3475 posts • joined Wednesday 21st July 2010 13:57 GMT
Or banning those loan companies outright... the argument given for not banning them is that without them, people might turn to unregulated, leg-breaking loan sharks.
I love the rulers along the screen. I wish my phone had them, seeing as it has square aluminium sides it would make a handy 100mm / 4" ruler.
Re: I am fed up with these stories
Aww diddums, there there... flying cars, meal pills, day trips to the moon and invisible sheds aren't everything.
Re: @Anonymous Coward 1350 Dumbass!!!
Flexible lenses have been done before- the application I remember is spectacles for developing countries where grinding lenses to order is impractical. The spectacles that were created liquid-filled lenses and a syringe going down each arm, for adjustment. Once adjusted for the patient, the syringes could be removed.
Okay, each pair was more complicated that traditional specs, but were still fairly cheap to mass produce and didn't require the skill and equipment for grinding the lenses or the logistical headache of getting them to the right person.
The technique described in this Reg article is more sophisticated, as the bending of light occurs through the lens, not just at its boundary with air.
>In light of the recent OED entry, I suggest an icon to represent 'onmishables'
>Not sure what though.
A coffee machine.
In the original context, Malcom Tucker continued to express his exasperation thus: "You're like one of those coffee machines... from bean to cup, you f*** up!"
You write: LOCKHEED TO CYBER-ARMOUR ITS SUPPLY CHAIN AGAINST 'THE ADVERSARY'
I read: LOCKHEED CYBER ARMOUR blah blah blah
I think: Mech warrior!
Alan Turing worked on the subject of 'self organisation':
You don't need power if you have time... you can get home servers that get on with transcoding media when they are not doing anything else. Even on a fairly modest CPU, I can't see you watching the movies faster than it can convert them, assuming you sleep, eat and work! : D
And if you have a REALLY large amount of data to crunch on an irregular basis - rendering CAD images, for example, it is maybe more cost effective to rent the time from Amazon or whoever, rather than invest in some under-utilised hardware.
Re: Any old iron?
>Why would I want to upgrade?
Other than power efficiency, I can't think of any reason.
Throughout the nineties, the median cost of PCs always seemed to be around the £1000 mark...
To paraphrase Bill Gates "4GB of RAM really ought to be enough for most people".
Re: Worth it to me. (@Steve)
I think you may have misread Steve I's post - he has had plenty of experience with PCs, but now chooses to use Macs as they suit his uses, and he personally finds they require less maintenance. I'm a PC user with the aptitude (born of getting the darned things to play games in the nineties, and more productive things since) and the time to maintain them. If you buy a cheaper PC, you might have driver issues that can take some time to hunt down... it depends on what your time is worth. You can spend extra money on 'certified' machines from HP, Dell, Lenovo etc which have undergone greater testing of their hardware and driver combinations, and come with better support- but they will still cost you a premium.
If your only troubleshooting experience has been with Win PCs, I think that you could get a non-booting Mac happy again quicker than you think. It's the same old process of determining whether its a software issue, a buggered HDD or some other hardware failure- much the same as a PC, really, but without the option of whipping out the SSD if it proves to be the failed component.
>Didn't this happen to Apple the last time Jobs left the place?
Difference is, of course, that this time Jobs had plenty of time to prepare the company for his departure, even having periods of seeing Tim Cook as acting CEO.
Find one reference to Jobs being bad for Pixar, go on, I dare you. He put millions into the company, and eventually played led it to being bought by Disney for $7.4 billion, at which point he left as Pixar's CEO and joined Disney' board of directors. Seems he left them on a high. If you have a link to support your claim, I'd be glad to read it.
Re: What good's a Retina display, Mr. Coward...
>What good's a Retina display if you don't have dedicated graphics card to drive it with?
Intel's HD Graphics 4000 integrated GPUs aren't as shabby as their forebears. As long as you don't won't to run the latest games, or some particular CAD packages in BootCamp (for both of which you'd be better served by a Win PC), it shouldn't cause you any issues at all. If you really want to push Photoshop or media encoding hardware acceleration, get the 15" version.
I recently built a silent PC, and the integrated GPU meant I didn't have to worry about cooling a discrete graphics card.
Re XBOX controller:
Have you heard of Ben Heck? He's of interest to anyone who likes hacking and modifying hardware, but well known for modifying XBOX controllers for one-handed use. (Sadly, demand is a consequence of recent military forays overseas)
He can build to order, so he could just relocate the shoulder button or whatever, if your prosthetic allows use of the other controls.
Re: Why restrict it to people whov'e lost limbs
As the old joke goes: "The Russians just used a straw and a Bluetooth headset"
Soldering- that is the job I most want an extra arm for.
>Yup, but it's sad that it takes a war for it to get funded.
It is sad, but alas, war has been responsible for funding most technological development over the millennia.
Re: Good stuff.
>Seriously though. Given a choice between say a carbon fibre shell, and mannequin pink plastic, which finish would you prefer on a prosthetic limb?
That's an easy one John- I'd choose the one that makes me look like the hero out of Crysis! Though I did watch a sci-fi short film, featuring a robot with classical blue-on-white porcelain body panels which looked rather fetching... http://www.robotshop.com/blog/the-gift-from-carl-erik-rinsch-611
Its like the most common form of prosthetic- spectacles... Many people actively choose models with large frames -especially ones with ornate arms- and no-one chooses Caucasian-flesh coloured frames (unless you include the inevitable lad in primary school whose specs have been repaired with a sticking plaster).
> virtual keyboards can actually be bad for joints... ...shock travelling up the finger
Use chewing gun to attach a jelly-bear to each finger tip. NEXT!
Triangulation with two or more transducers for locating keystrokes was put forward years ago... sorry, I haven't got a link, but it is much the same principal that cartographers and radio and radar engineers have used for years.
I can only imagine that this lad's solution requires the 'training' it does because because it relies on different relative X Y Z values being detected at a single point, and that these vary depending upon the surface being used. With calibration, calibration, calibration, you wouldn't even need to develop a model of how the vibration passes through the medium.
Another way of doing something similar might be to use two earbuds as transducers, if any phones allow for for stereo-in. If not, then even using the mono headset mike*-in in addition the phone's accelerometer and built-in microphones (most phones have two internal mikes, for noise cancellation) might drastically reduce the 'training time'.
Extra points awarded for using several phones, communicating with each other sonically (see Reg article yesterday!), to give more locations and accuracy.
*though presumably a bit of Blu-tak might be required to stop it moving around the desk : D
Re: Seems legit . . .
"Macbook Wheel - with predictive sentence technology!"
The Onion did it! ; )
The aardvark admitted its fault.
The aardvark admitted it was wrong.
The aardvark asked for an aardvark.
The aardvark asked for a dagger.
The aardvark asked for health.
The aardvark asked for a ride.
The absinthe arrived by airmail.
The abortion went well.
The actor asked for an aardvark.
Yeah, I remember that from a a year or two back. The basic concept of using two transducers to triangulate the location of a tap- for this kind of application - has been around even longer. But fair play to this lad for implementing something similar with only one 3 dimensional accelerometer- if the phone had second sensor I suspect the 'training' time would be reduced substantially.
On the subject of chorded typing, an after-market phone case seems to be the ideal place to implement a chorded keyboard (as long as you don't have 5" monster phone!). Fairly cheap to prototype, too, I would image. What would you need- some silicone, some micro-switches and some Arduino parts... though it would probably be cheaper to cannibalise an existing Bluetooth keyboard.
Re: They used to make desktops with no fans
Power drain, maybe- but by keeping the battery cool might outweigh that issue, by extending its life. I've had a water-damaged Nokia vibrate for about 7 hours before the battery died, so I get the impression that the motor isn't the greatest power drain.
As for thickness, the whole point of the patent is that it largely uses components that are already in most phones.
Re: How to neutralised a potential competitor 101
Intel themselves aren't expecting to enter the mobile market seriously for another couple of generations of chip... where they lose out on architecture to ARM licencees, they make up for by having smaller, more sophisticated fabrication.
Apple's solution as discussed here will only be worthwhile if the size of the motor + clutch mechanism is smaller than two motors. Or maybe people will use piezo effects for the vibrator. Or maybe future chips and battery won't require cooling as much. Or maybe better ways of cooling, through new materials or whatever will be developed. It really isn't anything to get worked up about.
Apple have had cooling patents before that in the end have not been necessary or worthwhile pursuing - such as using the back of a laptop's screen rather than its main body.
Re: Just design around it.
> [No one] should be allowed a patent on the mere installation of a fan in a phone
Er, did you read the article or look at the pictures? The patent isn't for 'merely installing a fan' but for making use of a component that is already fitted to most phones- the vibrator motor - for cooling purposes. Obviously you don't want to have the phone vibrate every time the fan is used, so some method of decoupling the eccentric weight from the motor is required... a method commonly known as a clutch. I've seen centrifugal clutches before, they are often used in petrol garden strimmers... at tick-over the head doesn't rotate, but once a threshold rotational speed is reached, the clutch engages and soon your dandelions are pushing up the daisies.
This was all very clear, so why are you writing as if the patent is just for sticking a fan inside the case?
Processor ... or battery?
Well, processors can get pretty darned hot before they complain, hotter than would be comfortable to hold. The thing in my phone that doesn't like heat is the battery. Could it be that this invention is a way to extend the lifetime of the battery?
Re: Lost the Plot
You don't just patent things you seriously intend to use... you also patent things that there is an outside chance you might use. You hedge your bets. No-one's crystal ball is perfect, and looking at filed patents doesn't give an idea of a company's plans. A better way of solving the same problem, such as using graphene* for example, may well be developed...we don't yet know, and neither do Apple.
On another note, whatever happened to generating air movement by electrostatic charge from the surface of a chip? It was based on the idea that at a very small scale, air blown over a chip by conventional means doesn't make too much contact with the part to be cooled, due to microscopic turbulence.
*Even better at conducting heat than diamond. Makes copper look like eiderdown.
There's a fella I know with a false lower leg... again, rather than hide it he often wears shorts, and this thing was CNC-milled from a billet of aluminium, anodised green, and has a shock absorber running up the centre... It looks like it belongs to an expensive motorcycle and pretty darned cool. 'Flesh coloured' plastic never does!
My favourite was telling a Comet sales assistant that "Yep, I'll take that laptop". He immediately starts trying sell me an extended warranty... "Why would I want that?" I ask. He pokes at the back of the screen, sending ripples across LCD and tells me it's not very well made. Muppet.
Yeah, well - can you think of any reason for the staff member to give a damn at this time? I can't.
Re: Whoa, wait a bit!
BAFTA Television Lecture 2012 - Armando Iannucci takes an optimistic view: since commissioning editors have dropped the ball, the way in which people now consume content has the potential to benefit the creative content creators. For example, over the internet, you don't have to make 25 minute episodes and instead can make each episode as long as it needs to be , a la Fawlty Towers.
Re: Scrolling ads
It's bad enough when, after the poignant ending of a film, some twerp starts jabbering over the credits to announce what's on next.
That, and and the variable frequency of advertisements... the first 40 minutes of the film goes by uninterrupted, but towards the climax of the film there is an advertisement break every ten minutes.
Ah well, the BBC and DVD boxsets cover most of my televisual wants... Channel 4 used to make some gems, but since they not only dropped The Daily Show - but prevented Comedy Central.co.uk from screening full episodes - then screw 'em with extreme prejudice. Oh, and they cut the more risqué jokes from The Simpsons, even when it messes with the continuity.
/end mini rant
On a slightly off but parallel topic - I recently watched the Armando Iannucci Bafta lecture on Youtube, about how US networks have put some brilliant shows in the last decade (when once the US put out 'glittery shit'), and how Britain's commissioning editors have lost their way. Recommended.
Are the most up-to-date hardware drivers available from HP? Fair play to them if they are- some of their competitors don't have the most recent drivers on their website, and users have to hunt down the OEM's site to avoid BSOD.
>Why would I possibly want to run on a machine thats over 7 years old?
Anything that you would have done seven years ago. Email, web browsing, company accounts, storing photographs, editing family videos from a Sony camcorder, Photoshop and Illustrator... a dual G4 PowerMac can do these things without any fuss, and its all near-continuously backed up on a second physical disk.
Not everybody wants to run Crysis (or whatever it is the kids are doing these days).
Re: Is It April the 1st???
Actually yeah, my thoughts turned to Orson Welles doing HG Wells... there has been a health and safety aspect to presenting aliens to an unprepared populace! (people were injured in the panic caused by what sounded like a newscast)
Re: Medical equipment, don't make me start...
>Has anyone out there (apart from JLH) ever looked at medical equipment?
Nah, except for when I worked in a broom cupboard (ostensibly the mail room) of an NHS department, there was a massive horizontally mounted tape, probably 1/2", machine of some description, competing for space with my mail sacks. No idea what it was, but the top was cast from a fair bit of alu/mag alloy. They hadn't used it for a long time, nor had they slung it out.
Though yesterday, when looking at the 'Pixar names building after Steve Jobs' article, I read up again on what Jobs bought Pixar for- their hardware division. Apparently they only sold 300 machines at around $150,000 a piece (not including a required $30,000 SGI workstation), aimed at doctors with $2million dollar medical scanners. However, doctors were trained to analyse 2D images and could be sued if they didn't follow this procedure... I got the impression that its storage and formats would be proprietary.
Sony - because Caucasians are just too damned tall:
Re: This is The Register, right?
>so why not give that a go in a Reg review?
Because those who have the inclination to do that sort of thing know that the internet is their friend, and don't need to be told by a single review whether it is possible. The review suggested that the target market might be composed of Mrs Dabbs (Senior).
Re: Named Data Subject, Machine-readable Form?
That said, I am left thinking "Mountain ... Mohammed" just send the disk by courier to someone who still has a working drive.
Okay, it might be considered a data risk, but if this gent was reasonable he would waive it- I can't think of anyone doing something nefarious with this old scan data.
Can't people be reasonable?
>Why on earth does he think he has the "right" to view his long archived medical scan's?
Er, the Data Protection Act 1984.
Named Data Subject, Machine-readable Form?
What happened to "Any data held about a named data subject in machine readable form must be made available to the data subject for a nominal fee" Data Protection Act 1984 - did this disappear in the later revision?
Re: How much...
It was a good mini-review. Note that he stated at the start what he did, and what uses he might have for the device. He mentions the direction he is coming from, and some of the hurdles he hit.
I guess that's why Apple Stores just pipped John Lewis and Richer Sounds to the post of offering greatest customer satisfaction in a survey of its readers by the Consumer Association's Which? magazine.
Re: I expected to read a review....
>I don't see how they [Apple] can keep coming up with stupid names for these things.
Have you ever seen Linux? I'm not knocking it, but its applications have some bloody random names! At least Apple give their products names that hint at what they do. Linux software have names such as: GIMP, Helix, Ogle, Xine, Totem, Gedit, Kate, Gaim, Kopete, XMMS, Noatun, Xine, Grip, Gnome Toaster and Sound Juicer.
And they wonder why the general public hasn't embraced Linux for their desktop. Heck, its usually only biologists and physicist who employ this sort of humour for their naming conventions. My geeky heart approves, but I can see why others might be flummoxed.
Re: It is truly amazing...
>If Apple let you do all the things you want to then that's not much of an issue... It's a consumer device.
It's horses for courses, Tim... there are things that Windows doesn't let you do, or if it does it makes you jump through some ridiculous hoops first... try changing the default MIDI device on Windows 7, for example, or using more than a handful of ASIO channels.
And as someone who provides informal tech support to an enthusiastic but novice Windows user, I wish that Windows hid its sensitive bits from his clumsy fumblings.
You are allowed to moan about it, but it doesn't affect the vast majority of users. I've used G4 era machines recently, and though they haven't the latest OSX, they were still snappy and woke from sleep instantly- and were still fit for purpose. Okay, its version of OSX doesn't support all the latest fancy features, but then no seven year old computer would.
I'm normally a Windows user, and know that a seven year old PC would be groaning and lethargic if it hadn't had its OS reinstalled.
Re: I can give it my dad and there is zero learning curve.
>Just for the record, Nexus 7 is not slow and Android is not clunky.
I don't find Android clunky on my phone (Ice Cream Sandwich) but until Jelly Bean it has had significantly higher latency than iOS. For most users this doesn't matter, but for music creation applications it does - they need to hear a note at the same time as pressing a virtual key. Some developers of music creation apps for OSX have now started thinking about Android now that Jelly Bean is here.
This is admittedly a niche use (90% of users happy with internet and videos, perhaps), but then Apple survived the nineties by giving essential features to niche markets, such as DTP or music creation. The latter continued into OSX with its CoreAudio, and features they bought in for DTP (such as FireWire) made them attractive to video editors. Again, fairly niche.