* Posts by Euchrid

207 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jan 2010


Kiss your Glass goodbye: Google mothballs techno-specs (for now)


Re: "they have won some converts in certain industries, such as healthcare"

That's an interesting idea about information being streamed to the user in those circumstances.

Re: body-worn cameras, the UK surveillance commissioner discussed this in a recent interview:

“If people are going round with surveillance equipment attached to them, there should be a genuinely good and compelling reason for that. It changes the nature of society and raises moral and ethical issues … about what sort of society we want to live in … I’ve heard that supermarkets are issuing staff with body-worn videos. For what purpose? There is nothing immediately obvious to me.”



Elephant in the room

Sad to see that so much of the reporting of this news isn’t mentioning the harassment that the brave pioneers who wore the glasses had to regularly contend with – we need more hard-hitting reporting like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClvI9fZaz6M

Android engineer: We didn't copy Apple or follow Samsung's orders


@ cap'n

"Not even that, Apple hasn't sued other Android vendors, they're just fixated on Samsung because it happens to have been successful. So you'd probably have bought an Android device from someone else who hasn't been sued by Apple, including Google itself which has of course shifted a lot of self-branded hardware."

Although I would say you’re on the money about Apple being focused on Samsung, it has sued other Android mobile phone manufacturers. Off the top of my head, Motorola and HTC (those might be the only ones though) – in the case of the latter, Google allowed it to use patents that it had recently bought in its legal battles against Apple (it might have been in a case HTC brought against Apple, I can’t recall), which garnered even more media attention.

Pretty sure that one of the HTC lawsuits was over the Nexus One but am going from memory. So although it hasn’t sued Google, it has sued over Google-branded products.

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.3: the Apple G4 Cube


"Didn't work very well though - the perspex on my brother's G4 cube cracked from overheating, and I recall that this was quite a common problem. "

From what I remember, the most common problem with the cracks on the case were to do with the product on arrival. Apple claimed that these were mold lines but I think some claimed that it was caused by some sort of impact while being transported. Personally, in these cases (err, no pun intended) I think it was something related to the manufacturing process – some of the ‘cracks’ were mold lines, but it was quite clear that not all were – rather than physical damage.

However, I do remember that some users claimed (I was working on a Mac magazine at the time) that the fine lines did start to appear after the Cube had been used for a while. Whether these were caused by overheated or were there and made worse, I wouldn’t like to say. In some cases, I suspect the cracks were already there but not seen by the user straight away.

Apple’s response was rather interesting. It went from ‘What cracks? There are no cracks’ to ‘They are mold lines, not cracks’ and ‘Think of it as a grain, wood has grain and that’s still lovely!’

Dear Apple: Want to stay in business? Make an iPhone people can afford


Further to what the second AC said, the share of profits needs to be considered. For the second quarter for the smartphone market, essentially, Apple and Samsung shared all the profit equally (see http://finance.yahoo.com/news/beyond-market-share-apple-iphone-152549596.html) – all other manufacturers either lost money or broke even.

Apple’s market share (i.e. handsets flogged) was down, IIRC, from 16% to 13% (roughly). That’s not something I’m sure the company will be sanguine about – although it’s worth remembering that people were waiting for the new iPhones – but its estimated profit for that quarter was $4.6 billion. Is it better to be in that position or that of a hypothetical company that’s seen it’s market share increase but is losing millions of dollars?

Pikmin to the rescue: Can Nintendo revamp revive Wii U fortunes?


Re: DrXym

- “Every platform has 1st party titles. Believe it or not, not everyone buys a console for a handful of exclusive titles. Evidence of that can be seen from the poor sales the Wii U has enjoyed despite some prominent 1st party titles. And 3rd party support is down the drain.”

No one is disputing that different platforms have different exclusives and I’ve mentioned that to be the case – so I think we’re all agreed on that one.

My point was if you want to play *any* Nintendo game, then you *have* to buy its hardware – and some people will buy a Wii U for that. That’s not to say ‘everyone’ will but some. Many people do buy more than one console or game on more than one platform

Initial Wii U sales weren’t bad (look at http://gonintendo.com/?mode=viewstory&id=200367 for a comparison with the launch sales for 360 and PS3 – incidentally, the Wii U has just sold a million units in Japan and it’s taken the same time as the PS3 getting to that level) but have stalled – and for a very good reason, there hasn’t been many games for it. You say there have been “some prominent 1st party titles” but there’s been a grand total of…. two: New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land. Titles have been delayed – Pikmin 3, IIRC, should have shipped four months ago; the week that it launched in Japan, Wii U console sales rose by nearly 180%.

Re: third-party as I mentioned, if you want multi-platform games, the Wii U isn’t the way to go but one should also consider indie developers, which Nintendo is reaching out to (e.g, http://www.edge-online.com/news/indies-on-wii-u-how-does-nintendos-approach-compare-to-sony-and-microsofts/).

- “The PS4 and XBox One will inevitably get cloud based versions of existing games and besides I was making the comparison to the PS3 and 360. There are 6 years worth of games for these systems, probably more than the Wii and Wii U combined, and certainly higher quality.”

Inevitably doesn’t mean definitely, or out of the box, or free.

In terms of game numbers:

1222 games for the Wii

959 for the 360

772 for the PS3

As to quality, there was a lot of shovelware for the Wii, just as there is for any big selling console. As to higher quality, it all depends on what you want to play. No More Heroes is a favourite of mine – that was ported to the 360 and PS3, but the Wii version plays a heck of a lot better.

I was thinking more of you’ve got a library of games that you want to play some off, this is something that you can do straight out of the box with the Wii U. Some of us actually like to go back to games.

- Re: Gamepad

“It's also very expensive”

What the gamepad? That comes with the console. If you’re talking about the price, Asda and Amazon have been doing the basic package for £150 and the premium for £200 – the latter has gone back up, which ain’t bad

“ has a short battery life”

Something that does need work on and a larger battery has been announced in Japan (it’s very easy to fit yourself). Depending what you’re doing, the gamepad lasts for 3-5 hours – with games, 3.5 hours if the usual figure for games. If you’ve been playing that long straight, it might be time to take a break… or plug the charger in and keep playing.

.”It is useful as a controller on some kinds of games, but as a selling point it's not a huge one. And speaking of Batman Arkham City, it demonstrates the point about cheap games. While it was selling full whack on the Wii U, it was in the bargain bin on other platforms. In fact Sony were giving it away as their monthly PSN+ title at the time”

No, I wouldn’t say that it is a selling point – and I agree that is a problem with the approach of third-parties, selling an old game tarted up for a big price. However, you can now pick it up new for £13. As we’re on prices, the price for new games is coming down to more sensible levels.

- “And a lot of them don't. E.g. I bought my 5 year old some dance / party games for the PS3. Also I'd point out that targeting the casual market too heavily can have a disastrous impact on sales and the quality of titles. Look at all the shovelware on the Wii. It happened because the profit simply wasn't there for 3rd parties to aim any higher. The outright apathy for the Wii U by 3rd parties is probably a direct result of what happened the last time.”

Sure, I wasn’t saying that there weren’t any but the big titles on the 360 and PS3 are aimed at the dudebro market – and look at the E3 presentations for the new consoles… the core market ain’t five year olds.

Re: third-party apathy – it’s rather more complicated that that and a lot of it is because of Nintendo; there’s an excellent thread at the moment at Neogaf. If people can make many by making money through shovelware, a lot will appear - look at the original Playstation.

- “Quite a niche feature.The same claim has been made with the PS3+PSP and PS3+PS Vita games and the impact is fairly marginal.”

If you look at gaming forums, you’ll see that a lot of people use this with Nintendo than Sony – and it is a definite plus for some. Also, I mentioned Monster Hunter for good reason – it’s an massively popular franchise in Japan and the 3DS is doing incredibly well in Japan. So really we need to consider other locations and people who may have tastes different to our own.

We seem to be going from there’s no advantage to only advantage to some.

- “Same could be said of PS Move controller, or even the Kinect for that matter.”

Both of those were added as an afterthought and arguably are okay rather than good – also, my comment about being able to switch between different controllers stands. If it wasn’t clear in my previous post, I was talking principally about options for controllers in the same game – for example, a fighting game like Super Smash Bros., players will be able to use the gamepad, pro controller or Wii Remote; you clearly can’t say the same about the “PS Move controller, or even the Kinect” in the same context… well, you could but not very convincingly.

“Simply put, nothing you have said justifies why someone should buy a Wii U when broadly speaking it's no better at all than existing platforms

Sorry, but it sounds like you’re coming too much from your personal angle – the stuff I said *does* appeal to some – not all, but *some*. Also, I feel you’re missing the point when you say “it's no better at all than existing platforms” – a lot of people don’t just one console and some of us like to have a user experience that’s different, that doesn’t mean to say it’s better. Some games I prefer to play on the PC (for example, I wouldn’t want to play Crusader Kings 2 on a console), some I prefer to play on the PS3 or 360, some on an handheld games machine, some on an iOS and some on the Wii or Wii U – they all have their strengths and weaknesses.


