* Posts by Stephen Bungay

122 publicly visible posts • joined 21 May 2007


Apple seeks patent for keyboard that sucks

Stephen Bungay


You got it all crooked. The patent is for an idea, anybody can come up with an idea (like matter transmission or invisibility cloaks). The hard part is in actually building the invention. Like the patent held on the automobile by George Selden (1846-1922), the idea drawn on paper and described in legalese is not enough (as Henry Ford proved).

IMHO if you patent it you had better darn well be actively trying to bring it into existence... else you're a stone in the shoe of progress, working to prevent civilization as a whole from moving forward.

If you did actively try to sell and bring your product to market (like say time-delayed windscreen wipers (just to keep the car analogy going)) and one of those who turned you down then manufactures and profits from your hard work (you should have a working prototype and they should have signed something to keep them honest) then you have every right to take them to task for stealing your work.

So in short Kudos to Apple for an actual invention, something that could be built. Now, make it work, as claimed, to improve the tactile feedback of slim devices. If you can't, then what is the point?

Stephen Bungay

@ PaulR79

Errr... no we don't. Nowhere does the article mention that the keyboard registers the ferocity with which the user has struck the keyboard.... although that would be easy to do with some strain gauges mounted under the keys.

A patent for an actual physical invention... kind of refreshing. Of course as one other pointed out here they don't actually know how to do it in a slim keyboard... so although it CAN be done the keyboard probably would be more bulky than a full stroke job... kind of counter-productive this.

In-app payment patent scattergun fired at small devs

Stephen Bungay

Overly broad

Lets see... the patent talks about local two way interactions between users of units of a commodity (a restraunt chef, and lets say a tomato?) and that these interactions change the user's perception of the commodity (the chef makes tomato sauce?).

Really, this applies to almost every on-line gaming environment or anything where the interaction of people effects a perceived change.

So all the banks should be shaking in their boots because you could pay your bills online and affect the change in your outstanding balances, improve your credit rating, etc. etc.

Google floats monthly subscriptions to Chrome OS notebooks

Stephen Bungay

Its gonna be a hard sell....

There are two things I don't like about this.

1. The device depends on the network instead of the network depending on the device.

2. The ongoing costs incurred are good for Google and your ISP... bad for you.

Computing devices that can stand alone OR interoperate over a network are the more robust choice. Those devices which NEED the network in order to operate are fragile. Without the network they are as useful as a boat in a desert.

On the cost side $28.00 a month (not including taxes) might not sound like much, but that is a decent full-featured notebook computer over the course of 15 months, and one that will not result in you continuing to spend $28.00 a month thereafter After 15 months you can start to pocket your $28.00 (perhaps to buy an extra gallon of gasoline for your SUV).

But seriously, lets do the math. Around here we pay 13% VAT on EVERYTHING, so $28.00 becomes $31.64. Over the course of 12 months thats $379.68. Yes a notebook can be had for $379.00 ($428.27 after taxes), so in just over 15 months the computer is yours.. rent free.

A better solution

Buy the notebook and kick Windows to the curb, replacing it with a Linux Distro. Surf the web, write your email, visit youtube, write a book, play your music (heck! WRITE your music!) and do all the things you do now. In 15 months or so you won't have any financial obligations to your netbook and the savings really begin! You can even send some money off to the Distro-maker to reward them for their fine work, but you don't have to do it every month, so you're not putting yourself into servitude by forever renting your PC and its O/S.

Motorola Xoom

Stephen Bungay

Both are easy to use

Ease of use for both the iPad and Xoom are 10 out of 10, but web browsing on the Xoom is fully functional on more sites than the iPad. This may or may not be a deciding factor, but for those who visit flash enhanced sites regularly the iPad is not the right choice.

Want software then goto the market and browse to your hearts content. One of my favourite apps on my Nexus One is RealCalc, a nice calculator that can be set to use Reverse Polish Notation like H/P calculators. Made me laugh the first time I used it on the Xoom as it came up full screen in portrait mode. Works like a charm though, no problems.... and REALLY easy to read.

Graphics are silky smooth, java enabled web-sites run properly, as do flash enhanced sites. What is annoying is that many sites see you using Android and default to their lesser mobile site (IMDB is one of these) and you have to select the full site to appreciate that the Xoom really is a full blown dual core computer.

