that's before considering how Intel HD is good enough for the majority of people, or that a separate GPU isn't feasible on ultra-portables unless you want poor battery life.

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Re: Microsoft shill?

Not sure who you are responding to?

Yes, it's well known and obvious that Intel would like their CPUs to be used as often as possible, whatever the OS. Though your last comment is a bit silly, with 100 million Windows 8 licences sold.

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Firefox OS: Go away fanbois, fandroids - you wouldn't understand

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Re: And in the east too.

Yes I thought that comment was odd too, in that duopoly doesn't make sense either, when the share is Android ~70-75%, IOS ~15-20%, WP ~5%, BB ~5% - that's domination of Android. And although IOS's figures may be higher in "the West", as you say, that just means Android is doing even better in the other markets. Even when Android had less share, it's never been "Android and IOS", despite some people claiming this for years. (Oddly when IOS was 3rd place or lower, we never heard "a duopoly Android and Symbian" or whatever, IOS still got mentioned in the list of platforms.) The duopoly comment only makes sense in the US (which has always had a very different market to the rest of the world - though perhaps some people think "the West" means "the US"...)

But I also disagree that this means there's no room for Firefox OS, despite the domination of Android. Even as a niche platform like IOS and WP have been for years it could do fine; with a massive market, even just a few percent is millions of sales.

There's room for more platforms - historically there were always more platforms in smartphones, not less.

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Asus boasts of Haswell fondleslab threesome to get Acer hot under collar

Mark .
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I think there are still advantages - I mean, if I'm sitting using the laptop, but I then want to pull out the tablet to pass it to show someone, I don't want it to switch to another OS. True, the flip side of that is why bother with Android, but it allows things like running Android software too, or if someone might prefer that when using it for a longer period in pure tablet mode.

They already do a pure Windows 8 version of the Transformer Book - it's unclear if they'll be doing an 11" Haswell version of that.

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Mark .
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The Windows 8 Transformer Book already looked promising, but I was waiting for an 11" version - and this looks even better.

I wonder what kind of battery life does it get when using the Intel Core processor - I'm assuming 15 hours is for the Atom? And can it run in Windows mode when just using the tablet? (Yes, Android is fine, but it would be a shame to spend all that money on such an all-in-one device, and not have that functionality too - otherwise an ARM might have been more suitable).

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Netherlands Supremes squash iPad design patent

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Re: Not sure

"There is something that was done right about the iPads, but I am not sure that anybody knows what it really was"

Oh this is easy - getting vast amounts of media coverage, even before it was announced, let alone released. (The point being, since this came before, it was a causitive factor, rather than an effect.)

That and getting lots of distribution in shops. I mean, it's hardly surprising that people didn't buy Android tablets (which actually were released earlier) when no one knew about them, or hardly any shops sold them. The first Android tablets to get significant sales were the ones from companies that got media attention in the media (Amazon, Google).

Indeed, as you say yourself - "it made people aware of the alternatives" - Apple's litigation made things worse. Any publicity for both Apple and alternatives is bad for Apple, because previously the media only gave attention to Apple.

Now that attention and distribution of Android tablets is finally improved, IOS's tablet share has collapsed. Also remember that although Apple's share may have been higher, sales as a whole were far lower. The original ipad wasn't the revolution that the media claimed it would be - it was 6 months before I even saw someone with one.

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Motorola to kick off comeback with US-made Moto X

Mark .
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They might be annoyed, but I don't think it's a problem, certainly not something to criticise Google with - a company can't expect to have massive margins forever. True, in oligopolies companies often don't start a price war because it just ends with them all losing. But if it happens, you have to live with it. There's a difference between reducing margins, and selling at a loss.

Samsung will still make money, even if it's less than before - and they're a massive company in plenty of other markets too.

This isn't going to stop Samsung making Android phones, so Google won't lose out there. Google also gives Android away for free, so they don't have that additional cost either. The problem is that the market isn't particularly healthy when you have one company eating up all the profits. The risk of upsetting partners is more of a risk for MS, since there are plenty of PC manufacturers. But Android has ended up with Motorola going under and bought out, HTC and LG going downhill, and Samsung claiming most the market.

"Hey Google! You did have a plan when you bought them didn't you?"

If nothing else, keeping them in business is a good plan for Google. And don't forget the patents.

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Living with a 41-megapixel 808 PureView: Symbian's heroic last stand

Mark .
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Lots of Symbian users still out there...

My most popular app is just passing the 2 million mark after 16 months - the Android version is around 10,000 downloads. My most recent app got around 1000 downloads per day on the first few days on Symbian, and averages around 500. On Android, it's getting around 20 per day on its first few days.

Of course, I suspect that this is more down to less competition than a larger userbase, but (a) it shows that Symbian really is undercatered for, with the demand to supply ratio far higher than other platforms, and (b) there are still a lot of Symbian users still out there (and around 50% of my downloads are still from Symbian^1 2008-2009 era phones, suggesting smartphones are kept in use long than you might think).

The number one best selling smartphone in history is the Symbian Nokia 5230 released in 2009 - it will be sad to see the platform go.

(I found that I could usually get the apps I wanted on Symbian - more apps on Android just means 10 that do the same thing instead of 1, and the Android versions are more likely to have ads... The main lack for Symbian has been for non-software companies that offer an "app" for their website or service, and it's annoying that these almost always ignored Symbian even in its heyday of number one platform until 2011. But still, on a smartphone, just use the website...)

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Mark .
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Re: And why are Samsung setting up a Finnish R&D centre?

But by Elop's time, Nokia had done this - Symbian^1 around 2008-2009 was as good as Android imo even on the UI (each have their advantages and disadvantages), and Symbian^3 and onwards are reportedly a lot better still. My Nokia 5800 only feels slow compared to my Android phone because the latter has much newer hardware (and even then, is starting to get sluggish in places...)

Symbian switched to using Qt as the UI, which is a great toolkit.

Not that I'm saying there weren't reasons for dropping Symbian, it had become an old OS - personally I'm open-minded about the WP decision, but I can see that a lot of the critics would have been happier if they'd gone with Meego :)

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Review: Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch Ultrabook

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Re: Have I missed something?

True, there are various things people complain about. I've certainly seen the complaints of "They took away the start button", as well as complaints that MS have tried to "hide" the desktop away.

People who like the older version of the start menu can always install a utility to do that. I think a response from a lot of people uneasy with it is more that Windows starts up in something looking completely different, and if they then go to the desktop, it's unclear how to get back or launch programs.. If instead they start up in the same desktop as before, and they see the same start button as before - then sure, the start menu looks different, but "Updated start menu" (which has changed several times before anyway) is a long way from "They completely changed it and it's only for touchscreens and they killed off the desktop". People like and dislike various changes in every version of Windows, it's the FUD about being unusable with a mouse/keyboard that I imagine they're looking to address.

I agree about the hotspot, I find it fine - but I've seen some people complaining that this is awful and claiming makes it "only for tablets".

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Mark .
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I agree. It's also worth noting that for all the doom and gloom, the Windows 8 sales/timeline has reportedly been as good as that for Windows 7 - with PCs, most people have always played the game of waiting. Average users don't care about a new OS, and wait until they want a new machine. Geeks are more likely to play the "Let's wait until SP1" game.

I remember reading years ago that the average upgrade time for a home PC was a staggering 8 years - and if anything, I can see that being longer now, as CPUs and RAM are finally good enough. I know my parents are still chugging along on a 2007 laptop that has as much RAM as my Galaxy Nexus phone :)

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Mark .
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Re: Have I missed something?

But that's basically the things that people are complaining about. It'll put the start button back, and apparently, having to move the mouse to the corner is something you can only do easily on a touchscreen, making Windows 8 unusable without one, but Windows 8.1 will fix this, for those people who can't spend the 5 minutes to install a free utility to do the same thing... What else have people been complaining about, and which of these are to do with touchscreens?

Not that I get the argument, but that's what people have been saying. Personally I'm glad MS have finally started making full use of Fitts's Law. And don't get me wrong, I can see that a button is simpler and people might get annoyed by the hotspot, but I don't see this is a touchscreen thing - I mean, how do I "move the cursor to the corner" on a touchscreen? (I could swipe, but usually in a UI, that's treated the same as clicking and dragging - the idea of a cursor position without touching/clicking has no analogy on a touchscreen). Indeed, when I first tried out a Surface RT the other day, I first happily used the keyboard and touchpad, and then thought, maybe I'd better try the touchscreen, and wasn't really clear at first how to do the various things.

It's the same thing we've seen for years with Windows - some people are outraged about big changes in each new version of Windows, but it's really just some subtle smaller thing that has actually caused the upset. MS never back off the big changes - instead they tweak the subtle things that caused the problem, and suddenly, everyone's happy. Happened with XP vs XP SP1, and Vista vs 7.

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Apple cored: Samsung sells 10 million Galaxy S4 in a month

Mark .
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Samsung sell loads more Android phones, so if we're comparing by company, I'd expect at least double the 10m a month from them. Not to mention all the other phones they sell that don't even get counted in the "smart" stats.

I'm not sure the iphone 5 not being as new is an excuse - Samsung thrashed everyone else in Q1, even when their flagship was much older.

I do love how, when one company sells more 2 days of the year, you trumpet that as being amazing, but when the other company sells more the rest of the 363 days of the year, you suggest it's unfair, as the first company's phone isn't new anymore...

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Lenovo planning US smartphone push as PC sales stall

Mark .
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Re: But they aren't "smart". Phones can't actually think.

I agree - and "smart" is just a marketing term (since most non-smartphones can still do apps, Internet etc, and at least one smartphone in 2007 couldn't do apps...)

Regarding the article, it's actually Samsung and Nokia who dominate phones - looking at only smartphones just means 100% of Apple sales get compared to a fraction of everyone else's sales. What's more interesting though is that Samsung dominates Android - unlike Windows (where any company could come along and start making PCs), Android sadly hasn't resulted in the same healthy marketplace.

For all the doom and gloom about stagnating PC sales, mobile phone sales actually fell in 2012. The media get round this by focusing on the ill-defined "smartphone" category, which has changed with time. Yet, we could do the same trick with PCs:

In 2010, count all PCs costing £800 or more as "smart".

In 2012, count all PCs costing £600 or more as "smart".

Oh my, "smart PCs" are growing!

Or alternatively, count a smart PC as being one with a touchscreen, and - no matter how good or bad Windows 8 hybrid sales have been - it'll be true that they've experienced massive growth in relative percentage terms since 2011...

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Mark .
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Re: Unknown brand

At 75% share, it's Android and other.

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Mark .
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Re: Whodda thunk?

Oh look, it's the obligitary Applevert.

By "gone through the roof", you mean "less than PCs" (the "failing" Windows 8 reached 100m in a few months, which took ipads years to do). Similarly iphone sales are nowhere near PC sales.

Most people aren't spending $600, they're on contract which means pay monthly, and subsidised.

I suspect you're making the schoolboy error of confusing absolute sales, with relative growth. The difference is that PC sales are already much larger - of course new products are going to grow, whilst PCs are at saturation, and therefore not going to see new growth, and going to see more fluctation from the general economic trend.

In fact, phone sales overall actually decreased last year too - if we looked at individual product lines within PCs, I'm sure we could pick out plenty of newer product lines that experienced relative growth.

Apple's tablet market share collapsed in Q1, with Android sales going through the roof - I guess Apple are doomed, like PCs, by your logic?

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COLD FUSION is BACK with 'anomalous heat' claim

Mark .
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Re: Having not read the paper yet

Oh god - only on the Register could someone dispute a flawed and unscientific claim because of their *choice of editor*.

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Apple adds Galaxy S 4 to Samsung patent suit

Mark .
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Re: Another lost sale

I must admit, I really wish there was an Apple product worth buying, so I could then not buy it to boycott them...

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Mark .
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Well it's a shame that you don't say that to the Apple users then - I've lost track of the number of them who'll go on about how "revolutionary" their Apple feature phone is, or how everyone should use MacProBooks because they do. They don't seem to get it that, maybe, the rest of us have different points of view, and maybe prefer to use something different.

And I bet that everyone who buys a Nexus phone or tablet is aware of Apple's products, and has considered which to buy. Sadly the number of people who think the iphone or iphad is the only option seems quite high.

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Microsoft reveals Xbox One, the console that can read your heartbeat

Mark .
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Re: What a terrible name

Okay, though that seems a good name then - describes exactly what it is. I mean which is it, is it bad that they go for "marketing" names rather than accuracy (like X Box One), or they go for accurate names that don't sound great?

