3885 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
I don't want to email whilst driving, but occasionally I do have ideas ( or remember some item I need to get from town) when behind the wheel, and a Dictaphone of sorts would be nice. If it isn't a standalone button on the dashboard, then a voice activated system would be fine - I wouldn't want to be fumbling with my phone.
WTF El Reg?
That was a very noisy Microsoft Dynamics advert that accompanied this article. The Reg doesn't normally feature noisy adverts (if you did, I'd mute before visiting), so how did that one slip through?
Re: HD + SSD management
>The idea of merging my hard drive and SSD into one logical volume appeals to me but I'm not going to do it until it's officially supported by Apple.
It's part of OSX's CoreStorage inherited from when they were flirting with ZFS, and it's used in many a new Mac. If it goes tits-up, you have your Time Machine hourly back ups- right?
I just don't think it's Apples' style to officially sanction this on machines they have already sold you.
That said, the law of diminishing returns suggests that it won't speed up your system appreciably over your current set-up, since your OS and applications are already on the faster drive; a large part of Fusion Drive's intended appeal (when implemented on brand new machines) is to not even bother the user with the fact that there are two disks in the first place.
>What x86 tablet has a Haswell i5 with 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD? The only one I can think of is the Surface Pro 2, which costs $999, i.e., exactly the same as an 11.6" MacBook Air.
I was going to say THIS! but it has an i7 and a minimum of a 256 GB SSD. Ho Hum.
Re: great article!
>I can't wait for the missus's MacBook Pro to conk out now. Any tips for speeding this up? ;)
Fire. And lots of it.
Re: Why DO you need to upgrade?
I have the same impression here, JDX; my Core 2 Duo 4GB laptop has been fine for the level of 3D CAD I've been using it for, for several years now. I could upgrade the RAM, but I haven't needed to. Maybe once a month or so I'll set it a few tasks where a faster CPU would cut the job down from twenty minutes to five... but I can live with that.
Once I'd installed all my software, I even made a disk image of C: in anticipation of Windows 7 crufting up in the future, but I haven't cause to use it yet.
Intel seem to think the same, since they emphasise the power saving benefits of their new CPUs above any gains in performance.
Through the nineties and into the 2000s, no computer ever seemed quite quick enough... it seemed that as soon as the hardware improved Windows would try silly graphical effects, or new versions of applications would bloat in size. Also, the tasks that could be expected of home computers required more grunt (messing about with video, for example). This isn't the case any more - if I'm using my laptop for productivity software, it's rare it breaks a sweat. Of course, a super duper CPU, GPU, stacks or RAM and an SSD would be nice, but for me not essential.
Oh, can anyone help? My laptop has a 17" 16:10 1920 x 1200 screen and I worry I won't be able to replace it come the day it dies - if anyone has any ideas, please do share!
Re: How much faster?
>is it not easier to just install a Momentus and let the drive deal with the jigging around of files rather than the OS?
OSX will have a better idea of where to put which files than the Momentus drive.
Comments following the recent Reg Momentus review suggested it wasn't the fastest or cheapest solution, either. However, the build-your-own-Fusion isn't possible on all Macs.
So, to answer the question: WTF is Panty Waist?
Re: Does it use a local dictionary?
I watched a French film with English subtitles in the cinema, 'A Town Called Panic'. At one point, a character said 'Merde' and the subtitles said 'Oh Dear', which we all found hilarious at the time.
>So no swearing, but killing is OK.
"They train young men to rain fire down upon people, but they will not allow them to write 'Fuck' on the side of their airplanes because it is obscene"
- Cl. Kurtz, Apocalypse Now
Re: Like, ahem, cooking pr0n and talent shows.
Exactly: when first launched, BBC3 was billed as comedy for a general audience. However, it has evolved to become their 'yoof' channel, complete with 'yoof' orientated comedies and documentaries about STDs.
That's what Channel 4 used to be for, back in those happy days before Big Brother!
The idea of a general audience has died - though to be fair, much of that is beyond the BBC's control (multiple channels via satellite, cable or Freeview , and more screens in each household to watch things on, such as computers and tablets).
Re: "Tax" - really?
It seems that most people who are anti-BBC have never had the misfortune to watch US networked TV, or else are a competing news outlet with a right-ring bias (i.e, the Murdoch press, the Daily Telegraph etc).
That said, the BBC could do better, especially in drama. Compare 'Spooks' to 'The Wire', for example.
An informed and entertaining talk about the commissioning of quality shows - on both sides of the Atlantic - is here:
Armando Iannucci: BAFTA Television Lecture 2012
Re: Does jasper actually understand tech at all?
>You'd need a completely new bluetooth or WiFi radio in order for the two to work with each other, and I'm more inclined to the idea that Apple would be using AirPlay which would imply Wifi.
I would imagine they would start with whichever approach uses the lowest amount of power (the hearing aid being the limiting element), and start from there. At the moment, that would appear to be Bluetooth Low Energy, though there may be some new exotic WiFi standard I'm unaware of.
Wearable [connected] consumer tech is still in its infancy, but our ageing population may result in more people wearing smart devices - even if they do look a bit clunky.
Watches that measure blood pressure and heart rate, and then communicate this data to a mobile phone, either to log it or to make it available to a district nurse or GP, would be an obvious example. Adding a Distress Call function to the watch would be suitable for some users.
Re: No, it wouldn't
>But why do you want to create content with a tablet? If you're doing that, wouldn't you want a laptop so you can run proper content creation software? I doubt Adobe is coming out with full featured tablet versions of their software suite anytime soon.
Because, for certain tasks such as drawing or a using a virtual mixing desk for audio, a tablet is better suited to the job. You use a keyboard for typing, you might use a gamepad (or a steering wheel, or a mouse) for gaming... whatever works best. There is no inherent reason why an ARM-based OS such as Android or iOS can't run decent productivity apps. Of course there will always be a role for machines that have lots of RAM, storage and IO, but the the underlying OS is irrelevant to the user as long as the UI is fit for purpose.
Adobe's take on it is not to replace laptops with tablets, but enable them to be a very useful companion devices.
If I was on site and wanted to make a note of dimensions, for example, a tablet with a sketching/drafting app would be my tool of choice.
Re: No, it wouldn't
>why does anyone think a 12.9" tablet is a good idea?
Wacom already make two (one Android, one full fat Win8) with a digitiser and stylus... A tablet that size would be better for creating content, such as touching up photos. I seem to remember reading that most 10" iPads spend most of their time at home, so a 13" screen is worthwhile if it brings some advantages.
Wacom aren't the only people trying to bring productivity to tablets- Adobe are bringing out their first hardware products soon, a pen and 'smart ruler'.
This is a market in which Apple have traditionally played a role, and the easier to sell niches (iPhone for pocket, iPad Mini for bag, iPad for sofa) are becoming saturated...
Re: Corporate Image Monopoly
That thing that Bono was looking for.... do you think he's found it yet?
> last week's auction included a set of rose-gold plated Apple earbud headphones
They are solid rose-gold, not plated.
The fraction of people who consult benchmarks before buying is fairly small, and tend to read the likes of Anandtech. Of those people, I suspect a majority would have heard about these benchmark shenanigans, and would have quickly found online resources that give alternate measures - or a qualitative assessment - of a phone's performance.
So it would it seem that all Samsung and HTC's goosing of the benchmarks can only mislead a small sliver of their potential market.
Re: Looks fun...
I would have thought that the mouse itself governs its LED lamp; I'm not sure the PC can control it directly.
Re: conflicting form factors
Advanced information? I googled images for "Imp card pinout" and "Sd card pinout"... I was following a hunch that the creator of this kit a, knows what he is doing, and b, doesn't want to be sued into the middle of next week for bricked kit.
Re: Missing the point
>Devices are expensive because the design and certification costs for mains-voltage equipment are significant and there simply isn't a big enough market to for the cost-per-unit to be reasonable
I guess Low Voltage LED lights have helped here.
Re: Looks fun...
You can get a used Android phone off eBay for £25... easier than removing this Imp from whatever light fixture you mounted it in.
Re: conflicting form factors
Adding a plastic 'wumph' (boss? flange?) would add significant cost, both in tooling a new mould for the 'sd card' case, and for the slot it fits into. Such a flange would also risk mechanical damage to a device not designed to accept it, should a dopey user attempt to force it in.
As it is, it won't damage anything it is wrongly inserted into, it just won't do anything. In this respect, it is no different to inserting an SDXC Card into an older, plain SD Card device.
Re: Shame it's not supported on Apple kit
>I know Apple's equivalent is their "fusion drive", but I can't seem to find this as a standalone purchase
You can't find the Fusion Drive for sale because it is not a physical product- it's actually a Logical Volume Manager baked into OSX's CoreStorage.
You can build your own Fusion Drive if have a suitable Mac*:
*if you have one of the following:
A Mac that you can install both a Solid State Drive and a Hard Disk Drive into. So that’s the iMac (2009 or newer), MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer) with Data Doubler, or MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer) again with Data Doubler, Mac mini (Early / Late 2009, Mid 2010 Server, and Mid 2011 or newer) with Data Doubler Kit or Data Doubler where applicable, or Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer).
Re: All worthless thou.
>Go get a Nexus5 and save yourself the grief that will surely accompany BB10 ownership.
>>I have followed your advice and am still trying to work out where to insert my SD card. Also, I can no longer go two days between battery charges. How do I fix this?
Er, trade it in for an LG G2?
Re: The next step
A bit like Samsung's KNOX efforts, then?
Re: Where do all these feet come from?
And of that Windows-only software, some lends itself to being run on a remote server and accessed from any OS.
Wasn't the PS3 amongst the more affordable BluRay players on launch?
How so? Were either the XBONE or PS4 were to die on the vine, there would still be competition between software publishers.
Re: R&D budget increased again
That's a big part part of design. We all do it... putting up some shelves? Let's see what brackets are available from the hardware store. Making an MP3 player? Let's see what HDDs Toshiba will sell us in six months time. Making a handheld device? Let's see if there are any small companies using novel human input methods we can buy (FingerWorks)
It's usually cheaper and easier to go shopping than it is to make everything yourself.
Depends on the licensing deal MS signed with them. MS might not have been daft enough to bet their future products on technologies that could be suddenly whipped away from them if the originating company was bought by a rival.
Re: Apple TV set or gaming?
Gaming and Apple: Discuss.
Really, it's a weird one. It seems Apple have never put that much effort into games. They have had the market position to release a reference design game controller add-on for iDevices (Nintendo's turf), but never have done. The only game I remember Steve Jobs presenting was Halo, back when it was a Real Time Strategy work in progress. The Pippin died with the rest of the Apple clones.
It's almost as if gaming is an area Apple are wary of, maybe because the market used to encourage perpetual hardware upgrading.
True, may games are released for iOS, (some even working between devices such as an iPhone and an iTV or iPad) but Apple don't seem to talk it up beyond updating their mobile graphics hardware (which has utility besides running games).
Re: No idea
That would be a lamb sausage, then... pork isn't a popular meat in those parts.
There is always Photoshop... Here's me taking tea with Cameron Diaz, and using a Playstation 5 as a place mat. On the moon.
And here's me and Kofi Annan on the piss, dancing atop a Steinway piano having just broken into the Royal Albert Hall for a giggle.
Re: Ever been close to a Heli?
I'm not sure that anyone expects it to take off vertically.
Not only that, but one tech billionaire is making himself a car that can convert into a submarine! (Or rather, has bought a submarine that looks like a car and wants to make it work as a car as well)
Isn't like being a kid again, and your friend has got a really cool RC car but won't let you have a go with it? (sorry pal, the batteries are flat and will take 3 hours to charge)
>Re "Making the fans movable just adds weight and complexity when all you actually need is for them to be individually controllable." Ah, yes. Making ten different fans individually controllable will decrease the complexity of the control system. I stand in awe of your logic.
Moveable fans = *mechanical* complexity = more weight
Fan speed individually controllable = more control electronics = negligible increase in weight
The processing required to control multiple fans can be fitted into a very small quadcopter, to stunning results.... have a look at:
Re: Smart PR move
I hope it's good, because of the cast - Gary Oldman, Michael K Williams, Samuel L Jackson - but it probably won't be. On the bright side, the bad press surrounding this (and the remake of Total Recall) appears to have killed the mooted remake of Starship Troopers, another Paul Verhoeven classic.
Oh, if you like the satire, and don't mind a limited effects budget, Starship Troopers 3 has the tongue in cheek attitude (and Johnny Rico) of the first film.
I would say I'd like to see another satirical sci-fi Verhoeven film, but then recent efforts by fellow 1980 sci-fi directors J. Cameron and R. Scott have been disappointing / infuriating.
I've never heard of the R2D2 Makers Club either, though I did stumble on a YouTube video the other day of a man making his own Iron Man outfit. (I was making something completely different, but thought his technique of preparing polysterene with three coats of PVA before applying car body filler - otherwise it melts - might be useful)
The video links to his website http://xrobots.co.uk/ and it would seem there are worse places to go to if you want to build an R2-D2 - he shares his tips on techniques and materials, using foams, plastics, 3D printing, electronics etc. He is also a Raspberry Pi user, though it seems he hasn't had much of chance to play with yet.
"Simpsons done it"
Bill Gates: Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can't figure out what, if
anything, Compuglobalhypermeganet does, so rather than risk competing with
you, I've decided simply to buy you out.
Homer: I reluctantly accept your proposal!
Bill Gates: Well everyone always does. Buy 'em out, boys!
[Gates' lackeys trash the room.]
Homer: Hey, what the hell's going on?!
Bill Gates: Oh, I didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks! [insane
Sadly, Bill Gates didn't guest star; instead he was portrayed by Hank Azaria (Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy)
I think AC may have been referring to some studies, reported here in the Reg, that a larger proportion of iOS users pay for their apps. He's correct.
July 2013 http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/07/18/iphone-users-pay-average-of-19-cents-per-app-android-users-pay-just-6-cents
July 2011 http://gigaom.com/2011/07/11/ios-users-buy-more-apps-and-pay-more-for-them/
July 2013 http://bgr.com/2013/05/31/android-ios-app-revenue-whatsapp/ "In April 2013, the Google Play vs. iOS app revenue balance stood at 27% to 73%. "
Anandtech report 13.6 hours for a 720p H.264 video, though they make no mention of screen brightness or WiFi state. Reg got six-and-a-half hours for a 1080p when Wi-Fi was connected, and the screen brightness set at 50 per cent.
I don't know if the discrepancy is in the video codec, the higher bitrate, or the WiFi and screen.
>The beauty of a small tablet is that it can fit in a suit or jacket pocket ..... the iPad fails in this respect. Also makes it poor for watching movies.
That's an inevitable consequence of the iPads screen's 4:3 aspect ratio - until such a time as a foldable display is available. I've used netbooks with 16:9 letterbox displays that I've found frustrating for general web-browsing.
Get yourself down Lidl (or was it Aldi)... I was in one of them on Monday and they were selling 'radio solder' with real lead in it. The new lead-free stuff (which I thought had been banned from sale) can be trickier to use (less grace time between heating it with flux and applying it) and less reliable.
I used to get authentication errors when trying to connect to the internet on older Samsung feature phones when the time and date were wildly incorrect (usually following a battery removal).... again, it wouldn't have hurt to put a 'Is your device showing the correct time and date?" prompt alongside the error message.
Such software already exists, kind of. Midrange CAD packages often have a 'Scan to 3D' module, to allow the output of a laser scanner (a point cloud) to be turned into a mesh, or to be used a reference to create curves (which are then used as reference or to loft surfaces.
After that, there is a 'Start feature recognition?' dialogue, which attempts to convert the 'dumb geometry' into features, within a tolerance (i.e, this shape is an approximation of a cylinder, so let's call it an extruded circle. Now that it is a defined 'feature', the variables such as circle radius and extrusion length can be modified.
It's not perfect, but it would be easier to write software to recognise specific features (a simple gear cog, for example) and then perform fairly standard modifications (compensate for wear at the end of the teeth)
Re: Yes, a "solution looking for a problem"
Lasers are often used for cutting sheet metal (having no mechanical link between the workpeice and the tool is a good thing- you don't have to build your X-Y mechanism to withstand torque and vibration), and for etching serial numbers and the like. There is also a hard-wearing marking technique, where a chemical is sprayed onto a piece and activated by a laser, leaving text or a logo - the remaining chemical is then washed off.
Laser measuring and surveying is also very useful. '3D scanner'.
Lasers are also used to calibrate in real time the adjustable mirrors of ground-based telescopes to adjust for atmospheric interference.
Lasers can also be used for a form of 'additive manufacturing' nee 'rapid prototyping' called sterolithography (the process that gives .STL files their name) in which two laser beams activate a photo-cured resin at the point of their intersection.
They make your sent-from-the-future killer cyborg look cool (though in 1984 the laser sight on Arnie's handgun had to be powered by a hidden battery and cable running up his sleeve).
They might, maybe, one day, possibly, play a part in commercial fusion energy production.
Not sure if if mentioning Jean Micheal Jarre and the Ozric Tentacles helps my case here.
Re: He who laughs last...
>Free and easy to use entry level CAD/CAM software.
I haven't used Sketch Up (now owned by Google) but I've been led to believe it satisfies these criteria.
Re: Any colour as long as it's white?
Coloured 3D printers do exist, but the assumption is that either the colour doesn't matter ( a prototype to assess the form and fit) or that you are going to have to sand, fill, sand, prime and paint anyway (an appearance model). Defects in lighter-coloured objects are easier spot, because shadows show up more.
- Analysis Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
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- OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs
- Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
- NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star