Archives for: "September 2008"

HTC Touch HD announced

HTC have been pretty busy over the last few months with the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro, over the last week they filled in the low and medium-ends of the market by updating last year's Touch models with a TouchFLO 2D interface, now dubbed Touch Viva and Touch 3G.

More impressively they've released another high-end device to stand with the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro. Called the Touch HD (no the screen isn't HD, and no they shouldn't call it HD).

It is larger than the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro, the same size as an iPhone, although a little bit thinner than the iPhone 3G.

HTC Touch HD HTC Touch HD

Touch HD features a larger screen than the iPhone, 3.8 inches compared with 3.5 inches. More importantly it carries over the same high resolution screens the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro have, only wider. It features a 800x480 resolution screen. That's 2.5 times as many pixels as the iPhone.

The rest of the specs look similar to the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro, so in short it demolishes the iPhone. The same 528 MHz Qualcomm CPU in the Diamond and Pro. It has a microSD card slot, opposed to the Diamond which has 4GB of built in storage, its got the same 288MB of RAM like the Touch Pro, a higher resolution camera 5 megapixels, GPS, FM, and the rest of it. Although for the game fans out there, it does lose the 4 way direction pad of the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro.

When? Q4 2008 Europe, Q1 2009 rest of the world.

Classic intertubes: Diary of an AOL user

I've just been routing around the dark depths of my file system, and came across this gem from back in the olden days.

The newbies who think the internet is the web probably won't get most of this. Regardless, here it is.

July 18 - I just tried to connect to America Online. I've heard it is the best online service I can get. They even included a free disk! I'd better hold onto it incase they don't ever send me anther one! I can't connect. I don't know what is wrong.

July 19 - Some guy at the tech support center says my computer needs a modem. I don't see why. He's just trying to cheat me. How dumb does he think I am?

July 22 - I bought the modem. I couldn't figure out where it goes. It wouldn't fit in the monitor or the printer. I'm confused.

July 23 - I finally got the modem in and hooked up. that nine year old next door did it for me. But it still don't work. I cant get online.

July 25 - That nine year old kid next door hooked me up to America Online for me. He's so smart. I told the kid he was a prodigy. But he says that's just another service. What a modest kid. He's so smart and he does these services for people. Anyway he's smarter then the jerks who sold me the modem. They didn't even tell me about communications software. Bet they didn't know. And why do they put two telephone jack holes in the back of a modem when you only need one? And why do they have one labeled phone when you are not suppose to hook it to the phone jack on the wall? I thought the dial tone sounded funny! Boy, are modem makers dumb! But the kid figured it out by the sound.

July 26 - What's the internet? I thought I was on America Online. Not this internet thing. I'm confused.

July 27 - The nine year old kid next door showed me how to use this America Online stuff. I told him he must be a genius. He says that he is compared to me. Maybe he's not so modest after all.

July 28 - I tried to use chat today. I tried to talk into my computer but nothing happened. maybe I need to buy a microphone.

July 29 - I found this thing called usenet. I got out of it because I'm connected to America Online not usenet.

July 30 - These people in this usenet thing keep using capital letters. How do they do that? I never figured out how to type capital letters. Maybe they have a different type of keyboard.

JULY 31 - I CALLED THE COMPUTER MAKER I BOUGHT IT FROM TO COMPLAIN ABOUT NOT HAVING A CAPITOL LETTER KEY. THE TECH SUPPORT GUY SAID IT WAS THIS CAPS LOCK KEY. WHY DIDN'T THEY SPELL IT OUT? I TOLD HIM I GOT A CHEAP KEYBOARD AND WANTED A BETTER ONE. AND ONE OF MY SHIFT KEYS ISNT THE SAME SIZE AS THE OTHER. HE SAID THATS A STANDARD. I TOLD HIM I DIDN'T WANT A STANDARD KEYBOARD BUT ANOTHER BRAND. I MUST HAVE HAD AN IMPORTANT COMPLAINT BECAUSE I HEARD HIM TELL THE OTHER SUPPORT GUYS TO LISTEN IN ON OUR CONVERSATION.

AUGUST 1 - I FOUND THIS THING CALLED THE USENET ORACLE. IT SAYS THAT IT CAN ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS I ASK IT. I SENT IT 44 SEPARATE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTERNET. I HOPE IT RESPONDS SOON.

AUGUST 2 - I FOUND A GROUP CALLED REC.HUMOR. I DECIDED TO POST THIS JOKE ABOUT THE CHICKEN THAT CROSSED THE ROAD. TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE! HA! HA! I WASNT SURE I POSTED IT RIGHT SO I POSTED IT 56 MORE TIMES.

AUGUST 3 - I KEEP HEARING ABOUT THE WORLD WIDE WEB. I DON'T NOW SPIDERS GREW THAT LARGE.

AUGUST 4 - THE ORACLE RESPONDED TO MY QUESTIONS TODAY. GEEZ IT WAS RUDE. I WAS SO ANGRY THAT I POSTED AN ANGRY MESSAGE ABOUT IT TO REC.HUMOR.ORACLE. I WASNT SURE IF I POSTED RIGHT SO I POSTED IT 22 MORE TIMES.

AUGUST 5 - SOMEONE TOLD ME TO READ THE FAQ. GEEZ THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO USE PROFANITY.

AUGUST 6 - SOMEONE ELSE TOLD ME TO STOP SHOUTING IN ALL MY MESSAGES. WHAT A STUPID JERK. IM NOT SHOUTING! IM NOT EVEN TALKING! JUST TYPING! HOW CAN THEY LET THESE RUDE JERKS GO ON THE INTERNET?

August 7 - Why have a Caps Lock key if you're not suppose to use it? Its probably an extra feature that costs more money.

August 8 - I just read this post called make money fast. I'm so exited. I'm going to make lots of money. I followed his instructions and posted it to every newsgroup I could find.

August 9 - I just made my signature file. Its only 6 pages long. I will have to work on it some more.

August 10 - I just looked at a group called alt.aol.sucks. I read a few posts and I really believe that aol should be wiped off the face of the earth. I wonder what an aol is.

August 11 - I was asking where to find some information about something. Some guy told me to check out ftp.netcom.com. I've looked and looked but I can't find that group.

August 12 - I sent a post to every usenet group on the Internet asking where the ftp.netcom.com is. hopefully someone will help. I cant ask the kid next door. His parents said that when he comes back from my house he's laughing so hard he can't eat or sleep or do his homework. So they wont let him come over anymore. I do have a great sense of humor. I don't know why the rec.humor group didn't like my chicken joke. Maybe they only like dirty stuff. Some people sent me posts about my 56 posts of the joke and they used bad words.

August 13 - I sent another post to every usenet group on the Internet asking where the ftp.netcom.com is. I had forgot yesterday to include my new signature file which is only 8 pages long. I know everyone will want to read my favorite poem so I included it. I'm also going to add that short story I like.

August 14 - Some guy suspended my account because of what I was doing. I told him I don't have an account at his bank. He's so dumb.

HTC Touch Pro unboxing photos

Here's the images from the HTC Touch Pro unboxing... Hoping to have the full review done in a couple of weeks.

National Geographic's science standard falls into a black hole

What a joke. I've had to endure these stupid headlines and TV programs for the last couple of years now.

Yes you guessed it about the Large Hadron Collider. The BBC led the pack with a false premise that a black hole could form and destroy the Earth - despite the fact that one of the scientists on the very program said that would not happen - but we'll just ignore what the expert says and make up our own BS.

National Geographic's headline reads:

Worst Case: Collider Spawns Planet-Devouring Black Hole

And how is it going to do that? Oh wait, it can't.

Most physicists respond that the collider is safe and even necessary for the advancement of humankind.

Of course its safe. The worst thing that could possibly happen is the magnets could break, and then they'd have to be replaced.

But what if they're wrong?

What if anything is wrong? What if we're living on a giant beach ball being tossed into a fire? What if we're really all living in the Matrix?

What if they're wrong... Lame attempt at making a story.

What exactly would happen if the 17-mile (27-kilometer) circular tunnel under pastoral France and Switzerland opened up a black hole—or black holes?

Well we'll just ignore the fact that it won't, and assume it will.

Absolutely nothing.

The trouble with a tiny weeny little black hole is it will evaporate instantly due to Hawking Radiation, it won't be maintained because it is so small nothing can fall into it, it won't effect anything around it because its gravity would be no greater than that of a proton or two. A proton hanging around is more dangerous, heck that can kill you with more than just gravity - it can come after you with gravity, the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force. Oh noes! Run for the hills.

I expect this kind of scaremongering-anti-scientific crap from the mainstream press, I don't expect it from National Geographic. Get real, let somebody who actually knows something do your science pieces from now on.

