134 posts • joined 4 May 2012
Re: Perhaps they could convince the BBC to talk about them all the time
*checks the latest Rory Cellan-Jones blog*...yep, iphone mentioned very favourably, all is present and correct...
Re: information collected on innocent Americans did little
Yeah it's interesting, I wonder if today's terrorism paranoia and over-extended powers of government departments will be talked of in future decades in the same breath as Mccarthy-ism
Re: No fear Nokia
Humility, honesty and pragmatism...sounds very Finnish doesn't it?
Your friday nights in the pub sound really interesting...
Re: Phil Plait hates it
Haha, yep, one impossibility only for hard scifi...but I guess people don't care enough to notice the glaring scientific holes in films like this (ironically enough scientific ignorance was covered in one the films best scenes when the main character mocks the teacher for believing moon hoax claptrap... Scientific education in the classroom and in society is a whole other discussion though!). It's either that or I'm a boring pedant/hard to please. Probably a bit of all of the above.
Thing is, a lot of these things could have at least been partly fixed by adding in another two seconds of dialogue - if they had mentioned nerva engines or some sort of reaction engines limited type ramjet I would have been happy enough in this example...but I guess people like Christopher nolan don't care enough about the chosen genre to bother with this sort of thing. They'd probably argue "we are just trying to entertain people". Well, I for one was not really entertained...
Re: Phil Plait hates it
I'll need to read up phil on this, his cross-examinations are always fun to read but one of the many annoying things for me was having the characters propelled into earth orbit atop a traditional chemical rocket with stages etc...and then later on just zooming around in a planet's atmosphere and off back into orbit as if it is just a pull back on the control column away (as a spaceship in star wars would do, and on a planet with higher than earth's gravity to boot). There are tons of other really annoying things about this film but that is an obvious fatal flaw. Also there is just no sense of wonder...It's as if they are just on a little day trip out. Do space opera or do hard sci-fi, you can't mix them.
I've just come home after seeing it...I can confirm that this film is truly terrible
I couldn't agree more...some people think you can have your cake and eat it.
See also: anti-nuclear campaigners who also block wind farm sites and who also block fracking and who are also environmentalists
no mention of Keith Vaz?
He has waged an unscientific one-man crusade against video games for years now without one bit of evidence to back up his claims...except of course his strong personal bias
Re: Not really thinking things through.
So these benevolent overseers are infallible are they? They are always going to uphold the law upon which our society is built upon are they? And the subversion of innocent until proven guilty is perfectly acceptable now is it? Under five eyes' perfect regime we are all criminals unless proven otherwise, which I don't find democratic or acceptable. As others above have noted, there are legal channels to obtain warrants etc.
try speaking to victims of surveillance regimes
Maybe he should have a chat with my iraqi colleague about the trade-offs between a surveillance state and an open democracy with free speech. Good points: never any crime and you could leave your front door open. Bad points: you can't do anything the state doesn't like, like his cousin going missing overnight and turning up 5 years later having been beaten and interrogated nearly all that time. He'd been arrested in secret for attending a friend's party with left-leaning guests.
Guess it comes to down to whether you want to risk your house being robbed, being the victim of violent crime or even being blown up by extremists... or to be monitored indefinitely and possibly disappear one night for saying the wrong the wrong thing. I know which I would rather.
and this is how economic bubbles are made...
Dutch tulip bulb market anyone?
Re: Rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic
I agree completely with your "they are too late to the mobile space" sentiment. I too really like WinPho 8 (I have a lumia 1020) but fear the glory days of nokia r+d = amazing hardware innovation are over, and from the sounds of it Microsoft aren't interested in continuing the tradition of making top tier innovative handsets. Which is unfortunate because that's exactly what I want.
To top it all, Microsoft seem to completely lack focus and direction in other areas too - I used excel on wp8 the other day for the first time...it's awful. you can't copy cells or insert rows/columns. Wtf? Every crappy clone on every other platform can do that.
On the phone to MS USA the other day about a replacement keyboard to be sent to my partners NY apartment - "can I have a number to call you back on in case we get cut off". "Well no, I'm on skype as I'm in the uk, just skype me". "Sorry sir, we are unable to skype here". Wtf? You paid $5billion for this stuff and your own employees can't use it? And don't get me started on missing functionality in the WinPho version of skype vs iOS and android.
Ms is a big lumbering beast in search of direction and it's frustrating because they seem to have some nice ideas and excellent hardware these days. They need to start rowing in the same direction or they may find themselves totally adrift.
Leave the abusive partners?
Probably get a few downvotes for posing the question but if Microsoft or BlackBerry do not go down this route, does this mean carriers will just start pushing them hard instead?
carphone warehouse and the carrier shops have a lot of power in swaying consumers...and the large posters and exclusive areas for Apple and Samsung on the shop floors lend credence to the popular (but not necessarily true) opinion that these manufacturers make the best handsets. With Microsoft giving away winpho and blackberry maybe coming back to thier own niche for business, could the networks have a possible way out of the abusive yet addictive Apple/Google relationships they are currently in?
Similarly I like to scratch diamonds on the face of Rolexes watches in my local jewellers whenever they have a new model out, just to, you know, show Rolex how they need to fix their sapphire glass
Re: One factor left out - The System
I completely agree. It's a matter of pragmatism, a question of degree. I live with a fervent greens supporter who keeps quoting mark Thomas and other such people with investigations into how bad nuclear companies are, how toxic soil is in the surrounding area and how unhealthy it is for locals. Well yes, it isn't great, but when people like my housemate also concede that carbon buildup in the atmosphere is a pretty big fucking problem and you are relying on half baked solutions using wind power to mitigate this problem (without any way to continuously generate power or store excess energy when not being used and for which sites are continually NIMBY blocked) then which is the biggest threat? You are effectively turning your back on a readily made solution to preserve the health of a tiny minority. Surely it would make more sense to simply rehouse these people and go all out with nuclear?
Ah but then that would go against the dogma that organisations like greenpeace have been preaching for decades and whose supporters are also green voters. Greenpeace is a despicable organisation that engages in knee-jerk, heart-wrenching campaigns like ripping up and vandalising scientific studies into more disease resistant crops (to help feed the hungry) and successfully lobbying the eu government to ban aspects of stem cell research because some idiots in greenpeace felt it was 'morally wrong' (despite it having fuck all to do with climate change and thus needlessly extending the suffering of people with mnd, parkinsons, ms etc). You want to know why the greens haven't engaged in evidence based policy? Look no further than greenpeace.
Re: Won't lose books
Right, so the reports of occasional disappearing books are false then? Sure, so it's a glitch and your library is cloud protected? Great, go and ask a Hollywood celeb about cloud reliability. And how are you going to get the drm'd books off your kindle in worst case when the unit dies? Good luck with that.
And no, I do actually use amazon and its kindle apps regularly, I think it's very convenient, but I am aware that it's effectively renting, so any books I want to keep I will either try and source drm free, get a hard copy or...break the drm. This is my point - I think people should be more aware of the ephemeral nature of cloud based drm models.
Re: Even free isn't cheap enough
I think they do understand lockin but they don't care. I had exactly this argument on an amazon forum, every single person there didn't seem bothered that should amazon either go under or change their policy they would lose up to hundreds of pounds worth of books. Emphatically stating that they would have to buy all these titles again did not seem in the slightest to sway them.
I actually think that they consider this to be such a remote possibility that it isn't worth worrying about - until one day it actually happens.
is Apple cool and exclusive enough anymore?
I think the article is really good, spot on in fact, but as another poster mentioned above, will the $500 - $1000 sector of the watch market (TAGs, Tissot, low-end Longines etc) survive? I think the kind of people who buy TAGs (at least the crappy quartz ones) don't really care much about the watch itself, in the same way as a lange and sohne and pateke Philippe customers don't and as outlined in Tim's article - it's a status symbol amongst their peers. Difference is, the people at this end of the market could buy the iwatch instead. The question comes in then: has apple enough cool and exclusive cachet to attract these people? Some commentators would say not...iphones are common as muck now, even my parents now have one each. Yes it's seen by the general populace (not me though guv) as the best phone to get, but it isn't exclusive nor exotic anymore, it's just a standard thing everyone can have if they want to pay a bit more.
Then again, many people don't even have watches these days, so they probably aren't even bothered about the make of any smartwatch they buy...if they find utility for such a thing then they'll buy and if apple make it then even better, after all they make the best phones (again, not my opinion guv).
I suspect apple may do ok in this sector but it's not a surefire bet...and I completely agree with the article, above a certain level the watch is of little significance. having spoken to a fashion editor of a top UK magazine a while ago about the watch fair he attended, he said this: "there are two type of watch fan; the ones who can afford it, who couldn't care less about the movement, materials etc...typically this transaction lasts about 30 seconds, and the watch nerds who know the designers, movements etc...they usually don't buy anything". Being more in the latter camp than former, I will stick with my vintage Omega seamaster thanks...but good luck to apple, I think they'll need it.
Re: What is it...
I thought that. Are they so busy that they can't show their partners this stuff for real?
Could many of these hacks have been prevented with 2-step authentication?
I know Google and Windows Phone/Outlook offer 2-step authentication, as well as Yahoo (a family member got hacked on her yahoo and I sent her instructions on how to 2-step her account, no idea if she bothered in the end though). Does Apple offer 2-step for icloud? can't help but think this may have prevented unwanted brute-force break-ins, anyone care to correct me if I'm wrong?
If I am correct then these companies need to educate their users more (to be fair to microsoft, I know they nag you to set up 2-step whenever you change password using 'forgotten password' link). I highly doubt that many of these celebs (or many non-celebs either) know what 2-step authentication is and this needs to change.
Re: yeah but what about the jobs...?
Exactly, whilst perhaps the means of production may be irrelevant in a world where everything builds itself, someone still owns the raw materials. And those materials are not unlimited, so have cost and value. Which by extension makes the robots have intrinsic value. Which means someone will own them and want to sell them.
Re: yeah but what about the jobs...?
@dogged I think you've missed a stage here, this would be true if we immediately flipped to a system where all things we required were catered for (I still believe however there would be problems of ultimate finite supply, thus forcing scarcity and thus value and cost onto items, but that's another issue).
How do you propose we get to this utopia? Our traditional free-market economy is not going to support this transition all the way because people will be unemployed and thus non-players within the whole system before the companies that create your utopia machines can design them. they will automate themselves out of customers.
yeah but what about the jobs...?
interesting points well made Tim but you've missed a big trick: what happens when the everyone's jobs start to be automated away and no one can work anymore? Not only will everyone be bored they'll also have no money to earn and spend...and the robot companies will not have any further revenue and then we all end up with a collapsed economy. It's the main argument of Martin Ford's 'The LIghts in the Tunnel' and one which you fail to address in your piece. Ford strangely enough advocates an elaborate taxation and centrally planned governement payout scheme to ensure people still have money to spend in the economy.
Good luck to 'em but...
Probably get downvoted here but I'm not entirely convinced about Jolla. I actually had one since release late last year and really bought into the concept (i loved my n9 before, wanted something like that with a future along with an OS that didn't have a large Us corporation hoovering up everything I produced)
However, after three months I had to get rid. There were things about it I really liked - proper multitasking for one, but other things about it reminded me that it was a profoundly beta product and some ideas just didn't work that well. It definitely isn't the new N9 in my opinion.
Added to that is think Jolla customer service seems strangely quite arrogant for such a small firm (after several hardware and software issues and emails to their support desk, i had to wait a few days simply to get longwinded lists of what I could do to fix it...i appreciate I was an early adopter but I'm a customer, not a beta tester, just offer to take it in...), i think they have a lot more work to do.
Good luck to them though, it is nice to see a small firm challenging the other bigger players.
Re: Jollas day in the sun.
Have you actually ever used a Jolla phone? I bought into the hype...and sold it three months later. it's nowhere near ready for primetime. I would love to see it blossom but there are so many bugs, niggles and ui problems, coupled with the complete lack of public awareness I find it hard to believe that sailfish will ever anything but a curiosity.
If BB10 (which is far more stable, productive, user friendly and android compatible than sailfish) and WinPho 8.1 (which has Microsoft behind it) have trouble getting marketshare then there is your answer - Samsung and Sony aren't in the business of wasting money on other people's hobby projects. In fact Sony are rumoured to be testing WinPho xperias so there's another reason for them not to bother.
Well I don't think that it's likely there is anything outside our planet either, so we are in agreement there.
I'm more interested in your idea that evolution is in question...
Re: "Extraordinary claims" require "extraordinary evidence"...
Not sure who you're arguing against here, I was saying that AJ Macleod's allusion to evolution being not true and that we are somehow really, really special would require extraordinary evidence. With added speech marks for extra buzz-style punch
Calm down dear etc etc
"Extraordinary claims" require "extraordinary evidence"...
Why? As all professional gamblers know, if you keep betting on the same thing you will eventually win (although you may run out of cash before then). The universe has had endless chances to create something like us...and eventually it happened.
I think he is wrong to be certain about life elsewhere though...which paradoxically makes us special as well as inevitable and pretty ordinary (this is before you get into multiple universes etc).
On another note, I never tire of watching buzz aldrin punch Bart sibriel in the face.
it's fashionable to hate them and some might say they brought this on themselves but...
Good luck to them, I really love my Q10 and think BB10 is probably one of the most fluid and functional mobile OSes out there, and it runs android apps too, it really doesn't deserve such an undignified death.
In many ways BB10 is a kindred spirit to webOS...which is what worries me. It may happen to me all over again!
Falling costs anyone?
this is what i like about the Reg - no nonsense. however, at the risk of being downvoted out of existence, i think part of the predictions involve falling costs of chips/hardware etc. barcodes are on the cusp of being replaced by rfid tags (still waiting for that pricepoint to come, but it is coming). from there it isn't too hard to imagine the frisge being able to know what is in it...one decades waste of expensive equipment is another's disposable packaging.
The best bit:
"VC-funded gadget comic The Verge..."
Hahaha, this is why I come the Reg
Re: its just....
You are exactly right. I know someone who often posts stuff about how great the latest Apple campaign is (he works in marketing) and always posts something after an Apple product reveal. He is a big fan. He also sometimes posts about how Facebook is being innovative (no I don't don't get it either). He has bought shares in both companies.
Buying shares in large blue chip mega-companies because you have a personal attachment to them is the absolute last reason to invest in a stock. I suspect however that he is not the only one, so expect there to now be a flood of Apple fans coming in to buy shares that will probably not go anywhere for aaages...except eventually south.
Quality hardware...but where's the rest?
So sad to see...I agree that the media arm strangled Sony so much over the past few decades, forcing proprietary formats at every juncture. That's one problem.
The other problem is that at their heart Sony are a premium engineering company, their hardware is incredible...but other equipment is sadly 'good enough' now. iPhones are, comparatively, pretty poor media players (the a/d chips and other circuitry isn't really that good), compared to, for example, the X-Series Walkman I had a few years ago. by comparison, the iKit sounds abysmal. Thing is, no one cares anymore, it's all about overall value and software over simply good quality hardware and you can only really tell the quality in A-B tests. Hardly something to shift units (well it worked for me but I am, apparently, odd).
Oh well, I'll always have fond memories of the top-notch Walkman I saved up for as a teenager!
I agree, probably the best mobile OS out there right now - it runs android apps (almost) as if they were native to boot. Multi-tasking is very good, the hub is brilliant, messaging is the best i've used on almost any platform, bluetooth isn't the crippled 'only connect to audio devices and other phones by the same manufacturer via some voodoo proprietary protocol' variety...why do all the best OSes shuffle off to die? webOS never got the traction it deserved, Meego got binned (although it lives on as Sailfish...not quite as nice imho) and now BB10 could be jumping off the cliff.
I don't want to use iOS (locked down as hell, inflexible as hell, eveyone has a fucking iPhone, I have an iPad and it does my head in) and I don't want Android (messy UI between apps, is a data collection tool for creepy Google). WinPhone is alright but still almost as inflexible as iOS. I feel like I am cursed, perhaps I should buy an iphone and watch apple's stock slide.
Really nice to see even reg commentards taking Nokia's (really quite good imo) WinPhones to their hearts here...wasn't so long ago you'd get downvoted to oblivion for even suggesting you liked the look of the tiles...
Just give NASA the cash
and so it goes again...some of the greatest human acheivements will be done through a political and military lens. We only went to the Moon because America felt silly and threatened by Sputnik and Gagarin's flight, and here we go again. I guess we souldn't look a gift horse in the mouth but can't humans for once back the idea of space exploration for its own sake? Just give NASA the cash!
I think my Q10 is brilliant
I have just replaced my phone with a second hand q10, and it is possibly one of the best phones I have ever used. The multi tasking is true multi tasking (although the 8 app limit is annoying), the email/message etc hub is really useful and push email is as it should be - quick and efficient. Add in the brilliant browser and the ability to run android apps and I am very happy.
The exorbitant pricing for the new devices was part of the problem but the other thing is that bb's marketing has been shocking - most people don't even realise they have new models out. Add in the herd mentality (people only buy what everyone else has, hence why only apple and Samsung make all the profit) and the fashionable idea that 'blackberrys are crap' and you have the perfect storm of zero profit for blackberry. It's a real shame, as I personally think that neither apple or samsung devices are worth the money, and with samsung especially I think the ui is horrible - I think, sparse App Store aside, a modern bb would suit many people (at the right price) better that whatever the phone shop person has pushed on them. Best of luck to Chen.
What makes Tizen any different to other mobile oses?
Good reporting on the state (or lack of any state) of Tizen in the marketplace but I take issue with one opinion in this article - that of the Jolla phone and Sailfish being underwhelming. Sure it's still very much a hobbyist OS right now but it does so many things right, and the Jolla hardware, whilst not being top spec is perfectly adequate for the job and nice looking too.
The main thing that keeps me with Sailfish is true, unbridled multi-tasking, something I loved from Symbian, webOS and MeeGo Harmattan, all now obviously dead (there seems to be a pattern here, hopefully only coincidental...). Evidence would suggest that consumers couldn't care less about real multi-tasking (that or they do not know what it is/what they are missing) but for me personally I wouldn't go near a Tizen handset unless it had this feature. I've used several androids in the past and I currently have an iPad and the awful hacked on pseudo-multitasking drives me nuts - web pages constantly have to reload when I go back to them, streaming services have to reload, things log out etc.
if any when a device comes out, and If Tizen was to differentiate itself, maybe that is one way it could do so.
Re: Rented building anyway
yeah they did sell it, all part of the reason they are glad to be shot of the whole enterprise. Sad really, but tge hope of a return to handsets and hardware remains alive with Jolla...
Price conscious public?
If you were shopping around for a low price handset, why the fuck would you by an iPhone? If it's colourful plastic you like then - dare I say it - you could get a well made and easy to use Nokia Lumia for about a quarter of the price. Judging from the reviews the Nokia plastic is better wearing anyway and won't scratch within a few days.
But then most people don't actually buy phones for utility, despite how much they try and convince themselves.
The 5c may be cheaper than a 5s but cheaper doesn't necessarily mean cheap...
Maybe there's life in the old Lib Dem dogs yet...
They do have a reason exist after all!
Re: Nokia becoming more like M$oft alredy
Seems to be a lot of blind loyalty on these forums...anything remotely criticising Android seems to always get a downvote! I agree completely, Android is great on high end (although I still think it's often inconsistent and fiddly for the non-techy user compared to iOS and WP8) but awful on low-end hardware. Windows Phone runs incredibly well on very low-spec hardware, and the UI is consistent, clean and easy to use (yeah yeah, some people hate Metro but I happen to like it).
I just can't understand this blind hatred of a copmpany and its products...WinPhone is a good product (and yes, far better than Windows 8, so credit should be given where credit is due). You think Microsoft is evil? I'm really not sure Apple or Google are any better these days. I can only guess people here are so loyal to Android because you can fiddle about with almost everything on it in a really geeky way...which is great (I enjoy this myself) but almost everyone else I meet couldn't care less about that stuff. Go out in the street and ask any Samsung Galaxy user what 'rooting' means. Hell, ask them what Android is. You'll get a lot of blank looks, I guarantee it.
I'm sad that Nokia's devices division has now been sold - I still use Symbian - but I think that Nokia's management made the right decision at the time...I don't think Android would have allowed them to diffrentiate their handsets enough and as mentioned, Android runs like a dog on low-end chippery. Unfortunately it's all gone to shit now, but you never know, the new MS Lumias may be really good if they keep the Nokia division autonomous enough. I however shall be looking to Jolla from here on in, eagerly awaiting my pre-order!
Re: Game over already
Care to back this up? I've read a few initial crappy 'I used auto settings' breathless gadget mag comparisons but I'm not sure many proper tests have been done yet.
A decent article...
...and a brief but a decent obituary, thanks Andrew. If you go to the BBC, the clueless 'tech' hacks there would have you believe that Nokia only made 'phones with Snake on' prior to the iPhone (and they all have iPhones, natch)...according to them, the iPhone is the first and only smartphone
If you showed the BBC tech team a 770 tablet from 2005 I think it would blow their minds
Mark's take on the word 'innovation'
Hmm, what a surprise. I liked the ambition of the pitch, I even though the product looked nice, but my major beef was with Shuttleworth talking out of his arse. No innovation in smartphones? If he was talking purely about iPhones then maybe, but have you seen Nokia's pureview phones? What about Samsung's 'throw every bit of tech into a slabphone and see what sticks' approach? Or HTC's MacBook-esque alumnium bodies of the One series phones? Yes Mark, no one but Canonical is innovating. If Unity is innovation then I think you need to look up the word 'innovation'.
You know how to use your tablet and have set appropriate levels of security on it - hell, you actually know what a tablet is, I've met people who will only recognise what a tablet is if you qualify it with "like an iPad".
Your appraoch is in direct contract to the thousands of parents who buy shiny stuff and have no idea how it really works, and then shove it in front of their kids as a digital dummy...yes, these companies are detestable and ruthless for selling such horribly priced worthless goods but the clueless parents are providing a market for it, so they should probably educate themselves on how to use their £400 gadget before leaving it with a child.
Re: But why would anyone pay anything for a company clearly in terminal decline?
I don't know, your analogy might be better than you think - Nokia had great hardware the whole way through, and Symbian was a very competent system with stuff that even now mostly eludes the current crop, except, ironically, BB10 (low battery drain, true multitasking, full bluetooth support, HDMI out etc).
The problem was that the UI was written by engineers and not people who understood how the average user used a phone, so you ended up with a very functional looking OS with amazing features but a labrinthine UI...so no one actually knew what those features were.
BB10 is actually very easy to use and looks pretty, so BlackBerry are clearly not doing something right.
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