* Posts by Slap

117 posts • joined 7 Jun 2011

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UK air traffic bods deny they 'skimped' on IT investment after server mega-fail

Slap

Re: S/390

Oh, get over it. You should see some of the downvotes I've had.

It's a comments section, not a career appraisal.

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Step by flashy step: Toshiba clambers up to next gen SSD

Slap

Re: Interesting experiment

I think a lot of SSD manufacturers are sandbagging, and using their endurance ratings as a warranty blocker. As I said in the OCZ thread the SSD Endurance Test (just google it) has shown that consumer drives, TLC included, have surpassed their rated endurance by a hell of a long way.

My feeling is that basically the manufacturers don't want you putting consumer SSDs into your data centre - they want you to pay a premium for the "pro" variants, and your punishment for using consumer SSDs in a data centre is that the drives don't have a warranty should you exceed the rated endurance.

That said I'm all for this interesting tech which increases the capacity and longevity of SSDs, even though I think that we need move away from flash into other tech still in the labs which would appear to promise even more.

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Sink your teeth into OCZ's ARC 100 SSD sizzler with tasty home-grown chips

Slap

Re: Only 22TB?

Seems low doesn't it, but when you consider typical consumer useage, which where this drive is positioned, then it's unlikely that the drive will be completely overwritten once, assuming you discount any swap activity and any stuff the system is doing in the background - consumers tend to take a fill and then upgrade approach to storage. Even when you take the system activity, garbage collection, resaving documents etc, into consideration then the drive is still only likely to have encountered a mere fraction of it's rated endurance over it's lifetime.

I baulked at my 1TB M550's 72TB write endurance, but then I considered how I would actually use it and realised that I'll never get close to writing 72TB to that SSD.

Another thing to consider is that in the "The SSD Endurance Experiment" - http://techreport.com/review/25889/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-500tb-update - every single drive went way beyond their rated endurance, inluding TLC drives.

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Slap

The trouble with OCZ

The trouble with OCZ in the past was that they had to source their NAND on the open market, which IMO made the quality of the drives variable. Even within a particular model you would never know if you were getting good quality NAND from a known manufacturer, or dodgy stuff that was made in an unknown plant in China.

Now that they're owned by Tosh, now using NAND of a known quality, and given that the whole SSD tech has matured since the OCZ reliability debacle I'd be prepared to give them a go again.

One thing that I will not do these days is touch an SSD brand that does not have the backing of a major NAND fabrication plant. No more SSDs for me where the manufacturer is scrabbling around on the open market for NAND chips.

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Oh BOY! The MICKEY MOUSE Apple Watch is no heart-throb

Slap

What if you're mad like me

"It uses multiple technologies in conjunction with your iPhone to keep time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard."

What if you're a bit mad, like me, and keep your watch running a couple of minutes fast so you don't miss the bus, tram, train, boat or whatever?

Anyway it still remains to be seen if the Apple marketing bulldozer can convince Joe Bloggs on the street to part with his hard earned on a device where several "competent" alternative products have failed to do so.

Still a solution looking for a problem in my extremely worthy, and slightly mad, opinion.

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SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016

Slap

Data retention

Ok fair enough - you write once therefore the cells don't wear out. Wear levelling and garbage collection are not needed, but what about the data retention on TLC cells. I've seen figures banded about that 34nm MLC is good for 5 years unpowered (that is without garbage collection moving the data around) - hardly archive suitable really. Makes me wonder how long the data will last on TLC at even smaller processes.

5
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Bug fixes! Get your APPLE BUG FIXES! iOS and OS X updates right here!

Slap

Re: Hmmm...

Is the loss of TRIM really a big deal these days? With modern SSDs and their advanced garbage collection routines I'd have thought that the importance of TRIM is not what it was 2 or 3 years ago.

To put this into context we're running a number of RAID 5 systems with modern SSDs built purely for performance. As you probably know TRIM commands can't be issued on RAIDed SSDs, or at least to my knowledge not, and everything is running along tickety boo - no noticeable slow down at all, even though by my calculations would suggest that the SSDs in one of our RAIDs must have been overwritten 5 times now.

Admittedly I'm running a 1TB crucial 550 on my home iMac with TRIM artificially enabled, but I am wondering if TRIM is really necessary - especially as I borked the data transfer first time round, meaning that I've already overwritten the SSD once without TRIM being enabled, and everything still seems to run like a rocket.

To that end I'm curious as to what you guys think regarding TRIM and its applicability these days

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Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?

Slap

Re: What about Nokia 6310?

Are you me?

Everything you said there mirrors what I did with the 6310i and what I do with it these days.

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Slap

Re: 7110?

Actually the matrix phone was the 8110, which incidentally didn't have the spring action. It was retro fitted with the spring mechanism just for the film.

I guess they liked it, so they put a spring on the 7110.

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'Older' WireLurker previously tried, failed to leap from Windows to iThings

Slap

Perspective

What I find funny is that malware affecting Apple products is reported everywhere when it merely exists. In the Windows world it's only reported when it starts doing significant damage.

I'm a long term Apple user, and the truth is that there has always been malware and viruses for the Mac (the autostart worm springs to mind) and there always will be. Unfortunately most Mac users blindly carry on having made the erroneous leap of faith that Apple systems are immune to malware.

Sure, Apple systems are, by design, a harder target than windows, but most Mac heads fail to take even the most basic steps to mitigate themselves from infection.

Hell, the vast majority of Macs I come across have only one account, and that by default has to be an admin account.

Eventually there will be a hard and damaging piece of malware hit the Apple world. Unfortunately it will take that to alter the "I'm immune" culture that Mac users have.

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REVEALED: Apple fanbois are 'MENTALLY UNSTABLE' - iShop staff

Slap

Re: This is not just an Apple thing

You're wrong about it's not as bad as crack. I've seen people completely and utterly lose it when told their phone will need to be sent away for repair.

Sad.

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The late 2014 Apple Mac Mini: The best (and worst) of both worlds

Slap

I was waiting

I was waiting for the new Mac mini, but this is so disappointing. The idea is, that when you release a new version of a product, it's supposed to be better, not worse, than the preceding model.

I have a 2011 iMac at home and I thought that maybe the next Mac mini, with a bit of alteration, would suffice as a replacement. Alas no, so I opended up my iMac and put a 1TB SSD into it to get a couple of years more useful life out of it.

I'm known as a bit of a Mac man amongst my peers, and am often asked the question "which would be the best Mac to buy". Previously I would always be able to pick a new model that suited their requirements, but I'm now saying buy a recent second hand one.

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The Great Smartphone Massacre: Android bloodbath gathers pace

Slap

Re: When I started in the phone business

Oh my god, I remember putting together a service and billing system in Foxbase (who remembers that) for a Nokia Mobira service centre in Cambridge way back. It must have been 88 or 89. I always wondered what happened to the Mobira part.

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Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores

Slap

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.

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The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters

Slap

Loving the commentary

Loving the commentary - spitting beer with every update.

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Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack

Slap

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.

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Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD

Slap

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.

Etc etc.

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.

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The sound of silence: One excited atom is so quiet that the human ear cannot detect it

Slap

Even though we can't hear an excited atom, I'll bet the sound it makes is "wheeeeeeeeeee"

11
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Jony Ive: Apple iWatch will SCREW UP Switzerland's economy

Slap

Bang on

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.

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iOS phone phlaw can UNMASK anonymous users on social media

Slap

Nah, if you click something bad on iOS it still just works, and precisely as it was intended.

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HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE

Slap

Apple didn't make a 7 inch tablet, they made a 7.9 inch tablet - do the rounding and you've got 8 inches.

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Tim Cook: I'm NOT worried about CRAP iPad sales. It's just a 'speedbump'

Slap

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.

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Slap

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.

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Trundle, trundle, FLEEEP: iPhone 6 production grinds to halt

Slap

Bored already

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.

4
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Microsoft ropes in Opera Mini as default Nokia dumbphone browser

Slap

Re: SHould have been done years ago

Baboom tsk.

Or should that be: unce unce unce unce ;)

Bless Mr Roland.

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Power of iPhone 6 hype-gasm: Apple a sniff away from record stock high

Slap

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.

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Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones

Slap

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.

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Tiny transforming bots: Meet these self-assembling 'thoughtful' droids

Slap

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.

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PEAK APPLE: One MILLION fewer iPads sold this quarter

Slap

Re: Perhaps?

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.

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HGST brings PCM to flash show, STUNS world+dog with 3 MILLION IOPS

Slap

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.

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Bloodthirsty Apple fanbois TEAR OPEN new Macbook, bare its guts to world+dog

Slap

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.

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It's Google HQ - the British one: Reg man snaps covert shots INSIDE London offices

Slap

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"

Just saying

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.

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

Slap

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"

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Slap

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.

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Google spaffs $50 MILLION on 'get girls coding' campaign

Slap

Coding is a flexitime job

One day you might pull 12 hours and the next perhaps 16 - that seems pretty flexible to me.

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Hate phone games that make you buy in-app gumble? Congrats, you're a niche player

Slap

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

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The cute things they say

Slap

Me: "What was the last thing you were doing with the computer before the problem occurred?"

User: "Nothing"

Me: "Well, if you were doing nothing with the computer how do you know there's a problem?"

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Apple: REIGN OF FIRE coming to Europe courtesy of old iPhone chargers

Slap

Pre-emptive strike

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.

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EU probe into Apple's taxes: It's NOT to do with double-Dutch-Irish anything sandwiches

Slap

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.

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Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Slap

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.

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New iOS 8 SDK: Come in, apps. Get cozy, sip wine, swap numbers

Slap

Re: SWYPE

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.

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YOSEMITE GLAM: Apple unveils gussied up OS X

Slap

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.

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PEAK NAS? Peak NAS. I reckon we've reached it

Slap

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.

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Bondi shark alert systems beams warning to nobody on Google Plus

Slap

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.

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Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

Slap

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.

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PC makers! You, between Microsoft and the tablet market! Get DOWN!

Slap

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.

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Slap

They've already done that. It just wasn't branded that way.

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Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

Slap

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.

4
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Greg Christie to leave Apple as Jonathan Ive seizes design reins

Slap

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.

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The gift of Grace: COBOL's odyssey from Vietnam to the Square Mile

Slap

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.

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