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20/12/2017

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The reason that your phone performs relatively poorly on a current 802.11n or 802.11ac access point is down to its design. The MIMO implementation in these access points will use multiple antennas to transmit independent data streams. But those antennas require more electrical power. Phones can’t usually afford that overhead, so they generally stick with one antenna against MIMO’s two, three, or four antennas.If you’ve got a three-antenna access point, it’ll be great for your laptop which may have three antennas. Not so much for your phone, with one antenna, because the access point will use all three antennas to communicate with the phone, but the phone will only be able to receive a signal from one. Matthew Gast, director of advanced technology for Aerohive Networks, likens it to driving on a three-lane motorway but never being able to leave the inside lane.“Even if you have an 802.11ac phone, it supports one stream. So no matter how good that phone is, it can only use one third of the spatial stream,” he said.Company-owned mobile devices need to be strongly linked to the corporate infrastructure, because you need to be able to control them completely. This was the huge strength of BlackBerry until not so long ago: the handset hooked into the Enterprise Server which ruled its security and configuration.

Nowadays the options for secure handset connectivity are many, so you can achieve the same goal with Apple, Android and Windows phones.Rule number one: don't feel you have to pander to the users. Enforce a complex unlock password on the device, and make sure it auto-locks after no more than three minutes of inactivity.Set it to auto-wipe corporate data (such as email) if it loses track with the enterprise server for more than a few days – after all, you can always resync the inbox later if it has been blown away.Restrict users' ability to install applications to only those that are relevant: this could mean you allow just corporate apps but I do tend also to define a whitelist of permitted third-party programs such as the British Airways and EasyJet flight apps, and BBC or Sky News (current affairs are often relevant to your business).If you want to provide business functionality on users' own devices, use a sandbox application that enforces all of the above on a private corner of the phone.

The MacBook Pro also remains the best-connected Apple laptop, with two USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt 2s, plus an HDMI port, headphone jack and SD card slot. Unfortunately, like its predecessor, the new MacBook Pro also comes with its 8GB of memory soldered on to the motherboard.If you want to upgrade to the maximum 16GB you’ll have to cough up for an overpriced RAM expansion – £160 at the time of purchase. Apple’s approach to user-upgrades is annoying at the best of times, but seems particularly cynical in a ‘pro’ laptop such as this.Fortunately, there’s more to the new MacBook Pro than just the fancy trackpad. The key change on the inside is the introduction of Intel’s fifth-generation Broadwell processors. The entry-level model reviewed here costing £999 – the same price as last year – has an Intel 2.7GHz dual-core i5-5257U, along with 8GB of memory, and a modest 128GB solid-state drive.For £1199 you can double the storage to 256GB, while £1499 will give you 512GB and a 2.9GHz processor as well. A further £170 will allow you to upgrade the processor to a dual-core i7 running at 3.1GHz, but there are no quad-core options available for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, nor any graphics upgrades beyond the Broadwell’s integrated Iris 6100.

I had no difficulty using Apple’s BootCamp to install Windows 8 and run the PCMark 8 benchmarks – although it’s annoying to see that Windows 7 is no longer supported by BootCamp. The results here were almost identical to those of last year’s model, with the 2015 Broadwell MacBook Pro producing scores of 2466 and 2725 in the PCMark 8 Home and Work suites, compared to 2444 and 2812 for the 2014 Haswell model.The Iris 6100 didn’t provide much improvement in graphics performance either, merely matching last year’s model when running the Mac-native version of Batman: Arkham City. Not surprisingly, running the game at full 2560x1600 resolution reduced it to an unplayable 6fps.Quest, according to Vassilakis, takes the SQL out for RDBMS, letting you do the analytics without the need for relational plumbing.“I felt there was a huge opportunity in analytics; start ups are all about timing, and the enterprise thing was one of the big elements,” Vassilakis said, but it's still “tough to leave when you’ve been in a company like Google for eight years".

Google used Tableau and Hyperion with home-grown tools to probe Dremel, and Quest uses Tableau, too. “Part of our idea, and why we are focused on enterprises, is we assume you have a BI analytics tool and we integrate with it, and we also integrate with your storage,” Vassilakis said.We’re talking Excel-style macro jockeying for big data and corporate data.Dremel is the inspiration for Quest, built separately at Metanautix, Vassilakis stresses. So what’s different?First, scale: Its minimum cut off is no longer thousands of servers; it can run on a laptop.Second, diversity: Quest works on other people’s servers, not just Google's – AWS, Rackspace and vCloud Air - while it also works with VMware on prem.It also eats legacy data by chomping on standard SQL in Teradata, Oracle and SQL Server plus Json in MongoDB. Metanautix has written adapters to things like MongoDB, while also re-using adapters, such as ODLBC drivers.And there's Java: To say Java is “big” in this market would be an understatement. Quest is written in C++ but Metanautix has embedded a JVM into the code.The JVM means Quest can use Java and Jython to create user-defined functions for integration with that legacy enterprise code that is often written in Java. The marriage wasn’t easy and language aficionados of both camps will be offended.

“Technically, it was challenging,” Vassilakis said. “It takes a lot of hard, low-level programming and resource management if you want to do it well and reliably."“That was part of the value proposition here – there’s a class of guys here who can do that. Some people are a little bit offended but they usually see the value of it," he added.Another big difference is image and flow processing. Google used Dremel to query tables but not images; that was seen as YouTube’s job.The goal is to turn Quest into something that can process structured-with-unstructured data – so more work on support for photo and videos. The focus right now is work on Tableau on the front-end and Teradata and MongoDB at the back, valuable niches that are not well served.The natural next extension is integration with SAP and Salesforce. Working with open-source, ODBC, and Java Metanautix hopes to attract SI partners writing adapters and plug-ins.After that? Well, “long term, the number of applications understanding data better like machine learning and fuzzy joins,” Vassilakis said.

With its steely titanium finish, the Asus S1 is arguably the prettiest DLP/LED projector you can buy. Small enough to trouser, it boasts an onboard battery able to give you just over two hours usage. Predictably, though connectivity is stripped back, with just a single HDMI/MHL input, plus USB (for power only) and headphone jack.Although rated at 200 lumens, the S1 a bright little beamer, able to cast a 40-inch image from just 1m, and 1.5m at roughly the same distance. This is generally the best image size for this class of projector. While the S1 is bright enough to throw an image even larger, the coarse picture structure becomes horribly intrusive.Native resolution is WVGA 854x480, with contrast rated at 1000:1. For entertainment use, keep the projector in theatre mode to avoid unwanted colour casts. Text and graphics are crisp. There's no remote supplied, everything is controlled via soft touch buttons on the unit.Considering the dimensions of the unit, the sound system is surprisingly effective. Operational fan noise is low; there's just a consistent 28dB hum. The Asus S1 is literally plug and play; menu options are really simple, which, ultimately, is its great appeal.

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