77 posts • joined Tuesday 29th September 2009 12:36 GMT
Re: Reading this page...
Also available for Chrome may I add...
I relatively recently became an Adblock convert after Google's profiling went crazy and decided I was single and aged 65+, and started showing me endless adverts for 'mature dating' (and I do mean *mature*). All attempts to opt out from their targeted advertising made no difference at all, so I went the Adblock route. They can incorrectly profile me all they want now, I'll never see their crap ads anyway :)
Re: Microsoft have a problem
"The one thing they *could* do is change the filesystem (like they were going to do with Longhorn, remember that?) to a database. The idea was that things like folders and file paths would become meaningless; you could just "query" the file system whith an SQL like syntax and get the files you need. Physical location would be irrelevant."
And I'll tell you exactly why *that* doesn't work. A couple of evenings ago I was attempting to retrieve a load of specific songs (MP3's) to make 10 hours worth of compilation CD's. Some stored on my laptop, some on my old desktop and some on my partner's laptop. The ones on my PC's were easy to find, for years I'd always used programs like DB PowerAmp to rip music and set it up to save in the format of Music/Artist/Album/01_Artist _SongName.mp3. Everything was exactly where I expected to find it.
My partner on the other hand, had been an iTunes and Windows Media Player user. She could find all the songs fine searching in the iTunes or WMP libraries, but most of the time we had very little idea where things were really lurking in the recesses of the hard drive. As I was compiling all the files on my laptop and was networked into her machine to copy them over, my machine couldn't read her PC's 'libraries'. I was reduced to straight file system searches (which also relied on bloody iTunes naming files sensibly) and the whole thing was a massive pita.
I hate the 'libraries' way of doing things, whether it's within the Win7 file system, iPods & iTunes, Android's media player/gallery or whatever. I don't mind a media player or gallery giving me a nice straightforward list of my media, but I object when that actively obscures the underlying file structure in a way that stops me seeing what's going on behind the scenes.
Re: One key difference between 8 and Vista
"TIFKAM really, really doesn't work in a traditional mouse and keyboard setup though. Give it me on something like the Surface Pro and I can imagine it being brilliant"
I see this idea bandied about everywhere, the hypothesis that TIFKAM is great for touch but not for mouse + keyboard. Where I work we have a Windows RT tablet (Asus I think) for testing purposes. It looks lovely, but it's an absolute frickin nightmare to use. TIFKAM is arguably even worse on a touch device than on a normal PC. I know this is only anecdotal (and I'm no fan of Win 8 in the slightest), but on the occasions I've used it I actually find it far easier to navigate with mouse + keyboard than touch.
Re: 2 HTC Phones, 2 Buggy Phones
I had a Desire Z and never experienced that SMS sending bug... I did have to root it eventually though. It was an amazing phone when I first got it with Froyo at release time but the OTA Gingerbread update screwed it up badly and made Sense restart if I ever had more than one app open. Thing is I actually really like Sense more than vanilla Android, so I installed Virtuous ROM on it, which was basically just a fixed, overclocked version of Gingerbread + Sense, and it was great again.
I moved to a One S (UK version) last summer and I adore that too. I'll admit that I did root it on the day I got it but that was mainly to remove carrier branding, no obvious bugs that I noticed. When I later replaced the ROM I went for ViperOneS, again a ROM based on Sense but with lots of extras and improvements. After staying loyal since my G1 I'm quite sad to see where HTC are heading these days. When it comes to replacing my One S it looks like I'll basically have a choice of Samsung. Nice specs but I find their build a bit plasticky.
Re: nonsnse that KDE isn't easy to use
"effort that would be better spent improving more mainstream desktop environments."
According to sites like Distrowatch, Mint appears be be the single most popular distro these days. How much more mainstream would you like?
Re: nonsnse that KDE isn't easy to use
"It's all nonsense to say KDE isn't easy to use. Just watch the OsFirstTimer videos on YouTube where an annoying Australian kid gets his mum to try lots of OSs. She vastly prefers KDE over Unity and finds it more familiar and logical."
True, she did prefer KDE to Unity, but she also preferred Mint 14 with Cinnamon to every other OS altogether (excellent series of videos). KDE is designed for people who want absolute control over their environment, and that's great. KDE was my first port of call after not getting on fantastically with Unity and initially I was wowed by all the eye candy. But exactly like the reviewer here said, I quickly began to find all the options, configurability and endless buttons and tick boxes busy and overwhelming, and felt the OS was getting in my way somewhat because of it.
Then I read about Cinnamon, first tried it as an additional desktop on Ubuntu, and recently switched to Mint wholesale and I love it, for me it gets the balance between eye candy, configuration options and usability precisely right. That's not to say that KDE, LXDE, Unity or (god forbid) Gnome 3 don't have their places, IMHO the fact you can pick an interface to suit you rather than put up with whatever is shoved down your throat is one of Linux's massive strengths.
Re: sob. sob.
I so desparately want steam on linux, but not at the price of everything else unbuntu comes with.
Come on Gabe, bring out steam for Mint.
As I'm sure you know, Mint basically is Ubuntu with a load of codecs preinstalled BUT without Unity or the online search privacy issue. As a rule of thumb, if it works on Ubuntu then it works on Mint - including Steam.
Re: Vista Part II...?
"but Linux is still a terrible joke for the home user."
Complete unadulterated FUD, and shows you haven't tried it recently. Here's the entire list of what I had to do to get things working on Mint:
1) Download single file from Mint website
2) Burn it to DVD
3) put DVD in PC and switch it on.
4) click 'install Linux Mint'
5) EVERYTHING works. Seriously.
"In my case I installed a FREE one-meg utility (much smaller than either my anti-virus, my anti-spyware or my registry cleaner)"
The thought of having to endure Windows 8 made me switch to Linux Mint Cinnamon edition (after road testing a couple of other desktops along the way)... By default I have a start button and don't need anti-virus, anti-spyware or a registry cleaner.
Apart from Metro, horizontal scrolling (ugh!), no start menu, signing in to MS accounts, apps not quitting from the X button, schizophrenic menu options depending whether you right or left click, hidden options/menus/hot corners, ugly flat window decoration, constantly being unexpectedly dumped between desktop and Metro... I'm sure Win 8 is lovely.
Thank you Microsoft for finally producing an OS so atrocious that it gave me the impetus to do something I'd been meaning to try for years. I feel at home again with my PC, like I've got all the best bits of usability from XP and 7 with the security, stability and customisation of Linux. The future's bright, the future's Minty.
Re: And yet, and yet ...
"No way you are running a photography/design business without Adobe products."
Umm... in what way is running an Adobe product incompatible with exclusively running Linux? I happily run Photoshop on Linux (via Wine of course) and incidentally have tested MS Office on there which also appears to work perfectly well. Nobody asked if you can run a business entirely using FOSS software, and irrespective of whether or not the OP is exclusively using FOSS, he didn't claim to.
Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced
"Run those machines as long as possible just to piss them off. I know I am."
And then dual boot them with your favourite Linux distro just to rub their noses in it.
Don't, whatever you do, go anywhere near Windows 8.
It really is a piece of piss to root HTC phones these days now HTC allow their bootloaders to be unlocked. XDA has guides for them all. Once rooted you can do what you like from simply uninstalling bloatware to totally replacing the ROM if you want to get rid of Sense. Rooting my One S took under 30 minutes on the day it arrived via a mostly automated tool, largely just point and click!
I find it slightly odd that the kind of people who frequent this site would be so hung up on manufacturers' interfaces, bloatware and update timescales when they can be so easily circumvented. Very few of us would ever consider relying solely on the manufacturer of a laptop to provide new OS versions, we'd just install them ourselves or replace the OS altogether. The more that phones become like fully capable PC's the more we should see them in the same kind of light, as very capable hardware ready to install whichever interface and software we choose.
Re: No microSD AGAIN
No, but it supports USB OTG.
So, seriously, why would you need to change the SD card? It's actually far easier to plug in a USB stick than fiddling around swapping SD cards for your additional storage needs, not to mention that loads of apps make dynamic use of the SD card and if you swap the card then suddenly half your apps lose their data.
Welcome to 2013, you appear to be stuck in 2009.
Thanks Andrew, I've got DoggCatcher on my list to try, along with some other names I've picked up: Stitcher, PocketCast, BeyondPod and Podkicker. I basically just want something that's easy to add a custom RSS link to, will download the podcasts automatically and if necessary store them until I get round to catching up on them two months later! I shouldn't be too difficult to please.
And on the question of whether Google Currents will do Podcasts, the answer turns out to be Yes... and No. It's fairly simple to add an RSS feed and listen to a *current* edition of a podcast. From what I can make out, there's no facility to listen to older episodes or store them in any way. The clue is in the name I suppose :/
Re: FYI there's a petition
Current total well past 53,000. Killing Reader obviously not a good PR move on Google's part :)
My main use of Reader is for the Android podcast app Listen. They neutered Listen last year by taking away the search function but it was still easy enough to add podcast feeds manually. Reader now going altogether will sadly make my favourite (non-browser) app totally useless :(
Can Google Currents handle podcasts?
Re: Please don't happen here too...
" How many of you would bother reading El Reg if there was no comments section?
Sites like El Reg provide a venue for people to argue about shite that doesn't matter with people they'll never meet, because in the "real world" no-one we know gives a toss about whether iOS is better than Android or Windows 8 sucks."
So true. I'd upvote you 20 times if it were possible!
Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26
What? Is the husband/partner supposed to carry her for the 4 miles or something...?
Re: @Steven Raith - High Hopes
"So why in this world you came back to Linux, Mr. Usability ? Windows was always better suited for you than Linux."
And what in this world is wrong with having options and choice? These days the average computer user can cope quite effectively with Windows, Mac OS and a Linux distro like Ubuntu, and that choice of vendors and systems can only be a good thing. Ubuntu existing doesn't preclude any other Linux distro existing, so what's the problem? If you want to put it all together yourself then you still can, but if you're one of the 99% who can't then it's essential to be given an alternative to the Windows/OS X desktop duopoly (I'm not at all sure that Chrome OS is any kind of real alternative, it's just a glorified browser isn't it...?)
Yes but there are also those of us who own extremely capable multi core smartphones who happen to spend a great deal of our working lives in buildings that magically evaporate any 3G signal, so we choose to switch over to 2G to both ensure we retain a signal and save battery life. Aside from that there are some more rural areas near me that have never had 3G at all. They couldn't possibly switch off GSM altogether, it'd be like switching off analogue TV... oh wait...
Re: Pot, kettle
"instead of ripping out all the eye candy so it blends with boring Metro"
This is one of my major gripes with Windows 8 that's rarely mentioned round here. Yes the start screen and hot corners and all the rest of it are rubbish, but why on earth did they have to remove all that lovely eye candy from Win7? And not just the transparency but anything resembling a contour or depth at all? Every time I have to support a Win8 PC I do a double take because it looks like it's in safe mode or something, then I remember that no, it's just crap.
Mind you there are positives to come out of this. About 9 months ago, after years of procrastination I'd finally got around to playing with Linux in the form of Ubuntu. I tried to like Unity, I really did but ultimately I just couldn't get on with it and I retreated back to Win7. Seeing the monumental shite pile that is Windows 8 made me realise that thinking long term, I really had to find a viable alternative. This spurred me on and over the last few weeks I've been busy making friends with KDE and Kubuntu - Start buttons! Functionality! Eye candy! Customisability! I'm still very much a Linux newbie compared to my years of tech support level knowledge of Windows, but now I've made the leap I feel there's probably no going back.
Small but somewhat important note to Microsoft - if your new OS is so ugly and badly designed that it's encouraging long term customers to learn an entirely new alternative from scratch, you now need to accept that you've made a desperately massive mistake.
Re: here comes the onslaught
" "Should of" used to be wrong. But now it is used so often that it has become the correct form. "
No it hasn't!! It makes no bloody sense at all! For example, compare the following statements:
- I should have gone to the shop.
- I should of gone to the shop.
This only *sounds* ok because of the homophone with the correct abbreviation 'should've'.
Now compare that with how blatantly stupid this sounds:
- I have gone to the shop.
- I of gone to the shop.
And THAT is why "should of" is, has always been, and will always be WRONG.
"And Windows 7 come to that, which is really Vista Service Pack 2, is looking awfully dated and boring."
3 year old Win 7 dated and boring? Unlike say, the over-a-decade old Mac OS X? Yes we may have had Lions and Tigers and Ocelot Spleens (get 'em while they're hot) but it essentially looks pretty much the same as it did 10 years ago. (And the look of iOS has been static since a couple of years before Win 7 arrived.) Not saying Windows didn't need a facelift of some kind, but suggesting that OSX somehow doesn't look dated and boring by comparison is just plain daft.
Re: Office for Linux?
"I despair at the number of people that want to remain stuck in the past when it comes to UI.
...we need to enter this scary place at some point."
But why? Surely we should be fighting back against having this crap foisted upon us and instead insist that we get something that's actually fun and intuitive to use. For example I've been with Android since the G1 came out (before it even had an on-screen keyboard!) and have watched it develop, improve and become more enjoyable to use with every iteration. The same should be true for PC operating systems as well, we shouldn't have to put up with rubbish primarily produced with a sinister ulterior motive, i.e. attempting to increase MS's share of mobile by placing a thoroughly unsuitable mobile OS on PC's.
I had my first opportunity to have a go on a touch enabled Win8 machine over the weekend. Excuse my language, but it was fucking shite. Unlike Android which I find intuitive, iOS which I don't like so much but is still easy to use, Win 8 touch was a nightmare, I felt like I fought the OS rather than used it. By contrast I actually found the mouse/keyboard interaction easier, not that I could ever recommend it to anyone what with it still being totally unintuitive and a complete abomination of design.
Re: Apple fears Windows 8...
Downvoted simply for using the term 'ModernUI' without any trace of irony. Sorry 'bout that.
Re: You are kidding right? Or maybe you meant to use the joke icon?
No GSM only mode
Can this phone seriously not be set to GSM only? My workplace is a massive aircraft hanger sized building with lots of lovely mobile-signal-attenuating metal about. 3G signal in there is very weak, just at the strength where it constantly drops in and out. When I leave my Desire Z on 3G is kills the battery because it's constantly flicking back and forth from 3G to GSM trying to maintain a connection. Leave it on GSM only, the connection is solid and the battery barely gets touched.
Forget removable SD cards and batteries, I couldn't even begin to consider a phone fixed on 3G only. (Anyway there's the small, and these days probably highly unfashionable matter of hardware keyboards. Previously having a G1 and currently a Desire Z, I want my next phone to follow the same basic side-slider hardware keyboard design, but apparently no one's making them any more.)
Yes, yes, but I thought Windows 8 was basically all about Metro?
It's like announcing dog shit has been made easier to tread in.
Look and feel
Aside from the fact that the Samsung is a different shape from the iPad, and uses a different OS with a different interface, how different are you expecting this 'look and feel' to be?
The Samsung tablet is so different from the iPad in fact that Apple had to lie in their court documents, distorting the image of the Samsung to make it resemble the shape of the iPad and presenting it with the app drawer (i.e. a sub menu of the OS) open to give the false impression that Samsung had copied Apple's home screen.
This case comes down to the fact that Apple have decided they own the idea of a black rectangle of any given ratio. Out of interest, if you were going to design a tablet, what shape would you make it?
"The tablet is essentially becoming the second TV in the home"
I don't believe a word of it. I still don't know anyone, either friends family or colleagues, who has a tablet of any description. It won't stay that way forever, but as tablets are a very new market compared to the other platforms, it doesn't take many people starting watching iPlayer on their iPad to get a growth rate of 67%.
Let us know when 67% of all iPlayer usage is via a tablet, then you can make such bold claims.
"My friend bought the Z and he never uses the keyboard."
I bought the Desire Z and I use the keyboard all the time. The phone manufacturers can keep their NFC chips, dual core processors, HDMI ports and 4" plus screens, give me a hardware qwerty keyboard over those features every time.
As nice as the specs on something like the HTC Sensation are, the Desire Z is nippy, includes all important things like Flash support and the battery life is pretty decent, possibly due to 'only' having an 800Mhz processor. I'm not even that fussed about whether it gets Gingerbread or not, it already does everything I need it to.
You should write corporate marketing bullshit for a living. You have that same talent of taking words we all know and recognise and fitting them together in such a way, which although it's technically grammatically correct, makes no sense whatsoever and is totally impossible to focus on beyond the first sentence. Well done, very impressive!
'If the white iPhone 4 is out next month, what an "and there's one more thing..." it would make.'
Why? They'd be announcing a year old phone. Again. Unless that sentence is intended to be sarcasm, what am I missing?
My attention had disolved into a thousand yard stare before the end of the first paragraph. There's something about that horrible corporate bollocks speak (that never means anything anyway) that I just can't focus on. Who they think they're impressing with it is beyond me.
No, it's a newer generation Scorpion processor, not a SnapDragon. As I understand it, 45nm as opposed to 60nm in the SnapDragon, more efficient on power and capable of running things just as well at the lower clock speed. Plus the newer chipset includes the Adreno 205 GPU, which (I've read) is 3 times faster than the GPU in previous SnapDragon chipsets.
Good upgrade from G1
I got one of these to replace my trusty old G1 when they came out back in November. So far there are no issues with the hinge or ribbon cable at all, although yes it gets a little dusty but can be carefully cleaned from time to time with a cotton bud or something.
Nearly 3 months on, and I still absolutely love this phone. 800Mhz is fast enough to make the phone snappy and handle Flash content, play Angry Birds et al, but not so fast that it burns out the battery in a ridiculous time - having a decent dedicated graphics chip helps on that score as well.
Syncing contacts with HTC is optional, and more intended as a backup thing. The phone still uses all the standard Android/Google contacts/calendar/mail as the G1. This was a major issue for me coming from the G1, and I'm pleased to say that if anything the Desire Z handles things better than the G1.
I have to admit that it is *slightly* annoying sharing number keys with letters. Day to day usage is no biggie, and you can lock it into Fn mode by double pressing the Fn key to enter a long number, but entering e.g. an IP address is a right pain in the backside because you have to keep switching back to normal mode to enter a dot. But on the plus side, the keyboard is so spacious, when I go back to my G1 it now it feels pokey and very cramped by comparison.
Can second that...
And I picked up an 8GB one from Currys a few months ago for £30 just to take on holiday so I wouldn't have use my (shiny, expensive, Android) smartphone near the pool. Very pleasantly surprised by the sound quality, although maybe lacking a touch in the bass department for my tastes. But overall, 8GB with FM radio, audiobook support and expandable via microSD - what more could you want for £30?
Don't have experience of the browser on the Samsung devices, but on my HTC Desire Z, Flash can easily be set to run on demand - i.e. any Flash content in the page just displays a blank white space with a little green arrow button until you tap it, then it'll load the content. Doesn't slow things down at all.
But yeah, the Galaxy Tab is ridiculously overpriced. £300 would be more like it.
"despite the fact that this is how music has gone"
Has it? So I must have been imagining all those CD's I still buy, both online and in brick & mortar stores then? As far as I was aware, downloading was an *option*, not a requirement. I've only downloaded one entire album and that was because it cost £7 to download from Amazon or £30 to import the CD from Japan. Other than that I want a lossless physical copy that I can play where I want, rip to format of my choice, lend to friends etc, and I don't particularly want that to change thank you very much.
F U D
This story only made such a big splash due to the Lookout lot originally coming out with a scaremongering claim that the apps in question were stealing browsing and SMS history along with a load of other stuff and sending it to China. Turned out to be rather inaccurate - the apps developer responded saying that the app did indeed collect your subscriber identifier and phone number in order to allow a favourites system within the app that could resume after wiping your device (a feature that his users had in fact asked for) but it's never gone near browsing or SMS history.
Lookout were then later forced to admit that no, the app didn't collect browsing or SMS history at all. And the fact that Lookout are a security firm that produce an Android app that claims to protect against malware and viruses (sorry, what viruses?) should not be lost on people.
Lookout got what they wanted - a big steaming load of FUD, people have now heard of them and downloaded their app to protect against the evil Chinese hax0rs, and a load of tech blogs have been rightfully thoroughly embarrased for not checking their facts before joining in the hysteria.
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