* Posts by Dave 126

9353 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Modular edutech PC crew opens fresh Kano beans with expanded kit and accessories

Dave 126 Silver badge

Speakers + children = blown speakers, often.

Though to be fair, this normally happens if the children are playing music too loudly - either the amp is too powerful for the speakers, or the amp is under-powered and outputs a clipped signal which also damages speakers.

I guess that an educational device like this should allow children to experiment with waveforms, and so children will occasionally generate a signal that the speakers don't like.

Google employs people to invent colours – and they think their work improves your wellbeing

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: You can tell how much money Google has

It's about £200, last I checked. It's been on my mind of late, though I found my Samsung Galaxy screen is in close enough agreement with my colleague's MacBook screen and our inkjet printer output that I was confident enough to order some printed marketing materials without recourse to the swatches. I know colour accuracy is important, but just how important depends upon the job. Where the swatches book is very handy is if you wish to specify to a commercial printer some 'spot' colours (eg metallic inks, florescent inks, glossy or matte finishes) that your office inkjet printer can't output.

If you're making a device case out of one part, then no one will notice if the colour is slightly off what you intended. If you are making a device where you intend two parts of a different material to the be same colour, people may notice any variation, even a slight variation.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: You can tell how much money Google has

CMF (Colour Materials Finish) is standard in many industries - many 'special editions' of cars are merely a different paint colour and interior trim material. It's basically the stuff that can be changed without retooling.

You'll note that Apple, Sony and Nokia are/were the masters of this. Really though, for Google's home speakers and ear buds I'd start by looking at Nokia's Xpress-on Covers from the 3210 era. I'm also thinking if the iridescent finish on the 6210.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Thankfully beige computers and peripherals, usually yellowed by UV, are largely a thing of the past.

The original Sony Playstation was specified to have a slightly indigo shade of beige, so that the inevitable UV yellowing wouldn't show as much. The same head designer went on to create the Sony VAIO line of desktops and laptops, which leant evenly more into a indigo tinted grey.

Dave 126 Silver badge

I've started referring to a certain type of gentrified soulless pub as Farrow and Ball, as sadly they're replacing real pubs of character. They can be identified by their signage and interior colour schemes.

As for the Farrow and Ball paint company, I refer to that as Hippy Paint. You can have any Hippy Paint colour-matched in Dulux like a normal person, and you should do if you don't want to repaint in two year's time.

Apple: Don't close MacBooks with a webcam cover on, you might damage the display

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Tolerance?

Pick up a electronic gizmo from twenty years ago, such as a radio, Minidisk player, camera, or Walkman - you will see that many of them will have a 1mm (or so) split line running between the parts of the casing. This wasn't 1mm because they couldn't make the gap smaller, but because the closer two faces are then the easier it is for us human to spot if they are not perfectly aligned. If you know your casting or stamping process is not capable of (or too costly to fine tune, or to bin the parts) producing parts within a very small tolerance, then an 'honest gap' often looks better than 'nearly but not quite touching'

Android 11 will let users stop device-makers from killing background apps, says Google

Dave 126 Silver badge

Could be handy:

Just my use case: sometimes I listen to (stream) podcasts through a Chrome tab. If I pause it for a long period of time then return to it I find the tab has refreshed I, and with it my place in

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Great timing

I've heard prominent scientists on the ABC Science Show (though not necessarily in the field of medicine) swear by their own personal use of melatonin when jetting about the planet to attend conferences. I'm told it's sold in the USA as a food supplement, whereas it's not available in the UK without a prescription.

It's naturally occuring in the human body, and I've not heard anything negative about. However, there is a lot of evidence about many negative health effects of night shift working.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Is London to New York the only route that makes sense for a supersonic airliner in the 2020s? I appreciate that they were both financial centres with wealthy companies and individuals, and that most of the route was over water so the sonic boom didn't disturb too many people.

Anyway, the rich are getting richer as they always do, and it's easier to fill a 50 seat aircraft with paying customers than it is a 100 seat plane, all things being equal.

