Monthly Archives: January 2007


For anyone who hasn’t seen it before, Techmeme is definitely worth a look.

It seems to do a great job of distilling the important tech stories of the day into a single, regularly updated page. Much easier than trying to manually filter out the important stuff from multiple RSS feeds.

It’s like a serious and very picky version of Digg or Reddit. Members Area Change

Following a request from a member, I’ve now added the ability for members to configure how many reviews and comments they view on a single page.

Existing members can change from the default setting of five per page, by changing the value in the Update your details page within the Members Area.

Tiger Woods 07 on the Nintendo Wii

I’ve just read a couple of previews of this at GameSpot and IGN. From the previews, and my experience of the nine holes of Golf in Wii Sports, this should be brilliant. Wii Sports just needed more holes, and with 18 courses included in Tiger Woods, a total of 324 holes should be more than enough.

I think I’m going to have some very pleasant evenings playing a round of St Andrews with friends, while drinking a nice bottle (or several) of red wine 🙂

Celebrity Big Brother

With the possible exception of very first series, Big Brother has been a blot on the TV landscape as far as I’m concerned. However, the current row about the treatment of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty is showing the UK in a poor light.

I’ve not seen enough of the actual footage in context to offer informed comment on the situation, but from what I do know, I’ve decided to cast a vote in favour of keeping Shilpa in the house (by evicting Jade).

I’m rather annoyed that the programme makers are getting all this attention with their car crash TV, but I’m holding my nose, and hopefully casting a vote in favour of tolerance and diversity.

BBC Licence Fee

With the 3% BBC Licence Fee rise being announced, I just thought I’d take the opportunity to say how much I value the BBC, and that I think it’s astounding value for money. In my view, they should have received a more generous rise.

If I ever left the UK, it’s the BBC that I’d miss most (after my family and friends). In particular:

  • BBC Four and Radio 4 – TV and radio that don’t pander to the lowest common denominator.
  • Word class current affairs programmes such as newsnight, Dateline London, Head 2 Head, Straight Talk, This Week, and Working Lunch
  • Top Gear – It’s a bit uneven at times, but when they get it right, it’s bloody great
  • BBC HD – 80% of my justification for buying Sky HD
  • CBBC and CBeebies – I don’t have children, but if I do have them, I want them to be able to watch TV, without having advertising being shoved in their face every 15 minutes
  • Planet Earth – Looks wonderful in standard definition, and simply beautiful in HD
  • MotoGP – I don’t own a motorbike; I’ve never ridden a motorbike; It doesn’t matter – this is the most exciting motorsport on TV, and the BBC do a fantastic job of covering it
  • – In my view, this is a near as the UK gets to a national web site

p.s. Channel 4 are also great, and deserve much credit, but they just don’t have the strength in depth of the BBC

Thoughts on iPhone and Apple TV

Following on from yesterday’s Macworld Keynote, here are my quick thoughts about the announced products:

Apple TV


  • Not flexible enough for the price (£199 in the UK)
  • Only 720p. 1080p is inevitable, and compatible sets are now becoming available
  • No YouTube – this is a huge mistake in my view
  • Video content appears to come only from iTunes, which is very limiting


  • 40Gb disk and Intel processor. More power and flexibility than I expected
  • The ability to sync content from another Mac. I wish I could do this easily with my Mac mini

Overall, it’s not bad, but I’d rather pay twice as much and get a Mac mini, with far more power and flexibility.



  • The release date is too far away, especially in Europe and Asia. The mobile market moves very quickly, and Apple (like Palm with the Treo) are playing a dangerous game if they stagger their global rollout too much
  • No UMTS or HSDPA. For the UK, this is a very big deal. All the cool Internet features are going to be terrible over GPRS
  • No memory expansion slot. Not a big deal, but it would be nice
  • It’s not clear whether third party apps are supported. This is very important
  • No GPS. Again, not a big problem, but it needs to be there in version 2.0
  • 2 megapixel camera. This is going to look pretty terrible in 12 months time
  • So far there’s no mention of it being available off contract


  • The interface is an even bigger advance than the Treo was. Nokia and the other mobile phone manufacturers should be seriously worried
  • What looks like a serious, grownup OS in a phone
  • Wonderful multitasking
  • Gorgeous 320×480 screen
  • Physically it looks great
  • Very clever use of tilt, proximity and light sensors
  • Great video and music playback

I’ve very impressed with the iPhone, but the release date and lack of 3G mean it’s unlikely to be my next device. The Nokia N95 is still in the frame for that role. However, an HSDPA iPhone 2.0 in Summer 2008 would be very interesting indeed.