4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: Watches are already on the decline
>I see this line a lot but I can't help feeling that there's probably a reason why fob/pocket watches (lovely as they >are, and I've got three...) were replaced by wristwatches for everyday purposes...
Well said. Yoinking a phone out of your pocket just to tell the time is awkward.
My watch is 1969 Omega Chronostop, their attempt at a budget range at the time. My dad bought it off a bloke in a pub, so it's a family heirloom.
>Now we have watches with bezels that look as though they should rotate, and don't.
I love watches with rotating bezels... it is the quickest, most natural way of setting a reminder of when you must return to your car to avoid a parking fine.
Re: not done right
An smartwatch that looks like a normal watch... I'm thinking of that Tissot watch that just analogue hands. However, if you pushed 3 o'clock, the hands rotated to indicate altitude, press 6 o'clock and it became a compass.
I think that the functionality I would want from a smart watch would stretch to no more that it acting as a remote control for a phone or media payer, and to alert me to incoming texts or calls. Neither should require too much power, or too ugly a design.
Whilst this analyst says smartwatches won't work, I think a watch-sized smart-dongle would.... I'm thinking of those women who have to reach into the bottom of massive handbags to get their phone; a dongle would clip to the strap. If more phones are docked to provide music or video, the dongle would provide the remote-control convenience we are used to.
Re: Mens watches are jewelery@<jbc>
>..vanity, bad taste, affectation, and excessive disposable income. Or so I've come to learn from the adverts in publications like the FT's revolting "How to spend it"
I read once that most of the CEOs of the top 100 companies wore Timex watches... a sign that they were about making money, not spending it.
Re: I remember HI-FI
Well, there is the current trend for compressing the dynamic range of music these days... a shame because most playback devices can do that should the user want it. Curiously, movies have gone the other way- turn it up enough to hear the dialogue and the next gunshot or car crash will deafen your neighbours.
Re: Not fragile
Tch, Neil Merryweather is my mid-1970s Canadian rocker of choice : D
Phones OSs will live or die according whether they get picked up by the masses, or find a good niche as Blackberry traditionally have done. I don't think most people are looking to 'express their individuality' with a phone OS, especially if the phone it runs on looks much the same as a phone with a different OS.
Most people will consider whether it works, works easily, works easily with external services (you'll note that was the main thrust of Ubuntu's bid to the phone market) or runs the apps they want it to. Depending on their tech literacy or interest, potential buyers will form their opinion by either sticking with what they know, reading reviews, seeing how their mates get on with their's, or by playing with one in the shop. Blackberry have cunningly addressed the issue of apps, and I image a Ubuntu phone will take the same approach.
Generally, reviews of Windows Phone 8 are favourable but flag the lack of apps.
But c'mon, I know you're above this 'mine's cooler than yours, I'm a rebel not a sheep' nonsense.
Re: Creating stuff
C'mon Sandman, you've never had a good idea when away from your desk? Sure, you can jot it down on the back of a beermat, but if your like me you'd probably lose it. I'd like to have sketches on my phone appear on my desktop. Having a desktop and a tablet aren't mutually exclusive! Besides, if your making content to sell to tablet users, you'd need a tablet for testing, Shirley?
Re: tablets, as they are now, are a dead end
>I kinda like vasto monitors and i7 tower cases full of hotswap drives. Powah!!!
Sounds nice. I'd rather have just a couple of SSDs in my tower though, and relegate the noisy HDDs to a NAS in the next room. Passive cooling for i7s up to 100W TDP is a reality.
>use a box with enough processing power and resources to render it this side of doomsday.
Many rendering packages allow a client to be installed on other machines on your network, to share the load. If you really your images quickly, but don't have the volume of work to justify buying your own render farm, you can rent from someone else... perhaps including the license to use the software on a pay-per-use basis. This model is more realistic for CPU-intensive stuff such as image rendering than it is for disk-intensive stuff such as video-editing though.
Re: tablets, as they are now, are a dead end
Semantics aside, I think you're right on most things there, but tablets already can be, and are, used in many of those ways.
I'm surprised not to have seen more 'out of the box' integration with traditional PCs, such as using a tablet as a second monitor (and dragging files onto its desktop to transfer them... though this might confuse the metaphor), but a fellow commentard says it can be done fairly easily.
When I used to wrote reports, I was a bugger for printing out drafts and sitting in a comfy chair with a red pen... a tablet with a suitable screen could replace that. For someone who just writes, a tablet has plenty of horsepower- they just need to work on the ergonomics- fixed with a keyboard and case/stand combo, arguably better than a traditional laptop because of the separation of screen and keyboard.
For content? My mate already has a home server that transcodes and streams Blu-ray rips on the fly to his (or anybody else's, with permissions obviously) phone, tablet or laptop.
For serious work? Yeah, you can already use tablets to remotely access your home machine (no doubt the process can be polished). For real heavy-lifting, why buy the fancy CPUs yourself for intermittent use, when you can rent it by the cycle? (suits some tasks better than others)
Watching movies in the bath? Happened years ago in a very user-friendly way: My mate's new PSP automatically introduced itself to his PS3, which in turn introduced the handheld device to his NAS.
Re: Everyone likes computers until they only come with Windows
>Look at Notebooks - wildly popular with Linux, even a dodgy distro of Linux!
I'm assuming you meant 'netbooks' (or, in Regspeak, SCCs) like the Asus EEE PC? I think the OEM's decision to ship them with a customised Linux distribution was largely based on
a, the OS having a smaller footprint than Windows XP, so better suited to a cheap 4GB SSD
b, the OS not upsetting said SSD with virtual RAM (this was before 'wear-levelling' etc),
c, putting the device out at far lower price than traditional laptops (7" screen, no spinning disk) meant that a Windows licence would be a disproportionate chunk of the selling price and
d, a gamble that the primary application that the user would make use of would be a familiar internet browser, such as Firefox
I seem to recall that the control panel on the EEE PC OS was simplified, and tried to insulate newcomers to fact that they were using Linux... though its been a while and I might be wrong.
As for phones... well, most phone users ("the man on the street") had been through a fair few proprietry phone OSs before Android came along (whatever came on a Nokia, Sony Ericsson or Samsung feature-phone, for example), though some may have been Symbian or Palm fans. Windows on a phone didn't work because it tried to trade on the user's familiarity with Desktop Windows, and poking at tiny menus with a plastic shard was never a great experience. And Wince- seriously?
Ergonomics. The area in which the desktop PC still excels, even though most people don't require a tower-sized enclosure any more- especially if they have a NAS stashed in the broom cupboard. A good number of people are happy to trade desktop ergonomics for portability and convenience, in the form of a traditional laptop, and of those most don't bother with a separate monitor and keyboard when at their desk.
The Yoga form-factor, when in 'tent-mode' looks ideal, since it can be placed on a pile of books to get the screen at the right height, and a separate keyboard be used. This is a trickier to do with a conventional laptop.
One thing to watch is 'Kinect-like' devices... maybe. Either in place of touchscreens, or as a wider move towards some form of 'ubiquitous computing' - "PC- turn the heating down", "PC - where's my phone?", "PC - give me the dimensions of this thing I'm holding up [I want to make a box for it]"
Current OS GUIs seem a bit backward... I'd always assumed that the good thing about Linux was that people could bend it to their will, but all the current discussion about GUIs suggests otherwise (though at least competition between GUIs could be a good thing). There used to packages that allowed teenagers to make their video games without doing too much programming... I wonder if an application that let users develop their own UIs is workable? Even if their efforts are incomplete, it would get developers thinking. Surely we are past the point where OS GUIs are (unsuccessfully) geared towards someone who had never used a computer before?
[Sorry, that was all a tad unfocused. Thank you for your patience]
Re: Oh, no we aren't
Here's the problem for laptop makers: It is hard to express the audio volume/quality of a device with numbers, as you would a screen, CPU or HDD. Either you build a reputation over a few years ("Blogs Brand Laptops always have better than average audio quality") or you buy in a badge, such as Apple used to do with Harmon Kardon on their iMac, or Asus did with B&O (who, though having an Applesque reputation for their Hi-Fi, are actually Class-D amplification pioneers). HP's use of the Beats brand is just the same. The other strategies would include the Bose model ("No-risk home trial!"), and persuading retailers to demonstrate your product in-store.
(Beats Audio is overpriced, and I heard on the radio the other day that Dr Dre has half of the world's multi-billion dollar headphone market -presumably by profit, not volume of sales.)
Re: Atom for £800? Seriously?!
I think Tomshardware recently tested some speedier Atoms, and expressed surprise that Intel would continue to use a the 'Atom' brand, since it had such poor connotations. I think this is a 32bit chip, though.
If you do find yourself interested in a device with an Atom CPU, it might be worth spending 5 minutes tracking down some benchmarks for the specific chip. Who knows.
You might want to double-check that you can roll back to Win 7 before laying down any money. Intel say its CPU "is a Windows 8 chip".
Though this fellow didn't try Linux, he did try to USB-boot some recovery environments- unsuccessfully:
Even if you can get past that hurdle, Intel don't want you to run Linux on this CPU:
Re: Tempting for those of us who also want to get work done, but...
>... it's got a 16:9 screen. Again.
I'm normally first to knock the 16:9 ratio, but at least with a tablet you can rotate it through 90º so that reading websites etc is less of a hassle. (Though obviously you can't do that with this device when it is in 'laptop' mode.)
Re: Authorised devises LOL
That does seem to be the rationale behind Ultra-violet [loosen the restrictions on the user so that they hardly notice them] but how well it works it practice is yet to be seen. I do know people who have home-servers that can stream ripped Blu-rays to any sufficiently connected device anywhere, but the less-dedicated consumer could benefit from just buying a Blu-ray, and stream it to a TV from somebody else's server when they visit friends.
Being able to watch a legitimately-purchased DVD without sitting through anti-piracy advertisements would be a good start. In the mean time there is [software name deleted] and [software name deleted] and a nice note from Seagate thanking you for your continued custom.
Er... What's the Shark/Laser Beams angle on this Ripper of which you speak? Were his last words directed at you personally?
@All Names Taken
You're right, but I don't think anyone said 'intelligence'. The phrase the researches are reported to have used is:
"Embryonic sharks are able to recognise dangerous stimuli and react with an innate avoidance response,"
Presumably, 'dangerous stimuli' is anything big enough to eat them, whilst smaller movements in the environment can be ignored.
On a similar note, did anyone see that programme recently about baby sharks (of those species that give birth) eating their siblings whilst still inside their mother, and then munching on subsequent eggs? Before they are born, they have already killed.
Re: My honest non-trolling thoughts on this
>If Sony would re-open the ability to add a linux distro to the PS3, they'd double the number of PS3's sold.
They could, but why would they want to sell consoles to people who then won't buy the games? When first released, it was Sony's subsidy of the hardware that attracted power Linux users (such as the USAF) to the platform in the first place- that and its ability to be clustered. I don't know how the PS3's current bill of materials compares to its retail price, but presumably its still being pitched against the XBOX who are making similar calculations against future games sales.
Rumours are that the PS4 will be more conventional, and maybe use an AMD CPU and GPU.
I as tempted to do the same when it was clear that the HD DVD format was doomed... it seemed that the savings on cut-price HDDVD films (over BluRay) would easily cover the cost of a discounted HDDVD drive.
Re: Dear Microsoft
Yeah, I find it ironic that the HD-DVD format didn't make a scratch-proof coating mandatory as BluRay does, when the XBOX DVD drive is one that scratches disks. The first-gen XBOX was too loud to use a movie playback device anyway.
I don't think it is too important what drive the next XBOX comes with... most people who want a BluRay player have one by now; they aren't the super pricey items the were at the time this gen of consoles came out.
I prefer the PS3 controller for games like Tekken (D-pad), and but prefer the 'mushroom' analogue sticks of the XBOX for first-person shooter games.
>Why oh why did they get rid of the PS2 compatibility?
I think it was something to do with the PS2's 'emotion engine' chip (so called because it was used for rendering faces in cut-scenes).
The have been a few game developers who have said they find the Cell architecture of the PS3 tricky to program for... and other parters who used Cell chips seem to have gone elsewhere. Current rumours (pinch of salt, but not unrealistic) suggest the PS 4 will be x86 architecture, possibly from AMD with an AMD GPU.
Re: downloads -"none of the associated costs on a physical product"
>I don't know why there aren't more games available as direct downloads.
Maybe because the first versions of the current generation of consoles didn't have too much storage space. The original Xbox 360 had 20GB for the HDD version, but the 'arcade' version didn't even have that. MS later updated the 360 to allow generic USB storage to be used, but I don't know if there are any limitations to it compared to the HDD.
My mate's PS3 has a fair few downloaded games on its HDD, but they are mostly either 2D games, or older 3D games such as Club GTI, though since the PS3 has WiFi as standard, its HDD doesn't contain any movies or music since they are on his NAS.
Re: His only realy crime
I think Danny was referring to the Eleventh Commandment.
Re: Along with
Would be great of those who inflicted the illegal punishment were represented in court by Jack Nicholson, a la A Few Good Men. I'd pay to watch that.
Re: Only applies to excess drinking of the pop kind?
Quite right, I don't think anybody needs to drink pints of anything a day, except for water and beer of course. Orange juice is good for you in moderation, but it can be to easy to quaff the whole carton.
Re: @Greg J Preece
Yeah, but it is actually healthier to eat something fatty at breakfast, since it 'sets' your body to deal with it throughout the day. Carbs are good at lunch, but in the evening just stick to meat and veg (you don't need carbs to sit back and relax). Easy.
Re: The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate
Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour had an episode called "Coffee", well worth a traipse across the interwebs to find... Apparently, one Pope liked this new-fangled drink so much that he baptised it.
Speaking of mathematicians (Russell, not Dylan), it was said of Paul Erdős by his colleague Alfréd Rényi "a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems".
Re: Thanks, Ace.
There is a very simple principle to the making of tea and it's this - to get the proper flavour of tea, the water has to be boiling (not boiled) when it hits the tea leaves. If it's merely hot then the tea will be insipid. That's why we English have these odd rituals, such as warming the teapot first (so as not to cause the boiling water to cool down too fast as it hits the pot). And that's why the American habit of bringing a teacup, a tea bag and a pot of hot water to the table is merely the perfect way of making a thin, pale, watery cup of tea that nobody in their right mind would want to drink. The Americans are all mystified about why the English make such a big thing out of tea because most Americans have never had a good cup of tea. That's why they don't understand. In fact the truth of the matter is that most English people don't know how to make tea any more either, and most people drink cheap instant coffee instead, which is a pity, and gives Americans the impression that the English are just generally clueless about hot stimulants.
Re: Lost empire...
Douglas Adams, How to Make a Cup of Tea:
Tea is good for you. The function of gut bacteria is an area that is still yielding new discoveries, but green tea has been show to encourage good bacteria (more so than any 'pro-biotic' yoghurt drinks). It's one of those things that has been known in China for thousands of years. Even we know that a good cup of tea after a full-English breakfast is good for cutting through the grease, making the back of our throats a less bacteria that might give us 'strep-throat'.
There is an Chinese saying that "Vegetable soup makes you calm and happy" and I remember reading about ten years ago that scientists had only just got around to confirming that empirically: they discovered that eating vegetable soup for a fortnight resulted in marked drop in stress hormones in the blood.
Re: "12oz cups"?
>In a country like Italy, where they understand coffee, a cup of coffee will be small and strong (even if it's >cappuccino).
And they serve it with glasses of water.
Kids aren't free, they are still in the process of learning. Schools act in loco parentis. My parents wouldn't allow me sugary breakfast cereals every day, would only allow me two biscuits at a time- nor would my mum allow me to use my toboggan head-first when it snowed. My grandmother slapped me once when I started to cross a road without looking. These sorts of things are the job of parents.
My dad did try to encourage me to drink beer from a young age, but after he gave me a couple of pints as a toddler, I didn't touch it again until my late teens (I think my palette changed from sweet to bitter). Beer is good for you, as the malt has long chain sugars, cheap UK lager has added sugar and is piss.
>Why doesn't El Reg have a coffee icon yet?
They do: What do think this brown stuff on the keyboard is? : D
Naughty computer! Do not use the following words:
F***, C***, C***, S***, B*******, W*****, A**, A***, B******, S**, B*****,
unless your talking about beasts of burden, illegitimate children, male chickens, Scunthorpe or soil.
suggests Panasonic are aiming at certain business sectors first, before rolling it out to the man on the street. CES is happening as we speak, so if you keep your eyes on reports your wish might come true!
Re: The future
Last summer my old school was hosting a county manufacturing thingy in its sports hall, and I popped along. I bumped into my old Design and Technology teacher and he showed me around my old workshop and classroom. The room in which I had learnt to lay out engineering drawings by hand was now full of Solidworks workstations. I'm only 32. When I got to uni, we were taught parametric CAD on a Unix mainframe... only one workstation in the suite had a graphics card powerful enough to rotate a shaded model view.
I personally don't think we will come full circle completely, in the way you suggest... because things like connected laser measures, 3D scanners, and Kinect-like devices will allow some scope for CAD to advance. CAD can become something that the designer uses whilst walking around the workshop.
Well, there is that classic hip hop film in which one of the characters carries a ridiculously big ghetto-blaster- was it Wild Style? And the spoof of it in Star Trek V when they go back to the 20th Century and Spock silences a sodcasting commuter with, what else, a Vulcan nerve pinch.
Re: 200 percent
>I've seen programs where dialogue boxes and pop ups are impossible to do anything with it as the buttons have >been pushed out of the fixed size window due to increased text percentage on Vista / 7.
I've seen that in some XP applications in Win 7 when the text size has been at 125% or 150%. I've also seen users set their output to be less than the native resolution of their monitor, so that text is bigger.
>Apple have the right idea when it comes to the high res screens, why can't Windows do the same?
My understanding is that it was one of the things that was dropped from Vista along the way... but I'm fuzzy on the details.
Re: Human after all!
>I think you mean they record factual notes from a wide menu of choices
Humphrey: I don't think the treasury accepts valuations written on the back of menus
Bernard: Oh, but it is a very fine menu
I would have thought that if there were 200 other students who objected to the system, they could merely swap tags whenever they passed each other, or before popping outside for a cigarette (or making a rendezvous with Sid James to place a bet on the horses). What happened to a teacher making a roll-call at the start of each class?
Build your own with an mSata SSD:
You'll have to work out the power supply, though.
Re: From the movies
Using, of course, some mock up of a UI that doesn't exist in the real world. Of the top of my head, Swordfish, The Echelon Conspiracy, Minority Report and Jurassic Park come to mind... though common components include windows with lots of numbers scrolling by, and a nice big status bar.
Hmmm, I could see a sister-article to the Reg's Top Ten Sci Fi computers coming on.
Re: Google Play and SD card!
[EDIT]- Not all recent Android devices support USB OTG in hardware, so check first if this something you are interested in.
Re: Google Play and SD card!
If you do as AC suggests, do check this thread first:
"The USB OTG that Do and DO NOT work with Nexus 7 Thread"
I'm in the process of making one right now, just as soon as I find where I put my solder. Most male microUSB plugs are a bugger for this as the pins are so small, but I've found one that helpfully has a small PCB attached to it. Instructions are online, but you'd probably be better off just buying one.
Re: Slightly off topic query
I use it occasionally, in a limited way, for doing Google searches on Andriod. I do sort of second-guess what phrases it will understand immediately, and which I should just type in.
For example, "Cinema listings near Cardiff" I would expect it understand on its first try... something more obscure less so, so I would just type it.
I first tried speech recognition back in 2000 (and remember forecasts of it being the next big thing, even then) and it was entertaining but rubbish, but what is different now is the huge amount of data Google have to refine their system.
Re: Why 3G?
Most 7" tablets offer 3G only as an option, not a baseline.
If you do have a 3G Tablet for internet and maps in your car or briefcase, you might find you don't require an expensive smartphone in your pocket, and will be perfectly happy with a clamshell 'dumbphone', with long long battery life.
This is a good option for older folk who identify themselves as having poorer eyesight and and less dexterity.
Re: He might be on to something
>I tried one of those projected-on-a-surface laser keyboards... oy vey. My fingertips pretty much called a strike >after 20 minutes,
Superglue some marshmallows to your fingertips, problem solved. Next!
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