985 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
What you really need
Excellent story and I can't help but admire your persistence - I would have given up a long time ago. Of course, what you really need is for someone senior within BT to move into the area. It's amazing how quickly an area can get upgraded when a senior BT exec decides they like the rural way of life/low house prices.
I must admit to be completely blown away by the news that, until August, most transactions used cash. I know very few people that use cash for anything other than maybe beer. Surely anyone with common-sense uses their cards for all purchases (paying off credit cards monthly) to gain the extra protection and make the most of cash-back.
What a complete load of rubbish
Firstly, universal remotes start at about £15. Mine cost £35 and controls five devices with ease (the wife and a four year-old cope fine). So the £100 already looks pricey assuming you already have the required iPod or iPhone.
But then what happens when I go out and take my iPhone with me? Either no-one can use any of the electronics in the living room OR you have to have all five remotes sitting around AS WELL. Or another universal remote control.
I remember when all Windows Mobile devices had IR transceivers built-in and Universal remote software was available. Even then, when free, it was a pointless waste of time/brief "wow. Look at that" distraction because of the need to have another means available to change channels.
This is genuinely the most pointless piece of tech I've ever come across for £100. To see it score so well is flabbergasting. What were you thinking Reg? Has the eggnog season come early to Vulture towers?
Do you reckon atom-smashing physicists decorate their labs/offices for Christmas? I hope so but I just can't see them running tinsel around the 27km of the LHC.
Presumably none of you have children then? My first LCD had to be thrown away after our two-year-old drove a toy-tractor across the screen cracking the substrate. The replacement is mounted on the wall high enough to keep it out of the way.
Just because YOU can't think of a good reason for it doesn't make IT stupid... try the mirror!
We've had one of those lamps that fades down at night and fades up in the morning for about 5-6 years now. The wife is terrible in the morning, takes ages to wake up, get going and become functional so we thought this might help. Complete waste of time. Made no difference at all.
However, it made a brilliant lamp for night-feeding our two kids when they were babies. You could set a nice, soft, gentle light. Enough to feed them by without being so harsh as to properly wake them up.
Re: 'Bout Time
"no matter where you are in the UK, the regional BBC presenters all sound the same, with no accent at all."
You've clearly never travelled to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland then.
I'm finding a lot of the comments on here quite strange - mainly the diesel ones. What's the point of getting "equivalent mileage" out of a diesel when diesel fuel costs 5-7% more than petrol? You aren't saving any money. You're paying 5-7% more.
Anyway, you can buy plenty of petrol cars with ridiculous fuel economy figures now. The Focus Eco does 76mpg, the fiesta 84mpg. The VW Polo bluemax does over 80mpg so why get a revolting diesel and pay more for the fuel?
And, as has been mentioned, you are actually far better getting a car that fits. I drive an i10. A tiny car from the outside but I HAVE had four adults in (I'm 6'4 and another was 6'2) with relative comfort plus I'm lugging around a ton* of mountain rescue gear wherever I go. We have two kids, I drive 12k miles and year and it does just fine.
But the biggest savings come from lift sharing. I lift share with two other people in my village who basically pay my petrol so it only costs me road tax (bugger all), insurance (bugger all) servicing (actually, quite expensive over here) and depreciation. All in all about £1k/year.
* slight exaggeration
Their does seem to be a massive amount of ignorance about how these things will work - even amongst the supposedly well-educated and tech-savvy Reg readership. To the Daily Mail touting fear-mongers above, a thief cannot wipe you out by getting your NFC chip - or not in the way you seem to be suggesting.
For a start, NFC payments will only work for a small value transaction. Cup of coffee, trip on the tube, newspaper and a bar of chocolate, itunes download. That sort of thing. A thief is going to need to drink a HELL of a lot of coffee to wipe out your average bank account.
There is a suggestion that you could also either set a daily limit or top-up your NFC account like you might top up a PAYG card. This is where I don't like the idea of NFC being embedded in your smartphone. For a lot of us our smartphone will be our means of topping up our account or changing our daily limit. Whilst there will be extra security levels in place, for me, this creates too much of a single point of failure and I'd far rather the NFC chip be embedded in my existing plastic cards.
Is the Register recession proof then? £500 stopped being affordable for lots of people (me included) about 18 months ago.
black Wii wheel plus Mario Kart Wii.
The Wii wheel in the picture on the box looks particularly white.
Re: Only here.
Really? I'm not a gamer but the few reviews I've read (mostly mainstream press) have all been glowing. Might I suggest that it is the hard-core gaming and tech contingent who aren't that chuffed with the Kinect - a product clearly not aimed at them? The Kinect - like the Wii before it - is aimed at families and casual gamers.
Title says it all
How do they define the level of the lunar surface? There is no sea-level to take it from. Do they just calculate the mean level of the lunar surface? Has this level changed as a result of the new scanning? What would the heigh of Everest be if taken from a similar reference point? It is all very well suggesting the highest point on the moon is higher than the highest point on earth but as they must use different reference points for that hight it seems meaningless.
I can only assume those above don't actually "work" in IT or have no imagination. If this actually works as it suggests (no reason to assume it does) it could be brilliant. Take the 64GB version (no need for anything bigger) clone the master Admin machine from the corporate BCM solution and every member of IT can carry around a fully working BCM Admin PC that can be plugged in to whatever is available when the shit hits the fan. It would need hardware encryption on board but this sounds like a dream come true.
The big BCM problem for most firms is that BCM centres are nearly always shared resources. It's fine to have a few hundred virtual PCs for the plebs that can be restored down from backup to dumb terminals but you always need that one "proper" PC to kick the whole thing off and deal with the problems as and when they arise.
Something is wrong with the maths. They originally predicted 56M netbook sales. Now it is 36M - so a shortfall of 20M. However, the iPad has "only" sold 11M - so there are 9M missing sales in there somewhere. Unless, of course, the difference has little to do with the iPad and everything to do with "analysts" plucking figures from thin air.
"But phones aren't supposed to be like that - they're supposed to just work, something Apple has achieved with the iPhone."
Que? Who told you that? Apple PR?
ALL phones are like that, iPhones included. Case in point from just this morning. A colleague with an iPhone 3 was downloading an app. He thought it had finished so left home and the phone disconnected from his WiFi network. oops. The app icon is on there but flashing. Going to the app store it says it is installed so he can't start again but he also can't remove it because it hasn't actually finished re-installing. Eventually a reset cleared it but he spent some time swearing at his phone - just like I do my Xperia X1 and others with their Nokia N95s or Motorola DROIDs. Except we can all install a fresh OS on our phones to resolve (most) issues. His iPhone has been constantly hanging and freezing and suffering go-slows ever since the update to iPhone 4 - and he can do nothing about it because Apple won't let him.
Apple suffer the same problems as everyone else - the press just don't report them.
> Anyone out there more trusting, and have a more cloudy success story? Do tell.
Yep. As well as backing up our two PC's to a local NAS I also replicate all our Documents, music and photos to SugarSync. I, too, am paranoid but I'm paranoid about losing all the irreplaceable digital photos of the kids growing up, wedding photos etc. Having them backed up "to the cloud" makes me feel a little better.
More on topic, I find the DVD authoring tools in the Live Essentials movie maker to be very good. The video editor itself does the job although there is better shareware out there. However most of them ignore DVD menu authoring as they all assume people will publish to Youtube etc. For making quick family DVD's to send to the in-laws overseas it is really very useful and the price is perfect.
I never figured out why Amazon sold out to Lovefilm in the first place. They had the far superior service. Being transferred to Lovefilm was a real slap in the face. It took months to get new releases, DVD's often took 3-4 days in the post and series would arrive in entirely random orders (like Terminator 3, 1, 4, 2). I emailed them and they basically admitted they were overwhelmed by the take on of Amazon customers and their systems were never designed to cope. I've been happily using blockbuster ever since.
Had Amazon bought Lovefilm rather than the other way around I would probably still have been using them.
Re: Why on earth
> would you want to rotate the image on a square screen ?
I'm thinking the clip. If you have it clipped onto a shirt pocket the screen will be oriented a different way to, say, the lapel of a jacket. To make it easy to see what's playing, having the screen the right way up (or, maybe, upside down) would be handy. But that's probably pushing the definition of handy.
As a keen (not very) competitive walker this is becoming a serious issue. Although I would point out it is not so much the device as the headphones that are the problem. In-ear phones are designed to block out external noise. Wearing open design headphones doesn't seem to have much impact as long as the music volume is kept reasonably low.
So hang on a minute, this bloke lives in the most populous country in the world but appears to have vanished, without trace, with £1million in his pocket? Sounds like he has super-natural powers to me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whereas the British are well known for their immaculate behaviour, excellent manners and ability to blend in like locals when travelling abroad.
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.
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.
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,
"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.
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......
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Re: Data is expensive
Depends who you are with. Both T-Mobile and Three do really good PAYG data deals (about £5/month).
I think you will find...
that "personal services" = "Do you want fries with that?"
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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