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* Posts by Mike Bell

417 posts • joined 3 Aug 2007

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iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Mike Bell
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Re: Really?

I've used a contactless payment card on a few occasions. But to tell the truth, I'd prefer the option of holding my thumb briefly on my phone's fingerprint sensor to do the same thing.

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Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services

Mike Bell
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Re: Apple are only interested in ad ownership.

Apple Ads. Here's some information for you.

As and end user, you can easily turn it off.

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Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s

Mike Bell
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Re: As a Galaxy Note User...

Ah yes when I watched the WWDC where they talked about all the new features and APIs including...

Ha ha! You told that little story with the same conviction as Al 'The Landlord' Murray saying he was never confused. Next, you'll be hanging around Apple Stores just to see how bad they are!

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Mike Bell
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Re: Typing texts at the wheel is incredibly dangerous

"Whether it is a phone, a sandwich or a child in the backseat....taking your eyes off the road for any reason is a distraction and *could* be a contributing factor in an accident"

Yes. We have dashboards as well. Guess what? You look at them. I'll bet that even *you* have looked at your dashboard from time to time. You want to get rid of them? Spare me the sanctimonious lecture, please.

"Do us all a favor, get a big red cross sticker and place it on your front and rear bumber so the rest of us can spot you and avoid you at all costs. The moment you relax on the motorway is the moment your brain switches off and that's when the huge pile ups happen. Driving (even on the motorway) SHOULD be tiring because you should be concentrating hard."

There would be an awful lot of big red cross stickers on the motorway crying wolf in your happy little world. Because many people know how to drive safely without sitting rigid in front of the wheel saying 'shut up, shut up, I need both hands right here'.

NB, I've been driving for more than 30 years and I've never had an accident. I've avoided plenty, though, by being aware of my surroundings.

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Mike Bell
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Typing texts at the wheel is incredibly dangerous

OK, I admit I've done it on a few occasions in the past. And I'm not proud of it. It's just plain reckless behaviour at the end of the day.

But I do get somewhat annoyed when I see trumped up traffic officers on TV lambasting the odd driver who just picks up his phone to see the status of the screen. There's no danger in that, in my opinion, any more than there is picking up a sandwich and taking a bite (which I gather is now also a punishable offence in the UK).

If this is to be taken to its extreme, every driver would be required to have both hands on the wheel, like you did when you had your driving lessons - as opposed to how you actually drive.

On a motorway, my left hand is pretty redundant most of the time, and whilst I can't multi-task like a girl, I'm quite capable of lifting a phone to my ear and talking, just like I'm able to scratch my ear and talk to someone in the passenger seat.

Fiddling with the phone's screen controls is entirely another matter. But the law is a hammer.

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Europe: Apple could NOT care less about kids' in-app cash sprees

Mike Bell
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Re: Regardless who is the good boy here or the "less bad boy" I feel ......

Please can we have an option for 'Anonymous Twat' as well as 'Anonymous Coward'?

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NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

Mike Bell
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Too early to say.

Most bacteria and viruses that we encounter have co-evolved with us. They rely on our particular body parts and cellular chemistry in order to do their thing.

While its pretty unlikely that you'd be able to find something nutritious to eat on a random planet, it's not at all certain that their particular bugs would do for us.

As for toxic chemicals, well, you're not going to be able to stand on somewhere like Io. But there may be plenty of relatively harmless planets around.

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Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1

Mike Bell
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Re: Does it still collect data when...

If you believe Apple's statements on the matter, turning Location Services off turns them off. You can also turn them off on an app-by-app basis. You can also get notified (with an icon) when a so-authorised app actually tries to make use of Location services.

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Thought PCs were in the toilet? They're STILL eating Apple's lunch

Mike Bell
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Re: That's because

Yay, speak for everyone, lurker, why not.

My wife has one (regular bod). My next-door-neighbour has one (football coach). I have one (loathe Adobe). My friend who owns a sandwich and kebab stall has one. My friend who is a vet has one.

I also have a PC at work. Hate it.

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Apple OS X Yosemite 4 TIMES more popular than Mavericks

Mike Bell
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Mavericks is pretty well loved by owners of older Apple gear. Possibly its biggest under-the-hood improvement is its revamped memory management system, which means it can run – and run well – on some relatively old devices.

It employs dynamic compression of least-used memory, and attempts to maximise the amount of RAM that's in use. That feature scared a lot of people, who believed it was a memory hog, when the opposite is true. Unused RAM is wasted RAM.

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'iPhone 6' survives FRENZIED STABBING. Truly, it is the JESUS Phone

Mike Bell
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Re: bull...

Indeed, sapphire is extremely hard. I have a rather expensive Rado wristwatch that has a sapphire face cover. It's virtually indestructible and will take any amount of bashing and scraping. They harden the metal as well, mind you, to make the whole thing ultra scratch proof. People have looked on in shock as I've deliberately scraped it along brick and concrete walls for a laugh. It's 10 years old and it looks like I bought it yesterday. NB I don't work for Rado.

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BlackBerry knocks Google's KNOX LOCK PICK for Android

Mike Bell
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Re: Serious biz users don't want Samdung Fandroid or iDrone Crapps

1. Funny how world + dog seem to struggle by. Try answering the phone when someone calls you, might do wonders for your business. The little numbers that appear on app icons are also there for a reason. Don't Tweet, it will turn you into an idiot.

2. Briefly hold your finger on the TouchID sensor. Then you can do all kinds of things as well as muting/un muting. Can your BB do that? If it had a thumping great button taking up real estate to do other specific functions like, say, opening your garage door, would you regard that as a virtue or a design flaw?

A Smartphone isn't just a yapping device, and there are countless businesses that rely on custom apps that have been built for them. Perhaps, you know, they don't share your oracle-like assessment that they are perhaps not serious biz users.

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Apple fanbois to talk at the iWatch, INSPECTOR GADGET style – report

Mike Bell
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Re: WeChat

Why would anyone send a photo over MMS when they can use iMessage instead?

Answer: when they have to.

I rarely send photos using my iPhone unless it's part of an iMessage conversation. Because I know that I'm going to get stung by those ridiculous charges for using MMS.

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Speed of light slower than we thought? Probably not

Mike Bell
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Neutrinos

Didn't someone discover a few years ago that neutrinos actually have a very small but non-zero mass?

It was found that neutrinos can change 'flavour' on their journey. And if they can change, they must therefore be travelling at less than the speed of light. Because at the speed of light, null time passes, and no change would be possible. If a neutrino had zero mass, it would have no option to travel at anything other than the cosmic speed limit, speed of light.

If you flick a bowling ball with your finger, it's not going to move very quickly. If you flick a marble, it's going to belt off a lot faster because it's less massive. If you flick something with no mass whatsoever, e.g. a photon, it's going to move as fast as is cosmically possible (subject to any interfering medium in which it is travelling). You might ask yourself the question why doesn't it move off at an infinite speed? Then things get quite complicated, and intuition lets you down. You will see the photon move off at the cosmic speed limit, but the photon itself will experience no time on its journey.

There's quite a good article about the constancy of the speed of light here.

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Mike Bell
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Re: If gravity bends light...

Does heat bend light?

In its own way, yes, it does. An oasis mirage would be one example. Hot air and cool air have differing refractive indexes, which bends an incoming light ray by varying amounts.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Silly question...

Photons and pretty much everything else is affected by gravity because gravity distorts the very spacetime continuum itself. Large clusters of distant galaxies act as a 'gravitational lens', for example, distorting the image of galaxies that lie beyond them.

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Apple abruptly axes Aperture ... Adobe anxiously awaits arrivals

Mike Bell
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Aperture has four major things going for it.

1. It works well and efficiently for many professional purposes

2. It supports 3rd party plugins

3. It's not Adobe software

4. It's not Adobe software

Apple recently trumpeted their forthcoming Photos application, which will doubtless thrill hordes of consumers with its ability to make non-destructive pretty edits. But it remains to be seen what, if any, pro features will be available, like camera RAW edits. Plugins of some form will be supported, but you can bet that there will be the same trouble ahead that happened when they brought their iWork applications down to a common base level with iOS and are slowly working features back in again.

It's a shame, as I really quite like Aperture.

Oh, and did I mention it's not made by Adobe?

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REVEALED: Reg trails claw along Apple's 'austerity' 21.5-inch iMac

Mike Bell
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Re: If I had £899 to spend on a computer

Apple can't even offer an option to pay for that

You are disturbingly ill-informed,

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Mike Bell
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Re: If I had £899 to spend on a computer

For mundane tasks, I'd certainly consider it. And an awful lot of computer users do really really mundane things.

If I want a powerful computer, I'll buy a powerful computer.

But since I have other Apple devices, there's much more to consider than its computing power. Do I want a computer that will be easy to set up and use, doesn't have ghastly Windoze on it, will receive gratis OS updates, has perhaps the best support in the world from any manufacturer, looks great, syncs personal data with virtually zero effort on my part, can play my existing video and music library just like that? etc. Well, yes. And 900 notes isn't exactly a huge amount of money these days.

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Google Nest slurps your life into the Matrix? The TRUTH

Mike Bell
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Smack Down

It's gonna get smacked down by Apple Home Automation anyway.

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Backup bods Acronis extend disk-imaging support to Macs at last

Mike Bell
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Time Machine

I'll stick with this, thanks, as it comes with the OS, and runs silently in the background pretty much all the time.

I've never had an issue with it, and I'm confident that if my Mac blew up tomorrow, I'd have a replacement machine up and running exactly as before in a matter of hours.

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The enemy of my enemy is my, well, temporary ally: Apple and Microsoft in pact against Google

Mike Bell
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Re: Did anyone else see the enormous u-turn here?

No. Have a look to see what it's for.

http://www.apple.com/ios/ios8/icloud-drive/

This is more than MobileMe - a failed toe-in-the-water exercise - could do.

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New iOS 8 SDK: Come in, apps. Get cozy, sip wine, swap numbers

Mike Bell
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Re: All new technology

Hardly. COM was the spawn of the Devil.

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YOSEMITE GLAM: Apple unveils gussied up OS X

Mike Bell
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Re: So is Apple taking development cues from Google now?

It might sound like a yes, but it looks like a no.

Best graphic of the presentation: Android dominating the mobile malware market to the virtual exclusion of all others.

Haters gotta hate.

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What data recovery software would you suggest?

Mike Bell
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Re: Macrium Reflect

I can also give a big thumbs-up to Macrium Reflect. It's unobtrusive, simple and gets the job done. Also, even older versions are well supported with periodic updates. It's also got a neat drive clone facility – I used that recently to swap out an old 150GB C: drive for a new 1TB one. The whole job was done in about an hour, and for most of that I was carrying on using my PC as normal.

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iDevice gizmo-snatcher Oleg... you must be taking the Pliss

Mike Bell
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Re: WTF?

No definition of what "too many times" is, and as stated, there doesn't appear to be any incremental delay in blocking failed logins (which iOS does with failed PIN/Password attempts)

I can't say I'm surprised that the actual qualifier is not stated. That's probably not important, and is likely a reasonably small number.

The difference between logging into an iOS device and logging into iCloud via a web client is that the latter is serviced by http requests. It's only badly designed web apps that introduce lengthy delays in returning an http response (OK, I've been guilty myself of making a few of those. Not intentionally, though.).

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Mike Bell
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Re: WTF?

You sure about that?

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Mike Bell
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"All of which raises a different question: why is the locking function so easily thwarted?"

It's not easily thwarted at all. You need physical access to the iDevice and knowledge of the Apple ID password in order to unlock it.

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Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Mike Bell
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Re: This adds in my driving to the shop to buy the disc?

Some of my daughter's films have been watched tens or even hundreds of times.

Shhh! Word of advice: never own up to being a secret Twilight fan.

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iDevice ransomware stalks OZ, demands payoff

Mike Bell
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A good bet, I'd have thought. Most users recycle their password across many sites and services, ripe for picking from insecure websites or dodgy site administrators. Probably made all the easier when the password is likely to be 'fosters', 'tinny' or 'sheila'.

Don't do it, kids. Use a password manager of some description and create a unique strong password for each system you use. Above all else, keep your Apple password safe. iCloud Keychain provides a piss-easy way of generating, populating and syncing password fields across sites and devices, but it's like a master key in this respect. 2-factor authentication is a must.

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ET hunter: We will find SPACE ALIENS in 20 years

Mike Bell
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Re: Space is big. Very big...

There are other forces at work.

Even in an infinite universe, I cannot imagine Wayne Rooney being crowned Miss World, even though the technical possibility might exist in a theoretical sense.

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Mike Bell
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Space is big. Very big...

More than 100 billion galaxies x 100 billion stars in each one presents a lot of opportunities for life to arise throughout the universe. It wouldn't surprise me if – in the time it takes you to read this sentence – several new civilisations have flourished and a similar number have perished. Carl Sagan's hunch was a rate of about once every ten years in our galaxy alone, which would scale up to around 1kHz for the universe as a whole.

Less optimistic speculators think that number might be zero. Who knows, but it's fun to speculate.

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Apple haggles with ISPs for fast lanes to its own websites – industry guru

Mike Bell
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Say I developed my own video streaming web farm in my back garden. If I wanted to get its data to the general public efficiently, what would I do? I might talk to my ISP and sort out some big fat data pipe to get it onto their backbone. Just like Microsoft are currently arranging with BT in respect of their massive data centres in Dublin & Amsterdam.

Why is Apple's approach here any different?

NB, they keep tight-lipped on many matters, but it's known that Apple make use of Azure and AWS for at least part of their operations.

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Samsung mobes to get an eyeful of your EYE in biometric security bid

Mike Bell
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Re: Lower security than passcode-only models

Except... passwords are really easy to pinch if someone is looking over your shoulder. Nobody has ever had the opportunity of glimpsing my 5S password in public because I invariably use my fingerprint.

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Users folder vanished after OS X 10.9.3 update? Here's a fix

Mike Bell
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Re: Dear Tim Cook, what's on the desk is still not an oversize hand-held "i"device.

Don't get carried away. It was an iTunes bug that has now been fixed in update 11.2.1 today.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Would someone PLEASE explain to me...

It's probably because your average mall rat is more worried about things like photos & videos (which you can see), songs (which invariably have album covers), and message threads.

They may be supported by a filing system or database under the hood, but your typical phone user probably isn't interested in that. When you click a photo and have an option to 'share' or print it, it's mostly of no concern that something called a file (maybe) that represents the photo is involved somewhere along the line.

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Mike Bell
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Re: This is getting worrying

Dabblers like myself really appreciate Logic X packages. Whereas before I had a bunch of folders to navigate, I've now got a bunch of composition icons in one place. It's a nice simple abstraction. Not for everyone, but you do have the choice of saving your projects one way or another.

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Mae Microsoft yn addysgu Swyddfa, Bing, siarad Cymraeg*

Mike Bell
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Re: Mae'n ddrwg gen i ...

Ah, it's all so clear to me now.

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Anti-theft mobe KILL SWITCH edges closer to reality in California

Mike Bell
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Re: @AC

Sorry, I'll qualify that by saying the only circumstance under which the wiped iPhone can be brought back to life is if, on the device, you enter your original Apple ID and password.

Activation Lock

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Mike Bell
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Already have it

The proposed law would require no change on Apple's part, because remote wipe/kill capability already exists in iOS devices. The kill is permanent, meaning the device can never be used again under any circumstances. It's something that the user can initiate in the event of a lost or stolen phone. The carrier cannot do it. And, by law, Apple would be prohibited from doing it unless specifically authorised to do so by the phone's owner.

The kill is far more pervasive than blocking the phone from making or receiving calls.

If someone did manage to compromise Apple's security infrastructure and bricked my phone for me – thank you very much – a few things would happen.

1. There would be a massive shit storm

2. I'd demand a replacement handset from the Apple Store

3. I'd restore the new device to its previous state from an iCloud backup

Likely to happen? Nah

Bothersome if it did? A bit, but not the end of the world

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PEAK APPLE: Mystery upstart to hurl iLord from its throne 'by 2020'

Mike Bell
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The only way is down...

...if you're already at the top.

Hard to deny, really.

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Early! Do! Not! Track! Adopter! Yahoo! Says! It's! Rubbish, Bins! It!

Mike Bell
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Re: Don't look at me. I'm shy!

'EU law already covers this'

That's nice to know. So are we going to see Yahoo! Getting! Prosecuted! anytime soon?

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Mike Bell
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Don't look at me. I'm shy!

The EU should mandate that sites honour browsers' DNT settings. They interfered with cookies; they could throw some weight around here as well.

A default value of DNT=1 on a fresh browser install is a correct default, because users have a reasonable expectation of privacy by default.

Unless said user is mad.

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Stephen Hawking: The creation of true AI could be the 'greatest event in human history'

Mike Bell
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Turing Police

These are the guys who are tasked to ensure that AIs don't get too smart.

Read 'Neuromancer' by William Gibson. It's a good novel. He thought about this kind of stuff more than 30 years ago.

Of course, in that book the AI was smarter than the Turing Police, and steered humans to act out its deadly plans, so we might all be doomed anyway.

My own opinion: I'm with Roger Penrose on this one. Programming isn't enough to achieve true AI. But if nature has managed to come up with thinking biological machines by accident (us) it's only a matter of time before someone makes something smarter, better and faster. Probably won't know how it works. After all how smart do you have to be to understand how your thinking works? Maybe too smart to know the answer. Thorny problem, that one.

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Super-heavy element 117 DOES exist – albeit briefly. Got any berkelium handy?

Mike Bell
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'new ways that atoms can be ... potentially made to decay more slowly'

Huh? Come again?

AFAIK the only thing that can change the half-life of an atom is to add a pinch of relativity, e.g. move it very quickly or put it in an intense gravitational field. What other new ways do you have in mind?

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Researcher says Apple fibs about crypto for iOS email attachments

Mike Bell
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Re: proves their claim that they do not suffer from Heartbeat enryption error.

You clever, clever person. Did you not read the reply above?

Everything on the iPhones' filing system is encrypted.

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Chinese iWatchers: Apple's WRISTPUTERS ALREADY in production

Mike Bell
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iYouHaveNoIdeaWhatItIsYet

You might want to ask such questions AFTER its functionality has been announced.

If it could monitor my blood glucose levels, buzz me when my boss is within 100m, unlock my car, wave me through airport check-in, project a hologram of Princess Leia et fucking cetera, I'd probably buy one. As it is, it's a pointless exercise moaning about the capabilities of something that doesn't exist yet.

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UK.gov data sell-off row: HMRC denies claims it'll flog YOUR private info

Mike Bell
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You tinfoil numpties crack me up

Don't believe everything you read in The Guardian & The Daily Mail.

I'll repeat (because I know the people who actually make the policy decisions on this): HMRC do not have the powers to release anonymised tax information to other government agencies, except in very limited circumstances, for example to the Department of Work and Pensions.

Agencies have been denied access to the data. For example, NHS statisticians would dearly like to get hold of anonymised tax data to study correlations between income and health. But it would be illegal for HMRC to supply them with this data.

HMRC are looking at the ways at how such data could be provided, and charging accordingly because it won't happen by magic or for free.

You don't own the data that you submit in your tax return. But HMRC have a duty of care to protect it. They're not interested in selling data for a profit; just being able to provide anonymous data legally, for the costs incurred to them, and to parties where it is in the public interest.

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Mike Bell
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A lot of bollocks has been said about this issue.

It's largely been driven by the fact that there is no existing legal framework for HMRC to release data to other government departments, with very few exceptions. For example, government health departments would like anonymised tax data to do health studies, but they can't.

In respect of payment, HMRC are only considering charging for what it might cost them to produce the data and perform the extensive checks on anonymisation, need etc. That doesn't necessarily come cheap, and they want to cover any additional costs landed on them.

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No longer a 'hobby', Apple TV rakes in ONE BEEELLION DOLLARS

Mike Bell
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Re: Instead

Chromecast is £30 for a reason.

With just about every Google offering, you are the product. Look forward to a life of blipverts..

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