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* Posts by Mage

2690 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

Mage
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Re: Oh?

Except those figures are fantasy.

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Mage
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Collection cost and access

Read what Greg Dyke said about viewing cards when BBC planned to leave Solus Card scheme and go FTA.

HOW do you have Subscription model? No FTA tuners. But DTT & Sat boxes and TVs and PVRs with a COMPATIBLE card reader (CAM). The Card company takes a big wack, the more secure from piracy the system is the more costly.

Ofcom of course want to have only Cable and Satellite and prefer purely commercial entitiies. It would suit Ofcom.

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Mage
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Stupidity

PSB isn't about money.

Sky makes most from Subscription TV, yet 92% of what Sky Subscribers watch is Free To Air.

Sky 1 and Sky Sport (all added) each had about 1.5% viewing each.

In reality most people wouldn't pay for an extra platforms. Surveys can be misleading. Sky & UPC (formerly Virgin) dominate pay TV. BBC would become the equivalent of Disney and Nickleodeon and content would deteriorate further to a lower common denominator.

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Thanks for suggesting eBay should flog PayPal. It's not happening, CEO tells Carl Icahn

Mage
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Childcatcher

Asset Stripper

Totally to character. He's not an Activist or Investor. But a Speculator and Asset Stripper.

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Chrome lets websites secretly record you?! Google says no, but...

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Spyware

IMO Chrome is despicable mis-marketed Google Spyware anyway. They are NOT a Tech company but a creepy Advertising Company that uses Tech.

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Sweet work, fellas: Boffins build high-density battery powered by sugar

Mage
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Rechargable ...

Now that would be worth even more as a food source!

Nuclear fuel (fusion?) Power Station input and synthetic Food out (Sugars)! I don't think a rechargeable one is possible until they figure photosynthesis and then it will only recharge on sunlight, not electricity.

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The future of storage: disk-based or just discombobulated?

Mage
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Black Helicopters

why not just use a vacuum?

The head "flies" using I think the Bernoulli effect. It's a very very small ground effect aircraft. You'll find that "aircraft" can't fly in a vacuum. It's more stable than any other method of having the head very close but never actually touching.

It puts the term "Head Crash" into perspective :)

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Mage
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Helium

You can't hermetically seal in helium. Or keep it out either. Anything with a vacuum gradually acquires helium.

So I wonder how long a Helium filled drive lasts?

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Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Mage
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But, But

Who laid the lovely rustic stone pavement?

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Crippling server 'leccy bill risks sinking OpenBSD Foundation

Mage
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Re: How many picoseconds?

I think 15.5s a year of Apple Profits is $20K a year.

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Mage
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Joke

How many picoseconds?

How much of the Fruity Firm's profits is €20,000 pa.?

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EU eyes UHF spectrum: What do you think, biz bods... broadband?

Mage
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Re: All about the money

The Digital Dividend existed. The Regulators might not have got as much as they would have liked, but they DID get lots for auctioning the spectrum 790 MHz to 862 MHz formerly used by Analogue TV.

That was the real Digital Dividend. The consumer was lucky to get anything extra (HD, some more channels and real widescreen).

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Mage
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Re: It not about the Consumer. But Big Business and Regulator Income.

Satellite is for the 1 to 2% that can't get Terrestrial.

The fact some get poor reception is no reason to deprive everyone else.

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Mage
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Unhappy

It not about the Consumer. But Big Business and Regulator Income.

IPTV, Satellite or Cable can't replace Terrestrial, no matter what Ofcom and Comreg believe. They are complementary.

IPTV and Cable are essentially Pay TV (Broadband to support real IPTV is a lot more expensive).

People are watching more Discs and Internet because TV content is currently a lot poorer than it used to be. This partly because of the dilution of Multichannel TV and impact of PayTV. On Pay TV about 92% of viewing time is still the main free channels.

The people behind this want BBC, ITV, C4, RTE etc crippled, they want Terrestrial and ideally all FTA TV killed and the Regulators want to sell Spectrum Licences. Any service based on LTE Broadcast or some other Broadcast from Mobile Operators will be more expensive to consumer and give worse coverage than current DVB-T.

I supported the original Digital Dividend idea in late 1990s and early 2000s. But It was a mistake. More efficient use of 872 to 2600 Mobile bands would give consumers better service than tacking on 790 to 862MHz Digital Dividend (The only real dividend was Regulator Licence auctions). It has crippled expansion of Terrestrial Digital TV. The plan was originated before HD or growth of pay TV.

Satellite is a much much cheaper broadcast platform for a Broadcaster, especially Pay TV. But Foreign controlled, vulnerable to a "Burp" from the Sun and twice as expensive per TV for viewer to install. Not easily transportable or portable.

Cable TV is Pay TV, Not easily transportable or portable and only Urban/Suburban.

IPTV is 1000s of times more expensive than Broadcast if it was a mass viewing technology with true HD and able to support multiple TV sets.

We will soon have PVRs that can record ALL free channels on a 2 week rolling basis. Makes a nonsense of the running costs and national capital expenditure for Universal IPTV for mainstream viewing and "catch up" TV.

Comreg (Irish Regulator) already stated their aim is abolish all Broadcast. I'd bet Ofcom has the same aim.

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Pint-glass-flashing FISHNAPPERS strike at Firefox daddy Mozilla

Mage
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Re: Taken for a Ride?

Carp are a traditional if rather lacking in flavour fare for hundreds if not thousands of years. Some supermarkets have them live in the tank (though I only saw this in Foreign places). But I wouldn't eat anything that up and died on its own. I'm not a Rook*.

(*UK Rooks found to be as clever with Tools as famous Caledonian Crows. Boffins surmise that normally they don't bother showing off such technological skills due to prevalence of Road Kill and other free nosh).

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Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

Mage
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Alternatives exist

The NiMH solution would be similar volume and overall not much weight. Actually the battery boxes would not need to be as strong and heavy Stainless Steel, so the weight increase is small.

Lithium is used in Laptops due to battery being a high proportion of weight, not run time. Lithium used in phones etc due to ability to have rectangular form factor and small size where NiMH become less efficient. I think the Airbus uses NiMH.

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Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls

Mage
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Headmaster

Possibily till recently the World's Strongest Industrial Nation.

Generally excellent, but this is plain wrong:

"The world’s strongest industrial nation, the United States, has probably reached that position because its constitution separates the state from churches."

I think by 19th Century the Church wasn't holding anyone back in Europe. During that period the USA ignored copyright (even today there are issues with US Book & Magazine distributions in UK & Ireland in retaliation and still a problem with Music Industry royalties on Radio in USA vs Rest of World) and ignored patents. Right in to 20th Century.

They only strengthened USPO and US Copyright in 20th Century to protect their own alleged IP.

Nothing to do with the bizarre Religion vs Government in USA (In God We Trust). C.f. France since the Revolution. Also Northern Germany became Protestant in Luther's time to avoid Church interference in State.

Rest of article more reasoned opinion, but that statement is false.

Also China is or may soon outstrip USA. But again it's nothing to do with separation of Church and State.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Mage
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Re: Will anyone still care?

Exchange and Sharepoint are probably MS's worst Server Products.

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Cicada 3301: The web's toughest and most creepy crypto-puzzle is BACK

Mage
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Alien

Aliens recruiting

c.f. Last Starfighter.

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'BILLION-YEAR DISK' to help FUTURE LIFEFORMS study us

Mage
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Re: what to write

Everything.

As we can't know what might be interesting later.

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Bill Gates is once again the richest man on Earth

Mage
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Re: Facebook a tech company?

Or an Advertising agency with one Cyber Billboard disguised as a "Social Media" site.

Not a Tech company.

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.5: The Sinclair Sovereign

Mage
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On Portable Devices: LED VFD then LCD

Though VFD type devices date from early 1950s and LEDs early 1960s. The VFD is about 1/10th of voltage of Neon/Plasma displays and much easier to drive / matrix. Can work as low as 15V.

VFD still used in Cars, Setboxes/Disc players, Ovens (Microwave or Resistive).

VFD (Matrixed Triodes) and Magnetrons (Diode) are really the only two valve devices left in Volume Production now that CRTs gone.

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Eggheads give two robots vodka and tell them to text each other FOR SCIENCE

Mage
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Like Animals

No, nothing like Animals scent marking.

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.4: Yamaha retro synth, valve oscilloscope and more

Mage
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Re: Quite.

Except consumer 200MHz Digital Scope is poorer than most 10MHz Analogue ones. You need a £5,000+ 2GHz sampling scope to compete with decent S/H analogue 100MHz £50 scope.

Cheap digital scopes often only 8bit (which means less than 7 bits really), limited input ranges (not as sensitive nor high voltages) and totally rubbish triggering. Also useless for X -Y mode. Actually some quite expensive digital scopes are poor at X -Y.

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Mage
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You need to order needles

Each steel needle is only good for ONE side!

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DisARMed: Geeksphone's next high-end mobe to pack Intel x86 inside

Mage
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Surely Not

It's not the first x86 phone.

It won't be the last one.

It will be a failure.

A phone where you can pick your own OS is definitely niche. What percentage of laptops, notebooks, desktops are sold that way. Most people want to just switch it on and start using it.

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BlackBerry ends write-off of a year with $4.4 BEELLLION write-down

Mage
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Flame

Hmm ...

They sound like they have 6 months to 18 months left.

Definitely a burning platform.

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The Bong's NEXT-mas Message for 2012

Mage
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Devil

The scary bit?

So true.

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Lifesize, driveable AIR-POWERED LEGO CAR hits the road

Mage
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Re: Surely...

The British version

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napier_Deltic

I'm told the Railway engine version was very distinctive sound. Very powerful too.

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Datawind's low cost Aakash tab comes to UK, US

Mage
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Alert

History

Going back I think to 2007 I think they have a track record of over ambitious hyped products that sank due to problems.

El Reg Preview pocketsurfer

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Mage
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Out Innovates WinTel?

That would be easy. ARM based Phone, set-box and TV makers do it all the time?

I just see a packaging & Style solution, not innovation.

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Mage
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Facepalm

maybe the last.

If you like OSX and a more powerful Mac, enjoy this. It might be the last. Where are the Apple Servers today? This is a very niche market for Apple.

Yes, it's striking and different, but a niche expensive product. Maybe there might be one more generation at most.

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Samsung sees RDK as route to DOMINATION of US set top market

Mage
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Wintel

It's getting further from WinCE & Intel

(BT actually changed the EXISTING user's boxes from WinCE to Linux).

Intel inside on TVs and Setboxes was Intel's plan. But they are now collectors items.

Why are Apple allowed to call their Streaming Media box that has NO tuner and NO screen an "Apple TV"?

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Is Google prepping an ARMY of WALKING ROBOTS?

Mage
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Re: Obey the laws

Much later he added a very creepy Zeroth law.

I see what you did then. So what's the revisionist Zeroth law?

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Drawers full of different chargers? The IEC has a one-plug-to-rule-them-all

Mage
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Ewaste

You don't get a charger with a Kindle, at least not outside US.

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Mage
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Re: Forget Apple: Only 90W?

There are some laptops with 120W supplies.

I can't see this working. Also probably about 3 different DC voltages needed.

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Analogue radio will CONTINUE in Blighty as Minister of Fun dodges D-Day death sentence

Mage
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Car aerial

My old 2000 year car has a nice 75cm whip. The little bee stings and shark fins are poor for VHF-FM and useless for MW or LW.

Fantastic LW, MW & VHF-FM on it. Awkward to add weaker stations. The RDS and TA (BBC seems to switch from R4 to R. Ulster for Traffic Announcements) works great though so only one preset needed for each VHF station.

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Mage
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Boffin

Digital radio could be implemented well?

Actually after many years research I conclude that Digital Radio is always going to be inferior to FM. Don't forget AM either, it's useful too.

The Problem isn't DAB, DAB+ would be just used to deliver 64kbps and double number of stations. At 192kbps or even better 256k, the advantage of DAB+ becomes slight.

DAB should be 256K. MP2 on satellite used to be 256k. At higher bit rates such as 256K MP3 or AAC hasn't so much advantage over MP2. In some cases MP3 and AAC can sound worse if you have poor hearing as it's a psycho-acoustic model based on normal hearing and "throwing away" even more data..

Digital Radio of any needs x6 as many transmitters as there are today, though most are small, to "fill in " coverage due to digital cliff for Mobile/Portable users, unlike very gradual AM and quite gradual FM in fringe reception. The "bubbling mud" isn't purely a DAB thing, it's an artefact of not enough FEC data before you fall off the "digital cliff".

Comparing Digital TV vs Analogue and Digital Radio vs Analogue the Digital TV has almost no disadvantage and many advantages. Digital radio is usually better quality than AM, never better than FM but every other aspect it's inferior to AM or FM!

The user interface experience is rubbish. Preset stations only, large inter station delay, massive delay if you have to change Multiplex frequency (there is a limit to SFN size), typically x20 power consumption, hardly any DAB sets have RDS on the FM, current DAB features inferior to RDS + TA, virtually no sets with LW / MW (even FM isn't universal, also what about stations outside UK?).

DAB is about dominance by BBC (extra channels) or very large commercial outfits. It's not about real choice, quality, value or ease of use.

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Avago Technologies chomps up LSI for BEELLLIONS - in CASH

Mage
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Stupidity

This ultimately isn't investment but asset stripping.

Avago and LSI are both now doomed by a millstone of debt. The winners are the the people who got the money.

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Digital GIANTS in BLOODY battle to put your EYEBALLS in a JAR

Mage
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Re: Wither telly?

Sky is ITV's competitor.

Multichannel Pay TV has destroyed the UK Telly, not BBC.

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Sensation: Chinese Jade Rabbit FOUND ON MOON

Mage
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Coat

Surprised

No one mentioned the Toy Franchise yet?

The Chinese are missing out not having at least two toy versions:

"lego" clone version

"Tomy" ready made remote controlled version

For rich kids (Geek Adults):

iPhone controlled version with camera

Chassis for Raspberry Pi/Ardunio with the dish as a functional 5.8GHz WiFi link.

My coat has an Argos Catalogue in one pocket and ToysRus in the other.

Great Achievement. After all they didn't steal German Factories and Scientists in 1945 though fought the Japanese to a standstill, while having a civil war and occasionally fighting Russians (pre 1939).

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How Britain could have invented the iPhone: And how the Quangocracy cocked it up

Mage
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Thumb Up

Re: Positively now: Lastly:

"Don't ask your government for help. Unless you're in China or Zimbabwe. They generally mean well but they will strangle you to death, by accident."

Yes. I discovered this with LEDU and NIDA etc in 1980s, £10,000 and it wasn't worth it. We ended up employing 11 people and making a profit by the time DeLoran closed. He got millions the same time they gave us £10,000. Because he lied. The UK never even checked his story of Shannon Development approval (IDA and Shannon Development thought it was a con and turned him down).

Under powered "sports car". Vibration made the steel skin come off the fibreglass. All this was obvious before the Gov gave him his millions.

Any Government will strangle you with bureaucracy. Apple wasn't successful due to good ideas with iPod then iPhone. Both pre-existing products. Ideas are nice, but having money and good marketing is the reason Apple is successful. Neither Jobs or Bill Gates were POOR students. Even their own families had enough money to fund their start. Jobs built his marketing on Woz's ideas initially and Gates repackaged Dartmouth Basic.

I'm all in favour of R&D and Innovation and Engineering, But that's maybe 10% of what is needed for a successful business. The rest is equal dollops of Hard Work, Money, Marketing and Luck!

Apple was very lucky as well with the iPhone because of the incompetence of Nokia, RIM and MS:

Nokia lost the plot on UI and R&D about 2002

RIM was a niche product

MS fixated on having ONE GUI and identity of OS (So CE was a stupid miniaturisation of Desktop, now the Desktop is a stupid enlargement of Zune)

Other "players" were too small and under the radar. Apple cut down OS X to iOS but bought in a decent GUI instead of miniaturising Mac GUI. All the rest was pretty much of the shelf. I built a 4G touch screen myself before the iPhone came out but didn't have a decent GUI and knew it (it didn't matter either, as it was only a Proof of Concept demo of the 4G Flarion Modem, then bought by Qualcomm) .

The iPod success was down to copying Deiter Rams' Braun styling and marketing, also simply being Apple. Other MP3 players as good.

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You gotta fight for your copyright ... Beastie Boys sue toymaker over TV ad

Mage
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Duracell vs Energiser

You can parody the Pink Bunny.

Duracell lost, even though Energiser was basically copying the Duracell bunny, cos the Judge and Jury thought it amusing?

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I KNOW how to SAVE Microsoft. Give Windows 8 away for FREE – analyst

Mage
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Facepalm

No, you couldn't pay me.

I'm not that happy about Win7. I have no interest in Win8

No pluses at all over XP. Lots of my programs don't work. Many of these are ancient specialist CAE stuff with no Win7 version.

I'm not fussed about upgrades, it's what to run on a new laptop that worries me. I'm getting a new dev laptop in 4 weeks and it has win 7. I'll have to continue using the old one with XP on the other branch of L shaped desk :-(

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

Mage
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Modern UK plugs

Came in about 60 years ago!

Inspiron 7500 PIII 450 laptop controls/GUI on Win2K for a valve curve tracer/tester (it had NT4.0) all its working life. Ethernet and USB 2.0 both via PCMCIA cards.

A Dell slimline 286 desktop for DOS and programming channels on ancient Motorola VHF & UHF mobile radios via a home brew dongle on serial port.

I have one piece of test gear from 1945 (100kHz to 21MHz AM signal generator) I actually use. A mechanical AVO in a box somewhere. Rarely needed except for Transmitter valve PSU measurements, a £5 DMM (if you are not killed) goes woof with a blue flash at 600V on the 1000V range!

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Our Vulture strokes Dell's ROBUST 15 INCHER: Inspiron 15 Core i7

Mage
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Flame

Oh Dear

Screen less functional for documents and more tiring on eyes than a 2002 Dell Inspiron 8200, 1600 x 1200 ultrasharp anti glare screen.

When are we going to get laptops again with decent antiglare 1200 lines or better screens and 4:3 to save weight and width?

I don't buy a laptop to watch video. I've watched less than 10hrs full screen video on a laptop ever probably. The TV is better.

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OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene

Mage
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Boffin

Re: 100 percent efficiency?

I was assuming they can't make large structures. Also being 1 atom thick it would need a very smooth special substrate. There is also probably a limit to the current due to electromagnetic, Electrostatic or other effects, so we probably won't see physical wires (which would be like "Litz" no doubt) but if possible at all, only on chips.

You'll need a microscope to see it?

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Radio amateurs fret over G.fast interference

Mage
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Alert

Not Just Hams

But ANY applications below 106 / 212 and there can easily be harmonics.

It may also lock out proposals to use 42MHz to 86MHz properly.

For FM Radio Japan uses 76 to 90MHz and some countries around the 65MHz part of band.

The distance this can work at is limited (maybe 100m to 200m?), but not should be allowed for any above ground wiring. Actually fibre to the premises would make more sense.

Even current ADSL, ADSL2+ and VDSL is a problem on overhead wires.

But Ofcom and some others unlike ITU want to abolish ALL terrestrial broadcasting anyway. IP based services, cable and Satellite can't replace all Broadcast applications.

Aircraft uses 110 to 130 MHz approximately

Weather Satellites 137MHz

Marine 152 to 163 MHz approximately (Canals, rivers, lakes, not just Harbours, Estuaries, Shore).

There are other services too. Not just Radio Amateurs (50, 70, 145, 435 MHz small chunks) who are the least of the spectrum users between 1MHz and 430MHz..

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Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support

Mage
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Re: Chinese government really has only itself to blame?

Embedded Devices with Win7.

Irrelevant as usually the vendor upgrades/changes or not the Embedded OS. Often you wouldn't know an embedded device uses Win CE, Win3.11, NT 4.0 or XP embedded and normally it doesn't matter unless it's on the Internet, in which case why isn't it running Linux, VXWorks or QNX?

Actually I've been mystified why anyone chooses MS for embedded devices since about 1990.

P.S. I don't count a POS or ATM as "embedded" as they have a big screen and GUI. Some of those pretty much are PCs. Most embedded devices have no x86 CPU, and small mono LCD or no display at all (Alarms, Washing Machines, Routers/Modems, CNC machines etc).

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Mage
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Win 7 isn't XP SP4

Not a SP for XP. gratuitously different, awkward and too many programs won't run.

Nor was Win2K a SP7 for NT4.0 though less a problem of a move than XP to Win7.

Basically MS has NO decent upgrade path for XP. There is so much pain and incompatibility that Debian + Wine or Linux of choice + VM with XP for the applications with no Linux alternative is looking good.

The only time MS did this close to this before to Business users was anyone using MS OS/2. But since mostly people only used that with MS Lan manager for DOS & Win3.x clients, then migration to NT was possible, especially as it even ran OS/2 console apps (up to NT 4.0 anyway, I never tested Win2K server or Win2003 Server with OS/2 console apps).

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