Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Strange behaviour of the app store

Seems that the updates section hasn't update all button. I'm wondering if this is a general issue for people or if an update was rolled out for the app store without users having to interact in any way.

If I was Apple I would be pushing updates to some of their own apps when available

Anyone else having a problem with it?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Carrier IQ - Is it as bad as it seems?

In June I wrote a piece called "Are so many Android devices a good idea". In this article/rant because lets face it I'm no Journalist.. I spoke about the fact that you had to wait for your teleco to push operating updates to the device. Now we can see why you have to wait. This is exactly the same thing that British Telecom were trying to do with Phorm a few years ago. Where everything you did was intercepted by a 3rd party company. The Teleco's must be getting a massive kickback from Carrier IQ for the shear amount of data that they are recieving from customers. I for one am hoping that since the video shows the developer switching into USB debug mode that it is then enabling all debug information meaning that in ordinary use the device is not actually sending any information to 3rd Party companies.

If we think about it this way then you could see that the code that the telecos have put in is really just for gaining debug information rather than a big brother type situation. Also the amount of information that would have been transmitted would require a serverr farm to manage. The other point to raise is that it took so long for this to be noticed and this is the main reason I think that it is only enabled in debug mode is that how many hackers are there out there that are scanning the transmissions from the devices looking for a weakness to exploit or to grab Kudos for pointing out that this is happening.

I for one and I know that I am not the only one will be watching this very closely.

If this is happening I assume that they will have broken snooping laws in many countries just by selling the device.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Newsstand review

I've previously reviewed the Metro app on this blog. After upgrading to the new shiny iOS5 for my iPad and getting the newsstand application I thought I would check it out. Now newsstand is a central location for you to receive all of your news/magazine content on your iPad and should replace the need for separate applications for each and every newspaper you read.

Now to get back to the Metro App I mentioned above for a second. Previously I complained that because I previously had a iPod Touch with no mobile internet access when on the bus that the application was a bit shit due to continually downloading content. So when I seen that Metro had a free paper on newsstand I thought I would give it a look.

What I've found is that the paper is now fully downloadable to your device which is great. As once it is downloaded you are able to read away with out waiting for pdf like pages to load content. Now the only fly in the ointment is that the version that I downloaded this morning has been updated and I've been asked if I wanted to update which I said yes and had to download the 18.1Mb file again. I thought the whole point of this new version of iOS5 was the we would receive delta updates for files.

Looks like Apple missed stepped here. This really needs to be fixed as delta updates would be brilliant for this. Wired's free sample was 156MB in size If that updates I don't want to be downloading all of that data again. Its my Bandwidth and I don't like wasting it.

Come on Apple get this fixed.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Creating a boiler plate for nodeJS

Project : https://github.com/IrishAdo/NodeJS-BoilerPlate

The first thing you realise once you start to develop your first few nodeJS applications are that there is no one "Server" solution but rather a more a bespoke solution with some common functionality across most of these.

Let me explain, we can probably split them up into several categories of applications.  Of which we’ll consider the following two set-ups.

  • Our standard web based application (both client side and server side code),
  • A server only application (server data processing) i.e. a 3d game server or a web service.

With any client/server application you have your client and your server but if your client-side application is a binary application then your architecture decision is simple but if your client-side application is a web based application.  Then you have several choices to make like will we run two servers one for page retrieval (IIS/Apache) and the other for data retrieval (nodeJS)? If we do this then we will be building an application with two distinct technologies one for the rendering of pages using (HTML, PHP, ASP, Python, Ruby etc...  If we don’t then we have to handle all types of requests for our application, i.e. data retrieval, data processing, loading html pages, serving images and other binary files.  Both of these are valid options for our web based application. For example if you currently have a web based application that requests a lot of information from the server via AJAX and are having a bottleneck on the server serving the AJAX requests then a non-blocking solution is maybe an option. So in that case you would be developing an Ajax processing server with the complete solution would be a multi-technology solution.

What should our NodeJS BoilerPlate contain?
  • Well documented code for the beginner to understand.
  • A simple structured layout that separates the server side code from the client-side code.
What still needs done on it?
  • I need to write a Text streaming function to stream html files 
  • I need to write a Binary file streamer 
  • I want to modify the server.FindHandler function to automatically find and include handlers as needed.  this just means that you don't end up with 50 if statements to include 50 handlers which will also keep that function simple.
  • Will add a resources directory beside the Application directory so that served files are held seperate, For example the default web page, a favicon.ico, all the CSS, and and client side javascript.




Thursday, 15 September 2011

Learning Node.js

Last night I finally got round to reading Manuel Kiessling's Node.js book "The Node Beginner Book: A comprehensive Node.js Tutorial". I found this book to be well written and helps new node.js developers to understand some of the aspects of programming this language. I specifically liked the section on Blocking and why not to do it that way.

The tutorial deals with file uploading and shows how to use a package that will do most of the work of parsing the POST data. If you are thinking about getting into node.js then this is definitely the book to start with.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Went to see "The Inbetweeners" Movie


Having missed watching the TV series I was interested in seeing what all the fuss was about.   My-self and Julianne headed to the local cinema and while we laughed most of the way through the film which was well written and funny I think that the fact that it was a Monday night and there were only about 40-50 people in the large cinema brought the enjoyment factor down a bit as you really go to the cinema to socially enjoy a movie. While we enjoyed the movie we both would classify it as definitly one to watch if it was on TV but not sure if I would fork out money to buy the DVD.  It reminded me quite a bit of "Kevin & Perry go Large" in a lot of ways but it also differed in many other ways which is a good thing.  I think that if we had seen the TV series then we would have understood the characters better but then again they did conveyed the characters across really well to the audience.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Google+ and why I like its security.


Have been doing a bit of an experiment with Google+,  I added approximately 800+ people to a circle "People Google thinks I know but I don't".  What I've found interesting about this little experiment of mine is that after several weeks of having this many people in my list I started to find people that I was interested in listening too.  So every once in a while I will now go through this massive circle and find people that I want to keep and I will move them from the large group to one of my new mini circles which relate to categories of interest.

I was quite surprised that my incoming stream didn't really get flooded and I love the fact that I can choose which circle I want to publish content to.  This is not something I would have even thought about doing on Facebook as I don't feel the security exists there and over the last year I've nearly stopped posting content to Facebook for this very reason.

I like the way that Google has implemented both the Stream and the Game Channel but then they were starting from scratch and its a lot easier to put the security in at the start than after several years of comments. Especially since the reactions to privacy issues on Facebook.  I think that you'll find from now on any new social sites will adopt this type of privacy model.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Games Games and more games

I've been playing a lot of games lately on Google Plus (PC) and some games on my iPad. Google has introduced its Google plus social network for combating facebook's domination. I like some of the way that they have implemented games into the system.

