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Just wanted to point out how sick to death I am of having to carry two phones just because I work in Amsterdam and live in Southampton. Switching data off with a modern phone disables 90% of the functionality.
I had, some time ago now, an app for my BlackBerry that used speech recognition to dictate SMS and e-mail.
Does mean it is not really a new feature when you look at the new Google phone but a re-invention of the wheel.
I can't understand why people are knocking the Nexus One smartphone when the same people are sing singing the praises of the iPhone? The N1 is superior in processor speed and the screen is truly awesome and makes the iPhone look like a black and white TV.
Regarding the tablet discussion, I personally don't think it is the future for a device, at least not with our current technology.
There's a big part that seems to be unmentioned when talking about such devices replacing our current hardware, the audience.
I'm 17-years-old now, and suffer from a list of diseases that affect my every day life. One of these is VKH syndrome. A disease linked with the eyes cause loss of sight.
Using a computer is hard for me, I was able to get a friend to configure a text-to-speech application for me, and luckily I knew how to touch type before going blind.
A tablet would not have any use for me, or anyone with similar problems. A touchscreen keyboard would be near impossible to use. An external keyboard would have to plugged into the tablet for use.
The Sonim phone that you broke is not meant to be smashed against a table like that. It will withstand pressure, water and much more but as with any phone if you put it under extreme stress in a small area it will be damaged.
About three years ago a local bobby turned up on my door step holding a photo copy of my passport. It seems someone had got hold of it, possibly after I foolishly uploaded it and copies of both my wife's and son's passports to my own personal website.
The scammers had used my ID and a copy of my passport to persuade someone in Mexico to part with £7,500 for a car I was supposed to selling in London.
Apparently on this occasion the scam worked and the victim contacted UK police who came knocking on my door. Fortunately for me I have an enhanced CRB and it was obvious to the police this was a case of ID theft. I heard nothing for months until a gentleman telephoned to ask if I was selling cars from address. Apparently someone was using my name and address on a Japanese website
Beware of the details which you put in a CV registered with a genuine online job agency which promises to make your CV available to 'thousands of potential employers'. After I registered I started getting emails from companies which offered well written, but probably suspect, job offers in the financial field. Any personal details on your cv are obviously already in their possession even if you don't reply!
I am a victim of a scam on my Business Credit Card, along with many others. The scam involves a Canadian company who provide credit reports.
My bank say they can't stop this company from billing me each month. If this company is 'legit', then my fear is that a fraudulent request has been made by someone who has my details and wants to know the value of my company. No matter who I talk to, at my bank, they say they can't do anything to stop theses charges, but I have been able to get them to refund this money since I discovered the charge, but I don't want to have to do this every month.
$300m well spent in my view, saw the film last weekend at my local IMAX and it just blew my mind, the whole thing was just spectacular from start to finish.
No other film even comes close to this and going back to watching 2D films just isn't going to be the same from now on.
Simon Hodges, Newport, Wales
Avatar is the best science fiction film to date! James Cameron has produced a truly modern epic. He has created a plausible and beautiful new world that is a visual joy, plants, animals, and people. The plot line is very today, the CG are superb, in a whole new league.
Wavy Davey, Nuneaton
I saw Avatar in 3D and for my money it is unquestionably a quantum leap forward both in terms of cinematography technology and viewing experience. In the end I was left speechless by the most complete cinema experience I have ever known. It may have cost a reported $300m but every cent has been money well spent. This is another sure fire winner from the genius of James Cameron.
Mark, Littlehampton West Sussex
Avatar - disappointed. Big hype and the story has been done before, 'Dances with wolves' to name but one, the ending was very obvious. So to spend all that money on special effects, i.e., computer generated images, with a poor story, it's not worth the hours watching.
Matt Anderson, Pattaya, Thailand
3D is definitely beginning to enter the mainstream. In October, Fuji launched the world's first consumer 3D digital camera, Acer launched the world's first consumer 3D laptop and Start 3D launched the world's first web site for viewing 3D photos on a computer without glasses. I don't think it will be long before all cameras, monitors and TV sets are 3D.
Charles Wiles, Guildford
Saw Avatar - absolutely brilliant. It has set a new benchmark for computer generated images. I am 67 years old and therefore easily impressed by new technology, but I estimate the average age of the audience that I was part of, to be about 30-35 and they applauded at the end. That's how good it was - $300m dollars well spent.
Alan Rabbitts, Ferndown Dorset
I have one of the Wowee portable speakers that you reviewed and although it was a good review, I didn't think the sound quality of the Wowee came across on the TV. The bass level and sound quality is amazing and everyone I have showed it to cannot help but be amazed. Stick it to any surface. I have found windows or large mirrors sound best but most surfaces work with astonishing effect. It's definitely the gadget to have for the iPod/iPhone generation.
I read eBooks on my Palm Tungsten E2 very easily, and not only are there a lot of free ones on the net, I've joined libraries (for example Essex) who are lending eBooks. I don't need yet another device to read them on - carrying round my TE2 and my Blackberry is enough for me to cope with everything!
So, now as well as paying for a mobile phone I'm supposed to stump up for a femtocell, and use my own broadband as backhaul? Surely if coverage is poor enough to warrant using a femtocell I should get a discount from my 3G provider for using it?
Louiza Graham, London
I have just seen your article about femtocells and have managed to get a unit from Vodafone free of charge. You might be interested to know that if the primary place where a Vodafone mobile is used has very poor reception you can say that Vodafone are in breach of contract by not supplying a workable signal. Once you say this they very quickly agree to supply a unit free of charge.
Simon Wynn, Banbury, Oxfordshire
I was very excited about the possibility of getting an ereader with its advantage of storing many books. What put me off was the fact that the page goes black as you move from one page to another. I prefer the page turning effect you get on the iphone, even though the page size is smaller. Sorry ereaders - I will not get one until you get rid of the "black page" problem, not mentioned by your expert.
Cyril Weinkove, Salford UK
On the subject of eBooks. I just became a proud owner of an iPhone. Looking around the web at prices for writers such as Tom Clancy, Dale Brown etc I noted that it's the same as the paperback versions. What gives here? I would have thought it would be less? I'll keep buying paperback.
StarKiller, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
I really really want to get an Amazon Kindle but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that until I can download most novels published in the last 10 years for no more than the cost of the paperback version on Amazon, there is not much point. Very frustrating!
Barbara Thatcher, Bristol
Your item on eBook readers suggested that the only eBooks available were from commercial sites. I think you should have pointed out that there are an enormous number of books available, free of charge, from sites such as Project Gutenberg, which has 28,000. Almost all books written in English are currently out of print and are now only available in eBook form - which is the main reason for buying an eBook Reader.
Jeff Wilson, London
I think real time racing are missing the point. When an F1 race is on, I want to watch it. But I'm positively drooling at the thought of driving in, say Gran Turismo game, on real race tracks or on real roads. Now that would be fantastic.
Peter Gibbs, Westborough
I can't see how this can realistically work. I am not a media expert but I am an avid games player.
GPS mapping and photo realistic graphics in racing games is nothing new. In order to recreate an immersive game they will need to provide a live feed of car positions in real time. This will involve relaying that to a host server then over the public internet to all gamers at home.
As any IT person will tell you, real time applications over the public internet is not for the faint hearted. This will involve a lag in time delay and subject to each gamers internet connection speed, so will have to be "almost live" at best to stop it being a video feed masquerading as a game.
Then finally there is the issue of realism... can I really keep up with professionals like Jenson and Hamilton... no.
Really interested in iPhone social networking apps and found this great social game called City-King. It seems to be most popular in London so might be good to show that there is some real mobile innovation in the UK!
I have a simpler answer to the trusting Japanese attitude towards technology than the influence of religion and pop culture.
The Japanese can utilise technology *properly* hence the consumer has built up trust in technology through their good experiences.
Machiko - a Japanese in UK, Herts
Just moved to Windows 7- 64-Bit, moved over from Windows XP. Very impressed with the new features, everything seems better laid out. The library function makes finding a picture easier, and having a custom library means I don't have to file everything away in set folders and spend ages looking for it.
Greg Murch, East Grinstead, UK
I did a "quick test" by restarting a Vista PC and a Windows 7 one. I can tell you that the Windows 7 one startup faster. However, it may depend on the bios options. On some computer the bios takes about 10-15 seconds to finalize before loading Windows.
Thu Ya Win, Stafford
As a Tokyo resident I particularly enjoyed your programme on Japan but it has given rise to a debate with my Japanese technology analyst: Since I see many people in Tokyo walking around with their face in a "keitai" and since fast mobile networks have been here for years I asked her if there is a word in Japanese to describe this activity?
Apparently not! Yet its almost impossible to look at a busy street in Japan without seeing somebody doing this. I have even seen cyclists, who ride the pavement in Japan, with one hand frantically digitizing on their "keitai" while the other hand holds a handlebar and they speed down a pavement where the average population age is older than most cities in the world!
The closest similar activity I can think of is wandering around all day with a book in front of your face; I can't say I have seen somebody cycling while reading however. Are there verbs, nouns and other parts of speech already in existence that I am not aware of?
What do you call somebody who does this everywhere they go? Possible nouns, verbs and adjective follow: "a phoneface; to phoneface; totally phonefaced?" or "a cellhead; to cellhead; totally cellheaded?" Or we could borrow from the Japanese "a k-taier, to K-tai, totally K-taied".
Its a distinct form of human activity and human beings normally create names for these experiences. I suspect that the reason there is no word for it in Japanese is that as you suggested, they are much more willing to simply absorb inanimate objects into their society. From the point of view of some people in the West I suspect that wandering around with an electronic facemask sends a more complicated message. Your superior awareness of tech-lingo would be appreciated.
John Mound, Tokyo, Japan
With carbon pricing/trading already starting to be rolled out in the UK through the Carbon Reduction Commitment (and EU ETS), the cost to businesses of using fossil fuels is likely to increase. Places like Iceland with both free cooling potential and no threat of increasing costs for the use of fossil fuels, could become a relatively more attractive place for businesses to locate. The production of renewable energy in the UK is relatively costly compared to Iceland (where much of it is produced freely or at low cost). However, I think that an established financial centre like London would be unlikely to relocate significant numbers of data centres - because the 'financial hub' is such an important part of why businesses locate in London.
Brendan, Perth, Australia
Having recently returned from 2 years working as a Volunteer for VSO in Guyana, South America, I was very interested in the wind-up mobile. Just over 2 years ago, the remote area where I was based began to receive mobile signal. Many of the communities do not have any electricity and so charging phones is difficult. Most people have to pay to have their phone charged when they visit the market - a cost they can't afford. The wind-up mobile would make a big difference to communication, as people would not have to worry about running out of battery.
Helen Buffrey, Dorset, UK
Noticed that they had a 60GB SD card on the show this week - I wonder how they keep cramming so much on the fixed SD card size, there doesn't seem to be a limit - I thought I was up on technology but I have no idea how they keep doing this
Trev, Manchester, UK
Interesting item on 3D TV. However, there was no 3D to be seen anywhere - only stereoscopic TV. NOT the same thing at all. With true 3D if you move your viewing position you will see a different scene. What you were reporting on was an illusion of 3D. What will 3D be called, when in the distant future, it actually does exist! And what will viewers with impaired vision (eg colour blindness) make of stereoscopic TV?
Llywelyn Owen, Ynys Mon, Cymru
Due to problems with my eyes when young I cannot see in 3D. Never have despite originally my husband saying everyone can. I cannot be alone my eyes work independently. Are the manufacturers of the new TV's taking this on board. At the moment we can buy the old fashioned conventional TV's and some slimmer versions but like everything else we will see them phased out as old fashioned. it will mean over time people like me could loose the ability to watch programmes. By the way I am a fan of click have been for a very long time. Aged 71, so don't assume the age of your viewers or their sex.
A few years ago the BBC showed at least one programme in 3D, a Children In Need Dr Who story. It worked on a normal TV, you could watch it normally without special glasses, but if you put a pair on, it was in 3D. What happened to that technology?
John Lees, Bolton UK
This week in Webscape you mention the site "What does the internet think". I always like to try testing these kind of sites, and what do you know. Adolf Hitler and Jack the Ripper score very positive reviews on the internet if you can believe this site, far better then Barack Obama. George Bush luckily get's bad ratings, but in general, I am not convinced this nice little site gives a very convincing reflection of the 'feel' of the web on subjects.
André, Delfgauw, Netherlands
Could you please convey to your presenter that there is a world outside of computing. Was his shock horror that people would actually shop a joke? I have a computer which is a useful object as is the phone and microwave but it doesn't rule my life. I do like the programme although I do not understand half of it but thought the comments were ridiculous. The word nerd comes to mind.
Jean Anderson, Upminster Essex UK
Why is it not possible to buy a laptop or a tower package with no operating system or programmes already loaded? These must be in the price and yet people unload them and replace them with their own preference. I wonder how much Vista has been consigned to electronic oblivion?
Bob Rust, Basildon, Essex
Why instead of shutting down lots of illegal sites don't the police get to the very root of the problem by for example finding the creators and prosecuting them. If they are from overseas why not collaborate with their police? Or is it really hard to find the creator of a certain website?
I just watched Click on iPlayer which mentioned about SpeedFan being able to slow the fans to quieten the computer. Although this may seem useful to some, I would strongly suggest users do not slow their fans for risk of overheating. This may cause the system to freeze or even damage itself. If the fan is too loud, it may be a sign of the computer needing better ventilation or cooling.
Matthew, Exeter, Devon
I am loving the show. However, the webscape section could benefit from including new mobile applications as well as websites. There are so many new exciting apps being launched and they are not being covered. This is a more exciting area than website development.
Mark Holden, Sydney Australia
Several months ago I wrote to complain about he increasing 'zanyness' and gimmickry that, for me, ruined a good programme. Indeed, I cited Spencer as one of the main culprits. Now, I have to say the programme is so much better. Clear, to the point and without "taking the Michael out of viewers'- Indeed, Spencer now is excellent - clear, concise and without all of the cynicism that previously ruined his earlier presentations. Much better! Well done! I really enjoy the programme now.
James Young, Poole, Dorset
How come Kate Russell wears the SAME clothes on Click every week with just a different jacket? How many of these are recorded in advance? Can someone tell her to get a new wardrobe?!
Dawn Loede, Edgbaston, UK
Blogging should not be controlled by governments, it is the way people express themselves about the issue or any opinion in some context, and it is not right to control freedom of expression, and i personally don't think it is possible to control blogging since it's worldwide and anybody at any place can blog about anything.
Prashanta Paudel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Your article on protecting your PC from viruses, malware and hack attempts overlooks the one fundamental way to prevent such security lapses: using an OS that has security built in from the get-go, and not added as an afterthought. The single most effective way a user can protect their PC is by moving to a linux-based system -- this is an OS for which the current effective viruses, worms and trojans make up a tiny fraction of those out there for Windows users, and are generally ineffective in most cases. With modern desktop distributions of Linux like Ubuntu, including office-suite support from OpenOffice (including complete MS Office document compatibility), there's no reason for people to put up with systems clogged with security threats, security vulnerabilities and security software any more.
Richard Phillips, Prague, Czech Republic
About the bloggers' plight in Italy - the bloggers are definitely in the right. Bloggers are not necessarily journalists and they have the right to express their opinions as long as they do not slander anyone or threaten the public welfare.
Criticism of public figures is an important democratic right. Bloggers are under no obligation to publish opposing opinions - if someone wants to counter they can do so in their own blog! Anyone who feels slandered is free to go to court.
On the other hand, on a related topic, I think the anonymous comments/talkbacks on legitimate news service websites are all too often full of racist or other hatred and incitement, and should be much more closely monitored by the site staff.
It is one thing for me as a blogger to express an opinion, but another for me to libel someone or to deliberately get my 'facts' wrong in a way that clearly intends to mislead.
Blogging is an activity in a public space, so I don't expect the law to protect me when I break the rules.
Robert Howard, Nottingham
In a democracy, politicians and others who feature regularly in the media have always accepted the rough and tumble of public life. For this reason they need, and get, legal protection against false accusations of wrongdoing.
Opinion is a different matter; it is an important and vigorous part of any free society. Blog opinions are no different, just more organised. Today's media-savvy societies soon recognise unreliable and sensationalist blogs. If they're well-written, they are humorous, but nothing worse.
And, of course, present-day targets of negative opinion have the same access to media as the bloggers to set the record straight, supported, of course by their actions.
Those with long memories will recall the pre-web days of Britain's Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, who skilfully used Britain's stringent libel laws of the day to frighten would-be critics off from doing any damage to his reputation. With hindsight, many think this was to invite an abuse of power.
In many countries, an unhealthy proportion of traditional news media outlets is held by people who were never elected to wield that power. Nowhere more so than Italy. Gagging that country's freedom to voice dissent would be a dangerous step in the direction of totalitarianism.
On balance, the argument is heavily in favour of Italian bloggers to publish what they feel.
Andrew Craven, Basel, Switzerland
Often bloggers claim the rights and protections of journalists. If they are to have these rights, they must accept the same responsibilities.
I think the right to reply is appropriate. However, the 48 hours limit is unreasonable. Perhaps seven or 14 days would be more practical.
Chris Gibson, Dundee
Hilarious one about censoring or fining bloggers, and no doubt you will have had zillions of people emailing you about this. Opinion has never been effectively policed in the Western world, otherwise [Jeremy] Clarkson could not say what he does about cars.
If someone only has a registered-user 'blog' then surely that would make them immune to prosecution. Waiting for France's government to try the same stunt... it could never work!
Steve Ashton, Moncrabeau, France
What are bloggers worried about? Surely it is fair that the other sides' opinion is also shown for everyone to compare, side by side. Why should an anonymous fool be allowed to slag off someone, and for the victim not to be able to defend themselves? No wonder so much rubbish is spewed out on the internet.
If a reader could compare what is being said rather than take for gospel what some twisted mind has invented about someone then it would certainly make the whole thing much more credible.
I'm all for it - it would also make the thing much more interesting as well balanced. Perhaps there would be less rumours spread by gullible people - look at all those ridiculous conspiracy theories.
Andy Devon, Devon
I entirely agree with the bloggers, but I have a certain sympathy with the Italian government also. Having some experience with inaccurate reporting, I am aware how damaging it can be.
But rather than fine bloggers there must surely be some way that a person who feels they have been maligned has an automatic right to have his response linked to the article so that the casual observer can see both sides of the argument.
John Harrison, Shropshire
I just finished watching the segment on 3D cinema. I think 3D in films will fail again and the main reason for this is focus and depth of focus.
In a regular 2D film, the focus and the change of focus is one of the more important aspects of the storytelling, but in a 3D film it stands to reason that the whole shot should be in focus and your own eyes should focus on what you're looking at.
Yet every 3D movie I've seen so far still uses depth of focus and focus-pulling in the shots, which means that elements in the 3D image are blurred. This fights the 3D effect and causes headache.
I have lots of admiration for James Cameron and I hope he has solved issues like this in his new film Avatar.
Daniel, Örebro, Sweden
Having read your article "movie stars bring sparkle to gaming", I was somewhat disappointed that it implied that big stars featuring in games is a recent trend. What about the original FMV games such as Wing Commander 3 which was released 15 years ago featuring Hollywood stars such as Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowell. Surely games such as this are deserving of mention?
Barrie Almond, Southampton, England
I saw Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D and it was entertaining but I don't think it is more than a novelty. I also saw Ice Age 3 in 2D and, while it was obvious that many scenes were arranged for 3D, I don't feel that my enjoyment of the film was lessoned in any way by not seeing the third dimension.
Rob, Northampton, UK
There is no certainty either way on the health issues of these masts. So surely it is better to err on the safe side. I would defiantly object to one being built at the end of my garden or my child's school.
Darren, Sittingbourne, Kent
I have just watched Click talking about Windows 7. I have had this new operating system on my computer and laptop and can say that it is much better than Vista.
From the first public download in January, I have had no problems with it crashing or the blue screen. Easy to use and it is faster in use than Vista.
I have windows 7 RC on at the moment but as soon as it is available to buy I will be getting it, well done Microsoft.
Steve, Burton upon Trent
Thanks for reviewing the Windows 7 beta. However, most of the new features, and others, are already included in the latest version of Ubuntu.
This has the added advantage of being completely free, an important consideration during the recession.
How about doing a review of Ubuntu, so that more viewers can see the alternatives that are available to them?
Andrew Shelley, Maidstone, Kent
I laughed whilst watching the last programme when you were talking about viewing the internet on the television.
I always watch your programmes via the iPlayer on the TV screen from my PS3.
But when you mentioned about it being slow typing things using a PS3, I have to disagree with you.
I have become very accustomed to using a PlayStation controller, and I am now faster at typing with that than typing on a standard keyboard.
Dylan Nicholas, Monmouth, Wales
I live in a small town in Sweden where we can get a permanent internet connection of 100 Mbps.
I don't now what the situation is in the rest of the country but I would assume that it's similar.
Fredric, Helsingborg, Sweden
I had in my student apartment unlimited access up to 100 Mbps about six years ago.
Contrary to what was said on Click, 100 Mbps is nowhere near the fastest domestic internet access in Europe.
For instance, many people in Amsterdam have 120 Mbps, and the 60 Mbps I have is not considered particularly fast these days.
The Purple Cow, Amsterdam
Reviews of fast broadband are slightly annoying to us rural folk. Broadband equals about 250 Kbps, while 3G is non-existent. Streaming video, forget it here, and downloading a programme from iPlayer takes ages but it is a good watch once it arrives.
Some pressure on ISPs to get rural areas up to normal broadband speed before providing townsfolk with staggering (and arguably unnecessary) download rates might be useful.
Spooner, Pewsey, Wiltshire
I use mobile broadband travelling around Europe, but it is very expensive. I was therefore very pleased to arrive in Estonia recently.
There was high speed broadband everywhere, at the airport, in hotels, shops and restaurants, on the street, on the ferry to Helsinki, even on the bus to St. Petersburg.
I didn't even have to accept terms and conditions, I was just immediately connected, everywhere. This is the connected society, an example to be followed, I hope.
Elling Hamso, Sandnes, Norway
One of the problems with most software is that they are closed source. This means that when security holes are found by users who wish to use them for their own good then the company has to find them and close them.
With open source software the programs can be looked at by multiple people, and holes are more likely to be found before they are used.
Independent people can check the source code before the release is widely used, meaning what is claimed to be secure actually is.
Alex Wardle, Sheffield
Just watched your piece on using TVs as computer monitors for web browsing, and I was a little surprised that you did not feature the Mac TV system, which does exactly this.
Its also worth mentioning that there is another way of approaching this altogether, by watching TV on your computer monitor.
I have an "Elegato TV mini" which is basically a USB-powered Freeview box for Macs, but I believe similar devices are available for PCs.
With a wireless keyboard and mouse, and connected to the hi-fi, this gives me computer operating and TV viewing from my sofa.
John Richards, Cardiff, Wales
E-books the new newspapers?
I would love to see you roll one up and use it to swat a wasp!
"The main drawback comes down to price, because e-books are still not cheap." Define cheap?
Lots of publishers demand hardback prices and still only release encrypted/ DRM e-books. They then tell themselves that it's a tiny market, I wonder why.
Some publishers sell at or below US paperback prices even before the paperback comes out (and Amazon and Sony try to keep below $10 for their readers).
They sell much better, and even sell both paper and e-book copies to people who want both.
M R Dolbear, Walton-on-Thames
I own an e-book reader device (BeBook) but I never pay for e-books, yet everything I read on it is downloaded legally. How?
It's easy: these devices can read e-text in addition to e-books, this means that they can display TXT, RTF, DOC, PDF, HTML and image files.
There are myriad e-texts available for free on the internet. From classics to modern texts, you can even read e-text books from Project Gutenberg and articles from Wikipedia and books from Wikibooks as e-text.
Ernst, Athens, Greece
I was astonished to note that e-books can cost so much. Some I saw were $21. How on earth can these prices be justified when you're simply moving text from one site to another?
So long as e-books are a rip-off like this I'll definitely be sticking to the real thing.
At least if I've spent $21 I'll have something solid to show for it!
Hilary James, Glasgow
E-book readers are just expensive gadgets. I can buy the latest paperback for a few £s, or a second-hand edition for as little as 10p from a charity shop, or even borrow a book for free from the local library.
Bob Delamare, Cranleigh, Surrey
It is strange and quite disturbing that your piece on e-books does not mention all the free e-book readers that have existed long before Kindle etc.
For example, Microsoft Reader and Palm Reader have been around for years and are free and you never even mentioned them.
They can be installed on the desktop PCs, laptops, PDAs and smartphones.
Nuovella Williams, Fareham, Hampshire
I thought the report on editing images and photos missed out, probably, the best free or GNU piece of software on the market called Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program).
It provides most of the features of Photoshop's CS range and would be ideal for anyone looking to explore their creativity or create professional-looking work without splashing out any cash.
In addition, it is also cross-platform which is good news for Linux users like myself.
If piracy really is against the law and is such a big deal, why don't the police just shut the sites down? Surely they can do it somehow.
People download illegally because the price they have to pay for the legitimate item is more than they are willing to pay.
Now some people will want to always pay nothing, and you can't do very much about those people.
But keeping the price high to "cover the cost of piracy" just puts it out of reach of more people and pushes them into considering piracy.
