@Terry 6; "But for most uses all people need is a reassurance that you will be back."
Is that you, Arnie?
394 posts • joined 11 Feb 2008
Does this "sales pitch" incarnation of "Watson" even have much to do with the original anyway?
My understanding- from what I've heard elsewhere- is that IBM are simply rebranding any technology they have that can be passed off as "vaguely-AI-ish" as "Watson", effectively riding on the coattails of the publicity associated with the original system.
That happened on my portable Kisho deck even if you were recording via leads rather than the built-in microphone.
I'd assume that one way to differentiate pops and clicks from legitimate content would be to find two different vinyl sources.
You'd then have a piece of software that matched up the corresponding waveforms recorded from each source. This should be doable almost automatically, though it might have to ask you to make decisions or confirm its assumptions occasionally.
The software then determines whether a noise appears in one or both sources- since it's very unlikely that major pops or clicks would appear in *exactly* the same point in both cases- and uses the "clean" one as the basis of a repair (even if that's not necessarily the "master" copy you want to use as the basis for your remaster).
@ Pedigree-Pete; Funny you should say that.
Bow Wow Wow *was* essentially the original "Adam and the Ants" line-up with a different singer.
Apparently the band had sought out Malcolm McLaren for advice/management... only, his advice turned out to be to get the rest of them to abandon Adam, leave the band and form a new group called "Bow Wow Wow", who then acquired a 13-year-old(!) singer. (#)
(Only a cynic would suggest that this was because Adam might have been quite a strong-willed person with his own ideas that might derail McLaren's attempts to control and mould the band according to his own vision.)
Meanwhile, Adam was forced to put together a new "And The Ants" and console himself with numerous top 10 singles and albums and much greater chart success than "Bow Wow Wow".
(#) I don't know how old she was when that video was recorded, but that was apparently one of their early tracks, which would explain why she looks so bloody young.
I'm not worried about you keeping all the money for yourself.
I'm worried about you running off with my share of the cheese.
@Ledswinger; Kodak announced a year ago that they were "looking at what it would take to bring that back" while they also noted that "Ektachrome is a lot easier and faster to bring back to market".
Regardless, I can say with 99% certainty that Kodachrome will not be back in anything but name. Compared to almost all other slide films (which are E6 compatible), the development was completely nonstandard, complicated (numerous steps and temperature sensitive), used toxic chemicals and was unsuited for home processing.
The only people who *did* process it were Kodak and a handful of other companies, and the number of labs were reduced to *one* by the time it was discontinued!
They wouldn't have discontinued it if that burden was worth it, and now that final lab is long shut down- along with the machines required- it will be much harder to get it going again. It will not happen, regardless of how much noise a few enthusiasts make.
I could see them trying to launch a "reformulated" version "Kodachrome" which will be a standard E6 process film (like Ektachrome) in all but name, possibly attempting to mimic the original. But that would be Kodachrome in name only to most people.
Even though I wasn't aware they'd mentioned Ektachrome at the time, I could quite believe it was plausible they'd bring it back, and indeed, they do appear to be doing so later this year.
Kodachrome, though? Nope.
Is the rumour that you've added "G" through "M" to the range of "hexadecimal" digits in order to
feather your own nest increase the number of exciting opportunities for JeffyCoin™ miners true?
This isn't a new idea. Some company tried making a similar adaptor in the early digital era- i.e. approaching 20 years ago- and it got a lot of attention at the time. (Bear in mind that DSLRs were rare and very expensive back then, so the idea of being able to use your existing SLR probably had a lot of appeal).
(I think this is the one I remember. (Scroll down to section headed "Silicon Film")).
One of the problems- IIRC- is that the cartridge *wasn't* usable in all cameras as I'd initially assumed- and you also seem to think possible. Different versions had to be made for each supported model, and the list was restricted.
In hindsight, I assume this is because 35mm has no fixed film path once it comes off the spool; we can't assume the exposed area will be in a certain position relative to the cartridge, nor the wind-on mechanism. (Ironically, this would- I assume- make it easier to produce an "Instamatic"/126 or "Pocket"/110 format compatible digital cartridge, since in those models the cartridge- not camera- dictates positioning).
There were various other issues, but the upshot is that the problems delayed it until it was effectively obsolete.
Other people have tried since, but there have been no major successes, so I doubt it's as easy as you think. It's unlikely that Kodak are better-placed to design one than any other random company these days anyway. Chances are they'd just partner up with (or license the name out to) someone else who'd solved the problem and wanted to exploit the recognition of the "Kodak" brand in exchange for a cut of the profits.
The point is that- through their own short-sighted mismanagement- Kodak left it too late to move their film-based company into the digital age (when they could have been leaders- or at least contenders- if they'd played their cards right) and are now has-beens reduced to exploiting their own name recognition on "me too" bandwagon-jumping nonsense like this.
Oh... you meant what's in it for *you*? Not much, I'd guess, but please think of poor Kodak.
@Dave Bell; If everyone who referenced that bloody song back when they discontinued Kodachrome had actually bought a roll in the previous year or two, I've no doubt they'd still be making it!
"Yet Another Anonymous Coward" and "LDS" cover this fine. Yes, today's Eastman Kodak is still legally the same company as the one which went bankrupt in 2012 (#), since the bankruptcy proceedings didn't result in it being liquidated. On the other hand, they did- as mentioned- have to sell off their still film division and some patents as part of the process, and IIRC they'd already been selling off stuff before bankruptcy.
And as Brian Miller noted, they'd sold off everything that wasn't film for short-termist reasons (quite a while ago if I remember correctly- it's been argued that Kodak's sell-off-related decline started in the early 90s *before* digital exacerbated the problem). And they didn't move away from their once-lucrative film business until it was too late.
You don't see Fujifilm having to waste time with publicity stunt nonsense like this because they were better managed, moved on successfully, and don't have to pander to name recognition nostalgia to get a licensing fee from someone's random moneymaking scheme.
So, yeah, Kodak's still legally the same company, but ultimately, if they're reduced to little more than a nostalgia-exploiting, brand-whoring shadow of their former self it makes little difference anyway.
(#) Unlike- as noted- Polaroid, where the assets (including name and IP) were sold to form what was legally a new company.
"A friend of mine (in Ca) got a full refund on a 2 year old system. His sister (a somewhat mean lawyer - she scare me and I am married to her) got onto to their case."
That's good as far as it goes (#), but what would have happened if your brother-in-law hadn't been lucky enough to have a friendly lawyer to sic on Google/Nest?
(#) A full refund for a two-year-old system is great if you're a "boys toys" type that would have been replacing it with new shite sooner rather than later anyway. It's still a hassle if you bought it as a means to an end, and have to buy, set up and learn to use a new system to replace one that was otherwise (physically) fine and should have run for years anyway.
The joke is that Revolv *did* apparently come with a "lifetime subscription"! This obviously didn't count for much when Nest/Google took them over.
Though, apparently Google claimed that they "may offer compensation on a case-by-case basis" [my emphasis]. Which was nice of them, wasn't it?
"IoT what a load of hype around bollocks."
...and as a wise man once said, "never mind the bollocks".
"WTF with monthly charges."
For their benefit, not yours. The vast majority of "features" "requiring" such monthly charges are just contrived rationalisations of their desire to get a nice stream of revenue from you in exchange for being tied to a service that costs them thruppence ha'penny a year per person to run.
I hate the use of the word "plan" in this context, the marketing weasels' jumped up attempt to normalise the concept of a "subscription", i.e. giving them money on a recurring basis for old rope.
I've trained my dog to attack sales types whenever they utter the word "plan". (Yes, stolen from Paul Calf, sue me...)
Is this the same Nest that- under Google's present ownership- bought out its rival Revolv, then announced little over 18 months later that it would be effectively bricking the devices (by killing off the server they relied on) with just a month's notice, despite them having been sold with a "Lifetime Subscription"? (#)
I do believe that it is!
Yeah, you know that's the sort of company you can trust when you're spending hundreds- if not thousands- of pounds fitting out your home with infrastructure it's going to be relying on.
(#) At the risk of stating the ******* obvious, another example of the dangers of relying on IoT shite tied to a specific company's servers.
@jake; "ESR here, too."
That's great Eric, but why are you calling yourself "Jake"?
"While flagships got thinner, more beautiful and glassy-eyed each year, the Mate didn't care – it just wanted to haul around the more practical stuff for you. [..] The regular Mate 10 hews to the station wagon formula, but its swankier sibling the Mate 10 Pro seems to have acquired Note envy."
Does it strike anyone as else ironic that they're using the "Pro" designation on the poser-oriented version rather than the substance-over-style, workhorse original an actual professional would be better off with?
(And yes, I know the term is frequently misused as marketing fluff, but this case highlights the absurdity of it).
Doesn't this photo also break the rule that every one of El Reg's Shutterstock photographs have to contain at least one person wearing spectable frames that obviously contain no glass?
@DontFeedTheTrolls; "The blue tick was always about establishing the authenticity of the speaker, not a validation of what they say."
Indeed, this *was* the case.
Emphasis on "was"... because as soon as they started withdrawing it from people they disapproved of, it ceased to be a neutral identifier and effectively became an implicit endorsement. This was the whole *point* of the article!
As for the megaphone, I'm not sure that it's analogous enough in a general- let alone legal- sense to bear any comparison with Twitter's situation.
Oh yeah, I heard that the original C64 floppy drives sucked.
The difference was more pronounced on the Atari 8-bits because, while the floppy drives were reasonably fast, the cassettes were atrociously slow. The bitrate was 600 baud, but- unlike with other 8-bit computers- there were no turbo loaders (#) to improve the situation. Fifteen minutes for a 48K game was not unusual, and I had some that were closer to 20. (##)
I think the problem was partly- although it was state of the art at the time of its launch and able to compete technically with the three-years-younger C64 on most counts- that when the 400 and 800 came out at the end of the 1970s, they only came with 8K as standard (the 400 was originally only going to be 4K), so loading time wouldn't have been such an issue.
By the time the 64K 800XL came out in 1983, its home market (the US) would have been moving rapidly towards disks, so the tape loading speed probably wasn't seen as an issue.
Anyway, I'd heard bad things about tape-to-disk transfer utilities, but when I finally got one I wished I'd bought it years before. I hated tape loading, and still can't get nostalgic about it even with six-inch thick rose-tinted glasses.
(#) I remember reading somewhere that this was for technical reasons (I don't know which) and that without hardware modifications, the most that could be achieved was a frankly underwhelming 900 baud. The fact I never knowingly came across even this modest-but-worthwhile improvement (in the absence of anything better) on any games suggests that even this was pushing it.
(##) FWIW, the multiload "Ace of Aces" took approaching half an hour to get started on tape and was completely unusable; it was obviously a game originally designed purely with the disk-centric US market in mind.
@dajames; "The only per-hour costs were [..the..] local-rate number. [..] Compuserve itself charged £6-7 a month".
Yes, but *when* was that? I'm going to assume it was circa the late 90s or later. As I noted in another comment, Compuserve's prices fell massively around that time.
By that point they'd already have been past their peak as people moved en masse to regular Internet access. As far as I'm aware, in their 80s and early 90s heyday, they were considerably more expensive.
Apparently Compuserve launched in the UK in the late 1980s, and I'd be interested to find out how much they cost back then.
"And honestly, even twenty years back $10 per month was hardly unaffordable."
Yeah, but twenty years ago was 1997 after they'd started getting competition from the Internet and presumably after they'd reduced their rates. I was thinking more of the 80s and early 90s.
According to Wikipedia, Compuserve was $5 an *hour* until 1996 and something like $10 an hour earlier on, getting up to $30 an hour in some cases (at early 1980s prices!!!). It's hard to tell from the article exactly how much it cost at any time and how much of it was (e.g.) call charge overheads, but that does seem to back up my memory of reading how much it cost in the 80s and thinking "yeah, that's *horribly* expensive".
"For some of us, it was either that or international modem calls"
That still doesn't change the fact it would be only bloody expensive instead of eyewateringly expensive and misses out the most obvious third option- not being online at all because even at its cheapest it would have been bloody expensive.
I'd have *loved* a modem and being able to dial up BBSs and the like in the late 80s, but even if I'd had enough for the modem, I wouldn't have been able to afford the subscriptions or phone bills as a kid. Even circa 1993-94 when I first got on the Internet at university and was looking at trying to get access at home, there was no local number dial-up access available and it was still pretty expensive- enough that I just stuck to using the computer labs.
I notice that the computer in your Stuttershock photograph is an Atari XE which- despite the ST-style case- is essentially a repackaged Atari 800, and doesn't support the newfangled 3.5" floppies seen in the photograph (only the older 5.25"). (#)
Also, the 80-column display- which can be seen more clearly in a higher-res version elsewhere- wasn't supported by the XE. (Unless you bought the XEP-80 addon that rather tackily connected via the joystick port (FFS!) and isn't seen here).
Nor does the XE feature either the "alt" or numbered function keys referred to on-screen.
In short, I'm shocked, *shocked*, that the people responsible for creating a stock photo no-one was going to pay much attention to may have faked it. Also, the computer wouldn't have looked that old and yellow when it was still quite new and in genuine use. Etc etc etc...
(#) Even 720 KB DSDD 3.5" floppies would have been impressive at that time. In fact, having a floppy drive at all- mine had a 120 KB 5.25"- beat the living heck out of loading from cassette. Then again, pretty much anything beat the living heck out of loading from cassette.
@ STrRedWolf; "Wish they'd donate them to the Internet Archive."
From what I've read elsewhere, all the early stuff from the Compuserve Forums is already gone, and has been for years now.
Personally, I never used Compuserve, but I do recall seeing the per-hour access cost at some point and thinking.... yeah, nice if you can afford it.
macjules: "can we have our $64,000 back please?"
I guess that would be The $64,000 Question, then.
I'm sure this line of accessories will exhibit the level of quality you'd expect from the guy responsible for "Dirty Bit".
What a bunch of Smaug-heads.
"I drove 1000 miles to buy a version of my car without automatic collision avoidance."
So you would drive 500 miles,
and then you'd drive 500 more.
Just to be the man who drives a thousand miles
To buy a car without automatic collision avoidance?
No references to "shiny metal ass"...?!
Reg I am disappoint.
@Triggerfish; "he'd probably get off on the infamy"
You mean he'd tell everyone he was only there because the judge and jury all had it in for him?
@CustardGannet; "1849 called, they want you back !"
That'd be a neat trick considering the phone wasn't even invented then. ;-)
"Outsold by BMW 3 series [..] As far as I can see, a new Mondeo is becoming something of a rarity in the UK."
As I commented here in more detail, it might not help that they've kept a name too associated with dull, middle of the road 90s repmobile blandness.
I mean, the styling is completely different- sharp, up-to-date and obviously intended to look more "luxurious"- but it could look and drive like a Lamborghini and it would still be hobbled by the boring associations of the Mondeo badge on the back.
@ Snivelling Wretch; "Slightly disappointed it's not a mk1 from 1993..."
That's pretty much the image that popped into my head when I read "Mondeo". And to me, that's the problem...
To be honest, I've wondered more than once why Ford bothered keeping the Mondeo name for the more recent versions. They've obviously put a lot of effort into making the styling look sharp and desirable, yet kept a name strongly associated with 90s repmobile blandness. (#)
Yes, they were also commercially successful, but (to me) that also cemented the association of the name with those boringly middle-of-the-road early models. A well-known name, sure, but is it one that anyone ever actually loved or that even meant much?
Having an established name sounds like a good thing, but it can also tie you down with its associations- in this case to blandness and being stuck in the 1990s... not necessarily a good thing if you're trying to increase the desirability of your cars.
(#) Even the name itself is very 90s- one of those bland, corporate neo-Latinesque non-words (designed to sound inoffensive in as many languages/markets as possible) that sprouted everywhere during that decade.
"the ads must not appear again in their current form"
Exactly the same. Every. F*****. Time.
As I've said before in similar form on numerous occasions:-
"The ASA... ah, yes. The advertising industry's self-regulation chocolate teapot, "that ad campaign which you ran several months ago and is long since finished anyway was misleading and shouldn't appear again in that form, which is irrelevant since you've long since replaced it with some other misleading ads instead. Also here's a token rebuke"
In fact, this is so tediously formulaic that I just cut and pasted my previous comment observing that I'm just rehashing my own previous comments on the matter now... :-/
(That said, this case is more nitpicky and less an example of outright advertising bulls**t than some of the other examples).
Let's take off the rose-tinted spectacles here- the "Atari of Old" (i.e. the original Atari Inc. (#)) may have produced some great games, but they were still as much a bunch of sue-happy dicks that treated their game programmers as little more than "towel designers", then- when a bunch of them left to form Activision- tried suing them to prevent the release of independently-produced games for the VCS console.
The "never mind the quality, feel the IP/marketing" attitude also gave us the rushed ET game and the equally infamous Pac-Man being forced into a 4K rather than 8K ROM (against programmer Tod Frye's wishes). We all know how those ended.
(#) Rather than today's Atari, which is effectively just the company formerly known as Infogrames after they bought the name and IP from Hasbro.
“I paused for effect,” Newt wrote, “and then replied. No. I don't think you're an idiot.”
Good example of how adding emphasis to a sentence can completely alter the meaning and tone. What's even better about this example is that we can change what's being insinuated a further three times, simply by moving the emphasis elsewhere, like so:-
"I don't think you're an idiot."
"I don't think you're an idiot."
"I don't think you're an idiot."
"I don't think you're an idiot."
"I don't think you're an idiot."
"Also the paradox that you might need to keep details of a customer, marked with a flag to say that they don't want to be contacted by marketing."
Exactly the problem I'd been thinking of! Somewhat reminiscent of this...
LISTER: Holly, is there something that you want?
HOLLY: Well, only if you're not busy. Would you mind erasing some of my memory banks?
LISTER: What for?
HOLLY: Well, if you erase all the Agatha Christie novels from my memory bank, I can read 'em again tonight.
LISTER: How do I do it?
HOLLY: Just type, "HolMem. Password override. The novels Christie, Agatha." Then press erase.
LISTER jabs two-fingered on a keyboard.
LISTER: I've done it.
HOLLY: Done what?
LISTER: Erased Agatha Christie.
HOLLY: Who's she, then?
LISTER: Holly, you just asked me to erase all Agatha Christie novels from your memory.
HOLLY: Why should I do that? I've never heard of her.
LISTER: You've never heard of her because I've just erased her from your smegging memory.
HOLLY: What'd you do that for?
LISTER: You asked me to!
LISTER: Just now!
HOLLY: I don't remember this.
LISTER: Oh, I'm going to bed. This is gonna go on all night.
@NonSSL-Login; This isn't really aimed at the nostalgia market- it's aimed at hardcore obsessives who want to continue running updated versions of AmigaOS on "modern hardware".
If similar machines released in the past few years are anything to go by, it won't even be directly hardware compatible and won't run software that bypasses the OS to run on the bare metal (which excludes most games and thus *won't* be of much interest to nostalgia freaks wanting to relive Lotus II).
That said, from what I've heard, the hardware on these "new" Amigas is massively overpriced and underpowered by modern standards (relative to commodity x86 PCs).
And while I've no idea what AmigaOS is like these days, I'd be surprised if it's up to modern standards- or if there's any reason to run it instead of Linux beyond being a diehard Amiga obsessive. Shame, as it was massively ahead of its time (and far more advanced and better suited to take advantage of 16 and 32-bit CPU power than MS-DOS whose design reflected its origins as a knockoff of CP/M- an OS designed for 1970s 8-bit microcomputers with archaic design that was added to in an ad-hoc manner).
@DrXym; The intellectual rights associated with Commodore (including brands, names, software and hardware IP) seem to me to be a complete cluster**** with different parts spread among and sub-licensed to numerous parties.
That said, there do appear to have been quite a few "new" successfully Amigas released over the past decade. They appear to be aimed at the diehard rabid Amiga users as a means to run AmigaOS (and aren't directly compatible with old hit-the-hardware games and the like for the classic Amigas).
This shouldn't be confused with pitiful attempts to exploit the "Commodore" brand for nostalgia with (e.g.) generic Android tablets having the "Pet" name slapped on them and running C64 and Vic 20 emulators- as any generic Android tablet could (but ironically, not including a Commodore Pet emulator). Or attempts to use the names of classic Amiga models like "A3000" on generic HTPC cases that have *nothing* to do with the Amiga *nor* the new "real" Amigas described above.
In truth, it all died 20 years ago, and what we have now are people exploiting the scraps, scattered to the four winds.
@psychonaut; The ST had "better sound"....?! You are smoking crack and I claim my £5. ;-)
The built-in ST sound was p**s-poor, a variant of the same square wave chip more suited to 8-bit machines like the Oric-1 and later versions of the ZX Spectrum. The Amiga's sound... I saw it on Micro Live and it blew me away.
Of course, if one credits the ST with the performance of the £1500 MIDI keyboard or sampler plugged into it, then you could do the same with an Amiga and a £15 MIDI interface!
That said, Atari made the right move in having it built in, and the ST was much more affordable than the Amiga in the early days- especially since the performance of the built-in sound and graphics were irrelevant to its use as a MIDI sequencer- so it's understandable why it became popular for that use.
The ST was a great machine for the price in the early days- and I remember it being popular- but it's noticeable that almost as soon as the Amiga 500 came within sniffing distance of the 520ST (£400 vs. £300) it quickly displaced it in terms of being the favoured machine for non-MIDI users.
The ST never really recovered, but the Amiga itself got hit by a double whammy of improving PC specs and the 16-bit consoles within a couple of years...
@Kristian Walsh; Excellent and informative summary.
I've said myself that the Amiga was far closer to being the spiritual successor to the 400/800 (and, in turn, the VCS/2600) than the Atari ST was.
Architectural similarities, design philosophy of using custom chips for state of the art design (and accordingly high price when first released) and many of the same people involved. Not to mention that both started out as game console designs.
The ST was a product of Tramiel's "Atari Corp."- not the original "Atari Inc."- and reflected a very different "off-the-shelf" (as you describe) and "power without the price" approach. From what I've heard he sacked most of the existing Atari engineers and replaced them with his own people when he bought out Atari's computer/console division anyway. Not that much continuity between them beyond the fact he kept the 400/800 and VCS on, albeit more as cash cows with Atari Corp's shoestring approach to marketing.
"their harmless little 10$/hour firebugging"
I heard this on the news yesterday, and noted that the rate they were being paid at (€10, around £7.70 or US $11.70)
And I'm thinking... "WTF? They're doing all *this* for the money, despite being paid barely higher than the UK minimum 'living' wage?!"
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