* Posts by PaulR79

699 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Aug 2009


After deadly 737 Max crashes, damning whistleblower report reveals sidelined engineers, scarcity of expertise, more


Poor company, how will they cope?

"The manufacturer did not admit guilt, however, which would have prevented it from receiving future government contracts. Instead, it entered into a deferred prosecution agreement.

No company executive faces imprisonment for the misconduct that the biz has acknowledged. Boeing fired CEO Dennis Muilenburg in late 2019 over the 737 Max accidents and he departed with $62m in compensation."

Not admitting guilt because it wouldn't be able to get future government contracts? It let planes fly knowing there were serious issues and lied / deceived regulators. It shouldn't be getting ANY future contracts from anyone! That's the idea of punishment - a deterrent. Instead they pay a paltry fine and the CEO lost his job just to be consoled by a huge compensation package. I'll never forget seeing that a lot of companies could implement a lot of changes to make safety even higher but the cost to do so is far greater than paying compensation to crash victims' families. Everyone has a value to a company that big.

Epson payments snafu leaves subscribers unable to print


Transaction checks always mean payment failure for me

" customers "may receive a text or phone call from your bank when making online transactions asking you to confirm your identity. These should not be ignored as payments could be declined if banks cannot reach you... ""

I don't know that I believe this part of the statement. Any time I've received a text (rare) or phone call to check a transaction and cleared it regardless of amount it's always failed to process. It's a good thing to be cautious and I'm sorta glad they have checks to prevent random stolen cards being used but it's meant some urgent puchases have been delayed sometimes over a weekend.

IT technician jailed for wiping school's and pupils' devices


14 different steps

"The former IT technician's precise method was not described in reports of the case but local police said it involved "fourteen different steps.""

1. Put kettle on

2. Make coffee

3. Walk to computer

4. Sit at computer and wake it from sleep

5. Smell coffee before taking a sip

6. Login to school system remotely using passwords they didn't change because a lot of staff don't have a clue about using new passwords and it just isn't worth the hassle.

7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Wipe computers while playing CoD (angry people play CoD still, right?)

It's the day before the grand opening but we need a firmware update. It'll be fine


Re: Commodora Amiga?

I think you missed the point. Commodora instead of Commodore. One produced the Amiga, the other might be friends with an explorer.

Wifinity hands customers bills for Wi-Fi services they didn't want but used by accident after software 'glitch' let 'fixed term' subs continue


Congratulations on being one of our few (un)lucky subscribers!

"We recently contacted a minority of our subscribers regarding a software glitch that resulted in a billing issue."

One of the most infuriating things you can tell people that have been fucked over by your company is that you're in a minority of affected people. It doesn't matter if it's 1% or 1 individual if it's your company's fuckup then you should be doing everything to rectify that. You should not be trying to use it to grab money at any rate, vastly reduced or not. Trying to use a guideline from Ofcom the wrong way to justify your shitty behaviour only makes you look even more scummy. Perhaps the below would be a more accurate thing to tell these 'subscribers'.

"We recently contacted some people we fucked over by not clearly defining how we work or terminating their services as they understood it. They were a minority of our subscribers so it doesn't really matter and we offered to let them only pay a fraction of the charge they incurred as a result of 'a software glitch' that we like to call automatic renewal."

Global Fastly outage takes down many on the wibbly web – but El Reg remains standing


What causes this?

How many more times are we going to see one major CDN issue take out a considerably large chunk of websites? Is it purely that it saves money and "only happens now and again" to justify it or is there no way to have two of these things?

I look at the Fastly status page and it says this which does not inspire confidence.

"Fastly’s network has built-in redundancies and automatic failover routing to ensure optimal performance and uptime. But when a network issue does arise, we think our customers deserve clear, transparent communication so they can maintain trust in our service and our team."

What happened with the failover? Backup services? I know nothing of any of this so I know I'm being overly simple. Anyone care to educate me?

UK's competition watchdog gives £31bn Virgin Media and O2 merger the seal of approval


I think this is my favourite bit from the piece.

