288 posts • joined 2 Jul 2009
Re: Was plastic really so bad?
Plastic was fine in the days before touchscreens, but as soon as you start requiring the user to touch, tap, swipe etc. the screen pretty much every time they want to do something with the phone then the higher resilience to scratching you get with glass becomes a very welcome property to have.
It's also worth remembering that back in the days of plastic, the underlying LCD still had a glass front panel, and it was only the protective lens/resistive touch digitiser in front of the LCD that was plastic. So although it was damn near impossible to break the plastic by dropping a handset, the same could sadly not be said of the LCD glass - the *only* phone I've broken was one of my older touchscreen devices, where the plastic resistive touchscreen remained intact after the drop that caused the LCD glass to crack quite impressively.
The VectorMap District data mentioned in the article is freely available as part of the OS OpenData collection of goodies.
Re: Checking in and out with Oyster
"Previously at unfamiliar small tube stations it is genuinely difficult to find an Oyster machine to check out at"
Unless you're interchanging to another mode of transport without passing through the station gateline, or have found a rare station (not even sure if there are any left now, there were precious few around in the years just prior to Oyster being introduced) which still allows exit to the street without passing through a gateline, then you don't need to find the Oyster validator (the ones with the pink reader pads) to touch out, you just touch out as normal on the yellow reader when you leave the station via the gateline, even if the gates are already open.
"How about a better system like in most capitals of the world - prepaid zonal tickets!"
You mean like a Travelcard?
It's almost correct - the standard TfL fare for a single bus journey of any distance is now £1.45 (certain concessionary discounts aside).
Re: Must be a cruel twist of fate!
Buying blank media from the usual online sources, I'm now finding that a spindle of good quality blank BD-Rs is slightly cheaper per GB than a spindle of comparable quality DVD media. Even in the days when the cost/GB was in favour of DVDs, there were other benefits of backing up to BD-R - being able to back up files >4.7GB without needing to split them across multiple discs, and the significant reduction in physical space required to store the discs.
Re: Drifting OT ... one thing I recall
At one of the schools where my mum used to teach, they'd bought a few Quinkeys for their BBC micros. Other than my mum, who ended up being a complete speed demon typing merrily away on the infernal contraption, I don't think anyone else in the school bothered using them - I dabbled with it from time to time during school holidays when she brought the contents of her classroom IT corner home with her (happy days those - the house was full of 80's computing goodness with my Spectrum and Amiga competing for attention with the school BBC model B and Archimedes...) but never progressed much further than being able, veeeeeeeery slooooooooowly, to type out the lowercase alphabet.
Re: You think that I was saying that this was just good for Apple?
"Before the iPhone they were shipping heavily customised, ugly (both in the case and UI) phones with only the features they wanted you to have."
I started using Windows Mobile-based smartphones several years before the iPhone was launched, and whilst they might not have set new standards in design or ease of use, they were also more tweakable by the end user than the iPhone ever has been, and the heavy customisation you mention was generally nothing more than a network-specific bootscreen and smattering of preinstalled apps. Even in the pre-smartphone days, I don't recall there being much of a difference between the same handsets supplied by different networks.
So to suggest that it took the iPhone to break the network stranglehold over what we could do with our phones is a bit wide of the mark. Also somewhat ironic, given how much control Apple themselves exert (or certainly used to in the earlier days - I'll admit things have improved somewhat in the last couple of years) over the iPhone - it doesn't really matter if the walls around your garden are erected by the network operator or the phone manufacturer, it's still a walled garden...
Re: Give it up as a lost cause
Quite. My previous employer went belly-up in January 2010, and the administration process only started to wind up last summer. Whilst there was a reasonable amount of cash remaining in the business at the time it entered administration (enough to give every creditor more than just a token gesture repayment), after 3 and a half years of the administrators sucking the coffers dry to pay their own fees (because, of course, THEY can't be expected to lose out financially, can they...) the last report they sent out indicated that they were not expecting to make any payments to any creditors.
So as the AC says, whack in your claim to the government as soon as you can, and forget about receiving anything from your former employer. If, by some miracle of miracles, cash remains in the coffers and you do eventually receive some return on what you're still owed, then treat it as you would a large lottery win - bloody nice if it happens, but not something you should be relying on.
"as the length of a TSV to link base and layer 3 is not that much different from one linking the base to layer 4..."
Whilst I don't imagine that nice artistic impression of the device is entirely accurate, one point of interest about it is that it shows all of the TSVs as stretching from base layer right through to the top layer. And if controlling the TSV length really is that big a challenge with the current manufacturing processes, then that's exactly how I'd plan to build these devices (no different to designing multilayer PCBs taking into account the capabilities of your preferred board manufacturers to deal with blind/buried vias). Forget about trying to save silicon area on the higher layers by using partial-height TSVs up to the lower layers, just whack them all through all the layers on the device and reduce the risk of having to junk the entire device.
This is considered a bug? Given that Firefox behaves in the same way when asked to show stored passwords, I'd just assumed it was the intended behaviour in Chrome too...
Re: April Fools?
No, because CO/CO2 molecules consists of a single carbon atom plus one or two oxygen atoms, whereas graphene oxide molecules are somewhat larger than that...
Re: Should music be free?
How many programmers actually do get per-sale royalties, and how many are simply paid a fixed salary or hourly contract rate regardless of how many copies of their code get distributed?
Re: “Don’t Ambassadors Have Anything Better To Do?”
I always thought their primary role was to act as a global delivery mechanism for approximately spherical foil-wrapped nut-infused blobs of chocolate...
" I wonder how many people are like me, have a Sky sub and Sky+ it, but still download each episode for their library anyway?"
Quite. SkyHD sub here, so I could get stuff like GoT without having to resort to the legally dubious world of torrents, but I don't like my viewing interrupted by ad breaks at the best of times (i.e. when watching some throwaway programme that requires minimal levels of concentration), let alone when I'm watching something as immersive as GoT, so being able to get ad-free copies of such shows is a pretty big deal for me.
Depends on whether you're considering just a basic offline satnav system which can only provide directions, or whether you're considering an online system which can also provide realtime updates on traffic flows, accidents etc. etc. It doesn't matter where I'm heading to, I've always got my satnav (Android phone + Waze app) running to at least keep me informed as to the route conditions even if I don't need routing advice, so having the ability to predict traffic buildup by looking at things like sports schedules seems like a sensible next step.
Yep, I remember that too - if I dug around in the various boxes of childhood memories currently occupying the loft, I'm pretty sure my bit of Jodrell Bank tickertape would be in there somewhere...
Re: This is just ridiculous
Absolutely, this *is* ridiculous. An utterly ridiculous suggestion... Good luck eking out an existence in a world where a sizeable number of the people you rely on to survive (whether you realise it or not) have been thrown in jail for the heinous crime of copying something. Feeling unwell? Uh dear, your GP is behind bars. Feeling *really* unwell? Oh dear, half your local hospital staff are behind bars too, and even if they weren't there's no ambulances running to get you there because of a sudden shortage of paramedics. Feeling right as rain but just a little bit peckish? Whoops, queues a mile long at every store still open that sells anything even remotely edible, because most of the shop assistants are in the slammer too. And most of the stores that used to sell food are now closed because the HGV drivers who delivered to those stores are in the cells too. Even if they weren't, how would they get their HGVs from A to B when most of the fuel stations have had to close because their attendants got caught up in the grand "SOMETHING MUST BE DONE" copyright infringement sweep?
How many people in everyday society need to dabble in something that the law says they shouldn't be doing, before that law can no longer justifiably be considered a law of society?
Re: These may be...
Given that the OP was asking about 2.5" drives, I'm going to assume they're after something they can use in a laptop/netbook, where running two physical drives is generally not an option. Could even be of use in SFF desktop PCs where internal expansion space can be as limited as on a laptop, and where you'd rather not have to hang your spinny-platter storage off one of the USB ports.
