* Posts by Ben Bradley

41 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

Mozilla Labs' Weave 0.5 aligns Firefox planets

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns


This is actually very cool

I use FF on all my computers so this could be really handy when I'm browsing on the netbook, then my beast laptop at work then on the TV at home.

Increasingly my Firefox profile is the most important thing I carry around these days.

I'd like to be able to specify the location of the backup though. So you could set your own sync location though... a web server running webdav would be ideal.

So you just login to a Firefox remote profile which copied extensions, prefs, history etc and loaded them up on the client.

Dell Inspiron Mini 10

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns


Already ordered an Asus 1005HA-H.

Like the upped screen-res though, better than the current standard that all other netbooks have

Firefox 4.0 flashes lusty leg at Windows lovers

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

Early Learning Centre

Can everyone stop adopting all these Fisher Price interfaces. Just coz Apple did it doesn't mean we all want patronising Teletubbies bouncy icons and graphics!

Microsoft airbrushes anti-Apple ad

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

Early Learning Centre called

They want their Fisher Price operating system back (OS X)

Adobe spanked for insecure Reader app

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns


I pretty much hate everything about Acrobat and the PDF format now... I use Foxit Reader instead (super-fast). All I want to do is open a PDF and not wait for 10 seconds whilst doing it. I don't want it to open in my browser either.

I hate this "PDF trying to take over HTML" stuff they've added in recent years... Javascript, forms etc.

The full Acrobat Pro has become really annoying to use as well. I have to do a fair amount of combining and re-organising PDFs created by morons and there's so many interface things that they've got horribly wrong... 5 mouse clicks where a single dialogue box could do the trick etc.

And Photoshop/Illustrator have gone a similar way too. Every time a new version comes out all the many functions are moved and menus re-organised. Pretty annoying

Apple admits to iPhone 3GS heliophobia

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

Not surprised

Since they've had to put a Core i7 in there to power the Fisher Price iTard interface

UK DVD sales plunge...

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

I am a pirate

There I said it.

I am a pirate... because I've not bought a brand new DVD for several years thanks to ebay and amazon marketplace. Technically that counts as piracy (selling/buying 2nd hand DVDs/CDs).

Plus there's not been any films I feel have been worth shelling out a tenner for.

Thank the lord for Sky Plus, allowing me to steadily work my way through The Wire for free :)

People just not that into Blu-ray

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

Too expensive and DVD still works!

People bought hi-definition TVs not because they're high-definition but because they're flat, take up less space, and an obvious status symbol than the huge box CRT machines. Also you spend way more time watching TV than you do watching films on DVD.

The majority of people are just not that motivated by the "improved viewing quality" crap that gets forced into their faces by every Currys store.

The improvement of DVD over VHS was huge... being able to buy a film that doesn't degrade over time (time-out?... damn DRM!). Blu-ray over DVD is just about higher resolution.

At least if it was as cheap or cheaper then people would buy it, until that I'll stick with DVD thanks since it just works!

BTW I can't remember the last time I bought a new DVD. I'm no pirate. It's just they're sooo cheap on ebay and amazon marketplace!

MPs launch probe of massive net snooping project

Ben Bradley
Black Helicopters

How will it work?

Yeah beacause terrorists/organised criminals all use their ISP e-mail addresses... drugl0rd12664@users.btinternet.com

Seems like a heck of a lot of money to just to know... "this person went on the internet and did something over an encrypted connection. Oh and we can't find who they did it with either because they went through a big mesh of proxies."

Sounds like a good use of £2bn.

Am I missing something here?

Surely any vaguely knowledgable IT tech over at GCHQ could tell them it's not gonna work

Also £2bn sounds like peanuts for storing that amount of data!

Behind Microsoft's IE-free, Windows-for-Europe ploy

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

Read this!

How come the Democratic Peoples Republic Of Apple aren't forced to remove safari and itunes?

The only reason Safari has like a 3% browser share is because it's bundled with OS X. Noone would actually choose to download it.

Just install Firefox, everyone knows it's the best.

Archos claims crown for 'world's slimmest' netbook

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

Another one

Nope, looks like I'll still be buying an Asus 1005HA-M once it arrives end of July.

10hr battery life sounds great... Reg did a review of the 1000HE and found the quoted battery stat of 9.5hrs would be realistic for general web/document use.

All these recent Asus models have really blown the HP Mini 2140 out of the water as my future netbook of choice!

One thing I don't get... why not use a 7.2k RPM drive?

