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* Posts by Funkstain

21 posts • joined 26 Aug 2010

Fans rap Apple's 'crap' Map app

Funkstain
Meh

Re: In case you've been living in a shed in outer mongolia for the last few years

I have no idea of the exact circumstances preventing the iOS-version of Google Maps being upgraded properly (turn-by-turn, data caching being the most useful things), but it seems clear that the primary mapping application for iOS absolutely needs these features.

Either Apple weren't willing to pay Google enough, or Google weren't willing to cede a competitive advantage that Android has over iOS, or some combination, or an argument in a toilet. Who cares? It's irrelevant, iOS needs a primary mapping app with up to date features, and so Apple had little choice once / if negotiations broke down.

I'm no apologist, but the facts are that Apple have been investing in mapping technology and companies for years now (google search will throw up many results), and as a consumer I'm happy to see competition to established players.

But it is a V1, and not a very good one - they have a huge amount of catching up to do, and given the much more closed nature (Gmaps has become so good partly as a result of independent contributors), they may find this difficult. Perhaps they should have just coughed up...

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Apple: You'd want hi-fi streamage from us, not poor-people Wi-Fi audio

Funkstain
Thumb Up

Re: I wonder

This is the interesting question.

If this allows multiple idevice users to stream multiple audio files to multiple receivers without the need to be on the household wifi, and allows one-button pairing like bluetooth but works over long distances and with high-bitrate files, then I'd say it's flying very close to Sonos indeed.

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Cocky Foxconn tells tech biz: We'll design your mobes, you do the ads

Funkstain
Meh

Re: And what exactly....

HTC made some judicious product design and interface / customer experience acquisitions before they had any kind of success competing against established manufacturers - their first offerings were underwhelming to say the least (c/f: http://www.microsoft.com/spain/windowsmobile/5/images/devices/Qtek_9000_large.jpg).

I think it's harder than Foxconn think to effectively compete in the volatile world of handset design, branding, and marketing.

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Three curbs data tariff excesses

Funkstain

Free Towers

Who built the towers again? And invested in the necessary R&D, rolled out GPRS then Edge then HSPA then HSPA+? Sure it took far too long and definitely they charge far too much, but there has to be some return on investment, surely.

Agree with the points regarding data management, and vociferously agree with the roaming rant. Termination rates are totally stifling innovation in roaming propositions, and it's insane that operators aren't doing everything they can to make international roaming more attractive to mobile phone users, and instead leaving the whole market to prepay cards and similar, whilst picking up crumbs from customers desperate enough to use their phone overseas.

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Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition Android tablet

Funkstain
Thumb Down

Crap Bettery

The biggest issue for me is the battery. Lasting barely longer than a modern laptop; even Moto only rate it at 6hrs for browsing, which is nowhere near enough for me.

I agree with Arctic Fox - very close with this one, but unjustifiable compromises mean that the wait for a decent Android tablet continues.

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Ice Cream Sandwich

Funkstain
Megaphone

OEM customisations

I think the reviewer was talking about manufacturer overlays for Android, like HTC's Sense, Motorola's Blur and Samsung's TouchWiz.

Necessary at first to render early versions of Android more useable and pretty, the article suggests that v4.0 removes the need for them.

I think this is a potentially huge point: up until now, there have been significant differences in appearance and functionality across Android handsets as a result of these customisations. This allowed the OEMs to set themselves apart, and encouraged investment in UI/UX in an attempt to woo customers. On the negative side, it also often resulted in older handsets not getting the latest version of Android: a real disadvantage, when you consider that 2.5 years later an iPhone 3GS is still getting the latest version of iOS (without some key features though).

If stock Android 4.0 is wonderful without OEM skins, then how does HTC persuade you to buy its latest £400-£600 phone over Samsung's? Can the OEMs find a way to continue adding value to 4.0 without compromising the design, function, and annoying customers with too much fluff? If they cannot, then what is their motivation in investing $billions in a non-differentiated, commodity market (c/f/: televisions)?

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Hands on with the Sony PlayStation Vita

Funkstain
Stop

I get the point you're making, but

The thing is, although the business models are different, it doesn't mean that the statement "smartphone gaming will be the death of dedicated mobile gaming systems" is necessarily invalid.

