* Posts by tebiru

30 publicly visible posts • joined 29 May 2007

Games console 'killer' powers Avatar 3D power package


Not 'replacing' consoles...

Yes, consoles have other uses, and I don't think services like this would necessarily replace the machines themselves - at least in the short term. Rather, they would provide an alternative to forking out another £3-400 on having the latest tech client-side when the PS4 comes out. Don't forget, console makers often make a loss on the machines - especially the first few years. There is a strong incentive to shift to this model.

To elaborate, Sony could develop an OnLive-style service playable via a simple firmware update on the PS3. Kutaragi spoke of the potential for streaming games many years ago (long before OnLive came about) using Sony's LocationFree TV streaming as an example - it's just he was so cryptic about it that no one really got the implications of what he was saying. This is something that, once fast and truly reliable broadband networks are finally in place, is coming to ALL consoles.

Sure Signal not so sure



What they need to do is allow all WiFi-capable phones route calls over any pre-registered network when it is in range. The only reason I can think of for them *not* doing this yet is that the proportion of phones currently WiFi-capable is still relatively small. That should change as smart phones become more widespread.

Eurocrats mandate maximum charge for data roaming

Thumb Up

It's getting there...

A few networks (T-Mobile and O2 off the top of my head) offer Europe 'add-ons'. Eg. with T-Mobile, for an extra fiver a month you get X Europe minutes added to your allowance (it's not much, but still cheaper than pay-as-you-use).

There's a way to go yet, but there's been a marked move in that direction, especially since these new roaming limits came into force.

O2 revamps Sim-only tariffs for end-of-contract iPhone owners



I've done it a number of times on O2's simplicity tariff without a hitch. How do they know if you're tethering or not? (I know technically you're not 'allowed', but that's not the same as 'can't'.)

I think as long as you do it within reason - i.e. not trying to download films with it - you can get away with it without paying this extra charge.

I've been on the 600 mins 20 / month plan, but thinking of switching to T-Mobile since they offer unlimited data deals from 10 / month without having to sign up for 12 months.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge


What you need one of those for?

I think there's a distinct lack of optical drive-less 13.3ers, particularly ones with proper processors. Most software can (legitimately) be downloaded, and same goes for films nowadays. So what use are they anymore? If it helps make laptops smaller, lighter and cheaper, be done with them, I say.

Suits 2.0 will survive BBC's 'purge'


Damned if you do...

Let's face it: this article would have been written no matter what the content of the review was. The BBC is always going to draw massive criticism simply due to its funding model.

Which is probably why it's so brilliant. Sure, it's not subject to the market pressures of the commercial networks, but it IS subject to every other kind of pressure. And I defy you to find a better public broadcaster in the world than the BBC. I've lived in Japan, where the national broadcaster - NHK - has a similar license fee-style funding model. But beyond the news and the odd decent traditional samurai drama, it is absolutely *awful*. It's like TV from 50 years ago, and most Japanese people watch anything but NHK.

The BBC is a real global oddity in being a genuinely popular, innovative public broadcaster. For all the stick it gets for following the latest web 2.0 fads, would you really want it any different? Would you prefer it to be like NHK, making the odd decent drama but otherwise being utterly irrelevant to modern society? No boundary-pushing documentaries (the recent, brilliant, Virtual Revolution, for instance) and comedies (Bellamy's People), no BBC website, no iPlayer?

All that said, please do continue criticising. It's probably what keeps the BBC brilliant. Just be careful you don't kill it in the process.

Gmail Labs' experiments: What's in, what's out?



One thing that's been sorely missing, and that I miss about Outlook, is auto-correct. Surprised Google hasn't added this yet.

Google eyes hypegasm fuel cells for 'whole data center'


So, basically the opposite of the 'cloud' movement

The advantages of which are reliability (data always backed up), convenience (data available anywhere), and economies of scale (processing power only 'rented' as needed). Now why, pray tell, would we want to be going in the opposite direction for power generation?

Apparently, the Bloombox may 'in some cases' be cheaper than the grid. In some cases? For something requiring such a radical change in infrastructure as this, and given the high initial costs, it needs to be *significantly* cheaper *all* the time. Otherwise what's the point? If a power station goes down, you'll still get power to your home, it'll just come from somewhere else. If your 'Bloombox' goes down? And if the grid always has to be there for backup, then there go the cost-savings for the energy companies (talked up by this venture cap geezer).

I'm a relative tech optimist, but this strikes me as a classic solution chasing a problem. Hopefully it'll find a more suitable problem to solve at some point (because the tech is admittedly nifty).

Apple iPhone tops 2009 smartphone sales



The similarity with Nintendo is striking, and has become increasingly so. Nintendo, in the years between the Super Nintendo and the Wii, had among the smallest market shares in the games industry, but has nearly always been - by quite a distance - the most profitable. All the while, its rivals slugged it out over meaningless 'market share' at the expense of their profit margins. (Nintendo's platform is also the most closed, and like Apple's, the most simple and user-friendly. Funny, that.)

In any case, while Apple appears content with the low-volume, fat-profit strategy for now, I'd argue it won't be long before they start expanding the range, iPod-style, to hit all segments of the market. Given how world + dog wants an iPhone but can't afford/isn't prepared to fork out for one at current pricing, I'd wager we've only seen a hint of Apple's future dominance of the mobile industry.

MPs bash broadband tax


Country's interest?

Why is it "in the country's interests to maintain a stable rural population"?

I currently live in a rural area, and I pay a bit more for my rather rubbish broadband than I used to when I lived in a city. But I recognise the extra costs in deploying broadband in sparsely populated areas, and I don't see why others should subsidise my choice to live in a rural area.

If you want fast Internet, either pay for it yourselves or move somewhere else.

Sony Ericsson snubbed Google over Nexus One


Well, that was a missed opportunity

Prime case of pride getting in the way of progress - could've worked brilliantly for both sides. Sony Ericsson makes about the best non-Apple hardware, but suffers from poor brand awareness. A G-branded SE device could've been a huge hit, and I'm not surprised Google went to SE before HTC.

SE is hardly in brilliant shape at the moment either. Bit stupid of them to pass this up.

Google Buzz - Gmail mod for the Tweetbook set


My memory may be failing me, but...

...I distinctly remember, back when Facebook started getting big, talk of social networking sites working towards some kind of common standard so that they can communicate with one another. Twitter and others seem to be quite open, but I've yet to see Facebook stuff feeding into anything else. Perhaps they feel their dominant position means they don't have to? I smell an anti-trust case somewhere along the lines...

Because, until all of these services start fully communicating with eachother, there is not a hope in hell of anyone with years of friends, photos and other content on Facebook suddenly upping sticks to anywhere else.

There's one or two things I like the look of in Buzz (the photo app looks much better than Facebook), so I'd like to take advantage of the better interface. But there's no way I'm bothering with anything else until standards are set and I can migrate easily to another service. I suspect many others would feel the same.

PS - for all the whiners: it's turned off by default (I don't plan to use it), and there's no indication at this stage that they're going to suddenly force it upon everyone.

Google tries to quietly trample on Apple's toes


So what?

This article misses the point. Google has been reluctantly pushed into releasing a phone as a mere promotional device for Android. They clearly never wanted to do this, but because no single device has ever stood out to sing the praises for the platform, the big G has been forced to do it themselves.

What we have here is little more than a dressed-up, G-endorsed HTC phone. It is not Google attempting to take the iPhone's crown. It's part of a long, drawn-out attempt to take the phone OS crown. As a mere means to an end, whether the Nexus alone is 'as successful' as the iPhone is far less important than whether Android itself is ultimately successful.

Googlephone debuts Jan. 5, says everyone but Google



VAT alone will push it to 400. American prices don't include sales tax.

Given the weakness in the pound over the past year, Britons have generally been getting a good deal with consumer electronics.

Google flirts with new-look home page

Paris Hilton


What a bunch of drama queens you lot are!

Google reinvents network computing



"[Today] the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web" claims the official release, which is clearly bollocks, but engaging bollocks none the less.


I think this reaction is bollocks, the kind of transparent bollocks attempting to sound cynically cool.

Windows - in its essential functionality, not its brass knobs - has barely moved an inch since the pre-web days, and my god does it show. Google seems to be offering something genuinely different - not to mention more suited to how we actually use our computers nowadays - to what we've had from Microsoft so far. The author does seem to recognise that - shame he didn't resist the quick, vain, meaningless cheap shot.

Carphone Warehouse buys Tiscali UK


Try Be

I'm not with them any more as I'm currently overseas, but if I were in the UK I'd go back to Be in a heartbeat. Very reliable after some initial early hiccups, and good, responsive, unpatronising customer service. I'm not sure if the O2 buyout has affected things since, but back in 2007 they were excellent.

Windows 7: MS plays a Jedi mind trick on netbook owners


Mr Galt and Hitler

Firstly, there's the world of difference between regulated capitalism and fascism, so you make your arguments look silly when you compare the EC's actions to Hitler.

As many others have pointed out, the 'free market' only works with certain conditions, one of those conditions being that the market in question is sufficiently competitive. When you have one company controlling 88% of the OS market, and virtually the entire PC market, it clearly does not fulfill one of the key conditions of a functioning competitive market. This is why Microsoft's actions need to regulated by something higher. And you're living in a dream world if you think consumer groups can meaningully perform that role - if they did, there wouldn't be any problems, and the EC wouldn't be taking Microsoft to court.

If it's your desire to live in world where giant corporations shaft the little man under the name of 'free will', then so be it. But comparing any alternative to that with the actions of Hitler is a bit much.

As for this silly 3 app limit, again, this 'free will' BS does not apply. Perhaps most reg readers will understand and obviously avoid anything so crippled, but what about, say, the average parent buying a computer for their child who might know nothing about computers? This is a despicable move by Microsoft, and I sincerely hope enough people realise that it backfires and people stand up and complain. The 'emerging markets' edition is similarly repugnant, and will only serve to encourage more piracy.

T-Mobile getting out of blighty?


Wonder what the problem is?

So why are T-Mobile less profitable than the other networks in the UK, I wonder?

Have to agree with all the comments on their customer service. I lost my SIM card while travelling abroad a few weeks ago, and they called me immediately on my overseas mobile to arrange postage of a replacement. Very friendly and helpful.

T-Mobile pushes consumer mail


I have the Gmail app...

...and turned on the 'Notify me when I have new email' option, but I have yet to get one alert, after a month of using it on my W890i. I wonder why?

Brits decline to 'think outside the box'


Just to inject some balance into this...

It's not the phrases themselves that are the problem, it's how you use them. A lot of them are quite convenient and make sense when used appropriately and in the right context. Where people should object is when they're used purely for vanity. But it's wrong to say that the concepts themselves are meaningless.

Dell unveils 12in Vista-based notebook-not-netbook


Currency craziness

Bear in mind the Japanese price was probably set before the currency markets went mental (the yen is extraordinarily high at the moment), so allowing for that volatility, the UK price may well be (considerably) cheaper than Japan.

Sainsbury's punts 'Innocent kids juices' for £2.99


Not to spoil a good joke...

...but that's not necessarily incorrect. You can say 'Innocent kids' as a single brand name. In which case an apostrophe isn't necessary between the 'kids' and 'juices'. For example, you would say 'Innocent juices' not 'Innocent's juices'.

Cloud computing hysteria paralyzed by bolt of reality


Off the top of my head, a few advantages:

1. Data can be accessed from anywhere, from a variety of devices.

2. Software upgrades a far more painless procedure - almost invisible to the user

3. Potential for processing power-intensive software to be accessed at very little cost vs buying the hardware yourself (particularly handy if your usage of said software is quite limited, or one-off)

And I'm sure there's plenty I've missed, but those are pretty compelling reasons, I'd say.

O2 sweetens its iPhone deals



The problem is that you can't even look at the website from abroad, not get the phones delivered. I currently live in Japan and was looking around for which phone to get when I return to the UK, only to find that the O2 site doesn't seem to like foreign visitors...

I wonder whose brilliant idea that was.

BBC's iPlayer launches Christmas Day


ugh, DRM

Why is it that BBC podcasts don't come riddled with this rubbish? What exactly is the difference - aside from one being audio, one being visual?

Given that license payers have already paid for their content, I fail to see the justification of this DRM, self-destruct system they've concocted.

Of course I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of those idiotic anti-BBC 'safeguards' imposed by the government to 'maintain competition'.

The mobile internet - always on our mind


I wish mobile companies would look at Japan...

They keep whining about spending so much on 3G and not being able to get people to use it - why don't they look at Japan, where mobile Internet browsing/email has been the norm for pretty much the past decade?

It's partly about tariffs. Data bundles are a fundamental part of tariffs in Japan - in the UK (and I gather the west in general), they're offered as an extra. The only exception I've seen to this is T-Mobile's web'n'walk.

It's also about ease-of-use and good software integration. Push email is by far the most commonly used function on a phone in Japan - text messaging became obselete a long time ago. The reason for this is similar to the tarriffs issue - email is not treated as an extra, but as one of the main functions of the phone. Thus it's as easy to get to and use as SMS.

You could argue it's a chicken/egg situation, where until people demand this kind of thing it's not going to happen... I just wish one of the networks would have the balls to bring about the (relatively simple) changes to tarriffs and software that could get things moving in the right direction - to the benefit of both consumers and networks.

Sony said to have sub-$100 PS2 in the pipeline



Sony is not a person, a person who can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Somehow I doubt the development of a cheaper PS2 in any way affects efforts to reduce costs for the PS3. There's nothing to stop them doing both at the same time.

The PS2 remains a nice little earner for Sony - and let's face it, they're hardly rolling in it at the moment...

Google Gears up for offline web apps


the difference, Dave...

...is that it's an *option* to access the data offline. Combined with the option to access such data from anywhere with an internet connection, this is pretty nifty. It removes one of the key advantages desktop apps still have over online apps.

Sony Ericsson W880i slim phone



It's a shame about the buttons. I can't stand buttons that dig into your fingers, or where you have to use your finger nails to push them properly.

If they released the same phone with a similar keypad to the W800, I'd grab it in a flash.