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Comment Re:Lacking a Product Refresh? (Score 1) 328

The question is what should they do for a refresh? They've been waiting for processors from Intel but it almost looks like the bad old days of the PPC at the moment with Intel dialling right back on improvements, I mean an i7 processor from five years ago is still a pretty good chip all things considered. Hard to sell new computers to people who don't need them and I know from my history of Macs that three years is far too short a time for me to get maximum value out of them. More like 6 in fact. My current laptop is two years old and I consider it virtually brand new and won't be looking to upgrade it for quite some time to come. Apart from bumping the RAM and putting in a new HDD to replace a failed one, all my Macs have been virtually sealed units so I don't mind the current state because with the lack of upgradability comes reliability. I've had problems with machines in the past where I needed to reseat the RAM to get it to behave, but that's not the case any more. Dead HDD? Built in SSD solves that and at 500GB it is plenty big enough when allied to external storage as needed. As for the design? Why mess with a classic just because a few years have gone by? I like that I can buy a new Mac and in a few years it will still look and generally act like a new Mac (a few minor cosmetic features may differ but overall it looks the same) and that may not excite people who constantly want new stuff but I like it. I certainly don't like PCs which change models frequently and become hard to maintain because the specific parts are no longer made for that model, and I don't like Windows which is a ghastly mess and doesn't know if it is a tablet or a desktop where at least the few things macOS has picked up from iOS are subtle and I don't really use them anyway. Maybe people are refreshing their PCs after holding off due to Windows 8 and finally accepting Windows 10, but for mac users who just got Sierra there's still no need to upgrade unless the machine is really old.

Comment Just buy a local SIM (Score 1) 101

I travel a lot and never use roaming. Most of my stuff comes over the network anyway so I just make sure I have plenty of data. Last time I visited the UK I bought a SIM from 3 for £20 from a machine which came with unlimited calls, text and data. What I didn't realise at the time was it would also work almost anywhere in the world. When I went over to Denmark it connected to 3-DK and worked fine there, Sweden, yep, USA it switched to T-mobile and then I ended up in NZ and it connected to 2degrees. The SIM only worked for 4 weeks but boy did it work.

Comment Re:How many charge/discharge cycles? (Score 1) 198

"I see for most lithium battery technology is usually around 500 cycles."

Most devices with Lithium batteries are only expected to last a few years and the important factor is how long the device can run per charge so they tend to use all the capacity. A battery that is charged to 100% will die before one that is charged to less than full capacity. A car should last at least 10 years and the manufacturers have left headroom in their batteries for longevity so when the car reports the battery is at 100% it actually isn't but is more like 80%. Same goes at the other end where there's likely around 20% still left when the car says the battery is flat. Sure, if the car used the whole capacity of the battery like a phone does it would be able to go further on a single charge but it would also degrade rapidly and within a year or so the range would be significantly diminished and by year 3 the battery would pretty much require replacement. Useful info on this page: http://batteryuniversity.com/l...

Comment Crosstalk (Score 1) 2

I've got a 3D TV and the crosstalk between channels is a real challenge. I've tried multiple 3D sets and they all have it to some degree or other. Passive sets are slightly better but suffer from limited viewing angles. The effect breaks the 3D experience. TVs just aren't up to the job although OLED could have done the trick but the cost was prohibitive and newer sets don't feature 3D support. On the other hand, I have a 3D DLP projector and that has zero crosstalk and the image is brilliant but most people don't bother with projectors so for them a 3D TV isn't a benefit. Sadly, while I make a point of seeing 3D films (we have a local IMAX Laser 3D cinema) and also buy 3D Blu rays, they're getting difficult to find and some films aren't released on the format even though they did get a cinema release. 3D works really well and it is good some cinemas are persisting but the sessions are becoming rare with some chains not even bothering.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Did 3D TVs And Stereoscopic 3D Television Broadcasting Fail? 2

dryriver writes: Just a few years ago the future seemed bright for 3D TVs. The 3D film Avatar smashed all box office records. Every Hollywood Studio wanted to make big 3D films. The major TV set manufacturers from LG to Phillips to Panasonic all wanted in on the 3D TV action. A 3D disc format called BluRay 3D was agreed on. Sony went as far as putting free 3D TVs in popular Pubs in London to show Brits how cool watching Football ("Soccer" in the U.S.) in Stereo 3D is. Tens of millions of dollars of 3D TV related ads ran on TV stations across the world. 3D Televisions and 3D content was, simply put, the biggest show in town for a while as far as consumer electronics goes. Then the whole circus gradually collapsed — 3D TVs failed to sell well and create the multi-Billion Dollar profits anticipated. 3D@home failed to catch on with consumers. Shooting genuine Stereo 3D films (not "post conversions") proved to be expensive and technically challenging. BluRay 3D was only modestly successful. Even Nvidia's Stereo 3D solutions for PC gamers failed. What, in your opinion, went wrong? Were early 3D TV sets too highly priced? Were there too few 3D films and 3D TV stations available to watch (aka "The Content Problem")? Did people hate wearing active/passive plastic 3D glasses in the living room? Was the price of BluRay 3D films and BluRay 3D players set too high? Was there something wrong with the Stereo 3D effect the industry tried to popularize? Did too many people suffer 3D viewing related "headaches", "dizzyness", "eyesight problems" and similar? Was the then still quite new 1080HD 2D Television simply "good enough" for the average TV viewer? Another related question: If things went so wrong with 3D TVs, what guarantee is there that the new 3D VR/AR trend won't collapse along similar lines as well?

 

Comment Re:Just spyware (Score 1) 99

"heavy industrial software that exclusively runs on windows without any kind of useful analog on Linux"

I have a Windows 10 VM on my Mac and VMWare runs everything I throw at it very well and when I'm done I close it down. It associates file types with the Windows applications so they open on demand. Best of all, snapshot the clean install with all activated software you need and mount working files from a network share and then if Windows screws up you can revert to the snapshot. Amazing how well stuff that would previously be considered impossible to run in a VM actually runs today. You just need to assign enough resources to Windows and all my machines have at least 8GB of RAM and Windows runs well enough in 4GB although I could easily push it to 6GB. There's only really one reason today to use Windows as anything other than a classic environment for some specific programs and that is gaming but I wouldn't mix work and play on the same box anyway. My work machine is a Mac with a Windows VM, my play machine is a desktop tower I built specifically for that and nothing else. If you don't like the Mac then you can just as well substitute Linux (I've done just that too) but the main point is to protect yourself from Windows by not making it the primary platform. They can't spy on you when the VM is off and you can strip most of the nasty stuff from it prior to making the snapshot.

Comment Re:Can't watch sport any more because of the news (Score 1) 137

One thing I found interesting was that for football the news would warn that they're going to give the results so you should turn off or mute before they did, but for F1 there was never any such warning. Again though, F1 isn't all that popular, and since I routinely watch the news or listen to a radio what you're suggesting is I cut off all news of the world until I can put aside 3 hours to watch the race. I get what you're saying but in the end the best solution is just not to bother any more. The sponsors lose out, the sports channel loses out, all because the news stations need to fill a couple of seconds to say who won a race an render 3 hours of build up and the excitement of the race moot because I would then know the outcome. I tried watching but knowing the winner completely ruined the race for me and cutting myself off from the world for 12 hours until I could get home from work and watch the recording isn't practical. I doubt I'm alone in this and it really isn't self inflicted, there are so many sources of news around us it was virtually impossible to avoid finding out but there we are. I have indeed found something better to do with my time though and now build models instead which I find very satisfying.

Comment Can't watch sport any more because of the news (Score 1, Insightful) 137

I used to watch a fair bit of F1 but since it is a global series the times are all over the place. Generally it was OK and I would make a point of getting up early to see a race in Australia or somewhere but that gets harder as I get older so I've relied on my TiVo to record races and watch them when I'm awake. The trouble is, the sports news on the radio always blabs the outcome. I don't see why since anyone who cares will have watched or will want to watch on their DVR, and everyone else doesn't need to know but the radio news, or the TV news both insist on dumping the result out there and it is difficult to impossible to avoid. Now I don't even bother to DVR the race and I've given up following it. I cancelled my SkyTV subscription since I didn't need sport any more too so I'm a lost viewer because of the news orgs, often owned by the same companies complaining that viewership of the sports is down. How about a dedicated sports news channel and then a 1 day moratorium on the news on regular outlets. If I want the sports news I can seek it out, but if I don't I can avoid it. Doubt that's going to happen though.

Comment Other countries already have this (Score 2) 361

My UK bought Nissan LEAF has a noise generator that operates at low speed. It creates a high pitched wine which alerts people that the car is near. Besides that, the A/C system fans also make a fair bit of noise. If I want to go into total stealth mode I can turn off the A/C and the noise generator and then creep around car parks startling the unwary. I generally just assume people can't hear even when driving my Mini so I don't think this is going to make a massive amount of difference other than for the blind who obviously use their hearing more so I can see the sense in this. Odd that it wasn't already required in the US.

Comment Re:Bbbbbut... (Score 2) 209

My BT headphones work perfectly well with my iPhone and MacBook. Wouldn't want to fart around with wires after having these. Sure, I've got some nice wired over ear headphones at home but when I'm out and about the wireless ones are great and support AAC so don't sound all wooshy like some more basic ones do. No dongles for me.

Comment Office 365? (Score 1) 176

If they need Office but don't want Windows, what is wrong with an Office 365 subscription? Works in a browser and if it is wonky then you just need to tell MS to fix their shit. MS is all about the cloud now so they sell a browser based Office solution. Sure, it comes with the desktop version too and I have Office 2016 on my Mac but in the absence of the desktop version, I can use the browser. Desktop OS support is expensive and horrible and Windows is about the worst to support so stick with Linux and if they need Office, get Office 365 and keep Linux. That is unless MS forces the issue and makes it more expensive to just have Office 365 rather than Windows 10 and Office 365. That would never happen though......would it?......

Comment Whatever, just do 1080p at a decent frame rate (Score 1) 147

I'm happy to get 1080p with 60fps to my 4K TV and just let it do the scaling. Looks pretty flipping good IMHO. Heck, I've given up the idea of buying UHD Blu ray because the TV is only 55" and from where I sit an upscaled BD looks excellent so I'll pass until I upgrade my projector from the current 1080p to 4 or even 8K in another five years or so. For now, just getting a console to do full HD without it stuttering is more than enough and these 4K upgraded versions are just a fudge. I don't need a scaler in the console any more than I needed the 4K upscaler in my Oppo BD player. The TV handles that task just fine.

Comment Plex (Score 2) 226

I've got an Apple TV 4 which has a native Plex client and that works really well. I've also set up (with a bit of fiddling) PlexConnect on the Plex server which allows you to replace the Apple Trailers on an ATV2 or ATV3 with Plex too without any jailbreaking. That works amazingly well too. This way I still have the benefits of iTunes for renting movies and for my iTunes collection, but also Plex which is a much more flexible media server with clients for lots of other platforms.

Comment Programming, not coding (Score 5, Interesting) 515

i learnt to program at school from a Ph.D computer scientist. We never even had computers in the class. We learnt to break the problem down into sections using flowcharts or pseudo-code and then we would translate that program into whatever coding language we were using. I still do this usually in my notebook where I figure out all the things I need to do and then write the skeleton of the code using a series of comments for what each section of my program and then I fill in the code for each section. It is a combination of top down and bottom up programming, writing routines that can be independently tested and validated.

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