4218 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: Will it have Couch Potato mode?
Some Sony TVs already turn themselves off - you don't need home automation for that to happen! Some models detect motion in the room (though evidently we've been a bit too 'relaxed' on occasion, since it thinks we're either dead, asleep or absent), others go to sleep when buttons haven't been pushed for a while.
There is definitely a market for home automation and the like, but currently costs are high.
For example, Sonos home audio systems carry a very high price tag, yet many readers here could 'roll their own' at a fraction of the cost using Homeplugs and Tri-path amplifiers (okay, the end result might not be as 'polished', but the BOM is similar).
You don't have to suffer from full-blown OCD to sometimes have a nagging feeling "Did I turn the iron off before I left the house?" as you're on your way to work. A system that could provide such confirmation through one's smartphone would be welcome. The devil will be in the ease of use in the application.
Sensors are cheap, processing power is cheap. Using an array of microphones could allow the movement of people in a house to be tracked.... turning on lights is one application, burglar detection another.... or even "There hasn't been a sound from Granny's house for 10 hours, let's give her a ring and see if she's okay".
Re: woot Arizona
I wonder.... are solar furnaces practical in Arizona? Are solar furnaces even suitable for manufacturing smelted materials on an industrial basis?
I really don't know. Any thoughts?
>To obtain the maximum economies of scale, the sapphire glass needs to also be sold at reasonable prices to possible competitors. This is something that I just don't see Apple doing.
That's the point; the factory that eventually produces the sapphire / sapphire parts won't be owned by Apple, but by their partner; "it's almost vertical integration but not quite".
There are companies that aren't in competition with Apple who might buy the sapphire. Plausibly products such as lightbulbs or kitchenware might one day make use of sapphire in their construction, just as examples.
Re: Scruffy = status in sysadmin world;
Scott Adams made the same observation in a Dilbert four-panel cartoon, showing the dress of four office inhabitants. (I couldn't find a link to it, sorry).
The poorly dressed guy: "I am a worthless peon, treat me like earwax"
The smartly dressed guy with slicked hair: "Be nice to me, I'll be your boss one day."
The bearded guy wearing sandals, shorts and a tie-dye t-shirt: "I am the only one who knows how the IT system works; treat me like God"
This review of BF4 suggests that bugs are just a part of the Battlefield games:
Re: top-spec PC
Here you go, Tom's cahrt of average frame rates for Battlefield 4 across a range of popular graphics cards:
Re: Ditch the aluminium
I think 'frank ly' might have been referring to Aluminium Oxynitride.
Another way to make aluminium work as a display of sorts (though not transparent) is to drill lots of tiny holes in it:
It is a measure of my ignorance that I have never understood why a system designed to simply display and print documents allows code to be run on your machine. Oh well.
Re: What's it for?
Exactly: Why build your own render farm at great expense if it's sitting idle most of the time?
Renders often come towards the end of the job as the deadline approaches... having them done in half an hour instead of overnight can save a lot of stress.
Re: What's it for?
It would be fast enough for 3D visualisation; it's not a game, you're not looking for a competitive advantage of few milliseconds. The powerful graphics are so that large assemblies of hundreds or thousands of parts can be accurately viewed, not to shunt frames out a rate of 60 per second.
The advantages are that you can rent the software by the hour, you are not limited by the RAM of your client machine so large assemblies can be viewed smoothly, and when you are ready to render (or simulate) you can throw more CPU/GPUs at it nearly instantly. Also, engineers in different locations can work collaboratively on the same model.
1980s video games taught me to equate 'Boss' with 'Big Baddie", to be shot, bombed, round-house kicked or shurikened as appropriate.
Luckily, I have come to realise that isn't always true.
Re: I initially read that...
If you can assemble your own system, it doesn't matter what the reference design look, it's the combination of the controller and UI design that is important.
I think a nice big passive cooler mounted in a chassis resembling a valve amplifier would look good on some people's AV cabinets...
http://www.2dayblog.com/images/2012/april/550x-nofan-cooler.jpg (95 W TDP)
That'll cool any sensible CPU for gaming, a shame there doesn't appear to be similar passive solutions for GPUs.
Re: Total, complete & utter bullshit.
> Total, complete & utter bullshit.
>Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. I did, when I was about six years old. I've demonstrated my results many times in the ensuing nearly five decades.
jake, you didn't prove the Mpemba effect doesn't happen, you only proved that the Mpemba effect doesn't happen in the circumstances you tested.
Variables include respective temperatures of the two (or more) liquid water samples, their size, the shape and size of the containers, the temperature of the freezer, the texture of the test containers (nucleation sites), any difference between the two samples in terms of dissolved solids or gases. It is possible to have observed what you observed, yet still consider the Mpemba effect to be plausible in other circumstances.
There is also ambiguity in the definition of the term, as well; whether it refers to when the water starts to freeze, or to when it is frozen completely.
EDIT: Link added http://phys.org/news188801988.html
Re: Biological signals in Omega clouds?
Add Arthur C Clarke, Alfred Bester and William Gibson to the list... and I have a fellow commentard to thank for bringing Murray Leinster's 1946 story "A Logic Named Joe" to my attention.
Re: Not so surprising
I was thinking the same, though I don't know enough about the Apple App Store. Does downloading an app count as using it? Even if not, isn't it human nature to run an app once its first installed?
I was tempted a while back to get a 7-9" USB-driven (ideally resistive or capacitive touchscreen) for my laptop - it seemed a handy place to put tool palettes and the like. However, at around £80 they didn't seem good value for me (laptop rarely leaves my desk) against a second 15" monitor for around £25.
From the linked article ""The LCD will require a 12V supply : bugger, I was hoping it came to under 500mA @ 5V.
I was just saying that computers don't "go obsolete very quickly" these days. Specialist users (gamers, editors, animators, scientists, traders) will always gain benefit from more power (and thus easy upgrades), but average users can do all they need on modestly specced machines, and on most software they won't even notice much of a difference.
They won't, until Microsoft decide that Word needs the return of Clippy, but this time raytraced in real-time and composited against a 4K video live stream.
Re: Basically it's the best tablet available for most people
The 64bit processor will have more relevance in a couple of years time, but it makes sense for Apple to introduce it now so that by then most of their iDevice range will be using it, making software development easier.
> because someone seems to have started making machines that cannot be user serviced, or upgraded at all, so they go obselete very quickly
Obsolete? Really? Through the nineties and into the early 2000s it was sensible to buy a new desktop for around £1000, because the software and new uses would mean that more CPU, RAM and HDD was always desirable, not to mention having to add stuff like soundcards, CD-ROMs and scanner cards (IRQs, joy). In the mid 2000s, there just wasn't that much that more power would do for the general user, since by then a £500 (or cheaper) machine could happily do all the email, DTP, image editing, web-browsing and DVD playback that a general user would need.
My laptop was bought several years ago, and still performs excellently for CAD and the like. It could always be faster on a render or whatever (and an SSD wouldn't hurt it), but it is very far from being obsolete.
>I think the next claim for this terrible infections capabilities will be encoding data and sending it by flashing the screen
There has been work done in that sort of area:
In a separate study conducted in the US, the LED lights that adorn most communications hardware, such as modems and routers, have also been used to snoop on electronic communications.
Joe Loughry of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and David Umphress at Auburn University, in the US, found that the technique allowed plain text to be captured from up to 30 metres away. In a real life scenario, this information might include sensitive information such as passwords.
Two more possible vectors, one CRT/LCD, one CRT only:
'Monitor's flicker reveals data on screen'
"Back in 1985, Wim Van Eck proved it was possible to tune into the radio emissions produced by electromagentic coils in a CRT display and then reconstruct the image. The practice became known as Van Eck Phreaking, and NATO spent a fortune making its systems invulnerable to it. "
Re: Difficult to see this one happening
>The recipient PC needs some system (executing code) to convert sounds it receives into commands - which implies it has already been pwned. What then is the point of the sonic link ?
Purely hypothetically, the idea is that the initial USB infection across the air gap only has to happen once; after which data (albeit limited) can be passed back and forth more regularly by the sonic method.
I'm too ignorant to speculate on the technical validity of the claim, I'm just suggesting a possible end-use were it to be true.
>[this is how] Osama's computer was set up
With that wording, "set up" can either be taken as meaning 'installed normally' (i.e "I bought a new computer and I set it up on my desk"), or as meaning 'manipulated / interfered with' (i.e "It wasn't me officer, honest, someone has set me up!")
Re: "Raaah Lovely..." -- wait, did I hear something?
> But what's interesting to consider - is there a way that a computer program could induce EM noise into either the mains or the environment,
That thought occurred to the researcher in the article... he says he unplugged the power cables from the laptops, leaving them to run on their own batteries during testing.
Re: Phone Dialler
>I know 10x more Sony Android phone owners than I do people that own the Windows phone disaster...
>> I've never seen a single Sony Android, though I don't look closely at every phone I see.
Well, that's anecdotal evidence for you... the good people in my local beer garden have between them three Sony Android phones (an Xperia Z, T, and P) and three WinPho 8 phones... and that's not including the bloke who has a HTC HD2 running WinMobile 6.x that his sister gave him. But hey, that's just a sample pool of several dozen regular drinkers.
Amongst the younger pub users, it does seem to be mainly Samsung Galaxies and iPhones.
Re: That'll be an up-vote for you
>google even allow you to do it and sell it via the play store.
If a manufacturer forks Android, Google will prevent them from using the Play Store, Gmail Client, Google Maps and any other app that requires the (closed source) Google Play Services library (which they promote to app developers as offering advanced functionality and better hooks into the hardware)... This is maybe why Samsung phones ship with Samsung apps that appear to duplicate the functionality of Google's offerings (i.e there is a Samsung App store, Samsung Translate, Samsung Mail, Calender, S Voice dictation etc.); Samsung have been hedging their bets.
Re: Why Android?
You can easily experience what a desktop UI feels like on a mobile phone by using a remote desktop app and controlling your desktop machine from your phone. It's doable, but you wouldn't want to make a habit of it. Early versions of Windows Mobile, aka WinCE (for good reason) also tried to bring something that look like desktop Windows to small screens.
Microsoft with Win8 and Canonical with Ubuntu are trying to develop UIs that can be used across screen sizes... Apple aren't bothering, save for bringing some iOS-style multitouch gestures to OSX (note to MS; OSX incorporated gestures in addition to existing menus, 'corners' and keyboard shortcuts. Not genius, just common sense.)
Re: Sony forcasts 42m Android Xperias sales in 2013.
Yep, when there doesn't appear to much to choose between Sony's, Samsung's and HTC's flagship offerings, go with the waterproof phone. Let's hope that it becomes a standard feature on phones in future.
There is a waterproof version of the Galaxy S4, (S4 Active) but it isn't available as part of a UK contract AFAIK, at least on EE.
Thinking of the PS3-owning households I know, they are not going to be bothered by any of the points in the article, other than perhaps wanting to use a couple of their old Dualshock 3 controllers alongside the new ones for some 4-player splitscreen gaming.
Mandatory downvote for using the word 'sheeple', regardless of the topic.
It's a word that betrays a shitty attitude that says "I know better than than the great unwashed, my opinions are are a result of my superior powers of perception. It is obvious that the poor proles are merely following the herd and are incapable of weighing their own requirements against what is being offered to them by company X, because otherwise they would have the very same opinion as I do. Aren't I a smart and independent-thinking kinda guy?"
Re: What's wrong with this picture....
The purpose of ink jet printers is to be sold at £25 to encourage users to buy ink at a greater cost per gram than cocaine. They might try 3rd party cartridges, but sometimes don't work very well, depending on the model of printer and the make of cartridge. Even the kosher cartidges drey up, as you say, and by the time you've got the IPA and lint free cloth out of the drawer things have got messy.
B&W laser printers are pretty cheap these days, and if a photograph is worth printing, then it is usually worth getting it printed at any large supermarket / high street.
I don't do much printing at home - normally I email documents - so hadn't used the household's Brother WiFi printer until last week. Okay, I thought, it should just show up in my Printers and Devices, right? No. Okay, I'm unlikely to find its original CD, so I'll just download the drivers... what a mess the Brother website is.
The option Brother wanted me to download is 145 MB... "But I just want to print and leave the house!". Though less than clear, I did find a smaller driver download, but the process could have been so much easier.
There has also been the aborted Nexus Q, the recent Chromecast dongle and the incoming Nexus watch.
But yeah, its more than just a showroom... a venue for PR events, corporate hospitality, Google X Prize events etc.
Re: OS/2? Netware?
When I was in my early teens I tried to install OS/2 Warp, and gave up.
When I was in my late twenties, an ATM in South America decided to reset itself whilst my credit card was insde it... upon rebooting, I took a picture of its OS/2 splash screen. I had to stay in town an extra day to retrieve my card from the bank who operated the machine. My thanks to the Peruvian Transport Police.
Re: The only weird thing is this article.
>And ZevenOS, really? 'Get weird' with just another Ubuntu remix (as if there weren't enough already)?
Read the article again; the reference to ZevenOS was contained within brackets, i.e it was only mentioned as a passing remark, a footnote to the article.
AC was probably using the brand as shorthand for the OS's perception amongst both consumers and developers. You can tell he didn't mean for it to be taken literally because he placed quotation marks around it.
The Android logo has been used prominently on some hardware packaging in the past (if only to indicate that it was a 'smartphone' and not a feature phone, or that the device was more than just a portable media player), when it wasn't as well known amongst consumers as it is today. Using a logo in that way is what people usually take to be 'branding', being as it is akin to marking symbols on the rear end of cattle with a hot branding iron.
That said, wasn't there a recent Reg article about a survey that found they general public had a greater awareness of Samsung than they did Android?
Re: they really have nothing
>Show me an Apple product with a design like that.
Here you go!
They do look very similar, albeit from just one specific angle. The placement of a power button at the end of a cylinder probably didn't originate with Apple though... some older Sony VAIO laptops had a similar design (though the power button was green). Like this Lenovo Yoga, the VAIOs used a cylinder since it was a part of a hinge mechanism (whereas the cylinder shape on the Apple wireless keyboard comes from the shape of the AA batteries it contains):
However, Mr Bough is incorrect to say that Lenovo have nothing beyond copying Apple... The original Lenovo Yoga looks to be a good design, simpler and more sensible than some other laptop/tablet hybrid designs. That is not their only interesting laptop... the beastly Lenovo W700ds mmobile workstation with two screens is unlike anything Apple have ever made:
Re: BAD idea
C'mon Mr Campbell
There are people with restricted use of their hands through arthritis, just as there are people have less motor control of their hands for a variety of reasons, some with less strength in their fingers.
Even if your phone never slips from your fingers, you might trip and fall down... in which case you would want to be able to call for help even if you've fallen on your phone in your pocket. (I do hope you don't fall over!)
Other people have young children who might drop a phone onto the ground.
Personal experience does have a place in product design, but taking the experience of others into account can often result in the better product.
Re: BAD idea
The video shows the pins have a cut-away... after assembling your phone LEGO-style, you turn a screw in the base that locks them in.
Still, all those pins and that mechanisms is going to add to the total weight.
Re: Crazy theory...
Hehe, back from when DACs were so pricey it seemed a good idea to use the one on your PC's soundcard, IIRC.
There's no shortage of pirate stations in London... in fact it's hard to find a slot in the spectrum to use an FM transmitter in your car to relay your own choice of audio to a stereo that lacks an aux input.
That's another area where perceived progress was actually regression: Many tape-based car stereos had aux-inputs marked 'CD'... when CD playing head-units became the norm, the aux-input became rarer.
Re: simple solution
>surely is just to make all future radio sets (particularly those in cars) have to support dab as well as fm. Then when you want to switch in a few years it won't matter because everyone will have dab capacity.
Why would I buy a new radio in the next few years? There are lots of FM radio sets that have worked for a very long time, and will continue to do so for many years. It be a shame to throw out a Roberts or a Sony after decades of faithful service!
I love Radio 6 Music, and I won't deny that FM stations are limited. That was taken into account in my argument, and I did state that DAB has more stations that FM.
Basically, the cons outweigh the pros.
Today you can walk into any supermarket and walk out with a £3.99 device that will let you hear the news, some comedy and some music, and continue to do so for many many hours on a single battery... making it £25 for a device that only lasts a few hours is just silly. Really, it's like the difference between a CREE LED and a Xenon flash-light in terms of battery life. One of the genuinely useful technological advances in the last decade is that when you pull a torch out of your glovebox today, there is a very good chance the damned thing is ready for use.
- inexpensive sets,
-very good battery life (weeks of occasional listing on two AA batteries)
-audio is in sync between sets in different rooms (not true of DAB sets)
-speech remains largely comprehensible when reception is poor.
-sets turn on instantly
-Expensive sets (of which I would need two at home plus one in the car and one for the jacket pocket)
-terrible battery life,
- only a slightly wider selection of content than FM
-Audio quality rapidly becomes intolerable when reception is poor.
-audio quality not fantastic, even in ideal reception (poor codec)
-Thousands of stations and podcasts, plus streaming services from Spotify et al.
-Many people already own the required hardware
-Sound quality can be very good.
If I wanted the things DAB offers, I'd be better off using the internet. I already possess the hardware, and there is literally a whole world of content available. Leave FM alone - there is a place for easy, cheap, low power listening. DAB shares the disadvantages of internet-enabled devices (expense and poor battery life) but offers only a shadow of their advantages.
I'm not sure what is difficult to grasp here.
Re: It's a shame more people don't give BB10 a second look
>Finally, as far as I can tell, it's unbrickable, perhaps a legacy of supporting non-technical corporates for so long?
Being based on QNX - a Real Time OS with a long history of being used where reliability is paramount, such as industrial machine control - probably has something to do with it.
Re: 13 inch maxi-pad
>13 inch maxi-pad... Surely that's a very limited market.
It is, and so you'll £1200 for the privilege:
...but you do get a market-leading digitiser for your money.
I think Apple could be serving their traditional core of users (graphic designers and digital artists) by teaming up with Wacom, but then there is always a Modbook Pro, starting at $2900 - again with a Wacom digitiser.
Re: "So what do you suggest, Mr Clever Clogs?"
Thanks for joining in! I just wanted to express my ignorance because whilst toys (educational or otherwise) are marketed between girls and boys differently, I didn't want to start a nature / nurture / cultural influences type debate.
How the cultural pressure can be challenged (and in this thread, with respect to programming and technology more widely) is an important question... but that's getting into sociology, which is a bit too fuzzy for my particular brain to deal with!
Re. Gears and things, I find solid-state audio players very boring compared to some of the beautifully engineered disc/tape ejection mechanisms found in Walkmans, camcorders and Minidisc players. Many people have a preference for mechanical watches over quartz models, for much the same reason.
I think the idea is to make these things so fun that mummy and daddy will want to play with them, and use little Johnny as an excuse.
This is in contrast to leaving to leaving little Johnny in front of a screen and mummy and daddy opening bottle of wine in the next room.
Re: Great expectations...
Steve Crooks' point about smartphones is interesting because smartphones already have motion / light / sound sensors built in. Okay, the lack of standardisation between models would cause some issues, but I could imagine a class project to make a 'burglar alarm' from a smartphone ( IF no light detected AND foot steps detected THEN make a alarm sound and flash light )
Okay, there is a case to be made for not giving young children smartphones (they don't need to text each other and play games in school) but a phone is a mobile package of CPU and sensors...
On another note, does anyone else remember those RadioShack / Maplins kits that were a board of electronic components (transistors, diodes, relays, a transformer, a CCD etc) that allowed circuits to be created by just clipping pieces of wire into spring-terminals? I made smoke come out of mine...
Re: Great expectations...
Sorry mate, I wasn't being clear.To be honest, I was rambling a bit because my head was buzzing with how great it would be to 8 years old again with some of this kit! (For years I resented my primary school for possessing a BigTrak but not letting me play with it!)
I didn't mean to advocate the Pi (nor dismiss it), I was just trying to step back from the issue and think about how programming might be used in education by writing down some unordered thoughts : D
Upon reflection, I think that teaching some programming and then having it integrated into other subjects where appropriate (much like mathematics is) might be a good idea... but it is only my opinion and I have no expertise or credentials in education (other than I have been subjected to it!).
Disclosure: I should be considered a complete beginner in programming. I read about BASIC when I was in primary school, but hardly wrote more than a few lines. I did a bit of Hypercard a few years later, and at university I used a little bit of VB with Powerpoint, in order to create a mock-up of a MP3 player interface (in the 'information ergonomics' module of my Product Design course.
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