1361 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009
Apples unclean hands
Regardless of the naughtiness (or not) of this or any argument about balancing the offer for both sides...
When the EU analyses the anti-competitive complaint, Apples often stated aim of killing Android will be considered. Hard to see how it's not a mitigating factor in Motorola's approach (and Google post merger). FRAND neither forbids this sort of deal or compels Apple to accept it. FRAND simply gives Apple a route to getting a court to impose terms on Motorola and guidance on what those terms are.
Apples real complaint is that their plan to bully an industry isn't as easy to pull off as they'd like. Screw 'em.
...and in a short post Microsofts success is explained
Bribe the right people.
enforced roaming agreements?
Maybe Ofcom could be persuaded to require EE to offer cost price roaming for the monopoly duration. Unfortunately I doubt they could force the other networks to take advantage... but silly me, thinking Ofcom is there to protect my interests ;)
Re: What to do?
After fighting Vista then Win7 on my brothers laptop, XP is the future. Just need to find a VM with acceptable DirectX acceleration for an XP client and I can continue gaming, the only thing I really need Windoze for.
I believe Microsoft have bought into their own post-PC meme. Faced with a world where the tablet dominates, Microsoft are trying to leverage their desktop OS monopoly to force their way into the tablet market. The only tool they have is acclimatising users to Metro on the desktop and so Metro must be forced onto their locked in users, who they hope will stick with what they know.
If that screws over some PC users they simply don't care, they have an effective monopoly and it doesn't matter how much they annoy us, they'll still have that monopoly. There's little hope they can convert existing iOS or Android users and Metro is so dumbed down even the majority market (media consumers) don't really have any compelling reason to use it on all their devices. Most of the apps they'll ever use come preinstalled in every OS already, run from the cloud and are platform agnostic.
With Win8 so late to the market it seems just a matter of time till MSFT have to acknowledge its a failed landgrab and revert out the collateral damage of Metro on the desktop. Maybe that collateral (from both imposing then reverting Metro) will remind 'consumers' that they really do have a choice.
...or the way completion alerts steal focus. Fire off a long job, start working in another window and some random time later, BANG, you're typing into a another app. Or worse, hitting a 'do it again' button before realising what's happening.
@AC: 2nd hand sales
Most of the game publishers are mightily annoyed by Games 2nd hand sales and aggressive pushing of them. There's not the slightest chance of kickbags. Kicks in the nuts perhaps...
When Game claim *they* decided not to stock EA and Nintendo new releases, that's strictly accurate but deliberately misleading, in reality EA & N decided they didn't need to offer Game any special deals or marketing cooperation and Game had no real choice.
In the download age Game no longer has the power to blackmail the industry and the industry wants them dead.
Wasn't one of the biggest features of Win3 that windows could overlap instead of tiling?
When I'm trying to blunder my way past some new programming challenge, having the browser window showing help visible at the same time as the source I'm mangling can be pretty damn productivity enhancing!
Apply the same to any app causing me a problem or to navigating the twisty maze of configuring Windows itself.
I like my maximise button. Let's me go fullscreen when I need to focus and windowed when I need it.
Re: Not a hope
Motorola have access to documents that aren't otherwise visible, dating from the Xoom's use of Android 3 and very probably their other Android devices. Remember Android 3 remains closed source because of the dirty hacks done to make it work on the Xoom (and other tablets I assume). Motorola has documentation we will never see any other way. Further, *every* OEM that bundled Googles Android apps has a contractual relation with G and that won't be fully public either.
Now I'd agree that's a pretty slim excuse for this fishing trip, that the real point of interest is Apple jumping on the merger and this is just an excuse. However the US legal system seems to allow all sorts of outrageous behaviour designed to harass opponents or gain unfair advantage. So I'm not surprised they got a judge to order this.
What I'm waiting on is Googles response. They can move to block this as a non-party to the case. I have a suspicion they'll be happy to get dragged in now. It gives them leverage to attack Apple and the near demolition of Oracles attack must give them confidence.
Once involved the serious delaying tactics can start, designed to let the USPTO work on destroying Apples IP. It's working nicely against Oracle and Apples patents aren't much better than the crap Oracle bought with Sun.
Time to put the popcorn on. This is going to get messy.
Games. Plenty of them download enormous amounts of data - over a GByte for quite a few I've installed in Android. As the quality gets closer to the PC versions that's going to go up, I'm regularly downloading 8GB installers on Steam/Amazon etc.
More commonly games pulling just 50MB can now use google instead of running there own servers. 50MB barely covers the soundtrack for many games.
There wouldn't be much point splitting it into separate apk and data files if they end up in the same place! The current way they download then split the apk into sdcard and internal chunks isn't scalable to these sort of sizes, not enough temp space and far too much work needed to encrypt that much data at install time.
Re: as touch-based systems become the standard
Touch control works really well for media consumption, often better than keyboard+mouse and the physical advantages of the form factor far outweigh the infrequent annoyance of virtual keyboards.
Most of the consumer purchased PCs and laptops are bought to consume media (that includes browsing the Internet) with negligible content creation. Updating your FB wall or answering email isn't exactly demanding. No wonder laptop sales are moving to pads, it's a better consumption device. Touch or gesture based systems will become standard for media consumption and Metro is just late to the party.
For anyone creating content (AKA working) touchscreens are between sub-optimal and completely fscking useless, depending on the task. And that's the point here, to satisfy the bulk of the consuming market Microsoft has screwed over those of us trying to *work* on our machines.
And BTW: Andrew has made it very clear he loves Metro on his WP7 phone, of course he's not going to say dump Metro. I personally find it fugly as hell and more about Microsoft's branding than any good design principle.
Re: Well said Andrew!
But Microsoft are pretty confident your next laptop or pc will ship with Win8 whether you want it or not. Unless pigs suddenly sprout wings they'll be right, especially with Shuttleworth crippling the most visible Linux alternative with the same madness.
If Apple could bring themselves to sell cheap pcs and laptops they could wipe out Win8 before the insane dumbing down inevitably gets reverted. But they wont.
"whose ageing tech and reliance on ancient PlayStation One games for exclusive content left it DOA"
Midrange hardware, definitely.
Reliance on PS1? As a USP but not the only USP, that gamepad really is nice and I have dozens of Playstation Optimised/Certified games to prove it. Failing to deliver even the PS1 support wasn't good though - 6 months with just 1 (bundled) game. What were they thinking.
What really killed the Play was unrealistic pricing. They tried to sell midrange (AKA ageing) hardware at very premium prices. Couple that with failing to deliver the sort of Playstation support everyone expected and you have poor sales. A gamepad and an emulator does not justify a 40% price hike. Soon as it dropped to £150/200 they started flying off the shelves, launching at £300 might have worked. Launching at £500 was the kiss of death.
Re: Re: Quad core is more power efficient ONLY IF you can use them
Given that Dalvik is currently single threaded throwing 4 cores at foreground processes means 3 almost 100% idle cores at every instant. Even with native code not many apps can use more than 2 cores. Doesn't matter how low you clock it, a powered up core doing nothing is still wasting power.
The much discussed Android multitasking doesn't help, background processes run infrequently and an app using enough CPU to benefit from multlcores would be burning so much power no user would leave it installed. (Early versions of the Facebook app made that mistake)
Whatever the theoretical advantages of spreading the work across slower cores, you have to have workloads that can be run in parallel. This generation of Android is a poor fit for that.
Re: Finally some sense
The most useful thing multicore brings is reducing the pauses and stutters badly behaved code can cause. Doesn't matter if a process refuses to yield, another core takes over and keeps the UI going. It was certainly what I saw going from single to dual core on the desktop. Dual to quad made little difference apart from the couple of compute intensive apps like PAR2.
While the Linux kernel seems to handle multitasking better than Windows when faced with yield refuseniks, a 2nd core still makes sense some of the time but quad is just power sucking extravagance.
Re: Re: Can someone cleverer than me please explain?
Not seeing annihilation radiation simply rules out our living close enough to see it. We don't know what the universe looks like past the edge of the visible universe, no idea how big it really is.
You can't even turn to the 'special place' principle because in a large enough matter/antimatter distributions it could be much more probable we live far from any edge.
Lack of this observation just puts some constraints on how small our chunk of matter is and how it evolved. Working out a mechanism that allowed such large distribution patterns would almost certainly be new physics ;)
Re: epic fail
It got stayed partly because Apple conceded that FRAND terms apply to *THEM* as licensees, that they don't get to dictate arbitrary terms to licensors.
Reading the article you could almost believe Apple had sued Motorola, that's what happens when your inside source is Florian 'what would Steve Jobs do' Mueller.
Hard to get excited with what looks like more than a dozen ebook readers already shipping for WP7. The Amazon fans are still going to get the Kindle app, the clinically insane will grab Kobo if it ever appears (for the excitement of constant, sanity sapping, selling notifications). The smart folk are going to pick an app with no hardware lockin.
And if this does successfully lockin Nokia buyers that's just another reason for HTC & Samsung to quit WP7.
"polished Ice Cream Sandwich port "
If the preview builds are a guide, their ICS port is taking so long because Sony are trying to revert the ICS look&feel back to their current Gingerbread+Timescape look. I can only suppose this is because ICS was in part meant to reduce the variation between phones and Sony value their differentiation above the end user benefits of reduced fragmentation.
BTW, the Alpha camera brand was essentially bought in when they acquired and shut down Konica Minolta. Seems Sony really do better with outside input than left to themselves - which is what worries me about losing Ericsson input from the phone business.
While Sony may own a lot of content, the whole industry has spent 20 years trying to sell content and failed miserably. Is that really about to change? I like my Play, it's nice its got all that Playstation content a click away. And I've bought none of it and have a huge backlog of other peoples games to work through before even looking at Sony's offerings again. It's hard to own a market in the Android world, even Google can't manage it.
Re: Ch 60+?
FYI I'm receiving Freeview on C29,54,56,57,58&61 post switchover. Still praying they'll change their minds and have another reshuffle or I'm up shit creek in a couple of years.
Has nothing to do with the receivers selectivity (*), if the boosters are overdriven amplifying leaked 4G, everything gets distorted. Selectivity can't fill in for a corrupted signal.
The research documents were published early last year on ways to mitigate the effects of 4G and more or less just presented the problem and costs, it seemd pretty neutral. Today's reporting is about which option's been chosen.
(* substantially stronger 4G could trigger AGC and drop the Freeview below the receiver noise floor. Not particularly likely but possible. Actually, I'd say it's extremely likely on cheap USB tuners!)
Re: Problem is not due to signal boosters.
1: the booster amp or tuner inputs get overdriven into clipping by the 4G signal, wrecking everything.
2: AGC kicks in at the tuner, dropping the Freeview signal below the noise floor (but keeping the 4G clean ;) Buggy AGC goes into overdrive dropping everything too far.
Neither are good, 2 is cheaper to fix since the filters can sit at the tuner end. 1: may need a climb to the aerial which won't be a £10 job.
After digital switchover my signal is still poor enough that I could leave the masthead amp installed and there's still plenty of amp headroom. There are a lot of people that needed a booster before switchover but dont now. They don't have any headroom after power went up, see no problems yet so they didn't remove the amps. 4G will hit them swamp their amps.
"in the eyes of the average Joe, it's either Windows or Mac when it comes to computers"
I believe the reality is 'it's either PC or Mac'. Windows is so ubiquitous it now has severely diluted brand awareness, users don't choose Windows they simply don't care enough to choose anything else. Its an effect of Microsofts continuing monopoly on shipped PCs.
