2701 posts • joined Wednesday 21st July 2010 13:57 GMT
I seem to remember reading in PC-Zone 'back in the day', about a flight sim enthusiast who got to look at the cockpit of an RAF jet for real. He gleefully noted that he knew what all the knobs and switches did, bar one little red micro-switch... "Whats's that?" he asked.
"That's to reset our computer when it crashes" the RAF pilot told him.
I've just read the Wikipedia article to refresh my memory of one a sublime piece of satire on this topic. In fact, the outraged reaction was even funnier than the broadcast itself. Well worth reading for the IT angle:
-Labour MP Syd Rapson related that paedophiles were using "an area of internet the size of Ireland".
-Richard Blackwood stated that internet paedophiles could make computer keyboards emit noxious fumes to subdue children, subsequently sniffing a keyboard and claiming that he could smell the fumes, which made him feel "suggestible". Blackwood also warned watching parents that exposure to the fumes would make their children "smell like hammers".
-MP Beverley Hughes described the show as "unspeakably sick" but later admitted she had not seen it, and David Blunkett said he was "dismayed" by it. It later emerged that he also had not seen the episode, because he is blind.
-The Daily Star decried Morris and the show, placing the story next to a separate article about the 15-year-old singer Charlotte Church's breasts under the headline "She's a big girl now" and using the words "looking chest swell". The Daily Mail pictured Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who were 13 and 11, in their bikinis next to a headline describing Brass Eye as "Unspeakably Sick".
You couldn't make it up.
Re: hard to argue with what the anon guy said
>I'd agree that tablets are rubbish input devices,
Before eInk readers were cheap enough for consumers, they were used by pilots who are required to have a large quantity of documentation on board. This documentation was heavy and also subject to frequent updates, so justifying the cost of the device ($1,500 at launch).
Re: stop abusing and exploiting their student body
If Anon had been around in the eighties:
"It is scandalous that schools have bought overpriced BBCs when everyone knows Spectrums are better!"
Re: Best alternative is a Chromebook
ditto an Apple eMate 300! (Joking!)
A 1997 Apple Newton PDA with keyboard in a pre-iMac translucent clamshell, for schools only. Only saw one, my Design and Technology teacher had one to play with in an all Mac school - though a room adjoining the workshop in which we used drawing boards is now full of Windows SolidWorks workstations
Anon don't make actually bother making a rational case for which tablet to use instead... for textbooks, only the the Nexus 10 springs to mind, though f you took a hit on screen res, a Galaxy Note could be handy for annotations and presentations.
A quick web search reveals the existence of the Kuno, an Android tab aimed specifically at the education market (and only sold in bulk to schools, it seems), but with a 9.7”: 1024x768 16:9 screen. Not ideal. However, it is designed to managed centrally.
The second series of the TV show Homeland has brought the possibility of compromised medical equipment to wider awareness, though the details were unrealistic.
Re: Ostrich Corp
>Are they in complete denial?
No, Intel are going to some lengths to communicate their efforts to tech blogs with a penchant for benchmarks. For example
The jury is still out, but it would seem the race isn't over.
Re: Holy crap
It's based on sound theory and empirical evidence, but the implementation seems a inherently clumsy. The better way of moderating your eating speed is to alternate mouthfuls with a sip of wine and savour the flavours.
Only a few years back, it would take a French man twenty minutes to eat a MacDonalds meal, whereas it would take an American five minutes. This may have changed in recent years, where obesity is increasing in countries like France and Italy (though still short of the USA and the UK in second place). The body is like a warehosue- if a load of trucks arrive at once and their contents unloaded in a hurry, the warehouse is more likely to get untidy. Surface area is a factor as well, so finely ground wheat forces the body to ramp up insulin production more quickly than it would with more slowly absorbed courser grained cereal.
The only dedicated cutlery in our household is for my 8 month year old nephew for when he visits.
Re: Icons and windows
Install a 3rd party replacement for the Start Menu. It ain't that difficult. But yeah, 'twas silly of MS to give people a reason to bash them, when it was so easily avoided. Still, they probably figured a lot of people are happy enough with Win7 and wouldn't upgrade anyway, so they thought they'd get a bit experimental with Win8.
Thinking positively, being able to choose from a few options for different parts of Window's Desktop Environment might work out better for the end-user... you could choose from a selection of File Browsers that are competing on quality, or are just better suited to the way you do things. Intermediate and Advanced users already use 3rd party software to give shortcuts to deeply buried settings, and many OEMs impose their own interfaces for audio options and the like on their customers. Logitech's Windows software gives the user a clone of the OSX's 'Mission Control: Show all Windows' feature which I find handy...
[Now, on the other hand that Ribbon Interface was very poorly handled... there was no reason why it couldn't co-exist with normal menus for a version or two. And it ate up too many vertical pixels when people have too many to begin with.... very silly MS. What really took the piss was that rather than provide a plugin that reinstated menus, they directed you to an interactive "Where the bleedin heck is that thing I'm looking for?" guide.]
Re: The problem with Jobs?
I remember Bill Gates reacting to Jobs accusation that he stole the Windows GUI from Apple. Gate's used an analogy along the lines of 'Imagine you had a friend who stole a TV set from his neighbour... now you go to the same neighbour and steal his other TV set, but your friend says you stole it from him...'
Re: >"rectangles with rounded corners [...] were “everywhere”."
An invention that exists only on paper is of no good to anybody (except patent trolls). Look at how much tech has been invented in the UK, and then look at how successfully they have been turned into money to reward the inventors. That observation alone should tell you that people who aren't inventors are required to turn ideas into products and money. That was Jobs' role.
What's yours, AC?
Even obvious and clearly superior ideas need to be championed, sadly. If you live the UK, look at the light switch on your wall- chances are that it is an inch-long switch with sharp corners sitting in the middle of a 4" plate, and it requires a firm press. Nasty. Now, look at the light switches that are commonly used on the continent- the switch is that same size as the plate, it has round corners and it can be easily tapped to switch between on and off.
Yep, I've heard from engineers older than myself that they went with IBM compatibles because whilst they liked Apples, they just couldn't connect anything to them.
Re: I loved this bit
>Relying on people remembering or using experience isn't a good way to design a human computer interface.
They won't be able to learn quickly if they have to remember strange keyboard shortcuts, but if they do the task often enough then their 'muscle memory' will make it almost automatic. This is why I like menus as a training aid- the novice can select File > Save with the mouse, or to give their wrist a rest they can use Alt > F > S (or use Alt > cursor keys), or when they are used to the system they can save time by using Ctrl+S.
What I don't like about menus is when they get nested, and it becomes a test of mouse dexterity to select an item 3 levels deep... Oh well.
Re: Is it good or bad?
Frank Zappa would recommend the Blue Lotion
The shame is that android David was superb, and the setup- with him watching an actor portray a complex man who described himself as 'serving two masters' - was absolutely brilliant*. But the dim as hell 'scientists' ruined it... as Ripley asks in Aliens: "Did IQs just drop sharply whilst I was away?"
>And whilst I'm sure Ridley Scott could pretty much do what he wanted, the inclusion of the alien at the end felt very much like a studio demand.
Actually, it was Fox who didn't want it to be a straight-up Alien prequel. But yeah, the alien at the end wasn't required, and its convoluted origin (infect boyfriend, boyfriend impregnates girlfriend, girlfriend has c-section) was Damon Lindlehof's fault. Speight was just going to have David hold her down and introduce her with to a face-hugger.
*I recently re-watched Inglourious Basterds, Michael Fassbender is superb in that as well.
Piss off AC
Don't use quotation marks for a sentence that tkioz did not use. He did not say 'compulsory'. If you want to quote someone, but believe the quote is missing a word, use [ ] to denote the words you have added.
We have enough straw men already, thank you.
>The interesting thing about your post is that you could replace every occurrence of "right-wing" with "left-wing" and it would just as true as it is now.
No, you can't just swap 'right-wing' for 'left-wing'. Here's why: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_pizarro_the_strange_politics_of_disgust.html
or teacher.edmonds.wednet.edu/edmondswoodway/jspears/documents/conservsatives_are_more_easily_disgusted_than_liberals.pdf [Warning: PDF] if you want the sources.
Gaz was referring to published articles. It is in fact you, AC, who is believing what you choose to.
Re: Paid Product placement and El Reg
Whose IS that man? Fabulously wealthy and charismatic, somehow he finds enough time in between bedding beautiful women to tinker in his marvellously equipped workshop, the envy of all men who meet him... it can only be a Reg journalist!
Hmmm, I wonder what fizzy pop he drinks, and what car he drives? I want to drink that and drive like he does!
Re: White House Accused of Lateral Thinking
Every games console should come with the game Flower - you play the part of petal, drifting in the breeze and bringing colour to the meadows of a gently rolling landscape. It certainly calmed me down after I discovered that the last ten years have left my reflexes too blunt to play WipEout HD!
Correlation =/= Causation
Playing video games makes you a killer - doubtful.
Playing video games and killing people because your parents didn't give you any time - plausible.
Playing video games because you don't get on well with people - plausible.
Re: Not the Games it's the culture
>Guns don't kill, people kill, people use whatever weapon they can get...
That's rather the point:
Pissed off Welshman in a transit van- kills two people.
Pissed off taxi driver with a shotgun- kills more people (but only killed that many because he was able to keep moving)
Pissed off youth with a hand gun- kills far more people.
"Guns don't kill people, people kill people. And monkeys kill people if you give them guns and throw themover the wall of Charlton Heston's house."
Yep, that would be his motivation!
In the first film he used some weird Samsung flip-phone which had a screen that rotated through 90º...
>They did however introduce a range of smaller, cheaper iPods.
Very true, but rather than cannibalise sales from the iPod 'Classic', smaller players can complement it. The iPod may already have have docks etc, and use the Classic for the car or lounge, the Nano for the gym or journey to work. In any case, the technology changed- Flash players are now cheap and have far bigger capacities than the earlier HDD-based iPods. Only Apple, Archos and Cowon make HDD-based players these days, with the Archos not pocket sized.
>They've already done that with the iPad, no reason to think they can't do something similar with the iPhone.
Judging by the cost of the iPad Mini, they have margin enough on it. Again, big iPad for the sofa, iPad Mini for the car glovebox or handbag, or for those who won't stretch to £500 for a toy.
Both the iPod 'Classic' and big iPad are too heavy or big for all situations... thus leaving a convenient gap for a baby brother or two. The same isn't true of a phone, which has got to be portable and suitable for all but the most niche of activities (outdoor expeditions, for example, where weatherproofing and battery life are of prime importance)
I have considered the need for a smartphone if one always has a smallish tablet to hand; a dumbphone + tablet combo has a lot to recommend it (long phone battery life, low cost of phone replacement if lost, internet functions easier on a tablet by virtue of its size) but I can't imagine Apple making an dumbphone- an iPhone that doesn't do apps would reduce the clarity of their message.
Rather than spend money on a creating, testing, tooling up for and then communicating the benefits of a new iPhone design, its more efficient for Apple to just continue selling the previous version alongside the latest and priciest.
Re: Why does everyone assume there are only two smartphone price points?
>What's wrong with a $300 price point?
That it might eat into the sales of their iPhone 4 (with its higher margins) is a possible reason, plus the less immediate cost in terms of their image. If the $300 device is too clunky, ugly or feature-limited, it might put buyers off considering another iPhone in the future. True, Samsung have phones from £10 to £400 (though use 'Galaxy as a sub-brand for the pricer ones), but Apple benefit from keeping their message simple- as demonstrated by my dad pointing at any touch-screened phone and asking "Is that an iPhone?"
Re: This is the same guy
>The whole tech world would have been a lot better off if he had [killed Apple]
So you don't think Windows benefited from having a competitor in various Mac OSs? Before you answer, remember MS was the company who stopped development on Internet Explorer when it thought it had quashed competing browsers.
Apple never reduced the price of the iPod to compete with rivals, but instead released the iPhone. Sculley hasn't considered the possibility of Apple entering a new (and thus growing) product category... what that might be I have no idea, and if anyone does have a good idea then they obviously will keep it close to their chest.
It might be that such a product category won't exist (we're pretty sorted for AV gadgets), or that another company has enough R&D cash and commitment to get there first.
No commentard has yet made a very strong case for Apple being able to get enough margin from selling a TV set plus gubbins (or at least why it couldn't be an external box) but that doesn't mean Apple don't know something we don't- or are at least putting in a lot of money into trying to find a compelling reason.
We pundits get it wrong (as can CEOs) as shown by Wired's late ninetoes article "Ten things Apple must do to survive"... Apple didn't follow their advice. Engadget wrote an open letter to a pre-Pre Palm and received a letter back to the effect of 'Thanks, good points, we have it hand' and certainly Palm made a good effort of it with the Pre.
Re: @Destroy All Monsters
>You have obviously never seen a Flash Drive fail...or get lost...have you.
You work on the concept that all devices fail, and so use them redundantly. And use encryption in case they get lost.
Years back at a nuclear power station in the UK, there used to be a standalone PC in the security hut, through which all floppy disks had to be passed.
These days they tend to use laptops with custom Linux distros to connect to their network.
Re: and of course...
One approach might be to allow younger lads access to respectful and tasteful trouser-arousing material, rather than leave them to stumble across the objectifying 'gonzo' stuff.
Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen was on the radio yesterday, saying he used to draw copies of the erotic drawings of Aubrey Beardsley (whose life the programme was celebrating) and sell them to his classmates- and he surely wasn't the first. There are worse artists for a young man to be acquainted with when making conversation with a certain type of young woman. Alphonse Mucha is good, too.
>* anecdotal evidence points to girls starting earlier, but with a different focus (in the UK seemingly provided by Boy Bands),
Or, by making advances at boys their age who haven't quite developed their romantic/sexual feelings yet, leading to mutual confusion. But hey, confusion is what teenage years are for.
"You can get a gun licence at fourteen, but you can't buy a porno magazines until you're eighteen... ...I'd much rather a fourteen year old lad was locked in his bathroom causing no harm to anyone than sat on a roof with a high-powered rifle and an erection he can't get rid of"
- Bill Hicks
The other comedian this article brings to mind is Al Murray 'Pub Landlord', on the subject of asking a young person their data of birth "the test our whole system of age restriction is built upon". I think the film Hot Fuzz riffed upon the ridiculousness of the same idea .
Well, there's a good number of current films that make one go 'Urg, CGI'. I've nothing against CGI (District 9 used it very well) but I don't like it when I spot it, or rather 'sense' it. WETA are usually pretty good.
Still, real models and sets really do work well.
Re: What about the plot?
>SFX can make a difference; but if the storyline is a pile of festering guano, then all the hard work to make it look better will be for nothing.
Your argument also applies to on-location filming... would David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia be the same film if it had no regard for went into the camera? Cinema is a visual medium; we also have books, radio and theatre. I get infuriated by a pretty film with a poor plot (Prometheus), but I really do enjoy a visually impressive film with plot and character.
>and no, swiping your finger on a touchscreen is not an invention!
No, but the methods of achieving that are. Who would have thought something that is simple for a user to understand isn't simple to create? A list of Fingerworks patents:
Re: simply wants to "monetize"
And as the article noted, Samsung -as is MS or Google etc- is big enough,old enough and ugly enough to look after itself. The human concern is for the smaller companies without their resources. Apple have infringed (and ripped off) upon the IP of individuals in the past- but I'll leave you to find out how, since you don't seem to need any further encouragement. Like the other big companies, it has also commissioned work from companies (such as Frog Design, whose Hartmut Esslinger has a book of retrospective work out) , and bought start-ups for their tech and thus rewarded those innovators for their effort.
Re: Get your terminology right!
>You won't say that if you invent something worthwhile and invest your life's savings in it only to see it rapidly copied and ripped off by the competition.
In that case you wouldn't be a NPE (non practising entity). The steps outlined by the congressman, such as giving a bond against the defendants costs, are not intended for people who invent things and want to develop them. Did you miss the second page of the article?
But there weren't any guns in Mortal Kombat, were there? Or did I fail to unlock a secret character who behaves like Indiana Jones when he brings a gun to swordfight?
