219 posts • joined Wednesday 5th January 2011 14:37 GMT
Absolutely. From what I've read of the senate hearing into Apple's Tax Avoidance scheme, is that they have come up with the incredibly complex and cunning plan of locating their European business in Ireland where the tax rules designed to encourage inward investment are that they don't have to pay corporation tax on overseas trade earnings *even when declared in Ireland*, and the rules for the US are that they don't have to pay corporation tax on oversease trade declared overseas ("incredibly cunning and complex" was sarcasm by the way).
Excuse me, but that is hardly accurate to call it a tax loophole. It's a deliberate tax "black hole of Calcutta," created by Ireland after their economy went *phoof* during the banking crisis. They knew full well it would allow businesses located there to reduce their corporation tax liability to near zero. That's why they did it.
Let me ask everyone in this forum a question. Let us suppose it turns out unbeknown to you, you had a rich aunt and you have found out about her because she has died and lawyers have contacted you to inform you she has left you a fortune. Let's say this rich aunt has dual nationality (not British). Let's say due to a some simple uncoordinated international tax rules and due to obscurity over her place of residence you have, within the rules, a choice as to the jurisdiction applied for inheritance tax on your aunt's estate. On the one hand you can choose the jurisdiction where you would pay 40% or on the other hand you can pay 5%. What rate are you going to choose ? Especially considering you have no particular allegiance to one or other jurisdiction (Apple is a US company, not British or Irish). Pretty much anyone who says "I would choose to pay 40% because it is the moral thing to do" is a liar. Moral in relation to your responsibility to pay inheritance tax where?
Re: This doesn't make a lot of sense
There were similar posts prior to the release of the iPad and iPhone. The thing Apple have learned to do really well is address exactly the kind of questions you have put on that list then test and refine until they have something enjoyable to use. They won't use focus groups which they see as a distraction from innovation (one of Steve Jobs' favourite quotes was Henry Ford, "If I had asked people what they wanted they would have replied 'faster horses.'") but instead will have a core team using the prototype product continually and asking themselves the question "is this something I love to use." If they have retained Jobsian disciplin then if they bump against an ugly reality - such as insuficient battery life, they will either work really hard to resolve the problem, or they won't release the product.
Part of what Steve Job's brought is the ability to say "no, it's not good enough." The problem most companies have when innovating new products is that people become overly invested in the product and due to time spent and career politics, will doggedly stick with something even when it starts to become obvious it is a bad idea or badly implemented. Even worse, the executives who approved the product R&D budget spend also tend to become similarly invested. Added to this is the tech press clamouring for something new from Apple as though it is a failure if tech doesn't mature quick enough to unloock entire new new markets with drum beat regularity (which has always been a faintly preposterous notion). So personally, unlike most others, I see it as a sign of strength if they can filter out the noise *refrain* from launching new products and have the disciplin to wait until the tech is mature enough (when they have to wait) and work really hard to improve the tech where they have the capacity to do so (famously Steve Jobs was a very good whip cracker, pushing others on to exceed even their own expectations).
They will have come up with some solutions to the questions posed about battery life etc. Perhaps motion sensing algorithm, tuned to switch on the display when movement matching some "intention signalling" pattern indicates the user is looking at the watch. Who knows. But it's clear this will be a big test for the post Jobs era team. Will they have succumbed to external pressure and release a product too early, or will they show they have retained the disciplin to release when the product is ready and one that users can really enjoy using it?
Yep, the headline is spin, a travesty of statistical analysis and the study proves absolutely nothing.
It's a matter of simple logic. The two "positions" being investigated are skepticism versus the view global warming is man-made. As anyone who has studied philosophical logic to any degree will tell you, you can never directly prove a negative, only a positive. So this study is deliberately presenting the view framed on the positive under study e.g. the assertion there is global warming and it is man made as though there is a second side to the debate "there is global warming *and it is NOT man made*". But no sensible scientist would ever make a claim about a negative. That totally misrepresents what it is to be a sceptic!
With deliciously spun logic the study presents this as though it is a conclusion.
"among the abstracts that did express an opinion – pro or con – on AGW, 97.1 per cent endorsed the position that humans are causing global warming."
When the skeptical case is precisely that you do science, look at the facts and avoid expressing an opinion unless it's supported by strong evidence - if which you will by definition have none where a negative is concerned! Any scientist worth his salt will avoid confirming a negative assertion like the plague.
So in reality the data is showing 66.4% of papers are consistent with the skeptical view. I say "consistent" but I'm not going to attempt to spin the result like this paper. "Consistent" does not mean "confirmed skeptical" it actually translates to a null in a database: a no value or no conclusion. All we have here is is evidence that if you ask scientists to set about checking if you can prove a positive statement, you will get a proportion who will express a view on the positive, but you will get virtually none who will compromise their scientific method and spontaneously include a specious remark contradicting a positive by asserting the truth of a negative statement "I believe global warming is NOT caused by humans" Because you only make such remarks as a scientist when you have found another positive which firmly contradicts the negative and no one is saying there is any single clear candidate in that category (and few are looking for such anyway).
I read reports like this. Look at how the headline conclusion is spun and seriously despair. These are senior scientists failing in the most basic matters of logical analysis. But still, this something I've always noticed about scientists. They are far more driven by human emotion and daily politics than the lay stereotype likes to admit.
Re: This goes to show...
Shows how little you know. Apple do provide it for free. They have anti-malware built into OSX with frequently update virus/malware definitions and very effective it is too. Unlike PC AV it stays fully out your way. But it will issue a warning if malware is found on your system. Few Mac users even know it's there because, as much as it seems to pain PC users, malware is still very rarely found on OSX and it seems to have no effect on performance. The new app ID system is also proving to be very effective and anyone who knows anything about IT, should know you are never going to be able to stop the custom targeted attack, which is in fact where most of the money is for malware authors these days (for both PC and Mac).
Re: If this was /.
I find that difficult to believe. The integrity of The Register fall victim to the impulsive urge to grab the headline joke before the truth enough as it is. We all know that and it is what most people read it for. Onion headlines with articles struggling to establish authority after the laughter of the headline. That's The Register. But that is a different thing from presenting adverts as a story without flagging it. Any website which does that is condemning itself to be irrelevant crap.
It is good form to ensure you flag an advertisement so your Readers know. Or get paid for providing one. But I'll be damned if I can work out, for this piece, which the problem is.
Re: "Microsoft honcho pleads with media: 'Stop picking on us!'"
@Frank 14. I completely agree. Yes I too think the word's "Microsoft" and "Windows" have become an Anti brand. At least they certainly have for me. I switched to using OSX several years ago and my memory is filled with pain at the thought of Microsoft Windows. Whenever friends ask me for help, I find my arse cheeks clench when I have to sit down at their machines (usually dog slow and chock full of viruses - yes usually mostly their fault - but that's the reality and what their machines have become like). This isn't a *rational* response. I recognise it is emotion. I recognise Win 7 got very good reviews (I left at the height of the pain with Vista). I recognise Win 8 is probably much more performance efficient (though I still have my doubts about any release that contains the same registry architecture). But frankly I don't give a shit and don't have the time of day for Microsoft. Given the amount of time I can illustrate they have been responsible for wasting in my life, I don't want to spend even one more second of my life evaluating their software. It would really have to have outstanding reviews to win me back. Indeed I'm even prepared to spend some minutes writing scathing stuff about them like this!
Another experience I had recently, was, with a friend visiting PC World in Wimbledon. Immediately on entry the place wreaked of bad customer service attitude. It didn't help that the staff in the upstairs PC section were allowed to play their own music and rap was blaring out the shop speakers. Now don't get me wrong, I actually like a bit of rap, but I'm also realistic enough to recognise, rightly or wrongly, it has immediate "I ain't here to service your needs and ain't gonna help much bro' " connotations. And this in the face of competition from a nearby Apple store in Kingston and Apple reseller Stormfront over the road. It's just a matter of being realistic, and if the PC market can't compete in the most basic ways, they deserve what they are getting. The cacophony of techie brands most people want to know nothing about (because who they are is entirely internal to the task they want done) is hugely damaging to business. It induces a state of mild depression in me every time I see the recogisable PC World purple and yellow. They have shelves of anti virus software and only think of it as goods to shift, not stopping for a second to consider what message there is so much of it, so many competing brands, gives about the PC experience. That the PC market has done so little to adapt to the new world order is quite frankly pathetic.
Microsoft are stuck unable to do the hardest thing - recognise the very high levels of brand recognition they have with the existing brand is a negative for them. They are stuck in a forrest of competing brands shouting for attention like waiters in tourist trap locations collaring tourists for business, and we want to know nothing about them. Their very presence is turning people off in droves.
Very good point about small form factor tablets subtly changing the market. I use my phone far, far less now for general browsing and media checking than I once did and I find the compromise in screen size for the few occasions I do I find to be far less of a concern than it once would have been. I can really see this working well for Blackberry. Not sure about the point re: battery life though. I suspect the good battery life is actually matched by a lack of pre integrated and comprehensive cloud-service ecosystem and associated network checking. So you gain because you have already lost. Of course if you don't miss the loss, then it's a net benefit.
"Given that you could do the same thing with a cnc milling machine, I don't see how this is much more than hysteria"
Can't agree with that. Most people would have to involve another party to get a gun machined. But 3D printers are set to be commonplace. Hell you could print out a gun for the evening without anyone knowing carry it with you while you do the thing you need protection for, then burn it the next day and nobody will be any the wiser. Talk to any policeman. Opportunity is a huge factor in criminal behaviour. So are you saying this is not a concern when your average South London teenage "Gangsta" (read "ignorant idiot with a teenage hormone overdose") gets the opportunity to acquire a gun at the snap of his fingers?
Re: bring back 'save as'
Oh forgot what is perhaps the main point. "Save As" litters the file system with multiple versions of the document. So it is easy to forget which is the canonical version (especially for those many users who use wonderfully myopic constructs like "new document x" !).
Any apps with the rename function, however, have built in versioning, so you get a single canonical file, with version history stored within the file. As well as versions being saved automatically, you can save them manually. Again much clearer and much safer.
"Save As" really is the source of much file system evil !
Re: bring back 'save as'
Nope "Save As" has always been the source of much evil. The two options it is replaced by function far better and are wholly explicit.
Because "Save As" combines two acts when the user usually wants just one. The most common use for "Save As", is to save a new version of a document. But here is the oft encountered problem. It is easy to start a new version when you need to keep the old version, forget that the old version wasn't saved before you chose Save As, hack the document around to create the new version you need completed in three days time but then find you have buggered up the old version you intended to keep, but forgot to save first before using "Save As" additionally all documents utilising the new duplicate and rename function are going to be compatible with time machine versions of those documents, so your maintenance of multiple versions is handled efficiently and seamlessly.
Of course if you engage brain you can avoid the problem scenario I described, but I suspect most of us have been caught out by it at one point or another. What's wrong then with duplicate (which duplicates the document in a new Window ready to be saved with a new name and which also means you will be prompted to save the old window when you decide to close it)? By being explicit, there is less room for cock up. Similarly the simple "rename" function is also explicit. You keep the same file but it gets a new name. Can't see why these two wholly explicit functions aren't better than the evils of "Save As" as you are always intending to do one or the other of them when you use "Save As" anyway.
So sorry I don't concur. Wanting to keep "Save As" is a testament to the power of muscle memory over logic and clarity.
Re: Come on El Reg
"Your limited viewpoint is only due to you believing that, personally, you have the power to decide the definition of "useful activity"."
Er, yes I'm accustomed to speaking from my own viewpoint, as at one level or other everyone who has said anything ever in the history of the human race does the same. None of us are God.
And if I don't have the power to decide what constitutes "useful activity" from my own viewpoint, then I'm certain you don't. So I suggest rather than the sociopathic attempt to control my thoughts and language, you focus more on giving a clear reply on your own terms.
I note you didn't actually attempt to answer the question I raised. I suspect because you know the answer will sound as weak as your current reply and thereby illustrate even more clearly the point I raised.
Re: @RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...
@Greg J Preece Clearly you are not an iPhone user as then you would know there is iCloud backup and they start the restore for you in-store. It's painless, very quick and requires no user interaction other than entering your Apple username and password. Also it's pretty ignorant to accuse me of simply chucking stuff out when it is Apple who recycle your defective phone. Check their website, their environmental and recycling policy is there for all too see. They will recycle the parts from phones they have exchanged. So all in all they are simply giving their customers good customer service so yes your logic is plainly twisted and downright wrong.
Get over it.
Re: @RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...
@Greg J Preece
"Apple simply throw new phones at anyone with the slightest issue to get them to go away."
Ha. With deliciously twisted logic great customer service gets transformed into a cynical ploy to reduce workload by getting rid of any customers with a complaint as quickly as possible.
Re: He is still correct @Eadon
@vimes, sounds like I can treat anything flying in the lower stratum over my property as a free clay pidgeon.
"Why will Google let HTC do this ?"
Because they don't have any choice. HTC have signed up with the Android handset alliance. Not Facebook. Google can stop HTC Forking Android if they wish to remain a member if the Alliance. But they can't, through the alliance, stop HTC being a hardware supplier to Facebook because that would get them a fast track referral to the FTC for anti-competitive practice. Threatening HTC with losing membership of the Alliance for supplying a competitor would be as clear a breach of the law as if they were to threaten the same if a member were to produce Windows or Tizen phones.
What is more interesting to me is that it's now clear that Google have lost control of the Android brand (it can be and is often used without referral to Google's legal dept), and that despite this loss of control (or perhaps because of it) most suppliers are moving away from referring to Android, what does Facebook's referral to Android mean in terms if the extent of collaboration between Facebook and Google? I guess we will find out soon.
