1998 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
The battery, presumably
Though 18 months may be a little bit of artistic licence. If Google is to be believed, the Airs ship with a lithium polymer battery, which normally means about 300 charge cycles. If you do a complete charge slightly more often than every other day then you get 18 months.
Apple didn't start it, they just jumped in with unprecedented vigour. As far as I can make out, Nokia started it by suing Apple in 2009. Apple have since gone after HTC (starting in 2010) and Samsung (this year), neither company having previously had much of an interest in legal pursuits.
My phone's an iPhone, but I'm with Samsung on this one. I'm a turn the other cheek person in any situation with serious consequences, but I doubt this is anything more than rounding errors on the Samsung and Apple books, so letting Apple know that it can't bully everyone into submission feels like the right way forward.
You're quite right — no matter how much someone might want to buy a new Mac with 10.6 or earlier on it, nobody is able to supply that. So customers can't react to Lion in the same way as many reacted to Vista. However it's still worth drawing a distinction because most of the Vista story was customer reaction.
Not a Vista for one important reason...
... its perceived faults haven't dented its sales figures. I wouldn't consider the comparison to be appropriate if the company doesn't see any response to its decisions.
This isn't a way of protecting you from yourself
It's a versioning system, tacked on in such a way that the writer has found it to have at least one significant flaw. Apple's intention isn't to save you from accidental deletion, it's to retain extra historical information much like a common or garden source control repository. They just seem to have done a less than spectacular job of the implementation.
I can tell you that Pascal (via Turbo Pascal, anachronistically) was still on the roster for Computer Science A-Level when I left sixth form in 1999. I don't recall any programming cropping up at GCSE level or earlier but there weren't any sort of computer-related courses at my school so that may not be typical.
At a guess, A-Level changes probably happened in or around the transition to fully separated AS and A2 curricula — around 2000.
It's the design pattern problem too
Though I guess if there were a standard library, that would set the tone for design patterns. So solving the one would solve the other.
It's because Apple aren't going to tell us
Apple are a prominent technology company, who are sometimes the first to succeed commercially in a field. They sell only about a dozen different products in total, so changes to any product are newsworthy. However they don't generally announce their plans in advance, so there's often speculation. Sites like El Reg like to carry stories that their readers will find interesting so they like to provide information that allows their readers to speculate.
So: gussying is caused by the official information vacuum.
Some companies don't adopt the same tactic because they're more connected to outside ecosystems, making it more likely that people would just feed on information supplied by another company instead and forget about them.
If you look at the phenomenon of vapourware you'll see that some companies have played exactly the other way — releasing information about products that they never launch, sometimes maliciously.
So it's definitely not true that everybody else would play it like Apple if they could, even if it is true that Apple's ability to get free publicity for doing absolutely nothing is enviable.
The original Pre launched in mid-2009, so WebOS has had more than two years to fail to reach a critical mass. Or nine quarters if you prefer to look at it that way.
It's sad and unfair that it's turned out like this, but compared to the Microsoft Kin or even to less extreme tech failures like the 3DO, the PowerMac G4 Cube or Google Wave it was actually given a reasonably decent amount of time to try.
The Amazon tablet is the thing
Samsung, Motorola and the other big names have managed to get serious traction for Android in the mobile phone space because people already know they need a phone and Android handsets are very competitive. Conversely I think they're doing much more poorly with tablets because you have specifically to want one (because carriers aren't generally subsidising them so you're not very close to getting one either way) and people don't necessarily think they want a tablet. Apple's marketing machine here is a benefit because it isn't saying "you want us not them" so much as "here's a new type of thing you want".
I think Amazon are going to distinguish themselves by significantly reducing the price, by adapting a more sophisticated marketing drive than "you know those tablet things that Apple are on about, well we make one too you know" and by really promoting the thing through the single most popular storefront in the world today.
In a year it'll be Apple v Amazon. And supposing Amazon have forked Android and are paying Google nothing, they have neither the interest nor the legal right to attach the Android brand to their tablet so I don't foresee much of a halo effect.
Not only do I agree, but taking your thought further based on my actual usage I can't think of an occasion when the catch-up services aren't enough for me. I'm much more likely to spend money on any of the hundreds of devices that could put those on my [antiquated] TV than on getting broadcast television onto my digital devices.
