65 posts • joined 12 Mar 2008
Re: My experience with Windows Phone
Over the last couple of years, I've had a Samsung Galaxy S2 as a personal phone and an iPhone 5 as a work phone. The S2 was OK, but battery life was poor to mediocre even with batterysaver apps activated, the screen was so-so and I found Android slightly hard work. The iPhone had the same mediocre battery life and the great screen and app ecosystem, but it was absolutely useless as a phone both where I live and work - dropped calls all the time.
Now I have a Nokia Lumia 720. The app ecosystem is obviously not as good and there are some annoying gaps, but it has all the basics plus a much better battery life, better onboard keyboard for typing (similar to the ones available for Android) and MUCH better call quality (with the same network provider). No dropped calls now. Haven't had the phone for long, so can't comment on build quality, but to be honest it does feel a little plasticky.
So what I think I really want is an iPhone with the battery life and call quality of the Lumia, Any chances do you think?
The Golden Thread
If you are a fan of Rumpole of the Bailey, you'll remember his waxing lyrical over the Golden Thread that ran through British justice. These were:
- The right to silence
- The presumption of innocence and the fact that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution
- The right not to be tried twice for the same offence.
Pillars of justice that had stood for centuries were removed in the space of about 10 years between 1994 and 2004 after terrorist attacks that killed, in this country, rather fewer than the number dying in road accidents in two weeks. Rumpole's Golden Thread is no more.
Re: Bell Telephone
Reminds me of the comment Bjarne Stroustrup is alleged to have made: "I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone".
Re: Stupid Big Media
Usenet (alt.binaries.sounds.radio.bbc) and radioarchive.cc are your friends here. The former contains very helpful people who are always ready to supply a missing programme from a series. You may find the latter also has many of the series you missed first time around.
IANAL, but as I understand it UK law still permits companies to issue bearer shares, which means the owner of a company is the person who physically possesses the shares at any one time. The opportunities for obfuscation of ownership are clear.
If it were me, I think I'd opt for the Robert Maxwell solution - have all my companies ending up in a family trust based in Lichtenstein.
3D phone, no thanks. 3 Day phone - YES PLEASE!
I think that 3D is a bit of a gimmick that doesn't really offer anything useful. However, I will go and buy right now any smartphone that lasts for 3 days. I'm so fed up discovering my phone is dead in the morning because I forgot to put it on charge before I went to bed.
Would any manufacturer's representative care to tell me which of their phones I can buy?
You're right - there are lots of us in that category. However, I'm not sure about the cost / benefit case of spending £90k on a car to get me to the station and back every day, even if I don't have to pay for petrol or road tax.
Why not make this a regular slot
Let's have a regular slot where an El Reg journo looks at previous predictions from Gartner etc. and sees how they panned out.
Should be a recurring source of good laughs!
...... use one of the many email encryption services springing up - preferably one which hosts its servers somewhere where they have some respect for individual privacy and a willingness to tell the U.S. to naff off when necessary. France, perhaps?
Re: Texting whilst driving leads to arrest
In Lord Ahmed's case, I think the police established that he sent his last text 2 minutes before the accident, so it was not possible to prove that the texting was the cause of the accident. That's one of the reasons his sentence was lighter.
What I'd like to see...
.... is a smartphone that can last a whole waking day of heavy use without having to re-charge or swap the battery out.
Re: The arrogance
Or what's almost as bad is that they assume they are merely competent in another field and fail to reach even those levels.
The biggest example that springs to mind is the numbers of non-specialists who think they're competent in statistics when in reality all they can do is (mis)apply formulae and algorithms whose derivation they don't understand.
Any word on web browsing?
I was wondering whether these new BB models were any better at web browsing than the horrible Blackberry Bold I used to have to use for work?
Wasn't it the general crapness of the web experience on Blackberries that led to their being overtaken by iOS and Android phones?
'Don Flynn, head honcho at the Migrants' Rights Network, described it as ..."more like an entry examination for an elite public school". '
Hmm, let's see...
I note a distressing absence of questions about thrashing the French here - what is Eton coming to?
Re: Propaganda still winning hearts and minds?
I think this comment requires a proper reply, so here goes...
Let's assume that it is possible that people, acting in good faith and with some knowledge of science, make the following observations:
1 - Human acivities are causing an increase in the amount of CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
2 - The laws of physics would seem to suggest that, all other things remaining equal, an increase in greenhouse gases results in higher temperatures (noting that there is no experimental evidence that this is true, but believing that the physics is correct).
3 - From 1880 to 1998, global mean temperatures rose approx 0.8 degrees C.
4 - There has been no increase in global mean temperatures since 1998 and no statistically significant global warming since 1995.
5 - No-one seems to be able to state with certainty what has caused this pause in warming, whether and when it will resume, and whether positive and/or negative feedback in the global climate system will cause runaway warming or asymptotic warming or no further warming at all.
6 - Certain countries have agreed to try and limit and/or reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide. The methods by which this reduction is to be achieved will cost significant sums of money, paid by the consumers and taxpayers of those countries.
7 - Other significant emitting countries have not agreed to limit their CO2 emissions.
Believing these observations to be valid (while open to being corrected on the facts), some ask the following questions:
- Is it fair that we are being asked to lower our incomes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when others aren't and when there is a lack of clarity as to the outcome if we don't?
- Is the magnitude of the danger from inaction so clearly defined that we must commit significant resources to emission reduction now, regardless of the uncertainty of outcome?
I believe that a large number of Reg readers think that the answer to those 2 questions is No.
Whether or not you agree that the answers are No, I hope you can agree that this is a reasonable opinion to hold given the observations made.
One thing which annoys me about Amazon...
.. and it's not the tax issue - imho everybody and every organisation is entitled to arrange their affairs so as legally to minimise the tax they pay.
No, the issue which really gets my goat is the inability to know or to choose in advance who delivers your parcels. If I'm not in when the Post Office delivers then I can nip to my local post office and pick the parcel up. If I'm not in when City Link (fails to) deliver then I can take a 100 mile round trip to their depot in the next county - no thanks. The new Amazon locker option helps, but there are certain things that can't be delivered to a locker.
Other organisations make it clear who their delivery partners are so you can avoid buying from the ones whose couriers are the least helpful. I'd like it if I were able to decline to purchase an item from Amazon on the basis of who was going to deliver the package.
Re: Storage too small for us cheapskates...
If there's still time before you switch, you might want to search the Reg's forums for comments on GiffGaff - it's not universal praise by any means.
A small upgrade but significant
For me, the biggest change in 2012 was that the Sky+ box can now record programmes directly off BBC iplayer (& its equivalents on ITV, C5 and Sky). No more faffing around having to convert video files - hurrah!
Gave up on iTunes a while back...
.... as it was too slow and unresponsive. I use MediaMonkey these days - much quicker and more flexible.
I'm guessing that you won't be able to use the DVR to record past programmes - is that right?
.. if you're that keen on photography you could buy a camera. Just a thought.
Of course, we don't know exactly why he resigned, but it's a bit worrying if scientists feel that they have to resign simply for getting something wrong. If that's true, they may feel slightly less inclined to share results, and that doesn't help anybody.
First things first
Forget LTE - how about a decent, widely available 3G signal on EE first?
Re: F'ing Citibank (bit off topic)
HMRC's bank account to receive self assment tax is with Santander, which is Spanish.
Do you think they've got something against British banks?
A couple of thoughtsThe question is, why should children learn to code? One answer could be that it teaches skills such as thinking logically and breaking problems down into manageable chunks. But if this is the reason, there are any number of disciplines that could offer these, from cooking to Latin prose composition. Another answer could be that it helps UK plc if a proportion of children leave school knowing how to write code. But why? Are there really very many pure coding jobs left in the UK that haven't been oursourced? Lots of analysis jobs, sure, but coding jobs? So are we teaching children to code so that they can become analysts? If so, why don't we miss out the first stage and jump straight to teaching them analysis?
Not sure how many medics read The Register, but I'm prepared to be shot down in flames here.
According to a post I read elsewhere (http://www.quora.com/Steve-Jobs/Why-did-Steve-Jobs-choose-not-to-effectively-treat-his-cancer#ans757123) from someone who claimed to be a researcher in the field, there are (at least) 2 types of pancreatic cancer. Adenocarcinoma is the common form of pancreatic cancer and has a low 5 year survival rate. The other type is something called a GEP-Neuro Endocrine Tumour, which was apparently what Steve Jobs had and which the author of the article said had a very high (approaching 100% in his research experience) 5 year survival rate. Apparently a significant number of autopsies show an asymptomatic presence of a GEP-NET.
By all reports, Steve Jobs' GEP-NET was caught early so the likelihood is that he would not have died from what he did die of if he had sought conventional medical treatment as soon as the tumour had been found.
So Winphone is going to overtake iOS by 2015 is it? Hmm.
I'm no fanboi, but I've got a crisp twenty waiting for anyone from Gartner or Pyramid research who cares to put their money where their mouth is.
Alternatively, perhaps Betfair could open a market and we'll see what general opinion is on this.
I may have missed something here but....
.... won't simply using a VPN get round any ISP-based site blocking?
Some positive things about Alertme
My neighbours have professionally installed security systems, which presumably cost upwards of £1000. Whenever the alarms go off, we all ignore them because from previous experience we know that they were set off by the cat or by electrical malfunction. These alarm systems seem to do nothing else but ring a loud bell. The owners of the houses know nothing about the alarm until they get home and pick up their answerphone message from one of the neighbours telling them that their alarm went off. I'm guessing that the alarms aren't wired up to the police station - and even if they were, I'm not sure our local constabulary would turn out.
I have an Alertme system which cost about £150. If the alarm goes off, it too rings a loud bell inside the house. But it also sends me an email and a text message. I can check on the house webcam and if all looks well I can reset the alarm remotely over the web with my phone. It can also tell me whenever certain people (children for instance) enter and leave the house.
The Alertme system always emails me if it can't see my hub and emails me again when the hub re-connects. It also emails me if it hasn't seen certain detection devices for a while.
It's true, the web interface is clunky, slow and not hugely well designed.
The telephone support is absolutely fantastic.
Isn't there an easy answer to this?
Just don't bother with Facebook, Twitter or Google+. The world will still turn.
Ease of use
I think Ralph's right - it's about ease of use.
I can think of 3 things which I've used both as a dedicated app and as a web site (ebay, The Times newspaper and the Next directory) and in each case I think the dedicated app is easier to use than the web site. Perhaps this is because the app is designed specifically for a hardware platform whereas the web site has to be able to be presented to any machine capable of running a browser?
No-one wants to have to download an app for every web site they might visit, but for activities performed sufficiently regularly, a well-designed dedicated app probably has the edge.
Doesn't work with Linux.......
But the thing is...
.... you still have to use a phone running Symbian. Having happily ditched my last Symbian phone for one running Android, I certainly wouldn't want to go back. I suspect others might think similarly.
You have to buy a GBP89 accessory to attach to your Bravia.
Why everybody's premiums go up
The more uncertainty that an insurance company has about a risk, the greater the reserve that will have to be held. While the aggregate risk remains the same, the insurance companies will all have to hold greater reserves as they won't have as much information about the risks they are carrying. Bigger reserves mean bigger premiums.
Re: Possible Success
How will they be able to create a $30 Winphone when MS are going to demand that or more per phone in licence fees for the OS?
If I remember rightly, Easyjet ask to see your photo ID when you check in.
A couple of alternatives
It should be noted that Mozy has some limitations in my experience. There was no Linux client available the last time I looked and you can't back up a network drive as the Windows client will only let you back up disks that are part of the machine on which you're running the client. (This applies to many of the other services mentioned as well)
The only service I've found that lets you back up unlimited amounts of data, allows backup of NAS boxes, that's cheap and works with all platforms comes from www.onlinestoragesolutions.com. It has to be said that the connection is not the most robust I've come across and the software offered is pigging awful, but if you're prepared to use (Secure) FTP then for $39 p.a. you can back up all of that 2TB hard disk just in case your house or office burns down. Bear in mind that it'll take you a few weeks or months to get it up onto the remote server, though.
I used to use Memopal as their service works with Linux as well and is reasonably cheap - I think it was €120 for 200Gb for 2 years. Again, pretty frill-free software but it worked.
... buy an Orange San Francisco for £99, add a 16Gb micro sd card for £20 and you've got practically the same thing with added phone & internet functionality and spent £30 less.
Rusty Dodo award
MS Kin was amusingly crap. Nokia phones are just getting worse and worse - they've really lost the plot. But the Rusty Dody award has to go to any of those supposedly wireless chargers that requires you to enclose your device in a special jacket (that doesn't exist unless you have a Blackberry or an iPhone) first - there are no words to describe the pointlessness of this.
Best service provider
My vote goes to BE.
Reliable, fast connection and excellent support in the extremely rare cases that I've needed it.
Surprisingly, an honourable mention to my local PC World where one guy went impressively out of his way to help me.
Also, Amazon's operation is just awesome.
But retailer of the year has to go to scan.co.uk.
App of the year
It's a close call between get_iplayer with the new HTML interface and Dropbox. I think I'll plump for get_iplayer.
Work product of the year
For me, the Blackberry 9700. It just works.
Best Home Product of the year
For me, it's got to be the Sky+ HD box.
I find that Open DNS does a pretty good job of keeping my kids away from the smut. That is, at least until they get old enough to learn how to change the browser's proxy server configuration.
Correlation versus Causation
You know the rest.
Ding Dong the witch is dead.....
So won't they have to block all connections to providers of Usenet acess as well?
For those who haven't come across it.....
..... there's some more background on this at the Bishop Hill blog (bishophill.squarespace.com) entries for about a week ago.
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?
- Review 'Mommy got me an UltraVibe Pleasure 2000 for Xmas!' South Park: Stick of Truth
- The land of Milk and Sammy: Free music app touted by Samsung
- Privacy warriors lob sueball at Facebook buyout of WhatsApp