104 posts • joined 7 Jun 2011
I guess it's for the best
At least the punters visiting Apple stores will have one less crap over priced headphone to choose from.
On a side note, I'm informed that the latest Beats models are actually pretty good. However the stigma of wearing a headphone with a "b" on each side will prevent me from swaying from my favoured Teutonic brands plus Audio Technica.
Loving the commentary
Loving the commentary - spitting beer with every update.
Biometrics are broken
Outside of sci-fi films showing retina scans etc, biometrics are well and truly broken. If a physical attribute is used for access then it must be in some manner or form observable, and if it's observable then anybody with the right equipment can observe it and potentially use it
Take, for example, the bunny boiler girlfriend, who, whilst you sleep, gets your phone and presses your thumb, or whatever digit she's observed that you use, against the sensor. She now has access to everything on that device, and possibly more besides. The equipment here is your digit.
A password on the other hand is held in your head which is, at least at the moment, non observable until you enter it. Entering it carries the risk of observation but it's transitory and you can mitigate the possibility of the entry being observed.
Passwords are still the best method of computer security, at least within the private sphere.
It goes up and down.
Some seagate models have an extremely high failure rate, but not others.
Some western digital models have an extremely high failure rate, but not others.
Some hitachi models have an extremely high failure rate, but not others.
They're all as bad as one another. And if you've ever opened up a hard disk and seen inside, as I'm sure most of you have, then you already know that it's a bloody wonder that they actually work at all.
Spinning rust's days are very close to being over, apart from a few niche applications such as high volume cold data.
Even though we can't hear an excited atom, I'll bet the sound it makes is "wheeeeeeeeeee"
Bang on article which totally tells the truth (I'm in Switzerland by the way).
I don't think I'm the only one to see this smart watch thing as a solution looking for a problem. A smart watch is today's equivalent of those 80's Casio calculator watches - really not cool.
Nah, if you click something bad on iOS it still just works, and precisely as it was intended.
Apple didn't make a 7 inch tablet, they made a 7.9 inch tablet - do the rounding and you've got 8 inches.
They don't scrap them straight away - they just go into the service channel for the next 5 years. It's only after that they're scrapped.
Re: performance hike?
Actually the performance hike for most people doesn't bring much. The vast majority of people that I know who are using tablets are basically using them as email and web appliances. Gamers don't get much as it would appear that the games developers would prefer to up the pretty pretty rather than increase frame rate (storm raiders on iPad 2 and iPad Air show about the same framerate with the same glitching, but the graphics on the iPad Air are prettier)
There are cases where the raw compute performance does give a significant advantage, such as in my case the ability to have a few virtual synth/drum machine apps running all controlled by a sequencer app and then piping all that into the Cubasis app - my poor old ipad 2 almost choked to death when trying that. But for most people these cases are few and far between.
If, for most people, a 2 generation old iPad is still doing the things that's required at the speed that's required, then why buy a new one? And that is the reason why tablet sales are flat.
Bored already with the reports about the next iPhone.
It'll appear when it appears. End of.
PS - I don't blame El Reg, Ars T etc - it's their job to report, but I'm just bored with the hype.
Re: SHould have been done years ago
Or should that be: unce unce unce unce ;)
Bless Mr Roland.
Re: "working on a much-needed update to its iPad tablet"
Yeah, I kind of wondering what this "much needed update" is as well. Even if they can double the compute and graphics performance over the current model there would be little for me to buy into.
Maybe if it was foldable down into a truly pocket sized device and had a battery life of 5 days of constant use then I might be interested.
Got to agree with the "why oh why phone"
I've got to agree with the "why oh why phone" comment as I'm somebody else who's still packing a 4S.
So far it's been fine and has handled iOS 5 6 & 7 with no problems, works well as a hotspot (as long as you don't need LTE speeds) and still does everything I ask of it with considerable alacrity.
I truly believe that we've reached performance peak with smartphones. For the vast majority of people there is little sense in making them faster. What I truly want is a stop to this saleable metrics race - such things processor speed, number of cores, screen resolution above 300 PPI - and concentrate on making the existing performance more battery friendly.
I just love...
I just love all varieties of these seemingly innocuous tech demonstrations because it keeps me guessing as to how we're going to get fucked when somebody, or some AI, pulls all of this shit together.
