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* Posts by Dave 126

3887 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Galaxy S4 radiant, but has black holes

Dave 126
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Re: Galaxy SII was superb! But I covet a pure Linux phone Stack!

>Whenever anyone describes themselves as an "Alpha Geek", I always assume they look like this.

If they ever do a live-version of the Simpsons, that bloke is a shoe-in for the comic-store guy.

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Dave 126
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Re: Galaxy SII was superb! But I covet a pure Linux phone Stack!

>As an Alpha Geek

No, you are a geek who is still in the alpha-testing stage... let us know when you have reached version 0.9 or higher.

If you had reached a release-ready level of personal development, you would know that the Galaxy S4 is a 'Ubuntu phone':

Ubuntu for Phone will be another OS alternative to Phones, specially Smart Phones, that works with any phones that carry Android and have the minimum hardware requirements posted above. Phones like Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG and others that offer Android will be able to install Ubuntu for Phone on them.

-http://askubuntu.com/questions/235317/what-is-ubuntu-touch-ubuntu-for-phones-and-how-to-get-it

Given that the Galaxy range of phones are popular amongst geeks, its seems reasonable to assume that it will be a handset better supported by the Ubuntu effort. Anyway, I thought you preferred Mint?

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Dave 126
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Re: Is it missing anything?

>Does it have rSAP?

http://www.android-rsap.com/compatibility.html would suggest that it does. Curiously, my uber-geek mate (the sort who always sticks his previous gen Samsung Galaxy on eBay a day before the official announcement of the next model) drives a recent Audi, and he likes the integration. A nice car, but he only discovered that he has to put anti-feeeze in his windscreen in winter when he crashed into a parked car a few months back... a selectively-smart chap.

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Bill Gates offends Koreans after sticking hand down trousers

Dave 126
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Re: Maybe

Though much of James Dyson's autobiography is a fairly tedious account of his patent struggles, he did relate his experience of Japan. He sought the services of consultants who advised to learn the customs, and to work out someone's status so as to choose the appropriate greeting, and so much other stuff that he just thought:

"Sod it... I'm never going to convince them that I'm Japanese, and anyway they want me here because I'm not one of them... I may as well act like an Englishman, and concentrate on delivering what I'm here to do."

That's not to say that you shouldn't keep some basic human wits about you when abroad... even as a child, I remember a funeral passing through the square of small French town... and all bystanders took off their hats and looked respectful, except for one loudly dressed American family.

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Nvidia Tesla bigwig: Why you REALLY won't need x86 chips soon

Dave 126
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>if your going to have a 64 core server running cuda processes, you would still want quad sli

Only if communication between the cores is the bottleneck, and if SLI is a suitable interconnect for it. More likely, you would design interconnects specifically for the task in hand, just as SLI was developed for sharing the load of graphics.

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Dave 126
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Re: Negative marketing wont work

>That, or the converse claim that ARM is more efficient have to be qualified: what geometries? what OPS? single or multithreaded?

As a rough idea, Tom's Hardware compared task-for-task x86 vs Arm as best they could using Win8 RT - which is available for both architectures. They didn't declare an outright winner, but announced their intention to watch developments with interest. They found enough to dispel the 'ARM is always moar power efficient' assumption, though.

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Human rights groups rally humanity against killer robots

Dave 126
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Re: Foolish human

If one is loose with the definition, then land-mines could be considered 'killer robots' - i.e they react to predefined stimuli in such a way as to cause incapacitation. The same is true of mines as would be of 'armed UAVs with no person-in-the-loop' as it is of a workshop bench grinder wrapped around some careless wretch's sleeve: "They don't know when to stop".

If a human pilot is relying on an automated system to identify targets (or rather, relying on an automated system to identify friendly armoured vehicles and not kill their occupants) then it seems a little irrelevant to argue about whether the actual trigger should be pulled by a human finger.

Google are trying to make autonomous cars... some would say they have to be really, really safe before being considered suitable for mass adoption.... others would say they just have to be demonstrably safer than a human driver.

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Peak Apple: First 'profit slip' in a decade - and, boy, it's gonna be BIG

Dave 126
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Re: Wouldn't.....

>I will admit the average American drinks crap beer, but they have a large microbrewery contingent.

i just wish that the many small British breweries who are using American Cascade hops did so with a bit more moderation... most of this new breed of IPA-style brews just taste of elderflower at the moment.

There is a UK brewery who does it well, but if I named it I would out of fairness have to disclose an interest, and that would be blurring the line between my real and Reg identity: You'll have to keep drinking and work it out for yourselves!

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Dave 126
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>- No new compelling products

True, but I'd be more 'wait and see'. Various companies are trying new things, and there are a few new technologies- such as flexible displays- around the corner. There's no guarantee that Apple will end up on top, but they will have as good a chance as anyone.

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Review: Disgo 8400G 7.9in Android tablet

Dave 126
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A 'full size SIM' is about the size of a credit card, and I haven't seen one in a phone since about 1998. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e0/GSM_SIM_card_evolution.svg/400px-GSM_SIM_card_evolution.svg.png

But yeah, we know what you mean.

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Dave 126
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Re: "the video phones many have been waiting for"

People who work overseas and people whose grandchildren live some distance away, for starters.

I haven't used video calling myself, but my old house-mate was a French engineer working in the UK, and he used it quite regularly.

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Dave 126
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Re: for not much more...

>Don't have the mi-fi with me? Just tether the phone, one widget press, thanks to Widgetsoid

That's alright for many of us, but where I see affordable 7"+ 3G tablets being useful is for people like my old man who much prefer their old Nokia candy-bar or a cheap flip-phone to a touch-screen smart-phone. Small cheap phone with big buttons and a long battery life, plus a cheap tablet to live in the glovebox- a good combo for some!

I guess the bottom line to this review is: is it worth stretching to the extra £35 for a Nexus 7 3G?

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Sord drawn: The story of the M5 micro

Dave 126
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I've always had a 1983 Hamley's toy shop catalogue kicking around my house, and this machine is listed simply as the 'M5 Computer' with no mention of Sord- someone has kindly scanned and uploaded the whole catalogue - sorry for the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=286058214747254&set=a.286052674747808.73189.273368722682870&type=3&theater

If you click to get the next pages, you'll see such delights as the Vectrex, Coleco and Sinclair Spectrum.

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Ready for the car 2.0? Nvidia preps UPGRADABLE car system

Dave 126
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Re: A real driver's car...

Yeah, diesels don't give you the oomph when they get revvy like petrols do, and I would imagine that a lot of people have come to diesels in the last few years and could benefit from that pointer. I've had one for ten years in a Peugeot 306 guise, but now have the same engine model in a Citreon Berlingo that has an ECU modded for economy (wretched thing). Unlike the Pug, the Berlingo has a rev counter which I can only assume is to aid economical driving (though annoyingly, it is situated where the speedo was on the Pug).

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Dave 126
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Re: A shame but it won't work

>3) Being automotive technology, upgrades will be expensive, mainly due to the lock-in - think of the difference in price between going into Halfords and buying a TomTom unit, and approaching your dealer to get an equivalent-spec satnav system installed.

To give another example, the head of Ford UK was on the radio last year, talking about the uptake of DAB digital radio... he said that to factory fit it to a medium-priced car like a Ford Focus would cost around £220. The cost of a consumer buying a pocket DAB receiver, and attaching it to their head unit with an aux cable, plus fag-lighter adaptor and duck tape would be less that £50- I don't think the UI would be ideal, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: insurance app

>I hope the positive wins out and I really hope that they make it impossible to watch a movie / TV while driving (like they do in Japan)

I was under the impression that this was the case here in the UK, or maybe manufacturers just implement it that way to avoid lawsuits.

I remember someone turning up at the pub in a brand new 2012 Range Rover with a lenticular display in the middle of the dashboard - it would display GPS to the driver but TV and video to the passenger. (Though the dashboard that almost had me applauding was in one those greenwash Lexus hybrid SUV things- moulded into the dash was not only a DVD/CD player and surround-sound system, but a slot for cassette tapes too. Cassette tapes- wow! - but c'mon, Lexus, you had space to fit an 8-Track, Minidisc, DAT and DCC whilst you were about it! : D)

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Hands up who wants 3D finger-controlled fridges? That's the spirit

Dave 126
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Paris Hilton

Yeah, no great problem... There is nothing to stop the owner of a tv defining their own 3d gestures.

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Facebook struggling to find 'immersive' Home on Apple's iPhone

Dave 126
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>Who wants a phone that doesn't offer or run your preferred software?

Preferred software, maybe. But if Facebook's website is anything to judge by (changes without informing users or obtaining consent, constant push against the boundaries of what people consider acceptable re their privacy etc), there is no guarantee that a Facebook app will remain as it was when you installed it; I wouldn't trust it not to 'creep'.

Besides, if you don't know what you are doing, you are probably better off in the walled garden. If you do know what you are doing, you can jailbreak the phone and visit Cydia.

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Microsoft brings back Windows watch after Apple seeks 'flexible' bod

Dave 126
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Actually, with respect to the gist of this article, there a couple of MS OS devices that do support Bluetooth Low Energy:

Nokia Lumia 820 and 920

Microsoft Surface Pro

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Dave 126
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Re: Just as Eadon predicted - iWatch COPY CAT FAIL

Actually Eadon, half the time MS have put out a comparable device before Apple... the failing hasn't been in being a copycat, but trying to bring it to market before the technology allows it to be really mass-market. Windows XP Table Edition came out well before the iPad, and has been widely used by professionals in certain fields - my mechanic has used it for years on Tough-book clones for using various engine diagnostic software, for example. Just because you haven't seen it in a trendy coffee-shop doesn't mean it was a failure.

And again, MS have made and sold a 'smartwatch' before, so I can't work out that is copying Apple.

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Dave 126
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>The Pebble watch has minimal features and only lasts a week. It also adds drain to your phone battery. Mostly from keeping the Bluetooth connection alive at both ends.

There is a more suitable Bluetooth protocol, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_low_energy, but it isn't currently support by Android- so it doesn't make sense for the Pebble watch to use it either.

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Dave 126
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Re: meh....

>Is that "anecdotal evidence"? If some guy turned up to photograph a wedding with a Casio Exilim I'd guess he was either a rank amateur, a chancer or otherwise undeserving of the huge fee most wedding photographers charge.

By 'mirrorless', I mean just that: an APS-C or medium-format mirrorless camera, such as made by Sony, Leica or Canon, not a holiday-snaps point-and-shoot as you had assumed. The purpose of the second camera is usually to avoid having to frequently change lenses on the primary (DSLR) camera, and it doesn't necessarily require the functionality provided by a bulky mirror box.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm waiting for the

Lots of men have a beard these days- In support of my claim, I cite the 2013 Oscars ceremony. Which is why I have become more regular in my shaving.

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Dave 126
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Re: The Watch to watch is open

Agreed... 'telemedicine' is on the rise, as are lower cost medical monitoring devices (Lidl had a wearable heart-rate / blood pressure logger for about £20 the other day, my diabetic mate's device for analysing his blood looks like a funky little MP3 player...)

Bluetooth Low Energy is an open standard, but isn't supported by Android yet.

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Dave 126
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Re: nope

>Wearing an iWatch will be like saying "I'm a mug, so mug me".

You haven't thought this through.

My date on Saturday did express unease at walking from her hotel to meet me, since she was using her phone's sat-nav to find the restaurant. It should be obvious that using a watch to show bearings to waypoints would be a far less conspicuous way of navigating.

After dinner we hit a bar, and there were a fair few people blokes wearing watches that would cost far more than any smartwatch would. However, this was only evident to me because we were stood in close proximity waiting to be served, and their man-jewellery wasn't obscured by a jacket or shirt-sleeve as it probably would be walking down the street.

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Dave 126
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Re: Compelling reasons for a smart watch?

@DrXym

Casio already sell a Bluetooth watch with a two year battery life. Okay, the features are limited (though actually useful), but there is always going to be a trade-off against battery life.

You are right in your suspicions that it might be tied to one platform - this Casio watch only works with Apple iOS stuff. However, that is not Casio's fault, because "At the time of writing, there is currently no support for [Bluetooth Low Energy] LE in the Android OS[51][52], although some devices (e.g. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1[53]) have compatible hardware." (Wikipedia)

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Dave 126
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You've put too much faith in the Reg article, Mark 1 2.... whilst they said MS were acting 'hot on the heels' of an Apple rumour, it could also be said they are acting in the wake of their own previous efforts, as well as more recent real products and crowd-sourced interest by Sony, Samsung, Pebble and I'm Watch.

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Dave 126
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>but the battery life will suck. Even with induction charging it will be a pain.

It depends on the feature list. If you want the bare minimum, such as incoming message notification, you should be able to get a couple of years out of it.

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Dave 126
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With current tech, it might just look like an existing watch:

http://www.gshock.com/watches/Classic/GB6900AA-1

It looks like a normal G-Shock (admittedly not the smallest or most subtle-looking of watches, but far from rare). It is reported to have a two-year battery life based on being connected to a phone for twelve hours a day, and features the following:

- Notification of incoming calls and e-mails via the watch

- Phone Finder function to enable iPhone alarm function from the watch

- Warning vibration when the watch loses its connection to the iPhone

- Time adjustment by synchronizing with time data received from the iPhone

- Built-in tilt sensor to detect movement in the watch, while it is in power-saving mode, to

automatically reconnect to the iPhone

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Dave 126
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Image

> Why have a timepiece on my wrist when i have one in my phone...

>Still, it is one of those classic "if it works for me it doesn't have to work for other people" kind of thing.

Quite. Personally, I just find it more convenient to look at my wrist than rummage in my pocket for my phone

In a similar vein, I was chatting to my mate who had been charged with conducting a time and motion study in his workplace, but the middle management were sniffy about authorising the purchase of a stop-watch (mainly because they could only use specified suppliers who would charge around £50 per unit). Don't you have a stop-watch on your phone? I asked.

"Yeah, but it doesn't look good if you're walking about the factory floor looking at your phone... it looks like you're faffing around. If you're holding a stop-watch, management can see that you're working".

It's a bit like professional wedding photographers, many of whom would be happy to use a mirrorless camera, if only as a back-up to their DSLR, but they know the clients expect to see some whopping great lumps of Nikon.

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British designer builds $15m iPhone for Hong Kong mogul

Dave 126
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Re: And the ring tone is...

Hehe... reminds me of a cover of a Beezer annual from the 1980s... one lad is walking along, chuffed to bits with his new personal stereo, until he sees a Richie-Rich-like boy, being followed by a helicopter that is suspending a hi-fi speaker on each side of his head!

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Dave 126
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I thought that Fabergé had set the trend for an object being more highly valued for the sheer man hours involved in its creation, rather than just the high material cost, back in the late 19th century. It would be interesting to know how much this crusted iPhone is worth as scrap- probably a high percentage of the reported £15M sum. Though commodity markets are famously volatile, it will probably hold its value better than any other handset out there.

Oh, I don't think think that 'designer' is the correct term for the craftsman who created this thing.

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'Charge memory' boffins: Hungover Li-Ion batts tell fat whoppers

Dave 126
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Re: The widespread belief that lithium-ion batteries don't suffer from “charge memory”

My Sony phone had an option to stop charging at 95%- though it seems to have disappeared with the ICS update. Back in pre-iPod days, it was Sony who put more effort into promoting their portable audio players as being 'premium', and claims of quick charging often formed a part of it.

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Ban drones taking snaps of homes, rages Google boss... That's HIS job, right?

Dave 126
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> cheap camera-toting aircraft can be used by anyone from terrorists to quarrelling neighbours

Terrorist A: So, we want to to blow up a crowd of people here and inflict a lot of casualties, but where best to plant the bomb?

Terrorist B: I know! I know! We could use an RC quadropter with a video camera to survey the area first.

Terrorist A: Nah, we can't do that, that would be illegal.

Um, how would any legislation work work, exactly?

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Flexible flywheel offers cheap energy storage

Dave 126
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Re: Context

For grid storage, containment isn't that much of an issue- you just choose a remote site and place the whole thing in a big hole, and maybe grow a copse of trees around it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Gyroscopes in cars

> I have a mental image of the driver putting his foot down and the car just rearing up on its back wheels

Hehe.... that would be the equivalent of having your internal combustion engine attempt to turn all your petrol into kinetic energy in one go... (not good)

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Dave 126
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Re: It does not work!

You really aren't missing much in this video. It is 1:17 long, and spends that time telling you that a motor is also a generator, and that it takes energy to make something spin. That it is it. It is wholly generic, except for the last two seconds when the voice-over tells us "we have developed a new way of making fly wheels, then it fades to black.

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Wales slams Amazon over lack of Kindle support

Dave 126
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Re: The welsh lobby

>Because publishing is not a charity. If your Welsh speakers buy the books, people will spot the market.

You may have missed the point: The publishers want to publish in Welsh, all they need from Amazon is to have a Welsh Language category.

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Dave 126
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Re: Actually, if they designed their admin software properly

Latin was the lingua franca of science for a long time.

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Dave 126
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>As welsh is only spoken in Wales

Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patagonian_Welsh

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Dave 126
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Re: The welsh lobby

And there are more Welsh speakers in the US, and in Patagonia, than in Wales... the former got very vocal when Bill Clinton used the verb 'to welsh' to describe a group that had reneged on a deal.

I was amused to visit the Regional Museum in Ica, Peru, to see the name Adolfo Bermudez Jenkins writ large across the entrance.

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Movie review: Oblivion

Dave 126
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Headmaster

Re: Damn, two sentences ending in a preposition?

>"And then on from there to Saturn's moon Titan, where Earth's population evacuated to."

It's a new form of spacecraft propulsion... you have the reaction mass.

The sub-editor character in season 5 of The Wire explained it well to an underling:

"Buildings are evacuated, people are not. Well, you CAN evacuate a person, but I don't think that's what you mean in this context"

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Dave 126
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Slightly off topic

I was just thinking about sci-fi films that have used a real, solid location instead of CGI sets... interior locations that spring to mind (and please contribute):

Aliens- an old power station

Silent Running - an aircraft carrier

The Abyss - an unused cooling pond at a nuclear power station

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Dave 126
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Re: "Tom Cruise" - Hollywoods permier scientology creepozoid

> Movies really suck these days since the studios became corporate.

Digital cameras have reduced the cost for independent film makers, as digital cinema has reduced the cost of distribution... but yeah, if you want a film with a freak-off big budget, you need to go corporate. However, more can be done with less- ideally through imaginative location-scouting than CGI.

Okay, we're not all lucky enough to live near a city with a few arts cinemas, but hell, more people are able to afford a large TV and sound-system in their own homes these days. There are plenty of interesting films being made and released on DVD n BluRay- how are you with subtitles?

Yeah, it's true that Mssrs Cameron and Scott's returns to the sci-fi genre were disappointing, but we've had Moon, District 9, Primer, Dredd...

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Dubai splurges on 700hp, 217mph Lamborghini police cruiser

Dave 126
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>and this Lambo has more than enough giddy-up to overtake lead foots (lead feet?) with effortless celerity.

Really, what if the offending motorist is also in a stupidly fast car?

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Dave 126
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Re: The Saudis used Lambos too...

RRC, the Italian police's Lambos were more of a PR effort.

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Dave 126
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Re: Well...

Not just the Subaru Impreza, but a Prodrive-tuned Subaru Impreza, from the company who did Colin McRae's winning cars. Humberside police were the first to have one, as a few criminals tried some off-road evasive tactics. As well as being faster, the Prodrive versions have panels underneath to protect the car from rocks and debris.

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Facebook Home gets SMACKDOWN from irate users

Dave 126
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Re: FB Phone

Ideally, one would be able to get the useful functionality of a Facebook-like service whilst retaining control through using an open-source peer-to-peer social network... I'm sure Eadon would approve, too.

I wish Diaspora well, though I've only just read of the sad death of its co-founder in 2011.

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Dave 126
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Re: I wonder...

I can't imagine it does one's battery life much good, either.

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Chinese boffins predict iPad-sized supercomputers

Dave 126
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Re: Supercomputer Ipad

I seem to recall that Minds cheated by keeping most of their 'hardware' in hyperspace, or in some folded dimension or somesuch!

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