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* Posts by Daniel B.

2620 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Bluetooth: wireless wonder or digital dead end?

Daniel B.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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Approaching space object 'artificial, not asteroid' says NASA

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Does it look like the Voyager?

Just transmit it the 'welcome back home' code. Don't wait for it to get pissed off!

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Oracle kills AMD Opteron on Sun iron

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Dog turd or hamster turd ... still a turd.

Anything x86 is a turd. Oracle has Sparc, they should be dumping *all* x86/64 roadmaps and offer a smooth transition to Sparc64 instead. They already have all their users under Solaris or Linux, jumping to another arch isn't that hard. Oracle is one of the few companies that could actually make people switch to something good; AMD was the only innovator, and the only thing they really did was bolt on 64-bits on the crappy Intel arch.

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Cisco bugs surrender control of building's critical systems

Daniel B.
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Boffin

You got it wrong

The actual combination will be

cisco/class

which is what we were told to use in our CCNA courses.

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Queuing for an iPad? Why?

Daniel B.
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the "TV as radio" effect

This has become very common. So much, in fact, that I'm suffering because some Latin American cable channels have ditched the English audio, instead running every single frickin' show in Spanish. Why? Because housewives just turn on the TV to "watch" programs while they do other stuff. Unless they are proficient in English, they won't understand it, so they want Spanish-dubbed programming. Never mind that Digital Cable gives you the choice to have both audio tracks; some channels like Fox Life have just dropped the English audio.

"iPad! What's it good for? Absolutely nothin'!"

Nice take on the "War" song!

I'll also go for a Linux-based tablet, or even the possible WebOS pad that HP is planning. iPad's too big, too restrictive to be an option.

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Windows 3.0 turns 20

Daniel B.
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EMM386

Windows could (and had to) use EMM386 to run. Win 3.1 also managed it.

I'd like to add that MS-DOS 6.2 and Win 3.1 were kinda good for me.

MS-DOS 6.22 and Win 3.11 were something ugly. For some deranged reason, they were incompatible! Backups made with MS Backup 6.2 wouldn't restore with 6.22, and there were a lot of weird differences between them.

I just skipped over to Win95, and consigned Win 3.11 at the same place I sent Win ME and Vista.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

'98 was also a shell

Win '98 used the same DOS 7 / Win98 wrapper. Hell, ME also used it! The real jump was Win2000/XP, because that was when MS discontinued the DOS+Windows line, and jumped everyone into the NT platform.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

WinXP 5.1

I know this because I had to check the kernel versions about 4 years ago.

I do find it funny that Windows 7 is a miscount, but then again, it isn't that different from Vista, so MS couldn't just skip the NT counter to 7.0. But it does look quite weirder than Solaris counting techniques (where SunOS 5.4 is Solaris 4) as there is no actual relation between their 7 and the version numbering.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Holy Crap

That explains why my PCMCIA card stopped working after I formatted it. That was a 4Mb PCMCIA Flash Drive that went with our Kodak DC50 digital camera; I formatted it under Windows XP and it never worked again with the camera. Had I known...

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Apple kills 'Get a Mac' ad campaign

Daniel B.
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I'm a PC... and I'm a fruity PC

The smugness of launching the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" campaign right around the time they switched to the same crappy x86 arch used in el-cheapo PCs was astonishing. It also served as a showcase of "look, the Mac dude feels superior!" which has been Apple's attitude as of late. Anyway, good riddance to that campaign, lets see what they'll bring now.

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Isaac Newton's apple tree off to spaaaace

Daniel B.
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Happy

There is no apple

In fact, the apple incident was made up by Newton, upon a reporter's insisting on how he had come upon the whole Gravitational idea. It does make for a nice story, though, and it has permeated as part of common knowledge.

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Win XP SP2 support to cease in two months

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Seen that, actually.

A mobile comms shop mucking with walkie-talkies and CB radio gear kept one of their PCs with win95, because all the software they needed to tinker with their comms gear wasn't NT compatible. Given how MS screwed up with Vista, I wouldn't be surprised if XP still ran in most computers by the cutoff date.

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Bill Gates backs ball-busting ultrasound

Daniel B.
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Alert

Semen-less contraception

While this method doesn't remove semen, I remember reading about a method which in fact inhibited semen as well. Now that one I'd complain on rendering males unable to *come*.

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'Tamper evident' CPU warns of malicious backdoors

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Tamper-proof better

There is specialized hardware that manages to do a better job of preventing something like this, and it is usually known as tamper-*proof* hardware. Some of the crypto chips inside the System z mainframes use it, and most of the DoD uses some type of tamperproof hardware. Mission-Impossible style self-destruct occurs if someone tries to open these babies, thus making the "tamper aware" thingy redundant.

And then again ... few will try to go down the hardware "hack the CPU" approach, and if they are going down this route, you're probably screwed anyway.

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Was Microsoft's Office 2010 worth killing Clippy?

Daniel B.
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Thumb Down

Ribbon

... will be the main reason I won't upgrade to anything after Office2003. I hate that stupid interface, and I'm not alone in that one. If Office 2010 doesn't offer a magic "old style" mode, I'm not buying it either.

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Exam board deletes C and PHP from CompSci A-levels

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Crappy list

Pascal I can understand, as its syntax is excellent for data structure concepts.

Delphi... I haven't seen that in at least a decade.

VB should be banned from any course, *especially* VB6!!!!

Java would be the only language on that list that I actually think should be there, and maybe Pascal because of the aforementioned "learning syntax".

Removing C doesn't look so bright, though...

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80% of devs chafe at Apple's App Store cash split

Daniel B.
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Boffin

I'd complain more about the "approval" process.

30% doesn't sound excessive, but then I'm paying 40%/year interest rates on my Credit Cards. However, I'm more concerned on the Jobsphere banning apps here and there just because Jobs didn't like a particular app, considers it useless, or whatever His Jobsiness believes is "wrong for you".

I'd also like an App Store that doesn't have those idiotic region locks; it has always been annoying that many shops have some kind of region lock (US only! EU only!) when the whole Internet Commerce idea was based on the premise of a borderless market. Oh and of course ... no "single appstore" lock as well.

Interesting note: 10% of devs use Objective C. No sh*t Sherlock ... only the Appleistas would use a language that looks like the unnatural offspring of C and Smalltalk, instead of Java, C++ or even C#.

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Code-execution bug found in Apple Safari

Daniel B.
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Whoops!

I 'spose you mean "Moctezuma's Revenge" ;)

Safari is also an adventure that sometimes ends up with you being eaten by lions. Whoopee!!

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EA imposes used games tax

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

Origin rocked

... and those might have been the only games from an EA subsidiary that I have bought and actually enjoyed. Unfortunately, Origin's dead, and EA now equates with mediocre sports games. Now they're pimping the second-hand games market as well, and I am reaffirmed in not buying EA games again.

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Nokia tops iPhone and BlackBerry (again)

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Boffin

You haven't checked your poor countries well, my friend...

"and of course, Nokia's is usually giving phones away free with contracts - in poorer countries this means that they can easily grab a large market share."

... except, in poorer countries the proles will go down the PAYG road instead of chaining themselves into an 18-month contract. No free phones, and the cheapest smartphones are somewhre around a $300 or $400 price tag.

So smartphone users are weeded out to those who do have the money to buy 'em, or those who actually want to get into a contract; Blackberries, iPhones and even the Nokia smartphones are on par over here. Yet most people are flocking for Nokias and Blackberries... and I've seen *THREE* of my friends with an iPhone. One of 'em is a 2G, the other two 3G. No 3GSs here, and one of them lost her iPhone ... she hasn't replaced it.

If any smartphone is gaining traction over here, it seems to be the Blackberries.

By the way, comparing Apple gear to Porsches isn't quite right. They're Hummers ... expensive, rich status symbols but ultimately just an expensive toy doing the same stuff that other vehicles do. A Porsche actually runs real fast... the iPhone doesn't even multitask in the real sense of the word. And it still won't do it with OS4!

