Car stereos that don't have a volume knob, but instead rely on two fiddly buttons.
4731 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Car stereos that don't have a volume knob, but instead rely on two fiddly buttons.
National Treasures and National Jokes aren't mutually exclusive (almost the opposite, in fact)... with all the news about British politicians of late, I've been missing Screaming Lord Sutch. And Vivian Stanshall, obviously.
... that provoked this Reg article? One or the other had a half-page piece by Stephen Fry about the iPhone 6 yesterday.
Anyway, last time the Reg had a piece like this, its name was brought by Stephen Fry's blog to the attention of thousands of people who had never heard of it.
I wouldn't be a regular Reg reader if I wasn't cynical, but cynicism cuts both ways.
Is it possible that you disabled WebGL in Chrome for security reasons, and then forgot that you had done so? IIRC, The Register recommended doing just that last year.
>D126: "push one button on remote control"
>>That's essentially a 'problem' (Really?) that can be sorted by the use of an advanced programmable Remote Control.
Okay JefffyP, can you train my father to press [PVR] > [Power] > [TV] > [Power] on the remote? Thanks. I've tried and failed.
>you might be asking a bit much (or giving up too much in other areas) to expect all your ever-changing gadgets and all your TVs to be fully integrated
I know market forces are against it, but there is no harm in me putting it on the 'wish list', is there? There is no technical reason why there can't be a 'wake-over-HDMI' function, surely?
The U.S version of House of Cards - notable for being produced by Netflix rather than a traditional cable company. /pedant
Your point stands, though!
"As a <specialist in X> I have long been fascinated <programme topic>. Join me on my journey [groan] as I explore the fascinating story of <programme topic>. Along the way I'll look at [insert five minute montage of all of the programme's scenes]"
[ten minutes later: scene of presenter walking along looking deep in thought]
then [camera fixed on presenter instead of the object they are actually talking about]
There is clearly a BBC documentary style-book, the first page of which says 'nab someone out of academia who isn't too ugly'.
The only BBC documentaries that buck this trend are David Attenborough-narrated 'blue chip' series, and anything by Jonathan Meades.
It is worth noting that neither David Attenborough (natural history) or Patrick Moore (astronomy) had formal education in the subjects the are associated with.
>TV sets now universally need decent external speakers as otherwise they are like a 1970 pocket disposable Hong Kong AM radio with 2" speaker.
Is it a bad thing in theory that you buy a screen and then buy speakers appropriate to your tastes and situation? Many people choose to use their own speakers, which means that the cost of fitting reasonably good speakers in the TV set is often wasted money. (Of course the devil is in the details, such as extra wiring, wall-mounting, making sure the purchaser is aware that they need to put aside some extra money for speakers...)
Agreed. Commentard Timmay put it well:
It makes it more snarky, for sure, and as much as I zzzzz at Apple stuff, I zzzzz tenfold at snark. Maybe I'm getting old, but there's a bit too much snark round here for my liking, and the snark is increasing. Maybe it should be renamed The Snark Register.
Fair enough. As long as the panel + box behaves as if it were one just device (i.e, just push one button on remote control to turn everything on)
Yep, just use an iPad/iPhone. This even works for searching on Netflix and YouTube on a PlayStation3, let alone an AppleTV.
Macs are 16:10 - as is my older Dell laptop. The MS Surface 3 is 3:2. The vast majority of other current laptops are 16:9, unfortunately.
Newsflash: Macs and Macbooks will drive monitors at their native aspect ratio just like other personal computers do .
>Re: Why does the Moon have gravity?
>>"... to which the answer is "gameplay is crap without it"
>>>No, the real answer is: They were too lazy/short on budget/<insert excuse here> to rejig the physics for the different planets.
With respect, Vector, changing the physics is very easy - it would just be the changing of a value. Bungie implemented low gravity in Halo 2, and mixed different levels of gravity within the same map in Halo Reach.
Basically, if your avatar takes a dozen seconds to return to the ground after jumping at 1/6 G, you can't control its movement easily: thus sub-optimal gameplay.
>I can't stand 1st person shooters, and for me gaming is most satisfying offline and solo.
Bizarrely, Halo started off life as a Real Time Strategy game:
>Does beg the question as to why it wasn't prepped for release day to quell any questions about size and scope though?
The idea is that people with play with friends as the story unfolds in 'real time' over months and years. That wouldn't work if everything happened at once.
I like the fact that Bungie aren't that fussed about reviews - plenty of people pre-ordered the game. People who were likely to buy the game had the opportunity to play it for several days during the public Beta test and clearly made their own mind up.
I'm not saying that it is perfect (it could be combined with Elite: Dangerous, for starters!) but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
... I've only spent a few hours playing it, round at a friend's. I don't thinkl he's done much else for the last week. Generally, it plays great. A solid first-person shooter.
The world building appears to be extensive, but not much story has been told (so far). This should be no surprise, since there are many hints that the story will be influenced by players ( players can't yet align themselves will any of the human factions).
The whole Tower thing seems to be designed to do far more than it currently does - as if it has been designed for more content to be plugged into it a later date.
The menu system is a little odd - it uses a cursor to make selections, as if Bungie were using a mouse in development and not gamepad.
The story could be a slow-burner. After all, Bungie are trying to create a 'shared world', for people to co-operatively explore together over months and years.
It's all spelt out in Bungie's contract with Activision: 3 major releases over the next decade (i.e Destiny, Destiny Part 2, Destiny Part 3), and 3 main dollops of paid-for DLC for each major release. That's not including the DLC content that is included with your purchase of the game.
Given the above, I'd be surprised if the story made much sense from the first week's gameplay. It would be like judging a sci-fi book's plot from the first few pages.
Yeah, the story seems a bit sparse so far (though the world-building is extensive).
However, it might be too early to judge the story, since it is going to play out over several years, by means of additional missions and characters.
More non-player characters are said to start turning up in the Tower hub soon.
Most of the mixed/negative reviews have focused on the perceived 'small' size of Destiny. Those reviews could well be premature, given more content (strike missions etc) is due to arrive tomorrow, with more to follow in the coming weeks and months.
This new content includes new environments and enemies. This isn't 'paid for' DLC (though there will be some of that down the line) but free to all players of destiny.
The consensus amongst follow-up reviews seems to be that whilst it initially offered a fun and exciting take on PlayerVs Player FPS combat, there wasn't enough there to keep it interesting.
Printer Daemon protocol?
You can buy them from Maplins for about £20, sold as 'Disco lights that pulse in time to your mp3 player'.
What Paul Kinsler said.
"You're trying to model the behaviour of a <complicated system>? Just model it as a <simple object>, then add some secondary terms to account for <complications I just thought of>. . . Easy, right? ... Why does your <your field> need a whole journal, anyway?"
[Liberal Arts majors may be annoying sometimes, but there is NOTHING so obnoxious as a physicist first encountering a new subject]
Sidenote: Randall 'XKCD' Munroe was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme this morning - it was about 8:40 am for those who skip through podcasts.
I like my satirists to be smarter than me, well informed and skilled in their art. Chris Morris, Peter Cook, Steve Bell, Jon Stewart, Sacha Baron Cohen, Rory Bremner, The Onion, whoever...
People who adopt a cause - whatever it is - to merely promote themselves are a part of the problem, since they just add to the noise.
Maybe FSSlayer should leave the issues surrounding energy storage to engineers? Aside from issue of renewable energy generation, there are some solid reasons for smoothing out the supply and demand of energy over a day / week / year. Batteries of any chemistry will only play a limited role in this - I'm not surprised that FSSlayer is ignorant of pumped hydro schemes and the like.
How are you getting on with that EMP cannon you're building in your shed, herman?
Indeed there is such a tradition... Private Eye magazine often calls out the journos with the most outdated byline photos.
Side note on cars and watches: one version of the Omega Chronostop was designed to be read on the inside of the wrist; its face was marked at 90º with respect to the strap (so the 12 o'clock marking is at 3 o'clock). This was to make it easier to read whilst driving.
* * *
Google and Apple announced their respective car-integration plans earlier this year - in effect, Apple's solution is to have an iDevice drive an integrated dashboard display, whereas Google's is based on a stand-alone car-based Android module.
>Remote controls are free and a replacement is under £20. I agree mostly with the sentiment ...
