* Posts by Conrad Longmore

436 posts • joined 3 Apr 2008


Mozilla stirs netizens against US anti-piracy law

Conrad Longmore


I've grown to like the DMCA over the years, especially because it formalizes a very reasonable takedown process for copyrighted material. Yes, it can be abused.. but if you are a small-scale content provider without deep pockets, then it can be a godsend. Non-US citizens can also file DMCA complaints if the service provider is in the US.

Every system gets abused, and the DMCA is certainly one of those. But SOPA is nuts.

Jim Westwood, home micro revolutionary

Conrad Longmore
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You'd never get away with making a device like the Z88 today.. which is a shame. If you want to take written notes, it is probably the best possible device.. and the battery lasted forever. There still seems to be quite a lively user community too.

Hague refuses to name nations which cyberattack Britain

Conrad Longmore


..China then.

Nokia: The first year of the Elopcalypse

Conrad Longmore

The MeeGo disaster

The MeeGo project was a complete and utter disaster. Maemo was developing nicely and most people expected the next Maemo device after the N900 to be a real iPhone killer.

I remember watching the live video of the MWC 2010 event and *expecting* to see things like the E90 and N900 replacements, and instead we got a pile of shit and the news that Maemo was to be canned just at the point it was getting good.

So Nokia spent 18 months not following up the N900, and of course the N9 was irrelevant anyway by the time it came out.

But what did MeeGo do? As they had just shipped a product that consumers actually *wanted* (there's nothing that drives desire more than being told you can't have it), did they capitalise on this and start pushing MeeGo as a real alternative? No. They canned the project again to merge with LiMo in order to form Tizen, which might come up with some shipping OS in 2012. Or 2013. Or 2014..

Farewell then, Sony Ericsson

Conrad Longmore
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Content and prestige

The advantage that Sony has is that it controls a lot of content, and Sony's products are viewed as being prestigious.. maybe not as much as Apple products and heaven knows that they've done a lot over the past few years to screw their reputation up, but still a Sony is usually a nice thing to own.

In terms of content, they have the stupidly named Qriocity service, plus music, TV shows, movies and then they can continued to leverage sub-brands and technologies such as Walkman, Playstation, Cybershot and Bravia (there have been Bravia phones in Japan). Sony will add the Xperia sub-brand and then cross-sell like mad I guess.

Back in 2001 the JV was the way to go. If you remember that far back, people really did just buy mobile phones and at most a couple of ringtones and some Java games. Ericsson was probably a stronger brand those days in that market, so it worked. These days people buy a whole experience, and really Ericsson is a B2B outfit now and has very little consumer engagement.. where Sony is very consumer oriented.

In those ten years, they've had some pretty influential handsets. The article mentions the P800 and P900 (and I guess P910) smartphones, and the T610 looked brilliant.. my personal favourites have to the the W800 and K750. After that it went into a decline until SE upped their game with the latest Xperias.

My guess is that the Ericsson name will disappear from the handsets after the deal closes in the New Year.

C and Unix pioneer Dennis Ritchie reported dead

Conrad Longmore
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Exactly right

Exactly right. Ritchie provided the foundations, Jobs made it usable for the masses. These two people are part of the chain of human progress.

Conrad Longmore
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Multics and Unix-in-your-pocket

Unix was derived in part from Multics, a venerable OS from the 60s and 70s which was tied to GE (later Honeywell kit). Ritchie worked on the Multics project and realised that it did some things very well, and some things arguably very badly (and there were a lot of arguments in the 70s and 80s). Unix of course won the day, mostly because it was relatively lightweight and wasn't tied down to specific hardware.

People who read El Reg probably understand what impact Unix and C has had. Even though Joe Public has probably never heard of Unix, all iPhones (via Mach) and Android smartphones (via Linux) run an OS derived from the work Lell Labs and Ritchie did. And C is pretty ubiquitous too.

It took nearly 40 years for the technology developed at Bell Labs to end up in everyone's pocket. I wonder what he thought of that?

Thanks Dennis. The world is a better place for the pioneering work you did.

Biker gang plunders Covent Garden Apple Store

Conrad Longmore

There's a guy camped outside

There's a guy camped outside the Covent Garden store waiting for his iPhone, some pics of the aftermath here:


Meltemi is real – Nokia’s skunkworks Linux

Conrad Longmore

Errr Symbian?

