* Posts by Sam Turner

26 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Dec 2008

Samsung WB500

Sam Turner

Great Leap Sideways

Samsung and Panasonic both already do compacts with 24mm wide angle so that feature on its own isn't any leap forward at all.

The amazing disappearing Omnia HD

Sam Turner

It was a lot funnier and more impressive

when Charlie Chaplin did this trick in The Floorwalker nearly a hundred years ago.

Cutting edge stuff.

Radiopaq punts 'custom tuned' cans

Sam Turner
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Homeopathy for the ears.

Is there no end to the absolute audio bunkum that people will buy?

And, if not, why am I typing this instead of inventing some lucrative audio bunkum?

Nikon unveils the D5000

Sam Turner


Frank Bough: "nobody ever changes two parameters on the camera SIMULTANEOUSLY"

You've been able to change the aperture and shutter speed on Rollei TLRs SIMULTANEOUSLY with one lever for at least seventy years. And users of manual aperture lenses on 35mm SLRs have been adjusting aperture and shutter speed SIMULTANEOUSLY for almost as long.

Have you tried patting your head and rubbing your stomach SIMULTANEOUSLY to improve your dexterity?

Brussels: Old-school lightbulbs to be gone by 2012

Sam Turner
IT Angle

Arithmetic schmarithmetic

The evil Wikipedia reckons that the UK consumes about 350 to 400 TWh of electricity a year. So either there is some dodgy arithmetic happening or somebody is dividing apples by bananas. Or perhaps doing a lazy conversion of oil to joules to watt hours and assuming 100% efficiency in electricity generation and transportation.

Perhaps you ought to stick to reviewing shiny electronic things.

Logic3 Valve80 thermionic iPod dock and speaker set

Sam Turner

My irony gland just burst.

"the output can only be as good as good as the input [...] Nickleback's Rockstar"

I'm a bit puzzled about the market for this. Valve nerds will already have valve amps of better quality and, in the unlikely event that they aren't paranoid about mp3 compression, could stick a £20 iPod dock on top. And they're throwing naff speakers in. I suspect this is aimed at a style-over-sound "oh I have a valve amp" market.

Who probably listen to Nickleback ...

Aerielle i2i Stream 2.4GHz music streamer set

Sam Turner
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re: cannot play whilst charging...

Absolutely. That's a complete deal breaker.

I'm a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss

Sam Turner
IT Angle

Call me a sceptic-sceptic

but somebody deciding fifteen years after retirement, and twenty years after "effectively" but not "actually" being somebody's supervisor, and having throughout the final part of his career quite publically supported the research he now condemns, and (entirely coincidentally, I'm sure) during a bit of a tight economic spell when a bit of spare cash from the lucrative sceptic lecture circuit wouldn't go amiss ...

No ... I'm a horrible cynic ... such a heinous and unfounded suggestion to make about a poor old man.

Google and the Great Wikipedia Feedback Loop

Sam Turner


The Reg's articles on Wikipedia are straying from reasonable (if sometimes strident) objections to politicking and dubious practices, to downright paranoia. Wikis on subjective and controversial subjects will be controversial and subjective and should be read with a pinch of salt and a close eye on the change history and discussion pages ... that's true of any wiki, not just the evil giant wikipedia. Wikipedia articles on the vast majority of subjects (and particularly those in the realms of technology and science where the Register ought to have its keenest interest) are almost always reliable and useful in my experience.

Google is a good search engine. Wikipedia is a good source of information. More power to them and their users. This is starting to smell of 'bash the big boy ... he must be evil or he wouldn't have grown so big'. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm a looming hulk of a man who is sick of bitter short-arses deliberately bumping into his shins.)

Killer robots to get silent-running whisper mode

Sam Turner

I would like to nominate "tinfoilsploitation"

for neologism of the week.

Coming soon: Pills to 'turn down' your ears at clubs

Sam Turner

Ah. April comes earlier every year.

I can't wait for christmas.

Wireless HDTV set for 2009

Sam Turner

Re: Ducks in a row

"In case you've been living under a rock,"

You may want to re-read the articles and my comments before making silly snipes like this. Transferjet and WirelessHD are both industry standards that happen to involve Sony. As are Bluetooth, Zigbee, Wireless USB, and any number of other industry standards.

And before you bash your capslock key, you may want to spend two minutes actually reading the licensing terms that are quite clearly described on the websites of each of those standards.

OK. Maybe ten minutes. Some of them have words with three or more syllables. Perhaps ask a friend to help.


Sam Turner

Ducks in a row.

So ... Sony promotes a UWB industry standard and it's boo nay! naughty sony!


But this UWB industry standard (which also involves Sony) is perfectly fine?

I wish you'd make your minds up

Or ... you know ... made at least a small attempt to know what you're talking about before firing up Dreamweaver.

Sony rallies chums round proprietary standard

Sam Turner
Dead Vulture

Some schoolboy confusion here ...

UWB is a generic term for a type of modulation. Transferjet is a consortium of companies looking to standardise a particular implementation of UWB. It isn't a proprietary alternative to UWB. Bluetooth and Wimedia are the same basic idea: companies ganging together to standardise ideas. This is a Good Thing (tm).

While we're being pedantic, Wimedia only specifies up to the MAC layer, and wireless USB sits on top of the same MAC and PHY. The distinction between peer-to-peer and star formations is nonsense, ...

Actually ... let's save some typing: this article is a babbling brook of technical illiteracy. Has somebody's Sony laptop just bluescreened while they were downloading the latest series of the Gadget Show?

Powermat cuts ties with cabled power

Sam Turner
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Tough crowd.

"Also, if you're a mini-USB guy, just buy the dongle with the USB tip instead of a case and charge everything with that."

Brilliant. So I plug the charger into the mains, then plug the mini-USB into the device, then place the dongle onto the charger. All that extra convenience at the knock down price of less efficient charging and more expensive equipment.

Does anybody know if snake oil cures sarcasm?

NASA deploys huge clingfilm strato-pumpkin over Antarctic

Sam Turner

re: Won't someone PLEASE think of the children!

"what about stadium sized sandwich bags fluttering about the pristine wilderness of the Antarctic"

Some dreary teenager will film it with a camcorder and use the arty footage to seduce his neighbour's grumpy daughter.

LG KC870 cut-price 8Mp cameraphone

Sam Turner

8Mpixels 8 schmegapixels.

The resolution of the lenses on these cameraphones renders anything above two or three megapixels entirely redundant ... apart from as a tool for selling more flash memory. The genuinely cut-price way to an 8MP cameraphone is to buy a second-hand 3MP cameraphone and then invent a few million extra pixels with some freebie image software.

If the size of your penis needs some numerical compensation, you could always scribble 16MP on the case of the phone with a glittery pen.

US doc demands $1.5m for donated organ

Sam Turner

Namby pamby wishy washy limp etc.

Take back her kidney? What's wrong with just stoning her to death? I mean ... she's had the audacity to survive an illness and leave her husband ... unprecedented bitchery. Burning is too good for her.

Good grief.

Take a hammer to your hard drive, shrieks Which?

Sam Turner
Thumb Up

Hear hear.

I had a rare moment of Internet Indignation when I saw the way this was covered on the beeb website.

If I were uncharitable, I might suggest that there's a touch of Chris Langham paranoia in the Which and BBC offices.

Navy SEALs look to grapple with Brazilian

Sam Turner

And this week's award

for bravado misuse of a random latin phrase in an attempt to seem clever goes to ... [crinkly envelope sound effect] ... sine qua non

"That word you keep using ... I don't think it means what you think it means."

Nokia reveals Tube's UK launch date

Sam Turner
Dead Vulture

Time to come clean ...

... how much commission does the Register receive from Apple for mentioning the iPhone in every single review or article on mobile phones? Do they pay in cash or shiny things? If we have a Bluepeter-style collection of milk bottle tops, can it stop?

PS2 the most played console of 2008

Sam Turner

Statistical significance.

According to a survey wot I just made up, "statistical significance" is the third most abused term on the internet after "according to wikipedia" and "I'm not a racist but ..."

It's entirely possible for a survey of 1000 people to be statistically significant. It's entirely possible for a survey of a lot fewer people to be statistically significant.

And, from the link in the article: "Usage Minutes % is the percent of all measured console minutes." Which seems like a perfectly sensible way of representing the data. What would people prefer? Volume of sweat leaked into the sofa? Number of boxes of greasy pseudo-pizza consumed? Increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes?

Apple's latest patent brilliance: the iGlove

Sam Turner


I keep both hands and iThing inside a hollowed-out stoat. There's an element of guesswork to the user interface, and I look like I'm having a furtive fiddle, but it's a small price to pay for toastie fingertips.

Nikon D90 digital SLR with HD video recording

Sam Turner
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The Casio is not strictly an SLR - it looks like a far more sensible hybrid of camcorder and still camera. There are a handful of other non-SLR digital cameras with HD video - I looked very briefly at the fuji finepix [some number]. I think the only other true SLR with HD video is the Canon 5Dii which was released a few months ago.

My HD camcorder is smaller, lighter and cheaper than all but the noddy-est of Canon or Nikon SLR lenses. I'm guessing there's a pretty good reason why, in the century or so since the invention of moving image cameras, nobody has ever built one that looks and handles like an SLR.

USB fuel-cell prototype unveiled

Sam Turner

re: Airplane safe?

"Methane is an explosive gas"

It's a good job this device contains absolutely no methane then.

Junk science and booze tax - a study in spin

Sam Turner
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Physician, heal thyself.

What exactly are we supposed to make of such drearily loaded terms as "statistical confections" and "sheepishly", or the sardonic use of inverted commas around "evidence"?

If you are going to criticise a study, criticise the study. Don't spend the first page wanking on like an internet warrior. There is nothing wrong with meta-analysis and there is nothing wrong with including studies that are not perfectly matched if you include (sheepish) provisos. Sneering at this is just plain ignorance and undermines the rest of the article (well ... probably ... I couldn't bring myself to read any further ... please accept my apologies if you did eventually get to some sort of point).