Absolutely. If I want a "better" camera app I'll go to the play store, download half a dozen, play around with them, pick my favourite and uninstall the rest. That's why we have app stores.
1122 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
House of Cards
That music seemed to "Borrow" quite heavily from the House of Cards intro. Let's hope that isn't an omen!
Best is sometime
They've been improving for a year or more but this was the best in many many years. Loved it.
Re: Money, Money, Money
Yes, whereas the originals were a charity project from our generous benefactor Mr Lucas.
Honestly? I can't think of many statements more ridiculous than "I won't watch X film because they are trying to make money.".
You really need to stop taking yourself and your Ninja-level Sci-Fi appreciation so seriously.
Re: Headphone volume
I don't have the Nova but the last Huawei Phone I had DID have a limit set when you plugged in your headphones but it very politely asked if you were sure when you tried to go above its limit, warned you it might damage your hearing but then let you go ahead. My current Xiaomi Redmi S3 Prime does the same thing so maybe it is a (rather more sensible) Chinese solution to the lawsuit problem.
There's also a Xiaomi that does a week and I believe the new Meizu does 2 weeks - though only 1 week if the optical HRM is left on.
Re: Come back, Nokia 3310, all is forgiven...
"There's something seriously wrong with the smartphone market when a portable device that only lasts a day before needing a recharge is "impressive"."
Can you explain WHY that is? I see it churned out on here over and over as some kind of self-explaining mantra. But, as far as I can see, for almost everyone +95% of the time, a portable device that lasts a little over a day is perfectly fine. The vast majority of people sleep every day and are usually in a position to plug their phone in to charge whilst asleep. Okay, I may occasionally go camping and, being a weirdo, I do 24hr races where I clearly don't have access to a charger. But that's okay. I'd far rather my phone was optimised for the +95% of use-cases leaving me to carry a battery pack the other -5%. Especially if the alternative is a device optimised for the -5% of use-cases.
It was a similar thing with smart watches. If they won't run for over a year on a watch battery then having to charge it every night is no less convenient than having to charge it once a week; except that you'd quickly get into the habit of charging it every night. Who's going to remember to plug something in just on a Sunday?
Xioami Redmi 3S Prime
The Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime is available for about £125. It has almost identical specs to the £189 version of this with fast charging and a 4100mAh battery thrown in. And it arrived from Gear Best with an English ROM and all the google stuff. Been using mine since early August and it is fantastic value. Although, I must admit, some of Xiaomi's default choices in terms of battery saving are a bit "aggressive" to put it mildly. Like, turning GPS off whilst using SatNav if you haven't touched the screen for over 1 minute. Easily rectified in the settings but I can imagine some less technically minded people reaching for the industrial shredder.
It looks and has VERY similar specs to the Xiaomi Redmi 3S - which is absolutely no bad thing at all. It seems to be about £30-40 more expensive but you're getting local support, a local ROM and that brilliant screen replacement offer. I'm happy to import from China and pocket the difference but for your average Joe this does look good. Other than waterproofing I look at my Redmi 3S and wonder just what it is that a £600 iPhone/Galaxey/Xperia etc. has that I might be missing.
"Oddly, the most remarkable change in human life over the past couple of centuries of capitalism has been the massive expansion of leisure time."
That's only partially true. Men have more leisure time. Thanks to the wonders of feminism women have less leisure time than ever before.
US Data Rates seemed rubbish
I've just got back from a trip to the US travelling around New York city and then upstate. I used a UK 3 SIM with the "Feel at Home" package which used T-Mobile for roaming. And it was shocking. In New York City I was getting a full 5-bar signal with 4G but it often wasn't fast enough to load google maps. Even getting enough data to call a cab on Uber was a few minutes wait. Upstate things were a bit different. It was often 3G rather than 4 (and occasionally Edge) but at least there was enough bandwidth to get actually things done. But in and around the city (Harlem, Central Park, Upper East Side, Lower Manhatten) data rates were shocking to none-existent. I actually gave up on using mobile data and was just relying on "borrowing" wifi from nearby stores and cafes.
Wilefox uses Cyanogen rather than vanilla android but certainly ticks all the other boxes. An Xperia Z3 compact would do it. And if the Sony launcher isn't close enough to vanilla for you, just stick Google Now launcher over it and be done. I've had the Z1 Compact for 2.5 years and still get regular security updates. No plans to replace it until it dies - although I'm tempted to get a Z3 now before stock runs out just so that I have a replacement ready to roll. Won't get the new Z5 as they've removed several of the features that make the Z1&3 so useful to me (ANT+ and wireless charging being the two biggies)
Re: FIRST OWNER
I'm not sure it is a case of The Reg conveniently ignoring it. Sure, that's what it appears to say but that would make absolutely no sense whatsoever (as the reg points out later). Why would you ignore 2nd hand use when working out a device's environmental life-span? It is in YOUR favour to estimate the device's lifespan as being longer as the environmental impact per year is "total environmental cost" divided by "total lifespan in years".
Re: Was really easy.....
I'm having the same problem. Just contacted them to ask how I replace the second one (although we don't use the second one so I'd happily take the £12 credit). There are also LOADS of people complaining that the code for getting the charger for free doesn't work at checkout. I had it fail for me once but then it worked the next time. Amazon do seem to be doing the right thing - just not very well
Whilst I've had plenty of phones from Manufacturers who don't update their phones (Huawei being the worst) Sony have been fantastic of late. I've had the Xperia Compact Z1 since release nearly two years ago. I've lost count of the number of updates since then. It is currently on Android 5.1.something. The amazing thing is, though, that despite the fact Sony have not put it on the list of phones receiving an update to 6.0 (and I didn't for one minute think they would) it IS still receiving security updates. I've had two in the last few months, the last just a couple of weeks ago. For a phone that has already been superseded a couple of times and is no longer receiving OS upgrades I think that's worthy of praise.
"Have you not noticed that if you drive at a normal sort of pace, then those plonkers that are trying to race ahead never actually are usually stay in sight for the entire journey? They never actually get very far."
Quite right and there is a very good reason for that. Despite appearances to the contrary (and the odd breakdown) traffic management is quite sophisticated these days. If you have a large, main stretch of city road with lots of traffic lights along it, the best approach is to accelerate very gently and then dawdle along. The timing of the lights along the stretch is designed to encourage this and, when done well, you'll often find the next set of lights turning green as you approach.
The people who design these systems have shown you get a lot more cars through that way than you do if everyone presses down as hard as they can with their right foot all the time. It also saves on fuel and pollutants.
Solution to taking up an extra plug
We got a wireless door chime from B&Q a few months ago. Whilst the cheapest one they had required the chime part to take up a mains socket, on the next one up (which we went for) the Chime part had a 2.1A USB port. The Chime is in the living room and has a micro-usb cable permanently attached for use by, well, whoever needs it at the time. Very handy.
On a related, albeit off topic, subject my youngest has got himself a Goodman's radio alarm clock with two USB sockets, both of which are rated at 2A. Brilliantly useful.
Taking your argument further....
If we take your argument and apply it to another of the proposed problems, the existence of Cowell, I think most would agree he exists because a large group of today's youth are driven by the media to aspire simply to "becoming famous". Therefore, following the Free School Meal solution, we must either meet the incentive or remove the incentive. Making everyone famous is not realistic so we need to remove the desire to become famous. I can see two ways of doing this.
1) Careful regulation of all media to show how becoming famous is not the be all and end all of existence and that the famous are generally no more happy than the rest of us. This all seems a bit far fetched and I don't really see it working in practice
2) A hunger games style elimination of 100 "celebrities" each week or so. That should cut down on the number of people wishing to become a celebrity, provide TV far more watchable than X-Factor or BGT and, as an added bonus, should I be allowed to create the list of "celebrities" I have a sneaking suspicion Cowell will cease to be a problem.
Ahh, economics at work!
The opposite solution
I've almost gone the opposite way. If there is a film or TV series I want to watch out of casual interest I'll find the cheapest DVD copy on eBay, usually for less than £3, watch it and then immediately flog it again. I often break even, rarely lose more than the cost of postage (90p) and occasionally even make a few quid. When they arrive I'm careful to open the jiffy bag without ripping it so I can just pop it straight back in.
The stuff we REALLY want to watch tends to be series on netflix; House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and plenty of others.
Slightly ironic that you praise them for keeping Bloatware to a minimum and then praise them for the inclusion of Bloatware (SwiftKey). SwiftKey is still Bloatware. The fact that YOU happen to like it and find it useful doesn't change that.
Re: I have an Honor 6
Cheers. I was about to ask if Huawei were still as useless as they used to be with software updates. I had one of their's a couple of years ago that was released with one of the buggier Android releases. There were all sorts of promises as to updates "coming soon" but none arrived and I eventually flogged it through eBay. I've had a Sony Z1 compact since which has had several updates (2 major versions and a few "patches") leading me to feel rather wary of the lesser brands.
And yes, I'm aware Huawei is a bigger company than Sony are these days but Sony is high profile enough that it needs to support it's users. Huawei is unheard of outside China so isn't going to suffer bad press from leaving users with bug-ridden phones.
Re: Does it really save that much?
According to my heating engineer the simple answer is no. He installed a new heating system for us with a new all-singing all-dancing programmable remote thermostat. It was his son that did all the electronic set up etc for us. He doesn't see the point. According to him the most efficient way to run a modern boiler is to use thermostatic valves on all the radiators. He reckons that, once the valve is set to the correct temperature on each rad. then the boiler will use absolutely bugger-all fuel maintaining the staus quo. Modern condensor boilers only really use energy when they have to change the temperature.
Although I should add that this really applies to modern, well insulated homes with decent windows etc. We'd just spent £2.5k on the boiler, cavity wall insulation, double insultating the loft and having any dodgy windows re-sealed which is why he thought we were wasting £120 on the gadget.
If it's cultural impact
If they are after games that have had a massive cultural impact then wouldn't Angry Birds be a pretty major contender? It was the first significant game on mobile phones and, as such, has kicked off the next phase of computer/video games.
For the last 40 years or so, your age and the machine you/your friends had access to is going to define what you saw as culturally significant. As a ZX Spectrum gamer from the early eighties it would be manic miner for me. The significance of Angry Birds was that it was almost instantly available on a few billion devices and seemed to be played by all generations.
Now if the "Grip bumper" thingy was also the USB 3 cable then that would be excellent. As it is, £10 for a coloured bit of moulded rubber is taking the piss.
I've been using the original T100 for about 18 months now. It doesn't quite cut it as a main machine (10" screen, only 32GB storage) but it is small and light enough to go everywhere and gets used more than my desktop by a long way. I used to use the full-sized USB port on it quite a bit but I can't actually remember the last time I did. Like the reviewer, all my stuff is on a server and in the cloud. It really does make a decent large tablet AND laptop but, due to the size, gets used by like the original Netbooks. Email, internet, the odd edit to a Word or Excel document etc.
I might have to take a trip to PC World and have a look at this and the Chi 100 as that 32GB of storage is now down to 1.4GB free and there is nothing on there I could remove.
Re: Have they tested it in...
In my (limited) experience of driving north of the Arctic Circle there is also a major problem with reading road signs - and not just because they aren't in English. There are often covered up with snow. I remember driving through Northern Finland, following written instructions (Ah, the days before SatNav) with such directions as "Follow the sign for flokensterklufen" (might have just made that place name up) and having to stop by the side of the road every time I saw a sign, get out, run over to the sign with a brush, remove the snow, compare what was written on the sign to what was written on my sheet of directions, get back in the car and carry on. That was a loooong night.
Assuming the same thing happens to temporary speed limits, road works etc. then Autonomous cars aren't going to stand a chance.
Not just the Qashqai
Nissan are just making bloody good cars at the moment. Two of "The Wife"'s last three cars have been Nissans. An Almera and an X-Trail. Both were eminently practical and really quite good fun to drive too. Neither of them ever broke down and they only got replaced due to changes in circumstances. A friend is the senior local traffic copper - the one that gets to drive the serious VIPs when they visit and so gets sent on all the advanced driving courses. He and his wife have owned only Nissans for the last ten years or so - including a Qashqai each, at one point.
I do wish they'd bring back the curry hook from the Almera though - that was a work of genius!
> The whole point of commuting by bike is to get there faster. A bonus is it costs less, keeps you fit,
> You have my sympathy - driving cars in cities today is bound to make you feel angry.
Actually, I hardly ever drive and almost never in cities (pisses me off too much). I either run or cycle. And, in my view, the "whole point" is to arrive on time. But at least we all now know what type of cyclist YOU are.
I actually have an easier approach than that. Just stop in the middle of the road. Become a part of the flow of normal traffic until you feel safe to move back into the cycle lane. I'd rather be 6 cars back from the red lights but in the middle of the traffic, where I feel an element of control, than right up front but overshadowed by someone who I cannot know whether they have seen me or not.
Cyclists utter obsession with getting ahead of traffic at junctions does them no favours. It pisses off every other motorist and puts them in dangerous situations.
Any chance of an A3 review
Any chance of a review of the A3 too? 4.5" is as large as I'm prepared to go (and, frankly, I'd prefer a bit smaller but can't find anything with a half-way decent spec).
There's no mention of any form of wireless charging though, which is a real shame.
Re: Sounds good, but
Yes, but do you want to try explaining that to Bud and Britney who just bought a $150 windows tablet from Walmart for little Bud Jnr, accepted the Windows App Store's recommendation to automatically install the free update to Windows 10 (hell, it's free, right?) and are now getting frequent crashes and "out of Memory" errors?
Sounds good, but
I see a conflict between this approach and MSs current sales drive towards low-end hardware for tablets. There are currently a load of $150-$300 Windows 8.1 tablets that work perfectly well, performance wise, as long as you are very careful with your storage. They all come with just 32GB of storage built-in plus MicroSD expansion. But the expansion can only be used for data. You have to install apps into storage. By the time you've done a full install of Windows and Office, and the manufacturer has taken up space with the recovery drive, you are often left with just 7GB or less.
If apps are no longer sharing resources (and that is clearly a good thing) and are now being wrapped in a virtual container they are just going to get bigger and bigger. That's fine for your desktops and laptops which come with almost limitless storage but could make your "Windows 10 capable" tablet rather less capable than you'd been anticipating.
Oh what a comfortable world you live in. But that it were truly so :)
Damn near everything gets passed through the markets, whether you like it or not. You've chosen to invest some of your money in a way you are comfortable with and that's great. But if you have a personal pension, your pension company IS wasting huge amounts of it just moving money around. Because, every time they move YOUR money YOU lose some of it in those 13 layers of transaction charges. Company pension? Same thing. Pay National Insurance? Same thing?
ALL of our money is in the system and being moved around and therefore the value of what the world produces is being constantly diminished by an industry that exists entirely to tempt others into moving money around in order to generate "profits". But there are no profits because they don't produce anything. If one fund makes a profit, someone else makes a loss. And the sum of the two is always a bit less than the whole thanks to those 13 layers of fees and charges.
Robert Peston of the BBC did an entire series on this subject on Radio 4. It was both highly revealing and quite frightening. I think it was called "A Dark Magic" but it doesn't appear to be on iPlayer at the moment. He basically suggests that the way the markets operate at the moment are a complete disaster for pretty much everyone. We lose 10s of % points of our pensions in transaction fees each year. The traders pretty much always lose money. I'm going off memory from 2 years ago but something like 5% of hedge fund managers actually make significant profits. However, those 5% make such significant profits that the remaining 95% of break-evens and losses are insignificant. The really scary part was that there is almost no overlap between the 5% who made money last year and the 5% who made money this year. The only people making reliable money are the 13 layers of traders/brokers/etc that perform each transaction and who each take a fraction of a fraction of a penny.
He points out that financial markets, rather than being huge revenue makers as suggested by both Labour and Conservative governments for 20-30 years actually just take money out. Every penny they "make" is actually money they have skimmed off our pensions, savings and whatever our industry generates.
The slight letdown
Having owned a few Chinese phones there is a slight downside to ownership. Yes, you get a very high quality device for relatively little money - BUT, there is zero support. I've owned a ZTE and a Huawei and there were zero updates for them. Now, you could argue that this isn't all that important to the general public. If the phone works and does everything you want then who cares if you can't get the latest release of Android? Which is true, unless your device is released with a bug (and my Huawei was) or Google releases a Turkey (Android 5.0) in which case you are either stuffed (general public) or reliant on XDA Devs (those of us on here). That's why, after a few years of owning Chinese phones with some hits but a few significant misses, last year I went with the relatively safe Sony Z1 Compact.
"Summer starts on June 21st this year"
Really? According to whom? That's the longest day, not the start of summer. According to the Met Office summer is June, July, August which puts the end of July 2/3 of the way through summer.
My wife has the Lumia 620, one of the very few remaining 3.5" screened phones. It is on the list of phones receiving the update but I'm going to look for a way to disable updates if possible. This just looks like bad news. The reason I recommended Windows Phone to her was the ease of use. This looks like a whole series of headaches (for me - of course) waiting to happen. If you take away Windows Phones ease of use and simple elegance then you might as well get an Android device and just install one of the stripped back launchers.
An instance that immediately sprang to mind of a healthy group that already benefit from this monitoring would be endurance athletes. It is all too easy when training for a Triathlon or Ultra-marathon to over-train. There has been good medical evidence recently that Heart Rate Variability is a good measure of the body's catabolic state and so can provide a pretty good indicator that you are over training and should take a day or two's rest BEFORE you actually start to feel the effects of that over-training with either illness or injury. That is, proper rest, rather than an endurance athlete's idea of "active rest" where they might just swim for an hour and have a more gentle bike ride than usual.
HRV used to require quite expensive equipment but can now be carried out to a fair degree of accuracy with a £5 app on your phone and a £30 Heart Rate Monitor. The camera based monitors aren't accurate enough yet but I have no doubt they will be within a couple of years.
I couldn't help but chuckle at the "FAQ". Surely that must be stretching the definition of "Frequently" to breaking point?
Having known a couple of people that have gone on to make themselves very wealthy and knowing a few people who were already wealthy by the time I met them I'm fairly confident in saying that having a huge wodge of cash to leave their children/grandchildren never entered their minds AT THE TIME of setting out to become wealthy. For most, it became a concern AFTER they were already pretty wealthy (actually, one of them doesn't want his kids to inherit the money having seen what selfish pigs it has already turned them into). So I'm not sure massively taxing inheritance would really be much of a disincentive to entrepreneurship. The problem with massively taxing inheritance is largely that those it hits hardest are in the best position to move to another jurisdiction with less onerous taxation and so you actually end up taxing the middle-income or those unfortunate enough to die late enough to have accrued some wealth but too early to have spent it during their retirement.
My eldest son has been saving up to buy his first PC (largely to play minecraft and create youtube videos). I strongly suspect this will be shooting straight to the top of the list ahead of the Asus T100 that was the previous leading contender.
" Marks & Spencer is racist for running out of blue socks in size 11"
M&S don't do socks in size 11. They do size 10-12. Get your facts right you ***** ***** *******!!!!!!
The wife just stuck her head into the study wondering what in earth was making me laugh so loudly. Best ending in a long while!
The only ONE
Whenever I have a play with a HTC One I do love the device BUT - those speakers top and bottom make it feel huge for a 5" phone. That wouldn't be an issue if the One Mini took Sony's approach and just gave you a smaller version of the One. But it doesn't. Assuming they keep to the practices of the earlier One Mini models you end up with a distinctly mid-range spec at an eye-wateringly top-end price.
Which is a real shame as I do think it is a brilliant phone.
> Evolutionary biology knows all about faking it
I think you missed the point slightly. If the female goes for the male, whether he is faking it or not is irrelevant. The point is that she CHOSE him and therefore the "faking", as you put it, was successful. The point is for her to chose the mate most likely to provide offspring that will go on to have offspring. So, in a sense, there is no "fake". Whoever she chooses is the real deal as defined by HER choice, not his actions.
action against the senders of unwanted texts
This was brought up in Prime Ministers Questions by a conservative MP about 2 months ago. She raised a question about an elderly constituent of hers being scammed over and over again by unsolicited calls and asked why the government hadn't clamped down on this despite repeated promises to do so.
Cameron's answer, partially in the form of a joke, centred around the fact that all the political parties would be cold calling and spamming as many of the electorate as they possibly could over the next few months. I'm paraphrasing, clearly. He worded it in such a way as to suggest cold calling was a fundamental part of the democratic process and it was difficult to legislate against "bad" cold callers without effecting "good" cold callers.
I think I've got it
I think I've figured this out. We have a £25k car with £15k worth of hybrid technology that serves only to overcome the weight penalty of the £15k worth of hybrid technology but allows you to sell it to the sort of people who wouldn't be seen dead in a £25k car.
I think you illustrate the Beebs main problem perfectly, by making the same mistake they seem to make. Firstly, you say the Beeb should " fill a void, providing news and programmes that the market won't make". And I agree, that is what it is there for. But then you say you "want it to...Broadcast, rather than narrowcast to niches".
Surely this is something of a dichotomy. If something is of general, broad interest to the population then it is something the commercial channels will be making or, if they haven't thought of it yet, will want to make. After all, they want to sell advertising to as many people as possible. The voids, the gaps, the spaces in which you seem to believe the Beeb should be working are, by their very nature, niches.
The Beeb does the same thing. It seems to judge it's own success by viewing figures and "reach" when you could almost make the opposite argument. Once a program or format becomes successful, the commercial operators will always copy it. Arguably, at this point, the Beeb has carried out its function and should stop and move onto something else.
Why does the BBC, an organisation whose main function is to make programs nobody else makes, make Eastenders, a southern copy of Coronation St? Why is it allowed to bid for football rights when that uses public money to inflate the value of those rights which are then sold to the public? Why does it have two mainstream music radio stations?
The BBC needs to be cut back hugely and should not be allowed to enter segments already catered for and should be forced to leave segments if it succeeds in creating new ones that come to be adequately served by the commercial operators.
Re: surprise- a translation company doesn't understand IT
"Why translation companies should be so bad at this stuff I don't know..."
The answer is quite simple. Like many companies today, they are an IT company - but they haven't realised it yet because all the people at the top are translators. Banks are IT companies - literally every little thing they do is IT. But they haven't realised this yet because everyone on the board is a banker. Accountants are pretty much the same. There are loads and loads of examples of entire industries which should now fall under IT and therefore should be driven by IT at board level. But they aren't. Because nobody at the top as the least idea that they became an IT company over a decade ago.
Re: It's not the big friendly buttons, or time limits, or even parental controls...
yep, that's because it relies on users to provide feedback as to whether or not in contains inappropriate content. So, until a video is flagged by someone as inappropriate it is assumed to be suitable for all.
Content for the new app will, allegedly, work the other way around. Everything is banned until it has been approved for YouTubeKidz or whatever they call it