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Moon

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Tagline: The last place you’d ever expect to find yourself

Plot: Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is about to finish a three year stint on the Moon. He works alone supervising the robotic extraction of helium-3 from lunar soil, a compound which has single handily solved the Earth’s energy problems. He only companion is GERTY, his computer, but as the days tick down Sam makes a life changing discovery.

In short: The best film I have seen so far this year

The preamble: My cult and contentious reviews’ system. Designed as a time saver to highlight the potential deal breakers in an offering before you commit to buy or read lengthy reviews on your favourites sites/magazines. For a more detailed description please read: THE RULES

moon sam rockwell movie poster Moon

Moon - Starring: Sam Rockwell; Director: Duncan Jones

 

Just the Bad Points Review: Moon

  • Fans of action flicks will find this heavy going
  • This isn’t about aliens, gun fights or spaceships
  • As it sounds: one man, alone in space, on the moon
  • Not light entertainment
  • An emotional roller coaster ride
  • Don’t see it and you’ll miss out on the best movie of the year so far

HTC Magic Android Smartphone

May 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

The T-Mobile G1 has been left on its own as the sole Google Android handset for seven long months, but now it finally has some company and competition in form of the ‘Magic’. Like the G1, the Magic is made by Taiwanese manufacturing giant HTC but has been sold to different networks around the globe. On the surface, the HTC Magic is a far more sophisticated handset than the G1 and is an easy sell, so most importantly what’s not to like…

The preamble: My cult and contentious reviews’ system. Designed as a time saver to highlight the potential deal breakers in a product before you commit to reading lengthy reviews on your favourites sites and/or magazines. For a more detailed description please read: the Rules

htc magic copy HTC Magic Android Smartphone

HTC Magic Android Smartphone

Just the Bad Points Review: HTC Magic Android Smartphone

  • 3.2in capacitive touchscreen is large, but physically smaller than the HTC Touch HD & iPhone
  • The screen’s 320 x 480 resolution matches the iPhone but is less than some VGA (480 x 640) Windows Mobile smartphones
  • No physical Qwerty keyboard or number pad
  • 3.2 megapixel camera is mediocre and lacks autofocus
  • Native storage is minimal at 512MB though there is a microSD expansion slot
  • No multi-touch support exists in Android at present
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack means an adaptor must be used for third party earphones
  • No DivX/AVI video support
  • No support for lossless music
  • Android requires users to have a Gmail account (though enforced, in itself not a bad thing)

Philips 21:9 Cinema HDTV

March 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

It’s perhaps the most radical development in home television since High Definition and Widescreen, Philips’ ground breaking 21:9 ‘Cinema’ promises to bring true cinema aspect ratios to our living rooms. Yet amongst all this excitement what are the reasons to be cautious?

The preamble: My cult and contentious reviews’ system. Designed as a time saver to highlight the potential deal breakers in a product before you commit to reading lengthy reviews on your favourites sites and/or magazines. For a more detailed description please read: the Rules

Just the Bad Points Review: Philips 21:9 Cinema

9963 219frontwithoutstand Philips 21:9 Cinema HDTV

The Future Shape of All Televisions?

  • While pixel mapping does support 16:9, 4:3 content inevitably has very thick vertical bars
  • 21:9 name is mathematical approximation which may just further confuse public
  • Will the industry support it? Currently only 60 per cent of DVDs and Blu-rays have a 21:9 mode
  • At 20cm deep it’s not particularly slim
  • Not LED backlit, it’s limited to CCFL
  • 56in is only size on offer for now
  • Ambilight Spectra implementation is sadly only three sided, not four
  • Asking Price (4,000 euros)
  • Launch not until June (time to save up?!)
  • Rivals are expected to follow suit with 21:9 models of their own, so is it better to wait?
  • Is it rarely wise to buy the first generation of anything…

Looking for more? My Philips 21:9 Cinema preview can be found at my usual TrustedReviews stomping ground.

