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* Posts by Mark .

1852 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Microsoft Surface Pro launch: It's easy to sell out of sod all stock

Mark .
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To be fair

Every other company seems to be doing the same thing these days, obviously having learned from the days when Apple got lots of publicity from it. (Plus if the 128GB version is in more demand, that's a good sign - the fear with these fancy high end tablet hybrids is that few want to spend that much money.)

As long as they don't take as long as Google with the Nexus shortages, they're not doing that bad (do we even know what the story is? The Nexus 4 should be taking the smartphone world by storm; the Nexus 10 ends any reason to buy an ipad - except it's still hard to be getting either of them...)

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Björk gives up trying to Kickstart Android music app

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Re: So in summary

You can write the UI in C++ on Android - I don't see why the Java layer on Android needs to be anymore than what you say is needed for iphone?

Although I use Qt on Android, and don't write a single line of Java.

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Re: So in summary

I think it's unfair to compare on what Google say, as it's penalising them for being honest, whilst Apple meanwhile claim their devices are "magical"... (meanwhile most Apple users see imperfections as "Why would you want to do that", or even a feature).

"But most Android devices aren't JB yet."

Most devices aren't iphones. One can still buy a specific device if you know you want JB.

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Mark .
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Re: So in summary

All you're seeing there is that when someone uses an Apple product, they have to advertise the fact, and it gets an article in the news. (And it's still a device looking for use - great, I can lug a big expensive device around, and leave the paper at home!)

Obviously one can use devices to display sheet music, including tablets, same with using devices in performances. Sorry, nothing special or magical about IOS.

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BlackBerry Q10: This quirky QWERTY will keep loyalists perky

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Re: Not just for loyalists

No ecosystem? It's a smartphone, not a rainforest.

(Seriously, I've never understood what this recent marketing-speak actually means. I thought it was something to do with software, you know, that thing we've had for decades, but then you get people like you saying some platforms with software still don't have an "ecosystem", or that this is some kind of recent thing.)

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Windows Phone 8 hasn't slowed Microsoft's mobile freefall

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Re: This is US only, not at all representative of worldwide (also means that Apple aren't #1)

Yes, I covered that in my post - it's fair game to note that Nokia/WP still haven't cracked the US market ("Nokia still haven't broken into the US market, despite them hoping to with WP"). And yes, if their reasoning for ditching Symbian was to crack the US market, it's also a bad move. But we have an article conflating US sales with the worldwide market, and many comments doing the same.

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Mark .
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Re: This is US only, not at all representative of worldwide (also means that Apple aren't #1)

Asha is a smartphone - how is it not? The weird thing is why manufacturers continue with the odd "feature" label (no, it might not be as good as a high end smartphone, but neither is a cheap Android, or still-on-sale older iphone - it's like saying a £300 laptop isn't a laptop, as it isn't as good as my £1500 one).

3rd party industry observers have included Asha (I forget which off hand, but this was why Nokia started counting it as a smartphone). Unlike Apple, who declared their dumb phone a smartphone, even when it couldn't run apps (something that feature phones did years earlier).

Yes, it's a fair point to note that their recent growth has come much more from Asha than WP (although the latter still grows), but I'm not sure why people try to redefine Asha as not being a smartphone. Indeed, surely it's more damning of WP, if most of their smartphone growth is from another platform? (Also I wouldn't say it is either rocketing, or mysterious - up until recently, their smartphone sales were much higher - they went down as Symbian was phased out, now they're going up as they introduce new smartphone platforms.)

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Mark .
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Re: Is hell exothermic or endothermic?

Indeed - and people forget just how poorly iphone sold in its early years, only really getting mainstream 2010-2011.

(Plus remember, these stats are US only, so completely useless for info on worldwide share or sales.)

I don't think I've seen total WP for Q4 2012 - for Nokia alone it was 4.something million.

(I agree about the problems of "market share" - for years the media moaned about Nokia's "falling share", but actually their Symbian sales were not only increasing, but doing so at a faster rate - in absolute numbers - than iphone. But the media spun it so Apple were top, Nokia last. Funnily enough, now that Apple are in exactly the same situation with their ipads - falling share, but increasing sales - the media seem less keen to use this tactic...)

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Mark .
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This is US only, not at all representative of worldwide (also means that Apple aren't #1)

This is US only, whilst WP8 still grows overall. That's why the figures don't match up, either with the Nokia adverts, or what MS have said (as reported in the article). The only lie is the Register spinning US-only facts as if it was representative of the worldwide market.

Similarly with Android vs IOS or Samsung vs Apple. Worldwide, Samsung are first (and Nokia second), way ahead of Apple. And in the US, last quarter IOS went up with Android falling, but that was only in the US - worldwide Android continues to dominate.

I don't care for WP, but I dislike articles trying to mislead people just to push an agenda - it seems that not one single other commenter noticed that these figures are for the US only.

The only valid point worth reporting is that Nokia still haven't broken into the US market, despite them hoping to with WP. But that isn't a fall - Symbian never made it in the US either. In general, the US has never been representative of worldwide usage. I mean, in 2007 they thought Apple's dumb phone was something amazingly new because the US was years behind in phone tech, whilst everyone else had had apps and Internet years before even on feature phones, not to mention the US not having seen smartphones before. And whilst Android has caught on since then, it's still not dominating in the way that it has outside the US.

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Mark .
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Re: Did I miss the big Microsoft advertising blitz?

I don't about MS, but practically *every single US show* (at least, those that also air over here) in the last five or more years has Apple product placement in it. The only exceptions being those where it doesn't make sense (e.g., sci-fi, fantasy, historical). (Thankfully those are my favourite genres...)

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Re: Unsurprising really..

Things weren't that bad - Symbian *did* rule the world, as in being number one, as late as 2011. True, it missed the chance to be the "standard OS for everything" that ultimately dominated, because Android got in there, but it had an excellent run nonetheless.

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Mark .
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Re: Unsurprising really..

Have you actually used it anytime recently?

Symbian uses Qt, one of the best programming APIs I've come across. And having used recent Symbian and Android, I find them both good, each have their pluses and minuses.

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The Register: Our all-new app now available for Android

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"Do any browsers support orientation detection? Properly, I mean, not just re-flowing the text. A dedicate app will often adopt an entirely different layout in horizontal mode than vertical mode. Putting buttons along the top instead of down the side for instance."

Actually I often find a reverse, an "app" will be hardcoded for one orientation, whilst the webpage will at least do some reasonable job at coping.

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Re: This

True, though I think the thing that really makes things odd is all the people advertising "apps" for their website for ipads. Seems like at least one advert per ad break advertises an ipad app, whilst Sky have launched a whole industry for fishermen with ipads, and casinos.

So if the reason is for small devices, that doesn't apply to big ipads with high resolutions. And if there's some other reason why an application is better, I wonder why there isn't an application for Windows (Windows x86, not WP or RT), for you know, the majority of people who use those laptop things, rather than the minority of Apple users. (And maybe an app for OS X and Linux users too, if they want to be cross-platform.)

Perhaps it's that they only produce for devices with cut-down browsers (but so much for the idea of ios devices having good browsers - maybe good compared to a feature phone, perhaps). The only other explanation is that they're produced by managers who think an "app" is something special that only runs on Apple devices (or perhaps Android). At least once now, I've heard someone say "Windows 8 can now run apps" ...

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Could this be Google's slick new touchscreen Chromebook?

Mark .
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"it could potentially ruffle the feathers of its hardware partners in much the same way that Microsoft rankled OEMs by releasing Surface under its own brand."

But is this actually made by Google, or a Google branded device made by a hardware partner, as has been the case with Nexus devices and Chromebooks so far? If the latter, it's no different to before.

(Assuming it isn't just vaporware of course.)

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HP jumps on Chromebook bandwagon with 14-incher

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Re: "..at $329.99 "

He has a point though - with a Linux/Windows laptop, you can still do all the Google/cloud stuff, and have the extra functionality too. Not that I'm saying Chrome OS is bad - it's good to have choice, and these are priced at the very low end of laptops (unlike the earlier generations).

But it's reasonable to compare to other low cost laptops (most people seem to be comparing to netbooks, which doesn't seem right to me - they are smaller and have much better battery life, but less performance; if you want performance and a larger device, and don't need as long battery life, normal laptops are the thing to compare to).

"have it backed up is far more important"

I don't really agree with Google's "you don't have to back it up" argument - if data is only online, I still want to make offline backups. I guess you could argue that Google are more reliable than most, and won't go away anytime soon, but still - everytime a cloud solution disappears, if someone hasn't backed it up elsewhere, the response here is to say it's their own fault. For something as important as business, you wouldn't want to stake your livelihood on another company like that, so you'd still need the IT to do the offline backup. Not to mention issues like security considerations. So I'd say the opposite - Chrome makes things easier for the casual user (who probably doesn't do any backup, so Google is going to be more reliable than an average local hard disk), but it's less useful for business use. (Although true, there are probably a horrifying number of small businesses with no backup systems either... - I guess my point is that even where it's an improvement, it's not like you should do away with backup.)

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Mark .
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Re: Laptops with no OS.

PC Specialist sell Clevos with option of no OS.

True, that's probably not a "big name manufacturer", but then I think the answer there is that big names care more about what sells the most, and most people want to buy with an OS. But if you want a no-OS machine, vote with your wallet :)

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Mark .
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Re: bestseller

It's an odd world. A year or two ago, everyone said "Why bother with a Chromebook, you can get a Windows/Linux netbook that does all the Google webstuff, and more". Now it's "Oh wait, no one sells netbooks, but you can get a Chromebook".

(Actually though, you can still get low end cheap laptops - not as portable, but neither is this 14" Chromebook; and more powerful than netbooks. I'm not sure there are any Chromebooks as small as the 10" netbooks? Plus it helps that the latest generation of Chromebooks are significantly cheaper, putting them at the lowest end of laptop costs.)

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Samsung mocks Apple lawsuit in SuperBowl teaser ad

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Re: Brand loyalty

Quite. I'm thoroughly confused how, in a debate about Samsung vs Apple phones, people argue for the latter by saying "But Samsung users have more freedom to move to other makes of phones".

(I've noticed this generally with Apple debates. It doesn't matter what products one personally like, it just seems odd when one group of people aren't even arguing the debate by the same rules - it's like one set of people saying they prefer chocolate ice cream because it tastes better, and another saying they don't like chocolate because it costs less, there are lots of varieties to choose from, you can eat it from any make of bowl, and the chocolate factory doesn't make as much money as apple farms. It's like, yes but how on earth is any of that a relevant argument?)

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Mark .
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Aside from being untrue (Samsung outsell Apple even at only the high end; plus many Apple sales are made up of cheap products, like the older phones still on sale, not to mention other areas like mp3 players), I find this argument odd anyway. The cost of a phone is just as much a part of the product - any old fool can produce something if cost is no object, but delivering it at a cost that people buy is what takes the skill.

I mean, you might as well say "Most people would buy Apple, but buy Samsung as they make better phones". It's absurd to handwave away the latter part as an excuse, and spin it as Apple being better. Rather, the fact that Samsung deliver to customers here means it's they that have done better. The fact that a hypothetical Apple might do better in a hypothetical world where the phones were better or they weren't so expensive is neither here nor there.

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Android gets tipsy on Wine, runs WINDOWS apps

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Re: @ Mark

Yes, I'm talking about GNU/Linux - Android may be "Linux" in the sense of using the kernel, but that helps little when trying to port with the OS that-people-usually-refer-to-as "Linux" (maybe RMS was right that we should call it "GNU/Linux" after all...)

Is it possible to run GNU/Linux software on Android by installing libraries?

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Mark .
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Re: Strangely relevant

On a similar note, *Linux* on Android would be good too - as in, running anything that works on GNU/Linux.

Porting Windows to Linux often isn't that hard with languages like C or C++, and libraries like SDL, but like you say, I've hit problems trying to port to Android. My route has been to use Qt (the Android port is unofficial and in beta, but still seems a lot more supported and user friendly than SDL on Android), but it would be so much easier just to recompile a Linux version...

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Samsung: Never mind Steve Jobs, let's snap off a piece of stylus biz

Mark .
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Re: Apple didn't include a stylus... but

The problem is that styluses for capacitive screens tend to be bigger things with less precision. This is distinct to the pens now being seen in Galaxy Android products (as well as various Windows 8 tablets) that have finer points again (as well as also being pressure sensitive, I believe).

And it wasn't just the lack of choice (after all, that was a problem with every capacitive screen until recently), but the claim that styluses were wrong, or the media view that branded any device with a stylus as "old fashioned".

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Mark .
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Re: Round and round....

I agree - I'd add that another useful thing about resistive screens (which weren't actually that bad really - my resistive Nokia 5800 was fine with finger, and I think the difference between "no touch screen" and "touch screen" is far bigger than resistive vs capacitive, especially when you consider the former had some advantages of their own) was being able to use with gloves. I was interested to note Nokia advertising the Lumia 920 as having a capacitive screen that's sensitive enough to work with gloves, so I hope we'll get this feature back too.

It's annoying that the myth of styluses being bad still hangs over us, and Samsung should be congratulated for taking the steps to challenge this. I hope we'll see their S Pen in more mainstream smaller devices like their Galaxy S series.

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Mark .
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Re: Come back Netbook

I do wonder if touch-only tablets will follow a similar line to netbooks.

Despite all the doom and gloom, netbooks were once selling well, and IIRC at one time made a significant proportion of all PC sales. I'm sure if people had done tablet-style extrapolations, they'd have concluded that everyone would be using netbooks by 2012. But no, what happened is the market reached saturation - everyone who wanted one, had one, and there was no draw to convince additional people to buy them.

With tablets, we see massive growth, and the media extrapolate that to say how we'll all be using tablets in 2016. But at some point, we may hit the point where everyone who wants one has one, and sales start getting eaten by the next thing that comes along (e.g., who'll need a tablet, when you can just fold open your flexible-display Samsung S6 smartphone?)

Netbooks also had the price plummet so manufacturers made little profit, and so wanted to move elsewhere, like conventional laptops, high end ultrabooks, or tablets. Tablets started off as high priced, but since last year, we've seen the start of the price war.

And some people got annoyed with netbooks when they weren't as powerful as they thought; similarly you have people buying tablets, then realising they can't do as much as they thought, or wondering what to actually do with them.

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Mark .
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Re: Ahhh, I mourn the NetBooks passing

But that doesn't fulfil: "Intel still doesn't grok that "all-day battery life" means a minimum of eight functional hours, realistically 12."

Which applies to the Apple Air just as much as any other Intel Core device.

But this is the question - how do Intel Core and Intel Atom compare on battery life? I went for an Atom netbook rather than Intel Core ultra-portable not just for cost, but also I was worried about the battery life not being as good, but since then, I've seen some claims that Intel Core has become a lot better. Part of the problem is that you can't really compare manufacturer estimates, as some quote "best possible maximum, with minimum brightness, sitting idle", whilst others quote say, how long it can play a movie for. Anyone seen any benchmarks that fairly compare the two kinds of processor?

If Intel Core is almost as good these days, then all the Ultrabooks and other Intel Core ultra-portables are possible options as netbook replacements, albeit not as cheap.

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Mark .
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Re: I want a new netbook

"since it had windows installed, it could only run more than a couple of hours by crippling performance"

If think it's more the netbook than the OS to blame. My Windows Samsung netbook easily gets about 8 hours of use.

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Mark .
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Re: I want a new netbook

I think that's the thing though - if you're okay with ARM, there are plenty of options that are much closer to being netbook replacements (in terms of size, battery life), whether it's a Chromebook, ASUS Transformer, or even the various Windows RT hybrids appearing. But even with Chromebooks, the x86 versions seem to be Intel Core or Celeron, putting them more in line with more conventional 11" laptops (or "ultrabooks") than netbook replacements.

(Oddly, I'm sure the earlier generations of Chromebooks did use Atom, but they were more expensive than netbooks, and more like 12" IIRC.)

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Mark .
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Re: I want a new netbook

Comparing the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity to the upcoming ASUS x86 hybrids, just frustrates me.

The Transformer Infinity is 10.1", and even has better-than-full-HD 1920x1200, but I'd rather have x86 - like you, I want to run something more than just Android. But their upcoming x86 options seem to include:

Transformer Book - 13.3" (and it's i7, which whilst powerful, may not be as good as a netbook on battery life, though putting extra battery in the keyboard dock may offset this - but at that size, not to mention the likely cost, it's not really a netbook replacement).

Zenbook - Another 13.3" i7 machine.

Vivobook - Has an 11.6" option, 1366x768, not sure what the battery life would be like.

VivoTab - Perhaps the closest option, with 11.6", Atom, and a whopping 19 hours battery life with the keyboard dock. 1366x768.

So I think the VivoTab is a possible netbook replacement, but I'm left wondering, if they can produce a 10" machine with 1920x1200, why is their x86 11" offering stuck at 1366x768? As you say, it's this bizarre idea that people want to run mobile phone/tablet on-app-at-a-time OSs at super high resolutions, and desktop windowed operating systems at lower resolutions. Maybe it's because they think people are more likely to watch movies with an Android device, but then, it's also odd that the x86 Windows machine gets 16:9 ratio, with the ARM machine getting the more productivity friendly 16:10.

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Mark .
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Atom still lives on

Another Me too!

Actually, it's worth noting that Atom still lives on, in the form of Clover Trail. It's just that it's not clear whether there will be basic Atom-based laptops, all the devices I've seen so far are hybrids (which isn't necessarily a bad thing - they're still ultra-portable, and have keyboards - but it's also more costly if you don't have any interest in that). Another annoyance is that 11" now seems to be a minimum for any device with a keyboard. E.g., something like http://www.asus.com/vivo/en/vivoTab.htm - with its whopping 19 hour battery life(!) - looks like it would serve well as a netbook-successor, but it does mean 11" minimum (and the extra cost is unfortunately to people who just want a basic laptop).

It hasn't helped the way that the media (and many geeks) slagged off Atom and netbooks as being "slow", when they're still good enough for many tasks, and as good as ARM. Like ARM, they may not be anywhere as near as fast as Intel Core processors, but have the better battery life (and lower cost).

Also "netbook" seemed to get stuck as "1024x600 with 1GB RAM" (despite the fact that they can all be upgraded cheaply to 2GB, which really helps with Windows 7). I'm more than happy to see that spec die. On the one hand, I'm glad to see a wide range of choice of Atom based machines with better specs now finally appearing; on the other hand, it seems odd if absolutely no one decides to make a pure Atom based laptop rather than a hybrid; or 10" rather than 11" minimum.

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Microsoft dev tools to add Linux-style source code versioning

Mark .
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It's evil of MS, because they don't selflessly contribute to competing platforms?

"since the company is benefiting from the very hard work of possibly hundreds of developers"

Sorry, one of the fundamental points of Free and Open Source is that people are free to use it. There are of course those who believe that you should give something back - that's what copyleft licences are for, like the GPL. But if you release under something like BSD, you're saying that you want people to have the freedom to use it *and not give something back*.

Personally this is why I usually release under the GPL. But then you get BSD advocates claiming that the BSD is better because it's "more free" - then they whine and complain when people actually make use of that extra freedom(!) I've seen exactly the same nonsense even when BSD code was included in GPL code - apparently that was selfish too, because the GPL people should have released under BSD.

It's ignorant and stupid to support a company because they don't support Linux? Sorry, no. I like Linux too, but I'm not expecting companies to selflessly support their competition, nor do I care when companies make use of software, that was released under a licence for that very purpose.

They're not the ones trying to destroy Open Source platforms with software patents.

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Mark .
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Re: Microsoft using Git!

Yet mention "Desperately trying to destroy the most successful Open Source product with software patents" Apple, and half the commenters on here will be praising how wonderful Apple are...

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Apple still top for slab-fondlers despite FLOOD of Xmas tablets

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Re: WTF?

Because Apple are the ones who claimed unecessarily high "pixel density" the selling point of the ipad. If we agree it's not important, then there are plenty of other tablets to consider too (e.g., Galaxy Note 10.1).

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Mark .
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Re: Why the obsession with market share

Regarding share, yes. Everyone was obsessed when Nokia was losing market share, despite increasing sales, too. And this goes for everyone - Samsung, ASUS, even MS, are all making money from extra sales, who cares what the share is. Indeed, the doom and gloom about PCs is stupid, when tablets are being made by PC companies anyway, so it's not like they're losing out.

"Of course it has a capacitive touch screen so you'd better get out that stylus!"

Eh? A capacitive screen usually can't be used with a stylus. And neither resistive nor capacitive screens require a stylus. And I'm not sure a £50 tablet is useless - sure, some have low spec like 512MB RAM, but so did an original ipad.

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Re: @messele

Interestingly enough, this was the same situation that Nokia went through for years - falling share, but still number one, and actually increasing sales. In some cases, their sales were increasing faster than other platforms in absolute numbers.

Of course, the media focused on "falling market share" all the years it was Nokia, but you can bet they'll focus on "increasing sales" when it's Apple...

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Mark .
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Android number one, Apple share sliding

So wait, unless Windows RT has done better than expected in its first quarter, it seems clear that Android is now number one in tablets as well as phones. But this point, and the actual share, is completely absent from the article, instead trying to spin it as being all about Apple!

I remember how for years the media painted doom and gloom about Nokia, because their market share was falling, and the fact that they were still number one (by company _and_ platform), or their sales were _increasing_, was hardly ever mentioned, with readers misled that Nokia were behind Apple, or that their sales were falling (just see the first comment above, from someone who confuses change in market share, with change in sales).

Now Apple faces the same situation as Nokia, yet this time, the media harp on about how they're still number one (by company, not platform), and sales are increasing, with the drop in market share a mere footnote. Bias, much?

What will happen when Apple are no longer the number one company in non-phone tablets? If phones are anything to go by, it'll be "But, the ipad is still the single best selling device". And when they no longer get that, it'll be "But, but, that was only because the ipad sales got split between ipad 4S and ipad 5!"

(Apple got vast amounts of media coverage even before the first ipad was announced - remember istale? Most people don't even know alternatives exist, but thankfully now that's slowly starting to change. Hell, even now, every other bloody advert is giving free Appleverts; Sky's "Fisherman with ipads" advert plays as I type.)

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Official: Fandroids are smarter/tighter* than iPhone fanbois

Mark .
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Not sure if I'm misreading but... 60% of 20% (at best) of the market, i.e., 12% of the market. For Android, 54% of 75% of the market, i.e., 40.5% of the market. So actually, there's still more in overall numbers of Android users with more money. (Worth considering if you're an application developer who still believes it's iphone users spending more.)

(Plus even if we ignore the different sizes of the market, 54% and 60% aren't that different, the first two paragraphs imply there's a massive difference, and the actual relevant figure for Android only given later on.)

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Surface left on shelves as world+dog slurps up small slates

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Re: Hafl a Million?

It's not like this is fruit 'n' veg. Worst case, even with flat growth this quarter, they just pause production and sell the rest in time. Not sure what profit they make per device, but even at just £10 a device - well, let's just say that I wish my so-called "failures" net me £10 million.

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Android now ahead?

To be fair, it's all relative - I don't recall the Register moaning about ASUS's results in Q4 2011 when they sold far less than a million. (Or consider 2007, when Apple had a measly 3.3 million over 6 months, which for phones is abysmal.) Typically new platforms (which Windows RT is) start small, the question is growth. And however much or little each sells, it's good to have choice (I'm sure Clevo don't sell that many, but that doesn't stop me liking my Clevo laptop). If people are preferring smaller tablets, we should be noting how Apple got it wrong too.

And hang on - what's Android's share? If Windows RT is small, and IOS at 43%, I make that Android now leading in non-phone tablets too.

Rather depressing to see once again, the media do the trick of stop reporting by OS, and switch to reporting by company, just to suit what makes Apple look best.

Oh, and shouldn't growth be given in change in percentage (or perhaps absolute increase in sales), and not relative growth? I mean, MS are first with infinite growth, by that measure...

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US retail kingpins swoon: Nobody bonks like Google does

Mark .
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Re: Moar!

But the easier thing there isn't the contactless aspect, but the dropping of the requirement for entering a pin (which obviously has the trade-off of security). If you instead just had to swipe the card through a reader, it would still be much quicker than using a pin reader machine, even though it wouldn't be contactless.

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Greedy Apple told it can't triple Samsung's $1bn patent payout

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Re: Pyrrhic victory for Apple

For me and many others, knowing my position with maps and satnav to find anywhere I want to go, for anywhere in the world, is one of the killer features of phones. Far more so than 100,000 fart apps or website wrappers.

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Re: Pyrrhic victory for Apple

Agree, though even the "dead" Nokia outsell Apple.

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YouTube's hilarious cat videos could soon cost you $5 a month

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Re: Hmm...

I think it's way too early to talk about Google TV failing. I suspect that smart TV services will become mainstream by being standard in TVs (as is already happening - any non-low-end TV you buy today will be "smart" in some way), so the question for Google TV is whether it can be adopted by manufacturers. E.g., LG started introducing Google-based TVs in the US, and I believe plans to expand that this year.

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Google donates 15,000 Raspberry Pis to UK schools

Mark .
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But the low cost means it is far more feasible to give one to every child. For every one laptop (or worse, an ipad) you could buy 15 of these things.

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Mark .
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Re: Google Doing Good Things

Why not do both?

I think it's good to teach about the basics of computing, and the Raspberry Pi seems a great tool for that. OTOH, it's still reasonable to teach about office applications, and MS Office is not an unreasonable choice, as the most popular office application.

Yes, there's an argument for doing it all with Open Source, but I don't think being able to fiddle with internals is relevant for this purpose - if you're doing a class where you're teaching how to use a spreadsheet, you're not about to ask the kids to start editing the code to recompile it. That would be left to a lesson on programming (and editing Open Office would probably be rather advanced for most school lessons).

(I learnt with Grasshopper on Acorn Archimedes, I don't think that was open source either, so your argument about how things were in the 80s doesn't work.)

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Mark .
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Re: Google Doing Good Things

I remember how my secondary school had a strict policy that coats we wore should not have any logos on them - but the corridors were lined with paintings that had been "donated" by Sainsbury, with clearly visible logos on them...

(Not that I think this is relevant here, and to be honest if we were worried about companies getting unfair advantages, I'd be far more concerned about the money being spent on vast numbers of ipads. Google here are instead giving the money away to a 3rd party low cost product; as opposed to student or tax money going to Apple *and* giving them a free advert.)

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Apple confirms 128GB iPad. A hundred bucks for an extra 64GB

Mark .
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Re: You all keep forgetting.

Ah, anecdotes. Most people I know with ipads bought them because they didn't know of any alternatives, and then hardly use them as they realise they don't have much use for them.

I get plenty of support on my Android and other devices, as well as long support. And anyhow, if you're willing to pay more, it's better to simply upgrade more often anyway, then you get newer hardware. Better apps? Hardly - and not that any OS designed for a phone has software comparable to real computers. I already have an ipad beating tablet, it's the Nexus phone that fits in my pocket.

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Mark .
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Re: You all keep forgetting.

But people are responding to the bit: "Apple marketing veep Phil Schiller suggested iPad owners could use the extra space on their tablets to store all their work and media without needing "their old PCs”"

The points people have made are talking about work and media, not cobbling together your own OS, or multi-booting.

"Again, for seven out of ten of the home users I have to support, an iPad is all the "computer" they need, and pretty much all they can understand."

It's a myth that ipads, or tablets in general, are easier. Yes, you don't have to learn the touchpad, but the UIs are no easier, plus you have the complexity of multitouch and gestures. Most the people buying tablets seem to be computer-savvy people who already have computers, not computer inexperienced elderly who if anything are put off buy touchscreens, and prefer physical buttons to press, in my experience. And an ipad is just an overpriced Nexus anyway.

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Mark .
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Re: iCloud??

It amuses me that all these Apple ipod/iphone/ipad users have to connect to a PC to run itunes to manage their data.

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Mark .
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Re: Otherwise the specs for the 9.7-inch tablet and its Retina screen remain the same

Quite a few now we have the x86 tablets, and some have even more than that too. (Although admittedly, they also cost more than the low end tablets.)

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