1914 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
I like it but as a computer scientist might; now that I'm used to it I appreciate that the lack of chrome fits more things onto the screen. Maybe Apple knows something I don't about overall computer literacy but I still don't see how it's smart for newcomers or those slightly confused by technology. "Oh, that word is obviously a button because it has a chicane next to it and is in the top left" is somehow less convincing than "... because it is printed on a box that looks like a button".
Though I guess people have no difficulty finding hyperlinks so I'm probably being an old timer?
Which classic mode? Transparent title bars and heavy horizontal lines circa 10.0? Lines but no transparencies more like 10.2? 10.3/10.4-ish multi-textured brushed aluminium versus unified versus the rest? 10.5/10.6 uniform grey but back with transparencies and a 3d dock? 10.7+ skeumorphism and death to scroll bars?
OS X changes with every version; Apple has never once allowed you to retain the look of the previous version and there's no single release you can identify as the classic.
Re: Alternate article title @JCitizen
Just plug them in to charge with certain third-party chargers?
I would assume it'd be just as much an issue for BlackBerry devices but the expectations are different: RIM made security its touchstone feature and has always marketed primarily to businesses. Apple claims security but has primarily been consumer oriented, where customers tend not to care so much.
Re: Alternate article title (@Richard Taylor 2)
Re: The Facts..........
I think that's probably the key: _some_ of the other MP3 makers supplied terrible devices and none of them gained critical mass. Apple supplied a simple device and had enough baseline recognition that the perception stuck. So when presented with a choice the logic went: the Apple is definitely simple, the others are probably simple but maybe I'm thinking of something else and anyway who wants to take the risk? I'll just pay the extra £15 and skip the hassle.
If you were a Mac user then that's doubly so because iTunes was essentially built in. If you were a Windows user you'd probably have to be reasonably literate to understand that buying into iTunes could be not described as reducing hassle without quite a stretch of the imagination.
Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then
Apple has never been first to market with anything; it looks for an establishing market and attempts to launch a sufficiently significant product to capitalise on the initial growth. See: MP3 players, computers, smart phones, tablets.
Do we know that they can yet though? I notice that the story refers to a filed patent and the linked US government web site refers to it as a "United States Patent Application".
I don't pay that much attention but surely this is the stage where people with prior art are meant to come forward and say so?
Of course it's the US patent office, so, yeah, they'll get the patent regardless.
Re: Which versions of iOS are affected by each issue listed? (@Bullseyed)
Actually they said "we haven't updated the bundled OpenSSL since 2011". They did not say that any of their code actually uses it.
Apple's code uses its own Secure Transport. Secure Transport does not use OpenSSL. None of the issues fixed today is known to affect OpenSSL.
For those of us that actually read the stories, this was underlined by goto fail, when Apple managed to engineer a bug into its SSL code that didn't affect anybody else.
Re: Old OpenSSL (@Bronek)
That's an interesting link, thanks. Highlights for those that can't be bothered to read it:
"The problem is, as I said above, that OpenSSL does not have a stable ABI ... if you made an OpenSSL dylib and people expected it to work, uh, you know, with dynamic linking, their code will break. ... We talked to the OpenSSL people and noted that we really needed to be able to be able to make and ship dylibs, and asked if there was anything we could do to help. ... OpenSSL rebuffed Apple and I gathered that the rebuff was actually insulting. It probably wasn't literally, "why don't you go back and make lickable buttons" but that would have given a similar result. One thing I know that OpenSSL said was that the unstable ABI was a feature, not a bug, and that anyone who really cares about security should statically link OpenSSL ...
Thus, OpenSSL is intrinsically not supportable in system that likes dylibs. We had to fix that underlying issue. So what fix? ... [we chose] what you see now. OS X still ships OpenSSL 0.9.8y (or at least that's the version on my laptop), and the entire system is as it was in 2011.
I think that someday, someone's got to give OpenSSL the decent burial. That OS X ships with 2011 OpenSSL command line tools and dylibs is a bug. ...
Heartbleed isn't a crypto problem. It's a software engineering problem. ... Apple's decision to chuck OpenSSL was also a software engineering decision, not a crypto decision."
Re: Robotron!!!! Most insane game
I think it's iOS exclusive but Minotron is Jeff's own work making Llamatron even more crazy — El Reg loved it: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/20/review_igamer_llamasoft_minotaur_2112/
It's iCade compatible but, honestly, I found that the touch controls worked quite well.
Re: Play on emulator (@Ugotta)
... or, much more importantly, Robotron?
Re: It was the battery life wot won it
I prefer to think it was the games. What was good on the Lynx? Shadow of the Beast and probably Battlezone 2000. The Game Gear? If anything it suffered from being a Master System with a smaller screen — 80% of the games seemed to involve you needing to have premonitions about what was coming up because you were effectively playing a crop of the original.
... and that's without discussing whose mascot was the better fit for the pre-TFT LCD technology of the time. It certainly wasn't the one known for fast moving graphics.
Re: As a Sanmsung S3 and then Note 2 user
But then does 4.7" go far enough? The S3 was 4.8" if my Googling holds up but both the S4 and the S5 are 5.1". Those are linear measurements so, assuming the same aspect ratios all around (the iPhone's just a rumour, so who knows?) then both the current and previous Galaxies have about 18% more screen surface area. Though I guess the correct thing to compare that to is the whopping 63% more they offer versus the 4" iPhone?
Re: Laptop resolutions... (@Pascal)
You're disingenuously conflating density with resolution.
Ars: "The story is different on the desktop, where Microsoft has long supported scaling but developers have rarely (if ever) taken the time to implement it properly. [...] The point is that Windows' desktop scaling, through no fault of Toshiba's, is still pretty bad. Since most Windows usage on laptops is still going to happen on the desktop, this is something you'll definitely notice as you use the Kirabook. It's not just that applications are often blurry, but that the way scaling is handled can vary so much from application to application. It's difficult to get a consistent experience, and settings that look fine in one program may look terrible in another." (http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/05/review-high-dpi-toshibas-kirabook-takes-on-the-retina-macbook-pro/2/)
Digital Trends: "...the Ultrabook suffers from a serious problem: scaling. Most software is not designed for a high-resolution display, which can make it difficult to use. Windows tries to solve this by scaling up the size of windows, icons and other interface elements, but the process reduces sharpness and isn’t reliable. Some applications don’t scale at all, or scale poorly, which results in undersized icons and text that’s difficult to read." (http://www.digitaltrends.com/laptop-reviews/toshiba-kirabook-review/)
Engadget: "Depending on the content, anyway: many of your favorite desktop apps won't look right at that resolution [...] Things just don't scale properly, so you could end up with tiny buttons, tiny search fields or web pages that don't gracefully scale to fill the whole screen. And when objects do fill the screen, they sometimes look blurry and stretched out." (http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/17/toshiba-kirabook-review/)
pcmag.com: "CONS ... May have to adjust zoom or screen resolution for apps. [...] While the screen is brilliant, you may have to fiddle with zoom and screen resolution settings on older games and programs: they may not display correctly scaled up to 2,560 by 1,440." (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2418968,00.asp)
Re: Laptop resolutions...
95% of Windows applications display incorrectly on high resolution panels: see the various Kirabook reviews for more details. Microsoft's all work perfectly and Adobe's are getting there so it's obviously something you can solve even with millions of lines of legacy code that's probably in pure win32 in places, but I guess proper scaling something that was either easy to do incorrectly or requires effort to do at all. Maybe someone with more insight can expand on that?
In the meantime I guess it's difficult for most laptop manufacturers to make the jump,
Re: My two-year old camera has a better screen
Original post withdrawn as I stand heavily corrected; +1 to "Sorry that handle..." for correcting my simple-minded equation of a camera's "1,230,000 dot display" with a 1.23 megapixel display.
Could Unified Memory not be a step intended to buy Nvidia better heterogeneous computing options in the future, especially on smaller systems? I'm thinking of things like smartphones where you've got GPU + CPU + RAM in a single module, with the memory actually physically addressable equally by the different components. It'd be good to have naturally parallel things scale automatically between appropriate cores on those, wouldn't it? GPGPU isn't going to be exclusively for the HPC niche forever.
Re: They're coming but they're not selling (@Don Jefe)
If value were "totally irrelevant" then people would use smartphones exactly as much as they currently do, even if data were still 60p/megabyte. I'd suggest that (i) they wouldn't; and therefore (ii) value has _at least some_ relevance.
In wearables terms, if it were a choice between one phone with no associated watch and one with a watch for, say, £50 more, I can see people going for the watch even if they not only then never actually wear it but also if they made exactly the same choice last year and never wore that one either. If it's a choice of paying an extra £300 in a separate transaction for a watch then I don't see that happening.
They're coming but they're not selling
See the sales of smart watches. Smart phones said "now you don't have to go all the way to your home to see email, maps and the web". Wearables say "now you don't have to reach all the way into your pocket to see email, maps and the web". For whom is that a sufficiently compelling proposition?
Re: Working with dates is hard, and financial guys believe it is not
I misread 'finance' as 'fiance'. The story still sounded familiar.
I don't think so. But Microsoft was found to have violated antitrust law thirteen years ago now; Apple was found to have violated less than a year ago. The watchdog is there for the one specific purpose of monitoring compliance concerning book pricing.
To be contrary, it sounds fully rotatable to me. The article mentions lenticular displays, which can't be rotated, but seems to say that the rumour is that Amazon will use a regular 2d panel and present the illusion of 3d through eye tracking. So the vector from the centre of the screen to the user's eyes is really all the phone calculates with; rotation doesn't matter.
It's the same thing as those c.2007 videos of the guy who reversed the Wii remote control (infrared sensors on his glasses, Wiimote static and pointed at him).
Re: Still got no proper depth of field
I think this is more likely to turn up in VR headsets first. You don't have to go to a full light field — supposing mechanical latency were magically no problem you "just need to" track the eye's focus, undo it with an adjustable intermediate lens and then apply appropriate depth of field to the rendered image. So you're sort of cancelling the eye's attempt at focus and then pretending that it worked.
Inverted commas are there as per my expertise. How easy is it for us non-engineers to sit here and say "it doesn't sound hard to me"?
Obligatory "What about Samsung?" post
Samsung implemented eye tracking in one of its handsets (the S3? Maybe the S4?) albeit that they limited it to deciding whether to keep the screen awake and allowing implicit scrolling. It's not a huge leap from tracking the pupil to decide how to move 2d content around to tracking the pupil to decide how to move 3d content around, especially when you've already got handsets like Apple's that import a slightly more nuanced idea of interface depth than just plain z-order and use that in order to do very subtle 3d presentations (in that case in response to the gyroscope rather than to eye motion but you get the point).
But how many years did it take for web-enabled phones and tablet computers to get over the hump?
Re: Wrong. @ThomH @Neoc
As noted, it's EU law, not US, but I'd argue that what Apple has done is "potentially illegal" in the same sense that your post is "potentially written in Portuguese".
Although law in the US and UK is often known for being obtuse, that's often because the statutes were written hundreds of years ago so the words have either a historic meaning or have has their original meaning slowly winnowed by years of case law (see e.g.: malice aforethought in Lord Coke's definition of murder, which essentially means "intention, at the time"; spontaneous mercy killings are murders).
EU law doesn't use the precedential system (i.e. case law doesn't affect what the law subsequently is, it merely directs you as to how it has previously been interpreted — the latest judges may agree or disagree) and is always read in terms of the wrong that was intended to be addressed rather than exactly the words on the page (because it's translated into so many languages and because that's how most of the European national legal systems operate anyway).
The attempted precise technical language still tends to put people off, and there are other barriers like the way the articles all get renumbered when a new treaty requires it, but the net effect is that EU law is probably the easiest to read a little of.
It's Articles 101–106 for competition law. If you're curious then check them out.
Isn't that a bit like installing Firefox on Windows in order to stick it to Safari? Buying the Android — the default mainstream choice — is the thing that will actually have had affected Apple; then ignoring Apple's blessed (/strong-armed) choice for an app specific to its OS feels like tilting at windmills.
Re: Wrong. @ThomH @Da Weezil
Then it's probably a good thing I was talking about EU competition law, isn't it?
It's been a decade since I went to law school and I don't practise so I'm probably the definition of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing but the school I attended was definitely inside the UK.
Since there's nothing whatsoever to suggest I was talking about US law, and in any case the EU law is based on the US law, I'm unclear what your point was meant to be.
Re: Wrong. @Neoc
It's nothing like illegal.
Apple doesn't have a monopoly in banner adverts — not across the industry as a whole and not even if you restrict yourself to iOS specifically. The vast majority of apps use something other than iAds. Free, open source iOS SDKs are available from Google, MoPub, Grey Stripe, Flurry and many others.
Since it doesn't have a monopoly, Apple cannot abuse that monopoly.
Competition law protects the marketplace from actual damage. It isn't a sort of corporate equivalent of criminal law.
I guess it depends on your outlook. If you're a strong partisan then either you're now going to download the app on your Android or completely ignore it on your Apple. If you're a pragmatist you're going to ignore the app because of the self-serving attempt at controversy and the many much more popular options available. If you're outside the blog bubble you're not going to hear about this at all.
Re: How many?
As many as you like. I can tell you that our app used to include Flurry and MoPub with a wide range of adaptors but nowadays we mostly just use MoPub with the Google AdMob and Apple iAd adaptors. Anything we sell ourselves is trafficked on MoPub directly and if we've trafficked nothing specifically then it falls back on whichever of AdMob or iAd is offering the better rate at that moment.
Re: Fixated on Apple
These are historic documents, but not by a lot — though Samsung has started name-checking companies beyond Apple in its effective but slightly disingenuous* adverts. So I think someone there is aware that if they continue to focus all guns in one direction then a competitor is likely to leapfrog the both of them.
* in which the market leader tells people they're sheep if they buy from a competitor.
Re: Eegads imagine the price! (@Bullseyed)
That's what the posters inverted commas around 'first' were meant to indicate, I think.
Apple's modus operandi has always been to spot a nascent market (e.g. home computers, GUIs, MP3 players, web-enabled phones) and leap in with the first second generation product to become the early market leader. If unable to keep commanding control of the entire market (i.e. in everything except MP3 players) then the retreat is into the high end niche.
I cannot imagine that Apple could succeed in televisions.
Re: Nah your wrong....
Maybe they've seen which way the wind blew with mobile screens, taken a moment of self reflection to realise how quickly they keep pace, and decided just to launch the watch with a 65" screen?
As I've said to the other post, the exact issue is respect for the right to people's own opinions. Eich believed that people shouldn't be allowed to exercise their own judgment: he put money towards a successful campaign to make his opinion the law of the land.
Especially for those whose rights were affected by the law, his selection was therefore difficult to make peace with; for some it was evidently unacceptable.
I think it's more that he supported an attempt to legislate about an issue that we may or may not agree with in his private life — he felt that his opinion was so valid that it should be illegal to act contrary to it, indeed he was so sure that he put his money where his mouth was.
For the affected group it wasn't just a matter of knowing that some people disagree with you, it was a matter of not legally being able to do what everyone else takes for granted.
Sadly it's not especially overpriced compared to the Thunderbolt competition. What is it about PCIe being on a cable rather than a slot that seems to add hundreds of pounds to the cost?
Apple was first to... release a device that was truly attractive to the majority of consumers. It achieved this through a successful marriage of blossoming technologies and by using its iPod clout to strong-arm the mobile networks.
If you had asked interested consumers what impressed them in the first iPhone they'd probably mention the multitouch interface (thanks to Apple's acquisition of FingerWorks), the smooth user interface (achievable because GPUs had crossed the necessary power/price threshold) and the unlimited data plans (that's the network clout bit). The screen was also large and high resolution for its time.
But the real issue here isn't whether Samsung dared to plan its products by surveying competing products (hint: it did) it is to what extent it should be allowed to as obviously if someone had said "iPhone purchasers have reported liking this browser icon, let's use this browser icon" then there'd be no real debate.
If you've really nothing else to do with your day you can check my post history and see that I'm generally positive about Apple but, honestly, I don't think a functioning marketplace is sustainable if we're at the level where minor interface elements like slide to unlock are protectable (regardless of whether Apple should own that one or not). I also don't really understand Apple's strategy here. What benefit has been derived from all this wrangling? It feels like if Apple had just left well alone then it would be in a better market position now, allowing for the negative PR consequences compounded by Samsung's resulting advertising strategy. All I can imagine is that it's so much bluster to get a better price on components.
Re: My hunch (@DougS)
The 5s is 58.6 mm wide; if every single millimetre of that were screen then at 16:9 that would be a diagonal of just barely more than 119.5 mm — 4.7". So I think you're probably on to a winner there.
I don't want a larger phone
So that aligns me pretty well with maybe 5% of the market. If Apple finally does move closer towards what the other 95% have shown themselves to want then I think it'll be good for them.
Spot fact: the current iPhone and the original 2001 iPod are almost exactly the same width — there's about 2mm difference. So presumably that's how wide someone at Apple at some point determined is comfortable for thumbs.
All that's missing is push mail for mobile clients
... and that's something we used to have but which was taken away. If I were setting up a new account now I'd seriously consider outlook.com but I'm not unhappy enough to leave. I assume the majority of people here managed to jump in early enough to get their actual name as an address?
Re: Oh come on.
@TechnicalBen — from the main other phone companies they were for hard engineering technical patents.
Nokia's was about wireless technology and ended with an out-of-court settlement that guarantees ongoing licensing fees from Apple. I'm not knowledgable about wireless technologies to say a lot beyond that but I guess Apple accepted some sort of fault even if it legally didn't.
Motorola's claims against Apple have yet to be concluded as they've been stayed pending an EU investigation into whether Motorola have broken competition law by asserting rights over FRAND patents. Though an investigation is just an investigation and nothing more; maybe Motorola acted inappropriately, maybe not. Regardless the dispute is (i) whether Apple acquired a licence automatically because the Qualcomm chips it buys are licensed and are the component that contains the intellectual property; and (ii) if not, whether Motorola was bound by FRAND agreements and/or whether such an offer was made to Apple appropriately.
So technically that dispute is about whether the licensing steps Apple took were acceptable.
From the non-phone companies, the patents asserted have been less impressive. Creative Labs won shortly before the iPhone for hierarchical menus and continue to receive royalties as far as I'm aware. Kodak sued essentially because the iPhone could show a preview before taking a digital image (though, in practice, the lawsuit was actually about ownership of a related patent and whether Kodak could sell it in bankruptcy, though the issue was still that Kodak wanted money for digital image previews).
S3's claims included what appears to be a patent over taking a digital video signal in and sending an analogue video signal out, which sounds quite obvious to me but they ended up winning and then losing so probably sounded quite obvious to the judge. Another was essentially about the way the PowerVR does deferred tile-based rendering — rendering pixels from geometry in a certain order to maximise caching. I know S3 couldn't make the claim stick but I don't know whether it's because of a Motorola-type situation where PowerVR already pay the correct licensing or just because it was felt to be an obvious patent.
Re: Oh come on.
I don't wonder: you detest Apple because you haven't done a proper statistical examination of the field and you suffer from confirmation bias.
Companies you've heard of that have sued Apple first:
• Nokia (starting the first lawsuit of the smartphone era);
• Creative Labs;
• S3 (this is why HTC bought them);
Companies you've heard of that Apple has sued first:
Other lawsuits during the period involving companies you've heard of:
• Oracle v Google;
• Microsoft v Motorola;
• Microsoft v Barnes & Noble (over their use of Android);
• Post-Nortel consortium (including Apple, RIM, Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson) v Google.
(apologies for the horrid formatting; using ul/li actually looked worse and El Reg both doesn't allow double line breaks between paragraphs and doesn't do soft returns)
I've not bothered listing everyone who now pays Microsoft because they use Android.
Maybe you're arguing that Apple's patent claims are weaker than the others because they're all soft design patents? To me that would appear to be a fallacious argument because of the number of times Apple has been sued for patents that the companies involved were legally obliged to offer under FRAND terms but refused to do so. I'd say that using one kind of patent as permitted under law is less bad than using another kind of patent in a way you've legally prohibited yourself from doing so as in the first case everyone knows the rules, no matter how much you or I might think they're laughable, and in the second the rules are deliberately being broken.
If some of my inevitable down-voters can engage with how I'd be wrong in an assertion that Apple is being no worse than the industry average then I'd be grateful.
Re: It isn't because they're "out to get" the poor third party repairmen
I was going to post a similar thing: people are concluding malice where there is no such evidence — jumping from "Apple makes disproportionately hard-to-repair devices" to "Apple is trying to kill the repair industry so that it can pump up its own profits".
As well as the factors you raise, I think it may also be because the people at Apple genuinely seem to care about shaving millimetres off the products every year. When faced with a conflict they prefer being able to claim thinnest/lightest to being able to claim more repairable.
Re: Stating the obvious ..
The under 30 tag does seem to be arbitrary: this isn't a fashion thing, it's an accessibility thing and the Internet is no more natural to those born in the '90s than to those born in the '80s. Either it showed up before you were an adult or it didn't.
Re: View but no print
Or you could just print it from your iPad. Options, options, options.
Our two-year old office HP printer implements whatever system Apple invented for printing so I'm sure plenty of others do. In every iOS app I've tried you just tap print and select the printer. Though there are no drivers and no configuration screens so I'm sure the budget printers don't work, the manufacturers having spotted the lack of an opportunity to load an 800mb binary on every boot that constantly shouts at you with a semi-human voice and pushes advertising for their ink shop into your face*.
(* I recently had to use a standard ~£30 Kodak all-in-one printer with OS X; it was horrid)
Re: It didn't need a big team
The GUI is quite a bit more revised than perhaps is obvious: Core Animation originated on the iPhone and made its way over the the Mac only afterwards (though, publicly, it was on the Mac long before the iPhone was announced). Core Animation primarily does three things: (i) it draws every view to GPU storage, always; (ii) it introduces an extra transform into the composition process, allowing any view to have any linear transform applied to it when drawn to the screen; and (iii) it takes advantage of Objective-C's dynamic runtime — including lookup of setters by name — to write introduce common code that can adjust a value from A to B per a function f(t) of time, then targets that one piece of interpolation logic all over the place to make the coding difference between an animated transition and a static one just a couple of lines of code.
I'm willing to bet that stuff, the 'how do we run a consistent metaphor at 60Hz on the hardware?', is what took the majority of the time for the team. Obviously iOS became the first GUI OS to work only in the presence of a GPU but which thing prompted the other? It's all obvious in hindsight but I'll bet time was spent on the back and forth over that.
It caused Facebook shares to drop by more than 6%. Is that a positive thing? I guess it depends on how vindictive you're feeling.
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