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* Posts by Daniel B.

2647 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Android surges past iPhone in smartphone sales

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Interesting graphs, they are

It seems that the Android crowd is feeding mostly from iPhone to Android switchers, and a couple of Blackberry to Android switchers; but the increase in % seems to show that it isn't just switchers that are swelling the Android toters; it is also first-time smartphone buyers as well.

One thing that RIM should do is get out a combo touchscreen/keyboard device. I would definitely want one of those,as I like touchscreens but I wouldn't sacrifice my physical keyboard for a touchscreen. Hm... maybe HP should bring out something like the Palm Pre as well...

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Alcatel OT-808 fashion phone

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Punctuation?

Hm, the keyboard looks like it has the punctuation characters accesible by an alt key or something like that. Pretty much the same case with most QWERTY keyboards, even the BlackBerry. If this is the case, punctuation is pretty quick anyway. If it is more like the 'berry's "SYM" key, well then that slows typing down and you will suffer. Which of these cases does this keyboard stand in?

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Apple fanbois not as data hungry as Big Phone says

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Why exclude the Berries?

Even with RIM's compression stuff going on, these numbers might mean something if they are equal or higher than the iPhone data usage. Because it would mean that the berries are actually sucking *more* data than the uncompressed iPhone data usage!

According to my berry, I've eaten through 287 Mb in the last 3 weeks, so that places me above the 200 Mb mark that iPhone users have.

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UAE sees security threat in BlackBerrys

Daniel B.
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Geography FAIL

"oh, and before someone point the finger at the UAE, remember that the USofA already have access to those servers."

... except they don't, because those servers are in Canada.

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US legalizes jailbroken iPhones

Daniel B.
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Boffin

You're the one that's actually wrong.

"Considering that Cellphones participate in an encrypted data exchange, a cracked phone represents a security failure."

The encrypted data exchange is made by the UMTS handshaking, and that's handled by the SIM card. That particular element isn't being "cracked" by jailbreaking, so the comms are still secure. Carriers don't care what kind of data you're carrying, except maybe VoIP or if they deem that you're "hogging" resources. And unlike a car, you can actually re-flash the OS on a cellphone if it ever gets erased by a software bug. If Sony can manage this with the PSP, I can't see why a Fisher-Price toy can't be restored as well.

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Daniel B.
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They tried to get this exemption shot down

If they had won the argument on this exception, they would have started doing DMCA takedowns and other kinds of bull to go after those who make the jailbreaking tools. It would've been deemed like DeCSS. Fortunately, they lost.

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iPhones dialling up premium-rate bills again

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Unhappy

Permissions

Geeze, I thought that Apple had the überOS to rule them all ... and they still haven't managed to put a permissions sandbox like the one the Blackberry OS uses? It is made so that apps can't dial out unless you give them permission to do so. And even then, you can set it to "always ask", so that you'll get a confirmation dialog before the call is made.

Anyway, enticing kids to dial premium rate numbers isn't new. I was fooled when I was 6 yrs old into calling Woody Woodpecker on a 1-900 number. My dad wasn't amused when the next phone bill came, and I learned about the scam.

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Google Chrome bug bounty ups Mozilla's ante

Daniel B.
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Unhappy

Used to be elite

1337 used to be "elite" back in the early days of hacking; unfortunately the k00l k1d5 574r73d 70 wr1t3 l1k3 th15 and it became pretty lame, pretty fast.

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Steve Jobs denies Judas Phone antenna problems

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Oh, the coincidences...

... I had bought a 9700 a week before the Jobs statement about the 9700.

Before the death grip, I get -66. During the death grip, it goes down to -72 ... and then bounces back to -66, without me "ungripping" it. Not only is the dip in signal much lower than in the iPhone, the handset actually goes back to its original signal strength. Hell, the variation might have been even me moving the phone slightly when gripping it!

Apple is lying on the matter, and they're being called out for that. RIM already spoke on the matter, I'd expect other makers to do the same.

Oh ... and if it lost a couple of bars ... could it be that it had the same kind of "doctored" bar thresholds that the iPhone has? ;)

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Apple spews Judas Phone signal bar 'fix' to world+dog

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Power and Noise-to-Ratio

There are other variables that affect your calls. The lower the signal strength, the more power your handset will need to use for transmission. Another thing is that your handset might be better in handling low signals, which the iPhone 4 has been shown is capable of doing.

