4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: Great Sound?
People who think its acceptable to play YouTube music videos to their mates in the pub beer garden should be barred, it's true.
That said, I often use the internal speaker in my phone when it can't bother other people. Listening to a podcast in the bath, or to spoken word radio when doing some housework - a passable internal speaker is a useful feature. Music, however, requires either big speakers or earphones.
Sounds convenient. The biggest problem I found for paying for stuff in Bolivia was the national shortage of small denomination notes and coins. Shops, taxis and stalls were all loathe to 'break a note'.
Re: Suspense of disbelief
This has actually been done before! When the Welsh philosopher and drug dealer Howard Marks was asked how his memory was good enough after decades of dope smoking to write his autobiography, he said he just submitted a Freedom of Information request to the FBI, who gave him all the notes they had been keeping on him for years.
I enjoyed that, thanks!
Re: I'm a Barbie Girl
Hehe, 'Panorama' aside, the bottoms of some 3D prints do resemble spaghetti - is the extruded filament isn't properly supported.
Haha! Lego bricks could be used to build a very tall tower. Dr Ian Johnston, an applied mathematician and lecturer in engineering, explains his tests and reasoning here:
Yep, there's that old technique of building silos by pouring concrete into two short concentric steels sleeves. As the concrete cures, the sleeves jack themselves up on the now solid concrete, more fresh concrete is added and the process continues until the desired height is achieved.
Re: Rolf Apilo?
I thought it plausible for the first couple of sentences but only because Boeing have a 'secure' phone division. Then the penny dropped pretty quickly, but in fairness to the Reg I had already stumbled over a couple of other wind-ups this morning.
Re: A slice off the top
@Saul, re 1920 x 1200
Good luck, and if you do find a laptop that sports that resolution, kindly report back here. Thankyou!
Various theories regarding the disappearance of 16:10 laptop screens that I have heard (I'm not commenting on plausibility):
1. Panel makers are used making to 16:9 television sets
2. Laptop makers think that people only use them for watching movies, or using spreadsheets with lots of columns and few rows.
3. Laptops are increasingly being sold on battery life. A 16:9 laptop screen of a given diagonal dimension is smaller than a 16:10 screen, which is in turn smaller than a 4:3 screen. Smaller screens use less power.
4. laptops are often sold on cost. For the same reasons above, a 16:9 15" screen is cheaper than a 16:10 15" screen.
None of these theorised reasons benefit the end user. From an ergonomic standpoint, the centre of a widescreen monitor is lower than that of a taller screen, so is worse for the posture of the user.
There is a laptop maker that doesn't try to compete purely on numbers... but they don't start cheap, and may not make the hardware configuration that one requires. You know who I'm talking about. For all their perceived faults, I'm glad they exist. When my Core 2 1920 x 1200 Dell eventually dies, I will give them serious thought.
Re: Head to head
>Just goes to show: OS wars are SO last century
Ultimately, an OS by itself is of little use to anybody. For most people the OS is just that thing that lets them run the software that they use. Increasingly, the software that most people use is either available for most platforms, or can run in a browser. However, there will be many who use software that isn't available for some OSs, and the whole idea of OS 'choice' is for them meaningless. Its a chicken and egg situation - why bother developing your $0000 software for a platform that currently has very little market share, if your customers can easily afford a Windows licence?
Things are changing, but it is a long road.
Some people are having a bit of headache migrating from XP to newer versions of Windows (so may as well investigate Linux) - lots of custom worksheets plugged into an old accounts package, for example. In another workplace I know, where most staff are just entering data, the switch to Linux was pretty straightforward and cost-effective- a no-brainer.
Re: mac book air screen
>I have sympathy for the manufacturers - they're being challenged to make devices smaller, thinner, prettier, more resilient to dust etc and still being pushed to make them repairable. The goals are (mostly) mutually exclusive.
Actually, they've been challenged for a decade to make the device more recyclable - the legislation placed some of the onus of 'end of life' onto the manufacturers.
Ironically enough, using glues instead of screws make disassembly for recycling easier - devices can be batch-processed through ovens at certain temperatures, and the parts separated. This approach is cheaper than employing lots of people with screwdrivers, since it lends itself to automation.
Re: Apple DON'T repair your iThing
>My son's 160GB ipod classic had a flaky headphone socket.
I don't know if the iPod Classics have the same internals as the, ahem, classic iPods, but the older ones were repairable (though I only ever took one apart to get its HDD to repair an iRiver H320). The hard part is getting inside - though iFixit or a wealth of YouTube videos will help you out. A guitar plectrum was the tool of choice. On the older models the headphone socket was on a ribbon cable, so the first thing to check would be whether it has become dislodged...
I remember an old Creative Nomad jukebox in which the headphone port was soldered directly to the main PCB... not a good design decision. With no flexibility, it didn't respond well to the large 3.5mm plugs found on oolder headphones or on 3.5mm > phono 'Y' cables. I've also had a Sharp MiniDisc player with the same flaw, and a myriad of screws that looked like they came from a Swiss wristwatch, never two the same length.
I've just remembered - my latest Sansa Clip is due to drop through my letterbox today (I tend to lose them before I break them... I might have to paint it hi-vis orange!) : D
Re: Apple DON'T repair your iThing
>Apple's policy of replace rather than repair usually means you lose your data permanently.
'Data that you only have in one place is data you don't care about', Shirley?
If you lose your phone, or have it stolen, you will also have lost your data permanently... unless, of course, you have synced your phone to your computer or a cloud service. Indeed, it is possible to clone an iPhone in its entirety, so that the replacement unit is indistinguishable from the original.
Android is a bit more piecemeal in this respect, though the important stuff such as phone numbers and photos can be uploaded as they are created. It also gives Google the WiFi passwords that are stored on your device. Backing up apps requires 3rd party software, and possibly rooting.
Mike Bell's positive experience is reflected by surveys conducted by the British Consumer Association, and published in their journal 'Which?'. The other highly rated retailer for customer service and support was John Lewis.
Re: Unit police
>Should really be Joules. mAh implies a particular voltage and makes comparison squiffy.
Well yeah, but it isn't the battery capacity that is of interest to users. What users want to know is how long it lasts. So a smaller battery on a Snapdragon 800 will last longer than the same battery on a older (larger process) chipset. Likewise, a phone with a smaller screen can be reasonably expected to be more frugal.
So, prospective buyers usually have to take qualitative assessments, such as "a couple of days of medium to heavy use"*.That sounds about right for this Z1 Compact, given reviews of other phones with a Snapdragon 800 chip, such as the LG G2 and Nexus 5.
All the mAh figure does for the layman is allow some comparison to batteries in other phones. It's my assumption that most phones batteries have 3.7 V units, so a mAh figure is just fine with me.
Your point being?
Re: Required reading
A classic example is the development of the video game 'Halo: Combat Evolved' which was done by a relatively small team at Bungie. Whether you like the game or not, the team made an effort to re-examine the actual game-play of first-person shooters to remove the tedious parts of the genre, then set it against a fairly straightforward plot in a world inspired by Niven and Iain M. Banks.
The sequel, Halo 2, was a mess by comparison. Bungie have said since that because they felt expected to make a much larger game, they recruited a far larger team - which of course meant the overall vision became fuzzy. The sprawling plot was hard to follow, and new features that sounded good on paper ('Wield two guns at once! Wow!) detracted from the simplicity of the original game.
Re: @David W.
>I'm afraid you're reading the wrong website then. There's plenty of other websites if you don't like this one.
That is true, but some intelligent people read the Reg and comment on its articles, so it is a shame when an opportunity to discuss different approaches to technology is wasted on tedious slanging matches. Fortunately, this thread has been left relatively unscathed.
Re: And this is whats missing today
No, having lots of cash isn't the only required ingredient, but it helps! Apple have a track record of not being Microsoft.
>"Steve thought it was foolish to do a split screen on such a small display," Christie added.
Splitscreen in hardware, or in the OS as two windows side by side?
Though perhaps niche, a device like the aborted MS Courier would be handy for collating and annotating content. It was a clamshell device with two touchscreens, offering some fair screen realestate yet still fitting in a jacket pocket. Obviously it wasn't ideal for video, but it would have been fine for webrowsing, and indeed the two screens lent it to working with a 'source' and a 'destination' document.
Only Sony have tried to do a similar device - a flavour of a 'Z' Android tablet, in which the second screen could act as a keyboard.
Re: And this is whats missing today
>with Steve Jobs gone, Ive, sorry Sir Ive will be pushed and in return the corporate decision makers again
Nah. Steve Jobs was ill for a long time, and knew to have plans for an Apple without him - indeed Tim Cook was acting CEO for months on end during Jobs' illness. Tim Cook, by recently telling some investors on where to get off, has shown that he knows better than to think short-term.
Sir Jony might look like a big softy, but he isn't the sort to be pushed around easily. If he was, he'd still be in the UK designing bathrooms.
Of course, there is no guarantee that it will be Apple who dominate profits in a new product sector (as they did with phones and tablets) but they are in a better position than most (enough cash to buy any company or talent they need).