If anything Office probably has more awareness and effect on buying choice, so they can keep opening their old documents. It's an easy 'habit' to break as well, on the new laptop my sister in law asked for OpenOffice because that's what I'd installed on the last one, didn't even notice the Microsoft bloatware installed. No doubt next time they upgrade she'll ask for LibreOffice after I switched them. Ordinary folk simply aren't starry eyed about Microsoft products.
Which leaves me completely clueless about how the public will react to Win8. Sink without trace like Chrome laptops or will they simply take what they're given and barely notice?
Yes, struck me as bizarre that the idiots trying so hard to dumb down desktop Linux think there's any point to this. Ubuntu is rapidly degenerating into something less usable than Android already is.
you're still paying for those unused SMS
Few users pay inflated per SMS rates any more. The price is now buried in their contract bundle total, or as a 'free' topup incentive on PAYG. You've still paid the carrier whether you use those bundled SMS or not.
Maybe not as much cash as in the golden days but they locked in their profit before the rise of IM could wipe it all out.
Sony brand less appealing than SE
They've all been discounting SE Xperias heavily just to shift stock and the 'sale' started before the split was announced. The 2011 Xperias are nice enough phones but distinctly midrange hardware at above midrange prices was a hard sell, especially after the 2010 Xperias damaged the brand.
It's a fair bet Sony will fail to notice their brand has only niche value in the mobile market and try to hike prices even further. Sad, just as they were getting Android right they hand the whole business to the rich but clueless side.
Seems like a smart business choice to drop SE immediately. Going to be some good sale bargains coming up ;)
General Pance said:"The sad thing is these cynical vultures who cheer catastrophe have no practical solution bar driving energy prices beyond our reach."
After 25 years of the denialist industry successfully blocking any serious investment in alternatives to fossil fuels, we do indeed have fuck all other options left. Does that 'success' give you a hard on?
Google have tried *not* playing the patent game and that has allowed Apple and Microsoft to attack Google and it's collaborators at will. Now there's some chance the war will abate because Google are now armed and willing to fight back. We're returning to the normal MAD state.
That said, most of the attacks have been pretty damaging to the attackers so far if you just count the invalidated patents. Unfortunately that's not how the game is scored, the result less important the the collateral damage along the way.
compare to the UK
Pretty tame compared to the UK.
5Gb is a lot better than T-Mobiles 0.5Gb streaming allowance before switching down to browsing only - but neither cut you off completely. But at least both tell you what the limits are and T-Mobile are marginally honest when saying 'unlimited browsing'.
giffgaffs 'unlimited' may allow much more data use before cutting you off but they've recently confirmed there are conditions/limits, they're secret, extremely variable (as little as 2Gb has triggered it) and the normal uses are quietly being relabeled as abuse in the small print in the T&Cs. Can be a little difficult contacting an Internet only company to challenge disconnection after they cut the Internet as well...
Right now only 3 seem to still be really doing unlimited internet on phones. Good thing they don't have enough customers to saturate the network ;)
...did you miss the *mobile* in the post? Nothing to do with your broadband.
Scan, still using a stock system with no ability to reserve sold items or resolve problems when items take turns being out of stock. Which happened a lot till i quit using them.
Also the only supplier so far to simply ignore queries about missing items in a delivery.
Must try harder.
The direCt route to customer retentions on their phone system is all the service i've needed for a long time. Dont even have to pretend your leaving to renegotiate. That's service ;)
Haven't tried it on the inlaws foxsat but... on our humax freeview box you rewind to the point you want to record from and hit record. Useful for saving space compared to dumping the enture buffer and you can grab programmes that already finished, not just the current one if the recorder tried to be smart.
Give it a try. Might work the same way. Review also failed to mention the foxsat can work in non freesat mode. And what a lot of really crappy channels there are to wade through, w
If only it was that easy. There are 2 attacks.
1: Oracle are attacking the underlying use of a VM with patents, changing source language makes no difference. That's the patent attack and luckily it doesn't seem to be going well for Oracle. Working around the patents might not have a crippling cost, having to compile to machine code would be very bad news.
