* Posts by Ledswinger

5842 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I built one at uni

They have a problem going up hills (similar to trains) as low as an 6% slope will stop them

With enough thrust that won't be a problem, although controlling it on a non-flat slope could be a bundle of laughs.

and they are very noisy.

Never mind the noise. More thrust! More thrust!

20
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Dover

but the most impressive part was the vibration

Not for me. Being on the beach at Calais waiting for the hover, and seeing an SRN4 come up off the water from fairly short range is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. The sheer size of the bugger, and the way it treats land and water with equal disregard, like some sort of enormous sea monster.

The noise was just a bonus.

51
0

Essential's Rubin coy on mysterious Plan to Take Over the Universe

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: iFixit

I'm with you, but I think its a case of biting the bullet, and accepting that small consumer electronics have short lives anyway, primarily from simple obsolescence, or from lack of software support.

As an example, I've got a 2012 Nexus 7. I can replace the screen, the battery, its in working order, but it is sooooo sllloooooooowwwww that it is unusable, and is stuck on geriatric software that leaves it vulnerable to a whole host of bugs. I could root and load some newer OS, but that would only maker it even slower.

From a recycling perspective the method of assembly doesn't matter. What I should have done with the Nexus is flogged it as soon as a better one came out, and in turn flogged that eighteen months later. Let somebody else get the last bit of utility, and they can then dispose of it. Goes against my "buy-own-keep-maintain" philosophy, but that just doesn't work very well with small tech products.

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: "Be the first to order yours."

Huh? What if someone has already ordered mine for me?

Well, if your details were on Equifax's database, they probably already have, and it's now "out for delivery" to an address in eastern Ukraine.

6
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

There might be life in this

That is, if they can get the box makers (Honeywell, appliance makers, security systems makers, some entertainment systems etc) to sign up. Those companies don't stand a chance of coming up with their own UI - or nothing that will be any good, or endure. And faced with products like Alexa and Nest, they would probably welcome somebody else unifying things through a comms hub with a nice UI, in a way that doesn't threaten their core business, but relieves them of the tricky UI software and interlinking aspects.

Personally, I'm still not buying the IoT pitch, so I won't be in the queue here, but Rubin and buddies are smart guys with a track record, and they know that they can't take the big tech companies head on. With product makers worrying that Google and Amazon will shit on them, they might see this as well worth playing ball with.

4
0

EU's tech giant tax plan moves forward

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: And in DC the US Treasury is not happy

Capitalists steal 90% of the value you create that you never even see.

Back in your box, Jeremy, or I'll cancel your subscription to Morning Star! And with claims like "capitalists stealing 90% of the value", it seems you've been letting Diane Abbott do your maths homework again.

12
4
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: EU - making it up as they go along

Politicians, especially EU ones, never seem to understand the KISS principle.

Declaration: I'm a Brexiteer. But having had to work with a mix of UK and EU legislation, I'd say that on balance the UK government are worse than the EU for making things wildly, needlessly complicated, and creating unintended outcomes. And they are spectacularly poor at drafting EU directives into domestic law, invariably making the UK version more onerous, more complex, more expensive, and more shit-headed than other EU countries versions. The UK's tax code is now over ten million words - and of course its still got more holes than a good bit of Emmental. The blame for that doesn't sit with Brussels, it sits with the lazy and inept arts graduates staining the seats of Westminster.

What is required to improve this is a binding law to place a word limit on new statutes of say 2,000 words (and no appendices or supplementaries), and a need for all legislation to not just have the Royal Assent, but also the Crystal Mark of the Campaign for Plain English.

16
0

UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

it is up to the CPS to decide whether a prosecution is in the public interest.

Ah, yes. The Clown Prosecution Service. The people who let Dodgy Lord Janner off the hook, amongst many other "mysterious" decisions.

0
0

ICO whacks Welsh biz with £350k fine for 150 MEEELLION nuisance calls

Ledswinger
Silver badge

C'mon, lets not take the law into our own hands, please?

The bit you want is the 'Directors & Secretaries' section for the names and addresses.

Usually (but not always) these are document service addresses, not the home addresses. And the reason directors can use these semi-anonymous addresses is specifically because directors used to have to give their home addresses, but then the twats from the animal rights lobby took to going round and attacking and abusing the directors and their families.

In this case, for a low value of non-violent nuisance retaliation, I think some of us can accept that they'd deserve that. But anything beyond that, and you're taking it upon yourself to enforce a form of "justice" outside the court system. Who will be deemed guilty by you? What will be their punishment? And where will all that end? I suspect that anything they'd call the police over would see people on a harassment or stalking charge, and rightly so.

We have criminal and civil justice systems that are the envy of most of the world. Sometimes they don't deliver the result many people want, but that's not the fault of the courts, but usually of careless civil servants and lackadaisical politicians. Rather than forming a lynch mob for each instance, how about using the energy campaigning to get director's personal liability added as a clause to the draft data protection bill?

3
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: This is the problem

FFS. Does anyone read the full article these days?

@ Lost all faith...

Do you really believe the pathetic, beleaguered, out-of-their-depth wankers of the current government will draft and pass such a law? It certainly wasn't in the Queen's Speech, I doubt there's time in the parliamentary calendar, I sense no political enthusiasm, and I can see nothing in the draft of the UK Data Protection Bill that covers the situation where a penalty against a company cannot be recovered due to insolvency or winding up.

I'd like to be mistaken, but I believe this is just another shitty, insincere promise by politicians that they never intended to honour.

22
2

Tech biz must be more export-focused, says defence kit minister

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Erratum and correction

Or maybe she was told "we've already got something that fits the bill" ?

Something that will project power, an demonstrate the might of the Empire, vastly expensive, complex, huge, unmanouevrable, requiring a vast crew and an entire fleet of smaller vessels to defend itself; Of immense destructive power when its finished, but really very vulnerable.

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Erratum and correction

“Winning ideas included robotic ground vehicles, Uber-like delivery apps, unmanned air vehicles, including autonomous hoverbikes,” said the minister.... who was clearly talking out of her arse, and demonstrating the total ignorance of technology that could only come from a modern languages graduate.

You can just imagine her sitting watching Star Wars with the kids, and thinking, ooh, we ought to make and sell some of those big four legged walking tank thingies the baddies use! And those hoverbikes, yes, they must be this "technology" of which scientists speak! " Presumably she considered a request for a Death Star, but was told that had already been handed to BAES without a written contract

4
0

Another month, another malware outbreak in Google's Play Store

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Useless Google

BTW Google has a UK MD - he'd be the one going to prison.

Would he? The Play store is provided by Google (in legal terms) from their Mountain View lair. I suspect that the money handling element is bound to be domiciled somewhere else with low tax, low transparency, and lax regulation, but either way, the Play store is a service provided from a non UK location. Even the neatest Google DC is Dublin. Under the various treaties that politicians have rubber stamped there's not much our government can do about that, I suspect. You can certainly push personal accountability UP the leg of a corporate family tree, but I really can't see how you'd then bring it down an adjacent leg,and imprison a manager for the actions of other managers in another division, in a foreign jurisdiction. Not a chance that would stick.

You could however hold the group accountable, and thus inflict any punishment on their UK business in that manner.

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Useless Google

It wouldn't be about lawsuits, it would be about Google's directors going to prison.

I can see that concentrating people's minds, but given the malign political influence of Google that is already visible in government policy on copyright, data protection etc, is that really going to happen?

Even if a law was passed for that, the US government won't extradite its own citizens, so the real power players are immune so long as they stay out of the UK, the UK government is a patsy for the US government and probably wouldn't have the balls to try, and if applied to UK Google employees, the board of Alphabet would happily throw them under a bus if that kept the profits rolling.

A more interesting approach might be to make the business liable, with the penalty being suspension of sales by group companies to UK customers (something similar can already be applied to energy suppliers and financial services companies). I can assure you that putting a choke around a company's revenues really does make them think. But again, I can't see our useless government doing that, either.

1
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Useless Google

Maybe. But look how quickly Android killed Symbian and the assorted Nokia OS variants.

Android started gaining recognisable market share in 2009, by 2011 Symbian was all but dead in sales terms. Google are sitting pretty for lack of competitors, and we've had a whole range of misfires (Tizen, Sailfish, Ubuntu, Firefox OS, BB10, Cyanogenmod).

However, the dominance of Google Android won't last forever. Corporate history over the past hundred or more years shows that dominant companies don't stay dominant forever, and they rarely see the bus that hits them. When these things happen, the swapover from one dominant product to another can go very quickly. That's something that most of the big US tech giants are hoping won't happen, I'm predicting it will, but that could be anytime between tomorrow and 2040.

Probably your gloomy Android hellscape will be the near term - but I think that's what will trigger the emergence of new approaches, with (for example) people choosing to actually pay more for a more secure OS - not the outrageous prices that Apple demand, but imagine what BB10 might have been combined with low cost Android hardware?

2
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Useless Google

@Headley Grange:

That would trigger action, hopefully, but it doesn't give Google any more options?

I suppose they could say "Heck, keep doing what we're doing and then just pay the lawsuits off" and that might seem an option, but I don't think they'd get away with that for very long.

2
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Useless Google

I wonder just how many new apps .... get uploaded daily ...I'm sure it's a number far larger than would be practicable to have people screen them individually.

Well the shitty and inadequate robo-screening of software clearly isn't working. I suggest there are only four high level options:

1) Limit the number of apps uploaded to something they can properly screen with current approaches.

2) Observing that Alphabet made almost $20 billion net profit last year, they could actually recruit an entire army of testers, and hold back new apps until they have been tested properly. That'd still make barely a dent in that profit. Hiring a thousand testing staff at $70k cost would be less than half of one per cent of net profits (and it'd be fully tax deductible anyway).

3) As a poster above notes, if Google won't fix Android security, then they should sell it to somebody who does care, and will.

4) Do nothing. Stamp on costs, continue as Wall Street's bitch, and just cruise on until the Play store gets hit by some absolutely disastrous malware outbreak that destroys the Android brand.

9
1

Facebook let advertisers target 'Jew-haters'

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Move along. There is no story here.

Good call, Gruezi.

Facebook is a business, it sells targeted advertising. How somebody chooses to identify themselves is up to them, and if advertisers choose to target that niche, then let them.

The wild running round by much of the press, and wider moral panic over racism is just posturing stupidity. Some people hold those opinions, often regardless of what others may think. If they've told Facebook that, and its a hook to flog them stuff, why not? I don't see that endorses those opinions, any more than targeting any particular part of the political spectrum would (even indirectly, such as using socio-economic indicators that often correlate with voting patterns).

2
3

Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: All browsers suck

Firefox is regressing. Adobe stuff breaks on it.

Surely that's a good thing?

The sooner Adobe and their products disappear down the mineshaft filled with the remains of old tech companies the better. That'll be tough on photo-retouchers, but that's acceptable collateral damage in my book.

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Every time you visit Google with Edge, you see an ad for Chrome

How do Goodle still get away with this?

What, advertising their own products, on their own web page, designed, hosted and paid for by them, that you're visiting, of your own choice, free of charge ? They'll be outraged in Tunbridge Wells, I'm certain.

There's plenty of stuff that Google do that they shouldn't get away with IMHO, but this strikes me as entirely reasonable. In the same way that they advertised Google+ for a couple of years, and 99% of the population chose to ignore it, with 1% choosing it for their own good reasons..

6
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge
Pint

Firefocalypse

I like that, I like that a lot!

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Maybe its the air in Redmond

when you discover the bed has shit in it, you clean it up and move on, you don't leave it in case it's suddenly not shit 12 months later when you climb back in

Well, Microsoft do, and have done for years (and not just browsers, look at Silverlight, or .NET, or the still unresolved UI challenges).

Which makes me ask: Has anybody dated a girl (or boy) from Redmond? It might be some quaint local custom, or a way of showing affection?

4
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The interface is terrible

I'll second Andy Prough's comments. Opera first, and Firefox as well.

Because I operate both at full "shields up" paranoia settings and assorted paranoic add ons, I also have Chrome installed running at default. If something doesn't work due to my settings on the first two, Chrome almost always does a good job. The reason its not my default is simply because it'll be bleeding everything I do back to Google.

The sad thing for Microsoft is that I don't use any of their browsers. I'm sure that in my W10 system there's at least one if not two installed, but after everything Redmond have f***ed up with browsers for decades, it simply isn't going to happen that I willingly use a Microsoft browser. And no matter how good they make Edge, that still applies.

19
4

AWS users felt a great disturbance in the cloud, as S3 cried out in terror

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Strange.

Must be all that clean living.

On the contrary, saw no problems because all the NSFW content is properly hosted at Amazon's N.California DC.

1
0

AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I've thought of this often

Under floor heating typically uses temperatures of 25c.

That would normally be the surface temperature, not the heat transfer circuit temperature. In theory you can use a circuit temperature of 25 C, but in practice the heat transfer rate (with a delta T to room temperature of as little as 4C) would be absolutely appalling, meaning the system would have very low controllability, and slow warm up times. That's basic physics, no amount of clever design can alter that. So a 25C circuit is fine, if you've got a house with excellent insulation, a heat system designed for a very low temperature input, a property with very high thermal mass (inertia), and you keep it at a constant single temperature (very inefficient unless the house is occupied 24/7).

Most underfloor heating will have an absolute minimum circuit temperature of 30C, but it will perform a whole lot better with a circuit temperature of 40-50C, and that'll usually produce a surface temperature in the 25-32C range, where higher is much better for comfort and control.

2
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I've thought of this often

40C for free home heating for low income families means they are not having to use costed services as much if at all

You evidently know little of the complexities and immense costs of district heating systems, nor of the very limited uses of very low grade heat. If these "low income families" were paying for the full system, they'd be paying a lot more than any conventional approach to heating. Maybe they're just paying their additional fuel costs, but even so, SOMEBODY is paying for a very expensive bit of eco-bling.

Heat recovery is like recycling. Just because you can ALWAYS do it at a technical level, doesn't mean that it is either economic, or environmentally sound.

7
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I've thought of this often

Cool the aircon heat exchanger.

At any reasonable cost, you'd lose a lot of the heat, and there's a problem with the grade of heat.

As the nominal efficiency of a heat exchanger rises, the output recovered heat temperature declines. The value of heat depends on having reasonable quality waste heat to fit in with existing use cases. So either you have a highly efficient heat exchange producing low grade heat that there's only so much use for, or you recover reasonably useful grade of heat, but have low recovery efficiency.

As a demonstration project, or a subsidy funded toy, you can work around these, but if you're doing this commercially, recovering waste heat with an average temperature of 40C is of little use. Most building heating systems use much higher temperatures even on the return flow, and hot tap water needs to be kept at 60C to prevent legionella. Auxiliary use for heating a swimming pool is fine, but typically you'll add a lot of complexity to a system that still depends most of the time on a fossil fuel boiler.

6
1

Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Stupid flying machines

there isn't any footage of him stepping out confidently, then the thing failing to start up, and him plummeting to his death

Or perhaps there isn't any released footage of the event?

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Darwin

Exactly! And if there's an app, and this becomes an airborne Uber, then this is potentially a means to cleanse us of urban hipsters. I don't think they count as any particular ethnicity, so it wouldn't be a problem with international courts. And with ever more clogged roads, but more driver assistance technologies, the fire brigade will need something to do:

"Special Service call, Old Kent Road near junction with Mandela Way. Another urban hipster + drone scrape up and hose down. Southwark council say to put the meat in an orange sack at the kerbside, and it'll be collected overnight".

4
0

Yet more British military drones crash, this time into the Irish Sea

Ledswinger
Silver badge

A supplier making false claims about the capabilities of their product

Well, at least the number of instances of the untrue claim are declining, as the fleet started out as 54, and is now down to 50.

Or less, given how slowly these reports of drone crashes emerge. At the current attrition rate, we could surmise that between the last reported losses "earlier this year", we'll have had another breakage.

4
0

Tick, tock motherf... erm, we mean, don't panic over GDPR

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Up to €20m includes the figure zero

The fines shouldn't stand in the way of civil proceedings for compensation

I respect the concept, in practice it would be very difficult for most people to prove that they suffered losses due to a specific data breach. If you get defrauded or suffer costs from identity theft after a data breach that affected you, could you (to the satisfaction of a court) prove that the losses you incurred were down to a particular company and a particular data spill?