In the early 2000s, there were $200 universal IR remote controls with touchscreens and programmable macros from the likes of Marantz...
A mate of mine uses his tablet as a remote control for Youtube on his Playstation3. He wouldn't have bought the tablet JUST for this purpose, but it is very convenient (since entering text for searching is easier on a touchscreen than with a game controller). Another friend uses his LG G2 as an IR remote for his TV and various related boxes.
Similarly, a remote control for phones would be handy - function not worth $350 by itself, but if it did other things too (notifications, fitness tracking etc) it begins to make more sense.
>No one likes the annoyance of putting a watch back on,
I don't like the annoyance of putting on my trousers in the morning, yet I still do.
Seriously though, nightly charging will prevent one use case for wearables - 24/7 namely heart monitoring for medical purposes. (I don't know how the accuracy of current consumer heart rate monitors compares to proper ones issues by doctors - if the consumer tech is up to scratch then I'll make the assumption that a week's worth of data is more useful to a doctor than 16 hours worth).
>I just don't see the point in it
Well, get yourself a stop watch and a clip board and conduct a time and motion study on the issue. If you are sat at a desktop computer for eight hours a day before getting behind the wheel of a car, then fair play, such a product might not be for you. For other people, there might be a demonstrable, empirical benefit to such a device.
> random Bluetooth disconnection
>>I imagine that BT LE, 4.0/1, whatever you wish to call it will help in this matter quite a lot. (The LE mean Low Energy.)
The Citizen Proximity and Casio G-Shock Bluetooth are both BLE devices, and in fact were released before BLE was supported by Android (though Samsung had made some Android devices that boasted Bluetooth LE hardware ahead of the OS support), yet the Citizen model still suffers from random disconnection. Both devices were 'iPhone only' - mainly because Android didn't support the protocol at the time.
It might be a traditional wristwatch vendor that gets into the market with a product that offers a different balance of functionality / battery life / form factor (I'm looking at you, Tissot).
Sony made a watch to connect to Android phones years ago. An issue it had, shared by the Moto360 according to some reviews, and by the Casio and Citizen bluetooth watches, is a random Bluetooth disconnection. One assumes that Apple are in a better position to troubleshoot this kind of issue, since the number of device combinations are smaller and controlled by them, and that they are more motivated too.
The first iPod cost £600 and only worked with Macs...
Okay. For sure, for the same price as a B&O stereo system, you could buy a better sounding system. However, the B&O system won't sound bad by any means, other people in your household won't object to its appearance, and it might possess some features that the competition lack (B&O produced multi-room audio kit years ago). Basically, once you bought it you didn't have to worry about hi-fi kit any more and could just get on with your life.
Right, I'm off now to see a friend who swaps his Decca cartridges around on his Garrand turntable, which sits atop a granite plinth atop a wheelbarrow inner-tube, connected to a valve amplifier of his own construction, connected by mains cooker wire to a pair of Voight corner horns each the size of a small wardrobe. Unless he's fiddled with the configuration in the last week.
I agree with most of what Mr Pott says, but I'm not sure what was objectionable in SuccessCase's original post, laden as it was with qualifiers such as 'a pretty good sign'. Observing a 'pretty good sign' is a prelude to the formal 'form a hypothesis and test it' scientific method.
'Quality' too is as fuzzy a term as 'cool' - an author of computer manuals wrote a book about it in the seventies. Perhaps 'fit for purpose(s)' would be closer to what we're getting at.
Pirsig became greatly troubled by the existence of more than one workable hypothesis to explain a given phenomenon, and, indeed, that the number of hypotheses appeared unlimited. He could not find any way to reduce the number of hypotheses—he became perplexed by the role and source of hypothesis generation within scientific practice. This led to his determination of a previously unarticulated limitation of science, which was something of a revelation to him.
Christopher Walken as Captain Koons in the movie Pulp Fiction:
So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something. His ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.
>Queuing is a real and tangible cost in time and comfort. So there is real and actual energy going in, for some reward real or psychological.
Everything costs time, so one has to consider what these people would be doing otherwise. Sitting at their work desks staring at a spreadsheet? It might be that the people in this queue are enjoying themselves in the company of fellow people. After all, a lot of time at festivals is spent just standing around in good-natured conversation with strangers.
