* Posts by Montreux

22 posts • joined 14 Oct 2010

'Mafia' of ageing scientists, academics and politicos suck at picking tech 'winners'


Liverpool the new growth hub?

"Liverpool will become the new growth hub of the North West. Why?... Its brand new container terminal"

Like Felixstowe? Britain's biggest container port.

A webcam is not so much a leering eye as the barrel of a gun


Re: video

Lots of new laptops have the combined headphone and mic socket like on a phone. You can get an adapter if your headset has the old separate headphone and mic plugs.

UN: E-waste's 42 million tonnes represents 'valuable' (and ‘toxic’) urban mine


Re: Economics 101

I would use the example of domestic recycling in the UK to argue the opposite. 20 years ago we recycled nothing except the valuable and easy to recycle aluminium drinks cans and glass bottles. We didn't recycle everything else, not because manufacturers wouldn't buy recycled raw materials, but because it required scale and infrastructure to do so. This was too big a hurdle for any private company to overcome. The push of legislation, which vastly increased the cost of landfill, caused all councils to try and solve the same problem at the same time. Therefore we got over the hurdle and ended up with a well functioning and financially viable capability for domestic recycling.

I don't know what is going to happen with the WEEE stuff, but a bit of pressure and lots of people trying to solve the same problem could lead to a similar solution.



Re: Comic Sans

I can't find the exact quote, but developer of Comic Sans, Vincent Connare, once said something like 'People who love Comic Sans don't know much about typography. People who hate Comic Sans don't know much about typography either'.

It was a good first attempt at a casual, handwriting-like font. As with all fonts there are places it is suitable and places it isn't.

Adults-only Chrome add-on grabs you by the Googlies


Apple gives your app a rating, not the developer, based on your answers to a range of questions. These being how often your app contains: violence, profanity, fear/horror, drugs references, nudity, sexual content; plus 'unrestricted web access'. I would guess the latter is the reason for the rating.

Be prepared... for your Scouts-loving sprog to become tiny spin doctor


What media relations badge?

You can see the full list of the new badges and their requirements here: http://scouts.org.uk/media/391795/New-Activity-Badge-requirements-2014.pdf

I can see fire safety, which involves a visit to a fire station, and pioneering, which involves making your own rope and knowing a few knots. I can't see any media relations or PR badge in that list.

iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'


Is resilience the flip side to repairability?

Since I got my first phone in the 90s I've replaced each one after about two years. Partially because of new features of the new phone, but mainly because the old one was now knackered. Scratched screens, fluff in the screen, buttons not working properly, etc. This was true from my many Nokias, through Blackberries and finally an iPhone 3GS. Apple were even quite nice about the 3GS and out of warranty gave me a new one for free when mine got fluff under the glass.

I bought an iPhone 4S almost 3 years ago and it is the first to break the mold. I got Apple to replace the battery last month for £55. Other than needing that it is as good today as it was the day I bought it. I can't help but think that maybe making a device both small and really robust is somewhat related to it becoming harder to repair.

Let Google's tentacles fondle your mobile's web downloads and Chrome will put the data on a diet


Is this a privacy option?

I realise that google will be able to see everything you are doing, but what about the destination web sites. Will they only see google IP addresses?

Avago Technologies chomps up LSI for BEELLLIONS - in CASH


The funny thing is that LSI got into enterprise storage by accident. I was working for them around the millennium when they bought the company that had an enterprise storage division. They didn't actually want it. At that point LSI was all about making semiconductors in the form of ASICs. They bought them for the SCSI technology and even tried to sell off the storage division but no one was buying. Since then the ASIC business has disappeared and the only part of LSI left is the bit that came from an unwanted part of acquisition.

Apple iOS 7 makes some users literally SICK. As in puking, not upset


A split personality release

I thought I couldn't be alone. While the zoom animations look nice, I do find them uncomfortable to view. iOS 7 is a split-personality release. It has both simplified the user interface, giving a lot more focus to the content, and also added a lot more bling in terms of animations and physics effects. To my mind the focus on the content is fantastic, but I could live without the animations.

Vodafone and Verizon update relationship status: $130bn worth of complicated


Eh? Selling shares in Verizon in exchange for shares in Verizon

I don't understand. How is selling your stake in Verizon in exchange for stock for Verizon a sale of your part of Verizon? I get the 50% cash bit, but not the shares in Verizon bit. Haven't they just sold 50% of their holding, rather than 100%. Can anyone explain what I'm missing?

Curiosity team: Massive collision may have killed Red Planet


The core solidifying removed the magnetic field

I remember a different explanation from Professor Brian Cox on Wonders of the Solar System. A planet needs to have a molten iron core to have a magnetic field, and in its history Mars used to have one like our planet and that gave it a magnetic field. A magnetic field protects your planet from the atmosphere being eroded by the solar wind. As Mars is smaller than our planet it couldn't maintain the temperature of the core and it solidified. Hence removing the magnetic field and leaving the atmosphere open to erosion from the solar wind.

Modern-day Frankenstein invents CURE for BEHEADING


Is it April 1st?

We can't currently repair damaged nerves in humans. It would a Nobel prize level achievement if you worked out how to do it. So head transplants are just nonsense.

Damn you, world! WHY can't I have an object store on my desktop?



Of course Dropbox uses S3 as its storage back end and is fully integrated to the file system on the local machine. So lots of us have seen this working.

Review: The ultimate Chromebook challenge


Why not a tablet?

If the chrome books are only good for web browsing and light media consumption then I don't see the point of them compared to a tablet. The Nexus 7 and 10 being very good tablets.

I have a laptop and a tablet. The laptop is used for real work on the go, the tablet for web browsing and media consumptions. The laptop is really at its best sitting on a desk when you need to type. The tablet is best in all other locations where you don't need to type much.

WTF is... IEEE 1905.1?


Reminds me of the failure that is DNLA

I wasted money and a lot of time trying to get a DNLA solution working to display videos from my computer on my living room TV. It failed because DNLA is a spec not an end-to-end solution. Multiple devices supporting the standard don't actually mean that something useful is going to happen. That device A will be able to successfully display output on device B is in no way guaranteed or likely.

This sounds exactly the same. There is a standard for a network, but only a suggestion that something useful could happen with it. There is so much more to define on top of a network before something useful can happen. For instance the fact that there is a WiFi connection on my TV, games console and phone doesn't mean that I can play videos from my phone on my TV. There has to be something on the phone that knows how to work with a different something connected to the TV. The network doesn't matter that much.

Intel uncloaks 'no excuses' smartphone for emerging markets


Does having an Intel CPU lower the total cost?

As I understand it the CPU isn't that big a cost itself in the total bill of materials (BOM) of a phone, compared to say the screen or the battery. However it can have big cost side effects if it is hard to integrate, skews the board design and worst-case requires a bigger battery.

ARM don't sell CPUs, they sell designs for cores that manufacturers integrate with as much other stuff as possible onto one piece of silicon. This is convenient and lowers the total BOM. Are Intel trying to sell a standalone low-power CPU? Regardless of how power-efficient or not it is, in a tiny embedded device that could end up being more expensive to use than the ARM option, even if Intel gave it away for free.

iOS 5's iMessage chops carrier SMS routing traffic


Had to turn off iMessage

My wife and I had to turn off iMessage after using it for a week as too many messages were getting lost. iMessage just isn't as tolerant of poor quality connections as SMS is. The problem being that there is a delay between Apple trying to send via iMessage before it gives up and then falls back to SMS. So I would leave work and text my wife, she would be marginally out of reception for some reason, about 5 minutes later iMessage would give up and try to communicate back to me to send an SMS. By which time I was on the underground and out of contact myself, so the message would completely fail. Whereas with SMS it is fire and forget. I send the SMS and the operator then will keep trying the target until they become available.

Seeing as texts are effectively free with my plan iMessage had problems and no benefits.

Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy


Trailers don't count as adverts

This had me going for a while, particularly with Sky's enormous ad breaks. The length of the adverts for products is only 3 minutes, but the broadcaster extends the break in the programme to 4 or 5 by adding trailers for their own programmes at the beginning and end of the break.

End of UK local dialling in sight as numbers run out


So your number can start with a 0 or 1

Currently your phone number, excluding the area code, cannot start with a 0 or a 1 as it would be confused with dialling a longer number. Once you force the use of an area code then numbers starting with 0 and 1 become available.

iPhoto 11 ate my library, say users


Constant crashes

I upgraded from iPhoto 8 to iPhoto 11 at the weekend. I haven't lost any pictures in my upgrade, but I have been shocked by the number of crashes when using the faces feature. I had iPhoto 11 crash on me around 10 times, each time while searching for additional pictures containg the faces I had just tagged.

Also all the tags I had set on pictures disappeared.

Florida cops tase naked jogger


Mentally Ill?

Unfortunately the man was probably suffering from some form of mental illness. Taking him to a local hospital may have been more useful than taking him to a police station and charging him.


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