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* Posts by Mage

2773 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

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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German ebook firm pushes cheapo ereaders into US drug stores

Mage
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How did I miss this?

A £10 epaper display to add to my own hardware?

Where?

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Microsoft: We're SO SORRY for Media Center TV guide titsup

Mage
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Re: They had no idea

"now force my children to perform plays"

You should see Hamlet performed with alien creatures made of Plasticine, models made by the kids, models moved and voiced in real time by the kids.

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Polaroid plans retail Fotobars to print out your pics

Mage
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Coat

Er...

People are already offering this as a sideline. Kodak and other machines instore as well as counter based services. They are going to compete in a low margin saturated market with mature outlets.

How is Polariod still alive?

Mine's the one with a usb stick on the keyring.

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Wi-Fi, WiGig Alliances to wed, breed 60GHz progeny

Mage
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Re: Specs: Does it penetrate walls? Useful range?

No, it's almost to data what so called Wireless charger is to Charging (The Wireless charger needs a cable and the client has to rest on it). It won't really do anything a long patch cable can't do. But it does have a few very useful deployments.

It will work in an open plan office, one class room or one apartment room. The school and apartment applications are useful as regular wifi has too much range in those applications resulting in congestion. You really don't want to cable each desk in a Class room or be without WiFi in an Apartment. But the open plan office is less value as each desk will have power and structured wiring anyway.

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Tiny Brit island stranded after £10m undersea fibre plea sunk

Mage
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More Dishes?

No help. One dish or 450 Dishes is same total speed, The limit is the Satellite, about 45k km above the Earth. Actually one larger dish, say 3.7m is far better efficiency and capacity than 100 small dishes. The Satellite bandwidth is shared. As you have more dishes sharing the efficiency drops.

Even in Europe, Ka-Sat which has TWENTY times the highest previous capacity satellite in Europe only has about the same capacity as a small rural exchange and less than one UPC or Virgin Media or BT Open Reach fibre fed street cabinet.

Apart from the useless latency, satellite capacity is rubbish. One Terrestrial Fixed Wireless Access mast (not to be confused with Mobile) can have as much capacity as an entire satellite (the bird, not the dishes, which MUST share out the capacity).

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Windows Media Center EPG has SWITCHED OFF, wail Euro users

Mage
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Black Helicopters

DVBViewer

XP Media and Vista Media centre are rubbish for European DTT or Satellite. The Windows 7 Media centre (built in MHEG5 too) was quite decent.

But still not as a good as DVBviewer and MHEG5 plugin. Evidenced by fact than it's still bought by Windows7 users.

DVBviewer or MS Media Centre on Win7 is though easier to set up than MythTV.

A Freesat+ HD PVR set box is best, but quad tuner (2 x DVB-S2 and 2 x DVB-T) set boxes with real Freesat and/or MHEG5 don't seem to exist. Important for people not actually in UK wanting Local DTT and the Freesat channels. Then a PC based PVR is best.

You can run HDMI over 2 x shielded CAT5e for quite a good distance by cutting a £1.50 HDMI cable in two and splicing.

However I expect the missing EPG is a mistake!

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SECRET RIM patent cheque to Nokia revealed at last - and it's a big 'un

Mage
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Re: Who is then the real innovator?

Maybe in the past. With HW.

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Anti-virus products are rubbish, says Imperva

Mage
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Educate the User

occasional use of Silent Runners (Windows) and Root Kit Detection etc to check the education.

Almost all infections in my experience of cleaning others messes are self inflicted. Mindless opening of mindless attachments or stupid installs. Mindless clinking on "OK".

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It's JUST possible, but Apple MIGHT not make an iWatch in 2013

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Intel chip?

What sort of Intel Chip?

I'm expecting Mac to switch away from Intel. Maybe Intel does useful chips apart from CPUs.

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The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Home & Work Light?

"Colour rendering is very much better than CFLs and about the same as halogen"

Nothing like. LEDs have gaps in the spectrum. You are confusing "Colour Temperature" or how Neutral the colour appears looking AT it or neutral surfaces to the accuracy of colours seen with the light reflected from objects.

Certain shades of Cyan will go green or blue. Other colours will go "muddy" or even grey.

CFLs and Florescent tubes have spikes and some gaps, but due to the direct plasma and mix of UVA and UVB wavelengths a mix of phosphors can give much better light than the Blue/Violet/Near UV of an LED. White LEDs don't exist, they use phosphors. R G B LEDS can "mix" to give illusion of almost any colour, but are the very worst illumination source as it's near monochromatic Red, Green and Blue. Coloured objects will appear the wrong colour and it's possible to have a brightly coloured object appear dark grey or a darker spurious colour under RGB light than under CFL or even phosphor based White LED. It will be most natural in overcast sky mid daylight and next most natural (but orange enhanced) under Halogen. Only Halogen and Tungsten can be colour balanced later in Photo Editing. With RGB or White LED the colour information isn't in the photo or video, it's lost.

Cameras use three or more broad overlapping responses to generate the RGB data for later colour image (which can then use monochromatic RGB). But you need broad spectrum lighting with no gaps to create the viewing illusion accurately.

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Mage
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Boffin

LED is fantastic

But one thermionic tech refuses to die, the VFD used in Media players, Set-boxes, car dash boards and Tills/POS. Invented as Computer Indicator in late 1950s, Japanese 7 segment displays in 1960s calculators (one digit per valve) and pocket calculators in 1970s (single tube with all digits)

1952 Triode magic eye, DM70 & DM71

1959 VFD, works on 9V HT and with TTL drive DM160

The russian iv-15 a DM160 clone

Some history of indicators including LEDs and a Timeline

Nortake/Itron, Futuba, Samsung still make them Some nice Russian NOS and Asian ebay types here

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Mage
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Home & Work Light?

It's rubbish for those as the spectrum is too poor. Missing colours. It's not even as good as CFL in which the phosphors work better. CFL even is poorer than Halogen for colour rendition.

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When your squash partner 'endorses' your coding skills on LinkedIn...

Mage
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Thumb Up

"thumbs up"

Sadly it's true.

Though most of my linkedin recommendations are valid as mostly I only accept connections from people I have actually worked with or in similar fields of expertise.

But many on LinkedIn seem to be "connection whores", or like Stamp collectors.

Why do only average eBay sellers think they should get 5 stars? IMO only exceptional should get 5, so mostly I give 4 on each category.

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Crushing $1.17bn Marvell patent judgment could set record

Mage
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Flame

This is Nuts.

Universities don't exist to benefit Universities or Shareholders, but Humanity , The Nation and Business development. So even if this is valid (the patent infringement) the penalty is crazy. There should be MANDATORY "FRAND" licences on anything University developed.

Secondly, yet again it's unlikely that the patent is really valid or that Marvell really violated it. But this is not a new problem. It dates back to 1900s when Lodge and Marconi got patents for "Radio" techniques already in mathematics by Maxwell, Hertz and Braun.

Marconi and later RCA was like Apple. Patent everything, fight everyone. Marconi came up with some good possibly patentable ideas about aerials. Almost everything else should have been thrown out by Patent Office. At least then a Patent only lasted 14 years. Also The WORLD had to create an International Treaty to break the power Britain gave Marconi, as he only leased the Equipment and Operators to ships and in classic walled garden fashion Marconi operators forbidden to communicate with Ships or Shore not using Licensed Marconi Equipment.

So the "system" is broken since late Victorian era when US and UK entrepreneurs (i.e. Edison and Moving Pictures too) simply "gamed" the Patent System to prevent valid competition, not get temporary exclusivity on real inventions. RCA prevented anyone using the Superhet without their licence. Armstrong is actually credited with "inventing" it in 1918, but in reality the idea was obvious to many and of no interest till valves (tubes) cheaper as it needed an Oscillator, Mixer and Amplifier with 7 coils to replace one regenerative amplifier and 2 coils.

Most technology patents in the last 120 years are fake. Written to obfuscate and hide the lack of novelty, or obviousness or fact that it's mathematically described many years earlier.

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Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83

Mage
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Left out...

Supercar

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Steve Bong's 3D printing special Xmas showcase

Mage
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Fimo

Fimo/Sculpy for Geeks?

Industrial quality 3D printing is useful for prototypes. It can be useful at home maybe for the sort of person that has a computer controlled Mill.

I think Steve is right, that the "impact" is somewhat hyped. I have seen good 3D printed stuff.

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Boffins build elastic wires with liquid metal

Mage
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I presume

That this is safer than Victorian era Rubber tubing and Mercury?

Lighter too.

I guess it might be handy to connect something vibrating and moving?

Speaker voice coil connections?

Engine mounted electronics

Cables on a Lift (elevator).

I can't see it being useful for headphones really.

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What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

Mage
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Re: Money, actually...

I've been working with programmers since 1978. I'm not convinced very many skilled programming staff exist.

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Mage
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Re: "nearly every sample program in every textbook is a perfect"

Macros are evil. Period. One thing I've agreed with Stroustrupp since 1987 on first reading his stuff. Actually most of the bad stuff in C++ may be due to AT&T insisting on as much C compatibility as possible. The first C++ compilers I used actually only pre-processed C++ text to C text creating the magic pointer "this" as a first extra parameter in the C text.

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Mage
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Mushroom

The budget isn't the problem

Maybe 9 out of 10 "high graded" Graduate "Programmers" (there is not just Comp Sci) can't really program well and never will be good programmers.

You can easily teach a computer language, has anyone ever discovered how to teach programming.

Comments are a double edged sword, they can become out of sync with code and most people are worse at good comments than programming.

A decent description of the function, what the parameters are, what the valid range for each is and what the function returns/modifies is of course a minimum. Include tests on each parameter, even if for performance they have to be commented out on final production version.

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BT's 4G bid WON'T lead to mobile network launch

Mage
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Yet Still!

They want to squeeze TV spectrum even further AND allow "Bonkers" so called "White Space" (effectively un-policed) to destroy reception of 100s of thousands.

Ofcom is

a) A regulator protecting licensed users and maximising nation effectiveness of spectrum

or

b) An arm of the Treasury tasked with maximising Licence Auction revenues and no interest in protecting consumers from Operators' predatory practices (e.g. high SMS and voice charges subsidising Data and exorbitant EU roaming charges.)

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End of days: Possessed POWERPOINT predicts Mayan Apocalypse

Mage
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Alien

Time to die

Obligatory

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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Mage
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Re: Big Bang & Adams

It's been mathematically proven that each volume has less new content. The next one can be generated automatically.

Not sure why they paid someone to do the recent volume.

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Euro Commission abandons ACTA court request

Mage
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Joke

So far, only Japan

Wot, not even USA?

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OpenTV slaps Netflix with patent lawsuit

Mage
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Copright. ... not patents

It only benefits Trolls and Lawyers that "software patents" exist rather than just normal copyright protection.

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Bankrupt Kodak misses $2bn target, flogs imaging patents for $525m

Mage
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Mushroom

Even with $2.6B

They would be doomed anyway without a decent vision. Their current "plan" is slow suicide anyway.

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Microsoft 'surprised' by Google Gmail 'winter cleaning'

Mage
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Calender and Contact

Microsoft gave the computing world a kick where it hurt most with Outlook/Exchange and not having the non-mail stuff separate. Not rocket science to write an application that uses a separate messaging package. The whole aim of SW development and easy to use end user applications should be to do SMALLER communicating applications.

In win3.1 I installed a Spelling Checker and it worked for almost everything. On current systems EACH program seems to have it's own checker (often worse than programs 15 years ago). Rubbish and poorly published APIs?

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Mage
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Almost all email

Assumes there are no hackers.

Also I don't wish to have my emails only stored on someone else's server, Microsoft's, Apple's, Yahoo's or Google's.

Email generally is important because so many people use it, and where is the open source WIDELY USED secure (no source spoofing / free spam not just "intercept secuirity) and reliable alternative to Notes, Exchange, IMAP, POP3 and SMTP eh?

Sorry, it sure isn't Twitter or Facebook.

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Swedish teens GO BERSERK in Instagram sex pic slut riot

Mage
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Coat

Re: Gym slips & hockey sticks

Well, there is also Camogie. It's alleged that the schools that play that, field those teams on inter-school hockey matches. The Hockey players think they are a little rough.

Then there is the REAL Man's sport. Very like ice hockey, but since there is no ice they use a ball in the air. It's called "Hurling". The US "football" armour might be appropriate.

Hockey is civilised.

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Boffins spot planet that could support life... just 12 light years away

Mage
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Ping Time

24 years latency makes for interesting communication. Asimov or Clarke etc had a short story about it. Just talk and don't worry about a two way conversation.

I wonder what the calling channel is and what kind of modulation?

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Quadriplegic woman demos advanced mind-control of robot arm

Mage
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Happy

Won't be long?

Um... We DO have cyborgs. Just not much like Steve Austin.

We are at the wired Telegraph stage still, but progressing.

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Samsung, LG 'lose confidence' in OLED TV tech

Mage
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Boffin

Re: The real competition isn't TVs

Also a projector 3:1 optical zoom makes sense. Small screen for 16:9 regular TV and largest for near 3:1 made for Cinema on BluRay etc

approx 28" (4:3 diagonal, 36" if 16:9 with bars at side) is grand for made for 4:3 content (you really don't want more than 28" on VHS, why has a 42" HDTV no "shrink" function?)

36" for Academy format old B&W

42" for made for TV HD

72" (16:9 diagonal) for wider than 2.3:1 made for Cinema HD.

All approximate for a 2.5m approx viewing distance

I'm not interested in Stereoscopic TV. Wake me when they figure how to do consumer 3D.

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Mage
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Re: It's the "O" that's got me spooked

OLED short life was deemed acceptable in phones as they get lost, broken, upgraded, nor is screen on 16 hours a day as it is with some people (my mother maybe watches 4hrs TV, but switches it on at breakfast time... ) . There was always scepticism that the technology would scale to larger displays with acceptable yield and that people would accept a short life. It's not like "real" R G B LEDs as used in large stadium and hall panels (and presumably the Sony "Crystal" display), they are more like printed "organic" EL with diode characteristics and phosphors and filters to get the colour.

