* Posts by Dave 126

4340 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Dave 126
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Re: Broken microSD and locked bootloader

I don't know when the Z3C will get Lollipop, but my Sony Xperia P was updated twice, first to ICS and then to JB - so Sony have done me well, so far. It was hardly a common phone, either.

Oh yeah, in addition to microSD, the Z3C comes with a USB OTG cable (microUSB male to USB A female) in the box.

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Dave 126
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Re: Usb charging flap

You can use Windows Explorer to transfer music to Sony phones - the Walkman app will still play them fine. An older version of the Walkman app wouldn't play WMA, I haven't tested the one on my Z3C yet.

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Dave 126
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Re: I think I may have chosen.. poorly

The screen protector included in the box with the Z3C is slightly matt, and feels nice to the touch.

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Dave 126
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Re: the lens protrudes slightly

They have - the flange is ever so slightly higher than the lens - I've just run my fingernail across it to confirm, since I can't tell by eye. Still, I have a case now.

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Dave 126
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Re: Questions...

>Also, never set Location Services to High Accuracy - it's another shameless battery drainer. Battery Saving Location mode is very adequate, and battery consumption is indeed very low.

Basically, those are the new terms for 'GPS on' and 'GPS off' - and annoyingly there isn't a quick toggle built in - seems to be a KitKat thing. Same idea as before - use GPS when you need to, don't when you don't. Easy.

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Dave 126
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Sony is not Sony Pictures (or Playstation Network), any more than the Samsung that makes phones is the Samsung that makes armoured personnel carriers. Related, yes, but not the same.

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Dave 126
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Re: How much were you paid to promote this?

I've had the Z3 Compact for about a week, and it's great. It can be had for under £400. However, the LG G2 - 5", Snapdragon 800, etc - has been seen for £150... Would I say the Z3C is twice as good? Not on paper, but it's hard to compare, because personally I wouldn't want a bigger phone than the Z3 Compact ( I can reach 2/3rds of the screen easily with my thumb, whereas I can only reach 1/3rd of the screen on a Nexus 5). My last phone was one of the few Androids that was the same size as a iPhone 4 - it wasn't the best for reading the Reg, but was a great size for using as a phone. Tch, all form engineering is compromises...

The official Sony case for the Z3 Compact is a bit of a disappointment. "PU Leather" is not a "premium material". It uses a popper - not a magnet - to hold itself shut (which adds bulk and is a faff), and there is no cut-away for the Z3C's handy notification LED (easy enough to fix, I guess). I wouldn't nit-pick if it was a tenner, but it cost Euro 40.

The window in the case might be the reason the reviewer noted that the Sony widgets wouldn't go full-screen.

I have a lovely 1960's Sony pocket radio with a black leather case with white stitching. What was extra cute was the matching 'piggy-back' case that contained a pair of earphones. My iRiver H320 came with a very similar case, as if in homage to classic Sony.

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The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Dave 126
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Re: The fad now leaving from platform 4 ...

>The problem is that the human eye has quite a restricted range of acceptable intensity levels. Look at something bright and you're dazzled and can have after-images for several seconds. Look at something dim just afterwards and you can't see it in detail until your iris expands out to let in enough light.

That can only serve to make the displayed image more realistic-looking. Of course, it would be irritating if it was abused, though.

>Current TVs are already able to display an image that is too bright to allow our eyes to see both the bright portions and the dim ones simultaneously.

Hmmmm.... I'm not yet convinced of that. Try:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dynamic-range.htm

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Dave 126
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Re: What The F...?!

>The idea of HDR video is to still take a series of single exposures, but each one has a wider range than currently.

There is also the technique of using a half-silvered mirror and two carefully aligned video cameras - one very sensitive (for dark areas), the other with a neutral density filter or whatever (for very bright areas).

Very handy if you ever have to use a remote-controlled welder - software can allow all of the workpeice to be viewed, not just the area close to the welding arc!

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Dave 126
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Re: What The F...?!

