Feeds

* Posts by chr0m4t1c

827 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009

Page:

USB reversible cables could become standard sooner than you think

chr0m4t1c

Re: You need to remember...

I don't think so, USB was designed to replace things like Centronics (IEEE 1284), RS-232 and RS-432 type connectors that were in use at the time.

USB was meant to be as fast as the fastest of those, smaller than the smallest and a standard size as well as more robust so that is could be regularly connected and disconnected without bending or breaking pins.

In addition to that, USB devices were all supposed to be hot-pluggable (not recommended for some devices using the previous standards) and it made it standard to put sockets on machines and peripherals so that all cables were plugs. In the olden days there was no standard, so every IT person in the land had to have a drawer full of M-M and F-F adapters for emergencies.

You youngsters don't know the half of it :-)

Now you basically have USB as A-A or A-B and a length.

Back then an RS-232 could be 9-9 pin, 24-24 pin, 9-24 pin and then the gender connectors on top of that - 10 combinations before you even get to length. And then on top of that, not all pins had to be connected or even in the same order, so you had to have all of those combinations along with further ones for things like pass-through and crossover.

Some places I worked at had entire stock rooms full of the various cable combinations and nothing else.

</PYTHON_YORKSHIREMAN_PARODY>

8
0

'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

chr0m4t1c

The current screen is supposed to be the perfect size for using with one hand, which it probably is for a surprising large number of people.

The earlier screen was pretty much the industry standard size when it launched.

Now that the balance is - or has - tipped from dumb phones to smart phones, most people don't use their handset with only one hand for a lot of operations, they've become accustomed to using both.

That opens the door for larger screens, but they may want to tweek OS an application style guides to allow some things still to be done one-handed.

Whatever eventually arrives, we'll still have the usual internet flame wars and click-bait news stories to keep us all going.

0
0

BlackBerry sucker-punches TV star Ryan Seacrest in patent brawl

chr0m4t1c

Re: It must be a *Design* patent (on design and appearance)

US patents 7,629,964, 8,162,552, and D685,775 apparently.

Only the third one is a design patent, the first two are for physical keyboards optimised for mobile use (broadly speaking).

0
0

It's EE vs Vodafone: 'How good is my signal' study descends into network bunfight

chr0m4t1c

Yeah, I was wondering about that bit too. RootMetrics themselves have a link to their app on both iOS and Android on this page: http://www.rootmetrics.com/products

I have it on my handset too, and I'm reasonably sure it was a story right here on El Reg that led me to it in the first place.

0
0

Worlds that could support LIFE found among 715 new planets

chr0m4t1c

Re: Are any of the earth-sized planets NOT tidally locked?

I don't think you've fully appreciated the science being used here.

"Verified" does not mean "seen". They know the planets are there by the way they effect the star they are orbiting, but there is no data about basic things like planetary rotation or atmosperic composition at this point.

Given that we haven't even put people on Mars yet, it's probably a little early to worry about colonisation of favourable exoplanets.

You're talking about moving house from London to Sydney by walking before you're capable of walking to the end of your own garden.

3
0

Facebook ditches TOP SECRET email service. Did YOU know it had one?

chr0m4t1c

Re: Much as I dislike Facebook, I wish...

>You mean like gmail's Report Phishing option..?

Yeah, those Google reporting tools work really well.

I've had a GMail address almost since the service became available and I always report false positives when asked, yet it still sends every single email I get from PayPal, Amazon and my bank into the spam folder.

In the end, I got so fed up that I specifically set up filters for the more common cases to stop it putting them in the spam folder - at which point it helpfully displays a message above every one of these messages insiting that it *is* spam and that I should change my filters.

Damn you, Google Mail Team! ::shakes fist impotently::

1
0

Google gives Maps a lick of paint, smears it over screens worldwide

chr0m4t1c

Re: A taste of things to come?

I have an uncle who used to be a funeral director, he uses churches as reference points for directions, it's *really* weird the first time you encounter it.

0
0

See me after class: Apple scores AAA rating from brand-botherer

chr0m4t1c

Re: "Banco di Mesa Verde"

No, $79bn would be a fair price for Samsung's brand value. $104bn for Apple.

Brand value is the intangible bit that makes people pay more for your products or services than they would for an unbranded or unknown equivalent, it's entirely based on perception.

For example, it's the reason why Ford were able to sell the Mk IV Fiesta at a higher price than the Mazda 121, even through they were the same car made in the same factory, just with different badges.

0
0

CERN boffins fire ANTI-HYDROGEN BEAM

chr0m4t1c

Nah, the norm is to somehow imply that Apple are involved in some evil way.

Still, it'll be interesting to see CERN turn the LHC into the first warp coil and blast itself and a good chunk of Switzerland into space.

If they time it right we might have the first people on Mars much sooner than currently anticipated.

</STARTREK>

1
0

Apple: Wow, thanks for the $10bn-a-year App Store. We'll be on the beach with our 30%

chr0m4t1c

"Normal" companies don't pay their tax bills judging by the stories of the last few years.

Show me a global company that's paying the taxes that people think they should be paying and I'll show you a global company that's not managing its finances properly.

None of these companies are acting illegally, they're playing the rules to maximise profit and the situation will continue as long as you continue to have a situation where companies can be global but taxes are only national.

1
0

Apple lifts skirt, flashes leg at shoppers on Chinese web mall

chr0m4t1c

Hang on...

Isn't the real story here the fact that Apple responded to a question from El Reg?

0
0

ALIEN WORLD Beta Pictoris snapped by Earth's Gemini 'scope

chr0m4t1c
Boffin

Well done those peeps

I'm sure I read a few years ago that scientists expected to discover an exoplanet with life by the end of the decade, but this makes me think that we might have that discovery by the end of the year.

Exciting times.

0
0

Samsung whips out 12.2-inch 'Professional' iPad killers

chr0m4t1c

I think the markets might be slightly different in both size and target demographic.

Sure, I replaced my iPad with an A380, but then I'm not a normal consumer.

4
0

Bill Gates is once again the richest man on Earth

chr0m4t1c

Re: The rich get richer ...

"Never forget that there are three things you cannot buy with dollars*: happiness; the respect of your colleagues; and the love of a good woman."

Four, you forgot abject poverty.

0
0

I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it

chr0m4t1c

Re: 48Kb/s?

>I can't imagine how bad a 48Kb/s music track will sound.

Ever used an old AM radio with the analogue tuner? You know when searching for a station you sometimes hear a little bit of music under all of the static?

It sounds like that, only worse.

0
0

Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

chr0m4t1c

Re: Meh

>Everyone else except Apple has been standardized, for what, a decade now?

Not even slightly, the last two Nokia phones I had (around 2006 & 2008) had different chargers from each other and they are both different from the Nokia that someone I work with has from earlier this year.

In fact, Nokia still don't quite have a standard connector across the board right now. Most of their handsets use micro-USB, but some of the cheap ones they still sell (like the 105) are using the older Nokia 2mm power supply.

NB This is not a defence of Apple, I'm just pointing out that other manufacturers have not been standardised for a decade, they aren't even standardised now.

I'd also like to point out that those that are standardised on microUSB still haven't standardised on power requirements, I have cables that will charge one handset and not another. In short, it's still a blooming mess.

8
1

BT warned: Speed up Openreach repairs or face PUNITIVE FINES

chr0m4t1c

While I'm not a fan of BT, surely the reason why they're missing targets is due to underinvestment somewhere in the business (e.g. number of engineers).

How will taking money away from them help? Isn't likely to make the situation worse, not better?

It seems that an alternative to fines is needed, perhaps OFCOM should have the ability to cap profits and force re-investment of any excess rather than taking more money out of the system.

Feels like there should be better options.

BTW, I'm not saying fines should not also remain as an option, just that they shouldn't be the only option.

3
2

UK payday loaners cop MEGA £175K fine for 'misleading' SMS spam

chr0m4t1c

Re: Report offending spam texts to your network operator by sending them to 7726.

They did tell people, but only by sending a text message to their own customers at the time they implemented it, meaning that as not all networks implemented it a the same time it was easy to miss it if you happened to switch from a network that hadn't implemented it to a one that had.

So, for example, I was on Orange when they made the service available and had a text, but O2 had already rolled it out when I switched to them, so I knew about Orange's service but not O2's - at least not until I looked for it.

0
0

Facebook to BLAST the web with AUTO-PLAYING VIDEO ads

chr0m4t1c

It'll be by browser and app.

Adblocker for browser and with any luck it will be possible to blacklist a URL on my router to prevent it on the app.

Alternatively, report every advert as ether sexually explicit or spam. Or leave Facebook.

0
0

How Britain could have invented the iPhone: And how the Quangocracy cocked it up

chr0m4t1c

"Governments will never take a financial risk that is obvious as such to the electorate, and, as taxpayers, should we really expect anything different?"

Generally I'd agree with you, but this was money specifically put aside to try and kick start inventions an innovation.

I'd rather they put the money into projects that had a 5% chance of success than give it to moochers after an expensive holiday. But that's just me, it seems.

Has the bloke who was give thick end of £40k to go to Vegas made back even 1% of that money in any way? I would hazard a guess that we would have got better value from sending him to Blackpool to play the penny falls with it.

3
0

Ofcom: UK beats the US... in race to buy online tat

chr0m4t1c

"There are a number of reasons for this. We have a long history of catalogue shopping in the UK.

What this has done is that we trust people to deliver parcels, and we're used to getting parcels delivered to our homes and we're used to using credit cards."

I'd add that we also have quite good consumer protection laws, particularly those dealing with distance selling.

4
0

Samsung loses against Apple ... this time in SOUTH KOREA

chr0m4t1c

<Looks at silver+black plastic laptop with cream keyboard on desk>

Nope, laptop keyboards have not always been black. This one I have here is around 8 years old now and I think I have a Sony one with silver keys from about 13-14 years ago in a cupboard somewhere.

I don't know which models the earlier poster is referring to, so I can't say if they have any significant resemblance to either each other or any of Apple's offerings - similarly I can't say that they definitely don't have any resemblance. You need to try to keep an open mind about these things.

0
2

Ballmer: 'We made more money than almost anybody on the PLANET'

chr0m4t1c

Re: BALLMER: 'WE MADE MORE MONEY THAN ALMOST ANYBODY ON THE PLANET'

>Apple's Newton was a PDA, not a tablet.

While technically true, it could also be argued that the "tablets" spawned from early MS efforts were just laptops with touch screens and were also not tablets by today's definitions.

IIRC, the Newton was the first device to be referred to as a PDA and those early touchscreen laptops were the first to be referred to as tablets, but in reality there are a lot of semantics and fine lines between the definitions of these devices.

In fact, these days, I would tend to say that a tablet is a touchscreen device with no permanently attached keyboard (this is not intended to be a complete definition, sit down at the back) and that would exclude those early laptop derived machines.

3
0

A whopping one in four Apple fanbois uses OBSOLETE TECH

chr0m4t1c

Re: @DougS

>Of course some 7.0 users are new installs, but Apple has sold perhaps 35 million phones since 7.0 came >out, so around 90% of the 7.0 users must be upgrades.

600 million iOS devices in use worldwide by June of this year according to CNet, those 35 million phones account for about 6% of that base, probably more like 5% now as I expect the base has grown in the last 6 months.

So, no, 90% of those 7.0 users are most definitely not upgrades, at best upgrades are likely to account for 10%.

According to IDC, Android's install base is about 2.5x that of iOS, which would make around 1.5 billion (in American units) installed devices and it's growing faster.

Relax, Android already won. Make up your own reasons for this if you feel the need to belittle someone who bought something else, naturally.

0
0

Judge upholds UK ban on HTC phones, but HTC One gets a pass – for now

chr0m4t1c

Re: "qualified to judge"

You've missed the point of the case, which was not whether the patent should stand, but whether or not HTC infringed on a patent that Nokia owns.

The merits of the patent are irrelevant to the case and as HTC themselves have not attempted to have the patent invalidated, then I would suggest that your supposition that the patent is rubbish and that the legal parties are stupid is probably incorrect.

0
0

Apple patents facial recognition tech for mobile log-in

chr0m4t1c

Re: Deja vu?

That's fine, 'cos it's not what the patent is about.

The patent is for a couple of things, first deciding if someone is sat in front of the device but not actively using it (reading a book, watching a movie for example) and having the device not do things like switching the display off and second, if someone is in front of the device then modifying the behaviour depending on them being an "authorised user" or not.

In other words, if you give your device to someone to watch a movie (or whatever), the device won't then go about showing them all your incoming messages or allow them access to your photographs or the device settings.

It's quite similar to what the XBOne does with Skype once set up, if it recognises one of the configured Skype users in the room when a call comes in it can bring up an incoming call to be answered, but if they're not present then it doesn't.

0
0

Google unveils ten-year plan to build its ROBOT ARMY of the future

chr0m4t1c

>>I honestly wonder what advantage Google sees in all this

>Nobody does - it's called speculation

Really?

You don't think Google could make use of a device that can actively follow you around all day making note of your movements and buying preferences?

GOK what they might do with that data.

I can't imagine, for example, wandering into a café and my "plastic pal who's fun to be with" telling me that it's talked to the servers of all of the other eating places within 100m and that I have a voucher I can use two doors down. Then again, maybe I can imagine this.

Share and enjoy!

0
0

Microsoft touts SCROOGLE merch: Hopes YOU'LL PAY to dump on rival

chr0m4t1c

Re: Negative marketing worked really well for Apple

And Samsung's. And Nokia's.

Of course, the difference here is that it's someone bashing Google instead of Apple or Microsoft, which might be the reason for the vitriol in the comments.

Personally, that mug is the first MS product I've actually wanted to buy in years. And yes, I use Google services, I just like the humour.

1
0

Netflix, YouTube video killed the BitTorrent star? Duo gobble web traffic

chr0m4t1c

Re: copyright clowns

There's a nice mathematical breakdown here:

http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_reid_the_8_billion_ipod.html

1
0

Burnt-out Comet's VC backers are looking for more cash

chr0m4t1c

Re: They are successful...

Comet's biggest asset was it's staff, I'm not sure I want to see them stripping...

0
0

ICO on beefed-up EU privacy rules: Biz bods will need 'explicit consent' to slurp data

chr0m4t1c

Re: "An obvious first move...

>Personally, I'd rather see the on-selling of any 'personal data' outlawed.

This.

Or at the very least include data tracking information so that when I get contracted by company "X" who I've never done business with I can find out the name of company "Y" who sold them my data and make sure I stop doing business with them.

0
0

Apple will FAIL in corporate land 'because IT managers hate iPads'

chr0m4t1c

Re: Let me correct that for you...

And if you knew the different meanings of open then you might understand the point.

For example, OpenPGP is an open standard (RFC 4880), that doesn't make it insecure.

It's perfectly possible to have a secure infrastructure that you can easily add new devices or types of devices to, you just need to make sensible choices about if/how you lock down those devices and what kind of access they have to your internal systems (if any).

0
0

iPad 4 is so OVER: 5 times as many fanbois now using iPad Air - survey

chr0m4t1c

Re: fah

Bought my parents lunch on Sunday, 'cos they don't use the internet at all, so all tablets are useless and expensive to them.

Nice roast with all the trimmings followed by apple pie & custard then home for an afternoon nap.

And all for £8/head. Bigger bargain.

0
1

Can't stand the heat? Harden up if you want COLD, DELICIOUS BEER

chr0m4t1c

Re: a simple real experiment - results

>Is anyone else trying this??

I just did a quick calculation and I think my life's too short.

1
1

Surface Pro 2: It's TOOL-PROOF and ultimately destined for LANDFILL

chr0m4t1c

Re: It isn't a huge prblem...

I don't remember any particular complaints about the WP UI, just the usual round of complaints that it didn't do absolutely everything that a given competitor did and was, therefore, "crap" or "useless".

Personally, I quite like the look of it, to the extent of trying to work out how I might migrate my current setup and what kind of functionality I might lose (or gain) in the process.

It is possible, but it's just slightly too much pain to be worth the effort/risk for me at the moment and much as I like the look of it, I don't covet it - if you see what I mean.

As for Surface, I would take a look at it if I didn't have anything already, but there are no compelling arguments to switch from anything else unless you have a specific requirement that is only fulfilled by Surface - can anyone think of one?

1
0

THIS is the kind of clout a British Prime Minister has: Facebook pulls ONE beheading vid

chr0m4t1c
Coat

>I am not sure what other fathers think, but I would rather my son sees boobies than a beheading...

Fair enough, but how would you feel if he were looking a willies instead?

1
2

It's the '90s all over again: Apple repeats mistakes as low-cost tablets pile up

chr0m4t1c

Re: Yes yes...

The problem appears to be that analysts only understand one business model, the one where you have the most "market share".

Apple are using one of the other options, the one where you make the most money.

I'm not an analyst, but I can predict with some certainly that at some point in the future Apple will be in financial trouble, it's not rocket science, it's what happens in normal business cycles. We've seen it with Dec (who went to the wall), IBM (who narrowly missed the wall), HP (hit the wall and are now in plaster casts), we're seeing it with Microsoft (just realised they left it too late to stamp on the brakes) and in the future we'll see it with Apple and Google.

The trick is to keep churning out these "OMG, they're going to fail if they don't follow my advice" stories in the hope that you're the one who calls it at the right moment and so reaps all of the glory and reputation for being the person who correctly predicted the collapse.

4
0

Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH

chr0m4t1c

@proto-robbie

You need to pay attention, iLife & iWorks are free on *new* mac kit, the same as they are on new iOS kit, not existing stuff. I imagine it will work like the iOS ones in that once you buy new kit they will become available to all of your existing stuff via the Mac app store.

This may sound a little harsh, but given that they dropped support for your hardware at the previous OS, why would you have an expectation that it would be supported this time?

I know Apple buyers hang on to their kit for a long time because it keeps on working, but expecting OS updates for something that's over seven years old and on a different architecture seems a bit of a stretch

10
1

PC sales continue meteoric death plunge through 3rd quarter, drop another 8.6 per cent

chr0m4t1c

Re: Maybe Leo was right

Unfortunately, the right call would have been for HP to get out of the PC business in the 1990s and not buy Compaq in the first place.

Still, better late than never (if they're lucky).

0
0

Samsung touching up ROUNDED, CURVY plastic enhanced MODEL

chr0m4t1c

I think they forgot the word "smart".

And I think, at the very least, you're forgetting the earliest landline phones, a lot of which had curved handsets.

Curved telephones have been around for probably 100 years now. Curved smartphones not so long.

I have to admit that I am wondering how well you can hold this to your head as it looks like there would be a gap between your ear and the earpiece.

0
0

Dear Apple: Want to stay in business? Make an iPhone people can afford

chr0m4t1c

Re: This report is complete and utter rubbish (NOT REALLY)

>Have you noticed that Mercedes came out with a C Class that starts at $29,900 USD?

There was a reason for that: The BMW 3 Series.

It turns out that a large number of people who buy luxury cars tend to be very brand loyal, once they start buying a particular brand they tend not to switch unless they have a really bad experience (or they have sufficient money to own several cars - a guy from Bentley once told me that they were typically the sixth car in someone's garage).

BMW started at the bottom end of the market (with things like the three-wheeled isetta) and worked their way up. Mercedes were at the top end of the market and have gradually moved down.

Why? Because the lower priced cars get "ordinary" people in to the brand and generally they work their way up. In the 1980's BMW's 3-Series acted as a feeder for the 5-Series and the 7-Series. Mercedes cheapest model was twice the price and once people were in BMWs they had to have a bad experience to even look at something else.

In order to counter this, Mercedes started with the C190 and then as that still wasn't an low enough rung on the ladder, they followed that up with the A-Class.

AFAIK, the mobile phone market doesn't really inspire quite the same brand loyalty at this point. I doubt there are many people buying a cheap Samsung who would automatically upgrade to mid-range Samsung next time rather than any other Android phone. A lot of people still just take whatever phone their operator offers them for free.

So, unfortunately, not a terribly good analogy.

1
0

London plod plonks, er, pull request on EasyDNS

chr0m4t1c

I did read the document, I did see this, but it was wrapped in a lot of very thinly veiled threats.

All they needed to say was that they were investigating the site and believed it breached EasyDNS's T&Cs and would they review it to see if they agreed.

There was no reason at all for any of the other stuff at this point, if ever.

It's all very akin to someone asking you if you'd thought about taking out house insurance while striking matches and saying "It would be a real shame if there was a fire and you lost all of this".

18
1

'I don't trust Microsoft' after NSA disclosures says former privacy chief

chr0m4t1c

Re: UK unaware

>Unless it's led by a bloke whose father was a Marxist.

Yes, I've been struggling to figure out what the problem is here. My father & my father in law both hated the Germans so much that they joined lots of other Brits (and latterly Americans) shooting them (with guns and everything) around 70 years ago.

Now, they're not that bothered and personally I've always got on well with Germans (and Austrians) that I've met.

I'm not saying the views and actions of our parents have no influence on our outlook, but if we only ever mimicked them then we would never progress as a society.

2
0

Facebook allows full personal data ransack with Graph Search

chr0m4t1c

Re: Adblock?

I use Adblock+, but sometimes I disable it and have a few minutes fun clicking the "hide" button on the ads and then reporting them as "inappropriate" or even better "sexually explicit".

I'm sure it doesn't make any difference with little ol' me just doing it, but if more people did that FB would become seriously bogged down in investigations.

One can dream.

3
0

Peak Apple: Has ANYONE at all ordered a new iPhone 5c?

chr0m4t1c

Re: Go on then Chad...

I know I'm going to get downvoted for this, but WTF.

Apple normally issue two press releases for the launch of a new product. One for pre-orders and one for launch weekend.

Previously pre-orders have sold out in around 24-48 hours, at which point there's no point in delaying the press release.

This time, pre-orders have not yet sold out (looking at the Apple website, you can still order any 5c for delivery on the 20th).

So far, so good.

However, we have a big unknown in this mix: How many have they made for pre-order?

Anyone?

There's an unstated assumption that they have the same number of handsets available for pre-order as they have had in previous years (normally around 2m), but given that the 5c is essentially a 5 in a party frock, it's entirely possible they have 30m or 100m available for pre-order.

And that /could/ be the reason why they haven't sold out and also why we haven't had a press release. We'll have to wait until next week to get a better idea,

6
0

iPhone 5S: Fanbois, your prints are safe from the NSA, claim infosec bods

chr0m4t1c

I thought most phones were stolen for the hardware, not the data on them.

In addition to that, the police say that the majority of thefts are "snatches" - phones taken out of open handbags, pockets, off tables in public places or even just directly from someone's hand as they're using it.

I can't see this technology changing that at all.

BTW, your unpleasant incidents in Hong Kong appear to be one incident in Malaysia in 2005, at least that's all that's turning up on a Google search.

1
0

Apple’s iOS 64-bit iUpgrade: Don't expect a 2x performance leap

chr0m4t1c

"I wonder what this is going to do for obsolescence of the older phones. If apps start coming out that are 64 bit only? Worrying."

We already have this situation and have done for years, there are apps that require minimum versions of the OS that can't be installed on earlier hardware, sometimes because the drivers aren't there or quite often because it simply won't fit.

In common with other operating systems, I expect iOS will maintain backwards compatibility for a few years and then drop it when the majority of applications are 64-bit; expect Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry to follow the same path - although with such a relatively small market share and number of apps the last two could opt to just make a clean break at the next major OS release.

2
1

European Commission plans net neutrality push

chr0m4t1c

Re: Here on the small island ....

Vodafone might put up some resistance, probably for some very spurious reasons, but VM are a virtual operator (like Tesco, TalkTalk, GiffGaff, et al) and so may well welcome this.

IIRC, VM did use the T-Mobile network and are now be benefiting from the greater coverage as a result of the merger that created EE. They would presumably be able to benefit further from roaming charges being dropped.

1
0

For PITY'S SAKE, DON'T BUY an iPHONE 5S, begs FSF

chr0m4t1c

Re: Good point

Even with 'droid (some of) the libraries that link the OS to the hardware have to be provided by the manufacturers, the OS only provides a framework, so you still have closed elements - I don't know of any manufacturer who publishes those libraries.

This really isn't a straightforward problem, except to say that you shouldn't carry a phone at all if any of this stuff is an issue for you. At the very least, don't buy an iPhone 5S; it's not rocket science.

3
2

Page: