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Thanks For Reading: 15 Years of News For Nerds

Jaffa Re:dayummm (229 comments)

Think I signed up around 1997/8ish after I'd been reading for a while. Seems like so long ago. Because it was :-/

about 2 years ago
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BBC Radiophonic Workshop Revived Online

Jaffa Re:TARDIS (32 comments)

How could you leave out the TARDIS sound? They started with a coin and an open string on a[n upright?] piano.

It was a house key on a piano string; although Wikipedia claims "house keys":

The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb.

I'm sure I remember hearing a programme where they described it - not only was reverb and echo added, it was also played backwards.

about 2 years ago
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Sergey Brin Demos Google Glasses Prototype

Jaffa Re:Google Rx glasses? (122 comments)

I've got prescription glasses (and have had for many years) but find it's not the happy utopia you depict, so it's interesting to hear about the downsides to LASIK.

For example, scratched lenses => headache inducing; with high-powered lenses, not getting exactly sitting right all the time => headache inducing; dirty lenses => headache inducing; frames => far more limited field of view.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Talk Enables Video Chat On Android Phones

Jaffa Re:Looks familiar (83 comments)

Not just the N900 either. Both the N800 and N810 both allowed video chat over Google Talk; so we're going back 3 years for a feature that Nokia had on its Maemo devices built-in, out-of-the-box and fully integrated into the OS.

more than 3 years ago
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Nokia Trades Symbian For MeeGo In N-Series Smartphones

Jaffa Re:It is more like Nokia Linux (184 comments)

Except that there -will- be, like there is for Maemo, a community repository where less stable software can be made available.

Sure you won't get into the Ovi store or whatnot, but you will be able to make your software available without having to pass strict checklists if you really, really want to put it out there.

Actually, there's lots of evidence that the community's QA process is a lot more stringent than Ovi's; and results in software which is better, doesn't drain the battery, doesn't waste rootfs space and generally behaves a lot better.

The biggest obstacle to Ovi inclusion (even with the recently announced opening of it to individuals) are:

  • VAT registration
  • No dependency on libraries in the community repos
  • No Python (a comparitively large number of third party apps for Maemo are written in Python

more than 4 years ago
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Computer For a Child?

Jaffa Old ThinkPad + Ubuntu Netbook Remix + Firefox (556 comments)

My son's nearly 3 and has an old (slightly broken) ThinkPad loaded with Ubuntu Intrepid, and some parts of the NetBook Remix:

  • maximus - ensures all windows are full screened
  • window picker applet - gives a titlebar and better window picker
  • Firefox set to autostart and has speed dials to his favourite sites with the address bar hidden.

At 2.5, I'm not worried about him typing in an address and seeing something he shouldn't, and the speed dials are big enough to get him to Thomas and Friends, CBeebies, Kneebouncers and a few other sites.

The mouse pointer size is bumped up to maximum (Preferences > Appearance > Themes > Advanced, IIRC) and the speed dials have really helped him with his mouse control, and he can now navigate pretty much unaided around the CBeebies website, playing the Flash games there.

And no, we don't use this as an electronic babysitter.

more than 5 years ago

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