"The CMA found that its existing contractual obligations would mean that, in the short-to-medium term, Virgin Media would be unable to degrade or withdraw the services it provides to rivals."

Well, as long as things are ok in the short-to-medium term go ahead with your short-to-medium term plan for a $31 BILLION merger. Clearly this won't last long so we have nothing to worry about.

China has a satellite with an arm – and America worries it could be used to snatch other spacecraft


Smackdown defense

Simple solution - add an arm with an open-palmed hand that detects the grabby hand of Chinese suppression and just before contact is made it slaps the grabby hand away. In turn the slap sends the offending satellite spiralling away in a similar way to Team Rocket when they inevitably blast off again.

A borked bit of code sent the Hubble Space Telescope into safe mode, revealing a bunch of other glitches


Typical NASA cheaping out

I bet they didn't pay for the launch day "door closing" DLC and just hoped it was included in the version they bought. SMH my H.

Don't Xiaomi pics of other people's places! Chinese kitmaker fingers dodgy Boxing Day cache update after Google banishes it from Home


Re: Why use this stuff?

The simple answer is something about the product appeals to the buyer. Some might understand and accept the privacy risks for peace of mind to watch property or check a babysitter, for example, isn't swinging their baby around like a flag. There are others who will just see it, not fully understand the possible privacy risks and think it's 'cool' or another vernacular. They just want one or were impressed when someone showed it to them / they saw a demo.

I don't need an Echo Dot. I wanted one so I got one. I'm aware that it's effectively a live mic 24/7 listening for an action word but it offers convenience on some things. I may not end up using it much at all so for me it's exploring the tech and lazily turning my light on and off right now. I delete the recordings and have to trust that they are purged when I do so. If not, well, Amazon and co are welcome to hear me demand my lights be turned on and off.

The Windows Phone keeps ringing but no one's home: Microsoft finally lets platform die


Android user - I will miss Windows Phone

Microsoft had a chance with Windows Phone and they fucked it up to such a degree that even as a primary Android user I still feel anger towards them for it. There's a long list of reasons why they fucked it up but I'll include some of the bigger ones (in my opinion) below.

"Smoked by Windows Phone" - the stupid gimmick ads about how Windows Phone was quicker to start after being powered down than Ios and Android. As if that was a legitimate reason to buy a Windows Phone device. Who powers their phone down? Who needs it to start up super fast when it can't do anything?

Windows Phone 7 - a horribly restricted OS, no multi-tasking, no copy / paste of any kind and low-end hardware all hobbled by glacial app approval processes

Windows Phone 8 - essentially killed Windows Phone 7 devices a year after release by being a superior OS that used similar hardware to Android devices of the time thereby pissing off early adopters. Apps incompatible between versions meant double the work for app developers.

OS updates - Microsoft's inability to see that the OS needed rapid iterative updates not annual updates. This applied to both 7 and 8 versions. I know they had some updates through the year but they still kept bit updates for 6+ months.

I'll have to stop there. Each time I type one out I want to rant about how stupid it was and if I continue listing them I'll be typing up a small novel. They treated it too much like Windows and just assumed it couldn't fail but when it was clear it was failing they did nothing about it while maintaining the same course. Fuck you, Microsoft.

Americans should have strong privacy-protecting encryption ...that the Feds and cops can break, say senators


The mind boggles

Vance admitted, "I’m not a technologist, but I’m confident the problem can be solved by a company re-design as well."

"Hey Apple, change the way you make things in a way that destroys privacy so we can spy on people en masse while denying we'd ever do that until we're found to have done that. Again."

Why is it always the idiots who have no clue how things work that demand that those who do understand "find a way"? Is it perhaps because they've grown up in an environment where the solution to any issue they have is money and / or corrupting influence? Any laws that have such massive implications like demanding access be made available would never apply to these clowns. If it did there is no way they would be so eager to break the privacy offered.

