3780 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: “looking at pixels in the air without a screen” - will be the “next big thing”
>Next big thing are time machines
Don't you mean 'The last big thing was time machines?'
Which is why place-names on British road signs are written in Title Case... it seems Birmingham is quicker to read than BIRMINGHAM.
Re: Can they refine the Kinect a bit more first?
It is my understanding that the PC version of the Kinect is tweaked to work at smaller distances (and is pricier because it won't be subsidised by future game sales)
I did read once that H-D's CAD system is geared toward's maintaining the 'classic look' of their engines, not just their mechanical function.
Re: "is Apple thinking of making iPod docks for hogs?"
Interesting that motorcycle electrical parts are included in this - is Apple thinking of making iPod docks for hogs?
No, they're not- it's there so that both parties are clear on area of potential overlap.
Just need hops, barley, freeze-dried yeast and molten permafrost. The vehicle thrusters can be cannibalised to boil the wort, the rest is just plumbing and temperature control.
Get it right, and the population might start to grow.
Re: "it took a significant expense to get things started"
Well, the diseases that us Old-Worlders (as in Europe, not Earth) had become resistant to did that much of that for us.
Is that a reference to Martin Amis's sci-fi short "The Janitor on Mar's"? n the story a Mars-based alien robot contacts the NY Times, gives humanity some tips on escaping our gravity well and requests that scientists, artists and "examples of male and female pulchritude" are sent to the Red Planet. He asks that no politicians or religious leaders are sent, and says "Print the obscenity is full, else I go the Post. I repeat: No Fucking Monkeys."
Re: Won't happen for that price
I think he was looking at around $500,000, which does cover the fuel. His current aim is to get the cost of manufacturing the rockets down, for which there is plenty of room.
Between asteroids, zombie apocalypses, ROTM, triffids, toxic overload, ocean acidification etc, its a hedging of our species' bets.
And there are people who live in Arctic regions, since more hospitable regions are already populated by other people.
Granted, it wouldn't be for most people, but in this world of 7 billion people, I'd hope there would be some volunteers.
Not just dreaming- he's throwing time, money and other people's brains at launch vehicles, initially to reduce the cost of satellite launches. The Mars thing is down the line a little.
The full interview is over on Wired, and what he said about the cost of rockets was interesting. Fuel is only 0.3% of the cost of his rocket, cost of materials to make a rocket is traditionally 2% of the cost - compared to around 25% for a car - so there is room for greater efficiency in the manufacture; it suggests that the old system of contracting to contractors who in turn subcontract hasn't given NASA the most whoosh their buck. He's also used friction stir welding to add ribs to the frame, rather than machine them out of solid billets of alloy.
I have no doubt that Musk is skilled at PR, and he isn't yet addressing issues of radiation on astronaut's bodies on the journey, but its good to see a billionaire doing something interesting with his money rather than just get a yacht
Re: This from the founder of the company that created the Atari Lynx?
I seem to remember TV adverts for the Lynx, aimed at my age group at the time, set in a boys toilet in a school- with Lynx Link cables slung from cubicle to cubicle for multiplayer gaming. Can anyone confirm?
The iPhone hasn't really tried, it sells enough already.
Android probably can, now that Jelly Bean has drastically reduced the its latency.
Agreed, it depends on the control scheme. And console gaming is a different activity to personal 5-minutes-to-kill gaming. The past sales of Gameboy and PSPs would suggest their is a big enough market to make a good games controller for phones, though it might benefit from being backed by a big name or consortium in order to gain game developer's confidence.
Well, we evolved into the environment we created. Genetic dating of the mutation that allows some peoples to digest lactose as adults suggests it occurred around the same time as we domesticated cattle, for example.
The problem we have had with an agricultural lifestyle is that we tend to outgrow our environment- become a victim of our own success. It has been observed that species that find themselves without predators or competition for food eventually breed more slowly to avoid population booms (which can lead to busts, due to depletion of resources). All fine, until you meet something that has sharp teeth, breeds quickly, and eats your eggs.
Re: The solution is ...
Prior Art: "Fuel cut off switch for this bus is under this flap"
Re: In other news...
>In other news... ... still no cure for cancer.
Yeah, I was wondering what percentage of the world's computing power is currently used for medicine, science and engineering, and how much is used in stock exchanges, video games and serving cat videos. At what point do us puny humans come to be no more than worker-ants, servicing the power requirements of the WorldWideNetwork? It wouldn't have to subjugate us Terminator-style, but just give us duff information to game our decisions for its benefit (as HAL did with by reporting a 'faulty' communications module, but on a species-wide scale)
Arthur C Clarke, Alfred Bester, William Gibson, and some writer from the 1950s a fellow commentard recently recommended but whose name I've forgotten, have all played with this theme. Frank Herbert sets his stories in a universe in which all AIs have been destroyed in the past. Isaac Asimov and Iain M Banks have imagined more benign AIs who look out for us meatbags. We can only hope AIs have a sense of humour- why else would they keep us around?
(need a tongue-in-cheek icon)
I've seen a catalogue of radio-controlled demolition machines- basically full-size 360º diggers fitted with concrete-smashing equipment (though smaller models more resemble a bomb disposal robot). A little boy inside me whooped for joy!
Had I seen it twenty years ago, I would have grabbed a pen and started to write:
"Dear Jim, Can you fix it for me to smash a derelict building to the ground with a massive radio controlled digger?"
> Or, to put it more simply: There's always someone smarter than you.
Especially if the mice are better motivated than the builder of the mousetrap... or rather, a company might spend a fair bit of money on hiring an accountant who can save them millions.
" Or you could just shut up generally and let non-extremists talk about tax in a grown-up way."
He seemed fairly grown up. We may not agree with his argument, but the grown up way to discuss it is to counter his argument point for point, whereas telling someone to shut up is playground talk.
Re: Did he really leave
Re: Did he really leave
And there have been advertisements for Sony cameras filmed on Nikon kit. Embarrassing, yes. There are plenty of real comparisons on the internet of the 808 phone against 'premium compacts' such as the Lumix LX-5 (1/1.6" sensor, f2 lens) in which the phone more than holds it own in low light.
Re: My dog's very clever
Your canine might be picking cues from the Staffie... they tend to be keener on humans than they are other dogs.
I was impressed when my nine-month old cocker spaniel took his lead from my mate... his chickens had got loose, so he ran towards them, arms flapping. My spaniel immediately picked up on this, and joined in the game. Fearing he would he would hurt a chicken, I called him back and returned to me - surprising, because usually he is 'selectively deaf'. He's got within a jaw-length of an ascending pheasant's tail, and made an ambitious attempt to catch a buzzard, but so has yet to dispatch anything avian.
I remember listening to a British round-the-world solo yachtsman on the radio, talking about never sleeping for too long because of the need to avoid other vessels or deal with weather situations. Twenty minutes here, maybe an hour if he was lucky.
He said that he had sponsorship from the USAF, I think collected data on himself too, since they wanted data about sleep deprivation and alertness, so that combat flight rosters could be most effectively drawn-up.
By coincidence, all my rechargeable AA batteries have resurfaced in the last few days, so I'm sorted. I'm surprised, as matched pairs of rechargeable batteries generally behave like socks- one twin loves to elude the other. My mouse takes one AA battery, but my torch, game controller and beard trimmer take two each, and that's fine.
What does my nut in that gadgets that take AAA cells usually require THREE of them (so as to be close to USB voltage). Three! I can't buy alkaline batteries in threes, and my chargers will only charge two at a time, no more, no less... Grrr! Am I supposed to buy four, and sling one? Am I supposed to charge four, and then drain one, so that it can be charged with its brethren when they expire?
According to Which?'s tests, Lidl's 'Aerocell' brand are the most cost effective- they don't last quite as long as the big brands, but are far, far cheaper. A few years back they noted that Sainsbury's homebrand AAs lasted longer thn the big brands, but that no longer appears to be the case. For the dark winter nights, Tescos sell a homebrand 2xAA aluminium torch with a CREE LED for a tenner; bloody bright, pocket friendly.
>perhaps Windows could tell me in english what the problem was
I would have thought so to, but for some strange reason I have to turn on minidumps, download some piece of MS software, then download some 'symbols' whatever the hell they are, and interrogate the minidump file... Why Windows couldn't do that by itself and just tell me it was simply a dodgy driver for a card-reader in the first place, I don't know. The only mitigation for MS is that the laptop shouldn't have been shipped with a Bsodding driver.
My only experiences with OS/2 Warp are: installing it on a 286 and as a nipper, and then as an adult an OS/2-driven ATM decided to reboot itself with my cash card inside, necessitating an extra night's stay on the shores of Lake Titicaca in order to reclaim in from the bank.
I've been getting that of late on El Reg forums... the page changes and I see my draft comment in grey... as soon I click in the text box in an effort to copy it, it disappears. Sometimes it gets posted as a comment, sometimes it just disappears. I haven't been arsed to report it yet, but if it helps: Chrome version 23.0.1271.64 m, Win7 HP x64
Re: USB ports?
>Can anyone explain why USB ports aren't all USB 3.0 nowadays?
Yes. You can't install Windows 7 from an external DVD-drive if its connected by USB 3. It will boot into the installer, since it reverts to a slow legacy standard, but when it wants to start copying files it will start asking for drivers.
The same is probably true of some other OSs as well. Note that this laptop does not have an in internal optical drive.
Also, most of what is connected to my computer doesn't require USB 3 - my mouse dongle, a cable for charging my phone, some USB speakers, keyboards, joysticks... and a good number of my USB memory sticks are too slow to benefit from USB 3 anyway.
Hope that helps!
Re: 5 tiles
I'd be interested in a "Win 8 Revisted" review in six months time, to see if by then any 3rd-party software developers have made anything to 'fix' Win8's UI for those who don't find it to their taste.
Re: One thing
+1 for the term "Tent Mode".
That Lenovo model looks good, since it allows casual sofa-bound fondling with hardly any compromise over a traditional laptop (bar a little extra cost for a few sensors and a few extra grams on the hinge, I would imagine).
Re: Yeah, but...
MS Media Centre... I still have the fairly civilised Media Centre IR remote controller that came with an old WinXP Media Centre edition desktop, and it worked with my Vista laptop that had an integrated IR receiever. I've just checked, and its in MC is in Win7 Home Premium, too.
I seem to remember having some limited success in using a plugin to get it work with WinAmp... or maybe I'm thinking of the media controls on a keyboard.
My memory is fuzzy, but didn't MS try and get hardware partners to make Media Centre branded kit? I know Toshiba made some MC personal media players, but there is no mention of them on the MC Wikipedia page.
IMDB Belize (2012) Directed by Terry Gilliam.
The long awaited sequel to Brazil (1985) in which the urban dystopia of the original is replaced by a subtropical Brave New World of psychoactive substances, sexual practices and extreme wealth divides. Like much of Gilliams work, it explores the themes of paranoia, subjective storytelling, unreliable narrators and has a strong streak of fantasy...
Seriously though, Gilliam's latest film doesn't seem too different- The Zero Theorem, starring Christolf Waltz as a reclusive computer programmer living in a burnt-out chapel, answering to the head of a totalitarian state. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zero_Theorem
They didn't forget- a deliberate part of the limited time offer was that people could obtain a Media Centre key even before buying Win8.
Ho hum. Let's hope that Win8 is just an interim OS, from which MS will learn. Apple did a smoother job of bringing multi-touch gestures to OSX- their laptops all have a suitable touchpad, but it is only an optional extra for their desktops. Users have the option of using gestures but haven't had them thrust upon them. OSX has had 'corners' for years, easier to get your mouse to the corner of a full-screen than it is a window. Likewise, OSX applications retain their menus.
Re: So that's what it was
>As a point of interest, did it get this much attention when it was affecting Linux and Windows PCs?
I didn't read about it at time, and am glad El Reg linked to it in this article since my mate has been complaining of weirdness on the HDMI-connected i7 machine I helped him build earlier in the summer.
>Let's have a new standard: fibre-optic port in the top of your screen for attaching a webcam out of sight.
Well, I use my webcam less often than some people use their DVD drives, though USB sockets on top of monitors would be good- certainly it wouldn't hurt WiFi and 3G dongles, and might be handy for USB-powered lights.
Re: SpaceX eXception (using modern chips) - prove the rule
Trouble is, there are some particles that can travel through all sorts of matter before deigning to interact with something you don't want them to.
Even on Earth we can be affected by them, so some safety-critical applications use ECC RAM. The Wikipedia article on ECC RAM has information about single-bit error rates in orbit, from tests aboard the Cassini–Huygens spacecraft.
Size is a part of it and other techniques too:
A Babbage Analytical Engine would be just fine, though you'd need a Project Orion to get it into orbit!
Re: Just remembered
When I was a kid I read that there three computers on the Space Shuttle, checked against each other. Two had to agree on each decision. I don't know what, if anything, was upgraded since the nineteen-eighties, but I'll look it up later with a coffee.
Re: I'll switch to OSX
How do you titillate an ocelot?
Oscillate its tits a lot!
I feel you might have overlooked the power of having a critical mass of users... Facebook users don't like way it treats them, but can't change to something more respectful because their friends are on it. eBay is under no pressure to improve itself, since people selling things will want to use the auction site with the most users. And we have all heard of how businesses locked themselves into using Windows because of applications that require IE 5.
Many small businesses use Sage products because the Inland Revenue likes it, and so 3rd party software vendors make their sector-specific software integrate with it... and Sage isn't available for Linux.
Businesses can't jump horses in mid-stream, even if a demonstrably better horse presents itself.
Re: how is the T not 'better'?
Hehe... Walkman Vs iPod. Just seems like a non-argument to me.
Sony might have had a chance at denting iPod sales way back when, but they put out machines that had the same 'flaw' as the iPod did- reliance on proprietary software (Sonicstage), and also early digital Walkmans only used ATRAC. I can only guess at the reasons- too much invested in Minidisc players perhaps, or pressure from their own music-publishing relatives, maybe. Sony had been designing UIs (indeed, their mobile phones had jog and scroll wheels, not to mention their video-editing gear) suitable for MP3 players for years before the iPod... how Apple got there before them, I don't know.
I have a 2012 Sony Android phone, and very nice it is too. Its music player is very competent, no complaints, but I can would be surprised if it was significantly better or worse than an iPod. There was a niggle with it that caused me to consider buying 'PowerAmp', but I can't remember what it was so it can't have been too annoying.
And I had to laugh when visiting mates and their Sony music system had a built-in iPod dock but no way of connecting a Sony phone, even armed with a 3.5mm>Phone 'Y' cable.
Having a micro-HDMI out is a nice option, but these days people's televisions, games consoles and set-top boxes have mitigated the need for it.
Reviews from a different perspective:
How about reviews for gadgets for more senior friends and family members? I'm not talking about niche phones with just five buttons marked "Daughter, Doctor, Irene, Cat Shelter' but mainstream gadgets reviewed for people whose eyesight requires more than the one pair of specs, or whose fingers aren't as dextrous as they used to be.
I like the Reg reviews for their qualitative reviews- benchmarks and controlled tests are best done by other sites who have a name for such things.
Re: That iPhone 5 review.
>'its slimness, lightness and smooth matte aluminium back continue to take the breath away.'
>Unbecoming of El Reg.
Yeah, but that can't be mistaken for anything other than a subjective judgement, so what's the issue? Personal items, from spectacles and cigarette cases to wristwatches are often chosen for their material and finish, and the review is just giving credit where it is due. Personally, my plastic laptop has a screw missing and a warped case, but I like it- other people, especially the less tech literate, gain confidence from from a feeling of solidity, it gives them faith that the thing will reliably do what it does, and removing this doubt aids their learning.
If the appearance isn't important to you, just read on to the bits that are relevant. Processor speed in that iPhone5 review was given in qualitative manner - which is appropriate, since comparing raw CPU power against rivals running a different OS and software isn't too useful a comparison. (Other sites have the resources to conduct, and are better known for, benchmarks... Anandtech, for example)
And after that, a large part of a consumer's decision to buy an iPhone or not comes down to the OS, the apps available, the individuals previous investment or not in the Apple 'ecosystem'... and other things beyond the scope of the phone, and this the review, itself. As was noted in the last paragraph.
The forums themselves are an additional resource for potential buyers, highlighting features the reviewer might have missed, linking to benchmarks or other reviews, or suggesting alternative products. Which is why it is a shame when they get filled with chaff, pointlessly abusing other people for their choice of gadget or computer.
The Reg has reviewed less prominent phones, such as the Sony Xperia P, for example, and they have received positive reviews because they have been very competent and not daftly expensive. The Samsung Galaxy Advance was praised for similar points. The battery life of both these handsets has improved since their reviews, due to power saving features in the Android update to ICS. (That's a point about reviews in itself- with phones, especially Androids, the features can change over the model's lifetime)
Many reviews do point out the shoddy resolution of laptops, but since rival machines don't tend to do much better, what's the point? Perhaps a Reg Round Up of Top Ten Laptops with Decent Resolution would be a better way of approaching the subject? There are some daftly expensive Sony VAIOs with good resolution, but I can't even find Lenovo mobile workstations with more than 1080 vertical pixels these days.
It amazes me that all these 'Ultrabooks' copy aspects of the Macbook Air, but neglect the screen, both ratio and resolution. Perhaps Intel's top-down requirement that an Ultrabook must weigh less than X, be no thicker than Y, and run on batteries for Z and bugger all other consequences is NOT the way to bring a great machine to market.
And Mystic, people don't don't run Windows because they love it, they run it because of the software available for it. For many people, Linux just isn't an option, even though they might want to use it. Some software might run faster under Linux, but some won't run at all. I would have thought that penguins have their own colonies on the interwebs to share information about suitable laptops, being advocates of learning from each other's experiences and all.
Re: I love your 10 whatever reviews of consumer products, where you review 10 competing products
C'mon guys - GSM Arena already has a feature that allows you to compare side by side the specifications of any two mobile phones... likewise, Tom's Hardware, Anandtech, and DPreview (for cameras) throw more time, benchmarks and controlled tests at things than the Reg could hope to. You benchmark junkies are well served by the internet. It is pointless for El Reg to compete with them on that front.
I see Reg reviews as a good first port of call. Before dumping £300+ on anything, I would seek a second opinion. It is only a few keystrokes away.
Re: High as a kite
I know of one cocker spaniel that ate a packet of Radox bath salts... apparently, whilst they have good noses they have an poor sense of taste. The reported symptom were 'mess from both ends'. No reports of hyper-sexual behaviour beyond the norm -(maybe some casual leg shagging) or of hallucinations - though how would one tell?
You might still have a slightly disjointed feeling, depending on how close the screen is to the glass surface. It may well work quite well, but I just have a feeling that it hasn't been tuned for this job. Wacom devices and others use a slightly textured screen, so your stylus doesn't skitter around like a spaniel on an ice rink. That said, they much more expensive than this Viewsonic device.
Re: Patent pending :)
Even if the volume controls are side-mounted, I'm sure you can incorporate a sliver of plastic - about the size of a stick of chewing-gum- into your design, to allow the buttons to be operated from above.
Rather than mess up a table, it might be easier to have a work-surface CNC milled to your specification. A local timber supplier charges about £100 per hour, but a job like this would take minutes.
Paperless office... hehe, it's still not here, but I must admit that tablets and phones have reduced my domestic printing... I might use a tablet for showing off photos, or use my phone for navigation rather than print a list of directions before leaving the house.
You can print from Android devices if you have a PC or server left on in your house, or a compatible printer.
>Chromebooks aren't toys?
No more than an Olivetti typewriter is a toy, or an 8086 running a spreadsheet. Many people can accomplish productive tasks on them, depending upon their job- not everyone is a software developer, video editor, or geologist. Can you give us your definitions of 'toy' and 'tool'?
How did they have the iPads hooked up the DVD players? Is it possible to use them as a wired monitor, or had they accomplished it over WiFi?
This Viewsonic device is interesting, but if one doesn't mind a couple of extra cables, there are plenty of cheap ARM devices that could be coupled with a far cheaper 23" touchscreen monitor.
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