42 posts • joined Thursday 1st April 2010 07:41 GMT
The importance of shopping around
Bloody hell. Let's hope the prices they offer are better than the estimate. I just got £186 for my 4S from one of the recyclers. I could perhaps have got more by eBaying it, but that would have taken time and effort.
And yes, I did get a 5S. The best feature for me is the newly larger screen size. Larger, that is, than a 4S, given that I didn't have a 5. As for the fingerprint thing, not fussed at all.
Have to agree, David Dawson.
I really, really hope that this goes well.
What the plan appears to be is to replace the Spine with a new version that can do a lot more, and to find a more efficient way of doing it in the process. They're building on a principle that has worked, even if it's not being done by bodging things onto the current code.
If it comes off, and vaguely on-time and on-budget, maybe some other government departments will start to question the way they go about things too.
Eventually, they'll get over the shock of the change and realise that it's all new and shiny.
Suspect Apple are still laughing at least most of the way to the bank...
Apple have lost market share. But they've sold a lot of iPads. This is natural - the competition for serious punters just wasn't really there a year and a bit ago. That's now changed.
I own an iPad, an I'm perfectly happy with my purchase. Except that the girlfriend seems to always be 'borrowing' the iPad and I barely get to use it. But a Nexus 7 would be very tempting, given its cheapness. In fact, so would a Nexus 4 in place of my iPhone.
I'll probably keep paying the Apple 'idiot tax' because I'm used to it all. But what I suspect is happening is that a lot of the more casual users, and in particular people who maybe haven't got a pile of cash to burn through just at the moment, are being tempted by devices that are far cheaper than the iPad but lack very little indeed in terms of comparable features.
Have one, works fine. Famous last words...
I have one of these 3rd-gen Apple TVs. Sold the 2nd-gen one for a massive premium to jailbreak fanatics. Had no problems with it.
It's useful for what it's useful for. I like Apple kit, so it wins for me because I have other Apple kit with which it is well integrated.
That said, I'm not a total obsessive, and it shares the TV stand with a Samsung smart telly, a PS3 and a VM TiVo. Between all of these things, enough usually works that I can watch what I want.
"Dunno, after years in IT I'd say the best degrees (that aren't hard sciences/engineering) would be English and Psychology."
I'm an English graduate working in a technical job involving web development and some general IT (we're not a vast place). My English degree is one of the most highly-regarded going. Of course, it didn't teach me IT skills. That's what I did with my spare time. As a result, I have a more interesting job than many of my coursemates and I take home a little more money too.
There are core skills that should come with any good degree, around research, deduction and problem-solving. Some humanities graduates have an above-average shot at being articulate and communicative too. Some.
For some jobs, there will obviously be a preference or a need for formal training, but for a lot of IT-related jobs, someone who has enthusiastically learned the skills independently of any course can easily be as good as someone who's been kipping at the back of a lecture hall on a Comp Sci degree. Particularly if they've been writing code that's actually been used in the wild, worked collaboratively on larger projects, been tinkering with a monstrous home lab, or whatever else is relevant. Obviously, they're going to need to demonstrate competence as well as enthusiasm, but real-world experience often trumps what may have been a broad-and-shallow undergraduate degree with little content directly relevant to the job applied for.
Why would it be the end of the TV licence? The launch of a new brand of TV is completely irrelevant to the future funding of the BBC.
It's not that you're not entitled to your opinion on the TVL. Even when it's at odds with mine. It's that the very mention of a TV in an article that isn't about the telly tax shouldn't rationally lead to this kind of nonsense.
The TfL information doesn't mention Mastercard once. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/26416.aspx
It says any contactless card carrying the symbol shown at the top of that page. Visa Paywave cards carry the symbol.
Re: Let me add to the chorus of comparison FAIL chanters
Oops, calculator fail. Yes, £440.83. So, we're being done for the eight quid an top of what I said before. Damn them.
Let me add to the chorus of comparison FAIL chanters
£529 - VAT = £432.20. In USD at today's mid-market rate, that's $694. So we're being screwed, but for approximately the thirty quid that the iPhone 5 costs on top of the 4S' launch price. Not a vast difference, although irritating - presumably it was an adjustment made to try to ensure that Apple always come out on top, even if the pound shifts a bit.
Seriously, there should be some sort of punishment for reporters who can't figure out the effect of VAT. It's not hard.
Apple-hating folk are as irrational as the sheeplike masses.
Apple's products are very good. They're less exciting than they were, but still very good.
I use Macs because I like Mac OS. I use Macs because they tend to irritate me less than Windows. I knowingly and willingly pay a premium for this.
I use iPhone because I like iOS. I use an iPhone because it tends to irritate me less than Android phones do. I knowingly and willingly pay a premium for this.
I use an iPad because I like it. I still think iOS has the edge as a tablet operating system. It has the best catalogue of tablet apps.
I don't think people who choose other devices, be they Windows, Android, or whatever else, are stupid or have made the wrong choice. As long as people have thought about the device they buy in a rational way, taken some advice (not necessarily from me, before you ask), confirmed that the device will do what they want in a way that suits them, then that's all good and well.
And yes, one valid reason might be that they might be able to get pretty much the same functionality as I've just admitted to having above for the thick end of a grand less than I paid.
A pint because quite a lot of people should probably chill out a bit, preferably with ale.
Re: Re-writing History
I had a couple of Orange SPV-and-similar-MS-phones. They were pretty flaky, but the thing that was great was the MSN Messenger client. I could chat with all my friends, even when stranded in rural Devon for a week, and the whole thing sipped data so sparingly that being wired to the thing 6-or-so hours a day cost less than £3/month on PAYG.
But no, they're a completely different class of device to the iPhone, which I resisted right up until the iPhone 4 on cost/scratchiness grounds.
I spare my disdain for those who can't spell it.
Erm, M Gale...
These rights are vital to the operations of, for example, my employer. They're a magazine publisher.
So the point of 'this whole thing' is that Whittingdale and chums are asking the IPO to start behaving like the organisation they're meant to be, and not cosying up to Google and the like.
Slightly longer period
Well, yes, you can get free 'Super-Saver' delivery. Which is fine for some things. But if it's a large or fragile item, that usually means that for no extra charge some bloke from "Craptacular Delivery Organisation" will drop-kick it over the wall and into your next-door-neighbour's pond for you rather than actually deliver it to your door.
Just ditching a Mac Mini...
...for another Mac Mini! At work. You're right - they're very fine desktop machines.
Actually found an unboxing video useful this week...
...it was set to weird music, but it did at least help me wind up which plug belonged to the 2nd gen Apple TV I was offloading for far more than I paid for it.
Back on-topic, though - watching the video showing off the keynote venue as we wait for the actual thing to start, it doesn't seem that low key to me!
I have one...
...and I know this isn't going to make me popular, and is tempting fate but it's working fine.
It does reek of crapness, though. For something that a lot of people are going to wind up lumbered with right next to their telly, it has appallingly bright LEDs. And there's one on the side, illuminating VM's logo very badly. I am looking forward to correcting this with tape.
Thank you, Google, for saving me money
If this had been priced at the honest currency conversion plus VAT, which would bring it out at £155.08 + VAT = £186 with some marketing rounding to £189, then I'd have been sorely tempted. Even allowing for some fluctuation and going with £199, this would appeal to me as something to waste my money on and regret like I did that £249 Dell Mini 10v the last time I decided I wanted a laptop which was tiny and light on features and power. By keeping it above £200, you've saved me. Thanks, Google!
I'm excited at the prospect of a decent Kindle competitor. The devices look fantastic - a lot classier than the Kindle Fire. I can imagine that the kind of customers B&N will get from John Lewis/Waitrose will turn out to be precisely what they're looking for - people who will keep the device for a long time rather than be obsessed with having the latest model, but far more importantly are likely to splash a lot of cash on content.
Re: Well done...
Surely this makes the scenario more likely, anonymous coward. Because the user would have to fork out money and take their life in their hands with an OS upgrade in order to upgrade to a later IE.
Thankfully, you can override this change by going in and hiding the facebook 'email address' and unhiding your proper email.
Not that that excuses it.
The Aero about-turn is an Apple-bashing exercise, perhaps
It seems to me that the volte-face on Aero is really a case of Microsoft trying to decide that Apple isn't cool on behalf of the user.
I'm not saying this as an Apple enthusiast, although I am one. I'm undecided as to how much I really like Apple's keenness for interfaces that resemble physical objects (like the Reminders app, iBooks, etc.), but I do think that Microsoft are trying to denounce that approach as passé by dumping on Aero.
Sadly for Redmond, I think that the difference is that Aero is trying to look 'shiny' by being all glass-like, whereas the iOS (and now Mac OS) style of resembling physical objects is about familiarity and simplicity at least as much as it is about gloss and luxury.
But both things can be cheesy.
Use a proper campaign emailer
Using a proper mailing list manager would definitely have been a good idea.
My day job involves emailing up to 65,000 people at a time. Yes, these are people who have intentionally opted in to receive the information concerned.
We've been using our (hosted) provider for a year and a bit. In that time, I've sent 6,000 blank emails and a couple with broken links. These were embarrassing, but at no point did someone get a big bunch of data about other people. What surprises me is that an organisation on the scale of Everything Everywhere hasn't got both access to a proper mailing list manager and adequate rules about using it.
A south-west London branch of the budget wing of a massive French hotel chain did this to me not so long ago. It was tempting to cc the ICO into the reply...
Re: And if you remove the friendly marketing speak:
Be interesting to get some clarity on consumer rights in this situation if this date was not mentioned when people coughed up.
It's more likely now though that something like this would be set up so that you rented the content via in-app payments and the app itself was a freebie, surely?
Re: Samsung joy
It's on order. My point is that these 'neat' little features, that are 95% excellent, are 100% pointless if nobody ever uses them. Samsung could have had me in a one-remote situation, but a bit of interface stupidity means two.
I have a lovely Samsung 32in Smart TV. I'm very pleased with it as a telly. The smart stuff isn't so great, though. Most of it crawls (especially the iPlayer's shiny new interface). And the main menu for the smart features is a mess the likes of which I could best equate with what used to happen when you installed a *lot* of programs onto Windows 3.1 and then tried to find the one you wanted.
Menu design on the Samsung is the best I've seen on a telly. And it's still rubbish. To solve the sluggishness (and obviously not so that I could play games or watch Blu-rays) I got a PS3. A great feature of the Samsung is that it will use HDMI-CEC (which Samsung confusingly calls AnyNet+ or something similarly meaningless) so that the TV remote will control the PS3 playback functions. This works well, except that to get to the DVD control menu on the PS3 once something is playing means going into three levels of submenu on the telly. Consequence? I can do it, but my girlfriend cannot. Because she cannot (and should not need to) be bothered to learn.
The main problem seems to be some seriously 'within the box' thinking. The Samsung Remote app for iPhone is good, but it could be so much better if there was a 'simple remote' view on one screen that still had buttons and labels.
The EU directive is drawn far too broadly. And yes, I am currently trying to work this out for a content site about 1/40 as busy as this one as part of my job. But I'm also a user who is fine with being tracked to a certain extent as long as companies understand that if it gets too creepy then it'll creep me out and I won't click.
Our online advertising is sold in-house, direct to the advertiser. The advertisers are generally pretty new to online, to the extent that I have to convert a lot of stuff from 'print-ready' PDFs into something we can actually display. No cookies, unless I missed something, apart from our own.
It is amusing to watch the ad industry try to work out how to deal with this massive pain in the arse of a legislation change, nearly a year after it is meant to have come into force.
What is personally driving me up the wall, though, is the complete head-in-the-sand approach of major analytics providers (think Chocolate Factory). They are in the plainly daft situation of advocating a 'wait-and-see' approach when their product is already technically non-compliant if installed as recommended.
Somehow I doubt Apple will be pooing themselves. £960 + VAT is £1150, so even assuming that there isn't any extra markup for getting a £ symbol on the keyboard, it's £100 more than the MacBook Air. Knock-offs ought to be cheaper than the real thing or there's no point.
Even if you think Mac OS is the spawn of a bald satan, it'll probably work out cheaper to buy the MacBook and then slam Windows onto the thing with Boot Camp.
Vodafone did a similar thing earlier in the year...
...when they rounded up their contract prices for existing customers to the nearest whole pound after having applied the VAT increase.
The contracts include terms which allow for increases up to and including the rate of inflation without allowing the customer to walk away.
I actually agree here
The 4S is the right move right now.
And I promise I'm not just saying that because I have the 4 on a 24-month contract. Although it does help - my phone isn't going to *look* obsolete for the next year. The 4S is a big step up and I would like it. I'd probably drop the £500 on getting it, but for two things:
1) I don't do a lot of graphic-intensive gaming.
2) Even if Siri is wonderful (and it does look cool), I can't see myself using it. I'd just get punched doing that on the Piccadilly line.
But for a lot of people, and in particular the people Apple needs to be targeting (non 4 owners - whether they're on the 3G/3GS or not yet assimilated), this is a much slicker proposition than any Android phone I've used - an extra notch on the build quality, extra polish on the UI, easy to keep organised. I don't care how many GHz my phone has, as long as it doesn't keep me waiting.
The week restriction was imposed by the BBC Trust to prevent the BBC crippling the DVD market. Which, of course, it makes money from through BBC Worldwide to supplement the licence fee.
And yes, Aussies have to pay for iPlayer because they don't already have to pay the BBC for content.
I actually like this
The BBC are going to get a huge amount of negative feedback from their more vocal users over this. This is partly because they always do with any change, but mostly because the small core of users who *do* customise their pages will hate having that taken away.
However, I like the changes. The BBC should be trying to create a common narrative with common talking points - mass media needs people to see the same things and talk about them with each other in order to be relevant. The new pages are a better showcase for BBC content and reflect a smaller BBC site that is to focus on BBC core output.
But it bears more resemblance to the intriguing (but not intriguing enough for me to spend money on it) new Windows 'tiles' interface than it does to anything Jesus-related.
Apple fans were always going to go wild for the iPad. It's an aspirational product and they know how to use it already. But Apple fans buy expensive hardware and want the newest, shiniest thing. It's not the 'cult of Jobs' aspect that drives huge sales - it's Apple's power with the people who have the money in their wallets to buy the kit.
For everyone else, I don't think it's just that other tablets are in Apple's huge shadow that causes the problem. I think that at the root of this, there's also something to be said for the fact that replacing computers is, for the home user, becoming more optional.
I've been replacing my laptops every three years - an Evesham (I know), then a Dell (again), and most recently one of those shiny new MacBook Pro 13" jobs. The first one I replaced because it was single-core and low on RAM, and it wasn't keeping up with everything I wanted to do with it. But the Dell was still perfectly fast and looked the part after three years of moderate use and despite running Vista. I replaced it only because the case was starting to fail - and now it will be reused as a backup and media streaming device - after all, it runs quietly.
I haven't bought an iPad. And I won't be buying any sort of tablet. This isn't because I don't want one. I can afford one too. But there's no compelling use case for which one of my existing devices won't do a very good job. And that would be the same if I hadn't bought a MacBook.
Recession or no recession, people don't want to spend the thick end of £500 on something that doesn't make their life that much easier, unless they only care about the shiny. And if you care about the shiny, then Apple's the brand for it. HP aren't cool like Apple are, despite the loveliness of WebOS.
If they really wanted something that was easy for the end user to use, and that isn't appallingly expensive, then surely FileMaker Pro? It would reduce the actual data entry side of things to just that - data entry.
I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's flexible, can support multiple users from a server, and can produce lovely reports.
Failing that, I suppose Access. But no, not Excel. Silly.
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