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* Posts by Steve Evans

2381 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Siri gets Android rival as Cluzee goes live

Steve Evans
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Well I'm only telling you what it it did to me. I might have said "What is the time?" instead of "What time is it?".

It certainly understood what I had said as it showed the correct transcription on the screen and then started moaning about the address.

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Steve Evans
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I tried Siri the other day...

I said (in a clear British accent) "What time is it?"

It replied

"I don't know what the time is at 32 minus 45 moody street"

1) It doesn't matter what the time is in Moody Street, just knowing I'm in the UK would be good enough, and you can work that out from the cells with no need to reference wifi or GPS info.

2) We say "32 to 45" not "32 minus 45" for an address which spans multiple numbers

3) I wasn't anywhere near s*dding moody street!

So overall I wasn't particularly impressed.

Although I did manage to successful sneak a "wake me at 4am" into the phone, which belonged to a friend.... Haven't spoken to him since, so I might be in trouble, then again, this is an iphone alarm, so it might not have gone off yet!

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Dawdling EU countries smacked over telecoms reforms

Steve Evans
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Interesting mix...

You could forgive some of the smaller countries for maybe be a little bit less organised about it, some of them aren't long freed from the grip of mother Russia, and Poland did lose a big chunk of their government in a plane crash, but that list isn't just the old Eastern block is it, the big (and small) western players are in there too. In fact some of the old Eastern block countries have implemented it successfully.

So which ones are too disorganised to implement it, and which ones are just too top heavy with red tape that they're still trying to slow the bureaucratic oil tanker down before they can make a slight manoeuvre?

The French of course will have their own third category as usual - don't like it, will ignore it.

Still slightly amazed the UK isn't on the list. I guess implementing it in law is one thing, enforcing it is something else entirely.

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How digital audio ate itself ... and the music biz

Steve Evans
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Interesting.

An interesting read. Thanks for that.

Just curious you chose to pick on Kate Bush's 80's samplefest as an example, she wasn't the first name to come to my mind from that era... Try the Art of Noise, 1984, Close to the edit.

Although my favourite wasn't until 1986 - Paranoimia... I can feel a youtube memory trip coming on...

Oh oh okay doors, Swiiiiing....

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iPhone 4S is for failures who work in coffee shops - Samsung

Steve Evans
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Ummmm...

Ticking that "post anonymously" is not coming out, that's still hiding!

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Russian Mars probe heads into space WITHOUT ENGINES

Steve Evans
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and even if it did, it would create some drag to create lift... and that will slow the craft down and the orbit will decay. You can't go creating enough lift to raise to a higher orbit without putting a bit more ooph out of the motors to keep the speed up... Otherwise you could throw a paper plane into orbit by hand!

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Amazon's Android-friendly Kindle Fire splutters

Steve Evans
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Tut tut....

Repeating the same reporting mistakes...

"In some cases, like Google's apps, Amazon appears to be deliberately excluding them."

Google apps aren't part of Android, they are something which Google "give" away with approved Android. Amazon's fork isn't approved by google (not using the Amazon market place is a good way to fail the approval) so as such, Google don't let you play with their toys.

The same happened with Cyanogenmod. Google issues a cease and desist and the google apps had to be removed from CM. They did however come to an arrangement, and the google apps are available as a separate download.

You can get the Google apps onto the fire, but you need to install them via the backdoor, and remember to install the google framework first or it'll all end in tears.

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Mobile operators warned on 'unlimited' data gouging

Steve Evans
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Too right. Obviously networks don't want someone really taking the piss, so there should be a sensible "Unlimited" definition. 200MB is nothing like it.

3 have an unlimited service (when you can get a signal!), which seems to be pretty good. I pushed their sales staff for a figure and the only one I could get out of them was 80gig, and even then they said they wouldn't cut you off, but you might get a letter expressing "concern". Now that sounds more like a far use limit.

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Steve Evans
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"unlimited"

They need to ban carriers and ISPs from using the word "unlimited", it's not just grammatically incorrect, it's an outright lie.

I used to have an Orange account which had "unlimited" (read small print and bill - 500meg a month) connection. Just leaving K9 email client running on my phone for a day would polish off more than 10% of my monthly allowance. A few minutes on facebook would do the same.

So I tend to turn off my mobile data unless I really need it, such as for google maps navigation.

Also the first app I installed on my Android handset was 3G watchdog. Damn useful it is too.

Now does that sound like the behaviour of someone with an "unlimited" connection?

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Woomera: Ghosts of Britain's space past

Steve Evans
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#6...

No idea about the ID of any of them.

About #6, having looked at it, and finally working out which way round it goes, I can only deduce that it is the world's largest nurf gun dart... Damn that's gonna leave a forehead ring and a half.

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Too rude for the road: DVLA hot list of banned numberplates

Steve Evans
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Shoooorly...

Surely any gang member that wishes to advertise his membership via his numberplate should be encouraged?

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Swearing doesn’t help pain if you do it too much

Steve Evans
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My thoughts exactly... It was a funny clip though, watching Brian Blessed restricted to non-swear words. IIRC didn't he pick "table" as his word, or was that Fry?

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Windows 8 aims to make security updates less painful

Steve Evans
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Restarts...

Best way to reduce restarts is to not allow Adobe to install anything on your machine!

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Google will ignore your Wi-Fi router ... if you rename it

Steve Evans
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@Dan 55

Hi Dan, yes sorry, I did mean the MAC/BSSID, not the user configurable SSID.

Thanks for the link though ;-)

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Steve Evans
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So...

What about all the other mobile devices? If you think that only Google collects this information to enable fast initial location fixing then you are very much mistaken... They just happened to have had cars driving about which could collect it en-mass in the first instance.

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Steve Evans
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SSID Mac...

In theory SSIDs are unique, but I get the impression someone in Canada had changed theirs to the same as mine. For a few months Google maps on my phone would locate me somewhere over there when it couldn't get an GPS fix (in my house for example).

It hasn't happened for a while now, so if it was a clone, he's changed routers and mashed in another random collection of hex digits.

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NEWSFLASH: Chips cheaper than disks

Steve Evans
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@Andy 115

Actually no. TRIM is required to keep the speed up, and it's a new arrival to every OS I can think of.

Windows 7, OS X 10.7, Linux 2.6.33

Of those three, Windows 7 was actually the first released.

Yes, yes, I know you could have hacked it into earlier versions of OS X (10.6.6 - Still released after Win7) and Linux, but to do that you would have needed to know how to hack it in, and also have heard that it was required! So I'm talking about off-the-shelf support.

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Steve Evans
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Depends on the OS and chipset support. If your OS doesn't support TRIM, then yes, the SSD will start to bog down.

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Go back to the future with Red Dwarf

Steve Evans
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Well...

The studio audience is a good sign, at least they should get some real laughter instead of that horrible canned crap they used towards the end of the last run.

Assuming it's funny enough of course. If not, then it'll be unfunny - with canned laughter.

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NASA: 2012 solar flares could DEVASTATE CITIES!

Steve Evans
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So it's the Maya version of Y2K?

Hmm, that'll be a tricky one to spot, Maya is a weird flaky bit of software at the best of times.

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Steve Evans
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It does a bit... Especially given that the Sun will eventually burn out and expand to such an extent it will engulf the inner part of the solar system - which includes Earth.

Don't worry, we've a few million years to either find a fix, and wipe ourselves out first.

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Boozed-up ball-biting mum spared jail

Steve Evans
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@MrNo

Well I don't know about you MrNo, but I for one am very grateful to El Reg for notifying us males about this woman!

If you want to risk bumping into her, then that's your proclivity, personally I'm glad to now know enough to keep a very safe distance away!

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Deep-sea squid go from transparent to dark as fast as a Kindle

Steve Evans
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This is new?

Since when is this a discovery? Have they never seen a cuttlefish?

Far more impressive.

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Yelp update ridicules Republican (ex)-hopeful Rick Perry

Steve Evans
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History of alcohol problems, short attention span, makes US politics a laughing stock...

There's nothing that'll stop him winning is there.

If history teaches us anything, he'll go for two terms.

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Apple applies to patent a SIM you can't remove

Steve Evans
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Mixed feelings...

It's nice to see a network operator being kicked into the "dumb pipe" gutter where they belong. One of Nokia's failings was that it continually bowed to the operators causing enormous delays to firmware updates for anyone who was stupid enough to buy a phone through a network, or even a country variant as we have in the UK, which even though it ran standard firmware, would still be subject to a random delay thanks to some unknown issuing agency.

Apple never went with that model, they pushed out their firmware updates to everyone, at the same time. Although this did tend to crash their servers, it did mean everyone could be updated within a few days of each other (if they so wished).

However, I don't know if I trust Apple enough to agree to be locked into them... Actually, I do know the answer, and no I don't like it.

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Nokia's Windows comeback: Great but what's next?

Steve Evans
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I don't know where you live, but I think any country that got the N97 was being used as a test market!

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Steve Evans
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Nah...

Forget the OS, for me it will be a long long time before I trust Nokia enough to get tied into a long contract for any phone they make. Last time I did that they abandoned the phone before I'd finished my contract, and never admitted the list of faults which were regularly reported all over their own forums.

I ended up buying an HTC Android handset just so I didn't have to use the PoS Nokia I was still paying for. First handset I have ever bought outright, and it was to escape a Nokia.

Says it all really.

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NASA tells Voyager 2 to save its strength

Steve Evans
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@atomic jam

You appear to have a Jewish Scotsman doing your countdown!

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Steve Evans
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Not always, they've had some superb failures too... Like mixing up the units for the mars probe, and smashing it into the surface, or did it miss the planet entirely? Can't remember which.

I really have no idea what kind of crazy fool would even think of doing scientific calculations with imperial units, but it appears NASA do/did.

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Ten... high-end Android tablets

Steve Evans
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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1... Recommended?

So after mentioning the lack of removable storage, badly placed charge socket, no HDMI, proprietary connectors etc etc, it still gets a recommended?

Weird. You can't really give them plus points for Swype when you can go and download it yourself, for free - 'tis good though, got I put it on my phone.

Companies that insist of daft connectors when there are plenty of nice standard ones which are equally small and neat don't get much of a look-in with me... and no removable storage is just the nail in the coffin.

As you say - copying all the wrong things about the ipad.

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Honda upgrades humanoid robot to SERVE BEER

Steve Evans
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I for one...

Welcome our new beer serving overlords :-)

(Hey, where's the Welcome doormat icon gone?)

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Siri gets over her huff, returns useful as ever

Steve Evans
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As also recently demonstrated by Blackberry, this is exactly why you should think very carefully before having functions and features offloaded into the ether. You never know what is at the other end doing the hard work, it could have (and both BBM and Siri seem to have) several single points of failure.

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The Great Smartphone OS Shoot-out

Steve Evans
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He missed...

He missed the entire idea of Android widgets from the real time update section. This is especially odd considering he's using an HTC, and sense comes preloaded with a load of widgets which give combined feeds from the likes of facebook, twitter and even flickr.

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Apple admits iPhone battery suckage, promises fix

Steve Evans
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I can't help but wonder...

I wonder when we'll see Apple awarded a patent for a process which randomly drains the battery in an excessive way.

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As iPhone 4S battery suckage spreads, fixes appear

Steve Evans
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Too hot?

You must be holding it wrong, try just making contact with the edge of case with your finger tips... That should prevent burning... Oh hang on...

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Steve Evans
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@ThomH

The N8 may indeed be a fine phone, and for those that have bought them, I hope it is, but it was too late to retain me as a customer.

Come to think of it, after the N97, I don't think anything would have retained me as a customer. The whole experience just revealed what can only be described as utter contempt for the end user. Abandoning support for a phone with outstanding bugs that many users are still paying for on excessively long contracts is just disgusting.

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Steve Evans
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@Chris 211

I would agree right up the the N95. Although it eventually turned out to be a reliable phone, the initial few issues of firmware were buggy as hell, and the GPS was best not even used unless you had 5 minutes to stand still for it to lock.

That should have been a warning that things were heading the wrong way... But it took me to buy an N97 to realise Nokia had been caught with their pants down, raped and left traumatised and shaking when they should have been designing (and supporting) new phones. A phone that was released at least 12 months before it was ready, and abandoned before I'd got halfway through the 24 month contract I'd stupidly signed into. Prompting me to outright buy a replacement phone, just so I didn't need to use the N97 any more. The N97 ended its days with a Hegazy firmware on it, which is a little better, but it still suffers from serious hardware issues - GPS again for starters. It's now used simless as my MP3 player, thanks to its 32gig of storage MicroSD and Nokia headphones with the built in remote buttons.

Symbian was/is a fine mobile OS. Very lightweight and seriously battery friendly. It could have been a contender, but not when it was managed and owned by a company that had all the manoeuvrability of an oil tanker.

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Android voice assistant shootout

Steve Evans
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You got it in one!

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Steve Evans
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Siri is not *that* good at context. Try laying in the gutter after being hit by a car and saying "Call me an ambulance".

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Koreans get touchless gesture-controlled Android phone

Steve Evans
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Neat...

I hope that none of the gestures involve a sharp downward chop motion towards the phone, or there's going to be a very gooey "splat" noise (and muffled audio).

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97% of Three's network traffic is data

Steve Evans
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Unlimited.

Hardly a surprise given 3 are unique in the UK market for offering a real unlimited data connection, and on a £25 a month tariff. Orange's best is 1gig a month!

I'm on the verge of switching.

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Argentina stakes online claim on Falklands

Steve Evans
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@Argies

.fk.u

Don't make as re-commission HMS Conqueror.

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This weekend: First ever iPADS IN SPAAAACE

Steve Evans
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Oh gawd...

That's gonna play havoc with the physics model of Angry birds.

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UK CB radio crowd celebrates three decades of legality

Steve Evans
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Actually, the radio control bands were the Alpha channels, gaps in the US 40 channel range.

Some rigs could get to them, but it wasn't a standard feature.

Although you were still at risk if the rig was close, badly aligned (over modulating), or was running some boots with poor filtering bleeding over into your allotted gap.

Having said all that, IIRC, wasn't 27Mhz usually for ground based RC vehicles with RC aircraft usually found on higher frequencies?

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Inside WD's flooded Thai factory

Steve Evans
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LOL. Not often a shopper buying from PC World has a chance to be smug when confronted with a seasoned online shopper.

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Steve Evans
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DEGAUSS?

Blimee granddad, you need to get a new computer TV.

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Steve Evans
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Well...

If this was a tsunami you could have said...

A working Sea-gate would have protected the WD factory.

But it wasn't

So you can't.

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Porsche finds top gear with BlackBerry design

Steve Evans
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Odd....

I thought a "Porsche Design" would just be exactly the same shape as last years, but with a very minor tweak.

Repeat for 60 years.

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A rapid first hands-on: Nokia’s Windows phones

Steve Evans
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So who's running the book on how long it is before the 710 has its boot broken and Android installed?

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Nokia's Brave New World is (almost) Finn-free

Steve Evans
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eh?

What's the deal with these numeric numbering schemes? They've only got two phones and it's already meaningless!

Old Nokia did attempt some kind of logic to its naming scheme, although hid it well, but 710 and 800, what on earth do these relate to?

if you're going to use numbers, at least make them refer to something... BMW, Merc and Ferrari manage it. A phone doesn't have cylinders, but it does have cores and RAM.

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