273 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009
Re: Lack of wireless syncing and shit sync software probably didn't help either.
Sad, but true. Syncing the various handheld devices never seemed to match up to the promise. On one day the USB synch software would refuse to believe that the device was connected while the computer insisted it was, The next day the device might insist it was connected but the computer would say it wasn't. Or the damn things just wouldn't talk to each other at all for a while.
Come to think of it, my HTC One V "smartphone" has USB synch that's still pretty much a pile of sh** in exactly the same way..
What is missing from this article is the acceptance that outside a few very technical jobs, using a handheld was always seen as too geeky for people to use.
I've always loved having a handheld computer of some sort. My handwriting is awful for a start. But I was always a minority of one in using one despite the fact that we were all out and about, taking notes, holding meetings, making appointments and collecting data. Instead at any meeting there would be a whole bunch of people thumbing through great messy Filofaxes*, dropping bits of paper everywhere and hastily trying to find a space to scribble a note they wouldn't be able to read back (or even find) later
*other piles of dead tree are available.
Re: HTML, USB and PCMCIA aren't acronyms
FWIW I suppose technically HTML etc aren't pronounced as words, unlike, say TWAIN.
But who gives a toss, really.
Sense of humour
Also possibly the respondants.
Re: Their after sales service is criminal!
At least these are* known* criminals phoning us up.
Re: Not a bad idea actually
"At best its going to make their current "career" seem more attractive. At worst its going to encourage them to set up their own call centre based scam."
My very first thought reading this.
My second was that this is a job suited to sociopaths who could enjoy annoying people by repeatedly phoning about insurance claims for accidents/PPI claims etc. that they didn't have.
"Da yoof will love it."
That's the point missing in the article.
What do most ( maybe all) of these apps have in common?
It's that the kids adopt it, and keep with it until the grown ups try to make money out of it, by which time they've lost interest and moved on to a new thing that we aren't going to even be aware of until someone tries to make money out of it, by which time......
And my kids *were* using Whatsup but I suspect that its time is just about running out.
Why on earth....
...would anyone feel the need to switch from an existing email address/set up to an @facebook one?
What I find fascinating about this is it demonstrates yet again the IT industry's habit of removing the proven features that make a device work well so that they can insert something new and useless. (Win 8 anyone?).
....we can get stuff delivered to the paper shop up the road. We can also return it via them, which sounds a bloody sight easier than sticking stuff in a Volvo at some random location.
Re: Does anyone here have any figures for Office versions in use?
Most people use "save as....".
And beyond that have not made any decision about format at all.
Some don't even remember to choose a name for the file.
Re: fund it from general taxation
Some problems with that;
1.) The current belief that private is always good and public is always bad means anything that depends on taxation is denigrated (cf schools).
2.) Politicians struggle to keep their fingers out of everything - put it into taxation and they'll want to controlevery little moment.
3.) The giant media corporations already do their best to undermine the Beeb, so that the public will be forced to rely on the drivel and pap they use to fill the gaps between the adverts; make it open to political control and the lobbyists will kill it off.
4.) Once it is paid for by taxation it will be seen as just another service to be slashed ( see 2 above).
As to the subscription model - that means having to rely on giving people the sort of poor quality slop that keeps them paying to watch celebrities being silly.
You'll never convince...
...... the ones who want to believe that Wifi/mobile phones/MMR/Fluoride etc. are somehow unnatural and dangerous. And anything "natural" is good.
Maybe she prefers a proper phone. I do.
Most mobiles are good for everything except talking-to-people-at-a-distance.
But then I get free calls on that fixed phone as well as free VM calls and minutes for the mobes.
As I understand the academic world, these days;
1.) Academics have to publish a sufficient number of papers to keep their jobs
2.) The quality of the publication is not relevant to that aim, as long as they can get into a journal.
3.) The journals they publish in are operating in a commercial world so tend to accept articles that are likely to attract attention, and......
4.) Research grants are given by bodies who have their own axes to grind, fashion and political support being two key ones
Re: WTF is "tiles"?
Oh, that c**p. I thought they were just some sort of background decoration.
They're there for a reason?
It works both ways
Some years back the educational support team I was helping to run deperately needed networking and collaborative sharing of documents etc.
As IT co-ordinator I made a strong business case, which was agreed.
I expected them to get us a server, or at least network the exisitng PCs and give us a shared drive.
But no. Someone higher up decided he needed a new network for his office, or something.
So we got sent the newly redundant Unix box, and a bunch of dumb terminals, with nice glowing orange screens - and some inbuilt software that no one working there had any idea how to use and had no compatibility with our existing stuff ( Windows/Office etc) or the software the schools we worked with were using. They then spent a fortune on cabling but couldn't get it to work properly. It just took up valuable desk space next to our Windows boxes.
Eventually they agreed it was no good, and said they'd take it back, so I disconnected it all and stacked it in pile a corner to be collected: Every year on the anniversary of the pile I printed a little plaque. Usually just before one of the high-ups made his annual visit.
Eventually I think we skipped it all ourselves.
The cabling remained in place, all round the building, mixed in with phone wires, alarm cables, and who knows what else, causing intense confusion for anyone trying to do any work on the building and sometimes trailling on the floor and tripping people up..
Right to open it?
Why haven't you/why is it even there still then??
I have 2 Android devices running different 4.n OS from different makers.
We have a few others in the family.
All just about the same, but all with enough small variations in menus etc.that have been introduced either by the maker or supplier, to make managing them irritating. Under the hood they may be pretty much the same. But it doesn't make it less annoying when I try to do something with one and the menu item I need isn't where I expected it to be. Or when an app loads onto one, but appears not to on another.
Re: Am I imagining things?
A vulnerability by definition IS a design fault.
Err, It was irony. And not sublte irony at that..
Just ordinary folk, not techie, doing ordinary jobs, who see a computer as a commodity item. And they just want it to work. Which is also one reason why they sell their souls to Amazon and/or Google.Those ithingys and Android data slurpers just work.
No constant updates. No screens suddenly appearing or vanishing when you move a mouse incautiously. No files buried deep down in obscure folders that aren't really where they seem to be,
XP shares some of that simple, basic functionality. WIn 7 at least gives an appearance of it. Win 8 is a dog's breakfast.
Re: See also
I've often told staff there was no point getting cross and shouting at the computer when it goes wrong, because it won't won't make any difference.
Maybe I was wrong.....................
The Great and the Good
I'm afraid it's the British way of doing things. National institutions aren't really seen as a way to benefit the nation, and we don't like supporting them with our taxes.
Instead they are used to reward the Great and the Good with a neat sinecure and a pathway to that knighthood. But the actual funding has to come from a crass money making enterprise that is in competition with any other "tourist attraction". Exit by way of the Gifte Shoppe.
Something to do
And there's still the matter, was it defined by Yes Minister?, of;
Something needs to be done, this is something, let's do it.
Actually then taking responsibility, or even interest, is a different matter for a bunch of of Oxbridge greasy pole climbers
Re: A message from the target of these 'improvements'
Good for her!
Building a reputation
There's no Kudos or career development in leaving things alone.
No one ever got promoted for not fixing something that wasn't broke.
But if you want glory, an OBE and/or a well paid job in a shiny big national museum you need to do a job of work on something smaller first........
Too many apps seem to require lots of irrelevant permissions. Often arriving with updates ( so clearly they didn't need this in the previous version).
My favourite ( moaned about elsewhere) is the blanket access to phone call details. Most of the recent trivial apps seem to need to know who I've been phoning.( So I only use these on a phoneless tablet, if at all).
Re: Few things
"I have been a HP customer for many years, but crappy, bloated and badly written software installs, lack of driver updates and now this means I am looking elsewhere for my new printer."
I gave up on HP printers a few years back, because the low cost printer not only had expensive ink, but also the low cost was reflected in lousy software design. Particularly the install/uninstall/update routines.
My last inkjet lost most of its 5-in-1 fuctionality when the update install failed, because it couldn't overwrite one of the files from the original install, and it couldn't be deleted either.
I'm on my second Epson inkjet now. The previous one was getting a bit worn and unreliable after several years good use. I chose a Workforce 3520, because it does the same and more than my previous Epson, and uses the same cartridges. ( so by not wasting the the ones I have spare I pretty much covered the cost of buying the printer).
.....tea-towels and jam
".... a gift shop with tea-towels and jam" , made in China but labelled with pictures of cosy English cottages alongside packets of dried herbs, no doubt.
Skills or education
In school (70s) I was "taught" woodwork: Not just sticking bits of wood together or how to use a screwdriver, but dovetail joints and all that sort of stuff.
I viewed that in exactly the same way as most kids will view this new computing with its proper coding and not just how to use stuff. i.e. an excruciating, boring, complete and utter waste of time.
Then it was all about not wasting proper education on working class kids, but teaching us grafting skills instead. And this is the same.
Teachers, proper teachers, want to open young minds. They may be historians or geographers, but that's their tool to open the windows. It's about having an education for the sake of being educated.
I've spent about 30 years in education, working in some of the toughest situations.
I learnt my coding and computing skills mostly as an optional activity at lunchtimes when I was 14 or so. And I persevered because there were programmes I wanted to write. If I hadn't followed my first love, which is teaching kids with reading difficulties ( and which I also started as a volunteer at high school btw), I'd have become a professional in computers. Instead computing has been a sideshow for me. But I do know both sides of the fence.
Is that going to be teaching kids to think and problem solve, applicable in everyday life ( it could be)? Or is it going to be the 21st century equivalent of those cursed dovetail joints?
Re: biz dumps mass email ads
" because it's becoming a less and less effective medium to promote their dubious wares"
It beats me how it was * ever* effective. The very fact make me ashamed of the human race.
Re: desktop on every phone
I had Windows PDAs. They did the job for taking notes while I was out and about, doing my job, keeping a diary etc..Then uploading it to the PC later.
Plenty to moan about, but they worked. I used mine happily and efficiently. A stylus, a limited number of icons and a purpose.
Well put Mr. Lewis
says it all really.............
".........the problem is most people don't have a touchscreen anywhere near their desks, so a counter intuitive quirky interface requiring secret touch gestures is not likely to be high on the love list for most."
Say that and you've said all that needs saying,
Pro version but....
I have no problem with them making the Pro users pay a pro price.Even an annual fee.
But an annual subscription of a considerable sum for a home user helping out the friends and family is a different matter.
For my own home use VNC ( various versions) is more than adequate.
But remoting to a PC on a different network, with an IP that will have changed by the time you next need to go there and users who can't tell you their IP or haven't got port forwarding set up does need a web based product.
I used to sort out my late mother's PC for her with free logmein. She was too far away to drive there.
It was ideal for that.
Business computers ( and ones uesd for schoolwork) need to do what you want, how you need them to.
I've happily moved from every OS since CP/M and DOS(s) to Win7.
Win 8.x drives me nutty. (On a nontouch-screen laptop)
Because it does what Microsoft * think* I should want it to do.
Like having things I want visible hidden or vice versa.
A good definition of instability in a system is that a small change has a significant effect.
In Win 8.x make an incautious move with the finger on the touchpad and everything suddenly appears or vanishes.
I bet it's lovely on a Windows tablet device or phone with a decent sized touch screen.
If anyone ever used one of these for real work.
Seeing the password
The fact that the entered password is only seen as a string of ******* doesn't help either.
If you can't see what you type in you are much less likely to remember it.
You are much more likely to mistype it too.
So users will choose something simple that they can get right. "qwerty" and not "sDwLios34Fg45"
The need to hide the entered password is surely not as significant as making sure the users choose something safe in the first pace.
Re: It's not just about websites though is it?
I agree.And add in that the non-techie office worker wants to sit down and quickly get that report printed off, check the figures for that meeting etc.
So they need a quick reliable log-in.
They can't sit there for several minutes trying to work out what password they used ths month, whether it was for the computer log-in or the data account, which letter was the capital etc. then get locked out because they used the wrong one more than twice, then wait for it to let them back in, then ask to be sent a new temporary password that has to be emailed ( or texted, if they have their work mobile at the desk with them) then type in the 9 random letters and numbers they've been sent, get it wrong twice, get locked out again, try again, wait ten minutes, maybe get it right, enter a new password (twice) and try to remember what it was they changed it to.
So they type qwerty or 12345 etc. and head for that meeting, while cursing the entire IT community.
The real question though.....
...is whether Microsoft will ever get back to the point where they provide users with what they need to get on with their jobs effeciently.
Users buy stuff that helps them do their work.
Win 8 was designed to make users change the way they worked despite the fact that they had no need or wish to.
Even the cursed Ribbon didn't do that.
Not run by magical elves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So what are the elves doing then??
Little old lady
... In fact any members of the public who aren't aware of all this sh*t.
El Reg, as worthy as it is, doesn't reach the gen public. Sadly the ordinary grown up media don't see this stuff as news.
It's somehow weird to think that even the nutters that spend their time searching out security weakpoints can't block their own.
Not enough of them
If these researchers were seriously wanting to think this through, what makes them think that the (probably) tiny number of time travellers would come to this period, be spending time using our primitve and slow internet to communicate or have anyone online to comminicate with.
But I rather doubt that they were being serious - even with grant money to squander.
Re: I will be opting out....
This ( and the previous govt.) do favour the type of "research" that looks for data ( usually correlations and generally fished selectively out of the data pool) that support what it wants to believe, or is kind to its friends' interests.
Re: I will be opting out....
"This is how we get central directives to lower salt in foods, ban 'second-hand' smoke"
And this is a bad thing?
Re: An ugly thudding word, 'mod.'
I was just thinking about what impression the word made on me, then I saw your comment and just, well, agree.
Says it all.
"An ugly thudding word"
I'd say it's more a case of getting their bloody start-up logo animation in
That and all the other bits of c*** software that are glued into Android devices whether you want them or not ( or indeed even know what they're for).
Re: Says it all really...
It's also the road that leads to countless other devices that look good, but don't actually work very well in the real world.
Legions of coffee grinders that ornament the kitchen, but can't grind beans, dishwashers that look lovely with plates stacked neatly inside them, but haven't got space for a soup bowl, fridges with delightful storage slots for holding bottles that are all about 2cm too low for a plastic milk bottle to fit. And my favourite, the lovely new dinner plates that are just a fraction of a cm too wide to go into a standard single-cabinet sized cupboard.
So many of these posts mention the contacts list.
Yet so many apps request permissions to access *phone calls*.
Is it me, or are people missing a big point here.
Vast swathes of apps are being allowed to monitor your actual calls for no good reason whatsoever.
Not just slurp up contact lists, but see who we are actually calling.
No one would allow a stranger to come round and put a tap on our phones; but we're OK being asked to allow every poxy little game developer to monitor our calls, just so that we can play their version of some trivial game.
choice of apps
@Thought About IT
I particularly refuse to install apps that want access to the phone features ( calls etc. ). An awful lot do, even though they are nothing whatever to do with making phone calls.
There is no good reason for games etc to want to be able to see who I am calling.
- Vid Hubble 'scope snaps 200,000-ton chunky crumble conundrum
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
- Google offers up its own Googlers in cloud channel chumship trawl
- Interview Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON
- Windows 8.1 Update 1 spewed online a MONTH early – by Microsoft