Feeds

* Posts by johnnytruant

315 posts • joined 12 Aug 2008

Page:

Take away bad drivers' mobile phones, they still crash their cars

johnnytruant

Re: despite the existence of perfectly-good laws on "due care and attention" already

So after a minor run-in with a speed camera recently, I attended a "Speed Awareness Course" which was actually a few hours of defensive driving. During this they said that there is no law against using your phone while driving in the UK and never has been. As you said, it's already been covered by due care and reckless driving. The recent "ban" was just pointing out that it's already illegal.

If you're involved in an accident, your phone records are checked by the police to make sure you weren't on the phone near/at the time. There hasn't been a single case of a fatal or serious accident where the driver on their phone hasn't ended up in prison (presumably when they weren't the fatality). Which makes exactly no difference to the person they've killed or maimed, but hey.

3
0

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight e-reader review

johnnytruant

Re: "Press harder"

The screen on my Sony is so sensitive that on more than one occasion a large particle of dust or falling feather from the duvet has triggered a dictionary lookup on the word it's landed on.

I can't speak for other devices, but on mine you definitely don't need to worry about whether you've pressed hard enough.

1
0

Amazon prices up Kindle Paperwhite for Blighty

johnnytruant

Re: Time for a bit of Nooky?

I'm not a Kindle fan (Sony PRS-T1 here) but it's got 1.3GB of storage onboard.

At 500KB per book (size of the Iain M Banks latest on my desktop), that's 2600+ books. If you read two books a week and never ever delete anything, you'll need memory expansion in 25 years. You need a PC to load up the SD card anyway, so why not just plug the Kindle in and miss out a step.

I'd probably still buy the Nook, but not because of the storage options.

2
0

40,000 sign petition to oust Rep. Paul 'pit of hell' Broun

johnnytruant

Re: If you're collecting them...

You know that's satire, yes? As far I can tell there is no Ian M Hurt, at least not one running for congress in Oklahoma.

However, the fact I had to google around a bit to find this out and that is was vaguely believable in the first place is damning enough.

5
0

Ubuntu 12.10: More to Um Bongo Linux than Amazon ads

johnnytruant

Re: "When you play with someone's desktop, you are interfering with the way they do work..."

It's not really about customisation per se - the point I was trying to make was that we (the nerds) make things our own by customisation, but at a deeper level it's about control. My computer is a tool which I bend to my will, not a device I have to figure out to get something else done. Because I'm engaged with my machine on a deeper level than someone who just* uses it for spreadsheets/word processing/email/etc - then when "my" OS is changed, it can be more upsetting. Me, I'm not bothered, but some people are.

I can see what you're getting at, but I think most nerds in professional positions can manage a little more objectivity than the forum dwellers bleating (again, comes around at least once a year) about how this is the end for Ubuntu. Me, I don't use Unity - but I do recommend it to people. My Mum loves it, for example. I can make decisions based on what other people need not what I personally prefer. Ubuntu doesn't alienate me by making itself more appealing to non-techies, it just makes itself a slightly different tool in my toolbox - considering this is a toolbox which is quite well stuffed with almost-identical Linux distros already, a little differentiation ain't a bad thing. I may choose not to run Ubuntu for myself, but that doesn't mean it's not something I'll choose for someone else.

* just to be clear, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this. These people are applying their brain in different places to me. I can't do their jobs any more than they can do mine.

0
0
johnnytruant

Re: "When you play with someone's desktop, you are interfering with the way they do work..."

I've wondered this very thing. The interesting thing about it is that it's true for us nerds. We customise, we tweak, we make things our own. But most users don't do that. How many non-techie people do you know who even set a non-standard desktop image, let alone adjust colour schemes, icons, set up custom launchers or keyboard shortcuts, etc. etc.

So for them - a group who represent the overwhelming majority of computer users - this kind of thing is less of a big deal. Much less of a big deal. Canonical do lots of user testing, they don't just punt stuff out at random. They've tested this and it's gone down well. The small - albeit very vocal - minority of nerds who feel this is a personal assault on their computing privacy are going to install Arch/Fedora/Debian/Whatever. But frankly it was only a matter of time until those people ragequit anyway.

But I think there's a great deal of people who don't post their opinions about computing on web forums are just going to say "oh look, it searches Amazon now, that's handy/annoying" and will then use/ignore the feature as appropriate. Canonical may bank some cash, and if so good for them. They are a business, after all. Personally, I consider the "mainstreaming" of Ubuntu to be a very good thing - ease of use and features like built-in search are things people like and will bring more users to the OS - and when/if it reaches the point that I'm feeling constrained by it, I shall just go and install something else.

3
1
johnnytruant

Re: So what?

Reliant Robin.

7
0

Network boffins say Terabit Ethernet is TOO FAST

johnnytruant
Coat

Re: What, pray tell, is an RJ-45 cable?

RJ-45 is a cable specification, which defines both connector geometry and the connections thereto. The plug on the end of your network cable is designated 8P8C. When that connector is wired up with CATx grade wire using Ethernet pinouts, the whole assembly becomes an RJ-45 cable.

Mine's the one with the crimping tool in the pocket.

4
0

Hobbyist star-gazer cops amazing eyeful of Jupiter's space ball

johnnytruant
Thumb Up

Here's his web page. http://kardasis.weebly.com/

That looks like a Celestron tube of some kind on a high-end SkyWatcher mount to me. Probably runs to a minimum of £3K worth of gear by the time you've got the extras, could be two or three times that without much trouble. Easy to spend a lot of money on astronomy kit, I'm discovering. I think you can still reasonably call his rig a 'hobby' scope though. Dedicated hobbiest, for sure, but not exactly crazy.

Certainly puts my wobbly, fuzzy and grainy pictures of Jupiter to shame.

2
0

TalkTalk somehow retains most-complained-about-ISP title AGAIN

johnnytruant

Re: LLU win

Xilo are the single best company I deal with regularly. Not just the best ISP, the best company full stop. Their service and support is absolutely exemplary. They're not the cheapest but the extra couple of quid is worth every penny.

1
0

GiffGaff: We've got no iPhones, but here's how to cut down your SIM

johnnytruant

Not really. GiffGaff's unlimited is currently genuinely unlimited. If they restrict it, I'm sure they'll stop calling it unlimited. They are pretty good like that.

Personally I've seen better coverage and far better customer service* with GiffGaff than I ever did with Vodafone or Orange. My phone bill has dropped to the point that I'm already saving money on my outright handset purchase less than a year ago compared to the 'free' 18 or 24 month contract I could have got elsewhere. Other people's mileage will, of course vary. I do recommend GG to my friends and those who have signed up seem happy - and I can call/text them for free, which is even better.

* it's hard to have a call-centre phonetard mess up your seemingly simple request when there are no call centres. Same same for being on hold for hours being told every thirty seconds how important your call is.

6
0

Guardian's Robin Hood plan: Steal from everyone to give to us

johnnytruant

40p a day, isn't it?

I'd happily pay that for 6Music alone. Anything else is just a bonus.

0
1

If you see 'URGENT tax rebate download' in an inbox, kill it with fire

johnnytruant

A friend of mine

Once got an email claiming to be from an Australian property lawyer investigating some land my friend had supposedly inherited (which he had no clue about). They wanted to sell it for him, taking a 5% cut.

Sounded dodgy as hell, but it was no cash up front - six months later he was holding a cheque for £27k.

He was very glad this was in the days before aggressive spam filtering.

2
0

Google promises autonomous cars for all within five years

johnnytruant

this is why I like Google

OK, there's a discussion to be had about privacy with email, search results, tracking cookies and so on. Personally, I trust them enough. Definitely not entirely, certainly not without caveats and care - but enough that I can live with them.

But what I really like about Google is they're not afraid to try for the big stuff. Project Glass might be bobbins, it might be awesome, it might never even work at all - but it takes guts to take a punt on something like that. Imaging significant amounts of the planet from space down to street level is a staggering task to even contemplate, let alone actually do (albeit imperfectly, but it's still impressive). Now there's not-far-from-commercially available self-driving vehicles. ROBOT FRICKIN' CARS. Cars you can get into and say "take me home" and they ACTUALLY DO.

I have come, with time, to accept that the promised future of hoverboards and replicators is unlikely to occur, but I'll settle for a self-driving car and a wearable AR device. Probably with AdBlock+ installed, mind you.

22
0

BT to fibre up another 163 exchanges, coy on exactly where

johnnytruant

Re: Crusty old wires

"All the cables from the pole to the cabinet and the cabinet to the exchange should be fairly modern anyway."

Depends on what you mean by fairly modern. When the BT engineer installed my new pole-to-house cable last year I remarked that "at least it's copper all the way from my front room to the DSLAM now" to which he replied that no, it wasn't. It's still aluminium from the pole to the cab and there on to the exchange. BT claim they don't have any Al cabling left, but according to this chap that's not strictly 100% true. Fortunately I'm only 300m from the exchange so it's not a big deal.

0
0
johnnytruant

Me too. You're not EACOS, are you?

0
0

LONDON iPHONE 5 MADNESS: 'You must be CRAZY to buy Apple'

johnnytruant

Re: I *need* an iPhone5

I'd suggest looking at Sony's Xperia range. The hardware is good quality, the design distinct, the camera tech is in a different league to anyone else and they even make a non-huge model for those of us who don't like carrying around huge slabs of glass.

4
1

Reg readers serve up bacon sarnie amuse-bouche

johnnytruant
Thumb Up

nice timing

I am eating a sweetcure Norfolk Black Bacon sandwich right now. Way too hungry to photograph it first.

0
0

HP unzips slim Windows 8 notebooks

johnnytruant

I had one of these

The Pavilion G6, i5. Keyboard was so bendy it was basically unusable. The screen was shit and the fan was really noisy too. Took it back for a refund.

0
0

Google+ claims 100 million 'active' users

johnnytruant

the thing about G+

Which I don't find on other social networks is that I meet people. FB is people I know already, and that's great, it's nice to keep in touch with them. Twitter seems to mostly be people I know retweeting stuff by people I don't (and don't want to).

G+ does really well at helping me to meet new people who share my interests - and lets me filter them on that interest - eg: I know a lot of cooking people on G+, but I only see their posts when I want to browse my 'foodies' circle. Same same for photography and the rest. Sometimes people start in a specialist circle and move into my general friends circles, sometimes not. Either way I've made more new friends on G+ in the last year than I ever have on FB/Twitter. Obviously other people's milage will vary.

6
0
johnnytruant

Re: It sure is.

Microsoft have http://so.cl

I went along for the beta, and was totally baffled by it. They're trying some weird search engine/social network hybrid. Just bizarre.

1
0

Haynes Build Your Own Computer book review

johnnytruant

Re: AT Powerswitches

Not that one, but I've fried my fair share of boards by plugging the power connector in the wrong way around.

Polarised connectors? Kids of today don't know they're born.

0
0
johnnytruant

Re: Everyone...

Ah, the old "PC of Theseus". Rule I use is "new CPU = new computer", at least when it comes to naming the thing.

New disks, gfx, other cards - not new computer. I rarely upgrade so often that swapping a CPU out doesnt involve a new m/b and ram as sockets/architectures and so on have generally changed since my last upgrade.

0
0

Sparkfun punts bonkers banana-piano kit at hardware hackers

johnnytruant

Re: fingerworks!

I'd love one of those. But just as I could afford one, a certain fruity company bought Fingerworks and pulled all their products.

Perhaps I should sue Apple for causing my rsi.

1
0

It's time to burn the schedules and seize control of OUR TVs

johnnytruant

my friend's four-year-old

Doesn't understand broadcast TV. For him, TV is where his programmes are. He watches exactly what he wants, exactly when he's allowed to. Sometimes he's at houses where TVOD isn't available and he genuinely doesn't get why he can't watch Octonauts or Chuggington. Making you wait until something is "on" is not what a TV does in his world.

17
0

Ten 15in notebooks for under 400 quid

johnnytruant

Re: Keyboards

I had an HP Pavilion G6 recently. Possibly even the model reviewed here. Took it back because the keyboard was so stupidly bendy it was essentially unusable.

I also had a low-end Samsung for a while (went back for different reasons) which had an absolutely superb keyboard. Nice and stiff base, lovely key response, a joy to use.

2
0

Apple: I love to hate, and hate to love thee

johnnytruant

Re: For years I've put up with crap service

Protip: shop at John Lewis.

Their customer service is peerless. Their technical knowledge too. Plus they stock more than one brand of electronics and won't push you towards the most expensive. I went in all ready to buy an ultrabook/MacAir because I wanted the screen size, but the chap steered me to a non-ultra 13.3" Toshiba which was half the price.

0
0
johnnytruant

"If iOS is such a clone of Windows Mobile why did Microsoft throw it all away and start again?"

