They’re living animals not accessories..

RT @Pandamoanimum: I sincerely hope this is an unfunny joke.
They’re living animals not accessories, you dicks. https://t.co/MFTUUUqouA


Free U2 album?

Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster flip.it/sm1r7

Spam. Just spam.

The music industry still don’t get it do they?

Readmill, bought out and shutting down.https://t….

Readmill, bought out and shutting down.

Travel System?

I’ve just seen a pram advertised as a “travel system”! Call a spade a spade please. #plainenglish

What is a ‘travel system’? A car, a bicycle or a whole mass transit system? It almost certainly is not a pram.

A pram could be sold as a pram set, with a pushchair/buggy and inclusive car seat, and at a push maybe a baby travel set, but what kind of marketing bull is a “travel system”?

The Cardboard Bike

The Cardboard Bike | Indiegogo flip.it/IxaGa

Yeah, that will take off. Really, it will!

As a long time cyclist is is sad to see some of the hip ‘designer’ aspects of the current cycling resurgence. If it is not impractical, overly expensive off the shelf Taiwanese builds in ‘hip’ colour schemes it is the technology for technologies sake ideas such as this.

Yes, bicycles have always attracted an element of bizarre ideas, and quite often are an obsession of individual engineers such as Alex Moulton, Clive Sinclair and many other more obscure individuals who make a life’s work of returning to ‘improving’ the bicycle, but most of these radical ideas don’t sell, or don’t even work beyond the specific needs of a tiny bunch of buyers. During my time in the cycle trade I saw countless radical ideas that only warranted a glance as they just did not fit any kind of need from my customers, and would never even be close to what a typical buyer would actually pay.

The bicycle does involve, and most of the evolution is driven by technological improvement, and almost certainly someone, somewhere has tried the idea before, often 80-100 years ago, but could not make it commercially viable because of the limits of technology at the time. The bicycle is the most efficient machine we have, and it is becoming more difficult to improve that efficiency but hiding behind the idea that a cardboard bike is more ‘sustainable’ or could revolutionise transport in developing countries is plainly stupid.

Goodbye, Lotus 1-2-3

Goodbye, Lotus 1-2-3 flip.it/rFh4p

Smartsuite, came on my first ‘proper’ computer, and I vastly preferred it to the copy of Microsoft Office I soon <cough> acquired </cough>.

How is it that some of the features of older PIM software have slowly disappeared, leaving their modern equivalents without some of the things that would still be useful. Why is there so much bloat, when some of the features are missing? Why does Open Office, or any of its siblings still not have an Outlook equivalent to organise yourself on a day to day basis?


With another dead project:


Surely there is a market for a Filofax like PIM that works across Windows, OSX, Android and iOS?

The closest is currently Pocket Informant, with PI Online across iOS and Android, connecting to Windows, and Outlook via gSyncit, but the solution is not seamless.


This is a lot more complicated then I hoped it would be. All I want to do is get selected emails, with attachments into Evernote.

Attach to Evernote

For work purposes Outlook is not an option right now, the gMail web interface stinks, even though Everbot does what it says it should and gets the messages I want into Evernote, complete. Now I’m looking at even more complication and reliance on web services.
Dang it all. Email to Evernote. Job done.

I will never buy a HP product again!

I will never buy a HP product again. What happened to quality, even in the last remaing division that was any good? #HP #fail

#promotedposts Get the bullet!

#promotedposts Get the bullet. Where is the dismiss button promised, or better yet the “block user” forever button?

Global Village?

Finally, some three months after the launch of Lion Wacom have got around to launching some new drivers for the Intuos tablet.

Wacom logo nb c 000






Hopefully this will fix the issues with the standard Lion drivers for the tablet, presumably based on the 08/10 release from Wacom. What is annoying, besides the late appearance of drivers for a popular, and expensive, Mac add-on is the fact that the drivers are released only on the US site at present, and their appearance is only made known on page six of a complaint thread in the forum!

Whatever happened to the global village? Certainly hardware manufactures have not even begun to work on the concept, and with fairly good reason, rules, regulation and physical reasons such as power connectors all add up to different products for different markets, only dealing with Chinese suppliers seems to bypass this set of problems, and it is still very much “at your own risk”.

This isn’t hardware though, it isn’t even firmware. This is simply software drivers. Ok, there could be problems with language, but if you haven’t got around to making all the language installers please get it loaded on all your regional support sites as a Latest English Multinational release so that all the rest of the world that is fortunate enough to not be in US, and are able to click through an installer in English (I.e. most of the world), can make use of your update.

