So, that's why Pete's gone to Iceland!
1064 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
So, that's why Pete's gone to Iceland!
"The power and volume buttons have been thoughtfully positioned. The same goes for the 3.5mm audio jack and micro USB port"
Where though? Yours and my ideas of "thoughtfull" might be very different and none of the images used show any of the ports - just what looks like either the SIM Card tray cover or the MicroSD Card slot cover on the side.
I'm just getting to the point where a 16MB (actually getting about 11MB) ADSL line isn't quite enough for our family so we'll probably upgrade this year. The only real option being to go up to 40MB. But I would consider us atypically heavy users. For most, 16MB is plenty so they don't see the need to spend more on a faster connection. There needs to be stuff out there that justifies the outlay but companies (understandably) don't want to put the content out there when people don't have the ability to access it.
> Young people today! What do they teach you at school?
Young people? The Decimalisation in the UK happened in 1971 and I believe schools were required to teach metric units from 1969. You'd need to be in your late 60s to have left school before that all came in. And, though I wasn't born then, I'm reliably informed that they were already teaching the metric system for many years before the act was passed.
Apparently this is an ancient system used to measure weight by our forebears and equates to 780g - for those equally as baffled as I was.
Sony sold a gadget for about the £12 mark that was basically just a small bluetooth audio transmitter with a 3.5mm jack. You plugged it into anything with a headphone socket and it allowed you to listen to it with bluetooth headphones. I used to use one to listen to the telly whilst on the treadmill (the treadmill was so noisy I couldn't hear it any other way). Presumably you'd only need the same widget but to work in reverse?
"And, anyway, if the CIA can only account for around half of all UFO sightings, then what the hell else was up there peering down on citizens of Planet Earth?"
The Russian planes spying on the US.
I know a few people whose companies have switched them onto Android (mainly Galaxy S4s) for lack of a decent Blackberry who will be battering down the door of their IT managers looking for one of these. Never saw the attraction myself (but I'm happy to acknowledge I was never the target market) but I know so many with a crackberry habit for whom Android just couldn't quite scratch the itch.
I went for a cheapy USB adaptor off eBay (about £3). It works, but it isn't great and I wish I'd gone for a Dock rather than an adaptor as the tension in the cable often pulls the thing loose meaning I wake up in the morning to a dead battery.
It would be far preferable if Sony had just gone with Qi wireless charging. I had it on the Nexus 4 and it is really hard to take the step backwards.
Erm, there is no Z2 Compact?
Bizarrely, Sony produced a Z1, Z1 Compact and Z1 Tablet.
Then the Z2 and Z2 Tablet - but no Z2 Compact
Now the Z3, Z3 Compact and Z3 Tablet
I think it was because the Z1 Compact was so delayed it only came out a month before the full-sized Z2.
"there was NO excuse for a 6 hour trilogy to cover a 2 hour story"
Six hours? You're kidding aren't you? Try EIGHT hours!!! It is almost 2 hours longer than the original Star Wars Trilogy and if you think of all the things that happened in Star Wars and then the six incidents that make up The Hobbit???
"The TV manufacturers really have taken us for chumps"
This isn't true. There ARE LCD TVs with decent sound out there. Samsung do an excellent 40" TV with superb picture and sound for about £400. But it is thick and has a large frame. It doesn't have 3D and doesn't have Smarts. So, the public choose the fancy, slim, 3D, smart versions that cost a couple of hundred pounds more and look pretty.
So who are the chumps?
If the Maxwell is as good as the review suggests and such a bargain at £230, it is currently on at eBauyer for £140! That sounds (geddit?) like a bit of a steal.
I have a 5-year-old HP WiFi printer that I got for £40 from WH Smiths. I've been able to print from Android for years because HP produce an Android app. It works flawlessly from £30 cheapy Android tablets through to a Sony Xperia Z1. I've never even bothered to work out "how" it works. It just does. Might be over the cloud from HP. Might be direct over the WiFi connection. Who cares?
Do HP (and others) not produce similar apps for Chrome? I kind of just assumed they did. It pretty much defeats the point of buying a cheap Chromebook if you then have to go out and spend a fortune on a top of the range printer that, at best, might work slowly and poorly.
"So what we need, is systems for end users which aren't horribly fragile and full of scary warnings"
To be fair, the reason you could feck about with a C64 or Speccy 48k was because the OS was in ROM. There was (almost*) nothing you could do that couldn't be fixed by turning it off and turning it back on again. And the reason windows locks down a good proportion of the file system is because, if you delete some of those files, you really CAN bork the OS and create hours of work for yourself or (more likely) IT. I know I've had to resort to a Windows re-install after a bit of over-zealous tidying up and I can't imagine I'm alone.
*almost - okay, you could completely destroy a Speccy by knocking the kempston joystick interface out of the back whilst playing a game but, as I spent 17 as a coder repeating ad naseum, "that's a hardware issue".
Whilst that looks simply awe inspiring I can't help feeling you have lost sight of the original experiment. We're looking for Post-Pub nosh here. Anything that requires a list of ingredients, specialist shopping trips, 40+ minutes of cooking time and a sauce that needs straining just doesn't qualify. In a Post-Pub scenario you would have fallen asleep and set the whole house on fire long before you began the process of building the layers. And, frankly, if you have the co-ordination, post-pub, to strain a sauce, then you're simply not trying hard enough.
Post Pub should be limited to a MAXIMUM 6 ingredients and the only sauce required should come from a bottle. That's the beauty of the bacon sarnie - it's simplicity!
Sounds like the Samsung 5000 series TVs - they also do pretty reasonable sound to boot. They're thick, ugly and have a pretty massive bezel but they are also cheap, focus on picture quality over design and gimmicks and can play any media format I've ever tried from the USB port. Network playback, alas, is limited to you having DLNA configured correctly and there just aren't enough virgins in these parts for me to sacrifice to the DLNA gods even if the Moon WERE in the 8th house.
Those Sony TV's look awesome and I would be very tempted but for one thing not mentioned in the review or on some of the sites selling them. The stand folds back around to form a wall-mounting bracket. This is brilliant IF you don't already have a wall bracket. If you do, none of the current Sony TVs will be compatible with it.
Now, I'm all for innovation and a built-in wall mount is great. But the VESA mounting standard has been around for decades and I can't remember the last time I saw a TV or monitor that wasn't compatible. My walls are built out of Manx Stone. It was an absolute pain in the arse to put the brackets up. We got through two titanium drill bits (they melted). Those are not going anywhere.
"..carbs and sugars are more or less instant energy while fats are stored energy in terms of how your body deals with and uses it. If you have a regular carb and sugar intake then the fat never gets used and just keeps going into storage..."
That's not 100% accurate but close enough to be useful. In reality, your body tends to burn a blend of carbs and fat all the time but the proportions vary enormously depending on what energy is available in what form and what demands you are placing on the body at the time. In fact, the body needs sugars (glycogen) to break down fats so it can't really act in isolation. But it is certainly useful to think along those lines.
Plenty of people actually like to go for a run or walk first thing in the morning, before breakfast, to "wake up" the fat-burning mechanism within the body before they consume any carbs. Studies have shown it to be quite beneficial. It's a good idea to take something with you, though. if you aren't used to it your body could react badly so it's handy to have something sugary with you just in case.
I've been doing ultra distance races and challenges for a few years now. Obviously, this involves paying careful attention to my diet so I've spent considerable time over the last 4-5 years reading up on this sort of thing and had come to the same conclusion. I even know athletes who have completed an 85 mile race having both trained and raced on a zero-carb, high fat diet. But I wondered if this was just an endurance sports thing.
However, having been made redundant last year I decided to switch careers and am now training to become a personal trainer. I was a bit apprehensive. I assumed I was going to be taught the same old shite. Low fat, high carb. Official government policy. The reality has been that academia are teaching exactly what this article and my own experiences had already found to be true. Fat is good - as long as it is the correct fats. There is a surprising amount of Chemistry for a Personal Trainer course and plenty of focus on what the fats are, how hydrogenated fats are manufactured, what these fats do to "confuse" the body etc. The same goes for sugars and sweetners.
But it really does seem to be only government health authorities that still peddle "Fat is bad". Colleges, the health industry and athletes seem to have cottoned on quite some time ago.
"....for quite a while"
It was good but without anyone "having an accident" or, at the very least, the Accounts Team having all their work backed up to null (Hey, the backups were fast!) before a complete server outage I'm not sure it could count as "Best".
We've had a WD TV Live for several years now. Western Digital still release fairly regular updates adding new channels. It does Netflix (which is its main purpose) but can also do iPlayer, blinkbox, youtube, spotify, TuneIn and many others. After Netflix, the main use I put it to is streaming all the films I have stored on my NAS. It has HDMI and Composite output, USB input, WifI, Ethrnet, is absolutely tiny, comes with a proper remote but can also be used controlled via an app. Plus my Android Phone and Windows 7+ can see it to stream content to. I've not come across a video format it doesn't support including subtitle files. At around £60, unless you need Amazon Video, I really don't think it can be beaten and if it died today I'd order another without hesitation.
"Well, going in with low expectations is the surest way to avoid disappointment."
That's so true. I went into the first Hobbit film expecting it to be awful and, despite the fact that it wasn't exactly brilliant, I came away delighted because it had exceeded my expectations. Unfortunately, because of this, I went into the second film feeling faintly optimistic and came out disappointed. On reflection, it wasn't a bad film. Probably on a par with the first, but my expectations were so much higher I was thoroughly fed up. Thankfully I'm back to expecting No. 3 to be a massive pile poo. "Massive" being the operative term. How can he make three 2.5+ hour films out of a single, fairly short book? Even if the film is good enough to keep the rest of me awake, my backside will surely be asleep well before the end.
Yes, and I have a theory as to why. If I leave my phone on the charge pad overnight, once fully charged, the phone and pad communicate to say "Hey, I'm full, you can turn off the current now". This might happen at 2am. Of course, by the time I wake and pick up the phone it hasn't been charging for the last five hours or so - but, Android isn't reflecting this. It is on a charge pad and had been fully charged so Android shows 100%.
I find it drops VERY quickly for the first hour or two and then levels off so I think it is Android just catching up with the fact that the battery has been draining for five hours or so. To mitigate this I have phoneweaver installed (an automatic profile manager). At midnight it switches into night mode which turns most things off (bluetooth, WiFi, phone data, data sync etc). It still works as an alarm clock and I can still get calls and texts but it is basically a dumb-phone until 7am when everything gets automatically switched back on. That way, the drain over that five hours or so after it has finishes charging is minimal.
Of course, I could be talking utter bollocks.
How does a year-on-year growth of 7.2% qualify as a crash? I wish my Salary were crashing like that!
The PC market seems to have completely stagnated. Two years ago last August I bought a 17.6" full-HD laptop (matte finish). It had a Core i5, 8GB of fast RAM, 1TB spinning drive, 128GB SSD, NVidia 660M Graphics (2GB DDR5) and a DVD drive. In other words, it had almost exactly the same spec as the Inspiron 17 in this group (slightly better here, slightly worse there but much of a muchness). It also looks remarkably like the Chillblast (i.e. remarkable only for its dullness). And it cost £800. How can the same machine be £50 more expensive over 2 years later? Whatever happened to Moore's law?
I used to buy a machine, upgrade the RAM and storage after year 1, sell it and replace after year 2. I can't see me replacing the laptop for another 2 years at the very least as I'm probably not using a fraction of the power yet. The same goes for the Core i3 desktop I'm typing on at the moment - a 2.5 year old HP that cost about £350.
I'm not saying it is a bad thing. Just strange that we seem to have reached a plateau where all machines are just good enough to do what we want. Benchmarks seem to be the only way to tell one from t'other.
"the amount of space left in the rear when the front seats are pushe right back"
I'm 6'3" (or 1.9m in real money). I have an i10 and can comfortably sit behind the driver's seat when adjusted for me (1 click from all the way back). My Dad has a BMW 520 and I can't even sit behind the seat when its adjusted for him (5'8") let alone me. Small city cars are actually far better for leg room than a standard family saloon/hatchback because all the seats are very upright in a city car. You're average mondeo/A4/320 etc. has very low seats so the tall have to stick their legs out a long way to get comfy. It also makes them a pain to get into and even worse to get out of for anyone with mobility issues.
Someone opposite me has had one for a couple of months now. Even after two months, every time I see it sat in the drive, for a split second, I think it's been in an accident. Something about the grey used for the front-cross makes it look, to my eyes, like a replacement panel that the repairers haven't got around to spraying yet.
On the other hand, I quite like the instrument binnacle (rev-counter aside).
I don't really remember Chips, Cheese and Gravy being around until the late 80s whilst Wikipedia suggests Poutine has been around since the 50s in Quebec. I'd suggest they probably arose independently of each other. I haven't tried poutine but I'd imagine the use of curds rather than chip-shop grated cheddar would make quite a big difference to the taste - though they both look like pig swill.
According to the books, the national dish on the Isle of Man is spuds and herring. However, any local will tell you the REAL national dish is Chips, cheese and gravy, eaten after several pints and a few too many shots. It looks like it's already been eaten (at least once) before and then rejected and I'll admit I resisted trying it for many, many years. However, with a good slug of vinegar it really does taste amazing and is the perfect Friday night post-pub nosh.
You do get some strange looks if you ask for it at any chipper on the "mainland" though.
"I'm no rocket scientist but if they did manage to find the lander, how about re-positioning Rosetta's solar panel array to reflect sunlight down to the shadows in which lander resides?"
This was put to the panel during the google hangout on Friday lunchtime. All three of the panel laughed. One of them did then give a fuller answer which included the fact Rosetta is orbiting, not geo-stationary, you couldn't make it geo-stationary, it wouldn't reflect enough light and a few others besides.
It takes a bit more than twice as long but that's fine because, when charging requires absolutely no effort on your part you find you automatically change your behaviour. When you sit at your desk you just take the phone out and put it on the plate. It sits there trickle charging. Same when you get home. I have a plate on the coffee table in the living room. I sit down, the phone goes on the plate. It also means I'm not fidgeting about in my pockets every time the phone beeps. It is sat on the plate next to me, charging, and I just have to glance over at it to see if I can ignore it or it's actually something important.
It probably doesn't matter how much others enthuse about it. As the writer of this piece suggests, you just need to experience it yourself and, when you do, I suspect you will end up buying 2 or 3 plates and wondering why the rest of the world hasn't cottoned on yet.
Picked mine up for about a tenner of eBay (slightly more than £10 but it was 18 months ago so I forget exactly). Worked perfectly with my Nexus 4 and there was no need to position it exactly. As the author says, you begin to regard plugging a phone in as ridiculously antiquated and I can't believe, so long after it first appeared, that wireless charging isn't already THE standard.
I thought the point of the Nexus devices was A) to showcase the latest version of Android in vanilla format and B) to do so with good enough hardware and so keep the costs low?
By switching tack and using the very latest processor, screen tech, GPU etc they have pushed the price up to (as someone above mentions) laptop levels but, even more bizarrely, they are now competing with other Android manufacturers flagship phones.
Now, this might sound a bit "conspiracy theory" but is this deliberate? We all know that, Apple aside, nobody seems to be making money at the top end any more. Also, there is very little money to be made at the bottom end of the market where the Chinese landfill devices dominate. This leaves the bigger names battling it out in the mid-range - EXACTLY where the Nexus devices have sat. Reviewer after reviewer has said for years now that if you want a mid-range device you can't go wrong with a Nexus.
So, has Google moved the Nexus into the upper echelons at the request of the bigger manufacturers to clear space for them to fight it out in the middle.
"You (should) get what you pay for"
That's just nonsense. You haven't paid for a 2mb service. You have paid to share a 2mb service with (usually) 30 to 50 other people. If you want guaranteed access to a whole 2mb all of the time it is quite simple. You lease a 2mb line. The problem with that is that it is hugely expensive - largely because you have access to it 24 hours a day but you only really need it in the evenings and at weekends.
It's like turning up to your local swimming pool and arguing that it was advertised as 15m x 25m but there are other people swimming at the same time as you so you can't access it all. In which case, you have a simple choice. Get up at 5am so you can swim when nobody else wants to or go get your own pool!
"Until then, I don't see a reason why paying users should even have to put up with the notion of this happening to the internet at large."
I see your point but doesn't it come down to how MUCH you pay? You mention that it would be okay to prioritise traffic if the service were free. But if you choose the lowest priced ISP and they happen to make up the difference by selling priorities to (e.g.) Netflix then isn't that really just the same thing but on a sliding scale?
In a free market you can choose to pay more for a lower contention ratio, a fixed IP address etc. Surely the same should apply to traffic shaping? If you want un-shaped traffic, you pay full whack. If you want to save a few quid, you accept having your traffic shaped.
"it's presumably the 25% of Scotland's territory where practically no-one lives"
I don't get that? 4G is mobile, not fixed. Who gives a shit what the coverage is like where I live? I have broadband and WiFi where I live. All of the Mobile Operators are advertising to us that 4G allows us to "Get things done" on the move. So then, why advertise "90% population coverage"? The two aren't exactly polar opposites but they certainly aren't the same thing.
If 4G is meant to allow me to watch telly whilst I'm out and about then I want to know what the chances are of there being a sufficient signal whilst I am out and about. If I'm trying to watch the football by a river (as Mr Bacon tells me I should be able to in the ad) I really couldn't care less what the signal is like back at home - I want to know there is a signal by the river.
Broadband = population coverage
Mobile = geographic coverage
It sounds like, at the moment, you are better off getting an old Nintendo Wii off eBay. They can be had for about £50 (or £70-ish with tons of games). They make better games players, you can download Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and plenty of other Apps plus, with a very simple update, they can be made into a brilliant XBMC style media player accessing all the video, music and photos from a NAS.
I suppose the real downside would be that you're limited to 480p but, given that it can do pretty much anything we've been more than happy with ours as the main media player for a few years now.
"If you're comparing it with competing smartwatches such as the $299 Samsung Gear and $350 LG Watch R... those smartwatches are hardly lookers....perhaps the fanbois.....will be willing to pony up...for a smartwatch that actually looks fashionable"
Sorry, are you referring to the Apple Watch? The one they showed at the iPhone 6 Launch? Seriously? I'm not saying the other two are lookers (though I quite like the Moto 360) but the Apple Watch is a hideously ugly slab.
"one's self soiling would be purely reterospective"
There has to be an album title in there somewhere.....
I must be missing something. This drive is squarely aimed at people editing 4K video - which is massive. Yet this drive has only 1TB of space - if configured for striping??
That's strange. I'm in the same position (due for renewal next week but probably won't) but came to the opposite conclusion. We spend far more time watching series on Netflix but I prefer the films of Amazon Prime. Vikings and Transparent aside I've found Prime disappointing on the TV side. Extant was woeful - even allowing for the eye candy that is Halle Berry.
At £40 between 4 households I thought prime was a bargain. At £80 and only allowed to share the postage part I think it is very questionable. The other households would have to have a lovefilm instant subscription to get the video and the books only work with kindle devices. I can't access the free books through the kindle app on my phone, tablet or PC.
That picture off Dragon under the ISS with Sydney in the background is extraordinary.
"I enjoy it, personally. But not on an intellectual level — it's popular, family viewing"
I think that's the bit the "rest" of us don't get. There is a fairly large subculture out there that almost worship Doctor Who and spend huge amounts of time analysing plot lines and character development, decisions, ramifications etc.
And yet the whole point of Doctor Who is that it is a simple, family show whose entire premise was designed to allow the writers to do whatever they wish without having to worry about timelines, contradictions or any of the other stuff so beloved of Sci-Fi geeks.
It all seems very strange but then, it isn't hurting anyone so I should probably stop worrying about it and go back to sleep.
Are you sure the back is glass this time? All the reviews of the Z1 & Z1 Compact informed us they had glass rear panels but they were, in fact, plastic-designed-to-feel-like-glass. This had the unfortunate result in them being as slippery as glass but as scratch-proof as plastic. I.E. not very. My Z1 Compact, used for 8 months without a case, has not one single mark on the gorilla-glass screen whilst the rear plastic plate looks like someone has used the pointy bit from a pair of compasses to produce an etching of the surface of Europa.
Not that it matters in the least for day-to-day usage. My concern is sell-on value. I tend to look after my phones quite well and have always received a good return when I flog them on eBay come upgrade time.
+1 to both Badges
Yes. Calibre. Download it, install it and use it to "backup" all of the kindle titles you own to ePub. You can then plug in a Kobo (or any other eReader with a USB connection) and synch those titles to it.
"Not by people that like reading - those who casually glance at a book may be served by a tablet, but those who read more than a couple of pages at a time will always prefer an ereader - eink is much better on the eyes"
It must be an eyesight thing but I can read perfectly well for a couple of hours on a tablet. I've read many long novels on a tablet (Pipo U1 with a 720p IPS display) without any issues. I do like eReaders, my wife has a Kobo Mini and I think it is excellent. I just don't feel the need to own a smartphone, a tablet AND an eReader. As for distractions, I turn the WiFi off when reading.
Unfortunately, all of this technology does rely on films with soundtracks that take advantage of it - and that means big-budget blockbusters. And big-budget blockbuster have been unremittingly dire for quite some time now. The Planet of the Apes films would work well and are outstanding but until Hollywood gets over it's truly bizarre comic-book obsession and stops churning out such awful shite as Silver Surfer, Spiderman, Superman, Fantastic Four, endless identically dull X-Men films etc. then a several thousand pound investment in a new sound system is a waste. There are brilliant films being made but they don't benefit from decorating your walls with speakers in the way a Terminator 2 or the Lord of the Rings Trilogy does.
I got the original fairly recently for my Son, to replace a battery-worn Chinese-cheapy. Tesco have a clearance store on eBay where they get rid of factory refurbished and end of line stock. I got the Hudl for £59, refurbished and with a 12-month warranty - and no vouchers required.