* Posts by Dave 126

7827 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Dave 126
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Re: Scrambled eggs

Why not both? :)

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Dave 126
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Re: Proper Full English

I'm with TheBishop all the way here. If someone put a touch of cheese and butter into the baked beans during cooking I wouldn't object, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: Runny eggs ?

Runny yolk, yes please. Runny white, no thanks - unless I'm in France eating a galette crepe complete, in which case I 'do as the Romans'.

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Apple exits music player biz by killing iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle

Dave 126
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I like my Sansa Clip players. Only issue is that they are small and black, thus easy to lose or leave in trouser pocket in washing machine. When camping, it's nice to have a FM radio, too, whilst leaving phone turned off (Airplane Mode tends to disable FM radio reception on those phones that have it. )

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Dave 126
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Oh, Android used to have an issue with the number of files it could index. (Archos made a 500GB Android player, and my mate filled it with tens of thousands of medium bitrate mono audio files he'd ripped from vinyl and recordings of 1960s pirate radio). This issue has probably been fixed now, and if you want the large capacity for fewer, high bit rate files you probably won't encounter it anyway.

The cheaper FiiO players use their own Linux variant, the pricier ones a custom Android. Reviews suggest that they play nice with Fat32 and exFAT SD cards.

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Dave 126
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Re: Rewriting history again, Like iPhone

Mage, you've written this stuff before, and you've been corrected before. With links and evidence. Please pause.

At the time of the iPod's release, solid state MP3 players were prohibitively expensive per MB, especially compared to Minidiscs (£1 per 700MB disc from Richer Sounds). These MP3 players were a clear proof of concept, but they could not be called a 'tested market' as you call it. It was clear to everyone (even us then Product Design students) that solid state would one day rule, but that time was not then (Sony had refined concepts dating back several years, of the hardware and of UIs on the device and host computer). We were also aware that IBM, prior to merging with Hitachi, had a micro hard disk (1" not the 1.6")- it was being touted in the trade press. It was a given that a HDD MP3 player would arrive at some point.

At the time, most PCs did not yet have USB 2, so there was no easy way to transfer music quickly. Those of us with Minidiscs (we were students, a key market demographic for such gizmos) used TOSLink to copy CDs. The graphic design students had Macs with FireWire ( for high resolution scanners, soundcards and MiniDV camcorders) which was plenty fast enough for music.

The iPod was released, and it was good. Not that we bought it - it was bloody expensive and only worked on Macs. However, it was a very well designed product. It charged and synced over a single cable, and whilst being comparable in size to a MiniDisc player it was far smaller than a sock full of two dozen Minidiscs. Whilst my Sharp MD722 had a big scroll wheel, it wasn't used for track selection (no need for a single album). It offered clear advantages to the user over what had gone before - capacity, size and user interface. That prior Creative Jukebox based on a laptop HDD and styled on a CD player was just horrible.

If course in time similar products emerged, usually using the same Toshiba HDD. I had the Creative Nomad Zen (poorly made, the 3.5mm jack soldered directly to the PCB), returned under warranty for an iRiver H320 (superb, more flexible than an iPod, could record line in and mic, could have used a scroll wheel for navigating big libraries though!). The Sony Music Vault - nice hardware but hampered by not being able to play MP3 players, only ATRAC ( this probably resulted from pressure from Sony's publishing wing, and indeed is probably why we aren't now discussing the Sony iPod - they had all the parts they needed from a technical perspective). Etc etc.

All the while, the cost of solid state memory was falling, as all people au fait with computers knew it would, and Apple could see their portable music lunch being eaten by mobile phones (the word 'convergence' had been bandied around Product Design circles since around the year 2000, probably best personified by the Palm-based Sony Clie PEG NX60, in contrast to Steve Jobs' 'Digital Hub' presentation), and Jobs was persuaded to explore an Apple Phone. Hehe, he didn't like having to present a 'Motorola ROKR with iTunes' on stage!

Oh, I repaired my iRiver by giving it a hard disk from a dead iPod, a straight swap - so what's this you're writing about ZIF connectors? A later generation, I assume?

The iPod was a very well thought out implementation of other people's technologies - but hey, a good implementation is important and a skill not to be underrated.

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Dave 126
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Check out offerings from FiiO - something in their range, starting at around $100, should ticket your boxes. Most will take 256GB micro SD cards. Their pricier X5 MKiii has two SD card slots. If you search for reviews, you will read of their competitors, such as Cowon. Your cup runneth over!

Alternatively, consider a phone such as the ESS Sabre DAC variant of the LG V20. ESS are spoken of by hi-fi heads in the way that Wolfson or Burr Brown used to be. It supports a 256GB SD card, which in addition to its 64GB of internal memory takes you over 300GB. It can be had for far less than sone dedicated exotic MP3 players from iRiver, Sony, Cowon or Neil Young (yeah...). If you run it in Airplane Mode then the battery will be fine. The interface will be fast, which isn't always the case for dedicated MP3 players - and for a large music library you will want slick scrolling.

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Inside the ongoing fight to stamp out govt-grade Android spyware

Dave 126
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How does the marketplace for bug bounties work? Does the NSA outbid Google, for example? Or do criminals pay better? Are these zero-day vulns still stumbled upon by individuals, or do they require teams of skilled and motivated folk?

Just idle curiosity on my part. I'm not a security researcher. I imagine a paycheck from Google or GCHQ would be less hassle to receive than some crypto currency from Uncle Tony. What price a Google night's sleep? :)

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Dave 126
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Re: "to target older versions of Android that are no longer being patched "

Google made a few compromises to get Android to market ASAP in the wake of the iPhone. One compromise was to placate phone vendors by allowing them to faff around with Android. Another was Android having to be built for specific hardware versions, requiring new binary blobs from silicon manufacturers over whom Google have little leverage. Google's Project Treble is their new attempt to make Android more modular so that updates can be rolled out without needing effort from Qualcomm, Broadcom et al. Note that Chromebooks were built with the benefit of lessons Google learnt with Android.

None of which will protect you from zero-day vulnerabilities. Or spanners*.

If you want something, you won't get it unless you pay for it. That currently means a Google Pixel phone (now that the Nexus line has been discontinued) or an iPhone.

*https://xkcd.com/538/ Security

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OnePlus cash equals 5: Rebel flagship joins upmarket Android crew

Dave 126
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Re: meh

> Fail to understand the mania for camera quality on a phone, even the best camera phones are dismal compared to low end cameras because physics

Because even a phone camera is better than no camera at all. Most people have their phone with them most of the time, few people always carry a dedicated camera.

You could equally say "I don't understand the mania for APS-C dSLRs, they are dismal compared to full frame cameras". There has always been a trade-off between image quality and convenience (read: size), but phone cameras have a head start on this graph: the screen and battery are already present. Indeed, Sony removed the screen and storage from their excellent RX 100 compact camera and offered it as a bolt-on for phones (though sadly the implementation wasn't flawless)

Whilst a phone camera will be poor in low light compared to a £500 compact camera with a 1" sensor such as the RX 100, in brighter light a phone camera is often more than fit for purpose (most people won't be printing out A3-sized hardcopy).

Phone cameras these days are surprisingly good, due to there being market demand for them.

If you still don't understand, you must be trying very hard to not understand.

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Dave 126
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Re: No microSD port?

Oops, no edit on mobile site:

I meant to write: " ...dozens of gigabytes (which really, I can imagine *ONLY* a large music or video library requiring)..."

Okay, time for more coffee! :)

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Dave 126
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No surprise re camera

It shouldn't surprise the reviewer that the camera's result don't match the hardware specs on paper. Most high end phones use Sony sensors, yet Sony phones have never output the best images compared to reviews of Samsung, Apple or indeed Google's Pixel phones. The image processing software/firmware on the phone evidently makes a lot of difference.

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Dave 126
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Re: No microSD port?

I have previously chosen phones with an SD slot, but found it more trouble than it was worth. Why? Some apps will shunt their data to the SD card automatically, which means that they get confused if you pop out the card to use elsewhere (for example, my MP3 player, my car stereo and my camera all use SD/micro SD cards). This immediately negates the idea of using the SD card to conveniently shunt data between devices (I.e use phone to download podcasts to car stereo, or use phone to email pictures taken with my Lumix camera). Plus, the damned things are small and easy to lose.

If I really wanted dozens of gigabytes (which really, I can imagine a large music or video library requiring) then I would use USB OTG and a twin-headed (micro USB and USB A) memory stick. It might be inelegant, but that doesn't matter if I'm sat on an airline seat watching video.

This is just my personal experience, YMMV.

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Valley VC sues blogger after sex pest claims, discovers writer is a male tech biz rival

Dave 126
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Only the people within the company who are fluent in Japanese could have done it. Assume more than one, less than fifty. Of those, not all would have a motive.

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iRobot just banked a fat profit. And it knows how to make more: Sharing maps of your homes

Dave 126
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Well, I was going to rob this house, but decided not to because I didn't know what the internal layout was. Even though it was a standard Georgian terrace house of which I've seen dozens, I just didn't feel comfortable climbing in without a sketchy point-cloud representation of its insides.

/s

Meanwhile, theft of phones has gone down *because* they are connected and can shop the thief or be disabled.

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Sensor-rich traffic info shows how far Silly Valley has to drive

Dave 126
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Odd article. It was one direct quote from a press release, no link to the original, followed by some error-strewn extrapolation from AO.

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Wisconsin badgers Apple to cough up half a billion dollars for ripping off chip designs

Dave 126
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Re: Hey, Apple!

According to AAPL on the NASDAQ, pretty damned well.

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Expect the Note 8 to break the bank (and your wallet)

Dave 126
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Re: Did they miss the austerity memo?

They might also have got the 'rising wealth inequality' memo. Just because some people are skint doesn't mean everybody is.

There are plenty of 'more than good enough' phones at the budget end of the market these days (when once cheap Androids were frustrating to use). Indeed, there isn't much in these high-end phones to grab my attention, though I'm watching developments in real-time 3D scanning with interest (Google's Project Tango, whatever ARKit Apple has up its sleeve after parting ways with Imagination Technologies, or possibly some silicon from Microsoft or others being licenced out)

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Dave 126
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Re: Don't worry

RED (the company that make high resolution video cameras) are looking to release an Android phone around $1600. The concept is modular, with their marketing materials showing so many bolted-on components that the phone is buried behind lenses, storage and batteries. No joke (link below). It reminds me of that Naked Gun sketch where OJ Simpson starts assembling a sniper rifle and ends up with a turret-mounted anti-aircraft gun.

- http://www.red.com/hydrogen

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Dave 126
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Extra buttons

Of the functions I would like to assign to an extra hard-button, a digital assistant wouldn't make the list. The humble flashlight would probably be top. Camera. Dictaphone.

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Repairable-by-design Fairphone runs out of spare parts

Dave 126
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If you want to be green, the best option is to buy something well made and a bit over-specced, and to keep it for as long as possible. A vendor with a reputation for continuing software updates is a big plus too.

Android and Apple alike, the most common points of failure are the screen (gravity and glass being what they are) and the battery. Beyond these, trying g to make cameras and silicon replaceable just introduce too many compromises (bulky unreliable connectors etc).

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Dave 126
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Re: Why on earth didn't they just use standard components?

> Multiple manufacturers != long manufacturing life.

The classic iPod battery was available for years, even off the shelf in Maplins... It fitted the iRiver Hxxx series players, too, if you reversed the cable polarity. I can't think of a product today that has enjoyed a similarly long production life, though I assume there must be for things like £500 portable audio recorders.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why on earth didn't they just use standard components?

"Oh Lisa honey, I don't think we can afford to shop somewhere with ethics"

- Marge Simpson

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Dave 126
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Re: 4 year life?

How long will Qualcomm keep supporting the Snapdragon 801? It's the SoC that is in the Nexus 5, which Google has stopped support.

For newer handsets that will get Android O, there is a good chance that Google's Project Treble will make it easier for vendors to roll out Android updates.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Dave 126
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Re: The end

Picasa is also very fast to use for cropping, straightening and other quick tweaks. There's no need to go through a Save As dialogue either, as changes are not applied to the original file (but will be to the exported or emailed output).

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Bluetooth makes a mesh of itself with new spec

Dave 126
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Re: mesh ?

> apart from asset tracking why would you use bluetooth 5 vs a cheap bluetooth 4.2 controller ?

The article was about Bluetooth Mesh, not Bluetooth 5, but okay... BT 5 has the option of either faster data rates, or of greater range. Useful for remote sensors etc. The Samsung Galaxy S8 already has BT 5 hardware, just as a previous Galaxy model had BT 4 hardware before it was supported by Android. It's better to have the hardware and not need it than to need it and not have it.

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Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

Dave 126
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Re: The ZX Spectrum does not have 'apps'.

Program was the original English spelling, but Programme was used on Victorian entertainment posters to bring a little faux French glamour. Personally, I use program in a computer context, and programme in an arts and entertainment context - but that's just me.

The Americans use program, and indeed a lot of American spellings were a deliberate attempt to remove the French influence (eg Colour color, vapour vapor) from their English.

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Dave 126
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Re: C90 cassette, as that medium was the dominant way? No!

Anyone interested in obscure audio media and playback devices could do far worse than check out Techmoan.

http://www.techmoan.com/blog/category/hifi

He has many YouTube videos where he discusses the history things like Elcassette, RCA Victor tape cartridges and many others. He usually buys the playback kit off eBay and then dismantles on video to make it work again.

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Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

Dave 126
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Re: Having had Dengue Fever,

There's a 2010 article, titled

A world without mosquitoes:

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100721/full/466432a.html

Basically, the effect of eradicating mosquitos would be minimal, though some fish might have trouble adapting to another food source.

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What can you do with adult VR, some bronze gears and a robotic thumb? On a Friday?

Dave 126
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"Sex was invented by the ancient Greeks, but it took the Romans to introduce it to women" goes the old joke...

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

Dave 126
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They're called Chromebooks - many of which will soon be able to run Android apps. An Android-only laptop? No thanks.

Chromebooks can be updated by Google more easily than Android, since the IS doesn't require support from the original silicon manufacturers. Plus, they have their own apps which were designed to work with mouse and keyboard in the first place.

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Dave 126
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There's a difference to using a finger touch system to do things better done with a mouse (Metro UI) and a stylus driven system to draw and sketch (Surface).

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Dave 126
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Those OSX users who benefit from a high quality stylus driven screen (digital artists) have always had the option of using Wacom kit - for a hefty price. They have been in the past good reason why people in that sector used OSX and not Windows (colour management, display scaling etc - but I AFAIK Windows has caught up).

That use-case has to be a parent of the iPad Pro as much as the Surface.

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Dave 126
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Re: Still no.

The article was about the Surface range, but you've focused on the convertible tablet model.

Yeah, sone of them have had software issues at launch - in a way Apple MacBooks rarely do - but I suspect most of us here are the type to wait a few months after any product is released.

Form factor of the Surface Tablet is subjective and dependant on what it's being used for. The Surface Book appears to be not too compromised as a laptop.

Ultimately, the good news for users is that other laptop / convertible vendors have upped their game, especially with respect to touchpads and screens. And hey, there's now even some damned good laptops being sold with Linux and 1st party drivers and support.

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Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal

Dave 126
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Re: underground groups of drone users

It's Iain (M) Banks, some Scotts use a second i in Iain, but at least it's more parsable than some Welsh uses of the letter to this philistine English monoglot. And yeah, drones that look like mosquitos would have an impact on our ideas of privacy. I believe Arthur C Clarke explored a post-privacy world, where the agent of change was millions of wormholes crossing the Earth... Hmm, maybe he spent more time chatting to beat poets in the Chelsea hotel than he claimed.

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Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

Dave 126
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Re: Nut Bush City Limits.

We'll keep the motorcyclists until artificial human organ technology has matured.

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Dave 126
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> How can data, like traffic information or whether the road is icy, be non-sensitive and sent without concern ?

Such data doesn't need to be associated with a specific vehicle or user - so it doesn't inherently raise privacy concerns.

Of course, given enough data, information can be de-anomynised, but there are mathematical techniques to defeat that (see: Differential Privacy)

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Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

Dave 126
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Re: Confused

I've enjoyed working in workshops where estimates are given in Imperial, and measurements always are given in mm. There's no confusing the two. "That's about four inches / That is 104 mm".

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Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Dave 126
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Re: Trump listens to this guy

@Big John

There are other quotes from Trump in support of Alex Jones. I'm sure someone here can dig out a video.

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Dave 126
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Re: An investigation is needed

If you amputate his limbs a significant mass saving can be achieved. If you just took his brain, then the payload would be measured in grams (for American readers, that's equivalent to say a $40 bag of weed)

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Dave 126
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Re: School boy mistake

Umberto Eco passed away last year sadly, though Foucault's Pendulum only took the piss out of conspiracy theories from the Knights Templar up to the book that Dan Brown ripped off (The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail).

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Dave 126
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Re: School boy mistake

Is Robert Anton Wilson still alive? It might be time for the Illuminati Trilogy to have a forth instalment, a la the HHGTTG

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Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

Dave 126
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Re: I can understand

See above comments.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Surface [...] is intended to be serviced by professionals"

To paraphrase the BBC: Other off-machine strategies are available.

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Dave 126
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Re: Scope of the study?

No, but it can't have been messier than dismantling the Etcha Sketch that it resembles!

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Dave 126
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Re: Older audio equipment

> The only downside, is my dog runs and hides every time I go near the stereo. :)

Everybody is a music critic

..

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Dave 126
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Edit: I do use older audio gear. Very good speakers (1980s Wharfedale etc) can be had for absolute peanuts from charity shops and local newspaper classified ads, and will sound very good. Amplifiers similarly, or use a new inexpensive yet good Tripath Class D amp if you don't need to shake the room. Add a 15 quid Chromecast dongle to bring some 21st century convenience to the set up.

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Dave 126
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If you are reusing, cannibalising and repairing old gear, you're not buying new gear.

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

Dave 126
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Re: OT : Petrol Pumps

Sorry to hear that CrazyOldCatMan. Of course it goes without saying to the rest of us to get these things checked out by a medical professional and to apply critical thinking if researching ourselves online.

For those without the tendon/muscle interface affected by a condition, the gyroscopic nature of the Powerball keeps the wrist tendons straight.

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Dave 126
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Re: Don't give me no static ...

My mechanic tells me that sone CB radios used to interfere with the fuel pump measurement mechanisms, so petrol stations just erred on the side of caution and so displayed Do Not Use Mobile Phones.

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