Posts Tagged ‘iOS’

Using Split Screen Safari in iOS 10

… Including how to get back out of it! 


Go To 

How To Geek



And how to get out of it…!

…to go back to a single Safari window is to tap and hold on the tabs button in either Safari window. Select “Merge All Tabs” from the popup menu.

I H8 iOS 8…

New operating systems have glitches. When that company then brings out a patch, you expect it to fix those glitches.

Well… Apparently not. Not for iOS 8 anyway.

It’s definitely annoying enough to hate. I thought it was a good idea to upgrade from iOS 7. It may have been a really, really dumb move. I should have waited. Definitely should have waited.

My poor iPad hasn’t been the same since… She’s been struggling with processing anything. Freezing. Crashing. Sluggish. Slow to close (closing apps in slow-motion…literally). Has difficulty with wifi connections – sluggish online despite other devices being fine. Slow to wake up. Has required more reboots than she’s probably ever had before in her life. And worse of all, my Messages no longer sync between Macbook and iPad.

Now that really makes me annoyed.

I missed messages. I’m not a happy bunny. About as happy as this one…


unhappy bunny

A Very Unhappy Bunny…

And, yes, I have updated to v8.0.2.

It’s still rubbish.

The OS seems to make my iPad clumsy, glitchy, irritatingly slow, and difficult to use. It ran smoothly and seamlessly on iOS 7 – I miss that.


Old vs New…

I cannot even imagine any issues is because my girl can’t handle it. My iPad not exactly geriatric, but she is getting on the “mature” side of Apple products. She’s coming up to 2 years old – I got her in 2012, shortly after iPad (4) Retina. But she’s absolutely no slouch. She’s got dual-core A6X chip with quad-core graphics… That’s more than enough to comfortably power basic operating system without a problem. I know she’s not quite as good as the new iPad Air, with her fancy-pants A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor. But she’s still more than good enough for iOS8 – and me.

I get the feeling the Messages thing will be addressed with OSX Yosemite… Or at least it better be. iOS 8 and Yosemite are supposed to be made to go hand-in-glove, so they say… This allows me to hope that in the near future, when my Macbook is updated, they will work as a Messaging partnership once again. If it isn’t… Well, I’ll really be miffed.


Then vs Now…

It’s unfortunate that right now the system is really slowing my iPad down. This isn’t doing itself any favours. The fact that it’s bigger than the last OS also means there’s less actual space left on my 16GB device. 12.5GB to be exact, meaning 3.5GB is somehow taken up by the system and whatever extra whatnots. I’ve had to delete things to get this OS onto the thing, but then I’ve had to keep some things deleted because there’s less space on it. My space is still sparse now, despite this – probably adding to making the CPU sluggish. It’s beginning to become painfully obvious that 16GB (or rather 12BG in real space) models are completely outdated now. Just put three avarege-sized games/films/shows on one of these and it’s completely stuffed, sitting alongside the usual things that everyone has on there too.

I can no longer fit a lot of photos, or games, on my iPad. Hearthfire had to go, as did Capcom’s Ace Attorney. That first one stung. A whole bunch of photos have to go as soon as they’ve been uploaded into Cloud drives. And I obviously can’t be the only one who suffers from this space loss. Given it’s the cheapest of their models, I imagine quite a high percentage of people have 16GB iPhones/Pads/Pods. I imagine they’re also facing the same annoying space issue. Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder why they keep stocking them – they’re borderline useless these days. Especially now the system itself taking up so much space.

In the two years since iPad (4) Retina, Apple have gone from iOS 6, which it what iPad Retina shipped with in late 2012, to this. Two years ago the internet was ablaze with astounded fury when iOS 6.1 turned up with a 983MB update… Sounds a bit of a joke now, right – since these very same, now-mature devices have just been clobbered with a 5.8GB upgrade with iOS 8.

Two years down the line and we’re up from 983MB to 5.8GB for updates. It just goes to show the difference 24 months can make in TechLand.


Too Old?

And when you put it like that, it certainly seems that the 16GB devices are definitely playing outside their original parameters now – involved in a fight way above their weight class. Maybe I should expecting my girl to be a little sluggish. After all, iOS 8 was made with iPad Air in mind – and she’s got a lot of assets at her disposal… Much more than her big sister, now two years her senior.

The specs between iPhone 6 and iPad Air and their predecessors are pretty big, tech-wise. My poor girl just wasn’t designed for this kind of processing, hence the poorer performance with a stuffed local memory, and therefore probably ensuring she’s lacking in the extra oomph needed to run this new software. Deleting even more of my lovely precious photos has ensured she runs a little smoother… Proving that 16GB just isn’t enough to power the device as well as have anything of significance on it.

On the other hand, iOS 8 was designed to work with the “older” devices, and therefore all this should be taken into consideration. Hence, I’m still miffed that this system is making my iPad sluggish and continuously freezing and crashing apps. They should have worked these things out better before setting it loose, and it should be designed so it doesn’t cause all this trouble.

And I would still be able to get all my Messages on all my devices too.

Raise Hell and; Break Shit

Cancer Research released an amazing app from an ingenious idea – a basic mobile app game that could also analyse complex cancer DNA data at the same time: Genes In Space (covered in Gaming More Than Games). When my friend read about it, she was amazed and incredulous  – she couldn’t work out how this could possibly be done. She is a cynic and expected it to be untrue – I expect many without some idea of how tech applications can work, and who have never heard of such things before, would not believe that a simple space-travelling game could help geneticists unravel DNA codes of cancers.

So I have the very simple answer right here, for those of you who care to know.


The Background

The story behind this particular model for data analysis is based on one simple fact – the human brain is better than any computer. Scientists can run lots of certain data analyses on computers, but some things can only be seen by people:

… this research produces colossal amounts of data that need to be analysed.  Advances in technology mean our scientists can process data faster than ever to identify new patterns and faults in tumours. But much of it still needs to be analysed by people rather than machines. The human eye can detect subtle changes that machines are not programmed to look for – leading to serendipitous discoveries providing clues to the causes and drivers of the disease.

This work is currently done by our trained scientists and can take years.  But with the collective power of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe helping our scientists to analyse this data we could drastically speed up research – hopefully saving lives faster.

Citizen science is a new way of including the public in our scientific research outside the laboratory.

The upshot of this is that they need to develop a way to get as many people as possible in on this – and this is the best way to get a hell of a lot of people – with absolutely no knowledge of science, but a wealth of commuter time to kill – to help them do as much data analysis as possible.

But then you may be left with the same question my friend had – just how did they do it? How is this complex data mapped and analysed by a simple game? Amazingly enough, she worked it out herself after a brief interlude of logical thinking, having played the game and slept on it (she wanted to work it out on her own). This part is for everyone else who doesn’t share her enthusiasm for solving logical problems for the hell of it.

This idea first started back in March 2013 with a GameJam (for those who do not live in tech-land, this is a group brainstorming session for game developers, programmers, designers, and the like – where they all get together and brainstorm ideas on how to develop something new). This GameJam was arranged because they already thought turning the analysis program into a game was a good idea:

The first step [was] for forty ‘hackers’ – computer programmers, gamers, graphic designers and other specialists – to take part in a weekend ‘GameJam’, or hackathon, to turn Cancer Research UK’s raw gene data into a game format, with a working title of GeneRun, for citizen scientists to play.

To make something like this – a game that is more than just a game – is not even a new idea. Others have already come before to use this model: Fold It is already an established organisation that has been evolve with this in mind, with the subtitle of:  Solving Puzzles for Science, and available on Windows, OSX, and Linux platforms. There are others.

It is therefore no wonder that Cancer Research UK decided this was a really good way to go. But just how did they manage to turn a massive data analysis project into a little spaceship game?


Here Comes The Science…

It took some time to go through this idea (the full story can be read by clicking on the quote above). The result of this lengthy collaboration process resulted in the game we now finally have: Genes In Space. The collaboration for this game involved behemoths of the online industry, including Amazon Web Services, Facebook and Google developers, who joined academics, scientists, gamers and designers. The final product, a year later, was Play To Cure: Genes In Space.

The process of its data collection focused on two key aspects:

      • firstly when you map your route through the Element Alpha
      • secondly when you fly your spaceship through the intergalactic space course to collect this substance


What happens behind the scenes of the game is that these functions correlate to analysing data the scientists require:

In the game, you take the helm of a spaceship to collect valuable and powerful ‘Element Alpha’. The stroke of genius is that in doing so you are actually helping our scientists to analyse piles of real life data.

… the game is actually a fun interface to allow the public to assist our scientists in the serious business of spotting patterns in gigabytes of genetic information from thousands of tumours.

… in a nutshell, by finding the best route to pick up the most Element Alpha, you’re actually plotting a course through genuine ‘DNA microarray’ data.

In other words, the real data the scientists are working on is entered into the game, then these data sets are “translated” into the flightpath of the in-game spaceship, to fly through in space.

By plotting the key points for your flightpath to maximise the collection of “Element Alpha”, you are in fact actually plotting your way through the real cancer DNA code, to maximise analysis of the DNA data they have – as you can see below in the comparison between the two versions:

Real Data

Real Data

Element Alpha FlightPath

Element Alpha FlightPath

By playing Genes in Space you’ll be analysing significant amounts of genetic data which would have taken scientists hours to do. This data can then be used to develop new life saving treatments.

Once you know how it’s done, it’s not so mystical, is it? Like a magic trick, knowing how it’s done makes it far more realistic. So now you know how it’s done, you might realise that now you – yes, you! –  can actually help in the battle for the cure for cancer. You might realise it’s completely realistic that you can actually do something proactive to help. You can actually help fuel treatment methods to fight against cancer. You can help your friends, family, colleagues, other fellow human beings – Heaven forbid, one day help yourself – in this long battle to keep our lives from this silent enemy.

Innovations like this give us some of the power back – we can each of us do something useful to help. Hopefully, you may already do something useful – donate money (even sporadically into one of those little plastic pots for a pretty sticker), take old stuff to Cancer Research charity shops, volunteer in helping people… But this is even better. This is helping do something we really otherwise couldn’t do. The battle for cancer is in the lab, and we all can’t fit in there (and nor are we all scientists to do the work required…) – but we can all take a few minutes to launch a game and drive a cute little spaceship through an asteroid field to suck up as much Element Alpha as possible. If we all (with compatible devices) did just one of two of them every other day, imagine how many of those data sets would be getting analysed for the scientists who need them done?

I really like the idea of these things. I imagine a world in the future where Triple-A game devs and publishers collaborate with scientists and charities to run some kind of data analysis into the big-name games that millions of people play hundreds of hours of, so games can do more behind the scenes than just be played. Imagine if the 100+ hours you sunk into Skyrim, or all that apparently pointless scouring for minerals in ME2 actually went into things like treating and curing illnesses like HIV and cancer? Or managed mass analysis for scientific breakthroughs we can’t even dream or. Or even helped raise money for starving children, or victims or war? What if analysis of playing COD play on real-world maps analysed safer ways for solders to fight in combat in the background?… Computers can never replace how a real human thinks – we have our own logic, and computers can’t replicate that.




The Incredibly Loose Analogy: 

Yes, it is fickle to say you can help cure cancer in your lunch break, or on your commute – but it’s not that wide off the mark. With each data set analysed, these scientists who work tirelessly to unlock the secrets of cancer to find its weak spot, so it can be conquered, come one step ever closer to defeating it.

If you think about it, the journey to curing cancer is not that much different than playing a Bioware videogame (just humour me here… this is just how my brain generally works… skip it altogether if you prefer!) – there’s something of ME3 in here I would say… There’s an evil, a “big boss” fight out there, one that threatens humankind, one that the protagonists must defeat to save us – enough lives have been lost already. To do this, they will require as much help as possible to do so – using science, data, friends, allies, and anything else they can think of that will help overcome their adversary. With each addition to their cause, their “Readiness” grows ever stronger. They learn secrets, weaknesses, ways of conquering the strong monster that infiltrates silently and can kill so quickly. Innovations such as the Genes In Space game will inevitable boost their readiness to take down the enemy once and for all.

If the scientists are Shepard and his crew, we can be the allied support desperately required. If this is so, Cancers are the Reapers – a deadly enemy who only wants to destroy and annihilate all organic life and leave us extinct. If we can actually help to defeat and conquer this evil that takes the lives of our loved ones, then we should take the opportunity to do so. We should stand by those who are smart enough and strong enough to take this enemy on, and one day destroy it. One day we might see cancer as unobtrusive as other once-lethal diseases that we now walk away from unscathed, and with our lives. Unlike ME3, though, we will have a happier ending where we all survive, and no sacrifice of more lives will be made. This will only happen though, if we stand together, work together, and help those who are fighting it in the small ways that we can.

This is one of them.