4072 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
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.
I hate the stretching of older content. I might be a couple of minutes into an episode of Father Ted when I notice Dougal's head is strangely wide, placing him in the 'uncanny valley'.
Is it actually broadcast like that, or is the TV set trying to be helpful? If the former, could a TV be told to 'unstretch' the content? Or is it easier to just download the content off the internet that someone has ripped from a DVD?
When the BBC show older content on iPlayer, they don't stretch it. However, since I have a 16:10 monitor, I have black bars at the sides and at the top and bottom of the image, since it isn't very smart about filling the screen.
Re: All I want
I enjoyed the Alec Guinesss version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on YouTube... More recently, True Detective was excellent. There is a world of good stuff out there, but discovering it can be tricky. Who knows, you might develop a taste for Soviet-made 'Easterns' films...
However, good content benefits from a coherent way of finding and viewing it. Using an IR remote control to navigate on-screen menus isn't a great experience. One of the better methods I've seen is using an app on an iPad that allows you to search YouTube and then instruct a PS3 to play it on the big screen. There's no technical reason that a generic tablet couldn't be used with a generic set-top-box to navigate both broadcast and streamed video services in a similar fashion.
It'll get there.
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.
Paper clip Vs Pliers
Another situation in which I have used pliers instead of a paper clip:
Needing to restore a router to factory settings, I used a pair of pliers to 'nibble' a larger hole in the plastic casing so that the reset microswitch could be accessed with a screwdriver.
Re: Journalistic Integrity
>Maybe an article on other uses for paper clips?
Resetting / restoring routers?
It's worth noting that some of the advanced uses for a paper clip require the intervention of a pair of pliers.
If you need to hold some papers together and can't find a paper clip, you can use a pair of pliers and an elastic band to achieve the same. The pliers will double as a paper weight. An additional bonus is that they won't jam the sheet feeder in a multi-page photocopier.
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.
Re: "emotional connection"?
>But then, with Linux he's only targetting the Linux crowd, which is tiny.
That can change. Lots of people use a Linuxy OS on their phones, and the Unix-like OSX enjoys double figure market share in some territories. Valve are marketing a Linux-based gaming OS.
At the same time, some people are using browser-based productivity software - which means they aren't tied to any OS as much as they once might have been.
Specific CAD software ties me to Windows, so I'm not a regular Linux user - but software-as-a-service and remote hardware resources for rendering mean that the idea of cloud-based CAD isn't without merit.
> Every so often I have to reboot this damn thing because it claims to have signal but acts like it doesnt.
You can also try turning 'Airplane Mode' on and then off again... its quicker than rebooting the whole phone. A work-around, not a solution, for an annoying situation.
Re: TBL is MS!
Can't copy text from curry.co.uk on Chrome... Win 7 64. Fair enough- it was just that i was reading up on the pessimists views, and the inability to copy text was one of their fears. I'll try Curyys again with a difgferent browser tomorrow, when I'm sober.
Re: TBL is MS!
>Once you unleash DRM you'll regret it. It won't be applied sensibly.
Er, last I looked DRM is already unleashed. Websites are already able to frustrate attempts to copy text (to check reviews of a product they are selling, for example). An example of silliness can be seen on the Currys site. Just try copying text from the webpage below:
But hey, people are free to shop with someone else.
Re: TBL is MS!
>So T B-L is going to personally ensure that every DRM system is implemented on Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, Firefox OS, Tizen, Blackberry, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora.... is he?
Look it up [that is the joy of the connected web]:
TBL was only ever talking about DRM in relation to an API in HTML 5 for discovering and using DRM systems.
The alternate situation is one in which content providers only release content through propriety applications that only run on a small number of OSs, such Windows, OSX, iOS and Android.
In real life, people are free to make agreements with each other. I can choose to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement. If I choose not to sign it, I accept that I won't get to see the interesting McGuffin that the other party might have shown me.
Re: re - "Fragmentation is hurting the PC and the browser, yes"
>The IOS web browser is by far the worst one out there, maybe because there is no 30% Apple tax on the web.
Websites, say IMDB or eBay, release free apps. Hold on a moment whilst I do the maths... 30% of $0.00 is... lets see now... um... yep, I got it: $0.00. What figure did you arrive at AC?
What is irritating is that number of websites that throw up a 'Install our app!' when accessed through a mobile browser... but this annoyance is common to both iOS and Android.
Re: TBL is MS!
>DRM is anti-freedom, anti-openness, anti-user. It should not be encouraged.
You've confused the current flawed and propriety implementations of DRM with the concept itself.
All T-B-L suggested was that if DRM is to be used, it should be cross-platform and sensibly implemented. Then content creators will have the freedom to choose whether to implement it, and users will be free to engage with it or not. The user may choose not to, in which case the content creator can choose to reassess their business model. Choice and freedom.
Most users are quite happy to pay for a DVD or Blu-ray. Most people consider their Netflix subscription to be fairly priced. If there is a legitimate way to watch paid-for protected content on a portable, off-line device, most users wouldn't have a problem with that either, as long as it is reliable, easy and device-agnostic. User friendly.
Re: Your power supply already adapts
>Hang on... why does it make any sense for a tech company to prolong the life of shiny and extend the product refresh cycle.. [?]
Because some products are sold as being more reliable than rivals. There have been several studies, using different methodologies, that suggest that Toshiba, Lenovo and Apple laptops are more reliable than some other brands. (My Dell is soldiering on handsomely. Sample size = 1, though!). Reliability is a factor that some people take into account when they purchase equipment, especially if they intend to resell it a few years down the line.
In addition, it costs a company money if a device fails within its guarantee period.
Re: Prior art
Er, that's the case with most most ECUs. For that reason, the ECU firmware is specific to the vehicle, not the model.There, making a modification to it requires the mechanic clone the firmware, alter it, and then re-flash the ECU.
But prior art? Read the penultimate paragraph of the article.
I'm with you there, SonderTwyful.
I've had Samsung feature phones and Sony Android phones that think that spinning wheels are a suitable form of date/time input.
Why?! To remind that I'm setting an alarm and not using the calculator?
Context, AC, context. Appelbaum was talking about an NSA tool for compromising iPhones, and his suspicions that Apple were aiding them.
Not even Blackphone are claiming their offering is NSA proof.
Re: Sensible keyboard
> I find it rather disconcerting that the iOS keyboard just stays stuck looking the same.
The letters on my laptop's keyboard are in caps all the time.
Re: I know the Reg hates Google but @Howverydare
>I doubt what I do on the internet really interests them that much. And if you think your internet activity is that interesting to them, might I suggest a room with nice, soft walls and a big jacket?
True, what I do as an individual doesn't interest the NSA. However, it gets insidious when you consider that political groups are monitored - The US gov has been happy to subvert democracy in the past by undermining legitimate political groups that have been deemed to be 'un-American'.
Of course, one man's political group is another man's bunch of nutters. And one man's political group can be painted as a group of nutters if that serves another man's interests.
Re: This one *is* different
"We could put this in your phone" is often just a shorthand way of saying "smaller / fewer moving parts / lower power consumption than the existing way of doing things".
lmgtfy is 6 letters, so I can't be arsed to patronise him.
Re: Is it that time already?
24 bit describes the dynamic range of each sample point, and khz how many thousand sample points each second. We use the same unit, hz, for describing pitch, but it is a different thing.
Re: Another one?
Fair dooes! My late mate's solution was to have, in addition to his separates and 12" for his own use, a real jukebox loaded up with 45s for use during drunken parties- Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Kinks, Small Faces etc - and a tray of old-size 10p coins for guests.
Re: “high resolution” albums
> Almost no one seems to care, most people just use their phone now.
The LG G2 can playback 192khz 24bit FLAC files natively. Reviews I've read of its audio performance are subjective, as you would expect, but generally positive.
Re: Another one?
Your vinyl will wear with time, and then there situations when perhaps you don't want to handle your precious discs (drunken parties etc). There is some software that captures vinyl at 192 khz before the pre-amp, and then applies the RCA curve on playback, but it's OSX only.
Re: Am i being a numpty
It can do lossless compression. It can also compress 192khz 24bit audio. There are already online stores that will sell you music in this format, as well as some blu-ray discs.
To play it back in the home doesn't require anything too exotic- a good quality external DAC, or some AV receivers. On the hoof, there is the Colorfly player, or the LG G2 phone.
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