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* Posts by Bassey

1013 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008

Apple TV: Third time unlucky, Mr Jobs

Bassey

It's at least interesting

Thinking from purely my own use, we currently subscribe to Blockbuster. For £8/month we get four Blu-Rays or DVDs. The downside to this is that we have to watch a DVD, post it back and wait for another to arrive. Also, if we don't get through our four films in the month, we still pay £8. If we get through all four too soon we either have to wait or pay extra (£2.50 I think) before they will send another. Also, for popular releases, you might have to wait a few weeks for a film to become available.

So the AppleTv looks quite interesting. I don't have to wait. I don't have to choose the film we will watch well in advance. There is no chance of scratched discs spoiling our viewing (a constant problem - particularly with old films or childrens stuff). And all for only about £2 a month more. Given that we often don't get through all our films it would probably break out about even.

However, it is only 720p. Why? Is this because they are worried that the bandwidth isn't really there in most homes to reliably stream 1080p? That would certainly be my worry. It's bloody annoying having a scratched disc. Imagine paying £100 for the box, buying your film, sitting down with your popcorn and the film stutters and pauses all the way through whilst the streaming tries to catch up with itself.

But, as I say, it is interesting and the prices look about right. As long as the content is there. I suppose if I bought one from Amazon I would be able to return it within 28 days for a full refund if the streaming didn't work or the picture was horribly compressed.

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Acer Stream Android smartphone

Bassey

Re: Re: Re; volume controls

Thanks folks, but those buttons will control the device volume. I don't want to turn down the volume on the ringer just to make my music a bit quieter. All music apps have volume controls independent of device volume. I'd like hardware buttons to control those. Maybe I am just being awkward but it IS being marketed as a PMP/Music device.

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Bassey

Volume

It's all very well having controls for play/pause, skip and previous but, after play/pause, volume controls are probably the next most important to me. I miss the days when all phones had a D-Pad. This offered all the media functions in one simple control. I'd have preferred them to miss out the "previous" button (when does anyone ever use it?) and add a fourth giving; Play/Pause, Next, Vol+, Vol-.

It does look like a really nice device, though and it is good to see someone doing something a bit "radical" and adding buttons to a device. There are many reasons to dislike the iPhone but, for me, the main one is it's kicking off the fashion for getting rid of buttons from touch-screen phones. We don't all want to stand in the middle of the street, looking a complete pillock, swishing, swiping and pinching just to do something we used to be able to manage with the click of a button.

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Nandos 'village bike' ad not sexist, rules ASA

Bassey

Re: A more serious issue

> Anyway, these are all trivial issues. A more serious issue is that it is still extremely

> difficult in this country for a woman to have children and a career in most professions

Really? I know loads of women with children who also have successful careers. What is nigh-on impossible is for a man to stay at home and look after his children. Women get statutory maternity leave. Men do not.

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Scottish iSchool goes 100% iPad

Bassey

Re: How will they practice writing

Actually, I would argue handwriting is no longer a universally required skill. I can't remember the last time I wrote something by hand - probably a cheque and I only do one or two of those each year. Today's kids won't know what a cheque was. Things move on. I'm not suggesting giving everyone an iPad is a great idea but I'd certainly far rather see my kids learn technology, science and Maths than spend their first few years at school learning the "correct" way to join letters together in cursive script. A complete waste of time for 90% of today's job market.

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Gang get prison, face deportation for mobe thefts

Bassey
Thumb Down

That's right

Whereas the British are well known for their immaculate behaviour, excellent manners and ability to blend in like locals when travelling abroad.

Racist prick!

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Half of UK road users support usage-based road charging

Bassey

Nice idea in principle

It's a nice idea in principle and sounds fair but can only really be so if there is a reasonable alternative. Whilst the public transport system is still so shoddy and expensive then expansive road pricing will lead to;

Ever higher increase in house prices in towns compare to the country as people compete for housing that will save them from having to pay to use roads.

The poor being shoved out further and further as they can't afford to compete for the housing

The poor getting poorer because they now commute the furthest and so have to pay by usage.

To put it another way a pay by usage scheme doesn't really reflect a choice by the travelling public. The poor will not be choosing to travel further and therefore pay more. They will simply be forced to do so by being poor and there being not alternative. So it simply becomes another regressive tax.

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Group Test: smartphone satnav apps

Bassey

Orientation

I'd choose my phone over a dedicated Sat Nav every time - and for one very simple reason. Dedicated Sat Navs are all widescreen. Why on earth would I give a damn about all the things to either side of me when I'm driving? I want to see as far ahead as possible so I put my phone in portrait. I've always found it baffling that everyone produces Sat Navs in widescreen.

For the record, I've used TomTom, CoPilot and NDrive quite a bit. They all seem to do the job. Don't use TomTom any more because of the awful licensing (as mentioned above). Not a lot to choose between NDrive and CoPilot except the contacts integration is better on CoPilot - although I think my NDrive is now one version out of date so that might have changed. The NDrive roundabout instructions are a little weird but on a recent holiday driving quite a bit around Paisley, East Kilbride and Newton Mearns (none of which I knew but appear to have been designed by someone with a roundabout fetish) it did a great job.

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Vodafone tunes Wi-Fi hotspot dongle

Bassey

Re Huh?

I know a few people that live in in places without broadband (and they aren't particularly far from a main town). This would actually be quite a reasonable way of getting pseudo broadband wi-fi. In that instance, you wouldn't want to have to leave a phone on, plugged in and at home all the time,

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UK.gov smiles and nods at commentards

Bassey

Re: Nonsense

"Large numbers of people know that" = I think that and when I'm ranting down the pub everyone appears to be nodding in agreement.

Surely the foundation of a truly democratic system of policy making.

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ET voted fave family film fodder

Bassey

I hate to disagree (not true) but...

Can't fault the top couple but after that I have to disagree with most of mankind.

Mary Poppins starts brilliantly but soon becomes dull

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is genuinely scary and not that great

Shrek ISN'T funny

The Sound of Music is hugely dull for large parts. It is really only the few (brilliant) musical numbers that people remember.

This list seems to have been compiled through the mists of miss-rememberings of nostalgic fifty-somethings.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back. Back....to the future......

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Chaos surrounds New Zealand iPhone 4 day

Bassey

It was a nightmare

"the worse thing was there was no information."

Sorry fella but if you've just spent all night queuing to buy a freaking phone then I can assure you that you have FAR more important things to worry about than a lack of information.

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Lovefilm calls in the DRM brigade for media player push

Bassey

Question to LoveFilm users

I was a happy subscriber to the Amazon DVD-by-mail service when they sold it to LoveFilm (2 years ago?). LoveFilm was, frankly, crap. They NEVER had enough copies of the newest films. You couldn't group films into a series if you wanted them in a specific order (I added Shreks 1, 2 & 3 and received 2, 3 and 1). I wrote to them a few times and they basically admitted they had been overwhelmed by the addition of Amazon customers, their software couldn't do series (but they were working on it) and apologised but couldn't do much about it.

So I cancelled and have been happily using Blockbuster who have a great website, I usually get new releases within a week or two (Avatar being the one exception so far) and films in a series are automatically sent out in the correct order. They are also really good on lost/delayed discs. Which is fine, except Blockbuster look to be in serious financial shit and I'm worried I may be forced back to LoveFilm. Is anyone using them and have they got their act together yet?

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DfT 'unwittingly' bigged-up speed camera benefits

Bassey

Don't Understand?

I've never understood the anti-speed camera lobby. Speed cameras take pictures of people driving faster than the speed limit. Unless you are someone who frequently drives faster than the speed limit and feels it is your right to do so I fail to see how this has any effect on you. Speed cameras are utterly irrelevant in my life because I don't drive faster than the speed limit.

They aren't perfect. Some councils used them to raise money rather than for road safety. But all of that is surely entirely irrelevant as long as you don't intend driving faster than the speed limit?

I really do find it utterly baffling.

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Postcard App has stamps licked

Bassey

Re: this will die

> No self-respecting teen, 20s person would send a postcard

Right, so that just leaves everyone over the age of 29 then. A market limited to probably around 5bn people and due to expire in only 70 years or so. Media Studies graduate, are we?

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Bassey

Sounds Brilliant

I think the cost is quite reasonable. Postcards cost, what, 30p? Then a foreign stamp to send it home. It could easily cost you more than a pound. Mentioned it in the office and everyone thought it was an excellent idea. I can see stamp collectors being a little disappointed though.

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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro

Bassey

80%?

It takes several seconds to turn on, the phone software doesn't work, there are really annoying bugs in the keyboard software etc. etc. etc. Did you read your own review before giving it 80%? I understand that sometimes the sum of the parts doesn't equal the experience as a whole but the review comes across as suggesting the phone is a complete nightmare to live with day to day but then you give it 80%. WTF?

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1984's MacPaint source code hits web

Bassey

Too Young

Although I remember it launching (the Mac, that is) I was too young to realise that the Paint app was revolutionary. I was only 9 so I just assumed all computers came with packages like that. However, the screen-shot reminds me of all the bizarre fill-textures and, in particular, reminds me of Risk for the Mac (the board game). Each player was assigned one of those "textures" (black and white, of course). Most of them were damn near identical so it was often hard to tell one from t'other but my friends and I would while away many a wet afternoon screaming in frustration at the apparent random nature of the Risk battles.

Memories....

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Creative World of Warcraft headphones

Bassey

WTF?

Quite apart from being one of the saddest accessories I've ever heard of why aren't they bluetooth? Why use a crappy proprietary system? It just prevents the saddos from wearing their tags whilst out and about listening to <whatever such people listen to as an alternative to music>. That way we could easily identify and avoid them.

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UK.gov abandons 2012 rural broadband pledge

Bassey

Strange folk

I know it's difficult to imagine if you've never seen the horizon but some people are actually BORN in the country side. They didn't move there. They didn't choose to "live in a picturesque cottage". The countryside is our home. Some families have been there for generations. And, without us, you wouldn't have food. Just imagine, no pizza to shove down your throats during endless frag-fests in your £1200/month hell-holes?

Not that I give a shit. I'm on ADSL 2+ and get about 11MB and yet I'm rural enough to see the sea out one window and the mountains out the other. But then, I'm great.

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Vista-hating Microsoft throws poo at Apple's iPhone 4

Bassey

Seriously?

"Or maybe it just says that Apple have a better handle on what aspects of the product are important to their customer base than their rivals do..."

What? You're suggesting that Apple's market research has shown iPhone users don't really care if their products can make phone calls, send text messages or make data connections? Seriously? PLEASE read your comments before posting and have a little think about what you are saying.

I'm sure there are a million and one reasons why people buy iPhones but "Hey, it'll make a great paper-weight" doesn't count amongst them.

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Kingston SSDNow V+ 512GB solid-state drive

Bassey

I think not

Shaving a few seconds off my start-up times for more than I would normally spend on a car. It really just doesn't seem worth it - especially as I usually put the PC in sleep mode so it only takes me about 2s to start up. So, £1200+ to boot in 14s or whatever it costs to run the PC in sleep mode (draws less than 1W) and boot in 2s. I know what I'll be doing!

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Sluggish corporates ill-prepared for death of Win XP SP2 support

Bassey

Seems amazing

I can understand consumer PCs being way out of date - but for companies to be so far behind seems unforgivable. Now, don't get me wrong, our main back-end system is based on a 30-year-old piece of software and THIS was updated with a new interface - in 1999. But these are back-end. The OS, the firewall, the anti-virus, the network etc etc are all up to date and fully patched.

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Ambulance radios don't like the rain

Bassey

Not sure about the rain thing

I've never heard of problems with Tetra and the rain - seems ludicrous. We've used it in Hill search and rescue for years. Torrential rain is the norm and I've never noticed a problem. Buildings, cliffs, dense forests, yes (though we have vehicle mounted relays to get around this). But rain? Rarely heard anything so daft.

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Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro Symbian smartphone

Bassey

Re: Why?

Because we aren't all the same and some people prefer resistive to capacitive. I know it is difficult to comprehend that there may be people out there with different preferences and different usage requirements to you but that's the way it is. Viva la difference!

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Unused 'free' minutes cost Brits £800m a year

Bassey

Re: Data is expensive

Depends who you are with. Both T-Mobile and Three do really good PAYG data deals (about £5/month).

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Computer grads can't even get jobs offering personal services

Bassey

I think you will find...

that "personal services" = "Do you want fries with that?"

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Finn finishes Finnish mini-digger odyssey

Bassey

Great acheivement but...

Kuusamo is nowhere near the far north of Finland. Its only just inside the Artic Circle (The wife and I went there for our honeymoon). Still impressive (if strange) but if you're going to do something that odd, do it properly.

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Nipper's naked arse provokes Street View outrage

Bassey

very strange

Am I to take it from the above that very young children running around butt-naked during the summer is frowned upon in the UK nowadays? You lot are very strange.

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RIM BlackBerry Pearl 3G phone

Bassey

Audio Ports/controls

"The music player benefits from having the transport controls on the top,"

I've been meaning to mention this for a while but, despite CONSTANTLY telling us the headphone socket etc should ALWAYS be at the top and that anyone who designs a phone otherwise should be cast into the fiery depths of Vesuvius you are just wrong. It is very simple. You should always put your phone in your pocket upside down.

Don't believe me? Stand up. Put your phone in your pocket upside down. Take it out and hold it up to your face as if looking to see who is calling. Voilla! The phone is the correct way up. If you now try it the other way around, you will either need to spin the phone (and risk dropping it) or contort your wrist in order to read the display.

It isn't magic. It isn't rocket science. So stop telling the world that phones with ports on the bottom are wrong. They aren't. YOU ARE! And now everyone is doing as you say YOU have broken the world. Shame on you Reg!

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BBC Trust approves Project Cartel Canvas

Bassey

Lord Reith

"Lord Reith even compared commercial TV to the introduction of smallpox, the bubonic plague and the Black Death."

He wasn't SO far off. He just didn't foresee the BBC looking at the aforementioned plague and deciding to copy it.

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iPhone 4 Day: pre-orders and pregnancy cut no ice with 02

Bassey

Brave Man

So, having failed miserably in your main function as a father to be (hunter/gatherer) you returned with only half the requested goods and chose to keep them - thereby denying both your pregnant-hormonal wife AND your mother-in-law.

You are either clinically insane or the bravest man on the planet!

Either way, I am scared of you.

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Firefox 3.6.4 debuts with Flash flak jacket

Bassey

Re: Re: what I can't understand

It's also about memory. Each separate process has significant overheads which eat up RAM. For example, Chrome is correctly seen as a very fast browser - but only if you have sufficient RAM. Running each tab and each plugin within its own process eats RAM like it is going out of fashion. Try running Chrome on a PC with 1GB of RAM and it won't seem so quick. That isn't too much of a problem today when even a budget PC ships with 3GB of RAM. 6-10 years ago, when most of today's browsers were in their infancy, that sort of memory would have cost thousands.

That is always one of the advantages of being a start-up. You don't have the legacy design problems so can do things right using the resources available today. You see this with Chrome and the iPhone. Of course, it also helps if you are a multi-billion dollar mega-corp.!

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Samsung Wave smartphone

Bassey

Questions

This is a new OS so some more details would be useful. How do you sync it to get your data on there? Is there a desktop sync app? Is it Windows only? How do you backup/restore the phone? How are OS updates covered? Can you apply minor patches OTA or do you have to download everything to a PC and run it from there?

Surely these are the sort of basic things anyone would need to know before considering a phone with a brand new OS?

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Tom Stoppard: Tech is destroying the written word

Bassey

Wonderful assumptions

I love the assumption from this guy (and many others of that age) that, because something happened when they were a child, it must have been a good thing. Presumably, this assumption is based on the sure-fire knowledge that the world was a better place back then. Black people knew their place, homosexuals lived in fear, a man was well within his rights to beat his wife for no apparent reason, girls were pretty much third-class citizens, millions worked in appalling conditions and died early from work related injuries and illnesses, tens of millions of people died in two world wars, the poor were left to die in the streets etc. Ahh, the good old days!

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Apple's iOS 4 beams into unprepared world

Bassey

Wonderful

I love the acceptance from certain users users (at least two mentions of this above) that "Of course the app has to be updated to make use of multi-tasking". Steve Jobs has told them this is how it should be so they just accept that there could never have been any other way Strangely, actually having studied computers and having been involved in computing for about 30 years (including many Macs), the idea of an app needing to be aware of how to multi-task - as opposed to it being something the OS looks after - seems the most arse-about faced way of doing things I could possibly imagine.

Then again, I've yet to attend the Church of Jobs purification courses so maybe my mind is not calm enough to understand the real truth.

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Creative ZiiSound D5 wireless speakers

Bassey

WTF

A wireless speaker system that is (according to your specs table) "MAINS ONLY". Has the world gone stark raving mad? Since when did it count as wireless if you've got to plug the damn thing in? That's a WIRE sticking out the back of that there wireless speaker system then, yeah?

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The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro

Bassey

others

Obviously you couldn't cover them all but a bit surprised gOS didn't even get a mention. The wife is severely non-techy and her ancient laptop was crawling with XP so I decided to switch it to Linux to eek some extra life out of it. Ubuntu proved beyond her abilities but gOS kept her going for a good 18 months or so. Think Ubuntu designed to look a bit like OSx and with all the google stuff built in (gears, desktop widgets etc.). Highly recommended for its ease of use.

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Antarctic glacier melt maybe 'not due to climate change'

Bassey

Re: and yet again

@DaWolf - Quite right. What we really need are MORE sources of news backing up the climate change theorem. There just aren't enough around these days.

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Ubuntu v iTunes: the music playoff for Applephobes

Bassey

Suggestion

NAS boxes are becoming ever more popular amongst the home masses. The last time I tried out Linux (I've been trying it roughly once a year since the mid nineties) one of the real hassles was playing music from my NAS. DLNA support seemed thin on the ground and required a degree in repository navigation to get up and running.

A section on which (if any) music players will stream from home NAS boxes over the usual systems (DLNA uPnP) would be really handy.

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Mio Navman 470 satnav

Bassey

Why why why?

What the hell is it with wide-screen SatNavs? Am I the only person more concerned with what is coming up ahead of me than what is off to the sides? Truly bizarre!

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Firefox comes over all cloudy

Bassey

Have to disagree

I have to disagree with the general thrust of this. Being able to move between machines and have everything the same is really handy. For example, being at work and then going home, firing up the browser and having everything as it was.

However, I think you will find people browse on mobile phones entirely differently. Partly because of the screen real estate and partly because of the nature of being mobile. I really don't see any benefit to being able to synch open tabs between your desktop and mobile. Bookmarks, kind of. Though, frankly, I have hundreds of bookmarks for the desktop. Maybe a dozen for my mobile. It tends to be news, sport, facebook, weather, bank and a couple of reference sites (imdb etc). I don't want to have to wade through the hundreds I have on my desktop where the extra screen space and fast searching make large numbers of bookmarks manageable.

They are different devices used in different scenarios for different purposes. Just because they are both called "browsers" doesn't mean they should be treated in the same way.

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Nokia C5

Bassey

Must be a southern thing

"Bushy Road pronounced as in mushy (as in peas) rather than bushy (as in trees)."

Aren't both examples pronounced the same way? They are where I come from fella!

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Wannabe Jedi drool over potent laser 'lightsabre'

Bassey

The real reason

Of course, this product doesn't actually exist. All that happens is, whenever someone places an order for one, the government send "the boys" around to their house and remove their bollocks. It's really just a method of selecting those who should never be allowed to breed.

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Dodgy Doctor Who games may be malwarey

Bassey

Shame

It's a shame they are warning people. I'd like to see the thieving little bastards get what they deserve. I kind of hope a Darlek materialises in their bedroom and exterminates them and their PC - though that might be a bit fanciful. At the very least I'd want it to format their hard drives so they lose their precious pr0n collections.

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Drinking coffee offers no real benefit, say eggheads

Bassey

Actually rings true

A colleague is a real caffeine junky - drinks red bull* and Irn Bru* like it's going out of fashion. One Saturday, after a heavy Friday night, he got through four cans of Red Bull in just a couple of hours and scared the shit out of himself. The shakes carried on most of the day.

So, he cut it out. Within three or four days he said he genuinely felt fantastic - even in the mornings. And he is most definitely NOT a morning person!

Of course, as I look across now, he's got a can of Red Bull on the go.

* Other caffeine based drinks are available.

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Synology DiskStation DS210j Nas box

Bassey

Sounds good

Sounds good (although I have to question why "offers more tech than any household will ever need" is a good thing) but that standby power rating seems appalling. 10W? Anything more than 2W on standby should be history by now, surely, especially for a device designed to run 24/7 - but spending the vast majority of that in standby mode.

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Ofcom smites silent callers

Bassey

Genius

What a fucking horrendous idea! The last spate of calls I had from one of these things started when I was bathing the kids. I was expecting an important call (from the wife) so I took the kids out of the bath, grabbed the phone from the next room only to get a silent call. I then got them at fairly regular hourly intervals for that evening and several more at a similar time the next day. Of course, by then I recognised the number so could just silence the phone and wait for it to stop ringing.

Under these new rules, I'd get them at the same wholly inconvenient time each and every day.

Just get rid of them. Who wants monetary cost reduction when the real cost is being driven mad?

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Universal Tech MyXerver Pro MX3800

Bassey

More Vapourware

Any chance this one might actually be released? I tried to buy the last MyXerver product you guys reviewed. Amazon had it as "Coming soon" for a few months and then cancelled it. As best as I could make out, it wasn't actually released. A quick Google suggests this is not available yet either. I hope this isn't more vapourware!

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Google does an Orb

Bassey

Not just Apple or Android

Windows Mobile has, as is so often the case, had this for an age. I remember Lobster Tunes from years ago - no idea if it is still going. Didiom also recently launched a similar service. Of course, it being Windows Mobile software, it doesn't get reported because mobile apps didn't exist until the Lord gaveth unto us the iPhone.

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