Other pet peeves:

1) Calling the LHC the Big Bang experiment - it does NOT recreate the Big Bang. It's just a particle accelerator, the top thing on its list of things to do is to find the Higgs boson, the last particle we haven't found yet that is predicted by the Standard Model.

2) Calling the Higgs boson the "God" particle.

3) Calling the 6 billion dollars spent on the experiment (over the last 15 years) a waste of money, go talk to the US government who spend 500 billion dollars per year on their military.

Good luck to those at CERN and the scientists who have been working on this project for most of their lives, hopefully today's tests will go without a hitch and it'll be up and running and returning data later this year.

Norton sub Hamdon church in Photosynth

So I've finally got around to doing something a bit more fancy than just my garden with Photosynth, since we were out in Norton sub Hamdon today doing a bit of research into the family history I thought I'd use the opportunity to make a synth out of St. Mary The Virgin Church.

It is embedded below, or you can go to it directly here. Yes you will need the Photosynth plugin.

Make sure to try hitting 'P' to toggle between the photographic views and the 3D point cloud, and zoom in on the detail on the door on the western side (side with the tower) of the church.

I'm finding myself doing a bit more general photography as opposed to astrophotography as of late thanks to the amount of cloud cover. Will have to start an Earth-bound photography category soon at this rate.

Labour announce tax rebate for 22 million people

Look for an extra £60 in September, and another £10 a month for the next six months in your take home pay.

This is part of the chancellor's plans to help those that lost out under the abolition of the 10p rate, but it won't only benefit them. It will help another 15 million or so other people, including ones who benefited when the basic rate was lowered from 22p to 20p.

Going forward I would like to see the income tax threshold continue to increase so the burden on the lowest paid is reduced.

The Tories are quick to criticize, saying in effect only they know how to help hard working families.

So what would they do? Well raise the inheritance tax threshold, currently set at £600,000 for couples. According to the Telegraph today, they'd increase the threshold further from the £1 million they announced last year to £2 million for married couples.

Great. Nice to see tax cuts aimed squarely at the Tory front bench. Clearly what they see as being a hard working family isn't quite what ordinary people think.

Should the EU reassess its ties with Russia?

The BBC asks. The answer is yes. It also needs to reassess its ties with the United States.

One American reader on the BBC websites writes:

The contempt and dislike for America by Europeans continues to amaze me. So go right ahead and give Russia what it wants. First, S Ossetia and Abkhazia, then the Crimea.

The population of the Crimea is mosty Russian, and if they were to demonstrate their desire to rejoin Russia, then they should have our support.

Ukraine can't spout on about how evil the USSR is, and then hang on to territories that the soviet government moved into the Ukrainian SSR for administrative reasons. Ukraine having the Crimea is like France having the Tower of London because the EU commission moved it under French jurisdiction.

Russia will continue to approach your borders. And will hold you hostage with her oil an gas.

The last time I checked it was NATO that was busy approaching Russia's borders, I don't see any Russian bases in Ireland or France, do you? Have they ever made such aggressive moves? No.

Surely they're more likely to hold us hostage with their gas and oil if we start pissing them off? Oh wait, that defies the George Bush foreign policy guidelines.

Good luck to you! Its time for America to stay on our side of the Atlantic.

Good, you can start by getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan and dismantling your military bases in Europe and central Asia.

Britain, and the rest of the EU need to stop playing into the hands of US foreign policy, and recognise that Russia for hundreds of years been our friend, well aside from a few unpleasant bits, and British invasions of Russia. We should start by recognising the new independent countries of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and then leaving NATO, and promising we won't let Mr Miliband or Mr Cameron go parading around Eastern Europe talking BS.

We won't bring energy prices down while continuing to insult what should be our equal partner, nor will the situation improve while we let NATO build military bases right up to Russia's borders. Such aggressive action on NATO's part cannot be allowed to take place, and Britain should make a stand against it.

Even ignoring if its right or wrong for the west to carry out such an aggressive policy towards Russia. Which is wrong, and Russia does have the right to defend itself - just as we wouldn't permit Iranian bases in Ireland or France, neither should we expect them to put up with NATO and American bases in Ukraine, the Baltic states or Georgia. Ignoring all that, we have a lot more to gain from being Russia's friend then their enemy, good deals on gas and oil is just the start of it, unfortunately some people cannot even grasp that.