Feeds

* Posts by ThomH

1833 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Freemium

I haven't tried iMovie (at all, probably for years) but can confirm that all of Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto and OS X itself are definitely not freemium. Unless they're being super optimistic about the interest in OS X Server, of course.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: They are following Microsoft's lead again

I really thought it was more about bringing their collaboration stuff up to speed with Google Drive (née Docs), and finally updating the desktop versions of Pages/Numbers/Keynote after four years of mere maintenance, simultaneously resolving a lot of the interface deficiencies.

Microsoft's failure to bring Office to the mainstream mobile OSes has already probably sealed their fate. After years of having no choice but to sample the alternatives, people have learnt that there's life beyond Office.

5
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: MAC users aren't that dumb.... ...?

Yeah, that's what happened. Customers picked ANDROID because they were all really worried about which kernel their phone runs and absolutely demanded Linux. That's why ANDROID owners often laugh at iOS users — their kernel is explicitly monolithic and they can't believe how hilarious it is that Apple's is still nominally a microkernel in many areas.

7
5
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: "Free is good". OK then...

... and weren't the MacOS (/System) releases prior to 6 free as well? That would make this not exactly a new era.

1
0

You like iPads, you like things called 'Air'. You will LOVE this puppy

ThomH
Silver badge

Do space optimisation nerds exist?

Is there a hardcore of designers who obsess over every millimetre in the same way that some programmers obsess over every processor cycle? I think maybe some of us are finally learning what it feels like to be the one giving the glazed-over look following an optimisation boast rather than the one receiving it.

17
0

UK's tech capital named: Read it and weep, Tech City startup hipsters

ThomH
Silver badge

Wokingham is famous for hosting Obama's pub crawl

That completes the list of things I know about Wokingham.

0
0

Apple's Oct 22 WORLD-SHAKING San Fran party: New iPads or what?

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Highly Likely

Mavericks is a no-brainer only if you assume Apple still has any interest in showcasing it. Mountain Lion was announced via their web site, and its release date was unveiled as part of the Q3 earnings call. Mavericks managed to ascend to the WWDC keynote for its announcement but the Q4 earnings call is on Monday the 28th so they might easily just upload it to the App Store and not comment until then.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Having now been able to try them both, Apple's fingerprint sensor is the same sort of thing as Motorola's in the same sense that a modern scanner is the same sort of thing as a fax machine. This is a case of Apple waiting for the technology to be made sufficiently useful by external forces before implementing it.

2
1

Sorry fanbois, no supersize Apple fondleslabs for you

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: The dogs bark; fact check @Andy Prough

Apple marketshare in Q2 2012 was 18.8%, with 28.9m shipments. As of Q2 2013 share had dropped to 14.2%, but shipments were up to 31.9m. Source: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2573415

So, Apple: marketshare down 25%; shipments up 10%.

Between Q2 2010 and Q2 2011, RIM's shipments increased from 11.6m to 12.7m. Share dropped from 18.7% to 11.7%. Source: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/1764714

So, BlackBerry: marketshare down 37%; shipments up 4%.

I couldn't find Q3 2013 figures, but the quarter ended less than half a month ago. I picked the quarter in which RIM performed best.

By Q4 RIM were, year on year, at 40% marketshare decline and an 11% decline in shipments. So if your comparison is correct then Apple's fortunes should decline very quickly.

However by using Q3 numbers, I have completely overlooked any effect the iPhone 5S/C may have on Apple's fortunes. So I'd suggest that Apple's decline isn't going to mirror BlackBerry's. Q3 and Q4 will probably show significant shipment increases if reports so far about the 5S are correct; the question is how deeply sales will dip in the middle of next year when the bump of a new product launch fades again.

1
0

Apple bags top Windows feature: Blue Screen Of Death arrives on iPhone 5S

ThomH
Silver badge

@AC 06:31

Android should adapt relatively easily — the vast majority of apps run through the Dalvik virtual machine so all it takes is for someone at the centre to port that and those apps will take advantage of whatever ARM64 mode offers without any per-app reengineering.

The NDK apps will run because a backwards compatibility mode is present in current designs. They won't run as well as if they had been recompiled.

Although most Android devices are ARM based, there are a few that use x86 or MIPS processors. It's the Dalvik VM that mostly enables that.

1
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: How exactly...

Crittercism is a third-party SDK that people integrate in order to get real-time crash reports and in-the-field profiling. So the information comes from sampling the applications of those developers that have opted to use their SDK.

Apple supplies crash reports too, but only in a very rustic form.

1
0
ThomH
Silver badge

From Real World Technologies more than a year ago, when ARM64 was first announced and long before people started factoring their feelings about Apple into the assessment:

"Like x86, ARMv7 had a fair bit of cruft, and the architects took care to remove many of the byzantine aspects of the instruction set that were difficult to implement. The peculiar interrupt modes and banked registers are mostly gone. Predication and implicit shift operations have been dramatically curtailed. The load/store multiple instructions have also been eliminated, replaced with load/store pair. Collectively, these changes make AArch64 potentially more efficient than ARMv7 and easier to implement in modern process technology." (http://www.realworldtech.com/arm64/)

Apple's marketing division is hyping it based on 64 being a bigger number than 32 but that side of things almost certainly isn't why moving to ARM64 is a performance win.

In any case it's false to say that if something does not need a 64-bit address space then moving from ARMv7 to ARM64 is of no advantage. The feature Apple are shouting about may or may not be pointless; the improvements they aren't mentioning are real.

9
0

Android adware that MUST NOT BE NAMED threatens MILLIONS

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Only just this morning I was reading this... (@2nd AC)

I think the downvotes are more because the Linux kernel and its team are actually pretty good at security, and because Android implements Java via its own Google-specific virtual machine, using none of Oracle's code and therefore shouldn't be tainted with the same brush.

5
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Apple (someone had to raise this) (@HollyHopDrive)

Apple doesn't stipulate which advert libraries you can use.

Example third-party libraries with explicit iOS SDKs include Google AdMob (https://developers.google.com/mobile-ads-sdk/download), Flurry AppCircle (http://www.flurry.com/appCircle-a.html), InMobi (http://www.inmobi.com/products/sdk/) and MoPub (http://www.mopub.com/resources/open-source-sdk/).

The main reason this is far less likely on iOS is that Apple doesn't allow any application to collect text messages, phone call history or contacts. There are no APIs at all for the first two, and contacts can be collected only by a call that shows some Apple-defined user interface and eventually returns a single contact if the user confirms that course of events.

So on the iOS side it'd have to be a security privilege raising exploit as well as a trojan, rather than merely a trojan.

2
1

Apple's new iPhones dope-slap Samsung in US

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Stop press! Newer phones outsell older phones! (@SuccessCase)

This news story is Canaccord Genuity stating that the new iPhones have outsold the Galaxy S4. In June Canaccord Genuity stated that the Galaxy S4 was outselling the old iPhone.

Here: http://www.informationweek.com/mobility/smart-phones/samsung-galaxy-s4-outsells-iphone-5/240156177

7
1
ThomH
Silver badge

Stop press! Newer phones outsell older phones!

I look forward to reading the inverse of this story when the S5 arrives. And then reading it the same way around again when the iPhone 6 arrives.

(it is interesting to see the 5C gaining proportionally on the 5S though; I'm still not sure about its potential, on the grounds that (i) it's not particularly cheap; and (ii) the coloured plastic with a black front looks a bit odd)

11
1

TWELFTH-CENTURY TARDIS turns up in Ethiopia

ThomH
Silver badge

The Radio Times is no longer owned by the BBC

It was sold off in 2011. It's an independent publication now, likely no more connected than El Reg for this sort of story. They're likely doing the same as everybody — reporting that a tabloid reported than someone not connected to the BBC heard that the discovery had been made.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Cool! (@Gav)

So did I imagine seeing Hartnell in Brighton Rock, This Sporting Life, The Mouse that Roared, etc?

0
0

GitHub wipes hand across bloodied face, stumbles from brutal DDoS beating

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: GitHub & businesses

The good thing about git repositories is that checking out is cloning. So everybody has their own fully functional git repository, and the remote is backed up quite well even if you've no formal process.

If GitHub vanishes temporarily, pick any local machine to be the new central repository, and remember to push from there when GitHub comes back up.

0
0

SEC review clears Apple of dodgy tax dealings

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: A good example ?

Not criminal, as it turns out, but definitely a good example of something. Not something I like.

1
0

Apple's new non-feline Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, ready to go

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: To be honest

Top tip: in 10.8 and above (so, I assume also the pending 10.9 though I haven't used it), hold down 'option' while the file menu is open. The hated 'Duplicate' will turn back into 'Save As...'

If your hands are up to it, shift+option+command+S is the appropriate keyboard shortcut.

1
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Total paid to Apple since 2005 if you kept up with every release (so, you bought 10.4 and everything since) in US dollars: 129 + 129 + 29 + 29 + 19 = $335

Total paid to Microsoft since 2005 according to the same rules (starting with an upgrade to Vista, assuming 'home' versions): 99 + 119 + 119 = $337

10
3

Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Down with Unicode (and UTF-8)!

Being a 1997 attempt to fix the problems stemming from a belief that "[t]he Unicode standard is a fixed-width scheme ... [that] uses 16-bit encoding", it was immediately irrelevant because UTF-8 had been presented in 1993. It's also modal, so lacks self synchronisation, and complicates things by defining character sets by language. As the paper acknowledges, 'a' is present separately as an English character, a French character, a German character, etc, etc, with the intention being that all those different 'a's are mapped back to the same thing after the fact.

2
0

Samsung DENIES benchmark CHEATING, despite evidence

ThomH
Silver badge

Per the Ars article, it's a software hack. Samsung's build of Android spots when popular performance tools are being run and turns everything up to 11. The device couldn't run like that ordinarily without significantly shortening its lifetime, both per charge cycle and in general.

What Ars did was to create two versions of the benchmarking tool Geekbench — one that the system could identify as Geekbench and one that it couldn't. The code remained identical.

When it was identifiable by the system as Geekbench, the code ran up to 20% faster.

10
0

Sweet murmuring Siri opens stalker vulnerability hole in iOS 7

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: poorly designed OS creaking at the seams (@TFM)

If the phone doesn't lock when paired with a hands-free device then the phone of anyone with a bluetooth headset is permanently unlocked. So as soon as one of those people leaves their phone on the bus, on their desk, is pick-pocketed, etc, the story would be that a security vulnerability had allowed their contacts/email/the rest to be accessed.

I also think Siri is Apple's attempt to integrate calendar, dialler, maps, GPS, etc. I'm don't think it's a good implementation but it's an attempt, at least.

Regardless, answer this: are there — as the poster suggests — any grounds whatsoever to conclude that because one of the supplied, first-party applications displays information when we as users wouldn't want it to, the operating system must be "creaking at the seams"?

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: I just love apple security flaws.

No — that was true across the board when the feature launched but Apple lets the individual carriers dictate it. E.g. AT&T announced in May that they'd be allowing access by the end of the year (source: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/20/4348672/att-will-allow-all-video-chat-apps-on-its-network-by-end-of-2013 ) and various individuals started reporting access somewhere around mid-June. I've no idea if it's nationwide yet but if it isn't then it will be soon. Other networks no doubt have similar plans.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: poorly designed OS creaking at the seams

Are you actually reading the stories?

Here's what users want a phone to do: (i) lock itself if left unattended; and (ii) be usable hands free, such as in cars.

The 'security' problems with iOS are nothing to do with the technical underpinnings. They're the direct result of the inherent conflict of those two goals. There's no hint of creaking internals whatsoever.

3
6

EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Standardised connector

I'm not sure everyone here has quite kept up with the news.

This is Apple's solution for shipping EU-compliant chargers: http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MD820ZM/A/lightning-to-micro-usb-adapter — micro-USB goes in one end, the proprietary lightning comes out of the other.

There's no bad news for Apple here. They'll put the one very small external thing inside the box instead of the other.

0
0

Sharp whispers its vital statistics: 15.6in 3840 × 2160 IGZO screen for next MacLap Pro?

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Sod the Macbook Pro

The 2013 Nexus 7 replaces the 16:9 screen of the original with a 16:10. So it's not just Apple and not just expensive devices.

Personally I'm a fan of 3:2, as on the old titanium Powerbooks, amongst others. But I don't think that's likely to make a comeback any time soon.

0
0

NSA in new SHOCK 'can see public data' SCANDAL!

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Oh, Grow Up! (@BillG)

Saying "this person also deserves criticism" with the implicit point being that blame doesn't divide along party lines isn't really an indicator of political leanings.

Conversely, trying to frame any criticism of Bush as necessarily liberal propaganda does suggest somewhat of a bias.

My interpretation of events since 2001 — the terrorist attack, not the change of administration — would be that these agencies have spiralled beyond anyone's control. The whole point of the constitution is that it creates competing interests and no single actor has control of all powers. Trying to pin all your national problems on this president or that party is inaccurate and unhelpful.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

I assume you single out Obama on technical grounds? The well-known warrantless wiretaps under his predecessor were declared retroactively legal, after all.

10
1

Windows 8 fans out-enthuse Apple fanbois

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: "Windows 8 fans out-enthuse Apple fanbois"

Yeah, with their 162 computers.

12
1

Rare gold iPhone 5s goes up against 50 caliber high precision rifle

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: As a point of fact (@Hombre sin nombre)

I fact checked myself and had my numbers confused: it's 58% that would support greater gun control now! almost a year after the event. So I think probably the main point to be made is: it's no more accurate to paint America as a land of gun-obsessives than it is to paint it as a democratic panacea that European nations should aspire to. Americans are extremely diverse and likely just as many of them have a negative opinion of someone shooting up consumer electronics for YouTube as do Brits.

(aside: as a Brit currently resident in the US with interests back home, I'm currently part-funding both governments)

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: As a point of fact

Here's what's going on in the US right now: last year, one party proposed an economic plan. That plan lost in a nationwide election by a healthy margin, cost the party Senate seats and substantially reduced the number of votes it received for the House of Representatives. Now that party is saying "it's either that plan or we shut down the government". When they did the same thing twice, two decades ago, the result was that the economy lost $1.5tn. It's line is being championed by someone in the Senate who (i) demanded the bill passed up from the House contain specific provisions; then (ii) took the floor to protest for 21 hours because the bill had exactly what he wanted in it; then (iii) voted in favour — alongside every other member of the Senate — of the procedural step he'd just spent 21 hours delaying.

Here's what happened last year: following a specific extreme criminal act, 58% of those surveyed wanted stricter gun controls. Legislation was debated but failed following threats from the gun lobby.

So: should anyone, anywhere in the world, take lessons from America on its system of legislation?

10
1

Global execs name Apple 'most innovative company' – again

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: To coin a phrase

Yeah, ignoring the Apple side of things entirely, would Samsung even be on the list if it weren't for Google? Therefore do they really deserve to be above Google?

2
5

Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

ThomH
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: @ThomH: You were doing ok (@Tom 13)

I buy the version where the surprise success of Windows gave Microsoft the idea to renege — they stabbed their partner in the back as soon as an opportunity arose but had not expected or been planning for the opportunity.

I can't think of another reason why they'd create the multitasking, new executable DOS 4, barely license it and then push all its code off into OS/2, subsequently picking up DOS from the version 3 code base.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: to the extent that Microsoft deserve criticism? (@Tinker Tailor Soldier)

I'm unclear who you think is rewriting history — essentially both the PC and the Mac came from companies that understood protected memory and MMUs perfectly but choose to omit the hardware for cost purposes. There was an MMU in the Lisa, there wasn't in the Mac. There was one in any number of IBM machines going back decades, there wasn't in the PC.

The history of Apple's multiple subsequent internal OS development screw-ups is interesting but quite distinct from Microsoft's errors. The stories start similarly but Apple get to the point between 6 and 7 where the resources were such that they could have afforded just to run multiple instances of 6 simultaneously and preemptively to multitasking properly with memory protection on those devices with MMUs, but instead they double down on cooperative multitasking and spend the newly spare resources on rewriting a bunch of things in C. After the PowerPC move they have a full preemptive, protected memory handling nano-kernel which is used to run the existing OS. For quite a while large parts of the stack remained in 68000 code and just ran through an emulator — they spent engineering time getting the emulator down small enough to fit entirely within the processor cache because it was a more effective way to transition than dealing with the OS proper.

2
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Interesting

I've been on OS X for almost a decade now — I feel like I've probably seen that grey screen that tells you that you need to restart the computer three or four times. I guess that's the same as NT's blue screen, which I saw with about the same frequency before I switched to the Mac.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: WAT

MS-DOS and early versions of Windows were designed for a processor without protection domains. You couldn't do anything to protect the OS against a crashing process. In Windows you not only couldn't protect the OS but you had to rely on third-party hardware providers writing good drivers.

