* Posts by Mark .

1859 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Facebook planking game claims its first victim

Mark .


"Er, no... if while doing planking (or any other activity) - which is in-and-of-itself not illegal - you do something illegal in order to achieve it, then there is no "right" for you to turn to. "

Er, how does that contradict what was said here?

Planking isn't the problem (as much as the media would like to scaremonger over), it's doing stupid and/or illegal things. The article didn't say people were defending the right to do illegal things, they were defending the right to do "planking", which as you say yourself, is not illegal. Please let's not join in with the Daily Mail-style "Internet Facebook craze killed this person" scaremongering.

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook 7in tablet

Mark .

Re: It's half finished, but might be good one day. But gets a good score?!

"How can a tablet possibly justify a 75% rating, when it doesn't offer much in the way of apps and there's no native email even?"

I guess it's the Apple model - it took several generations to add basic things like 3G, video calling, multiasking, even copy/paste and MMS, but the Apple phone still got endless praise.

So I guess the answer is to say "But why would I need email? RIM offer a whole new paradigm of doing things. Though I can't tell you what it is". And then when it's finally offered in version 3, the PlayBook can be hailed as revolutionary, for introducing this wonderful new email functionality...

Apple seeks patent for keyboard that sucks

Mark .

Re: I am going to disagree with the reg on this one

But if this is something useful, then you can kiss goodbye to ever seeing it now, unless you restrict yourself to buying expensive PCs from Apple. If it's anything like their magnetic power connector patent[*], they won't be licensing it.

[*] Apple invented magnets, don't you see! Nevermind that even a 5 year old puts prior art on their parents' fridge...

Google Chromebook: Will the revolution be subscribed?

Mark .

Re: Missed oppertunity

"Why no sign of an ARM based one that is not limited to 1-2 hours battery life?"

I get 8-11 hours on my Intel Atom based Samsung N220.

Glass aeroplanes and iPads on the way, say boffins

Mark .


So, another news article that is nothing to do with Apple (no more than any other phone or computer manufacturer), but we still have to have the obligitary Apple mention.

(If history is anything to go by, this feature will appear first in other smartphones, perhaps even feature phones, whilst Apple fans say "But why would I want that?" Then later it'll be featured in an Apple phone, and be hailed as revolutionary...)

Microsoft, Nokia, HTC fight Apple's 'App store' trademark

Mark .

"But Officer, everyone else was speeding too!"

If app store isn't the generic term for a store that sells apps, what is?

As for Windows, too wrongs don't make a right.

For all the people mentionining Linux - MS *lost* their initial case against Lindows, but then settled out of court to avoid the risk of losing altogether. If Apple want to bring a case against the use of Windows, then they should do so. Chances are, they would win.

But that doesn't given them the right to claim ownership too to parts of the English language.

"But Officer, everyone else was speeding too!"

(Also GatesFanbois makes a good point - whilst MS's trademark is dubious, at least they don't have the cheek to sue people who are using the term "Windows" in its generic computing sense.)

"They could have taken the market by storm if they'd thought of the app store concept back then"

Nokia _did_ take the market by storm - and still are the number one smartphone and phone company. Don't let the media obsession with Apple fool you. (Although yes, it's true - I bet they wish they had thought of the app store idea of palming 30% profit off of software developers. Personally as a developer, I wish no company had thought of this...)

"but there wasn't anything like a uniform app buying experience before Apple introduced their app store. ... or a separate online store for each vendor."

Wrong, there were all kinds of online stores (both free and commercial). And if you mean uniform - well, no, it's not uniform. There's still plenty of stores for each platform; and we have multiple "offical" app stores (Nokia's, Apple's, Google's, RIM's, MS's, etc)

Sergey Brin: Only 20% of Googlers still on Windows

Mark .

Logos advertising the brand

"From a visit to Google New York, I can say that over half of the laptops I saw in corridors where MacBooks. And a third of the phones where iPhones."

It's very difficult to judge just by looking - remember, Apple are like companies like Addidas in that they plaster their logo over their products. So the few times you see an Apple PC or phone, you notice it, but it's easy to forget the many others that are from other companies.

(Also you have to remember that Apple phone users seem more likely to wave it around all the time, and announce that they're going to check email on their Iphone, as if this was something special - other people just discretely use it. Most of the time, you shouldn't ever see a phone, because it ought to be tucked away in their pocket.)

Dixons warns it's getting worse

Mark .

Surely this can't be?

Wasn't Apple meant to revolutionise the entire industry by getting everyone to use tablets? Last time I looked, the DSG Group was at the head of hyping them - where did the sales go?

Anyhow: for the people hoping they die - what's the alternative? Please don't say the Internet - some of us like buying right now from a shop, or having a look in person, or not having to worry about sending back bulky items that don't work. As bad as their customer service is, someone to talk to is still better than a webpage.

It was better when you had lots of independent computer stores, but they've mostly died out now.

Whilst PC World etc may only seem to care about your average user, they do stock a decent amount of things like motherboards, cases, graphics cards etc, that more mainstream shops won't. There's Maplin, but often their prices are more expensive, and their range limited.

So where else?

"It's all laptops and tablets."

If that were true, why isn't it helping PC World etc, who sell these far more prominently than desktop parts? Hell, their websites even give a product placement advert to "iPad" in their title! Whilst I'd be sorry to see them go, I won't have any sympathy for their jumping on such a bandwagon, if it leads to their demise. Now that PC World have become "Apple World" (seriously - last time I walked into the store, there were even Apple logos on the entrance doors) to a large extent, their problems don't surprise me.

iPad not stopping PC sales, says analyst

Mark .

I have a tablet...

It's called a Nokia smartphone. If people are seen using conventional PCs less when they're out, by far the biggest change in the last ten years for mobile computing has come in the form of handheld devices (i.e., tablets) that can also do phone calls. Nokia and now Android are the leaders here, not Apple (unless you redefine the market to only look at the Ipad, which is a circular argument).

Computers that run full OSs (like Windows, Linux) aren't going to go away though. As for netbooks, I suspect their biggest competition is ultra portable laptops (which now offer much more power, at only a slightly bigger size, and only slightly more expensive). Remember, when netbooks appeared, ultra portable laptops didn't really exist, unless you spent a lot of money.

Microsoft resuscitates 'I'm a PC' ads to fight Apple

Mark .

Boring PCs

"i'm also increasingly irritated by the idea that all PCs are boring beige boxes with beige mice and keyboards and screens attached to them"

Indeed, and this is the problem with the Mac view all round - it's 20 years out of date.

The portrayal of PCs being boring machines for business use; as the Microsoft ads pointed out, this claim is ludicrous. (And it's also hypocritical - 20 years ago, Macs were only really used in business machines, and back then, the token Mac fans moaned that home computers like the Amiga was just a "toy", because it wasn't used much in business. I guess the Mac is now a toy...)

As you say, you can get interesting looking PCs that aren't from Apple. But it's better that even you suggest - even for the average PC (yes, even off the shelf in PC World), beige went out of fashion 10 years ago. Most PCs you buy today are black, and look perfectly decent - and indeed, it's actually Apple PCs that stick with the boring beige/white colour.

Then there's the spin of "Macs versus PCs" itself. 20 years ago, it was reasonable to use PC for "IBM compatible", and other machines to not be PCs. But today, Macs _are_ PCs. They use the same hardware. They are compatible. They might not be exactly the same as a 1980 IBM PC, but then neither is any modern PC.

There's also the problem that, in my experience, a Mac user's view of non-Apple PCs is at least 5 years out of date. They'll moan about lack of multitouch pads, or conjure up examples of Windows instability from the Windows 9x days. They're convinced that there's a whole line of features of Apple PC hardware, that no other PC has.

Mark .

Re: Weird and pointless advert there

"Why do they not mention any reasons to buy a machine running Windows 7 as opposed to anything else - like Mac OSX, Linux or even Windows XP?"

Well, why do Apple equate "PC" with "machine running Windows" - even though "Macs" are just PCs these days?

Blame Apple for the "PC == Windows" idea. Microsoft are just cleverly spinning that round to their advantage.

And when we're considering PCs as opposed to tablets/phones/etc, I don't see why it's strange for Microsoft to promote that. Yes, they might not create the hardware themselves - but they *are* the company with 90+% market share on such products. So *of course* they're going to promote this.

You see this in all sorts of areas. It's in Nokia's interest to see phone use promoted in general, because they are the market leader, and will benefit from an increase of people using phones. It's in Apple's interest to see mp3 playing be advertised, because even if the advert doesn't explicitly mention their Ipods, Apple will still gain sales.

As for the hype about tablets - more people are still using tablets that we more usually call phones (where Nokia are the market leader, not Apple). And netbooks still outsell tablets - and any slowdown in their sales is probably more due to phones (for portability) and ultra-portable laptops (which are now cheap, and much more powerful). Not the Ipad. Apple are not the market leader in any category here, unless you handpick the category of "devices that are exactly like the Ipad".

@Anonymous Coward: "Windows 7 of today isn't really any different from the Windows 95"

You must have been using a cool version of Windows 95. The version I and everyone else saw was a joke. (Yes, they look the same in that they both have GUIs and icons, but then by that logic, no platform has changed - including anything from Apple, both for OS X and IOS).

Queen to get an iPad (the Queen, not a queen)

Mark .
Thumb Down

Advert masquerading as news

Presumably members of the royal family own and use products, both tech and otherwise, from a large range of companies.

Do we get a news story for every one of these?

Nope. Once again, we only get the news coverage because it's advertising for Apple.

Boffins herald end of stiff screens

Mark .

Re: relax...

"Many, many, many, many news sites use the word "iPhone" as a generic term for smartphones."

Which is still just as stupid. Are we going to start referring to computers as "Macs"? Or maybe we should refer to cameras as Quicktakes, or mp3 players as Zunes?

At least with say the Ipod for mp3 players, it's the market leader, but Apple are way behind in phones. If anything, we should be referring to Nokia phones (who are the market leader, both in phones, and in the ill-defined "smartphone" category - can you give me a definition of smartphone that includes the original Iphone, but doesn't include most feature phones?).

As for "relax" I see nothing about the OP that suggested he was angry. He was just pointing out a basic fact: there's no need to add an advertisement for Apple, when the story has nothing to do with them (although at least for once, it's a negative advert).

We already have a word for these kinds of devices - it's called a phone. What's wrong with that?

Intel debuts '3D transistors' with 22nm chip recipe

Mark .


For heaven's sake, this is a news article about Intel. Why the obligitary Apple product placement?

Yes, you can use processors in products made by Apple. The same applies to Dell, Asus, Nokia, and plenty of other companies that sell as much or more than Apple - do they not get a special mention everytime there's an article about processors?

ARM processors ship something like a billion processors a years on phones. Apple are number 5, companies like Nokia sell ten times as many. If and when those companies start switching to Intel, will be the more news.

And Intel already powers tablet/netbook sized devices, so that you could power an Ipad with an Intel processor isn't news.

ARM jingling with cash as its chips get everywhere

Mark .

they're smartphones?

"smartphones (including the iPhone and Android handsets)"

Ah yes, just in case anyone had missed news about iPhones and Androids. It's rare to hear about them, what with all the constant coverage about Nokia (which is actually the company that ships most phones and smartphones with ARM processors in).

Cops raid man whose Wi-Fi was used to download child porn

Mark .

three days

"Within three days, investigators determined that the homeowner had been telling the truth"

Despite the awful ordeal that this must have been (and the disgusting unprofessional comments made during the raid), at least this did get solved in that time.

If this was the UK, based on some of the horror stories, all his Windows computers, tablets, phones would have been confiscated, left lying around for perhaps months, whilst they try to get round it. These days the Internet is becoming a necessity, and it's also required for some people's livelihoods. Same with computers. And mobile phones are the only way many people have to communicate. People still think of these as a "search" warrant, not a "steal" warrant. That's before we consider the stress of waiting for months, worrying if you'll be charged (not to mention that having Internet access is something that would be useful for looking up legal advice and information...)

Not to mention that now that we have laws criminalising all kinds of pictures of legal acts, of cartoons and so on - even if he wasn't guilty, there's a chance they'd still find some kind of image buried in a cache, and try to get him for that instead.

On another note, I'm curious what make and model of desktop PC the man had. I mean we get told he had an Ipad and Iphone, not tablet and phone, so why not the make of desktop? Obviously it can't have been a Mac, because we'd have been told. Seriously, do Apple pay for the product placement?

Memo gives full details of Nokia staff cull and closures

Mark .

Good news! Extra efficiency!

Remember all those Apple versus Nokia stories, where Apple are spun as being more "efficient", because they have less R&D people, or spend less on R&D? If that's the case, surely it's a *good* thing, by that logic, if Nokia are reducing on R&D? That they are moving from Symbian to Windows also makes it expected that they would be able to reduce their R&D (just as Apple can use less R&D on their Iphone, by reusing the OS that they have developed for their Ipod, which in term uses Darwin as a kernel).

But as always, anything Apple do gets spun as good, anything Nokia do gets spun as bad, even when it's the same thing...

"Two years ago if someone had said to me "no-one within your social circle will own a Nokia phone" I would have laughed at them. Now it's literally true as far as I know."

Firstly, that might not be true - where as Apple users announce they have an Iphone everytime they use it, and Android users announce it when they get a new phone, my experience is that other people simply don't advertise it. Also note how online, anyone using an Iphone will get this advertised with "Posted via iPhone" etc (on email, Twitter, Facebook etc). This often happens with Android. But it rarely gets advertised on Nokia. (Hell, I've even seen Twitter profiles that have "iPhone" next to some people's username, as if the operating system on their phone was some badge of honour.)

So for all the people where you don't know what phone they have, chances are many of them use Nokia.

And anyhow, forget anecdotes - we can just check the market stats, and see that Nokia are still number one (sell ten times as many as Apple, last time I looked).

Joe Harrison: "Although considering how obsessed they all are currently with their I-phones and Android I wouldn't hold my breath."

Well that's the thing - the people who are obsessed with phones seem to brag about their expensive Iphones. The majority of people who buy and use phones, without getting fanatical about it, are still buying plenty from Nokia. It's no different to the people who brag about their Addidas clothes, that doesn't tell us anything about what most people actually buy.

Sony shows MacBook Air-like Vaio notebook

Mark .

Can we not get through a single tech article without the obligitary Apple comparison?

I mean, I would criticise comparing tablets to the Ipad, even if it is currently the market leader, on the grounds that articles about Apple's Iphone don't get compared to market leader Nokia, and Apple's Macs don't get compared to market leader Windows.

Yet here we have Windows PCs still being compared to ... Apple.

It's not "MacBook Air" like anymore than it's "laptop PC like".

WikiLeaks releases classified files on Guantánamo Bay

Mark .

Re: 9-11

"How about the victims of 9-11?"

I'm sure everyone here agrees that 9/11 was a terrible act.

If you're saying that Guantanamo is also a terrible act, then it seems you're in agreement with people here.

Seriously - what sort of argument is it to justify Gantanamo, by comparing it to 9/11??

Matt Bryant: "The prisoners are not uniformed combatants of a nation we are at war with, so they don't fall under the Geneva Convention."

If the Geneva Convention doesn't apply, then it's either a criminal matter, or straightforward kidnapping. The US doesn't appear to be charging these people, so...

(The point of the Geneva Convention was to give extra rights and protections. It's sad to see people use it to argue the opposite.)

Yes, they don't wear uniforms. Most people in their home country don't. Do you wear a uniform right now? Probably not. Does this mean anyone can legally and rightfully kidnap you, because the Geneva Convention doesn't apply?

Sony unwraps Android 3.0 tablet pair

Mark .

Re: Mistake #1

"Releasing the first images of a brand new device and then saying 'but the final thing will probably look different'. When did you last see Apple do that?"

