* Posts by James Cooke

96 posts • joined 4 May 2009

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Fiat 500S: So pleasingly sporty we didn't want to give it back

James Cooke

Hopefully this is a big improvement but I've had a 500 a couple of times as a rental car and found it really struggled to get up hills to the point that we nearly couldn't get up one twisty road even in first gear.

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Google slashes cloud storage to $0.026 per GB. Your move, Amazon

James Cooke

Re: Not sure a small Wordpress blog

Compared to a cheap VPS I would say it is.

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Blinking good: LG launches smart light bulb for Android/iOS

James Cooke

£20 is expensive but if it has an API tasker can integrate with it's not too bad especially compared to hue prices.

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Wireless charging standards war could be over 'as soon as 2015'

James Cooke

The Nexus 5 has magnets around the coil to aid correct positioning - you can easily use these to hold the phone to even a vertical surface.

I have a phone mount - sadly without the Qi charger - that you just slap the phone on without having to fit it into a cradle or between arms and it is so much more convenient add in wireless charging and it would be perfect.

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Cloud buyers: Why it makes sense to think local

James Cooke

The article is pretty much spot on in how I see the utility of the cloud. It works very well for new applications that have been designed for it - spin up smallest possible instance for new web service X and now you've got a much cheaper platform than you could build yourself.

Data costs are a red herring - if they are growing in the cloud they would be growing locally too. Whether the cost is too much depends on how much you want to store and what you have infrastructure wise. Amazon S3 is $85 per TB per month. Depending on your scale thats either a lot more than you pay locally or not a bad deal. Got no infrastructure then you have to buy a server, maintain it and power it. If you already have a server then another couple of disks for your RAID array is much cheaper but that might not suit your workload.

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Google gives Maps a lick of paint, smears it over screens worldwide

James Cooke

Re: Freetards

Paying in bandwidth and computing power? You are aware that you "pay" this for any internet based mapping solution whether it is "free" at the point of use or not? I can't imagine that even if I just used google maps all day every day that the cost of bandwidth for adds would ever add up to a measurable amount.

I'm not disputing that the cost for almost all of googles services is your information and eyeballs infront of adds just that in any way that Google adds which aren't animated flash horrors add in any appreciable way to the cost of your bandwidth.

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El Reg gives it a wrist at MWC: From not-so-smartwatch to the selfie-taker

James Cooke

Re: I still think

Clearly because you have no need of these things no one else possibly could...

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James Cooke

Re: I still think

I would agree with some of that - the martian one that is just a fancy notification light (albeit with vibration too) seems a bit pointless.

On the other hand I use my pebble all the time and find it very handy. Most email I find is junk or circulars so the ability to glance at my wrist and dismiss unwanted messages is great. On top of that it works as a sleep monitor (wakes you up at the right point in your sleep cycle), bike speedometer and running monitor (how fast/far you have gone).

I'll be the first to admit I could live without my pebble but you could say that about a lot of tech and for me it fills a niche.

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Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

James Cooke

Re: So why didn't you buy an iPhone?

This is also confusing me. Do they not sell or somehow block unlocked handsets in Canada? Could you not buy the mentioned Moto G or a Nexus 5 or something? According to a Japanese friend they do that with iPhones in Japan - it's like the bad old days for would be fruity fondle phone buyers in the UK where you can only buy it from the telcos for very inflated prices and there are no native unlocked options.

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Google will dodge EU MONSTER FINES by 'promoting' rival search services

James Cooke

Re: @Wilseus... Why?

"Depending on the manufacturing process. It could be cheaper to install windows than it is not to install it."

I'm not convinced about that (blank hard drive vs an imaged drive) but it certainly could be more expensive to install a free OS than windows and given the amount of shovelware that comes with most new PCs I imagine that the cost of Windows ends up pretty negligible.

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James Cooke

Re: Why?

I agree though Microsoft have done far more harm with internet explorer than Google. We still have to optimise for crappy old IE versions and even those as recent as version 9 are woefully behind internet standards.

Google have an awful lot of power and influence but honestly I'd pick a Google monopoly over a Microsoft one any day. Google may want to harvest my data and shove ads down my throat but at least they provide me with very good services for a low low price in exchange.

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Twitterers rally round #CensoredUK - to demand MORE PORN

James Cooke

Re: Still they got access to twitter

Well to be fair the BBC has a recent reputation for doing/allowing naughty things to be done to kids so maybe it was just a bit of foresight.

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Our Vulture strokes Dell's ROBUST 15 INCHER: Inspiron 15 Core i7

James Cooke

Yes I have in fact they are dual core parts but specifically they are the ultra low voltage parts normally used in ultrabooks (as mentioned in the review). Have you looked on the Apple site where you'll see that the Macbook Pros use the much faster 37W parts hence better specced offerings.

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James Cooke

I was looking at this laptop to replace my ageing 15" Core 2 Duo laptop which is basically the same size but fatter. Everything looks great, full hd res, backlit keyboard, suitable graphics chip, plenty of ram, upgradeable ram + hard disk I even forgave it the fact that it's 15" rather than the 13-14" I'd really like but then the processor.

WTF not even the better specced dual core offerings? Surely a chassis of this size can fit in something better after all the regular 13" Macs manage it. I think I'll pass until they upgrade the processor as I just can't see it lasting as well as my 5yr old current laptop.

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Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

James Cooke

Steelie Neelie still not optional

"So remind us, what was the point of Neelie Kroes again?"

Three have always been the most competitive in coming up with things customers actually want. You could probably say they saw the writing on the wall as it looks like Steelie wants pan EU roaming at local costs but 3 should be applauded A) for getting in well ahead of the competition B) extending it out of the EU

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Pebble smartwatch app guys! Put your mind at WRIST: New SDK + iOS 7 alerts

James Cooke

Speed of development

The key weakness for Pebble imho. These changes are great and needed but they should have been out already not "later this year". We still lack magnometer access and an app store so there can be easy installation and updates for apps. Crucially though I think they need to either make a few good apps to fill obvious niches like fitness tracking or pay someone to do it for them.

They got off to a reasonable start with Runkeeper and Freecaddy but they need more apps to drive demand.

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen's money man wants Redmond to break up

James Cooke

You have no idea

Microsoft does huge amounts of R&D outside of what you would even vaguely expect. A friend is doing for example biological computing research with them but they hire huge numbers of PhDs globally.

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Lenovo stands up rinky-dinky new Yoga tablet

James Cooke

Nice price and from the renders at least they look good, shame that I bet they're plastic rather than metal bodies.

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Google tired of endless AGONY over alleged EU search biz abuse

James Cooke

All this fuss

The comparison to Microsoft seems a bit harsh. Its not as if it is particularly hard for anyone to switch to another search engine or maps provider. Heck even Android is open source and can and has been forked by competitors.

The reason they are successful is because their products are at the very least quite acceptable and often the best available. Where they aren't such as Android offline mapping its very easy to just install another app or on the desktop use something else.

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Hard-as-woodpecker-lips MOUSE GOBBLES live scorpion, LAUGHS off stings to face

James Cooke

This is pure darwinian evolution at work and when you see all these wonderful little adaptations taking place is does make the whole process seem pretty awesome.

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Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

James Cooke

Re: MS will win

But what will they win? I can't see them winning the consumer side largely because the public have never warmed to their online services and stores the way they have with Apple and Google.

The risk to MS is that someone like Blackberry or any other over the top vendor can do the integration with MS infrastructure on Android and iOS. Its not like these products don't exist already.

As has been said before Office is their biggest draw - if I wanted a tablet for business use where I was dealing with a lot of Office documents Surface would be the only real option. For everything else its last in the lineup.

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Coming soon to Twitter: Inboxes BULGING with DMs from world+dog

James Cooke
Thumb Down

They went to a restaurant in the same hotel complex for a couple of hours. At what age are you allowed to leave kids alone or must they be watched 24/7 until the age of majority?

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British Gas robo home remote gets itself into hot water

James Cooke

Re: Shirley

I already have and the price was about £50. My main purpose was in easy ability to change hot water times as we work changing shifts not change the temperature - there's a nob on the wall that does that.

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Doctors face tribunal over claims of plagiarism in iPhone app

James Cooke

There isn't anything wrong with copying with attribution an explanation.

There is a problem with copying without attribution or your whole work being copied with attribution and sold. The former is unethical which is frowned on in doctors, the second falls under copyright laws I believe and is probably less of interest to the GMC.

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Furious Frenchies tell Apple to bubble off: Bling iPhone isn't 'champagne'

James Cooke

These are the guys that sit around drinking champagne all day so I'd guess so

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Google takes Chromebook upmarket with touchy-feely Pixel

James Cooke
Thumb Down

I doubt this will be flying off the shelves. I really want that screen res on my next laptop but at £1000 for Chrome OS you're having a laugh. I'm writing this on a Samsung ARM chromebook and I love it - I can even dual boot into Ubuntu (goodness knows how the Reg reviewer found it hard to do). The thing about the Samsung CB is that its cheap, has no fans and a very respectable battery life. The Pixel has none of these and that screen doesn't make up for it.

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Time has already run out for smart watches

James Cooke

In that regard I have a nice watch that I use when I wear my smart stuff - purely mens jewellery in that regard since when I wear it I probably don't want to pull my phone out to tell the time.

The pebble is my day-to-day watch, it looks good enough for that and will hopefully serve its purpose well.

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James Cooke

Maybe they will be niche articles maybe not. The $10M+ that pebble have received in backing shows there is at least reasonable interest given that the device wasn't even out when they got that.

I've got to say that the increase in phone sizes probably adds to the reason for wanting these. They start to not fit all that well into your jeans pockets without creating unsightly bulges so I stick my phone in a less convenient jacket pocket or bag. I've ordered a pebble so I can glance at my watch to see if its yet another junk email/ PPI claim text or if its something I might want to pay attention to. Not to mention being able to change the music volume/track without having to pull my phone out perhaps when I'm cycling.

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UK games market clutches chest, bleeds out sales in 2012

James Cooke
WTF?

*Worth £1.9m in 2011, the sector brought in only £1.6m in 2012 *

Pretty sure you mean billion otherwise the sector is in more trouble than I thought

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Sailboat cracks 100 km/h for first time

James Cooke
Thumb Up

Listening to the commentary

"This is fast... this is real fast" repeat

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RIM shares jump as analyst decides it isn't as dead as he thought

James Cooke
Thumb Up

Why not?

I'd certainly give RIM a better shot than MS. The playbook talks directly to Exchange so hopefully the new BB10 handsets will do with the Blackberry server stuff optional. If they have some guts they'd turn BBM into a skype competitor too they just need to cross platform it. No-one else seems willing to compete with them but RIM with a still large install base and relatively enthusiastic following could.

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Why did Comet fail? Hint: It wasn't just the credit insurers

James Cooke
FAIL

Really a surprise?

When you run a store with staff who know nothing selling overpriced goods?

We were replacing our fridge last year and looked at one with an inbuilt water dispenser and a big label on the front that says "pure filtered water" (or words to that effect) so we ask a chirpy store droid whether that includes limescale removal.

Cue a 5 minute trip to ask someone.

"No it doesn't just impurities"

"Oh like what?"

Cue an expression on her face that suggested we should know that our water is horribly impure and should always be drunk filtered.

"So do the filters need changing"

"Oh yes" she beamed "we have a subscription plan to sell you a years supply of filters so you don't need to worry about running out for £x" a horribly inflated price.

To top it all online they had the same fridge as a "special online only offer" with a slightly different product code for about £200 less. Are you surprised you're out of business when you treat customers like mugs?

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Even US generals have realised BlackBerries are uncool

James Cooke

Re: Antitrust

Probably because Microsoft made the sensible decision to license Activesync widely and not lock out any competitors. RIM was free to become a licencee but didn't and required their own propriety solution instead. They didn't licence their solution and only came up with a free SMB server once the shift away from them was well underway.

If they had announced they were licencing BBM to other manufacturers and systems 12 months ago (think BBM to your facebook buddies) they might have had a viable business model going forward but the value of BBM and its social network is shrinking along with its userbase.

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Scottish PhDs hoist kilt to reveal storage array killer

James Cooke
Facepalm

Limited use cases

Not a bad idea in some cases - I like the school use case as they are genuinely somewhere with potentially big storage needs and a lot of PCs. What happens though when you need a file after 5 and everyone has gone home and turned their PC off and the one thing you need isn't cached? How do you get that file do you have to turn on the whole schools PCs?

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Hate the Windows 8 touch UI? Try Kinect-like finger shaking instead

James Cooke

A bit of gesture control would be a very nice feature - far more appealing than touch for desktops and some laptops. Most of the time I rest my hands off the keyboard when reading things on the screen and being able to just air swipe to scroll down, change tabs etc would be nifty if it worked. Not so great if the recognition is spotty and has lots of false positives.

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Chinese student's smut obsession lands 2,000 in JAIL

James Cooke

Re: legality.

"The fact that us Westerners don't see porn with the same illegality is irrelevant"

That would be because apart from some types it isn't illegal.

Thats not to say that a kid who is watching so much porn they aren't doing their school work isn't having problems but that probably falls under the title of being a teenager

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Dish Networks locks horns with broadcasters over ad skipping

James Cooke
WTF?

How far does the storage requirement go?

You have a "copy" for everyone that selects it to be recorded but what happens if that's stored on a storage solution that does de-duplication. It's the same result but is it different legally to having a catalogue?

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Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism

James Cooke

So how do you teach coding?

RCJ may be somewhat misguided but I firmly believe real programming should be taught at an early stage alongside other staples such as the sciences and maths and english. Not everyone will go on to take it at GCSE/Standard Grade level but without any prior exposure surely very few will?

Case in point my 12 YO cousins recently produced apps for android at school. I'm pretty sure this was done through an app builder but it got her really excited about the possibilities. She could well go on to do CS at GCSE where hopefully she would actually be taught some real programming and some of the theory behind CS.

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Massive organ blown with Kinect

James Cooke
Thumb Up

Still April?

I love this sort of thing - a few years ago this sort of thing released 10 days ago would have been called an amusing prank. Now you could make your own version with a £100 games console peripheral and your home PC.

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Renault Twizy budget e-car

James Cooke

I love the idea and it's getting close but still too expensive given that you can get a Toyota Aygo a year old for that price and £45 would more than cover the petrol costs for the distance you are planning in a Twizzy plus you have a car with windows.

Maybe its more attractive on HP but where it really seems to be lacking is that it has most of the disadvantages of scooters - no windows, low speed and in this case low range combined with missing one of their big benefits of lots of available parking.

Battery tech is a big problem here - at £6k without the extra battery charges and upping the range a little the equation would probably start to change a lot.

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Toshiba to demo vid streaming without any work by the CPU

James Cooke
WTF?

Personal use?

Really I don't see where you get personal use as part of this. Regular PCs can offload things like h256 to their graphics card for decoding and similarly mobile devices have specialised decoders.

Maybe pro video editors will be wanting their CPU/GPU doing something while they're watching video but the rest of us will be quite happy without that extra cost.

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Blighty slaps £100m spending cap on govt IT projects

James Cooke
Facepalm

So that's £100M for the big and triple that after the cost overruns and delays to produce a system that fits half the scope?

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Report: Nokia, Apple battle over ultra-tiny nano-SIMs

James Cooke

Prior art?

There must be dozens of examples of prior art for the use of a caddy. I'm sure my very old Treo 650 used a caddy for the SIM for instance to allow it to be top loading.

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Samsung Series 3 NP300E5A 15in notebook

James Cooke

Re: Manufacturers give customers what they want.

I'm surprised computer manufacturers haven't jumped on the TV marketing bandwagon and marketed their screens as HD/ Full HD. I'm sure you'd see a huge uplift in sales just through people now no longer wanting to settle for "half" as good.

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GiffGaff goes titsup again in 'leccy cable gaffe

James Cooke

Re: USP?

Is that an underwater power supply?

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UPDATE: GAGA team hunts down grass-smoking ROBOT

James Cooke
Happy

Re: IR retroreflectors?

"IR beacons won't work so well on a lovely sunny day."

Did you spot the bit where this was in Inverness

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PhD pimp's mobe lock screen outwits Feds - Google told to help

James Cooke

Re: Sounds about right.

Depends on what you want to find out, if it's just whether two samples are from the same person that could easily be done in a day.

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NASA orders study for all astronauts over vision concerns

James Cooke

Re: Non astronauts?

I can't imagine they haven't explored that given its been mentioned here several times already but there problem is surely going to lie in that the pool to test from is already pretty damned small to draw any evidence. Cutting it down is going to give a completely statistically unsound result.

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Tim Cook scoffs $11m slice of warm Apple pie

James Cooke

Re: Tim is

"There's a lot of money in toys, but I wouldn't want to bet on toy sales as a business model with staying power."

Really Lego and Hornby etc have been doing just fine for nigh on a century. Adults like toys just as much as kids, shiny cars, shiny phones basically shiny anything that you use a lot.

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JavaScript shogun deflects Google's mid-air Dart attack

James Cooke
Thumb Down

Re: Shades of VBScript

The difference is that Chrome isn't the defacto leader and monopoly in web browsers or any of the fields you've mentioned.

That makes this an innovation - whether it is any good or not is by-the-by. Javascript isn't essential to HTML5 and if Google can make Dart completely open and it's better than JS then why shouldn't people adopt it?

What Microsoft did was wrong and damaging because it forced everyone else to write things broken as IE was what by far the majority used and doing anything else was commercial suicide.

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