* Posts by Phil Arundell

20 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Oct 2007

HTC Wildfire Android smartphone

Phil Arundell
Thumb Up

Great little phone

My wife got one of these and absolutely loves it - the screen is low res but still very clear (I've got a desire and the screen is noticeably lower quality when compared side by side but taken in isolation it looks fine)

Also, more and more apps are supporting the QVGA screen now (even CoPilot, which is surprisingly usable on the small screen). She had an iPhone (3G) and a Pre before this and the Wildfire is definitely her favourite of the 3.

One big advantage of the smaller screen is there aren't as many pixels to push around so the lower spec processor chugs along really nicely and performance is more than acceptable.

She got the Wildfire instead of the desire because she wanted a smaller phone than the desire but with the fantastic Sense UI.

I was concerned about the QVGA screen because, well, it's QVGA, but she had a good test of one and decided it was exactly what she was looking for. That pretty much sums it up: If you're not hung up on the specs, then the Wildfire is a fantastic little phone. If you want to play spec top trumps then there are better devices out there...

LG GC900 Viewty Smart

Phil Arundell

8MP But still Crap

This phone clearly makes a big deal about its photo capabilities, but the fact is it is still crap if the sample shots are anything to go by. Loads and loads of noise (particularly in the blue sky), and poor metering. There's no point in putting features such as wrinkle removal on something that you can't use as a real camera.

When will manufacturers learn that 8 million pixels on a tiny sensor behind a bit of cheap plastic = crappy pictures?

Cameras on phones continue to be little more than a toy and because of that there is no point in upping the megapixel count because all you end up with is crappy pictures that take up more space...

Samsung i8910 Omnia HD

Phil Arundell

Horrendous Photo and Video Quality

It might have an 8MP camera, but those sample shots were horrendous - bad light balance and incredibly poor noise levels. It all goes to show that putting a big sensor behind a crap lens is a complete waste of time!

In addition, the video sample was a complete joke - jerky and poor quality

The screen might be gorgeous but anyone buying this hoping to actually make use of the video and camera beyond the normal crappy cell-phone use is going to be sorely disappointed

Hero: HTC names third Android smartphone

Phil Arundell

Crap Name, OK Phone, but Teflon and that sodding chin?

Surely a Teflon (AKA Non-Stick) coating will mean the thing will be a complete bugger to keep hold of!

Looks like a decent phone, but "Hero" is a really, really crap name and what's with the insistence on the chin? Maybe they should have called it the Jay Leno

Is your cameraphone an oxymoron?

Phil Arundell

Stating the Bleedin' Obvious

"If you want to take real photos, get a real camera" - real insight from El Reg there!

Having said that, I thought the review was pretty good and does show that phones can take half decent pictures in an emergency. Would have liked to see some low-light shots though to see how the Pre's flash performs

Taiwanese rat snake bites Taiwanese trouser snake

Phil Arundell

Sex Offender?

So, does he become a sex offender now that he partook in bestiality and got oral sex from a snake?

Swine flu spam clogs inboxes

Phil Arundell

Don't know about anyone else

But I'm pig sick of all the hype over the 'flu

Microsoft claims IE8 is 'a leap forward in web standards'

Phil Arundell
Thumb Up

@Liam - Safari

You should try Safari - Safari 4.0 Beta (at least on OS X) gets a nice round 100/100!

Microsoft to launch Windows mobile apps 'bazaar'

Phil Arundell
Thumb Down

My Phone? Seriously??

Couldn't Microsoft have thought of something that didn't rhyme with a certain rival phone from Cupertino?

Apart from anything else, the Simpsons have already been there and used the moniker MyPhone in their piss-take of Apple episode Mypods and Broomsticks

Apple updates iPhone firmware

Phil Arundell
Thumb Down

@David Kelly

I don't think anyone does expect Apple to release a navigation app. What people are complaining about is that they are blocking other companies (such as Tom Tom) from releasing theirs through the App Store (which is the only way to get things onto the iPhone)

Speed cams ditched in Wiltshire

Phil Arundell

@AC "Whatever next? stop arresting criminals?"

The recent accident on the M6 was caused by a lorry going over the top of a car. lorrys are all speed limited to 60mph so it couldn't have been breaking the speed limit. Cameras may serve a purpose but they are only marginally as effective as more patrol cars sat on our motorways. Unfortunately, they are much cheaper than coppers and raise lots of revenue. Cameras make the police and government lazy because they can say they are tackling dangerous drivers when they're doing nothing of the sort - they are tackling one very specific part of bad driving that doesn't cause as many accidents as they'd like to make out (particularly on motorways, where most accidents are caused by simple bad driving).

Intel stinks

Phil Arundell

Intel not at fault

When he purchased his house next to Intel's ponds four years ago, Lenn Zazula thought that was a good thing.

"The ponds were an attraction and nobody could build behind us," he said.

He didn't anticipate pungent summer odors that permeate his house or the periodic swarms of midge flies.

The above is from the original article, and there are other similar quotes in it. So, people saw the water, thought it would be nice to live next door to it and then decided it wasn't. Tough - deal with it!

Rare Mac Trojan exploits Apple vuln

Phil Arundell
Thumb Down

Didn't take long

As soon as I read about the idiotic decision to have the SUID bit set on the Apple Remote Desktop Agent, it was obvious there would be an exploit for it. This is a massive security hole in OS X and there's not really any way of defending it: A simple shell script can gain root privileges not by exploiting buffer overruns, etc but almost by design!

The Apple Remote Desktop Agent is scriptable and runs all scripts passed to it as root because of the SUID bit: this really is security 101 stuff and it makes you wonder how many other holes exist under the hood of OS X

You can protect yourself from this by unsetting the SUID bit, but if you subsequently run permissions repair on the disk, OS X will "helpfully" put it back for you...

Microsoft have had a lot of (justified) stick for security issues in various versions of Windows, but this is probably the worst security issue I've seen in years, simply because someone has made a concious decision to setup the remote desktop agent in that way

Finally, a few comments on here have tried to defend it by saying it has to be installed by the user: That is the definition of a trojan, and the big difference with this over earlier "trojans" is that the root escalation means it can do what it wants without triggering the secondary authentication that has kept other malware from freely doing what it wants on a Mac.

This will probably hit Macs hard because many Mac users are lax about running downloaded apps because they expect the OS to protect them, and have no additional malware protection on the machine.

And before I get flamed by Mac users trying to defend this, I am a Mac user myself and, as I said at the start, this is simply indefensible

The New Order: When reading is a crime

Phil Arundell

Document Source

If the document was downloaded from http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/terrorism/alqaida_manual/ then it appears to be an edited version: the site states "The Department is only providing the following selected text from the manual because it does not want to aid in educating terrorists or encourage further acts of terrorism"

I have downloaded the document from this link, and I'm not posting this anonymously because I shouldn't be afraid to read publicly available information. Of course, if that is the location of the document that led to the arrests, then I've just admitted to committing the same "offence" so I'll probably be led away to the gulag...

I am completely pissed off with this country and the constant erosion our our civil liberties in the name of "security" - it gets more like 1984 every week and it's about time people made a stand and said "enough is enough"

Heaviest Virgin Media downloaders face new daytime go-slow

Phil Arundell

Seems fair enough to me

As a Virgin customer, I don't have a problem with this - as an XL customer, I can download 9GB a day (if I time it right), before any restrictions come in to play, and after that I'm "restricted" to a 16Mb/s connection for 5 hours (still twice as fast as the maximum on BT and many other ADSL providers and 4 times as fast as I could get through ADSL at my house).

MS whips lens cap off WorldWide Telescope

Phil Arundell

Runs on a Mac too

Microsoft do at least seem to be finally embracing the cross-platform nature of the web: They have system requirements listed for Macs.

Unfortunately, it's as follows

Microsoft® XP SP2 (minimum), Windows® Vista® (recommended) with BootCamp

'First' iPhone Trojan rolls into town

Phil Arundell

Wake Up Call

Hopefully this will be a bit of a wake up for people who have opened their phones up using a massive security hole (i.e. a TIFF exploit that allows arbitrary code execution) and then proceeded to grab unverified programs without a second thought to what they're actually doing.

One of the big failings of the iPhone currently is that everything runs as root. This is probably one of the reasons it is currently locked down and hopefully when the SDK comes out it will no longer be the case (or at least I would hope Apple wouldn't be stupid enough to leave everything running as root when user installable apps become official!).

Installing unknown software that will run as root onto a UNIX device when that device can also make phone calls is a really, really dumb idea - premium rate phone scam anyone?

Orange unpeels HTC Touch Dual

Phil Arundell
Thumb Down

Close, but no cigar

Look like a half decent 'phone, but no Wi-Fi and a crappy resolution (240x320? wake up HTC: It's 2007, not 1997!) = no sale.

Leopard security bug puts Mail users at risk

Phil Arundell
Thumb Up

Works fine here

Leopard 10.5.1 - got the test email and when I clicked on the fake attachment, Mail gave me the following information:

“Heise.jpg” may be an application. It was attached to a mail message and will be opened by Terminal. Are you sure you want to open it?

Sounds pretty comprehensively protected to me!

Only Sky can save digital TV

Phil Arundell
Thumb Down

Clearly biased reporter

Previous "articles" by this "reporter" are the following:

Virgin: stop whinging and deal with the debt

Virgin: Take the money and run, Beardie

BT: we need fibre, not share buybacks

The first two of these clearly demonstrate a lack of objectivity and a definite bias towards Sky. Isn't about time El Reg introduced ignore lists for their users to use against reporters such as this??