3269 posts • joined 12 Oct 2009
North American centric sales surveys are less than meaningful ...
as the EU and China represent large sales blocks where Android OS are doing very well, thank you.
And many areas where it rains heavily for periods measured in months no Apple will survive unless it is wrapped up in a cheap Baggie. Three or four companies are offering Android splash/waterproof smartphones these days.
Ignoring the fact that Apple is looking tired, using a handset that is as common as that phone is, doesn't make it good - it just proves how many suckers out there actually believe their advertising.
And Apple doesn't do Facebook, which is actually the perfect medium for characters who buy Apple.
FROMMERS, a tried and trustworthy guide book - way, way better than LP
Of all the guidebooks for the Indochina area, Frommer is amongst the better ones although RoughGuides does have neat, helpful maps.
Considering the BBC dumped that LP for millions, Frommer got a bargain. Especially when you consider that LP guide writers admitted getting paid off to write up dubious hotels and restaurants.
It wasn't many years ago when using ...
GPS drew unwelcome knots of people in China to view your device.
Fortunately, in much of China urban landscapes have wide roads/boulevards and even decent sized highrise buildings don't affect transmission/reception.
Guess all the government vehicle and portable system will be headed for an upgrade: security police portables in several of the larger cities already have facial recognition.
Another database police can access are pictures of civilian vehicles as they were when purchased. Modifications of anything, including paint colour, can be ordered to be reverted to original. The only accessories/modifications permitted, until sale, are 'bolt-on' types such as fog lights, etc.
The vehicle database is similar to a facial recognition database except that picture comparisons are made in database offices.
Shows just how close Britain is with it's systems at emulating an 'authoritarian' regime.
You can see it now, Ives and Cook, in the boardroom ...
and they even have a Apple confidential manual for the process:
1.Assemble the Cook, Ives and company. The number of participants must be divisible by three and, obviously, no fewer than three people should attempt the séance.
2. Choose the medium amongst the participants.
3. Either an oval or round table can be used. Some proponents suggest in the middle of the table should be placed some simple, natural aromatic food, such as fresh bread or soup, or Jobs favourite odour (money?).
4. Illuminate three candles (or a number divisible by three), the better. Job will like warmth and light after being in the box for so long.
5. Seated around the table equidistantly, the participants must all join hands.
6. Summon Jobs. The participants must speak words together: "Our beloved Jobs, we bring you gifts from life into death. Commune with us, Jobs, and move among us." Wait for a response. If no rsponse, repeat the chant until the Jobs responds.
7. If and when the Jobs responds, usually through the chosen medium - ask your questions. Basic, simple, first. Yes and no questions at first, one rap for no, two raps for yes, After Jobs finds his voice, you may ask any kind of question.
8. If the séance seems to get out of hand, end the session by breaking the circle of hands, extinguishing the candles and turning on the lights. Jobs has no control!
9. When you're done with your questioning, thank Jobs for joining you and tell him to go in peace. Break the circle of hands and extinguish the candles.
HSBC Call Centre sweatshops manage this already ...
by simply employing less than intelligent operators who take their sweet time in answering.
And they refuse written communications as deniability is not possible.
Wonder what sort of service standards the Mexican Laundry Service managed to maintain?
As for 'tracing' calls, all digital calls for over 15-20 years include all information needed including the call originator.
Zuck & Co. have embedded Facebook on phones ...
but they still won't work in several countries as the powers that are have deemed FB a waste of time.
Thank you, Ha Noi, for doing something good.
How many patents with iPad need.
There must be a mistake, something sensible coming out of the USPO for once.
No one else, in the USA at least, can use iPad - who knows about Brazil though.
Wait for the appeal
This will undoubtedly be appealed on procedure alone.
Not only was it a split decision, which allows appeals automatically, but one of the judges was an import from another area.
" ... the device will boot directly into the user's Facebook home screen"
Not, thankfully, in all countries. They have better, higher priority, alternatives.
The FBI is not on trial, check the docket ...
nor are they using a 'Pen Register' which was also mentioned in passing.
The Harris Stingray (See: http://publicintelligence.net/harris-corporations-stingray-used-by-fbi-for-warrantless-mobile-phone-tracking/ ) is interesting - as you can see it uses frequency converters which implies it is hardly 'frequency agile'.
It is also limited to cell handset technology - nothing about 'InterNet'. And, it appears, using a Satphone would be outside it's purview.
What is good about this discussion is that we now know much more about their technology and, ergo, that of the UK Plod. It would appear that they are only 4-channel units, which could easily be overwhelmed in crowded/congested RF areas.
Simpler still, reprogram the IMEI - download ZiPhone GUI OR subscribe to Silent Circle. The US Government does.
It seems to have a physical shape in common with ...
(insert fast food chain name) apple or fruit pie containers - and they even have windows in them, too.
Those pointy corners should rally be good for tho may (seamstresses) who do pocket repairs.
If this the extent of an 'annual upgrade', it seems that Apple is really bereft of ideas.
BT over engineers it's facilities and presumes everyone else is ignorant
BT has always been big on engineering, or rather OVER engineering. there is nothing secret or mysterious in running cables, as there were in past times.
Ever seen them check out underground conduits by dragging a large diameter dowl through them? How can other companies, with more kilometres underground than BT, can plough their cable in? Too modern, I guess.
Street boxes, aka 'pedestals', come in all shapes and sizes. I hate seeing cables and in building my home and hotels I have spent big money hiding the utilities to maintain the appearance.
There is one pedestal design which is simply installed into a hole drilled, with a fence post drill, in to the dirt. A sleeve is fitted and filled out with concrete. The cables enter through the bottom of the sleeve and terminate on a sliding member. This has a keyed access that pushes in to the sleeve so it is flush with the sidewalk or grass verge as the case might be.
Canadian Telco's use air operated 'slugs' that force their way under lawns dragging a fibre optic cable with them so there is no damage to the lawns.
If BT had competition undoubtedly they would pay more attention to appearances. That's the problem with monopolies.
Students have been warned about taking out expensive loans ...
even worse, some people are selling their organs in order to raise enough funds to buy an iThingy.
Talk about poor value for money. Apple has a year long warranty and the organs are likely to last a lifetime.
Google Translate: An endless source of humour and embarasment
Vietnamese, a tonal language, is a really hard language to learn.
For example, in my pocket Vietnamese dictionary, there are over 21 variants of the word duong. The spectrum of the word duong includes street, salt, sugar, etc. Duong Sat means "Road of Steel" also referred to as railway!
Still, Google is responsive to corrections and their efforts are rewarded with quizzical looks or outright laughter. Even the police use Google Translate to communicate with foreigners.
Above all, Google Translate is way, way, more useful than the Lonely Planet attempt as a handy translator.
GCHQ, another Mad MAY operation
Seems like the all time ministrial loser of all time, Mad MAY, is failing again.
I wonder what part of her extensive purview actually functions? And she wants the ability to bug the whole of the UK?
An alternative is to tell fishermen to ...
clear the old copper cabes so they can make a little money on the side.
They did this is southern VietNam, off Ving Tau
Unfortunately, the fishermen being fishermen and not technicians, could tell the differnce btween old-style copper cables and the new fibre-optics, and as a result our InterNet speeds fell through the floor.
Recently fishermen from the Phils have been busy in the East China Sea, unless it was the Chinese fighting over the Spratly Islands, and our sea cables to Hong and further east have suffered damage.
If Spamhaus was accurate ...
were accurate in their listings, or responded quickly to complaints about incorrect Black Listings, I might feel sorry.
BUT, since they don't, neither do I.
Pity the sore ears of the users ...
as I discovered with a pair of enhanced eyewear a couple of years ago.
The electronics buried in the temples (the things that go over your ears) was so heavy that I, and other users, developed sores/hard skin patches above the ear. It is essential that the cords/wires connecting them to the outer world. Maybe new electronics will reduce this load.
We found the Bangkok bar girl trick (snatch and run) was easily thwarted by using "granny strings" attached to the end of the temples - making cute loops would be a real winner.
Thanks, Firefox, for ...
looking after users Java problems - it was disabled soon after all the troubles started.
Pity MS doesn't steal a page from your book.
Fry is a certifiable idiot ...
which explains why he gets employment from the BBC.
Doesn't explain how he got free iPhones, though.
The gas providers fix the market and how to reap excess profits
There is little difference between the various gas consuming markets except in the way are run and the rules governerning them. The charts are interesting, as things were proceeding on goal until mid-January. So why would the storage facilty operators not start pumping more gas in to the ground?
From what I understand there is a damn great direct feed from a monster tank farm off Norway, as well as feeding Europe through separate feed connectors. So was the Norwegian farm 'head' failure a manufactured failure? A fix? After we all are dealing with oil/gas men who don't enjoy the best of reputations.
This is a typical gas supply system, one duplicated the world over. We have several of them in Canada and they have never failed on such a massive scale. There would heads flying and contracts being r,ipped up.
The people running UK government obviously favour energy 'providers' so little will happen other than the public gets shafted again as Cameron awards the fat-cat gas business 'emergency' gas rate increases to cover these 'losses' and then, all of a sudden, the 'emergency' will fade.
Any emergency increases should be refused and the money should be from fuel pigs profits.
They've bought mappers before ...
and all they have achieved is to be the laughing stock of mobile maps.
I wonder even if they bother to do due diligence?
Any source of money is "totally appropriate" to these leaches. Just what benefits do they add?
If there are any near banking operations that need investigating it is these two, talk about too big to fail - they epitomise the term.
Hands-free Google Glasses make much sense than a two-handed watch
A watch-type appliance requires one or two arm/hand combinations - even looking at it takes one combo.
That means the ability to do an independent task is compromised from the start.
Google Glasses, on the other hand permit the complete, independent use of both arm/hand combinations with eyes and voice acting as the control interface.
With image capture and matching, Glasses could find an appropriate drawing/reference document and display it - all the while keeping the hands free.
It helps to have used Voice Commands or video enhancement previously, it takes a bit of training.
The watch arena seems to be getting a little crowded these days and the old protagonists - Samsung and Apple - are there, too.
All these cries about privacy are red herrings - everyone is selling everything - including Apple.
Sendgrid, a name to remember ...
to avoid. You support the genuinely aggrieved, not fire them.
Says an awful lot about Sendgrid corporate morals.
Canada had this challenge AND solved it ...
by placing public access InterNet terminals in libraries, community centres and seniors homes.
Unfortunately, the UK government seems to support a policy of closing down libraries.
What a pity.
Hitachi has, repeatedly, hired complete course graduate students emerging from VN computing courses for a number of years.
Guess that speaks for itself.
Hot software in VietNam is pure guesswork.
Whomever BIS, or the outfit, is who proclaims so much 'hot' software is running in a country is out to lunch. They don't even know how many computers there are here in VietNam.
Sure the VN government had hot software a few years ago but the they went out and switched to Linux!
Most high school students have factory installed software on their numerous laptops, so where does it get it's numbers from? Guess work. Same goes for Laos and Cambodia, but even more so.
And all those 'call home features' in software are usually neutered by rewriting the HOST file. Cadence includes a call-home procedure but the installation .BAT file adds a line to the .BAT file that dad-ends the attempt to call home.
The key to education in VietNam is ATTITUDE
I recently met a Vietnamese parent, who is employed by a foreign entity and who obviously makes way higher than the average wage, who told me he had moved his Vietnamese children from the State system to one of the for-big-profit foreign schools because he was of the opinion VN schools 'were no fun' and the foreign schools had fun things like sports. His two children are costing him around USD$25,000 annually.
My daughter, whose right to State schools is through her citizenship, gets up at some unGodly hour, shortly after 06.00H, meets her friends for breakfast where they compare homework and then start their school day at 07.30H. They have two 15-minute breaks and an hour for lunch and leave school at 17.00H. She has extension classes three or four nights a week AS WELL AS Saturday school. Many also study on Sundays.
There is homework every day.
Parents have to pay for schooling, around USD$60 per month, per child, which is quite a burden where a good family income is around USD$300.month.
Children here aren't just 'interested', they have a hunger for knowledge. Every weekday evening our offices remain open until 22.00H so the local children can do their homework, or study. KhanAcedemy.Org is a great resource, especially now it has sub-titles. We were watching a video of calculus recently and some children could even work out the answers in their heads! It made me feel old.
I met a 13-girl recently who has perfect fluency in Vietnamese, English and Chinese/Mandarin. When I say perfect English I mean she understands the subtleties of the languages, as usually only someone from a country does.
I recently acquired 10 Raspberry Pi computers, set them up on tables in a spare room, and left many copies of various RPi books around and left them unannounced. Within a couple of days some kids had figured out how to make them do basic things and now, after 17 days, they are practicing basic programming. Completely hands off from myself and my partners.
This is the competition the West is facing not only from the 50-million odd school children in VietNam but a few hundred million more in China and India.
Are all the XP discs licenced......... Or not?
My employer has a legal OEM copy of XP but it is a rarity.
Most of us just pop down to our local copy shop and order what we need and it is sold on DVS for a whopping VN Dong 40,000 (GBR1.26/USD$1.91) which is a fair rate for software over 10 years old.
GoPro facing stiff competition these days - for good reason
I use GoPro daily whenever I drive and as a POV user for around six-years I would say they are, presently, an average product. My employer has a total of eleven units - all mounted in vehicles.
GoPro is fussy on which SD memory chips you use, uses custom rechargeable batteries (identical to a cell battery) and it FOGS UP even on hot days. They recommend using the vented case, which has large holes in it, but is hardly suitable for expeditions in high-humidity/downpour conditions.
GoPro, who has never acknowledged/answered my condensation complaint now INCLUDES DESICCANTS for some models to ameliorate the condensation which effectively blocks the video sensor.
Another deficiency is GoPro's belief in plastic. The camera proper will not work unless it is within the outer plastic casing, in which the lens is mounted/attached. This plastic case has a plastic mount and a plastic foot, the foot SLIDES in to the various mounting options, many of which rely on glue.
I changed the plastic foot to a stainless one; and I protect all camera locations, including my helmet, in stainless steels cages made from one-eighth round bar (rod). The GoPro supposition that you can use a plastic mount EXTERNAL to the safety cage of a racing car is wishful thinking. Their concept of GLUING a helmet cam to a HELMET is equally stupid as they can easily be twisted off in an accident or by a passing thief on a motorcycle.
I recommend the people working El Reg's own Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) spacecraft) do some serious preflight testing in a food freezer AND include a secondary POV (the Sony is good - we have road tested them), ADDITIONAL BATTERIES (an extra battery on the camera ALONG with a battery source external to the camera. Remember, camera frame rates interact with the SD memory so test carefully.
Just because a product has big bucks behind it's advertising and a shiny web site, doesn't make the product good or best in class.
P.S. This isn't a product review, this is user report.
TETRA is not a Motorola Standard, nor particularly secure
Contrary to what many believe, TETRA (formerly known as Trans-European Trunked Radio) is a Open Standard and is primarily hawked around the place by EADS / Cassidian and Motorola.
It is proclaimed to be secure but at a recent symposium held in China I saw an interesting combination of a SDR (Software Defined Radio) coupled to a TETRA hacking computer which output intersting data, for those interested, DMO gateway functions, short data services (SDS), packet-switched data and circuit-switched data communication, etc. I was unable to understand the audio as I am not that fluent in Mandarin.
One hundred and twenty plus countries have some TETRA systems. In VietNam there is a 3-base station system for Internal Security and the Peoples Police in the country's largest city, Ho Chi Minh, running over Motorola equipment but when I have monitored it is hardly active since the police prefer cell handsets! The Peoples Police (Cong An) spend most of their working hours 'patrolling' their offices seated sleeping in chairs which obviates the need for mobile communications.
BeiJing, a hot spot for high-tech Plod communications uses a custom-built system with handhelds having swipes for ID cards and large display screens.
Smartphones likely could provide similar services in most cases.
Microsoft is no Google
MS has always been pro-pro law, it even has a How to Hack for Plod Kit available whereas Google has a record of resisting police.
So no credit to MS.
Never travel direct; never use a credit card; never book a flight to eventual destination ...
Never travel direct (Nick Leeson and CHOY, Hon-Tim); never use a credit card (the FBI can have real time displays in their offices); never book a flight to eventual destination (far better to fly to Canada on a return ticket and then buy a new ticket, preferably from another airport and NOT Westbound, either). Stopping over in the UK is not advised (password or 4 years) but France is OK.
The computers and hard drives could have been shipped to a friend, or Chinese restaurant in YYZ.
Put TOR and PGP on your computer and put real hot files on waterproof SD chips, wrap them in a condom and swallow. Better still, compress the files and visit an InterNet cafe. Messages are best passed through travel web sites - just like drug dealers do.
And if anyone asks what in your bag, say nothing and just let them look.
Obviously this was not a government prank, the Chinese are experienced at this sort of thing.
P.S. Taking the SIM from your telephone makes it impossible for airport data sniffers to work. And now they have to get search warrants.
Today's word is TSA - to keep those computers humming.
Never trust the mail
Mail delivered to embassies with adverse interests to the host country get X-rayed and even searched. Hand carried to the CN Embassy would have been better.
John Wiley & Sons doesn't do 'altruism'
How can John Wiley & Sons print a book in the USA; ship to VietNam and give the book wholesalers/retailers a 30% cut if they aren't making a profit?
Since the books hereabouts have John Wiley & Sons Printed in the USA on the inner cover, we must presume they have been imported.
Seem that V-P Joe Biden has let his IP hustlers down again, along with A-G Holder. Good news for students!
America's so called Bogeyman is supposed to be a source of risk
So I guess GE-USA SCADA Division hasn't heard of this as all their SCADA work is being done in ... China!
Just how will the UK Government ...
censor any web site using a US domain and/or server?
That's why people like the US - TMZ can say almost anything it likes and it is protected by the First Amendment. Of course, the UK doesn't have a Constitution which is why Parliament can dream up, and pass, dumb legislation.
Now the US government wants private industry to do their dirty work
After spending BILLIONS of dollars trying to secure their IT infrastructure, and failing, the US Government wants to foist the costs on to ISPs and, in turn, the general public.
Let them kill the failure known as the F35 and put the money in to protection that works.
Re: I like the waterproof feature -No plastic Baggies as with iPhones
Sony has always wisely featured waterproof phones as many regions of the world need them.
If you have ever experienced a Singapore drenching rain, or DakLak Province, VietNam, in the spring you will realise what a strong sales feature waterproofing is.
I always get a laugh when some iPhan pulls out an Apple cell phone, covered in a Baggie, but ONLY they have found somewhere dry to hide in.
Unfortunately, there are some are some counter-flows in UK government
At one time, some time ago, consulates and embassies actually did something to justify their existence like processing passports. Now, in an effort to reduce passport issuance costs - but not deployed diplomatic staff levels - passports are processed in various world regional centres, prior to the documents being forwarded to the UK for actual passport manufacture/issuance.
The next stage is supposed to be the complete process is handled entirely within the UK with the present outposts being retired.
This means that passport issuance will often occur when thousands of miles separate the applicant from the issuing office.
When I renewed my passport a couple of years ago, having been out of the UK continuously for 40 years, I, once again, used the same picture as five years before, just skillfully aged by a Photoshop craftsman, and with facial hair added and a few tweaks about the eyes/eyebrows. Not one official verified anything about me in person!
'Mad Hatter' MAY is besotted with technology. Technically minded people know that the more 'machines' and the fewer people involved the greater the increase in failure.
Take telephone 'Blueboxing'. Forty years ago practitioners had to know how to use operator phraseology convincingly but as automation increased so did the ease of placing fraudulent calls. The only thing that has changed of late is the alternative 'free' technologies such as VOIP.
The ever-crazy MAY thinks technology is the answer to spying on everyone is a multi-billion Pound 'toy' for GCHQ which already dated with the introduction of Silent Circle which costs USD$20/month - well within terrorists budgets.
China, with blanket CCTV coverage, and minimal civil rights, with detailed ID cards with biometrics, still has trouble actually locating/tracking people. Identification technologies might be good in ideal circumstances but in real, every day life, there is, thankfully, much to be desired - .far too many false 'hits'
Next time you bump into an eye scanner, cross your eyes or wear heavy framed eyeglasses. The finger print scanners really 'love' you pushing hard on the sensors.
But the civil servants will convince themselves things are safe until the next 'incident' occurs (an airline expression). Then they will buy more high-tech junk and the farce will repeat.
Now we need a new interpreter for this high tech gobbledigook
"has stopped short of offering a thorough explanation for just what went wrong" means they haven't a clue.
"something caused the batteries on two 787s to become very hot" is stating the obvious given there was smoke, flames and heat.
"deep discharge” could be a short circuit - they are known to cause 'deep discharges'.
"the venting is a protective measure" means it reduces the chance of a battery acting like a BOMB.
"heat from the cell propagated to other cells and they vented as well. This is a protective mechanism that is designed into the battery cells" now we have unionised batteries - one on fire, now all on fire.
"they leak vaporised electrolyte which looks like smoke" sure, now explain the flames, acrid smoke and scorching.
"systems worked as planned with flight crews notified after smoke detectors worked" is such a stupid statement - why sound the alarm before an alarm condition is reached?
"cannot be considered a “thermal runaway” so just what the hell is all this fire and heat if it isn't runaway? Or did Boeing plan for fires?
For a high tech aircraft manufacturer who expects passengers to entrust their lives to their plastic plane we also expect far more cogent answers than the rubbish muttered the other day.
(Today's NSA word is Acritic. It keeps their computers buzzing, and increases readership)
No doubt the cyber perpetrators are shaking in their boots ...
If the USA can't keep the bad guys out of their computers, why does the UK government think it can do any better?
All that is going to happen is that ball-breaker Mad May with be conned into spending yet more money on doomed schemes. No doubt Capita or G4S will form a cyber protection subsidiary so they can keep on milking the public purse.
Why do people care about the cell handset OS? They can't do much about it
Given that a cell OS is a fixed, immutable object, except when the likes of Apple or MS deliberately take 'possession' of a cell, who really cares?
It is the experience of using the devices.
I have found Samsung tends to overload it's line with an excess of Apps and one of the first tasks for many users is to rationalise the software for their personal use. Other cells require that you pay out hundreds of Pounds, Dollars or Dong just to make them functional.
Shin seems to be a very skilled diplomat, too!
Given all the money swilling around politicians ...
no fines are likely to affect their calling activities.
Then there are the incessant SMS and e-mails. Cutting the 'political' season down, would help, only people who have suffered through the US vote solicitation periods realise how extreme things can get.
So nice living in a single party country, although they do deploy loudspeaker equipped trucks to extol the virtues of the government. The military in VietNam really do have some impressive sound systems which, when strategically placed, can cover even medium sized cities.
It appears that Samsung is out-Googling Google and Apple
Some of the features claimed for the S4 put this cell handset in a class on it's own, for now.
The neat trick of chatting to POS terminals, without requiring new hardware, is so obvious that no doubt a lot of people in Cupertino are walking around with self-inflicted ankle wounds after learning of this.
The Translate function is a winner, particularly if the languages are increased. Given the excellent audio services from Google already, that put Siri back in beta, the S4 again sets a new benchmark for others to beat.
And, naturally, you don't need a USD$40 cable to hook it up to other devices. Another winner is the external SD socket which is great for moving data around, or avoid the TSA thugs who want to check out your privates (although the US courts have clipped their wings).
Ditto with UK Customs - remember, removing the SIM screws up many of these data sniffers - and micro-SD and SIMs are much easier to conceal on the way through Customs - just remember to buy waterproof versions.
As a Note 2 driver, I am looking forward to seeing how much migrates to Note 3.
What strikes me about this review is ...
it appears to be balanced and fairly neutral - unlike the Guardian's rewrite artist Charles Arthur - and provides informational reading to El Reg readers. The family arguments on Orange County Choppers killed that show and, likewise, Troll writers who write 'reviews' exposing their prejudices/preferences are just so much waste space.
That Samsung is marketing what is, effectively, an under-powered cell handset in North America is interesting. I run a company Note 2 purchased and used in the Far East and when compared to a friend's North American Note 2 the subtle differences become noticeable.
I would be curious to know the strategy behind these decisions.
In the mean time I patiently await the Note 3 - just think what Samsung could achieve with all that additional real estate under the cover!
Apple's Marketing Honcho Schiller Not the Brightest Spark as he ....
broke a well known rule in Marketing.
NEVER knock the competition - it makes customers check them out.
With all this new found wealth ...
it is time to PUT MONEY INTO BT PENSION FUNDS.
BT, along with it's air equivalent BA, have been ripping off employees for years by under-funding the pension funds and potentially making the average tax payer responsible for making up the deficits.
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