* Posts by Cuddles

84 posts • joined 3 Nov 2011

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Hack hijacks electric skateboards, dumps hipsters in the gutter

Cuddles

Failsafe?

So he first noticed this because disconnecting from the controller caused him to crash. Surely if it disconnects, it should fail to a safe state, presumably simply turning the motors off and leaving it to behave as a regular, unpowered skateboard. A skateboard that launches its user facefirst into the ground as a reaction to losing its connection really doesn't sound like a great idea even before anyone starts hacking.

Also, am I to understand that using this skateboard requires you to actually control it with your phone while using it? As in, these guys are standing in traffic on a motorised board playing with their phones instead of looking where they're going? They should count themselves lucky if hacking is the worst that happens to them.

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Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Cuddles

Re: Usb charging flap

I was going to say the same. The article is correct that the feel of the waterproof flaps doesn't inspire confidence, but over a year after I got my Z1 it's still just as solid as ever.

Unfortunately, the article is certainly not correct about all the bloatware that comes with it. I don't know why the Reg keeps praising them so much, Sony's media apps are by far the worst I've ever had the misfortune of using. If you actually want to have music on your phone, you're much better off dropping a couple of quid for a decent Android media player (I use PlayerPro, I haven't found a single free one that's even half decent) and transferring files using Windows explorer instead of some pointless crapware that only lets you "sync" in some way that it's decided you can instead of letting you tell it what to do. Even if you don't care about any of that, stock Android is still so much better than Sony's efforts it's not even funny.

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Sony looks at unpopular Google Glass, shouts 'ME TOO!'

Cuddles

Re: It's a sony

@dan1980

Exactly what I was thinking. The problem with Google glass is that it assumes that everyone will want to walk around wearing glasses all the time for no good reason. While the technology involve has plenty of potential use, marketing it as essentially a fashion choice for people to wear all the time in their day-to-day life just doesn't make sense. Very few people are interested in that for exactly the same reasons you don't see people wandering around town with GoPros strapped to their heads.

A small, self-contained unit that can be attached to equipment you're already using, on the other hand, has plenty of very obvious use cases. Cycle computers, for example, have been incredibly popular for decades (the first one, obviously a mechanical one, was made in 1895). Having a readout on your glasses rather than having to look at something strapped to your handlebars would definitely sell well. Plenty of other sports that don't currently have somewhere handy like handlebars to attach a screen would see obvious benefits as well. Running would be an obvious example, and you can get rather expensive ski goggles that already do exactly this, but are currently a very niche product for largely the same reasons as Google glass.

1
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Twitter co-founder: 'I don’t give a SHIT if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pics'

Cuddles

"We make more money, m'kay?"

...is what he might have said if Twitter had ever actually made any money. In reality, the big news for Twitter last year was that for the first time ever they managed to post a profit. For one quarter. As long as you ignore half their expenses. Total for the year? $35 million loss.

"It’s this realtime information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter – important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter."

Or, in the words of Jack Dorsey, co-founder, former CEO and current chairman, as opposed to Williams, co-founder and currently not involved with the company at all other than owning some shares - "a message on Twitter is 'a short burst of inconsequential information'"

Which is why around 80% of it is classed as pointless, with another 10% being spam and advertising:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter#Content

We're very much social monkeys and pointless babble has a useful place as part of that, but let's not pretend that a service which exists specifically to enable that is in some way a deep and meaningful experience. Or a profitable one, in this case.

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BT Infinity ‘working to fix problem’ after three days of outages

Cuddles

3 days?

Bollocks to that, I've been having issues for over a week now. Oddly enough, Google seems to be one of the worst affected - gmail and Youtube are pretty much impossible to use at all, and I even had to start using Yahoo (no, they're not getting an exclamation mark from me) for searching. On the plus side, I've found out that other search engines have apparently finally caught up with Google and are actually usable, which is a big improvement over the last time I checked (probably a year or more ago).

1
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Sonic BOOM: 10 blast-tastic soundbars

Cuddles

Am I missing something?

A decent surround sound system can be had for well under £100. Spend £300 or so and you're up to extremely high quality and face-melting power levels. Sure, the point of these "soundbars" (is there a reason we're not just calling them speakers?) is to not take up much space, but exactly the same effect can be achieved by just sticking a couple of regular speakers next to the TV. Hell, given the difference in price you could just get a surround system and bin half the speakers. Audiophiles are well known for being idiots, but at least that's usually because they actually believe something magic is happening, not because they're willing to pay hundreds of pounds extra to make their speakers look like a rectangle instead of speaker-shaped.

5
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Man asks internet for $1k for pebbles. INTERNET SAYS YES

Cuddles

Re: Nothing New

Indeed, I'm surprised it took this long for someone to point this out. Regardless of whether you think they're a terrible idea or not, starting a crowdfunding campaign for something that has been available in regular department stores for years seems rather stupid. Actually funding it even more so.

4
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Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming

Cuddles

Re: Battery Life

Indeed. I have a solar powered watch and it doesn't even need any concessions - the battery is good for several months, and only needs a couple of hours of decent sun to charge. Even if it gets very little light all winter it only needs a couple of days at either end of the summer to keep it going all year, and of course something regularly worn outside gets far more than that.

An important related point is that it's not just the watch battery that is relevant. Having a bluetooth connection to your phone pretty much 24/7 is going to kill the battery life for that as well. With many phones struggling to make it a whole day without needing charging as it is (depending on how much use they get of course), that's an important factor to consider. Saving you the effort of occasionally taking your phone out of your pocket isn't exactly a great benefit to start with, and it's going to look a lot less attractive if it means not having a phone at all for half the day.

5
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Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then

Cuddles

Unbundle search engines from commercial services?

This statement seems to make the rather odd assumption that search engines are not, in fact, commercial services themselves. What, does the EU believe that Google and others just provide search services out of the goodness of their hearts, and that they'll continue to provide them if forbidden to ever make any money off them? It could make sense if they were a little more specific about distinguishing searching from other services, similar to the Windows/IE issue mentioned by others above, but as it stands the statement is simply nonsense.

1
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Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

Cuddles

Wireless Power standards: There is only ONE

You may not guarantee winning a standards war by being technically the best, but you're even less likely to win it if you don't actually have any products available for consumers. As things stand, there is no standards war because as far consumers are concerned Qi is the only standard that exists. While there may be valid points regarding these things intake years to settle and there still being plenty of devices around that don't use wireless power at all, the longer we go with Qi as the only player actually in the market, the closer they come to winning by default.

1
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Yes, UK. REST OF EUROPE has better mobe services than you

Cuddles

Prices?

While the quality of service is important, it's hard to come to any sensible conclusions without knowing what everyone actually pays. If UK customers pay half as much as German ones, having a slightly lower quality service wouldn't actually be bad (although sadly I suspect reality is closer to the opposite). And for local comparisons, the fact that 3 gives unlimited 4G to everyone at no extra cost makes them look a lot more attractive than a comparison of the raw numbers might suggest. Sure, EE have better 4G service (because they were granted an early monopoly for no good reason and continue to benefit from that head start), but your wallet is going to know about it if you actually want to use it.

7
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What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight

Cuddles

Crap screen, crap hardware, crap apps, crap price.

I'm truly amazed this hasn't been selling well. At a more sensible price this... still wouldn't be particularly attractive since there's plenty of competition in the low-to-mid end of things and this doesn't appear to have anything to make it stand out. But at the same price as one of the best high-end phones currently available? It's like they're deliberately going out of their way to make this fail.

8
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Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids

Cuddles

"second only to the HTC Desire 610 and Moto G"

That would technically be third, not second. And let's be honest, third out of six isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

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Dragon Age, Inquisition: Our chief weapons are...

Cuddles

Re: What about gameplay?