I do have some major problems with the way that Google has set up their games system though when I want to choose a game to play. I have a single large picture to go by some of which shows an image of the game screen. Thats all well and good for those games I can make a decision on the spot to decided if that game is the type i would like to play.

Unfortunately some games turn based build a city/country type games are hidden behind a fancy front screen. Google needs to add an info button beside the play button that will show the user more information to make those decisions. Something like the way the App store gives the developers a space that they can advertise their Application.

Also Google has placed on the left of the Games tab a list of the games that you have recently played which is great but how do I remove games from my account. Yes you can go and revoke access to the apps but you cant remove them from the list of games.

I've been playing a lot of Angry Birds lately and one of the things that I think is missing is notifications when someone beats your score. Also I would like to see what the World highest scores are for the game and on the different levels. Sort of like Game Centre on the iPad does.
I've also played Bubble Island which has taken me back to my childhood playing Bubble Bobble. I love how simple this game is to play. Its definitely one that my nieces would love to play.
Since Google Plus games are not available on the iPad (as they are flash based games) I've been playing Zombie Gunship on my iPad its a iPhone/iPad compatible game and worth every penny. If you've played the level on Call of Duty Modern Warfare where you are in the gun ship and you have to use the weapon systems to destroy insurgents. Its basically like that except that instead of insurgents you have zombies with no body heat. Save the humans kill the zombie getting points that allow you to upgrade your weapons. Quite addictive.

Zombie Gunship is another great game by Limbic who have brought us Tower Madness HD a game I spent months playing and would recommend

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Question about transparency in a Social Experiment.

I'm currently taking part in a social experiment that is based on the "Take a penny, Leave a Penny" social idea that is apparently from what I hear is quite wide spread in America. This is of course the social experiment devised by Jonathan Spark. His "Take a Coffee, Leave a Coffee" version is based around the fact that you can get a card in Starbucks USA that has a bar code that represents the long digit code that we have on our UK cards so basically Jonathan has taken a screen grab of his cards barcode and uploaded it to the web. With the express permission to allow everyone to have a coffee on someone else. Jonathan also wrote a bot that will scrape the Balance from the card at regular intervals and post the information to a Twitter account @jonathanscard which as of writing this has just over five thousand followers.

The Balance seems to fluctuate between zero and a couple of hundred dollars but with so many following the experiment its not hard to see why this happens. Yesterday I went into my local to work Starbucks and got them to type in the long digit number and got my self a "Tall drip coffee" Approx £1.50 in value. Now I went and tweeted that it worked in the UK and I noticed that the Tweets before and after my purchase dropped from £54.90 to zero balance. A lot of people on hacker news have been speculating that the card had been hacked because they were seeing the balance jump by as much as a $100 at a time. Speculation ran from people buying gift cards to people waiting for the balance to go up and then buying coffee machines.

I disagree I think that there is just that many people buying coffee on the card that the balance doesn't have the chance to stay high for any period of time. Jonathans bot is his attempt at transparency showing the public that there is a large amount of money on the card so go and get a free coffee. That's where I think this experiment has gone wrong. I think that the experiment should have hidden the value of the card as the experiment is now "Grab a free coffee" with some nice people putting cash on the card for others.

If the ethos of the experiment is "Take a penny, Leave a Penny" basically you shouldn't be checking the balance before you go for a coffee. You go to the till and say I'll have a coffee on this card. Then if the card is empty you put $10 on it. Of course as the number of people taking part increase the issue might happen that you put $10 dollars on it and it empties between the money going on and the cashier charging the card.

But still a lovely heart warming idea and I hope it works out.

Monday, 8 August 2011

QR code

I found a site that allows you to generate QR codes with embedded text


Haven't been able to get it to work yet though :-( So I made this one up ;-)



Thanks to a Social Experiment I got a free coffee

Jonathan Stark set up a website to promote a social experiment based on take a penny give a penny that happens in America. This is the type of social experience that we can all like. Unfortunately there will always be some who take advantage and try to take advantage of others.


Here are two members of staff in my local (to work) StarBucks coffee shop in The UK (birmingham) who were pleasantly surprised that this experiment would take place at all.


check out http://jonathanstark.com/card/

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ever wondered how google maps street view works?

I happened to be on the Google Maps iPad Application and I went to street view and for some reason it refused to load any graphics. Now we all know that the street view is a series of spheres that you move from the centre point of one sphere to the next sphere as you move down your street and the photos that were taken by the street view cameras are displayed on the inside of the sphere as a texture. Due to the nature of these textures being photos of real life objects. They show distance which means that the texture does not make the sphere look like a sphere
As you can see from the above picture the effect is really good and it doesn't look like a sphere. Now what happens when the google map application refuses to load the photos.
As you can see from the two photos above the background world texture is applied on the blue and yellow bits.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Why distributed version control is better than centralised 

About a month ago we moved from SVN to Mercurial or rather Kiln to be precise.  Here is the reasons why I believe that the distributed version control model is better than the centralised version control model.

With a central model like Subversion you have to be connected to the network that the Repository is on.  So you can't take your computer out of the office and use the powerful tools that you get with any version control.  You can't commit any changes so if you do a lot of work you have to wait until you are back in the network before you can commit you changes.

With a distributed model then the .hg folder as in Mercurial is a isolated repository which you can commit to at any time. So you get all the benefits of version control  while off line.  Then when you are finally back on the network you can push your changes to the central server.

Now lets think about what happens when a developer starts writing a new application/website.  Normally they will start developing it up until the point they have a stable beta that they can start to show others.  At which time they normally think its time to put it into version control.  With Subversion you go to the central server and you decide to either import the directory of your application or create a directory name and then check out the new empty trunk into a directory in your machine and copy all the files over to that directory and then commit the files.

With a distributed model when you create your directory for starting you project you just choose to "create a repository here" which will add the .hg folder for Mercurial Version control or .git for Git version control.  Then as you are developing up to that stable beta point you can take advantage of the version control tools like commit, revert, diff, etc.  then when you are ready you can connect to your companies central server.  Create a repository on that server for your Application and finally "push" your changes to a central server.

Only when your change sets are pushed to the central server are they generally available.

For a great tutorial check out http://hginit.com

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Apple Store is off line ROAR!!!

We'll be back soon

So it looks like the release of Lion is going to be happening soon.  I can't wait to see if they are going to announce any new hardware but we will probably have to wait until september for hardware.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Is it "Google Plus" or "Google+"?

I'll go with Google+ until some says differently though Twitter is probably #googleplus.  So a couple of friends added me to their Google+ accounts and it emailed me I followed the link and set up my circle of friends.  Then it hit me I didn't have to manually log into Google+ or specify that I wanted a Google+ account.  But I remember sending a request for an invite.  I guess that activated the account for me but I'm wondering if anyone else noticed this?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I Jailbroke my iPad

I jailbroke my iPad last week to see what everyone was raving about.  I promptly crashed the device, and I'm impressed by how well the device and the jailbreak works.  Apple have built a device that if it fails to reboot twice (approx 10-15 minutes on the black screen with the silver Apple) the device will go into safe mode. I didn't even know that there was a safemode for the iPad let alone any iDevices.

What had happened is that since I was on an 3G iPad I was looking for software that would flesh out my iPad experience.  I wanted a SMS tool so I could send and recieve text messages so I installed an Cydia App called I believe "iRealSMS 2.0" which didn't work just closes when you start it so I ignored it and that was the problem.  I then installed Winterboard onto the device and Winterboard requires a reboot so when I rebooted I ened up in safe mode and was thinking that the problem was with Winterboard.  Also when I held down my finger on the icon so that it wobbles and could be removed there was no (x) to remove the app.  Eventually I found that the Cydia App has an installed section that allows you to remove installed apps.  Since the Apple App Store doesn't have this I didn't even think about it.

So I uninstalled Winterboard and rebooted but still ended up in safe mode so I then looked at what else I had installed and removed the iRealSMS app and rebooted and hey presto one fully working iPad.  I am so impressed with how the Cydia App Store allows you to uninstall apps.  This of course is because not all apps you buy on the Cydia Store are run via an icon.  For example there is an App "RetinaPad" available for $2.99 this will take any and all iphone apps that have not been updated for the iPhone4 and smooth the rendering for you when you hit the (x2) button.  The quality is amazing and I'll quote here "It's how Apple should have done it".

Other benefits are Choose Web Browser.  Which allows you to specify what browser to open when you click a link in youTube,  Hopefully it will be updated to aloow yout to completely override the browser so that if you click a link it opens that browser rather than Safari.

One thing I noticed is that most Apps are not free except for the thousands of themes that seem to fill the store and navigating the store is not great.  I guess I just got used to the way that the Apple Store does things.  There is a nice list of iPad Extensions & products designed for the iPad but there is no More button to see more of these type of apps.  Also when searching there is nothing that tells you if the App works on an iPad.  If the search result has got blue text then its a paid for app of its Grey then its free.

I see that there is a iRealSMS 3.0 which is a paid for app $12.99 but thats a bit steep since it doesn't give a big description in the store.

If anyone has any decent Apps that I should check out let me know in the comments.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Why I believe that Apple should announce FaceTime for other devices

With Skype integration into Facebook and Google bringing Google Talk video chat to Android 3.0 devices. Apple needs to produce FaceTime for Windows, Linux, Android & WebOS.

Skype has a great lead and this race is now on. Microsoft's purchase of Skype and deal with Facebook has upped the anti.  This race will be won by the system with the most users.  Skype is in the lead then FaceTime came along and enabled video calling from mobile devices.  Google are going to to launch video chat with their social network Google+.  Where does that leave Apple since they opened the standard for FaceTime I haven't heard of any developers developing a desktop application that will communicate with the FaceTime servers.  That means that if Apple don't release a desktop application for different Operating systems they could be left behind.  Also enabling it across 3G & 4G would be a very good idea.

Friday, 1 July 2011

My Ubuntu bucket of fail

Unfortunately and this is not a fault of the Ubuntu Project, I have been unable to get my home machine to install GRUB this is all related to the time I installed Mandrake and then couldn't get rid of the Boot loader that it installed.  I eventually got rid of that by installing vista so that I could do the equivalent of an "fdisk /mbr" statement.  Since that day I've never been able to install another bootloader even though I've taken the drives out of the raid configuration and re ordered them and formatted them and a whole pile of other steps.   This is the first time that the Ubuntu installer as actually picked up that my machine has hardware raid "Nvidia raid" normally I have to put Ubuntu onto a disk by its self.

I've even used the dd command to overwrite the first 512bytes of the hard drive to blank the drives completly.

Its a pity because I really liked what I seen when I ran the live CD.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Finally got round to trying Ubuntu 11.04

The "trying" in the title is correct. I often reinstall my computer to try out different operating systems. From Ubuntu, Aros, Mac OSX and BeOS. I like to try them out I hate using windows it just feels clunky and every once in a while I put Vista back on the machine. So the latest Ubuntu came out in April but i just haven't tried it yet. So today I backed up all the content on my machine to an external HD. I'm running a pretty old machine 3yrs with 4GB ram , quad core CPU, 3x 500Gb in raid giving me 1.5Tb of disk space, 2 Radeon 2600HD GFX cards connected to 3 Monitors (currently only 2 working).

So I downloaded the latest ubuntu from the website the 64bit version and installed it. I was highly surprised when the install finally picked up that I had 3 hard drives linked in a raid and supplied it as a single drive rather that 3 separate drives that it normally does. So with a big grin on my face I deleted all of the partitions and told it to install the OS to a 500GB partition a 10GB swap space and the /home mounted on the other 1TB partition.

The installation went perfectly and very fast up to the point where it tried to write the grub boot loader. I got an error about the fact that it could not write to the drive. Let me explain as I explained above I like to install Operating systems one of which was Mandrake. I've installed RedHat and Ubuntu before but not Mandrake I think it was the spring 2010 version but when I tried to uninstall that and put windows back on I had problems with the fact that I couldn't get rid of its boot loader. It took me ages to fix I had to install windows and mess about with the command line to try and do an "fdisk /mbr". I think that this previous issue is stopping me from installing grub on the partition table.

So I guess thats what I'll be doing from tomorrow on. I did like what I've seen so far with ubuntu and am looking forward to playing with it when i get it installed. Any tips on how to fix this would be verify welcome.

thanks

Ado

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

DuckDuckGo Search engine

Yesterday I heard of a new search engine called DuckDuckGo i've had a little go on the site and must admit I do like it. So I clicked on the ipad link on the site which took me to the iPad app on itunes. Could this be a new google? At least they wont have the problem of loosing their trademark because it becomes a verb as your not going to say "Just DuckDuckGo it" more than likely it will be just "Quack it" Think I should trademark that?

You can check it out at http:\\www.duckduckgo.com I like that on the ipad I don't have to hit next page it just adds more on bottom. Though this has the problem of a large amount of scrolling when you want to get to the top.





Tuesday, 21 June 2011

I got a case for my iPad today

Today I received a new case for my iPad. The reason for getting the case is that I dropped my iPad on saturday afternoon and while I didn't break it i did put a small dent into the side of the device. So i went online and started looking for a case, not a cover as I don't think that the covers give any protection to the device.







This is the case I bought and it is amazing the way that having a keyboard with an iPad changes how you write stuff on it. It seems very relaxing way to type. The keyboard is rubber keys but they react like a normal keyboard with no missed keys while typing.

I do like the angle of the iPad while typing and it is adjustable as well but the best bit is the price. so how much for a keyboard and case for an iPad2 would £100 be a reasonable price? Well the first cover I looked at was £50 on overstock.com and i went right through the purchase order until the last part where they told me i had to install Flash. I don't even have flash installed on my home computer. So I started looking again thinking that I would end up paying approx £100 for it. While searching i found an entry for the above device on eBay for £20 plus £5 postage, so now thinking that I was going to have to bid on a case I nearly didn't open the link. I was therefore very pleasantly surprised. When the auction was buy now for £20.

There of course is the issue that you always have with a new keyboard where the keys aren't where you have trained your fingers to look for them. Though I do believe that given time this will not be an issue. So my current rating for this device is 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

IPad - Pages app review

I've recently downloaded pages for the iPad to work on a word document on the go and while it's a lovely program it does have some flaws which with a text editor are really seriously missing features.

FIrstly we have the problem that while there is an option for replacing text it doesn't work. What happens is that you highlight a section that you want to replace throughout the document, select the more.. option from the popup bubble then select the replace option and it just keeps saying 'no replacement found'. Doesn't bother to ask you what you want to replace it with it just says in the words of 'Little Britian'; "Computer says no!!". If they changed the message to Apple does not know what to replace the text with.

Second we have document headings. It won't let you change their styles across the document. Since the document I imported had really bad header styles I wanted to up date them. This is a manual process for the user because if you select a heading type it applies the heading in the document style. Which for this document was all messed up the header one style was smaller than the header two style and header three, etc..

Now for the nice things it does, the ability to highlight a document and put it into multiple columns, the ability to format tables is quick and straight forward but the cell outline options does not seem to have an option for no borders, image handling is brilliant take an image and make the background transparent and the text will flow against the image.

If I was to rate the app then 4/5 stars even with the flaws I stated it's a great app.

Monday, 13 June 2011

How to stream a PDF and open at a specific page.

Today I need to open a streamed PDF to a user from a website and open it on a specified page. The website is written in PHP with the binary files stored in a non accessible directory so they need to be streamed to a user upon request.  This also allows for the website to check if you have access to a file and keep it private to the users in question.  So to open a PDF at a specific page you use a url like "http://domain/test.pdf#page=2" but since we are looking to stream a file you use a url like "http://domain/stream.php?id=<number>" which after checking you have access to the file runs something like

header("Content-Type: ". $ContentType);
$sStreamFilePath = STREAM_CACHE . "/file_".$DocumentId.".binaryFile";
header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.$filename.'"');
fpassthru(fopen($sStreamFilePath,'rb'));
exit();

 
So to open a PDF on a specific page we need to update the url to have "#page=<page>" on it "http://domain/stream.php?id=<number>#page=<page>"

Now your problem is that the hash part is not sent to the server so the stream.php never gets it. So you need to also pass it as a parameter like "http://domain/stream.php?id=<number>&page=<page>#page=<page>" this will send the page to the server which PHP will be able to access and add to the $iPageToOpenAt variable in the example below.

header("Content-Type: ". $ContentType);
$sStreamFilePath = STREAM_CACHE . "/file_".$DocumentId.".binaryFile";
if($ContentType=="application/pdf"){
 if($iPageToOpenAt != NOT_FOUND){
  header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.$filename.'#page='.$iPageToOpenAt.'"');
 } else {
  header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.$filename.'"');
 }
} else {
 header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.$filename.'"');
}
fpassthru(fopen($sStreamFilePath,'rb'));
exit();

What is actually happening is that we need to force both the browser and Acrobat Reader to see the page parameter.

Monday, 6 June 2011

The glass is half full.

Why is the glass always half full with Apple, and by that I mean that there always seems to be something left out. Let's talk about iCloud and it's syncing. Joy of joys I hear you say but let's look at it. What they have said is that every device will automatically sync. Well let's hope that doesn't happen.

Lets say you were at a wedding or some such event where you might take a hundred photo easily. Now let's say that that is 200MB of data for this example and let's say that they were taken on your iPhone. now they are going to sync to your home PC, your laptop, your iPad and your iPod touch.

That's 1GB of data 200Mb up and 800MB down we will ignore the 24mb let's over.

I assumed correctly that Apple would have thought about the amount of time and bandwidth it takes to upload your iTunes music library but they seem to have missed the plot about the way that photos should be dealt with.

I hope that each device has the ability to choose what way it syncs. I for one would prefer to download scaled versions of photos to my devices with the option per photo to download the original. That way people can choose to download the originals to the big PC at the back of the house but to download iPod touch size thumbnails on to the iPod touch as the default with of course the ability to download the original as the default for that device. I ask you honestly how regularly do you pinch and zoom on photos compared to how many times to you just flick between photos. I would also like the albums to come as a notification so that I can choose the sync option like "Don't sync to this device". Or "sync when on wifi". Or better yet "Ask when I go on wifi" so I can choose to sync everything while having coffee in Starbucks. Also the ability to sync with other devices with out going to the cloud is a must. just look at how distributed version control works i.e. Mercurial.

I'm very happy with the thought of wifi syncing my device while at home. just not sure if I want to have it downloading to every device. This would mean that every time I took a phot on my 32GB iPad that my wife's iPod touch 8GB would receive a copy. Not that I have anything to hide I just don't think she has much space on her iPod. I'm also sure that the 50-60 books that I have bought and read since Christmas would be of interest to her.

I'll leave you with this thought "It would be nice to be able to control the syncing of all my devices from any device"

I'm wondering if the iPod nano will be mentioned

Last september Apple released the new iPod nano. I'm wondering just how the nano did in the last 9 months and if we will hear of a refresh of the device. Or if we will have to wait until September for more information on it. I will admit that I'm very curious about how well it sold. I love the fact that it could be made into a watch.

Some rumours going around are about a possible iPhone nano coming out and if it did then I think that the size would definitely have to increase, because if you have ever seen some one trying to have a phone conversation with their wrist then you will know how stupid they look.


What I'm looking for from Apple today.

My main hopes are two fold I'm hoping for more functionality with photos like iPhoto on the Mac plus syncing and sharing options and of course wifi syncing of my iPad.

For photography I would like to see the ability to create and manage albums on the iPad I don't sync that often and prefer to use my iPad for as much as possible. I would like the ability to create albums on the iPad and to have those sync to the cloud and for it to be easy to allow others to have access to the albums that I want to grant them access to. So if I log in to my iClound account form any computer I can see all the albums that my friends have shared. With automatic thumbnails and small screen sized photos for viewing. With larger originals available for download just so I don't have to download 4.3MB files all the time. I would like to see the functionality of iPhoto on my iPad so that it could suggest people from my contacts and have the ability to link to my contacts to see all photos of that person. I would also like to be able to set up a new album and have photos go directly there.

For syncing I would hope that there would be the ability to sync to the iCloud service as well as to a server at home and all wifi based. I don't think that the iCloud service is going to be just for music. I would like to see it syncing all my apps, selected albums, music, books, etc... I have approx (as of about 3 months ago) 360GB of stuff in my iTunes folder on my machine. the big things are the movies that I have downloaded but I have about 100GB of photos that I've taken as well. I'm hoping that the music folder is fully synced to iCloud for off line access though I really need to clean it up as I ripped every CD I had and most of them I never listen too.

One rumour that I heard is that you might be able to log in to any computer with your iTunes details and use your stuff. This is very similar to what I was discussing with an Apple employee pre Christmas. I was explaining that I had gotten rid of my mobile and was using two iTouch 4th Gen iPods to video chat with my wife. I was explaining that I could envision a time when you would walk up to a booth and log in with your iTunes account and make a video call to someone or send an email. Of course the booth would charge 10 pence per minute to your iTunes account. while if I picked up a friends iPad I could log in and call some one for free.

Anything else will be a bonus. Any way today is going to be interesting.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Are so many Android devices a good idea

As a consumer more options are supposed to be a good idea.  We've got some nice OS's with iOS, Android, WebOs, and what ever the RIM OS is called.

So Apple and Rim are producing their own devices while Google is allowing their OS on other manufacturers devices and lastly HP with WebOS who have stated that they would be open to talking with people about them using WebOS.

But as a consumer who doesn't like to follow hardware specs for every device that is coming out or is planned for the future.  I'm starting to get confused about which Android device is the newest.  So my thinking goes something like

"Mmmm which device should I go for?"

"I could get an Android but wait will these devices run 'Honeycomb' when it comes out when ever that is?"

"I can wait till September and get the next iPad or go for the Playbook from RIM when its available."

Since Apple and RIM are producing their own devices they are responsible for backward compatibility for future OS updates. With Android unless you buy your device outright I believe (and I could be wrong) that you have to wait for the teleco to allow you to have the latest OS update.  Lets be honest the telecommunication companies want you to buy a new device not upgrade the current one. I had a Apple 3G for nearly 2 years before I got rid of my mobile.  I was always getting my phone upgraded every year which was tying me to the company for another year and it was the first mobile that I didn't want to upgrade and that was because the manufacture was updating the OS and giving me effectively a new mobile on each upgrade "Oh shiny (slightly scratched) new toy"

The bottom line is that with Apple and RIM as a consumer I'll know that I have the latest device from them with Android its like the PC market "Which is better? screw it I'll go with a brand its all the same shit anyway!"

I played with the Blackberry Playbook today

Note:: I only got to play with it for ten minutes

Its a nice looking device and I do like the layout my main problem is that due to the fact that there are no buttons I couldn't figure out how to exit some programs and had to be shown.  So minus one point there for not being more straight forward and simple to use.  Once I was shown how to go back (slide finger from outside the screen onto the screen) to the dashboard or what ever they are calling it.  I started to play with it so I loaded the racing game that was on it then accidentally moved my finger from the black area onto the screen and it shrunk it to 50% (nice feature I thought so plus one point) then instead of clicking on the game screen that was still playing I slide my finger up and it disappeared behind some UI on me (so minus 1 point) then I slide my finger the other way and got something else instead.  I played with the camera and it seemed very good much better than my iPad but that's not really hard now is it.

The fact that there is no email client on it is also a negative aspect I just can't understand the point in having a tablet and not being able to access my email on its nice screen.  I liked the weight and the feel of the device and after some playing with it I did like it.  I think that they have done a really nice job on it the UI just needs to be gotten used to and I'm sure that if I had it for a full day I would have gotten used to it quick enough.

I honestly thought that the device would have been bigger I haven't followed the spec's of it but I was definitely thinking of a larger device when the word book was used more along the lines of a large hardback book rather than a smaller paper back.  RIM definitely have a nice product and I do hope that they get enough developers to produce applications for it.  I see this as being a more acceptable to businesses because they are using Blackberries for the company mobiles that they will also go with the Playbook.  I will be very interested to see how it evolves.

The bottom line is that if someone gave me one I would happily take it and I do think that its got a life in corporations.  I feel that it will be easier to get this device from your company rather than an iPad or Android Tablet.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding Effect?

Is this the effect of the royal wedding? or have people actually stopped playing Call of Duty - Black Ops?
I mean it lists only 7 thousand players and only shows servers with 52 people on board and that's after a complete refresh.  That of course also doesn't take into account the fact that I'm disillusioned with the game.  Due to the new DLC convent most servers I played have added the new maps. But I'm just not willing to pay any more money to this company.

Viewing 3D graphics with out a 3D screen

I just read the following tweet "RT @VentureBeat: iPad 2, iPhone 4 gets glasses-free 3D using head tracking (video) http://bit.ly/gg2OEw". You guys should check out the article it's about some researchers that have been able to make an iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 display a 3D view of an object.

The idea is that the front facing camera looks at how you are looking at a screen and renders based on that. So if you move your head it changes the coordinates and viewing vector of the scene camera. Now that's pretty amazing tech

Sorry its been a while

I've been fighting with DNS records trying to get a domain pointed at my blog, but it just wouldn't take.  Instead of pointing the domain at my blog it kept pointing my blog to the domain.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Other Books I can recommend

I can definitely also recommend the following books

By Penelope Fletcher
By Paul Edwards
By Wesley Allison
By David Kitson

I couldn't resist - Light in the Barren Lands - review

Author : Brian S. Pratt,
Price : £3.49

I just needed to know so I bought the first book in the "Travail of the Dark Mage" series "Light in the Barren Lands" and man I wasn't disappointed.  This book is brilliant it covers James getting accidently returned to earth and the consequences that happen when his return causes an explosion.  The feds think hes a terrorist and are after him.  Its well thought out and half the time I'm thinking "PLEASE NOOO!!!!!" as James gets further and further into trouble.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Recommended series of books - The Morcyth Saga

Author : Brian S. Pratt

I first noticed Brian's book "The Unsuspecting Mage" in the free section of iBooks and SmashBooks.com I find I soon got into the story and by the end of the book I was saying to my self that I hope there is a follow up to this book.  Which I quickly found out there was in fact seven books in the series. All reasonibly priced at £2.99 so I bought them all and read the complete story right through to the end in one amazing go over 2 weeks travelling to and from work.

The Books are
, , , ,
, ,

I see also that he is writing another series of books as a sequel to the original called the "Travail of the Dark Mage".  All I can say is Brian keep up the good work.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Quantum computing device hints at powerful future

Original Article : BBC

qubits" sounds like it should be something you read about in a piece of fiction not in a news article about a team that are producting a 4qubit processor.  LOL I wonder if your could port a specy emulator to it when they double it ;-).

PHP Wiki site hacked.

Original Story : The Register

The Hacking for a php wiki site on wiki.php.net has left some to believe that accounts have been compromised.  The PHP Source code has been reviewed from version 5.3.5 to the latest looking for any malicious code that might have been injected into the repository. The checking of commits from 5.3.5 leads me to believe that the hack was found quickly enough.  As stated by The Reg There are no details if the passwords stored on the site were hashed or open text.  If they were not hashed then people should check thier accounts. I believe that all accounts now require a password reset but the important thing here is that people need to also change passwords on other systems that use the same account login information. For example eMail accounts may be breached due to poor password management practices of users.

The Announcement on php.net

"The wiki.php.net box was compromised and the attackers were able to collect wiki account credentials. No other machines in the php.net infrastructure appear to have been affected. Our biggest concern is, of course, the integrity of our source code. We did an extensive code audit and looked at every commit since 5.3.5 to make sure that no stolen accounts were used to inject anything malicious. Nothing was found. The compromised machine has been wiped and we are forcing a password change for all svn accounts.

We are still investigating the details of the attack which combined a vulnerability in the Wiki software with a Linux root exploit."

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011

St Patrick's day 2011 Birmingham

There is nothing quite like watching the parade having a large bowl of steaming hot stew with potatoes and wheaten soda bread. It's the Sunday before the 17th so birmingham are celebrating in style. The friendly staff of the Irish centre are working flat out serving the beer, the food and the criac. Best of all some wonderful irish music. We finished off going to see riverdance in 3D brilliant

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Android Game : Hexacty



The Game is developed by Magnus Lorentzon there is a 1minute 55 second video from YouTube that you should really see.  The game looks great the game play seems simple I think that this will be one of those addictive games that people will be talking about.  Since I don't have an Android device I will leave the review of the game to the guys at phandroid.  I just hope there is a version for this game for us iOS users.

Monday, 7 March 2011

I'm starting to get sick of developers installing crap on my computer

There is nothing I hate more than downloading some developers app and installing it only to find that it installs some unwanted applications

From Adobe reader installing Mac Afee scan tool. Or Microsoft installing add-ons in firefox with out asking you. and of course WinAmp changing your default search engine on you.

some programs will install yahoo or google tool bars and you can't select not to install them.

Examples of Exploiting Game Flaws

Call of Duty - Black Ops 

I always thought that the spawn points we shit in this game I just didn't realise that they were as bad as they are until I watched a youTube video of the spawn flaws in one map.  Of course this only works if the team work together to hold the "Respawn Spawn Point" in the right location.  But this really needs fixed surely they could be able to have the server pick a random spot out of the "Field of Fire" for people to respawn to. even a 10-15 degree arc would work.

Social Games

The other thing I did this weekend was read this article about a guy who cheated in a live social game.  The only described rule was that the winner was the one who collected the most coins.  Each person that entered conference got a token (coin).  One guy asks for the bag of coins and its given to him.  Man I laughed reading the article.  This basically describes that the user will play the game in a way the developers didn't think of.  No matter how much you as a game developer develop the rules of a game someone will find a flaw and exploit it.

Overview 

Whether you find a way to lock people into respawn points or find a naive guy who hands you a bag of coins these issues will continue to be found and exploited.

Gaming companies need to embrace these issues and fix them asap.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

So I got rid of my mobile last September

I found I was paying £35 a month for the iPhone 3G that I had. and while I was using it the primary function for data (internet activity) and secondary as a mobile.  I also noticed that I only called a very few people and worst yet I received more unsolicited calls than wanted ones.  The iPhone definitely started to make me a bit of an Apple fan boy.  But that was down to the internet activity I was using the phone for.  I also realised that the people I did call the most (family) I knew the number for.  So I took the big step of getting rid of my mobile phone.  I must admit it feels great being not being contactable by marketing people.  My family all have my work number and my home number.

So I sold the iPhone and bought two iPod Touch an 8Gb for the wife and 32Gb one for me.  I can hear most people thinking why you telling me this.  Well the iPod Touch has Facetime and Skype video calls.  I've been making free video calls to the wife nearly every day now for nearly 3 months.  I've made video calls to some friends using Skype and have no monthly bill.  This has saved me £105 pounds in the first 3 months by the end of another 3 months I will have paid for the devices.

The call quality for using Facetime is brilliant my only issue with the Facetime app and I don;t know if this is the same for the iPhone4 is the length of time it takes to make a connection.  I started a call at home between the two devices and it took nearly 30 seconds for the second device to start ringing and then 5-10 seconds to send back and create the connection. Once connected there was no lag between the devices which is really great.


Over all a great product and worth every penny.

Got a problem trying to download docs over SSL?

Had the old problem trying to download streamed documents over SSL yesterday hear are the headers I needed to send to fix the php script

header("Content-Type: $mimeType");
header("Expires: " . Date("r"));
header("Pragma: ");
header("Cache-Control: public, must-revalidate");
header("Content-Length: " . strlen("$buffer}"));
header("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=$filename");

Some people have reported that just setting the pragma header works for them but I needed all of these headers.

Monday, 24 January 2011

A rail fiasco.

Was reading the front page of the Metro on thursday last week (20th Jan),  The headline was "Fares to soar to end rail crush" and there was me and probably a lot of other people thinking that adding an extra carriage to the train would help.  After all the government wants us to use public transport and leave our cars at home.  Seems like enough toffs has probably complained that they can't read their morning paper.  So how do they propose to get around it well put the prices up and make the poorer people make their own way to work.

Surely the trains have to have insurance to run.  According to the Metro in their article some trains are running at 240 - 350 (Approx) over their capacity which is approx 150% capacity.  Compare this to if I hire a taxi, the taxi is only insured to handle x amount of people.  I'm not sure of the law in regards to this but if the police stopped a taxi that was insured to have 4 passengers and there were 7 passengers the driver would probably get nicked.  Are the rail bosses putting our lives at risk for profit.  I've traveled on an over crowed train and the only place I could stand/sit was in the connection area between two carriages you know the crumple zone.

The government needs to implement a law if they haven't already that states that a vehicle may not carry passengers that exceed

A) The maximum capacity.
B) The maximum insured capacity.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Is it a bird is it a plane? - Nope just a logo.

I see that the W3C have decided to release a logo that envisions the qualities of the HTML 5 definitions the blurb on their website states

"It stands strong and true, resilient and universal as the markup you write. It shines as bright and as bold as the forward-thinking, dedicated web developers you are. It's the standard's standard, a pennant for progress. And it certainly doesn't use tables for layout."

While I don't disagree with this i wonder just how many sites will actually put a "Built with HTML 5" logo on the page.  Honestly I haven't see "Built with HTML 4" in a very long time so I suspect that we will only see it on developer websites that are to do with either learning the HTML layout or to define if a plugin will produce HTML5 content. Or will it creep into site design as a buzz word that will be used to sell systems to clients.  A tick box on the tender document as it were.  From a design point of view I like the logo and the page shows it rendered differently for different sites in the "Build it and they will come" section.

Check out the logo page here.

Let me know what you think of the new logo in the comments below.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Tedcast - Episode 1 - Meet the N00bs

So, I've been invited to start a video podcast with some guys I know that are all into tech its our first try so let us know what you think.  I'm sure that it will get better with time.

http://www.justin.tv/tedcast/b/277746582

Metro UK app - review

This app annoys me it expects an Internet connection to be on all the time. When you open the app it keeps asking for your email address and doesn't remember you didn't want to give it out to be spammed by them. The second thing is that the format is that of a scanned page with each being downloaded separately. It makes it hard to use and clunky it's a pity because they could have done this so much better. All I can say is thank god that Apple blocks flash cos I'm sure that all the paper ads would be flash based. Don't get me wrong I love reading this paper on the bus. It's just that the app doesn't work for me.

What they should do in my opinion is redesign the app to have all the stories as separate articles with or with out photos. Have each article preceded by a picture of one of the adverts under the heading "This article sponsored by" and a couple of buttons "Skip" and "More Info" below. That way they can sell mobile advertisements. They should have the whole paper download to your mobile device over night. Lastly the app should have articles in categories as I'm interested In tech and science articles and not gossip.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments

The problem with Moble/Tablet devices

I was reading the How to Buy Into Android at the Worst Possible Time [HUMOR] on http://phandroid.com and it made me think about this topic now the above link wasn't meant as a rant or flame war but rather to highlight the issue that when you develop the OS and the hardware you are sort of responsible for backwards compatibility.

Take Apple for example they dropped support for the first generation of the iPhone's lately and i heard that the iPhone 3G wont be getting update iOS4.3  as a consumer I'm happy for this because I got updates for a while on my device.  I don't know if  the above is generally true for every android device, but it highlights that device manufactures are going well its not financially viable for us to upgrade existing devices as that will break a sales channel "We want people to upgrade their hardware" as that makes us money.  So why should they push through an OS upgrade.  What needs to happen is that people get the option to upgrade with backups taken before and the ability to restore to previous OS if the upgrade doesn't work.  The update should also be flagged by your manufacture as tested with  your device if they have tested it and it works so people can either.  Choose to wait for the manufacture to tell them its OK to install or follow a blogger/website that tests the device with the latest version and lets you know its working before you download and run it on your machine.

I'm not writing this as a I'm an Apple fan boy we win sort of thing, but rather I'm a consumer this is how it should work.

Traditionally with a PC you get a OS and you can upgrade OK normally you have to buy a new OS (Mac & Win) with tablets you lose this capability you will have to either hack you tablet of choice or hope your manufacturer pushes an OS update out.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Apples iPod iTouch apps keep crashing.

I've been using the iPod Touch a lot lately and I must say that it's a brilliant device.  I write up most of my blog posts while on the bus then when I access the work wifi I post the entry.  I've started to notice that a few apps crash on me for example Tweetdeck crashed when I clicked on the Updates menu button on the bottom of the screen.  It had 293 items on it and when I reopend the update had none on it so it had definitly went to the server to mark them as read before crashing. 

I was talking with my brother in law as we were listening to some tunes on one of the music tv channels on sky.  We were chatting about knowing the name of a song with out looking at the screen and I was talkign about Shazam so I downloaded the free version as its not a product O would use on a regular basis.  I tried to run it to show it working something that I had never seen my self but was told by lots of people that it was a great app.  After clicking the "Touch to Shazam" button and waiting for the circle to complete it just closed.

Now I don't know if its the fact that I don't reboot my device on a regular basis or if its part of the functionality of the apps running in the background but I was wondering if any others had the same issues please leave a comment if you've had this issue.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The perfect iPad app for an airport shop

Was standing in Dixon's Travel shop in Birmingham Airport Terminal 1. When I spotted an iPad and thought I would have a look at it. So after hitting the home screen button the screen displayed the first screen of installed apps and the first thing I spotted was iGun app. It was like one of those big red buttons that have a neon sign pointing at it and saying "Do not PRESS!!!" well of course I didn't play with it. that's all I would need when waiting to get on a plane is to start making gun shot sounds.

I mean I'm not crazy enough for that.

:-)

Sony Sues Playstation 3 Hackers - OSNews

by (Thom Holwerda) on 12 Jan 2011
original : http://osnews.com/story/24247/Sony_Sues_Playstation_3_Hackers

I read this on the bus this morning and it made me laugh.

"Well, it would appear that Sony isn't particularly pleased with the fact that their console has been hacked into oblivion. It has officially filed suit against the fail0verflow hacker group and Geohot, after filing a temporary restraining order yesterday to try and remove the jailbreak information from the web (how cute)."


OS News


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

How I want to pay for my software

How many times have you bought a game played it for a couple of hours and then dropped it because the doesn't catch you just right and how many times are those games over the £20 mark. Quite a bit I'm sure and why should I have to pay so much for a game that doesn't live up to the hype. What I would love to see is a company that allows micro payments for games I think that the STEAM system would be great for this. So lets take the Call of Duty series of games as a starting point. I've owned quite a few versions of this game except for Modern Warfare 2 (I objected to removal of dedicated servers) so no money from me for that game.

So I've bought and played Call of Duty 3, Modern Warfare, World at War & now Black Ops. If I was producing a micropayment system I would make it bill the user for every hour of play lets say 50p and here is the crux up to a total bill of £30. Lets say you download and install for free the new "Black Ops" game then you start playing once you have played 60 hours you will have paid for the game with out any problem, now if you didn't like the game or any reason and only played 3-4 hours then your only billed £2. Of course if new patch comes out that fixes a load of problems then you are more than likely to come back and play the game again or at least try it out and get billed another couple of quid.

Basically you will play the games that interest you and that you play if the game developers make a game that entertains you, then you will play it and feel comfortable in paying full market price for the game. An example of why this would benefit the consumer is the "Quake Wars Enemy Territory" game definitely not worth the money in my opinion but as a PC Gamer I can't return the game to the store for a refund as you'll be told "its already been installed".

For instance I played "Modern Warfare" for at least 2 hours every day for 2 years that's 700 hours. If companies were willing to do this then they could add in game purchasing for expansion packs.

This would also work for other software not just games.

Monday, 10 January 2011

My ideal Operating system - folder structure

Ok I've spoken about storing a complete application in a single .app folder that when double clicked will act like an application. Which keeps within my keep it simple motto.

Next I'd like to talk about your basic computer's set up. So let's say you have got a computer and your running my ideal OS on it how would the file structure look to a new user? Would it be complex looking like Linux. Which to be honest still confuses the hell out of me. Or would it be like windows that seems to change every version but does put most of the files into one of three folders windows or variant, program files and lastly documents and settings. Or what about the Amiga another operating system that has loads of folders that cover the root folder of the machine.

Well I would start by having a single folder containing the OS that would be hidden and would be called OS.

A folder called apps with .app files contained in a category based folder tree structure.

A folder called user data that holds a folder for each user to save private information too.

An important note about this is that while the is folder is hidden it is not in accessible. Also the app folder structure is re-definable by the user but when a .app folder is down loaded you would be asked where to save it the default would be apps/category/subcategory/...

Next time I'll talk about the desk top interface.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

How Sweden turns human body heat into useful energy

Original http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12140954

Engineers in Stockholm have discovered a new way to trap and use human body heat.

At Stockholm's busy Central Station, engineers use heating exchangers to convert body heat into hot water and then pump that water to an office building next door, providing it with environmentally friendly and cost effective heating.

The process can reduce energy costs by up to 25%.

Xanthe Hinchey reports.

Friday, 7 January 2011

PHP guys release fix for Double numbers hanging servers

Original : PHP.net

The PHP development team would like to announce the immediate availability of PHP 5.3.5 and 5.2.17.

This release resolves a critical issue, reported as PHP bug #53632 and CVE-2010-4645, where conversions from string to double might cause the PHP interpreter to hang on systems using x87 FPU registers.

The problem is known to only affect x86 32-bit PHP processes, regardless of whether the system hosting PHP is 32-bit or 64-bit. You can test whether your system is affected by running this script from the command line.

All users of PHP are strongly advised to update to these versions immediately.

Call of Duty - Black Ops - review

So I've been playing Black Ops since it came out and I must admit that when its working its a great game and quite playable at 30 fps. I like the types of game you can play so its not just the normal Death Match, Capture the Flag, Domination type modes but the wager matches really make it fun. The ability to play a game where the weapons are the same for everyone really balances the game out bringing it down to skill and GFX power. I love the Recent Servers tab that allows you to see the previous servers you were on quite handy when you find a server that fits but the game crashes. Allows you to come back to it easily. The game has definitely become more stable lately as well which definitely helps I went through a period where the game would crash after 30 seconds of game play.

The couple of things that really needs updating in my opinion is the period between a game ending and a new one starting. You get a couple of seconds to post a quick message but not long enough for a conversation as your score card kills your message on you then your redirected to the loading map screen for the next game. You would think that by now developers would be putting you into a "lobby" where you could chat while the game loads the next map. Also changing the message location to be lower would be much better nothing worst than trying to look over text in the game.

I'm running it on a Quad Core 2Ghz Machine with 4Gb Ram & 2x 512Mb Radeon 2600HD graphics cards and only getting 30fps though sometimes it does jump to 50fps but not in game play.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

PHP thinks its a pentium PC forgets how to count.

Original Article : The Register

Its been reported that PHP has a major flaw in versions 5.2 & 5.3 that cause a really large floating number to cause the computer to use 100% CPU. Which means that you could take down a PHP web site with out having to use a DoS attack. This of course is reported as a problem for 32bit machines and not 64bit, The value as reported in The Register is 2.2250738585072011e-308

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Liverpool to trial 200Mbs powerline broadband

Original : http://www.techwatch.co.uk/2011/01/02/liverpool-to-trial-200mbs-powerline-broadband/

According to Brian Turner over at tech watch Liverpool council is go trial broadband over electricity cables and at 200mb's that's fast.

From what I can make out it's not exactly like the local Ethernet over your houses electricity network. They talk about having to install hardware in the 1000 new builds that are going to be part of the trial and there might be some issue with interference with radio signals. The broadband would be at a different frequency than the electricity.

Originally read from Tech Watch


My ideal Operating system - defining how apps work

My ideal OS would make life simple for me or rather my wife as a user I shouldn't have to install anything let's take the firefox browser as an example. I like the browser and use it on multiple machines and not always the same OS on these machines.

So if I want to put firefox onto a new machine I run off to the firefox website and download the version I want some times having to choose the architecture \ OS that I'm running.

What I would envision is a single download say firefox.app it's effectively a JAR file but the OS is told that on a double click to go into the firefox.app folder and execute the .exe file.

If you copy the .app file to a new architecture and a version for that architecture doesn't yet exist yet it alerts you to check for a newer version.

My wife thinks I'm addicted to coffee

I'm not, I'm addicted to information. I hate being off line, take Dec 20 one of many people sitting in Birmingham airport watching screen to see when we would take off. Except I had one extra piece of information that others didn't. I knew that only one plane flew our route so while everyone was watching the departures board for our flight information to be updated. I was watching the departures board in Belfast to see if the plane was leaving Belfast at all.

Having information makes us feel safe and comfortable so why aren't some companies giving us the real information rather than marketing bullshit?

It's funny but my addiction to information seems to have snuck up on me. It just while lying in bed after reading all the news posts and having no network connection now that I realise I'm an addict.

Spend today thinking about what company RSS feeds to add to my google reader account. It's mad but some days it seems that news appears in blocks from lots of different sources.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Nintendo issues warning on 3DS games for children

original post http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12101504

So Nintendo have announced that children under 6 shouldn't use there 3D DS as it can hurt their eyes. This makes me wonder how will the bigger tv manufacturers will respond and they need to so that sales are not effected. If one device is not safe for children what about the rest?