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* Posts by Dave 126

4134 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Review: Sony Xperia Z

Dave 126
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Re: After so many many SE phones...

>but nobody else is doing high end waterproof phones right now.

Well, there was that recent Reg article that suggested that a waterproofing process is applied to quite a few handsets, to reduce returns. However, it isn't usually advertised, as the first thing some people do is to 'test' it by deliberately dunking it it water.

I remember being in school and playing baseball in a classroom using a tack hammer as a bat and a Casio G-Shock as a ball. No harm done. A few years later I deliberately dropped another G-Shock from a first-floor window onto concrete, and having to get it fixed on warranty (which was honoured, but the parts took an age to come from Japan).

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Dave 126
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Re: "Currently running the show is Android 4.1.2 though Sony is promising an upgrade to..."

>Sony promising. Precisely why I wouldn't get one.

All of last year's Xperia phones have been upgraded to ICS, and most of them are receiving a Jelly Bean update this month. When I got my Xperia P, many of the online forums echoed the negative view you have just expressed re Sony's abandonment of 2011 models, so it seems they have listened and upped their game.

-http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/sony-starts-rolling-out-jelly-bean-for-xperia-users-1130304

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Dave 126
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Re: watching video is surely one of the reasons you’d buy an Xperia Z

@Miffo "Not sure why you're thinking about that mate -nobody is saying a phone shouldn't have a loud speaker." Er, JDX, did say just that, I think it was to him that David Webb was responding.

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Dave 126
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Re: i've just got one of these

Hmm, like MP3 players 'back in the day', when you had to select a country outside the EU to get a decent volume. Not that I'm cavalier with my hearing (tinnitus sounds like hell) but headphones do vary.

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Dave 126
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Re: I like the waterproof feature

>or a charging port that doesn't mind getting wet and I'm sold

Seems Sony have anticipated your concern:

Those two exposed metal contacts on the side next to the uSD slot are for charging. [Charging cradle an optional extra, I would imagine]

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Dave 126
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Re: @AC 13:21

Yeah, I was thinking of the watches with complications that are sold for prices akin to a new Rolls Royce or Bugatti.... y'know, the kind that are favoured by Russian politicians:

" Take the Deputy Mayor of Moscow, Vladimir Resin. His DeWitt La Pressy Grande Complication is worth a whopping $1.03 million. The head of Russia’s state bank VTB rocks a $240,800 Patek Philippe. The CEO of the state’s gas monopoly, Gazprom, sports a $112,100 Breguet. The brutal leader of Chechnya’s Bovet goes for around $300,000. President Dmitry Medvedev’s $32,200 Breguet seems almost modest. And the list goes on."

-http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2009/10/russian-officials-sporting-watches-worth-up-to-1-million/

An extremely waterproof Rolex Submariner? Tch, a 'mere' £5000.

Putin's wristwatch collection is estimated to be worth six times his annual salary.

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Dave 126
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Re: Icon says it all

I'd check out side by side photo comparisons before agreeing with AC... there have been a few reviews that suggest the camera isn't as great as the specs suggest, but maybe the reviewer missed a trick. Who knows.

That said, I'd agree with AC in that I try avoid flash in most circumstances, and that if I have to use it I try to bounce it or diffuse it somehow.

Hmm, just found some photos taken on my Xperia P on Friday night in a dark pub... the images are grainy, but recognisable - the camera seems to have made the most of its limited capabilities.

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Dave 126
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Re: After so many many SE phones...

>Touchslab phones are the norm now. Where's the innovation?

That's a charge that has been levelled at all the phone makers... you could read Sony's inclusion of waterproofing as an acceptance of this, that phones have matured and should be refined to be durable. I mean, the only wristwatches that aren't waterproof these days seem to be ludicrously expensive status symbols.

I note that Sony's tablet is waterproof, as well. Only on Sunday I went to a cafe, and the lass behind the counter had an iPad on a cook-book stand, wrapped in clingfilm. I don't know if she was using it for recipes, stock control or simply playing music... but it seems there is a demand in the real world for something that doesn't mind a bit of gunk.

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Dave 126
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Re: Icon says it all

Curious... Esskay appears to be a sensible human being, so it must just be a matter of taste and individual user needs: I'd personally consider waterproofing to be a better feature than a xenon flash.

The sensible way to implement better flash on phones would be to make the flash a separate unit, remotely triggered by the phone camera - not only would a xenon flash be available to all those who want it, but it would also be more flattering to the subjects by reducing the 'albino rabbit in headlights' look.

Right, I'm off to see if there is anything approaching an Android feature request list ...

: D

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Dave 126
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Re: watching video is surely one of the reasons you’d buy an Xperia Z

I'm absolutely with you on wanting to bash sodcasters about the noggin, but I do regularly use the speaker on my phone when I am out of earshot of other people. Not for music, but for spoken-word podcasts it's fine.

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Dave 126
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Off the top of my head..

Challenge accepted:

Last year: The U (cheap), the P (less Cheap), S (higher end), T (big screen), TX (big screen, swappable battery), Go (like the U but waterproof), this year the Z. I may have missed a few, though.

Sorry, I only know this cos I've been searching the web for when Jelly Bean wobbles towards my handset (end of this month, apparently... )

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Drilling into 3D printing: Gimmick, revolution or spooks' nightmare?

Dave 126
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Re: What about the environment?

>you know where most of it will end up!

shredded and put back into the machine's hopper?

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Dave 126
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Re: have i seen this before?

'Print on demand' is a bit in-between... if you need the book this week, order it from a large warehouse somewhere and enjoy the savings given to you by economies of scales or the second hand market. If you need it this minute, download a copy to your e-reader.

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Dave 126
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>Hobbyists will also aspire to them, its going to be the hardware hackers equivalent of a lathe some weird guy

you know will have one in the shed.

That's my take on it... 'Consumer' 3D printers will mainly appeal to people who already have lathes, Dremmels, tap and die sets etc.

Another model is that of a local bureau, servicing end users and other local businesses. Our local timber yard does CNC milling for £100 / hour (but it is such a big sturdy (and expensive) machine it can do jobs quickly, so depending upon the design it only adds 20 - 40% to the cost on top of the material) but you don't hear tech sites making as much noise about an arguably more useful technology (for making furniture, shelves, children's play equipment etc), though buzz-phases such as 'virtual manufacturing', 'long tail', and 'thousands of markets of a few' get invoked from time to time.

Something can help the bloke on the street make use of these services might be devices like the Kinect- MS's new SDK (for the Windows version, not the cheaper but near identical XBOX version) could easily be built upon to scan the back of your car and give you a 2D DWG of a replacement parcel-shelf. It has the bonus of making people look like Hans Solo in carbonite. Oh, a free DWG editor, including a version for your penguins http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/#xtor=AD-508-[swfreetools]-[middle]-[intext]-[www.solidworks.com]

Hell, even the upcoming Playstation 4 allows for 3D modelling in a way that looks like it could complement traditional packages.

Other noises are being made about 'additive manufacturing', in which related technologies are used to achieve shapes and form that are hard to make by traditional means. Substrates for catalysts are an example, since they require a very high surface area to volume ratio. Another example would be structural components with 'property gradients', such as a beam of constant cross-section but of varying mechanical proprties along its length. This is possible using Selective Laser Sintering, using materials such as titanium. Such things are used in aerospace and motorsport- but then they tend to have small production runs anyway.

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Dave 126
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Re: Part of the process@Dave 126

>- the only complication is scaling the pattern to allow for the shrinkage of different metals in casting.

Moulding simulation and design software has been around for a while... it'l cost you, though!

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Dave 126
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>The chances of a home 3D printer being able to turn out a component of the accuracy and strength to replace the carefully designed and made door catch on a machine is in my view slim

It was 'carefully designed and made'.... 'carefully designed and made' to fail that is, and thus steer me towards their on-line spares shop! That was kind of my point, that their business model is compete on price in the showroom, then recuperate the cost by selling the spare parts. A business model that might conceivably be disrupted if a 'made to measure' plastic parts printing bureau (using some sort of Fused Material Deposition process but then chemically cured to create a thermosetting plastic part)

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Dave 126
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Re: Part of the process

I've heard of people printing in wax.

These samples look good:

http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/520-very-high-detail-printing-also-in-wax.html

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Dave 126
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>But surely the fittings on that small plastic door latch are proprietary IPR

Good point, don''t know how it would work here. In the automotive industry, car manufacturers are not allowed to invalidate car guarantees because quality 3rd party parts have been used during servicing.

I wouldn't be ordering a specific Whirlpool part, but rather a piece of material of "X by Y by Zmm, with two 9mm holes, and an angled boss of 18 mm by .... " (well, I'd be submitting a CAD drawing, or maybe the bureau can do something with photos using clever software).

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Dave 126
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Re: Part of the process

I could see Games Workshop being challenged by this technology... If people enjoy building their own armies and painting the miniatures, they would enjoy designing their own characters online as well before having them printed and posted out.

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Dave 126
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How many people do you know currently own a Dremmel rotary tool? Like a dentists drill, it can be used for polishing, engraving, cutting and sanding. It is useful, and costs around £80. I know of two people who own one- a professional sculptor and and a hobbyist jewellery maker. I can't see the market for consumer 3D printers being much bigger.

One area where 3D printing bureaus can make a dent is in undercutting replacement parts. My Whirlpool tumble-dryer had a small plastic door latch that melted, and their website very efficiently charged me £18 for a replacement.

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Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode

Dave 126
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>but you can see the camera in the picture?

What you see is a different camera... the one that took the pics is mounted on a robotic arm.

"The rover's robotic arm is not visible in the mosaic. MAHLI, which took the component images for this mosaic, is mounted on a turret at the end of the arm. Wrist motions and turret rotations on the arm allowed MAHLI to acquire the mosaic's component images. The arm was positioned out of the shot in the images or portions of images used in the mosaic. Please check video explanation by NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=156880341 "

-http://www.360cities.net/image/mars-panorama-curiosity-solar-day-177#13.70,23.50,110.0

The link includes an 'interactive panorama' of the same image(s).

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4K video may wow vidiots, but content creators see pitfalls

Dave 126
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Re: Is there any point at the consumer end?

>And there is the Hollywood crap "Ultraviolet" for more compressed to hell junk.

I thought Ultra-violet was an additional service to people who had bought DVDs or Blu-rays and also want to watch the content on a mobile device or have it streamed to their mate's house (both situations where the content would probably have to be compressed anyway). I.e studios are trying to give average consumers something approaching the convenience enjoyed by those folk who immediately rip their discs to their own home server (because if the studios didn't make this effort, more people would educate themselves about ripping and removing DRM from discs for the sake of convenience).

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Dave 126
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Re: Back-of-napking calculations

>BTW: Can someone explain to me why the significance of the number changed?

Marketing. '4K' is snappier than 'really really high definition and we mean it this time', and it is around 4x the number of pixels that today's 'Full HD' boasts. Also, calling it '2K' sounds so turn-of-the-century.

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Paying a TV tax makes you happy - BBC

Dave 126
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Re: I want to like the BBC

It's a competition thing. Take the BBC's radio plays, for example: If the BBC made their entire back catalogue available on demand, it would make life hard for commercial rivals, such as those producing audio books.

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Dave 126
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Re: Boo hoo hoo

Have you considered working as a columnist for The Daily Telegraph?

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Dave 126
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A few years back a report said that the average fine handed out to TV Licence Fee dodgers was lower than the actual licence.

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Microsoft begins automatic Windows 7 SP1 rollout

Dave 126
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Re: Clarify

It was released in 2011, but the user had to go seek it out themselves. The news today is that it has been added to the Windows automatic updates.

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SimCity owners get free game, EA will get A NEW CEO

Dave 126
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Re: Oh.. I see..

Sounds like a situation in which peer-to-peer distribution would make sense.

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Nvidia, Continuum team up to sling Python at GPU coprocessors

Dave 126
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The source of those figures:

>I call balls

From the CodeEval website, re those figures:

"Statistics and Figures are based on a sample size of over 100,000+ challenges processed from Employers who have run challenges on CodeEval in 2012.

About CodeEval

CodeEval is a community of developers interested in solving programming challenges. Community members can compete with each other, challenge their friends and build out their profiles to showcase to friends and employers too."

So it isn't necessarily the worlds most popular coding language, just the most popular amongst competitors on this website.

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Build a BONKERS gaming PC

Dave 126
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Re: Monitor?

Or three 23" monitors, depending upon the type of game. If you are going to buy one, with a view to adding to it later, consider the thickness of the bezel.

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Dave 126
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Re: Cores

Yeah, a certain component benchmarking and testing website suggests that beyond a certain point, many modern games just don't tax more powerful CPUs too much, and the money be better spent elsewhere.

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Microsoft issues manual on Brits to Cambridge exports

Dave 126
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Re: Re Pasties

Hmmm, okay, 'snack' wasn't the best choice of word- 'mobile meal' is more appropriate. At the risk of enraging some readers, I pick up about twenty pasties from Barnstaple every time I pass the town, for people in my local further North. As a bonus, it pisses off my Cornish mates. Though in Devon, this bakery in Barnstaple was voted as producing the best pasties in the South West.

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Dave 126
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I can't remember whether Bill Bryson was commenting on British place name pronunciations, or English pub names, but he did note "at the very least, it should confuse foreigners".

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Dave 126
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Oh dear... before criticising MS's efforts, TheRegister should at least post its own guide to Living in Blighty, so we readers can compare efforts (or rather, just have a giggle).

Pastie:

Eng.: n pastry based snack, often containing beef. Best sampled from a bakery rather than from a gas station.

US: n device for covering a stripper's nipple.

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Windows Phone 8 support to end in 2014

Dave 126
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Re: Backwards Compatibility

>Maybe they will take a page out of the Android book in that if you want to upgrade you have to buy new.

That was more the case when Android hardware was advancing more each year, as was Android itself. Currently released hardware, even at the mid-range, is capable enough to hold its own for a few versions... and most manufacturers are getting better at releasing Android updates- perhaps because of the negative reaction they have received in the past for 'abandoning' models.

Similarly, MS might have noticed the negative reaction that they received for not making Win 8 Phone work on WinPho 7 handsets and may avoid making the same mistake. Also, Win 8 hardware can probably handle whatever 'Win Pho 9' might demand of it, at least for core functions.

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Touch screens and greasy mitts: All you need is glove

Dave 126
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My apologies, Mr Dabbs.... and I posted from a laptop so I can't blame my error on a touch-screen keyboard.

Re things like the Leap, I'm looking on with interest to see what sort of interfaces people devise. Merely transplanting a 'point and click' interface to it will probably be no more successful than using desktop GUI on a tablet, or using a mouse to control a flight simulator.

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Dave 126
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Will you be getting a Leap Motion controller, Mr Dabs?

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Trip the fight fantastic

Dave 126
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Re: Square Syndrome

I noted the film version was on iPlayer a couple of days ago... the only scene I remember from watching it years ago was the unexpected appearance of Chris Barrie ( 'Rimmer' from Red Dwarf ).

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Dave 126
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Re: fah

But playing with other people in a comfy lounge can make up for it.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm so glad I didn't buy Colonial Marines.

>Probably best to avoid Vince Wards "Alien 3 : Wooden Monastery Spaceship" script thou.....

Personally, I'd say take a peek at the concept art...

http://www.thescifishow.com/2012/10/blog/the-wooden-wonder-of-alien-3s-lost-world/

Bonkers, but something about the concept art reminds me of Giger's paintings.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm so glad I didn't buy Colonial Marines.

If you want a good sequel to Aliens, then look online for the 'William Gibson Alien 3 script'. A few elements were plucked out and used in Alien 3 (barcode tattoos), Alien: Resurection (mercenaries/rebels) and Prometheus (the Alien 'DNA'), but really, its mainly Corporal Hicks kicking Alien arse in a massive populated science station. There's even a nod to Silent Running, when Hicks ramps a 4x4 through a biodome.

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Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

Dave 126
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>Key Lime Pie

?

Enough of these desert-based names that Brits have never heard of... Let's have Android Gooseberry Fool, Android Spotted Dick, Android Deep Fried Mars Bar or Android Eton Mess.

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Dave 126
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I do think that the Android licencees could have bashed their heads together ad come up with a decent docking solution, be it for for power, car kits and AV output. Google could have taken a lead- surely they can see that many people choose iDevices for the range of available accessories?

The very fact that different android manufacturers differ amongst themselves on their implementation of headset remote controls is irritating. Most quality makers of headphones offer iPhone compatible versions; the selection for Android phones is thinner on the ground.

Jelly Bean introduces to Android some more tricks for outputting audio through uUSB, but its not the best connector, and not suited for just dropping into a cradle like Nokias of old.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's just too damn big!

Then buy an iPhone. Or an Xperia P, or Galaxy S III Mini, or something else.

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Dave 126
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Re: I would like

Have you tried machining polycarbonate? Try it on an old CD. It's better moulded, or pressed (which can be done at room temperature for some forms).

Multicore chips are an effort to save battery power - the idea is that fewer / efficient cores are used for keeping the phone ticking over, and the other cores are only called into action when required.

If you want a solid aluminium, dual core phone with a 4" display, you might consider a Sony Xperia P- and it's not too pricey. Okay, it doesn't have a removeable battery, but i get on quite well with with a little Li-ion USB battery pack I bought from Lidl. It doesn't have a uSD card slot, but it does support USB OTG, so a card reader can be connected (note: the Nexus 4 doesn't offer this facility). The Xperia P doesn't have stock Android, but the Sony customisation isn't too offensive.

Its camera is alright, but nothing special in low light. There isn't really any substitute for size when it comes to low light pictures (bigger sensor, brighter lens), so maybe you want a Nokia Pureview or a dedicated compact camera.

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Dave 126
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Re: What I'd like to see...

I think Moto do a phone with an extra big battery option, and the Sony TX has a swappable battery.

"and the flagship DROID RAZR MAXX HD has the same 3,300mAh battery that was first introduced in the DROID RAZR MAXX" - http://www.phonedog.com/2012/09/10/motorola-s-big-gambit-is-extra-large-batteries-and-it-might-just-work/ September 2012

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Dave 126
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Re: Cupertino, start your photocopiers

I've had an NFC phone for some time now, and have no use for the feature. That said, I was recently doing some work on a house, and thought that being able to embed passive FC tags in the walls, for future identification of water pipes etc would be handy, if the tags were cheap enough.

Now, that IR transmitter on this SG S 4 does seem useful. Strange that it hasn't been featured on more smartphones in recent years, given it was a coveted feature on Casio wristwatches amongst schoolkids in the nineties.

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Dave 126
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Re: whopper

>My rather basic concern is, can this thing actually fit in your trouser pocket ?

What Grant said. Your Pockets May Vary.

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First Samsung Galaxy S4 review leak: Stop FONDLING, start FINGERING

Dave 126
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Re: Mouse-over..

Manual scrolling with eyeball-triggered screen brightness seems a more subtle and useful way of using the tech... as long as it results in a net battery saving.

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Dave 126
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Re: Where is the innovation?

>My phone still can neither make me a cup of tea, nor a bacon sandwich!

Depends if you have a model with an overheating (or self-combustible) battery!

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