245 posts • joined Wednesday 25th April 2007 11:27 GMT
I'm one of the sad gits that named machines after Blake's 7 characters. My main PC is still called Cally (my favourite character) and the laptop is Orac.
Zen was my Windows 2000 server/WinRoute machine, but bit the dust years back when the CPU cooling fan died.
Tarrant was a media machine hooked up to the hifi and TV, which is now a PowerMac G4 imaginatively called 'PowerMacG4'. I had a Jenna too, can't remember what that did.
Years back I worked on an NCR mini. There was a process, a compiler or something, on there called SLARTIBART, because in one of the status screens it had FAST in the column after the name.
I 'acquired' loads of these voice packs, most of them never even made it onto the unit.
I can recommend 'Lady Newsreader' if you can get it. She's a bit prissy and is missing the 'pull a U-turn' sample, but the instructions are really clear.
One voice set I'd want is from the woman that did Orange's original IVR system. Gorgeous voice, but maybe a bit too gentle..
GPS is not accurate enough
Yer basic GPS is not accurate enough for safety-critical uses.
My speed camera detector warns me of 30mph mobile camera sites along-side the M6, and the last time I used it the Tom Tom thought I was driving through fields rather than on the M4. The camera detector also still thought there was a 50 mph SPECS site in non-existent roadworks on the M5.
In those cases I called it a stupid piece of junk and ignored it. If the GPS was hooked up to the car's throttle and brakes, it would have thrown out the anchors and I'd have been rammed by anything without a limiter.
Having said that, a GPS-based limit warning system could be useful. The Tom Tom has this, but a lot of the limits are wrong so it bongs at you for no reason.
It's an extended-range EV - the engine only drives a generator to keep the batteries charged, it doesn't drive the wheels at all.
The 1.0 3-cylinder is the one out of the Corsa. Useless, under-powered lump, but sounds nice when you wring it's neck. Develops 60PS, more than enough for a battery charger.
It's a basic two-channel amp with tiny 4.5-inch speakers a few inches apart, no way is this worth two hundred quid. I suspect the iPod dock on the top more than doubled the price.
To give you an idea, these: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/shop/view_product.php?product=behms16 are roughly the same spec., you can move them apart to get a stereo image and they cost £40.
A pair of Wharfedale Active Diamonds (http://www.htfr.com/more-info/MR266129) will wipe the floor with this, and you'd still have plenty left over for an iPod dock.
Paramotor vs. tilt-rotor mono-thingy
The para-motor is cheap, but it can't land vertically or take off again under it's own steam. It's slow, not overly quiet, flies low, and in flight the parachute must make a tempting target for AK47-ers on the ground.
On the other hand you can throw it out of a plane, and it's cheap enough it doesn't really matter if it doesn't come back.
I think they do the same kind of thing in different ways. There are jobs where one is suited over the other, I don't think it's a 'one or the other' situation.
From the spec. list
> Electronic shift PRNDL (shift controller):
How do you get "low" out of a single-speed gearbox? Maybe it's got the transfer case out of a Land Rover too.
> One 12V auxiliary power outlets and one 12V USB Outlet
USB is 5 volt not 12. There's going to be a few cooked iPods if it's 12v.
> electric inverter compressor air conditioning / Rear window defogger with timer
What does it do to the range if you use them.
> Solar Energy-Reflecting glass
So your GPS won't work without an external antenna, which won't stick because the body's plastic.
Only helps if you can already shoot
This app will only help if you already know how to shoot properly, it takes the donkey work out of compensating for wind etc. It won't make your average man, or girl, on the street much (if any) more accurate.
There's more to long-range target shooting than pointing the rifle in the right direction and pulling the trigger. Actually, pulling the trigger sharply would be one way of guaranteeing a miss...
Their bacon sandwiches and coffee are nice, I have ended up binning the hash brown that comes with them a few times though. The nuggets used to be good, I've not had them for a while. All the burgers just up drop a sauce/mayo/lettuce combo down your front, so I avoid them.
To the person scavenging receipts for the password, if that's in the UK you don't need to. On the Cloud portal page that comes up, click the McDs logo and you get a page asking for your name and address. Enter any old rubbish in there, and you're away. The user name and password are for Cloud subscribers.
Playgrounds and Chargers
In school in the late 70s/early 80s had a little pocket radio that I used like a Walkman with a mono earpiece. I don't think that ever killed it's 9v battery in the time I had it.
Slow chargers are much easier on the batteries than fast ones. There's an ideal charge current based on the capacity (two times?); any more than that and you'll cook them in short order, but I'd imagine modern batteries are better able to handle ham-fisted charging.
All the NiCDs and NiMHs I've killed have just died of old age, and my Ansmann PowerLine 5 has revived some pretty poorly ones.
Fiver and Five US
> Just checked ... there aint enough capacity at the moment ...
Which is complete rubbish. The channels are on Sky at the moment, all they need to do is turn the encryption off.
The real reason is either they don't have FTA rights for the programmes or they still have a while to go on the encryption contract with Sky.
Paris - why not, I quite like that picture, plus even she probably knows that FreeSat is just the non-encrypted stuff on Astra 2.
Someone will steal it
If someone can pinch a 120-foot radio tower without anyone noticing, I doubt these will present much of a challenge...
Title in song lyrics
> Good luck with finding a rhyme for "Quantum of Solace".
Managed it with 'The Spy Who Loved Me' :-).
The only other title that wasn't in the lyrics (apart from Dr No, that didn't have a specific song) is 'Octopussy', they could at least have a try.
I could do with one of these on my car, I can think of a few 'floor it and hope' near-blind junctions it would help at.
Also, it wouldn't be a lot of use on the US border. The top-whack range is 8km, so you'd need one at least every 4 miles (to give a bit of overlap) and that would only find the pick-up trucks. To find people you'd need one every half-mile. The US/Mexico border is 1969 miles long.
At 60k a pop it's probably still cheaper than the current border project, but you'd have to find a way to power 4000 of things in such a way that the cables won't get nicked for the scrap copper.
It's an RJ-45 Ethernet cable!
I've got a huge drawer full of the damn things - I wonder how many I can flog on eBay for £250?
I might get £300 for the 10m blue ones, but the half-metre yellow ones are probably worth less.
A very similar one
A large number of years back, I once spent most of a day working out why a mouse was inverting it's movement (left moves cursor right etc.).
Turned out that she had a new laptop, and was holding the track ball controller that was supposed to be clipped to the side of the machine upside-down and moving it like a mouse.
It was only a comment from her about the mouse buttons being in an awkward place that turned the light-bulb on.
Used an iPhone?
> i'm sorry, but have you actually used an iPhone?
Yes. For about 2 days, before it went back in the box. I'll put the v2 software on it when it comes out, but I have a feeling it still won't be usable.
The keyboard is useless. It's semi-usable for typing actual words as it tries to guess what you're trying to type, but for passwords and other random sequences it guesses wrong 90% of the time. I had 10 goes at getting the iPhone on my wireless LAN and it screwed the WPA keyphrase up every time. And of course you can't put the password in a text file and paste it into the prompt.
You can't use a stylus on the screen. This means you're forever zooming in and out to make buttons etc. big enough to hit.
No copy and paste. How can any phone, let alone a supposedly 'smart' phone, be taken seriously without copy/paste?
No way to send files to it.
No To-Do application. Out of the box anyway, mine has one now...
Bluetooth is seriously crippled, I'm not sure why they even bothered.
It's a shame, because the interface makes it a really nice phone to use. The mute/volume/transfer to speaker etc. screen when you're in a call is by far the best I've come across.
McDonalds and Nokia
McDonalds bacon rolls are very nice, shame they don't do them all day. The toasted deli sandwich things are quite nice too. I tend to avoid the actual burgers, though...
The very worst fast food I've had was a Burger King at some service station on the A1 up by Newcastle. Cold chips and soggy onion rings that tasted like they'd been cooked in sugar. 'Orrible.
I have a Nokia 6230i because work gave it to me, and a Nokia N800. They are both what the previous versions (6230 and 770) should have been.
Cow on a lead
The Times' picture has the cow with a harness around it's nose, with the keeper holding the lead.
Possibly a bit pointless? If that cow decided it was going, I doubt she could do much about it...
Pretty robust device
But I suppose there are limits...
Mine's survived being thrown at the wall and onto the table a few times, effing useless device. The metal upright of a shelf unit put a dent in the casing, but so far it still works.
After 6 goes at typing (no copy/paste, remember) a random 35-character WPA key into it, I've given up on it entirely.
Unless they force buyers to sign up for the contract in-store, or make the security on locked handsets absolutely bullet-proof, it won't work.
Unlockers will buy the handset cheap and not activate it officially, the same as they do now.
>e.g. THey make 1000 phone.
>1000 02 contracts = 1000 x Retail Price + 1000 x 02 monthly fee to Apple
It's isn't though. It's (1000 - the amount unlocked) x 02 monthly kickbacks.
At the moment it's only geeks like me that buy them and unlock them, mere mortals tied into a contract elsewhere etc. doesn't bother.
If they offered an official unlocked version, anyone who wanted an unlocked one buys an official one, even if it costs a bit more to cover the lost kickbacks, and they'd sell more.
I wouldn't have bought my iPhone if PwnageTool didn't exist, but if there was an official unlocked one I might have considered it.
Having got it turns out I hate it, but that's a different story. The jerk that decided copy/paste wasn't needed should be introduced to the cluebat. All it needs is an Apple key on the virtual keyboard, and Apple-C/Apple-X/Apple-V becomes trivial.
Just to defend Apple and IBM, my G4 is still going strong on it's - as far as I know - original IBM DeathStar 120Gb. Sounds like the frigging thing is gas turbine powered (known issue, PSU fans apparently), but it's still going.
My Windows PC has four assorted drives that are all still happy, the oldest is about 3 years old. The way I see it, if a drive dies after a year or two, the replacement will be three times the size and half the cost.
The Maxtor 120Gb in the Sky Plus box is about three years old and still going. Funnily enough that drive was a warranty replacement - I got lucky, an external enclosure killed that one. I can't remember a drive dying on me without help.
Vista on a P3??
I hadn't realised the A110 was basically a P3 - no way would I run Vista on that!!
I have a P3-950 HP OmniBook 6000, with 1Gb RAM. It needed a reload, so I thought I'd bung Vista on it to see what it was like. It ran like an asthmatic three-legged donkey, not helped by the lack of Vista drivers for the ATI Rage (something) M graphics.
It still runs XP Pro quite nicely though - my Mum's getting it once I get round to putting XP on it again.
Looking at the picture, it's showing Flip-3D - I thought you couldn't do Aero Glass on a GMA-950?
Looks like a nice machine though, once you flatten it and put XP on, especially if that 6-hour battery life is on the stock battery. Screen's too low-res (and glossy) for me, but if you're after an ultra-portable...
How did it get 40% ?
How does something this useless get 40%??
Perhaps more to the point, how does something this useless get on the market? Didn't they let anyone play with it first?
It has a Ethernet port and wireless networking - why does it need to be directly connected to a PC for any reason? All the updating should be done over the network.
With no internal tuner, it would need it's own STB to record a channel whilst you're watching another. It's probably not up to recording and playing at the same time, either.
Who thought a remote with no basic playback controls was a good idea?
I had a VCR once that controlled a satellite receiver by IR, and even they figured out that you put the IR emitter on the top panel not the front.
I'd not give this more than 20%, and tell them to get working on v2 of the box.
No effing way would I accept this...
a) They get a copy of all data sent in the clear, both requests and content. They *say* they ignore anything private etc, but would you trust them?
b) Everything gets rerouted through F5 and their anonymiser. As costs go up, there's no guarantee these won't be running on a 486 in Alaska, which will make dial-up look fast.
After the stink this has kicked off, will the next round of contracts ISPs sign will have clauses that say can't tell anyone you've signed the contract?
If you're counting Moonraker, I'd take: "James Bond. You appear with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season."
I voted for the "Blade Runner" quote, but I'm with the people who said 'where's Douglas Adams?' My favourite is probably the whole scene that ends with the 'on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware Of The Leopard'.
Could accelerate my plans to replace my W950 with an E51, and get a iPod Touch. I was thinking about an iPhone, but the lack of 3G and being able to use it as a Bluetooth modem puts me off.
I thought the Internet Sharing in Windows Mobile could already share connections over WiFi, or does that only work over Bluetooth?
I have a Three pre-pay SIM in a data card that I use with my laptop - a couple of the places I go, Three is the only provider that has 3G. They haven't cottoned on yet, but I only use it for browsing, emails and RSS feeds.
Oh, and acoustic couplers won't work over GSM because of the way the codec digitises the sound. Voice is intelligible, but have you heard the way it mangles hold music?
Colour LCD screen, so you can't see it outside, and probably not at all waterproof. Nice phone, GPS is a bit of an afterthought.
To the person having problems with the GPS40, the trick is to use it regularly. The GPS needs to know what satellites it's likely to be able to see and where they are at a given time, which is pulled down from the satellite. If the almanac is still valid the next time you turn it on, it will get a fix much faster as it doesn't have to start from scratch.
It also helps to be near where you were when you turned it off.
I wouldn't be without my Garmin NavTalk, I think I'd still be looking for the hotel in Nottingham it if hadn't got me to within 10 feet, and that was on foot!
First off, I've not played with an iPhone yet...
What I have got is a Nokia 770, a SE W950i, a Motorola v620 and an HP nc8000 notebook with a Sierra Wireless 875 HSDPA card.
The W950i is Symbian-based, and the first thing I put on it was Opera Mini 4. It doesn't support the touch screen properly, but it's better than the built-in browser. The RSS reader in Opera Mini is also better than the W950's, but neither is a patch on the browser and RSS reader in the 770.
For preference I'd use the 770 over anything on the W950. Even with Opera's mobile rendering and landscape mode, you can't do web browsing on a 320x240 screen. The 770 is 800x480, and that seems small sometimes, so I wonder how much better 480x320 on a iPhone will be than 320x240.
I mostly used the W950 as a data modem over Bluetooth from the 770. Going from the GPRS-only v620 to the 3G W950 has made a big improvement. Loading pages is far quicker, as you'd expect.
What surprised me is that in general web browsing on the notebook, using the HSDPA card isn't that much quicker than Bluetoothing into the W950.
I did it to myself...
Created a Truecrypt volume on my laptop with a nice long random key, and put (what I thought was) the key into my KeePass database.
I found out later when I came to mount it that the key wasn't the key. Had I been challenged to provide the key (which I wouldn't anyway), there would have been no way I could have.
Luckily there was nothing vital in the volume, so I recreated it. I then had to do it again after KeePass ate itself when the laptop fell asleep with TrueCrypt volume it lives on mounted. I love computers...
That's slightly smaller than the 4.3" on the 770/N800, or else a typo on the Nokia press release.
Hopefully the N800s price will now drop through the floor so I can afford one to replace my 770 :-).
Fit an acronym to the name
Argus is a demon from Greek myth who had a hundred eyes, so it's a good name for this platform.
Hence the name of the Argus Array from Star Trek:TNG, which was a space-based observatory with many observation modules.
>EDGE is "nothing more" (not wishing to belittle mobile engineers!) than "a
>few 9600 GSM modems put in parallell
No it isn't, EDGE is a number of GPRS channels bonded together. Up to 4, either 3-up+1-down, 2-up+2-down or 1-up+3-down. What they don't tell you is that on a busy cell (voice or data) you won't get the extra channels and will end up with bog-standard 1-up 1-down GPRS.
If it's busy enough you won't even get that, as I found out at Goodwood a few weeks back - GPRS on T-mobile died altogether for me.
You missed out HSCSD (high-speed circuit-switched data), which dropped some of the error correction to get 14,400 on a standard GSM data connection. Only Orange rolled this out in the UK, IIRC.
N800 or 770 instead?
It's no competition for an N800 Bluetoothed into a 3G handset then. Even a 770 will give it a run for it's money by the sound of it, especially when Expansys are selling the 770 for £65.
It's cheaper, but you get much, much less. You can't do voice or voice over IP, no local applications, out of Orange coverage it's a doorstop.
Are the analogue cell networks still active in the US?
Having read the reports, apart from a reference to a text message there's nothing the stalkers did that could not be achieved with a cloned analogue handset, a scanner and good-old observation. They would need physical access to pair up Bluetooth to replace the ring tone, but in a school situation that would not be difficult.
All the references to costs coming back to the girl's account point to cloning of some sort.
I've been after something like this so that I can check email, a little light browsing etc. whilst out and about without carting my laptop around, but without Bluetooth or a 3G cellular radio it's no good for me. I've got 'unlimited' data on T-Mobile, so I'm not going to pay for WiFi.
There's always USB Bluetooth dongles, but it would be nice to have it built-in.
A few comments...
1) You can't install apps, so it's only really much good for general browsing/light Office use etc. Which the machine you're using to access Nivio is probably good enough for...
2) I wouldn't trust the company hosting it as far as I could comfortably spit a rat. You have no idea what back doors/key loggers/sniffers are running on the machines
3) If the company goes under so does your machine and any files that are on it.
'Access it from anywhere' is a good idea, but it's not as trustworthy as using something like MojoPac to carry your virtual desktop around with you on a Pendrive, and you can put whatever apps you like on there.
And why would you want Apple Software Update on a Windows XP machine??
Maybe this will provoke a resurgence in mobiles that don't do much besides let you talk to people. I've still got handsets that are so dumb they don't even do GPRS.
For a laugh, hand someone a Nokia 2110 and say 'Install your spyware on that!'.
Re: HSDPA Downlink Speeds
T-Mobile has only rolled out the 1.8Mb version of HSDPA so far, so that's the best you'll get regardless of what the hardware can do. I'm seeing up to about 1.5Mb/s, depending on how busy the network is, on my 3.6Mb/s-capable Sierra Wireless 875.
Incidentally, if you have a PC-Card slot, the Sierra 875 can be had Cingular-branded but unlocked from the US cheaply on eBay. Mine was £78 all-in.
- On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns
- Review Bring Your Own Disks: The Synology DS214 network storage box
- OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene
- IT MELTDOWN ruins Cyber Monday for RBS, Natwest customers
- Google's new cloud CRUSHES Amazon in RAM battle