* Posts by BigAndos

227 posts • joined 12 Jun 2012

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Reddit meltdown: Top chat boards hidden as rebellion breaks out

BigAndos

I really love Reddit. Some of the bigger subreddits (subs) are a bit too easy to get lost in and can be full of junk/spam/reposts, but there are a lot of really active smaller communities where you can get some great discussion going. For example, people set up subs for a specific series of books or a TV show. It seems a bit less prone to flamewars than older sites like Digg back in the day, although naturally you get exceptions to that rule :-)

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Time to face the Apple Music: Spotify looks worried, and rightly so

BigAndos

Re: I do hope this isn't a issue.

Yep! I love the fact I can sit at my PC in the evening, save a few new albums I want to stream and then save them offline on my Anrdoid phone to listen do during my commute. Or my girlfriend can do the same on my PC and then either download them to her iPad or her Android phone. Spotify does work really well cross device and it does have a great catalogue. I have always desperately hoped they would become profitable and stick around.

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Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?

BigAndos

I had an iMac at home for three years and I absolutely loved it. Easy to use, beautiful hardware and on the occasion I needed to run some other software I could use bootcamp with my spare Windows 7 license.

However after the three years there was no hope in hell of upgrading it to handle the latest games. So I gritted my teeth and built myself a Windows machine so I could easily rebuild in future with upgraded components.

In short, if only Macs were more upgradeable / user repairable I would still be a loyal Mac user.

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LG G4: Be careful while fingering this leather-clad smartie pants

BigAndos

I upgraded from my Galaxy S4 (which I liked but had rubbish build quality) to the LG G3 and really like it. The only real problem I have with it is occasional lag in the LG UI and an annoying problem where it occasionally just plain forgets your settings. If LG have indeed improved their UI software then the G4 may well be my next upgrade!

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Next-gen Freeview telly won't be another disruptive 4Ker

BigAndos

Re: PVR vs catch-up

Slow to start with but gets very good once it warms up. Worth sticking with it!

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BigAndos

Re: PVR vs catch-up

This winds me up something chronic! Some of the catch up services like demand 5 only keep programmes for a week after broadcast, at least on my sky box. I've been watching Gotham and was away for two consecutive Mondays and forgot to series link it. Therefore, I missed an episode and bittorrent was the only way to catch up!

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4K refresh sees Blu-ray climb to 100GB, again

BigAndos

I hope physical media sticks around a little bit longer. I like streaming from services like Netflix and renting then streaming from Google Play, for example, as it is very convenient. However, you can never guarantee what they will have in their catalogue. Google Play has a lot of inexplicable region restrictions, e.g. very popular films not available in the UK. Netflix are a bit unpredictable at adding and removing things.

You can also buy digital copies of films, but most come with fairly onerous licensing restrictions. E.g. if you buy a film on Blinkbox, then they fall out with whoever owns the rights, their T&Cs let them remove your access to it! For now at least, physical media is the only way to guarantee a film is available and that no one will take it away once you have it!

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Word to your mother: Office 2016 preview flung at world + dog

BigAndos

Google docs seems perfect for most of our business users. We only use Excel for more advanced data analysis, or macros/add-ins, and then 2007 is fine. Only recent new office feature I'm interested in is Power BI but that seems to be tied in to a cloud subscription! I don't think Word or PPT have had any decent new features for a long time.

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Snapchat wants $19 BEEELLION for your selfies

BigAndos

That popped into my mind - Uber is an actual cash generating business, whereas Snapchat's valuation is probably based on the hope Facebook will buy it out at some point.

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Free WiFi coming to UK trains ... in two years

BigAndos

Re: Chiltern experience

East Coast have it and exactly the same thing happens. If you get on the train at the starting station before everyone else is on you can get a really good connection. It gradually becomes useless as the train fills up!

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EE 'best' of the UK mobile network bunch, but how good is that?

BigAndos

Vodafone have improved... if you live in London!

I live in north London and Vodafone's 4G was a bit patchy near me, I often didn't even get a decent 3G signal. However, they seem to have really boosted coverage in the last couple months and I know get a strong 4G signal everywhere in the neighbourhood.

However, the story soon changes when leaving a major city as other posters have commented. When I went to Devon a while ago with my fiance who was with EE att time, she had 3G everywhere whereas I had Edge. As anyone with Vodafone knows, Edge is just a euphemism for "no data signal" in VF's case!

They have gone frustratingly quiet about the 4G rollout on their blog, whereas Three have posted a big list of towns that they intend to enable 4G in this year. I shall definitely look at ditching VF, the amount they spend on their network for such a big company is pitiful.

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Grand Theft Auto 1997: 'Sick, deluded and beneath contempt'

BigAndos
Happy

Even in the modern ones, I tend to do just enough of the missions to unlock the whole map and then just mess around! They always pack in so much to reward exploration and goofing about.

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Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' gamers are being 'antisocial', moan players

BigAndos

I'm enjoying the game as well. The only major issue I had was that it crashed to desktop when I opened the system map but that was fixed with a patch within literally hours of release.

The forums are a real bear pit, any thread on the most innocuous topic gets besieged with both rabidly pro and anti Fronter posters within seconds! As you say I'm sure it will calm down, those who don't like the game will stop playing and Frontier will gradually fix any remaining bugs and add promised new features over time.

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Double-digit tablet growth spurt is OVER, say pundits

BigAndos

Re: People who wanted tablets, bought them..

Who would have thought exactly the same thing that happened to PC sales, then laptop sales and then smart phone sales would happen to tablet sales eh? No way analysts could have seen that coming!

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Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

BigAndos

Chrome is getting bloated too

I love using Chrome, and was very happy when our desktop IT team decided to support it alongside IE8. However, it seems to be turning into a right old memory hog! I'm running Chrome now with this tab, a gmail tab and hangouts running. It has 9 chrome.exe processes running and is consuming about 700MB of RAM! Think Google could do with some re-engineering too.

I'd still rather poke myself in the eye than load IE though.

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Samsung to boot out Shin after Galaxy S5 tanks – report

BigAndos

Re: Good hardware... but

Completely agree! I rooted my S4 and put Cyanogenmod on it, I got sick of all the mandatory installed cr*pware and Kies (the syncing software) is an abomination.

As you say they are great at hardware. I've had two Samsung TVs, one which lasted me 15 years and one which is about 6-7 years old and going strong. However, my Samsung "Smart" blu ray is absolutely horrendous to use due to terrible software.

If they kept focused on making meaningful hardware improvements with each model and made it run as close to stock Android as possible I think they would see bigger sales in future.

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

BigAndos

It is an exciting development but I do wonder if it will end up being more expensive for consumers. For example, I watch a lot of HBO shows along with newish movies on Sky. I pay £30 a month for this at the moment thanks to a deal. I also subscribe to Netflix for £7 a month. I can't imagine HBO going to market for less than netflix, and other providers who go to market will likely copy their pricing levels. Add on say £10 a month for the movie package on Sky Tv, a couple of other networks and I'm back to similar pricing levels. Be interesting to see how the market develops!

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Windows 10 Preview - First Impressions?

BigAndos

Windows 10 Preview - First Impressions?

Thought I'd start a hopefully flamewar free topic for anyone who has given Windows 10 a test drive. I downloaded it last night onto my Asus Zenbook. Impressions so far:

1. The upgrade from Windows 7 was a doddle. Apart from pressing a button to restart once I didn't have to do anything for the upgrade to proceed. It took about 1 hour all in.

2. Bootup time slightly slower than Windows 7 but I would probably do a clean install for a real life upgrade.

3. New start menu is ok. That's it, just ok. I don't think the live tiles add very much but at least it wasn't as wide as it appeared in screenshots I've seen. Seems to be a real lack of customisation options apart from adding/removing live tiles.

I haven't had much time to do a really deep test but most of my applications and drivers seem work ok. Therefore verdict thus far is "not bad but why would I buy it?". Thoughts from anyone else?

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

BigAndos

Re: @BigAndos "..........I hope they reviewing the pricing a bit."

Yeah I didn't mind Win 8 THAT much, I just saw no particular reason to go and buy it that outweighed the hassle of learning the confusing new interface. The other reason I missed out on the cheap upgrade offer was that of course no one sane buys a microsoft OS before SP1....

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BigAndos

Re: Looking forward to playing with the dev preview!

I'll be giving it a spin as well, I have a laptop I'd like to give it a try on. I remember doing the same with Windows 8 and thinking "wow it boots quickly, even in a VM" followed by "why the hell would I pay money for this baffling mess?". Be interested to see if anything in Windows 10 actually makes me want to get my wallet out.

Speaking of which... I hope they reviewing the pricing a bit. £100 is just too much for a home user to consider paying for an OS upgrade these days, no matter what new bells and whistles.

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Anti-Facebook Ello: Here's why we're still in beta. SPAMGASM!

BigAndos

True, LinkedIn does charge you for some features but they are primarily aimed at employers or recruiters and really targeted on making it easier for you to search for and sell to/recruit people. I can't see Ello offering that kind of business focused service.

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BigAndos

I see they are planning to make money by charging users for access to "features". Why would I want a social network where only some of my friends can use some of the features I have? Sounds like it will get plagued by chicken and egg situations e.g. "why should i bother paying for the feature to do x when none of my friends have it?"

If you really want a private, ad free but sustainable social network then good old email (not gmail obviously) seems the best way to go!

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Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears

BigAndos

Killed by phones

Most likely it was killed by the fact most phones have a decent music player these days. I expect the average non technical person (i.e. not a register reader) has a small enough MP3 collection to fit on a phone easily, so why buy two devices? When the iPod classic launched there was little choice but to have a separate phone and MP3 player.

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Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

BigAndos

Some good ideas in that list, I'd also like it if it had a vibrating alarm. Me and my mrs often get up at different times so it'd be good if it could wake you up without any noise.

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

BigAndos

Reminds me of this old cartoon from when the HD marketing push began in earnest:

http://www.claybennett.com/pages/hdtv.html

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BigAndos

I think there is a bit of user fatigue with tech becoming obsolete and "needing" to be replaced regularly. A lot of households (me included) still haven't even gone full hd yet. I still have a 720p tv and will only replace it when it breaks - and I'm a tech enthusiast.

I think a full hd tv, possibly with 3D, will do me for a replacement unless 4K sets are at a comparable price. But then my TV is 7 years old and my previous one from the same manufacturer lasted me 15 years so maybe it'll be 8K, or 16K, or direct brain connection by then.

You can see this weariness in other tech sectors too, there is no longer the same drive to upgrade your smartphone every 12-18 months that there once was.

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Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

BigAndos
Joke

The real story here is "Shock as user actually manages to access the internet via a BT hotspot". I've been trying for years and mostly either it fails to connect at all or doesn't actually return any data.

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Home Office threw £347m in the bin on failed asylum processing IT project

BigAndos

Intentional typo in the URL?

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Amazon's Spotify-for-books: THE TRUTH

BigAndos

Netflix for books

I keep hearing this compared to Netflix but there a few issues:

1) A book tends to last me a few weeks normally, whereas I can watch several films or tv shows in a month. Therefore a lot of people don't really need an all you can eat service. I probably would have loved it when I was a teenager and had a lot more time to read though!

2) It appears a lot of major publishers either aren't taking part or will severely restrict the titles available. This makes it sound like Netflix in the UK where a lot of popular films are absent, even those released a few years ago!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/amazon-launches-kindle-unlimited-all-you-can-read-service-1.2710936

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Samsung rebrands store as Galaxy Apps, eyes up Google Play customers

BigAndos

Re: Oh great

I finally did that last week. All great so far, the phone loads a lot quicker and I think the stock android UI is actually slicker than touchwiz. And no more "system" apps from Samsung like Flipboard, which plainly don't have anything to do with the system but can't be uninstalled!

The Samsung app store is terrible, there is hardly anything decent in it. Still at least it is good that you can have competing app stores in principle!

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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

BigAndos

I would kind of like to upgrade to Windows 8.1 now the interface changes are less intrusive. From my limited use of it the OS seems a bit quicker on the same hardware than windows 7. However, I refuse to pay £100 for the upgrade! There aren't really any significant new features. I would pay £10 for example, but £100 is a joke considering Apple give you a new OS for free.

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Pension quango's £18.5m project FINALLY goes live... 2 months late

BigAndos

Two months late? That's about six months early for a public sector project!

(source: currently working on a heavily delayed public sector project).

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It's a Doddle: Amazon inks train station parcel deal with Network Rail

BigAndos

Re: Sounds brilliant.

I would sign up for it if they did this at tube stations. My local royal mail delivery office only opens from 7am to 12pm so at present if I get stuff delivered I have to pick it up in the morning and take it to work and back! Or get it delivered to work and take it all the way home.

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Virgin Media boss AND ex-Murdoch man: BSkyB broadband is 'lousy'

BigAndos

I wanted to join VM, but despite the fact the buildings either side of me are covered my building was built recently and so they claim they are unable to supply it. I was a customer with them years ago and while the customer service was awful the broadband and tv were generally very good.

However, as they aren't prepared to invest a single penny in extending their coverage I've had to sign up with BT infinity and sky TV. Fingers crossed, no problems with either just yet.

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

BigAndos

To be honest, I'd rather wave my debit card around in a shop or at ticket barriers than take out my expensive phone and wave it around. I'm not really sure there is a need for NFC payments unless it gets added to very low end phones so it can be used by people who may not have a contactless card (or any card).

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Look, pal, it’s YOUR password so it’s YOUR fault that it's gone AWOL

BigAndos

I still can't believe they clearly didn't have two factor authentication on their remote DB access, that just seems shoddy. RSA tokens etc are pretty widespread technology these days!

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UK's pirate-nagging VCAP scheme WON'T have penalties – report

BigAndos

I like how the bbc article says that after four letters no further action will be taken. What on earth is the point? All this cost for ISPs for no gain, which will naturally be passed on to us paying customers!

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Netflix FREEZES prices for existing UK users to stop them quitting vid-streaming service

BigAndos

I find Netflix excellent value for streaming HD video with no adverts, and accessible on a range of devices. It doesn't have a perfect range of content yet, and probably never will thanks to lock ins and exclusives. However, it does have a good range of content as it stands now and it is improving all the time. I'd be happy paying a tenner a month if it came to it!

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Virgin Media sales are a bit flat under the Cable Cowboy's reign

BigAndos

Re: @ James 51

Same here, I've tried all the neighbouring buildings on my street and they are all eligible. However, my place was built in 2008 and they refuse to cover it. If they won't expand their network how do they hope to expand? I've had to grudgingly go with BT and Infinity isn't too bad actually, but it would have been nice to get cable tv too.

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It's EE vs Vodafone: 'How good is my signal' study descends into network bunfight

BigAndos

Sounds about right

Vodafone's 2G network is relatively good and has wide coverage, although I've never found their EDGE usable on any phone I've had in any location. Their 3G network is terrible, large areas missing coverage and it is unreliable and overloaded where it is present.

I've found their 4G generally excellent, so hopefully they will do a decent job of rolling it out nationwide. I also hope it doesn't get as patchy as their 3G once a decent volume of people are using it..

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We dig into the GTech GDrive Mobile ... and watch WORST tear-down vid OF ALL TIME

BigAndos

When I can get a 1TB USB 3.0 drive for £49.99 on the high street I just don't see the reason to buy a thunderbolt drive. Certainly not for consumer use in any case!

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Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

BigAndos

Tried it on my Citrix session at work (server 2003). Proxy error page "site blocked: Category malware". Seems appropriate!

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Panasonic slaps Freetime EPG on 2014 smart tellies

BigAndos

If they integrated this EPG and the catch up services into a 1080p 3D TV at a screen size that is sensible in a flat (e.g. 40") I would buy one today. Forget trying to use 4K to drive growth, just give me a current generation TV with this kind of software! I've been struggling with a Samsung "smart" bluray player that randomly drops support for apps at periodic intervals, and the ones that are available (like iPlayer) are awful to navigate.

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Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

BigAndos

MS seem to just keep proving that the "Modern Interface" (TIFKAM) is completely pointless on a dekstop/laptop PC. It sounds like the "Modern" applications are less functional than even Android or iOS versions for crying out loud.

They either need to bite the bullet and do a proper unified API allowing the same core code to work with all interfaces, or just give up.

I hope they think this through carefully when Windows 9 rolls round...

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The land of Milk and Sammy: Free music app touted by Samsung

BigAndos

If it comes to the UK I might give it a try if the catalogue is up to scratch. I have spotify premium right now, and while I love the service the Android app is pretty shoddy. It has improved but it has a lot of bugs and despite many people complaining on their forums they never get acknowledged by Spotify. I will bravely assume that Samsung are promoting an app which works properly on their devices and give it a go!

On my S4 Spotify has the following "unexpected features":

-It often plays the same song multiple times in a row when on shuffle mode (and no I don't have repeat on!).

-It sometimes just stops playing one or two songs into a playlist. Restarting will play another song and then it stops again. You have to force close it to get it to play continuously.

-The lock screen play controls disappear and reappear at random.

-The equalizer randomly stops working until you open the settings menu again. Then the app seems to "remember" it is supposed to be on! This is so annoying I gave up and disabled it.

-Periodically it will just completely refuse to start playing anything. Force closing and restarting it offline with airplane mode disabled is the only fix I've found.

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Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

BigAndos

I wondered this. Some third parties we work with are a bit behind on upgrading so we still have to support a handful of applications that need XP to run. We completed our own Win7 upgrade late last year so could be more people using XP mode.

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Got 4G? Wake up, grandad. We're doing 4.5G LTE-A in London - EE chief

BigAndos

Re: Got 4G ?

Sounds like you might have a handset issue. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 with a 4G contract from Vodafone and i actually get pretty good coverage over most of London! There are a few black spots but in general I've gotten a 4G connection with 10 - 55 Mbps depending on time of day and specific location.

A few weeks ago my BT internet died at home, I set up my phone as a personal hotspot and had two ipads connected to it surfing the web while my laptop was streaming HD iPlayer without the connection breaking a sweat!

Now if only they'd sort out their network (even 3G) outside of London...

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App-maker King hopes to CANDY-CRUSH $500m from IPO

BigAndos

Long Term

I can't help but think they desperately need to start inventing some original game mechanics instead of swiping the game play wholesale from existing games. Otherwise, I think they're destined to be the next Zynga...

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Facebook turns 10: Big Brother isn't Mark Zuckerberg. It's YOU

BigAndos

Waffling Follows

Sorry, bit long winded but this article struck a bit of a nerve with me! I personally relate to the point on political beliefs. I made a post on facebook disapproving of certain tory cuts (e.g. to housing benefit in London). I got a torrent of abuse because I dared to express a partly left wing opinion while working (at the time) as an IT consultant in the insurance industry which somehow meant I was a hypocrite. It is really weird how facebook does seem to be enforcing conformity within social groupings.

For example, I have a group of "proper" left wing friends on FB who slavishly post every article from the Guardian comment section even when they don't particularly make much sense or conflict with statements they have made themselves. It seems if you identify yourself with a certain group or tribe you have to mindlessly believe everything that group believes. If you are more right wing, you don't seem to be able to "support our troops" and be in favour if immigration for example.

Even on trivial matters dissent is not encouraged. I identify myself mainly as an alternative rock music fan but I don't like Radiohead. I swear people have almost defriended me over statements like that!

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