You're absolutely right. However I'm the exception here.
1) I invested in an iPad mini retina just before the start of the year because the form factor meant It was significantly more portable - just slip it into a cargo pants pocket.
2) I bought an iPad Air a few months ago as I needed a bit more horsepower to run a few soft synths together with a sequencer for output to my DAW. The iPad mini was loaded up with my general day to day stuff and didn't have the memory capacity remaining to do what I wanted and the iPad 2 just didn't have the processing oomph for job.
If it wasn't for that then I would have still been happily using the iPad 2 - which I might add my GF is now using, and is well chuffed with it.
It's not peak Apple really, it's peak tablet in general.
As much as I agree it's not flash
As much as I agree it's not flash storage I think the word "flash" has slowly become synonymous with any form of solid state storage, even though we're not in a post "flash" world yet, and will still be used for new solid state storage technologies.
Think of it from the users perspective - flash means fast (for some it still means Brian Blessed bellowing "Gordons alive?"). The users don't know the tech behind it and thus any form of storage that's fast and not spinning is flash to them.
Wrong show, but perhaps the right place to demonstrate a post flash technology anyway.
Not really a tear down, just removing the bottom case, taking a pic, and then taking out the SSD for another photo op - not difficult.
IFixit will do it better.
Why never any employees
Ok admittedly this tour was after hours, but why in all of the "we're such a cool employer, look at our fun shit" pictures do you never see any employees utilising this "fun shit"
By the way I'm perfectly prepared to be corrected should somebody provide a picture of some Oompa Loompas diving down a slide or something.
My mum is the antithesis of this
A year ago I went back to England and visited my mum. She was complaining that she couldn't get WIFI for her iPad in her conservatory. A quick check showed that she'd need a WIFI extender of some description and I said that I'd sort one out before I went back home. Things conspired against us in this and I was unable to carry out my promise.
One year later I arrived back at my mums place to find her happily using her iPad in the conservatory.
I asked who installed the WIFI extender, to which she answered "I did"
Looking at her quizzically I asked how. Given her reaction at this point I'd obviously got her back up and she replied "Do you think I'm thick? I read the manuals you cheeky bugger. It's not bloody rocket science, is it?".
Que big hug and "I love you, Mum"
Be careful what you ask for.
I've recently had the pleasure of spending a good few hours in a professional recording, mixing, and mastering studio at the invitation of a forum member (not this forum) who got wind that I was screwing around with music as a hobby these days.
I learnt a hell of a lot while I was there, but that's by the by. The thing relevant to this article is this:-
Sitting on axis with top notch studio monitors I was played a vocal piece and it literally and I mean literally like the singer was there, this was way more convincing than any HIFI setup I've heard and I've heard some topping 50k. The problem was that after 30 mins or so with various musical pieces it became really tiring to listen to, simply because you could hear everything in all detail.
I mentioned this to the guy (a professional producer) and asked him what he used at home. He answered "you're right and I don't use these, you can't use them to enjoy music or a film, they're just too revealing, but they're what we need to do the job". He then mentioned that he uses far cheaper gear at home because it's more enjoyable and more forgiving.
With regards to the article I'm wondering if people really want hyper accurate speakers - I'm sure they think they do, but when the reality dawns that they're simply not that nice to listen to after a half an hour or so then they may regret their purchase.
Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.
Coding is a flexitime job
One day you might pull 12 hours and the next perhaps 16 - that seems pretty flexible to me.
It's not just gaming where this is rife
It's slowly creeping into the content creation apps as well, and these are apps where often you'll stump up 20 or so quid before you even get to the IAPs
Freemium apps I don't really have a problem with as I see a lot of these as a demo version, and if you see the use you can buy the whole thing through an IAP. However there are now some that are coming on the market where unlocking the app is on a subscription basis meaning you have to cough up every year for continued use. Much like the hated office 365 and adobe's creative cloud system.
I've not come across anything other than games which use truly consumable purchases, but the cynical imagination in me expects some jackbooted developers to limit the use of a particular function to say 10 times before you have to buy a "bag of gold" to gain access to that function 10 more times.
Bad days for software users IMO
Me: "What was the last thing you were doing with the computer before the problem occurred?"
Me: "Well, if you were doing nothing with the computer how do you know there's a problem?"
I think this is very much a pre-emotive strike by Apple. I live in one of the affected countries and work closely with a number of AASPs and Resellers, and so far I've heard of no failures of the type described by Apple. Normal dead chargers yes, but nothing about overheating and going up in flames.
On the good news front I have heard from a reliable source that Apple is pre shipping replacement chargers to all AASPs so exchanges can take place on the spot and not hinder the customer.
Selling apple kit is a loss leader, almost
The margins that the authorised Apple resellers have are very small, so small it's effectively a loss leader when business costs are taken into account. Most of these guys who have a successful Apple business make their money on pre-configuration, support, and selling the accessories and peripherals.
The only people who make money purely out of selling Apple gear are Apple themselves.
I've been the industry for a couple of decades now so trust me.
Re: That's what my boss used to shout
At least the update was offered, which is sadly not the case with many android handset manufacturers.
However, whether you should take the update offer is another story entirely.
Uh, swiftkey - I've tried using it, but it seems that it can't handle multiple languages properly. I've just typed this in swiftkey and while my keyboard is set to English it insists upon correcting in German. Likewise when writing in German with the Swiss German keyboard activated it often provides corrections in English.
These developers should bloody well get the idea that not all of us are language locked.
Re: Downloaded and installed
"One slightly annoying thing on this install / upgrade to 10.10 was that my MBair sounded like a jet engine taking off for the first 8 minutes of the installation. Other than that it went very smoothly."
Nothing to worry about - basically due to the speed of writing to your SSD the processor was able to run at full tilt doing various tasks such as decompressing stuff, managing the installation, and maybe doing a bit of compiling as well. Hence the fan was needed to do a bit of cooling work.
I generally experience this with most large installations on Mac laptops that last more than two or three minutes.
Re: Home NAS?
I agree with you in principle, but I've never been a fan of true self contained NAS devices. Like many of you guys here I've got old and broken computers kicking around the place, and I tend to repurpose those as home servers for private cloud.
True, doing that can up the amount of leccy that you use, but currently I run an old laptop with a busted screen as a home server with external drives for backup, and it doesn't seem to suck much more juice than a modern NAS system. Not to mention it can be far more more flexible as well - it even includes it's own UPS system, otherwise known as a battery.
Re: SMS EMERGENCY UPDATE
I just spat beer onto my iPad upon reading that
Thank you very much, Don. I couldn't give a toss about the iPad, but I will be expecting recompense for the wasted beer.
Re: Can anything be on my Christmas list?
Apple, for some reason, seem to be getting away with it. I can't remember a micro USB adapter being included with any of my recent devices.
That said, I do live in Switzerland which is outside the EU, but which adopts certain EU practices - if it's to their advantage. So that may be the reason.
However, I'm sure Apple will sell me one at a jackbooted price should I require one.
I can see where MS are going with this
The consumer tablet space is saturated. MS was way too late to the party to make any impact in that space, so they've done the obvious thing and gone for the business space. I'll admit if you're a serious business user looking to use a tablet as your primary compute device then it looks good, but...
...How many serious business users would really consider a tablet as a good solution. Ok you can get full MS office on it, but the thing weighs in close to ultrabook weights and the pricing is getting well into mid range to premium laptops the higher the spec you choose.
I think most people, myself included, think that tablets in business are a partner to a main productivity system - not the productivity system itself. I really don't see this as a laptop killer for those who actually have business needs, I see it as a very competent sidekick, but the pricing possibly puts it outside of a convincingly realistic sidekick compute device.
I'm sure it will be popular amongst upper managers and bosses, but that's a small market segment.
It's a tough one, on the one hand it certainly appears to be a very useable device in business, and I know people who swear by the surface 2. On the other hand I think the market segment is way too small for MS to really have a success with this tablet.
They've already done that. It just wasn't branded that way.
Go pro audio
I fell into HIFI about 30 years ago when HIFI was still relatively grounded in the real world. However even then there was snake oil creeping in. Today it's just bullshit at the mid and upper end of the market, filled with what is essentially quackery and snake oil
Fast forward 30 years and I now have all the money in my bank account (thanks, IT) to buy a stupidly expensive system, but you know what, I wouldn't walk through the doors of a HIFI shop if you held a gun to my head, well I would, but only to have a laugh. These days I go straight to a pro audio outfit. 1 grands worth of pro audio kit will kick a 20 grand "HIFI system" into the dirt - no contest. Sure the pro audio kit lacks the "stylish design" of the HIFI gear, but I couldn't give a shit about that.
As for headphones, I wouldn't touch beats with the proverbial barge pole. My weapons of choice are the senny HD25-II for portable use and the AKG Q701 for home use plus mixing and mastering. Funnily enough the Q701 is actually a celebrity endorsed headphone, but it's just a K702 with a different badge and it has a fantastically detailed and spacious presentation while retaining a fabulously good flat frequency response.
Basically if the headphones aren't from Germany or Austria (Sennheiser, Beyer Dynamic, AKG) then I'm not interested, apart from a couple of notable Japanese exceptions - Denon and Audio Technica.
iOS 7 is actually pretty cool IMO
iOS 7 is actually pretty cool, I think. I've no problems running it on any of my iToys, even my ageing 4S handles it with aplomb. I do like the minimalist look of it, and it feels like it's there to get the job done rather than try to represent the physical world (I can never spell that skeuwy word)
Mind you, I would have preferred something like LCARS - now that's minimalist, even if it does look somewhat dated now.
Back in the eighties...
Back in the eighties the degree that I was studying COBOL was a good part of it.
Never used it after I was finished with the degree, but the one lasting thing it did do was to teach me how to spell "environment" correctly. Without COBOL I'd still be misspelling that word.
If there's anything that iOS needs...
If there's anything that iOS needs it's a proper file management environment, desperately.
Text edit is effectively redundant as everybody I know uses notes, or Daedalus ,for basic text and note taking. Also given that pages is free for new devices it kind of validates it's redundancy. Don't get me wrong I love TextEdit on the mac - it's a quick and dirty word processor, but I don't see how it would fit in the iOS world
Preview, oh god, yet another PDF viewer. Seriously I've lost track of how many PDF files I've got duplicated between apps.
Seriously iOS needs a Finder equivalent. To be fair iOS is workable without, but by god I don't just want workable, I want flexibility. Goodreader is good in that it gives me access to my servers and can sort of function as a file management system, but I really want something native that doesn't require the duplication of files in order to open them with a different app.
Re: will it have downloadable maps?
I have my doubts as to whether it'll support that, but I've found "citymaps2go" to be an alternative on iOS. Pay a couple of quid for the app and then download the maps you need. I'm not sure it offers turn by turn, but as I can actually read a map it's not that important for me.
It's not the the map app was crap
It's not that the map app was, in itself, crap, it was the data being fed to it that was seriously lacking in some departments. Although it could be said that the map app is still overly simplistic.
To be honest I never had a problem with it. Probably because I don't blindly trust whatever navigation system I'm using, and that I only really use it to locate places in urban areas - although I've got to say that google maps is still more accurate.
Then again I'm old "Skool" I guess at my age. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was navigating London with a well thumbed copy of the A to Z and was thus used to finding things that were not quite as they were when my copy of the A to Z was first published.
Map apps in general are a great assistance but nobody in their right mind should treat any of them as gospel. Unfortunately this is what some people do, and when this is added to a lack of common sense disaster ensues.
Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?
You're kidding right. My firm shoves around 50 White MacBook models into recycling every month. If you want to use it a 2007 model will still run Lion, or Linux with bootcamp ;-)
A laptop's useful lifetime is around 3 years, 4 years tops. A 2007 MacBook is now over 6 years old. I really fail to understand what you're complaining about.
Linux is a fractured mess
Ok, I use Linux every day, but the whole ecosystem is a fractured mess. It will never gain traction outside of the server room due to the fact that everybody important involved with desktop Linux will eventually throw their toys out their pram and fork it.
This is bad for any business as quite frankly there are no believable roadmaps for any of the desktop environment providers. Gnome screwed up with v3, ubuntu screwed up with Ubiquity etc. Nobody knows what's coming next and whether it's going to screw up their current perfectly running system.
Basically anybody running desktop Linux is a beta tester, actually an alpha tester if the truth be known.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy using Linux and I do experiment with the various flavours and desktop environments, but it is experimentation. If a client wants to put in a Linux server then no problem, but if they want to do a Linux desktop rollout then I'm "hang on, you really don't know what your asking for". Sure it can be done, but it's not going to be that smooth.
Well, this old fart has gone in the opposite direction. Basically at the start of last year I conceded defeat at trying to find what I wanted on CD, and started downloading from iTunes. The reason is that record shops here in Switzerland basically have the top 30 (and remember this is Switzerland so a good portion of the top 30 is made up of Hans-Ueli doing his latest covers, or DJ Bobo - the less said about him the better) plus a smattering of well known bands back catalogues
Trying to find anything alternative was a wild goose chase, yeah sure there are alternative record stores but their mostly filled with gangsta c-rap. iTunes was effectively a god send in terms of being able to obtain new music.
As for the quality of the sound, well I can't complain. 256 AAC VBR is transparent to my ears. Basically I can't hear the difference between that and the original CD, and I've put this to the test with some very esoteric headphone kit. One thing to note is that iTunes music downloads haven't been DRM'd for a long time now so you can do whatever you want with the file, although they do come with metadata that identifies the purchaser, but that's easy to strip.
Filtering through the crap
Filtering through the crap is by far the biggest challenge facing anybody using any App Store. There are plenty of great apps that just fall to the bottom because they cost a little bit. People will take free but crap apps in favour of good but cost a couple of quid apps.
As an example I've been looking for a suitable calculator for my iPad. Sure there are plenty of free calculators out there that do the job, but they were all basically simulating a traditional calculator. Up until recently the best I could find was the TI-nSpire app which was more of a CAS app than a calculator, meaning it can be heavy going. Then just after the new year I noticed something in the iTunes app store as a new addition called Tydlig which has now replaced all calculators on all of my iOS devices. However it costs around 3 quid which means it'll probably and undeservedly fall out of sight because people are too tight arsed to pay for a bit of quality and innovation.
Check it out, just google Tydlig - it's probably the coolest calculator for iOS out there.
By the way I'm in no way associated with this app, although I did have an email conversation with the author regarding a very obscure and minor bug that I found.
Oh, FFS, now Apple can't trust anybody to be anything other than a fumbling moron. Mind you, given my professional dealings with Apple that does just about sum up their attitude to anybody not directly employed by them, or anybody at all for that matter.
This might be my next phone
Ok, as the title says this might be my next phone should it come to fruition.
The reason I'm still using a 4S is that the 5 and 5s offer no real improvement in terms of screen real estate. Sure it's bigger, but it's not that much bigger and it's bigger in the wrong way, at least for my purposes.
At the moment I'm packing a 4S in conjunction with an iPad mini. I would really like to consolidate these devices into one and if Apple is going to offer a phablet then I'm in. I already look like a prick carrying two Apple devices so I can't imagine an Apple phablet will make me look more of a prick, who cares if it does anyway.
That said, the biggest problem could be that a phablet is a poor phone because it's not as easily pocketable, and a poor tablet as it lacks the screen size to get anything really useful done. I dunno, I'll consider my prickdom as and when such a device exists
Cool, if ever I need to off somebody I now know exactly how to do it without getting caught. Basically tap the local hoodies for a few wraps of this and that, get the guy plastered with spiked drinks, and then empty my recycling bin on his bed.
Who'd have thought it'd be so simple, and that the powers that be would give away their clandestine assassination secrets so easily
*tongue is firmly in cheek*
Re: Given that only the unwashed would try sudo rm -rf /* ...
Unfortunately the truth is that the vast majority of mac computers have only one account, and that is the account the user created upon first turning the machine on. This is always an admin account and therefore always part of the sudoers list.
I actually think that I'm the only mac user that has a managed account for day to day computing and an admin account for well, you know, admin thingies.
I think the problem is the working culture
To be honest I think the problem lies with the working culture in China. The poor guy probably worked till he literally dropped even though he would have been showing symptoms simply because that's the culture there. If you can walk you can work.
I actually believe Apple, in that they are going further than pretty much any other company with manufacturing interests in china in trying to improve the safety and working conditions of the workers, but I can imagine even Apple are probably hitting their collective heads against a brick wall when it comes to the ingrained culture of the Chinese.
I also suspect that Apple are going further in this mostly as a result of the negative press they receive whenever one of these unfortunate incidences happens.
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