59 posts • joined Tuesday 14th August 2007 18:48 GMT
Fix what's wrong
Minor roads are invisible anyway on many systems as they are light grey on white. People have been complaining for years about this.
And who owns all these photos they're using?
Why rotate? Sideways insertion is the vital point.
Absolutely true for me
My wife needs a new desktop PC and Windows 8 has stopped me getting one in the last few months. I've set up a W8 laptop for my sister and that was enough for me to say never again. I hated it and she doesn't like using it.
It would have been a lot nicer with a touchscreen but that was outside her budget. And I don't feel like telling my wife that she needs to spend an extra £200 on a touchscreen just to suit the OS.
Yes there are Windows 7 machines available but the choice is limited and I can't find an all-in-one desktop PC with performance to suit her at a reasonable price.
In the end we'll probably go for a Mac despite the cost and inconvenience of changing OS. But I'm putting it off as long as possible.
Go our way or go away
I knew Win8 isn't for me when I found the mail client won't do POP3. Yes you can install the legacy Essentials with its outdated desktop UI, after all POP3 is completely dead and we all have cloud based email, except a few privacy freaks and proper people who have MS Office with Outlook. Well my sister was suckered into buying a Win8 laptop without touchscreen, she can't afford MS Office and has a POP3 account. I found setting up her new machine a deeply frustrating experience, compared to her last one which ran Win ME (yes she is an early adopter) & was a piece of cake.
Better for what?
I use an Android phone myself but I bought my wife an iPhone because I thought as a non-geek she would find it easier. I think this was probably correct, but over the last 2 years she has seen the things my phone can do that hers can't, and decided her next phone will be an Android.
However my phone crashes (or apps develop obscure faults) about once every week or so and it needs to be be rebooted, while this hardly ever happens to her phone. I don't think this is because I'm working my phone harder, because she lets our grandchildren play games on hers, while I won't have any games (or children) on mine. Personally I find this annoyance worth the extra flexibility but I can well understand that others don't.
Which is obsolete?
Obsolete means no longer in active use. Most of the WP documents I receive are .doc and so are most of the ones on the web. (Nearly all these would be better as pdf but that's another matter.)
As for Outlook ... when the 2010 version imported my Outlook Express emails, without warning it stripped out all the From addresses, so when I later wanted to contact someone who had sent me an email I couldn't because I hadn't separately saved the sender as a contact. You know, like when you file paper letters you cut off the letterhead.
It also has a documented bug that sometimes turns all the bytes of an attached pdf to zero. Happened to me today. The mechanism is known but MS hasn't been interested in correcting it.
It also rolls up all your emails contacts and appointments into one gigantic file which can easily grow huge (mine is over 4 GB, I know some people have over 10 GB), so making simple archive and backup slow and awkward. If you want to keep the header information, that stops its own email archiving system from working and also stops you stripping out attachments, so there is no way to reduce the file size. Great program!
MS says you need to keep it
I have archive files made with Microsoft's backup software on Windows 98. No program available for later versions if Windows (at any reasonable price anyway) will read these files. Microsoft's recommended solution is, believe it or not, to keep a PC running Windows 98.
Believing what you want to believe
"Proof that the green energy lot really are as stupid as they look." So, Just a geek, you believe without any evidence that "it has been a hit among green energy enthusiasts".
So! That's proof that - oh hang on, it's no proof of anything, it's just the internet.
Yet another email address
So they have given me an email address, without telling me. So I will never see the email that tells me I have won $100000000 on a lottery that I didn't enter. Such is life.
Copyright is not a thing that people own
It is a right given by the state so I suppose it can equally well be taken away by the state.
Which is not to say that's a good idea. At a time when it is getting harder and harder for authors to make money (let alone a living, few have ever done that) it looks as if this could make it even more difficult.
A high proportion of legitimate apps demand permissions that look very scary. If you're going to make use of the facilities of a smartphone, you have to allow apps that actually do something, and often that has the potential to cost money or compromise privacy. I do look carefully at permissions, and reviews, but often it's far from obvious why certain permissions are required. So far I haven't been stung, but after the first app that I download that picks my pocket, I will very seriously consider ditching my Android for an iPhone. And a lot of others will do likewise.
As for the people who think that being crooked is just legitimate business, they will squeal loud enough when they meet someone cleverer than they are who thinks the same thing.
Sorry, 85% right is just not good enough. Unless there is a high proportion of jumpers in the traffic, most of the positives will be false.
Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of themselves
It might sound better, and he might even have discovered something, but the claimed health and safety benefit doesn't make any sense. The stapedius reflex reduces the level before the sound reaches the nerves. So if it doesn't operate, more sound reaches the nerves and there is no safety benefit. And what is "discernability" if not a meaningless bit of feel-good ad-speak?
This application has access to the following:
Your messages (read SMS or MMS)
Network communication (full Internet access)
Phone calls (read phone state and identity)
... Why, exactly? So many Android apps want to own your phone.
Could do better
The review together with the 80% rating show what a low standard is expected of smartphones. I suspect that an Apple phone with these bugs would get a lower rating. Still, fixing it is a simple matter of software ...
You get what you (don't) pay for
The reason many apps ask permissions seems to be that they are "free", so they need to deliver ads. If you could disable permissions on individual apps, it would spoil the "free" app model. Many comments on Android Market complain that apps keep "updating" with no benefit to the user, presumably for commercial reasons.
So, you can read the comments and not use apps that look risky. Problem is, when you have eliminated the apps that are either risky or buggy or both, there are not all that many useful apps left. Hopefully this will improve as the market for Android apps increases. But we've some way to go.
What is the use of a backup if you can't get it back
In the days of Windows 98 I foolishly used MS Backup for archiving material as well as for safety backup. When I changed to Windows ME (another mistake, but what I'm going to say apples to XP as well) I found that there was NO software available, at a remotely reasonable price, that would run on my MS PC and allow me to access my carefully stored and duplicated MS backups. Effiectively, they were trashed.
But Microsoft had the solution - their advice was to keep a "spare" PC in working order, running Windows 98. So convenient and economical.
Moral: if you might want future access to your backups, make sure they are in a standard file format, preferably one that works across different operating systems as well.
What's backing up?
If my HTC Desire is anything to go by, Android doesn't provide a way to back up all data and settings. And from what I can see, no third party app does a complete job.
This is a great way to support your customers. First make them worried in case they lose important data. Then give them an hour or two's work re-installing apps, re-entering settings, and sorting out the inevitable problems that come with a complete re-install, such as when the APN settings get screwed up.
This is one of many reasons that I've come to the conclusion that an Android phone is a great toy for those who enjoy beta testing.
Keep the customer in the dark
Why don't mobiles show data usage, not just for roaming but for those without an "unlimited" contract?
Android apparently does not even make this information available to apps, so it is not simple to get an app that checks it reliably. Vodafone informally recommend NetCounter but on my HTC Desire it is very erratic and I don't trust it to look after my cash.
Work or play
I've had an HTC Desire for a month and it is a great toy, but it's a real struggle to use it for work. Synchronisation with Outlook is extremely unreliable (not just me, look at the forums). No matter, I'm told, I can ditch Outlook and use Google Calendar, which I can only update on my PC if I have a working net connection and which might not keep my information secret.
Apart from that, Android's personal information management (calendar and tasks) is poor out of the box. I can't put shortcuts to my colleague's work and mobile phone numbers on my home screen because they would both come up with the same name and picture, and they can't be individually changed. And often it won't switch off without taking the battery out.
Still, it runs Google Sky. That quite often tells me the sun is way above the horizon at midnght in London, but switching off the phone (taking the battery out if necessary) and switching on again usually brings it back to reasonable accuracy.
My 8 year old Palm M505 was boring but it synchronised reliably, it had precise text entry with the stylus, and I could read the screen in full sunlight. Compared to that, the Desire is infuriating. It does lots of wonderful things, but if only it did the basics really solidly!
Yes I mean the comments. A lot of the commenters have not read the article properly. And a lot of them are laying down the law about decibels and sound level while obviously not knowing much about the subject.
First, ordinary consumers cannot measure sound level, so they cannot properly protect themselves. Hands up all those who think that it is OK to sell a product that can permanently damage people without them being aware of it. Consumer law is not adequate to protect people in this case because damage will take a long time to become apparent and it would usually be impossible to prove what exposure had deafened someone. But, you should be able to turn it up if you choose - which at the moment seems to be the proposal.
Those determined to deafen themselves will always find a way to do it, and this is not about trying to stop them. So shut up, go ahead and risk your hearing. By the time the damage has become apparent there might be a way to repair it - and then again there might not.
Second, earphone sound levels are measured according to an international standard ISO11904-2. Distance does not come into it.
Third, the vast majority of earphones suitable for MP3 players etc. have fairly similar sensitivity so in most cases choosing an ultra-sensitive model would not make a great deal of difference.
OK but bundled software not so hot
I've had one of these for a few weeks. It works fine as a NAS drive. But the bundled Retrospect backup software crashed both the Win XP machines on my LAN. It seems to rely on the drive always getting the same IP address, which did not happen with my DHPC router setup. To stop it trying to run you have to un-install, or delve into the system services.
Also when you boot up a PC on the network, the bundled "Discover" software tries to find the drive and map it to a local disk. So if the drive gets different addresses the result is a load of left-over dud mapped drives.
Mozy internet storage is also bundled (but no special bargain). It also inserts itself as a service and there is no uninstall. Pity, they have obviously tried to make the system easy to use but it is a half-baked attempt.
In this case it is probably the peak level that is significant, and for peaks it is normally reckoned that there is not much risk below 140 dB. There will always be a few people that are unusually susceptible, but in this case the whole story seems to be based on one individual, and it is impossible to prove cause and effect in this way. People do get tinnitus for no obvious reason and it seems possible that it is a coincidence.
The original article did compare different clubs. However they describe their measurement as "sound impulse (dB)" which doesn't properly specify how the noise was measured. This is vitally important information as it can make a huge difference to the headline figure. If they didn't measure the true peak, the real value could be a lot higher, in which case the sound really could be a risk to hearing. It would not necessarily sound that loud because the sound only lasts for an extremely short time.
Clueless but not stupid
Other commenters obviously have no idea of the computer ignorance of users. Often a user doesn't know the difference between an application and "the computer" and doesn't know the difference between whatever their homepage has been set to (MSN, Yahoo etc) and "the internet".
It is hard not to patronise, but the ones I know are not in the least stupid. You have to face the fact that lots of people find it really hard to cope with anything technical. You can explain it to them but the information just doesn't "stick". Given enough time and training, eventually some of this group will acquire enough of a concept of how computers work to be able to slot in new information and retain it. But it's hard work!
Didn't they update their AV?
This worm is 3 years old.
I hope they take the opportunity to do an experiment that might give some useful information on whether speed cameras really do reduce accidents. When they were first introduced accidents went down dramatically, at least on some stretches of road. Now we might get the chance to see if the effect also works in reverse.
Of course this still won't tell you whether speed limits might improve safety more if observing them wasn't optional (for anyone who knows where the cameras are).
Why not save the world?
Why tinker with laptops, when we can give the whole of mankind cheap energy and greatly reduce global warming. Maybe these folks have finally managed to persuade world legislators to repeal the second law of thermodynamics. Law of gravity next to fall?
they have missed the point. It's not just what Phorm, or anyone else, does with the data. It's whether the data leaves the control of your ISP (who, wisely or not, you have decided to trust) and gets into equipment belonging to a third party. Whatever promises people make, it is fundamental to privacy that data should go no further than it has to.
I get the impression that the government is bending over backwards to avoid examining Phorm too closely. It seems to be in line with the New Labour habit of going weak-kneed whenever they come into contact with the big and powerful.
Bad can be good
Not surprised at all. At least the plagiarism wasn't directly by your tutor. In my MSc course, I noticed that some of the wording seemed familiar, and found that a rather obscure paper by a work colleague had been seamlessly integrated into the course notes with no attribution.
But it was good that some of the example answers given for past papers had mistakes, because I didn't have the nerve to say so until I had checked everything really well. Took time and effort that I would never have spent otherwise, and I'm sure that improved my mark in the final exam a great deal.
Mistake but will they change?
Lawyers will always try to screw the customers, it's up to the customers to tell the management they won't put up with it. When I joined what was then Telewest (now Virgin Media) they had a similar clause for use of their personal home web pages. I and a few others protested and they changed the wording.
Installing is - or should be - be irrelevant
Why all this going on about installing the OS? I know loads of Windows users and not one of them (other than professional engineers) has installed the OS. Very few of them would even consider doing so. People want to buy something that works out of the box.
Apart from that, inertia is a gigantic problem. When I got my first PC (pre-Windows) it was important for me to get something that I could get advice on from people I knew. And where in the UK are the local councils offering free Linux-based "get started in computing" courses? For all the people trying to get the masses on the Interweb, Computers=Windows.
One of the main advantages of the digital SLR is that you see the action when it happens. Display lag is very significant and loses any chance of getting a good portrait or action shot. Optical viewfinders would be the answer but are impractical for long focal length lenses.
Over the top
Increased traffic throughput by lowered speed limits works. And when it works, the road is full with traffic moving at the speed limit, as we experience now with existing road works schemes. There is very good compliance with the speed limit as there is very little opportunity to go faster. If you can go significantly faster, then the road is not full and the speed limit is too low.
The need for surveillance only arises if you want to use the system to enforce speed limits when the road is not full, to improve safety. I believe in enforcing speed limits, but this is nothing to do with increasing road capacity. Of course if the majority of drivers obeyed the law, there would be very much less justification for any of these proposals.
That's OK then
Derisory fine - clearly gives the message that this sort of behaviour is not taken seriously.
That;'s not security
Ordinary filing cabinets and office drawers can be broken into with a screwdriver in about 5 seconds. That's not even proof against the casual tea-leaf, let alone a professional. It must be impossible to make data completely safe but they could at least try.
One thing wrong, what about the rest?
"10 times greater than the heat generated by a hotplate"? No, typical hotplates are one to two kW. Always makes me doubtful when a press release has a mistake that obvious. What else has the PR person misunderstood?
Gadgets that ordinary people can't set up ARE faulty
Consumers too "lazy" to set up gadgets properly? How about manufacturers that are too lazy to get proper instructions written and too mean to employ people who are competent to write instructions in the target language? And who don't update the instructions when they make changes to the gadget, and direct users to web sites that don't exist any more. Etc. etc., etc.
How many reviews do you read where the reviewer had some trouble in setting up the equipment properly? And these are (I suppose) experts. What hope do ordinary people have?
Action or words?
More hot air. Are you going to email the BBC complaining about their bad reporting? That might just possibly have some effect. Whinging here will have none.
Anyway if you expect any of the national media to understand anything technical you will always be disappointed.
Standards and business as usual
Where have you been? The reason for standards is to enable big business to stifle competition.
If the standards organisations get the wrong answer and don't favour big business, big business simply ignores them and uses their market clout to force their own systems.
Stop whining, that's the way it is and will be.