* Posts by Oli Wright

106 posts • joined 29 May 2007

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Valve uncloaks prototype Steam Machine console specs

Oli Wright

Weighted companion cube surely?

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The Old Reader drops Google refugee eviction plan

Oli Wright

Re: Too late

Yup. Also moved to Feedly (having found the interface to be better than I remember on first investigation) and upgraded to Feedly Pro. Tiny Tiny RSS got a look in but API issues have prevented support in apps like gReader so it got ditched rather quickly.

I'd probably still be on The Old Reader if they hadn't made such an absolute statement of cutoff with a short deadline. The latter likely caused a lot more people to jump that might otherwise have hung on in case of just this situation.

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Google slides its soft finger-fondling into any willing Android doodad

Oli Wright
Stop

Re: No left/right keys = no good

Before the conspiracy theorists get started on the permissions, there's this from the "What's New" section:

• Updated system permissions for integrated dictionary downloader and new-user setup wizard.

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Microsoft splashes big bucks to blast Google Apps

Oli Wright
Stop

FUD Spread

Who better to spread FUD than Rob "Anti-Vax" Schneider.

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Google 'will be pulled back in front of MPs' on its UK tax affairs

Oli Wright

privacy etc.

Just going to leave this here:

https://www.eff.org/who-has-your-back-2013?support_whyb=1&social=1

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Google to devs: Fragmenting Android is AGAINST THE RULES

Oli Wright
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Re: Fixed it for fa.

Spot on with your first one.

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Nvidia heralds Steam for Linux debut with 'double-speed' drivers

Oli Wright

“Steam gaming platform that officially opened to gamers today”

Yes, but I'm assuming that date is in Valve time and so is actually going to be next quarter ...

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Asus pledges Android 4.2 update for Google Nexus 7

Oli Wright
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Re: Looking forward to that

Thumbs up on the keyboard layout bit. Got quite peeved when I discovered that. If you're rooted and happy to have a bit of a fiddle then there are ways around it (not that you should need to). Posted up the way I did it here: http://floor4.co.uk/2012/08/07/nexus-7-bluetooth-keyboard-and-uk-layout/

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Rumour: Asus rejects $99 Nexus 7... rumour

Oli Wright
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Re: "Google Play shop to which the Nexus 7 is tightly tied"

Well said that man. Unfortunately El Reg seems to often get facts wrong about Android in their articles. Would've thought the fact that Apple won't answer their calls would give them more time to learn about other platforms.

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Google Nexus 7 blighted by brightness blunder

Oli Wright

Re: Mine is ok

@Gizzit101 To be fair, there were a lot of cock ups with the addresses ("Gordon House" wasn't the only issue - mine had a scrambled postcode - and as every person I spoke to at TNT was aware of the issue I don't think it was a tiny number, but certainly not "every delivery") and the service to resolve it was bloody awful. The screen hasn't been a problem for me though.

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Google Nexus 7 shipping cock-up enrages fandroids

Oli Wright
Flame

Wow

Read this, double checked with TNT (as it was meant to be coming today) and asked to verify the address. Postcode completely wrong. Round of applause there. Same story as others: can't get it changed as the distributor won't allow it.

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Google makes money on Nexus 7... just

Oli Wright
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Re: Additional costs

Thanks

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Oli Wright

Additional costs

Have you got a breakdown anywhere of how iSuppli calculated the additional costs over manufacture per unit? Would be interesting to see how they worked it out from general product line costs (marketing, software, support, bulk shipping) and individual item costs (packaging, Play store credit [not real money of course but there must be a cost]).

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Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Oli Wright

Re: 85 percent?

Well, it'll be about a month by the time the Nexus 7 hits, and I don't think that's a massive ask from a dev perspective (given this is an incremental upgrade). Can't remember which talk it was in but there was something about getting the JB source out early to device manufacturers so maybe there's something similar with top devs? Doubt it, but it's possible.

Anyhoo, not convinced there are many "big" apps not working.

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Oli Wright
Stop

Re: 85 percent?

"to allow dev's to update their apps before launch is a big fail"

Well they kind of have. The SDK was available on day 1 of I/O and I understand the current build on the Nexus is still a beta?

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Oli Wright

Re: Want

I'm torn on this issue. I do want all of my devices to be connected all of the time, but I'm not sure I *need* all my devices connected all of the time. One of the reasons I'm happy I've ordered a Nexus 7 is that I'm moving from a PlayBook. With the PlayBook I really hated the lack of a connection, and that's because the tablet seemed to constantly remind you of that fact. The system really didn't seem to cope with being disconnected elegantly, whereas with Android I'm normally happy losing my connection while down in the tube. My gMail and offline cache on gReader (third party - well worth a look though) are there for me to go through and deal with without ever once complaining that they can't sync right at that minute.

p.s. "Faffing setting up tethering"? Come on! For me that's one press on a widget :) Having said that, I haven't used an iPhone to tether and if it's anything like the number of presses required just to turn bluetooth on on my iPod I understand your pain.

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Microsoft's Surface plan means the world belongs to Android now

Oli Wright
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Re: Phonegap and Appcelerator

You forgot the real benefit of using PhoneGap. Straight from the Getting Started guide for Android it'll teach you the excellent practice of requesting as many permissions as possible. This will in turn endear you to your users and to every other person who wants to see users paying attention to what permissions they accept.

No, wait, I have something backwards there ...

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Fake Angry Birds app makers fined £50k for shock cash suck

Oli Wright
Childcatcher

@DrXym

"It could be fixed in a manner such as I suggested. Cyanogenmod already features functionality to override services on a per app basis. It just needs to be implemented in the standard Android build so it can percolate out into all devices and become the default behaviour."

I totally agree that this *could* be done, but it would then potentially require a change to all apps to react to this, as you design with the assumption that you get what you have asked for as otherwise there's no install. As I said, it's a matter of opinion as to which way you want to go, but it's not an explicitly broken model. It offers controls, and some people don't pay them enough attention. A second layer of confirmation would then introduce annoyances for some while protecting others - it's going to be a matter of personal choice as to which you think is best and in this case they haven't gone with that.

A better solution would be to encourage people to care about the permissions more and, as someone said above, a big problem is permission bloat from lazy developers. I avoid apps with too many permissions, but I can understand that some users start to, as a result, treat permissions in the same way I treat most EULAs. Scrolly scrolly, accepty accepty. Read? Nah. Already have too many of those long things to read.

Unfortunately this is where Google fail massively IMHO. The dev documentation really doesn't stress the benefits of aiming for mimimum possible permissions, big publishers are pretty lax about their own requests so set a bad example, and the market (sorry, Play) doesn't enforce detailed per-description permissions to make devs think about what they're putting in. Google could influence all of these factors. I had a look at PhoneGap the other week and was appalled to see in their getting started guide they just suggest pasting in a massive list of permission requests to the Android manifest! That sort of rubbish really doesn't help keep the permission bloat low.

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Oli Wright
Stop

Re: One more time -

"Android's model is broken because once you install you have no second chance to modify the permissions. It's obvious some people do not read the permissions or do not understand the dangers of leaving them open."

That doesn't mean that the model is broken ... it means that it doesn't operate the way you think it should and that people are ignoring the safeguards put in place. Nothing broken about it.

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Watchdog tells Greenpeace to stop 'encouraging anti-social behaviour'

Oli Wright
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@OzBob

Must depend whether or not you wear a superhero costume. Works for those fathers for justice chaps :)

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'Shame on the register to post wrong informations'

Oli Wright
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@OP

Agree with almost all you say, except one thing (and don't wholly disagree):

"Most of the remotely "legitimate" reasons for priacy have long since been stripped away (I want it in an MP3 format, it's over-priced) or are rapidly being stripped away."

The only caveat I'd put here, where it relates to the argument of "I pirate so I don't get a product neutered by DRM", is that these reasons are still alive and kicking and, in some cases, getting worse in the game industry. Always having to be online to play, etc. etc. Certainly it tends to be limited to certain studios (Ubi ...) and many are providing much better solutions (gotta love Steam tbh - reasonably unobtrusive and the trade-off of control is that they backup all your games for you*), but I wouldn't say in that case that it's "rapidly being stripped away".

* or, more cynically, they're holding onto all the games they sucker me into buying in their quite daftly awesome sales until I can spare the install space

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Fanboys excited by ancient Google Qwerty Nexus plan

Oli Wright
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Bought a second hand one on eBay recently for a test device. Looks like it has had a good life yet is still a great little performer (have stuck CM5 on it) and the keyboard mechanism is impressively solid.

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Google Drive stalls on LAUNCH DAY

Oli Wright
Stop

Rant comment accidentally posted as news?

But, for this Mac user, there is no download link and a piece of text on the top right of the screen says: "Your Google Drive is not ready yet."

Well Google, which is it? Is the damn drive ready or not?

Erm. Well it exists as a product that they're rolling out but it does quite plainly state that your drive is not yet ready. I think that answers your question ....

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With this ring, I thee frag

Oli Wright
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Wedding Music

Personally I'm picturing someone running down the aisle to "Playing With Danger".

http://tf2wiki.net/wiki/Soundtrack

Bridesmaids with uber for the train maybe?

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Just like a real computer: Android gets Android IDE

Oli Wright
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Oh you basts

That's taken away one of my "I shouldn't buy a tablet yet as it can't do ..." items. *shakes fist*

This'll be perfect for those moments when I want to go for a smoke but also have an idea on the go.

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Google, Asus co-brand tablet to take on Amazon Kindle Fire

Oli Wright
Stop

@AC 13:29

I think you should also watch those blinkers when you're reading that article. A more correct statement would be "use Google's services when distributing through other Google services". Until (and I will be surprised if it is) it's announced that this tablet only allows apps through the Android Market (nope, not calling it Play yet) then I don't see the problem.

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It never ends: TV exposé tags new Android privacy howler

Oli Wright
Stop

Re: Permission blocking

"We need the ability to block individual permissions on an item by item basis - not just "if you install this we'll do all these things"."

Still needs to be a mandatory vs optional thing (and so can be done in app with the current system if the developer could be bothered - and obviously if you trust them). If I'm making an app whose functionality depends on a particular permission (camera access say), there's no point making it available if you're going to block said permission (and likely then complain in the reviews when the feature doesn't work).

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Belkin Power Pack 4000

Oli Wright
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Re: Power...

Just to be clear, the upvote is for the power monkey as a product, not that use case ...

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Ten... top iOS games

Oli Wright
Stop

The Troll

Don't feed it.

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Ten... top Android games

Oli Wright
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Anomaly - Warzone Earth

Picked this up in the recent Humble Bundle. Fantastic time waster.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.elevenbitstudios.AnomalyWarzoneEarthHD&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5lbGV2ZW5iaXRzdHVkaW9zLkFub21hbHlXYXJ6b25lRWFydGhIRCJd

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Asus outs 1920 x 1280 Android ICS tablet

Oli Wright

Re: At last, a pad worth having?

Keep an eye on this:

http://signup.andedit.com/

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UltraViolet passes million download mark

Oli Wright
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Sounds great but ...

Until they sort out their signup processes to have secret questions that can be used by everyone then I'm not registering. Tried pointing out to them that favourite song / favourite colour / street you grew up on questions don't apply universally but haven't seen any change.

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iOS 5 'crashes more apps' than Android

Oli Wright
Meh

I'd rather see a pure Android analysis

Show me a breakdown of crashes by whether or not the bloody thing has Sense on it. I'm sure the crap installed by HTC caused most of my woes before I finally got Cyanogenmod installed.

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Congress puts PIPA and SOPA on back burner

Oli Wright
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It was worth following that link purely for the comment using the measure "metric fuckton".

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'Mobiles bake men's balls' bog ad is cobblers - new ruling

Oli Wright

"it just seems to be the Anonymous Cowards"

I'd hope you can drop the s ... probably only one nutter multi-posting.

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Asus Zenbook UX31E

Oli Wright
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Glad to see a good'un

After the abysmal reviews I've been reading of some of the other non-air ultrabooks, it's nice to see a positive one. If they had gotten this to market a few months ago I'd probably have ended up with one of these rather than an air as the early photos looked great. Unfortunately I have no willpower and wanted my tech then. Still, whenever my current machine becomes obsolete it's nice to know the non-Apple crowd aren't completely useless.

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Malicious apps infiltrate Google's Android Market

Oli Wright

Just to add a quick example to illustrate the point - do you really expect an app whose entire functionality is based around taking pictures with the camera, which has:

a) explicitly requested the camera permissions

b) excluded itself from devices without cameras

to be checking for permission exceptions when using the camera? That's not good practice, that's redundant code.

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Oli Wright

Probably requesting it for admob - although there it's actually optional for the developers to request the permission (by design). Still, no excuse for them not saying as much in their market description ...

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Oli Wright
FAIL

RE: rubbish engineers

You're missing the point. This isn't about basic exception handling. This would mean you'd have to consider the functionality you've built your app around to be optional somehow. It's a change to design. The whole point of having a standard platform and then a permission set requested at runtime is to guarantee that functionality is available to you. Besides, there should not be a security exception as you have actively asked for that access using the mechanism provided to do so.

Also, I'd like to direct you to the below excerpt from the android documentation on the subject. What is it with people commenting on android development without actually reading the documentation?

Often times a permission failure will result in a SecurityException being thrown back to the application. However, this is not guaranteed to occur everywhere. For example, the sendBroadcast(Intent) method checks permissions as data is being delivered to each receiver, after the method call has returned, so you will not receive an exception if there are permission failures. In almost all cases, however, a permission failure will be printed to the system log.

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Oli Wright
Meh

RE: Permissions - Could be better

I half agree. Justification of permissions is a must. There's no reason that any developer should be asking for a permission without being able to explain it (whether that explanation is a lie is another matter altogether ...).

The denial's a tougher one. Two aspects of this would punish developers:

- A lot more work needs to go into managing each feature of your app as you don't know up front that you have permission to do something that you explicitly request in the manifest.

- This could potentially kill all free ad-supported apps if everyone blocked network access.

A compromise would be to allow developers to have two levels of permission request - mandatory and optional. Where something can be safely disabled, allow it to be done by the user. Where it's an integral part of the app, make it mandatory. If you don't want to grant the permission, don't install the app. Simples. Having the optional permissions then controlled at the OS level gives you the additional peace of mind if you don't trust an in-app "don't send this data" option.

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Oli Wright
Boffin

A redesign of all the apps as well. I think it would risk introducing a lot more apps that give an unsatisfactory user experience (due to permission failures).

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Oli Wright
Terminator

Google needs to educate, but not just users

While I think the tone in some parts of this article is a bit off ("allowed" them to be downloaded - makes Google sound malicious), this paragraph here covers exactly where the problem lies:

"With so many Android apps requiring access to geographic-location data, messaging functions, and other sensitive resources, Google has yet to educate users how to tell legitimate requests from illegitimate requests."

I would extend this a bit though as it also needs to educate developers. It's hard to educate users when permissions become as much of a pain to check as a EULA. The problem isn't that the permission system is wrong, it's that developers ask for too many / the wrong permissions. As some chap mentioned earlier, when TETRIS FREE was first released it asked for all sorts of permissions (SMS included) that it DID NOT NEED (I'm basing that assertion on the fact they eventually removed said permissions - never did answer my question why they had them in the frist place). Google needs to put a few more warning signs in place between development and the market to stop developers and say "look, are you really sure you need these. really? really???? 'cos it's only going to piss off your users if you're wrong". Anyway, a bit more waffle along these lines at the link I posted under the TETRIS FREE comment.

p.s. That Sophos blogger can f*ck right off with his exclusion approach. Blanket restriction is the lazy way out - how many times do devs suffer this sort of crap in corporate systems, preventing them doing their jobs.

No android icon so this'll have to do ...

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Oli Wright
Stop

The permissions are requested from and granted by the user at install time. No need to introduce more UI irritations - that will just impact legitimate use.

Also: http://www.androiduipatterns.com/2011/12/quick-ui-tip-avoid-popups.html

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Oli Wright
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Some chaps have tried this

http://appoozle.com/

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Oli Wright
Stop

Actually I can back him up on that

As I bitched about it at the time:

http://floor4.co.uk/2011/08/30/android-and-the-unexplained-permissions/

Screenshot of the permissions for TETRIS FREE on release in there.

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Politicians call for Modern Warfare 3 censure

Oli Wright
Stop

"bearing a remarkable resemblance to the tragic events of 7 July 2005"

Yes, I recall reading about the flatbed trucks chasing the tubes in a high speed gunfight in 2005.

My only hope is that someone has actually been turned into a violent psychopath by MW3 and decides to attack Keith Vaz.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Oli Wright
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Strangely I've heard some people tell that it's offered them surprising performance on low specs. Wonder if there's some specific hardware combos that have a bit of extra oomph in the code.

Agree on the regular save though. I keep getting CTDs, although generally after quite a bit of play (and more recently, just after slaying a dragon *sob*). Other than that, I've not witnessed any major bugs - after New Vegas this has pleased me!

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Oli Wright

I was really hoping that was a guide to using eighteen hotkeys ...

Worth noting that the Y/N keys also work when asked a Yes/No question in crafting / inventory interfaces.

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Steve Jobs named most influential game guy – ever

Oli Wright
Stop

Assume that should have read "the conclusions of 1,000 Zynga executives"?

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ISPs end PM's web smut block dream

Oli Wright
Stop

I remember campaigning last month for them to come round and help me apply some sunscreen because I was too lazy to protect myself. Bone idle bastards only told me about the existence of sunscreen. I had a good whinge about it and the government came in and blocked out the sun for me.

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