back to article Mobile World Congress: 5 buzzwords, an homage to Windows XP and a smartphone snorefest

As Mobile World Congress draws to a close in relatively warm Barcelona (13°C - balmy), it's time to tally up on whether it delivered on the hype. The buzz ahead of MWC was that Samsung would launch the Galaxy S9 smartphone, that 5G connectivity would come closer to commercial reality, and that advances in AI and machine …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Smartphone Snorefest?

    That won't put you in Samsung's good books now will it?

    After all, in their eyes, the S9 is the greatest thing.... since the S8, the S7 (not the Note)

  2. Thoguht Silver badge

    Latency? In my self-driving car?

    1ms latency enabling a self-driving car to stop in time to avoid a collision

    And how exactly is that "self-driving" if it's relying on a server somewhere?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

      I wonder if they're talking about something like a line of autonomous cars traveling bumper to bumper at 200 kph. If say a rockslide happens and the lead car has to emergency brake, all the other cars have to do so instantly. I'd rather rely on M2M communication (at a lower frequency band so the lead car's broadcast is heard by all cars at once even if the rear car is around a corner separated by solid rock) than a 5G tower being up and maintaining 1ms latency.

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Joke

        "traveling bumper to bumper at 200 kph"

        If so they can use NFC to communicate...

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

      Why do you think there's all the work going on on mesh networking?

      One side effect is that mountain roads could become an awful lot safer - once all cars without mesh networking are banned from them - as the mesh will allow cars to "see around the bends". It would also be possible to put radar at dangerous junctions to deal with human drivers who want to run red lights etc., by informing vehicles at risk (and using ANPR to inform Mr. Plod.)

      In a 1950s book called Metatopia, the author speculated on a future of self driving vehicles (though they used a very light rail network) in which some of the old roads were reserved for people who wanted to drive. That's been happening for a while with track days. Perhaps that's what will end up happening to most golf courses as climate change and freshwater stress makes them nonviable.

      1. Thoguht Silver badge

        Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

        Mesh networks are finicky enough in a static setup, let alone mobile. My car already has LIDAR to reduce collision risk anyway.

        And how do mesh networks on vehicles allow you to "see around bends" when the radio signals are basically line of sight? Unless of course you put repeaters on every bend.

        There already is radar at many dangerous junctions in a GATSO box, which informs drivers of vehicles at risk by being big and yellow. It can also inform Mr. Plod.

        1. Thoguht Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

          ...and as if to just prove my point about mesh networks, the moment I badmouth them, my SkyQ AC mesh network drops (evidently because someone down the road has got a new N router), and I have to power cycle every damn router, repeater and Sky box in the house to get it going again.

        2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

          "Mesh networks are finicky enough in a static setup, let alone mobile. "

          Herr Benz, your vehicle is far too unreliable ever to be a practical form of transport.

          The world may have a demand for at most five computers (Watson)

          Of course a handheld portable computer is impossible (Raymond Baxter, Tomorrow's World).

          Less storage than a Nomad. Lame (Rob Malda on the iPod.)

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

        One side effect is that mountain roads could become an awful lot safer - once all cars without mesh networking are banned from them - as the mesh will allow cars to "see around the bends".

        That's an interesting idea. At the moment cars can't see round bends because light travels n straight lines, but if they communicate with radio they'll be able to see round bends because radio waves erm, ah, um.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

          Rock is transparent to some frequencies.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

            "Rock is transparent to some frequencies."

            It also lacks the ability to warn self-driving cars about its presence on the road after a land slide. Same for the lack of rock (AKA pot holes). So this goal of "ability to see round bends" won't apply to the first car (or maybe 2nd, depending on the system) that blindly speeds along safe in the knowledge there are no meatbags driving and hits it...

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: Latency? In my self-driving car?

              Radio most certainly does go around bends, at least at some frequencies. Anyone who is getting cell service but doesn't have line of sight to the tower because there's a hill between them lives that reality. Or receives TV signals via one edge or two edge paths...

              Besides, you wouldn't need to go around bends if you are getting messages passed from cars around the bend to cars on the bend to you. You might have a little latency, but so long as you aren't bumper to bumper at 120 mph a few dozen milliseconds of latency isn't a problem.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "1.7Gbps broadband on a train travelling at 100kmph"

    Trains at 100 kmph? Does that mean that it won't work in proper trains running at 300?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Trains at 100 kmph? Does that mean that it won't work in proper trains running at 300?

      I'm not aware of any current trains doing 100 k[mph] Oh, maybe OP meant 100 km/h... But kmph is a bastardization for sure

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    FAIL

    "At MWC SanDisk was showing 400GB microSDXC memory cards with speeds up "

    Whoppy f**king dee.

    I had one of these micr SDX cards fail on me a little while ago.

    No reason.

    No warning.

    Not a primary data source, just very convenient for moving it between devices.

    This just means a s**t load more data to replace onto a new device. Sort that out first.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "At MWC SanDisk was showing 400GB microSDXC memory cards with speeds up "

      You want a solution to having to transfer data from backup to a new device when the old device dies? There isn't one. Even with RAID, the new disk still has to be sync'd.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: "At MWC SanDisk was showing 400GB microSDXC memory cards with speeds up "

      I had one of these micr SDX cards fail on me a little while ago.

      The exact reason Sandisk is not a popular brand in this family. Their sd cards tend to have some "interesting" failure modes. There is never any gradual deterioration. It just suddenly starts reporting itself as zero GB in size and this is the end of the line. So if I have a choice I will chose Samsung - it has shown itself to be significantly more reliable including working in some of the razzies and bananas I have out in the sticks which remained operational from -27C ambient to +45C. It just kept on ticking.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Yesterdays world?

    "bliss" background, physical keyboards, SD cards, and Microsoft.

    I had to double check the date on this article.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Yesterdays world?

      but yesterday's world was better - for desktop users, anyway.

      I'd welcome an XP-like environment for Android, especially if it's 3D Skeuomorphic and *NOT* 2D FLATSO. so much of 'droid is already 2D FLATSO, but it doesn't HAVE to be... starting with non-flat icon design [which I see a lot of] but would need customized controls in lieu of 'flat-looking boxes' that pretend to be buttons [and so on]. but a reasonably clever programmer can make a 3D looking one, using a bitmap (as one example; other methods exist).

      now, if native 'droid would just support that better...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    download a 15GB movie in six seconds

    4K on youporn already?! A rare example of convergence of world's best ideas! (porn + 5G)

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: download a 15GB movie in six seconds

      My exact thought. Your average clip on a "popular website" of your choosing is between 10MB and 25MB per minute for HD resolutions. 15GB is 600 minutes of HD video compressed to more or less standard web download settings. So this is either 4K or someone not knowing how to formulate a correct ffmpeg incantation.

  7. Mage Silver badge

    It is true that 5G will change everything?

    "It is true that 5G will change everything... kind of. Samsung gave some examples: download a 15GB movie in six seconds on mobile broadband, 1.7Gbps broadband on a train travelling at 100kmph, 1ms latency enabling a self-driving car to stop in time to avoid a collision."

    ~

    No, those are PR. Outside of a femtocell cell in an open plan office, cafe or hotel lobby (WiFi replacement rather than most regular Mobile) it's fantasy unless every other lamp post is a basestation.

    1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Re: It is true that 5G will change everything?

      Trust me, no-one in Canada is going to be downloading 15 gigs on a regular basis. The data charges would very quickly exceed the price of the phone.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: It is true that 5G will change everything?

      unless every other lamp post is a basestation.

      It will be a basestation.

      Why are you resisting your location, breath rate, heart rate, blood sugar level, adrenalin level and blood pressure to be known in real time citizen? You are clearly a potentially subversive element, the reeducation task force has been dispatched to your location.

  8. Cuddles Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Really?

    "the triple O hinting at the possibility of a third camera (the company has long featured dual cameras on its devices)"

    Bloody hell, it's razors all over again.

    1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Really?

      "Microsoft’s rather good Android Office applications"

      That comes as quite a surprise after the total disaster of Microsofts Office appplications for DOS, Windows and Macintosh.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        That comes as quite a surprise after the total disaster of Microsofts Office appplications for DOS, Windows and Macintosh.

        The ones which completely dominate the market, you mean?

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          The ones which completely dominate the market, you mean?

          I guess so. They may be dominant but the are not really that good.

  9. Avatar of They Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Struggle with 4g

    I would love to struggle with 4G all the time. An H now and then or 3g with sometimes an E. Sometimes my phone tells me mobile data is on, but there is nothing there. (EE and Samsung I am looking at you) I live in a medium town in the North not rural Devon or Cumbria.

    How about we ensure total 4G coverage before rushing to the next "city only" network of speed and battery drain.

    And please no more horrible AI assistants, Bixby truly is awful garbage. Why can't they disappear like VR or 3d TV's.

  10. Pete 2 Silver badge

    5G benefits: real or imaginary

    > It is true that 5G will change everything... kind of. Samsung gave some examples: download a 15GB movie in six seconds on mobile broadband,

    To what end? it still takes the same amount of time to watch, so why not stream it at 20MB/sec and watch it as it arrives.

    And another way to say you can stream a 15GB file in 6 seconds is to say that you can use up your monthly data allowance in 4 seconds. Or if you prefer, fill all the free space on your 32GB smartphone (the one without a microSD slot) in less than 10 seconds.

    And as for a 1mS latency? Unless that is guaranteed: end-to-end everywhere AND has a diverse and redundant path for a backup, it is of no use for any sort of safety critical function.

    In practical terms, if that is how 5G is to be marketed to users, it is completely useless and offers nothing of any value.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5G benefits: real or imaginary

      Bingo! Unless 5g is orders of magnitude more reliable than 4g relying on it for anything safety critical will be out of the question. If the answer to the problem is that the car stops everytime it drops a connection the result would be gridlock.

  11. steelpillow Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Planet Gemini

    is said to have an external Voice button, similar to the old Psion Series 5 dictate button. I used to use that feature almost more than the keyboard. On Gemini, it is said to activate the voice assistant.

    AND THE ASSISTANT CAN'T HEAR YOU WHEN YOU LET GO THE BUTTON!

    Functional and secure in one go. Now that IS revolutionary.

    I just love the way this Riddiford guy thinks.

  12. John F***ing Stepp

    Windows XP screen

    "It is said, by the elders in the back of the cave, in their cups; that if you stared long enough at the old XP screen, the sacred cows would come into view."

    "Don't know about that son, I always fell asleep."

  13. pip25
    Go

    I for one am glad some still bother with keyboards

    Used a Samsung Galaxy phone for years, and could never get used to typing on the screen. Blackberry KeyOne came out, I pounced on it, and I'm loving every minute of it. If it weren't practically new, I'd check this Gemini phone out as well... heck I might take a look anyway.

  14. Glenturret Single Malt

    Hooray, the title has homage spelled correctly (one m). Boo, the use of "an homage" signifies that the author has the pretentious pronuciation "omage" or, even worse, "ommaj" in mind.

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