Archive for December, 2012

Why a desktop OS doesn’t work on a tablet

[link] Monday, December 31st, 2012

Perceptive piece by Scott Gilbertson in The Register. Sample:

So far, despite Microsoft’s best efforts, the tablet world is still very much orbiting the twin stars of iOS and Android.

Having used a Samsung Windows 8 tablet for a few months, I have a theory as to why: you think you want a full desktop computer on your tablet – I certainly did — but you don’t. It simply doesn’t work.

In the case of Windows 8 you can blame some of the “not working” on the buggy, incomplete software that is Windows 8, but not all of the problems can be attributed to a shortcoming of touch APIs.

Much of what makes a full desktop interface terrible on a touch screen tablet is simply the whole desktop paradigm was never designed to be used on a tablet and it shows. The Metro interface for Windows 8 is excellent; different, but in my experience really well done.

Where Windows 8 on a tablet falls apart is when you try to bring the software keyboard to the traditional desktop interface on a tablet. The software keyboard takes up half the screen, which makes even simple tasks difficult. How to you rename a file and move it? First you tap it to select it, then you tap the button to bring up the keyboard, then you type, then you touch away the keyboard, then you touch the file again. It isn’t just awkward and slow; it’s downright antagonizing.

Yep.

Steve Jobs’s yacht released

[link] Monday, December 31st, 2012

From The Register:

The yacht was launched in October, with the team that worked on the custom-build project receiving a specially engraved iPod from the Jobs family. Starck, however, had been promised nine per cent of the estimated €150m cost of the boat as a commission, but the Jobs family claimed that Venus had not been as expensive as first planned and disputed the charge.

After the yacht completed sea trials and arrived the Port of Amsterdam earlier this month, Dutch bailiffs boarded her and put Venus in chains until the legal dispute was settled. The impounding order has now been lifted and a settlement achieved on Christmas Eve, Le Monde reports.

“The Venus is not under arrest,” said Gérard Moussault, the Dutch lawyer representing the Jobs family. “A solution has been found and a guarantee has been deposited in a bank account so that the boat can leave.” He declined comment on the exact amount.

Phew! That’s all right, then.

Honey Hill on a December evening

[link] Monday, December 31st, 2012


Honey Hill on a December evening, originally uploaded by jjn1.

Nine lessons, no carols

[link] Sunday, December 30th, 2012

My summing up of the lessons of 2012 in the technology world.

In today’s Observer.

LinkedIn endorsements turn you into the product

[link] Sunday, December 30th, 2012

This morning’s Observer column.

for much of my time on LinkedIn, things have been mercifully quiet. There’s been the odd connection request from someone I know; a persistent stream of annoying invitations (always declined) from total strangers seeking to add me to their “professional network”; occasional requests from ex-colleagues for recommendations; notifications of achievements, promotions, awards etc that have come the way of my contacts. Small beer, really.

Recently, however, baffling emails from LinkedIn began to trickle into my inbox informing me that so-and-so had “endorsed” me. What it meant, apparently, is that so-and-so had affirmed that I do indeed possess the skills that my profile claims I have. Not having asked anyone for such endorsement, I was initially perplexed.

Then the trickle turned into a steady stream. It seemed that everyone on my contact list had, somehow, been badgered into confirming that my online CV wasn’t fraudulent…

Who left the bath-taps running?

[link] Sunday, December 30th, 2012


Who left the bath-taps running?, originally uploaded by jjn1.

Flooding at Sutton Gault.

Doolin pier on a December afternoon

[link] Friday, December 28th, 2012


Doolin pier on a December afternoon, originally uploaded by jjn1.

Cliffs of Moher in the distance.

eReading vs pReading

[link] Friday, December 28th, 2012

Latest from the Pew Internet project.

The population of e-book readers is growing. In the past year, the number of those who read e-books increased from 16% of all Americans ages 16 and older to 23%. At the same time, the number of those who read printed books in the previous 12 months fell from 72% of the population ages 16 and older to 67%.

Overall, the number of book readers in late 2012 was 75% of the population ages 16 and older, a small and statistically insignificant decline from 78% in late 2011.

The move toward e-book reading coincides with an increase in ownership of electronic book reading devices. In all, the number of owners of either a tablet computer or e-book reading device such as a Kindle or Nook grew from 18% in late 2011 to 33% in late 2012. As of November 2012, some 25% of Americans ages 16 and older own tablet computers such as iPads or Kindle Fires, up from 10% who owned tablets in late 2011. And in late 2012 19% of Americans ages 16 and older own e-book reading devices such as Kindles and Nooks, compared with 10% who owned such devices at the same time last year.

Eye say

[link] Thursday, December 27th, 2012


Eye say, originally uploaded by jjn1.

A ‘window’ in a boutique hotel that’s so, so ultra-chic it reminds me of the song “I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt”.

Holiday reading

[link] Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

One of the really nice things about Christmas is that the phone stops ringing and the tide of work-related email recedes, leaving time for reading. Here’s what’s I’m into just now:

Artemis Cooper’s biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor. Like many people I’ve been fascinated by Fermor ever since reading his two great travel books — A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. I’ve long been curious to know what the rest of his life was like. Now I’m finding out.

Sebastian Seung’s Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are.

Larry Lessig’s new book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It.

Age of Fracture,a terrific work of intellectual history and the first really convincing account I’ve come across of how and why the post-war liberal consensus ran out of steam and was replaced by the neo-con nonsense that has got us into our current mess.