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4613 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Relax. The Reg didn't want to patronise its readers by pointing out the bleedingly obvious. The lines were fairly easy to read between.
Anyway, any article that mentions Disk Smith (who in addition to being a founder of the Australian Skeptics is also an entrepreneur, pilot, philanthropist and practical joker - he was on a double-decker bus that jumped sixteen motorcycles and bought a fake iceberg into Sydney Harbour) and promotes his work is a good thing. He's happy to call these charlatans on their bluff. The trouble is, they know it.
I would recommend this chummy interview between Dick Smith and the man who gave us the One Eyed trouser Snake song, fellow Skeptic Philip Adams, in which he recounts his solo round the world helicopter flight, a massive Electronic Dick and beetroot. You couldn't make it up. (MP3)
(The misspelling of Skeptic is a nod to a previous group)
Re: No nVidia = no CUDA = No deal
Cheers for the heads-up, Silent_count!
I haven't used RAW much in the past, but my new camera is speedier at saving files than my last one, so I really should get into the habit.
The quick n dirty mini-review of LightZone is very positive:
All the focus seems to be on making laptops slimmer and more power efficient - no bad thing. Gaming laptops often have quite modest display resolutions, since it lowers the demand on their GPUs. I've been impressed with the more recent Intel graphics, but fooling my CAD software into thinking my GeForce is a Quadro results in more useful display graphics for quick animation output.
Personally, I'm not after 'Retina'-level resolution, but just a laptop with a 1920 x 1200 16:10 screen.
Does anyone know of a 1920 x 1200 Windows laptop, 15" - 17", with (mid range) dedicated graphics?
Sorry for being a tad off topic.
Re: No nVidia = no CUDA = No deal
The Toshiba KiraBook and Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 also have very high res screens, but don't offer a dedicated graphics card. The Intel graphics aren't as shabby as they used to be, but obviously don't do CUDA.
The 15" Macbook Pro Retina with the pricey component package (faster CPU, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD and nVidia GT 750m) might fulfil your needs but it costs over £2,000. Maybe a solution based on a cheaper Macbook and an nVidia card housed in a Thunderbolt chassis might be suitable for you.
Also, does your software scale properly on a high res display? Applications one might expect to behave (such as Photoshop) don't.
Are there any other nVidia high res laptops out there?
It's better to 'under promise'. No one is going to get bent out of shape if their console does arrive before Christmas if they expected it in the first week of January. The converse is not true.
Re: Whether it's an Xbox one or PS4
Anecdotally, that seems to be the attitude amongst my PS3 and XBOX 360 owning friends- wait until the new consoles get a bit cheaper, wait until the list of available games get bigger and reviews are published...
And besides, they're still working their way through GTA5 or BF4 on their existing kit.
Re: If you still manage to get one
It'd be easier to just return it under The Sales of Goods Act, or the Distance Selling Regulations.
It's better to save the soldering iron for something that is cheaper and simpler.
Re: No NSA please
>They've 'Here' mapping from Nokia on them.
That should have been in the article! Without it, I just looked at the specs and looked at the price (not far off the well-thought of LG G2, and more than a Nexus 5) and thought - "what have I missed here?"
Re: Blame Intel & MS
There have been a few 'Retina'-like Windows laptops released in the last year (Toshiba Kirabook, Lenovo Yogo Pro 2, for two) and reviews suggest that the issue is legacy desktop applications often don't don't scale well. Photoshop, for example, presents you with tiny icons that are hard to see. However, the TIFKAM applications do scale properly.
So, for very high res laptop screens to work requires some effort from 3rd party software developers.
"Whereas navigating the Modern Live Tile interface was easy on the Kirabook, it was nearly impossible to touch anything, much less use the cursor, in desktop mode. The menu options in Photoshop Elements were microscopic. We don't consider our eyesight to be poor, but even we had to hold the notebook close to our face. Fortunately, a Toshiba Display Utility lets you set the size of on-screen icons and text in Windows, but it doesn't apply to the apps themselves."
"World of Warcraft" supports the Kirabook's high-res display, but, like on Photoshop, menu text is tiny.
Re: What about keeping XP?
Keeping XP secure...
Here's an idea, though I haven't thought it out fully:
Can the XP machine be set up so that a breach of security isn't the end of the world? Regular image back-ups of the system, get Mr 12 into backing up documents that are important to him, that sort of thing... i.e use the risk of a security breach to instil some good habits in Mr 12.
However, I don't know how Mr 12 will be able to keep his on-line credentials safe against a keylogger or password sniffer... is there a secure browser available that doesn't store passwords in plaintext?
Anyway, it's just a thought, and I'd welcome thoughts on whether its stupid or not.
Re: Fair play...
Yeah, because that's an attitude that will really make people who feel such urges seek professional help before they act on them.
Look: None of us want any children to come to harm, so maybe we'll look calmly at the best ways of preventing it. Should that mean repressing our desire for revenge, then so be it.
Re: They should be forced to use
>But realistically, there is only 1 suitable solution - Viva la Tux :D
So Google must be currently using an unsuitable solution. Ah, that would explain why they are struggling to scrape a living, the poor dears.
> It would be nice if we could assemble a tool set without having to remember the pop culture and in-jokes of a bunch of 30 something nerds.
I agree with you in the general case, but not in this specific case.
Cauliflower Vest et al are internal tools, likely used by the people who developed them. As such, they might have been named after an event that the team remembers -"Hey, remember that time we were writing that boring tool and Bob spilt cauliflower soup down his shirt?". Names like "Tool 654" or "OSXFV2RKES" are instantly forgettable by comparison. Should they open-source CanHazImage, they can rename it then, just as consumer software often has an internal codename before release.
Software for the public does benefit from a more intuitive names. Media Player, Notepad, Paint etc give a clue to their function. The GIMP? Not so much, and if Penguins really wanted to broaden the adoption of desktop Linux it is something they might want to address.
Re: What did you expect?
>Windows users get all they deserve
WTF? So, users of software that is only available on Windows get all they deserve? Someone who makes components and has to use the CAD package their customer requires deserve all they deserve? People with a small business who use the accountancy software favoured by the revenue service get all they deserve?
If you fork Android, you can't then use the Google Play Store, Google apps such as the Gmail client or Maps, or any of the libraries in the closed-source Google Play Services. Amazon had the means to make their own Android App store when they released their colour Kindle, and Samsung have been shipping devices with their own apps duplicating the functionality of Google's for a while now.
Re: Isn't nature amazing?
Nature. And lasers.
Re: ah come on...
>"Brings to mind a story..."
Or, it might mean 'I can't be arsed to find an on-line reference to said story'
Re: ah come on...
The good folk of Springfield form a pitchfork-wielding mob about once per series of the Simpsons... it's almost as if the writers were trying to make a point or something.
Re: Even most of the style is copied from Braun & Dieter Rams.
>Even most of the style is copied from Braun & Dieter Rams.
Dieter Rams doesn't call himself a designer but (when roughly translated into English) a 'form engineer'. Jony Ive openly acknowledges the influence, but he's not copying Rams' style but his methodology, an approach to design. Ram's 'Ten Principles of Good Design' are here:
People can easily copy style (remember the plague of cheap translucent blue products - staplers, USB hubs etc- that followed in the wake of the orginal iMac?), but following principles is harder, it requires an understanding of your particular problem and the materials available to you to solve it.
Of course you'd be a fool to be blind to when a problem has been solved before... you want to make a music playback device that fits in a pocket? The act of of sliding the device in and out of your pocket is a large part of its 'use'. Okay, let's look at cigarette cases and Sony Walkmans- what aspects can you usefully implement in your design?
A PC is a Personal Computer, but at the time it was common to refer to a IBM compatible PC as a 'PC' and to call an Amiga an Amiga, an Atari and Atari etc.
Even the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" advert of a few years ago leaves out the [Windows].
I was only talking about a certain place and time, around 1990, and the schools I knew. No one I knew had an Archimedes at home (they mostly had Amigas, Atari STs or a console), but my primary school had one - and it appeared to an eleven year old boy more advanced (prettier graphics! Nice sounds!) than the Olivetti 8086 we had at home (no sound card or game port, no graphical desktop environment).
A year later, and my next school had a suite of Archimedes... we were even allowed to play David Braben's 'Lander' (aka Virus, Zarch) on the last day of term. The graphics were Wow! at the time.
Re: The Archimedes was popular in schools?
My primary school had one Archimedes, and my junior school had a suite of them. I can't comment on how widespread they were, other than noting they seemed fairly well supported on the software front.
Re: so Arm says that Apple did innovate then?
>and stunned most of ARM's employees
I read that as meaning only a group within ARM were working on the 64bit design, or that others within ARM were working on it but didn't realise that it was ready for production at the time.
But yeah, I find the Evil Company / Saintly Company terms boring too. I prefer to look at the products a company can bring out if it is in full control of its hardware and OS, and at the products that can result when anyone can make a component and drivers. These two approaches have different strengths; as an example, the former can produce a tighter integration and fewer variables to troubleshoot, and the latter can drive down prices by having, say, AMD compete against nVidia. Apple can bring multi-touch gestures to OSX because they know their hardware touchpad is suitable, whereas I use a lovely Logitech mouse.
Re: Another example of how..
Okay, I suspect the true narrative is a tad more nuanced than your Anglophile Jobs Evil Gates version.
However I do remember a time when my family's DOS PC seemed very boring compared to my friends' Amigas and Ataris, or the Archimedes and Apples at school.
The old adage...
"Dance as if nobody is watching.
Make love Surf porn as if everybody is"
That is why, unlike ShelLuser, I don't use Adblock on The Reg because their adverts aren't usually intrusive, and I consider that fair play. The Reg deserves its revenue.
Therefore a noisy ad on The Reg seemed out of place... it's a balancing act; if too many of their ads are a nuisance then more readers might activate Adblock.
WTF El Reg?
That was a very noisy Microsoft Dynamics advert that accompanied this article. The Reg doesn't normally feature noisy adverts (if you did, I'd mute before visiting), so how did that one slip through?
Re: For this to work...
I would imagine that the plug-in is listening continuously, and is able to recognise 'OK Google' itself locally. After that it sends your voice sample to Google's servers.
Sending everything your microphone picks up to Google's servers (when 99.9% of the time it is useless) isn't a very good use of their resources.
Android phones can do speech-to-text locally if required, it's just that the results aren't accurate as when it's done server side.
I don't want to email whilst driving, but occasionally I do have ideas ( or remember some item I need to get from town) when behind the wheel, and a Dictaphone of sorts would be nice. If it isn't a standalone button on the dashboard, then a voice activated system would be fine - I wouldn't want to be fumbling with my phone.
Re: HD + SSD management
>The idea of merging my hard drive and SSD into one logical volume appeals to me but I'm not going to do it until it's officially supported by Apple.
It's part of OSX's CoreStorage inherited from when they were flirting with ZFS, and it's used in many a new Mac. If it goes tits-up, you have your Time Machine hourly back ups- right?
I just don't think it's Apples' style to officially sanction this on machines they have already sold you.
That said, the law of diminishing returns suggests that it won't speed up your system appreciably over your current set-up, since your OS and applications are already on the faster drive; a large part of Fusion Drive's intended appeal (when implemented on brand new machines) is to not even bother the user with the fact that there are two disks in the first place.
>What x86 tablet has a Haswell i5 with 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD? The only one I can think of is the Surface Pro 2, which costs $999, i.e., exactly the same as an 11.6" MacBook Air.
I was going to say THIS! but it has an i7 and a minimum of a 256 GB SSD. Ho Hum.
Re: great article!
>I can't wait for the missus's MacBook Pro to conk out now. Any tips for speeding this up? ;)
Fire. And lots of it.
Re: Why DO you need to upgrade?
I have the same impression here, JDX; my Core 2 Duo 4GB laptop has been fine for the level of 3D CAD I've been using it for, for several years now. I could upgrade the RAM, but I haven't needed to. Maybe once a month or so I'll set it a few tasks where a faster CPU would cut the job down from twenty minutes to five... but I can live with that.
Once I'd installed all my software, I even made a disk image of C: in anticipation of Windows 7 crufting up in the future, but I haven't cause to use it yet.
Intel seem to think the same, since they emphasise the power saving benefits of their new CPUs above any gains in performance.
Through the nineties and into the 2000s, no computer ever seemed quite quick enough... it seemed that as soon as the hardware improved Windows would try silly graphical effects, or new versions of applications would bloat in size. Also, the tasks that could be expected of home computers required more grunt (messing about with video, for example). This isn't the case any more - if I'm using my laptop for productivity software, it's rare it breaks a sweat. Of course, a super duper CPU, GPU, stacks or RAM and an SSD would be nice, but for me not essential.
Oh, can anyone help? My laptop has a 17" 16:10 1920 x 1200 screen and I worry I won't be able to replace it come the day it dies - if anyone has any ideas, please do share!
Re: How much faster?
>is it not easier to just install a Momentus and let the drive deal with the jigging around of files rather than the OS?
OSX will have a better idea of where to put which files than the Momentus drive.
Comments following the recent Reg Momentus review suggested it wasn't the fastest or cheapest solution, either. However, the build-your-own-Fusion isn't possible on all Macs.
So, to answer the question: WTF is Panty Waist?
Re: Does it use a local dictionary?
I watched a French film with English subtitles in the cinema, 'A Town Called Panic'. At one point, a character said 'Merde' and the subtitles said 'Oh Dear', which we all found hilarious at the time.
>So no swearing, but killing is OK.
"They train young men to rain fire down upon people, but they will not allow them to write 'Fuck' on the side of their airplanes because it is obscene"
- Cl. Kurtz, Apocalypse Now
Re: Like, ahem, cooking pr0n and talent shows.
Exactly: when first launched, BBC3 was billed as comedy for a general audience. However, it has evolved to become their 'yoof' channel, complete with 'yoof' orientated comedies and documentaries about STDs.
That's what Channel 4 used to be for, back in those happy days before Big Brother!
The idea of a general audience has died - though to be fair, much of that is beyond the BBC's control (multiple channels via satellite, cable or Freeview , and more screens in each household to watch things on, such as computers and tablets).
Re: "Tax" - really?
It seems that most people who are anti-BBC have never had the misfortune to watch US networked TV, or else are a competing news outlet with a right-ring bias (i.e, the Murdoch press, the Daily Telegraph etc).
That said, the BBC could do better, especially in drama. Compare 'Spooks' to 'The Wire', for example.
An informed and entertaining talk about the commissioning of quality shows - on both sides of the Atlantic - is here:
Armando Iannucci: BAFTA Television Lecture 2012
Re: Does jasper actually understand tech at all?
>You'd need a completely new bluetooth or WiFi radio in order for the two to work with each other, and I'm more inclined to the idea that Apple would be using AirPlay which would imply Wifi.
I would imagine they would start with whichever approach uses the lowest amount of power (the hearing aid being the limiting element), and start from there. At the moment, that would appear to be Bluetooth Low Energy, though there may be some new exotic WiFi standard I'm unaware of.
Wearable [connected] consumer tech is still in its infancy, but our ageing population may result in more people wearing smart devices - even if they do look a bit clunky.
Watches that measure blood pressure and heart rate, and then communicate this data to a mobile phone, either to log it or to make it available to a district nurse or GP, would be an obvious example. Adding a Distress Call function to the watch would be suitable for some users.
Re: No, it wouldn't
>But why do you want to create content with a tablet? If you're doing that, wouldn't you want a laptop so you can run proper content creation software? I doubt Adobe is coming out with full featured tablet versions of their software suite anytime soon.
Because, for certain tasks such as drawing or a using a virtual mixing desk for audio, a tablet is better suited to the job. You use a keyboard for typing, you might use a gamepad (or a steering wheel, or a mouse) for gaming... whatever works best. There is no inherent reason why an ARM-based OS such as Android or iOS can't run decent productivity apps. Of course there will always be a role for machines that have lots of RAM, storage and IO, but the the underlying OS is irrelevant to the user as long as the UI is fit for purpose.
Adobe's take on it is not to replace laptops with tablets, but enable them to be a very useful companion devices.
If I was on site and wanted to make a note of dimensions, for example, a tablet with a sketching/drafting app would be my tool of choice.
Re: No, it wouldn't
>why does anyone think a 12.9" tablet is a good idea?
Wacom already make two (one Android, one full fat Win8) with a digitiser and stylus... A tablet that size would be better for creating content, such as touching up photos. I seem to remember reading that most 10" iPads spend most of their time at home, so a 13" screen is worthwhile if it brings some advantages.
Wacom aren't the only people trying to bring productivity to tablets- Adobe are bringing out their first hardware products soon, a pen and 'smart ruler'.
This is a market in which Apple have traditionally played a role, and the easier to sell niches (iPhone for pocket, iPad Mini for bag, iPad for sofa) are becoming saturated...
Re: Corporate Image Monopoly
That thing that Bono was looking for.... do you think he's found it yet?
> last week's auction included a set of rose-gold plated Apple earbud headphones
They are solid rose-gold, not plated.
The fraction of people who consult benchmarks before buying is fairly small, and tend to read the likes of Anandtech. Of those people, I suspect a majority would have heard about these benchmark shenanigans, and would have quickly found online resources that give alternate measures - or a qualitative assessment - of a phone's performance.
So it would it seem that all Samsung and HTC's goosing of the benchmarks can only mislead a small sliver of their potential market.
Re: Looks fun...
I would have thought that the mouse itself governs its LED lamp; I'm not sure the PC can control it directly.
Re: conflicting form factors
Advanced information? I googled images for "Imp card pinout" and "Sd card pinout"... I was following a hunch that the creator of this kit a, knows what he is doing, and b, doesn't want to be sued into the middle of next week for bricked kit.
Re: Shame it's not supported on Apple kit
>I know Apple's equivalent is their "fusion drive", but I can't seem to find this as a standalone purchase
You can't find the Fusion Drive for sale because it is not a physical product- it's actually a Logical Volume Manager baked into OSX's CoreStorage.
You can build your own Fusion Drive if have a suitable Mac*:
*if you have one of the following:
A Mac that you can install both a Solid State Drive and a Hard Disk Drive into. So that’s the iMac (2009 or newer), MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer) with Data Doubler, or MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer) again with Data Doubler, Mac mini (Early / Late 2009, Mid 2010 Server, and Mid 2011 or newer) with Data Doubler Kit or Data Doubler where applicable, or Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer).