* Posts by DrXym

4357 posts • joined 18 Jul 2007

IBM floats Microsoft Office web challenger

DrXym Silver badge

Concur

I'm using Lotus Notes 7, a product allegedly released in 2007. I've never encountered such a user hostile POS as this. It's like some developers found a box full of Common User Architecture documents from 1985, tossed them all up in the air and implemented Notes from the documents they managed to catch. Words like awful, wretched, broken, frustration, misery, despair, all leap to mind when using it.

Android bites big chunk out of Apple iPad market share

DrXym Silver badge

Messy article

I think some of those figures are wrong, or the wording is or something.

Anyway I think it's fairly obvious that a tidal wave of android powered tablets is coming this year and I would not be surprised if they represent > 50% sales by the end of it. There will be fairly reasonable tablets costing close to half what the iPad currently does.

The biggest fly in the ointment is Android 3.0 which really needs to be out and ready before manufacturers can let rip. The current Honeycomb preview edition in the SDK raises some doubts in my mind if/when the OS will be ready.

Indonesian pop star jailed over sex videos

DrXym Silver badge

I wonder what search term is trending today

My guess is "Nazril Irham porn video"

BlackBerry beats iPhone to top UK smartphone

DrXym Silver badge

Hmmm

Sounds like a pretty dubious claim. I expect if we were looking at sales by "brand" that iPhone would stomp over Android and Blackberry. If we were looking at sales by OS that Android would stomp over iPhone and Blackberry. I can't think of any situation where Blackberry would stomp over iPhone or Android without redefining what the term "smart phone" meant to most people.

Drive-by exploit slurps sensitive data from Android phones

DrXym Silver badge

Wrong Hans

"Android fragmentation, the unwillingness of the vendors to update their Android-based kit regularly will mean your data will not be safe on Android ... especially since you have to download a program that only runs on Windows (AFAIK, could not find Mac equivalent - Linux?) to update SE's Android kit."

Actually it will be perfectly safe, assuming you purchase phones from a company which supports their phones with firmware updates as necessary. I assume most corporate customers have pockets deep enough to entitle them to that level of support, and consumers can pick and choose from the various handset manufacturers.

We already know certain manufacturers are more forthcoming with updates than others - pick those if security updates are top priority. Sony Ericsson is one of the worst in providing updates and HTC is one of the better. Choose accordingly.

Android is probably higher risk than other phone OS's, by virtue of being such an attractively large target. I think it would be beneficial if Google & other stakeholders were to have some kind of security clearing house where issues could be addressed in a coordinated fashion. On this particular bug, it would seem sensible that phone finds a way to obfuscate the path to the SD card (thus making paths unguessable), or display some permission dialog before permitting access to a file.

I do agree that all phone manufacturers should be required to support their phones to some level. The guarantee that covers the physical phone should also cover the software including the fixing of any security / power / stability related issues.

DrXym Silver badge

Yes paranoid

Google already have a way to gather info about you. They provide services that people use everyday and put them into phones as the default - search, maps, docs, email etc. There is no need to do something underhand for which they'd be flayed alive. Besides if they wanted to upload files, they could just embed some code into Maps or Gmail or similar which just grabbed it straight from the SD and uploaded it. I.e. there is no need for an exploit.

Any issue with paths in the browser is a security flaw, nothing more or less. A serious flaw but one which has a solution - don't upload of any kind without explicit user permission. A second level of security would be to prevent the browser accessing file:// urls under any circumstances, or at least create a small hash (e.g. 8 chars) which is randomly assigned to the phone and must be must be prepended to the path in the file:// url for it to function properly.

UK a 3D TV nation? Not half

DrXym Silver badge

Someone should do a tech analysis of Sky 3D

I think they would find that the picture resolution is either vertically or horizontally cut in half so that the left and right eye image can be broadcast in the same frame. The TV would reconstitute the 3D scaling each half to be either the left or right eye image.

That's the most likely way 3D is broadcast simply because the tech was retrofitted into Sky HD boxes which have been out way longer than SoCs that would have plucked 3D data out of a MVC stream.

That also means that it's technically impossible have 3D AND HD on at the same time. The 3D cuts the pixels in half which probably explains why Sky is so fastidiously trying to avoid saying the two in the same sentence lest anyone takes them to the ASA.

FBI serves 40 search warrants in Anonymous crackdown

DrXym Silver badge

Not equivalent though

Federal law is responsible for protecting computers involved in interstate and foreign commerce. It's defined in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). That's why the FBI are involved. If Anonymous had chosen to DDOS a computer which was not related to interstate commerce, the investigation would probably fall under state law.

Besides which comparing a DDOS to a peaceful protest is a bit off the mark. It's more comparable to a flash mob turning up and trying to storm an office, not caring what damage they do in the process solely with the purpose of taking a business out of action.

DrXym Silver badge

Scientology do pay the police

It's well known they hire police officers to as security for their premises in Clearwater. Uniformed police no less. I think it's thoroughly disgraceful that any police department would permit this but they do. I doubt Scientology has any sway with the feds though (aside from bribing individual corrupt agents). They could still file a criminal complaint and expect some investigation to occur though I doubt any agency would give it half the attention as when critical financial institutions are under attack.

DrXym Silver badge

No it isn't.

So you think the FBI shouldn't be investigating a major organised attack designed to take down two critical financial services?

DrXym Silver badge

So predictable

Bu-bu-but they're anonymous! It's one thing to go after religious cults. It's quite another to go after major financial institutions and not expect repercussions.

Visa / Mastercard et al probably had log files filled with IP addresses of the attackers, people who rather foolishly allowed their machines to be bots in a DDOS attack. Idiots basically. Whether they are pawns or not, they are still on the hook. I expect the feds have some of the ring leaders in their sights too.

DrXym Silver badge

Yes they would

Attacking Visa / Mastercard, or any financial institution would probably attract the undivided attention of the FBI at the best of times. Why do you think any different?

Google unleashes Android fondleslab SDK

DrXym Silver badge

Yes I'm serious

<i>do you mean something other than what you seem to mean with that statement? Are you serious?! What other OS has revisions pumped out as often as android?</i>

Honeycomb has been rumoured for 4 or 5 months now, certainly in the works longer than that, previewed before Christmas and now when we see it it is virtually broken. It barely runs at all in the emulator and even the browser app crashes virtually instantly. It's barely fit even for development work.

So yes it's worrying. Dozens of tablets are announce to be running on this thing and it isn't ready. I hope and expect things improve but what is there is seriously underwhelming.

DrXym Silver badge

Emulator is fine in 2.x

I use the emulator on 2.x apps and it works fine. Slow but acceptable.

I think the emulator is chugging on 3.x simply because of the new 3D heavy UI. The 3D is being done in software (emulated software no less) so it heavily impacts on performance. If Google were to hardware accelerate the graphics, I think performance would dramatically improve.

The emulator is actually QEMU based, so I suppose that a custome guest driver could generate traps that QEMU could translate into host GL / DirectX instructions. Thus the rendering would be moved out into the host where it would be accelerated. This is more or less how other VMs work.

DrXym Silver badge

Get some perspective yourself

Have you actually run Android 3.0 preview? If you had you would realise how superficial the resemblance is to iOS. The home page doesn't look anything like an iPad aside from showing some app launch icons. It's not even that similar to Android 2.x with most launcher completely gutted and replaced, and major changes to the browser & other apps.

I don't even understand why you think I lack perspective. My original post was hardly glowing of what I found in Android 3.0 preview. I think it's a bit lacklustre so far and I'm hoping things improve substantially before release.

DrXym Silver badge

Doesn't look anything like the iOS UI

Android's 3.0 is nothing like the iOS UI except in superficial ways.

The UI is far more 3D enabled - e.g. Add a widget and all your views are arranged in a semi circle to make it easy to drag & drop the widget onto one of them. Flipping between views also invokes a 3D swipe. It's also clear that Google have put a lot more thought into multitasking than iOS with recently used apps etc.

That said the preview emulator performance is terrible. The emulator looks like it is struggling to do most of the 3D in software and it chugs. There are also only a handful of apps to look at and the default theme is pretty ugly. I hope and expect that when the final release turns up most of these issues will be resolved, but it's a bit worrying to see how long Android 3.0 is taking to come to fruition.

Sony preps PlayStation gaming for Android

DrXym Silver badge

Makes sense

I always wondered what the hell Sony would be up to if they consigned PSP brand to just their own handhelds. The brand wouldn't stand a chance. At least by allowing other manufacturers to certify their devices they build up an ecosystem which has the potential to become it's own gaming platform in time, independent of Sony hardware.

PSP 2 'as powerful as PS3'

DrXym Silver badge

Of course it's not as fast

It probably shares the same relationship to the PS3, that the PSP did to the PS2. On its best days you could almost be fooled into thinking this was a home console, but usually it fell short. Compare the best of the PSP, games like GTA VCS or God of War: Ghost of Sparta. You could *almost* mistake them for home console games, but the compromises they make are still noticeable.

That's not to say the PSP2 won't be a good handheld. It looks like a kick ass handheld with specs that massively outclass the 3DS and most phones. Of course better specs do not mean more sales. I suppose the way the market will go will rest on whether people want 3D (in an otherwise fairly lacklustre handheld), or no holds barred mobile performance.

Mozilla reaches for almost perfect 10 with latest Firefox 4 beta

DrXym Silver badge

Privoxy is a good solution

However it's harder to configure and keep up to date. Most of the configs are text files which must be hand edited. So if an ad slips through you have to discover the url that injected it (which could be a JS script), construct a reg ex and update / restart privoxy. What would make it better (and perhaps someone has done it) is an add on that allows you to block stuff from your browser and the changes are appended to privoxy's filters.

DrXym Silver badge

@AC wrong

"Firefox is actually still downloading all those adverts, just not displaying them."

The Ad block pro add on for Firefox does block content from loading. Specifically it implements a nsIContentPolicy object which is registered with Firefox and called each time the browser wants to load something. The ABP impl searches it's whitelist & blacklists to determine whether the browser should allow the item or reject it.

"Some people are just too stupid it seems to pick a browser based on their own evaluation, and simply rely on what the vendors tell them...."

Stupid is as stupid does. You does.

DrXym Silver badge

FF 4 works perfectly well

It's a good browser, is pretty robust, it's fast, enjoys good support from websites and doesn't lack for extensions that extend it in all kinds of interesting and useful ways.

Opera has some nice features, e.g. turbo mode when you're bandwidth constrained. It also starts a bit faster, though that doesn't bother me.

It's also fairly standards compliant, although in the real world that doesn't always mean much. Opera lacks industry support. Perhaps premium sites have resources to test their content in every browser. Others just test in IE, Firefox & Safari. It's all well and good to have a standards compliant browser, but it 's too easy to encounter content which is broken on Opera.

The second biggest problem with Opera is that being a niche browser means that users are zealots. They take mortal offense that people dare use another browser, or that another browser DARE do something in a way similar to Opera. These idiots do more to scare people away from their precious browser than encourage them to try it.

DrXym Silver badge

Only problem with b9

So far b9 has been pretty stable for me. Only issue I've found is the progress indicator line has a glitch that makes it too tall in the address bar.

Little Big Planet 2

DrXym Silver badge

LBP2 is a great game

The amount of creativity that's gone into the game and its engine is just mindboggling. Some of the levels are so bizarre that you have to question if Media Molecule are on drugs or their office doubles up as the local loony bin.

Biggest criticism I have so far is the story mode has too many cutscenes, and it feels a tad harder than LBP1.

Rescue mission begins for Hitchhiker's Real Guide

DrXym Silver badge

Wikipedia isn't really a guide though

H2G2 was full of stupid but interesting articles, such as how to make a jam sandwich, the best sex positions etc. Things which are highly subjective, weird, esoteric or otherwise completely unsuitable for any reference publication.

That was it's charm. But it's fairly draconion submission policy combined with Wikipedia meant it did lose mindshare.

I think the best thing that could happen to it is if someone indexed & crosslinked the archives and dumped the lot into a Wiki. Let the thing live with a more modern framework and a more liberal contribution policy. Maybe contributors need to be registered and there were appointed mods, but really it's little different from most forums in that regard. maintain or run.

Videogame TRAINS TERRORISTS, yells pundit

DrXym Silver badge

I thought it was terrorists who train terrorists

Russia has had terrorism for years. Enough for Wikipedia to have a page listing recent incidents:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_Russia

Note that most in recent years are Muslim related, probably due to Russia's heavy handed / brutal entanglements with former Soviet states.

I rather doubt this suicide bomber chose his action based on a plot of a video game. More likely he / she suffering real / perceived oppression at the hands of the Russians, was radicalized, was trained to be a suicide bomber and finally performed their act. No video game was required at any stage. Perhaps he / she did have some downtime to enjoy playing COD but somehow I doubt it.

US Wikileaks investigators can't link Assange to Manning

DrXym Silver badge

@dssf

I am assuming the reports were stored as plain text in a DB, so I've suggested ways that you could modify that data in ways which wouldn't immediately be obvious.

Human beings typed out these reports so there are bound to be typos, variances etc. You exploit these to hide your own, as well as substituting some words with synonyms, abbreviations etc. Every document contains a tiny variation which allows someone to be ID'd with a very small sample of documents.

Unless the attacker had two independent sources of the same data to compare, they have no way of detecting these differences. They could attempt to degrade the quality of these leaked documents (e.g. paraphrase their contents), or attempt to reformat them to strip out differences, but I doubt either would be totally successful.

DrXym Silver badge

@Crazy Operations Guy

They figured it out because the guy sobbed his life story out to a fellow hacker who turned him in.

Of course anyone who hits a database and slurps out every single record is probably traceable, but putting in unique identifiers would certainly nail him a lot more easily for a disclosure.

DrXym Silver badge

OS Maps etc.

Similar but different. What I'm proposing isn't fake data. It's mild perturbing of the data such that a small number of sample documents, regardless of which ones they were would be sufficient to identify the user or at least rule out a bunch of suspects.

Imagine if 50% of users get a particular document with a " and 50% with a '. Just a change of a single character cuts the number of culprits down in half. Then do similar perturbing elsewhere a misplaced semi colon, padding at the end of a line, and so on. Even one bit of variance in a page would id a person in 32 documents and I can imagine plenty of ways of packing in more than that.

Perhaps wikileaks could counter some of them (e.g. reformatting the text, upper casing everything, stripping non alpha numeric chars, but could they get rid of them all?). I doubt it.

In the case of electronic phone books and OS maps I suppose the same principle could be applied too. The insertion of fake names is usually a guard against copyright infringement, to prevent the defendant offering an innocent explanation for the infringement because the copy contains the same bogus entries as the original.

DrXym Silver badge

Security tricks

I've always wondered why sensitive data doesn't include unique finger prints embedded it in some way. Imagine that you wanted to identify a particular user was responsible for a leak. Each user has a unique 32 bit identifier. If you could embed 3 or 4 bits of difference between the source document and the copy, you'd catch them in 8 documents. An extra space character, a semicolon instead of a space, a single quote instead of a double quote, a random Z or spurious character. Replacing one word with another that unambiguously means the same thing or an abbreviation / expansion of a word. Things that are going to escape attention unless there are two separate leakers to compare documents between.

Of course, if the US government were smart they wouldn't have allowed someone to do the equivalent of "select * from reports" in the first place.

O2 to fling out free Wi-Fi for all

DrXym Silver badge

A simple solution to spam free surfing

Assuming you have an unlocked phone, buy a sim kit in any supermarket, poundland etc. Use that to register for your free wifi. Then remove the sim and stick it on a shelf somewhere, only checking it if the wifi goes for some reason. Let O2 spam away as much as they like as you won't be listening.

If O2 start using countermeasures like using delivery receipts to monitor who is receiving messages then stick the sim in some crappy old phone which you turn on from time to time to clean out the backlog, to read a validation code or whatnot.

At the end of the day they're still paid by venues so it doesn't matter to O2 and probably never will.

Apple $10k winner hangs up on 'prank caller'

DrXym Silver badge

I know what I'd do

I'd fork out for a Mac and write an app which I'd sell for $10,000. Then I'd buy that app. Yes Apple would get back 30% but at least the other 70% could spent in some more sensible way.

Website with 10 million users warns of password theft

DrXym Silver badge

Money

If Trapster has 10 million users then that's potentially 10 million US citizens who also own Amazon accounts, Ebay accounts, PayPal accounts, GMail / Hotmail / Y! mail accounts, Apple store accounts, bank accounts etc. and are dumb enough to use the same password. Once you know their user id and password you can trying plugging the values into other sites. If you get really lucky you can log into their email account and start resetting their passwords and email address for other sites. Once you do that you can engage in a bit of daylight robbery, charging as many things to their account as you can manage.

I think there would be great potential for a Firefox add-on here. An add-on that let's you generate a random throwaway password for any site and optionally also a throwaway email address (e.g. through mailinator).

DrXym Silver badge

Hashing is not enough

Hashing makes cracker's jobs slightly harder. First make a list of unique hashes, then run a dictionary attack, then cross reference the plaintext back to accounts. Chances are that 80% of passwords would be recovered by running a dictionary attack for an hour or two.

Probably need to hash the email (or hash + salt the userid) and hash + salt the password. The user id would become part of the salt for the password.

DrXym Silver badge

Hashing not enough

Gawker's problem was they hashed but didn't salt. So user A and Z both used "bob" as their password and the hash was the same. It's trivial to count how many people have the same password by looking for duplicate hashes. It's trivial to run a dictionary attack creating hashcodes and comparing to the hashes in the database. So a cracker would hash "bob" and immediately match against A & Z.

The defence is to make hashcodes unique by throwing in a appending "salt" to the password so they're not the same strings and don't hash the same. So for user A the salt might be "oiubqmnr", for user Z it might be "masddaewr". The hash of "bob-oiubqmnr" and "bob-masddaewr" differ so the hashes don't match. Additionally, the randomized password is now not vulnerable to a dictionary attack.

The problem is the salt should be unique to each user and needs to be predictable. That means it's probably computed from the user's initial email address, ip address or timestamp. So potentially the cracker could still guess or recover it by having access to these values or the source code that calculates the salt.

Gov will spend £400k to destroy ID card data

DrXym Silver badge

I'll do it for half

Line up all the tapes and drives (and perhaps a few hamsters) and I'll smash the lot with a sledgehammer for £200k.

BBC rebuilds Civilisation in HD

DrXym Silver badge

Are they going to crop it?

The World at War was recently remastered and supposedly looks pretty good in HD on Blu Ray except for one bizarre thing. The picture was reframed (cropped) from 4:3 to 16:9. So you get to see 30% less visible picture such as the picture lopping off the top of Albert Speer's head.

What the hell is the point in lovingly restoring a television programme and then doing that?

BTW The Prisoner must represent the best looking remastering in HD. Everything was shot on 35mm and it looks epic in HD.

Ubuntu - yes, Ubuntu - poised for mobile melee

DrXym Silver badge

@AC

I never said you can't do 3D on X11. What I said is X11 itself is a 2D framework. It has no concept of 3D at all. The 3D compositor is an extension that has to work with the limitations of X11. It runs in a separate process incurring overheads, it can't translate mouse inputs properly which limits things.

Moving the compositor into the framework and making it 3D aware would massively improve desktop performance. There would be less damage (repainting) so repainting or moving windows would be faster. It would be more responsive since more is done in-process. And effects like compositing, transparency would be more efficient and useful too since coordinate translation would be correct.

Just look at what Aero does for Windows, or Quartz does for OS X to appreciate what Linux can and should have. If you like Beryl then imagine what it would be like if the compositing was built-in from the ground up.

DrXym Silver badge

Not nonsense

"No. What Linux needs is more and better video drivers."

The problem isn't the video drivers, it's the massive hoops that extensions must work through in order to work implement 3D in X11's 2D based framework. A simple example - user clicks at 10x10 on the screen. What widget is under 10x10 in a desktop where surfaces may be scaled, semi transparent, animated? X11 has no idea. It can't translate coords, it doesn't have anything equivalent to a GL picker to figure it out. This seriously impedes the kinds of things you can do even with a compositor extension.

"If you run off the rails and abandon the best X drivers, then you start from scratch sending the entire desktop back to the mid-90s. It doesn't matter how much you've overwrought the plumbing. The total lack of acceleration of everything from 2D to 3D to video playback will kill you."

Utter nonsense. You're not starting from scratch at all. Open source and proprietary drivers already and exist and work in the absence of X11 and through DRI. How do you think DRI happens you nitwit?

"Context switching is nothing for a Unix to be afraid of."

Yes it is. It kills performance. If you have to pass between 2 processes (X server & compositor) then you incur a substantially larger roundtrip than doing it in inprocess. Messages have to be marshalled, scheduler interrupts must occur, pipelines and CPU caches get flushed. It takes far more time than doing it locally where it could occur in a single timeslice. It might not look like much for one call but this is potentially hundreds or thousands of calls. Anyone who has ever done RPC would understand this.

"Idiots that push this Wayland nonsense should be subjected to what they advocate while leaving the rest of us to not suffer their stupidity."

Idiots who push this Wayland nonsense are people who have actually bothered to read the technical issues and understand them.

Why don't you go read what the problem is and how Wayland attempts to fix it:

http://wayland.freedesktop.org/architecture.html

Frankly I find it laughable that some people get so defensive of any criticism of Linux that they can't recognize a practical solution to an obvious problem. X11 simply is not suitable for compositing or 3D effects. The extensions that exist are merely bandaids to the fundamental problem.

Wayland isn't a free ride (QT and GTK need to be ported to support it for example), but the payoff is enormous. Ubuntu are to be congratulated for biting the bullet to do something which should have been done a long time ago.

DrXym Silver badge

Ubuntu has several hurdles to overcome

Ubuntu has made huge strides taming Linux. It's unbelievable how long it took for a usable desktop to appear in Linux but Ubuntu can claim to have done it. Even so Linux still resembles Windows circa 2003.

It needs a facelift to compete with the compositing goodness of other OS's. X11 does have extensions for compositing, damage etc. but they must workaround X11's 2D centric worldview and there are far too many context switches going on too. So Ubuntu is dumping X11 for something called Wayland which IMO is long overdue. It doesn't stop X11 running over the top of Wayland much the way it does on OS X.

The desktop is also pretty spacial but it's not very task centric. This too needs addressing which probably explains the Unity project. If you were someone opening up your netbook in an internet cafe you probably have certain tasks in mind - browse web, read email and so forth and the computer should facilitate them more easily. I have my doubts how they'll achieve this but I suppose if users can flip between a tab oriented to a desktop view and back again it won't be too bad. Ubuntu were going to use something called GNOME Shell but it was a usability disaster. I hope Unity is better for the job.

I still don't see how Ubuntu intend to be on phones or tablets. I can see how they might feature in ultraslim netbooks with the above changes. Imagine if that recent Toshiba running Android were running Ubuntu instead. I think it would have been a far more successful pairing.

HTC 7 Trophy smartphone

DrXym Silver badge

Entry level is £400?

Seems a tad expensive for an entry level device. I suppose MS only have themselves to blame for making their mandatory specs so prohibitive that genuine budget models are impossible.

Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

DrXym Silver badge
Go

I don't think 1 row of data is sufficient to judge

I don't know how MPG figures are arrived at, but I do know that it's much harder to ascribe a single MPG value to hybrids or EVs for that matter than petrol.

Look at the Chevy Volt for example. If you charged it up every night and drove back and forth before the charge ran out, you use 0 gallons. The petrol engine didn't kick in at all so no petrol used. But could Chevy declare you get infinity MPG? Of course not, and there has to be some kind of formula for deciding a night's charge is equivalent to so much fuel. But it gets worse since another person's journey might be longer than a charge and need petrol for 10% of the trip. Another person might be driving almost exclusively on petrol and then the MPG stinks. Temperature, daylight etc., driving patterns, traffic could all affect the power draw. So a single figure on a single site doesn't cover it.

It is interesting though to see Honda's car get such a high MPG. Perhaps it's simply a lighter vehicle and having two seats means it gets away with a smaller hybrid engine. Perhaps MPG was calculated some different way back then. Newer Insights appear to be regular size saloons so I expect the advantage vs a Prius has largely disappeared.

I do think hybrids are the future but it's clear from some experimental vehicles that turbines would be the next logical step. Probably powered by petrol too although they don't have to be.

DrXym Silver badge

Probably hybrids will be the future

Prototypes with a reasonable sized battery, an electric motor, a microturbine (for providing power) and some energy reclamation tech have ranges that exceed a combustion engine and nearly 2x the efficiency. I think EVs are probably quite adequate for daily commutes & city life but hybrids look to be the most promising future tech.

I think the likes of hybrids that use a combustion engine like the Prius and the Chevy Volt are stepping stones to that world. They're still more efficient than petrol engines but all that extra mechanical complexity and weight really bogs down the concept.

Tablets to eclipse e-book readers

DrXym Silver badge

LCDs are okay but useless outside

I'm in favour of LCDs over e-ink in general but there's no denying how useless they are outdoors or in bright sunlight. E-ink might be as slow and monochromatic but it does produce a highly readable display. I am hoping that LCDs will commonly include a reflective mode (e.g. Pixel Qi) so people can have the best of both worlds - watch indoors with a backlight, watch outside or on low power with reflective.

DrXym Silver badge

Not really that different

The B&N Nook is already basically a glorified android tablet and more book readers will follow suit. So they're not that far removed.

While e-ink has it's advantages (low power consumption, high readability), tablets can simply do more than just read books and that's suit more people. Ereaders have a price advantage but not as much as it should be and cheap tablets will steamroller over that soon enough.

I expect once reflective mode LCDs pick up steam (e.g. Pixel Qi's), there will be precious little reason for e-ink to exist in its current incarnation. Of course someone might produce an e-ink with a high refresh rate but for the time being the market is going towards LCD devices.

Apple's Jobs stand-in touts iPad's enterprise reach

DrXym Silver badge

Can't see much point for them yet

Corporates tend to run very peculiar internal networks. They might require every wifi device to use VPN. Proxies for web access. Various ports and firewalls shut off. Centralized administration for patching & deployment. They might have esoteric intranet apps which people must run. They probably use MS Office for documents. They have expensive service & support contracts with hardware suppliers. They will probably have MS Exchange or (shudder) Lotus Notes for email. They might already run proxies for Blackberry devices. They have contracts with mobile providers.

I think most corporate admins would be happy to shut tablets completely out and forget about them entirely. But if they did introduce them I feel that Blackberry's Playbook probably stands a much better chance of adoption than either the iPad or Android. Most corps are probably already configured for it and are paying for suport. The Blackberry would also be business oriented, easier to administer and lock down which are other advantages.

If not the Blackberry then they might wait for Microsoft to get their act together. Alternatively they might consider Android due to the plethora of devices and its more flexible configuration & deployment options.

I really think that iPad would be way down the list of viable devices, it's expensive, it's not serviceable, it has major restrictions on how it may be configured or apps are installed. But as some have said, it's "teh shiny" and if the CEO wants it, then common sense might be overruled.

DrXym Silver badge

I don't know I would a 7" tablet

I think if someone asked me if I wanted a 10" tablet, or a 7" tablet that in general I would prefer the larger tablet. But claiming that people always in every circumstances must favour a bigger tablet is just stupid.

A 7" tablet might be better for people who use the thing on the plane / train / bus. It might be better if they want something mostly for playing vids. It might be a better size for slinging into a backpack / schoolbag. It might be better if people don't want to pay more money for a larger screen. Yes the screen might be smaller, more fiddly but the size might be the advantage.

So while my personal preference might be something bigger I can imagine times smaller would be more suitable.

The biggest issue I have with android tablets at the minute is honeycomb isn't here and that's really needed to reunify a somewhat fragmented market. Some tablets aren't certified so they lack Google apps, others are certified but packed with superfluous features. Once honeycomb turns up it should settle things down and there will be plenty of models to suit all tastes and at all price points too.

Sprint introduces $10 smartphone premium

DrXym Silver badge

There is a simple solution to this

Charge by the GB usage, e.g. < 1Gb, $2, up to 5Gb at $4 per Gb, everything in excess $10 per month. Simple. Lite users don't get penalised, everyone else pays for what they use with heavy users getting punished.

All these plans, tarriffs etc. just seem like an elaborate con job. A few years back 3G was meant to be the future, everyone would discard their fixed line broadband and walk away into a wireless sunset. The recent headlines suggest mobile operators have been caught out by their own success and somehow it means customers must pay more and more for less and less.

Raised res iPad 2 to sport four-core chip?

DrXym Silver badge

@a_been

Well don't buy it on Amazon then. In the UK Dabs sells an 101 8Gb for £252, while Apple's 16Gb iPad retails from the Apple store for £439. In the US, NewEgg sells a 101 8Gb or $295, Apple's store sells a 16Gb iPad for $499.

Before you go harumphing that 8Gb != 16Gb, or that it's not exactly half, I never said it to compare like with like. What I said you could get a functional tablet costing nearly half and the Archose was the example I chose to illustrate what will happen over the course of this year. Functional and affordable tablets will continue to appear that significantly undercut the price of an iPad.

Jesus some people are so frigging sensitive.

Sony Ericsson sues over Clearwire swirl

DrXym Silver badge

I think confusion could be easy

If you saw tiny versions of each logo embossed onto a phone it's easy to see how confusion could arise.

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