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Tech in 2011: Who knows what's next?

Rory Cellan-Jones | 08:00 UK time, Friday, 31 December 2010

It's time for me to look into my crystal ball and tell you what's going to happen in the technology world in 2011. Actually, let's scrub that. Predicting the future is a mug's game: just ask the man with the personal jetpack eating his lunch in space-age tablet form. Instead, in the manner of circumspect (or desperate) journalists everywhere, I'm going to ask a series of questions about the year ahead.

Will TV and the internet finally get married?

The keenest technophiles will say this has already happened: they are using all sorts of clever little boxes to stream internet content to their televisions. But the consortium behind YouView - the BBC, ITV, and Channels 4 and 5 - is betting that when its set-top box is finally launched in 2011, it will give web-connected TV mainstream appeal.

Virgin Media, BskyB, and Google all have similar ambitions, so if by the end of the year we are not getting used to having television delivered via our broadband connections, then something will have gone terribly wrong.

Will Facebook float?

The latest valuation of Facebook put its worth at around $45 billion, but for the investors who funded the social network in its early years, that is still virtual money. Making it real would mean an IPO - a stock market flotation - which Mark Zuckerberg has always resisted. So far, Time's Person of 2010 has been right every time he has rejected the advice to sell up or at least float his baby. But with the markets looking pretty healthy, might he finally decide it's time to cash in before the latest tech bubble bursts?

Don't bet on it - but it could be a great time for another social network, Twitter, to cash in before the questions about its business model become impossible to answer with a straight face.

Will iPad 2 keep Apple ahead?

As ever, Apple has said nothing about a new iPad, but there is plenty of evidence that a second version of the tablet which rocked the tech world in 2010 will have its second coming in 2011.

When it is unveiled, iPad 2 is likely to be thinner and lighter than its predecessor and to feature a camera for video calls. By then there should be a clutch of Android tablets - and the odd Windows slate - with similar or better functionality. They are also likely to undercut the iPad, which experience shows will stay around the same price at which it launched.

But don't bet that Apple's device will be toppled from its perch. The aura of cool around the iPad - however much it may be despised by some of the digerati - is not going to fade soon, and there is a vast reservoir of untapped demand for the tablet from a less techie audience which will not accept a substitute.

Mind you, when it comes to e-readers, here's one confident prediction: Amazon's Kindle will prove a far more popular place to buy and read e-books than the iPad.

Will location, location, location finally matter?

The word "location" seems to pop up in just about every press release from a technology firm. I've just deleted one about a "location based events app with a Social Game", having decided there were at least a couple too many 2010 buzzwords in that sentence.

Location-based services have been the next big thing in the mobile world since I-don't-know-when. The promise has been of a goldmine for retailers and operator in a future where mobile phone users are bombarded with messages from merchants as they walk past their doors with their location-aware handsets.

In 2010 Foursquare - a location-based social game - started to show how that vision might work, albeit for a niche audience mainly made up of sociable young New Yorkers.

But unless 2011 brings us a huge advance in the performance of mobile networks, coupled with a transformation of consumer behaviour, I think this is a revolution that may be postponed once again.

Will Google get sociable at last?

From Orkut to Buzz, Google's experiments with social networking have failed to catch fire. With so much web chatter about the threat Facebook now poses to the search giant, it looks certain that Google will feel obliged to try again with a networking initiative. But this interesting post on another social network suggests that it's just not in Google's DNA to get sociable.

"I worked at Google in 2005 and briefly on the Orkut team. I encountered an environment that viewed social networking as a frivolous form of entertainment rather than a real utility, and I'm pretty sure this viewpoint was shared all the way up the chain of command to the founders.
"At that time, hardly anyone at Google actually used Facebook, so they just didn't understand what people were getting out of social networking products. Incredibly, many people on the Orkut team did not use their own product (let alone Facebook) outside of work. By contrast, everyone I know who worked at Facebook was a passionate user of that product."

Will asking - and answering - questions be the next big thing on the web?

The post above was on Quora, a new social network devoted to the asking and answering of questions, and it came in response to the question "Why haven't major companies like Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo succeeded at social networking?" It's hardly a new idea - from Yahoo Answers to Ask.com, web services promising to build a database of useful answers have been trying and generally failing to catch on for more than a decade.

What's different about Quora is the social aspect, the focus on technology and the quality of the responses. Because it has been colonised by early adopters from Silicon Valley, you are quite likely to find knowledgeable people answering your questions, and on occasion company executives giving some real insight into what is going on inside their businesses.

While it's been around for more than a year, in the last couple of weeks of 2010 Quora seems to have caught on in a big way, with leading tech bloggers enthusing about it, much as they did with Twitter in 2007. The problem for this young business is that it may now suffer from the reverse of a network effect. The more people join, the less useful it may get, as all sorts of ignoramuses - like this blogger - clutter up your feed with poorly thought-out questions and answers.

But maybe I should simply pop over to Quora and ask it whether it will be huge by the end of 2011? In the meantime, a Happy New Year to all readers of this blog. If you have some questions and answers about next year's technology news, do feel free to comment below.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    "The aura of cool around the iPad - however much it may be despised by some of the digerati - is not going to fade soon"

    I wouldn't bet on that. Not so much the iPad, more Apple who are, frankly, becoming a little boring and oversold.

  • Comment number 2.

    The big thing in the 2011 technology world (as opposed to the gadget and home internet world) is going to be vastly increasing numbers of cyber-attacks committed by groups of annoyed individuals, hackers, blackmailers, and nation states. These attacks often, but not always, rely on using thousands of compromised "innocent" PCs to launch an attack. Such attacks may lead to calls for net-connectivity standards - e.g. you can't access our site, or be an ISP's customer unless your devices pass a healthcheck (involving anti-malware and firewall signatures) - a bit like an MOT, but for your computers. Such an approach won't be implemented in 2011, but I predict that the US and EU will begin actively working towards such a system.

    As for your blog Rory, may I suggest that you've rather a lot to cover. The latest iThing from Apple and the corporate uses of quantum computing would seem to have little in common. Perhaps some kind of split in the BBC's technology section between consumer gadgetry/internet and business computing is required?

    Anyway keep up the good work, ignore the fanboys and girls in the Linux/Mac/Windows, XBOX/PS3/Wii, iOS/Android/Maemo/BBOS wars.

    Happy New Year.

  • Comment number 3.

    Re: comment 1. In stock market terms, I'd say that Apple are overbought rather than oversold. I would have bought an iPad by now if it were made by anyone but Apple, based on my experience with my 1G iPod Touch for which Apple provided enough software updates to break the WiFi but have decided that they will never provide another update to fix it. The iPad is very impressive, but I'm unwilling to spend £400+ on this and take the risk that it could be orphaned by an Apple policy/marketing decision in the not too distant future.

  • Comment number 4.

    The integration of TV and broadband - a definite for 2011. I work for a major telecomms company and I am amazed at how slowly this is taking off. There are very few players at the moment which is a pity.
    Next wave of mobile devices - these are still expensive and won't take off until the price drops - and why would people pay more during a recession? Good integration with voice and apps, SMS and emails - thats what we need - and at an affordable price!
    Instead of talking about techno, you should be talking about the IT industry in 2011. What about all the IT providers who were hoping to get work from US/UK governments, and now the work is drying up? What about Asia-pac for creating work in Europe. What about the IT industry picking up the people laid off from other industries - not any more surely? What about IT skills being brought in from outside Europe? This is where the battles will really be fought in 2011 and beyond.

  • Comment number 5.

    Personally I much prefer to keep my PC for, well, PC stuff. I wouldn't dream of sitting and watching TV or a movie at it - that's for my comfortable lounge. I therefore do not buy into this merging of technologies, which will no doubt need yet another subscription and gobble up broadband use.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    When it comes to technology, I don't get how people can think inferior Apple products can be icons.

    I guess Apple technology is for people who don't get technology.

  • Comment number 8.

    2011 will be the year of the electronic cigarette.
    If you want to find something where technology actually helps saves lives and is genuinely useful in improving the quality of life, this is it. With over 100,000 deaths a year in the UK and 450,000 in the US, if all smokers switched to an e-cigarette those deaths would virtually cease.
    On that scale it's the most important invention since antibiotics. So far it's under the radar, but as there is a forum with over 100,000 posts a month on it (run from the UK) it looks like somebody has woken up. The technology is improving all the time, and since you can now 'smoke' chocolate gateau flavour with zero prospect of dying, it seems to me that whatever governments try to do to kill ecigs because of the loss of tobacco tax revenue, the genie is out of the bottle now and you can't put it back.
    At last, technology that works and saves lives in your family. How does an iPad compare with that?

  • Comment number 9.

    #5 "Personally I much prefer to keep my PC for, well, PC stuff. I wouldn't dream of sitting and watching TV or a movie at it - that's for my comfortable lounge."

    Amen to that. Or the one in the kitchen between 6 and 8 pm.

    But I think he was talking about the reverse, internet on TV...

  • Comment number 10.

    Concerning the last question, I think that Q&A sites, particularly those based on the Stack Exchange software: StackOverflow, MathOverflow,... are already highly successful and a very valuable resource to their intended communities. I doubt that a general site such as Quora will ever compete. The success of such sites depends crucially on attracting experts able to answer the questions and experts will invariably prefer a site dedicated to their own area of expertise. I have taken a look at Quora and many of their questions would be closed fairly quickly had they been asked in the *Overflow sites.

  • Comment number 11.

    Rorb.

    Apple technology and products are for people who do not want to spend their time editing the register, playing with configuration files or trying to get the latest drivers for the latest flavor of Linux.

    They are for people who simply want their technology to work, to enable them to surf the web, view some emails, play a game, watch a movie or read a book........all without any thought, pain or reconfiguring.

    Why waste time on worrying about the technology; just "use" it instead.

    Sent from my iPad, whilst reading this in the bath.....surprisingly enough....it just works !!!

  • Comment number 12.

    I think the electric car will make a strong step forward in 2011. Several manufacturers are releasing models and many governments are providing tax cuts to assist buyers.

    That said there are still issues with this technology and it is certainly not for everyone. I live in a flat with no parking space and no power supply that can be delivered to a vehicle. No doubt the latest developments in removable car batteries that can be taken out and charged and do not weigh a ton and are hard to steal will make a considerable difference but sadly I doubt that will arrive in 2011. Improved capacitor based batteries though . . . perhaps.

  • Comment number 13.

    One prediction for 2011.

    File-sharing will still be going and getting stronger with every day, despite the efforts of media giants, grubby law firms and Peter Mandleson.

    Whether the DEA will survive the Judicial Review remains to be seen.

  • Comment number 14.

    @11 (Johnathon Brock)

    While I do agree with you regarding "plug it in and go" on Apple products, there is a great deal of underestimated pleasure to be had in customising your personal kit, to be unique to you. Now, if I want to retheme my Windows PC, the option is already built into the the OS. If I want to set my VPC up as a media server, and stream to my PS3, I can do so without needing to buy either some more expensive kit, or having to use messy transcoding.
    Apple's products are fine for those who are willing to all wear the same colour and size turtlenecks, but for the people wanting more from their tech, then your options are either to breach software locks (with their dubious warranty and legal issues), or to change provider.

    But please do explain something to me. Why the need for Apple users to broadcast their method of posting to the world? This is something only widespread among Apple users. Would this be symptomatic of the users realising that non-Apple users need to know that there are Apple products available, or is it some form of self-justification that their "innovative" technology is actually that, and not just rehashed products from days past?


    And as they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... Sent from my Windows 7 laptop, which "surprisingly" (according to the folks in the Cambridge Apple Store), just works. Although, I have no idea how it'd react to being dropped in the bath. Much in the same way that your iPad would...