Re: What a good idea
Nice try, but the patent was of course filed 26/9/2011 whereas Samsungs video was this year. Not that anyone will care, it's a crap idea. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
I can make a case for their being a motorbike industry conspiracy against motorised clown bikes. After all, stand back from them. They are really very useful. 1/5th the size of a full size motorbike. You can carry them on trains so are great for commuters. They actually go really fast and can genuinely get you from A to B effectively. They can be made much more cheaply than full sized motorbikes. I think the only reason there aren't more clowns bikes being sold is because there is a conspiracy, lead by Yamaha, to bury the clowns bike manufacturers. It's a conspiracy I tell you.
Re: But will it have
"You're a wannabe that Doesn't Get It...Get It...just like everyone else."
Usually with a phrase like that indicates the one who doesn't get it can be found in the mirror.
Netbooks have been a big fat fail. Get over it.
@csumpi. Oh dear, you're busting yourself as a blind Apple hater with a comment like that. Clearly you have never owned one. Apple uses a special proprietary anodisation process that makes their MacBooks and iMacs unbelievably tough and scratch resistent. The result, confirmed by independent reports, is a surface as scratch resistant as a tough gem stone. Another benefit is the surface hides the dirt really well so even with a great buildup of dirt the stay looking relatively clean. Owners will tell you one of the things they like about Apple kit is that it is so hard wearing. The same can't be said of the black iPhone 5 though. Due to the "sharp" chamfered edge it chips through to the silver aluminium far too easily, making the white model far better for durability.
Re: missed point 4: shoddy Apple software.
"The principle if parsimony" is a well known technique in logical analysis.
The reason 3G data could be taken out by exchange connections is simply that at the wireless layer, bandwidth simply isn't that great. It's easy for multiple users in a single cell to take out the data if the all request it simultaneously. Unfortunately packets then have have nothing to do with it. Go down low enough and all non-fibre networks have an analogue layer with fixed bandwidth. Wireless or over the air connections have much less than than ethernet cable, it's simple, unfortunately unavoidable, physics. Since many users connect to Exchange, and there will be cells with large businesses in range where many users working for the business would be affected *simultaneously*, then it is actually quite easy for a cells data channel to be taken out.
A bug causing retries to Exchange server on a mass scale will exharcerbate any bandwidth limitation once the limit is hit, with all the unsatisfied requests piling up on one another. Indeed a kind of unintentional DOS attack.
Anyway, I don't mind admitting this *is all hypothesis.* I could easily be wrong.
"so a bit like something sony came up with a few years ago to go with the xperia line of phones?"
Yes and Microsoft produced tablets before the iPad. Didn't take off though did they. The Sony watch hasn't either. I guess when the Apple watch takes off it will only be because the users are brainwashed, like everyone was brainwashed into preferring the iPad over MIcrosoft's offerings.
Re: missed point 4: shoddy Apple software.
@Stephen Channell, which then ignores the principle of parsimony. You could be right, and it could be mutliple bugs, but the principle if parsimony dictates the most likely explanation is the simplest explanation which fits all the facts. So you have ignored that excessive and exchange connectivity is one of the reported problems.
On the principle of parsimony, the three symptoms reported are likely caused by a single bug.
1. 3G connectivity issues for all network users.
2. Repeated connects to MS Exchange.
3. Battery drain.
The one closest to the root cause being point 2.
Indeed this sounds like a regression. There was an old iOS bug previously fixed where for certain versions of exchange server, the mail client would get in an endless cycle of reconnects if the user switched on push notification. The connection would generate additional push notifications, which the mail client would try to process, generating more push notifications. When first encountered, very few users would have had their iPhones hooked up to exchange.
But if it has been re-introduced with a mass update now that the number if exchange users has ballooned, it's clear what the result will be. Huge simultaneous data usage on nodes where companies have many users in the vicinity accessing the versions of exchange where iOS mail has this problem - knocking out 3G for all users of the node and battery drain because of the continual reconnects. (for those who aren't familiar with software engineering, as counter intuitive as it may sound, regressions are a common occurrence, for certain classes of problem, if a bug is encountered and fixed once, it is far more likely to be encountered again in the future when further changes are made to code).
If it's a regression of that bug it was always debatable who's fault it was. But in my opinion MS win the argument on the principle that even if Exchange behaviour participates in the problem and is bad design wise, it is ok with MIcrosoft's own mail clients, and Exchange, released first, always exhibited the behaviour so Apple's clients, coming later, should have identified the problem and worked around it.
Notifications, directions, context based information and location based information, messages, voice dictation, call buzzer, call screening, supplementary hands free microphone, NFC (in a more convenient place than the phone), security key for 2 factor authentication for device unlock, integrated passbook passes, 2 factor authentication security extended to third party apps (most notably banking), sports functions (tachometer, altimeter, pedometer etc.) meaning the phone can be left securely in a back-pack of pocket whilst exercising, waterproofed for all weather access, find my phone.
Just a few of the potential complimentary functions...
Oh and telling the time.
" but it's naive at best to suggest that it prompted its existence."
So are you suggesting Microsoft would have designed the Surface without the iPad. That they would have implemented a tablet on an Arm chip, that they would have bifurcated the navigation paradigm of Windows as they did, that the iPad didn't push them into entering the hardware business, attempting their own marriage of hardware and software, or panic them into radically overhauling their business model. I guess would have attempted their own retail strategy too, with no cash tills Zen like layout and their staff would have been wearing blue polo tops. And iPad inspired iOS didn't push them into making phones without a keyboard (and Ballmer laughing at the keyboard-less iPhone was just a ghost). Sure they would have rushed out an OS where the fundamental design and navigation paradigm is so much at odds with their cash-cow office suite. They would have done that anyway. The magnetic snap on cover, that was just waiting in the wings too.
Of course defining the motives of men is always a matter of perspective, and there are no facts here. But really, your perspective is so radically different to mine, I find it simply staggering.
Comparisons with the iPad are wholly fair even if not an Apples for Apples comparison, because this device is at the very root of it's conception a response to the iPad. To avoid making the comparison is to let Microsoft off the hook and avoid the most obvious measure of success, will this device show the way to reverse the trend in fortune of the Windows PC platform.
The answer is a rapidly emerging and increasingly resolute "no." Not because it isn't an interesting device or well made. Not because it doesn't have strong points. It just isn't a thoroughbred addressing a clear market / use case. IT history is littered with quality devices that, if quality were the only measure, deserved better. The batton of "more than worthy also ran" has passed the hands of Archmedies, Psion series 3 and Revo, Palm and now to Microsoft Surface.
It's worth for a moment considering the circumstances of the genesis of the two devices: iPad and Surface. The iPad emerged after much experimentation and under no real market pressure to release. It was the product of a process if trying and rejecting many different approaches and choosing the one that felt right. For those that know their IT history, though the iPhone came out first, the project it came out from was actually the iPad project with the iPad held back until large touchscreen display prices made it feasible.
The Surface on the other hand, though also built with a laudable degree if commitment to quality and engineering design, is the product, if not in actuality, in spirit, of a bullet point list from a presentation titled something along the lines of "how we respond to the tablet threat." In other words the parameters for it's design for both time to market and political reasons, were cast in stone, long before the many claimed prototypes were produced. This notional presentation would have had to be one that could obtain Steve Ballmer's approval. 'Nuff said.
Re: A good stiff letter
"You cant even get rid of your landline, since the state supported monopoly that is BT insists you pay for one to receive the internet."
Well that's not completely fair. Firstly you can get rid of your landline if you are in a cable area (and most are), though clearly you only have the option of cable Internet if you do. You can order pure Cable Internet and no telephone. Secondly you need a landline to receive ADSL Internet, and the reason you need two companies for that (the ISP and line rental company) is because you need someone to be responsible for installation between the street cabinet and your home. That installation has a subsidised price, The regulator could change the framework to ensure this service can be supplied by one entity, but that then would mean the regulator has to decide what is a reasonable cost for the ISP buying up a customer to compensate for the loss of a customer that was paying the subsidised installation cost (which means prices for that part get set by govt policy - not all think that's a good idea). Also ISP prices will then be higher to cover this cost - and since a landline is needed for Internet - you may as well have one of those too, whether you use it or not. All this can be changed by regulation but the alternatives are not necessarily better. If you allow the ISP's to do installation from the cabinet to the home, then you have multiple installers from different companies accessing the same cabinets. A recipe for disaster. It just wouldn't work. Traditionally BT owned the local loop network. They are now split in two companies, one which deals with whole-sale supply to the ISP's including the local loop and another which sells the advanced services running over it. The wholesale company is in some ways similar to Railtrack but since every customer has a "station" in their home, they also get some of their compensation for the cost of it all from the end user (not from the wholesale company but via their "advanced services company). The regulators deliberate strategy is to allow competitors at multiple levels in the network to compete from the centre outwards. This has had to be highly regulated and has taken years because it has major implications for street works on roads, pavements, sharing of ducts etc. All very complex. The bigger competitors have been building competing networks, pushing further and further out towards the customer. O2 for example now have their own fibre network to the street cabinet, now. Soon they may well be in a position to ignore BT's "Railtrack" wholesale business and provide the local loop part directly (if they aren't already doing that in some areas).
I'm not saying there aren't bad aspects to the system. Just pointing out it isn't quite so black and white. I worked a while back in cable, which often suffered at the hands of the regulator but still recognise they put a lot of thought into the system and there are no perfect policies that don't involve trade-offs when regulating competition between networks.
Re: The problem is...
"far, far more money than Google" I implying but should of course have said "far, far more money from mobile than Google" .
Re: The problem is...
Apple's making billions. The reality is, so far, Google has lost billions though. The cost of development, plus the cost of patent litigation (to Motorola), plus the cost of purchase of an entire company (purely for a patent defence shield which, because all the key defensive patents were FRAND is turning out to be more of a liability than a positive), plus the cost of patent license fees (paid by Motorola to MS on each and every phone sold) far outweigh the to-date paltry (not to you or I, but paltry to multi billion dollar revenue stream companies) revenue and licensing from Google play other key Android apps and Android partner status. Of course, to paper over this loss, they classify advertising revenue from Android devices as Android division revenue, but on the same basis they have a rather large iPhone division and a very small Windows phone division. Funny Google don't reference those also. Plus they are making 8 x less from mobile usage as desktop/laptop, which is of course, becoming an ever increasing portion of the pie. People don't seem to get, that despite the *market share* success of Android, it has so far been wholly a defensive play which is still, on the balance sheet, far from successful. The big question is, will Google ever see a profit from it; bearing in mind Amazon have proven forking and rebranding Android can be made a runaway commercial success (with almost all R&D costs met by Google thank you very much) to Samsung, the company that is really is making huge multi-billion dollar profits from it. So yes that's two competitors and one partner/potential-competitor making far, far more money than Google, and two of those simply by piggy backing on Google's business strategy and initiative.
Re: a simple explanation
I asked my child to read that comment when she wouldn't tidy her room and I insisted she should. I told her, "you might think I'm being mean and controlling, however I could be really mean and controlling like this parent."
She still replied I was equally as mean and controlling though...
Re: Not going to be much use really
Are you sure about that?
This is where screen tech is being divorced from the computing and network comms. components. Now one of the most often encountered small annoyances is having to grab your phone from your pocket whilst on the move (with the risk of dropping it or getting it knocked out your hand when in busy locals), just to check who has sent that message and what it says. It will provide a very practical, "here and now" step towards the kind of instant access, always available information Google glasses will be offering. It will probably be possible to set it to buzz when a new message comes in or when some information relevant to the current locale is displayed. It will be an adjunct to your phone or (interestingly) to an iPad mini.
Google glasses are in concept very exciting, but in practical reality the technology isn't ready yet. They are still too unwieldy to be worn by the average Joe and people aren't likely to be buying them in the next 1 - 2 years. On the other hand, a watch, though far less "tech of the future" is a very practical way to ensure a subset of the similar kinds of information can be easily accessed when on the move and can be made relatively cheaply. Additionally, it may be possible to go for an iPad mini + watch + bluetooth headset combination. This could also be a "secret weapon" against the carriers - a way to telephony enable a 3G iPad mini (a "secret weapon" because iPads are currently being purchased outside of a telecoms plan and if they start being used for telephony they user will opt for sim free plans - from which the carriers earn far less per user and which represent far better value for the user). The carriers won't like it because it will mean the bundling of phone purchase and monthly payment plan, which the carriers are currently using to line their pockets, will be eroded.
Re: @Sean Timarco Baggaley
Trevor. Just one question. Did you train at the Alan Partridge school of Satire ?
Re: @Sean Timarco Baggaley
You know what man, if you work for the Register perhaps you should listen to your readers/customers. It's traditional that you should have a big advantage in terms of audience sympathy because the audience tend to be loyal to the website not the commenters (like the audience is loyal to the comic on stage, not the heckler). But STB has been up voted more than he has been down voted and your patronising reply perfectly illustrates why the Register is falling way behind it's peers and languishing in the Web's backwaters. Consider why it is you never score a hit on Tech-Meme. Consider why it is your foray into video crashed and burned (hint, sark only works when the author is a faceless name writing sark - the moment it is presented by a face and the sark is personalised, it fails appears nasty unless it is genuinely funny).
"But you know what, the guy you are pissing on is a kernel programmer who uses Macs, Linux and so forth. He's a good guy personally, and a fantastic writer. More to the point, he knows his readership quite well and his successful troll was successful."
I'm sure he is a good guy personally, but if it is a deliberate policy to troll, don't be surprised when the stick prodding gets a response. I would suggest, as STM's comment has been up voted so much, perhaps this time the fantastic writer hasn't written such a fantastic piece (it won't happen every time) and perhaps the Reg could benefit from addressing audience feedback instead of mining the satirical seem quite so aggressively. It's laudable to defend a friend, but lacks professionalism to publicly patronise and attack a customer like you have. If the tone has turned ill tempered, as your reply makes it seem to be, and you admit to deliberate trolling, who's to blame?
Re: Mach+BSD+Cocoa Frameworks
"And yes - if you install an application on OS X while you have admin privs and type your admin credentials when the installer asks you to - it can pop code wherever it likes on your box."
No it won't. You obviously don't have OSX and you are extrapolating from OS's you do know. You will have to first go to settings find the relevant setting and change it. You will then be challenged with a warning. Even as an admin you have to take positive action to find the setting to change. The important point here is you won't find you can install the software simply by answering in the affirmative to a string of dialogue boxes when you try to run the installation file.
Re: What are you smoking.
Yes, I'll take Asymco's expert insight and analysis over Ms Leaches amateur slag-Apple-fest any day of the week.
Re: The OS is irrelevent
@Rafayal. No. With the default configuration, no dodgy installer will run unless it has a cert issued by Apple. Every time you try to install an app, OSX checks if it's certificate is still valid. To get the credentials to install you have to get your app (or installer) signed by Apple. They can revoke them. Of course it's possible someone could set up a dodgy account and dupe Apple, but as soon as any reports/complaints surface, the app would have its install rights rescinded and no one further would get infected beyond a few initial users. You would have to be pretty unlucky to be in that group. The world has moved on greatly since the malware storms of the late 90's and early noughties. Now threats tend to be much more targeted, with bespoke or custom malware produced to hit higher value targets. Of course The Register and the rest like to dramatise any angle they can find, but really there are relatively far fewer cases of mass malware infection than there used to be. That goes for all platforms, including Windows. Appstore's, code signing and authenticated installs are contributing a great deal to this shift. Of course zero day exploits can still be used but again, the value of a zero day exploit these days is far greater to the vertical market, where as a malware author you can get payback without bringing the "crowd source" investigative power of the internet down on your head by infecting thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of machines. Consequently zero day exploits tend to be sold into smaller professional groups who want an exclusive and don't want it shared with the world.
Re: The OS is irrelevent
Not much of a threat really these days. The default setting on OS X is that software can only be installed from Mac App Store and identified developers (e.g. developers who's apps have been certified). The message is if, if you don't know what you are doing, never change that setting to the more permissive "Allow applications downloaded from anywhere" To be honest, most users who don't know what they are doing, won't even know they can change that setting anyway. So by default, the average Mac user won't be vulnerable to this type of attack.
Re: El Reg just doesn't get it.
Thank you for writing that post with such a carefully thought out erudite argument.
Still at least its likely the down-vote I received represents no value whatsoever.
Re: El Reg just doesn't get it.
"You can't use an iPad for real work."
Here's the thing. The definition of using a computing device for real work has changed (or rather the appreciation if what it entails has). The reality has always been desktop machines and even laptops have always been used primarily by office workers. The office computing paradigm has been imposed as the blueprint for all working, as though a corporate IT infrastructure defines an environment where "true working" takes place and everything else is only "play working." The reg readership has a heavy sys admin bias, so the readership is smack bang in the middle of the traditional definition of the work environment. But there have always been a huge user base outside the office environment. Additionally, cloud computing is negating the need, economy and Wisdom of retaining corporate IT infrastructure for many business types. The corporate IT model is working for a smaller and smaller constituency which is becoming ever less the focus of computer sales. Additionally, the need for the corporate LAN is eroding. Today in security terms, there is simply no need for an "inside the network" model when the principles of best security practice have evolved to recognise every service should treat every user as though they are potentially from outside the network. A whole raft of corporate device management needs are now outmoded and needed only for legacy reasons. In other words the trend in corporate device management needs is towards building services with a security model such that you don't need to trust only trusted devices will access them (the trusted device has always been a dangerous chimera in any case) but that you can trust trusted users are accessing them (most usually with tablets that are in any case less troubled by Trojans and other security compromising malware). Tablet computers and the app model with app store distribution is actually far *more* efficient in this new world than the traditional IT model. So device manageability as defined by corporate IT systems, where corporate ITs job is to manage the "inside" of the network, is increasingly unimportant. The App Store model becomes a federated surrogate IT service distribution and authentication service and is far far easier for the majority of business users (who are non corporate). 8 years ago I installed an MS small business server for my girlfriends business, where she has 3 employees. It was a margin call even then. No way would I do the same now. Now it's Dropbox for file sharing, Google mail for email, and I've written an app for DB access because it is actually easier and more efficient for her to enter data on the move and in the spot using an iPhone or iPad than open a laptop or wait until she is back at the office. That, as a pattern, has become a far more relevant model for more business users than the corporate IT model and is why the shift to mobile (including tablets) is such a significant trend. Is she somehow not doing "real" work because she uses an iPad and prints to a printer visible to anyone who can join her wireless network with no regard for domain membership?
Re: RE: code in C++
"For the sake of completion - it's worth pointing out that Objective-C is garbage collected and there isn't a direct C++ API for the GUI in iOS either (although ObjectiveC and C or C++ are toll-free bridged, and plenty of the APIs are in fact C)."
Objective-C isn't garbage collected on iOS and is only optionally garbage collected when compiling for the Mac. On iOS you have to allocate your own mem for objects and deallocation is achieved through reference counting. More recent releases of iOS support ARC. (Automatic Reference Counting) which gives the best of both worlds, the powerful control over memory that is useful for an embedded system device, whilst being very close to the ease of use garbage collection provides (though I do feel sorry for new programmers who will never learn manual memory management. Life will be a bitch when they come accross the rare instances where it is still useful to understand the manual methods of memory management but they don't have experience in it). Not sure why there would be any need for a C++ API, when Objective-C is a pure superset of C and a sibling of C++ (so in general no slower, though in Objective-C object method calls are acheived using messaging which *is* a little slower. However that's where being a superset of C is useful, because you can just use C functions instead for any performance critical tight loops).
Yes agreed (for the most part). Beyond being unnecessary, it's a bit of a kludge. Yes there are two distinct modes of use but it still seems they are opting for a bit of a Frankenstein's monster. When it is described as "half asleep" I guess the implication is the device will switch between A7 and A15 "mode" rather than use both at the same time (which would be a considerable power drain when there are diminishing returns on the application of additional cores for most processing tasks). Not sure though. Perhaps that will be precisely what they plan to do. Either way it rather seems to be a tacit acceptance the A15 is a shade too power hungry for general mobile use. Given the resources they have, I would have thought they would be better off going all in and rolling their their own fully custom design.
Re: @Andy 73
Sorry started out addressing Andy 73, but ended up addressing the general anger at the IP system as it is. For the record, I didn't intend to sound like I was calling for balance in your comment Andy, which I think is quite balanced.
Andy, I understand how you can have come to feel like that. But consider a couple of things.
1) Let's get some perspective on this "patent nonsense".
Yes there are bad patents. Yes patent reform is needed. But also consider this:
Name a single patent that is actually causing a problem for end users and preventing you getting the device you want. It should be easy as they are so dreadful. But really, try. There are no banned devices where there are not better devices out already in the same category.
There are no features that are must have features. Slide to unlock ? Has that caused a real problem for Android users, are they really suffering ? Amazon has a patent on place synching for e-books between devices - as an Apple iPad/iPhone user I have to set a bookmark in iBooks. Is that really a big deal, is that really killing me as an end user ?
Samsung/Apple design patent infringement. Are Samsung customers complaining Samsung's latest phone the GS3 doesn't, unlike their earlier offerings, look like an iPhone?
The original software patents which stoked outrage - BT's hyperlink patent, Amazon's One Click patent. Both are overturned as unenforcible.
Most tech essential patents for standards are covered by patent pools and can be accessed licensed by all. I look at the system as a whole and I see a system where users *are* getting what they want, with few very minor exceptions. I see a system where there is real brand distinction and companies don't suffer from other companies camping on their brand. Sure sometimes this leads to headlines such as that "Outrage XXXX have patented the color Blue" or some such like and where there is any law/regulation you will always find the rules pushed at the margins will be found wanting somewhere. As an end customer I know each company and they have room to operate under their own identity without others confusing the picture or trampling so much on their coat tails they can't move.
So what really is all the anger really about ?
2) Now look back at China. What original tech have they produced ? Historically they are an incredibly inventive nation. But that was now hundreds of years ago. What new innovative products of late have they produced that aren't a rip off of others? Please name something, anything !!!???
Look at the market immediately outside any high quality store in China and you will see a million copycat rip-offs with low quality and low margins. There are many instances where those companies can and do overwhelm the higher quality business that has invested in innovation. The lack of protection leaves no breathing space for the innovator and makes it a high risk game - too high a risk. So yes China is doing well, but at the expense of a fair return to the innovator. It is a system where the incumbent copy-shop that has perfected the art of copying and "tooling up" takes all (god knows that even happens enough as it is in "the West" even with our protections).
When Europe and the US expanded as industrial powers, they did so *on the back of innovation*. Innovation was everywhere. In Britain, the steam engine. The Kay's flying shuttle lead to mass production of textiles. Germany the petrol powered car. In the US the railroad was taken to the next level. The Wright Brothers got the first aircraft off the ground. Back to Britain again for the invention of the first computer by Alan Turing. The US again for Silicon Chips. All this has happened in countries with strong IP protection, where respect for the inventor is backed by regulation. But the equivalent can't be said for countries that don't have strong IP protection (I know co-incidence is not causation, but we should at the very least pause to think before the barbarians storm the citadel walls).
There is a real danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. Of course there are bad patents. Of course reform is needed in some areas. But in general the system works better today than we are giving it credit for. So just a bit of balance please.