* Posts by John

10 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Aug 2007

Nokia talks up Securitas GPS app


Great but...

the GPS on the Nokia N95 8GB (may have improved in more recent handsets?) is shockingly poor at locking on to a GPS signal, and hammers the battery, so the "Find" feature won't locate little Timmy until it's too late, and the "Zone" feature will text you after 30 seconds because it has lost the signal from Timmy's mobile, either because the battery has died or he's gone into a building (like the school) or maybe just because a wisp of cloud has passed overhead.

UK to get 60GB Xbox 360 on Friday


Re: Unfortunately

"Opera > Firefox > IE" - subjective - IE may have its faults, but it is still by far and away the world's most popular internet browser and, from my experience, while it may not be standards compliant in its current incarnation, its position as number 1 means that almost all websites are bug-tested for, optimised for, and work properly with IE's non-standard implementation of HTML than with FF's or Opera's standard implementation.

"Apache > IIS" - okay, you can have that one. Apache is the undisputed leader, thanks in no small part to its multiplatform availability

"MacOS > Windows" - let's see, which has vastly greater software choice, hardware and driver support? Which isn't restricted to running on massively overpriced (if beautifully designed) hardware?

"PS3 > 360 > Wii" - I think there's an awful lot of Wii owners who might dispute that. If we're talking purely about the computing power of the hardware, then obviously the Wii is inferior and the PS3 is king (as you'd expect from the console which was last to market and carries the highest price tag), but then the Wii has been the runaway commercial success and has some fantastic titles available for it. X360 has a world leading online service.

"Google > MSN Search" - Live Search is actually a pleasantly surprising experience if you haven't used it for a while (i.e. since it was dire). I don't think there is much to choose between them in terms of quality of search results these days

American data pimper exposes ad equation



The cynic in me says the reason the opt-out is obfuscated is because, if they knew about it, who would choose to have their browsing habits inspected in this way? What's in it for the user? Unless they pay me, they're not data mining my online activity.

Also, might be a cause for marital discontent if all the ads on a shared computer suddenly start trying to sell services from the seedier side of the net, based on the clandestine browsing of one party.

If your SSD sucks, blame Vista, says SSD vendor



The ideal solution would be, in effect, a hybrid of swap and caching.

Here's how I envisage it working - Windows, when idle, would copy (not swap) pages from RAM to disk, effectively creating a swapped page which is pre-cached in RAM for next use.

Then, if those pages are needed again in the near future, you don't have to wait for them to be swapped back from disk and, if the pages were written to, Windows would delete the disk copies and mark the pages for re-copying next time it was idle.

If, on the other hand, Windows received a program request for more RAM than was free, it would free up RAM by trashing the RAM copies of the least recently used pages, which should already have been copied to the swap file. In caching terms, it would eliminate the least recently used data from the cache.

I don't know if this is how it works, but it is, to me, the logical solution.

As a refinement, Windows could allow programs to request that certain pages not be removed from RAM. For example, a game might do this with graphics textures that it has preloaded, knowing they are likely to be required in the next room. Again, it wouldn't surprise me if this has already been implemented.

Eco-satnav software solves 'drive or walk' decisions


Re: Carbon emmissions

@Nick - "Well, according to that screenshot, that car outputs 1150g/km of CO2. Is it a Humvee? I thought mine was bad at 240g/km!"


It is 7.7 lb (3,500 g) for 9.2 miles (14.8 km), which equates to 236 g/km - high but not unrealistically so.

Sony spin-off planning 2009 FED TV launch


@Christian Berger

What? 26" is far too SMALL to see the benefits of HDTV (especially Full HD 1080p) at any 'normal' TV viewing distance. You'd need to sit at about computer monitor viewing distance for your eyes (unless you are Superman) to be able to resolve the detail. That is why Full HD TVs generally only start at 37" and upwards. In a large living room, you might quite realistically be sitting 10-12 feet from the screen, and a 60" would be perfect at that distance for watching Full HD content.

Obviously 60" will be a relative niche market, but if they can build screens at that size, they will be able to build at the more mainstream 32-40" sizes.

Panasonic parent makes 30in OLED TV play


@Christian Berger

err... do you actually know what an inch is? It's 1/12 of a foot or about 2.5 cm.

5-10 inch is not a 'normal' size for a TV - I'd say more like 20-32 inch.

What do you mean "nobody is going to do television with [30 inch] screens as the largest usable size for HDTV is about 24 inch."?? 24 inch is ridiculously SMALL for HDTV - most people agree that at a comfortable viewing distance you need at least a 40 inch to get the benefit of Full HD (1080p), though of course it is all entirely dependent on what you consider an appropriate viewing distance, which will depend on the size and layout of your room.

Canonical and VMware team on mini-Ubuntu


Re: Why?

Good point, well presented. Or you could run it in a VMware virtual machine, as was the apparent intention during its development.

Sony unveils PlayTV telly tuner for PS3



--"Incidentally, why should the "President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe" be quoting a price in $ at all?"

My thoughts exactly! The president of the European arm of a Japanese company quoting a price for a device to be made available initially in the UK and Euro-land quoting a price in US$? The world's gone MAD!

And 135-200 is hardly a particularly precise range in any currency. Why not just say $165 +/- 20%??

Fujitsu creates readable, writeable 'nanohole' hard drive


RE: Current capacity (lots of math)

Wow! - you made hard work of that. How's this:

(a) they hope to fit 1TB/sq in using 13nm holes. They can currently make 100nm holes.

(b) A 100nm hole is (100/13)^2 ~= 59 times the size of a 13nm hole (forget all the meaningless additional digits which)

(c) If 13nm holes allow 1TB/sq in, we can assume that 100nm holes give roughly 1/59 as much capacity, or 17GB/sq in.

Roughly speaking, a 2.5" platter gives a ring with inner diameter 1.25", outer diameter 2.5" of usable space. The area is thus PI x ((2.5/2)^2-(1.25/2)^2) ~= 3.7 sq in.

For a 3.5" disk this increases to 7.2 sq in per platter-side.

So each 2.5" platter should be able to fit 3.7 x 17 = 63 GB per side at current densities, increasing to 3.7 TB ultimately.

A 5 platter 3.5" drive using both sides should yield 5 (platters) * 2 (sides) * 7.2 (sq in / side) * 1 (TB/sq in) = 72 TB.