2: Copyrights. Having failed miserably to find anything but de minimus direct copying (of the 8 test files that don't ship with Android devices, weren't even used and were removed from the source tree), Oracle are inventing brand new law to try and attack the use of Java's library environment. The problem being that Sun didn't own the source they use and API's aren't currently copyrightable. I say invent, actually they're just recycling the paperwork from SCO vs the World (same lawyers, same crackpot thinking, same result?).
However, if they succeed on the library front, changing language or VM becomes irrelevant. Simply calling the system libraries would be infringement, regardless of implementation. If Oracle succeed the entire software industry is in severe danger so don't expect that to be allowed to happen.
I'm not sure Oracle are even trying to claim the Java language, something Sun very publicly gave away long ago.
argh! that should be "begging for a J2SE licence". Sun would of course have happily sold them a useless J2ME licence. Need to drink more coffee before 1st post of day ;(
how often do we have to go through this strawman?
If Sun had done the right thing and actually offered J2SE licences for mobile that might have been an option. They didn't. They only offered J2ME, a crippled mobile travesty incapable of supporting something like Android. You want J2ME go buy any of the 1000's (literally) of featurephones in the market. Just don't expect anything describable as a smartphone.
Since Google needed to negotiate Sun into something Sun didn't want to do there was no point just begging for a J2ME licence, instead they went for something bigger. Sun chose not to partner with Google and stay in the game for the long term, choosing to protect their existing revenue in a rapidly dying market instead.
Its noticeable that Sun were mightily pissed off but didn't resort to the courts. I think they understood what Oracle don't, that they'd given away most of the rights Oracle are now trying to assert. There's a reason Oracle vs Google has collapsed to a patent infringement case, one Oracle don't seem to be winning.
The Cloud is a paid service in many venues and only free if the site owner chooses to sponsor it.
The O2 deal covered all hotspots (AFAIK) and may have been easier than the hoops I've had to jump through to get online in recent years. Feels like different hoops every few months... and by the time I've remembered which magic incantation is current, my pint is nearly done!
look up MAX_PATH
NTFS may not have the problem but the older Win32 APIs have a strict path length limit on filenames: 260 char in total, 254 (I think) for the longest component. You had to use newer Unicode interfaces to bypass that limit. It was a rich source of buffer overflows down the years in Windows and it's apps.
That essentially guaranteed your filesystem was restricted because significant parts of the OS and most applications couldn't handle anything longer. I've not tested Vista/Win7 but XP's Explorer is affected, it's possible to create directories that Explorer cannot open or even delete because of it. Perversely you can create problem folders *with Explorer* just by cut&pasting.
Make your own mind up what to think of a developer unaware of that limit. I won't be taking any tips from him/her.
switching platforms can be painful & expensive
Surprises me there's any significant platform hopping. Do people really enjoy buying apps all over again or just not think about it till it's too late? Or is no-one actually buying apps they feel any attachment to, or sticking with free apps for the important stuff?
Just losing your progress in Angry Birds would seem an annoying enough deterrent for many ;)
Comodo much, much worse for false positives, they never fix some
I've been reporting the same false positives to Comodo for a couple of years now, with no improvement at all. Some of them are ancient Atari ST *source code* archives, in ST formats. Data files nothing could mistake for executables!
Can't even reliably exclude them from scanning because the useless bloody program keeps resetting its exclusion lists in far too many updates and rarely takes any notice of my attempts to exclude them anyway.
If it hammered my CPU as much as the alternatives I'd dump it in a flash, AVG had a wonderful habit of sucking 100% of every core from time to time. So bad it could take 10's of minutes to shut down - always surprised me how few times I borked the file system just hard resetting instead of waiting.
The majority of patients rarely need to see their doctor and might not find out if the practice is good or bad till it's too late. Think it took nearly 10 years before I met my longest serving GP. 4+ years on I've tried but still not managed too see a doctor from my current surgery - thank god for locums and a pox on 0845 booking systems and 25min call queues.
If the choice is no comments or inevitably biased comment, I'll risk mentally filtering for bias over pure chance.
iPlayer does 'work' on ARM6
iPlayer is filtered from the Market for ARM6 devices but it will happily sideload if you can find the APK. It works (for certain values of 'works') on our OSF so it should on OSF2 or any other ARM6 device.
...after trying it you may decide it was right to filter it from the Market. Even on minimum bandwidth it's struggling on the OSF and OSF2 is only a little faster.
A 1GHz ARM7 performance much better than 800Mhz ARM6+25%. A year ago the OSF was a good deal, times change, prices fall, specs improve and OSF2 now looks like a distinctly average phone for its price.
"The interface is blazingly efficient though - you can get to any app in four moves:"
The Android contacts chooser also does it that way, although its even quicker to just start typing the name and let search do the job without starting the contacts app!
Nice, *if* the task is finding any random app, especially compared to scrolling through 10 pages/156 apps in my Android app draw.
...but not optimal because that's not how people use devices. Right now my 9 most used functions have 1 click links, the next 22 are in folders 2 clicks away and searching through the whole app list is a rare event. I still have widgets and unused space on that single screen. If use changes I'll rearrange things to a more efficient mix.
Efficiency needs to be aimed at the right part of the UI to make a difference.
current crop of smartphones are toys
...just remember the public love their toys ;)
Got to agree on the form factor, Microsoft painted themselves into a corner here. After investing so much effort in talking up Android fragmentation as a problem, fragmenting their own platform to widen appeal is likely to be resisted far too long.
Even simple things like adding a landscape mode hard keyboard requires forward planning to ensure the UI still works. Android built that in from the start and still has problems - sufficient that landscape is no longer supported in most launchers unless forced. How WP7s vertical interface could be made to work in landscape is a puzzle.
Similar argument for vertical Blackberry style form factors. The vertical UI collides with landscape screen again.
Whether you like the grid of icons approach or not, it's inherently flexible enough for different screens, with no inherent preference for orientation or resolution
WP7 seem to have too many implicit assumptions to be easily diversified onto other form factors.
Help me out here: what is it about scrolling vertically to expose more links that's so much better than scrolling horizontally to expose more links?
Also: please explain the difference between a 'live tile' and a widget? Other than the name and that widgets don't have to look like 'tiles'?
Perhaps you could also solve my confusion over why using 1/8th of the screen to show my SMS/Email/Missed call count is better than showing it in the notification line beside the signal strength, volume and connection indicators - using no extra screen space?
In many ways WP7 is different simply to distinguish itself from the competition rather than any functional justification with an added dose of lawsuit avoidance. The WP7 UI is certainly different, distinctive, even memorable. But none of those terms are the same as being 'better'.
"if it wasn't for the fact I'm typing on a PC."
...bet it's running Windows.
Now we know where they borrowed the CAPS LOCK AUTOENGAGE from ;)
The whole concept of merging difference media feeds has been tried repeatedly (and before WP7 went public) and it's a marmite feature, you love it OR hate it. I've tried a few of the Android apps that aggregate feeds, the built in Timescape version on my Play and whatever HTC shipped and just don't get on with it.
Which leaves me grateful it's purely optional, even though every manufacturer seems to ship with their own take on aggregation enabled its always trivial to disable. Worth remembering some of the brand loyalty to Samsung/HTC/SE is people liking the particular tweaks added over base Android.
Right now I let GMail aggregate most of my email accounts but isolate some in the Mail app, feed Twitter through Go SMS along with texts and Talk does it's own thing. Makes it easy to prioritise dealing with everything and hard to lose track of what I'm responding to. The flood with them all aggregated was overwhelming. That soaks up more space on my homescreen but Android gives me 20 slots per homescreen so there's less demand to combine them than with WP7s lower tile limit.
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