* Posts by Mage

4597 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Mozilla backs away from mobile OS as Android looks invincible

Mage
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passing era of native apps, downloads and a ‘fat device’

Daft ejits if they think a mobile connection can ever replace local apps and local music and local photo taking and local note writing. Even Chromebook backtracked on that.

I don't want a cloudy phone. I don't want to rent services, experience out of coverage errors and have a data bill. Actually I'd like all the Google "cloudy" services such as Playstore and Location to be able to be disabled, manual or automatic/startup like on Windows or Linux.

I'm quite happy with USB storage mode too, to put stuff on/off from laptop.

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Facebook one-ups Google with open hardware release

Mage
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Alert

If this is so good ...

Why is Facebook such a piece of uselessness?

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'Personalised BBC' can algorithmically pander to your prejudices

Mage
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Paris Hilton

This is stupid.

People tend to only consume more of the same. People will be aided in being narrow in taste and outlook, prejudices reinforced.

The exact opposite of BBC Charter.

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Brit-American hacker duo throws pwns on IoT BBQs, grills open admin

Mage
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What next?

Internet connected toilets? IoT

Vacuum cleaners, wood burning stoves, coal bunkers, mirrors, beds, floors ...

All madness.

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Eurocrats deserve to watch domestic telly EU-wide, say Eurocrats

Mage
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Ireland

The UK is 20x bigger market. So FTA Irish TV over UK would make TV for IRISH viewer prohibitively expensive for bought in content OR locally made. Any content that UK broadcasters have rights for would them be unavailable at ANY price to Irish broadcasters

Also Ka-Sat has no crippling EPG costs.

Sky ought to be paying RTE etc for the 28.2 Encrypted content. They get it free which makes Sky Ireland competitive.

Sky Encryption, Sky EPG, Freesat EPG, 28.2 Carriage. EACH of those alone is more expensive than Ka-Sat, which RTE uses as a transmitter site backup feed. Sky was charging RTE a fortune for the viewing cards for transmitter sites! So Ka-Sat, which is fill in for people pay TV licence in IRELAND, is essentially free.

The shame is that carriage on Ka-Sat is optional. So TV3 and I think UTV Ireland are not on it as the small cost is more than any additional revenue for 1% to 2% of viewers.

There was originally the Solas Card. The money paid to sky was enormous. Then when BBC, ITV and C4 closed the scheme, Sky had "Freesat from Sky" card for small charge. Puppy dog trojan advertising to get full sub.

Tara went bust on Sky because of the costs of Sky EPG and Encryption. Sky provides this free in Ireland for RTE etc as otherwise Sky PayTv can't compete with Cable (UPC/Virgin and now Eir as well as Crossey). Sky would charge RTE more per channel for UK EPG and Encryption so much that TV licence cost would double!

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Mage
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Only eight per cent of 26,000 Europeans polled had actually tried

Because folk

a) Know they can't get a sub.

b) in UK your dish only gets UK content unless it's multifeed or you have a 2nd one, Sky almost satellite Pay TV monopoly.

c) Newer satellites have narrower spots so pan Western Europe is now needing a very big multifeed or motor dish, or in case of Ka Sat tiny spots and frequency re-use, out of area is impossible even if you have a 4.8m dish.

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Bitcoin inventor Satoshi 'outed' as Aussie, then raided by cops – but NOT over BTC

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Tulip Trading

Visa are nuts if they are serious about bitcoin.

IBAN will be the basis of a sensible Universal Electronic Currency, not PayPal or Bitcoin. The only current obstacle is the USA.

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Mage
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Re: Tulip Trading

One does wonder if BitCoin is a clever ponzi scheme and if someone "engineered" the mad Tulip "investment" bubble ... The name surely is a deliberate joke?

At the peak of tulip mania, in March 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble (or economic bubble),[3] although some researchers have noted that the Kipper- und Wipperzeit episode in 1619–22, a Europe-wide chain of debasement of the metal content of coins to fund warfare, featured mania-like similarities to a bubble.[4] The term "tulip mania" is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble (when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values).[5]

The 1637 event was popularized in 1841 by the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written by British journalist Charles Mackay. According to Mackay, at one point 12 acres (5 ha) of land were offered for a Semper augustus bulb.[6] Mackay claims that many such investors were ruined by the fall in prices, and Dutch commerce suffered a severe shock. Although Mackay's book is a classic, his account is contested. Many modern scholars feel that the mania was not as extraordinary as Mackay described and argue that not enough price data are available to prove that a tulip bulb bubble actually occurred.[7][8]

Wikipedia, may contain nuts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

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Mozilla confirms its Firefox OS phones are dead

Mage
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Re: We don't need no steenking reading comprehension!

" Google Glass got the same treatment, and you know what? That's still not dead, either."

Unfortunately

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Mage
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Mad.

They lost sight of their mission.

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Google says its quantum computer is 100 million times faster than PC

Mage
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Re: sorry, not a geek but

It's only fast for a very limited class of problem. We still are not sure what is in the box. It's not an actual quantum computer, but obviously different to a conventional CPU, GPU or possibly different to a FPGA implemented specialist processor.

Hence Google calling it "Quantum Annealing"

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Battery-free IoT sensor feeds off radio waves

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Hype

The 5m is optimistic, with RF quiet environment and large direction receiver, unless this is a perpetual motion machine breaking the laws of physics.

A 2.5cm to 20cm range is more realistic. It doesn't matter how little power the chip uses. Even if it has a BIG capacitor and only transmits in 1:100 duty cycle low data rate bursts.

You can't fit any kind of sensible WiFi aerial on a 2mm x 2mm chip either.

This is no different to an RFID chip, simply sending temperature rather than an ID Tiny range unless less specialist kit to power and talk to it and listen to it. "Smart Building" uses are fantasy.

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US Navy's newest ship sets sail with Captain James Kirk at the bridge

Mage
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Bit retro?

Reminds me of some of the old PRE Victorian dreadnaughts and ironclads.

I'd not like to be in it if it's hit broadsides by a wave!

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Unsourced, unreliable, and in your face forever: Wikidata, the future of online nonsense

Mage
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Re: Footnotes

Unless there are cats.

You know cats are NUDE under the fur?

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Mage
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Re: I'm puzzled by the example

"I think you'll find that the reason everyone moved their embassies to Tel Aviv is, officially at least, that they consider Tel Aviv"

That would be IDENTICAL to people outside USA deciding New York is USA Capital not Washington.

You may hate it, but UN has ruled Israel has a right to exist, and the Newer part of Jerusalem has never been part of any State than Israel. Only Britain and Pakistan recognised the illegal Jordanian annexation of East Jerusalem / Old City and the "West Bank" (Occupation 1948 to 1967).

Syria doesn't recognise Jerusalem as anyone's capital as they regard Israel, Lebanon, West Bank, part of Gaza and Jordan as "missing" Syrian territory.

Before 1948 there was the British Palestine Mandate, most of which today is Jordan.

Before that the area was a part of the Syrian provence of Ottoman Empire.

Nations can pick ANYWHERE in their Territory as Capital. Only the Old City is disputed and claimed by the Palestinians. That isn't recognised by UN.

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Mage
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Paris Hilton

I'm puzzled by the example

It would have been interesting if it claimed Jerusalem is capital of Jordan or Palestine. It's never been the actual capital of anywhere other than Israel, though Jordan illegally occupied the "old city" part from 1948 to 1967.

It's true that due to Arab and Moslem threats everyone moved their Embassies to Tel Aviv, but it's not the capital.

However Wikidata sounds bonkers.

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EC fires antitrust charges at Qualcomm over its pricing tactics

Mage
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Qualcomm are well ... understood.

People do business with Qualcomm because there sometimes is no alternative. Though they make stuff, they annoy everyone in the industry with their lack of commitment to products. They want to make all their income from licensing, IP etc.

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Windows Phone won't ever succeed, says IDC

Mage
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Re: Does anyone think this is a good thing?

SQL wasn't a Microsoft product. They bought in Sybase.

They DID write GUI Word and GUI Excel -- Ironically first of all for Mac

Visio, Powerpoint bought in. Access was and is pointless.

MS DOS bought in

Win NT piggybacked on OS/2 and VMS with the Win 3.x shell (copied like Mac from Xerox).

CE was a cut down NT.

Like Google and Apple, there are very few successful from scratch MS products. Or much real innovation.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Of course they did

Or IDC would be saying there will be ZERO new Windows Mobile phones in 2019.

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IBM kills Hack A Hair Dryer women-in-tech vid after backlash

Mage
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Facepalm

frequency-hopping spread-spectrum Hedy Lamarr

It's a MYTH.

There ARE brilliant women.

Hedy Lamarr's name was added to a US patent for frequency hopping as a joke. It wasn't even a real US invention but a "stolen" idea.

Possibly the only slight change was using a piano roll type card to program the frequencies at a very low chip rate

The idea was from a German demo. It's not much related to the first commercially viable spread spectrum systems (military in around 1970s) or any since.

The US Navy was uninterested as it wasn't practical and at most Hedy Lamarr's input was telling the real writer of the US patent about the German demo.

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If it still works six months from now, count yourself lucky

Mage
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Also tin and tin plague

Lead free solder dramatically has increased failure rate. Thus INCREASING landfill. The health and environment impact, if electronics is built to last and then recycled is negligible. The prohibition doesn't apply to Aerospace/Military and some watches.

Also gold is unsuitable for consumer connections. Any damp and nearby tin is attacked. Gold should only be used with gold, and if not regularly unplugged. It's not even the best conductor, just corrosion free and pretty, though causes electro-galvanic corrosion in many other metals.

Fan failures over the last 20 years have been a massive source of PSU, CPU and Graphics card failures.

While ceramic and plastic dielectric capacitors are hugely better than 1950s paper capacitors, the Electrolytics are a disaster, modern ones seem to be too small and in places with more heat than a valve radio (they put the caps away from hot bits). I think modern electrolytics are 1000s of times less reliable than 1950s ones.

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Work on world's largest star-gazing 'scope stopped after religious protests

Mage
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Re: Ascension

I think it's too flat?

Certainly no very high mountains, so too much atmosphere.

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Goodbye, Hello Barbie: Wireless toy dogged by POODLE SSL hole

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Re: I am despressed

Could be worse. Vtech might bring out a doll. Maybe Facebook (Daddy loves Max?) or even Google. I can't quite imagine Apple (too cheap a market*) or Microsoft (Windows monicker seems hard to apply).

Is the Sindy name available to buy?

[*I think these sell for US$75, they aren't listed here yet]

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Mage
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Paris Hilton

So when he put the phone down?

schadenfreude?

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Infosec bods rate app languages; find Java 'king', put PHP in bin

Mage
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Re: It's not the language

Wrong, it's BOTH.

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Mage
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Devil

PHP, ASP, or ColdFusion flunked kindergarten security

No surprise.

As I have banged on in these pages many times:

1) We see the same old stupid flaws

2) We see a huge proliferation in poor languages, though good programmers can write good programs in them.

3) We see learning a language confused with learning programming (see points 1 & 2)/

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Booming Ballmer bellows 'bulls**t' over Microsoft's cloud revenue run rate

Mage
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Coat

Re: Two finger salute

"Next up, Steve Balmer praises Linux"

He sorta did, except Android apps only run on Linux on an Android phone, but not when on a windows phone or Blackberry (excluding recent one).

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From Zero to hero: Why mini 'puter Oberon should grab Pi's crown

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Re: Meh Python? Bias pascal?

I think standard Pascal was always pretty useless as real world language. Borland Turbo Pascal was almost Modula-2. It was good at the time (1970s to 1980s) as an introduction. FAR better than BASIC, which was cut down ForTran intended to be a stepping stone to Fortran.

BASIC was stupid by 1980. I didn't use it again until VB6, which allowed a totally different style of Programming. Other than teaching and derivatives like Turbo Pascal, Pascal was never a very viable real world implementation language. Modula-2, Ada widely available from 1983 and C++ from 1986 all superior to pascal. I started C++ programming in 1987.

Most modern programmers TOTALLY fail on the difference between learning a programming language and learning to program. Or the difference between a language like Scratch (only intended for teaching concepts) and Python, which assumes you already are an expert programmer.

A language that might be brilliant for a particular real world class of implementations might be useless for teaching programming. Unfortunately only a small percentage of programmers concentrate on design rather than debugging, I BLAME MANAGERS! WHY ARE YOU NOT WRITING CODE!!!!. Most people have concentrated on learning the language and libraries, but NEVER EVER have learnt programming and design properly. Otherwise why to we STILL see the same old bugs and vulnerabilities that are totally avoidable? (Bad management is a lot of it). Cross Site Scripting, Array Bound Violations and SQL injection. A lack of defensive programming. Looking a GNU / LInux source, Web site source etc we are going backwards in quality from the late 1980s in Web and PC software compared to some Telecomms and Industrial then.

An FPGA based board for Oberon, though expensive at $170 is to be welcomed as at least a fresh approach rather than "yet another linux" board. I have Pi, I am typing this on Linux Mint. I have two Linux servers and I supported MS Oses for 20 years. In contrast there seems to be a load of script kiddie fan boys knocking this because it's more expensive than a Pi and only does Oberon, who really don't see the big picture!

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Mage
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Re: Meh Python

Python is FINE for anyone that has learnt to program.

It's total rubbish for TEACHING programming. Scratch is HUGELY better for that.

If the aim is to learn, then Pi + Scratch is a good start for kids 10+ years

If you are 15+ and want to really learn to program AND write real programs instead of hacked scripts, then Oberon board is great. Previously you had to dedicate (or dual boot) a laptop to it.

Modula-2 + Lilith is the early ancestor of this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith_%28computer%29

(I used Modula-2 from 1983 to 1996 and wrote an entire platform game which ran from DOS and no assembler in 520K. Virtual device drivers for different graphics cards automatically loaded.)

PASCAL to Modula-2 is like 1978 MS Basic and VB6.

Oberon much more advanced

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modula-2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberon_%28operating_system%29

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberon-2_%28programming_language%29

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Mage
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Happy

Pascal -> Modula-2 -> Oberon

Pascal was only meant to be a language to learn Programming, not to learn Pascal.

Colleges destroyed the development and deploying of Modula-2 in the 1980s to 1990s by simply teaching Modula-2 as if it was pascal. Modula-2 didn't explicitly have C++ class syntax, you could use opaque modules, separate compilation, typed procedures passed as parameters.

It had parallelism and multicore support as part of the language via co-routines and mutexes.

Compilers in 1990s could do much compile time array bound checking foreign to C or C++

Types even STRONGER than Pascal, so anonymous Array types are not compatible.

But MAGIC types for device drivers (Array of Byte) with ability within a procedure to call to find array bounds!

Oberon is MUCH better.

Sadly the rest of the world is mostly stuck at 1976 levels of programming and I've lost count of how many C++ projects that simply "reused objects" (or even no objects) and otherwise no lessons from Strustrupp and C++, practically compilable with a C compiler.

PHP, Javascript, coldfusion, python etc make VB6 with "Option Explicit" look good.

It's a pity it doesn't have HDMI as well as VGA and isn't half the price. It's a brilliant idea.

Scratch on Rasberry Pi allows teaching programming. Python on Pi to turn LEDS on / off is worse than JAL, BASIC or C on a bare metal 18Fxxx family PIC with a USB port to connect to PC or Tablet.

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Europe launches search for Einstein's space-time ripples

Mage
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Reschedule

VV06 countdown resumed for launch scheduled on 3 December 2015

Checks carried out for ESA’s LISA Pathfinder mission have provided satisfactory results.

Arianespace and ESA have therefore decided to resume preparation operations for VV06 for a launch scheduled on 3 December 2015 at exactly:

01:04:00 a.m. (local time in French Guiana),

11:04:00 p.m. (Washington DC time), on 2 December,

04:04:00 a.m. (UTC),

05:04:00 a.m. (Paris time).

video on arianespace.tv

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Mage
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Re: Shirley...

