* Posts by Steve

49 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Vodafone does close-up magic on roaming charges

Steve
Unhappy

@AC - T-Mobile web'n'walk

For what it's worth I'm a reasonably regular user of t'web on me phone, and I've noticed a marked deteriation of the data service on T-Mobile over the last six months or so. It's got to the point where the G-Mail client on my N95 wont work over the network, only when I connect to Wi-Fi.

I've decided my next phone is going to be unlocked and sim-free, and that I'm going to become a network tart.

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HTC Vodafone Magic

Steve

Title, what title?

I tried a Magic in the Voda shop on Market Street in Manc yesterday, or rather, the sales 'droid (geddit? wasted I am!) was keen to demonstrate his lack of knowledge, and rather less keen to let me get my mits on it. The biggest problem I had with it was that it simply did not work. Trying to search for something (anything!) on Google just seized it up, and eventually caused it to disable the button the web page. I did get on better with the on-screen keyboard than I did with the iPhones, but otherwise I found the phone to be inconsistent. And then there is the way that Voda deals with customers. Fine if you don't mind being smothered and managed to death.

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Ericsson quickens up cable broadband

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Telcos

"VDSL2, if adopted, should boost the paltry ADSL speeds we have today, unless BT and other telcos contend the lines to hell, and should also extend the reach of near-broadband speeds out into the places that ADSL can't get to now."

And the chances of this happening are near zero.

As an example the area I live in (in Gtr Manchester, suburban, not at all rural) is serviced by a BT exchange 2 miles away (as the crow drives, according to Google Maps... :), but once BT's crazy tortuous wiring is factored in it's nearly four miles. That means that the best speed BT will promise is still 512Kbps.

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Sony DSLR-A900 Alpha 900 digital SLR

Steve

Handlng

I would definitely recommend that anyone who's thinking of spunking so much cash on one of these, or indeed it's near rivals the Nikon D700 and Canon 5d MkII go to a large photographic store and take some time to handle them.

I was lucky enough to be at the Focus on Imaging event at the NEC last week and got a chance with all three. And it was quite eye-opening. I have to be honest and say that the addition of the Live View and HD video capture actually detracted from the 5d, making it more complicated and more disappointing for me. The best camera for my money was the D700 (51 AF points, and general ease of use (even for a current Canon user)), with the Alpha-900 not too far behind.

Anyway, as I said, don't let me colour your judgement, go and hold them and try them. At £1500+ it's well worth it!

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Google eats social bookmarking sideline

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I'm with W

Delicious does what Yahoo used to, but in a very transparent way. It provides a guid to the internet (n.b. not a search) so when I want to look at some photography web-sites (for example), at least there's a good job I'm not going to be looking at complete tosh if I find them on delicious.

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Obama insists on FOI

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Not very nuLab friendly

Blimey! New broom and all that! Very definitely not very nuLab friendly though is he? Pretty much everything he's done in just two days seems to go against the instincts of Gordon and his mob.

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Why port your Firefox add-on to Internet Explorer?

Steve
Flame

Openness is good...

It's good that Microsoft are more open these days. But there's no need to burn the company down!

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Gov to Manchester: No new trams without road pricing

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I live in Manchester...

And I drive. I also cycle, use public transport, and walk (five+ miles in to the town centre if it's nice!).

Now I've got that out of the way I'd just like to say that I'm happy that this is now being made clear. The No campaign are purely focusing on the charge. Although they aren't saying it they are letting people think that they can have the improvements without the charge. What they aren't doing is putting forward a viable alternative. The buses and the trams are ok, though horribly overcrowded. The buses are better on over crowding (you can usually get a seat), but are horribly delayed by the traffic. Where is the no campaigns alternative?!

Anyway, I'll be voting for the improvements and the charge when my voting papers turn up.

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Reg readers in Firefox 3 lovefest

Steve
Unhappy

IE6 hanging around for a loooooong time yet...

The company where I work (~15,000 desktops) is only just starting to pilot IE7. On ~150 desktops. I think IE6 is going to be around for a veeeery long time yet.

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Hotmail users bitch and moan about new interface

Steve
Unhappy

Hotmail - a pain too far

I had the new interface inflicted on me this week (I didn't even know it was going to be changed!) and I agree it is actually worse than the old one. The worst bit for me is that because I long ago gave up paying for the privilege of an account M$ now see fit to use a quarter of the screen for adverts, which just makes the rest of it a pain to use. Just so you understand, I'm not complaining adverts as such, I know that I have to pay for free some how. But come on! Google manage it much nicer with Gmail!

I have to admit I'm also fed up with M$ deliberately breaking the service on anything that isn't IE.

Ah well, more impetus to move away from them then.

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NASA probe finds opals in Martian crevices

Steve
Coat

Too good to miss...

'The "largest known crevice in the solar system", apparently.'

Are we sure that that title doesn't belong to <insert name of currrently derided celebutard here>?

No, I've already got me coat, thanks all the same!

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Blundering workmen cut major Docklands fibre

Steve
Happy

Diggers, doing it for fun

I have two digger stories, one strangely in docklands. The g/f's sister is a geo technical engineer, and was working on a site not far away from Yeo Street, and told the driller (ok, not a digger, but close) right *there* cos it's safe, look at the council supplied plan, there's only London Clay there. Next thing *kzzzzzzzzrt!* and one driller thirty foot away. They'd found a very large electricity main that no-one, not even London 'leccy/EDF knew about.

The second story concerns a council in the Midlands, who had their server room in the basement of the building. Not only did the diggers manage to sever all the comms and electricity lines, they also when through a water main and flooded out the server room. Oooh how we laughed when we took that support call!

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VbyV password reset is childishly simple

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@John Loader

Very few people use Royal Mails PAF, as it is such a bloody mess, though as you've discovered mostly accurate. Also the charges for using it are ridiculous. Most companies get their PAF (cheaper) through third party software, which inevitably involves a degree reformatting of the data. Also, there is (usually) nothing in the file which will force the user to update on even a semi-irregular basis, so the file they are using may have been there for years.

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Skiving Aussie fingered on Facebook

Steve
Unhappy

@AC: Amateur

You work/ed in local government and I claim my 100% Council Tax rebate!

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US carriers hedge open network claims

Steve
Unhappy

They just don't get it do they?

How can the telco's continue to so spectacularly "not get it"? I'm in the UK, and use T-Mobile W'n'W, and it's fine for a bit of casual web-browsing, it isn't really much cop for anything else. It's like the debacle of Orange and Vodafone diabling VoIP "because we can't control it" (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/18/n95_crippled/ and http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/07/voip_continues/ and http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/19/vodafone_explains/)

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Logitech V550 Nano wireless laptop mouse

Steve

@Tom Westheimer

I managed to get a Microsoft Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000 in the US recently for <$50, and I can say I'm very impressed with it. Luckily the Bluetooth adapter it comes with pretends to be a standard USB hub if you can't get Bluetooth working (twunts in IT!)

Anyway I use it with rechargable AAA's and get weeks on end out if using 8-10 hours a day.

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Facebook - The Movie! Exclusive storyboard peek

Steve
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Astounding - A tour de force

***** - The currant bun

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How to stop worrying and enjoy paying for incoming calls

Steve
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Ooooh, controversial!

Tackling the "White Hot Fury"TM (use it if you like, I don't care! ;) of the El Reg massive.

Actually a very good article, but I do have two questions. Would it stop the telco's (especially the mobile one's) gouging the consumer for all they're worth? And what do you do about unsolicited phone calls and text messages?

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Google releases open source browser

Steve
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Call me a raging google fanboi, but..

This looks genuinely interesting. And it could already be rendering IE8 a bit obsolete.

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Shine on Silverlight and Windows with XAML

Steve

Not everyone wants to write web-apps!

I'm inclined to agree that Silverlight is derivative/me-too/not really the web/etc... However WPF for desktop applications is really quite compelling, assuming you're in a position to learn it and take advantage of it.

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Larry Ellison gets huge pay rise

Steve
Coat

"What else can you give California's richest man?"

A good, solid kick to the nuts?

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Philippine troops battle rampaging MILFs

Steve
Happy

Made me grin...

No, really it did! :)

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Red Devil assaults Burnley FC's stadium roof

Steve
Paris Hilton

Always look on the Turf Moor for sh&*e

Oh how we fell about laughing at half-time at Deepdale when they told us what was going on up the road at the Dingles!

Paris, because even she know's not to go to Burnley!

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And so we begin the tech sector's journey into the Heart of Darkness

Steve
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@AC: Warren Buffett, the sage of Omaha

You're nearly on the way to making yourself rich, much like Mr. Buffett. Once you know that most of the stock market is based on psychology, and nothing else, then you can start looking beyond the share price.

You need to look for companies that are making money, but who's share price has tanked. Nobody who's making real money ever went bust.

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Truphone brings VoIP to the iPhone

Steve

@bygjohn: Thank god it's not just me!

It has to be said I've always been somewhat confused by peoples insistance on trying to run VoIP over 3G. The only thing I could think of that it may improve is calling abroad, but hells teeth, there's even plenty of sim cards aimed at that these days.

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Intel says 'no' to Windows Vista

Steve

Most large corporates wont upgrade existing machines to Vista...

But there again, most large corporates these days don't actually own their machines either, probably on a 24-36month refresh cycle like we are. With 15,000 machines in use it's not practical to update them to Vista (getting XP SP2 out of the door was difficult enough!).

However, from some point next year (once all the software we use has been tested as working on Vista) new machines will roll out with Vista on them.

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T-Mobile doubles 0870 call costs

Steve

Ah well...

At least now I know not to dial 08xx numbers from my mobile. Well played T-Mobile.

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Gates' last act: frees IE 8 and Silverlight second betas

Steve
Jobs Horns

I wuz there

The video of his final day was truly awful, and we finally learnt who wore the pants in the Blair/Gates relationship (Gates, on the outside). So we also know who to blame for HMG's shocking record on IT. (Actually probably harsh, they're more than capable of cocking it up without help...)

The demo of the model driven stuff actually looked pretty good. Of course we can only wait and hope that they actually deliver. But given that it seemed to be actual working software it looks pretty reasonable so far.

Horny Balmer because the thought of a robotic Balmer is terrifying! :)

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Bournemouth floats UK's first 100Mbps sewer broadband network

Steve
Happy

4inch deep tube

I should imagine that the cable itself will be protected in some kind of ducting when traversing gardens. Certainly my VM connection is, which was lucky as they'd gone through the roots of the Leylandii that I dug up last summer (manually, though not with much care... :)

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Brit tourist blags his way onto Iron Man set

Steve
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It woz the Sun wot delivered...

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/film/article1050709.ece

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Google to launch database service from Campfire

Steve
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Not a database service as such...

But definitely gunning at AWS by the looks of it... http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/developers-start-your-engines.html

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Nokia N810 internet tablet

Steve
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N800 also worth considering

I got an N800 just after Christmas, which for the record lacks the Keyboard, GPS and built-in memory but has two SDHC slots and runs the same version of Maemo. It's a fantastic device, and with properly formatted video files does fantastically well. Which is just as well, since that's what I use it for mostly! ;)

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Data pimping: surveillance expert raises illegal wiretap worries

Steve
Alert

No link, again...

So here is the link to the FAQ... http://www.webwise.com/how-it-works/faq.html

I find this Q particularly interesting: I delete my cookies regularly, and I want to keep Webwise switched off. How do I do that?

If you regularly delete your cookies and want to ensure that Webwise is permanently switched off, simply add [OIX.net] to the Blocked Cookies settings in your browser.

P.S. El reg, I do love you so, but please learn to link within your articles it's what HTML was designed for... ;) :P

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T-Mobile sinks money into femtocells

Steve
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Validation

I use an N95, which is great when I'm out and about, but I wouldn't use it at home. For that I use either an N800 or my laptop. And if I want serious browsing out and about the N800 comes along!

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Northern Rock FOI gag 'out of order' say Tories

Steve

@Rob

They've been re-elected twice, doing these kind of things, so why should they stop now, especially when they've got some real problems to cover up?

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Häagen-Dazs battles honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder

Steve

Interesting point...

The beeb make an interesting point here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7240456.stm) apiarists in the US are mostly professionals who move their hives around frequently (oooo-er), which could lead to stressed bees (O_o). In the UK apiarists are mostly amateur, and keep them in one static location, probably leading to heppier bees.

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Star Trek XI release knocked back to 2009

Steve
Happy

@amanfromMars

Sod the film, I'll have some of what you're having! :)

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Oz organ recipient changes blood group

Steve
Unhappy

A long time ago...

When Horizon reported on real science they had a program on transplants. Part of it was a discussion on rejection, and why it happens. A female boffin in the US decided to look it from the other way round, e.g why don't babies get rejected from the womb? I can't remember how, but she came to the conclusion that putting the organ in an Oxygen solution (no, not water) for a couple of days significantly lowered the risks of rejection. Unfortunately no one took up the idea.

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Parliament ponders the weight of e-petitions

Steve

Petitions have no legal force/weight?

During my time in education (yes it felt like a prison sentence ;) one of the things that consistently came up was that petitions were a bit of a waste of time, as they had absolutely zero legal weight or force. Was this advice correct?

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Virgin Media network collapses nationwide

Steve

@AC: STM?

So what's STM then?

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Technical problems mar Barclays' PINSentry roll-out

Steve
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My missus is happy with PIN Sentry

It all worked pretty much as advertised. She tried to transfer some money to me, but was prevented by the Barclays web-site because she needed said PIN Sentry. That arrived in the post a couple of days later, and a new card a couple of more days after that. She's used it, and is very happy with it.

Anyway, it's much better than the Nationwide's idea of security. They recently asked me to answer a whole load more of "secure" "standard" questions.

That's great that is... NOT!!!

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How I wrote an iPhone application

Steve
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Worked on the N95

It worked well on my N95, and I was tickled with my preferred moniker of sack'o'shite... :)

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A simple unit test for GUIs

Steve
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Thanks for that!

I've been working with Microsofts Composite UI Application Block and Smart Client Software Factory for a while now, and until this point haven't found a reasonable explanation or demonstration of how to code SmartParts (the panel in you example) and their controllers. I think I now "get it"!

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No-humping 20mph limit for London

Steve
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Wouldn't help me

I also cycle the five miles from home to the centre of Manchester most days for work, and I'd a) be forever breaking the speed limit and more importantly b) in more danger from dawdling drivers not paying any attention.

It's alright going faster than cars/buses/lorries/etc. when I'm in the safety of my own lane, but most of the time I have to try and safely pass them in the same lanes. And then of course there are the gits who deliberatly drive for the gutter to stop you getting past. All-in-all not very good for cyclists.

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T-Mobile data service collapses

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Wasn't just yesterday morning...

The bloody thing went over this morning as well. Which meant that I was only able to find out the time the train would arrive as it arrived at the station. Useless bunch!

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Flash memory makers propose common card

Steve

I blame Sony...

I mean really, what's the difference between MemoryStick Duo Pro and Memory Stick Pro Duo? Other than the fact that means they can have another, incompatible, card format when they next release a consumer electronic item, and royally screw the customer.

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Master crim leaves vital clue at scene of burglary

Steve

Oh my dear lord...

I live in Reddish, which is right next to Heaton Mersey, I knew the kids round here aren't the brightest (I'm 6'2", and have a passing resemblance to an out house, a silly little buerk who was barely five foot, and must have been related to a rake, tried to mug me, he didn't get anything...) but I didn't think that a) they'd stoop so low, and b) that they were so bloody thick...

It's a good job me and the missus are already formulating an escape plan. :)

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Cops seek 179mph net vid biker

Steve

Not a good stretch of road

I've (unfortunately) driven over the Woodhead Pass several times. The reason I say unfortunately is because in recent years it's turned into one of the main routes between Manchester and South Yorkshire. Which isn't very good for a road that for the most part is little more than country lane.

If it was clear, the weather good, and the driver half way decent it should be possible, (I'd guess) to do it in 25-30 mins. But it's that clogged with HGV's, vans, caravanners and other cars that I'll never know.

As for the bikers in thevideo, silly tw&ts, they get all they deserve.

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Why is Hotmail so bad at spam?

Steve

Once upon a time...

The only way to get a MS Passport was with a hotmail address. And then they insisted that the only way to get information out of MSDN was to have a passport. C'est la vie!

I don't use it for anything interesting, but most of mmy accounts all over the place are signed up using that address, so it's easier to keep it on.

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