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* Posts by Mark .

1809 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

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

Mark .
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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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Bitcoins: A GIANT BUBBLE? Maybe, but currency could still be worthwhile

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Re: One thing wrong with BitCoin...

This argument has been made a few times, but I don't get it. I mean, when things are tough in the economy, you don't hear the Government go "Okay, let's get the army out and sort out this economy!" I don't see the Bank of England suggesting we call up the troops, because inflation has gone up. How does it help?

And the physical nature is a red herring too, with most currencies being fiat (plus even for gold, its value is much about investment speculation, and not its physical property, anyway).

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Mark .
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Re: not really

I guess you can give me your money, as there's nothing like to look at on there either (unless you like pictures of the queen) :)

(Also, have any of the people talking about the shininess of gold actually invested in it? Normally these days, you don't walk into a shop and buy a gold brick, you invest in gold, and all you see are numbers on a website or paper, you don't get to own or look at your gold.)

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Mark .
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Re: not really

No, but you can pull another scare resource.

And anyhow, since most currencies are fiat, the comparison isn't really relevant - yes, of course the value of bitcoin is in terms of how many places can accept it, but I don't think that is a flaw. The same applies to currencies. No one cares if I create my own new currency, whether it's paper or virtual, unless I can get people to accept it.

Also, at best this is an argument against bitcoin being the only virtual currency, not an argument against any virtual currency. I mean, I fail to see how "But I could create a new one" is an argument against any being worthwhile at all. Even if we end up with a world where there are several virtual currencies in use, that's still a world where virtual currencies are in use, and not one where they are all useless.

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Winklevoss twins claim to have enormo $11m Bitcoin stash

Mark .
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With $220m, I'm sure they have more than enough to both sit on a beach, and have $11m in bitcoins :)

It's not like people with that much money store it all at Barclay's in a normal bank account - there'd be loads of it in various investments. And what are you really saying - that anyone with that much money should instantly spend it all on on PG?

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Mark .
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Re: WTF

$11m in the bank is just numbers on a hard disk too...

Don't get me wrong, you do have a point - the downside of acquiring large investments in bitcoin is that you have to take security and backup very seriously. The bigger downside right now is there's less in the way of legal protections - although there are online accounts to hold bitcoins that might seem analogous to banks, there's no legal protection, plus 3rd parties are riskier if they get hacked (since money can be stolen virtually, and again, unlike a bank, it will be your money being stolen, rather than the 3rd party's). Similarly I suspect that no contents insurance policy will cover any loss in bitcoins.

But it doesn't seem an unsolvable problem. Surely any geek already has a rigorous backup plan (and with that much money, you could sell a small amount to raise any required hardware cash), and is clued up on the use of encryption tools like Truecrypt?

And it seems a smart policy to spread investments around. If they have $11m in bitcoin, and little elsewhere, that does seem stupid. If they're just stupidly rich people, with bitcoin being one of many investments, that doesn't seem strange (even putting all your money into safe bank accounts has a risk, if it's all in one bank).

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Bitcoin gets a $100 haircut on rollercoaster trading run

Mark .
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Re: What can I say

Being a currency, as you describe, isn't either/or. Of course right now, it isn't something you can trust large amounts of money in. But it has some uses for transactions, similar to (and potentially better than) things like Paypal. (With Paypal's track record, I don't trust them at all, so if I have to use Paypal, I take the money out asap, so the trust argument doesn't work.)

And you haven't explained why such a thing couldn't grow to become more useful and stable. Indeed, the mention of the Mark is the classic point - by your own argument, does that mean that paper money is inherently worthless, because there have been examples of hyperinflation?

"Finally, there's no problem if you risk $10 you can afford on cheap coins, in the hope of ludicrous gains. ... But if there are really Eurozone savers desperate to protect their life savings from the incompetence of the Eurogroup - I would hate to see them fucked over by the scammers and idiots involved in Bitcoin"

I entirely agree - but are there really people putting their life savings into bitcoin? Perhaps some, but I would have thought that most of the people talking about it and dabbling in it have put in relatively small amounts ($10 is barely a couple of pints; even $100 is only slightly over 1% of a yearly cash ISA allowance, and a portfolio with 1% high risk seems rather conservative to me - some people here spend $100s on a gadget just so they can go "shiny" that they then throw away next year). As such there seems to be a bit of a straw man here, portraying people who have used bitcoins as people about to lose their life savings, or people who can't afford to lose any money. I suspect if anything, it's probably a lot of people with plenty of money to spare.

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Mark .
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Re: Every so often a market develops around something improbable

You still haven't defined this "intrinsic value" definition that is somehow different to value. You offered one definition, I then showed it applied to bitcoin, now you back-pedal to some other definition that you don't explain.

Perhaps the value could tend towards zero - that could happen either suddenly or gradually, if a flaw was discovered, or a better alternative for payments came along. But your guess is as good as anyone else's.

Like I say, it's a high risk investment. Do you put 100% of savings into low interest safe bank accounts, and lecture anyone who invests that they might lose their money (as if they don't already know that)?

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Mark .
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Re: Every so often a market develops around something improbable

You can make your own bitcoins - that's part of the design ("mining"). It's increasingly harder - though still far easier for most people than building a house or getting uranium(!) More generally (since you're including making alternate copies), you could create your own alternative bitcoin network trivially (it's open source after all), it's just that those would be worth little, since no one would want to trade with your single independent network (and fewer people would want to buy an unofficial trademark-infringing beanie baby, too). So if that's your definition of intrinsic worth, they have them.

Though it seems odd to dismiss their use. I mean, if you're trying to say "Bitcoins are useful, and have worth, they just have no _intrinsic_ worth", then I'm not sure what point you're really making? What is the practical difference?

"but gold has alternate applications"

As does bitcoins, but you just said you weren't talking about uses...

"Additionally, people like shiny, shiny which ultimately pushes the price of it up given it's rarity."

And some people like bitcoins. Plus for most people, investing in gold means it's stored in a vault where you can't see or touch it, and you just see the numbers that you own, which lessens the "like shiny" appeal of it, which doesn't apply for someone who likes the appeal of bitcoins.

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Mark .
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Re: Every so often a market develops around something improbable

Incidentally, the floral industry global revenue is about $100 billion, whilst the total bitcoin worth was under $3 billion even at yesterday's peak, so if one thought bitcoins were only as useful as flowers, it would suggest they were undervalued...

(No, this isn't really comparing like with like - but I'm not the one comparing them to flowers in the first place.)

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Mark .
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Re: Every so often a market develops around something improbable

Do you actually know what Bitcoin are? They do have uses - in fact a poster gives a use he needed them for just two comments above them. We can debate how useful they are or how useful they could become, but they are nonetheless on the same level as the other examples on your list, as well as any other kind of investment like gold or stocks and shares.

The only one I'd say is intrinsically different is houses, in that if you're buying purely for an investment, you can also rent it out as an income. Whether bitcoin is seen as a high risk investment, or something that's used for something, there's nothing fundamentally different to other high risk investments in things that also have some intrinsic use to some people.

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Mark .
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Re: Unsurprise!

So do bitcoins. The question is how much that value is - and how much it could be in future. Indeed in this sense, it's in a better position than gold (and tulips) - the inherent value of gold is unlikely to change in value, so changes in price are always down to speculation (as someone pointed out above, gold does have a fiat nature), whilst bitcoin's inherent value is likely to change (whether up or down), and long term is completely unknown.

The hard part now seems to be buying bitcoins - amusingly because you have to deal with all of the bad aspects of currency (dealing with banks, paying fees, converting and transferring) - once in bitcoins, it's effortless to zap it around the globe under your control.

I'm surprised at the negativity here - paypal has shown there is a large need for the ability to transfer money without the reliance on visa etc, but paypal is not an ideal solution, as surely any geek knows.

Maybe it's some envy at the people who bought at $10 and have made lots of money, people want it to fail - but even after the "crash", the value is still way up on historical values. And it seems somewhat childish to want something to fail just because it went up in value.

Of course it was clear in the short term that it was overvalued, but long term is a different matter. The current total market value of a billion or so dollars is peanuts in the world economy. Even if the future sees multiple competing virtual currency, or even if bitcoin only becomes a paypal-like thing rather than a replacement world currency, that's still a use far greater than today (hence also needing a higher value for the higher money supply). Is that value higher than the peak it got yesterday? Who knows. But the possibility that it might doesn't seem ludicrous to me. It's just like any other high risk investment - you might lose it all, but if you can afford to lose, it's perfectly ordinary to put a small proportion invested into higher risk areas.

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Mark .
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Re: What can I say

Yes I'm sure those people who bought at $10 are feeling awful that it's now only worth $170 instead of $260...

Or to put it another way, this "crash" has simply put it back to the value of a few days ago, but it's still way up on historical values. The Register is at least more accurate in its reporting - it's not so much a crash, more that we've seen some rapid up and down. It's funny just how out of date even the web news is with some of the articles I've seen, gloating about a crash (which they claim they saw coming, when it's not really a useful prediction if they've been saying for months, especially when the post-crash value is still far higher than when they'd started claiming it was a bubble), yet by the time the article goes live, the price has already gone up again.

The losers would be people buying high and selling low. Some winners would have sold at the peak, and bought back again when low. But for a lot of other people, the fact that bitcoin was worth less at 6pm 10 April that it was 12pm 10 April is somewhat irrelevant, if the value is still higher than what it was say on 12pm 3 April (or something like that - I forget the exact times/dates).

I think it's a good thing for the currency to stabilise for a bit anyway, as rapid rises can put people off its potential use as a currency as much as rapid falls.

(If bitcoin really did crash to say $1, great, I'm buying 10, as it seems worth a gamble...)

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If only enterprise IT worked like my iPad ... or at least my car

Mark .
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Re: iPad 1 - resilient

I agree - is Apple paying for this advertising?

No one cares about the author's ipad - like most of the Apple users, he can't wait to tell us about "my ipad" at every opportunity.

The history revisionism and ignorance in this article is appalling. Yes, in the 90s computers crashed twice a day - but so did Apple's. The problem was much down to things like memory protection, which classic MacOS lacked too. And MS had an OS with memory protection far earlier than Apple, who flailed about for years trying to find a solution, before they then gave up and bought one from Next. Windows since 2000 has been way more stable - yes, maybe it's a bit more or a bit less stable than other OSs, but haters still judge it on the behaviour of Windows 9x. Improvements are down to MS, not magical-Apple. Windows 7 can survive even GPU crashes, which I've seen will still happily crash an Apple PC.

As for smartphones and tablets, we were using them long before Apple entered the market late - it was Symbian and now Android that dominated. And I agree with you - the idea that these are a better form of computing doesn't really hold up. Rather, they've acquired all of the negative aspects that PCs once had, even though PCs are now better.

I've seen Android phones crash, and Apple aren't immune to that either (if anything, Symbian was most stable in my experience) - perhaps less so than a 90s PC, but still more so than a modern day PC. Same for the other common criticisms: my Galaxy Nexus phone takes 3 times longer than my Windows 8 PC to boot (and iphones take ages too, from what I've seen). Phones and even my TV now pesters me for updates, whilst my Windows 8 PC no longer nags me to do so. Oddly Apple users spin this as a benefit ("you haven't got your update yet on your Android phone!" - once again, it's a benefit if it's Apple, a criticism if it's Android, Windows or anyone else).

Yes, 15 years ago we might have wished PCs were like phones/TVs, because PCs were terrible (including Apple's) and phones/TVs were simple. But it was only because they were limited. Now, I find myself wishing that phones and TVs were more like PCs...

(As for enterprise, try doing anything useful with an ipad. MS have all sorts of simple/consumer oriented things for networking and so on anyway. The reason these aren't used are they're not as powerful or flexible, which is even more true of David Sprott's fisherprice pad. But Apple are infuriating even in a consumer context - e.g., with everyone else, I can share media either by USB or streaming with any make of device or OS, effortlessly - it just works, out of the box. Good luck doing that with Apple - I can't play music or videos from someone else's ipod player, even if I installed itunes, it's unclear whether it would "sync" with my stuff or not; and streaming requires you to buy a special Apple box just to get it to work.)

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Facebook skins Android with Facebook Home

Mark .
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Agreed. Though I'm still waiting for this long awaited death of a "traditional" computer. Children today have grown up with *smartphones and laptops*, and some with tablets too. And what about office work - do the offices of Facebook have everyone sitting around working on a smartphone?

In the 1980s, computers were either a box that sat under the monitor, or perhaps with built-in keyboards. I'm sure there are younger people today unaware of that, but I don't recall people referring to them as "traditional" computers as if today's computers aren't traditional computers. Or someone from the 1960s saying that "traditional" computers won't exist in the future, because they'll no longer take up an office room. There will be no death of "traditional computers", it's just that forms will change with time.

Having said that, I agree that there are already perhaps a billion users today using the Internet without "traditional computers", but they don't use traditional smartphones or traditional tablets either, and have been giving Internet access by the billions of other Internet enabled phones sold around the world...

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Major blow for Apple: 'Bounce back' patent bounced back by USPTO

Mark .
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Re: @ AC hypocrites

"The Prada had a capacitive display and did not have pinch to zoom. Maybe you think of it has a gimmick or convenience feature but it basically enables viewing normal web pages on a phone, which is a pretty integral part of modern smartphones these days."

I did viewing web pages fine on my single-touch Nokia 5800, and even now on multitouch, I still use double-click most the time for zoom.

What is it that some people (particularly iphone users) are now saying about the large Android phones? "I can't use it with one hand". Okay - so how do I use pinch-zoom when holding a phone with one hand?

When it comes to using a phone one-handed, multitouch is a far bigger problem than the phone size. So whilst multitouch occasionally is of use, you want UIs to be designed for one-handed operation too, and it's a minor feature compared to having touch at all. The zoom in/out method developed by Google in Google Maps, which works with one finger, is a far better method - I only wish they'd enable this as a standard gesture throughout Android, rather than just in maps.

"I understand that the iPhone lost most feature-by-feature comparisons against other smartphones, but the UI was clearly innovative."

Lots of phones have introduced innovative things. For every iphone one, there are plenty introduced by companies like Nokia. We're not saying the original iphone was awful, just that it was ridiculously overhyped, when there were plenty of other good phones too.

You can't handwave the missing features of the original iphone as being unimportant, whilst claiming the one missing feature of the Prada is of significant importance.

"Android phone UI is dramatically closer to iOS than anything else, e.g., Prada or F700."

Not really, I see plenty in common with Symbian, as well as plenty of other platforms, even common "feature" phones. You see an icon or UI element, you click on it. Multitouch gestures/swipes are icing on the cake, that have been introduced by various platforms.

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Another iPhone passcode bypass spell revealed

Mark .
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Re: But at least Samsung's bypass bug is more accessible...

I was going to write a criticism of that CNN article, but the first comment says it all:

"It's like reading a rant in a high school newspaper."

- 253 upvotes, 11 downvotes...

(The article basically sums up as "They showed women not men painting their nails, and had a woman interested in a fitness feature" along with a load of irrelevant complaining. Did CNN run an article when the iphone advert showed a female jogger?)

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Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

Mark .
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Re: What is so compelling?

Yes I was wondering this - I mean, works with gloves was first done by Nokia, hover touch was first done by Sony (I think). Is there a phone yet that does both of these together?

And I was amused when the micro SD storage was announced with an "of course" :) (I'm not sure if that was a dig at Apple, Google, HTC or all three...)

Still, it is a shame that Samsung get so much publicity when there are plenty of other top quality phones coming from Sony, HTC etc. But I guess it's a step forward when the mainstream media were only publicising the iphone, when there was never any justification for doing so.

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Most Android phones have standardise on microUSB, which can be used to charge, and allow a device to access the built in audio. Although yes, I can see it being a good thing for Google to push for some kind of solution; it is a shame that the audio industry has ignored this, preferring Apple. I'm amused that my smart _TV_ makes a much better home audio solution, as it can play from any kind of device via USB or wireless streaming.

Personally I find the idea of taking my phone or portable player, and having to plug it somewhere to have music in the home, a bit odd - if at home, I'd like to play from a PC too which stores most the media (the point of my portable player or phone is to stay on me, not get left in the house), and from PC or phone, it's much more easily done wireless. But still, plenty of people seem to want these options - and then spend thousands on speakers, cars etc that only work with one make of connector...

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Mark .
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Re: Samsung Suck at Software

"However, 90% of what makes my phone good is Android, and actually stuff written by Google or apps developers. The remaining 10% of not-uninstallable shite is all the Samsung stuff."

That doesn't quite make sense - Android provides 90% of the "good", but the remaining 10% is "shite"?

(I mean, if Samsung provide an extra 1/9th of good, then even if the majority of software is done by Google, that still seems an improvement; or if you mean the Samsung additions actively make the phone worse, then that's not so good.)

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First Samsung Galaxy S4 review leak: Stop FONDLING, start FINGERING

Mark .
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So Apple have the trademark "retina" with a lower case to refer to pixel density, and "Retina" with an upper case to refer to some of their screens. Fair enough, but if that's true, that's pretty damn confusing :)

I concede that a trademark can change it's usage - e.g., Nokia's Pureview first meaning high megapixel sensor, then being used for other technologies in the Lumia 920. But I think it's fair to clarify that statement, referring to one spec, then saying it's equal to a phone that's nowhere near that. (Plus without an objective specific thing to compare, it's all a bit vague and subjective as to how screens compare...)

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Mark .
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Re: Android is not an Apple killer

I'll skip the obvious flamebait, but some issues are worth addressing:

Samsung _are_ a software company too. The Samsung phones run TouchWiz, and this will run the latest version of that. No, it won't be built on the ultra-latest Android version, but neither is an Apple device. It's not reasonable to expect Samsung to build their OS and test it the moment a new Android update is released to the public (we don't get Windows PCs the moment MS release the RTM, even though they're not changing the OS). Are you also going to criticise that Android isn't already running on the latest Linux kernel a few days ago?

Samsung have had their best quarter several quarters running. But I don't see why anyone interested in a new Samsung release cares about the profits made by one company or another.

No, Android won't kill Apple. And Apple won't kill Android or Samsung either (or Nokia, come to that).

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Mark .
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"Maybe English isn't your first language? Clearly by stating the resolution and then saying "with a quality.""

Ah yes, the ad hominems. I did address that possibility in my post. As I say, the "Retina" trademark specifically refers to resolution divided by screen size, not some other notion of quality (which could be any number of things, and doesn't have one single winner - it depends what we measure, as well as personal preference). E.g., when people say the ipad mini doesn't have Retina display, they mean it doesn't match what Apple's standard of pixel density for that trademark was, and not anything to do with other aspects of "quality".

"There are a lot of aspects of display quality that you're apparently not aware of. ... and probably some more that I've forgotten."

Yes, exactly! (Though, I suppose it possible for the screens to be equal in every regard, since Samsung make the displays for both...)

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Mark .
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Re: Eight Cores = Ability to actually multi-task

Cores aren't directly to do with multitasking (although multitasking may be easier with more processing power, and adding more cores is an easy way to provide that extra power). Symbian had the multitasking you describe for years, always on single-core CPUs, including ones much slower than today. My Amiga did proper multitasking on a 7.14MHz single-core 68000. And Windows PCs did multitasking long before multi-cores existed...

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Mark .
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Re: Yawn - real android please...

Sounds like Google Now on Android, which the S4 will therefore have.

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Mark .
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Doesn't Sony Xperia already have the hover-touching functionality? (It already has Full HD, come to that.) Not that I'm criticising the S4, I'm excited to see what it brings - but I think it is interesting to note that there are high quality Android phones being released all year round.

"boasting 1920 x 1080 pixels with a quality the reviewer reckons is equal to Apple's Retina display."

Apple released a full HD phone? The iphone 5's resolution doesn't even match an early S3, let alone an S4. Even using their flawed metric of resolution divided by screen size (flawed because I like a larger screen, whilst this metric favours smaller screens), the S4 will be way higher. (Unless this is some alternative measure he was on about, but then, "Retina" has been a trademark that Apple have used purely to talk about resolution divided by screen size.)

Though if we want other definitions of quality, I'd still like a phone or tablet with a matte display like my Samsung netbook please - who needs pixels, when you can't see them in the sun?

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Re: Is this the start of the post-iPhone era?

"The online world still hasn't totally adjusted to the death of the Windows-PC-as-primary-computing device yet."

As much as I love my Android phone, the "death of the PC" is still a bit ridiculous - yes, I want them to improve websites rather than relying on "apps" for only one or two platforms; no, I don't want to use my small phone as my primary computing device.

(Well, it might be primary in terms of sales - mobile phones have long outsold PCs, whether it's dumb phones, feature phones, or Symbian smartphones of the 2000s. But I don't think higher sales means that most people are using them as their primary device - rather they upgrade more often, or people are more likely to share a PC in a household than a mobile phone.)

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Ten pi-fect projects for your new Raspberry Pi

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Re: Is that it? @Jason

"You can try to make PCs smaller but then you end up with a $1000 Steam Box or a Mac Mini."

Though note that MicroATX form boards are commonplace, and there are plenty of small-size PC boxes. Not that I disagree with the gist of your post - in particular, these weren't around (or at least, not common) in the 1990s, so any £5 PC he finds from that era is going to be big. But there's a lot more choice than those two options.

Most people don't need a dedicated graphics card these days, meaning the days of PC cards are gone, similarly one can do away with the DVD drives.

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Re: Is that it?

"but it is sometimes hard to see how it's really any better than a second hand laptop or PC costing £5"

Honest question - how easy it is to get such a £5 PC? Typically second hand PC prices tend to have a lower limit that's much higher than that, even if they don't seem worth it. And anything worth less than that is likely to be thrown out, so it's a matter of luck as to whether you know someone with some old hardware to give away. Admittedly Freecycle may help - but I can see the point that, just because a 1990s PC ought to cost £5, doesn't mean I can easily get hold of one, when most of them are now lost, collecting dust, faulty or thrown out.

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BlackBerry Z10: Prices pruned despite eager iPunter interest

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Re: Lack of Applications?

Everyone knows! Er, a shame her bank doesn't. Or the commenters criticising BB for a lack of apps; I argue this should be directed at the app developers (as with Windows only applications). I wasn't telling everyone, let alone you, I was simply mentioning a fact as part of that point.

I'm not sure that random comments on a forum constitute anything like the level of criticism when something like BBC iplayer was Windows only. Everyone knows that people say they buy iphones because of something only supporting that, but I still found it useful for the OP to make that comment.

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Re: Alicia Keys

But then that's an argument against every phone (such as £400 S3, £500 iphone 5), and the real question should be, why isn't the Nexus 4 dominating everything else?

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Mark .
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How's that latest TouchWiz update working out on your Nexus 4?

I have a Galaxy Nexus btw, but find this argument about the latest Android version pointless, when most phones don't run vanilla Android, and simply therefore run on different update cycles. Sure, if you want to run pure Android, that's a plus point for the Nexus, but the S3 has its own advantages. I don't see that the latest Android point releases have significant improvements anyway. It's like getting excited over Windows updates.

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Re: Lack of Applications?

A shame your friend doesn't change her bank, rather than her choice of phone...

This situation is sadly depressing - an unfair advantage Apple get, and something that all other platforms (not just BB) have to fight with.

I remember the uproar when a bank's site or whatever might decide to cater for "only" the mere 90% of Windows users. Yet if a bank now only provides for iphone users - never having been the number one platform, and barely ever above 20%, it seems there's silence.

Android has rocketed past the majority 50% point, now approaching 80%; Samsung Android phones alone outsell iphones by tens of millions; even one single Android device out of thousands outsells Apple's flagship (Q3 2012, the Samsung S3). Android also is now number one on non-phone tablets too. Yet it seems that the number of adverts advertising only "get this on your iphone" or "from the app store" is increasing...

(I think Google Play must have now overtaken to be number one, or will do soon? But unfortunately a lot of the bigger businesses/services still seem to be clueless about phone market share, preferring to cater for fishermen with ipads and so on.)

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MWC 2013: The Chinese are coming - and you ain't seen nothing yet

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Re: Price Ideas?

"If they are gonna pitch at Apple prices, the battle is settled. People will buy Appl e instead."

Not really true, plenty of people buy high end Android phones, whilst plenty of Apple phone sales are made up of older iphones. Even at a high price, I'd bet Andoid still comes first.

And when you look at the specs - 5" screens, full HD, maps that work - why not? The iphone 5 just brought it in line with Android phones 18 months earlier.

Bigger competition is likely Samsung, who produce similar high end Android phones, but seem to be a lot more well known than Huawei.

Though yes, it's frustrating to see what's happened to the Nexus 4.

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Samsung Wallet slavishly copies inspired by Apple Passbook

Mark .
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Re: I agree...

"Both black. Both show tickets appearing out of a pocket (half shown)."

Wow, two pictures of tickets in a wallet both look like tickets in a wallet. And the colour black is patented now, is it?

"Now go figure and have a beer on me."

Your beer icon looks just like this other beer icon I saw! Yet I can find this third beer icon that looks completely different, just a simple line drawing, therefore your icon must be a copy, with no sense of style.

(Also, a 2007 iphone's grid of coloured icons looks like my 2005 feature phone, or a 1985 Amiga come to that.)

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Re: I agree...

"At least make the logo radically different if you're going to be inspired from an existing idea."

Who says they were inspired from Apple?

And why is it always everyone else who has to make things look radically different, when Apple don't have to?

Your use of "sham" makes no sense.

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Re: indeed

"I think you could ask 1000 people to draw a picture of a wallet and you wouldn't get anything like a simple leather pouch with some tickets stuffed into it, together, at jaunty angles."

But this isn't just a wallet, a key part of the functionality is the tickets. So the test would be to ask people to draw a wallet with some tickets in it. Yes, you would get similar (and the only differences would be if their drawing skill wasn't as good as a professional graphic artist).

"Second, saying that there's basically only one way for a clock to look shows a startling ignorance of IP/copyright/trademark law. "

Well, I guess a 2007 iphone is in violation for looking like earlier phones, by that logic.

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Re: indeed

I agree. The evidence present by this article is so hilarious, I think it's either a parody, or just flamebait. Let's see:

"Guess what Passbook uses – yup, bar codes."

Bar codes? My god, did all the items at the local shop also copy Apple too, with their lavish use of *bar codes*?

Then we have the comparison of icons. Google only looks different because it looks nothing recognisable like a wallet. MS is only different because it's an overly simplified representation. Apple and Samsung look similar, because they're both more realistic images of a wallet and tickets. Many tickets have cutouts.

Guess what, if I take a photo of my wallet, it also looks like a wallet. Apple copied my wallet!

I wasn't aware that Apple now have a patent on the colours green, yellow and blue (though given the rounded-corners, who knows).

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Google+ goes single sign-in, exec roasts Zuck's 'frictionless sharing'

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Re: Still enforcing "real names"?

Says "JDX" - is that your real name? Your Register account will be banned until you provide legal documentation showing this.

(Your passport analogy is meaningless - I don't need a passport to leave a Google Play rating, or comment on a website, nor would I want such a requirement. Are you seriously suggesting those things should have the same level of security as entering another country?)

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Also for Google Play reviews now

My thoughts too, especially how atrocious their enforcement of it is (claiming it's okay to use a name you're commonly known by, but then banning people for unusual names even if it is their common or legal name) - but I'm also worried that Google have now restricted Google Play reviews to Google+ accounts.

All the usual arguments about real names apply here: yes, there's some argument about having accountability for reviews, but there are plenty of reasons for wanting privacy (suppose it's an app for a gay dating website, and someone doesn't want to be outed, or have their pseudonym on that site linked to their real name) (also if you use a pseudonym on a website, and there's an app for it, it's actually less anonymous to leave a review with that same pseuodnym). As a developer, I also don't like this change, as it means people are less likely to leave reviews (I like getting good reviews!) Also, the dumb 1 star "it didn't download" reviews tend to be sincere, even if misguided - so requiring a real name won't stop this, these reviews aren't the result of trolling.

But there's also a far bigger additional problem - it means to leave a review, your Google+ Real Name account is now linked to your Google account/phone. So the idea of using a Google account specific to your phone (as I and many others do) goes out the window, as it'll be linked with your real name and that other account anyway.

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That Firefox OS mobe: The sorta phone left behind after a mugging

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Re: A somewhat harsh editorial...

"Even the mighty Android and iOS had issues when they were first launched and had extremely small markets for their first year or so."

It's also worth noting that iphone's 2nd place really is very recent - the history of smartphones has really been Symbian, then Android, with iphone mostly in 3rd, 4th or 5th place. It pipped into 2nd with Symbian being dropped, and BB's loss in share, but it's really more than Android has come to dominate, now at near 80% share. (Indeed, the gap between iphone and Android is far greater than iphone and whoever's in 3rd place.)

And whilst Android grew rapidly after its first year, it took iphone around 3 or 4 years to get anywhere near comparable to other platforms.

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"Then came Apple’s charge into the industry, and the industry’s response, first with lookalikes then with workalikes."

The 2007 iphone looked and worked like my 2005 feature phone (with a grid of coloured icons), and it took Apple years to add the features like apps and copy/paste that other platforms had. But nothing like a nice rewrite of history...

"It is exactly what you’d expect from an iPhone clone in 2009"

What's a 2009 iphone clone - one that still couldn't multitask?

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Nexus 1 put in orbit to prove 'in space, no one can hear you scream'

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I agree - they also say "They hope to use a purpose-built app to test the theory, immortalised in the film Alien, that "in space no-one can hear you scream"."

Which again sounds more like "theory" in its sloppy non-scientific use, in particular, the way they say "the theory", suggesting there is a specific scientific theory of "in space no-one can hear you scream". It also again carries the implication that this is still a matter of debate.

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Re: "Theory" - in science

A theory is more than conjecture.

But theories never become laws - a law is more like a "rule of thumb", such as a relation between observed behaviour. The law of gravity is the equation, the theory of gravity is the model that explains it. Laws can be incorrect - e.g., gas laws don't work in practice.

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Mobile operators look to Firefox to beat back Google, Apple

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Re: I'm not sure what you mean by "Operator apps"

So applications on phones today in 2013 are better than in 2005, and you say that's because the latter were "operator apps"?

It couldn't possibly be due to the change in technology... (most phone games today look roughly comparable to computer games of around 1990, so if 8 years ago they were like a Vic 20, I'd say that's roughly matching the state of progress - interestingly phones are capable of a lot more, having the computing power of desktops within the last 10 years, but most games don't take advantage of that).

Yes, it's true that "apps" offered by websites or companies are rubbish, but then I'm not sure what that's got to do with phone network operators. Indeed, your argument seems contradictory - first you say "operator apps" are bad because they were worse than what you can get on an iphone today, then you say "operator apps" are bad, because there are bad apps on an iphone today...

"If you could only get apps from your Operator"

Note that this was never, at least not on my Vodafone phone - the operator portal was offered in addition to apps I could download anywhere on the Internet. I agree making it so you can only download from one place is a bad thing, thankfully only iphone does that.

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Nokia opens Maps to rivals, flogs uber-budget €15 phone

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Re: Puzzled

Yes, I have used it, that's how I knew about it(!)

Sure, you can awkwardly arrange 3 of your slots to cover nothern England, and then still not have enough for other places in the world you might want to travel to. And it's hopeless if you'll be driving across Europe, or around a wide area in the US, say. Meanwhile, on Nokia Maps I just clicked the countries or continents I wanted - none of this "arrange 3 of my limited number of slots to cover part of a country".

The fact that it only comes to less than 200MB is exactly my point - if I have GBs free, why can't I use it?

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Re: Puzzled

On Google maps, "offline maps" means you can select a few city-sized regions at a time. And there's a hard coded limit on the number (I forget how many, less than 10), even if you have GBs of storage free!

On Nokia maps, "offline maps" means you select what maps you want, countries or continents at a time, or even the whole world if you want.

The Google method means you have to know in advance - that's feasible if you're just travelling to a city, but not if you'll be travelling about in the country. Also it's much easier to just always store entire countries/continents/the world, rather than having to update every time you go travelling.

(I use Android, but still waiting for this feature 7 years after Nokia did it.)

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Re: Specs

Wait, did you seriously criticise a 15 euro phone, for being thicker than a £500 phone? (Also the volume of a 109 may well be pretty small anyway - when a phone is that small, it's harder to make it thin too.)

There was a time when a phone couldn't do things like apps at all. Like year 2000-era £15 phones, or a 2007 iphone.

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Re: Nokia NEVER learn

Quite right - iphone 5 is better than iphone 4, iphone 4 is better than iphone 4S - wait. But still we know that iphone 4/4S was better than 3GS (not to be confused with a Samsung GS3, or indeed a Stargate SG-3) which was better than an iphone 3S, sorry, iphone 3G, which was better than iphone 2. Hang on a moment.

But yes, it's true, of course everyone knew that the iphone 5 would be the next one after iphone 4, that's why the media were going on about it for 18 months, when actually the 4S was released instead.

Still, looking forward to the iphone 6, or iphone 5S, or iphone 4G, in whichever order they come.

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