By far the most important point about gameplay is that this is a third person action-adventure, it is absolutely not an isometric-style tactical game like Origins. They've almost sort of pretended to give a tactical view, but on the PC at least it's completely broken to the point of being unplayable. The rest of the game is a pretty decent port; some of the interfaces are obviously designed more for a controller than a mouse, but everything works fine. The tactical view, on the other hand, starts off by slapping a giant glowing, and entirely unremovable, crosshair in the middle of your screen to show where your controller is aiming, apparently completely forgetting that a mouse is a thing at all. The view is zoomed in to the top of your character's head and cannot be zoomed out further, meaning you need to use third person mode to actually see anything, the camera controls are virtually non-existent, and you can't give group orders or actually select anything; it's basically just third person mode with a broken camera.

On the plus side, as a third person game that lets you control and swap between a group, it's great. But if you liked DA:O and want another game like that, you're sadly out of luck. It's more tactical than most - you can still pause to give orders, positioning matters more than ever since not only can thieves still flank and backstab, but shields only protect from the front and are far more effective than before when used properly. The lack of healing allows more party options (no more mandatory Wynne), and also requires deciding when to press on with exploring and when to head back to base (with fast travel, so not too much mindless trudging around) - and enemies respawn, so if you're too low level for an area you can't just grind away and slowly wear your way through.

There's sadly less customisation. Characters aren't locked into unique equipment only for them (other than Varrick and his crossbow), but almost all weapons and armour are locked to a specific class; no more mages running around with swords in heavy armour. On the other hand, there seems to be no actual difference between light, medium and heavy armour anyway; they all have basically the same armour values and differ only on the bonuses they get. Seems a bit of a wasted opportunity really.

I haven't played Assassin's Creed or Far Cry, but you do a lot more than just capture forts. Indeed, I've put a good few hours into the game and haven't even found one so far. Power and influence are gained by doing the sort of things you'd pretty much expect - establishing camps and spreading the Inquisition's influence, helping out refugees with food and defence, and so on. It may not be the most original mechanic, but it fits in very well with both story and gameplay - you're not just running random errands for nameless NPCs as in so many RPGs (including DA:O), almost everything you do is something it actually makes sense for your character to be doing.

Overall, this is basically what Dragon Age 2 should have been. The world is more open and expansive than DA:O, and looks a hell of a lot better even on a fairly old PC (I'm still running a pair of GTX470s and have most settings on high, although I did have to drop the resolution down to 1920x1200). I'm not far into the story so I can't say how good it is throughout, but it's at least somewhat less generic than DA:O's "totally-not-orcs are attacking, sort it out". The templar vs. mage conflict is well fleshed out, with everyone involved having legitimate points and no-one simply being evil for the sake of it; even those who appear so at first tend to get shown from a more sympathetic point of view at some point. From what I've seen so far, the writing is mostly of much better quality than recent Bioware efforts.

On the Origin (EA, not DA) end of things, you do have to install it and the game runs through it, but after activation you can put it in offline mode and do not need a permanent internet connection to play. Also note that the game comes on 4 DVDs, and takes about half an hour to install from them. It's just like being back in the '90s again! If you have a decent internet connection, it may well be faster to just download it through Origin even if you have the discs.

If you don't like third person games, you won't like this because that's what it is. But if the idea of a more tactical than usual third person action game appeals, this is certainly one of the best around.

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Too 4K-ing expensive? Five full HD laptops for work and play

Cuddles

Re: Full HD?

Indeed. Although time has moved on since that xkcd, and 1080p on phones and tablets is now pretty much standard, but is apparently still considered a big deal on laptops and TVs. Weird.

@Bassey: don't confuse the market for laptops with the PC market as a whole. PCs really haven't stagnated at all - more powerful CPUs and GPUs are coming out all the time, and DDR4 RAM is just starting to come into use. And of course, despite the constant declarations that PCs are dead, the market has been growing quite nicely recently.

It's only really laptops that have an issue, because they don't have a unique niche any more. Tablets and phones have taken their place for most of the more basic mobile stuff - emails and such, and desktops will always be better for the more high-powered stuff. So it often makes more sense to have a phone or tablet and a desktop in the office, than to try to compromise with a laptop. That leaves laptops desperately trying to justify themselves. Put a better screen in and it might be more attractive, but it will also be significantly more expensive. Why get a £1000+ laptop when you can get a much more powerful desktop in your office for the same price, and get a 6" mobile thingy on contract to do your emails on the commute?

As for Moore's law, that's not really relevant. Haswell mobile CPUs do have around double the transistor count of the Sandy Bridge ones, but raw transistor count stopped being the important metric a long time ago, as did raw clock speed, raw core count, and pretty much any other metric that has been considered especially important in the past. In any case, I have a hard time seeing how a two year old i5 (either Sandy or Ivy Bridge), 660M GPU and 8GB RAM can be considered essentially the same spec as a brand new Haswell i7, 750M GPU and 16GB RAM. It might not be worth the upgrade, but that's exactly the sort of improvement in specs you'd expect to see on newer models around the same price point. The only part that isn't a straight upgrade is having a hybrid drive rather than SSD+HDD.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Spawn of Galaxy Alpha and a Note 3 unveiled

Cuddles

1140 x 2560 pixels

I hope you mean 1440x2560 otherwise that's a pretty weird choice, especially given it's the same size and shape as the previous 16:9 display.

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PHONDLESLAB-ULOUS: Motorola Moto X Android phablet

Cuddles

Re: Ordinary person here

I'm with you on most points, but with SD cards is not necessarily about changing them, but simply about having a reasonable amount of storage in the first place. My "16GB" phone actually shows as under 12GB, which hopefully means the OS is using some rather than it just having gone missing. In total, I've used up about 22GB of the 42GB I have available with a 32GB (which shows as 30) SD card. If I only had the 28GB or so a 32GB phone would give me, that doesn't exactly leave a lot of space to use over the next couple of years before I'm likely to replace it. If I actually want to put all my music on it, I'd already be struggling. If I took any significant amount of photos or video with it, I'd be struggling. If I wanted to install a couple of decent size games, I'd be struggling.

A lot of people reply to that sort of thing by saying that 16 or 32GB is fine, most people don't need more, just use the cloud, and so on. And that's fine for people who use their phones that way. But for those of us who do want a bit more storage, SD cards are basically the only choice since the options for phones with more built in are very limited, and usually quite a bit more expensive than the additional cost of a similarly sized SD card would justify (for example, a 64GB iPhone 6 costs £105 more than a 16GB one. A 64GB microSD card costs about £20.). A phone that can take an SD card caters for both groups. I've never changed an SD card in any of my phones, but I've also never had a phone that had enough storage built in, and a 400% markup on storage is pushing things a bit.

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You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes

Cuddles

Or to put it more accurately

"Users who don't update their anti-virus may as well uninstall it"

Or, if you look at the actual numbers, users who don't update their antivirus still get around 25% fewer infections than those who don't have it at all (I make it around 2.4% to 1.8% eyeballing it from the graph, actual numbers don't seem to be given). Sure, you're a lot better off keeping it up to date, but there's clearly a significant benefit from having out of date protection than none at all.

It's also worth keeping in mind that this refers only to users of Windows 8, and only those who have both downloaded the Malicious Software Removal Tool and opted to send information from it to Microsoft. Obviously I can't say how that will affect the results, but it's not exactly a randomised representative sample.

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Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

Cuddles

Is anyone actually surprised?

Elite 4 has been in and out of development for at least a decade, supposedly in parallel with The Outsider which would serve as a test-bed for the technology involved. That would be The Outsider that was announced in 2005, scheduled for release in 2009 and... is currently in development. Anyone sensing a theme here? Elite 4 was last cancelled around 2011, although supposedly work never completely stopped on it. Oddly enough, most of the development history has been removed from Wikipedia.

But hey, everyone threw money at Star Citizen, so why not replace the 4 with "Dangerous", pretend it's not vapourware that's been hanging around for a decade, and get some suckers to throw money at it. And surprise surprise, the game said suckers were promised is not actually what they're going to get. But let's be honest, with this kind of history they should really just count themselves lucky that anything is getting released at all.

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Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG

Cuddles

To be fair

While attaching it to an airbag isn't too bright, the actual thingy itself isn't such a bad idea. There are plenty of "stick your phone to part of your car" gadgets around, but this one does it in a way I haven't seen before which looks like it could well be better than the usual suckers or magnets. Just a shame they appear to want $75 for it when the alternatives generally cost around £10.

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4G is quicker than 3G, says Ofcom. Can't we get you on Mastermind, Sybil?

Cuddles

4G is faster than 3G

...just. Considering it's supposed to be an entirely new generation of amazingness, the fact that it barely manages to be twice as fast 3G over two years after its introduction really isn't something to be impressed by. Maybe it will be worth it given another few years, but at the moment I keep 4G disabled on my phone even though I'm with 3 and don't have to pay for it because it's simply not worth the hit to the battery, let alone the cost in actual money if your with a network that charges extra for it.

Speaking of 3, it's somewhat interesting that these results give 3 the worst download speeds, but by far the best loading times in actual use. It's almost as though the benchmarking doesn't actually give particularly useful results. Don't mistake me for a 3 fanboy though, I'm pretty sure the reason their coverage wasn't reported was simply that it was too shit to measure properly.

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Amazon: Put our ALWAYS ON MICROPHONE in your house, please. WHAT?

Cuddles

The next Xbox?

One reason the Xbox1 was so heavily criticised was because it was originally supposed to be permanently connected to the internet while watching and listening to everything that happened in your living room. Even before MS backed away from that, some people were still willing to buy it because it at least played games and such. Who exactly would have bought it if MS and instead removed the ability to play games and instead left only the always-on spying? Apparently this is a question Amazon have decided to answer.

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Boxing clever? Amazon Fire TV is SO CLOSE to being excellent

Cuddles

Cut-price console?

Not really. You can get a PS3 for the same price (from Amazon of course) which does every single thing this box does, plus a hell of a lot more - DVD, blu-ray, actual games that aren't crap, and so on. This isn't a cut-price console, it's just a shit one.

As for all the complaints about Prime, I really don't get it. No content provider offers everything you want at any time. Netflix or one of the others may happen to have a selection that more closely matches your taste and therefore be a better choice for you, but some people apparently want to be able to watch anything that has ever been made at any time without ever paying a penny, and that is simply never going to happen. Compared to "traditional" TV services like Sky and cable, Prime and all the similar services are so much better I'm constantly amazed that the old model still exists at all. No, you can't watch absolutely anything you want with no caveats, but compared to "pay significantly more per year in order to watch exactly what we want when we tell you you can, and incidentally most of it will be adverts" it really is a no-brainer.

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NHS slow to react as Windows XP support nears the end

Cuddles

More modern than I expected

I worked in a hospital records department for a summer job a few years back. Part of the system still ran on a BBCB, and there were still quite a few 486s running Windows 3.11 scattered around the place. Anyone worried that something as recent as XP hasn't been abandoned yet really has no idea what state NHS IT is actually in.

0
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Fiat 500S: So pleasingly sporty we didn't want to give it back

Cuddles

Fuel economy?

"67.3 mpg on the official combined fuel economy cycle"

And yet the pictures of the display show it getting 27.9mpg, a number that would embarrass an American pickup. Talk of traffic lights and transporting things in the boot suggest you weren't hammering it around a test track, so is that actually the sort of efficiency that can be expected with normal driving? Kind of shit for a small car whose only reason for existence is to be small, efficiency, and cheap.

And of course, if that isn't the actual fuel efficiency, showing two pictures of the dashboard, one with the wrong fuel efficiency and one with the wrong speed, doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the thing.

3
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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

Cuddles

From the department of "No shit, Sherlock"

"Microsoft’s thinking is that making these apps run seamlessly on the desktop will improve user acceptance and stimulate developer interest in the platform."

It's almost as though having programs that can be easily installed, uninstalled, and actually run is the whole fucking point of an operating system.

9
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Le whoops! Microsoft France boss blows lid off 'Windows 9' event

Cuddles

"Last year we had Windows 8"

Windows 8 was released in 2012. According to my calendar, it's currently 2014.

0
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Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE

Cuddles

Re: In any case, my old Xperia has survived plenty of similar drops

Mine hasn't. Ultimately, unless you get a properly designed tough phone, nothing made of glass, plastic, thin metal, and various delicate parts is going to consistently survive being dropped from a metre or two. In particular, comments like this (from the article):

"And dent – or perhaps crack – the reputation of the new iPhones' Gorilla Glass screens"

really betray the lack of understanding most people seem to have on the matter. No, this won't do anything about the reputation of the screens, because it's completely irrelevant. The point of Gorilla glass, sapphire, and similar, is that they are hard - they rank highly on the Moh's scale of hardness. That doesn't mean anything about how easy it is to break them, it's solely about how easy it is to SCRATCH them - a material higher on the list cannot be scratched by one on the lower. Diamond, the hardest material known, can still easily be broken if you hit it with a hammer. Gorilla glass is fairly hard, so it's less likely to get scratched if you put in a pocket with keys or something, but that says nothing about its ability to take an impact. Hard materials can easily be more brittle than softer ones.

4
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Fiat Panda Cross: 'Interesting-looking' Multipla spawn hits UK

Cuddles

80 bhp?

Not much point worrying about the off-road capabilities really, it's not going to be able to get up a hill in the first place.

4
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Adobe Flash: The most INSECURE program on a UK user's PC

Cuddles

Maybe if the updater didn't constantly try to foist malware on you on the rare occasions it actually works at all, people would be a little more inclined to actually use it.

0
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Military-grade bruiser: Getac F110 rugged tablet... is no iPad

Cuddles

Rugged?

Yet another "rugged" device that is significantly less waterproof than many regular phones. Sony, Samsung and Motorola can all manage waterproofing at no significant extra cost, but a two grand tablet specifically designed to be rugged somehow can't manage it at all? The buttons look rather shit as well. Far too small to be used while wearing gloves.

So yeah, this is going to fail hard. Too expensive and pseudo-ruggedised for normal people, but completely useless for anyone who actually needs a real rugged device.

1
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NHS delivers swift kick to Microsoft's wallet over fee demands

Cuddles

Re: Ransom

"The best way to prevent being held to ransom is to move away from M$' effective monopoly."

The best way to avoid being held ransom is to be the 5th largest employer in the world and to tell anyone who tries to go and fuck themselves. As the title of the article notes, the NHS is capable of kicking Microsoft in the wallet far harder than MS can kick the NHS. MS can threaten all they like, but they will never risk losing that amount of business if the NHS just refuses to bend over.

3
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GCSE Computing teachers cry victory as board decides NOT to bin tech teens' work

Cuddles

A useful education

Learning how to solve problems by copying bits of code you found on the internet is probably the most useful part of this GCSE.

1
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I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to

Cuddles

"Google wants battery life to be improved"

"a revved up user interface with shadowing for icons to make them appear to hover over the page; brighter colors; 3D viewing support; and 60 FPS animations onscreen."

They're going to improve battery life by adding a bunch of pointless battery-draining bullshit to the UI?

4
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The Strippers, Unicorn Computers and Martian Watches of Computex

Cuddles

Doomed?

Not sure why Qi wireless charging products are labelled as "doomed". Plenty of people have signed up for A4WP and on paper it has some advantages over Qi, but as things stand paper is all it has while Qi has actual products. Some of them from members of the A4WP consortium. You can't have a format war if one of the participants refuses to actually release anything, and it's looking more and more like Qi is going to win this one by default.

2
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Dixons and Carphone Warehouse confirm £3.7bn MEGA-BORG

Cuddles

Not just outdated...

Aren't carphones actually illegal these days? You can use a mobile with a hands free setup, but an actual old-school carphone with a handset would get you a swift fine if anyone saw you using it. Once they were done laughing.

3
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Samsung Galaxy S5 in El Reg's claws: This time the 'S' is for 'sensible'

Cuddles

Low-power GPS?

"low-power GPS chips meant regular runners and cyclists could use apps like Strava and MapMyRun for more than an hour at a time."

