almostwitty: (monkey)

TV Intelliplug

A TV Intelliplug

Being environmentally minded (and trying to save money), I recently bought a TV Intelliplug to cut down on energy costs. The idea of the gadget is that when you switch the TV off into stand-by, the unit will then cut off all electricity supplies to your TV and associated gadgets, saving energy and a little bit of cash.

Unfortunately, when I applied it to my TV, it didn’t quite work. And ever since then (even with the unit removed), the TV has been slow to react from standby. It’ll try to flicker to life, but then give up – like a baby trying to sit himself up. It’ll try and try again, and finally manage to flicker to life properly a few minutes later. We’ve had to call a TV Repair man in.

Is it possible that such a unit could have done some damage to my LCD TV?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (evil)

Our household currently has a Playstation 3 and a Wii – both game consoles acquired before the arrival of the baby. Oddly enough, aside from the odd spurt of gaming (mostly Portal 2, Wii Fit, Goldeneye and Crysis 2), the game consoles have mostly sat in the corner unplayed, due to the lack of time available. Who knew that dealing with a baby was a time-sucking vortex?

Now we have the opportunity to buy a brand-new XBox 360 with Kinect at a relatively cheap price. I’m severley tempted, mostly on the grounds that we could play Dance Central (my wife tends to prefer the active dancey-type games) and control the TV using our voice – something that would undoubtedly come in handy since the baby has taken to playing with the TV remote control at all times.

What other arguments can I deploy to persuade my wife that we simply must have all three game consoles? :)

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Google Street View has thrillingly – and rather scarily – managed to scan 95% of the homes in the UK. Which means that most of my childhood haunts are finally on Google Maps for an easy trip down nostalgia street.

However, when I try to go down this street in Tywyn and then move forward, I am magically transported through some mysterious blurred tunnel to another place in time and space. Also known as the back alley. Then I’m transported back.

Such a shame I can’t seem to find a way to tell Google how to correct their mistake. Unless there is a teleportation tunnel operating in Tywyn these days…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Time was, when the UK blogosphere was concentrated in the power of a few key individuals, thinkblank.com had a Secret Santa every year where you could give a random blogger a gift, and get a random gift back. The great thing with this approach was that you were almost encouraged to stalk said blogger for a while, to see what they’d like and want.

This year, the only example of a Web Secret Santa I’ve found so far has been Firebox’s Global Secret Santa, whereby you buy a gift (from a limited range) for someone via Firebox, and someone else buys you a gift (from the same limited range). Which almost seems a step backwards in the world of Secret Santas.

So …

Would there be any interest in a Web 2.0 Secret Santa for bloggers whereby people register, they’re given the details of someone else who’s registered, and told to buy an appropriate gift worth £10 or less for them? Optionally, if they buy it through an affiliate site like Amazon, the commission is then donated to a charity…

Are there any savvy database types who could knock up an appropriate database and website in 7 days?

Is this a really really stupid idea?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

So, Google Maps Navigation has launched and shares in sat-nav companies have already collapsed – following my sharedealing friend’s famous edict that you don’t want to launch any product that Google can march into. But I’m not so sure what they’re worried about.

I used Google Maps on my Android phone a while ago to try and drive to a remote location. Sure, the interface was incredibly clunky and it wasn’t the best set-up in the world – but I’d have been fine with that if it ACTUALLY WORKED. Ironically, while my phone had a GPS lock throughout the journey, it spent ages vainly looking for a data signal.

No doubt Google can improve on the user interface and speed of the application – but unless Google suddenly have powers to swamp the entire continent or planet with a coherent data signal, there’s still going to be a lot of room for a “traditional” satellite navigation company. Because when you’re lost, the last thing you want to find is that your freebie Google Maps device can’t tell you where you are either because it can’t download the relevant map of your location.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)
xkcd examines Windows 7

Windows 7 Desktop
Quite a few bloggers (see the full guestlist) and I were invited into Central London to preview what exciting things Microsoft had in store for us for 2009/2010, in an event apparently termed Microsoft-hosted CESfest 09. So off we duly went.

The mystery about what was going to be revealed at said event was somewhat spoilt by the extensive press coverage from CES 09, including a preview of Windows 7 and some enhancements for Windows Live Messenger, but they revealed all to us (and a webstream) anyway.

So now you'll be wanting to know what exciting new improvements there are to Windows 7....

Read more... )
almostwitty: (evil)
Let's face it, while most of Apple's products have been somewhat cool and nifty, they've never actually been particularly useful. Or innovative in terms of functionality, for that matter. MP3 players were around before the iPod came out. Mobile phones were around before the iPhone came out.

But now, Apple have brought out something that - to my mind - no-one else has done yet, and is genuinely useful.

The Apple Time Capsule is a router with a built-in hard drive. Simple as that. Apple sell it as a way of doing automatic backups - but think about it. A router with a built-in hard-drive. In one fell swoop you remove the need for a modem, a router and a network hard drive in one go. I really really want one.

Shame it probably won't work with PCs.

Oh, and don't get me started on the Apple Macbook Air. In a world where we're trying to make things last longer, Apple bring out a product that becomes landfill trash after three years. It's almost as if Apple is sticking its tongue out at Greenpeace...

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