108 posts • joined 15 Dec 2010
"CCTV's on every corner"
In fairness, while CCTV doesn't directly make you safer necessarily, it does help secure conviction against criminals, which indirectly drives down crime in the long run (or at least, pushes it into non-CCTV covered areas where it is "safer" to make a living as a criminal)
I thought the partnership approach was quite strong, with the software guys doing the software and the hardware guys doing the hardware. I never felt Nokia had the Android option - they would have been just another HTC - so the Windows Phone route was clever. But then Microsoft didn't do their end of the bargain, massively hindering Nokia's turnaround. Still, the partnership could have worked.
Now it looks a lot like Nokia's mobile business is entering the final fuck-up stage. RIP
Re: The problem with ereaders
Totally agree. I'm fine with my Kindle 3G. I will only upgrade for a larger viewing area (a decent book size screen) with a white background (I find the grey a bit nasty).
As an aside
"It's intolerable that where an individual or a group disagrees with a company they should be able to interfere with its activity"
There's something vaguely disturbing about the word "intolerable" here. Companies do not have carte blanche to act as they will.
What's next down that line of reasoning? Getting thrown in jail for writing bad press on Nike or Apple about workers' right abuses? Getting jail time for fighting Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big etc etc etc?
Just an aside, not a comment really on the justice or not of this particular case
Re: Apples and oranges
By "and that's it really", I mean "argument over" and not "that's all they're good for" :-S
Apples and oranges
Tablets don't replace eReaders, or laptops. They are extra, a new niche. The fact that certain tablets cost a fortune means that people can't just buy everything, so they compromise, maybe decide that a tablet is a better use of their limited budget than a dedicated eReader that month. But that doesn't mean they have decided that a tablet is better for reading than an eReader
And anyone who suggests that LCD screens are OK for reading compared to e-ink don't read as much as they think they do.
eReaders are good on the eyes, and that's it really. Everything else (including the battery life) is just a great bonus IMO
El Reg changing tunes, very slowly
I notice the Nokia stories are having a more positive slant these days. Not so the comments, where everyone already knows the future for certain. Still, good read.
Shame. My next e-reader purchase will be based on size. Kindle screens aren't as big as a normal paperback page, which I find strangely irritating.
I second the other guy's opinion, a Paperwhite DX please.
Re: Nokia need to put out Android phones
"because the market for WinPho is just too small"
I think you might be confusing market size with market share. The smart-phone market is actually rather large, but just the WIndows Phone share of it is currently small. The question is whether the OS can gain traction and grow share. It just might. It depends on the *future* competitiveness of the offering
"The problem is that they're WinPho only and the majority of consumers don't want that"
Well, that's a big call. Maybe you're relying on the sales figures so far a bit too much here, because the future competitiveness of WP is anchored in areas where the previous generation of handsets couldn't go. WP share is growing now and a greater range of handsets is being realised, plus there's some big integration things of the horizon (WP 8 across PC, laptop, Surface and phone). You only need a couple of other things in the mix (e.g. the Apple creative machine drying up with the death of Jobs, a pending security nightmare for Android) and perhaps the competitive landscape will look quite different in 2 years.
Or, it might not. I'm not going to deny that WP and Nokia are in a tough place, they're only reaching base camp now. Time will tell, hey
Re: Hardly a proof
"It's disingenious to evolutionary scientists to claim this proves any aspect of evolutionary theory"
I must confess, I missed the bit in the article where evolutionary scientists made this claim. It does, nevertheless, support it
Re: OS wars
"What about those people?"
The commenters on El Reg downvote those people
Re: "Yet Another" Android Player
"Nokia could be stomping all over Samsung by now, with a brand name that is well renowned for phones, not televisions"
I think HTC are proof that it's not as simple as that. You can make a good phone but it's not enough.
