* Posts by Robert E A Harvey

3004 posts • joined 8 Oct 2006

Nintendo Wii U Review

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Up


The teardown looks interesting. Lots of straightforward components and connectors, nothing state-of-the-art, simple box construction. Low cost high volume = happy happy. Probably pretty reliable too.

Why did Comet fail? Hint: It wasn't just the credit insurers

Robert E A Harvey

Power of the public

Comet died because people were not buying things from them.

There may be a hundred reasons for that but in the end it was the oldest retail truth in the world. The Customer is always Right.

Microsoft halves Surface RT production orders - report

Robert E A Harvey

It's going the way of the Zune and the Kin.

...but not quickly enough

LG claims UK Ultra HD TV first

Robert E A Harvey

coming with five pairs of 3D specs

I should bluddy hope so at that price!

Asus VivoBook S200 11.6in touchscreen notebook review

Robert E A Harvey


Tempting. Very tempting. Still needs

* better screen resolution

* somewhere to stick a sim, for connectivity

* different OS

But we are getting there.

As to linux, Mint 13 includes the KDE touch screen stuff, perhaps they have a driver? But thanks so much for testing it with Linux.

Italians deploy fearsome SPY MANNEQUINS to win Fashion Wars

Robert E A Harvey

Re: Do they

you have been spying on me with your Auton space rays!

Texan schoolgirl expelled for refusing to wear RFID tag

Robert E A Harvey

@Ian Michael Gumby. I reckon half a mill is still outrageous.

I worked on a ship where we implimented a personell locator/lone worker system using the motorola UHFs and some badge responders. about 120 compartments wired up to a dedicated machine which displayed where everyone was, and linked into the Man Overboard and General alarms too - most devices had a panic button.

Whole package, hardware, transponders, cabling, and a terminal running some embedded software (OS9, I thihk) - around 20K UKP in the 1990s. We already had the UHFs with lone worker buttons, that was another 12K but was part of the comms package - I could make half-duplex phone calls home from mine.

1980s, I worked in a laboratory where we wore 'lone worker' pendants that called for help if we stopped moving or went horizontal, or pulled the lanyard off.. Around 1.5K total price, for 5 people in 6 spaces.

Microsoft-Motorola patent row: Google wants $4 BEELLION a year

Robert E A Harvey

I don't like this story.

I can't decide which side I loathe.

Robert E A Harvey

Google wants $4B a year

Of course they do.

So do I

I'm not going to get mine.

They aren't going to get theirs.

Carry on, world.

Ex-Nokians fish MeeGo out of bin, launch Sailfish OS

Robert E A Harvey

great - but...

...What am I going to run it on?

4chan founder Moot threatens site for using his handle

Robert E A Harvey

12 yr old whose claim to fame is having written a whack a bieber app.

and you have a problem with that?

Autonomy to HP: bollocks

Robert E A Harvey

Re: I remember ...

Good, healthy ripostes though. I'm waiting for them to cast the movie.

PCs punch HP in the gut, servers knee it in the jewels

Robert E A Harvey

Product, Product, Product

Keep turning out the same old tired laptops with tors-r-us screens, and no-one wants to buy them. Surprise!

HP: AUTONOMY 'misrepresented' its value by $5 BILLION, calls in SEC

Robert E A Harvey

Re: Two words...

Much more precises and succinct than my efforts, but my thoughts exactly.

Robert E A Harvey

Re: Some of HP's accusations.

"...a willful effort ... inflate the underlying financial metrics..."

And that is exactly the sort of thing that due dilligence and companies like KPMG are supposed to pick up. HP were conned. and HP were negligent. I have no sympathy.

And, yes, two of the principle clowns have left the circus, but that leaves the whole support act to answer questions.

here is a clue, lads. A thing good that looks too good to be true, is usually too good to be true.

[Big clown icon needed]

Dell looks around for an all-Flashy gobblement opportunity

Robert E A Harvey

Cherry picking

But Dell, M$, and all the aquisitive remainder (like GE, Siemens, Disney) are paying a lot for success and nothing for failure. it is close to risk-free.

The risk is being taken by the rest of us who invest in startups direct or through our pension funds, and are paying for the 80% failure rate. The acquirers are getting fat on the 20% success rate, without covering the cost of failure at all.

Robert E A Harvey

Re: Wrong

Yes, but outsourcing has been SO succesful for the railways, hospitals, HR departments, etc...

Robert E A Harvey
Thumb Down


This is all wrong.

Back when I was alive companies like IBM, Xerox, De Havilland, Bell Labs, had vast R&D departments and invented their own stuff. Acquisition is not R&D and is susceptible to fashion and market distractions, it does not take the sum total of human knowledge into new places.

Michael: If you want new stuff, employ designers and build it yerself.

Apple's profits fetish could spell its DOOM

Robert E A Harvey

Surprise us all

Come on Apple, come up with something pervasive - like a small headset that can be a voice-op phone, or activate voice control on a nearby computer, or pick up timetables from intelligent bus stops, or buzz gently when someone we know is nearby.

How about family photo sharing - all pictures taken by all family members available to all with location and timestamps?

What about a many-sim iphone? or paired iphones, where one number rings more than one phone, like a 1930s plan 1 extension system?

Parked bluetooth (or better wireless method) headsets that charge from the ipad while parked inside it?

Remember 'beaming' your business card from one palm pilot to another. What about tap-to-share-contact-details?

An Identifcation system other than passwords? something like PKI cards, but as a tiny rfid thing in jewellry or watches or phones or badges or spectacles? I would buy a terminal/programming adaptor/app for home, and blank rfid dust. I would then programme/refresh the individual rfid items to identify me for a day, week, month - after which they would die and need replacing. And the terminal could cancel them on request, perhaps by telephoning it. Maybe I would have to be carrying at least 4 to complete succesful ID, so that any one lost/stolen item could not impersonate me. The vendor could sell the terminal; charge a subscription for identifying me; and sell the rfid dust too. Up-front and continuing revenue. Perfect.

Health monitoring and telemetry.

Child tracking.

Panic communities: phones with a panic button, and volunteer responders as well as national ones. (see our community defibrilators in vilages in Lincolnshire for how people are keen to help each other)

How about a version of an LCD photo frame with a sim in it? So that I can take pictures of the kids and send them by MMS to their grandma without her having to to do anything?

How about a 'family status' mirror, for the hallway? Nice big mirror, little individual cells showing where we are, the last message we sent, lat photo we took, happy/busy/bored/need a hug icons? Touch two of them and the mirror duplicates each other's status to each other - "Mum said you need to talk to me" sort of thing.

A bigger, better Siri that can be your friend, learn about you, start to suggest things spontaneously?

Things for the disabled? Pick up the state of pedestrian controlled lights for blind people - "West street, crossing outside No. 8, from North to South pavement, Stop. Go in 15 seconds. 14, 13...". "Cooker turned on but not lit". "Saucepan has been boiling for 8 minutes"

London gets huge Defecator Enthroned statue for World Toilet Week

Robert E A Harvey


Well, people do say modern art is shit.

Cash-strapped Comet sheds ANOTHER 735 staff

Robert E A Harvey

Down side

This is the Harsh Reality, but I still feel sorry for those blinking in unwelcome daylight.

Now if the renumeration of all directors for the last 5 years could be taken back, it would seem less unfair.

Drone security project to go open source

Robert E A Harvey


Please, OS contributors, boycott military applications. There are far more worthwhile projects to spend your time on! arduplane will do if you still fancy drones...

Brit retailers tell Amazon and Google to pay their taxes

Robert E A Harvey


I have been buying things from Gaugemaster both direct and via Amazon, thought laziness when they pop up in a search. I have stopped using the Amazon route.

I am more concerned about the AA, (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/nov/18/aa-owner-acromas-corporation-tax) - do the vans all go back to Luxembourg every night? I think I shall be cancelling my membership, and going with Green Flag.

AT&T relaunches walkie-talkie style service Push to Talk

Robert E A Harvey


I used a version of it on UK Vodalone company phones in 2005/6. The people who wanted PTT turned it on and nominated up to 3 numbers, then it worked like a normal walkie talkie. Advantage was that blokes pulling cables in on site A could do so without bothering about people working a crane on site B. My phone didn't have a PTT button, so it was voice-operated.

$MEGACORP now uses O2, and no such thing is possible.

PMR radios have rather poor range, and Icom F3000 are expensive. PTT mobiles are a clever idea.

Robert E A Harvey
Big Brother

The idea is to let employers speak to their staff


Back in the '90s I was building research ships. A standard fitment there was 'talkback' - a Public Address system covering all the working spaces, with microphones all over the place. Anyone could report a buoy launched, or warn of winch failure, and everyone would know.

Then the project got taken over by an Ex-RN commander. The ships he built had microphones only on the Bridge. When challenged about the impracticallity of it, he replied "People on the back deck have to do what they are told. They have nothing worthwhile to say about it".

HP PC chief: Microsoft's Surface is 'KLUDGEY'. There, I said it

Robert E A Harvey

Re: Can't believe that no-one has commented on the irony here...

>(To be fair, though, the Linux drivers just work beautifully...)

without the supposed higher-definition features

Robert E A Harvey


I thought HP were going to have a whole comet-full of windows 8 stuff on sale by now. Instead they are slagging it off (or at least the ginger stepbrother of it) Weird gets wieridererer.

Oh, and wasn't WebOs going to rise zombie-like from the grave too? what news on that, lads?

I think HP will be next through the magic curtains to the afterlife.

'Long Time Ago' and 'Far, Far Away' records broken by new GALAXY

Robert E A Harvey

This stuff is amazing

I just don't understand why people don't find this more inspiring than a made-up book about a sky fairy.

BBC iPlayer downloads BORKED by Adobe Air update

Robert E A Harvey

Re: get_iplayer

...except that it can't understand R4x listings. You need --pid for most of them.

Lawyer sues Microsoft rather than slot an SD card into his Surface

Robert E A Harvey

I don't like this story.

I can't decide which side I loathe.

Comet train set for SMASH, staff can only hope to be in right carriage

Robert E A Harvey


Why on earth would one of the other bypass-sheds be interested in the corpse of comet? Surely they have enough problems already?

Sorority girls gone wild: '1 to 3' casual sex 'hookups' every month

Robert E A Harvey

Oh for glod's sake!

Does anyone remember why 1968 was really called "the summer of love"?

Or read the Kinsey report?

Or know anything about what happened in WW2? "...in case he does not come back..."

Or read 'Cider with Rosie'?

Coffee next on climate chopping-block

Robert E A Harvey

Sod the coffee

what about Camellia sinensis?

Microsoft Surface Touch keyboards self-destruct – and more

Robert E A Harvey

Re: just pull an apple...

Sounds like the old fashioned shoeshop "we can't take these back, you've walked in them"

"Sorry Sir, you appear to have been pressing the buttons, not just gazing at them in love and affection"

Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset review

Robert E A Harvey

Q2 next year

So thats around 4-6 months from now. Or nearly a quarter of the way through a 2 year contract.


Box shifters cram UK market with crusty PCs to make room for Win 8

Robert E A Harvey

Re: newsflash: nobody wants celerons

Be fair, no-one wants i3 either

Robert E A Harvey

been wating

I've been waiting for the end of compulsory x768 screens. If they want my money they need to supply something I want to buy.

Bargain! Desperate Comet SLASHES price of £4,400 iPod Nano

Robert E A Harvey

Re: god riddens to them

Best Buy in Britain was never like your US experience. I went there a couple of times and it was another shed-on-the-bypass staffed by grunting nuckle-draggers and stocked with junk at concorde prices.

Maybe they got their UK management from Comet & Currys?

Ballmer: Windows Phone 8 'WILL ramp quickly', god dammit

Robert E A Harvey

Re: Hoping that the a single vendor makes the phone exclusive

that would almost make sense if they had coverage.

Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

Robert E A Harvey

Re: Hands up who's actually bought anything from comet?

Screwfix have been opening physical stores for many years

Robert E A Harvey

Re: That explains their TV ad

Bit late for them to be acknowledgnmg the EU law on warranties, having spent years denying it...

Yet another reason for them to die horribly

Big Data's big issue: Where are all the data scientists coming from?

Robert E A Harvey

OK, where do I sign?

What courses would you recommend, Prof?

BOFH: Tenacious B and the Printer of Destiny

Robert E A Harvey

I had that very printer

We bought 3 and put them on a research ship heading to the antarctic. Along with spares and service manuals and service software.

Ended up having to do all the A3 maps on a pen plotter, which was a tad slow, but I do like the way the light glitters off the ink. Much shinier than toner.

Watching a pen plotter trying to colour most of a sheet of very expensive paper blue was the only time I ever felt sorry for a machine.

Singapore gov think tank plots SSD takedown

Robert E A Harvey

A: drive

wasn't that not only the floppy, but the trade name of some high-capacity removable?

iPhone 5 imperilled by Sharp's 'huge' problems with tellies

Robert E A Harvey

Oh, are Sharp still there?

I had a Sharp car radio in the 1970s, the last bit of stuff with that name on that impressed me in any way. It had far better audio quality, including the casette drive, than any of the competition. 2 years on, the replacement had a flashy display, cost twice as much and had lost the HF performance.

I've seen the products from time to time over the last 30 years. All very Me-too. No reason to buy them over any other. They seem to have survived by having capacity in an undersupplied market, and have no idea how to respond to the opposite position.

Sony Xperia T Android smartphone review

Robert E A Harvey


So, are the buttons suitable for left handed or right handed users? I find the side mounted ones on my Nokia bleeding awkward.

Lab mice drown in their THOUSANDS as Hurricane Sandy fills NYU basement

Robert E A Harvey

Tragic waste of research of course

But this is a university. Did no-one notice the widespread warnings about flooding, and think to move the poor little buggers upstairs?

Apple puts less of its takings into R&D, hires more sales cultists

Robert E A Harvey

Not enough

Seems that US companies are as bad as Europeans. When the UK used to innovate, it spent between 10% and 25% of turnover, maybe half the profits on R&D.

If Apple had done that they would be printing the whole of the electronic in the screen, no PCBs and no connectors.

Comet confesses: The receivers are among us even now

Robert E A Harvey


>Dixons shareholders skip and clap their hands for joy

Because their business model is so different from Comet's, it could not possibly happen to them.

Err, it's cold out there.

A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 1

Robert E A Harvey

Pet-free zone

What about the commodore Pet.

Whilst the Apple ][ had visicalc, the Pet was very common in engineering circles for conencting to IEEE-488 instruments. I remember seeing one in 1995, still quietly recording diurnal variations in the earths magnetic field, and pumping them out of the RS232 port. The software had been altered some time at the start of that decade to change the data format.

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