* Posts by Bill

29 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Dec 2008

Telecom NZ dodges Vodafone wrath


I don't see any dummy spitting going on here....

I happen to live in New Zealand and there were very valid complaints regarding the interference that Telecom NZ's new upcoming XT network was causing for Vodafone NZ customers. Now, I don't side with either of the companies on this, as I don't like the duopoly they have on the market down here. However, Vodafone NZ did have ever right to seek an injunction, if Telecom NZ's XT network was interfering with their services.

By the way, Vodafone NZ does offer 3G services via UMTS. And, they've been doing so for years prior to Telecom NZ's recent entry into 3G. And, Telecom NZ has been known to do all sorts of underhanded crap in order to maintain market share and profits.

Apple hooks Microsoft Xbox tactician

Jobs Horns

Well, that's nice for Apple...

and their fanboys. But, whatever it is they are cooking up, they can keep it. I have no interest in the company's products nor becoming a member of "The Cult of Mac."

US mobile carriers want more devices, fewer OSes


Pretty typical of US providers really...

Yeah, they try to nickel and dime the consumers to death. (These bastards in New Zealand are like that too). Also, they try to lock down everything so tight that one couldn't slip a grain of sand pass them without paying something. And, we can see this reflected in Apple with their iPhone strategy - main reason I didn't go for one.

I agree with others that said telcos should be like ISPs - just give us a transparent data pipe, let us pay a small flat rate for reasonable use of it, and, then, get the fuck out of the way.

I, too, don't use any of my telco's mobile web portals and very little of their mobile web service. If I want to browse the Web, I'll hook into my Wifi at home, or use some free service at a coffee house, before I let the telco gouge me for the privilege. I don't use their Music and App stores - I have other - less expensive - sources for that.

Symbian maps out mighty app hangar

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All the best to them...

I just got my first Symbian phone - a Samsung G810 - and quite like it. I'd love to see the platform developed even further with more open source community involvement.

Why the iPhone's megapixelage alone won't matter

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Things are changing...

The newest generation cellphone cameras are really starting to reveal most dedicated devices now - The Samsung INNOV8, Nokia N86 8MP, and Samsung Omnia HD spring to mind. Hell, even my older Samsung G810, with Xenon flash and 3x opitical zoom, can compete well against some dedicated cameras. No, it doesn't take DSLR quality pics. But, it will give a simple Kodak point-and-shoot a run for it's money.

iPhone 3.0 adds cut-and-paste, search, new dev toys


Well, I guess this iPhone OS 3.0 is a nice upgrade...

However, other smartphones have had these features for ages now. So, what Apple is basically saying with this update is that, "We rushed the iPhone to market the first time. And, now, we've finally got the product finalized before we move on to it's next incarnation. Thank you, for beta testing for us and for paying us to do so". Fuckin' wankers!

I knew I didn't like Jobs for a very good reason! Now, I know exactly why.

Apple updates full desktop Mac line-up

Jobs Horns

Dell Studio XPS better value

sleepy wrote "When pricing the Dell, I think you forgot to include a price for webcam, iLife, speakers, bluetooth, Vista Ultimate upgrade, optical audio in/out. Then there's the low noise level, and good design that you can't even get from Dell."

Webcam: Cheap as chips. Plus, not everybody wants or needs one.

iLife: Free Windows alternatives all over the Web

Speakers: Again, cheap as chips, to get something that would be comparable to the ones inside an iMac

Bluetooth: An inexpensive upgrade option that can be obtained from Dell itself in the from of their 19 in 1 Media Reader/Bluetooth module combo.

Vista Ultimate: Not really necessary as Vista Premium is included with the system

Optical audio I/O: Very few people use it and S/PDIF is included with the Studio XPS as an alternative

Regarding noise and good design: Dell systems are very quiet. I have one here and I hardly ever notice that the system is actually on. Designwise, I find Dell's to be quite nice. Also, that sort of thing tends to be a matter of tastes anyway.

Also, with a Studio XPS, one can pretty much upgrade the system whenever they feel like it; as opposed to waiting for Apple to feed one upgrades in drips and drabs.

US Navy orders new electric hyper-kill railgun


All your railguns are belong to US!

Re: deorbiting a 20Kg bar of iron. It would probably burn up on reentry due to atmospheric friction. Iron is pretty soft stuff actually. However, if the orbit was low, enough of the payload might survive to do some real damage..

Google will tell your mates where you are

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Well, since I'm not an extrovert...

and really don't give a damn where my friends are - I don't want them knowing where I am either - this is of no real use to me. However, I can see young teenagers, clubbers, ravers, families and close friends just loving this service. Also, I can see a use for it in emergency situations.

I like the fact that the service is "opt in" as opposed to always on.

I suspect Google is making way from some location-based ad services with this technology.

@Greg "And you don't even need to be the one starting it: if 95% of the population does it and you don't, when the wife asks you to do it and you refuse, you're pretty much busted."

Nah, mate. I'm going to differ with you on this one. Any man that has a wife that demands tracking of her husband's location, at all times, either needs to get another wife or grow a set of balls. If my wife did that to me, I'd tell her to piss off, in a heartbeat. ;)

Fake plane death businessman left SOS bullet-point list

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He should have turned the plane toward the ocean...

enough said.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic touchphone


Fine for what it is...

However, it's just not for me, at the moment. I need a more camera-centric device, which is why I opted for the Samsung G810 this time around. And, touch screen would be more a gimmick, to me, instead of an actual need, at this point anyway.

I do feel somewhat let down by Nokia's first mainstream touch phone though - yes, I'm aware that they've made others in the past. It's seems as if they've just bolted a touch API onto Symbian, instead of doing something truly innovative. As it stands, Nokia has just jumped on the touch screen bandwagon, simply because it's "popular" at the moment. And, because they did that, then this device really doesn't impress me very much at all.

However, I am aware that large companies such as Nokia move rather slowly and that they do need to be concerned about binary compatibility across Symbian releases - It's akin to Microsoft having to maintain some sort of compatibility across Windows releases. Perhaps, breaking the old tried and true Symbian mold was just too risky of a prospect for them. Unfortunate really.

Nokia N97 to land late Q1

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For a flagship phone...

I'm very surprised that Nokia didn't include a Xenon flash in addition to dual LED. Without this, the camera will be damn near useless for night shots.

Nokia N97 touchscreen webphone demo'd

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I like it...

but, they need to refine the GUI some more. As it is, it's like they've just migrated the old "point and click" paradigm to a touch interface. In other words, it's a bolt-on.

While this is fine, for now, other manufacturers have already surpassed this with multi-touch gesturing - Apple, HTC and Palm come to mind. And, if Nokia really wants to be a leader, then they'll need to either get on board with this new paradigm, and refine it. Or, invent sometime else that surpasses it. I'd personally like to see them do the latter.

What I'd really like to see is something that moves beyond touch screen altogether. Instead of actually having to touch the screen - messy, in my opinion - why not enable users to just gesture above it? Perhaps an under screen camera and proximity sensors could accomplish this.

Palm Pré WebOS: the UI in action

Jobs Horns

I really like what I've seen, so far...

As a matter of fact, I especially like it because it doesn't have Apple and Steve Jobs attached to it - I can't stand the guy, his company, his overpriced and overhyped products and quite a few of his customers. However, I do acknowledge that his team's GUI, industrial design and marketing skills are top notch.

What I've seen and read about the phone and the OS seem really good, so far. By the way, rumor has it that Palm will release a GSM version of the phone sometime in February.

I'd love to see Palm do a more multimedia oriented version of the phone though: Better camera with a Xenon *and* multi LED video light, MicroSDHC expansion, FM stereo radio, top notch multimedia player, etc.. However, it's still early days and I'm sure we'll see other offers from them based on this new platform.

LG KC870 cut-price 8Mp cameraphone


Wake me up when these manufacturers...

realize that in order to make a "serious" camera phones they need to include Xenon flashes on them. People do take photos at night and in dimly lit areas, you know.

Off to purchase a Samsung G810 in a few days....

LG Cookie budget touchscreen phone

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A bit too low specced for me....

The lack of 3G/HSDPA for simple web-browsing is quite off-putting. Granted, it's not essential and Opera Mini's compression option helps to make up for the lack of speed. But, it sure is nice to have the speed of 3G/HSDPA when one does want to web-browse.

Another thing I'm surprised about is the really low talk time listed for this phone: According to the specs, posted over at GSMArena, the talk time is a mere 3.5 hours. That's really quite low for a 2.5G phone. Even my dear old, long departed SE W810i - stolen and replaced with a Nokia 6500 Slide - could go for 8 hours.

Personally, I'd dismiss this phone and spend a bit more money to get the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic instead. Even at a slightly higher price point the 5800 is better value for the money.

Cowon iAudio S9 PMP

Jobs Horns

I appreciate Apple for one reason....

they forced other manufacturers to step up their game. However, other than that, Steve can keep 'em.

US Navy's robot stealth carrier plane unveiled

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I don't like robots...

especially flying ones!

2008's top three music phones


I find the Nokia 6500 Slide and....

WH-700 Stereo Headset combo to make for a very potent music phone.

I've used the SE W series music phones. And, while they're nice, SE tend to screw them up as good all-round multimedia phones by limiting the camera functionality.

When my beloved SE W810 got pinched I opted for the Nokia 6500 Slide and WH-700 Combo as a replacement.

The insurance company initially tried to offer me a SE W910 as a settlement. However, after feeling how flimsy the damned thing was I wouldn't accept it. Luckily, for me, the 6500S got discounted the next day, and I was able to get that instead. And, since I only had to pay a $150 (NZ) excess charge for the whole package, I was supremely happy with it.

I've read a lot of negative reports regarding the 6500S' buggy firmware. However, I immediately upgraded to the newest when I got mine and have had no problems with it.

The music player is quite good and takes a lot of it's functionality from the XpressMusic series player - not the "say and play" function though. It does all that I want it to: sorts and selects by album, artist, genre; allows for custom play-lists and custom eq settings; shuffle and repeat; displays the album art, etc..

The WH-700 Stereo Headset I can't praise highly enough. The sound quality is fantastic and competes well with anything SE would include in their packages. And, it definitely blows away that crap that comes with the iPhone. It has volume and player forwarding controls built into the mic dongle, a nice storage box with a somewhat odd cable management system, and is made of very stylish chrome and black material. Nokia was even thoughtful enough to include a 2.5 to 3.5 mm adaptor in the kit.

Another bonus for me was the appearance of the whole kit: A lot of music phones tend to be geared toward teenagers. So, they're brightly coloured and made of plastic. While I personally don't mind this, I'd look like a tool with such a phone, as I'm a 46 year old man who needs to project a certain image because of the industry I work in. However, I needn't concern myself with this when the 6500S is within the sight of others. The stainless steel casing, with high gloss black accents, looks very flash without being over the top and outlandish.

Anyway, enough of my praise-singing. ;)

Aussie boffins use sarcasm to investigate brain illness


Americans can do sarcasm...

they just prefer not to as it's usually considered non-direct and insulting by them. Yeah, I know you Brits love it. But, when you use in on Americans they just think you're being snooty twats.

Tell Santa to bring more assault rifles


Ahh, you Brits just love to poke fun at the Americans...

And, it's not like the Americans even care about what you think of them.

You seem the forget that several centuries ago your nation was one of the most aggressive on the planet: First you sent your missionaries, with their nonsense religion, to subdue the populations, And, if that didn't work, you then sent trade commissioners, with one-sided deals in hand, to "negotiate". And, when the monarchy got greedier, as it always did, then you sent the agent provocateurs and, inevitably, the warships, canons, guns and soldiers.

It's the American's turn now. So, let them have their fun. And, if they kill each other off in the process, so be it. ;)

Economists: European ancestors are what make you rich


Oh My F**king God!

The reason Europe was so successful is because during it's colonial period it was willing and able to go to other less militarily advanced nations and take their resources.

Allow me unlimited and low cost access to the resources of others and I'll be very successful too!

These two American economists must be members of the Aryan Brotherhood or some other White Supremacist organization.

The Year in Operating Systems: No battle of big ideas

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Interesting that the S/38, AS/400 and OS/400 were mentioned...

when I was a DD programming consultant I loved those systems. Programming on them was a breeze and a real pleasure. And, man, they sure were reliable machines.

Hands-free kits make drivers even more dangerous

Paris Hilton

I haven't found this to be true at all...

As a matter of fact, I've found it to be just the opposite of what the article states.

For example: When I have my wife in the car, and she's talking to me, I find it much more distracting because she insist on trying to point things out to me. Or, she'll try to tell me how to drive - annoying as f**k really.

When I'm using my hands-free, I just cruise along listening to music, or chatting on the phone with little distraction. Also, if I do need to make a call while driving, I just use activate the phone's voice recognition for that, with one simple push of a button on my lapel, and keep my eyes well on the road. It's easy as...

Granted, I'm very safe and experienced, with about 30 years of driving under my belt. I don't tail-gate, weave in and out like a lunatic, or speed by much. I've only had two accidents that could be considered my fault, and no one was ever injured in them. And, none of those accidents were caused by cell phone use, because they both occurred before I even owned one!

Paris, well, because the little slapper likes to drink and drive!

Phones to be powered by speech?

Paris Hilton

If this works well the device could be powered...

by ambient vibrations from everywhere. Just connect the device to a battery and it would be continuously charged.

Paris, because, man, she really vibrates it...

Sony Ericsson to make Android phone


Only techies will care...

about this. Everyone else just wants to get on with it. And, besides, Symbian and Win Mobile have such a hold on the market already that I don't think Android really stands much chance. Hey, I could be wrong though.

Paris, because she just doesn't give a damn. Baby!

Touchscreen demand hurt Nokia in Q3, says analyst

Paris Hilton

They'll recover very soon...

now that the 5800 XpressMusic has been released; although that probably wont help them much in the Enterprise sector as that's not the phone's target market. Also, the release of the N97, in Q2 09, will help them regain market share. However, again, that device is not targeted at the Enterprise sector.

While I recall seeing that Nokia road map that was leaked a few weeks back, I don't recall a mention of a touchscreen device targeted at the Enterprise market. Perhaps the map wasn't applicable to it though. Anyone care to comment?

Paris, well, because she likes to be touched! ;)

Brits not turned on by mobile internet

Paris Hilton

I use it occasionally, but not that much due to prices...

and until those fall inline with home broadband prices, I don't see mobile Internet usage really taking off in a big way. Besides, the average cell phone's screen size of 2.2" just makes it too damned uncomfortable for all but the occasional browse. One needs at least a 3" screen before it's comfortable really.

Paris, because she's as about as mobile as it gets.

Firm touts anti-radiation chip for phones

Paris Hilton

I'll just do what the schizophrenic on Hollywood Blvd does...

and wear a tin-foil hat! It'll be good for stopping the CIA from beaming assassination orders directly into my brain also!

Jesus, there's a sucker born every minute!

Paris, because she looks good in foil.