Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie

28 07 2011

I am actually rather enjoying the Sherlock series running on the BBC at the moment. They’ve done quite a good job of updating it, but the spirit of it is quite true to the original. Good fun.

I’ve been reading an Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary, on my phone. There are some really quite amazingly racist, sexist and classist statements in it. Seeing how mainstream views like that were so recently does serve to remind how far we’ve comein a relatively short time. Still a good way to go, of course, but there’s always room for improvement in everything.

I’ve been playing round a bit with a few of the apps I downloaded the other day. I cropped and tweaked this picture in Photoshop Express.



New Phone Update – 23 First Android Apps

25 07 2011

Seeing as my last post about my new Galaxy S II has been so popular, here’s a quick update from day 3.

I’ve put a load of music on it, using Kies and configured the built-in apps for my various social networking accounts, etc. So, the obvious next step was to start downloading some apps.

Here’s what I’ve installed so far:

  • AVG anti-virus – with Android‘s growing popularity, it’s important to protect your phone
  • WordPress – obviously
  • Huffington Post – ditto
  • IMDb – I rely quite heavily on IMDb when I’m watching TV and films; it puts a stop to those endless “who’s that?”, “what was she in?” conversations.
  • StumbleUpon – I love StumbleUpon. I find so many new sites, opinions and ideas from it.
  • TV Guide – so many times I’ve been out somewhere, knowing that there’s something I’d like to watch later, but not knowing exactly what time it’s on. It’s great to be able to check what time it’s on and whether it’ll be repeated on another channel later.
  • ITV Player – so I can watch ITV programmes as well as BBC ones on my phone (it came with iPlayer pre-installed)
  • Facebook – this has a bit more functionality than Social Hub
  • Shazam – for IDing music out and about. Easier than memorising the lyrics to search for later!
  • Google Sky Map – this is going to be really interesting. I’ve not had chance to go outside at night and look at this, but I’m looking forward to it.
  • Barcode Scanner – scan barcodes on the go for price comparisons or data import.
  • Adobe Reader – for viewing PDFs.
  • Dictionary – both dictionary and thesaurus functionality with text and voice search.
  • Google Earth
  • Knitting Stash – save details of equipment, supplies and progress on projects
  • Google Shopper
  • Pulse – news / feed reader. Nice layout.
  • ReadItLater – save all kinds of text (articles, documents, web pages etc) to read later offline.
  • Photoshop Express – photo editing software. I’ve not tested this yet.
  • Amazon KindleeBook reading software.
  • Skyfire – I’ve not tested this web browser yet, but apparently it’s much faster than the default.
  • Evernote – allows you to create notes (text, audio, images) and store them in the cloud, accessible from any device with the software installed. Lots of people have been raving about this app, so I’m going to give it a go.
  • Layar – displays augmented reality (AR) layers over your camera display. Choose from all sorts of different layers, eg Tube stations, restaurants etc.

New phone – text input

24 07 2011

I don’t tend to blog about technology very often, but today I traded in my phone and got a Samsung Galaxy S II. What’s actually got me the most excited is the Swype text input method.Basically, you draw lines loosely based on the keys you’d use too write the word in question and it figures out what you probably meant and either enters the word or provides you with a list to choose from. I’m using it to type this post and I’ve barely spent any time putting things right, even though it’s the first time I’ve used it. It even handles words with apostrophes etc with no hassle! I wonder whether it’ll catch on or whether it’ll be a phase that passes. I’m really impressed with it so far, but perhaps I should wait a few days before raving about it too much.

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