* Posts by JBH

53 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Nov 2008


'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof


Appearing on that show can harm your career.

A few years ago, my other half was involved in interviewing prospective employees. She received one CV from a young lady who claimed to have been a finalist on The Apprentice, so the first thing she did was Google her name - as you would. It turned out she HAD been on the Apprentice. Not only that, it became obvious that she was a right nasty piece of work and didn't have two brain cells to rub together. Needless to say, her CV was filed in the round tray, and I wouldn't be surprised if she was still looking for work now.

The wife did however interview a Ukrainian wrestler, who fancied switching his career to marketing. True story.

Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?


Over-rated pish!

I am not an audophile by any stretch, I just like a good tune, but funnily enough I was trying out headphones just the other day...

Out of curiosity I tried a pair of Beats cans, costing £240. To say the sound quality was disappointing would be an understatement. It was bloody atrocious. So ridiculously bass-heavy, it was like listening to Barry White, underwater, with a pillow over my head. I appreciate some people like a bit of bass, but these just sounded muddy and I felt like my tunes were being mangled into a barely recognisable mess. Not only that, but the headphones themselves felt cheap and nasty. Not even there external appearance could justify the ridiculous price tag.

I also tried a cheap pair of Sony headphones, costing only £20. They sounded crisp and clear, absolutely beautiful. No prizes for guessing who got my money.

Hands on with the Sony PlayStation Vita


What? No mention of the battery life?

I've heard that you'll be lucky to get three hours out of the beast, which for a portable device is a bit of an issue...

No idea whether that's true or not, but it would have been nice if you'd covered it...

Cyberattack Blighty and we'll use 'military means' - UK gov


So when will UK gov' be sending 'our boys' into China?

No? Though not.

Nintendo blames puzzled public for 3DS sales shortfall


I would have been tempted to get one...

...except the lack of decent launch titles is putting me right off!

Sony threatens to ban PS3 jailbreakers from network

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This is fine by me.

I can see no benefit whatsoever to being part of PSN.

If I want to play games online, the Xbox does it much better.

Sony expands legal offensive to more PS3 hackers


I paid for it, therefore I own it.

Therefore I'll do what the hell I like with it.

End of discussion.

The year's best... console games


What?! No Fallout New Vegas?!

That's my console game of the year. Best game overall? That's easy... Minecraft! :D

Virgin unwraps three-tuner über set-top

Paris Hilton

That sounds great an' all...

But will it keep chopping the last two minutes off the end of The Trip, like my V+ box does?

Paris, because well... something about high capacity boxes...

Apple Facetime flings out frightening random calls



If it's an 'emergency' why would anyone be video-calling?

Gamers demand CoD: Black Ops money back


I disagree old chap!

The PC games scene is dying on its arse, and has been for years.

Not hard to see why when the price of a top-end graphics card will bag you a 360 AND a PS3. You keep your mouse and your wsad. I'll use the controller that's designed FOR games rather than spreadsheets thanks.

A real 'gamer' (whoever that is...) just wants to pop the disc in and start playing, not piss around with hardware, drivers and patches. I've wasted a good chunk of my life maintaining PCs when I could have been having fun. Sod. That.

/ Having said all that, Minecraft is f*#king awesome! :D

Blu-ray barely better than DVD


Never mind Blu-Ray...

Someone needs to have a look at the so-called 'HD' TV channels, which as far as I can tell consist of upscaled, recycled old tat.

BBC HD, and the Sky stuff usually looks lovely, but some of the other channels who call themselves HD look dreadful. I'm not exaggerating to say it's WORSE than DVD. And the artifacts - oh my! I might as well be watching stuff on YouTube! Quite often I'll even see them broadcast in 4:3 for god's sake!

Honestly, words cannot express how far removed from HD these channels look.

Quite frankly I expect better from a channel that uses the HD label, and some of these guys seem to be taking the piss. Living HD and Syfy, I'm look at you!

Hacker unshackles Kinect from Xbox


Not sure I understand Micrsoft's opposition.

Um... call me naive, surely this is a good thing?

People still have to BUY Kinect right, no matter how they use it, so what's the problem? If somebody comes up with an interesting and compelling use for the device that doesn't involve the Xbox, ie controlling a media centre PC, then that's still more money in Microsoft's coffers right?

People came up with all sorts of weird and wonderful uses for the Wii-mote, and Nintendo didn't give a toss - because it still made them money.

If reverse engineering leads to cheap knock-offs then I can understand it being a problem, but Microsoft really need to lighten up and stop annoying their customers. If I buy your stuff, I'll do what the hell I like with it thanks.

