Archive for July, 2006

Price comparisons, the future of marketing

July 31st, 2006

After watching the Sunderland air show a few friends and I stopped off at to a local shop to stock up on essentials and we noticed the price comparison above. So if you want Draught Guinness (from a can) then the cheapest place to get it is Tesco, or Asda, or Morrisons.

Well done Google support

July 28th, 2006

It is not often I get the opportunity to compliment a support service, so imagine my surprise finding that I want to do this for a free service.

I have been looking at a few ways to manage my images and make select ones available online and have been playing with Google’s Picasa beta, and the test online image hosting service Picasaweb.

While using the software and the online web service I have had a few issues and logged both support and feedback. To my surprise I have always got a personal and constructive reply. What surprise me most was that each post was not considered blindly in isolation but looked at in context and considered properly.

I shall helpfully not be contacting them again, not because I don’t want to, but because all my issues have been addressed. Well done Google.

Sorry, but it's all Blogger's fault

July 28th, 2006

You may have noticed that many images disappeared from my blog. This was because I have moved my blog from Blogspot to my web site and new (or reimplemented) security restrictions blocked the old images. The old images have been moved to my web site and all is well. Some reader may have noted this as a change a flogged up my old postings as new that I am sorry about, but this should not happen again.

03 for anywhere

July 27th, 2006

In a previous blog posting I stated that “I will speculate that we may see an 06 code in years to come that is like an 01 or 02 but non geographic and that so called lo-call 0845 numbers (intended to be charged at local rate) will cost the same or more than the national rate numbers.

Well I got the number wrong, but 03 numbers are on the way according to an Ofcom press release.

Garmin i3 going cheap

July 27th, 2006

I while ago the Garmin i3 satnav devices were going cheep as they were at the end of the line, and after a lot of pondering I decided to get one. Although I don’t do that much driving and like to plan my journey in micro detail before I leave I am still very pleased I purchase the device.

It is a very basic device with limited functionality, but it doss have a full postcode look-up and gets me from A to B, and that is all I need. If you occasionally need to drive in a place that you are not familiar with then I recommend the Garmin i3 as a great budget device.

I mention this now because Comet have a few left of £99 in there online store.

I'm the parking paparazzi

July 27th, 2006

Occasionally I see the odd thing that makes me chuckle. This example is when a traffic warden (or should the be traffic control officer) is parked in a place that he would have written anyone else a ticket for doing. Strangely the chap did not find the whole thing as funny as I and started calling after me for taking the photo, but I was in a hurry and couldn’t be bothered with an argument so smiled, waved and walked on.

Wallace and Gromit and international superstars

July 17th, 2006

You get some strange art all over the place, but Bristol are bucking the trend and erecting a statue of international superstars Wallace and Gromit. More information in the Media Guardian article*.

*Free registration required

The Zidane headbutt – new video evidence!

July 14th, 2006

Another top quality report form The Regiter about the Zidane headbutt incident. :-)

The Mediaman HVX-3500

July 14th, 2006

Every week I am sent trade publications and marketing mailshots about gadgets and gizmos. Most are juts not exciting, but this portable HDD enclosure surprisingly is.

So why an I interested in an external hard drive? Because it is so much more than an external hard drive, it is a full media center. You can plug the device directly in to you TV and HiFi and play back all the files stored on the drive. The device plays back all audio and file formats that I use regularly (excluding Quick-time and Real-Audio/Video) using the front panel or the remote control. A full list of supported file formats and interfaces are listed on the oficial web site.

The reason I am interested in this device is that it will allow me to load the device up with video podcasts that have been downloaded on the unmetered broadband at the office and play them back on the TV, instead of using the rather limited USB flash drive and a laptop.

The device is available for less than £150 excluding PlayEngine. Not that I have ordered PlayEngine, but they did pay for the advertisement so it’s only fare I give them a mention. :-)

McAfee Site Advisor

July 14th, 2006

I came across this little tool a while ago and have found it most useful in figuring out when a site is legitimate and worth a visit when googling. It also works when yahooing and msning. :-)

This simple but effective software is installed as a plug-in with either FireFox and now IE. When installed you get a small coloured icons on search results from Google, Yahoo or MSN. The colour identifies when a site has been checked and thought to be legitimate, when a site has not been checked or when a site is either probably not, or definitely not trustworthy.

Site Adviser also places an identifier on the task bar to identify the trustworthiness of the site that you are currently viewing and can identify if the site spams users who register. The information is collected by reports form the user base, checked made by volunteers, and a few automated test.

The software can be downloaded from the Site Advisor web site that can also be reached from the official McAfee web site.