Wednesday, November 30, 2005

If you use any Sony BMG Audio CDs on your PC then read this:

Sony smudges the whole trojan issue that they created

My advice is not to put any Sony BMG audio CDs anywhere near your PC. Don't buy any Sony copy protected CDs.

The sooner copywrite and copy protection are updated for the 21st century the better!

More information about this whole controversy @ Wikipedia

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Mobile TV -- Part 1


I tried the Vodaphone Mobile Sky TV service this morning, it's free to all 3G users til the 31st of January 2006. There are around 11 channels on offer ranging from Sky News through to kids stuff such as Cartoon Network and Sky Sports ;0) The service is accessed through the Vodaphone Live wap portal and is pretty simply to navigate. Just click on the link of the channel you require and Real player opens and starts buffering. After a brief buffering pause of about 3 seconds the video kicks in, I say kicks in but in actual fact it kind of stumbles in at around 9 frames per second.

The quality of the content is objective, lets be honest, there really isn't a great deal of good stuff on TV these is there? The quality of the video stream is *poor*. As I mentioned the frame rate is low - couple this with the low resolution, high compression and telephone quality audio and you have a frustrating experience.

Having said all that, I can see uses for this service even in it's crippled state. Connecting to Sky News on my Nokia 6630 in the event of some major news item would be much easier than trying browse the BBC News wap site. Kids would probably be quite happy watching Cartoon Network on long car journeys. Watching MTV for a few moments whilst waiting for the train.

The service comes in several flavours, £5 a month gets you the more popular channels or you can get Channel 4 and a couple of other duff channels for £2.50. But give it a go now whilst it's free!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Sharp 3.2 Mega Pixel Phone!


It's that time of year . . . it's time to upgrade my phone. After years of looking for phones that do 'everything' i.e. video, camera, games, internet, MP3, emulation and a good UI, I have decided to look for just two things in my next phone, a decent camera and good design.

The Sharp 903 (seen above in red) has an excellent camera, just do a search on Google and see for yourself and an pretty clean design. Now all I need is for Voda to give me a good deal! :)

On a slightly different note, Vodaphone UK are now offering TV on 3G mobiles, check out www.vodaphone.co.uk for more info. I'm going to try it out tomorrow - I'll post my review here soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005

CPC Zone.net - The Amstrad CPC Emulation Community

CPC Zone.net - The Amstrad CPC Emulation Community

This links in with James' post about his first computer experiences. CPC emulation is really mature now so all those classic games can still be enjoyed. I really must give the Dreamcast CPC emulator a try too!

Holiday Gadgets

So, Paul: What technology / gadgets will you be taking on holiday to Brasil?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Lenovo Thinkpad T30 & Bluetooth

I've just spent the last 3 hours taking a Lenovo Thinkpad T30 apart in order to fit the bluetooth antenna and daughter card only to find that it won't work because this model doesn't have the bluetooth power switch!!!

I'm now in the process of buying a USB Bluetooth dongle. It'll be a million times easier to fit and can be used in more than one unit.

Final word: Don't even think about upgrading your Lenovo Thinkpad T30 to Bluetooth using the internal upgrade route!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Where in the World are you??

Make yourself known by adding yourself to our frappr! map:

Get You Gadget & Co. @ Frappr!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Watched Hour!


This gadget looks right up James' street. A fusion of cheap Casio watch styling and funked-out Japanese time-telling! Or is it just a super advanced egg timer?

Read more here.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Who needs PSP or DS when you can have Brick Game!?



Brick Game is essentially as addictive as Tetris but without the name. I can't believe that it's still being sold! I'm off to Brazil nextweek, anyone want to me to pick one up?? ;-)

e-Store

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sony + DRM Rootkit = Real Bad Stuff



Sysinternals have posted a really interesting and worrying article about the latest Sony DRM bundled with their latest audio CDs. Basically when you put the CD in your PC it will only play with the bundled Sony software. What it doesn't tell you is that it installs a rootkit (a hidden set of files sitting below the Windows file layer, normally used by spammers and baddies). The rootkit will enable the Sony DRM making it impossible to convert the CDs to MP3.

Here's the real kicker: You can't uninstall it. If you remove it manually your CD player will not work until you reinstall Windows!

Read on, for your own good:

Mark's Sysinternals Blog: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far

I understand why companies want to protect their products but this is INSANE. One reason why I almost never buy CDs now is the copy protection. Not because I'm a mad pirate guy but because I listen to music on my laptop or PC. If I can't play the CD on those formats I'll almost never listen to them thus making my purchase a waste of money.

Punishing innocent consumers is not good practise. It'll hurt the music companies more long-term.

Steve Gibson & Leo Laporte talk about this in the latest episode of Security Now!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mozilla Firefox



Looks like the marget share for Firefox is growing steadily but 95% of UK web users still use Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox global usage share is still growing


Why do I think you should give Firefox a try?


SECURITY:


Internet Explorer is one of the reasons why Windows is so prone to spyware and malware due to ActiveX. ActiveX does a lot of good things but it also allows a lot of access to your pc, access that leaves your PC open to attack. Firefox does not support ActiveX.

Pop-up blocking is built in.


INTERFACE:


Firefox supports tabbed browsing, a feature that once you use you'll never go back. Also since Firefox is open source it can be customised very easily. This gives you the power to change the look and feel to suit your needs.


FREEDOM OF CHOICE:


If you run Windows you don't have a choice whether to install IE. You can install Firefox and run it alongside IE with no problems at all. I suggest running Firefox for 99% of browsing, locking down IE for essential ActiveX sites only (Windows Update for example).


MULTI-LINGUAL:


Firefox can be downloaded in a wide variety of languages. It's not dependant on your OS.


MULTI-PLATFORM:


Firefox runs the same on Windows, OS X & Linux. Ideal if you use multiple platforms.



Give Firefox a try today: Get Firefox!

While you're at it you might like to check out Opera or if you're using OS X check out Camino.

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