I can't see OLED ever being mainstream on larger than cheap phones. If Sony solve yield and production issues on their "crystal" display that will kill OLED for TV.

A hybrid LCD / LED is also an option, some panels already use R G B LED arrays instead of simple "white" LED backlights on LCD to enhance low resolution picture contrast and quality. Perhaps one R G B set of LEDs for a 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 block of LCD pixels and then no filter stripes. If the LEDs can be fabricated to have only one polarisation then even greater efficiency is possible with the LCD pixels.

For TV use the signal doesn't even have full resolution RGB, only Luminance because the eye is less sensitive to colour detail than brightness detail, especially on moving images.

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ITU to treaty haters: Enjoy your pricey roaming, boatloads of spam... suckers

Mage
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Re: protecting us from spam

If Google policies are allowed to reign, we'll eat spam and believe it's smoked salmon.

Why exactly do people trust Google more than the ITU?

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FCC: Kids, here's 100MHz of radio spectrum - but you have to share

Mage
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Alert

I think the last paragraph is wrong

But selling spectrum to one owner, for their exclusive use, could eventually become history, with moves like this one ensuring no-one has reliably utilised radio spectrum.

Licence Free "White space" radio is only OK if it's the ONLY thing on a band. It may be feasible at 3.5GHz and higher to share as propagation is increasingly "line of Sight" only on the higher microwave bands.

But below 2GHz it becomes increasingly a disaster and isn't workable at all at 700MHz.

See what the Mobile phone companies think about sharing their 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz "White spaces"?

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Intel launches Atom S Series at servers

Mage
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Linux

64bit?

Loads of server deployments don't need even 32 bit operations, never mind 64 bit. On addressing the overhead of extending beyond 32 bits is small. But again many server deployments don't need more than 4Gbytes and if you are running virtual servers on 16G RAM, then the overhead of any address extending scheme is small.

Supercomputers, Rendering, Modelling, Workstations etc can benefit from 64bits. But I just don't see the need if you are using multiple cheap server nodes each with own RAM.

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The Sons of Kahn and the assembly language of the internet

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: C# is dead

It was a good rip off of Java and far better than the abomination called vb.net, which has 666 on its forehead. VB6 was the last real VB

I have a Modula-2 compiler released when NT3.5 was young. It still compiles and runs native W32 applications on XP, I used to write DLLs in it and call them from VB6 and C++, as writing GUI code without a visual IDE is like loading MS Office via binary and toggle switches instead of reading a disk file. I really feel for the Tribe of Delphi. We do seem to be going backwards.

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Mystery X-37B robot spaceplane returns to orbit on Tuesday

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Too cold?

They obviously watched or read "Ice Station Zebra"

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Google defames Reg columnist Verity Stob

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Probably help Verity too.

"This article on a computer specialist of the United Kingdom is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it."

Someday I must buy the book.

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Copying Wikipedia's lies is not just for hacks, right Lord Leveson?

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

David Irving the Historian?

Never heard of him.

I do know of one that is a Neo-Nazi Apologist. The real Nazis probably would have sent him to a camp. They didn't lie as much about the "cleansing" of Gypsies, Homosexuals, Mentally subnormal, Religious "Fanatics" and Jews.

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Nokia Siemens slim-down continues

Mage
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Thumb Up

Re: @Mage

Probably true, but it was very bitter NSN "Siemens" folk that I met in Munich. I think it was Munich. There was an airport, airplane flight, a bigger airport, a drive and then a large German city (I guess German based on the signage).

Frightening that nowadays when you travel the Hotels and Airports all seem as if they use the same catalogues and there are all the same shops. Apart from USA, UK, Israel, Japan and some Arabs* everyone seems to use the same money now too. :-) Since the Arabs and most of the Asians seems to sell in US Dollars they must not trust their own money. I'll believe US is really in Trouble and Euro really succeeding when oil is priced in it. With Europe's luck that will be about a month before Arab oil runs out.

We have no Asda or Poundland here, I was in a "Foreign" place and Poundland was identical to local "Dealz" and Asda seems very similar to Tesco. Except they had a Polariod TV for sale. Why does someone think recycling name of a dead Instant film company to sell an obsolete TV is a good idea? (no HD reception on the TV).

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Mage
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NSN

The merger of Siemens Networks and Nokia Networks was a disaster for the customers as well as the Siemens staff.

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Elon Musk jumps overboard from Paul Allen's GIANT MOTHERSHIP

Mage
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Mushroom

Cost Benefit

Perhaps Balloon or Aircraft launched rockets sound good, but the actual numbers don't really work? For the aircraft there is the fuel to simply lift the aircraft as high as possible.

Israel is looking at air launches, but that is more a case of being able to have a launch point outside Israel. For some reason Rocket launches in Israel make the neighbours nervous.

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