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* Posts by Dave 126

4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

NASA on alert: International Space Station springs a leak

Dave 126
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Re: Easy Fix!!!

>No it isn't. Duck tape is a brand name, the tape itself is Duct

Yes it is- 'duck tape' was the generic term. Using the tape for ducting was a later application.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duct_tape#History_and_etymology

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Stroke my sexy see-through backside, says Jobs from BEYOND THE GRAVE

Dave 126
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Re: Another stupid idea ...

>Additionally, the holes would offer wonderful receptors for granular dirt to enter and block them, rendering yhee 'feature' less sensitive or inoperable.

You'd have thought so, but it doesn't seem to happen on the Apple Wireless keyboard power indicator, which uses tiny holes in aluminium to let light through.

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Dave 126
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Re: Gloves?

>isn't this down to the sensitivity of the capacitive sensors? if so, what have Apple invented here? Lights?

Nah, this concept works by detecting the deflection in the device casing, which is why it works with gloves. Click the link in the article for more detail.

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Dave 126
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>So, isn't this just a capacitative sensor with a light under it? Sort of like those large ones on the front of phones with thousands of light-emitting diodes?

This is a method for sensing touch through metal through metal, not glass or plastic like previous implementations.

An input device includes a deflection based capacitive sensing input. Deflection of a metal fame of the input device causes a change in capacitance that is used to control a function of an electrical device. The input appears selectively visible because it is made of the same material as the housing it is contained in and because it is selectively backlit through tiny holes.

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Dave 126
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Re: Buttons that are only visable when you press them?

I too have a Vostro that has that peculiar button layout. It would do my nut in, but since the near invisible volume buttons take dozens of taps to make any difference to the sound output, I tend to just use the mouse.

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37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac

Dave 126
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>How many people regularly use the windows button on the keyboard unless they have no mouse plugged in?

I only use two, but use them regularly:

Windows Key > start typing name of program > press 'Enter'. A pretty quick way of starting an application.

Windows Key + X Brings up a panel with display brightness and power scheme selection, amongst other things. (the taskbar power plan selection is useless because it only shows 'balanced' and 'last used' - switching between 'high performance' and 'power saver' is more useful.

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Dave 126
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Re: Flawed but...

>It can't just be that, after all the Lenovo scored at the bottom of the table; traditionally they've been every bit as well-built as Macs.

Certainly other surveys, based on other data such as numbers returned to base etc, suggest that Apple and Lenovo have been among the more reliable machines available.

Solutu said that they didn't include all machines in their test, only those that they had enough data for them to include... it is very possible that there is a more reliable ThinkPad model out there, but that it wasn't included because it didn't sell as much as the X1 Carbon.

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Dave 126
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Re: Another Balmer ballsup!

>I'm not sure why the only thinkpad on the list is so far down.

Solutu said that they didn't include all machines in the test, only those that they had enough data for to include in the test... it is very possible that there is a more reliable ThinkPad model out there, but that it wasn't included because it didn't sell as much as the X1 Carbon.

Certainly other surveys, based on other data such as numbers returned to base etc, suggest that Apple and Lenovo have been among the more reliable machines.

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Dave 126
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Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

> However the discrepancy between the results for the MacBook Pro and the Retina model, suggests that there is more going on here, than simple user selection bias.

Just a guess at the discrepancy - the 15" MacBook Retina has a discrete graphic card, which may have encouraged some users to try to play modern games on it, and these games may have crashed out (http://blog.laptopmag.com/windows-7-tested-on-retina-display-macbook-pro-how-good-is-it suggests this can happen).

Owners of the of the 13" Macbook Pro with Intel HD4000 graphics may not have been as tempted to try playing games, and so its Solutu score won't show as many application crashes.

Just a hypothesis.

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Dave 126
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Re: Crash free zone

Win 7 is pretty good for not crashing, once I updated a card-reader driver my Dell shipped with. Sometimes, rarely, the system will be frozen when awaking from sleep... something to do with not turning the HDD back on, as far I can make out. Occasionally programs crash, but they are the sort that expect to crash, evident from the 'you have not saved your document for 20 minutes' dialogue they pop up.

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Dave 126
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>Hmm - did they divide the number of crashes by the number of hours the machine was being used?

No, they didn't. But then, they have laid out their methodology.

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Dave 126
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Re: just 0.88 crashes a week

JDX

You're right to spot that is a high number, however:

- those 'crashes' refer to application crashes, not BSODs. Solutu have used the terms '[application] crashes', 'non responsive events' and 'BSoDs'.

It could have been clearer.

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Dave 126
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Re: Apple users use OsX most of the time

>Are we sure they don't amortize the results per hour of use or anything like that?

You would have thought so, but the breakdown of the methodology at https://www.soluto.com/reports gives no suggestion that they did... it is all talking about 'crashes per week'.

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Dave 126
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Re: In news just in

>Let me tell you a little something about Windows, if it crashes - chances are it's your fault.

Well, Windows PCs shipped with less than perfect drivers aren't uncommon; Macs simply have fewer hardware combinations to test.

Oh, in what way is OSX locked down?

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Dave 126
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Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

>There is always someone who wants to knock the facts when Apple turns up trumps.

You're right Lars, there usually are such people. However, the survey wasn't perfect, as the people who conducted it pointed out themselves. Something else that may have skewed the results, amongst other things, is that the test measured crashes over a calender period of time, rather than crashes per hour of use.,. this is important because at least some MacBook Pro owners will be using OSX some of the time.

That said, in the favour of the MacBook Pro is that the test took into account Windows start-up time, and this model of Macbook Pro (2012) didn't have an SSD fitted as standard.

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The UK's copyright landgrab: The FAQ

Dave 126
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Re: two points i disagree on...

>or at least deface it so people who can make money out of it

Can anyone fish out a link to that marvellous story some years back about the Tory MP's constituency website... it used a picture of a pound coin that not only had been nicked from somebody else's website, but was actually linked to it. When the owner of the image noticed, he took it into Photoshop and 'scratched' a penis onto it, and then updated his site. This of course resulted in the Tory MP's website featuring a rudely defaced coin!

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Peeping Tom suspects cuffed after 'falling through women's toilet ceiling'

Dave 126
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Re: Blimey!

Had it been Robert Downey Jr that fell from the sky, the ladies might not have complained!

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Move over Radeon, GeForce – Intel has a new graphics brand: Iris

Dave 126
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Re: Wow! 75 times faster than... whaaat?

> you are not going to fool anyone.

Er, who do you think they are trying to fool? HD 4000 is already plenty good enough for anything other than more recent games and CAD work, handles transcoding quickly enough, and is happy to run a few monitors and decode some full HD video.

Gamers and CAD users know their own needs, and will usually buy a machine with discrete graphics hardware- after having researched benchmarks, game frame rates and any reports of driver issues.

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Dave 126
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Re: Won't SGI have something to say about this?

Well, I don't wish to be impertinent.... : D SGI are all about storage, data centres and HPC. I would imagine Silicon Graphics, Inc would never have had the revenues that the consumer-centric nVidia and ATi had.

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Apple designer Sir Jony Ive holding up iOS 7 development: Report

Dave 126
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Re: Hmmmm...

>aesthetic designer

Which Ive isn't. In Dieter Ram's term, he is a 'Form Engineer', a more holistic thing that takes into account everything including manufacturing, functionality, ergonomics and yes, aesthetics. UI design has been taught on Product Design BSc (and to a lesser extent Industrial Design BA) courses since the late 1990s.

The original iPod was shiny- but an important part of its function was that it slipped into a pocket easily, like cigarette cases have done for decades. So it happened to look like a cigarette case.

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Dave 126
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The 'i' in 'iMac' wasn't Jobs' idea, and he was initially opposed to it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Does it has to be because of internal warfare?

>If anyone needs another reminder, recall that Apple just issued billions of dollars worth of debt with 30 year terms. They are essentially claiming that they can stay relevant and profitable for several technology lifetimes.

According to the financial papers, that is because most of their cash is outside the US, and bonds are the most tax-efficient way of returning $100 billion to share-holders.

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Dave 126
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Re: skeuomorphic has 1 big advantage

> I already struggle to remember WTF each Google icon means,

Too true... There is a Picasa icon and a Chome icon pinned to my start bar, and sometimes I click the wrong one. They are both multi-coloured circles!

They have a passing resemblance to the 'Consignia' logo, that was around during the ill-fated Post Office rebranding exercise. Private Eye had a section in which they showed a dozen existing logos that looked more or less identical.

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Want to know what CIA spooks really think of spy movies and books?

Dave 126
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Re: Not Real

Yep, it was.... as was the Team-B report on which it was based. Or maybe Team-B got the idea from Tom Clancy.... it gets hard to tell.

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Dave 126
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Re: Mostly Boredom

I seem to recall Bond on a bus in Live and Let Die... or at least I remember a double-decker bus being converted to a cabriolet with the aid of a low bridge.

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Why next iPhone screen could be made of SAPPHIRE - and a steal...

Dave 126
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Re: True, but...

>They are quite, but not completely, scratch-proof. However they are definitely NOT shatterproof. Any hope of a sapphire crystal surviving hammering or even a significant drop onto concrete is fantasy

It depends how it is used. A phone screen is thinner than a watch crystal, and it is only the very outer layer that you want to be hard- maybe it could be combined with a more flexible material. I'm thinking of case-hardened spanners, which are hard on the outside, more flexible on the inside so that they don't break when dropped like a drill bit will.

