473 posts • joined Tuesday 19th June 2007 08:57 GMT
Re: In-flight video
I suspect the eagle would have had trouble picking up the U-Matic gear... Admittedly, my experience is limited to a couple of video decks the company I work for used to own, but it's not exactly lightweight.
Re: It is vital that we preserve our early selfies for posterity
While I agree with your comment about Selfies, I've used facebook pretty much since they accepted non us members.. Personally, I use it partly as a way to keep in touch with friends I do actually spend time with and partly as a way to keep in touch with friends that for various practical reasons, I no longer see regularly (such as those who have moved to a different country for instance). I don't have thousands of friends on FB, nor do I need them.
Regarding publishing photos and status updates about myself, personally I don't, really do that much. I usually use my status to comment on something I've seen or experienced and 99% of the photos of me that are online were uploaded by other people.
Not only help systems..
Not only are the help systems in Adobe products monumentally unhelpful, but they don't always work. We install all the Adobe products to hundreds of computers at work and one version of Photoshop (6 IIRC) would never allow access to the help system from within the program. I spend several hours testing and retesting the method I was using to deploy it and was able to reproduce the problem reliably. I was also able to reproduce the problem several times using a fresh install of Windows and a fresh install of photoshop (both done manually). I ended up having to get the automatic install to put a link to the help html files in the start menu.
Also, the error messages can be a little unhelpful. When exporting video, certain codecs impose certain restrictions (for instance Indeo required that the x and y resolutions be a multiple of 4 IIRC). Unfortunately, if the Codec refused to encode the video for whatever reason when you were exporting the video, Premiere just said there was a disk error..
Re: The PS3 was and still is a top-notch product
It's not a valid comparison because most games actually do most of their processing on the GPU in the machine which, being integrated into the CPU itself, will undoubtedly be able to communicate with the CPU at a far greater speed that the GPU and CPU in a PC can communicate. It also means you can't directly compare clock speeds. Put a 2.4GHz Core 2 against a 3GHz P4 and you'll see what I mean.
Also, bear in mind that the consoles are actually competing against the low-end and mid-range PCs. Not the high end stuff, which can cost an order of magnitude more than the console. How long will it be before a low end or mid-range PC will be able to manage 4K gaming?
Usability, We've heard of it..
I think the problem with the GUIs for a lot of products written for sys admins or other technical people (I'm including engineers, mathematicians and other disciplines here, not only computing) is that the programmers of the software believe the functionality is all they need to worry about. The GUI is something they can just tack on.
Even the big vendors (some of whom spend a *lot* on user interface design) fall foul of this. Anyone who has used Apple's workgroup manager, or a lot of Microsoft's system admin tools can tell you that.
I think the problem is that a lot of people think the good user interface design is just a trendy thing talked about by designers and other "meeja" types in poncy bars in West London, so they tend to just knock up their own which includes access to all the functions, but they forget that the average user doesn't have access to the development team, so may have difficulty finding the obscure place they've just put that menu item. I've seen various Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Systems Analysis/Design packages that are like this, and have options in the most obscure places.
To a large extent, UI design *is* just a trendy thing talked about by designers, as stated above. This is the other part of the problem.
Some designers come up with an incredibly pretty GUI but have no understanding of what the user needs, or any real understanding of the product. We had a NAS once that would regularly stop serving files via SMB. I logged on to the web interface, and saw all sorts of pretty dials and bar graphs telling me everything from the amount of work being done by the CPU through RAM used, Storage space used, number of reads/writes to each disk, various internal temperatures right down to the fact that both PSUs were online. What it never warned me of though is that Samba had crashed. As it turned out Samba was more likely to crash if the storage was full, but I kept a network drive on Windows connected to one of the shares and noticed this.. I was not connected to the web interface.
The problem is that GUIs need to be designed by people who have a good concept of how the average user thinks (which tends to exclude programmers - no offence intended to anyone) but who also have a good idea of how the program or system should work. I'll admit that it can be difficult finding someone who has both of the above qualities but it is doable. Probably the best way to do it is simply talk to people who use your product. Find out what they need to know and provide it to them in a way they are happy with.
I know a lot of people don't like Apple, but I'd like to cite one of their products, Apple Remote Desktop, as an example of good user interface design. By default when you run it, you get a list showing the computers you are monitoring, their current status, their IP, who is logged on, the application that currently has focus and the version of OSX they are running. If you need more info,you double click on a computer. If you need to do something to one of the PCs, you can click one of the buttons on the toolbar, and drag the list of the computers you want that action performed on to the window that is shown.
A product like that is never going to be easy for beginners because a lot of what it does is built around using Unix scripts (so you do need some scripting knowledge), but the UI is (IMO) quite simple and very effective.
Odd that a survey taken on behalf of a company that sells Licence Management systems designed to avoid this sort of thing should conclude that other companies (presumably not using a Licence Management system to monitor this) are possibly violating their licences and risk legal action.
Re: uncritical acceptance?
You don't expect a Microsoft product to work with another Microsoft product out of the box, do you?
I just remember the amount of aggravation I had getting Entourage (included in Office 2008) to talk properly to our exchange server. Eventually, I gave up and just used OSX Mail, which actually worked brilliantly with exchange.
I also remember the pain I had getting my HTC Tytn II to connect to my PC when it was running Vista. After a fair amount of patching, it worked but I am surprised that as both products were out at roughly the same time that it didn't just work out of the box.
Or maybe Emma is quite large? :)
Re: re: hate for ID
Another point: It's perfectly possible to live in Britain and not own any form of ID whatsoever. It does impose certain limitations on your life, such as having to pay for everything in cash, but it is doable.
With a mandatory ID card, it would not be.
Typical Armericans really. You can show beheadings (or other violent acts) but as soon as someone says a word that might be in the slightest bit offensive, that's wrong.
Why do I say typical Americans? Remember the outcry when Janet Jackson dared to show a nipple (which was largely covered anyway) at the superbowl? Yet no outcry when American TV shows violence on TV shows, and even shows players getting injured in American Football.
Don't get me wrong. I like Americans. They can be an amazing people, but then they go and do something like this, and I don't recall Canadians doing it.
Sorry to have to say this, but the producer and director of the Doctor Who TV movie were British. Admittedly, I don't think they had a single clue what makes the series work, so ended up producing a generic actioner featuring a time traveller in a strange blue box (although he wasn't in that much) rather than what felt like Doctor Who.
Re: Here we go again...
"The only thing that pisses me off about this is that I bought the Z10 a few months ago. If I knew there was a bigger phone coming out I'd have waited for the Z30. But the Z10, to me, is the best phone I've ever used. No regrets here."
That's the thing with any modern technology. There is *always* something bigger/better/more powerful just around the corner. If you wait for the next big thing, you could end up waiting forever.
Re: Whatever next
He might be planning Thunderbird 5 as well.. He is spending an awful lot developing usable rockets, and I am fairly certain they'd come in handy for assembling Thunderbird 5.
While I think these probably will have better audio than CDs, I suspect that the difference will only really be noticeable if you compare the two via an oscilloscope or have far better hearing than most humans.
The problem these really high definition audio formats have is that 99% of the music buying public actually don't seem to care what quality their music is. If they did, the likes of Apple and any other random on-line music store would be selling more music compressed using a lossless compression system than they do. People don't (in my experience) generally think "Ohh, I have a 64 Gig portable music player. I can get 100 CD quality albums on it.". They tend to think "Ohh, I have a 64 Gig portable music player. I can get 25,000 songs and a couple of movies on it."
Probably gonna get downvotes for this..
Personally I don't mind ads as long as they are enjoyable. I remember some of the TV ads in the past were actually more enjoyable than the programmes they were shown beside (thinking of the classics here, the Heineken ads with Griff Rhys Jones for instance. The trouble is Advertising has changed. Today, it's all about getting the brand in the face of the viewer as many times as possible in as short a time as possible. Even if you offend the viewer. that doesn't matter as long as you are noticed.
Gone are the days when TV ads were particularly funny or had a storyline to attract viewers. In the past, we even had short soap operas in the form of the the OXO family ads, the Nescafe Gold Blend ads (Anthony Head and Sharon Maughan playing a flirting neighbours) and the "Papa and Nicole" Renault Clio ads.
Internet ads though have rarely done anything but irritate me. OK, so some of the Google ads are quite amusing but they are the exception rather than the rule.
Re: Maybe I'm just too old a fart and remember things that should've been forgotten...
Indeed. Anyone who thinks Microsoft are restrictive either hasn't dealt with a lot of the old Unix vendors, or has forgotten doing so.
I work at a Uni. When I was doing staff support, we had a lot of Sun workstations. These were admittedly lovely machines, but expensive to buy and maintain. I remember once I was attempting to fix one where the CDROM had died. It was actually a low end CD Rom drive (2x speed when the cheaper PC ones were up to 6 or 8x) with a slightly different interface. Sun wanted £600 for a new one. I've heard similar horror stories about Solaris licence costs which is presumably why a lot of the researchers who were using Solaris have moved over to PCs running Linux, or Windows.
I also heard, during my degree, a story about a little trick ICL used to pull on their mainframes. Apparently, they used to sell an "upgrade" that doubled the users storage. What did the upgrade consist of? The engineer came and flipped a switch that activated read/write heads on the other side of the disks..
While you can't freely distribute their software, compared to the old *nix/BSD workstation and mainframe vendors, MS are a paragon of openness and honesty.
MS saw people doing this. They saw a gap in the market for a company that provided software for the cheap PC clones that were becoming available (I say cheap, they were still a couple of grand a pop). They also put processing power on people's desks at a relatively low price. This caused the market to explode.
That's not to say MS are great, or even good. They've pulled some nasty tricks in the past. The traps put in Windows 3.1 to prevent competing software working as well, working on OS/2 with IBM, then producing the remarkably similar Windows NT at a lower price. I also believe they shafted Novell over Netware in much the same way.
Re: Perspective please
The fact is that NO security system is entirely secure. When designing a system, you can only hope to make it unfeasible for a person to access that system. Every system (from the smallest mobile phone to the largest, most powerful military supercomputer) has at least one flaw that can be exploited to break in.
This flaw would require that the thief has access to a 2400dpi scanner, good enough photoshop skills to clean up the image, time to clean up that image and access to the fingerprint itself. This last may well be the most difficult to obtain. Not if you mug the person (after all if you've grabbed the phone, they'll probably grab for it, you can scan the fingerprints then), but if you steal the phone from a bag, pocket or table. Even assuming you can work out which person it belongs to, it would be difficult to get access to their fingerprints without them noticing you.
Now, please tell me: Do you think it would be worth the average thief going through all that just to get access to the users phone numbers, pictures and whatever apps/media they have? Access to bank accounts might make it worth their while, but in my experience, most mobile banking apps don't store user details on the device.
While I agree with your sentiments about the Computing industry having a distinct lack of women, I think that comment was a joke.
My own, minor, experience..
A few years ago, I worked for a local hospital trust. Part of my job was doing the accounts for the catering department (assuring involces got cleared etc).
The hospital got a daily delivery of fruit and veg (the quality of which drew a lot of complaints from the head chef in the kitchen), and paid the grocer around about £500 a day. One day, I compiled a list of what we bought from the grocer and went over to the local sainsburys (which was actually at the end of the hospital's main visitor's car park) to compare prices.
Even factoring in the expense of sending two or three people over there to do the shopping, we'd still have saved £100 a day, and got better quality fruit and veg as well.
Unfortunately, even assuming they could, the people that could have got the trust out of that rather restrictive contract, where not bothered enough to try and get the trust released. After all, it was only £100 a day. They were the sort of people who could spend that at lunch.
Re: Curious Joyride
Not to mentioned blinged it up a little.
Next thing we'll see, it'll have neon lighting under it, and thanks to the nuclear-powered sound system, will be bouncing along in time to the bass line of some Martian garage music.
You've missed the point a little.
These people have barely enough food to survive. They also often do not have access to clean water, or enough money to buy medical treatment. While there are centres that offer free food and medical treatment, these are few and far between. Not to mention massively underfunded. The internet is not going to help these people. Not least because they need the equipment to use it. Even though Google are planning to provide the connection, and I should imagine Solar panels would do a good job of providing free leccy, they still need to buy a device to access the internet. These aren't cheap, especially if you don't have enough money for your next meal.
In theory, you are right in that the internet can help people conduct and grow their business. It can. Provided the right infrastructure is in place. And I do not mean just electricity and comms. At the very least, they'd need a bank account so they could get paid. This would mean there would need a be a banking infrastructure in place, with branches in the villages where the people lived. There would also need to be some sort of delivery network, either for supplies or products (after all, every company requires supplies, whether it produces a product or service).
Google seems to be presenting their balloon idea as the ideal solution for everything. It's not. In their rush to connect more potential customers to their advertising network, Google appear to have forgotten that compared to the problems these people have getting clean water and food, the internet really isn't that important.
That's not to say their idea is not a good one. It is, in it's place. That place being at the scene of a major disaster (whether natural or man made) so they can establish communications quickly.
Re: Security is not just confidentiality, people!
Eeee, I used to dream of 'avin' a staff ratio of 1:250. In my day, I 'ad to service 500 pcs on me own, then go down t'pit for 8 hours before coming up, being given a cold lump of coal to eat and finally being beaten to death by me dad just before bedtime.
Sorry, went a little Monty Python there.
Regarding the NSA, I think either the NSA is being very clever or very stupid doing this. Think about it. They are talking about getting rid of 900 people who have intimate knowledge of at least parts of the NSA's systems. Even if the NSA follows best practice and removes any access these people have immediately (either by disabling accounts or changing passwords), then the foreign intelligence agencies are going to be very interested in talking to at least some of the 900.
The NSA probably know this, so, I would hope, are taking measures to protect these people. On the other hand, it could be a bluff to smoke out other intelligence agencies.
Re: Catch 22 - iPhone GPS so useless it only works with wifi augmentation
Err, if you don't have much battery left, GPS (assisted or not) is not going to be much use as it tends to drain the battery.
Re: Objective-C runtime
Indeed.. You can have the most secure system on the planet. A computer system whose security makes all others look like a pile of crap, but as soon as someone chooses an easy to guess password, or writes it on a post it note and sticks the note to the monitor, you have a weakness.
Re: censorship in the UK
What do you mean has now officially begun? We've always had censorship. Believe it or not, we've always had restrictions on the kinds of images/videos people can obtain. If you don't believe me, send a small child into W.H. Smiths to buy any "mens" mag they sell. Or, try and buy any kind of hardcore porn at Smiths.
All the government are talking about is extending that control to the internet. Nothing more, nothing less. This is not some kind of Chinese government style repression of our civil liberties. They aren't going to suddenly start outlawing things just because they don't agree with them. Nor are they asking ISPs to implement a new technology. They are asking the ISPs to extend the blocks many already have in place.
Re: Oh, not this hoary old chestnut again.
I dunno. I use a lot of software on Windows on my Mac that benefits massively from running on a bootcamp install of Windows rather than a VM. No games though. That's not to say I don't think VMs are a good thing. I do, and when I don't need to use software that really needs a lot of processing horsepower, I do use Windows in a VM.
OK... So the guy that said the Xbox one being always online is good, and that anyone that has a problem can just use a 360 is out of the company and the woman that was in charge of the team that designed Windows 8 is now running the Xbox/Hardware team?
Could it be that Microsoft have finally realised something has gone wrong?
Perhaps El Reg should clearly mark any articles that are essentially advertising, much as they are reporting that the US is requiring search engines to.. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/26/ftc_tells_search_engines_to_distinguish_ads_from_results/
The other way of looking at this is that site deprives Sky of money. While I am no great fan of Murdoch (on the contrary, I believe the Media would be better off if he didn't exist), I'd just like to point out that Sky is one of the largest contributors to the Premiere league. If they pull out (and they will, if they lose enough money), the league (and the clubs in it) probably won't survive.
Re: So the ones doing jewelry stores in 2010
I'll be honest, I have read said rag, but I do not read (or even like) said rag.
Re: Here's an idea
Can't change the voicemail number? Apparently you can..https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3412917?start=90&tstart=0
Although I expect that's a requirement of the GSM standard rather than a choice by apple..
Re: pre-release software may not be final version
It's not unusual for any company (Apple included) to change things between the first beta and the final release. Whether those changes are bug fixes, new features or even new graphics. That's the reason we have betas. So a company (or individual programmer) can ensure that the software is tested, it functions well and that users can work with the user interface .
This last part is actually important (and seemingly forgotten by some companies). You can have the best functionality available in your program, and the program can pass all the reliability tests with flying colours, but if the users have trouble with the UI, they'll think it is (at best) a good product with a bad UI, and, at worst, a pile of crap.
So, this whole article seems to be saying that iOS 7 has crap icons (and while I like them, I can see why people might have a problem) and that Apple are following normal beta test procedures. Unlike, say, Google who seem to use the "Beta" tag as a sales term to tell people they are getting the most up to date product possible.
"From experience it has to be a really bloody tall tree,"
Not necessarily. My friend's old house had the Sky dish on the edge of the roof, but because his garden (and house) backed on to a garden that was nearly 20 feet above it, all it took was a relatively small Oak and a few bushes to essentially torpedo his reception.
That's an extreme example though, and, I'll be honest, I am not sure how good the contractor who installed the dish was.
The problem with the banking industry today is that it (the retail side at least, the investment side brings a whole other set of problems) seems more interested in introducing interesting new ways for customers to get money, and less interested in securing that money.
Think NFC bank cards.. I can think of a number of ways a person could lose money with that..
Also, I am not entirely convinced that the system NatWest uses to give you money if you lose your card is secure (although in fairness, I have not looked in to this so could very well be wrong).
TBH, I fail to see any advantage of this new idea for the customer. I can see the advantage for the banks, in that they don't have to issue cards, which while it may be a tiny cost, is still a cost they can cut, but I feel the potential security problems outweigh the cost savings..
Re: How to save the high street
The other way of looking at it is...
The Cheap simplicity of picking up your computer, ordering the item, then waiting for it for at least a day, only to find that when the courier or delivery service does turn up, they just stick a note through the door saying they attempted to deliver the item but couldn't, and they've taken back to the depot so you can arrange delivery (in which case you may well have wasted 2 days off instead of one), or you can go pick it up (in which case you still have the problem of cost of transport and parking unless you can walk to the delivery centre).
Against the joy of driving to the shops, paying for parking, then driving home a couple of hours later with the item in hand.
Personally I am happy to shop on and off line, but it is a case of swings and roundabouts.
Re: How to save the high street
That may have been the reason in the past, but I don't think it is now. The simple fact is that people need to eat and (in a lot of towns) the only place you can do your food shopping is in the supermarket. I live in quite an affluent town, and until the end of the 90s, we had a good selection of shops you could buy food in. A few butchers, Kennedy's (for sausages), 2 fishmongers, 1 bakery and a couple of greengrocers, one small Sainsbury's and a Safeways. Now, in 2013, we have 1 butcher, 1 baker, 2 branches of Sainsburys (within a few hundred metres of each other, but both are apparently profitable) and one large Tescos a couple of miles away.
Now, any retail expert will tell you that when trying to get people to buy more, over half the battle is getting them in the doors. Once they are in, selling to them is a lot easier. Supermarkets have the advantage that unless you order food online (which isn't an option for a lot of people), in most towns (mine included) you need to go in to a Supermarket. Once you are in there, it's far easier to persuade you to buy all sorts of additional items (CDs, DVDs, Books, Clothes, Electrical items etc) that you wouldn't necessarily buy otherwise.
This also means that the supermarkets can afford to sell those accessories at a loss, driving more of their competitors out of business.
Re: Expandable case design
Imagination and profitability..
