4217 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
> it is pointless trying to debate with the sheeple.
Well, characterising people as 'sheeple' isn't the best way to converse with anyone.
Re: It just isn't available in the UK
>Android phones have been NFC capable for quite some time but there is very little that you can actually use them for.
I've had an NFC phone for a couple of years... I toyed with the idea of buying some 'smart tags' to go with it, to trigger different actions - i.e when the phone is placed on bedside table tag it switches to a silent profile - but I never got around to it.
If I could 'print' my own tags, I could see them being useful in some situations - stock control being the classic example - but is that a consumer application?
@ Dan 55
Agreed. And let's not forget Stephen Fry offered to pay the fine and subsequent legal fees of Paul Chambers, the man convicted of sending a "public electronic message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003" - Mr Chambers had made a joke on Twitter about blowing up Robin Hood Airport. His conviction was later quashed.
Re: Fry Roasting
> QI portrays him as a font of all wisdom, a veritable tree of knowledge and people believe it.
It's a silly TV show, FFS... it portrays Alan Davies as an idiot, which he isn't. The presenters of most quiz shows, from University Challenge to Have I go News For You are portrayed as being more knowledgeable than the contestants - that's just how quiz shows work.
The average viewer knows that the presenter has an autocue or a cue cards.
The Reg readership are generally less critical of Stephen Fry than the Reg Team... Shit, he's been in prison, became a self-made millionaire by his early twenties, has struggled with depression and writes with wit, perception and humanity. Along the way he's indulged his fascination with gadgets, and been a close friend of Douglas Adams.
If you think he's on TV too much, easy: don't watch TV... just remember him as Lord Melchie or General Melchett. Here he is being upstaged by Lord Flashheart, in memory of Rik Mayall:
Re: Nobody other than Apple is allowed to track you
Apple simply have less of an incentive to track you than Google. Google makes its money selling advertisements, Apple make theirs by charging the customer upfront for hardware and services.
Safari on OSX similarly has features to thwart trackers, by pretending that you have visited hundreds of websites that you haven't.
No company is saintly.
Re: well very few products are competely new designs?
Has it origins in vaporisers used to extract essential oils from flowers for perfume making... later adopted by marijuana smokers who wanted to minimise the chemicals they inhaled. Another influence would be the sheesha or hookah, a way of enjoying tobacco that is popular in the Middle East, where the smoke is cooled and stripped of larger particles by bubbling it through water.
The compact 'e-cigarette' depends upon energy-dense Li-ion battery technology, though one can image a butane-powered version.
Re: well very few products are competely new designs?
>The original Sony Walkman? (Yes, miniature tape recorders pre-existed, but not for playing music to consumers as they went about their lives).
Sony's head honcho at the time had to make quite a few trans-Pacific business flights, so asked his minions to modify a journalist's audio recorder for music playback.
It's an evolutionary, not a revolutionary transition, though crossing a threshold level of miniturisation can open up new use-cases (carriage clock becomes fob-watch becomes wristwatch... becomes compact cheap and accurate Casio F-91W)
Re: Recovery or Backup?
>Windows 7, then the built in Windows Backup isn't actually too bad.
It's a good idea to run a virus scan before making an image backup with Win7's built in tools, because if it finds something it doesn't like several hours into a backup, it will abort.
Yeah, I'm not sure of the value of dismissing a concept based on a pre-release implementation.
I for one just hope they arrive whilst there still some country pubs left!
Re: Pffft! Idiots!
How can you fit millions of music tracks into mere Gigabytes of space?
>Apple makes it official: $3 BEEELLION for Beats
>Add 'billionaire' to list of things you may have forgotten about Dre.
This deal doesn't make Dr Dre a billionaire, accordng to his hare in Beats.
Headline writer is not the article writer.
I use my kettle every day. Before I bought it, I consulted reviews to get the best balance of time-to-boil, quietness, and efficiency. My current toaster is okay, but it lacks a 'reheat' button, that is invaluable for topping-up the brownness of my toast - otherwise, I tend to pop it in for a second time and forget until I smell burning. Its a small detail, but one that can save breakfast.
Mature and boring is good - it means people look at polishing the small details. If the downside is that tech site reviews are slightly less fun to read... then I can live with that.
Re: Sorry me old septic, but Bond is British
>But in truth, he's no more James Bond than any other IT guy that's played Bond on Playstation.
And in truth, spies aren't like James Bond, either.
Here's a good hour-long discussion with a few contributors, one of them Markus Wolf, former head of the foreign intelligence arm of the East German STASI for 34 years:
Re: Just relating to screen tech
>Higher dynamic range on displays. Not just stretching the current range to higher brightness - a proper standard for darker darks and brighter brights in new content without making existing content for today's displays overly garish.
Dolby are working on it. Obviously it it entails a standard for the whole camera to display workflow.
Re: Option C
> it is the demonstrable lack of judgement being demonstrated while applying for a job that requires responsibility and discretion.
Sorry, we had assumed the shortage was in in problem-solving skills. 'Responsibility and discretion' are fairly easy to come by.
As an interviewer, I would be put off people with a demonstrable lack of reading comprehension.
What if if the substance improved their performance? [see Paul Erdos, above]
What if the individual was potentially open to blackmail?l [see Alan Turing]
Problem solving and substances:
On famed mathematician Paul Erdős:
His colleague Alfréd Rényi said, "a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems", and Erdős drank copious quantities. (This quotation is often attributed incorrectly to Erdős, but Erdős himself ascribed it to Rényi.)
After 1971 he also took amphetamines, despite the concern of his friends, one of whom (Ron Graham) bet him $500 that he could not stop taking the drug for a month. Erdős won the bet, but complained that during his abstinence, mathematics had been set back by a month: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper." After he won the bet, he promptly resumed his amphetamine use.
And Stevie, if you could link to a current Windows laptop with a 16:10 or 4:3 screen, I'd appreciate it. I just can't find any. Ta!
Wouldn't a 'MBA Retina ARM' be an iPad with a keyboard, more or less?
No doubt Apple have created ARM versions of OSX to assess their future options (just as the always did with OSX on x86), but a release candidate would be a lot of effort for one model.
This Surface3 has a 2160 x 1440 3:2 screen. Good. Other vendors might take notice.
Re: @ Dave 126
>Somewhere to spill your coffee too, I suspect.
That's a very valid point.
It can be mitigated, though - the Sony Tablet S is fully waterproof. It just seems to me that making an Android tablet that can function as a secondary monitor might be away to differentiate it the market.
I wouldn't mind a horizontally-mounted touchscreen as a secondary display/control surface for a desktop or laptop PC... it would be somewhere to keep application toolbars, or perform file management. Some details would need working out (how would it handle cursor movement between screens, as with traditional dual-monitor set-ups?)
Ideally, though - this secondary display/control surface would double as a stand-alone Android tablet.
Oh? Someone has already made one, with a reputation for digitisers?
Shame about the price tag!
Re: Audio-in is dead already
>Am I the only one who sees the lack of audio-in combined with a move to digital audio-out a move towards preventing the consumer from copying audio from one device to another?
It would appear so. Here's why:
Most people use laptop mikes for Skype or dictation. The Macbook's built in mikes are fit for this purpose.
Most people who want to record high quality analogue audio use an external ADC.
These two scenarios cover the vast majority of users' needs.
Since most people's audio is in a digital format these days, it can just be copied. Software solutions can be used to sidestep any lingering DRM. Its best to avoid Digital > Analogue > Analogue > Digital workflows.
If you do have a stack of audio on, say, cassette tapes, that you wish to transcribe, a USB or FireWire ADC can be had for not much money. Certainly for far less than a decent cassette deck.
>- Combined optical digital audio output/analog line out minijack
Has been around on laptops for years. Don't panic! As has the opposite - optical digital in combined with an analogue line-in 3.5mm jack. Certainly my c1998 MiniDisc recorder had it. This is why one end of your TOSlink 'cable' is mechanically compatible with 3.5mm audio jacks.
Re: Audio-in is dead already
> In Apple style they will simply wholly remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from all iOS devices coming out this year
Will give you points for imagination. However, the wide support for iDevices by 3rd party (Philips, Sony, Sennheiser, Klipsh, B&W, i.e everybody!) headphone manufacturers is something that I, as an Android user, envies. I might think that Sansa, LG, Cowon or some Samsung offer better audio quality, but really, I just want in-line remote audio controls.
Again, Android vendors could have got together to develop a standard headset remote control protocol, but they haven't. Google never bothered taking a lead on this, either. Heck, headset remotes are even implemented differently across different Android models by the same vendor (Sony, I'm looking at you).
It really doesn't seem like a hard thing to get right.
Re: This mythical Microsoft Phone you speak of
>... it's this Linux on the desktop that I'm curious about, when's that going to hit the high streets?
If the only USP of Linux is that it can be bent to the will of the power-user, then it won't be adopted on the high street - the power-user will always just install Linux themselves.
Instead, to compete with Windows/OSX on the high-street, Linux would have to offer the average Joe something that Win/OSX doesn't... ease of use, perhaps, or a lower price, whatever.
Chrome OS is a recognition of the need to offer the average Joe something useful - maintenance-free computing. Even though my mum has been happy to use a word-processor for over thirty years, she will be confused by some pop-up notification box in Windows about updating something or other. She doesn't know what this something or other is, and why should she?
Re: Smooth models
Create CAD model
Convert CAD model into a mesh defined by thousands of triangles (*.STL)
Take STL into 'slicing' software, that has had machine-specific variables (material, print temp, bed temp, bed size etc) loaded into it:
- analyse overhangs and create support structures if need, either 'break away' or using a second extruding head
- slice the mesh and added structures into hundreds of 2D slices
- create G Code that controls the movement of the print axes, lots of factors here including print temperature and speed.
Put G-code into a software 'print simulator', to make sure the slicing software hasn't got confused.
Load G Code onto the 3D printer.
Spot an issue, fine tune some of the above variables, repeat steps as required.
Cross fingers, go to pub for a couple of hours.
There is certainly room for improvement. There is no real reason why the intermediary STL format is required, when my instincts tell me the 2D slices or the actual G-code could be generated directly from the original 3D CAD model, with greater respect for the 'design intent'. The GCode format itself isn't perfect, either.
Really, systems are getting smarter. There is no reason a depth aware system akin to MS Kinect couldn't be used to provide real-time feed-back to the control system to compensate for any physical variation in the print process (belt tightness, ambiant temperature, variation in material composition). I'm not sure that the current Gcode system is suitable for this scenario.
AutoDesk's products, like those from their competitors, already have simulation plugins and the like... there is no technical reason one should have to leave one's familiar CAD interface in order to print the object.
Re: Autodesk newspeak strikes again.
>I suggest that the headline writer and whoever wrote this drivel have fallen victim to a well-known scam known as "the press release".
Possibly, but their is such a thing as blind cynicism, just as there is blind naivety.
You sem to be suggesting that Autodesk are hoping to buy up and close down several competing open source projects.... that can't happen.
Autodesk make their money by renting out their software by the year, across architectural, engineering and design disciplines. This software becomes more useful if it can be used to output to 3D printers. Currently 3rd party software, open source or proprietary, is required to generate Gcode or equivilent from what the CAD software outputs. I haven't found these software solutions to be mature yet.
Autodesk, will want to drive rentals of their pricey software by releasing an alternative to the current open source software (principally, SkeinForge and Slic3r). Autodesk will benefit more from this model than trying to sell 'slicing' software to users. That adoption won't happen if Autodesk's offerings are substantially closed. The whole concept won't work if people are not able to configure it to individual printers.
Autodesk's real competitors are big enough to look after themselves.
Re: A storm in a tea cup
>> "I love that I can pay £28 monthly"
>They have you well trained...
All other issues (reliability etc) aside, £28 per month makes it possible to just use the software for one job if you don't use it all the time (product designers, for example, might only have use for it at certain stages of a project); It is more manageable than an initial outlay of £hundreds.
Right up to the point that you want to manipulate EXR or other HDR files for environment lighting maps. Or use use free transform to quickly mock-up a three-quarter view packaging design. If you are chasing a deadline, these niggles are worth spending a quid a day to avoid.
You might find that the GIMP fulfills your needs 95% of the time, until you require a feature it lacks. At which point, being able to rent Photoshop by the month becomes attractive.
>But although Adobe is adept at creating industry-leading creative software...
If they had some competition, they might sort out their software for high DPI displays on Windows. There has been a fair few high DPI laptops arrive on the market in the last year, but no reviewer will recommend them until 3rd party software behaves itself.
I'm only picking on Adobe because one would have thought that people working on photographs would be the first to adopt high res displays. FFS, even niche software like Solidworks allows the user to select 'large icons' as an option.
This application [Photoshop Elements] is the worst example of usability on a High DPI system that I’ve seen. Adobe has even replaced the file menu with a custom UI, meaning every single element of this application doesn’t scale at all.
The biggest travesty of Adobe applications not scaling is that their intended market is often media professionals, who are frequently early adopters of things like 4k displays and ultra-high resolution laptops
People seem to have enjoyed success with using Xbox 360 controllers with Oolite in some Linux distributions.
Re: Wrong Software?
If he were working alone, then yeah, he might want some software to assist him in keeping track of the biographies of his characters etc, for the sake of continuity. But he isn't, he employs an assistant - a 'super fan' - to help with that sort of thing.
It is almost a cliché that fans of an imagined world are more likely to spot plot inconsistencies than its actual author, so it seems a sensible division of labour.
There is every chance that uses squid juice on dead tree to write notes, too.
Re: protestant and catholic (dos and mac)
That Umberto Eco piece is excellent! An excerpt, the bold emphasis is mine:
Friends, Italians, countrymen, I ask that a Committee for Public Health be set up, whose task would be to censor (by violent means, if necessary) discussion of the following topics in the Italian press. Each censored topic is followed by an alternative in brackets which is just as futile, but rich with the potential for polemic. Whether Joyce is boring (whether reading Thomas Mann gives one erections). Whether Heidegger is responsible for the crisis of the Left (whether Ariosto provoked the revocation of the Edict of Nantes). Whether semiotics has blurred the difference between Walt Disney and Dante (whether De Agostini does the right thing in putting Vimercate and the Sahara in the same atlas). Whether Italy boycotted quantum physics (whether France plots against the subjunctive). Whether new technologies kill books and cinemas (whether zeppelins made bicycles redundant). Whether computers kill inspiration (whether fountain pens are Protestant)...
....I asked above whether fountain pens were Protestant. Insufficient consideration has been given to the new underground religious war which is modifying the modern world. It's an old idea of mine, but I find that whenever I tell people about it they immediately agree with me.
The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits.
Re: WYSIWYG is the problem
For just entering and reviewing text, you only want a good keyboard and an uncluttered display. If I had only to transcribe my imagination into text, I would be happy with GRRM's setup. Internet is a distraction.
Does Wordstar have an 'autosave' feature'? I would just have to get back into the habit of using a keyboard shortcut at the end of every paragraph.
Though I do rather like the 'document map' feature in Word, I understand that GRRM employs a super fan to help with character continuity and the like.
The author Will Self uses a typewriter. He explained that if he were the write "A maroon car sped by..." he won't be tempted to waste time by popping back to make it a "burgundy car", as he might if he were using a word-processor. He doesn't need a UPS or autosave feature, he can't accidentally save an edited version over an original etc... True, he might lose his draft in the case of a house fire or burglary, but these events are rarer than a BSOD or a file management error on the part of the user.
You might be thinking of the use of PKZip to compare many works, X, from a known author- say all of a student's past essays - with a piece of text of dubious authenticity, Y.
You Zip X, and then Zip X+Y. If the second Zip file is a fair larger than the first, you might be dealing with a case of plagiarism.
To clarify Destroy All Monsters's point, Giger's use of the airbrush (usually used for rendering shiny shiny new things like cars in advertising) lent the images a photo-realistic appearance. The security guards assumed the images had to be photographs.
Giger was puzzled as to where he was supposed to have taken such photographs.
Re: Pono Player
You raise a good point about the shape allowing it to be used easily on a desk. However, this image of the internals suggests it could be made slightly more pocket-friendly:
>I can probably get a Moto G or cheap Nokia Lumia for £100 - and put a 128GB SD card in that.
For large audio files, or for lots of normal audio files? A word to the wise: They can't play back 192Khz FLAC files natively (though the LG G2 can). If you want a 128GB card in order to have tens of thousands of normal audio tracks, you might want to read up on Android file limits and FAT formatting etc before you make any purchases. Just in case there's a niggly issue.
If you want 128GB for losslessly-compressed CD-rips, ignore me!
You might also consider a spefic version of an older Samsung Galaxy model from eBay, since they are said to have Wolfson DACs. Apparently.
Re: A fool and his money are easily parted.
>The problem is that we found spoofs then people wanted to buy them!
Shirley that is not a problem but an opportunity?
>That [Nokia's cameras are considered to be the best in the business, whereas Apple's aren't] simply isn't the case.
You then cite a camera testing website which actually supports the statement you disagree with:
In summary then, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is one of the best camera phones for stills, but its video performance could be improved which lowers the overall ranking to fourth place.
In fact, under low light conditions the Lumia 1020 outperforms rivals, producing still images with low noise and detail preservation that are simply the best we’ve ever seen from a smartphone.
But hey, its a Monday morning, try another coffee!
I haven't down-voted you, because you made an effort to cite a source for your assertion.
Re: 6.3 microwatt-hours per cubic mm
There may be some merit in using a super cap in conjunction with a Li-Ion battery. The super cap can smooth out the peak demands on the battery, and itself be recharged when the device is idle.
Re: Woven carbon-graphene shorts ...
Like the man who urinated on a faulty lamppost in Bristol many years ago, and needed reconstructive surgery. Poor chap. By all accounts he was a nice guy, but accident prone.
>These days there is an EU-enforced limit on the volume of anything you can plug headphones into (which some manufacturers have a magic-hack way around).
Set the region to 'Rest of the world', usually. Works on my Sansa Clip. Tried it on a Sony and it reduced the range of frequencies the FM radio could tune in to, and it couldn't be reset.
Re: But in fairness..
You just had to bring DAT into this thread, didn't you?
Re: @M Gale
> Almost no record decks made in the last 30 years can even play at 78 RPM.
Record it at 45 onto a computer and fiddle it up to 78 equivalent. Copy to mp3 player. Put LP back in sleeve and place on shelf. Create eBay seller account... etc
And earlier recording studios had a listening room with speakers on a par with those found in pocket radios... after all, if the track doesn't sound good over the airwaves to the punter at home, he isn't going to buy the record!
Re: DT770 vs DT150?
>Nothing sold as a "gaming headset" is ever going to sound as good as high-quality studio/monitor headphones from Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, AKG etc.
If you ask the other person in the room, they might say the closed-back gaming headphones are lovely and silent, whereas the open-backed monitor 'phones sound annoying!
Re: That's what you do
>You would think Apple would move into home automation or multi-room sound
When Android mobe makers LG and Samsung make fridges, air conditioners and the like... hmmm. But maybe. After all, they have sold 4" and 10" control surfaces to lots of people.
Multi-room sound. The little Apple Airports have featured a 3.5mm audio out for years. I don't know how well they work (e.g speakers in sync between rooms?), but it seems a 'good enough' solution for some.
>For Apple to release new products or branch out from their current catalog would be just atrociously bad business.
Respectfully Don, isn't that what they did with the iPod, iTunes and iPhone?
>The longer a product is produced the more its margins increase.
Yeah, all things being equal. But you usually have to drop the price after a while in order to meet the competition.
There was an interesting radio discussion the other day about how competition is supposed to reward efficiencies, so that the end game is that nobody makes any profits (as people suggest when thy talk about 'commodity phone makers'). The summary was that the only way to profit is to hold a temporary monopoly.
Re: This rumour is wrong
>The combined revenue from Pandora, Spotify, Beats etc streaming is only half that of iTunes.
Currently. But the trends suggest that they are on the up, and purchasing music is on the decline.
The Lumix LF-1.
Same sensor as the LX-7, but with a longer (7x), slower lens (f.2.0 still good, though)... good trade-off for many people. The WiFi could be handy for quickly getting images back to Reg HQ in a hurry. It has a little electronic viewfinder, said to be handy to get you out of a jam on a sunny day. And it can be had fairly cheaply, for just over £250.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 is a surprisingly well-realised premium compact camera, offering excellent still image and video quality complete with RAW support, built-in wireless and NFC connectivity, fast burst shooting, a longer lens than the main competition, and that rarest of things, an electronic viewfinder.
Re: A step backwards
Fair shout! Thanks for the clarification.
On the subject of distinguishing background from foreground, our two eyes do this all the time stereoscopically (actually, make that most of the time, since I don't seem to be completely immune from hitting my head on low tree branches in a forest). It might be the desire to accentuate background blurring in two-dimensional images is an attempt to make up the absent information our eyes would perceive in a three-dimensional scene.
Occasionally, when scrolling through my library of photos, I will skip between two photos that were taken in quick succession but with a slight shift in camera position. This seems to cause my brain too interpret the images as more '3D', and 'pops' the people out from the background.
There have been stereoscopic cameras sold, as well as the Lytro camera which can achieve the same but by different means, but of course viewing the resulting images is often more faff than it is worth.
- +Comment Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN
- Vid Find email DIFFICULT? Print this article out and give it to someone 'techy'
- Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
- Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
- Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill