16 March 2013

Zombie direct debits

Back in 1919, not many people could afford to buy a car. Loans to do so were often hard to obtain. So General Motors set up the General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) as a financial services subsidiary. GMAC would provide you with a loan you could use to buy a GM car. By the 1990s, GMAC pretty much had the car financing thing down pat, and decided that the real estate market was easy money. ... Read more

14 March 2013

Google Reader alternatives

So, Google decided to kill one of their most useful products: Google Reader. If you don’t use a feed reader, well, it’s a way you can subscribe to one or more web sites, and collect headlined summaries of what’s published. You can then sort, browse and filter the summaries, and click through to the articles that interest you. In short, it’s the only reasonable way to keep up with more than a handful of web sites. ... Read more

7 March 2013

Connecting some tech news dots

27 February: Freescale announces a KL02 ARM chip, just 2mm across. Freescale says that the KL02 was specifically designed in response to a customer’s request. (They aren’t saying who.) There was a need for a chip smaller than 3 by 3 mm and this was the result. Who needs a chip this tiny? We look forward to finding out — we think. When a component manufacturer dare not speak the name of its customer, you can make a pretty good guess who they’re talking about. ... Read more

1 March 2013

An embarrassment of musical riches

Back in the 1980s, technology triggered a tidal wave of experimentalism in popular music. Punk had established an “anything goes, anyone can do it” attitude, and punk bands like Tubeway Army, Wire and DEVO began to explore the possibilities of the cheap synthesizers being built by companies like Casio, Korg and Roland. This grew into the new wave movement, with groups like The Human League, Depeche Mode and OMD achieving chart success with stripped-down experimental sounds that would never chart today. ... Read more

7 February 2013

Nexus 4 vs Galaxy Nexus

My wife’s 3-year-old phone has been irritating her with its lack of app space, so I gave in and bought a Nexus 4, passing my Galaxy Nexus on to her. I thought I’d write up a quick review comparing the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus, for the benefit of anyone not sure whether to upgrade. From the front, it’s hard to tell the two phones apart. The Nexus 4 is 0. ... Read more

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