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* Posts by Bassey

1012 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Bassey

Pointless Argument

So the guy that is trying to sell us on the idea of 4k suggests that the best thing about it is not how noticeably better the image quality is (he admits most people won't actually notice the move up) but that, having got used to 4k, all the rest of the content out there (currently 99.999% - roughly) will be ruined for you because it is really hard to go back.

I think I'll wait, thanks.

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Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

Bassey

Sports Tracking

It isn't a mainstream use, I'll grant you, but I had the 2nd Gen Sony Smartwatch (the new wear-based, despite being called No.3, is actually the 4th Gen) and found it useful whilst out training. I do ultra-distance races so, when training, I'm out for several hours at a time. My phone sits in a backpack well out of the way. My smartwatch allows me to see how far I've gone, what direction the next checkpoint is, keep an eye on whether or not anyone (important) is trying to get in contact with me, dismiss/delete the crap etc. With just a phone, all of this required me to keep the phone in some kind of belt pouch (and belt pouch sizes are not keeping up with smartphone sizes so that was becoming tricky in itself) and keep pulling it out, unlocking it and checking it. Okay, not a big deal but I'd occasionally drop it or trip over and sweaty hands/rain tend to make the screen unusable plus, until I got a Z1 Compact, none of my phones have been waterproof so I was always afraid of borking them. The watch certainly wasn't indispensable but it made a few tasks a lot easier and was well worth the £75 it cost.

However, after the first week or two's novelty wore off, it ONLY got used for training. It certainly wasn't a daily watch replacement. I can see the new ones being of use for people who have opted for a Phablet and carry it with them in a bag, though.

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Watch this Aussie infosec bod open car doors from afar

Bassey

How useful is this?

Keys and locks have never been 100% secure but that is partly because we don't want them to be. We want them to be good enough to deter/delay 99% of people but still able to be broken when we loose the key. After all, it is FAR more likely that you will loose the key to your own car than someone will come along with $1000 dollars worth of kit and spend 30 minutes hacking it. In which case, I WANT there to be a back door.

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Bassey

Quod in nobis est...

Because we can...

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Xiaomi: Hidden Android dragon is growing fast, despite being unknown in the West

Bassey

> it came with a lot of extras.... keyboard pen

What's a keyboard pen?

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LG drops G3 quad HD Android mobe with FRIGGIN' LASER camera

Bassey

Plus plenty of phones today are coming with covers over the charge port for waterproofing. Fannying about with one of those rather than just putting the phone down just makes life easier - and isn't that what technology is (supposed to be) about?

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I/O: New Google design language will RULE OVER 'DROIDS

Bassey

Re: For all the metro haters

"Win95 was a massive step up from W3.11 but loads of people found it hard to adapt"

That's true. I remember huge swathes of angry articles being written about the Win95 Start menu. The most poisonous vitriol was reserved for the fact that the "Power" button was under the start menu so that, in the words of many more than one magazine piece, you have to press start to stop.

This, of course, carried on all the way through to Windows 7 until it was changed in Windows 8 - when lots of column inches were taken up with how impossible it was to find the power icon to shut down your PC because it wasn't where it should be. I.E. it wasn't under "Start".

People DO hate change. It is a simple fact of human nature.

There is a heritage village near me. It has an old-style red phone box. There was a proposal to remove it but people were up in arms. "It's part of our heritage. It's been there for fifty years. How dare they?" etc. etc.

Even once it was pointed out that the phone box had only been there about 15 years having replaced a Green phone box (that HAD been there 50 years) and that people had hated the introduction of the red phone box at the time as it was "Destroying our heritage" - people still moaned and the phone box has had to remain.

People are stupid.

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'I got a little bit upset by that Register article...' says millionaire model. Bless!

Bassey

Re: What about a Mars-obliterating catastrophe?

I think he is working on the basis that an asteroid strike is highly unlikely to wipe out earth AND Mars in one go - it's not billiards!

Of course, a galaxy-wide event would wipe us out in any case but, given that Extinction Level Events have occurred several times in the past it seems a fairly safe bet that we are looking at when, rather than if, we get another. Having a colony on Mars who could then maybe look at recolonising Earth after the ELE seems like a reasonable precaution to me.

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Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

Bassey

Re: Variable perspective

That's what I thought. If I've understood it correctly, it works in the same was as this (by now very famous) video of the guy who hacked a Wii sensor bar to do something very similar - and boys is his effort effective.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw

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Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

Bassey

Re: Grammar Nazi

But then, dictionary.com spell overemphasizes with a "z" so why would we pay any attention to them? Plus, point two uses a relative comparison with no base factor rendering it meaningless. Your overemphasis is the pedants appropriate oversight.

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IoT cup claims 'instant' identification of what's in it

Bassey

Wow, El Reg being written by commentards

What an appalling article? I expect comments, after a piece, along the lines of "This device isn't useful to me therefore everyone who is interested must be a raving idiot" but I don't usually see the author firing the opening shots.

Quite apart from the examples given above, long distance running would be a perfect candidate for this technology, if not the product itself.

Working on the basis the sensors actually work, if they could be placed into a sports bottle they would be brilliant. I do ultra distance events, mountain marathons, that sort of thing. Whilst you are required to carry some emergency supplies you are fairly dependant on whatever the race organisers supply at the feed stations for most of your needs.

So I spend months training, watching what I eat and drink, analysing how much I sweat under certain conditions, formulating feed and hydrations plans but then have to take whatever is available (usually very little by the time I get there) and hope it is okay. I can control this a bit by carrying salt tablets to drop into water etc. but I'm constantly getting it wrong and ending up either dehydrated or (worse) washing all the salts out of my system by drinking too much water and then coming down with cramps.

A bottle that can analyse exactly what I've consumed and send an alert to my phone with a recommendation of what to collect at the next feed station would be an amazing thing indeed. And if the number of on-line stores, brands, products etc. cropping up all the time is anything to go by this is a large and rapidly growing market.

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

Bassey

Re: Renewable is OK but...

"only 7 readers so far who never get from behind their desk and only know how nature looks from those nice wallpapers on their desktops"

My, what a pompous arse you come across as. As it happens, I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and am lucky enough to spend most of my time in the countryside miles from anyone. However, I also realise the beautiful environment around me has changed over time. What we see as "this green and pleasant land" was constructed by people AND nature. Nature is hugely adaptable. Even more so than humans. Things change. Not all change is bad. Not all change is ugly. Not everyone who doesn't share your opinions is an industrialist desk-bound psycho.

Get over yourself.

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10

Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

Bassey

Re: Thoughts

Brilliant. But what happens when you are walking ALONG the road? Plenty (most) of the roads around here have no pavements and I rely on being able to hear traffic coming to protect myself from it (there's bugger all point relying on them avoiding me!). The same thing, of course, applies to cyclists and other road users who aren't motorised.

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The Strippers, Unicorn Computers and Martian Watches of Computex

Bassey

Re: Doomed?

Actually HAVING a Qi wireless charger that I use every day I do feel qualified to disagree with your ill-informed rant. My charging plate cost £8 off eBay, is a few mm thick, weighs next to nothing and seems to charge at a similar rate to a standard charger. I say seems to. Life's too short to actually sit there with a stop watch...

Having used one for about 8 months now it seems inconceivable that others fiddle about plugging in non-reversible Micro-USB cables rather than just put their phone down. I don't even have to line it up or make sure it is the correct way around (other than face-up). It just works and is something that, once you've used, you KNOW everything will have it at some point because it makes the current way of doing things seem daft.

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100% driverless Wonka-wagon toy cars? Oh Google, you're having a laugh

Bassey

Use case

I'm sure we can all have fun sitting there coming up with hundreds of use-cases where these things aren't suitable. But then, I could do the same thing with today's cars.

On the other hand, the use case for which these ARE suitable happens to represent and massive proportion of the journeys made in the western world today. The regular commute. Be that to your place of work or to the nearest transport hub, hundreds of millions of people every morning and evening make the same, simple, relatively short journey in a (relatively) large and fuel-hungry car by themselves.

Personally, if Google can ease that particular drudgery by making it possible for me to do something else whilst making the mind-numbingly dull trip and save me from having to deal with all the other bored drivers then that just seems like a brilliant thing.

2-seater pod thingy turns up at 07:45. I get in and put the telly on. I have a coffee. Watch a bit of news. Catch up on the latest Reg headlines. 30 mins later a "ping" lets me know I'm outside work so I'd better hop out. 2-seater pod thingy heads off to nearest charge point. It texts/emails me at about 16:30 to find out whether I'm leaving on time or I'll be staying late.....

It sounds like heaven and should be a piece of piss. It is basically a driver-less taxi that I lease (so much cheaper) and I don't have to engage in small-talk with.

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A budget phablet, what a curious thing: Reg puts claws to the Lumia 1320

Bassey

The question

So is this maybe the answer to that question many have been puzzling over for the last 18 months?

Why on earth would anyone want a smart-watch?

Get one of these, leave it in a bag and use the watch to see incoming texts, tweets, take calls etc. (traditional phone stuff). Only take it out of the bag when you want to watch videos, take pictures, play games and so on (the entertainment bit that the large screen is useful for).

Of course, this would mean smart-watches becoming a hell of a lot better than they are now in terms of interacting with them.

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JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

Bassey

Nonsense and crap

I HATE this bullshit about the Star Wars (pre)sequels being crap - it is utter, utter bullshit. The only people who say they are crap are 40 something fans of the original films (i.e. people like me). And the only reason we say they are crap is because we have this weird belief that, because the original 3 were made for us, everything to do with Star Wars must also have been made for us.

WRONG WRONG WRONG

We are sad old men (and, in a few cases, sad old women). We are irrelevant fusty old farts and nobody gives a flying fuck what we think. Just ask those same kids in the school yard how old they think you are? Here's a clue. They can't tell the difference between you and your parents. We are all just old and therefore our opinions are worthless.

And just as the original Star Wars films were made for us, a generation raised on Saturday afternoon Cowboy films and dodgy 70s Sci Fi, so the prequels were made for a generation raised on Power Rangers - which I think is complete and utter shite but kids brought up on it (including mine) worshipped it. And those kids LOVED the Star Wars prequels.

And that means they were great films. Because they were designed and marketed to a target audience and they hit the nail on the head - just like the first films.

Unfortunately, a bunch of hopeless loosers who can't/won't grown up keep harping on about it as if Lucas got it wrong. He didn't. He just doesn't care one iota about us - and nor should he.

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Cisco reboots PC with $1500 'Scandafornian' Android fondleslab

Bassey

Touchscreen desktops

I'm not convinced by the "Touch Screen Devices just don't work" argument. I got one of those Asus T100 convertible tablet/netbook thingies back in November. It has a touch-pad AND a touch-screen and I find myself using both about the same amount of time, even when in standard laptop mode.

Okay, that doesn't really make or break the argument either way as it is a small device designed to be used very close to you (it only has a 10" screen so you can't really use it too far away).

HOWEVER, having used it for a good six months now I find the lack of a touch-screen on my large (17.6") development laptop hugely frustrating. I frequently find myself stabbing at buttons on the screen or trying to drag windows around etc. The development laptop runs windows 8.1 - the same as the netbook.

HOWEVER, I DON'T find myself trying to fondle the monitor on my Windows 7 based desktop PC - even though it sits on the same desk as the laptop. I would say the monitor on the desktop and the screen on the laptop are about the same distance away from me and are used pretty similarly. The main difference is the interface.

And yes, I realise 93.7% of you will instantly dismiss my opinion because I'm using windows 8.1 but you know what? It's actually pretty good. If it could just learn NOT to pop-up the on-screen keyboard all the freakin' time even though I have a perfectly good physical keyboard docked (and it knows about the physical keyboard because it appears in the connected devices list) then the list of gripes I had from about 2 years ago would be all ticked off.

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Sony Xperia Z2: 4K vid, great audio, waterproof ... Oh, and you can make a phone call

Bassey

Re: smashing glass

If it really is the same as the Z1 then the front is glass but the back is plastic You wouldn't know to look or feel them but the front glass doesn't scratch while the back picks up very fine scratches quite easily. I find it a much tougher phone than my Nexus 4 though.

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Helpdesk/Service Desk Recommendations

Bassey

spiceworks

Yeah, same here. I think Spiceworks is virtually the default for SMEs looking for a cheap, no-hassle ticketing system. It isn't great and I'm not sure the reports can do graphs (I've never looked. Management only want to know how many tickets are outstanding and how many we closed this week) but, once set up, it runs with very little admin.

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Nokia: ALL our Windows Phone 8 Lumias will get a cool 8.1 boost

Bassey

Re: quad-core and 512Mb RAM as standard now?

> I keep thinking about upgrading my 610 (WP7.8) to a 620 but it seems I'd be

> better waiting a little longer.for one of these,

I thought that but it seems the 630 isn't the sucessor to the 620. The 620 was a nice compact 3.5" phone. These are 4.5" monsters. I do hope Nokia will release at least one compact phone in this next generation. There aren't many manufacturers left producing anything under 4".

