* Posts by Derek Foley

16 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007

4K video may wow vidiots, but content creators see pitfalls

Derek Foley
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Re: Is there any point at the consumer end?

"sit someone a bit too close to it", well actually no, you're wrong on this. The polar opposite is true, having a HD screen, you get the best from it when you have a bigger screen and sit closer. Its when you have a small HD screen and sit further away that is the problem - its pointless as your eyes can't see the detail over a larger distance - like most of our parents generations do with a tiny TV in the corner, for them going "1080P" really is pointless, I know because I've seen my Mum not being able to discern the difference between 720P and 1080P with a 24" TV 3 metres away. Eyesight quality and age also comes into play as a contributing factor.

Basically its all about screen proportional "size" from viewer to screen and supplying enough "detail" (number of pixels) at that size to not be able to see pixels.

In the early 1990s I saw some early HD footage on a SONY stand at a consumer electronics trade show, that really was amazing, I can't remember the resolution, but standing close to the screen I saw, which was easily 40" in physical size I could see no pixels at all even from a foot away - that really was impressive - almost like looking at a glossy magazine.

Some day our walls will be screens - we've seen all this in sci-fi, and we won't think it as a "screen" anymore - personally I can't wait, so its all good stuff!

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SpaceShipOne man, Nobel boffins: DON'T PANIC on global warming

Derek Foley

Erm, what about the maunder minimum?

Remember the recent reports about the "Maunder Minimum" (400 year cyclical minimum of solar activity). Lets hope any man-made inflence global warming might have reduces the coming mini-ice age!

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Lovefilm dumps Flash, BLINDS Linux fans with Silverlight

Derek Foley

Flash support for all android devices

This is really dumb, all existing Android tablet and phone users can't access the Sky Go service on their tablets because

1) there isn't a dedicated app yet, even though there are more Android based devices than iOs now,

and

2) on the web they are using Silverlight tech. If they decided to use Flash, obviously no problem for Android users from 2.2 upwards as the whole service would just run in the browser as it would on a PC.

There was some hope for Silverlight support on Android here... http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1207785 although this is probably not going to happen either now!

I do wonder when is the obsession with the mobile "app" or even exe based app going to end, probably once the chrome OS method of keeping everything browser based and in the cloud becomes more readily accepted .

Personally I'm sick of scrolling through dozens of app icons! One day as tablet/phone browser performance improves everyone will finally people realise browser based tech was and always is the best solution (one size fits all - which Adobe had right).

After all, if HTML 5 is all its supposed to be cracked up to be, why aren't we seeing more web based HTML 5 video services - is this purely down to a lack of developers?

Performance wise, I did try the HTML 5 player on YouTube a few months ago, performance (smoothness) was rubbish compared to Flash streaming so I changed my account options to not use it anymore - perhaps its improved by now, but I'm still not convinced (yet!)

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Apple changed shape of Galaxy Tab in court filing

Derek Foley

Icon layout - a non issue?

Re the icon layout. When you "turn on" an android tablet you don't see the app icons. This is inaccurate - as you first see the Android desktop homescreen. Those icons are available only after pressing the apps butoon.

Surely Apple can't patent the icon layout, or its functionality, as Computer operating systems have shown icons in a grid pattern for years since the days of the GEM desktop back in the early-mid 1980s

Another issue is - what about tablet PCs - designed and implemented by Microsoft - surely these too are a patent issue - probably not because they've never sold in sufficient numbers to become a threat to Apple - Which lets face it, is what this is really all about.

Perhaps the original designer of the classroom slate should be filing ;) Oh, thats probably lapsed by now!

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Nominet to flog short domains

Derek Foley

erm... BT wangled that years ago

I always thought this was a bit strange, also how come BT managed it - they've had BT.com for years now.

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50 million user Scribd scraps Flash for HTML5

Derek Foley

HTML5 a replacement for Flash <LOL>

Being a Flash Developer I've often read the postings and news reports about HTML5 being the Flash Killer.

Having built a lot of standalone apps with Flash over the years I find it hard to believe that HTML 5 is ever going to rival the features in Flash.

Experience tells me that embedded font rendering is a major reason why most brands choose Flash for interactive media, because they can't use the relevant branded fonts in other solutions - it looks crap.

The latest Flash Player even moves into dynamic typographical layout territory and makes use of overflow text boxes, something that you'll see in Quark Xpress, Illustrator and Indesign.

Without producing an definitive list of other things that won't work in HTML5, these other things spring to mind...

How is HTML 5 going to:

handle tween animation?

handle in-stream video metadata?

Hardware 3D acceleration?

Real-Time text effects, e.g. glows, drop shadows etc.

Easily fill a screen with content irrespective of its "design size"

Interface with external devices, e.g. webcam streams etc.

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Met steps up stop and search with mobile phone scanner

Derek Foley
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IMEI

In fact, removing the sticker won't help the thieves, as the IMEI number is actually stored in the phone OS, and by simply typing *#06# on the handset will confirm it.

Like most kit, there are ways to avoid this I don't want to tell the "perps" how, as remember they use the net too - lets not hand the info on a plate to them!

Hopefully stuff like this will make phone theft a thing of the past

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Photocops: Home Office concedes concern

Derek Foley

Double Standards

Ok, so its ok for Google Street view, but not for the rest of us private individuals. Double Standards as usual....

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Meet the UK's most spammed man

Derek Foley
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use Gmail with your domain!

I've had this problem too, with hundreds of spam messages a day... I just point my domain's catchall autoforwarder to gmail. I've had to set up a few manual rules for those that "slip through" but its very good for filtering.

Another tip for people with their own domains is to use the "catchall", and register on websites using an address unique to the service. Then you can very easily see who sells your email address to someone else.

e.g. tesco@yourdomain.com

dodgypornsite@yourdomain.com

I now only get about 10 a day tops, using this method, which is much better than 400+ spams to wade through - it also helps other Gmail users at the same time as Google's systems stands more chance of recognising it as spam as other users might recieve it at a similar time.

Its always interesting to see who sells your data too..

The only real downside of this method is the catchall makes anything arrive, including randomly generated account names...

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Microsoft denies Xbox 360 is Blu-ray bound

Derek Foley

To Buy Now or To Wait for an Indefinate Time...

Interesting thread - I havent bought any media in shops for almost a year now. I thought about it, but with the format war going on - I decided it would be mad to buy any discs. Now its over, I decided I can buy discs again, obviously Blu-ray but no more DVDs. Yes I own an Xbox 360 too, so again here is some real experience to share.

After much thought, I've just bought a hardware player for £200 quid, and couldn't be arsed to wait for all this contractual commercial posturing. Yes I'd rather have one box plugged into my lounge instead though, but realised this enterprise level contract stuff could go on for a year!

Not only is my Samsung Blu-ray hardware player 80% quieter than the 360 when playing back discs, it also seems to be better in terms of picture quality, generally as well as for upscaled DVD media.

And yes, I've rented movies via XBOX live too... Been very impressed so far, especially for viewing those films I missed at the cinema but don't want to buy. Prices are reasonable for older titles too (even those in SD) The biggest shame with the downloadable movie service that nobody is mentioning is the fact that in the UK the highest HD quality available is only 720P... apparently in the states they have 1080P videos for rent.

If you have a decent telly - save those pennies and go and get a hardware player, or wait another 6 months and they'll be around the £150 mark - you won't be disappointed. In a year they'll be £100 and in two years you'll be able to buy a blu-ray player in Tescos for £30.

You might be disappointed with the blu-ray interactive menu system, which still isn't much better than what we've seen on DVD for the last 10 years. But thats another thread entirely :)

Derek Foley

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Boffins flick Quantum vacuum switch from suck to blow

Derek Foley

Mattell Hoverboards 'R'us....

Perhaps the Back to the Future 2 hoverboard that we all loved the concept of really isnt so implausible as it once seemed - Aussuming you dont destroy the universe riding it!

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Doctor Who faces extermination

Derek Foley

Its at its peak...

Being an old school Dr Who fan, and in my late thirties now, I enjoy the new series, apart from the occasional cringeworthy moments. I've loved the show since childhood and re-watching many old episodes several times, I do agree with most of the posts above, and thus feel in an ideal position to comment.

The new series has excelled due to the new audience demographic, and a decent budget, the parents watching know and love the old version, the updating has been enough to make it look good - and there is enough detail in the new series referring to the past to keep traditional fans (like me) happy.

The soap style family aspect I guess is to make it "family viewing" and make it have broader appeal to Mum and Gran who like Eastenders, so again, if it keeps it on our screens, as a fan, I can live with it.

The acting and lead character development is far better than the old series, and no, I don't think we should return back to the old formulas of a 3 hour story, which lets face it comprised of needless occasional crap cliffhangers and the doctor being seperated from his companion and running between protagonists (yes I'm referring to Genesis of the Daleks)

I do agree with the issues of a 45 minute episode - Being a "24" fan, I found the recent episode "42" very amusing... I'm sure they could have put a digital countdown clock in there somewhere, but that would have made it too obvious!

I don't think the gay issues in the series are rammed home :) too much, don't forget sci-fi is a reflection of modern life and its issues in another format. I think the other poster was confusing things with Torchwood, despite what everyone thinks I like Torchwood as a spin-off, and it does seem more adult orientated, both in content, themes and scope, which is quite refreshing. I found this years Christmas special way too kiddie orientated, and way over the top on the acting front from the spider queen, but hey... Dr Who has always had stereotypes for bad guys.

The current series (3) is noticably more intelligent than the last two, perhaps the production team are bending to criticism. The Recent 1913 based episodes too were very well conceived in their scope, the ending of the second parter was exactly the kind of end I always hoped to see in a historical episode, driving home the point about time travel and lifespans for non time-lords - the emotional depth being sadly lacking in the original series.

The last episode "Blink" was an absolute "tour de force" for once, a great intelligent adult story that seemed more like an episode of a serious horror movie or drama series than WHO - it actually involved a plot that actively uses time travel, which you would think Doctor Who stories would employ given the hero is a time lord, and it genuinely reminded me of the later McCoy episodes and the doctor's four dimensional understanding and god-like omniprescence, and pre-planned events unfolding to his strategy.

The statue monsters were brilliant, real 'behind the sofa stuff' - the first genuinely brilliantly conceived spooky race introduced in the new series so far, the whole episode was a shining credit to the production team, the writer, the show and the whole format - a real pinnacle achievement in my opinion.

I do hope to see more past continuity, Dr Who has done story arcs in the past, e.g. Turlough, whose deal with the Black Guardian really gave the fifth doctor episodes substance dramatically - I think we need a new companion that is devious and scheming - to make it edgy and less formulaic - this too will elevate it away from the "family theme", and hope to see old enemies and more past companions too - Bring back Tegan and the Sontarans, although people would now say they look too much like the rhino people from episode 1 series 3!

The New York episodes had great production values, especially with the scenery, design and CGI, but the whole thing for me was spoiled by the Pig People, it did smell(!) of the prosthetics dept having surplus foam rubber during that episode - I realise the genetic experiments idea, but what about the Ogrons, and robomen from Dalek Invasion of Earth - much more intimidating and less daft - that said, the pig derived pilot creature in season one was genuinely well executed (in both ways).

I'd even love to see more episodes that play with the issues of time-travel, like series one's "father's day", what about a story wrapped around the events and footage from Earthshock! Forest Gump / Back to the Future II style, With some re-shoots and decent cybermen split screen effects this time. Perhaps with the Doctor revisting his decision to leave Adric to die...

I can only hope that the BBC does not let standards slide with the show as it did during the McCoy era, which truly put the nails in the coffin last time - with ludicrous confectionary based monsters and second-rate showbiz B list celeb guest stars (and companion). (Real fans know who I'm referring to)

May Dr Who have "legs" hopefully for several years to come - and may the Dalek (note use of non-plural - as there's only one left) not have them - EVER

Derek c Foley

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HTC jumps on touch-screen phone bandwagon

Derek Foley

what about the xda... why do people assume the iphone is a new concept?

Erm... HTC have been making xda devices for O2 for years, touchscreens are nothing new! I guess if their marketing team was stronger, people would be more aware of this!

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BT declares ceasefire in broadband speed wars

Derek Foley

Contention ratio

Users should be more bothered about bottlenecks and contention ratios based on them "sharing" such a supposed great speed with 50 other people, which is no wonder sometimes web access seems like a 56k modem at peak times.

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Derek Foley

better upstream

One major issue is the poor ratio of upstream for ADSL. The ISPs and telcos are worried about improving upstream capabilities for fear of killing the leased line market, which can spend up to £16k a year on 2mb both ways (up and down) (I'm sure this is the wrong figure now - this was the cost a couple of years back)

I'm sure a lot of businesses are using ADSL instead because of the cost saving, but for us consumers, we really are more demanding in terms of data.

Video phones would be the obvious killer app, or remote cctv monitoring, which is something I've tried, imagine having a decent webcam chat with a relative via your pc or console, without rubbish codecs designed for 56k modems.

With 25k (which remember is approx 2.5k a second upstream) these things are just a dream without a decent upstream connection, and of course SDSL if you can get it is still out of reach cost wise for consumers.

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Derek Foley

Contention ratio

Users should be more bothered about bottlenecks and contention ratios based on them "sharing" such a supposed great speed with 50 other people, which is no wonder sometimes web access seems like a 56k modem at peak times.

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