* Posts by Ross Aitken

12 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Mar 2007

Nintendo whacked with $5m Wii strap lawsuit

Ross Aitken

One expensive telly

$5 million for a TV? She needs to shop around.

Finally launched: Nokia's iPhone beater

Ross Aitken

@iPhone comparison

"don't know why the author has titled this "Nokia's IPhone beater" since it's not trying to be, this is a touch resistive, iPhone is multi-touch capacitive etc so in a way you can't really compare.."

Also, the plastic is a slightly different shade of black to the iPhone so there is absolutely no basis for comparison with the iPhone. Completely different devices aimed at totally different markets.

Nokia aren't scrambling desperately to regain some market credibility after Apple shone a bright spotlight on their lack of innovation. No. You see, one has capacitive touchscreen and the other has resistive. Couldn't be more different.

Tasing of unarmed opposition peaks among firearms cops

Ross Aitken


Yes Sam, those are the only two possibilities.

Actually, I could probably do with a random beating myself - it's only a matter of time before I murder someone. Could anyone oblige? Come quick, I'm feeling innocent ...

Adobe lifts Flash and AIR development restrictions

Ross Aitken


Where does Bluestreak fit in with all this? I worked with it a little while back. It's a full Flash player for mobiles (they only had a Series 60 client as I remember), their main selling point being that Flash Lite is too limited whereas they could render anything that could render on a desktop. I think they started on Set top boxes and figured that mobile was the next step for them.

I wrote SWF files using Flash with some extra APIs for native device calls (like SMS and call handling) and it ran them quite impressively. At the time I didn't really understand how they could do that - I'm pretty sure they didn't license anything from Adobe.

Anyway, sounds like this could knock the wind out of their sales (ahem).

Virgin Airlines drops in-flight 9/11 conspiracy movie

Ross Aitken

... and begin:

... the barrage or poorly worded, over emphasized flame posts from conspiracy believers. A smattering of unrelated conspiracy vitriol would be nice too. Go for it boys:

Lords investigate 'unconstitutional' surveillance society

Ross Aitken

Just a quick reply

To Steve, author of "Oh do calm down Ross ..."

I don't drive and I have never learned. I make all my journeys in the way you do. And I wholeheartedly agree with speed cameras to reduce irresponsible driving.

The problem is that the majority of people do drive, regularly. Outside of London, where public transport is truly dreadful, it is a pretty rare person who doesn't drive. The fact that there are alternatives to driving is not the point. The point is that the state intends to exploit the near-ubiquity of private transport to obtain unprecedented data about the movement of its citizens. The issue is about the intentions of the state, not the workarounds it is possible to find in their imperfect monitoring systems.

Ross Aitken

and also ...

... the apparently undebated programme to link up the nation's speed cameras and other number-plate recognition cameras in such a way as to monitor, effectively in real-time, the location of every car on the road, speeding or not. This provides a level of detail on the movement of citizens that is very close to that which would be provided by implanting GPS chips in people.

It is frightening that the debate is opened by the Lords *after* these projects launch, but at least the debate is happening. Unfortunately, the general public has been terrorised by an hysterical tabloid press into believing that only such measures are capable of protecting them from the twin evils of benefit fraud and radical Islam. I fear that the debate will stagnate as the victims (us) are lured into the 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' fallacy while the surveillance campaign quietly continues apace.

Google glitch loses user data

Ross Aitken

Backup Gmail

Further to the other guy's post, yes you can easily backup your Gmail emails by using an email client like Thunderbird to get them over POP. The client will store your emails on your hard drive. You can backup your Gmail contacts by going to contacts on their webmail and click the 'export' link on the top right. That will let you save them as a csv or some such.

Easy peasy. Whether Thunderbird will let you stop Google allowing China to censor its search results is another matter, but then the collective IQ involved in these Open Source projects is vast ...

Dark mutterings on killer Wi-Fi in schools help no one

Ross Aitken

Precautionary principle

Whilst I would agree with the main thrust of your article, you do seem to imply that Sir William should know more than he has said in order to fairly say that we should limit children's exposure to mobiles until we know more.

I would be inclined to say that, given the extremely high stakes, we would be remiss not to apply the precautionary principle. Waiting until definitive evidence one way or the other could have horrible consequences. That, surely, is the sensible rebuttal to global-warming nay-sayers and applies equally here, no?

Program Names govern admin rights in Vista

Ross Aitken

Not like a metal detector

A metal detector will actually detect if you have a nasty weapon about your person. It makes it very hard to take a weapon onto a plane and makes nasty acts much harder to perpetrate because getting onto a plane without going through a metal detector is very difficult. This is more like a security official asking you if you are terrorist.

Orange and Vodafone cripple Nokia's flagship

Ross Aitken

Spineless PR whelps

I totally understand (and retrospectively expect, if that makes sense) their decision. But I would have had more respect for them as companies if their spokespeople had been open about the obvious-to-all reasons why. All they had to do was say with a chuckle 'of course we're not going to pay for you to make free calls'. Instead they look at their feet and mumble about simplicity.

Spineless to the point of insulting.


Fatman iTube amplifier

Ross Aitken

I don't understand

Valve amps are for audiophiles who appreciate a softer sound than that produced by a transistor amp.

I don't see how an amp made for appreciating the subtle qualities of analogue recordings (e.g. well kept vinyl) would be of any use for playing compressed digital sound. Surely all the audio nuance is well lost in the compression of the format. And for £300 - I don't get it.