Andy Evan, Oxford
In my opinion there seem to be some missed opportunities for commercial centres of media. Places where people can experience and download media actively in a shared environment, combining broadcast media, music, concerts, gaming and performance.
The value attached to this type of media now is approaching the value that traditional venues attach to alcohol and may equal or exceed it sometime in the near future.
Rob Crossley, Billericay
I've decided to switch my mobile phone and email off when I finish work. That will save energy and my sanity.
Every time I hear something that sounds remotely like my phone or email I'm on edge. Is it work? Is there a problem?
Usually it's just someone trying to get me to buy some pills to make my love life even better. Switch off and you can switch off.
Ahmed Zghari, Surrey
Piracy on the net will never be eliminated: fact. As soon as one site is shut down, another one appears.
So why don't the music and film companies think smart and come up with a standard charging system that you could opt in or out?
For example: You could pay £1 a month on top of your broadband charge for "copyright charges" if you thought you may accidentally download copyright material.
This fee then gets put in a big pot and shared out accordingly based on certain criteria like amount of films or CDs the company has made or something.
That way the consumer does not run the risk of getting sued and the companies still make revenue.
If the customer chose to opt-out of the charge then they could face a standard charge if caught.
And if you were caught uploading copyright material, again they would face a standard charge but much greater than downloading.
Then the focus should be shifted to the major uploaders or sharing sites.
Consumers should not be punished for downloading things that are available on the net. They wouldn't do it if they were not there in the first place.
A Click Fan, Warrington
On Twitter you're asking for stories about killing phones.
In November I killed my phone by getting it run over by a bus! It was an old Nokia (no colour screen and built like a brick).
While running for the bus, the phone slipped out of my pocket and slipped under the wheels of the bus I was attempting to catch.
Richard Pacey, Edinburgh
There are still people who if you talk to about computer security, it's like talking a foreign language.
I have heard of people who think that because they hardly use the web much and only use the PC for e-mails, think security doesn't matter to much.
There is no excuse as there are plenty of free security software about, if they are on a tight budget.
Jonathan Hill, Swadlincote , Derbyshire
I am shocked at the people who have written in to complain about the botnet show.
It was insightful, made us all more aware, highlighted a key weakness in botnets and how to destroy them. And perhaps most importantly showed us where we are going as a global information obsessed culture.
Click continues to be exciting, informative and well worth the time it takes to watch the show.
The reason people download illegally (I actually don't because I can afford it and it is after all illegal) is because the companies are overcharging for music, DVD and almost any other soft product you can think of.
Rather than trying to fight the economic reality that the cost of a product tends towards its marginal cost. The marginal cost of music, movies and software is pretty much zero.
I am not saying that movies and music should be given away free but 99p a track. Come on.
Michael Broom Smith, France
Sorry just had to clarify, that thankfully our government threw out section 92a of the copyright law that they were trying to push ahead with amongst great protest. They now say they have gone back to the drawing board.
Drew, Wellington, New Zealand
To Rikki in Southampton: By turning on a firewall [on a Mac] by stealth, this would upset users. I think it should be more about free programs to protect your PC. If I want a different firewall or have a hardware firewall and don't use software, should the OS be able to turn my firewall on without my permission.
Too many people are still e-mailing their bank details to rich princes in foreign countries for money to be put into their accounts, or not using any anti-virus software etc.
It should be about educating people further rather than taking away your choice as to what you do with something that you have bought.
Lottery Winnings and surprise inheritances: these are variations of the Nigerian scam. You have to send the scammers money to pay the lawyers and other fees to release the money, then more money later, and so on - people have been taken for tens of thousands.
It is impossible to win a lottery if you have not bought a ticket. And check with your family about the person who has died.
In short - do not reply to these e-mails, do not click on the links, just delete them.
Dale Irwin, Waiheke Island, New Zealand
It was good to see the special botnet episode on Click. Glad to know that many people would now be more aware.
Why don't manufacturers tie up with security firms and provide some pre-installed protection on PCs and laptops, or may be inform them about free security programs?
Botnets exist because large software is complex and is unlikely to be bug-free. Users should know this and realise some of those bugs can allow malicious behaviour.
If you don't load updates or bug fixes, especially of Windows, you open yourself to being part of a botnet. Botnets are not an accident.
John Smith, Birmingham
I just saw your extremely impressive show on botnets and how they work. I was glad that at the end you used the botnet to provide the unfortunate "zombie" PCs information on how to secure their PC and "actioned" them to clean themselves.
However, this raises a very interesting way forward to combating what is becoming a major problem for the world's internet. Why don't the security vendors and OS manufacturers use the same techniques (viruses and trojans) to create their own "good" botnet which can then be used to distribute service packs to turn on firewalls, install virus software and remove malware?
Kudos to BBC Click for an excellent edition. As the owner of a small IT company, I know that many businesses (especially smaller ones), are not even aware of the threats of cyber crime. Let alone taking it seriously and implementing defences against intrusion attempts.
I'm not sure how the BBC is going to escape getting into hot water over this, but I applaud you for bringing this to everyone's attention and producing a jaw-dropping episode.
Tim Long, South Wales
Yes, Geoff is absolutely right. Surely it can't be rocket science for the powers that be to buy up the available botnets, inform the poor infected users about how to protect their PCs and then shut the botnet down.
I seem to get many e-mails every week telling me that I have won millions in lotteries around the world. I do not see what they have to gain?
Also that I have been chosen to share in millions because someone has died and they have no living relatives. What is the point of this kind of spam?
Peter Thornhill, Buckfastleigh, Devon
I've just seen your report on taking over 21,000 botnet computers. Thank you for raising awareness of how people can better protect their PCs. The article was informative as well as helpful in securing the computer. Well done once again Click.
Relating to the recent Click item on botnets:
It was good that the show pointed out the basic steps that users could follow to ensure their Windows PCs were more protected.
However, it was not mentioned that the applications themselves can have security holes and they should also be checked for updates on a regular basis.
Perhaps a follow up show could be done that offers suggestions on how to check for non-Microsoft application updates? I know not many are as helpful as browser software by auto-checking for updates, some apps requiring a complete re-install with a newer version.
I found this programme a fascinating insight but also very scary how easy it is to do these things. I think you are right when you say the best prevention is to make sure the anti-virus firewall tools are running up front.
It has been my experience that once a machine has got infected it can be very difficult to remove the problem. Thanks for a great programme.
How real is the threat of bot attacks these days? I started recording the number I was getting about six months ago. I was averaging over 12 spams an hour, i.e. two - 300 per day.
The number halved at the beginning of November (isn't that when the police in America shut someone down?) The number dropped again to two or three per hour just before Christmas and have continued to decline since. I now get only 10 or so a day.
Jeremy Flisher, Maidstone
Nice work on botnets, but how many of those infected PCs were running Linux? And how many of those were Macs? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Sam Damon, Pittsburgh, USA
Well done Click in raising awareness on security risks, but how many will sit up and spend money to follow the advice?
The problem with security advice is in many ways like having insurance as optional on motor vehicles.
The "victim" of a bot attack may well follow the advice. Indeed business PCs are generally better protected yet they pay the costs of home users having their machines compromised.
Stephen Lord, London
Surely you broke the law when you sent e-mails and changed the wallpaper off computers you compromised. Maybe an article on whether it's right to use hacking and security flaws to fix problems should be legal rather than breaking the law.
I'm a hacker - and no, I don't steal information from people's PCs for malicious purposes or personal gain. Those are "crackers". Please try and get your terminology right.
Hackers are unconventional problem-solvers and bring a wealth of skill to the technological arena. Our brains work in a way that is unconventional to the rest of society but understands the logic of computing on a deeper level than most - logic is instinct to us.
It was interesting to see a botnet in action, but why can't more botnets be rented and then destroyed and the owners notified to patch their machines - or even do it automatically?
Yes, bringing justice to the criminals who push out the infected software would be better, but buying up some high-profile botnets and shutting them down would be well worth the money.
If compromised owners are notified maybe re-infection wouldn't be so fast next time.
Unless Click contacted and gained permission from each of the owners of the computers in the Botnet they acquired before using them then what they did was illegal under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (gaining unauthorised access to a resource) regardless of whether they had criminal intent or not.
Furthermore, as botnets consist almost entirely of Windows computers I don't think it a fair and accurate representation to use Macs in the graphics especially as there are currently no viruses out there that affects them.
It was nice to see you using macs to show your illustrations instead of using windows all the time! I think Spencer was right to replace all the cutlery with plastic...those windows fan boys are pretty sore losers!!
Joe Barnes, Manchester, England
To add to the controversy about how Moog, as in synthesiser, should be pronounced, my understanding is that Robert Moog used to pronounce it as it was written (like in boogie) but his wife thought that was too common and unrefined and insisted on it being pronounced like 'vogue'. Might be another urban myth though!
Neil Murray, London, United Kingdom
I find internet shopping a godsend as I am elderly and disabled. Ocado even delivered in the snow and ice !! It is also handy for other things like presents etc for family members. Just a view from an older user! Thanks for great programmes.
Dr Peter Francis, Surrey
Back to the Moog. It has ALWAYS been pronounced mogue. I believe that the cover of "The Well Tempered Synthesiser" by Walter Carlos (before he became Wendy Carlos) in the 70's had a "How to pronounce Moog" note, on the sleeve.
Jeff Gehrig, Waterford Queensland Australia
Alas the 3D renditions of virtual supermarkets are lacking in authentic details. There are no screaming children or deranged pensioners reading the ingredients list on every can in the aisle. I would be more inclined to shop in this way if there were Doom style weapon power-ups that allowed me to vent my normal supermarket-shopping angst without attracting the attention of HM Constabulary.
Mike Tittensor, Cambridge
I use the internet for food shopping and everything for the garden. I have just spent £125 for materials to build an arch, have bought 11 rose plants from 4 different suppliers, and a number of other plants recently. I look for value, certainly, but quick delivery is important too. I only go shopping in the High Street for odds and ends. The internet is much more convenient, there is much more available, and it is often cheaper.
Ron Maxwell, Eccleshall, Staffs, UK
"Let's call the whole thing off!" You say Mooooog and I say Mogue
.there is no logic to the English language. One of the best examples is the OUGH letter set Slough
. (rhymes with cow) a place just outside London or a swamp/quagmire Slough
.. (rhymes with stuff) is that skin that a snake sheds as it grows Cough
.. (rhymes with toff) to clear your throat Bough
(again rhymes with cow) the branch of a tree. Now add a 't' to make it something you purchased and it illogically changes its sound to rhyme with - Taught
.not slack, Torte
.cake or tart. English EVOLVED illogically with a skeleton holding it all together. The basic rule is "there may not be a rule". Perhaps Dr Moog was afflicted with the same social aspirations as Mrs BUCKET
Russ Sadler, Colchester Essex
Great show. As someone who works in telecoms but is not a nerd or geek I find the how very helpful both in understanding impacts on my job and on personal computing.
Ian Arnot, Bo'ness, UK
As a professional composer I was interested by your small article on music composition.
Although computers have revolutionised how music can be created, the best users of the systems are still trained and/or experienced musicians. The top end software (unlike some domestic stuff) does not create chords for you, automatic backings, etc - you still have to be able to write.
And some things are more complicated and worse quality. To make chipmunks, we used to slow down the tape - record at the lower pitch, then speed every thing up again - perfect. Took seconds and was high quality.
With digital, it is far more complicated, your recording suffers from digital break up and artefacts and the result is nowhere near as good - and that is on the top systems!
The other myth is auto-tune for vocalists. Although we can re-tune to a certain extent using the best of the new correction software, we still cannot sort out someone who simply cant sing.
To do that, we still get in a professional session singer to replace the track, or a couple of them to pretend to be an entire famous girl or boy band - oh yes, it still happens.
As an engineer and composer, the biggest joy is still when you get a top singer or musician in and they just give you the perfect rendition of your music. No computer can or will ever replace that amazing buzz!
Joss Sanglier, MK
I'm convinced that Spotify is the best thing since sliced bread. It's iTunes with out having to pay or download the music. Really if you only play music whilst you're on the internet what is the point?
Thanks for pointing out the hidden and yet the best bits of the web out for us. It's what I tune into every week Click for!Jesse Erlam, East Sussex
I love your show. Click is my absolute favourite Thursday evening show and it has been that for years and years starting from Click Online up until now.
Just want to add a browser I haven't heard you mention on the show (about browsers). Avant Browser is my favourite one and it's worth mentioning.
Otherwise keep up the good work and continue feeding my technical interest with more gadgets and news about the world wide web as well as games too.
Eva Andersson, Nykarleby, Finland
The new 21:9 television set by Phillips are welcomed by those of us who like the 2.3:1 aspect ratio of widescreen cinema films.
However, I applaud Spencer Kelly for questioning the automatic stretching of 16:9 pictures to 21:9, or the even worse stretching of 4:3 to 16:9.
So long as this horrible feature can be switched off then no harm done, and when they fall in price I shall consider getting one like it.
John Porcella, London
I am a big fan of Click and so is my family. However, I am a bit disappointed about the first part of the latest programme featuring henna artists in India.
Simply because when the programme was about the Muslim women in Hyderabad, the presenters went on to include all women in India and how undervalued they are.
Most Indian women are much more independent and liberal than the Westerners picture them to be.
Chandi Karunaratne, Middlesex
I just finished watching your interview with Stevie Wonder. It was inspiring.
I am legally blind and created an online text to speech converter for print disabled students. My site's aim was to help give back to the disabled community. The idea being that those who can help from the disabled community should. And we now have users from over 142 countries using the site on a daily basis.
It was people like Stevie Wonder who inspired me when I was young and it is great to see that he is still such a strong advocate for the visually impaired.
Mark McKay, Ottawa
Is there not a fundamental flaw with 3D viewing? I seem to remember on a cognitive psychology course that the brain cannot tolerate 3D images on film for very long. When you first see it, the effect is very strong, but after a while the brain realizes its not real and "flattens it" again.
I think this process takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Has anyone watched these things for an extended period of time.
The theory is that the ever-alert brain eventually realizes that this is not dangerous, or a reality, and poses no threat (our short term memories raison d'être to make sense of the immediate world) and so shuts down the effect.
Any comments on this anyone?
John Major, Jakarta
Well done on your Click programme on blind people, it certainly raised the awareness. Technology just as much helps deaf people, I was wondering when there will be a Click programme on this subject, it would be interesting to see what up and coming technology is there for us.
Simon Astill, Nottingham, UK
May I suggest that Click try starting a new trend in simplifying the speaking of urls? First, there is no need to say "Forward Slash". "Slash" will do perfectly well. It only needs qualifying for "Backslash". Secondly, I get tired of hearing (and saying) "Double You, Double You, Double You." We KNOW that websites begin with "www". Why can't we just say "Web" (or as I've heard some people say, "Wub")? That's one syllable instead of nine - a huge saving in time and effort. If Click were to spearhead these innovations, the rest of the BBC might follow. And where the BBC leads, the world might follow. I live in hope.
David V Barrett, London, UK
Can you feature mobile phones for the disabled, if they exist? I have sight and dexterity problems, so need a mobile with a big display and big buttons - like a lot of other people! I have tried all the usual suppliers but,despite supposedly disabled - friendly policies, they don't seem to have the phones to go with the policies!
Ruth Ryan, Westcliff on Sea, UK
First of all I write as an irate member of the visually impaired population. The visually impaired community is forever playing catch-up with new technology. On average the access technology companies are running about six years behind the mainstream. When technology is finally made accessible it comes at a price (usually four figures) which your average VI person can't afford. Dream on Stevie -blind people don't watch telly do they?
Kate MacKirdy, Cardiff South Glamorgan
I am blind and find Apple Mac computers better than PCs. My reasons are; with a Apple all you have to do is press a couple of keys to make it talk, it will talk you through the installing the operating system if need to reinstall the it; with a PC you need sighted help to set it up and then you have to go through process of installing a screen reader.Surely companies today can make products more accessible. If Apple can make their computers talk with no extra software why can't PCs do it? After using an Apple Mac for about 2 or 3 years there is no way I would go back to using a PC
David Mcauliffe, Haworth, UK
I watched with interest your item on 3D TV, but how easy will it be for those of us who cannot see without prescription glasses to access this technology. I have tried wearing two pairs of glasses before, one over the other and it is not comfortable.
Dave Trueman, Hastings, England
Mr Stewart can I add to your comment "Can you refrain from the gratuitous use of music" - it is not an American advertising show. More information and less baroque cellar background. Back to basics, information not entertainment.
Jane Fleming, Cambridge UK
I really enjoy watching your show every Friday. The CES show reports were brilliant, it's amazing to see some of the latest additions and developments in technology and how these will be adapted and produced in the future.I develop websites in my spare time and the interview with Stevie Wonder has given me an insight and a different perspective as to how accessible I need to make my websites. Could Kate Russell please find me some links to some more free software suites, such as a free program that can create Flash animations and graphics - I've searched the net but not sure how reputable some of the programs are; If Kate could find a free, decent Flash manipulation software package that is compatible with Vista, that would be brilliant! Thanks Click!
When will Click get with the times and have a buyers guide on Blu-ray!
Just a small comment. When watching Click at the CES show we were shown many new gadgets. Great....except we are not always told the name of the item or who manufactures or makes the devices. So just a thought that maybe this information should be basic to item information. Other than that great show and thank you all from presenters to coffee maker for bringing it to us.
Kevin Logue, Londonderry Northern Ireland
Good to see you at CES but when you realise how big it is I would have thought more programme time would have been devoted to it with more snipets on the products. How about audio, surround sound and other products. How about British companies being shown as well.
Phil Longworth, Maidstone England
I'd like to counter Ken Franklin, Courlay, France on his comments about Ubuntu. Click did dedicate most of one of its 2008 editions to Ubuntu, and its creator. I was impressed enough to spend some time trying to wean one of my computers onto it. After it had crashed twice and wiped out the boot sector of another computer I was using as a fallback, I gave up. I give a week of my life every five years to trying to make Linux do something useful, and, so far, Debian (1998), Suse (2003) and Ubuntu (2008) have failed to impress! Maybe 2013 will teach me something, but I'm beginning to lose faith.
Lawrence McIlhoney, Cheltenham, UK
Couple of comments. Firstly I noticed a comment from another user about ADrive with 50GB free storage not being free any more. Just to mention that Microsoft offer 25GB free storage with Live services. Secondly your essential guide about Web Browsers, in your program you mentioned Opera to have 9 Speed Dials. 9 is not the fixed number of speed dials you can have (it's default though). In configuration file you can specify number of rows and columns and Opera will show you that many. I got 5 columns and 4 rows, 20 speed dials in all.
Qaiser, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Can you refrain from the gratuitous use of music that seems to prevail throughout the programme. The second someone stops talking, it starts. It adds nothing to the show and does even less for the content. I don't tune in to the show to listen to music. It distracts from what the presenters are saying more than anything else. If you can forward me tons of emails from viewers requesting music to be played when a presenter stops talking, at the beginning of the show, at the end of the show, at every item change and at every presenter change, I'll retract my request. I'm sure I am not the only one who has noticed this and cutting it out might just get you a bigger audience.
Why can't I have a truly square monitor? 4:3 was OK but then we got wide screen, if you want to take full advantage of the width and display a document or browser full, or nearly full, width, you have to scroll down to see all the page. Some of us want to do things other than play games and watch DVDs :-) I'd like to see documents side-by-side and not have to scroll down too far. I don't want to have two monitors set up - possibly one in 'portrait' mode. 20 or 22 inch square would be fine. Can you find me one please?
I'm a technophile granny and I love Click.
Rita Bulmer, Leeds
I refer to the clip of the US president in his speech saying that the US invented the internet. I was under the impression that Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee was credited with this.
Dennis Allen, Yardley Gobion UK
Thank you Click for bringing all the latest gadgets from CES 2009. I was really amazed about the newer way of charging gadgets using powermat, induction based charging system. This week's programme is one of the best episodes of Click.
Selvaraaju, Melbourne, Australia
Many hackers like to think they are cool alternatives to big business, almost hippies. But do they stop to think of the environmental damage? My PC sits maxed out for three hours just scanning for viruses. That's 250 watts/h for 3 hours, 750 watts a day, or for 1 billion PCs in the world 750 billion watts a day, 750,000 mws. A big power station like Didcot supplies 2GWatts so you need 375 big coal fired power stations just to support the world's computers scanning for viruses. Not very cool when you look at it like that is it?
Andy Evan, Oxford
I am disappointed with Click. You give no time to other operating systems like Ubuntu which is Linux based. It has now become very popular and lots of schools in the UK and Europe are using it as an alternative to Windows. I use it and will never return to windows.
Ken Franklin, Courlay, France
I wondered if you have ever done a feature on IT gadgets that help people with medical conditions? Specifically, have you tried out the 3M Ergonomic Mouse? It looks a little like a joy-stick, although it most certainly is not, but I have found it the most useful gadget in ages! I have rheumatoid arthritis, which amongst others affects my wrists, and used to cause RSI-like symptoms when using my mouse for long periods. As I work full-time and spend most of my time designing and manipulating spreadsheet models this meant taking many breaks, wearing wrist-supports and generally quite a lot of pain. The ergonomic mouse took only a few days to get used to (you need to learn to double-click with your thumb rather than index finger) and my wrists rarely hurt these days!! I would highly recommend it!
Mariette Hardman, Bolney, West Sussex
The story about the new Bluetooth headset with its extensible mouthpiece made me laugh. The very first such unit that I bought in 2002 (an Ericsson) had a long boom so that the microphone was presented at exactly the same place as the fancy new one now presents it. So, that's a lot of progress in six years.
Simon Allen, Hertfordshire
I was watching your last episode of Click (at CES) and you were talking about encryption. You showed a phone that was over £1m that would encrypt your data, but you can get (used) phones that encrypt your data for as little as £20 that are capable of doing it which are Blackberrys. As this was a feature about how you encrypt at low or no cost this would of been an important fact to add perhaps.
Jonathan Fussell, Hadleigh, Suffolk
The recent news item about the UK law recently introduced by the government to get ISPs to monitor e-mail traffic is yet another attack on our civil liberties. Many people may not use the e-mail service supplied by their ISP or prefer to use web based email like Googlemail or MS Hotmail. Surely these would not appear as email data traffic? What's to stop people using e-mail services based outside the UK or EU? The terrorists will always be several steps ahead of daft schemes like this. The money and effort would be better spent on giving the security services the resources they need to track the real terrorists rather than the innocent public. I think George Orwell's 1984 is almost upon us!
Alex, Click fan, Sheffield
This www.bomomo.com (as recommended by the nice lady doing the internet feature) is truly wicked! Many thanks!
In response to
Gadgets to keep you entertained
, I must disagree with the android G1. I sent mine back, in short it is a good phone but does nothing. It has a great keyboard, the trackball works and the screen is gorgeous. That is where the list ends.
Jim Reynolds, Preston
Recently I was watching Click and was interested in the free 50GB storage site ADrive. Just to advise you they have changed from free to 14-day trial. So I am not gong to sign up. Advise your viewers.
What is really needed in supermarkets, as I comment every time I go into one, is not a PDA to keep a track of customers, but a PDA to guide you to where the goods are: isle, row and shelf. It takes me ages wandering down different rows trying to find out where the store has re-positioned say a bottle of milk. A PDA could be hired from the store at a nominal cost in which item location can be pre-loaded into a memory matrix before the store opens. For instance you would type 'milk' and the device would show a cross reference link like Milk R7A or Milk R7B depending which side of the main isle the row is located for example.
Gillian Tracy, Chichester
Sainsbury's saving the world with double-sided till rolls is quite amusing, given all the energy wasted by such retailers on lighting, heating, and air-conditioning running all day long. Looking forward to your show on online shopping in the new year, as it is the only way I shop.
Louise Sharples, Wigan
Why is there a lot of fuss over the new 50 Mbps broadband service that Virgin is offering? We see it as a huge advance, but in Japan (and a few other countries) they have been getting 100 Mbps for three or four years.
Zak , Norwich
My recommendation for Christmas? Turn off your computer, your mobile and your personal organiser, dig out your great old Filofax, grab your land line and arrange to meet up with people you haven't seen for years. And you know what? It will be the most absorbing, complete, satisfying and 3D experience - completely outclassing anything a social site will ever give you.Happy tech free Christmas!
Joss, MK, UK
I enjoyed Richard Taylor's comments on camcorder hints, especially his comment on sound. Not only do you need to hear your subject but continuity of sound makes for continuity of video. I would like to add one more tip that I feel most important. If you are shooting someone sitting down, children or small animals, you need to bring your camera down to their height. Too many people look down on their subject. Not good.
Ross Lambourn, Auckland, New Zealand
Everyone is going on about green issues and power saving, well this Christmas I was given a power consumption meter. You just plug it in a mains socket then plug the device that you want to check into it and it tells you how much power the device is taking. You can get them from around £10. I've been testing things around the house - some results are surprising but the most surprising is my LCD TV. With the backlight on maximum, the TV is taking 199 watt but with the backlight on minimum the figure drops to 75 watt, a saving of 124 watt. This does make the picture less bright but I have noticed that if you increase the contrast and the brightness settings you can compensate for the dimmer backlight and still get a good picture. I should point out that not all LCD TVs let you adjust the backlight and others have limited settings. But it's worth a look at your LCD TV picture adjustment for backlight settings, then turn it down if you can and start saving money.
A Click fan, Brighton