* Posts by Mage

4457 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Microsoft's 200 million 'Windows 10' 'devices' include Lumias, Xboxes

Mage
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Alert

Lies, Dammed lies and Statistics

So how many people would have upgraded if it wasn't free?

How many people would have bought an alternative if Win10 wasn't preloaded on the new shiny?

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Firefox will support non-standard CSS for WebKit compatibility

Mage
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Facepalm

The Problem?

The moronic webpage "so called" designers using these webkit prefixes in the first place.

I bet the same morons using pale grey text on white, dark grey text on black, and totally flat designs where you guess if something has a link or is a button.

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Here's your Linux-booting PS4, says fail0verflow

Mage
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Re: Typo?

There was even an official HDD and Network add on kit for original PS2 that provided Linux.

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Dust off those White Space devices: New rules finalised by Ofcom

Mage
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Mushroom

White Space devices

White Space Devils.

Theory says "white space" devices will interfere.

Proper testing shows that they do.

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Researcher criticises 'weak' crypto in Internet of Things alarm system

Mage
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Holmes

Expertise

You only need ONE expert in the WORLD to know how to break into a system, that writes it up clearly, maybe with a video.

Then anyone able to use a multimeter can follow the instructions.

"We aren't buying your security setup for our workstations and servers" said the College, "most of the students don't have clue."

"How many of the best ones do have a clue and are untrustworthy?" I asked. "Do they have any friends, or websites?"

We got the order.

Without me having to suggest some of their students by name.

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BBC News website takes New Year's Eve break

Mage
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Gone again NYD

bbc.com/news fails instantly.

bbc.co.uk/news redirects to bbc.com and dies

The connection was reset

The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.

The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.

If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.

If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

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Mage
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Back?

usually bbc.co.uk loads bbc.com for me, except on one linux box.

http://www.bbc.com/news seems now to have recovered.

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Mage
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Re: It's not just their website

R4 LW very clear here now.

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Mage
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Happily, all now appears to be well,

not 5min ago.

Sometimes doesn't load at all.

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It's amazing the UK Parliament agreed to track 22bn Brits' car trips. Oh right – it didn't

Mage
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Big Brother

The Cameras ...

Can they easily be "updated" and backend SW do illegal facial recognition too?

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Beyond iTunes: XML boffins target sheet music

Mage
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Mushroom

Soundslice even offers an amazing (and free)

Not really, they could be keeping a copy of everything uploaded? I don't know.

BUT A FRIGGING WEB ONLY utility you have to UPLOAD to isn't a free application. It's potentially the evil of the cloud and only works online?

MuseScore IS a free application.

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Here – here is that 'hoverboard' you've wanted so much. Look at it. Look. at. it.

Mage
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Flame

Re: Moore's law for batteries

" batteries got about 20% extra capacity per year while the price dropped 20%. "

Which batteries?

Not Lithium, Alkaline or Lead Acid.

(I agree broadly with the rest. It's unlikely we can get 1/2 as good as the theoretical limit of battery density so you are generous.)

Alkaline: Similar to 1965. The x5 capacity gain vs Zinc is a lie for anything at 1/10C discharge, more like x2.

Lead Acid, Zinc Carbon: similar to 1950s

NiCd increased a bit from 1940s to 1970, then peaked at 450mAH to 500mAH

Never really. What happened is that different battery technologies were developed and then later became economic.

Lithium cells have hardly increased in capacity or life in 10 years. The number of cycles is still an issue.

By volume NiMH now match Lithium, but weigh very much more. They are about x5 capacity of NiCd now. originally NiMH were about x2 to x3 the capacity of NiCd.

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Intel completes epic $16.7bn Altera swallow, fills self with vitamin IoT

Mage
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Re: FPGA don't run programs

"Then microprocessor controllers started to supplant designs using discrete logic devices"

As small computers, running programs simulating slow discrete logic. Internally a quite different design. I've implemented decoders, counters, generators etc using PIC micros. They ARE small cheap computers, (from 30c).

FPGA are fast, power hungry and expensive. They ONLY execute code AFTER loading the configuration if the design implements a CPU or it has a ready made CPU core.

Field Programmable Logic Array. They replace discrete ready made VLSI with a custom design in a production chip.

You won't get much FPGA for $10.

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Mage
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Re: FPGA don't run programs

"Xilinx etc have tools that take C programs (not designs like SystemC etc) and turn it into something that will "run" on an FPGA."

Then someone is designing a custom CPU implemented using an FPGA.

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Mage
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FPGA don't run programs

Unless they are implementing a CPU.

The FPGA "source" is really a description (not a program) and "compiled" into a logic array configuration loaded at power on. No run time code at all, unless part of the FPGA is implementing a CPU. It's pretty wasteful of FPGA resources to implement multipliers, so most FPGA have pre-designed multipliers. Similarly there are a variety of FPGA with an ACTUAL cpu core (not one wired out of FPGA gates), to allow efficient execution of run time code or prototype the HW around a CPU core on an SoC as implementing a CPU uses too much of FPGA.

A raw FPGA is useless to programmer unless that programmer can design the HW of a hypothetical CPU from scratch. They are not programmed in CPU sense, but designed by people that design hardware. Verilog and VHDL only look like programming languages, they are hardware definition languages for physical definition and interconnection of gates (due to ultra fast static RAM, some logic functions are truth table type Look up tables in RAM rather than interconnected NAND and NOR as in earliest designs). The Hardware design is LOADED from a ROM, EPROM, Flash Memory or even USB or JTAG at power on time. After that, it's functionally an ASIC or logic board, only actually executing ANY code if there is a CPU (FPGA based or a pre-designed core element) as part of the design.

Above about 10K parts there is no point to an FPGA.

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Mage
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Facepalm

internet-of-things (IoT) and FPGAs?

Only for proof of concept Prototypes. Any IoT chip will be an SoC / ASIC. An FPGA is simply too power hungry.

FPGA are only for volume too low for ASIC or prototypes. The FPGA "design tools" can target a specific FPGA for a prototype or specialist lower volume application or an ASIC.

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Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

Mage
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Coat

Re: Just give me a frikking keyboard!

I wish I could afford a priv.

Slider

real keyboard

Android but with Added security

My last "smart phone" with keyboard was the Nokia E65, stupid Nokia killed the widgets and created useless Ovi. The Sony / Experia Z1 is OK, but no updates and the Android apps and Playstore is so much like spyware I only use Camera, Phone, FM Radio, Music Player, etc. Bluetooth, WiFi and Mobile Data are disabled. I had to uninstall Amazon Kindle Reader as it was trying to connect, even when I wasn't using it and even though WiFi and Mobile Data disabled. I can't afford Mobile Data, so the Priv would have to work on my WiFi.

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Firms must ensure shared service suppliers have 'sufficient financial resources'

Mage
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Mushroom

Banks?

If the economy goes cashless, then WE WILL MOSTLY DIE, (food riots in less than 2 days) if Banks don't reverse their outsourcing.

ALL Mission critical stuff, stuff that defines the core of your business needs to be in house. It needs to keep going via having at least 2 geographically separated data centres if one has dodgy sw added (never do both at same time), or PSU fault, bomb, fire, flood, terrorist, aircraft falling on it, etc.

What happens to to the public and your business, if you and all the similar businesses have outsourced to the same megacorp and it falls over (for WHATEVER reason, Amazon, Oracle, Google, Microsoft never have outages?)

So don't just consider the money!

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Christmas comes early at US Patent office after massive IT outage

Mage
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Re: You know what this means?

They use UPS all the time. As a courier.

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Mage
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Coat

the applications used by patent examiners

Ha ha!

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Bookstore sells some data centre capacity, becomes Microsoft, Oracle's nemesis

Mage
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Interesting article.

I thus will not be surprised if Amazon take over the local Petrol stations / Midi-markets and use them also as parcel depots (to ship and receive, to aid selling on Amazon and buying), with a coffee shop with not just WiFi but the Amazon voice controlled ordering terminal as a touch screen for menu, local shopping and online ordering.

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Windows 10: What's coming in 2016?

Mage
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What a load of gibberish.

2015 was the year it was finally obvious to everyone that what ever disease Nokia had in 2002-2003, killing good stuff, insisting on S60, losing direction culminating with sabotage of Maemo and TrollTech's QT, that MS caught the same disease. Was VS6, SQL7, Windows XP, Server 2003, Office XP/ 2003 the peak and it's been downhill since with GUI stupidity and bloat?

Win 10 is a train wreck.

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City of London cops in Christmas karaoke crackdown shocker

Mage
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Re: Costing money? How?

Indeed people might purchase the full version with the lyrics. I'd have thought that on balance this boosts sales if these lyric / voice free versions are not available. Seems yet again the publishers are missing a trick.

The creation is copyright violation, requires a civil suit. If there is monetisation, then perhaps there is unpaid VAT, unpaid tax on profits, possible criminal cases for forgery etc ...

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Who would win a fight between Cortana and Android?

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Microsoft, Google and Apple all suggest ...

Amazon has a creepy thing that lurks in your living room.

Are these things are gimmicks for people that:

a) Can't type

b) Can't use search properly

Do they actually manage as well as an 8 year old with a laptop and Google Search?

"Wee Jimmy, find me a deep fried pizza"

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Oracle ordered to admit on its website that it lost the plot on Java security

Mage
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Java is not as bad as Flash.

Partly because if not doing video but mainly programming, Flash's Action Script is very similar to Javascript, which surely is worse than Java (in the deeper sense of lack of any "compile" time checking etc).

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Mage
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Java, Road to hell paved with good intentions.

1) It was a good idea, badly done, a sort of C syntax Visual Basic for every platform. You really can do a GUI based application that looks like OS native style that runs on all the common desktops. Why though by default do people use the default stupid eye candy builds.

2) The insane license terms for Desktop Java is one reason for Davik etc on Android

3) Sun made a mess of it long before Oracle took over.

4) Amazing how many people don't realise that by default the applications have all the source in a manner easily extracted.

It could be fixed in the future, not impossible even to make a version to rule them all and work with old applications. Better GUI development tools with easier choice of window style etc and distribution only of bytecode.

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DEAD MAN'S SOCKS and other delightful gifts from clients

Mage
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1.44

I remember secretaries calling those new fangled things, hard disks.

Obviously the 360K 5.25" disks were floppy.

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Firefox-on-Windows users, rejoice: Game of Thrones now in HTML5

Mage
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Re: Delicate balance

I agree, Mozilla has to include it in Firefox. They have to include it on all platforms of Firefox too, somehow. Better than messing up the GUI again...

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Mage
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Netflix is that it is so cheap and convenient

Not cheap. It's a huge amount a year. Also pointless unless you are top end speed DSL with no cap, Cable or Fibre.

It's a service for the affluent and privileged.

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Mage
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Facepalm

not having support on many platforms ...

Smart TVs are a bad idea, likely provider X uses codec Z, management Q and DRM R next week/year/month and the TV "maker" (or real OEM) never releases new firmware, or if they do it's only OTA on one platform in another country, or impossible for joe soap to install.

At least a laptop as a final resort can be dual booted into unwanted OS U to get X, Z, Q and R.

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Mage
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Re: ...of the dumbest ideas from dumbville

Yes, Adobe DRM added to ePub open standard: Books that tell someone what page you are on, and in the clear too!

Adobe DRM on PDFs, often scans of Public domain documents.

Purchased downloads and media should NEVER have DRM. It's immoral.

DRM on Streaming? Well, a decent HD camera and 42" HD monitor defeats it.

DRM is pointless and immoral. It only makes life more awkward for ordinary users, never stops commercial pirates and only for a short while stops casual home "pirates". Yet removes consumer rights, adds restrictions not in Berne Convention on copyright, allows corporations to "landgrab" public domain works and retain restrictions when copyright should have expired.

Some contracts and so called licences on Digital Downloads (not streaming) may not even be enforceable.

Did I mention DRM is pointless and immoral?

Well. I boycott pay TV and Subscription Streaming.

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Assembly of tech giants convene to define future of computing

Mage
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Future?

We've seen it. Nothing new here at all. Even the marketing buzz words are getting stale.

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From alchemy to brain-hacking: How to be better, forever

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Fantasy

Its not even proper SF, but Science Fantasy with wishful thinking!

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MoJ digital software glitch sends thousands of divorcees back to negotiating table

Mage
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digital software?

So did they previously use an analogue hydrological computer programmed by dials?

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How long until we can build R2-D2 and C-3PO?

Mage
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AI versus simulated Intelligence

We have made no progress at all on AI since 1946, all progress has been narrow areas of simulation and so called "Expert Systems". Much language in the AI field has been redefined. Computer Neural Networks are nothing of the sort. "Learning" and "Adaptive" is nearly a misuse of English. Successful language translation has almost abandoned grammar / parsing / semantics / context to use a brute force "Rosetta Stone" approach.

Speech recognition is nowhere near as good as Audio Typist, never mind a personal assistant. It just needs less "training" that it used to.

We don't yet have an adequate definition of natural Intelligence, so how can we define the program requirements much less write one? True natural language interaction rather than the Artificial Stupidity of phone response "robots", Siri and Cortana is very far away and probably needs true AI. It's not a question of computer power, or it could be done slowly.

Neal Stephenson in "The Diamond Age" asks is in fact real AI even possible with a "turing machine" (i.e. ANY computer). The "book" in the story certainly isn't possible today [ignoring issues of communication and charging] without even a real time team of humans, rather than the one person. The hardware and software of the "Book" is certainly feasible, though it's more like something implemented with eInk plastic paper than OLED or LCD.

In a way Project Xanadu is the first attempt at the "book" and while earlier than Apple's Hypercard (before HTTP/WEB) and HTTP/Web tries to solve some basic limitations of web pages.

The hardware of C3PO or R2D2 was possible even in 1977. Though power supply and balance for C3PO a problem then, now solved by e.g. Honda's robot (though I suspect power / running time is an issue).

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Philips backs down over firmware that adds DRM to light

Mage
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Apple

Magsafe connector

Various generations of iPod / iPhone docks

The Apple Watch so called "wireless charger" plate*

Inability to use USB storage mode, you have to use iTunes or "cloud" to move data from iDevice with USB port even if you have a Mac.

[* So called wireless chargers are connector-less, the pad still needs a cable. Even madder is a Cordless kettle. It's a corded kettle with a really big plug!]

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Mage
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Unhappy

Re: WTF happened to this once mighty company?

Before 1926 they only did light bulbs. Now they only do light bulbs and health products. They licensed the TV and HiFi badges to two different Asian companies, a step beyond outsourcing. Philips Electronics that did wonderful valves (Mullard from 1928) and later Transistors and ICs (inc Valvo and Mullard) was spun off ages ago as NXP.

They were the last serious European competitor to Asian Consumer Electronics.

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Mage
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MS? No, more like Adobe and Apple

MS (after losing an EU case) is pretty open. Even before that very much was interoperable. Nor generally do MS create SW that only works with their H, or HW that only works with their accessories.

There is a good reason why retail OS X is a lot cheaper than retail boxed Windows.

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Canadian live route map highlights vulnerabilities to NSA spying efforts

Mage
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Another good reason.

Another good reason to avoid outsourcing or using the so called "Cloud".

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EE recalls all 'Power Bar' USB batteries due to 'fire safety risk'

Mage
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The Elephant in the room

Phones are too skinny, batteries too small for the consumption. My phone used to last all week.

I'd happily have a phone twice as thick as my Sony Xperia Z1 if the extra space was all battery.

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Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

Mage
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but unfortunately tweets do not write laws.

You joke I hope.

99.99% of tweets are irrelevant (a guess).

If Facebook and Twitter was closed the Internet would be improved.

Media takes far too much notice of Tweets. The BBC has plumbed new depths by not only having a feature article on their website of something trending on Twitter, but having BBC R4 program promoting what ever trendy thing on Twitter they picked.

We certainly don't want undemocratic, self selecting, minority activists using twitter to create laws.

However the US Politician ignorance of Internet, or indeed life outside USA, or the "West" and the sense of entitlement to >70%+ resources for < 16% of population is astounding.

