Feeds

* Posts by AF

63 posts • joined 11 Mar 2008

Page:

Drone's drug airdrop mission ends in failure for Irish prisoners

AF

Hi-spec drone? Doubt it.

" It was a high spec drone with a high spec camera through which the operators could monitor the route it was taking."

Translation: It was a Phantom 2 Vison, probably. Available off-the-shelf and dead easy to set up and fly. Uses a phone as the remote screen to view the flight, which would explain why they didn't see the anti-chopper wires.

3
0

iPhone-stroker-turned-fandroid sues Apple over iMessage text-slurpery

AF

I had this

I deregistered, switched to Android, but texts weren't arriving - a quick call to Apple solved the problem over the phone. They're not indifferent, they know about it and they'll happily fix it while-you-wait... But that's obviously not as easy as just suing someone, is it?

6
7

YouTube's hilarious cat videos could soon cost you $5 a month

AF
Happy

Take my money

Guess I'm in the minority - I'd be quite happy to pay for content. There's a couple of podcasts I'd be happy to pay for (ones being done by average guys in their spare time), and same for YouTube channels as well. I think the issue will be that people don't want to pay pounds/dollars to subscribe up front.

I'd be very happy with paying, say, 2p to view a video - on one of the channels I'd pay for, that would net the guy who makes them in the region of £100 - £700 per video (based on current views); he puts up at least ten a month so that's at least a few grand a month right there, even after Google's 45% cut. Let's say I watch 30 of his videos in a month - I'm down 60p, he's earning enough to be able to continue his output and improve his production values. If I pay for a few more channels I'm maybe spending a few quid a month, but in doing so I'm supporting the people whose content I enjoy, and helping ensure they're able to continue to create that content.

I'm not suggesting we should pay for everything - but if people are producing content that is worth watching (not covered in ads etc), then why shouldn't they benefit?

3
0

It's JUST possible, but Apple MIGHT not make an iWatch in 2013

AF
Go

About time

This is the MP3 player and iPhone all over again - not an original idea, but probably the first time it'll be done in a way that sells in significant numbers. There are a number of smart watches due to hit the market "real soon now", and they've already built up demand and advance orders, so this is clearly something people want (despite what El reg thinks). Heck, if no-one wanted this sort of thing, why were Nano wriststraps selling out?

Think of the possibilities; custom watch faces alone will sell it, but add in the ability to have companion apps on the watch that work with your phone and it sells itself. Never mind the obvious quick wins - display of incoming messages, caller ID, weather forecast, appointments, travel alerts, vibrate alerts that you can't miss by leaving your phone in the other room, navigation... All these are things we use our phones for regularly, but imagine if you no longer needed to fish out your phone, unlock it, and launch the app. A flick of the wrist (I'm assuming the screen will be off until needed), a swipe of the display and there you go. You'd easily replicate the A and C of modern ABC watches (altitude, barometer, compass), although the B would probably be replaced with a weather app.

You could even use it as a remote for Siri; get William Daniels to replace the voice and you won't be able to make 'em fast enough.

2
1

Microsoft cues next-gen Xbox for Crimbo 2013

AF
Stop

Not called the 720

It won't be the Xbox 720 - that's just a name lazy journos came up with for no apparent reason. I can't think of the last time a device number doubled rather than incrementing by one, but there we go. It also completely misses the point of why the current Xbox was called "360" in the first place.

Anyway - fear not, there will not be an Xbox 720 this time next year. Or the year after.

0
0

Microsoft bod dreams up 'Star Trek holodeck' games console

AF
Facepalm

All perfectly doable, but I don't see the appeal in the average living room - having the peripheral image moving is all well and good, but not if the pot plant, sideboard and radiator stay right where they are, spoiling the illusion...

I can see it now:

"EDI, take cover behind the reclining sofa" "I'm sorry Shephard, I can't do that- it's not time for Doctor Who yet"

0
0

HP preps designer desktops for Windows 8

AF
Happy

BTT FTW

I didn't get it either, until I tried it. Haven't used a mouse for over a year now (not even for graphics). Mind you, if it wasn't for BetterTouchTool, I'm not quite so sure I'd feel the same way - but a multi-touch trackpad with suitable gestures beats a mouse for me. Even switching back to my Logitech mouse with six buttons and two scroll wheels feels limiting...!

0
0

SMSZombie wraps self in nudie pics, slips into 500,000 Android devices

AF
FAIL

re: Looking at app permissions before installing

I do now, after seeing that the "Weather Channel" app wanted this permission:

DIRECTLY CALL PHONE NUMBERS

Allows the app to call phone numbers without your intervention. Malicious apps may cause unexpected calls on your phone bill. Note that this doesn't allow the app to call emergency numbers.

Why on earth does a weather app need the ability to call phone numbers without me knowing about it? Hells to the no.

4
0

Cloud backup drama: Mozy kicks Carbonite after ASA's had a go

AF
Thumb Down

Re: ASA is NOT Right JP19!

At first I agreed with you; then I looked into what the limits are. If you've uploaded over 200GB then you're capped to 100kbps after that (kiloBITS). 200GB isn't that much these days - let's say you've got a few years of digital video and photos, plus a music collection, that could easily be 200GB. Now let's say you've been to the Olympics, filled a couple of 4GB cards with more photos, and want to get them backed up - you're looking at about a week to back up 8GB. Unthrottled, it'd be in the region of maybe an hour (on an Infinity line, obvs).

If you're a keen photographer, or you're backing up stuff from a few cameras, you could easily be looking at a month or more to back up your data, and all that time you're going to be accumulating new data to back up - it could conceivably never finish; what's the point of a backup service if it never actually backs up your data?

6
0

Nintendo 3DS XL review

AF

Problem there is that smartphone designs are moving away from physical buttons; for "proper" gaming you need them. Trying to play GTA:Chinatown on a phone is a very unpleasant experience compared to a proper console.

5
0

Mad fan-fitted mouse keeps mitts moisture-free

AF
FAIL

Bad implementation of an old idea

Fan-cooled mice (and gamepads) have been around for a good five years or so, and have all been done with the fan inside the device so the palm is cooled - which makes sense, as it's the palm that can get sweaty.

This is a gimmick, and any gamer with a) sense or b) self-respect will avoid it - the weight will be off, there'll be a pendulum effect, and cold/draughty fingernails are not as enjoyable as the manufacturer thinks.

I can see this being bought as a gift by a well-meaning friend/partner, but anyone who plays long enough to get sweaty palms will avoid this.

As a bit of PR, though, it's sort of worked - I'd never heard of this company before, but then I've promptly forgotten their name and just remembered that it's a terrible product.

0
0

Pure pushes AirPlay enabled audio box

AF
Meh

Dock blocking

I'm very tempted by this (or the Revo K2), but with all the talk of the next iPhone having a smaller dock connector, I'll be holding off for now.

0
0

Foxconn receives Apple smart TV order - report

AF

Re: content..

Agreed - I don't see how they're going to do anything more than every other Smart TV out there at the moment - unless they can replace your Sky+/Virgin TiVo/Freeview HD PVR box, it's going to be just another monitor for your existing STB. It'll look nice, but again, so does every other STB.

I'm hoping we'll be surprised by their approach, but at the moment I doubt they can pull this one off.

1
0
AF
Happy

Re: Utopia

"What I want:

A TV with just one AV input and one power input (I don't like seeing the cables so they're all encased in trunking, which, at the moment is quite wide). An STB with multiple AV inputs and is the one input to the TV. One remote which controls the STB and the devices connected to it with a touch screen on it with a useful UI*."

Funnily enough, that's exactly what I've got.

TV: Power cable and HDMI cable from amp.

Amp: Power cable and HDMI cables from devices; this is the one input to the TV.

Remote: Harmony One - controls amp and the other devices, has a touch screen with a useful UI (the "useful UI" bit is the fact it has physical buttons as well as a touch screen - man cannot remote by touchscreen alone, as the saying goes).

Works wonderfully, and the flexibility of the Harmony means I have it set up exactly how I want it - no more having to do "Guide - up - left - down" to get to my recorded progs on the Sky+ box, I just press the "Recorded Programs" icon on the remote's screen. You do have to spend an hour os getting it configured in the first place, but a properly set up Harmony beats any other "universal" remote into a cocked hat. The only extra "remotes" I need are the 360 and PS3 controllers.

So the only deviation from your want list is that the STB isn't the single input to the TV; the STB (and Xbox, PS3, ATV etc) is an input into the amp (a soundbar in my case). Give it a try.

0
0

Audi proposes PC-packing stunt bikes

AF
Thumb Up

The Raleigh Vektar rides again!

That's a 21st century version of the Raleigh Vektar - my best mate had one when we were kids. I was totally jealous.

http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/raleigh/38402

0
0

Steve Jobs' death clears way for rumoured 4in 'iPhone 5' screen

AF

Re: Not 5, iPhone 6!

I agree the next one will be "The new iPhone".

You're dead wrong on iPhone 6, though. As you point out, 6 makes no sense - where's the 5? Apple are on a two-year cycle for phones, because that's what the customer is on (two-year or 18-month contracts). No point releasing a new model each year; half your customers can't buy it. Instead, they release a new phone, then a year later they release an updated version of the same phone, then a year after that it's a proper new one again. So, whilst I doubt it will be called the 5, the "6" isn't due until 2014.

The confusion is basically down to Apple not properly thinking this through at the beginning - releasing a non-3G phone first tripped them up, and the negative publicity they got for that meant they had to shout out that the next one really was 3G, hence the name. They were never going to go with iPhone 2 for obvious reasons.

What they forgot was that people were so used to referring to things like "the 4G iPod" that people now assumed that "the 3G iPhone" was the third, not the second; after that they could only go to "iPhone 4", as going from "iPhone 3G S" to "iPhone 3" would have been even more troublesome.. And the two-year cycle meant that the next one after "4" would be "4S", just like the "3G S".

So - iPhone 6? No. iPhone 5? Would make sense. but just "the new iPhone" is more likely - it will bring it in line with the new naming for iPads (which should never have been numbered either) and thus matching all their other products.

It's like all the referrals to "Xbox 720" - the next console will have a name, not a number, and referring to 720 completely misses the point(s) of why it was called 360 in the first place.

0
0

Social Network scribe to turn hefty Steve Jobs tome to popcorn-fodder

AF
Thumb Up

I'll definitely be getting the BD of this. I ignored The Social Network for months, only to find that it was actually quite enjoyable - Aaron Sorkin's writing can make the most tedious subject watchable.

I could not care less about the turtleneck-wearing salesman (and will certainly be giving the Kutcher thing a miss, even if it starred someone decent), but there is precious little screenwriting of Sorkin's calibre around these days. Just hoping that his new series does well enough to last a bit longer than Studio 60.

0
0

Why new iPad renders your pile of slab mags as garbage

AF
Meh

Re: it's only a matter of time before this kind of pixel density becomes standard

"Why? We've been able to do this resolution on desktop PCs for probably a decade but nobody has driven it to happen in the mainstream. "

You've answered your own question there. We've been able to do video calling on mobiles for over a decade, we've had decent PDAs for even longer, and useful app stores too - but it's only once Apple have got involved that they've taken off and been adopted by the masses.

Same thing will happen here.

3
3

iOS 5's iMessage chops carrier SMS routing traffic

AF

+1 for WhatsApp

I suspect WhatsApp had a bigger impact on SMS usage, as it works across platforms - iMessage only works on iOS devices (and even then it can be tricky if you have contacts with multiple email addresses or phone numbers).

0
1

The BBC Micro turns 30

AF
Happy

Another "got me into IT" story

My dad was head of CDT - Craft, Design and Technology - at a Luton high school when all this computer malarkey started, so since computers fell under "Technology" it was his department who'd be lumbered with them. He brought home a Model B one Christmas, and I remember seeing it sitting in our hallway on top of a portable TV; and my eight-year-old brain locked on to one thing: the "ESCAPE" key.

What wonders did that button hold? If I pressed it, would I escape to better place? Would it be like being ejected from a fighter plane? Would spies come and sneak me out in the dead of night? I had to find out, and for the rest of that Christmas holiday I immersed myself in the ring-bound manual and learnt all about it - by the time I went back to school I could write a simple game, although what really interested me was the sprites. My dad never got a chance to see how it worked; I can only assume he delegated the computer teaching to someone else as his talent was always in the woodwork, metalwork, drawing and engineering side of things.

