Tuesday 14 December 2010

I finally got a new phone

I've been using an old HTC TytnII (Kaiser) with Android 2.2 forced into it - but it doesn't quite work right.

I've been holding out for something good with a build in keyboard but they all cost around 400 quid! Forget that!

I finally got an Orange San Francisco (which is really a branded ZTE Blade) on sale at 85.00 with another £14.00 off with my phone fund, so it cost me £70 which is very good.

It also came with a "free" £55 ghastly plastic "LTD brand" watch which must be worth all of 99p - it's like those nice metal citizen watches you used to be able to get, only made out of white plastic.

If I wore my jeans halfway down my thighs, had those weird white shoes that get your feet wet and my hair plastered to my face with grease it would look real nice - only I don't; and if I wear it people will think I'm a refugee.

My phone is now running Modaco's customized ROM - seems to be Android 2.2 although I thought I'd installed the custom 2.1

So what makes the ZTE Blade worth getting?
  1. 1. good hackability (HTC make the best phones but they lock the bootloaders - idiots)
  2. 2. the screen is the same resolution 800x480 as the Dell Streak which was my next favourite.
  3. 3. almost all the features of the £400.00 phones with less than 25% of the price. What's missing? just missing a case - no trouble - £3 on ebay

Orange is the only brand in the UK where if you get a fault with something you buy online you can't take it back to a shop - yes, Orange retail is a different company - but they are very helpful.

Took ages and 2 attempts to get my sim registered properly (a necessary pre-cursor to getting a replacement phone).

My £10 credit still hasn't come through, I as chasing that today and got a text saying it could take 5 working days! perhaps they are waiting for an inter-departmental cheque to clear?

And then I need to merge with my old number... or maybe just use up the credit and ask for a new 3G SIM on my old account.

The San Francisco from Orange in grey offers a range of great mobile features such as free Christmas gift on pay-as-you-go, 3-megapixel camera, 3G+, Android v2.1. Available on pay as you go and pay monthly contract from Orange

Friday 10 December 2010

Ding dong all year long

"The choir of children sing their song. They've practiced all year long. Ding dong, ding ding dong. Simply having a wonderful Christmastime..." (as the song goes)

It's hard to imagine a choir of children practising any Christmas song all year long, but when the only words seem to be "ding dong ding dong ding dong" it becomes even harder to imagine them singing it with any feeling by the time Christmas comes around.

Perhaps the only thing that could be worse is to be the choir leader of a group of children doomed to practise "ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong" all year long, and the relief that Christmas is finally here and the knowledge that the children can finally get the wretched performance over with will surely be tainted by the certainty that they must start practising again as soon as the new year starts.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Do climate models model climate?

Climate models have been modelling global warming rather than the climate:
"In particular, green plants can be expected to grow as they find it
easier to harvest carbon from the air around them using energy from the
sun: thus introducing a negative feedback into the warming/carbon
process. Most current climate models don't account for this at all"
it appears that at current rates we have at least 200 years before there is any dangerous warming.

A group of top NASA boffins says that current climate models predicting global warming are far too gloomy, and have failed to properly account for an important cooling factor which will come into play as CO2 levels rise.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Tricksy Facebook

With facebook trying to share all my details, I may close my account.

The redesigned profile, launched earlier this week and due to be rolled out gradually over coming weeks, is designed to encourage punters to expose even more information about their day to day lives to the dominant social networking site, net security firm Sophos cautions.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Government Techno-magicians

There is not shortage of people who want to believe Pharoah's magicians - or these days, technology salesmen.

Folk who want to believe that they have a magic computer box that will tell them something helpful - but which in fact are generally about as trustworthy as an ouija board or a anonymous internet chat.

A principle at stake, is that the more worthwhile it is to crack something, the more likely it is to be cracked.

Russian password-cracking company ElcomSoft said on Tuesday that it's able to extract the original signing key from the Canon Original Data Security Kit and use it to validate fake photos. Canon has billed the service as a way to verify the originality of an image and to confirm that global positioning coordinates, data, time, and other metadata hasn't been changed.