331 posts • joined Friday 3rd August 2007 09:17 GMT
Interestingly, I've stuck one of these on the back of my (rather more modest) Samsung telly; a 30 quid Raspberry Pi.
Re: He'll probably/hopefully get sued
You obviously didn't read the article. The guy used his credit card, and as he did pass the information on the police, to no avail, so this seems like a pretty clear cut case. If the justice system singularly fails to act, or even bother to communicate with the victim, when said victim has given the cops a giant glowing arrow pointing to his lost property, than the system has failed and good luck to the guy.
This kind of crap goes on far too often, and while I know the police are often over-stretched, the fact they seem to operate a triage system that automatically dumps all "petty" (in their eyes) crime into the round filing cabinet simply isn't good enough.
I also think the police actively hate citizen detectives who do their own investigations, especially nerds who are better at using online tools than they are; I've seen that from the police first hand.
I await RyanAir's response with interest
Michael O'Leary must be gearing up for some kind of "fuck you" response to this. It will be interesting to see if UK customers suddenly see their ticket prices going up while booking fees disappear but everything stays the same in other countries.
To be honest I'd prefer to seem him ignore it so they can be a high profile test case to establish some legal precedent.
Who said iPads are used for IT?
While I kind of agree with the central thesis (iPads are expensive m'kay?), it seems to be coming from the idea that any computing device used in schools is there primarily to teach IT, which seems a bit...well...1980s in its thinking.
I always assumed iPads would be primarily used as a general textbook replacement with added whistles and bells (timetables, report writing etc.), and to a certain extent a degree of lockdown might be useful in that kind of environment. However, the Apple tax is a big problem for education content, and unlike paper text books, you've still got VAT to consider on top of that; so not only is an iPad a fairly flimsy and stealable piece of hardware, it doesn't really pass muster on the content side either at a time when parents bemoan the fortunes they need to spend on text books for approved syllabuses (syllabi?) - and that assumes such text books are actually available as ebooks in the first place.
Zardoz and Solaris (at least the remake) are both terrible. And if Star Wars doesn't count, neither does Planet of The Apes, not really (its a good movie but its rubbish SF).
As you alluded to in the article, the seventies is where its at; Dark Star, Silent Running, and the Donald Sutherland Invasion of The Body Snatchers are all worth anyone's time. More recently, how could you miss out Moon and District 9?
Having sat in on quite a few eye-tracking studies now, I'm pretty certain this will just piss people off because viewing behaviour isn't linear.
A "problem" that doesn't need solving
Alcohol consumption in the UK is already in year on year decline (a function of an ageing population and increased health awareness) and has been for nearly a decade, and the UK already has the highest alcohol duties in Europe (even more than Scandinavia now). So the "problem" is actually that people aren't drinking enough; UKGov could do with the money.
Re: Now there's another mystery ...
Off prime rents for a start. CEX are usually in relatively cheap areas, whereas the likes of HMV are usually in prime areas.
Re: What a shame
"The strongest high street retailers seem to be those who have product lines crossing many categories such as department stores - perhaps that model is the best hope for the future?"
This has been the received wisdom amongst corporate strategy people for at least a decade; you can only survive as a specialist retailer if you have unique product not available elsewhere; if you sell a commodity you can't cross-subsidise margins so you've got nowhere to go when a multi-category retailer undercuts you (Amazon and Tesco work on single digit margins so can take the hit that a specialist can't). Problem is that with the rise of Amazon, more and more products become commodities even when they might not have been in the past (which is why some premium brands will only sell through their own channels), good for customer value, but maybe not so good for the retail "ecosystem".
We're heading for an age of much reduced choice in retail (which in the long run hurts the department stores as well; fewer reasons to go to the high street), and unless landlords have a major rethink about rents, whole categories of products are going to disappear from the high street altogether; in fact it may be too late even if there is a big rent correction.
I hadn't heard the phrase "regulatory capture" before, but its very well coined, and yes, there are tons of examples of it in action (the largest in potential value terms affected by this is probably online gambling in the US), and its probably having an impact. However...there are lots of examples where "creative destruction" IS busily doing its thing, but is actually creating genuine growth? The transformation of all the media industries for example, seems to be creating a new landscape, but not necessarily an economically more buoyant one. Yes there are individual winners (Google, Apple, Amazon etc.) but in what looks like a much less diverse economic landscape. Maybe the old economic certainties on growth simply don't apply anymore.
Re: Secondlife Is still Alive.
Secondlife is all very well as a hobby, but in the mid-noughties people were seriously touting it as a new navigation paradigm. I was contacted by a headhunter asking me to flog e-commerce storefronts for it. Coming from a gaming as well as an e-commerce background, I took one look and ran a mile.
Speaking as a general punter rather than an axe-grinding zealot...
...I'm prepared to give Win 8 the benefit of the doubt. Problem is simply that I just don't need it. I have three PCs at home, and yes a little boost in startup speed would be nice, but its hardly worth the rigmarole of three upgrades just for that.
The problem is that the Metro UI is pretty much irrelevant to 99% of users because they don't have touchscreens, and yet that's where all the "surprise and delight" functionality in the platform rests, and may actually be suppressing current PC sales; if you were going to upgrade your laptop this Christmas, would you get one WITHOUT a touchscreen knowing it was going to have Win 8 installed? I wouldn't, which immediately gives me a tiny pool of laptops that fully take advantage of the OS, all of which that are at a distinct price premium.
As for Surface; only VERY early adopters want to take the risk on RT; those of us who actually want a tablet as a credible productivity device (which HAS to be the difference between MS and Apple's tab strategies at this point) are going to wait for the Pro version or one of the OEMs. Its not over for MS at the moment, but nothing's going to start moving until there's relevant hardware in the market at credible prices.
Tiscali will rue the day...
...their active filtering fails (which it absolutely will) and some kid tops themselves purportedly because they looked at a suicide site and it fractured their tiny little mind. Cue lawsuits and a world of hurt.
How many more times does it have to be said? Its the responsibility of the PARENTS to monitor access. The ISPs can give them tools, but they shouldn't be responsible for controlling access to legal content (illegal content is a different matter, but is already managed).
A judge with common sense
Good to know they exist
Not being a God-botherer in any shape or form, I disapprove of the guy's disapproval of homosexual marriage, but he's entitled to his opinion and his employers are bang out of order. Hopefully that's a nice bit of case law on the books to dampen down similar employer abuses in the future.
I find this...doubtful
I'd love to see what the actual question was.
Even though I have a so-called smart TV, I very rarely use any of the functionality since the various STBs attached (Sky+, Apple TV and a rapsberry pi running XBMC) do a much better job, and given the lamentably slow pace software updates on the TV (a Samsung), I'm pretty sure that will remain the case.
Dying on its arse
I've been entering the hallowed doors of Forbidden Planet for nearly 30 years now (from Denmark Street to New Oxford Street and to the current Shaftesbury Avenue location), and gradually, especially over the last two or three years, I'm finding fewer and fewer reasons to bother. The latest DC reboot is just terrible, Marvel is meh, and everything else is fucking zombies (often literally fucking). I lost track of 2000AD after spending a year abroad a few years ago (I had every issue from prog 86 onwards and still regard Nemesis, Halo Jones and Zenith as pretty much the best mainstream comics stories ever), but when I thumb through a copy these days it seems to be treading water.
So this month sees the last issue of The Boys, and after that I think I'm done, and I don't think its because I've changed particularly, rather I've come to the conclusion that comics only work if each generation actually outgrows them; when we stopped doing that (and i'm and obvious case in point) and the market decided to actually accommodate the "mature reader" , it sewed the seeds of its own destruction, which is why Forbidden Planet now makes its money off selling 500 quid copies of Thor's Hammer to idiots and its comic shelves shrink every year.
Actually not true (for WWI anyway). Conscription wasn't introduced until 1916, by which point most of the men able to fight had already volunteered (around 40% of conscripts were found to be medically unfit). The number of volunteers in the British forces always outnumbered the conscripts. So, yes you can argue the case for a collective Darwin Award (not that I would).
Back on topic, I always wear a poppy (even though I now live in Ireland, which makes it much more contentious) because I come from a long line of soldiers, but I am increasingly uncomfortable with "poppy guilt" as seen on most of the British Media, and have no problem with someone exercising their RIGHT to protest against the poppy by burning one. This whole Malicious Communications thing is turning into a farce, just as was predicted when it was enacted.
Little England is alive and well I see...
...and I suppose all of you who rail against all that talkin' foreign nonsense refuse point blank to order Pizza or spaghetti don't you? "I'll have a flat bread with tomato,cheese and sausage, and none of yer "Mozzarella" or "pepperoni" mind, I'm watching you, and be quick about it Mussolini".
So did you grow up in the hole in the road or the lake?
well I like it...
I may not care for Apple or Mr. Jobs but I this is a handsome boat. Reminds me a lot of the current Wally design style. As for all the jibes about its seaworthiness, yeah right.
Good to see some proper Kindle competition. Now, question, why the hell did Waterstones tie up with Amazon (who threaten them with oblivion) rather than B&N? Seem weird to me.
Jesus I'm fucking starving now.
Good crusty white bread (Irish batch bread works), back bacon cooked with a grill pan, fat is OK because its going to be crispy. Butter or not, doesn't really matter to me (I tend towards not) and HP sauce. Not ketchup, not mustard (that's fine for sausage sarnies but not bacon) and none of those shitty brown sauces like Chef or Daddies, has to be HP. Mug of tea on the side (the only time I drink tea is with bacon sarnies).
Here's hoping the US Patent office start using it immediately.
...doesn't seem to be awash with blinded punters. Six people with problems from what I can see. I also read the petition, and while I don't have a particular problem with its content, it seems like they're only trying to formalise what a good clinic does anyway. I had LASIK surgery 7-8 years ago and it was a major improvement in my life. Of course my eyeballs may fall out any day now, but until then I'm a fan of the process.
Re: And hsi alternate histories
Loved most of HH's work but thought Stars & Stripes was literally the worst thing I've ever read.
Re: How long before
That would be The Daily Mail that operates its own bingo site perhaps? Oh, the dress it up in good causes, but its still gambling, so I'm guessing they'll keep their mouths surprisingly shut.
Its all very odd
Definitely only getting one side of the story here. I also reckon Mann is running some kind of sociological experiment with all this cyborg crap on his face; if you go to his website you'll see he's been wearing various iterations of camera for decades now, but in the past he's used sunglasses to cover it up, obviously not the case with his little Paris showdown.
That is all.
Yes HTML5 is the right way to go; it was ALWAYS the right way to go, IF you're interested in maximum distribution of your content or service (why any eCommerce site would get into Apps any more boggles the mind), but the problem for NewsCorp is they're not interested in maximum distribution, they're interested in frictionless paywalls, which means, at the moment, apps. And that means continuing to give Apple, and probably Google (oh the irony) a cut of those news subs, because if NewsCorp tries to put up its own paywall in mobile and tablets, they'll get NO takers, rather than the few they get currently.
Relevance of tablets
I use a 7" tablet every single day, for reading, news, music, some gaming, and especially video consumption on the move. I don't need that content to be tied into a single provider (I have three e-readers on my tab for example) or a single format (my tab happily gobbles up avi, mkv or MP4 vids), and its less hassle than carrying around multiple devices (as my iPhone is my work phone, I tend not to want to clog it up with music and video content that lunches the battery). If you played around with a tablet and couldn't think of a use for it, what kind of a tech journalist are you?
I won't buy a Nexus 7 because its not enough of a step up (lack of expandable memory means its actually a step down), but a Surface? Sure. You said it yourself, its a canny bet because its easily justified next time you want to upgrade your laptop or notebook.
Re: Why use "The Cloud"
This size of tablet is perfect for catchup TV and movies on the train every morning, so much so that I bought a Galaxy Tab to do just that. Biggest problem? Constantly deleting videos off the SD card and hard disk to accommodate new stuff. You're right, 16GB isn't enough, and the Cloud isn't ready to take up the slack (not over a 3G connection anyway)
Late in exactly the same way they were late to operating systems.
I have no idea whether Surface will be a success. What I'm not prepared to do is dismiss it out of hand because of Microsoft's recent hardware history as that doesn't actually make any sense.
And as for "Android is loved..." etc. By who exactly? Android is popular for one reason, its free, so its heavily distributed. The vast majority of customers don't give a damn about Android (as tablet sales prove). Don't confuse early adopters with the mass market, who neither know nor care what's going on under the hood.
"If your hypothesis that lateness was the reason for the failure of the Zune and Win Pho 7 then there's no hope for MS denting the tablet market either for the very same reason. "
Nonsense. The entire global installed base for tablets is about 60m to date; laptop sales still dwarf that but tablets are expected to get to about 80m a year by 2015. Microsoft are involved WAY earlier in this cycle than for MP3 players and smartphones, and unlike in Smartphones, where they faced two massive incumbent OSes, Android is a busted flush in tablets.
Courier was a tech demo, Surface is a product with a release date (two release dates actually), so I don't think "we can safely assume" that Surface is vapourware at all. Quite the reverse in fact.
Arguments about whether it will be success or failure or separate and different from arguments about whether it will exist at all.
I'd also suggest that Metro wasn't the reason for the failure of Win Pho 7 or Zune, generally speaking the UI has been the one thing both those products received praise for. Lateness to an already saturated market is the more likely reason for these failures. In the case of tablets, I'd argue there's still everything to play for, and the Pro version in particular could be on an awful lot of executive shopping lists this Christmas as it bridges the gap between iPad's consumption bias and a laptop's productivity focus. Just maybe, the one's who've learned from history are Microsoft...
Re: Smart TVs, stupid buyers
The "Smart" functionality isn't integral to the basic viewing experience so it effectively sits there just like another set-top box. Even if the manufacturers stop supporting it (and Samsung look they already have on my 6000 series telly - no surprise there), its actually irrelevant. Its would only be important if you relying on the "Smart" functionality for media streaming or VOD or something, and I suspect almost no-one with one of these TVs is (I'm certainly not - I bought it because it has a great picture and a tiny bezel and looks great), as they'll all be plugged into at least one other STB, be it Sky, Cable, Apple TV or whatever.
Waste of effort on the part of the manufacturer? Certainly, but so long as I have lots of spare HDMI ports, I'm not going to worry about it.
@ Werner McGoole
You don't realise how fantastic the NHS is until you leave the UK. I only moved as far as Ireland and the quality of medical care is light years behind the NHS. It costs €50-60 every time you see your GP (no exceptions for babies and children), it costs €100 if you set foot inside an A&E, and to get maternity care to the same standard as the NHS will cost you about five grand. Yes you can get medical inurance to cover some of these costs, but since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger the quality of cover is increasingly worthless. And the icing on the cake is that my PRSI (NI) payments are pretty similar to the level I paid in the UK. On the other hand, if I'm ever unemployed I'll get a shitload more money than the UK pays. Personally I think that's entirely the wrong way around, but hey, I'm just a guest here.
As for quality of care, yes I've seen some bad examples in the NHS, but I've seen a lot more good ones.
Re: Yes, but...
The only problem with using a Rhino as an example is that relatively speaking, its brain volume is huge in comparison to most large sauropods. Hit a Rhino in the head and you've probably got a 30% chance of destroying something vital; hit a rampaging Argentinosaurus and its probably a 5-10% chance or less. So when I sign up for my time-travel safari I'll be packing a 30mm Bushmaster thanks, preferably in an armoured car.
Re: Cutting their own throat?
@Ralph 5. I was being slighlty flippant (I work in e-commerce for a bricks and mortar retailer, so buildings are quite important to me), but the bottom line is that individuals like yourself who want to browse before buying, don't cover the overheads of running a store chain. Waterstones HAVE to come up with a plan for migrating the bulk of their customers to online, with a much reduced store chain, probably for "distressed" purchases (e.g. in airports etc.) This plan simply drops their customers into the Amazon universe, with all the attendant enticement from Amazon to keep them there.
I imagine Waterstones are getting a cut of revenue; either as a customer bounty or a "lifetime value" type deal where they get a ongoing rev share. Problem with those types of deal is that customers routinely find ways to break pretty crm models (mainly by accident) and Waterstones will gradually find its customers just leached away by Amazon.
I'm a classic example; I LOVE browsing bookstores, but since I started using the Kindle app, I have to make time to go to a bookstore, time I simply don't have, and time that is becoming increasingly pointless anyway; I currently have nine books pre-ordered on my Kindle that will drop in right across the summer; I just don't need a bookshop; and even if the bookshop came up with some cool browse-in-store/deliver-to-ebook machanic, its still a convulated step that the majority of customers won't use.
Re: Cutting their own throat?
My thoughts exactly. Waterstones have previous form in this area though; they white labeled Amazon for a while before launching their own website, but this is orders of magnitude worse; all this nonsense about "curation" - I don't need a building to give me advice on which books to read; I already have the internet for that. At least a B&N deal would have given them a credible alternative to the 800lb gorilla of UK bookselling.
Re: Not the best
I thought that as well, right up until the time my youthful eyes were opened by the sight of John Noakes and Peter Purves staggering out of a pub in Beaumaris (where they were filming something about the RNLI I seem to remember), three sheets to the wind in the middle of the afternoon. Always watched BP in a different light after that, as it turned out they were human after all.
If you can afford six grand for a telly, you can afford two tellies. I can see the use of the two pictures/one screen concept in places like cars (I believe Jaguar do it so the driver can use the satnav and the passenger use the same screen for video), but in the home? It'll get used even less than 3D.
Re: familiar idea
A Bruce Sterling one actually - Islands in the Net (although Neal Stephenson has touched on the idea a couple of times as well as have others like John Courtenay Grimwood).
Frankly the biggest issue with this whole idea is the country they've chosen to anchor off. Access to Silicon Valley is all very nice, but American security paranoia and the IRS make the whole thing untenable. They'd be better off getting the Canadians to lease an island off BC or something.
Not seeing the benefit.
I'm one of those people who still browses in bookstores (despite 99% of my book purchases being ebooks), mainly because there happen to be a couple of book stores on my route to work; but despite being (I suppose) and ideal target customer for this idea, I just can't see the benefit, either for myself, or, to be honest, the bookseller. Yes they may get a few incremental sales, but unless this became a default purchasing path for most of their customers (which strikes me as extremely unlikely), it isn't going to save them from the inherent cost inefficiencies of their retail business. It smacks of the typical flawed thinking of bricks and mortar media retailers who refuse to accept they are in the "selling IP" business not the "selling stuff from a building with a counter and a nice coffee shop" business.
It will also be interesting to see if B&N plan to use their Microsoft relationship to expand internationally (presumably not by doing anything so foolish as opening shops).
Re: Galaxy Note
"The only downside is I can only read books that have been released for Kindle..."
No so. I have a 7" Galaxy Tab (perfect size for an ebook) and I have Kindle on it but I also have the Kobo app and the default Samsung one (epub as well). All work fine, so I'd be extremely surprised if you can't get an epub app on your Note.
Re: Richer Sounds
Richer Sounds made a profit certainly, but mainly off the back of cost cutting and their pre-tax profit was actually down (from 2.7m to 2.1m - which isn't much for a 50 store chain). Like everyone else, their gross revenues declined and have actually been in decline for a while. I like Richer Sounds and I think they do what they do very well, but they're still subject to the same pressures as everyone else; declining revenues and generalist rivals happy to work on single digit margins. I don't think Richer Sounds are going to escape the inevitable.
Ro-Jaws and Hammer-Stein, your time has come.
re: "other countries"
I'm pretty sure its NOT "all countries" and is just "selected countries", so long as media owners sell rights by territory, Amazon will have to tailor content to suit. For example I very much doubt Amazon will offer the Kindle Fire here in Ireland at all; it takes just as long to do all the deals with rights holders and collection agencies in a country of 4m people as it does in a country of 60m, so where are they likely to concentrate their efforts?
I only have to look at my PS3 or my SmartTV (Netflix, and....that's it) to see that small countries are destined to become digital backwaters unless something is done to make the rights process simpler (maybe at EU level?)
its all about the content
Fire only makes sense as an Amazon content play. Since Amazon's digital content strategy in Europe is way behind their US offering, there's no point in selling the Kindle Fire. No great mystery.