I've seen some amazing ideas for interfaces on computers, giving rise to all sorts of expansion ideas. None of which came to pass because the interface was proprietary and the host platform was not profitable. The problem with relying on proprietary interfaces like that is if you buy a device that does, and the company manufacturing it stops (for whatever reason), then you are usually screwed as far as further expansion goes.
Open standards, such as USB, Bluetooth and SD cards (Micro, Mini or whatever) have their faults, but you can guarantee that even if the manufacturer of your phone goes tits up, someone will still be manufacturing peripherals you can use with them.
You've posted pretty much what I was going to.. So, Upvoted..
The important issue here is consent. It may be that she spends her days wearing very little apart from the tiniest examples of underwear (or even nothing), but the fact is if she does that professionally, she consents to those photographers taking photos. She presumably gets paid as well.
What she has not consented to is having a creep follow her round taking photos of her undies on his iPad.
Because sticking something that looks at least vaguely like a pair of glasses up a woman's skirt would look more normal?
Re: This Cluster is so POWERFUL
What on earth has Windows got to do with it? Your apparent prejudice against Windows aside, it is possible to build a fairly capable Windows machine for 3-400 pounds. OK, it won't play the latest games well (but, neither would a Linux machine costing the same), but it will be a perfectly good workhorse.
Anyway, this guy has done exactly what the Pi was designed to enable. He has found a problem (him needing a cheap cluster) and sat down and and worked out a way to use to Pi to do that..
The problem with that being that what they are doing is legal, so the government would have no basis on which to freeze their assets..
Re: Don't be so quick to mock
On the other hand, Bing Translate was probably designed by a load of geeks.. I think it's a fair bet that at least one would be able to get hold of an English to Klingon dictionary (or some Klingon text and the associated English translation) relatively easily. That isn't necessarily so with more culturally important languages.
Sad to see them go.
I used to be a customer with Be*.
I can honestly say that from my first day until my last, the service from Be was never less than excellent. Right from the start, when BT refused to add ADSL to my line, and while Be themselves could not sort it out, they told me exactly what to say to BT to get it sorted.
In fact, the only reason I left was that Virgin were threatening to double the speed of all their customers, and Be could not match the 100meg VM were offering.
Would I be leaving Be if I were still a member? Not sure. Probably. I am not a massive fan of the Murdochs.
Re: I'm pretty sure it's not "telemetrics"
So, it would be telemetrics then, as Microsoft are probably quite far away from the PCs of 99.9% of Windows users. It's just whatever sensors and monitoring systems they used are near the user.
Re: Internet connection required
"It's extremely likely that MS will insist on "Always On". Given that they pressed ahead with (un)Metro UI despite howls of anguish, it's also likely they will not back down here either."
Be careful counting those chickens. There have been rumblings from within MS that the Always On "Requirement" is not a requirement at all. Merely that software publishers can require that the connection is always on. Much like they can do with the current xbox and playstation.
"MS is making a bomb from its "gold" XBox subscription, or whatever it is called, where the peons pay it a monthly tithe, so MS would rather enhance that business model, even it it means a few rebels leave the Xbox platform. MS doesn't care about those weirdos anyway..."
And? MS is a business. You don't want Xbox Gold, not having it will not stop you using the xbox (unless you like multiplayer games).
"On a related note, I hear that there are ads plastered everywhere in the XBox "experience" even for customers that paid in full for the console and for the subscription. That would really p*ss me off, why do people tolerate this abuse of their custom?
In the same way that people tolerate those non-skippable anti-piracy ads on DVDs that they PAID for also, I guess. Fools!"
Get off your high horse and actually *try* an xbox, will you? You get ads for services and products available using the xbox (such as lovefilm and netflix). It's nothing like the Ubuntu Unity style sell out you appear to be implying it is.
"The challenge isn't about experiencing poverty but surely highlighting poverty whilst earning money through sponsorship."
I agree. If Lester had merely wanted to experience poverty, surely he needn't have gone to the bother of writing about it. Writing about it, however, does highlight it.
Also, can you ever truly experience poverty if you know that at the end of the week, you are going to have enough money to cover your bills, other expenses, and, I dare say, a few "luxuries"?