Seconded, doing development work on a decent quality widescreen display is a joy - I couldn't imagine going back to using a 4:3 display unless (as in the case of my home PC) it's got a second display alongside it... Provided the vertical resolution of the widescreen display is comparable to the 4:3 alternatives, those extra horizontal pixels rarely go to waste.
Re: Not infrared
Yes, it is infrared, so no it's not still visible light. The "near" part of near-IR refers to that part of the IR spectrum nearest to visible light, it doesn't mean something that's nearly IR, because that would be just another name for red... The reason you can see the emitters working in the photo is precisely the reason why this idea works - whilst the near-IR emissions are invisible to the human eye, camera sensors are quite sensitive to them.
Re: And once again, gift cards are not being honoured
True, but as a former employee of a small company (8 full time employees) which went into administration 3 years ago, and for which the administrative process continues to plod along at a pace so slow it would be insulting to glaciers to describe it as glacial, I do have to wonder just how much value for money the creditors get out of administrators. Especially when you read the annual reports they send out, do the sums on the outstanding assets vs administrator expenses, and realise that by the time the whole process is concluded, the only people who'll have got anywhere near what they're owed are the administrators themselves...
You might also want to ask her if her if she's ever moved or resized the onscreen keyboard window, and if the way she moves the mouse pointer over the window would give any clues as to which keys she's selecting. The demonstration page linked to in this article shows that IE doesn't capture mouse clicks, so the attacker would need to infer clicks from some signature behaviour in the position data. And AFAIK, IE doesn't allow a script to determine the position or size of another application window, so unless the onscreen keyboard has never been moved/resized then there's no way for the attacker to know for sure whether or not the pointer position corresponds to a position within the keyboard window, let alone which of the keys within that window it then corresponds to.
Re: Worst computer
Ah, so you're a waffle man...
Re: Ouch on the price
Paying a signficant premium for the highest-capacity drive has been par for the course for years. And buying two drives isn't always an option - how many HTPCs, set-top boxes and other "living-room" pieces of HD-based kit sport more than a single drive bay?
Re: When they only pay 2.5% corp tax
In Gordon's words, he's saying he understands why HMG would turn a blind eye to the likes of Starbucks, Google et al paying as little business tax as possible, not that he's saying he thinks it's OK...
And I can see where Gordon is coming from here - if an offshore company employs someone in the UK, that person gets taken out of the jobseekers queue, they get to pay income tax/NI back to HMG, and they have more money in their pocket at the end of the day (compared to someone on jobseekers allowance) to buy things that they then pay VAT on - more money being returned to HMG coffers. So yes, it's understandable that a company who employs a large number of people in the UK (or a smaller, higher paid and thus taxed, number) might be given an easier time by the taxman when questions start to be asked about why all these big companies are paying so little.
Re: The implausibility is what makes them enjoyable, no?
If you're a fan of the Bond universe as portrayed by most of the films, then probably yes.
If, however, you prefer the more steeped in reality Bond universe as portrayed in the original Fleming novels, and would prefer to see the film adaptations reflect this at least to some degree, then no, not really. As much as I've enjoyed most of the films as entertainment in their own right, I wouldn't say I've necessarily enjoyed them all as Bond films - it's really only the Dalton and Craig ones which IMO capture the essense of the written-word Bond.
I think Dalton's portrayal of Bond has been unfairly criticised as a result, with people comparing his films against the Connery/Moore collection and finding them rather dull, yet for me he was the first on-screen Bond who came close to matching up with the description from the novels. Craig has then taken it into a whole new level. OK, so I still haven't been able to watch Quantum of Solace without needing a break halfway to clear my head, but that's just down to the way the storyline flows (or doesn't, as the case may be) - as far as his portrayal of Bond goes, it's a continuation of what he started in Casino Royale, and I'm genuinely excited about Skyfall.
Re: External Drives
Yep, did the same when I needed to replace a 1TB internal that started throwing up SMART warnings about a week after the price rises for bare drives took effect at all the usual suppliers... ended up getting a 1TB WD external that was still on special offer at one of the big high-street retailers at the time for less than the price of a bare 1TB drive, opened it up and found that as a bonus I'd got my hands on a Caviar Black Edition as opposed to the Blue or Green I'd have expected to find in an external enclosure...
Subsequently, I've done the same trick to upgrade an old 0.5TB drive to 2TB - IIRC the high-street price of the 2TB external was within a couple of quid of the price of the cheapest internal 2TB I could find online, with the advantage of being available off the shelf on my drive home that evening.
Re: Rule of Thumb
"Apple seems to consider it a case of the user not fitting the product, rather than the other way around."
Are you saying Apple are really just Dolman-Saxlil in disguise?
Re: Dark fibre?
Why? Why not. It wasn't all that long ago that people like you were asking why anyone would need ADSL speeds, yet these days who would consider reverting to a dial-up connection unless they had no alternative? The recent online coverage of the Olympics showed me how useful a fast and reliable network connection could be for the future of broadcasting - imagine a few years from now when a sufficiently large number of people have fibre (or fibre-equivalent) connections to the home, giving content providers the incentive to start rolling out services that are able to make use of all that lovely bandwidth. Imagine a day when you could turn on the TV and, without any delay, start streaming on demans any TV show or film ever produced, at the highest quality available from the source material. We can just about do some of that now, but to get a quality level high enough to persuade people to ditch blurays, AND to allow for expansion into higher resolution material as 2K and 4K displays start to enter the mainstream, anything less than a 30Mbps downstream link isn't going to cut the ice, and anything less than, say, 50Mbps is going to be pretty restrictive. Throw in the ability to stream different things to multiple screens around the home, and suddenly you start thinking to yourself that maybe even a 100Mbps link is going to cause you some issues sooner or later.
Re: I often of late railed against Apple due to the lawsuit, but...
"I do not use bing"
Just as well, because Busan barely exists at all on their maps...
It's a measure of how far online mapping has come in the past decade or so, and how much a part of everyday life it's become for a lot of people, that we find ourselves complaining about what, in the grand scheme of things, are minor issues. I still remember the day, back in the late 90's, when someone at work discovered the Terraserver site and the entire office ground to a halt for an hour as we all ooh'ed and aah'ed over the (by todays standards) fairly low-res monochrome satellite imagery of our area. And it wasn't so very long ago that the idea of being able to sit at your desk and pull up high quality mapping or imagery of practically any point on the planet (unless your work ID happened to include the badge of a national intelligence agency) was little more than the wishful thinking of cartography enthusiasts everywhere.
Re: Shit-for-brains Archeaologist
So, oh wise and intelligent one, what would you suggest someone uses for viewing Google-provided aerial imagery if they were interested in the archaeological uses of said imagery? When giving your answer, bear in mind that the user may want to view this imagery out in the field (literally), not just sat in the comfort of their home/office.
Re: 1 or 2
6. With a few rare exceptions, TV shows obtained via BT are nicely edited to remove the ad breaks, and so allow the shows to be viewed in the minimum length of time without any risk of your immersion into the latest gritty storyline suddenly being broken by dancing babies, Z-list schlebs turned cheap tat pushers, or that bloody opera singer...
...how many lines of code are in the Coverity software, and what do they use to search for errors in that.
Leaving all that aside...
...surely the *real* topic for debate here should be why the video has been flipped horizontally. Is this some cunning (or not so cunning) attempt to avoid the clip being automatically flagged as copyrighted by image analysis tools?
Anyway, as a parent of two young kids, I too have been exposed to waaay too much of this pre-school brainwashing than is healthy. If you think the occasional throwaway line like this is bad, you just wait for the next Earth Day and see how much greenwashed propaganda gets flung in the faces of the little 'uns.
Re: Misleading is wrong but...
"As for it being an unfair contract term. It's not really that unfair to increase the cost of a service if the cost of providing it goes up"
Oh, but it is. In return for signing their lives away for 18-24 months at a time, it's not unreasonable for a customer to expect that the price they agreed to pay at the start of that term will be the price they're still paying at the end of the term - especially if that's what they've been told by a salesdroid... If the telcos want the flexibility of changing their prices on a yearly/half-yearly/quarterly etc. basis, then that should be the maximum contract length on offer.
Re: I call bullshit
Why would...? Because, as the article says right at the start, he "decided to put that statement to the test".
What phone...? Any phone which is plugged into its charger.
Re: Are there any of these in power socket form factors?
I haven't got a copy of 7671 to hand to see what the actual wording is, or whether (as with so many of the BS/EN standards I do have to work with in my professional life) there's scope for creative interpretation of the standard. However, I struggle to see what the difference would be between repackaging one of these adapters into something that would fit a standard back box, vs plugging the present adapter into the LNE connections provided by the existing socket that occupies said back box... Either way you'd have the same mechanical/electrical separation internally between the mains and network connections, the only difference would be that instead of connecting to the mains via the 3-pin prongs, you'd be going via screw terminals.
500Mbps might be overkill if you're only using the adapter to link to the outside world, but once you start throwing files between devices on your local network you'll find yourself wanting as much speed as you can get your hands on...
Re: Switching it off and on again...
"Things should not be designed so that they need to be reset to work properly."
As someone who earns a living designing embedded systems, I couldn't agree more with that statement. However, once you start combining purist design goals with real-world project constraints, sometimes compromises end up being made, and if resetting the device is a relatively easy task for the end user to perform, then it may be preferable to rely on that as a final, if all else fails, path to recovering the device, if the alternatives are to increase the product cost to unacceptable levels, or delay release by an unacceptable amount of time whilst you design out every last area of instability.
For the average bit of consumer electronics gear, where the end user is often more concerned about how many features they're getting for how little money, and just how soon can they get their grubby mitts on one, then generally the project manager isn't going to look too favourably on engineering requests to extend the development timescale or add costs to the bill of material any more than is required to get the product out the door as soon as possible and working well enough to satisfy the masses. You do what you can with the resources you've got, and then move onto the next project (which is probably already behind schedule because your engineering team is understaffed and overworked, and so you're under even more pressure to get this next one out the door ASAP...)
Hang on a minute...
...in order to inform the postie that parcels should NOT be delivered to the less than trustworthy folk next door, I have to display a "do not redirect" sticker somewhere obvious. So what's to stop the less than trustworthy folk next door waiting until I've left for work, and then removing/covering over this sticker so that when the postie arrives and I'm not in, oh look, my stuff gets delivered next door...
It wouldn't work any better if the sticker was used to say that stuff SHOULD be delivered next door, since there'd then be nothing to stop next door waiting till I'm out and then sticking their own sticker on my front door...
Re: What about he secure boot?
"How on earth did you get to £200?"
They did say *Microsoft" wanted 200 quid off them for the upgrade, and 200 quid (give or take one shiny new penny) is exactly how much Microsoft will take off you for the privilege of buying a Win 7 Ultimate *upgrade* from them directly...
Here's your fail icon back, I think you need it more than I do...
Oh dear, would you like to try writing that again, after you've first learned some manners, and then refreshed your memory of the Windows control panel. Specifically that part of it which allows the user to control what a short-press on the power button translates into... clue, it won't always behave the way you seem to think it will.
Re: Shutdown button
Because it saves time and effort the next time you boot Windows, especially if it was expecting to have been shut down correctly in order to finish installing the latest round of updates...
Re: Assembled in...