The user-facing camera is great but Skype needs to get off their arse and actually implement video chat. To go off on a tangent for a little bit here Skype also has no way to quit their app forcing you to go to settings->applications to shut down. Bad Skype.... no biscuit. That said I use Skype hands-free and it works wonderfully as a telephone and text-chat tool. Back to the Xoom.

Compass, Gyroscope, and accelerometers are great standard features and all work as advertised. GPS is very sensitive locking onto satellites quickly even when in concrete buildings with steel rebar running through the structure. I was impressed, my N810 is terrible in comparison.

Battery lasts a very long time and due to it not using a 5 Volt USB source it recharges quickly (Xoom uses a 12Volt power source to recharge). Having used the iPAD, and "fixed" a few of them, I would recommend the Xoom to anyone who is looking for a tool that performs with easy excellence both for business and personal use.

MIRACULOUS new AIRSHIP set to fly by 2013

Stephen Bungay

100s of Atmospheres...

Yeah you could do that, but that would be one heck of a pile of work. I'd use high volume compressor plumbed into the gas bags along the length of the ship so that one could more accurately control the air-ballast. Use a composite tank that runs the length of the ship (or series of them plumbed together). Why composite tanks? Well they are good for extremely high pressures (doesn't mean you have to use them that way), making them nice and safe when used at high altitude in an unpressurised environment (why have the tanks in the pressure-vessel?).

Artificial leaf produces electricity through photosynthesis

Stephen Bungay

Continuous daylight...

You could do this above the arctic circle during the summer..... wouldn't be intense sunlight but it would be constant.

Steve Jobs unveils iPad 2

Stephen Bungay

I like the iPad... but

I will not buy one. I don't like the closed system, I don't like the manufacturer telling me what I can and can't do with my device. I loathe having to connect it to iTunes to start it up for the first time and detest the need for Windows or OSX to do this) and I really can't abide the 60+ page EULA of the iTunes store. So, as nice as the actual product is, I'll not have one.

The Node Ahead: JavaScript leaps from browser into future

Stephen Bungay


I always thought "multithreading" was "multiprocessing" by another name. For an event driven multi-process OS look at the Amiga.

Memo to iPad mimics: No one wants a $799 knockoff

Stephen Bungay

Yes they are far too expensive...

The Xoom is something I would like to have, but I have no desire for a 3G or 4G version precisely because of the enormous rip-off that are data rates. The Xoom should be priced at $399 - $450 for the wireless b/g/n/3G/4G version, it should be thetherable via blue-tooth to your cell if you so choose, OR you can buy a sim card and a data-only plan. If the service providers want to subsidise sales of devices by piggybacking 3 year contracts on them then let them. The choice should be left to the consumer. An unlocked device is a wonderful thing, much better than a device that is shackled to one service provider.

A question, if I designed and had manufactured a 3G/4G ready device would I need to sell it through a cell provider? I think not. Why not simply sell it on its own and allow the consumer to choose what provider they want (if any). I will not buy a data plan contract to get the device. If Motorola brings the price down to the $400 range (+/- $50.00) I'll buy two, but if they stupidly insist on screwing around and overcharging for their toy then I will buy exactly zero devices.

Intel boss searches planet for post-Nokia MeeGo spouse

Stephen Bungay

I am not a Trojan.. they dressed me up like one...

Well would you look at that, an ex Microsoft exec now in charge of Nokia has formed a partnership with his old company. Why am I not surprised?

From a previous article;

"The first non-Finnish president of Nokia confirmed that he’s not a plant for Microsoft and that he intends to sell his MS shares"

Did anyone actually believe him? He has indeed sold his shares in Microsoft and purchased Nokia shares. Now I see his mission being to increase share price, which can be accomplished without actually turning a profit, but not with any degree of permanence.

OK, so lets give Mr. Elop the benefit of the doubt and say he is not part of a plant for Microsoft. The CEO of Intel says he wouldn't have made the deal with Microsoft, that Nokia will find it difficult to differentiate itself on Windows. I tend to agree with him. Someone else on here observed that this (Microsoft OS on Nokia Phones) is a one-way trip. Given the experience of Palm I concur. Palm, you might recall, while not the inventor of the PDA was the primary player. Palm seemed to have some measure of difficulty bridging the gap between PDA and smart phone and divested themselves of their OS, spinning it off into a seperate entity. Eventually Palm sold the Palm OS business and adoped Microsofts OS on their phones.

Palm is no longer a player.

If Nokia stays the course me thinks there is a high probability of them going the way of Palm. Nokia needs real leadership, and I think the current CEO is so steeped in Microsoft culture that he is unable be make tough objective decisions. He is going with what he is comfortable with.

It will be interesting to see where Nokia and her current CEO ends up.

Chinese crack down on 'money-sucker' Androids

Stephen Bungay

No.. you won't

The problem is not the OS, it is a service running on the OS. Any updates to the OS that you receive will not update the installed third party applications or services (although it might break them).

Stephen Bungay

What makes them trojans?

Lets be clear about exactly what a trojan is and is not, in this context it is not a citizen of Troy (which no longer exists) or a male-contraceptive.

A trojan is an app that purports to be one thing (usually with a useful or desirable function) to conceal a more nefarious purpose, as such they are installed by the end-user, who wants the publicly promoted purpose of the application. Placing a malicious daemon/service on a phone (or PC) prior to selling the mark the device does not make a trojan make. These applications are malware but they are not trojans.

CES wrap: let the battle of the tablets commence

Stephen Bungay

Trouble is...

Microsoft does not make the custom driver software for hardware... the manufacturers do. Nvidia makes the nvidia drivers, AMD/ATI the drivers for their stuff, and Intel does their thing. Microsoft only makes the basic OS, everything else is tweaked by the manufacturers.

Regarding the tablet manfacturers;

What floors me is that the hardware manufacturers still don't "get it". A tablet must support wifi but does not have to support 3g, and or 4g. A PCMCIA slot could be used to add cell phone (and therefore 3g/4g) functionality to the device. Sell the expansion card through the cell phone providers... this frees the tablet to be sold through more channels at a lower price-point.

All tablets must have

* A responsive capacitive touch screen,

* Forward and rearward facing cameras

* 1GB+ RAM

* Capable of using 16-32GB SD cards.

* Blue tooth

* User-replaceable battery

* USB Support

* WiFi g/n

* A pop-out stand to hold it upright on your desk or night table (they make a dandy alarm clock)

Optional nifties you should be able to add-on

* HDMI out (can be on an upper level model)

* GPS receiver

* Accelerometers

* Magnetometer

The price should be around $250-$350, the cost of the PCMCIA cell phone expansion would depend on the service provider you choose, what contract (if any) you want, etc etc.

EU telecoms to Apple, Google: 'Pay up!"

Stephen Bungay

Lorries pay their fair share...

Don't think for a minute that those trucking companies have a free ride on the motorways, there are plenty of taxes and usage fees being paid that the average motorist is oblivious to. The telecom company infrastructure is the business, without it there are no customers, to provide better service upgrades are required, plough some profit back into infrastructure upgrades (fibre is good) and you will have very happy customers happy to pay for the quality service. Start screwing around, artificially degrading performance, or operating the infrastructure like a slum-lord while whining about maintenance & upgrade costs and you'll just piss everyone off.

Jumpin' Meerkats! Ubuntu moving to daily downloads?

Stephen Bungay

Users and aging distros?

What's the problem? You get the machine, spark it up and it looks for updates. Same as that other operating system that they pre-install.My biggest problem is when updates break things.

* I dumped Windows because Microsoft's updates broke my Win2K install (yes it was that long ago).

* I dumped UBUNTU because their updates broke a critical php app and I couldn't (easily) roll back the change.

* I dumped KDE because they released a really incomplete & buggy 4.0 which the distros picked up as if it was a clean and functional GUI. I still don't like KDE4, but that may change.

BlackBerry boss renews disdain for Steve Jobs

Stephen Bungay

Whats with the push?

The answer is simple... control and money. The hype to herd everyone to web-based applications is there because when everyone depends on the web (at the moment we do not) then the gravy train is once more leaving the station.