I prefer Office to OpenOffice/LibreOffice because the ribbon allows me to navigate by shape. The traditional approach to toolbars long ago became a large grid of tiny icons that you have to inspect one by one. The pull-down-but-with-graphics approach of the Ribbon is much easier because the different sizing and positioning of buttons lets you approach the problem spatially, so that much more of it is innate rather than conscious.
In versions of Office long gone, I'd spent about 20 minutes after install just disabling toolbars and pointless toolbar icons to get to a state where navigation wasn't a chore. The old pull downs that hide unused features are actually a problem rather than a solution since every time you use one of the features you otherwise ignore for maybe 95% of the time the positioning of items is changed. So your navigation is off again.
And the standard rules of requiring user customisation apply: 90% aren't going to bother, you're going to be hampered every time you use anybody else's machine and you're going to spend a ridiculous amount of time syncing your various machines.
Samsung don't see it how the bloggers see it
While a lot of the web paints the mobile OS space as a fight to the death, Samsung sees the OS as merely another component. To that end they've pursued a strategy of not allowing themselves to become dependent on any single supplier, so as to mitigate against risk. Their problem is that Bada is consciously designed to bring smart phone functionality to the feature phone tier and presents a relatively painful environment for developers as a result — nothing as low as the Symbian level but quite a few pegs down from the Java or C# end of the spectrum. If they were to buy or to licence WebOS, I imagine it'd be to provide greater diversity for their high end phones.
That said, like you I'm highly sceptical. Regardless of it's qualities, WebOS is a platform with a very poor track record in the market. I guess the question is whether Samsung feel both sufficiently emboldened and sufficiently restrained by Bada.
Because we're already more than half way to forgetting Bill Gates?
Steve Jobs was one of the pioneers, on the front line during the early period when people were first pushing the radical idea that computers should be usable by anyone and sold to everyone. Whether you think he was unique or not, he was a suitably prominent member of a sufficiently small number of people that his position in history — like those of Gates, Sir Clive, Jack Tramiel and several others — is secure.
No, doesn't sounds like that
My reading was that LDAP is used as the login mechanism for machines; if you can supply suitable credentials then you can get to a desktop. That bit all works correctly, with the LDAP server giving a verdict.
OS X is then broken because if you get to another prompt that requires a machine password, like waking from sleep or performing a superuser operation if your user is set to have access to superuser stuff on that machine, it fails to verify with LDAP and just accepts whatever you type in. Meanwhile the user with actual credentials has already logged in, already gaining access to whatever else one keeps on an LDAP server.
You're no lord
You are Liam Byrne MP and I claim my five pounds.
News just in...
"Man who wants to make Apple sound uninventive only able to supply short list of Apple inventions"
I think Apple are more innovative than the market average but so are several others. In that list I'd include some of their direct competitors, such as Google and Microsoft.
If I had to think of a quality that makes Apple unique I'd be much more likely to pick uncompromising. I think that's the quality that makes their products either brilliant or worthless, depending on which side of the debate you're on.
The SDK is awful though
For those that haven't experienced it, it's Eclipse based but available for Windows only, everything is done in C++ using vendor-specific memory management rules, an an odd proprietary alternative to STL (so you're supposed to use Samsung's custom classes for strings, arrays, hash maps, etc) and some weird usage conventions, such as two-stage constructors (ie, you're not meant to use the normal C++ constructor to do any construction, because someone at Samsung has decreed that exceptions are too costly to the processor).
The backstory, that Bada was designed and used purely internally for phones from 2004 onward, then opened up as best as it could be, is very credible.
@AC: check the article
"A Dutch court has warmed the hearts of Apple's patent Nazis, issuing a preliminary injunction against the sale of three Samsung Android phones"
This is a preliminary decision, just like that in the Galaxy Tab case. So the decisions made here are preliminary, exactly as in the Galaxy Tab case.
@EyeCU: overstating your case
I think that in any argument like this, the concept of an invention becomes so debatable that you end up thinking nobody invented anything at any point.
For example, it's fact that Apple designed the Firewire port. But that's clearly just a development of the SCSI line of thought. Though on the other side, USB conceptually looks a lot like ADB, so should we award Apple credit for that?
How about the canvas tag? OpenCL? Pull-down menus? The modern laptop form? The Clang compiler front end? The scroll wheel?
I disagree, but only slightly
If Apple were innovative, they would worry about things like this because patents exist to allow people who innovate to realise the benefit of their new methods, ideas or products.
The issues here are more whether the type of ideas in this particular case should be ownable and, if so, whether Apple owns them.
I end up being a moderate. The iPad's look shouldn't be a protectable form factor. Similarly, rounded icons are not some attempt at passing off. But some of the concepts that FingerWorks spent real money and time developing should be protectable (by Apple now by way of purchase) in a suitably constrained short term that I accept may already have passed.
Quickest way to spot a troll: look for anyone asserting simultaneously that Apple shouldn't have the patents because they've "stolen" all their ideas and Samsung should be in the clear because they haven't "stolen" anything.
@AC: not quite that simple
It's pretty much a matter of record that Android's general format was heavily inspired by iOS, comparing the handsets demoed and photographed before the iPhone was announced and those afterwards.
That said, Google's position has almost always one contrary to restrictions on intellectual property so the fact that you can draw a line from the iPhone to Android for some features isn't an issue. There's no "well what about Google?" line to be taken here. I think the poster's point is that it is hypocritical for Apple simultaneously to borrow ideas from the competition and to try legally to block the competition from borrowing anything in return. Conversely it is not hypocritical for Google to borrow ideas from the competition and then not to kick up a fuss if ideas are borrowed back.
They weren't thrown out
This is an interim judgment; the full case still has to be decided on the merits, so all of Apple's original claims are still part of the suit and will still be argued in front of the court.
To put it another way: the court hasn't told Apple that they're wrong, just that they're not sufficiently obviously right and that they'll return to the topic in the future.
But he was forced out last time
So, last time, someone was determined to do something quite distinct from Jobs' ideas. This time I'd expect the company to try to continue to pursue exactly what Steve would have pursued.
Slightly better than that
Screenshots on other rumour sites indicate that Apple's suggested replacement is to generate a UUID (aka a GUID or IID) and store that in the user defaults (Apple's anachronistically named store of user preferences, on account of their main purpose in NextStep being to specify the default parameters of new documents).
User defaults are synchronised across devices, so a developer gets to track a single ownership of their application across multiple devices.
Each iPhone will still have a UDID, too
It's just that, like the ESN is now, at some point it won't be accessible to applications. So it can't be used for tracking. So that's a privacy advancement.
Absolutely, with caveats
It's a preliminary / temporary injunction, awarded in Germany and prima facie restrained Samsung from sale everywhere in the EU apart from the Netherlands but questions of jurisdiction have led to it being enforceable only in Germany at least until the next court date.
I haven't read the judgment myself and have seen an incredible stream of inaccurate reporting — the one that most sticks in the memory being a blog that wondered why a Dusseldorf court would think it can rule for the entire EU when Germany doesn't even currently hold the EU presidency — but I think the issue of contention is that while most of the EU has signed up for various unified intellectual property measures that would allow a final judgment to be enforced via local courts, nobody's sure where that leaves preliminary injunctions.
Preliminary injunctions tend to be a matter of process with no real investigation into merits, so that's fair. If a claimant applies and the court decides that, supposing everything they allege is true (ie, they get the benefit of the doubt with no real investigation into the dispute) then they have a real prospect of winning the case, they'll grant interim relief. And the EU agreements seek to make rulings enforceable, rather than unifying procedure.
Assuming German courts use that sort of test then it's not surprising Apple were granted relief and it's a massive gamble. If they lose in court they would likely end up owing Samsung for all economic losses incurred.
I think the 'underpowered' label is a response to...
... the news that surfaced over the weekend, on The Next Web, that "HP tested webOS on an iPad. It ran over twice as fast as the TouchPad" and, in the same story:
"With a focus on web technologies, webOS could be deployed in the iPad’s Mobile Safari browser as a web-app; this produced similar results, with it running many times faster in the browser than it did on the TouchPad."
The story refers to a current generation iPad 2 and claims that HP had the TouchPad hardware fully designed before they bought Palm, so "the TouchPad was a two-year old piece of hardware that the webOS team equipped with their tablet-friendly platform".
The reference cited is only "a source close to the subject" and makes it clear that the don't know what sort of testing produced those metrics in an appended update. So the story should be taken with a pinch of salt, but if true then it would justify calling the TouchPad underpowered given that it was priced at the same sort of level as the iPad 2.
Cutting FAT32 would be a problem
Assuming I've not fallen for mere trolling, one of the things vocal Android proponents like is being able to plug their phone into the computer and manually copy music, movies, etc to it. FAT32 is really the only filing system that makes that easy and realistic across pretty much every USB sporting computer out there.
