4134 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
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!
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.
Re: Anki Panki
There are some fair reasons why lots of hardware and software vendors go with iOS. If you take take a step back from your 'politics' conclusion, you'll have a better chance of understanding the business reasons behind this decision.
Device consistency, Bluetooth LE support, low system latency, limited supply capabilities and market research all play a part.
Re: I want one
Richard 120, you have taken me back to a Christmas Day in my childhood, when I couldn't get close to my new Lego Technic set because my dad was playing with it.
Re: 6 Years? WTH?
The cars drive themselves around the track, but the player controls the speed of the cars and where on the track they go (e.g take opponent on the inside, or just race down the middle) in addition to when to use weapons to slow rivals down. Do bear in mind that this is only one of many possible game-types, and that modes such as 'capture the flag' can be implemented in future via software updates, or possibly developed by the players themselves.
More details here: http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/16/4841798/are-anki-cars-the-start-of-a-robot-revolution
There are lots of software developers and hardware vendors who only target iOS devices, so Anki are hardly unusual in this respect. There is zero point generating more interest than you can currently supply, so you might as well develop for one platform first and then move on to a second or third. The choice of going with iOS might be influenced by the low latency of the platform, and Apple's inclusion of Bluetooth Low Energy - the latter of which only some newer Android devices support.
Re: I want one
Only some of the more recent Android handsets support Bluetooth LE, so give it time. It's much the same reason that smart-watches from Casio and Citizen only support iOS at the moment.
If the intention is to leave children alone with this, it is better they use a cheap 'n cheerful Android tablet rather than a pricey iPad.
Looks like good fun.... wonder if people will create DIY equivalents using Arduino boards. It'd be good if the racing mat had a different texture on both sides- a grippy side simulating tarmac, and slippery side for drifting 'rally' fun.
Re: The most important question
Who said that land-based creepy-crawlies taste bad? In many countries they are considered a tasty snack- it's just our social conditioning that makes us go 'Urgh!'. Being rational about it, locusts live in nice clean air, shrimps in sewage-contaminated water.
Re: This looks to be a better idea:
"Upon the fleas were other fleas and so on ad infinitum" - we get it. I was just making the point that whilst a wristwatch is easy to check visually for notifications, it isn't suitable for headphones.
The precedent for this is the Sony Wireless Walkman... this was a 'proper' Walkman in that it played cassette tapes, but it was paired to a matchbox sized receiver into which the headphones were plugged. The receiver had transport controls that were relayed to the main Walkman unit.
This was in the mid-nineties, and it was available in Japan. My assumption is that the UK's transmission regulations prohibited its sale here.
Re: This looks to be a better idea:
Er, how does it make you look like dick when it resembles a small MP3 player clipped to your shirt, or when held to your ear a small phone?
I'm sure it can tell you the time, but then if you have it in your breast pocket for smart-phone-companion duties, your wrist is free for a normal watch. Get a mechanical model ('automatic') and you'll be able to tell the time even after an EMP strike.
I've never been a flip phone fan either - though psychophysically the placement of the phone next to the mouth and ear is reassuring (though sidestepped by multi-microphone trickery these days), and the possibility for large buttons and a screen protected from scratches makes good sense .
Personally, I have a soft spot for the slider-phones Samsung used to make- a very tactile way of taking a call, and then ending it. When I first used Android, I would tap a hard-button thinking it would end the call, but it didn't work that way...
Yeah, but the whole point of good design is to make life easier for us humans (a little more good thought at the design stage gets multiplied by the production run... i.e magnified by millions)... so I'd like every connector to be as easy to use as a 3.5mm headphone jack. (Though even that gets messed up... an example being the original iPhone when the socket was so recessed that not all 3.5mm plugs would fit it, especially fancy thick hifi 'Y' cables)
Re: Great stylus, even better sound
A major frustration with being an Android user - the lack of standardisation of headsets and headphones, even within the same phone manufacturer, and few offer headsets with three buttons. Even headsets with the same jacks might use resistors with different values. Most of the 'quality' 3rd party headset makers (Sennheiser etc) only support iPhones/pods/pads.
Alas, they won't be able to accompany their "It was THIS big" with the traditional arm gesture... if they could, a human with an 18' arm-span would be even more of a scientific marvel than a bloody-great fish.
On the subject of men with long arms and sea-dwelling animals, I seem to remember a story from a few years back about China's tallest man being drafted in by an aquarium to help them. They had a dolphin that had eaten something it shouldn't, and they required someone with a very long arm to remove the foreign body. On the back of this publicity, the gentleman, in his forties IIRC, found himself a wife (which I'm led to believe is no mean feat in China).
- Top Gear Tigers and Bingo Boilers: Farewell then, Phones4U
- Breaking Fad 4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
- Updated iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
- First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads
- Stephen Pie iPhone 6: Most exquisite MOBILE? NO, it's the Most Exquisite THING. EVER