* Posts by Steve King

44 posts • joined 16 Aug 2007

iTunes fanbois outraged by Apple's sex-life quiz probe

Steve King


I know that prevention is better than cure, but it'd really help their security if they changed things so that once your account has been hacked and your computers de-authorised in favour of the hackers, you could either:

1. De-authorise their computers without waiting 12 months (yes, you do really have to wait that long)

2. Find some 'suspend this account' button to put a temporary halt on things while you got it sorted out

3. Find an email address or phone number to report the problem (if Amazon can, why can't Apple?).

4. Have a way to delete the account entirely as a last resort

Yes, it did happen to me, and my password was not as easy to guess as Joe Average's might be.

I changed the credit card and changed the account password to some random garbage and deleted iTunes from all my computers. I don't really miss it, but if they fix points 1-4 I might risk it again.

Publisher hails CS Lewis 'space trilogy' e-book debut

Steve King



As a Christian, there is a good chance you'd get the world view. It needs a bit more than that though to like these books.

I am a Christian, and I happen to love old sci-fi (think things like Foundation, where even 50 years of technological progress have made parts of the story obviously flawed) - it just adds to the escapist charm for me. As a result the first book worked well. An enjoyable light read.

The second is too bookish and abstract for me - I found it hard going.

The third is darker and deeper (not in absolute terms, just by comparison), and is probably the best of the three.

So although there is a story arc that covers all three, they read at times as if written by different people. Although I love a lot of C S Lewis' writing, I must admit that I find these three a real mixed bag.

If you decide to give them a go, I hope you enjoy them!

Apple Oz offers refunds for confused 4G iPad owners

Steve King

Man in the street

I appreciate that if you are one of the tiny number of people who surf IT web sites you will know about the problem already, but that is no excuse not to protect the interests of non experts.

We rely on advertising regulators to protect non-experts in other areas so why "buyer beware" when dealing with Apple?

New iPad: The only review roundup you'll ever need

Steve King

Retina screen?

Didn't Apple say it had to be over 300ppi to be a retina screen when the iPhone4 came out?

Anyway, serious question from someone who would like to know: How much difference does the resolution make when viewing HD1080 output? Surely there is a mismatch on every other pixel? I'm asking as lots of reviewers cite the quality when watching films as a particular strength of the screen.

Death of IE6 still greatly exaggerated, says browser hit squad

Steve King


Most corporate IT would not cave in if the users got locked out of these sites - even Google search. They would just define it as 'not required for the user's job function' and close the support call - even if the user works in a role not understood by anyone in IT.

Yes, it does keep happening to me.....

Samsung outsold Apple in world smartphone arena

Steve King

iPhone price

Not sure that the iPhone should be compared to SGSii or GNex. It is a nice enough phone but the specs are probably closer to something like the HTC Desire S.

A quick Amazon check gave me £262 for the HTC Desire S and £485 for the IPhone 4s. I don't know the price the manufacturers sell them to Amazon for, but I expect the price ratio to be roughly the same.

Even allowing for the Apple product having more memory, this is why Apple can report higher profits. They sell a decent mid-range smartphone at a high-end price.

Child labour, lost wages uncloaked by Apple factories audit

Steve King

Fair dues to Apple. I've not been a fan in the past but I'm feeling positive towards them today. It's not perfect, but at least they have done something.

Fingers crossed they keep it up and shame others into action (yes, HTC and Samsung, I'm thinking of you).

EE eyes up £400m payday at spectrum auction

Steve King

They need all the help they can get....

I've had a T-Mob handset for three years, my wife had had Orange for 10 years. We've both been reasonably content, although there are places in the house where she has a bad signal.

Now it is EE I get no signal at work (it is a basement, but it is 200m from the Bank of England and it used to be fine) and we both keep getting dropped off the network during the day despite both working in central London.

I can live without everything everywhere, but I'd like to make phone calls somewhere. Zero chance of signing another contract with them when this one is up in a few months.

Archos G9 101 8GB Android tablet

Steve King

iPad comparison

Sorry to feed the trolls, but this won't sell to those who would otherwise buy iPads (and vice versa).

This is a £250 tablet, with a £50 upgrade to 3g if you want it. The equivalent iPad is £499 (plus the cost of adding things like adaptors for reading SD cards).

I got the Archos 80 G9 (saving another £50 compared with the 10" model). I compared it with a friends iPad2 last week, and I could certainly do more of what I want to do with the Archos than I would be able to do with the iPad, unless I was prepare to shell out more money for software and pay for (and carry around) a bag of wires and adaptors.

So for me, I spent £280 all in against what I estimate would have been around £600 for an iPad2 and the required bits. Out in the real world, that difference will feed my family for 2-3 weeks.

We don't choose between an Apple product and another one. The Apple product is not something that we consider, in the same way that I wouldn't bother to test drive a BMW M5 if I want to replace my Ford Galaxy.

This isn't flame bait - if you are wealthy, have limited commitments and can live with the restrictions, you go ahead and buy the Apple device. But when I read a review of a £200-300 tablet, I don't care how it compares with an iPad at twice the price - it is irrelevant - I just need to know how it compares to other similarly priced tablets.

To answer an earlier comment, I personally wouldn't choose a secondhand iPad, given the number of friends who have had to throw 1-2 year old iThings away following battery problems. If you have had better luck, then I hope it continues.

Google tablet to tackle Kindle Fire not iPad

Steve King

@AC 13.27

I believe that Apple have gone for doubling the resolution in each direction compared to their current offerings.

Presumably this will simplify the use of existing apps while new ones are written to take account of the additional resolution (but this is just me guessing so be nice!)

Samsung strokes big bulb that'll keep going for decades

Steve King


I've used a few different GU10 LED ligths over the last 2-3 years - most of the house has LEDs now.

I have had to replace eight failed ones in that time (out of 30 with widely varying usage) - not very impressive, but I'll live with it.

What really confuses is that some evenings I seem to get massively more output from the lights than I do on others. To the extent that one evening I may need all nine 3W GU10s in the bedroom on and still be squinting, but another evening I may only need half of them on and feel it is quite bright enough. My wife and kids also confirm the effect.

Any ideas why gratefully received!

(oh, and if you are buying, check the colour temperature - it makes such a difference to the effect you get)

Farewell then, Sony Ericsson

Steve King

Probably before your time....

I've also had a few Sony/SE phones - I loved the P910 but kept wanting it to be faster with data, and the camera was hopeless. The wife and I had matching T68is for a while (I still have a clip on camera if anyone is interested?..... thought not)

Probably my favourite was a J7 with the fantastic jog wheel. Eventually handed to my sister it lasted at least 8 years before she managed to slam a car door on it. Most design (naturally) favours right handed people, but that phone was perfect for a leftie as the thumb sat perfectly on the wheel.

Ah, the power of nostalga!

Samsung shows second second-gen 7in Galaxy Tab

Steve King

Lawyer Bait?

Cue lawyers everywhere trying to Photoshop half and iPhone and half an iPad together to prove Apple made 7" tablets first......

Compaq had better watch out - it's only a matter of time before Apple lawyers target the Jornada 720 and Photoshop out the keyboard (hey - I was just thinking that I still miss my 720 which I stopped using when the battery died and was too expensive to replace. Maybe Apple can sue them for thinking of that first as well?)

MS to WinXP diehards: Just under 3 more years' support

Steve King

End user problems...

Ok so I am an end user and not an admin, so no doubt this does not count for much, but here are the real-world issues I face with our XP/Office 2003 setup:

1. All our clients are using Office 2007/2010 - continual file format conversions, checking that nothing is lost in translation by taking the files home to check on my own PC etc (one really strange conversion error affected a financial bid - if I had not spotted it we would have lost as much money as paying for the whole firm to have new IT every year until 2020)

2. I regularly have to review hundreds or thousands of photos. Dear IT guys won't let me install a better viewer, so I have to open them one at a time. Hours and hours of work, about once per month on average. Vista and Win 7 both have a large size preview that (most of the time) would avoid the need for an individual preview. I would save at least half a day a month just with that one feature (and before you say it, filmstrip view takes in excess of 30 seconds per file to preview on this hardware - not a lot of help with 1000 files to view!)

3. Most users here have Vista or Win7 and Office 2007 or 2010 at home. Sadly they can't use the skills they have spent their own time and effort learning when in the office. There is a regular background hum along the lines of "why can't this POS do this when my machine at home can?"

