* Posts by Malcolm

23 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Sep 2007

iPhone users to walk and read at same time

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Now all it needs is an image-analysing lamp post detector and a multitude of accidents could be avoided.

Microsoft opens up for Office SP2


PDF Support

I'm guessing MS must have somehow placated Adobe, who threw a hissy fit when MS tried to provide this support in the original release.

Details here: http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2006/06/02/613702.aspx

Windows app store breaks old ground for Microsoft


$99 Fee

While $99 is a bit of a hurdle, I can see why they'd want to charge a fee - without it your app store will be swamped with vast tides of pointless or unprofessional software. A modest fee should keep the applicants to those with a serious interest in producing and selling reasonable product.

MS coughs to hokey-cokey IE8 option in Windows 7


Probably impossible to remove totally

I expect it would be practically impossible for IE to be totally removed from Windows for at least two reasons:

a) Various parts of the UI require the browser control - things like the help files for instance.

b) Various 3rd party pieces of software expect the browser control to be available as a reusable component - removing it would probably be a backwards compatibility nightmare.

To my knowledge there are no API compatible replacements for the browser control so it's not as if there is a great choice of browser components to choose from.

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Bluetooth stereo headphones

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Miserable sods

Larger bluetooth headsets with more buttons (and less shiny boxes) are also available...

If all gadgets were strictly functional at the expense of form the world would be far less interesting. These look like they'll go nicely with my very shiny (if ever so slightly compromised Sony Ericsson X1)

Honda shows Insight hybrid in Europe


@Paul Murphy

I believe you've just described the Chevy Volt: http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/09/16/gm_shows_production_volt/

Sony Ericsson confirms Xperia X1 UK launch


It's cheaper at play.com

'Only' £499:


Google releases open source browser


To be fair to IE8...

IE8 also uses a separate process for each tab, and has already been released as a beta.

Chrome looks neat though - I look forward to giving it a go.

Leopard pimpin' method madness


If you want to see...

...the long term effects of using undocumented OS features, can I recommend Raymond Chen's blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/) or better still, his book (http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321440307) to see how much long term grief and lost features that result from s- called professional programmers using undocumented OS APIs.

Big TV flips ad blockers the bird


Not detecting anyhing?

From the evidence presented it would appear that the media player has a 30 second delay inserted at the beginning of playback when it displays the above message. Under normal circumstances the message is obscured by an advert so you don't see it, but if you have Adblock installed the advert is blocked but the delay (and message) remain.

So it's not actually very clever at all.

(Disclaimer: Being in the UK I can't verify this hypothesis).

HP's VoodooPC challenges MacBook Air on thinness


USB Sockets

The USB/eSata sockets are on the device itself. See the photo here:


Interestingly, the power supply doubles as a wireless access point, negating the need to have a ethernet socket on the laptop itself.

Most 'malfunctioning' gadgets work just fine, report claims


Poor usability?

Presumably this could also be taken as an indication that many gadgets are pretty shoddy when it comes to ease of use. Maybe gadget manufacturers would spend more time and effort on such matters if it can be shown to have a significant adverse effect on the bottom line.

Mozilla guns for Guinness world record with Firefox 3.0

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Best bit

The address bar history/bookmark searching thing is a massive plus in FF3 - instead of having to remember the name of a website you've previously visited or trawl your bookmarks, just type in some characters from the URL or page title and off you go. An excellent feature that I now really miss when I have to use FF2 or IE fer instance.

It's a bit like the search box on Vista's start menu (ooh, Vista - how controversial) which coincidentally is probably the nearest thing to Vista's killer usability feature in my book.

Control your PC, with a lemon wedge


Wasn't this done years ago?

I thought this had already been done by the bloke that went on to develop the Eye-toy for the Playstation.


Asus launches second-gen Eee PC



If Engadget is to be believed, the CPU is the same Celeron M as the 701, albeit running at the full 900MHz clock speed.


Mega-mortuary creaks open its doors in Westminster

Black Helicopters

Re: Why 102?

Presumably Shelf 101 is reserved for those unfortunate individuals that Big Brother merely wishes to forget about. (with shelf 102 providing overflow capacity - bureaucrats are ever-pragmatic)

Nvidia to purchase Ageia



I can't help but think that dedicated physics hardware is an expansion card too far. Surely better to use a core or two on your quad core box for something other than checking you mailbox while you play Team Fortress 2. Of course, Havok will now be optimised for Intel, and while making Physx "processor agnostic" might make friends in the developer market it would also help out AMD rather more than nVidia would probably like.

Eee PC: better with Windows?



Raymond Chen explains here why you can't move Windows' hibernation file from the root of the boot drive: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag/issues/2007/11/WindowsConfidential/default.aspx

Record labels to ditch CD singles for USB Flash drives


What a waste...

Why a USB drive when an SD card or similar would surely be cheaper to produce/transport/etc. (and USB->SD adaptors are available for less than £5).

Although I seem to remember they've tried distributing music on SD cards before with predictable levels of success (ie. none). Why would a USB drive fair any better?

Mobiles give you brain cancer?


Your ideal bluetooth headset?

Are you aware that your 'ideal' bluetooth headset already exists in the form of the Sony Ericsson HBH-DS220?


Facebook 'friend request' lands UK man in jail


Dubious Facebook 'Feature'

From the description, it sounds like he was victim to one of Facebook's more dubious (and opaque) features. When you sign up for an account the first thing it prompts you to do is to type in the account details and password for your web email account (I believe it supports all the major players, ie. Gmail, Yahoo, hotmail etc).

If you do this then it automatically goes through your email contact list and sends friend requests or facebook email invitations to your _entire_ contact list - probably everyone you've ever emailed or received email from.

While it may seem obvious to the more techno-savvy of you that Facebook shouldn't need your email account password, not everyone is so alert. Indeed, I know of several very technologically minded people who have been caught out by this 'feature' and have had it contact business associates and other people who they really didn't want adding as their facebook 'friends'.

Halo 3 UK launch fails to fire



... everyone pre-ordered it from an online store and had it turn up in the post yesterday, as I did :)

Firefox-Google marriage on shaky ground?


Bad ads

I appreciate 'free' content and therefore understand the need for advertising, however like American television, some content and advert providers seem to forget that advertising can be included without utterly interfering with actually reading the page content. Primary irritants in my book are

1) Those intellitxt green links that pop up and block what you were actually trying to read.

2) Popup flash ads. Especially those that are position relative to the window rather than the content so follow you around and block what you were trying to read (see a common theme here). These ads also seem to take great glee in making the close button almost invisible.

3) Badly written flash ads that hog the processor to such an extent that firefox stops responding to user input. Arguably a firefox issue, but a recent example was an advert for the game Stuntman: Ignition on Eurogamer.net: Somehow it was playing a video in such a way that it absorbed 100% CPU power and utterly crippled Eurogamer's video playback applet and caused most of firefox to become utterly unresponsive (this was on a fairly meaty dual core box too). Other recent adverts with similar video content manage to display without any of these side effects so clearly the advert creator is at fault.

As such I have ABP installed but use it selectively, whenever advertising crosses the boundary from reasonable to intrusive as above. If advertisers and website creators gave more consideration to how damaging excessive and inappropriate advertising could be then ABP usage probably wouldn't be an issue.