Mar 162017
 

The term ‘at sixes and sevens’ means being in a state of confusion. It was used a lot in our family household.

For the last few months I have been torn over wether or not I wanted to trade my iPhone Six in for a Seven.

On paper  the Seven is little more than than the device  that the 6s should have been. The camera is better, the processor is faster  and the home button redesigned to no longer be a button. It looks like the 6 too. In fact the only way to tell them apart is the lack of a headphone socket on the newer one.

I had pretty much decided that I did not need to upgrade.

So the 7 is rubbish then ?

Well no. It’s really rather good. It is considerably faster than the 6. So much so that I am still quite amazed every time I use it. The camera a is not a hit just better, it is way better. Every photo is better. The software that takes advantage of the new camera module is smarter. Smart software and higher resolution. What is not to like ?  Continue reading “At Sixes and Sevens” »

Aug 012016
 

Passwords are rubbish.

They are an inherently flawed method of securing your information.

Don’t believe me ?

If your password is less than seven characters long, it can be cracked in minutes using cheap off-the-shelf computing hardware.

If it is longer than seven, but still a word that appears on a word list, even if you substitute e’s with 3’s and sprinkle capital letters in there, again it is rubbish.

There are wordlists out in the real word that have  60 billion words on it, while that number might seem high, a dedicated pawed cracking machine that costs less than $5000 will check 6 billion combinations per second. Continue reading “Even with a password manager….” »

Feb 242016
 

Leader of the Pack.The working title for my game is ‘Lane Splitaz’.

The game itself is fairly simplistic, you are the rider of a moped and you have to split the lanes of traffic under a variety of conditions against the clock….

Level 1 – The easy intro.

Bike – 50cc scooter, no mirrors.
Traffic – Entirely stationary cars
Gaps – about 2M wide

The only difficult section here is that you pretty much have to be totally flat out the whole time to reach the end of the course.  Continue reading “I have this idea for a video game….” »

 Posted by at 10:16 am
Dec 312015
 

Many aspects of our lives are protected in one way or another with passwords.

A Password needs to follow contradictory rules.

  • It needs to be easy for us to remember.
  • It should be close t0 impossible for anyone else to guess.

Many password protected sites attempt to get users to use passwords that adhere to the second rule, yet ignore the first one, by adding a degree of complexity to all passwords.

Ideally you should also add two-factor authentication too, but that is a whole other subject. 

Continue reading “The Problem with passwords” »

Nov 232015
 

IMG_0593Or why you should stop worrying about passwords and just enable two-factor authentication….

If, like me, you have several e-mail accounts, a few forum accounts, bank and credit card accounts, eBay, paypal, Apple, gym and numerous others, you probably have a small number of passwords that have some level of re-use or even variations on a theme.

For example, your gmail might be Pa55w0rd!, your bank account Pa$$w0rd! your credit card P4ssw0rd123 etc.

If you can find any variant of it in the top 500 worst passwords list, then you have a problem.

Unless you are using two-factor authentication that is.  Continue reading “My password is password” »

Nov 062015
 

HealthyI have always been an early adopter. As far as I can remember, I have always been at the forefront of tech stuff. Quartz watches – check, Compact Disc – Check, MiniDisc – Check, DAT decks – Check, Home computers – check, Android – check, iOS – check, early releases – check, tubeless mountain bike tyres – check, pretty much everything – check.

Friends and colleagues nearly always ask my opinion on things, simply because they know that I will have got it first and they want to know what something is like.

Quite often, it has bitten me, but this does not seem to stop me.  Continue reading “The Perils of (public) Beta Testing…..” »

Oct 312015
 

iPhone 6S PlusIn apple terms, the ‘S’ release every other years represents an updated version of the previous years phone.  This is the Tock to the regular phone’s Tick, or the Yang to the Ying, if you like.

What is perhaps more accurate is that the S release represents the definitive version of a chassis design, complete with bug fixes and feedback from significant numbers users. Continue reading “Apple’s Difficult ‘S’ Release…” »

 Posted by at 2:00 pm
Oct 142015
 

I grew up in a very small village, apart from weekly games of cricket, there was very little excitement available. Due in part to the lack of local entertainment, I immersed myself in comic books and science fiction novels from the local library.

Most of the comic books available were American imports, a local newsagent had a small selection for sale, but that selection would vary, so it was never really easy to follow multi-episode story arcs. I would perhaps get Superman issue 487, then the next one available might be 512.

One day I was looking at the import comic shelf and one caught my eye. Somehow the newsagent inadvertently stocked a run of Dick Tracy comics that covered a decent sized story arc. I will admit that I was more a fan of superheroes than a mortal detective. But the chance to follow a whole story, rather than disjointed episodes meant that I spent rather a lot of money on six precious Dick Tracy comic books.

Dick Tracy had several gadgets, but his most famous was his two-way radio (later video) watch.  Continue reading “Apple Watch – A longer term review” »

Feb 152015
 
2015-02-15 13.31.02

OnePlus One, Samsung Note III, iPhone 6

Over the years I have been tempted to jump to Android by their larger screens, the promise of more openness and the air of rebellion that Android has generally portrayed.

My Android phones however have almost never lived up to the hype. Sure the screens are bigger – this is important when you get older, sure there is a lot more flexibility there in terms of icon layout, launchers and widgets and there is Google Now, which is pretty cool.

But somehow I feel like I am a beta tester or worse for the majority of my Android experience.

Every single Android phone that I have owned, and the list is extensive, has been missing something compared to not just other Androids, but to iPhone. It seems that choosing Android means that you need to choose carefully because they are so varied.

The iPhone is the standard by which others are judged.  Continue reading “Apple vs Google (redux)” »

Nov 252014
 

A few weeks ago, Apple launched their new iPhone 6 and the XL iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 is the one that interests me more than anything. I currently use a Samsung Note3, albeit one that long since jettisoned the original Samsungised version of Android that it is intended to use and one that now runs Cyanogenmod 11 (nightly).

I love and hate the size of the Note3, the screen is pretty good in all but bright sunlight and the lightly extended version of AOSP plus Google services adds up to a nice phone.

There are very few things about the Note3 that I dislike.

– The battery life is poor, I struggle to get through a busy day

– There are still vestiges of Samsung – the home button for example.

– The camera is really ‘not all that’ and when you run a third-party ROM you are giving up many things, NFC is a prime example of this.

So, why am I writing about the iPhone 6  ?

Because deep down I beleive that the Apple ecosystem is a better one than the Android / Google one.

Continue reading “I have a love-hate relationship with Apple and Android….” »

 Posted by at 7:27 am