Category Archives: E-Book

Do you know James Whale?

You should because the man talks a lot of sense.
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Only a handful of people know that I prefer talk radio over a normal radio station. It is quite a strange thing to admit but there you have it. Don’t get me wrong, I love all music stations (except RNB, Jazz, soul), but there is something special about listening to others speak and LBC 97.3FM is one of London’s gems.

I particularly like the James Whale show at 4pm. James tells you how it is. He says what I think (LOL), which is incredible.

I am reading his book at the moment and it’s absolutely brilliant.

Source: LBC 97.3FM James Whale

R.I.P. Newzbin, it was the best NZB website ever.

Newzbin is no more after losing a battle with the courts. They have now been put into administration because they couldn’t pay their debts. I always said the subscription to the site was too low. It was ridiculously low (as in £2 for 8 weeks worth of downloads).

Word is that they owe the Motion Picture Association (MPA) £230,000 just in interim costs, and that’s without a full costs ruling or a decision on damages. Apparently they also owe a software development house over £500k. :-(

Newzbin is one of the original Usenet indexing sites and the creator of the immensely-popular .NZB format, which opened up simplified Usenet downloading to the masses.

While the major BitTorrent sites were in Hollywood’s spotlights as the major source of copyright infringement, Usenet sites such as Newzbin remained untouched.

This changed, however, when the MPA, the MPAA’s big brother, sent a threatening letter to the site’s operators in 2008.

This letter was followed by an official announcement of a lawsuit against the Usenet indexer early 2009. The case eventually went to the High Court in February of this year where Newzbin was found liable for copyright infringement.

Let’s hope a clone site can open in it’s place soon else websites such a Giganews and Grabit will suffer as a result.

Step away from the N900!

My wife says I am obsessive! She is of course referring to me and my new friend/toy the Nokia N900, which arrived two days ago after a slight delay. You can read all about that in the previous post. Since then I have managed to run the device dry 4 times and when I say “run the device dry”, I mean use it “non stop” for 5 or so hours until the battery is dead. So I guess that is what she means by “obsessive”.

I read the manual that came in the box and it was pathetic, all 17 pages of it. It explained nothing. So I did a search for a manual or a how to guide and found a 231 page Nokia N900 User Guide. (now we are talking). It’s a PDF file and I now have it on the phone for easy access and will be reading it front to back and back to front.

So what is the big deal about this device? The first thing noticeable when it’s turned on is the fact that it runs 99% of the time in the horizontal mode (as in the image to the left). This is so the large 3.5inch screen can be utilized fully. One also notices the lack of buttons anyone on the front. Not even a red or green buttons for making or ending calls and that is because the N900 is more a mini computer than a phone. I received a call while on the train home and to be honest, I didn’t know how to pick it up (ha ha).

It runs “Maemo“, which in simple terms is an open source linux operating system. Open source means anyone can develop software for it and there is a ton of software available in various stages of development. I have loaded quite a few applications already and haven’t even touched the surface of whats on offer.

Here are a few of my favourites so far:

  1. Angry Birds – a very addictive game by Rovio (check out the trailer here). Simple idea but brilliant!
  2. FBreader – Ebook reader, also trying out MGutenberg.
  3. gPodder – Podcast player.
  4. Firefox – Yup, the N900 can display a full browser perfectly and it’s fast. Did I mention add-ins, just like the application on the PC. It’s awesome! One particular awesome add-in is called Weave and I quote;
    The Weave Sync add-on lets you securely take your Firefox experience with you wherever you go. You can now surf the Web on your PC, get up and go, and have everything waiting for you on your phone: your history, open tabs, bookmarks, the Awesome Bar – just as you had left it.
  5. Mauku – Twitter application – I also tried out Witter, but find Mauku to be more finger friendly.
  6. Mediabox – an alternate to the default media player.
  7. Pidgen – Instant Messenger application allowing me to be logged into MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, and Skype. There is a whole host of other IM’s. Facebook chat would be nice. Actually Skype is built into the contact section, which is cool because one can chat, make VOIP calls etc.
  8. Facebook – Social networking application that we all love/hate/know!
  9. Extra media codecs for playing just about any video / audio format. All my files on my home server work perfectly and I got a real good mix (FLAC, MP3, MP4, MKV, AVI, DIVX, etc).
  10. Vagalume – it plays Last.FM and Libre.FM. As there is no Mobbler yet, this is the next best thing. Upon starting the application it soon becomes apparent that Last.FM will not work because of some licencing issues, but fear not as there is a hack or work around and it works perfectly if one follows the instructions over at NokiaAddict.com – Thanks @Gerrymoth.

One very cool feature is the ability to play Music / Video / Photos from my home media servers over wireless. The N900 makes uses of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA). The device supports up to 4 media servers at one one. I currently have two connected (my iMac and Cubestation), so I have been streaming music and video to the phone with ease. No need for cables or SD cards etc. It’s so amazing.

It’s impossible to tell you all the features, because there are thousands all made possible by the Maemo operating system. Simply the best mobile device I’ve ever owned! Now stepping away from the N900.

 

 

Google Wave is difficult to understand.

Google Wave GuideSo like the few tens of thousand people who have tried Google Wave, I am struggling to see what benefit it will have for me in the immediate future?

I am keen to give it a try out and to find out more about it, so I did a few searches online and stumbledupon this guide called “The complete guide to Google Wave” <how original?> by Gina Trapani & Adam Pash. The application isn’t even available to the masses yet and someone has gone and written a guide book on it and a PDF which is selling for $6’s. <nice & good luck to them>

Google Wave is a new web-based collaboration tool that’s notoriously difficult to understand. This guide will help. Here you’ll learn how to use Google Wave to get things done with your group. Because Wave is such a new product that’s evolving quickly, this guidebook is a work in progress that will update in concert with Wave as it grows and changes.

Those words coming from the two editors of the website. If it’s so bloody difficult to understand why do they think people are going to want to use it, let alone part with 6 bucks to learn something that is difficult [superemotions file="icon_question.gif" title="Question Mark"] (perhaps the very reason why I want to learn about it because it’s difficult and querky).

Anyway, it’s a very good read if you are struggling to see what Google Wave can do, and it has certainly helped me better understand it. Whether I will use it like it’s intended purpose, only time will tell.

Then I discovered that Gina Trapani is the editor of one of my all time favorite websites called Lifehackers.com. So, not some fly by the night author. Gina certainly knows what she is talking about!

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So come on friends and family, let me know if you want an invitation. I have 10 invites left (9 if Jeff sends me his email address). As mentioned in the previous post, family and friends first and if there are no takers, then I will offer them to the world.

You are NOT playing the game PLAY.com

Sony E-Reader 505 at play

Above is a recent order from Play.com – I bought my wife a Sony E-Reader PRS505 digital reader for her birthday in September. (look at the price then).

Look at the price today 2 months later. Yup, almost £100 more expensive. Christmas is just around the corner and PLAY.com have decided to RIP OFF GREAT BRITAIN!

Sony E-Reader 505 at play £235

Play.com – You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. How you can charge this much money for an old device is beyond me? I was blowing your trumpet not so long ago, but I can safely say I will NOT be shopping at PLAY.Com from this day forth!