  • Comment number 15.

    And to actually address 2011... My guess (and my hope) is that hardware keyboards come back on to smartphones in a large way. Now that the users have overcome their fears about their phone being larger than a gnat's proverbials, we have some space that can be used for an actual keyboard.

    Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a little bit of touching my phone, but for emails and texts on the train, I massively prefer a hardware keyboard. It's just such a shame that the Torch has a portrait layout...

  • Comment number 16.

    Am reading this article on my iPad, and know at least 4 people who have told me they are definately going to buy an iPad 2 and don't currently have any kind of tablet. A lot of people are waiting for Apple to improve on the original iPad and did not want to be an 'early adopter'. Think Apple clones will have to pull something special out of the bag to knock Apple off their top spot for tablets.

    Me? I'll know be waiting for the iPhone 5 or iPad 3 in 2012 ;-)

  • Comment number 17.

    @northJason

    I used to work for a major telco, and more recently a leading ISP. In both cases, IPTV was seen as being the 'next big thing'. It won't be, because as is common with every company they suffer from "rose tinted spectacles syndrome". The biggest stumbling block is staring everybody in the face, and its called "last mile bandwidth". Telcos and ISPs only consider the bandwidth in their core, and totally forget the bandwidth that the consumer requires. And ISPs are notoriously bad for this; they suffer from an acute schizophrenia that IPTV requires at least a *constant* 2mb/s bandwidth for full-frame broadcast quality pictures, even with compression. And that adsl is not guaranteed to provide this. Nor can huge swathes of the public attain this. And that's just one channel for one household. "Ah," they cry "but this is doable with compression and the odd stutter, and buffering helps too".

    The problem is, this thinking is rooted in the internet access profile of 10 years ago, where the internet serviced one PC in a house. Today, a typical household has several devices, including several PCs, video game(s) one or more internet enabled mobiles, MP3 players and e-readers, 'set-top box', media-tank, and even the TV. All wanting bandwidth. And increasingly, all wanting high-def content.

    And high-def is a bandwidth killer. The BBC, iirc, use 16mb per satellite channel. Which of course is higher than the average dsl connection can sustain. And what happens when we want to watch two channels? Or watch one and record another in the lounge, whilst daughter watches another in her room, and son wants to play on-line. The corporate thinking is that we will revert back to the 1980s household TV profile; one TV per house!

    The final straw -to the consumer- is of course the fair-usage policy. O2 rate limit streaming media and IPTV to 8mb (!) And a monthly limit of 100GB. Zen Internet 20GB to 100GB. BT is, iirc, 40GB. On adsl2+ one can burn through these limits in hours.

    Then there is the small problem of core bandwidth. If a 'small number of users who download' can (allegedly) ruin the service for everyone else, who on earth will the ISPs cope with the entire user base constantly watching IPTV - let alone multi-channel hi-def channels...

    I have a small wager with Richard Tang of Zen, who 3 years ago predicted that TV broadcasting would wholly migrate to IP within 5 years.

    2011 might well see BBC et al pushing YouView, but I doubt that 2011 will be "the year of IPTV".

  • Comment number 18.

    " Virgin Media, BskyB, and Google all have similar ambitions, so if by the end of the year we are not getting used to having television delivered via our broadband connections, then something will have gone terribly wrong."


    Sorry Rory, you are wearing your Metrocentric spectacles again. What's already 'terribly wrong' is that the millions of us who live in rural areas are no nearer getting a proper broadband connection , i.e. something near to 10meg+ that you need to stream TV via the internet than we were at the beginning of 2010 and it'll be the same at the end of 2011. Left to themselves, private telephone companies, that is all of them, are only interested in cherry picking the easy bits. Only government has the muscle to make broadband truly universal and I can't see this government doing anything about it even though a lot of their support comes from rural areas. Oh well I suppose we'll have to content ourselves with killing foxes or throwing serfs out of their hovels. Tally-ho!

  • Comment number 19.

    The Race to Infinity

    Oh deary deary me what a shambles!

    Bt's Race to infinity stumbles across the finish line in about another hours time with six villages now obtaining 100%, not strictly true one is showing 103% having getting 1277 votes out of a possible 1236!! WHAT!!

    Yep you've guessed it the competition has been a complete farce from our point of view. We entered our town and played by the rule and worked damn hard to get the100 plus votes we needed to enter. Since then we have obtained many more and have suffer personal losses amounting to several hundred pounds. I worried it would be a massive marketing hype back in the beginning but was told on numerous occasions by the company working for BT that they were a PR company not a marketing company so that wasn't what the competition was about! Yea Right!

    So yesterday all the top 7 villages scored 100% lets face it this is an impossible score. There will always be ex dir numbers and other lines that people wont know about. In addition its been Christmas with many people away from Home.

    I sincerely hope the BBC will be running an article on this complete waste of time. Bt need to answer our complaints. I am not alone of the 2495 villages and towns that entered I am sure most feel let down by the shambles of an administration. The competition has just proven how easy it was to cheat.

    I know many are going to say told you so, but surely this cannot be a legal way of advertising by getting people to enter a competition that suffers from very poor voting security, and promises nothing?

    Please see the links below. Watchdog this should be one for you?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/31/bt_race/


    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/broadband/362962/revealed-how-bts-fibre-rollout-could-be-rigged.

    http://racetoinfinityandbeyond.veadas.net/league


  • Comment number 20.

    5. At 8:38pm on 31 Dec 2010, dogeared wrote:
    Personally I much prefer to keep my PC for, well, PC stuff. I wouldn't dream of sitting and watching TV or a movie at it - that's for my comfortable lounge.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    how about downloading the film of your choice, when you want to see it and then wirelessly streaming it to the TV setup in your comfortable lounge?

    cos that's the kind of thing the guy is talking about

  • Comment number 21.

    2011 for electric cars? (12. chriswsm)

    Perhaps but not for general use as their range is too limited. 100 odd miles if you are lucky - and not using things like headlights, aircon, radio, heater etc etc which cut down the battery life and distance down considerably.

    What I would really like to see is Hydrogen powered cars. You fill the car up at a petrol station with a hydrogen pump instead of a petrol pump. A few minutes and you are on your way. Range is also far more than electric. Unfortunately I don't think it will happen as the Petrol Companies would rather we use expensive fossil fuels than a clean fuel like hydrogen.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm pretty sure internet and TV meet this year for sure. The technology in consoles and internet enabled Blu Ray players (as well as other boxes) together with decent broadband mean that we'll all be streaming in pretty good quality TV pictures....iPlayer in HD on the Sony S370 for example. Keep it coming!

  • Comment number 23.

    WHAT ABOUT "JET BOOTS"?

    Every prophesy of the future includes Jet Boots, yet the research dollars into this obviously much-desired personal item seem to be going on frivolous things like "iStuff"...!

    Perhaps we should start talking about "iBoots" and the technology companies would sit up and take notice...

    Who needs another excuse to overspend on a "new technology" TV? Before they stopped selling them, I could get an "old style" tube colour TV for under £75 on the high street. Now I can get a 3D-HD-Sat-Ready TV for under a grand! Wow! the advances being made by the marketeers are just astounding...

    Hey Lads! Put your efforts into my "Jet Boots!" and make the 1950s predictions come true... (tomorrow?)

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    Are you sure its moderated by humans?

    Computer says Probably Not!

  • Comment number 27.

    @Jonathan Brock

    "Apple technology and products are for people who do not want to spend their time editing the register, playing with configuration files or trying to get the latest drivers for the latest flavor of Linux."

    Actually from my experience it's for people who need to drag things to an application folder to install where it might or might not depending on how it's feeling or repeatedly crashing Flash videos under Firefox. Or showing a spinning beachball when trying to launch Open Office come to think of it.

    Only fools believe any particular tech has no issues and only smug fools go public with such ridiculous sentiments.

  • Comment number 28.

    @Mark_MWFC

    It doesn't matter how "boring and oversold" Apple become, the iPad is as much as anything a fashion accessory and as long as Apple's designer continue to be streets ahead of the opposition in the look of their products, people will continue to buy them even when they are more expensive, and less feature rich, than other - less cool - designs.

    Techies don't get it, because they think it's all about the performance, but your average Joe doesn't care about that, they just want to impress their mates and look cool. Apple's designs are sexy, the others are either corporate or plastic toy, they never get it right.

  • Comment number 29.

    Darren wrote:

    "File-sharing will still be going and getting stronger with every day, despite the efforts of media giants, grubby law firms and Peter Mandleson."

    No, what you really mean is file theft. Those "media giants" **own** the content on those files. Taking what doesn't belong to you or what you do not pay for is theft, it is stealing. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.

  • Comment number 30.

    Nubnos wrote:

    "Apple's products are fine for those who are willing to all wear the same colour and size turtlenecks, but for the people wanting more from their tech, then your options are either to breach software locks (with their dubious warranty and legal issues), or to change provider."

    Where do you get "breach software locks" from? First you are talking about computers and now you are talking about Apple's iOS and jailbreaking?

    Why should Apple support your device if you mess with the operating system. You actually think Microsoft and the users of Google's Android are going to honor their warranty if you tamper with the operating system?

    And those wanting to radically customize their Apple computers they can do so if they choose to. Those are not your average users though. The users that want to will make the effort to learn how to. Nothing is preventing them from doing so.

    "And as they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... Sent from my Windows 7 laptop, which "surprisingly" (according to the folks in the Cambridge Apple Store), just works. Although, I have no idea how it'd react to being dropped in the bath. Much in the same way that your iPad would..."

    Well, you have fun with your viruses and malware.

  • Comment number 31.

    Mark_MWFC wrote:

    "Actually from my experience it's for people who need to drag things to an application folder to install where it might or might not depending on how it's feeling or repeatedly crashing Flash videos under Firefox. Or showing a spinning beachball when trying to launch Open Office come to think of it."

    I've never had an application not install on my Mac. I don't know where you get that from. And you do not drag "things" to your application folder. You drag **one thing** only, the application.

    Flash is bloated and buggy. It always was. That said, I have never crashed my browsers, Safari, Chrome or Firefox on my iMac simply because I was watching video. I have zero experience using Open Office so can't comment on that.

    "Only fools believe any particular tech has no issues and only smug fools go public with such ridiculous sentiments."

    I have seen no one in support of their use of Apple products claim or even suggest that Apple products will not have "issues" at one time or another. That is a "ridiculous" statement not supported by any comments made in this forum.

  • Comment number 32.

    Here are my predictions for 2011 tech.

    The drive for TV and Internet convergence will undoubtedly continue, as it is being orcastrated by companies wishing to maximise the income generated from program content protected by DRM. Once digital TV has completely replaced analogue, towards the end of 2011, we will hear calls for the replacement of the BBC license fee with a general pay per view system, encompassing Internet, satellite and terrestrial TV content.

    By the end of 2011, 3D TV technology will be seen as a step too far, too soon, and may well be buried for years amid concerns for the viewers health and eye sight.

    In the absents of a major leap forward in battery storage capacity, 2011 will not be the the year of the fully electric car, it will be the year of the hybrid.

    I suspect that electrowetting ink technology will dominate mobile display technology in the second half 2011. It is also possible that computer speech recognition may finally emerge as the most natural method of interacting with the home computer, augmented by gesture recognition as featured in the Minority Report film, replacing the sticky fingered touch screen technology.

    With the developments in local mesh radio networks, We may even see home automation move from the realm of the hobbyist and into the main stream, but then I have been predicting that for years.






  • Comment number 33.

    There's one major tech that isn't new but will most likely have a huge impact in 2011:

    IPv6

    Most consumers have no idea what it is, and the majority of those who do have been ignoring it until there's no other choice - well, 10+ years since it's introduction, and the IPv4 address space has just about run out.

