1076 posts • joined 22 May 2007
Yes, it changed drastically from prototype stage to the final product... I've never seen that happen before!
You could argue that Apple "stole" their design from the WinMo phones HTC has been producing for years. In the end, IMHO, they are very different.
And I second the comment above about Apple copying Android's notification bar in iOS 5. But, in the end, such features do get passed around technology as it evolves. This doesn't mean they are copying, exactly.
And I would point out, too, the blatant copying Apple pulled in it's early days. Pot, meet Kettle.
@Robert E A Harvey
"boot-up time on the CAM system"
Everyone in the office now knows I am reading El'Reg instead of working, coz That made me burst out laughing! Love it!
"Seems this would go a long way toward making instant-on-hardly-ever-need-to-reboot computers and devices a reality."
Only if either
a) Microsoft bucks it's ideas up, or
b) People switch to an OS which hardly ever needs a reboot
The biggest advantage to Capacitors over Batteries is how quickly and efficiently they can charge and discharge. With a battery, if you discharge faster you don't get as much energy out, where as this isnt the case with a supercap*. They can also be charge very quickly.
Add the advantages above, and for short term power supply they are a very good option.
* I know this isn't technically the case, due to power losses from the higher current, but it is such a small effect compared to batteries as to make it negligible.
I couldn't agree more.
Why not link a picture? Because I don't have one.
But you are right. The screen wasn't flush. It had a button or 2. It was grey, not black.
I am not saying you could not distinguish between them, just that they were of the same concept. All that's moved on is technology: It would have been much more difficult/expensive at that time to do a flush screen and thinner bezel, if it was even possible. If you looked at the PDAs & Smartphones of the time, they also had thick bezels. This does not stop them being pretty much the same, barring improvements which have come mostly from new technology.
I beg to differ
This is only my oppinion, but...
I used a Tablet a fair while before the iPad came out. It was a Windows-based tablet. It had a screen in the middle, a border round the edge, and that's pretty much it.
OK, it was bigger, thicker, and not as "slick". But, hey, that's mainly technology improving.
Similarly, I used touch-screen smart phones and PDAs before the iPhone. These were, by and large, the same as the iPhone, but a bit more bulky (mainly, again, down to the technology)
IMHO, as with most Apple products, the iPhone and iPad (which is just a scaled up iPhone anyway) are derrivative in design from what came before.
Now I will admit that Samsung are treading close to the line which divides derrivative from blatant copying (and may have crossed it, I haven't actually seen the products in question), but I do think that those who say "Wow, Apple are SO innovative!" (as was said many times after Jobs' death) have selective memory. What Apple are good at is taking an existing concept and refining it, making it more usable for that average man on the street. I take nothing away from them for that, they do it very well, but that is it.
RE: What are the alternatives to AD?
Actually, there are several, but none are as easy for a mainly-Windows userbase.
In an environment which was not prodominantly Linux, I would not consider using an alternative. The alternatives are just not as good, in terms of ease of use and functionality, when used in a Windows environment.
I am, however, about to start evaluating Samba 4. I know it's only Alpha at the moment, but it should be a viable alternative once it is finished. However, this is only AD on Linux. The problem is, if you don't use MS's proprietary systems on Windows, you run into the sort of configuration Hell you used to get on Linux back-in-the-day, which just isn't worth the man-hours.
Run a pure Linux/Unix environment (or only a small number of Windows machines), and there are much better alternatives.
RE: Real FOSS is licensed under GPL
Actually, I don't quite agree.
Real FOSS is Public Domain, where there are absolutely no restrictions on the use of the code, in part or in full. All rights are given up by the author.
The probelm is that this gets exploited, which is why FOSS licenses sprang up. These are less Free and Open than public domain, but protect the wishes of the author to keep the software as Free and Open as possible. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the GPL and use it myself, but to be truely Free and Open, there must be no restrictions on use or distibution of the code. GPL is a good approximation of Free and Open.