That being said, given that they use FAT32, properly following the DCIM spec would be nice. It's a bit pointless using a non-free standard and then improperly implementing a free standard on top of it.
It is a fair comment, but...
... apps can't listen for SMSs because apps have no access to your SMS stream, Apple's decision being that customers don't want that and Apple's app store being such that they can block any applications that go through unofficial channels.
However, apps can listen for a message from an external server without being active and in the foreground, that being how things like Skype work. There are some restrictions on that which I won't bore you with in detail, but generally speaking you give app-by-app permission to alert you to notifications pushed by an external server and Apple will allow your app to respond if it fits into a permitted use case. Otherwise you just get the notification on screen, possibly with a sound effect, and the app doesn't get any CPU time whatsoever unless the user allows it.
I guess because your question leads to a discussion of the walled garden it was unfairly mistaken for a troll.
@Steve: a good rant with some valid points, but ignores the facts
HTC and Apple have several years of experience of selling handsets that are much like the handsets of a year ago. They put in their initial component orders based on that experience. In the wake of financial market turmoil they've both suddenly reduced their component orders.
Since we're talking about the two companies having changed their orders suddenly, the economy is likely to be the sole factor.
I hate to say it...
... but per the linked article, they defined 'platform' quite widely and seem to have opened the net to software strongly related to mobile platforms, hence compared Android to Eclipse, the Linux kernel, MeeGo, Firefox, Qt, Symbian (when it was open), and WebKit.
Why do I hate to say it? Because that imports a Google v Apple angle. Maybe if we keep that bit quiet we can still have a sensible discussion?
Any recommended reading?
The article shows 'A Tutorial Introduction to Occam Programming' — as someone who's naturally curious and likes books they can hold, is that a good book to learn about Transputer's approach to parallelism and the Occam language? If I'm going to buy just a single book, is there anything else better? I guess I'm asking for the Occam equivalent of the Smalltalk blue book.
Apotheker didn't purchase Palm
He's been CEO at GP since September last year, having moved over from SAP. Palm were acquired by HP in July last year.
Insert obligatory Midi Maze reference here?
And Faceball 2000 was doing first person shooting on the Gameboy before Wolfenstein 3d came along — you can't get much more mainstream than that.
I think it's Wolfenstein that inspired most of the subsequent games though.
Hopefully this isn't the end
Though I may be investing a little more hope than is realistic. It'd be interesting to read a postmortem if HP do either kill it or restrict it to being the fast boot option on laptops, a use I think they've hinted at before. I'm aware of negative stories about build quality, the iTunes syncing spat (which made both parties look bad in my opinion) and performance, but there's got to be more to the ongoing failure to find traction than those factors alone.
@famousringo: iOS should be secure though
Since it allows multitasking only by a WebOS-inspired event-based model, with a program declaring itself to be within one of a few well-defined categories. Other programs put into the background are completely suspended.
In fact, I'd assume WebOS is safe too. But I'm not as up on that as iOS and Android.
Fibre to the cabinet is happening though
It's listed as "available in some areas" in the small town I grew up in, my London Zone 2 flat's exchange will be upgraded in March (which will be nice, as I currently get 3 Mbps, being more than 1.5km from the exchange), and I know they've done a similar thing in Manchester and Liverpool upgrading from the outside inward and are expecting to get to the centre of both during 2012.
@Kristian Walsh (and the story generally)
Re: the story's "Apple had stored their iPhones' location data" and your "Apple ... collected this information about the customer without permission; and ... did not take adequate precautions to prevent it being abused."
I think the sort of wording people are using is prone to give a false impression: Apple never had the data in their possession. Their OS collected it and it remained on your handset and in your iTunes backups, potentially exposing it to malicious third parties. Nobody alleges that Apple did this on purpose so far as I can make out, but by the same token if your new-build home fell down then you'd be able to sue the builders even if they didn't do it on purpose.
I'm all for devices being built with sufficient competence not to leak information about me to others so if that's the basis on which the court awarded damages then I'm in favour of it.
@jarjarbinks: made up statistics prove nothing
The most recent survey from IDC of mobile developers - published less than two weeks ago - showed 91% "very interested" in writing iPhone apps versus 87% "very interested" in writing Android phone apps. In both cases, tablets were explicitly counted separately.
