October 8th, 2010

No Pressure, Large Blast Radius

Whilst I am extremely tempted to stick a picture alongside this, I think I’ll resist that temptation since the only truly fitting one would be a gory screenshot from the video this is about. So, for starters, here is a link to the video itself; a video conceived by the 10:10 organisation who wants everyone to cut their carbon emissions by 10%.

According to the 10:10 guys, this was supposed to be something people would find “extremely funny”, I think more appropriate words to describe it would be “grim”, “macabre” and “gratuitious” – I was also rather surprised to hear that this was apparently the brainchild of Richard Curtis and I can only assume he never made the connection that this video wasn’t about simply amusing gore, it was a personal attack on people with a similar mindset to those in the video.

To call the video counter-productive would be an understatement; clearly the purpose of the video was to garner wider and more active support for the 10:10 initiative, which, if analysed logically would mean you should aim to create a video that convinces the skeptic/apathetic/fence sitter into doing something; hence those who do find this video funny are quite probably already converted – which makes the video great if your aim was to rally the militant party faithful into a “YEAAAAH, FUCKING KILL THE BASTARDS” sort of way… however, I somehow doubt that’s what the money that funded this shite was aiming for. Which also brings me to conclude that the finished article was quite probably not shown to anyone on the fence or unsupportive of climate change prior to its public release.

So what do we have instead? A video that has completely alienated the people it was supposed to convert or win over and worse still, damaged the image of those campaigning for action on climate change by painting them as violent Eco-fascists. Additionally it helps spread the belief that climate change is based on scaremongering, which in truth, some of it is, although that certainly only applies to certain individuals, many of whom are simply in it for the money – many people have accused Al Gore of this one, and incidentally, many have also had their asses sued by Al Gore for doing so – not exactly a brilliant PR move is it?

As far as climate change goes; I heartily recommend everyone to do “green” things that save them money… use energy efficient light bulbs, turn crap off when you’re not using it… but as for paying a tenner to some company to plant a tree for you? frankly? fuck that shit. It’s really not difficult to acquire some seeds and do the job yourself; handing over a bit of cash to absolve you of your Eco-guilt is, to my mind, no different than the money a person would pay to the Catholic Church for the granting of an “indulgence”. Of course, I’m not saying that doing so is evil or wrong, but if you can get up off your arse and DIY, do so.

The issue of climate change is somewhat similar to Atheists vs Theists, and the main argument for those denying it is that either humanity isn’t the cause or we’re not the cause and even if we are contributing, there’s bugger all we can do to stop it… I’d say err on the side of caution and at least give it a go and see if we can bring the existing levels down.

September 26th, 2010

Excursions in Stupidity

Sarah PalinA popular quote goes along the lines of “There is a constant battle between engineers and the universe; engineers are constantly finding new ways to make technology more idiot friendly – the universe is finding new ways to make bigger idiots. Currently the universe is winning” Welcome to the world of the ID-Ten-T.

And indeed, it’s very true, it would seem that no matter what you do, you constantly get idiots who fail to use stuff properly, fail to read instructions and fail to communicate their issue. So, during my time, I’ve built up a classification of idiocy and the forms it comes in. Of course there will always be people who have difficulties and those who do and communicate it succinctly are not the people I am referring to, but there are a seemingly disproportionate number of those who seem to either knowingly or unknowingly make themselves difficult to support.

  1. The Indignant Idiot – this type of moron loves to scream “IT DOESN’T WORK” (typically in all caps) or give disparaging one liners such as “Crap” or “Useless” with no effort whatsoever to justify or explain the problem. I’ve found the best way to deal with this type of twerp is to offer help and simultaneously rebuke them for their aggressive non-constructive attitude, if they persist, just tell them you’ve no interest in receiving more of their abuse. Naturally, their grasp of written English tends to vary, although it’s worth pointing out that those who have English as a second language are rarely offenders of this category.
  2. The Waffling Idiot - this person is someone who is very gifted at writing several paragraphs without revealing any information about their problem, or alternatively, offering such a convoluted description that it requires several reads to work out the basic gist of their problem, if their grasp of grammar is poor, as it tends to be, you end up confronted with a wall of text. Naturally the best way of dealing with this is to ask them to sum up the problem in as few words as possible, or if they’re simply incapable of it, get screenshots.
  3. The “Expert” Idiot – this is probably one of the worst kinds, especially when combined with #1: this is someone who generally considers themselves a bit of a hotshot and therefore FAR too clever or important to bother reading the dialogs and instructions presented to them – so naturally when something does go wrong because of something they failed to read, in their mind, there’s no possibility at all that this issue could be their own fault and hence pinpointing the problem can be rather difficult.
  4. The Utter Retard – not much to say about this one, this is the sort of person who is so utterly stupid, when presented with an error caused by their own computer, such as a firewall blocking the app, they are completely unable to get around this hurdle due to their complete technical incompetence – in many cases such these people fit in #1, and the only real way of dealing with this level of abject stupidity is to simply do the job for them. Their problem is usually accompanied by a diabolically shite grasp of English despite the fact they themselves live in an English-speaking country and you do wonder to yourself how they get through the day if they speak anything like they write.

I think the above 4 pretty much sum it up nicely; you can of course derive many subsets if you want to get extremely in-depth about the subsets of stupidity, but in any case, I’d say this basically sums the lot up.

September 20th, 2010

Is this blog dead or what?

It’s not dead, it’s just resting!

No it’s not, this blog is dead, it is an ex-blog.

Looks perfectly fine to me.

OK, Monty Python jokes aside, the blog has basically been um… “resting” for a year… however, in good old human whimsical nature, I’ve decided to get up off my arse and start tending to it once again, although in all truth I suppose I should point out that the reason it “went into hibernation” in the first place was due to a wide and varied assortment of shite that managed to throw itself in my path over the past year, which, whilst certainly serving to make life interesting, also tends to make it rather irritating at times too.

So once again, I will hopefully be offering up my regular batch of both HTC related commentary and the odd dashing of economic commentary when the mood so takes me. Additionally I’ll hopefully be providing some interesting and amusing (and depressing) metrics on the levels of stupidity humanity can sometimes sink to… With any luck I’ll have something compiled shortly to whet your whistle.

September 4th, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5 on HTC

WM6.5 Start Menu

Yeah Yeah, I know, it’s not exactly *the best* image of WM6.5, but it’ll have to do – besides, you’re supposed to be here so you can read my spleen venting, not look at pictures I managed to find on Google.

So, without further ado… where to start…

Ok, first thing is the greatly improved start menu – it’s now a scrollable/flickable menu which does work rather well, although the edition I used doesn’t have those hexagons visible and also seems to lag horribly whenever I’m on a Skype call (which I suppose is understandable) though it’s a bit of a pain in the arse because I wrote a program that turns off the screen and sticks the device in low-power mode (wonderful for the battery) and it means you can talk for hours with the WiFi burning away.

Still, I should acknowledge that the ROM I’m playing on is a test one, so perhaps the final thing should be much better… and speaking of which, it should be out this month (in an earlier post I said WM7, I should really correct that to WM6.5)

Internet Explorer is vastly improved (though there’s some pretty gay GUI fuckups that need to get sorted) and the Javascript engine in it is very good, as is its rendering capabilities, definitely outdoing Opera in some respects. Although the one thing I think we should see is some sort of new game for it – the current ones are pretty old now, and I reckon something small and fun wouldn’t be a bad idea to chuck into the OS, for those times when you’re bored/travelling/using the toilet.

Manila definitely complements it quite well as the default Today screen is alright, but still a bit wanky and definitely not up to par with Manila at all – especially when you’re talking about the new Manila versions.

Right, that’s all I’ve got to say for now, Shove it.

September 4th, 2009

HTC Touch Pro 2 Unlocker

touch-pro2You know what, I really should find new and more engrossing things to talk about, I promise I’ll try… later – first my usual gumf to unlock touch pro 2

But for now, available at htc-unlocks.com is our Touch Pro 2 Unlocker with the usual features of SIM, CID and the ubiqitous Security Unlocking capabilities – and of course Hard-SPL into the bargain, which is naturally just what you want if you also intend to debrand your device (because let’s be honest, most providers ROMs are utter shite)

Those of you who have the rather sexy “worldphone” edition of the Rhodium (this is the one that’s both CDMA and GSM) – unlocking this one is currently a W.I.P. but I have to say, the whole concept of a PDA worldphone is very sexy to me, but I have the “mere” GSM one, which is still great looking, probably just as well I don’t tend to travel to exotic places (or the middle east) that much.

Either way, this is much less of a brick than the HTC Touch Pro / Fuze was… instead, you get the compromise of a keyboard adding a bit of bulk, combined with the lovely screen size and res sported by the HTC Touch HD.

<img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-114″ title=”touch-pro21″ src=”http://blog.htc-unlocks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/touch-pro21-170×300.jpg” alt=”touch-pro21″ width=”170″ height=”300″ />

June 6th, 2009

HTC Kovsky Unlocker

Well, in all honesty I quite frankly doubt anybody really refers to it as the HTC Kovsky (*cough cough* Ericsson Xperia X1), but that’s the codename, so that’s the one I use – though of course, Sony do deserve a hand for the fancy little applications they threw in; like the fish that you can scare the shit out of or er… play with.

I have to admit that it’s very difficult choosing between the Raphael and the Kovsky in terms of picking a favourite – though incidentally, they are pretty much the same device, right down to the hardware initialisation, one could draw a parallel to the Cheetah (Treo 750) similarity to the Hermes – though they didn’t have the same screen.

Anyway, onto the real stuff: the Kovsky Unlocker is available at http://kovsky.htc-unlocks.com with all the usual trimmings of Security, CID and SIM unlocking available – so you can lob a Blackstone radio on it if you really want to, or just get a warm fuzzy feeling from the cool banner that shows during boot-up.

Finally, as a somewhat interesting bit of trivia – the Prototype Kovsky has an extra button on it (and half the RAM sadly) but additionally, when it boots up or you stick it in bootloader, the screen is upside down until WM starts booting, if anyone knows why, answers on a postcard ;)

June 2nd, 2009

Blackstone, Topaz, Rhodium et al.

touch-pro21Look at that, you want it.

Admit it, you fucking want it… I fucking want it; I want to have its fucking bab… OK too far.

Either way, it’s a bloody nice device and one which I really hope I’ll be able to get hold of soon and have a good play with – gotta love that chrome eh?

Anyhoo, in other news… Blackstone unlocker is released finally, available at http://blackstone.htc-unlocks.com and what’s more, we’re gearing up for the Topaz which should be released today in fact – just as soon as you whiney bitches on IRC get your Hard-SPL… then we just need to get the Rhodium sorted out.

For some reason I do feel compelled to write enough content to extend past the image on the left, which I’ve probably already achieved if I bear in mind the column width on the front page – but I’m typing this in from the editor which is longer, so I suppose I should think of something interesting or important to say… ooh, I know – hopefully, we should be getting WM7 in September and it *should* be available for Topaz and Rhodium, though this on the assumption the release doesn’t get set back due to delay (or brought forward due to a leak)

I do also have this niggling feeling that the WM7 SPLs are going to be totally different from the WM6 line and quite possibly won’t be too happy if you try and flash a WM6 OS back on without downgrading the SPL as well, but we shall see.