I guess to the extent that Microsoft deserve criticism, it's not transitioning their OS fast enough as the x86 architecture matured. With computer sales growing exponentially throughout the 80s and early 90s that made legacy software compatibility much more of a problem than it needed to be. But probably they genuinely believed OS/2 would happen.

9
1

EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: I'm a Law Lecturer - FAIL (@Nicho)

... but the HRA provides that public institutions, including courts, may not contravene ECHR rights. Which has been used in cases like Campbell v Mirror Group Newspaper to import additional criteria onto existing civil wrongs — once you've established standing for an action and are in court, the argument goes that the court can't act so as to contravene your convention rights and hence those rights themselves become enforced against a third party.

You'd therefore expect that, if the professor was making a threat at all, he was meaning to say that he'd go to court on contractual grounds and, once there, could likely use the HRA to bolster his argument.

What it actually sounds like to me is not so much that anyone was disputing the right to free speech so much as that the Easyjet employee tried to divert the conversation and failed miserably.

7
0

iOS 7 SPANKS Samsung's Android in user-experience rating

ThomH
Silver badge

They restricted Android testing to only the interface that has really succeeded in the market in order to test only the feature arrangement people actually seem to like enough to buy. They tested only one major version of Android because there's been only one major version of Android on the market for the last year or so.

They tested two major versions of iOS because the one segued into the other only last week.

So the circumstances are different. This particular feature of the study does not suggest bias. Though based on the comments other people have made re: sponsorship, if true, it feels moot.

0
2
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Can you spell horseshit? (@Sil)

Studies with massive polls always put Apple on top too — it's about the Mac but see last week's http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/17/apple_tops_all_windows_pc_in_customer_satisfaction/

Scroll down to the 21:29 AC to see how those usually go down around here.

1
3
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: so does that mean

OS X has had virtual desktops since v10.5, i.e. 2007. It's therefore very unlikely — though definitely not impossible — that you tried an Intel Mac that didn't come with them; likely they were just disabled. As of 10.7 they've also added a built-in widget that makes apps go full screen by creating their own distinct virtual desktop.

Mouse-over activation isn't supported. Probably you installed the X11 server (which runs on the desktop, not separately) and were using xterm. The normal terminal works exactly like every other app.

5
2

Apple blings up new iMac with latest Intel chips, next-gen Wi-Fi

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: I don't mind

If you're running an i5 at 4.5Ghz then you probably also have a freezer down there to cool the thing? Though Google says you're not alone in pushing that clock speed.

I'm happy I can buy a Mac but I'm also happy you can mix and match and overclock, and optimise for whichever of price, performance, noise, etc, you value most.

0
0
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: 20+ Inches of case...

You're wrong: there's room for a CD drive. Space was not the deciding factor.

1
0

App Store ratings mess: What do we like? Sigh, we dunno – fanbois

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Apple users in a nutshell

Yeah, next thing you know those sheep will want search engines to order their results so that those other people think are more relevant appear closer to the top. The mindless fools should click through every result and make their own mind up.

1
1

Apple ups revenue estimates in wake of nine million–phone weekend

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: 40% gross margin

I think they use it to counter the argument that Apple's future is unsteady due to the huge figures being racked up by Samsung et al — i.e. the company is very profitable. It won't close soon.

I don't think they use it in their role as surrogate salespeople.

1
1
ThomH
Silver badge

Re: one swallow doesn't make a summer

Maybe to give themselves a chance to say things like "Have you seen the numbers? What happened?!?"?

That's a cheap shot though. Giving the device the benefit of the doubt and assuming an audience exists, does anyone imagine them queuing up overnight or otherwise dashing to the shops during the first weekend? It's a slow burn device for people to consider when their contract comes up for renewal.

2
0

Hardbitten NYC cops: Sir, I'm gonna need you to, er, upgrade to iOS 7

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Absolutely Ridiculous

I think the point isn't so much muggings as ordinary thefts. But even then if you leave your device on display then thieves are probably still going to grab it since it might not be updated or attached to Find my iPhone; if they get it without seeing what it is first (via pickpocketing, stealing a bag or whatever) then they're unlikely to come and give it back.

3
1

Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: OMG

They confirmed that a well-known way to fool fingerprint scanners fools a particular brand of fingerprint scanner — I don't think anybody was seriously expecting it to take that long.

I guess the best advice is: if you can't be bothered with a password then the fingerprint scanner is better than nothing.

16
0