Spotify

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

When it launched in October last year Spotify was the great little secret of the music industry. That changed last month when Spotify opened registration to all UK residents and it has fast become the talk of the Internet (well, that and Twitter). It’s not hard to see why: instantaneous, high quality audio streaming, a vast library of artists, deals in place with the Big Four record labels (Universal, Sony BMG, Time Warner & EMI) and a choice of free ad-supported or monthly subscription models. Still, time to get tough…

The preamble: My cult and contentious reviews’ system. Designed as a time saver to highlight the potential deal breakers in a product or service before you commit to reading lengthy reviews on your favourites sites and/or magazines. For a more detailed description of JtBP please read: the Rules

Just the Bad Points Review: Spotify

I feel bad even doing this:

spotify Spotify

Revolutionising the music industry - but it isn't perfect

  • Spotify has yet to disclose how much bandwidth its service sucks up
  • Artist Biographies are often out of date, missing off their latest releases
  • No iTunes, Last.fm or Pandora integration
  • No Lyrics
  • Basic radio incorporation
  • Only form of music recommendations come through advertising
  • Few features/software updates since launch
  • Very limited options to purchase content (though arguably it slightly destroys the point)
  • More invasive secondary advertising has been creeping (particularly in case of new U2 album ‘No Line on the Horizon’)
  • While new content is added, existing content has shrunk with individual artists demanding greater royalty deals
  • No third party handset applications as yet (despite iPhone client being spotted)
  • Security question marks after user accounts were hacked last week

Despite this get it, just GET IT!

As always suggestions welcome…

Update: to be clear there is at least scrobbling to Last.fm (appreciated radioedit)

Apple iPhone 3G

February 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

A (relative) oldie but a goldie. This controversial handset is still the device I get most questions about, bar none, so let’s clear up these issues once and for all.There has never been a mobile phone which more embodied the spirit of JtBP because boy-oh-boy are the good points good (in fact revelatory and revolutionary), but as for the bad points – well… Read more

Windows 7 Public Beta

January 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

So, bring on that most monstrous of beasts:

Read the Rules if you aren’t familiar with my already seemingly cult and contentious reviews’ system. In short, with JtBP I save the gushing praise for every other review you’ll readand bring you the bullet points on any potential deal breakers with something before you commit to the long winded waffle on your favourite sites/publications. It’s a time saver.

Windows 7 Public Beta – Just the Bad Points9132 peekbefore1 Windows 7 Public Beta

  • It’s an evolution of Vista, not a revolution and not XP. Vista done properly is still Vista for many
  • The new taskbar reeks of MAC OS X/some Linux builds and though I think that’s a great thing – many prefer to stick with what they know and it does present a learning curve
  • Home networking is still more fiddly than it should be
  • Jumps Lists while potentially very useful currently only seem anywhere near their potential with Microsoft’s own programmes
  • Sleep and Hibernate remain twitchy on various hardware setups
  • You will find some of your favourite programmes don’t work (CloneDrive *sniff*)
  • Antivirus support is scant. Trials of Norton (which doesn’t then play nicely with Word 2007) and Kaspersky last less than a month leaving AVG as your best option

Now I’m breaking with tradition just this once however because I feel compelled to say BUT it’s better, so much better than it should be. It’s lean, mean and remarkably stable. In fact, I’ve already adopted it as my primary OS and it may just stop me buying a Mac…

I’ll give you guys another update in a few months as Microsoft continues the shaping but if you aren’t a technologically frigid I can only advise: try it.

Ok, I can’t possibly end on a positive so… hmmmn. Oh yes, IE remains stuck in a time warp and hopelessly, painfully, embarrassingly behind the likes of Firefox, Opera and Chrome. That’s a negative – kinda.

RIM BlackBerry Storm

January 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

RIM’s first entry into the ever expanding world of touchscreen devices was inevitable but first generation products are notoriously poor. Has the BlackBerry Storm fallen foul to this rule?

The preamble: My cult and contentious reviews’ system. Designed as a time saver to highlight the potential deal breakers in a product before you commit to reading lengthy reviews on your favourites sites and/or magazines. For a more detailed description please read: the Rules

RIM BlackBerry Storm Review – Just the Bad Points

9154 storm RIM BlackBerry Storm

BlackBerry Storm

  • No WiFi
  • Touchscreen display slides around under finger, not just depresses
  • Dust gets under the screen
  • Virtual Qwerty keyboard is a love it/hate it affair (I side with the latter)
  • 155g weight is heavier than iPhone 3G, Samsung Pixon and LG Renoir
  • Impossible to recommend to anyone without them trying it.
  • The ultimate Marmite smartphone.

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