* Posts by Simon

12 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Chinese electric car maker pitches 'safer than li-ion' batteries

IT Angle

Non-ferrous Iron

Yes, there is such a thing as non-ferrous iron. Ferrous refers to the 2+ cation of iron. You can also get ferric (3+) iron.

Dell Inspiron 910 mini-laptop to be a hardware hacker's dream?



The first thing I would hack would be the second row of the keyboard to put the keys back where they're supposed to be (instead of right above the third row).

How annoying is typing on that going to be? It would drive me mad in no time.

Click here to save Bletchley Park



Can I point out to whoever designed the donation site that if you want to maximise the amount of money receive then requiring people to 'sign up' to your site and provide all of their personal details may not be the smartest move.

I was quite happy to chuck a few quid their way, but I don't want to have to make up another username/password, fill out an enormous form and get more spam as a thankyou.

US retailers start pushing $20 Ubuntu



> GPL -you can sell for reasonable costs, e.g. materials, postage printing.

GPL (and BSD, Apache etc.) - you can sell for whatever you like. £1000 for a copy of OpenOffice? That'll do nicely!

The limit to 'reasonable costs' is if you have distributed a binary copy of a GPL program and the person you distributed it to asks for the source. You can make a reasonable charge to provide this additional data. There's no limit to what you can charge for the binary, and if you include the source then there's no further come back on you.

The reason this doesn't happen (mostly) is that people realise they can get the same stuff without having you pay you for it.

Apple drags its heels on iPhone security patches


Version 2 - Free?

> Well... Seeing as 2.0 is a free upgrade, then surely working on that *is* addressing problems with version 1.x...?

It might be free for iPhone users, but going by past updates us iPod touch users (who are still vulnerable to the published exploit) will have to stump for the v2 upgrade.

I've got no compelling reason to update my firmware based on the features of v2 and I don't want to have to pay to get a security fix.

Big TV flips ad blockers the bird


Extra options..

I remember in the original Adblock there was an extra option which allowed you to download the adverts but not display them, precisely to get around this kind of detection.

I've just looked in the AdBlock Plus preferences and I don't see an equivalent option there. If this technique becomes popular I imagine that something similar will be added pretty quickly.

The nature of the web means that this is a battle web sites can't win. Keeping ads small (in file size and screen space) inoffensive (no flash animations) and relevant will encourage people to view them. Anything else and people will find a way to block them.

AT&T halts holidays during 3G iPhone launch window


Re: touch keyboard is rubbish

Having had an iPod touch for a few months now I have to say I've really grown to like the touch keyboard. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to it but I now find it surprisingly speedy. The accuracy isn't always great, but the intelligent correction system is very good at correcting the errors*

I'd find a button keyboard a step backwards in usability.


*Except that it will insist on changing 'uk' into 'I'm' and doesn't seem to learn that I never mean that...

iPhone unlock team strikes again

Jobs Horns

@First comment

In addition to the previous comment about this it's also worth noting that:

You have to pay for a signing certificate if you want to put an app you've developed onto an iPhone/iPod touch. This applies even if your app is going to be free, and even if you only want to put it on your own device.

At the moment you can only apply for a certificate if you are in the US. Everywhere else will have to wait. Even in the US most of the people who applied for a certificate have been rejected and told to try again later in the year.

I've not jailbroken my iPod touch yet, but I think the restrictions on the SDK might be what push me to do it.

Final beta of Firefox 3 available now



The problem with multiple forward/back buttons has been seen quite a bit.

It would be helpful if you could add your localstore.rdf file to:


[see comment #16 for details of what they need and why]

That bug report also lists a few ways to fix things up so they look normal again.

Healthcare at your fingertips - a Choose & Book roadtest


Didn't work for me

I tried to use choose and book late last year. Firstly it didn't work on mobile safari ("We're working on supporting more browsers"). When I did log on I only had one choice of centre, and if I went into that it told me there were "No appointments available".

I phoned the helpline who told me to try again in 48 hours (which seems to be their standard line). 96 hours later there were still "No appointments" so I phoned back, to be told that there was nothing they could do and I just had to wait until someone noticed and put some more appointments on the system.

I eventually got an appointment by going through the receptionist at my GP surgery. They really didn't have anything good to say about choose and book.

Shame really, I like the idea, but the implementation sucks.

Apple to charge $20 for iPod Touch update


Worth it for me...

I've just paid for the software update, and whilst I'm not ecstatic about stumping up 12 quid I reckon it's worth every penny for the mail app alone. It's good to see that Apple seem to be abandoning using software to make a greater differential between the iphone and the touch.

The one thing I'm still waiting for is 802.1X certificate support so I can connect to my work wireless, other than that the touch now has everything I need.

@Darren Skidmore: The location finding in google maps does do something on the touch. They're making a database of wifi hotspots and will use that to give you a rough location. Don't know how big the database is or where it covers yet though.

Apple iPod Touch

Jobs Horns

Pointlessly limited

I was going to buy one of these. I really was. I got as far as the apple shop with money in my hand. But I stopped.

Why on earth have Apple deliberately crippled some of the functionality of the iPhone in the touch? The touch would be an ideal PDA accompaniment to a Mac if only they hadn't disabled the ability to enter calendar events or contacts. You can do it on the iPhone (which is essentially the same hardware) so this is purely a marketing ploy to try to make you buy an iPhone.

Come on Steve. I want to give you my money. I really do. But stop pulling stupid stunts like this!

[I generally dislike the new icons, but this one just seemed too apt...]


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