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* Posts by Mage

2764 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Hackers steal 'FULL credit card details' of 376,000 people from Irish loyalty programme firm

Mage
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Mad

How can they claim it was clever Criminals?

1) Not supposed to save this info

2) Any stuff financial if has to be stored should be properly encrypted and not in web root and not accessible via database hacks from Web.

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Dell aims for cloudy orbit with Sputnik Ubuntu developer project

Mage
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Not quite Computer HD, Only TV HD

Full HD display

Enjoy a state of the art viewing experience with the Full HD 1080p display.

Why is the entire industry convinced Laptops are only for Video? I had 1200 lines in 2002.

17" 4:3 screen 1880 x 1410 or so would be an incremental step up from 2002.

Still, it's not as bad a laptop as Berger suggests. But at 13" diagonal 16:9 it's a notebook rather than laptop. On negative, it *IS* stupid shiny screen, no ethernet, possibly no card slot.

http://www.dell.com/ie/business/p/xps-13-linux/pd

One for a large handbag/Manbag?

I'd not buy one for any OS.

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NO! Radio broadcasters snub 'end of FM' DAB radio changeover

Mage
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Re: Technoluddites

DAB isn't new. It was Digital for Digital Sake. Like trying to sell ISDN to most domestic users. Was good for small businesses though till ADSL arrived and Fax became nearly obsolete.

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Mage
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Choice

The UNUSED useless for anything else spectrum exists to TRIPLE FM spectrum. A £5 (retail) adaptor (running for months on 2 x AA) would add the spectrum to existing FM sets. Some Asian models have covered this range since 1965 and cost less than £25 today!

64 to 84MHz (used in Eastern Europe)

175 to 195 MHz (basically unused except maybe the odd 2MHz of DAB since 1985 in UK and Ireland October 2012).

The ONLY coherent argument ever for DAB has been more stations. This appears though to benefit the BBC and some national networks the most.

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Mage
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Re: Things that need to happen

No, none of those because Digital Radio of ANY system inherently can't adequately replace portable analogue radio.

DAB particularly (or DAB+) is a bad choice.

I used to believe in Digital Radio. But it's a terrible user experience and as an Expert on designing RF, Digital, Software etc, I can't see how it can be fixed. Never mind the power consumption.

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New wonder slab slurps Wi-Fi, converts it into juice for gadgets, boast boffins

Mage
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Re: Let's look at this...

At any useful distance you are talking uW or nW. Maybe enough to charge an eInk display that wakes up ONCE a day and change it's message, but unlikely even enough for that.

I don't care if they have 100% conversion or 12V. The power simply isn't there.

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Feedly coughs to cockup, KILLS Google+ login as users FLEE

Mage
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ANYONE USING SOME ELSES LOGGING SERVICE

Is really really stupid. Zero understanding of

A) Security. EVERY different site needs its own log-in. A universal Login is stupendously idiotic. Even more stupid than using the same password for everything.

B) Why should someone have an account with an unconnected service. ESPECIALLY "bloodsuckers" like Google, Facebook, Twitter (they are parasites on the Internet, though at least Google is almost a worth while one, like leeches for certain skin disorders maybe ulcers)

I stopped using a major UK media site because of this issue. The guy running it can't see what the problem is in

A) Only allowing Google+ login

B) Assuming everyone that wants to use his site is prepared to sign up to Google+

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GIMP flees SourceForge over dodgy ads and installer

Mage
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Mushroom

Re: Not visible here

But the INSTALLER offers to install Crudware nothing to do with Filezilla.

This has happened elsewhere (Cnet, Irfanview etc). It's disgraceful, taking advantage of users propensity to click "next" and never "decline" on dialogs. Especially ones designed to mislead!.

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Microsoft in a TIFF over Windows, Office bug that runs code hidden in pics

Mage
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No ...

You can cleverly craft broken formats to break the program* reading the data (simplest is String Buffer Over runs/ Array bound violations).

It's not necessary that the format is MEANT to have executable code in it.

But it must be six years since I opened MS software to view a TIFF from Internet (it a was a multipage Tiff, which oddly most photo editing SW/viewers can only see 1st page). Is the default Windows Image Preview/Printer application of XP and later Windows vulnerable?

