* Posts by John Sykes

10 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Aug 2007

Virgin Media admits broadband upgrade 'confusion'

John Sykes

Virgin Broadband Upgrade

I just ordered the upgrade from XL BB to XXL BB and subsequently received a letter which listed all of the services I take. This included the new XXL BB showing at £45 per month. Since my current XL BB is charged at £37.00 per month, this is an increase of £8.00, which I thought was reasonable. The actual net charge is unclear because my package also includes a monthly "Phone, TV and Broadband Saving" of £34.95 which remains the same after the BB upgrade. Wonder if I should call them!

Samsung takes the strain out of filming

John Sykes

Angled Lens

Nice idea, shame JVC beat them to it in 2005 with the Everio GZ-MC500 which effectively achieved the same result by dint of it's pivoting grip and screen. This was actually more flexible than the Samsung approach, since the grip/screen can be pivoted to about 45 degrees up and down for those low and overhead shots. Still, nice to see someone is thinking about ergonomics.

Battery boss says laptop power tech to drive most electric cars

John Sykes
Gates Horns

Great news, but ...

This is a great step forward. Does it also mean that we shall see American troops move out of the oil states to "protect" the battery producing countries?!

Japan gets cryptic timepiece

John Sykes

Think ahead

WIth a little training, you can do this in under a minute, so just add a minute to the time you calculate and, by the time you say it, you'll be near as dammit right!

Then again, after using this for some time, would you be able to read a normal watch?

Sharp claims record mobile fuel cell power density

John Sykes

Tiny, tiny power cells ... with tiny, tiny exhaust pipes

Never mind laptops and PDAs, surely this development could revolutionise power cells for electric vehicles. Much smaller and lighter than at present; less weight to lug around, so better economy; easily replaced - buy them in Halfords when needed. It's about time that a true break-through product such as this was produced. I'm really excited ...

Japan to tax MP3 players

John Sykes
Black Helicopters

I didn't know ...

... that Alistair Darling was on the board of the MBG! This would certainly be worthy of his current record and ... yes ...it could be another stealth tax on motorists with MP3s in their cars. I'm all for artists getting their due (assuming they would), but we all know that they wouldn't get a look-in on this. GET REAL!

Oz cops sound iPod road cross death warning

John Sykes

Here's a Solution ...

... let's set up a system where pedestrians must have insurance, same as motorists. It can even be 3rd party only, if they're not worried about their own injuries. For "walkman" users, it could be included with purchase as an annual fee. This would give pedestrians a financial incentive for being careful when crossing or walking on roads. It would also recompense entirely blameless drivers when they get dents (or worse) in their cars. To be fair, cyclists should also have to pay insurance premiums for similar reasons. I saw a guy the other day, riding fast on a racing-style bike, with earphones in, attached to a "walkman" strapped to his handlebars. If that was me, I'd want to hear what all us motorists were doing around me BEFORE I turned right across a following truck ... yes he did, but lucky for him the truck driver anticipated the move.

John Sykes

@Jeff Rowse

Sadly, Jeff, I think you're right. Several years ago, on her way to work, my wife was driving sedately through a recently built housing estate with grass verges at least 40 feet wide between road and houses on both sides. Except for one spot, where an old pub had been left at the roadside ... with an enclosed bus-shelter right outside. She knew the road well, but despite this still encountered a kid wearing a "Parka" (in June!) who walked straight out from behind the shelter. The hood was even more efficient than a "walkman" at obliterating his senses and he bounced off the front nearside of the car bonnet and wing. Fortunately for him ... and my wife ... there was an ambulance parked a little way up the road on the other side. The driver saw what happened and ran over to help. He gave my wife his card and said that he would be her witness to the fact that she was entirely blameless for the accident. The ambulance immediately took the kid to hospital, with a broken leg and bruising. My wife's insurance had to pay an emergency medical fee of £25 and, following the car repairs, they tried to reduce her NCB and collect an excess of £50. After a good deal of heavy correspondence from me, they relented on all of this. We moved the insurance cover shortly afterwards. Happily, the kid was OK and the Police never got involved, otherwise ... who knows what might have happened. And that was without a "walkman".

John Sykes

Aussie Rules - Jaywalking!

It's about time the problems of jaywalking pedestrians was addressed in the UK too. Drivers are always held to be responsible, unless there's a witness to say otherwise. Pedestrians have a responsibility to observe rules and common sense, for their own and everyone else's safety. If we all drove like we walk (especially pushing supermarket trollies) there would be sheer carnage on the roads!

'Portable' CD player puts MP3 into a spin

John Sykes

Has there been a timeslip ...

... to 1 April?!!