* Posts by JB

270 posts • joined 8 Jun 2007

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

JB

I remember as a lad many moons ago touching the TV screen and getting a huge static charge right through me. Those damn CRTs! Now when you touch a flat panel, you just get a slightly warm finger, and strange looks from the wife!

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

JB

Re: Not quite what you wanted

Actually, the train set was by Lima - Tente was the incompatible Lego rip-off!

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This one time at Apple Camp... Tech titan offers to school US fanbois on coding

JB

Yoof coding

I understand these sessions are for teenagers. Is there anything for people like me, in their 40s, who did some hobby programming in the good ol' days and want to get back into it, but are befuddled by what's happened in the last 20 years? I've started tinkering with Python and have enjoyed it, but looked into developing apps for phones/tablets and found it totally bewildering.

What are these sessions about? I'm guessing Objective-C.

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LG’s G2: The phondleslab that wants you to TOUCH ITS BEHIND

JB

Gallery apps becoming Google Photos

"...though the gallery app, like all of its kind, is being rendered obsolete by Google’s new Photos app."

I sometimes think that people overreact a bit about having Google slurp all their data, but this Photos app was a step to far for me. Agree to the terms of service, just for a glorified gallery app, share all your snaps with Google, no thank you! </rant>

By the way, this looks like a great phone, especially for blindies like me who need a massive screen.

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Moto sets out plans for crafty snap-together PODULAR PHONES

JB

Some assembly required

"Some assembly required" - never thought that would apply to phones!

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America: Land of the free, still home of the BIGGEST spammers on the planet

JB

Re: Regulatory Failure

And allowing the advertising of pharmaceuticals on TV, with a voiceover listing all possible side effects over film of an old geezer lovingly washing his 1950s pickup!

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TV's goggle gaggle: EVERYBODY'S first with something at consumer tech feast

JB

(O)LED

At last! REAL LED TVs. It irks me something rotten whenever I see an ad for Fry's (other electrical retailers are available) advertising 'LED TVs', meaning LED backlit TVs. How many gullible punters have been sucked into this scam? I'll wait for my positively ancient 4-year old plasma TV to conk out before I pick up an OLED - hopefully the prices will have dropped even more by then.

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LinkedIn lowers age of consent to 13

JB
Thumb Up

Re: OMG!!! LinkedIn FTW!!!One11!!

That's the funniest post I've seen all week!

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Dr Dre's Beats plans to drop HTC, hook up with rich mate – report

JB

Sounds like Beats are trying to disassociate themselves from a company that's losing and, in some people's opinion, may disappear in the coming years.

as for the Beats gear, I was recently in a Radioshack (don't ask me why!) and two kids, probably about 8 or 9 years old, came in asking where the Beats stuff was. they then stood oohing and ahhing at all the overpriced gear. Beats certainly got that marketing right!

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No distro diva drama here: Penguinista favourite Debian turns 20

JB

I remember about 2007 getting fed up of Windows and asking a Linux-using friend to set me up. He chose Debian, and threw me in at the deep end. Hooked up my MP3 player...wouldn't mount..had to learn about fstab, permissions, etc; installing packages, missing dependencies, etc...it was totally frustrating. Eventually moved over to Ubuntu for a while, and am now using Mint XFCE and am very happy with it. Yes, it was all very frustrating, but thoroughly educational.

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Paid-for stuff likely to triumph over free – shock report

JB

Re: Win?

I think you're right - though I reckon the TV stations will just run longer ad blocks, like UKTV did some years ago: 20 minutes of programme, 15 minutes of ads and trailers, 20 minutes of programme....

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Roses are #f00, violets are #00f. This witty code is a boffinry breakthrough

JB

Computers and surreal humour

I well remember in about 1981 we had an RML-380Z at school that had a limerick generator. It just used random words, though the parts of speech were in the correct places, so the grammar was correct. Yes, alot of the output was rubbish, but sometimes it would come up with the most ridiculous combinations that you couldn't help but laugh at. No doubt the system mentioned int he article is much more intelligent, but sounds like all that processing power hasn't improved much on a noisy box with a green-screen monitor attached.

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Sacked Zynga bods learn their jobs are gone via Facebook

JB
Unhappy

I used to love Drawsomething until the day the Zynga logo appeared on the splash screen, and it was promptly uninstalled. i really feel sorry for the OMGPOP people - it was a fun game.