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Mark .
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Re: XBox One vs PS4

I don't think that software magically makes things faster. Android also runs on lower end phones; and the original iphone had a GPU which was rare at the time, so your statement isn't true there. And whatever is the case with the OS - an application won't magically be faster or use less memory just because it's on ios rather than Android, same for games on PS4 vs X Box.

I think the main point though is that whilst the PS4 may have better specs, the X Box may still be good enough for the games available, and people my buy for other features. Isn't this usually the case - that the PS leads on specs, but doesn't necessarily sell more than the other consoles?

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Mark .
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Re: What a terrible name

Okay, but which company does have a wonderful naming scheme? And what exactly is wrong about naming things by numbers (re Windows 8 after Windows 7) anyway? Seems perfectly sensible to me - later on you criticise them for not following the correct number, which is it?

Let's see - Samsung: S, S2, S3, S4.

Apple: counted their operating systems by number too since the first one, except now when they've oddly switched to 0.1 counting because they want to stick with number "X" forever.

Intel: Pentium, Pentium 2, Pentium 3, ...

As for names, I don't see how Surface is any worse than any other names in use. It's still a damn sight more original than taking the generic term for the product like "phone", "app", "store", "TV", and then at best adding an "i", or perhaps not even that.

It is annoying when the numbers don't follow the correct order, but then the 5th iphone is actually the 6th, and HTC did the same thing with "HTC One".

(Maybe they should have called it "X Box Aleph One", if people liked X Box Infinity so much...)

"the best that these geniuses could come up with was calling it "The Windows Store User-Interface"

Citation needed? What I read said it was "Modern UI" or "Windows 8 UI".

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Mark .
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Re: Cable TV overlays?

"I'll bet the only cable "box" this Xbox gives a good experience to is Windows Media Center. I have a feeling that Microsoft read all the rumors of Apple's TV ... and read about the future plans for Google TV,"

Or more likely, they looked at what is already possible with a range of TV streamer/Internet boxes, as standard with a range of "smart TVs" - and yes, already being done with consoles, including the X Box, and decided to build on that.

"Let's watch how quickly Windows RT is orphaned now that Intel has some Atom CPUs that comparable to ARM CPUs..."

I'd be glad if they do - it's a shame that the lower cost Window starter version got replaced with Windows RT (that lacks x86 and "desktop" compatibility), which is mainly why we saw the end of the low cost x86 "netbooks", and why the current Atom Windows 8 laptops are more expensive than both Windows 7 "netbooks", and the Windows RT devices.

Out of interest, do you have any references for Atom vs ARM speeds? It's easy to find benchmarks comparing different ARM processors, but I've yet to find ARM vs x86... Also I wasn't aware that the newer Atoms were that much faster, but would gladly be proved wrong :)

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Fighting Fantasy and fantastic fights in tights

Mark .
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The appeal of the original was that they were still in book format. And you still had the fun of rolling the dice and keeping track of the stats yourself. And sticking your fingers in the book to backtrack from a wrong turn. And I'd have no objection to simply putting that in electronic format to read on a Nook or similar device.

But as soon as you make a game, the problem is you're competing with the large genre of computer RPGs - and quite frankly, this looks comical. The screenshots seem on par with those 1980s text+graphics adventures, and just compare them to the screenshots of the other games reviewed in this article. Am I supposed to be impressed that a computer can now roll the dice for me? No, I'll get back to my Skyrim (and even classics like Morrowind or Baldur's Gate are ancient by technology standards). And at £2.99, it seems embarrassing compared to the large amount of RPGs available even for free (at least on Windows, Linux and Android - maybe IOS lacks here). The problem is that that people who want to go back to basics would rather stick with rolling the dice; and people who want something more modern, aren't going to be sticking with something so basic.

Of course it will sell, due to the name and marketing of "Fighting Fantasy" (as this article shows - do other RPGs get reviews so easily?). This was apparently a problem with the original series - I read an interesting article by one Fighting Fantasy author, who basically said even if you had a much better gaming system, publishers simply didn't want to know unless you were writing a Fighting Fantasy book. Hence we got stuck with Skill, Stamina, Luck...

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Google tells Microsoft to yank its new WinPhone YouTube app

Mark .
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Re: Genius from MS

So should all adblockers be banned too?

I've got to laugh - on any story about copyright, ads and so on, people are firmly on the side of more freedom, less restrictive copyright laws, and the right to block ads. Whining about how it's needed to pay people, who equating it to stealing, will get you downvoted.

But oh, because it's critical of MS, that's fine.

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Mark .
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But Officer, other people are speeding too!

I don't see how "But MS are just as bad" is a useful argument. It's bad either way - and put it another way, is saying "Google are as bad as MS" a ringing endorsement?

Also it's not just MS who lose out. If someone has a Windows Phone, and they want to watch Youtube, they don't care about squabbles like what MS has done, what Google has done, or who's advertising about what. They just want to watch Youtube on their phone.

I can come up with far more examples on how Apple tries to build a walled closed garden around their products. Does that mean the all Apple devices should be blocked from Youtube?

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Mark .
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Nothing to do with copyright, and unclear how TOS applies

In what way are the application developers bound by the "terms of service"? I mean, Google are free to block individuals who access Youtube by whatever means they choose, but I don't see how that extends to actually banning distribution of an application.

Even for things like copyright violation (which violating a TOS is not), applications like bittorrent software are not illegal.

Does this mean that adblocker extensions (e.g., for Google Chrome) are in violation, because a website might say you can't block ads in its Terms of Service?

Indeed, why stop there - I could write anything I like in my Terms of Service, such as "Google Chrome may not be allowed to view this website" - does that mean I can get Google Chrome pulled, unless they block access to my site?

I don't care about defending MS - I'd be annoyed if it was the other way round.

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Copyright minister admits: Google has better access to No. 10 than me

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Re: @Eadon - Lobbyists Are ANTI-DEMOCRATIC

It's true that lobbying isn't itself democratic - although the comparison to writing to MPs is an interesting point, my understanding being that they typically ignore letters that aren't from their own constituents. Similarly Google and MPAA employees should be free to write to MPs, and I would prefer they get treated similarly, if they don't actually live in that constituent...

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Live Blog: Google I/O keynote

Mark .
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Re: Nexus S4 for How MUCH!

I don't understand why people are surprised by this. We already know that the Nexus 4 is much cheaper than other high end smartphones.

I mean sure, we should be making a fuss about this. People should have been making a fuss 6 months ago. People should be making a fuss about how all the other smartphones are priced more expensive. But I don't see why you're surprised *now*, or are only surprised about this one phone. Don't you realise that the unlocked price of many smartphones is way higher than the Nexus 4?

If you want to quibble about the S4 Google edition specifically being expensive, you should compare to the unlocked price of an S4. Is it more expensive? If not, did you seriously expect Samsung to magically drop their price just for a Google version?

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Full metal jacket: Nokia launches new Lumia 925

Mark .
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Re: round objects

Well, I know the kind of thing that it's getting at, but it's more direct I feel to just say, e.g., applications or support. It's a word that only seemed to appear in the last few years, even though the concepts applied long before. And often I see the word thrown around with no clear indication of what is really being referred to.

Maybe it's management speak rather than marketing speak then :)

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Mark .
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I agree it's a shame about wider app support.

But let us not forget the fault lies with these companies, not with Nokia or MS. We should complain to the bank, BBC and Sky. We didn't put up with it when a company only supports the 90% of Windows (desktop) users, we shouldn't put up with it when a company only supports the 15-20% of iphone mobile users. The 1% of desktop Linux users rightfully complain if they're locked out of a service, so should the 10% of WP and BB users.

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Mark .
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Re: round objects

"ecosystem"

It's a smartphone, not a rainforest. Let's have an actual specific criticism rather than marketing buzzspeak.

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Report: AT&T dropping Facebook phone after dismal sales

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Yeah - I really hate the way that in the US people seem to think the upfront price is the full price. Perhaps the fallacy is more common because you have to pay upfront *and* pay through the contract, so people forget the latter. It's like saying a Samsung S4 in the UK is completely "free" (if we ignore the £30+/month contract that only gives the same service that you'd get for £15/month or so on SIM only...)

A shame to see the Register make this mistake.

What's the actual cost of this phone I wonder? Is this like 1st generation Chromebooks (where it's more expensive than the competition, so even people who want Facebook/Google figure they can just do that on another phone/laptop anyway), or current generation Chromebooks (where it really is a lower cost)?

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Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

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Re: I've had mine since Friday

Nitpick, you probably mean dumb phones. Feature phones were/are lower end smartphones marketed with a different name - and my 2005 feature phone had terrible battery life (struggled to last 24 hours even on standby; using Internet for web browsing quickly drained the battery), my Nexus smartphone lasts a lot longer (with the longest battery life being on my Nokia 5800 smartphone, probably managing around twice the length of my Nexus on average).

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Don't use Google+? Tough, Google Glass will inject it INTO YOUR EYES

Mark .
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Which era of "success" are we talking about? The use of the singular suggests the original 2007 iphone, yet this only sold one million in 76 days (a stat that's counted as a flop for products like the Surface RT or Lumia 800, but a success for Apple)?

"knocking the competition out of the park"? Which competition and which park?

Certainly nothing of the sort is true of the original iphone, which was massively outsold by the competition - by Symbian, Blackberry and even Windows Mobile. Even if we go by single models, the best selling smartphone of all time is the Nokia 5230, released in 2009, with a staggering 150 million sales. The iphone came nowhere near close.

Over many years and more releases, Apple's total phone sales have increased, but still such claims are not true. The phone leaders in 2007 were Nokia and Samsung. The phone leaders in 2013 are Samsung then Nokia. By platform, the dominant platform in 2007 was Symbian, which remained so until 2011 when it was overtaken by Android, not iphone. In fact, Symbian outsold iphone for the duration of its lifetime, and only fell behind when it was replaced with WP by Nokia. Iphone only claims 2nd place behind due to Symbian being ditched, and Blackberry losing share, which was more likely from Android, which now sells many times that of iphone - who's knocked who out of the park?

Okay, true they overtook Windows Mobile. Eventually. Must have been a damn good (series of) phone(s).

"which invariably meant locking it to a carrier."

Just like loads of other phones.

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Mark .
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Re: wrong comparison

"make phone calls" and "listen to music, watch videos, play games"?

Smartphones were doing "something similar" around 2000, and bog standard mainstream "feature" phones were doing "something similar" around 2005. "Better combination" is just a matter of opinion, which people clearly disagree on (as seen by endless debates on forums like these). A particular flaw in your argument is that a 2007 iphone couldn't actually do "play games" anyway (or do any apps in general), that came in 2008 by which time the competition had moved on even further. Not that I'd consider it a smartphone anyway until at least 2010, unless you count all feature phones as smartphones.

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Re: Strange reporting from Bill Ray..

"Remember when everyone (me included) was saying that the Apple Tablet was ridiculous, no-one would want one. ... One thing, I bet if Apple had 'invented' it then there would be a ton more hype, reporting and queuing around the block to get them. It would be hailed as the most innovative thing on earth ever and a sure fire hit."

Well this is the thing - if we look at the 2010 Apple tablet coverage, most of the media coverage wasn't being critical. Instead, the entirely of the media were giving it vast amounts of positive coverage even before it was officially announced, whilst the Android tablets (actually released first, initially called "media players" in 2009) were ignored, and surprise surprise apple did better. Tablets were already mainstream by 2010, we just called them other names like smartphones, PDAs or media players.

People like us may have been criticising it - I think that 10" tablets aren't very useful for my needs, and would much rather have an ultra-portable laptop at that size. But then, I *still* think that, and our arguments aren't invalidated by what other people buy. By that reasoning, no one could criticise Windows, Apple fans couldn't criticise the overwhelmingly popular Android ;) I've also said that 7" is a much better size, as well as tablets being something that make more sense at a lower cost, and it looks like the market is turning out to agree with me on both points.

When people say than Apple popularised something, it's almost always a false perception based on them getting far more media coverage, which typically happens *before* the release. Given that Google - unlike the companies like Archos releasing the first Android tablets - do get at least some media coverage, I'm glad that they are doing things like this, so that alternative products get some awareness too.

(Oddly the media *now* say that no one wants tablets when it comes to Windows 8, and say people would much rather have separate smartphones and laptops... the bias is painful to watch.)

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Google's Page, LG boss's SECRET confab sparks Nexus 5 rumour

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Re: I wish the Nexus 4 did have a button.

I like having virtual buttons rather than the physical buttons (at least for things like home buttons), but yes, I have been tempted to put a "THIS WAY UP" sticker on my Nexus...

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37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac

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"What is slightly surprising is just how well a very cheap laptop like Acer's Aspire E1 performed as well as it did. Really puts the cost of the macbooks in perspective - not even a 7% improvement in the score of the Aspire for more than tripling the cost."

Not to mention that there are several low cost laptops that do better than the $2199 15" Apple model...

"Dell dominate the list"

Yes, that was the thing that struct me about the top 10 - Dell come out top overall, not Apple, and I'd place Acer as doing as well as Apple (one model is one place below, but they have another model one place above).

"but Asus, whose recent output has been stellar, are nowhere to be found?"

I think that's just more evidence as to the problems on this study. Were some models just not included because there weren't enough samples, or are Asus way down the list?

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Re: In news just in

Anecdotes vary. I don't think I've *ever* had a crash since using Windows 7 (or 8), which even survives graphics card crashes without rebooting. Windows 7 once reported a problem when booting on one machine, but after a few minutes, it claimed it was repaired (and indeed, I never had trouble after that). Ubuntu has never crashed for me, though I have had a black screen fail-to-boot after upgrading. Meanwhile I've seen brand new recent OS X machines fail to resume when woken up from sleep (and you can't even take the battery out...)

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Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

But this is only true for single model of Apple PC, with Dell filling several of the other top spots. So your anecdote of a Power Mac 8100 is likely to be completely unrelated to these issues - the difference between that machine and modern Apple PCs is far greater than the difference between the Mac on the top spot, and the models lower down the list.

I think we also have to ask, why could the machine make a difference? This is application crashes, not OS crashes, and most application crashes are problems in the code, but this would be the same on all PCs, including Apple ones!

So for those kinds of crashes, either the difference is pure luck, or there is some user-selection bias (e.g., the gaping flaw in the study that it measures crashes per calendar time, not use time, and most people with Apple PCs would likely only being running Windows occasionally; or perhaps they run a far smaller selection of software, which tends to not include random unreliable crap).

Another possibility is that things like incorrect memory access are more likely to result in a crash on some machines, but I would argue that's a *good* thing. Whilst annoying for the user, stopping the application can be better than running off with ill-defined behaviour, which is what the Macs may be doing.

Sometimes crashes can happen due to drivers, which could differ, but that's all I can think of, and that wouldn't be most of application crashes in my experience.

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Pirates scoff at games dev sim's in-game piracy lesson

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Re: What a surprise

"The "people use torrents for legal/good purposes" line is so lame."

It's not lame when it's true - this was a legal download, contrary to the claims made by the blog and much of the media.

"The people 'pirating' this game were breaking no laws but they didn't know that, which is the key point. They thought they were pirating it."

The key point for what? For accusing them of being pirates? But I'm not sure intent matters - consider, plenty of people have no clue about copyright, and think it's okay if you "only download", or it's okay if you download to try it out, or it's okay if it's "free" - all copyright myths of course,but if you're making the argument that what matters is intent, then the clueless people who thought it was legal still wouldn't be covered.

What about all the people who now download it, knowing it's been put there by the copyright holders, due to the vast amounts of publicity? I bet that the authors will still be seeing all those extra downloads as "piracy". (Well, I suppose it gets a gray area if they stop seeding it, since legal to download doesn't mean legal to redistribute, but on the other hand, it seems dubious for someone to intentionally distribute their own work on bittorrent, then claim copyright infringement due to other seeders, when that's how bittorrent works.)

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Re: What a surprise

Or rather, on The Reg, people are aware that downloading something on torrent isn't necessarily piracy (and it isn't here, since it was uploaded by the copyright holder), where as people on GameDev label them as pirates. I'm not sure I see self-interest here, just a different sample of views. Yes, it's unfair that on the Register you get more people poking fun (not surprising due to there being a wider group of people here, rather than just those into game development), but it's also unfair that on GameDev, they assume the stats to be valid and label everyone a pirate.

And a point to take from the story is that being "someone who pirates" (which may include some of the people who legally downloaded the "cracked" version) isn't distinct from being "someone who might be annoyed by piracy". I mean, are you suggesting that no one on GameDev, or in software, has never taped off the radio or a friend? Piracy isn't something only done by evil-doers on torrent site, it's done, rightly or wrongly, by a huge spectrum of people.

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I agree - I'm glad I'm not the only one to have realised that surely it's legal if the copyright holders distributed it! This is riding on the myth that anything on bittorrent must be pirated. It's also interesting if it was widely reported that they'd done this earlier (do you any links for that?). Rather than "These people are pirating a game - let's slip them a version with a message", it's more like "Let's hand out free but crippled copies of a game, then accuse them of being pirates just because they didn't buy it".

It also means the stats are useless - we have no idea how much actual piracy goes on for a typical indie game. Similar to entrapment, the stats are skewed, because they themselves have raised awareness of the game by putting it on torrent sites, as well as providing a seed for it. If they hadn't, the pirated numbers may well have been far lower, either because no one knew about the game, or because finding seeds was hard. There are really three categories:

1. People buying the full version.

2. People pirating the full version.

3. People legally downloading the "cracked" modified version.

The stats only report (1) and (3), falsely referring to the latter as piracy. Either (2) doesn't exist, or is neglible after all, or the stats otherwise aren't accurate in what they report.

The blog suggests they even have a way to distinguish all three categories (because they both have anonymous stat reporting, and a separate ID for (3)), but they don't.

Did they get more sales as a result of distributing on bittorrent, or less as a result on piracy? There's simply not the information to tell.

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Review: Disgo 8400G 7.9in Android tablet

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Re: Proving once again you get what you pay for...

I agree. But just to say, I'm amused that the original post talked about "an ipad it's not", and both the replies (rightly) point out the 512MB of RAM in this tablet - thing is 8" ipad also only has 512MB RAM... Sounds to me that the problem is that it is too much like the ipad!

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Re: Proving once again you get what you pay for...

Plus there's the point that despite not being as good as say the Nexus 7 (odd that we didn't see much/any comparison to that), it was still as good in many respects as a far more expensive ipad mini, which makes similar compromises in things like resolution and RAM, despite the price. The only downsides seem to be the display not be as bright, and probably not as great for gaming (though I argue that the biggest thing holding back phone/tablet gaming is the limited storage - the high end 3D games seem to take ~1GB of storage).

Comparing to the Nexus 7 is interesting - the Nexus 7 has better specs, but this tablet has the elusive microSD slot (and comes with 3G at a cheaper price), as well as being thinner. And although the resolution is lower, 1024x768 is at least better than the 1024x600 that a lot of budget tablets seem to be going for.

And in some ways, the problem is that you don't necessarily get what you pay for - at the moment, I don't think any tablet is perfect, no matter how much you spend (possibly the Note 8 might just about be there - one of the most expensive 7-8" tablets, but it doesn't make any compromises, unlike every other tablet in that size range - though the resolution may look outdated if Google up the Nexus 7's resolution to Full HD...)

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Google's Page drops the A-bomb: Google Glass runs Android

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Re: anyone..

Fair enough we shouldn't call for violence, but I think it is reasonable to worry about the implications of this.

Someone taking a photo or video with a phone is still fairly obvious. But this this, people can walk around without anyone else knowing if you're filming or not. It's a problem for any places that (rightly or wrongly) ban the taking of photos.

Regarding police though, this is one of the interesting good uses - with the trend over the last few years of police wrongly telling people they're not allowed to take photos of police in public, this is a tool that would allow people to film without that harrassment.

(I remember reading a few years ago some article with some predictions of the future - one was that in 2015, wearable glasses computers would allow video recording, uploading and broadcasting to the Internet in realtime, completely doing away with any chance of privacy anywhere, unless you manage to ban people with said glasses of course.)

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Mark .
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Re: oh great

From http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html - most Android users (54.3%) have Android 4.x. Those who don't probably aren't going to be the target market rushing out to buy some new device like this anyway...

As for numbers, yes it means that with total Android sales of 750 million ( http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/03/13/google-ceo-larry-page-750-million-android-devices-activated-to-date-more-than-250-million-in-the-last-6-months/ ), there will "only" be a potential userbase of over 400 million. I mean, what's that? It's only way more than all the iphones that have ever been sold.

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