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Hapless Virgin Media customers face ongoing email block woes

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

ISP and Google

No ISP should EVER be using any Google supplied service, especially eMail.

If they can't run their own email system why be an ISP?

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Be afraid, Apple and Samsung: Huawei's IoT home looks cheaper and better

Mage
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Facepalm

IoT

There is no evidence yet that

a) We need this even if done properly

b) That anyone can do it properly

c) That just on the security aspect, there is no evidence that can be got right without both an expert supplier and a resident security expert (I've seen otherwise secure PCs or Routers with STUPID PAWN ME settings enabled by user trying to get a game working).

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Mage
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Re: Huawei

Huawei are not actually the Chinese State. They even have complained about the state owned Chinese companies getting preferential treatment.

Besides if you are NOT Chinese / Tibetan / Taiwanese / North Korean etc which is worst:

1) NSA

2) GCHQ

3) Chinese Government

4) Israelis (10% of security products shipped!)

5) Russia

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Bigger than Higgs? Boffins see hints of bulbous new Boson

Mage
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Boffins

Aren't they wonderful?

When is Boffin Day so I can toast them?

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Samsung appeals to Supreme Court to bring patent law into 21st century

Mage
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Re: The law is a Ass

The iPhone used commodity parts, was basically samsung chips glued to an iPod and the fingerworks GUI added to a cut down port of OS X (As MS did to get WinCE for PDAs and later phones from NT).

The original iPhone used a Samsung stock 6400 family ARM SoC.

Other people used resistive screens because "handwriting" and Annotation was a holy grail (From early Palm and Apple Newton devices). Capacitive screens existed from 1980s but ignored due to poor resolution.

Using a finger orientated GUI rather than miniaturised standard WIMP GUI with stylus was the ONLY "innovation" and not IMO patentable as it wasn't new, just not the fashion. Nothing else at all in the original iPhone was innovative, all stock parts. Apple bought their own ARM SoC designers later.

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Mage
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Mushroom

Design Patent approximately UK Registered Design

It's crazy that such a pre-existing design style that is so generic and not at all distinctive was allowed to be registered by Apple.

The Fluted Coca-Cola bottle is a good example that deserves it. A rounded rectangle with touch screen and icons does not.

It shows how broken and partisan the US system is that Apple should be awarded this so called patent,, that it should be enforced and that the penalty is set at 100% by Congress rather than a realistic assessment of damages. If the "design patent" is really valid (which is stupid!) then Apple should only be a awarded a symbolic 1c in damages. It's not an original concept, nor is it likely anyone anywhere intending to buy an Apple phone buys an alternative because it's a similar shape.

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Old jet bits, Vader's motorbike gear, sonic oddness: Hats off to Star Wars' creative heroes

Mage
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Star Wars’ early use of stereo sound,

Stereo is mostly irrelevant to effects, really and was developed in 1930s (Alan Blumlien in EMI). BBC was using stereo on radio earlier than starwars and Stereo radio development (late 1950s, though BBC roll out was much later) was long after Stereo records were 1st produced..

However Lucas did make use of the effects channel, the .1 of 5.1, Surround sound though also predates Starwars.

Many Lucas films have well done 5.1 sound tracks.

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Seagate wears dunce's cap in hi-cap disk ship slip

Mage
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Helium famously leaks.

What is the life of these magical helium drives?

Maybe Seagate is smart.

How do you keep the helium in?

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Microsoft extends Internet Explorer 8 desktop lifeline to upgrade laggards

Mage
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Re: @Mage - Also XP isn't quite dead yet

a) Majority of XP systems not regularly patched anyway, so makes not much difference.

b) Many vulnerabilities are blocked by firewall/router

c) Most bad stuff is now from Internet, not shared disks, people click and install it. Or it can be mitigated by NoScript etc (Which I run on Linux as malware isn't the only issue it solves).

d) People with Win10 and 3rd party AV can be as easily infected if clueless and keep clicking on OK, installing toolbars, fake codecs, opening attachments, etc.

ActiveX in a browser. A stupid idea, in an ideal world who ever signed off that in MS should be in prison. Might as well send all kids past puberty to a brothel for every birthday party.

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