4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: Dashed hopes
Lusty is correct. When it comes to dismantling devices for their constituent parts, as opposed for repair, parts that are held together with glue can be batch-processed by heating them; traditional fasteners are comparatively fiddly and labour-intensive to undo.
I remember reading about this situation over a decade ago - before Apple were using the technique - when it was clear that manufacturers would become responsible for the end-of-life disposal of their products by law, thus spurring some research into how to reduce the cost of breaking products down to their component parts.
ABS plastic, as used for the cases of many electronic products, is fairly easy to recycle, but so is aluminium. The costs come in processing, but there are enough Macs and iDevices out there for there to be economies of scale in in dismantling them.
Of course, the recycling is only part of the equation, and needs to be seen with how much the device is used when it is working, and for how long it lasts without breaking down. There are probably some reports on the internet - drawn from different data sets - about the reliability of various bits of kit.
Re: Phillips monitor
....or the monitor asks you "Why can't I see your right hand?"
However, Top Gear is probably a good go-to test of streaming video... most episodes feature similar scenes (in terms of panning and editing style, fast cuts between scenes etc) of a car travelling around a track... the sort of stuff that can be affected by slow bandwidth.
The BBC output that always looks bad over iPlayer are scenes of flocks of birds in nature documentaries- a whole screen of avians flapping around an estuary or tree always results in blocky footage for me.
Re: Did anyone else think
>some of the Luidia pens look like something naughty?
Given they started out as tools for teachers, I'd have thought issues like that would have come to light in a room full of teenagers! : D
Re: My office comforts...
>I have tried and tried with wireless mice and find that they always go to sleep, leading to a couple of seconds of shaking it to wake it up, or worse having to press a button to wake it (which of course registers on the pc wherever the mouse happens to be)
Seems odd, I haven't experienced that with any of my Logitechs. I would say that not all optical or 'laser' Logitech mice are created equal - one of the cheap Laser models can't track for toffee, causing inefficiency, frustration and wrist pain. The 'LS' range seem to behave, and the 'MX Darkfield' models are blissful; though pricey at their RRP of £90, they can occasionally be found for around £35. The battery on the Darkfields only lasts a couple of weeks (though they give you a rechargeable AA battery, a microUSB charging cable and a wall charger), compared to over a year for the plain laser 'Marathon' mice.
The 'Hyperscroll' wheel is also very nice to use when scrolling long pages - it's a weighted scroll whell mounted on ballbearings, so continues to scroll after an initial flick. This can be switched to rotate in discrete 'clicks' like normal, if the application benefits from scroll wheel staying put.
I haven't used a Microsoft mouse for years so can't really comment on them, but I'm sure they're perfectly good.
Re: Shock, horror, gasp etc
>An average mouse - £10-15: a reinvention of the mouse - £265.
A lot of ergonomic kit is highly priced; there just isn't the volume of sales to divide the R&D and manufacturing costs.
Anyway, are you comparing its price tag to another mouse (in which case it is expensive), or comparing it to the cost of surgery on your wrist tendons (in which case it is a bargain)?
A cheaper way of avoiding wrist complaints is to vary your input method... for example, switch between mouse, trackpad, stylus and touch-screen on a regular basis - and learn some keyboard navigation / short-cuts too. Another trick (YMMV) is to train yourself to be ambidextrous with the mouse... some people can use a mouse with either hand after about a week- then just switch hand every twenty minutes or so.
Look after yourselves : D
Re: Phillips monitor
Rather than have the monitor nag the user to "sit ten centimetres closer", the monitor should move towards the user.... The monitor is failing to grasp who is serving who!
The only Android tablet I know of that can function as a second monitor to a laptop is this new Wacom thing, when it also acts as a digitiser for the laptop.
There may be others I don't know of.
Re: And with no fanfare... @AC good riddance
I'm not sure that you would want to trust your 100GB of RAW files to a single spinning-rust HDD - if it goes 'kaput', you've wasted the day of everybody involved (each of them likely on a substantial day-rate i.e financial corner-cutting on your storage is not worth the risk). You'd at least want those files on a second external disk ASAP, so two external HDDs isn't much of an inconvenience.
Re: No upgrades... ever
Er, why the downvote on something that is factually correct? The RAM on the 27" model is easily upgraded, the RAM on the 21" model can be updated but not easily, since you have to take the display off first:
...after the "Late 2012" 21.5-Inch iMac models shipped, site sponsor Other World Computing disassembled one and discovered that it has two internal SO-DIMM slots (and subsequent "Early 2013" and "Late 2013" models are the same). Unfortunately, accessing these slots requires one to gingerly pry off the adhesive-attached display and remove the motherboard. By contrast, the 27-Inch models have a small panel that "pops off" the back with the press of a button. Needless to say, pressing a button to access the four SO-DIMM slots in the 27-Inch models is quick and easy.
Re: No upgrades... ever
You can upgrade the RAM on the bigger iMacs easily via a panel, but not on the smaller iMacs.
I don't have a touchscreen PC, and I don't like when people I'm working with jab my laptop's screen with their finger.
Let's see if these mini-'Kinects' or 'Leapmotion' touch-free devices take off (or get incorporated into laptops and OSs).
Re: And with no fanfare a Macbook Pro was removed from the line-up
>The only models with a DVD drive left are... 1 (one) 13" non-retina Pro.
That is made non-obvious on the Apple website, and it's poor value compared to their other Macbook models. Just get an external DVD drive, it's easier to replace when it fails.
Having an extra bit of kit might not be neat, but a DVD drive presupposes you're carrying DVDs with you; an external drive isn't much bigger than a DVD case these days.
From Wired's 1997 opinion piece "101 ways to save Apple":
28. Don't lose your sense of humor. Build a very large life preserver and display it in front of your Cupertino, California, headquarters.
I don't know if people use the term 'life preserver' for a life jacket, or for one of those orange dough-nut shaped things on a rope that are stationed next to public waterways... if the latter, Wired was being very prescient!
Re: Downvoters: show us your links.
>I connected my Yamaha keyboards MIDI USB port to my iPad using the USB adapter in the camera connection kit.
And all iDevices have supported wireless MIDI since the first iPod, too. It does Apple no harm to cater to a group of people, like musicians, who are in the public eye.
Downvoters: show us your links.
Hmm, still not sure what USB connectivity the OP thinks is missing:
24bit 192 Khz DACs for iDevices:
SD card reader and USB host:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Quality-digital-Connection-connector/dp/B00AXC5MBW/ref=pd_cp_computers_3 5in1 digital Camera Connection Kit USB/SD/TF Card Reader For iPad - £5.99
High quality headphones with iDevice remote controls and microphones:
High quality microphones for iDevices:
There may be valid complaints about the iPad, but being unable to connect stuff to it is not one of them. True, the USB host isn't built in, nor is a microUSB port, but then they aren't on the Samsung Tab, either. The Nexus 7 requires an adaptor to be USB host, and the Nexus 4 won't support it at all.
Journalists advising Apple, hahaha
This classic is from 1997: Wired's '101 Ways to Save Apple'. I remember reading it at the time in a, gasp, dead-tree copy of the magazine.
Wired's first two ideas?
1. Admit it. You're out of the hardware game.
2. License the Apple name/technology to appliance manufacturers and build GUIs for every possible device - from washing machines to telephones to WebTV.
Some do seem prescient, though:
14. Do something creative with the design of the box and separate yourselves from the pack.
19. Get rid of the cables.
39. Build a laptop that weighs 2 pounds.
52. Return to the heady days of yore by insisting that Steve Jobs regrow his beard.
Re: @ Wibble - iPads are expensive?
>The iPad misses some hugely basic pieces of functionality, such as being able to hook up USB devices
You can connect an SD card reader or a USB A host (and thus even an external 24 bit DAC ) to an iPad if you want, not to mention a wide and commonly available range of 'made for iPad' 3rd party peripherals. What more do you want?
If you want a serial port to connect your oscilloscope then get yourself a cheap netbook.
Re: Resale value
I'm not a Mac or iTunes user either, but I would have thought you'd just Google for some software to copy the music off the device, allowing you to then experiment with iTunes without risk.
The first iPods and iTunes had DRM, but that was necessary to get the music publishers on board with the concept. Once iTunes was a big enough force to dictate terms they abandoned DRM, thus paving the way for other online music retailers.
I don't use iDevices, but I wouldn't deny they work well for a lot of people. Other MP3 players support DRM as an option too, everything from an iRiver to a Sansa (until you stick Rockbox on them)
Re: Battery life under Linux?
Well, if you are primarily running Windows (perhaps the applications you use require it), it isn't a bad idea to be able to dual-boot Linux too, if only as recovery environment.... though to be fair, you could just run it off a live CD / thumbstick in those circumstances.
Another reason might be to purely use the second OS for applications such as online banking... a Linux guest OS wouldn't be immune if it its Windows host OS had contracted a keylogger, for example.
And then Steam are pushing a Linux-based OS for gaming performance reasons. Since these days many people have a second internet device to hand (phone, tablet), then restarting your main computer to boot into a gaming OS isn't the inconvenience it used to be (especially if booting from an SSD).
Re: @Quxy "occupied by competitors who both have OSes....."
It was good of you to try different OSs, Quxy. Which browsers were you using?
Apple are claiming that Safari in Mavericks has been designed to extend battery life (such as suspending activity in browser windows that can't be seen) so it seems reasonable to assume that they might have made some efforts in that area in the current version of Safari.
Windows browsers vary in their use of system resources, too.
Does anyone have experience of using a 3rd party Bluetooth keyboard that is sold as working with iPads with an Android device?
The press invitation for today's Apple event reads:
"We still have a lot to cover"
which could well be a hint at new iPad covers (as well as updated iPads), if you compare past Apple event invites with what was actually announced.
Re: Surprised they haven't already
>Surface looks so much thinner and slicker than other Windows tablets
Well, no 3rd party has put that much effort into Win RT Tabs, and as for full-fat Windows tablets 3rd parties have been concentrating on tablet/laptop hybrid styles that lean more towards the laptop side - i.e devices that can look like tablets but don't have detachable keyboards, such as the Lenovo Yoga, some Sony effort.
Windows without a keyboard is dependant on software that only requires a touchscreen, and most (but not all*) people will find their needs met in that regard met by a cheaper Android tablet.
*Windows tablets have been around for years; my mechanic uses one in the workshop for diagnosing vehicle systems, I've seen surveyors use them, and Wacom have just released a Win 8 tablet incorporating the best of their digitiser technology (want).
"Warning: Do not put on knob or bollocks"
The Amazon customer reviews for 'Veet for men' are a comic goldmine, and occiasional poetry:
Like a lot of reviewers, I decided that a tidy up was in order after noticing Stephen and the twins looked not unlike Gandalf in a thunderstorm. Being somewhat worried about waving sharp blades near my gentlemens mechanicals, this stuff seemed like a good bet.
Should anyone wish to experience a similar level of pain, I suggest lowering your love spuds into a pan of boiling cillit bang, whilst getting a friend or colleague to roughly insert a pineapple into the suntanned cyclops using a six pound sledgehammer and a good run up.
Excellent product. Most prisoners confessed within five minutes of the first application. Can recommend.
Secret Police, Damascus
The WinPho feature that allows children to use a device for games without then deleting contacts etc seems very sensible, based as it is on how people actually use tablets and phones in the real world.
Children seem drawn to expensive and fragile bits of kit, and instinctively know when they are being fobbed off with a cheap toy instead of, say, a DSLR, a smart phone or a pair of spectacles. Why toy manufacturers haven't cottoned on to this, I don't know.
Re: Just more marketing b*ll
If all AMD were doing was promoting the technology, that would be important in itself - since the technique requires developers to adopt it.
Re: Sounds very interesting
You've mentioned before that the applications you use are CUDA-accelerated, Mr Wilkinson. Has anything changed? (I know that some previously CUDA-only assisted applications are incorporating OpenCL in light of the upcoming AMD-powered MacPro)
Re: Looks at £5 given for last samsung phone
Nah, you just bought the wrong alternatives to Apple devices... look at the eBay prices for an iRiver H320 (an iPod competitor, used the same battery and HDD but with a colour screen and line-in recording). : D
>Im a fan of real buttons on my phones.
Yeah, even on an Android phone I prefer the three system buttons to be physical... its irritating to be kicked out of an app because my clumsy finger has slid over the virtual 'home' button. How Google think this serves game developers on their platform escapes me.
Re: The EU
AC, I was talking about the 13-pin connector, since it was contemporary with the mess the EU sought to fix. The Lightening connector came out afterwards.
I've read somewhere that microUSB (unlike microUSB) is designed so that any mechanical failure will occur in the cable and not in your expensive gadget.
Re: Excellent news.
I like Panasonic cameras, but they don't charge over microUSB- and annoying use batteries of much the same size but with millimetre-scale differences so that different chargers are required.
So I bought a Hana universal LiOn charger- just align its pins with the battery contacts, and voltage and polarity are automatically set and charging begins. It will also charge a couple of AA or AAA cells, and has a female USB A socket too. Obviously it doesn't work for gadgets with built in batteries, but is a handy bit of kit to have around.
Re: @ dmartin - Only in the EU
Agreed, an old-style 'Nokia' plug is much quicker and easier to use than microUSB.
The only ray of light for the people with reduced dexterity is the promise of wireless charging mats (aside from various proprietary docking solutions such as used to be featured on old Nokias or some new Sonys)
Re: While I like the unified charger idea
Agreed, having a near-standard (if not perfect) connector is preferable to holding out for something perfect.
Re: 2 requests
C'mon, it was the likes of Sony-Ericsson and Samsung who had almost as many power connectors as they did models of phones. It is them that created the daft situation that the EU sought to rectify, not Apple.
Re: The EU
Yeah, but over same time period that Apple stuck with their old 13 pin connector, my assorted gadgets used around nine (?!) different power connectors:
2 different Nokia plugs
3 different Samsung plugs
A weird Sony-Ericsson thing
A fairly generic fat round 5v jobbie
...and some of the above gadgets even used their proprietary connectors for headphones, FFS!
It seems the EU's hand was forced by manufacturers like Sony-Ericsson and Samsung being so daft as to never twice use the same connector; I'm sorry, I just don't see Apple as being culpable in this instance. Forcing something on them for the sins of their competitors is just silly.
Re: USB: This side up
A connector that can be drastically improved by the user by adding a dab of Tippex wasn't properly designed in the first place.
Re: Good idea
>I can see a gap in the market for a double UK socket sized unit to replace a double socket with one 13A socket and a collection of USB charging sockets.
Maybe, but it would need to come with some 3' long microUSB cables to be left in semi-permanently, so you don't have to get down on all-fours to plug the cable in.
Re: Good news....
>A power socket can't really be improved, except by standardising.
Really? MicroUSB was an improvement over MiniUSB; not only is it slimmer, but also designed so that if there is a mechanical failure it will occur in the cheap cable and not the expensive device being charged.
And so in turn, it is easy to imagine improvements to microUSB. For starters, take the rough edges off so it can't scratch things, make it omni-directional and make it more amenable to using in docks. There is also the situation that a microUSB 3 cable can't be used to charge a microUSB 2 device...
That said, the shortcomings of microUSB are more than made up for by its current ubiquity.
Re: Is the iWatch a bluff?
>Of course, it's possible that Apple isn't planning on making a smart watch at all.
If Apple have decided that it isn't worth their while developing a 'smartwatch', they still would have done 'due process' to reach that conclusion. That 'due process' would be in part be research into the 'smartwatch' concept.
Take that little iPod Nano, for example: There would have been a considered reason, perhaps commercial or technical, why they didn't include Bluetooth and thus allow it to work with iPhones.
Re: Bad taste
You do realise it is just a test rig for exploring potential UI concepts?
>Anything less is barely an improvement on a 500 year-old fob watch.
It would be churlish of me to suggest that John Harrison made a bit of an improvement when your comment brought this to my attention:
The 'Pomander' timepiece from 1505.
Re: Great potential
Yeah, I was wondering why they needed six screens too, even as a 'test rig'. It's good to see people are testing some future concepts though.
Apple are sitting on a patent that can allow a 'smartwatch' to look more like jewellery; the micro-perforated aluminium (like that used for the power LED on their wireless keyboards) combined with a capacitive sensor to detect deflections in the aluminium surface when touched. Obviously the patent made no mention of smartwatches, but it would allow an 'invisible' (when not in use) touch screen.
In memory of Iain M. Banks: from The Player of Games, the bracelet modelled on an Orbital habitat.
Well done INSparticus! I'm kicking myself for not making a connection with that failed Russian satellite launch earlier.
Regarding its use in driving games, a 5º discrepancy would bring some extra realism... it'd be just like the steering wheel in my works Transit van!
Re: modern life is rubbish
The more technology one throws at the morning alarm the more points of failure there are, alas. Android has a few annoyances, one of which is that they don't tend to be able to turn themselves on for an alarm - strange, cos every dumb- and feature-phone I've had from a 3310i onwards has been able to do so.
And wasn't there a (now corrected) iOS bug from a few years back that stopped the alarm from working? (Albeit on a specific date)
>Gadgets that light up the room are no good either since they are no less likely to disturb the wife.
Aw come on Mr D, you write for a technology website: Surely some sort of facial recognition system and head-tracking narrow-beam spotlight contraption bolted to your bedroom ceiling is the answer?
Re: Anki Panki
>Right, because only Apple's iThings could possibly run RC apps, right?
Homer, I didn't say that Android can't do RC, merely that it is plausible for a company to target one platform before another for sound business reasons. Please don't give us the impression that your English comprehension is in need of a pit-stop, because you're probably better than that.
Re: I want one @Ted Treen
>Just give them the box and tell them to use their imagination.
I was brought up in public houses* before Gameboys or iPhones were used to distract nippers**, and my imagination told me that the piece of card inside fag*** packets resembled the shuttle from Star trek.