1246 posts • joined Wednesday 28th November 2007 12:47 GMT
Seems cheap enough to me
An Orange San Francisco on Orange's "Dolphin" PAYG tariff gives you "unlimited" internet if you top up £10 a month. Considering I'm currently paying £25 a month for a contract Vodafone HTC magic, a superior phone for less than half the monthly outlay seems cheap enough to me.
Add to that that Vodafone have unilaterally changed my Internet allowance from "unlimited" to a 500MB PCM cap then its a no-brainer. Unless Vodafone can offer me something like the San Francisco's spec at £10 PCM (with unlimited Internet) then they can sod off when my contract expires.
Maybe if you make a lot of calls then a contract phone may make more sense, but most of my usage is data, so the Dolphin tariff seems ideal.
can slow light down to around 40mph.
Feck off Vodafone
The San Francisco has been picked up by numerous disgruntled HTC Magic owners who are seriously pissed off with Vodafone's refusal to keep this phone up to date while its users are locked into expensive 2 year contracts. Effectively paying premium rates for what is, now, a budget class Smartphone that the San Francisco easily outclasses.
The fact that costs a mere £99 and is easy to unlock and root make it an ideal vehicle to stick two stiff little fingers up to Vodafone.
Missing from the review, The San Francisco has a 480x800 screen and 600Mhz CPU
Well, the Wii controller has a vibrator which, while exceedingly limited, does provide sufficient feedback to indicate contact with a virtual object (tennis ball, sword, etc). IIRC the playstation "Move" controller also features vibration feedback.
I guess this is a limitation of the XBox "your body is the controller" approach.
***"It is proposing new powers that would punish even unintentional illegal interception by communications providers."***
This is good news indeed. The "unintentional" clause will prevent any defence along the lines of "We didn't realise........".
The interesting thing is now in defining "interception". Strictly, a carrier doing anything other than merely routing a customer's data could be construed as "interception", so any form of logging or, in particular, traffic shaping, could be taken to be an illegal intercept *unless* the customer has *explicitly* agreed to it.
The upshot of this could be that ISPs will have to explicitly declare their traffic shaping and logging policies in their contracts (along with any other activities that do anything other than routing data).
I'm guessing that the actual amendment to RIPA will stipulate exactly what constitutes "interception" and will exclude filtering activities, which is a shame.
Your own perspective.
I find *any* backlit screen tiring, whether it's handheld or otherwise. After about 20 to 30 minutes of reading I find it increasingly difficult to scan along the page. The words almost seem to move around.
This only occurs with backlit screens. Not with paper, or e-paper.
The kindle e-ink screen also has a slight sheen, but no different to my Dell Latitude (a sort of "silk" finish, so it certainly isn't that). The discomfort I feel with extensive LCD use is certainly real, and doesn't occur with the Kindle. Given the similar "sheen" to the two screens, I can only put it down to the backlight and, possibly, the flicker associated with the screen refresh on the LCD.
I do have a particular hatred for the current fad for shiny LCD screens, these do make the eye strain problem worse, but it certainly isn't the whole story.
It may surprise you to know that I actually *do* know that my PC monitor is an LCD screen.
When I use my LCD computer screen, it isn't for intensive reading. I have downloaded a few books onto my laptop and find reading them very tiring, but normal work, where I keep looking away from the screen every minute (or less) is OK, though, by the end of the day, I've had enough.
The e-ink on the kindle isn't backlit and doesn't flicker. In fact, apart from the slight "sheen" it is identical to regular paper. I can read it for hours, continuously, with no eye strain.
For £30 more you can have a Kindle.....
with e-paper and and 30 *days* of e-book reading on a single charge.
While this may make a fair compromise device if you are interested in watching video, if your primary concern is reading then the LCD screen is a major problem. It is harder on the eyes, will perform poorly in bright light and the display and backlight sucks the battery dry in a few hours.
I was initially sceptical about e-ink, until I tried it. I can read a Kindle for hours without any eye strain, whereas I can barely manage 30 minutes on an LCD before I'm rubbing my eyes and blinking.
***And how often do you need to know the time that accurately?"***
I don't know about "need", but its bloody useful to have a watch that is in synch with National Rail. My cheap "Waveceptor " is never no more than one or two seconds different from the station clocks, so I know whether its actually worth running for that train, or not.
have a long was to go before they can think of doing this. Their 3G coverage is risible outside of large towns and cities. Even where it is available, coverage is exceedingly patchy with many dead spots.
It can only fail.
The idea isn't half bad, but, like a lot of Sinclair's brainwaves, the execution is awful.
Its a recumbant bike. Nothing wrong with that idea, but the upright seating position means that the main advantages of a recumbant, streamlining and the ability to provide more effort to the pedals, are negated.
Its got a roof. Nothing wrong with that, but its profile means it will have horrific windage. I wouldn't want to ride that in traffic where high sided vehicles sweeping past will blow the thing all over the road. Or in anything other than a light breeze. Also the open sides and closed back mean that trying to go against a head-wind will be like trying to ride through a brick wall.
It has power assistance, but the power is severely lacking, particularly considering its high drag and weight (its over double the weight of my Dahon Espresso folder (13Kg).
The small wheels will also provide poor stability.
All in all, I would imagine this would be a frightful thing to ride around on (in?), with respect to comfort, performance and safety (you may have a roll cage, but it looks pretty flimsy and it will be blown all over the road. I also imagine that flying shards of that shell would be pretty nasty in any smash).
Ultra lame sci-fi award 2010...
Has to go to the BBC's "The Deep"
Even though it was in the near future, and featured known technology, the scientific bollock-dropping was loudly audible at about 10 minute intervals in every episode.
Add that to the lame plot, stupid ending and wooden acting (particularly by Minnie Driver), then you have the biggest pile of "sci-fi" shite to grace our screens since the BBC's lamentable. Invasion: Earth or the terrible remake of A for Andromeda.
Great books, but not sure its TV material.
With so much of the plot involving sentient ships, it would be difficult to create a credible screenplay, though I would love to see an Affronter.
Alastair Reynolds' "Revelation Space" books would make great TV. Great characters, twisted plots, and I'd really like to see Nostalgia for Infinity.
Another series of books I'd like to see as a TV series, or even movies, are Kevin J Anderson's "Saga of Seven Suns". Space opera in the grand tradition.
Have to agree
The original BSG was cheesy, stilted, chock-full of crappy (and repeated) special effects and an obvious attempt (along with Buck Rogers, etc) to jump on the Star Wars bandwagon
And it was bloody brilliant, for all that.
I watched the new BSG, assuming it was going to be the same sort of thing, but slicker and with better effects. Sure it *was* slicker and *did* have better effects, better sets, and better acting, but it wasn't BSG. It was a political drama set in space. If I wanted that I'd watch The West Wing, or something.
Couldn't be arsed after a couple of episodes.
As did the Star Fury fighters in Babylon 5
FAIL: And here's some reasons why.....
***"And there's a lot to love, with applications heavily integrated and tied (or locked) to cloud services from Microsoft and its partners."***
Errrm, and how is that a *good* thing? I'll decide what services I want to use on *my* phone, thank you very much.
***"and no removable memory either - Microsoft reckons it complicates things"***
FAIL. Just FAIL. I suspect this has more to do with user lock-in than avoiding complication. If you can't whip out your SD card and copy files to it, you *have* to use the Zune interface.
***"Once you slide the lock out of the way you get to the home screen, which Microsoft insists on calling "Start""***
So much for avoiding confusion, then.
***"Those tiles are supposed to be superior to icons, and not only because they're bigger. The idea is that they display contextual information based on the applications behind them"***
Sort of like Android widgets, then? Except I can chose Widgets *or* icons.
***"Unlike its predecessors, Windows Phone 7 won't mount as a USB drive, taking its lead from the iPhone it will only integrate with Microsoft's desktop software, Zune."***
Linking with the lack of removable memory, this binds Phone 7 users to the Windows Desktop and Zune. It also allows Microsoft to control/restrict which files can be copied to the phone.
The whole thing is just too close to Apple-esque control-freakery for my liking. Phone 7 is clearly intended to be a competitor for the iPhone, rather than Android et al. In this it can only fail.
Cruelty to pottery.
Sounds a good deal, though bass from the shore is more my thing.
Do a bit of shooting myself, but mostly clays.
Obviously its not much of a challenge trying to outwit pottery (which, surprisingly, don't have a brain at all), but there you go.
And the death threats from the CLF (Ceramic Liberation Front) can be worrying.
The difference between fish and badgers
Never tried fishing, have you?
No? Thought not.
A few points for your consideration:
Most fish caught by sea anglers in the UK are edible and are caught as much for food as for sport. Unless you are a vegetarian, the only difference between you and I (a sea angler) is that I'm quite willing to catch and kill my own food, while you get someone to do it for you.
Frankly, unless you *are* a vegetarian, criticising someone who is willing to catch and kill his own food, while you are quite happy to eat dead animals that have been killed by someone else, is hypocrisy in the extreme.
Badgers are, generally, not considered terribly edible.
Most sharks caught by anglers in UK waters are tagged and released (not killed). It is tagging by sport anglers that has allowed scientists to better understand these amazing creatures.
The skill in angling is not "outwitting an animal with a brain the size of a thimble", any more than picking mushrooms is "outwitting a fungus". The skill is in knowing your prey and its habits, reading the conditions and environment, etc. You don't need to outwit a fungus, but you sure as hell need to know where and when to find them and if they will kill you if you eat them!
Currently with Vodafone.
If my next phone cannot be free of crapware, I go elsewhere.
Pretty much want to buy my next phone and go for a sim-only rolling 1 month contract after the way Vodafone has jerked us around with regard to updates (no updates for the Magic and faux updates (full of crapware) for the Desire).
PC World are currently flogging the V2 PogoPlug (the pink one) for £49.99. Considerably cheaper than anywhere else I've seen.
Considering the ease with which it can be converted into a LAMP server (search for PlugApps), this is cracking value.
IIRC, Cloud Engines provide a Wireless dongle for the pink PogoPlug, though this obviously uses one of the USB ports.
***"We appear to have heads of individual hospitals earning that."***
We do indeed.
And, in the light of impending Government Cuts, the NHS stuffed shirts are currently running around like headless chickens trying to decide which *medical* staff they can lose in order to save their own worthless (but expensive) hides.
Given the power deficit from the generators, it can obviously only sustain its top speed for a very limited period of time. However, in normal use, they will adequately keep the Li-Ion batteries topped up so that full power is available for acceleration.
The limited top-end endurance may make this a poor choice of track car, but as a shit-on-all-comers road car it would be something else.
Let's hope the turbines produce a sound more akin to a Vulcan than a Dyson...
The difference between law enforcement and surveillance.
Automatically reading a numberplate and checking if the vehicle in question is taxed, insured, isn't stolen and doesn't have any other markers associated with it. That's law enforcement.
Automatically reading a numberplate and storing a record of where and when the vehicle was seen for two years. That's surveillance.
The first is acceptable, the second isn't.
When the boot's on the other foot, eh Mr Prescott?
So its OK to spy on the personal communications of the public at large (IMP) and turn a blind eye while nefarious commercial interests (Phorm) do the same, but an entirely different matter when Their Right Honorables are on the receiving end?
You reap as you sow, Mr Prescott. Your Government made (in their eyes) snooping and spying on personal communications not only acceptable, but desirable (in the name of "security"). Now you blubber because the boot is on the other foot and, it hurts?
Stop blubbering. You only have yourself to blame.
Copy protection: Of Geeks and Shirts.
Anyone with an ounce of technical knowledge will tell you that copy protection / DRM is a failed concept. To my knowledge there are no DRM / Copy protection systems that have not been broken. All it does is inconvenience legitimate users and create business for commercial pirates and "chippers" because Joe Public has to turn to them make fair use of their own media and/or devices.
Only the stuffed-shirts and bean counters believe that DRM is a workable option and, like most of that ilk, won't listen to the geeks that know different until it all goes tits-up on them.
Change of job, change of name.
IIRC, "Mario" first appeared in "Donkey Kong" in 1981, but then he was known as "jumpman" and was a carpenter.
In common with a lot of early 80's arcade games from Japan, the US and UK market didn't like the Japanese character names. While the in-game character was still "Jumpman", he often appeared as "Mario" on the cabinet art (supposedly named after the landlord of Nintendo's US offices, Mario Segale).
I just pick them up and chuck them out when Mrs/ Little Miss Cowherd start screaming. Never been bitten yet.
I freely admit
to being firmly in category (c).
The trick it trying to get to the end of the survey without the surveyor realising that you are, in fact, "taking the piss".
Conditions on the PC World website:-
***"Limit of one trade in per new laptop purchased. Trade in unit must be a laptop and must: have an optical drive (e.g. CD/DVD), power up when switched on, include the correct power supply and battery, not be locked by a password and not have any significant cosmetic damage, i.e. the keyboard and screen must be undamaged and the casing and hinges intact."***
Peak Time claim
***"“consistently faster broadband throughout the day even at peak times.”"***
Hmmm. That ad used to really irritate me.
The main reason I left BT was due to the pathetic performance of their "Total" Broadband service at peak times. Speeds down to 150KBps weren't uncommon.
Either they have improved massively in the 18 months since I left, or the ad is just one big misleading porkie.
I know which theory I believe.....
A lot of pubs give you a wooden spoon with a number on it when you order food to indicate your order number.
When the barman / waiter calls out your number, you wave the spoon and the food gets delivered to your table.
The point to the joke is you write a number on your own spoon and steal someone else's meal.
The joke is probably a lot funnier if you are pissed as it fails to take into account:
The number you pick may not be called for a long time and/or may not actually have an order associated with it at all.
You may not like the food you end up with.
The person whose meal you steal may beat the shit out of you (possibly in a crude attempt to recover the stolen food).
Shows how subjective comedy is.
Thought the winner was pretty poor, the funniest being No 8, with 3 a close second.
Thought this (from the "shamed" list on the BBC website) was better then the winner, too:-
***"Bec Hill "Some of my best friends are vegan. They were going to come today but they didn't have the energy to climb up the stairs."***
I expect it also saved on air freshener..........
Start a web ad company with 8 mates.
Call it Group of Nine (GoN) for short.
Criminal Intent ?!?
***"For the government to prosecute a criminal case, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged acted with criminal intent. We have not found evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone involved had criminal intent."***
That'll be Gary McKinnon off the hook, then....
Cause or Effect?
***"Drinking wine makes you brainier, according to the latest research - and going on the wagon makes you stupider, at least in the case of women."***
Does wine make you brainy, or are brainy people more likely to drink wine?
I imagine that a similar study of White Lightning would reveal that it turns people into chavs....
Its the developer that is stupid.
There are plenty of games formats that may require both Internet and GPS access (so-called Trans-reality games).
Yet the muppet that crafted this piece of spyware chose a game that obviously *doesn't* need those features.
Its like wandering down the street carrying a crowbar and bag labelled "Swag" and not expecting Plod to take an interest.
I'm currently running CyanogenMod 5.0.8 (Android 2.1) on my Vodafone Magic, and its excellent. MS Exchange synch and tethering built in. Runs smoothly with no noticeable lag.
Tried CyanogenMod 6 (Froyo) RC1, but found that, while it works OK, feels slower and less responsive than 2.0.8.
Do bears shit in the woods?
***"In Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, columnist Holman Jenkins, Jr asks if "Steve Ballmer is a failed CEO?""***
Title says it all really.
When Gates was in charge, Microsoft could do no wrong. Do evil, yes, but not "wrong" as far as their business was concerned.
Since Ballmer took over they seem to do nothing *but* wrong. There's the Vista fiasco for starters, and then there's the way they have been caught with their pants around their ankles in the Mobile OS field.
Seems that Apple have stolen the "Evil Empire that can Do No Wrong" title from MS.....
Scratch is an excellent educational tool for kids, both of mine (8 and 12) love using it. They really like the idea of being able to use something Scratch-like to write their own phone apps.
Cheap Android phones (like the Vodafone 845) coupled with a way for kids to write simple apps for them is a catch-em-young policy that might pay off.
Yes, App Inventor is only ever going to be a toy, but giving an average kid a way to write apps for his/her phone? That's inspired.
There was, incidentally, a Scratch player for the iPhone, until the App Police banned it.
Cost / Benefit analysis.....
Costs: Most borne by Phorm.
Risks: Customers piss of to other ISPs.
Benefits: lots of luverly ad revenue.
Analysis: Good for us. Good for our customers.
Costs: We have to pay for everything.
Risks: Customers piss off to other ISPs.
Analysis: Bad for us and bad for our customers.
Funny how spying on your customers is suddenly a *bad* thing when there isn't any money in it, isn't it?
ASA is a waste of space anyway.
So company x get an adjudication and told the ad "should not appear again in its current form".
Big fat hairy deal. The ad run has finished, done its job of conning people and is never going to be shown again anyway.
To be any use the ASA need real powers to fine advertisers or apply other sanctions, particularly for repeat offenders.
Armed Merchant Ships
The "Q" ships wouldn't be merchant ships, like the WW1 Q Ships they would be naval vessels operated and crewed by the Navy (ours or otherwise).
The fact that HMS Pirate Basher used to be a merchant vessel and still *looks* like a merchant vessel is irrelevant. She is now a Warship and is perfectly entitled to be armed and blast the shit out of anyone who attacks her.
In any case, to tackle the Somali pirates, the ship, *itself*, wouldn't need to be armed. A Naval crew backed by Marines with a selection of heavy weaponry would probably suffice.