Nokia really is a basket case. Looking for a small, lightweight in-house OS that can replace Series 40? Oh yes.. that would be Symbian. Surely it would be better to use *that* than try and write a new OS. Remember how long MeeGo took?

Man who blasted five million text spams gets wrist slap

Conrad Longmore

4 years, 9 months

If it takes 30 seconds to deal with an SMS spam and he sent 5 million of them, then he owes society 2.5 million minutes or 41,666 hours, 1,736 days or approximately 4 years and 9 months of either punishment or payback.

Renault Wind Gordini roadster

Conrad Longmore

BRABUS innit

Ah well, that's the BRABUS engine rather than the standard 80hp one. In design terms the Roadster *was* loosely derived from the little ForTwo city car.. but done properly in terms of design: rear-engined, rear-wheel drive, stuck to corners like it was on rails and an old-fashioned turbo with real turbo lag (kids these days don't know what turbo lag is!)

I moved from a Roadster to a Twingo RS. The Twingo isn't nearly as fun (although the power to weight ratio is about the same as the BRABUS Roadster). It's a helluva lot more reliable though.

For added madness, you could get a Roaster with a Smartuki coversion, basically a 160hp motorike engine..

Conrad Longmore

REN 133?

REN 133? That would make it the 133HP Renault Sport version surely? I have the Twingo version of *that*, and it's a highly entertaining hot hatch with nice things like cruise control (in a Twingo!) as standard.

The Wind is a horror to look at though. Where the Twingo is a bit bland (and a bit silly with the white painted-on bits), the Wind is just ugly. It is too tall and narrow for a roadster, which is a shame because the punchy engines are very good and the build quality is a lot better than Renaults of old.

It's a shame that the designers of the Wind had apparently never heard of the Renault Sport Spider - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Sport_Spider

Got a non-iPad tablet? Weirdo

Conrad Longmore
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I didn't really want a fondleslab, but the HP TouchPad was too good a bargain to pass up. I find that my Android phone is fine for light surfing anyway, and anything more requires a proper computer with a real keyboard.

TomTom fights falling satnav sales with iPad app

Conrad Longmore

TomToms are great

TomTom PNDs are great, easily better than most phone based satnavs.. but by heck are those map updates expensive..

New UK 'leccy meters remotely run via Voda 2G

Conrad Longmore

McAfee Labs

McAfee Labs had a blog post about issues with these type of devices a couple of days ago:


How long until people start nicking the M2M SIM out of your water meter for downloading movies?

Chinese government under cyber siege

Conrad Longmore


Pot. Kettle. Black. Make a well-known phrase with those words.

Motorola hints at Microsoft deal

Conrad Longmore

"getting a similar deal to Nokia would help"

..you mean Microsoft paying Motorola a great big pile of cash? I daresay it would..

State-sponsored 5-year global cyberattack uncovered

Conrad Longmore
Black Helicopters

Isn't it odd..

Isn't it odd that there seem to be no Chinese victims.

Nokia ditches letters for all-number names

Conrad Longmore

Right now..

Right now they have three different naming schemes for products that you can buy right now.

The classic four-digit series(e.g. 1616, 2700)

The newer letter and two-digit series (e.g. E72)

The crappy one they have just ditched (e.g. C6-00)

And now a three digit series that makes it harder to tell if this is a Series 40, Symbian or Windows device.

And that's ignoring the ridiculous Nokia Oro and the developer-only N950.

Although to be fair, Nokia aren't the only one to go through this silliness. If you want a really stupid name, try the "Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro".

We still need an Elop icon.

HTC delays Evo 3D release

Conrad Longmore

HTC Sensation

The EVO 3D is almost identical to the HTC Sensation, apart from the 3D crap and the EVO's better camera. So, if you want a fast and fairly big HTC right now then the Sensation is probably the one to go for.

Scottish TV news pumps goatse link

Conrad Longmore


I saw some condoms with JLS on them in Boots the other day. Isn't that the same thing?

Nokia reaps the Dilbert years

Conrad Longmore

Nokia's firsts

Nokia's first Internet Tablet? The Nokia 770 in 2005.

Nokia's first touchscreen smartphone? The Nokia 7710 in 2004.

I actually own a 770 and a 7710, and they're pretty crap.. but then the technology in those days *was* pretty crap. However, they had the right ideas and had products to market years before the competition.

The world would have been different if Nokia had stuck to its guns with these products and invested some proper money and R&D. Instead, they killed the platform the 7710 was based on and the Maemo.. well you could write a book about what went wrong there.

The best thing that Nokia can hope for is to come out of these as a smaller, but profitable company. The worst thing is basically Armageddon..

Other manufacturers shouldn't feel too smug though. RIM is in almost exactly the same boat..

NASA eyes Atlas V for 'naut-lifting duties

Conrad Longmore
Paris Hilton

Not sexy

Not very sexy though is it? Well, obviously it looks like a giant penis.. but it looks like a huge step back from the shuttle in terms of.. well, looks.

Of course, the design flaw with the shuttle is that it is placed *next* to the rocket component where bits can fall off and damage the spacecraft. With the Atlas, if anything falls off then at least it won't damage the spacecraft perched on the top.

Apple said to be sampling Samsung, LG iPad 'retina' screens

Conrad Longmore


Because that's what you can do when you're a monopsony.

Nokia WinPho handset resurfaces in factory flick

Conrad Longmore

Nokia 770

Indeed, the Nokia 770 was Nokia's first Internet Tablet and it predated modern tablets by several years.. except these days it looks more like a SIMless smartphone. Funny how Nokia can get everything so right and so wrong at exactly the same time..

Conrad Longmore


Well.. yes, the N9 is the already announced MeeGo device. But that certainly looks like an N9 to me!

Perhaps the reason that the N9 *wasn't* cancelled (because MeeGo is a dead-end) was to provide a hardware platform that could be used in Nokia's Win 7 device.

But.. this could just be a developer device. Remember the pics of the N950 which everyone assumed was going to be the consumer MeeGo handset? That turned out to be a developer-only jobbo.

(We still an Elop icon)

Google dumps all 11+ million .co.cc sites from its results

Conrad Longmore
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Good riddance

Good riddance. Perhaps they can dump .cz.cc too?

Feds crack multi-million scareware ring

Conrad Longmore
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As far as I can tell, the Latvian hosting company was Sagade. Good riddance!

MeeGo and the Great Betrayal Myths of tech history

Conrad Longmore


The whole MeeGo development thing was a shambles. Effectively, Nokia didn't announce any new high-end smartphones for the best part of two years because they ditched the N900's Maemo platform just when it was becoming viable, in order to dick around with Intel.

You can't sit around tinkering for two years while your competitors are busy creating products.

And remember, although the N9 has been "announced" there's no projected availability date which is never a good sign. It could be December for all we know..

BMW intros revamped Mini as sporty MG-alike

Conrad Longmore

Dear BMW

This is how you turn a mini into a roadster:


Oz alkie gets hammered on hospital hand sanitiser

Conrad Longmore


Apparently it tastes better with a splash of fruit cordial.

It has happened before too: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/297369

World braces for domain name EXPLOSION

Conrad Longmore
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What a..

What a f-cking stupid idea.

It basically amounts to a tax on businesses who will be anxious to spend a serious amount of domain to acquire names that they don't really need.

On top of that, arbitrary TLDs are likely to screw up all sorts of systems (web filters for example) which will probably need to be upgraded or replaced.

I suspect that the only people who really want this are ICANN themselves who are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of a huge pile of cash coming their way.

London Ambulance Service downed by upgrade cockup

Conrad Longmore


It's 1992 all over again.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Ambulance_Service#1992_CAD_failure

'Dodgy Android apps are breaking our phones' - Motorola

Conrad Longmore


Well.. yes.

The diversity of Android devices and platforms, plus the fact that it's possible to install pretty much whatever you want is very like the Windows PC marketplace, and these freedoms to muck up your device certainly add the complexity of supporting them.

Just for trolling purposes:

Android = PC

iOS / iPhone = Mac

BlackBerry = Linux

Windows = Haiku

Symbian = CP/M

WW2 naval dazzle-camo 'could beat Taliban RPGs'

Conrad Longmore

Big guns

Bear in mind though that the gun on the Belfast can reach 14 miles inland and a perfectly capable of blowing the London Gateway service station that they are aimed at into small pieces.

The USS Iowa could reach 23 miles inland. Accurate firepower from heavy warships like these was rather useful in the invasion of Normandy which could blast targets far inland.

Of course, the three previous wars we fought in Afghanistan went pretty badly for the British, in part because we couldn't bring naval forces into play.

Nokia: When pigeons fly home to roast

Conrad Longmore


RIM is as doomed as Nokia is. Consumer sales are falling fast in the face of iPhones and Android. And I have to say that it's a pretty horrible user experience on a BlackBerry, even though it has some sound underpinnings. The tablet thing they did isn't going very well either.

At least Nokia is taking the leap off the burning platform. I'm not sure RIM knows what to do.. but where Nokia is now, RIM will probably find itself in 12-24 months time.

Conrad Longmore

Elop is not the problem

Elop is not the problem. Elop is the solution.

Pre-Elop, Nokia was doomed. This was clearly obvious to anybody with an ounce of knowledge about the mobile phone market. The problem is that the market did not realise just what a deep hole Nokia was in, so when the truth was admitted by Nokia then shareholders (who did not really understand the market) dumped stock in a panic.

Elop's approach has been pretty brutal and blunt, but then in order to get the business fully behind Windows then these things have to be done. Pussyfooting about will only take longer.

So, Nokia's gamble (and be in no doubt that it IS a gamble) is that the new "Windows plus the next billion" strategy will work and turn it around. But that's a better position to be in than the agonisingly slow death scenario that they were already in.

(I think we need a Stephen Elop icon at this rate)

3D printer produces working house keys

Conrad Longmore

Someone pointed out

Someone pointed on the original site out that you could use the printed plastic key to make a mould, although then you'd be mucking around with molten bits of metal which might be a bit dicey if you don't know what you're doing.

But.. it's scary that anyone with a sufficiently powerful digital camera could clone your keys if you leave them in public view.

Official: Apple to float iCloud on 6 June

Conrad Longmore

The company you can trust

The company you can trust when it comes to server technologies.. just ask anyone who was daft enough to buy an Xserve..

Daleks given a well-earned break

Conrad Longmore

Undefeatable enemies?

The idea of an undefeatable enemy would be quite interesting. The trouble is that there aren't many precedents.. even if you take Star Trek's Borg as an example, eventually they were defeated. The idea of an enemy that you just can't beat would be a interesting twist..

Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

Conrad Longmore
Big Brother

So is it..

So is it an adaptation of "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" or a remake of "Total Recall". Those are not quite the same thing..

(Big Brother because PKD teaches us that there's always another layer of conspiracy behind the one you think you know).

Oz paper in todger-based trivia quiz outrage

Conrad Longmore
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Private Eye

You should see the crossword in Private Eye...

Microsoft squeezes out Windows Phone Mango details

Conrad Longmore


Actually, that's exactly how I read it the first time and thought "well, that's a bit harsh..". But only a *bit*.

Srsly, there's a lot riding on this though. Neither Microsoft or Nokia can afford this to fail. Other manufacturers really don't give a damn one way or another.. and I note that the manufacturers announcing new WP7 handsets aren't exactly top tier - Fujitsu, ZTE and Acer.

Ofcom pricks Shard's 'biggest erection' boast

Conrad Longmore


There's a control room near the top of the Emley Moor tower with a lift going up to it, so it's more than just a mast.

btw, according to Wikipedia: "The tower is the tallest free-standing building in the United Kingdom, 4th in the European Union, and 25th in the world"

Linux Foundation chief dubs MeeGo 'unstoppable force'

Conrad Longmore


Months since MeeGo was announced: 15

Months since Nokia N900 started shipping: 18 (the last Maemo handset)

MeeGo devices launched: 4 (see http://wiki.meego.com/Devices)

MeeGo devices you might actually want to buy: 0

MeeGo is frankly one big FAIL, if Nokia had stuck to its original plan of releasing a Maemo 6 based successor to the N900 in mid 2010 then perhaps they would be in a much better state than they are now.

HP exec: WebOS tablet will trounce iPad

Conrad Longmore
Jobs Horns

You might be right..

You might be right.. one thing that corporates hate is the lack of manageability for these damned things, so proper management tools might be attractive. Of course, it will also be fun forcing a WebOS device on an Apple fanboi just for teh lulz.

Google gets ready to crush quote-comparison websites

Conrad Longmore


They bought UK price comparison site BeatThatQuote.com* recently, and then immediately penalised it from the search engine results for spamming. I kind of suspect that it wasn't really worth the £38m they shelled out for it..

* "Who?" I hear you ask...

Comet owner boosted by closure rumours

Conrad Longmore
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I remember when you used to be able to go to a shop and buy stuff to take home, rather than having to order it online and wait in all day for it.

Yahoo! boo-hoo over Alibaba boo-boo

Conrad Longmore
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"Alibaba is a sort of eBay for small businesses looking to get stuff made in China."

Perhaps that should read that "Alibaba is a sort of eBay for small businesses looking to be ripped off"



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