Posts by Category: opinion piece

It’s my party and I’ll talk if I wanna!

Awesome October 13, 2009 posted by

3G starts to flex muscles – other wireless techs whimper and huddle dejectedly in a corner

(photo) Martin Sauter’s recent post on the upgrade of the HSDPA spec (3G + to you and me) made me stop and blink. So mobile phones are now on their way to achieving data download speeds of up to 84 Mbit/s with existing hardware? Really? In fact, a quick trawl of the Wikipedia site reveals that there are now 250 HSDPA networks in 109 countries, with a few supporting speeds of up to 21 Mbit/s and 28 Mbit/s peak data…


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Gadgets October 2, 2009 posted by

External USB Monitor rundown – they’re everywhere

Faster than you can say Eee PC, the auxiliary USB monitor range has exploded. They’re all about the same size and resolution and they work with PCs and some with Intel-based Macs. Here’s a quick (but not exhaustive) list of what’s currently available: Buffalo 7″ USB Monitor – Definitely the quirkiest looking one in the bunch. The screen rotates 90, it’s got 300cd/m brightness with a resolution of 800 x 480. Priced at US$163.   Century Plus One LCD-800U –…


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opinion piece August 28, 2009 posted by

Apple Malware – a quick look at the dark side

There’s been a bit of malware talk of late here on the Ferret, and unsurprisingly it’s been pretty much a Windows-only affair. We’re all about equality around here so here’s a quick little rundown on the state of malware for the OS X platform. There aren’t a lot viruses out there yet and there’s nothing particularly alarming in the list but as Apple continues to increase in market share it’s going to be increasingly attractive for malware writers to target…


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opinion piece August 25, 2009 posted by

The 8 Rules of Blog Comments – or how to spot a ‘turfer

[Image] 1. If the comment starts ‘I love your blog…’ then goes on to extol the wonders of the product that has been posted. It’s a PR agency. 2. If the comment starts ‘I’m not an expert but…’ and then praises the product in question. It’s an in-house company marketing shill. 3. If the comment starts ‘I bought one of these a few months ago, and it’s a great/fabulous/amazing/whatever….’. It’s an outsourced company paid to astroturf the client’s product anywhere they…


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announcement August 19, 2009 posted by

Compile A Virus – Trojans in Software Environments

I’ve been trialing Tidy Favorites, a visual bookmark application, for the last week or two. Things were going well until this morning when I had a pop up from my Trend Micro Anti Virus warning me about Troj_Induc.A being found in my Tidy Favorites executable file. Odd but no worries, I’ve had false positives before and a quick check of the Tidy Favorites FAQs and yes, they mention that some aspects of Tidy Favorites can be detected as false positives…


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Gadgets August 14, 2009 posted by

Travel light with a solar recharger – Ferret travel tips

No this isn’t a double post, it’s a tip. A globe-trotting friend of ours dropped in recently and she had one of these FreeLoader solar power chargers. She’s not really a gadget person so I quizzed her about why she bought it and how much she uses it and the answers surprised me. While the fact that you can charge gadgets using solar power is pretty nifty, she bought it for the multitude of charging adapters that came with it….


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announcement August 12, 2009 posted by

Hammacher Schlemmer’s Walk on Water Ball – a follow up

I’ve got to hand it to the peeps at Gizmodo, they know how to road test a product. Remember the Walk on Water Ball from a couple of weeks ago? Well you can see one of the Gizmodo readers in action in their Walk on Water Ball here, when I say in action I mean, inaction. Looks like it was nice weather for it too. Red Ferret commenter bob called it and Gizmodo commenter Nick proved it. This ball is…


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Awesome August 5, 2009 posted by

Spotify rolls onwards and upwards

Streaming music service, Spotify, has been on the Red Ferret before, heck Nigel even declared war over when he reviewed them. Well the ceasefire may be one step closer today after news Spotify had secured more investors. These new investors as well as the existing lot, which include The Big 4 music companies, suggests that Spotify could have a market valuation of close to 200 million. Spotify has taken off in the UK with over 2 million users and also…


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Gadgets July 21, 2009 posted by

Queensland Police Declare War on Wardrivers

In what’s being billed as a world first, police in the northern Australian state of Queensland have decided to clamp down on the free flowing crime hose that is unsecured WiFi networks. In between bouts of IMing, Warcraft levelling and torrenting, police will be cruising the suburbs on the hunt for open WiFi routers to warn their owners of the dangers of using their PCs on an unsecured network. “All unsecured WiFi networks out there are open for exploitation by…


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opinion piece July 15, 2009 posted by

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – not kid’s stuff any more

I was all set for the merchandising tie-in extravaganza that would accompany the next Harry Potter movie which opens worldwide today. And what have we heard? <crickets> With Harry and the Gang getting older and the story getting darker there’s almost nothing for kids, toy-and-gadget-wise except prop replicas and clothing. The Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince video game is a bit of a washout and even Lego has abandoned this year’s movie. I suppose drinking potions, fighting zombies,…


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hmm..interesting April 8, 2009 posted by

The Dark Side of Dubai – disturbing…

The Dark Side of Dubai is a disturbing Independent newspaper report on the nasty hidden world behind the glitz of this Middle Eastern ‘success story’. See also.  Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging. Tags: dark+side+of+dubai, middle+east, human+rights


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Bizarre March 17, 2009 posted by

British Telecom Sucks – how not to do customer service Part II

OK, so here’s an update on the sorry state of my non-working BT landline as featured on the Ferret yesterday. Having done that blog post, I sat around for a while trying to work out how to get around Catch 22 and get someone to listen to my problem, and finally decided to resort to desperate measures. Here’s what happened: At around 5.30pm I decided to go direct to the top, did a Google search and came up with the CEO…


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hmm..interesting March 16, 2009 posted by

British Telecom Sucks – or how not to do customer service

Updated here British Telecom is a good example of a company which has such a lousy reputation for the way it treats its customers that people set up websites to moan to the world about the awfulness. Despite the company trying to shut down dissent (see the furore caused a few years ago with the company stifling btirelandsucks.com) sites like btcomplaint.com still manage to get the word out, although judging from a recent post, the telco does absolutely nothing about complaints whatsoever even…


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