69 posts • joined Tuesday 25th January 2011 13:32 GMT
Re: Deep breath now...
I really like my Windows Phone, but TIFKAM is just complete shite on a desktop.
Full screen apps are non-sensical on a desktop (drag 'n' drop???)
And even such basic functionality as being able to choose the default app background colour is now gone (we have to live with retina-burn white)
Windows 8 has to be one of the biggest retrograde steps in recent computing history.
10) USB on-the-go : my favourite N8 feature, along with the FM transmitter that is...
Symbian had the Right Stuff.
Re: Better then an N8?
Beware... when you move away from N8 as you'll be paying for your modern swish UI by saying goodbye to some wonderful features.
I still use my N8 (alongside my Windows Phone for which I develop apps) because I love (in no particular order)
* the amazing camera
* the wonderful TRULY offline maps and navigation
* the FM transmitter (it's great when pumping MP3s through my car's sound system... and the music is automatically lowered in volume while the above-mention nav is speaking to me)
* being able to plug in a portable hard drive or memory stick via USB on the Go
* being able to browse the file system
* being able to Bluetooth almost any file (inc MP3s) from my phone my computer
* the versatility of the clunky UI
I do however like my Lumia, it's a nice piece of kit with a UI that makes iOS look like an old maid.
But when I eventually retire my N8 I'm going to be nostalgic for pre-walled garden mobile computing.
Re: I'd look at the Battery Power Conditioning Circuits
Why such blind faith in Japanese companies?
... forces you work in the language of the country from where you connect
Generally, Japan isn't very clued up on concepts like the fact that somebody might be living somewhere where they don't speak the lingo. When I was living there (2004-2011) it was actually impossible to buy a non-Japanese version of Windows in Japan (even via download) unless you resorted to slight dodgy, expensive and out-of-date imports with no warranty in Akihabara Electric Town. (The usual retort from J-fans is "so learn the lingo where you live" so before I get downvoted by a certain resident J-fan, yes I did learn, and can speak, read and write, Japanese.)
Skins / themes
Is there any way to set a desktop theme? Or even just change the default app background colour from retina-burn #FFFFFF to something more civilized?
I have an eye problem means I have use subtle colours on my desktop. The first thing I do when I work at new Windows machine is change the theme with a few mouse clicks.
This seems to be completely impossible with OSX (seriously dodgy 3rd party hackware nothwithstanding) and so Macs remain useless to me.
But I suppose fanbois would say that's my fault for having an eye problem.
The WP7 / WP8 rewrite of my reasonably successful S60 app is just about ready. And thanks to XNA it looks and performs better than its main competitor on the iPhone. So fewer competitors for me on WP makes me happy.
the same treatment from the government as a native Japanese would
Well, apart from the fact that if you step outside your house without your shiny id card, you're committing a criminal offence, whereas Japanese citizens aren't required to carry any id at all.
I fell foul of that law when I neglected to put my gaijin card into my running shorts when I went running one night. Inspite of my profuse apologies to the officer who 'randomly' stopped me, I spent a couple of hours in the koban explaining myself. In the end, he let me off...
Japan's high tech image is only skin deep
Everyday life in Japan is pretty low tech.
Everything seems to be done via snail mail. Online accounts (for utilities, govt services, train tickets etc) are generally not available. As a small example, when flying almost nobody checks-in online in Japan. (I once spent 30 mins walking a Japanese couple though a successful online check-in, and then when they eventually got to Narita they still queued up for 45 mins at a normal check-in desk.)
Internet banking is available, but is just a portal by which a real bank clerk is given instructions to perform the tasks requested online. ATMs typically shut down around 9 or 10pm (thank god for Citibank!) Most mobiles and public telephones are incapable of dialling overseas. And a modern Japanese kitchen is like something from 50s America. Even a hand operated rotary tin can opener had my mother-in-law fascinated.
The exception is of course toilets and baths, where most of the available technology in a typical household is to be found.
But the thing about Japan is even though stuff may be old or low tech, it's always perfectly maintained. Things are rarely 'out-of-order' in Japan.
More trolling from Lewis
I'm trying to be as objective as possible on the whole global warming thing, listening to both sides, but Lewis, your language is infantile and disgraceful. Get a grip.
Reverse the sexes...
Yep... if we accept that non-consensual sex occurred, this is a basically a story about rape.
Japan is clearly still streets ahead....
Except that SMS still doesn't work well between carriers, tariffs are ridiculously hight, and Japanese 'featurephones' don't even have a + button, making international calls rather difficult.
I was being rhetorical / ironic, Sherlock.
This style of purchase inducement in kids' apps provides a dangerously easy route for children to quite unwittingly cause their parents, and therefore maybe themselves, considerable distress. Even a nine year old will feel bad about having drained a parent's credit card inadvertently. And if that parent is an idiot, perhaps some admonishment might follow. It's as if Apple cared more about cash than the well-being of the children who use their devices to play kids' games.
>Much as I hate these 'Bait' apps, this is another depressing instance of adults abdicating their parental responsibilities to Apple (or whoever).<
>No one has ever given me an even vaguely satisfactory reason why you'd bother
Perhaps nobody can be bothered to justify their leisure activities to such a misery guts.
Raise? Not a rise?
Oh bollocks, everyone's "transitioned" to using another Americanism, but this time I hadn't even noticed.
Apples just work...
I'm not really surprised about this slabby wifi problem.The WiFi on my Mac Mini only works if I stand the machine up on its end. (And the sound only works if I slap the case in just the right place. ) And AirPort on my Macbook Pro is as reliable as a baby's bum. My fanbois friends say it's all *my* fault of course...
Re: hah hah hah
Well said. I too agree with Mr Hah Hah Hah but still think he's a prat.
As for Android's fragmentation; we code for iOS and Android here, and the main problem isn't that Android's UI or screen size is fragmented, but that some things just don't work properly on certain Android releases, or even different handsets using the same release. A bit like the fragmented mess that is HTML development (shudders...)
Nokia and Android?
I prefer to imagine what it would've been like if Nokia hadn't suffocated the excellent Symbian OS with their awful S60 UI, especially when perfectly capable alternative Symbian UIs (such as Hildon) were available. Don't forget that "Symbian" Anna and "Symbian" Belle are new versions of S60, not Symbian.
Nokia had no idea what Symbian was capable of. Even in their post iPhone panic, they were asking "how can we graft touch capabilities onto Symbian" without noticing that support for touch had been in the core since 1998 (and used on real products.)
The Symbian core is still a hugely capable, efficient and adaptable OS, as demonstrated by the ease with which Nokia can bang out phones such as this.
brrr it's a bit parky out?
... we Brits have traditionally come a-cropper in extreme environments by being a bit blasé about the weather.... for example Mallory strolling up Everest in tweeds.
In 1984 I wrote a shoot'em up in assembly on the 64 and had it published by Bubble Bus Ltd. It was a joy to see it on the shelves in WH Smiths :-) It still lives on among the 64 retro gaming community.
First I had to write my own 6502 assembler in Basic, but that was half the fun. The C64's hardware was fantastic, and a joy to control from assembly. The first computer speech I ever heard was on a 64 (Impossible Mission.)
As for the Basic, that was just a tweaked version of the Basic that Microsoft wrote for the PET in 1977. (Yes, Microsoft wrote the 64's Basic...) I didn't care that it was bare bones, because I wanted to completely bypass it anyway and drive the machine from assembly. And with the 64's excellent ROM banking system I could reclaim the space taken by Basic and use it for more useful purposes :-)
The Japanese mobile e-mail system is great. I used it for 8 years. But when Japan adopted 3G it had the opportunity to hook up with networks all over the world- convenient for visitors to Japan and Japanese visitors to other countries. But international interoperability isn't really Japan's bag. An example is ATMs. Japanese Visa card holders can draw cash from any Visa machine in the world, but in Japan, only Japanese-issued Visa cards can be used to obtain cash (that has improved somewhat it recent years though when 7-Eleven started offering international withdrawals.) I was able to get cash on my UK Visa card in a tiny village in the northern Thai countryside, but not on a major shopping street in Tokyo.
Yet another example is Yahoo!!!! If you have a Yahoo account you can access any international Yahoo site, and its services, in the world.. except for www.yahoo.co.jp, which requires a unique membership. Japan's main social networking site, Mixi, requires all subscribers to have a Japanese mobile phone account. It adopted this policy when it realised that it was becoming popular with foreigners wishing to make Japanese friends.
A (Japanese) friend of mine, while explaining Japan's island mentality to me, once said it's helpful to picture the entire population of Japan standing on Japan's shores, linking arms and facing inland.
The only people I have seen locally with iPhones have been English teachers.
It sounds like the only people you *know* are English teachers. I had perhaps a dozen Japanese (non-English speaking) friends who snapped up the iPhone.
>Eh? You are one of those people that come to Japan and think you know better than everyone else right? The government is bad, the working conditions are bad blah blah right?
No, I see things realistically rather than through J-fanboy eyes. My working conditions were fantastic, and I had a great 8 years. Only English teachers complain about the working conditions it seems.
>Not the fact that SMS is totally unsuited to Japanese/the Japanese market.
You seem to be assuming that Japanese people only want to communicate with other Japanese people and only on Japanese networks. Hence Galapagos... thanks for proving my point.
>To call the UIs the carriers ship "decent" just shows how ignorant you are.
Gee, thanks pal. They were decent in 2004 which is the era I was talking about. Were you in Japan then?
But have they banded together to the extent that you can send an SMS (aka "SkyMail") from one network to another yet? The standard reply to that sort of question has always been something like "no, we don't need to, SMS is for foreigners, we Japanese use e-mail" so it's good to see the Japan operators gradually moving away from their Galapagos mentality.
Sadly, a lot of the credit for that has to go to Apple, who were bold and assertive enough to demand to sell their products without the Japanese operators dictating terms and functionality. Contrast with Nokia, who behaved a bit like a nervous, apologetic, uninvited guest when trying to break into that market. I remember trying to get a Nokia on contract at DoCoMo. The sales assistant said "don't use foreign phones, they're all inferior to Japanese phones" even though many of the new wave of Japanese smartphones at that time were running Symbian (underneath a decent UI, which is how Symbian was designed to be used.)
I'm sure a badly designed toaster can burn your house down.
Since when have Greens been against seatbelts?
Opposition to perfectly sensible mandatory safety measures (seatbelts, crash helmets etc) usually comes from good 'ol rednecks who would probably shoot Greens for sport if they had a chance...
And I've been making video calls on my various Nokias since about 2006.
But wait... that was before Apple 'invented' video calls...
The 18 month-old N8 still blows away both Android and iPhone in terms of features.
It's nowhere near as *slick* as iPhone though (ooooohh! shiny, smooth...) which is what seems to make people think it's inferior. Although IMHO, the latest N8 UI is no worse than Android's clunky mess.
It's already been done...
There's already been an American made Doctor Who film (1996)
It had some good aspects (Paul McGann was an excellent doctor, the TARDIS was wonderfully steampunk, plus it was totally canonical) but featured typically American trashiness (car chases, gang shootings, references to the Doctor's "Britishness" etc.) And the music was a bombastic, full orchestra, god-awful version of the beloved theme tune along the lines of "Star Trek - The Next Generation."
... *everyone* jumps red lights... even buses, even at lights directly in front of police stations.
Green means "go ahead at current speed"
Amber means "put your foot down"
Red means "I've got 2 seconds to go through the light"
The biggest threats to our privacy and freedom are the "pah, you're a paranoid conspiracy theorist" brigade and the "So what? I've got nothing to hide" clowns, aka the "bend-overs."
Japanese sky jungles
One of the reasons that Japan has hugely fast internet speeds is that the cables are simply slung in the air from existing utility posts, which also carry mains electricity. Look above your head in any Japanese street and you'll see an ugly jungle of wires, junction boxes and transformers. It looks a mess, but installation and maintenance are a doddle. Plus Japanese ISP charges are at least 4 times UK charges.
I commuted in Tokyo for 7 years. The way Tokyo train passengers push, jostle, pick their noses, snort, sneeze in your face, openly read porn and hog priority seats while pregnant women and other needy folk have to stand, it's good that there are now light sabres on hand to mete out swift justice.
Snoopy has landed
Ouch... painful memories of Beagle 2 (they never got to say "the Beagle has landed.")
Definitely not an annoyed Japanese person
In my experience, the Japanese are absolutely delighted when foreigners fail to pick up their language, which they proudly consider to be the world's most difficult. Actually, it's not so bad to speak (no plurals, no genders, only two tenses etc) but a nightmare to read and write.
That's why I said 'tortuous' UI.
Dig into the UI
Your quibbles can be rectified by digging into the tortuous S60 UI and changing the settings appropriately (eg periodic e-mail check & WLAN usage)
I've just got back from driving around Europe with my N8 velcroed to the dashboard. Ovi Maps provided faultless, offline GPS navigation while the Music Player shuffled thousands of MP3s held on a standard USB memory stick, with the N8's FM transmitter pumping everything through my car's sound system. And of course I took countless snaps and videos with the 12mp autofocus camera.
Featurewise the N8 seems to outgun iPhone and Android, and with (at last) a decent UI I don't think I need to upgrade for at least a couple of years. Except perhaps to an E7...
Foreign phones in Japan
Foreign phone makers were slow to implement this and other Japan-centric feature because Japanese operators and government officials hate dealing with foreign companies. This was the main reason (for example) that Nokia weren't able to compete, even though they had the tech (compared to native Japanese phones at least, many of which still run Symbian) and were eager to deploy it. Apple delivers more clout. They were more confident and more brash in establishing themselves in a xenophobic market.
When I moved to Japan in 2003 I asked the Beeb if they were going to do something like this. They said "yes, sometime soon." So I used a SlingBox for 7 years (and pretty damn good it was too.)
Now that I've just returned to Blighty for good, they've finally got round to it to sorting out the international iPlayer.
BTW The Japanese also have to pay a licence fee. It's more expensive than the BBC fee, and Japanese TV is utter, utter dross AND plagued with ads every few minutes.
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