Week in Review

Web round up – Microsoft, Google and phones!

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Some of these subjects I’ll be covering in a solo broadcast of Techbytes (which I lovingly refer to as Techbits) since my co-host and I are having issues in the meeting of minds as I’m using a Chromebook at the minute and it has limited broadcast choice.  We hope to return to normality asap.

Microsoft seems to have dumped its Kinect, or at least removed it from Xbox One bundles and subsequently reduced the price.  Desperation by Microsoft? Well since the PS4 has the better specification in my view, its still not offering value for money and I think Microsoft have got problems.  Not problems like the poorly received WIIU, but I get the impression the Xbox One has been received in a similar way and this is certainly not what Microsoft had planned.  There’s doom and gloom on the subject of Kinect at the moment, however we may see a surge in use on other platforms.  There’s quite a few developers who have taken an interest in using the Kinect in innovative ways, so maybe instead of acting as a device to sell more Xbox One’s, it will be a sucess in its own right.  Who knows? Who cares? And I’ve little sympathy or love of Microsoft who’s products I’ve been burned by (metaphorically) and who’s business practices have been highlighted time and again.

Talking of business practices, Google have a bit of a problem on their hands with the EU ruling allowing people to remove themselves from search results.  Is this good? Well no, because as we have seen already, there’s been a sex offender who wants Google to forget him. I personally think all sex offenders should be named, shamed and put permanently on the internet for all to see.  It may act as a deterrent to these individuals and if it doesn’t, at least it warns others of these “people” in society.  Remove them from search results? No way.  There’s also apparently an MP who has made the request of Google and I think I can guess who (after seeing numerous news reports of his conviction at the time).  If I’m right, I’ll be helping getting the results “remembered” again on my Twitter/Site, if he manages to disappear.

Going back to Microsoft, there’s a new report that Whatsapp has been removed from its Windows Phone Store….bad news for all 4 Windows Phone users…..joking aside, at time of writing it seems that no reasons have been given for the removal.

Google maps has apparently updated its cycle routes….great, that’s all we need – to encourage more cyclists.

And that’s my round up for today.  I plan to get a TechBits episode released this weekend so I hope to see you there!

Ramblings of a Goblin

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photoIt’s rare that I use this blog as a “blog” in the traditional sense of the word, so it’s about time to present a cachophony of views for you to read, injest and maybe get a little heated about.

Firstly, I’m unwell. Crippling pains have me rather short tempered and I’ve had a trip to the doctors I had two self-diagnosis’s in my mind – a strain of some description, or stones of some description (Kidney)? I’ll update as to the accuracy of my self diagnosis later.

Moving on and in brighter news, I’ve recieived a review copy of Vale of Stars by Sean O’Brien so I’ll be giving that the OpenBytes treatment shortly.

Windows Surface – I continue to see the problems  of a half baked product as its unleashed into the wild.  Certainly the queues Microsoft wanted for its release were absent and perhaps a omen for those brave enough to part with cash for one.  The sales have been described by some as “modest” but we all know Microsoft and it would have been bold and loud if the figures had even been near to reasonable. – Would it be premature to say that Surface will be joining WP7 in the Kin bin? – We’ll have to see.

Usenet – Watching the Microsoft advocates squirm in comp.os.linux.advocacy is a hobby of mine and whilst sometimes their insults can be extremely hateful, its the bile and hatred from the aforementioned Microsoft Advocates that have inspired me to continue writing all these years.  I am often asked why I don’t write more about Apple, well to be fair, given the choice I’d rather see Apple in a tech position of power than Microsoft.  Why? Because the mainstream consumers that I speak with are very happy with Apple products.  That was not the case with Microsoft.  In addition I’ve not met an Apple advocate who exhibited the same hatred, bile as we can see in the wibbly wobbly world of Microsoft advocacy.

Recently, in the world of Microsoft Advocacy, I saw two new claims about me.  The first from an MS advocate claiming that they knew me and that I was a salesman (I can’t recall the company name, but I would love them to visit here and give details).  The second “revelation” was that my surname was “Wilson”.  Of course I’ve never had a sales position of any kind at any time of my working life and in addition I’ve never worked for any company, firm, organization remotely connected with tech, but why would that stop the professional liars that advocate Microsoft on Usenet?  As for my surname being Wilson, they obviously didn’t check on my little “seed” of information, since if you Google Tim Wilson, you get a famous country singer with a goatee beard and a cowboy hat.  Maybe that was lost on the Microsoft advocates or maybe they thought it a double bluff, but even the hardened Microsoft Advocates stopped mentioning it, so maybe they are thinking twice? Who cares?

Wine – I recently purchased Dawn of War 2 in a bargain bin at a local closing down store.  It was a bit of a gamble since I couldn’t be sure at the time it would run on Wine.  Happily it does – perfectly, and I’m currently conquering a planet with my Blood Angels. Its a great game and worth a purchase if you are a WH40k fan.

Google drive/docs – I’ve finally started to use Docs/Drive and despite the bad press Google has had recently, I’m very happy with the service, currently I have a few literary projects on the go and Google is great for allowing me to sync my efforts (in realtime) around the house on the plethora of machines I have.  Whilst on the subject of Google, I’m also using G+ far more for my thoughts of the day (to the detriment of identi.ca) mainly because I don’t have the char limit of the “micro-blogging” which in todays information superhighway seems a little…..limiting….  Am I a Google fanboy now? I’ll let you decide.

TechBytes – Recently managed to record two shows with Roy (of which both were great fun) and it was nice getting back into the audio-cast world again.  I sadly had to cancel my appearance on the Crivens show (sorry Gordon) but I am hopeful that there will be an opportunity to go on again soon.

Finally the part which you were waiting for…my trip to the Doctors…… Its a muscle strain.  What was maybe worse is that there’s nothing that can be done and it merely needs to be rested.

Tim (Goblin)

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com

Skype: tim.openbytes

The week in review – ending Sunday 15/05/2011

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My second ever “week in review” before the show notes to an extra episode of TechBytes are released.  Whilst I wait for the files to be encoded, I decided what better time than to look over the last week.


Skype being bought by Microsoft has been talked to death.  We’ve even covered it twice this weekend on TechBytes.  In a nutshell though, despite claims that on mention of Microsoft buying Skype, Linux users the world over will be busy uninstalling it, I take a more pragmatic look at the situation.

Lets get one thing straight, Microsoft is buying the success of another.  Skype is not a Microsoft innovation and any successes in the future will be thanks to the founding work of others.  Microsoft has cash and cash can buy you pretty much what you want.

Will I be dumping Skype? No.  For me Skype was (and still is) a convenient method of recording the TechBytes show, whilst many potential interviewees will be moving to SIP, there will be others who will stay.  The Microsoft acquisition has done nothing other than make SIP another alternative for me – as well as, not instead of Skype.  Since most of the potential interviewees are going to be using SIP then it seems highly likely that my usage of Skype will become less frequent.  The only caveat to that is there will be need for an OSS “share my desktop” for the TechBytes Videocast. – I will await any recommendations in lieu of my own investigations/experiments.


Moving on, we look at the Facebook incident and unfortunately anyone who has dared to write about FOSS being a valid choice in place of proprietary will see the whole saga as not surprising.  With that in mind it does nothing for my opinion of Facebook, in my view it was and is an insidious service which I have refused to have any part of.

PSN Back up!

The PSN is up again! At the time of writing this I saw that news hours late, which maybe is a testament to how important the PSN was in my  life.  Will I be clambering to get back on? No – I’ll take a look when I get some spare time.  I suppose its celebrations though for those who live by it. – Sony in my view had better eat some humble pie for the foreseeable future, they have many customers to win back.

It’s a F’Kin sell out!

I had a funny “debate” the other day with a regular Windows Advocate on Usenet.  It was based around the Kin (you surely remember that?) Anyhow, the upshot of the persons argument was an apparent resentment to me calling the Kin a “lifeless brick” which he could not understand shouldn’t be taken literally.  Of course we all remember how few units Microsoft sold before it was “killed” and this particular Windows advocate seemed to think that Kin wasn’t doing so bad after all because they were still selling the Kin devices today  (or flogging off surplus – depending on your viewpoint).

Taking the Windows advocate’s claim at face value though it would appear Microsoft’s WP7 has even more to worry about – Not only are people flocking to Android and Apple products, but now Windows Phone 7 has to compete with people who want to buy a Kin? – Oh dear.  Bad times ahead? or at the very least a Windows Advocate who needs to think through his advocacy first before he types it. You’ve got to love Microsoft Advocacy – You can find some fine examples of it in comp.os.linux.advocacy – Quite why they frequent a Linux group is anyone’s guess.


If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com
Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on freenode.net.

The week in review – ending Sunday 13/03/2011

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I’ve decided to have a new section on the Openbytes blogazine where I take a look at my views and experiences over the previous week.  Some of these topics may be covered on the TechBytes show, but mainly it will be subjects and opinions which are too large for a Tweet/Dent and haven’t had an article in their own right.


I see Torrent Freak (as usual) has written an excellent article.  This time focusing around the arrest of an alleged uploader of around 1000 films.   Torrent Freak highlight how their advice of precautions were seen as paranoia in 2008, it appears they were right.  I also said on a previous TechBytes show that we would see an increase in individual cases and not batch allegations due to the fact it was rather easy to build a large portfolio of evidence on an individual.   It seems I’m proving right and I think there will be more of this in the future.

The ACS:LAW story featured on the BBC on Thursday.  Very disappointing and in no way a comprehensive summary of events to date.


Android is to have the Seti@home project brought to its market place, a unique and interesting project which I’ve contributed to over the years.

Oilrush is showing in its published figures that Linux sales far outstrip those of Windows users.  I wonder who the “freetards” really are, or maybe its a testament to the popularity of Linux? I’ll let you decide.  Of course you could also argue that Windows users have a larger selection of games available and hence Oilrush competes in a larger marketplace, but whatever the reason, Oilrush stats can be thrown back at any Microsoft advocate who suggests a Linux user won’t pay for software.


The Next Web seem to have offered a retraction of sorts for their claimed figures of WP7 app sales after they were challenged by a developer.  I wonder, how much attention are they paying to their sources?  If they hadn’t been challenged do you think they would have double checked at all?

Sony/Playstation 3

The ban on the importation of PS3 consoles to europe by a court order from LG has been lifted allegedly.  After a patent dispute regarding its BluRay tech, a few hundred thousand consoles were prevented from entering Europe.  Sony are now reported to have announced:

At a court hearing in the Hague yesterday, Sony’s arguments were accepted and the seizure order was lifted….We understand that there will now be no problem re-starting imports of the PlayStation 3 to Europe.

Source: Daily Mail

There could be a large claim against LG for this incident.  Unfortunately I have little sympathy…. “life” may no longer be “good” for LG.

The PSN was taken down this week for essential work, closing Wednesday from 1600 to 0300.  A very silly time to shut up shop in my view, with many people complaining that the bad timing prevented them from checking out the Mortal Combat demo.  Whilst that was of no interest to me, the timing did seem odd however it gave me opportunity to examine further God of War 3 and the latest batch of titles I received from LoveFilm (i know, I’m late with that title). Let me sum up that experience very quickly: average, bordering on poor.  GOW3 plays like a game of Dragons Lair or Space Ace, with boss characters taken down with a sequence of keypresses in a similar style.  The rest of the game is a series of simple puzzles and the annoying jumping around high places, die then repeat, with an occasional smattering of button mashing.  Sure the game looks good and makes an excellent tech demo, but other than that it holds little interest to me.

Next up, Red Dead Redemption or more accurately GTA with cowboys.  Whilst I wear the hat, I’ve no real interest in playing wild west, so RDR did not appeal to me from the outset.  Overall view of RDR? – Can’t be bothered with it.  Characters seemed as clicked as those in a Carry On film.  Online play seems fun but then I have plenty of on line titles Id much rather play.  Another title to go back to Lovefilm rather quickly.

Dead Nation saw an update on Monday which allows voice chat for multiplayer games and a host of other updates.  A great title to check out if you missed it first time around.

I’ve started to look at Trinity despite getting luke warm reviews, first impressions? It’s quite good and despite the disappointing gfx and “hold your hand” gameplay I’m finding myself enjoying this somewhat restrictive RPG. I’ll probably have more to say on it next week.

Finally, an observation.  Since Sony announced that they would be disconnecting hacked PS3’s from the PSN, I’ve noticed that my skill level when playing online has taken a massive jump.  I wonder could these hacked machines have been running patches to give an advantage in some online titles?  Who knows, but I am at a loss to explain why I’m suddenly getting  more enjoyable games and why the player who seemed impossible to kill and amasses a huge score at the end of the round no longer seems as common.

So that’s it for the week ending 13th March 2011, thanks for reading, mailing and support. Its appreciated.


If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com
Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on freenode.net.