Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Southern Apps

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  • BenWilson,

    But one thing remains clunky and difficult in a multi-touch interface -- selecting (and, therefore, copying, pasting and formatting) text.

    One trick that I found useful on my PDA which has a touch screen - turn your finger upside down and point with your nail. You get a much smaller, more precise point that way. It takes a little while to get used to. You could use a stylus too, but that's something you have to carry. Mind you, anything will do for one, a plastic fork or toothpick from the plane would have helped.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8615 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Moroccan roll...

    I am loving this band (discovered them thru writer/reviewer David Maine's blogspot), I'm wondering if the Bats / Minisnap's Paul Kean has some Tuareg blood... ;- )
    Tinariwen have been round since the late '70s and their Blues is Niger/West African based not the US iteration - and let's face it the Tuareg are the original blue people !

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    My workplace has a morning tea tradition of doing the Dominion Post 5 minute quiz. Today one young person enlightened the rest of us about the Grinder app.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2122 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Apple's slim new box will run iOS4 and provide access to a TV version of the App Store, which will offer streaming video, dedicated interactive apps from major news organisations and other content providers, games, and whatever else the app development community thinks might fly

    Which is all well and good, but remains thoroughly useless in a country where data is metered by the gigabyte if you're lucky, by the megabyte if you're not, and is mostly not discounted even if it originates over a connection that costs your ISP a very nominal fee per month to maintain.

    I've been on Orcon's Purple+ at my new home for a couple of months now, and absolutely love the speed (we're training at 20Mb/s, and getting nearly all of it at the desktop), but am really disappointed that the O-zone appears to have stagnated in the 15 months since it was launched. The launch partners are still the only content providers involved, despite there being many, many sources of streaming media and large, legitimate downloads around NZ. It's somewhat reflective of the general malaise in the NZ ISP environment about encouraging use of peering and making things like the iTV affordable to users by keeping traffic as local as possible.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3913 posts Report Reply

  • horse,

    and the Playstation 3, which now offers you a slightly unstable dedicated player for TVNZ ondemand

    I think you left out "...and appallingly low-resolution..." between the words "unstable" and "dedicated". I use it occasionally to catch up on a 6pm news bulletin and usually find myself switching quality settings only to find I already was in "high" quality mode.

    And where is Sony's Play TV with Freeview support?

    And everything Matthew just said about NZ ISPs and traffic. Also, too.

    Palmerston North • Since Feb 2007 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Rupert Murdoch, who lost 90% of his readership when he put up a paywall at The Times website this year,

    Was it that substantial? I recall reading a figure of 27% just recently.

    then had lunch with Paul Norris, Christine Vavasour and Bryan Pauling

    Ruth didn't get a lunch invite?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2327 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ruth didn't get a lunch invite?

    Didn't see Ruth!

    Also, I spelt Kristine's name wrong. I'd go in and fix it, but the plane I'm sitting in is about to take off.

    Anyway, it was the usual worthwhile experience: good course, bright, engaged kids.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    One trick that I found useful on my PDA which has a touch screen - turn your finger upside down and point with your nail. You get a much smaller, more precise point that way. It takes a little while to get used to. You could use a stylus too, but that's something you have to carry. Mind you, anything will do for one, a plastic fork or toothpick from the plane would have helped.

    You can do those things on resistive touch screens but they won't work on capacitive touch screens like the iPad, iPhone, and other smartphones have these days.

    Since Sep 2009 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    one irritating quirk of the iPad: unless you're prepared to jailbreak your device, the iPad won't mirror its screen in general use

    "Irritating"..."little"...?

    Just what are you willing to sacrifice to the bonfire of Apple gagetisation?

    and really, yet another Apple review? Come on Russell, you're better than this.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    and really, yet another Apple review? Come on Russell, you're better than this.

    I found it interesting. It wasn't "the iPad could be good for this". It was "it was good for this". That's actually a lot more interesting than speculation.

    You can do those things on resistive touch screens but they won't work on capacitive touch screens like the iPad, iPhone, and other smartphones have these days.

    So a stylus doesn't work? Bugger there was me thinking they could be useful for some kinds of art. I guess they still can, you just have to blow the area up you're working on.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8615 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Speaking of things Southern, I'm recommending this very good analysis of "the Dunedin sound and the myth of isolation" from the excellent Mysterex site.

    Loosely related song below. Actually, with this title, it could have worked over at David Haywood's.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    "please, Steve"

    Call me picky, but I prefer a platform where of there's a functionality hole, users can fix it by coding, not obsequies.

    Of course, open cellphones will take down the network. My Android did only last week. Didn't you notice the smoke?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4471 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    You can get styli for capacitive screens. Not sure who stocks them in NZ.

    I was thinking of trying a 1uf tantalum as an alternative.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4471 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    You can get styli for capacitive screens. Not sure who stocks them in NZ.

    I was thinking of trying a 1uf tantalum as an alternative.

    Corner of a damp sponge works, as long as you hold the sponge with your hand.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    You can get styli for capacitive screens. Not sure who stocks them in NZ.

    Try the butcher - sausages apparently work quite well.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    You can get styli for capacitive screens. Not sure who stocks them in NZ.

    I saw a thing where a stick/pencil/whatever was wrapped in foil with a tip made from extremely fine grade steel wool, which, news to me, can come in 'so fine it's not scratchy'.

    I sketched up the idea I had http://i.imgur.com/yLuh8.png

    Having an active communication channel means you can distinguish stylus from fingers. They way I envisioned it was using touch to control the view and stylus to control the contents of the view. That would address the text selecty issues that Russel mentioned.

    Pressure and angle sensitivity are just bonuses.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott,

    irritating quirk of the iPad

    does seem to understate the problem. It is a mysterious and apparently deliberate defect that makes even Apple's own software essentially useless for the task it was designed for: not even Keynote will show the slide on both screen and Pad. You get a virtual laser pointer though, so you can point at things you can't see on your lovely screen. Apple seem to have purposely dropped the ball on this one, and I really can't work out why. I really don't see what is being protected or gained by disabling the device like this. Isn't it obvious that we all want to walk around like Steve, Pad in hand, whilst giving our presentations?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Have you tried wearing a turtleneck? Maybe that's the workaround.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Maybe obvious useful functionality (PXTs, projector support, front-facing cameras) get left out so they can be added later as a marketing tactic?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4471 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I'm ready for the turtleneck to make a comeback. Its heyday was what, in the 70s? Usually under a blazer, sweatily. We need to start that up again.

    Here, have Cee-Lo's *stonking* new song, for the three of you who haven't heard it yet:

    ETA: Uh, NSF people who don't like swearing. Obvs.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3662 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    doesn't smell like team spirit...

    ...the pilgrimage to Whisky Galore

    Russell, did your dram-man have anything to say about the recently discovered cache of Shackleton's Mackinlay's Rare Old Whisky and the Australian Brandy down in Antarctica?
    Personally I think it is a piece of obscene preciousness that they are returning all these "artefacts" to the ice - when most of them could be sold for a small fortune at auction, thus helping Antarctic preservation and research - at a time when they most need funds it is arrant madness!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Rupert Murdoch, who lost 90% of his readership when he put up a paywall at The Times website this year,

    Was it that substantial? I recall reading a figure of 27% just recently.

    At the risk of making the all too easy mistake of not fact-checking, I seem to remember the drop was 27% if you only counted the people who didn't bother to even go to the paywall, but leapt to 90% if you counted the people who reached the paywall and then refused to go further.

    Do some people really chose stats to suit their view?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Maybe obvious useful functionality (PXTs, projector support, front-facing cameras) get left out so they can be added later as a marketing tactic?

    I suspect that the stuff they left out that is common on phones (PXTs, cameras, calling) was done to try to differentiate the iPad from a phone. Even so people still disparaged it as "just a big iPhone". Though the difference in screen size makes all the difference for many uses.

    Projector/external monitor support is there, though obviously the lack of screen mirroring is bad (and strange). Since the iPad has to be tethered to the projector/monitor anyway it's not ideally suited to giving presentations in that way, IMHO. I think the way I'd do it would be to drive the projector from a laptop and then use the iPad to control the laptop (via VNC or whatever) wirelessly.

    Since Sep 2009 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    does seem to understate the problem. It is a mysterious and apparently deliberate defect that makes even Apple's own software essentially useless for the task it was designed for: not even Keynote will show the slide on both screen and Pad.

    Actually, that's not correct at all. Any app can support mirroring and plenty do. The browser app I also used yesterday even did the nice trick of not showing the virtual keyboard on the second screen while I was typing URLs into the browser window on the iPad.

    It's just that they decided in Keynote to make the iPad act as the remote control rather than presenter's monitor. I did n't find it that big a deal, really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

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