Infact here's a novel idea... embrace the DIY idea. Try ENCOURAGING people to use your technology in new and interesting ways. Hold competitions to see who can make best use of your kit. Your customers will love you for it, and you might even regain some of that cool you're sadly lacking.

Scroogle busted again after Google tweak


Why should I trust Scroogle exactly?

"We don't use cookies, we don't save search terms and logs are deleted within 48 hours."

How do I know that's true? Am I really supposed to trust everything I read on the internet? Like those nice Nigerians chaps who are always offering to share their millions?

Thanks, but I think I'll stick with what I know for now.

Also, I know it's not really relevant to the subject in hand, but Scroogle could really use a facelift. Come back with an interface that looks like it was designed this century, then we'll talk...

Android rebellion: How to tame your stupid smartphone



My Hero handles multiple gmail accounts and bluetooth keyboards just fine. Setting up Google Checkout was a breeze. Ok, I've had the hanging-downloads problem a few times, I'll give you that one, but it usually works after a few tries.

Not being able to reset the phone without removing the account though? Where did that come from? It couldn't be easier! Settings / Privacy / Factory Data Reset, job done. Fortunately it's never come to that, but since all my important stuff is stored in the 'cloud' I know I'd be up and running again in minutes.

I'm guessing the author has had one bad experience with one particular phone and decided that all Android devices are a bit rubbish. Big mistake. I'd have no hesitation in recommending an Android phone, even (especially?) to the most technically illiterate.

Mozilla upsets net world order with Bing on Firefox


Eh? What?

"MS still has 91% * of the desktop OS market."

Eh? I never said anything to the contrary old chap. Market share does not necessarily equal relevance.

I'm writing this up on a Windows 7 machine, while listening to music through the Xbox. The missus is currently using her XP machine to faff around on Facebook. Lots of Microsoft here! The point is this though - all of these things we could be doing on ANY machine, running ANY operating system, be it Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, or Android etc. The underlying operating system really is irrelevant... which is why Microsoft have to pull moves like this, to try and keep their brand out there.

In this day and age with the world moving online, no single OS has an advantage over another (except maybe in terms of security, but that's a whole other kettle of fish). Sorry, but the days of "My OS is better than your OS" are dying fast... and I bet Steve Ballmer hates that! :D


At first I was outraged by this news...

...And then I remembered that I hadn't used Firefox for ages, and that Microsoft are largely irrelevant these days.

So my revised reaction is... Meh!

Sony PlayStation Move


Fair point, but...

If you're going to showcase your fancy new controller technology, show something else and don't use a game that you have effectively broken.

I'm not denying that Kinect is interesting technology, and no doubt it has some very useful applications, but I can't see it being a great success at this stage.

As for Playstation Move, well Sony are just playing catch-up. I can't blame them though - the Wii-mote has been a phenomenal success. I might get Move eventually, but my PS3 is never going to replace the Wii.


The problem I have with Kinect is...

...it doesn't provide the necessary depth of control.

Take the recent Forza demo. They had removed the acceleration controls and the car moved automatically, essentially ruining the game. The players only job is to 'steer', turning the whole thing into a traffic dodging exercise.

Sorry Microsoft, but you can keep it!

Nintendo hails Super Mario's silver anniversary


I expected Google to change their logo.

I was disappointed that they didn't... the swines!

Why not? They did it for Pacman! :(

Porn and pirates hide Android's money maker


Android DOES allow try before you buy.

As long as you uninstall an app within 24 hours, you are not charged. Of course, if you re-install the app at a later date you will be charged straight away - to stop people taking the piss I guess.

A couple of times I've had to do this when I've bought an app and found it doesn't work as advertised. But there are many more apps I've purchased and been more than happy with.

Write a decent app that works well, price it realistically and people will buy it. On the other hand, all those devs expecting to become millionaires out of soundboard and rom-downloading apps can go straight to hell.

The 3G coverage picture that can't be published


As an Orange customer, I'm already aware of how patchy their network is.

To be fair, reception is actually pretty good around London, but back home in Nottingham I often struggle to get a good 3G signal. It seems to depend which way the wind's blowing!

Nottingham? It's hardly the middle of nowhere... is it?

Apple's fresh Mac mini stripped naked


As much as I dislike Apple...

...I've got to admit, they know how to put hardware together.

I had the (dis?)pleasure of working on a Mac Pro recently, and the guts were like no PC I'd ever seen. No cables in sight, and no fiddly screws. Everything just slotted into place. It was a work of art, I'd even say it was beautiful.

It's a pity they can't put as much thought into the rest of their business!

Dodgy Doctor Who games may be malwarey

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Can't download outside the UK?


This is payback for all those times me and my fellow brits have been unable to watch stuff on hulu.com et al, just because we don't live on the other side of the Atlantic.

Suck it yanks! - Or find a proxy! :D

Steve Jobs – Apple's not business, it's personal


Erm... isn't Android outselling the iPhone?

At least it was the last time I checked.

I think you might need to re-think who has the bigger platform.

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Me me me? Wrong!

I think you'll find that the most important people in any business (Apple included) are its shareholders.

If I had Apple stock, I'd be bloody furious with all their wonky business decisions!

Microsoft pulls plug on search bribery machine



And who are all these mugs that respond to ads anyway?

IBM spends a billion on AT&T unit



...I left disappointed.

Mozilla spills plan for, yes, Firefox 4



Although I've lost my personal interest in FireFox, it would be foolish to deny that it's still a very important browser with a massive user base. Also, working in the I.T. industry, it would be foolish to not keep up with current developments.

Also, there is still a part of me that admires FireFox and wants to see it do well. I had hoped that v4 would bring some exciting changes under the bonnet, but so far the news has been quite uninspiring.

Use Chrome, use FireFox, hell you can even use IE as long as you play it safe, it's really not that important. Just because I favour one particular browser at the moment, doesn't mean I shouldn't be keeping an eye on the others.

Digging oneself into a particular position leads to fanboy-ism, and that's no way to go through life son! ;)



As someone who has just switched to Google Chrome, I could not give a monkey's. FireFox used to show so much promise. It was fast, versatile, and it beat IE into the floor. What the hell happened? These days I find it takes an age to start, it's unstable and compared to Chrome it just feels bloated and sluggish. This news leaves me thinking "meh..."

/desperately need an 'I bum Google' icon! ;)

Californian university drops Gmail over privacy concerns


Buzz isn't compulsory.

I'd have thought 'academics' would be smart enough to work that out.

Frisco fanboi frenzy on 'iPad Day'

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Why did I read that toss?

Can I have my five minutes back please?

Commodore 64 reincarnated as quad-core Ubuntu box


You mean Lunix?





...he was referring to the Comodore PET:



No tape loading noise on the C64.

I think you must be confusing it with the ZX Spectrum!


iPhone App Store bars mention of Google Android

Jobs Horns

Who the hell do they think they are?

This is why I'll never develop for the app store.

Why, they make Google look positively saintly!

UK mum lost 50kg with 'Wii Fit diet'

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Surely the key to successful weight loss is a change in diet, COMBINED WITH regular exercise. It's that latter point that most people have trouble remembering.

The fact that this woman was using a Wii is purely incidental. She could have been using an exercise bike, going for a jog, or anything else as long as she was active. The Wii just got her off her arse.

The Wii didn't cause her to lose weight, her strong mind and will-power did that and I say good on her!

Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'


Ok, you got me!

But when was the last time you got a Fisher Price toy to do anything useful?


Jobs Horns


"What's that? You don't own any Apple products? STFU, then."

I don't own any Apple products apart from a battered old second-hand iPod, but I do work with them and I am expected to support them.

In my experience they are a nightmare. Ok, I'll agree that they're reliable, but that's the only good thing I can say about them. They're nasty, locked-down Fisher Price excuses for computers. They're a puzzle to configure, a pain to customize, and if anything does go wrong they're reluctant to spit out anything remotely useful.

As for Macs and Active Directory? Don't even get me started...

Jobs Horns

People in glass houses...

This reminds me of the time Apple promised Apple Corps (the Beatles company) that they wouldn't ever go into the music business.

Then they released iTunes and er... went into the music business.

So it's ok for Jobs to muscle in on someone elses business, but he doesn't like it when the same thing happens to him? Tough. Shit.

I suggest you grow a pair Steve. If you had any confidence at all in your products then you wouldn't let a company like Google phaze you. Maybe you're upset because you know you sell expensive tat, and the thought of someone selling something popular and cheaper (tat or not) is just too much?

Adobe sounds off on iPad's Flash slap


Yeah, but can it do full screen video properly? ;)

I've yet to see a linux box run full screen flash video without turning it into a flickering mess. My machine's hardly cutting edge, but it's not too shabby. Got a decent CPU, 4GB ram, and a 9800GT - with Nvidia's own drivers of course. Windows takes it in it's stride, so why does the penguin struggle?

Not bashing the Linux, I actually like using it, just sayin'...

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Um... I somehow have Flash on my droid!

The HTC Hero. Not really needed to use Flash yet, but nice to now it's there should it be required.

Microsoft 'offered sex and drugs to distributors'


Microsoft hookers?

Got to be a few jokes in there somewhere...

...I'd just be worried about catching something nasty!

US book giant confirms Apple tablet

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Very likely I'd imagine.

I'll bet you a pint that this is just the latest in a long line of cleverly engineered 'leaks' directed by Apple themselves, designed purely to get people talking and generate lots of that lovely free publicity.

Classic Apple behaviour. YAWN!

Google Toolbar caught tracking users when 'disabled'


Hate the Google toolbar...

...infact ANY toolbar.

I won't let 'em within ten miles of my browser. Utterly useless trinkets, the only point of which is to try and tie you into a particular brand.

The amount of software that has irrelevant toolbars thrown in these days is appalling. It makes me want to go all open-source and grow a beard!

Once impenetrable PS3 cracked wide open


This reminds me of the good old days...

...when they said that the PSP couldn't be hacked or downgraded to a more 'friendly' version of the firmware.

I bought my original PSP the day after release, and included in the box was an update disc. Great I thought... updates are always a good thing right? Excitedly upgraded to firmware 2.1 like an idiot... and BAM! No homebrew for me! D'oh! And no way to downgrade...

I checked the forums often, knowing that someone would come up with a solution eventually. Sure enough, some bright spark discovered a flaw in the .tiff decoding library. All it did was crash the PSP, but it opened up the memory and it was a start.

Lots of people presented fake downgraders, and many claimed it was impossible. But then... it happened. Someone came up with a working downgrader, using the above flaw. I was overjoyed to 'fix' my PSP and be able to run homebrew at last.

Since then the PSP hacking scene has gone from strength to strength. Those hackers / nerds / geeks / whatever you want to call them, truly own the PSP and there's naff all Sony can do about it. I'm not suprised they felt the need to stir things up with the miserable abortion that is the PSP-Go!

The point of this long, rambling tale is that from little acorns, mighty oaks grow. This guy may or may not have fully owned the PS3, but it's an interesting development and it's a start. People will learn from this and exciting things will happen, mark my words.

In short, this is very very good news whatever he's done.


I got one free with a new phone!

It sits next to my 360 and only gets used as a Blu-Ray player! ;)

Google may exit China after 'highly targeted' attack


The interwebs... it's serious business!

"Its not damned if they do or don't, thats an attempt at a straw man argument, to misdirect away from what I was really saying."

Um... yes it is. Would you like me to read it back to you... "Google highlighting the case ... we have win for the US Government, helped by their friends at Google.

Now, suppose for a moment that Google had not highlighted anything and carried on censoring in China. You would be the first to start stamping on your soap-box ranting about Google being in bed with a corrupt and oppressive regime. They're screwed either way no?

"I'm not planning to overthrow the government. Another straw man argument, as is your bomb making recipes."

Look, you clearly like long words but I recommend you go and look up 'HYPERBOLE'. Here's how it works... Google offer a voluntary service. Nobody is forced to use it, except in the sense that the alternatives are shite. Don't want to risk your emails being read? Don't use Gmail then. Don't want them tracking your "every move"? Don't use Google Latitude then... Spotting a pattern? Google has some interesting tools which some people find genuinely useful, none of which are compulsory.

"Thats an intentional Logical Fallacy combined with another straw man argument."

Jesus, I bet you're a blast at parties. Pointing out that there are greater things to be worried about is not a 'logical fallacy'. I understand perfectly well that Google are an incredibly powerful and potentially dangerous company, but they're not reading people's Hotmail, they're not installing CCTV in everyone's homes and they're certainly not FORCING Latitude onto peoples' phones.

Again, in case you missed the point again - they only know what you tell them!


So far off the mark, where to begin...

By your logic (second to last paragraph) Google are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Here's a tip... Google only knows what you tell it, so what's the problem? Planning to overthrow the government? Just don't search Google for your bomb making recipes. Simples.

You're worried about privacy? Hope you don't use Facebook, 'cos that's a bloody privacy minefield and make Google look like the three wise monkies!

Earth set for annual Leonid shower

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Saw a cracking one over Nottingham last night.

About 8:30, very impressive.

Am off to Lapland soon to try and catch the Northern Lights. Bring it on! :D