1348 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009
Over here in PC land we get to use both hands independently for different things. Its' not 'play on keyboard' but kbd+mouse or kbd+flightstick etc. What's rarely usable is kbd+console controller, even on badly ported console games because the damn things require 2 hands and|or have pathetic degrees of freedom and|or low responsiveness and|or piss poor accuracy.
And badly ported console games are best just avoided even with a suitable controller available.
I'm right handed but started using left handed keyboards >10 years ago to deal with mouse RSI. Having the number pad on the left moves the mouse closer to the centre line and that killed the RSI almost overnight. It surprises me so few gaming keyboards move the keypad out of the way of the mouse, apart from lowering fatigue&physical stress it must give some performance advantage as well.
Given the shocking cost of normal left handed keyboards, when my small stock of spares all die that STRIKE7 (or some descendant with a detachable pad) will be very tempting.
Re: WIndows 8, SP2?
"it's clear that Microsoft" took "the interface right for the" previous/current "generation of" Android&IOS users, dumbed it down some more then slapped it on devices it didn't belong on. Hardly the interface of the future, this is MS trying what it used to be expert at - stealing other peoples bandwaggons.
But because they slept right through the rise of tablets and smartphones then persistently ignored customers as they tried to catch up, this time they dressed up the product as something new but forgot to steal what makes it work!
Worst of all it's not hard to improved on IOS or Android. I spent this week struggling with an Android TV box and its absolutely inept UI using remote controls, there's plenty of scope to do better. MS chose not to even bother.
There's still some fast shrinking value comparing the IOPs but yes, they're all coming up against SATA6 performance limits. However those comparisons are what tell me I can have power loss protection for little or no premium or performance tradeoff.
So still useful even if the typical review focusses to much on irrelevant speed comparisons instead of features. There'll be a time when all SSDs have similar feature sets but we're not there yet.
"devices with batteries that are half the size but deliver double the run times"
My tablet is telling me it burnt 77% of it's battery on the screen. Presumably Intel tablets don't have backlit screens or perhaps they don't have screens at all!
Then I remembered: my tab has an ARM CPU, not a power gobbling Intel room heater and Intel is still playing catchup ;)
Re: Awesome drives..
It does help that larger drives have higher bandwidth - roughly doubling till you hit SATA saturation at 500Gb! 128->256 should make a massive difference.
Re: I'd love one, but
@AC you win the prize for noticing MS are again targeting the ultrabook market. Now explain how that's going to be different the 3rd time, it didn't work before and the real ultrabook market has it's own sales problems.
...and 12" is still too small a screen for the bulk of that market. MS seem persistently a few years behind what the market wants, legacy of so many years just telling users what they would get.
obsolete by the time they deliver in volume
When they launched the pre-publicity there was no attempt to hide it being Oppo, I suppose the ongoing lack of availability is just too hard to explain if anyone remembers this isn't really a struggling startup.
As the days pass this phone becomes less enticing because it's become obvious by the time they get it into mass production at this price, their competition will have moved on to better phones, competitive prices, with local product support. The backlash over teasingly small supply has been underway on the social media channels they've used to promote themselves for weeks now.
Seemed so tempting but it now just looks like a cynical marketing ploy.
A common UI between such dissimilar devices never made much sense. Either they aren't in fact the same or you just propagated the lowest common denominator to every device. Similar interfaces properly adapted to the strengths of each platform, great idea. It's not what ms did, instead they dumbed down the input options to the lowest capability of touch on a small screen, giving an impoverished toolkit of ui elements everywhere and a design language meant for small screens that just fills our desktops with bland wasted space instead of information.
It was blindingly obvious what was wrong with the whole concept before launch and even the astroturfing has finally been abandoned. It seems that when the paid posts are gone win8 doesn't have any friends.
Re: Obvious answer to obvious stupidity is obvious
@1st AC: while completely true it's somewhat misses the real cockup. Microsoft must understand the business upgrade cycle enough to understand the relatively sluggish adoption of win8 by business so far. Wasn't going to happen for a couple of years whatever 8 was. Has allowed them to kill xp.
Their mission was to make win8 popular with consumers ready for next years business upgrades, to establish how a cross device OS could be useful to business as their employees started bringing them to work and most important to bludgeon their way into the consumer led mobile device market. The utter failure to deliver that consumer adoption or any of the device integration the bigger plan relies on really is massively more important than the supposedly bigger failure in business. It foreshadows future failure in the corporate markets when the upgrade cycle should be happening soon.
Re: The TV I want...
The Dialog mode button on my AV amp seems to do a passable job of what you're asking for...
"piss off the very people who have helped them build an empire"
Well, they seem to have turned the Regs resident MS evangelist from raving fanbois to lukewarm ambivalence. If MS can do that to Orlowski the jobs half done!
Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...
"promptly fired the 18,000 people who know how to" not finish software on time and in a usable state. Nokia got themselves into this mess, MS just turned off life support then looted the corpse.
Even if we accepted the 'no more distracting' (presumably you have some wonder phone and carrier with perfect voice reproduction and no extra cognitive load just trying to decipher randomly garbled speech) *talking to a passenger is also a dangerous distraction*.
The only reason it's not barred is because there's no possible way that could be enforced.
The XBox TV thing is still going on, they've just realised there's no point building a studio to deliver content they could farm out to people better able to deliver. Especially if that studio has failed to deliver much of anything and your only promised shows with any public traction (the Halo ones) are fully owned IP already.
MS need content to tax on their XBox portal, it's nice if they own it, possibly nice if they can recycle the production costs internally but in the big picture they're 100% reliant on other peoples content to make the service worth using. Right now that service is marginally useful to users in the US and completely pointless for the rest of us.
Re: Only buy stock Android phones
You make the crucial mistake of believing the ordinary folk that buy these things actually care about updates.
It makes sense if you believe Nokia launched the X devices to 'encourage' MS to buy the company sooner, rather than waiting for the price to drop more. They could afford to wait to buy a Winphone business no-one else was likely to want but an Android business couldn't be allowed any chance of reviving Nokia.
still the user gets no control
Wonder if this will be the first windows desktop that actually stays how your it dept sets it, instead of randomly rearranging itself at will. Even if it works users still won't have control of their own environment though the power crazed alien responsible will be a little easier to hunt down and smack!
Re: Sahara etc
>>Err that lot of oak came from the British Isles (well mostly)
...just one of the reasons the british were so keen on Ireland being one of those british isles.
O2 hardly an appealing choice of network
Or maybe they belatedly noticed just how crap O2's network is...
is that the stench of a smokescreen I smell?
...on the day the BBC reports on Nokias X2 Android phone, the Reg throws up a distracting, WTF advertorial like this and avoids using the 'usual suspect' to lend it credibility?
No, can't be anything but a coincidence...
Re: Fifty quid?
If they follow the PC pricing policy expect a 'buy a completely new copy' upgrade policy, like they did for Win8 3 months after I last upgraded.
"the tablet that can replace your laptop" - missed the boat
'can replace your laptop': yes... but isn't the problem Surface was created to address that too many laptop owners already replaced their laptops?
MS should have launched Surface 1 with this message while there was still a good rump of non business laptop users looking to change, instead they promoted it as a dance accessory. That exploitable rump is near gone now, meanwhile other's have quietly exploited the business market while MS chased the disinterested public market. Late to the party yet again.
Re: Quite frankly
Xbox & XB360 success wasn't just handed to MS by Sony, MS had a very hands off approach to the XBox division. They staffed it with gaming folk and let them get on with trying not to be Microsoft. It was always faintly disturbing the way they sent the 'men in suit's' to visit developers but by and large they avoided MS dickheadery.
...until XBOne and it's mediaplayer focus dragged in the corporate Microsoft thinking and it all went downhill fast. Still digging themselves out of that fiasco. It's a potent reminder that MS no longer have the power to tell users what they want, instead of asking and more importantly listening to what they're told. Though it's hard to believe anyone out there actually asked for anything on Android or IOS - perhaps Office and Outlook but nothing else.
Re: On-line Multiplayer Frustrations
After finding a server full of adults with a zero tolerance policy to idiots, I spent 2+ years playing Wolf ET every day against the same 20(ish) people. There really is something magical about online play with the right people.
It's just really hard finding the 'right people' and why all the social crap is actually useful on gaming platforms, more so than random matchmaking can ever be. Very easy to assume none of it's interesting if you've never found the right clan (or informal version) to actually fire up the magic though.
And yes, going pub with an organised bunch of team players is fun. Not so much fun for the cannon-fodder but they only have themselves to blame ;)
Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe
Suricou Raven:"Methane doesn't last long in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide hangs around until a plant gets rid of it"
...but that methane degrades into CO2 + water vapour. So you get the direct methane hit then the long lasting CO2 *as well*. And water vapour is itself a potent greenhouse gas, especially high in the atmosphere.
Flooding is so damaging because it converts carbon to methane instead of CO2, trickles it out over a long time and doesn't convert just the surface vegetation you could have burnt straight to CO2 but also the trapped carbon in waterlogged soils.
is that Lewis's knee jerking?
It's just so easy to jump on Greenpeace appropriating credit that a man with Lewis's beliefs couldn't really resist it. They've never been afraid to claim victory on behalf of others.
Perhaps now we can have a proper report on why 60% of the Chilean population opposed and eventually killed this project, which seems to be a combination of national pride in their national parks/landscape, well founded distrust of their government, a genuine lack of belief that this project made any sense and the refusal of their government to consider alternatives.
Re: that fps test is worthless
..or nearly worthless. Measuring frame locked rates tells you the game runs fast enough (or not) and nothing more about actual performance. No-one serious about benchmarking ever does it because it hides how much time the system is idling waiting on the next frame time.
The first few entries tell you the translated version was struggling to hit 16ms/frame but don't tell you how much faster the native version was. The 60 v 60 runs could have been an unlocked 60fps v 120fps but we have no way of telling.
I wonder why they chose such a poor comparison? (No, I know why they did it;)
And totally missing is any comparison of native ARM v native x86.
CPU short summary
they could have just said: "every time we revert one of those 'improvements' we made after Phenon II, it goes faster"
Who couldn't see that coming. So many years wasted trying and failing to make less transistors do more. Hard to see how they can get back in the performance PC game and I won't be surprised if their ARM efforts also kill the low end x64 APU line before then. Sad to think I'm probably using my last every AMD desktop CPU.
It says something about Microsofts focus that they're giving away budget phones instead of something that might temp typical vulture readers.
Re: blackberry playbook anyone?
Everyone but Google and Apple are heavily discounting tablets. Nexus devices are being discounted but without Google support they aren't 'heavily discounted', must have some effect on sales. The discounting is so deep right now it's a miracle anyone can leave a shop without a new tablet ;)
Still not convinced actual customers are buying Surface yet, needs to go much cheaper. Todays £49 Lumia 520 price is a more realistic level of discount. I think they'll bury Surface excess stock in the desert rather than go that cheap.
Re: 2560 x 1440 on a 5.5" phone
I'm sitting about 75cm from a 2560x1440 27" screen and while it squeezes a lot more text on screen it's not quite high enough res to completely hide pixelation. Better than 1080 but not by much.
The real reason monitors are still stuck at 1920x1080 is price, 2560 doesn't give enough improvement for a 4x price hike. 4k monitors are probably where the quality starts looking sufficient but still priced out of reach for most users. High pixel density on a small screen is affordable where it isn't on large screens.
When the panel factories gear up for the 4k TV market push prices will drop and we will all move to higher resolutions on the desktop, to match our phones. It will still look better on the phone ;)
Re: "Is thinner ... really necessary?"
On tablets this size *lighter* really is necessary and if you want the same screen size your choice is make it thinner or make it hollow, I vote thinner. Reducing the bezels isn't an option either, it's a right PIA holding something this big without some dead area to grab.
Re: "Among tablet pc users"
Sort of misses the point though, Intels research suggested smaller screen sizes as a major cause of potential ultrabook users *not actually buying them*. I think the Surface in an ultrabook competitor role will suffer the same lack of interest.
Maybe the current minority constituting 'tablet pc users' is worth targeting but it doesn't seem a good way to noticeably increase sales! It certainly doesn't seem to be the market MS think they're targeting.
Re: Screen too small?
Really? Surface 3 looks like another assault on the ultrabook market and Intel discovered back in 2012 that users found 13" too small. Over in tablet land even Apple eventually went smaller than 10" because buyers want smaller devices - 9" seems the upper limit on comfortable tablet use in many situations.
My gut feeling is there's an 'uncanny valley' between 10" and 14" that puts of buyers/users (unless an Apple is painted on). MS see an unexploited niche but forgot to ask why it's unexploited.
Re: "run **UNMODIFIED** foreign binaries"
...like Intel dynamically recompiling ARM code on x86 Android?
Plenty of hard work here but the so called innovation strikes me as little more than giving new names to the old techniques of runtime recompilation and interface shims/emulation. Still, the renaming scam worked for IBM for decades, is still working for Microsoft ;)
Re: Presumably useful for some people
You might want to reread "is using Traveline's data to power its service"
I think I'll still be using Traveline directly though, it's a hell of a lot more configurable. And believable, Google have a quite shocking history of not correcting errors in their maps.
It leaves gold for nexus devices
Re: I'm sure this is quite dreadful, but...
The price bloodbath started before xmas for Samsung devices, prices for others makes took a while longer. With the 'love it/loath it' S3 firmware and so much overstock they had to jump first.
...that's not to say prices can't drop a lot more, though beating the £119 I pad for an LG G-Pad last month by much seems unlikely. S3's might soon be turning up in cereal boxes though and low end devices seem to have no floor price.
@DougS they admitted it to a court
Apple were forced to admit the MS deal and it's no copy requirement in court during the first Samsung trial. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/9474162/Apple-reveals-secret-patent-deal-with-Microsoft-in-Samsung-trial.html, one of many reports.
It's fortunate that some of us have longer memories than Apple/MS need to get away with astroturfing.
@DougS patent cross licence
You forget they didn't just cross licence patents,they agreed to cooperate on attacking android AND Microsoft agreed not to use the look & feel of ios to gain apple support. Almost every ui decision in wp is driven by that need to be different even if different is inferior, driven by the desire of two tech companies to interfere with another companies business by fair means or foul.
The result has been a ui the buying public largely ignore and sales dominated by the budget pricing of Nokias lowest end devices. A ui where the closest to unique features seem to be vanishing with each update as Microsoft realise the few journalists raving about things like the hubs aren't actually influencing public opinion or driving sales, leaving wp increasingly just a subset of the feature set of ios and android with sharper corners and half as well implemented.
...and that's why OEMs feel compelled to offer Google services on their devices - their customers DEMAND it. The most optimistic ambulance chasing outcome would be a Microsoft style ballot on 1st start. And that's largely means just clearing the default 'intent' bindings, which aren't necessarily preset in any case, sure I've been asked to choose on first use of supposedly G exclusive services more than once.
That's likely to piss off OEMs more than Google. It's a safe bet ~100% of users will choose Google at the ballot leaving all the OEMs unable to favour their own crapware. Make no mistake, almost no devices actually ship without competition to Google built in:
- my LG tablet has LG stores, it's own (utterly useless) voice search and other G equivalents
- my Orange branded Blade has search,maps,email,browser and other direct equivalents and they were ALL given better placement than the native apps. They all got erased the moment I achieved root.
- my Sony had multiple app stores, music players and I forget how much else, all now nuked
- my HTC had just G stuff. It was a Google reference device though ;)
The OEMs will wail and nash teeth if this comes to pass. There will be no rush to launch cheaper versions shorn of the services, perhaps a couple of display builds that never reach the stores to piss off the lawyers. And there won't be any price drop. Probably won't be any cash award for lawyers to steal either.
Let's also remember Kindle demonstrates competition is alive and well. Nokia's X devices ram that home.
Ambulance chasing of a high order. They'd be better off bringing a class action against the buying public that keep Google where they are. Almost in control.
...well my profile has most of the same things showing but looks radically different and I'll be spending a few days just guessing which anonymous glyph does what. Haven't worked out yet how to push the tool bar back down to the window bottom where it belongs.
Too early to tell if they've fixed the backend annoyances but the front end is feeling gratuitously downgraded right now. Have to hope they don't break it as badly as the Android build.
Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?
SpiderPig: "Totally agree. Symbian with an improved interface from the guys at Qt Mobile would have nailed Android, iOS and especially WP."
...and a well established inability to ship *any software or UI* internally developed on time. WP at least had the advantage (dubious as it is) of allowing very little OEM customisation and living on a tightly specified platform - for eternally late phone software developers a nearly ready-to-ship full phone stack and hardware design. Ideal for breaking out of development stasis. QT is nowhere near a full stack, not even a full mobile UI.
If Nokia had brought in a good manager they could have pulled off becoming an Android powerhouse, maybe even resurrected Symbian. They chose Elop instead and just gave up.
android hackers v MS - wonder who'll win?
It's going to be fun watching the battle between hackers and MS to keep Google apps off these devices. The most common thing heard from buyers of cheap Chinese Android is 'how do I install Google Market/Play'. You can sell devices without Google but it much harder making them actually use alternatives when the physical device is in their hands.
MS would be wise to not rely on driving use of 2nd rated services like Bing, or high data/high cost use on whatever today's name for their cloud is. Make Office work better on their devices and maybe they have a chance.
Re: heading off AMD?
The announcement further up the page of heterogeneous Opterons with unified memory might be what's spooked Nvidia and a sign AMD are about to get much more serious...
heading off AMD?
Feels more like they're laying the groundwork for a move to a physical unified memory architecture before amd can make any gains. Or should that be "any more gains", amd already grabbed the ps4 and xb1 business with a unified memory design.
worried about damaging the USB port
Very nearly bought one yesterday before deciding having even a shortish stick hanging off the charging port is risky, too much leverage as it flexes and chance of damaging the port. Really needs to be much smaller or at least flatter to cut down the flexing. Instead I'll be trying an OTG cable adaptor and normal stick.
Someday there'll be the right combination of form factor, speed & price but this falls a little short.
Orange duplicates every Google app that could run up charges
My wife's Orange OSF arrived infested with Orange duplicates of every Google app, all placed prominently on the home screen, all the Google originals hidden in the app draw. All of them chargeable to use.
There's nothing accidental about this, Orange try very hard to trick users into authorising unnecessary charges instead of using the free option already on their device. Silently running up data charges is just so easy they could hardly resist. I find it rather easy to believe they've gone an extra step and fired up services without waiting for the hapless user to click the wrong launch icon and mistakenly give permission.
I admired the Orange crappery so much it got wiped after 60min, instead of the 24 hours testing I'd planned on. It really was that blatantly abusive.
Re: How will it make money?
They've already been effectively giving it away with every Lumia shipped thanks to those support payments and cheap Lumia's are essentially the entire WP market. So far it's the only thing that's worked to drum up sales and they can't afford to stop.
As the new owner of the phone business they were laundering the subsidy (AKA free licences) through they're forced to offer everyone the same deal or face a visit with regulators.
The alternative is giving up on the big 'Win8 ecosystem' plan. Amazon have just screwed the XBox1 side of that deal with FireTV, Win8 continues it's slow train wreck and WP is just about holding on. They're desperate, half the company is staked on that ecosystem and it's not going well. They're aiming for survival right now, not making money.
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