Samsung came to dominate in TVs by subidising their marketing and development with massive profits from other areas of their business. They flooded the UK market with TVs that were merely as good as the competition, but cheaper and somehow cooler (marketing), and seized huge market share which they later leveraged for dominance with newer products that were genuinely better (development). This was an incredibly aggressive strategy and it was built on revenue streams from radically difference sources like superconductors.
There's no guarantee that Nokia could have competed and therefore be "stomping" all over Samsung now. They just don't have the resources of Samsung to sustain a protracted and bloody battle for market share. (That's why markets tend to monopolies, a well-established and fundamental flaw with capitalism)
@ Neil 7
Q "but what does Microsoft have to gain by destroying Nokia?"
A "Microsoft destroyed MeeGo and Symbian"
I don't dispute the reality, that MeeGo and Symbian are now gone, but I dispute Microsoft's need to destroy them. Both were dead men walking anyway, against the iOS and Android market domination reality. Pointing at sales units of Symbian to justify how well it was doing is exactly the same behaviour that got Nokia into such trouble - you are ignoring the inevitability of Nokia's independent OS's decline. In terms of competing ecosystems, Symbian and any follow up were dead men walking against iOS and Android
You even reference this by disagreeing with yourself:
"It was essential - for Microsoft - that both these threats were extinguished as soon as possible"
"Microsoft will have achieved a great deal by taking out what would have been the biggest threat to their mobile software business (MeeGo/Symbian/Qt) ***AFTER*** iOS and Android"
I added the *** and whatnot, to emphasise the disagreement. Anyway, the point is that iOS and Android are the threats to Microsoft, and Symbian and MeeGo did not even count as long term threats, let alone immediate threats that required extinguishing.
Also, if Nokia (or important parts of it) are for sale, why is it somehow an automatic sale to Microsoft? Do Microsoft have automatic first dibs? There are other companies around, with tonnes of cash, who might be interested.
"Android seems to be a tracking program with some functionality as an OS"
This is nicely put. I really used to like Google but it's hard not to be suspicious of them now. Maybe it was the slogan "Don't be evil" which made me look at their behaviour more closely; this claim that they are ethically better than other companies almost demands closer attention.
"Longer term it represents an enormous gamble especially as Windows Phone has singularly failed to make a dent in the popularity of Android or iOS"
For Nokia, all the options were gambles. I think the MS partnership is the least risky given the reality of where Nokia must compete for sales. You have to bear in mind that Nokia are not competing with Apple, they are competing with the Android manufacturers, particularly Samsung. Nokia's ability to offer a different experience to all of the Android manufacturers is key, but their resources and ability to maintain the quality of their own OS offering in the face of the strength of Android is was questionable. So how to differentiate?
Their options were, as I see them:
1) They could have continued to spread their focus between hardware and OS, risking the possibility of not being able to invest enough in either to actually compete with the Android user experience, making themselves totally uncompetitive. 2) Or they could have focused on hardware, joined Android and risked being lost in the crowd of other cheaper manufacturers also running Android, particularly the Chinese in a few years. 3) Their third option was to focus on hardware but partner with MS to become their dominant manufacturing partner, leaving the OS development and investment to them but still having enough influence to steer them, meanwhile offering phones to the market that are genuinely different.
The supposed fourth option so beloved of commenters here (keep themselves different with Symbian or whatever) is actually in my opinion just option 1: spreading themselves too thin. It's a war of ecosystems now apparently, and I don't think Nokia's independent offerings could keep up with Android.
To me, that third option sounds like it has a chance of keeping Nokia in a decent shape. Microsoft has the resources and will to fight, and a heap of other potential levers available if they can execute them (Xbox integration, seemless PC Windows integration) that Nokia never had. The other options were never really options
Re: It's there?
Yes! That was the one I remembered and I was looking for.
Looking back on it now, I like Asay's comment in the middle: "Facebook's current valuation of roughly $75bn is almost certainly too low"
I remember I wrote a comment to that article too about the consistent inanity of Asay's writing, but it got deleted by a moderator I guess.
Re: 101 reasons
I read those 101 reasons not to buy a Windows Phone, some are accurate but most are nonsense. For example, I don't regard ordering apps in alphabetical order as a flaw at all, let alone some kind of massive dealbreaker
Re: Crash Ahoy!
"There's a reason you're doing a £22k network admin job instead of working as a £220k trader."
Are you suggesting that traders on £220k per year are more capable of spotting impending crashes than other observers? I can't help but notice that these "special" people keep on guessing wrong
Re: Clearly I'm missing something
I don't know how many other people feel this too; I love my Kindle but I still love books more. I have found that I have started spending more cash on reading material in general since I bought my Kindle. For me, e-readers will never wholly replace books and I find myself in Waterstones every so often to treat myself to something new
But I guess new generations won't care so much about physical books (or have so many years of book-experience, let's say) so I suppose booksellers have troubling times ahead
Re: Ah, this is how Nokia differentiates
I don't know if you mean this in a bad way or a good way, but I agree and I think it is a good thing for Nokia (of whom I am fond). In a year's time Nokia could be a position of offering something very different to everyone else. Time will tell on how strong a proposition that will be...
LG need to make a WP in order for us to consider WP as a success?
I've previously owned LG phones and while I've not seen a WP by them I'll go out on a limb and say that it's probably not a very good phone, just like the rest of the LG stable. As a hardware manufacturer LG have their own troubles in the smartphone space, I think it makes sense for them to concentrate on Android (which will be miles bigger than WP for the foreseeable future) given the reality of how well Samsung and HTC are doing. The fact that LG needs to concentrate its energies just to keep up with rivals is not necessarily a sign that WP itself is bad, just that it's not quite right for LG strategy in particular.
Re: Lets keep this in perspective
Why are you comparing sales of one Nokia model on Windows Phone with the sales of ALL Android handsets from ALL manufacturers? What kind of perspective are you attempting to keep here exactly?
I personally would never wear a watch that needs to be charged every 7 days. In my mind, a watch runs for ages without needing to worry about it. That said, an e-ink watch sounds really really intriguing....
Re: Dear Microsoft...
"I remember receiving a document with an embedded picture in it that I wanted to amend. To edit the picture I (eventually) discovered that I needed to click "Insert" on the ribbon first. Not particularly intuitive."
Isn't there a "Picture" section of the ribbon that appears when you click on the picture? With the edit options in there?
I personally like the ribbon, it's made visible some features that I never knew existed. This outweighs the drawback of some things taking more clicks than they did before. Just my opinion
Re: Err, sorry, what Murdoch trouble?
I like the conclusion of your comment re gold and railroading but it doesn't follow really from your three points, it's like you're making two comments at once. Anyway, your second point is a good one and I agree.
RE the first part, you don't fully understand. NI are having troubles because their business is essentially trading eyeballs for advertising dollars, underwritten by investor confidence in the whole model. What's happening at the moment is threatening each of those three prongs.
Legally, their access to eyeballs might be reduced. Meanwhile, less eyeballs are interested because widening disgust with their style and methods (an extension of the Hillsborough effect). Advertisers run scared (this is what killed the NOTW) because of the aforementioned factors and this equals less money for profit, dividends and future business growth which in turn causes share prices to tank as investor confidence falls through the floor, which has the FURTHER effect of hamstringing future grand expansion plans like buying controlling interests in BSkyB.
And so on and so forth - there's a potential vicious circle here, a whirlpool that NI are skirting the edges of right now. That's the trouble being referred to
Re: Bogus research
Can you explain your reasoning?
Re: Re: Simple solution...
@ Ken Hagan
"Therefore, this will make the system less secure."
No it won't. The core idea is that instead of everyone having 4 digits, people can choose different lengths. This adds a whole extra layer to the guessing game, making it more secure overall given the limited number of wrong guesses allowed before the game's up
It could take loads more guesses just to get to one you already knew was based on your target's birthday; e.g 2nd February 1985 could become 02021985, 020285, 2285, 02285,20285, 0221985 etc etc, you get the idea.
Monetising it might undermine it
So it seems to me that the entire valuation is based on the large user base and the potential to monetise it, but I suspect the forthcoming efforts to monetise the user base will make for a progressively worse Facebook user experience and begin to push those valuable users away.
Already we're seeing certain trends emerge like Facebook fatigue and anti-mainstream people deleting their accounts.
Haha! Really? That's funny
It's not that I'm *massively* anti-FB, just that it seems so obvious that websites like this will simply go out of fashion. Being cool builds the crowds, the crowds make it mainstream, mainstream makes it uncool.
Just so long as we don't have to bail out any investment banks that buy FB shares
"when shareholders can twist one arm behind its back and demand it maximise financial output"
This little sentence here perfectly describes why shareholder capitalism is a morally bankrupt system.
"...the most trivial of reasons"
For example, being aggressively "monetised" to the extent that the original point of the site is lost, and becomes less fun to visit
There's real money behind virtual money
Virtual currency costs real money to buy, right?
RE My only concern
But if previous dealings with the police (either convicted or not) were included for the benefit of the jury then it raises new concerns, for example the ability of the state or other powerful vested interest body to generate smoke to prove fire. As law-abiding citizens (assuming!), both you and I are more at risk of a miscarriage of justice under a system amended in this way
It's effectively allowing the admittance of hearsay, and pushing the justice system away from the basis of evidence (the enlightened hallmark of science and the foundation of modern western achievement) to a basis of feelings and faith (the hallmarks of bollocks). I know I wouldn't want to punished for a crime I didn't commit because I had been accused 10 times previously of the same sort of stuff and that influenced a jury to finally say, "well he must have done this at least ONCE before! We've got to stop him this time!".
The principles on which the legal system have helped our society evolve to a fairer and more just place for us citizens. We have forgotten that it was once a Big Deal to be protected from your local land-owning lord or some other member of the elite who had unreasonable power and influence over your body and life. An evidence-based system is the best way
RE Ah Ha
Does that really work? Do you know someone who has tried that? Just interested
"It is very rare to find such a road designated as a 30mph limit. Perhaps you'd like to tell us which road it was..."
In fairness, it's not actually. I can think of a few three and four lane 30 zones in London just off the top of my head, for example. Also, if he meant 4 lanes total as in 2 each way then that's super common.
Meh! Doesn't matter really. His original point was sometimes normal law abiding people get picked up by the law and treated more harshly than they thought fair, and this can build resentment. I think we can all identify with that
I agree in general with what you're trying to say, but I'm saying that you're mistaken to think there is a high chance that this particular woman will become a criminal based on three months in jail. My thoughts are based on my own assumptions that a female university lecturer will likely exhibit certain character traits, likely not mix with the Luton underworld, and so on. These are assumptions, but are more likely than your assumptions:
"She doesn't think she deserves the 3 months" - this is a major assumption. It sounds a little bit more like *you* don't think she deserves it. But let's credit the psychology lecturer with the ability to put herself in another's shoes and work out why UK society believes she deserves the time. She's done something wrong, you see.
"She will feel resentment for it" - again, an assumption. More probably, when she's back out she will be relieved, not filled with indiscriminate rage against others in society. If she has underworld friends then maybe they will be telling her "f**k the police" and all that; more likely she has normal friends who will offer sympathetic support but reinforce the idea that she got caught doing something wrong and the punishment was not unfair
"while she is inside she will be with criminals who could teach her how to do certain crimes" - well I don't know about her but I know I wouldn't want to hang out with actual criminals in prison, and they wouldn't trust me or open up to me because I'm clearly not one of them. Also I suspect that the deterrent effect of prison would work well on me, and probably on this woman too.
"I am not saying she will but that she could" - nah, you said it's a high chance. I'm just saying that it's not. I do understand what you're trying to say, but just think it applies more to miscarriages of justice and this is not a miscarriage of justice. I get your motoring comparison (i.e. normal people caught breaking a law feel resentment) but this law is so much more serious than speeding fines. A better comparison would be with drink driving - if you are a normal person and you get caught doing that then no one lets you feel "resentment" because your punishment is just.
"High chance she will come out and be a criminal now"
Jesus, really? What a simplistic world you live in... Prison doesn't just automatically swap your brain out for a "Criminal" one. It depends on whether you *want* to be a criminal too....
Completely agree. I quite like reading status updates from friends occasionally but I can barely see these any more, not since the newsfeed became an endless stream of music videos and lists of what articles people have just read. It can't just be me who doesn't give a fuck what articles anybody else is reading today?
"people need to realise that if it was shut down in the US it might as well be shut down everywhere else as well."
Nah, that's US-centric rubbish. Stuff just moves around and responds to environmental pressures, the idea itself won't go extinct.
What will happen if Wikipedia collapses is that the entire site contents will be copied the day before and new competitors will spring up in other countries unaffected by US laws. The whole thing then begins to flourish anew, under local jurisdictions. This is a reality of globalised capitalism.
There seems to be a lot of support these days for these kinds of measures outside of the traditional political process
I believe it is symptomatic of the disconnect between the power elite and the common folks, and how the latter feel powerless to affect anything because the game is rigged. This powerlessness is compounded by the modern trend for everyone's opinion to matter, how everything (right up to the meaning of truth itself) is open for the individual to choose. The masses are powerless but have never before felt so entitled to power. And the internet lets them talk to each other
"I oppose the legislation, but that's a political view. I don't ever want Wikipedia to take a political view, no matter how much I agree with it"
I think this is a mature and long-sighted view, but it is the minority view because of the disconnect. If the game is rigged in favour of the Money then the masses need champions in the game, big champions to tackle the power elite and retain freedom for them. Wikipedia is a shining example of people power, so it's on "their side". I think that even if people think it's inappropriate for Wikipedia to take a political stance, they mostly regard this as the lesser of two evils - a necessary defence against the forces of control
"*You're* mistaken if you think an American Internet law isn't going to palpably impact the rest of the world."
RE this point, if the US brought in too many draconian internet laws, won't it just push internet activity away from the US? (This is a slight repurposing of the old "if you tax the rich too much they'll just move somewhere else" argument). US companies affected which can't move away from the negative effects of any extra laws might become uncompetitive on the global stage. Non-US populations that are affected might start spending some of their own tax dollars on internet infrastructure independent of US control.
Perhaps if the US presses too much on internet freedoms, we might see a flowering of the "independent internet" in other areas? And this may actually benefit us in the UK?
"How did we ever cope without Wikipedia?
Quite well actually."
We used to cope OK without a vaccine for small pox. Sometimes the world is just nicer after something new has been developed or invented
They're based in Cheltenham. You can buy at least two houses and three horses out west on £25k :-)
Bit early to make the news, surely?
"The full study has not yet been peer-reviewed or published, but the team hope to do so as soon as possible."
This is an interesting article sure, but I am wondering how the subject managed to make the news prior to either of these basic steps in the scientific method being completed
RE Morally Bankrupt? Perhaps what people think how stuff should work just needs some adjustment?
I think there is some kind of mindset adjustment needed when talking about culture piracy. The fact is and remains that sharing on the internet is possible, easy, and done. It's the bedrock reality, for better or worse. So that means that whatever you think about how money is made with "culture products" in the post-internet age needs to be re-addressed.
So musicians can't make huge amounts of money sitting on their laurels. Perhaps the business model will then return to more of a live-based model? Who knows. But in the meantime, record labels are finding their marketing services less in demand. They aren't the first business model to be made obsolete by the internet
So film producers profits are hit too. I am much more on the fence re film piracy because of the huge up-front costs to produce, but I feel that we may see some unexpected benefits - for example, larger studios producing 3 films at £100 million instead of 1 at £300 to spread the risk, better films to drive footfall to the cinema, and new (cheaper) actors emerging. In general, an improvement in the quality of the art form. Nevertheless, I think film producers have some good arguments for piracy control that the record labels (who do not produce anything but merely believe they "enable" the magic) do not.
The art world is fine. A digital copy is not a painting, or an "original". RE photography, your particular example, I hear your frustration but since when did photography pay the big bucks? It's a hobby for most, and if you go to the lengths you do to capture the shots then that's fine but don't go round believing that you're owed a cheque for £1 million and if only those pirates had respected your work then you would have received it. If you are that bothered, stick a watermark on your public digital copies. But I'm serious when I say I hear the frustration, and I respect where you're coming from.
RE software, I think that's clearly going to go down the Steam-Powered route, for better or worse. Software makers have the same arguments as film-producers
RE books, I really don't know. This post is too long already.
In conclusion, I think people should think more carefully about the real consequences of digital sharing, because it is not going away but it won't cause some sort of epic collapse in our cultural output either.
Why does anyone need to be fired?
If we were all at risk of being fired for the slightest mistake then no one would ever have time or opportunity to learn from our mistakes and we'd have a suffocating culture of fear in the workplace. That sounds worse to me.
"Have you considered that you may be the problem we have to solve?"
The problem is a little more complicated than that. You see, there are 30 million-ish in the UK working population, and the needs and behaviour of millions of people cannot be dismissed with such an airy wave of the hand
In this case, is he supposed to just move closer to work? And then, if he gets made redundant or his contract/temporary position comes to a close, he finds another job and is forced to move his home closer to this new location. And so on, racking up £10,000s in fees and services necessary for moving home every time if he can even find a home within a suitable transport corridor or cycling distance because workplaces and affordable living areas are not automatically coupled together
There are loads of workplaces in this country which are not well-served by public transport, for example mine, or this guy here that you've replied to. Outside of London you need a car to be competitive in the work-force, and this may make a real difference for your dependants.
A car is more than a symbol
"The problem is that in the west a car is... a symbol of personal freedom"
It's more than a symbol. It is an expression and a genuine expansion of your fundamental freedom to move - think more "personalised motorised transportation" rather than "car". We're wedded to the car here in the West because they are bloody amazing; they enable so much that we take for granted. I think too many people forget that when discussing "the car" and its negative impacts on society
Once you have a car, the only reason you'd give one up would be because the cost to your time (e.g. congestion in Central London) or the financial costs have become unsustainable. In everywhere other than central UK city locations not having a car puts you at a large disadvantage compared to others - you need motorised personal transportation for work, family life and holidays, and for the times when you don't actually *need* it, it makes life easier anyway. In other words, they are bloody amazing.
Arguments about the future of "the car" are way off in my opinion. No one is going to give up the concept of personal transportation, it is embedded in our culture now. It would be better to focus on decarbonising the transport grid (e.g. by changing the fuel) instead of forcing people out of cars and depending on public services.
Also, high running costs (e.g. high taxes) impact the poor by preventing them from owning and running their personal motorised transportation. You can't tell me that by pricing someone out of a car with too-high running costs they are therefore unaffected by the high running costs of a car. That just doesn't make sense to me
You could buy, like, TEN footballers for that
Stiff upper lip madam
"...confessed to crying for days after the incident"
Jesus, let's hope they don't own any family pets. God forbid they die and expose the children to another uncomfortable facet of reality, the tears will be never-ending
I appreciate that at different ages children are too young to properly process some things and that this incident is bad, but come on... the *mother* was crying for days?!
This throw-away comment kind of encapsulates my feeling towards Google+. I just want to use Google for search and Facebook for keeping in touch in folks. As these companies rise and rise in their ambitions so too grows the effective cost of using their services, and like everyone else I am being slowly inched towards the line where I want off the ride
- DINO-SLAYER asteroid strike was a stroke of bad luck, say boffins
- BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
- Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
- Review You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
- Russia: There is a SPACECRAFT full of LIZARDS in orbit above Earth and WE control it