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Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Earns One Million Dollars In Less Than a Day

Adrian Harvey Interactivity? (164 comments)

I wonder how much advantage of the medium a PC version of a TV series will be able to take... I''ve been homeschooling my kids whilst we've been travelling so I've tried a number of these online reading tools. Some are just a mess of unindexed content, or just libraries to wonder in and pick out books to read or subject videos to watch. The best for my 5 yr old has been ReadingEggs which has heaps of interactive mini games joined together into an overall programme that the child can follow through themselves going right from pre-literate to reading age 7 or so.

Has anyone used the iPad app of this Reading Rainbow program? What's it like ? And how much teacher support is needed?

about 2 months ago

It's Time For the Descent Games Return

Adrian Harvey Re:Descent + SpaceOrb 360 (251 comments)

If you knew how the old game controllers worked and what the driver had to do to read from them you would be glad they're gone. See my earlier post for some hideous detail.... You can buy adapters to USB which are likely to provide much better stability (and not need calibration constantly) and will work with windows 7, though I haven't tested with the Cyberman.

about 2 months ago

It's Time For the Descent Games Return

Adrian Harvey Re:Hell Yes! (251 comments)

Drifting off topic, but if we're talking the gaming ports, they weren't serial. They were much, much worse. The joystick potentiometers were connected across pairs of pins in the connector, but then, instead of just making them an input to a DAC or something simple they were basically hooked up as the variable resistance on a 555 microtimer so that the position could be read by triggering the timer and counting how long it took to drop back to it's base state. I know DACs were expensive at the time it was designed, but this choice led to some programs having to busy wait to measure, endless issues with different processor speeds needing to be compensated for, and the requirement to regularly "calibrate" the joystick in each game. I suspect the chances of that precision timing working well on a multi core, variable speed CPU with a real (preemptive) OS and possibly a VM in the mix too, is small.

A USB device that works as a DAC and pretends to be a modern joystick interface would probably improve the controller no end.

And yes, I bought a joystick just to play Descent too. But a simpler one than the GP.

about 2 months ago

Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists

Adrian Harvey Re:But who uses Yahoo! mail? (83 comments)

Their best proposed solution is to ban Yahoo email users from mailing lists and encourage them to switch to other ISPs

What the #%^+? Since when is Yahoo an ISP?

Several ISPs outsource their customer email service to Yahoo. If you're with one of those, and especially if you use your ISP provided email address, then moving would fix it (or just move to gmail/, you're mail is in the cloud now anyway, since your ISP moved it there)

about 3 months ago

How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

Adrian Harvey Re:pay for apps (240 comments)

You can always buy a gift card for yourself... In fact, if you can get them on sale (happens quite often for the fruity firm, I presume the same happens for the green robot) it's even cheaper than handing over your credit card...

about 3 months ago

How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

Adrian Harvey Re:Currency? (240 comments)

They're nearly the same as the US dollar these days anyway.. With economic growth, a government surplus this year (probably) to be used to pay down debt, and with people there gradually getting the idea that unlimited debt is not sustainable it's likely to stay that way for a while...

about 3 months ago

How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

Adrian Harvey Re:miniphone (240 comments)

Yeah, I often think Apple could make a great iPhone Nano, similar size to the iPod Nano, thicker for battery, etc, just like the iPhone / iPod touch, with just basic, simplified apps to show calendar perhaps preview, but not write email, etc. A kind of up-market feature phone, or just as an iPad companion...

about 3 months ago

How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

Adrian Harvey Re:The less, the better. (240 comments)

Good policy. I just won't spend more than I would have spent on the app had it not been free. That way it's just like the old shareware world.

about 4 months ago

How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

Adrian Harvey Re:Decision fatigue (240 comments)

If the author is selling 1,000,000 copies of a $1 app, then it's a million dollar round down.

about 4 months ago

Subversion Project Migrates To Git

Adrian Harvey Re:Hmm (162 comments)

A good example of this is Xero (accounting software company) who recently had to stop using their own software because they got too big - way, way too big - but they hung in for a long time because they didn't want to be a company that didn't use it's own software.

about 4 months ago

Time sucked into Netflix or similar, weekly:

Adrian Harvey Insensitive clod (146 comments)

I'm not sure it counts as abstaining when there isn't an similar service available to me...

about 5 months ago

High-Gain Patch Antennas Boost Wi-Fi Capacity In Crowded Lecture Halls

Adrian Harvey Been done for years (104 comments)

Xirrus have been doing this for years - see or

They put 8 (or more) access points into a single unit, each with a directional antenna covering a segment of the room or venue. I looked at their product at a trade show or conference once (don't remember which) but it was way overkill for the spaces we had at the time which were separated with heavy reinforced concrete walls and floors, so needed an access point for each area.

about 9 months ago

Leaked Manual Reveals Details On Google's Nexus 5

Adrian Harvey Crazy tech? (177 comments)

I haven't been following closely enough to know what the "crazy Nikon tech" is - anyone care to enlighten me? Google doesn't give relevant info...

about 10 months ago

When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone?

Adrian Harvey Re:56 Kbps of landlines voice quality is noticable (329 comments)

IIRC it wasn't 1 bit in each byte/octet, but one from every 6th octet. This meant that or voice it was still 'almost' 64 kbps ... Let's see... 64 - (64 * 1/48) is 62.66... But because a modem can't synchronize, so it can't tell which bit is going to be robbed, it has to assume that but is always used, so you get 56 kbps.

Although this (bit robbing) was mostly a North American thing 56k was still the top speed modem I ever saw...

I've found much more detail here.

about a year and a half ago

When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone?

Adrian Harvey Re:This Month/This Year? (329 comments)

The question didn't say landline had to be a POTS landline. In that class I would include ISDN. And a big chunk of office VOIP systems go out to ISDN lines. Including the one I used today.

I might even consider some VOIP systems to be landlines in and of themselves. Perhaps if they are wired, somewhat location specific, provide power on the line, and maybe some other things I can't think of right now, but would make them indistinguishable from a POTS/ISDN line. What does the protocol matter anyway?

about a year and a half ago

ITU To Choose Emergency Line For Mobiles: 911, or 112?

Adrian Harvey Re:the UK uses 999 (354 comments)

999 was originally chosen as a number that required some intent to dial, as it was the longest dial on a rotary phone.

Actually second longest. 000 would have been longer. But 0 already was used for the operator.

about a year and a half ago

ITU To Choose Emergency Line For Mobiles: 911, or 112?

Adrian Harvey Re:Why not both? (354 comments)

Bah! Old days indeed. New Zealand still uses 111.

And it can't be dialed easily because NZ pulse dialing is backwards (10 pulses for 0, 9 pulses for 1 8 for 2, etc)

about a year and a half ago

One Company's Week-Long Interview Process

Adrian Harvey Re:maybe how they get away with it (362 comments)

Where I live 1080 is a poison they use to control invasive species.... What does it mean in your context?

about 2 years ago

US Ordered To Hand Over Megaupload Documents

Adrian Harvey Re:Dear USA (242 comments)

Sorry, the DVD region code for NZ is 4. The UK and Europe is 2 (see wikipedia ). Fortunately enforcing the suppliers use of region locking on DVD players was ruled a breach of our competition legislation (which explicitly makes parallel importing legal) and our copyright act explicitly excludes region locking as a proctection measure See here So almost all DVD players are sold unlocked.

more than 2 years ago



Lie Flat in Economy Class

Adrian Harvey Adrian Harvey writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Adrian Harvey (6578) writes "Finally an airline realises that economy class passengers want to lie down too — Air New Zealand has revealed it's solution. You do need someone to share with, so it's best for couples and families, nonetheless a giant leap forward for those of travelling cattle class. Official site is here but it's short on any real info at the moment."
Link to Original Source


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