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3TB Seagate disk drive ahoy

Daniel B.
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Unhappy

Real TBs or "fake" TBs?

'Coz I suppose they're still pulling off the 1TB = 1000GB, 1GB = 1000MB, 1MB = 1000KB, 1KB = 1000 byte scam.

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Jobs: One million iPads sold

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Hm...

Am I the only one seeing Jobs sitting in Dr. Evil's chair, saying...

ONE MILLION IPADS!!!

Meh. There are other tablets out there, though I'd wonder how they are doing. I remember seeing one in 2005; actually a small laptop but with a 180° rotating screen, so you could twist the thing and have only the screen showing. Oh, it also had handwriting recognition...

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Sony sued for dropping Linux from PS3

Daniel B.
Silver badge
Troll

Fair-rights use

Copying for personal purposes is legal - there was a huge battle over this back in the 80's. That's the main reason you can tape Dr. House or whatever show you want from TV without being a "copyright infringer". This is supposed to apply to all media, even DVDs and Blu-Ray, so you can have personal copies for, say, your mp3 player or watching on your mobile device. Some DRM schemes have actually enabled features like this.

Sony PS3 games are overpriced, but then *all* the frickin' games are overpriced, not just the PS3 ones. I've bought every single game, and the PS3 games are uncrackable because of technical limitations; we don't have the "special hardware" to write the encryption keys for BD. Get it? it is FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE to make a workable ISO for a Blu-Ray disc. There are not going to be pirate games for a long time. OtherOS isn't going to "break" the protection scheme, and those of us who want to use it aren't "freetards" wanting everything for nothing. All I want is to use the CellBE processor to do experimental stuff, I don't want to run shady ISOs of pirated games (which don't exist) or cracking Blu-Rays (which is useless, AACS changes keys and you should know this).

Stop trolling dude. Not every guy who knows how to program more than your average PC/Mac user is an "evil hacker" or a "freetard".

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Daniel B.
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Unhappy

Yeah, right.

The ones who are pissed off at Sony are the dual Linux/gamer users that both use the PS3 Linux install to do some number crunching, but then switch over to the GameOS and play games. The irony is that the OtherOS removal hits exactly the kind of demographic that is actually giving Sony profits, because they are actually buying games for their PS3. Or *were* buying games; I am definitely not amused at this and have halted my PS3 game purchases for now.

I've been pondering on buying one of the first-model PS3s with full PS2 BC, and get that PS3 to update to the "OtherOS-less" firmware, but I'm not quite sure about doing that. I would still be giving Sony my $$$...

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Lights out at Lala - Apple shutters music service

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Just borging competition

I doubt it had anything to do with adding services, and more with destroying competition. Kill iTunes competition! Destroy! Destroy!

@Pirate Dave: I remember a similar argument being made against CDs when compared with vinyl. Most human beings won't notice the difference between a vinyl record, CD or MP3 recording, unless the MP3 is encoded ad a stupidly low bitrate. However, I do like to have CDs, as they have the full audio thingy and encode 'em to whatever bitrate I want to.

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World smartphone sales: Apple closes on RIM...

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Most of the N and E phones, I'd say.

There are a lot of N and E series phones that would quallify as smartphones. And they're damn good as well!

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Daniel B.
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Applies to Apple as well

How many of those "new handsets" are actually iPhone 2G owners swapping 'em for iPhone 3GSs? Most of the people who wanted an iPhone have one at this point, so most sales will be replacement phones. Which is ensured by Apple killing support on older versions of the handset.

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AOL first quarter sales nosedive 23 per cent

Daniel B.
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Serves them right

They were the 'internet for dummies' ISP of the 90s. Then they started charging craploads for their service, which was the worst of the "extra value networks" (Compuserve, Prodigy and such). It only survived as much because most of the rural US didn't have broadband... as soon as broadband came, AOL users left in droves.

Oh, and don't forget their 'free trials', where you would be unable to cancel and your credit card would get charged on day 31.

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