>The only useful reason for a sensor to have a higher dynamic range is to allow the photographer to manipulate how the information is compressed back down again in post processing

Not all 'output' is ink on paper, or a website. Example: using a camera with HDR (or exposure bracketing > post processing) to create an 'environment map' for illuminating virtual objects. It is important that enough dynamic range is captured so that a white object in a scene is distinguishable from a light-emitting object in a scene.

One can also image that HDR-capture would be essential for capturing the nuances of a stained-glass window or similar - each panel might vary in opacity, as well as hue, saturation and black-level (as well as reflectivity, transmission etc).

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Dave 126
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Re: The fad now leaving from platform 4 ...

The idea is that some parts of the image are very bright - this would improve viewing in rooms with bright light sources. Indeed, the whole idea is that the TV would better represent the range of light levels we see around us in the real world.

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Dave 126
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Re: What The F...?!

Actually it's the HDR label for photography that is the partial misnomer. To create those images, yes, more dynamic range must be captured, but it is then mapped (squashed) to fit the limited range of the output display - for ''artistic effect'.

With a capable display unit, no squashing would be necessary.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Dave 126
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Re: Mobile

Chrome on Android, on 4.1" screen: Reg works okay, main page is a bit of a faff (pan down, right, left, down etc). Double tapping on text in articles makes it big enough to read, and is easy to do. Writing a post in the forums is a bit of a faff.

On 4.7" screen: ditto.

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Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

Dave 126
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Re: Maintenance

>How long would a driverless car have to be on the road before any potential customer would open the door, see the state of the upholstery, discarded litter on the floor, etc. and just walk away?

Solution: Charge customers a fee if they leave the vehicle dirty or littered. This is easy - image recognition can be used inside the vehicle. The same system would allow lost property to be reunited with its owners - or even prevent customers from leaving their belongings in the first place.

For cleaning: Automated cleaning at stations

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Hipsters snap up iPod Classics for $$$s after Apple kills rusty gadget

Dave 126
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>I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb of storage out there for a reasonable price,

Try a Sansa Clip Zip, it appears they can work with 64GB cards:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/658955/sansa-clip-zip-micro-sd-64gb

I'd personally buy two Clip+ players (the older, monochrome display model) and two 32GB cards...

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Dave 126
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Re: hard drive players... ...any other candidates spring to mind?

The iRiver H1xx and H3xx series are very good. Their value also shot up after they were discontinued. Keeping them going was a cinch, as they took the same batteries as iPods - though the cable connector's polarity needs to be switched.

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Dave 126
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Re: hard drive players...

Cowon X7 - seems to be unavailable on Amazon.

Archos 5 IT - doesn't seem to be featured on their website anymore. It had a 500GB HDD, but it was a resistive-screened Android tablet.

iRiver gave up making HDD-based players years ago.

Personally, I'd look into a device that can play nice with big microSD cards.

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Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Dave 126
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Re: Physics.

>Ironically removing the issues of tight clearance and miniscule crumple-zone which causes a drop to generate serious damage in the first place.

[my emphasis]

Really?

Just buy a case - available on every high street for next to eff-all.

Regardless of whether its an Apple, Samsung, HTC or whatever phone- the user can buy a case for it that is suitable for the user's day-to-day environment. The user is a better judge of that environment than the phone vendor. Phones should not all be built like tanks, because that would limit the user's ability to balance bulk against resilience to their taste.

That said, a certain Japanese phone manufacturer has a well-received range of phones that feature nylon (as opposed to ABS) corners.

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Boffins find Jackie Chan's SUPERCOP is good for something

Dave 126
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Re: Surely there were more appropriate films to use?

Empire of the Sun?

Little Miss Sunshine?

Australia?

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Dave 126
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Re: Finally a use for Zoolander.

Zoolander - one of those films that is silly, but enjoyable if you just go with it. Similarly, The first couple of episodes of Vic and Bob's 'Shooting Stars' left me cold, but then something clicked and I now find it hilarious.

I can do Blue Steel AND Magnum.

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Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

Dave 126
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>artificial humans, not robots

Well, there is a spectrum. Could you not have a silicon 'barined' robot that used mammel-like systems such fibrous muscles and circulatory systems, or would you dub it an 'artificial badger'? The artificial people Ash and Bishop appear gooey and biological, but Bishop alludes to something like Asimov's 3 Laws.

Was it Brian Aldiss who wrote of prosthetic body parts for humans giving would-be robot builders 'off the shelf' components?

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You'll go APE for our new Gorilla Glass 4, Corning reckons

Dave 126
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Re: That's a Fail

> You've taken corporate dick up the arse and now you are fucked.

Advertising a company that employs people in their home nation? As companies go, I haven't heard of Corning being 'evil'. Unless you have evidence that the duo were misleading viewers, I don't understand your issue.

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Dave 126
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Re: Dutch tears and strained glass

>Trust me you do not want to be anywhere near when this happens. It is like a fragmentation grenade - sharp small shards fly out up to 5m in all directions.

Indeed that is the property the curiosities mentioned in the article demonstrate. Of the tadpole-shaped glass drops:

The very high residual stress within the drop gives rise to counter-intuitive properties, such as the ability to withstand a blow from a hammer on the bulbous end without breaking but explosive disintegration if the tail end is even slightly damaged.

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Rupert%27s_Drop

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Spawn of Galaxy Alpha and a Note 3 unveiled

Dave 126
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Another good Reg review, touching on the essential points. If I had one small criticism though, it would be that the phone is being compared to its predecessor, as opposed to phablets from other vendors... e.g does the S-pen become indispensable, or does it remain a merely 'nice-to-have' feature?

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

Dave 126
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Re: Unfair Contract Terms

That's the provisional view of the relevant local Trading Standards office, so the signs are good that sanity will prevail.

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Dave 126
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Re: Simples...

>If they take money from your CC, wouldn't you immediately go to the CC company and complain about an unauthorised payment?

The couple in the article have done just that, according the PM Programme on Radio4.

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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Dave 126
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>Makes sense and is totally logical.

>Scribbling letters works even on small screens,

And on any one small part of a big screen, too - handy for when holding tablet with one hand.

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Dave 126
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Re: why not here?

A poetic suggestion of Drake's Equation. Nice.

We are beginning to get some more data to plug into that equation, with more exo-planets being discovered. Some people believed that our moon is an unusual companion for our blue sphere, and that the tides it gives us might have allowed more complex molecules to form over successive wet/dry cycles.

Who knows.

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Dave 126
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Headmaster

Re: Secret mode?

Actually, the code for passing through something without the expected obstruction is IDSPISPOPD.

[Off-topic: Which game gave you invulnerability if you pressed F7 instead of Return at the Graphic Mode selection screen, then 'i' during the game? Hint: It was famed for its music, but not on the PC version.]

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THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS

Dave 126
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He meant AA. Or RAC, Green Flag or other roadside breakdown repair and recovery service. Unless he meant AA or AAA 1.5v cells, enough of which would power the probe.

AA is the Automobile Association in the UK, though we do have meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous too, apparently.

To be fair, the AAA - the American Automobile Association - is just as close to Rosetta as its British equivalent... but seeing as this is a European mission...

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Dave 126
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Re: Should have included some buttered toast on the feet

>Superglueing a cat to the bottom of it might do the trick.

>Oh, on second thoughts, that wouldn't help - it would spend even more of its time in sleep mode.

The cat would fall asleep in a sunbeam, though, allowing the batteries to recharge.

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Jony Ive: Apple isn't here to make money. And students shouldn't use computers so much

Dave 126
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I'd call it a result of the engineering and material science not catching up with green legislation.

It happens in the automotive industry too - emissions have to be ever lower, so engine designs aren't slowly refined over successive generations to be more reliable - instead they have to play catch up with the latest emission laws.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good to know what offends him

>Downvoted because this is obviously wrong - how can you even start to select the type of tooling if you don't have forecast production volumes?