Only my 2p worth...
"As a punishment, we have kept all the free iPads and Alienwares for ourselves and given him none."
You owe me a new keyboard for that!
No, you can't mix & match the licenses for the same piece of code. The code which is under the GPL must be kept under the GPL (unless the copyright holder agrees to relicense). This code must then be distributed once the binaries are distibuted to comply with the license. Strictly speaking, this includes the point when Google send it to their partners.
But the parts licensed under ASF do not have this requirement. So as long as they are distributing the code to the GPL-licensed components on distribution, there is no breach of the license.
I am not defending Google's (and the handset developers') actions, but this is how the licensing works.
"OMFG - don't let any of the big retailers even think about that! Hotel California Tesco style, you can pay (and pay, and pay...) but you can never leave"
I had an incident recently where that nearly happened. Went to the local supermarket just before closing. When I was leaving, they had locked the doors and had a guy standing there to open it for people to leave. Unfortunately, the key didn't work, and it took him 5 mins of jiggling to let me out!
Although I am naturally wary (Paypal seeming to be one of the most hackable transaction systems out there) it's about time they did this. If it's done right, and there's enough takeup (especially the scan&pay bit) this could seriously improve (i.e. speed up, the worst part of any shopping is the time it takes!) shopping.
I'll reserve judgement until I see it in action, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
"Piracy can never be stopped, there will always be new innovations and ways to illegally distribute content. Why? Because there will always be demand for something for nothing... Politicians know better than to take piracy prevention seriously; they know there is no way to ever stop piracy."
Hasn't stopped them trying in other circumstances. For example, "drugs".
Ideal vs. Real World
The problem is that, in an ideal world, we should be moving towards renewable sources of energy. They are the future, and will (when technology advances far enough) be cheaper than the alternatives. I think even the greens accept there will need to be something to augment them due to the variability of the most readily available renewable sources in this country, whether something to generate a base power requirement of an effective energy storage scheme, but I think most people accept they will be a big part of future energy production (hate that phrase, "energy conversion" is better but everyone seems to think we "make" energy...)
In the real world, however, I think most people realise that technology still isn't there. I have had conversations with those on low incomes. Fuel bills are crippling them, and have meant they can't afford to have the heating on. Instead the entire family huddles under a blanket on the couch of an evening. Surely this is unacceptable in this day and age!
Yes, I believe we should be partly subsidising the "renewable" industry at the moment, as we need it to advance to a commercially viable state. I do not, however, believe we should be deploying half as much as we are, nor should we be subsidising by increasing fuel costs. If the govt wants them subsidised, let them do so, from government coffers. They can increase income tax to cover it, if they must. At least then it is those who can afford to pay who caver the cost. As things stand, the poor are sufferring more than those who are better off.
"as HTML5 becomes the new, FREE app store"
And don't forget cross-platform. Suddenly, all these "Apps" become web pages, accessible from practically any device, rather than iPhone-exclusive and locked-in.
Seems like this will simplify things for developers...
you still feel the need to read it.
If you don't like what's written on the site, there are other publications you can read.
Just one point.
"are we supposed to believe that a rise in volcanism AND cloud-inducing cosmic rays has somehow caused global climate change at the same time as a massive rise in the human output of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, along with a sharp reduction in global forest cover?"
Correllation does not prove Causation.
I am still on the fence WRT CC, but saying things like this does not aid a logical argument.
I have only one problem with the Defy, that's the locked bootloader. However this gripe is from my geek side, for a consumer this would not matter.
Aside from that the Defy is well built and a solid all-round performer, with a great screen and enough oompf for most tasks. Add in the waterproof* element, and it's a fantastic phone.
* I have not tested the waterproofness of my phone, as I bought it "refurbished". It may not be after that, so I won't be dropping it in the bath on purpose, but I have handled it with wet hands and it has had a pint spilled over it with no consequences (for the phone... I had to buy another pint).
