3772 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: So does that mean there's a lot of dim people
You do realise that the RROD defective machines were replaced, so hasn't changed the numbers that you are playing with?
I won't defend the platform- the first generation of machines were as noisy as hell (unsuitable for any kind of media playback) - and the paying to use the online features (which as far as I know, is a peer-to-peer system that doesn't place too much workload on MS's servers - though I may be wrong) isn't great, but you are exhibiting that unfortunate tendency to class whole swathes of your fellow humans as 'idiots'. Pillock.
A year's subscription to XBOX Live Gold is less than quid a week... far cheaper than that extra half pint on a Thursday, a take-away snack once in a while, a coffee on the way to work, or a monthly trip to the cinema. Why single out this one expenditure for your poorly thought-out judgement?
The PS3 is the more versatile, civilised machine, though. No charge to play games online- but that's just as well given Sony's history of keeping user's account details secure.
Re: It surely has to be
>Christian Bale had that down pat in "The Machinist".
And Mr Bale has had experience of portraying a man escaping through a jungle, in Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn (2006)... he doesn't stuff tampons up his nose, but he does eat insects.
Re: eerr David Fincher?
The problems with Alien 3 were nothing to do with Fincher, he got the gig because the studios thought they could boss him around due to his then inexperience. There is no 'director's cut' of the film, but the 'Assembly Cut' of the film is different, plot wise, and is actually a reasonable watch with some strong British actors.
Fincher later made Se7en, and The Game with Michael Douglas as a Gordon Gecko-style businessman discovering the perils of giving away too much personal information. The unreliable narrator structure of Fight Club is probably why he was added this list by Reg staff.
Benjamin Button- well, Fincher isn't alone in occasionally making films aimed at the mass-market box office. In fact it's hard to think of any director who is 'all killer no filler'.
Bruce Robinson's 'How to Get Ahead in Advertising' is probably a better argument for his inclusion in this McAfee. list than 'Withnail and I'.
Terry Gilliam is currently filming a movie about a reclusive computer programmer with an unsettled relationship with the state in which he lives, starring the excellent Christoph Waltz. However, having a director make a second film with a South American country as its title would be neat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zero_Theorem
I've already expressed support for Gilliam to get the job in a couple of posts on these forums, but on reflection, I think Werner Herzog is a strong candidate. Why? He's delivered altered states of conciousness in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (2009), and has also directed an escape through the jungle film, Rescue Dawn (2006).
Its a shame to hear this news. Bicycles have been a passion of mine, that brought balance to my teenage years that else would have been spent indoors trying to get PCs to play games (whilst my peers had Amigas and Megadrives).
Small wheels make a suspension system essential almost essential, unless you have the toughened skeleton of a twenty year-old. Larger wheels offer inherently lower rolling resistance, but efficiency is far from the only consideration- you only have to see the hallway of a city flat blocked by 26"-wheeled bicycles to realise that the traditional design is not convenient for city living. For small trips, a BMX is the better urban machine than bigger bikes- there are no gears to got wrong, it takes up less space in the hallway, and the wheels are damned near indestructible and won't end up pringled like those on the poor machines one sees chained to railings after pissheads have decided to kick them in.
It's a shame that Moulton have never managed to get the price down to become more mainstream. My heart sinks when I see the hideous 'full suspension' bikes that are sold for children these days, the suspension on them is worse than useless and just makes the whole machine so heavy that it is likely to kill any enthusiasm for cycling the child might have possessed. If you can't afford the better materials and parts required to make suspension worthwhile, it is best to Keep It Simple.
> The human eye can distinguish 170 PPI.
Alas, if only things were that simple, but things involving biology rarely are. The human eye can distinguish more detail in different situations, and uses some tricks in 'post-processing' to achieve even more, especially when illumination or movement is involved. It is the centre of our vision (rare animals we are, with two front-facing eyes- most trade front-on depth perception for greater situational awareness) that is very sharp, and it is estimated that to fool our eye into thinking a picture is real would require 500 megapixels filling the full vision of one eye (not including trying to simulate the dynamic range that our eyes can perceive).
Whilst we might only be able to distinguish 20 million colours, this number is not evenly distributed amongst the hues (we can distinguish more shades of green, for example) so it is better that the hardware can handle more, so that it can display at least the number of greens that we can see.
Yeah, in essence I agree with you- more pixels can only benefit the user so far.
SecureBoot is a Windows 8 feature/annoyance... so that would be "Yes". I'm assuming it has Intel HD 4000 graphics, and there have been reports of issues on Win and OSX machines, so you'd best check with your fellow penguins if you want it to do more than boot into VGA mode.
Re: At least it's not win8...
Look, if you use software that only works under Windows, you don't have a choice of OS. I use Win 7, and though there are annoyances (I'm sure every Windows user has their own list of pet hates) it is the only tool for the job.
OSX might be suitable for some, Linux might become usable for Joe-public if the application names gave even the smallest clue as to their function....
It would be nice to be able to use a high-res tablet as just a dumb monitor, to add a screen to one's laptop. It doesn't strike me as being too difficult/costly a thing to achieve technically (or am I wrong?) and would give said tablet a unique selling point.
One could imagine buying x86 laptops without screens, and plugging them into a ARM tablets in dumb-monitor mode... this could lead to improvements in ergonomics over traditional laptops, since the screen and keyboard could then be placed further apart from each other.
If it is backed up by appropriate circuitry, can a microHDMI port act as an input? (i.e, is it purely a scaled-down HDMI socket?)
I'm typing this on a Dell laptop with a 17" 1920 x 1200 screen... I am at a normal distance from the screen and can just about make out the pixels - well, I can just about make out a very slight jaggedness around text. I'm not desperate for a greater pixel density (as it would be on a 15" display) - and I do appreciate that many people I know have difficulty in reading small text on monitors- but I'm glad for the extra pixels, especially in the single-pixel-thick lines and wire-frames in CAD.
It might be this issue of reading text that has caused most modern laptops to have a poor resolution screen; I'm not sure how Windows 8 handles it, but setting up Windows 7 for someone with less than 20/20 vision on a high res monitor feels like a work in progress- upping the text size to 125% or 150% can can render text in some legacy programs unreadable, as it spills out of its allotted space. Some users resort to running their computers at below the monitors native resolution, just to make text and icons larger.
The best part of video games to my mind, like the best part of drinking booze, is laughing with friends. Swearing at your mate cos he's just uppercut your last worm off the map, or overtaking his kart after hitting him with a Kooper shell... lots of fun! It isn't critical which activities you do with your mates, and computer games are as good as many on a cold winter's evening. Other folk might prefer to get their friends around regularly for a game of poker, or just to watch the football game... and fair play to them.
Re: An enjoyable game
>escort missions are the distilled essence of ball busting frustration.
Correct, as this video shows:
Witness the player's frustration at Nataliya's tendancy to get shot or walk in front of his gun, whist endlessly chirping "We need to go to the control room!" before she gets stuck walking into a door frame.
Re: I miss the humour
Sam and Max had a series of new games released a few years ago, in an episodic format. Check 'em out. You don't get lines of dialogue like "By the sacred sideburns of Isaac Asimov!" everyday!
Sensible Software also had a sense of humour- at one point in Cannon Fodder you lead your platoon across a Sensible Soccer pitch and can shoot all the players. Worms (Team 17) did too, but were nothing compared to some of the Spectrum era games such as Jet Set Willy and How To Be A Complete Bastard.
I guess that when modern AA titles require millions to produce, the odd-ball humour suffers.
I've been lucky to catch most of the recent episodes of the Sky at Night... how could I not, with recent events such as the landing of Curiosity on Mars, and the deaths of Neil Armstrong and Sir Bernard Lovell of radio telescope fame (covered on the same episode?). Not to mention the ongoing journeys of the Voyager probes as they begin to enter interstellar space...
I was of an age to be the target audience for Gamesmaster, but was already aware of who he was... and remembered at the time (a re-run, obviously) Monty Python parodying his verbal delivery. My favourite was the Radio 4 version of Dead Ringers, ringing him up in the voice of Tom Baker's Doctor Who. "Davros is planning an invasion of Earth from Mars, but we don't know from where on the Red Planet he is basing his invasion"... Sir Patrick didn't miss a beat, and immediately gave three likely spots, as well as concisely giving his reasoning behind the choices, before picking the most likely. A prank call done with affection (John Culshaw has appeared in recent episodes of The Sky At Night, including an anniversary edition) which allowed the 'victim' the best lines. (Though John Culshaw as 'The Doctor' ringing up Tom Baker himself was priceless... "I am the Doctor" / "No, I am the Doctor... y'know, I always fancied Davros" )
That Patrick Moore met Orville Wright I find amazing, just as I do the short period of time between the first heavier-than-air manned flight and the first man on the moon.
Re: Some Simple facts
> it should be sued for it's total market value just for trying to patent a PLANT PART
Have you any idea how many billions of shapes the flora of this planet generate?
Toronto Maple Leafs, an ice hockey team. Their logo? You guessed it!
Yet you call a fair chunk of of our fellow humans 'idiots'. That is not a healthy perspective. And 'pure evil'? Read some history, there is far worse stuff there- rape, pillage, murder, oppression, slavery, torture, mutilation, genocide... just for starters. And sadly, it's not confined to history. If you have a serious point (giving you credit) about worker's conditions in China, I would suggest you look at the supply chain of the raw materials that go into all our decadent electronic gadgets- from any manufacturer. Nothing new here: diamonds, gold, tea, tobacco, cotton, oil, rum, sugar...
Kodak Yellow, BP spent millions about 15 years ago changing their colour of green from 'vivid' to 'natural'. Colours- there are millions to choose from.
Much like geometric shapes. This leaf shape is created by two arcs, whose respective foci are a distance from each other that can be expressed with respect to the radius of the two arcs, and the angle of the axis on which these two arcs lie. Change one of those numbers and you have a different shape.
Re: What's the big deal?
>The leaf is just a simple geometric shape.
Close, but not the same. Adidas' 'leaves' are slightly longer, even if they weren't divided by three parallel lines. Apple's application isn't for any 'filled space defined by two arcs with different foci', just this specific one.
I haven't heard of any complaints of Adidas using 'three parallel lines' as a trademark, which is even easier to define using words.
Re: ...and if they did....
Audio tape... Sony were going to package their first audio cassettes in yellow, but changed their mind out of respect for Kodak, who had been packaging their consumables in yellow for some time- Sony saw Kodak as being pioneering in their consistent use of one colour to distinguish their brand. Sony went with red.
National Geographic use a Yellow Frame, Bass a Red Equilateral triangle.
>Stephen Fry and his minions would all rush out and buy it, saying how wonderful and innovative it was, and how it changed their lives.
And if Douglas Adams were still alive, he's be with them. Hell, once was a time people would lie in bed and worry about the Mongol Hordes, Communists, The Scottish,The French, Catholics or Spanish Armadas... but Stephen Fry's Minions? Seek counselling.
Re: Next step: sue God?
>Damn, we so need a Douglas Adams icon.
-from Wikipedia, though I got the same impressions from reading The Salmon of Doubt. Just saying.
Re: Much as I love...
XP had Shadow Copy, but your Aunt Mary would still have to seek out a 3rd party utility for actually making image backups. Win 7 has a TimeMachine- like image back up utility built in, but it fails halfway through if you don't turn off MS's own AV software first! FFS, how difficult would it be to add a notification window telling the user: "Before making this backup, first run a virus scan and take any recommended actions" - if not have the backup system do this itself?
There are a lot of Aunt Marys out there, and many of us who might be called upon to provide tech support for a cup of tea and a slice of cake... and we might not want to have to receive a phone call every time the OS throws an esoteric message at them. Having the user's computer make backups of itself without their input makes life easier for everyone involved.
Re: Wonder if I actually used it??
In an effort to learn about these Banda duplicators of which you speak, I tripped over this gem:
"In grade five at Tyler Street primary school, Preston, my first newspaper, The Weekly Trumpet, was hand lettered on quarto paper and pinned to the class notice board. About this time my mother bought her first washing machine, a Hoover with a fold-away hand-wringer. "What a perfect way to run off a few copies of the Trumpet and sell them to the kids" I thought! But something went terribly wrong. Instead of the violet hectograph-inked paper-master soaked in methylated spirits transferring onto white paper, it ended up on the wringers of mother's new pride and joy! The Weekly Trumpet appeared on whites and coloureds for weeks until the image disappeared."
The author continues to describe his career in printing, from 1949 to present... a parallel story of business and information technology.
Re: Am I the only one..
I've noticed that toddlers are more attracted to cameras, spectacles, mobile phones (even when the phone is turned off) and wristwatches [in short, expensive stuff designed to appeal to adults] than they are to toys. They seem to instinctively know what you don't want broken, and make a beeline to it.
You would have though that toy designers would have noticed this too, but no.
Fortunately, the whole post-a-jam-sandwich-in-the-VCR-door experiment is a thing of the past in most households.
Re: Going for the FHM demographic?
>A bloke in a similarly-irrelevant-to-the-claimed-context outfit, posed and dressed in such a way as to suggest that the undercarriage may be flapping in the breeze (but just about hidden from plain view) and with no real relevance to the article?
Here you go:
(IT angle?- image taken from Black Books, a Graham Linehan series that pre-dated The IT Crowd)
Re: iPads feeling expensive now
>There are some Android tablets which have a different aspect ratio screens, e.g. the Archos 80 has a 4:3 screen.
And that weird 5" Android LG phone is 4:3. I dislike 16:9 on laptops, but on tablets its not quite as irritating because I can rotate it by 90º.
Bill Murry? Zombie Apocalypse? I politely suggest you're either thinking of Zombieland (2009)... or possibly Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) if you mistook Iggy Pop for a zombie.
Re: "Give me it."
>"Give me it!" is not grammatically incorrect, and is fairly widely used.
Should have written "Gimme it!"
Can't believe it took so long for someone to point out the exhaust chute design flaw.
Re: Shock Horror
If you have physical access to the disk, you're right: it's easy. Another reason to have a Linux Live CD or memory stick, always worth making one when your system is working- 'just in case'.
Re: Missing a Trick
You're too late Velv, sorry! Samsung already make TVs with swap-in modules. Still, great minds think alike etc
"As was demonstrated at CES, the TV will feature a dual-core CPU that can be swapped out using an upgradable module in the future. Voice and gesture controls are also on board, although the picture quality is the real star of the show. Samsung say the TV has 20% better color reproduction that existing TVs, and the use of OLED means you’ll get true blacks and a near infinite contrast ratio."
Re: Last weekend
>I'd downvote you for jumping on the 3dtv bandwagon, but by the same token you already have enough problems.
3D TVs are just normal TVs that can output at 120Hz, plus a cheap widget for synchronising with the goggles. Even before being sold as 3D tvs, most mid to high-end sets were capable of this. Being 3D was probably a side-effect of his choice of TV, not his primary consideration.
Re: What would I do if I was running Apple's TV project
>Joseph, I fully agree, building in tuners would require too much localisation.
Tricky... if they take that approach, then why bother selling the screen? Samsung are experimenting with a half-way approach- TVs with replaceable modules. Who knows.
Re: See, this is where pissing off Samsung really comes home to roost.
There is room for TV UIs to improve. It wouldn't require anything too drastic, though. Even that £16,000 4K Sony set that RegHardware looked at lately was noted as having an unpolished UI.
I'm not sure that it would require a new TV, though... many, if not most people already have a set-top-box (cable, satellite, Blu-ray, network streamer), and tablets provide an easy way of browsing Electronic Programme Guides and VOD services
Re: Tennis Elbow
You tend to move your arms as you walk, to keep the body in balance. This is also why sprinters have well-developed upper bodies, when at first thought one would assume they only need muscles in their legs.
Re: I'll get downvoted, but...
I won't downvote you. I will suggest that Dvorak users have been able to match their Qwerty speeds, but not surpass them. http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/Dvorak/
That's not to say I think QWERTY is the last word in Human Text Input, though.
Re: As a medical professional
Was it in El Reg that I read of an epidemic of RSI amongst men of a certain age? What was puzzling medics about it was that it was symmetrical- present in both wrists- so IT use didn't appear to be the culprit. The leading theory was that use of Viagra was causing these older gentlemen to engage in an activity in which their wrists would be supporting a large fraction of their body weight.
Was it El Reg? If not, it was probably New Scientist. Sex-obsessed, that rag...
Re: Health & Safety at Work Act
@I ain't Spartacus
Yep. Which is why I like the look of the Lenovo Yoga - that 'Ultrabook' that can be used a 'tent' position, or inverse 'L' position. This would make it easier to arrange on the desk for use with a separate keyboard, because its own keyboard can be rotated out of the way of where you would want to put a separate keyboard. i.e, you wouldn't need a fancy stand, just a pile of books and separate keyboard and mouse. It can also work as a tablet, allowing you to mix up the way you interact with it (by the touchscreen, or using the webcam to detect hand movements); as my old design lecturer was fond of saying: 'The best position is the next position'- don't stay in one position for too long.
If one is choosing a conventional laptop to be used in a stand, models that don't have audio ports or card readers on the front face work better.
Re: Health & Safety at Work Act
>it's virtually impossible to position a laptop so both the screen is at the right height AND the keyboard.
Which is why tablets* could prove to be a blessing- the screen can be placed in the correct position, independently of the separate keyboard.
*I'm including any device, ARM, x86, without an integrated keyboard as a 'tablet'.
This issue of the screen being mounted too low on laptops is even worse on 16:9 screens than it is on 4:3 or 16:10 displays, since it is the pixels at the top of the screen, not the bottom, that are lost.
Re: new shapes for computers and ways of interaction
@loan- points for considering alternatives, though it does sound a bit 'Minority Report'.
Doctors need to make notes on the hoof... how about a chorded-keyboard? Held in the hand, or on a belt clip perhaps, it doesn't require your arm to be held in the same position.
Re: To whine or not to whine
>I see people who do hard physical work
Physical work is good for you, as long as you work up to it. It is what our bodies are designed for; sitting on our posteriors with our joints moving repeatedly through the same narrow range of movement, they aren't. Back pain, for example, is almost unheard of in developing countries.
I for one would rather be treated by a doctor who wasn't distracted by their own aching neck, or suffers pain in their wrist.
Re: Where the big bucks are ...
Yeah, when you think of the tens of thousands of engineers, scientists and mathematicians employed for military ends... not to mention analysts, linguists, strategists...
Re: There has to be a movie in this story..
An interesting treatment... I was more thinking Terry Gilliam could direct 'Belize' as a sequel to 'Brazil'. The director's trademark themes of imagination, paranoia, fantasy etc etc... Seriously, Gilliam is currently filming 'The Zero Thereom', with Christoph Waltz as reclusive computer programmer in a future totalitarian state. Life/art.
Re: Headphone recommendations
agreed, Sennheiser HD 202-II. Available from Argos for £23. I have the HD-212s, which appear to use the same parts, and they're great. Replaceable cables, and they are impossible to break cos the cups just 'click-off' the head-strap. I've seen so many other cheap headphones with broken plastic parts.
Re: Lo-Fi earphones
> What we need are whole body 'phones
It's been done, kind of. There were these waistcoats available for gamers, that had low-end speakers (or possibly vibration units, I can't remember) integrated into them, that were supposed to make games more immersive by making you feel that frag grenade explode.
Re: Headphone recommendations
As another poster has noted, you need to consider portability, comfort, and sound leakage, besides sound quality. With regards to comfort, consider whether you prefer 'on ear' headphones, 'over ear' headphones or ear buds. Some 'over ear' headphones (especially high end ones) have an open back that leaks noise, so are best kept at home.
Ear-buds (AKA 'in ear monitors' IEMs) are inherently more portable, but can start to feel uncomfortable after a while, though Klipsch phones are elipsoid in cross section, rather than circular, and some people get on well with them. You can also fit third-party Comply tips to most brands of ear-bud, a foam like material, for a better fit and greater noise isolation. I would probably go with some Senheisers at around the £35 if it were me, from Richer Sounds and many larger supermarkets- I personally don't spend much more on something I take out and about and inevitably lose. Some good things are said about Logitech's 'Ultimate Ears' brand as well, and Logitech have a 'blemished box' part of their website, with discounts on products that have damaged packaging.
Next up on the portable front are folding 'over ear' headphones. Avoid kiddie 'fashion' brands such as Skullcandy etc. Akai are a safe bet. Sennheiser, too (when they decommissioned Concorde, there were plenty on eBay, with 'British Airways' screen-printed across the headband!)
I have found cheaper Sony headphones and earphones to have unreliable cables. A shame, because I found one pair that were light, comfortable, reasonable sounding, and only £20 from a supermarket near you. I can't speak for the pricier models. Headphone cables are a bugger to solder because they are so thin.
I do like my old Senheiser HD 212 'over the ear' headphones, with replaceable cables. They have closed backs, so are commuter-friendly. A bit warm sounding, and a naff 'plastic silver' finish to them, but bombproof - the cups 'click off' the headband instead of breaking, and so are good to sling in a bag for travelling. Daftly, AFAIK, the replacement cable is only available in a 3m (10') length, when a 1.2m cable would be handy for portable use. The Sennheiser HD202-II headphones (very positive review here: http://www.whathifi.com/review/sennheiser-hd-202) seem to be of identical solid build (in a more tasteful black finish), and are available from Argos for £23. You can't go wrong.
Those Grado phones noted above are highly regarded by everyone, it seems, but are more suitable for home use.
One more thing- there have been more reports of counterfeit earphones in recent months, so buy from a reputable source. HotUKdeals.co.uk often feature good 'phone bargains, and their comments section may contain some good advice.
To paraphrase Homer Simpson "I'm just old fashioned. I like my beer cold, my TV loud, my homosexuals flaming [and my billionaires eccentric]"
Re: Kutcher haters can start getting their rotten tomatoes ready now
On film forums, it is the 3-acts in real-time structure that is raising eyebrows, not the subject matter. For some weird reason I'm thinking of the first act of The Producers.
Re: Bait and swtich
Absolutely. If it doesn't fry the brain of the Ono Sendai jockey, it is not Black ICE but merely plain vanilla ICE.
Re: Other app markets?
Exactly. It would seem the best solution would be a walled garden, but with a gate that the more tech-literate can use to exit, if they take appropriate precautions.
>They don't half stock a lot of crap on top of the stock Android.
Not on my Sony Xperia they didn't, but my last Orange feature-phone was full of it. YMMV.
Re: "the gesture" @ Ole Juul - Shame some of you can't read!
In China, an iPhone is a multiple of the average monthly wage, not a (chunky) fraction of it.
Perhaps a better analogy (though still a hugely inadequate way of trying to understand this story) would be: would you in the UK hire a graduate driving a brand new BMW hatchback? It would raise an eyebrow... make you ask "what's the story here?"
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