* Posts by Mage

4645 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Dialog box shut: Now Microchip is set to gobble up Atmel

Mage
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Headmaster

PIC

There are some quite different PICs. Some are ARM.

The 16 and 18 Series are the alternative to 8051 and AVR/Ardunio They are best programmed using JAL V2.

jal.sourceforge.net

justanotherlanguage.org

www.casadeyork.com/jalv2/

NXP do M0 ARM chips about same price as PIC and AVR. But some projects are so simple that a PIC or AVR is cheaper to develop and maintain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JAL_%28compiler%29

The huge advantage is that switching PICs and setting the device options are easy. The team also have figured out most of the mistakes in datasheets. There is even a PCB that takes Ardunio shields (which are physically a daft idea!).

JAL libraries are good too, USB, FAT, SD Cards, Graphic and Text panels, Maths etc. You can swap between bit banged GPIO or dedicated I2C, Serial etc HW with JAL libraries.

An Ardunio is for people that can't solder veroboard or order cheap custom PCB from China. AVR and PIC are equally easy to use without that ecosystem.

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Facebook is no charity, and the ‘free’ in Free Basics comes at a price

Mage
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Flame

Who could possibly be against free internet access?

No-one. But Zuckerberg isn't offering the Internet, but a walled garden, worse than the days of WAP in many ways.

His parasitical company is the gatekeeper.

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Vendors reporting their cloud revenue with funny money

Mage
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Facepalm

Tears

It will end in tears. I hope not the end of civilisation.

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KeysForge will give you printable key blueprints using a photo of a lock

Mage
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Windows

The old way ...

For years, maybe over 40, you could get a strong, real key for that old stiff lock from a photo by taking a photo to a locksmith. One used the Prison Officer's uniform buttons to get the size right first time.

Most 3D printers can't print a strong enough key, but I suppose any shoe and key bar can replicate the plastic printout in a couple of minutes with the key grinding machine.

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BTC dev: 'Strangling' the blockchain will kill Bitcoin

Mage
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re: Paypal

IBAN is the cheaper and better alternative to Paypal outside USA. Many German eBay sellers won't take Paypal.

But PayPal and IBAN are NOT currencies, as bitcoin is supposed to be, they are more secure and cheaper modern alternatives to horriblely expensive Wiretransfer services like Western Union.

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Mage
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Blockchain isn't the problem

While an anonymous electronic currency may be laudable, bitcoin is really a speculation and/or money laundering vehicle.

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Huffing and puffing Intel needs new diet of chips if it's to stay in shape

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Oh dear Intel are not making as much profit as they are used to

IoT and Toys?

No, that can't help Intel with their high margin power hungry chips. An ARM SoC can be be as low as 50c and run on a few AA cells all year.

Of course Intel does have great fab, great marketing, great production engineering and an ARM licence. Even after selling the StrongARM based range to Marvell, they did keep an ARM based comms controller.

It's not a matter of new markets for x86-64, those don't exist, but a matter of changing the philosophy of how they make money and from what. Ego.

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Murderous necrophiliac kangaroo briefly wins nation's heart

Mage
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Re: @Fibbles

Probably, both, though I'm trying not to think about it. Or Dogs and human or table legs.

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Mage
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Re: Natural behaviour

Bestiality in sense of cross species sex:

Yes it does exist in nature. usually males initiate it. Stallion and donkey is far more common than mare and donkey. I do know that Horses and Donkeys are not as unrelated as dogs and cats, or seals and penguins (been recorded, though the seal may eat the victim later).

Dogs are not particular either.

Is some male on male in animals a case of sex drive and lack of a female for a stronger male? It's not like as if we can ask them why they are doing it. It's dubious to read human motivations into animal actions as this story shows.

Really actually whether an animal does something, or not is irrelevant to deciding norms for human behaviour. We don't usually eat raw meat, or faeces, or piss to mark our territory. We tend to be suspicious of humans that do that. Similarly we don't expect to animals to keep the child in the nest for half its life simply because it doesn't find a mate.

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After-dinner Mint? Stylish desktop finale released as last of the 17 line

Mage
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Mate

Once you change the default settings the Mate desktop is the best I've used on Linux since 1999 if you want functionality rather than eye candy and you are moving from XP customised to be like Win98/NT4.0 classic GUI.

Good for older PCs too. The default Animated slide show log in screen makes login in very painful, but easily turned off.

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2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

Mage
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Linux

Re: Nice sum up.

Though on my Acer Aspire One 7" (plastic cut inside to fit 32G CF card and adapter instead of stock 4G flash) and Acer TravelMate 2420, the Linux Mint + Mate Desktop with animated login screen disabled is best. Adjusted GUI to be like Win98/NT4/XP classic (without rounded bits).

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Mage
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Re: Moving on up!

Looked lately at how many TVs, Setboxes, routers and Servers run Linux?

How many years ago did BT swap Windows CE for Linux on their hybrid DVB/DSL boxes?

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Linux vs ZX **

That old chestnut!

The majority of Sinclair users typed in listings or played commercial games. Very few of them learned to program. I did learn Z80 Assembler, 6502, 78C11, 8051, but used high level languages during learning to program (But not BASIC). I quickly progressed to Forth, Modula-2, Prolog on Z80. Various languages on PC, avoiding any serious programming in BASIC, save a test card generator for Spectrum, till VB6 and Option Explicit and writing programs only differing in syntax from C++, Modula-2, Ada or later Java.

Learning BASIC, or even Pascal or C++ language isn't learning to program either.

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Microsoft's patent tumble: A kinder, gentler IP politics? No

Mage
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Coat

Re: US patents

It's entirely about filing it at USPTO and your lawyers. Not at all about real engineering or "good" patents.

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Mage
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Devil

The Elephant

Given how little new physics and genuine innovation (I can count less than 20 in electronics in last 20 years), most of these are bogus patents. Either not really innovative, obvious to anyone expert in the art, already done etc.

Also how many are not "inventive" but what in UK would be simply registered designs?

How many are existing technology dressed up in a new description?

It's an intellectual war legal battle, not innovation. The USPTO idea is that companies and individuals test validity in court. This unfairly penalises everyone except International Behemothic Moneyed, companies and similar.

I can't believe that ALL tech people together in the world can come up with 1500 real patents for Electronics (any software, GUI etc should be invalid, only novel UI devices should be possible for GUI, and in reality there have been none of them since mouse & touch screens, or pens that don't use screen image optically, the Wacom type pen is pretty old, digitisers with a puck older. Light pens, touch screen and tracker ball predate mice).

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Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

Mage
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Pint

Oh frabulous day!

Welcome back, wondrous goddess of the code.

Now I must read the article!

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Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb

Mage
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Re: 'ere we go

All LED lamps have a horrid gap in cyan part of spectrum, broad peak at yellow, narrow peak at blue end. They get bluer with age, the PSUs use too cheap electrolytics and fail. They often have inadequate filtering and only really beat CFL for efficiency in the cold or if a narrower illumination is required. You can make the Colour Temperature OK (though rises with age). Colour rendition is poor and they suppress melatonin at night, a lower power halogen better for late night reading (or if not dead trees, then Kindle/Kobo with LED front light off).

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Mage
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Re: TCO?

The equivalents on lamp packages are a lie. This has now been exposed, though known by anyone expert for years. You need about 20W + of CFL or LED to light the same area to same brightness as a 100W lamp. Or about an 85W Halogen. 75W halogen is NOT same as 100W regular lamp, they are allowed too much latitude on measurements!

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Mage
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Re: Sounds expensive

And so called White LEDs are ghastly colour rendition. PSU life and interference as well as illumination angle are an issue. CFLs/Fluorescent tubes though are poor in the cold.

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One Ring to pwn them all: IoT doorbell can reveal your Wi-Fi key

Mage
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Facepalm

WiFi?

Why not tenth of cost lower power 433 MHz SRD with ASK/OOK and a unique address transmitted, so next door's button doesn't work your bell?

Then have an option module for bell unit (actually will work with any bell really) to add WiFi for phone addicts that must have door bell button on a mobile app.

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EU lawmaker committees call for single EU telco regulator

Mage
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Devil

Re: Less bureaucracy?!?

Ofcom and Comreg's main function is to make money from Treasury due to Spectrum Auctions to Mobile Operators.

In Ireland all the Telecom operators ALSO pay annual "fees" to Comreg to "finance" them. Hence they make a profit for Government and ignore the consumer.

Look up "Regulatory Capture"

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Mage
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I hope this it what it seems

Certainly Ofcom and Comreg only exist to benefit the Mobile operators and care more about big business such as Arqiva, Sky, BT and Eir than consumers or sensible allocation and protection of spectrum.

They are not doing the job that they were created for when migrated from Ministers of Posts & Telegraphs etc.

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Qualcomm tries to figure out if Apple, Samsung made it anti-trusted

Mage
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Qualcomm

Chips and products are only an inconvenience needed so their lawyers can extract maximum royalty from their victims.

Qualcomm's requests should be thrown out by the court.

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Motorola cut in half! But still alive, and ready to live again

Mage
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Motorola

Did they make record players for cars before they got into car radios?

I'm thinking car radios in the valve era (tubes) was their first thing... then later mobile two way radio, semiconductors etc.

Like HP, the current Motorola brand has not much in common with the original.

Philips oddly are back doing what they did before radio: light bulbs.

The Motorola Mobility (Infrastructure) is gone too I think to Nokia Networks (despite not making phones, Nokia is still a big company. Who knows if they will make toilet paper, rubber boots, TVs or Set-boxes next year? :) )

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Swiss try to wind up Apple with $25k dumb-watch

Mage
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Re: Dumb Watch?

The Apple Watch is DUMB, as it's useless without an iPhone and needs charged more often than a mechanical one needs wound.

The Apple one is a less useful status symbol.

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Lovelace at 200: Celebrating the High Priestess to Babbage's machines

Mage
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Strange connections

Mary Shelly was writing practically the first SF , Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus when Ada was a baby...

First Scientist & Electricity in fiction? (Volta invented Electric battery in about 1799 and wrote refutation of Galvanism, or Animal Electricity, such which was obviously an idea for animating the monster.).

It's a great pity that Babbage chose the mechanical calculator route rather than electrical relays, which would have been possible. (c.f. Conrad Zuse and Z1). The Babbage design wasn't really manufacturable with the machine tools of the time.

In 1814, Mary began a romance with one of her father’s political followers, the then married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary's stepsister Claire Clairmont, Mary and Shelley left for France and traveled through Europe. Upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816, after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.

In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Shelley#Authorship_of_Frankenstein

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Who's laughing now, doubters? Cloud makers rake in £75bn in sales

Mage
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Devil

Cloud sales: Not new

How many users are really saving by using these services instead of their own?

The issue though isn't money. If it's not profitable it's not sustainable sales price. If it is very profitable, then many people can do it cheaper themselves. It's not like buying pay TV which if you think you need it, you can't make your own.

The real issue is should people be using the cloud at all, other than temporary files or ad hoc collaboration of non-critical nature.

Core Business functions shouldn't be outsourced.

What strategy is there if you lose internet connection, so called cloud provider goes down?

Privacy? Security? Backups?

The cloud is a hype and buzz world. The services are as old as shared computers. It's not a new business but a 50+ year old one that for 20 years has been migrating from expensive secure leased lines to insecure and unknown up time internet connections to access it.

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T-Mobile US boss John Legere calls bulls*** on video throttling claims

Mage
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Mobile is the problem

They need to build NINE times as many masts to support the same number of people on 1080p as 480p

HD video needs cable or fibre, or else Mobile needs to be x5 more expensive to support a higher density of basestations = smaller cells = more capacity = more speed.

So it's about profits.

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British bureaucrats are world's most social-media-tastic

Mage
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Devil

Best at Twitter & Facebook?

A couple of commercial parasites of zero value to the public.

They should be ashamed to wasting time on such thing. It's equivalent to deciding to communicate with the public only by the letters page of the Daily Mail and The Sun newspapers.

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Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018

Mage
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Re: Just works

Yes. The Coffee pod machine maker discovered that people don't want DRM with Coffee

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Mage
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Re: Good

"Because as soon as the authentication server goes offline (company folds, title deleted, etc...) then you've lost the game."

Then is the time to break the DRM. Yes, DRM is stupid. But enabling "piracy" while the system is active is childish.

DRM actually is contrary to Copyright, as copyright is supposed to expire eventually on any work. DRM is evil.

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Mage
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Re: Good

Indeed, why doesn't she and the teams do something useful for humanity instead of wasting time pirating games? That only allows more people to waste time and deprives the people developing them. The cost to develop a game is extremely high compared to producing a book or music.

I'm 100% opposed to DRM, but this isn't the solution.

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Wi-Fi standard could make Internet of Things things even easier ... for hackers

Mage
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Devil

Madness

It's simply adding a USA UHF ISM band.

Pointless.

If these things are made, then idiots will import them to Europe, add booster amps and Yagi aerials sold for fixed GSM 900 (common rural Internet in Czech republic in the past) and cause havoc to European GSM and 3G (Some operators are migrating 900MHz gear from GSM to 3G/HSPA, trials started some years ago).

Consumer Electronics seems to :

A) Lost the plot.

B) Not be properly regulated.

C) In Europe not enough "in the Retail Market" Policing. Many "approved" devices are not the same as the one approved, or tested incorrectly (Power line networking) or simply fake labelling.

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Oh, Zuck off: Facebook under attack for its attacks on net neutrality

Mage
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Big Brother

Free Basics

Smells.

If it can provide access to 100 sites, why not all?

Who chooses the 100 lucky sites?

This isn't Internet Access at all, but a Facebook Trojan?

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Mage
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Re: UX / GUI

The GUI / UX has been going down hill in MS Land since 2004.

Vista

Ribbon

Flat

Tiles

Flat & Tiles

PSP7 was the peak of decent GUI for Paint Shop Pro but lacked the drag line tool of Win 3.1 Aldus photo editor for picking amount of Rotation. I installed PSP X or 10 or something, and went back, Corel had seriously messed up UI consistency. Some Photoshop plugins do work in Paint Shop Pro 7

"Pretty" or "Minimalistic" of itself doesn't mean a good UX (ask Nielsen Group), Excessively Skumorphic, inconsistent, fragmented or Minimalistic (esp. flat) UI designs are are a failure.

Mint is now (esp Mate Desktop) is now maybe better than Ubuntu for UX/GUI. Windows is a GUI disaster now. Gimp only needs to get a bit better. It does, like Thunderbird, Calibre, Firefox, Filezilla, X-Chat, VLC, Open Office, Libre Office, Audacity and other programs have native Windows and Linux versions.

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Comcast's Xfinity home alarms can be disabled by wireless jammers

Mage
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Wireless Alarms are toys

All of them can be jammed. None are "professional" systems.

Some have a jamming alert. The criminal keeps setting that off till it's disabled. Then later jams it to enter.

They are a poor method to save install cost (time really as the four core wire is cheap). The actual hardware of an EQUIVALENT wired system (especially sensors) is cheaper.

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The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

Mage
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cultural touchstones

Umm... I'd like an Irish Tablet. If I could read Irish.

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HaLow, is it me you're hacking for? Wi-Fi standard for IoT emitted

Mage
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GSM

Yes, the proposed standard would only suit in USA and related countries which has a different bandplan. Europe has a small SRD band at 864MHz approx. USA has a large general band in what is 900MHz GSM. in Europe.

USA also SRD at about 385 MHz but Europe is 433 MHz (middle of USA & Europe 70cm Amateur band).

DECT Phones in Europe are 1900MHz. USA is a different band.

USA FRS and Europe UHF Licence free walkie talkies are also different bands.

You see illegal stuff all the time. FCC and European regulators are only interested in mobile revenue.

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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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