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INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry

JB
Happy

I grew up in Gloucester and between 2001 and 2007 worked in Chelt, taking the 94 past Benhall every day. It was rather sad seeing the old building disappear and the main building come down, just rather crappy-looking flats go up in their place...at least they kept the trees by the roundabout.

In 1991 I went for a job interview at Oakley. It was like getting into Colditz: had to bring my birth certificate, was asked a load of questions before being escorted to three different checkpoints before getting into the building where the interview was taking place. It was all one-storey stuff, but I was told later that there was alot more stuff underground. I rather liked the austerity-era decor and all the ancient fixtures and fittings.

And thank you for mentioning Wadworths 6X, has to be THE best beer in the world!

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The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex

JB
Happy

The Hole in the Ground

There's a wonderful film available on one of the excellent BFI COI collections called "The Hole in The Ground", made in 1962, and I believe it was filed at Kelvedon Hatch. It's available on YouTube as well, but broken up into 6 10-minute pieces. Well worth a watch (sorry if it has been mentioned already, but my lunch hour is precious!)

I'd love to visit a place like this, but I doubt it would fly with the missus, who is the driver in the household!

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Anonymity ZUCKS: Facebook's Instagram to switch on face tagging

JB
Unhappy

What's the point?

About 98% of Instagram pics now are bloody self-portraits.

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Ubuntu without the 'U': Booting the Big Four remixes

JB
Happy

+1 for Xubuntu

My wife's lappy had Win7 on it, what a mess - flaky wireless, kept freezing, wouldn't sleep properly, so in utter frustration I put xubutu on it last week. I was expecting a torrent of "what's this? I don't understand it" but she's absolutely loving her 'new' laptop. it does what she wants - web browsing with Chromium, dropbox, Libreooffice - and that is great to see. she hasn't even booted into the Windows partition I created, just in case!

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JB
Unhappy

Virtualisation on OS X

I like the *buntus, and use Xubuntu 10.04 in Parallels on OS X. For some reason (drivers) Parallels won't let you use a screen size larger than 800x600 with the 13.04 release, and nobody can seem to get a decent answer form Parallels that I can see. I'm moving to VirtualBox instead, Parallels charging for something that won't even work properly is a scam, frankly. Xubuntu looks nice, but I'm keen to try Lubuntu.

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Peak txt: 1.5 BEELLLION more chat app msgs sent than SMSes a day

JB
Thumb Up

Re: The best global intercept plan ever developed..

I agree with you. But when 99% of WhatsApp messages are along the lines of "I'm leaving work now, pick me up outside" or "bring some milk home", I don't think it is that significant. Anyone who really wants to communicate top secret info would know not to use stuff like WhatsApp anyway, i suppose.

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JB
Meh

May be true in the UK, but here is the good ole' US of A you get a measly 200 a month on the tariff I'm on, which you pay $5 a month for, and your count goes down one not only when you send one, but when you receive one as well. It's no surprise that my wife and I, and a good many of our family and friends, have gone over to WhatsApp.

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Notebook makers turn to Android in face of Windows woes

JB
Meh

Apps

Android on Notebooks? There aren't enough android apps optimised for tablets, let alone laptop/notebooks. Are these things going to run scaled-up phone apps??

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Google erects tech specs tech specs, APIs hit the decks

JB
Happy

Too cool for glasses

You see so many ads for laser eye surgery and contact lenses, it is obvious that the majority of people wouldn't be seen dead with some fugly specs on their face. So now we're supposed to believe that these same too-cool-for-glasses people will shell out for these?

I also agree with those posters who can see uses for those with (slight) visual impairments, but for most they already wear glasses, so this would not be an option. Perhaps in the future there'll be an add-on for your existing pair of specs, though I doubt my horrible bottle-bottomed behemoths would get a look in.

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Ofcom: Parents, here's how to keep grubby tots from buying Smurfberries

JB
Thumb Up

Re: It's a culture thing..

"-ISPs and telcos shouldn't allow the user access to premium services unless they have a copy of a written contract between the user and the owner of the premium service."

While I totally agree with you, this will never happen: can you see telcos cutting off a source of revenue like that?

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DataDirect in job slash bloodbath

JB

Double-digit growth?

Look, I realise businesses need to grow, but can any business honestly expect continued double-digit growth i this economy? Just wonderin'.

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Mozilla devs plotting to put a stake in <blink> tag – at last

JB
Unhappy

<blink>CALL NOW!</blink> - what will ambulancechasersdirect do now?

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Google forks WebKit, promises faster, leaner Chrome engine

JB

But will this improve Chrome's resource hunger? It sucks the life out of the battery on my Nexus 10, wile Firefox and Dolphin seem to do a perfectly good job with a fraction of the processing power.

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Smartphone running 'Facebook OS' said to debut this week

JB
Unhappy

A Facebook OS? They can't even do a version of their terrible app for Android tablets.

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

JB

Re: Apparently, we are special

"Whenever I go away on holiday, if I make the mistake of mentioning that I'm an electrician (though not for much longer!) I invariably end up getting asked to fix the lights"

Years ago, my parents took us on a weekend holiday at a static caravan park in Cornwall. My dad was a plumber, and needed a bit of a holiday. On the Sunday morning, we found there was no gas to the caravan, so my dad went out and checked the connection, and got it going. Someone in one of the adjacent caravans saw him working, and asked him to do the same for them; then he was asked by another neighbour, and so on. in the end, he went round and did virtually the whole site, about 80 caravans. He was thoroughly pissed off that he missed his cooked breakfast, but, as he conceded at the time, it's impossible to refuse! And the skinflint site owner didn't even knock anything off for getting him out of shit!

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JB
Happy

Re: This is all too familiar.

"I tell them that if they decide they want to run some form of Unix, then I'm their man."

"Unix, is that Android or Mac? Can I run Microsoft Money 2004 on it?" :)

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First Samsung Galaxy S4 review leak: Stop FONDLING, start FINGERING

JB
Unhappy

8 cores?

No doubt that's the international version - the North American one will have a Z80, if you're lucky!

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4G in the UK? Why the smart money still says 'Meh'

JB
Unhappy

Data caps

After using 4G LTE here in Northern California for about 6 months, my advice: don't bother! AT&T were 'kind' enough to up my data allowance from 200MB to 300MB, but even then, with only moderate usage, I've burned through that in about 3 weeks, and for that I pay the equivalent of about 60 quid a month (that is, data, 400 minutes of calls and 200 texts...how generous!)

I really wish we had European style mobile phone pricing over here, but with the current AT&T/Verizon virtual duopoly it'll never happen.

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BBC blueprint to make EVERY programme on TV a repeat revealed

JB
Happy

Repeat?

Don't you mean "another chance to see..."?

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Shocked Zynga investors get a penny per share

JB
Happy

Re: all aboard the Schadenfreude Special!

Upvoted for the title!

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Tracy brothers are back: Thunderbirds Are Go! again in 5... 4... 3...

JB
Happy

Re: More to the point...

Johnny Morris...am I the only one who feels a little sad and wistful whenever I hear recordings of him now? The way he read stories on Listening Corner or Schools Radio, or did the zoo keeper on Animal Magic, just brings it all back for me. One of the greatest pleasures when I was a kid was having a story told to me, and Johnny Morris was the best.

Makes me sad that kids today (bah!) don't have anyone like old Johnny to listen to, with kids' TV presenters being your cool older brother/sister rather than an esteemed uncle or aunt.

Oh, and i think this Thunderbirds remake is rather pointless...old fans won't like it, and young 'uns will be mystified by it!

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Netflix tempts binge viewers with House of Cards pilot freebie

JB
Stop

Radio 4 TV

No! It's annoying enough on Radio 5 Live when they keep referring to the visual feed, let's not go down that road on good old Radio 4. It's bad enough when they put all the presenters' photos on the website, totally smashing my image I had of them.

Like The Burkiss Way said: "Adapted for radio by poking your eyes out!" :)

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BANG and the server's gone: Man gets 8 months for destroying work computers

JB
Happy

If that trick with the penny is anything to go by, at least all the copper parts would be nice and shiny!

funnily enough, here in the States Cilit Bang! is called Kaboom! - same bottle, different name.

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Lotus 1-2-3 rebooted: My trip back to the old (named) range

JB
Happy

Lotus 1-2-3 seemed to be the Rolls-Royce of spreadsheets for a time. In the late 80s were trained on SuperCalc 3, which you could get some good use out of. One of the wags in our class used Norton and changed all references on the floppy from SuperCalc to SuperCrap...the teacher wasn't best pleased!

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Amazon puts up CD rack in the cloud, unearths your OLD stuff too

JB

So if I bought CDs in 2000, I can access them free in the cloud? or do I have to pay for the digital copies as well?

And I now live in the States, but bought the stuff on the .co.uk site. Will it still work?

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Panasonic pitches Ultra HD 4K x 2K monster tablet

JB
Happy

Re: 200 percent

You could always use Windwos key and the Plus sign to zoom the whole screen!

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Mozilla claims 25 per cent JavaScript speed boost with Firefox 18

JB
Happy

You'll only have to wait a few days, then!

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Review: Vodafone Smart Tab II 7 budget 3G tablet

JB
Unhappy

Re: Let's be honest...

I wish that were true here in the Land of the Free! If i want to tether on my carrier, I have to subscribe to a very pricey 4Gigs a month data tariff - try tethering on anything less and they charge you the full whack!

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Intel's set-top TV effort snags on cable

JB
WTF?

iPlayer America

"What? You mean the BBC make other programs besides Top Gear?"

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Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83

JB
Happy

Another one here who caught Thunderbirds in the 80s, usually a Sunday lunchtime on ITV. It was the modernist total faith in technology and its consequent fatal flaws that always intrigued me - monorails that couldn't stop, people getting trapped in hermetically sealed underground car parks, that sort of thing. How much less exciting the plots would have been if there had been adequate health and safety legislation in 2065!

I always admired Gerry Anderson's faith in his projects, but somehow felt a little sorry for the way fashions in kids' telly had moved on and left Gerry behind. Not to detract from his many achievements though - his work will most definitely live on for many years to come!

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Feeling poor? WHO took all your money? NOT capitalist bastards?

JB
Happy

Re: Just a bunch of wiggly lines?

"If a government took less off us - to spend on public benefits like the NHS - wouldn't all t'workers have to spend a larger proportion of their increased wages on the stuff they no longer got for free?"

This is exactly what happens here in the US. Often people in the UK complain that everything is cheaper here and people pay next-to-no tax, but then we have to pay for stuff like health insurance, and our infrastructure is abysmal, where it does exist.

Personally I'd rather pay more tax and have better public services and more reliable infrastructure, but then I'm just a damn liberal European socialist who doesn't understand how a market economy really works!

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Amazon outage whacked Netflix US customers on Christmas Eve

JB

"...and the social media app Scope"

Who?

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UK.gov stalks jobless online to axe work refuseniks' benefits

JB
Meh

Not just the UK

I've been unemployed in the UK and here in California. Here they have a similar website (caljobs) that you have to sign up for and visit every week, though you enter your job search history on the paper forms they send you int he post (no having to drag yourself down to the JobCentre every fortnight to sign on!) At least the California site is run by the state, not contracted out to Monster, purveyor of fake job ads.

The last time i was unemployed in the UK was 2001, and I was given a slip to fill out for my new claim interview where I had to put down the details of two jobs i had applied for. I duly complied, but the young lady doing the interview looked surprised when i handed it to her, saying "oh, people don't usually bother to fill that out". One of the jobs i had applied for, listed as just "Administrative Assistant" turned out to be for a claims adviser at the jobCentre!

Here they're alot more strict about not complying with regulations about recording your work history. i put down that i had done some voluntary work, and had a phone call from the Unemployment office warning me that if i volunteered for more than so many hours a week, my benefits would end.

I'm now gainfully employed, but no thanks to Caljobs...got my current job after doing voluntary work.

It was so much better when you had jobs in the paper and sent letters and forms, at least you had a folder full of proof to take with you when you signed on! :)

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Samsung Google Nexus 10 tablet review

JB
Happy

Great tablet...

Just need some more tablet-optimized apps on Google Play

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JB

Re: No SD slot . .

I totally agree with everyone on this, but nobody seems to grasp that Google want you to store all your stuff on their servers, or download/stream content from the cloud rather than store it locally.

Personally, I just plug it into the computer and load up what i need, and then when i'm done, clear it off and load more. Not perfect, but at least I'm not wasting bandwidth uploading tons of stuff to the cloud.

I have a Nexus 10 and love it. For me, having vanilla Android is more important than an SD slot..already upgraded to 4.2.1.

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The best e-readers for Christmas

JB
Happy

Tablet reading apps

I have a Kindle 3 and a nexus 10. i tend to use the Kindle for general reading, and any reading on the Nexus is textbooks or illustrated books. A genuine question, though: which apps do you used in android to read ebooks, especially ePubs? the ones I've looked at are pretty ropey, or are linked to online booksellers.

Incidentally, will El Reg be publishing a review of the Nexus 10? I'd be interested in their take on it.

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JB
Coat

Re: Thumbs up for Nexus 7

Mine's the one with a Nexus 7 in the pocket. :)

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