3786 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
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?"
I don't know why the student didn't claim his phone was actually a Chinese knock-off of an iPhone- there are a few to choose from!
Re: Where's the Smoking Man!?
Ah, the old X-Files black oozy stuff, not the District 9 black oozy stuff or the Prometheus black oozy stuff.
Re: Well, sort of.
Media Centre is included in Win7 Home Premium - I checked the other day. I just wish my current laptop had an integrated IR receiver, because I still have the remote controller that came with an old WinXP MCE desktop.
>In particular the pairing of Win8 with Kinect could be a really cool way to control your media center.
For voice control, or gesture control? I'm assuming the latter, since I would imagine voice control can be implemented in software. I therefore assume that you haven't read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - the listener has to sit stock-still so as not to change the radio station. You have your homework!
That said, I've been tempted to use my old Gravis joystick as playback controller (skip forward/back, volume up/down, pause) using a Winamp plugin, but never got around to buying a USB> Game port adaptor.
>Why on earth is monkey so popular? Are they reshowing the old TV series or something?
Possibly Damon Albarn's stage adaptation is responsible:
Re: Doesn't work...
>on many foreign keyboards!
My` old webmail password was along the lines of: 'orwell 1984' > 'o1r9w8e4ll' (jumble letters and numbers)> 'O!r9W*e4LL (alternate Shift, two on, two off)'... so when on holiday and faced with a Spanish keyboard, I had search for an image of a UK keyboard to remember which symbols to use.
I guess I'm not ready for one of these: http://www.daskeyboard.com/model-s-ultimate/
Re: the charging unit will only work with identified devices
>one would purposefully design a system to be incompatible.
Er... the current situation is that each device requires its own charger. This system allows several devices to be charged (in sequence or in parallel as desired) so I'm not sure why you are criticising Apple for being 'incompatible'. Re-read the linked source, the Reg article appears to have got the wrong end of the stick.
Re: Like Wow ... NOT!
Some mice can last months on a single AA cell, but not all- including the Logitech mice that charge over USB, since they are mostly the power-hungry 'Darkfield' models. Multi-touch devices such as Apple pads are similarly thirsty, lasting about 20 days on two AA cells.
Besides, not all computers are used in sunny rooms- indeed, users of shiny-screened computers actively avoid daylight!
Re: Apple branded.
No, that is not what it means. The proposed system is for having a single charger for multiple devices, and managing the power each receives, according to battery level and device priority- amongst other things.
Qi has a small range, and requires the device to be placed on top of a mat in the correct way, whereas this proposed system has a range of around a meter, and allows devices to signal when they no longer require power, so that a another device can then be charged, according to a priority system.
If you had read the linked source, you wouldn't have needed to ask.
Re: It's not easy being green
" However, it has been discovered (see "Efficient wireless non-radiative mid-range energy transfer" by Karalis et al., Annals of Physics 323 (2008) pgs. 34 - 38) that useable power can be transferred wirelessly from a power source to a receiver located within a distance referred to as a near field. By near field it is meant that within a distance a few times larger than that of both objects involved in the transfer (about one meter or so for most applications) a relatively large amount of power (at least on the order of a few watts) can be transferred between a wireless source device and a receiver with an acceptable efficiency."
the andromeda strain.
Lovely piece of dialogue about a male character finding the installation's voice sexy.
"Oh, you can meet the lady who recorded the voice for us, if you want to. She lives about five miles away, but she's 72 now" (paraphrasing)
Re: Cake, and grief counselling, will be available at the conclusion of the test.
What was the name of the computer from System Shock?
(he asks, using more characters than it would him to Google it)
Re: Mistake Not...
When asked how he would like one of his books to be made into a film, Iain Banks replied "With a fucking big budget".
I had heard rumblings of a short story "A Gift from The Culture" being developed for film, but it seems to have died off- google search results seem to date around 2009. My fantasy director would be Neils Blomkamp or Duncan Jones.
Re: re 2001
HAL becomes best space-ghost buddies with Dave Bowman in 2061 and 3001...
Re: Not a self aware computer...
Whilst doing Arthur C Clarke:
"Dial F for Frankenstein"
Re: Thankfully you forgot
Garth, from Wayne's World: "That's a Unix book"
Girl who looks like Garth: "Yeah"
Re: If we're talking badass....
None as 'badass' as the ship AI Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints, a Culture Mind that controls the Abominator-Class General Offensive Unit from Iain M Bank's Surface Detail.
Though they all have good names: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Culture_series
Re: Worst computer
...until Lister destroyed it with a 14lb lump-hammer.
He was good, but he was just a retelling of the doors with personality joke, from H2G2.
> Echelon Conspiracy from 2009 -- Not bad, in the usual 'Why the hell are people trying to kill me?'-thriller way.
Fits into the the whole 'Emergent Intelligence' sub-genre, along with 'Dial F for Frankenstein', 'Neuromancer' and 'Ghost in the Shell', amongst others, including stories from the 1950s and Alfred Bester, Terminator etc.
>i dont buy a football game and complain its not got enough shooting ;)
But if you bought a shooting game and wanted to shoot footballers, then Sensible Software's Cannon Fodder is for you, as at one pint your plucky platoon stumbles across a pixel-perfect Sensible Soccer match.
>I was wondering if they'd ever 'fess up to that whole "Ringworld" thing.
They did, years ago in a statement about taking their inspiration from books rather than film. Those who want a FPS that really takes its inspiration from a movie can get Aliens: Colonial Marines in the new year - with input from Syd Mead.
it isn't just a shooter - they've posted ads for an 'economy designer', as well as MMO, suggesting that there may be an 'Elite' or 'Star Wars Galaxies' element to it.
Bungie have cited Niven and Banks as inspiration for Marathon and Halo, and this scenario is reminiscent of Against A Dark Background. Fingers crossed it'll be a good un.
Not as much fun as having your NAS mounted in a large, pre-strung catapult.
Re: Zip Drives?
Yep, essential as a student, ZIP drives... £70 for the drive. Solid State still too expensive, but its arrival was known to be inevitable. MiniDisc player in bag. A year into the design course and Apple release some £600 portable audio device, that wouldn't work with PCs.
I never had the click of death, but the Win2000 (pre SP1) campus machines had an entertaining feature- they would wipe your Zip disk and copy on to the entire contents of the disk the last user had used in the machine. Bizarre.
I'm fairly sure Sony dipped their toes in the UMPC waters... seem to remember one came with a stylus that looked like a guitar plectrum, on a lanyard.
Re: The Cloud
That depends on what you mean by 'The Cloud'. For some definitions, just having emailed a copy of, for example, your CV to yourself- so that you can print a hard-copy at any internet cafe- qualifies. Likewise, renting some CPU time from Amazon to render some images can make more sense than buying the hardware yourself, if you only need to do it occasionally.
I can't knock you for having a right-minded objection to fluffy buzzwords, though! : D
Followed by "The coffee cup holder doesn't come out anymore?"
Re: CDI != VCD
CDI - I remembered a demo unit in Makro, playing Dragon's Lair. This was around the time that 'FMV' and 'Pre Rendered Sequences' were buzzwords, and Boots could make you Kodak PhotoCDs.
Re: Rock-solid freeze frames... I remember renting 'Desperado' on VHS, and finding one sequence was very worn and 'snowy' with noise. It was the bit where the leading actress was displaying her nekkid Blugarian Airbags.
>Yep, but Sony kit cost a bomb and - all the pr0n was on VHS. That was the real reason why VHS 'won'.
Sony explicitly barred pr0n from being ontheir Beta platform. Having learnt from history, they deliberately inferred that the would raise no such objection to 'adult content' studios releasing their content on Blu-Ray, during that Blu-Ray / HDDVD skirmish.
Re: Secondlife Is still Alive.
as Playstation Home?
Similarish concept, though it looks like the latest Tony Hawks skateboard game, minus the wheels. This line from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Home could do with being rephrased:
"Home allows users to create a custom avatar, which can be groomed realistically."
Re: Precious metals...
Tom's Hardware did an experiment to recover gold from circa 1990 PCs, where the metals were used in larger quantities, using some nasty, expensive chemicals. After all their efforts, they recovered a pea-sized amount. IIRC their conclusion was that on a large scale, it might economical to recover gold from older PCs at 2012 gold prices.
I would imagine that the tiny component size of modern phones would make it uneconomical to recover metals from, but I'm not certain- any ideas?
Re: Yup and the Onion says
I not sure what you are trying to say.
But this creased me up:
" BEIJING (AP) — The online version of China's Communist Party newspaper has hailed a report by The Onion naming North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the "Sexiest Man Alive" — apparently unaware it is satire."
Re: ...that would be awesome!
Broke after 2 days?
Well, their brochure did say 'USB that make phone call' [singular].
Re: Michael Schumacher
That, and they have copied Vertu's old styling. Not that Vertu are any more tasteful than these.
>Just waiting for the next flood of paranoid hippies decrying putting nuclear fuel in space.
Well, that put paid to Project Orion - the idea of launching a vehicle into space by releasing a chain of nuclear bombs behind it- the lid on the coffin was that each launch was estimated to lead to the premature deaths of around ten people due to fallout. Shame really, because one design constraint of Orion is that it had to be big. Really big.
Still hoping someone can crack the Space Elevator, but it seems pesky physical materials don't allow it.
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