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* Posts by Dave 126

4178 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Former CEO John Sculley: Apple must adapt or die

Dave 126
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Re: @Dave

>They did however introduce a range of smaller, cheaper iPods.

Very true, but rather than cannibalise sales from the iPod 'Classic', smaller players can complement it. The iPod may already have have docks etc, and use the Classic for the car or lounge, the Nano for the gym or journey to work. In any case, the technology changed- Flash players are now cheap and have far bigger capacities than the earlier HDD-based iPods. Only Apple, Archos and Cowon make HDD-based players these days, with the Archos not pocket sized.

>They've already done that with the iPad, no reason to think they can't do something similar with the iPhone.

Judging by the cost of the iPad Mini, they have margin enough on it. Again, big iPad for the sofa, iPad Mini for the car glovebox or handbag, or for those who won't stretch to £500 for a toy.

Both the iPod 'Classic' and big iPad are too heavy or big for all situations... thus leaving a convenient gap for a baby brother or two. The same isn't true of a phone, which has got to be portable and suitable for all but the most niche of activities (outdoor expeditions, for example, where weatherproofing and battery life are of prime importance)

I have considered the need for a smartphone if one always has a smallish tablet to hand; a dumbphone + tablet combo has a lot to recommend it (long phone battery life, low cost of phone replacement if lost, internet functions easier on a tablet by virtue of its size) but I can't imagine Apple making an dumbphone- an iPhone that doesn't do apps would reduce the clarity of their message.

Rather than spend money on a creating, testing, tooling up for and then communicating the benefits of a new iPhone design, its more efficient for Apple to just continue selling the previous version alongside the latest and priciest.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why does everyone assume there are only two smartphone price points?

>What's wrong with a $300 price point?

That it might eat into the sales of their iPhone 4 (with its higher margins) is a possible reason, plus the less immediate cost in terms of their image. If the $300 device is too clunky, ugly or feature-limited, it might put buyers off considering another iPhone in the future. True, Samsung have phones from £10 to £400 (though use 'Galaxy as a sub-brand for the pricer ones), but Apple benefit from keeping their message simple- as demonstrated by my dad pointing at any touch-screened phone and asking "Is that an iPhone?"

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Dave 126
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ooops

"ninetoes article" is a typo, and has nothing to do with mowing the lawn in sandals.

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Dave 126
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Re: This is the same guy

>The whole tech world would have been a lot better off if he had [killed Apple]

So you don't think Windows benefited from having a competitor in various Mac OSs? Before you answer, remember MS was the company who stopped development on Internet Explorer when it thought it had quashed competing browsers.

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Dave 126
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Apple never reduced the price of the iPod to compete with rivals, but instead released the iPhone. Sculley hasn't considered the possibility of Apple entering a new (and thus growing) product category... what that might be I have no idea, and if anyone does have a good idea then they obviously will keep it close to their chest.

It might be that such a product category won't exist (we're pretty sorted for AV gadgets), or that another company has enough R&D cash and commitment to get there first.

No commentard has yet made a very strong case for Apple being able to get enough margin from selling a TV set plus gubbins (or at least why it couldn't be an external box) but that doesn't mean Apple don't know something we don't- or are at least putting in a lot of money into trying to find a compelling reason.

We pundits get it wrong (as can CEOs) as shown by Wired's late ninetoes article "Ten things Apple must do to survive"... Apple didn't follow their advice. Engadget wrote an open letter to a pre-Pre Palm and received a letter back to the effect of 'Thanks, good points, we have it hand' and certainly Palm made a good effort of it with the Pre.

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Viruses infect vital control systems at TWO US power stations

Dave 126
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Re: @Destroy All Monsters

>You have obviously never seen a Flash Drive fail...or get lost...have you.

You work on the concept that all devices fail, and so use them redundantly. And use encryption in case they get lost.

Years back at a nuclear power station in the UK, there used to be a standalone PC in the security hut, through which all floppy disks had to be passed.

These days they tend to use laptops with custom Linux distros to connect to their network.

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Playboy fined £100k by Blighty watchdog for FLASHING SMUT at kids

Dave 126
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Re: and of course...

One approach might be to allow younger lads access to respectful and tasteful trouser-arousing material, rather than leave them to stumble across the objectifying 'gonzo' stuff.

Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen was on the radio yesterday, saying he used to draw copies of the erotic drawings of Aubrey Beardsley (whose life the programme was celebrating) and sell them to his classmates- and he surely wasn't the first. There are worse artists for a young man to be acquainted with when making conversation with a certain type of young woman. Alphonse Mucha is good, too.

>* anecdotal evidence points to girls starting earlier, but with a different focus (in the UK seemingly provided by Boy Bands),

Or, by making advances at boys their age who haven't quite developed their romantic/sexual feelings yet, leading to mutual confusion. But hey, confusion is what teenage years are for.

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Dave 126
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"You can get a gun licence at fourteen, but you can't buy a porno magazines until you're eighteen... ...I'd much rather a fourteen year old lad was locked in his bathroom causing no harm to anyone than sat on a roof with a high-powered rifle and an erection he can't get rid of"

- Bill Hicks

The other comedian this article brings to mind is Al Murray 'Pub Landlord', on the subject of asking a young person their data of birth "the test our whole system of age restriction is built upon". I think the film Hot Fuzz riffed upon the ridiculousness of the same idea .

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Spy romp Zero Dark Thirty: The tech behind the special effects

Dave 126
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Re: SFX

Well, there's a good number of current films that make one go 'Urg, CGI'. I've nothing against CGI (District 9 used it very well) but I don't like it when I spot it, or rather 'sense' it. WETA are usually pretty good.

Still, real models and sets really do work well.

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Dave 126
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Re: What about the plot?

>SFX can make a difference; but if the storyline is a pile of festering guano, then all the hard work to make it look better will be for nothing.

Your argument also applies to on-location filming... would David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia be the same film if it had no regard for went into the camera? Cinema is a visual medium; we also have books, radio and theatre. I get infuriated by a pretty film with a poor plot (Prometheus), but I really do enjoy a visually impressive film with plot and character.

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Patent trolling surges, but righteous cavalry on the way

Dave 126
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>and no, swiping your finger on a touchscreen is not an invention!

No, but the methods of achieving that are. Who would have thought something that is simple for a user to understand isn't simple to create? A list of Fingerworks patents:

http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=0&f=S&l=50&TERM1=Fingerworks&FIELD1=AS&co1=AND&TERM2=&FIELD2=&d=PG01

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Dave 126
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Re: simply wants to "monetize"

And as the article noted, Samsung -as is MS or Google etc- is big enough,old enough and ugly enough to look after itself. The human concern is for the smaller companies without their resources. Apple have infringed (and ripped off) upon the IP of individuals in the past- but I'll leave you to find out how, since you don't seem to need any further encouragement. Like the other big companies, it has also commissioned work from companies (such as Frog Design, whose Hartmut Esslinger has a book of retrospective work out) , and bought start-ups for their tech and thus rewarded those innovators for their effort.

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Dave 126
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Re: Get your terminology right!

>You won't say that if you invent something worthwhile and invest your life's savings in it only to see it rapidly copied and ripped off by the competition.

In that case you wouldn't be a NPE (non practising entity). The steps outlined by the congressman, such as giving a bond against the defendants costs, are not intended for people who invent things and want to develop them. Did you miss the second page of the article?

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NRA: Video games kill people, not guns. And here's our video game

Dave 126
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But there weren't any guns in Mortal Kombat, were there? Or did I fail to unlock a secret character who behaves like Indiana Jones when he brings a gun to swordfight?

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Dave 126
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@JDX

'Worms'... its a variation on Scorched Earth with small cute worms and tongue in cheek references to war films. In terms of graphic violence, its on a par with plastic toy soldiers. However, it might tempt you to smack the smirk off your mate's face after he's just bungie-roped across the map to uppercut your last worm into the sea.

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Korean boffins crack art of bendy batteries

Dave 126
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Re: Flexible phones.... why?

>How is a flexible phone going to be any better than a rigid phone?

Phones are not the only application for batteries... if something exists, people are more likely to use it. The home computer existed before the 'killer app' of the spreadsheet, to give but one example.

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Empire says ‘primitive’ Earth not ready for Death Star

Dave 126
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If Obama is unwilling, we can elect someone who is.

Morbo will now introduce the candidates - Puny Human Number One, Puny Human Number Two, and Morbo's good friend Richard Nixon.

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Live blog: Facebook's 'screw you' to Google revealed at last

Dave 126
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Re: Search for which morons or morons your morons liked!

>Search for which movies or music your friends liked!...because you're too much of a fucking moron to actually form your own opinions.

Er, the whole point of requesting movie reviews is to avoid watching bad movies- I'd rather not waste two hours watching The Texan Chainsaw Massacre remake when ALL signs are that it is complete shit. The Evil Dead remake, with no CGI and blessing from Bruce Campbell... maybe, will wait for a review. Groovy. I know tastes vary amongst my group of friends, just as it does amongst reviewers and publications.

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Dave 126
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Re: Firstly...

>If you're not going to use FB properly then I agree, why have an account? Just so you can complain about it?

There is some useful functionality in Facebook, but mission creep in search of profit seems inevitable. I would agree that some more positive criticism here would be better than just bashing FB, but the place organise a critical mass of people would be on Facebook itself, such as:

http://www.europe-v-facebook.org/EN/Objectives/objectives.html

It Facebook can be made to behave, it does clear the way for people to use it to help organise themselves- be it politically, socially, logistically or whatever.

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Dave 126
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Re: Isn't there a law against ...

>Isn't there a law against ...... facilitating stalkers?

Taking that argument, phone directories would be outlawed, as would shrubbery in residential areas, and for that matter, roads.

Jake, I find Facebook's history of not respecting privacy as distasteful as I'm sure you do, but your rhetoric needs a little refinement!

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Dave 126
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Re: Yawn

I though the done thing thing when encountering a boring article was to move on to the next one without leaving a comment.

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Dave 126
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Re: Boring

JDX wasn't shilling, he was being imaginative. If there wasn't the fear of data abuse, then much is possible. However, to foster the trust in the system that is needed for more edifying projects (see Arab Spring, car sharing, study of epidemiology etc) would require a different funding system and users owning the company. Its too late for that now.

Zuckerberg has talked of a post-privacy society, which rightly puts people off. Unfortunately, it doesn't put enough people off for a peer-to-peer based, user-respecting alternative to arise.

It is sad that a system that is becoming a de facto means of political engagement is funded on ambitions of flogging personal data to entities who try to nudge our decisions.

(Facebook as it stands bugs me, and I rarely log on - party invites etc are forwarded to my inbox).

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IBM brains ponder universe, say kids will go nuts for STEAMPUNK

Dave 126
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Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

Oh well. Give me Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut then.

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Dave 126
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Re: I hate Steampunk.

>With the exception that no brewing vessels that I know of literally (in the correct sense of the word) move around under their own steam, under radio control.

I think you've just found your next project! : D

Actually, if you visit The Beer Engine pub and micro-micro brewery between Exeter and Crediton, you'll see a lot of comic paintings on the walls that play on 'beer engine' (the name for the hand pump assemblies) and 'steam engine', featuring breweries on rails...

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Dave 126
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Re: Vampires are now soooo 1830s, dear!

You could try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Ice ... I don't know if its any good, but Stephen Baxter is usually okayish.

I found it by scanning through http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_alternate_history_fiction

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Dave 126
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Re: Please lose the sepia

Its well worth learning about the period, the Arts and Crafts movement and the excitement of new technology. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is probably as good a place to start as any.

Or, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, hilarious... he visits the British Library to self-diagnose in the way hypochondriacs now consult the internet!

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Dave 126
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Re: I hate Steampunk.

It's an R2D2 that looks like the copper from a Czech brewery... okay.

Many Czech breweries were built by Skoda, a firm who enjoyed a good reputation for quality before the communists days made them a joke. Lots of polished brass and copper.

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Dave 126
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@ Loyal Commenter - SUPERB!

That YouTube link- excellent!

He's channelling Viv Stanshall!

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Dave 126
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Re: So, those new airships...

>The aim is to make sure you wind them all up before the other guy?

The Golden Army from Hellboy 2...

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Dave 126
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Re: Glaring omission

Yep, definitely The Chaos Engine from the Bitmap Brothers (of the age that bought you Sensible Software, Team 17, some of Codemaster's best efforts, Psygnosis ditto, Delphine, Bullfrog...)

William Gibson is also an influence on Steampunk, as is some Japanese anime such as Steamboy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboy

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Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

Dave 126
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Re: Sad, but...[Jessops vs Amazon]

Well, its the same story in Currys and Maplins... £15 for a plain ol' USB A > B cable?

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Dave 126
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Re: Surprised it has lasted this long

Yep, think about how many independent record shops there were on Park Street in Bristol alone, ten years back.

And then there seemed to be a branch of Fopp on every street in the town... the indys went belly up, Fopp rationalised its stores down to one... ho hum.

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Dave 126
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Re: You could browse, but they made paying difficult.

HMV's £2.95 insurance against breaking headphones seemed reasonable, but now of course it won't be honoured. The lad who served me on a busy Sunday before Christmas seemed a sound individual - hope he and his colleagues do okay in 2013.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

>To paraphrase the late Kerry Packer: "If someone is paying more tax than they are legally required then they need to have their heads read. It's not as if the Government is spending it so wisely we should donate extra".

If you have extra money to give away then give it to a Charity if you want to make a real difference (at least it's more likely to benefit the needy than giving it to Parliament....)

Only Kerry Packer didn't make any big donations to charity. Dick Smith tried to cajole him and other Aussie millionaires into it, but they said "We don't show off like you, Dick, we do it anonymously..."

So, Dick Smith contacted all the major Aussie charities, and they all told him that they just don't receive massive anonymous donations.

Dick Smith was the man who jumped a double decker bus over fifteen motorcycles, as a 'homage' to Evil Knievel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Smith_(entrepreneur)#Population_policy_activism

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Microsoft ends Mac users' Windows Phone 8 misery

Dave 126
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Re: Question

>the only thing missing is XBox Live gaming

I don't know what functionality that provides, but some XBOX functionality is already offered to Android and iOS devices through MS's 'XBOX SmartGlass' app.

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Dave 126
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Re: And meanwhile

Alas, Android phones don't work as Mass Storage Class devices anymore.

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Dave 126
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Re: Fashion statement

@Eadon

Someone coming to Linux from having used a Mac will probably have an easier time than someone who had previously only used Windows. The way that OSX asks for the admin password to protect itself, for example, or the way that packages are installed. Then you have ZFS-style Logical Volume Management...

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Dave 126
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Re: Finally!

More widely, it's irritating to have to use software on any host computer in order to talk to a device, at least for the basic 'storage' tasks. I've had to download some Sony software (though there's probably an alternative) to transfer files from my mate's Mac to my Android Xperia phone - which then works but slowly.

One reason why I have never considered owning an iPod is because I like MSC.

And now we have this SDXC cards with exFAT- camera likes it, newer Windows likes it, other systems needsome persuasion... some systems insist on 'safe removal', others get upset if the card ISN'T just yanked out and requiring a trip to device manager to uninstall then reinstall to get it working again... It's all doable, but not as smooth as it should be.

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Review: Google Nexus 4

Dave 126
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Re: No mention of call quality nor of messaging system abilities, among other things

Irritating flaw in Android as seen on Xperia P:

Incoming SMS messages are marked with the time my phone received them, not the time they were sent. Grr.

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Apple 'slashes iPhone 5 screen orders', tight-fisted fanbois blamed

Dave 126
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Re: Problems

>You could put a bright yellow filter in front of the lens and they could fix it in SW (ok in extreme cases you'd loose a little quality, but a slight tint no problems).

That would result in losing yellow information from the scene, which can't be restored in software. And placing a yellow filter in front of the lens rather negates the purpose of using sapphire in the first place. It's far easier to just not point the camera at bright lights.

>Take a look at the history of the Hubble telescope, the lens (mirror) is out of wack but they corrected it in SW.

IIRC, that was a geometric distortion of the mirror they fixed.

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Dave 126
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Re: on the other hand....

>One tangential observation: it may be that doctors ended up with iPhones because of some very specialist apps specifically targeted at their needs; for example, an MD friend has been carrying a Palm-based thing for years since it had a variant of some pharmaceutical reference product, and it let him check dosage and contraindications, etc.

Yeah, the source for the 60% figure came from a developer of software for health services. I read somewhere (probably the Reg) that the NHS had considered using iPhones (fewer nooks and crannys than many designs, so easier to sterilise) in hospitals to deliver/collect health information to staff... but rejected it for the lack of a swappable battery.

Our local doctor is contemptuous of the imposed NHS IT system, but claims that the one used in his practice is good, because it was specified by the people who would be using it on a day-to-day basis.

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Dave 126
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Re: on the other hand....

I said Volvo because of the doctor stereotype, and they similarly priced to the usual 'premium' car brands such as BMW and Mercedes. There was an aversion to buying premium cars from Germany amongst a certain group for some time after the WWII (guess why), or maybe its to do with the reputation Volvo had for secondary-safety systems.

The retired doctor who drinks in our pub drives a Porsche and his HiFi is the more traditional high-end separates system. He does wear a Rolex though, but not the model that was aimed at doctors which had discreet seconds-hand movement.

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Dave 126
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Re: We're bored Apple!

Please, lessen our boredom: Why not tell us what you would want to see in a phone?

I suspect that your boredom is a consequence of phone technology (screens, battery, radios, CPUs) being fairly mature, rather than any fault of Apple's. If you want excitement, then study an immature technology suchtouchless finger-tracking control (the forums on leapmotion.com are interesting) or try TED.com, instead of looking for novelty in an article about an existing phone. You won't find it here.

I don't know what other (existing) technologies could be squeezed into a phone that wouldn't result in it being the phone equivalent of the car Homer Simpson designed. Extra functionality can already be added with extra hardware, such as keyboards, microphones, 24bit DACs, battery packs etc

I tend to see a fair few iPhones in the hands of older, and perhaps a bit wealthier, people who no one could accuse of being cool or a hipster. They have the cash, and the phone has a reputation in their broadsheet newspaper-of-choice as being easy to use. Cool don't have to come into it. People are beginning to see hipsters under the bed, like Cold-War era paranoiacs.

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RIM adds 15,000 new BlackBerry 10 apps in one weekend

Dave 126
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Conversely, I wish Google would offer some devs $100 to remove their apps from the Play store.

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Scientists spin carbon nanotube threads on industrial scale

Dave 126
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Last I read, it might, just might be possible to use nanotubes to construct a spave elevator. Would appreciate a link to the latest calculations/estimates though!

Arthur C Clarke (Fountains of Paradise) credits Buckminster Fullerine with playing a hand in the space-elevator concept, so it's pleasing that the only materuial that might make them a reality bears his name.

In the absence of a space elevator, headphone cables that don't fail would be nice.

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Dave 126
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Re: This will change things

>Goes to show going from 0 to 1 to 2 dimensions makes things more useful.

?

Do read something Eadon, anything. Plato might be a good start.

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Lenovo said to release Intel and ARM Android convertibles

Dave 126
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Re: Chromebook, Chromebook, Chromebook

>nuff said

Sorry, but could you expand upon that?

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Dave 126
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Re: Android Apps for productivity?

Curiously, I find the text-select in Android reasonably easy to get on with... its the click-drag-release in desktop browsers that I find idiosyncratic, especially if I want to select a hyperlink as text.

But yeah, Android was never designed for productivity... it might be made to work, but would miss tricks associated with extra human input devices.

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Dave 126
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Re: Tablets to Laptops

Android on desktop?

Why, just Why? Surely a desktop-orientated Linux distro would be better for the desktop, and Android seems to work well on touch-screen devices. I wouldn't have thought that Android had been designed to work with mouse_over and other mousey commands, let alone keyboard shortcuts (shit, until recently there was one version for phones and one for tablets). Is Eadon seriously suggesting a reverse Win8?

I knew he was an agent provocateur i.e. he's not a real Linux fan at all, because his comments are consistently detrimental to the cause he professes to support.

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Bubble baron treats Space Station crew to blowup model

Dave 126
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Re: What happens when....

I seem to remember my old design lectuerer (whose dissertation had been on the Spitfire) talking about WW2 aircraft with canvas surfaces instead of aluminium. Apparently they suffered less damage from bullets, since they passed straight through instead of punching a big hole.

I would imagine that a micro-meteor would make a smaller hole in a canvas membrane than it would in a metal one, so giving the astronaut with the puncture-repair kit more time to respond.

(I appreciate that there no-doubt other factors I know nothing about)

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