My dishwasher and washing machine have both decided to play up.
Meanwhile, though, in Happy Abstract Concepts Land, I've been playing with Pandora. I'm late to the party, but I'm not sure how long it's been available in Australia. (Answer: About two months. So not that late.)
The user interface is very nicely implemented - clean, simple, and functional. The one feature I really wanted, though, was a button to tell me why it chose to play a particular track.
Why this track?
California Dreamin' by The Mamas & The Papas
Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features acoustic rock instrumentation, folk influences, heavy use of vocal harmonies, acoustic sonority and call and answer vocal harmony (antiphony).
Why this track?
I'm Happy Just To Dance With You by The Beatles
Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features pop rock qualities, rock & roll influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, extensive vamping and major key tonality.
Why this track?
Message To My Girl by Split Enz
Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features pop rock qualities, acoustic rhythm piano, major key tonality, a vocal-centric aesthetic and many other similarities identified in the music genome project. Also you listed Split Enz in your station preferences, you goof.
Well, I might have elaborated slightly on one of those.
I'm impressed, and I do this kind of thing for a living.
So I went to download the Android app, and promptly got friendzoned.
So I thought I'd try out Spotify as well, and installed the app, and checked on the essentials (do they have Big Pig's second album? Nope.) and settled for the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
And then I noticed that it was importing my iTunes library. Well, good luck little app, that's 1.26TB of data. iTunes chokes on it regularly; let's see how Spotify copes....
Better than iTunes it seems. Both iTunes and Spotify are showing all four years worth of audio files* but Spotify is using one-third the memory to do so.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, September 11 2012 12:56 AM (PiXy!)
I know I'm going to come off as an iconoclastic weirdo focused on the wrong things, but how the heck do they dance in those heels? I mean, I wore three-inch heels when I lived in Minnesota, and I could barely walk let alone dance...
Posted by: Wonderduck at Tuesday, September 11 2012 01:24 PM (RZfzj)
Rare-earth magnets in the soles, and a metal floor?
Years and years of martial arts training?
It only makes sense that angels can dance on the heads of pins?
(Do I want to know why being in Minnesota causes one to wear three-inch heels? I've been here 26 years, and haven't felt the need to wear them yet...)
Posted by: Mikeski at Wednesday, September 12 2012 08:10 AM (1bPWv)
7Gangnam Style is in the Duck U Bookstore's in-store music system. I didn't realize that until this afternoon; I'm afraid I freaked out my assistant manager by cracking up for no obvious reason when it came on.
Mikeski, one has to be in theatre to have the compulsion. Pray you never do... back then, it was very hard to find red-sequined 3" heels in men's size 14-wide (Pixy, Amazon suggests that's a 13-1/2 in Australian sizes).
Posted by: Wonderduck at Saturday, September 15 2012 04:11 PM (yqnY1)
Oh, and if someone doesn't do a Gundam Style AMV, I'd be VERY disappointed.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sunday, September 16 2012 08:45 AM (yqnY1)
That screen is beautiful. It's big enough for comfortable web browsing, when the Nexus 7 really isn't. Though for an IPS screen the viewing angles aren't that great - it loses clarity quite noticeably at even modest angles.
So far, I still prefer the (much cheaper) Nexus 7. It's much lighter (almost exactly half the weight), easier to navigate (physically, due to the smaller size), more comfortable to hold (the rubberised back makes a big difference), and much more responsive.
In particular, Google Play kills the App Store dead when it comes to performance. It can take several seconds for an app to start downloading on the iPad, and you just have to sit there and wait. If you try to select another app to download, it cancels the first request. The Nexus 7 lets you just go blip-blip-blip.
On the other hand, I have some much more featurey apps on the iPad, like GarageBand, ArtRage, and Pages. And I've finished my big bulk app install and won't need to go through that again for a while. We'll see how it holds up for doing actual work - I use the Nexus 7 for reading, playing games, and checking on things, but even answering email is a chore on a screen that small.
