* Posts by Stewart Atkins

50 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Nov 2007

Chromecast creeps further into living room with Hulu hookup

Stewart Atkins

Not soon I'd imagine, it's been several months since the US release, and they only just got a second US provider onboard. I'd love one of these, I'd be using one right now if I could get one. TBH I'm not sure why it didn't also launch over here since we also have Netflix and I doubt it'd take much to get the BBC on board as well but hey

Chromecast: You'll pop me in for HOT STREAMS of JOY, hopes Google

Stewart Atkins

I have to say I want one, get the Beeb to put iPlayer on it and they'll absolutely fly off the shelves. As I recall they said it would be in the UK in "the coming weeks" but nothing more was said.

What I personally am curious about is:

1. How the user pairs it to the wireless network

2. How the chromecast was able to control the television - in the video it appeared to be able to turn the television on and select the appropriate input to display content, it also manipulated the volume although that may have been the chromecast doing that rather than controlling the television's volume.

Review: Google Nexus 4

Stewart Atkins

I own a Nexur 4, so thought I'd weigh in with a few comments of mine.

I got mine (easily enough - Carphone Warehouse had them in stock and provided one free as an upgrade when i renewed my contract) last month, I knew it wasn't great in the battery department, but I've always wanted a nexus phone and not only was this particularly powerful, and brand new, but I fell in love with it when i saw one in a shop.

The battery life is indeed not much to write home about, but it's certainly usable. Personally - if i feel like playing games i'll do it on a tablet - bigger screen, better battery life, and so on.

The case does indeed feel sturdy and solid, though as the article states, care should be taken not to drop it to avoid damaging the glass. I have yet to peel off the plastic, so I cannot answer to the effectiveness of the oleophobic (anti-fingerprint) coating on the screen.

Photosphere is interesting, i haven't tried taking a panorama outdoors, but indoors it does seem to make the occasional mistake when stitching the picture together, not sure if this is a side-effect of trying to take large and full-360 panoramas, and may work better for a smaller image.

It does indeed include inductive charging and NFC, neither of which I personally have much use for, though I have tested the wireless charging once with a friend's charging pad.

I believe the device also includes an HDMI out over the micro USB port, though from what I've read on the internet it uses a different specification to the common and cheap MHL It does however include Miracast for wireless displays, not that I own one of those either.

Altogether - it's a pretty nice phone, nothing to write home about if you already have a recent nexus device, but if you're only upgrading from an old gingerbread device, it should be very nice.

Scottish Highlands get blanket 3G coverage

Stewart Atkins

I also purchased a Vodafone SureSignal box a couple of years back, when I was in the middle of nowhere in the Scottish Highlands, it worked extremely well there once it was set up (as the article said the old boxes took a while to get started the first time, but they were a lot cheaper than the current generation of boxes at around £45). I only really had 2 complaints, one being that the box only did 3g, so when the family came to visit their old 2g mobiles wouldn't work, the other is that in the middle of edinburgh votadfone were sending me a text message once a week saying i needed to update the address on file for my box, even though it was correct. Given that i didn't reeeally need the box in the middle of edinburgh it ended up getting shoved in a drawer where it still resides today.

Still, for the year or so I was using it, i felt it well worth the £45 I paid so i could make and receive calls and texts at home.

Google gives fat fingers the flick before they click

Stewart Atkins

It would help the marketers and google if the app designers put them in sensible places, but the app developer wants you to click them, since they get paid whether you meant to or not.

Rolling robot avatar trumps telecommuting

Stewart Atkins

Here's hoping it's intelligent enough to be able to navigate on it's own to find a signal if it loses it (the article says it uses 'wireless' although whether that's normal wi-fi or something specific to the device), if not can see people at work getting phone calls saying "my robot's stuck again, can you wheel it back out of the black spot for me please"

Headbanger plays Star Trek theme on floppy drives

Stewart Atkins

The only problem with floppy drive music that i can see is the lack of volume control, with some of the more compex parts it's easy to lose the actual tune under the background rhythm, the doctor who theme in particular. It's still quite impressive what people do with these things though :-)

IBM's Watson gets a job on Wall Street

Stewart Atkins

I've been hoping that since this thing was partly intended for medical purposes that it'd feature on an episode of House M.D.. Since apparently this is going to be the last season i guess it's not going to happen, although it would have been amusing to see.

Fans goad Valve for Half-Life 3 gen

Stewart Atkins

Nobody's asking them to rush it, the petition is not saying "We want HL3 and we want it right now", it's saying "We want NEWS ABOUT HL3 and we want it right now".

Google's Siri-a-like to be named 'Majel' after Trek actress

Stewart Atkins

I believe (according to IMDB at least) that Majel Barrett died about 3 years ago, although perhaps Google could use audio from existing sources to pull it off, who knows.

Mozilla promises more speed with Firefox 9 beta

Stewart Atkins

The android beta certainly seems to have drastically cut down on the boot time, no loading screen just a few seconds to load the home screen

Valve admits forum hack exposed gamers' privates

Stewart Atkins

Yes, it offers to remember your details, but you are free to tell them not to.

PayPal to move into the shop - without cards or NFC

Stewart Atkins

Option 3 seems logistically difficult, how does the store tell that you paid for the item which you're now carrying out of the store without going to the checkout.

W3C announces web-tracking privacy protection group

Stewart Atkins

What's wrong with DNT? 8 bytes on each http request is probably as efficient as you're going to get

T-Mobile JavaScript comment stripper breaks websites

Stewart Atkins

Mobile HTTP Compression

I was under the impression that all the UK mobile ISPs did this (granted T-Mobile screwed it up) - compressing javascript/css down, dropping it into the page inline, compressing images (and adding a JS file to your pages so that you can say 'gimme the original version of this' if you need to) and so on. While it does save some bandwidth, the speed-constrained part of the transfer will be completed faster thus improving the end-user experience.

At least this was the experience i had with my o2 3g cellular modem dongle. I wouldn't have even noticed that they were fudging with things except on a desktop some of the graphics look visibly lower quality, and there's a tooltip on them saying press (key combination) to load the original.

When done correctly, it's a useful feature, especially when you have a particularly weak signal, as long as it's done correctly, and as long as you aren't trying to do code debugging etc.

Mozilla strokes coders with Firefox 6

Stewart Atkins

Addon MaxVersions

Great, although i wish firefox came with a built in mechanism for overriding the maxversion of addons (something more user friendly than downloading the xpi, stripping out any signatures, manually editing the manifest, repackaging it and installing it) given that the version numbers are jumping so rapidly nowadays.

Cops tweet about cuffed twits who incited violence via Twitter

Stewart Atkins


99,541 sigs at 5pm

Want to keep Android apps from spying on you?

Stewart Atkins
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Who checks?

I think more to the point the developers/advertisers think you wont check or care that they've decided to add location permissions to your list of requirements. At any rate, the latest angry birds update remains 'pending' on my own droid until the permissions are changed or I get another option such as an app like this one.

Sony unveils PlayStation telly

Stewart Atkins

Range Rover

I saw a simiar tech on top gear a year or two ago in a range rover or land rover or something. It was a (roughly 7 inch) screen in the dash that could play a dvd or tv to the passenger while showing the driver a sat-nav map. Admittedly that tech could use lenticulars because the position of each person was fixed, but the concept is the same

Simply viewing Apple kit provokes religious euphoria

Stewart Atkins

A title is required

Most religions have their demons ;-)

Google contradicts own counsel in face of antitrust probe

Stewart Atkins


Now imagine that you're a customer of Google in that you pay them to provide advertisements for you or your company. Still happy paying 3 times as much?

Self-erasing flash drives destroy court evidence

Stewart Atkins

My apologies

I seem to have missed the last 2 paragraphs somehow, which do indeed explain it

Stewart Atkins


Seems to be somewhat at odds with http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/21/flash_drive_erasing_peril/

So which is it: Impossible to wipe, or at risk of getting wiped while you're not looking?

Julian Assange™ applies to trademark himself

Stewart Atkins

Next month?

Next month is not May, 'tis March

Vodafone's network knackered by thieves

Stewart Atkins

In devon

Tried to send some texts last night at about 1am, which failed to go anywhere, Rebooted phone this morning and full signal changed into no signal, so it looks like the fault is reaching quite far west, and i'm near to the devon/cornwall border, and there's not an awful lot west of here.

Bionic leg builder makes huge step in prosthetics

Stewart Atkins

Generic Title

I'm getting visions of a Terminator 2-like moment, (this scene in particular: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mStmiGS43jQ )

'Unlimited' misleading on throttled broadband: Federal Court

Stewart Atkins


Shouldn't that read:

The Federal Court has handed the ACCC a win over the use of the word “UNLIMITED” in broadband advertisements.


Malawi poised to outlaw farting

Stewart Atkins

How about...

... giving everybody one of those devices that convert all fart noises into Steven Wright jokes?

(Its a family guy reference for those of you who don't get it)

Facebook suspends personal data-sharing feature

Stewart Atkins

Facebook Proxy?

If they want people to be able to send out text messages to users, could they not simply provide a permission that allows applications to have access to a FB API that lets them send a SMS to a user. With the right framework they could even charge the app owner for SMS sent so it doesn't actually cost facebook anything.

As for your address, well the only way to stop that being abused is to vet the applications to make sure they're being owned by real stores.

Dirty PCs: How much filth can you take?

Stewart Atkins

Perhaps this is the first step...

... towards creating Cybernetic Overlords, first all the computers around the world begin collecting as much organic matter as they can until the formula for growing Arnold Schwarzenegger is discovered in a small machine somewhere in southern california. Before we know it, we'll all be killed!

Cleaning your machine regularly is important.

Brits say 'no, no, no' to 3D TV

Stewart Atkins

They can be cheaply produced

The glasses in use at cinemas or theme parks (black ones, not red and blue) are just simple polarising filters which are easy to make work if you're using actual projectors. When it comes to TVs and screens the only easy way to do it without losing half the resolution is to have 120hz screens and active glasses which black out each lens in turn at the same rate as the TV is switching frames. That's why the part is so expensive

Stewart Atkins
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Not geting one

I'm definately not getting one - far too expensive, more of a gimmick than adding any real immersive content, and 3d gives me a headache in cinemas.

Thumbs down.

Prof to drill camera into own skull

Stewart Atkins


Aww and there was me thinking this was oing to be about some experiment similar to Prof Warwick's work with ultrasound transducers.

Oh well.

Content producers should chip in for mobile internet costs

Stewart Atkins


Isn't the purpose of the fees TO pay for the cost of delivering the content? If the operators aren't charging enough then that's their problem.

Notorious Anonymous hacktivists launch fresh attacks

Stewart Atkins


Slyck.com seems to be currently serving up its php as text files instead of executing them, i wonder how that ended up happening.

Netizens now Facebook more than they Google

Stewart Atkins

Isn't less time better for google?

Seeing as google's working so hard to reduce the amount of time the average search takes, wouldn't 'not being top' be a good thing?

'Larry and Sergey's HTML5 balls drained my resources'

Stewart Atkins

Not killing my laptop

My laptop barely goes above 10% usage (with what i'm running its using 5% for everything else) in both firefox and chrome.

While it is impressive, i imagine some older machines will struggle and google really should've provided a way to turn it off, although fair play iGoogle, https google etc all do just that

India threatens BlackBerry ban

Stewart Atkins

Re: Why the concentration on BlackBerry?

Because with just the one threat/deal the government can get access to all of it's citizens' blackberrys?

Labor raids IT piggybank to grease election promises

Stewart Atkins
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RSS for me too

Geo-targetting is nice, but when nobody knows its happening it makes things a little confusing. I would imagine that anybody from Oz would be similarly the article to relate to Britain unless specified otherwise although they probably at least recognised the named people.

Perhaps some kind of 'localized news' category, or special marking on the page could be used to indicate that this article is intended for a particular area?

Google Caffeine jolts worldwide search machine

Stewart Atkins

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Building Caffeine?

OCZ prods Z-Drive to go faster

Stewart Atkins

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

The units seem to be jumping around an awful lot -

800GB/sec read, 750GB/sec write and a 500MB/sec sustained

up to 1.3GB/sec read, up to 1GB/sec write and up to 550GB/sec sustained writes.


Google (finally) nabs On2 video codecs

Stewart Atkins

And ON2's codec is more likely to be accepted by everyone than Ogg because...?

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

Firefox nabs 30 million users in eight weeks

Stewart Atkins
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Win 7

When windows 7 finally gets its browser selection system, that should hopefully give IE a good kick in the crotch, although i have to say that mozilla's estimation that they need to multiply their figures by 3 seems fairly over-optimistic

UK to rely on mobile operators for universal broadband

Stewart Atkins

2Mbit in the highlands

Until a couple of years ago i used to live in the highlands and got a solid 2MBit connection right from the start (when it became available in my area in about 2004).

Admittedly I had the local telephone exchange *literally* in my back garden, but still :P

Daft list names Firefox, Adobe and VMWare as top threats

Stewart Atkins

Almost looks like...

.. the list was written by microsoft :P

(apart from that last entry)

Grand Theft Auto IV PC debut gets SecuROM sideshow

Stewart Atkins
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@ No DRM on the Steam version

From Steam:

Title: Grand Theft Auto IV

Genre: Action, Adventure

Developer: Rockstar North Rockstar Toronto

Publisher: Rockstar Games

Release Date: Dec 2, 2008

Languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish

3rd-party DRM: SecuROM™

Unlimited machine activations

It does appear that the steam version carries SecuROM too

Finns develop mobe sleep-cycle alarm app

Stewart Atkins


[quote=AC]Sleep cycles literally go in cycles so you reach the given state where it would wake you several times per night. So do I want to be woken at 3am?[/quote]

No, you set the phone's normal alarm clock for the time you wake up, the app reads this and wakes you up when you're ready WITHIN 20 minutes of the designated alarm time

Nokia app monitors juice

Stewart Atkins

Re:You must be doing something wrong...

pre-v20 firmware its quite easy to push it out of memory. Since the update mine has been performing a lot better memory wise, but just ran a video playing test with energy profiler, it went up to about 5w average while it was playing

Google permits Dell to sell Dell servers

Stewart Atkins

Doesnt dell sell dell servers anyway?

should the title not be "google permits dell to sell google servers" or something similar, seeing as its google servers rather than dell's

Mac OS X firewall blocks Skype and online gamers

Stewart Atkins

wow on leopard

if you aren't having problems with wow on the firewall, give it a week. it gets patched next Wednesday and that will probably cause a few problems