ICANN Brussels

Jargon overheard at the ICANN conference in Brussels:

Push-back: I’m going to push-back on your suggestion, I don’t think it’ll stand up to scrutiny.

On-boarding: We’re not seeing much on-boarding of that new feature so it might get dropped.

Review of Crabble – Mobile phone stand

Crabble Packaging

I recently met the creator of the ‘crabble’ at a business seminar and he had some examples of his product with him which caught my eye.

The ‘Crabble’ is a mobile phone stand which suits most smartphone types. Unlike most desktop stands it’s very portable – it fold flat and will fit inside most wallets.


  • Simple and Compact
  • Does what it is supposed to do
  • Fun designs


  • A bit pricey for what is effectively a bent piece of flat plastic with some rubber bands on the ‘feet’ (£5.99 RRP)
  • No space for the charging / sync lead
  • Design hidden when in use

I found it easy to use, sturdy enough for my phone and a pleasure to look at. If you have a phone that uses a lot of battery, you might have a problem though – there simply isn’t enough clearance at the bottom of the stand for the charging lead to stay connected. OK if you turn the phone sideways, but this really only works for viewing movies or web browsing.

The Crabble
The Crabble

Download drivers for Sony CMR-PC2

Sony CMR-PC2 Driver Download
Sony CMR-PC2 Driver Download

Having searched for webcam drivers for the Sony CMR-PC2 without  success, I finally found the original CD. Here are the drivers. As even the Sony Europe website does not provide these drivers, only the manual, I am proving a link to download the drivers for Sony CMR-PC2.

Download Drivers-Sony-CMR-PC2.zip (13MB)

I have no idea if these drivers also work for the CMR-PC3 or similar, perhaps you can let me know in the comments.

Evolution preview pane headers

if you’re using Evolution on a small pc like a notebook, you might find that the preview email pane has very little space to display the message because the message headers take up too much space.

To reduce or hide the headers shown in the Evolution Preview Pane, you can go:

Edit – Preferences – Mail Preferences – Headers

Untick the headers you don’t want to see in Displayed Message Headers

The changes apply to both the preview page and when you open a message seperately.

Real Life SimCity


Recently I’ve been playing with a mapping app on the iPhone called Waze. This allows you to do free turn by turn routing on a smartphone (at time of writing Android and iPhone’s supported), with the added bonus of up to date traffic reporting by fellow users of the service.

Waze started in Israel, and they’ve pretty much got the whole country mapped now. The UK however is sparse – most roads are not mapped yet, but this is the bit I’m enjoying most. When you drive down a road that’s not on Waze, you actually create it. The phone uploads the GPS data to the web, and you go along later and add the street name.

This bit feels like SimCity – creating your own roads! However it does feel like wasted effort, as a project called OpenStreetMap has already created free maps of the entire UK, which Waze or other projects like it could be using. Waze are taking a bit of a gamble on UK users wanting to create a map of the UK before the routing and traffic functions will start to take off. Smartphone Apps that use OpenStreetMap are plentiful – but I’ve yet to find a free one for the iPhone.

For SimCity fans it’s great though – you find yourself deliberately taking new routes to and from work just to add new roads to the map.

Thunderbird 3

I’ve used Thunderbird for a couple of years and recently moved to TB3. It’s not been without pain though, and here a couple of the issues and my workarounds

Indexing – lots of talk about this on the web. Despite leaving it going for over 24 hours, Thunderbird 3 had not finished indexing all my folders. I discovered the location of the index file. Mine is currently over 2GB in size. Not good for Windows! I’ve therefore disabled indexing.  However ideally, I’m happy to have the index in place for my main folders, so I’m using the GlodaQuilla extension to selectively index folders. Update 01/2010. Given up on indexing altogether.

Calendering. No built in support, but nightly builds are available for Lightning (and the Google provider).

Activity Manager. At last I thought, a way of seeing what Thunderbird is doing at any given time. But no, it only reports after the activity is finished.

Update 01/2010. Chief gripe now is that search box doesn’t have any kind of pause/delay built in, so as soon as you type the first letter of your search term, Thunderbird grinds to a halt while it list every single email with that letter in it. Having to cut/paste search terms as a workaround.

Nominet will be regulated after all

Nominet is the .uk registry
Nominet is the .uk registry

In the recent Digital Britain report (out for consultation), the government makes clear it is looking to regulate the .uk domain industry.

“In view of this, the Government has decided that on a precautionary basis it will seek reserve powers in any appropriate forthcoming legislation to regulate against the risk that the entry into the sector of a number of new, and as yet unidentified, players will mean we need a basis for industry cooperation. These powers may, for example, enable the Government to direct Ofcom to regulate the distribution of domain names in the UK, possibly by setting conditions and establishing a code of practice to which the industry would be required to conform.”

As this is exactly what the current board of Nominet was seeking to avoid in it’s governance review, it appears as through the horse has already bolted.