* Posts by Mick Stranahan

64 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Apr 2009


VW's Scirocco diesel: A sheep in Wolfsburg’s clothing

Mick Stranahan


I didn't know the Reg was sending goons around to people's homes at the weekend to make them read these articles.

Mick Stranahan

Wrong colour

I preferred the red one you reviewed back in 2011...


Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in for plutocrats

Mick Stranahan

Panamera for the weekdays, i8 for the weekend. Sorted.

Top 10 tech essentials for the festival season

Mick Stranahan


I'm still using a (very old) Vango Force 10 which has a cross pole.

Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

Mick Stranahan


didn't you folks review this thing three years ago, albeit with a Peugeot badge on the front?


Peugeot 208 GTi: The original hot hatch makes a comeback

Mick Stranahan

Re: Enough of the history!

pedant - so an I became an i at some point in the editing process, big deal. And it's not as if the GTI is the subject of the review even.

As for the launch dates of the VW (August 1979 for the RHD Golf GTI in the UK IIRC) and 205 (April 1984), the author said that together they created the idea of the hot hatch in the "imagination" of Joe Public which I think is a fair enough statement. If you'd asked anyone in 1985/6/7 to name two hot hatches I bet you a pound to a penny they'd have said the Golf GTI and the 205GTi before any of the others (GTE, XR3i et al).

Huawei Ascend P6: Skinny smartphone that's not just bare bones

Mick Stranahan

Good deal.

An unlocked Lumia 925 for £240? That is exceptional value. Care to share the name of the vendor?

Obama says US won't scramble jets or twist arms for Snowden

Mick Stranahan
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What’s gone wrong with my country?

If you find out please let us know in the UK - the same thing seems to have gone pear shaped here.

Ferocious fungus imperils future of British gin and tonic

Mick Stranahan

Shooting voles?

Do you know what a vole is and how small they are? Makes as much sense as trying to shoot wasps or cockroaches with an AK47.

" I don't fly unless I'm at the controls,"

Excellent, on less twit I run the risk of being sat next to when I fly.

NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too

Mick Stranahan


Eloquent piece but naive in the broader sense.

The US has been up to its elbows in the blood of the poor, the powerless, the yellow and the brown for the best part of a century (Vietnam, El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, Iraq etc etc etc) but now that it has become clear that US spooks are looking at our emails journalists are up in arms and howling that the world is about to end.

Has this news seriously come as a surprise to anyone? Oddly enough about a year ago a friend of mine asked me if I though the intelligence services could or were looking at people's digital communications - the answer I gave was yes to both questions. It never occurred to me for a moment that they couldn't/weren't.

Getting misty eyed about the US Constitution is utterly facile. The governing class of the USA has been fucking over "the people" - be they the rank and file US citizenship or the rest of us on the planet - for a hundred years or more. And no, I don't think the governing class of the UK is any better, its just that the USA's power gives it more scope for abuse.

If anyone seriously thinks that the USA is any different from China in it's disregard for liberty, freedom and privacy then you seriously need to wake up.

Fanbois vs fandroids: Punters display 'tribal loyalty'

Mick Stranahan


shouldn't be overlooked.

I may never leave Android simply because I have work in Google Docks, files in Google Drive, I own a few books in Google Play Books, my paid-for apps are all Android, I have my pictures uploaded to Picasa and have my music library copied to Google Play Music. Gmail is my default for mail and contacts. Duplicating or moving all that into iOS or WP8 or BB10 would be a bit of a ball ache and would mean getting used to a new way of doing things. So I'll probably still be using Android in 2017 by dint of simple inertia. I imagine the same is true for many iCloud and SkyDrive users.

It's not that I necessarily think Android is better in terms of hardware or software, but its related cloud services are where I have my stuff and whenever I change devices one sign-in ties it all to the new device.

Can't find your motor? Apple patents solve car park conundrums

Mick Stranahan

If you can't

remember where you parked you are clearly too stupid to be allowed out on the open road.

Review: Disgo 8400G 7.9in Android tablet

Mick Stranahan
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Ditto. For the price it looks like a very nice bit of kit.

Move over, Mythbusters: Was Archimedes an ancient STEVE JOBS?

Mick Stranahan

water power

water powered flour mills and saw mills seemed to be pretty common throughout the Roman Empire. We constantly underestimate the ancients and doubt contemporary authors. Pliny the Younger' s description of the pyroclastic flow at Pompeii in 79AD was thought to be cobblers until quite recently.

Operators look on in horror as Facebook takes mobe users Home

Mick Stranahan

I suspect Google is loving this - Facebook Home is arguably the first app to provide a simple and obvious reason for teens and avid Facebook users (and there are a lot of the latter) rather than those of us who like Android for it adaptability to want an Android handset rather than an iOS/WP8/BB10 device. The rest of the phone is still Android complete with Gmail, Maps, Drive, Picasa and such, Facebook has just pinched the lock screen. Even Google Now is still present and correct.

This is the first time Android has had a mass-appeal and highly publicized app that can't be had anywhere else.

RAF graduates first class of new groundbased 'pilots'

Mick Stranahan
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Re: wrong focus?

I suspect the OP is thinking about the moral and ethical issues of waging war as a video game - where risking a fairly "cheap" drone as opposed to a multi million pound chopper and two crew members is likely to encourage a mindset among politicians and militarily commanders that risk-free "targeted killings" with all the incumbent risks of civilian deaths or just killing the wrong people is the best option in any given scenario.

The use of drones if far more than just a new delivery system for ordnance, it changes the risk calculations of military intervention to the point where killing people at long range becomes the option of first rather than last resort.

I think it fair to say the majority of drone strikes carried out in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the USA would more than likely not have been conducted by jet or helicopter had said drones not been available. That in turn would mean that quite a few local women and children would still be alive today.

Facebook skins Android with Facebook Home

Mick Stranahan

"None of the staffers demoing the app were able to tell us if it's possible to put a lock screen in front of this."

hmm....I suspect said staffers where taken aback by the the question - the whole point of Facebook Home is that there isn't a lock screen.

If you want a dumb lock screen you don't use an app that punts live data onto a live lock screen (which is essentially what Facebook Home is) to start with.

What you asked was the same as "does the app have the functionality to do something entirely contradictory to the very point of the app?"

I wouldn't want a live social feed showing on my phone all the time. but I know plenty of Facebook users who would.

That's no skin off my nose 'cos I post nothing to my Facebook account that I wouldn't be happy with anyone seeing.

Review: HTC One

Mick Stranahan
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Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

"I would love to hear what you think is a valid reason why a manufacturer, after years of including these ubiquitous memory card slots, suddenly stops the practice."

Because when SD cards were ubiquitous the average Android phone had 512MB of storage, not 32 or 64GB.

The advantages of MTP over USB mounting shouldn't need explaining so I won't bother.

Coincidentally I recall the same reviewer giving a really strong write up to your beloved Note 2 a while back....I dunno, maybe he just manages to see the good in different answers to the question "what's the ideal phone?".

Mick Stranahan


If I think I'll need more power I just carry my 5,000mAh juice pack with me. It's a more flexible answer to the problem than carrying a spare battery and gives me an extra two charges rather than just one. That and USB-host pretty much negates the absence of a removable battery or micro SD card slot.

Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Mick Stranahan

"no self respect"

if you have to rely on the car you drive to inject some self respect into your life you are truly the most worthless and wretched of men. Or you have a very small knob.

Mick Stranahan

Re: Defensive?

Sorry Greg but your being an idiot.

The author's opening lines are simply an attention grabber designed to get a rise from the overly opinionated (I'd say it worked) rather than "blasting" anyone. I'm not sure I would categorize all the people who criticize EV's as "libertarian yahoos" as he as done but I can see where he is coming from.

Would you have preferred a review that took half it's space describing the location, number and ease of access of EV charging points in Lisbon and how hard/easy it is to find one from the airport parking lot? Pretty pointless as I doubt anyone reading this lives in Lisbon let alone plans on running an EV in it.

What I got from the article is that the Zoe is in most ways competitive with the best new small hatchbacks, not quite as fast but more refined, and about the same cost to buy and that the electrical power train works well as does the car as a package - assuming you can live with the 70 odd miles between charges range which is highlighted several times.

Yes I get the feeling the author is a bit of a fan of the EV as a concept or at least is prepared to tolerate the inherent range limitations, but that's fair enough. I'm all for a little passion, enthusiasm and advocacy in my tech journalism. It's why I read the Reg.

As for comparing products - did I imagine it, or did the review not make several comparisons to the Leaf and Fluence in terms of range, styling, packaging and price?

Mick Stranahan

Re: So, in London

see last para of review.

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg enters trials

Mick Stranahan

Nothing heroic or disaterous

about the parachute assault on Dien Bien Phu - Operation Castor. It worked perfectly with the exception of the first bulldozer slipping its parachute harness and free falling most of the way to the ground so delaying the opening of the runway by a few days. It was the rest of the plan - Operation Pollux - that went pear shaped.

Seriously doubt a ludicrous boys toy like this would have made any difference other than giving the Viet Minh AA gunners something else to shoot down.

Minicam movie pirate gets record-breaking five years in prison

Mick Stranahan

Re: Cinema is dying


If you don't like the cinema-going experience just don't go FFS. Nobody is forcing you. As you say, just buy the BD down the road. Take a look at recent box office numbers for Hobbit and Skyfall and you'll see "cinema" is far from dying which is good news for the millions of us who go regularly and enjoy it.

As for the rest of the pissing and moaning, if you do something you know to be illegal you have to live with the consequences even if you think the punishment is excessive. If you disagree, campaign to change the law.

Is the law perfect? No. If sentencing always proportionate? No. Is incarceration productive in the long run from a societal point of view? Probably not. Do we as adults know these things before we step over the line? Yes.

Grow up.

Feeling poor? WHO took all your money? NOT capitalist bastards?

Mick Stranahan
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Re: Torygraph

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this. I come here for IT news and reviews not right-wing claptrap masquerading as journalism.

2012: The year that netbooks DIED

Mick Stranahan
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Too simplistic

the wife and I have had several Dell and Samsung netbooks but now I have an AMD-driven HP Pavilion dm1 and she a Chromebook 3 as our second/travel machines. Neither is technically a netbook but both have 11.6inch screens, no optical drive and cost £290/£220 respectively so really they occupy the same market nich . The "netbook" is only dead if you are restricting the term to 10.1 inch 1024 x 600 Atom powered mini-laptops.

Listen up, Nokia: Get Lumia show-offs in pubs or it's game over

Mick Stranahan


if camera quality was that big a deal the first two models of iPhone would never have sold and the PureView808 - which has a truly extraordinary camera - would be flying out the door.

For 99% of the world a run of the mill 8MP camera is enough, more than enough in fact.

Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 64GB Android tablet review

Mick Stranahan

Re: I have a TF300

Oh please, enough of this Microsoft troll bullshit. How can you even begin to compare an OS you've never used with Android? It may well be better, but right now you have no bloody idea if it is or not. Get a life, get a girl, get a job, get something but please f**k off while you are doing it.

Ten... Androids for under 200 quid

Mick Stranahan

The 480 x 854 pixel screen feels narrow

What? That's 16:9 near as damn it just like the 720p screens on the One X, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy 3 etc etc.

May look narrow compared to the iPhone's 3:2 but so what? 16:9 is better for video.

Google Currents

Mick Stranahan
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Tried this when it was new and like the reviewer says it was dog slow. Will give it a another chance this evening.

Nokia on 'brink of failure', warns analyst

Mick Stranahan

It's tragic

If Nokia had pushed the N9 as its high end handset and the Symbian Belle 701 (esp if the new FP1 update turns out to be as good as I'm reading it is) as a mid-ranger iI reckon it would be in ruder health. I'd have either over the current two Lumias.

Renault Twizy budget e-car

Mick Stranahan

Re: Oh do be quiet

"That is your opinion. Mine is that it is a poor example of an old idea,"

yeah, but you've not driven it and the reviewer has so I think I'll give more credence to the Reg's view on this one.


Mick Stranahan

Oh I dunno

Dylan, Zevon, Tull, Skempton, Earle, Mann...that's a pretty solid collection in my book and you sure as shit won't hear much of any of them on Radio 2.

2011's Best... Smartphones

Mick Stranahan


Flash is mentioned in the Monte Carlo review because it's an Android phone that doesn't play Flash video and the comparison is just to point out that the absence of Flash is not necessarily a reason to discount it. At least that's how I read it.

The Lumia doesn't have a "problem" with Flash, it's just not part of the OS spec. for good or ill. Ditto the iPhone.

As for SGSII not getting a look in, why should it? The Razr is thinner, lighter, tougher and the Galaxy Nexus has a bigger screen and shiny new version of Android. Yes it's a fine handset but the Android competition is now a little better.

Samsung Galaxy Note

Mick Stranahan
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for admitting to the error.

Motorola Razr Android smartphone

Mick Stranahan
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I'd be inclined to agree with the author that an ICS update is more than likely now Google owns Motorola. It's also worth pointing out that at this moment in time nothing runs ICS, nor will it until the Prime goes on sale.

Eleven - if you will - rocktastic music movies

Mick Stranahan
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Excellent feature

'nuff said.

The life and times of Steven Paul Jobs

Mick Stranahan

One thing missing

When Bill Gates' turn comes I don't doubt the B&M Gates Foundation will figure prominently in the man's legacy. In all the copy I've read about Steve Jobs and Apple under his leadership I've read not one word about any part of either's vast fortune being put to charitable use in any way. Is this because they didn't or they did/do but keep it under wraps?

When a man is worth that much money and this much coverage surely attention must and should be paid to what he did outside the narrow confines of the business he worked in?

This Dianamania is a slur on Jobs

Mick Stranahan
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Excellent article

One of the best pieces of Op Ed I've read on the Reg.

BT Tower becomes giant lightsabre tonight

Mick Stranahan

That's not a lightsabre

it's an enormous willy!

How Apple's Lion won't let you trash documents

Mick Stranahan
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Well said that man

"The fundamental issue here is Lion's assumption that you don't know what you're doing, and it's going to ensure you're protected from cock-ups"

Change the word Lion for Apple and that line sums up my issue with most things fruity in a nutshell.

I grant you Ubuntu and Windows 7 (or Android for that matter) are not as graceful as their Apple equivalents, but they generally let me do the things I want to do in the way I want to do them and as the person who has paid for the bloody thing (well, the hardware in the case of Ubuntu) that's what I look for.

IATA: this iPad could BRING DOWN A PLANE

Mick Stranahan

I turn my kit off when asked

Not because I think the plane will fall out of the sky, but because I've been asked to by the flight attendant and it's the polite thing to do. Nothing worse than sitting by some know-all tw*t who insists on keeping his phone on and has to be asked three times to turn the thing off.

Last time I was next an idiot like I quietly told him to turn it off or I would turn it into a suppository. Bingo, phone off.

Aussie vendor pledges to ship 'first' Chrome laptop this week

Mick Stranahan
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Not sure about Chrome / Chromium

but I am tempted by the Ubuntu version



Mick Stranahan
Black Helicopters

what complete, utter and absolute

"It's just record labels ripping everyone off all over again."


Ever worked for a record label? Even seen the P&Ls? No, thought not. Tit

Honda Jazz Hybrid

Mick Stranahan

IQ indeed...

The Toyota iQ is in a completely different size class to the Jazz. Agreed it's cheaper and more economical but it's smaller and slower, has two less doors and if you move the rear seats back so that anyone other than a dwarf or under-8 can get in the boot vanishes. Makes as much sense as a comparison as saying a Fiesta is cheaper and more frugal than a Mondeo - of course it bloody is.

As for Jazz drivers, well my experience is that if I am stuck behind some twerp driving at 35mph in a 50 zone for no good reason said twerp is usually behind the wheel of a Nissan Micra or something with a Rover badge on it.

Westminster Abbey cashes in on Royal Wedding with ... App

Mick Stranahan

Time to dust off

my "Cromwell didn't for far enough" t-shirt

Touch Calendar

Mick Stranahan

what utter cock

"Google’s cloudy calendar was the main reason I adopted Android as my mobile OS of choice" which I think implies you cannot use it elsewhere but it's not worth arguing about.

The reviewer's opening comment suggests it was Google's calender that drew him to Android because, I assume, Android offered him the convenience of one-sign-in sync. That's how I read it anyway.

Can't imagine any WinPhone 7 and Palm WebOS users feeling the need to clarify that Google calender can synch to their handsets. Must just be an Apple (user) thing.

Regional accent read-outs coming to satnavs

Mick Stranahan


Funniest thing I seen on Reg Hardware for some time.

WTF is... up with e-book pricing?

Mick Stranahan

Product costs...

As with an iPad, a BMW 3-Series or a bottle of Calvin Klein CK1 the price is what the market will support and has sod all to do with the genuine product cost-to-market.

Right now the Kindle, both as hardware and content, is a blazing success for Amazon, and until such time as that changes prices won't drop or until Amazon thinks that that a price drop will massively increase demand and consumption and thus overall profit.

And at the end of the day, like iPads, BMW's and CK1, eBooks are not essential purchases. If the price pisses you off so much, don't buy them.

I can't foresee any mechanic on the horizon that will force a drop in new published eBook prices so I suspect we will see some degree of parity between eBook and paper edition prices for some time to come.

Ten Essential... Android Apps

Mick Stranahan


El Reg is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


PicSay - a photo editor unique to Android. The free version supports most basic editing needs while the €3.29 (£3.00) Pro version lets you go truly berserk with more effects than you can shake a stick at including colour popping, cutout insertion, cropping and straightening. Come the day an Android phone arrives with an 8MP snapper, Xenon flash and decent optics PicSay will be even more worthwhile, as things stand it's ideal for adding a little pep to your Facebook uploads.