* Posts by Syd

81 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007

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DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life

Syd

Minecraft

My (10yo) son got Minecraft working on the latest Ubuntu - he even (after much swearing) persuaded some mods to work. It was a very good exercise actually - forced him to learn stuff about how it all works.

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The Metro experiment is dead: Time to unleash Windows Phone+

Syd
FAIL

They don't JUST need a roadmap...

... they need a roadmap devs will actually believe; and given MS's corporate ADHD* over the past few years this is the root of the problem.

(* The next big thing is... Winforms... oh no, sorry, it's actually Silverlight... oh no, sorry, it's actually WPF... oh no, sorry, it's actually RT...)

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Microsoft: TypeScript isn't a JavaScript killer

Syd
FAIL

Shrug

I respect AH enormously - clearly one of the geniuses of our profession. And I love C#. But I'm not even going to waste my time looking at this, because I just don't trust Microsoft to follow-through any more - they've cried wolf too many times over the past few years.

Atlas... Silverlight... WPF... Metro... TypeScript.

It's like a bad case of framework ADHD.

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Rumour: Asus rejects $99 Nexus 7... rumour

Syd

Re: "Google Play shop to which the Nexus 7 is tightly tied"

While this is clearly correct, it isn't quite the full story - you have to manually turn on 'Allow unknown sources' in the security settings; and when you do so it presents you with quite a severe "security warning" dialog, which basically says that you are putting your device and your data at risk by doing this; so I can't see many non-techies doing it, to be honest, which makes it "psychologically tied", shall we say, even if not physically tied.

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Lowery: The blue-collar musician at the eye of the copyright storm

Syd

Re: "get a real job" ? Interesting concept ..

Actually, the upper-end of the medical profession (surgeons/ dental surgeons/ etc.) are *highly* vulnerable to being replaced by technology within the next 50 years. You will be diagnosed by a computer that scans your body, and you will be operated on by nanobots which don't even need to break the skin. It is going to be an interesting process too - I don't expect the medical profession to go down without a fight; but go down they will.

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Dish Networks locks horns with broadcasters over ad skipping

Syd

Careful What You Wish For (The Facebook Problem)

One of the reasons we all jumped to Facebook from mySpace was the ads - they were much more discreet on FB, but this also meant that FB's ads were much less effective, so FB had to resort to more... er... 'artful' ways of making money.

So, if you think product placements are bad now, just wait until the TV networks can't make anything on regular advertising because of tech like this.

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Amazon takes on Microsoft Azure head on

Syd

Analysis Services?

Are they planning to support SSAS? (Which The-Artist-Formerly-Know-As-Azure doesn't.)

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Apple blocking Dropbox SDK over in-app buying

Syd

You can't use the Amazon app to buy Kindle books, 'cos they can be used on the device.

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Syd

Re: Children

Well, the Kindle iPhone app had to disable the links; which certainly implies it isn't allowed, as it is ruinous to the user experience, so they would only have done it if 'forced'.

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iTunes fanbois outraged by Apple's sex-life quiz probe

Syd

Re: Dealing With The Silly Aspects of The World

"I have often resorted to the tag '<name of company>Cr*p'. Oddly enough I have no trouble remembering that one!"

Won't work - it demands a different answer to each question.

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Syd
FAIL

Re: er ....

No, of course, but you ARE supposed to give the EXACT same answer.

Will you really remember in 5 years time whether you typed "On my arse" or "On the arse"?

(Security questions aren't silly in principle, but ones with ambiguous answers are!)

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Extended software support 'immoral and indefensible'

Syd

“… extended support fees are a cynical ploy by the ISVs to extract more cash from their customers.”

Garner, in contrast, are a charity who give all their stuff away for free.

C'mon - let's get real here - everyone knows that this is basically a "hire purchase" model by any other name, and everyone is happy with that - if they weren't, then they wouldn't buy! Or they'd buy, but be prepared to may MUCH more up-front... which (speaking as a director of one-such ISV) they won't, because they don't have the cash up front.

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Hands on with the Apple iPad 3

Syd

Does dictation require an internet connection?

(Asked in the other thread and didn't get an answer there!)

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'The new iPad' revealed: Full specs, rumor scorecard

Syd

Dictation Requires Internet?

Has anyone worked out whether the dictation features requires an internet connection?

(No reason in theory why it should - voice-rec software is available stand-alone for PC.)

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iPhone demand strong months after 4S release

Syd

BB Poor Satisfaction = Misleading

Isn't BB's poor satisfaction rating due to the fact that an awful lot of them will be corporate-issued 'work' phones, about which the user had little choice?

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Biker gang plunders Covent Garden Apple Store

Syd

How Inconsiderate!

They could at least have held-off the raid until a suitable mourning period had elapsed - I'd suggest perhaps one-to-two weeks might have been more appropriate.

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School caned for losing 20K details

Syd
Boffin

9 People/ Pupil?

Probably at least half of the data was expired - i.e. pupils who have left. That leaves 4/ pupil, which sounds about right - IIRC our son's school wanted details of two grandparents as well as parents, in case both parents die simultaneously, which happens more often that we would want to believe, e.g. in as car accident.

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Amazon Kindle Lighted Leather Cover

Syd
Boffin

This is because...

... the unlit case used the same connectors (which connect directly to the battery, thus allowing the light to... er... light up in the lit version) but with the unlit case, the connectors were painted-over with resistive (is that a word???) paint.

However, with the unlit case, the resistive paint wore off, shorting the battery and causing the Kindle to (technical term alert!) go squiffy.

The lit case will obviously not do this, because there is a switch/ bulb in the way of the 'short' connection!

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Ten... festival survival gadgets

Syd

Oddly...

... I also used one in Bangalore recently. The high-pitched hum was audible to me, but it did seem to be effective so I lived with the temporary tinnitus... which if you are at a festival, you probably have anyway!!

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Facebook's mega-billion-dollar bubble ... will it float?

Syd
Boffin

The bicycle & courting

> The bicycle has been called the greatest contribution to the health of the working classes ever: it allowed courting outside the home village for the first time

This is a myth, according to Prof. Kevin Schurer (University of Essex Dept. of History) who knows far more about these things than any normal person should!

People married outside their village plenty in the Tudor period - there were exceptions of course, in particular communities, but in most places people would commonly marry up to 100 miles away... although rarely in the NEXT-DOOR village, oddly - presumably because of local rivalries!

(Have summed-up years of Prof. Schurer's research in a few lines - hope I haven't misrepresented it too much!)

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Menorcan politician flashes substantial chesticles

Syd
FAIL

Aren't El Reg...

... under some sort of legal obligation to mirror the page under these circumstances?

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Dig deep! Radio asks taxpayers for blank cheque

Syd

And even if you buy a new car...

... it won't necessarily have DAB - my wife's brand new, top-of-the-range Nissan doesn't!

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Ion readies book scanner for e-book buffs

Syd
FAIL

Wow!

So I could scan the book I'm reading at the moment (The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton) in... let's see... factoring in 10 seconds for a page turn (probably very optimistic)... ignoring sleep and the endless hours in on the phisio's table recovering from the resulting RSI... 3 days!

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WTF is... up with e-book pricing?

Syd

Touching!

You don't seriously believe that if you'll be able to download (for nothing) the same books that you bought for Kindle in 2010 onto 'Son of Kindle III' in 2020?

"Oh sorry - that isn't the same book - we upgrade the print to a high-definition format, with color capability, so you need to pay again!"

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US smartphones – Once you’ve had Android there’s no going back

Syd

Android = Poor Man's iPhone

This proves nothing except that some Android phones are much cheaper than an iPhone. The only Android phone which is making any traction in the real-world is the Sony X10 Mini, because it is small. Outside of that, I would be willing to bet at well over 90% of 'normal' Android users (i.e. not techies) would swap to an iPhone in a heartbeat if the price was the same. Basically, the Android is an iPhone for people who can't afford an iPhone.

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Apple iPod Nano 6G

Syd
Jobs Horns

Bad Idea?

Not from where (Evil) Steve is standing!!

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Syd
FAIL

Video Playback

I might have bought this to replace my 3rd Gen Nano, but I actually *do* use the video playback when I'm on the road - I'm not sure I'd want to watch a movie on it, but for shorter bites, like a TV box-set, it does the job, so no sell!

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Ten Essential... Symbian Apps

Syd

As an E71 Owner

I have to say that this just demonstrates the paucity of what is available, compared to the iPhone or even a gPhone.

Admittedly, the OVI Store is an improvement on what went before, but...

/ Green-eyed monster of jealously icon!

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London bike hire scheme suffers pre-launch wobbles

Syd
Pint

Thanks For Clarifying

So, not "completely bonkers" then! (To quote my earlier post!)

(We need a 'Jaffa Cake' icon - they have one on mumsnet, you know!! Or... er... so I'm told, by... er... friends!!)

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Syd
WTF?

£1 Per Day?

£365 per year? Just to be registered to hire a bike for a further £x per hour?

I've misunderstood this, right?

Or are they really that completely bonkers?

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BBC chief acknowledges DAB flop & internet radio

Syd
Joke

Sorry I'm Late, Boss

But my internet connection was down, so my alarm didn't go off!

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ID cards poster girl laments her £30

Syd

Obviously Doomed?

While I agree with the general sentiments entirely, which I think could be neatly summed up as: Ha-ha!

Nevertheless... "obviously doomed"?

Do you really believe that a majority conservative government would have scrapped them?

'Cos... given who tried to introduce them in the first place, 20-odd years ago... I don't!!

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Fanboi's lament – falling out of love with the iPad

Syd

But...

... it doesn't work as a stand-alone computer, does it? You can't upload photos from your digital camera; you can't back-up your documents; you can't copy-over your existing music collection; etc. etc. etc... UNLESS you have (and can use) another "real" computer.

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.NET for iPad stretches to Google's Android

Syd

"it's become unclear whether MonoTouch is actually allowed on the Jobsian machine"

Is anyone able to explain why there would any doubt whatsoever that it is NOT allowed? The Ts&Cs explicitly say "Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript".

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Carmakers and blind boosters boost noisy leccy plan

Syd
Paris Hilton

I just have this funny feeling...

... that if we were in the process of moving from electric to gasoline, the world would be up in arms about how noisy internal combustion engines are, and we'd be devising regulations to force them towards silence.

(Paris... because...oh damn it - I can't think of a funny reason!)

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ASA bans tyrannical German boss ad

Syd
Joke

Ever so slightly off-topic

Whenever I think of The Germans, I always have this feeling of great sadness - knowing that I will never, ever (even if I live to be 100) laugh so much again, as I did when I first heard the line 'Yes you did - you invaded Poland.'

Off topic, I know, but... you started it!!!

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Guinness to hit three quid a pint

Syd

Is Tony Brookes...

... in favor of the OTHER recommendation - that pup opening ours be re-restricted?

Hmmm? No? Funny that!

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Hackers break Amazon's Kindle DRM

Syd
Thumb Up

ComponentSource

10 years ago, I worked on the e-commerce system at dev tools specialist ComponentSource, and it was exactly the same issue. The main reason we put the DRM on was because otherwise no one would give us a license to sell their stuff on-line.

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A decade to forget - how Microsoft lost its mojo

Syd
FAIL

Xbox challenging Sony

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

You mean, in the sense of Homer Simpson challenging Jean Luc Piccard over a comb; while Nintendo roll around in swimming pools filled with hundred dollar bills.

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UK e-Borders scheme thrown into confusion by EU rules

Syd
Black Helicopters

In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz...

Ha-ha!

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Home Office battles to make CCTV useful

Syd
Joke

Remind me...

... never to let you make me a sandwich - you probably wouldn't BUTTER the bread, on the grounds that you'd be verbing a noun.

Language evolves - get over it ;)

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Webmasters fume as Google profiles signed-out searchers

Syd
Flame

SEO = Gaming?

Isn't 'Search Engine Optimization' really a polite way of saying 'Gaming Google' anyway. The SEOs aren't interested in YOU any more than Google is - they just want to be able to game the system to get their results above the next guy's. In other words... I have no sympathy!

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MS exec gets shot down after 'inaccurate' Windows 7 spiel

Syd
Gates Horns

Memo From Steve B

Put the cat back in the bag... or the chair gets it.

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Kindle to come to Blighty on 19 October

Syd
WTF?

OMG

Just looked at the book prices. And felt abused just by LOOKING. And the fact that you have to PAY to transfer otherwise free content. There is only one icon for it!

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Tories oppose charges and speed cameras

Syd
Stop

Until they get into government...

... when they will take a look at the revenue, which would have to be replaced from other sources, and develop a mysterious case of amnesia.

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Tories told: Don't scrap NHS IT

Syd
Black Helicopters

The REAL Reason They Won't Scrap It?

It is making FAR too much money for certain people, who are friends with certain other people. (How much of that 12 billion is going on hardware? Or on the salaries of the people actually doing the work?)

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Brooke Shields pic exposes real/online rift

Syd
Grenade

Why hasn't the curator been arrested?

The Met clearly believe that the image is potentially infringing, and he (she?) was clearly in "possession" of the picture?

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US spontaneous human combustion raygun video released

Syd
Heart

Where is the "Hopelessly Idealistic" Icon?

If we invested the same amount of money in trying to invent a replicator, that we have in attempting to build a phaser, perhaps we wouldn't need so many wars.

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Nissan turns over new Leaf

Syd

Running Costs

The problem with all of these calculations is that they assume that the costs don't change; but if significant numbers of people start using these cars, then the revenue currently accruing to the government from petrol taxes is going to need recouping from somewhere.

Similarly, how long do you think your council will provide free parking/ charging when there are even a few hundred of these cars in your city, let alone a few thousand? I tentatively suggest, not long!

Don't get me wrong - electrificationated travel is probably the future, but... anyone that buys-in NOW shouldn't be under any illusion that they will be better-off for it.

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