4. I am so sick of doing presentations using Office 2003 templates - they look so stale now.

5. Video in Powerpoint 2003 is a dog

Oh, and to the comments about speed etc, at home I have a 2007 mid range HP desktop, a 2011 home assembled desktop, a 2010 netbook and a 2005 laptop. All are running Win7HP and Office 2010 Pro Plus (except the netbook - W7 Basic / Office 2010 Starter). Even with a few documents open, the only time the older machines noticably slow down is when auto saving.

Just my thoughts....

Cloud iTunes DESTROYS music business FOREVER!

Steve King

Re Ratsink's post...

My collection is between 600 and 700 Gig after a sustained period of lossless encoding. I'd welcome the chance to hold a copy 'in the cloud' in some way just as an extra backup but I can't see how this can be sync'd to a mobile device containing just a few Gigs - not with any kind of accceptable quality. I guess that it would take weeks to upload it all in the first place as well (much of my collection being too old and/or obscure for iTunes anyway).

If I've missed the point (and after all it is Friday afternoon, so that is quite possible....) could someone explain?

Five amazing computers for under £100

Steve King

Cobalt Qube 3

...loved mine, and I hear of people who say the Qube 2 was even better. I assume they are less than £100 on eBay by now, but the wonderful work firewall won't let me check!

Dad still has two on the shelf (he was a reseller back then) and I keep looking at them and thinking how much easier it all was than the home NAS I am using now.

So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

Steve King


I love the 'future as it use to be thought of'' feel of some of the old Asimov and similar books (I even loved The Incredibles). In that vein:

Foundation Trilogy (earlier comments about misogeny noted, but I think it is a good story anyway - though I am less keen on the Brin/Bird/? trilogy)

Nightfall (some great ideas he is exploring)

Bit OT, but Making Money and Pyramids by Terry Pratchett (ok, that was a lot off topic, but I don't care!)


Steve King


Always enjoy the Andriod app feature - long may it continue. Never thought I'd see a screenshot of one of Runrig's albums though.

Great band. I'll now spend the rest of my lunch hour daydreaming about the time I flew from London to Prestwick, hired a car and drove like a madman to see them play in a tent outside Portree. Bliss!

Apple, RIM profit from Euro smartphone shift

Steve King

2g 'smartphones'

Are the RIM 8520 'smartphones' included in these figures? They still seem to be pushing them hard.

It'd be interesting to see RIM's figures broken down into 2G and 3G offerings.

T-Mobile imposes swingeing cuts on fair use data limits

Steve King


Now I'm really confused.

I got through to 'Leaving T-Mobile' about an hour after you posted the story and politely (but forcably) made my point that as I had chosen to renew last summer primarially because of the 3gb FUP, and I had not been told then that streaming video etc was not allowed, I was very unhappy.

The woman at their end put me on hold to 'speak to her supervisor' and then said that ALL contracts were being capped at 500mb.

This is different to the experience others have had above.

I said that I felt this was unacceptable, and she offered a £5/month reduction on my contract cost. Not much compared to being able to break the contract and keep the phone, but it is something I suppose.

Oh... and she didn't confirm it anyway, so who knows what will happen!

Three bumps up mobile broadband contract charge

Steve King

24 month pricing

I price building work for a living - fixed price for 24 months is common, and sadly no salary increase for 2 years is quite common as well....

How I used Space Shuttle tech to insulate the living room

Steve King

What about the floor?

Do you have solid or suspended floors? I have timber suspended ones with wooden flooring.

I'd love to improve the insulation, but don't want to loose the floor coverings (it'd make the job too expensive if I have to replace them).

I'm guessing that I can't simply use a lance and fill the void with expanding foam as I will need to keep some air flow to avoid rotting my joists.

Has anyone found a good way of doing this? I keep coming back to a lorry load of kids ball pool balls - at least it would limit the air flow!

The void is about 300mm, so I'd need to break out the airbrick and do it from outside.

My motive is comfort as much as being green.

A young and pretty Linux server OS that takes a bit of work

Steve King

"Hot Chick" ^

She is one of the actresses on the Narnia films - she plays Susan I think

Scarlett Johansson unleashes voracious sexuality in steamy alien film

Steve King

(sorry if this is a double post - small glitch just there...)

Showing my age now..... While most of you thought Species, I thought My Stepmother is an Alien!

ID minister promises virtual immortality for all Britons

Steve King

Change of Address

Since you must advise any change of address under penalty of a fine, do you have to notify them of your plot number in the cemetary?

Even worse, what if your loved ones scatter the ashes at sea - a new form to fill in with every tide!

Play.com emails customer details to other customers

Steve King

Not again....

Had to shut my account a year ago. They say that they will not ship mobiles to other than the main address, but they accepted a new (fradulent) delivery address on my account, then tried to ship 3 mobiles there.

By chance I was in time to cancel the third order (the first two were already in packing by the time I got home and saw the email, and of course there is no way to contact them and cancel at that stage).

I provided the name and delivery address (including postcode), but couldn't get any interest from them bar a 'oh we know about him'. Not shopping there again in a hurry!

Fat Reg slims down for spanking new mobile phone version

Steve King

Non-m Mobile Users

I use the normal site on an Android G1 quite often, and have experienced no problems of note (loading is a bit slow on GPRS, but big suprise there!).

I'd probably continue to use the full fat version rather than a warmed over WAP site.



Vista and Lotus: Knowing when to let go of a brand

Steve King

User experience

I have to use Notes - Version 7 in my case.

It is a resource hungry, painfully slow and unreliable dog on a reasonable spec HP machine (3mHz processor, 2gb ram, WinXP)

For me though, the worst is that our IT department lock it down so that it:

1. Won't save outgoing email if you are using the web interface

2. has an interface that seems unchanged from version 5 (at least)

That is the biggest problem with Notes - too much potential for the IT department to screw up the business.

The number of times we have been caught out under point 1 is frightening - one day it will do us real damage.

Celebs join call for official Turing apology

Steve King


If you want to start a petition for him to be on a banknote, then I'll sign that.

I guess many of your readers would as well.

Ten of the best... iPhone beaters

Steve King

When you pay your own money....

I use a G1. Not even reviewed here, and it has suffered lots of abuse for the hardware being 'below par'.

To be honest, I was worried about the hardware, as I had a stylus based WinMo HTC 3 years ago and the hardware was rubbish.

However, my experience with the G1 has been excellent. I've had it four months so far, and I love being able to do things I never expected a phone to be able to do. Recently I needed a guitar tuner, and in a flash of inspiration thought "I'll just try the Android Marketplace" - result one free and very usable chromatic tuner for the phone!

No techie skills needed - it all just works.

I do wish the battery were better, but then it was £30/month. The nearest equivalent iPhone deals at the time were £45 and £55/month. You pay your money and take your choice (if you are rich enough!).

Steve King


Forgot to mention in my previous comment that two 20-something women in my office recently changed their phones. Absolutely iPhone core market - fashion conscious, into Facebook and mobile apps and so on. Very tech-aware without being in any way 'techies'.

Neither chose the iPhone as neither could text at a reasonable speed on the keyboard. One ended up getting a Samsung of some kind and the other got a Blackberry (which amazed me - my last Blackberry couldn't even display a PDF file - I said never again after that!)

Lies, damned lies and inflation statistics

Steve King

Housing Costs

Some housing costs have come down, but mortgages have not in all cases.

I had a 3 year tracker at base rate +0.44%.

It ends on Wednesday, and I'm now offered base rate +3.59%

Net effect is that my mortgage will carry on costing as near as dammit the same.

(BTW - this is because the building societies are being used to replenish the funds that bail out the banks as much as anything else - it is not the societies fault in all cases)

Oh, and bass guitars are up 25% since last summer when I started dreaming. Should have just gone for it and not discussed it with the wife first!


Social networking and blogs more popular than email

Steve King

Nine countries

All the world comprises nine countries?!

Why did you copy and paste this PR crap?

Be Broadband doubles down on ADSL to catch cable

Steve King

Be service

Loved Be for the first 2 years, even though 1.2 miles from the exchange means 10-12mb not 24mb.

But.... in the last 3 months the speed has dropped to 4mb.

I'd been thinking about upgrading to the enhanced upload package (for online backups), but I don't want to risk it in case the download speed gets still worse.

Royal Society: Schools should show creationism 'respect'

Steve King


I've read a handful of comments out of about 150 so far that come from people of differing views to mine, but who I would genuinely like to meet and discuss this with.

