* Posts by Andy

12 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Aug 2007

Bluetooth finally reaches ten (years, not users)

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The whole problem with bluetooth...

.. is the concept of 'services' and 'service discovery'. Bluetooth unnescessarily complicates matters by confusing the connection mechanism with specific applications.

Wi-fi's approach is far simpler - you just connect, you get an IP address and thats it. You then use whatever 3rd party network apps you like to shuffle data/stream etc. This is both more logical for the power user and simpler for the man on the street.

Russell T Davies bows out of Doctor Who


About time

Frankly I think RTD gets far to much credit for 'reviving' Dr. Who.

The fact that so many people had fond memories of the series from their childhood (and will therefore get their own kids to watch it) and the fact that it is just clearly such a great idea/concept for a TV series, meant that it would have taken an massive amount of incompetance to make the 'come back' a failure. I'm not saying anyone could have done it, but pretty much anyone with a modicum of talent could have.

My biggest grip with RTD is that he clearly does not really understand the sci-fi genre, as can be seen with his attempts to turn the series into sort sort of time travelling 'soap opera'. i.e. too much time spent exploring Doctor/assistant love stories, attemps to 'humanise' the doctor and make him 'vunarable', painful polical correctness, 'bisexual' characters, all taking up so much time that the plot has to be cramed into some gabbled technobabble spewed by the Doctor while running away from monsters.

And don't even get my started on why a time lord with a ship that can take him to anywhere in the universe spends every episode on earth!

Lets hope things improve.


Is the earth getting warmer, or cooler?


short term changes

Interesting article, it appears the global warming religion has no qualms about maniulating data to match its beliefs.

What I find particularly amusing is that GW believers will frequently quote short term temperature changes as 'evidence' of GW. Yet when reports come out predicing the next 10 years will see a cooling (or that the last 10 years saw a cooling) it is 'only a temporary' cooling and it'll be back to warming as usual after that (well obviously if temperatures fall then they will rise again eventually!).

I remember at the beginning of 2007 the UK media and the 'experts' were saying - 'this will be the hotest summer on record', 'this will finally convince all the GW doubters' etc..

What happened?

We had a typical British wet and changable summer.

What did the media and the usual GW advocates say?

'Well that proves it even more - the weather is all messed up'.

Huh? You can't have it both ways.

What did all this prove? Nothing, the weather in this country has always been changable and unpredicable. The panic mongers need to grow up and get on with their lives.


MSI releases £235 desktop Eee PC rival ahead of Asus



At this price surely this makes pretty temping alternative to a NAS device? The added flexibility of a full PC being a nice bonus. Mmm, I can see this making a nice Slimserver box.


(New) dirt-cheap bots attack Hotmail Captchas


Solution to spam is so easy and obvious

Charging for email is impractical and imo morally wrong.

The solution to spam (from webmail services at least) is simple, just limit the amount of emails than can be sent by any user to say 100 per day. No normal user needs to send more emails than this per day and such a scheme would make spamming so slow as to be pointless.

Of course the other (equally simple) solution would just be to instantly shut down any website that uses spam to advertise - i.e. follow the money. You can't catch the spammers but you can certainly catch/stop the people that employ them. If a website knew that it would get blocked immeadiataly for using spam to advertise then it wouldn't do it. Why this is not happening is a mystery to me.

Fixing the UK's DAB disaster

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Nothing wrong with DAB

In my experience there not much technically wrong with DAB.

Whatever the analogue hippies say, quality IS better than FM, not quite in the same way that CD's are better than LP's, but not far off.

Yes, bitrates could be higher and yes coverage could be better but IMO there is only one problem with DAB - lack of support from broadcasters.

The format has never really delivered the variety it promised. Don't get me wrong - its still light years ahead of FM in that regard. i.e. it has a couple of dedicated Rock stations (ok so its old fogey rock, but still) and, until recently, a Jazz station. I have never heard any stations on FM that played anything other than the current top 40 factory produced teen fodder.

As for the argument about it being superseeded by Internet radio, that may be true, but ONLY because internet radio really does deliver variety, any genre you can think of is catered for. Delivering radio over the internet is a really inefficient way of broadcasting and a massive waste of valuable bandwidth because separate 'copies' of the data have to be sent to every listener as opposed to DAB which just sends one copy that can be picked up simultaneously by eveyone.

Big Climate's strange 'science'

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@Paul Smith

"Lets assume for a minute that all the theories linking man's activites to climate change are wrong, and therefore their advice to reduce the CO2 we put into the atmosphere is also wrong. So what? Where is the harm?"

Wheres the harm? I'll tell you were the harm is: its the fact that this latest panic attack by the self loathing green masses (before GW it was the Ozone layer, before that Acid Rain - remember those?), is causing us to seriously consider ruining our coastine and country side with wind turbines; it is causing us to consider crazy and potentially dangeourous 'climate engineering' schemes to remove vast quantities of the evil 'pollutant' (sic) CO2 from the air when we don't really understand what effect interferance like this will have; it is causing us all to pay more 'green' taxes; and most insideously of all it is being used as a justification for holding back the development of the third world and telling them that they can not now enjoy the things that we have had for decades like cars, unlimited energy use etc. and the economic,social and quality of life benefits that come with it. All because of some dodgy computer models! (and yes they are dodgy because there is no way that they can take into account all the variables involved to the the degree of accuracy needed - apart from anything else we don't even know all the variables involved!).

Can someone tell me if these models even take into account that that more CO2 = more plant/tree growth = excess CO2 converted into plant matter = plant matter becomes oil again (in millions of years time)? I'm sure they do but I've never heard it mentioned.

Amazon to take MP3 downloads international

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@the FLAC/APE fanatics

Oh for goodness sake stop going on about 'lossy' MP3! It has been shown repeatedly that in proper double blind tests even "audiophiles" can not tell the difference between MP3 of 196kbps or above and the original CD.

The choice of codec is not the issue here. The issue is an album costing $9.99 should cost £4.99 in the UK, but both you and I know that this will not be the case, it will be at least £9.99. Sadly this is so inevitable that most people in the UK will just accept it.

However Amazon are to be appluded for being the first (legal) service to offer DRM free downloads from major labels, and for this reason I hope the service is a success and then perhaps competition between iTunes + Amazon will drive prices down to where they belong (hey I can dream!).

Writers' strike hits US talk shows hard


Whats next? A national Philosophers strike?

I can't help feeling there is something slightly ridiculous about all this. I can understand that the threat of prolonged strike action by, for example, Nurses/Firefighters/Police/Train drivers or even Civil Servents would be a scary prospect, but Script Writers!? Hardly the end of the civilisation as we know it is it?

In the immortal words of Douglas Adams:

"That's right!" agreed Majikthise. "You'll have a national Philosopher's strike on your hands!"

Deep Thought: "Whom will that inconvience?"

On the other hand if it takes the new series of Heros off the air then I take it all back - give them what ever they want - now!!!


Record industry pushes ISPs to cut off file sharers

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MPA out of touch?

It seams obvious that large portions of the music industry are rapidly moving towards a DRM free and even cost free (eg. Radiohead) model for music distribution. Is it really worth crippling the internet now and criminalising people for something that will be a non-issue in few years time?

Its only a matter of time before all music is free - artists should make their money by <gasp> actually _performing_ music! Like they did for 1000's of years before the record companies came along. Giving away recorded copies of their music should be regarded simply as free advertising.

Big bands already make most of their money from concert tours and the best way for a small band to get big is to get their music out to as wide as audience as possible i.e. by giving it away.

Sony Walkman NWD-B105 2GB MP3 player


Finally mp3 makers are starting to 'get it'...

...and I never thought it would be Sony!

I've been winging for years about mp3 makers forcing you to use their proprietary software (Apple + Sony being the worst culprits) to transfer and organise tracks in the way they want rarther than the way you want.

All I want is to for the player to appear as a normal external drive and to allow you to copy across any folder structure you chose. This is exactly what my car mp3 player (Denison) does and its brilliant, you can use what ever sync software and folder structure you choose because it just appears as a normal windows drive. Sadly Denison never really had the marketting omph to make people realise this was the way forward and are now reduced to peddling Ipod connectors (sigh...).

I live in hope that one day someone will make a portable player that is as good as the Denison car player was. If this new Sony only had 30G or more of memory then I'd be first in the queue!


Climate change: looking for a haystack, not a needle


Close but no cigar!

In the words of the the great Richard Dawkins from his recent TV series:

'You are so close to being right, but yet you are utterly wrong!'.

You seem to be making the point that micro changes in weather have noting to do with long term trends in climate. Good point. However, your definition of 'long term' is way off. The climate of the Earth changes over tens of thousands of years (or even hundreds of thousands of years), in the past the Earth has been much hotter than now and also much cooler than now, this will continue in complex cycles measured in the thousands of years. To look at temperatures over 10, 20, 50, even 100 years and try to draw conclusions about the Earths changing climate and make predictions for 20, 50 years in the future is meaningless and impossible (these are 'micro changes'). These are insignificantly small periods of time in the history of the Earth. It's like noticing the weather was hot yesterday but cooler today and stating that this means the next Ice Age is just around the corner! Yet climate 'scientists' are constantly making just such short tem predictions. Computer models will tell you exactly what the person designing them wants them to tell you, there is simply no way that these models can accurately model the enourmous number of factors that affect the climate of the Earth.

It is wonderfully arrogant to think the humans that have only been on the planet for a few thousand years are now the most important factor in the Earths climate and further more that we can understand and control it!