* Posts by Tony Hoyle

204 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2008


Shock! Facebook cycle-slut smutvid is adware front

Tony Hoyle

App will be banned by now

Facebook are pretty good at banning stuff like that. It won't spread very far.

MSI tells 97,000 customers to 'Read The F***ing Manual'

Tony Hoyle

Difficult to limit april fools to AM

..on the internet, where it's April 1st AM *somewhere* for about a day and a half.

Steve Jobs and governator tout transplant reform

Tony Hoyle

In my experience

If he couldn't get to the organ they'd have flown the organ to him - I know my kidney came from ireland by jet.. and I'm nobody special.

I don't think the US system is a lot different to the UK in that respect, except if you can't pay they let you die instead.

Orange to launch mobile games store with HMV

Tony Hoyle

£5 for PACMAN?

Presumably they're talking J2ME here.. so crappy small screen, no decent sound....

If it was 50p they might be onto something. Can't see anyone paying £5 for it.

UK net 'more resilient' than other EU states

Tony Hoyle

I call BS

Take out THE and THN and you've knocked out most of the UK internet infrastructure.

That's about as resilient as a soft boiled egg.

Flat-pack plug designer wins top award

Tony Hoyle

Two thoughts when I saw it on TV..

1. That looks like it'll be a bitch to wire up

2. If someone walks past it and kicks it, it looks like the handle part will break off - in fact the whole thing looks rather flimsy.

It looks pretty, but design mockups often do - I suspect the press are jumping the gun here.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 embraces - yes - HTML5

Tony Hoyle

You forget IE6

You still can't write pages that aren't IE6 compatible. Let alone IE9... it'll be 10+ years at this rate before it's on enough desktops to matter.

MS need to kill IE6 *officially* not just pretend it doesn't exist, then the web world might be able to start moving on.

Googlephone sales top, um, 135,000

Tony Hoyle

Google don't care

N1 is an excellent phone - I wouldn't part with it.. but A million Droids plus however many HTC <insert name here> is all Andorid phones getting into the hands of punters. As far as google is concerned that's the goal. Which hardware you're running it on is somewhat irrelevant.

A barely marketed (really.. it's hard to find people that have heard of it) phone sold from a single website in the US selling 135,000 isn't that bad, either.

Windows Phone 7 - what's in and what's out

Tony Hoyle

Are microsoft mad?

So.. they're starting from zero - no back compatibility, hence no apps, and implementing a locked down system that has to compete with the established iphone, android and blackberry market.

If they think windows mobile sales are in freefall *now* just wait until they see what market makes of that idea.

Ad industry OKs climate porn

Tony Hoyle

There's also the theory..

..that if it wasn't for human activity releasing CO2 (and methane, from domesticated cattle) we'd already be in the next ice age. In which case suddenly stopping that production will be the worst possible thing we could do.

Changing from an oil based economy is a very good reason for investment in new technologies. I just wish they'd be honest and tell us.. the oil is running out, it's controlled by unstable dictatorships that are friendly at the moment but might not be much long, and being caught out when the shit hits the fan isn't where any of the western powers want to be. Why couch it in this 'scare the population' BS?

Samsung to bundle glasses with 3D TVs

Tony Hoyle

Are they quieter than they used to be?

I thought the smart money had switched to polarised because (a) they're *much* cheaper to make, and (b) shutter glasses, being mechanical, are both noisy and prone to breakage (the example I saw was someone prone to jump off your face.. it was a few years back though and i hope those glitches are out).

Personally I'm not interested until you don't need glasses. £100 for glasses? I don't even pay that for real ones..

Y2.01K hits Garmin satnav

Tony Hoyle


It must know the time very accurately, so it can calculate the location of each of the satellites correctly. But the date? Not so much.

Google Nexus One

Tony Hoyle

Best phone I ever owned

The source code to the OS is available and there are many alternate versions around if you don't like the stock one (I run cyanogen's version). Only the google apps themselves (maps, gmail, etc.) are in binary form.

I can get over 2 days battery life, but generally charge every day. 3G is excellent and always has been.. the problems reported only seemed to affect the US and have been fixed for ages anyway.

Of course it multitasks.. This is the 21st century..

Also working ipv6 out of the box (over wifi anyway, as no mobile phone providers I know of give you an ipv6 address).

Whatever happened to the email app?

Tony Hoyle

Problem with MobileMe

..is no server side filtering, which makes it a no hoper in the imap stakes for me.

Google apps + thunderbird is enough. Works whichever OS I'm using at the time, and keeps itself synchronised perfectly.

Nexus One in trigger-happy 999-dialling bother

Tony Hoyle


08? Seriously?

Wow, epic fail of the highest order.

Google digs 6-foot hole for Gears

Tony Hoyle

Bit early to write if off

HTML5 is a draft standard that hardly anyone implements at the moment.. really gears won't disappear until there's good support in both IE and Firefox (and IE8 is ubiquitous, which won't happen for years.. hell, it's still pretty much mandatory to code for IE6 compatibility and IE7 is still in the rollout process in most companies) - both of which have 'bits' of support but missing quite a bit, so you're stuck with the overlap of functionality of the two.

I'd just be happy if they'd get the video tag sorted.. but only Chrome and Safari support that (FF has a nonstandard ogg version that's about as much use as a chocolate teapot).

Google Buzz bug exposes user geo location

Tony Hoyle

How is this a flaw?

The whole point of buzz is geo location.. it even lists its 'buzzes' in geo order not time order - along with the location and a link to pinpoint the user on google maps.

I don't think much of a flaw that allows you to use the service as it's meant to be used!

Computer Engineer Barbie coming soon to a toy store near you

Tony Hoyle

No geek looks like that...

She looks like a marketing girl on holiday. I expected at least jeans and a t shirt.

I'd like to know WTF is "geek chic" as well. Wikipedia has a vague description that is singularly unenlighening.

World of Google zombies mistake news story for Facebook

Tony Hoyle


I've seen some stuff in my time, but those comments... WTF?

I know you're supposed to write UIs assuming the end users are about age 3, but how did that lot even work out how to register and post a comment in the first place?

Vodafone eyes iPhone switchers for fresh Sim-only deals

Tony Hoyle

Wasted chance

Three are doing 1gb for £15/mo. T-Mobile want £20/mo. Vodaphone want £25 for the same deal.

They had a chance to revamp their pathetic data deals and faliled.

Play.com touts Nexus One with added price

Tony Hoyle

Duty isn't that much

Phones are exempt from duty but not VAT.. so you get a total bill of about £60 from DHL (they charge a quite reasonable £2ish for the privilege of billing you).

Play.com are still profiteering though.. and Amazon.. words fail.

OTOH compared to what some ebay sellers are asking for that's cheap :p

Tweets are free on 3

Tony Hoyle

So.. RFC5514 then

Slow, but unlimited data.

E-book readers are a satisfied lot

Tony Hoyle

Bettery life is key

The Sony will go flat just in standby in about 5 days.. whether you read it or not. Not impressed with eink myself..doesn't live up to the hype- you need a light behind you to get the contrast up to readability.. I find it unreadable in pure daylight as it's only grey on grey - an LCD would be far better.

The ipad fails for me on major points... poor battery (10 hours? wtf?) and overpriced... I thought £150 for the Sony was bad (it's worth about £50) but £500 for an ebook reader? lol.

There's also the availability of books in the UK, on which they *all* fail. The Sony ebook store doesn't work in the UK, Amazon don't do ebooks in the UK, the itunes book store doesn't work in the UK... Until that is sorted ebook readers will all be a nonstarter here.

Full-body scanner blind to bomb parts

Tony Hoyle


If it takes 30-40 seconds per person to get through these scanners you'll create a huge queue waiting to get through.

How long before the terr'sts work out that it's a lot easier to blow yourself up in the queue before the security checks than bother going through all that to go on the plane?

Apple's iPad - the tablet with the data center soul

Tony Hoyle


So.. you mean exactly like the mobile phone I already have in my pocket, but bigger so it won't fit in my pocket and way too big to be used as a satnav.

The reason tablets failed and continue to fail is because they have no use that isn't covered perfectly by other devices. If I want to carry a device around I have a laptop that does the job. If I don't I have a phone. There's no space for a 3rd device with none of the advantages of either.

Apple may be going for the ebook space.. but I suspect unless they've managed something miraculous with battery life and not to mention pricing I'm sceptical even that will work.

2010 will be the year of the net tablet, claims analyst

Tony Hoyle

Still.. where's the market?

Larger than a smartphone - so it won't fit in my pocket and I have to carry a bag with it in, just like a laptop.

Smaller than a laptop, no keyboard, etc. - so not as useful one.

I just can't see the appeal. As for cheaper. heh. Let's just wait to see what apple produce.. they don't do cheap and wouldn't be in the tablet market if they thought it was going to be a cheap one.

Tablets *could* take the market away from ebooks if they can get the battery life right.. that's where the current crop of ebook readers are vulnerable (the Sony I have is dead in 5 days whether I use it or not, and can't be charged using an ordinary USB charger only a PC). OTOH the next generation of ebook readers I'm sure will solve these issues.. leaving the tablets high and dry unless they're *very* good.

You and what Android? The Google iPhone killer that isn't

Tony Hoyle

Where's he going with this?

The google store is one phone right now? So is itunes.

You need a google account? You need an apple account to use an iphone too.

You can buy unlocked phones? Of course you can. Except from one particular fruit based manufacturer who sell *locked* phones for more than the cost of the unlocked N1.

The hardware isn't particularly special (although it looks gorgeous, and maybe that'll be the thing that sells it) but it never is in phones.. it sports a reasonable camera, but most other phones have been at 5MP for years... it's just the US smartphone market catching up.

Talk about whether Android offers a nice UI experience vs. OSX or the other way around. Talk about battery life.. talk about things that people care about. Whining that you don't like google therefore apple wins is no argument at all.

Hacker rattles 21,000 iPhone unlockers

Tony Hoyle


Apple don't seem to mind that much.. it's probably responsible for about half their sales.. eg. I wouldn't have the two iphones I have without unlocking.. O2 suck too hard to be worth considering (and, btw they won't unlock a phone - even payg - unless you bought it over 18 months ago - so unlocking software is still a requirement for anything newer). Only in the US do they seem to think unlocking is unusual as they have only one provider.

Monty launches frantic 'save MySQL' web campaign

Tony Hoyle

Too late

The time to 'save mysql' was when they changed it so you could only write software that supported it if you GPL'd all your code the lot or paid MySql inc. £100 per user (bit of a downer if your app sold for £20, as mine did at the time). That was when a lot of software went to postgresql and never looked back.

Given the choice of sqlite or postgresql for the light/full featured options, mysql sits uneasily in the middle and doesn't really offer anything any more.

UK government considers open source Ordnance Survey data

Tony Hoyle

It's not just too expensive

It's not just too expensive, It's huge - gigabytes in size. It's not an internet download at current speeds... which is why it's supplied on tape. Few people really need the full PAF file though... It's not just a postcode database it's a postal database containing details every house in the UK, right down to flat numbers. It contains all sort of stuff - NHS districts, election boundaries, even the names of the people that live in some of the smaller provinces, plus company names where the company name is a valid postal address.

Twitter buys geo-firm

Tony Hoyle


Surely by its very nature if you're nearby you'd already know, so the geo information doesn't actually tell you anything new. And exactly *why* would someone who has taken the time to tweet 'earthquake' when their house is falling down around their heads, forget to say where they were?

Apple angling to transform TV?

Tony Hoyle

It'll cost more - a lot more

iTunes is currently selling TV episodes at £1.49--£2.49 an episode. 2 hours a day (that's conservative), approx. 30 minutes per episode.. that's between £178 and £300 a month. I would never consider paying that for TV.

I never thought anyone could make Sky look cheap, but apple have managed it..

Amazon Kindle International Edition

Tony Hoyle

I actually considered a Kindle

I was looking at ebooks, considered a kindle, but the showstopper is..


Seriously, what would be the point of an ebook reader with no books?

I got a Sony.. it's crappy (the battery life is awful, the screen is awful, it's slow..) but books are readily available.

Budget to make e-cars better for business?

Tony Hoyle


So the news is.. car tax to go up. I got the most efficient I could when it was available (far better MPG that the pious , for about 1/4 the price) and it's been on the cheap tax band ever since.

It's not suddenly become a gas guzzling monster.. it's still pretty efficient (a godsend since petrol prices are now so stupidly high), but now I pay more. Great.

OpenDNS taunts Google with real-time directory

Tony Hoyle

Why do opendns get all this publicity?

If I want my domains to update fast I set a TTL low myself, let that propogate then begin updating. I don't want opendns increasing the load on my server by ignoring it thank you very much. If I start to see significant traffic from opendns I *will* block it, as will many others.

This from a company that redirects failed lookups to a web page, breaking the standards and betraing an assumption that the internet = port 80. Wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

Free public DNS has existed for years in the guise of the unicast nameservers ->

Those are 4ms from my UK gateway and 0.6ms from my US one.. I expect they're similar distance from most places. They don't screw around with DNS standards, don't bombard you with adverts, and aren't silently recording all your lookups to sell to google 'partners' either... they just work.

Tory peers to protect kids from anuses

Tony Hoyle


A 'family' newspaper is OK to have photos of unclothed women every day, but a cartoon version of such warrants a rating just in case someone under 18 sees it.

We're not *quite* like america yet - porn capital of the world that almost ground to a halt because someone showed half a breast on TV... but we're sure trying to head in that direction.

Adware touts $1 bribe to prospective zombies

Tony Hoyle

Good money maker

I reckon I could write a script to build VMs, infect them and tear them down. They might get suspicious after the first couple of thousand though.

Gov net disconnections could breach EU law

Tony Hoyle

So.. bye bye public wifi

Who's going to run public wifi if they could go to jail if someone downloads the wrong thing using it?

The BSA seem hopelessy naive if they think that 'blocking software' (whatever that is.. short of running a whitelist of allowed sites it sounds like marketing BS) is going to stop it.. and the law makes no provision for 'I tried to block it, honest!' either.

Mobile industry excludes self from filesharing regulation

Tony Hoyle

£35m, maybe

You'd have to keep a record of every single outgoing transaction and the source/destination somewhere. That's a *big* database.

it's just not enough to have a database of local IPs and a couple of public IPs, you need to link them, and with NAT that means on a per-connection (and for some protocols) per-packet, with millisecond accurate timing.. because if your time isn't provably accurate you'll finger the wrong person.

Freeview HD - your questions answered

Tony Hoyle


Expect more of this - they're staying just the legal side of outright lying. It has always been so.

When freeview came out, my mother bought a brand new 'digital' TV only to find out that it was an analogue tv with a 'digital tuner'.

When HD Ready was finalised, manufacturers rushed to shift their now obsolete stock (due to lack of things like HDCP) with misleading 'HDTV Ready' claims.

Now Freeview HD is roound the corner, they're shipping TVs that are 'MPEG4 HDTV' capable but don't have a hope in hell of receiving Freeview HD (btw. Play.com aren't the first. Sony insisted a year ago that their PlayTV was capable of receiving HD Broadcasts, leading to much confusion).

Tony Hoyle

Epic fail

So the channel launches on December 2nd.. to *zero* viewers.

One for the philosophers this one.. If a channel launches and nobody is watching, does it really launch?

Google open sources flash-happy Chrome OS

Tony Hoyle

Wait.. what?

So, at the same time as claiming openness, they're designing a locked down OS that you can't do anything useful on.

Isn't this what apple tried and had to backtrack on? This 'Google OS' sounds exactly like iphone OS 1.0 without the phone bit.

As Apple found... Web apps won't cut it. You don't always have a good network connection.

Regulator warns on school CCTV schemes

Tony Hoyle


"Like most primary schools they don't have a changing room" what? I don't know where you live but I have never seen a primary school without a changing room.

And your justification for CCTV in the classroom is very disturbing. There are *plenty* of male primary school teachers - I know several - and they wouldn't accept CCTV in classrooms either.

Watchdog clears NotW over renewed phone hack allegations

Tony Hoyle

Not only that but..

It's the PCC who is run by Paul Dacre. That's like putting Al Capone in charge of Scotland Yard.

Completely useless body.. reform it or abolish it.

Granada to start losing analog telly tomorrow

Tony Hoyle

It was 12.25am

From the main winter hill transmitter anyway. Was watching ye olde analogue to see it die.

Transmissions are now at 5* the power they were, and should be receivable in areas previously unable to get it, and with a loop aerial etc.

Of course today I lost the remote to my Humax so can't retune it... typical..

BBC iPlayer to hit Freesat boxes by month's end

Tony Hoyle


Your Humax shouldn't need an update as ethernet has been part of the standard from day 1 - it's just that nobody has written an app that uses it yet.

I've had my TV plugged into a port since I bought it.. always the optimist...

Bookeen Cybook Opus

Tony Hoyle

Auto rotate?

Terrible misfeature in an ebook... that you're likely to be wanting to read in bed, lying on your side. Manual rotate is fine, but which way is 'correct' is entirely down to the position of the user.

I much prefer the larger screen of the Sony - the more text on the page the better - after all the primary purpose of the device is to read.. everything else is fluff. They *are* too expensive - even more so if you pay UK prices for the ebooks (mostly they're at hardback prices - completely insane).

Electronic ink: The whole story in black and white

Tony Hoyle

Colour would help

So you could get the white background rather than the dull grey we have now.

eink displays are OK but the still aren't nearly as readable as a book - it's quite a strain to read them with a modest night light as black on grey is quite a poor contrast ratio. They win only in the exceptional battery life they have - I tried using an iphone once and quite apart from being *way* too small, the battery went flat in an hour... whereas I still haven't had to charge the reader

They're also way too expensive - both the hardware and the books. £200+ for the hardware then books that cost more than paperbacks, very limited choice and multiple competing formats meaning even if you manage to find the book you're after there's a good chance it'll be in a format your reader can't read... before they get any kind of wide acceptance all of these problems will need to be fixed.

Apple Time Capsule catches plague

Tony Hoyle

We lost ours

Luckily we managed to talk them into replacing it under the applecare for one of the laptops.

The one at home hasn't gone yet, touch wood. No applecare on that though so if it goes it's the end of it.

Microsoft names Visual Studio 2010 dates

Tony Hoyle

Interesting, but...

MS are going to have a hard sell.

I find it's a tough call between VS 2003, 2005 and 2008.. 2003 is a known quantity, works and is the choice for stable projects. 2005 has 64bit compiles, but is a buggy as hell. 2008 seems to have solved most of the 2005 bugs but has its own, like it'll suddenly vanish whilst you're typing (which is *fun* if you've forgotten to save for half an hour).

MS seem to always focus on TLA of the week over stability.. and it takes until SP1 + a bunch of other workarounds before the product is usable. DLR, ALM.. whatever. They'll be forgotten 10 seconds into a project because they're not relevant to 99% of people.

When I'm sat there I want an editor that doesn't crash, a compiler that produces reasonable code. Edit&continue is nice, when it works (and no, changing a *comment* should *not* cause it to fail). Same with the completion/highlighting stuff. Great, when it works.

Forget the rest. Get that stable and we'll adopt it. Produce the normal collection of unstable rubbish and you'll be lucky until it's seen until 2015.