83 posts • joined 20 Sep 2011
Re: If I were to congratulate India for their technical achievement
The BBC comments section frightens me, and I'm not easily frightened.
Re: Do you get what you pay for?
Pretty easy to take good photos from that sort of distance, with that sort of velocity. It's a question of payload weight - bigger lenses are heavier and more precise tracking equipment is also heavier.
The bigger the payload, the higher the costs. The point above stands - India's achievement is outstanding, but other more expensive missions were not a waste of money, they were doing much more.
If they were overpriced, they wouldn't sell. That's the thing about pricing.
They're just overpriced *for you*.
Sounds brilliant. I'll definitely buy one wh en t .... buffering ...
Travelling and operator lockin is the dealbreaker for me too - I'm writing this right now in Moscow using a cheap Megafon data SIM bought just for this two week business trip.
Re: @h4m0ny, re Capitalism
I doubt that's true - cross subsidy is difficult to do in a competitive market. If one network was subsidising expensive phones with cheap ones, other networks would be able to easily lower prices and attract those users.
And the reasons that Apple can continue to command a premium are varied, but not really about the hardware costs.
It's a combination of non-geek design, iOS, and a smidge of the conspicuous consumption factor.
I have an iPhone which I paid full rate for with no contract. It worked out fractionally cheaper over two years, with the big advantage of no operator lock-in.
But it's amazing how many iPhone owners express shock when they found out how much I paid, even though they paid the same amount themselves. Because the price they paid was hidden and they allowed themselves to be fooled.
Price psychology is such an important part of this market.
If the Raspberry Pi is intended to help children experiment and learn to code, why all the focus on end-user desktop software?
These days going to university is synonymous with taking a three year course in Hair Care (with Powerpoint) at the University of North-West Runcorn. An apprenticeship is definitely better than that.
But is an apprenticeship better than a physics or maths degree at Bristol or Sheffield? No. Not in a month of Sundays.
The problem is that the concept of a degree has been watered down.
Films are telling a story. Past a certain point, the fidelity of reproduction is unimportant - it's the story that matters.
What happened to a good old cup of tea?
And when did shop assistants start being called "barristas"? What is this, America?
Re: New IOS = New IOS Support in Apps = Overhead
App upgrades only hit system performance at the exact time they're upgrading, which is - for most people - overnight when plugged in. Once the app is upgraded it doesn't consume processor cycles until it runs.
The bigger issue here isn't just that the apps have support for the new OS, but also that they have support for new hardware. The app developers are subject to the same drivers as Apple themselves - they are targetting new hardware that can do more without appearing slow, so they are driven to do that. As the population of users migrates to newer hardware, the commercial imperative to support older hardware decreases and the app developers spend less time worrying about performance on older devices and more time competing with other app developers for the best experience for the biggest user groups. Having the best experience often means utilising the hardware to its maximum capabilities.
Tim's absolutely right. It's not so much that anyone's "at fault" as it is about simple economics.
Re: Bricking Old Hardware
No, they won't be doing that for a number of reasons:
1. Their customer reputation is too important to them and they know it. They make plenty of money from organic sales.
2. The engineers and designers at Apple - and it is a very engineer-led company - wouldn't be happy.
3. The policy would leak to the press, or at least the risk of it leaking would be too high.
But you're right, you're definitely a cynic :)
Re: Somewhat missing the point
There's a specific thing with the original iPad at work here. They didn't give it enough RAM, even for the time.
It was released with iOS3 which killed processes as soon as you hit the home button and even then it struggled a bit. iOS4 - a genuinely important upgrade - was a very squiffy on the original iPad. I remember Safari crashing fairly regularly on mine.
An iPad 2 will quite happily run iOS7 without crashing.
It's not all about cost. I'm just about to replace an old inherited freezer with a new model purely on efficiency grounds, but not because of the cost. Because of the CO2 emissions.
Why is it so unpalatable to talk about CO2 savings these days? Why must everything be framed in terms of financial benefits alone?
MP editorials? Does this mean that the Register has now hit the proper mainstream? Congratulations.
It's about time technology publications were treated seriously outside technology circles.
Re: Talk Radio
iPlayer works well abroad. You just need to use a UK VPN, of which there are many - some free, some paid. Even the best ones cost only a couple of pounds a month and almost all work on Android, iOS and desktops.
Nope. Lithium is very common. Are you thinking of the rare earths?
The real question is, how cheap can they make it?
Re: Bandwidth caps?
Because people tend to download a lot more stuff than they actually watch from start to finish.
The quality of the content matters far more than the quality of the picture. I am still perfectly happy with my standard definition TV, but would like to see more money being invested in high quality programming, particularly the arts and sciences, rather than on glossy pictures full of cheap nonsense.
Anyone else remember when Orange first started up in the 90's? They were cutting edge, innovative, different. Wildfire? Inclusive minutes? Two phone lines on the same SIM?
And the same is true of T-Mobile (or One2One as they were known). Completely free calls inside London.
Now they're just sh1te. The MVNOs and Three are where the innovation is happening.
This stuff is such a crying shame. Why can't Microsoft see what they need to do? It's not hard.
Bring back the Start Menu. Sure, improve it by all means. But it's got to be functionally rich.
Focus on the desktop experience for laptops and desktop and the tablet experience for tablets. Don't try to mix them.
Give the desktop UI a damn good cleanup and overhaul. Declutter it and remove the pointless complexity and fiddliness.
Replace the umpteen control panel(s) with some sort of cohesive, straightforward settings system that doesn't require you to dig five layers down to do simple things.
Replace creaking subsystems such as printing, scanning, sound control, bluetooth management with new up-to-date versions.
Bundle a couple of decent apps for home users
Build a Windows Store for desktop apps.
I could go on. If they did some of these things, people would upgrade.
More than that, a perfect square wave would violate the laws of physics as it would require the atoms in the air (or whatever medium) to move faster than the speed of light.
But the idea isn't to reproduce a perfect square wave, simply to do a much better job of it.
Gosh, what a lot of armchair scientists in the comments section today.
Dawkins is one of the pre-eminent experts in the field. He may also be a writer, but he's a first rate evolutionary biologist with a large body of highly original and respected work behind him.
If you're going to post on things like that, perhaps preface with the disclaimer: "I have no knowledge of the following topic, but this is my opinion"
Abso-bloody-lutely. It's high time that some properly clever disruptive technology exposed the audio emperor's new clothes.
Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.
The point I'm trying to make isn't that it's super-safe, just that it's clearly not unsafe, which the concern about the screen would imply.
Re: Wait, the screen is used for what?
I love all these people speculating on humungous, glaring problems that the car doesn't, in fact, have. It's been driven for half a billion miles by tens of thousands of owners over more than a year.
But, hey, maybe they forgot windscreen wiper stalks and some random Register commenter is the first to think of that?
Re: how are they likely to be in Winter?
It turns out that this question has been asked a lot before, surprisingly. And there are actual, factual answers available.
It also turns out that heating the cabin isn't a major drain compared to moving the car. And Norway is one of Tesla's biggest markets, and much of the northern US, not to mention Canada, has very harsh winters. Etc. Etc.
Re: Google maps? Really?
The Tesla navigation system has offline map data.
Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.
Your personal opinion is great 'n all, but is refuted by the numbers.
The average road death rate in the US, where almost all Teslas have been delivered to date, is approximately 1.2 per hundred million miles. As of about two weeks ago, Tesla Model S's had been driven 344 million miles with no deaths. And not just that, but no serious, permanent injuries.
Does that sound like a car that is unsafe? Maybe nobody dying is a fluke, due to the relatively low sample size. But no serious permanent injuries either? And on top of that, it achieved the highest safety rating of any car ever tested in the US.
So while I understand your concern that the screen might be a distraction, it would appear that in practice it's not.
I don't understand why everyone's accusing the government of underhandedness. There's nothing underhanded here - they're Tories. Selling stuff off, running things on the cheap, valuing the markets and private companies above all else...
That's what they do and we, as a country, elected the bastards. It's not underhanded, it's exactly what we voted for.
Re: Corrupt troughing bastards
Calling our bunch as corrupt and criminal as Putin's Russia is a gross overstatement which does nothing to help.
First, because it's not fair to our MPs who are not uniformly bad apples, nor even mostly bad apples. Second, because it's an insult to Russians who have to live under a genuinely corrupt system.
Go to Russia and see the difference. I am typing this from Moscow, where I am a regular visitor.
You may be upset with our system and may not like some of the participants, but there's no need to use hyperbole.
Re: Corrupt troughing bastards
"troughing". Is that your catchphrase? Not a word I've heard before in this context.
Re: physical reality is tightly coupled..
As an aside, "I expect few reading this to get the jibe".
Not cool. Just sayin'.
Besides, this is the Register and many of the readers and commenters are professionals or academics in the field.
Re: physical reality is tightly coupled..
I'm not saying that there's no requirement for these machines, just that the bulk of the growth in demand is elsewhere. Increasingly the workloads can either be run effectively on decoupled architecture, or can be run less effectively but much more cheaply on it. It's also interesting, in light of your comment about physical coupling, that two of the machines on the list are virtual and hosted on commercial cloud services. What does that say about the internal consistency of the SC500 list?
This article says more about the increasing irrelevancy of the Top 500 list and the difficulty in pinning down what actually constitutes a single computer these days than it does about any flattening of the trend in our compute capabilities.
The need for massive compute capacity is greater than ever, but is now being filled by distributed, network based resources. You won't see Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft or Apple on that list*, but I wouldn't be surprised if those companies could all comfortably top it.
* Not quite true: one of the "supercomputers" on the list is actually an Amazon EC2 instance cluster, another is hosted on Microsoft Windows Azure.
Sounds like a really good pub idea to solve a problem that doesn't exist.
1. From a risk perspective, current account balances are already held with the Bank of England, in that they're directly guaranteed by HM Government.
2. Fractional reserve banking is one of the greatest financial ideas of the modern era. Our economy couldn't function at the pace it does without it - there simply isn't the capital. Why on Earth would you want to get rid of it?
The reason they need to build a new OS has relatively little to do with latency. For a memristor to reach its full potential, you'd use it in place of both DRAM and fixed storage. That means the distinction between disc and RAM is gone.
There's no such thing as a reboot anymore. Power down the machine and all you do is pause it.
There's no intrinsic difference between a file on disc and a process's working memory anymore.
There's no performance advantage to loading / unloading / copying things around.
What does process isolation mean when the disk and the memory are co-extensive?
While you could gain some big advantages by making a memristor disk and using it in place of a conventional hard disc, the real wins would come from building a machine to the strengths of the technology.
It's particularly interesting because early ideas around computation (such as the universal Turing machine) didn't make a distinction between fixed and volatile storage.
Fascinating stuff, but mega high risk. It's a total moonshot and I'm really glad that somebody still has ambition and optimism.
Re: Which Office product is at fault?
> "Detail exactly what about Libre Office requires more time input than Microsoft Office? "
Staff training and support?
Niggling formatting issues when sharing documents with MS Office users?
Don't get me wrong. I love that Libre Office exists, but that's not inconsistent with recognising that it's not automatically cheaper or better than MS Office. Separate concepts.
Re: Lot of work?
TextEdit will never open a .docx file in a readable form - it's not like an old .doc file, as it's actually a zip archive containing a bunch of other files. Will always look unreadable if consumed neat.
Although in your particular case, the bad formatting would appear to be caused by a bug in Libre Office, rather being a stand-alone issue relating to generic file I/O errors.
Dropbox keeps an unlimited number of versions for up to a month, and it keeps a completely unlimited number of versions if you pay a bit extra for "pack rat". I agree that an error could be introduced, but it's still a better safeguard than relying on a plain old filing system.
What if the corruption had been more than just a missing tag?
A sensible policy would be Dropbox and a five-minute auto save. That way, you can go back through the file's history and get the last saved version.
Also, if your content is really important to you, use actual Microsoft Word. Yes, yes, I know. It doesn't run on Linux, it isn't free, it locks you in, etc. But it's bloody well tested and at the end of the day it's your content on the line.
Re: "Tesla X. Looks cool, but try doing that in a car park."
The front doors open normally, so there'd be no problem with a car transporter. It's only the rear doors that are top hinged.
Re: Marketing challenge
SpaceX aren't calling it the V2, they're calling it Dragon V2. As in, version 2. Most reporters, including the Reg, seem to be shortening it to just V2.
Re: Pricey and f*ck ugly..
Yeah, because prettiness really matters when you need something as hardcore and specialist as this.
He's got a point. The Register is one of the few exceptions to the rule.
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