Because the Product Designer works with the Manufacturing Engineers in selecting the tooling, taking their advice, learning from them, but ultimately taking the decision on which process to use. Before then, the Product Designer liaises with other parts of the company - which is where the volume forecast comes from in the first place.

Everything is inter-related - you can't design it until you know how you will make it. You don't know how you will make it until you know how many you will sell. You don't know how many you will sell until you have appraised how much you will sell it for. You don't know much you will sell it for until you have selected a process... and so on. Hence the importance of communication and working together.

Again, this is the difference between Industrial Design and Product Design.

According to you AC, you have have the engineers talking directly to the marketing and finance departments- and that is a recipe for someone getting hit by a spanner.

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Dave 126
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Re: So should we have good design or not?

>>as big as it is to take a UK 13 amp plug.

I much prefer British 13 Amp plus to the French ones, and I believe they are safer, too.

However, whilst I know the reasons why British light switches are mounted in a large mounting plate, nobody has answered why we don't put lovely big switches on them!

And another thing: Why aren't all newly built houses fitted with some Cat6 cable between rooms? It would cost eff-all to do before the walls are plastered. It is just a lack of thinking, a lack of care.

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Dave 126
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Re: So should we have good design or not?

>highly standardised for flexibility - a concept alien to Apple.

Actually, it seems to be a familiar concept for Apple:

If I walk into any supermarket or electronics retailer, I will find a wide choice of 3rd-party headphones designed to work with Apple devices. Not good for me, because I have an Android phone. Likewise phone cases and speaker docks... This is the case because whilst Apple headset sockets aren't an industry standard, nor are their 13 or 9 pin connectors, they command a large enough market share to be an ersatz standard.

Annoyingly, not all Android TRRS 3.5mm connectors the same... I have seen some Sennheiser headsets sold as being for Samsung Galaxy S4/5 phones, and I know that Sony have used some different resistor values across their range... Grr! I sometimes wish Google had exerted some influence to bring about a standard wired Android headset spec, and a standard Android docking solution.

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Dave 126
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Re: Those "6 months" are your advantage to make money, eejit.

@Mage

> The whole Jony Ive story is a fairy tale.

Is it?

The story is: son of a northern craftsman studies product design, is noted by his tutors for thinking about how products are actually made, doesn't find a British company that sees that good design can further its business, decamps to California, is hired by Apple and eventually noticed by Steve Jobs who wishes to mark a change in company he has returned to.

Ive isn't a genius, and has never claimed to be. It isn't that Apple are 'magical', but that their competitors don't always get the importance of good design. These companies may have some talented designers, but have some ignorant managers who were promoted out of the sales department. Jony Ive's designs would count for little if they had been released at the wrong time, or at the wrong price... instead they worked in concert with Apple's strategy, supply chain, and yeah, business muscle. Had Sony not made a few mis-steps, we might be talking about them here today (they were exploring music download and steaming services plus associated devices and UIs in 1998 and, like a c 2001 Job's 'Digital Hub' keynote speech, were planning to place their VAIO - visual audio input output - PCs to be that hub. Before the iPhone, Sony had the Palm-powered Clie, and some experience of phones... Whatever.)

To follow Dieter Rams' principles of good design does take time and effort - and this doesn't happen when the management just want to ship a box with 'good enough' specs. It also doesn't happen when the consumers are only buying the product with the biggest numbers - witness the nineties PC market (Mhz! MBs!), or the digital camera Mega-pixel race.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yeah, the iPhone 6 camera certainly wasn't the result of careless design

It's not indestructible, but the only time you really need to worry about setting it down on a surface is if you are in a workshop or a building which is having work done - dust from diamond cutting disks can damage it.

That's how I've put two very light scratches on the face of my watch. By contrast, the stainless steel bezel that surrounds it is covered in little scratches from over a decade of carelessness on the part of its owner.

I've also heard of diamond jewellery damaging sapphire-faced watches, if you or your SO are into bling.

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Dave 126
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Re: Too easy.

>Saying students shouldn't use computers so much is like saying (back in my day) that kids shouldn't watch so much television.

When he spoken about this before, Ive's point was that was that it was usually better for the designer to shape a piece of clay or foam by hand than it was to use CAD and a 3D printer. By spending time working with the shape and holding in their hand, the designer can get a better feel for the object.

There is a lot to be said for being able to sketch well by hand - still a very fluent way to get 'hard copy' out of your head. CAD is absolutely essential to bringing a mass-produced product to market, but not at all stages of the design process. CAD is designed to be easy to use. CAD is designed to hold your hand through established manufacturing processes.

There are analogies to other fields; Keith Richards saying that he always judges a new song on an acoustic guitar before plugging in, or those authors who still use a typewriter... spell checkers, squiggly green lines and talking-feckin-paper-clips are not essential.

As a child, my piano teacher had a Yamaha DX-7. I had more fun exploring the funny noises it made than actually learning how to express music though my fingers. As an adult, some more musical ability would bring me more joy than a grasp FM synthesis.

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Dave 126
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Re: sticky out camera on the iPhone6

Maybe. At least it gives you some tactile feedback so you don't obscure the lens with your finger when you take a picture. True, it does protrude, and therefore might cause an issue when putting it your pocket. Perhaps.

You could say exactly the same of a phone with big raised volume buttons - "Great!" you think, if you live in cold climes and regularly wear gloves. "Nasty!" you think, as the phone's buttons snag on the pockets of your linen trousers on the way to the beach.

Product Design, like Engineering, is often about making decisions - compromise is inevitable.

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Dave 126
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Re: Design museum

>Surely good design should stick in your memory?

Not necessarily. A traditional 'double diamond' bicycle frame is a piece of good design, but it isn't memorable.

Often the best pieces of design are those that we don't notice, because they haven't annoyed us.

We notice some impenetrable plastic blister packaging because it annoys us. Doubly so if the product it contains is a pair of scissors.

We notice a piece of furniture with sharp corners because we have just bashed our shin on it.

We notice a car stereo because it has, for some stupid reason, two buttons to change the volume instead of a simple knob.

If you are going to notice a well designed object, the best thing you can think of it is "Ah, that's simple - why didn't I think of it?", or "Why aren't they all like that?". I had a scroll-wheel music player before the iPod was introduced - a Sharp MD722 MiniDisc player. I then had an iRiver H320 - technologically superior to its rival, the 3rd gen. iPod, in every way - but it would have been much nicer to use if it had a scroll-wheel to navigate long lists of albums.

In the early nineties, I visited Czechoslovakia as it was then. Nearly everywhere had single-handled mixer taps (up/down = on/off, left/right = hot/cold) which we hadn't yet seen in the UK. The advantage was clear - easy to use with soapy hands, or even with your wrist if your hands were covered in the very much you wished to wash off. The advantages easily outweighed the extra costs associated with what must be a more complicated mechanism than a tradition tap. We were left with the thought "Why are these everywhere here, but unknown in the UK?"

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Dave 126
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Re: Good to know what offends him

>"I would draw the similarity between Architects and civil engineers. Clothes designers and tailors, Car designers and production engineers. In all cases the former has the freedom to think without the constraint of what's possible or practical The latter professions then go. How the fuck do we build this.. and at that price, by next wednesday."

I think you've just identified the difference between an Industrial Designer and a Product Designer - Ive is of the latter camp.

Here's an example: The designer of the first Sony Playstation insisted on a vent design that required the injection mold tooling to pull away in two directions when the case was being formed, even though the engineers had wanted just a simpler, cheaper perf pattern. The designer, a Mr Teiyu Goto, knew things that the engineers didn't - he knew where Sony where aiming to pitch the product in the market against the incumbents Sega and Nintendo (Sony had been working with Nintendo on a 'Playstation' in 1990, but Nintendo pulled out). The strategy extended to the marketing of the Playstation, as well as the games commissioned for it (such as the clubber-friendly WipEout) - creating its image as a console for young adults, not just children. The Playstation hardware and software accounted for nearly 25% Sony's profits for 1997, so Mr Goto was vindicated. He went on to design the first VAIO desktop and laptop.

A Product Designer will understand the production techniques, and will be able to make an informed decision on whether a design decision is worth the extra production cost - or other costs, such as battery life vs weight. The engineers won't have all the information to make these decisions - they won't know, for example, projections of many units will be manufactured over the next 12 months. The key points here are teamwork and communication between experts in different fields, and for that to work the designer (or as Dieter Rams calls it, the 'Form Engineer') needs at least enough knowledge to converse with these experts. He needs to understand their input, and to communicate his/her views to them.

An Industrial Designer just makes a pretty case to stick over the box that the engineers have already made. As William Gibson will tell you, the first Industrial Designers were recruited from Broadway, as they were theatre set dressers.

- Digital Dreams - The Work of the Sony Desaign Centre 1999 ISBN 9780789302625

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Dave 126
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Re: Good to know what offends him

>"We can only conclude from this that Jonny Ive is cunt of the first order"

Er? So, your logic:

Ive is offended by badly designed objects. On the basis that there are far, far worse things in this world, this makes him a "cunt of the first order" according to you. Um... so what order of cunt do you consider the people who are committing the murders and torturing etc, since the very idea of downgrading their offensiveness offends you?

Confused.

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Dave 126
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Re: Did he at least elaborate what's supposed to be so great about the iPhone design

>I'm assuming he talks about the exterior design.

He's talking about the whole phone. The design work might be divided into teams, but ultimately the user will use the phone as a single undivided object, so the design process should bear that in mind. At a very simple level, the software should work with the hardware human input devices.

>However it does have some serious industrial design issues.

He's not an industrial designer, he's a product designer.

>Less obvious is the lack of a keyboard causing you to have to resort to soft keyboard.

Resort to a soft keyboard... any number of hard Bluetooth keyboards from the tiny to the full size, so you can choose one that suits you.

You might even wish to support the young lad who used an Arduino to make a 'chorded typing' key case for phones.

>The most obvious is that the display glass extends over the whole surface of the device. That makes it very likely to break when it falls down

This is true of many touch-screen phones. Again, it credits the user with enough wit to customise it to their specific situation.

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Dave 126
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Re: So should we have good design or not?

er... Jony Ive uses many things other than computers, so therefore we can assume he uses many things that aren't made by Apple. Toothbrushes, cars, shoes, ovens, pencils, knives, whatever.

Shit, when he started at Apple, he didn't even use an Apple-branded computer for his design work because that kind of CAD software wasn't available for Mac OS (it may well have been still on the mainframe).

I don't own any Apple kit, and I'm still offended by bad design - in hardware or in software. Sometimes when using using a product you just get the sense that the designer doesn't use this thing themselves - because if they did, they wouldn't have made it so annoying to use.

Bad design is the standard British light switch - a 100mm x 100mm square of plastic, and the only useful bit is 12mm x 25mm, of which only a 12mm x 10mm will actually do anything and even then it has sharp uncomfortable edges and requires some force to actuate. The French have switches where the entire 100mm x 100mm surface is a switch, so the lights can be turned on with your elbow as you enter a room whilst carrying a tea tray.

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Dave 126
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Re: Those "6 months" are your advantage to make money, eejit.

>Yeah, and they [phones] were far more usable back then, with the stylus, than they are now.

Comparing multiple fingers to a single stylus is akin to comparing oranges to a single banana. The stylus gives you more point accuracy and perhaps pressure readings, but the use of multiple fingers gives modifiers. Horses for courses: a drawing app will be better with a stylus, whereas an app that simulates an audio mixer may work better with fingers. Sometimes you use a mouse, sometimes you use a joystick.

It is clear to anyone with a stopwatch that the act of removing a stylus from a phone (or from your pocket, or from behind your ear) incurs a time penalty... looking for the damned thing when you've dropped it even more so. In product design, this is known as an 'offline' issue - an aspect of a product's design that affects the user when they are not actively using it.

Now, some older phones are more efficient for some tasks - one could literally navigate an old Nokia blindfold, because the menus were numbered, so [Menu] [6] [2]* would bring up the voice recorder before you'd brought the phone to your lips.

* These are made up numbers, so don't blame me if you accidentally set your old Nokia to Japanese.

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I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm

Dave 126
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Re: Still waiting

I've often thought about that - my main hypothesis at the moment is that women's sexuality is considered less threatening than men's:

-The Diet Coke Man is a strong lad, and could fight the women off if he wanted to. He isn't going to be fearful. (men are generally stronger than women).

-However, I doubt he wants to. (evolutionary, the cost to a bloke is half an hour of his time, the cost to a women could be pregnancy and years of raising a child - so she's likely to be fussy about where half the kid's DNA comes from).

-The, um, mechanics of the, erm, deed, are such that it is difficult for women to take advantage of an unwilling partner.

- He might get swooned at a couple of times a week. Many women receive unwelcome comments every five minutes if they walk down a busy street.

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Dave 126
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Re: He's in good company...

Wasn't it Richard Feynman who cheerfully admitted to attending strip clubs?

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SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION

Dave 126
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Re: I did this last year with Scan / 3XS

There are a few definitions of 'Workstation'. In CAD, for example, it would mean that the exact-same system had been tested by the vendors of your CAD software, and would likely mean a 'Pro' graphics card (even if it was the same silicon as a much cheaper gaming card, its drivers would be different - but I believe the silicon is a bit different these days). Mission-critical simulations would require ECC RAM and a compatible CPU, too.

Most of the time consumer parts (GeForce or Radeon instead of Quadro or FirePro, i7 instead of Xeon) will work well enough, but there is a business case for spending more to make sure problems don't arise at the worst possible moment.

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Dave 126
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Re: I did this last year with Scan / 3XS

The article asked us commentards for ideas for a possible podcastabout system building. The discussion above between CADmonkey and others suggests that the Reg could have an article/thread about the pros and cons of buying a system versus 'rolling your own'.

I haven't used Scan myself, but I remember that they used to advertise heavily in the MCad magazine (dead tree).

The last time I helped buy all the components for a 'roll your own' system, we took ideas (and bought some parts from) QuietPC.com. Again, I can't vouch for their systems, but I have no reason to believe that they are not competent. Their systems are guaranteed.

The machine was 100% silent. Lovely. SSDs mean no disk noise. An i7 3770 S has a lower TDP than the K variant that overclockers like (and well within the 95W rating of the NoFan CR-95C fanless cooler we used - it's heavy and pricey). As it was a machine for audio and music, the Intel HD Graphics 4000 was more than good enough for purpose - so no discrete GPU to cool.

Here's the thing - the researching, choosing, ordering and building the components took some time, as did seeking out and installing the latest drivers and a little bit of troubleshooting. There is a fair chance that QuietPC's (or whoever's) complete system markup is good value compared to your time. (Though I enjoyed the project, working with my friend).

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Hey, Apple! We can land a probe on a comet, but we can't have a 12.9in iPad 'until mid-2015'?

Dave 126
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>So maybe the fruity types are working night and day to get it to run on ARM architecture, enabling a hybrid iOSX.

It's been done already in its Darwin form: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/07/mac_osx_on_arm/

If Apple were to try an OSX tablet, it would be for a reason - perhaps by focusing on the productivity software that might benefit from a touch / stylus interface. This might include Apple's own music and video productivity suites, or 3rd-party software such as Photoshop.

>That strategy worked out beautifully for Microsoft.

It could be said that the iPad itself was treading where MS had been before (WinXP Tablet Edition) - suggesting that the devil is in the implementation. Apple haven't made any radical changes to OSX ( a la Windows 'Metro', or MS's war on menus) but instead they have gently introduced some iOS features such as 'pinch to zoom'.

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