"Patents are the death of growth. Not Google."
Patents, when the system works as it was originally designed, promote growth and innovation.
The current patent system is the death of innovation. As pointed out in the article, it is failing. Patents are being actively used by large corporations to stifle innovation. This is the system's fault, and is not in keeping with the original purpose of patents. This was to get those who innovate and invent to publish what they have done while providing them protection from those who would copy their ideas.
When is a title not a title?
"Pulling a pint of proper beer is, of course, more complicated. British beer doesn't lend itself to electronic measuring or pumping"
Actually, I could see an electronically measured hand-pump system being more simple to implement.
AFAIK most hand pumps draw 1/3 or 1/2 a pint per "pull". My own at home does half a pint, perfect for me considering it's just a short walk to the kitchen for a top up and I end up with less chance of wasting my delicious homebrew.
Therefore to measure the quantity, you just count the number of pulls. For a more accurate system, you could count the displacement, which should be proportional to the quantity dispensed. Much more simple than measuring lager flowing through a pipe (and more tasty).
Why are the most popular so far the 3 starting with "Low Orbit"? I doubt it will be entering orbit. If it's anything like PARIS it'll get very high, but not into orbit!
I've never had any problems giving my bank details (SC & Account#) to a friend for them to send me money. They are friends for a reason, plus you need a lot more than that to withdraw moneys...
And it's 419ers, not 409!
I was sceptical at first, but reading comments above this looks to be an ingenius idea.
WRT "Several thousand RPM is going to sound like a jet engine"... Most PC fans I have come accross, at full speed, run at over a thousand RPM. Many of those on budget coolers or those which bundled come with CPUs run at 2-3k (I may be a little behind the times, but they did with the last one which came with a CPU I bought). I suspect that it will be able to be slowed, just like a standard fan, although probably not to the same extent (to maintain the air cushion). I guess it's something which would need investigating.
I can't beleive, though, the number of people who just seem to automatically poo-poo ideas like this. Whether they will work well in real life, or suit your specific needs, or will be economical to produce, they are interesting to read about.
See the posts above...
about the thermal conductivity of the air gap.
...how does one go about DETECTING such an infection?
I you know it's there, you can always do something about it (even if it means reinstalling every single machine from scratch in a controlled manner). If you don't know there's a problem, you won't fix it.
"Now build a spaceplane, lads, on the profits. (You are going to charge a licence fee, right?)"
I think with the amount of money spent on it so far, it will take many years before it returns a profit
Yes, suspend disbelief
But appart from that an accurate post.
I have to say, in spite of the obvious inaccuracies, I love CSI (Vegas, not the spin offs). Grissom is a great character, his integrity and dedication to scientific process is an example to all of us. I know they "spice it up" but it's a great programme.
That's not as bad as...
when they print on an inkjet and it just spits the page straight out. Highly irritating!
Weapons are like socks.
You can NEVER have too many.
So THAT's where they got the idea for that.
Gotta love Cartman's line in it:
"It's a phone, it's and iPad, AND it craps in Kyle's mouth?!"
"That near silence can be a bit of an issue in car parks and built-up areas - the number of idiot pedestrians who stepped out in front of me over the course of a week beggared belief. Forget fitting electric cars with an audible means of approach, we need to start running these buffoons over in the interests of Darwinian selection."
One theory is that an anti-proton is actually a proton travelling backwards through time. When the two collide, it is actually the proton being "reflected" in the time dimension by collision with a photon, so it looks like the 2 are converted to photons.
I didn't read too much about it, so the details are fuzzy... and this was only one theory about them.
Up to a point
I agree that the majority of human kind is selfish, and will ultimately do things in their own interests. This is why capitalism "works", at least better than the implementations of the alternatives we have had so far.
However, the point of FOSS is not always altruism. In many case it is because it works, at least for the developers involved.