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Little pink handjob: Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact

Bassey

Re: we love ours

> you can add exceptions to Stamina Mode, so you can still get emails

Excellent, thanks for that. Guess I should RTFM!

Oh, and for those that would prefer their device to behave more like standard Android (I'm coming from a KitKat enabled Nexus 4 and have come to really appreciate Google Now being a part of the Launcher) there is a 3rd party launcher on the Play store called KK Launcher which (near as damn it) replicates the latest Nexus Now Launcher but with a couple of extra customisations.

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Bassey

Re: we love ours

I'm with Samuel on this. I love my Compact but the one slight downside is battery life. It is no worse but also no better than other Android phones I have owned. It JUST gets through a full day with a little bit to spare. If I enable the Stamina mode I have 50% left at the end of the day but then I don't get push notifications, my calendar doesn't synch etc. In other words, it stops being a "smart" phone so what's the point?

Everything else is fantastic. I bought an adaptor for a couple of quid that allows me to plug the standard charger into the docking port so I don't need to prise open the USB port cover in order to charge the thing. Just been for a run in the pissing rain and it was so nice not to have to worry about sticking my phone in a zip bag to keep it dry.

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ECCENTRIC, PINK DWARF dubbed 'Biden' by saucy astronomers

Bassey

Re: Thanks for converting to the British from the Dutch German

Wasn't it also agreed, after a reader vote a couple of years ago, that the Reg would stop using imperial units except in cases where they were the international standard (aviation height in feet for example)? In all other cases metric and/or Reg standards are obligatory.

I have the tar, who was looking after the feathers?

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Bassey

Smartphones

I don't get the smartphone thing. I know not everyone has one but a LOT of people do. And yes, I know Asia isn't as rich as the west but these are people who can afford a long haul flight so a pretty fair proportion will have smartphone, tablet, laptop etc.

With Android and Windows Phone (and I assume the same goes for iOS devices) you can log onto a website and see exactly where that phone is. Or rather, you can see exactly where that device was when it last had any kind of a data connection.

Of all the devices that must have been on that plane and given the current theory that it was over India/Pakistan/wherever if that plane was below 20,000 ft and intact at ANY point then there will be a record of it on google play/windows MyPhone etc. And not just one record. LOTS of records.

To my mind that is one of the major arguments in favour of the theory that it hit the sea with everyone either disabled or unaware.

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Vine's 'educational nudity': 'So if I write 1+1=2 on my boobs we're grand?'

Bassey

World Peace

"worked tirelessly for us so that we and millions of others around the world like us could live in peace"

Not to put too much of a downer on it but the UN currently lists 42 active wars and conflicts....

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Nipper rolls up at nursery with 48 wraps of HEROIN

Bassey

> Do they also expel all cookery students?

They're American. Learning how to open a packet of "Mac'n'Cheese" doesn't require a knife.

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Bring Your Own Disks: The Synology DS214 network storage box

Bassey

Re: What have I missed?

I think you are all (reviewer included) making the usual IT mistake of assuming what you do is the norm. This is marketed as a home NAS. 99% of home NAS devices are used for a couple of hours in the evenings and then a bit more at the weekend. They most certainly don't require 24/7 rated discs. The opposite in fact. Low energy is far more important.

Most home users don't know what a VPN is, there are probably about 3 of you using IP Cameras. Torrent client, yes, maybe, but not huge numbers or volumes. They are used for backups and for streaming Video and music to some form of client (Apple TV, Samsung telly, XBox, ipad etc). They need iTunes server compatibility, maybe DLNA (though as it hardly ever works it's farm from essential) and a very simple, hand holding interface that takes an average user through setting up average use-cases.

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Bassey

What have I missed?

With the exception of the IP Camera function I can't see what this setup does that a D-Link DNS-320 does - except costing five times more. And £175 for 2 X 2TB drives? Seriously? Amazon sells the WD Green edition for about £60 a pop. Given that the main bottleneck will always be bandwidth a Green drive is surely a better bet than a "High Performance" model anyway?

I'm certainly not a network person so could easily have missed the point but, as best as I can tell, a DNS-320 plus 2 X 2TB drives sets you back about £160 and does the job perfectly well. I've got this exact setup at home backing up and feeding media to about 6 machines. And I've recently persuaded 2 others to go with the same thing (both, thankfully, perfectly happy).

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Asus Transformer Book T100: Xbox One? PS4? Nah, get a cute convertible for Christmas

Bassey

Re: Not for me :(

Try PCSpeciaaliist.co.uk Then you can spec your machine however you want it and, best of all, if you don't want windows on it you don't have to pay the Windows Tax. I got my current laptop from them last summer and stuck Linux on it as a Development machine.

I've also bought one of these T100 netbooks and it is a stonking bit of kit for the money. It has the odd little rough edge (literally) though I had no issues installing and registering Office. It took about 30s. The screen is excellent, it is a really nice tablet and I can imagine it being very useful for whiling away time on planes and trains. However, it is also plenty powerful enough to get some light work done. I haven't suffered any slowdowns yet. Normally I would shy away from anything with less than 4GB of RAM and my main machine has 8GB but the T100 seems to cope without issue. Oh, and I've been using it on and off all day including streaming video across the network. The battery currently says 57% remaining at 8pm!

3
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Google RIPS aside curtain, exposes Nexus 5 phone, KitKat Android 4.4 coupling

Bassey

Re: UK rip off ?

Not sure about that. The rate is 1.6 today but has been much closer to 1.5 over the last couple of years. You have to think about the long-term rate not a current spike. Take the FX at 1.5 and add 20% and you get £280. Add in a few quid for "localisation", etc and I don't think it is too bad. Certainly, compared to any other equivalent phone, I think you are pushing it a bit to complain about £300! Whenever a company sells overseas they are taking a bit of a gamble on FX rate fluctuations and it is pretty normal to weight the odds in their favour. It is the shipping for devices from Google play that always sticks a bit in my throat. They lure you in with the ludicrously low price and then charge £10+ to ship it.

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The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

Bassey

Strikes a chord

I'm about to be made redundant (1,2,3 ahhhh). Despite numerous offers I'm taking a break for a bit. My wife has just taken over the local pub so we have an income, a decent bit of redundancy and, as we now live above the pub, we have also rented out the house. So, I will have some spare time and, as the pub is next door to the primary school attended by both our kids I've volunteered to do some teaching. Specifically, I'll be spending one morning a week teaching the year 6 kids the basics of programming when the new term starts after Christmas.

So, I have been spending some time thinking about this. I've collected a range of online resources, books, opinions etc but still haven't settled on anything. However, I do have a few thoughts. To my way of thinking, the new BBC micro is not the Pi, it is the smartphone. Nearly every 11 year old has a smartphone of one type or another. Huge industries have grown up around apps and every company now has some kind of mobile presence - whether that be through an app, mobile website or whatever. Mobile is the present and foreseeable future.

Given that the kids will have various iphones, androids and - Who knows? - maybe even a WinPho, I'm thinking web development. Start off with a simple website. Get them to make changes and then see what effect those changes have. Introduce css, java etc and maybe even work towards a simple game.But iI'd quite like the kids to drive it. I'll have the time to set stuff up for them during the week and, by keeping the site available, there is no reason why any enthusiastic kids can't experiment outside of actual lessons.

However, advice from those who might have done something similar would be most welcome.

3
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Motorola to kick off comeback with US-made Moto X

Bassey

No access to Android code

Was just wondering about that myself. I can only assume he was talking about the Google apps - Now, Play, Maps, GMail etc which are not a part of the Open Source OS but are considered an important part of the Android Experience. If he DIDN'T mean that, then we have a pretty decent idea of why Motorola have been failing miserably of late.

0
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Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces

Bassey

don't unserstand the omission of Sony

As best as I can tell, the Sony smart watch does everything these devices can, more reliably, better, cheaper (£75 on Amazon) has a much larger catalogue of apps and widgets and with few, if any, of the limitations you highlight. So, other than being nearly 18 months old now, I don't understand why it only got a passing mention in the opening section? Anyone reading the article would get the impression there are no mature devices available that do all the things you list but that isn't the case.

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Review: Nokia Lumia 520

Bassey

Re: dumb (phone)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sony-Ericsson-Walkman-W705-Luxury-silver-Orange-Mobile-Phone-/281096395828?pt=UK_Mobile_Phones&hash=item4172a69c34

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Bassey

dumb (phone)

If you only want to make calls, check mail and play music then why get a smartphone? Any £10 dumb phone will do that and with a battery life measured in weeks.

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Bassey

you guys are weird

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that but cubes? Sexy? Seriously? When was the last time you saw a woman as wide and deep as she was tall and thought to yourself "Mmm, sexy!"? And as for the PS3 bread bin...

1
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Official: Cloud computing invented by two technophobic old geezers

Bassey

Re: Not quite there yet

Funnily enough, just yesterday, someone at work was trying to get an older version of Assassin's Creed running on one of the work PCs* (Core i3, Intel HD2000 graphics). It coped, just about, but it did occur to me that, as he was paying £12 to download the game from Steam, wouldn't it be handy if Steam also provided a nicely spec'd VM with the game already installed, running and optimised, and just provided him with a remote session into the VM?

Now THAT would be a cloud computing service worth the name.

2
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Taiwan's Polytron promises see-through phones

Bassey

Re: lost in translation

Thankfully, in the part of the world I live, I would be utterly astonished if the phone had NOT found it's way back into my hands. There has to be an upside to living in the arse-end of nowhere.

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Bassey

lost in translation

I lost my smartphone whilst out running in the hills behind our house last Thursday night. Some bloke found it, went through the call log, called my sister and got it back to me. I can't help feel that would have been rather less likely with a transparent phone. In fact, I'm struggling to think of a single reason why it would be a good thing.

2
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Tennessee bloke quits job over satanic wage slip

Bassey

new god required

How pathetically inadequate must his god be if it can't protect him from a number printed on a wage slip? He should really consider upgrading his god to a better/more powerful model

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1

Analyst offers cut-price fondleslab recipe

Bassey

Re: How about £44.50

Try this;

http://www.eupson.com/pipo-u1-with-android-41-jelly-bean-tablet-rockchip-rk3066-16ghz-1gb16gb-ips-1280x800-tablet-pc_p710.html?zenid=gcksg108063q0f2u0fsh79e1r2

£94 for a 7" IPS 1280X800 Display, 1GB RAM, 16GB Storage, HDMI, USB, MicroSD, Dual Core CPU and Quad Core Graphics in an Alu Case. I've done a fair bit or searching and it seems to be the best around at the moment but things change pretty quickly in the tablet market at the moment.

And I have no connection to the above. Just been searching for a Christmas present!

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Bassey

Re: sub $100 tablets

Not sure on your "Most of the ones I've seen" there Charles. There are many, many tens of these things out there and it is pretty rare to see Gingerbread on them these days. You are really only looking at a £50 Resistive-screen model. The vast majority are running ICS (4.0.4) at around £60-80 and come with 1.2GHz Single core CPUs and a single Mali 400 GPU with 512MB of RAM. Spend £80-100 and you can easily get Jelly Bean, Dual core CPU, quad-core GPU, 1GB of RAM and a high-res IPS display (1280x800) and some even have aluminium, rather than plastic, cases.

I'm not saying the feel, build quality or UX will be up there with a Nexus 7 but for around £90 you certainly can get a stonkingly good tablet WITH USB Host, HDMI and a MicroSD Slot. There seems to be a lot of crap being spread about the cheapo chinese tablets at the moment. Sure, 18 months ago they were churning out barely functional toys but they have seriously upped their game and it doesn't take much shopping around to save yourself a lot of money compared to a Nexus or Kindle HD.

5
0

Man strives to shatter Call of Duty world record

Bassey
Joke

And to think

I'm sure some naysayers suggested that spending so long playing games was a complete waste of time. He sure showed them!

3
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Author of '80s classic The Hobbit didn't know game was a hit

Bassey

Re: Penetrator

I'm with you on Penetrator. I remember my parents playing The Hobbit but it really didn't do anything for me. For it's time, Penetrator felt fast and furious and being able to design your own levels felt revolutionary. I was just getting into programming through the school computer club and code listings in magazines. But the graphics on games you wrote yourself were always crappy (even for a 8 bit home computers) so being able to design levels with the engine used in Penetrator felt amazing.

1
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Reader input required: review our reviews

Bassey

> do you prefer longer, in-depth reviews - or are focused, waffle-free appraisals what you're after?

It depends on the product but I'm usually in favour of longer, in depth reviews. I agree with the others though. The "10 best Androids under a fiver" style comparisons are excellent. I've used those reviews many times since they started a couple of years ago - and I pass them on to to others when getting the all to common "you work in IT. Which X should I buy" requests.

> Are you looking for science paper-style evaluations - or do you favour short, consumer-oriented 'should I buy this?'

Somewhere in between. There are plenty of sites that do full in-depth technical analysis and plenty that repeat the press release. I think 3-5 pages, depending on how complex the product, is plenty - with an extra page or two for camera reviews to allow for sample shots.

> Are benchmarks important to you

I think a few simple benchmarks can tell you a lot. A fairly standardised battery test for mobiles and laptops (we ran such and such for 2 hours with these settings and it reported x% left). I actually think the benchmarks and spec tables are excellent. The only negative is that sometimes they are omitted. Obviously this will be down to how long you got the device for etc etc but it is annoying if only 9 out of 10 laptop reviews have benchmarks - particularly if the missing one is the one I was interested in!

> Is a percentage rating a useful quick-look measure of a product's worth?

Yes. "Most" of us are adult enough to realise they are subjective and coloured by the reviewers opinions but, if I'm in a hurry and not sure if I have time to read a 5-page review, it is useful to know beforehand if it gets 50% or 90%.

> Do spec sheets or tables help?

Yes. It saves covering every single spec within the text of the review leaving the reviewer to cover only the important USPs.

> Do you like to see lots of product picture

Not lots, but photos of ports etc are helpful - particularly if something has a port cover or plug. Those things can be a real PITA if done badly so a decent close-up is always welcome. Also, something to show a product to scale. It is all very well stating how small, slim, huge, fat a product is but we need to see it in relation to a common, every day object.

> Games reviews - good or bad, more or fewer?

Not fussed personally but I'm sure you guys know how many clicks they get.

Overall though, I love the reg reviews, use them a lot and would just appreciate a little more consistency.

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Bassey

Re: Shameless Amazon advert?

"Also - on what planet is it worth paying 50 of any currency to be allowed to borrow one book per month?"

It isn't and he doesn't suggest it is. But, if you are already an Amazon Prime subscriber then, effectively, you are getting twelve free ebooks a year - which is certainly worth considering if you are trying to decide between a Kobo and a Kindle.

As an existing Amazon Prime subscriber looking at a new 7" tablet it NEARLY tipped the balance towards the Kindle HD - until I read the reviews on that device.

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Belkin flaunts non-Apple Lightning add-ons

Bassey

Not available

If they aren't available until mid-November then how do you know they will be the first? There is still a couple of weeks for someone to beat them to it by, you know, maybe announcing something that is actually available to buy!

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GooPad's eight-incher gives Apple fans cheap relief

Bassey

Re: Hey up, what's the state of play with these cheap tablets?

I got a cheapo resistive android tablet July 2011 - but that was fairly crap. Really only usable as an ebook reader, email, RSS, music and low-res video. Simple stuff. Web browsing was possible but slow and painful and games were a no-no.

In May this year I got a new cheapo chinese one. It has a 1.2GHz CPU plus a 400MHz Mali GPU, 512MB RAM and 16GB of storage. Then it was £90 - I've seen them lately for £65-70. It runs Android 4.0.4 and most of the time it flies along. Web browsing is a joy, it makes a brilliant kindle, good for games, I've watched countless videos on it both on the screen and using the HDMI port to output to a big telly. Overall, it is WELL worth the money and makes some of the £400-500 tablets look daft. I use it every day and the kids also love it.

HOWEVER, there are (of course) a couple of limitations. Some stuff in the Android Marketplace isn't compatible with it. I'm not 100% sure why. But If I search for some apps (Amazon App as an example) it will tell me I can install it on my 2-year-old Android phone but not the tablet - might be the lack of GPS. Who knows.

Very occasionally, it goes slow for a couple of minutes. Usually it pops back again but sometimes it requires a reboot. I suspect it is doing some house keeping in the background.

If I were buying now, I'd get the Ainol Fire (about £110 on Amazon) with a dual-core CPU, more RAM, better display and metal body. But the cheap tablets ARE very good and have the advantage of HDMI, MicroSD and USB ports so carrying around a bunch of music and films becomes incredibly easy.

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Amazon lends e-books free to Prime subscribers

Bassey

Re: Only on a hardware reader

That is a pretty crap restriction. I read books through various kindle apps on my PCs, phone and tablet. But I don't own a kindle so, despite having been a prime subscriber for many years, I'm excluded from this. Along with the free films that they get in the US and the ability to lend books to other kindle users (also US) Amazon seem to be going out of their way to annoy large segments of their users.

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