* Posts by Dave 126

6270 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Windows 10 Device Guard: Microsoft's effort to keep malware off PCs

Dave 126
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>I fail to see in what way shape or form this will benefit the vast majority of users.

If you become the administrator for your granny's laptop, you won't have to answer phone calls asking what some obscure security dialogue box means. Basically, you will impose a walled-garden on them, giving the same appeal as a Chromebook or iOS device. Many users won't be bothered that they can only use MS-approved software, since it will cover all their needs (email, skype, photo-editing, office tasks etc).

I'm over-simplifying, but I'm giving an example of how a home user *might* find this useful.

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Dave 126
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Re: "If that enterprise wants to sign bad stuff, they are entitled to do that"

>Windows will not die because some other OS takes its market share by storm, it's going to die fibrillating in the throes of its own morass, and other OSes will just have to fill the void.

A trend that has reduced the amount people use Windows is a lot of productivity work can be done in OS-agnostic web browsers. This work can be responding to emails, or it can be CAD modelling hosted on AWS, as examples. Another trend is the use of mobile devices, mostly running Android or iOS. Still, I haven't seen anything that suggests the imminent demise of Windows.

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Dave 126
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Re: But what about...

>But what about... ...individuals with legacy 'apps'?

The article says: Device Guard, when enabled by an administrator...

So, to answer your question: If you don't want it, don't enable it.

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Dave 126
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Re: But what about...

>And what about developers?

Again, Device Guard will have to be actively turned on by an administrator.

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Love-rat fanboi left bobbing for Apples in tiny Japanese bath

Dave 126
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Re: I see....wet stuff.

Anything can be Photoshopped. Question is, would it be easier to Photoshop or to buy some broken iThings ("Spares or Repairs") off eBay and dunk them in the bath?

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Russian space geckos caught on film playing with jeweled collar

Dave 126
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Gecko feet

Gecko feet and hands would be perfect for astronauts... much like the Velcro-shoes worn by the cabin crew in Kubrick's 2001 on the way to the Moon.

I once read in New Scientist that Velcro wouldn't be strong enough for that task, but mini suction-cups would be (or vice-versa, it was a long time ago). As any fule knos, geckos feet provide a huge surface area; their pads are structures that are subdivided many times over down to the microscopic level.

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Hi, Fi: Google JOWL-SLAPS mobile bigguns with $20/mo wireless service

Dave 126
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That might bring Google afoul of various Monopoly Commissions. Also, such a service couldn't be advertised as 'internet'. Thirdly, Google make money from people visiting the sites of companies who advertise on Google; an advert for BobsCarRental.com would be useless if the user couldn't visit it. Lastly, people remember the horror of walled gardens like AOL and CompuServe.

Other than that, you plan's a good un!

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Dave 126
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Re: Wow!

>It's a hybrid of the business plans of Ting (variable month-to-month pricing without penalties), T-Mobile (free international texts and data), and Apple (special SIM card).

The difference is, Google isn't doing this to make money directly. Google is doing this to put pressure on the established network operators to give users a better deal on data (and therefore use Google's core services more).

I I find most interesting is the flexibility: Going to work? Grab your normal smartphone on the way out of your house. Going camping? Grab the toughphone with the big battery. Going out to get really really drunk? Grab the cheap, lightweight semi-expendable phone.

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Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

Dave 126
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Re: Yes!!!

Traditionally Apples have been used for targets - just ask William Tell.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_an_apple_off_one%27s_child%27s_head

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Apple Watch shipments: Pick a number, double it. Hey, it worked for them

Dave 126
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Re: Well, I'm still not buying it ..

Quartz watches are a great example of good technology - smaller, tougher, more accurate and far cheaper than what came before.

Quartz analogue versus quartz digital is mostly a UI question. For most time telling, analogue suits me better. There is probably some serious data somewhere (think airforce or NASA studies) about how long it takes a human to grok information from displays.

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Ex-Windows designer: Ballmer was dogmatic, Sinofsky's bonkers, and WinPho needs to change

Dave 126
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Re: Sounds like a Mental Health Institution

It is interesting to read the AMA thread whilst thinking about OSS.

- Power Users. He makes the point that "it sucks to be a power user because you will always be in the minority, and people design for the majority because that's where the marketshare is".

Because the ethos of OSS is that users are knowledgeable enough to contribute, they are almost by definition 'power users'. They can find it hard at times to design for the 'majority', because they have long ago forgotten what it is to be a novice user. Someone knowledgeable enough to contribute code probably won't be intimidated by a command line; indeed they will often find it the most efficient way to get a computer to do what they want it to. That's fine.

A lot of work goes into UIs. A lot of research, studies, cognitive science, testing... it takes a lot of man hours, which small OSS teams don't always have access to. It's expensive. The results can polarise people. It's not just a pretty wrapper on the serious stuff.

I like OSS, but I don't believe that it is immune from "Ego, politics, and lies".

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Dave 126
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>his text is so full of "jargon speak" that it's almost as though he is speaking another language

C'mon, give him another try! He uses metaphors and similes to explain his terms. "Hamburger menu" is fairly self-evident, "Radial menu" is linked to a picture (AKA "pie menu"). Generally he does a good job of explaining the thinking behind UI elements. Unlike a buzzword-using marketing twit, he's using words to make the picture clearer, not murkier!

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So why exactly does almost ALL tech live in Silicon Valley?

Dave 126
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Re: I'm sorry, but some assumptions are wrong

>Why should someone buy the device that's better engineered when they don't understand what's better about it?

Why would anyone use a beautifully engineered corkscrew when what they want is a can opener? A device should be judged on its fitness for purpose.

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The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

Dave 126
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Re: No Codes for You

Actually, the best solution would be textile technology - shirts that don't require ironing. Either that, or a robot butler who can press your laundry... and mix mean cocktai!

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Easy ... easy ... Aw CRAP! SpaceX rocket ALMOST lands on ocean hoverbase

Dave 126
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Re: Meh

Fuck is the guy whose parents have a cruel sense of humour.

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Dave 126
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Re: Which is it?

>So is it an espresso machine (as implied by the name) or a percolator (as implied by the article).

The two terms are not mutually exclusive: "To percolate" means to cause a liquid to pass through a filter.... an espresso machine is merely one way of achieving that.

But yeah, it's a form of espresso machine, 400 bar if Wired's diagram is to be believed.

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Dave 126
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Just a thought:

Just how impractical would it be to control height and angle of the landing platform with hydraulics? A rough back-of-a-beermat estimate...

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Soil and sand harden as SPEEDING MISSILES and METEORS SLAM into GROUND – boffins

Dave 126
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Re: Research

>When I read about what people have to do to earn money in the field of physics, it makes me glad that so many of them are unemployed.

Yeah okay, physicists never got poor by chasing DoD funding, you're right. Bunker-penetrating warheads - always handy! And yeah, many scientists and engineers could be put to work improving the lot of humanity instead of making better weapons. But hey, there's overlap: Sooner or later our planet will be struck by a meteorite that will cause serious damage to our species.

It will be quite nice to know a couple of days in advance roughly how fucked we will be when it hits.

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Woeful groans over Game of Thrones' spill on piracy sites

Dave 126
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Re: it's silly

Haha, how did I guess what your link would lead to? I was right! : D

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Dave 126
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Re: Deliberate leak

>Two, possibly, but 40% of the forthcoming series?

It worked for iDSoftware and Doom! : D

If it was a cock-up, then the fact that only four episodes mighyt be a sign that HBO half expected a leak somewhere - otherwise they would have released the whole series to translators/reviewers.

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Dave 126
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Re: OK if your impatient..

They are low resolution, but the audio is in sync and they are perfectly watchable. The production values are such that a high quality version is worth paying for.

Some other news outlets say they were not review copies, but copies for subtitle translators - which makes a bit more sense, because a) one would want reviewers to see a good quality versions, and b) reviewers were treated to a screening of the (not disappointing) first episode some weeks ago at the Tower of London, with after-party.

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Dave 126
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Re: Game of Torrents!

Just to make an observation, people who watch leaked episodes before the official air date, and people who wait for the DVDs at a good price, are missing out on the social aspect of the series. Part of the enjoyment of series like Game of Thrones is talking about it with friends - just as going to the pub to chat after a trip to the cinema is a good part of the evening.

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Silence is golden: Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp is 100 today

Dave 126
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>To most, pathos does NOT represent humour, comedy or entertainment.

Really? So M*A*S*H wasn't the longest running sitcom of its time? Blackadder Goes Forth, The Simpsons, Catch 22... pathos in all of them.

>Besides which, he was a commie.

Bullshit. He was a shrewd investor. He actually advised his friends to remove their investments just before the Wall Street crash.

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The Walton kids are ABSURDLY wealthy – and you're benefitting

Dave 126
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Re: Wealth redistribution

>Take a particular bugbear of mine: unpaid internships. Even in a society where, by and large, the concept of a minimum wage is accepted. it still seems acceptable for wealthy organisations to place a filter on the workforce

I the book 'Freakanomics', that scenario was used to describe why most drug dealers are poor. Even though they could earn more by working in McDonalds, they unrealistically believe they could be the big man who is earning tens of thousands a month... just as thousands of young people work as interns in the fashion industry but only a few become famous and wealthy head designers.

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Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

Dave 126
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Re: I read...

Plus One to msknight for making an often overlooked point - low signal areas make a massive difference to battery life.

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EE springs Wi-Fi phone calls on not-spot sufferers, Tube riders

Dave 126
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Re: It will only work on EE branded phones, too

Thank you for bringing that to our attention. Bummer.

Further speculation on that website suggests that because network operators aren't allowed to mess around with iOS, all iPhone 6s should work with EE's VOWIFI- though that might be optimistic, since EE have been known to lock iPhones to their network even though they have been bought elsewhere.

"Dear EE. I have just moved home. I don't get an EE signal except on the widow sill of the upstairs bathroom. If you don't allow VOWIFI on my current hardware-compatible handset, I will have no option but to take my business to Vodaphone"

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Samsung's bend blame blast: We DEMAND a Galaxy S6 Edge do-over

Dave 126
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Re: I never thought that sitting on any phone was a good idea

The bigger the cushion

The sweeter the pushin'

That's what I said

- Spinal Tap knew it. Talk about mud flaps...

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Dave 126
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>Mind you anyone who goes around bending phones or sitting on them is probably a bit dumb anyway.

OTOH we have the Sales of Goods act, a product must be fit for the purpose for which it is sold. It is not unreasonable for a mobile phone to be put in a pocket, or to assume the engineers have done their job.

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Dave 126
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Re: Glass is not meant to be bendy

Glass can be made bendy by using it in very thin sheets. Most damaged screens are a result of impact damage - not bending - exerted through a small area by a piece of grit or similar.

That said, I use a Z3 Compact with a ' wallet' case to protect the screen. The phone thickness to screen area ratio is high compared to Apple and Samsung flagships, so bending moments are reduced, and the waterproofing gives extra peace of mind. I have a physically active job, so I don't want a huge slab in my trouser pocket. The downside is that the screen is smaller, by my eyes are still young enough to just fine with that.

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Apple Watch: When I think about you, I digital touch myself

Dave 126
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Re: <snore>

I wasn't proposing that a watch take on the same applications as bigger devices, but only that the sum of a few useful applications might prove to be as great as a single 'killer application'. Weighed up against the costs (money cost, size cost, charging up faffing around cost, aesthetic cost etc) of course.

So, the chief advantages of a watch are that is is quicker to look at than a phone, and it is always with you. Applications that present quick, simple information with little user interaction could be more appropriate to a watch than to a phone. Time and message notifications are the obvious examples, followed by direction headings if you are using it to navigate. More specialist watches already include direction, altitude and heart-rate.

Being always with you, a watch could also fill the role identifying you- which is what our bank cards, keys and passwords already do (the devil is of course in the details of the implementation... and the recent experiences of some car drivers doesn't instil confidence in previous 'wireless key' efforts). It can also be used to to find your phone.

Whilst user input on any watch-sized device is limited, it is superior for some applications. Example: I often rotate the bezel on my conventional analogue watch to remind me of when my parking ticket will expire or my food will be cooked. This takes me a couple of seconds, and doesn't involve me taking my phone out of my pocket, unlocking it it, navigating to the timer app and then entering some some numbers.

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Dave 126
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Who did what first doesn't affect the user experience. What makes a product good to use is more about which ingredients are included - or omitted - and how they work together.

Take the iPod - the form factor of a higher-end cassette Walkman with a wheel from a Bang and Olufsen telephone on the front (or a Sharp Minidisc player 722 if you want to stick to personal audio products). Neither element was new or novel, yet Apple beat the competition in marrying the two to a new Toshiba 1.8" HDD. Heck, Creative based a HDD MP3 player on the form factor of a personal CD player - they deserved to fail. Prior to that, Sony had done a lot of work with scroll wheels, on their professional AV editing equipment, and on their mobile phone OSs.

Macs have supported right-button-click since OS 8 in '97, and the Apple-key modifier since before then. Unix and RiscOS users might have wondered where the middle button had gone in Windows. My current mouse has quite a few more buttons that I use as modifiers (pan, rotate, zoom) which previously were assigned to F1, 2 and 3. Other modifiers (Shift, Ctrl, etc still require me to use the keyboard, and it's no effort, even when the modification changes upon the context).

The OS defaults don't really matter - people will fine tune individual applications to their will anyway (digitisers in Photoshop, Space Navigators in CAD, keyboard shortcuts everywhere, gamepads for games)

(I've never owned any Apple kit, but have used RiscOS, CAD on Unix and Windows, media players from Sharp, Sony and iRiver, and cameras from Panasonic and Sony. Logitech made my mouse. My Samsung tablet is in a drawer somewhere. My newest purchase was a combination camping lantern and flashlight with a pleasing user interface: a single button. Tap on, tap off. Hold to dim, hold to brighten. Double tap to switch between lantern and flashlight. Triple click to turn both on at once. After being turned off, it remembers its last state for ten minutes.)

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Dave 126
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Re: <snore>

>they've not managed to come with the "killer app" for smart watches yet.

There was no single 'killer application' for the iPad either - just lots of quite useful ones, even in its clunky MK I version - yet is has sold well. Will the same be true of the Apple Watch? Possibly for some users, and possibly more if Apple Pay is adopted more widely.

I think I would personally find 80% of the utility in something that was 80% simpler - i.e, the most useful useful things like notifications and remote media controls don't require a large colour screen or powerful CPU.

What would be nice is if the Register had an article giving an overview of the smart/connected watch market at the moment, including the simpler fitness trackers, Casio Citizen and Sony watches, through Pebble and Martian, and up to Google Wear and, yes, Apple.

Interesting times.

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HP Stream x360: Flippable and stylish Chromebook killer

Dave 126
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Colours...

I opened the article, and thought I'd clicked on that Volvo Polestar review again. Too blue!

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Take a deep breath, Apple: Europe snaps on gloves for vigorous iTunes stream pat-down

Dave 126
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Re: Not a surprise

> It's pretty hard to be more scummy than Microsoft, but apple have achieved it.

I think you'll find that part of the music industry has a far longer history of scummy abuse of consumers and artists than Apple or MS does.

In any case, all this article is about is the European Commission asking some questions to see if a investigation is required into a service Apple hasn't even launched yet.

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Netflix teams with AWS to launch VHS-as-a-service

Dave 126
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No Joke...

I know of an independent DVD Rental shop in Bristol that still has a small number of VHS cassettes in its library - films that never received a DVD release. Should a customer rent one, the shop will lend them a VHS machine for free.

Occasionally they turn their web-cam on - so they could in theory point the cam at the TV on their desk and stream VHS movies at one frame every two seconds...

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Apple's 13-incher will STILL cost you a bomb: MacBook Air 2015

Dave 126
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Bootcamp?

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Dave 126
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Re: Low res?

Ingredients in that debate should include the hit on battery life that hi results screens bring, from the extra light output required to the gpu to drive them.

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Dave 126
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Re: Hang on a sec

If you find yourself sticking loads of dongles in the new Macbook on a regular basis, then you have bought the wrong machine.

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Building a better society from the Czechs' version of Meccano

Dave 126
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Re: And....

Trademarks are held in different categories - Apple Computers weren't in the same business as the Beatles' Apple Corp for many years. Once they were, courts were used to come to a settlement everyone was happy with. Nintendo didn't start with video games, Nokia didn't start with phones- it is not always clear what areas a company will work within at their outset.

You forgot the iPod name - first filed in the early nineties, later used for Internet kiosks.

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No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

Dave 126
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Re: Was it bling or power?

>Was it bling or power?

The two often go hand-in-hand... if you went around wearing a large gold chain and the local hardman decided he wanted it, you might not be wearing that gold chain for very long.

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Hey, Woz. You've got $150m. You're kicking back in Australia. What's on your mind? Killer AI

Dave 126
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Nixie watch

Woz sometimes wears a watch that uses nixie tubes for its time display. When he says he's going to try the Apple Watch and see how he gets on with it before buying a posh version, I'd file that under unsurprising.

He is also known for using Android phones as well as iPhones - and probably Win Phones too - though he's settled on just iPhones these days. Actually, he makes a very good point: his ideal phone/device might contain elements of iOS/Android/whatever and Apple/Samsung/Whoever, but he as a consumer will never get to use his 'ideal' phone/device because vendors try to retain USPs for advantage in the market place.

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Dave 126
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Re: I for one welcome

Warm fusion... so, the issue is simulating favourable conditions within the best known information, identify what needs to be learnt, commission real physical experiments to reduce the uncertainties, repeat, test... and along the way refine the algorithms that control the above. An AI could do that, but so could we.