The Outer Worlds: Ever wished Fallout 4 was more like New Vegas? Here ya go... in spaaace


Honestly, not a fan of it - spoilers below first line!

I've tried to enjoy the game while playing it but it's missing something and I can't quite put my finger on it. I finished it last night and (SPOILERS AHEAD)

the ending was very underwhelming with it basically being what New Vegas did - still images with narration covering what happened. I can't accept that as an ending.

The game was ok but nothing spectacular

The pacing felt off throughout

The combat was a step up from New Vegas but clunky - a number of times I'd click and nothing would happen because I clicked too fast apparently

With most conversations I just wanted them to end ASAP as the majority felt slow and drawn out featuring lengthy..... pauses........

The talking heads of New Vegas were not a welcome sight - by that I mean where you talk to someone and your view is pulled into zooming on their head and chest

I didn't feel anything with the companions I met and I didn't care about any of their issues even if I completed the quests

The Hope - your colony ship with 100,000ish people on it - is practically ignored the entire game except for a tiny bit right at the end

I don't hate the game but having completed it I don't see why it's getting such massive praise. It's far more complete than either Failout 4 or that bad joke Failout 76 but it doesn't feel like it knows what it wants to be for me. Is it a space opera ala Mass Effect? Is it a survival RPG game like Fallout? It's both but at the same time neither.

Twitter: No, really, we're very sorry we sold your security info for a boatload of cash


Phone number required for new accounts now?

I was in the process of procuring a new Twitter account, for totally legit reasons that I will not go into and don't you dare suggest it's nefarious, and was surprised to see that the only way to do so was to provide a mobile phone number while signing up. Has this been a recent change or did I miss it happening a while ago? It'd be laughable if it wasn't so infuriating.

"We need your phone number so we can verify that it's a legitimate account! We only use it for that purpose, honest!!"

"Yeah... we might have given your details away. 21 days ago. No we can't tell you if you were affected but at least we're telling you about it now."

Until / unless these asshole companies are fined something significant with no room to wiggle and negotiate it down to virtually nothing this sort of crap will keep happening.

Samsung's tricksy midrange teasers want your flagship catch


Midrange = how much??

"It's priced at €649"

That is where I stopped paying attention and came to the comments. That used to be top of the range most expensive version cost a few years ago. If that is midrange then there is no way I will ever buy past bottom / budget range. I got a Pocophone F1 last year and it cost me about £320 for a 6GB RAM, 128GB storage version which has a Snapdragon 845 CPU, 4000mAh battery and a hybrid dual-SIM / SIM + SD card slot. Oh, it also has a headphone socket. Aside from the price and specs I was most surprised to see regular security and version updates with my phone currently sitting on the 1st February security patch for Android 9.

I'm sure I sound like an ad but I can't speak highly enough about the phone especially at that price. It really makes you wonder what Samsung and Apple do to charge over twice as much for basically the same specs.

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files


Re: xfer

I feel called out reading this comment. "Old laptop" and "old backup" etc have places on my computers. One day I will find a duplicate file utility and sort it out but that day is not today!

A few reasons why cops didn't immediately shoot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


Send a drone to catch a drone

I saw the opportunity to get a Demolition Man line in and I took it. With that said, why not send a drone up to take it / them down? If there isn't a drone in the army capable of doing this I'd be very surprised. I'm not talking about a heavily armed military drone but anything capable of heavy lifting able to hook it or snag it and pull it to a waiting plod would do. I don't understand the "debris might cause issues" excuse. Given what they're going to lose in terms of business and through compensation I think they could afford to pay a few people to go and thoroughly clean up any debris.

VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant


Re: Skipped Cisco Live two years and will next

"Why would you want to hold a conference in Vegas?

1) Legalized prostitution

2) Legalized gambling

3) Free booze at the tables

4) Free or cheap buffets to gouge yourself at

5) Readily available narcotics of all sorts"

Are you trying to put me off or sell me a holiday? I can't decide..

Wondering what to do with that $2,300 burning a hole in your pocket?

Thumb Up

Might I offer a few suggestions for the company's new name? It isn't magic, nothing is and that's a given but it isn't a leap either.

Tech Shuffle, Electric Limp, Gadget Half-Step

SentinelOne makes YouTube delete Bsides vid 'cuz it didn't like the way bugs were reported


When will YouTube stand up for creators?

I may be naive in asking this because I don't create anything myself but if taking this video down was genuinely for bullshit reasons and the guy lost ad revenue due to it being unavailable can SentinelOne not be forced to pay for lost revenue? I don't want to give bad suggestions but (bad suggestion incoming) what if any takedown claims had to be backed up with a chunk of change for any potential earnings lost while the claim is investigated? The larger the organisation requesting it, the bigger the % of change put down.

I'm not blind to legitimate copyright claims and know the volume of them in any given day must be insanely high but the current method of yanking all content just because someone sends in a claim is open to so much abuse.

Facebook Messenger backdoor demand, bail in Bitcoin, and lots more


"Android gets low-key security update"

"Those with Pixel devices should already have the update – for everyone else, it will be up to your device vendor and carrier, where appropriate."

For everyone else, just avoid using those features / doing whatever it is that's now exploited until you buy a new phone. I've used Android since release and unless / until Google makes it a requirement or make it so the base Android can be updated directly by them it will always be a problem. I like that this is the route they are kind of heading down but it's never going to be soon enough.

Your Twitter app stopped working? Here's why


"See this less often"

Doesn't know why people prefer third-party apps to their native app? Has he used it often? I can think of at least three things that remind me why I don't bother any time I pull up the app.

1. Suchandsuch liked this tweet

2. Suggestions of people to follow

3. In case you missed it

I don't care who likes what. It is not what I am using the app for, it serves no purpose to me or anyone with a will of their own. I won't magically like it because someone I know does and more often than not if I did it would just be creepy.

I follow who I want to already. I don't need suggestions based on whatever flawed algorithm Twitter uses for this tripe.

In case I missed it? This is nearly as bad as the follower suggestions. I DO NOT CARE. If I missed it then I missed it. I won't suddenly panic and go rush to the Twitter feed to make sure I didn't miss more of their wonderful updates.

Oh, a late but relevant addition to all of these. "See less often" - how about a new option? "Don't show me this shit ever again." Additionally, why did Twitter move the "see less often" option to the bottom with "see more often" now at the top? I know why and it's very obvious. Most people would not look and just hit the first one because that was the old behaviour.

If anyone working at Twitter can't already see these very obvious issues with their official app I would suggest they see a proctologist to assist in removing their head from the darkness.

HTC U12+: You said we should wait and review the retail product. Hate to break it to you, but...



After following HTC since just before Android and the T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream launched I have been frustrated by a large number of things but the most consistent complaint I have had is with their cameras. No amount of reinventing the wheel (large pixels) was going to change the image quality and their best has only ever been average at best. When I read this review and the praise heaped on the camera it felt like a "Hallelujah!" moment.

The gesture thing can be disabled according to the review and the sides used as they were in the U11+. If that's true then why such a final rating of "can't recommend"? Out of all the features, they've tried to put forward at least this one can be disabled. If I'm wrong on that then this would be the ultimate "almost" phone for me. Whether or not they'll be around to offer their hopeful two years of updates depends on uptake. I don't see that being fantastically more than the past years regardless of how good the overall experience might be in the end.

Google freezes Android P: Get your shoes on, tire-kicking devs


"Google warns that battery life "may be regressed" in this release."

Need a lot more information on this. Why? What is causing a worse experience? How has it been allowed into a release? Is it a rare thing or likely to affect everyone using it? They can't make statements like that and not elaborate.

BlackBerry Key2: Clickier, nippier, but how many people still want a QWERTY?


Give me a slider and I'll be happy

I may be alone but I really like the sliding form factor like the HTC Dream / G1 and Motorola Droid / Milestone. Unfortunately, with the perceived desire for ultra-thin phones (I know nobody that has ever said "my phone is too thick") I think it's unlikely we'll see them any more outside of a custom project. I don't like the keypad being visible all the time the way it is on this but it's good to see at least one company still pushing out QWERTY keypads.

Apple MacBook butterfly keyboards 'defective', 'prone to fail' – lawsuit


"The company, something of a lawsuit magnet because of its deep pockets"

I think it's more likely to be because of their failure to address clear problems and blatant design flaws unless they are hit with a lawsuit. It isn't one or two people kicking up a fuss over nothing when there are numerous examples of the issues but it looks like it will take this lawsuit to force Apple to deal with it properly. $700 to replace / repair a keyboard due to their own bad design choices is not a solution.

Thin for the sake of being thin is pointless. If it breaks from normal use it isn't fit for the purpose it was designed for and should go back to the design stage until it is fit for purpose. I don't understand why Apple continues to get legions of fans when they're effectively selling people products that they know will break and then charging them extortionate amounts to repair them.

How could the Facebook data slurping scandal get worse? Glad you asked


"We are currently investigating the app, and if myPersonality refuses to cooperate or fails our audit, we will ban it.”

That'll teach them!

Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK


@Anonymous South African Coward

Why emulate? I have a Microdrive that's virtually unused still. I say virtually because I received the Spectrum as a Christmas gift one year and there was no way to attach it so it was either lost or was bought without knowledge of what it was. There's even a small disk inside its plastic case and I have no idea what, if anything, is on it.

Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down


Faulty memory? No, this never happened

"Remember the nasty, plasticky "budget" iPhone that burned a $549 hole in your pocket?"

I don't remember that happening at all. I remember the phone. I remember still being an Android user and buying an Android phone. I also don't remember changing to use dollars in the UK.

A lot of assumptions from such a short sentence.

I got 99 secure devices but a Nintendo Switch ain't one: If you're using Nvidia's Tegra boot ROM I feel bad for you, son


Console EOL = unlock to allow custom firmware?

I'm curious to see what others would think of this idea. If a console is EOL with no new games produced and only second-hand games as the way to purchase ones you don't own, would it be unreasonable to have the manufacturer release an optional firmware that allows users to do whatever they want? You would have express conditions to install this firmware, among them the fact you lose the ability to play your existing games, and couldn't do it accidentally. You could also go back to the last official release to play normal games again.

The manufacturer wouldn't be making any money on old consoles or games and it would only benefit those who want to do more with a product they own or could get relatively cheaply. Anyone wanting to hack a system to get free games will find a way to do that regardless. I didn't give pros / cons a lot of thought but I see manufacturers as never doing it because it gives them nothing in return. Maybe they could charge a nominal fee for the firmware? $10 to unlock your Switch (when it's finished) for whatever you want to do with it?

HTC Vive Pro virtually stripped. OK, we mean actually stripped. (It’s a VR headset, geddit?)


Re: Aside from actua VR games..

Using BigScreen or a similar program you effectively replicate an environment with a screen you can resize at will and move closer or further to suit you. BigScreen even has the ability to invite others over so you could have other people virtually there watching a movie with you. Granted, it has limited appeal but to me VR has never been about massive changes and has been more about a massive step in immersive experiences.

Elite: Dangerous is a good example. I've docked ships many times with a normal screen and always thought the dock entrances were pretty small to the point I've scraped the roof / sides many times. When I tried it with VR it was a totally different experience because suddenly the sense of scale was 1:1 and I saw just how massive this dock entrance was on the station along with everything else. That appeals to me a lot in games - adding a deeper level of being in the game than anything else to date.


Re: Top Failure is MS Windows 10.

"Sorry, but £500+ is too expensive for this stuff. Even adjusting for inflation, that's more than the console, every controller and every game I've bought for a console, for every console I did ever own in my life."

If you haven't spent more than £500 on consoles, peripherals and games in your life then I would say you are not the target market. What you spend is your choice but in terms of total cost that is not a lot at all.