“No, it's competing with the PS3 and 360 and neither of them are going anywhere anytime soon. Nor does the Wii U offer many compelling reasons to buy it. A handful of exclusives aren't going to cut it when every platform has exclusives.”

Sorry, but that’s nonsense - the Wii U isn’t aimed at the same market as those consoles and I really don’t think you appreciate how strong the Nintendo brand is.



"I doubt the PS3 or 360 are going to disappear any time soon and frankly what does the Wii U do that those other consoles don't? The answer is not much."

Well, there’s the Nintendo first-party titles for a start.

Backwards compatibility - the Wii U will also play Wii games; PS4 and Xbox One will not play the previous generation's game discs.

Gamepad controller – not to everyone’s taste, but can be rather nifty… for instance, in a gadget-heavy game (e.g. Batman Arkham City).

Great multiplayer when other players are in the same room – and personally, one player being able to use the gamepad for a screen and another, the TV is something that I think is great.

Games that appeal to a wider demographic – a lot of PS/Xbox titles target the dudebro gamer, not the case with the Wii U.

Possible linking up with the 3DS - someone playing Monster Hunter can switch between their 3DS and Wii U.

Controller options – depending on the game, but players can choose to play with the gamepad, Wii Remote or the Pro controller; this is something that’s a design feature, not an afterthought. One thing that people like is they could be playing with one control system and pick up a different controller and start playing with it instead – no stopping or pausing the game. It sounds simple and it is, and it’s surprisingly impressive.


@ Greg

“And the games are cheaper.

Because many of the games are also old.”

Ports like Arkham City are obvious examples, but which other titles were you thinking of?

Also, games haven’t been that cheap – unless one calls fifty quid cheap.


“Nope - the next generation consoles come out soon. This is a Dodo....”

Given that the Wii U is a platform that isn’t reallycompeting with the Xbox One or the PS4, I don’t think that claim stacks up.

The majority of people who buy one will be doing so to primarily play first-party games (if you want to play Nintendo titles, you have to buy the company’s hardware) and quirky, exclusive third-party titles (e.g. Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2).

Multi-platform support is poor (for a whole range of reason) and if that’s your bag, then another console is a no-brainer. If you’re not bothered by exclusives, then IMO, a PC is an even better choice.

The Wii U isn’t going to do anything like the business of the Wii (which attracted a lot of non-gamers), but Nintendo makes a lot of money on the software and doesn’t loss money on each console sold (unlike two other certain companies), and the strength of its IPs means enough will be shifted in order to make a profit. Longer term, is another thing though….

If you look back at the past:

DS – doomed because the PSP was better specced.

Wii – doomed because the PS3 and Xbox 360 were better specced.

3DS – doomed because the Vita was better specced.

Funny how things actually turn out. Incidentally, I don’t think the Wii U will replicate the success of any of those three, but neither do I think that it’s doomed or dead. Although it’s not completely comparing like for like, the 3DS initially struggled due to the range of games available, but it became a strong platform when the games library improved – the Wii U has had a similar problem, but there’s a decent amount of titles coming out for the rest of 2013.

Personally speaking, if I was only gaming on one platform I’d pick the PS4 but I don’t. My main gaming rig is a PC – because of that, out of the new consoles, the Wii U is the one that interests me more because it offers me something that I’m not getting elsewhere – namely, a gamepad that has a heck of lot of potential and had been used well (e.g. ZombiU) and great for player with friends who are round.

Next-gen is more than just specs – but if you want the best specs, I still say go with a PC.

Man sues Apple for allowing him to become addicted to porn


@ Da Weezil

"After reading this I can only conclude that it is a mental disability he suffers."

That's indeed the case - see http://abovethelaw.com/2013/07/lawyer-apple-should-protect-me-from-my-porn-addiction/

The link, btw, is the first site to have reported on this story - it mentions legal trouble that the guy is facing and also another lawsuit against Apple... worth a read.

Douglas Engelbart, PC pioneer and creator of the mouse, dies at 88


Re: Revisionism must be challenged

“I've encountered clueless marketing drones that got the Jobs biography for Christmas, that took it upon themselves to decide that Apple invented the mouse, and the GUI, and just about anything seminal to do with the way we interoperate with computers now.”

If only that had taken it upon themselves to actually read the book as well! Isaacson’s biography was by no means perfect (it’s quite clear that technology isn’t a subject that’s his strong point) but giving the impression that Apple invented those things certainly isn’t one of its flaws. It’s *very* clear that Apple didn’t do any such thing in the biography.

But in any case, R.I.P. Doug.

Korean doctors: Smartphones really ARE doing your head in


@ Phil W

From what I’ve read, it’s for a variety of reasons. In Spitzer’s book, for instance, it’s argued that part of the problem is when people use digital media, they’re inclined to multitask more – particularly, in younger people. There’s been quite a lot of research into multitasking in general, which claims that it’s bad for someone’s concentration and that they’re likely to do each job better when done separately, than attempting multiple jobs at the same time. So pretty much about what you said about “using Facebook, Twitter etc, playing a variety of different games and texting probably aren't great.”

Another reason is how someone is using it. If someone relies on devices to remember dates, numbers etc., it’s claimed that this damages their memory longer-term as it’s not being exercised.



“Aside from anecdotal evidence from several doctors interviewed for the piece, there are as yet not many hard stats to back up the claims that prolonged and intensive exposure to digital tech will lead to early onset dementia.”

I understand that there’s a good amount of data and research in Digital Dementia, a book by German neuroscientist Dr Manfred Spitzer, which indicates the sort of problems that’s been claimed in South Korea. IIRC, Spitzer was building on South Korean work.

Apple declares WAR on Spotify: iRadio bags streaming rights


re: "But having heard the song streamed a few times, some of us then go buy it."

That was pretty much the idea behind Spotify, people would go onto buying music after hearing it - however, sales generated in this way were much lower than anticipated and IIRC, Spotify no longer bothers with running an online store.

Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief


Re: "Android today is like Microsoft's Windows 3.1"

"Betamax vs. VHS - market went for the cheaper product. Actual technical features and quality likely won't come into it."

IIRC, Betamax began with 100% of the market, a share that was eroded away and it wasn’t just because VHS was cheaper.

The superior marketing for VHS is usually considered a big factor – but there was a bit more to it than that. The fact that VHS tapes had far greater recording time than Betamax ones was significant to punters (Sony did catch up but too slowly) - as was the range of home media.

In terms of quality, with the kind of television sets that punters were using, the difference was negligible.

Library ebooks must SELF-DESTRUCT if scribes want dosh - review


Re: In a digital world, whats the difference between a loan and a purchase?

For a long while now, it’s been argued that the system for the library service paying authors royalties needs to be looked at – which I think fits into this.

Under the current Public Lending Right (PLR) legislation, authors get paid 6p every time that their booked is loaned out - with the maximum amount paid out each year of £6,000.

Some books are never going to be big sellers but they can get loaned out at libraries a fair bit – often the case with some quite specialist subjects, like local history. Some very big-selling authors (e.g. Jacqueline Wilson) have said this isn’t a fair system. In their opinion, the £6,000 per annum amount that they each get would be better spent if by being distributed to authors that don’t sell so much – the money the former camp get from the libraries might be nice, but it’s dwarfed by their income from other sources.

Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes


Re: Before anyone moans about her...


"The Labour Party first under Blair and then Brown could have, with such a large majority in Parliament over turned everything she and John 'Privatise Everything' Major had done"

There was additional privatisation under Labour. In fact, with one service, Air Traffic Control, Major’s Government thought that it wouldn’t be a good idea – Blair’s, on the other one, disagreed. There was a story in Private about Major collaring a Labour MP in the Commons about it, asking him what he thought – the latter ummed and ahhed, causing the former premier to remark that in his cabinet it was ‘only nutters like Redwood’ were in favour.

Also, I think it’s a good idea to look at PFI – Labour took it far further than the Conservatives and made it more ‘business-friendly.’ See Private Eye ad nauseam and George Monbiot’s State of the Nation presents a decent early history of the whizzer concept.

Hold on! Degrees for all doesn't mean great jobs for all, say profs


Re: Nursing

@ Bill the Sys Admin

Actually, the retention rate (i.e. how many complete their course) for student nurses is fairly high. Although it's not uncommon for such students to intermit from their programme, it's often for a period of time and will resume at a later date.

The NHS pays for the course fees and institutions are under natural pressure to try and retain students. If someone doesn't qualify, the institution won't receive a penny.

Also, marks matter on a nursing degree right off the bat - students need to achieve (and maintain) a certain standard both academically and in practice in order to remain and progess on the course. Bear in mind that 50% of their course will be inpractice.


Re: Nursing

@Mad Mike

Actually, I would say that used to happen more often – often, the students wanted to getting into pharmaceutical sales, where a science degree was needed, and a nursing degree was financially easier. It was possible to do the diploma course for two years (which had an automatic bursary) and then switch to the degree programme in the last year. (For quite a few years, until it was scrapped, there was very little difference between the diploma and degree course, incidentally).

Since the move to all degree courses, the competition for student nursing places has rocketed and it’s a lot harder to get accepted. Interviewing is often part of the application process and consequently, it’s harder for people to get accepted if they don’t have a realistic view of nursing and/or have no interest in it as career – that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Today, personally, I would say the bigger problems are a lack of jobs after students qualify (trusts are going after cheaper options) and students growing disillusioned by constant healthcare provision changes, rather than students trying to gain a degree sneakily.

Disney shutters Star Wars game unit with 200 layoffs


It's been going this way for a long time...

As the article mentioned, the last game developed by LucasArts was Force Unleashed 2 - the PC, PS 3 and Xbox versions were dire, but the Wii was pretty decent. The latter still had the dire story and script, but the gameplay was more solid, had an enjoyable control system and a hugely entertaining multiplayer game – another difference was that it was developed by Red Dog Studios.

Something very similar happened with the first game – Red Dog produced a game that was different to the LucasArts versions without the bugs.

LucasArts has been relying more and more on outside developers and it’s been letting go of staff. In 2008, after Force Unleashed, it let go of a (reported) 100 staff and had to deny rumours that it was closing shop. IIRC, that was the first round of lay-offs and it certainly wasn’t the last – more were let go in 2010 and last year, it was being reported that 30% of staff had to leave (http://uk.ign.com/articles/2010/09/01/lucasarts-confirms-layoffs).


Around 200?

Every article I've read says that it was around 150 people being laid off - so is there WSJ right?

LucasArts introduced a recruitment freeze back in September, so things weren't looking that rosy then.

Copying Wikipedia's lies is not just for hacks, right Lord Leveson?



“Plus books aren't usually prone to deliberate sabotage.”

True and there was shock when it was discovered that a Oxford English Dictionary editor secretly deleted words - http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/26/former-oed-editor-deleted-words

It’s not just that Wikipedia is prone to deliberate sabotage, but just how easy it is to commit that sabotage and how depressingly readily people will take it at face value without any cross-referencing.

The Normal Wisdom example that Andrew gave is a good one – when it was first reported that he co-wrote (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover, I thought it was unlikely as the song was written too early and it would be better known if he did. One would have thought that hacks writing obituaries would have twigged the song was written several years before when they were claiming Wisdom became an entertainer. Although I suppose it wasn’t impossible, a quick web search would bring up a huge number of sources crediting it to the actual writers and the only ones credited Wisdom were the Wikipedia entry and his obituaries.

There was another one about a European football team (Croatia, I think) where one paper used Wikipedia to report that the fans wear bizarre shaped hats fashioned from old football boots and quoted a supporters song with strange lyrics… all made good copy and all was completely made up by (IIRC) an experienced Wikipedia vandal.

Also, worth remembering there are cases where articles are tampered for other reasons – e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Hari#Wikipedia_editing

Instagram on iPhone 5: Now you can spoil even MORE snaps


If scrapping live filters is controversial...

why not lead the story with that?

Apple MacBook Air 13in review


Re: So like the new iPhone

"The Reg have started getting comments from Apple now, rather than simply being ignored. Around the same time, this and the iphone 5 both get 90%.


Err, have you been reading *all* of El Reg's coverage about Apple? An overly obsequious tone isn’t a criticism that can’t justifiably be made.

Also, IIRC, Apple started giving comments to El Reg before these reviews.

Last remaining reason to order an iPhone 5 disappears


Re: Is this a reaction?

"Also, I'd be surprised if we're publishing less. There's something like 40-45 articles a day most of the year. Forgive us if you can't love every piece."

I had a quick tot up earlier and, including the Woz article, there were nine stories on the front page – two of which (the Woz one and this Lewis article, which I did find amusing) were also positioned on the right of the front page and in the top stories section. If you do publish 40-45 stories per day, then that’s 20% to just shy of 25% of today’s output.

I don’t expect to love every piece – I know that from reading El Reg (and have the T-shirt, got the book… well, a couple of TBOFH ones) for ten years, but there’s fatigue setting in from so many iPhone and Apple stories – not just here but every blinking site.

If the number of such stories wasn’t bad enough, it’s the content provided so many outlets – very little analysis or real news is offered. One outlet will report what another outlet said. Still, the headline will draw hits and readers will post with passion.

I got into El Reg because I liked the irrelevant style, but there was opinion and news that wasn’t so easy to come by elsewhere – it might be me looking through rose-tinted spectacles, but I don’t get that so much these days.

Speaking as an ex-hack, I don’t envy the El Reg team having to produce so many stories – but sometimes there’s a case for less being more.


Yet more iPhone linkbait

Enought already.

iPhone 5 Lightning cables sticking in USB ports



"The Independent online reports that there are also complaints about poor finish on some iPhone5 units."

I think 'reports' is a little charitable. The hack writes that "some customers" have complained about issues - but how many is 'some'? How widespread is the issue? Now, I have read forum posts that have referred to the sort of problems that he's referring to, so I know the reports are coming from somewhere, but the Indy hack provides no details about where he got his information from - speaking as an ex-hack myself, that's just shockingly bad. Would adding a link or two kill him? As I've a base cynical mind, I suspect that the reason that he gave a link to another Indy story only is to do with trying to drive the site's Web traffic.

Still, it doesn't really matter. The sheer mention of Apple will generate hits - to hell with actual reporting.

Scientists: 'Castration is the key to a longer life'


Or at least, it seems longer.

That's all.

Apple weekend iPhone 5 sales miss forecasts


Re: The real question is.....how many ISheep are out there only to be counted in the popular group?

You mean like the Android kil switch?



Re: analysts BS

"Search online for SGS3 Pre orders which from what i could google was 9 million. a little more than the 5 million in 72 hours (thats if that figure includes pre orders)"

From looking myself, that number appeared to be from an unamed Samsung executive - might be accurate, from what I found, it looks unverified.

Also, from what I read – and I’m happy to be corrected, if I’m wrong – that 9 million figure includes the amount that carriers had ordered for future sales rather than just 9 million punters pre-ordering the phone.

According to this Telegraph report - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/samsung/9419878/Samsung-Galaxy-S3-breaks-10-million-sales.html - there were three million pre-orders for the Galaxy SIII and it took nearly two months to reach the 10 million sales mark.

Ten external battery packs

Thumb Up

Re: New Trent chargers

Yup, absolutely agree - I've got the 11000mAh model myself and was going to post that I'm very surprised that New Trent didn't get a look in.

Google+ claims 100 million 'active' users


Other products

Also, although I would like to say it’s surprising that there was no mention of Nik Software’s other products, it’s sadly predictable that there wasn’t. I know the story was leading with something else but I think it might be of interest.

Nik has firmly placed itself in providing photo-editing plug-ins for Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom for higher-end users – so what’s going to happen to those? It doesn’t sound like the kind of area that Google is interested in.

There have been just over 130 comments for users on Nik’s site (http://education.niksoftware.com/2012/09/17/google-acquires-nik-software/) about this news and it’s almost universally been criticised. Punters see this as heralding the end for products that they’ve spent time and money (I consider them excellent value, but they’re not on the budget end of things) into their workflows.

Personally, I suspect that as well as Google leaving a truck full of cash outside Nik’s HQ, a major factor in Nik’s decision was that the market for the plug-ins becoming increasingly niche.

Siri, will Apple's App Store lock out blind people on iOS 6?


Betteridge's Law of Headlines


More 'iPad Mini' tat pics leak ahead of Apple's big unzip


Ah, the joys of rumour-mongering

It only seems like less than two weeks ago, when the rumour mill was grinding out stories that there was going to be another event later in the year for the anticipated smaller iPad… it seems it, because it was it.

There was some comment that a separate event for the iPad would be done in order not to deflect attention away from the new iPhone. This makes sense, and it’s what Apple has done in the past. Bearing in mind that updated iPods and very likely, updated iMacs are going to revealed imminently, if all the new kit does get unveiled at the same time, the stage is going to be a bit crowded.

What, I wonder would be a good reason for Apple to unveil a new iPad tomorrow? Actually, I’ve just thought of one – to prevent the seemingly end of articles bemoaning that Apple didn’t announce a new iPad “as expected.”

Samsung accused of using child labor in its own factories


Re: Anyone else find it amusing

I suspect most would say that Apple gets more than its share of attention, but that’s not the issue. The issue is about how our nice fancy gadgets get manufactured – you might be sanguine about this type of manufacture, but according to the report, some of the practices flagged are illegal by the standards of the county of origin.

Personally, I don’t care what company is involved, if it’s breaking the law, it’s breaking the law – the 'it's a different country, it’s a different way of life' argument doesn’t wash, particularly as no one is saying that the laws being violated are bad or unjust.

Sadly, I feel it’s far too easy to shrug off practices that we wouldn’t be happy with if they were on our own doorstep. If blood/conflict minerals, essential to the production of so many gadgets, weren’t sourced from ‘far-away lands’, I suspect there would be more of a fuss.

Customers dumping Samsung phones in wake of Apple suit


Re: Link to that article


Apple: I love to hate, and hate to love thee


Re: For years I've put up with crap service

"The head of sales at Currys/PC World has now moved to head up Apple's Retail Division. Shows their commitment to customer service."

Actually, Browett was Chief Executive of Dixons Retail, which is the parent company of those companies. Anyway….

Anecdotally, these days I don’t hear much bad word of mouth (I’m struggling to think of any) about either of those stores – I don’t use them myself (other than occasionally popping in), but a lot of non-tech colleagues do and their feedback tends to be pretty good – far better than it used to be. One of my mates bought a laptop from a PC World a couple of weeks ago and said the service was actually rather good and the guy serving was very open that the price (which had had come done a lot) and actually been like that for quite a while, rather than pretending it had suddenly come down. As I say, I only pop in now and then, but my impression is that things have improved somewhat – particularly with staff .

Last Christmas, PC World/Currys was one of the few high street retailers that actually did well. Maybe Browett hadn’t done too badly there? The Dixons share price went down when he left for Apple, which indicates that investors didn’t think it was necessarily going to be ‘business as usual.’

Browett’s also been credited in taking a fledging Tesco.com service and nurturing it into a major retailer.

If you want to have a pop at Browett and Apple’s customer service, I think you would have been far better looking at the recent news stories (and arguably, this reflects more on Tim Cook than Browett), rather than the reason you gave, which I suspect would have carried more weight several years ago (overlooking the obvious fact that Browett was actually at Tesco).

Why the Apple-Samsung verdict is good for you, your kids and tech


re: Best billion dollar ad-campaign Samsung ever had

Speaking of ads, I believe that Apple has yet to comply with a UK court ruling that it has to place notices in the press that Samsung didn’t copy it. The wording of such notices could be rather interesting now.

Anonymous takes down UK government websites in Assange attack



"Sweden has rather fucked up definitions of rape. In terms of UK law, he did not commit rape and if tried in this country; the case would be thrown out as no crime had been committed."

Although Assange’s legal team has basically argued that twice in English courts, both times, the courts decided that the one of the allegations would also constitute rape under English law.

See http://jackofkent.com/2012/06/assange-would-the-rape-allegation-also-be-rape-under-english-law/

Assange calls for help from … Quakers?


Re: I always thought the values America was founded on

"Well it was the also the French who donated the statue of Liberty, innit?"

To pay for the project, there was fund-raising on both sides of the Atlantic.

Assange granted asylum by Ecuador after US refused to rule out charges


Re: Who cares about him?

"If Sweden really wanted to question him (and that's all they want to do), then they could have saved everyone lots of time and actually came to the UK...

….Sweden could also offer assurances that we will not be extradited to the USA. As Sweden has done neither of these things "

I believe - and this is based on what someone from Sweden told me - that at this stage of the investigation, the questioning needs to be on Swedish soil, due to a legal requirement. Assange has been interviewed once previously and a second interview is needed in order to formally charge him (assuming that’s what the Swedish authorities wish to do after the interview.)

re: the point of extradition, I believe that once the UK extradites Assange to Sweden, if the USA then applies for him to be extradited to their clutches, then both Sweden and the UK has to agree to it.

Neither Sweden or the UK has said it would refused an extradition request, but until such a request is made, how would it be possible to comment on the strength of such application?

Sweden’s extradition treaty with the US is a lot stricter than the one between the UK and the US. When the UK courts were deciding whether to agree to the Swedish request to extradite Assange, it was widely reported that if they did, then this would complicate attempts to extradite him from Britain to the US.

I suspect Assange has more to fear from Sweden bundling him back to Australia. If there are guarantees that he wouldn’t face the death penalty, I believe it would be easier for America extraditing him from there.

Disney sitcom says open source is insecure


Re: That's Nickelodeon, not Disney...

"It troubles me that I posses this information."

After reading your post, I'm less troubled that I knew as well.

Apple axes loyal store staff in Essex, Milton Keynes



The article doesn't say why the staff are 'loyal'.

Pixar open sources production animation code, patents


Re: Without Jobs there would be no Pixar

"FYI to put it bluntly Jobs died because he was a stupid, arrogant idiot, plain and simple, who - instead of listening to the best medical advice one can get on this planet - decided he will 'study this tumor thing' and know it better than anyone, pissing away the critical first 8-9 months drinking carrot juice while the tumor was still isolated and removable but slowly growing and metastasizing."

Ah, cheers for that. I thought this story was about Pixar, rather than about Jobs' approach to health.


Re: Pixar will miss Jobs like a fish misses a suntan

"Did Steve Jobs found Pixar? I would argue against it.”

And you’d be dead right to do so.

Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith founded the company as a ‘spin-off’ of Lucasfilm – they paid Lucas $5 million for the right to use the technology that the team that would became Pixar, had developed for him. So rather than buying a company, they were buying a technology for a company.

Jobs invested $10 million into Pixar, which gave him a 70% stake – the other 30% was owned by the workers. Although Jobs continued to invest, this was in return for company equity, which left him as 100% owner of the company.

Ouya Android games console to ship April 2013


Kickstarter and tech

Tech projects don't have a great track record Kickstarter - something like the Pulse Watch managed to get over $10 million, but they've now said they're going to miss the estimated shipping date in September and won't say when people will get the goods they've stumped up for.

There have been some impressive deals linked to OUYA, but there are rather a lot of questions unanswered - and Penny Arcade ran an excellent report.

Wikipedia collapses threatening the very fabric of civilisation


Re: People talk about the inaccuracy of Wpedia...

“I challenge those who have claimed above that Wpedia is effectively worthless to provide a link to a Wpage on an uncontroversial subject that really is downright wrong.”

I certainly don’t claim that it is effectively worthless, but there are plenty of examples where duff information sits along perfectly good information. For example, when Norman Wisdom died, some news stories stated that, along with other songs he had written, he co-wrote ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ – all perfectly bunk but they had taken it from Wikipedia. Now, arguably that’s a bit of an extreme example as someone was being mischievous, but I think it it’s illustrates the point.

There have been times that I’ve read something that was stated as a fact or as the accepted belief, when it wasn’t. This isn’t to say such claims were far-fetched (usually, they were far from it) but it’s not accurate to claim something as a stone cold fact when there isn’t sufficient proof and if I didn’t have specialist knowledge, it would have seemed reasonable enough to me. On occasion, I have made contact and revisions have been made, but I feel it’s spitting in the wind.

Also, even when there’s a cited source, you can’t take it as read (no pun intended) that it’s a good one. For instance, I looked up the entry for Charlie Dimmock (I wanted to check something quickly about women on television, okay) it said:

“Dimmock, who is well-endowed, became known for going braless in all weathers.[3]”

Fair enough one might think, and the source is “Chris Roberts (2006). Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind Rhyme. Thorndike Press. ISBN 0-7862-8517-6”, a frothy book about the meaning behind nursery rhymes - even with a mention of Dimmock, it seems a bit of an odd choice… Still, the version history for the Wikipedia indicates that the matter about her wearing a bra was looked into.

Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows


Re: Paying...

"Which is kind of the point, if you want to make money in games you sell software at £25-£40 (x1.5 in dollars) these days. All Linux users ever seem to count is downloads."

But that's not the case. From various information, PC games have been growing - one reason is that freeimum model is working well. Also, there are plenty of indie developers doing rather nicely for themselves, selling games for rather less than the price point you mentioned - look at Legend of Grimrock, for instance.

When we do consider the price point you've quoted, often the teams producing games at that price are large and so are the costs - revenue may be high, but that doesn't mean profits will be.

It's worth mentioning that very recently the CEO of Epic Games spoke about how profitable the Infinity Blade games have been on the iOS platform:

""It's more profitable than Gears of War," Sweeney explained to the audience, emphasizing the implications for console developers. "Nowadays the high end of the game business is in these console games ... Activision invests almost $100 million per year in Call of Duty."

Rein is quick to point out that Infinity Blade has not brought Epic the highest overall revenues, just the highest profits for the amount of time Epic spent making it. Regardless, Sweeney sees this as evidence that developers need to change with the times. If the common smartphone can catch up visually to the Xbox 360, which Moore's Law states that it will, games must naturally adapt themselves to be cross-platform experiences."




If I remember correctly, whenever I’ve looked at donation-based software deals, like the Humble Bundle (where people can pay whatever they want), Linux users tend to pay more than average compared to Mac or Windows users. For example, with the latest deal (which is actually to do with music), the current averages according to OS are:

$7.42 Windows

$9.79 Mac

$11.90 Linux

Okay, this figure is admittedly shy of $30, but it’s representative of previous deals – that on average Linux users have paid more through choice.