Many Omega watches use sapphire for the watch crystal but the models used in space used an acrylic-like material... acrylic would be less likely to shatter due to extremes in temperature, and even if it did it would be preferable to tiny shards of sapphire floating around in an enclosed environment.

Back down on earth, the things likely to scratch a sapphire watch face are harder stones in jewellery, diamond dust (if you've been a diamond blade in a disc cutter) and sometimes the anti-slip coating at the bottom of swimming pools.

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Red faces as Pentagon leases Chinese satellite

Dave 126
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Re: Trojan Horse Satellite

Which bit of "to support non-classified communications" did you not understand?

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Review: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 WinPro 8 tablet

Dave 126
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Re: Nice looking hardware

>Are you kidding? It is the fuggliest thing I have seen in a long time.....

Yeah, cos other kit this PC will be used with is known for being beautiful.

(Well, I do like those shiny red Snap-On tool cabinets)

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Cat ladies turned brand-squatters poke fun at religious right

Dave 126
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Re: It has cats

Cats and rainbows... where have I seen that before?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH2-TGUlwu4

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Peak txt: 1.5 BEELLLION more chat app msgs sent than SMSes a day

Dave 126
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I've never managed to set up MMS messaging on my handset... but then I haven't really tried very hard because I can email pictures or use Whatsapp if I need too. Battery life isn't an issue, since my phone's flavour of Android has a setting that disables data when the screen is off.

Whatsapp I only use to keep in touch with a couple of people- for everyone else I use email, SMS or just ring them.

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Ten ancestors of the netbook

Dave 126
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Re: I'm pretty certain I fiddled about with all of them ...

No, nobody saw an eMate 'in the wild'. I did see one in my school though, a teacher was assessing whether it would be of any use to him... he decided that it wasn't.

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Dave 126
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> Only its keyboard gave the netbook an edge.

Well, the better support for extra storage and peripherals was handy too. I've used one as a data logger for a thermometer when developing a product, a mate uses his to stream audio from an external HDD...

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Boffins strap turbocharger to BitTorrent

Dave 126
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>people have uplinks 20x slower than their uplink & I don't see any sign that ISPs want to reverse the trend

They might be under more pressure to change if more consumers start using cloud services and off-site back up. I have a bog standard domestic connection, and it is a little boring sending modestly-sized files of my own creation (images, a few animations) to clients and collaborators.

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Next Xbox to be called ‘Xbox Infinity’... er... ‘Xbox’

Dave 126
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With developments in flexible electronic components, the 3rd generation of Xbox will be named the Xbag.

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CURSE you, EINSTEIN! Humanity still chained in relativistic PRISON

Dave 126
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Re: Stupid question

I've upvoted the OP AC - he humbly posted an honest question, and thus prompted some interesting replies, most of them along the right lines.

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Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?

Dave 126
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Re: Sad realities

>The DAC in your iRiver should be a NXP UDA1380TT; one of my friends has one still going strong at what must be coming up to 10 years old - how long did the HDDs on iPods last?

Er, the same amount of time?

The iRiver H1xx and 3xxx series used the same Toshiba HDD as the iPods at the time... and indeed the same Li-ion batteries. (I had a H320 that I dropped a few times onto concrete, the HDD died so I replaced it with one from a broken iPod - happy again until someone stole it)

Before having a HDD-based music player, I had a MD recorder- strange that not many MP3 players could record audio like the iRivers or MD-recorders could.

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Dave 126
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Re: Beats vs. BeyerDynamic

>Joe Meek used to master on speakers nicked from cheap record players and transistor radios, because that was

what he knew people probably would be listening to the finished result on.

I believe that was common practice in American studios in the 1950s, according to a radio documentary I heard.

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Student falsely IDed by Reddit as Boston bomber found dead

Dave 126
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Re: Give Reddit a fine.

Well, perhaps in future the local investigating authorities will consider openly embedding one of their own as a 'moderator'. After events such as the Boston bombing, police forces always appeal to the public for any leads or sightings, and sites like Reddit have structures that can aid in that- it seems that they just needed a little guidance.

Similarly, file hosting sites have an infrastructure that can aid investigations, as people can upload any video footage they took of/around an incident for the benefit of official investigators.

Just an idea. Thoughts?

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Dave 126
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Re: Whatever happens..

Out of respect for the sage message this poor lad's family put out, I will wish Eadon a good day and hope that he enjoys his weekend.

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Dave 126
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Re: sigh

>I wish there was something like tvtropes.org for real-world social tropes which repeat but people just don't recognize them.

Many episodes of the Simpsons attempt to condense 'social tropes' (the townsfolk of Springfield forming a mob / the stupidity of the crowd, being recurring examples)... but the message is hidden in the mix with many pop-culture allusions and homages.

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Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey - photo search!

Dave 126
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Re: Huh?

Especially as Ubuntu's plan is to run across devices like phones and tablets... most of my photos live locally on my PC (other than those snapped on my phone), but cloud services are one way of making them accessible to mobile devices. If Ubuntu is to be used on mobile devices, it makes sense for it to have a feature like this. Concept / implementation...

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Dave 126
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Re: Erratum

>Do you have a citation for that?

Googling 'Ubuntu slow transfer speeds' does bring up a lot of discussion results...

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Guess who PC-slaying tablets are killing next? Keyboard biz Logitech

Dave 126
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Re: bollocks

Logitech do make mice that are good value- well featured for around the £20-£25 mark- but they don't seem to be available in any retail stores. The cheapest Logitech mice, as you say, offer nothing over cheaper generic mice. Logitech's expensive mice are good but overkill- not many will spend a £50 premium for a mouse that works on glass when they can just use a mouse-mat.

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Dave 126
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I've been trying to buy a Logitech mouse from a retail store for a mate, and can't find one worth getting.... PC World has a selection of two dozen mice, most of them generic 'notebook' mice from Dell or whoever with a scroll wheel. The only Logitech mice with 'hyper-scroll' wheels they stock are the expensive 'Darkfield' MX models which are very nice but a bit overkill if you don't use them on glass (plus the battery life isn't convenient). The rest are overpriced mice with capacitive touch-pads, urgh. There are no mid-priced, well-featured Logitech mice (to tempt people to upgrade from whatever came with their computer) available from any local retail store.

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High-rollers’ shop pitches wallet-pounding, wall-pummelling MONSTER TV

Dave 126
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Re: Stand, no problem

>Of course it might tear the east wing of your castle down due to the weight.

Well, if you collect classic motorcycles, you invest in a secure garage*. If you collect old manuscripts, you might consider a climate-control system. The amount you would have to spend on making your gaff suitable for this TV set is unlikely to cost more than a few percent of the price of the unit itself... well, round here it wouldn't; I'm blissfully ignorant of the rate builders in London might charge!

*(I actually know of one man in London who has been collecting classic motorcycles such as Broughs since the 1970s... though the value of the bikes has increased over the years, the market value of the dozen or so garages he bought to store them in has increased much, much more!)

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Dave 126
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Re: The frame comes off

String? If you've got the cash for this TV, you'll have the cash to a, reinforce your wall, and b, attach the TV to the wall securely. Even paying a local steel fabricator to build you a custom frame that can be hidden behind plasterboard isn't going to cost much more than a grand... a chunk of money for me, but pocket change to those this TV set is aimed at, surely?

Supporting systems are usually rated to a load, including a safety margin of at least three times. For extra peace of mind you use a back-up system (such as used on stage-lighting fixtures to avoid a can falling on someone's head), and beyond that you have insurance.

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Tough luck, lappies: Brits favour fingersome fondleslabs, phones

Dave 126
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Re: During the meanwhile ...

I'm just trying to reconcile the sentiments "Your mileage may vary." with "The mind absolutely boggles at the daftness of TheGreatUnwashed."

If I want a device that acts like a typewriter, I use a laptop. If I want a device that acts like a picture frame or MIDI control surface, I use a tablet... just as if I want to bash something I use a mallet, and if I want to carve something I use a knife, router, chisel or lathe.

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Dave 126
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Re: Laptops and tablets

>What I find stranger and more commonplace nowadays is seeing golden oldies trying and failing to read their undersized iPhone screens in public

Yeah, I've made the point a few times that those with poorer eyesight don't always get on well with 'smartphones', and would be better off with a 'dumbphone' for making calls plus a tablet for mobile email and web-browsing etc. One old boy in the pub has recently got a 4.3" touchscreen phone instead of his old 'clamshell' phone, and he doesn't get on too well with it... he did want a device that he could use to email his grandchildren when his conventional laptop 'was playing silly buggers', but I can't help but feel a bigger-screened tablet would have been a better back-up device for him. Since he comes in the pub on a daily basis, myself or one of the bar-staff would always be available to get a tablet connected to the Wi-Fi...

The more mobile a device, the easier it is to get free-tech support. : D

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Dave 126
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Re: IF notebook sales do stay ahead of tablets??? - @LarsG

>Sticking with the x86 architecture limits the possibilities on cheap and portable.

And going ARM limits the legacy Windows software you can use... so you might as well go Android.

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Dave 126
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Re: IF notebook sales do stay ahead of tablets???

>No, it WILL be "because of Windows 8 and its emphasis on touchscreen technology".

Or it might be that people already have notebooks. Mine is still working, and won't be replaced until it dies since it handles all I throw at it happily enough.

(I was about to whinge and say I won't know where to find another 17" 1920x1200 screened laptop... but sod it, it rarely moves off my desk so a separate 16:10 monitor will do fine)

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