Sadly at least 120 comments above are hate filled bile, containing endless repitition.

This is the poison of Dawkins, I fear.

How about some moderation (both kinds!)?

Steve King



We come from either side of a big divide, but I agree with you on this.

Kids should be taught to weigh up ideas, consider and test their validity.

I am very cautious about what I choose to believe - and I don't want my kids to be taught to accept anything without question, particularly not in science or RE classes.

Most of the comments above come from people who need to calm down a bit - they do their case no favours by ridiculing people and stirring up hate. It may be a favourite tactic of Dawkins, but it does not constitute a rational discussion and diminishes your view.

Tin hat on....


Government told: Release secret Iraq documents

Steve King

Paitence Pays

Don't worry, the whole thing will soon be for sale on eBay!

BAA 'invented green superjumbo' to OK Heathrow plans

Steve King

Pick on other industries first

'pick on other industries first' won't work - many of them can say that they emit much less than the airlines. There is also concern that emissions at high altitude may be disproportionately damaging.

In any carbon reduction scenario, any industry that is allowed to escape without sharing the burden will be requiring other industries to make still greater cuts.

Allowing one industry to claim that they are a special case and should be exempt will just lead to every industry doing the same.

Google evaporates Docs and Spreadsheets cloud

Steve King

re 'One Hour Down in a Year'

Couldn't agree more - our dear IT department can't keep things running without an hour of downtime a week (at least). And no, we are not a public body, we are a PLC running Office 2003 (and Notes - ugh!) on XP.

For me the only worry with Docs and Spreadsheets is that IT can't resist the temptation to fiddle with (and inevitably break) our internet connection all the time.

More power to the cloud, and IT people who get held accountable!

Adobe swings out Acrobat 9

Steve King

Printing Movies

Surely this is how Harry Potter does it?

Mel Gibson to star in Edge of Darkness

Steve King

And the director of Casino Royale...

will no doubt take all the tension and interplay between the characters out and replace it with scenes out of '24'.

What with the news that Blakes 7 is to be remade (doubtless without the essential tension between those characters), another TV classic with 3D characterisation will end up as shallow as Hannah Montanna.

Jodrell Bank offloaded on eBay

Steve King

@Anonymous Coward

People who really believe that they will be answerable after their death for what they did during their life don't tend to invade other countries.

Just because I am a Christian doesn't mean I want to see science funding cut. Don't patronise me by telling me what you consider I should think.

I believe that truth is a goal to persue wherever it leads (allowing for a debate on ethics if relevant), and I hope that most people could agree with that. Every person of faith I've ever asked would agree with it as well.

Your cheap shots just help those who would do anything it takes to get more contracts for Haliburton. Next stop Iran, and then Syria.



iPhone turns blue as IBM creates Lotus client

Steve King

@ Mike Perrett

Mike, most Notes fans talk about the control available to the IT department. The down side is that most users never get to see the whizzy new things you say it can do.

We have Notes 7, but I am not allowed to customise it in any way, so it still looks like version 6 (and probably version 5, but I never had to use that). The only change we have been allowed is that we have the version 7 help system, which at least refers to Notes (the version 6 help only referrs to Domino).

In our case, end users are not even allowed to share an address book, so every time we get a new client (or one moves) 50 people have to individually update their address books.

The functionality of Notes 7 in our environment is considerably less than Open Exchange and Outlook were in my last firm, and it is much slower as well.

This may be the IT department's fault, not Notes, but if the IT department can't be trusted with the power, the answer is to take the power away from them.

Google and Sun tag team MS Office

Steve King


I know your comment was regarding business, but for home use Thunderbird and Lightning serve well (apart from the rubbish name!), and I've suceeded in syncing an XDA Mini S WM5 phone with Thunderbird.

I use Open Office at home now, as my Office 2003 Pro got so screwed up that it would not install security updates. Even re-installation did not help.

Then I tried the Office 2007 Beta, and would have paid for a copy, but I just could not get on with the Ribbon, even after 6 months.

I tried Open Office as a stop gap really, but liked it so much that I've kept it. Changing between Office 2003 at work and Open Office at home does not require the same adjustment as using Office 2003 and Office 2007 would.


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