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* Posts by Mage

2716 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Rid yourself of Adobe: New Firefox 19.0 gets JAVASCRIPT PDF viewer

Mage
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Re: It's STUPIDITY

So do people think Firefox should display spreadsheets. Powerpoint, Word, DXF? Display of PDF in browser is just plain stupid.

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Mage
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Re: Am I the only person...

The ONLY sensible thing to do with a PDF is download it.

I have "Safe Reading Mode" on by default in Foxit.

I don't want ever to open PDFs in a browser.

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Mage
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I scrapped Adobe years ago

I use Foxit

I ALWAYS explicitly save the PDF first.

You realise that even with an Integrated viewer the PDF is STILL "downloaded" as far as the Server and your connection usage?

I seriously hope this is optional and can be turned off. Really I only want to view WEB pages in a Browser, you know HTML..

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Mage
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FAIL

It's STUPIDITY

PDFs should 90% of the time be downloaded and saved, THEN opened,

Best to disable ALL PDF plug-ins in browsers.

Also for a Server viewing a PDF is the SAME as downloading so it will "use" up your allocation of downloads on each view.

Can this so called "feature" be turned off?

PDFs are NOT webpages. They are documents!

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Canonical unveils fondleslab-friendly Ubuntu 'experience'

Mage
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Mushroom

Stupidity

The LAST thing you want for productivity and usability is the SAME UI on different classes of devices and form factors.

Flames are not enough!

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AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach

Mage
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More likely Tad Williams Otherland*

With special gloves or even an entire suit (for tactile ear plugs), 2 x projectors on to retina (with Body + head + eye tracking so "3D" works even with one eye closed) and optionally even a sensory deprivation tank I think it can be done today. It would SEEM like a Holodeck, but the other people need not even be at the same location.

A chamber you walk into wearing the appropriate "ordinary" clothes still seems fictional no matter how much CPU you have.

Like 2D display the Internet with GOOD fast broadband is enough if you have the local processing for your head set / gloves / boots / suit / tank. You want less than 50ms Latency and "mostly" it will seem realistic. If the Broadband connection is lost the models of the other people just "freeze".

Also unlike Holodeck but like "otherland" you can have a wide range of "body" and with high end tactile feedback suit and a tank it will FEEL like your body as well as look like it.

Unlike a holodeck we do pretty much have the technology for "Otherland" today. If we figure how to generate fake tactile an inner ear movement sensations with just a patch on your head, then the suit and mobile tank (needs to have 4 axis movement to fool your sense of balance) become obsolete.

[* Much prior art, e.g. John Brunner "The Sheep look up" (? hard to believe The Shockwave Rider is1975) , Nicolas van Pallandt "Anvil" and many more]

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Dell's Ubuntu dev laptop gets much-needed display boost

Mage
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Joke

Re: 1080p _is_ low resolution

I last bought an Apple in 1981. Given the prices vs performance and experience using and repairing Apple computers belonging to others I won't be conned a second time. I guess the choice is 2nd hand Lenovo.

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Mage
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Re: 1080p _is_ low resolution

Yes ...

1200p was so 12 years ago.

WE DON'T WANT TO WATCH VIDEO. SOME OF US WORK!

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Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow

Mage
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Linux

Re: CentOS for me

CentOS and Debian are good idea for Servers and Appliances. But for an ordinary user with no Linux experience Mint or OpenSuse are maybe better. I used to recommend Ubuntu, but what on earth are they smoking and drinking? What ever it is need a Mental Health warning.

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The universe speaks: 'It's time to get off your rock!'

Mage
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London Capital of the World?

Really?

Maybe Capital of British Empire.

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Cambridge White Space boffins cook up Weightless chips

Mage
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Mushroom

White Space frequencies that are empty of local TV broadcasts

Please qualify this claim, which has never been proven to work and has been demonstrated causing interference.

Unless EVERY TV set/box is reporting in real time to a Database what it's using the so called "white space" Radio WILL clobber TV reception. Also users will misuse the kit with more power or manual channel selection by hacking database connection.

It's the most ill conceived attack on broadcasting ever.

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New cunning linguist computer has got ancient tongues licked

Mage
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Coat

With the exception of Latin?

Try also Hebrew (up to 4500 years), a couple of types of Cuneiform/clay tablet stuff (Babylonian and pre-Sumerian, up to maybe 7,000 for earliest), two sorts of Egyptian (one of which in a different script turns out to be preserved by the Copts) , Greek/Linear B (up to 3,200 years ago?), and maybe something Scandinavian? Loads of Linear A clay tablets (3,800 years ago) but no-one has any idea what they say.

I think this tool is a good development. If it helps crack Linear A I'll be impressed.

There are also Chinese, Sanskrit (and other Indus valley/Indian?) Korean and Thai related stuff, no idea how old but the Chinese I believe had paper, gunpowder, Pasta and a Monetary system based on Government guarantee rather than rare shiny gems and metal when Europe was in Wattle and Mud huts using physical cows as currency, if at all.

South & Central America?

There is more really old stuff preserved because when you sack a city or library using clay tablets it makes them more durable. Parchment, Vellum, Paper and Papyrus was rather lacking in archival qualities in comparison (but likely can beat DVD & Tape backups by a thousand years or two). Doing the Library of Alexandria without a "backup" plan was stunningly bad. They WOULD have known the need for Off Site backups, but if they existed/exist it's a well kept secret.

Mines the one with the "Story of Writing" in the pocket.

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Twitter translated to LOLCATZ: Strangely this had not been done

Mage
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Trollface

MS missing a trick

MS spends a fortune on Localisation every version of OS, tools and applications. But would volunteers add the translations?

Proves that some Twitter users Gullible.

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Microsoft needs to keep visible under waves of Blue

Mage
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Flame

Since 2001 or 2003

Approximately

MS releases have been Bloatware, tinkering and using the major changes in the wrong direction. I doubt I will be buying any more MS. I used to even pay for MSDN / Technet and the entire space under the bed is MS CDs going back to 1994. Every major application, IDE and OS till 2003. Then we cancelled.

They are spending a vast amount and achieving little. No vision either. Trying to ape Amazon Cloud, iOS walled gardens and Touchy Feely Tablets (which are really only useful for Personal Video, Web & email) won't work.

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Microsoft sails into Africa with White Spaces and Huawei phones

Mage
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FAIL

Re: Where's the proof... In the Literature and FCC

No published proof it works. Just Hypetastic white papers.

Plenty of fail published.

Google "Hidden Transmitter Syndrome"

The "Database" solution (aka "White Space Radio" MkII) actually doesn't work in reality even though the FCC accepted the revised version. The ONLY way it could work is if EVERY TV also is connected to Internet and the Database.

The 2nd problem is social. It makes "White space" a fail. People will "hack" the database connectivity limits and add power amplifiers and "stronger" aerials for faster speed (if signal is better you can run say 64QAM instead of 16QAM) or more range, thus causing more interference as the spectrum ISN'T empty or it could be licensed.

Try getting any Mobile operator to accept 3rd party "White Space" Radio on their locally "unused" channel(s) and see how far you can get.

TV is now a soft touch. Africa even softer (Just offer a "good" deal), Chinese Government gets good deals on resources in Africa where Huawei does "cheap" infrastructure.

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Mage
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Mushroom

This is plain evil

It's all about getting so called "White space" Gadgets in Europe and USA.

There is no need to use so called "White Space" anywhere. Least of all Africa. This a cynical "back door approach" and nothing about really helping African people or Infrastructure. Practically Colonial exploitation.

It can be mathematically and physically PROVEN to not work, in the sense it DOES block Terrestrial TV. Doesn't matter how good your spectrum sensing or database is.

And no, I'm not attacking "windows". But the totally rubbish concept of so called "White space" Radio.

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Socket to 'em: It's the HomeGrid vs HomePlug powerline prizefight

Mage
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Who cares which is better?

They are both spawn of Satan and need to stop lying about

1) Immunity to RFI needed.

2) The amount of RFI they produce.

If tested properly, both are illegal.

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Samsung: Never mind Steve Jobs, let's snap off a piece of stylus biz

Mage
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Thumb Up

Re: Round and round....

No.

The "holy grail" is a three way combined tablet and graphics screen.

1) Touch

2) Dumb stick

3) Wacom stylus with precision pressure nib, buttons and eraser top. My Wacom tablet is so old it uses a 9 pin RS232 serial connection.

We need 6" 3:1 so it fits pocket, Medium sized handy tablet (approx 9" / A6 in WS and 4:3) and A4 Clipboard sized and shaped.

Also the 6" to 9" ones need to be cheap so you can have multiple "windows" and hand one so someone while you work on an other. Like a Padd.

For designers / CAD it needs to be A3+ and at least 150 dpi visual and 600dpi, they might want a Puck with magnifying lamp, cross hairs and buttons built in. Very niche product.

Other graphics tablets / pens never seem to have been as good as Wacom.

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Ten 3D printers for this year's modellers

Mage
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MX80

It's impressive, but I suspect the results of many are at the level of an MX80 doing graphics. But back in 1982 a plotter was horribly expensive and an MX80 could do images not just charts.

Does just one on the list do voids / overhangs? I think that's more important than colour. I like the dual function idea of fitting a Dremel too for hobbyist (small PCBs, tiny aluminium parts, accurate smooth holes) but really you need very beefy chassis and very level bed to even for a Dremel based CNC/Mill.

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Linux boot doesn't smash Samsung laptops any more

Mage
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So...

Samsung supplied the code example.

Will they replace the Bricks?

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Samsung mocks Apple lawsuit in SuperBowl teaser ad

Mage
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FAIL

Title and Post Very funny

Me too knock off?

Apple: Glossy slick products: The list would fit in the Title and ALL are an Apple Gloss on Prior Art. Apple didn't invent GUI. laptop, Solid State Media player, Tablet or Smart phone. They did do them well.

You could fill the limit of the Post with Products that Samsung innovated and invented in every area of Electronics and many Electrical and Mechanical. They are like today what RCA, Motorola, Edison and Westinghouse were in a previous age, all rolled into one. Everything from Diggers to BD players and TVs.

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Mage
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Agree totally with Author

Not only about Netbooks,

But it's almost impossible to get 1600 line high lap top with 4:3 Screen. I don't watch videos on the Laptop or netbook. I have a TV for that, or a 4.3" WS 160G Byte PMP for long flights etc.

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Apple to stop European shipments of Mac Pro on March 1?

Mage
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And the replacement will be

An Intel chipset laptop.

Meanwhile ordinary iApple "laptops" will change to ARM and app install via iTunes only. but not iOS as such.

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Surface left on shelves as world+dog slurps up small slates

Mage
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Also

Too expensive. They will never be Apple.

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Mage
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Surface tries to be a Tablet and a Notebook and Windows and using ARM. So fails at everything. It might have succeeded if NOT trying to be Windows and a Tablet.

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Who ate all the Pis?

Mage
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Re: Slash

On really old DOS (2.11?) you could define switch char

then paths became / instead of \ They dropped it on Ver 3.x something

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Mage
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Re: "I mean, who would know?"

Nano I think might be easier than Vi or Libre Office (for different reasons)

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Japan promised Ultra HD TV broadcasts two years early

Mage
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Coat

Re: So what?

Depends on the DVD and BD and if film remastered / rescanned and film quality.

Some DVDs are actually BETTER than some BD.

For GOOD DVD typically film is scanned at 1440 x 1152 or higher and down-sampled to 720 x 576 which results in higher apparent resolution and less artefacts than a 720 x 576 camera or scan. Subsequent upscaling will be better than 720 x 576 native video

For GOOD BD typically film is scanned at 3840 x 2160 and down-sampled to 1920 x 1080 which results in higher apparent resolution and less artefacts than a 1920 x1080 camera or scan. Cheaper BD releases just use the scan for DVD at 1440 x 1152 or higher and resample to 1920 x1080. For decent BD you need really to scan and restore the negatives, not use a distribution copy print (less sharp and noisier), so often only new releases in the BD era and premium cinematic content, not "budget" releases benefits from BD.

Older US TV shows might be 720 x 480, so poor on DVD. Also 30fps to 25fps conversion blurs the image. HD versions will be much better, though conversion from 30fps or 60fps to 25fps or 50fps degrades the image,

So it's quite possible to buy DVDs and BDs that are not much different in apparent quality on 40", especially since 42" is almost a minimum size for many people in an average room to benefit from HD.

.Mine the one with a book explaining "kell factor" in the pocket.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: Oh yes

Well at average UK living room size you need 42" to appreciate HD, HD is for BIGGER screens, not really for more detail.

405 lines at same distance on a 9" screen (typical in 1937) is just as sharp. But by 17" you needed more resolution. Again you needed at least a 21" or larger set to appreciate 626 lines.

So unless you are watching UHD on your desk on 42" you need 84" for it to be "worth while", or to put it another way, ordinary HD will look poor in a normal size room on 84". So UHD / 4k x 2K is for adopters of 84" TVs in small rooms.

I'd prefer a 6:1 zoom projector. make it 28" to 36" for SD depending on source quality, 42" for 16:9 and 64" to 84" for letter boxed Cinematic content typically 2.40:1 aspect ratio depending on quality.

If you get 2.4:1 or 3:1 Cinematic content in a 16:9 frame then you do need a bigger screen and more resolution just to have the SAME sharpness.

Similar with 4:3 vs 16:9. Native 28" 4:3 needs a 36" approx 16:9 screen to have about the same picture size.

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Helium: Can it prevent the onset of Shingles?

Mage
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Alert

Lifetime

Given the nature of Helium I can't see these having any kind of reasonable life. Of course air can't easily leak in where Helium might want to leak out and it won't deflate like a balloon.

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Lotus 1-2-3 turns 30: Mitch Kapor on the Google before Google

Mage
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Supercalc

Visicalc on Apple and Supercalc on CP/M. 1980

I don't think you could buy an IBM PC in UK before 1981

Supercalc IMO was superior to Visicalc. Surprised the Article and Comments didn't mention it.

The last command line Spreadsheet I used was "Cracker" in 1988 to 1991 on PCW CP./M along with Wordstar Clone NewWord.

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Apple loses 'Most Valuable Company' honor to ExxonMobil

Mage
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Holmes

Peak

Everything has a peak.

Apple may make obscene profit margin for the next ten years, but at the end of the day they have very few products and are vulnerable to fashion. There hasn't been a compelling reason to buy an Apple product for maybe 15 years. Video editing, Photo editing, Desktop publishing, Tablet Internet consumption, phone usage, Pocket Music player etc can all be done just as productively more cheaply on many other products, with many manufacturers offering more variation of models in price, features and style.

Apple are arrogant and offer little choice. They have been more successful than their product warrants on ipod, iPhone and iPad, but eventually those will be niche products just like iMac and mac Air, unless there is a change in Apple Corporate philosophy. A change in Apple marketing and pricing philosophy could backfire and cut profits even if market share increased, and could even reduce market share.

There is no doubt a large part of the success of Apple has been to hide complexity and make the products seem simple to use with a consistent GUI that doesn't change pointlessly with each release (Hello MS and Ubuntu!).

Perhaps eventually Apple products will become higher quality and more expensive and they will settle down to a 10% peak market share with high margin. This is probably a better strategy that trying to have a majority share and offer cheaper products where you can easily fall off a cliff (Chrysler, MS Win CE PDA, MS Win phone, Nokia, Sun, Wang, DEC).

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Just what is GOOGLE'S MYSTERIOUS NEW WIRELESS NETWORK?

Mage
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Re: White Space testing?

Someone doesn't agree with reality.

What ever it's for it's not White Space or Ultra wideband testing.

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Mage
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White Space testing?

Nonsense

Run a load of WiFi and Video senders in same band with some extra SW on the WiFi and in a day you can prove that "White Space" even WITH spectrum monitoring and Databases simply hurts video.

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Shiny, shiny! The window's behind me...

Mage
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Mushroom

Arrgh

Such rubbish.

Obviously never used a proper Anti-glare screen.

Glossy WILL give headaches if the reflections have movement.

Glossy is rubbish for reading and photo editing.

It looks fab in a showroom running a video. Decent matt / antiglare finish is expensive to do, glossy comes for free. No surprise which is promoted and easier to get.

My matt screen is 133dpi and doesn't lack definition.

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Ofcom mulls dishing out a world of hertz for RFID tags, radio cars

Mage
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Flame

Idiots

790 to 960 should be one band and with 862 to 872 as a guard band with SRDs permitted.

Uplink 790 to 862 and downlink 872 to 960

the 2MHz + 2MHz Duplex chunk 872 & 921 is used since about 2005 in various EU countries for an early 4G Mobile Internet system, including UK neighbour, Ireland.

Doesn't Ofcom talk to anyone?

Also the USA ISM licence free stuff is not suitable for this duplex chunk. It ALSO uses GSM channels now migrating to 3G. Originally this was allocated Europe wide as GSM Tetra and the next chunk above as GSM-R (Railways), so it's part of GSM band. GSM -R is hardly used (but used in UK, or was). EU agreed regulators could refarm the GSM Tetra (never happened, Current Tetra is 450MHz ish and different) as Mobile Data Cells on non-interference basis.

Ofcom (and Comreg) are a menace. We need a single democratically answerable Europe wide regulator that looks at the big picture of making Infrastructure efficient and suitable for consumer, not kowtowing to Gadget Makers and Mobile Operators.

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Another new asteroid-mining firm: 'First commercial space fleet'

Mage
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I for one ...

Welcome our "belters".

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Germany's RTL pulls free-to-air channels off terrestrial TV

Mage
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ITV

More like C5 leaving DTT?

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Mage
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Satellite or Cable?

Death of portable / transportable / ad hoc TV reception.

Outside Cities and major towns is rarely cabled

Satellite is precarious.

Why are they allowed to do this?

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Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

Mage
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Boffin

CMOS "Button cells"?

Button / Coin cells originally were ONLY Mercury types in 1930 when the clever package was invented by Mr Compton I think. Still available up to maybe the 1970s? The Silver types invented during WWII but rather expensive of course.

But Zinc Air, Alkaline, Silver Oxide and Lithium Button & Coin cells have been mercury free for over 20 years. Memory chips have been using Lithium or NiCd (then NiMH) type cells for about 30 years

I had thought Zinc Carbon/Zinc Chloride / Alkaline manganese batteries had always been mercury free (they are now), but apparently some mercury was used to help the Zinc Chloride material or something, which actually seems to be involved in all 3 mentioned Cell types.

LEDs can't come close to CFL for colour rendition (the wavelength is too long) a new LED material is needed. They also can't come close to power level of the higher power high pressure mercury vapour lamps.

Mercury based thermometers and blood pressure are long obsolete. The main issue is lighting.

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Why no one wants to Joyn GSMA's Skype-killing expedition

Mage
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Operators

They ARE bit pipes on 4G.

They need to concentrate on doing that properly. Anything else is a different business.

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McDonalds burger app gives it to you straight from the horse's mouth

Mage
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Lemony Snicket

I like the description in the "Wide Window".

McD is somewhere to go when cold & wet or need a loo and no where else is in sight.

"Happy Meals". Hmmm fail on both words.

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Record numbers of you are reading this headline right now

Mage
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Alert

"fellow sci/tech websites"

There are others??????

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Intel's fourth quarter a bummer, as expected

Mage
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tremendous progress across the business in 2012 as we entered the market

Well, when you have a track record of near zero sales in a market and have more sales, the % growth can look enormous. But in real terms not even on the radar on phones and Tablets.

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US taxman joins UK politicoes on hunt for Amazon cash

Mage
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More VAT?

No, that doesn't work, only the consumer pays VAT. Schools etc count as Consumers.

Purchase Tax as per 1940s to when VAT came in was calculated on the Wholesale price. Retailers often displayed the price ex Tax. Consumers largely paid it.

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Hyperspeed travel looks wrong: Leicester students

Mage
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Re: The weapons are pretty unbelievable too

Hypersonic self guided missiles with multiple Fusion warheads are probably illegal in the Galactic Federation, but no-one told us.

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Amazon puts up CD rack in the cloud, unearths your OLD stuff too

Mage
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Flame

Re: Nice

Jessops, Comet, Plays For Sure, Apricot / ACT, Nixdorf, DEC, Compaq, Wang, Polariod, Kodak, Prestel, Ceefax, Geocites ...

Will Amazon be around in 5, 10, 20 years?

Will they ever accidentally lose stuff?

Will they change the Business Model?

What if you forget or can't pay on time?

What if you lose your Internet connection?

Sorry, but cloudy services (= Shared Server + Client, as old as Timeshared Servers and online Access) are no substitute for having your own copies. Can sometimes be an complement. I have loads of websites. Do I trust the "Cloud" / Hosting? Even they recommend backups. I have running copies of it all in the attic., with a backup too.

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Forget 3D: 13,000 UK homes still watch TV in black and white

Mage
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But

The stats don't count people with an Additional B&W tv. But Colour licence as they have at least one Colour TV, nor do they count the fraudsters.

There could be more B&W TVs than stated by B&W licence in use before ASO. My B&W TV is now just used for the radio on it (2" set).

Modulators can be separately purchased.

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Ten affordable mid-sized Full HD monitors

Mage
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Re: Multiples of 1080

Or subtitles

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Mage
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Re: No portrait-mode?

I remember a Xerox about 1977 or so that was Portrait.

I'd love a 133 dpi 1600 x 3200 portrait screen, about 30cm x 60cm visible. Or a 150 dpi 1920 x 3840 would proof A3 nicely with some space left over (slightly more than 32.5 x 67cm visible)

But actually it would be grand on a swivel to do landscape too.

Cleartype etc is sub-pixel addressing. If it doesn't work in Portrait, that's a bug. It should have an option to input the pixel layout.

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