* Posts by Oflife

29 posts • joined 29 Sep 2009

All through the house, not a creature was stirring... especially Samsung smartwatches: Batteries empty at 3AM


Ah ha, me too sort of

Not sure if it auto upgraded Tyzen or what but for about a week now my otherwise excellent Gear S3 had powered down overnight whilst charging requiring a restart. V annoying because it resets the settings for the curently selected watch face. Prob related to the bug this article covers.

Google is still chasing the self-driving engineer that jumped ship to Uber


Re: What utter hypocrites Google are.

Exactly. And I feel dirty ageeing with you too.

5G can help us spy on West Midlands with AI CCTV, giggles UK.gov


Logan's Run

Fukushima reactors lend exotic nuclear finish to California's wines


Re: Worse than anti-freeze!

ICEee what you did there.

Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes


Pebble! Did all you want, reliably.

Nothing more to say.


Galaxy Note is where it's at!

I have mine mounted on the trolley using the clipboards they sometimes include, or it rests on my pile of shopping bags and I tick off each item as I plonk it in the trolley. I use web app based software we developed. PiCosm.com. (Launching to you lot later in the year. Does it all, reliably.)

Samsung’s new phone-as-desktop is slick, fast and ready for splash-down ... somewhere



Thing is, for modular computing to work, you need the monitor, keyboard and mouse in your transport and at your destination, else you may as well pack a laptop or Chromebook. If car, airplane and train seat backs had a built in HDMI/USB-C/TB3 ready 14" or so display and a pop out full size keyboard, Bob's your trans auntie, you're sorted and can travel light. I pack a Note 8 and it would be great if it was the ONLY device I had to carry with me, but alas, I need a keyboard and larger screen pretty much anywhere I sit down, so I keep one of these in my backpack...


(The machine Apple should have made.)

...that when back at desk, is docked with my 4K 32" monitor via one of these...


If Samsung can get transport companies and hotels to build screens and keyboards into seats, hotel rooms and coffee shop tables, then DeX will work, but you won't need the dock really, just plug the phone into the USB-C port. (MHL used to allow you to do that, I could plug my Note 4 and S5 into HDMI monitors directly.)

London's top cop isn't expecting facial recog tech to result in 'lots of arrests'


PM May is a control freak and has been a fan of all this total surveillance from day one. She is in a way like the face that appears in all the 1984 artwork on that big screen. The cameras are to watch us, not terrorists, who could be anyone. Blogging some hard truths or planning a protest, expect to be followed.


Re: The spectre of Charles De Menezes has no face...

Menezes reacted in all the wrong ways, the police had NO idea he wasn't the terrorist. He was illegal and had been working on the underground as part of his job, so they had no reason to be know they had the wrong man. He jumped the barriers when the police were chasing him, because he thought they were onto the fact he was illegal, and they thought he was a terrorist with a bomb in his bag. What did you expect them to do if he had a dead man's bomb trigger? (Hence headshot to freeze his fingers.)

BTW, I am totally opposed to a surveillance state, an excuse for poor on foot policing.

Ailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm kicks crisis meeting into long grass



I just do not understand the point of these dedicated retro gadgets? Why not simply develop an emulator for the Switch, PSP, 3DS and other gamepad equipped devices? And/or make a retro game collection for my phone and bundle a £25 snap on or Bluetooth gamepad and I may bite.

Who is going to buy pricey turnkey hardware that runs games that will lose the "Hey old man, remember Spectrum Frogger? Grab this!" novelty value once the has worn off? Am an 80s gamer yet this has zero appeal. Idiotic business planning.

Virtue singing – Spotify to pull hateful songs and artists


I take it they will expunge most rap then?

The lyrics are hardly empowering for women or decent cops.

So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year


Re: Remember that old doctor joke




Thumb Up

I have a 2018 Nissan Leaf with ProPilot...

...and it's pretty impressive when it works. The intelligent cruise control (not to be confused with ProPilot) that keeps your car at a fixed safe distance from the vehicle in front is 100% reliable because it uses radar. But the lane following tech that is based on cameras, can fail, and the car will start to drift to the side before it self corrects when the cameras detect the edge of the road or kerb or other object. I think it gets confused when the solid or dotted white line at the edge of the lane (on the left here in the UK) vanish, perhaps at a junction. It is all very Beta.

One has the advantage of being able to grab the steering wheel and take control, but like you, i will not be comfortable on a motorway or other fast road with no manual override.

Apple's magical quality engineering strikes again: You may want to hold off that macOS High Sierra update...


These issues go back way before current build

I am glad to discover I am not the only one. Issues I have with my 15” 2017 MacBook Pro i7 512GB SSD:

1. Frequent app crashes, inc long list of fatal errors.

2. Sluggish login when connected to USB-C Thunderbolt hub

3. Trouble driving more than one external monitor. Monitors flicker on and off and on for ages before going to sleep or finally coming on.

4. Unreliable charging through USB hub with power thru port

5. Duet doesn’t work. I have an iPad Pro 10.5

A lot of the DisplayPort and sleep/wake issues I had with my Surface Pro 4 and previous MacBooks so I concluded after reading on Surface Pro 4 and Apple forums that most of the blame lies with Intel. There is a specific combination of their hardware that leads to these issues and neither Intel Microsoft or Apple appear to be dealing with them.

Magic Leap ships headsets at last, but you'll need a safe


Actually, it seems they ARE onto something...

I have just read a very detailed write up on Magic Leap in Rolling Stone - from several months ago.

What they are doing does seem to be real, and ground breaking, and all about how we perceive what we 'see', and how ML have overcome the flaws in conventional VR and AR systems to create something totally different that is convincingly real. I doubt people such as Google (who know their stuff technically so cannot be fooled) would have thrown a lot of money there way if not.

Anyway, I urge sceptical Reg readers to read the RS article, it's fascinating and convincing, and I'm sold on the fact they are for real, but what I am NOT convinced of, is that no matter how realistic, humans will ever take up any form of virtual, augmented or simulated reality when they discover that a walk in a meadow on a warm summer's day cannot be bettered.

God gave us what we need.

UK.gov: Here's £8.8m to plough into hydrogen-powered car tech


Re: Are there any unbiased, layman-friendly explanations of the challenges kicking around?


Sysadmin wiped two servers, left the country to escape the shame


Self harmed

What I did in the 80s, was very similar. Had spent a good few man months working on a very detailed fully illustrated User Guide for what became our well reviewed well loved but commercially failed because it was TBEX (Too Bloody Expensive) during a crashing late 1980s economy Classic BiT BOPPER Audio Reactive Video Entertainment System.

One day, I fired up the PC or whatever it was I was using to write the user guide on to do a backup. This involved inserting the 3 or 3.5" floppy disk into the machine's drive and copying the Word file ontop of the backup file. Simples!


I dragged the user guide file onto the backup floppy. Grrdd grrdd grrdd grrddd etc. Done. (I recall that's the noise they made back then.)

Later, when I went to open up the working user guide to wrap it up prior to launch, the Word file was empty, just a few lines of text.

As one does during such crisis, I tried to understand what was going on. Flashes of my life and hard work went past as I tried to mentally deny I had lost months of effort. A corrupt file, virus etc?

I then got the backup out, it was the same as the working file!

On my PC, the windows I opened up were identical, as was (of course) the name of the file inside.

I had dragged the WRONG file from the WRONG window, and overwritten my working file with a backup from months ago, that was in fact blank except for a few seconds of typing to open up the new Word file. I had for whatever idiotic reason, probably to do with time passing quickly and being busy, procrastinated on making full on periodical backups. I had lost everything, including the diagrams I had painstakingly drawn.