Thats odd. I've never noticed the itunes store acting that way. Purchases and updates have all run concurrently as far as I've experienced.
In truth, the 10" form factor has never been an issue. I can understand 7 being a little more convenient for maneuvering on a busy bus or train and stowing away when on the move.
I just wish for faster screen refresh on the iPad. Its a little laggy for ssh.
Posted by: Andrew at Sunday, September 09 2012 12:51 PM (Ob5uo)
Okay, maybe a network issue then. I'll see how it goes over the next few weeks.
As for the size and weight - the iPad is certainly much lighter and easier to hold than a notebook, but the Nexus 7 is so light that you don't notice the weight at all.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, September 09 2012 04:33 PM (PiXy!)
Fire HD: 1280x800 7" IPS screen (matching the Nexus 7 and yesterday's Kobo announcement), microUSB and microHDMI.
Fire HD 8.9": 1920x1200 8.9" (surprise) IPS screen, microUSB and microHDMI.
Only dual-core CPUs instead of the Nexus 7's quad-core, but I don't know how much difference that will make for day-to-day use.
The Fire HD is 13.9 oz (394g) and the Fire HD 8.9" is 20 oz (567g). The Nexus 7 is a svelte 340g, but I don't think the extra couple of ounces on the Fire HD will hurt too much. The iPad is 662g, and let me tell you, it gets heavy after a while. (Pretty screen, though.)
Looks like a great launch: The $199 Fire HD provides twice the storage of the entry Nexus 7 but otherwise comparable specs (and HDMI output as a bonus). The Fire HD 8.9" is smaller and lighter than an iPad - and a lot cheaper at $299 vs. $499 for the entry model. You can get a 7" and an 8.9" and still have a dollar left over compared with the iPad.
Of course, Amazon is being Amazon, and we antipodeans aren't allowed to actually buy the damn things, but apart from that, it looks like a great launch. My best hope is that this will prod some of the other tablet companies into motion.
If you got the books on Amazon, they should download straight to the device.
I'm using the Kindle App on my Nexus 7, and it has a "sync" option that goes and gets all my books (and my magazine subscriptions). On a real Kindle it's probably even easier.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, September 07 2012 11:22 AM (PiXy!)
When are the new units supposed to hit the street? I bought my Fire at my grocery/variety store (it's hard to explain Fred Meyer to someone who hasn't seen it) and I wonder when the new ones will come into stock.
Sounds like the 7" version will ship this month, and the 8.9" model in November.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, September 07 2012 02:55 PM (PiXy!)
5CNet reports that ads are mandatory on all Fire HD devices now (my Fire is ad-free). I suppose you could always root it and install Fedora ARM release, but sheesh.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Saturday, September 08 2012 07:34 AM (RqRa5)
Yeah, that's annoying, but it explains how they came in $50 cheaper than the Nexus 7.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, September 08 2012 01:09 PM (PiXy!)
I noticed that the front page of amazon, introducing the fire hd's, now mentions future options for removing the ads. *censored* that, I'll wait until I can buy one without the ads at all.
Posted by: RickC at Sunday, September 09 2012 04:06 AM (WQ6Vb)
Edit link doesn't work on Chrome. Ignore that previous comment, I was wrong.
Posted by: RickC at Sunday, September 09 2012 04:07 AM (WQ6Vb)
Perhaps the Australian delay on the Fire HD is the 4G/LTE component. Negotiating a carrier deal or clearing the actual wireless components through Australian regulatory boards.
I wonder if this is going to put Google into a squeeze since their content store isn't a patch on Amazon's. I can see people going for the Fire as it has so much content available so easily, DRM concerns aside.
Posted by: Andrew at Sunday, September 09 2012 12:58 PM (Ob5uo)
Apple vs. Samsung - Wait A Minute. Strike That. Reverse It.
Previously in As the Worm Turns, we discussed how the jury in the case had ignored instructions from the judge and assessed damages to punish Samsung rather than to reflect actual financial harm upon Apple.
The jury concluded that the prior art did not invalidate Apple's patents because the code would not run on an iPhone. Of course, the same argument would show that Samsung did not infringe on Apple's patents because their code won't run on an iPhone either.
And the judge specifically instructed the jury that this is not how prior art is evaluated. (Groklaw cite the relevant sections at the page linked above.)
I think he may have a valid point. Perhaps apple have invented some new numbers, like eleventy-four, that don't fit into the old computers properly due to magic and stuff.
The guy with the most forceful personality was elected jury foreman, and when he acted like an expert, the others fell into line.
...then he decided to show his brilliance off to the public, too. Oops.
Posted by: J Greely at Thursday, September 06 2012 11:06 AM (fpXGN)
And, somehow, it turned out that the jury foreman was someone who owned a software patent of, to put it bluntly, dubious validity. Massive screw-up by Samsung even having this guy on the jury at all, unless their Evil Secret Plan was to get the trial thrown out altogether on appeal (which, to be fair, has a pretty good chance of happening now?)
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Thursday, September 06 2012 08:13 PM (GJQTS)
I think somewhere in the corporate offices of Apple and its lawyers, multiple voices are screaming every time the jury foreman appears in an interview, trying to get him to shut his mouth. It seems that every new interview conducted with the man since the verdict has seen him digging himself a deeper and deeper hole to drop into.
I do not believe the bad judgement of jurors is a crime, but this guy has been getting close to being a poster child for everything a juror can intentionally do wrong. Still not the worst examples available, but that is not a compliment.
Posted by: cxt217 at Friday, September 07 2012 06:47 AM (YM5S2)
Bad judgement by a juror is not a crime. But if it can be determined that he had a conflict of interest, and didn't say so when he was being questioned as a candidate, I think that is potentially a crime. (Perjury, if nothing else.)
I don't see how this leads to the whole case being dismissed, however. There is no "double jeopardy" rule in civil law.
It's still messy, but probably the least messy solution for cross-platform native apps available today. And it's not horribly expensive. The Oxygene .Net/Java/Nougat bundle is $499; Delphi XE3 Professional is A$1169.
Assuming that Nougat covers all Cocoa platforms, that Oxygene bundle is perfect for me. One language lets me target the desktop on Windows 7 & 8 and Mac OS X, tablets and smartphones running iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 & 8 and Windows RT, and servers running Java, .Net, or Mono. And I can easily embed Python and Ruby on the .Net/Mono and Java platforms (using IronPython, IronRuby, Jython, and JRuby respectively) to bring my existing code across. (Not sure about doing that with Nougat, though.)
One other interesting thing: With XE3 Embarcadero introduced a new EULA that forbade third-party (or indeed hand-rolled) client-server extensions for Delphi and C++ Builder Professional - you had to buy the 2x more expensive Enterprise or 4x more expensive Architect packages to do any client-server work at all. Since client-server architecture is universal these days - everything is client-server - this was unenforceable and frankly stupid.
The user forums erupted in protest.... And the offending EULA clause was pulled.
Wasn't aware of Xapian, looks fab as they used to say. The mix'n'match approach is kind of scary, leading to disparate systems with varying versions and dependencies. Always been a fan of The Monolith. Been developing my own monolith called Vermeer, but every year I start a new rewrite and so not very much gets released.
PS. Whenever I do a preview, it loses all the other form fields (name, email etc), one might even justifiably say for once it looses them. Very loose.
Posted by: Tombei The Mist at Tuesday, September 04 2012 12:14 PM (hGCqM)
Thats probably all that has changed with Progress. The naming. I don't think they've added anything substantial in some time.
Posted by: Andrew at Tuesday, September 04 2012 08:54 PM (Ob5uo)
Well, it depends on whether or not you consider "giving up on UI dev and promoting .Net" "substantial."
Posted by: RickC at Saturday, September 08 2012 08:28 AM (WQ6Vb)