Comment on Ars Technica the other day - "Why would anyone want to copy iOS, it's years behind"

Sometimes chucking it all out and starting again is a good idea, especially when the underlying technology has changed so much. Current WinMo, much as I'm about as far from an MS fanboi as you can get, represents some impressive innovation in UI design. iOS, meh - not so much. And that's fine - mainstream users don't want cutting edge design, they need their hands held and that's perfectly OK. Smartphone users are not all geeky types who want the newest everything all the time, or are prepared to learn something different just to use a phone. Which is exactly why iOS is popular. Because it's simple, familiar, safe and easy. I can hand it to my Mum and she's fine with it. Me, I prefer something more modern - because I'm prepared to put in the effort to get the rewards. Neither is more right, it's different things for different people.

Oh, and you're wrong about it being the first touch-only UI. Symbian UiQ and s60 were perfectly happy just getting a finger. Seem to remember a few other devices were too, back in the day. iPaq, anyone?

5
0
johnnytruant

Multi-touch and finger gestures were around in Fingerworks devices for years. Back in the day I had just saved up enough for one of their awesome Touchstream LP keyboards when Apple bought the company and discontinued all their products. Sure they weren't phones, but the technical innovation of multitouch hardware wasn't Apple's work. They just bought someone else's patents.

I had a touchscreen phone in 2006 and it was perfectly usable. Sony Ericsson P900, iirc. No stylus needed (although one was supplied), no buttons, no start menu. The handwriting recognition was so good I could even send email with one hand, with the phone in my pocket. Yes, it wasn't as slick as modern devices, but it was certainly good enough.

8
0

Sony opens cover on latest e-Reader

johnnytruant

Because it's Android so, iirc, you have to have some buttons.

Also it's quite handy to have page-turning buttons if your fingers are less than sparkling clean, and shunting home/back controls off the screen means more screen space for words.

1
0
johnnytruant

another vote for Calibre here

I ran the awful Sony software once to get the Adobe DRM thingy authorised so I could use the library service, then never booted it again.

Calibre Just Works. But I don't do collections or any of that sort of thing. I have four or five books on there at any one time and I delete them once I've read them. All my library management - such as it is - is done on my PC.

But I do love my PRS-T1. Well worth the few extra quid over a Kindle, imo.

1
0

Judge begs Apple, Samsung to get a room, or trial will end in tears

johnnytruant
Joke

I can see only one solution.

Lock-in at the rec centre. I mean, *come on*

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/104359/i-mean-come-on

0
0

Korean boffins discover secret to quick-charge batteries

johnnytruant

Re: Electric Cars bad...

"I do not think that it is a good idea to hand total control of the production and distribution of auto fuel (or any other type) to a single central authority like government or giant corporate."

News just in - probably too late to be worrying about that. Saudi Aramco are the world's largest company, they control a significant amount of the oil market. They are the giantest of the giant corporates. Personally I'd rather be in thrall to the French or Norwegians for electricity than to the House of Saud for oil.

1
0

BeBook outs Kindle-beating e-book reader

johnnytruant

Re: How many shades of grey?

16. Almost certainly an eInk Pearl screen. Easily as white as a cheap paperback (although more grey than cheap paper's yellow/brown shade).

IRex managed to get more shades out of eInk with a cunning pixel manipulating system - my Iliad did 16 shades on a screen which supposedly was only capable of 8 - but I expect that secret died with them.

Why do you need more range? Most of the books I read don't have pictures, and 16 greys is enough to anti-alias text to an acceptable level, especially at the resolution eInk works at..

1
0

Google may face grilling by MPs over 'immoral' tax avoidance

johnnytruant

Re: Hmmm..

I would too. I want to pay taxes to make the country better for everyone and not just me. I'm more than happy to support those less fortunate than me through the state (I wish the state was better organised, but that's not quite the issue).

For me, that's what a civilised, humane person does as part of a modern, progressive society. I appreciate other people have different points of view, and I'm not saying they're wrong, this is just my opinion.

3
2

SHOCK: Poll shows Americans think TSA is highly effective

johnnytruant

Re: Sample size?

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Soc_participants.shtml

0
0

Amazon Kindle Touch Wi-Fi eBook reader review

johnnytruant

Re: From reading here

I generally have no more than three or four books on my reader at any one time. Unlike my girlfriend who often has several books on the go at once, 99% of the time I'm only reading one at a time. I'll often drop sets to read through on there - like doing all of Mieville's Bas Lag books back to back last month. I delete books from the reader when I'm done (or return them if they're library books). My library lives on my computer where it can be neatly organised in directories and/or via calibre, and backed up and so on.

0
0
johnnytruant

Sony Reader is better

Same size, slightly lighter (although you can't tell), reads more formats, same screen (same as every other reader on the market), little more expensive, I think it looks nicer but that's a matter of opinion.

Why is it better?

Works with UK library services. Just last night I finished reading a book, in bed, few taps later - borrowed another and started reading that.

0
0
johnnytruant

Re: How?

actually the Sony Reader does let you do that.

virtually, of course. but tapping the top of a page creates a 'fold' which you can easily page back to later on.

pretty neat feature.

0
0

Glaswegian scientists snap entangled particles

johnnytruant

pics

or it didn't happen.

0
0

British radio telescope genius Sir Bernard Lovell dies

johnnytruant

Re: Bah!

Me too, I grew up in Congleton, with Jodrell Bank on the horizon, looking awesome. I suspect it's presence - and plenty of visits to the place - was at least part of the reason I've always been interested in astronomy.

Also I once gave Sir Bernard a Tunnocks Teacake while he was weeding his garden. He seemed pleased. True story.

4
0

Amazon: e-book purchases push past paper

johnnytruant

Re: Pffft - they're not REAL books.

Rare that I'll resort to either linking to Twitter or Stephen Fry, but he makes a good point here:

"One technology doesn't replace another, it complements. Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators."

http://twitter.com/stephenfry/status/1312682218

0
0
johnnytruant

Re: Pffft - they're not REAL books.

My ereader lives inside a lovely hardback, leather-bound jacket. It looks like a book, smells and feels like a book too. It's a book. It's also a library, dictionary and (if you really want it to be) a web browser and mp3 player.

0
0

Success! Curiosity Mars lander arrives precisely on schedule

johnnytruant

Re: Haven't seen the footage yet...

If all the gear worked, there is video of the descent. It just hasn't been transmitted back to Earth yet.

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/instruments/cameras/mardi/

0
0

Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

johnnytruant

Re: Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

It's not really that having 300+ FPS is better for the user than 270FPS, it's more to show that the same hardware is performing "better" with the different software. This test was done on a Valve test rig with an old game - you'd expect to see very high framerates in that situation. In this context it's a bit like how someone might claim their sportscar does 270mph and this other "better" one does 315mph. Nobody is going to actually drive at those speeds, but it's a performance metric you can use to compare two things. How meaningful pure FPS comparisons are another question entirely - much like top speed comparisons for cars.

Also what the guy above said.

1
0
johnnytruant

Re: I'd pay

"the very fact they someone is using Linux imples they are not likely to spend a significant amount of money on software"

Speaking for me, and just for me, that's not why I use Linux. I use it because - for the things I need my computer to do - it's better than Windows. It's more stable, more secure, gives me more control and the tools available do the job just as well or better. That it's free (from cost) is a bonus, but it's not a factor in my decision to use it.

I spend money buying games for my PS3, and I'd happily spend money buying games for my PC if Steam ports successfully. I have been known to buy the odd HumbleBundle for linux.

People who just want to avoid spending money can easily pirate whatever software they fancy, from Windows to Office to Photoshop to games or whatever.

8
0

Microsoft: Gmail rival Outlook.com will 'look good on your iPad' 

johnnytruant

Re: @ Taylor1

How to polish a turd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJ9fy1qSFI (mythbusters)

2
0
johnnytruant

I like it

it's clean and it's simple and it appears to work. not that I really use my ancient old hotmail address any more.

2
1

Sony Xperia Go waterproof Android phone review

johnnytruant

Re: Make sure it's network unlocked

Possibly the only thing they have in their favour is that Vodafone don't network lock their phones.

Complete shower of shit otherwise, of course.

0
0

Brooks, Coulson to be CHARGED over phone-hacking

johnnytruant

Re: Stop Press - Reg headline to CONTAIN random capitalized WORDS for no GOOD reason

News International RAGS often CAPITALISE certain words in both HEADLINES and ARTICLES THEMSELVES, along with LIBERAL use of BOLD TEXT. I believe THE REGISTER was engaging in SATIRE.

1
1

Page: