* Posts by Dave 126

10242 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Google sours on legacy G Suite freeloaders, demands fee or flee

Dave 126 Silver badge

> For the family usecase, MS365 is going to be significantly cheaper

MS365 Education edition is free too, so you might not have to pay for some members of your household.

Time was once that schoolkids and students didn't pay for software anyway because they passed cassette tapes, bundles of floppy disks, CDs or keygens between each other, so as to preserve the comic book or beer budget.

Microsoft poaches Apple chip expert for custom silicon

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: ARM on Azure and...

Also, Apple silicon and Apple's graphics API, Metal, have been designed hand in hand. Metal uses a deferred tile-based renderer which makes it different to DirectX, suggesting ports might not be straight forward. That said, smarter developers might be looking forward to Apple's upcoming AR VR products, which will use Metal on Apple Silicon.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Industrial Espionage is Alive and Well and Kicking in Multi $Trillion Corporations/Corpses. *

We only apply psychiatric terms like 'psychopath' to human entities. AMFM doesn't qualify.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: admittedly...

Lagging compared to what?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Poached

I think Jim Keller - former AMD, Apple, Intel chip engineer - said he liked to start a project that he can see having a real benefit on a company's fortune. He was involved in Athlon 64 and and Apple's A -series.

Logitech Signature M650: A mouse that will barely emit a squeak or a clickety-click

Dave 126 Silver badge

Thanks, MX Anywhere is the name I was looking for.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Stop with the handedness!

Sounds like the MX Anywhere is the only mouse to fit your bill, Darkfield and symmetrical shape.

Dave 126 Silver badge

At that RRP, look around for a deal on a Logitech MX Mobile, a mouse with some more desirable features. Free-scroll wheel, dark field laser, rechargeable battery, more versatile dongle etc

Mobile networks really hate Apple's Private Relay: Some folks find iOS privacy feature blocked on their iPhones

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Private Relay

One reason is that the FBI, in addition with investigating terrorism and child abuse images, is also responsible for investigating - and so proactively seeks to prevent - espionage against US corporations.

Feeling virtuous with a good old paperback? Well, don't. Switching to traditional media does not improve mood

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: f(X) == f(Y) for some f()

Paperback and Kindle (when not back-lit) are read under ambient light (once incandescent, now likely LED). Phones and TVs can produce blue light than can disrupt circadian rhythms.

However, phones have got better at not producing undesirable light frequencies, and light bulbs have generally got worse in the switch to LED (most supermarkets only stock the cheapest LEDs with poor CRI values).

Buy better LED bulbs for any room you spend time in.

Can you get excited about the iPhone 13? We've tried

Dave 126 Silver badge


There are lots of USB A to Lightning cables kicking around, most iPhone users will already have some. The USB C to Lightening cable being included with the phone is less common, but would be useful to:

- owners of newer Macbooks with USB C ports, for charging the phone and transferring big files such as video.

- people wanting to charge from a wall adapter or power bank. USB A can do USB PD, but many power banks only output from their USB C sockets. Ditto 12V car adaptors.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: It's an iPhone

>I'm not sure the ability to say "Make this work or you lose your job" counts as a "skillset".

Wow. Well, the skillset is in determining *what* needs to go in - that it is expected to actually work is a given. And the consequences of these decisions can make or break a business in a sector worth billions. If you think that a company in the real world would take such valuable decisions lightly then good luck to you - those companies have gone bust already.

Okay, you don't like the term skillset, so let's use the word information: what would you need to know to make the optimum decision? You would need engineering data, data from partners in the supplier chain as to availability, you would market data as to what customers want, you need to project, what will consumers want in 9 months time when you sell it, what it the competition doing.. you need complex information from a wide range of sources and disciplines, and then weigh up competing and interrelated solutions.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

What is about your situation that you can use another method to send the file? My first thought is that you don't have internet access on one or both devices. If this is the hurdle, one device can still act as a wifi access point.

Some additional methods are below:


Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: It's an iPhone

'Retina display' was never an engineering challenge to implement. It *merely* required a decision. A decision that the benefit of a higher resolution screen was worth the extra part cost and the hit in battery life. To fully realise that benefit, the OS must be updated, legacy apps must be supported, developers must be briefed, power savings must be found in the rest of the system because a reduced battery life would attract bad headlines. This means you talk to your SoC design team, your fabrication partners, check they're on track to hit their efficiency projections...

I say *merely *, but in reality it is these sorts of complex decisions that bring improvements to the user's experience. Think about the skill set of someone who has to make such decisions. Yeah.

Comparing devices by which was the first to incorporate a certain component is the definition of reductionism.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: So...

I don't quite grok how your environment negates iPhones. It sounds like a power efficient, waterproof, robust handset fits your bill. An iPhone would tick those boxes as well as offerings from Samsung and Sony et al. Personally, I've found a Spigen case has kept my Samsung safe from many drops over years - and they make iPhone cases too.

If there's an Android-only app for sharpening saw blades, I've yet to see it.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

Yes, iPhones haven't always supported all bits of the Bluetooth standard. *However*, in this specific case it's worth noting that Samsung Buds don't play as nicely with non-Samsung Androud phones as they do with Samsung's own handsets.

If I were ever to buy an iPhone, I would have no worries at all of having a wide range of 3rd party, fully iOS-compatible earphones to choose from. Samsung buds just work better with Samsung phones, is all.

When product names go bad: Microsoft's Raymond Chen on the cringe behind WinCE

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: I swear it was unintentional...

>Guaranteeing the names you choose are innocuous in every language in the world is hard

On a simple level, a list of naughty words, slangs terms and phonetic variations- at least in a dozen major languages - shouldn't be too hard to compile. Then it becomes like a spell checker. Of course this would never be a replacement for having real local knowledge- there are many cultural hazards to trip over.

The dark equation of harm versus good means blockchain’s had its day

Dave 126 Silver badge

Store of value.

You can't bet against humanity if you wish to collect your winnings. The best things in life require functioning societies - no matter how decadent or virtuous your tastes. Is there a way of creating a store of value, a la gold or btc, that is based on removing carbon from the atmosphere?

Kim Stanley Robinson explores this in his excellent Ministry for the Future.

Dave 126 Silver badge

"[The City of London] does have a role in specialist retail too, the sort where drugs, weaponry, fake ID, hacking data stashes and dubious services [ and people, undue political influence, money laundering, holding money embezzled from poor countries etc etc] are traded"

Just to compare one thing with another thing. The article read as being narrow and selective... no doubt more due to the constraint of the short-form format than any fault of the author.

Qualcomm takes a swipe at Apple's build-not-buy culture (because it wants to sell stuff to Apple)

Dave 126 Silver badge

Qualcomm also had a deal with Microsoft to be exclusive suppliers of chips for Windows on ARM. This deal was secret until recently. It likely explains why MS have made no noises about ARM Windows on Apple M1 computers.

Nuclear fusion firm Pulsar fires up a UK-built hybrid rocket engine

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: rocket science is overrated

Rocket science is: Action, reaction, ballistics.

Rocket technology is: rocket science AND materials science, complex fluid dynamics, chemistry, manufacturing, testing, data collection, metrology, meteorology, finance, regulatory frameworks, etc etc

Of course the concepts of science and technology are artificial, and the history of rocket development saw theory and practice intertwined.

Reviving a classic: ThinkPad modder rattles tin to fund new motherboard for 2008's T60 and T61 series of laptops

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Love the Lenovo Battery Manager

Macbooks Pros, VAIOs and other pricier laptops (including I think Toshiba) have had similar battery-saving charging controls. Of course they may vary in how much they present to the user.

This is the reason I've seen Macbooks still keep a respectable charge after years of having been mostly plugged in, yet my cheaper laptop couldn't hold a usable charge after only a couple years. (If me trying hard to not overcharge it)

The same feature was (is?) found on Sony phones- a user-defined upper charge level, at which the phone will stop charging the battery.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: T42p

With electronic devices in general: after exposure to water, a single night is not long enough to ensure thorough drying. Muster all of your patience, for the longer you can resist pressing the power button, the better the chance of it working. Give it a few days, ideally weeks.

(Obviously size and construction of device, ambient temperature, humidity and airflow etc are factors in determining how long is long enough to leave a device to dry.

Of course you may be unlucky and your device is bricked the moment it gets wet. However, often the damage only occurs when the user attempts to start-up the damp device)

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: X330 FTW!

How well a certain screen ratio works for a task can affected by the UI of the software being used. I.e, a horizontal 'Ribbon' or Command Bar with chunky icons will eat up a lot of the screens vertical pixels, making the area available for the document [even] more letterboxed.

The degree of flexibility and customisation the user has over such UI elements (command bars, tool palettes etc) can vary wildly between application software.

Apple sues 'amoral 21st century mercenaries' NSO for infecting iPhones with Pegasus spyware

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Seriously?

Kurt Vonnegut wrote that semi-colons should not be used; they suggested that one had been to college.

Psst. Hey kid. Want a lipstick? Huawei slips new earbuds into cosmetics case

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Still surprised

The worlds of earphones and hearing aids appear to converging in some ways. Examples of this include:

-The balanced armature drivers, used in higher end In Ear Monitors (IEMs) were first used in hearing aids.

- Making moulds of a customer's ear canals for custom-fitted earphones is now a more widely available service (including from a well-known chain of UK high street opticians).

- Using a smartphone to control hearing aids.

- Earphones with microphones and DSP ( for noise cancellation... But similar components are required for hearing aids).

Boffins find way to use a standard smartphone to find hidden spy cams

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Haven't movie theaters been doing it for years?

>Night Vision Cameras Capture Couple Having Sex in Front Row of Movie Theater

Perhaps the couple were afraid of all hotel rooms being bugged with hidden cameras.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Indeed. PETA would publically shame you for the cruel treatment of the poor creature.

Magnanimous Apple will allow people to fix their iPhones using parts bought from its Self Service Repair program

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: A good step

Indeed. I thought I was being sensible buying both the tools required (heat pad, spudger etc) and a battery required from iFixit to give my Galaxy S8 a new lease of life. The 'new' battery lasts no longer than the 30 month old battery it replaced. So that's 35 quid and a couple of hours wasted.

iFixit do good work, but they are a business often presenting themselves as a consumer advocacy group. The Reg is curiously uncritical of them, and often takes their position as gospel.

By the way, official Samsung battery replacement service is roughly the same price as the official Apple service. I.e, roughly ten percent of the original cost of the device.

Chip makers aren't all-in on metaverse hardware yet – we should know, we asked them

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: It's going to be awfully quiet

Well yeah, VR headsets are a better match for headphones... but the there'll be occasion THUMP arghDAMNthathurt as someone trips over a coffee table or cat.

Meow! Well you shouldn't have been sitting there should you!!

Okay, VR goggles for cats. I'm now eliciting round one investment to develop this concept. Please send money. Please don't send cats.

Dave 126 Silver badge

I can see some good productivity applications for AR/VR, but the current stuff looks like Windows XP Tablet Edition hardware... I only ever saw one XPTE machine in the wild, strapped to the arm of a hard-hatted surveyor in the middle of a city.

The tech - lower power processers, more suitable OS and UI etc - wasn't quite ready for the masses. Now of course iPads and even touchscreen Windows machines are everywhere.

Also: fuck Facebook.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: "the metaverse opportunity"

There are some intermediate options inbetween 'all processing done on headset' and 'all processing done on central server'. Processing could be done on a device carried by the user, or by a machine in the same room or building without appreciable lag (the thing about light is that it's fast. Really fast. Etc)

I have no interest in this Facebook Meta project. Hopefully Apple's upcoming ARVR project will deprive Facebook of an initial commanding market share in any 'metaverse'. Apple have the reputation, silicon, and the in-depth approach to offer something better Facebook. Even Apple's graphic APIs are currently a good fit for foveated rendering, using defferred tile-based rendering as they do.

Battery in 2021 MacBook Pro way easier to replace, says iFixit – shame about the rest

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Ports...

I guess a saving grace is that the failure of any one port won't render the machine unusable - it'd merely an inconvenience that may require a dongle to sidestep. i.e, should Magsafe fail then the laptop can still be charged through one of the USB C sockets, HDMI and SD card slot ditto.

Product release cycles are killing the environment, techies tell British Computer Society

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Three P3s and one P4 just recycled

And if course, now winter is approaching, running a P4 can heat your home.

The future: Windows streaming through notched Apple screens

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Pulling up the drawbridge

Microsoft have been *trying* to go the ARM route for years now. Currently, there are some native applications for Windows 10 ARM, emulation for legacy applications seems to work:


Interesting, but not ready for primetime might be fair assessment.

It should also be noted that for years Apple's iPhone SoCs have been distinct from rival ARM offerings from Qualcomm, Samsung et al, by having stacks of cache and super wide memory doodads. MacOS / iOS graphics API is designed for Apple silicon and vice versa, the CPUs and GPUs sharing all RAM radically saves power. Not off the shelf stuff. I don't believe Qualcomm have an M1-rivalling chip just waiting for Microsoft to jump on.

Jeff Bezos wants to build a business park in space

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: "an office address in space for businesses"

Why would you use humans for mining asteroids?

Google Pixel 6, 6 Pro Android 12 smartphone launch marred by shopping cart crashes

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Ruh roh

Google doesn't have a major market share of subscription music or subscription video services. The situation is very different to Internet Explorer being bundled on Windows when the OS had an overwhelming market share.

I'm sure there are aspects of Google's (or Alphabet's, whatever) business that are of interest to monopoly regulators... just not the areas areas you outlined.

(Spotify, Apple Music, Netflicks, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, etc all appear to viable at present)

Apple arms high-end MacBook Pro notebooks with M1 Pro, M1 Max processors

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Grump, grump....Mac Mini

A model called the Mac Mini M1 Max has far too many Ms in it.

Also, if Apple had gone with the rumoured name of M1 X, it could be read as 'MIX' - which might be too close to other consumer electronics branding, such as Mii Mix.

These new chips are clearly too related to the M1 chip to deserve a version jump to M2, another rumoured name. Yes, version numbers can be arbitrary, but if so then it suits Apple to save the M2 moniker for when it can bring most attention to a new feature jump.

Dave 126 Silver badge

The £19 cleaning cloth is meant for the Apple XDR Display, the one with the fancy (yet apparently delicate) anti-reflective nano coating. The cloth is included with the pricey display.

Yes, Apple will be putting a healthy mark-up on the cloth. However, they will have invested time and money in examining the supply chain to ensure that there is never a bad batch of cloths - a harder fibre than spec in the cloths might wreck the fancy coating on very expensive monitors. And Apple would be liable for replacements and endure bad press. Not good for Apple, worth their while avoiding)

The gap between 'hardly ever goes wrong' and 'damn near never goes wrong!' can be as expensive as you want to go, engineering wise. How do you ensure the conveyor belt in the cloth factory can never sprinkle metal shavings from a damaged bolt onto a batch of cloths?

Apple don't tell MacBook and iPad users to buy this cloth; for these devices Apple only recommends a generic 'soft, lint-free cloth'.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Data xor design

Apple's presentation of these new M1 Pro / Max chips is in keeping with how they presented the properties of the original M1 a year ago... claims that were later vindicated by independent benchmarks and performance reviews.

So what if the graphs are fuzzy? There's no advange to Apple by making their presentation resemble an Anandtech article... those who really care about the nitty gritty numbers (or benchmarks of their specific choice of software tasks) are the sort who wouldn't buy *until* they'd read lots of independent reviews anyway.

Heck, if you really want to be sure before buying, you wait six months or two years to see if any hardware issues are unearthed by real world users.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Great but ...

AutoCAD Fusion 360 has been on MacOS for years - last I looked, a year ago, Autodesk said that it ran blazing fast under Rosetta 2 on the M1 in their benchmarks.

Solidworks has never been on MacOS, but its engine is used in an iOS solid modeller, oddly.

Fusion is probably the better fit for many Mac users anyway- it is a blend of the parametric and the free-form paradigms, the latter having greater crossover with many a Mac user's workflow (i.e modelling a dragon before painting it in Photoshop, animating it in whatever, and compositing the results in something else).

Apple are still releasing Intel machines, a la their stated two year transition roadmap.

The real big CAD doesn't run on Windows anyway, but on servers. Any heavy simulation runs on render farms (typically Linux based) or on rented compute so the OS that the client application runs on is largely moot.

Anyway, Apple's Mac Pro in last decade has been focused on stupid fast IO (for video)- not something that CAD really requires. One wouldn't pick a Mac for CAD work unless other parts of one's workflow benefitted from the hardware choice. i.e, creating video from a solid modeller and then colour-grading it to match some other video source.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Performance claims

Benchmarks of last year's M1 GPU by Anandtech:


They found it to be the equal of a low-end discrete GPU but far more power efficient.

It should also be remembered that after the independant benchmarks of the M1 came in, Apple were seen to have been straight in their their presentation about the M1's performance.

Progress report: Asahi Linux brings forth a usable basic desktop on Apple's M1

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Looks interesting

One of the senior Apple execs said at launch that they weren't against Windows on M1 Macs, but gave impression it wasn't a priority for them. From this I infer Apple aren't bothered by Linux for M1.

Through the Looking Glass – holographic display hardware is great, but it's not enough

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: What is that depth information used for?

Hi jake. Using automated tools to separate subjects from the background of an old photograph - and then using other tools to fill in the 'missing' background - is often used in televisual history documentaries these days. The illusion of parallax twixt foreground and background when the virtual camera is slowly 'panned' really helps the old photographs 'come to life'.

If you look out for this effect you may spot it.

One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The Apple isn’t green

Wireless charging can allow a device that has a damaged port (through wear, accidental damage whatever) to see years more life. You say that wireless charging isn't 'green'. I suggest your statement might be better supported by some calculations. I.e, energy used to manufacture a phone vs difference in energy used between wired and wireless charging of a phone over X years. Obviously there are other factors that make the assessment more complicated, but that should only give one pause before making sweeping statements.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Wait for it.....

There are plenty of good chargers out there, but research is recommended.

The size of high-wattage wall adaptors has shrunk, too... I keep reading of gallium something or other making this miniaturisation possible.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Spec?

Eh? Apple uses the USB C PD spec on its devices that use the port.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The Apple isn’t green

On what occasions does the speed of a Lightening cable frustrate you? Genuine question - what's the use-case for shunting huge chunks of data back and forth twixt phone and elsewhere?

But yeah, Lightening predates USB C, and both are superior to Micro USB.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: 50 different chargers

Tell me about it. Before Micro USB A then USB C, I had several Samsung phones and not one of them used the same connector as another. Plus, the cables are usually built into the wall adapter. At the and time, I know Sony Ericsson used several different connectors, as did Motorola. Not to mention that at the time it was normal for phones to use proprietary connectors for earphones and headsets.

By contrast, Apple seemed liked saints with their 30 pin connector seeing use from the iPod through to the introduction of Lightning. What's that, two connectors in twenty years (three if you include tablets and USB C)?

Criticise Apple for things they have done, for sure. But this particular issue isn't of their doing.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Apple don't like it?

I've had plenty of USB C cables that have failed, just as I've seen friends with did Lightening cables. Whilst anecdotal, it might be worth mentioning that these poor quality cables were often bought in a hurry from a petrol station or supermarket. I suspect that had I done some research and bought some cables of a reputable brand online my experience would be better.

Thankfully though the USB C connector on my phone is working fine after several years. Similarly, I haven't heard of Lightening port failures from my iPhone-owning friends.

Sidenote: with all cables, USB or Micro USB, I've found that braided cables tend to be less durable than normal-looking cables. I therefore suspect that the braiding is just cosmetic.

This is just my anecdotal evidence, offered in response to similar.


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