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* Posts by ThomH

1834 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Judge begs Apple, Samsung to get a room, or trial will end in tears

ThomH
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Re: Sounds like she thinks they're going to go against Apple

I'd vote jaduncan up twice if I could — the tin-foil hat accusations sound quite desperate.

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New MPEG format paves the way for UHDTV

ThomH
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Re: First use will be in computing

If I dare cite that particular company, the 15" MacBook Pro is already available with a 2880x1800 pixel resolution. So it's safe to assume we'll be at 4k resolution with, say, 30" monitors, within a year or two.

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ThomH
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Re: Rights and Licenses

It'll be commercially licensed, just like all the preceding MPEG standards such as MPEG-2 as on DVDs and MP3. Where you stand on that depends on where you stand on intellectual property, I guess.

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Android spanks Apple iOS in sales as fanbois hold out for iPhone 5

ThomH
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Re: the iPhone has definitely lost the "must-have" factor it used to have (@Shagbag)

The iPad 3 is an iPad 2 with a higher resolution screen, faster processors and a better camera. If you're going to define that as not being a sufficient improvement then you should probably stop paying attention to the industry as it's basically complete. I still don't believe anyone uses cameras on tablets as anything other than a last resort but the screen improvement was significant.

You're right about the 4S though — though it had a faster processor and a better camera, the experience of using it is essentially identical to the 4.

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BeBook outs Kindle-beating e-book reader

ThomH
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Re: Why is there never one for work?

The Kindle DX is 9.7" but inexplicably available only in the US. The lack of competition also seems to have allowed it to retain a disproportionate price tag.

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Hello nasty, don't use my music: Deceased Beastie Boy to admen

ThomH
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Re: Anyone know

Reputedly, being against the use of their music in advertising contributed to the Beasties' big break; suing British Airways for the unauthorised use of their first EP (and insisting that the advertising stop rather than that they be cut in) gave them just about their only pre-fame income, working up to the first album.

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Apple, Samsung whip out mobe sales in patent trial showdown

ThomH
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I've come around to the opinion that Apple's game plan here isn't to obtain a few extra millions from patent infringement rulings but rather to try to build a narrative that Samsung aren't at the leading edge. The use of a legal route to push that message is neither here nor there.

I'm optimistic that most of the real world has spotted that mobile phones are essentially stagnant and are picking based on the sort of preferences you state, and therefore that this whole story is just an annoying sideshow.

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Apple Mountain Lion file points to Mac Pro update

ThomH
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Re: No Optical Drive

I have my fingers crossed that if this rumour amounts to anything at all then it just means no disc media drive by default, so a safe assumption that quite a few people (as a proportion, though this is hte Mac Pro we're talking about) won't have one.

There are quite a lot of people that are happy not to have one but it would be ridiculous to tell big-box buying professionals that they can use an external device or nothing.

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Oooh-la-la! 'iPhone 5' bares all, strokes tiny nano-SIM in pics

ThomH
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That sums up the entire phone industry.

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ThomH
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Re: okay...

Is there any point engaging with Obviously!? Let's find out...

Users are free to change their wallpaper. The poster appears to be suggesting that iOS is outdated because third-party apps can't change it for you. It sounds a bit desperate when put like that, but I think probably he was alluding to the live wallpaper that Android gained in 2.<something> rather than suggesting a huge pent-up need for alternative methods to select wallpaper.

You therefore are allowed to change wallpaper and your device needn't look like everybody else's in that respect.

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Apple: Samsung was in 'crisis' over our iPhone awesomeness

ThomH
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Re: truthfully

I give a fruit.

Specifically, I'm going to be annoyed if companies are able to obtain ownership of fairly common ideas just by virtue of good execution. Apple has accrued a huge financial advantage for being first to market with a really usable touchscreen web device and that's enough — sure they did a lot of hard work but they've been rewarded for it.

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Amazon: e-book purchases push past paper

ThomH
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It means I'm reading more in the very literal sense; as the sort of person that tended to read about half a book and then wander off even when that meant building up a big pile of them, my Kindle has facilitated an even more scattergun approach.

I doubt I'm reading more words but I am definitely dipping into more books.

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Apple extends tablet market lead

ThomH
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Re: The Times They Are A Changin

While the Q3 should show a swing away from Apple, if they show the Nexus with almost four times the share of the iPad then I'll personally buy you twenty of them, and a luxury mansion to house them in.

The Nexus 7 is a fantastic product that'll do very well but markets just don't shift that quickly.

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ThomH
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Re: Brand Names?

On the contrary, the brand of the Nexus 7 is 'Nexus'. Google have invested a lot of time and energy in building up that brand. 'Android' is another brand.

The concept of bang per buck isn't necessarily misplaced but it's safer to assume it's being misused whenever you see it in forums like these. Consumers don't care about megahertz or gigabytes; the Nexus 7 is doing well because it's a brand people trust and because the megahertz/gigabytes gang have spent the last three years producing predictably awful tablets, creating pent up demand for an Android product that isn't rubbish.

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Apple disappoints at first Black Hat briefing

ThomH
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Re: What did they expect?

Quite the contrary; one of the cardinal rules of the security industry is that security by obscurity doesn't work.

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Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

ThomH
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Re: Any Trekkies here?

You're absolutely right, I think. Apple seems to think it deserves legal dominance because it was the first really to succeed with that category of device; unfortunately the point that it's both an obvious form factor and one that has been demonstrated many times before, at least in fiction, seems to be lost on them.

Meanwhile the wrangling just promotes Samsung's competition to the front page of a whole bunch of outlets that quite possibly would never otherwise have mentioned it, and allows Samsung to run adverts along the lines of their Australian 'the tablet Apple tried to stop' efforts. So it's not just bad use of the law, it's bad business.

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Buzz: iPhone 5 arrives September 21, demand 'unprecedented'

ThomH
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Re: Hype

Kudos for admitting your bias, and you're quite right about the pointlessness of unattributed quotes, but Apple's Chinese suppliers also supply all of the major Android manufacturers. The one other company you mention is also notable for having been found guilty of leading a price-fixing cartel as recently as 2010 so I'm not willing to say either is better than the other from an ethical point of view.

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Samsung flogs 10 million Galaxy S IIIs in 7 weeks

ThomH
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Re: Not bad... (@JDX)

Given that Android to iOS marketshare is about 5:3 (source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/02/comscore-may-2012-smartphone/), that's a cheerleading victory for Android amongst The Register's ranks. Apply your own prejudice to decide to what extent, if any, Android users skew towards the technical versus Android users being more vocal versus Apple users being more vocal but Android users really skewing very much indeed towards the technical.

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ThomH
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Re: Not bad...

If anyone thinks specifications other than those that can be perceived directly like screen size sell phones then they're living in a fantasy world. Customer satisfaction is the main factor, both by word of mouth and because salespeople understand that their commission is safer if they push a phone with a low return rate. Hence Samsung are rightly being rewarded for launching the latest in a pretty decent series of phones.

Clock rates, core counts, memory sizes, etc, mean basically nothing unless and until they actually become detrimental to the user experience.

For evidence of this from the other direction, see any of the postmortems on Windows Phone 7. No-one has ever said 'it would have succeeded except that customers are no longer willing to buy single core phones' and of the did they'd be laughed at.

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Google Nexus 7 shipping cock-up enrages fandroids

ThomH
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I don't think they love any of these corporations so just pragmatically buy whichever device they're most attracted to, completely blind to the troll wars that go on amongst certain users in forums like this. I'll wager that 99% of people that pick up a Nexus 7 from, say, the shelves of Tesco, will at no point have a conscious thought about the ethics of Google versus those of Apple or Microsoft.

The brand will make them confident the device is going to work well and the rest of the decision will just be features (as in, actual tangible ones, like 'surfs the web', 'plays Angry Birds', 'can be plugged into the TV', not the child-like 'OMG! It's got a triple-core 987Mhz GPU!') versus price.

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More Steve Jobs iPad mini attacks from beyond the grave

ThomH
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Re: Perhaps not 7"...

When two devices are the same aspect ratio you can just divide the one diagonal by the other and square what you get — that makes 65.49% in my book.

Doing it all at length, a 7" 16:9 screen has a width of about 15.5cm and a height of 8.7cm. Surface area is about 135 square centimetres.

A 9.7" 4:3 screen has a width of about 19.7cm and a height of about 14.8cm. So surface area is about 291.6 square centimetres.

A 7.85" 4:3 screen is approximately 16cm by 12cm, for a surface area close to 192 square centimetres.

So the 7" is about 46% as large as the 9.7" and 70% as large as the 7.85". The 7.85" is about 42% larger than the 7" and almost 66% as large as the 9.7". The 9.7" is about 117% larger than the 7" and 52% larger than the 7.85".

So that no doubt clears everything up!

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Sleek new Macs violate fanbois' Retinas with display garbage

ThomH
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Re: What are you on?

To my great disservice, I've hired developers like that in the past...

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iPad Mini maquette spied on web

ThomH
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Most reasonably expensive cameras are usually 3:2 because 35mm film was (a 35mm frame slightly confusingly being 36mm by 24mm). Conversely, point and shoots tend to be 4:3 and really really expensive cameras tend to ape medium format film so they produce square pictures (in homage to 120/220-style film's 60mm x 60mm).

I agree with the posters above; black borders around some video consumption is not enough of a reason to significantly deviate from standard paper sizes in an approximately paper-sized device that often shows paper-style content, whether actual 'print' material or just the web.

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UK judge hands Samsung win for being 'not as cool' as iPad

ThomH
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Re: Looking for a new job methinks

To cut your argument down to its essence: "Dear everyone who does anything on the internet, I'm afraid that you are a simple person with special needs. Lots of love, AC"

Newton said: "Truth is ever to be found in simplicity"; I guess Newton's works on maths, physics, philosophy, etc, were just aimed at simple people to achieve simple things?

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ThomH
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Simplest solution: allow summary judgment on patent issues. So Apple and Samsung go to court, Samsung argue at a preliminary hearing that 'actually, slide to unlock (or whatever) isn't patentworthy', and if the judge agrees then the patent is invalidated right there and then. If all relevant patents are invalidated then that obviously opens the door to summary judgment on the entire claim.

Ideally there'd then be a separate appeals system for the patent. So if Apple wants to argue that the relevant patents are valid then they can go and do that at their own cost, entirely on their own. If a higher court holds them as valid then they can come back and reintroduce them to the main claim. The main claim can be stayed at the request of a patent holding party for the duration of the patent-related appeals process.

Net effect: if you go to court on a flimsy patent, expect to have to spend your own money defending just the patent while whomever you sued carries on as usual.

I guess patents would have to be extremely simple before most judges would venture that far but at least it would move the centre of the debate.

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Apple cracks down on black market in iOS beta passes

ThomH
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Technically illegal, I think

The developer programme licence limits devices that may be added to your account to those that are actually used for development. The iOS beta is then distributed under a non-disclosure agreement that limits its use to that same class of devices.

That, plus active enforcement, sounds like enough to establish that Apple intend the betas to be trade secrets.

So developers that breach their contracts with Apple are conveying trade secrets without authorisation and those that buy into this sort of scheme are buying trade secrets.

That being said, supposing Apple stop at just having the sites taken down I think they're acting proportionately.

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Facebook: Our phone app DID seize your email

ThomH
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Re: yeah yeah, it was a bug...

Of course it was a bug, and it's just really, ummm, unfortunate that the same bug managed to manifest on both Android and iOS.

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Web stat WTF: iOS beats Android 3 to 1, iOS and Android tied

ThomH
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My reaction is to assume the latter; iOS devices are much more likely to come on a contract with free 'unlimited' data than Android phones. It's a natural result of Apple not being competitive at low price points.

So what conclusions to draw? Nothing we didn't already know: failing to support either iOS or Android is going to cost you a large chunk of your potential market.

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Second win for Apple as Galaxy Nexus sales banned in US

ThomH
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Re: Don't think Samsung will be too upset...

There's a precedent of sorts; Edison managed to collect sufficiently many patents for film equipment that he was able to force a ridiculous array of rules on the nascent industry, including permissible running times, subjects that could be covered and a bunch more. The net effect? American filmmakers moved to Hollywood, about as far as they could get from Edison, and ignored him.

I guess skipping the US would be analogous here.

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Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India

ThomH
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Re: Mr. Wak

The issues related to outsourcing, and highlighted in this article, tend to be about communication and oversight — stemming from the physical distance between one set of staff and the other, and the way that decisions about how to distribute work are often money-oriented and made by people that can largely ignore the consequences.

Conversely, you seem just to dislike Indian people.

It's a nation with a population of 1.3bn so you'd expect a few bad eggs, and if everything else were equal you'd expect failed companies to be significantly more likely to have CEOs and other employees from India than from almost any other individual country. Similarly individual wrongdoers should be much more likely to be Indian, just like people who scratched their left ear yesterday are much more likely to be Indian.

What doesn't follow is that Indians are much more likely to be individual wrongdoers. To argue that is to fall for a trivial logical fallacy — a statement does not imply its inverse, e.g. "thieves are likely to earn less than £1m a year" does not mean that "those that earn less than £1m a year are likely to be thieves".

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Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 and Nexus Q

ThomH
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Re: Errr...

No; my memory may be at fault but I think I'm right to say that Android 1.x and 2.x essentially rendered everything in software, including real-time interaction responses like scrolling. No GPU caching at all.

3.x introduced the first version of offloading to the GPU and 4.x has consolidated and updated that so that basically everything happens on the GPU — it's not just a cache for a compositing window manager, it's actually doing the drawing. So it's like QuartzGL or WPF on the desktop.

Based on released benchmarks, it's really good stuff.

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Atari turns 40: Pong, Pac-Man and a $500 gamble

ThomH
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Re: Atari joysticks

I'm a big fan of Atari joysticks; when gripped so that your right hand is nearly flat to the top of the base with the stick at the base of the join between your thumb and your palm, the fire button being under your left thumb I think they're quite comfortable.

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Apple iPhone turns five this Friday

ThomH
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Re: Speaking as a Fandroid (@revisionists)

Starting with the N95 — released more than a year before Apple had an app store — Nokia instigated the 'Symbian Signed' programme, which involved locking those and subsequent handsets down so that they could install signed applications only. By Feb 2008, still several months before Apple had an app store, Nokia announced it would now sign apps only for those paying Nokia a subscription of US$200/year and fulfilling certain other criteria.

That's probably what's being referred to here as a walled garden. It's not as strict as Apple's rules but it's exclusive centralised control nevertheless.

Nokia's documentation on the scheme remains available at http://www.developer.nokia.com/Community/Wiki/User_guide:_Symbian_Signed and a bunch of blogs and news reports to confirm dates are easily found with Google.

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Bonking for money to be built into the next iPhone

ThomH
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Re: Is it needed?

My bank have put contactless payment into my debit card already, despite my complete lack of interest. That said, it's actually proven useful quite a few times — a bunch of lunch places around central London take it, and even a few pubs.

But do I want that in my phone? Not really. It doesn't feel like it would add anything that I don't already have, and it'll probably be completely unclear who I'm meant to ring if the thing is lost or stolen and who is responsible for any resulting charges made that amount to theft, and I'll also have the risk of malware.

I guess it's an easier sell in places like the US where they haven't even quite evolved to putting chips in cards and cheques are still routinely used for all manner of transactions.

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Microsoft's Surface plan means the world belongs to Android now

ThomH
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Re: Typical Asay gibberish

On the plus side, at least his claim that "[In BRIC countries] it's all about Android" followed by a chart showing Android at 29% share versus iOS at 24% in South America and shares of 38% versus 30% in Asia gave the game away relatively early. By his reasoning it's all about iOS in Europe and America (spoiler: it most certainly isn't).

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Sony outs Google TV set-top box

ThomH
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Re: FUGLY

I would have cited the cost, lack of consumer knowledge and the speed at which online services are being integrated directly into TVs, but to arrive at the same conclusion. Even amongst those who want this sort of set top box, at twice the price of the AppleTV and the Roku they don't seem likely to capture any sort of consumer.

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Apple's iPhone 5 connector said to be a control freak

ThomH
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Re: Rip off

Check out the sales figures — there are a lot more people than the tiresome Internet flame brigade buying Apple products.

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ThomH
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Re: Not the first time

You're absolutely right — specifically the port carried both Firewire and USB, the Firewire pins being one source of power that iPods could charge from. The Firewire functionality was removed so those chargers that supplied only via that connection ceased to function.

If they swap connectors, expect adaptors to flourish.

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Why I love Microsoft’s vapourware tablet

ThomH
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Re: Problem is marketing (@fiddley)

Every iOS device released so far has enjoyed at least one new major OS release. Every device manufactured in the last two years is compatible with its 6.

WP7 phones continue to be manufactured now, but not one of them will ever receive the major OS update expected this year.

Are you actually incapable of seeing why the latter deal is significantly worse than the former?

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Nintendo supersizes 3DS

ThomH
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Re: Am I the only person here who likes their 3DS?

I think its main problems are that the hardware isn't as cheap as 'free with a mobile phone contract' and the games then don't cost 69p, despite the perception that many of the gimmicky third party titles aren't even worth that.

It's Android and iOS that Nintendo should view as competition, not Sony.

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Apple flat-screen TV to ship by holiday season?

ThomH
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Re: Unique remote control?

No need to imagine it — just check out a third generation iPod Shuffle (the intermediate one, before they all but reintroduced the previous model).

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Pegatron named as Microsoft Surface fondleslab foundry

ThomH
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Re: @ThomH (@AC)

If you retread my post, you'll see I argue that there's an insufficient distinction between an iPad 2 and Microsoft's ARM tablet. I'm going to take it as given that you're not trying to say the same thing about the ZX81.

Specifically, the two devices are about the same size, have about the same screen resolution, and since the iPad 2 is approximately the same speed as the latest model we're probably talking the same sort of order of performance.

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ThomH
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It's not even roughly the same. The iPad 2 is currently available for $399 — two thirds of the cost of Microsoft's ARM tablet — and is a device on which Apple make a profit. And since it's not the flagship product I doubt Apple would have any qualms about dropping the price if Microsoft became an actual threat. Apart from ports there also seems to be no sufficiently obvious way in which Microsoft's ARM tablet is a better pick.

So, yes, I agree completely. Trying to usurp the existing dominant player with a product that isn't obviously better and isn't significantly cheaper is lunacy. Amongst others, Amazon's approach is much smarter, and I bet they'll have managed at least a European release before Microsoft manages to get any hardware out.

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Adobe feeling drained by new model, but hopes things will improve

ThomH
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Re: People are sick of Adobe

GIMP isn't an acceptable replacement for Photoshop for most professional purposes. The big killers are that they're still working on getting support for more than 8 bits per channel into the main code base, and seem to have no announced plans with respect to CMYK. In terms of many of the professionals that use Photoshop, the extraordinarily lazy official OS X port (ie, it's X11 based*) and out-of-date third party versions (eg, Gimp.app is still at 2.6.0) is an issue too. And that's without even getting started on the interface, which isn't just different from Photoshop but often in direct contradiction to the norms on both Windows and OS X.

That being said, I personally consider it invaluable — entirely as a non-professional, you understand.

(*) which means it takes forever to run, uses widgets with different behaviour from the rest of the OS, fills your hard disk with hundreds of megabytes of 'font caches' as it duplicates functionality built into the OS, etc. It's the way X11 apps run on the Mac I'm complaining about, and nothing more.

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Microsoft takes on tablets with keyboard-equipped Surface

ThomH
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So it's not an iPad, not a Transformer...

... but somewhere between them? Tablets are hot but Microsoft's core computing competency is 'things with keyboards' so what they've done is probably the smartest move they could have made, albeit that moving a lot earlier would have been a lot smarter.

As noted by almost everybody else, success will probably depend on pricing, screen quality and battery life, none of which we yet seem to know anything about.

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iOS was SO much more valuable to Google than Android - until Maps

ThomH
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@Peter 48 (Re: @Bob and lower IQ)

Since 2006 Microsoft have launched Windows Vista and Windows 8. In the same period Apple have launched 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7. Both have their next release planned for this year.

So, totals to the end of this year will be: Microsoft: three releases, Apple: four.

In your estimation, that's three times as many paid-for releases as Microsoft?

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Apple 15in MacBook Pro with Retina Display

ThomH
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Re: Can we please stop calling it the "Retina Display"

I'd rather we didn't use pointless jargon like WUXGA too. It's about as useful as kibibyte.

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ThomH
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Re: ....you failed.

geejayoh — "I know the rights for the Thunderbolt trademark have been transferred to Intel now. But there still has to be something in it for Apple."

To summarise your argument: if we take it as given that Apple is evil then that leads inexorably to the conclusion that Apple is evil.

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Apple must be tried for the bug in every fanboi's pocket

ThomH
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Re: Lies

Third party apps definitely were able to make use of the data, though I think not directly on the device. Applications running on a Mac or Windows PC could slurp it out of iTunes device backups (unless the user had chosen to encrypt them, but unencrypted is the default and there's no click-through prompt or anything like that).

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Apple juggernaut cranks out big, big numbers

ThomH
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Re: 1,700: New APIs in OS X Mountain Lion

They seem to conflate new methods with complete APIs — so if they had added, say, the method arrayByAddingObjectsFromArray:range: to the object NSArray (which they wouldn't, because it'd be redundant) then that counts as a new API.

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