Looking to nab Nvidia's GeForce chips? You need cash and patience


@csecguy44 I did not know this and when I asked them to refund the delivery cost they flat out refused. The order was placed on a Thursday morning so should've been here by Friday. It wasn't so I rang to discover the mess they had done. It was going to be delivered Monday which was technically next working day but as it was their mistake I thought they would happily refund the delivery. No chance. With that I have flatly refused to buy from them ever again.


Set a reminder for one year: don't buy any second-hand nVidia graphics cards as they're likely close to being burned out from mining.


Yeah. I highly doubt you'll see nVidia in any Apple products for quite a while after the problems they had in a few laptops requiring those long running repair extension programs. It's currently a competition of who can be the most stubborn so I'm eager to see if they can beat my record of around 16 years with Scan for failing to honour a next day delivery order that *they* screwed up and still charged me for next day delivery despite delivering it 3 days later.

Windows 10 Springwatch: See the majestic Microsoft in its natural habitat, fixing stuff the last patch broke


Windows updates = old feature hunt

I can't be the only one tired of having to go through additional steps just to do basic things like adjust power settings or see what speed my WiFi is connected. Everything I want to do in basic terms feels like it was hidden behind a DuplOS version with the real settings I want to get at still available on the Control Panel.

How long will it be before they remove the Control Panel and there is no easy way to find what you want? I've used Windows 10 more or less since it came out and each new iteration sees more and more pushed to the flat look they love so much. I hadn't considered it before but I'm at tipping point now where I may end up going back to Windows 7 even though I will have to reinstall everything. It'd be worth it for the extra control I have over things. I don't need babying or handholding yet that's how every Windows 10 user is treated.

Windows 11 = Windows 7 - 10 please. Failing that just use give me Windows 7 with actual improvements from 10 and nothing more.

We sent a vulture to find the relaunched Atari box – and all he got was this lousy baseball cap


Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

@Prst. V.Jeltz

Mike, it's ok to use your real name. Tell us the truth now and get it all out.

In all seriousness why bother holding an event where you can shed no light on the problems or give any worthwhile information? Why was it delayed? Has that problem been fixed? When can it be expected? For someone in charge of it to know so little would tell me this is something to be avoided if I was even remotely interested. Which I'm not.

Brit retailer Currys PC World says sorry for Know How scam


Decent experience

I see all these horror stories and I've heard them over the years but the few times I've gone to PC World (as it was then) I knew what I wanted, what it cost online and got it. There was sometimes mention of warranty extension which I declined but the store never pushed anything.

In fact I had one of the most "wow" positive experiences when buying a laptop. It was £800 for a pretty decent spec, sales guy knew which of a few had the newer CPU and it fit my budget so I took it. I don't remember why but I was looking at their site and saw the same laptop being offered with £100 cashback less than a week later. I had nothing to lose so went into the shop and pointed out I'd bought it just a week prior and asked if they could do anything about it. They refunded the original charge, redid the sale with a new receipt and printed out the thing I needed for the £100 cashback which I later got.

Is my experience unique? I doubt it but I do know that they have a terrible reputation for all the things in the comments here. I just wanted to show that although rare there are exceptions.

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?


Re: Dates

I always thought it funny that Americans use MM/DD except for "4th July" when they celebrate Independence Day....... by using the format we use here (UK).

Fresh docs detail 10-year link between Geek Squad informers and Feds


I do wonder what would happen if someone has an album on their computer of their kids and a few of them happen to be in some state of undress. Whether it's showing them playing in a bath with bubbles all over their head or covered in mud looking grumpy because you stopped them. Do they get their life turned upside down by someone only wondering what they will spend their 'reward' on?

I have no idea why you'd have pics of your own kids naked as I don't have any but those at least seem plausible to me.

Ofcom to probe Three and Vodafone over network throttling


Curious about Three's tethering

I'm looking forward to seeing what (if anything!) happens because there are very strict limits on tethering for me and once that allowance is used I have to wait until my next billing cycle. The limit is about 4GB a month and I rarely ever need it but if my home broadband dies as happened recently then I'm reliant on that until it's fixed.

Do I want to use tethering constantly? No. However, I would like to be able to use it without thinking, "Can I watch this video or will I run out of data on my 'unlimited' plan?" It's only made more absurd because YouTube on my phone is 4K and there are supposedly no limits on that use while it's only 1080P on my laptop which must be monitored so I don't impact others with my usage.

Java EE renamed 'Jakarta EE' after Big Red brand spat


"The renaming became necessary after Oracle moved Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation, a shift it hoped would see developers become more engaged with the project."

Nothing says "we support and endorse this" quite like withholding the rights to use the name of the product upon which it's based. In their defense they really do like money.

Icon = Oracle looking for cash

UK peers: Is this what you call governance of facial recog tech? A 'few scattered papers'!


@Adrian 4 - That'll never catch on. Imagine how empty Parliament would be with such laws!

Sony Xperia XZ2: High-res audio but no headphone jack


Re: Sony doesn't care about mobile phones

A massive 11.1mm thick and weighing 198g! Those are not negatives to me. I like my phones to feel solid and the weight isn't going to cause me to slump to one side. How is 3180mAh measly?


Expensive? Compared to what?

"Where is it going wrong? One of the issues is that the high-end Xperias are expensive for consumers"

Judging by the prices shown for the previous year's phones I have to question how these are expensive when you have Samsung and Apple fighting to push the 'normal' flagship price to about £800. £550 is where most flagship phones have been for a few years now.

Is it expensive? In general and compared to a mid-range phone or a little known brand yes but for a top-tier well known brand it's priced around what I'd consider reasonable.

RIP, Swype: Thanks for all the sor--speec--speedy texting


Downhill with Nuance

When Nuance took over I was prepared for bad things. The first feature to go / change was one I relied on a lot. It was the loop gesture that confirmed you wanted two of whatever letter you were looping on. I know it's still there but in the past it was the clear distinction between "lose" and "loose" because if I didn't loop I got lose as the prediction.

Now I can still do the loop but even if I don't I will get the double letter prediction first almost exclusively. It's a small thing but it impacts on usability negatively. They could have made it a toggle but no they just removed it and went with the standard autocorrection method. It hasn't been the same since and I hate that because it was so good.

I've used Swype, SwiftKey, GBoard and non-swipe keyboard Fleksy. Fleksy is good but I got too lazy to type out messages one-by-one.

Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!


Didn't Adobe do this better already?

I seem to recall Adobe demonstrating what they referred to as Photoshop for voice (jokingly, or I thought they did) that basically did what this does but better? I know they had no finished product for it at the time but I'm surprised it's taken this long for anyone to do the same thing.

Looked it up and it is called Adobe VoCo. The cutting and pasting part of the demo seemed like what I'd expect cutting and pasting an audio sample to sound like. It wasn't natural. The way they generated voice to say what they wanted was a lot more impressive.

VoCo demo on YouTube

Microsoft ends notifications for Win-Phone 7.5 and 8.0


A lost opportunity

I've said a few times and I'll say it again - Windows Phone is / was a good platform. The bad thing is how Microsoft treated it. Instead of regular updates adding features that people wanted they treated it like Windows with big updates once a year at best. Early in Android's life they iterated quickly with features coming thick and fast and I really feel if they'd done similar that it would have had wider adoption.

The UI took a little getting used to but it was clean, quick and suffered none of the normal slowdown or jittery scrolling I'd associate with iOS and Android at the time. It's almost criminal how badly they failed with this but that's Microsoft for you. It probably didn't help that they effectively released an OS that was a dead-end with no upgrade path for phone owners in WinPho 7. Any early adopters were basically screwed in a massive way for giving it a chance. Yes, their phones still worked but most new features were only available to WinPho 8 devices.

I will miss the potential it brought with a fresh take on things. I will not miss how badly Microsoft handled it and failed users, developers and the OS by treating it like Windows in almost every way.