a blog from

Titus Androidicus: Man sends entire works of Shakespeare via SMS

20 Mar 2014

After being sold a non-existent PlayStation 3 on eBay, Bristol man Edd Joseph has set about getting his revenge on the scammer who duped him by sending him the entire works of Shakespeare as text messages.

This modern day bard clearly has a lot of time on his hands, and thumbs. Sneak supposes the PS3 was intended to fill those long, lonely hours, with texting a con man the next best thing.

According to the Bristol Post, Joseph discovered that he could copy and paste chunks of text into SMS messages, and has now already sent the text of 22 plays made up of 17,242 messages. There's around 12,000 messages to go.

Since beginning his onslaught, the scammer has responded with a few abusive messages but nothing can stop the Bard's works from getting through.

To join in the fun Sneak would like to suggest a selection of Shakespeare plays with an IT twist.

  1. Spamlet
  2. King John MacAfee
  3. A Comedy of 404s
  4. Much ADA about NoSQL
  5. Azure Like it
  6. Antony and Cleopatch Tuesday
  7. A Midsummer Night's Dreamforce
  8. The Merry WiFis of Windsor
  9. All's Well That's Haswell
  10. Richard Samsung Galaxy S III

 Add your own Shakespeare-orientated tech puns to the comments section below.

Samsung Galaxy Note rep LeBron James sick of his phone

13 Mar 2014

Sneak is always one of the first to go public with complaints, so it is with some sympathy that he reports on the itchy Twitter finger of US basketball player LeBron James.

Sneak was sad to see that James removed a tweet he posted because – and this is only a possibility – he is in the pay of the company that he was thought to be complaining about.

James is an advocate for the Samsung Galaxy Note and appears in adverts for the firm. People will have assumed that when he posted the flamethrower of social media comment about a phone, he was talking about a Galaxy.

"My phone just erased everything it had in it, and rebooted. One of the sickest feelings I've ever had in my life!!!" he said, according to reports such as this one on Business Insider.

It is likely that someone in his camp reminded him that the message could be taken in a bad, unflattering way and he swiftly removed it. Soon after he followed up with a 'woe is me' type message and then the announcement that somehow his phone had regained its senses and his contacts. "Close call. Wheew! Got all my info back. Gamer! Lol," he said.

It is possible that Samsung threw its weight behind the problem, that is certainly the suggestion that Sneak would have made had he not been engaged in some other social media fallout of his own at the time.

Sneak would of course advise that firms steer clear of endorsements from celebrities because they are notoriously difficult to control. As an example, he cites Alicia Keys, a creative 'hire' for Blackberry who apparently still insisted on using an Apple iPhone.

Amazon, Google and Facebook flying machines set for collision course

05 Mar 2014

Much like the way the Oscar-winning film Gravity demonstrated the danger of space junk crashing into everything, Sneak has discovered a critical flaw in the plans of the tech industry's biggest players.

Amazon, Google and Facebook all have intentions for flying vehicles, intended to spread internet access and DVD box sets of Mrs Brown's Boys, but what if those worlds collide?

Sneak has drawn a diagram to demonstrate:

A terrifying look at the future of technology

Notice how Google's Project Loon balloon sails on air currents at varying levels high up in the atmosphere to deliver internet access. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg's model aeroplane – AKA the Titan Aerospace drone – is flying at a stable altitude doing the same job. Let's then envisage Amazon's ludicrous Prime Air drone delivery vehicle getting caught in a gust of wind. Disaster. No internet or mediocre comedy for anyone.

If space junk can collide with satellites in space, imagine what will happen in our world below the atmosphere: it's a lot smaller than space, as it turns out.

As much as these companies don't like to work with each other, they have to form some sort of united airspace agreement to ensure we aren't suddenly caught in a hailstorm of expensive flying tech.

You have been warned.

Goophone S5 offers half-price version of Samsung Galaxy S5

28 Feb 2014

The Galaxy S5 was finally unveiled to the world this week at Mobile World Congress. Being a lover of all things mobile, Sneak was very excited about the new features, such as the fingerprint scanner and a fast downloads tool, but was less enthralled with its premium price tag.