Let us say you need/want a specific feature in your office suite. Using a proprietry suite, you would have to request that feature from the supplier and hope they see enough commercial interest in developing it. Go to FOSS, and you can add it yourself, then make that feature available to the community. It is, in this case, a selfish motivation: you want it, so you make it. You get the benefit, but you also get the benefit of everyone elses contributions, and probably help from the community to ensure your contribution is up to the job (stable and works as expected). They will help improve it: not for altruistic reasons, but for their own benefit (even if it is just for their own ego).
And WRT votes: I'm not going to down vote you on the grounds that you WANT to be downvoted. See above resonse about sadist and masochist.
But with the constraint...
that it must be done and transmitted/received in near real time, which affects the possibilities quite drastically.
"The human ear is good at separating that sort of thing out"
Maybe YOUR human ear... put background music in and I find hearing VERY difficult. (I am still unsure if this is to do with my hearing or my attention span...)
My cousin has just turned 13, and she's been on FB for at least a couple of years
Yes, people use it.
We were recently take over by a large, US-based multinational. They use Notes, we use Exhange. We have been fighting since the takeover NOT to use the damn thing, and even harder since our Exchange licenses came up for renewal. Much as I hate MS, anything is better than Notes!
Know your audience
"How 'bout not being nasty to anyone for anything unless they really deserve it?"
What about "know your audience" combined with "don't be so easily offended"?
I am a polite person, and I rarely upset anyone. I do, however, take the piss out of friends and aquaintances when I think they can take it.
I have, on occasion, got it wrong and offended someone. Often this is because I didn't realise something was a touchy subject for the person involved. Mostly, they laugh it off, realising there was no malice in what I said, and then let me know later (at which point I feel very guilty and appologise profusely). I have also been on the other end, and try to do the same.
When someone is doing it out of malice, it is a completely different story. Fortunately I have found that this rarely happens (except at school, of course). My response is still the same however: treat it as a joke if you can, no matter how hurtful, or ignore it if you can't laugh it off.
I am not a strong person, and know how hurtfull things can be. But friends will avoid touchy subjects when taking the piss, and why do you care about the others?
"Ginger kids are born with a disease which causes very light skin, red hair, and freckles... This disease is called Gingervitus, and it occurs because ginger kids have no souls."
(South Park, great episode :D )
I also remember when one of my girlfriends mates dyed her hair ginger... my girlfriends response: "Why would you dye your hair ginger? It's like purposely making yourself ugly!"
Seriously, though, everyone takes the mick out of everyone else (at least here in the UK). It is banter. If you are offended, it shows more about your own insecurities than the oppinions of others.
Captured on CCTV...
... which is probably computerised.
"how does Mac use OSX which is based on Linux without opening the code?"
AFAIK OSX is loosely based on FreeBSD (correct me if I am wrong). The FreeBSD license is open to the point where you can just wholescale copy it into a comercial system and sell it, without telling anyone or openning the code.
I'm guilty of it myself, cobbling together a mishmash of bash & perl to get a job done rather than writing an efficient C program.
I did enjoy my microcontroller programming course at Uni though, done ALL in assembler. It really taught you how things were structured at an underlying level, and gave me a sense of efficiency in code.
Unfortunately, I kinda missed out on the ZX81/C64 etc. age. My first computer was an Amiga (incidentally, a cousing got me interested in both Maths and Programming on that, writing a BASIC programme which drew spirograph-type pictures), and I played with my fathers x86 AutoCAD station*, but I think that uC course did a lot to help me understand efficient programming.
* Untill I stopped it working and cost him a days work.
"The problem is that office skills aren't education, they're training. And one problem with training over education is that it narrows the mind. If all you give kids about computers is Powerpoint, a lot of them aren't going to grasp the full potential, or be able to adapt to when we drop Powerpoint for something else.
"It's like teaching kids French by giving them a phrase book, or giving a ready-filled iPod and calling it a music lesson."
Taking this back to cars: I learned basic maintenance and repairs on my car from the beginning (BTW I'm not even 30 yet). I then learned more when I bought a Mini and became friends with a mechanic. Eventually I learned about the theory behind them in my degree course.
When learning to drive, you get taught what you need to pass the test (I have a big problem with this, at least motorcycle lessons are better, with most instructors teaching beyond that). However, understanding what is happening, and why you do this in this situation, is better than learning by rote.
Understanding why you change gear, why you need (in an older car) to release the brakes when the wheels lock, why a hole in the exhaust (or a horribly mismatched "loud" exhaust) hurts performance and economy, and why tyre pressures need to be correct (just as a few examples) has helped me immensely in driving. Understanding the Otto & Deisel cycles and other in-depth topics has not helped as much, but still adds more information with which to make descisions.
Back to computing, if someone learns about "what's under the hood" (in abstaract terms, at least) they are more likely to be better able to opperate the machine. If they just learn how to use MS Office, their skills are non-transferable and they will have a much harder time adapting to other tools they must use later.
@Destroy All Monsters
It's not easy to understand (just like most quantum physics), but it's still a good post :)
"I believe the GG limitation is due to thier resale of the O2 service. I very much doubt they would have added thsi limit themselves as they do NOT offer any option to enable tethering or use a GG sim in a dongle."
I'm on GG myself, and I also have no problem with the tethering restriction.
However, AFAIK the reason for "no tethering" has been because they do not charge for data. Granted, this is changing, but on bundles they allow unlimitted data for phone use. This is not unlimitted but limitted, as with most providers. It means that, from my phone, I can use as much data as I wish and not be charged.
It is much easier to consume a large amount of data from a real computer than from a phone. Granted, you could use, say, a bittorrent app on your phone and download a lot, but restrictive storage and other limitations makes things difficult.
I don't think this is an unreasonable condition.
PS I beleive they are currently looking into tethering goodybags.
Twice the price
Yep, that's it exactly.
My personal belief is that the eBook ex. VAT price should be no more than the cheapest paper copy currently available. So, for a new release, set it at (at most) the cost of the Hardback+VAT, when the paperback comes out drop it to a max of the cost of the paperback +VAT.
I also agree that VAT on eBooks is rediculous, but that's how it is. I can accept that (for now...) although it should change.
It would be better...
The major publishing houses are to blame for these slaes not being better.
I have a Kindle. It was bought for me by my girlfriend, even though I told her I prefered real books. Her reasoning was she didn't want all my book cluttering up the house (along with all the computer bits, bike & car parts, tools and assorted junk).
It has changed my mind. It is convenient, easy to use and easy to read. There are only 2 small problems.
The first is that I already own a lot of books. There is no way I am going to buy these books again on the Kindle. Unlike CDs (and tapes, videos, DVDs etc) there is no easy way to format shift. I feel I would be morally justified in trying to locate and download these books from the "less legitimate" sources, although others would probably disagree (including lawyers).
The other problem is price. For new releases, the eBook on Amazon is normally priced higher than the Hardback (with a note saying the price was set by the publisher). Even older realeases are often more expensive as eBooks than paperbacks. Once again, I feel I would be morally justified buying the "real" book and downloading the eBook.
The problem with that is it becomes very tempting to skip the "buying" part. They are effectively encouraging piracy with the current model. As the music industry knows all too well, once this has started, it is very difficult to stop. Basically, they are not learning from previous mistakes, and I will have no sympathy when book sales plummet and they start loosing money. I foresee it happenning rather soon if they don't get their arses in gear.
"the difference between subsidising nuclear power and subsidising solar power is that nuclear is a mature technology and solar is not. In that case, I asked, would she support research into thorium reactors, which could provide a much safer and cheaper means of producing nuclear power? No, she told me, because thorium reactors are not a proven technology."
Love this quote. It is the typical logic-defying argument of someone with an agenda to push.
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