(* or a 3rd party library the programmer of the program used)

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Inventor whips lenscap off 3D-printed pinhole camera

Mage
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FAIL

Pointless

A pin hole camera is a light proof box with a pin hole (smaller is better, in thinner foil, but then exposure time is longer).

Perhaps printing your own Smurfs is more pointless. I'm baffled why anyone would waste the plastic printing their own or buy one. The whole point is to "blue peter" style recycle something.

The 3D printer has a lot of value in prototyping complex shapes. But Pin Hole camera is just a box.

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Bitcopocalypse! Top crypto-currency can be HIJACKED, warn boffins

Mage
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28 per cent and 23 per cent,

51%

Sounds like a bad thing to join...

(double meaning there)

I think time to leave.

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iPad 4 is so OVER: 5 times as many fanbois now using iPad Air - survey

Mage
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Or ..

Perhaps their metrics are not terribly representable of the Majority of iPad users?

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Funds flung at 9-inch fan-built Raspberry Pi monitor

Mage
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Re: 9-inch screen

Just hold it properly.

It's equivalent to a 45" screen 2.4m away held 48cm away, so at 20cm / 8" (a feasible reading distance) it should be usable.

My Archos is 4.3" screen and 800 x 480. So 1920 x 1080 at 9" isn't much higher resolution. However is itactually going to be lower than TV HD resolution?

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'It seems that the OSes and devices are based on the Devil'

Mage
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Absolutely

Never a truer word.

Full of Sic.

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Cisco: We'll open-source our H.264 video code AND foot licensing bill

Mage
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Win Win Win?

Win for Consumers, Win for Cisco (more video means they sell more kit to someone somewhere) and a Win for the MPEG-LA. Every individual build probably doesn't need tracked if Cisco does a suitable volume licence deal. Less paperwork per use for MPEG-LA?

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Mage
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DAB : needs x6 as many fill in transmitters as FM to avoid holes in coverage

DAB : Inherent delay in changing stations vs FM. Huge delay to acquire a new Multiplex that wasn't stored.

The problem isn't just DAB, "Digital" at all proves to be a poor replacement for AM & FM. Even FM can't do away with AM, AM is only way to have fully national coverage and trans-national broadcasting.

Satellite, 3G/4G, Internet, Cable, DTT can't replace AM & FM either, only complement it.

Most of the problems with DAB can't be solved by using a different Digital System such as DAB+ (likely to only be used to double number of channels, never for more quality), DRM or DRM+ or DMB or LTE-B or whatever.

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Mage
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Re: I'm Curious

There is no market for Band II (FM Spectrum) other than FM Radio.

No one else has any plan to close Band II. Some countries have only just adopted it instead of FM on 70MHz band.

Actually they SHOULD have added 65 to 85 and 175 to 195 MHz to FM to triple number of stations. A £5 converter that runs off 2 x AA cells for 1000 Hrs would ad the two bands to existing sets. On - off and Hi-Lo. When off you get band II. On you get BandIII or 70MHz band.

Some Asian sets today and since 1965 tune this whole range already!

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Mage
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DAB+

Be careful what you wish for.

DAB+ has almost no real advantage, except to allow twice as many stations. All the reasons why DAB is inferior to Analogue apply to it.

I used to be a firm supporter of Digital Radio and DRM & DRM+ in particular. I'm now convinced it's technology for technology's sake. There is enough spectrum no use for Mobile to triple FM spectrum! The FM Band II isn't really much use for anything else.

With the end of Band I & Band III TV (1985 in UK and 1999 & 2012 in other countries) and move from VHF Mobile Radio in "fleets" to Mobile Phones there is absolutely no pressure to save spectrum. Which is absolutely the ONLY advantage of Digital Radio. In every other respect Digital Radio is inferior for portable broadcast.

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Post-PC era? Post-MAC era! OS X Mavericks 'upgrade' ruins iWorks

Mage
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Next

is not "Next" Workstation

but end of Macs.

As soon as there is a bigger iPad with keyboard cover selling well the Macs will be Dumped. Seen a new Apple Server lately?

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A steam punk VDU ?

Mage
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Rotating elongated Bead

The simplest is part white and black and rotated by a lever to outer edge at either end. It doesn't need to be hollow, it can clip in to a frame.

But if it has four sides (a rectangular bead) then you can have two mid shades of grey.

We can't do more shades without going to very tiny dot matrix beads at 60dpi or higher as with our minimal parts (starburst) 4 x 3 cells, a part rotated bead would look rubbish and it's too complicated.

I think basically two states is complex enough, on or off. via intermediate mechanical linkage such that only one cell at a time is driven by the 3 x 4 rods from "look up table". The character set wants to be as small as possible. After changing a cell by default the next cell is addressed. Erase can be a plate with rods to engage every bead and push to all white (or all black, which ever is blank)

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Mage
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Re: Logie Baird

His (or Nipkow's really) allows about 3 rows of 3 characters max. It also has no memory.

The static mechanical displays (hinged mirrors, flip plates/disks, rotating beads) can even be "read back" and used as memory.

The various Magic Slate & Etch a sketch ideas don't need refreshed but can't be read back.

The spinning disk needs refreshed at least 11 fps.

I think the rotatable beads or flip plates/disks are best as:

1) Ambient light

2) Memory that can be read back

3) Fast erase of whole display

4) X & Y character cell addressable

5) Possible to use segment bar per cell instead of dot array to reduce cell addressing from 5 x 7 to 3 x 4, much faster and easier to make a desk sized display using "starburst" than 5 x 7 dots.

So though a CRT or neon dots/.segments (or even under driven tungsten filaments) and batteries are possible in 1890s, both are actually far more difficult and complex to drive than the bead or flip plate arrays.

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Mage
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Re: Just use a CRT its not an anachronism

But DC Electricity dates from some time after 1798, at least in 1878 they celebrated a Volta centenary in France. (Not sure if his Birth, death or the Battery). I'm too lazy to look it up.

Actually there is even the alleged Bagdad Battery,

Two modern Steam Punk displays with memory ...

Actually modern DLP projectors use an array of hinged mirrors, doing 40 x 20 characters each made of 11 segments (starburst display normally uses 14, but 11 is possible) with mirrors or the eInk concept ( using rotating 1/2 white & black segment shape beads instead of balls of Kindle etc).

So we need to operate 40 x 20 x 11 = 8800 segments (either elongated beads 1/2 white & black or hinged mirrors). The beads need no additional light source, only need two positions, could have four faces, and are very stable.

The first electrical matrix displays may be 1908. Victoria died 3 years earlier?

12 segments need 3 columns x 4 rows . making the 40 x 20 text panel 120 x 80 X / Y multiplexed.

One set of 60 Punched metal cards can do the character encoding for each 3 x 4 character cell. The minimum is to reuse 1 & 0 for I and O (as old typewriters did) and only have one case = 26 + 8 = 34 cards / characters.

We maybe can share 5 and S and also 8 and B reducing it to 32.

Update of entire display is slow, maybe up to 5 minutes if a 1/2 second per cell is possible. Erase would be fast (1/10th sec) as that can be a single operation without character cell. Per cell access perhaps 1/2 second.

Each bead about 1/32" diameter and 1/4" long I think?

I actually have 4 x 3 matrixed 11 segment + dp (= 12) LED panels. Curiously most starbursts are 14, but it looks like a 14 segment. (some segments are tied together).

BTW LED was discovered about 1912 by a Marconi Employee but ignored. They were looking for a better RF detection crystal and a weak glow was of no interest. It was discovered again in 1930s by a Russian killed during WWII.

Victorian CRT (on Continent the Braun Tube) was VERY dim as it was "cold cathode", no heater/filament. It wasn't till after thermionic emission was understood (Fleming and De Forest, in contrast Edison was technically clueless, he was a commercial person) that the CRT got a heater. Electronic TV using a CRT with photo target as camera as well as display was proposed about 1906. Baird was very steam punk with his mechanical TV based on Victorian era Nipkow Television.

The Disk mechanical TV is limited to under 30 lines! or about 12 readable characters. Using stacked plates as a set of 200 to 300 mirrors (the plate edges) then about 20 wide by 20 high text is just about possible.

Aconite (?) gas lamp illumination and mechanical drive is possible. But it has no memory and needs refresh of at least 11 fps. The static beads, hinged mirrors or flip panels all have memory and the beads and panels use ambient light.

http://www.medwelljournals.com/abstract/?doi=ajit.2005.692.693

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

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

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

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Don't crack that Mac: Almost NOTHING in new Retina MacBook Pros can be replaced

Mage
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Tablet Computer

Most Smart Phones still have pop-in cells. No excuse for a Tablet to not have user replaceable batteries. It's a deliberate design decision to build in obsolescence. It would add no weight, cost or thickness to have it designed in on the new Mac or Surface or any Tablet.

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Mage
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This is England?

I think you'll find it applies not just to G.B. but entire UK. Actually it's an EU directive that UK accepted. Applies in most of EU and some European countries not in EU. Probably though the Laptop only has to work for 2 years. Though claims for losses / injury caused are valid up to 6 years.

Apple already got in trouble in Italy for selling so called "warranties" for inside the two years. They must have been studying PC world/Currys and Argos.

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Mage
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Re: Batteries!

Lots of stuff uses soft case Lithium (AKA LiPo) and the batteries are not glued in.

It's to save cost and ensure only Apple sell a replacement and encourage replacing the entire Mac.

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Mage
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Batteries!

They are CONSUMABLES.

It's bordering on criminal that you can't replace the battery pack. Built in "landfill" feature. My Laptop is 1.8GHz 1600 x 1200

On its FOURTH pack (in 11 years) which is reasonable.

On Average the battery will be two years. Maybe 1 year for 20% to 30% of users.

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I am a recovering Superwoman wannabee

Mage
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Also Don't forget!

Superman isn't real either.

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Space, digitisation and storage. Astronomy Legacy Project has it all

Mage
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I hope

They scan at good bit depth in mono and RGB and resolution of more than twice the smallest grain size though.

Worthy archive project.

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Ofcom: By 2017, even BUMPKINS will have superfast broadband

Mage
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Stupid nonsense about 4G

4G isn't and wouldn't ever be economical to fill gaps in wired/fibred coverage. It simply doesn't have the capacity without x10 as many masts in those areas. Rural FTTP or Fixed Wireless is cheaper!

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Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Re: It just goes to show....

If the Governments esp. USA did NOTHING, it would hurt "terrorist" Recruitment. The number of people likely to be killed in UK or USA by Terrorists is less than car accidents and other more easily addressed things (Smoking).

US policy has probably increased "terror".

There is an inherent problem with Islam vs everything else. Spying on everyone will not solve that but increase Islamic Terror. How does NSA and GCHQ spying stop Islamic Terrorists shooting up African Shopping Centres or assassinating health workers in in Pakistan.

The solution involves Culture and Politics. Not Sigint and Extra-judicial assassination using Drones.

How much spying by USA and China is though industrial espionage and nothing to do with politics or the so called "War on Terror"?

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Surface Pro 2: It's TOOL-PROOF and ultimately destined for LANDFILL

Mage
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Battery

A high proportion of batteries will be poor before 2 years. What is the use anyway if you can only use 25% of the battery and need to recharge to have decent life? If it's useful as a tablet it will see 80% to 90% discharge per use and the battery WILL need replaced inside 2 years.

Batteries need to be user replaceable.

SSD wears out too. Though not as fast.

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How do you solve a problem like MariaDB? Give it $20m ... right, Intel?

Mage
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Would be nice

Would be a drop in replacement for Oracle. Even an old one. Actually especially an old one.

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Baldness fix from foreskin follicles

Mage
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Newborn

Maybe it was newborn mice. Does it say humans?

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Microsoft pulls Win 8.1 RT code which upgraded Surface 'slabs into BRICKS

Mage
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Re: Bricked or somewhat confused. @Khaptain

I've recovered "Bricked" stuff using JTAG.

I'd call it bricked if average user (actually more likely 9 out 10 users) has to bring it to service centre / shop to get it recovered. Can the guys at Carphone Warehouse or PC World do it? Would the average user know to go there?

How many will get binned?

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Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

Mage
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Re: All hail the mighty teasmade!!!

Popular from late 1950s. The one in the pic has 1966 on. Where did the 1970s date come from?

Perhaps a winch with cord around your ankle and plug winch into a time switch.

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Oz bookshop to deliver by drone

Mage
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Re: Text Books / eBooks

Well I just ordered the new version of Kindle DX. 1/3rd price of a top iPad, but no competition to a Tablet. It might compete well with paper textbooks, scanned books and A4 PDFs on a 1600 x 1200 laptop. I may save a lot on laser printing. Print to PDF and copy via USB to Kindle DX.

I'll not rush into buying text books till the eVersions are a LOT cheaper than dead tree versions.

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Mage
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Coat

Text Books / eBooks

No eReader is suitable yet to properly replace Text books. Novels are great. Reference works can be OK if done properly (A PDF of images of scanned book is painful).

Also the regular size kindle is too small for text books. If I get the now re-appeared Kindle DX**, I will test it,

Need easier annotation, better bookmarks*, goto by click on place on bar representing "depth" of book so you can flip into via "binary tree" like search as you would do on a paper one when you know roughly the location but not page number.

*Maybe show the Favourite Bookmarks as icons on a bar representing the depth of book.

BTW, Apple, I designed all this in 1987, so don't bother trying to patent it.

(** is re-released DX a newer screen like Paper White? Amazon site seems vague)

Mines the one with a Kindle paper white in the pocket.

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FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz

Mage
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Or

Not move at all. In reality the lack of patches doesn't make much difference to a sensibly used XP behind a firewall.

Surely there is a non-MS alternative too? Not if you have a large investment in old Windows and DOS programs, some of which don't work on Vista/Win7 and perhaps more don't work on Win 8, so the very people that can easily move to Win8 due to legacy baggage perhaps can move from MS. Many people I meet even with Win7 already are talking about Apple OS X or Linux. But the danger with Mac and OSX is that Apple has no loyalty to customers. Where are the Apple Servers today? If Mac and OS X is too much less attractive in Income than a cool styled "notebook" based on ARM and iOS Apple will drop the OS X based Mac family.

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Tape rocks for storage - if you don't need to, um, access your data

Mage
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Facepalm

SSD vs Tape

For BACKUP Archive, only restored when the SSD or HDD fails tape wins

SS powered off data retention capability of up to ten years.

With suitable environment tape might last a Minimum of 15 years and up to 80.

"up to" is a weasel phrase.

Good luck though finding a working drive in 50 years ...

I gave away my 8" floppy drive to a CP/M enthusiast this year. And the disks :)

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Aereo finds new way to ENRAGE TV barons: An app for Android things

Mage
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Idiots

Why don't they have a $7 subscription service. Or buy Aero and keep it at $8.

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EU digital tsar 'Steelie' Neelie Kroes: Telcos must adapt to losing roaming cash

Mage
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Ofcom Liberal?

In the wrong sense.

Maximise licence revenues and avoid the cost and complexity of actually protecting any spectrum user except high paying Mobile Operators.

Ofcom are more "political" than EU, but it's "Sir Humphry's" politics. Not the wishes of the public, parliament or what is good for the UK as a whole.

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UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi

Mage
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Teachers

The problem in the 1980s was that almost no teacher had a computer of their own or any training.

Today the problem is training. If the Teacher knows nothing about Computer Science and interfacing hardware and electronics, the kids might as well learn at home with a Pi.

The interfacing hardware and electronics is very important or else a cheap tablet or laptop with "Scratch" would be better. When Lego Mindstorms 1st came out I had high hopes of it for schools.

Maths is important to decent computer programming and HW I/O. Schools have difficulty finding people to even teach that.

A Pi can only be part of the Technology Teaching to Kids Solution. The biggest hurdles are the Dept of E. Lack of suitable teachers and commitment of schools.

They don't even do ICT properly. When I gave courses at a Business college for trainee secretaries, the best students hadn't done ICT at school. The ones that had (a) needed to unlearn rubbish, (b) thought they knew it all, so didn't listen.

Mine's the one with Z80 instruction set in the pocket.

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Sales dive at UK's oldest tech wholesaler: PC crash splashes Northamber in red

Mage
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Maybe oldest PC supplier still Running?

Did we buy the ACT Sirus1 from them? We were selling that before the inferior IBM PC hit these shores. I can't remember what we bought off them in my Company founded 1980. I left late 1982, but we certainly did use Northamber.

I Suppose a UK PC supplier can only be such since 1981, whatever they sold earlier.

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Apple iMac 27-inch 2013: An extra hundred quid for what exactly?

Mage
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Keep taking the tablets?

What do you get if you make a 27" tablet, stick it on a stand and forget to add the touch screen?

An iMac. This is design style gone mad.

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Two years after Steve Jobs' death, how's that new CEO working out?

Mage
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Cook

Jobs was erratic and irrational and relied on Charisma.

Cook is probably a nicer and better boss than those at Google. Balmer, Larry Ellison and Elop.

The Touch Screen Smart Phone is a mature market now like that for the Mac Laptop or iPod or iPad. It's impossible to predict what the next success for Apple will be or if there will be another like iMac, iPod, iPad and iPhone. An Apple TV or iWatch won't be it. Probably not an iPippin either.

They would be mad to try and complete on price with entry level tablets, phones and "notebooks". Cook will probably try and maintain the Apple Marketing Ethos and Apple as the world's most successful niche consumer media electronics company. Jonathan Ives isn't even really a true HW designer. He is a stylist and even admits he copies and admires Dieter Rams. Having him set the look and feel of the GUI as well as the package is a good idea. Having him run Apple would be a disaster.

Apple products fill a niche in the market. I personally find them a bit expensive and limited as I'm a poor engineer. Nor do I update my gadgets because a new version arrives but because the old one is unrepairable.

We are probably at Apple Peak, but I think that would still be the case if Jobs was in perfect health and magically 10 years younger too. It happens to almost all companies as a market becomes mature. RCA was once a Behemoth, but "died" 1986. Today it's just a badge. A future start up becoming the size RCA was or Apple is is unlikely to be selling Radios and TVs (RCA) or Phones. The iPhone + iPad likely now dwarfs iPod and Mac profits to small change and iPhone much more than iPad.

The iPhone came just as more powerful ARM, commodity Phone chips and larger Displays were easy to integrate. They could only have done it so well at most a year earlier. Also a big ingredient was widespread network upgrades and good data plans. Without the Data Plans the iPhone would have been merely a phone with local media player. albeit with a sensible GUI (though Trolltech had demonstrated similar a Phone edition touch GUI to replace their WinCE like PDA edition first!) That "trick" can only be done once.

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Microsoft: We're nearly OUT OF STOCK of Surface 2 and Pro 2

Mage
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Re: So...

11,003 approximately.

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Robot WildCat slips its leash and bounds around parking lot

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Re: I'm clearly a Luddite

Yes, even into 1960s Military equipment had "mule mounting kits" (maybe still has, but I only know about late 19th C. to 1960s). They have been extensively used by the British Army, in 19th Century campaigns and WWII. I suspect largely replaced by helicopter.

I suspect these are not really to carry loads but radar invisible surveillance and reconnaissance. Maybe even attack.

An unarmoured model has much more range. lighter, faster, smaller and is cheaper and faster to make. Why would you armour it?

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You're either mighty brave or mighty stupid. So which is it, Twitter?

Mage
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I don't care

Like Facebook it's a proprietary substitute for real Internet applications and websites. Overhyped by media such as BBC and some papers.

Good riddance if crashes and burns.

Facebook and Twitter add no value for people and shamelessly exploit them. Probably make more sense for both to be part of Yahoo or something, if we have to continue to put up with them polluting Radio, TV, papers and Websites.

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A14 to become UK's first internet-connected ROAD

Mage
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Oh Dear

Oh Dear.

A Solution that isn't needed that will break supposedly protected spectrum.

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Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

Mage
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Wonderfull.

Why did no-one point out to me earlier that Unicode isn't 16 bits any more?

I had noticed however that if you wanted Web Sites, Browsers & SQL all to talk nice that UTF-8 was best.

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