So for those of you who, like Sneak, don't fancy paying the price of £600 for a Galaxy S5, luckily there's now another option: the Goophone S5.

Less than two days after Samsung had its big unveiling for the Galaxy S5, copycat smartphone maker Goophone introduced its own strikingly similar model.

goophone-s5The Goophone S5 has the same perforated casing and design as Samsung's latest model, and features a 5in full HD 1920x1080 resolution screen, an octa-core 2GHz processor and 32GB of internal storage that's expandable.

Yes, you'll be making some compromises with the Goophone S5. It offers only 3G network support compared with the Galaxy S5's 4G capability; it has only a 13MP rear camera, rather than a 16MP camera with a fast autofocus speed of 0.3 seconds; and it's a bit behind with its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system rather than the latest Android 4.4 KitKat release.

But then again, you will be saving 50 percent off the price of the Samsung Galaxy S5, with the Goophone S5 available for only $299.99. A bargain, even by Sneak's cheapskate standards.

Sadly the Goophone S5 is out of stock at present, but we'll be sure to check regularly and update you on availability. And in the meantime, why not treat yourself to the Goophone i5S for a mere $160, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone 5S and also comes in grey, black or gold.

Sneak has to admit to not being fully immersed in the Goophone ethos and wonders how it's flown under the radar of Apple, Samsung and others for so long. But we certainly like its marketing style, which has a distinct difference to the normal cloying language employed by rival smartphone vendors.

"The Next Big Thing Is Almost Here," the firm states on its Goophone S5 page. "Goophone has always been forward best smartphone. With new design, this new generation Goophone S5 you have never seen it. Goophone S5 is world's first smartphone powered 2GHz Mediatek MT6592 true octa-core processor, along with 2GB DDR3 RAM, bring better operating experience to us."

Take that, Apple marketing department.

Mashtag potato shapes a recipe for success to teach kids IT

17 Feb 2014

BirdsEye Mashtags

Frozen food flogger BirdsEye has launched what may well be the first tech-related food item since the chip.

Mashtags, or as the logo says "MAS#TAGS", are "#new", "#tasty" and "Pot@to Shaped". Disregarding the fact that the pronunciation of Pot@to would actually be po-tatt-o, this is a fantastic contribution to the UK's incoming computing curriculum.

Teaching kids the lingo of online interactions is surely a crucial aspect of the syllabus, which focuses heavily on staying safe online. And there's no better way of staying safe than writing in potato-based characters. And since the government's Year of Code is already in trouble, anything to whet kids' appetite for code will be welcome.

A pack of Mashtags goes for £1.75 at your local supermarket, but presuming you want your kids to write something that doesn't look like a swear word (#@*# off), you'll probably have to double up and get some alphabet-shaped food products, too.

Plus, with the addition of emoticons ( :) and <3), kids can express their emotions by holding up scolding-hot lumps of potato. Result. And cheaper than a Raspberry Pi.

Bill Gates chair-jumping skills in slow, steady decline

11 Feb 2014

Witnessing a giant of the tech industry in a slow, steady decline is painful viewing.

There’s no doubt Gates is still a man of many talents. He’s founded a world-changing, billion-dollar company, saved countless lives with his philanthropic work and he can leap clean over a standard office chair in a single bound.

Well, actually, no he can’t. Gates admitted that – while years ago he used to be able to wow interviewers (and the rest of the world) by leaping over a sizeable chair in his office – age appears to be catching up with him.

Taking part in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) Q&A session on Monday night, a user asked whether he can still leap clean over a chair.

The answer was rather plaintive: “No I cannot. I can still jump but not over a full-sized garbage can like I used to be able to. Be careful – it can hurt if you don't succeed.”

The health and safety-style warning at the end is also a worrying sign that Gates is not the daredevil chair-leaper he once was, and fears time's winged chariot hurrying near. Perhaps it's also why he's stepped down as Microsoft's chairman.

However, there was a hint there is still life in Gates' leaping legs yet, when Reddit user suds5000 tried to find some solace in the fact that “it probably still depends on the size of the chair...”

An eager Gates replied: “Yes. A small enough chair I can still jump over.”

Like a faithful labrador trying to please its master, it's almost heart breaking. But there is no doubt that Gates is a shadow of his former himself. Gates was also asked in a Reddit AMA back in March 2013: “Can you still jump over chairs?“ The Reddit crowd have some odd interests.

Back then, Gates was showing signs of slowing down, but was obviously still up to his old tricks: “Less than I used to. It was part of exercise for snow skiing. I still ski but I am not as hard core...”

Ask not for whom the chair tolls, it tolls for thee.

Man has @N Twitter name stolen in modern digital heist

31 Jan 2014

Twitter @

These days, getting a good username on a popular service is like trying to run to the moon: impossible. Realistically, to get anything close to your name, or an identifiable moniker, you have to leave plenty of leeway and have a bit of creativity.

Sneak, for example, had to settle for Sneak10000000 for his email address (don’t think I’m telling you which service, though, oh no). And the Twitter account – now long since abandoned – had to be @SneakIT3Vblog just to get anywhere near to the terms you all know and love Sneak by.

For some early bird sign-ups, though, the joy of pithy, eye-catching usernames has given them plenty to boast about. But while Sneak’s jealously is limited to small fits of seething rage in his basement, others are more determined to get their own way.

One chap, Naoki Hiroshima, managed to secure the name @N on Twitter, having joined the site in its very early days. However, despite being offered huge amounts of money for this account, he’s always politely said no.

Others, though, were less polite, and went through the rigmarole of hacking his various social media accounts and web-hosting services, to be able to blackmail N into giving up the account, which he promptly did.

The case has proved some of the perils of the new digital age where seemingly harmless activities such as registering for a username on a website can lead to stress, hassle and, ultimately, blackmail.

Perhaps the old MySpace naming style of xxxSneAk!xx100 was for the best after all.

Amazon predicts the future of online shopping is...predicting the future

20 Jan 2014


Amazon has filed a patent that will allow it to ship a package to you before you even know you've bought it.

It's not as if you're going to have DVD box sets of Miranda you didn't pay for turning up in the clutches of an expectant Amazon delivery drone – one can only dream of such an event – it's rather more a logistical development than a customer service one. Although, Sneak notes, it will lead to some deliveries that are rather faster than we've previously come to expect from Mr Bezos and his crew.

The patent, as The Wall Street Journal explains, means certain items will begin their journey from Amazon's shipping hubs to more localised distribution centres.

This sort of tech is certainly not new, Sneak reminds you. Any online retailer worth its salt should be able to predict the sales patterns of people in certain areas and move goods around to suit. But this is big data gone wild: the difference here is that items on-the-move could have their destination changed on the fly if someone in the area has made a purchase, meaning a truck could be diverted to make a speedy delivery.

Sounds rather implausible. But get this: some items might even get delivered to, say, a block of flats with multiple tenants who are likely to buy it. So, to your surprise, you may end up with a delivery just seconds after you've finished fumbling with your credit card.

This could lead to some interesting situations where one tenant orders something they have never ordered before and ends up with it instantly, revealing that either Amazon can accurately predict the future, or that someone living in the same building has very particular shopping habits. Or both.

Sneak can't wait to have his new remote control drone delivered by Amazon drone, three days before he ordered it.

About IT Sneak's undercover reporter offers odds and ends from the odd end of technology.

Desktop User Support

Desktop User Support Overview: The Babraham...

Web Developer (Node.js, Javascript, MongoDB)

Web Developer (Node.js, Javascript, MongoDB) Hi We’re...

Project Delivery Manager

Are you looking for a project management role...

2nd Line IT Support Engineers / IT Helpdesk Engineers

We are looking for 2nd line Support Engineers that are...

Browse posts by date

Cal_navigation_previousNovember 2014Cal_navigation_next