Re: Follow the money
You raise a good point... whilst the gaming market drove CPUs to ever faster for many years, these days sites like Tomshardware suggest that few games benefit from anything more powerful than an Intel i5. That means that people who have tasks that do benefit from more powerful CPUs are no longer in the mainstream as once they were.
That said, software is changing, and *some* tasks can be performed on GPUs, or farmed out to CPUs on other machines on the local network - or on CPU time rented from the cloud.
Re: Follow the money
>This is what the PC market is turning into - super-expensive high-margin performance hardware for content creators, leaving toy-comp tablets to the proles.
>Not an entirely good thing, IMO.
What do us proles need a PC for, beyond some spreadsheets, email, web-browsing, and the odd bit of video encoding? The last I checked, all that can be achieved on a cheap n cheerful laptop, Small Form Factor PC, or even an ARM based device. As a benefit, these things can be done on passively-cooled hardware - blissful silence!
The causal use of productivity applications (video editing, CAD) that require a little more grunt can be powered by some gaming-grade hardware. If one really needs the stability and accuracy of the professional kit - certified workstations, pro drivers, ECC RAM - then there will be a business case for stumping up the money for it, and probably tax-deductions, too.
Don't get me wrong, TheOtherHobbes, I'm not dismissing your concern, but I feel I don't exactly understand what it is without you expanding upon it.
My personal concern - perhaps parallel to yours - is that 16:10 laptops like hens teeth these days (other than Macbooks, that is)... 'widescreen' displays require the user to do more scrolling up and down. Also, I would like higher-res PC screens, but by all accounts 3rd party applications for the desktop side of Windows don't behave as sensibly as they could - Photoshop, for example, has ridiculously small toolbar icons on high res screens.
It amazes that some niche software, such as Solidworks, has a more civilised UI than many 'mainstream' productivity applications - for example, it offers the option of large toolbar icons, so it can be used comfortably on very high res monitors.
Re: Waterproof kindle?
Until that day comes, you could just buy a plastic pouch for reading your Kindle in the bath / on the beach.
Re: Yes please.
Cameras are a bit harder- the electronics will work fine, but the lenses are harder to seal against water ingress, and pond water on the inside of the lenses won't help image quality and also upset the delicate moving parts (focus, zoom, image stabilisation mechanisms).
But yeah, essentially solid-state devices are easy.
Re: The ultimate test
My Sansa Clip MP3 player has survived a cycle through the washing machine... I couldn't remove its battery, but just left in on a radiator for a couple of days before attempting to charge it up. It worked fine.
Two months later, the washing machine wouldn't drain, so I investigated the filter... amongst the horror of hair and gunk, I found the microSD card that the washing machine had knocked out of the MP3 player - it worked fine, too.
I've heard of other Clips surviving the same - one user dropped it amongst sachets of silica gel. A nice little machine, even if the clip on the back always snaps off (they are easy to lose, so I've had a couple of them!)
A cheap source of silica gel is cat litter (unused, please!). A caravan owner swears by leaving trays of cat litter around his caravan whilst it is unused in winter, to absorb any dampness. The cat litter can be gently heated in an oven to restore its effectiveness.
Re: re. bokeh
There's a fair chance that most phone users just want a subject's head to 'stand-out' from the background. Artists they aren't - they just want a nice picture of their friends. They won't be too fussed if this is bodged in software.
As we know, many Reg readers aren't most people.
It reminds me of the days of hand-rendering product designs - the object is drawn sharply, but often presented against a smudged pastel background (or similar). It makes the product images 'pop' out from the page for more impact.
Re: Wheres the proper keyboard?
Ah c'mon ted frater, is it possible that you're being slightly arbitrary?
You bash phones for trying to be cameras, yet you then bash them for not trying to be Psion organisers.
For sure, a Psion-style keyboard would be nice, but you could carry a discrete bluetooth/OTG keyboard with you. You could carry a discrete camera with a big lens, and a dedicated sat-nav, a separate calculator, and a stand-alone personal media player, too. Why these gadgets have converged into one unit is because they require many of the same hardware elements - battery, screen, speakers, DAC etc.
You could buy an old-school dumbphone and a 7" tablet.
My own preference is for a 4" Android phone, a wristwatch, a Lumix LX camera and a Sandisk Clip media player. Each of the discrete devices is slightly better than the phone for its specialist function- plus the phone's battery lasts longer! If I needed to conduct time and motion studies, or regularly tot up figures, I would probably invest in a stopwatch or calculator, too.
