* Posts by Steve Brammer

35 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Sep 2007

Hunt vows: 'UK will have fastest broadband in Europe by 2015'

Steve Brammer

"fastest broadband of any major European country"

Does that mean they are going to ignore countries like Sweden where 1Gbit connections are quite common these days?

Boffins quarrel over ridding world of leap seconds

Steve Brammer
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This argument is rubbish. I'm an ex-pat living in Sweden and where I live in the winter, at it's worst, the sun doesn't rise until 09:30 and then sets at 14:30. Builders don't stop work here just because it's winter and it's dark (they're building a new 18 storey appartment block across from where I work and they've been working all winter), and there are no significant increases in traffic accidents just because it's dark (there are more due to the onset of winter weather but not because of the dark). As I said this argument is rubbish.

Catholic Bishops: 'Would you mind not bringing guns to church?'

Steve Brammer

Flick knives

I believe I read somewhere that flick knives are allowed for disabled people with only one arm.

BSkyB/News Corp merger: Wait for the cops, says Ofcom

Steve Brammer

Ofcom are wrong

In the debate currently on-going in the House of Commons it was just established that Ofcom can intervene in the application for a broadcast license at any time if they have evidence or believe that the organisation or person making the application is not of good standing.

Ofcom just needs to grow a pair and tell Murdoch to get lost,

Apple hit by new competition complaint as iCloud launches

Steve Brammer

If Spotify had an iPad app...

,,,which they don't, then your argument might carry some weight.

In any case, Spotify were made to wait more than 3 months for their iPhone app to be approved a couple of years ago.

Toshiba readies über-thin 7in touchscreen

Steve Brammer
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Bezel too small

It's nice that it's so thin, but how are you supposed to hold it without touching the screen? This seems to be a recurring problem with all these new tablets. You need a bezel at least 1.5cm - 2cm around the screen in order to have something to hold that is not the screen itself.

BAA promises to get its Heathrow act together

Steve Brammer
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Just a bunch of excuses

It's all just a bunch of excuses to cover up for their incompetence and lack of investment.

Fact: Stockholm's Arlanda airport has never in it's 50 year history closed because of snow. They have the infrastructure to clear all three runways in about 20 minutes. Snow fall is common in that area of Sweden any time between mid-October and mid-April.

I'm almost sure that Heathrow generates more money per passenger than Arlanda. They should use this money to invest in some better infrastructure instead of just lining the pockets of shareholders.

Charlie Sheen explodes onto Twitter

Steve Brammer
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See also the ramblings of @amcharliesheen which purports to be Charlie Sheen's brain's own twitter feed :-)


Passenger cleared after TSA checkpoint stare-down

Steve Brammer

Schengen agreement

I think this is only true for EEA member states that have adopted the Schengen Agreement...


Which the UK has not. What you say is completely true if travelling from, for example, Sweden to Spain. But travelling from the UK to anywhere or from anywhere to the UK requires a valid passport as I understand it.

Google aims Nexus S smartphone at US, UK

Steve Brammer

Limited market?

What about the rest of the World apart from US and UK?

Pirate Bay verdict: Three operators lose appeal

Steve Brammer

Legal system hijacked by media industry

It's plain to see that the Swedish legal system has been hijacked by the media industry.

Typical fines dished out recently by the courts in Sweden..

Murder: 75000kr (£6825)

Rape of a 14 year old girl: 50000kr (£4550)

Pirate Bay fine for aiding Copyright infringment: 46000000kr (£4.1 million)

Apple to give away iPhone tracking tech

Steve Brammer
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Playing catch up

Playing catch up with Android in general and HTC in particular (with the Find My iPhone function), but competition is good for everyone.

So bravo Apple and bravo HTC!

MEPs try again to force ACTA transparency

Steve Brammer

yes and no

I agree that the European Parliament seems to be very good at representing out interests. I'm more worried about the European Commission which appears to be unelected, accountable to no one and can just tell the European Parliament to get lost when ever it likes. Can someone explain to me what the European Commission is for?

HTC posts Android 2.1 update for Hero phone

Steve Brammer

Re. Contacts and Settings

I don't know if it's different in different countries (I'm in Sweden) but the 2.1 update left all data and applications intact on my Hero. The email, contacts and calendar data was wiped but, as already pointed out, these all sync automatically from the cloud again when you connect. The only thing that was lost was the "Scene" data i.e. the layout of of widgets and icons on the 7 virtual home screens. This had to be manually restored.

O2 to step back from unlimited mobile data deals

Steve Brammer
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Rip-off Britain

As an ex-pat living in Sweden, may I just say I'm glad I don't have to pay the crazy prices you appear to have back in Blighty these days.

I have a HTC Hero Android smartphone that I paid cash for and then bought a subscription separately. I have a mobile subscription with Telia in Sweden. I opted for the cheapest voice subscription that they have (since I use my phone mainly for e-mail and surfing the internet and streaming music via Spotify), and then added an "unlimited" data package. I pay £2.50 per month subscription with no free minutes or included sms or data. Calls cost 2.5p to all mobiles and landlines and SMSs cost 2.5p a pop. I then added "unlimited" data for around £17 per month this gives me 10GB data per month and access to all Telias wi-fi hotspots. There is no limits on tethering, VOIP calls via 3G or anything and I can even connect my laptop to a wi-fi hotspot while using the phone on 3G data. Plus they have just upgraded their network so the maximum theoretical speed is now 10Mb/s using UMTS. O2's price of £60 per month for just 1GB is crazy.

Finnish police raids target virtual thieves

Steve Brammer

How many users?

How did they manage to get 15 million users when there are only approximately 5.3 million people living in Finland? If this is a Finnish language website then they must have all the Finnish speaking people in the entire world using their site, which is very impressive.

Pirate Bay now run from Pirate Party 'mountain bunker'

Steve Brammer
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Re: Bit Torrent aint worth the hassle

You're wrong. Bittorrent is hyper efficient. I'm an ex-pat living in Sweden and I have a 100Mbit connection at home. I don't download music or films but I download lots of UK TV programmes using Bittorrent. Most programmes run to about 200-250MB for a half hour programme or 400-500MB for an hour long programme. I can usually download at sustained downloads speeds of 5-10Mb/sec which means bittorrent works almost as an on-demand service for me with even hour long programs taking under 10 minutes to download. The uploaders are very dedicated as well, I can for instance download an episode of Top Gear only an hour after transmission in the UK.

Bittorrent is more efficient than you give it credit for and you should not judge the rest of the world against the crappy broadband speeds you see in the UK.

Steve Brammer
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Clever move by Swedish PP ahead of national elections

I'm an ex-pat living in Sweden and what most people here don't seem to realise is that this is quite a clever move on the part of the Pirate Party in order to raise their profile ahead of national elections here in September. They would just love for the music or film industry to try to take them to court over this as they know there would be a big enough backlash to almost certainly gain them a place in parliament at the next elections. The impressive number of votes they got in the last European elections was connected directly to the public's discontent at the Pirate Bay trial. The Pirate Party would have a field day if the music and film industry were to try taking them to court as it would be possible for them to move the whole debate from just a copyright issue to one of political censorship and an attempt by the industry to suppress a legitimate political party.

My guess though, is that you will see the music and film industry taking a rather low profile and not rising to the bait. They know it would be a disaster for them if the Pirate Party actually got seats in parliament. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the coming months.

Ash cans flights for another day

Steve Brammer


What the hell has this got to do with Mandelson? Why is he even involved?

Android app brings in $13K a month

Steve Brammer

Even more people would pay for apps if Google would allow them to

Lots of people are willing to pay but aren't able to due to the fact that paid apps are only available in 13 countries. Piracy is bound to be rife in the Android world given this environment.

The problem is compounded by the fact that it's not only bad for consumers, but for developers as well. If you live in a country which doesn’t have paid apps then, as a developer, you also cannot sell your apps to anyone anywhere in the entire world, even to the countries that do have paid apps. You can only give them away for free.

The Android Market will never compete with the iTunes Store until it is available in all the same countries.

Hacker brings multitouch to Google's Nexus One

Steve Brammer

Re. What I don't understand is

They do, sort of. The HTC Hero has always had multi-touch in the "civilised" world, but not in USA. There was, and still is, much speculation as to whether the Nexus 1 will be different in Europe compared to USA.

Intel staff 'fired' in ring piece stunt

Steve Brammer

It's Finnish not mumbo jumbo

How rude of you to call the Finnish language "mumbo jumbo".

Steve Brammer

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

5 - Viisi

4 - Neljä

3 - Kolme

2 - Kaksi

1 - Yksi

Steve Brammer

April fools day

It could have been April fools day the weather looks about right. It certainly wasn't recently since there is almost certainly snow on the ground in Finland right now.

4G network goes live for lucky few

Steve Brammer

Nothing to do with Nokia...

No Nokia involvement whatsoever I'm afraid. The infrastructure in Stockholm comes from Ericsson and in Oslo it comes from Huawei.

DVLA data powers likely to be abused by foreign officials

Steve Brammer


This is not exactly true. If you move to another country (I live in Sweden) your UK license is still valid as long as it is valid in your home country. However the DVLA do not allow you to update the address to an address outside of the UK. I have a written reply from the DVLA stating that in the case that you move to another EU country it is accepted that the address on your license will be incorrect.

I also use my UK license (with the incorrect address) to rent a hire car each time I travel back to UK. I explain the situation to them and they just ask me to write down my actual address, no fuss or suggestion that anything is wrong.

Top prices, old shows - the Beeb's iPlayer goes global

Steve Brammer


I'm an expat living abroad in Sweden and I would happily pay the whole of the license fee to receive all the BBCs UK channels streamed live. I'm sure there are many others who would also be willing to do this. Why isn't this even being considered? It's completely crazy. It's exactly the same as the situation with streaning music. Give customers what they want and they will pay. Give them something inferior, useless and too expensive and they will resort to piracy. It's as simple as that. Until media companies final understand how to use the internet piracy will always reign supreme.

Rogue CA update bricks Win XP systems

Steve Brammer

One small problem...

...how do you roll-back when your PC won't boot?

MPs launch probe of massive net snooping project

Steve Brammer
Black Helicopters

U.K. needs it's own Pirate Party

Threats of exactly this kind of surveillance is the main reason that the Pirate Party in Sweden polled over 7% in the recent European elections. The file sharing issue is bottom of the list of issues that the Pirate Party campaigned on, personal integrity in the digital world is the top of their list followed by copyright and patent reform.

The U.K. needs it's own Pirate Party to let the politicians know that the electorate really care about these kind of issues. I know it's more difficult to make an impression in the U.K. since you don't have proportional representation. But the whole point of a one issue party like the Pirate Party is just to make the established parties change their policies as they realise the electorate aren't happy. The press in Sweden have been critical of the Pirate Party saying that they won't be around after the next European elections, but the leaders of the Pirate Party have always said they only exist to make the established parties change their views, they don't want to govern. They have said that if the government change their policies they won't be needed any more.

So vote Pirate Party at the next local, European or general elections if they are available on the ballot paper and if you care about your privacy on the internet!

As the leader of the Pirate Party has said "The government thinks the internet is just some video game that they can take away from us when we are naughty." and "If privacy in real life was treated in the same way by the government as they want to treat privacy on the internet then the postal service would be up in court as the country's largest narcotics supplier.".

Vote Pirate Party! (from a UK ex-pat living in Sweden)

Swedes mash Japanese pop pineapple

Steve Brammer

Quick explanation of those song titles from an ex-pat living in Sweden...

My Favourite Tofflor - (Tofflor is Swedish for slippers so 'My Favourite Slippers')

Suddenly Sibylla - (Sibylla is a famous chain of hot dog stands)

Ramlösa - (Ramlösa is a popular brand of mineral water)

....I'll get my coat

Virgin Media opens bandwidth choke for 50Mb launch

Steve Brammer
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That's expensive!!

I'm an expat living in Sweden and I have a 100Mb/sec connection from Bredbandsbolaget (one of the larger ISPs here in Sweden) for 320sek per month (£26.60 - using the latest conversion from google). Just another case of rip-off Britain I suspect. I can't see how they can justify prices that are more than double the price of a country like Sweden where most things normally cost slightly more than in Britain, not more than 50% less.

November debut for Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 on O2

Steve Brammer

Already on sale in Sweden

The X1 went on sale in Sweden,from all Swedish operators and to buy without a contract, last Friday (10th October).

Digital Switchover: town to lose BBC 2 tomorrow

Steve Brammer

Happy coincidence

At almost exactly the same time as the first region in Britain switches off their analogue TV signal, Sweden completed their complete changeover to digital TV with the closure yesterday of the analogue signal in Skåne in southern Sweden. The transition from analogue to digital TV in Sweden began in September 2005 and was due to finish in February 2008, but with typical Swedish efficiency they completed the job early.

I wonder if the changeover in Britain will go as smoothly as in Sweden?

(Steve - From UK but currently residing in Sweden)

Oxygen pollution began earlier than we ever thought

Steve Brammer

What will the creationists think?

What will the creationists in the current US government think. I thought that they believed that the whole Earth is only 6000 years old. They're not going to take too kindly to their tax dollars paying for NASA to do research that disproves their creationist beliefs. :-)

Pirate Bay sues media giants for 'sabotage'

Steve Brammer

Evidence not admissible

As I understand it (I am English but I live in Sweden) under Swedish law any evidence, not matter how it was obtained, is admissible. The judge will be made aware of how it was obtained and this may or may not affect the case, that's up to the judge. If the evidence was found to have been obtained illegally then a completely separate case will be opened to deal with this and the parties that obtained the evidence may be prosecuted. The successful or unsuccessful prosecution of whoever obtained the evidence can in no way affect the outcome of the other case where the evidence is being used.