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* Posts by Mark .

1857 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Former CEO John Sculley: Apple must adapt or die

Mark .
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Re: I see no problem with premium iTurds.

No one cares about resale values of tech products - and those that keep their value only do so as there isn't newer stuff coming out to push prices of the older generations down. Amigas have great resale value, but I'm not sure that's much an argument.

As for reliabilty, this is the company that everyone says it's good, because you can take it back to the shop to get it repaired.

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Re: Why does everyone assume there are only two smartphone price points?

But if your Dad does that with _any_ phone, it's clear that this hasn't happened because of Apple only having a few simple models, otherwise he'd only be doing it for those simple models. Rather he's been misled to believe that anything is an iphone, even when he has no clue what they actually look like.

The obvious blame is the vast amounts of media coverage that the platform got, when it's never been number one. Had Samsung (who actually deserve it, being number one) got that coverage, he'd be asking if it was a Galaxy. (Well, there's also this odd effect where for some reason, people always refer to Apple by brandnames - "posted on my iphone" etc - whilst everyone else almost always uses a generic term - "phone" etc.)

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Re: Why does everyone assume there are only two smartphone price points?

I'd consider them smartphones (as a Nexus owner). Obviously not as good - but I don't get this idea of labelling them differently just because of that. A £400 laptop isn't as good as my £1500 laptop, but that doesn't mean I don't consider it a laptop. It is, by definition.

"Smartphone" has always been a terribly ill-defined name, and I don't understand why people and the media are so keen to restrict its definition to only some devices; it's pretty much just a marketing term, so if something is marketed as a smartphone, it's a smartphone. The original iphone couldn't even run apps...

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Re: This is the same guy

True - though I can't help wondering that the same comment made for MS would have been voted up a lot more (by the same argument, I like having an alternative that isn't Apple; and more generally, it's nice having more than two choices).

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Look out, fanbois: One in two nicked mobes is an iPhone - cops

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Re: No, put it away

Indeed - whilst victim blaming is wrong, it's not unreasonable to take precautions, like not advertising expensive goods (as many advertisements tell us).

I can't help noticing that it's almost always Apple users who walk around carrying their phones in front of them - why this is, I don't know. On top of that, the fewer models makes them more recognisable as an expensive phone, and you've got the obvious huge logo on the front, whilst most phones are much more subtle.

Plus, I have to wonder why this is news anyway - smells like another "It's news, because it's got Apple in the title". Would the police be reporting this if it was any other manufacturer coming up to? Reminds me of the spate of "ipads getting stolen" media stories, that just act as more Appleverts...

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Latest Java patch is not enough, warns US gov: Axe plugins NOW

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Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

"I may be wrong, but if you compile something against public domain libraries, you have to render the source code available ? And cannot thereafter charge for it without paying royalties to the public domain library authors??"

You are wrong, competely. If it's public domain, you can do what you like with it.

If you compile against GPL libraries, you have to release source code to distribute it. But this is true with Windows and Linux. It would only be a problem if this was common practice on Linux, but it isn't - most open source libraries instead use the LGPL, which means you can link without having to release your own source. Then there are licenses like BSD which have no such restrictions anyway. I'm not sure there is a "standard API" as such like with Windows, but toolkits like Qt, SDL, Gtk, Mesa do not have any of the problems you claim.

And for all Free and Open Source licences, by definition you can charge for them, without having to pay the authors.

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Re: I shouldn't post this, but it's too tempting...

I know there were some problems with this over operating systems like BeOS, what, 10-15 years ago, but do you have evidence that this still continues?

I mean, these same OEM companies make tablets too these days, as well as Chromebooks. If it was that easy, why aren't they stopping Android tablets and Chromebooks? Or if Asus and Samsung aren't affected, why don't they make Linux laptops?

I think it's a shame that Linux netbooks went away, though I personally chose to buy a Windows netbook, sorry.

And don't get me wrong - I dual boot Linux on my Clevo, and think Ubuntu is still good for most people, and wish it had more share. But I don't think it's all down to some alleged evil MS practices. The biggest problem is that it doesn't have support from any major companies selling computers - and it also gets very little advertising, or coverage in the media. These are the things that are necessary. Consider even for Android, whilst massively successful on mobile, struggled on tablets simply because they got virtually zero coverage in the media. Archos released Android tablets before Apple released their ipad, but Archos were ignored, whilst the entire media hyped Apple even before initially announcing it (remember "istale"?) Android tablet share is now growing, but only because the greater marketing and awareness for the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.

(I also have to laugh at the people who "escape this", by buying into a company that then has control over the software *and* hardware...)

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Wanna really insult someone? Log off and yell it in the street - gov

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If we're talking about abuse (rather than simply being offensive or insulting, which should not be part of law imo), then these questions become clearer, and it also makes sense to me that in real life is worse.

Whilst many people may have seen the above comment, it's very likely that May herself has not seen it. The issue imo should be whether the person is abused, not how many other people see it. Many of the cases caught under the 2003 Act were not targetted at a person, but were simply someone being offended by the statement. An abusive comment made in real life might reasonably be illegal, but a video of that is simply a video of a crime. Unless you started emailing videos to that person directly, in which case we might reasonably see that as something that is abusive again, similar to harrassment.

Abuse in real life also gives people a much greater fear of violence, even if there isn't an explicit threat. It's harder for people to walk away from it too, you can't simply close the web page, if you're being followed by say a group of people hurling abuse at you.

The 2003 Act was completely poorly written, and should be scrapped for something that specifically targets harrassment of a person (if such laws don't already exist).

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Re: Being "insulting" should not be illegal in its own right

I think part of the problem with verbal abusive in real life is the fear of danger. If someone is walking at night, and a gang of guys starts shouting names at that person - well, in an ideal world they wouldn't care, but for many, it's hard not to be shaken or worried by that experience. This is different to online - there's the threat of violence, which also means many people would feel unable to retaliate. It's also harder to avoid it - you can't just close the web page or whatever.

(Not that I disagree with this change, there's no reason to cover "insulting", which is a much broader thing, and it's good to remove that from the law.)

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Re: Being "insulting" should not be illegal in its own right

The harm aspect is covered by "abuse". The problem with "insulting" is it's wider than that - a 3rd party may be insulted, even if they are not the target of abuse (e.g., the horse case). And the state of being insulted is simply up to the person themselves, where as being abused is not - there must be some element of emotional harm, and it's something that is perhaps a bit more objective, and is not simply up to the person claiming it.

Are there any cases of "insulting" that cause harm, and should be illegal, that aren't covered by "abusive"?

I find it sad that recent laws have so much trouble getting this right. It's reasonable that say, harrassing someone via phone or email should be illegal, or perhaps randomly being verbally abusive in the streets, but that isn't the same thing as someone being insulted or offended by any message.

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Korean boffins crack art of bendy batteries

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Re: Flexible phones.... why?

One possible application is much larger displays, that still fit in your pocket. E.g., open up your phone, to reveal a much larger screen.

There were some cool Samsung concept videos recently on the possibilities.

(Although even without flexible screens, I've wondered why no none's produced a dual screen phone/tablet, clamshell-style.)

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Zuck on that! Instagram loses HALF its hipsters in a month

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Re: 3 things

Thanks for the link. Though I don't think their case is helped by using the same kind of language we get from the likes of the RIAA, regarding copyrights as being some god-given human right (as opposed to a state granted temporary monopoly - so the idea that the state might take that away shouldn't be inherently dangerous).

Indeed, if this law was about orphaned music, and the opposition website went on about the livelihoods of artists, I can't help thinking the stance from people here would be rather different...

I guess there is the point that it seems geared towards favouring businesses, and seems rather a two-faced stance given this originally appearing in the DRA, which tried to enforce copyright law more strictly, again to favour businesses. But beyond that, is there a reason why people who generally favour relaxed copyrights should oppose this bill?

(My experience is that photographers often have much more pro-copyright views than say geeks.)

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More copyright, or less copyright?

Can someone clarify the specific objections, that don't come from a general pro-copyright POV - I mean, usually Governments try increase Government law, which usually gets much objection from places like The Reg (and myself). One of the commonly cited problems with copyright law is the problem of orphaned/abandoned works.

So for once we have a Government relaxing copyright law, and that's a bad thing too? Is it simply that it's a different group of people criticising, or is there something I'm missing?

I mean, if you support say, 14 year copyright terms, that applies to all _your_ content too. And complaining about commercial exploitation is a red herring, as that would be allowed too, once copyright expires.

If orphaned works are really determined by meta-data, then that would be dumb, but if so, then this law would legalise most filesharing (and more), since many files (e.g., plain CDs) don't have metadata! But I suspect that the law isn't quite that simple?

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Re: Excellent!!!

Yeah, supporting "Let's try to destroy the most successful open source platform with software patents" is _such_ an improvement.

If you want to give me an alternative to Windows, give me a real one.

"It's the perfect illustration of why competition is important."

Exactly, which is why going from "one company for OS" to "one company for OS, hardware and application distribution" is not exactly a step forward.

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Re: : ) Try *<:oB instead

Forgot the Digital Economy Act already did we?

I'm not fan of the Tories, but the real depressing thing is the lack of decent opposition, and it's hard to tell the difference sometimes.

On immigration, will they reverse the changes? No, because it was Labour who made immigration far worse (introducing 2 year "probation" periods for married couples, introducing the dumb "Life in the UK" trivia test that people have to pass, raising the visa fees to extortionate levels etc).

"Everything they introduce as a policy they overturn it almost immediately or it's demonstrated as unworkable by some grownups in the civil service. Either that or they just lie and blame the media for getting it wrong."

I prefer it when things are overturned or shown as unworkable! Unlike the years when the majority Government went full steam ahead despite opposition (ID cards?)

Governments are never "voted in" btw - and Labour's share of the popular vote wasn't actually any better, even when they got a majority. And no, I'm not a Tory! I just hate this rewriting of history that forgets that Labour do all this stuff too.

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China's Android users warned of giant botnet

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Re: A question or two

"Why no giant botnets or other malware on iOS with its larger market share?"

Because it doesn't have larger market share. Not anywhere near it (even if we included tablets, I'd imagine). Nor did it ever have largest market share.

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Review: Google Nexus 4

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Re: I was starting to think I might have been too quick to buy the S3..

If you get a TouchWiz phone, you'll get timely TouchWiz updates when they are released. No, it's not the same schedule as vanilla Android, but that makes about as much sense as complaining that IOS updates aren't on the same schedule.

True, you can't get a vanilla Android phone with SD slot. I never said you have perfect choice of every possibility. But there's still a lot more choice than with Apple.

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Mark .
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Re: I was starting to think I might have been too quick to buy the S3..

People who criticise the iphone for no expandable memory *do* criticise the Nexus series for the same.

The difference is, with Android you have choice, so there's loads of phones just as good, with expandable storage. Plus I think people are willing to excuse a phone that's so low cost, despite it otherwise having high end specs. Meanwhile an Apple phone is the most expensive phone on the market, yet you have all these compromises!

Similarly there are plenty of Android phones with 4G if you want that.

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Apple 'slashes iPhone 5 screen orders', tight-fisted fanbois blamed

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Re: Apple coasted too long

I don't disagree, though your summary of market sales isn't accurate:

"so that when something more open came along, Android, people drifted towards that."

Note that iphone was never number one, and in fact sold far *less* in the earlier days, and only rose sometime after Android appeared (which grew much faster). Most people used other platforms (Symbian was number one until 2011), and gradually moved to Android; Apple's sales have increased meanwhile, but become completely out-dominated by Android.

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Re: Is this for real? No keyboard options on iPhone?

Well, there are alternative keyboards. It's just that you have to run them as separate applications, then, get this, copy and paste into what you were typing.

(It's even funnier when you consider for years, they couldn't even do copy/paste.)

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Re: Sales lost to

It's worth noting that iphone sales were low for *years*, and didn't get mainstream until the 4/4S really. But all we heard was tonnes of media hype, I don't recall it getting the same WP treatment of "Oh, still not popular" (indeed, instead the media spun it so that say, one million sales was hyped as being an amazing success).

I have no idea what will happen for WP, but it's clear that platforms can take years to become mainstream, and it was only Android that shot into massive success very quickly.

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Re: Sales lost to

And yet Nokia overall still outsell Apple, let's not forget.

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Mark .
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Re: We're bored Apple!

Funny, I already had phones that did that before the first iphone 3G (the first iphone wasn't a smartphone, couldn't run apps).

Plus even if we acknowledge some things as Apple strengths in 2007, your argument is biased by cherry picking those things. In fact, there were plenty of things that had to be fixed by Apple - e.g., 3G, apps, basic UI functionality like copy/paste. I could just as well cherry pick other features, and say some other manufacturer like Nokia fixed smartphones by adding Internet, apps, wifi, maps, GPS (e.g., N95), and everything since then has just been making it faster.

I don't know at what point a smartphone had all of the things that we take for granted today - and I'd argue that such a point is a matter of opinion in deciding what's important, and a moving target as new things get introduced. But it *certainly* wasn't 2007. And given that I would rate free built-in sat nav as one of those important innovative features, and not simply "making it faster", Apple didn't fulfil that until 2012.

"using your fingers not some stupid plastic stick"

You could always use your fingers. Pens are an optional extra, which only went away as capacitive screens couldn't support them, but I'm glad to see they're now a possibility again thanks to Samsung etc. Apple were only first with multitouch, not touch.

As for suggestions on innovations today, how about being able to use capacitive screens with gloves again (Nokia), or for the future, flexible screens (a recent Samsung concept video suggests a smartphone that opens up to be a large tablet).

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Apple rubbishes rumours of iPhone for the masses

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That's just the "Mac vs PC" fallacy where you compare Apple to the very worst of other manufacturers. If we look at manufacturers (which most people do - I'm sure plenty don't have a clue what an "operating system" is, especially on their phone), then I could say people get the same standard experience on say, a Samsung phone. Indeed, I could say "If you get a Samsung phone, you get quality, but if you went with someone else, you can't get that guarantee", and suddenly Apple look bad, simply because I've lumped them in with everyone else.

"You don't have to wonder if a given App you download will run if its rated for your phone"

Whilst it's true it's harder to support larger numbers of devices - that's the downside of choice, but there are plenty of upsides too - there is not one IOS device. There are now 6 iphones, 4 ipads and 1 ipad mini, which is also non-trivial for many developers to support and fully test.

"Android is very much the phone as a computer, and that's good. the iPhone is the phone as an appliance and that's good too."

This statement is meaningless - what's an "appliance" versus a "computer"? Most people use Android phones as phones or appliances, without thinking of them as computers.

"Now watch me get thumbed into the ground for suggesting both sides have valid points."

But that's not what you said at all, you wrote a comment arguing only on one side. Sure, I agree it's much a matter of opinion.

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Mark .
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Re: Um, no.

"The problem that Android has is the concept that one size suits all."

False - Android also has a concept of sizes, and developers have the same ability to provide different resolution bitmaps. IIRC the sizes are categorised into 4 sizes, which matches the 4 sizes you claim for IOS.

Not that providing just one bitmap is a problem, as any decent API can happily scale it for you - this is 2013, not 1990.

I know that Apple's platform unfairly gets more attention and support from companies, despite fewer users - I do wish this would change. I suppose we should be glad it's not as bad as the lack of support for Symbian (number 1 platform until 2011). But still the question remains - whilst people might write two versions of a UI, where's the support for the new 8" device? And as you note yourself, apps don't support the iphone 5's size, and have to be recoded. Meanwhile, new Android sizes Just Work, and an Android phone at 5" isn't that different from a 7" device anyway.

I would also question your numbers - my apps haven't been rewritten for larger sizes, but they don't need to be - are they counted in your numbers, or not? In many cases, a well designed UI can scale to different sizes. Please don't tell me IOS requires UIs to be designed in something absolute like pixels, that would be stupid.

A 10" tablet is still an oversized phone - an ultra-portable laptop with a real OS is always going to give a better optimised UI for the space, anyway.

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Mark .
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The gap between Android and IOS application numbers is neglible - Google Play hit 700,000 only one month after Apple, and last I heard was growing faster. Though comparing raw numbers has always been a poor comparison anyway, especially as on Android, Google Play isn't the only place to get applications.

"individualised apps for both the phone and tablet devices"

So wait - there are 700,000 for Android that work on a range of devices, but how many of the IOS 700,000 work on all? Does this mean the new iphad mini doesn't have many apps yet?

And phone/tablet aren't two distinct categories, rather there's a continuum of sizes - plus in fact, Apple now have _4_ sizes (3.5", 4", 8", 10"). So now do developers have to write 4 versions of each application? Or perhaps having a UI that intelligently works on a range of sizes (as all modern UIs do) was the more sensible approach long term.

"A major change to the OS would mean a major change to the hardware."

It would? Well that's a problem for them then.

Sure, no one has to catch up; Nokia sell shed loads of dumb phones all year round too.

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Mark .
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Re: I'm no expert, but...

I'm not sure someone who spends £200 on a phone has no disposable income, but sure, I see your point. Though even at the high end, I would have thought Android leads, and Samsung still does well. The leaders in the Android world are high end phones like the S3.

Another flaw in your argument is that many of Apple's iphone sales come from older phones, which become available at lower prices. So if you're only look at the high end Android sales, we also have to limit Apple to just the iphone 5.

It's also flawed to equate price with disposable income - that just rewards a product for being overpriced. A classic example would be the Nexus 4 - despite its low price, it's still arguably the best Android phone (if not best phone) on the market. So someone who is rich would still buy it, but you would say they don't count.

This is just a rehash of assuming people don't buy Apple because they are poor - I have money, it's just there are better uses for my money! (And if I really had more money than I could do with, I'd give it to charity, not help one of the richest companies make more profit.)

"or provided free on contract"

Phones aren't "free", as you pay in the contract. And I would imagine for more iphones are sold on contract than Android phones, anyway.

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Or rather: We are not like other companies, launching a range of products to give people a choice, which would make us popular.

The unprofessional sneering is apparent - and untrue; Samsung even with their range of many products, have had many massively successful hits. Whilst their flagship S3 became the single most popular device - quite telling given they have many products, to Apple's one per generation - even their "niche" devices like the Note have sold millions. They outsell Apple 2-to-1 on Android phones alone, that's before we consider the extra 10s of millions of other phones they sell a quarter. "Hope one becomes popular"? Yeah right.

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Mark .
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Don't forget the rumours of an ipad 5 early this year. And just how many models of ipods are there?

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Mark .
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Re: I'm no expert, but...

But one is fact, one is opinion. Sure we can debate what the best phone platform is, but that's opinion, and plenty of us Think Different.

And whilst appeal to popularity isn't valid for factual claims, it is informative for opinions, in showing us what people think - in this case, more people think Android is a better OS, or Samsung and even Nokia make better phones.

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Report: Tablets to outsell ALL PCs by 2016

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Re: Everyone likes computers until they only come with Windows

"Microsoft dominance of desktop computers is why tablets seem so appealing to the common man."

This makes no sense - if the common man thought that, they'd be all buying Apple, Linux or Chrome laptops.

"They no longer had to fight 30 years of mindless Lemming troll FUD."

As opposed to all the pro-Apple reality distortion field from fans and the media... Really, Apple have never had to fight anything, they get tonnes of free advertising and support, even before they announce a product - as opposed to other platforms like Android or Linux which are ignored, and Windows which gets moaned about.

And I disagree with the idea that tablets/phones are easier - the people buying these are more likely to be geeks or computer savvy people, who also still have laptops and other gadgets, not computer ignorant people. Touchscreen UIs have just as much problems to people without experience, as a mouse/pointer UI like Windows, Linux or OS X. Tablets/phones have to be rebooted for updates, have security issues, take ages to boot (my Clevo boots faster than my Galaxy Nexus), all the problems people joke about with PCs...

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Re: Everyone likes computers until they only come with Windows

In what fantasy world did Linux notebooks become widly popular, and then the market died with Windows?

(Possibly you mean netbooks. They died because a netbook simply means a machine with 2007 specs of 1GB RAM, 1024x600 screen. It died just like phones with 2007 specs died. However Atom-based machines still seem to live on, as well as ultra-portables in general, just that no one's calling them netbooks from now on. Also I'd like to see evidence for your claim about Linux vs Windows netbooks - the decline in sales happened later than the availability of Windows netbooks as far as I remember.)

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I find it odd that the messages from the media is simultaneously "We should all throw away our PCs and use tablets, so Windows is doomed" and "Windows 8 is more tablet-friendly which no one wants, so it's doomed" - which is it? I'm glad that this Register article has noted that MS's direction, much as we may dislike it, does make sense if the former is true.

And I entirely agree with the Reg about the problem of talking about tablets and PCs as separate categories, as the lines become blurred - if in ten years time I'm using a portable device with keyboard, touchpad, touchscreen, and it can also work as a tablet, sorry, that's still a personal computer too. Already the phrase "tablet PC" is common. Questions such as whether tablets outsell "PCs" simply become an exercise in semantics, where you can claim either way depending on what you define the devices as. I'm tempted in getting some kind of touchscreen hybrid, as it seems the natural evolution of ultra-portable-devices-with-long-battery-life that I currently have with my Samsung netbook. But it'll have Intel inside it, and I'll be using it as a Personal Computer, with PC operating systems Windows and Linux.

Thankfully many of the hybrids still follow the "clamshell" (ASUS Transformer-style) - a problem with the clip-on keyboards is that the tablets end up top-heavy, so need a backstand, and only seem to work well on a desk, which seems to defeat the point of portability (where you may only have your lap - not to mention sitting at home on the sofa).

"If all you’re doing is checking email, posting Facetweets and buying stuff from Amazon, you don’t need an old-style PC, surely?"

I don't *need* one, but I don't *need* a tablet/phone. I'd prefer a laptop though, even for that - it's just as portable as a large tablet, and sits on my lap rather than me having to awkwardly hold it and use it at the same time, as well as having a rubbish keyboard. I can browse the Internet on my phone, but I often get out the ultra-portable if I need to start typing something. Of course you can attach a stand and keyboard and so on - just as you can eventually work out how to do other things like print from a tablet - but all you're doing there is gradually turning tablets into PCs anyway!

And if I want portability, a smartphone is far more portable than a large tablet. And here's another problem with categorisation - what's the difference between a smartphone and a tablet? It's also not clear what outselling PCs really mean. Already we must have phones outselling PCs, and people can happily use phones to do email and Internet, and people upgrade phones more often, and are less likely to share them, both leading to higher sales. But that doesn't mean people have thrown away their computers.

Should we cheer at the loss of MS dominance? Well yes if the alternatives are many choices, preferably open, including Android, Linux, ChromeOS. No if the alternative is the dominance of the far more locked down IOS, where Apple control the OS, the software *and* the hardware.

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ZTE to launch Mozilla-based phone in Europe in 2013

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Re: Ummmm...... I think Tizen = Meego

It's unclear to me if Tizen (or Firefox OS for that matter) is Linux in the sense of a GNU/Linux distribution (like Meego is, and so will Ubuntu on phones, and Sailfish), or just using the Linux kernel (like Android and ChromeOS) - anyone know?

Both Firefox OS and Tizen talk of using HTML5 for their applications - which is great for an open "ecosystem", but in itself isn't very much in common with Meego or other Linux distributions (on Meego, porting an application from Linux was basically just a recompile, just like for any Linux distribution).

They both seem rather similar to ChromeOS in fact (Linux-kernel, open source, using HTML5), but ChromeOS isn't a Linux distribution either.

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Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

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Re: Continuing windows cooker theme - WINDOWS 8 COOKER

Don't joke - my TV now needs to reboot to install updates, and my Android Galaxy Nexus phone takes longer to boot than my Windows laptop, I'm sure we'd have laughed at that idea 10-15 years ago too!

(I'm not sure why you specify Windows though - it's a certain other, mobile, OS that seems to have trouble with multitasking. And as much as I love Linux, Ubuntu has the same issue with always needing updates and rebooting, more so than Windows, as do Android and my TV.)

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Devs: 'Pirates are flogging OUR stuff on BlackBerry's App World'

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Re: >> admitting that whatever target architecture you are emulating has already won

They did fix this with Qt though - standard C++, with one of the best APIs/application toolkits around.

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Re: easy conversion service

"The fact that most devs haven't bothered gives you an idea of how credible Blackberry is at the moment."

I'm not sure that argument works. I mean, just look at how loads of companies support only iphone, or iphone first, despite the reality being that iphone was never number one, and Android massively outsells it. I'm not sure what the reason is - but sadly, choice of platform to port to has never been about credibility or market share. Possibly it's about perception, which I guess you could mean by "credibility", but I think it's wrong to blame the platform, for myths held about the market by ignorant people.

Thanks for the info though - if it's possible to do this without needing a device to test on, I may give it a try. Even though BB share has declined rapidly in recent times, (a) there's still a large installed userbase (it sold way more than iphone for years - oddly no one poked fun at iphone's lousy share by then, so I don't see why it's okay for some to do so now for BB), and (b) a key point is that there's less competition.

I mean, although Symbian was number 1 until 2011 and has a reasonably large installed userbase still, I would guess that Android has definitely overtaken it now, significantly - but I get a staggering one hundred times the downloads compared to on Google Play (reproduced across multiple apps). (For a similar reason, I've heard the Amazon and Nook store are worth releasing on - despite smaller market, there's also less competition.)

In fact, I'd be more than happy for these "pirates" to do it for me, since my stuff is GPL...

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Review: Vodafone Smart Tab II 7 budget 3G tablet

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Re: Fonts Too Small To Read = Interface Difficult To Use

Well Android is available on those even smaller tablets known as smartphones :) Do you mean that Android smartphones also hard (or harder) to read? Or are the larger devices using a smaller font, which ends up being physically smaller on a 7" device than a 4-5" device?

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Google Play and SD card!

It should be noted it's a cheap tablet that has both Google Play access (i.e., not locked down like Kindle Fire and Nook), and SD card (unlike Nexus 7). A shame the spec isn't so good, and with only 4GB internal memory, the 32GB Nexus 7 is probably a better option.

Are there cheaper/better Android tablets available in the UK with both of these? The other options seem to be an old Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 (also has poorer spec), a new one (much more expensive), or mail order from China. Why can't someone just give some decent UK distribution to say the Ainol tablets (which have Nexus 7-level spec, with SD card, and manage it at a lower price - though I'd happily pay a bit more than a Nexus 7 to get an SD card option). One of the main uses for me for a 7" tablet would be as a portable video player, so adding an extra 32GB for a tenner is a good feature, plus it's upgradable as SD card prices fall. I would be more sympathetic of Google's no-SD-card stance if they (a) provided a 64GB Nexus 7, and (b) didn't charge way more than SD card prices for the memory.

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Re: Slightly off topic query

I've seen people use it for sat nav - that is an actual good use, as you can do something hands-free when you're driving. But you're right, despite all the fuss that owners of a certain type of phone make (when they got the feature years after Android), I've never seen them use it (the 4S didn't even have sat nav, unless you got a 3rd party application).

On a related note, I'm still flabberghasted at some "science" radio programme I overheard around xmas 2011, which in its review of the year said how Apple had invented voice recognition, and thanks to them we'd soon all be talking to our PCs. I can't count just how many ways that was so wrong...

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Tablets to out-sell notebooks this year, reckons tech prophet

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Well the original ipad didn't catch on - all I remember was vast amounts of media hype even before its release about how everyone would be using one, but it turned out to be a bit of a wet blanket, with most people sticking with laptops at home, or (mainly Android) phones as their mobile device. It was only 2 or so years later that they became more mainstream, which wasn't the original ipad, and also along with Android tablets.

And actually yes, I'm sure people are still asking for what they're for, and I'm not sure those who have them can tell us. Just because something sells doesn't mean you can't criticise - you only have to look at the criticisms against Windows on here...

If tablets were so obviously the future, why didn't we get the media coverage from the first Android tablets, actually released around or before Apple's first release?

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Re: 7 inch tablet is the PC of the future

How well does the Nexus 7 work with the keyboard/touchpad on your lap?

What if you want a larger screens - I know wireless casting is coming which could be one solution, but I'm not sure there are options available yet. 7" is fine for casual browsing, but anything from playing games, watching videos to editing code all work so much better on my 17".

Not a criticism against the Nexus 7 - but whilst I think 7" is great for a tablet size, I don't think it's a replacement for laptops.

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Even if all I want to do is post to Facebook or watch videos, a small laptop (or any laptop) is better - I can type easier, and I can just leave it on my lap, rather than awkwardly having to hold it (and the keyboard/stand extensions only seem to work well on a flat surface). And I know I'm not the only one.

I can understand mobile phones being more popular than laptops because everyone has one (where as some laptops may be shared in a family), and people upgrade more often with contracts. I can see that tablets may become more popular when the price is much cheaper (which could be feasible due to fewer parts - no keyboard, etc.)

But I am genuinely confused at the idea that most people would be spending more money on a product that doesn't have advantages, and is often less suitable. I wonder how much is through choice, or people not realising there are alternatives - the media do nothing but harp on about ipads all the time, and in the last couple of months, I've lost track of the number of adverts trying to show people using ipads, even though most people would use laptops or a Android smartphone, both of which more convenient. Meanwhile we have hardly any marketing for low end laptops; and netbooks are being discontinued to make way for only tablets or more expensive ultra-portables.

Whilst I have no interest in ChromeOS, I note it's the only attempt these days to market a low end low cost laptop, so I wish Google good luck.

"I see PCs/laptops returning to the early to mid 90s phase of a device to do useful work on."

Yes, even if this does happen, it's not the death of the PC, as the media love to claim. The 2000s saw a massive growth in consumer PCs for casual use - even if that died down a bit, that doesn't mean no one will be using them.

I also think that tablets face the same risk that netbooks did - once a large growth area as people wanted low cost portable devices, but a few years later, everyone who wants one will have one, and there's no reason to upgrade. For manufacturers, there'll be little profit due to a price war and race to the bottom (already starting to see this), so eventually they'll all cut support, and switch to whatever the next thing with higher profit margins is.

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Re: Tablets

"How fun computing is, when MS is not allowed to dominate."

Yeah we might end up with Apple dominating OS and hardware. Great improvement. (You also probably specifically mean the low-cost low-power notebooks, i.e., netbooks in your post.)

Also it's not clear to me how MS are trying to kill tablets, seems like they're quite willing to embrace the new market.

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Microsoft burgled, only the APPLE iPADS stolen - cops confirm

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Re: Microsoft Research burgled - only iPads taken!

Yes, it's damning that there exists one person in the world who prefers ipads, when offered them for free. Clearly that complete actual evidence like the hundreds of millions who use Android instead of ios on mobile, or Windows on desktop/laptops.

And clearly he wanted all five for himself, he couldn't have possibly been taking them to sell, which would mean simply taking a product that was more easily recognisable with a "expensive product" logo, and easy to sell due to the higher profit margin (thus more room for black-market-selling, presumably). I mean, if someone offered me an ipad for free (legitimately bought!), sure I'd take it, so I could sell it. That's hardly a ringing endorsement.

I'd take an iphone 5 for free over a Nexus 4 or S3, even though I way prefer Android, and would much prefer the latter as a phone - because I could sell the former for more money.

There were also likely plenty of Android phones and other devices around too (since there were ipads, it's not true that there's only MS equipment there). Is it also damning of Android?

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Re: If I had broken in

And Apple ipads, the most overhyped product in existence even before its release, took years to get anywhere (it was 6 months before I saw a single one). And the original iphone only sold half a dozen (see? I can make stuff up too - or more accurately, they sold way less than Symbian, Blackberry, and even WM).

Seriously - I get that people here don't like tablets and MS, yet then you find they support *Apple*?

You're right on the first paragraph, which is why this pro-Apple-spin is a non-story.

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Re: They Looked At The W8 Machines....

Except if that was their view, they wouldn't have then taken a tablet-only ipads!

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Re: And many thanks

Indeed, this is nothing more than a troll / press release masquerading as news - people may dislike MS, but seriously, you want to advertise for let's-destroy-the-most-successful-Open-Source-operating-system-with-software-patents Apple?

If they only took five items, it seems clear it was a targeted theft. And as noted in the other recent story[*], this may be because they're expensive, and there will be a minority who will pay any price for them, plus unlike many makes, they only do expensive products, so it's an easier target.

Given that thieves typically steal to sell, this tells us nothing about what is desired, but what people can sell at a high price. So Apple win on that - big deal. And whilst I'm sure the spin is "people don't want MS even for free", the flipside is that it says these people are only willing to take Apple if they give it for free (also see the ridiculous numbers of "win a free ipad" competitions).

The other point is that these stories only get reported when it favours Apple.

[*] What is it about all these recent "Thieves stealing Apple products" stories? Seems some kind of desperate marketing attempt to make the products look popular. Even the local news here was at it, reporting on burglaries, but then mentioning only Apple brand names by name - any other makes just get ignored, or don't get reported.

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Re: "Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment".

Nokia were the number one smartphone company until 2011, when they were overtaken by Samsung (not Apple). Their flagship Symbian was number one platform until 2011, when overtaken by Android.

In fact, it even outsold iphone for several months after that, despite the WP announcement, zero marketing, poor or little distribution in many countries, and few new models, and reduced OS development.

Even now, almost 2 years after the WP announcement, it sells more than iphone did in the first quarters (and so does WP, come to that), despite the latter getting vast amounts of media hype, and Symbian getting none.

Nokia still outsell Apple in the mobile market (though are overtaken by Samsung) - even their S40 platform isn't a dumbphone, and although it hasn't been marketed as "smart" (except for the new recent Asha Touch smartphone platform), it still basically is. Meanwhile, the first iphone was a dumb phone:

"were in no shape to compete with iPhone"

My Nokia 5800 did fine against the iphones of the time - the first of which couldn't even do apps or 3G, which my earlier 2005 feature phone could.

Note, I'm not taking any position on the WP decision, but your comments about Nokia are just plain wrong.

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Big screened quad-core Chinese beasts splash down at CES

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FWIW, my cheap clamshell from 8 years ago could still do tethering, and I'd hoped things have improved since then. (And it had crap battery life - the distinction between "smartphone" and others really is pretty vague.)

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