81 posts • joined Tuesday 12th June 2012 08:24 GMT
Re: main issue with smart TVs
I bought a Samsung "smart" blu-ray player last year and they have already deprecated the Netflix app, one of the main reasons I chose that model. Samsung blame Netflix, Netflix blame Samsung. Back to plugging in my laptop it is then!
Can we please all agree to not accept "phablet" as a term? Thank you.
Just 3G and decent data allowances would be nice
Try using Vodafone's 3G network anywhere in central london during the working week! I'm normally lucky if I can load a mobile optimised web page. I would be perfectly happy with 3G for mobile use if they sorted out the backhaul in congested areas. Also, they are exceedingly stingy with data allowances (probably as a consequence of limited capacity). Fix those first please!
I predict a calm, considered and insightful comment that cautiously praises Ballmer.
It staggers me how many security holes pop up in Adobe Reader. It has one function: Display PDFs on the screen and maybe print them if you want to. If Adobe stripped away all the bloat they surround it with then would most of those disappear?
(PS - I know alternatives like Foxit exist. If only my company's IT department would let us install them...)
O2, great service but terrible speed. BT actually not that bad!
I was with O2 for three years. The connect was steady as a rock, the support team was great but the speed... I was lucky to get 2.5M in the evening. This in central London less than half a mile from the exchange. I was sad to leave them, but when I could barely stream SD iPlayer and HD was an impossible dream I decided to move on. I would definitely be leaving now from what I've heard about Sky's service.
Slight digression, but after O2 I signed up for BT infinity... and haven't looked back. I actually get the advertised speed of 40M which I don't think has ever happened with any provider. The connection has been very stable over a year at two different addresses.
Not all rosy however, BT's customer services are a confusing mess. It took them three attempts to place my home move order - on the final attempt I had to speak to four different people but they did give me three months free service to apologise for making such a meal of it!
Re: My two cents
Tony Stark's lab has a rack of Exalytics servers in the corner, in fact I think Jarvis even cheerfully annouces "The Oracle Cloud has finished analysis" at one point.
Re: I really get tired of this bemoaning 'evolution instead of revolution'
I agree. I think my iPhone 4S does everything I could ever reasonably need of a smart phone. However, I would just like better battery life and network reception. Those kind of features are now the differentiator for me, I may well jump the fence to Samsung when my contract is up.
Re: It's really not that urgent (I don't think)
I agree, the mail and calendar apps fulfill their basic purposes just fine. The main thing I'd like to see is an active standby screen. Instead of just notifications and the time, it would be good to pin things like train departures and transport status so you can check them out easily!
I always really liked SimCity 3000, except for the fact that whatever machine I've tried it on it always crashes periodically. The new SimCity sounds like bit of a pain. I'm hoping a crack appears at some point - then I would actually buy it!
Re: Decaying infrastructure
Same here, I've worked in several locations across central london over the past five years: Southwark, Canary wharf and Bank. In each place I get a decent Vodafone 3G signal (3+ bars) but the data speed is so slow it is unusable. It magically picks up early in the morning or late in the evening, so yes skimping on capacity like mad!
I don't like the fact they try and push you into a buying their suresignal box when you complain about dodgy reception in area, essentially trying to get you to pay to locally upgrade their network for them! I get no signal (nothing at all, never mind slow data) at my girlfriend's house which is in zone 2 for crying out loud.
I also don't like the fact that when my phone got stolen, they took the opportunity to halve my data allowance to 500MB when I bought a replacement phone for the same contract price.
Re: I'm confused.
The fact their share price jumped suggests Liberty want to buy Virgin. The share price of the target is always the one that jumps since only the selling shareholders are likely to immediately profit from a deal.
Re: Yeah, terrible service ...
Yeah I remember when I signed up with VM in 2008, my equipment came but they forgot to put the smart card in. I called up their unhelpfuldesk and the smart card not being in the box clearly wasn't in the script so the agent acused me of lying, told me to look properly and said he'd call me back. He never called back so I had to call again the next day.
Once I actually had a replacement card, and they provisioned it (which inexplicably took 5 days) the service was very good. The connection was a solid 10MB/sec and never dipped unless I broke their "traffic management policy". They just need some better trained call centre staff and (dare I say it) to invest in cabling new areas.
User interfaces reached their peak in the early 80s with the Datel lightpen on ZX Spectrum.
Re: The main benefit for me..
I regularly work with financial pricing data, e.g. foreign exchange where the price might move 100,000 times in a day. The source systems that store tick data for me only output in plain CSV format. You're right in that I could import that into a database, but unfortunately I don't have a database environment where I can dump in data for ad-hoc analysis. Our company doesn't let us use MS Access, and I don't have admin rights to install Oracle XE (for example). Sometimes it is just easier to use Excel!
Re: Reg Article Title...
Agreed, they've set the bar pretty high. Trying to beat it shouldn't be taken lightly (sorry).
App Updates and Pulling the Battery Out..
I used to have an 8900 Curve. I found that every time I installed an update it would insist on doing a full reboot of the device, which took about 3 mins, for each INDIVIDUAL update. If I went into Blackberry App World and had 7 app updates that would mean 7 reboots. Has that been improved, or was I being a bit dim?
Also, I found that at least once a week I would get weird problems such as artefacts on the screen or menu items/icons disappearing. I would have to pull the battery out and put it back in to do a "hard reset" in order to restore things to normal. Does that still happen on more recent models, or did I just have a duff one?
The main benefit for me..
Upgrading to 2007 and above removed the pain-in-the-a*se 65,536 row limit in Excel! I was so happy with that I overlooked the upheaval with the ribbon. In fact I don't mind the ribbon these days, the one thing that really does my head in is applying custom cell borders in Excel. Otherwise I've come to quite like it.
The only thing I really noticed with 2007-2010 was improved SharePoint integration so I agree with the premise of the article, it is starting to get more and more difficult to see the point in upgrading.
There is a killer way to make money here...
Why not kit out several of the most popular music venues in London (e.g. O2 arena, Brixton Academy, Apollo) with cameras and a crew for event nights. Stream this footage via youtube and charge a low fee to those who couldn't get tickets on a pay per view basis. The video quality doesn't have to be perfect in order to protect ticket and live dvd sales, but the vast majority of concerts never go anywhere near a dvd anyway. Record companies can help shore up falling revenues, and Google might actually be able to make a return on Youtube.
So they're trying to generate Apple-sized hype for, er, Office? I think their marketing people need a reality check. I would guess a lot of users won't even get in front of it for some time anyway, my company has only just (grudgingly) rolled out 2010 and Visio, Sharepoint and Project are stuck on the 2003 versions. I accept our IT might be a bit backwards, but we can't be the only ones.
And as previous commenters have mentioned, most users either won't care or will actively protest against any change. At least with our 2003 - 2010 upgrade we get a lot of useful new features like 1M rows in Excel to sweeten it for them.
I resolved never to buy anything from them years ago thanks to their incredibly irrtitating adverts.
Re: The Failure of Digital
As much as I love my Kindle, I agree with you. It is great for reading a novel, but tasks like flicking through or even back and forth from your current page to an index or glossary, are very difficult.
Amazing what qualifies as a "Serious Crime" these days!
Re: Not much to browse anymore..
That should say *can't compete on price*
Not much to browse anymore..
In this market the only way to survive is to differentiate. If you can compete on price, then differentiate with knowledge and selection.
I go to Rough Trade in London regularly and it is always thriving. I can often beat their prices online, but the knowledgeable staff and good recommendations mean you can always find something interesting to buy.
HMV used to be good to browse in, the one on Oxford Street still is. The smaller ones, not so. A while back, they removed pretty much all their music back catalogue and most of the DVD back catalogue in favour of selling gadgets. This meant that they offered the same selection of DVDs and CDs as Tesco but at worse prices. Their gadget selection was obviously more expensive than online, and was also limited in scope. Therefore, no reason to go for either market.
Re: I really like Windows 8...
Careful, any even vaguely positive comments about Win8 upset The Register's hivemind. My limited experience matches yours, FWIW.
O2, good but slow..
I was with O2 for about two and a half years. The connections was absolutely solid, never dropped even once as far as I know. Their phone support was very good too, the people were knowledgeable and very polite.
However, I was lucky if I got 2.5Mbps. This is in the centre of London less than a mile from the exchange. Streaming iPlayer and youtube became more and more difficult so reluctantly I bit the bullet when BT cabled up my cabinet for Infinity.
Infinity, so far, has been excellent. I get the full 40Mbps advertised and it has been very reliable. The only gripes are the 40GB download limit, which is scarily easy to hit at those speeds, and BT's customer "service". The less said about which the better. While O2's service was superb, speed is king these days, and unless they invest in FTTC they are better off selling the business before BT and Virgin eat their lunch.
Re: Skype is a terrible IM client
I have a lot of trouble with the Windows client too. I mainly used Live Messenger to talk to work contacts who are on Lync. However, when I talk to someone on Lync Skype will send the same message five or six times over a 15 minute time period. When I first contact someone, it starts sending them messages I sent yesterday!
Shame it doesn't work
Just tried it out, and I can't open messages or chat. It also doesn't let you comment or like. So they've built something that works not quite as well as the FB native app which makes their claims a bit suspect.
Not far off 4chan
And their constant attempts to con the gullible with "Delete system32, make your PC run faster"
For work email, I have one folder for stuff I need to keep (login details etc) and otherwise live in a state of blissful anarchy. I normally have about 25-30 messages in my inbox and delete anything I'm not sure about. I never empty deleted items until my mailbox fills up, then I just delete the oldest month's messages. Seems to work well as a trade off between time spent organising versus risk of losing emails as I can usually find things in deleted items if I need to.
Gmail, that's a different story. Pure, unadulterated piling. I delete obvious spam and leave everything else in there. The search works so well I don't even bother with tagging or flagging anything!
Some banks are a bit late to the party! I had it with my old bank a couple of years ago, then moved bank and no more! Also, some credit card companies seem to be a bit behind the times.
The cost to pay by bonk is the same as the Oyster fare, the only issue is the lack of a daily price cap. If you did 10 bus journeys in a day it would cost you 10x single bus fare, whereas Oyster will cap it to the price of a daily travelcard.
Re: Works fine on my ipad
I was confused, but I worked out you hold your finger down on the map where you want to see street view. When it drops a marker on the map, swipe up the address window that appears at the bottom and you can open street view. Hope that helps!
If all they do is improve Smart TV UI's...
I can't imagine an Apple TV would offer any actual new features beyond those available on Smart TVs already available from the likes of Samsung et al or even just plugging your laptop into an HDMI port. What they might be able to do is improve the user experience for such devices.
There was a good article on El Reg a month or so ago bemoaning the awful interfaces on Smart TVs. If Apple came along and redefined the UI like they did with, say, first gen iPhone vs Blackberry, then they might be able to make some waves.
Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no
Yeah, I bought an iMac in 2009 from the Apple Store and they gave me a wired full-size keyboard with USB hub for free as well as the Bluetooth one. The main thing I didn't like was the "Magic" mouse. It didn't move around on my desk smoothly and the touch surface was unreliable. I also don't think having to charge your mouse every so often is progress, really. Ended up replacing it with a cheap, generic USB mouse.
I miss the humour
I loved the game, and I think it spawned the most successful game based cartoon series. Very few games are made with anything like the level of humour this had anymore. The odd point and click game has some snappy writing (e.g. Telltale's excellent Sam and Max series) but the majority of big budget games seems to be relentlessly po-faced nowadays.
It's the apps, stupid
As the article states, Microsoft desperately need to build up the app ecosystem. If someone is considering moving away from Android or iOS and finds apps like Spotify missing then it kills the idea right there.
If they are really serious about Windows Phone then maybe they should offer WP8 development consultants to key mobile app development houses? On iOS the majority of app sales go to a small number of development houses so subsiding development resources to help them port might give the whole thing a jumpstart.
Although I'm no Windows 8 fan, I hope MS do success with WP8. I think the market needs more competition. If RIM deliver the goods on BB10 and MS can get WP8 into a credible position we should see some real innovation in the mobile world.
Instagram: Ruin your photos for free!
I bought an iMac after years of building my own PCs. I got seduced by the stories of how amazing they are to use. While it has proven very reliable, now it is three years bits are starting to break. Even the older 2009 generation ones are difficult to fix yourself and Apple charge a fortune for even basic repairs.
When it finally bites the dust I shall go back to build my own I think!
I wonder if I can get a patent on humans talking to each other?
Re: Ah memories...
I used to work in IT for a major media company. At the time they were laying off thousands of people, "offshoring" others and we couldn't even get budget for the most critical of infrastructure they spent thousands of pounds hiring people to staff a "virtual news room" in Second Life. Those were sensible investment priorities, eh?
Raspberry PI really needed?
I have recently joined the Pi owners club and am in the process of setting it up for use as a media centre. I don't really see what advantage it gives you in terms of learning programming if you already have access to a PC, it is simply a lower cost way of getting started. All schools must have an IT room by now so why is an RPi needed?
Also, I think it is dangerous to completely abandon the current curriculum. We do need more coders, but we also need everybody to be able to drive Office, understand how OS's work etc. RPis aren't the way to achieve this. The biggest RPi market so far seems to be fully grown techie geeks like me!
Wireless charging seems like a feature for the sake of a feature. You still have to place the phone on a charging plate which presumably takes up a lot more desktop space than a USB cable connector. Also, I can easily keep a usb cable in my pocket or bag if I need to whereas a charging plate might be more difficult. Can anyone elighten me if I'm missing the point?
Views <> People
824M views doesn't necessarily mean 824M people.... I assume that some people will have watch it many times!
Portable Consoles, maybe..
I think there is a case to make this argument for portable consoles like the Vita and Nindendo DS. In this case, mobile gaming is a natural evolution - similar (or better) hardware power but only one device to carry around. Locking down of game purchases is at platform level, rather than specific device level. Access to titles from a much wider range of publishers...
With the poor 3DS sales I have wondered why Nintendo doesn't consider becoming a publisher for iPhone/Android et al? I would love to have Nintendo quality games on my phone, Professor Layton or Pokemon would be ideal commute fodder and I can't be bothered to carry around two devices.
For home consoles, I don't think this will happen - at least not completely. The casual market will probably go down the mobile/tablet route to an extent but you can't beat good old console multiplayer. Just Dance etc sell by the boat load and I can't see those running on a phone in the near future!
Vodafone Customers Get it "Free"
I also get free access to Bt Wifi/Openzone with Vodafone. However, my login stopped working about 6 months ago and despite several complaints they have never fixed it. Won't hold my breath for this one!
The only use I've found for the wifi so far though is receiving iMessages while underground but that is a very minor benefit. I don't see why you'd need it otherwise. By the time you connect either your train has arrived or pulled into the tunnel if you are already on board.
Bought a Samsung "Smart" Blu-ray
I bought it on the promise of being able to add iPlayer and Netflix to my aging TV. To be fair it works well for iPlayer (except the Samsung app has painfully slow performance when scrolling). However, Netflix never worked. The samsung (cr)app store is a right dogs dinner - I searched for the Netflix app, it found it and then... nothing. It mysteriously refused to download. After the most tortuitous registration process I have ever followed.
Netflix claim Samsung needed to release an upgraded firmware, Samsung claim it is up to Netflix to fix. So, back to using my laptop to stream netflix to my TV. Except, of course, I can't get Windows to output in my TV's native resolution so the edges are chopped off everything I watch. I think I'll give in and go for a Raspberry Pi/XMBC solution! You wouldn't think such a simple requirement would be so hard.
Forget all this Facebook/Twitter integration, anyone who uses these regularly probably has a mobile or laptop to view them on with a much better user experience. Just put some engineering resources into the "let me easily watch a streaming service on my telly, regardless of what that streaming service is" requirement and watch units fly off the shelves.
Re: Not for me, thanks
Yeah - user upgradeable parts would definitely make iMac, or even Mac Mini, a "no-brainer" desktop purchase. Until bits started breaking, the iMac was the best piece of kit I've ever owned.
Mac OS is simply a joy to use. I consider myself a "power user" as I know Windows inside out, and I've even built a Linux kernel from scratch but I still know almost nothing about the innards of Mac OS as in three years I've never needed to.
However, I just can't bear to pay over the odds for a poorly specified machine that I'll have to throw away in a few years. Also, I noticed that Lion now defaults to only letting you install App Store or signed apps. I know you can change this in system settings but seems a bit ominous to me....