* Posts by Tom Graham

17 posts • joined 6 Apr 2012

A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

Tom Graham

Re: My perspective

The last time I went in Maplin was during the closing down sale of the branch near work.

I wanted some basic cable - usb to aux or something. I knew Maplin would be more expensive that buying from Amazon, but I needed it right away.

But then, even in the last days of the closing down sale, they were charging something like £8 when it was 50p on Amazon, So I walked out.

Tom Graham

Re: Further reading

2 is exactly what is happening to my former employer - a software company. After a couple of rounds of private equity buyouts that have done exactly this, it is now with another new owner.

Having bought the company form the previous PE owner, who sold at a loss, they were able to buy for a price where the interest on the loan to pay it is less than the value of future revenues that are effectively locked in by existing client support contracts - once the have eliminated OpEx entirely by simply abandoning all sales activities and development of the product.

Face, face, face! Apple, TrueDepth and a nose-driven iPhone X game

Tom Graham

Re: Really....

If the face unlocking were actually functionally superior to a fingerprint reader in any way, to justify the price:


-More reliable

-More secure

You might have a point, but it is none of those.

At the moment you have an expensive new bit of hardware that implements an existing function in a slightly worse way.

Apart from that it is an interesting bit of technology, which might be used to do something useful and innovative in the future, but so far we have only got animated emojis and a nose-pointing game.

On the other hand, I suppose the rest of us should be grateful that the zealots are more willing than XBox owners to pay so much to bankroll a speculative R&D project.

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Tom Graham

Re: It works..

"We don't have magic replicators, but we do have big combine harvesters. We're approaching the point - and have been since the invention of the plough - where it's available land mass that dictate our resources, not human labour."

We are not remotely approaching the point where everyone can have everything they want without anyone having to work - where no-one has to do shitty jobs like stacking shelves, wiping the arses of senile geriatrics or scraping fatbergs off the walls of sewers. Who exactly is going to do these jobs if they can live on a handout from the state?

"That's why we have so many jobs - coders, market researchers, interior decorators - that aren't directly tied to feeding us."

You mean how jobs still exist even though technology was supposed to destroy all of them?

How people keep on finding new jobs to do, even though machines plough our fields, work our production lines and route or telephone calls?

Half of Facebook's Free Basics users ditch the freebie web-lite service for the paid-for real deal

Tom Graham

Isn't the fact that a lot of people who try this free service quickly end up deciding to get a proper internet connection the best possible outcome?

Andreessen stokes the Facebook Free Basics ‘colonialism’ row

Tom Graham

Re: Fake debate

Like how people of a certain political persuasion like to present everything as no real debate?

There is simply your opinion, which is correct - based as it is on your own superior intellect, knowledge and moral values - and all contrary opinions which are wrong, and only exist at all because some people are to stupid, ignorant or evil to accept that you are right.

Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself

Tom Graham


miss the point of keeping the license fee.

Sure, the BBC could be more successful and more popular and make more money for more good TV if it became properly commercial.

But then it would not a proper commercial management.

The thousands of useless Purnells all doing pointless management jobs, making fat salaries, awarding themselves 6-figure bonuses and payoffs - these would be swept out.

Hence these people will fight tooth and nail to keep the status-quo.

Moto fires BROADSIDE into the flagship phone's waterline with X Play and Style

Tom Graham

Re: Interesting..

Android version is 5.1

Update frequency - probably never, going on the last one - it never got upgraded from 4.4 to 5.

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Gaze upon the desirable Son of Alpha: Samsung Galaxy A5

Tom Graham


I hate to sound like an advertisement.

But having just bought a new phone from an "obscure, irrelevant" Chinese OEM -

Specifically a ZTE Blade S6

I have to say it pisses over this Samsung.

£170 from Amazon.

A 615 processor instead of 410

2GB RAM instead of 1 (makes a huge difference to multitasking & performance compared to my old Moto G)

Android 5.0.2 instead of KitKat.

A non-pentile 720 screen.

Sure, it's plastic, but I have come to the conclusion that plastic is actually a better material for making phones from than metal and glass.

Apple MacBook 2015: Twelve inches of slim and shiny fanboi joy

Tom Graham

Re: I think the idea..

I could live with just one port.

But that would be one port and a power connector.

Effectively this is a computer with no ports, and has lost the mag-safe power connector which is one of the best things about my MBP.

Sure there is a market for these - people whose use is 100 percent mobile - but that is a pretty small market and they are cutting themselves off from a much bigger one.

Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

Tom Graham

Re: What About the HomeHub 5?

I have got one of these and it is pretty good.

Can't compare it to the others for speed myself, but other reviewers have and say it's near the top.

And BT sell them online to non-BT broadband customers for £129, which makes it one of the cheapest.

Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up

Tom Graham

Re: Who ate all the pies?

Yes, it's a real computer running a real OS.

Just like...

Thousands of existing models of laptops.

The only difference being - it is marginally slimmer than the slimmest existing laptops from Lenovo, Apple etc at the expense that you cannot comfortably use it on your lap, or on the tray of an aeroplane or train seat.

For the same price I would prefer an ultrabook or Air with a hinged keyboard.

And it is bigger, heavier an more expensive than tablets, which are not full computers.

So what is so great about it?

Ice core shows Antarctic Peninsula warming is nothing unusual

Tom Graham

Re: I'm not an expert

Er, yes we can.

If the current variation in temperature is within the bounds of historic natural variation, as recorded in the ice core, then of course it can be explained as being just natural variation. In fact this is the best explanation according to the principle of Occams razor.

What is so hard to understand?

They don't teach science good these days.

Tom Graham

Re: I'm not an expert

If the current temperature variation is within the range of what has happened naturally in the past, then it is statistically insignificant.

If what is happening now is shown to be in line with what has happened in the past, then there is no reason to the that what is happening now is due to some new "unpleasantness".

Or put another way, if we can explain the current temperature variation we do see as being down to the natural historical tendency for temperatures on Earth to vary over time, why would we need to think up any other reason to explain it? Occam's razor.

The conclusion quoted above seems to be saying:

"The present variation we are seeing is nothing outside of historical norms, and does not indicate a threat to the stability of the ice sheets. But if there were to be more temperature change in the future at a rate that was faster than the current or historical norm, then this could be bad."

So what?

The iPad 3 would make me so horny...

Tom Graham

Re: a tablet without it is not worth having

"If you never owned a previous model you're not really in a place to make the comparison"

Yeah right. The fact that I have spent hours looking at the screen of previous iPads owned by various people including my girlfriend, is irrelevant. I really can't possible compare without having owned an iPad 2 for a year. Plus the fact that they have the two versions on sale side-by-side in the shops.

No I can't possibly make a comparison, and my opinion is invalid.

" certainly I note not one jot of graininess compared to my PCs/laptops."

Yes, but it's still visibly pixellated, unlike a Kindle, and unlike the new model. Maybe for playing angry birds it makes no difference.

I am glad you are happy with your iPad2. There is no deed to be a dick about it.

Tom Graham

Re: Blame your tools. not your ipad

There was an article about it somewhere, I forget, that explains it.

Down to two things:

Hardware limitations - at least in the first iPad, the performance of rendering text was actually slower than for graphics, so people just converted text to graphics.

Secondly, it is easier for designers to guarantee a fixed layout when they just effectively scan each page, rather than to get competent with using HTML5.

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