* Posts by Christopher Cowan

34 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

Christopher Cowan

The dual flash is innovative, effectively it is an auto-iso flash, something Nikon or Canon had never thought of doing. It is also something actually useful that people will appreciate.

I also read an article on the iBeacon technology which looks interesting and a useful alternative to NFC.

iPad baby baffled by paper magazine

Christopher Cowan

@ scorchio Colour blindness

Colour blindness occurs because of a problem on the X chromosome not because women look at colourful things more than men. Men have one X chromosome and women have two, the problem needs to occur on both X chromosomes in women that is why men are more likely to inherit colour blindness.

Five... great iPhone racers

Christopher Cowan

Asphalt 6

I quite like Asphalt 6, nice graphics and some tricky challenges plus you can get add ons for your car too which is nice. It does tend to drain the battery quite quickly though as do most graphic intensive games.

This Dianamania is a slur on Jobs

Christopher Cowan

If there was no Steve Jobs

A friend and I just had an album for our band Lulubelle III released on iTunes last week. We recorded and produced the music in Garageband, Used desktop publishing tools from Adobe to make the CD artwork, used iWeb to make a band website. Without Steve Jobs there would still be a closed monopoly for releasing music owned by the big labels, you'd pay thousands to go into a studio, pay hundreds to print companies using Linotype machines to make your album artwork and have no easy way to make a website. We have also used iMovie to make a few band videos. The core tools we use came as standard on a Mac. If Apple had not invested in Adobe there would be no computer based graphic design. By attending classes in calligraphy at Reed University he decided fonts were important to have on a computer. Too many focus on the last few years and forget that Apple from day one has been about forging liberal arts and technology to make creating something easy.

Apple admits scareware problem, at last

Christopher Cowan

I got the pop up yesterday

Looking through images of houses on Google I clicked on a picture of a house I liked and the browser turned into a bad facsimile of the Finder showing all sorts of infections overtaking the machine. I was asked to install MacProtector and it had downloaded the zip file file and asked for Admin password. Quick Cancel and in to the trash and problem sorted.

iPad 2? Let's be kind and call it iPad 1.5

Christopher Cowan

Garageband was very good in the podcast

I watched the keynote and the version of Garageband demoed was very impressive, they had smart instruments and used the accelerometer to change the sound of instruments, some very smart programming. It is an 8 track recording studio for £3. I dare say the improved A5 chip and video processing will make it run very smoothly. IMovie looked pretty good too.

PARIS concocts commemorative cocktail

Christopher Cowan

How about

Pan Galactic PARIS Blaster

App Store II: Steve Jobs sucks Mac's soul

Christopher Cowan

Apple HIG

Neither Kai's software nor Poser broke the Apple Human Interface Guidelines, Apple-S still saved files, Apple-O still opened files. Both had main interfaces different from the usual software at the time such as Adobe or Macromedia but it is not a breach of HIG. Apple bundled Soap with Macs at the time so cannot have been that upset. Furthermore Meta produced an OEM version of Soap 2 for Apple for OS 9 which had an interface complete with drop shadowed candy coloured buttons and the grey lines in the background dialogs that were just like the Aqua look that later appeared in OS X, though that version of Soap was the work of Little Kai, not Kai Krause.

Great white sharks menace Blighty

Christopher Cowan

Another Sun fake

The 2007 report in the Sun was a fake:


Is it possible that a Great White might be in Cornwall?


CIA used 'illegal, inaccurate code to target kill drones'

Christopher Cowan

blast radius


This article suggests a 200 ft (60 m) blast radius for a Mk82 bomb launched from a drone, I don't think being out by 42 ft (13 m) is going to make much difference.

Google tuts at gov caginess with Transparency Report

Christopher Cowan

Government interference

Had a look at the UK transparency report and the government has interfered with freedom by making 1343 data request and 48 removal requests. The government even used the courts to force Goggle to remove blogs and videos from YouTube! Or maybe it was people libeled or who had copyright material posted on YouTube who went to court because Google didn't want to act responsibly. Googles transparency might be more transparent if they gave the reasons why these items were removed.

Godly Aussie MP accused of being online 'smut' junkie

Christopher Cowan


"the long list of Christian evangelicals whose spirit proved to be all too willing"

This simile is wrong, it is whose flesh proved to be all too weak. If the spirit was all too willing he wouldn't have looked at the pr0n.

Solar plasma aurora storm ongoing debate

Christopher Cowan

Doubtful you'll see the aurora

People in US are seeing this because of the way the continent faces the magnetic pole. I doubt anyone in the UK will see it, have a look at the readings here and see how low they are


You can also use this map and cross reference the kp number (which is currently 2.67) and see it would need to be around 9 for anyone in Southern England to see it.


Here is the last polar orbit of the auroral oval http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/pmapN.html

Christopher Cowan

Another useful link


BBC news apps squeeze onto iPhone, iPad

Christopher Cowan

You need a licence for laptops on batteries and phones...

if you watch live TV. iPlayer is fine.


Flash bursts onto Android

Christopher Cowan
IT Angle

Battery life

So where are the benchmarks for battery life? Does it run all flash sites on the web? Does it crash? Being a tech site thought there might be some technical angle as well as churning another press release.

Apple's fresh Mac mini stripped naked

Christopher Cowan
Jobs Halo

RAM upgrades

"it's a good thing that easy DIY RAM upgrades are becoming common in Apple products"

Which difficult to upgrade Mac models are you referring to apart from the Mac Mini? The original iMac was a little tricky but not impossible. Adding RAM has always been straight forward on Macs.

The first Mac I added RAM to was a PowerMac 7600 in 1996 which involved pressing two buttons at the back of the case and sliding it off, and the RAM slots were unobstructed. No screws to undo, no hard disks to remove to get access to the RAM slots. G3/G4 PowerMacs had the the cool side door with the rally like D-ring to open to get access to the innards.

PC World gets almost-exclusive iPad deal

Christopher Cowan

PC World

I imagine PC World will have the iPad switched off, or password protected so you can't use it and if you ask to have a go with it will be told that it doesn't run Windows and there is no software for. That is what my local store does with all the iMacs. I tried to buy Snow Leopard there and they said they didn't stock it, although I was the third person who had asked for it. When I asked when it would be in stock they said they didn't know.

Adobe declares 'LOVE' for Apple

Christopher Cowan

Freedom to Price Gouge

Adobe forgot to mention the Freedom to charge twice as much for the Creative Suite here compared to the US. I think Adobe made their exchange rate calculations using a Flash app.

Christopher Cowan

Freedom to Innovate

Reminds me of Microsoft's Freedom To Innovate campaign which saw their employees wandering around wearing t-shirts with an American flag with the stars replaced by a PC. Same whinging mentality.

For a company who loves all platforms funny how Adobe killed FrameMaker on the Mac in 2004, a few years later made a Linux beta which they then refused to release. Apple still uses FrameMaker 6.0 for their technical documentation, have a look at the document properties in a recent user guide PDF.

Adobe are the lovely company who decided to only allow upgrades from the three previous versions of a product, used to be practically any previous product. Try getting a cross grade between platforms too.

Adobe gives up on the iPhone

Christopher Cowan


Is there not also the issue that as APIs are introduced one size fits all Flash apps will just not know about them and make the experience of these fast code apps less than ideal? Does CS5 produce apps that use the new multi-tasking APIs properly for instance?

Irish civil rights group takes aim at iPad launch

Christopher Cowan

Learning Irish

For those of you looking to learn Irish the BBC have some good free resources:


Steve Wozniak, your time is up

Christopher Cowan


Woz helped launch the PC industry, that's a big achievement, how many people can claim to have done something that has had such a big change on society? HP rejected the Apple I design when Woz tried to sell it to them, IBM didn't think there was a future in personal computers and neither company was exactly short of bright people. Very few people ever come up with two ideas that create such big changes. Furthermore his designs were elegant.

As for Woz going around and being happy, well more power to him, there are enough bad tempered miserable people in this world. Perhaps he should spend his time throwing chairs around rooms to make himself someone worthy of your admiration Rik? Not one of your better articles.

Ads watchdog underclocks reseller's 9.2GHz AMD CPU claim

Christopher Cowan

@Steve 6 OSes and HDD sizes

Snow Leopard uses the new fangled HDD measurements when calculating the size of the disk.

BMW to ride in with 115-mile range e-scooter?

Christopher Cowan
Thumb Up

C1 was an interesting bike

The C1 was a good commuter bike, kept you reasonably dry no matter how bad the rain, was pretty nippy, could cruise along nicely on the motorway and the topbox would comfortably hold three bags of shopping. I also like having heated grips in winter, ABS and knowing I'd live if some idiot decided to crash into me.

The bike wasn't perfect, riding in high winds was interesting, the height of the bike acted like a sail, it was expensive and having no garage found that it could be reluctant to start on a cold winter's morning.

Apple plays catch-up with new iPhone features

Christopher Cowan

Keynote is worth a look

Just watched the keynote on the iPhone 3.0 OS, you can see how cut and paste is implemented as well as some interesting ideas of what the new OS can do, the uses as a medical device were interesting. http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/0903lajkszg/event/index.html is the link.

BTW background apps on other phones reduced the standby battery life by 80% whereas the push model on the iPhone decreases standby battery life by 23%.

Dell MacBook Air Adamo officially launched

Christopher Cowan

Adamo is great value

Adamo Macbook Air

1.81 kg 1.3kg

1.2 C2D 1.6 C2D

£1645 £1271 with normal HD, £1614 with 128 MB SSD

Oh I forgot you get the squiggles of a bored 14 year old on the silver Adamo and a teak effect look on the black model. Tasteful.

AT&T prices up PAYG 3G iPhones

Christopher Cowan

O2 PAYG prices

I saw the O2 PAYG web page last week during the limited time it was available, they looked to have launched a new look website and must have accidently updated the 'wrong' iPhone pages. £299 for 8GB and £359 for 16G phones were the price, plus Wi-Fi data plan free for first six months then £10 a month bolt on to any PAYG voice tariff, so effectively £20 a month for a fully functioning PAYG iPhone.

Apple ships Air

Christopher Cowan
Thumb Up

Ideal for people travelling

I have a Sony Z600 which I got in 2002 which has no internal floppy or CD drive, the fuss people made about no internal floppy drive then! It has a battery that lasted 1.5 hours unless you bought the long life version that was a ton weight. Had a 12" screen, which dimmed when running on battery power and was hard to see in sunlight and a non quite full size keyboard, which the letters rubbed off after 14 months. For someone who was in airports and hotels twice a month it was so much better than some Dell luggable. You soon start to feel those extra couple of pounds being hauled around airport lounges so anything that lightens the load is welcome.

I sometimes brought the external CD drive and usually put it in the hold luggage, most times left it in the office. Used the ethernet about twice a year.

The MacBook Air would be ideal for me, a full sized keyboard, 13" screen which is really bright, 5 hour battery life and a light latop. I don't care the DVD drive is external, or that there is a dongle for ethernet, I'll just use Wi-F in the hotel for the Internet. I like the multi-touch trackpad. You can dual boot Windows and OS X which is nice option too. It is horses for courses, this is a niche product for a small market segment.

Apple to charge $20 for iPod Touch update

Christopher Cowan

Charges for features

Apple have started to charge for all updates which introduce features as opposed to bug fixes. They say that this is due to generally accepted accounting principles for revenue recognition. The 802.11n $1.99 update for the computers was the first to do this in January 2007. Blame the accountants.

Steve Jobs' Macworld Expo spiel spied on web?

Christopher Cowan
Thumb Down

Real Mac Pro specs

Apple released the Mac Pro refresh last week so the real specs for the base model are:

Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Harpertown” processors

2GB memory (800MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC)

ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics with 256MB memory

320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive1

16x double-layer SuperDrive

$2,799 is the price.

The only thing right in the 'keynote' is the Superdrive speed.

Scottish? You're drinking too much

Christopher Cowan


So more than 4 units is excessive and harmful? An average unit of alcohol for wine is 1.6, so two small glasses is your limit, drink half a bottle and you are going to die from your exessive drinking.

Why is the government allowing 75cl bottles of wine to be sold, they have 9.6 units of alcohol in them! They should ban them immediately.

PC superstore refuses to take sack in hand

Christopher Cowan

PC World

PC World "value" the Apple brand - is that why at my local store they have password protected screensavers running on their iMacs (the Mac minis are usually switched off along with the laptops). It is certainly a novel way to help sell products.

BBC, ITV, Channel 4 plot single broadband TV player

Christopher Cowan


So the TV companies "would allow legal broadband viewing from one programme" I think you'll find that is one program unless Emmerdale is how we are all going to access the Internet from now on.