* Posts by Dave 126

4980 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Who's the big Swiss bunch that wants to take Sir Jony's lunch? It's... SWATCH!

Dave 126
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Re: Didn't know they still existed

The role of Swatch in the creation of the Smart car brand is worth bearing in mind when considering stories about established companies exampning into market sectors that are new to them.

Say you're a company who makes phones and you have a track record of successfully selling them at a high margin for nearly a decade. It stands to reason that you have data about your customers - gleaned from your existing marketing department and from the user's devices and buying habits - that you can bring to bear when you enter a new market sector. Like the Apple Car rumours.

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Dave 126
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Re: Business Choices - Nick you are going to fail big time....

>Either you have a quality product or a cheap product and I can't think of many things worse that cheap electronics....

And your point in regard to this article is what? £10 buys me an accurate, reliable and resilient Casio watch with a elegantly simple 'analogue' display.

I take your point that poorly designed electronic goods with horrendous user interfaces are horrible, but if sold in volume that design cost is shared amongst a large number of units; the cost of that thoughtful design becomes only a small percentage on top of the Bill of Materials.

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Elon Musk's SpaceX: Now we help do SURVEILLANCE for the SPOOKS

Dave 126
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Re: Hmmm. . .

>At this rate we'll soon have enough material orbiting the planet to make Dyson sphere

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space."

Anyhows, Dyson Spheres are built around the star, not around some lump of rock that orbits it.

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'iPhone 6S' to push fanbois around with 'Force Touch display'

Dave 126
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The Holy Grail...

...would be a touch screen that can assume the feel of any raised surface, such as a BlackBerry keyboard or even just an old Nokia keypad. I've never used a Blackberry, but there are some operations that are just quicker on an old Nokia (remember, all the menu and sub-menu options could be accessed by number) than on a touch-screen device.

It goes without saying that the benefit to blind users could be huge; a screen that can morph to convey Braille.

That said, sometimes the best solution takes work on the part of the user - a MicroWriter-style chorded keyboard is a more natural fit for a phone-sized device than a QWERTY, yet it is not commercially available. Similarly, I wonder of coded vibrations can convey words to blind users as quickly as raised dots. Any ideas?

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Sir Jony Ive, chief Apple doodler, promoted – into job he already has

Dave 126
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Re: Design ...

There is a bit of cross over between Sony and Apple:

- Both companies didn't like focus groups for the same reason that Henry Ford gave: "people would just tell me they wanted a faster horse!". Empirical studies over decades tell us that what people say they want isn't isn't what they will actually buy.

- Portable audio players. Both 'Walkman' and 'iPod' have become near generic, like 'Hoover'.

-Esslinger. Designed for Wega before Sony bought it. Developed Apple's 1980's design language. Sony's Playstation was a deliberate homage to it.

- Propriety interfaces. Buy a Sony TV and the remote control for a Sony DVD player will control it. Great. If you only own Sony kit. Umm.

-Steve Jobs used to just walk in to Sony HQ. When he ended the MacOS clone programme, he was willing to make an exception for Sony VAIO laptops and desktops (designed by the Playstation lead designer). However Sony were too far down the MS Windows path by then. Jobs also suggested to Sony that they stick a GPS receiver in their digital cameras.

- Sony, and later Apple, kit is used in broadcast and video editing.

- Shuttle controls in Sony's video editing kit became the iPod's scroll wheel, via a Bang and Olufsen telephone.

- Sony had all the pieces to create a iTunes online music store and hardware player, and they had done the studies and tests... but they tripped themselves up.

-Digital Cameras. The Apple QuickTake camera.

-FireWire

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Dave 126
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Re: Design ...

I think he was more form than UI design, though of course the form of many devices is a part of the user's interaction - i.e, the Big Green Button on photocopiers, the moulded line between the eject button and the disc lid on the original Sony PlayStation, the position of volume buttons on mobile phones.

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Dave 126
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Re: Design ...

> I guess FEA is used on Apple's cases, too. But I have a suspicion JI is not involved in that side of it.

No. Ive isn't programming the FEA directly. But then, he's not much of a CAD jockey in general, preferring working with materials by hand. The standard disclaimer on FEA software is "This software is not intended to replace real physical testing, but only to reduce it". Apple will still build prototypes at all stages of the design process (Ive's studio has a couple of CNC machines at one end of the room) and test them. In any case, you can think of a product designer as a project manager - co-ordinating individuals from a wide range of disciplines.

However, Ive is very interested in what FEA and real testing can tell him about materials and manufacturing processes. This is evident in the variety of manufacturing processes that Apple employ - machining, extrusion, forging, deep drawing, laser cutting... and that's just their aluminium parts.

This isn't unique to Ive. The good product designers have never been the ones who hand a magic-marker pen drawing to an engineer and say "Now - you build this!"

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Dave 126
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Re: Design ...

First up, I'm glad you've heard of Dieter Rams. I would encourage you to seek out some interviews with him, though, and perhaps study more about product design - I personally find it a fascinating area because of the wide range of disciplines it incorporates. A good place to start might be the career of another German designer, Hartmut Esslinger, who founded FrogDesign and consulted for Wega, Sony, Apple and NeXT. That will take you into how design featured in Sony's products of the 1990s, with some clear parallels to Apple's subsequent story.

Dieter Rams didn't call himself a 'designer', because he knew a lot of people mistook the term as referring purely to the appearance of an object. Rams prefers a German phrase that translates as 'Form Engineer'.

Good design is time consuming; following Rams' '10 Principles' takes a long time. Analyse the problem, create solutions, build prototypes, test, redesign, repeat many, many times. You have to balance the engineering, the users' needs, the economics, the technology... Good product designers do understand the manufacturing processes that they will choose from.

Side note: It wasn't Steve Jobs that hired Ive. Ive had been working as a consultant for Apple for a couple years, before joining them in 1992 - they tempted him in with a fake tablet computer project. Ive nearly quit before Job's return to Apple. Esslinger suggested to Jobs that Apple had some talented individuals in its design department, that could do good things if given the power to do so.

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'The Google execs, the journalists, plus Brit and US spybosses in a cosy mansion confab'

Dave 126
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It makes you feel uncomfortable? Surely one assumes that many of the attendees have already met in secret.

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Huawei announces tiny 10 KB IoT kernel

Dave 126
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Re: 10KB for the OS?

>"A tailored Linux kernel would be much better"

How so? And how are the Real Time variants of Linux doing these days?

>"has much better support, been developed and gone through testing for 20+ years," applies to some RTOSs more than it does to Linux. For IoT applications, the tried and tested OSs from the fields of Industrial Control and Avionics are a better place to look.

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Get off the phone!! Seven out of ten US drivers put theirs and your lives at risk

Dave 126
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Idiots! Texting whilst driving? How moronic of them. Here I am, writing on a Reg forum whilst driving home from t [ Screech BANG CRUCNH Arrg! NeeNaaNeeNaa bep bep beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep]

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Apple threw its TV out the window after years of research: report

Dave 126
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Re: Disproof

Haha, just the presence of Samantha in your sentence meant that I didn't read 'Cook' as 'Cook' at first scan!

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Dave 126
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Re: Disproof

There isn't that much that Apple or anyone else can add to a good TV panel to add value to it, especially if users are just going to plug in a Roku, games console, Apple TV, HTPC or satellite receiver etc anyway.

Apple would never be able to duplicate the functionality of all those boxes into one TV set, and there isn't any compelling reason why any UI-input device (microphone, camera or a Kinect-like sensor etc) should be built into the TV set either.

There is a reason why a Samsung TV looks much the same as a Sony or LG. A couple ofbrandcs have tried to differentiate their TVs - Phillips with AmbiLight, Bang and Olufsen with a massive speaker and fancy material finishes - but that hasn't earned them large market share.

Apple do have a 2010 patent on a laser-powered display that is transparent when turned off, but it consumed too much power and the picture quality was low.

A TV set that could be rolled up like a projector screen might be a fine thing, but one would expect that sort of tech to come from LG or Samsung - the people who actually make the panels.

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Get another loan, fanbois, the new MacBook Pro and iMac are here

Dave 126
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Re: Video card question

Its very possible that AMD have made some GPUs to Apple's specifications for grunt, power consumption, heat and price. Beyond that, I can't help, except to point towards the discussion here, where some commenters might know what they are talking about (I can't tell):

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9268/apple-announces-2015-15-retina-macbook-pro-cheaper-27-retina-imac

I'm sure that Anandtech will explain more about the GPU, and provide benchmarks, when they do a full review in future.

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Dave 126
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Re: oh and re the android comment...

>will it play crysis???

Yes, but not at its native resolution.

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Dave 126
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You would compare Android to OSX? Oh well.

Closer equivalents to OSX include Windows and some Linux distros - which these Macs will run happily. For Windows, Apple will supply you with the drivers.

Linus Torvalds, who had something to do the OS that Android is based around, uses a Macbook Air. He says he dislikes noisy computers at home, and values light laptops on the move. He's hardly a 'fanboi', as his January rant about Apple's HFS+ illustrates.

And that's it: We should judge products on their features and fitness for purpose, and not just which camp they come from. It is also right to base decisions on wider issues, such as environmental, data-retention and market practices of a company, but if so we should be careful about how we interpret the information available to us.

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KFC's new secret ingredient is a bluetooth keyboard on your tray

Dave 126
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Coffee/keyboard

Hmm..

Keyboard that doubles as a snack tray... not too bad an idea for a Home Theatre PC setup.

ICON: should be obvious.

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Apple patches FREAK-ed out Watch

Dave 126
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Re: As Always ....

I'm trying to think of a platform that doesn't have security updates issued as flaws are found after release. I can only assume eSem uses some perfect OS known only to himself.

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Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

Dave 126
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I saw it fly over the Shambala festival in Northamptonshire last August bank holiday. I can only assume it was on its way to a bank holiday airshow somewhere. Any idea which show that might have been?

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Use your Apple gizmos only for good, says Tim Cook

Dave 126
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Re: Wow...

>Sorry Timmy...completely happy with my Android phone, thank you very much....This is really pissing me off Timmy.

Relax. We would expect the CEO of any company to *say* that his products are the best, and we would also expect him to know that we expect him to say that. He merely was acknowledging his position whilst reminding people to turn their phones off in a light hearted way.

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Dave 126
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Re: Funny

>overpriced

What were you comparing the first iPhone to - the LG Prada? :)

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Dave 126
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Re: LOL - how?

The 'hold Vol-Down to make phone silent' facility seems to have disappeared in Lollipop. I'm in no hurry to upgrade from KitKat, so have been keeping an eye how other owners of my handset are getting on with Lollipop first.

>So it didn't occur to you to flick the switch on the side? Fuckwits, the pair of you.

That switch can also be configured to lock the screen orientation, IIRC.

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Microsoft's Surface 3 is sweet – but I wouldn't tickle my nads with it

Dave 126
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Re: What I find amusing...

The only time I've used the camera on a (10.1") tablet is in the Google Translate app- you point the tablet at a French newspaper and read a rough English translation on the screen. It's actually very good, though niche.

Trying the same on a newer, faster 4.3" phone was just a bit of a faff because of the smaller screen.

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Dave 126
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Re: RT was essential.

>Can we please see a pic of all tech reviewers who state that a mobile device is too heavy? Feeble!

Twat. I'm sure jason 7 will never age and become infirm.

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Dave 126
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Re: Connecting to wifi

>I come to El Reg for the comedy and I fully expect the author to rip the piss out of whatever the subject of the article is.

The Reg doesn't do that in *reviews*. Yeah, in all other articles the Reg will take the piss out of [Company], but its reviews of actual products are honest enough.

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Stolen an Apple watch? Want to pawn it off? Good news!

Dave 126
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What? If you're going to steal a watch, you don't give a damn what it'll be worth in ten years - you only care what you can get for it that week.

We're talking common thievery here, not investment.

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4K refresh sees Blu-ray climb to 100GB, again

Dave 126
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Re: Total waste of time

>Try and convince average joe to spend £600+ on a new 4k TV

Many of the 'average Joes' spent quite a bit more on their TVs some time ago, and many will be looking at something bigger and better. Generally, the time Reg readers spend messing around on PCs is time the average Joe and his/her family will spend watching TV and films.

Big TVs used to be the preserve of 'home cinema' enthusiasts - these days they are found in a good number of households.

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Dave 126
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Re: How long until 100GB M-DISC is available?

You're going to be around in a 100 years?

Don't be stingy, share your secret with us!

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Dave 126
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Re: DRM again........

Strange... £50 would buy him a good enough stand-alone Blu-Ray player deck. Still, if his eyesight doesn't allow him to see the benefit of the format, why bother?

However, see what the situation is a couple of years. It might be that High Dynamic range images prove to be clearer for people with impaired eyesight.

Still, it depends on whether he enjoys the cinematography of Lawrence of Arabia, or the gags of Tommy Cooper.

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Dave 126
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People do still buy disks. Not everybody has, is likely to get very soon, fast enough broadband to play HD content, let alone 4K content. Some people will take care when choosing a television set, since they enjoy watching movies.

4K TV sets are becoming an option worth considering, and new display technologies (OLED, Quantum Dot) are at the point where they can begin taking advantage of the extra data per pixel (colour space, dynamic range) of new content formats.

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Mobe network Three is the magic number for FreedomPop

Dave 126
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My thoughts too - this might be handy for a second phone/tablet, one that you only occasionally take away from a WiFi area.

For example, my mother is beginning to use her iPad Mini in her house as a quicker way of looking at weather forecasts and emails than her laptop. Every month or two she goes on a city break with friends, and would only really need enough data allowance on her iPad to consult Trip Advisor and the like. Her phone is an old Nokia 'candybar', so it isn't really suitable for that kind of use.

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Infosec bods demo GPU keylogger. Don't tell the NS... oh, wait

Dave 126
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Re: Remember

I believe Oninoshiko was being ironic

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Mondeo Man turns into mutant electrical beauty: Ford Mondeo Hybrid

Dave 126
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Re: White Elephant

Short answer: Smaller wheels have greater rolling resistance, but they require less energy to accelerate.

Long answer: Imagine a polished metal wheel on a glass surface - no deformation. The actual area of contact is nearly zero, a point. The direction of movement of the wheel at this point of contact is tangential to the wheel and parallel to the ground, so the movement is in the direction that we want the vehicle to travel. This scenario is cleanly impossible, an ideal from a text book.

Now add deformation. A rubber pneumatic tyre. We need it for traction. Our perfect circle now has a flattened area on the bottom. The direction of the wheel's movement at the point the wheel meets the ground is no longer parallel to the ground. This results in road noise and heating of the tyre. Now, for the same area of tyre-road contact, a larger wheel will result in the motion of the wheel being closer to parallel to the road.

Acceleration: bigger wheels have more angular momentum, weight for weight, than smaller wheels. A child on a roundabout knows that if they starting spinning whilst hanging out, they spin much faster when they pull their mass in towards the centre of the roundabout. Effectivily they start as a big wheel, and become a small wheel of the same weight - in order to preserve the angular momentum the speed up. In reality, big wheels will also be heavier than small wheels because otherwise they would break more easily.

So, big wheels reduce the energy you waste in friction. If we had 100% efficient (you can never have 100% efficiency!) regenerative breaking in electric vehicles, the energy used to accelerate bigger heavier wheels wouldn't be wasted since it would be reclaimed when the vehicle decelerated - just as energy can be stored in flywheels.

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SOD TABLETS, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a LAPTOP

Dave 126
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Re: Oh come on

What if your 'real work' is inspecting bridge structures against last known survey results? Are you seriously suggesting someone pushes a multi-monitored desktop around in a wheelbarrow?

Or are you suggesting that the people who stop our infrastructure from falling down aren't doing 'real work'?

Whether you like it not, software for professionals is developed for ARM tablets and rolled out into industry. It might not be your industry, but that doesn't mean it isn't 'real work'.

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Dave 126
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Re: The art of travel....

>Panasonic FZ1000

I wasn't aware of that one, and just read up on it.

Not to be confused with FZ-45 and their ilk, the FZ1000 is Panny's answer to the Sony RX10. Think of them both as being the long zoom versions of their respective LX-100 (again, a leap beyond the LX-3, 5 and 7) and RX-100 cameras.

When the RX10 was released, it was in a category of its own. One big tech site journo proclaimed it to be an 'Everything Camera', and his go-to tool when he didn't know what he would be shooting.

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Dave 126
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Re: The art of travel....

Photojournalists who think they have a lot of kit: spare a thought for travelling musicians!

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Dave 126
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Re: Laptop

Why would he need to remove the keyboard? There are only a few use-cases in which that benefits the user.

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Dave 126
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Re: Paranormal activity? Just another natural resource ripe for exploitation!

>Did you try replacing the user?

Yes, yes I did. He's a walking illustration of why walled gardens are a good idea for some people!

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Dave 126
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Re: Uploading 'everything' to iCloud?

>Now if you think I'm going to even attempt to take half decent pictures of a Female Grizzly and her Cubs (in Yellostone) with an iPhone 6+ camera, you are more than welsome to try.

The discussion is about tech blogging, and a photographer is unlikely to meet anything at a tech conference as dangerous as an enraged grizzly bear.... not now that Steve Balmer has retired, that is. New gadgets don't bite!

The right tool for the right job... too many of the trendy, shiny tech sites take photographs with too shallow a depth of field, so half the gadget in question is out of focus. They are evidently using premium-compact, mirrorless or full-blown DSLRs, but they seem fixated on presentation and not illustration.

Hmmm, you might get some interesting bear shots if you hung an iPhone from a tree, covered it in dog food, and then got an app to fire its camera when its gyros detect an ursine mauling... of course you'd need the photos to be sent off-phone in real time, but it seems doable!

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Dave 126
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Re: TL;DR version

>As long as you can manage with 1 (one) USB port and no hardwired Ethernet.

For the scenario in this article - mobile blogging- those aren't big problems. The Surface Pro 3 does have a microSD card slot, but it appears designed to be left in, as swapping it in and out to transfer photos is a bit fiddly. Still, if you do a lot of photoblogging, an Eye-Fi card might work for you (seek out the experiences of existing users first,to see if the reality matches the promise). If you use a USB cable to connect a camera already, it can live with all the camera accessories - cleaning cloths, lens caps, spare cards etc.

However, the Surface Pro is just a laptop, so has plenty of competition if its removable keyboard doesn't bring you any great benefits.

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Spooks: Big-screen upgrade for MI5 agents fails to be a hit job

Dave 126
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I'd read the book of Tinker Tailer before seeing the recent film version. The film has some merits, but I couldn't work out who it was for... there was too much plot squeezed into too short a running time. People who didn't already know the story told me they found the plot of the film confusing. For people who had read the book or watched the Alex Guinness version, the film had a couple of changes that were confusing. The production design and acting were very good though.

All of that holds for a recent Le Carre adaptation, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, A Most Wanted Man. The plot, motives and twists seemed clearer in the book. Perhaps 'mini-series' are a more natural format for Le Carre.

Le Carre's book A Most Delicate Truth is ripe for an adaptation, an angry portrayal of Blair-era worldwide private security contractors milking politicians. The market for mercenaries is a big business these days ( http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-market-for-mercenaries/6368296 )

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Dave 126
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Tech Angle

At the insistence of my housemate, I once read a thriller by a Spooks writer. It was no John le Carre. A bit that was annoying was the hero was given a two-part GPS co-ordinate, 54321, 12345 or whatever on a scrap of paper that takes him to an office block. The narrator then tells us that because he is a spy, he has a special GPS receiver that can give him altitude information, so he know which floor his target is on. WTF? He didn't have a Z-axis co-ordinate to work with!

Rubbish In, Rubbish Out. There is a reason I've watched the Wire, and Alec Guinness in Tinker Tailor, but not Spooks.

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No, really, that 12.9-inch MaxiPad is totally on the way now

Dave 126
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Re: Yes but evil Steve has declared...

Absolutely a small market - that is why they currently pay a lot of money to anyone catering to them, and why Apple haven't bothered selling 'artist's tablets' to them. It is a smaller subset of the small market that kept Apple alive during the '90s.

Adobe are actively working in this area, though, promoting a stylus and ruler combination for vanilla iPads.

Still, SoC and screen prices fall year on year - even if digitiser tech doesn't - so it might get to the point where a digitiser becomes a good way of differentiating a product for not too much extra cost.

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Dave 126
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Re: Much like fusion power

>That's a bit rich considering what OS (iOS) was running on what machines (iPads) in the recent grounding of lotsa aircraft.

Seriously? Logically: we know that it was either the OS or the app. Devices running the same OS but without the app did not exhibit this issue. Devices with the app did exhibit the issue. From this we conclude that it was probably the app that was responsible.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes but evil Steve has declared...

Jobs also once said that the next iPod will also make toast, when asked if it would play video. Jobs would say what he needed to say at the time. Don't think of it as any more than that.

A stylus on a phone is unnecessary for phone and text functions. Tablets and phablets - which people often use with two hands - change things. Apparently the Galaxy Note stylus is good for entering mathematical notation. Cintiq and Modbook make big digitiser tablets for artists. The decline in tablet sales suggests the low hanging fruit of the mass market has already been plucked.

A lot of time will have been spent by Apple, and by Microsoft and others, filming and analysing focus groups using prototype devices in different ways. The potential returns are too high to be amateurish and and unscientific about it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes but evil Steve has declared...

Indeed, Cintiq already make big tablets with digitisers, and charge even more than Apple do. From this we can assume there is a market for such devices.

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Dave 126
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Re: Much like fusion power

Practical, commercial nuclear fusion power is 50 years and always will be.

This will be the year of the Linux desktop.

The paperless office is nearly here.

It's 2015 and where's my hoverboard, Mattel? At least Nike are promising Marty McFly's Hyperdunk trainers with Power Laces before the year's end.

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Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

Dave 126
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Re: American priorities?

As Neil Armstrong said of himself: "I am and always will be a pocket-protector wearing engineer". He was prouder of being a boffin than being a bad-ass Navy test pilot and whatever else he did.

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Dave 126
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Re: How about a Nicolas Cage marathon shitfest?

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is good, but it might not be to everyone's taste.

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Dave 126
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Re: Needs more Cloverfield

The Hobbit movies I didn't enjoy. I got the impression that everybody involved in making them was bored of doing so. A shame, but LOTR was so well done, especially in making the landscapes so central.

Cloverfield I enjoyed. I'd held off watching it for some time due to some prejudice on my part, but its found-footage conceit was well executed and it zips along at a good pace. I hadn't watched a found-footage film since Man Bites Dog, so maybe it was that I wasn't bored of the style.

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