There are lots of factories in the UK making lots of stuff. We might not have (m)any of the traditional heavy industry/thousands of workers/spanning acres of land type factories any more, but there are a hell of a lot of smaller concerns dotted all around the place making stuff that is quite often regarded very highly by the rest of the world. Shame the UK media seems overly keen to make people think that UK manufacturing is dead and buried, or at least something we really shouldn't be very proud of any more...
Not sure that GB sticker indicates this particular board was made over here though - it looks more like the stickers my current and previous employers have used to identify which production facility/line was used, or who in the manufacturing team was responsible for final assembly/testing.
Re: One thing I don't understand...
"do not try to play the disc on an external USB Blu-ray player attached to your computer: the copy protection only allows it to be played through video connections such as HDMI."
This is the first I've heard about the type of connection between drive and decoder having any influence over whether or not HDCP kicks in. It's also the first time I've heard about HDCP preventing playback, rather than simply playing the content back downscaled to SD resolution instead.
Would it be reasonably safe to suggest that playback failed on this particular test setup, not because of the USB drive used to deliver the disc data to the decoder, but rather because of some non-HDCP-compliant component further along in the output chain?
Whatever the reason for the failure to play the disc, it's crap like this which makes me pleased there's stuff like AnyDVD out there - other than the occasional hiccup when I first try to play a disc either it or PowerDVD haven't seen before (with the resultant collection of update requests sometimes tying the system up in knots), the ability to play DVDs and Blu Rays over an unprotected VGA link to my plasma, with no worries about region coding, unskippable trailers and anti-piracy propaganda etc. manages to dull the pain and suffering involved in watching video material legally just sufficiently to stop me from simply grabbing a torrented version that doesn't strive to make life difficult for me to simply watch whatever it is I want to watch.
Re: complete with a ping after it has sampled your voice
Forget about the patent implications, forget about all the other functionality - this is the killer feature that will have them queueing around the block to buy the phone...
...because, at long last, we can now own our very own machine that goes ping...
Ah, happy days...
Count me in as another el Reg-ular who cut his programming teeth on Sinclair BASIC - both the vanilla flavour and then later with the extra commands provided by the AMX Mouse software, and who now earns a comfortable living from writing code. So thanks to Sir Clive and his team for the Spectrum, indeed to everyone involved in those halcyon days of home computing, I raise my virtual glass to you all!
Re: Oh come on!
For those of us who grew up on a diet of wartime tales of frontline heroism and derring-do from our armed forces, supported by the home front activities of the boffins and back-room boys, the use of such a term in this context seems entirely appropriate.
Re: Who needs a tablet and a laptop when you can have both?!
Hmm, not sure I follow your reasoning that the software available for the device determines whether or not it's a laptop. What about the majority of people who really couldn't give an entire jungle-full of primates about Diablo3, and just want a laptop to surf the net, maybe edit a few photos, write the occasional letter etc - in what ways would the Transformer (or any similar tablet+keyboard combo) *not* be suitable as a laptop replacement for them?
"Nothing wrong with the games on the Beeb"
Yup, I had a Speccy, my best mate had a BBC B, and our regular weekend gaming sessions at one or anothers houses suggested that, whilst there weren't as many games available for the big beige box, the average quality of the ones that were was higher than the average quality of the stuff being shovelled out onto Sir Clive's baby.
For every fond memory I have of playing stuff at home like Laser Squad, Tomahawk, or pretty much anything produced by Ultimate, I've probably got as many equally fond memories of playing stuff at my mates house like Frak, Citadel, Firetrack, Revs... And yes, Elite. Although given its fairly rapid spread onto practically every other platform out there, I ended up logging far more time on the Spectrum version than the BBC version (and eventually at least as much time again on the Amiga version too), so my memories of Elite don't fire all that many BBC-specific thoughts in my mind.
- Product round-up Too 4K-ing expensive? Five full HD laptops for work and play
- Review We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best
- Vid Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
- Antique Code Show World of Warcraft then and now: From Orcs and Humans to Warlords of Draenor
- iPhone sales set to PLUMMET: Bleak times ahead for Apple