* Posts by James Foreman

23 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Oct 2007

Boffin shows pics of germs grown on SPOTTY STUDENTS' MOBES

James Foreman

Don't worry, Kickstarter rides to the rescue...


Except, well, it's Kickstarter, so it seems a mystery whether the miraculous phone cleaning device will ever condense from vapourware or not...

Ten Xbox 360 games you may have missed

James Foreman


Not so convinced by the 'realism' on Forza Horizon - downloaded the demo and it was more like piloting a boat than a car. Then again, it was some American muscle car, so perhaps that was a shot at realism.

Google ices native Gmail app for BlackBerry

James Foreman

Not the end of the world...

Previously I would have seen this as a big problem - but the BB Gmail app has been feeling more and more geriatric of late. No priority inbox, no way to move mails to folders, no functionality beyond being able to read emails, basically.

Gmail used to be horrible on the blackberry browser, but I tried it today and it's now pretty usable. The downside is that you don't get a notification light flashing when you get new mails like you do with the app, but that's not a major problem for me. I can see that it would be for some people (I only use Gmail for personal emails that don't need to be answered promptly, rather than anything critical to getting things done in the day).

I will be sad if RIM does get killed off - I can touch type on a Bold keyboard, don't think I'd be able to manage that on a touchscreen phone like everyone is meant to love these days...

A rapid first hands-on: Nokia’s Windows phones

James Foreman


Bright clown colours are a good thing, for at least some customers. My wife only buys shocking pink phones now, because they show up better in a dark environment and so they're harder to accidentally leave in the back of taxis than black oblongs.

Come to think of it, maybe if all the Civil Service laptops/phones/USB sticks were in full-on clown colours, they wouldn't get lost so easily either...

Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

James Foreman

But ...

New Shanghai and Euromerica? Does that mean they've excised the totemic, iconic, utterly wonderful "Get your ass to Maaass" line? Oh woes!

Italian bus driver goes completely hands-free

James Foreman

Missing the most important detail...


Honestly, if we don't know that, how are people going to be able to make jibes about Steve Jobs/fragmenting iPhones/Windows Mobile/Nokia/etc etc blah de blah blah. Won't somebody think of the kids?

Plextor PX-L611U portable DVD writer

James Foreman


If I plug this in to my Mac, will it do things with the firmware and make this stick to one region, or can I use it to play DVDs regardless of region?

WTF is... up with e-book pricing?

James Foreman

WTF is... the fuss about?

I tend to be in agreement with the arguments Charles Stross puts forward; but perhaps I'm biassed because I like his writing. Where e-books are more interesting for me is when I feel I'm being gouged by my local booksellers - in Hong Kong, a paperback that would cost 7 or 8 quid will retail for 2-3 times that amount.

Now, you might wonder whether you're being stuffed in the UK with higher prices, but it's not so clear then: you can't get a cheaper version of the same book posted to you from the other side of the world and *still* have it cheaper than going into your local bookstore. If an e-book costs as much as a hardback, then *maybe* you're being ripped off, but *maybe* that's the tax you pay for wanting to be one of the first people to read it. What's the pricing like on the books that have been out for a year?

(Then again, I'd pay more for an e-book version of Anathem, because I think it would be more comfortable than having to carry around several pounds of dead tree. But that's longwinded authors for you...)

Next fashions budget 10in Android tablet

James Foreman


I saw a guy on the MTR here in Hong Kong using what looks like one of these this evening - but with a 3G dongle stuck in the USB port. Like a ghetto iPad, I suppose, if you're really drawn to cheap shiny black plastic.

Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx: A (free) Mactastic experience

James Foreman

Mac like?

Well, I suppose the desktop wallpaper is purple by default...

It doesn't look that Mac-like - look at Gwibber for a start - all the buttons look cartoonish. Banshee is much the same. It certainly doesn't feel like they've provided a nice, clean look and feel to all the applications (and I'm running a vanilla install of UNR 10.04, so it's not like I'm complaining that I've downloaded a whole bunch of other stuff that doesn't look the same).

On the positive side, it doesn't seem to die when I turn my netbook's webcam on (unlike 9.10) and the boot screens look a lot less cartoony than 9.04 did. Feels a bit snappier than 9.10 too; launching applications always felt slow on 9.10, even though they ran fine once they were up.

Steve Jobs Flash rant put to the test

James Foreman

Re: here's a theory

I'm not entirely sure how you can be arguing that the wonderful diversity of windows is what makes it so virus proof...

Mine's the asbestos jacket that I'll be wearing while the army of Windows and Mac fanbois shout about who's got the worst security.

Steve Jobs re-invents the portable telly

James Foreman

Portable TV?

That's well and good, and it's nice not to have every article on the Register saying that Apple Has Done It Wrong, but do you think the audience this is aimed at are going to be so happy with a (claimed) 10 hour battery life? Somehow I don't think the beautiful industrial design will look quite so great when you have to hang a power brick off it...

Dell cuts North-Carolina plant despite $280m sweetener

James Foreman

We don't need no steenkin titles

The plant will be ended? Is that anything like being closed?

I've never suffered the denizens of the warranty department at Dell, so perhaps others can make acerbic comments about educating North Carolinans in schools to repair Dells, but I suppose this is just one example of a larger trend in the US; I was reading the other day of Toyota designing entire curricula for local high schools based on kaizen...

Martha Lane-Fox: No broadband, no citizenship

James Foreman


Sounds to me like a few bitter, disagreeable people are envious of somebody who has the misfortune to be attractive, blonde, female and Oxbridge educated. And independently wealthy as a result of heading up an internet start-up. A silver-spooned, speech impaired nobody? Whenever I spoke with Martha, she's been quite comprehensible. And a bucket shop that has never made any money? Well, that's an accusation that's hard to evaluate, given that Travelocity bought lastminute.com for a value more than zero, isn't it?

Microsoft arms half-wit developers with PHP handgun

James Foreman

Is Ted sick? Replaced by an imposter?

Where's all teh sweary?

Come on Ted, a bit more obscene language or nobody will know what to put in the comments. A bowlderised Dziuba is like a lucid manfrommars.

The McNealy and Schwartz Sun legacy

James Foreman

Is it *so* bad to be inconsistent?

So Sun shouldn't have had Sparc and x86 servers? How about IBM with Power and x86? Somebody put me straight on why that's so different...

Harvard Prof.'s hearing against RIAA can't be streamed online

James Foreman

Re: So much for "transparency"

Too right - if they've nothing to hide, they've nothing to fear.


Conspiracy theories aplenty as Amazon delists gay books

James Foreman


Could it be the pendulum swinging the other way? Or am I the only one who remembered the good old days when typing 'pointers for C' into Amazon's search engine would get you something NSFW? Or if I'm not, did anyone buy a copy?

Sony DSLR-A900 Alpha 900 digital SLR

James Foreman


Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see that not being able to save the preview image is that big a deal. You're still going to be able to mess around with exposure settings when you've got the RAW file in Lightroom / Aperture / whatever - and is the LCD going to be the best way to review a shot?

Airline pilots told to switch off mobile phones

James Foreman


You can on Cathay - as soon as the wheels are on the ground here in Hong Kong, the announcement goes up that you can use your phone - you just can't get up and stampede the aisles in a bid to beat the queue for the exit. And as far as I remember, that's true in at least some parts of the US (people were happily using their phones as we taxied toward the terminal at Seattle last month).

Missed flight woman goes absolutely mental

James Foreman

Re: Rag Week


I hardly feel you can take the moral high ground over the anonymous coward there. Do you have a transcript of what this woman is saying? Are you clear that it's "just" a tantrum and she isn't highly disturbed, whether emotionally or mentally? Looking at the comments on Youtube there's a whole series of mocking and racist comments, and what I've read here seems little better. Oh, but it's The Register, and so effortlessly superior to the blogosphere echo chamber, so you're all right, right?

Congestion Charge offers online tool for ANPR cam dodgers

James Foreman


It will generate some false positives- eg if I put in the license numbers of the last two vehicles I've had written off, they would still appear to exist. <Insert some mandatory comment about just checking in the post for every license number ever on a handy CD-ROM here>

Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot K850i camera phone

James Foreman

Bit meh

Having had it for just over a week, not so impressed. The finish really does show off every single mucky fingerprint, the D pad is a real pain to adjust to after the perfectly good joystick on previous Sony Ericssons, but worst of all, those soft keys - just don't give the right kind of tactile feedback. Possibly they're cheaper, or they fit into the design aesthetic that they're looking for, but I really miss the positive feel of my old T610 - it's somehow much more difficult to lock the keypad, amongst other common actions.

Nice battery door though.