You mean unlike every phone with GPS I've ever had, including a Galaxy S2, which can happily run said apps for a whole day with battery to spare at the end? Reducing power use is always going to be a good thing, but when you're publishing product reviews it's generally best to describe how things actually are rather than making ridiculous exaggerations.

Re: Fitness Fad

Rather than ignoring that lots of people are lazy, maybe that's the whole point and they're trying to encourage people to be more active. If you can make exercise easier and/or more interesting, people will do it more.

0
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Ugh! This DUNKABLE wearable tech is REPELLENT

Cuddles

Re: Cameras are a bit harder

Yet I already own three waterproof cameras - one old enough to have just about died, one replacement for same, and one Xperia Z1. Four if you count a GoPro with its waterproof case. Sure, they may well need to keep the current technique of physically preventing the water getting in to some places rather than just dipping everything in magical repellent goo, but given that we've been doing that perfectly well for quite a while now it can hardly be considered a huge problem.

0
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Virtual-reality Dev Kit 2 game goggles by Oculus – now with less vomit!

Cuddles

Re: Maybe a silly question

"why don't these have a front-mounted camera"

Cost and complexity. Cameras cost money, take up space, use battery power, use processing power, and so on. It's far from clear just how big a market VR headsets will actually have. Gaming already has a clear market, while augmented reality is very much at the "maybe it will be popular in the future" stage. Increasing cost and compromising performance in their core area would not be a good idea. Ultimately, a specialist device that focusses on one thing will almost always be better at that thing than a device which tries to do everything, so they need to establish that they can do that one thing and that there is actually a market for it before they start worrying about other features.

Plus, look how many issues Google glasses are having, both in terms of fashion and with safety and so on. And those are just clear glasses with a mild distraction attached. A headset that completely blocks your entire view and replaces it with a much lower quality, narrower field of view, plus looks incredibly silly to be walking around with, is not something that's going to take off in a hurry. Such things may take off eventually, but that's really not going to be a good way to introduce the product to market.

1
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Google wearables: A solution looking for a rich nerd

Cuddles

Re: What's the big deal with charging every day?

"And I used to use a mechanical watch, which I had to wind every day."

Notice the words "used to" there. How many people actually use such a watch these days? Unless it's just a fashion statement, no-one wants a watch that requires constant maintenance. You can get a watch for £5 that will last several years without needing to be touched at all, and will be more accurate than a mechanical one as well.

"I have a smart phone, which I charge every night... Is charging every day really a deal breaker?"

Yes. Note that one of the most common complaints about phones is that the battery does not last anywhere near as long as people would like. We accept having to charge them regularly because at the moment there's simply no alternative, but there are constant efforts to make them last longer and to make charging less inconvenient when it is necessary. Replacing a watch that never needs charging with one that needs charging every day, in addition to the phone which will also need charging, is just adding even more inconvenience. And as the article notes, it doesn't add any real convenience to compensate, it just does the same as the phone you already have, but not quite as well. Voluntarily paying for extra unnecessary inconvenience is not something consumers do.

"Some people scoffed then that backlit colour screens would never take off, as they would eat batteries."

Some people may have done so, but the fact is that backlit colour screens do things that previous screens didn't. People are willing to compromise in some areas if they get enough benefits in others. But the only benefit a smartwatch has is that you don't have to take it out your pocket. In return you have to compromise battery life, screen size, processor power (how hot do you want your wrist?), cost (you still need a phone to connect to it), and so on. And of course, even that sole benefit is hardly even such a thing at all. You still need both your hands to actually use a smartwatch - it's attached to one and you need the other to do anything with it. So while you don't need to actually hold it in your hand, having it on your wrist offers no real convenience over having it in your pocket anyway. People scoffed at backlit screens because they thought the cost would outweigh the benefits. People scoff at smartwatches because there are no benefits, only costs.

8
1

Xenon: Bitmap Brothers' (mega)blast from the past

Cuddles

Xenon 2 was an awesome game, but I really get the feeling that old-school developers hated keyboards with a passion. Between this and Daley Thompson's Decathlon, my poor keyboard took such a beating.

10
0

King Kong's dangling cluster cut loose

Cuddles

1.4 TFLOPS?

No wonder they're just giving it away, that's less than a new console, let alone a decent workstation PC. More memory and scope for playing with parallelisation, but certainly not something anyone's going to pay actual money for these days.

0
1

Judge upholds UK ban on HTC phones, but HTC One gets a pass – for now

Cuddles

"You can't ban our phones, because if we don't break the law we won't make enough money."

Arguments about the general stupidity of patent law aside, I really don't understand how this can be considered a valid defence. The only reason the One isn't being banned is because doing so would damage HTC's business. Surely that's the whole point? If you can't run a successful business with stealing from other people, you don't get to run a business at all.

2
3

Valve pal iBuyPower touts cut-price Steam box as powerful as PS4 or Xbox

Cuddles

Re: What PC games apart from FPS will actually work well on steambox?

"I know that Valve are aware of the problem that a lot of PC games are click fests as they have designed a fancy new controller to enable this in front of the TV but... I just don't see their touch pad controller working anywhere near as well as a mouse."

It's a PC. If you want to use a mouse, just plug one in.

As for the article:

"iBP’s hardware incorporates a multi-core AMD processor"

Is this really something we still need to say? I'm not sure it's even possible to buy a single-core processor any more. What that sentence actually boils down to is "PC has a processor". Yeah, no shit.

"Output is 1980 x 1080 for modern tellies"

Wouldn't it make more sense for the output to be the 1920x1080 that modern tellies actually use?

2
0

Stretchy capacitive sheaths coming to protect your pay-by-bonk mobe

Cuddles

Superconductor != supercapacitor

That is all.

4
0

Firefox reveals new look: rounded rectangles

Cuddles

Are we talking about a different Firefox?

"Tabs are also higher up the page, saving a few pixels for showing web pages."

On my current version (25.0.1, no idea if it's the latest), tabs are jammed squarely against the top of the page. On the picture in the article, there's a huge chunk of wasted space above the tabs. Far from moving them higher to save pixels, it appears they've done the exact opposite.

3
0

Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

Cuddles
FAIL

Are you sure you reviewed the right phone?

"The IP58 certification"

As I also pointed out on the Xperia Ultra review, it does not have an IP58 certification. It has an IP55/8 certification. That means that IPx6 is not covered, so it cannot stand up to water jets.

"As with all modern Android flagships the Z1 packs an IR blaster"

No it doesn't.

As for the screen, I really have no idea what anyone is complaining about. I can clearly read everything on the screen no matter how far I tilt it, right up until it's side on. It's obviously not as bright as looking at it head on, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. And that's with the brightness turned down as low as it will go. I haven't compared it with other phones so others may well be even better, but unless there's something seriously wrong with your eyes I can't imagine how anyone could have a problem with this one.

1
0

MILEY CYRUS in JUST HER PANTIES would LOVE a smartwatch: Samsung

Cuddles

Is that a pocket in your pocket?

So this is a device which only works if it can connect to another device in your pocket. And they're advertising it by saying you don't need pockets. Maybe someone should let the advertising team know what it is they're supposed to be advertising?

15
0

Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent

Cuddles

Easy cost saving...

Maybe if they stopped sending me an entire forest worth of junk mail every week they wouldn't need to raise prices?

Also, I already get 110Mb/s from BT, so presumably the "twice as fast as BT" claim is actually "twice as fast as the BT packages that only offer half the speed of our fastest ones, but not really any different from their better packages". Technically true, but not exactly a meaningful claim.

6
1

Sony Xperia Z Ultra: The quad-core 2.2GHz MEGA SCREEN PHONDLESLAB

Cuddles

Comparison to Xperia Z?

Seems a bit silly really. What it should be compared to is the Z1, since as far as I can tell the hardware is identical. The Ultra is just a Z1 with a big screen and a shit camera.

Also, it's not entirely true to say it has an IP58 rating. As with the Z1, it has an IP 55/58 rating. That means it's good for long-term immersion in still water, but unlike the S4 Active it can't take the high pressure jets that an IPx6 rating can.

0
0

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