'Worms'... its a variation on Scorched Earth with small cute worms and tongue in cheek references to war films. In terms of graphic violence, its on a par with plastic toy soldiers. However, it might tempt you to smack the smirk off your mate's face after he's just bungie-roped across the map to uppercut your last worm into the sea.
Re: Flexible phones.... why?
>How is a flexible phone going to be any better than a rigid phone?
Phones are not the only application for batteries... if something exists, people are more likely to use it. The home computer existed before the 'killer app' of the spreadsheet, to give but one example.
If Obama is unwilling, we can elect someone who is.
Morbo will now introduce the candidates - Puny Human Number One, Puny Human Number Two, and Morbo's good friend Richard Nixon.
Re: Search for which morons or morons your morons liked!
>Search for which movies or music your friends liked!...because you're too much of a fucking moron to actually form your own opinions.
Er, the whole point of requesting movie reviews is to avoid watching bad movies- I'd rather not waste two hours watching The Texan Chainsaw Massacre remake when ALL signs are that it is complete shit. The Evil Dead remake, with no CGI and blessing from Bruce Campbell... maybe, will wait for a review. Groovy. I know tastes vary amongst my group of friends, just as it does amongst reviewers and publications.
>If you're not going to use FB properly then I agree, why have an account? Just so you can complain about it?
There is some useful functionality in Facebook, but mission creep in search of profit seems inevitable. I would agree that some more positive criticism here would be better than just bashing FB, but the place organise a critical mass of people would be on Facebook itself, such as:
It Facebook can be made to behave, it does clear the way for people to use it to help organise themselves- be it politically, socially, logistically or whatever.
Re: Isn't there a law against ...
>Isn't there a law against ...... facilitating stalkers?
Taking that argument, phone directories would be outlawed, as would shrubbery in residential areas, and for that matter, roads.
Jake, I find Facebook's history of not respecting privacy as distasteful as I'm sure you do, but your rhetoric needs a little refinement!
I though the done thing thing when encountering a boring article was to move on to the next one without leaving a comment.
JDX wasn't shilling, he was being imaginative. If there wasn't the fear of data abuse, then much is possible. However, to foster the trust in the system that is needed for more edifying projects (see Arab Spring, car sharing, study of epidemiology etc) would require a different funding system and users owning the company. Its too late for that now.
Zuckerberg has talked of a post-privacy society, which rightly puts people off. Unfortunately, it doesn't put enough people off for a peer-to-peer based, user-respecting alternative to arise.
It is sad that a system that is becoming a de facto means of political engagement is funded on ambitions of flogging personal data to entities who try to nudge our decisions.
(Facebook as it stands bugs me, and I rarely log on - party invites etc are forwarded to my inbox).
Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!
Oh well. Give me Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut then.
Re: Sad, but...[Jessops vs Amazon]
Well, its the same story in Currys and Maplins... £15 for a plain ol' USB A > B cable?
Re: Surprised it has lasted this long
Yep, think about how many independent record shops there were on Park Street in Bristol alone, ten years back.
And then there seemed to be a branch of Fopp on every street in the town... the indys went belly up, Fopp rationalised its stores down to one... ho hum.
Re: You could browse, but they made paying difficult.
HMV's £2.95 insurance against breaking headphones seemed reasonable, but now of course it won't be honoured. The lad who served me on a busy Sunday before Christmas seemed a sound individual - hope he and his colleagues do okay in 2013.
Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid
>To paraphrase the late Kerry Packer: "If someone is paying more tax than they are legally required then they need to have their heads read. It's not as if the Government is spending it so wisely we should donate extra".
If you have extra money to give away then give it to a Charity if you want to make a real difference (at least it's more likely to benefit the needy than giving it to Parliament....)
Only Kerry Packer didn't make any big donations to charity. Dick Smith tried to cajole him and other Aussie millionaires into it, but they said "We don't show off like you, Dick, we do it anonymously..."
So, Dick Smith contacted all the major Aussie charities, and they all told him that they just don't receive massive anonymous donations.
Dick Smith was the man who jumped a double decker bus over fifteen motorcycles, as a 'homage' to Evil Knievel.