* Posts by GrahamS

62 posts • joined 7 Sep 2009

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Exec responsible for Apple iOS map fiasco walks the plank

GrahamS
Gimp

"Shoulda gone to Tom Tom"

A couple of posters have said that Apple should have just gone to TomTom.

But if you look at the options page in Apple Maps it clearly says "Data from TomTom, others"

And if you tap that you get a long list of the map sources they used with TomTom at the top, as well as other excellent sources like Ordnance Survey, Royal Mail, DigitalGlobe, USGS, NASA, and OpenStreetMap.

Apple were not lacking in good sources of map data - but somehow they produced a bastard child that was less than the sum of its parts.

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EE screams UK iPhone 4G exclusive, rest of pack sobs quietly

GrahamS
Stop

Re: Another reason

Ahem, from the article:

"None of this is Apple's fault: rival phone makers face the same problem and are coming up with similar answers."

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Apple iPhone 5 hands-on review

GrahamS
Gimp

Expensive?

Samsung Galaxy S3,16GB, sim-free: £499

iPhone 5, 16GB, sim-free: £529

£30 difference doesn't seem like a huge "Apple Tax" to me.

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4

iPhone 4S: Our *hit list

GrahamS
Gimp

Not sure why I got downvoted, just trying to explain why "HP Cynic"'s issues aren't big problems for many iPhone users. Hey ho.

No denying that an SD card slot would be quite nice, but that's just not the Applely way.

Fails their Keep It Simple (and Proprietary) approach I suspect.

As it is I don't feel particularly restricted with the 32GB on my phone, plus cloud storage for documents and stuff I rarely need. And using the cloud does have the advantage I can get to my stuff from any PC (most of which don't have SD slots).

The new 4s has 64GB onboard storage. Two 32GB microSD cards would set you back about £100, you'd have to swap them and constantly risk losing one.

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GrahamS
Gimp

Some good news for you then:

1) Yep, fair enough, but the 4s comes in 64GB. That's quite a lot of space!

And you can always add some cloud storage on dropbox or box.net - physical SD cards are so 2009. box.net are currently offering 50GB cloud storage for free for life!

2) There are a ton of iPhone apps that offer navigation: from professional SatNavs from TomTom, CoPilot, Navigon that offer live traffic reports, speed cameras, lane guidance etc to very usable free satnavs like skobbler or navfree.

3) Safari has had tabs for ages (iOS 3 I think?) . It just doesn't waste valuable screen space by displaying a tab bar along the top of the browser. Instead press the two little squares in the bottom right to show all your tabs/pages, and flip between them. To open a link in a new tab/page just press and hold it.

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Samsung demands iPhone 4S ban in Japan and Oz

GrahamS
Facepalm

Erm.. yeah okay. You said "Samsung charger is a different shape and colour and comes in 2 pieces."

And I've just shown you that the Samsung charger is in fact a VERY similar size and shape to the original iPhone charger, which funnily enough also came in two pieces.

For further evidence take a look at the iPhone charger with the US plug on it and compare it to the one in your video:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/386927815/Original_Genuine_UK_EU_US_type.html

The differences left are colour and "corners are rounded in a different orientation"?

Yeah, so that's fundamentally different eh? Can't see why anyone could think that the Samsung design was similar when they are different colours!

Pffffft...

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GrahamS
Gimp

Actually looks the same to me

That Samsung charger looks VERY similar to the original iPhone charger - which also came in two parts (plug and transformer) that slotted together and had a USB port in the back.

Here's one here:

http://www.uk-mobilestore.co.uk/products/Genuine-Apple-iPhone-3GS-USB-Mains-Charger.html

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1m iPad 3s being built this quarter, says analyst

GrahamS
Gimp

Great analysis...

So where does the iPhone 4 figure in your insightful startling analysis?

Pretty sure its 960 x 640 display was bigger than the "the best screen resolution available for Android near the time of release".

No idea if it still holds the "largest resolution phone" crown, but it is still very high up the list and has the highest pixel density.

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GrahamS

Yup.

There are a couple of obvious reasons for this:

1) your PC screen is probably at arms length, a lot further away from your face than you would naturally hold a tablet.

2) PCs have been historically stuck at 72/96ppi screens since the 80's because so many apps use pixel-perfect layouts, with pixel based fonts, which would be unreadably small on a 300ppi screen.

3) You might think 2) could be solved by some cunning OS scaling, but try increasing the logical DPI of the screen in XP (Display Settings->Advanced) and see how many of your apps are now completely broken.

As for "pointless", most iPhone 4 owners would disagree, the screen is one of its best features.

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GrahamS
Gimp

Please give us a Retine display

Please develop this! It IS useful :)

The only reason I haven't bought an iPad yet is that I'm waiting for the Retina display version.

A resolution of 300ppi+ in that format would be amazing. Once you have a light instant-on handheld with good battery life, with a screen which is higher resolution than most basic printed material, then digital magazines, newspapers and illustrated books start to make a LOT more sense.

Great way to show off photos in a traditional "gather round the photo album" way too.

And it'd be perfect for watching HD movies on the train/plane.

Granted some games might struggle with higher resolution, but they could always just use the existing resolution and scale up with pixel doubling.

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iPhone 5 to support 21Mb/s HSPA+ not LTE

GrahamS
Gimp

353kbps? Really?

I just tried the speedtest.net app on my iPhone 4 with a 4-out-of-5 bar 3G signal in Newcastle city centre and got 1.81Mbps download and 1.59Mbps upload (ping 93ms).

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Apple delays 'retina display' iPad 3 to 2012

GrahamS
Gimp

RE: Really?

> "There comes a point that it doesn't matter anymore."

Yep, but that point has not been reached yet.

It will be reached when you can no longer distinguish individual pixels and you don't notice any further increases in screen resolution. We're not there yet (tho the iPhone 4 screen is pretty close IMO).

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GrahamS
Windows

PC monitors are stuck because of Windows

Sadly PC monitors are kind of stuck at their current pixel density because historically Windows expects the monitor to be 96dpi. So if you had a PC monitor that was actually Retina-resolution (326ppi) then all the text would be tiny on it. (i.e. 10 pixel high text is quite readable when the pixels are large, but pretty unreadable when they are tiny).

Obviously modern Windows lets you change the DPI setting - but you'll find that many apps (especially older legacy apps) will either not respect this setting, or their UI will completely break down and look awful.

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GrahamS
Happy

Need? No. Want? Yes.

I've certainly "noticed" the iPhone 4 screen and I dislike using the missus' 3GS now, because the screen seems unreadable by comparison. The poxy 1024×768 (132 ppi) resolution is the only thing that has prevented me from buying an iPad so far. If they can double that for the iPad 3 then I'll snap one up.

Once you get to a point where you can't really distinguish individual pixels then the whole eMagazine concept really starts to make a lot more sense, because the text on screen becomes (almost*) as easy to read as print.

* (okay, maybe apart from the backlight, but it will do fine till cheap true-colour high-res eInk displays are available).

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NASA

GrahamS
Trollface

RE: Track me not

> "How do I get free stuff like this installed without having to have a google account?"

I believe the article says that there's an iOS version of the app available...

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Has UK gov lost the census to Lulzsec?

GrahamS
Black Helicopters

*that* muich?

> "no way I would of trust *that* much information to the British Government and a single war-mongering organisation."

Did you actually read the census questions?

There really wasn't anything particularly exciting in there. Facebook probably has more detailed information on me.

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Facebook hurls insults, punctuation at growth slump report

GrahamS

True...

..but if it logs me in automatically to get status updates etc then I think it is fair to call me a user.

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GrahamS
Stop

Upsurge in smartphone users perhaps?

Pardon for being the voice of reason, but it strikes me that the assorted smartphone Facebook apps don't show the ads supplied by FB.

So it is quite possible that "data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads" would show a fall while ComScore might still show a rise.

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iOS 5 said to sport over-the-air update facility

GrahamS
FAIL

Haterz gonna...

> "On an iPod, without gsm/3g connectivity (there goes operator excuse), you can't even download freely available podcasts. Why? Think about it."

My God you're right - clearly Apple are abusing their monopoly and somehow making money by supplying iTunes for free and forcing you to use it for free to download free podcasts (unless of course you use on of the free podcast apps instead of course).

> "There is absolutely no reason .."

There is.

Apple's approach is to do things Apple's "one true way" in their own closed systems.

Which is why so many people hate them - but removing those external factors is a massive part of their overall attempt to simplify tech and make things that "just work".

You might not like that approach. Many don't. But that kind of closed approach is the reason my old mum can work her iPhone but not her TV remote.

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GrahamS
Stop

Not sure I want this

Sure hooking up to iTunes to update is a bit of a pain - BUT its big advantage is that your entire phone contents are safely backed up should anything go horribly pear-shaped with the update.

And that's useful. I had an update completely brick my iPhone about a year ago.

Quick trip to the local Apple Store, who replaced it on the spot with a brand new one, then back home, plugged it into iTunes which completely restored it from the backup.

Result: shiny new phone with EXACTLY the same contents as the old one.

So unless this OTA update offers some way to backup (and I'm not sure it can) then I'll be sticking to tethered updates thanks.

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ForeverMap 2.1

GrahamS
Thumb Up

Please muck in and help

OpenStreetMap are always on the look out for new contributors.

If the mapping in your area isn't that great then please go out and improve it - it is very easy to do and surprisingly satisfying.

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Beginners%27_guide

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GrahamS
Thumb Up

Looks interesting

I currently use MotionX GPS - which also lets you pre-load large areas of map from OpenStreetMap/OpenCycleMap.

This looks a little prettier though.

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360 Browser

GrahamS
Jobs Halo

Looks interesting

But I would like to have seen it compared to other iOS browsers (e.g. SkyFire and Opera) rather than just Safari.

SkyFire is my standard browser at the moment mainly for its abilities to change browser agent, render flash video, browse full screen and support private browsing.

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The new killer app is … MMS

GrahamS
Troll

Obviously

> "loads of companies seem to concentrate solely on JesusPhone offerings and forget that most smartphone users aren't on Steve Job's platform."

Delete as appropriate to your allegiance:

- It makes sense to target consumers who clearly have too much money which they are happy to spend on overpriced gadgets when cheaper alternative are available.

- It makes sense to target consumers with good taste that recognise a quality product.

:)

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GrahamS
FAIL

It's all about consent and control

The difference that Tomi Ahonen seems to be miss is consent from the user.

If a user looks at your Facebook page, follows you on Twitter, downloads your iPhone/Droid/mobile app or whatever then THEY are in control. They have an active interest in your product/service and are explicitly asking you to tell them more about it.

If instead you spam users with MMS without their consent then they are just as likely to avoid your product/service at all cost.

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GrahamS
Thumb Up

Yeah I use it

...and I'm a 36yo software engineer, not a teenager.

Sometimes a picture says a thousand words and all that. And sometimes it's just fun.

Having said that, now that O2 have started charging me for MMS (when it used to just come out of my SMS allowance) I tend to use WhatsApp Messenger instead for free "pseudo-mms".

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Apple handcuffs 'open' web apps on iPhone home screen

GrahamS
FAIL

@Snaver: Good theory but terrible example...

.. the BBC News app is free, so Apple would be only missing out on "its big 30% cut" of nothing.

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Apple iOS 4.3 cracked

GrahamS

@DrXym

> ""For all the people choosing to jail break, perhaps they shouldn't have bought an iPhone in the first place.""

So what's the difference between "jailbreaking" an iPhone and "rooting" an Android phone?

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IT job seekers can't smell spell

GrahamS

"object-orientated programing"

2 strikes, you're out! *throws CV in bin*

Next...

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Police hit delete on DNA profiles

GrahamS
Troll

Hooray!

Now we can use the DNA profile database to assist in the identification of criminals the *second* time they commit a crime. Excellent.

Making it harder to catch first time offenders will no doubt greatly improve our crime rates.

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Channel Five reborn as Channel Five

GrahamS

Adverts?

Do people still watch live TV then? I'd go mad if I had to watch all the adverts.

Thank doG for Hummys. PVRs FTW!

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Smartphones 'out sell' PCs for first time

GrahamS
Thumb Down

Re: Creationists and Apple fans...

Not sure that is true. I bought mine as a "pocket computer" after being impressed with how useful an iPod Touch was. To me it is a "pocket computer" above all. I use its "computery" functions every day, multiple times a day. I typically only use it as a "phone" once or twice a week.

Aside from the tragic sad sacks that buy them because they are "fashionable", I think most smartphone users do utilise at least some of the "computery" bits - even my pensioner mum uses it for email, taking/sending photos, instant messaging etc.

Those that only ever used their PC for email and web are left wondering why they should toddle upstairs and spend 30 minutes sat at a PC doing Windows Updates, anti-virus and malware scans just so they can email Uncle Bob a photo of little Sue, when it takes all of 30 seconds to do the same thing on their phone.

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GrahamS
Jobs Halo

Haters gonna hate

So much blinkered naysaying. :)

Many folk I know with (decent, non-Nokia) smartphones, including myself and the missus, use them every day for tasks that used to be solely performed on the PC (email, news, chat, facebook, casual games, general web).

These days the home PC only gets fired up when I need to do some heavy lifting (editing photos or video) or when I'm creating something (documents, presentations etc).

As other, more focussed devices start treading on more of the traditional desktop PCs territory (c.f. tablets, dedicated Media Servers, PVRs, etc etc) I expect many people will start wondering why they have one at all.

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Home Office crime maps go to street-level detail

GrahamS
WTF?

Eh?

Are you using a different Microsoft OS on your PC than the rest of the world?

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GrahamS
FAIL

title

Attempt One: "There has been a problem and we are looking into it."

Fair enough, launch day overload.

Attempt Two: "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search."

Oh dear.

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Taiwan parts firms point to iPad 2 res rise

GrahamS

Yes it is a guess but...

..you're missing the fact that the same "@2x" naming convention was used for the iPhone 4 images, which *did* turn out to be twice the resolution of its predecessor: 960x640 (326 ppi ) versus 320x480 (163 ppi).

Also doubling the resolution makes a lot of sense when it comes to existing apps as they can be upscaled by an integer amount. Which again is what happened with the iPhone 4.

Remember 2048x1536 would still only be around 260ppi, so there is no doubt that they can make a display that dense. Whether they can provide enough horsepower to shift that number of pixels around without killing the battery is a different matter.

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GrahamS
Jobs Halo

2048 x 1536? I'm sold!

The resolution of the current iPad is one of the things that puts me off buying it.

It looks like blocky crap compared to silky smooth 326ppi display on an iPhone 4.

What's the point of an "electronic magazine" if the text and photos are blockier than a paper magazine?

If they can up it to 2048x1536 (without killing CPU, RAM, battery life or form factor) then I'll definitely be taking another look.

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Creepy as hell: Facebook developers get to know you better

GrahamS
FAIL

I'm a fool then

I'm in good company though. Other fools are Nielsen Online, ComScore, the Online Publishers Association, and numerous other bodies that have been reporting figures showing a decline in the use of email and the rise of social networking for years now.

"Two-thirds of the world’s Internet population visit social networking or blogging sites, accounting for almost 10% of all internet time"

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/nielsen-news/social-networking-new-global-footprint/

(March 2009)

"Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.. have had significant impact on the Communications category, which saw a 41 percent decline, due to the fact consumers are using Community sites where they can conduct these same activities more efficiently.”

http://www.online-publishers.org/newsletter.php?newsId=556&newsType=pr

(Sep 2009)

"A recent ComScore Media Metrix report shows teen usage of Web-based e-mail dropped 8 percent last year."

http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/26/technology/thirdscreen0726.biz2/index.htm

(July 2006)

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GrahamS
Happy

Techno Luddites

Yep, perhaps my response should have been "Simple. I have some non-geek friends, that's why."

Yes most of my techy friends dislike Facebook, hate Facebook Connect and regard it all with a healthy suspicion too. But we're still on it and we still use it because our non-technical friends are there.

That's just the way it is.

Facebook is catching Google as the internet homepage - the default way that huge numbers of people interact with the web. It is also threatening to completely squash the floundering OpenID and set itself up as the de-facto standard "Internet ID".

If you don't at least have a dummy FB account to keep track with what they are up to over there then your eye is not on the ball.

If you think there's no point in social networking sites in general, as Mr Gumby appeared to be implying, because hey we have phones, email and photo albums, then you are way out of step with how most normal people are using the web.

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GrahamS
Thumb Down

Typical luddite response

Firstly, no one uses email anymore. That was so 2000's. Email from people I actually know has dropped to practically zero outside of work.

Secondly, how many times in the past has an in-law/parent/grandparent/dozy friend attempted to email you 500MB of holiday snaps or a 10 minute video of little billy?

Thirdly, phones: yeah great. But personally if my mate called me up especially to tell me his son had just said his first word, or had just managed to go potty all by himself, then I'd think he was a bit odd. It's nice to passively hear about these little snippets of other peoples lives, on your own terms, but I wouldn't want a daily phone call from each of my friends!

Face-to-face meetings are also lovely - but most of my friends have very young families and don't even live in the same country as me - so we don't make it down the pub quite as often as we used to. Plus how many people actually take their photo album to the pub?

As for "online security"... really? Use a different password on FB than you use on other sites. Don't enter anything you'd rather people didn't know. What am I giving up exactly?

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GrahamS
Happy

Re: Why have a facebook account in the first place?

Simple. I have friends, that's why.

Facebook, evil as it may be, lets me keep in vague touch with them day-to-day and see photos/videos of them and their kids.

Once all your friends are on it, exchanging pictures and chatting away, it's a little churlish to show up late and insist that they all move to something else or you won't play!

Obviously FB know this and capitalise on it, encouraging you to invite friends to the cult at every opportunity. But at the end of the day, you don't HAVE to tell FB where you live... yet.

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Infinity Blade

GrahamS
Thumb Up

On my 9th Bloodline (i.e. playthrough)

Fair to say I'm finding it pretty engaging.

Those that play it through one bloodline, get beaten by the God King and then declare it done are rather missing the point of the game.

As complete each bloodline, levelling up your character and your items, the game responds by becoming harder. The bad guys get fancier moves, better weapons and armour and they get much faster.

There's not much wrong with the gameplay IMHO. Yes it is basically just a little series of one-on-one battles leading up to a big boss a la Streetfighter/Soulcalibur, with added RPG-alike elements for levelling equipment and stats.

But that mechanic is only really a disappointment to those folk that played the Epic Citadel tech demo (and subsequently didn't read any reviews) who decided that was what this game was going to be a multi-player open-ended MMORPG sandbox.

The combat gameplay works very well: parrying, dodging and blocking all take a bit of skill to master and timing can be critical, especially against the higher level enemies. The experience system means there is some room for being tactical with your equipment choices (i.e. fighting with the worst sword to maximise your experience).

All in all, for £3, on a phone, it's a pretty impressive achievement.

Further expansion is on the way too, they've just released an update with more weapons, new bad guy and a Santa party helm :)

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GrahamS
FAIL

It's NOT supposed to be English

Sorry but you're talking out your arse or at least "what you read" is wrong.

The speech track is in "the language of the Gods" with English subtitles (according to Epic on their own forums) .

The "God King" doesn't speak English in any other regions.

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ISPs under pressure to control online porn

GrahamS
FAIL

Re: O2 already jumped on board

Ummm.. are you saying you just got a random text message asking for your credit card details and you replied to it????

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GrahamS

Re: Typical parents - blame someone else!

And get all your neighbours to do the same? And all the local wifi hotspots? And 3G access?

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GrahamS
FAIL

Re: It is called 'parenting'

Do you honestly think that most parents have the technical knowledge to outsmart a hormonal tech-savvy teenage boy who has plenty of spare time, motivation and access to the hive-mind of a world full of other teenager in the same boat?

Keep the PC in the living room - he'll use his phone.

Take his phone - he'll buy a cheap iPod Touch off eBay.

Use OpenDNS filtering - he'll use IP addresses and proxies.

Turn off the router - he'll use the neighbour's instead.

I don't think ISP filtering is the answer - but I'm not sure what is.

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iOS 4.2 multi-tasking comes to the iPad

GrahamS
Stop

Really?

I mean, yeah, it's a mildly annoying bug that they should definitely fix - but why get so wound up about it like it is a major dealbreaker?

Just set your recurring alarm an hour early, or just don't use recurring alarms, or just use one of the many alarm clock apps.

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Multi-colour e-ink to splash down in six months?

GrahamS
Thumb Down

Re: Digitial Photoframe

@Diamandi Lucas: Well personally I don't think 800 x 600 is a "good resolution", especially not at the sort of size that I'd like to hang on my wall, or even put on a mantelpiece. (The iPhone screen is higher res than that and it is only a 3.5-inch diagonal).

But the main problem with the current crop is backlighting and power consumption. You just can't leave a digital frame quietly showing photos in the corner of the room. The transmissive display draws the eye far too much and requires power to run.

Colour eInk could solve this issue perfectly.

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GrahamS
Thumb Up

Re: Digitial Photoframe

Yep, current digital photoframes are a joke. Crap resolution, horrible designs and light-emitting so far too distracting to have as a background ornament.

I'd love to see a proper high-resolution wooden-framed colour eInk photoframe that I could hang on my wall and set to change the photo every hour or so, or possibly just once a day/week.

Ideally pulling the photos from a DLNA server on my wifi and charging itself between transitions via discreet photovoltaics along the top of the frame (so it wouldn't require any wires running to it).

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iOS bug unlocks iPhones sans password

GrahamS
FAIL

Screenshot is not a bug

Er yes, the screenshot function (pressing home and power) works throughout the iPhone. That's how you take screenshots. Not sure why you think that is a bug.

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