* Posts by twilkins

86 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off


Everybody is out there trying to pull doctors off planes.

Oh, silly me, this isn't the USA!

Brit cops can keep millions of mugshots of innocent folks on file


Sovereignty feels good, doesn't it?

It's now 2017, and your Windows PC can still be pwned by a Word file



People still use Word in 2017. How cute!

That's the way the Cook, he stumbles: Apple CEO pay cut as sales tank


I read "Bonus" as "Bogus"...

...Come to think of it, maybe you are the ones who made a mistake there ;)

Google's new VR Daydream View will cripple your phone


Warm Runnings

I have a Pixel and - thanks to reading the Reg - a tinfoil hat.

My Daydream headset is on it's way so I can switch off the heating and enjoy a toasty bonce this winter.

P.S. Anyone who straps a Samsung to their face will probably end up like the poor fellow in the photo that heads the article.

Living with the Pixel XL – Google's attempt at a high-end phone


Convert ahoy

As a previous Nexus zealot, I ridiculed the Pixel for a high price and so-so design.

Once I saw the camera samples coming through I had second thoughts... finally a "not-Samsung" that has iPhone like camera performance...

I thought I'd give it a whirl and needless to the say the camera is so good my Nikon Powershot compact was sold on eBay last week. I look forward to seeing what Google can do with computational photography. They have obviated the need for OIS in most cases.

The blazing fast performance and "good for a hard day" battery performance are the icing on the cake.


Re: Speedy?

Hey, it's not his fault Apple can't translate high benchmarks into real world performance.

Finally, that tech fad's over: Smartwatch sales tank more than 50%


Re: Called it

Smartwatches sales are still growing dude.

They just call them "fitness trackers" instead now.

A more logical approach would be to look at how the sales of "wearables" are doing rather than fixating on the definitions/categorisation of a few fusty tech journos.

Google Pixel: Devices are a dangerous distraction from the new AI interface


I love it, just love it when someone who doesn't know anything about a market feels compelled to give their two-penneth.

Intel Basis fans burned again: Refund checks for scalding smartwatches bounce


Got a refund cheque from Intel/Basis, and happily paid it into my RBS account.

I actually made a small profit on my ownership of the Basis Peak - I bought it for less than UK retail, then picked up an extra strap from USA on eBay. Basis refunded me the full list price for both items so I got an extra £45 in my pocket and a fitness tracker for 18 months.

Universal Credit: 'One dole to rule 'em all' on verge of recovery – report


"subsequent ministers and senior bods had always turned it down as it looked like a disaster waiting to happen, The difference was Ian Duncan Smith was the first one to say yes."

Sounds a lot like Brexit.

Kindle Paperwhites turn Windows 10 PCs into paperweights: Plugging one in 'triggers a BSOD'


Every year I celebrate the day I moved away from Windows to OSX.

Now I spend my time doing my job, not f*cking about with my tools.

Intel's smartwatches are so hot right now – too hot: Basis Peak recalled for skin burns, blistering


Re: Lasers!

Something more fundamental - like a lack of motivation.


Re: You know what doesn't get too hot and combustable on my wrist?

My experience of mechanical chronographs (as opposed to chronometer) is that they are expensive to service, prone to going wrong and not accurate - compared to an average quartz watch.


Re: I'm still using my Basis B1

Yes the B1 is also being recalled and the servers switched off. Which does make it look like a wind-down of Basis, rather than anything truly safety related.

Intel aren't having such a happy time at the moment and I'll bet this is some change to strategic direction to get out of anything direct to consumer and concentrate on their "core" business.


As a Basis Peak user for the last 18 months, my skin remains uncharred.

They (Basis / Intel) are also recalling the earlier B1 watch which seems to use different hardware.

To my suspicious mind, this smells like Intel using a minor issue as the excuse to close down the Basis business unit either due to lacklustre sales or because they want to release a competing product / sell the IP.

For the record the Peak is the most accurate wrist-based HR tracker I have used (and I've tried pretty much all of them). It was also able to track my sleep accurately. If anyone knows of an alternative device that fulfils my criteria I would love to hear about it:

- Looks like a watch rather than something from Blake's 7 and has interchangeable straps

- Waterproof enough to swim with

- Automatic activity tracking

- Accurate 24/hr HR tracking

- Accurate calorie calculation

- Tough metal / gorilla glass construction

- Notifications

- Silent alarm

- Music control

- Habit / goal tracking via app

- Display easily readable in direct sunlight

- 4-5+ day battery life

Man killed in gruesome Tesla autopilot crash was saved by his car's software weeks earlier


Thought the Tesla had radar?

Microsoft's paid $60 per LinkedIn user – and it's a bargain, because we're mugs


The LinkedIn "graph" only has value if it's accurate which requires people to regularly use the site. I don't think I'm alone in steering well clear since it got all spammy and full of recruiters (i.e. about 5+ years ago).

Not to mention that people I've only ever had social contact with "connect" to me and then give me recommendations for obscure technical skills. If my experience is anything to go by MS paid a lot of money for a huge out of date mailing list.

The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware


Ok, ok, calm down

There must still be an unused combination of "Mobile", "Windows" and "Phone" so Microsoft can try again in a few years and reel in some more suckers.

As an aside, it's quite ironic they made Windows look like it came from Fisher-Price to try and present a uniform interface and then abandon the mobile portion. Double whammy!

Smartphone growth? Not in Q1, says IDC


I'm afraid the declining revenues across the tech sector are caused by the same thing as the declining revenues across the British high street. Consumers are tapped out.

The debt party should have ended around 2008, but ultra low interest rates have kept it going much longer than it should have, and now we are heading into unknown territory with negative interest rates and talk of helicopter money drops.

Interesting times...

Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage


Re: Don't blame users for the UI

"from phone to tablet to surface to desktop"

That's nice, for the few hundred users who use Windows 10 on desktop, surface and phone. For the others who use Windows desktop, iOS phones and tablets, or Android phones and tablets and Windows 10, it's not much of a draw. Hence the disappointing sales.

Facebook tells Viz to f**k right off


And therein lies the danger of Facebook, aka, just another walled garden.

WordPress hosting biz confesses to breach, urgently contacts 30,000 users


Re: Ahem..

It's proactive is there is no evidence the passwords have been compromised.

Mozilla annual report shows risky Google dependency now risky Yahoo! dependency


Re: How can they possibly spend a quarter billion a year?

Don't worry, I'm sure Microsoft will provide ;-)

Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs


DB won't see out another 24 months as a solvent, functioning bank, so trying to trim a few costs here and there is really a bit pointless.

As an aside, simplifying IT should be done for the right reasons. In DBs case, that would be to open up new opportunities instead of just cost cutting.

You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash



Has the register turned into "The Spectator"?

Better to focus on quality tech news than political opinion.

Android 5 lock-screens can be bypassed by typing in a reeeeally long password. In 2015


Re: Disable copy/paste on the lockscreen

But everyone knows that longerer passwords are betterer!

Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide


Fine here now (17:44 BST), of course the beauty of it for me is that I have a copy of all my files locally...

Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android


This is hilarious - as a Vodafone customer for over 10 years I have suffered from numerous handsets weighed down with Vodafone's junk. I now buy SIM free handsets largely for this reason.

Biggest security update in history coming up: Google patches Android hijack bug Stagefright


Indeed - since my old Symbian mobiles back in the day, it has always been the carriers who hold up firmware updates.

As I type this Sony have had a Lollipop 5.1 ROM out for my current Xperia handset for over two weeks. No sign of it on Vodafone UK anytime soon. Time for the networks to stop their crappy customisations and just do it all via apps.

Apple goes to crapple in stock plunge kerfaffle: $113bn wiped off in days


It's taken them a while to twig that Steve Jobs is dead.

Or maybe to realise that the Apple watch is speeding in the wrong direction....

Apple Watch is such a flop it's the world's top-selling wearable


Apple could have put a strap on a wooden block with a shiny Apple logo on the back and easily shifted a couple of million units.

The fact that the world's biggest (market cap) company which is also the "world's most powerful brand" could only muster support from die hard fanboys indicates the Apple Watch is struggling to gain traction.

I guess it's harder to make a market rather than capture one that is already in existence.

GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds



He posted a rant on Google+?

Would have got a bigger audience in the spam folder!

Shapps launches probe into Wikimedia UK over self-pluggery allegs


Hey, that's not Grant Shapps...

It's Michael Green!

Hmmm, wait, it could be Sebastian Fox...

Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming


Re: Yes. Right Direction

+1000 on the "right direction".

I don't want to spend more than a second interacting with a wrist mounted "wearable", otherwise I might as well just get my phone out. I also want something that lasts a long weekend away from home without a charge and can show me the time at a glance.


Beyond how small and fiddly using a watch-sized touch sensitive display is, you can use a Pebble WITHOUT needing look at the screen. I often clear notifications or start a stopwatch without looking at the watch.

The more I look at Android Wear and the Apple Watch, the more surprised I am just how right Pebble seem to have got it.

Personally I won't buy any wearable with a display that can't be read in direct sunlight. Since my phone is hard to read outside, complementing it with something that shares the same problems seems a tad silly.

Bloat-free, unlocked Moto X to be dubbed 'Pure Edition', says report


"Some readers might struggle with the concept of "pure", though, given that the device runs on Android."

Eh? Is that supposed to be funny? Clever?

Bad news - it's neither!

Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View


Welcome to the two tier internet!

Privacy available for everyone, who can afford to pay for it.

What's it like using the LG G smartwatch and Android Wear? Let us tell YOU


How is the display in sunlight?

The strong point of the Pebble is the fact that the display is very readable in sunlight. The most useful application of a smartwatch in my life would be when I am away from my home or office and my phone is in my pocket or bag - so I don't miss notifications and check the time without getting my phone out like a pocket watch.

Battery life of a day kind of kills it for me as well, because you know that there will be a "heavy day" when the battery dies at 4:30pm.

Nokia gobble: Microsoft can't get free of red-tape bondage 'til April


No, I mean presuming that the same interface that was designed to appeal to tablet and phone users would appeal to desktop users, after desktop users have been using a different interface for 20-odd years.

You see that Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.2? That stuff should have come out in Beta testing.

Oh yeah, and then there's IE6/7/8/9 - ten years of pain for anyone who has to build a website because they can't follow standards.


Less relevant != irrelevant.

I don't see how anyone (still in possession of a few marbles) could argue Microsoft or Nokia are more relevant now than in 2004.

Nokia have already imploded due to arrogance, Microsoft have set the course to follow.


Two companies that become less relevant by the day.

Google wearables: A solution looking for a rich nerd


Re: deja vu all over again

“people don't know what they want until you show it to them.”

- Steve Jobs

You argument seems to be that it's all about timing. I'd say the fact that a tiny "piss ant" company that started on Kickstarter 18 months ago has shipped 400,000 watches since then is a sign that there is some demand. Come out with a watch that still looks and feels like a watch, tells the time but also helps them keep their phone in their pocket and that nascent demand will increase.

Google Glass is a niche product.

Smartwatches are a mainstream product.


Re: Once again

If you have no friends, don't vary your daily routine or ever travel I can almost see your point.

Personally, having a smartphone makes trips abroad (business & pleasure) far, far easier and helps me keep in touch with my loved ones when I've there. A quick Skype call with my kids from a conference hotel last week made me glad of consumer tech "innovation". My kids were glad too.


Re: development company, rather than an engineering company

Hey, at least they give me something for free before they try and sell me something. Beats, Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, etc.


Watch apps written in C# and a website that doesn't even render properly in Chrome tells me this company may not stick around until next Xmas.


It's pretty obvious what problem they are offering a solution to

The problem is the constant, almost nervous distraction that people who use a smartphone frequently can develop.

"Did the phone ring, was that a text coming through or just a spasm in my leg?" Pebble got it right in the first instance because they focussed on doing one thing well - notifications. It's still pretty rude to pull your phone out of your pocket and check your email on a first date, in a client meeting, when having a chat a the dining table, but it's much easier to feel a vibration on your wrist and then have a quick glance at your watch.

90 odd years of "convention" means that a quick glance at a watch is acceptable in situations that fishing around in your pocket / handbag for your phone is not.

Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'


What little brand equity Nokia have is rapidly disappearing down the plug hole...

iPhone rises, Android slips in US, UK


Don't think those Lumias will be flying off the shelves without the Nokia name on them, as per today's announcement.

Microsoft buys Nokia's mobile business


Microsoft are trying to copy Apple and become a software / hardware company by bolting-on a hardware company.

Apple were born as both a software and hardware maker, and Microsoft are destined to fail.

But this deal does make Google's $12.5Bn for Motorola look ludicrously overpriced.