* Posts by Niall

40 publicly visible posts • joined 4 May 2007

Samsung snafu grounds blue Galaxy S III


@Jedit "one of their early tablets with a phone built into it"


I have their Galaxy Tab 7.7, and actually it can be used as a phone. I was in Dublin airport with an Irish 3G SIM, wanted to make a phone call but my HTC phone took micro-SIM. Was seriously tempted to use the tablet for a phone call. Fearing the ridicule, paid roaming charges!

Not sure why they actually put an earpiece in it.

Toshiba AT200 Excite


Nice tablet but too late

I read about this nice looking tablet about 6 months ago, but I ended up buying the Samsung Galaxy Tab because I figured this was vapourware. Which it was. Should have been released 6 months ago. Spec is out of date now.

Desaia Beat Box Bluetooth speaker


Comparison with...

Another option - Creative D100.

I've had a Creative D100 for 2 years.


- sound quality is really good, even good bass

- bluetooth range is really good

- cheaper @£35


- bigger than this Desaia one

- no internal rechargeable battery, takes 4xAA or mains

- has a proprietary power supply, not usb

Jabra Halo 2 Bluetooth headset



Sennheiser have a few bluetooth headphones too. The sound quality is excellent but OMG they are expensive.

Anyway- regardless of what headphones you have- install the Equalizer app from the android market! It's free, lets you adjust bass and treble etc. (even with spotify), and really makes a difference to music.

Sony Xperia converts flash motors into fancy remotes


Re: Security?

When it's run over SSH it's secure

Ubuntu for Android: Penguins peck at Nokia's core problem

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I want this.

MySpace no longer crying a river with 1 MILLION new punters


Er.. I'm one of those bots then. Tinfoil hat much? I sometimes listen to this in work, what exactly is wrong with free music!?

Small pile of cash, dying platform: 2011 is bad news for Nokia


Android Lumia

I think hardware-wise the Lumia 800 looks very nice.

Shame that software-wise they partnered with a leech.

Netflix UK to stream BBC shows


@b166er Blinkbox is pay per view not subscription

i.e. just like a conventional video rental store.

I use Blinkbox 3-4 times a month on PS3, it works out about the same for me as a £10 Lovefilm subscription. YMMV. Unlike Lovefilm though, Blinkbox stream new releases.

Pakistan bans rude text messages


I'm glad someone is thinking of the children

Plus it's about time governments had the foresight to censor their citizens.

Nothing brings prosperity and civil obedience faster, right?

Mobile operators warned on 'unlimited' data gouging

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@Vodafone is terrible

+1. Just returned to Three, which completes my trying all of the networks.

£5.11 per month for 2GB data and free skype is hard to beat. Net-neutrality FTW.

Why GNOME refugees love Xfce


Unity ruined Linux for me

And I was a solid user (work and home) for 6+ years. I even ran Ubuntu as the only OS on my macbooks.

Unity is worse than Linux in the old days. At least back then, when you had to configure stuff manually, the end result was a productive desktop.

If I ever return I'll try Xfce. Thanks for the good review.

Ellison: 'There'll be nothing left of IBM once I'm done'



Great links, read both.

Vodafone dishes out free unlimited data


Vodafone Ireland

...certainly know how to block VOIP traffic.

They are running a scam where people who naively sign up for a mobile broadband contract (3G dongle) see skype work well for the first 7 days, only to find that after 7 days skype gets blocked.

Then a call to Vodafone reveals they want an extra €20 per month to unblock it. The scheme has some nice synergies with their "return within [but not after] 7 days for a full refund" facility.

Sony quietly tests PlayStation Network revamp


Movie rentals

You know I often would like to rent movies via the PSN store, but the search feature is just so ridiculously lame. Like you can either browse (but not search) all movies to rent OR search all movies to buy + rent together. So you end up with majority of search results not available to rent.

It's such a basic failure. I hope they fix that.

Samsung names date for UK 10in Android tablet release


But I want it NOW

Seriously considering importing this from the US.

Google sees 15% speed boost with HTTP tweak


Dig down - maybe SCTP?


Sony Ericsson sanctions smartphone boot loader unlocking



Having been a Sony fan for years - TVs, surround sound, ps3, phones, I swore last year that I would never buy a Sony Ericsson or Sony device again, following a ridiculous experience with my Xperia X10 phone - outlandish bugs, crapware, no updates, blatant apathy from customer service, and a locked bootloader to prevent me installing roms that actually work.

Then this week they announce they'll deliver Gingerbread to the X10, and future phones will have bootloader unlocked? Significant steps in the right direction.

Shame for Sony I've switched to HTC as a result, and I've recommended to people to avoid SE, but now I might consider them again if they stay competitive with this sort of approach.

Spanish whispers on Microsoft and Nokia


Android is profitable for Google


Android market transaction fees:


Advertising income:


"Are you profitable if it was broken out as a separate business?"

Rubin: "Yes."


Open source Java 7 for Mac code appears


Java apps thus banned from Mac app store

Java will be an 'optional' component on OS X from now on, therefore according to Mac App Store rules, Java apps will be banned from the store.

This has anti-competitive written all over it.

No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed



FYI Java is the #1 language requested in job advertisements. So it's not surprising that it's the one taught in universities at all. See http://langpop.com/ or http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html . I agree with the author's supply & demand rationale, but in practice the highest demand is for Java.

I'm a Java developer [surprised? :)] (graduate of 2003), employed, and whilst I disagree with the author on language choice, I agree that so many new graduates have no idea how basic elements of computers work.

To be a really good programmer I'd expect candidates to have *curiosity about how things work*.

Android rebellion: How to tame your stupid smartphone

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Great article.

I love android but that googlemail.co.uk issue really got me too. Hard reset yay! AFAIK they have fixed it server-side now though.

I think this article is spot on. Android isn't perfect but is still by far the best OS.

Google mocks Steve Jobs with Chrome-Flash merger


Flash is fine for me

..in Chrome on Ubuntu 32bit.

Nokia's £500 netbook: What were they thinking?

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I was hoping this would not use the Linux-unfriendly Intel Poulsbo chipset.

Linux: More contributors, more code


@the replies to bobdevis - Windows/Linux market share

We have 10 Windows servers and 35 Linux servers i.e. 12% Windows 78% Linux.

Our purchases of Windows licenses were recorded. Our CentOS installations from templates (which must be a really common way to roll out Linux servers) are not recorded.

All market share surveys I've seen would count companies like us as 100% Windows shops, but it couldn't be further from reality.

60% of web servers run Linux. 40% run Windows. It's very easy to determine web server market share by OS reliably, because web server software identifies itself. Source: Steve Ballmer http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/151568/ballmer_still_searching_for_an_answer_to_google.html

The question is whether web server OS market share is indicative of non-web server market share (the OS running on servers which are not directly on the Internet). In our case it is indicative.

You do realise that most general server OS market share "reports" by the likes of IDC are based on Linux Vs. Windows server *revenues*? Can you spot a problem there?

Regarding the suitability for Linux versus Windows on servers. Does Microsoft compete on performance anymore? Name a benchmark that shows Windows is a better choice.

The only thing Microsoft is competing on is "familiarity". And that is shaky ground.

IDC: Linux support sales to break $1bn in 2012

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How are they counting unpaid?

We have 10 Windows servers and 35 Linux servers i.e. 12% Windows 78% Linux.

Our purchases of Windows licenses were obviously recorded. But we self-installed Linux on the other servers, and we don't need support.

The criteria in all IDC surveys I've seen would count companies like us as 100% Windows shops.

In mild terms I'd say IDC surveys are deliberately misleading. They never mention such omissions in their reports.

Dell Inspiron Mini 10


Upgradeable RAM?

Can the 1GB ram this comes with be upped to 2GB later on? I read on the net there's no ram slot, the 1GB ram is soldered on. Is this still true?

Google suffers international outages, slowdowns

IT Angle

Yep I noticed this

At first I thought my internet connection was down, as basically Google is my homepage and my first port of call for accessing anything on the web!

I tried Yahoo for the first time in years as a result!

Oracle suits to strap on Sun's Java sandals


Desktop Java

I'm a Java developer, and I agree that Java desktop apps have been rubbish. Mainly I hated the way they looked. As others have said, non-technical people would be more familiar with Java as crappy-looking Java desktop apps than when they unknowingly access Java servers. And that has annoyed me.

Until last year that is. There was a major release of Java last year (Java 6 update 10) which added a new theme for Java desktop apps called "Nimbus" which finally makes Java apps look slick. Better late than never.

Will Oracle kill MySQL? Who cares?

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Good article

That is all

The Sun shines out of certified Java programmers

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@Phil/Borris/Java Desktop

You've possibly seen it but if not check out the Nimbus look and feel in Java 6 update 10 and later. It really makes Java GUI apps slick, slicker than any other apps I've seen.

Also FYI if on Ubuntu you can install a Nimbus theme for normal GTK apps too.

Portuguese open sourcers decry MS-only gov eProcurement


@AC 12:42

You're afraid.

You know only Microsoft technology.

Look behind you. There is an elephant in the room.

Become informed and it will go away.

Microsoft woos open sourcers with Visual Studio 2010


@Andrew Baines/Java IDE next?

You should try IntelliJ IDEA. It's simply the best IDE I've ever used.

If you use it you'll never want to go back to eclipse/netbeans. It takes 1 keystroke in IDEA to do things that take 3 mouse clicks in the others. It just understands Java programming so well it suggests in the context of what you're doing what you might want to do next as the first option, so you can just hit Enter without taking your hands off the keyboard.

It's Swing editor is crap though by the way- I still use Netbeans for designing Swing forms. But for everything most things IDEA is brilliant.

You can try it free for 30 days then persuade your company to buy it for you :)

Ubuntu to get open-source Java heart implant



We use JBoss exclusively here, on CentOS. I like Ubuntu desktop a lot, but bundling an app server we don't use will make me want to move to Ubuntu server less.

@Joe Geer- PHP vs Java, I think there's space for both. However take note that Java is the most popular programming language in the world: http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html

... so by claiming it's slow [citation needed] or "dog like on the server" [citation needed] isn't going to get agreement from its many advocates!

Here's the multi-core man coding robots, 3-D worlds and Wall Street

IT Angle

immense challenges

Er.. not really. Multi-threaded coding has been around and an integral part of server-side Java for many years. Since well before there were multiple cores to run it on.

1,076 developers, 15 years, one open-source Wine


@TheBloke - SlingPlayer??

"any app that is remotely complex or unusual will likely run with major glitches"

I use Wine to run only one Windows program on Linux - SlingPlayer. I'd consider this both very complex and unusual - streaming live TV from a remote device, remote controlling it and displaying the video in acellerated DirectX.

SlingPlayer works perfectly in Wine, just like on Windows, and lets me watch my SlingBox from Linux. SlingMedia provide instructions for doing this, which is quite easy.

EC's 'Steelie' Neelie snubs Microsoft Office


@"Open office? lol. What a joke."

I don't get that. I use Open Office all the time, and I haven't found anything that it can't do that MS Office does.

In fact I find the spreadsheet app has much nicer graphing options than I had previously in MS Office, and I've used it to do some fairly complex analyses.

Ignoring Open Office is a bit like ignoring the large elephant sitting in the corner of your room. You're scared, I get it. But sooner or later you should investigate some alternatives to MS because those who have tend not to look back.

Brazil bitchslaps ratification of OOXML

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Where's the UK's BSI objection

No BSI objection = corrupt BSI.

Well done Brazil, and South Africa too.

Endemol tech chief to be released from Dubai slammer


UAE What a joke of a country

Are they trying to be provocative, or are they just a**holes, plain and simple?

Mobile phones no longer used for calls


Re: Different stateside

I lived in the States for a while about 5 years ago, and back then at least, I found the cost of using a mobile there a lot more expensive than in Europe.

The most significant difference I found was that I had to pay to *receive* calls as well as to make calls. Another difference I remember was going into cellphone stores asking what the tariff for sending text messages to Europe was, and they were like "what's a text message"!

I believe things have changed significantly re:text messaging Stateside since i.e. it is now available and used. Having to pay for receiving calls still puzzles me however. I had a prepay phone at the time and one time I had 50c credit left (enough to make a 1 minute call back then), and someone called me with a wrong number, and by answering it I used all my remaining credit! (calls were billed per-minute) I'm sure things have improved in 5 years, but back then I found the cellphones a lot more expensive Stateside.