1360 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009
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.
those so called 'killer features'...
...are roughly the minimum *starting point* I've expected from mail clients since the mid 90's. Even DOS clients ;)
Depressing to think the move to the browser set mail back so far, for so long that Googles horrible Gmail client was somehow revolutionary. I find it a lot more palatable using gmail as just a transport layer, even the mediocre Thunderbird front end beats Googles piss poor efforts.
Re: Time gentlemen, please.
Time is an inherent requirement of the way neurons work, both as individual analogue 'devices' and networks of them. Accumulating charge and generating pulses are inherently time domain behaviour.
While it's reasonable to supposed evolution has worked out use that to create intelligence, it's foolish to dismiss alternatives as wrong. Brains may be our best known example of intelligent hardware and well worth study and replication, but that's all they are - 'the best known example'.
Also surprising to hear that he's the only one considering time as vital to AI, it's implicit in everything that can learn yet built, since it's difficult to learn anything without some acceptance of cause&effect.
That £70 price tag was for an unlocked, SIM free 520 from Amazon a few months back (other places actually managed a little cheaper). No hint of a carrier subsidy. The price still bounces between that and £90 with no ongoing commitment.
I can very easily believe management at Nokia were unaware they were almost giving the stock away ;)
documents and website packaged as crapware
I'd love the opportunity to take the piss out of the WP store - but every other app store is also choking in exactly the same not-really-an-app crapware. Sometimes seems there's no dev tool that does less than the app using public will accept ;(
Re: A lobbyist lobbying nightmare.
It barely matters whether you believe MS are right,wrong about the complaint (or equivalently whether on not Google are guilty).
MS and their posse of failure vertical search rivals don't want a fair or just settlement, measured by what's fair for EU citizens. Their self-serving interference has delayed any action and given Google opportunities to subvert the whole process in it's favour.
Almunia has listened to the wrong people giving the wrong advice, people that benefit from Google polluting search, that want to keep it polluted but change who gains from that. It's only going to get worse, whatever the ruling.
a stopped clock
Dan Lyons proving that even a stopped clock is right sometimes ;)
Microsoft needed change and this appointment signals that all the large changes are already finalised, he's just there for minor course corrections. Hard to see that being enough. Not enough to change internal MS culture enough and there's no hint at all of any change to their attitude towards customers.
Too little to break Microsoft out of the stasis it's mired in.
Re: Will anyone still care?
>>It was hard to ignore Windows 8.
Surely the problem was it was far too easy to ignore win8...
Re: Ten Percent?
Someone I know finally got one, so I've finally actually seen one in real life.
Thing is, it's not the phone he chose when the carrier made him "an offer he couldn't refuse". Maybe all the better options really were out of stock and it wasn't just a marketing subsidy. He seems quite happy with it but the tariff was the important thing, any usable phone would have done.
Microsoft aren't just selling them cheap, they're giving them away.
one of its European partners?
Surely the problem was that the German Metro brand owner was not a Microsoft partner in any form giving MS no leverage to bully and nothing that particular supermarket chain wants to bargain with.
Given that any online "Metro Store" would suffer feature creep (as seen over at Google store), killing a potential competitor would make sense to a retailer with no MS dependencies. What's wrong with Windows Modern though (or even "Windows Metro"), if they're allowed to bolt Windows and Mod together they'd have no more trouble doing Windows Modern and it's a hell of a lot more stylish. Even if the product it describes is the opposite of stylish ;)
JPEG2000 failed because it was chock full of patents and a suicidal hard line licensing policy. The critical mass needed for success never happened, too few developers felt like paying for a unproven format, it never proved itself because so few used it.
"they may pull these levers with impunity"
That *possibility* is why the EU feel entitled to regulate.
The near total failure of the complaining competitors to convince anyone (but each other) that it's actually happening is why the neither the EU or Google are in any apparent hurry to settle.
The ongoing reality is, even completely neutral and fair search ranking inherently facilitates and accelerates competition and that's extremely bad news for poor products. And that's half the problem, producers of bad product are being hurt by their own poor quality more than ever before, unable to find enough clueless buyers because search is giving too many clues.
While I ordinarily wouldn't care how much bad products get fscked, I have some sympathy with a view that page1 results are so powerful even if they were perfectly ranked that would still not be good for overall market(s). The other problem is the whiners are so used to using SEO to abuse search engines, they haven't even been asking for a neutral, accurate search engine. Instead they want to carry on as usual, buying visibility, they just don't want Google doing it.
It's a mess but not one I see the complainants coming out ahead from because none of the solutions give them what they want, an even more broken system that happens to favour their interests.
complainants did it to themselves
I still say the complainants did it to themselves. Faced with the stark reality that in a fair search market the best product would win, they played for advantage rather than fairness or proportionate measures to preserve competition.
But they never stopped to think about who would actually benefit from rigging the competition, always assuming it would be themselves. Turns out if you let a group of scum that think SEO is more effective than building better product, it's whoever they attack that benefits!
Re: @Test Man
"send e-mails using your already-existing GMail address"
...you mean, exactly the same as I'm doing with Thunderbird right now? email clients stopped being service specific decades ago. If MS have done something clever, this ain't it.
You mean it does the same as setting up Thunderbird to control all my email accounts?
Or using K9 to do it?
Or the shitty Android gmail client?
Or more than one of them in parallel?
Remind me why Outlook doing that is so interesting?
Re: Now try these same tests outside of the US
After the last search update I'm finding Google no longer recognises my English accent often enough for even simple requests. 'Wake me at"+time used to be reliable, now it hasn't once recognised the spoken time and misses the 'wake' part >50% of the time.
Perhaps not surprising, it struggles to even start on my 4.2.1+underpowered Xperia Play combo. But it worked a month ago on the same phone, seems to be going backwards ;(
they got a respnse?
"decided to go public after the Android Security Team stopped responding to its e-mails about the issue"
That implies they managed to get a response from the team. Highly unusual from any Google offshoot, it's not the Google way.
Re: Re :- "The update also cleaned out a vast amount of accumulated bloat"
By bloat I mean the 5+gb of leftover files 12months updates, installs and uninstalls had scattered throughout the system folders, with no way to tell what was deletable and no tool able to deal with them. In some cases with permissions preventing even administrator accounts deleting them.
Much though I'd like to join in the bashing here, 8.1 changed so much of the core OS it was never going to be a small update. Although they seemed to downplay it, 8.1 seems to have fixed a shedload of problems, I went from needing to restart every 5 days or so as it crawled to a halt or crashed, to weeks of uptime. From less stable than XP to pretty good, even hardware that fell over regularly on 8.0 just works under 8.1.
The update also cleaned out a vast amount of accumulated bloat that nothing else could shift and 8.1 seems to be generating much less of it.
3+gb would be outrageous to restore a useless button, in reality this is a massive bug fix for the entire broken OS.
Microsoft put considerable effort into convincing developers there would be platform convergence and at least broad app compatibility across pc,tablet and phone before completely failing to deliver it in Win8. Today's plan is little more than saying "trust us, this time we'll really deliver what we promised last time".
The only change is finally conceding they cocked up the desktop+mouse+keyboard experience though I'll be shocked if they actually revert the metro look&feel vandalism that makes it so unpleasant to use. Good thing 3rd parties have already reverted out most of the chrome breakage - the vanished or de-emphasised visual cues that just make metro mode look dull in comparison.
My console gaming friends&acquaintances adopted a 'wait&see what Steam,Nvidia,AMD and Intel could do for PC gaming' policy. It's no longer an XBox/PS choice.
There's also a growing realisation that if you buy a lot of games the console tax soon adds up and they're overpaying for the console hardware. Much better to spend it on cheaper PC game builds and regular PC upgrades.
Re: No infra red port
Hey, if it's good enough for XBone it's mandatory for Android!
Re: With MS I wait for the fourth.
Don't you mean 3.1th go?
better than last years efforts
At least they remembered to show them doing something, last year you could easily get the impression Surface was just a colourful prop for dance routines and the keyboard a great way to make clicking sounds, tap dancing style.
Probably the right choice attacking iPad as well, there are too many physically similar Android convertibles around. Playing the 'it runs Windows' card again isn't an option, didn't work first time and if anything people care less now.
Can't see long term success in stealing iPad defectors though, with Android undercutting everyone in every sector and defectors inevitably not being fanbois (or they wouldn't move), painting Surface as a better iPad won't justify the pricing.
Re: "50Hz TV input is snapped alongside a 60Hz game"
That could neuter any frame rate adaptation the TV is performing. Instead of being able to detect duplicates every 6 frames and deduce it's really 50Hz, the 60Hz elements make every frame unique. Sets are going to be optimised to handle 50<->60Hz conversion well, but only if they can detect the need to convert.
While Samsung have been caught bumping GPU clock speed, it's not the only way to game the scores. Nvidia used to get caught regularly dropping in custom shaders, dropping precision and changing texture modes in benchmarks. Sometimes that had zero effect on render output and is actually an acceptable approach in non-benchmarking contexts, drivers usually have game specific hacks built in - nowadays with en\disable control.
Even GPU overclocking isn't always easy to detect, or likely to decrease battery life enough for certainty.
It's a repeat of the NVidia+ATI+others situation, with the same solution - repeated public exposure till they stop.
competition between software publishers
...and since the hardware is all but identical, competition isn't coming from Sony+Microsoft, unless you're one of the few people that think gamers will actually buy into Kinect this time round. They'll both get the same games, the PS4 will run them faster or prettier, the XB180 builds will have superfluous Kinect gesture support grafted on (but left unused by players). In a years time they'll have equivalent social network support, and video+media hub functions.
And they'll both have increasingly overpriced software in a world of mobile and resurgent PC gaming, markets that do have actual competition instead of a phony platform war based on theatrics more than actual competition.
In also struggling to see how an essentially brute force hack is "clever". Hard work but clever?
A clever solution would have isolated all app components in their own pseudo VM and shimmed emulation under it, allowing some amount of security to be enforced.
Re: "in the future accessing the Public Service Broadcasters by IP"
Someone just needs to remind them that without including Freeview radio in their total, they'll never hit the threshold for turning off FM. Should hold the idiots up for a few years trying to decide which plan to sacrifice.
The PS4 won't do DNLA out of the box, that's not the same as won't do it ever.
But it does illustrate the most significant difference between the consoles, the PR Microsoft and Sony wrapped around them. Sony promised a gaming device that could be a media player, Microsoft a media hub that could play games. Both ship unfinished but right now Sony delivered more of what they promoted than Microsoft have.
...and I'd choose something a lot smaller, cheaper and with lower power consumption for media duties than either of them ;)
PS4 and Xbox180 nearly identical
What struck me after reading an Xbone review straight after a PS4 review was how indistinguishable they are. The reviews could almost have just switched Xbox and PS4 and remained 90%+ accurate. In particular the PS4 was being described as a media centre, in a way that should frighten the life out of Microsoft. All without Sony pimping that aspect relentlessly.
What's missing from the Reg roundup is, as predicted the media functions aren't well supported outside the US with even iPlayer support missing at launch and relying on HDMI passthrough means around 50% of UK homes can't actually use it - too many of us have integrated DTV decoders and Xbox expects offboard boxes. Also that Kinect is seriously improved but still falls apart in typical UK living rooms.
My roundup would be: they're both the same device but you'd better be in N America if buying for the media functions, at least for the next 6months.
"Just because one provider of a service captures the majority of the market does not make it a monopoly."
It's a pretty good description of a monopoly and a monopoly is NOT ILLEGAL. The simple existence of a monopoly is never the issue: it's whether that monopoly is being abused or was gained by abuse. The response should be to repair any damage already caused and prevent future abuse. Microsoft get hammered because they keep gaining monopolies by abuse.
Right now it's now exactly clear what damage has supposedly already been done, mainly because the whining competitors are so bad at competing they actually need Google to help them. Action to stop future abuse is now being botched because the pack of vermin are too busy working for personal advantage to consider what a fair solution would actually be.
Re: Is it just me?
"each vertical provider (including Google) must be given equal prominence"
Fine by me as long as they provide a 'skip straight to organic results button', which will quickly be at page 10+.
Sometimes I wonder if the complaining parties have considered the collateral damage of their demands at all, so eager to kick Google in the nuts they don't mind drowning their own pitiful offerings in a flood of other equally mediocre crap. This is what a decade of SEO dirty tricks have brought, the scum fighting to ensure we all see a thick but 'level' layer of it.
If the EU really want to make a difference, make Google wrap ALL the vertical search (including their own) in tags and let browser add-on writers filter them away completely.
Re: Not all bad
"That it hasn't tanked faster is a testament" is a testament to their monopoly control of so much of the IT world. It only visibly started failing when the market moved out from under them, while Ballmer ignored that shift. That's not competence, he somehow managed to piss away a position of overwhelming strength through complacency.
Re: Steve Ballmer was Microsoft.
What exactly do you think he was 'good' at and perhaps more important, was it something that was also good for Microsoft and good for the rest of us? A decade of absolute stasis might be good in some sectors, it rarely is in IT.
Ballmer was certainly good at clinging onto his job despite serial failure and it's taken 2+ years of constant pressure to make him jump before being pushed. He is 100% correct about "Steve Ballmer has admitted he was a big part of the problem". At least when Gates was totally wrong he reacted quickly to catch up, Ballmer just reacted quickly to deny there was a problem.
It's pretty obvious from even casual use that most phone LCDs have appalling response characteristics and terrible motion smearing and use in a visor configuration would accentuate it. The experimental DN3D VR system we built back in 1995 had expensive hi quality panels and didn't have obvious motion blur.
Looks like cutting costs with phone LCDs was a mistake, let's hope they don't jump for cheap pentile OLED, scaled to full FOV the patterning will be maddening to some users. It annoys me enough even when I can't see the sub-pixels clearly. A price hike for Occulus looks likely.
Re: why not stick with tradition ?
OMFG can you imagine the motion sickness... maybe workable as aversion therapy?
"turn to the traditional route of a prohibition decision."
Google didn't have to do a thing, just sit back and watch the complainers inflict collateral damage on each other. So busy painting Google as a villain in need of punishment they left no room for compromise or supportable alternatives for Almunia.
Perhaps we need an excessive response now, maybe the pain of becoming unfindable will encourage compromise. It won't take ordinary companies long to realise Fairsearch members aren't a good replacement and even less controllable than Google.
Re: Microsoft is late on tablets
Right there in the product name is the mistake they keep making: "Tablet PC"
People are happily buying tablets. Less of them are still buying PCs. But almost no-one is trying to buy a 'Tablet PC', they didn't in the past and don't seem interested in the present.
How many times do Microsoft have to repeat the same mistake before learning?
- Breaking Fad 4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
- Was Earth once covered in HELLFIRE? No – more like a wet Sunday night in Iceland
- First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads
- Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich
- Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence