* Posts by sleepy

504 posts • joined 12 Mar 2007

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Dell waves job axe in Bracknell, keeps schtum on numbers

sleepy

The long downward spiral

Dell has recently axed jobs bit by bit in stealth mode. There can be two benefits here: no need to comply with the WARN act in the USA, and avoiding triggering or providing evidence for clawback of local job creations subsidies / tax rebates that Dell may have collected over preceding years.

Dell does actually need workers, but wants to show it is "cutting costs" (pending the PC market going into reverse and rescuing Dell's business model). This is done by outsourcing everything (including product design), and laying off employees even while they are still needed. Sometimes they can be pulled back for a few months on a temporary contract, which of course can be accounted as a "one time restructuring expense", improving the apparent cost savings.

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Dell Latitude 2100

sleepy

rubbery powerbook?

"It's a unique netbook feature as far as we know and we have to ask why it hasn't been done before."

Not a netbook, but Apple's 1998/9 Powerbooks Wall Street and Pismo were rubber covered.

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Windows Mobile 7 feature details mined

sleepy

No worries

Plenty of time to write another "Windows" OS for this market, especially as it probably doesn't need to have any actual windows. There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.

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Microsoft sneak peeks embedded Windows 7

sleepy

fulfilling legitimate CPU aspirations?

"APIs for developers to build applications that improve CPU idle time"

Free beer and entertainment for idle CPU's so they'll work for less electricity?

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Apple and Snow Leopard take-downs - just say no

sleepy

A more favourable review than the beloved Mossbergs, but . .

Whether you think it's silly or not, Apple does have the legal right to issue information under NDA and try to manage the timing of reviews of new products. They don't want the Register to get in the habit. Pretty soon hundreds of sites would join in for future product releases. So they have to act, even though it seems trivial. To claim the information was in the public domain is to claim that Orlowski invented the review based on reading blogs etc, without relying on materials under NDA. We all know that's nonsense. Not much chance of Orlowski or the Reg ever being included in Apple's very short list of reviewers, but the Reg published a day too early to avoid the ire of Apple.

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RIM joins WebKittens litter with Torch-Mobile buy

sleepy

@Tom Chiverton 1

Adobe and Microsoft must now behave better than than they otherwise would have. Including letting Google index Flash.

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sleepy

It's all falling in to place for Apple and Google

To ensure web content is searchable by Google, it needs to be in non-proprietary format. To ensure Microsoft or some new monopolist cartel can't lock Apple's "whole widgets" out of the market again, Apple also needs to ensure web content and protocols are open. Hence the selection,and substantial enhancement of open source Webkit by Apple, and its return to the community and use by Nokia, Google etc.

HTML5 has won the day; proprietary elements of Internet Explorer and Active X are vanquished; there's a level playing field for Apple, Google, Microsoft, and anyone else who wants to join in, such as RIM.

Hooray. And stop whingeing about Apple being control freaks; it's Apple who made this happen. It's taken them seven years, and it's a much better world as a result.

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Apple admits iPhone apps not suitable for business

sleepy

Commercial purposes?

Of course you can use an app in the performance of work. The "commercial purposes" Apple is prohibiting are direct revenue generation from the app. For example, reselling it or renting it out, or craftily hooking your iPhone (or Apple's iPhone emulator) up to offer app features as a web service.

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Apple to offer own-brand HDTV, claims analyst

sleepy

Daft idea

It makes no sense at all to me, but it's typical of the daft ideas analysts and pundits constantly spew. Far more likely Apple will sell something for existing TV makers to embed, wirelessly extending Apple-centric media delivery and UI. This would be something like the existing AppleTV box implemented as a system on a chip. Perhaps they'll even give it away to TV makers, although that is totally un Jobs-like.

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Apple loses students to netbooks and Windows

sleepy

AHEM!

US students who buy their Macbook from an Apple retail or online store get a free iPod Touch. They aren't so stupid as to go to the third party resellers surveyed.

All this survey shows is that self-interest is alive and well among US students. If they want a Wintel craptop and have half a brain, they'll first pick up the Macbook and iPod from Apple, then sell them for a profit on eBay, then go to the third party reseller for a better third class laptop experience with their increased funds.

Anyway, for those wondering why Apple doesn't sell cheap notebooks, Sun Tzu wrote: "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." Apple may go to war against Wintel at some point, but first they will no doubt "build a golden bridge for their enemies to retreat over" (Scipio apparently wrote that).

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Apple MacBook Air June 2009

sleepy

No wired ethernet

You'd need to carry a cable to plug into ethernet. What's the problem with carrying a cable with a tiny USB ethernet adapter attached to one end? Apple's dongle appears to be highly rated by users.

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Microsoft banks on Windows 7 double holiday hit

sleepy

The biggest fudge of all . . .

should also have been mentioned: the "Windows 7 Technology Guarantee Program", which is enabling PC's shipped with Vista (including those where the customer voluntarily downgrades to XP) to be counted as _deferred_ Windows 7 sales with a temporary Vista installation. At W7 launch in October, 30 million or more copies of W7 will immediately happen according to Microsoft's count, even if no-one in the world does anything at all. Then there's the way Microsoft encourages OEM's to buy licenses in bulk far ahead of time (presumably via discounts), which will further enhance the apparent "demand" for Windows 7. Fortunately accounting standards require these things to be revealed in Microsoft's quarterly accounts. But there will be no mention of this when MS brags about the "extraordinary uptake of Windows 7" on a date calculated to let people think all sales were after the launch. But there won't be any clue from Microsoft of the true nature of most of the sales up to that point, or in the relaying of the "information" by the lazy, fawning media.

It's simply a trompe-l'oeil paint job on a (court established) monopoly. No competent journalist should write it up as anything else. (Monopolies aren't illegal, of course, but I wish this kind of nonsense was).

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Dell's first phone spied on web

sleepy

<title />

Would this be the dellephone none of the western carriers would touch; Dell's latest attempt to find fresh horses for its tired box shifters and bean counters? A few million Chinese may be about to learn how poor a "name brand" clone can be. (The Chinese are desperate for iPhone , which is perfect for their writing system, and Apple are desperate for the Chinese market, but it's really hard to do a deal when both sides are control freaks.)

@Wrenchy "Clutter": You can have as few icons as you like on the iPhone home screen. If you don't like scrolling through pages of icons, press the home button and type a few characters of the name of the app you want (3 is usually enough). Or wait for a software update to address this issue).

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Apple blueprints warranty Big Brother

sleepy

tampering isn't in the same category as the others

It doesn't say opening or tampering are abuse, but that abuse may -result from- such tampering. Subtle difference.

I suspect a significant proportion of warranty claims, especially the one in a million "exploding" devices (where a lithium battery has shorted out) for which Apple gets relatively enormous online bad publicity, are the result of tampering and re-assembly without all the original little bits of special sticky tape and/or glue and/or with loose screws/washers, solder blobs etc left in the case. Someone then buys it on eBay, drops it on a hard floor and it does indeed short out, instantly releasing large amounts of stored energy from the battery and "exploding".

People think it's clever to cover up the pink moisture detector with a tiny piece of paper, so that the Apple Store replaces under warranty the iPhone they dropped in the toilet. But unless Apple incorporates even more robust telltales, it's the careful and innocent who end up paying higher prices to subsidise the cheating bozos.

I'll take the concealed telltales plus excellent service over a miserable warranty claim experience designed to exhaust honest and dishonest claimants alike before coming up with a replacement gadget. And yes, I am a keen taker-to-bits of everything.

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Is Google spending $106.5m to open source a codec?

sleepy

iPhone

Of course Youtube is already flash-free on iPod/iPhone.

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8GB iPhone 3GS inbound?

sleepy

Well duh . . .

iPhone build costs were lowered from 3G to 3GS, so there's no point in building even an 8G 3G. And what's the point of clogging up production lines with 3G when you can't make enough 32G 3GS's to meet demand?

But distribution via carriers prevents Apple's normal overnight product transition. To allow component and finished 3G inventory to be flushed through the lengthy channel, a 3G model inevitably overlaps with 3GS for a few months. It'll happen again when 3GS is replaced.

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Palm slams Apple, hoodwinks iTunes

sleepy

Palm is doing this for publicity

Of course it's easy for Palm to write a sync application that accesses the media and tag information (held in standard format outside iTunes), and even accesses the iTunes catalogue if they are prepared to track iTunes releases. I'm sure Apple would be happy with that: more business through the iTunes store, clear demarcation of what is Apple and what is Palm. Apple would probably turn a blind eye to the existence a "well known hack" allowing Pre to pass itself off as iPod. But a competitor passing off their device as being equivalent to an Apple device is a step too far.

What they are not happy with is the hijacking of the iPod brand identity by a competitor, with a product that doesn't offer iPod features or design, and the probability, if this is allowed to continue, that the iPod USB interface becomes a de facto open standard, to which further innovation cannot be applied. There are also substantial bandwidth costs for Apple in providing iTunes and associated services. Palm should pay their fair share of that and not freeload.

Palm have a steep uphill battle on their hands to catch up with the rapidly evolving iPod/iPhone infrastructure. They are getting lots of free publicity from this spat, saving a little on writing a sync app, and stirring Apple outrage among shallow thinking "because I'm worth it" freetards.

If you think allowing Palm to interoperate is the right thing, then why don't you go with Microsoft Playsforsure. Microsoft lets compatible devices from any manufacturer use that. And Playsforsure is guaranteed by Microsoft to play on any device. Oh wait - Microsoft dumped that, closed the music store, killed all the music customers had already bought, and went into competition with their former partners with the Zune and a new proprietary music format that's not Playsforsure.

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Is Apple plotting a search of its own?

sleepy

Apple search not likely at the moment

The industry isn't done with finishing off Microsoft yet. The daggers have been plunged into MS, but they still have to die, or at least go into intensive care.

There's a way to go yet for Apple and Google to work together on their joint programme to influence the future of the internet. The programme is: open formats and protocols, and content-neutral (mobile) unmetered data pipes. So Google can see everything, and therefore not be locked out of comprehensive search and the resulting advertising revenues, and so everone can see Google's servers without extra charges. So Apple's hardware gadgets can access everything without MS, Adobe or anyone else owning a controlling licensing gateway, and, yes, so Apple's paid-for services also have a level playing field for access.

Google - ad funded services; Apple - hardware and user-funded services. And of course they both need any monopoly to be a natural one, not the result of illegal actions - hence the need for Eric Schmidt's resignation from Apple's board.

Microsoft's two notable own-goals in this were made several years ago: the first was switching Xbox from X86 to powerPC (for fear of selling virtually complete PC hardware for half the price of their OEM partners). This loosened their grip on Intel, and finally let Apple safely switch to Intel. Second own-goal: giving Apple a presumably indefinitely renewable license for Exchange Server access (presumably for fear Apple would fail, and regulators would finally put the bite on MS for real). Within weeks, not just iPhone and iPod, but every MacOS machine will work with Exchange Server out of the box, at no extra cost. Microsoft's lock on the enterprise, on media formats, and on proprietary protocols is finally completely gone. All the essentials now have alternatives. To rub salt into the wound, Exchange integration is a paid-for extra for Windows, but free for OSX.

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Hijacking iPhones and other smart devices using SMS

sleepy

512 messages?

To demonstrate the flaw, the researcher plans to send 512 SMS messages; only one message is actually seen by the recipient, and that message is limited to a single character. Hence the FUD headlines like "iPhones hijacked by a single character SMS message". Since it uses malformed messages, there is presumably no mechanism to spread the exploit via ordinary handsets and the cell network.

@Doc Spock: "security through obscurity" is Microsoft's argument that Windows is more secure than open source OS's because the bad guys have no access to the source so they can't find the flaws. They're pretty quiet about that these days because the opposite is true; flaws are indeed found more often, but they get fixed more often too. The core of OSX (Darwin) is of course open source. Perhaps you are thinking of the argument that there are no exploits for OS X because there are so few machines around that no-one bothers to target them. I don't know any Mac users who think that's the main explanation for the lack of OSX exploits in the wild.

The argument that everything should be built from the outset like a fortress isn't valid in the real world. It's much more likely to result in a flaw going unnoticed until there is a real catastrophe. If there are no vulnerabilities, running as root doesn't matter; it's only protection against undiscovered flaws. Of course running as root is Apple's explicit choice for now to encourage more exploits to be published, so they can fix them. Not running as root is a change that can be made any time.

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Elgato EyeTV Sat

sleepy

@Bassey

"no-one is forcing people", but the playing field is anti-competitively tilted in Sky's favour.

It's true "Freesat from Sky" has been available since 2004 (2 years after Freeview launch). But it's still DRM locked; if you have a Sky Plus PVR, you must pay £10 a month per box to be allowed to use its recording feature, and you can't buy a box from anyone else, let alone a PVR box.

Neither Freesat from Sky nor Freesat nor EyeTV is a completely satisfactory answer.

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sleepy

more for less

@craig: Why buy it? As it says - for HD, and some people can't get terrestrial TV anyway, and the Foxsat HDR has a schizophrenic user interface. You can also watch (and probably record) multiple channels simultaneously on the same multiplex (BBC1 & BBC2, or all the different Wimbledon matches on the red button). Convenience feature not mentioned in the review - you can set it up to automatically convert recordings for iPod/iPhone/AppleTV. Unwatched episodes of your favourite series automatically appear on your iPhone. A few more DRM-free HD channels are coming.

@Rob Beard: We who get poor or no terrestrial reception were sold to Sky by New Labour when (unlike the rest of Europe) they allowed Sky DRM to bypass the CAM interface. Could it be something to do with The Sun changing sides to support NuLab in the previous election? (Sky's market success is down to a fully interlocked web of proprietary bits (sport/DRM/EPG/set top box/broadband etc) that catch a wide range of viewers).

My better way to buy this: Terratec Cinergy S (same hardware) 100 Euros; EyeTV DTT £50 (view/record digital terrestrial simultaneously with the satellite), includes the full Mac software and TVTV subscription. Save £40 too.

It's almost very good. (The stitching up of satellite EPG's to keep them from EyeTV is a real annoyance, and access to the freeview EPG is the main advantage of the DTT dongle).

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Hackintosher aims 'blazin' guns' at Apple

sleepy

what's presumably happening here is . . .

Psystar's first lawyers wouldn't do any more work without being paid, so they got a new lawyer who's willing to do it for the publicity. If there is a covert financer of Psystar, they may afraid of being found out.

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Microsoft's mobile marketplace opens for submissions

sleepy

@bassey, @windywoo

@bassey - do your own research if you are in doubt

@windywoo - you are absolutely right about iPhone apps usually being quickly discarded (a bit like newspapers?). But unless WinMo apps are uniquely appealing, they are going to suffer the same rate of attrition.

Steve Ballmer April 2007, USA Today interview:

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Isn't he the guy defining Microsoft's future? And they talk about Steve Jobs' reality distortion field.

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sleepy

why would developers want this?

How embarrassing would it be to have a Microsoft Surface appear on your doorstep. Win a touch screen phone that doesn't make phone calls, doesn't have GPS, and requires four people, a pickup truck and a generator to move. So big you can't even hide it. A competition I'd hope not to win.

So there's 30 million devices in a hundred or more different form factors with different feature sets and screen sizes and OS versions, with 90% of their owners never having installed third part software or an OS update, versus 45 million near-identical iPhones and iPod touches, with 90% of their owners familiar with downloading applications and OS updates.

Perhaps MS just wants to remind developers why they develop for iPhone.

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Apple iTablet a (virtual) certainty

sleepy

@AC Sunday 19:39

"Apple are so locked into Intel it's not funny."

You couldn't be more wrong. Apple has switched CPU's twice in Mac history, transitioning the entire user base across, emulating the prior platform transparently, even switching from big-endian to little-endian. Microsoft never has.

Apple currently builds OSX for ARM, PowerPC and Intel. Microsoft only builds the OS known as Windows for Intel (despite the punter scamming name "Windows Mobile", that's not the same OS). Apple has intellectual property rights to design and build their own ARM or PowerPC chips using their own in house processor design company PA Semi). Microsoft and their PC-assembling grunts have none of this.

Home made Macs are better? That is so twentieth century. Reality check: ask the next five people you meet if they would rather have a new BMW or a new, slightly higher performance, kit car.

Looking forward, Apple does suffer more of a lock-in problem with graphics processors. Say something interesting about that.

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sleepy

it'll be a success

Tedious to see that many presumably techno-savvy Reg readers still don't get it, and still hate Apple, (and many still can't spell either). Those who did get it knew iPhone would succeed the day it was announced. Go back and figure out how we knew.

Apple is a company that knows exactly what it is doing, and has more information, talent, IP and cash than any pundit or competitor. Whatever this product is, it's likely to be an important milestone. The Reg may be right that it won't "change society as we know it", but how is that different from correctly anticipating the way "society as we know it" is changing anyway?

Have no doubt that it will be a resounding success. The punters, finally, do "get it" in increasing numbers. Yes, those same punters who gave MS their monopoly are taking it away again.

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Accenture saddles up Symbian development

sleepy

That's 165 more iPhone developers then . . .

I've never met a competent software engineer who didn't have complete contempt for Accenture. Their role seems to be protecting politicians and corporate management from being troubled by the constraints of good engineering. If they were in construction/architecture, their buildings would all down, but for some reason in IT, that's acceptable.

If you're one of the 165, take heed they'll be changing your employment terms by stealth to avoid any opportunity for you to get redundancy pay corresponding to your actual years of service when you quit. They may already have had you move offices before telling you about Accenture, so that there's no change in work location when you're transferred.

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Apple's panties in bunch over Microsoft ads

sleepy

the only point of interest . .

. . . is that Apple lowered their notebook prices after the laptop hunter ads started running, making them even more misleading. Perhaps not a response triggered by the ads; just as likely MS knew Apple would reduce prices this year and got in first.

The funny thing about it is that Macbooks are also PC's, and plenty of PC laptops are more expensive than Macbooks. So logically the ads are simply telling us that if your primary interest is sticker price, Apple don't make the bendy plastic notebook you'll be getting, with undersized battery, subsidized by nagware, with a cut down Home version of the OS.

And, sensitive Microtards everywhere, the "I'm a Mac" ads didn't tell you you are stupid; you're not: the actors represent the computers, not their owners. The ads point out the many stupid things about your computer, starting with the fact that it's on permanent energy sapping antivirus medication.

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Net sleuth calls eBay on carpet over shill bidding

sleepy

That's life

Conventional auctioneers take bids "off the wall", and shill bidding is also rife, and not easily prevented. You have to assume it will happen. But it doesn't force anyone to buy at a price they didn't set themselves.

On the seller's side, if there is only one keen buyer, the item gets sold at an unreasonably low price. An extra problem with ebay is that reserve prices are effectively known at the time of bidding, so the bidding never gets started if you try to use a sensible reserve.

Shill bidding isn't particularly nice, and it is something naive buyers should understand, but it can't make you bid more than you want to pay. And if you've got two naive bidders who would be taken in by shill bidding, then they will effectively shill bid each other up to stupid prices without any actual shill bids.

Hence two tactics of experienced ebayers - putting in early very low offers on large numbers of lots, and sniping (bidding in the last seconds of an auction to avoid overbidders).

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Steve Jobs snubs LSD daddy

sleepy

SJ is not your usual rich egotist

There's quite a lot of misunderstanding of Steve Jobs around. If Steve Jobs had donated $1M in response to this letter, there would instead be a muckraking piece about Steve Jobs funding research into illegal psychedelic drugs. The media love to reinforce the egotistical hippy nutcase caricature.

Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are unimaginably wealthy by normal standards. They both got their wealth by printing stock certificates and selling them, principally to our pension funds on the basis that when we retire we can sell these certificates to another mug and live on the proceeds. This is sometimes called a Ponzi scheme, but it's the way the world works.

Steve Jobs had a personal objective to change the world, which he is not yet done with, whereas Bill Gates wanted to put a PC on every desk and become extremely wealthy, which he achieved some time ago (breaking many laws along the way - Microsoft pays billions every year in legal settlements). He's found something ego boosting to do in his remaining years (and why not), but he's still unimaginably wealthy even after giving half (?) the dollars away, so where was the sacrifice in that? There wasn't one, even if it was good thing to do.

Flaunting his wealth via the Gates Foundation is a burden Bill Gates has to bear (including creating Gates Centers, Gates Buildings and Gates Scholarships, of course). But the 5% of assets it has to disburse each year to retain charitable status are the tip of a 95% iceberg of "investments" which may arguably have a greater effect than the charitable 5%.

Returning to Steve Jobs, I don't believe he is particularly interested in being a wealthy political mover and shaker as Bill Gates obviously is, or in accumulating further dollars except in so far as he likes recognition for his business successes. Most of all, he wants to change the world, period. And he is single minded in that objective to the point of being a social misfit.

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iPhone hackers update jailbreak, unlock tools for 3GS

sleepy

"It's a cat and mouse game" (Steve Jobs)

Don't imagine the cat doesn't love and encourage mice, even as it says "I hate meeces to pieces".

The well developed hacker community performs high quality work, bringing many benefits to Apple at no cost.

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Sir Alan Sugar hits eject button at Viglen

sleepy

clueless politicians

It just confirms that politicians are clueless about business, and want to believe it's a kind of magic, with Alan Sugar as a well known magician. On the other side, he seems to know the game is up, and is happy to stop being a businessman.

His businesses have been about selling a "mug's eyeful" of apparent features (his words, I believe) at the cheapest possible price. They presume customer ignorance, which is harder to come by in the internet age.

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Web browser makers line up battleships

sleepy

@Benny

Here you go, it's even on pro-MS cnet:

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/0,39029471,49301219,00.htm

(Safari 4 benchmarked at 42 times faster than IE7, 6 times faster than IE8; IE 7 and 8 slower than any other browser tested).

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Things 1.3.8

sleepy

Omnifocus?

Omnifocus must be the definitive iPhone / Mac task manager. Syncs with its desktop self, and proves even better that I'm not well organised. Even uses GPS to tell you what you need to do nearby.

This "review" would be much better with a bit of a comparison of available task managers.

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Nokia prepping 12Mp cameraphone with optical zoom?

sleepy

@S 10

Absolutely. My Nikon D1 took very nice pictures, with only 2.3 megapixels. Better pixels please, not more - 3MP is the most any cellphone needs with current technology. (12MP is only twice that resolution)

There's no chance Nokia will include a decent wide angle either but it will have a useless flash, because it'll be specced by bean counters, marketers and corporate politicians, not engineers or photographers.

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Micron move heralds Intel 320GB SSD

sleepy

@ Chris 19

The individual nand flash dies will be stacked, very likely 4 per package, so you'd only see 20 separate packages on the circuit board.

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iPhone v Pre - the celebrity smartphone deathmatch

sleepy

multitasking

Of course the iPhone has a multitasking OS. 99% of users don't even know what that means, and it's not appropriate to let them start and forget numerous applications which then flatten the battery unexpectedly. The geek Reg reader can just jailbreak. For the kind of obsessive control freak who always has a fully charged spare battery in his pocket and thinks changing batteries is convenient, the Pre has a small advantage. (several battery-cum case products are available for iPhone, so all is not lost).

WebOS only runs Javascript apps. Good luck rewriting your app (eg turn by turn navigation) in Javascript.

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Chaps: Give up, you'll never understand women

sleepy

it's just evolution

Males want a fit & healthy mate to bear and raise their children.

Females want a powerful mate to protect them and their children.

The conclusions of this survey are a simple reflection of that.

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Apple's big week: the good, the bad, the ugly

sleepy

Apple actually knows better than the average punter or journo

No Adobe Flash on iPhone for me thanks - ever. Cripples performance, flattens batteries, eats bandwidth, makes web pages annoying, and guarantees an uninformative, unsearchable, unresponsive corporate or product web site. Locks Apple into Adobe dependency. Long live HTML5.

No camera flash on iPhone either, thanks - built in flash almost ensures a bad picture - I leave it disabled on all my cameras. Engage brain instead when taking photos.

No 8 megapixel camera either thanks - does not produce superior pictures and inserts extra delays into every picture operation. For camera phones, think Lomo.

--

Snow Leopard is AFAIK the first time Apple haven't supported all Macs bought new in the past five years with an OS update. But it's not a feature release, it's still called Leopard, and the price is $29. Better than holding back the Intel Macs for 2 more years.

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Intel could Atomise handsets in two years

sleepy

interesting times

Can it be that after decades of failure to kill x86, Intel management have become blind to its problems?

Intel's engineers tried for years to shake off the ghastly x86 architecture (producing iAPX432, i960, Xscale, iTanium), while customes avoided x86 whenever they had a choice, in comms hardware, workstations, servers, games consoles and of course Macs. But the Microsoft monopoly, and Intel's superior fab processes repeatedly saved x86 from the knacker.

Multicore ARM with dedicated media processing add-on has advantages that surely trump Intel's Atom and successors. The whittling away of the Windows monopoly seems to leave as Intel's only advantage: more and better fabs than anyone else. x86 may go nowhere in handhelds, and only serve to accelerate the shriveling of the Wintel CPU cash cow, starting with netbooks stealing from the mainstream Windows CPU business.

When Microsoft switched Xbox from Xbox to PowerPC, they didn't think many moves ahead. IBM no longer could be bothered with Apple's PowerPC volumes for Mac, so one might expect up-and-coming Apple's Mac to fade from the scene. But with IBM not delivering PowerPC, and Intel out of the console market, it was a no brainer for Apple to step in and become Intel's premium customer (OS X had been running on x86 long before PowerPC). Instead of marginalising Apple, MS gave Apple parity, able to build as many Macs as they want from the same parts supply that feeds MS's OEM partners, as cheaply as them. No supply problems, no cost problems, no performance problems any more. What a blunder by MS.

Or have I got it all wrong?

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iPhone 3.0 to nix app redownloading?

sleepy

Here's how it works

For the rabid, unthinking anti-Apple types, the content doesn't belong to Apple, if you buy again, you buy from the rights owner (eg Sony). Fairplay (Apple's DRM scheme) works as follows. It's the same for apps as for music, and it's remarkably unobtrusive for all normal situations.

For one iTunes account, up to five PC's can be authorised. (you can de-authorise PC's too). Each device syncs with only one PC. You can have as many devices as you like (iPhones, iPods and yes, a few third party music players), but if you change the PC it syncs with, the old content is wiped.

So, the two big user unobtrusiveness plusses: 1: you, the misses and the kids can buy a song or App once and all use it on multiple devices. 2: DRM'd content/apps will work for ever without any monthly handshake with the authorisation mother ship.

And a comforting corollary of 2: you can never receive from Apple an email that, for example, Microsoft and Amazon have both sent out in the past: "We are closing our current service to make a new one. Please write all your music out to CD and re-encode it if you don't want your music player to die after we shut down the servers."

I presume the problem that Apple are grappling with is that with direct downloading to a device, a device doesn't know the full list of authorised iTunes accounts its current sync PC will have at the next sync, and in particular if the account you are using to "re-download" is one of them. So, by never syncing you iPhone (as many people don't), you can log in with your mate's iTunes account and "re-download" all his stuff at no cost, outside the license terms. What's the "fair" way for Apple to handle this? Handle it they must.

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Microsoft buys gene-splicing software unit

sleepy

proteomics

I'm no expert, but you can do better than "fiddlin with genes". Can I recommend "the cartoon guide to genetics"?

Protein = molecule made by stringing together amino acids.

Each gene encodes for a protein.

Genomics - the study of all the genes that occur in organisms.

Proteomics - the study of all the resulting proteins.

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Dell claims Latitude E4300 glitches 'fixed'

sleepy

build to order

Dell's "build to order" business model often amounted to "buy the cheapest parts and adjust product specs to meet the incoming parts stream" plus "sell the price point then use the cheapest parts to complete the order". It's no surprise to see different internals from unit to unit with the same model number.

Dell would say their volumes are so large that it's not possible to meet demand from a single source of supply. Precisely; greed trumps integrity?

In the old days they made so much profit out of this that they could easily resolve problems that customers actually noticed. But not today.

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AT&T, not ready for 3G, lobbies for 3G Palm Pre

sleepy

unfair?

The headline is little unfair on AT&T when it's the entire US industry that's not ready for everyone to start streaming video to a new smart phone. With AT&T's exclusive iPhone generating 60% of mobile data traffic, AT&T is arguably already serving more 3G data than all the others.

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Hackintosh maker files for bankruptcy

sleepy

bankrolled?

Probably. How else would Psystar (a company that's claimed to the courts that they don't have any accounts or even bank statements to disclose!) get the expensive lawyers they have. But who pays the lawyers fee is conveniently a matter of client confidentiality. Most likely a Chinese PC maker with no high margin business alongside its PC hardware offering.

@Iam Me: Not likely to be bankrolled by MS. Why would MS want competition for OEM OS supply? And no, they couldn't buy Apple several times over. Apple even has more cash than MS, and none of that funky nonexistent "goodwill" stuff so prominent in the balance sheets of MS, HP etc.

@Jimmy Floyd: Sorry to hear about Apple forcing hardware on you. How does that work exactly?

Apple doesn't actually hinder hackintosh activity if its not for commercial gain, although it is deprecated, and outside the license terms. Be grateful there's no serialisation, compulsory registration, or product activation for OSX. Much greater benefits if you want to "try" OSX on your standard PC hardware than Microsoft's Windows Product Activation if you want to "try" Vista. So, Apple haters, be careful what you wish for when you say OSX should be legally installable on your PC.

The real issue Apple is defending here is not the existence of tinpot cottage industries turning out Mac clones round the world, it's ensuring the big players can't bundle OSX on their HP's, Dells, Acers etc.

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Microsoft announces Zune HD

sleepy

Awesome -

An iPod Touch tribute replica is a nice apology from MS for those spiteful anti-Mac TV ads. I expect MS had to pay Toshiba again to actually design and build the hardware, but it's the the thought that counts. Or is Zune HD just a PR stunt on the back of an internal development hardware platform for WinMo 7, not intended for anyone to actually buy?

And by the way, MS - tell us where you're getting the browser code.

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DSGi sells Hungarian biz for €1

sleepy

Lucky Hungary

Any chance of them shutting down the UK biz?

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ContactPoint goes live despite security fears

sleepy

idea

How about if the 300,000 users only had write access the database, and a single professional responsible for each given child's database record has read access? The 300,000 can send a message to that person to voice their concerns, but can't automatically discover who it is before such message is sent?

Wouldn't that provide auditable accountability, together with the possibility to automatically identify statistically at-risk children and focus attention on them? Or is it too much like responsibility for politically correct jobsworths?

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IT salaries down and out

sleepy

Being a grumpy layabout is more fun than working

. . . and you get the satisfaction of contributing less towards MP's second homes, fake tudor beams, banking subsidies etc.

The closest I've come to employment in IT for the past ten years is writing comments here! It no longer makes sense to move from project to project in the crowded, expensive south east in order to earn a plausible salary, with skills which are easily the match of a GP's or solicitor's, but are short lived (IT skills must be constantly updated), now underpaid, and unprotected by the closed shop with restricted entry that keeps the earnings of the "professions" high.

Employers are in any case largely unable to tell the difference between the best and the worst, despite the difference amounting to maybe a 60-fold ratio in problem solving productivity between best and worst.

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iPhone compass evidence surfaces

sleepy

This is not innovation

If it was then Nokia would be known as the innovation leader. Innovation is when you use it for something unexpected.

It's mainly a business decision as to whether you include a feature chip, based on price, size, power consumption. A compass is an obvious feature to exploit in (Google) maps and street view, predictive GPS tracking, embedded location data in photos (direction camera as pointing), and rendezvous navigation. It's cheap, so Apple can't afford to leave it out now it's reasonably common. But it doesn't drive revenue opportunities nearly as strongly as GPS, where the lifetime cost of adding GPS to the iPhone is almost certainly negative (costs a couple of bucks to include, but generates location based service revenue that covers the cost several times over).

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