Having a handset where 1 bar is the threshold of "gonna lose the call" vs. one that "2 bars drops calls" ... I'd rather have the one where 1 bar is the call-losing one. Why? Because I can know in advance if I'm straying into a low signal zone.

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Blizzard climbs down on real names for WoW forums

Daniel B.
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FAIL

RealID ... it is in the name.

"1) RealID is not your real name (unless you choose it to be, in which case wtf are you complaining about?)"

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

RealID was optional (intended to make it mandatory on forums) but the requirement *is* for it to be your REAL name. Similar to Facebook.

And given that WoW users will have Credit Card details linked to them (for game payments), this means that their real names are definitely linked to their account as well. So it isn't like Facebook where I can just mangle my last name; I have to put my full real name.

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Android slurps market share from Apple, RIM, Microsoft

Daniel B.
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Thumb Down

Wasn't because of licensing

Apple suffered because they did the licensing thing too late. If they had done the move in the 80's, most of us would have been running System 7.1 by the time win95 came ... and win95 would've been dumped like the piece of trash it was.

However, by the time Apple started the licensing program, MS had already taken over the PC market. Most of the PC competitors (Amiga, RISC OS and such) were going poof, or had already been relegated to a niche market. By then, those interested in a cheap Mac were the remaining Mac users, not new users.

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Apple iPhone 4

Daniel B.
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Happy

Rejoice!

I suppose that new that s.44 has been officially killed, he can't get 44'd anymore. Happy snapping!

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SCO rises from the dead (again)

Daniel B.
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FAIL

Why can't you DIE already?

Why the hell does this company insist on beating a dead horse? Hell, even the author of the megablunder has been fired for this!

Whoever still has SCO stock and hasn't used it as toilet paper should get them to stop. It's pointless and stupid.

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Blizzard exposes real names on WoW forums

Daniel B.
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Thumb Down

Yeah, right.

"You realise that *everyone* will have their real name, don't you? So anyone doing the abusing will be identified as well."

Except the abuser will know this, so he won't post anything. He'll google your address, go to *your* house and beat the crap out of *you*. Tracing that kind of behaviour is pretty hard, while an agressor will have it easy to find out who he wants to hit, and where he lives.

"If it matters to you - don't use the forums."

I'm pretty sure that it matters to most of the useful people in the forums. Be prepared to see an empty Battle.net forum as soon as this goes up.

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Fusion reactor eats Euro science budgets

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Inefficient on Earth.

The only place where Solar energy is actually efficient is in Space, where you get the full juice without an atmosphere blocking it, no day/night cycles, and no bad weather to screw up the power output level. There is one project working on Space Solar stuff, though; it involves sending the harnessed energy as targeted microwaves to the surface.

For Earth-based stuff, Fusion is the only thing that will be able to keep up with our power requirements.

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'The internet's completely over', declares petulant Prince

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Kind of...

MTV got substituted by YouTube because MTV no longer shows videos at all. It had started the slippery slope into crap programming ever since they started putting boy band videos; then they went heavier on the whole "reality show" thing, so much that they are no longer a "video channel" at all. They've lost the 'M' in 'MTV'.

While discmans were shitty, the latest batch of walkmans had anti-shock systems that actually worked. Running and jumping wouldn't wobble the tape; they were very damn resilient for what they were worth. Hell, mine is still in perfect working order after 12 years! I agree on the Discmans though. The mp3-enabled ones were better, but an mp3 player fares much better in this field.

Downloads? Hm... only if you count allofmp3, coz the eyeTunes store is way too overpriced for me. I do agree that I'm more likely to rip my legally purchased CDs and slap them on my Blackberry, but that isn't quite 'downloading'. And I'd rather own a physical BluRay disc than depending on a streaming service when my internet link might go down.

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Monty appeals Oracle's Sun merger

Daniel B.
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Thumb Down

Doing a Monty

I thought that meant 'Selling me an RDBMS that doesn't have standard RDBMS features like transactions and referential integrity checks'. Monty's stubborness in saying that transactions were not needed at all in an RDBMS, that foreign keys were for lazy developers and other kinds of crap.

When I found out that BDB and InnoDB didn't have support for the BACKUP command, I simply said 'Fuck it. I'm going back to PostgreSQL.' Also, I'd like to note that InnoDB was also bought by Oracle, so they could've simply shut down InnoDB if they had wanted to kill MySQL, long before Sun acquired MySQL.

I'd rather like to see PostgreSQL replacing MySQL, as it is a more mature RDBMS, and one that is light years ahead from MySQL. Also, it would be good for a true FOSS DBMS to take over, and squash the weird mutants out there like NoSQL or the MUMPS-based hellspawn called Caché.

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3D TV: Avatar or Ishtar?

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Go

PS3 Firmware update

Don't worry, you won't need to pay for FW updates. Never have, never will, and they already added some kind of 3D support in the last FW release.

Unfortunately I can't acknowledge this, as mine is still running 3.15, thanks to the stupid decision of nuking OtherOS support. :(

Anyway, I'm glad that Blu-Ray won that format war, HD-DVD sounded stupid and it also baffles me that anyone would back an inferior product at all. On storage capacities, it was like the 5.25" trying to beat the 3.5" floppy disc, or the Compact Casette trying to beat the CD. Then again, it has happened before ... with the 8 track tape.

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Daniel B.
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Gesture gaming is a joke

" the future of gaming is non-hardcore... think Wiii, think Kinect, think 3/4+ people playing gesture games"

All I can *think* about that is that guy from the Kinect presentation playing Dance Central and looking like a dork. It looks like something out of "Decline of Video Gaming" that even the creators of THAT series didn't imagine possible.

However, I do agree that 3D whatever isn't just ready for consumers yet. The "wear funny glasses" kind works well for the movie theater, but fails for home use. And the few glass-less 3D devices I've seen can only be used in certain angles, and are usually headache-inducing. Ow.

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Microsoft's past - the future to Android's iPhone victory

Daniel B.
Silver badge
FAIL

Developing countries have already shunned the iBone.

Don't worry, though ... they're *also* shunning the Android thingys as well. The only ones I've seen over here (Mexico) are the Motorola Dext and something called the Motoroi. And that last one is for the minority CDMA network... I'd like to see how it fares with the iPhone, which is an exclusive to Telcel, the carrier with 80% market over here.

I'd like to note that at my workplace everyone has smartphones. One guy has an iPhone. Unlike the Linux/Windows wars, the OS choice is linked to specific devices, which have a price tag. iPhone's price tag is somewhere near the "average income of a Mexican family"; the subsidized with 18-mo contracts are cheaper but few mobile users have contracts; most of them are on PAYG.

Blackberries are the ones that have been doing some inroads lately, as there are lots of them on sale on the $200 price tag, something that can be bought by middle-class people without wincing. Android handsets also seem to have a decent price tag, so those are selling even though there is close to none marketing for Android over here. Even though I've seen few Android handsets, there are more of those than iPhone handsets. And the few iPhones I've seen ... well... a couple of them are the hiPhone knockoff. I doubt Apple will ever have a raving success here in Mexico.

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Apple denies iPhone 4 antenna glitch, blames inaccurate signal bars

Daniel B.
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Boffin

not the full story though

Anandtech seems to have missed one important factor on signal strength vs. SNR. Low signal strength means the handset will have to ramp up its transmission power to compensate for the signal strength. So yes, you can make calls at -113, but that also means your battery's going down real hard, real fast.

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Chrome squeaks past Safari in US

Daniel B.
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Black Helicopters

Safari-jacked

hm... Apple did their own share of 'viral' marketing ... in the manner of installing itself without the user realizing it on the next Apple Update batch. Google at least told you to download it.

So a part of Safari's share might be users that found themselves with a new browser, decided to check it out and kept it. Probably IE6 users.

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Neuroscientist: iPhone 4's 'Retina display' not bullsh*t

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Problem with that...

The justification of using terms the wrong way for the sake of marketing has been an issue for a lot of tech stuff, as the misuse and/or exaggeration have increased recently.

For example:

My 1981 Stereo (which is around my age) is a 60 Watt stereo. Cranking the volume up to 10 will be very frickin' loud.

My mom's minicomponent says it is a "2600 Watt" stereo. If you compared my 60 Watt stereo with those numbers, you would expect for the entire house to vibrate with that sound, and all the windows to explode. Oh wait! It says "2600 Watt *PMPO*". Hey! The Sound Engineer tells me these are fake watts!!!

Hard disks have been conning people with the assumption that kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes are calculated on base-1000, instead of the universally used base-1024. Thus, every time the prefix increases (mega to giga, giga to tera), you're getting LESS storage space for your money. RAM sticks do comply with the base-1024 standard, because non-base-1024 RAM would crash your computer. (This problem has been aggravated by pedantic engineers who insist on slapping the useless base-1000 to the kilobyte/megabyte, and even invented a rarely used "kibibyte", "mebibyte" and such. HDD manufacturers can now keep on ripping off consumers.)

Some newer cellphone cameras claim a large number of megapixels, however these are achieved by some weird process which blurs the extra megapixels. You'll find these cams with cheap Chinese knockoffs. Also, you may have noticed that some cameras offer real big zoom capabilites which are really achieved by "digital zoom".

Storage tapes, at least in the DAT area, will claim a 40Gb capacity ... then you find out that it gets full at 7Gb. WTF? Oh, that was 40Gb *compressed*. Bad luck, dude!

There are a lot of other claims that are outright lies, or playing with terminology, but it's pub o'clock over here, and I really, really gotta go now. Enjoy!

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HP buys iTunes jailbreaker

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Drag & Drop

This is the main complaint I get from my sister. She got an iPod shuffle 1GB as a present from my dad a couple of years ago; I used it once and wondered why the playlist was so random. My sis told me that it was annoying, because iTunes would grab all her playlist and chuck it all into the iPod until no more space was left. It seems that checking/unchecking the boxes of a zillion mp3's isn't my sister's idea of "user-friendly". And I also concur.

She said that she would rather have one of those cheapo mp3 players all her friends had, as she would only need to drag & drop the mp3s on it, and it would also double as a USB pendrive.

I'd also like to note that my sister isn't that IT savvy at all. She just hates the iTunes sync option.

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Jobs tells iPhone users to get a grip

Daniel B.
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Dear Jobs,

I'm left-handed. Does this mean I'm forsaken from the iPhone?

Errr... I'll stick with my Blackberry then.

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RISC OS runs on fastest hardware ever

Daniel B.
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Go

Yeah, but ...

x86 hardware blows goats.

The fact that ARM has basically taken over all the other embedded device markets is something that is indeed impressive. The day someone comes out with an ARM-based "PC" and actually gets it to take a bite from the Wintel majority, it will be as revolutionary as the first PCs themselves.

Meanwhile, I'll have to keep on suffering the almost 30 year old x86 arch that has been patched over to look like it's actually good.

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Bluetooth: wireless wonder or digital dead end?

Daniel B.
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Thumb Up

Ubiquitous, indeed.

I'd say that I've been using BT heavily ever since I got my first BT-enabled handset. It serves as a configuration-less tethering option (PAN profile), file transfer with my PC, or mobile-to-mobile file transfers, which seems to be its most used feature.

Then, when I bought my PS3, I added up the use of BT controllers, and a BT remote that I can use when I'm using my PS3 as a DVD or BluRay player. (No more pointing to the device!)

It is also real good for use with bluetooth headphones, handsfree devices and even BT-enabled car stereo. Adding the fact that my Blackberry supports voice-activated dialing, well, that's even better!

I haven't seen anything close to replacing Bluetooth at this moment. My only complaint is that the cheap USB dongles use some weird kind of software driver + software (BlueSoleil) that sometimes craps out. However, it is excellent for mobile devices!

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Naked Cowboy wrestles Naked Cowgirl

Daniel B.
Silver badge
WTF?

eeeeeeeeeeeek!

Oh dear! I think that's what we get for saying "pics or it didn't happen"!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash my eyes.

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'Toothed' condom hits rapists where it hurts

Daniel B.
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Thumb Down

Old news?

These devices have been in the news for years. And as most commenters have only noted, it is useless as the rape would already be in progress when this thingy goes off; rapists will just proceed to check the girl first, or just cut the cheese and go for anal rape. Not so smart.

The only "plus" on these things is that they only "jail" the penis; some other African "anti-rape" incarnations are far more brutal, involving razors or what I'd call "Bobbit devices"... that is, devices that slice & dice your todger. OUCH.

Anyway, the bet is that the guy will be so concerned with his pain that the victim will be able to run. Somehow, if the guy's already inside her, I doubt she will be able to do that. Murder seems to be a more probable outcome.

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Microsoft unveils – wait for it – another mobile OS

Daniel B.
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RE: Succeed again?

I think you're forgetting BlackBerry OS. It isn't only massively successful, it is leading the enterprise market. Their decision to go down the Phone 7 "iPhone wannabe" market may have boosted the BlackBerryOS market even more; by the time they come up with the enterprisey flavor, it might be too late.

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Daniel B.
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I had a Jornada.

I got it second-hand when I was working for a state government. The damn thing was really useful... but MS decided to kill Windows CE in favor of the Windows Mobile OS. It also did no good that HP ditched the Jornada itself, and went for the horrible iPAQ.

The Psion devices are something I envy you guys ... none of them reached Mexico. :(

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NASA: Civilization will end in 2013 (possibly)

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Except...

... there are a whole bunch of businesses that are now totally dependent on that high tech, even if you don't use it. If it were to happen that, say, a large bank had its systems go down, it would probably mean the end of that bank in a matter of days if it can't be brought up. A big chunk of "money" only exists in cyberspace; take all those fancy computers out, and all your Credit Cards will suddenly become nothing more than useless plastic cards with no value.

If banks go down, and money goes poof ... well, I'd bet that would be one hell of a market crash. Yeeeeowch!

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Feds block sale of crooks' favourite messaging client

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Unhappy

Direct Chat

In the olden times before NATting, you could do an "ICQ Chat", which made a direct peer-to-peer connection, and all your keystrokes were sent in real-time. That was ICQ's biggest appeal; and IIRC most messaging would be made peer-to-peer, unless the other person was offline.

Of course, thanks to AOL, most of this was lost; the latest ICQ versions ditched the real-time chat, and it is now nothing more than a glorified MSN/Yahoo IM system.

Which of course, now enables the US government to spy on your messages, which wasn't really that easy to do in the early peer-to-peer ICQ days.

I still use ICQ occasionally, but most of my contacts left ICQ years ago. Sad...

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Microsoft and Oracle lose among open sourcers

Daniel B.
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Geeze...

I thought that DB2 and Sybase had even a larger share than MS SQL Server. The only guys that get stuck with SQL Server are those who were saddled with .net projects; the rest of us prefer using non-MS-biased DBMSen.

That said, I'd rather use PostgreSQL than MySQL; the fact that an RDBMS was originally built without things like transactions and referential integrity makes me weary of them; especially when their early documentation seemed to trash basic ACID concepts as useless.

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GCHQ: The uncensored story of Britain's most secret intelligence agency

Daniel B.
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Happy

Vonderful!

So, you found ze Enigma machine!

Alan Turing will be reading your message in 2 hours, tops.

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Ubuntu tablet threat to iPad? Nah

Daniel B.
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Actually, that's where Ubuntu's on the right track.

They are not rushing in to the tablet market. They are *not* trying to imitate iOS. It seems they understand that real innovation isn't just running after Apple and doing a half-baked attempt at imitation; real innovation is bringing something that the users will find useful.

SonyEricsson copied a half-baked implementation of the iPod menu. It sucked.

BlackBerry kind of copied the same concept ... but added "text search", which is a major improvement. They rocked.

So any "iPhone killer" or "iPad killer" will not actually be a look-alike, it will be something more useable, and quite different from the iPad.

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Ubuntu 'more secure' than Windows, says Dell

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

souped up sudo

The apps asking for "administrator" password are just masking a GUI equivalent of sudo. The reason you can use your "superuser" password there is because that initial user is given unrestricted sudo privileges by the default install. But the user itself isn't a superuser.

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MS names 'Natal'... Kinect

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Still an EyeToy

Really, it is just a souped up version of the EyeToy. If it isn't using a controller, it is using image recognition for detecting people ... which is what the EyeToy does. About the only interesting game I remember seeing for that was the Anti-Grav game for the PS2.

I don't see this being a 'Wii killer' at all. Hell, I doubt it would even surpass the PS3 "glowball" thing!

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Penguin chief: Linux must 'out fabulous' Apple's iPhone

Daniel B.
Silver badge

Windows has never been the big competitor.

Symbian has the top dog status.

BB OS has the second place, and outside the US it is gaining a lot. I've noticed an upsurge of people toting BlackBerries in the last 6 months, makes me wonder if there is some kind of offering for these phones.

Hell, PALM OS is still a worthy contender, with a couple of users that have stuck to their Treos. In fact, I think the Treo sales went down when they started coming with WinMo.

So Linux-based mobile OSen are taking the battle with all of these; though this guy is spot on with the main argument: "awesome UI" is everything. Hell, some people jumped to Linux after the Beryl demos started showing up in YouTube; they still thought it was something hard to learn, but DAMN if they weren't going to have that badass 3D desktop on their PCs!!!

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Security gaffe exposes addresses of elite iPaders

Daniel B.
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Joke

Goatse Security?

Does that mean that those who got their emails found will shortly recieve an .. err... shocking image which was oh so popular in the net a couple of years ago?

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Sadville founder lays off 30% of staff

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Unhappy

Banning stuff = fail.

The problem with SL was that Linden started banning stuff here and there, turning entire industries illegal and destroying them overnight. The Gambling Ban came in so sudden that it caused the first of many virtual Bank runs; Ginko Financial was particuarly hit because the gambling biz people started withdrawing all their money en masse.

Then, after a series of scandals involving shady business practices by both "virtual" stock exchanges like the WSE, or the other bank runs that followed Ginko... Linden decided to ban banks as well, instead of regulating them. Bam! There goes another big chunk of money, and by then, a good bunch of SL entrepreneurs and investors decided that they couldn't trust an economy where money can go poof without any warning.

Linden just let the whole thing stink, so many of the people who were actually turning in a profit, and thus giving Linden Labs a steady flow of income with both land tax and Lindex fees just left. Truly sad.

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SA vultures under threat from brain-smoking gamblers

Daniel B.
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Joke

Undercover Vulture

If you guys are going to SA, hide your vulture logos ... and watch out for "muti" cultists 'round Vulture Central! ;)

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Jobs woos devs with iPhone OS iOS 4

Daniel B.
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Happy

Cisco

Because last I heard, IOS was Cisco's OS for their networking gear. And they've been using it for much longer than Apple.

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Net shakeup looms as IPv4 resources start running low

Daniel B.
Silver badge
FAIL

fugly notation

This is also my complaint on IPv6. Granted, the numbers are bigger, but even something like 1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10.11.12.13.14.15.16 looks much prettier than 2001:dead:beef:6666:9999:blahblah. Also, an ugly side-effect of IPv6's implementation is that you actual MAC address will turn up in the IPv6 addy, which means that anyone sniffing your IP has your MAC address, which can be used to bypass MAC filtering. Whoops!

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Does it?

*runs BlackBerry Diagnostics*

Signal Level: -60 dBm

Radio Access: UMTS

Network: xxxxxx

IP Address: 10.225.60.15

Hm... that looks like IPv4 to me. There are probably a bunch of mobile devices that don't support IPv6, which means "the big switch" is still far from becoming a reality. :(

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Tokyo Tech dumps Sun super iron for HP, NEC

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Meh

I first thought that they had dumped a superior platform for the garbage x64 iron, but then I read "Opteron". Then they just switched garbage for garbage, the only thing worth mentioning was the OS swapping, which is for the worst anyway.

We need a new Cray dude. The HPC segment is stagnating!

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Microsoft: IE6 lives 'cause it busts Facebook

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Some companies...

simply block everything. Block outgoing traffic from work PCs, and problem solved!

Sometimes they'll provide a proxy, which only allows you to surf authorized sites. All the others are banned. :(

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Should we be encrypting backups?

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Don't lose that private key, dude!

I once decided to do a system-wide backup, and then encrypted the .tar.bz2 files with PGP. It was a wonder, as I had 8 CDs worth of backup data there for the picking, and secured so that losing them wouldn't mean somebody would read all the data in it.

Then I lost the private key I used. I ended up with tons of data that I couldn't access, and my laptop decided to croak during this time. Fortunately, after 2 months of searching, I remembered that I had put a backup of my keyring on a floppy disk, conveniently stashed in my mom's safe deposit box. I was able to retrieve my backups; and I've made it so that the private key is now backed up in many different media as well. But damn, that was a close one!

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Woman sues Google after highway knockdown

Daniel B.
Silver badge

BB Maps 1-Ups this one

Google Maps, for some awkward reason, has all the info on Mexico City (even the "one way" street flows) but doesn't give directions from X to Y. BlackBerry Maps does, but while I was monkeying around with it, I asked for it to give me directions from the northernmost point of the city to my apartment. Everything was well... until I noticed that the route I was given included a 5 km. stretch where I would be basically going on a traffic-packed one-way avenue... the wrong way.

There are other things wrong with the BB Maps info (like showing the M-57D as M-45D) but the "wrong way" route takes the cake.

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