You can choose your own 3rd party server, or you can set your computer to initiate remote desktop requests to your own email periodically. Sorry for being fuzzy on the details, that just what an IT expert told me when I asked the easiest way to control my 3D printer from my phone in the pub.
Re: 60 W led?
60 W equivalent.
Apparently, the 'equivalent to' figures stated on CFL bulbs were being compared to frosted-glass bulbs, as opposed to the brighter clear-glassed incandescent bulbs that most people used.
Oakley have a history of integrating technology into their wares, not to mention design styles that occasional verge on the 'cyber-punk' or 'alien tech', like their wristwatches that look like they fell off a Terminator.
Exhibit A, sunglasses with integrated MP3 player,
B goggles with a HUD, GPS, speedo and altimeter for snowboarding,
C, bloody weird glasses that fit over the head instead of having arms over the ears ) http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2012/04/oakley-shades-2012-04-17-494.jpg )
Matey from Oakley went on to found RED cameras.
Re: "because the iPhone was so far ahead of its early competitors"
>Are you fucking kidding me? Were you even there? Do you know anything at all?
Do you care to expand on that, or are you just being rude?
What's your objection to the statement? That the iPhone didn't have 3G? Or because it didn't support 3rd party applications, a la Symbian?
The phrase "the iPhone was so far ahead of its early competitors" is ambiguous, but arguably the first iPhone was closer to what most smartphones are today than its rivals at the time. If you take the phrase as meaning that the iPhone was ahead of its competitors in market awareness or in profit margin, again, it is probably true.
If you want your post to be taken seriously, you should at least address those points.
>The reason it was so sought after was because it was "Apple"
Or maybe because it resembled the phones most people use today? The first iPhone had the basics (multi-touch screen, proximity sensor so you don't end a call with your cheek, useful information such as travel times accessed with a single tap of an app instead of faffing with a browser) that we see in the vast majority of phones today. Other companies had the elements, but didn't play their hand as quickly (Nokia, especially).
True, it didn't have 3G like some other handsets did, but mobile data was very expensive at the time anyway- and it wasn't required to check emails or get travel information. In the UK Apple negotiated with Orange, and used their leverage to get an 'unlimited data*' tariff.
It wasn't perfect, but at least it could be used with standard 3.5mm headphones, unlike a lot of phones at the time (looking at you, Samsung, Nokia, Sony-Ericsson).
Especially since Casio already make a BTE-connected G-Shock watch, with notifications for iOS devices (iOS implemented BTE support before Android officially did, though Samsung put the hardware in place on some their devices beforehand)
Re: Amiga v PC
He didn't have a Gravis Ultrasound, evidently. The first PC soundcard with wavetable synthesis instead of FM - ie it loaded 8 or 16bit sample from HDD to its own RAM upon request.
It also did 3D surround... one of the first games to support it natively was Doom... on level 5 I heard some weird grunting and felt nervous, then I saw my first ever pink gorilla and panicked - Rocket Launcher at point blank range not good.
Re: Lost era
Again, yossarianuk, what the hell are you on about? How did you get from Amiga games to Linux?
Amiga and ST games were classics. PC games were different. The classic PC games ( X-Wing, for example) were for DOS, not for Windows.
I expect that you'll next claim that Nintendo or Sega have never made a good game, because they were on propriety platforms.
Re: Bitmap Bros...
This is probably the first time that I've seen Linux cited in a celebration of Gold Age British game development. What the living feck? Bitmap Bros, Team 17, Sensible Software, Psygnosis, Bullfrog, Codemasters... classic outfits. The PC did feel like the poor man at the gaming party back then, but like the ugly duckling it would mature into a swan that hatched a load of first-person shooters... cheers iD.
Just the other day, a website with .EXE Amiga games was drawn to my attention... downloaded Dune 2 'cos I read about it in PC Zone back in the day, then I realised that there was an Android port. I've wasted too much of my weekend on it!
/stupid tin hat
It is aliens, obviously, contracted by Putin to distract from Crimea. As someone who runs with the wolves, and holds several PhDs (awarded to myself by myself, because nobody else is worthy), I am about to sue NSA, NASA and NHS for deliberately not investigating this matter. I don't need to have read more that half of the first paragraph of the article to comment on it.
/stupid tin hat
This search for the missing Malaysian jet is happening in the same week that the mainstream media - Al Jazeera, The Daily Telegraph - is asserting that Al-Megrahi, and indeed Libya itself, was framed for the bombing of the Pan Am flight above Lockerbie. The evidence against Libya was always flimsy (see Paul Foot), and it appears more likely the bombing was carried out Syrians under orders from Iran, though at the time the US and UK wanted Syria's cooperation re the invasion of Iraq.