Lexcycle Stanza icon

Sorry if I’m ranting, but this comes the day after I tried to find a book, in ebook format. Like the music and film industry before it the publishing industry tries its best to make this difficult. As well as pricing issues it seems that it is difficult to buy based on region. The Kindle store will not let me buy it as I’m still registered on the amazon.com site, and it says it is unavailable to UK customers. I could buy it on the UK Kindle store, but that means I have to convert the account. Apple’s iBooks is overpriced as usual, and while I like iBooks it’s lack of cross-platform availability is a problem for me, and I’m not going to buy an overpriced book I can only read in one place. The next most sensible option would naturally be to search for the book I want, and the format I want it in, name of book and epub, and Google does a very effective search for you, with almost all the options being ways to get said book for free, many of which do not ask you to jump through hoops or fire up a BitTorrent client.

I don’t blame Google for this, searching for name of book and format is what I asked it to do, but I do blame the publishers for the fact that this situation exist. Make the item available at a sensible price, and wherever you ask for it is simple enough, but by being greedy, or protective you have now made it simpler and easier to obtain outside your revenue stream.


Social facebook heart spotify







Spotify have now climbed into bed with Facebook, requiring a Facebook account to sign up.

Sorry Spotify, I’ve been vocally supportive of your service, and been a long time Premium supporter, but this is just a fail.

There are approx 6.25 Billion inhabitants of the planet who are not on Facebook, I’m just one, but I have no intention of being part of anything that requires Facebook membership, and neither would I ever recommend such a service.

You started to get close to altering the music business, but you have already failed.


#awfulservice Yahoo! toolbar automatically installed on Firefox/Windows. I thought it was only IE that pulled these stunts?


Did you see the price of this thing outright?

Nokia Booklet. £799.00…. It’s a freaking netbook, not a MacBook.

Ok, so an iPhone runs around the same price, unlocked, but it is a class leading, groundbreaking device. This is a netbook for crying out loud. It should not break the £300 barrier, to own not rent as undoubtedly many of these things will end up being subsidised by the likes of The Carphone Warehouse or the networks.

Maybe in a week or two I’ll be lusting after an iPad/iSlate, and I have no doubt that they will easily run at the same kind of price, but again it will be breaking new ground, this is just a Windows 7 netbook, in an aluminium chassis, which if I go by my one Nokia owning experience will not be built to particularly high standards either.

I’m just stunned.


The end for file sharing?

I doubt it, but it is taking some knocks right now, and the only outcome will be for it to go deeper underground, with more layers of protection.

The Pirate Bay appears to be digging in for battle after attempts to go for their ISP, but at the same time is close to a deal that will see it’s new parent try to go legitimate. This deal it’s self is now looking shaky, with rumours of financial problem, but they are all insisting it will go through.
To me this does not quite square up. Either you are a legit service offering only legal content, or you are not. Which is it to be?

While we all know that even if the Bay is taken down there are other trackers out there, and that it will make no long term difference to the availability of files, more news over the last few days has brought the problem closer to home. Specifically your home, and your net connection. Gov.uk has announced the revival of the cut-off for sharers. As usual these are half baked proposals, how they will enforce it is any ones guess when you look at the growing amount of services you can use with legitimate p2p built in, but this is the UK, and it is normal for the politico’s to spout about things they have no clue about.

I’m no big user of p2p, but it is handy for filling in gaps, but you can be sure I’m now looking for an on demand seedbox, or vpn options. I really do not want people snooping on my communications, unless I agree to it, even when it is wholly legal.


What are these overpaid government ‘advisors’ on?


Of course the summer ‘could’ be hotter than the last two, they were two of the wetest on record. I’d lay odds on it being warmer, despite the fact it is not looking that brilliant at the moment.

I’m off to paint my house white, and plant some trees, and shrubs, to provide me with protection this summer.

<coat>Mines the one with paint splashed on the front.</get>

Home Office ‘colluded with Phorm’

BBC NEWS | Technology | Home Office ‘colluded with Phorm’.

What can I say? Big Brother is watching you!

I’m absolutly convinced that no-one in our current government is condeming Phorm’s antics because they can see this as some way of spying on us all, and it fits with their crazy plans to keep a database of all our online activities.

I’ve got nothing to hide, but I’m increasingly drawn to various methods of anonymising what I’m doing…

Windows is user friendly…

So they say!

Last night one of my nephews asked if I could transfer some of his music to his newly acquired phone, a Nokia 6233. He is not very tech savvy, like his parents, and this is his first mobile phone so I’d asked could they find if a data cable was supplied with it, they couldn’t find one so I guess it didn’t have one in the box, so I’d taken with me a spare bluetooth dongle, a tiny cheap affair from MoGo that did not like Macs.

I’d only been there a few minutes when I was dragged to the family computer and asked how do you get your CD’s onto it. I said he was not very tech savvy, but I still find it slightly disturbing that a 10 year old can’t rip a CD to Windows Media Player, what are they teaching them at school? (This should be the subject of some research I guess, he has in the past claimed that Microsoft Office/Publisher is the best software, ever!).

Soon showed him how to rip a CD, though I’ll note that Media Player is no where near as intuitive as iTunes, or any of the popular Linux based music managers, and started on the connection routine. There was an ancient copy of Nokia PC suite loaded on the machine, that had never been used, though again you have to jump through hoops to make it work in the way you want it to (this was a very early version, when I’ve used it it was a lot simpler, though I’ve never used the music manager). So with 2 parts of the problem done I started on the third, actual connection.

In the past I’ve had the MoGo dongle working on XP, but had to use some crappy software called Bluesoleil, and again Windows refused to find any drivers for the dongle, so I looked up BlueSoleil and got a nasty surprise.

Not only do thay charge for what looks and feels like a crappy adware product, there were a whole lot of websites offering a download that McAffee website advisor was flagging up RED, even it’s own ‘homepage’ looked dodgy! Worse came when I just tried to find a driver, any driver, to make the thing function. Again lots of dodgy looking web addresses that were getting flagged as RED.

I was actually starting to get a little afraid, it’s not my machine, and not my choice of firewall/protection, and my choice was getting very limited of where to find a driver for the device. I almost was on the point of giving up when I found this little gem of knowledge that not only apeared to come from a more trusted source, an EEEpc hacking site (!), but actually works perfectly.

Configuring the Broadcom 2045A Bluetooth Dongle in Windows at Harsh J.

Ok, my numbers did not come out the same, but using this method, with my device numbers worked fine, no reboot needed.

What I now find amazing is that for all the bleating I hear about using the comand line in Linux I had to virtually do the same on Windows (editing a text device file, from advice on a post on an obscure forum), and I had to go through some very dodgy web searching to reach that point. Tell me the difference please, because I feel a whole lot more secure going through the process in a Unix based system than I do on Windows, and God knows I have a reasonable understanding of what I’m doing on both, never mind what an ‘average’ user must feel like when trying to install something.

Anyway, for anyone interested I’ve copied the technique in here for Broadcom based Bluetooth adaptors under Windows XP.

If your bluetooth dongle shows up as a BCM2045A under Other Devices in Device Manager, there’s an easier way to configure it without having to install its bulky driver from the CD you got. And if you didn’t receive a CD with your BCM2045A Bluetooth Dongle, this guide is definitely for you.

Tested on: Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista Ultimate.

First, connect the device to the computer via USB as usual. Now Windows will tell you installing the new hardware has failed and so on, not even Windows Update can resolve it. This is typical of Windows as it doesn’t have the required drivers for this particular Broadcom BCM2045A Device.

Now right-click on My Computer and hit Manage. From the window that pops out, click Device Manager on the left side-pane. You must see the ‘BCM2045A’ written in it under the section ‘Other Devices’. Right click that and hit Properties now. Go to the details tab and from the drop down menu that appears, select Hardware ID. You should see two lines that look like below:


Right click the second one (Without the REV* thing) and select Copy.

Now head to My Computer and under the Windows directory, enter the directory named INF (or inf) and locate the bth.ini file in it. Open the bth.ini file with your favorite text editor (I prefer the vanilla Notepad), and find the line called “Device Section Start” in it.

Now locate the name ‘Broadcom‘ and under it, you’ll see a device of BCM2033 or so with a different Hardware ID. Just replace the 2033 with a 2045A and the 2033 in the Hardware ID line (Something like “Transceiver= BthUsb, USBVID_0A5C&PID_2033”) with 2045 in place of 2033. Else, just erase the USB/VID line and paste the one you had earlier copied into the clipboard. Save the file and quit.

Now replug the device and go to Device Manager again via My Computer – Manage. Find the BCM2045A again and right click and choose Update Driver. When Windows offers to search for drivers for the 2045A ask it to show you a list of known hardware to choose manually. Now look for Bluetooth Radio devices and under that look for Broadcom.

Under Broadcom, choose the one that has 2045A (i.e, the one we edited. It may still show up as 2033, but still, select it!) And hit next. The devices will now be found, installed and configured. Thus, you dont need to install the crappy drivers from the CD unless you’re in love with it…

Happy hacking.

P.S. Next time, don’t buy a cheap hardware like this BCM2045A ones. Its better and easier to use a known and popular device even if they cost a few bucks extra. Or you can consider going in for Ubuntu OS rather.

Spam count #3

It’s looking good on the spam counter, I’m running at around 20 per day.
Let’s hope it stays this way!

Posted by ShoZu

Spam Count 1#

Monday – 27
Tuesday – 44

Hope this is not going to be the pattern.

Enjoy the respite!

Spam plummets as gang leaves net

My spam box must have had a 90% reduction!

You can actually see when North America wakes up and switches on, and though the ‘buzz’ is that levels will soon pick back up again I hope that either people have got used to the low volume, or more importantly the ‘powers’ can see where the renewed problem is coming from, and cut it off at the bud.

I’m not holding my breath that it’ll last, I’m just breathing a sigh of relief while I can.

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