    Perhaps it's not as cool as Apple gadgets or the latest Social Networking platform, but it's certainly far more important.

  • Comment number 34.

    Apple are very much in an "iteration" year for their mobile devices. iPhone 5 and iPad 2 will be polishing what they already have, rather than any major changes to the devices itself. Apart from improving the camera (front facing one in the iPad, improved front and back in the iPhone 5) and putting near field technology in the iPhone 5, I can't see any major changes to the Apple front.

    Where tech in general is going this year is definitely going to be internet connected TV. The PS3 is already able to access BBC iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Player and the XBOX 360 has Sky Player, so some people already have access to TV via the internet on their large TVs. YouView being introduced is going to see Sky's actual satellite boxes, Virgin and other players really attack the market this year and taking it mainstream.

  • Comment number 35.

    peejkerton wrote:

    "Where tech in general is going this year is definitely going to be internet connected TV. The PS3 is already able to access BBC iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Player and the XBOX 360 has Sky Player, so some people already have access to TV via the internet on their large TVs. YouView being introduced is going to see Sky's actual satellite boxes, Virgin and other players really attack the market this year and taking it mainstream."

    It will all be country and content specific. Here in America internet connected TV is common for things like accessing Netflix and other streaming services, through things like Blu-Ray players, but it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get all content providers on board for specific devices such as Apple TV or Google TV. At least with cable and satellite the most important and general content is the same.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    New applications and new hardware are only as good as their connection to the internet. And for anything intended to be mobile, that means the mobile phone network and associated GPRS and 3G. That's where we need real improvements. Even in central London it's not unusual not even to get a reliable signal, let alone 3G, from your own network, while others are strong in the same place. And in rural areas of the UK, the coverage is worse than in most developing countries. A key part of the problem is that each network persists in having its own infrastructure. I do not know whether the companies are prevented from allowing roaming, or choose not to. But we need urgent regulatory change to allow, or require, the mobile companies to allow roaming and/or share infrastructure. And then to roll out a single 3G network (rather than each trying to do their own) across the whole country.

    David

  • Comment number 38.

    One absolute guarantee for 2011. Apple haters will continue to hate (looks like this prediction has already come true).

  • Comment number 39.

    @AllenT2

    Yes, you have to drag every app you install to the app folder manually instead of, say, clicking 'install' and having all that done for you. Sorry but that's annoying.

    Flash in Firefox is particularly bad on the BBC News website - every three or four days it will refuse to play embedded video and crash the browser. The same combo under Windows 7 simply blanks the frame leaving the browser running.

    Open Office is less of an issue now as I have MS Office 2011 running on my Macbook and it's excellent.

    My point is that there are a lot of silly comments bandied around by some Mac owners about 'malware' and 'registries' and 'DLL' - such as the ones in the comment I replied to and your comment "Well, you have fun with your viruses and malware" which are, frankly, stupid because every platform has its issues and annoyances.

    I use both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard every day and they're both brilliant operating systems just as they both have their irritations. It doesn't have to be a choice between one or the other that's stupidly defended at all costs.

    @Jake Hadlee

    Absolutely. So what happens to a product when it's no longer cool because everyone has one or the people who do are perceived as being nobs?

    Boom.

  • Comment number 40.

    Mark_MWFC wrote:

    "Yes, you have to drag every app you install to the app folder manually instead of, say, clicking 'install' and having all that done for you. Sorry but that's annoying."

    Windows and OS X both allow you to place a program where you wish. Each one takes a different approach. I feel the OS X is more logical. Then when you wish to uninstall a program there is really no comparison as all you do is drag the app to the trash. That is certainly not the case with Windows, not to mention all the garbage that gets left behind.

    "Flash in Firefox is particularly bad on the BBC News website - every three or four days it will refuse to play embedded video and crash the browser. The same combo under Windows 7 simply blanks the frame leaving the browser running."

    Is that your experience or the typical experience of a Mac user?

    "Open Office is less of an issue now as I have MS Office 2011 running on my Macbook and it's excellent."

    As I said, I have no experience with it. Considering you now have a working Office suite working on your Mac it sounds to me like it was an issue with Open Office.

    "My point is that there are a lot of silly comments bandied around by some Mac owners about 'malware' and 'registries' and 'DLL' - such as the ones in the comment I replied to and your comment "Well, you have fun with your viruses and malware" which are, frankly, stupid because every platform has its issues and annoyances."

    What does "every platform" having "its issues and annoyances" have to do with the fact that OS X does not have a registry or issues with viruses?

    "I use both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard every day and they're both brilliant operating systems just as they both have their irritations. It doesn't have to be a choice between one or the other that's stupidly defended at all costs."

    I recommend only Apple computers today because of their ease of use, reliability, outstanding support, outstanding hardware, and so people do not have to deal with the many issues Windows has when it comes to viruses and malware. That last part, especially, is indisputable.

  • Comment number 41.

    "Will TV and the internet finally get married?"

    Behind this question there is a serious misunderstanding about the imperatives of the technology or broadcasting vs mono-casting via the internet. The absolute technological inefficiency of serving huge numbers of 'viewers' the same material over the web will always and forever stop broadcasting being swamped by the internet.

    Now, what I most often want to do with the internet whilst watching TV is to look something up. What I do not want to do is to stop 'watching' the TV whilst I am looking something up. So using the same screen for both is a bit of a no-no. (I can do this quite easily - I have the kit - with picture in picture and flip between the two easily, but it is a bit of a chore and detracts from the 'enjoyment ' of the TV viewing.)

    What would be nice is the ability to use a secondary device (laptop perhaps) and be able to flip between its screen display and the TV easily using a wireless link (that actually worked!) so we could view the laptop's search results on the screen during the adverts for example. I guess I could set this up today, but I haven't really seen the need.

    I can already control a media centre PC remotely to set up recording from a laptop running wake-on-lan and remote-desktop over wifi and so view the media centre pc's screen on the laptop to set up recording, but wifi is rather too slow to actually remotely view HD TV programming on a laptop - indeed I can do this over the internet to a remote internet connected media centre PC.

    The trouble I find with all of the web players from all TV channels is that I land up viewing in what can be best described as 'mush-vision' because the data in the video stream is far too compressed. Here one has to blame the over claiming of the broadcasters who push their players. This brings me back to the first point in my first paragraph - the technological limitations of internet TV are insurmountable and broadcasting will always be better. (I would add that the broadcasters are contriving to reduce the bandwidth of off air broadcast streams to match the mush vision of the web.)

    There is one particular adverts that claims that the service is available in HD quality (by implication 1920x1080i at least) and they accompany this with brief exerts from popular TV shows. There is however a blatant deception in this claim that really should be hauled up in front of the advertising standards people - the shows they claim will be in HD on their new HD channel were made in SD!!!!

    Specifically ITV3 shows old Poirots - shot in SD - in the ad. they are currently running - as being HD! I suspect ITV3 will argue that more of the SD data is available over an HD transmission than is currently broadcast on Freeview - but it is in my view deceitful - as are many claims about TV visual quality as the image-compression/data-bandwidth is too small to be even up to the old SD images!!!! We are, in short, being conned by the broadcasters - everyone is getting 'mush-vision' on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and cable it is just that the HD versions may be slightly less 'mushy' - sometimes, if we are lucky on some channels! The internet/web tv is noticeably even more mushy - sometimes to the point of viewing through a thick fog!

    (For those of you who do not understand this - the data in the origination is the maximum quantity of data available so transmitting the images in a higher resolution cannot show more data than already exists - it is a physical impossibility as the image data does not exist. SD is no better than 720x576 whereas HD is 1920x1080 - and yes I know the BBC tends to interpolate and claim HD from 720p 1280×720 - but this really isn't full HD is it BBC?)

    What we really also need to know is the bandwidth of the transmission, be it over the web or broadcast! Remember, it isn't your eyes getting poorer it is the broadcasters being cheapskates and restricting the bandwidth and trying to hide the facts!

  • Comment number 42.

    My responses to Rory's questions:

    Will TV and the internet finally get married?
    Possibly, but maybe not this year. The infrastructure just isn't there yet. But when a large consortium has a product that they want people to buy, and no means of getting it to them, then maybe we'll see some investment in the infrastructure. The downside is that TV programmes will no longer be "free" (or as "free" as they currently are, anyway) and become subscriber based.

    Will Facebook float?
    Maybe. But that bubble will burst too, eventually, and we'll see FB devalued drastically, probably to the point of collapse. After all, all it does is allow people to see messages from friends all in one place, and that's just not enough to keep people loyal. Once it's superseded by something better, people will leave in droves. It's only real value at the moment is to advertisers, who see 500 million people all in one place as a good potential market. But the advertisers will always follow the crowd, and when the crowd leaves... my advice to Zuckerberg et al is 'cash in while you can'.

    Will iPad 2 keep Apple ahead?
    Undoubtedly (although Apple will stay ahead anyway). The number of tablets sold (regardless of brand) will at least double, as more and more people realise they don't need to lug around a heavy laptop that does more than they ever need it to. At present too, tablets such as the iPad are being pitched at the home user, but I predict their use within a work environment will take off, as they evolve into an "electronic clipboard" linked to a central database. Stock-taking, security, real estate sales, etc., will all be revolutionised by the tablet.

    Will location, location, location finally matter?
    Oh Christ, I hope not. I do not want to be bombarded by messages extorting me to "Eat at Joe's Pizza's" every time I walk down the street. Junk mail is bad enough through my letterbox. For all the potential benefits of this technology (and I have my doubts there actually ARE any to the consumer), to the average person with a mobile this will become a huge irritation. If this goes ahead, then it simply HAS to be opt-in only.

    Will Google get sociable at last?
    This is presented as though it's a bad thing they haven't yet. It isn't. Google do something very different, and they should stick to doing what they do best. Social networking IS frivolous: it may be an important aspect of our psychological lives, but it's not actually WORK. Google should stick to more useful developments.

    Will asking - and answering - questions be the next big thing on the web?
    Theoretically, this is precisely one of the things the web SHOULD be for: the world's biggest reference library of bang-up-to-the-minute, accurate information on any topic. Sadly, as Rory points out, the idea is ruined by hundreds or thousands of ill-informed people typing ignorant, wrong, personal opinions instead of facts. Wikipedia has been struggling for a long time, Canute-like, against this tide, and while it seems to be making some progress, it's still not 100% there yet. Unless you start restricting who can answer questions (which brings with it a whole new raft of problems, technical as well as ethical and moral), this won't be achieved in the coming year.

  • Comment number 43.

    Do we really need all this e-junk and i-junk? Just when I have fathomed something and got it to work properly a new version comes along simply to make more cash for the providers. Is this really progress?

  • Comment number 44.

    John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "SD is no better than 720x576 whereas HD is 1920x1080 - and yes I know the BBC tends to interpolate and claim HD from 720p 1280×720 - but this really isn't full HD is it BBC?)"

    HD **is** 720P (1280x720), 1080i (1920x1080) and 1080P (1920x1080). If the BBC claims it is HD from a 720P source then their claim is correct. There is no official term of "full HD." There are simply two different resolutions that are considered HD. Terms like that only serve to confuse the average consumer.

    "What we really also need to know is the bandwidth of the transmission, be it over the web or broadcast! Remember, it isn't your eyes getting poorer it is the broadcasters being cheapskates and restricting the bandwidth and trying to hide the facts!"

    Yep, that is a major problem everywhere where there is no regulation on minimum bit rates to call something HD. The broadcasters can't be trusted to deliver maximum, or even proper, HD quality. They will invariably go for more channels and less quality. It needs to be regulated to the extent that at least fast motion elements are clear without macro-blocking.

  • Comment number 45.

