* Posts by robin thakur 1

104 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

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Apple hurls out patches for dozens of security holes in iOS, macOS

robin thakur 1

Re: Credit to Apple, At least they do updates.

I did the same and went back to iOS. Whenever an OTA update came out on my old Android phones (rooted) if you clicked on yes to install it bricked the phones and the firmware needed reflashing and restoring (if the backup worked!).

It was at this point you realized that a phone these days isn't a cool piece of kit for tinkering with but a bloody necessity which you can't be without for 3 hours while it reflashes/restores...

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UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

robin thakur 1

Re: Stereotypes

To discuss his points sensibly, if I as a mixed race person you watch this type of advert in London and 90% of the people around you are non white, then this racial mix is representative. If you live outside a metropolitan area and see the same racial mix when 99% of the people around you are white British it just looks like odd, multi-cultural agenda based adverts. In certain areas I've been I've found adverts really jarring that contain white people because 99.9% of people walking past were not white and the ad is pretty much irrelevant to them. Therefore, in conclusion his point is not necessarily racist it's just what he's used to.

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robin thakur 1

Re: The only stereotypes left

I was outraged last time I was in Boots and asked (as a man) for some skin concealer and skin highlighter and was served sensibly by a charming head-scarved lady without any form of outrage or homophobia. I mean WTF? I was quite disappointed really.

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robin thakur 1

Re: This is a bad thing

This falls down the trap of saying that "'stupid' people shouldn't vote because they don't vote they way we want them to/the way they are meant to". It's patronising and false. Same with Trump and Brexit. Perhaps they have different priorities to you, or perhaps they see the truth and it is you that is taken in by lies, it's certainly not black and white. It's not very smart for example, if you know that the vast majority of the public is more stupid than the thickest person you've ever personally encountered, not to tailor an election/referendum campaign towards them, because they have the numbers advantage.

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robin thakur 1

Re: Enough "PC", already!

I completely agree. I find the affirmative action taking place at the moment (because that is what it most closely resembles) with respect to diversity, trans rights and women's equality, have come to dominate all spheres of life and particularly the news. Every other story on the BBC et al is about women being seemingly disadvantaged or outraged at something, students protesting sombreros on campus, trans people's journeys to becoming accepted or gay rights (I belong to this group but even I find the constant stream of mainstream news about it slightly tiresome). For people living outside the metropolitan areas which normalize such thinking, this cacophony of urban grief and twitter character assassination seems utterly alien, selective and off-putting.

Yes these things are of slight importance, but this culture of blame, entitlement, victimhood and needing to constantly share everything with everybody for validation is actually starting to change human civilization and development...and not for the better.

The 'beach-body ready' advert wasn't particularly offensive, any more than Calvin Klein men's underwear adverts and Vogue are. There's nothing wrong with having a body image to aspire to, in fact this has been the case since Ancient Greece, and the only difference here was that it targeted women with a very large picture of the model and many chose to get offended on behalf of women. Some people can achieve the look through genetics/training and some won't. Some people are "pretty/handsome" in society's view and some aren't. Some simply are simply feeble-minded mouth breathers. There's no point complaining that advertising companies don't hire a plus size or obese model to advertise an aspirational slimming plan, because it wouldn't sell well and the agency would get fired.

Nothing is stopping you going to the beach if you are of the larger disposition, just don't be surprised if Greenpeace show up and start throwing buckets of water over you and trying to roll you back into the water.

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UK government's war on e-cigs is over

robin thakur 1

Re: Jesus, NO!

I have asthma, used to smoke and now vape, and vaping does still trigger asthma actually, though not as badly as cigarettes used to.

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Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word

robin thakur 1

Re: Microsoft 365?

We had a regional outage on authentication in Azure which borked up not just the SharePoint Online and Dynamics/Office365 access but also our on-prem stuff as that uses AAD in the authentication stage as well via ADFS. This was not reported on the Health page in Office 365 and were it not for an embedded MS employee that alerted us we'd have been none the wiser. This seems almost like a tactic of MS's to avoid people noticing what the real uptime is. If it only reports system-wide outages, that's not really being transparent is it?

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

robin thakur 1

Credit where credit's due

MS has done a good job recently with Surface after the disasters that typified the device before SP3. They've created quality built, interesting form factors and wacky accessories which genuinely interest people (though not always enough to buy them) like the endearingly pointless yet futuristic Surface Dial and they have courted the creative market as well as the business market well. They also have listened to the criticism of previous devices and responded well. If you take the SP 2017, battery life is now amazing in most scenarios and the pen is really good.

Lappability will always be precarious, it's just the nature of a kickstand device. The price will always be high as this is a machine of almost Apple-like quality using premium materials and design intended to almost be a reference Microsoft device, and you do get what you pay for despite what some people think. Microsoft don't want it to be the cheapest option, that's what put people off of the PC market to begin with...cheap plastic sh*te from Acer (amongst others) with too many corners cut and filled to the brim with bloatware and stickers.

Not having a viable mobile option on MS is a massive, massive mistake on MS's part though, which makes people reluctant to get into the Windows ecosystem unless they have to for business and threatens to make them simply irrelevant in the future from a consumer standpoint. I personally own a SP3 and have had good use out of it as a business device but would have gone back to the MacBook pro if it wasn't so wallet bustingly expensive now, so that my phone and laptop were from the same ecosystem. Upgrading to SP 2017 is similarly expensive for the model I want though, so will probably bite the bullet and get the MBP as I miss the bigger screen and the proper Apple feel. £2000 for a convertible laptop (with all the accessories I need, even one as nice as the Surface feels at least twice what it should cost.

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In the week Uber blew up, Netflix restates 'No brilliant jerks' policy

robin thakur 1

In theory it all sounds like a lovely Utopia. However, reading between the lines, it basically means free overtime for the company as everybody is too scared to do the hours they are paid to do, lest they not be seen as a team player with a good attitude. Plus lots of people like Sushi and big parties, there's nothing wrong with that, and Netflix certainly makes enough money to afford both.

Not everybody is nice all the time, it's not how humans work and I can't imagine anything worse than working amongst a sea of fake smiles and fake niceness especially if it's being enforced by HR. Besides which, for example, though it might be a stereotype, the sort of person who makes a brilliant developer is the sort of person who spends all their time coding, to the detriment of social connections in the real world, and they aren't going to be that well adjusted 99% of the time, in my experience.

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Wowee, it's Samsung's next me-too AI gizmo: The Apple HomePod

robin thakur 1

Re: Second Home?

I beg to differ, when controlling stuff via Homekit (and the Homebridge I've installed on Raspberry Pi to bridge devices which do not offer Homekit compatibility such as Nest and Logitech's awfully supported devices) Siri understands me 99.9% of the time and I can control it via Watch or iOS. By contrast Alexa understands me only some of the time and isn't as responsive or accurate.

Nothing is more annoying than saying "Alexa turn on the master Bedroom Lights to 50% brightness" and it waiting 5 seconds before saying "I couldn't find a group or devices called turn on the masterbedroomlights in your account" or "Philips Hue isn't responding right now"

However, when I ask Siri to do it, it works first time, every time (most of the time) plus I can tell it to change the colour to anything and it will just do it with panache. Echo by contrast just won't do that properly unless you save the colours as a scene, then resync, then chant while the planets are in alignment, then repeat until it sometimes works.

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Apple gives world ... umm ... not much new actually

robin thakur 1

It is a pretty limited use case indeed. As snazzy and interesting as the colour dial thingy looks in MS's PR videos I can't really see many people using them because designers don't really like to change their workflows especially not to something which is proprietary and new fangled (unless Apple release it)

Microsoft having suddenly decided to start targeting creatives post SP3 with more useful pens and the dial thing and it is viewed skeptically by most. As somebody else noted above, touching the main screen is still a big no-no in design circles and you can add Cintiqs and Wacom pen Tablets to any computer which will work a lot better in a way that the industry has been using for decades and is a known quantity...

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Bixby bailout: Samsungers bailing on lame-duck assistant

robin thakur 1

Re: But...

Erm, except that everybody knows that Google makes all the money from most Android phones being used, with the hardware overpriced and devaluing to hardly anything in a very short time indeed. Samsung as a premium maker is in a position to make more profit than most due to it's high RRP, lack of competition and suite of expensive accessories, but it's no Apple. It must irk Samsung that whenever they try Apple's strategy it always goes down in flames, sometimes literally.

No matter if it's Air Scrolling, S-Voice, Bixby, Tizen, Heart Rate monitoring, Knox, Group Play it's always so utterly useless that people just turn the feature off. The problem comes when you can't turn off or override the Samsung feature because it is locked down to prevent you using the Google alternative. E.g. on my S7 Edge I couldn't use the Google dictation, it would constantly disable itself on the Google Keyboard, and "OK Google" didn't work reliably unless the phone screen was on, and the edge screen was the most annoyingly pointless things I'd ever used. Basically, I had actively paid more to have a worse experience than I would have with some no name, landfill Chinese brand.

For as long as I can remember, most Samsung owner complaints have always been about Samsung's useless software. On the TV side, they only compete in software with Sony, LG and Panasonic, who are also fairly clueless about UI design but on the phone side, they have to compete, not only with the big beast Apple but also now, the PixelPhone. That's assuming they don't drop their own ball with exploding phones, inaccessible finger print readers, or overly fragile glass.

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robin thakur 1

Re: But...

The sort of customers that buy iPhones also buy Samsung's S series and Note series though. people that pay £6-900+ per phone. I think to can Bixby before it's even released would be a verrrryy embarrassing climb-down for Samsung, given them stressing that they have "thousands" of people working on it. Similar things happened with their Tizen OS phones, though at least Tizen is on their TV's to recoup some of the R&D.

From a consumer's perspective though, who on earth would rather have Samsung Pay over Android Pay, and Bixby over the Google Assistant? A robust Siri re-launch might make Samsung consider that Bixby, far from being a positive is actually quite a big negative to selling a premium phone when it could just have Google Assistant (or whatever it's called this week) and people would be happier. Nobody wants to pay extra for something shitter than the competition; just ask Apple back when the first version of Apple maps came out...

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How the Facebook money funnel is shaping British elections

robin thakur 1

Re: Conservatives and Face-de-bouc

Sorry but if you're easily led, emotive and to be frank, rather thick, don't be surprised that unscrupulous types will try and take advantage of you from both sides of the political spectrum. It's not undemocratic if they all do it, nor is it mind control, brainwashing etc. you can just stop reading it and close your personal data harvesting...err I mean Facebook...account and live a perfectly fulfilling life. All FB and Twitter and the rest really do is make you angry at the end of the day, though not everybody will admit it.

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robin thakur 1

Re: Conservatives outspent Lib Dems 55:1.

That's not exactly hard, who on earth gives money to the Lib Dems? I'm a happy member of the Conservatives and Labour, and I even got to help choose Jeremy Corbyn (for a laugh) to see what would happen if you have a socialist lame-duck lunatic in charge of a major political party. I'll be laughing even more if he wins, more because it proves that people here are idiots, but my next move would be abroad.

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robin thakur 1

It's lobbying, not mind control, love. Most people I know weren't influenced by such shadowy tactics, and made up their minds long before the campaign started. Could it be that they simply were not as enamoured as our rulers with the EU paradise we live in?

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robin thakur 1

Re: If you use facebook...

But, it is SOO amusing to watch their pained howling all over Facebook after Trump won, Brexit and under the last Tory victory. It's worth voting Tory again just to watch them go into full on "It's rigged"/"I can't believe that my Facebook echo chamber doesn't reflect everybody"/"Everybody I know voted Labour"/"Why are stupid people allowed to vote"/"Why are people remembering beyond the last 3 weeks of Jeremey Corbyn's leadership?" mode.

When Labour win, the rich threaten to (and often do) leave the country. When the Conservatives win, Labour supporters go out and smash stuff. Imagine what Momentum's thugs will get up to? They're already making lists of all the houses with Conservative signs in the window to burgle and attack them, so in a way it's good that we will see their true faces with their beady eyes when the Tories win next Saturday.

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robin thakur 1

Exactly. Corbyn will raise Corporation Tax at a time that IT contractors are already being being hit by vanishing dividend relief, company pensions, NI rises, IR35 obstacles and a myriad other issues. The Tories are too socialist in the way they have dealt with small business so far, the only sweetener being the rise in the personal tax allowance. However, they are the only sensible choice when faced with the alternative.

Under Labour, as we've already seen under Sadique Khant , the fool wants to get rid of private contractors working for the public sector in London (not that this has been a success, it just means that everybody has to become G Cloud registered or go through the big consulting companies, thus doubling or tripling the cost to the public sector), and Jezza would follow through on this nationwide. I can see tax being deducted at source for private and public sector contractors under Labour to ensure their coffers are full to afford their giveaways like tuition fees, Railway nationalisation, the NHS, and the rest of their Santa's bucket list manifesto.

In other words, it would be a good time to liquidate (no tax for you Jeremy, sorry love) and get out of the UK to sunnier pastures less hostile, because the nice thing about IT is that you can work anywhere in the world.

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Samsung's Bixby assistant fails English, gets held back a month

robin thakur 1

Err

"or go for the S7 its still a couple of generations ahead of the iPhone"

In what reality do you live? I dumped the S7 edge and got an iPhone 7 Plus and the device is way faster in all games which are cross platform and my day to day usage, not to mention to fit, finish and polish. With the Apple Pay, Air pods and Apple Watch forming a full ecosystem, my experience is way better than it was with the s7. The stupid (STUPID!!), pretty but pointless edge screen detecting my palm made me thankful for bezels (sorry Samsung) and the Google Voice dictate button on the keyboard kept switching off. As usual, Samsung's software screwed it up royally, which is why I could have told Samsung and everyone here 6 months ago that Bixby would be a pile of shite, regardless of how many hundreds or thousands of people they have working on it.

How many people do you think Google has working on Assistant and do you think, Samsung, that they'll be the same caliber as the ones you've employed? Giving it a dedicated button does not prevent it from being the Air-scrolling of the SGS4 of this generation, used once and then forgotten, soon to be removed on the S10. Samsung's strategy is overpromise in flashy marketing and underdeliver, and hope that nobody notices unless the phone explodes. All people want is Samsung's hardware with stock Android, and things like the Samsung's Camera App, which they can install and build quality which doesn't cause the phone to explode or shatter. Which is all they've ever wanted...Samsung Pay and Bixby are both good examples of solutions to problems that nobody asked for and nobody uses. The only thing the S7 had going for it was the charging speed, which was way better than the iPhone, in all other respects, it can't hold a candle to it.

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What is this bullsh*t, Google? Nexus phones starved of security fixes after just three years

robin thakur 1

Re: How about this for a simple solution

What do you expect buying a phone from a company very few have ever heard of? You should petition them to conform to EU law and the Sale Of Goods Act, we might even hear the laughter emanating from Shenzhen over here. At least we know now why Apple users look so smug. Not only are their devices not hacked, and not rooted. They can use banking apps with impunity and they are supported with security updates for the reasonable lifetime of the device. I always wondered why they hold their resale value quite so much. Buying an expensive Android has always been like buying a new diesel car. Worth 50% on day 2.

In all seriousness though, the situation which Google has created with not just the Nexus line but all other Android devices and their inability to be patched easily and uniformly is borderline irresponsible.

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robin thakur 1

Re: This is why I use a flip phone...

No different to a Microsoft 950XL then...

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robin thakur 1

Errr

Would you honestly feel safe accessing banking apps, your stock trading platforms, storing identifiable personal data and reading sensitive emails on a device that received no security updates? I certainly don't feel safe as a non-android user, thinking about those billions of devices all around the world being compromised, formed into a botnet and directed at whoever. If it is known that security on Android is basically like Swiss Cheese, and is unlikely to get patched then it will be targeted, simples. How do you know they aren't being exploited exactly?

I also dispute your assertion that phones in the West aren't rooted and have untrusted sources enabled. If you side-load Apps, are a pirate or a developer, or want to customize locked down devices 100% you need to root them. Yes this is not a large proportion of users by any means, but it will certainly affect users in the West.

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robin thakur 1

Re: Bye bye Android

That's really sad that you don't even trust your phone to access your banking apps? The idea that my iPhone might be compromised on the device itself is a foreign concept, because it's never happened and would definitely change my usage of it were it happen. Given that the banks are rapidly closing branches and pushing people to use their apps, this situation needs remedying urgently.

Even using iOS,I'm as concerned as you are, Android phones are the cheap smartphones of choice in less developed markets like some African, Asian countries, or Woolwich, say. Do those even see any patches whatsoever given the bandwidth limitations, and if not is that not a colossal ticking DDOS botnet time bomb of Google's own invention which could affect us all?

The utter hilarity of an advertising firm waking you up to make you watch a (very poorly targeted) advert on your phone is comedy gold however.

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robin thakur 1

950XL

That might have been true on the old Nokia built Windows Phones, but my experience of the "flagship" 950XL is that it is by far the worst, most unreliable device I've ever owned, and I had a SE P990...Whether it is provided security updates above and beyond Google is little consolation when the device crashes regularly (necessitating a full reboot, I might add) on trying to answer an SMS.

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Virtual reality is actually made of smartphones

robin thakur 1

Re: Before Apple ruined the world...

I think your comment pretty much sums up the wailing here, that IT geeks (myself included) enjoyed how totally unusable and exclusive smart phones were prior to the iPhone. When I was using my P990 or my HTC TYTN I was safe in the knowledge that my non-techy other half or a potential robber would NOT be able to work out how to use it or that the unresponsive plastic keyboard would fall off long before they could do any damage.

I think they enhanced productivity in the sense that they supported no entertainment functions whatsoever outside of the exploration of the hardware and bafflingly designed OS. The thought of creating a Word document or Excel document on my old Windows Phone is laughable to this day however. The P990 launched in a famously buggy state, nearly everything you tried on it crashed the phone and had it been released today it would almost certainly have been recalled. About the only productive things on them were email and their tethering connection and the odd bit of dodgy software that let you use them as a flakey remote control. Now everything is just an iPhone clone (including the iPhone), and software mostly works reliably life is much less interesting...

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robin thakur 1

Re: Factual? Fictional? Factitious? F___!

I think some of the people here doth protest too much, and have forgotten the dark days of what smartphones/feature phones were actually like before the iPhone. I owned lots of semi-smart phones including Blackberry, the Sony Ericsson P series (all of them) and the dreaded windows phone and the first iPhone WAS a revolution regardless of whether the hardware was 'off the shelf' or not or whether parts of its implementation were already on the market. Email is the only smart function I can think of that was done near to correctly on a Blackberry and nothing else. Everything else was a wildly compromised experience, buggy and unreliable.

The fact that the iPhone was a game changer should be blindingly obvious to all but the most pig-headed individual the first time they swiped to unlock or the first time they used the keyboard. Using it in public would draw a crowd, and you never got that with the SE P990.

The capcitative screen and GPU was key as the experience was real-time, not laggy and butter smooth. The other standard sensors like the accelerometer, gyroscope, camera, proximity etc, and crucially the ability for it to play accelerated video and browse the web in near full fidelity, the update system, it was all revolutionary because it was done right in a way that non computer science grads could understand it and it was inherently tied to Apple's OSX software experience. Before the iphone things like Hardware design polish and software stability/usability were barely an afterthought. After the iPhone they are everything. The App Store then caused another revolution and all of this made what we now understand by the term tablet possible with the release of the iPad. Before the iPad, tablet pc's were a completely dead segment of the market, lest you forget.

I can see where the author is going with the VR comparison as the sensors on drones and VR are pretty much the same as on smartphones, and the collection of technology in the iPhone is what all current smartphones are based on, whether you like it or not.

Would we be here without the iPhone? I highly doubt it. If you remember how long it took for other manufacturers (Nokia, MS) to even take the iPhone seriously as a competitor, and then the different iterations ("this one's an iPhone killer") when they cocked it up, through to when they exited the market (Blackberry, Nokia, Microsoft) The ones which are left in the market, with a couple of exceptions (Samsung Edge) ape the iPhone design so closely that from some angles they look like iPhones, (Xiaomi, Google Pixel, One Plus) and if you don't call that influential, I'm not sure what you do.

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MAC randomization: A massive failure that leaves iPhones, Android mobes open to tracking

robin thakur 1

Re: food for thought

Whilst I do take your point, the equation is that you get services like Google and FB for free, and in return you get tracked and your data and created content is used for marketing purposes. Most people are aware of this and are actually fine with it, whether they have actually read the finer print of the user agreements that they skip through or not. For example, connecting my lights up to the internet allows them to come on when it's night time and I'm in the vicinity. I'm aware I'm being tracked, and it's useful enough that I leave it enabled. I doubt that anyone will be coordinating a drone strike on my house because of it.

The Governments can interrogate and seize this data at any point should you break the laws of the land. That should be a given at this point, regardless of encryption used.

In recent cases (Aviva) which tried to monetize and incentivize social network data for the purposes of insurance premium cost reduction, it got banned in this country pretty quickly once it came to light. If you do not care for this arrangement, you have the option simply to not use the services and take steps to live a more luddite life, safe in the knowledge that you are not being tracked.

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New iPad revealed. Big price cut is main feature

robin thakur 1

This is utter rot. It would take a truly foolhardy company indeed not to have acted on the previous damaging reports of worker injustice in the manufacturing plants, and Appl ehas many eyes watching its every move. Mistakes might occur in long supply lines which are highly cost sensitive, but how they are rectified also matters. Where they have acted, they should be applauded, not given continual grief by somebody who knows next to nothing about what is happening on the ground now.

Show me the magical fairy lands and environments where Google, LG, and Samsung and the rest make their phones with generously remunerated workers working in a happy atmosphere and show me which fairtrade phone you use while we're at it.

Apple is also right to give some of the proceeds of their red phones and other products to charity regardless of the tax status. Would you rather the charity simply gets nothing?

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robin thakur 1

Re: New iPad

Not really, Your Apple Music shows up the same on iTunes on your Mac as it does on your iPad. Your library music shows up using iTunes Match. I guess if you didn't have either Apple Music or iTunes Match, then.perhaps you still need to connect it physically to the Mac/iTunes, but I haven't used it that way for literally years now.

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Wearables aren't dead but apps on wearables might be

robin thakur 1

Re: Most classes of useless products fail quietly

I agree to an extent, but you do have to give products the benefit of the doubt to create a market while they get over their teething problems and evolve without slamming them on day 2. The people who actually own devices like the Apple Watch seem to really like them and find them useful.

The predictions of doom on 3D, VR, Wearables come thick and fast, mostly from people who've not actually used optimal versions of the products, ever used them at all or extremely early in the tech's life. This means that revenue from version 1 is not great enough to justify a version 2 in some cases as the product is deemed to flop and the risk-averse bean counters pull the plug. Not necessarily in the public's best interest. For example 3d on an LG 4k OLED is the best version of the tech yet, but by the time it was available, the industry was about to give up on 3D and now it's been canned, so nobody gets to enjoy it.

You could also argue that a product should not be on the market until it is ready for prime time, and that is probably the bigger problem which leads people to increasingly 'wait for version 2' in nearly all cases, not just Apple's launches. This is due to internal company pressure to release the next big thing, shareholder expectations and industry hype.

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robin thakur 1

Re: 2nd Display

On my Appley watch, the health and fitness data is the killer app along with Apple Pay, timers, notifications, Apple Music remote and Apple Home remote (for controlling lights etc). Anything more complex takes too long to load (and I'm a patient soul). My Series 2 is nearly arrived, so will see if that improves matters. Obviously more non battery draining sensors like blood pressure would be great and greater battery life (2 days is nothing to be sniffed at though, now I've become used to it). All this Health data is monetized through my Health insurance provider to reduce my premiums, earn me free Starbucks and Cinema tickets and also speaks to the App I use for the gym to recover HealthKit data, so I at least *feel* that I'm using its functions or it would live in the drawer.

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EMC said to be ditching Documentum business

robin thakur 1

Errr. what?

"The general document or information management business simply stopped growing. Certainly businesses needed to keep track of documents and doing so as part of an information lifecycle management process seemed a good idea, but it was a structure that never became really popular. People generally preferred to manage a business’s digital information in separate silos, such as mail, Notes databases and the like, rather than employing an over-arching superstructure."

Have you never heard of a gigantically popular platform called...SharePoint??!? Granted Livelink/Content Server and the like might have hit the skids, but they are as a sector still doing well.

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Whatever happened to ... Nest?

robin thakur 1

I bought one!

I have a Nest thermometer, 2 nest protect smoke alarms and two Nest Cams (with subscriptions). I'm reasonably happy with them and while the ability for the app to sense my location or direction being in the direction of home and then start preheating for my arrival is quite nice, it's not exactly a killer feature. The cameras were incredibly buggy, stopping working several times daily but have recently become far more reliable due to updates but alert me to motion whenever the light changes in the room (30 alerts today so far), expensive and cost a bomb in subscription costs. The smoke alarms seem...good, but I don't plan to properly test them anytime soon by burning down the house.

However, I too have recently started to think that Nest is adrift and trying to go with their own standards like they still have first mover advantage, rather than open ones or even popular modern ones (HOMEKIT!!!) where they are unable to support Apple's standard due to being owned by Alphabet. In particular without Homekit support, and the Siri integration that would bring or massive new investment by Alphabet in shiny, new and interesting Nest products or initiatives, I can't really see much future for it.

Nest purchasers are naturally Apple purchasers because both like Shiny and spend loads on tech, so the wisdom of not integrating the product with Apple's protocol seems very short sighted as most stuff coming out now is Homekit enabled. In retrospect, I wish I'd waited instead of buying the Nest ecosystem as it hasn't kept innovating and the Works with Nest strategy has fallen by the wayside.

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Decoding Microsoft: Cloud, Azure and dodging the PC death spiral

robin thakur 1

So Windows Phone is dead then?

Reading between the lines, MS doesn't exactly seem to be shouting the benefits of Windows phones from the rooftops even with Continuum (or whatever it's called) and seems to be talking up using MS apps on non MS phones like the iPhone Pro. Seems odd, therefore that they just launched two of them, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Lumia line wasn't canned after this year especially with the Onedrive camera Roll F*** you they did recently.

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robin thakur 1

Re: What PC death spiral?

I think he means the sales death spiral. Ever since Vista screwed MS up proper, the system requirements for Windows have shrunk rather than grown with the result that people aren't replacing their devices as often. Given that most of those users have now transitioned to iPads, android landfill devices and iPhones (and aren't replacing their iPads as often as Apple would like either) this leaves a core of businesses and those that still need a pc, the groups you mentioned. Balanced, decent devices like the Surface are very few and far between in the PC market, the rest all tend to look compromised in some way or another to hit a pricepoint, so you can see why sales aren't growing very well, especially desktops.

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Increased gov spy powers are NOT the way to stay safe against terrorism

robin thakur 1

Re: Maybe the only way to prevent this

Whilst the latest "ban encryption" is a bad joke, I can't imagine anyone who isn't in a union would be willing to hand the reigns of a recovering economy (that is what's important, stupid) to Ed Balls and gap-year-Milly. "Recovering" that is, from the last time they drove it off a cliff. I'd rather vote for UKIP just to see what amusement would follow, but will sensibly vote Tory as usual in the end because we don't want to be responsible for the rise of a 4th Reich.

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robin thakur 1

Re: Trouble is, the last time round

(Unless you want to drive a car without ridiculous levels of tax being imposed on you and expect the road network to be properly maintained, look what the green ass-hats have done in Brighton, drivers are furious with them!)

5
1

UK banks prepare for Apple Pay 'invasion', look to slap on bonking protection

robin thakur 1

Why not now?

So why are we still waiting to be able to use Apple Pay in the UK ?? I've been looking forward to be able to use it for ages now! It's a more secure system than anything else available, and is massively more convenient for me than using a card or Barclays rubbish "gloves" or whatever they've developed this week. I would also like to replace or enroll all my cards like TFL Oyster etc on my iPhone and have done with it. At least then if I lose it, it's more secure than my cards being stolen, it's fully encrypted and I can remotely wipe it. Why are the banks even allowed to drag their feet on this to try and derail it when it is massively in the consumer's interest?!?

0
0

Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION

robin thakur 1

Re: What tosh

I've been using a Macbook Pro for dev and design work, first in Windows and now on iOS and the Web, since I don't know when, as the hardware is infinitely better designed than some race-to-the-bottom, compromised, plastic, future-landfill PC rubbish. I say that as a Microsoft developer that runs Windows as a VM on the MBP. Windows Laptops are garbage whatever you pay, they are always compromised on aspects which I place high value on. Apple's release cadence means that your chosen laptop will be sold for at least a year or more with few alterations and meaningful support. If you pay less you get exactly what you pay for. Less. I paid £1300 in 2011 and my Machine is still going as strong as ever. Additionally if you are a designer, why would you choose to design something beautiful on something ugly and poorly thought out?

Even stuff that I consider acceptable on the PC side like the Surface Pro 3 for example which isn't just outright trying to copy the Macbook Air like most, is unfortunately compromised on both battery life and thermal design. People bleat on about touch screens being 'essential' without realising that the Macbook series has has fantastically perfect touch and gestures through the glass trackpad for donkeys years before Windows 8.

2
7

Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray

robin thakur 1

Re: Downhill

I only develop for SharePoint, and the massive shifts in MS's focus to develop for Azure, almost making their systems less customisable and less powerful has not gone unnoticed, although this has the noble goal of making them more stable. The obvious conclusion I draw from this article is that fewer and fewer Windows applications will be developed for the desktop in the coming years due to MS not having focussed on it and not wexactly making it easy for evs to know where to start. I would also say that if they think developers are going to target Windows Apps for the Store instead, they've got another thing coming. As Windows computer shipments drop ever lower, it makes far more sense to develop the next big thing as a web or mobile app which has a much bigger audience thaan Windows. MS has dropped the ball too many times, asking people to learn new stuff like Silverlight which then falls by the wayside after a short time but still is kicking around as an API.

6
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robin thakur 1

This is nonsense. I upgraded to both and everything works with no issues. Troll much?

8
16

Shoot to THRILL: Assassin's Creed: Unity and Halo: Master Chief Collection

robin thakur 1

Re: Dear Mr Reviewer.

That's nonsense. Having played games in a time when 60fps was the norm, not the exception (Capcom fighting games, Virtua Fighter, Tekken) and were mandatory on the Dreamcast to output to VGA. I also spent hundreds of hours of my life benchmarking PC Graphics cards back in the day. I can tell the difference all the way upto 120Hz. Easily.

In general, very little I play these days looks fluid with a couple of exceptions. 30fps might create the illusion of motion but there is a world of difference between a movie running at 24fps (instantly noticeable to my eyes but entirely deliberate) and a game running at a smooth fluid 60fps. It increases my perception of the graphics in a game and it looks faster too. People have only gotten more accepting of 30fps games as the hardware in modern consoles is not upto pushing the geometry of games at 1080p/60 (or sometimes even 720p/60) without cutting corners, and most game sales are made through still shots on websites/magazines and lower res video on Youtube. Variable framerates are even worse than 30fps, I will begrudgingly admit. I think delevelopers believe that if the game world you offer is rich and realisitic enough to add more value than making it 60fps, that is a more desirable use of prcessing cycles, but it robs it of reality and clarity in my opinion, and I'm sure i'm not the only one.

0
0

Coming clean: Ten cordless vacuum cleaners

robin thakur 1

It's pretty ridiculous. Name one man that isn't into Dysons? They are virtually designed as man-toys as they look all shiny and engine-like, and the website is very masculine. Yet they still show just women using them like this is the 1950s. I personally look forward to doing the vacuuming when there's a Dyson involved and I've had many a conversation about Dysons with like-minded men. We all agree they are fabulous.

3
0

The Great Smartphone Massacre: Android bloodbath gathers pace

robin thakur 1

Re: Commoditisation

I'm not sure you read the same article. From a technical perspective, I can tell you that there is very little between my iPhone 6 Plus and a HTC One M8 in terms of real life performance difference. However, I choose the Apple offering despite it costing nearly double the HTC because of the brand, the support (both app developer and technical support) and the experience. This is the reason that Burberry can sell a trenchcoat for £2k when they are on sale at H&M round the corner for £20, humans are not always logical and brand/appearance matters to them, in general. I don't disagree on the rebalancing of the world economy, that's why America spends so much on its military.

0
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robin thakur 1

Re: Profit margin

I like the Lumias, but I wouldn't buy one. The constant worry that you were missing out on apps which are available first on iOS isn't acceptable on a platform, and they are really just marketing another version of what Apple are selling by aping them to closely. There isn't the customisation of Android and they don't anything as well as Apple in the mobile front. This is why their market share is in the single digits and has even declinded recently. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Microsoft's new strategy was to dispose of the Lumia, Surface and Xbox One brands while they still have some currency. They can't keep throwing good money after bad, and those three sub brands are all doing poorly.

0
0

Microsoft confirms Surface NOT DEAD YET, next-gen version coming

robin thakur 1

Re: ...or what it might look like.

I was going to get a Surface Pro 3 when I first read about it months ago. I really was. A few factors turned that thought around when it eventually came out in the UK:

-Typing on your lap doesn't work very well with the kick stand. You need a stable surface unlike with a laptop and the keyboard case still feels like it will cause RSI in short order

-The touch pad is much worse than on a mac

-Overheating and fan noise, as well as firmware issues

-It is far too expensive to get to try out in a capacity which I would actually want i7/8GB/256Gb/512GB = @£1600 aka "you are having a laugh"

-No integrated pen caddy

-The surface is intimately tied to Windows 8 and I want to see what will happen with Windows 10

-It isn't selling well and I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft kills it, knowing them. Realisitically, if after 3 generations they are still sub 1 million sales, and nursing heavy losses, what respectable public company would persevere

-I don't know anybody that has actually bought one with their own money

You might well argue that the bill of materials necessitates it to be priced at the higher end, but Microsoft need to be more aggressive to enter a market which has zero confidence in it. It might well be one of those fantastic devices which is too expensive and therefore nobody ever tries it and nobody knows about it.

0
0

Nexus 9: Google and HTC deliver Android 5.0 'Lollipop' at iPad prices

robin thakur 1

Re: What Android or iOS games????

"Wait for the next generation" has been the mantra of Windows tablets potential purchasers for some time. If everybody keeps on saying that and nobody buys them, what do you think will happen?

0
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robin thakur 1
FAIL

Too expensive

I was looking forward to buying this, but at this price I could buy an iPad Air 2 for not much more with all extra tablet optimised apps that exist on it! I think Google have forgotten in their pricing strategy that this is an *Android* tablet and we don't have the disposable cash of Apple's customers. It's like paying Waitrose prices for Lidl food, a massive mistake in my eyes. In a year's time it might be worth it once the prices get slashed as they always do when the next one is about to drop, but for now, I'll pass.

0
0

This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

robin thakur 1

I tend to think that Samsung's phone sales have given them an inflated impression of themselves over the last couple of years and a tendency to rest on their laurels while piling endless bloat onto their devices and seeming to spend almost nothing on designers (or they just don't hire the right people) Samsung have simply remained the same, while everybody else has caught up or passed them.

People only really bought Galaxy phones because they were a viable cheaper alternative to the iPhone early on, they were the only real Phablet game in town and because Samsung spend more than anybody else on marketing. Now there are better AND cheaper alternatives, like the Nexus and the cheaper chinese Apple clones like Xiaomi which actually do realise that the look and feel of devices is actually far more important than the specs to the vast majority of people. Instead of admitting that they got something wrong, Samsung instead say that the market is weak. This is the same market that is buying iPhone 6 Pluses faster than they can be made. The problem is not the market. Samsung's audience for phones either don't have a lot of money or don't want to spend it on Samsung's devices.

Nobody wants to feel ripped off or mocked and the Galaxy S5 does not look, feel or perform like a flagship product and especially not a premium answer to any iPhone. Out of the box, without any tweaking, the phone is slow and the camera is, I would almost say broken, by its implementation of IS. This Alpha is even less impressive, simply because this is Samsung very vocally going 'all-out' to quell it's critics and ending up with a plastic-backed lemon. Despite being available for many weeks I have yet to see anybody walking around with one of these.

Samsung mobile will decline until they drop their prices or innovate something which people find genuinely useful or that just plain work reliably. Everybody with > a galaxy S4 uses 'Air-Scrolling' every day don't they?

0
1

APPLE still building fanbois CULT HQ in Cupertino, it seems

robin thakur 1

Well actually...

Its huge structure and epic scope does remind me of the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremburg. Where does Tim park the airship? Apple totally deserves that diss because shipment of my 6 Plus is now marked as delayed!! WTF

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