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Friday 23 October 2009

360 Update preview

Got on the preview thing. Quite impressed! Everything installs like an app rather than integrated into the dash, kind of how the quiz thing worked.

Zune Video: Very impressive. 1080p instant video shouldn't work, but it does, and it looks bloody amazing. Pretty simple, loads up your last fm account and your stations are available. It shows pictures of the band and stuff as you listen. Doesn't work outside of the app though, so you can't listen to while playing a game. Scrobbles your stuff too. Nice, but the quality of seems really bad once you've got used to spotify.

Facebook: Pretty basic facebook, shows your status updates, picture feed and a newsfeed of status updates. Links your xbox account with your live account. Picture slideshow thing is nifty on the telly, but the status updates and stuff is a bit useless as it wont follow weblinks. No apps work of course. Not bad for pics, but crap for everything else.

Twitter: Pointless, as everything on twitter is links, and this doesn't do it.

There's a news feed thingy added too, only got dilbert and cnn at the mo, but could potentially be an rss news reader, which would be ace if you could add your own feeds. Perhaps you could fool it by changing in your dns?

Quite a good update, all free of course.

Sunday 11 October 2009

Google Wave Experiment

Okay, Google Wave isn't exactly "great" in its current incarnation. It definitely doesn't live up to the initial expectations. But it is nevertheless an interesting piece of technology and, immature UI notwithstanding, still holds great promise. So here's an experiment. Embedding a Wave in a blog. Not sure how this will work out... (you'll probably only be able to see this if you have a Wave account)

Stuff which is hot and stuff wot is not

In a decidedly intermittent series of posts, I thought I’d update some recent experiences of what’s rocking and what’s not rocking to the blog. You never know, some clannies might follow.... Anyway - is it hot or not? Lets find out...


Podcasts for commuting. Currently about 45 episodes into Mike Duncan’s History of Rome podcast. Absolutely brilliant tales of empire, bloodshed, wenchin and plottin. All the better once you get past the early bits and he starts loosening up. Warren Buffett is currently one of the richest men in the world at around $40bn. Dollar for dollar in ancient Rome, Crassus was worth $150-180bn equivalent, all made in his lifetime. How did he do it? He had hundreds of informants around Rome and when a house fire started, he would turn up with hundreds of slaves with buckets of water. There wasn’t any fire brigade see. And no insurance neither. So Crassus would put out your fire but on the condition that he would then buy the remainder of your home from you. At a price decided got it... Crassus. That’s a lot of sestertii, citizen.


Once a year clan meets. This must end. I am making it someone’s job to end it. It’ll probably be me appointing myself but life it too short. Watch this space.

Rocking the Socks:

Spotify. If you haven’t got it, get it. I suspect this one is ultimately doomed to failure because it’s just too fucking good and I have stopped buying music. Bands may ultimately gang up to kill it if they can. Anyway, in the meantime, if they’d actually write the API so it could stream to Squeezebox and Sonos, I might have to elevate them to godlike genius status. The mobile client is already extremely close to godlike genius. 3,333 songs offline for you here and now. Brilliant.

Old Knickers:

King of Shaves’ recent products. I want King of Shaves to succeed. Their inventor, founder and Managing Director is a genial cove who gives good interviews and frankly I’d love someone to scythe (see what I did there?) the legs from under Gillette. However, the much touted King of Shaves razor is fucking dire. It blunts faster than a cheese scalpel and is an ergonomic mess. Now lord knows I have many undistinguishing features, but a large or weirdly shaped schnozz is not one of them. Therefore when I say the lubra-strip on the top of the King of Shaves cartridges is retardedly huge, just go with me on this. It is retardedly *too big*. It means that you cannot get the cutting edges up to the top bit of your top lip under your nose. It therefore leaves you with a tiny tiny strip of uncut hair despite your best efforts. The end result is the Hollywood landing-strip of moustaches. Use the King of Shaves razor and you are left with what I can only term a porno-Hitler under your sniffer.

Second, their shaving oil. Two moderate sprays and you have something that sticks around your face and bathroom sink in perpetuity. Nations could rise and fall and this stuff would still be there caking up your bowl. Try and clean it off and you are in for a long hard battle. It’s not so much a lubricant as WD40 mixed with superglue in an aerosol. Fucking rubbish.

Bonzer!: Recently as snagged by moi I got a £450 room in St James in London for £120 for the night. It ain’t gonna work always and you have to take your courage in your hands to wait until the last minute, but when it works it’s rocking. And as we all know, it doesn’t have to be good, it just has to rock!


Google Wave. We’re gonna have to see if this is like the transistor – a good idea in need of an inspired use or whether it is simply pants. Currently it appears to be wearing its pants outside of its trousers in a remedial rather than a superhero kind of way. Demo now considered to be basically a con-job where pre-scripted collusion by the developers made it look like something that worked really well. When. It. Doesn’t.


geoDefense for the iPod / Phone / Touch. Rarely enjoyed a game so much for sheer quality. Classic tower type game but with stunning visuals given the platform. If you see someone on the train frantically wiping their finger over an iPhone like a teenager who has found his girlfriend’s nubbin for the first time, it’s probably this.


Recession. Taxes are at an all time high. Unemployment is on the rise and the winter is coming in. I shall now be voting Conservative for the first time in my adult life. Just simply too sick of the current lot. Is there no humility in them? Resign! Fall on your sword! Be a Roman! Have done with it! (Twats).

Until the next time...

Thursday 1 October 2009

Useful Android apps on my HTC Hero

THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT! Thanks macspacks, we know you're into Steve Jobs for £50/month for 2 years! What we need is my overdue blog on what's running for free on my HTC Hero! Here are some apps I'm trying.

Here's my home screen. You know it has 4 virtual desktops to the left and right though? :)

This is beebPlayer.

WifiAnalyzer, useful for seeing what's around, or troubleshooting at home.

Google Scoreboard. Tell it any sport you want updates on, like an F1 driver or women's volleyball team. It will notify last/next game, and notify on goals as well.

Shop Savvy! Still testing this. It thought this can of Stella 4 was something totally different :(

3G Watchdog to check how much data I'm using. I found on holiday in Scotland, roaming all day every day, that I still didn't get near my 1GB limit (do youtube streaming over wifi, that's my tip!), but my next test will be trying it abroad where data roaming is charged 1MB @ £6 (ulp!).

gTraffic, much better than the similar UK Traffic. Lists roadworks and accidents or plots them to a map.

The terrifying Mileage app. Which I regret using. As I am learning what I'm REALLY spending on planet-killing through the medium of precise fuel statology!

Scorchio, an unofficial hotukdeals app. Heat and rep added!

Anyone else want to share Android app experiences...?