This is thought came to me last week when I was trying to keep track of all the different flat viewings and accommodation related lines of enquiry we had on the go. There were way too many emails, numbers and most irritatingly, not enough adverts. Especially on Gumtree, landlords seem to remove the ads when they get enough interest - this is a terrible system. Not only does it make it look like you’ve been asking after places that don’t even exist but you loose the pictures, the address and all the other details.
I share all the flat details on Google Plus and looking back it just looks like a load of broken links.
When you share a link, why can’t Google Plus take a cached version of the site and store it as a hidden attachment to the post. This would be tiny (it could be text only) for those scared of the storage implications. With this in the pocket of every linked post, Google Plus could test if the page at the link had changed, if it had it might want to display the old version instead with a warning message. Considering what Google has done in the past for minute markets and how much it already does in the way of web caching I don’t see what’s wrong with the idea. I see no technical hitches.
Basically I’m just annoyed I didn’t keep better track of the ads, however I think this would be a genuinely useful feature.
It felt like a long time since I’d done a review on here so here goes.
I have a Galaxy Note II and since Christmas have been using the S-Pen for taking notes in lectures. It’s kind of a laziness thing, not needing to re-write the notes afterwards. I’ve found tagging helps solve the searchable problem in Evernote.
Anyway, this is a review for Papyrus, an S-Note competitor and destroyer. I’ve only got the free version so the gross feature set is considerably less than S-Note, however when taking notes it’s the basic features you want quick access to and fast. This is Papryus.
First off Papyrus has a much nicer default sheet, it’s basically lined paper, white with blue lines. This seems to work a lot nicer than the S-Note one. To put it in perspective, the first thing I used to do when creating a new note in S-Note was to change the background of all the pages - in Papyrus I never even looked to make that change.
Papyrus has been designed with the S-Pen in mind and does all the pressure sensing stuff too. It works but I found It to be unnecessary and turned it off. The main thing is that it’s easy to change the colour - super easy. The pen diameter, for me at least, is a kind of set it and leave it kind of thing - colour isn’t. I use the different colours all the time to mean different things in each note and change between them needs to be as fast as possible. Papyrus has a good range of colours and a gradient style picker too. However the main thing is the recent colours area. While I change colour a lot there’s not an finite number of colours I use and Papyrus gives you quick access to these that S-Note doesn’t.
Papyrus’s notebook setup is largely Evernote inspired, that’s a good thing. It does make it easier to file notes and keep them sorted however I tend to delete notes once they’re up on Evernote anyway.
Papyrus is better in many other ways too but the final one I’d like to mention is the scrolling. In S-Note when you create a new page it takes you to the same place as you were on the last one. This means you start writing at the bottom of the page, not very user friendly. Not only does Papyrus not do this but it also scrolls much better with two fingers.
My only issue with Papyrus is the ‘no finger’ or ‘S-Pen Only’ option of S-Note, being able to use the S-Pen exclusively was a nice touch, literally!
A story of rural broadband. We were (relatively) late to adopt broadband - it would have been around 2009 it think. I should start by explaining the situation. We live 4.85 miles from the exchange - this means that we can actually get broadband. Many near us can’t get a DSL line and need to use other solutions. So in terms of signing & setting up we’ve had no issues.
So we first signed up with AoL - only to leave within weeks due to customer support issues. Then we were with BT for a few years, things worked perfectly - we enjoyed a good rate of 4.2Mbps. The quality was also good with an average ping of 50ms, jitter of around ±3ms and never any packet loss. All was well and good.
However - in late 2011 we changed to ‘The Phone Coop’, now ‘the cooperative broadband’. I was told over the phone that the line would be exactly the same - sadly it wasn’t. I wasn’t into Xbox at the the time and there wasn’t really any need for Skype calls either - this meant the issue went largely unnoticed for months. I only got round to properly testing it last summer, the connection was horrendous. The ping varied largely during the day, in the morning it was similar to our older connection, in the evening it was abysmal. The ping rocketed to around 400ms on average and the jitter was through the roof too. The total bandwidth was sound, only the quality was different.
I spent a long time corresponding with the Phone Coop’s tech support, which were by the way, top notch. I sent around 90 emails, three cases of around 30 emails. Though it took a long time to get things done as they do it all through other providers and need BT to do anything at the exchange. I wrote special programs to gather data about the connections quality - it was what seemed to be needed as proof. I even got a short ban from Google because I was pinging them o much! After some time the signal to noise ratio of our line at the exchange was adjusted in an attempt to stabilise the line. It didn’t work however. I didn’t think it would, from my trace routes the slow stages were within their network - their service was the slow part it seemed. In the end I decided that my location was somehow giving me a lower priority on their network, or it was going through more steps to get to any kind of destination. This was what seemed to be causing the problem. And to fix this I needed to change ISP - back to BT was our best bet.
We left The Phone Coop on the 17th of April 2013. They were great to deal with from start to end, their customer service was also great - it’s just the setup that didn’t cut it on a rural line. Everything is fine now with BT, the bandwidth is less, around 3Mbps, however the line is much more stable than any other domestic line i’ve seen. My guess is that this is because of the SNL adjustment made by The Phone Coop. Now the ping is around 30-40ms, with a max jitter of 1ms. So yeah, I’m happy.
I guess the lesson at the end of the day is: If your exchange doesn’t have LLU or you live any distance from the exchange then be very careful about your choice in ISP. It’s a shame that The Phone Coop didn’t work for us, this means, if others go to the extent of investigation that I did (which few will), that they will always end up with BT. So despite opening up the industry, in rural communities for now at least, BT still has a monopoly on a quality line.
— In comparison to the visions of the pervious century we’ve got some catching up to do. via @levie