Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Macbook Air

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

I like the thinness of it, I *love* Mac OSX. I’m not bothered that there isn’t a slot for optical media.

But it is missing a few things like Firewire and a smaller footprint that I would have liked to see in preference to the thinness.

So, for what I would use it for (writing on the move), I’d rather have an Asus EEEPC, it’s much cheaper so I wouldn’t feel worried about throwing it around in the back of an ambulance and I think I can live with the smaller keyboard.

Or I may just wait until a fold-out keyboard for the iPhone turns up…

As for Time Capsule – the price seems right and as I run much of my life off my Macbook (hoping one day to be able to get a Macbook Pro) wireless, seamless backups seems like a dream come true. Of course, if I could get Time machine working with my three NAS drives I could save that money as well.

I was surprised to see the Maps location update working in the UK. And I won’t be holding my breath waiting for the video rentals to make their way over here.

(Well, if iTunes managed to stop me hitting P2P sites for music, I’m sure it can do the same for *ahem* the sort of people who download movies).

Actually the biggest and most surprising announcement wasn’t made by jobs – it was the Fox announcement that they would be putting ‘digital copies’ on their DVDs. The devil is no doubt in the details, but it’s an interesting move.

On Avoiding Spoilers

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Twitter notifications turned off.
Avoid news sites.
Don’t read email.
No TV news (especially the BBC).
Don’t open Bloglines.
Sign up to the Macrumors ‘non-spoiler’ mailing list.
Don’t open iTunes.
Tell my brother not to ring me.

All because in a few hours the world of computer geeks will turn it’s eyes to the Steve Jobs keynote speech. Liveblogging, Twittering, Websites and RSS feeds, all these will be providing minute by minute updates and analysis.

But I don’t want to see it.

I want to see the recorded keynote with my mind in a pristine state, unblemished by spoilers.

Will there be an ultra-portable? Will there be a 3G iPhone? Will there be something completely different?

I don’t want to know until I hear such things spill from Job’s lips.

In the connected world of today it’s getting hard to avoid learning about things that you’d rather not know. Everyone knows what’s going to happen in the latest soaps, and I can’t imagine how that would affect any sense of drama that the writers are trying to create.

So I shall sit in my bubble of non-connectedness waiting for the video to be posted. I shall revel in my lack of knowledge.

And then I’ll probably look at my bank balance and sob that I can’t afford some new toys…

Nought Point Nought Eight Pence

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

The reward for getting back the missing data disks is £20,000.

There are 25 million records on the disks.

Which means each record is worth 0.08 pence to the government.

Make of that as you will.

[Big thanks to Leeky who pointed out that in my original post my maths were wrong - I think I need more sleep (and see the comments for the discussion) mea culpa.]

[tags]Datagate[/tags]

On Fixing An iPhone

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

For some reason my iPhone stopped syncing correctly with my Macbook. I’d get a message along the lines of “Contacts failed to sync because the sync server failed to sync the iPhone” I’m the type of person who considers it a failure of character to call tech support.

So, after hitting the forums I stumbled across the answer.

  1. Open the iSync application.
  2. Go to the preferences of iSync.
  3. Under the ‘Advanced’ section is a button that says ‘Reset sync history…’
  4. Press that button.
  5. It may be helpful to restart your computer.

And that should do it – it worked on mine at least.

(Next up a tip that will be handy for anyone who lives in a city with a public transport system)

[tags] iPhone, sync, syncing, troubleshooting, failure, iSync, Mac [/tags]

What To Do When Someone Torrents You

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Try asking for donations. It’d be interesting to see how this works out.

The Dildo In The Room

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Two interesting bits of news from the Virtual Worlds Forum.

First off, Peter Edwards, the director of the upcoming ‘Home‘ platform for the PS3 stated that they were very interested in consumer created content and that, as soon as it was possible, they would be including the tools for users to make their own objects.

And that there would be an economy where you would be able to sell them.

I would imagine that they would have to employ moderators clearing the content before it becomes public in order to avoid the ‘Dildo in the room*’ problem. Especially as I doubt that there will be an age restriction on using Home.

I have a few ideas how the Economy might work, but that is a subject for an upcoming post

The second rumour is just that, a rumour (and to be honest I don’t hold out much hope for it being true), but a person who works for There.com told me that there would be a Mac client ‘sometime next year’.

This person didn’t know what Boot Camp was, so I’m not too hopeful about this.

UPDATE: I’ve just had it confirmed from two other sources, there.com is working on a Mac client and are hiring people to work on it at the moment. There is joy in my heart, because I consider There.com much more social than Second Life.


*The ‘Dildo In The Room’ problem is that no matter the intended audience, if you allow user generated content, someone will make sex toys in your virtual world. Like the elephant in the room, people try not to talk about it. This is related to the ‘Time until penis” measurement*

‘*’Time Until Penis’ – The amount of time from software release until some bright spark crafts a giant penis out of whatever tools are available. (In World of Warcraft I think it was created out of gnome corpses…)

[tags]Dildointheroom, Timeuntilpenis, There.com, PlaystationHome, PS3, User-generatedcontent, VirtualWorldsForum, Mac client [/tags]

“You Are A Criminal By Default” Government Suggests

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

The UK government could legislate to crack down on illegal file-sharers, a senior official has told the BBC’s iPM programme.
Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said intellectual property theft would not be tolerated.
“If we can’t get voluntary arrangements we will legislate,” he said.
The comments could prove controversial with privacy advocates and internet service providers.
Lord Triesman called on internet service providers to take a “more activist role” in the problem of illegal file-sharing.

I heard Lord Triesman talk at the Virtual Worlds Forum earlier today – you can hear an MP3 of what he said here.

It would appear that the government has fully implemented some of the aspects of the Gowers report which involve educating and empowering the Trading Standards officers (just look at the recent TV Links takedown). Unfortunately they haven’t been so quick to look at some of the points that make IP more flexible, like the recommendations for format shifting or parody.

It’s something I’d liked to have asked him about but he seemed to disappear quite sharpish. I need to learn to run quicker if I want to get my journalism badge.  Chris must be a faster runner.

(And kudos to Sasha for mentioning after his talk that there are such things as Open Source Software and Creative Commons).

Going back to the idea that ISPs could be forced to deal with illegal content I’d ask why we should stop there? Shouldn’t we make the Post office liable for illegal pictures and documents sent through the mail system? How about making the telephone companies liable for offensive phone calls? Next we could make the roads agency liable for drunk drivers…

I love arguing like this, it’s cheap and easy like me.

This is without getting into the technical problems of determining infringing traffic over the internet without blocking legal traffic.

I have a horrible fear, after hearing Lord Triesman talk about P2P networks ‘often’ being used illegally, that the government will try to bring in a complete ban on all P2P software.

I also find it amusing that in the talk, he calls the default position for users of the internet to be ‘I want stuff for free’. You know – he’s insinuating that we are all criminals.

One for the fearsome Open Rights Group methinks.

[tags]copyright, ISP, Triesman, P2P, infringement, iPM, Gowers, VirtualWorldsForum, VWF, ORG, OpenRightsGroup [/tags]

WCC We Love You

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

I wish that I had the know-how to make things. I’m not a creator – not of real physical things.

But there is something I desire, and it lives only in the imagination.

I need a Weighted Companion Cube. One that is physical, and preferably heavy.

Any ideas?

I am not mad, although if you don’t know what I am talking about then it’d be an easy conclusion to draw.

Trekkies Vs Furries

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

You know…

Some things are inherently ‘internet’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljAXHWE0bDQ]

Oi! Winer! Keep Your Hands Off My Twitter

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Dave Winer on adding ‘payloads’ to twitter.

Dave, if you read this – Twitter is not email. This is the beauty of it. The need to sum up something in 140 characters or less is a strength, not a weakness.

If you want to start attaching sound or pictures to it you break the beauty of it, the immediacy and the poetry.

Turning twitter into a multimedia extravaganza would break it. If you want to do that sort of thing then mobile post to your blog, then people with RSS readers on their phone can follow you.

It’s like trying to improve a screwdriver by sticking a laser beam and a jet engine on it.

I’m not convinced that it even needs tagging.

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