Only slightly more expensive but same power consumption (in the case of Hitachi)

That's one upgrade I'll be making immediately (as well as upping to 2GB RAM)

Thin ain't a big deal for me so I'll be ignoring this Archos I think

Firefox update squashes 9 security bugs, 4 critical

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

FF Update

FF/Thunderbird updates are brilliant.

Nothing worse than a program prompting you for an update and then continuing to install a whole fresh version of the program. Even worse if you have to re-config settings etc.

Firefox is good :)

Microsoft to bomb Europe with IE-free Windows 7

Ben Bradley

Hold on

What about Apple and their bundled Safari and iTunes?

Do they not need to remove those for the EU market?

Anyway, yeah that's an insane number of versions.

I just ignore IE now but there's always that one site which doesn't quite work without it.

Acer Aspire One D250

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

Price no biggie

I was initially planning on getting the HP Mini 2140, small size and looks good.

Then the EEE 1000HE arrived with insane battery*, better screen res than the HP and I realised I'm not one of those form over substance morons.

Now the EEE 1005HA-M has arrived (in France at least) which is a cross between the 1000HE and the 1008HA seashell thing!

*enough battery to use it on a transatlantic flight sounds good to me... so I don't have to put up with Miss Congeniality 2 or some other tripe.

But sod it, I might not buy one at all and just keep waiting for whatever's round the corner.

Well done Asus, with all this saturation you're missing out on my custom at the moment.

But I do want to wait for Nvidia ION to start appearing in netbooks though.

I've built a new HTPC using a Zotac ION dual-core atom mini-itx board and it's incredible... GPU accelerated 1080p playback all for only 30W power usage and passive cooling!

Price... I'm not too fussed about paying £300 for a netbook.

They were probably making losses on the £150 models, and the EEE7x is less than usable IMO. The £300 netbooks today, easily compare with those incredible £1500+ ultraportables from a few years back... with better battery life!

Yeah you can get the latest and greatest Packard Bell (gah!) from PC World... but I know what I'd rather own

Yahoo! to! buy! social! networking!

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns


"He said looking at a page of search results was an anachronism, put too much onus on the user and was accompanied by extremely ugly advertising."

Too much onus on the user. to click the result they want?

Are you kidding me?

Next they'll be shoving the result I want into my own face without asking, and calling it "intuitive human neurone search picking technology", but it won't be. It'll be one of their sponsored links.

Ugly advertising?

Better take a look at yer own search results pages mate. Last time I looked (2002 or there abouts) it was crammed with nasty animated/Flash banner ads.

Actually just checked now and it appears to look identical to Google results, although with a bit more cruft round the top and bottom.

The problem Yahoo has, is that it has all these different services but no integration.

Flickr is excellent, but it was already excellent before Yahoo bought it years ago.

Yahoo Groups was big for a year or so but now's just full of spam... they could have pre-killed facebook/myspace with that and must have decided not to.

Yahoo Mail/Calendar is borrowing big-style from the (most excellent, actually) Zimbra project.

There's only 1 solution... Geocities 2.0 and Yahoo Auctions mash-ups! Oh no...

Asus France dooms 'flagship' Eee PC

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

I really want

To get me one of these netbooks, and I've got the Reg review of the 1000HE bookmarked

However the announcement of the 1005HA-H in France confuses me a bit.

The specs seem the same although the 1005HA-H has a quoted battery life of 10hrs... so the only actual difference is cosmetic and smaller size

So if I want to buy a 1005HA-H in the UK, where do I look?

Zen and the Art of Laptop Battery Maintenance

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns


I agree with Doug Bostrom

New laptop battery life seems to have been pegged around the 1.5-3hr mark for the past 5/6 years and I reckon it's because of bloat in OS and software negate any advancements in battery tech.

I always try and remove the battery when I use it plugged in at work. But when I got my latest laptop 4/5 yrs ago the battery supplied went to 0 within weeks, probably with poor usage patterns. But I've been caning my current battery for the past few years, running it down to maybe 50-60% daily on a 1hr commute and it still seems to work pretty well.

What I really want though, is the ability to hot-swap batteries without shutting down. So some sort of internal battery that gives you like 2mins. That would be cool.

Looking forward to getting hold of one of those 9hr EEEs next

Blu-ray Disc added to UK shopping basket

Ben Bradley


So the inflation rate is based on the list drawn up by these jokers?

Toshiba Portégé R600

Ben Bradley

Optical drive

I'm not bothered about an optical drive. The price of this is inline with Sony's ultra-portables. And traditionally you do pay a premium for miniaturisation/low weight.

However, with some of the new netbooks coming out I struggle to see a market for any laptop priced over £800-1000.

I've got a 3Kg Asus from 4 yrs ago, still works perfectly but its 1.8GHz centrino does feel a bit slow compared to recent dual core laptops. But when I think what my laptop usage is... editing source code/text files, browsing web, watching some video/films (x264/xvid, not DVD)

That's why I'm planning to get an HP Mini 2140 when it finally arrives, technically a downgrade in processor spec, but a definite upgrade in portability (1.1Kg) and battery life (5+ hrs)

UK.gov to tap BT as data harvester

Ben Bradley


Connect through Sweden... https://www.relakks.com/?cid=gb

Used it a while back and it worked, turns out it's still around. Obviously your traffic is being squeezed through a much smaller pipe, so you don't anything like full broadband speed.

If this bonkers legislation goes ahead I can see loads VPN services like this popping up.

The cost of the deep packet inspection routers and storage arrays will be mind-boggling and who will have to pay? Oh yeah, you and I.

Welcome to the "I Can't Believe It's Not The... Democratic Peoples Republic of Great Britain & Northern Ireland"

Rail companies roll out barcode ticket standard

Ben Bradley

Waste of time

What a waste of time, money and an all round bad idea.

Glad to see yet another fare increase to pay for this waste of time research.

I do regular journeys to/from work, reverse commuting out of London, and its cheaper for me to buy returns from the boundary of zone 3 (my oyster card) every day than a season ticket plus travel card. Some days I'll work from home, and others go in after 10 with Network Railcard so its all quite variable.

What I've wanted for ages is a way to buy a carnet, like you can in most countries.

So I buy a book of 20 tickets then I just tear one off when I need to.

Or just extend the Oyster card system to cover crappy old train lines. So I could buy an electronic carnet on that, as well as my pre-pay TFL and my TFL travelcard.

UK.gov has no idea how much WEEE ends up in landfill

Ben Bradley


For years most people have had some sort of recycling collection for organic/paper etc.

Why not have some sort of blue box collection where you can dump all your old electrical stuff and gadgets. Collected every couple of weeks.

A tempting excuse for councils to increase their bin tax though

Apple MacBook Air stays skinny, gains beefier specs

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

Looks nice...

If you're into that kind of thing.

Still has only 1 USB port, and no ethernet, PC Card/ExpressCard, modem, hot-swappable batteries... just no good for an ultra-mobile machine. Or any machine.

Discrete graphics, can't be good for battery life.

The iTards will still buy them though

Fossett aircraft contains 'minimal' human remains

Ben Bradley


No wonder it took so long to find. Renow, Nevada's not listed on any maps. Just like Area51

Microsoft gives users six months longer to flee from Vista

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns


The thing that annoys me is that there's nothing wrong with XP, unless you're one of these people with a Start Menu that cascades out about 5 columns. It absolutely whizzes along on my 3.5yr old laptop. Sure, a re-format every 10 months or so helps, but that's hardly a big deal.

Just keep releasing new service packs and drop the price to about $100 and they'd make a fortune from XP

XP is so customisable as well, to an extent that most people don't realise. You don't like the interface? Go out and install a new shell ontop of it! There's some mega-cool open source windows shells out there these days.

The OS is not a big deal now anyway, most of the apps that people use can run on anything now. Thanks to Wine and VMWare! GIMP seriously needs to add CMYK support though so I can finally ditch Photoslop!

US consumers flock to Mac laptops

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

They just work

That's why people like them. Don't have to worry about drivers, installing this, configuring that etc.

That's why iPlods have been a massive success as well. People don't want to get involved in configuring a cd ripper / encoder, and then learning how to drag&drop onto a removeable drive.

Most people will pay that price premium for the convenience and for the lack of knowledge that is required to use it.

What Microsoft and Apple need to realise though is that the principle of an OS is becoming irrelevant IMO.

It's getting to the stage where most of the software that people would want to use, will run on Windows/Linux/OS X

My work Win XP Pro laptop's been running great for the past 3-4 years now (touch wood)... a quick OS re-install every 10-15 months keeps things nice and swift.

But keeping a Windows installation in snappy working order requires people to be a bit smarter with how they work... not having a Start Menu that cascades into about 5 columns of RegCleanerSuperDuperAntiSpywareHonest and hundreds of shortcuts to uninstall programs usually helps.

Most people can't be arsed with such things!

What will my next laptop be?

Well it will probably have Windows Vista, but I'll be looking for a way to switch it to XP.

I hate to see clock cycles wasted on fancy fisher-price colours and bouncy icons.

And it won't be one of these 'netbooks' either, it will all be about the expensive ultra-mobile for me... I've had enough of lugging 2kg of laptop around for the past few years. Me wants one of those 1kg Sony units with the insane battery life!

Sony Ericsson delays Windows phone to Jan 09

Ben Bradley

Windows mobile?

Damn. I've got a P1i and it's fantastic.

So does this mean Sony's jumping off Symbian? Or will this just be a 1off Windows Mobile phone?

Didn't Sony buy Symbian last year?

Small rant about the SE P1i though...

There's a few things that should be more customisable with the Symbian UIQ3 OS that's installed on the P1i, and also the Opera Mobile browser doesn't let you customise to my complete satisfaction.

Also the reliance on the touchscreen is very annoying. Yeah it's all very cool and does work well, but there are some functions that can only be done with the touchscreen.

Plus, I wish all phones came with a 3.5mm jack for regular headphones as standard. Until then, I just won't be using my phone for music (again).

However this is still the best phone I've ever owned. ActiveSync support is outstanding!

The PSP: what's its future?

Ben Bradley

Doomed format?


So what else should Sony have used instead of UMD for the PSP?

Cartridges... expensive for large capacities

DVDs... physical size too large

8cm DVDs... same size and capacity as UMD, but without protective casing

Hi-MD discs... could have worked, but too slow for read access and Sony probably would have been criticised for not letting MD die.

Download service... download games to mem stick. Increased risk of software piracy vs UMD. Takes time. Although I you can now download PSP games from the internet to Memory Stick from the PSN store.

But if you're in an airport and want to buy a game for a long flight, I don't think many people would be willing to pay airport hotspot prices, then have their PSP caning the battery by downloading a 200MB-1.3GB game over WiFi, where it's not unknown for connections to drop!

Restricting sales to people with net access at the time the PSP was being developed (2002-2003) would have been a bonkers idea.

How many people had broadband in 2003? I'd bet the majority of consumers with internet access in 2003 were using dial-up.

Damn Sony and their proprietory technology.

How are N64 cartridges selling these days?

However things have moved on these days and having said all that, a download service is the only method for a future PSP. And installing download kiosks in computer game shops for you to download using USB would be pretty cool.

Face it, portable games usually come on proprietory discs (apart from the GP32X or whatever it is).

What I don't get is why there was no way to hook the PSP up to the PS2 and let your PS2 rip a DVD to your PSP. There was no centralised firmware updating going on for the PS2 to add features like that. They should add that to the PS3 firmware, using the power of the Cell processor.

Just interested to know what the author proposed as an alternative media to be able to purchase games on?

I use my PSP all the time, mostly for watching video/TV shows I've missed that I transcode (UKNova's a wonderful thing!)

Plus since I flashed it and installed M33 custom firmwares last year, I've been playing all my old favourite games from old consoles, and using it as a reader to read PDF files on the go.

Obviously the Nintendo DS can do all that with homebrew as well.

Touchscreen would be an ok addition to the PSP, but I'd rather have the shoulder buttons split into 2 so that it's easier to control old PS1 games. Always bugs me that when I load up a PS1 game on the PSP.

LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray HD DVD combo drive

Ben Bradley

BD-RE? What about BD-RAM

I've been getting pretty excited about BluRay for a while, not because I can't wait to watch glorious HD movies (DVD still works!), but because for backup/archive purposes BluRay will be monster.

We use DVD-RAM quite a lot, for scripted file copy backups etc. Not the quickest to write to, but easy to script once the disc is UDF formatted.

Is a similar thing possible with BD-RE?

Or is it purely for conventional 'burning' in sessions?

Being able to format a 50GB BD-RE disc as UDF, then just drag and drop files onto it would be amazing!!

Microsoft to Yahoo!: Surrender or else

Ben Bradley


Agree with the KB thing. MS's website search is rubbish, especially trying to find a particular download.

My worry is about the most excellent Zimbra groupware system that Yahoo decided to purchase last year. The best competitor to Exchange (far better IMO) there is, and based on trusted open-source technology!

MS will crush it, and I'll be annoyed :(

Mega-mortuary creaks open its doors in Westminster

Ben Bradley
Black Helicopters

Only £783,000?

That actually seems pretty cheap for something gov.uk has initiated?

Whether it's any use? I don't know - I can only assume so.

I still have the feeling our cops are still WAY behind the yanks in all this CSI stuff.

DVB-H is the official mobile-TV standard

Ben Bradley
Thumb Down

Waste of space

Waste of valuable data space in the spectrum if you ask me.

The only time I would vaguely be interested in mobile TV would be whilst commuting in mornings and evenings.

So mobile TV would deliver me... This Morning, Animal Park, Neighbours, Richard & Judy etc? Pfft.

Sports news? Perhaps. But the BBC WAP site is excellent.

I have a PSP so I can shove anything I want to watch on there and watch it.

Make mobile providers charge less for their data packages instead, now that's a good idea!

ISPAs 2008: Music can save broadband

Ben Bradley


What so a reason for an increase in price of my broadband subscription will be because I probably will* be downloading new Leona Lewis tunez from some service?

*I can re-assure any ISPs right now that I won't be.

Also Leona Lewis, like Phorm nicking your personal data, should surely be an opt-in service?

If bandwidth costs are rising, how come BeThere have reduced the subscription of my Be Unlimited account twice, by 28% in total, over 10 months?

BBC mulls dropping Flash as iPlayer meets iPhone

Ben Bradley

DVD Sales?

Surely as a license fee payer and basically paid to make many of these programs... I should be given the BBC DVDs of all content absolutely free?

Either that, or split the profits from the sales.

Build a directory service for web-based services

Ben Bradley

Re: I'm confused

Probably to illustrate the example of how to connect to LDAP through PHP.

It doesn't matter what LDAP is running on as far as PHP is concerned.

I agree though, in most situations you'll be connecting to a groupware LDAP server or something which may be running on Linux. But could easily be running on Windows in the form of Exchange.

Mole claims Toshiba to terminate HD DVD

Ben Bradley


Good, HD-DVD finally going to disappear.

I'm not an HD video buff so I can't comment on the pros/cons of either HD DVD or BluRay.

The reason I wanted BluRay to win was because it has theoretical higher capacity limits. Great for data storage. I can't wait until BD-RE discs and drives drop a bit in price.

DVD offered such massive advantages over VHS - that's why people went for DVD quickly.

They didn't get chewed up in a player, didn't degrade over time, could pause properly, could instantly skip between chapters. It was great.

I'm not sure that HD discs offer the same number of advantages over regular DVD.

Sure, better quality. But ask most people and I reckon they're pretty happy with the quality of DVD.

I think £12-15 is an insane price for a new release DVD, but asking people to fork out £20 for something on BluRay? Forget it.

I think DVD will be around for a while yet.

But still, this is great news. BluRay looks on the verge of winning with its greater capacities. Happy days!

Transport Dept. IT: 23 years late, £100m over-budget

Ben Bradley

Olympics, Schmolympics!

Don't get me started on the Olympics.

Yet another big excuse for a bunch of slimey scumbags to line their own wallets by claiming millions/billions in fictitious expenses.

My Paris 2012 campaign in London didn't really get off the ground unfortunately.

Staging the Olympics is a big deal - a proving ground that your country is organised, efficient and good at marketing itself enough to host such a huge event. Like being allowed to ride a bike without stabilisers.

Red fire icon because 2012 will back-fire in everyone's faces!

Anyway, over budget and delayed government IT projects?

Of course!

O2 sweetens its iPhone deals

Ben Bradley
Jobs Horns

No thanks

Just upgraded to a Sony Ericsson P1i on O2

- £30 for the phone

- £25 per month for my contract (slightly less than I used to) for 500 mins and 200 texts

- £7.50 per month for the O2 Web data bolt on - giving you unlimited* data/web access

* although unlimited is subject to a fair use amount of 250MB - which is a fair old amount considering without the bolt-on it's about £1 per MB

It's 3G so is pretty fast when using it as a bluetooth modem to connect to the internet using my laptop.

Plus it has buttons on the thing itself.

Much better

UK gov scraps '£1bn' prisoner tracking system

Ben Bradley

Time for a change of job!

The UK government and related agencies are horrendous at infrastructure/IT projects.

And I've no idea why things like this can even start to cost so much!

I want to work for a company that handles central government contracts.

I could do with syphoning off some tax-payers money for a new house and a ferrari ;)

Xbox 360 could back Blu-ray

Ben Bradley
Thumb Up


This is good news.

I support BluRay because it can have higher capacities than HD-DVD.

And for that reason alone I hope BluRay wins.

In terms of movie playback, I'm not too bothered.

But for medium-term data archiving at our business, a couple of BluRay drives would be great when the prices drop enough!

Shame they dropped the protective cartridges from the spec though.

Canadian loses $20K in phony eBay sale

Ben Bradley

But... PayPal comission!

So eBay recommends he used PayPal to transfer the money.

Well being an eBay company, of course they're going to recommend PayPal.

How much would PayPal have taken from a $25,000 transaction?


I've never used Escrow and don't know much about it, but it seems like a perfect system for high-value items such as this.