From that you conclude that Android is "way ahead" on developers? That strongly suggests a bias that it's impossible to ignore when reading the rest of your comments.
@Robert Long: no it shouldn't
That'd just be one more setting to further complicate the relevant screen and for your less technical friends to change and then claim the device is broken because everything suddenly looks different and that they have no recollection of changing anything.
Being as honest about the device as possible and expecting web site vendors not to drive away their customers sounds like a better idea to me.
I don't buy it
Despite the two competing and contradictory opinion pieces on El Reg today — claiming variously that Apple is finished or that Google wasted their money on irrelevant IP from a loss-making phone manufacturer — I think this is largely a sideshow.
The iPod showed that Apple can hold a direct-to-consumer market against a thousand competitors even when they organise under a common banner. They managed to create an aura of quality while being sufficiently competitive on price.
I think they're having a much harder time in mobile because selling to the consumer through networks is a lot more difficult when they don't want to give the networks any control. In that environment it's not surprising that manufacturers who are more willing to balance consumer experience against network demands have been able to sell in a lot more volume. Those volumes also become a benefit for all Android users, creating more interest in the top tier, unencumbered handsets.
That said, while the article is right that it's disingenuous to say that Apple are really winning the war with Android because they suck up so much of the profit in the handset arena, the fact that Google and others are also reaping significant funds doesn't seem to put Apple in a precarious position from where I'm sitting. Two segmented areas of profit are even less of a zero-sum game than most of the markets that the tech press likes to report as such.
I have to admit to still being uncertain exactly why Google have bought Motorola, given their unwillingness to get engaged in legal proceedings against their licensees to date, but I seriously doubt this spells doom for the iPhone. My expectation remains the same: that Apple will end up in more of a Mac situation than an iPod situation, profitably reaping a high-value niche.
Competing demands, that's all
C++'s complexity is a result of the desire to create a language that can automate everything that more extreme languages supply while making it all optional and without taking one step away from the language having as close as possible to no runtime.
It's a grand unification, even while the world shows a preference for niche languages.
Apple's approach to applications — sandboxed and with very low permissions — should make it easy for suitable tools to spot any malware that comes along and basically prevent any propagation of trojans, which are the predominant threat everywhere nowadays. Apple have also started pushing OS updates on the desktop to eliminate malware where it crops up, suggesting they're at least taking the problem more seriously than they were.
I therefore don't expect serious malware problems on iOS.
I would imagine there may be more problems on Android because Google publish the code, meaning that you can determine what has been fixed from version to version and hence what vulnerabilities did exist previously, but a whole bunch of handset vendors then fail to pass the updates on to users. But if a real problem arises the market should be able to provide a solution because there's no walled garden, so I don't expect it'll have a major impact on Android's continuing fantastic adoption rate.
Look to Amazon would be more appropriate
They are the only potential competitors with the content and the vertical integration to match Apple — they also have an incredible platform from which to launch. If they launch then I expect them to coast into second place almost immediately and then to put up a pretty decent fight.
Not very sound reasoning
Your argument is: if you assume there's nothing wrong with the product then there's something wrong with the consumers.
I'm as surprised that Apple is staying ahead as anybody, but couldn't it just be that the glut of new tablets and the besmirching of Android's name by some very awful no-brand tablets are preventing decent tablets that make 'Android' a big part of the pitch from picking up momentum quickly?
I'll be more surprised than anyone if Apple's share still isn't significantly reduced a year from now.
I heard the Galaxy S2 was a Motorola DynaTAC copy
You know, making the phone bigger and all.
When's the last time anyone launched an interesting phone?
Nobody in the industry has done anything particularly interesting for such a long time that I'm having difficulty building up any enthusiasm whatsoever. My predictions: things that can be quantified will see an increase, probably with the exception of battery life. That's how everybody does it.
Unicomp being the inheritors of the buckling spring. They still seem to be producing them, with USB variants, versions with modern Windows and Mac layouts and other arrangements.
This is pretty good though...
... because it uses the new 'HTML5' database feature, so that all your interaction is entirely within the page itself and handled invisibly by the browser. There's no manual work involved and no need to have access to and an understanding of a traditional file system. You just pin the books you want to be able to read offline and everything is done for you.
I don't actually like reading on the iPad or on any similar light-in-your-face-with-visible-pixels device, but I appreciate what Amazon have done here.
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