Companies have been so careless over the years, I suspect we've all been subject to several breaches that may or may not know about. How would you prove (a) which company was responsible for enabling the fraud, (b) that it wasn't your fault for being conned, and (c) that it was that company's fault?

Its worth noting that the government use quasi-judicial processes and "civil monetary penalties" to enforce a lot of regulation, specifically because they know that proving to the standard of a court will be a long winded, risky, and expensive process that will certainly be contested. Would you start an action against (eg) Talk Talk, who probably have a legal budget of the order of a couple of million quid? They'd initially tie up your lawyer with a range of mid-tier law firms, but if things looked like going against them they'd bring in an attack dog city law firm, and even get a QC in to really get heavy. Under current rules, a lawyer can't even take on your case commercially unless he's seen proof that you can afford it, and that includes paying the other sides costs if you lose. That's why so few people successfully sue banks. So I don't think that in the real world many people will ever be able to use civil proceedings against big companies.

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

I have a question. Why are fines always an up amount?

In the case of GDPR, the reason that its upto €20m or 4% of global turnover is to make sure that even for a company that may not have any turnover, a fine can still be issued. Many companies have little or no turnover, either because they themselves don't trade as such, even though they handle data, some holding companies own trading companies, but may not consolidate the results up, property companies often make their profit from balance sheet transactions, and thus have little or no turnover. If you're a well capitalised startup, you may be rich as stink, but have minimal turnover. And a load of other instances.

But would you rather have a "not less than" fine? We use them all the time with people, and they're called fixed penalty notices, but they seem to be the sort of impact your tone is objecting to?

5
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Up to €20m includes the figure zero

Whilst many are applauding the new higher penalties available under GDPR or the UK equivalent, it is worth stopping to ask whether the actual fines will differ by very much from the current regime. A quick perusal of ICO enforcement shows that they have very rarely (maybe never) issued even the £500k fines that they could. The highest instances I could see over the past few years were to TalkTalk (£400k) and a similar amount to a spam caller, Keurboom Communications, who were wound up by the owner a month before the ICO slapped them with the penalty. And the "civil monetary penalties" just go back to the Treasury. So three points:

1) ICO haven't seen fit to reach the pretty low £500k even for the biggest UK breaches. If they aren't seeing those as even half-mill offences, why will a higher penalty ceiling make a difference? Even with a 4% or £17m maximum, what would the ICO actually fine say TalkTalk for their most recent screw? My feeling is of the order of what, £6-7m. Peanuts to them, still. I really don't think we'll see the 4% of global turnover actually used, which would be £70m for TalkTalk.

2) The bottom-feeders can be smacked with proportionately high fines, but they simply aren't going to pay them.

3) Government actually stand to make money from data breaches. That's wrong - the money should either be handed out to the victims (mere pence, but the cost of doling it out would be a huge overhead and massive and embarrassing admin task for the guilty); Or it should fund the ICO's operations, so that they can do a better job of policing the rules, such as proactive investigations.

So I think that post-GDPR it is business as usual for the likes of TalkTalk. GDPR breaches will be more expensive, and hopefully the threat and the publicity will provoke action, but I don't believe the actual fines will be of material significance to larger corporations. Government have talked about making directors personally liable for unpaid penalties, but unless the UK implementation of GDPR includes that clause, no new legislation will be coming forward, and we'll continue to see the scum evade the fines they are due.

6
0

DARPA lays out cash-splash to defibrillate Moore's Law

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Gerneralising as a justification

it's getting harder and harder to keep Moore's Law tick-tocking over

Is it really? Go back to when Gordon Moore first stated his observation, at that time the main driver was shrinking the silicon. We take that for granted, but it wasn't a walk in the park, it was cutting edge research and cutting edge manufacturing by some of the cleverest people on the planet. Just because we're now approaching the limits to shrinking silicon, there's plenty of mileage in other areas of research.

It's ALWAYS been hard to keep aligned with Moore's Law, I'm not convinced it is getting either harder or easier. And I'm with the commentard above who observed that $75m is gnats piss. In 2016, the top 10 semiconductor companies spent over $35 billion on R&D (and there were companies outside the top 10 individually spending over $1.5bn on R&D).

5
1

Chirpy, chirpy, cheap, cheap: Printable IoT radios for 10 cents each

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Oh sh*t

Cheap technology like this will only encourage the mould-like growth of the internet of tat. Can't we stop them now?

8
8

Credit reference agencies faulted for poor patching

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: If Experian failed to patch...

Experian or Equifax? Experian did have a data breach of c15m records back in 2015, this latest effort is Equifax.

Experian plc is an Irish listed company, but the track record of the Irish government (eg on tax) suggests they'll not be subject to too much plain from future data protection laws in their home country. The British government don't seem in any hurry to deliver savage kickings over data protection, either. Only if they manage to lose French or German citizens data, then Experian and others might then find that they get a beating they remember.

0
0

Apple's 'shoddy' Beats headphones get slammed in lawsuit

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: $200 for headphones for working out?!

Seriously, unless your idea of working out is walking on a treadmill for half an hour

Don't scare me. mate! My idea of a strenuous workout is lying back on the couch with a beer, watching somebody else do a sweaty workout. All that watching, it's hard work, you know, but somebody has to do it.

Link generally SFW, by the way.

11
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Nothing new here

Regardless, five megabucks (plus fees, I presume) just because flexible plastic gets stained?

In any decent, functioning legal system, the plaintiff's and their lawyers would be told to fuck right off. Which is why the suit has been filed in the US of A.

4
32

Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban

Ledswinger
Silver badge

If the US administration keep pushing China and Russia...

...maybe they will evolve their own OS and software. We all (I think) know the none-too glorious history of Red Flag Linux, so the presumption has been that they can't or won't, or that they won't stick at it.

But it is a very interesting thought exercise to consider how much of the US domination of tech is purely down to the dominance of two operating systems, Windows and Android. If the US government keep the pressure on Russia and China, then maybe the next two most powerful countries on earth might conclude that they really should break away from these two companiies' products.

No commercial monopoly lasts forever. Maybe the DoHS have just signed the death warrant of Microsoft and Google's supremacy? In the grand sweep of history, that doesn't seem impossible.

23
1

Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Bindun

The Royal Navy had laser weapons in the Falklands conflict.

Tell that rubbish to the Welsh Guards, mate.

1
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

All they need is a new knob

Why? For the arms industry, I'd suggest that the existing collection of complete knobs in the MoD are doing a sterling job.

7
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Innovative, effective and affordable solutions

Who's he kidding? I can't think of ANYTHING procured by MoD that meets all three, and it is possible to argue that almost all MoD projects didn't meet a single one of those criteria.

Them again, I'm being harsh. I suppose it was "innovative" of MoD to lease C-17s for more than the purchase cost. The QE carriers have certainly been effective in buying votes in Labour strongholds. Affordable, now that's a bit more difficult.

7
0

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Sound

The money saved has gone into improving something else like the camera or screen, or cpu

Given that the DAC should be on the SOC processor, and the IP cost of different grades of DAC on an SOC would be minimal, how much extra quality will they get, spending an extra ten cents on the camera and screen?

0
0

El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Has El Reg seen what has happened to The Guardian of Late?

The Guardian seems to have turned itself over to interns,

Never to my political tastes, but it certainly used to be a quality newspaper. But a few years ago it suddenly degenerated to become something of a mad, disorganised, rambling global hippy blog.

3
0

Apple's adoption of Qi signals the end of the wireless charging wars

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: A bloody nose for Analists?

I don't think I'd use wireless charging no matter what type of phone I had. It just seems so inefficient when compared to taking a second or so to plug in a cable

I've used Qi on a Sammy S3 for a year or two, but just replaced it with a phone that doesn't have any wireless charging capability. Qi works well when you place the handset properly, and is then far easier to use off and on throughout the day, much easier than faffing around with a crappy micro USB lead, meaning your phone tends to stay topped up. A Qi charger pad is only a few quid, so why not give it a try if your phone supports it.

Where Qi falls down is that even well positioned it warms the phone up considerably, perhaps 10C or more above ambient, and if off centre the phone can actually get quite hot - around 50 C. That will considerably shorten the service life of the battery, I reckon, and make premature failure more likely. When you can replace the battery yourself for a tenner (like on my old S3) that's not really a concern. If the battery is sealed in, and costs £50-100 to have replaced by a technician, then baking your battery every time you charge it doesn't seem such a good idea. I'm not sure if the new resonance charging is any better in this respect.

0
0

Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Original iPhone was not unique for maps

Nokia was far better. Mobile web, maybe Apple did better, but still "meh" at the time given prevailing mobile data speeds and costs. What the original iPhone did brilliantly was to offer a beautiful physical experience, being smart, compact, well built, and the first phone with a high quality capacitive touch screen. Compare that to a Nokia 5800 of similar vintage - creaky, crappy small resistive touchscreen, thick and clunky. And then there was iPhone software, which for all its limits was better than Nokia's by a country mile.

But otherwise, you're absolutely right. Apple have not evolved as fast as their competitors since 2007. And a decade later they are now the ones playing catchup. Apple investors may want to see how taking your eye off the ball worked for Nokia.

19
2

Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: These "new" iPhones

and it looks like Apple prices are *still* headed the wrong way

Certainly are. In strategic terms, Apple are treating their business as a cash cow - maximise profit by charging as much as they can, rather than offer real innovation because (in developed markets) they've accepted that they have reached near enough their maximum market share. For a cash cow business, growth can only be in dollars, not physical market share. Traditionally a cash cow faces a declining market, I suspect that with Apple, this cash cow will endure for a very long time.

Wall Street hoped that Apple would announce some fantastic "augmented reality" product to reignite growth, with Apple encouraging them that this is in the pipeline. I'm sure the iPhone X will fly off the shelves, but AR? Have these people no common sense? Google Glass was a form of AR, and that sank without much trace. Pokemon Go was a form of AR, and that was nothing more than a childish fad. AR is a bit like VR, AI and all the rest - hypeware that is being pushed because the makers hope they can sell it, in the face of a market that really isn't asking for it.

IMHO, the only medium term growth possibility for Apple is China, but it is not clear whether China will ever really embrace Apple in the same highly profitable way that the UK and US have. The Chinese domestic market is very different, and they've got some excellent handset manufacturers, producing beautiful, well made devices at a fraction of the cost of Apple's product. Even if China does start buying more iPhones, expect very different pricing and much lower pricing, accompanied by unbelievably rigorous region controls to stop a grey market in cheaper Apple devices cannibalising the Western markets willing to pay £1,000 a phone.

If people buy the X for £1,000 to £1,100, then you can be sure that Apple will be thinking that in a year to eighteen months they can announce an iPhone X-and-a-bit costing £1,400. Apple's innovation is now solely in demanding outlandish prices, and getting the iPhone addicts to pay for them.

19
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Keats: A thing of beauty is a joy forever--no, wait, what?

Merely anecdotal but most iphone owners seem less likely to have a case from what I have noticed.

I've noticed that. And a hell of a lot of cracked iPhone screens that they're in no hurry to pay to have replaced.

5
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Apple copying Microsoft?

next year's iteration won't be the "S" update, it'll be called the iPhone X "Creator's Update"

Brilliant idea. And, in next year's breathless marketingasm, they can rename the "Steve Jobs Theater" (tm) as "The Creator's Theater" (tm).

I think that given the clear lack of real innovation since Jobs, they should next year start to really big-up the Steve legend. They could all wear robes (with a turtle-neck, of course), chant a catchy mantra about Steve The Creator. I say mantra, it'd obviously have to be a rap, by some well known but essentially untalented hip-hop star, to continue the myth that Apple have any relevance to youth culture.

2
1

Act fast to get post-Brexit data deal, Brit biz urges UK.gov

Ledswinger
Silver badge

£240bn

Was the total value of UK exports with the EU last year.

Maybe the believe the CBI are with the bearded hipsters that "everything is now the data economy!". Or maybe they're just quacking out of their arse. My money's on the latter.

6
2

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017