Sometimes the Americans just do it better…

Posted in Uncategorized by Tony C on February 8, 2009

Demons Galleries

If you’ve ever been to the US and switched on the TV you’ll how completely and utterly awful it is.  So why then are they so much better at making drama series than we are?  Casualty vs ER, no contest.  The Wire vs The Bill, ditto.  Then of course there is the mashup of sci-fi and horror where we again offer little in the way of resistance to the invaders…only a certain Doctor able to keep the British end up.   Which brings me to the end of the first, and as it turns out probably only season of Demons, the guys at Digital Spy, have already written an end of season report so I don’t have to.  It’s sad really as there was buried in the middle of this TV equivalent of hastily made trifle was some nice ideas and Philip Glenister.  So where did it all go wrong?  It’s simple and is the reason the Americans are consistently better at this kind of TV than we are.   The writing…pure and simple.

Hat tip to Andrew for the link.


Windows Mobile 6

Posted in Microsoft, Mobile Phones, Tech, Uncategorized, Windows Mobile by Tony C on February 13, 2007

Mobile 6A few of you might know that I work in the part of MS Towers that looks after Windows Mobile and on Monday the latest version of the OS for handhelds was announced at 3GSM in Barcelona.  For the past few months I’ve been asked a handful of times a day “What’s new in Mobile 6?”, “When will the new devices with WM6 be available?” and of course “Whats new for developers?” and at last I can answer all of these and some others too.

My fellow Windows Mobile aficionado Jason Langridge covers the new features, with pictures, in some detail on his blog but some of the highlights include Message Smartfiltering, HTML support, Storage Card Encryption, Enforcement and Wipe, lots of Calendering enhancements making it feel as Outlook as possible, lots of cool Windows Live support, improvements to Mobile Office to take advantage of smaller screens and a ton of great UI enhancements.   For developers there’s an updated SDK which you can install straight into Visual Studio, a new emulator and a lengthy list changes to make application development, testing and deployment even easier.  There is a great doc on MSDN which covers all of this.

As for devices you can expect to see them begin to find their way in retail stores or from operators when the weather begins to get better.  That’s the early summer if you missed it!

Ajax the Vizsla part 2

Posted in Dogs, Uncategorized, Vizsla by Tony C on January 22, 2007

Even more cuteHere is Ajax again now just over two weeks old and the little fella has doubled in size.  His eyes are now open and he can toddle around but is still a little unsure on his feet, also surprisingly at this age the pups can even approximate something like a bark.  His blue eyes will unfortunately change to brown as he gets older as everything blends into one ginger gundog.  

Ajax as it turns out is one lucky chap.  When the litter was born seven of the eight pups appeared as expected but one one stuck and was thought to be still born, however the vet could detect a heartbeat and so number eight was born by caesarean and fighting fit.  Number eight is in fact Ajax and despite his late start is 2nd largest of the litter and already has the nickname ‘8 Ball’. 

In two weeks time we’ll take Izzy the Vizsla to meet him.

Hi Def Porn?

Posted in Blu-Ray, HD DVD, Porn, Tech, Uncategorized by Tony C on January 20, 2007

Where would the internet be without porn?  Well probably still the reserve of academics and the US military as it happens…maybe, but it is true to say that all significant technology steps on the internet have been pioneered by the porn industry.  They were the first users of  secure credit card transactions over the web, so no porn no Amazon or eBay for example, they were the first with streaming video so hey no…you get the idea. 

Any hoo the tech consumer industry is waiting to see which way the pornsters will go regards hi definition DVD and it seems early indications favour HD DVD over Blu-Ray.  Up to a point.  HD DVD so far is cheaper to burn and not as fragile as Blu-Ray but the question remains if consumers believe breasts in HD are better or breasts are breasts no matter how highly defined they are.  Sony also seem to be resisting porn publishers moving to Blu-Ray as manufacturers are refusing calls from publishers to burn disks, although the Blu-Ray Association claim there is no anti-porn stance.  It is ironic that Sonys reticence to get in to bed (sorry couldn’t resist) could be the undoing of Blu-Ray and they have short memories if they don’t remember a similar situation occured with Betamax.

And how do you tell people in a few years time that the reason they’re chosen a particular hi def DVD player is because porn industry decided that’s what they should have.

CD or not CD. Well CD for the time being.

Posted in Uncategorized by Tony C on December 13, 2006

Whilst we’re on the subject of Apple according to market researchers Forrester it seems iTunes revenue has taken a bit of a tumble and a hoped for recovery has yet to materialise.  Whilst I understand Apple don’t see iTunes as a huge revenue generator, as the end to end cost is weighted at the front with the iPod unlike the mobile phone market (see below), it’s important that iTunes at least hold it’s own if nothing else but to keep the shareholders happy. 

 It would seem then that consumers are not yet willing to abandon CD for digital download, especially as digital download services don’t typically allow music to follow you from one device to another as you upgrade or change device.  It is ironic that ripping music is legally still a bit of a mine field and depending which bit of the RIAA website you read you’re either welcome to rip content or a potential criminal mastermind of Bondian proportions.  Coupled with a music industry still at odds with the opportunity that digital content presents CD will probably be around for the foreseeable future.

Miffed of Hogwarts

Posted in Uncategorized by Tony C on November 22, 2006



Posted in Uncategorized by Tony C on November 7, 2006

The collapse of Farepakand the Christmas Club is a shining example of what not to do when people give you money…use it for something else than it was originally intended.  It’ll go wrong at some point, especially if you haven’t a clue what you’re doing as the trained, or should that be untrained chimps, at Farepak have shown and rightly deserve the good kicking all of their loyal customers want to give them.  Although I suspect as often happens in situations like this the guilty will escape with maybe a bit of light bruising or possibly a scuffed knee.  

I’m not a Farepak customer but I have met Sir Clive Thompson who chairs the parent company European Home Retail, when was the Chief Executive of Rentokil.  Sir Clive probably doesn’t remember but every summer the exec board would challenge the staff to a game of cricket, Rentokil staff had a very amateur team who played other local clubs and as I was spending the research piece of my MSc there I blagged my way into the side.  Because of my girth, a relatively safe pair of hands and no fear of throwing myself at the ball I was voted Wicket Keeper…you can probably guess the rest.  Second or third delivery Sir Clive clipped a thick edge straight to yours truly.  I don’t even think he got off the mark…

I left later that summer research project complete and the mystery of mould on CAA treated timber was still that…a mystery, but you know what?  Sir Clive never came and waved me off. 

All good things…

Posted in Uncategorized by Tony C on November 6, 2006

It’s been a great two weeks.  Top and tailing the DIY with a couple of boutique hotels is absolutely the way to go and has had the effect of making the two weeks seem like four.  As mentioned before we spent a few days on the south coast in Bailiffscourt, then after trying to unpick some of the DIY vandalism commited by the previous owners of Hawthorne Villas it was off to Ford Abbey for a few more days of  unadulterated luxury.

If only the bank mamager would let us stay longer…