Er, all the time? We get endless stories about rumours and vaporware of the Ipad, Ipad 2, 3, 4, Islate, next Iphone, Iphone 6, where all sorts of things announced are different to the final release, not just the pictures.

Apple sued over iPhone location tracking

Mark .

Re: Well said sir!

"People bang about PC security this and phone security that, but they will happily have one of those nasty little loyalty cards from TESCO or Sainsbury's and always blindingly hand it over!"

Can you prove that the people complaining about the Iphone's security, are people who also hand all their data to Tesco?

(Also, show me a Tesco card that tracks my movements.)

UK retailers reveal plans to push BlackBerry PlayBook

Mark .

The Apple defence?

Well, I think no email is bit poor. But they could always use the Apple defence when a basic feature like copy/paste, MMS, Flash or video is missing: "But why would I need that?" and "But there are other ways of doing that. Apple, sorry, RIM have a whole new paradigm of doing this. So in fact, by not having this feature, it's better!"

"Meanwhile, there's another slightly larger device thats already sold 30-40 MILLION units"

Indeed, Android is looking better.

But since when does market share really matter? For phones, you don't see Apple fans worrying about the far bigger sellers of Nokia and Android, or the fact that Nokia and RIM were around years before Apple entered late.

As for "plenty of apps", well, remind me again what Apple fans say regarding software for Mac versus Windows on the desktop?

I'm no fan of this device from RIM. But I do think it funny that we hear all these reasons to promote the Ipad, despite the fact that in every other market Apple's in, Apple fans argue the complete opposite. Suddenly things like market share, who was in the market first, features or apps, no longer matter. Which is it?

(Incidentally, RIM have sold far more than 30-40 million handheld computing devices, far more than Apple probably. This is just one of their new products.)

iPhone 5 set for shelves this September

Mark .

Didn't we already have an article yesterday?

Oh wait. That was the Iphone 6. Or was it Iphone 7?

Let's drop the daily vaporware stories. Are we going to have endless stories on how Nokia, Samsung, Dell, Asus etc may be releasing a newer version of their products, that will be slightly better than the current versions, too?

uhuznaa: Good battery life? Does it last more than a day, now? ;)

I'm still happy with my old Nokia 5800 - battery life last for days, and a higher resolution and better camera I believe than the contempary Iphone of the same era.

There isn't really much to distinguish phones these days, and whatever thing you like about Apple, there'll be people liking things about Nokia, Android manufacturers, RIM and so on.

"The current crop of Android phones is not exactly making leaps."

Nor are Apple. All phones these days are getting pretty similar, and the improvements are evolutionary. Most of the new things added in each Iphone generation were just playing catchup: 3G, video recording, video calling, multitasking, decent resolution. In some cases, even bog standard feature phones had these features years earlier, yet for Apple, they were touted as the main new features. Not exactly making leaps - please correct me if I'm wrong?

Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy look-and-feel

Mark .

re: smart move

"Although Apple's share of the smartphone handset market, isn't likely to rise - e.g. increase by 2% in the next four years, it'll be flogging 400% more phones."

No, Android outsells Apple IOS by a factor of two, that's before we look at growth.

(And it's funny how you appeal to absolute sales rather than market share changes for Apple, yet it's always the reverse when people criticise Nokia: there we've had years of moaning because they no longer dominate the market quite as much, but it's rarely pointed out that they're still number one - and in fact, still with increasing sales.)

"In one quarter last year, half the profits of the entire smartphone industry was Apple's."

So Apple sell more expensive products and make more money. Why should consumers care about that?

Imagine that in the old Mac versus Windows debates? "Oh, it doesn't matter that you think Mac is better - just look at how much money Microsoft have!" Doesn't really work, does it?

Yes, Apple make lots of money by selling expensive products to a niche. I don't think anyone disputes that - it's just most of us prefer something else.

Mark .

desktops; not just Google and Apple

Both of them look like the standard icon based displays that's been common on desktops for decades. And this is nothing new on mobile devices - my Nokia 5800 looks just the same, and predates both those phones.

"It's almost too obvious to point out that this lawsuit is yet another volley in the smartphone OS wars – a conflict that currently is being fought almost solely by Apple and Google, with Microsoft's Windows Phone involved in only a skirmish or three while it keeps its powder dry until Nokia phones based on Redmond's OS offering begin to appear, supposedly next year.

"Oh yes, and there's HP/Palm's webOS, of course, but it hasn't proven to be a threat in the smartphone market. RIM's BlackBerry OS seems to be stuck in its own niche."

Oh, and you forgot Nokia, who are only like number one, outselling Apple two to one (ten to one in phones - "smartphone" isn't well defined), and sell as much as all Android manufacturers put together. But yes, apart from that minor point, it's just Google and Apple.

(Unless you mean fights, but there have been patent wars between Nokia and Apple too.)

Westminster Abbey cashes in on Royal Wedding with ... App

Mark .

Seems fitting

A wedding that many of us don't care about.

An app only for platforms that most of us don't run.

(Well, at least they included Android, but once again, we see 3rd place Apple being catered for, whilst market leader Nokia gets ignored. Next.)

'Fierce competition' drives Apple's iPhone 6 changes

Mark .


The idea that resolution matters for the Iphone is a bit of a myth - for years, the Iphones had a dismal resolution, lower than the competition. Did Apple fans say this was a problem, or say other phones had better resolution? No, it was "Why would I need a higher resolution?" Yet along comes version 4, and suddenly having a high resolution is the most important thing in a phone.

Iphone 5? 6? 7? "New version in a few years will be better than current versions, and might implement some things that other phones already do"? All these articles are vaporware - let's hear about products that are actually available.

"yet another dull as dishwater Android handset from Samsung/LG/HTC etc etc."

Can you point me to the endless vaporware articles we get regarding speculation on future Samsung/LG/HTC products?

(Although yes, I do agree I tire of the Android versus Apple fanaticism. Most of us use neither operating system, and to me, all OSs are as good or bad as each other; it's other things like hardware, battery life, application support that are important. E.g., can either Android or Apple offer me decent mapping software that doesn't require Internet access all the time to read the maps?)

Nokia E7 Qwerty slider smartphone

Mark .

Re: as engadget, they are missing something

"but lets not ignore the ignorance of engadget or any US site regarding anything non Apple or Google."

Indeed - we should remember in general, it's hard to trust any reviewer when it comes to operating systems. If a site claimed that they'd done a review, that OS X was better than Windows, does it mean that that must be true? Or what about the reverse?

There's so much fanaticism in operating systems, even more so for phone OSs, that anything should be taken with a pinch of salt. On top of that, you've got the problem that most of the media seem to hate Nokia and love Apple (especially in the US, where Nokia have little presence, but it spreads worldwide too where Nokia are number 1).

Personally I find the Nokia 5800 browser just fine, but also have Opera too. If I had any phone, I'd still want to use Opera - so I'm glad I'm using a phone that lets me do that.

Whenever the Iphone misses a feature, it's "Why would I want to do that? There's another way to do it." Well, why not apply the same logic for Nokia? If you expect a "decent browser", well maybe I expect "decent multitasking, 3G, copy/paste, Flash, video recording, Java etc" - could I add all those in for free to any Iphone?

chuckc: "if Nokia wants to recover lost ground"

Recover what ground? They're number one, and sales have continually increased. No sales have been lost. The browser is fine. Is Windows doomed, because some people choose to use Firefox instead of IE, and think it better?

Five Hats: Good for you. I wouldn't consider phones from Apple. Different people like different phones.

DARPA wants secure Droids, iPads, iPhones

Mark .


"Specifically, your work phone will generally be a boring one: no lovely iPhone or Droid for you. Instead that badge of infamy, that infallible mark of boring corporate suitdom – the BlackBerry "

I bet you think the "PC vs Mac" ads that portrayed PCs as "boring" were good too.

I see loads of people using and having fun with Blackberrys, and I'd much rather have that than a corporate Apple phone. The claim makes no sense anyway: if Apple became the business work phone you'd be issued with, then Apple would become the "mark of boring corportae suitdom".

You can't have it both ways, and ridicule Blackberry for its association with business, but then praisr the Iphone or Ipad everytime a company considers it! By your own logic, the use of Ipads in business should mean they are now boring work devices.

I'm surprised you didn't sneak in a dig against Nokia there - your standards are slipping.

iPhone 5? You might be waiting till 2012

Mark .


See how the fans want to thumb my comment down?

Any old phone can do Internet access/apps these days, I'm not sure why that was a controversial comment. The "You need an expensive smartphone to do that" is one of the new tech myths around.

Mark .

Ordinary people already have smartphones

Just not one with an expensive Apple logo. Since over 5 years ago, phones doing Internet, mp3s, 3G and apps (and video recording/calling/playback, btw) became cheap and bog standard. It's the Iphone that had to do catchup on many of these basic features.

It is true that some Iphone users wave it around as a status symbol, it's like the Adidas of phones; personally I prefer clothes (and phones) without a big logo on them.

I was once in the pub, and two strangers interrupted a conversation on phones I was having, to say in a snooty voice "Oh, we've got Iphones. Look at how shiny and sexy it is. We don't care about open source operating systems". I mean, what the hell?

Red Dwarf to blast off on new adventure

Mark .

Specials were awful

Actually, whilst people often moan about the later series, I don't think it was all that bad. I loved the episode "Beyond a joke", as well as the three-parter of series 8. Even though it wasn't consistently as good as the earlier series, I'd still rather see more of that, than nothing at all.

But it's the 2009 specials that were dire. I think I smiled once during the entire thing. Some parts I just cringed at - the mocking of the stereotypical fan, where he recites the joke about Rimmer quoting from the regulations book; except it's not funny when people do that. And I try to forget the dire Coronation Street tie in...

Nokia gets touchy-feely with two new Symbians

Mark .

Re: Too little, too late....

Good for you. Many companies don't get any pennies from me either - does that mean I should post on every article about them, saying "Too little, too late...."?

I like Nokia phones. And judging how they're the number one phone and smartphone company, and have been for years - despite all the free hype going to Apple whilst Nokia are almost entirely ignored in the media - I guess I'm far from alone.

Binary dinosaur drive found alive and breathing fire

Mark .

Domesday project

Whilst the BBC Domesday project serves as a warning of what can go wrong with archiving digital data, this shouldn't mean that digital storing is always doomed to failure. The project failed not because it was digital, but because of stupid decisions - that should have been clear were stupid even at the start ("Yes let's make it only readable on one platform, clearly that will be around forever").

If someone today proposed storing data in a custom closed file format, on USB sticks, only readable on OS X, the pitfuls should be obvious.

It's like the original Domesday project being done by someone using a pencil to write on toilet paper, and then when the results are unreadable a few years later, proclaiming that paper is useless for storing information.

Opera uncloaks Gmail challenger from Down Under

Mark .

Competition is good

Talk about the moaners. So you think everyone should use Gmail, and it would be a Good Thing if there were no other email providers? I still use my ISPs email, is that bad too?

I'm not sure what Anton Ivanov refers to by Android tie in. Any competent phone (even my 6 year old dirt cheap feature phone that I threw away in the trash last year) can cope with any email provider.

From the point of view of POP/IMAP, they're all pretty much the same. I have to laugh when someone tries to promote Gmail based on its web interface - the bottom line is, you're still using a webmail just like Hotmail and Yahoo before it. Give me a dedicated client of my choice (separate from my choice of email provider) any day.

Christopher P. Martin: "will be mostly the domain of extreme shouty fanbois (sic) who go on about why it is better than everything else in the world eva."

Er, the only fanatics here are people moaning about how they hate a free product no one's forcing them to use (it's the same everytime we get an Opera story), and saying how Gmail is the best thing in the world ever.

"Much like the browser, I expect it will also be generally ignored and end up with a very small market share. In fact, since mid-2009 people have been ditching Opera, and the share is now flat-lining at around 2% from a high of around 3½%. Feet voting in action."

So by your logic, if market share is what counts, Internet Explorer is the best browser.

It really does infuriate you that much that someone has a different browser to you installed on their system? I'd switched to Opera from IE before Firefox even existed - long before it became trendy to do so. It's tiresome to hear the fanatics yelling about how people should switch to Firefox, when we'd started using a decent browser years earlier.

A fifth of Europeans can't work out how much a TV costs

Mark .

Reading a contract?

Well, there's having a rough idea of what you're signing. And then there's reading through 20 pages of small print, fully understanding what all the legal terms mean - and then keeping updated when they dubiously "update" the terms and conditions without your consent.

Whilst it's sad if people happily enter a contract without looking at it at all, how many of us actually read every last word?

"These days, I've seen shop assistants reach for their calculator to add a few simple numbers (both less than 20)"

I've seen Cambridge maths professors reaching for a calculator ... Using a calculator (which everyone has with them these days, even if just on a phone) isn't so bad as long as you know how to do the calculation. I fear the bigger problem here is that many people wouldn't know how to do it even with a calculator - that they wouldn't understand what percentage difference means.

US gov mulls issuing terrorist warnings on Twitter, Facebook

Mark .

Re: Orson Welles

"War of the Worlds 1938 broadcast. Lessons learned? Should be interesting to watch the reaction to these tweets. I imagine headless chickens on a grand scale"

Actually, if the UK Twitter Joke Trial is anything to go by: people on Twitter and so on will be more than capable of distinguishing fantasy/jokes from actual alerts, and it'll be the police and judges that can't tell the difference.

iPads mooted for Qantas flight manuals

Mark .

Ipad not an e-reader

Yuck, so now pilots have to be staring an LCDs? If you're going to replace paper, replace it with something at least as good.

And are they going to have to wait while the Ipad needs charging after every trip? What happens when it runs out of battery?

E-readers (which the Ipad is *not*) with e-ink technology would be the candidate to look at. Even there though, replacing paper in these situations is dubious. I don't think replacing paper makes sense until we get a technological equivalent to paper - e.g., the "electronic paper" that is being developed.

The sad thing is that even when we have electronic paper, that looks just like paper, can be rolled up, doesn't need power to update, can display colour and video - Apple will release an expensive tablet based on outdated LCD technology with an Apple logo, and still win all the hype, because "Ooh I can't play games on the electronic paper model and it isn't as reflective!"

"I guess the Kindle vs. iPad argument depends on whether or not colour and/or graphics are involved."

There should be no more a Kindle vs. Ipad argument than say, Kindle vs. Netbook, or Kindle vs. any other non-e-reader device.

The actual argument should be between Kindle vs. Sony E-reader; or E-reader vs. Paper.

F111F: If it's about the maps, Nokia have been providing offline mapping software (i.e., no network connection needed) to ordinary people since before we even started getting rumours about Apple's vaporware tablet. I don't see why it's news that Apple can now do it years later.

Facebook Comments kill web freedom

Mark .

Apple were never top in smartphones

"The cool kids of yesteryear ran Linux. Today, they boot Macs. And tomorrow their children will use the even simpler-to-use iPads and iPhones."

Well *they* may think they're cool. The rest of us don't care. Though yes, it is a depressing point to see people who once advocated the merits and openness of Linux, now waving their locked down Ipads around.

(And as others have said, since when was Linux deemed cool? Don't get me wrong, I like Linux, but I can't say being a Linux geek was ever the sort of thing you'd ever think of as fashionable or trendy.)

"Even Google's Android, which has displaced Apple at the top of the smart phone heap "

Er what? Apple were never top. It was Nokia - who are still the number one company, by the way (since Android is made up of many manufacturers). In many quarters, RIM have outsold Apple too. Even if you're just looking at the US market, RIM were the leader before Android, not Apple.

Commodore 64 revivalist posts prototype PC pics

Mark .

Re: Just one question.....

Well by that logic, why bother with any PC?

Yes this might not be anything more than a PC in a different kind of case, but that also means it's no worse than any other kind of PC in an unusual case. Do you moan about Apple too, for stuffing PCs into their "Macintosh" cases? Or all the "shuttle" and custom PC variants out there too?


Well by that logic, the Mac is dead, and Apple should stop putting PCs into their boxes.

I can see your point if you'd like to see newly manufactured Commodore 64s, identical to the original. But I don't see how the fact that we haven't got that, is an argument *against* someone else doing this. Maybe some people would love to get their hands on some original Macintoshes, but that's not a reason to moan against Apple's line of PC hardware today.

Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM's wasted R&D billions

Mark .

Let's spin it around

"Apple spend far more on M&A than Microsoft and Nokia, but what have they go to show for it? Far fewer sales than Microsoft Windows, and Nokia sells ten times as many phones as Apple."

Doesn't look so good now.

This is the other flaw - it's not like Apple are a small company. They're huge. They're one of these "tech giants" in terms of money and employees. If they spend less on R&D, they spend more elsewhere. They are just yet another big company - whether they're more successful or not is just a matter of opinion of which statistic you decide to pick.

Mark .
Thumb Down

"have virtually nothing to show for it."; Apple are decreasing too

Er what? Nothing to show except for being number one in the market (Microsoft for operating systems; Nokia for phones and smartphones).

Looking at market share is misleading when the market is increasing - Nokia are not only number one, but continue to increase their sales. But if you want to, here's a fact:

Apple's market share is decreasing!

That's right, in tablets, despite all this R&D they spend. Why don't you moan about that? Yet instead, all we hear about Apple and tablets is "Oh, they're number one, and sales are increasing". You can't have it both ways.

Yawn, another troll article.

" at least one of which could probably have come up with a better idea than dumping R&D money down the Symbian rat hole and then capitulating to a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 strategy"

A rat hole? They've sold hundreds of millions of Symbian phones - far more than Iphones. How is that any different from Apple switching from Mac OS to OS X, or PPC to x86? Were they "rat holes" too? It's only a waste if the product isn't shipped - a better example would be Apple and their flailing about with Copeland and Rhapsody, before settling on OS X.

Apple patent eyes Mac OS X tablet

Mark .

"One Mouse Button Is Better"

What I don't understand is - for years, we had claims that two mouse buttons were too complicated, and the combination of mouse button with option key press was better. But now, we're expected to believe that learning all kinds of complex multitouch gestures is better? Which is it?

If you think that explaining which mouse button to a newbie user is hard, how are you going to explain complex gestures? Especially say, over a phone or in a written article? No. Whilst some simple multitouch features are useful (the scroll and zoom gestures to replace mouse wheels), a well designed UI doesn't need anything more complex.

I was using workspaces on the Amiga years before Apple thought of them. Didn't need any multitouch for that.

Dell, HP badmouth Apple's iPad

Mark .

What about Apple?

Well, it's obviously not news that other companies criticise competing products. But how is that any different to Apple? Indeed, their advertising campaigns are usually centred around moaning about flaws in Windows or "PCs".

As for making predictions - let's not remember that Apple became more popular by dropping their OS, then switching to x86. It seems those who stated flaws in Macs and 68k/PPC were quite right; Apple survived not by selling Macs, but by becoming a PC seller.

"Iphones and ipads are the same lock in strategy but covered up by being revolutionary and first to market. Coupled with perfect use of free news media to boost hype and desireability."

They're not at all first to market - the Iphones nowhere near. But yes, they do have the overwhelming free advertising and hype from the media, which comes even before the products are officially announced, let alone released.

"If most people had the choice, they'd buy a Mac."

No, they wouldn't. Not to mention that ignoring price doesn't make sense. You're basically saying "If the things that people didn't like about Macs were fixed, people would buy Macs." Yes thank you for pointing out the obvious - the same would apply to any make of PC.

"There was a report done a year or so ago (since when Apple's share has only grown) that stated that Apple took 90% of money on all computers over $1000. So, it would appear that when people do have the choice, they buy Mac."

No, it doesn't prove that at all. Just because some people spend more on them, doesn't mean we all would like them better. All it shows is Apple are expensive.

(Not to mention the condtradiction that people say Apple aren't expensive - which is it?)

"He's probably bitching that it doesn't come with a stylus, either."

I much prefer the option of a stylus on my phone. A shame they've all gone to rubbish capacitive.

My Taptu

Mark .

Re: rival equivalent

Indeed, I read these and then download the Nokia equivalent. At least they review Iphone stuff though - a shame they miss out the leading smartphone platform. (And where's Blackberry too? It's at least as big as the Iphone.)

Vote compass unmasks Canadian political opinion

Mark .

Re: Politics...

"Even *if* the political spectrum really is a Left-Right one-dimensional line, then it's a line bent into a circle where the ultra-extreme Left and ultra-extreme Right join into an indistinguishable evil smudge on the fabric of humanity."

Well that's the exact point being made here - to be meaningful, you need at least 2 dimensions. They consider left/right only in the pure economic sense of the word. In your example, both Stalin and Hitler ran authoritarian societies, so were not at opposite ends.

Stop sexing up IT and give Civil Servants Macs, says gov tech boss

Mark .


I was amused at this news - criticising expensive projects, but then it turns out he wants them to all use Apple (not to mention criticising Free Software) (and even if we ignore the premium of Apple; simply changing all the hardware would cost loads). Also with the complaints about "sexing" up IT - yet the thing that fans say about Apple products is they're good because of how "sexy" and "shiny" they are...

At the end of the day, Apple are just yet another PC company these days. As good as any other. But I'd be wary if someone suggests everyone should use products from one company, just because that's what he has at home. Stay open minded, and pick the best tool for the job.

Andy E: "Personally I have a MacBook Pro that is used for Office, web browsing and e-mail. It's over 5 years old and will probably last at least another couple of years before the 2GB of memory can't cope with the demands of the software. A usable lifetime of 7 years is not bad for a laptop. ... Laptop PC's that I have had have only lasted about three years. The processors have been underpowered for the later releases of Windows and memory expansion has been limited."

Not true at all. Surely you could get other 2GB laptop PCs in the same timeframe that Apple were selling their 2GB laptop PCs? Even bottom of the range PC laptops had 1GB back in 2006. And Windows 7 works fine on my 1GB netbook; 2GB would be ample.

In fact, given that 1GB is fine for me on Windows, whilst you're considering that even 2GB won't be enough in a couple of years, I think that's telling.

Apple sues Amazon over 'App Store' name

Mark .

"mobile software developer program"

I love how Apple manage to avoid saying "Amazon's app store" - so I guess Apple think the generic term should be "mobile software developer program", despite the fact that no one in their right mind would use such a term? It doesn't even make sense - I'm not buying from a program, and "developer" implies it's only for developers, not customers.

I also note how the media have happily been referring to the store as an "app store" (e.g., http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12119509 ), because that's what it is.

"Unlike Google's marketplace, which lets developers list any application after paying a fee"

Really? Nokia's app store is only 1 euro - how much do Google charge?

Lewis Mettier, the Fake: "Apple simply got there first, just as they created the smartphone market"

Er, no they didn't.

"Was the smartphone market anywhere near what it became after the iPhone?"

I'm not sure what you mean. The phone market has been growing continuously, so obviously it is larger now than it was years ago, but that is no more down to the original Iphone, than any other phone. A simple glance at market figures shows that other companies (e.g., Nokia) have consistently outselled Apple, even in the ill-defined "smartphone" category, so the increase in market _can't_ be primarily due to Apple, because other companies have been selling even more.

"The Apple Lisa was first commercially sold personal computer to have a GUI."

Even if that was true (it isn't), the Iphone wasn't anywhere near the first commercially sold smartphone. If you're trying to claim that it should be labelled "first" because of some unknown quality, I might as well say AmigaOS was "first" with a GUI, because the Amiga was much more affordable than anything from Apple.

It's the Apple definition of "first" - "first", if we ignore all that came before. Next you'll be telling me they had the first computer without floppy drive, or first 64 bit personal computer.

"Like in the recent announcement of 8000% growth in data traffic at AT&T since the launch of the iPhone"

So Iphone users sit on Facebook all day, and the Iphone apps guzzle data in the background. I'm not sure why that's a good thing. My Nokia is more intelligent with its network usage - e.g., allowing maps to be downloaded and stored on the phone.

"1-Click or Windows are also a common English terms."

I don't think Windows should be trademarked either - and they lost the initial case against Lindows. If someone took them to court, they might well lose.

Sean Baggaley 1: "If you file a patent or a trademark, the onus is on YOU to police it."

The point is that they shouldn't be trying to trademark it at all.

"So why not "Amazon App Market"?"

Why not "Apple App Store"? People aren't copying Apple - they're using the generic term for the thing being described. If that's not "app store", then come on, tell me what the correct term is?

MeeGo or MS? Nokia ponders tablet OS

Mark .

Missed the boat? They're already number one in mobile Internet/app handheld devices

Nokia had non-phone tablets years ago (N800), it's just that more recently they've gone back to focusing on smartphone tablets. By this logic, it would be like Apple "missed the boat" because their tablet came later than Nokia's. And indeed, we could say the same for smartphones, which Apple entered the market far later.

But that's silly - tablets from years ago are no competition for tablets today. Similarly, it makes no sense that Nokia have missed the boat simply because they don't have a non-phone tablet out today but might release one in future.

But it's not just the "missed the boat" comment on an otherwise good article that makes no sense - it's the "yet again". Which other markets have they missed the boat on? Agreed they've had some lack of success (e.g., the attempts to move into handheld console devices), but so have many other companies. This doesn't stop them being the most successful phone and smartphone company, for years.

I love the spin between the two companies:

In smartphones, Nokia were in the market years before Apple, and were and are the number one company, with increasing sales. Do we hear "Apple missed the boat"? No, all we hear is doom and gloom about the falling market share.

In non-phone tablets, Apple's market share is falling, and predicted to fall further. Do we hear doom and gloom about that? No, for Apple all we hear is about them being number one and with increasing sales, and how other companies have "missed the boat".

You can't have it both ways.

Amazon is best hope of a viable alternative to iPad

Mark .

Re: Which is probably why you are not a developer

"What about that nail-biting wait after making anything - if the customer doesn't approve of it."

Most people have more than one potential customer. The whole problem here is placing your dependency not on other companies (which is fair enough), but solely on one company, Apple.

Peter H. Coffin: You get an even huger market with Nokia and Android (each), together with mature and stable SDK, luxurious developer support, and delivery and payment mechanisms part of the package.

ratfox: By this logic, no one would write anything for Windows. Anyhow, debugging isn't a problem - with Nokia, I can remote test my app for free on any Nokia device. Apple have something like this too, right?

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019