For 'AI's, the issue is motivation. Maybe an AI would be happier existing outside the Earth's gravity well, taking power from the sun.

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Becoming Steve Jobs biography: ‘Much of it was chutzpah and self delusion’

Dave 126
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Re: What's the fascination?

And to balance Mein Kampf, there have been many biographies of a man who advocated the gassing of Marsh Arabs, managed his own image, and made withering remarks about damn near everybody. Still, Winston Churchill was an interesting man.

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So, you know those exciting movie-style 3D visual cyber attack ops centres?

Dave 126
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Article picture...

... show's Pingu from Nathan Barley. It's nice to view the James Bond films as being a sequel to Barley, in which Pingu is no longer a Flash animator for the original Shoreditch twat and has got himself a proper job with the government.

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Imagination touts cheap Firefox OS MIPS slab to Chinese kitmakers

Dave 126
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Re: MeToo

>Tell us what distinguishes MIPS and where is its ecosystem coming from?

I had a quick scan around the interwebs, and in general pundits are saying:

1 Competition (ARM Vs Intel Vs MIPS) is good for consumers

2 Factors such as process size and compilers make it difficult to compare architectures

3 That said, MIPS can show good performance per watt and per die area

5 The difference between architectures isn't what it used to be -clever techniques and tricks can be transferred between them to some extent.

6 Some of the hardware constraints (such as cost of RAM) that dictated a choice of architecture don't apply in the same way any more

7 Intel own 5% of Imagination, and use their PowerVR graphics cores in some Atom products.

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Microsoft sniffs around Xiaomi Mi 4 smarties with Windows 10

Dave 126
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Re: Kind of pointless with ARM

DrXym is confused, but to be fair his confusion is Microsoft's fault: Their strategy and communication hasn't progressed very smoothly. MS do seem to be making a bit more sense now, signified by the jump from Win 8 to Win 10 with the missing '9' marking a line in the sand.

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Fanbois: We paid $2000 for full satisfaction but now we have SPREADING STAINS

Dave 126
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Re: In other news...

A link about the tablet Anonymous IV mentioned:

http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/20/8267259/google-tablet-ebola-chlorine

It's a big lump of polycarbonate. No mention of it be charged wirelessly. Maybe the remote parts of Africa that it is being used in they can't afford the inefficiency of wireless charging. That said, a chlorine-resistant contact-charging system isn't too hard to engineer.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wipeout!

>My biggest issue, though, is environmental - how much of what's in there is easily recyclable, and how much is toxic - or potentially toxic…?

Valid questions.

First up, making laptops that are are reliable and more powerful than the user needs increases their life and reduces the amount of recycling required. The longer a laptop battery lasts on one charge reduces the number of charging cycles over a year, meaning that the lifetime of the battery will be longer. The same goes for repairing - although Macbooks are tricky for amateurs to repair, Apple can repair them and sell refurbished units. Not ideal for some owners, but better than nothing.

Secondly: The less material and components in a machine, the less recycling is required. SSDs contain less material than spinning rust HDDs, laptops without an optical drive contain less material than those with them, etc.

Okay, onto recycling: The cases are aluminium. Non toxic, easily recyclable. By using glue instead of screws, the human labour of reducing a laptop to its constituent parts is reduced - batch process in an oven, or continually process on a conveyor belt through an oven.

That said, here is a Wired.com opinion piece that disagrees with everything I have just said. Personally, I would be worried if a Wired article agreed with me. You can judge for yourself the validity of their arguments: http://www.wired.com/2012/10/apple-and-epeat-greenwashing/

Toxicity: These days toxic materials are more of an issue during the manufacture of laptops than they an hazard within a laptop - people have more experience of using lead-free solder, and screen backlights are no longer the CCFL type that contain mercury. Green Peace seem optimistic: http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2014/08/15/apple-takes-first-steps-detox-manufacturing-supply-chain/

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Dave 126
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Re: ER...

It is possible to be pro-pr0n and anti-Flash, y'know.

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Dave 126
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Re: In other news...

Similar note: The NHS once considered iPads for nurses' note-taking devices - the lack of keys and tight tolerances on the split lines made them fairly easy to disinfect. The iPads (or was it iPhones, I forget) were not adopted because of battery life concerns.

Sony make waterproof tablets, but the official advice is to rinse them with fresh water after they have been submerged in chlorinated swimming pools or sea water. Seems tome that a portable computer for medics would be best fitted with a wireless charging coil, and the whole thing sealed in epoxy or similar.

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