Crowdsourcing new music for 2016!

Ahoy there!

For 2016 I’m looking to broaden my outlook with music, and not just listen to what Radio 1, Radio X etc decide is their “track of the week”. So if you have Spotify, I’d like to crowd-source some new music. I’ve made a collaborative playlist (which means anyone can add to it).

Basically if you hear something (ideally new) that you think “cor that’s freaking awesome”, please add it to this list.

I don’t care of the genre, my tastes are pretty eclectic anyway. I experimented with this back when Spotify launched in 09 and it worked quite well so let’s see how well this works!

There’s no easy way to follow a playlist from this link, so just click Play on Spotify, then you’ll be able to follow it.

(People with Spotify installed can use this URI to launch Spotify directly)

If anyone’s interested, here’s how the first experiment went

HOW TO: Avoid a £4.99 charge from 123-Reg for .UK WHOIS privacy

Unbelievably, 123-Reg now charge £4.99 for a service that Nominet provides FOR FREE.

This is following on from their decision to start charging for IPS tag changes, which was equally unpopular.

It’s pretty straightforward to get round though, just follow these instructions.

Don’t have a Nominet account?

You’ll need one:

  1. Go to this page and enter the email address you entered when registering your domain name
  2. If all is well, you should get a link emailed to you to set a password
  3. Set up a password then follow the instructions below
  4. Already have a Nominet account?

    1. Log in here
    2. Find the domain name you want to enable WHOIS privacy for and click the first Edit button:
      nominet
    3. Simply click the yes button for WHOIS Opt Out and click Save:
    4. nominet2

    5. That’s it! If you do a WHOIS soon after you should see your personal details have been opted-out, for nothing!
      nominet3

    I must say, all these sneaky charges that 123-Reg are introducing are starting to make me re-consider using them. However we currently have around 150 domain names managed with them, so in practice this is not that easy to do!

    Hopefully this helps you though if you, like me, are amazed that they want to charge you £4.99 for ticking a box!

    Until next time (probably 2018 judging by the date of my last post!),
    James.

App Review: Sushi Calculator!

Welcome to another app review!

Today, I’m going to be reviewing Sushi Calculator! – an application that tallies up how much you’ve spent at Yo Sushi. I mean, let’s be honest, staring at a pile of coloured empty plates isn’t going to calculate your bill is it?

I stumbled across this app over the weekend when at Yo Sushi in Bluewater with my girlfriend as I wanted to decide if we’d spent enough on their delicious sushi, or if we could justify a dessert. To my surprise, this app has only had 100-500 downloads at the time of writing, so I felt I’d give it some space on my blog.

Put simply: This application is fantastic! It gives you a running tally of your order, and even remembers this if you’ve gone to do something else on your phone.

It also has damn near every single thing on the Yo Sushi menu, even down to sundries, so if you’ve a penchant for their Santa Serena Sauvignon Blanc, or even just a few bottles of Sprite, then this app caters for that too.

A neat addition that I understand is lacking in a few other apps, is the discount feature, which allows you to apply a %age discount to the food, drink, or both! This is hidden away via the context menu though, so this could maybe feature a bit more prominently in the app itself.

One minor criticism is that there’s nowhere to add a gratuity. Now, at Yo Sushi you don’t actually get that much in the way of service anyway as it’s by design very self sufficient, but their card machines have a gratuity option and there is a tip bowl there so I thought that would be a nice addition.

Nitpicking now, but the only other thing I could think of is maybe adopt a more Android-y feel to it. The app doesn’t really adhere to any Android design guidelines, and I think maybe tabbing the plate selection with the extras menu would remove the need for the ‘Extras’ plate, and also allow for a more uniform experience. This doesn’t really detract from what the app does though, and like I said is a pretty low-priority thing.

Conclusion

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who even only casually eats at Yo Sushi, I’ve only eaten there twice myself but this app proved invaluable this weekend, the ads don’t get in the way either which I thought was a nice touch.

Screenshots

Overview

Application Name:
Sushi Calculator!

Price:
FREE

Permissions:
INTERNET

Official Site:
http://www.ilikesleeping.co.uk/

App information link:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ilikesleeping.sushi&hl=en

Rating

Functionality:
★★★★½ 

Interface:
★★★★☆ 

Ease of use:
★★★★☆ 

Value for money:
★★★★★ 

Overall:
★★★★½ 

Semi-App Review: Asphalt 6 HD (or how NOT to do customer service)

Not quite an app review, but it annoyed me enough to write a blog post about it anyway.

Last week, I took the plunge and bought a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (and I must say I’m very pleased with it) and I’ve been playing around with all the games that ran like a pig on my HTC Desire.

Yesterday, Google launched a 10 days of 10p apps promotion, one of which was Gameloft’s Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD. “Brilliant”, I thought. I’d always wanted a decent looking car game to play on my Android. So I went to install it via market.android.com:

All signs seemed good, so I bought the app.

After 20 minutes of downloading 500MB of extra data for the game (fair enough I thought, it is a high end game) imagine my dismay when I’m treated to this message:

At first, I assumed it was something relatively straightforward like the game’s licensing servers were down due to the influx of people downloading all these apps/games for 10p/10¢ (another reason I thought against using proprietary DRM in your software).

20 minutes went past and still no joy, so I sent Gameloft a pretty small email just asking if they’d had any problems with this. After about 4 hours, I got back an email telling me I hadn’t read the description properly and it was entirely my fault that the game didn’t work with my (flagship) phone. This is the blurb they gave me:

When you buy a game from Android Market Place you can check if the game is available for your phone model by clicking MORE on the game description page before you pay for it.

Gameloft assumes no liability for purchaser error, trial versions, software purchased for the wrong telephone, device or platform for any reason (“Purchaser Errors”).

We accept NO RETURNS on software downloads. Please read the system requirements very carefully before making any purchases.

Fair enough usually, I personally can’t stand it when someone doesn’t read the requirements prior to buying something. However, the game’s description made absolutely NO mention of it being compatible with a select amount of phones. I won’t bother posting all their promotional blurb here, but I’ve taken a screenshot here.

I still don’t want a refund, I want to play the game on my phone, but personally feel very vilified from the way they’ve made me out to be some kind of idiot.

Sort it out Gameloft.

Overview

Application Name:
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD

Price:
10p at time of writing

Official Site:
http://www.gameloft.co.uk/smartphone/asphalt_6_adrenaline_hd/

App information link:
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftA6HP

Rating

Functionality:
☆☆☆☆☆ 

Interface:
☆☆☆☆☆ 

Ease of use:
☆☆☆☆☆ 

Value for money:
★☆☆☆☆ 

Overall:
★★¼☆☆ 

(and it only got that 1 because it was 10p)

HOW TO: Revert awful Digital Spy layout

It seems they don’t take kindly to lots of people shunning their new layout, so removed my post telling you how to remove all the crap.

So I’ve blogged it instead! 😀

If you have Greasemonkey for Firefox or Google Chrome simply click this link to apply my changes! :)

James.

Update: It looks like they’ve taken the Digital Spy Forums offline, will it be to make changes to the layout or just to circumvent the userscripts? We’ll see!