    I predict, predictably, that most of these predictions won’t come to pass. Perhaps one should not look to technology to predict the predictable?

  • Comment number 46.

    I think (or most likely hope) the push for 3D TV will subside. Many people do not seem to be interested, or unwilling to purchase 3D-compatible equipment, when not long having invested in an LCD or plasma 1080p TV. I'd rather the focus be on picture quality than 3D trickery. 3D seems better suited to the cinema, in my opinion.

    The tech I see developing more in 2011 and 2012 is OLED TV. Sony released an 11-inch model a couple of years ago, but at over £3000, it hardly sold. It was probably released too soon while people were still deciding between plasma, LCD, 720p, 1080p etc. It displayed superb picture quality though. LG have a 15" OLED TV available now, and I think we'll see more of those from other manufacturers this and next year.

  • Comment number 47.

    We may not know exactly what's next, but it's not these mundane improvement to our technological toys that we need worry about; in fact, most tech-buyers won't have given one thought to what they are giving ip to get the latest, thiniest, quickest gizmo.
    What are they giving up?
    Civil liberties - especially those under the US Fourth Amendment. The erosion has been eating up the 4th AMENDMENT FOR YEARS.
    The Fourth Amendment (1791) was designed to protect individual & property rights; it endowed citizens with the right to be free from tyrannical government in their personal lives.
    The 4th Amendment respects the individual; it requires law enforcement to be subservient to individual rights. Therefore, it bars law enforcement from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures. Further, it clearly states that search warrants that enable the government to enter a person’s property & seize property must be based on probable cause.
    US PATRIOT Act is the cornerstone of America’s NEW security apparatus. The law originally required third party holders of private personal information to turn that information over to federal authorities upon request. This meant doctors, libraries, hospitals, bookstores, universities, and INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS had to provide the government with information on the ACTIONS, PURCHASES, HEALTH AND VARIOUS ACTIVITIES OF PRIVATE CITIZENS.
    Since then, the federal government has conducted secret searches under the guise of national security. There have been extensive efforts to gather data, track citizens & their activities; and mega computers faster than the speed of light make this all possible.
    Why?
    Because the United States expects an insirrection. It's only a matter of how much the American people will take before they take up their weapons.
    The newest tool: the GPS tracking device. Recent court decisions have said that police can enter your property & place a tracking device on your vehicle without showing probable cause or obtaining a warrant, but tech-buyers have made this whole procedure unnessary: Turn on your tech equipment and the Government has literally got you - plus every word you say/yext and the ability to decide whether your thoughts and opinions are treacherous to the state.
    Remember Curtilage?
    Defined as “the area to which extends the intimate activity associated with the ‘sanctity of a man’s home and privacies of life,’ and therefore onsidered part of the home itself for Fourth Amendment purposes.”
    Guess what?
    The court has disregarded this definition as well as the concept of private property and ownership and decided that this is not curtilage. E.G. The court stated that one’s driveway is “semi-private” unless enclosed or blocked with a barrier or other feature.
    Unless people wake up to what they hacve surrendered...
    Chief Judge Kozinski who condemned the court for destroying a fundamental American civil right: the very rich are still be able to protect their privacy with the aid of electric gates, tall fences, security booths, remote cameras, motion sensors and roving patrols, and a mass of blocking devices, but the vast majority of the 60 million people living in the United States will see their privacy shredded. The "lesserlings" must be tracked and monitored lest they foment insurrection and disturb the elite. It may even be necessary to lock them up in detention camps (which already exist).
    To those who have surrendered their privacy to techie toys, you have inadvertantly surrendered to totalitarianism. You have leapt into the dark inknown: Where will it end?
    Police powers are supplanting Constitutional rights.
    There is (God bless'em) a little opposition of grass roots complainers taking place, but it is too little and too undirected.
    What's next?
    Bad things, dangerous things, authoritarian things, things that we ourselves have made possible by throwing tantrums for our toys.

  • Comment number 48.

    Quote: so if by the end of the year we are not getting used to having television delivered via our broadband connections, then something will have gone terribly wrong.

    In the case of my household it will be the availability of broadband that can cope- even IPlayer through the Wii barely works and it must be the only thing using the internet and our connection be at its best to work at all. IPlayer on the computer does not work properly unless you download the program first- and a 1 hour program takes about 1 hour to download. We have 2 TVs and one computer and our Broadband speed is 1.6MBs on a good day (on a bad day it can be down to about 700KBs although such days are not common thankfully). There is no option of switching to fibre optic broadband as it is not available in our area. We're too rural to count as properly urban but too urban to count as rural being in a village near to a city and very near town but our exchange is a another village, which is between us and the city if you go in the right direction. If SKY replace our set top boxes with ones that work through the broadband connection we're probably going to have to switch to DVD only as the TV won't work.

  • Comment number 49.

    #44. AllenT2 wrote:

    "John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "SD is no better than 720x576 whereas HD is 1920x1080 - and yes I know the BBC tends to interpolate and claim HD from 720p 1280×720 - but this really isn't full HD is it BBC?)"

    HD **is** 720p...1080p"

    I disagree with your opinion as the TVs that are sold as HD are 1920 x 1080 sets NOT 1280 x 720 thus in common usage an HD TV = 1920 x 1080. Any broadcaster that is not full HD (1920 x 1080) from origination to reception needs to explain why he calls his claims his product is HD.

    But this is rather beside the point

    On Bandwidth.

    I too would like to see Ofcom enforce the publication of bandwidth information for each programme on every channel (incl. web TV) from origination, editing, transmission through to reception. I have shot and edited video and am well aware of many of the pitfalls in the process. I started out decades ago using 16mm film and have used and edited, if not all then, most of the video formats since about 1975 from professional broadcast through to amateur. If you start with poor quality origination, awful script, badly acted/performed, badly lit with rubbish sound, then absolutely nothing can fix it later! Now we have a further problem of poor quality transmission with narrow bandwidth images overly compressed.

    Perhaps we should start a campaign for "honesty in broadcasting technology"!

  • Comment number 50.

    "I worked at Google in 2005 and briefly on the Orkut team. I encountered an environment that viewed social networking as a frivolous form of entertainment rather than a real utility, and I'm pretty sure this viewpoint was shared all the way up the chain of command to the founders."

    And who could argue with Google's assessment? I agree with comment 42 about Facebook's future: "But that bubble will burst too, eventually, and we'll see FB devalued drastically, probably to the point of collapse."

    Google's longer term prospects look much healthier than Facebook's to me.

  • Comment number 51.

    'Because [Quora] has been colonised by early adopters from Silicon Valley, you are quite likely to find knowledgeable people answering your questions, and on occasion company executives giving some real insight into what is going on inside their businesses.… The more people join, the less useful it may get, as all sorts of ignoramuses - like this blogger - clutter up your feed with poorly thought-out questions and answers.’

    But isn’t this a problem with the internet as a whole? i.e. that we are so impressed with its new opportunities to access, arrange and search data that we are in danger of forgetting that it doesn’t it itself generate data or knowledge (though it is obviously true that new means of search help us to find things out). The internet is just a telephone line, and any phone conversation is only as interesting as the person on the other end: as much as the web can do, we’re still left with the question of content, and what to fill the web with. Quora sounds interesting because knowledge and experience gathered externally in professional and research contexts – i.e. genuinely good content – is being married to the web’s ability to make it available.

    But, frankly, all too often the web gives us garbage. The blogosphere and all too many comments pages are full of dreck. If we're not careful, our proudest boast will be that our generation can search for and access trash more quickly and efficiently than previous generations could ever have dreamed of searching for and accessing trash. However much has been overturned by the web revolution, the means of creating decent content are the same as ever: someone needs to be given time to do research, to think & interpret, and then to present their work; and because most people are not of independent means, they need to be given money so they can take the time to do this. And as this sort of project often won’t make any (or much) money, it depends on that most old-fashioned of things: patronage

    Take Wikipedia. User-created content, (relatively) non-hierarchical collaboration – yes, all new and radical. But much of Wikipedia is of poor quality, and we shouldn’t be surprised: it can’t afford to commission properly executed research. Getting something second-rate for free is not radical. What is radical, however, is the free access to the world’s books that Google Books gives us: this stuff has cost time and money to produce, and we get it free. Similarly, the Oxford University Press’s agreement to provide free online access to its reference works via public libraries: the OED or Dictionary of National Biography require vast amounts of expensive research (disclosure – I used to work for one of these titles) but sell very little; because of this they previously had to be priced far beyond most people’s means. Now, however, the internet can provide free access to top-quality, costly, information.

    Anyone relying on dictionary.com and also possessing a library card must be out of their box. You want to know about a historical UK figure? Don’t even think about going to Wikipedia!

    I don’t have a prediction but I do have a wish. That we get over our infatuation with the internet’s capabilities as a medium, and realize it is a medium only: the means of generating content (e.g. compiling the OED) have to an extent been revolutionized by the internet, but also largely remain stuck in the old world (e.g. the OED requires a large research programme subsidized by the OUP’s largesse). As such the net has limitations that we must acknowledge. We need a compromise between new communication technologies and old-fashioned content-generation if the web is to contain anything worthwhile.

  • Comment number 52.

    For the "Mac never has an issue with viruses and it just works" folks...
    Erm, it is a very simple thing to grab escalated privileges on OSX using what was a simple zero-day exploit.

    Apple do not create; rather they look at an idea/concept/product already in existence and attempt (sometimes successfully) to improve on it. So... no innovation there.

    Apple hardware is nothing special whatsoever, and, their machines are overpriced "for what they are in terms of spec". Anyone who argues otherwise is a fool. So... no innovation there.

    Apple did not even create their own Operating System - rather they mashed-around with BSD. So... no innovation there.

    Windows 7 is, in fact, a more secure OS than OSX. Fact. The first machine to be compromised during DefCon was a Mac.

    There are, however and obviously, more viruses in the wild for Win* than for OSX... but you smug-fellows still have over 100 ;)

    Now... On topic:
    I sadly think that TV and WWW will eventually merge... but not this year due to our poor BB-infrastructure.
    I hope that there will be a slew of Android-based tablets.
    There are better sites than Quora so it will probably fail.
    Facebook will float... then rapidly sink (I hope).

    Sent from a Slackware13_64bit box on a Lynx browser on a secure VPN (If anyone cares)

  • Comment number 53.

    Oh, also Mr AllenT2... Googles Android is OPEN SOURCE!
    meaning I can do with it whatever I please. (And I do :) )

  • Comment number 54.

    I'm hoping that the producers of eBooks will realise that they need to bring something new to the table (rather than taking the perfect medium and simply digitising it). It may be the year that pageramming comes of age as more authors start to experiment.

  • Comment number 55.

    Apples and no Malware. I hardly think they lack Malware because of their magically coded software. It's probably because they're a tiny market share and not worth stealing from.

    Only a complete fool would be rolling without a firewall/antivirus. Not to mention common sense, and guess what. I'm virus/malware free also!

    What I liked about windowsxp, is that you can find the technical stuff to play with almost as easy as finding your way to firefox. Though with the copying from Mac on Vista, the only quick thing you can do is get on the internet and they've hidden away the interesting bits so you have to know where they are or spend time searching. Dumbing down I'd call that.

    My PC 'just works' when I want to use more technical electronics software also, but I imagine it would foul up on OSX since they're not made for bit part computer makers. Compatibility is king.

    Thing is with Mac's, you can probably justify it if you don't know any better, and you've been missold it by some other unknowing at an Apple store. But once you have some computer sense, you make your own PC how you want it, and you have your software how you want it. If you're daring enough you'll probably get Linux. (Would save a ton of cash also)

    Once you get to that level, buying any Apple product makes no sense (paying more for less) and flies in the face of logic. Yet to be proven that Mac's are more compatible/cost-effective/usable else I'd actually go and buy one.

  • Comment number 56.

    I think social networking is really taking off and Google will have to make efforts to stay up to date with this. I use Buzz quite a lot and actually find it a lot more versatile than Twitter.

    I also think that social networking is changing the way organisations communicate with their customers and staff. There's a good article on Innovation Investment Journal on what is happening in this field:

    http://www.iijiij.com/2010/12/31/say-anything-you-want-to-we-trust-your-judgement-06870

    Unfortunately, many organisations are laggards in this respect and will need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century!

  • Comment number 57.

    Your post will evidently fan the flames of interest in Quora, but even before then, the steepness of the adoption curve was startling: http://blog.paulgailey.com/how-quora-is-taking-off

    As for location, whilst it often attracts disdain for never quite materialising it's easy to overlook that search results are ever more reliant on location, yes even for fixed PC searches, to serve results that are more relevant and local. So while checkin fever maybe faddish, location is crucial to a better net experience.

  • Comment number 58.

    Oh dear, it's turned into a 1990's style "My computer's better than your computer" debate. The only clue that it is now the 21st century is that nobody has mentioned the Amiga...

    I can just picture all these wizened old 8 bit programmers, sitting at their keyboards for the last 20 odd years, slugging away at each other like punch drunk boxers. Each feeling that they have won a few battles but the war just rages on and on and on...

    If I might paraphrase winston :-

    "we shall fight on the UseNet, we shall fight in the Chatrooms and in the Blogs, we shall fight in the Forums; we shall never surrender...

    ...Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if this Computer and its Hard Disk should last for a thousand years, men will still say, this was their finest OS"

    Get over it, Guys. it's 2011...






  • Comment number 59.

    #58. P Steadman wrote:

    "I can just picture all these wizened old 8 bit programmers, sitting at their keyboards for the last 20 odd years...."

    Sorry I can't resist it....

    Some of us started out before the intel 4004 - a 4 bit processor - came out! (sitting at our desks for the past 40 years!) But you are in terrible error to assume that just because we pre-date the microprocessor that we are not as up-to-date today as anyone else. In fact as we have seen and been part of the development of the industry we have seen the up and downs of all of the different hardware architectures so much so that it is the software that has always fascinated us! It is what you can do with a tool not the precise nature of the tool, or hardware architecture (unless it is so badly designed it poses substantial obstacles to its use and that goes for operating systems too - no names no pack drill, but I have several still in their expensively launched boxes that never got installed because of the obvious horrors in their design!)

  • Comment number 60.

    Bully for all you "well-connected" folk- it's just pie-in-the-sky as far as I'm concerned. I live less than two miles from the centre of a reasonably-sized town in East Anglia (and ironically only five miles from BT's Research Centre). My broadband connection hovers around the 0.7 Mbps mark max, and digital reception of the ITV/ Five channels is unusable at least half the time. Analogue TV is viewable, but is noisy. Streaming TV over the net? I'd be happy with five main channels on my "normal" telly....(and I try not to think about the licence-fee!).

  • Comment number 61.

    BluesBerry wrote:

    "Civil liberties - especially those under the US Fourth Amendment. The erosion has been eating up the 4th AMENDMENT FOR YEARS.
    The Fourth Amendment (1791) was designed to protect individual & property rights; it endowed citizens with the right to be free from tyrannical government in their personal lives."

    The fourth amendment wasn't designed to be blind to the realities of war. President Lincoln, one of America's greatest presidents, suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War.

    Besides, what does America's constitution have to do with the rest of the world? If you are not American then it has zero to do with you. And what does it have to do with a discussion about technology?



  • Comment number 62.

    John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "I disagree with your opinion as the TVs that are sold as HD are 1920 x 1080 sets NOT 1280 x 720 thus in common usage an HD TV = 1920 x 1080.

    It's not an "opinion," it is a fact. TVs that are sold as HD are actually 1024x720, 1366x768 and 1920x1080. The 1024x720 models are your typical 42" plasmas that are wrongly sold as "720P" sets, for example Panasonics. Such a TV shouldn't be allowed to be considered HD since it does not have the minimum horizontal resolution of 1280. The last two resolutions, which are the most common, are obviously HD resolutions.

    "Any broadcaster that is not full HD (1920 x 1080) from origination to reception needs to explain why he calls his claims his product is HD."

    Once again, you are wrong. While ideally one would wish to view a 1080i/p video on a 1080 TV viewing a 720p video on such a TV can not be seen as not being HD. 720P (1280x720) **is** an official HD standard and specification.

    You can argue against the scaling of one HD resolution to another HD resolution but you can not claim one is not HD when in fact it is by definition HD.

  • Comment number 63.

    newphase wrote:

    "For the "Mac never has an issue with viruses and it just works" folks...
    Erm, it is a very simple thing to grab escalated privileges on OSX using what was a simple zero-day exploit."

    So where are all the examples of viruses attacking OS X?

    "Apple do not create; rather they look at an idea/concept/product already in existence and attempt (sometimes successfully) to improve on it. So... no innovation there."

    By definition innovation includes new methods of doing something.

    "Apple hardware is nothing special whatsoever, and, their machines are overpriced "for what they are in terms of spec". Anyone who argues otherwise is a fool. So... no innovation there."

    I've already asked this before and I got no answer so I'll ask you. So where are the PC equivalents of the all in one 27" iMac with an IPS LCD running at 2560 x 1440? For that matter where are the PC equivalents of the 21.5 iMac with an IPS LCD? Where are the glass displays? Where is the hardware made out of solid blocks of aluminum? I could go on and on.

    "Apple did not even create their own Operating System - rather they mashed-around with BSD. So... no innovation there."

    So they didn't develop their own software after how long OS X has been in existence?

    "Windows 7 is, in fact, a more secure OS than OSX. Fact. The first machine to be compromised during DefCon was a Mac."

    Your claim of "compromised" in the world of computing can mean many things. The most obvious question then would be "compromised" to what extent, something you do not mention. Why not?

    "There are, however and obviously, more viruses in the wild for Win* than for OSX... but you smug-fellows still have over 100 ;)"

    There is nothing "smug" about it for a mature adult that simply wants a trouble free computing experience.

    I'll ask the question again, where are all the stories of Macs being infected by viruses?

  • Comment number 64.

    newphase wrote:

    "Oh, also Mr AllenT2... Googles Android is OPEN SOURCE!
    meaning I can do with it whatever I please. (And I do :)"

    What are you doing with it? Mre importantly, how is this relevant to the average phone or tablet user? After all, we have open source computer operating systems available and none of them have achieved even a tiny bit of acceptance with the typical user.

    And if you can do "whatever" you want with Android then what keeps people from updating their phones or tablets to the latest build of Android?

  • Comment number 65.

    Rorb wrote:

    "Apples and no Malware. I hardly think they lack Malware because of their magically coded software. It's probably because they're a tiny market share and not worth stealing from."

    You "think," or you know?

    And of course part of it is because it is a smaller market but in the end the fact remains that using a Mac provides a night and day difference when it comes to worries about viruses and malware.

    "Only a complete fool would be rolling without a firewall/antivirus. Not to mention common sense, and guess what. I'm virus/malware free also!"

    Well, the fact is nearly all Mac users do not run an anti-virus program and do so without any issues. OS X also has a built-in firewall.

    And as far as you know you are "virus/malware" free. Considering the unbelievably huge number of viruses written for Windows and the inability of an anti-virus program to be 100% accurate in detecting or blocking a virus or malware then at best you have an indication of being "virus/malware free," which is not very comforting, especially for the typical user.

    "What I liked about windowsxp, is that you can find the technical stuff to play with almost as easy as finding your way to firefox. Though with the copying from Mac on Vista, the only quick thing you can do is get on the internet and they've hidden away the interesting bits so you have to know where they are or spend time searching."

    Sorry, but you don't know much about OS X. It can be as simple as you want it to be or as complicated as you want it to be. Those looking for the later can easily find the information online.

    "My PC 'just works' when I want to use more technical electronics software also, but I imagine it would foul up on OSX since they're not made for bit part computer makers. Compatibility is king."

    Most people simply want their computers to work and the fact is Macs are much better at doing just that if all you took into consideration were two factors such as virus free operation and the lack of third party software that infests and is deeply embedded into PCs that most people have trouble removing and/or understanding. Remember, those are not opinions, those two factors are facts.

    "Thing is with Mac's, you can probably justify it if you don't know any better, and you've been missold it by some other unknowing at an Apple store. But once you have some computer sense, you make your own PC how you want it, and you have your software how you want it. If you're daring enough you'll probably get Linux. (Would save a ton of cash also)""

    Sorry my friend but you are way out of touch with the typical computer user and computing in general. I say that as someone that used to build his own. I'm not a novice.

    "Once you get to that level, buying any Apple product makes no sense (paying more for less) and flies in the face of logic. Yet to be proven that Mac's are more compatible/cost-effective/usable else I'd actually go and buy one."

    As for compatibility, Macs are the only computers that can run both OS X and Windows. Can a PC do the same? Of course not because the drivers either do not exist or are incomplete.

    As for cost effective and usable, Macs have a higher resale value than a PC. They also have a much higher build quality. One would have to be blind not to notice that. If you limit the value of a computer based on initial costs then you, again, do not know much about computing. As with all products people are willing to pay for ease of use and reliability for the life of the computer. Since I mentioned two factors, and I can mention more, that are facts regarding Macs, as it relates to a computer being "cost effective" and "usable," then it is clear you are wrong.

    Keep in mind, we are talking about computers here, not girlfriends or wives.

  • Comment number 66.

    #62. AllenT2 précis: HD is NOT just 1920x1080

    You are speaking through your hat! Flat screen tellies are sold on the high street as 'Full HD' when that can show 1920x1080 native resolution. That is the definition in use and it does not matter what arbitrary nonsense you come up with. The 'definition' of Full HD is the one set by retailers on the high street - no matter what nonsense the broadcasters say is the case. Indeed the broadcasters use the same slight of hand when the claim that they have an HD service - but that is beside the point - the high street sets the definition NOT some other parallel universe!

  • Comment number 67.

    John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "You are speaking through your hat! Flat screen tellies are sold on the high street as 'Full HD' when that can show 1920x1080 native resolution. That is the definition in use and it does not matter what arbitrary nonsense you come up with."

    The "high street" is out to sell you something. Using a silly term such as "full HD" is "nonsense." It's simply, at best, another case of confusing marketing terms and at worse misleading to encourage the sale of more expensive sets.

    The European Broadcasting Union, of which the BBC is a member of, officially recognizes the HD resolutions as 1280x720P and 1920x1080i/p as does America's ATSC standard, where 720P broadcasting takes place on FOX and ABC channels, and where most of the world's HD content is produced. Both 720P and 1080i/p are HD standards.

    "The 'definition' of Full HD is the one set by retailers on the high street - no matter what nonsense the broadcasters say is the case. Indeed the broadcasters use the same slight of hand when the claim that they have an HD service - but that is beside the point - the high street sets the definition NOT some other parallel universe!"

    No, the "high street" did not, and does not, set HD standards. Retailers have no regulating authority to do such a thing.

    The issue of broadcasters delivering poor quality HD is a different matter altogether. You claimed the BBC was not being honest if the source of an HD broadcast was 720P and you are simply, by definition and by regulation, wrong.

  • Comment number 68.

    Horses for courses. I have an HP W7 desktop at home, A Dell XP laptop at work, an iPad, an iPod, a Samsung phone, TV and DVD PVR. Just because I have an iPad doesn't mean I am, or think I am restricted. It does what it does very well. I doesn't do what it doesn't do. Get over it.
    The only thing I am 100% sure of is that internet TV is NOT going to happen in the next decade. My 'Unlimited' BT broadband actually limits me to somewhere around 100 p/month. (Though apparently they keep enough wiggle room to make it what they choose) I could eat that in a day using streamed HD TV.

  • Comment number 69.

    I know this tech section of BBC News tends to focus on domestic issues, but one thing to look out for during 2011 is the growth of cloud computing for business.

    This year Amazon Web Services offered their cloud servers free for a year if you install one of their very basic server images (fine for development, not for production, but that is still useful)

    Google upped the anti on google apps, simplifying the offering and improving things like docs and spreadsheets - however, they still have not dealt with the issue of separate pages on google docs, so while you are writing it is just one long sheet with no indication as to where you A4 starts and ends. Until this is sorted it will remain half an offering.

    Other companies are starting to offer cloud services, including Microsoft with their office related system (same page problem as google docs, incidentally) and UK hosting services are starting to put together cloud offerings, though not as complete as Amazon style services.

    I think during this year you will see a further push into this area especially since the more complete cloud services offer ways of buiding monolithic systems - this makes them attractive to small and medium games companies.

    However, some of the pricing is still rather ripe, especially with bandwidth, and this will need to become more competitive over the year.

    Cloud storage for both domestic and business use will probably grow, especially systems that allow the backing up of an entire PC online - Operating System and all - and the facility to then reinstall that on another box. This will allow smoother and safer upgrading of hardware for the consumer since if the upgrade fails, the data has not been compromised as it is stored remotely.

    The biggest drawback I can see, and we may start to see problems this year, is when your chosen cloud collapses. If your company has moved over to lightweight computer solutions where all your applications and data are held on cloud servers, you could see entire company infrastructures collapse, simply because someone disconnected a cable somewhere! Not only can't you retrieve emails, but you cannot get any of your documents, contacts, notes or anything else either.

    This may be the stumbling block as some companies get nervous about the "what if" scenario, although for small businesses, there could be long term huge cost savings by using the cloud.

  • Comment number 70.

    I would have contributed to this debate earlier but the alarm on my iPhone failed to activate. Still, there's always tomorrow ...

  • Comment number 71.

    "The aura of cool around the iPad - however much it may be despised by some of the digerati - is not going to fade soon"

    What rubbish Rory. Please stop being such an apple fanbio ;)

  • Comment number 72.

    T2Allen

    What are you doing with it? Mre importantly, how is this relevant to the average phone or tablet user? After all, we have open source computer operating systems available and none of them have achieved even a tiny bit of acceptance with the typical user.


    Newphase replies:
    Fool; it is totally relevant to the end-user... and also to the average user if they want to make their 'phone personalised. If you are content to waddle through your life being "less-than-average" then good luck to you.
    It is enormously relevant when people realise that they DO in fact OWN their 'phone/tablet/PC operating system... it is empowering for those who have a desire to learn, a desire to "tinker", a desire to understand what the device in their pocket is capable of, a desire to not become one of the Sheeple with generic-standard-easily hackable devices.
    As for OpenSource Operating systems... if it were not for them there would be NO INTERNET, no WWW, no free-video chatting, no WiFi - the list goes on and on.
    I have been running OpenSource OS's for the last 12 years.

    T2Allen wrote:
    And if you can do "whatever" you want with Android then what keeps people from updating their phones or tablets to the latest build of Android?

    Newphase replies:
    Nothing; nothing at all keeps them for doing so. All it takes is know-how and the desire to learn and "own" your system (phone, pc whatever.)Do you even know what you are typing about?

  • Comment number 73.

    AllenT2 wrote:
    So where are all the examples of viruses attacking OS X?
    Application.OSX.RemoteControl
    Application.OSX.Spy
    Application.OSX.SpyMe
    Application.OSX.TypeAgent
    Application.OSX.TypeRecorderX
    Backdoor.MacOS.Sub7Server
    Backdoor.OSX.CarbonKeys
    Backdoor.OSX.HellRaiser
    Backdoor.OSX.IService.a
    Backdoor.OSX.IService.b
    Backdoor.OSX.IService.c
    Backdoor.OSX.Sub7Client
    Backdoor.OSX.Termite
    Backdoor.OSX.Winjack
    Backdoor.OSX.Xover
    DDoS.OSX.CometShower
    Eicar_Test_Files
    Email-Flooder.OSX.Mema
    Email-Flooder.OSX.Propaganda
    Email-Flooder.OSX.Torrent
    Exploit.EvilGrade.a
    Exploit.Exploit.OSX.CVE-2007-0059
    Exploit.Exploit.OSX.CVE-2007-6166
    Exploit.OSX.ARDAgent
    Exploit.OSX.CVE-2003-0201
    Exploit.OSX.CVE-2004-0430
    Exploit.OSX.Evasion.a
    Exploit.OSX.Small
    Exploit.OSX.Smid.b
    Hacktool.MacOS.UGMPortScanner
    Hacktool.OSX.AimSniff
    Hacktool.OSX.BrutalGift
    Hacktool.OSX.Cyanide
    Hacktool.OSX.Heirophant -personal favourite of mine
    Hacktool.OSX.iChatSniff
    Hacktool.OSX.macKrack
    Hacktool.OSX.MacSmurf
    Hacktool.OSX.ManOfTheMiddle
    Hacktool.OSX.SYNer
    Hacktool.OSX.UnderHand -another personal favourite
    Hacktool.OSX.ZapAttack
    Perl.OSX.RSPlug.a
    Port-Flooder.OSX.Tsunami
    RogueAntiSpyware.OSX.Imunizator -enormous fun!!
    RogueAntiSpyware.OSX.MacSweeper


    I got bored finding any more but is that enough for starters?
    You ahve them all... keyloggers, backdoor trojans, Ddos...


    T2Allen wrote
    I've already asked this before and I got no answer so I'll ask you. So where are the PC equivalents of the all in one 27" iMac with an IPS LCD running at 2560 x 1440? For that matter where are the PC equivalents of the 21.5 iMac with an IPS LCD? Where are the glass displays? Where is the hardware made out of solid blocks of aluminum? I could go on and on.
    Newphase writes:
    What advantage is aluminium? none
    The only unique and in-any-way-good aspect of that paragraph is the IPS.

    T2Allen wrote:
    So they didn't develop their own software after how long OS X has been in existence?
    Newphase writes:
    No - NO. MacOS is a botche BSD... no matter what you may think it is a simple fact that Apple did NOT write their own OS. Period. End.

    T2Allen wrote:
    Your claim of "compromised" in the world of computing can mean many things. The most obvious question then would be "compromised" to what extent, something you do not mention. Why not?
    Newphase writes:
    Compromised has but one definition; the Mac was compromised to the extent that the owner of the Mac had ZERO control over the rig; the hacker had root, and, the rig was rendered useless.

    T2Allen wrote:
    There is nothing "smug" about it for a mature adult that simply wants a trouble free computing experience.

    I'll ask the question again, where are all the stories of Macs being infected by viruses?

    Newphase writes:
    the "smugness" is the belief that MacOS is invincible.
    It is not, as has clearly been demonstrated.
    I do actually quite like OSX (Prefer BSD :D )... but I chuckle at Apples bizarre, unproven claims and their overpriced rigs.
    I also do not being tied-in to any particular "way" of doing things. Mac and Win are closed and monolithic - which is unsafe in the current and future IT climate.

    As for all the stories of Macs being infected I would state 2 things:
    Firstly... if you want your attack (ddos, keylog, wildfire-spread) to be the MOST succesful... you obviously target the MOST prevalent OS; this is also why Norton and macafee can miss viruses which are programmed to "stealth" against the most common AV's.
    Secondly... if you are not running AV on a Mac-box then HOW do you know that there is no keylogger/trojan or similar... hmm?

  • Comment number 74.

    Oh, and by the way Mr Allen...
    I know
    I do not think :)


    Happy New Year1

  • Comment number 75.

    John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "You are speaking through your hat! Flat screen tellies are sold on the high street as 'Full HD' when that can show 1920x1080 native resolution. That is the definition in use and it does not matter what arbitrary nonsense you come up with."

    As AllenT2 has already mentioned, ONLY "FullHD" will do 1080p resolutions. "HDReady" sets will broadcast at the very least 720p and most will do 1080i (which is what both SKY & Virgin Media boxes will display at maximum). 1080p is limited to Blu-Ray movie or very few HD console games only (and that is fact!). The only time you will see a progressive scan HD display is from a BluRay movie or HD console games running at 24fps/hz. All other fps/hz transmission's are interlaced with duplicate frames (hence why SKY & VM HD broadcasts are done at 1080i maximum and at 50hz (25fps PAL interlaced with duplicate frames).

  • Comment number 76.

    @73 Newphase spent along time listing all the Mac virus and other assorted issues he / she could find to disprove my friend T2Allen.

    Newphase - your point is a Pointless one.... whilst the vast majority of Sheep use PC's et al then most viruses will target them. When the Sheep 'wake up' and start to switch to other OS's then the tables will turn, anytime soon????? No , i don't think so !

    I have recently moved across to Mac's after having used pc's for all my 'computing life'. I run a new Air - (fantastic) and a new i-Mac. As you would expect the heavy work is on the desktop and the 'Air' is my little mobile machine. I run two types of virus software and so far (touch wood) I have had not one single problem ..... something I could never say with my pc's from before....

    This said, your right nothing is invincible BUT currently your wasting your breath and I am definitely a Convert ..... however I will NOT be having an iPad, Sorry T2 Allen....
    http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20101027/macbook-air-has-the-feel-of-an-ipad-in-a-laptop/

    As for this article - a little interesting BUT @2 James Rigby is spot on !! Cyber warfare is going to be the next big thing ... be prepared ..

    Cheers
    Ganretti

  • Comment number 77.

    newphase wrote:

    "Fool; it is totally relevant to the end-user... and also to the average user if they want to make their 'phone personalised. If you are content to waddle through your life being "less-than-average" then good luck to you."

    Who is talking about "'less than average?'" I'm talking about the average person. The fact is the average person is not going to be bothered trying to learn computer programming code just so they can personalize their phones.

    "It is enormously relevant when people realise that they DO in fact OWN their 'phone/tablet/PC operating system... it is empowering for those who have a desire to learn, a desire to "tinker", a desire to understand what the device in their pocket is capable of, a desire to not become one of the Sheeple with generic-standard-easily hackable devices."

    The tinkerer is not the average user. The tinkerer actually represents a very tiny portion of the market.

    "As for OpenSource Operating systems... if it were not for them there would be NO INTERNET, no WWW, no free-video chatting, no WiFi - the list goes on and on."

    Nonsense. Companies with big financial backers and big pockets with proprietary software, operating systems and hardware are what made the internet what it is today.

    "I have been running OpenSource OS's for the last 12 years."

    Good for you but 99% of the rest of the population has not.

    "Nothing; nothing at all keeps them for doing so. All it takes is know-how and the desire to learn and "own" your system (phone, pc whatever.)Do you even know what you are typing about?"

    It also takes "know-how" to do a valve job on your car yet I don't see the average car owner doing them.

    Do I know what I am "typing about" you ask? Sure, I'm talking about about the average computer user and you are talking about computer geeks. I can also do that without calling you a "fool."

  • Comment number 78.

    newphase wrote:

    "I got bored finding any more but is that enough for starters?
    You have them all... keyloggers, backdoor trojans, Ddos..."

    I didn't ask for a short list of viruses, I asked for examples of Mac users actually being compromised by a virus.

    "What advantage is aluminium? none"

    You don't see the engineering and design advantage out of making something out of a solid block of aluminum?

    "The only unique and in-any-way-good aspect of that paragraph is the IPS."

    So being able to easily clean an iMacs display because it is covered with glass, instead of easily scratchable plastic, is not a good thing?

    And if you acknowledge the advantage of IPS LCDs then I'll ask again, where are the all in one PCs with IPS LCDs and is that not, for many people, worth paying extra for?

    "No - NO. MacOS is a botche BSD... no matter what you may think it is a simple fact that Apple did NOT write their own OS. Period. End."

    OS X has now been in existence for quite some time now so who exactly has been writing and developing each subsequent update and version? The tooth fairy?

    "Compromised has but one definition; the Mac was compromised to the extent that the owner of the Mac had ZERO control over the rig; the hacker had root, and, the rig was rendered useless."

    Thank you but I know the definition of the word just fine. If you know computers as well as you claim then you would know that computers can be compromised in different ways and to different extents.

    That said, I'll ask once again, where are the examples out there of Mac users having their computers compromised, whether by hackers or viruses?

    "the "smugness" is the belief that MacOS is invincible.
    It is not, as has clearly been demonstrated."

    Only through immaturity and ignorance would one see someone else wanting and appreciating a trouble free computing experience as being smug.

    No one here, not me or any other user of Apple computers, has ever claimed that Apple's OS X is "invincible."

    "I do actually quite like OSX (Prefer BSD :D )... but I chuckle at Apples bizarre, unproven claims and their overpriced rigs."

    What "claims" would those be? Because certainly Apple doesn't claim their OS X is "invincible."

    What is "overpriced" about an all in one computer running a 27" IPS LCD at a resolution of 2560 by 1440 that doesn't exist in the PC world?

    "I also do not being tied-in to any particular "way" of doing things. Mac and Win are closed and monolithic - which is unsafe in the current and future IT climate."

    And you can't see that you are not the average user after making such a remark?

    "As for all the stories of Macs being infected I would state 2 things:
    Firstly... if you want your attack (ddos, keylog, wildfire-spread) to be the MOST succesful... you obviously target the MOST prevalent OS; this is also why Norton and macafee can miss viruses which are programmed to "stealth" against the most common AV's."

    Of course. I have already acknowledged that OS X is less of a target to begin with. That is certainly part of it.

    "Secondly... if you are not running AV on a Mac-box then HOW do you know that there is no keylogger/trojan or similar... hmm?"

    For someone that claims to know so much about computing you should know better than that. You sure you want to keep going?


  • Comment number 79.

    newphase wrote:

    "Oh, and by the way Mr Allen...
    I know
    I do not think :)"

    Be very careful about what you know. Often times it simply a case of what you think, especially when it concerns other people's feelings and needs. :)

  • Comment number 80.

    @Mark_MWFC

    "Absolutely. So what happens to a product when it's no longer cool because everyone has one or the people who do are perceived as being nobs?

    Boom."

    If that was what was happening with Apple, you'd have a point. But it's not, so you don't. Apple is still perceived by the general public as cool, and will be for the foreseeable future. Non-techy friends talk exitedly about iPhone 5 - I doubt they could name another smartphone - apart from Blackberry (while stifling yawns)

  • Comment number 81.

    #67. AllenT2 & #75. VanDiesil.
    précis: the high street does not define standards...

    Here you are both completely mistaken - neither the broadcasters nor the EBU set what the public perceive as 'standards' - is the the buying public that gather information from retailers and the general public that set what the definitions mean - this is true widely in life not just in the airy fairy world of TV broadcasting and TV set display standards.

    Hence also the definitions of what a 'handy' (in Germany), 'mobile phone' (in the UK) or 'cell phone' (in the USA) mean. It is nothing to do with the precise definitions of the standards, but just the generally accepted definition by use of the device.

    What this means is that product vendors define 'standards' through their advertising - no matter how inaccurate and at variance these are from industry defined standards.

    Mac vs PC 'debate'

    All of you should grow up and accept that both hardware/operating systems are reasonably functional and there really is very little difference between them - except via the software that one will run which is unavailable on the other. I have a number of PCs and servers - Macs Windows and Linux boxes. Undoubtedly the Linux boxes are the most stable and reliable by a long distance bot of the proprietary operating systems are rather flaky. Windows blue screens far too often mainly due to the incorporation of proprietary drivers in what should be the kernel and the Macs still have legacy problems and little tricks like suppliers providing install scripts but no functional install scripts - I have a friend with a music production Mac system that the only thing the driver supplier could suggest was to manually remove all of its drivers to fix a fault - disgraceful - a friend has to boot his mac up to ten times before it actually runs to get round this. As to screen size - absolute tosh both Macs and Windows systems can run any display or set of displays on the market - it is all about the graphics cards these days and theses are quite often exactly the same (except foe the proprietary mac graphics port) I have been running a PC workstation running Windows and Linus with a resolution of 2560 x 1024 for five or six years. I have colleagues who have been operating with half a dozen screens with huge resolutions on their graphics workstations - it is all about the graphics card(s).

    Generally the problems with both Macs and PCs stem from the bad way that proprietary device drivers get incorporated in the kernel - this should no happen. It cam about by the development of both systems when graphics drivers were quite slow when run outside the kernel and the need fro speeding things up and the basic well known rule of virtualise everything was deliberately forgotten in exchange for speed. No proper server operating system that is intended for robust production has working in the manner ever and nor should PCs (incl. Macs) No proprietary driver should even be allowed to be able to crash the whole PC/Workstation - by design.

    Windows and Macs have other flaws of design - such as Windows not always checking the integrity of its disk filing system when there is a power out on a system without a UPS (which every user should have always!) This used to be the case on Windows, up to 2000, but seems not to be the case now. (If you have no UPS get a laptop and keep its battery attached.) The Macs various disk filing systems are also prone to the same type of faults which have to be recovered from with mostly third party software (in the past). Backwards compatibility on the Mac platform is also far poorer than on the Windows PC due to the switch to Intel and that many old software and driver products have not been and will not be modified to continue to work requiring expensive hardware to be simply thrown away.

    In short my recipe is: run your servers on Linux and use the workstations that can run the proprietary software that you find essential - and above all make sure that all machines have a working UPS to protect from power outages. It is still a frequent occurrence that I get to hear of a computing disaster that is caused by forgetting these basics and of course ensure that you have a proper back-up and data recovery system. Oh, and never allow newly upgraded/installed software into a production environment without first testing it! Stick to these rules and you will have a quiet, uneventful, peaceful and productive life on either a Windows PC or a Mac - ignore these rules at your peril.

  • Comment number 82.

    John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "Here you are both completely mistaken - neither the broadcasters nor the EBU set what the public perceive as 'standards' - is the the buying public that gather information from retailers and the general public that set what the definitions mean - this is true widely in life not just in the airy fairy world of TV broadcasting and TV set display standards. Hence also the definitions of what a 'handy' (in Germany), 'mobile phone' (in the UK) or 'cell phone' (in the USA) mean. It is nothing to do with the precise definitions of the standards, but just the generally accepted definition by use of the device."

    That's a very lousy analogy. What a mobile phone is called in different countries does not affect how it functions. The defined standards that apply to HD resolutions do in fact affect how a TV functions. See the difference?

    "What this means is that product vendors define 'standards' through their advertising - no matter how inaccurate and at variance these are from industry defined standards."

    So can a store make its own "HD Ready" labels and stick them on to SD TVs and sell them as HD?

    "All of you should grow up and accept that both hardware/operating systems are reasonably functional and there really is very little difference between them - except via the software that one will run which is unavailable on the other."

    Well, no one is forcing you to read through those discussions so therefore you do not need to be insulting. For the many people that can recognize reasonable arguments and information regarding Mac and Windows computers it will be of use to them.

    That kind of comment also hints at you not really liking things to be strictly defined. But, the fact remains that there most certainly are significant differences between both operating systems and the computers running them. You can ignore them, or not see them, but that does not mean there are not there or will not matter for other people.

    "I have a number of PCs and servers - Macs Windows and Linux boxes. Undoubtedly the Linux boxes are the most stable and reliable by a long distance bot of the proprietary operating systems are rather flaky."

    I would also bet those "Linux boxes" are doing very specific jobs that skews their level of reliability favorably.

    "As to screen size - absolute tosh both Macs and Windows systems can run any display or set of displays on the market - it is all about the graphics cards these days and theses are quite often exactly the same (except foe the proprietary mac graphics port) I have been running a PC workstation running Windows and Linus with a resolution of 2560 x 1024 for five or six years. I have colleagues who have been operating with half a dozen screens with huge resolutions on their graphics workstations - it is all about the graphics card(s)."

    Where did I say that a Windows computer can not run "any display or set of displays on the market?" I simply asked where is the PC equivalent of a 27" iMac, or for that matter a 21.5" equivalent? Respectfully, please read more carefully what I write.

    "Generally the problems with both Macs and PCs stem from the bad way that proprietary device drivers get incorporated in the kernel - this should no happen. It cam about by the development of both systems when graphics drivers were quite slow when run outside the kernel and the need fro speeding things up and the basic well known rule of virtualise everything was deliberately forgotten in exchange for speed. No proper server operating system that is intended for robust production has working in the manner ever and nor should PCs (incl. Macs) No proprietary driver should even be allowed to be able to crash the whole PC/Workstation - by design."

    Kernels, device drivers? Sorry, no offense, but I'm not interested in getting into a discussion about things that the average user will either not understand or couldn't care less about, and that I stopped caring about right about the time I decided to buy my first Mac, along with tending to the endless headaches one generally runs into with a Windows PC.

    **You** may find this hard to believe but of all the PCs I have built, used, and fixed, I have never experienced a Windows computer anywhere near as reliable and trouble free as an Apple computer. At this point in my life that is all that matters to me. It's also safe to say that most consumers feel the same way. That's why, today, now, I only recommend Apple computers.



  • Comment number 83.

    Erm. The marriage of TV and PC?

    Didn't that happen... I don't know... right about when broadband became widely available? You just run a cable from your PC to your TV.

    Tada. Done.

    You don't need a magic box. Or, since OSes became exclusively designed for flaming morons, any expertise whatsoever other than "adoy aduh, shove the plug in the port it fits".

    Admittedly, some people are so stupid that video recorders still present a challenge, but presumably even they can successfully figure out that a plug that only fits one hole goes in that hole.

  • Comment number 84.

    @Allen_T2

    Linux machines do indeed have a narrower "purpose" - in general terms - to Windows machines. And Macs, also, have a narrower "purpose". Not too many people use a Mac for gaming if they have the funds required to treat gaming as a real hobby (if we rule out games systems for the purpose of straight comparison) - they're going to use a PC.

    Furthermore, the person you were replying to did in fact say -servers-. That's a specific purpose right there. That also means that all three of his mentioned OSes are doing exactly the same thing: being servers.

    Linux wins that game almost hands-down.

    That said, Windows has improved very greatly in recent years, almost to the point where I might consider a Windows server - except the cost involved is ridiculous with no important gain. And who the hell uses Apple webservers?

    Even Apple don't. Go to netcraft and check out apple.com - of the first 20 results, 19 are using Linux servers.

    Apple clearly think Linux is superior as a server platform - that would be why they use it.

  • Comment number 85.

    @ John_from_Hendon

    Your points on the Mac vs PC debate are absolutely spot on.

    @AllenT2

    You are far too quick to dismiss these points. Yes you may not understand the nature of the kernel (I don't either) but that doesn't stop it being important. Your car has an internal combustion engine. Now you may not understand the nature of its design but you would like it to be as efficient, quiet etc. as possible. This is the very same. There are fundamental design flaws in both PCs and Macs, and whilst not many people are even aware of these flaws, they do exist.

    As for all in one PCs that are similar to the iMac, I do believe that Sony make a few. Not sure what they are like as they do not meet my computer usage requirements, but I am sure they are perfectly functional. However, the difficulty in replacing specific components (such as the graphics card) really puts me off them.

    I really do want to know what all the problems with Windows are. Yes Vista is a bit of a resource hog, but I don't experience endless crashes. There is some very poorly made software out there for Windows (and other OSs no doubt) but that is not Microsoft's fault.

    Now for me, I really need a Windows PC for several reasons. Firstly, cost. My desktop cost less than £800 to build but to buy (and in this case not just from Apple) would be considerably more. Secondly, I play a lot of games. For this I need to own a Windows PC purely so that I can run these games.

    However, if Linux were to have the same level of compatibility then I would jump ship in a flash. Macs may be slightly more reliable than Windows (although I'm not really sure, iTunes is the most likely thing to crash on my PC) and I have seen Macs have problems with things like connecting to WiFi.

    Horses for courses, and if I wasn't a gamer, then a MacBook Pro would be awfully tempting as well.

  • Comment number 86.

    @The_Hess

    "There is some very poorly made software out there for Windows (and other OSs no doubt) but that is not Microsoft's fault."

    Not all Microsoft's fault, no, but some of it is. Their unwillingness to share information about the workings of their OS has fairly notoriously caused issues for many developers.

    Of course, some of the problem is just that Windows is so widely used, which means a much wider idiotbase.

  • Comment number 87.

    No computer or OS is perfect, but some are undoubtedly better than others. I’ve owned and used Macs for 17 years. My first Mac was an Apple Power Macintosh 6100/66 bought in 1994. I never had a single issue with it, and I eventually sold it, still working, in 2001, and replaced it with a PowerMac G4. I had two major issues with it that required non-professional fixing, and that machine still works, and was relegated to low intensity work in my wife’s office in 2009, when I bought a high-end Mac Pro. I’ve had one issue with the Mac Pro, which required a return to an Apple store for fixing, and since then no issues at all.

    So, only 3 Macs in 17 years, and the major problems I’ve had amount to just 3. In all that time, I’ve never had a single virus, never been hacked, lost any data, or had problems with any (Apple and non-Apple) software or peripherals not working as they should. So 17 years of happy, almost entirely trouble-free computing, compared to my friends who, although they swear by Windows, are always complaining about this or that not working, and replacing their computers or components every 1-2 years.

    Whatever Apple are doing, they seem to be doing it well: their computers just seem to be more robust, better built, and longer lasting than most of the competition. Yeah, they cost more. But they’re worth every penny as far as I’m concerned. As in many other things, you get what you pay for. And the sheer quality of Apple's products is only possible precisely because of their proprietary stance. It's a price I'm prepared to pay.

  • Comment number 88.

    @MrAllenT2

    I was good enough to answer your questions and give counter to your arguments... it seems that you cannot or will not answer or counter mine.
    You even fail to answer the most important question "If you have no AV on your Mac, then how do you know that there is no malware/trojan/backdoor/keylogger on your Mac?

  • Comment number 89.

    I'm not so sure about Kindle. Sure there are some people that can't see that Amazon is trying to make Amazon the new iTunes for books, locking in content to hardware.

    Those people are dumb and thankfully in the minority, EPUB is the future, and it's what everything else supports.

    If you buy an E-Reader that supports EPUB, not only are you free to buy your books from any source you like (and this market forces driving prices down) including the soon-to-launch over here Google store, but you can also borrow e-books from your local library for free (something the Kindle cannot do).

  • Comment number 90.

    @89

    >>locking in content to hardware

    Actually, they're just locking content to the Kindle platform. Kindle apps are available free for iOS, Android, PC, and Mac. And I guess you know that iTunes doesn't "lock" music into anything, and only "locks" video into iOS, PC and Mac.

  • Comment number 91.

    Auqakuh wrote:

    "Linux machines do indeed have a narrower "purpose" - in general terms - to Windows machines. And Macs, also, have a narrower "purpose". Not too many people use a Mac for gaming if they have the funds required to treat gaming as a real hobby (if we rule out games systems for the purpose of straight comparison) - they're going to use a PC."

    Outside of gaming there is no difference between the way OS X and Windows
    is used for the typical user. The difference between Linux compared to both is obvious, hence my remark.

    "Furthermore, the person you were replying to did in fact say -servers-. That's a specific purpose right there. That also means that all three of his mentioned OSes are doing exactly the same thing: being servers."

    The discussion was not about "servers." I have only been talking what matters to the typical computer user.

    "Linux wins that game almost hands-down."

    As I previously said, I have no interest in discussing such things. My interest in such things has long ago disappeared. For the typical user that interest doesn't exist, and it certainly doesn't matter.

  • Comment number 92.

    The_Hess wrote:

    "You are far too quick to dismiss these points. Yes you may not understand the nature of the kernel (I don't either) but that doesn't stop it being important. Your car has an internal combustion engine. Now you may not understand the nature of its design but you would like it to be as efficient, quiet etc. as possible. This is the very same. There are fundamental design flaws in both PCs and Macs, and whilst not many people are even aware of these flaws, they do exist."

    I understand that stuff just fine. I simply no longer have an interest in it. The typical user never had an interest in it and never will.

    I also never suggested that Apple's OS X doesn't have flaws or vulnerabilities. If you just started reading the thread then you need to read what I actually wrote in my previous remarks.

    That said, the fact of the matter is, and for more than one reason, Apple's Mac computers offer a much more trouble free and reliable computing experience, especially for the typical user.

    You and others here can disagree but those that are truly objective and reasonable will be apparent to those equally objective and reasonable. It is to those people who may not have too much computing knowledge that my remarks are truly directed at.

    "As for all in one PCs that are similar to the iMac, I do believe that Sony make a few. Not sure what they are like as they do not meet my computer usage requirements, but I am sure they are perfectly functional. However, the difficulty in replacing specific components (such as the graphics card) really puts me off them."

    Sony does not make a 27" or a 21.5" all in one computer with an IPS LCD. I know of no other computer maker, other than Apple, that is making them.

    "I really do want to know what all the problems with Windows are. Yes Vista is a bit of a resource hog, but I don't experience endless crashes. There is some very poorly made software out there for Windows (and other OSs no doubt) but that is not Microsoft's fault."

    How Windows responds to "very poorly made software" is "Microsoft's fault." Vista is simply best forgotten. It's clear to me that even Microsoft agrees.

    "Now for me, I really need a Windows PC for several reasons. Firstly, cost. My desktop cost less than £800 to build but to buy (and in this case not just from Apple) would be considerably more. Secondly, I play a lot of games. For this I need to own a Windows PC purely so that I can run these games."

    That's fine if you feel you need the latest video card, for example, for gaming but for the typical user that also wishes to use Windows then they can do so with any Apple computer. The most stable and fastest Windows running computer I've owned is my Apple iMac.

    "However, if Linux were to have the same level of compatibility then I would jump ship in a flash. Macs may be slightly more reliable than Windows (although I'm not really sure, iTunes is the most likely thing to crash on my PC) and I have seen Macs have problems with things like connecting to WiFi."

    You are "not really sure" and "Macs may?" Please, with all do respect, if you are not sure about such things, or have a reasonable level of experience in the matter, you shouldn't make such comments. The typical computer user is confused enough.

    "Horses for courses, and if I wasn't a gamer, then a MacBook Pro would be awfully tempting as well."

    You do gaming on your laptop too?

  • Comment number 93.

    newphase wrote:

    "I was good enough to answer your questions and give counter to your arguments... it seems that you cannot or will not answer or counter mine."

    I answered your questions just fine. You just didn't like my answers. But at least I didn't call you a "fool."

    "You even fail to answer the most important question "If you have no AV on your Mac, then how do you know that there is no malware/trojan/backdoor/keylogger on your Mac?"

    And I'll say it again, "for someone that claims to know so much about computing you should know better than that."

    What makes you think you need an anti-virus program running to notice your computer being compromised?

    What makes you think out of all the millions of Macs out there, over many years or use, that you claim are so susceptible to attack, that it is just a simple matter of them going unnoticed? You really think with all the computer and technology sites, magazines, the many ruthless competitors, the rags and scandal sheets out there, that some one would not have noticed by now?

  • Comment number 94.

    MarkG wrote:

    "I'm not so sure about Kindle. Sure there are some people that can't see that Amazon is trying to make Amazon the new iTunes for books, locking in content to hardware."

    All music sold in the iTunes store can be used and played on any other device and computer than can play MP4 files, which would be nearly every one since it is the obvious universal replacement for MP3. None of their music is "locked" to their devices.

    Barnes and Noble is also now quite successful with their Nook readers and store. Kindle and Nook apps are available for iPads, iPhones, iPod Touch, PC, Macs, and also Android, so obviously their books are not locked to their hardware. They are locked only to their apps and software.

    In fact, the most universal readers you can buy are those non-dedicated readers made possible through those apps provided by, again, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders too, and soon Sony. With my iPad I can shop at any of their stores and read every single one their books.

    "Those people are dumb and thankfully in the minority, EPUB is the future, and it's what everything else supports."

    **All books**, except for most of the free and very old ones, at the present time, have DRM. The copyright owners and publishers are the ones enforcing that, just as they once did in iTunes music store.

    "If you buy an E-Reader that supports EPUB, not only are you free to buy your books from any source you like (and this market forces driving prices down) including the soon-to-launch over here Google store, but you can also borrow e-books from your local library for free (something the Kindle cannot do)."

    As I said, all books, except for most of the free and old ones, have DRM.
    EPUB, for now, only makes sense for those books and the library example.

  • Comment number 95.

    I am really interested to see how the retail aspect of the Internet will develop in 2011. Things like Amazon's one click buying show there is lots more movement to be had. People trust the Internet now when buying and I think it is now time to start improving the buying processes. The huge increase of Christmas shopping online in 2009 also supports this.

    C'mon innovators, lets see what you can do! :)

  • Comment number 96.

    As for the Kindle I agree with other posters that ereaders that support epub are the future. I use a Kobo and enjoy a wide range of books (including a large selection form my local library) that the Kindle would not have let me use.
    As for internet and TV. Here in Canada we have had this service for several years and it seems to be working just fine. I personally get my TV (HD digital), internet and phone over broadband. I frequently am watching 1 show while taping others on my PVR while other family members are surfing the net. All with no noticable problems. The future is here now in this case :)

  • Comment number 97.

    MrT2Allen
    Yes... I do claim that MacOS is susceptible to attack... but not as attacked as Win*

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/macosx-most-dangerous-os,11877.html

    A tiny article, but, states in black and white what trend believe of OSX in terms of security.

    Sorry I called you a fool :) , it was an unjustified "knee-jerk" bit of typing :)

    However; your comment that I should know better than to suggest one needs an AV to notice an attack still cuts-no-mustard. Some attacks are incredibly subtle - particularly key loggers and ddos-bots.

    :)

  • Comment number 98.

    Given that 2011 looks like being a year of budgets being squeezed tighter than ever, I would hope that the trend would be for previous years' tech being re-used and re-invigourated.

    As an example, a colleague of mine mentioned to me the other day that he was having to upgrade his relatively new laptop from 2gb RAM to 4gb. I laughed. The laptop I use on a day-to-day basis is 10 years old with 256mb of RAM. It runs a very up to date version of Linux and, I suspect, performs basic web browsing duties quicker than machines much newer that are infected with proprietary bloat.

  • Comment number 99.

    An Apple a day keeps Microsoft away. I prefer Apple products because they " just work".

  • Comment number 100.

    @newphase #72

    I noticed that you didn't actually answer the question put to you. Instead you came across as being impressed with the benefits of open source and how technically impressive it can make you sound, and as wanting to portray yourself as being such a person, but not actually understanding what it is really all about.

 

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