4212 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
>Selling Beta access like this is NOT a good idea, yet another Marpets brain fit.
>A beta is for TESTING if you do this you aren't testing you are just selling early access. Having worked in the industry I know that this can ruin a game before it is ready.
Betas are for testing, but part of that testing will require thousands of people, though probably not as many as will want to join in. So, how to select which members of the public to invite to the Beta? Simple, you give access to those who show the most enthusiasm, faith, and yes, financial commitment to your upcoming product. It seems as fair a way as any other I can think of.
The last few Halo games have had elements of their on-line game-play tweaked and tuned (or buggered about with, depending on your view) weeks and months after their release.
I don't know how copyright law works in the US, but don't the rights to photograph belong to the photographer (so in the case of 'selfies', to the subject of the photograph)?
>Amazing resolution, but it is just a waste, no one can discern the difference anyway.
Whilst I can't discern any jaggedness to onscreen text when my eyes are further than 12" away from my screen (17", 1920 x1200 = 133 PPI), this test image demonstrates why some people will find a high PPI screen useful:
From a distance of around 30" from the same monitor I can make out jaggedness in lines in a CAD draughting application - which unlike much onscreen text doesn't employ anti-aliasing.
There have been a few high resolution laptops released in the last year (including a very high res Lenovo Yoga), but all the reviews suggest that many Windows desktop applications fail to scale properly (including Adobe Photoshop).
>" since the USPTO feels that Apple is entitled to a patent on the techniques used to fabricate it."
For crying out loud. Look: it's not a difficult concept. You can not patent the cardboard box, but should you develop a new way of manufacturing a cardboard box then it is fair that you are able to patent the process.
I'm not sure why the above commentards think they are experts on architectural construction techniques all of a sudden.
I had a few of the later Samsung slider phones (better than their Nokia equivalents at the time) from around 2006, then a couple of their touchscreen efforts (well featured, but some annoying design decisions)... I don't think they ever twice used the same connector for power, data transfer and audio headsets (!). The first one, a very thin slider phone, wasn't bad at all though.
Re: Not unlike real gold
Theoretically a pan with a solid diamond base would the best way to fry an egg. Apparently it is the best known conductor of heat... though of course impractical for most (all?) conducting applications.
[Edit: John Sager beat me to it, and deserves double points for giving figures]
>Can I table a motion that comments like that should, from now on, be called "jakeisms"?
I tabled that motion back in 1987.
Re: Boy was that cheap
It is hard to comment without more details about the patent - which appear to be behind a paywall. For all we know, the patent might be relatively minor, and it would have been fairly easy to build a non-moving 'click-wheel' without infringing upon it. There again, it might cover a mechanism that is core to the workings of a click wheel.
Re: Apples and oranges
"Bluetooth or USB. Suddenly a keyboard and mouse appear. That wasn't hard. Now, software, support it. Oh, it won't? Chicken and egg."
Exactly the same can be said for the adoption of 'traditional' gamepads for Android tablets when playing appropriate games (or even for controlling media playback if the tablet is connected to a big TV).
I heard a BBC producer (of children's content) on the radio the other day... her information was that 60% percent of households with children in the UK own a tablet.
Re: Related topic...
Thank you for responding Mr Pott! If ten keyboards (to fit in with the usual Reg format) is too costly, then perhaps just a couple of choice ones and a cheap and cheerful (?) unbranded model for comparison.
Was there ones a cunning fold-up yet full-size keyboard available for Palm devices, or did I just imagine it?
Re: Office suites on Android (or iOS)?
>The LAST thing I want to do is word processing or spreadsheets on my Android phone or tablet.
If I'm just entering text (with a view to editing and formatting it later when I'm back at a 'proper' computer), then the size of any screen or choice of OS isn't that important to me... I just want a compact device + keyboard so that I can type. This need could probably be fulfilled with a keyboard, a keylogger, an Altoids tin and a battery...
Would The Register consider a 'Top Ten Bluetooth keyboards' type article? Ta!
>Remember how long they clung to the admittedly reasonable FireWire standard even though it was clear the whole world was walking the other way towards USB?
And do you remember how long FireWire was around before before the mass adoption of USB 2.0? And FireWire stuck around for a long time afterwards, because people had invested money in scanners, digital camcorders and high quality sound cards.
Anyway, USB 3.1 isn't a rival to ThunderBolt - it isn't much use for expanding the capabilities of a laptop, tablet, or indeed a small desktop (new Mac Pro) - OCuLink is.
Re: that's excellent, but...
I saw it in the cinema and bought the DVD (without waiting for it to drop to a fiver in a supermarket).... I don't know what else I can do. Ah well.
Re: Well, if you're taking photos at a concert...
>For someone my height, holding up a phone at arm's length is the only way I will ever get to see the band.
There are also the following...
... but since this is a tech site, it can only really be:
Re: Completely Arse-faced
Er okay... True, most digital cameras lack a 'chamber' [camera], much less a dark one (many having an electronic 'shutter') so in those terms then yes, you have made a statement of fact.
Re: Maybe you could get a phone with a decent camera?
I guess one might use the camera on a tablet if they can't find their phone (or dedicated camera), but taking pictures isn't the only application for them... Barcode and QR reading apps, for example, make use of tablet cameras, as does the OCR part of Google Translate.
Re: It's in da nose, stoopid!
Some useful tips there rh587, thanks!
Alas, if the subject itself is moving then you'll probably need a faster shutter speed anyway (requiring a compromise on ISO (noise) or aperture). That said, it can be fun to 'track' a moving subject with camera at a lower shutter speed, so the background shows motion blur; an technique that perhaps reading 'Ways of the Rifle' can help me improve on.
For those with nothing to do this weekend, Instructables.com has a guide to making a gyroscopic camera stabilisation rig from two desktop hard-disks...
Re: captured from several seconds before the shutter button is pressed.
You're right - it is constantly recording, hence the battery drain.
The same principle has appeared in some music systems over the years: audio-in is constantly buffered, so recording can begin several seconds before your press the 'Record' button... handy for recording songs from the radio!
might be for cameras to allow 'bracketing' of more parameters. A lot of dedicated digital cameras allow this for exposure, but it would be handy if it could be extended to ISO and focus as well, as examples. Obviously this would result in several images being stored for every press of the shutter button, but it would allow the photographer to select the best image at their leisure after the fact, instead of fumbling with the controls at the time.
The downside would be that you might not capture a specific moment (but then phone cameras are useless at that anyway), and also your storage would be used up more quickly (but then that isn't so much of a worry these days).
There are other tricks that are used in some digital cameras, such as the pre-buffering in some Nikons - photos are captured from several seconds before the shutter button is pressed. One assumes that this comes at the cost of draining the battery more quickly.
Re: Remember that...
>Guess they could add a second camera on the back for 3D - but do many people actually care about that?
Not enough people care to build it into the phone. Those people who want that feature can add some extra hardware to the phone - there are plans for a Kinect-style 3D scanner for Apple and Android devices. Similarly, not everyone cares about being able to record high quality audio (though journalists and musicians might), but there are clip-on condenser-microphones available for those who want them.
Re: Luwak coffee - a question
Hehe, 'Poo' would be a suitable (if not commercially viable) name for a Twitter-like 'social media' service. My reasoning is that many animals use pee or poo to get messages out to their peers they are not currently in the presence of. If of you want to take this idea and turn it into a multi-billion dollar company, I only ask a 1% cut... I'll even throw in some tag-lines to get you started:
"Why say it when you can spray it?"
"Putting the Pee into people"
Of course, humans would want to expand the vocabulary of the medium beyond the three messages favoured by many mammals, ie "This is MINE!", "I'm feeling HORNY!" and "I have an interesting bowel condition". Or there again, that's enough to cover much of the human condition.
>humans are not ready for immortality.
Though not dealing with the impact of an entire species/culture becoming immortal (and yeah, we'd quickly run out of planet, so would have to give thought as to arranging matter and energy in our solar system...) this modest film is rather good:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0756683/ 'The Man from Earth'.
It is delivered in the manner of a drawing room drama amongst college professors, and relies on dialogue rather special effects.
If you want some explosions, robots, lasers and Jodie Foster in a film that touches on the divide between the long-lived disease-free ultra-rich and the wretched masses, then 'Elysium' in is cinemas now.
Previous sci-fi form would be Asimov's 'The Caves of Steel', and its sequel 'The Naked Sun'.
I won't take your bet, because it is too difficult to referee:
"CyanogenMod, the company’s free open-source replacement firmware, has more than 8 million users, CEO Kirt McMaster says. But that counts only users who have elected to share data with Cyanogen, he says, estimating that the true number is two to three times that amount. "
Re: Kids are faster
I dunno, I've seen six year olds complete Sonic the Hedgehog in a time I could never hope to beat (I was twelve at the time) /anecdotal
Without being an expert, this new research attempts to get some quantitative evidence, whereas that documentary you saw was based on the valid observation "don't them buggers move quick".
>who wants to admit that they bought a turd
There are plenty of other empirical surveys that suggest that Apple Mac hardware is amongst the most reliable (on a par with a couple of Windows PC manufacturers).
"Show me [your] body [of evidence]."
Re: Early LAN gaming
In the mid nineties, network cards in PCs weren't too common - and certainly not built into the motherboard as they are today. A null modem cable was a cheaper way of playing two-player Doom.
Yep! As recommended by PC Zone, I bought Nascar Racing, set my car to 'indestructible' and went the wrong way round the track. Apparently, the true purpose of the game was to sit there for fifty laps without making a mistake, but I couldn't see the fun in that...
A 'null modem cable' only made things more fun between mates.
> but I'd seen them all years before in Spectrum games,
Are you thinking of 'Super Stuntman' by Codemasters?
Re: Stones and glass buildings
Stones? Last time MS threw the Stones at a product launch was using "Start Me Up" for Windows 95...
Re: It wasn't a light hearted poke
MS should leave it to the professionals:
CUPERTINO, CA—At a highly anticipated press event at its Silicon Valley headquarters Tuesday afternoon, tech giant Apple officially unveiled to the public a panicked and completely idea-free man...
(Though it's not as good as The Onion's 'Macbook Wheel' with 'predictive sentence technology'!)
Re: Good god..
>Good god... As much as an M$ fan that I am, I hope to god they never decide to pen a script for a movie..
Don't worry, the (overly) MS-controlled Halo movie project was cancelled, and the attached director and producer went on to do District 9 and Elysium (Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson), and the writer Alex Garland, to whom MS paid a load of money for a Halo script, did Dredd 3D instead.
A pretty good outcome, methinks!
>"featuring the Burt Rutan-designed, Scaled Composites-built SpaceShipTwo and its launch counterpart, "
Buzz Aldrin's above novel features a Space Tourism entrepreneur who "even gets Burt Rutan out of retirement" to design a launch system. As pictured in the novel's line-art illustrations, it resembles the Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo.
I've just halfway through reading a Sci-Fi novel, Encounter with Tiber, by some blokes called Buzz Aldrin* and John Barnes**. Published in 1996, it starts off with a problem with the Space Shuttle, and lays out how private industry develops better launch vehicles through the beginning of the 21st century- even linking it to some Silicon Valley types.
It's a fair read, though every so often a paragraph or character is used to explain the Doppler effect or a Lagrange point. It would probably appeal to fans of Arthur C Clarke.
*Yes, the astronaut
**No, not the footballer
Re: Only one problem
As I understand it, the OTHER high end waterproof handset, the Galaxy S4 Active, doesn't have a rubber plug in the 3.5mm headphone port as the Sony does. Whilst both handsets have a plug over the microUSB port, the Sony has two external pins for charging, in the hope you pay them for an optional charging cradle (in which the phone can be configured to do the old Blackberry trick of emulating an always-on-yet-dimmed alarm clock).
Whilst some people might bemoan the lack of startling innovation in mobile phones, this maturity at least forces designers to compete by refining existing features (make it waterproof, make it easier to use etc), rather than just throwing in new ones (Samsung Galaxy eye-ball tracking, I'm looking at you).
Thanks for your responses guys. : D
Judging from what you say, and from other forums, it seems that negativity surrounding WindowsPhone is based mainly on
- People's personal frustration with past MS products, from DOS onwards.
- People's opinion of MS's business practices, a distrust of sorts,
- A fear, justified by past events such WinPho 7 handsets not upgradable to later versions a la iOS or Android (you mileage may vary), that MS may abandon your investment in a handset and ecosystem, or force some unwanted change or 'update' on you. People might not mind too much, except they don't trust MS not to bugger it up (Ribbon Interface, Metro on a laptop)
-Availability of apps... though many people don't need too many apps.
-Integration with certain online services... though not everyone uses Gmail or whatever.
-No microSD card expansion... though not all Android handsets offer this facility.
It would seem that there might be some people out there who won't really be affected by any of the above points.
+ The 'Children's Zone' seems like a good idea given how people use their phones to entertain children on long car journeys... though Android now offers multiple limited user accounts which might perform the same function.
Out of curiosity, are you put off by the actual UI, the availability of particular apps, or the online services that winPho works well with? Just asking.
I'm an Android user, but I wish WinPho well - competition is good for Android, and iOS isn't really a competitor to the whole range of Android devices.
Hehe... and if you're feeling really daft, there is the Samsung Galaxy NX, a 'compact system camera' (or EVIL -electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) with 4G wireless connectivity. Trouble is, it cost more than a WiFi-only NX camera and a Galaxy S4 phone combined. Oh, and you can't use it as a phone.
Re: Game over already
>With half the megapixels, the Xperia Z1 produces better, more detailed pictures in the real world according to reviews.
Which reviews? I read up on the Z1 when it was released and whilst it looks to be a damned fine handset, I don't recall any reviewers being amazed by its camera. However, the Z1 does take better pictures underwater than the Nokia, on account of the Nokia not being waterproof.
Nokia's approach takes a nice and simple approach based on the observation that most zoom photographs are taken during the day (landmarks, sports) and most low-light photos are taken at wide angle (indoors, parties, street scenes), so either cropping or interpolation is used accordingly.
If the Z1's camera were that good, Sony wouldn't bothering with their 'Smart Lens' (basically the lens and sensor - but not the screen - from one of two of Sony's existing compact cameras, one of which, the RX100 M2 is very well regarded)
Re: simplicity ... helps developers ... reap the benefits of PCIe in small form-factor devices.
Q: PCIe technology is in every server, workstation and laptop PC. Why is PCIe over M-PHY a suitable I/O technology for tablet and smartphone devices?
A: As a broadly adopted technology standard, PCIe benefits from several decades of innovations with universal support in all major Operating Systems, a robust device discovery and configuration mechanism, and comprehensive power management capabilities that very few, if any, of the other I/O technologies can match. PCIe technology has a flexible, layered protocol that enables innovations to occur at each layer of the architecture independent of the other layers. In this way, power-efficient PHY technologies, such as MIPI M-PHY, can be integrated with the familiar and highly functional PCIe protocol stack to deliver best-in-class and highly scalable I/O performance in tablet and smartphone devices.
-taken from http://www.pcisig.com/news_room/faqs/FAQ_pci_express_and_m-phy/
I remember reading an interesting article about magnetic recording in New Scientist, but I can't find a reference online to copy-past here, the gist comes from my memory:
Situation: Adolf Hitler wants to broadcast messages to his forces. Problem: The Allies can triangulate the transmitter and drop bombs on it, and by association on Hitler himself. Possible solution: Have Adolf pre-record his messages. Problem: Recording fidelity isn't high enough to convince the Allies that Adolf is making a live broadcast. Solution: Add a high frequency signal to the magnetic wire recordings. As it was explained to me, this HF signal excited the magnetic particles, making them more receptive to the desired signal.
The following article makes no mention of the above application, but does describe how the technique of adding a HF signal was discovered by accident (page 4):
Re: I think
You don't do heavy metal in Dobly, you know.
>"Microsoft will be hoping that customers use the dosh to buy a new Surface RT or Pro tablet, perhaps failing to notice the poor reviews it has clocked up."
Links to those reviews please! I knew the RT had clocked up poor reviews, but many reviews of the Surface Pro are middling to positive.
Re: Forget 64 bits, and fix the 1 bit that's broken - the battery
Didn't Motorola have a range of phones, with some variants having big batteries? (US-only, IIRC).
Thank you Larry, I'm glad some people here actually come here to speculate about where things might be heading in the future, rather than just bashing one brand or another.
Personally, I'd like a headless laptop in small form factor that use a tablet (or two, why not?!) as its display, but I don't think something like that will come from Apple.
Re: Why does Samsung have to wait for Google?
>n the past vendors have donated bits to Android
I'm hoping that LG donate to Android the work they've done to support 192Khz 24bit audio on their latest flagship handset. They've certainly released APIs to third party AV app developers.
>lets face the facts; Apple user's are not smart people
Yeah, judging how smart people are for their aptitude in a specific area of knowledge... that's clever. There's a fair chance that your father knows more about tuning motorcycles for speed, or carpentry perhaps, than you do - that doesn't by itself make you a moron.
I'd rather my doctor be smart at medicine, I certainly won't consider her to be an imbecile for choosing an easy-to-use phone. Messing around with Android ROMs might be fun and all, but I can appreciate that it not to everybody's taste. Some people paint, create beautiful gardens, bake great delicious cakes or play musical instruments instead.
Re: 2 in 1
>Best at none.
Really? I really can't see where the inherent flaw with something like the Lenovo Yoga (the laptop that can assume a 'tent' position or emulate a tablet, albeit a fat one) is. The hinges might add a few grams, but that's about it.
Anecdotal evidence, but...
...I don't see Dyson vacuum cleaners in skips any more... ten years ago they weren't an uncommon sight, usually with a snapped handle. I can only assume that they have improved over the years.
A Henry... now that's a vacuum cleaner!
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- Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
- Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars