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* Posts by Dave 126

8775 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Cambridge Analytica's administrators misled judge, High Court told

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Er, what?

Yep, it's one of a few Reg articles that read as if the author doesn't know what is going on. There's no shame in that - but it's helpful to the readership if it's admitted to.

OM5G... Qualcomm teases next Snapdragon chip for phones: The 855 with a fingerprint Sonic Screwdriver, er, Sensor

Dave 126 Silver badge

I remember when 3G was rolled out and networks were trying to work out how to get a return on it. Charging for clips of football highlights was mooted, but it didn't work out - there just wasn't that much that a typical consumer would want to do on a 1.5" screen that required lots of data.

What changed was the arrival and mass adoption of full screen smartphones and the services that ran on them.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Ability to read wet fingerprints would be a nice feature to have ( part of my job involves cleaning things, so my hands are often wet and confuse my fingerprint scanner) but no cause for a new phone.

What would tempt me is if Google update ARCore to take advantage of multiple cameras / ir grid projectors ( a la Project Tango) to generate accurate point clouds ( 3D scans) of rooms and objects.

Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands

Dave 126 Silver badge

Another design approach:

Many cars have cup holders, but none have an integrated rubbish bin. The absence of such a bin ( I'm imagining a compartment by the passenger footwell that pulls out in the same fashion as a glovebox) is absolutely no excuse for littering, but it can't hurt to design a car to make good behaviour more convenient.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Technological approach:

The face and number plate of a McDonald's Drive-Thru customers are printed on the burger packaging at times of purchase. If said customer doesn't dispose of their rubbish responsibly they'll be easy to hunt down.

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Cons

> (and why the constant comparison to Apple stuff?)

- individual models of MacBook are commonly seen in the wild, so most readers will find a comparison to a MacBook more useful than to an Alienware XYZ 3000.

- MacBooks have never had 16:9 screens, unlike the majority of laptops until recently (MS's Surface range is 3:2, and some Lenovos iirc)

- the industrial design of the Huawei is similar to a MacBook

- a fellow commentard here has expressed interest in this machine, his current machine us a MacBook

LG: Fsck everything, we're doing 16 lenses in smartphones (probably)

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Light L16t

I had the impression that Light only released a product in the hope a smartphone company would licence their technique. This LG patent application suggests that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Why not go the whole hog....

> There is NO WAY to make The Princess Bride any better than it is.

A Very Deadpool Christmas. Ryan Reynolds told Fox he'd support a cert PG version of Deadpool 2 if some proceeds went to Fuck Cancer and if he could kidnap Fred Savage.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: There is plenty of original material

To make room for a more involved plot a TV series is often a better match than a movie - Westworld, Handmaid's Tale, Altered Carbon. For short, sharp plots an anthology series works - Black Mirror, Electric Dreams.

Movies fill that gap between a 1 hour runtime and an 8 hour runtime.

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

Dave 126 Silver badge

@ drgeoff

I hear you, but there are situations where a phone will hold onto a WiFi signal so weak that web pages won't load, so I have to switch it off to force it onto a strong 4G signal.

What costs me money is forgetting to switch WiFi back on again later.

What would be handy would a 'disable WiFi for 20 minutes' button.

1,700 lucky Brit kids to visit Apple Stores for 'Year of Engineering'

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Huh?

> You exalted me to 'Read'. I humbly suggest you 'Think'. Not necessarily Different, just At All.

Where's the evidence that I didn't think? You've made some points with some merit after you were promoted to, so I don't understand why you started by attacking the straw man the Reg had so conveniently provided for you - which you must admit suggested you hadn't read any further. Scepticism is asking the questions, cynicism is merely assuming you already know the answers.

Throughout my educational career there have been collaborations, promotions and discounts from commercial outfits looking for a share of hearts, minds and wallets - that's par for the course. Deciding whether or not the end result is a good or a bad thing requires more than a quick look.

As for location, anywhere with tables, chairs, computers and a roof that doesn't leak would be suitable. There's also a strong body of evidence that suggests a change of scene is beneficial to learning, so why not? I'm assuming you remember days out from your school days?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Huh?

> So it's a bunch of children sitting in a room, learning stuff from an adult standing at the front with a big board.

No. Again, from the *source material*:

" During the Field Trips, students will create their own digital projects and explore how they can think like an engineer, covering everything from coding and robotics to transport and the solar system."

Read.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Think like an Apple Engineer...

Engineers design phones. It's technicians who repair them. Set a good example for the young ones, there's a good chap.

Dave 126 Silver badge

A good start would be to reclaim and protect the word Engineer for its real meaning, just as the title Doctor denotes a certain level of either academic achievement or medical training.

The person who fixes the photocopier is a technician and not an engineer, no more than the (invaluable and useful) person who takes X-rays is a doctor.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Student - one who studies. Undergraduate student - one studying towards a degree. Pupil - one who is taught by another. Whilst it's true that in common usage a pupil is taken to be a child or adolescent and a student is taken to be at a university, that's not what those words mean and the context should be looked at.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Huh?

> So that would be the folks who work in their retail stores?

No. If you had taken the time to read the source material *before* commenting you'd know it's just using the retail stores as a venue for projects involving coding and CAD.

Desirable skills to be sure, but maybe not as universally useful as reading up on topics.

Try doing so and see for yourself.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: You'd have to be a Dummy,....

The Apollo programme consumed up to 5% of the USA's GDP.

SpaceX didn't claim that they were first to land a rocket after delivering a payload to orbit - they demonstrated it. Blue Origin's effort that was successfully landed had a velocity an order of magnitude lower than that required to reach orbit - it touched the top of the atmosphere and came back down again.

Wombats literally sh!t bricks – and now boffins reckon they know how

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Kinda macabre, but alright

Only you can't - the roadkill would have been in Australia where wombats are found. It was the researchers who were from Georgia Tech.

If a car hit a wombat in Australia so fast that the wombat's body ended up in the USA, how fast was the car travelling?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Actually very interesting to some people...

Fox shit seems to stick to raised areas like tree stumps perfectly adequately on account of it still being a bit moist. I'm assuming now that wombats, living in a drier climate than foxes, would benefit from absorbing as much water as possible from their faeces before they excrete it - and for that reason require a different technique (shape instead of texture) to keep their shit stationary.

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Past meets future

Xperia phones used to have a nice feature to stop charging automatically when 90% charge was reached. Apparently there's a now a 3rd party app for phones that have compatible hardware and have been rooted.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Dumb dumb dumb

The "it doesn't have removable storage!" comments have been remarkably constant in frequency and nature since the days of phones only having 4-8 GB of internal storage.

I can only conclude that no amount of storage will satisfy some people, and I wonder what they're doing with it, how they back it up, or how they possibly lived in the days when 20GB of spinning rust was as much as you could keep in one pocket.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: No headphone socket - no sale

Galaxy S9 is around £550 now, and gives you headphone socket, waterproofing, wireless charging, SD card, better camera, better screen, no notch.

Also you can buy it from a legitimate UK retailer who will give a you a VAT invoice which OnePlus won't do.

Brits shun country life over phone not-spot fears

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: As it happens...

Canals are usually okay, it's in the tiny little valleys or clusters of stone cottages that a signal is hard to get.

iPhone XS: Just another £300 for a better cam- Wait, come back!

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Not me

It's more akin to the car salesman saying:

"Sadly materials science is such that we can't fit tyres that are both grippy and last forever. Therefore the tyres are a seperate component to the wheels and will need to be changed when they wear out, and if driving in winter conditions. "

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Not me

> Ie. the device, as sold, is not fit for purpose as the OP says: stupid design choice makes the device inherently susceptible to breakages.

It's a phone, not a hammer. You're either going to have a screen that can scratched or a screen that can be shattered. That's just the state of the art of material science, not a design choice.

For the rear you need a stiff material, otherwise it's internal components that get damaged by a dent. You can protect the stiff material from damage with a case.

What difference does it make if this is built into the phone or added by the user to suit their own individual use-case?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

Access to Google Navigation doesn't require the phone be unlocked.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Power efficiency difference

One would expect an OLED panel to more efficient than LED if it was displaying a mostly black image - indeed, this is one of the reasons Samsung is pushing a dark themed UI. LCD screens are backlit as a whole and dark pixels are blocked, whereas OLED screens only light up pixels when required.

The surprise here is that Apple's OLED solution uses more power than its LCDs even when displaying dark images. This is apparently due to the controlling circuitry Apple use, not the actual panel.

As for who needs that level of colour accuracy, there are a few trades and professions that benefit from it. Whilst a screen is no substitute for a colour swatch, it can only aid some workflows if the screen gives a better approximation. Historically, Apple may owe their survival in the 90s to Macs use in the DTP trade - at a time that DOS and Windows PCs couldn't be colour calibrated as reliably. It might also be argued that the original Macintosh didn't *need* a GUI, but since it had the required hardware it was then easier to develop DTP software.

This said, DisplayMate say the Apple specced (Samsung made) OLED is only a smidge better than the Samsung phones that previously wore the crown.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

@Voyna i Mor

Thank you for correcting me. Oops, I meant the XZ2 *Compact* only had a Snapdragon 650. Some previous Compact phones had the same SoCs as their bigger brothers, but not the XZ2 Compact.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: the improved camera is one of the best in class

Vlad at the Verge was actually a bit more nuanced in his comparison, but fair play to you for providing a link.

At the moment Vlad is busy gushing - with some justification - over Google's new 'Night Sight' algorithms for the Pixel 3. Good folks over at XDA Forums are currently porting and testing Night Sight on some non-Pixel phones. It's worth keeping an eye on if you own a recent Android flagship.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Not me

Put your phone in a case and apply a toughened glass screen protector. Sure, it'll add some bulk, but physics dictates that protection requires bulk, regards of whether it's built into the phone or added after purchase in the form of a case. It's works on well on my all-glass Samsung.

Wireless charging (which adds to the potential lifespan of your phone since damage to your sole port no longer renders the phone useless) rules out a metal back. The back must be stiff to protect internal components. Glass back plus case is a reasonable solution.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

> , whereas nothing fits in women's pockets so that's not an issue.

Female police officers in the USA choose wear the male versions of the uniforms. Why? The female versions of the uniforms have the same small, unfit-for-purpose pockets that is the norm for women's trousers.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

It's weird, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact was not an uncommon phone - in my local pub I had one, and so did a large builder bloke and a petite young woman. However, Sony aren't making an XZ3 Compact, and the XZ2 only had a Snapdragon 650 (though there might be a sound reason for that, such as not needing to push as many pixels, or doubling down on a Compact's already excellent battery life).

Dave 126 Silver badge

Power efficiency difference

Anandtech reported that the XS's OLED display is less power efficient than Apple's LCDs even when displaying mostly black images (contrary to expectation). They put this down to the 10 bit colour display silicon that Apple use on the XS consuming power. Other phones that use Samsung's OLED panels (ie, Galaxy, Note) use a more frugal display controller than can only output 8bit colour.

Mi 8 Pro: Xiaomi early buyers wait for modern firmware

Dave 126 Silver badge

Eh? Do you need to adjust the gamma on your monitor? The pants appear to be lit from below, and the highlights and shadows do suggest a bulge.

Dave 126 Silver badge

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 had design input from Phillipe Starck. His other IT related commissions include a mouse for Microsoft and bits of a yacht interior for sone bloke called Steve Jobs.

Japanese cyber security minister 'doesn't know what a USB stick is'

Dave 126 Silver badge

I've tried putting a speech on a USB stick. The trick is to use a very fine nibbed permanent marker, and to note down only the key points.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Some exploration of the cultural differences? I've heard that the fax machine was popularised over email in the eighties by Japan, because of the difficulties of creating a Japanese keyboard. I've also heard of the Japanese learning English in order to use a computer. There are also stories of large companies being dependant on one experienced secretary for filing, because files couldn't be ordered alphabetically.

How much of this is myth?

Another 3D printer? Oh, stop it, you're killing us. Perhaps literally: Fears over ultrafine dust

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: no mention of the different types of filaments that can be used

PLA allows greater detail than ABS. ABS objects can be used at slightly higher temperatures, won't biodegrade if left outside, and are easier to finish.

In fact you can bring an ABS object to a mirror smooth finish if you expose it to acetone vapour - which is just as hazardous a process as it sounds.

Still, in a conventional workshop there are plenty of other nasty things around, such as MDF dust.

Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Fun IT facts about HAL's song

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/pasp/Singing_Kelly_Lochbaum_Vocal_Tract.html

More on Daisy Daisy on an IBM in 1961. If there's any Wikipedia editors here, it could be added to the history of Speech Synthesis

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: One of the iconic voices...

With Star Wars ADR by James Earl Jones (who worked for Kubrick on Dr Strangelove) cinema lost the prospect of a badass space bastard with a Bristolian accent, though this was eventually put right by Luc Besson's casting of Tricky in the Fifth Element.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The reveal

Yeah, it's a weird one... co-creator Arthur C Clarke had HAL's behaviour as that of a machine just acting on conflicting orders ( clarified in '2010'), but HAL was recognised by the Monolith as a sentient entity by the Monoliths - or at least as a useful personality for face Bowman to relate to (2031). It's possible the Monolith was deliberately broad in its definition of sentience, though I like the idea of one machine have professional courtesy towards another!

Huawei Mate 20 Pro: If you can stomach the nagware and price, it may be Droid of the Year

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Can anyone tell me the advantage of face/print unlock?

Passcode can mean a string of characters, surely? I didn't say Pass number or PIN.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: £899 - Ouch

> The OEMs are still not forced to release updates

No, but it makes it much easier for them to roll out updates, and and removes their dependency on chipset vendors releasing binary blobs.

In short, vendor's past performance in this area is no guide to their future performance. (And even before Treble, we've seen some vendors go from poor to good in this regard)

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: £899 - Ouch

> Hopefully this slowing in phone sales / upgrades recently is the tip of the iceberg and people will wake up to the fact that they are being fleeced.

There are lots of competent phones available for far less, so who is being forced to buy the pricier handsets?

Given no vendor is wildly undercutting the others, when comparing oranges with oranges, it's hard to make the argument that they're overpriced.

The relationship between people's upgrade cycles and the price of a new phone isn't one way. For example, someone might deliberately choose a pricier phone with the intention of using it for three years, instead of a slightly cheaper / mildly compromised phone for two years.

People also expect their phones to do more. Easy example is that many people haven't bought a discrete digital camera for a few years, so there's a £100 - £200 saving right there.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Can anyone tell me the advantage of face/print unlock?

> Nobody has yet managed to pluck a thought from someone's head (though Derren Brown can show you quite a few tricks), so that's the ONLY way to be secure at the moment.

Actually Lee, researchers have had success with determining someone's unlock code from videoing their hand movements from across a room. Passcodes don't only live in people's heads, at some point they have to enter them into their phone.

Now, where passcode are more secure is in their legal status. Passcode don't have to be surrendered in many jurisdictions , jurisdictions where a cop is allowed to hold your phone against your finger.

For this reason, tapping the power button of an iPhone five times disables biometric entry and enforces a passcode. A passcode is also required if the phone has not been unlocked for a few hours.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Simplification

Project Treble is the main difference between the Galaxy and Note 8s and the version 9s, other than price. But yeah, it seems to be only Samsung who tick all the boxes these days, SD card, headphone socket, wireless charging, waterproofing, HDR certification, AR Core support, no notch, etc

Sorry to hear your Galaxy 8 is misbehaving, mine (Exonys version) has been solid. Maybe you have an intermittent hardware fault, or some app is upsetting it?

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: The notch

Crazy thing is, if you put a tempered glass screen protector on a notch-less Samsung phone it makes it look notched. The screen protector has a notch cut out for the Samsung's earpiece and camera.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: Cost of Face ID sensors

The iPhone XS panel is made by Samsung to Apple's spec, driven by a driver of Apple's own design. DisplayMate rate it a smidge higher than Samsung's panels on its own Note 9, but they're all in the 'so close to perfect colour accuracy you can't tell the difference' territory.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Samsung's TouchWiz isn't bad as it used to be, and the launcher can be changed if you must. It's hard to get another launcher to stick to Huawei phones.

Additionally, Samsung flagships are well supported by the modding crowd.

Dave 126 Silver badge

Re: £899 - Ouch

> And for a phone that'll only receive updates for a couple of years too

They all have Android 9, so they all have Project Treble.

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