Naturally, Iran is claiming that the evidence against them is a conspiracy by 'Zionists'.
Re: @Mike Bell
>So every laptop charger, no matter how small the laptop, should come with a charger capable of charging the largest, power hungry laptop?
No, every laptop come with an adaptor that can supply enough current for its needs. The tip of the cable should be peculiar to the voltage, unless a higher current draw demands a larger diameter connection. I have bought an after market laptop adaptor, and it came with 17 different tips - ridiculous.
If you buy a a candy-bar phone, you might get a 500mA USB adaptor, but if you buy a tablet you will get a 2.1A USB adaptor. Both are at 5v, and at a push the smaller transformer will charge the tablet... eventually. (though a Samsung Tab 10.1 will play dead for a couple of hours before it shows any signs of life)
Basically, a USB A Female socket denotes 5v.
Re: @Anonymous Coward
>Yeah, honestly, never mind that. The Micro-USB is good enough.
Good enough? It could do with being less fiddly to insert, and less scratchy. For someone who has arthritis, an old 'Nokia' power connector is easier to insert, and thus fitter for purpose.
Lots of 'good enough' compromises eventually add up to a poorer experience.
Re: @Matt: reasons to switch away from Windows
>I think that pretty much sums up the MS Office fanbois.
>It's all because they have been locked in, they don't want everyone else do use something else because they're afraid they'll be locked out, since Office doesn't handle open standard formats.
Eh? I don't want anybody to be locked out of anything. I'll just use what works for me, here and now. I think that makes me a pragmatist, not a 'Office Fanboi', but whatever.
Re: But do all Macs run OSX?
>Let's say I have xcode on screen one, photoshop on screen 2. Working in xcode. Now I need to do something in photoshop from a menu. So I have to mouse over to photoshop on screen 2, activate it, mouse back to screen one, select from the menu, mosue back to xcode.
Use the keyboard to switch tasks. Alt-Tab, usually.
Re: Talking Scroticus eulampios IMHO, It would be fair
>Seriously, give me one technical feature [in OSX] not already offered by Linux and Windows and then admit your fanboism is just the result of fashion-driven masochism.
That's the point. OSX isn't sold on *technical features*, it is sold on 'features for the user'. Apple might take a bunch of technical features and give them a polished GUI, like TimeMachine, or no GIU at all like FusionDisk. The user doesn't have to understand how they work, so a simple name will do. Easy to market.
It's my mate's TV, but yeah, it must be set to 'Auto' or somesuch. What can't be turned off is its 'feature' to turn off after X minutes of inactivity on the part of the viewer... since my mate uses a Freeview box, the TV remote isn't touched after the TV set is turned on.
Re: Journalistic Integrity
>Having in the past removed a pair of pliers from a document feeder, I can attest that they will in fact jam one.
I can see how that happened. After all, photocopiers have a sticker on them telling people to remove paperclips from their papers, but Xerox et al have neglected to place 'No Pliers' stickers on their machines.
Re: One slight niggle
> I assume the wee is filtered out into a tank for direct use on the fields, otherwise it'll take a lot of sunlight to boil it all dry.
I don't know, but I did stumble upon this:
And the Swedes have been making toilets with a pee part and a poo part:
It would only take a mirror to deflect the energy to a cooking pot, thus making the most of the investment in the reflector assembly.
Re: @ AC
Poor farmers could afford more things (seed, schoolbooks, medicine) if they got a fair market price for their produce. With a mobile phone (or just their own SIM that they can use in a shared phone) they don't have to take a middleman's word for the current prices.
We lucky blighters might use most of our bandwidth for cat videos, but that doesn't mean that a little data can't go a long way. Just think of of the utility that we used to get from Teletext (weather, stock prices, news etc)
There have been sunny Glastonbury festivals, but not enough for these to be the bog standard bog! I dare say that a demonstration unit might be displayed in the 'Green Fields' area.
To be fair, festival toilets are better than they used to be. The cleanest are those by the mixing desk islands in the middle of the crowds in front of the big stages. You'll need to ask the security guards permission to hop over the scaffold partition, but they can be understanding. Always carry your own absorbent material. Beer and cider will make your trips to the dunny far more frequent, so remember that other mood-altering substances are available.
I wish I had appropriated the door of a Portaloo (TM, the 'Hoover' of the toilet world) at Glasto about a dozen years ago... some Bristoliann bloke had stencilled a picture of a monkey on the door, and apparently such things are worth a lot of money now that some shark/cow-worrier collects his efforts.
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