Phase differences vs distance if it's a wave will give a frequency signal. So if the two detectors are at a suitable distance apart compared to wavelength.

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Mage
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Alert

Blasts Off

Maybe delayed ...

"During the final step of VV06 launch campaign, a technical issue on the Vega launch vehicle required additional analysis. The launch initially scheduled for December 2, 2015 is postponed.

ESA’s LISA Pathfinder spacecraft is in stable and safe conditions and the launcher teams are currently working on this technical issue.

A review of the results will take place tomorrow [2nd], leading to a decision for a possible launch on December 3."

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Mozilla: Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Thunderbirds are – gone

Mage
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Unhappy

Conflicted

I want Thunderbird to be supported. OTH, I wish there was a decent fork of Firefox, because Mozilla big time have lost the plot. Totally annoying & pointless GUI changes that make it HARDER to use. Stupidity like built in PDF viewing. They aren't even properly maintaining, never mind developing Firefox properly. They have made GUI on Thunderbird worse and not added calendar/meetings widget in a way to kill horrid evil outlook.

They put a nasty wizard for new email accounts which makes it HARDER to add extra POP mailboxes.

Both products are going backwards.

I used Eudora before I moved to Thunderbird very many years ago.

Who is likely to take on Thunderbird and actually improve the GUI and add meetings/calendar and fix the horrid new account wizard to make it optional rather than add the latest GUI fashions?

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Windows 10 market share growth rate flattens again

Mage
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Symbain beats WinMobile

Well ... I'm surprised.

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Hello Barbie controversy re-ignited with insecurity claims

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: The 16mbit of firmware..

wifi microcontroller module

Maybe it's the same one in IoT kettles and coffee makers.

Security?

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Visual Studio Code: The top five features

Mage
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Re: On linux? Meh, I'll stick with vim

Maybe ... Though I find Notepad++ on WINE on Linux good (I've read the explanation as to why open source NPP has no native Linux version despite being based on a Linux editor). I can't find any native linux editor* as flexible and useful for any arbitrary scripting, compiled language or even writing novels. Easy to add back end compilers, SVN/GIT, plugins, new languages (even roll your own), customisation, speed, powerful regex search/replace on doc, open files, matching files, subdirectories etc..

It seems a misleading name and less "visual" than 2000 era so called "Visual C".

(*Yes, I've used Vi, Vim, Nano, Kate, real visual studios, Eclipse, Netbeans, Sharp Develop, Unix since 1986, Microsoft since 1981, UCSD-p system, Pascal, Modula-2, Occam, C#, C, C++, VB6, Java, Lisp, Prolog, CP/M, Assembler, DOS, OS/2, VMS, Cromix, Linux, Written Android apps, Javascript, ColdFusion, SQL etc etc)

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Mage
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Paris Hilton

Azure, Office

No interest in those.

Can it be used to develop for Android, Linux, Embedded Microprocessors?

Is it more than code editor and project file manager? What is advantage over Eclipse, Netbeans, Sharp Develop, Notepad++ etc?

How is it different to the VS for VB6, or the newer Visual Studios for VB.net and C# ?

When is it likely to leave Beta?

I didn't get much out this review.

Icon as I'm obviously clueless as to why I'd download and install this on Linux

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OLPC's modular heir hits the crowdfunding trail

Mage
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Re: US$249?

The one in the article runs Android.

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Mage
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Paris Hilton

US$249?

You can buy an Android tablet with keyboard cover for £45 on Amazon.

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Research: Microsoft the fastest growing maker of tablet OSs ... by 2019

Mage
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Re: first tablet?

Apple Newton was a PDA killed by Jobs, but helped jumpstart ARM, not a tablet. There were earlier ones based on CMOS 8 bit CPUs.

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Samsung Gear VR is good. So good 2016 could be year virtual reality finally makes it

Mage
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Boffin

Re: What about audio, then?

Audio only needs two channels if you have a motion sensing headset. Read up on binaural. A two channel full surround system since 1970s for headphones only... but as if your head is clamped in one place. Stereo is designed for speakers. If DSP is used to convert it to Binaural it is far better on headphones.

The two binaural channels can be processed via DSP from four channels, spatially representing a tetrahedron. The 5.1 is purely a cinema gimmick. (the .1 is effects can be generated from even stereo, the 5th is easily generated from the L & R front channels. A proper surround feed would have the equivalent of four cardioid microphones arranged in tetrahedron. Then in real time the DSP creates the appropriate angle of binaural (see: dummy head recording) as the head is rotated and tilted. Generating the audio is considerably less work than real time 3D game rendering.

Generation of decent 3D content rather than stereoscopic from real life video recording is nearly impossible. Using a remote real time pair of video cameras is trivial. The camera platform simply follows your head movement. In that scenario, stereoscopic video is 3D even if you are blind in one eye! Fixed view Stereoscopic video is rubbish compared to Stereo (speakers) or binaural (headphones) audio.

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Broadband's frequency hunters denied Freeview patch – for now

Mage
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Re: HEVC

" just give up on the whole radio broadcast thing, allocate the frequencies to Wifi and 5G tech, and then stream everything over a standardised IP service"

Doesn't scale for mass usage.

Even if every street light was femto cell capacity would be worse than Fibre. Even fibre needs video servers at each ISP node for mass market VOD. Most WiFi can only manage a couple of decent quality video channels.

IP works best for unique traffic. For "broadcast" it's only economic for niche channels. Will BBC3 be a cost saving only if hardly anyone watches it?

Also IP infrastructure is fragile compared to Broadcast. Mobile more so and worse coverage.

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Mage
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Mobile

Inherently MOBILE can't be broadband. Unless every street light is a femto cell.

Mobile should not have 700MHz and even 800MHz will prove in the end to be regulator greed, and damaging for future of Terrestrial Broadcast. None of 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800Hz, 2100MHz can deliver broadband. Fibre is cheaper and 200x the speed/real capacity and 1/1000th of the electricity of decent density cell deployment.

Cells are just too big at 700MHz and 800MHz.

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Lights, power, action! Smartplugs with a twist

Mage
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BS1363 vs Lego

Committee for the BS1363 plug formed in 1941. Introduced in 1947.

The Lego Group began manufacturing the bricks in 1949.

I claim BS1363 got there first.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Fail

Both networked and remote controlled plugs have been around for ever, more than 20 years.

Time operated kettles since 1930s! You can only use them once without a reset because of the WATER. (the power switch can be left on).

Zanussi or such does a nice mounted in the wall plumbed in coffee maker. So you don't have to refill the water. You DO have to refill the coffee.

The "teasmade" timed "kettles" are still made. A £10 timer plug and £10 kettle will do the same, but doesn't pour automatically into the cups.

There is a niche market for this late to market product. Or less, as the competition is more flexible. This is a 0 out of 5 product.

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Australian cops rush to stop 2AM murder of … a spider

Mage
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Gimp

Sharks

Sharks can't get in living room.

Some Australian spiders are deadly.

Worldwide don't they kill more people than sharks?

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Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10

Mage
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You couldn't make this up!

Maybe MS has bought Redhat, Ubuntu or Suse and is set to launch Linux-on-everything once they have totally destroyed the desire of business to upgrade (or use Windows at all!). I bet they add this to XP, Vista, Win7 and Win 8.x. Or the last two.

What are they thinking of?

This probably isn't even legal in most of the World.

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Nest defends web CCTV Cam amid unstoppable 24/7 surveillance fears

Mage
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Sky Boxes

Still downloading to the hidden partition and listening for updates etc. They only mute the AV and power down RF modulator.

I like stuff with a physical power switch.

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Cyber-terror: How real is the threat? Squirrels are more of a danger

Mage
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Re: It's all about the blinky lights

Tabasco. Or related super hot chilli

Rats, Mice etc can't stand it. Only humans eat it.

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