Feeds

* Posts by jzlondon

75 posts • joined 20 Sep 2011

Page:

Epiphany hits Raspberry Pi founders, users

jzlondon

If the Raspberry Pi is intended to help children experiment and learn to code, why all the focus on end-user desktop software?

4
5

A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...

jzlondon

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.

10
1

Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing

jzlondon

Films are telling a story. Past a certain point, the fidelity of reproduction is unimportant - it's the story that matters.

3
0

Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

jzlondon

What happened to a good old cup of tea?

And when did shop assistants start being called "barristas"? What is this, America?

2
0

YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS

jzlondon

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.

0
0
jzlondon

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 :)

1
0
jzlondon

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.

1
0

Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

jzlondon

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?

8
30
jzlondon

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.

27
1

Swell. Apple buys 'Pandora-for-talk-radio' app... for $30 meeellion

jzlondon

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.

0
0

BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff

jzlondon

Nope. Lithium is very common. Are you thinking of the rare earths?

3
1
jzlondon

The real question is, how cheap can they make it?

4
1

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

jzlondon

Re: Bandwidth caps?

Because people tend to download a lot more stuff than they actually watch from start to finish.

1
1
jzlondon

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.

1
0

Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs

jzlondon

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.

0
0

Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

jzlondon

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.

4
0

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

jzlondon

Re: Audiophile?

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.

4
0
jzlondon

Gosh, what a lot of armchair scientists in the comments section today.

1
1
jzlondon

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"

19
3
jzlondon

Abso-bloody-lutely. It's high time that some properly clever disruptive technology exposed the audio emperor's new clothes.

6
0

We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

jzlondon

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.

0
0
jzlondon

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?

12
0
jzlondon

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.

3
1
jzlondon

Re: Google maps? Really?

The Tesla navigation system has offline map data.

1
0
jzlondon

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.

http://insideevs.com/elon-musk-344-million-miles-serious-permanent-injury-death-tesla-model-s/

So while I understand your concern that the screen might be a distraction, it would appear that in practice it's not.

13
1

Official: MoJ IT workers on STRIKE over outsourcing job fears

jzlondon

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.

1
0
jzlondon

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.

0
0
jzlondon

Re: Corrupt troughing bastards

"troughing". Is that your catchphrase? Not a word I've heard before in this context.

0
0

Supercomputing speed growth hits 'historical low' in new TOP500 list

jzlondon

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.

0
0
jzlondon

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?

0
0
jzlondon

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.

0
0

Today's get-rich-quick scheme: Build your own bank

jzlondon

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?

1
1

HP starts a memristor-based space program to launch ... THE MACHINE

jzlondon

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?

etc.

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.

1
0

DOCX disaster recovery: How I rescued my wife from XM-HELL

jzlondon

Re: Which Office product is at fault?

> "Detail exactly what about Libre Office requires more time input than Microsoft Office? "

Staff training and support?

Macro conversion?

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.

1
3
jzlondon

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.

0
0
jzlondon

Re: Culprit

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.

1
0
jzlondon

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.

0
0
jzlondon

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.

2
12

Look inside ELON MUSK'S CAR! Tesla S wundervehicle has voom

jzlondon

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.

3
0

SpaceX 'Dragon V2' ROCKET PODULE can hover-land on Earth - or MARS

jzlondon

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.

7
0

Chuh. Heavy, dude: HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

jzlondon

Re: Pricey and f*ck ugly..

Yeah, because prettiness really matters when you need something as hardcore and specialist as this.

7
2

Facebook exec: I HATE the INTERNET and I REALLY hate journalism

jzlondon

He's got a point. The Register is one of the few exceptions to the rule.

8
4

Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

jzlondon

They're idiots. They'll coast for a number of years, all the while losing their edge without noticing. The incremental improvements will mask internal stagnation and loss of core talent.

Then, when Airbus or China's Comac come up with the next mooonshot in ten years, Boeing will be utterly incapable of responding.

Designing aircraft isn't supposed to be easy.

7
1

Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up

jzlondon

Re: Still roaming challenged

Could you just tether it to your phone? I've found that since I got an unlimited plan with Three which includes tethering, I've not needed anything else. Ended up taking the SIM card out of my iPad altogether.

4
0
jzlondon

Ultra high resolution display

Does anyone have experience running Windows on one of these high-res displays, like the Surface 3 has, while simultaneously plugged in to an ordinary monitor?

How well does it work?

0
0
jzlondon

Re: Microsoft really have no clue

In the enterprise world, it's not so much the included functionality in Windows, as it is the in-house software, third-party LOB software and Microsoft Office macros.

In investment banking - my industry - the majority of third-party software is built for Windows desktops alone. Likewise, most internally developed trading, settlements and risk software has a Windows front end. And a large number of traders and risk people rely on hugely complex interlinked Excel spreadsheets driven by macros and quant libraries, all of which are Windows based. The cost of migrating it all to another desktop platform would be eye watering.

2
0
jzlondon

Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

> "I suspect you have a fault somewhere between your chair and your keyboard..."

Dude, I wasn't talking about me. I'm a Windows software developer with almost 20 years of professional experience. I was talking about various family members and non-techie friends.

Please don't try to make it personal. It's not a good way to win an argument.

Besides, if a large number of people don't get something, it's no good just accusing them of being thick. Maybe they are, and maybe it feels good to say it, but how does that help anything? Maybe the software developers just aren't doing a good enough design job?

7
0
jzlondon

Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

Yes, you can disable automatic updates. But the default behaviour sucks, and the default behaviour is what most non-techie users (ie most users) will stick with.

It needs to be better and just allowing it to be configured is no excuse. As techies are painfully aware, most non-techie users almost never change any settings at all on their computer, let alone something they don't understand like software updates.

2
1
jzlondon

Re: The real problem

Yes, because they won't have tested for that.

3
3
jzlondon

Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

"Installing update 1 of 23. Please do not switch off your computer."

How many of you have needed a machine in a hurry and booted it up to something like that?

And that's the least of it. Windows 8 is a UI disaster. Just sit someone who's not particularly computer literate in front of it and watch them try to use it. Hilarious. Where are all the settings? That's right! They're hidden in about a million different places. Want to open a PDF? Fine, but why has it gone full screen? Where's the save button?

And so on, and so on. Windows XP, for all its faults, was much less confusing.

Microsoft have lost the plot when it comes to the basics.

4
1

Page: