* Posts by Dave 126

6073 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Google says its quantum computer is 100 million times faster than PC

Dave 126
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Re: sorry, not a geek but

@ WillbeIT

> sorry, not a geek

Don't worry! Quantum physics in general has confused and upset our greatest physicists - though real quantum effects have been used in what is now everyday technology. The jury has been out on this D-Wave machine for a little while, because of the difficulty in proving, or devising tests to prove, that it is faster than the 'classical computers' we use everyday. What D-Wave have never claimed is that their machine can perform Shor's Algorithm.... And this is important. Let's pause here a moment.

Quantum systems can exist such that all their particles are both ON and OFF at the same time ( I'm grossly oversimplifying here), so if it has enough 'quantum bits' (qbits) it could calculate every possible answer to a question at the same time, instead of trying one answer at a time like a normal computer would. The implications for breaking encryption are huge.

Our encryption is based on the difficulty of factorising very big numbers, but an algorithm for doining so quickly using (theoretical) quantum computers to do so has existed for years, and it is called Shor's Algorithm.

What D-Wave claim, and what Google believe they have a use for, is that their machine can find optimisations in quadratic equations.

tl;dr A future quantum computer has the potential to massively upset our computer encryption, but not one based on this machine. There has been a lot of debate amongst academics as to what exactly this machine is doing, but Google - the customer- seem happy with it.

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Now you can tailor Swift – Apple open-sources the whole shebang

Dave 126
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>The decision is a move away from the typical Apple approach of tightly controlling all its products

It's hardly unprecedented:

Apple made Webkit, ResearchKit and Darwin OS open source. FireWire used patents owned by quite a few companies, so wasn't Apple's to give away, but was available to any hardware maker that wanted to include it for less than a dollar per device.

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So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?

Dave 126
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If Mr Dabbs is in need of catharsis, he could do worse than to watch Mike Judge's Silicon Valley:

http://www.hooli.xyz/#inspiration

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Mobe-maker OnePlus 'fesses up to flouting USB-C spec

Dave 126
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Re: I watched CSI Cyber

So that's what Led Zep's Lemon Song is about!

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Dave 126
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>ice theory, but this 'ere really good quality Sony cable will not charge the wife's crackberry, while a skinny, fourpenny fleabay job plugged into the same PSU will.

Is the cheap fleabay cable wired for data? Some devices will charge faster if they spot that the data pins are shorted, i.e they will only draw 500mA if they spot a data cable, since this was the spec for computer USB sockets. The Sony cables will be data cables. The fleabay cable might be power only. Newer devices will happily draw 1-2 A over a data cable, if the power supply is up to it. (Phones power supplies are typically 1.2A - 1.5A, tablet PSs are usually 2A)

Whilst it can be hard to spot which cables are of a decent gauge, short cables are obviously easy to identify.

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Lights, power, action! Smartplugs with a twist

Dave 126
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Trojan Room Coffee Pot

Said to be the first webcam. Nothing to do with malware. Or Trojans.

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Dave 126
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Re: sigh

>IoT is the new cocaine, something for those with far too much disposable income to waste their money on

I'd say that 'IoT' is the new late-1970s home microcomputer. Not really productive, expensive, interesting for some to play with. Those who do play with it might have a head start when it becomes mre mainstream.

As a concept it is mature in industry, in the homes of the stupidly wealthy (the high-end propriety stuff) and even in our cars (sensors and actuators on doors and windows, etc). Okay, these applications often use CANBUS or whatever and not IP, you get the idea... it's still packet-based with addressable modules.

In our homes it is in its infancy - often insecure, and the preserve of hobbyists as denoted by a 'special' aisle in Maplins.

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Dave 126
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>Butters both sides of both slices of bread.

I reckon if I took my RepRap 3D printer apart, I could probably achieve a good bit of that with the components. Extrude (one stepper motor) butter on the toast in an X-Y grid pattern ( another 2 stepper motors), leaving me one stepper motor left over. The bed of the 3D printer is heated....

Hmmm.... I'll go away and have a think about this.

Or..... Ryobi make a mastic gun that takes a 18v battery*.... could be re-purposed to apply cold butter to bread, methinks. It wouldn't be automatic, but it would be fun.

* Not completely stupid.... applying a long thin bead of a stiff mastic like polyurethane can be tiring.... if it was a job I did a lot I might consider one.

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Dave 126
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What custard said - you can imagine a company being wary of selling plugs that a user has to wire themselves. I'm sure most of you here are competent at it (Earth wire longer and with more spare than blue, blue longer and more spare than brown etc) but before moulded plugs with new kit was the norm the Consumer Association randomly tested plugs that had been wired by employees of high street retailers.... the results were scary.

Similar concerns about selling 'smart' power sockets to swap for the ones in your wall.

Selling a 'smart' kettle lead as a single unit would sidestep that concern....though it wouldn't make it any more useful.

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Dave 126
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Re: Utterly idiotic

Similar in spirit to Chondogu is the 1969 work by:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Carelman

The Book of Unfindable Objects.

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Outsourcer didn't press ON switch, so Reg reader flew 15 hours to do the job

Dave 126
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Re: Shirley...

Then the Zeroth Rule would be: Have you tried turning it on?

Also from the IT Crowd:

- So you want me to open your laptop for you?

- I would be beholden to you!

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What the world needs now is Pi, sweet $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

Dave 126
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Re: Interchangable micro-USB ports?

I don't know, but the nice big picture (link below) shows the PCB marked 'PWR IN' next to one microUSB port, and 'USB' next to the other. My guess is that PWR IN is only for power, but I'm not certain.

- http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-11/26/raspberry-pi-zero-launch

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Dave 126
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Re: Best of all it don't run windows

>"Charity as a business" is rarely as clear cut as finding some poor people and giving them some money,

You're right, I'm glad we agree. The Gates Foundation doesn't just dump money on existing charities - it has a very large lump of cash to begin with, so it can act more strategically. Take research into disease; often scientists don't know whether they will have funding one year to the next, so will be looking around for new jobs. If a research project has guaranteed funding for X years, as the Gates Foundation can provide, there is less turn-over of researchers.

I'm not saying it is perfect, or that it doesn't deserve to be criticised where appropriate, but it seems in general to be a good thing.

And yeah, MS products have caused me a silly amount of frustration over the years, through bugs and stupid decisions (and yeah, if I was a competitor to MS like Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net* who was shafted, I'd feel naffed off) but I'm in good health and mostly happy.

*http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net

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Dave 126
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Re: Best of all it don't run windows

You're correct, mea culpa, that should of course have been Gates' (possessive plural of Gates, i.e Bill and Melinda) not Gate's. I also made a couple of other typos, too. Ah well.

I was finished, but then I was asked a question, and gave an answer.

Anyway, my original point was merely that Bill Gates isn't going to lose sleep over the lack of Windows on the Pi Zero, as OP had suggested he might. I stand by that. Mine was clearly a comment about how he spends his time (objective), rather than his motives (subjective).

In any case, what is altruism? If one considers the wellbeing of one's children and grandchildren as being 'selfish' (survival of one's genes and all that), then acting to reduce disease and increase education globally is also selfish. It's just not stupid selfish.

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Dave 126
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Re: When I were a lad

>I looked forward to the floppy disk on Computer Shopper

-Oh we used to dream of a floppy disk! We had to to type in our games from the back of a magazine!

-Back of a magazine? Luxury! We had to punch our games into cards, and load them into the steam computer ten hours before we wanted to play, and then it would only run for two minutes before it crashed and burnt our house down.

-Aye, but if you try telling young people that today, they won't believe you.

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Dave 126
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The easy rule-of-thumb guide to whether a product is over priced is how much advertising they do. Gillette, and thus Gillette's customers, spend a shitload on TV advertising.

Of course, it is spread out over the number of customers....so say you see roughly the same number of glossy adverts for Ford Focus cars and for Alpha Romeos, yet on the road you see ten times as many Fords, you can estimate that a much larger chunk of the Alpha's price tag has been spent on marketing.

I use King of Shaves Azure blades (sadly discontinued and replaced by a much pricier version)- they work better than Gillette, yet are a 1/4 of the price, since they aren't advertised on television. I came to them because I had previously been impressed by King of Shaves shaving gel.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lidl or whoever offered some inexpensive yet just-as-good-as-Gillette razors - I'll have to try some out.

The onion knows it: http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades-11056

Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of shaving in this country. The Gillette Mach3 was the razor to own. Then the other guy came out with a three-blade razor. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Mach3Turbo. That's three blades and an aloe strip. For moisture. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened—the bastards went to four blades. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling three blades and a strip. Moisture or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to five blades.

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Dave 126
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Re: Best of all it don't run windows

>Altruist Bill is helping the poor?

That's a moot point AC, since the Mr Gates was only raised in this thread with regard to him being upset at Windows losing sales / market share.

But since you asked, the Gate's intention is give 95% of their wealth to good causes, and they have already donated £28 billion. Further more, the spending of this money can be planned for maximum impact, because unlike charities that ask for donation every year, there is already cash in the bank that be quickly mobilised in the event of a natural disaster.

>putting a sticking plaster on a wound stretching from head to toe is not the same as not wounding them in the first place.

Wow. So by your reasoning, helping millions of people be free of disease and malnutrition is a 'sticking plaster', and the damage to a few thousand engineers in rival software houses (plus frustration to millions of PC users) is a 'wound from head to toe'. Look, go in peace, read up, and reconsider your perspective.

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Dave 126
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Re: Overpriced

>Plus you have to add the cost of SD card, PSU, keyboard, mouse, USB hub, cables and cable adapters and most likely a WiFi module before you have anything really useful. So that's probably nearer £40 than £4

Informal Reg pole: How many of you here have these doodads already kicking around, taking up space in desk drawers and shoeboxes?

For those who don't, Pi are offering a pack containing a mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor, micro-B USB to USB A female cable (OTG) and a 2x20 0.1" male GPIO header for a total of £4.

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Dave 126
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Re: Best of all it don't run windows

I don't think MS takes up much of Bill's time these days. He's spending his days looking at how to put his money to work improving the lives of people for whom even a $5 might be a bit of stretch.

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Dave 126
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Re: Pi vs Pie

A lot of headless hobbyist* applications are well served by Arduino boards of one flavour or another, whereas this is aimed at cheap coding - hence the HDMI.

I'm no expert, but trying to imagine the headless applications fpr the extra grunt the Pi provides over most Arduino boards.... object recognition for robots, maybe?

https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/projects/raspberrypi/tutorials/robot/face_detection/

*headless hobbyist? His past-times included lion taming.

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Who's right on crypto: An American prosecutor or a Lebanese coder?

Dave 126
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Re: Bottom line is ...

>strong encryption exists, and is in the wild. There is absolutely nothing that worldwide.gov can do about it.

Hit you with spanners until you unlock it? (Apologies to XKCD)

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Suck it, Elon – Jeff Bezos' New Shepard space rocket blasts off, lands in one piece

Dave 126
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Re: Nouveau riche?

>I'd prefer to spend it on fast cars, booze, and fast women (

If you have billions of dollars, you'd struggle to spend it all that way, even if the cars were high class, the booze high performance, and the women triple-distilled.

You're correct that this didn't make orbit, but then it was never meant to. Still, baby steps and all that.

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Randall Munroe spoke to The Reg again. We're habit-forming that way

Dave 126
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No, pops, it's too risky! For all we know, there could be cubes in there the size of gorillas!

- The Simpson's Tree House of Horror, Homer3

Paralleling Mr Munroe's career path, a great number of The Simpson's writers hold maths or physics degrees: http://mathsci2.appstate.edu/~sjg/simpsonsmath/degrees.html

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

Dave 126
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Re: true suffering

>Most of the "drivers eye" "cab-view" films released on DVD for enthusiasts of such things are rated as what? Exempt? How does that work?

From the article:

"UK law ensures that, in effect, a film cannot be released in British cinemas without a BBFC certificate."

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How TV ads silently ping commands to phones: Sneaky SilverPush code reverse-engineered

Dave 126
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Re: Those frequencies are too high

NICAM was digital audio that accompanied analogue video broadcasts.

NICAM had an upper frequency limit of "15KHz due to anti-aliasing filters at the encoder" ( http://web.archive.org/web/20111017094248/http://stoneship.org.uk/~steve/nicam.html ), which might be where Richard got his figure from.

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Dave 126
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Re: Those frequencies are too high

>IIRC, the broadcast audio bandwidth is 50Hz to 15kHz.

Eh?

The audio codecs used in DVB are MPEG-1&2, Dolby AC3 and AAC.

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Dave 126
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Re: Tea anyone?

Fosters would be unknown in the UK if it wasn't for Barry Humphrey's cartoon strip in Private Eye, and later a film, about Barry McKenzie. Bazza was was a parody of the boorish Australian overseas, particularly those residing in Britain – ignorant, loud, crude, drunk and punchy.

Not only did Humpries give us Fosters, he gave us 'technicolor yawn' and 'point Percy at the porcelain'.

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Dave 126
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Re: This stuff goes back at least 20 years

> This stuff goes back at least 20 years

And the rest!

Halloween III (1982) had the plot of a toy maker distributing novelty Halloween masks with a computer chip containing a fragment of Stonehenge. When the Silver Shamrock TV special airs on Halloween night, the chip will activate, killing the one wearing it and unleashing a lethal swarm of insects and snakes to kill those nearby.

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Android's accessibility service grants god-mode p0wn power

Dave 126
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Re: Back Orifice

What does that even mean?

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Dave 126
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Re: These families root the victim’s device after being installed

"The following exploits are used by ShiftyBug and Shuanet of the mentioned families:

Memexploit

Framaroot

ExynosAbuse

These are not new exploits, in fact, many of them are used in popular root enablers."

From: Lookout discovers new trojanized adware; 20K popular apps caught in the crossfire https://blog.lookout.com/blog/2015/11/04/trojanized-adware/

Basically, don't use third party app stores that you don't trust.

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Apple's Watch charging pad proves Cupertino still screwing buyers

Dave 126
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Re: it doesn't bother iWatch owners if their charging matt doesn't charge Samsung phones...

>are instead forced to front up for the dubious pleasure of the £80 white teaplate.

Forced? No, you're not forced, just don't buy an Apple Watch. If you do, the Apple Charger Dock is £65, not £80. And even then the Apple website will sell you a 3rd party dock solution that uses the original charger.

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Dave 126
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Re: This kind of crap is why I won't buy Apple products....

Aye, just when we thought that we could relax with micro-USB, we now have USB-C on the horizon... the one thing to look forward to is that it, like Lightening, can be plugged in either way up. That alone, for me, makes it worth phasing out my micro-USB gubbins.

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Dave 126
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Re: Again?

>Don't forget the chip in the iPod headphones to ensure idiot apple buyers could only use official iPod headphones.

Oh yeah, Apple 'idiot buyers' who enjoy the largest range of 3rd party wired headsets from Sennheiser to Kilpsch... ohhh, the morons!

But seriously, 'Feature phones' from the time of the first iPhone didn't even usually feature a 3.5mm headphone socket. Even left to themselves, Android phones don't have a standard for wired headsets with remote controls... shit, even within brands they mess it up; Sony used two different resistances across Android phone generations (they are better now, the Z series now allow stereo microphones, even). If Android vendors, or even Google bashed their heads together, sorted this nonsense out then yeah, i might have an issue with Apple.

As it is, I'm just an Android user who can't believe the stupidity. Those of us who don't use Apple would do better expressing the things we want done better, instead of lobbing stones.

It's 2015 - where the hell is my one-click whole phone back-up and restore?! (Android does contacts, but apps and SMS messages require more effort)

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Dave 126
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Maybe. On my drawer I have 3 distinct Samsung chargers, 2 Sony Ericssons, 2 Nokias, plus Mini and Micro USB. Its worth noting the Samsung and Nokia phones didn't even sport a standard 3.5 mm headphone/set socket, but made you use propriety shit.

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Dave 126
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Re: Powering up reality distortion field now...

I'm with Woz on this; market forces prevent the best possible device from being offered to users. That said:

All iWatch owners are iPhone users. Therefore it doesn't bother iWatch owners if their charging matt doesn't charge Samsung phones.

That seems a fairly straightforward logic... the way the article wilfully ignores the idea it comes across like a Daily Express article about Billy Connelly.

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Storm in a teacup: Wileyfox does Android cheapie, British style

Dave 126
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Re: Wileyfox Swift

>Any suggestions for PAYG data?

For data SIMs, try looking at the forums here:

http://www.hotukdeals.com/mobiles/deals/hot?page=2

A quick scan shows Asda are doing 12GB for £5... after you use it, shop around again!

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DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge

Dave 126
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Re: SM

Haha, I watched Zoolander again the other night, a film in which the Citreon SM makes a cameo.

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Apple's design 'drives up support costs, makes gadgets harder to use'

Dave 126
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>Under your logic, the car that will attempt the land speed record won't need a braking parachute.

I'm confused- how did you arrive at that?

My point was only that the UI should follow the function of the device, and that you can't just apply ideas from one system to a new one - otherwise you have WinCE.

Many people started using 'Undo' in word-processors and the like, and started using 'Back' in browsers, and they did this in WIMP environments. Now, windows (with a small 'w') are a physical metaphor - they reassure the user that whilst they are looking at one piece of paper (window), the others haven't disappeared from their desk. However, we don't use this paradigm on mobile devices - there isn't enough screen real estate. So, other approaches have been used, from Sony's late '90's jog-dial-driven phone UIs, to WebOS's cards, to the ever-changing multitasking in Android.

Sometime the user will just have to get used to a new paradigm, and attempts to shield the user from it are merely putting of the inevitable. Example: a user of desktop computers comes to Android/iOS and can't find the 'Exit Program' function. Until they grok why there isn't such an option (work is saved automatically, program is closed if memory is tight), it might unsettle them. Even then it might piss them off if the streaming podcast they are listening to needs to restart after a phone call because the OS has decided to close the music player app.

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Dave 126
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Re: huh? - facepalm

Cancelling a payment.... that depends upon the law of the land and the terms and conditions of the other party, the banking system used etc. Those sorts of things can't be forced by simply including an 'undo' button in a UI.

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Dave 126
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Re: huh? - facepalm

>Aren't sending emails, posting to social networks and paying for something EXACTLY the sort of functions you need a cancel/undo for ..

You might well want that, but that would be a function of the service provider, not the OS. And the user would have to understand that their instant messaging system isn't instant, but has a lag of X seconds, suring which time they can 'Undo' their 'send'. Hmmm. Now you have the situation where 'send' now means 'send in a bit'... simple, heh?

My point was that if the main functions of a device are reading information or sending information, an 'Undo' button is of far less use than it is on a computer used for creating and editing content.

Now, the idea of conflating an 'Undo' button with a universal 'Back one step' button is not without its merits, but brings its own compromises. It is for reasons like this that UI/UX design is bloody complex, and being dogmatic can be counterproductive.

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Dave 126
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Re: hardware designer Jony Ive?

That's strange Mage, because Dieter Rams considers Jony Ive to be Product Designer.

Ive has largely followed Ram's '10 Principles', but that cannot be done slavishly - if you understood them or the work involved in Product Design, you would know that. Shit, even common sense should tell you 'if it were that easy, everybody would be doing it'.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8555503/Dieter-Rams-Apple-has-achieved-something-I-never-did.html

I know enough about product design to know how little I know. And I have a BSc degree and working experience.

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Dave 126
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It's a long old read.

Whilst some of their points are valid ( font size etc ) they do come across as being dogmatic. The first iPhone apps were primarily for accessing information (maps, train times, news etc) and so had no place for an 'Undo' button. The same goes for making purchases on-line, or sending emails or social media posts. 'Undo' isn't applicable.

Rather than acknowledge this, the pair seemed to have missed the wood for the trees.

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It's come to this for IBM: Watson is now a gimmick app on the iPhone

Dave 126
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So...

Since people like us have been aware of Watson for a while, it's a sensible marketing department that aims its advert at people who aren't like us.

Besides, I can imagine what sort of questions Reg readers might ask of Watson if given a go - I doubt the answers would be suitable for broadcast television commercials.

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Belling that cat: Oz boffins pass entanglement test

Dave 126
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Re: 96% is high-fidelity?

Yet your data storage / transmission systems don't have a fidelity of 100%... hence checksums, error correction and other techniques.

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BlackBerry Priv: After two weeks on test, looks like this is a keeper

Dave 126
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Re: Yes!

The bootloader cannot be unlocked, according to BB's Head of Devices:

http://www.androidcentral.com/exclusive-interview-blackberrys-president-devices-about-their-first-android-phone

If I read the PDF linked to in the following article correctly, the bootloader is a major security weakness on many Android phones, should the attacker gain physical access for just a minute:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/16/faux_disk_encryption/

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Dave 126
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From the article, with added emphasis:

> even downloading a new browser without being more geeky than I had time for required using Chrome, which wouldn’t do anything without me signing into a Google account first.

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Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds

Dave 126
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Re: I wonder

Nescafe don't make coffee.

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Dave 126
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Re: Okay, got it

>consider diet and exercise rather than extra lattes or flat whites.

Past studies that have suggested coffee is good for you usually suggest it works better when you don't add milk.

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Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

Dave 126
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Re: “He”

The article author knows which posts belong to this convicted commentard. There may be a clue as to their sex in their posts.

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Microsoft shelves 'suicidal' Android-on-Windows plan

Dave 126
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Re: What 'app gap'?

That's a gross exaggeration.

However, it is true that a fair few users will have 90+% of their needs met by just a handful of apps: Phone, Text, Maps, Browser, Email, Calender, Camera, Music etc.

Other users might find genuine utility in a niche app, especially if they work in a sector like construction or music production, and will choose their platform accordingly.

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