Every holiday after that, my dad brought the Beeb home, and if I was really lucky, some weekends too. And if I had been really extra-specially good, I'd get to borrow the disk drive! And as for the couple of times he brought home the Turtle... Over the years I also got to try out the Master, and eventually the Archimedes with it's weird mouse thingy. When my junior school got a BBC a year later I had to show the teachers how to use it, and when I started secondary school I did "community work" by going back to my junior school and teaching computing there.

But I never owned an Acorn until my biology teacher asked if anyone wanted to buy her son's Electron - I snapped it up and bought the add-on backpack for it. Eventually the lack of decent support pushed me to pick up a C64 at a car boot sale, but I still look back with fondness at Elite and Exile.

1
0

The iPhone 4S in depth: More than just a vestigial 'S'

AF
FAIL

"Are Apple finally moving to a 2 yearly upgrade cycle to match the now-ubiquitous 2 year contracts everyone is locked into?"

No, not finally - Apple moved to a two-year cycle three years ago. The iPhone was unsubsidised. The iPhone 3G was subsidised, and most contracts were 18-24 months, thus kicking off the two-year cycle. I'm really surprised at the number of "respectable" commentators (i.e. almost all of them) who were banging on about an iPhone 5 - when your customers are locked into two-year contracts, you're not going to bring out major updates until they're ready to buy into them (same goes for 3GS to 4S).

We'll see a 5 next year, and a 5S the year after. Then a 6, 6S and so on.

0
0

Capital gets trendy address: .London on its way

AF
Meh

Another shakedown on the way?

This is getting daft. If it's only going to be available to businesses whose sole operational location is London - i.e. not country- or world-wide brands, then fair enough - but I doubt that will happen. In which case, how much will businesses be forced to stump up this time to stop someone registering brand.london? Or are we now expected to register brand.london, brand.manchester, brand.paris, brand.littlehamptononthewye...?

3
0

Steve Jobs bends iPad price reality

AF
FAIL

Seems like Brett Arends is the one distorting reality

To quote Brett: Not so fast.

32Gb Xoom: $799

32Gb iPad: $729

64Gb Xoom: $864

64Gb iPad: $829

So far, so good - Brett admits the iPad 2 is cheaper.

But then he starts on about how you get a $200 discount on the Xoom if you sign a 2-year contract. This may well be true, but he fails to point out that means YOU'VE SIGNED A 2-YEAR CONTRACT!!!

There's no contract with the iPad. At least, not when bought from Apple. I'm sure some carriers will offer you a subsidy to lock you in, but Brett hasn't mentioned that, so we can only go on the figures he's working from. And I note Brett doesn't list the total cost of said 2-year contract - I'm guessing it's more than $200, though...

So, after all that, all Brett has done is point out that yes, El Jobso was perfectly correct, and the iPad 2 is indeed cheaper than the Xoom across the board (since there is no 16Gb Xoom).

Perhaps Brett should spend more time comparing the prices of pocket calculators before posting another article like this one?

26
1

Kindle update to add 'proper' page numbers

AF
Thumb Up

About time too

The location numbering has always been the weirdest bit of the Kindle experience for me.

Sony have been using the physical book's numbering and it's worked perfectly fine. If a page is longer (or shorter) then the screen/text size you're using, you just see something like "Page 26-27" rather then the less meaningful Kindle numbering system.

There's no reason why a page number can't be consistent across devices, the only complaint could be "Well, where on page 26 am I?" but that also applies to the Kindle system - you're shown a range of numbers that your'e "on", but you don't know which is the exact one.

The progress bar is nice, though, but the chapter markers are only relevant if it's a book with ten chapters or so.

2
1

Sony Ericsson confirms PlayStation phone

AF

Not quite

Amazon's reader app (Kindle) hasn't been bounced from the App store - it's still there.

What has happened is that Apple have decided they want all apps to allow content purchase from within the app (thereby giving Apple a cut) if they also allow purchases outside the app store - which is what the Amazon approach is at the moment.

From a user experience perspective this makes perfect sense, and from an Apple point of view ($$$) it's a complete no-brainer, but it remains to be seen what Amazon will do - will they let Apple get a cut of their sales, or will they call Apple's bluff?

0
0

Amazon Kindles love for Windows and Android

AF
Go

Re: EPUB

See, that's exactly what I thought. Until I get tired of having to wander round all the Epub sites checking if the book I wanted was a) available and b) cheaper. And then having to contend with using Adobe Digital Editions. And not being able to easily transfer a book from my reader to my wife's or my iPhone. In the end, for all its openess, Epub just ended up being a whole lot of hassle.

I wanted to hate the Kindle. I much prefer my Sony PRS-505 in terms of hardware. But the Amazon experience is far, far superior - no faffing about with checking prices for starters. I'm not one of the folk who think ebooks should only cost pennies, so if it's the same price as physical, or less, I'm happy. Buy the book right there on your Kindle, or via the website and choose which device(s) to receive it. To send the same book to another device, just go to the website again and resend it. And as for the whole "wireless bookmarking" thing - so useful, if not essential when you read the same book on multiple devices (e.g. on the e-ink reader normally, but on a phone while standing on a platform / waiting at the Post Office etc).

I really hate to say this, but in my experience the Kindle just... works.

2
0

iPad to lose weight, gain eye

AF

Not quite one new model a year

The 2011 model will show us what Apple's plans are with the iPhone. I suspect that we'll get an iPhone 4 S rather than a 5 - and the iPhone 5 will come along in 2012. Given that most contracts are in the order of 18/24 months these days, a 2-year major update cycle would make more sense. The 3G S wasn't enough of an update annoy 3G owners in mid-contract (except the rabid fanbois who couldn't understand why Apple didn't just give it them for free) so it would make sense to do the same again.

We also know that Apple only intend their phones to have a two-year lifespan, since newer versions of iOS only really support the current and immediately preceeding model.

PS You're on your own, by the way - I really do NOT want to meet the person who bought all the previous ones and would queue for the next; that's why I buy online and have it delivered to me. No way am I being applauded for giving a company my money...

1
0

TomTom adds Star Wars voices to iPhone app

AF

Re: I hate spoken directions

Aren't you kinda missing the point of spoken directions? Spoken directions mean you DON'T have to take your eyes off the road; turning off the speech means you've got to constantly look at the device to see if there's a turning coming up, or which roundabout exit you need to take and so on. Ok, less of an issue if you're on the motorway, but invaluable around unfamiliar towns. You only need glance at the screen if there are multiple turnings close together, the rest of the time the speech is enough.

On the plus side, I guess you saved a few quid when you removed your car's stereo and sold it on the nation's favourite tat bazaar...

2
0
AF

Most "celeb" voices not of practical use

Sadly most of the TomTom celebrity voices aren't much good for practical use - there are too many "jokes" which, when repeated within moments, get annoying. Classic examples are KITT's motorway-joining and John Cleese's "you have reached your destination" - it's fine to hear it once, but when it's repeated you get the whole gag all over again. All it would take is a simple flag telling the device to not play the gag audio if it's already been played within the last few minutes - don't know why this hasn't been done already.

In terms of non-standard voices, the very best one I've found is Alan "Voice of the balls" Dedicoat (Radio 2 announcer and voice of the National Lottery show)- calm, clear, and most importantly, minimal gags. Not buying a Tomtom 1000 until I can upload him.

1
0

Sky bags UK HBO exclusive

AF
Thumb Up

Bad news for filesharing...

At least Sky air US shows a lot closer to their US broadcast date (sometimes ahead of it). Removes one of the main justifications people have for downloading (still leaves the issue of how to easily transfer onto a portable device, though).

0
0

Amazon.co.uk takes on Tesco

AF

Mostly just Amazon Marketplace from what I can see

Having looked beyond just the beer section, it seems that Tesco etc don't have much to worry about - it just looks like it's mainly Marketplace sellers, and not much actually from Amazon. For example:

1Kg Apples: £1.69 + £7.50 P&P

440g Beef stir fry strips: £6 + £5 P&P

4x Aberdeen Angus burgers: £5.40 + £4.13 P&P

and my fave so far:

1 orange pepper: 69p + £7.50 P&P

Everything I've found so far that IS supplied by Amazon seems to be out of stock, so either they sold out within hours of going live, or the warehouse lads haven't made it back from Costco yet...

1
0

iPhone 4 splashes down on both sides of the pond

AF
Go

To everyone complaining that video calls aren't new

I'm reading lots of blah from people - quite rightly - saying that video calls are nothing new.

True. But when was the last time you saw someone making one - who wasn't a geek?

If you remember, smartphones had also been around for some time before the iPhone came along. And how often did you see someone using one before 2007 - who wasn't a geek (or a harassed office worker on a Blackberry)?

Now look - everywhere you go, people have iPhones. Apple made smartphones popular. If anyone can make video calling popular, it will be Apple. Yes, it's limited to wifi only, but I'll bet plenty of people will find that ideal: wifi at work, wifi at home = see the baby while you're working late.

What will be interesting is whether access to the front camera is available in apps - Skype video calling, perhaps?

0
2

Jobs woos devs with iPhone OS iOS 4

AF
FAIL

Re: Go on then. Fact me.

http://blogs.cisco.com/news/comments/cisco_and_apple_agreement_on_ios_trademark/

Consider yourself facted.

That's gonna sting.

4
0

Steve Jobs unveils iPhone 4

AF
Happy

2 year schedule expected...

Yep, I reckon there'll be an update next year (iPhone 4 S probably) and then iPhone 5 in 2012, iPhone 5 S in 2013 and iPhone 6 in 2014.

My reasoning for this is that these days, the majority of contracts are 18-24 months long. The iPhone wasn't subsidised, so everyone was able to upgrade to the 3G when they wanted - which put most people (not all) on an 18-24 month contract. When the 3G S came out, it was just a minor update - enough to entice people who didn't have a 3G already and keep the iPhone relevant in the rapidly changing mobile market, but not enough to annoy people already locked in (well, a few people whined, but they obviously hadn't understood what a mobile contract means). There was no point doing anything major until all the iPhone faithful were out of contract and could afford to upgrade again - which is this year.

Then the cycle starts again.

1
0

Steve Jobs beheads iPad apps for acting like desktops

AF
Stop

No, Steve says "Wallpaper on your desktop? Sure!"

If you'd actually looked at an iPad, you'd notice that you can indeed have whatever wallpaper you want on your home screen. I've got a picture of the Peggy's Cove lighthouse on mine. True, you can't do it right this minute on an iPhone or iPod Touch, but it's been announced in iPhone OS4 (bit late, but it's coming).

So Steve doesn't say "wallpapering desktops is dead", he says "wallpapering desktops is actually not that bad after all, so go on then, if you must".

2
0

How to... read comics on the iPad

AF
FAIL

Didn't anyone read the question?

First off, iWork does not come with the iPad. They're seperate apps you need to pay for and download from the App site. iWork doesn't come with Macs, either.

But even if it did, that wouldn't help the OP, because his actual question was "Can I use the iPad with a stylus* to take shorthand notes?" which is quite different.

Apart from the fact the OP made a typo (* he wrote Styles instad of stylus), no-one actually bothered to address his question. It's possible that iJot might be of some use, but at the moment that seems to be the only stenography-capable app available. If that's the main sue the OP would put the iPad to, then he's better off going elsewhere, and checking back in a year to see if anyone has made an app he'd find useful.

1
0
AF

For someone who isn't a comics fan, it's pretty good

I never got into comics when I was a kid - well, apart from The Beano - so I've never "got" the appeal of them.

However, having enjoyed the Iron Man fillums, I gave the Marvel app a go on my iPhone and tried out the free Iron Man comics, and was pleasantly surprised. The way the app guides you through the story - panning and zooming on each frame - makes the reading experience so much better than just a flat paper comic. With a paper comic, the whole page is right there in front of you - it's easy to accidentally spot what's happening to the main character three panels down, before you've even read the current panel, thus ruining any suspense; with the app, you get to appreciate each panel before moving on. There's a greater sense of suspense and anticipation; much like with reading a book. In fact, I'd liken the Marvel app to a cross between reading a book and watching a movie. I really didn't expect it to be much cop on such a small screen, but it worked just fine.

It would have been nice to see the article go into the actual reading experience of each app a bit more; does the DC app work like that as well?

Also, weirdly, there are plenty of recent Iron Man comics in the Marvel app - up to 2008 - and also other series as well, like Wolverine. Not sure why the authow would say there aren't (and they were there at the beginning of May).

Anyway, just like book fans who want the "feel" of a book will never buy into E-readers, comic fans will never switch over to reading on an iPad.

But for anyone else who just wants to read a story, and doesn't care about having actual paper to worry about, then reading comics on an iPhone or iPad is actually quite a pleasant experience. And you don't even have to go into a comic book store to buy the next issue!

0
0

Samsung NaviBot robot cleaner

AF
Thumb Up

+1 for the Roomba

We've been running an iRobot Roomba at home for nearly a year, and despite my initial sceptiscism it's turned out to be worth the money. We've got laminate downstairs, and on hard surfaces you really notice the tiniest bit of dirt or grit, so scheduling it to run every other day ensures that the floor is always spotless. Once a week I set it off upstairs as well, which is carpeted, and it does an excellent job on that too.

I think the key thing with robots like these, though, is that they don't need to be as good as a Dyson - they're meant for regular, scheduled cleaning, not a once-a-fortnight deep clean. If you schedule the robot to clean at, say, 9am every day, or every other day if you don't have kids/more than two people in the house, then dust and dirt won't have a chance to build up - it'll only ever be cleaning up light amounts of dirt, which it will do quite happily.

They're not cheap, but like an e-reader, the convenience factor will make them worthwhile to some people - now if they'd just make one that will do the stairs as well...!

1
0

UK competition authority probes Amazon

AF
FAIL

Dodgy proof reading ahoy!

I think the article's author could have phrased that sentence better - I believe he means

"John Lewis" pricing (which would imply a pricing approach similar to John Lewis')

and not

John lewis pricing (which implies, as you've interpreted it, the pricing policy of John Lewis itself)

John Lewis staff will, in my epxerience, sometimes be quite flexible to price matching if you're nice and don't just demand it, though. If you don't ask, and all that...

1
0
AF
FAIL

Read the article again

No, they're not trying to dictate prices between different sellers - just that a seller can't sell through Amazon at one price, and their own site at a lower one. That's all.

0
2
AF

I can see their concern

Amazon don't have a problem with shopping around, that's the thing - they're expecting people to do it, and that seems to be what this is about.

Their concern - justified or not - is that Joe Public might see a book on Amazon from "Bob';s Secondhand Books" for £12.99. They might then shop around and find it on bobsbooks.com for £9.99, and think "Oh, now, wait a minute, I thought Amazon were supposed to be good? Pah, not going there again" etc etc.

Potentially, sellers charging higher prices through Amazon could make Amazon look bad (to Joe Public).

That's what the problem is.

Now, is it fair to ask sellers to sell at a loss/reduced profit? Is it right to ask a seller to play by your rules if they want to join your gang? That's a whole other bunch of questions.

0
0

Radio lobby 'hides' 2m analogue receiver sales

AF

Think about the reverse thinking

Well, no, you wouldn't discount clock radios, because anyone who didn't want the radio aspect of a clock radio would simply buy a clock. Therefore clock radios should be counted as they have been bought by people specifically for the radio.

2
0
AF
Go

letters and/or digits

Well, it does make sense in a way - people buying stand-alone radios are specifically buying a stand-alone radio, so they are only interested in using it as a radio. There's no confusion. The same can't be said about all the other things which come with an FM radio built-in for "added value" - how many iPod Nano buyers ONLY bought a Nano because it had an FM radio in it, and wouldn't have bought it if it had no radio (or a DAB radio)? Some, but not many, I suspect. Same thing with cars - how many drivers bought an Octavia simply because it can pick up The Archers?

Only counting stand-alone radio sales, whilst not the whole picture, is quite clear-cut and can be measured year-on-year - the same thing can't be done with portable devices (iPods didn't have radios two years ago, for example).

0
0

Apple bins iPhone covers

AF
WTF?

Yeeeesss....

Yes, I'm saying that the screen protector has got scratches on it. One of them is a fairly nasty-looking one, and I would not like to bet on the actual screen being able to resist it without a single mark.

I'm saying that I'd rather a £5 protector got scratched than the less-easy-to-replace actual screen.

I'm saying that when I sell my phone, I want to simply peel off the protector and sell it as "screen in perfect condition, covered since new, not a single scratch or mark anywhere" instead of "the screen has the usual wear and tear you'd expect for an iPhone that's never had a screen protector on it - but it's in really good condition".

What I am also saying is that I look after my phone - yet, despite my best efforts to look after it, somehow it's received a mean-looking scratch to the screen. If someone who takes good care of their phone (kept in a soft-lined belt case, screen facing away from the catch, phone never slung across a table, only docked in a proper dock etc etc) can still manage to end up getting a scratch, then damn right I'm going to put a protector on it.

What I am trying to say over all that is that, despite Apple claiming their product doesn't need protecting, they obviously think it DOES - or they wouldn't exclude scratches from the warranty. Until such time as they do cover scratches to the screen, anyone with an ounce of sense will put a protector on it (and put said protector on PROPERLY). If their screen is supposedly scratchproof, then it should be covered under the warranty.

So yes, obviously the wussy screen protector is going to show more damage than the actual screen, but that's the whole point - the protector gets damaged so the screen doesn't have to. And until Apple say "Scratched screen? No problem!" then the protector stays on. And if Apple don't want to sell me a protector, not a problem - Amazon will.

2
0
AF
Unhappy

Apple are SO not confident the screens are up to it without protection.

Given that the warranty explicitly excludes scratch damage, Apple obviously DON'T think their screens are scratch-resistant. If they are that confident, they should be happy to replace scratched screens FOC. When they do that, I'll be happy to go without. Until then, I'd rather have a protector. My current one already has a couple of scratches on it, and I keep the phone in a belt case so it's not like I abuse it - I have no idea where the scratches came from. But it's only a protector so I don't mind...

4
1

Apple's draconian developer docs revealed

AF

Not unheard of, I suspect.

"What other industry do you know of where a store can not only refuse to sell a product, but prevent the manufacturer / developer from selling the product through another store? I can't think of a single one."

I bet there's some deals that Tesco have over suppliers like that - "We'll buy your stuff, but you're not to supply Sainsburys or Asda, capiche?". And I would have thought it would be possible in any industry, all that's happened is a company have said "We'll let you sell stuff to our users through our store, but only if you don't sell it anywhere else". It's just that no-one's had this big a captive audience before...

0
1

Googlephone sales off to a sluggish start?

AF
Coat

Dangnabit

Really? Nuts. All I've seen so far is lots of people complaining that they ordered it and have yet to get any idea of when they'll receive it. So I stand corrected, some phones have made it outside the US.

Even so, I think it's still an unfair comparison.

1
0
AF
FAIL

Misleading report title - they're not sales...

Given that their report states the Googlephone was released on the 5th, and this report was released on the 13th, how on earth can they claim it represents first week sales? It's first week DELIVERIES, surely? Since the gPhone is only available mailorder, and by all accounts hasn't managed to reach anyone outside the US yet, all they're able to track is the phones that have been delivered in the US. The other phones were available to take home right away from stores, so users would be able to get up and running with trackable apps much sooner.

2
1

Snoop Dogg pimps self out on TomTom

AF
Thumb Up

You're a winner!

Nah, ever since Alan "Voice of the Balls" Dedicoat's Tomtom voice was released in aid of Children In Need there has been no further need for any other voices. He's nailed it - clear, calm, precise directions and intonation that doesn't sound out-of-place; I haven't found another voice that comes close (even you, Mr Cleese).

0
0

Apple voids warranties over cigarette smoke, users say

AF

@ "Warranties have limit of five years" chap

"If that were to happen over here and the warranty did not state that they would not repair it due to the effects of smoking, a person could force Apple to honour the warranty. Also a warranty has a limit of up to 5 years, not the 1 year you usually see, the price people pay for a Mac you should reasonably expect it to last for 5 years, so Apple *must* repair or replace in that time period."

Er, no, not in the Uk at least. Warranties have a limit of however long the company issuing them decides they do - they're not a statutory right, they're an offer by the company. They ARE a legally binding contract, but they're not an obligation, although since most companies do issue a one-year warranty as standard these days, any company not doing so would find themselves shunned by Joe Public.

So no-one would be able to force Apple to honour a warranty due to smoke damage, especially as the warranty terms are vague enough that they could probably argue their case successfully. You would (probably) also be unable to use the fallback of "Reasonable expectation" in this case either, as although you would reasonably expect an expensive item to last a few years, if it had been treated badly then you're on your own. Again, jamming it full of tar would probably count as treating it badly.

0
0

Page: