Re: Ah Bluetooth
But it's really useful! For, ummmm, those turn-your-iPad-into-a-miniature-arcade-machine joysticks?
2181 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
But it's really useful! For, ummmm, those turn-your-iPad-into-a-miniature-arcade-machine joysticks?
Or you could just buy the HDMI 'adaptor' (cable, essentially, but to female HDMI). Everyone seems to want about £25 for it though (including third-party alternatives), so you're already a quarter of the way to an Apple TV.
If Google were to dump H.264 and go WebM/Flash on YouTube they'd instantly cut off most Android devices. Flash is deprecated and in any case works really poorly on ARMv6 models — such as most budget phones of the last few years. Hardware decoding is also generally H.264 only.
So the Apple angle hardly comes into it.
The new one does 1080p — at last! — which presumably is why this issue has just now come to light.
While Apple are clearly profiting disproportionately more from the higher cost models, the original point alleged this behaviour was unique to Apple. Going to Amazon and searching for 'Galaxy Tab' shows that Samsung's list prices charge the consumer... £100 extra for 3G. Or £100 extra to move from 16gb of built-in storage to 32gb.
So in that sense the original point doesn't really stand at all. This isn't an example of Apple overcharging, it's an example of the market overcharging and Apple following market trends.
If I were to buy anything, I'd want one with no vested interest in where I obtain my content. I know that's going to lock me out of iTunes (including the iTunes Match music collection I pay to keep) but for television and movie content I really want to be able to use services like Hulu with a cheap subscription model — I know Apple provide interfaces to Netflix and some other competitors but they also appear to be locking others out.
It can wait until the next television upgrade though; I've no interest in having yet another box with yet another cable, no matter now diminutive.
Per the linked story, an 8% share of US homes and a 7% share of European homes gives Apple 32% of the market. So by a clear margin most people you ask aren't going to have any device at all, and most people you ask with a device aren't going to have the Apple. That doesn't sound so unrealistic, does it?
I guess it's just that most people aren't buying these things — IT types probably just hook up their laptop or have a dedicated full computer, most others probably either have a TV, BluRay player, console or cable/satellite box with enough functionality already built in or else are happy using their computer directly to view Internet content.
And 640kb ought to be enough for anybody?
You probably don't want to live there; the residents are always jumping out and hassling you whenever you attempt to cross a bridge.
Screen resolution seems disappointingly to have plateaued in the industry as a whole. Any hope of someone bringing out a laptop with pixels I'm no longer aware of any time soon?
If you think that having the same pixel resolution on a 7.85" screen means that user interfaces designed for a 9.7" screen need no changes then you're clearly no user interface expert. Individual user interface elements would need to be almost 25% larger in pixels to have the same touch area — that's not the sort of amount you can just ignore and hope for the best; if you do then people will spend a lot of time missing what they're aiming for.
Looking at it another way: Samsung, Amazon, etc, have spent time ensuring their user interface is designed appropriately for their 7" devices. Apple can't afford not to.
So that's two trolls not to feed.
Apple possibly has something amongst the haul they got from FingerWorks — the latter was a gesture recognition company that specialised in multitouch but which presumably patented the gesture stuff independently of the specific technology.
Hopefully everyone will have had their fingers so badly burnt by the patent process by the time that this stuff is commercialised that it won't matter.
The high resolution rumour appears to be quite likely for my money — based on the fact that it has proliferated enough that Apple must be aware of it and they've released a flier that clearly shows a very high resolution screen. That'd give Apple the highest density display on the market by a significant margin, matching their position as the supplier with the highest density display in mobile phones (albeit by an increasingly slender margin, it being almost two years since they took the title).
The main difference between the 4S and the 4 was the move to a dual core processor with a faster and better specced GPU. So that was unambiguously a minor update but if your fictionally generalised "Android users" expect their CPU and GPU to change with every software update then I'd suggest they look up the difference between software and hardware.
In reality I'd suggest that (i) the users of different handsets aren't locked in the eternal combat you imagine; and (ii) nobody expects more than minor incremental improvements from anyone at this point in the technology lifecycle.
DVDs and BluRay discs have DRM. Implementing that did not require any changes to the fundamental data distribution network — I can still walk into a shop, pay with cash and walk away with a disc that I can play on my player, which needn't have any sort of network connection of its own.
One would therefore assume that a minimal form of DRM might be simply to transmit video using asymmetric key cryptography, with individual vendors given a key derived from a common route that can decrypt the stream.
Encryption and decryption keys would be protected contractually. So to obtain a key you guarantee you're not going to publish it.
Mozilla would presumably opt out and Google would probably simply reserve it for the binary release. At least in Mozilla's case, I expect they'd provide some sort of mechanism to allow third parties to provide a binary blob that could push decrypted video in place of the normal video playback mechanism. The blob would be much simpler, and hopefully therefore much less error prone to implement, than Flash. There would be commercial value in making sure that someone supplies the blob for companies like Netflix, Hulu, etc, so it's reasonable to expect that someone would.
Of course the scheme can be broken — as others point out, DRM can always be broken because it's an inherently conflicted technology, and I'm aware that both DVD and BluRay have been broken — but as it'd be at least as secure as BluRay it'd presumably be secure enough for content providers to continue to provide content.
I have issues with DRM of content I've purchased because it's usually so over-zealous as to remove large swathes of legitimate functionality.
On the other hand, with services like Netflix that explicitly supply short, time limited rentals I think DRM is entirely appropriate. The ephemeral nature of your access to the product is explicitly part of the deal.
So I don't think it's an unethical thing to add to the spec and I'd much rather it's figured out by a broad forum like W3C, with a number of sceptics in the room, than by the highly partisan interested parties alone.
To equate the poor and needy of the UK to the poor and needy of India shows a lack of understanding of the levels of poverty throughout India.
It's a serious simplification to suggest that there is one politics of India that always moves together; it's a federation consisting of 35 states or territories, many of them no more willing to help their neighbours than you and just as quick to play the 'look, it's none of our business what happens over there' card.
If you make the fair redistribution of wealth a criteria before a country qualifies for aid then another way of phrasing that is that you're reserving aid for strict socialist countries, of which none currently exist.
The logical conclusion of 'if we help some we must help all; otherwise we should help nobody at all' is that even if we hypothetically had the money and the means to prevent the deaths of 99% of those that starve each year then we shouldn't do so.
About 40% of the population of India lives below the international poverty line and hence face a daily struggle for food, suffer from curable diseases, etc. Our aid to India helps improve conditions for some of them. If we withdraw the aid, those people will be worse off. To my mind, that justifies the aid.
Or better yet, ditch the scores entirely and assume we're capable of comprehending the prose? El Reg's reviews already have a 100-ish word summary verdict for those that just want to skip to the end.
A simple fact of the world is that equally intelligent people can always find things on which to disagree.
Trying to make the case that if people don't reach the same conclusions as you about which phone to buy then they must be stupid actually says more about your intelligence than theirs.
Sure, make fun of the iPad, but the PlayBook's mess is entirely of RIM's own making. RIM has one unique selling point — secure push mail — but has managed to give their tablet a native email client only almost a year after launch.
If you want a bargain media playback device, go Android. Let's not try to paint RIM in a positive light just because of dislike for the iPad.
No, Nokia sued first. Apple countersued. Source: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2009/tc20091212_551557.htm
You might want to check your notes on that — Nokia sued Apple (and won), not vice versa. See e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8321058.stm
The iMac was actually quite speedy for 1998. The other issues you mention — the hugely outdated OS and screen too small for the Mac's niche audience of design and publishing houses — were greater problems.
The iPhone is usually the top selling single handset in any given portion of the year, because the Android market is more diverse and no single handset accounts for a sufficiently disproportionate share. The iPad is also currently the top selling tablet.
So while Apple doesn't hold anything even close to a majority of the phone market, its handset is still prominent enough to be worth citing in other handset reviews. The iPad just barely still holds a majority of the tablet market so is obviously relevant to tablet reviews.
I don't see any problem with reviewers comparing new products to the best selling products in the same category.
As for always mentioning legal disputes while talking about Apple? You'd have to talk to Apple's legal department to find out why that's currently almost unavoidable.
It's not really a question of right to take away, it's a question of whether the contract Apple has that ostensibly gives it rights to the name is valid. Thrown into that seems to be some sort of confusion about exact ownership of different parts of Proview. So Apple's case is that it paid to purchase the mark and Proview failed to assign it, Proview's case is that whomever Apple dealt with, it was somebody else.
I don't think there's any dispute that Apple paid someone and thought it had bought the mark in good faith, despite its history of launching products and dealing with the legal issues later (ala the iPhone and Linksys). There's definitely nobody suggesting that Apple has the right just to swoop in and take ownership of the trade mark because its an American company or a much bigger company or anything like that.
On the other hand, to me the London Olympics logo still looks breathtakingly awful even five years after its unveiling. Though it's possible I'm a minority?
It's not the first logical fallacy nay-sayers tend to learn though; they arrive at it only after years of using less fallacious logic.
I can already see the counterargument: it's an optional control and well designed operating systems have always had optional controls over what a user can do. Apple are actually far behind Microsoft in allowing things to be locked down by an administrator, which is one of the many reasons (though probably not one of the main ones) that they don't do very well in corporate environments. Furthermore it's not really a walled-garden issue because you're already unable to use your Mac apps on anything other than a Mac; it's a centralised control issue.
That being said, I agree with you — there appears to be an attack on open markets for software from all fronts (with Apple being particularly involved) and it's a big concern.
I actually wonder if this wouldn't give more oxygen to Windows tablets, doing more harm than good to Android.
You're an extremely paranoid person.
I'd be more likely to say that Apple has a significant early lead because — although antecedents are easy to find — it was first to do the current sort of tablet for the current sort of consumer at the current sort of price point, and to back it up with a huge marketing push. Competitors also took a while to launch competing products, giving Apple a chance to build momentum.
Especially with the Kindle now on the market, those who want nothing more from life than to see Apple lose market share are probably in for a fun few years.
That we've both received down votes would rather seem to disprove me, wouldn't it? Though our totals are tiny compared to the 50 who took the time to vote on the first comment so that's at least positive.
@Fred: directing a rant about tautologies at me might be benevolent trolling?
Yes, but it's one within El Reg's sphere - per the article, possibly the only one - and Valentine's Day is tomorrow. It's also about a demographic that many have, ummm, strong feelings about.
This is de rigeur around here - the sense-of-humour bypass allegation simply isn't supported by the facts and most of the comments above are good-humoured jokes; you generally need to cross the line into malicious trolling to get significant down votes or ill-tempered responses.
If I buy an Android device and purchase £25 worth of apps, then switch to an iPhone then I lose my apps. The fact that I could buy them again makes no difference. I'm not tied to any particular vendor and none of the companies on the Android side has put that limitation in place to serve its own interests but I am nevertheless locked in to the platform.
I can't see how that logic requires prejudice of thought.
You're belying your own prejudices - the quote could equally be interpreted to mean that Apple don't expect anyone to buy two tablets at the same time and as a tacit admission that app stores are a form of platform lock-in.
There's nothing to justify putting the 'more powerful and useful' words into Apple's mouth.
Your theory being that Apple are posturing as a form of advertising rather than merely exploiting the patent system for the questionable legal decisions others have been able to obtain?
The sample size of one was a direct response to your comment and I accept that it isn't a reasonable to assess generalities. But I maintain that you're overgeneralising and that confirmation bias explains how things like this become stereotypes irrespective of any particular truth.
For a suitably non-hyperbolic example — albeit which is still significantly more moronic than anything you've argued — see the things many people will argue are true about all men because, you know, everyone says that they're true and, anyway, in their entire life they can think of three or four examples where the thing they're talking about has happened so that proves it.
My honest belief is that around here the blinkered Apple fans get more down votes than the blinkered Apple detractors, but I'm quite possibly suffering bias of my own.
"What were you saying about Apple fans crediting the company with the commercialisation and not the invention?"
Your logic: someone gives Apple improper credit. Ergo they must be an Apple fan. Ergo Apple fans give Apple improper credit.
Can you honestly not see any flaws in that?
You're conflating unrelated issues. The post you reply to, and the one it replies to, are about whether such a patent can be valid, given the prior art. Yours is primarily about to what extent Apple can be credited for research it has bought.
On the topic you want to pursue, buying intellectual property isn't the sin you seem to believe. Apple fans give the company credit for commercialising new markets - they spot an emerging technology and give it that final polish to make It really work as a mass-market product. Only in the imaginations of flame-happy comment-board drones does anyone argue that there was no GUI before the Mac, no MP3 player before the iPod, no smartphone before the iPhone, etc.
Apple's presentation of new products can be overly smug and cause a deserving discussion of the antecedents but this isn't that sort of situation. It's a granted patent application released by the patent office.
Microsoft currently owns no Apple stock whatsoever.
The first company to sue for patent infringement in the current cycle was Nokia, which sued Apple in 2009.
My belief being that patent trolls succeed because they can rely on not just a prima facie case - a patent on a process and evidence of another company using that process - but also the implicit presumption that a jury's eyes will glaze over upon any in-depth discussion of technology, juries being representative of society in that regard.
In this case the patent appears to be so clearly obvious to anyone who has used a web browser, probably including everyone in the jury, that they were likely receptive to the dates and facts of the defence case. I'll bet very little time needed to be spent on explaining exactly what the patent meant and showing examples in practice and discussing the relevant commonality and so on.
So my feeling is that patent trolling becomes harder the better understood a field is to the public, and my hope is that the technology world will therefore drift away from this sort of ridiculously broad patent being considered much of a risk at all.
But I take it what they mean by "[it] supports Flash player for iPad and the browsing of Flash websites by streaming these sites from servers in the cloud" is that there's an Amazon-style proxy network doing the grunt work? It would be understandable if Adobe had simply decided not to go down that route.
And presumably then only if we discount Shockwave. Though there's a tree falls in the woods argument to be made on that one, I think.
However you have to allow for the apps that make a profit other than through the storefront. The obvious examples are those that exist to provide a more comfortable front-end to existing services (whether banking, Facebook or whatever), but there's also large chunks of the business world that are willing to put mobile development into the marketing budget, a high-end example being the Super 8 application that provided the fun distraction of video recording, processed lomo-style to look like footage shot on actual 8mm fine film many years earlier, in return for blatantly advertising the movie.
It is, as you say, incredibly difficult to make an impact with an all-new brand through app stores alone.
However, I can go to Amazon and buy a 42" Full HD LG LCD for £370 and an Apple TV box for £90, giving me a total of £460 without even having to leave to Apple ecosystem. LG may be significantly lower down the perceived quality tree than Sony or Apple but they're miles ahead of the supermarket brands.
The way I heard it, 2005 called and said that even in 2005 $1499 was a lot of money for a 42" TV.
That said, it'll just be a number Best Buy pulled from thin air; iPads, iPhones and iPods have always been at least in the same sort of ballpark as the competition.
One counter example: I recently had the game, Jetpack Joyride installed on my iPad 2. It's one of those casual games you play for a few minutes every so often so I couldn't tell you my total game time but I had it installed for probably a month or two and had hit all the achievements at some point or another.
There's no reason to assume iOS had any hand in what happened but a few weeks ago it abruptly crashed partway through a game. Upon relaunching I discovered that it had somehow corrupted its state while crashing, with the result that all of my achievements, high scores, etc had been thrown away. I haven't bothered to launch it again since.
That's the sort of thing that I think the average user would care about.
In iOS objects are referenced by standard C-style pointers and prior to iOS 4.3 and the iOS 5-related development kit you had manually to manage reference counts (well, a little; property syntax made this a lot easier and obviously all the built-in collections get things right automatically, but you still usually need to be explicit about when you want to keep an object and when consider yourself done with it, and dangling pointers are a very real risk).
Android uses a dialect of Java, with a garbage collector that has freed Android developers from having to think about memory management since day one.
One would therefore assume that you can be a worse Android programmer without your lack of skill causing your app to crash.
[aside: I'm aware that the ARC compiler means that developers needn't manually perform these tasks any more on the iOS side, but this survey is talking about historical data]
You're absolutely right, though I think the article is written primarily from the consumer's point of view, with iBooks Author appearing only to explain why Apple are worth watching despite being so far behind. So the error isn't a fundamental weakness.
Re: everything else, I have a Kindle and am aware that everything I buy on won't necessarily survive the lifetime of the device. That being said, I've found the electronic platforms to be absolutely useless for reference texts and other things I normally expect to keep around because it's so difficult to flip through and quickly browse, and bookmarks quickly become just another few screens of information you need manually to wade through versus the spatial clues of post-its or whatever. So I've continued buying those on paper anyway. The main losers from my purchase of a Kindle are the friends and/or charity shops I'd normally have given my books to after reading.
I agree; it's a bit like the industry was relying on the deterrent of mutually assured destruction but Apple have gone and hit the red button.