For a dedicated game system to be successful, whether mobile or not, you generally need tens of millions of global unit sales, with strong software attach rates, and a life cycle of say 5-7 years.

If either the 3DS or the Vita do not achieve these goals, and if part of the reason they do not achieve these goals is due to competition (based on people actually buying games at whatever price) from smartphones, then yes, smartphone gaming has at least contributed to the death of mobile gaming systems.

FWIW I don't think there are enough gamers out there willing to fork out hundreds of pounds for a new system and multiple games that cost £30 and up anymore, now that you can get mobile gaming fixes from free and up on smartphones. That said I'll be getting one of these, just like I imported my PSP. How many of me are there?

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Spotify's rising revenues gobbled by royalties blackhole

Funkstain

The content owners ARE greedy, but...

...there's still too much interest in pandering to them. Spotify, Apple, Rdio, BOinc and so on are, after all, paying the money that Sony, Warner, Universal and so on are asking for.

For Apple it makes business sense, as acquiring the licenses firstly makes their hardware more attractive and then locks the unwary or uncaring customer in to buying more, and ever more hardware to access the content they've bought. As long as profit margins aren't badly impacted, no problem.

But for the others, well it's like Mr Orlowski says: throwing huge amounts of money at something, to make less money back from it. Kind of like those robots in the Matrix, harvesting humans for power.

So they'll all fail, eventually, and then licenses will either become cheaper, or piracy will destroy the business. So, licenses will become cheaper. I reckon, a couple more years of bullshit profiteering by the labels.

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Windows Phone may be cheaper than Android - Inq boss

Funkstain
Thumb Up

Fair play

You're right, I took some of this on face value. Bit more research shows that the situation is at least ambiguous and at best, Moto's patents could provide serious protection in some areas. I'll do my research before posting in future.

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Funkstain
Go

Once again with feeling

The point's been made several times already, but again: several experts, including one cited by Mr Orlowski in a previous article, have expressed significant doubt concerning the viability of Moto's patents to protect Android against litigation.

Hence the reasoning behind Mr Meehan's statement.

To discount WinMo 7 at this stage, with brand power and resources of Nokia and Microsoft behind it, takes extraordinary confidence - what's your reasoning?

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Funkstain
Facepalm

That's a brilliant proposition!

"Buy our phone! It won't work at all out of the box so you'll have to spend some quality time figuring out wtf to do to get it working. Then you may be sued by a large corporation. Hey wait, no, don't buy that iPhone it's for noobs!"

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Beeb rolls out global paid iPlayer app in €urope

Funkstain
Meh

Yes the service is almost identical - BBC I want my fee back!

OK, so we get:

- Actual broadcast live TV

- iPlayer on more than one platform

- iPlayer catch-up content available immediately

- iPlayer full archives (not small selection like on continent)

- FM radio for pretty much any tastes

but that's definitely not worth an extra £8 a month is it.

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Nokia: When pigeons fly home to roast

Funkstain
Holmes

Er yes, that was his point

Trying to demonstrate how slow MS are at developing products, when in the mobile market their competitors deliver faster, better.

Wonder if Elop will be given enough time to sort things out? I believe he will, and I believe WP7+ will be good enough to compete - almost tempted to buy stock and hold on for 3 years...

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Tablet vendors 'quake in fear' over iPad 2

Funkstain
Alert

Better specs?

I didn't know about this Vega before your post, so thanks for that. I've got a few comments though, relating to better spec assertion:

1) Do we have any benchmarks for A4 vs Tegra 2 performance? I assume the Tegra 2 is more powerful given how much later it is coming to the market.

2) Battery life appears to be significantly shorter than iPad (6hrs vs 10hrs). This is probably the single most important thing for a tablet, no?

3) Screen quality - I know the iPad is hardly the best but is this device's screen much cop? Cheap things rarely have great screens. Would love to see this in action.

4) On-board storage is pathetic (512MB) though expandable (4GB included, 32GB card is ~£50-70). However does this mean it will have the same problem as Android concerning remote storage of most applications? (ie: can't store most apps on external memory, meaning internal memory gets full too quickly).

5) Android 2.2 is definitely unsuitable for tablets. C/F any number of reviews for Galaxy Tab. This cannot compete, really, until Android tablet OS goes live.

6) Wifi is only up to G spec, personally annoying.

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Glacier boffins rubbish IPCC apocalypse claims

Funkstain
Unhappy

Real data leading to proper debate

OK so there're a few analytical steps between those two. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that this comments section will quickly fill with the usual "Register is propagating its AGW-denial agenda" and "Well done finally we hear the truth about the money-making myth of AGW".

And it's really boring and infantile. The reality appears to be that there is general consensus amongst experts that AGW is a reality, but significant lack of reliable agreement concerning predicted effects of this AGW.

Unfortunately one side of the debate has been hijacked by ludicrous environmental activists with no scientific training or knowledge who make claims like the above concerning glaciers (that would include both WWF and the members of the IPCC responsible for including the "data" in the report).

The other side of the debate has been hijacked by ludicrous conservative activists with no scientific training or knowledge who make claims like "AGW is a myth and we should ignore anyone, regardless of their scientific and/or experimental background who says otherwise".

Who is there to represent the sane?

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Three is voted the best UK network

Funkstain
Thumb Up

Investment

I reckon this is explained quite prosaically. Due to under-investment, 3's network has been popularly regarded as crap for a long time.

A few years ago, to break out of this perception, they started investing a huge amount of money in to their 3G network. They did this in two ways:

- Increase coverage with the deal they signed with T-Mobile to share 3G cells

- Increase quality of service by massive investment in the back-haul systems

This survey appears to absolutely vindicate this approach. The key differentiator is capacity (and that is not just down to low contention as they have lowest customer base - in fact I believe they are the best-selling mobile broadband provider), which means that when you see 3G on the phone, you actually get 3G-like speeds.

People who tried 3 a year or two ago should try again when this network enhancement programme is complete (due end of this year). I went back to them this year and was astonished at how much better the quality of service is compared to just 2008. They comfortably outperform (in terms of D/L speeds and reliability of service) every other UK network (in some cases by an order of magnitude) in my experience and I've got SIMs for them all.

Disclaimer: I live and work in London - your mileage may vary in the country!

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Hands on with the new Apple MacBook Air

Funkstain
FAIL

This annoys me

Why can't I upgrade the processor in the 11" 64GB? I can understand that form factor / cooling MAY have something to do with not offering the 2.13GHz C2D, but at least offer the 1.6 or 1.86 without forcing me to order storage I don't need.

I would like a small/light form laptop but 1.4GHz C2D doesn't do it for me. Checking out Atom benchmarks just makes me sad, and I don't want to fork out for a Vaio Z.

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Funkstain
Go

Is that true?

Genuinely curious - the 1215N does have a discrete GPU, but does the dual-core Atom compare well to the C2D?

And does it really run OS X flawlessly, ie: WIFI, Sleep, BT, etc?

If the answers are positive this could be a contender for next laptop, at just £400-odd.

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Phone 7: Another Vista or another XP?

Funkstain

HTC Desire Z

...has a keyboard.

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Apple now world's second-largest company

Funkstain
WTF?

Oh dear

Jobs may not be a very popular man and his public personality not very likeable. However if you can't see that it is his decisions, as CEO, that have made Apple the success it is then I can only hope the other conclusions you reach in life aren't as wrong as that.

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Intel chief: Obama (still) driving US off cliff

Funkstain

@Curtis

Interesting comment on Obama's "theorist" tendencies. Couple of questions for you:

1) Aren't all economists, and thus people who make decisions based on advice from economists, theorists?

2) Wasn't the main, conservative (republican, if you like) US and UK economic movement in the 80s based on Friedman's theories, which proved to be spectacularly wrong (in essence that the "market", when left completely to itself without any regulation or interference, self-regulates; an idea which wonderfully ignores human drives)?

More on topic, I'd like to understand better from Otellini how exactly he can save a $B in factory costs in "almost any other country in the world" if it doesn't in fact come down to labour costs. Did anyone question his figures?

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