* Posts by Dave Fox

222 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Nov 2006


Google's ChromeOS Flex turned my old MacBook into new frustrations

Dave Fox

Re: SSB Features are in Chrome

I was about to ask the question as to how SSBs are different to ChromeOS shortcuts.... saved me a job! ;)

Where's our data, Google? Chrome 79 update 'a catastrophe' for Android devs with WebView apps

Dave Fox

Except that the device would've needed internet access in order to update to Chrome 79 in the first place...

Regardless of that though, if the app does sync back to the cloud whenever it has a data connection, how much data would've really been lost here? How would it be any different if the vet had accidentally dropped the device down a well? ;)

Ongoing game of Galileo chicken goes up a notch as the UK talks refunds

Dave Fox


Seems to me that Switzerland managed to negotiate access to Galileo and PRS in particular.


*If* it wanted to, the EU could confer on the UK a particular status, e.g. Trusted Ally, which would allow it to fully participate in Galileo and other sensitive EU projects.

I suspect that something like this will probably happen once the sabre rattling has ceased.

Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian

Dave Fox

Missing the point here?

An autonomous vehicle has killed someone in an accident. No doubt, this is a tragedy, but let's put it into context here.

How many other people were killed on the roads by vehicles driven by humans?

As horrible as it might sound, one death does not necessarily mean there's an issue with autonomous cars. I do appreciate that there are millions more "regular" vehicles on the road than there are autonomous vehicles, and thus millions more journeys that don't result in death, but we simply don't know the facts concerning this accident as yet, so it is far too early to draw conclusions about the relative safety of autonomous vehicles.

Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Dave Fox

Re: July and August must Go!

Guess I'm the only one who assumed that the AC is Clarkson? ;)

BlackBerry Motion: The Phone That Won't Die

Dave Fox

Screen on time!

Battery life is all well and good but to objectively compare, we need to know the screen on time - i.e. the amount of time the phone was physically being used.

Rogue One: This is the Star Wars back story you've been looking for

Dave Fox

Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

Iain M. Banks.

His contemporary fiction was written under the name Iain Banks, and his Sci-Fi under the name Iain M. Banks!

And with a swish of his cape, Captain Pedant slinks back into the shadows, ready to strike again where least wanted!

Galaxy Note 7 flameout: 2 in 5 Samsung fans say they'll never buy from the Korean giant again

Dave Fox

If I were Samsung, I'd accept that the brand has been damaged, and try to win it back based on the one factor that consumers care about the most - price!

For the S8, they should make the best phone they possibly can, and then sell it practically at cost or even at a loss. Once they've won back the customers, they can start pushing up prices again on later devices.

Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right

Dave Fox

Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

I have owned an HTC One M7, M8, and M9, and currently own a Nexus 6P and a Samsung S7 Edge.

Whilst the front facing speakers on the HTC's and the Nexus 6P are "better" than the single speaker on the S7E, in my opinion, they are really no substitute for a bluetooth speaker or some half decent earphones.

If they were loud enough and clear enough to be used in a car as a hands free set, or to listen to an audiobook/podcast in the same environment, or to use in the bathroom whilst showering, they would easily justify their existence for my usage, but none of the phones I've listed above can do that which means the front facing speakers are little more than a novelty to me.

Your mileage may vary of course, and that's fine, but to me all the front facing speakers I've used on phones "sound" great in theory, but in practice still not good enough.

Three mobile data network GOES TITSUP across Blighty

Dave Fox

Re: Doesn't seem to be a national problem

Surely the people in the North of the country communicate by carrier pigeon, so it's not a problem at all anyway? ;)

'Apple lures labels from free streams – and why is no one doing anything about it' shrieks group

Dave Fox

Re: What I would like to know.

Yes, you can only play Google Play Music content on Google Play Music.

However, at least Google make Play Music, Play Movies and TV, and Play Books available on iOS.

Compare and contrast to Apple apps on Android.

Now I'm sure someone will pipe up and say that Apple Music is going to be available on Android, and this is true, but let's not kid ourselves that this is some sea-change from Apple. The *only* reason they are supporting Android is family sharing - they know damn well that they have to support cross platform family sharing if rivals like Spotify are able to do this, because not every family is all iOS or all Android (in my case, my wife uses iOS devices, but I prefer Android).

I wouldn't be at all surprised of Apple Music for Android only works with a family subscription when it is eventually released.

HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

Dave Fox

Re: Apple users use OsX most of the time

The vast majority of Apple users certainly don't use OS/X.

If they did, Mac sales would be close to those of iOS devices, but they aren't - not even close.

I know this article is 3 years old now, but I doubt the ratio between OS/X and iOS devices has got any better in favour of OS/X.


Microsoft's Surface 3 is sweet – but I wouldn't tickle my nads with it

Dave Fox

Re: Why Why I always asked myself for Surface

Load of sloblock.

Written from my Surface Pro 3, whilst it is perched on my lap.

Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

Dave Fox

Re: It would be interesting to see the stats..

I tend to agree that the average user really probably doesn't care about a removable battery or SD card.

I used to care and up until a year or so ago, it would have been a deal breaker for me too, but over the last generation of phones I've bothered less and less. I used to always carry spare batteries for my Galaxy Notes 1,2, and 3, but never bothered with my Note 4. Similarly, I used to carry multiple SD cards but now with 64GB+ cards, I don't bother at all and just carry a USBToGo stick (such as this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transcend-Stick-JetFlash-32GB-silver/dp/B00SGPG6I6/ref=dp_ob_title_ce )

I can fully understand and sympathise with those for whom these missing features are a deal breaker, but I think they're a relatively small minority now. The vast majority of Android users that I know have never had more than one battery, or changed the SD card (if they even had one in the first place).

That being said, since I've two phone contracts with one up this month, I've preordered a 128GB S6 Edge so that storage won't be a concern.

Vodafone: Can't make calls on our network? Use Wi-Fi

Dave Fox

Re: There's also ...

I agree that the app itself is pretty shite, but it does work and I've personally found it quite useful when I've got WiFi, but no mobile signal.

Yes, you have to provision it whilst you're on Three's network, but that is clearly a security issue, not a technical limitation.

I'd prefer something better, but it is vastly better than nothing at all.

Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Dave Fox

Re: Overseas viewers

Even completely non-technical friends of mine have cottoned on to using a VPN to geo-locate themselves elsewhere, usually using a tablet device with VPN software that requires zero technical ability to set up and install.

Apple design don Jony Ive: Build-your-own phone is BOLLOCKS

Dave Fox

Re: Alternatively

Surely this is truly embodied in the Apple Watch, of which there are 34 different combinations... ;)

Seems to me that Apple isn't following Jony Ive's advice either!

Silent but violent: Foul Google Play flaw lets hackers emit smelly apps

Dave Fox

Re: Say what you want about Apple's walled garden...

Really? Not a dig at iOS or the Apple AppStore, but these sorts of vulnerabilities aren't just Android specific.


I suspect in the case of this particular Android flaw, the issue is likely to be fairly limited since it states that it silently downloads apps from Google Play. Given these are scanned for malware (although I'm not suggesting it has 100% efficacy), it should really limit the exposure to malware.

Jellybean upgrade too hard for Choc Factory, but not for YOU

Dave Fox

Re: Technical or financial

No it isn't. They've already released fixed code - it's called KitKat.

The hardware OEMs could push out an update to KitKat, which has a lower memory footprint than Jellybean, so should work better on older devices.

They've decided not to do so, so what chance of them pushing out a Jellybean update?

Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers

Dave Fox


On the subject of data protection and privacy, I wouldn't trust any US Government body or US corporation as far as I could throw it.

However, in the interests of fairness, I wouldn't trust any EU or UK bodies either... ;)

HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

Dave Fox

Re: You are without Honor

I have an Honor 6 too, and whilst it could be a really nice phone, the truly awful Emotion UI 2.3 has relegated it to my 3rd choice device. I know Emotion UI V3 is just around the corner, but I got the Honor 6 as soon as it was released, and I've barely used it due to the most hideous Android skinning I've ever had the misfortune of using.

Sense V6 is *so* much better than Emotion UI that it beggars belief. If I could swap my Honor 6 for a Desire Eye (and I have a One M8), I would do so in a heart beat.

Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Dave Fox


If this had been a handheld console, with its own screen and battery pack, it might have been of some casual interest, even though you can get Spectrum emulators for a variety of phones and tablets. However, it isn't and therefore is a total waste of time and effort in my opinion.

Hey, iPhone 6 fanbois: Apple's bonk to 'Pay' app IS GO

Dave Fox

Picture the scene: it's a little past midnight on a Friday night. You and your friends are just finishing up on a nights boozing with a curry and a few more pints. You come to pay the bill, and whip out your trusty iPhone so you can amaze your friends by paying by bonk.

You press the home button to wake the phone, but find that your battery's flat, which you'd have expected if you hadn't been so pissed...

More chance you came a cropper on a UK road than bought a Chromebook this year

Dave Fox

Re: Or the alternative opinion

Which particular set of productivity software is so absolutely vital these days? I know you're going to say Office, but in my opinion this is becoming less and less of "requirement" these days. Google Docs is now a very good substitute for probably 90% of home users and I'd hazard a guess a good percentage of business users too.

I bought one of the first Chromebooks (not the CR-48) when it first came out but sent it back within a day because the OS was not mature enough. I've since bought my 7 year old son one of the 11" Samsung Exynos Chromebooks - it is ideal for his purposes right now and is teaching him a lot about how to use a computer in today's modern, connected, world. As he matures, so will Chrome OS (which is already leaps and bound better than the first iterations), and I expect them to become much more popular in the coming few years.

Hey frumious Reg gamers: BANG-or-SNATCH? We look at Second Son and Thief

Dave Fox

Re: Thief

I rather enjoyed playing Thief, so for pure gameplay it was good in my opinion and I kept wanting to go back for more.

The story was interesting, but it would appear that an awful lot of content was cut out making the actual storyline rather incoherent, and the ending was, quite frankly, a mess.

Overall, good fun though.

Another day, another nasty Android vuln

Dave Fox

Re: Bricked??

If you've enabled ADB......

However, I'm struggling to see the point of this exploit. Yes, it can cause your phone to endlessly reboot, but that isn't going to make money for the hacker is it? It's also relatively easy to fix by wiping the device from recovery - ok, so you'll lose your data, but we're all backing our data up these days aren't we? ;) (Helium backup FTW!)

UK claims 'significant lead' in drones after Taranis test flight

Dave Fox
Black Helicopters

Re: Taraniis may concern

"Taranis = Iran's IT"

Oh my word - fully signed up member of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade! Doesn't even work as an anagram, but hey ho, never mind as long as it stokes some paranoia!

OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene

Dave Fox

Re: 100 percent efficiency?

My thoughts too initially, but on further reading it would appear that the researchers are not claiming this.

Zhang was at pains to point out:

"This is not a superconductor, with the following distinction -- it only conducts with 100 percent efficiency on the edges -- the interior of this two-dimensional material is an insulator," Zhang told us."

Microsoft wields turkey knife, slices Surface to $199 for Black Friday

Dave Fox

Re: for a giggle...

What a load of nonsense!


Dave Fox

Re: Yup, the UK price is a total rip-off

"I wouldn't take one if Mickey$oft paid *me*."

First of all, using terms like Mickey$oft is just puerile and stupid. It wasn't even remotely amusing 10 years ago, and is even less so now that Microsoft isn't anywhere near as dominant as it was. (In the interests of fairness, I'd say the same if someone used the term crApple!).

Secondly, that statement isn't true is it? If Microsoft came up to you and said "here, take this Surface and $100", if you had any sense you'd take it because even if you don't want the Surface you can sell it or give it away and still be $100 up.

I have a Surface 2, amongst many other gadgets (this was written on an rMBP), and it is a really nice bit of kit. It is let down by the dearth of apps on the Windows Store, but most of what I bought it for is browser based and works better (for my purposes) with IE for the Surface than it would Safari on an iPad. That isn't to denigrate the iPad - just that it doesn't suit my requirements.

PUNISHMENT gluttons: The Dr Who monsters that come back for more

Dave Fox

Re: So Bored...

I suppose the point is that why read the article and comment on it if you know the subject matter isn't going to interest you.

It's a bit like complaining that the TV channel Dave only shows repeats of Top Gear and QI, when the sole reason for watching Dave is to watch repeats of Top Gear and QI!

Dave Fox

Re: Bored?

"Anonymous to protect myself from the hoard of mindless forum zombies who will now want to drink my free thinking blood"

Or perhaps it's just because you're a classic troll? ;)

Dave Fox


So bored you felt the need to click on the article and comment on it?

Give it a break!

Here's trick I've learned. When I see a story on El Reg that doesn't interest me, I don't click on the link and read it.

Ten top stories from Classic Doctor Who

Dave Fox

Interesting that 4 out of your 10 picks are from the Tom Baker era when Philip Hinchcliffe was the producer, as are a good percentage of those that didn't quite make the cut.

Whilst this was definitely my own personal golden age for Who (I was born in 1970), these stories stand the test of time well despite the low budget. I do enjoy Nu-Who very much, but I would like to see more of this "style" of episode.

Next year, Big Finish will be releasing a "Philip Hinchcliffe Presents" range of 4th Doctor audio plays, which I very much hope will recapture the spirit of that fantastic era of Classic Who.

Google and Samsung bare teeth in battle for LANDFILL ANDROID™

Dave Fox

Re: Comparison of openness

I find it quite hard to believe that your post here has prompted some down votes!

I should be an iOS person - I have 3 Macs in my house (typing this on an rMBP) and I bought my wife an iPhone and an iPad. However, for my phone and tablet requirements, I too find Android a better fit. That's not to denigrate iOS - it does what it does very well, but at this point in time it doesn't do what I *need* it to do as well as Android does.

Your point about data sharing (via intents) is a prime example of this. Another is screens size - I regularly use my Galaxy Note 3 (and the Note 2 and original Note before it) to access servers using remote desktop. The screen size and resolution of the Note range is vast superior than the iPhone's for this particular purpose, and the S-Pen makes an absolutely superb mouse replacement when a finger simple doesn't give the required precision.

The point is that it's all horse for courses. iPhone for works you? Great! WP8? Brilliant! Android? Good for you!

Personally, I welcome the choice.

So, here's an upvote for your trouble.

Dave Fox

Re: Why Android?

Please! Have you seen some of the apps on the Windows App store?

There are huge numbers of apps that simple aren't worth the few seconds to download - they certainly haven't "proved" their worth at all. Try searching for a video player that purports to play DivX - you'll find loads that they they do, but the handful of reviews usually say they don't. All these apps presumably pass the Windosr STore certification, but since they don't actually do what they are advertised to do, what's the point?

That's not to say that Play or the Apple App store aren't full of crap as well, but because they are both well frequented, you can sort the wheat from the chaff by looking at the reviews. This is almost impossible on the Windows App store, because unless we're talking "marquee" apps, most apps seem to have reviews in the single digits!

Slip your SIM into a plastic sheath, WIPE international call charges

Dave Fox

Re: Oh dear...

Yeh, because that really works well when you've not got a data connection......

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Once, twice, three times - a Very Large Phone™

Dave Fox

Re: It's inevitable...

MouseOver events for one!

Not every website is enhanced for touch, and sometimes the fact that the S-Pen can act much like a mouse is very useful indeed.

YMMV of course.

RIP charging bricks: $279 HP Chromebook 11 charges via USB

Dave Fox

Re: I wonder how long it takes to fully charge?

Come on, the only backplanation here is you changing the scope and having 4 4000mAh batteries to charge in one night, rather changing the rules a bit. It is also fairly unlikely that you'd have to charge all 4 devices from empty every night, though I do accept it's a possibility.

When I recently went on holiday with my family, we took 2 USB chargers. One was a 4 port USB charger, and the other a single port USB charger. Yet we managed to keep the following devices charged:

1 iPhone

1 iPad

2 Android Phones

2 Android tablets

The largest battery by far was in the iPad, and that usually used the single port charger. The others all used the 4 port charger. Keeping everything charged wasn't an issue. Yes, I had two chargers, but that was 2 chargers spread across 6 devices, and was perfectly sufficient.

Dave Fox

Re: I wonder how long it takes to fully charge?

"If one brought only a single charger for several gadgets (chromebook, tablet, phone), then one might have to wake up at 2am and again at 5am to switch the "single charger" from one gadget to the next."

Haven't you ever seen a multi port USB charger? I've one that can charge 4 USB gadgets on the go, and it's still much smaller and lighter than the average laptop power brick.

Dave Fox

Re: I wonder how long it takes to fully charge?

I think the point here is that the hardware inside these Chromebooks is more akin to a mobile phone or tablet than a regular laptop.

The Samsung Exynos-based Chromebook had a battery capacity of around 4000mAh, which is less than the 4600mAh that my Galaxy Note 8 has, and that charges fine using a microUSB charger (about 3 hours). I'd imagine the HP Chromebook has a similar sized battery to the Samsung.

I have several 2A USB chargers, and I'd expect they'd all charge this Chromebook perfectly reasonably, and the benefit of not having to tote around a power brick is very compelling for me.

Dave Fox

Re: Why?

Yes, anything you can do yourself with a Chromebook, you can also do with a PC running the Chrome browser, and yes that PC is ultimately more flexible, but you don't get the zero maintenance aspect which is really the whole point of the Chromebook.

I got my eldest son a Chromebook, and thus far I've not had to do anything at all with it myself, whereas with a regular Windows laptop you can be certain he'd have managed to screw it up somehow.

Firefox OS update adds performance, polish to Mozilla's webby mobes

Dave Fox

Re: No MMS?

iOS had to wait until V3.0 until it got MMS!

Yes, that was now 4 years ago, but the point is that when iOS launched, it was missing a great many features that were considered de rigueur at the time (e.g. it didn't support 3G) yet it still sold by the millions.

I can't remember the last time I sent an MMS, and in my life I've probably sent less than 20. Simple facts are that where I might want to use MMS today, there are other superior options - such as email, Facebook, WhatsApp etc. YMMV of course, but any one of the 3 phones I currently use (Nexus 4, HTC One, Note 3) could've dropped MMS support I wouldn't know because I don't use it.

Surface Mini on shelves NEXT YEAR – and it will run Windows RT

Dave Fox

"non-RT apps (i.e. all those Windows applications) will look crappy on 8" and be hard to use."

Yes, they will but:

a) They can be used in an emergency - in much the same way that I currently occasionally use my Galaxy Note 8 to RDP to a server when I'm not carrying a laptop. Not perfect, but workable.

b) It's likely that an 8" Surface would still have a micro HDMI connection, so could be connected up to a monitor where those desktop apps become much more usable.

I know a lot of people believe that RT should drop the desktop, but in this case, I'm of the opinion that more is more. I would make the desktop more open on RT so that ISVs can compile their existing desktop apps up for the ARM platform. I have a SurfaceRT, and I'd find it much more useful if I could get apps like Chrome up and running on it.

Google smacks Surface with free Quickoffice for Android, iOS

Dave Fox

"Redmond has made noises about bringing Offfice to iOS and Android, but hasn't followed through."

Perhaps more research is in order here....


MPs: This paperless health service plan isn't worth the paper it isn't written on

Dave Fox

I'll fuck it up for a 10th of that! Your move! ;)

Modular smartphones floated by Dutch designer chap

Dave Fox

Re: No@ jb99

In the specific case of Android, yes you can actually program on it directly. AIDE is an IDE running on Android that supports the full edit-compile-run cycle...... That being said, you don't *need* to be able to do this, in order to use your tablet/phone to do real work.

I regularly use Teamviewer, and/or RDP via a VPN to connect to remote machines for work purposes, so yes I'm using a tablet for real work. I also create content directly on the device itself using various tools, such as an Android office suite, Google Docs, and Evernote.

I freely admit that's is not my primary device for work purposes, but I can envisage a future, not too far off, where something like an Asus Transformer/Padfone becomes my primary work device.

Vote NOW to name LOHAN doomsday box

Dave Fox

Or even better perhaps, a recursive acronym:








Dave Fox

Too late, but I'd go for : BIEBER