I had to re do the whole user guide by copying from hard copy I had made a few weeks earlier of an earlier version, although I stopped about 75% way through when it became apparent the product itself was doomed due to the economic crash of the late 80s/1990.

The upside is we went on to develop a way cheaper compact version based on the Atari Falcon, and it's user guide was published both in print - AND online, one of the first user guides ever published online. Here you go, it's still there in lovely 1918 style html...


(For the record, people are still using this machine today for the retro visuals.)

I learned a few lessons, that are less relevant today in a world of online publishing and dynamic cloud backups/syncing etc: a) Don't procrastinate in backing up stuff. b) Name your folders/windows differently!

(I have never made such an error since.)

In a way, what happened was probably a diving entity telling me I was wasting my time anyway, being the product was doomed.

UK's Dyson to vacuum up 300 staffers for its electric car division


Re: ££££

I bought a very used DC14 a few years ago for under £40. It does indeed squeak and rattle somewhat, mainly due to age. But not one part is cracked or broken and it does a great job. The plastic put me off at first but it seems very tough.

Maybe more recent models have cut corners?

Wearables are now a two-horse race and Google lost very badly



Had it all right. Should never have sold out to FitBit.

A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple


Re: Rotten apple

True. Pixelbook is pretty good too.

Microsoft wants to patent mind control



I really do consider Facebook to be the antichrist. A company founded on immoral grounds for immoral purposes by a visionless bloke based on awful technology (the UX is a disaster) used by obese women in McDonald's whose kids sit stuffing themselves with cancer causing fried carbs, whilst guys sit around tables in pubs on FB instead of talking to each other, and FB continues to exploit people's weaknesses and addictions all for profit. And now they want to read your mind. Well, the tin foil protected mind boggles.

Just, NO! #ffs

Pro tip: You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with no password


Works for me first time on 10.13.1!

If you do not click in the password field, you cannot get in, at least I could not even after 3 attempts. But clicking in the Password field and leaving it blank let's me in right away. Oh Apple, really! TC is too focused on matters of the bedroom than product.

Drone exercise will transform future naval warfare, says Navy


Ah ha!

Back in the 1980s, I designed a video game based on that concept of a virtual war, but between Earth and another planet, that I named 'TiEkun'. :) Was going to develop it for the Amiga and other machines of the day, but we got involved in something else and it never happened. Today, you have (if they finish it!) Star Citizen!

Galaxy Note 7 flameout: 2 in 5 Samsung fans say they'll never buy from the Korean giant again


Idiot public

I and my family have owned or own the following Samsung products:

Galaxy S2 (Wow, such a huge screen - back then)

Galaxy Nexus (lovely curved display!)

2 x Note 4 (Sold one, missed it, so got another)

Large fridge (LED fridge light, oooh!)

Touch controlled halogen kitchen hob (Easy to clean, superb touch panel UX)

EX2F camera (Superb images and built like a tank)

Small wireless laser printer (Well designed, fast and reliable)

Just bought a Galaxy S7 (All good so far!)

For the record, I am typing this on a Mac mini and own an iPad Pro 9.7, so not a fan boi of any specific brand, just buy what works, and my number one prerequisite is reliability/stability, followed by speed followed by versatility, and then if it's portable, battery life.

My Note 4s both suffered proximity sensor failure soon after purchasing new, and on both occasions, Carphone Warehouse & Samsung repaired them under warranty, no questions answered. A known issue perhaps?

Other than that, I have found Samsung gear to be outstanding, and more reliable and innovative in some ways than their competitors, including Apple. (Example: Swipe to send a text on Touchwhiz is invaluable.)

From both a consumer and professional level (I interact with Samsung staff and know former employees), the company DOES have some issues when it comes to customer relations, but like Sony and others, this is because they are an Asian company and the pride and national history means for a very different culture. Although Apple are superb when you have an issue and walk into a (real) Apple Store, they are just as arrogant when you phone their support lines. (I know, I have done it a few times, and didn't like the way they tried to deny there was a well known problem, such as MacBook wake/sleep issues or other. And they rip you off support wise after only 90 days of ownership!)

Samsung gear is on the whole built very well, second only to Apple, although my new S7 is very nice and in my opinion superior to even the iPhone 7 from all aspects, from design to features to quality.

I am willing to bet that the majority of this 30% are paranoid Americans or naive consumers elsewhere who have not read into the statistics or waited until the investigation by both Samsung and the authorities is complete and public.

It is company pride and a cultural issue which is why Samsung acted the way they did, not with an intent to do harm. They know full well that just one fatality or worse would mean massive lawsuits and way more harm to the company than even the current fiasco.

I'm keeping my S7 until the 'Note 8' appears, and am also very interested in the new leaked Samsung Chromebook with a stylus, no doubt Samsung will have a few spare S-Pens now! ;)

Anyway, uninformed paranoia or naivety is a force for harm, making things worse than they need be.

Oh, and if I could get my hands on a Note 7 (am a stylus man, frees the creative brain!), I would happily buy one and keep it on me. Statistics say I am more likely to be hit by a bus whilst texting and walking than it exploding in my pocket...

Skype founders planning non-drone robodelivery fleet. Repeat, not drones


Here in the U of K...

...you can be assured that these will be vandalised by passing youth. Kicked, pushed into the road and so on. Far more sensible for them to be used inside, such as moving items around a supermarket, warehouse, airport terminal etc.

Audi TT: It's NOT a hairdresser-mobile, the dash is too flash


What about HUD?

Back in the 1990s, when I was living in Silicon Valley, I helped a friend buy a not to old used car. It was a Nissan of some form and has a Heads Up Display for all pertinent motoring info - speed, revs and a few other things. It projected up from above the dashboard onto the windscreen in such a way that to the driver , the information was floating in space above the road, so always there. No movement of the head or eyes was required. I don't think I ever saw or heard of a car since with a HUD.

What gets me is why hasn't this taken off? It works well in fighter aircraft, yet HUDs are not used in commercial aircraft or cars.

Either way, am amazed that in an age where text messaging whilst driving is (justifiably) banned, social media is allowed on the dash of a vehicle - at least disable it when the thing is moving!

"You are hereby charged with DWT, Driving Whilst Tweeting! That'll be £500 and 6 points, plus damages to the motorist in front, whose vehicle rear you destroyed." And so on...

Virgin Media customers suffer YET MORE YouTube buffering blues


We've had problems for 2 months!

Here in Leamington Spa, we have had problems with Virgin since September across all our devices, no specific app or service. Broadband just stops working, or is very very slow. So slow that Gmail will fail, whilst YouTube, Netflix etc is a no no. I called them last night and was told the problem will be sorted by December 11. I was told something similar by Three after losing service at home - IE, a date by which the problem would be sorted - it wasn't, so I switched to Vodafone, who are just as bad, but in different locations.

The whole wireless and fixed line broadband business is a load of crock. Ongoing problems, poor coverage make life hell - a few years ago, I spent over 24 hours in a two day period on the phone to BT when my mother's connection failed because the outsourced technician installed the wrong line.

We need a whole new network funded and maintained by the state, as per the roads. It's vital for our economy and fair to consumers and businesses who are fedup.

Small biz battered by late payments

Paris Hilton

Fairly easy solution!...

Ask for payment up front, or at least, enough of the total to cover your costs. We have been doing it for the last year and not one customer has questioned our policy. We earned their trust at the start by delivering to our first customer on time and the word go around.

A small discount is a great incentive to your customers too.

For some, we allowed them to pay in instalments - but did not deliver the product until the last payment cleared into our account. Trust is important here, but once you get going, things get easier.

In a way, this is reversing the way things used to be done.

Paris? Because she loves it up front!

(Don't we all.)

Is Apple behind Intel's speedy optical link?


A crude similar idea, from 1991...



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