* Posts by Mage

3671 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

FORKING BitcoinXT: Is it really a coup or just more crypto-FUD?

Mage
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Devil

Steve Bong?

I smell collaboration.

Bitcoin isn't a currency. It's a speculation medium.

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Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

Mage
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FAIL

Programs

The more complex it is, the harder to maintain. So called A.I. are exceptionally fragile compared to a Lathe controller, set-box GUI, accounts program because it's impossible to predict all eventual inputs and situations. Unlike a GUI an autonomous car can't ignore input until it gets "valid" input.

Autonomous vehicles need their own dedicated pedestrian and cyclist free road ways, the equivalent of railways without tracks.

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Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

Mage
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Mushroom

Re: "Smart" TV's are a bad idea

I'd not call the sound output transducers in almost all current TVs, "speakers". Glorified headset drivers. Most "sound bars" have worse audio than any 1950 to 1990 TV also due to having driver units that are too small and a too skinny too plastic case.

The newer TVs also no longer have enough I/O ports. Some only have 1, many only two. Four ought to be a minimum, ideally six + 2 x SCART (supporting RGB) + Firewire, + Y/C (S-video), VGA. Otherwise how do you view your older equipment on the new TV?

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French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

Mage
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Boffin

Too much RF

They'd get cataracts first.

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Mage
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Alien

Re: KU the pedants

Ku band DTH are maybe the most powerful satellites. Twice a year for a few minutes the reception is really poor as it's not much more than the RF radiation from the sun. It needs an unbelievably sensitive receiver and a big dish to collect enough RF.

Even 100W, with 22,500 miles of inverse square law ... Point the dish at a wall and you get more signal due to thermal induced microwave radiation!

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Mage
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Boffin

Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

There is no dispute. In Blind testing the folk alleged to have it are no different than coin tossing to decide if the RF is on.

It's certainly a "Psychiatric Condition" - A mental disorder, also called a mental illness, as it's imaginary. Only the patient's behaviour is real. Actual sensitivity doesn't exist.

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Glaring flaw in Apple car hype-gasm: The iGiant likes to make money

Mage
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Windows

I'm sceptical

Apple had a PDA and a game console, actually in the market (Newton and Pippin).

Apple's Apple TV so far isn't remotely a TV, it's an overpriced streaming box, no screen. So what might an Apple Car be?

The Apple Watch isn't much use as a watch. It needs an iPhone and basically daily charging (every other day at best). Either a fitness band (10th of price) or a two Euro watch is better value.

I can't see many car makers wanting to pay an Apple Tax for Apple supplied kit, other than perhaps an iPhone dock.

Just because Apple are developing something doesn't mean that

a) It will ever be released

b) If released, that it will be as successful as iPod, iPad and iPhone. Almost all of Apple's profit is now iPhone. The other products are small percentage. iPad dropping, iPod nearly dead, Apple computers such a niche (compared to iPhone) they dropped "Computer" from their name.

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Windows 10 now on 75 million devices, says Microsoft

Mage
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sad message "Windows 10 couldn't be installed." There is often a way round it,

Err.. nothing sad and why would you want a way round "failing to install as upgrade"?

Mine's the one with Win7 in one pocket and Linux Mint Mate in the other.

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Motorola monsters Apple's swipe-to-unlock patent in German court

Mage
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USPTO

Now we just need USPTO to invalidate about 90% of USA patents, 100% of software patents (there is copyright for that) and about 99% of "Design Patents" which are generally not distinctive enough shapes (which are really covered by copyright anyway if original)

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

Mage
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Re: Ted's Toy

No, Win95 was STILL a GUI semi-OS on DOS boot, exactly like Win3.x. The only differences were:

1) All the media stuff optional in Win 3.x in basic install

2) an expanded Win32s built in rather than option

3) Explorer.exe replaces Program manager and File Manager.

NT 3.5 was a real 32 bit OS and predated Win95, it ran 16 DOS and 16 bit Windows on 32 bits, using NTVDM and WOW + NTVDM. Win95 ran 16 bit code identically to Win3.x, natively. It ran 32bit code the same way as Win32s on Win3.x.

Win98 was the same. Note that Win95 didn't initially have OpenGL, but it was standard on Windows NT.

With ME they hid the DOS layer, it was a broken version of Win98SE.

Real MS Windowing OSes:

MS OS/2 in 1989 (Built in LAN Manager)

32 bit NT3.1 in 1993

32 bit NT3.5

NT3.51 (changes to Win32 that were added in win95 to stop Office 95 working on Win3.1x stopped Office 95 working on NT3.5!). Just a Win API patch. 1995. (Explorer briefly available as a tech preview)

NT4.0 1996 (Explorer, Graphics and Print moved to Kernel, Direct X added). There was 32 and 64 bit versions for Alpha. Also NT supported Power PC and MIPS

W2K (2000) = NT5.0

XP = NT 5.1

Server 2003 = NT 5.2

Vista = Windows NT 6.0

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Mage
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Re: CUA and no bloat

No, by default Win95 installed NetBEUI.

Win3.11/WFWG3.11 had free MS 32bit TCP/IP as option nearly two years earlier, more or less the the same option you had to manually add on Win95.

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Mage
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Devil

NT - Long filenames

NT existed for two years before Win95.

The only thing that Win95 added was the Explorer desktop. Long file names were a horrible kludge on win 95's FAT compared to NT's NTFS (long filenames, token based security, journalling and larger partitions / files).

Win95 was garbage compared to NT 3.5x and compared with properly installed Wfwg.311 + Win32s was buggier and only plus was Explorer desktop. NT 4.0 added Explorer and some of the WORST win95 features (autorun and moving Graphics/printer drivers to Kernel) vs NT3.51

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Mage
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Explorer

On NT 4.0 you could run NT3.51's File manager. Or indeed switch entirely to Program manager.

The Explorer Desktop was better than Program Groups/ Program Manager.

The File Browser in Explorer is STILL flawed. It should have consistent move/copy not based on parent drive, better options for overwrite/archive/newer and a two panel mode.

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Mage
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FAIL

Re: Thanks Win 95

By 1993 or so you could do that on Win3.11 /WFWG 3.11 and MS 32bit TCP/IP. Win95 only added Explorer shell and all the 32 bit options and video media support in the Win95 floppies rather than separate floppies.

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Mage
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Devil

Windows 95

1) A waste, they should have put the effort into NT (first released in 1993). It set back the PC industry by nearly 5 years, destroyed NT Security (people writing 32bit programs and ignoring security settings because only NT used them), it killed the Pentium Pro (no easy return to 16 mode)

2) Autorun was the stupidest thing ever.

3) The Entry level spec wasn't enough memory to have TCP/IP, Word and Browser at same time.

4) The first version had no USB.

5) It was really just WFWG 3.11 with Win32s, VFW, and 32bit disk driver all bundled with a new better shell, but file explorer was inferior to File manager has STILL has some of the same bugs/stupidity, like you have to hold shift or control to be sure to Move or Copy, if you lose track of which drives which folders belong. Still Explorer file copy is primitive compared to xcopy. Why are overwrite options broken and can't be set at start? Why no copy only newer etc. Only NT3.5 was a real 32bit Windows.

6) Office 95 deliberately used specially invent APIs to stop it running on WFWG. Which made it fail on true 32bit NT 3.5, so they brought out NT3.51 with later tech preview of Exporer Shell.

7) They added the worst bits of Win95 (and later Win98) to NT4 .0 (and later Win2K and XP)

8) The "Start" button should have been called Main, Main Menu or Menu. Start is stupid, as in many cases it was only used most days to "shut down".

9) Ran 16 bit code natively instead of on a VM like NT. (NTVDM and NT WOW)

10) Could only connect to named Pipes. Couldn't create Named pipes. The stupidest 32bit / NT feature to omit. Forces use of COM and shared memory evils instead.

Later "Personalised Menus" and desktop clean up and hiding icons in Task Tray was UTTER stupidity as then how do you find the less used things or even know they existed.

GUI only went down hill after the initial improvement of using the desktop better than previous "Program Groups". The nadir being ribbon and then making buttons/menus look like ordinary text. Stupid on windows, web and Kobo. Where the hell you supposed to click/touch?

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Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

Mage
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Not a new problem.

Great article

"So If you're doing spectrum policy, it really helps to consult the physicists, so you make rules that are consistent with the constraints of Maxwell's wave equations. If you're doing broadband policy, it really helps to consult the stochasticians, so you make rules that are consistent with the constraints of packet-based statistical multiplexing," added Geddes.

Stochastic models used to decide how many voice calls at once an exchange can support, no exchange could ever support all users at once. The "engaged" tone might mean connection capacity is used up on the local exchange.

Most of what is advocated regarding Net Neutrality is bonkers. Especially so on a Mobile connection.

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Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so

Mage
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Re: FAT-free

I've had an Ext2 driver integrated to windows for nearly 10 years.

I must see is there an upgrade for Ext4

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Canadians taking to spying on their spies

Mage
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Big Brother

Hmm...

Sounds like a UK or Irish Prime minister with a good majority too. Or indeed very many places not the USA.

The USA President is more like a Monarch that can be limited by parliament. Like a Monarch, the USA President isn't elected directly but selected really by those with power.

The USA President does though have some powers that UK or Irish Prime Ministers don't have.

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Win8 inventory glut? Yep, it's all Microsoft's fault, says HP

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Horrible Win8 + Bing?

If they had offered them with out bloatware, decent default settings and Win7 ?

It's not really to do with Win 10. People are not "upgrading" as often, the majority of laptops have terrible shiny screens and poor viewing angle. Really the entry level laptop is replaced by Tablets (now saturated) and only people wanting better than 1080 resolution, and portable workstation are much buying laptops.

My wife spent hours recently looking at new laptops and ordered a new battery pack instead.

Perhaps HP made too many of something people don't want any more no matter what OS is on it and MS Win 10 is a convenient scapegoat, very believable too, given MS rush-out-too-quickly Win10 and OEM vs download approach.

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Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

Mage
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If only I'd learnt to read.

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FAO EVERYBODY: From the Legal Outreach Team at Bong Ventures LLC

Mage
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Paris Hilton

I don't understand

Two weeks in a row this column has simply been straight reportage.

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Spotify now officially even worse than the NSA

Mage
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Devil

Re: New T&Cs

No-one is forcing you to use Spotify. Loads of people have health, wealth and mirth without it.

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OLPC heir reveals modular laptop design

Mage
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Re: Oddly I've alway s thought it's the *processor* that should be upgradeable.

My laptop is on third keyboard.

CPU power isn't relevant for last 10+ years except for gaming or HD Video, where also the GPU is even more important. Oddly since 2002 approx cheaper laptops / netbooks have had poorer screens to save money, someone may like a screen upgrade and old one can be used to replace a broken one. I have one old laptop here that originally had a choice of three different types of GPU boards (each with various RAM options soldered on) and about four different LCD panels. It's still possible to "upgrade" with parts from broken ones on eBay.

Laptops used to be a lot more modular than today.

Screens are very easily damaged.

Batteries definitely need replaced, especially in hotter climates.

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

Mage
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Pirate

Re: nonsense..

30–60 mg (0.5–1.0 mg/kg) can be a lethal dosage for adult humans

One of the reasons for cancer from cigarettes may be trace amounts of polonium in the tobacco plants. Were is the nicotine sourced and how pure is it?

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Mage
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Re: nonsense..

No, smokers are NOT net contributors to NHS.

There is no doubt vaping is safer than smoking, but that doesn't mean they should be advertised in the current way, nor should they be unregulated, nicotine is very deadly poison, far more so than alcohol.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: "Almost certainly"

But what are the real figures?

Are these being taken by people who were not smokers?

How much safer?

Does the advertising of them glamorise smoking?

What success rate have they as an aid to giving up smoking?

Nicotine is a deadly poison. Not a recreational drug.

What other impurities are in the liquid?

What are nearby people getting?

How much polonium is there in them? Where does the nicotine come from.

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Mage
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Coat

However ...

I suspect they are partly a trojan to promote smoking!

The previously advert free cabinets in local shops now prominently display pretty women "smoking", with the "electronic" part of the text more faded.

A major tobacco company is promoting them.

They are sold in novelty shops.

There is also the general problem of policing CE marks.

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Antiques in spaaaaace! Retired space shuttles cannibalised for parts

Mage
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Pirate

US Government is daft

Though NASA's case not helped by relationships with greedy USA Aerospace and poor management.

This is vandalism.

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Android apps are flooding on to jailbroken Win10 phones

Mage
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Re: Remember OS/2 Warp

1985 OS/2

1989 MS & IBM divorce, MS Produces MS OS/2 with built in LAN Manager

1993 First version of NT, NT 3.1 (as MS OS/2 was sort of version 2.x) which included 100% OS/2 subsystem for console Apps, NTVDM for DOS in a virtual machine and WOW via NTVDM for win16.

OS/2 Warp was too little too late. Too lacking in ambition and 4 years too late.

So later with Pentium Pro, NT3.51 and then NT4.0 ran mix Win32, DOS and Win16 apps faster than native Win95 did because NT didn't use native 16 mode at all. Win95 had to switch to real mode for 16 bit, such a switch was really slow on Pentium Pro.

Win95 killed the Pentium Pro.

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Mage
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Re: Remember OS/2 Warp

By 1993 MS 32bit TC/IP was free on WFWG 3.11

Win95 used same stack, but also by default only NetBeui was installed.

Most Win3.x and Win95 systems as delivered didn't have enough RAM to add the TCP/IP, run 32 apps and 32 bit disk drivers.

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Mage
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Re: Java

Of course they can use Java Virtual Machine* if they pay a licence. But Android apps are only written in Java, they are not compiled to Oracle's Java Bytecode for JVM, but to a different binary system for Davik. Davik can be used for free.

J++ was their own version of Java. They developed it into C#.

The VM for Visual Basic (and possibly J++) and the .Net VM used for C# is a separate development from Sun's JVM. Both certainly owe a lot to 1970s UCSD p-machine.

[* A PC can use JVM for free, but a mobile device is supposed to use a cut down licensed JVM and Sun/Oracle wouldn't even licence the full JVM at reasonable terms for a mobile device, hence the development of Davik and the Oracle - Google law suit]

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FCC: No, Dish, you're not a 'small business' so forget the $3bn price cut

Mage
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Exposes stupidity

This ultimately shows how inept spectrum management is getting.

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WD unleashes bigger, badder, Black and revved, rapido Red Pro

Mage
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Meh

6TB is lighter than the 5TB product baffles us

Perhaps thinner head arms, thinner base on chassis and slightly thinner platters so as to fit an extra platter in?

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Boffins raise five-week-old fetal human brain in the lab for experimentation

Mage
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Devil

Prescient.

As long as they don't grow it for long enough to ask it questions?

Disturbing.

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OpenOffice project 'all but dead upstream' argues prominent user

Mage
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Devil

Re: That Weird Sound You Hear

Did MS bribe Oracle to annoy the Devs and fork before it was given to Apache?

No, Oracle messed this up as they have messed up Java, Hudson (or whatever it was) and a lot of other stuff. Obviously worse people than Oracle could have bought Sun, but not many.

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Vaio returns from the dead wearing sharper suit, bolts in neck

Mage
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Facepalm

Vaio and Minidisk

I thought Minidisk was a nice idea, then I discovered that neither the net MD player nor the Vaio with a built in Minidisk allowed you to digitally read your own recordings? On the Vaio it seemed you could only write to the built in drive? So I bought a Dell Inspiron instead in 2002.

Sony made some nice HW, but crippled by media division and bad software?

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Mage
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Big Brother

relaunch the brand on Windows 10

Well, they might as well launch it as Chrome book as that mess of a rushed out privacy slurping OS.

Don't rich people want privacy?

(I'm not confusing Upmarket with Celebrity?)

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Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?

Mage
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Alien

Re: Descisions

Automate the Pedestrians.

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Apple: Samsung ripped off our phone patent! USPTO: What patent?

Mage
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Apple's design

It's not a design.

Rounding corners of rectangular things, (kids books, toys, radios, gadgets, MP3 players, solar panels, phones etc) is a standard engineering approach that people have been implementing since they started making rectangular things.

Where is my ancient Roman/Greek/Babylonian/Hebrew/Chinese tablet icon?

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Taketh away

Other parts of the world are not confusing by calling it a Design Patent. It's a Registered Design and more to do with copyright than patents. Unlike the fluted coke bottle it's too generic and on that basis shouldn't be eligible. Prior art doesn't even need to be considered.

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Boffins dump the fluids to build solid state lithium battery

Mage
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Re: Another week...

Actually by VOLUME Li metal cased cells are about same energy capacity as quality NiMH But the NiMH are a lot heavier for same size as plastic cases Lithium (LiPoly)

1980s the NiCd AA was about 450mAH and had a problem with memory effects and dendrite crystal shorts. Now an NiMH AA is about 2500mAH, C cell 5,000mAH and D cell 10,000mAH. But an NiCd is still lower cell resistance. Self discharge is a bigger issue with most NiMH than Lithium. though the Eneloop type NiMH is similar self discharge but lower capacity.

The Lithium type has not as long life (number of cycles) as decent NiMH. But seems to be a materials issue or charger management as some Lithium packs last 4 years and others barely 18 months.

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Mage
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Flame

Re: Another week...

Laptop batteries per charge longer, phone batteries per charge much less than 10 to 15 years ago.

The actual batteries life hasn't much changed in 15 years. About same number of cycles. It's largely the same Lithium tech as 15 years ago.

Some NiMH are better life than 10 years ago and some NiMH are dreadful compared to older batteries.

This though sounds more believable than Aluminium based (instead of Zinc) or other zany batteries reported. I expect if this is affordable it may be in products in less than five years.

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US appeals court: Yes, Samsung ... sigh … you still have to pay Apple

Mage
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Pirate

Crazy

Apple shouldn't have these things as "patents" in the first place.

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Hey, Apple, we’re watching Faulty Tellies. Gonna tell us why?

Mage
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Headmaster

Terms

Screen + tuner = Telly

Screen with only baseband inputs = Monitor

The "Apple TV" has neither screen nor tuner. It should be illegal to be marketed like this.

It's only a 2nd rate media streaming box.

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BLADE-WIELDING BOTS conquer humans in RADIO DEATHMATCH

Mage
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Devil

Disgrace

There are so many other licence free ways these beacons can be done.

This sets a bad precedent.

FCC should be ashamed. It's their job to protect and manage spectrum, not be like Ofcom and purely support large companies.

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Larry Page was held back by Google execs from flooding world with new dot-word domains

Mage
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Devil

Oh dear

This article highlights the stupidity of this new domain policy and how it will benefit behemoths and otherwise is a cynical money grab.

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CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

Mage
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Devil

BIOS

Should be Open Source, and replaceable.

Also write protected with a physical jumper link.

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Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

Mage
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Pirate

Require root or administrator access ...

If a miscreant has root or administrator access, then you are stuffed anyway. So while this is fascinating, it's hardly a worry.

Four year old + CPUs would have been prehistoric in 1995 but isn't really old at all in 2015. (ironic that NT & UNIX & OS/2 etc could use a 1995 Pentium Pro properly but Win95 went slower on it).

Now if the bus on a lithium battery pack could inject code, then I'd be worried.

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W is for WTF: Google CEO quits, new biz Alphabet takes over

Mage
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Devil

Re: Bad boys

"They don't have to adhere to that suffocating "Don't be evil" mantra anymore."

They never have. Only an evil company needs a motto like that.

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Yahoo! parties! like! it's! 1999! with! retro! billboard! revival!

Mage
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provides the (literally) only free email service

I don't use hotmail/Outlook (what ejit named a Cloud email service the same as the ancient evil email client?). But I assumed it was free, and that a) isn't Google b) isn't a shady Russian portal and c) can be accessed directly through a mail client and not just through some webmail portal?

I'm sure I once had a hotmail account as well as Yahoo and gmail. These days I use my own domains which is "technically" free as I paid for it all to do websites not email.

I'm not a shady Russian portal and I use POP3 / SMTP with them

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