The new iThingy just plays the role of a McGuffin, or as a souvenir. People will undertake the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage on foot, and will have a 'passport' stamped along the way to show that they ave done it.
There is a paradox here - the people in the queue are largely choosing to level their status to those queing with them ("We're all in this together") for a sense of camaraderie - whilst hoping to get a status symbol of sorts at the end of it.
As Obelix might say: Humans, they're all crazy!
> you are posting a comment about being cool on a, frankly decidedly uncool technology website.
Posting on The Reg is for each of us only a small part of of respective lives. It is 'cooler' to have some individual interests than it is be 100% trendy.
What isn't cool is talking about cool, or trying to be cool. Apparently. I didn't make the rules.
"Why, to do what you are suggesting would require some some of DOOMSDAY WEAPON! Oh well, I supose I can spare one..."
All of AC's example use cases are valid... and none of them require a power-hungry colour screen.
Adjusting the time on a quartz watch is an infrequent chore, since they will only lose or gain a second or two per month. Frequent travellers might appreciate an automatic time-zone adjustment feature, though.
Most of the speculation has been seemingly prompted by Apple iWatch rumours, and given substance by efforts from Samsung, LG, Motorola and - pre-dating the current smartwatch buzz - Sony. Samsung have taken the 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach, as have the other traditional phone handset makers with their watch efforts. However, not much is said about the existing Bluetooth LE watches that occupy another point on the features against power consumption graph.
Casio (G-Shock BLE) and Citizen (Proximity) make such watches, which give phone notifications, and allow you to 'page' your phone. Reviews suggest the concept (minimal 'connected' features in a traditional-looking watch with good battery life) is sound, but the implementations are not satisfactory (random breaking of the Bluetooth connection etc).
The other element in the mix are the type of device that some people have used for years - fitness trackers and heart rate monitors etc.
None of the above devices require a smartphone-class SoC or a colour display (The Moto 360 is criticised for using an OMAP3 SoC that is believed to be built on a 48nm process). Indeed, the Citizen Proximity watch uses only physical dials to show calls, SMS and email notifications.
The original iPhone was notable for what it left out (contemporary rival handsets had 3G cellular, copy and paste, 3rd party applications) as much for its multitouch UI... this might prove to be a good approach with watches.
>Gotta admit that it doesn't bode well when the PR dribble is about the (new) designers rather than the products.
Er, why would Apple put out PR stuff about new products before the launch event?
Stephen J Gould is for my money a better read than Dawkins. Gould's work is informative and interesting, but also very human.
He makes a cameo in the Simpsons (Lisa the Skeptic), taking money from a little girl for some scientific tests he had no intention of undertaking. +1 Boffin Points!
Man in the White Castle / The Minority Report mashup?
CAD users would benefit from this display, especially when working in wireframe, or creating engineering drawings.
... the usually quoted PPI figures for human vision are wrong, and are based on some assumptions. There are also situations where our eyes can resolve more detail on a VDU, such as a single-pixel wide diagonal line - of the sort often encountered when working with CAD.
Basically, Steve Jobs based his 'Retina Display' figures on the assumption that we can resolve 1 arcminute, whereas most estimates place the figure at between 0.6 and 0.4 arcminute.
He wasn't born in the USA, so can't be President. However, his place of birth probably doesn't disqualify him for Ruler of Earth,
It is Ive, not Ives
Deluded? He was joking with colleagues, something people often do when a project is nearing completion to their satisfaction. "Switzerland is fucked".
He hasn't copied any Dieter Rams design, but rather Dieter Rams' methodology - this requires hard work, as Dieter himself will tell you.
Switzerland doesn't rely on luxury watches.... again, Ive was joking.
Seriously Mage, if you want to talk about Ive and Rams, at least look beyond Wikipedia. Here is an interview with the man himself, for starters:
Good comment, points well made, reasoning shown.
A smartwatch would mitigate the 'dig phone out of pocket when it rings only to see that it is another PPI cold-call' shuffle. Socially, it is possible that smartphones might encourage more people to leave their phones in their pockets or bags when in company, and not have them sat on a table.