Dave 126 Silver badge

There's a company in the South West that is worth billions, making precise measuring equipment for aerospace and the semiconductor industries, amongst others. You can see their probe in the iPhone 5 release video (it's used to check the milling accuracy on the case), Samsung are also customers. The company was built around a measuring probe developed by a Rolls Royce engineer when he was helping develop the engines for Concorde.

A volt from the blue: Samsung reportedly ditches wall-wart from future phones

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Orphans

I dunno how the latest Samsung phones behave with USB C PD (power delivery), but the older models used a quick charging system that upped the voltage if the device shook hands with the charger. Thankfully this hand shaking malarky means no devices are hurt if one crosses chargers with the One Plus system that ups the Amps upon handshake - they all default to 2.1 a at 5v or thereabouts.

Utilitarian, long-bodied Nokia 5.3 has budget basic specs - but it does cost £150

Dave 126 Silver badge

Both NFC and Wireless Charging can be thought of as backups. NFC a useful backup if you lose or mislay your wallet - you can still still buy dinner, beers and your train ticket home. For sure, I do like to carry cash for similar reasons, but those wretched springy, slippy plastic notes are hard to retain. Wireless charging is a backup for a damagedng port, saving an otherwise functional phone from the recycling bin.

Waterproofing too has saved me the cost of several new phones. It's my phone so it should be adapted to my behaviour, rather than me adapting my behaviour to suit a mere object.

Buy well, buy once.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

Dave 126 Silver badge

Electric scooters, when set on fire, make a pretty good barricade against the police during a protest - as demonstrated recently by some irate Parisians (who tend to be experts in such matters).

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Forget Scooters.

And how exactly does a copper on foot catch a teenager on a mountain bike? Teenagers tend to have a good grasp of local geography, i.e alleyways and paths that police cars can't follow.

You've accused Apple of patent infringement. You want to probe the iOS source in a closed-room environment. What to do in a pandemic?

Dave 126 Silver badge

> [Maxell must give] Apple at least an hour's notice before they start up the machine, so they [can] access the computer for that session... "At all times, all network and USB ports and wireless transmitters of each Remote Review Laptop shall be and remain disabled..." the rules state.

Eh? How does Apple access the remote laptop if all network and wireless gubbins are disabled?

I'm assuming that since method has been agreed to by Maxell, this apparent contradiction must lie in how the agreement has been reported on.

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Apple earphones

My ears are the wrong shape, and my work place means I benefit from noise isolating ear buds.

For other people though - those needing to keep partially aware of their surroundings by being able hear ambient noise - they seem to be fit for purpose.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Charger: Don't need it. Headphones: Damned well Include them, cheapskates!

> the Apple precipice dive into ARM Macs. Considering that ill-considered move by Apple

What's your issue with ARM Macs? I note that you didn't comment under any articles about ARM Macs.

Dave 126 Silver badge

What difference does it make to you if you buy a [phone and charger] for 75 groats, or a [phone, 72 groats] and a [charger, 2 groats]? The total is the same, unless I've missed something in your arithmetic.

It costs you nothing, but benefits those people who have plenty of chargers already.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Apple survey

Of course the Touch ID doesn't necessarily work if the user is wearing gloves. I'm sure it's technically possible to design a fingerprint sensor that does work with, at least, latex or nitrile inspection gloves, though possibly not optically, or as fast. Doing it ultrasonically would benefit from a liquid medium between gloves digit and sensor, e.g hand sanitiser gel.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Or

Well, if some did buy an iPhone without a charger, and they had no existing charger (wow, in 2020?!), they would have to... go to the nearest petrol station or supermarket. I don't know of a single such outlet that doesn't sell chargers or iPhone cables.

Sheeit, as a Samsung owner, I notice that Lightening cables are easier and cheaper to find than USB C cables on the high street.

Such items are also the kind of thing that Amazon will deliver within a few hours, if you live in a bigger city.

Or borrow one from a friend or neighbor.

Dave 126 Silver badge

> I don't keep Lightning connectors - who the hell uses some mysterious third-party junk that adds nothing?

When Lightening came out it, it was clearly superior in some ways to any standard alternative. That was before USB C, however. The advantages of Lightening over USB C are more debatable.

> bundling "adaptors" rather than just putting a compliant USB-C port on things. That's where the whole Apple thing falls down and they get away with it year after year.

Apple just were never the big offenders here - see my above comment about Samsung et al back in the day (and that didn't even mention the following phases of mini usb, micro usb and eventually USB C). If reducing cable waste is your objective, I'm not sure how rendering an iPhone owner's existing collection of Lightening cables as e-waste helps. In terms of reducing e-waste, Apple at least sell phones that are supported for updates for several years

- Sent from my Samsung Galaxy

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Yes please

I'm not a fan of the Apple ear buds since they fall out if my left ear due to the shape of my ear, and I don't like the noise they leak when worn by teenagers on trains.

However, they don't block external noise in the way that in-ear buds do - which is a feature if you're walking along a road and need to be aware of your surroundings, or a bug if you're sat at your desk trying to concentrate on your work and not the noisy office around you.

Apparently the Apple In Ear Monitors were considered good value for Balanced Armature Drivers. But that was before 'Chi Fi' (high quality components assembled into a product with variable build quality as prices so low you can afford to take a lucky dip) became a thing.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Gets my vote...

During the mid 2000s, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Samsung seemed to never twice use the same proprietary connector - even across models in the same year! - and more often than not built the cable into the charger. Nor would they commonly use 3.5mm for headsets. Grr.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: To be fair...

> bundled chargers are weedy, best to buy a decent 2amp multiport

Depends if your phone shipped with a charger that supports one of the flavours of fast charging. Samsung use one type of fast charging, OnePlus use another - though they both default to 5v 2.1 A if they don't get a handshake from a compatible phone.

After 84 years, Japan's Olympus shutters its camera biz, flogs it to private equity – smartphones are just too good

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Sorry to see them go...

At least the Olympus Micro 4/3rds lenses work with Panasonic 4/3rds cameras. Mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses are a popular category, with people finding the smaller size worth the lack of mirrorbox.

Dave 126 Silver badge

There's still good choice and value available in the dedicated camera market, with cameras becoming more capable every year.

I'm paying public, but my personal preference has been for a camera that can fit in my jacket pocket. But hey, during lockdown I've been more appreciative of our feathered friends - and I know that if I wished to photograph them I would need a bigger camera and lens system.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Interesting that of the remaining camera vendors, Sony and Panasonic came from a camcorder background and not a traditional camera background.

For a few years now Sony's RX100 series has been ruling the 'best image quality you can fit in your inside jacket pocket' category, and Sony also having a strong presence in the bridge camera category (albeit expensive) and the Medium Format category.

Panasonic have had a strong presence in the pocket sized long zoom category (TZ series) which do what camera phones can't, and in the high image quality pocket size (LX series). Panasonic are also strong in the EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens, aka mirrorless) category with their Micro 4/3rds cameras. Micro 4/3rds is a standard users by several camera and lens makers.

Nikon still have strong presence in professional SLRs, but their entries in other categories haven't stood out.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

Dave 126 Silver badge

Oh well.

So, people who must have Boot Camp Windows on Mac are largely developers who develop for MacOS and Windows, and find carrying just one machine convenient. For next few years there will be x86 Macs sold, including new Intel Macs that haven't been announced yet. There is also the option of renting a Windows VM in the cloud. Longer term? Dunno, but people will things out.

Another use case for Windows on Macs was that until a few years ago Windows laptops mostly had poor trackpads and other hardware niggles - but that is no longer true. Today very good Windows laptops are available.

And then there are gamers... well, I don't think Macs were ever a 1st choice for gaming. For sure, if you've spent loads of money on a Mac with GPUs for work then I can't blame you if you fancy a bit of gaming after hours. But if you're a casual gamer Mac/iOS have enough games, if you're an enthusiast gamer you wouldn't be using a Mac to begin with. And who knows, maybe game streaming services a la Google Stadia will mature.

iPadOS 14: Apple's attempt to pry fondleslab from toddlers' mitts and make it more businesslike

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

> innovation is doomed to fail if there is no market demand - sigh!

Every good hippie knows that quality is in the coming together of the objective and the subjective. Making an innovative device is all well and good, but to really serve people you need to design the situation and the experience - the design of the actual device is only a subset of that.

That said, it isn't your fault if you invent the pneumatic tyre before someone has invented the car.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

Information on the Quest Datapad is hard to find, most Google results being links to New Scientist books that mention the device. It's hard to tell how well it worked.

This annotated bibliography below suggests that Quest were not working in a vacuum - there were other handwriting recognition projects around the same time, a few from countries that don't use an alphabet as we Reg readers do and so for whom a keyboard is not an easy option.


Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

I always saw Wacom as the chief forebear of stylus support on the iPad (especially the company Modbook who would take your MacBook and modify it by adding a Wacom digitiser behind the screen and optionally removing the keyboard - aimed at artists), and the Newton as chief inspiration for handwriting recognition - in concept if not execution. The Galaxy Note line I'm sure is good kit (I'm tapping this on a Galaxy S), but I don't see how it has that much influence on the iPad.

Remember that relatively few people with an iPad also bought the Apple Pencil - the main use case was for graphics work. The number of people who might buy the pencil for note taking was likely lower still. So, handwriting support was a low priority for Apple, and something they must do well if they are to do it at all or else risk people making jokes about the Newton. Ipad Minis are more likely note taking devices than the original iPad Pros, and the Minis received Pencil support only much later.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Why not give the choice to people?

Well, I'm glad you acknowledge the pros and cons of giving the user choice.

Some things are particular to me, and i know they are, and I modify my tools to suit.

However, there are tasks where I cannot know the best or most efficient way of completing them until I have done them many times and effectively done a time-and-motion study on myself - which is as practical as it sounds! So there is a lot to be said for having these studies done by the tool vendor.

I hope that designers spend longer thinking about a product than I do using it. So I expect the designer's understanding of the general principles to be superior to mine. Naturally, I'm best placed to understand the specifics of my situation.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Good news for android?

No, there is no great hope for Android on tablets. :)

The reason isn't just Devs focusing on where the greatest paid-for app revenues are found (iOS), or even the cheep n cheerful kids n TV nature of most Android tablets. The reason is Google's own Chrome OS. Or possibly Google's Fuscia OS in the future (details of Google plans are scarce).

Regardless, Chrome OS receives its updates directly from Google, not device vendors. It can run Android apps. It's often found on laptop and convertable big screened devices, so is a better starting point for using keyboards than Android.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Samsung Galaxy Note

I'm assuming he means transcribing handwriting to editable text or mathematical notation. This is a feature the Note range has always had, and is a feature new to iPads, as per the article.

He might have taken care to appear less trolly, but is point stands (albeit a moot point, since the question of who did what first is irrelevant to a user's experience).

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The image that it's just a large phone

Being either for consumption or production is a false dichotomy. There are plenty of uses iPads have been put to, such as live audio mixing. Unless you count 'Netflicks in bed', there never was a single 'killer application' for iPads, but there are hundreds of 'bloody useful applications' .

Some tasks are better done with a keyboard, some are better done with a mouse. Some tasks are very well suited to a large multi-touch screen, but these tasks tend to be found more in the realms of audio and visual, rather than coding or accountancy.

Dave 126 Silver badge

iOS is supported by governance tools, including some from Blackberry. I'm saying that they exist, I don't know enough to rate them in any way. I know that the UK Ministry of Defence issues iPhones with Blackberry governance software.


Apple launches incredible features everyone else had more than a year ago – this time for the 'smart home'

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: What's the true cost ?

> What do I lose by not having this tech at home ?

If you're able-bodied, you might be missing nothing by having no IoT tech. However, with a little imagination it is not hard to see some use-cases that greatly benefit some people.

One would hope that the market matures so that the security, privacy, ease of use, reliability and interoperability are such that those people who might greatly benefit from home automation can easily make use of it without worry.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Yeah, Apple appear to be playing catch-up in the home automation game, but I have sympathy for their original approach of requiring Home Kit stuff to contain an Apple chip. True, the chip added expense, Apple's certification of 3rd party kit took a long time, most 3rd party vendors didn't bother, and ultimately Home Kit didn't take off, but at least Apple didn't get associated with the insecure junk or blatant data siphoning. Such negsruve connotations would have had an impact on Apple's wider business. So, they didn't win, but they didn't lose, either.

If many consumers chose to buy insecure, privacy inclvading kit because it was cheap and easy... then that's on them, and Apple's approach can't really be labelled 'stupid'.

Context: I have no IoT kit. If and when it is secure, reliable and straight forward, and offered tangible benefits (energy saving, for example) I might consider it. Given the aging population in developed countries, there will be a role for home automation to make life easier for less abled people and ease the burden on home care.

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Why?

1, price of Intel CPUs

2. Security issues with Intel CPUs

3. Issues Intel has had with its stated roadmaps to new CPUs

4. Integration with other components. Apple's SoC isn't just a CPU, it has a secure enclave running a verified microkernel controlling access to webcam and mic, storage controller, neural net accelerator, Apple's own GPU, video codecs, modem, low power always-on if desired, etc etc

5. Battery life

6. Compatibility with old stuff isn't an issue for maintained software. For unmaintained software, there a several comparability approaches. And then, for users who whom even these steps are insufficient, Intel Macs will sold for a couple more years.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Rosetta

I think the transition is that Intel Macs will continue to be available for a couple of years. If by the end of the year the ARM versions of your productivity apps are ready and well-tested, then why not MacBook Pro? It's also a statement - by releasing MacBook Pros and not MacBooks first, Apple is going against the messy image of Windows RT.

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: World beating . . .

Indeed, like the Benson and Hedges Cup, or the Costa Prize for Fiction

What's the Arm? First Apple laptop to ditch Intel will be 13.3" MacBook Pro, proclaims reliable soothsayer

Dave 126 Silver badge

Some creative power users do most of their work in one or two applications, others have a less structured workflow. I'd imagine that nine months is enough time to test the hell out of the Apple and Adobe creative applications that are already compiled for ARM today.

Folk sure like to stick electric toothbrush heads in their ears: True wireless stereo sales buck coronavirus trends

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Are they good with earwax?

Not that most people bother, but one is supposed to wipe in-ear buds with hand sanitizer or ethanol or whatever before each use.

Dave 126 Silver badge

> Might have to get some [ear buds] in an attempt to eliminate feedback in zoom/whatsapp chats etc

It seems odd you're getting feedback when using those apps in 'loud speaker' mode, since modern phones use multiple microphones and other trickery minimise feedback and background noise. It might be worth making sure that your phone's secondary microphone (often looks like a small hole, akin to a hardware reset button one used to see on gadgets) isn't block by a case, a bit of dirt or your finger

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re aspect ratios

Taller screens mean less scrolling on many websites.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: I expect that I will be downvoted...

I've had no need to repair my phone in two years - but its waterproofing has saved it on several occasions. Using the last couple of years as indicative of my use-case, I can't sensibly choose a Fairphone. One would have thought that a fair chunk of the folk who place an emphasis on the environment are also outdoors types.

Just because your phone is friendly to the environment doesn't mean the environment is friendly to your phone!

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

Dave 126 Silver badge

Rather than argue about this, perhaps we should all pause and see if there have been any experiments conducted that shed light on whether the use of words influence our perception and biases?

Such experiments have been conducted, and I'll leave it to you intelligent people to find them, and to look at their methodology and results.


NASA launches a challenge to fund AI systems for future spacecraft – hopefully without HAL-style errors

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The AI will just...

HAL didn't make any errors. It's just that he was given a clumsily-drafted set of orders just before the mission, a set that superceded his original mission and included the order to keep them secret from his crew. The problem was that the people responsible for the secret orders didn't trust the people who actually knew how to program HAL - or evidently simulate the ammended mission with an earthbound instance of HAL, for fear of revealing the secret.

Hey Mister Prime Minister ... Scott! Can you get off my lawn please, mate?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Morrison

Wet farts in lifts are to be preferred to dry coughs in lifts, no?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Morrison

I'd been led to believe that his reputation, shredded by his reaction to the fires, had been revived a little due to Australia suffering roughly 100 times fewer Covid cases per head of population compared to the USA. Of course the geographical factors helped Australia largely dodge the Covid bullet, but Morrison is at least seen as not actively fucking it up - or so I'm told.



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