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* Posts by Dave 126

4135 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

BMW offers in-car streaming music for cross-Europe road trips

Dave 126
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Re: Why when Radio is already free?

>I just dont get it. Any data dongle can stilll do that and beam it into the stereo system !

Answered in the article:

"you can get Rara's music catalogue and playlists, without any extra charges - particularly roaming charges - or extra cables or devices. "

If you used a dongle without being careful, you could arrive home to a massive roaming phone bill. Whilst you can stream to your car stereo with extra devices, it is not as convenient as having it integrated with the car - both for ease of use (safety) and connection to the car's aerial.

I've been hoping that this is the way things are going - so we can all forget about DAB.

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The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex

Dave 126
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>"For Sale: 2 bed bungalow, needs some renovation, very large wine cellar."

I had believed the bunker outside Bath had been bought as a wine cellar, but it would appear that was only a proposal:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/wiltshires-secret-underground-city-the-burlington-nuclear-bunker

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COLD FUSION is BACK with 'anomalous heat' claim

Dave 126
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Re: Disgrace of the sort of comments

>Regardless of the character and its claims any scientific discovery should be judged without prejudice

I think people's only problem with the man's character is that he doesn't allow a fair scientific experiment, even one which doesn't require peeking inside the box.

Hell, many of us grew up admiring a crazy scientist who stole plutonium off Libyan terrorists : D

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Dave 126
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Re: Lost inventions

Yeah, I understand that he hinted on a radio interview that his family knew.

Just how rich did he want to be out of it? It seems he spent decades turning down millions of pounds for the hope of billions. He must have been very confident that nobody else would stumble across the formula whilst he was sitting on it.

If it existed, it is baffling that it hasn't been replicated. If it didn't exist, it is baffling that the military labs said it worked. One doesn't really want to suggest that it works and the military really know the formula, nor suggest that it didn't work and the military had their own reasons for saying otherwise.

Odd, odd, odd.

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Dave 126
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Re: Lost inventions

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlite

That really is an odd one... I remembered the demonstration on Tomorrow's World, and the military seem to think it works...

About 18 months after the Tomorrow's World appearance, Ward finally agreed to let Lewis run a series of tests, on condition that he wouldn't analyse Starlite's ingredients. The first thing Lewis and his colleagues did was fire powerful laser pulses at the material. There was little damage, despite the fact that each pulse contained 100 millijoules of energy. "That will drill holes in bricks," says Lewis.

Other tests at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and the Atomic Weapons Establishment on the island of Foulness, UK, confirmed that Starlite was the real deal. At Foulness, researchers used an arc lamp, essentially a powerful tungsten bulb, to focus a huge amount of heat onto a small area of the material. Again an impressive performance: the material easily withstood temperatures of around 1000 °C, according to a 1993 article in the military publication International Defence Review.

-From issue 2864 of New Scientist magazine, page 40-43.

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Dave 126
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Re: No Brainer

BTW, Dick Smith is ace! In the early 1980s he served as the conductor aboard a London double decker bus which jumped 15 motorcycles. He would later serve twice as chairman of the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority Board!

His interview with broadcaster Philip Adams is wonderful, and hosted here:

http://castroller.com/podcasts/LateNightLive2/3226855

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Dave 126
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Re: No Brainer

Okay, okay... if he doesn't want to open his black box to scrutiny, it could just be left running for a period of time with several independent assessors monitoring the power in and power out. The volume of the box is known. If the box continues outputting power for a period of time beyond what one would expect of a battery or fuel cell, it will become interesting and worthy of further consideration (even if 'all' he has created is a better battery, it would be noteworthy but not world changing)

Until then, I'm assuming snake oil.

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Dave 126
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Re: Hmm...

"Keep an open mind, but no so open that your brains fall out" - Bertrand Russell

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Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces

Dave 126
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Re: Why bother?

>How many hands do you need to use a watch?

Zero, if you are just glancing at it to see what a notification is.

>How many hands do you need to use a phone?

One, usually, but it has to retrieved from a safe place - a pocket or bag - and returned there when finished.

>If you are standing on a train/bus or holding a cup of coffee - you cannot use a smart watch

Fair enough, on the occasions that it is easier to use your phone, you can still use your phone. That doesn't mean that the phone will always be the easiest option - a cyclist would find easier to tell the time from a wristwatch than they would by pulling a phone from their pocket, locating the screen lock button to display the time and then returning the phone to their pocket.

>A smart watch is not as smart as a Rolex for example, in fact it is rather untidy in comparison

Fair enough - though I'm not Rolex's biggest fan, I think a useful smartwatch could be made that doesn't draw attention to itself. I'm thinking of that Tissot Touch watch, when tapping 3 o'clock made its hands rotate to indicate altitude, touching 6 o'clock made them act as a compass, 9 o'clock a thermometer etc... its appearance gave no clue as to its extra functions- it looked like any other analogue watch.

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Dave 126
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Re: Micro USB charging

Why not make the strap a cable with a male microUSB plug st the clasp? I'm sure I've seen something similar on Alibaba

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Microsoft reveals Xbox One, the console that can read your heartbeat

Dave 126
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Re: XBox One == Creepy Snooping Apparatus

I would worry that someone has installed video cameras and microphones in the beer garden shrubbery to catch people discussing all manner of naughtiness - legal, finacial, sexual- but I don't.

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Dave 126
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Re: XBox One == Creepy Snooping Apparatus

>However Credit cards don't (yet) come weaponised with surveillance sensors such as cameras, microphones et cetera

Okay, Dougal, how do you 'weaponise' something with a sensor exactly?

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Dave 126
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Re: XBox One == Creepy Snooping Apparatus

>You give a fascinating variant on the nothing to hide, nothing to fear argument.

When I do get together with my friends to discuss the overthrow of Western civilisation, I prefer to meet in either a tent in the Sahara, or in a hollowed-out volcano - not in Ed's front room halfway through a Halo session.

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Dave 126
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Re: XBox One vs PS4

@mutatedwombat

Thanks for a clear, concise post. I think you're right to infer that the details of the whole offering ("online requirements, subscription services, etc") are likely to have a difference in peoples choice. As for the hardware differences, (and lets just hope that the Lowest Common Denominator doesn't bring down the quality of games) though my geeky side awaits Tomshardware analysing those hardware differences (since they are in the habit of examing the performance bottlenecks of gaming PCs).

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Dave 126
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Re: A behind the scenes look...

> Can't help but feel MS is putting too much emphasis on Xbox Live and not on Gaming itself.

For many gamers, it is all about the online multiplayer gaming. And those gamers pay, in the form of an Xbox Live Gold subscription. On those points, I would say that sorting out issues with XBOX Live (lag cheaters etc) is absolutely central to what MS are offering.

The games? Those are for the 3rd party developers to work out, not MS.

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Dave 126
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Re: BBC article revelations... XBox is not about games!

>MS abandons backwards compatibility once again. Must feel great to be an MS dev / partner / customer!

You really have gone full retard today...

Why would a dev care if people didn't keep playing DeathKill IV on their old machine and bought DeathKill V for their new console instead? They wouldn't care - they would welcome it.

The PS3 caught up XBOX 360's sales, despite most PS3 units not playing PS2 games... Guess what? Those people with PS2 games tended to own a PS2 console. Shocking, I know, but that's just that way it is.

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Dave 126
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Re: Oh don't be hard on them

>A suit is just an inanimate uniform for work

Unless you've read too much Iain M Banks...

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Dave 126
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Re: There's a lot more detail in the BBC article than here at the Reg which is surprising...

Eadon you cretin- the OP AC was expressing surprise that the BBC coverage had highlighted a (possibly significant) point when the Register had missed it. This point was not made on priviledged information as you suggest, but on already common knowledge.

Try putting your energy into different avenues for a month... if you see no improvement after that time, you should seek help.

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Dave 126
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Re: XBox One == Creepy Snooping Apparatus

>Unlike Google, MS have given user's data to the FBI/government without a warrant

From the FBI's persepctive, people who are sat at home playing video games with their mates are not of interest. People out on the street bombing, murdering and a smuggling... that's a different matter.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bah

>This console brings nothing new to the table, and if anything tries to hide the fact that it lacks anything new by drowning out the terrible console with added microsoft bloat.

One man's bloat is another man's features. Certainly the PS3 was always a more useful general purpose machine than the Xbox 360 (the Sony gave you Blu-Ray, fairly quiet operation, WiFi for media playback, iPlayer etc) so MS would be daft not to move in that direction.

For me, the striking thing is how similar Sony and MS's next gen offerings are- so I suspect it will be the details of implementation and polish that clinch it. Either that, or people are beyond caring which platform they adopt, and the 3rd party studios will benefit.

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Dave 126
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Re: Thats all we need

>More losers "pwning" people. FYI, nobody cares about you playing your game.

So you missed the news story this week about Nintendo trying to reclaim users' 'walk through' videos as a revenue stream? Do try and pay attention!

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Dave 126
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Re: Sir

>once upon a time it was all about the launch games :)

Yep. since before the Mario and Sonic days...

It used to be so, but at the launch of the PS3 Sony didn't seem to bother- I can't recall any big PS franchises making much of a splash. Now that this new Xbox and the PS4 have similar hardware (so more likely to share AAA 3rd party games), it might be less about the 'title exclusives' and more about the details... clearly MS have done well to recognise that Online Multiplayer could be better, which is but the first step to fixing it. d

Oh, and screw MS's Halo franchise - Bungie's 'Destiny' (available on both next gen platforms) is where its going to be at.

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Dell's PC-on-a-stick landing in July: report

Dave 126
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Re: Instant PC

>Aye, why use this when you have a smartphone in your pocket anyway?

Because you can plug this in to your telly, and control it using your phone from your sofa.

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The iWatch is coming! The iWatch is coming!

Dave 126
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Re: Another Bluetooth & Wifi gadget a lá les Googgles?

The new version of Android shown off last week brings support for the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol to the OS for the first time- though some Android Samsung devices already have the hardware. More recent iOS and Nokia WinPho devices already support it, as does the Casio G-Shock BLE watch - with a claimed battery life of 3 years based on twelve hours connection per day.

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Dave 126
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Re: @Owen Ashcroft

>Except that a wristwatch is big enough to display the time, a display smaller than a smartphone is going to struggle to display much more with any degree of usability

Okay, just a partial list of things that could be easily displayed on a watch without a fancy display:

-The time

-A direction to a waypoint - like a traditional compass

-Notification alerts - could be done with a single RGB LED - different colours and flashes denote different alerts, much like the one on your phone does.

-4 digit Numerical data sent from your phone - time to next train, custom countdown timer, average speed, distance to waypoint, altitude

Even little bits of information like these might be useful if they can be consulted without removing your phone from your pocket (or in some circumstances, a waterproof pouch in your rucksack)

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Space dogs and Dragons: A brief history of reentry tech

Dave 126
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>It wasn't until 1783 that Frenchman Louis-Sébastien Lenormand jumped from the tower of Montpellier observatory and lived both to tell the tale and invent the word "parachute".

Fair dooes! Personally, I would have placed my body-weight in courgettes in a bag, and tied the bag to my new parachute invention - before dropping that off the roof. Still, you can't knock showmanship!

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MYSTERY Nokia Lumia with gazillion-pixel camera 'spotted'

Dave 126
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Re: other factors

>quality of image is being able to keep the camera still long enough for the photons to be captured.

That is correct, but is not very helpful if your subject (sports, pets, children etc) is moving.

You have other options to let more light hit the sensor: One is to give yourself a larger hole (smaller f.) to let more light in. The compromise is that this reduces the amount of your scene that is in focus (though sometimes this is desired). Here, the autofocus speed (or manual focus controls) come into their own.

Another option is to up the sensitivity ('ISO') of the sensor, though this might increase the amount of noise beyond what you want. Generally, larger sensor DSLRs allow a higher ISO to be used without impacting on image quality as much.

There are always compromises and decisions to be made on the part of the photographer, which is why they place importance on the camera's controls- many having a preference for external knobs and dials than navigating through nested menus with a d-pad. And why most DSLRs have user-configurable buttons and Custom modes.

Oh, there is a lovely Instructables article about making a gyroscopic stabilising rig for DSLRs, made out of two old desktop HDDs : D

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Dave 126
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'Bridge Cameras' tend to have fairly small sensors, around the same size as most compacts... they have to, in order to offer a lot of versatility in the optical zoom range. Unlike a DSLR with any one lens, they can go from a reasonable macro shot to upwards of 24x zoom.

>but it's never going to be as good as an equivalent DSLR/Bridge camera or top end point and push.

Okay, If you Google "pureview 808 vs Lumix LX 5" and look at the pictures, you might be surprised.

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Dave 126
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Re: Whatever you do, don't show the Win 8 scrreen!

@Lee D

You might have missed the point- it is not being judged on the number of mega-pixels it has, but on the results it produces. Rather than give us a lot of theory, isn't is easier for you to look at the DPreview review of the 808- after all, it contains lots of test shots, many of them under their controlled studio conditions. They use the same conditions for each camera (DSLR, compact, whatever) they review, so that comparisons are fair and standard.

True, you are never going to get fine user control over your pictures with this thing, but that isn't he point of this device.

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Dave 126
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>Eleventy gazillion megapixels, and still a teeny tiny hole in the front to let the light in. So no, I won't be trying this.

Okay, why look at reviews and controlled tests when you have an opinion? Rather than think about it, why not just look at the pictures?

http://asia.cnet.com/shootout-nokia-808-pureview-vs-panasonic-lumix-dmc-lx5-62216561.htm

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Dave 126
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Re: Let's talk photon counts and well sizes

@Michael H.F. Wilkinson

What you say is true. However, the 808 concept is simpler than that - people tend to use 'zoom' for pictures of landmarks and wildlife during the day when light is good and noise isn't really an issue (so the 808 takes a crop of the image, 1:1 pixels). People want low light capability in social situations, often indoors, often at night, when the zoom isn't required (interpolate several pixels to create less noisy image).

Whilst it is good to think about the theory, it is good to balance that against looking at the results:

"Will they match professional DSLR kit: No; this little thing called physics gets in the way." - Theory

"Pixel-level detail is high at low ISO settings and acceptable even at ISO 1600 for non-critical applications. In terms of sharpness and detail, the 808 is more than a match at low ISO settings for most compact cameras (and some DSLRs) -http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8083837371/review-nokia-808-pureview/5 Results of controlled testing.

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Dave 126
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Re: Lens

>"Is the lens up to this level of detail?" is exactly the right question to ask.

It is a good question to ask, but it seems by looking at two unrelated cameras from Pentax you took a strange approach to answering it. Generally speaking, 'prime lenses' - those of fixed zoom - are sharper than zoom lenses. If you want to be more empirical about it, have a look at:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8083837371/review-nokia-808-pureview/5

"At its maximum resolution of 38MP the 808 is capable of capturing a ton of detail, and pixel-level image quality is up there with some of the best cameras around. In its 8MP PureView mode pixel-level image quality is extremely high at low ISO settings, and even up at its highest ISOs, the 808 gives a lot of 'proper' cameras a run for their money. " This is a photography review site that is fond of studio comparison shots under controlled conditions. There is no criticism in the review of the sharpness of the 808's prime lens.

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Dave 126
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Re: The best camera

I've not yet considered getting a DSLR for just that very reason... it's a bit of lump to carry around, and not something I would always want to leave in an unattended vehicle- in short, I wouldn't get enough use out of it to justify its cost.

I do have a 'premium compact', a Lumix LX-5 that fits in a jacket pocket, and is with me enough of the time to capture interesting shots I stumble across, and in most conditions.

However, even this I don't have with me as often as I do my phone.

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Dave 126
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Re: Whatever you do, don't show the Win 8 scrreen!

>A phone camera will always be inferior to any dedicated camera, even a cheap portable one.

Eadon fails to look at any comparisons between the 808 Pureview and 'premium' compacts such as the Lumix LX-5 or Olympus PEN. I don't know why - I'm pretty sure using Linux isn't a barrier to using Google... 'pureview 808 lx 5' for example. All of the reviews, tests, and side by side comparisons come to much the same conclusion.

In some situations, especially low light, the 808 captured more detail, and generally holds its own. This is impressive, given that the LX-5 when released was a better low-light performer than most compacts, with a 1/1.6 sensor and an f.2 lens.

To really put the boot in, almost all compact cameras use a propriety OS, shock horror - though I've heard good things of CHKD, a temporay firmware for many Canon compacts that allows all manner of scripts. http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

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Surface Pro to hit Blighty priced 25% up on top-o-the-range iPad

Dave 126
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Re: Legacy Apps?

>What you call legacy applications we call real applications and they aren't going away.

Agreed.

However, if we want to see more laptops with very high res screens, traditional Windows desktop applications apparently need a kick up the behind. A excerpt from a review of a 13.3" 2560×1440 Toshiba laptop:

"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."

- http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/toshiba-kirabook.aspx

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Dave 126
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Re: For that money . . .

>For that money . . . . . I would get 2 x tablets and a chromebook.

You could, and for many tasks that would work great. However, you wouldn't be able to run all the software that is available for Windows, such as CAD, Photoshop, more specialist accountancy packages, obscure external hardware drivers, you name it. The Surface Pro is no more or less than an i5 laptop with a touchscreen and removable keyboard. Whether you want these features is nobody's choice but yours.

If you had said "for the money I could buy a tablet and a midrange Windows laptop", I couldn't take issue with you.

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Dave 126
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Re: £800????

>you've jack of an eco-system.

Can you expand on that statement? All sorts of hardware and legacy software work with (full fat) Window 8. I don't think there is a device that is now plugged into my Win 7 laptop that wouldn't work with this machine, from my HDDs to my mouse. The chances are that the vast majority of my installed software would work on it as well. Is it possible that you have confused this device for a Win 8 RT (can run on ARM) device?

I have no need for this form factor, but to say it has no 'eco-system' confusese me.

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Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS

Dave 126
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Re: I think you'll also find...

One does not walk or drive or transport themselves to Yate by any other means.

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Half of youngsters would swap PRIVACY for... cheaper insurance

Dave 126
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Re: "privacy is only a problem for the last generation"

Quite. If you don't have car in some rural areas, everyone already knows exactly where you without having to track you: stuck at home.

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Dave 126
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Re: Understandable

>Power to weight restriction like they have on bikes would be good.

Possibly. However, some nasty crashes might be caused by drivers of unrestricted cars trying to overtake them. A moped can be overtaken relatively safely, a Nissan Micra less so.

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Honey, I BLEW UP the International SPACE STATION - in full 3D

Dave 126
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Headmaster

Re: But....

>Can it run Crysys with max settings?

I don't know about Crysis, but it looks like a crisis for the two astronauts concerned!

CrySys with two 'y's is something different again, but does have an IT angle: :-)

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

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Dave 126
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Re: All that trouble

What vacuum? It looks like expanding gas, dust and debris (i.e an explosion)- the rest of the noise is screaming over the suit radio, and noise transmitted along the suit tether- in much the same the way as you can hear the cable of your earphones rubbing against your shirt.

There is a medium for sound to travel through. I don't expect the noise portrayed in this trailer is what people would hear in that situation, but nor would I expect it to be a silent experience.

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Acorn founder: SIXTH WAVE of tech will wash away Apple, Intel

Dave 126
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Re: so that leaves ....

AMD spun off their manufacturing to Global Foundries, so they are more like ARM now. MS have dabbled in hardware (mice and keyboards, later the XBOX and the Surface devices, but I imagine the physical production line belongs to someone else) but remain primarily software and services.

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Dave 126
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Re: Inevitable

>As you point out Sil, its primary driver is computing power/watt.

That, and wireless connectivity - be it the now more common WiFi or sensibly priced data-plans.

Looking forwards, small wireless connected devices such as sensors might be frugal enough to be harvest energy from their surroundings, and cheap enough to be almost disposable (or at least deployed redundantly).

Making good use of all this easily collected data might be more challenging, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: "the incumbent always misses the next wave"

The canal owners had everything invested in assets - canals. The Japanese stole a march on transistor radios because the Americans had too much invested in manufacturing valves.

Apple don't have much invested in manufacturing hardware- and the value of offering services such as iTunes or their App Store isn't lost on them. That their hardware is profitable for them is a nice bonus, but the physical devices are just away of using their services. Google, and ARM likewise - nothing invested in manufacturing hardware.

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Dave 126
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Re: You can call me AI

Though deliberately his own atheist Utopia, Iain M Banks' Culture sci fi concerns a society of powerful AI Minds and hedonistic humans. Banks' doesn't really explore too deeply why the Minds keeps humans around, other than perhaps for their own amusement. Other Minds get kicks out of hunting down 'Hegemonizing Swarms' - little clouds of Von Neuman machines.

Asimov wrote quite a few stories about Multivac, a central computer that looks after all administration on the behalf of humanity- in one story, Multivac manipulates a man to destroy it, since it is its considered opinion that humanity would be better off taking responsibility for itself.

Then there is that great moment when a human figure blast through a wall, and reveals itself to be R. Daneel Olivaw, now capable breaking the 'first law' and hurting individual people if it furthers the aim of the 'Zeroth law'- protecting humanity.

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Review: HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Dave 126
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Re: I don't get the appeal

>Yes they are called tablets and smart phones these days, oh and they are a lot more versatile.

A Swiss Army Knife is more versatile than a dedicated can opener, but for opening cans I'd rather use the specialist device- it's quicker and easier. There is no reason why I can't own both, either.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

@Yet Another Anonymous coward

>Unfortunately office365 doesn't work with chrome

Sorry, I didn't make my point clearly: I wasn't thinking that Office 365 would work on Chromebooks, but I mentioned it because it is part of a competing solution, a competing solution that is in some ways moving in the same direction as Chromebooks.

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Dark blue side of the Force used to quell Star Wars nerd clash

Dave 126
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Re: An Alan Partridge moment

But was a dead cow dropped on anyone?

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Dave 126
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Re: Life copies art?

Sounds like a scene from the film Fanboys (2009), in which there is a scuffle between some Star Wars fans and some Trekkies ("It's Trekkers!")

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanboys_(film)

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