* Posts by Mage

5308 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Amazon pops up more shops

Mage
Silver badge

Deliver same day?

Free delivery is about a week

Premium delivery is about 3 to 4 days

Where do you live to get same day delivery from Amazon?

I think same day delivery for letters in Ireland and UK existed up till Edwardian era. The Victorians had it. Now with "airmail only" even a letter can be 3 days UK to Ireland.

Local shops and Online are complementary. Buying online for China is 1/3rd to 1/10th of cost of same thing in Maplin. Sometimes though getting it from Maplin inside an hour is handy, though increasingly unlikely to be in stock.

I prefer to buy fitted clothes, shoes, boots, very large items and food locally. Obviously Amazon plan to compete with Tesco and Pennys?

I was amazed to discover though that people order books from the local bookshop rather than Amazon, but then about about 1/3rd of people in some areas don't have internet and about 10% can't actually get broadband.

1
0

Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Mage
Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Google Play Services (GPS), the Trojan app

1) One cloud is a single point of failure

2) I don't trust Google with my Apps data

3) Actually I mostly want apps that are just 100% local, never app replacements for web sites.

It's time Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc got a kicking from governments & regulators.

0
0

Upstart AI dreams of 'disrupting' digital marketing – with sex

Mage
Silver badge

Nielsen Group

I wonder is it any use at all.

Most of the usually excellent advice here gets ignored.

https://www.nngroup.com

Really the only reason it's hard is because websites are being designed purely for "pretty" or the pointy haired boss wanting one button. Most are worse than 10 years ago.

This is "jargon" speak marketing. It's built by programmers meeting the goals of a marketing department.

This is nonsense.

8
0

HP Ink buys Samsung's printer business for a BILLION dollars

Mage
Silver badge

Printing?

Really important in the 1990s to 2006... now I copy colour photos / images to USB stick to show on laptops / TVs and "print" B&W text and some other stuff to 9.7" Kindle or 6" kindle or 6.8" Kobo.

Or I make a web page. I replaced the (working) MFP inkjet with a basic colour duplex laser for same price as a set of ink cartridges when we really need paper or card copy.

0
0

Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

Mage
Silver badge

Perpetual Motion

If you can extract energy from the "perpetual motion machine", and it doesn't radiate or influence environment, well, then it is not breaking laws of thermodynamics? But what use is it?

Reminds me of Entangled "Instant" action at a distance. You can't break the barrier of light speed communications with it, but it is some use (in crypto systems)

0
0

Linux 4.8 rc6 facepalm!

Mage
Silver badge
Alien

Hello

Which alien has replaced Linus? Can't really be his comments?

4
0

End of life for Linux 3.14

Mage
Silver badge
Headmaster

End of Support

End of Support != End of Life

If something has no software added, never connects to internet etc (Dumb TV set, dumb microwave etc, or some factory tool) then there isn't an End Of Life till it breaks.

1
0

Intel pulls out hard cash to gobble virtual CPU upstart Soft Machines

Mage
Silver badge
Coat

Neither Fish nor Fowl

It's an interesting idea, but unless you really need x86 and ARM instructions in the same chip what is the point? It would be a very niche market and only of value in a Full Fat SoC with GPU and all I/O shared, maybe on a MS Surface Phone/Tablet able to run real Windows programs and Android Playstore Apps.

Performance, power consumption and cost is going to be poorer than simply a regular x86 SoC with an ARM core added or vice versa and much poorer than either a dedicated ARM or x86.

Perhaps Intel can find something useful in the IP. I doubt the staff will be employed long, though some may find suitable positions in Intel. Certainly I can't see the value of anyone other than Intel buying them. Not even AMD or the Chinese, it's too niche.

3
0

Filmmaker Werner Herzog interviews Elon Musk for internet doco

Mage
Silver badge

Gosh!

I'd an idea that Herzog was a little different, perhaps a little extreme. However I had no idea. If he was a character in a book people would think the author was crazy.

I'm educated. I also need mind bleach.

2
0

Google's AI finds its voice ... and it's surprisingly human

Mage
Silver badge

This comment isn't true!

"Machine babble often sounds emotionally flat and robotic because it’s difficult to capture the natural nuances of human speech."

Absolute Nonsense. The issue is parsing and then understanding the text so as to decide how to nuance the speech, punctuation is a weak clue as to speed, pauses, pitch.

We have been able to create natural speech for maybe more than 40 years, IF there is a special marked up text with meta tags for pitch, loudness, speed, pauses. Ordinary text has to be parsed and understood.

Even actors etc, read text better if they are familiar with it and understand it. Otherwise even humans reading unfamiliar text can sound rubbish.

Google Translate is very "successful" in some respects, but it killed computer speech/language/translation development because it's not "intelligent" at all, it's a brute force "Rosetta Stone" / "Code breaker" approach rather than translation by parsing an entire section, understanding it and paraphrasing.

7
1

Petulant Facebook claims it can't tell the difference between child abuse and war photography

Mage
Silver badge
Devil

now a significant source of real world news

No, it's not.

It's a pit of garbage and exploited ordinary people.

It's not fit for purpose for many things people doing, like the guy making a virtual museum. He should have a website of his own.

We don't want an Internet that consists of only six or seven sites!

Media organisations need to boycott it. They all have their own web sites. Why are they giving Zuckerberg free promotion?

People need an email address to sign up to Facebook. Anything for their friends should be sent Bcc by email.

Unlike specialist forums for specific interests there is no value to Facebook at all. It's simply an exploitive parasite.

17
1

Google-funded group mad that US Copyright Office hasn't abolished copyright yet

Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Great

Excellent exposé!

2
3

Elon Musk says SpaceX Falcon 9 fireball investigation is 'biggest challenge yet'

Mage
Silver badge
Big Brother

Bringing Internent..

Misleading. Zukerberg's Trojan Facebook pushing service will exploit Africans. It's not general internet, but what ever selection he decides. Cultural or Economic Imperialism?

They want to be a news service, yet censor news feeds and museums on Facebook.

8
1
Mage
Silver badge
Headmaster

not the rocket engine’s fault?

"it was not the rocket engine’s fault in a tweet today.

Important to note that this happened during a routine filling operation. Engines were not on and there was no apparent heat source."

That is not logic. It wasn't the fault of a RUNNING rocket engine. That doesn't rule out the rocket engine.

6
0

Double-negative tweet could be Microsoft Surface Phone hint

Mage
Silver badge

Surface Phone?

So really more a very small x86 Tablet than a phone.

Nokia changed from x86 to ARM on their "Communicator" smartphone in what, 2001 or 2002?

I guess if you REALLY need x86 compatibility in your pocket? But really is ANY x86 Windows application going to be usable on a small screen, like Adobe Photoshop, Sage, Market leading UK Payroll, SAP, or... (I struggle to think of anything else important on Windows that doesn't have a Linux or ARM or MacOS equivalent).

3
1

You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

Mage
Silver badge

Benefits?

Mainly to the suppliers, to be able to load shed more precisely.

7
0

NASA's OSIRIS-REx is off to nick some rocks from asteroid Bennu

Mage
Silver badge
Alien

Did Space Rocks bring life?

Probably not, really unlikely and a "Turtles all the way down" argument. Conditions here far better.

It doesn't answer anything if they find life or not. In the extremely unlikely scenario of complex DNA that matches DNA here, which contaminated which?

1
1

The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom

Mage
Silver badge
Pint

Lovely story

I hope they continue to succeed.

24
0

Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

Mage
Silver badge
Pirate

Re: It's pretty minimal cost

No, it's not. It's x3 more expensive than a domain name, and my multiple domains already cost more than my hosting. It would make my total annual cost about 2.5x higher, just for the certificates. However I'd also need a far more expensive hosting package, something to do with issues of HTTPS and shared IPs? At any rate even if you have a cert, my hosting company charges a lot more.

No-one (other than me for updates) logs into my sites. They all are backed up. The SQL server access is only possible on the site, not remotely.

I use SFTP.

HTTPS is way too expensive unless you are making money from the site, or eCommerce. Even for selling, it's possible to use 3rd party payment such as PayPal where you get the customer details from PayPal later (using their HTTPS) and the customer never logs on to your own site, nor ever gives you card details.

This is to suit Gooogle.

8
3

Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software

Mage
Silver badge
Flame

"without pre-installed software"

"The national court will have to decide whether, when a consumer has been informed before the sale "that the model of computer is not marketed without pre-installed software and that he is therefore free to choose another model of computer, of another brand, with similar technical specifications and sold without software, the ability of that consumer to make an informed transactional decision was appreciably impaired," the CJEU said."

Laptops without pre-installed/supplied with operating systems are almost like Unicorns. From time to time Dell and a few others offer alternatives to Windows, not nothing. Generally speaking the ONLY retail alternative to Windows is overpriced hardware from Apple.

I hope there is some later appeal or clarification. While we are at it, the retailers and boxes have stopped listing the screen resolution, only giving screen diagonal.

Also no-one seems to supply media now to re-install the OS if the HDD fails or is replaced.

13
5

What's up, Zuck? FTC to probe Facebook for WhatsApp phone number mega-slurp

Mage
Silver badge
Big Brother

Bright Side

At least our new Social Media overlords don't sent us to Gulags, Vietnam War, Internment Camps, or "Work makes you free" slave factories.

Just examine our privates and spam us.

5
1

Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Mage
Silver badge

Apple's watch is pretty much like Ford's Edsel

An insult to Ford.

3
0
Mage
Silver badge
Flame

Will audio quality get better?

"Will audio quality get better? By abolishing analogue there’s now a clearer digital path to your ear, and the phones get smaller."

Is that ironic, because BT or other digital connection adds re-encoding of the original digital content, which has to be unpacked. The "digital" earphones can easily have a lower quality decoder, DAC and audio amp than is possible on the phone motherboard. Re-encoding from one digital format to another ALWAYS reduces the quality unless it's a totally lossless format. You simply can't have the same quality and power level of analogue signal inside a wireless ear bud as 50 cents worth of electronics inside the phone. What part of the fact that Earphones and Loudspeakers need analogue* do people not understand?

YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE ANALOGUE TO DRIVE THE EARPHONE COILS!

This is daft. The only advantage whatsoever of ditching an analogue jack is to Apple. You'd be lucky to have as as good quality and will have poor choice of earphones / headsets and have to spend money to connect it to a HiFi as an MP3 player.

The Apple justification of this is simply lies. It's a disgrace and a huge backward step. I'd bet if they could prevent 3rd party earphones working, they would. It's immoral.

[*A nasty trick of low power electronics is to use Pulse Width Modulation, variations of Class D, on/off to drive the moving coil of an earphone or speaker. Apart from the risk of radio interference, it's hard to get the distortion and resolution as good as decent DAC followed by filter and linear audio amp.]

12
0

World eats its 10 millionth Raspberry Pi

Mage
Silver badge
Joke

Re: I thought I'd buy one to try when they first came out..

10 of them?

Do they breed like aphids?

9
0

EU court: Linking to pirated stuff doesn't breach copyright... except when it does

Mage
Silver badge

Umm

I'm still confused.

1
0

Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Mage
Silver badge

"courageous" move to save space on the handset

No, greed to suit Apple and sell "Beats" earphones.

How long does the battery of Apple's wireless earphone last per charge. How long till it wears out, how is it replaced?

I gave away an iPhone 5. I'm happy with my ancient Sony Xperia.

1
0

Microsoft to slap Slack with Skype – reports

Mage
Silver badge

User groups?

Like Tencent's QQ has had for years.

0
0

Nest offers its thermostat in three new pretty colors!

Mage
Silver badge

Nest

Plenty of more compatible to any boiler alternatives without "cloud creepiness" by established control equipment companies.

4
0

Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

Mage
Silver badge

Re: IP Addresses

"So it made sense for big organisations to be given class A or B addresses. "

No, it never did. USA greed.

There must be 100s of millions of unused never mind wasted IPs in USA.

3
1
Mage
Silver badge
Happy

Sycophantic Coverage

The Big UK & Irish Newspapers are sickening with their daily promotion of Game of thrones / Apple / Disney releases etc.

Apple most get more free sycophantic coverage than any other commercial operation on the planet, though this week a few papers mentioned that the Model 6 actually is poorer for phone calls than all other leading phones, especially in your left hand. No doubt they will make up for it with totally uncritical coverage of the iPhone 7.

Keep up the good work, Mr Vulture.

7
0

Intel Basis fans burned again: Refund checks for scalding smartwatches bounce

Mage
Silver badge
Pirate

Western Union?

I thought that was for marooned kids on holiday, broke students and scammers.

Why on earth are Intel using them? They are very expensive too.

9
0

Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Traditional EV

Sealed or not, there is really no fire risk on Lead Acid powered vehicles such as a traditional milk float. The sulphuric acid is dangerous but easily and quickly diluted with water. The biggest danger is the sheer mass of each battery pack.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: energy density is much lower

Well, partly. Also the contents of lithium packs are more reactive than almost any other kind of cell and the outer package less robust because it's lighter. NiMH can achieve close to same order of Energy per unit volume, but is very much heavier and less reactive.

Lead Acid is very much heavier and once the sulphuric acid runs out they have no energy, in that sense the liquid types are "safer" than the gel types, which still can start a fire in a short circuit when ruptured. Sulphuric acid is bad on your skin and terrible in your eyes, but it's not very concentrated and easily diluted with water. Water can be really bad on ruptured lithium cells.

4
0

Kaspersky Ireland R&D haus

Mage
Silver badge

Western Britain

That's what those of us outside the pale call it.

So it makes sense I suppose.

0
0

Nokia's 4.9G races Ericsson's almost-5G, yet the finishing line is a mirage

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Labelling for Sales

Yes, it's mostly nonsense.

1
0

EMC/Dell deal respectfully caps the minicomputer age

Mage
Silver badge

Massachusetts

A saner lot than the nut cases, sociopaths and meglomaniacs in San José and Silicon Valley/California generally.

12
1

Star Trek film theory: 50 years, 13 films, odds good, evens bad? Horta puckey!

Mage
Silver badge

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind showed that more cerebral SciFi had a market"

Barely SF and certainly not cerebral. Just popular UFO tropes.

8
1

Forget Khan and Klingons, Star Trek's greatest trick was simply surviving

Mage
Silver badge

that really gave Star Trek muscle was, in a word: science.

Oh come off it.

It was fun, but Science? No. Definitely not. Though far closer to SF than ST-TNG or Star Wars.

ST TNG was even less scientific.

13
16

Spoof an Ethernet adapter on USB, and you can sniff credentials from locked laptops

Mage
Silver badge
Coat

Re: No, signed devices would be the fix

USB *IS* the problem, and since it's inherent, it can't be fixed, only mitigated by a dialogue for yes / no and temporary / permanent for each "device" the USB dongle/mouse/keyboard/PSU/etc found/handed at show/bought/arrived as free sample etc. The automatic installation of USB devices has to stop.

4
0

GE runs off $1.4bn, hands it to two 3D printing firms

Mage
Silver badge

Better than Plastic

The plastic printers, at least cheap ones, seem to be toys.

There was a BBC R4 prog yesterday (Mon 5th Sept 2016?) and basically 3D printing started 30 years ago. It still hyped the idea it would replace mass production and big corporates with small local businesses. Maybe for prototype and niche products, but I can't see it for mass market, where marketing and cost saving / speed etc of traditional stamping / forging / moulded / formed parts is always going to beat 3D printing. The Metal printing though increase range of niche low volume and maybe mould making?

0
0

iPhone outsells Galaxy

Mage
Silver badge

Meh

Both are too expensive.

1
0

Google plots cop detection for auto autos

Mage
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Patent Algorithims

Maths, Algorithms and software ought to be FORBIDDEN from patents, and many aspects from copyright. This is not a new problem.

The patents for the Superhet Radio (RCA) and later FM should have been invalid. Just mathematics and the patent holders were not the the first people to implement them. The AM Superhetrodyne patent held back radio development for nearly 10 years because RCA was so big.

Edison also was a menace (read up on his Moving Pictures Protection racket. Eventually the US Government struck down some of the patents and forbade him from threatening other companies), very many of his patents were other people's ideas, stolen, or prior art and also should not have been allowed anyway.

NCC/Eveready Dry cell (1896?) was stolen Scandinavian tech, by a UK Chemist in New York, and shouldn't have been allowed as a patent anyway as it was only a obvious development of Volta's 1799 discovery, and being done by many people (a paste instead of liquid electrolyte so as to have a portable cell and thus carbon filament flashlights.)

4
1

It's time for humanity to embrace SEX ROBOTS. For, uh, science, of course

Mage
Silver badge

Dr Kate Devlin

Devlin sounds like she has some sort of agenda?

7
0
Mage
Silver badge

Humankind is still considering whether we could create sex robots

I thought they have been around for ages, though expensive and they can't walk. However, do they need to do more than lie down or sit up?

AI is a different story, but really that would be a disadvantage, even if it was possible. Simulated responses and actions are enough.

1
0

QANTAS' air safety spiel warns not to try finding lost phones

Mage
Silver badge

Old PC motherboards

In the 1980s some PC used Lithium Thionyl Chloride batteries for the clock. I remember buying them in 1980s for parameter RAM for an Industrial Controller I was developing, no Flash memory then. The NiCd packs didn't have long enough life and also self discharge was 100s of times more than the static RAM standby current.

I wonder are they still made? Thionyl Chloride

One of the ingredients of super glue isn't much fun either. Methyl Isocyanate, I've noticed it lately as an ingredient and wondered. A spill of "Superglue" can set damp cotton on fire.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge
Happy

Lithium

Even primary Lithium coin cells like CR2032 can be persuaded to explode / burn*. Batteries that are cycled many times or charged too quickly can get a build up of metallic Lithium, which burns nicely in water. I've wondered are the PP3 / E block/ 6F23 etc batteries made with lithium chemistry safe for appliances made to take layer cell or alkaline types, like how many toys are unsafe with NiMH or NiCd rechargeable because of their lower impedance means a short can cause a fire due to hot wire and plastic.

At least Lithium batteries aren't as bad as Chlorine Trifluride

So there are two aspects to any battery system, the cell contents and ability to supply enough current to use shorted wiring as a ignition source to plastic, paper, cloth etc.

[* Short out ONE AA NiMH to set the plastic of wire on fire. Short out a stack of 20 off CR2032 to see them self destruct. Obviously the 1.5mA to 2mA current limit quoted may be a safety limit rather than the limit of what can be supplied.]

0
0

Second 'dimmer switch' star spotted

Mage
Silver badge
Alien

watching the early business of planet formation

If you are nearly immortal, as it takes about a million years for much of a change?

More a snapshot of a particular early stage?

1
0

4G hits 1.9Gbps

Mage
Silver badge

I can hit 107Mbit/sec outside my house

Maybe the neighbours are all on WiFi and it's not near major road and you have near LOS and people in the area are using other providers. Just three people there streaming HD video will take it under 20Mbps. That's a meaningless report simply aiding the Mobile industry who are mis-selling Mobile as an alternate to real broadband and undercutting price by subsidising data with voice call charges.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge
Flame

It's nonsense

You can have any speed you like ...

Just aggregate loads of 20MHz channels, when in the real world due to "competition" the channels are split between operators and rarely 20MHz. Cell concept needs a minimum of 3 channels per mast (120 degree sectors) and ideally 9 channels to stop the masts beyond the next one interfering.

Also up the QAM to infeasible levels only suitable for cable that needs perfect signals with no interference.

We were at the limits of bits per Hz spectrum for real world over 15 years ago.

This is NOTHING to do with 5G or Huawei kit, just a promo. The 5G is about integration of different infrastructures and to a secondary extend channel aggregation between bands.

There is no free lunch. No-one can repeal the laws of Thermodynamics, which is basis of Shannon-Nyquist law.

Really annoys me to see these nonsense press releases. Even if every lamp post was base station no-one is even going to see consistent 100Mbps, that would only be like universal WiFi. Note that even WiFi speeds are nonsense as they quoted for ONE connected user, perfect signal BOTH ways and no co-channel interference and MIMO in the CLIENT, not just base.

Don't even get me started on nonsenses such as "White Space" or "Spectrum Sharing",

0
0

YouTube breaks Sony Bravias

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Dumb display

A Smart TV almost was twice the price as a basic TV when I was buying yet it had less video connectors and the "smart" in any smart TV is not worth the extra compared to a cheap tablet / laptop / phone with along HDMI cable.

Actual real monitors are meant to be used perhaps 0.3m away and have much finer pitch pixels to be any use. Screens for TVs are used at a distance of 1.5m to 3m depending on size. TV screens to be most useful want to be 16:9 and 1920 x 1080 and more than 36" for a normal room. Monitor screens ought to be nearly twice the pixel density X and Y as a TV, even if the low for computers resolution of 1920 x1080, that's four times as many pixels per square inch, minimum, that's more expensive to make.

0
0

Forums