* Posts by Mage

4887 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Love your IoT gadget but could you keep the noise down?

Mage
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Boffin

before 1927 it was not even possible

I'm not sure that's actually true.

a) Scarcity of car Radios. Almost all radios before 1930 used batteries, 2V, 4V or 6V Lead Acid for filaments. 60 x 2V small lead acid or 90 x Dry cells for HT! Cars rarely had a battery other than maybe a 1.5V ignition cell for spark while cranking, then the magneto powered ignition. The ignition was easily "suppressed" by suppressor spark plug caps etc. The radio was't powered of the car, being basically a repackaged home unit.

Interference has got VERY severe since 1990s:

PC SMPSUs that NEVER had filters or got them taken out later to save money after CE approval.

Powerline Ethernet. Illegal period if tested properly.

Electronic "Ballasts" replacing passive interference free chokes on Tube lamps and on CFLs (early CFLs used a choke in the special ceiling unit).

Phone chargers etc as per PC SMPSUs

LED lamp PSUs

Flashing christmas tree controllers (any type lamp)

LED lamps on Christmas trees even if not flashing.

Dishwashers, Dryers, Washing Machines changed from Mechanical sync motor programmers to CPU (issue partly PSU, but CPU leaking RF)

Shielding abandoned on PCs, Laptops, etc.

LCD and Plasma screen matrix drive (screen radiates unless transparent tin coated)

Screen back light PSUs

etc ...

But the IoT uses up the WiFi channels faster as well as the PSUs and motors making interference, but most homes AM Radio is already usless and VHF-FM is increasingly getting home generated interference.

"Real" Car radios did exist from early 1930s, but still rare till 1950s. They used MECHANICAL switch mode PSUs at 40Hz to 120Hz (Vibrator packs) to get HT. Very well shieilded separate PSU boxes, often with speaker driver amp. From late 1950s they started adding a pair of Germanium transistors as a SMPSU, then as audio Out and running the rest of the valves off 12V. Then from about 1958 the first all transistor car radios appeared.

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FTC zaps more scammer loopholes with ban on wire transfers, cash cards

Mage
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Re: Bankers

"the issue is that in the US you can buy prepaid cards at convenience stores with no ID checks."

Presumably next to the stores that sell guns and ammo with minimal checking. Unsurprising.

Spain I think has banned anonymous PAYG phones. You have to use ID to get a SIM.

Why anyone thought anonymous prepaid cards or anonymous SIMs was a good idea escapes me.

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Mage
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Western Union

Telegraphing money when there was hardly a banking system was reasonable.

All those kinds of wire transfer companies should just be closed. The only justification for years has been emergency money to family member or friend. Fake emails from your contacts now exploit that.

Embassies work for abroad. Police Stations or something could be used for people in an emergency situation not abroad.

BTW, when is USA going to join the rest of world and use the reasonably safe and cheap IBAN? Credit Cards and PayPal are more expensive to pay USA suppliers.

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BT could lawyer up after Sky’s sport channels obligation removed

Mage
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Re: If you wanted Discovery to be advert free?

" If you wanted Discovery to be advert free how do you address the fact that it's available on two platforms?"

Discovery is Pay TV only.

All pay TV channels ought to be Advert free. They are charging plenty. Also amazing the amount of repeats and even previously FTA content on Pay TV cnannels.

While I'm on a rant can't ASA etc BAN Sky, Netflix etc advertising access to box sets? They do not. They let you rent / stream content. To access the box sets you buy DVDs or BluRay from Tesco, Amazon's Shop etc. Not watch streaming or broadcast.

Even rental of a physical boxed set is sort of accessing it. Netflix and Sky is not.

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Mage
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Re:Have you been to Ofcom's HQ?

No, but my shoes were polished by the carpet in Comreg's opulent Dublin tower.

Any deeper and I'd have met Carpet people.

Sadly they seem to copy most of their policy from Ofcom, with a dash of whalesong and worst bits of FCC.

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Mage
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Re: <shakes head/> Monoploy

Most people don't have good enough BB for Netflix or BT's TV offering.

Outside Cabled areas and urban VDSL/Fibre areas in UK & Ireland, Sky has a total monopoly (unlike some other countries).

In entirety of UK and Ireland they have an effective monopoly of Satellite PayTV.

FTA stations can't sensibly compete with Sky to buy rights. Sky has totally distorted UK Football with the high payments and is moving on to distort other sports.

The clubs are not benefiting as they end up paying crazy money to players. It's ripping off the consumer and destroying sport.

Worse, the half baked regulation means that some sports fans now need THREE subscriptions.

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Mage
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Re: Look at what you get for your money:

Very little as over 80% of what people watch on Sky are actually free to air channels. Sky 1 has one of the higher viewing figures of < 2%!

BARB in UK.

Neilsen in Ireland.

It's a rip off.

How do you think they can afford free install, free box (and currently in Ireland a free 32" LG TV). You even own the install from day 1.

But the box is crippled if you cancel.

Sky ALSO massively overcharge channels for the EPG and moderately overcharge any 3rd party wanting Sky encryption. That's for people paying for their own uplink and satellite space. Sky just rent sat space for their own channels (with a few exceptions).

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Mage
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Re: did you actually mean ham listening?

DAB is a crap Ghetto of over compressed poor coverage and inherently rotten ergonomics. It economically gives unfair advantage to national stations.

Ordinary people (the Majority using Radio) do still use FM Radio, very many use MW & LW, which allows reception of out of local area local & regional. Some people even listen to UK radio outside UK, or non-UK radio in UK on LW, MW and SW.

The newest Power line specs affect VHF-FM.

AM, FM, broadcast of any sort or "Ham" (which is licensed) is supposed to be protected by the Regulator and International treaty.

See how quick Ofcom would be to enforce EXISTING law (no new regulations needed), if their friends, the big cash cows, the Mobile Operators were affected!

Ofcom don't care even about protecting FM. They want in fact to abolish TV Terrestrial Broadcasting. There isn't even ANY other application to sell off the AM and FM bands to.

DAB only promoted for the Motorist, even though VHF-FM is actually "better" in many respects. But decent DAB needs 100s more fill in Relays, too expensive for small local stations and needs twice as many multiplexes, at least to give decent bit rate. Even then it's only good for a car radio presets. Digital Radio inherently has terrible ergonomics.

Have Corporations got the right to ride rough shod over existing consumers, Regulators the right to ignore their own laws, because it not a Mass Market, not Subscription based or not huge Licence revenue?

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Mage
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Mushroom

The Sky Q boxes will apparently also be able to connect over electric wiring.

So blocking any radio listening except via the Sky Box.

Even for people next door (or two doors up). The Electricity meter and/or switch box has negligible effect on powerline signalling

When are regulators going to test power line networking properly?

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Kids' tech skills go backwards thanks to tablets and smartmobes

Mage
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Coat

Re: The "shrink wrap" era?

"No, but when there's a power cut"

Or when the Cloud Ecosystem gets false positive on AV scan and goes off line due to automatic disable of execute flag on index.php or whatever and civilisation falls over because all banking, mobile billing, management systems etc have been outsourced to Cloud by the accountants who were these kids.

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Mage
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Headmaster

Complements an earlier study

Too much Phones / Tablets / Computers holds back academic achievement generally. They are poorly integrated to teaching materials, distracting and without proper training and disciple even the "library / research" aspect is underused. Most people go to their favourite sites and have no idea how to search.

Tablets and esp. Phones make it harder to copy and paste any found info into documents.

You have work at it to have more than a text editor on Tablets / Phones.

Smartphones are largely communication and entertainment devices. Tablets are largely media browsing and entertainment.

Yes, I know you can install apps to create content, add keyboard etc, but dammed painful compared to netbook / laptop / notebook with OS X/ Windows /Linux. Even then in most schools a laptop/netbook is going to be a distraction, not an aid because kids have not been taught how to use one properly as a tool to aid study.

You still need good teachers, working out examples, attention to teaching, not being in an LCD illuminated enhanced personal internet bubble.

Amazon's trail of using Kindles (DX and DXG) for university was a complete fail not because eInk eBooks is a bad thing, but because even the Keyboard Kindle is garbage for annotation and overall ALL eBook devices have appalling GUI/software only good for reading short stories and novels. I've used 5 Kindles and Kobo Aura H20. The Kobo has a better home screen and access to list of books in use, but otherwise the SW is like a bad copy of Kindle.

I was doing better document management software 20 years ago!

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Apple's design 'drives up support costs, makes gadgets harder to use'

Mage
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Boffin

hardware designer Jony Ive?

News to me.

Isn't he an Industrial / Style designer, like his hero Dieter Rams, whom he copies slavishly (hence the white minimalist like late 1950s & early 1960s Braun "snow white" radio gram, radio, transistor set and calculators).

I think we'd be better off if Jony designed electric toothbrushes, electric shavers and vibrators. He's not good on GUIs and his case designs are simply copies of Dieter Rams' Braun stuff.

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Red dwarf superflares batter formerly 'habitable' exoplanet

Mage
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Not new news

Lower Mass = Worse flares

Dimmer star = Habitable / Goldilocks zone closer

So life periodically erased. This has been known for some time, Red Dwarves likely to only have primitive life or none?

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Behold, the fantasy of infinite cloud compute elasticity

Mage
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Facepalm

Summer, Winter, Hotels

Sure there can be some scheduling. But when is it "winter" for Data centres? Certainly Party Conferences etc are just after the peak holiday time for this reason.

Sure there will be spare capacity from time to time, but not predictably and certainly not instant.

How often does the hypothetical company need this capacity? For how long and how much a delay? Only small volumes are going to be "on demand" instantly for as long as you want. It also needs to be stuff were latency and traffic to your own site isn't an issue, unless it's traffic with Public. So we are back to is Cloud any real use except for Websites?

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Mage
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Big Brother

Ultimately ... good sense

Ultimately the "Cloud" is just someone else's servers they have to make a profit from.

You don't know what the security/privacy, backup or other arrangements are.

You might not know where they are.

You are at the mercy of your Internet connections.

Imagine a world were accountants think that it saves money to outsource IT as if it's a call centre (c.f. Banks, which is madness seeing as in reality IT is their core business) as well as the servers to run it.

Imagine there are eventually only four "cloud" providers, and maybe two ecosystems of software.

(c.f. Same false positive Virus warnings on hosted files/Websites. Two unconnected hosting companies in different countries).

The Hosting companies (aka Cloud) need to make profit. If you run your IT well then inherently cloud will cost more eventually than DIY (Connectivity costs + Hosting company profits). The Cloud does make sense for Web Sites, though if a high traffic site, perhaps co-location of your own server at a data centre is cheaper & better, more control). Really the Cloud makes no sense and is a backward step to 1960s & 1970s for stuff that should only be on your own LAN or own Corporate Network.

Good to see an article with some reality about Cloud.

If there is wide spread migration to Cloud of Banking, Billing, IT, etc, then one day a badly done patch will kill civilisation.

If no electronic transactions, no food. Riots & looting in less than 2 days.

Billing on Mobile will go down. So soon no calls.

Unless the "Cloud" ecosystem is fixed in less than 2 days, then you are looking at a cascade of failures ... no water, gas, electricity etc. Being able to buy & Sell and make calls (mobile or fixed) would be first to go.

How would you get cash from a Bank or Cash Machine?

How many people have Cheques or Cash, or will have in 5 years.

The Cloud hype has got to stop. Yes. it makes sense for minuscule to medium websites. For anything else it will eventually be a disaster of apocalyptic proportions.

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Nano-NAS market dives into the cloud

Mage
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FAIL

No.. Not the Cloud

Cloud is OK for small collaborative / sharing between people etc, madness for any volume of data and impractical to replace a NAS for a home user, SOHO, or small businesses. The majority of Internet connections can't support it.

I have 1 Mbps upload, which is better than average DSL. But my total traffic cap is 60 G byte. Most "unlimited" cable & DSL is really 150G to 1Tbyte a month, inc downloads.

"Cloud's been fingered as the culprit, especially for personal storage. It's not hard to see why, as the likes of Dropbox or OneDrive offer plenty of security and redundancy "

Almost nonsense as an explanation. Certainly some people will be foolishly using "Cloud" storage exclusively.

Security? Don't make me laugh, none are as secure as your own NAS behind a firewall/Router for a single person or a family.

Perhaps the market is saturated, as is PC market.

See also El Reg Comments here

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IBM bets POWER8 processor farm on hardware acceleration

Mage
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Flame

Re:nicer screen

16:9 is worse than 4:3 for laptops.

Unless it's a "retina" screen you get 1080 pixels high.

Non-Shiny is hard to get.

Cheap models have poorer viewing angle than 14 years ago.

2002 there were 15" totally matt, ultrasharp, wide view angle 1600 x 1200 screens on some laptops. Good luck finding one even as good as that in PC World.

Some high end Lenovos and Apples have better screens, but you need 17" due to the 16:9 form factor

HD Video curse, reducing resolution of PCs! Maybe we'll see some decently priced UHD/4K laptop screens, still be cursed by video factor .

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Mage
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Coat

"our cadence today is closer to 2.5 years than two."

Closer to 5 to 10, or non-existent for real world performance? Unless you can use more than 2 cores without I/O bottle neck. Per core performance for believable laptops compared with single CPU 2.2GHz P4 Laptop in 2002?

Anyway it WAS NOT CPU power but number of Transistors?

It was 12, then 18 then 24 months ...

It was never a law but an observation cum target?

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Apple supremo Tim Cook rules out OS X fondleslab, iOS merger

Mage
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Re: Not magical or game-changing then?

Now it's been officially denied, when do we reckon the iPad Pro will ship with iOS X?

Never. iOS is an ecosystem that makes more Revenue and gives Apple more control. The question is will there be a laptop with iOS?

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Mage
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Re: Only Half The Story

Follow the revenue.

There won't be a hybrid product running OS X.

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iPad data entry errors caused plane to strike runway during takeoff

Mage
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Re: Using toys as tools...

A surface and iPad are BOTH consumer toys.

I can't believe that airlines are using consumer stuff without real keyboards really designed for media browsing.

LUNATICS!

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Microsoft shelves 'suicidal' Android-on-Windows plan

Mage
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Windows

Never fear

Order in popcorn (or other snacks) and beverage of choice.

I'm quite sure MS will find another way to kill Win Phone.

Remember Danger / Sidekick.

Or the fact that in USA MS once dominated smartphones in pre Apple iPhone days.

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Trouble brewing as iThing coffee machine seems to be hackable

Mage
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Boffin

Bogus firmware updates?

Maybe as simple as changing the DNS server used, then making firmware.ithing.com point to the malware?

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No, the EU is not going to make hyperlinks illegal

Mage
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Re: Hyperlink != content

Yes, but iFraming or scraping other sites content is a violation of EXISTING Berne Convention copyright law.

Links, with perhaps a paragraph of text = OK.

Actual building a site from other people's content = BAD

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3ROS exploit wins plaudits for the prettiest Mal-GUI ever

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Good

Soon it will have ribbon, tiles, inconsistent configuration options, require crysis capable GPU & CPU, only run on latest versions of OS X and Windows and generally involve the developers spending 95% of effort maintaining the eye Candy.

I welcome this as it will distract from the development of effective malware/

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Apple to add 1000 jobs to Cork payroll

Mage
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Re: Irish iMacs

iMacs period are a tiny part of Apple's revenue stream. Just like they make some stuff in USA too for political reasons. Apple are largely a marketing driven badge engineering outfit, everything important to revenue is 3rd party China.

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Mage
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Temporary

Announcements like this all the time.

Then 1/4 to 1/2 the jobs created.

Grants are trousered.

Then a few years later it's shuttered.

AST, WANG, Dell and others made PCs here and are gone.

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US Congress grants leftpondians the right to own asteroid booty

Mage
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the United States does not thereby assert sovereignty

Yet.

Stupid arrogance.

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So. Farewell then Betamax. We always liked you better than VHS anyway

Mage
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Re: SECAM

SECAM was 625 lines like PAL (about 576 visible). NTSC 525 (about 480 visible)

There were various incompatible Secam systems eventually, surviving till Analogue switch off.

The post WWII French MONO system was 819 lines

UK Mono system was the 1936 405 lines (about 377 visible)

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Mage
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Re: V2000 Philips

It was REALLY late to market. It eliminated guard bands by using piezo mounted heads that could dynamically wiggle. So could use a flippable tape as well no noise bars for still or slow and speeded play (which changes angle of slanted track hence noise bar on Betamax and VHS)

Problem was they couldn't mass produce it for about 2 years after prototype demo!

Early VHS had to completely delace from drum to F-FWD / F-REW, Betamax didn't need to. Later VHS had the "Jet Drive".

Shame Minidisk never made it as alternate to Floppy, though a larger MO sony format was used in special 3.5" drives in 1990s (ZIP drives in comparison were rubbish). There was a Vaio with mini-disk but like net-MD player you could only transfer digital audio TO it and play, Even your own analogue recordings were not digitally readable on Net-MD or Viao due to Sony's BRAIN DEAD Entertainment division obsessing about DRM and copying. That's what destroyed MD. Artificial restrictions. Other people did make MD players.

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ARM's new Cortex-A35: How to fine-tune a CPU for web browsing on bargain smartphones

Mage
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Too big a queue and pipeline can slow down

If the program has a lot of branches/conditionals already fetched, then stuff gets discarded and it can be slower than a short queue.

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How Twitter can see the financial future – and change it

Mage
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Facepalm

can Twitter be used to fiddle the stock markets?

Silly question. Any news / comment on any platform can be used to fiddle the stock market if enough people that buy or sell the affected shares believe it.

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Let's get to the bottom of in-app purchases that go titsup

Mage
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Re SCART

Purely invented as a Tarriff wall by French. A TV had to have Peritel (SCART) to be allowed to be imported and sold. It was meant to be really cheap, which meant that the cables would easily fall off. It was a failure for intended purpose as everyone selling to France simply added them. They never really made to USA which prefered RCA connectors for EVERYTHING! (RF, audio, phono, Y/C aka s-video, composite video, stereo record / playback-- four cables instead of a DIN, component video, HD Component etc).

SCART could have done HD, but by time (much later than USA because PAL higher resolution than NTSC) HD came to Europe, copy protected Digital connections preferred.

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Mage
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Totally irrelevant fact

The first UK set top boxes were to add Band III (for ITV) to older Band I only sets (BBC 1 only) around 1955. Some earlier sets couldn't work if moved from London to Birmingham as they had only a single factory aligned channel.

Cable TV in USA was probably the first major set box market.

Fire TV and Apple TV are more misleading than AMDs 4 module Bulldozers as they are not TVs, no screen and no tuner. They are media streaming gadgets, not TVs.

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AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: SMP as we know it could be outlawed

Nonsense. It's not about forbidding anything other than misleading marketing.

The cores share parts(excluding cache and FPU) normally exclusive to a CPU.

It's certainly nothing to do with SMP either

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Mage
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Boffin

FPU

There are other important shared bits, not just the FPU. These modules are single cpus with some internal parallel parts to speed processing. They certainly can't work as two cpus.

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Cell networks' LTE-U will kill your Wi-Fi, say digital rights bods

Mage
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Mushroom

"listen-before-talk"

Only works for clients sharing same base. Search "hidden transmitter syndrome"

This is mobile Telco greed and attempt to have people use phone on expensive Mobile instead of fibre fed WiFi.

No matter how it's done, it's wrong. WiFi already barely works. band sharing is EVIL.

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GSMA offers a share and share alike approach to the C-Band

Mage
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Mushroom

Greed

Mobile misuse the spectrum that they have. They shouldn't get satellite bands and especially not sub 700MHz.

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What do you call a spreadsheet with lots of negative numbers? Qualcomm_FY2015.xlsx

Mage
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Desired income source

Qualcomm hates manufacturing. They prefer income from IP.

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Alumina in glass could stop smartphones cracking up

Mage
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Yes Transparent Alumina = Sapphire

Sapphire Glass

Been used for analogue watches for a very long time indeed. Problematic to make larger windows. Also while it's very hard so scratch resistant, a panel of it is easier to crack than some glasses.

It's interesting they have found a way to blend Alumina and glass. I'd have thought an alumina film on glass substrate (meta material) would be better.

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Is the world ready for a bare-metal OS/2 rebirth?

Mage
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Windows

But ...

Weird. The OS that MS morphed into NT3.1 (there was no NT1.x or NT 2.x) and that was killed by Win95 having better driver support. There was the strange MS OS/2 + Lan manager in 1989 after IBM and MS split on the OS/2 deal. (sold for servers with win 3.0 workstations I think?)

Does MS still have that source and a licence?

Of course MS once sold a Unix too.

I'm too old. I saw all these when they were new. Where did I put my Cromix and Minix discs?

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Chinese fire up world's 'most powerful' drone brain

Mage
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Megaphone

Re: Raspberry pi

This a a Raspberry Pi on steroids. The original Pi is built down to a price and is barely more than an obsolete phone chip on a breakout board. The Pi series is fine for the money. But if you have more money and want a more powerful ARM with much more I/O then this is it. I wish it cost 1/2 as much though.

At a bit lower price this would be very nice for all kinds of projects where the Pi lacks I/O or CPU power.

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'T-shaped' developers are the new normal

Mage
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Mushroom

The developers of today

"The developers of today cut their teeth on Linux and OS X and they use languages like SCALA, Python and Ruby, instead of .NET and Java."

a) Only some

b) Irrelevant

c) Relevance of article depends if developing Web applications, Android Apps, iOS, OSX, Windows, Linux Clients or embedded code (which is very different for a 50c 8 bit CPU and full fat OS in TV, Router or set box).

The big issue as always is poor design and implementation. You can't test in quality. Crap untyped Scripting languages make spotting implementation mistakes hard.

My impression is that "pretty" is on increase last 10 years, quality, usability and privacy down. We don't seem to have progressed in security judging by the vulnerability mailing lists I have for all the popular OS, web client applications and Web CMS server apps.

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E-mail crypto is as usable as it ever was, say boffins

Mage
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Coat

Not really hard?

Ha!

I use thunderbird. I installed the extensions etc. Now, I've in the past set up secure VPN server on Win2K and also on Linux, generated keys and setup clients. Did it on port 80 so it would work almost anywhere.

a) I gave up on getting a key generated for PGP

b) No-one I exchange email with is going to even try.

It's really too hard. I've been setting up SW, since 1980.

Setting up servers & OS since 1986

UNIX since 1986, Linux since 1999

It's stupidly hard. People complain about how hard it is to setup decent WiFi Security with a good password etc. This is very much harder.

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Windows 10 growth stalls during October

Mage
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With Xbox and Windows Mobile users to come

Really they are irrelevant in looking at x86 laptop/desktop/notebook OS market share.

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The story of .Gay: This bid is too gay! This bid is not gay enough! This bid is just right?

Mage
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Gay?

It used to be feeling light hearted. There is no suitable synonym. Happy isn't quite the same.

We've been robbed. Why should the TLD belong to a subsection of LGBT at all?

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Big mistake, Google. Big mistake: Chrome OS to be 'folded into Android'

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

killing a secure, lightweight desktop OS in the process

a) It's just a shell on Linux to implement a browser based thin client.

b) It's really Google spyware.

c) It's horribly limited as a destop OS, it's really a "cloud" style terminal.

Android too is shell based on Linux optimised for small touch screens and is poor compared to a regular Linux Distro for a desktop / Laptop.

This doesn't matter, as a proper Linux distro is a better solution than Google's Chrome OS, which was never a real alternative OS.

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Patch this braXen bug: Hypervisor hole lets guest VMs hijack hosts

Mage
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Facepalm

entanglement of C macros

That was the FIRST thing I learnt, when learning Assembler in 1979, was that macros are needed by large assembler programming projects, but really DANGEROUS.

When I learnt C++ in 1987, then I learned that C macros are an evil throw back to Assembler.

1) Always check Array bounds / strings

2) Always sanitise stuff that uses SQL at back end.

3) Never use Macros, not ever.

What SEVEN years ago? That's 2008, over 20 years later.

Why is it that almost all vulnerabilities are continued implementations contrary to what was realised in the 1980s?

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'Profoundly stupid' Dubliner's hoax call lost Intel 6,000 hours of production

Mage
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Re: Phoning it in

Yes.

Sometimes they give wrong bomb location resulting in more deaths. (Omagh).

Personally, I'd never go to an evacuation point for a terror alert, a fire or natural disaster yes. But a terrorist is likely to put the bomb at the assembly point. Hint in the name. They are not attempting to take down infrastructure.

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Mage
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mastermind crimina

Ex Intel contract staff

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