We are fast coming full circle. In days of yore dumb-terminals gave you access to mini or mainframe computers. Replace Mainframe and Mini with Internet and PCs (no matter the O/S) and replace dumb terminals with more sophisticated thin-client devices (smart phones and tablets (again no matter the O/S) and were back in old model of computing from the mid-to-late 1970's. Much prettier, much more capable, much more affordable, and a whole lot more fun, but the same business model.

The web is a great tool, I use it all the time, but I make sure I do not rely on it. If the Internet went dead tomorrow (not gonna happen) my business operations would only suffer because the Windows PCs I service would not fill up quite as quickly with Trojans and other assorted malware as they do now.

Hacker unshackles Kinect from Xbox

Stephen Bungay

I agree with Goat Jam

And to Fraser, yes I own a mobile phone and yes it cost as much as a new laptop (which is ridiculous), but it is the cell phone service provider's game and in order to get an unlocked phone that can be used (almost) anywhere you have to pay the price. The nice thing about it is I am not held hostage for things like ring-tones and applications, which I can (and do) create for myself.

Android wins devs' hearts and minds

Stephen Bungay

Yes seriously.

Like the those at h/p who thought that Woz's computer would never catch on, the execs at Xerox in the '70s who gave away the modern GUI to Woz and Jobs, and the agents who turned down acts like the Beatles, if you think the Android is not going to be hugely successful then you are mistaken.

With any tablet or mobile device the hardware part has been easy to do for a couple of years now, what was missing was the software to run it and the leadership to make it in the right form-factor and promote it. Kudos to Mr. Jobs and Company on that score. As is the norm for him he didn't follow the herd and make his tablet yet another laptop with a rotating screen and stylus. He made it a tablet, more in the vein of Star-Trek meets Minority Report... and the world instinctively knew it was "right".

Now that the masses know what they want (the form-factor), as long as the losers (and Apple is not among them) don't screw it up, the iOS devices and Android devices will compete and the world will have products that just keep improving. I do not think Apple and Google, unlike another company which enjoyed zero competition, will rest on their laurels, .

As it is now the Android UX is very good, even if some apps don't make good use of it. Couple that with a greater opportunity to create for the Android platform (you don't need to buy a Mac to develop for it) and you have a huge talent base on which to draw. This is going to be fun!

First official HTML5 tests topped by...Microsoft

Stephen Bungay

There are reasons to dislike MS....

People who dislike and mistrust MS do so for good reasons. The company has

1. A history of back-stabbing "partners"

2. They really don't compete, they wall in their users and wall-out the competition (much as the Jobsian Co. now does). i.e. When all you can buy is a Lada then a Lada is the best car to buy. In the case of the Jobsians substitute "Lada" with "Cadillac".

3. They were (are still for the most part) resting on their O/S/ monopoly laurels (see #2).

I for one, while firmly in the "don't do business with/trust Microsoft" camp, applaud their coming to the fore and meeting the challenge of HTML5. Good Job M$! Now, lets see them move out of their comfort-zone and make their browser equally functional and available across all platforms. Show the world that you can compete. If they actually rise to that challenge then they are starting to change their mindset. When people can download and install the Big Blue 'e' and run it on their *NIX box with all the same functionality of running it on Win [XP/Vista/7] then Microsoft will truly be starting to compete in the software marketplace.

Now here's where my mistrust of M$ comes in. My best guess is that M$ is exerting a huge effort in IE standards compliance because that is where the spotlight is, and it is where they have been loosing large chunks of market share. To stop the slide they need to get Windows users to stop looking at the grass on the other side of the fence.

Ubuntu demotes Gnome for Unity netbook look

Stephen Bungay

((Open GL != Clunky) || Slow) && Netbooks != Underpowered

"Aligning themselves to horrible, clunky old GL graphics is an increbibly blinkered move. Open? Who cares? It's slow."

Open GL is difficult to learn to write apps for (I certainly have not mastered it) and this might be interpreted as being clunky, but it is exactly the opposite of slow.

I think Shuttleworth is equating the popularity of Android and the iPad/iPod Touch/iPhone devices to mean that people want these kinds of GUIs on their netbooks. In this I think he is mistaken, for exactly the same reasons that notebook PCs which rotated their displays to become tablets never took off when running a traditional GUI. It is not what people expect.

Form follows function and the netbook is seen as a small laptop, so people expect it to behave that way. A true tablet form-factor computer (i.e. no keyboard mouse or click-buttons) is not the laptop form-factor and as a result (IMHO) people expect (and accept) a different behaviour and a different way of using them. In those environments the Android/Unity/iOS kind of environments are readily accepted.

Now, about netbooks being unable to run a full blown GUI like Gnome or KDE, this is a load of bovine excrement. My Acer Aspire 1 runs Gnome just fine thank you very much, it also runs a second Gnome desktop @ 1280x900 resolution which I pull across the LAN via VNC so that when the netbook is in the office I access it as if it is a part of the larger PC's desktop environment. That little Aspire One runs both GUI sessions as smooth as silk, and no I don't try to run Compiz on a GUI desktop environment that is being pulled across the LAN, that would be silly.

Apple threatens Java with death on the Mac

Stephen Bungay

And the lesson is....

Don't put your eggs in one vendor's proprietary cart.

So apple plans on relegating Java to their waste-basket, so what, it's not the end of the Mac world is it? No it isn't, because you can (still) install a VM and run Windows or Linux and carry on carrying on. Note the (still) in that last sentence? Its there because I don't think Mr. Jobs is anywhere near finished consolidating control over his platform. By guiding the Mac users towards one source for their applications, Mr. Jobs can decide what a Mac is or is not permitted to run. He could ban all VMs. Why would he do this? I have no idea. Perhaps just because he wants to (unlikely), or perhaps it doesn't fit in with his grand-plan (more plausible). Does this sound like a silly thing to do? It does to me, but more importantly does it sound possible? Does Java depend on the Java VM?

Watch the original 1984 Mac Advertisement, see that man on the big screen preaching to the masses? As much as he and others might not like to admit it, 26 years after that advert ran, Mr. Jobs has become more like (than unlike) that Orwellian character.

Microsoft's fear of an OpenOffice

Stephen Bungay

Emotional decisions...

So you went out and spent huge money on a product because it "upset" you? OK, I guess... it's your money... it would be a good thing to let the Open Office devs know what it was that upset you so much, give feedback and effect change.

OOo's put the willies up Microsoft

Stephen Bungay

@Stevie: Geeky?

You say you ask this question "Can you do a mail merge from a source database that contains the information in stored queries or views?" and then have the gall to say that OOo is an office suite for geeks? Most M$ Office users I've met have would look at you with a blank stare as well because they have no idea what a query is let alone a view, databases are not their forte.

Want to do a desktop refresh? How would you like to pay?

Stephen Bungay

Costs vs sustainability....

Leasing and subscription based services are both good and bad, it all depends on how "future-resistant" you want your company to be. The control of future-costs, as many are now finding, must not be underestimated. With leasing and subscriber fees a continuous outflow of cash is guaranteed, although you get better tax breaks these are only beneficial if you have something to be taxed. When hard times come (and they will come) the business that does not actually "own" anything will find they now have less cash coming in with more or less the same amount going out.

As much as it sounds like an oxymoron, change is the constant here, expenses that are controllable coupled with a long-term view is always a better hedge against an uncertain future. Buying hardware might seem to be foolish, but it is a long-term view. Migration to Linux and things like ODF might seem to be a mavericks decision, but they really are fiscally conservative choices, extending the useful life of hardware and software, eliminating the lease-renewal-treadmill, eliminating the ability of software vendors to push expensive changes for minimal beneficial returns to your enterprise, allowing you to better controll the IT cost to benefit ratio.

Ubuntu 10.10: date with destiny missed

Stephen Bungay

True for the most part... but...

You can fix the registry using... wait for it....Linux.

Stephen Bungay

You are confused...

Multiple hard discs is not a prerequisite for multiple partitions.

Stephen Bungay

X has been tinkered with...

Just installed UBUNTU 10.10 in a virtual machine (virtual box). The VBox extensions complain that it is being used on an unknown XServer and I'm restricted to a maximum display size of 800 by 600... which is fairly useless. 10.04 has no problem, the extensions work perfectly.

Android rebellion: How to tame your stupid smartphone

Stephen Bungay

Yellow journalism

Spend some time getting the phone working.. "beating your head against the desk".. ROTFLMAO! Yeah..I put in the sim card, turned it on and IT WORKED! Wow, that was really difficult! NOT!

Downloading apps.. I select marketplace, select the app, say download, and guess what... it downloads! Amazing huh? Never had it lock up doing this.

Now I have had my nexus one crash... exactly three times, and all on the older (2.1) version of the OS. You want to know how I reset it? I popped the back off, pulled the battery out, pushed the battery in, and replaced the back. Oooo... that took some technical chops that did. Try even removing the battery on the iPhone... oh yeah.. you can't.. well, you CAN but it certainly isn't a simple matter.

Bottom line, Android is not perfect, never thought (or said) it was, but it is darn good and nothing like the article describes.

Mozilla upsets net world order with Bing on Firefox

Stephen Bungay
Thumb Up

Good business move...

It offers choice to the user and helps diversify (potentially anyway) the revenue stream. If Google revenue drops (for whatever reason) then Bing users can mitigate the damage. I doubt they will replace it entirely.

I don't use Bing or Yahoo. M$ running around trying to buy business is disgusting. Advertise it, let people use it, get feedback and improve it as required. People will let you know if your service is any good.

I hope Mozilla read all the fine print in their contract with Redmond because they've just broken Rule #1: Don't do business with M$.

Ballmer goes to LSE as internal doc calls for radical overhaul of MS

Stephen Bungay

Cloud not the real money-maker...

When there's a gold-rush you don't get rich by digging for gold, you get rich by selling the picks and shovels to those who think they will strike it rich by digging for gold. Apply this to cloud computing. The real money will be in the infrastructure, no access to infrastructure? No cloud. Want to access your O/S? Pay up. The O/S makers seem to be mesmerized by potential subscription fees for their wares, forgetting that if/when they do migrate their wares to a cloud model, and do so to the exclusion of all-else, those who control access to the cloud control them and the real value of their product.

Me? I'll stay with my O/S on my computer and use the Internet infrastructure as an add-on tool instead of a necessary component.

Microsoft sends in the tanks against Motorola, Android

Stephen Bungay

Wow... what a troll... feeding time!!

Most of your points have nothing to do with the ANDROID O/S and everything to do with the folks who designed the hardware or wrote the apps. I count 1 possibly valid point out of the twelve made, this is;

1. On screen keypad disappears if phone is moved.

Even this is suspect because it might be something your carrier insisted on as a modification to the telephone interface. I'm using 2.2 on a nexus one and that keypad doesn't vanish unless I tell it to. Do you have an unlocked Android phone?

Everything else is either hardware or application developer dependent, nothing to do with Android itself.

Microsoft assembles unlikely band of brothers against patent trolls

Stephen Bungay
Jobs Horns

And now for something...

completely expected...

Microsoft is suing Google over Android.

Watch your back fellas... something wicked this way comes.

Die-hard bug bytes Linux kernel for second time

Stephen Bungay

Some sources of Info...

@ Fraser

As I understand it the hack attack on Google was not their public search engine servers et all but against the corporate infrastructure, i.e. the network of desktop machines used in the corporate offices. See http://techcrunch.com/2010/01/12/google-china-attacks.

Google has also been reported to be kicking Windows to the curb in its corporate infrastructure. See


for more on that one.

Mozilla shrugs off 'forever free' H.264 codec license

Stephen Bungay

Bad math?

2% of the retail proce per unit does not equate to $0.02, unless of course each unit retails for $1.00, unlikely.

Google's Inventor gets short shrift

Stephen Bungay

Showing my age too...

Two words... Amiga Vision. Entirely drag and drop, used the flow-chart paradigm with screen and window WYSIWYG GUI. I personally used it to create a Video Store Kiosk on an Amiga 600 with a 50 MB (yes 50 Mega Byte) hard disc. The app had a database to track movie titles, genres, directors, stars, and the picture of the VHS box, it used a light-pen for the interface, had an on-screen qwerty keyboard, and a rolling attract mode that featured the current weeks new-releases and in-store specials, all with sound and animation. Total development time for that project was just over a week.

Oracle sues Google over Java in Android

Stephen Bungay

Strangle MySQL?

Me thinks not. A GPLd application is going to be impossible to kill, too many people have a vested interest in it AND the freedom to continue developing it.

First SMS Trojan for Android is in the wild

Stephen Bungay

Wolf Wolf!

As in the old story of crying "Wolf"! Windows popped (pops?) up so many warnings that really were/are not necessary and many others with wording so convoluted that OK meant cancel and Cancel meant OK, that folks got numb trying to understand what was being presented to them They simply clicked on whatever they got that looked like it would take them to where they wanted to be. Now, much to their dismay, even when presented with a clearly worded and genuine warning they ignore it.

Ballmer and Softies sacrifice sleep to catch iPad

Stephen Bungay

Palm killed Palm...

"Okay, they aren't a smartphone monopoly, but they killed Palm..."

I think Palm killed Palm. They lost their product/market focus and drifted off to MS for their O/S. When Palm spun off their OS as a separate division they unwittingly sold half of their product, what made Palm Pilots what they were, the device + the O/S. If Apple spun off iOS and started selling iPhones with Windows on them the iPhone would likewise sink like a stone.

YAHOO is doing something similar to what Palm did, they are farming their search engine out to M$ bing, loosing their identity in the market place, making themselves irrelevant, IMHO they are giving someone else the keys to their kingdom for a little short-term gain. When they become just a name with nothing behind them, they too will sink into the pages of Internet history.

Stephen Bungay

The more things change...

... the more they stay the same. Take this snippet;

"Ballmer also dismissed Google's Android and Chrome OS, the new threats to Windows on mobile. Android's growing fastest of all the smartphone operating systems while OEMs are buying into Android and Chrome on tablets."

Ballmer dismisses Android much like he dismissed the Apple offerings, he can't seem to learn from the past. Then there's this;

"You will get a lot of cacophony, people do things with other operating systems, but we have the application base, we have the user familiarity, we have everything on our side if we do things really right," Ballmer told Wall Street's troops.

Yes, but you do NOT have the innovative or creative spark you need to pull a major creative effort needed to create products like the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, if you did you would not now be copying Apple!

Vista-hating Microsoft throws poo at Apple's iPhone 4

Stephen Bungay

MIssion Statement and Google...

"I think the posters point was that Google should be suspect themselves for having such a statement necessary".

I think that the founders knew that the temptation would be present (and indeed it has manifested itself) and they KNEW that things would start to go off the rails (greed, human nature). I have no love for Google, but I do not vehemently dislike them. They have not caused me to spend hundreds and hundreds of [insert your currency here] on antiviral and anti-malware applications, Office suite licenses, and O/S "upgrades" that offer a downgrade at an extra cost. They have not broken my system with one of their upgrades, requiring days to get things back to normal, and they don't assume their customers are thieves or lock them out of their systems when a legitimate application glitches and "thinks" it has been stolen.

Stephen Bungay

Problem with this is...

The people who make the iPhone successful are uninformed, they see the shiny new toy from apple, they recall the fantastic user experience they (or their friends) had with the previous iPhone, they trust that things with the latest incarnation are only going to be better, and then they get let down.

This, if not handled properly by Apple is either a disaster or an opportunity. Jobs is all about the end-user experience so he should (if he hasn't started to feel entitled and now looks at his customers as peasants) be kicking some serious butt about this glaring error.

When you stop and think about this though it makes you wonder if it is an Apple originated problem or a manufacturer originated problem. The engineers must have known that the antenna loop needed to be insulated from contact with the skin, it is such a glaring oversight that seems like it was made by an ignorant individual, a business person with no technical understanding? Perhaps to cut production costs?

In any event, the deed is done, the phone needs a fix, Apple needs to do damage control, be sweet and pleasant to their customers, find the cause of the flaw (how this happened), fix it, try to ensure things like this never happen again (lessons learned) and move forward. If they fail to do any of this they, no matter how popular, risk alienating newcomers who will probably never return, and sow the seeds of mistrust in existing clients.

Yorks cops charge Segway rider under 1835 road law

Stephen Bungay

I fail to understand the problem...

Being smaller than a bicycle with much the same footprint on the ground as a person, and moving at speeds from walking pace to running, I fail to see the reason for the resistance to adoption of these devices. I do not own a Segway nor do I work for the company that makes them or any of their partners or affiliates.

I really do not understand why there is such resistance against using these devices. With congestion charges and all of the concern about CO2 emissions etc. it would seem that allowing these machines to be used in the same manner as bicycles should be promoted rather than stifled.

Not everyone is in good enough condition to ride a bicycle (physical handicaps is what I speak of, not level of physical fitness), and the form factor integrates well with existing infrastructure, or at the very least as well as bicycles do, and far better than skateboards. If we put chairs on them to make them wheelchairs would there be as much hew and cry? I think not, and hey, thats not a bad idea is it, far nicer than most of the wheelchairs out there now, you read it here first.

Pros I can think of are

- It is man sized in footprint.

- It can easily transition from platforms to tube/subway cars (although getting it down to that level may be challenging).

- It can be stowed in the boot/trunk of a car, a supermini (Yaris/Fit/Versa/Astra,Peugeot 207, VW Polo etc) would be better than a traditional sedan.

- It has zero exhaust-gas emissions

Cons I can think of are;

- It costs more than the average bicycle

- It is heavy (getting it into your car is problematic)

- For some unknown reason there are people against using in the transportation mix.

Microsoft goes AC/DC with Instaload battery tech

Stephen Bungay

Someone was thinking...

Nice simple design using existing form-factor. I like it, but you still need to tell the kids about polarity and why it is important, you could use the design of these contacts to illustrate that it was so important that someone came up with this design.

Kudos to the designer.

Stephen Bungay

An old mechanical hack...

Yes, cutting the key on both sides makes the task of inserting it into a lock foolproof. In the 1970's and 80's Ford (in North America at least) used a double sided key like this. You would be surprised at how many people think that both sides needed to be the same for the key to actuate the lock! A pal of mine had two Fords with only one set of keys, and most people were amazed to find out that this could be done. Even better, in the dark you could easily orient the key correctly for the car you were going to use simply by running your fingertip down the length of one of the cut sides, much like the "nipple technique" mentioned in another post, but this is more akin to braille.

Why we love to hate Microsoft

Stephen Bungay

Netbooks & Business

My Aspire One also runs Linux and serves as a very capable business machine, much more capable than my Dell Lattitude C-810, and it is much easier to carry around. Running a Word Processor, a Spreadsheet, or showing a slide-show presentation doesn't exactly push the limits of the two 1.6 GHz Atom processors.

I wonder if those who claim net-books can't be used for serious work have ever actually used one, and if they did how was that net-book configured?

Stephen Bungay


This analogy doesn't work. The computer is not the book, the CD-ROM or DVD is the book, the Software written on the CD ROM or DVD is the equivalent to the story written on the pages of the book. The computer is the printing-press, and perhaps also eye-glasses; allowing you to create and use (read) the book.

Stephen Bungay

Stealing Ideas? Noithing wrong with that!

Nothing wrong with stealing an idea as ideas are not owned or patentable (yet), and you can come up with the idea on your own. The implementation of the idea is the thing you can't steal. i.e. A horseless carriage is an idea, a Model A Ford is an implementation of that idea, so too is a Bugatti Veron, these two are worlds apart (don't you just LOVE automobile analogies (NOT!)).

The GUI is an idea, Xerox created a version of it, Apple took the idea and improved on it, Amiga went one step further with colour and pre-emptive multi-tasking and multiple desktops, Microsoft copied the idea and created their own implementation of it in Windows 3.0. Nothing wrong with that, it was a great step forward.

The real problem with Microsoft is that they can't be trusted to do the right thing by their customers, or put another way they can be trusted to behave unethically to keep customers in their pocket. And trust is something you do not want to EVER loose because once lost, trust it is almost impossible to regain.

Microsoft lost my trust when they broke my Windows 2000 installation not once, but twice in a row. The time required and losses suffered to reinstall everything, restore backups, and get going again made me consider Linux (which at the time was nowhere near as polished as it is now). For my own business operations I have never looked back. Microsoft products (yes even Windows 7) have been relegated to existing in virtual machines on a Linux-box where they can be studied and used to keep our hands in on what the majority of the world is shepherded into using. Microsoft needs to behave in a trustworthy manner, build great products that people love to use (as opposed to have no choice but to use), and care for and respect their customers. Unfortunately the leopard can not change its spots.

Microsoft justifies lost Office 2010 upgrades

Stephen Bungay
Paris Hilton

Umm... Free?

Thirty nine pounds is NOT "free".