* Posts by ThomH

2518 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Sarah Palin calls for US to stand by North Korea

ThomH Silver badge

Leave Nixon out of this

He may have conspired to pervert the course of justice (and quite probably wasn't entirely mentally sound) but he ended the war in Vietnam and began normalisation of relations with China. It's unlikely that anybody even slightly more liberal would have been able to retain any sort of political power even just for visiting a communist country. Even pre-Republican wave Clinton gave him a decent eulogy.

Apple accused of iPhone ban on 'all single-station radio apps'

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On the contrary, the original post opens "Honestly, with growing examples of this, it's a wonder any developer wants to take the risk on the platform." — it therefore takes one factor in the decision process and proceeds to a conclusion with no further evidence. The post alone doesn't make a complete argument and I guess that somebody (not me, by the way) didn't like that.

If I were to suggest that because Oracle are suing Google over Java, it's a wonder any developer wants to take a risk on the platform then I would much more obviously be talking biased rubbish but would have stated exactly as much of an argument.

Dell Duo to debut in December

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One question that we do know the answer to

"Can a 1.5Ghz Atom run Windows 7 acceptably?"

Apple I goes for twice the price of an Enigma

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As above

Reread the article. Bids on the intimate notes went significantly higher than those on the electronic tinkering.

ThomH Silver badge

It didn't go for more than the Turing papers

Highest bid on the Turing papers: £240,000

Highest bid on the Apple 1: £133,250

The Turing papers had a higher than £240,000 reserve, so weren't sold. The Apple did sell.

I can't comment on scarcity, but I'd also imagine that an Engima machine that's "has had some restoration" is worth less than one that was still all original. Especially as there seem to be surprisingly many of the things about — at least in comparison to Apple 1s.

Personally, I'd still pay more for the Enigma.

Android flaw poses drive-by data slurp risk

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Is anybody talking about Apple?

I really don't see how Apple are at all relevant to this discussion. I can also think of other major OS owners that admit defects, making this not refreshing or different at all. Microsoft are one such.

Apple MacBook Air 11.6in sub-notebook

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... at £850, the cheapest MacBook Air is only £10 less than double the price of the cheapest iPad.

iOS 4.2: An 'ace' for iPad, a 'meh' for iPhone

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You're out of date

Apple did charge for iPod updates in the past on the cited grounds of accounting regulations. They've subsequently said that they've found an accounting way to avoid having to do that. iPod owners have received recent major version upgrades for free, just like iPad owners.

Twitter 'martyr' takes airport joke case to High Court

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I really don't think he is going to the High Court

The High Court is a court of first instance for sufficiently important civil cases and may hear appeals from county courts (which are also purely civil). It doesn't hear criminal cases.

iOS 4.2 multi-tasking comes to the iPad

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On the other hand...

Apple's multitasking tablet is still on the market before most of the big name competitors and they've managed to grab a 95% market share from their eight months on the market so far.

But I'm sure things would have been better if they'd done them your way around.

Orange teases with cut-price iPad offer

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Apple always support at least the current and previous generation device

So I'd suggest your definition of a legacy device is someone excessive. At any point that you buy an iOS device, you're guaranteed at least a year of software support from Apple — which is a year more than 99% of other phone manufacturers. Though it's difficult to guess what the other tablet manufacturers will do.

ThomH Silver badge


I'd guess that this is the same as all the operators that'll give a free XBox, PS3, television or whatever. The calculation is that they'll still make a profit (probably on an individual basis, definitely over the whole group) even if you cancel in very short order.

Top Ten Arcade Classics

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It was Toki! Also pretty much the only decent platform game for the Atari Lynx.

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Its not exactly the game

But it sounds like it may have been the inspiration for Acornsoft's Alien Dropout (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kdKw4q2YQY) — not sure if that's a helpful clue?

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Nobody else for Puzzle Bobble?

No, nobody? Bubble Bobble then?

Fine, I'll line up in the 'Robotron was robbed' line.

Apple to give away iPhone tracking tech

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Nope, sorry

The simulator can't download applications.

Why Microsoft is Acorn and Symbian is the new CP/M

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I know people that want an Android phone

I mean normal, non-technical people. Reasons tend to be that they're cheap, have a pretty good browser and can run Angry Birds.

The article doesn't seem to discuss the way that this market differs from that of the 80s: the increasing delivery of functionality through browsers. If you bought an MSX then you were in an entirely different ecosystem to someone with a Commodore 64. But if you buy an Android phone then you're probably going to use it to interact with 80% of the same material as someone with an iPhone. Ditto a bada, webOS or Windows 7 phone.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet

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Both copied Delicious Library

Or possibly a real bookshelf.

Steve Jobs no longer Eggman as Beatles hits iTunes

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And they don't even have to try

In this case all they did was replace the front page on their website for 24 hours. That's what really galls.

ThomH Silver badge

A good day to bury indifferent news

A future royal wedding, a photographer off the public service payroll, The Beatles on iTunes. I know the phrase usually implies that there's some big news to mask the other stuff, but today I think the whole edifice is self burying — if there was one thing happening that it was difficult to care about rather than three then I'd probably at least try to consider it objectively. As it is, I think I'll just stick with the usual thoughts about things that are actually relevant to me.

Apple readies iTunes for Beatles juice, says report

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Similarly relevant possible announcements

Apple to buy a newspaper! And to set up a phone number you can call to get cinema listings! They're putting a 6502 coprocessor in every Mac! They're adding Snake as a built-in app to the iPhone! iWork is finally going to be able to open WordStar documents, with most formatting correct!

World's most advanced rootkit penetrates 64-bit Windows

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You fell for semantics

All Jobs has ever said is that Macs don't have any viruses since OS X. And he hasn't said that in a while. It's the people with vested interests who have extrapolated this to argue that the OS has no security holes.

Apple last released a security update on the 12th, admitting to the need for 100+ security patches. That was the seventh security update this year.

Generally the argument tends to be one side claiming the OS is uncrackable, the other arguing that it's just that nobody can be bothered cracking it. The reality is probably in between. See the fantastic run of 64bit Windows for evidence that mere market share does not determine the number of successful attacks, see the existence of a few bits of known Mac malware, all of them based on social engineering, for evidence that the OS at least isn't a Windows 95 knockover.

Dixons drops exclusive Toshiba Android tablet

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@Geoff Campbell

That's really odd. Though maybe Dixons are like the phone shop you attempted, and have come to the conclusion that they need to drop the price because sales are lower than expected — never mind that it's only because every time someone tries to buy one some sales idiot obstructs them. Which obviously isn't the case on Amazon.

ThomH Silver badge

This is the real reason for Internet shopping?

At least for electricals. It's absurd that someone can walk into a phone shop and ask for a product that is available subsidised on mobile phone networks, then be unable to obtain that product rather than a similar one they don't want that isn't available subsidised.

Still, the £999.99 possibly saved you an error?

Apple, Oracle air-kiss their way to OpenJDK deal for Mac OS X

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So the rule is...

... if you can download it from the Apple App Store, you can definitely run it. I don't see how that's a bad thing. In fact, I think it's probably the only rational way to run a consumer facing store.

This story clearly states: "Now it turns out Java developers are invited to the Mac Apps Store party, after all." and mentions that Java will remain in OS X for the next few years. Lots of time for someone to create a packager that bundles a JVM with an app.

ThomH Silver badge

@Trevor Pott

Your argument doesn't support your conclusion. One company — Oracle — now controls the progress and ongoing availability of Java across Windows, OS X and Linux.

The only flaw in Apple's transition from supplying Java as part of the OS to the Oracle version being supplied has been a few weeks of uncertainty. Conversely, Microsoft's (with Sun) involved a protracted court battle and a pitched war for hearts and minds.

Supposing you don't trust Oracle, all non-Oracle Java implementations share the distinction of originating from the UNIX-associated world. Of Windows, OS X and Linux, only one is notably not even attempting to be a UNIX. Conversely, only OS X is a fully certified UNIX.

Since you don't claim any unique feelings about any of the big commercial companies, we can rule out any distinction in your judgment between how Microsoft and Apple will act in the future.

Therefore, the conclusion that you need to warn your customers off Apple only is untenable if the rest of your arguments are taken at face value.

ThomH Silver badge

Probably shows either...

... that OS X is now sufficiently established that Apple are confident that Java will be delivered without them having to do it themselves, or that OS X is now sufficiently minor in their product line up that they're not that bothered if entrusting someone else to deliver Java backfires. Or, I guess, that the c.2000 guess that Java was going to be big on the desktop as soon as it was done well enough didn't pan out.

In any case, I think perhaps you've misunderstood the motivation of many of the posters, here on the Internet. They made up their mind about companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft long ago and the actual content of the stories doesn't really have a bearing on what they post.

Fanbois howl as OS X update bricks PGPed Macs

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Except that seeing the Geniuses is free

And, where possible, the fixes they perform are free. They're one of the reasons that Apple always tops customer service satisfaction polls.

Not sure how likely they are to play the "it's third party software, you deal with it" card though.

'Superb' Apple 1 on the block for £100k-£150K

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My understanding is that...

... ENIAC was Turing complete, whereas Collosus wasn't. Though that would make it "the world's first Turing complete electronic computer", both electronic and Turing complete having already been done elsewhere.

Android bugs let attackers install malware without warning

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Expecting to incur the wrath of the rabid gang, I think an issue may be that Apple, Microsoft and Palm all have tight control over software updates in the sense that they can publish an update and be confident it'll be available to all users almost immediately. Google are in the unfortunate position that they don't control software updates further down the channel. So the position is, for many Android phones, that the source code is available allowing people an extra means to find one or more of the many faults that are all but unavoidable in a project of that size, but that pushing fixes is extraordinarily difficult. Look at the number of handsets for which manufacturers have so far failed to supply 2.2. Even high profile devices like the Galaxy S have yet to receive it (next week, apparently), though it hit the Nexus One in June.

iPhones go on gobbling mobile sales

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Being extremely generous,

I've decided that the author just thinks that, being a report about physical products sold, manufacturers are more interesting than software stacks.

What effect Android is having on smartphones versus feature phones would be interesting. Forget the high end stuff where Android also plays and iOS plays exclusively, to what extent has Android put smartphones into the same price categories and so into the hands of the same consumers as feature phones?

iPhone 4: the best built smartphone...

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@Tony Chandler

Shush! You're ruining their straw men.

Amazon awards self slimmer slice of newspaper pie

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Yes, you can

But if you're not willing to accept remote content kill switches then you'd also better avoid Android and iOS phones.

In the 1984 case, Amazon had supplied content they didn't have a licence to supply — a free edition had been uploaded in a country where it is out of copyright (Australia, I think?) and then offered for download in a country where it remains in copyright (the US). That's unlikely to occur with newspaper content.

The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

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And in real space, too

NASA sent a Mac Portable into space for one of their missions - check YouTube for the video evidence. Since it has a mechanical eject floppy mechanism like all Macs of the era, they seem to be having some fun with it in zero gravity.

iPhone glitch gets US fanbois up on wrong side of bed

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It's strongly implied in this case...

... that the periodic alarm sounds at 24 hour intervals irrespective of the length of the day in between or whether the time it is now sounding at matches the time it represents itself as sounding at. So I'd imagine that setting the clock within the double hour or missing hour wouldn't be that interesting.

Still though, this is really basic stuff. I don't see how it can be portrayed as anything other than extremely embarrassing for Apple.

Apple’s iPad lead will face pressure from Google and Nokia

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Don't worry, they paid for them

"iPad’s honeymoon will be shorter than iPhone’s."

The current exchange rate is one buzzword for two definite articles. By sticking with the amateurish prose of an American blogger elsewhere, lots of extra buzzwords became within budget.

iTunes App Store sprouts 'Hall of Fame'

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It would be interesting to know...

... whether Angry Birds produces more average revenue per user on Android (where it's free but includes adverts, albeit very unobtrusively) or iOS (59p, no adverts).

Apple signs Xserve death warrant

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On reflection

Since relevance correlates with newsworthiness, I think there's good evidence to raise a presumption that Apple are relevant on the desktop.

It'd be extraordinarily difficult to argue that they're relevant in the server space. Given the number of iPod socks they've sold, they're probably more relevant in clothing.

Clive Sinclair unveils 'X-1' battery pedalo bubble-bike

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A high chance of theft?

It looks like it'd be impossible to chain to anything or otherwise lock up. Draw your own conclusions as to the effect its looks may have on people wanting to steal it.

Android wins devs' hearts and minds

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Planned for though, surely?

Apple can't have thought they'd be ahead forever, given that their sales are up 95% year-on-year, they're unable to meet demand and they're still less than 4% of the total mobile phone market. Is it possible that the iPhone is here to stay but more like the Mac (ie, a highly profitable niche) rather than an iPod (ie, the dominant player)? Or maybe Apple are just focussed purely on new products from now on? Launch the iPhone, dominate the market for four years, launch the iPad, hopefully dominate that market for a few more years, etc?

Android has done incredibly well, especially given the logistics involved, and Google should be applauded. The OS may not be as open as some people would like (in the sense of being able to contribute to it, being able to put it on any device with all the Google apps and the marketplace) but it's easy to fork if Google ever become an actual problem.

Toshiba ships Folio Android tablet

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"less functional"

Should be "less featured", surely? You seem to be conflating how many ports a device has with how well it can do things. Forget the operating systems and the hardware vendors, the latter is primarily defined by available application software.

What? It was for comical effect? What?

Zuckerberg: the iPad 'is not mobile'

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The theory is...

... that a native app better fits the native user interface paradigms (eg, most iOS apps are navigated as a sort of branching decision tree, whereas web pages tend to have a much more vague hierarchy), and can make better use of local resources. Of course, the point is largely moot if the initial thing was a web page that already fits quite well on the screen.

Quite often they're just a bad idea though. For the worst of both worlds see the Ars Technica app that just launched (http://itunes.apple.com/app/ars-technica/id393859050?mt=8 — and don't worry, Apple don't springboard you straight into loading iTunes with links like that any more). It's basically an HTML viewer that justifies itself on its offline reading capabilities. However, it attempts to ape normal iPad controls in HTML (for portability to other future tablets) and gets most of them quite wrong while also performing very poorly. So the app is a lot worse than the web experience, giving it a 1.5 star average at present on the US store.

Deciding they need an app, doing it in HTML and making it a much poorer user experience than just using the device's web browser has to be the epitome of poor app strategy.

Flash video comes to iPhone, iPad (kinda)

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@petur, don't believe the hype

Firstly, Apple doesn't violate anything. It has been granted the licence to distribute VLC in exactly the manner it does. The question is whether the VLC developer who granted Apple that licence violated the GPL by doing so. Apple explicitly aren't implicated.

Secondly, there isn't agreement amongst the other VLC developers that distributing VLC via the app store is contrary to the licence. See http://mailman.videolan.org/pipermail/vlc-devel/2010-November/077457.html — "tl;dr version: lawyers are boring, FSF is FUDing, AppStore terms have changed, answer is not simple."

ThomH Silver badge

The counter argument would be

That rather than allow Adobe to hold the title, Apple have decided they'll be technology gatekeepers instead. In terms of attempted control I don't see either as better than the other — the real story being that the whole market is benefitting from the clash of the gatekeepers.

Mac market share slips worldwide

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Oh, go on then, I'll bite

More likely to be on Jobs' mind: iPhone sales are up 95% year on year. If he worries about them at all, then probably the observation that the lion's share of Android growth is at the expense of RIM and Symbian makes him feel better.

Or, given that it's a business, if we expand to look at all mobile phones rather than just smartphones (putting all of the iPhone, Android, etc in a tiny minority position), then Apple's ability to wring a 39% of all industry profits from just 2.8% market share probably makes him able to sleep at night.

Further entries at the wafer-think profit end of the market are unlikely to worry him, as are your invented or misunderstood statistics. Per the NPD press release used by this story (http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_101101.html): "Apple iOS held relatively steady versus last quarter, rising one percentage point to 23 percent;". That's up 1% from 22% share last year. They most recently commented on the Mac in May as far as I can make out, reporting that Mac sales were up 39% year on year for January and February (secondary source only, sorry: http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/15/npd-mac-sales-up-39-percent-in-january-and-febuary-as-ipod-sale/).

So, the headline is: in the real world, more than one technology-deliminated group can do well at the same time. Who'd have thought it?

Apple shrinks Mac Mini price

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I think this one's only from June

Well, Wikipedia thinks that anyway. Which would make a refresh unlikely, and in any case Apple seem to be sticking with basically these specs for their physically tiny machines across the board. The choice of CPU is all to do with space, heat and Intel's bundling of CPUs and GPUs if you believe Ars, but I don't suspect that's much consolation.

ThomH Silver badge

They seem to have had a price cut too

The Dell Zino now starts at £329, including VAT. Then the next model up is £429, which gets you an extra gigabyte of memory and a 20" monitor.

Without knowing Apple's motivation for the small price reduction, I don't think you could argue that it puts them within the realm of low cost computing.

First official HTML5 tests topped by...Microsoft

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The ribbon, of course

I suspect they'll never give up that one.

Me? I'm most impressed that IE9 is, per the tests, more conformant to the canvas spec that Safari.

Microsoft holds Androids hostage in open source wars

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@AC, Renalto

Your points would appear to be contradicted by Apple's ongoing employment of Chris Lattner to construct Clang and LLVM — a new compiler system designed to replace GCC on the basis that it's now an extremely convoluted and difficult codebase. Or, rather, LLVM was a research project designed to work as a back-end to GCC that was open source already and came with Chris Lattner when he gained employment at Apple. During his time at Apple, manifold issues with the GCC front end have led to the development and open source release of Clang, a purely Apple-originated codebase that they have voluntarily released as open source software and which is likely to cross pollinate to other platforms and targets. And this is all since the launch of the iPhone.

You can easily argue that Apple are an overall negative force without having to deny them any positive effect on anything.

ThomH Silver badge

Except that Apple aren't a fully closed shop

See WebKit, which is there's originally and to which they are still a major contributor. If you want, see it embedded in the default browser on your Android phone. Or on the desktop in the Google Chrome browser.

If you don't like that, maybe Apple's contributions to GCC are more to your liking? Actually that's a bit fusty, but they're pretty much bankrolling Clang on their own and making substantial contributions to LLVM. Their desktop kernel is also open source, though nobody much uses it. And they drafted the OpenCL specification before submitting it and handing full control to Kronos.

Per their own site, 200+ open source projects ship with OS X, but I'm completely unable to tell you which others, if any, they've contributed to.

You'd be hard pressed to argue they're more open than closed or even close to parity, but I'd dispute 'fully' (especially when written in all caps).

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