Posts by Category: Reviews

In-depth reviews with video and intelligent comment

Awesome October 30, 2007 posted by

Musicshake – more music fun than a tub full of honey with sugar sprinkles

MusicShake is being marketed as ‘the easiest way to make music in the world’  and they’ve got a point. What they should also say is that it’s as addictive as…well the most addictive thing on your list of addictive things. There’s lots of music making sites and programs out there, and on the face of it this one is no different. You create tunes by arranging blocks of instrument and vocal samples on a timeline. So far so normal. What…

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cool tech October 11, 2007 posted by

Nimbuzz – super slick do-it-all chat and VoIP program for mobile and PC

Nimbuzz. I’ve been playing around with this new Dutch chat and VoIP freeware for a few days now and it’s pretty cool. What’s extra special goody gumdrops neat is a) the fact that it’s a Java app, so runs on just about every handset out there and b) the wide range of services it copes with. You can chat with your Skype, MSN, Yahoo!, AIM and Google Talk buddies on your mobile phone and make voice calls to MSN and Google…

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Bookmark This! September 25, 2007 posted by

Longjump – DIY business applications for small and medium sized companies

I’ve been playing with the new Longjump business application service over the past couple of days and I like it. Think Ning meets Salesforce meets DabbleDB. What makes it stand out for me is the fact that you can easily work out how to get the system up and running in a matter of moments, since all the heavy lifting database work is hidden behind a very user friendly interface. With a potentially powerful application like this, it’s important not to…

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Mobile Tech August 31, 2007 posted by

Nokia 6110 Navigator – new GPS phone oozes class and features

The new Nokia 6110 Navigator is the first in a new line of ‘Navigator’ handsets which feature on-board GPS for navigation, and it’s a lovely piece of work. I’ve been playing with one for a few days and I’ve got to say I’ve fallen in love. Let’s be clear, this is not a pretty phone by any means. If the iPhone is Miss South Carolina, then the 6110 Navigator is her distant cousin with the slightly crooked teeth. But with a feature set…

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Awesome August 27, 2007 posted by

Broadband in the park – or how mobile broadband snuck up on us when we weren’t looking

It’s 2.00pm on a hot sunny afternoon and I’m blogging this from a deckchair in our local park using the new T-Mobile WebnWalk HSDPA USB Modem…and I’m gobsmacked. Long time readers of The Ferret will know that we’ve been looking forward to the arrival of mobile (i.e. cellular) broadband for ever, although we always figured it would need some fancy new techs to do it. Well we’ve got news for you….high speed mobile broadband is here, it’s affordable and it’s…

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Reviews July 30, 2007 posted by

BBC iPlayer quick review – C for effort

I’ve been invited onto the BBC iPlayer beta test, so here’s a quick review piece on the latest Internet media player to hit the market. Click on thumbnails for larger image. First impressions – front end has a snazzy Web 2.0 interface. Lots of shaded icons, big text and images, Ajax timer symbols et al. Internet Explorer sucks. OK, I know I should leave it alone because it’s over done to death, but having no Linux, Mac, Vista or Firefox version is…

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Reviews June 13, 2007 posted by

A surprising day spent using the HTC Touch…

So I’ve just had a pretty typical working day with the HTC Touch handset, and thought you might like some initial impressions. First off, it was in use from 5am in the morning (catching an early flight) until 10.00 pm at night (long day!). Battery life remaining at the end of the day = Around 25%. Applications used = Mobile Word, Destinator 6.0 GPS navigation software, default MP3 music player, phone (3 calls + SMS), camera (one shot), WiFi (failed),…

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Gadgets June 6, 2007 posted by

HTC Touch – iPhone spoiler arrives?

So I went to the HTC Touch mobile phone launch yesterday. Mmm… Question: what are the odds that two companies separated by thousands of miles come up with an incredibly similar navigation interface which works by stroking the screen with a finger? 10 to 1? 1000 to 1? More? Well you’re wrong. It’s a total coincidence, at least that’s what HTC CEO Peter Chou told me when I asked him directly. His version of events is that none of his team have…

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Free Software March 23, 2007 posted by

Thunderbird – an email client triumph

So I’ve just taken the plunge and installed the Open Source Thunderbird email client as a replacement for my Outlook Express program. Before you snigger, I’ve stayed with OE for this long because I have a whole email process built up around it. Over 12,000 messages, stored in a huge number of folders and sub-folders, all linked together to improve my working day. So why the move? Because I was hit by a virus the other day (and no I…

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nice idea... March 16, 2007 posted by

Microlending review – Kiva wins

Slate has just done a review of microlending services – that provide small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries – and Kiva has come out top. I’m glad about that, because I actually lent some money to the scheme after we featured it on the Ferret a while back (see, we do eat our own dogfood so to speak) and thought it was a great idea and superbly done. Already the entrepreneurs I lent to have started to pay back the…

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Reviews November 28, 2006 posted by

Review – Dualphone 3088 vs USR Cordless Skype Phone

The DualPhone 3088 Cordless Phone for Skype is the successor to the original Dualphone which we wrote about in November 2004. It is the first home Skype phone to operate without requiring a computer, which makes it a pretty advanced bit of tech. You simply hook it up to your broadband connection and landline sockets and start making Skype or conventional calls. So what is it like, and how does it compare with the latest of the conventional home Skype phones, the USR…

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Reviews November 24, 2006 posted by

First impressions of the MDA Vario II HSDPA handset

I was on a panel at the Radio Academy’s Radio at the Edge seminar yesterday, discussing the future of radio broadcasting, and it was a bit of a hoot. The radio crowd got to listen to us pontificating about podcasting, the Internet and how radio schedules were a thing of the past (my contribution). John Plunkett reported it live on the Guardian blog if you’re interested, but that’s not really what I wanted to talk about. I thought you might like to get my first impressions…

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Gadgets October 13, 2006 posted by

USB Finger Mouse

The USB Finger Mouse. This is an innovative little mouse that you strap to your index finger with a Velcro strap. It comes with an 800dpi optical sensor and guess what? It actually works, and is especially cool for laptop use. We’ve been playing with one here at Ferret Towers for a while, and if you have a problem with trackballs or conventional rodents, then this is definitely recommended as an option. The plus points are that it’s really nicely sensitive and works brilliantly…

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Mobile Tech September 26, 2006 posted by

Fring – Skype for mobiles

Fring. Wow, yet another astonishingly cool tech launches. Basically we’re talking mobile P2P VoIP. So now you can use Skype or Google Talk on your mobile phone, with full functionality, no need for additional hardware or a PC in between. Forget about Eqo, with its patchy functionality, this puppy works. I installed Fring in about 5 minutes over SMS and immediately all of my Skype contacts appeared on my handset ready to chat, call or Skype Out. Super super clever. No…

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Reviews August 24, 2006 posted by

The Death of the Dentist’s Drill?

Back in 2002 we reported on a new technology called HealOzone that promised to do away with dentist’s drills. The article in New Scientist reported – A painless ozone gas treatment for tooth decay could replace injections, drilling and fillings, say its inventors at Queen’s University, Belfast. Four years on and the treatment is available worldwide, although it still hasn’t been fully endorsed by the dental authorities. Nevertheless, in the spirit of adventurous blogging, I decided to try it out and see…

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