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* Posts by Mage

2764 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Apple iPad Mini 8in tablet review

Mage
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FAIL

Price

You need to be seriously deluded by the Reality Distortion Field to pay what this costs.

It's for people with more money than sense.

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Naughty-step Apple buries court-ordered apology with JavaScript

Mage
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Alert

Certainly Contemptible

They are like a naughty Child.

Will the tell the Judge that the Dog ate it?

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Cambridge boffins bag big-time backers for White Space standard

Mage
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Flame

A problem

So called "White Space" is a myth and will simply cause interference to other (non-whitespace) users.

However the standard and Protocols may be of use on bands licensed for it.

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Brain boffins: 'Yes, math CAN make your head hurt – LITERALLY'

Mage
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Math?

Maths!

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Apple puts less of its takings into R&D, hires more sales cultists

Mage
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It's not as if they have many products.

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Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

Mage
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Next

Will be PCWorld/Currys. Maybe they need to get back to selling bicycles?

Internet competition? Maybe. But also Tesco and Argos.

Harvey Norman still has a big Electrical, AV and computer section here, but I doubt if they make money on it.

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EE 4G LTE review

Mage
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High Speeds?

Only because hardly anyone is using it.

Ten people on a mast sector and you get 1/10th or less speed.

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Dry martini, shaken not stirred: Cracking the physics of Bond's martini

Mage
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Ice?

Ice in any drink is a modern abomination. Certainly for Whiskey, Whisky, beer or Wine.

Maybe OK in vodka served with raw fish above the Arctic Circle?

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Hmm, I think I'll order an iPad Mini on Amazon ... Oh no I won't

Mage
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iFad?

The new iPad mini needs to be either 1/2 the price or twice the spec. It's like the spec of a no-name tablet, made in same country but x3 the price.

Only fans or people doing no research into subject will buy it. Cook better hope that Jobs really is dead and not faking or Forstall won't be the only one looking for a new job.

If you have no intention of buying Amazon content then a Samsung might be better. If it's Amazon content you want (and hardly any is eBooks), then the Fire looks best.. If you only want Amazon eBooks then the "paperwhite" is best.

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Forgetting Microsoft: How Steve Ballmer's Surface could win

Mage
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Thumb Down

Re: Confused

They have Matt Asay because he is popular with all the other writers. Many may hate what Andrew Orlowski writes sometimes, but he can write coherently most of the time. When do follow what Matt is saying, is usually seems like nonsense anyway.

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Freesat downs own website after Downton quickie

Mage
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92%

About 92% of TV watched by those with Sky Sports is Free TV. Sky gets only about 1.5% viewing time.

Sky Movies? Better value to buy the BD/DVD films/Box sets if choosy or use Netflix if not. Makes no sense to pay to watch repeats either..

Most of the channels on Sky don't make 0.1% viewing time. When you first get a sub there is a certain novelty to the Clarkson & Hitler channels (History is more than WWII you know). Or Animals. Or Mythbusters.

But a lot of filler and repeats.

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Granny upstages Microsoft, storms stage at Surface launch

Mage
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large screen size

Ah ha!

So they admit it. Win8 is only any use on Tablets.

Al-in-ones don't have particularly high resolution, Monitors surpassed 1920x1080 TV's HD over a decade ago. Physical size is not relevant to SW, only number of pixels. So what about 150dpi & higher Tablets?

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Better luck next time Blofeld! Five Bond plot myths busted

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Russian Military Rod Pentodes

Made till 1991

Google

1j24b

1j37b

1j18b

1j42a

1j29b

1p24b

1j17b

Superior to Germanium transistors

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Inventor sues Google Wallet over NFC loyalty patent

Mage
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Facepalm

Ah Ha!

Where is the "invention", novelty and lack of obviousness in this?

It's just a software implementation of an accounting method?

It's too general too.

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4G: Bad coverage, crap battery life - but at least it's really expensive

Mage
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Realistic

"Realistic speed of the dual-channel HSPA+ flavour 3G will be about 12Mbps, while realistic speeds of LTE range from 13.8Mbps at 10MHz to 30Mbps 20MHz."

Only if no-one else is connecting to those channels.

This report is really old now, but still valid

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iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: inch makes all the difference, says Apple CEO

Mage
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Extremely Compelling

If you browse more than create.

“It is already extremely compelling for many customers to choose a tablet, in particular an iPad, over a PC,” he said. “When you look at the PC market, there is an enormous opportunity for Apple there.”

He means Mac Market converting to iPad, they have almost no growth at all.

They will release 13" & 17" or similar iPads with keyboards and call them Macs. As soon as they are cheaper to make as x86 ones and can be sold for same price as the x86 ones.

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Windows 8 unleashed! Midnight launch for world+dog

Mage
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Re: Boring

yes, this is a bit meh ...

Unless it totally tanks. That would be amusing. But as yet I'll largely ignore it.

RiscOS release for Raspberry Pi is more interesting.

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Why is 4G so expensive? Answer: The Post-Voice Era is coming

Mage
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Boffin

The Data party

The reality is that when you analyse use and traffic there is a about a 100x to 300x difference between voice and data. Voice is over priced. Data is hugely subsidised by voice on existing Mobile. This is why "3" makes little or no money (I think none ever in Ireland) as they don't have enough voice customers.

Mobile data ought to be more expensive. The mystery is why the 4G isn't x5 more expensive, unless in reality the GSM & 3G voice charges are unbelievably excessive.

50 minutes voice at less than 16kbps each way costs the operator how much compared to 1G of data (all of which is is outside their network).

Some voice calls are on their network (no data leaving)

Other Calls:

if you get as many calls as you make, then the outgoing termination costs for operator are similar to incoming Revenue.

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Amazon ships Kindle Fire HD, Paperwhite to Brits

Mage
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Re: Works for me

Ah... Amazon copied that did they?

I see in reviews the Kobo Glo has transreflective LED lamp and 1024 x 768.

I don't much like the idea it reboots when you load a new document.

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Mage
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Datasheets on "Paperwhite"

Hmm,

1024 x 768 (if true) is about possible for A4 PDF filling screen (about 96 dots per original inch). An HD landscape screen is 1920 x 1080, so only 56 pixels longer for document and it nearly works (1200 pixels high works for A4). But since there is no title bar and menu bar, it may be similar to full A4 portrait pdf in a window on a 1600 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200 landscape display.

I tried the existing 800 x 600 Kindle in the house here. No good at all for US letter size or A4 size PDFs

Where can I try one?

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Judge GIVES APPLE THE FINGER in multitouch iDevice patent case

Mage
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Re: PATENTS MUST BE INVENTIVE and NON OBVIOUS!!!!

Actually capacitive screens about same vintage as resistive. But low resolution. People wanted handwriting recognition and stylus operated shrunk desktop GUI.

Capacitive is inherently very low resolution.

The ideal is capacitive AND resistive (or some new tech that has light touch finger and stylus, ideally reporting pressure and angle too). They existed before any Apple iThing but after Apple Newton (which was deliberately resistive for handwriting).

The only change with iPhone was smoother better thought out GUI and less buttons. Otherwise no new technology at all. No Apple developed HW.

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Mage
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Re: Obviously they lack buttons

I agree, the patent unfortunately was not invalidated, but it should be.

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Mage
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Alert

Obviously they lack buttons

Didn't Apple ever hear of N-Key Rollover?

Gesture based editing pre 1989?

More Apple patents the USPO needs to invalidate.

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Vaunted Windows 8 RTM updates 'actually featured from Win2000'

Mage
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Hot Fixes

We only had wet string and CDs in the post.

So NT 3.51, NT4.0 had Hot Fixes for bugs and additional drivers before SP releases. Either on the Monthly CDs or via Dialup. We got ISDN, then ADSL during life of NT4.0

It's just more of what they had before, more streamlined due to broadband.

BTW, where is my SP7 for NT4.0? The beta USB driver worked great, though I had to install on the scanner or whatever on Win2000 and copy files as stupid installer checks OS version and not available features (which was the MS recommendation actually).

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The Big Debate: OK gloomsters, how can the music biz be FIXED?

Mage
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In the past all radio stations that played pop music were pirate

Actually they were not. The problem was specifically in the UK and pre-dated the 1960s.

In the 1930s and late 1940s to early 1960s people listened to the "Popular" music in the UK after dark on Foreign stations.

The UK Postmaster General controlled the airwaves. Till the Light Program and then the Third program started after the war any sort of music fan was badly served. UK had ONLY the Home Service during daytime. (And World Service in some area).

208 wasn't a Pirate station and specifically targeted UK after dark. US AFN was popular too in 1940s and 1950s for Popular music.

Ireland only had one station till about 1972!

Other countries had more choice. Pirate radio was actually a quite short lived phenomenon most popular in UK. The Pirate station in Post War Europe that caused so much grief that the BBC asked to roll out VHF,eventually started in 1955 (in US pre war and on current band in 1945 and in Germany from 1949) was a Latvian station the Russians for some reason ignored.

UK VHF stupidly only had copy of Home, Light and Third till about 1971!!!! German VHF had loads of useful stations.

It's actually amazing that UK started ITV in 1955. and having done it, didn't licence commercial Radio on VHF-FM at same time.

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China's Goophone unveils US$99 Android iPad Mini clone

Mage
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Pirate

Re: And why

Of course if you just want to know the time and not show off you might even buy a cheaper watch than a Swatch. But point well made.

I'd wonder about the quality at that price, and for a very portable tablet I'd like a 3:1 or 4:1 aspect ratio to make the screen enormous but width low enough for pocket.

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ESO's nine-gigapixel galactic image has 84 MILLION stars

Mage
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Alien

Great stuff

Now all we need is a Star ship (generation/city in space or warp), or star gate or similar.

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Raspberry Pi SoC drivers now fully open source

Mage
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Re: err -Weeps

Well, I read the article and hadn't looked at the release.

So I'll stick with the recommended Linux distro for now. Raspbian “wheezy”

http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

So the release here http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2221

is misleading?

"As of right now, all of the VideoCore driver code which runs on the ARM is available under a FOSS license (3-Clause BSD to be precise). The source is available from our new userland repository on GitHub. If you’re not familiar with the status of open source drivers on ARM SoCs this announcement may not seem like such a big deal, but it does actually mean that the BCM2835 used in the Raspberry Pi is the first ARM-based multimedia SoC with fully-functional, vendor-provided (as opposed to partial, reverse engineered) fully open-source drivers, and that Broadcom is the first vendor to open their mobile GPU drivers up in this way. We at the Raspberry Pi Foundation hope to see others follow."

OTH if it's possible now to load and use the GPU binary and call it from your own hand crafted OS off the SD card it's some good.

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Mage
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+1

Absolutely

Now we can experiment with new designs of OS, rather than playing on top of 20 year old RiscOS and Linux.

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New Mac mini: Business in the front, party at the back

Mage
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Afordable?

maybe but you pay twice what it's worth

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Windows 8: An awful lot of change for a single release

Mage
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Windows NT 4.0

Negative:

GDI moved into Kernel: Graphics and Printer drivers able to crash OS for first time.

The next iteration of PCs added more performance than that change. It was a mistake. There was even a perfectly good Explorer shell (preview) just before NT 4.0 that ran on NT3.51

Positive

NT 4 enterprise could access 16G of RAM, breaking 2G limit

NT 4 enterprise supported cluster on standard HW if you had a 2 channel SCSI, SCSI repeaters on both PCs and two external SCSI shelves mirrored across the channels.

NT4 as well as x86 supported Pentium Pro (rubbish running 95), MIPS, Power PC, Alpha and 64 bit Alpha.

CE was based on NT. Only the GUI of CE was stupid for small device. Zune fixed that.

The demise and then dismemberment of DEC by Compaq, then disastrous HP take over (ditching some of the best of both companies) was bad.

DEC ARM designs live on in Marvell though after Intel took them and resold them.

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BBC pulls plug Ceefax ahead of analogue TV's end tonight

Mage
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Irish Compromise

RTE channels will close Teletext and only use Freeview/Freesat style MHEG5 Text

TG4 and TV3 will still use Teletext.

RTE will still provide full teletext to Sky Subscribers (RTE not available to UK addresses outside UK, but the teletext works if you add the channel manually on a UK sky box)

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Mage
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Flame

LTE Mobile Broadband

No, it's not Broadband. It's Mobile Internet.

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Microsoft: Welcome back to PCs, ARM. Sorry about the 1990s

Mage
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Re: Win CE

From a marketing perspective. Yes, CE has run on ARM for years and it has more in common with Windows NT (2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8) family than Win on Dos (3.x, 9x, ME) family.

But CE resource / process limits are static, hard coded for tiny RAM and ROM. Win NT (Win 8) is dynamic allocation more suited to the ARM in Smart phones that has more physical resource than a 2001 x86 Laptop!

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Arduino barebones board upgraded with 32-bit ARM

Mage
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Alert

Re: The title is too long!

Assembler is discouraged by ARM. The lowest level official support for ANY ARM CPU is C.

It's a separate flamewar as to if C is a HLL or not :)

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Mage
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Re: assumption that I am missing something importan

Yes, the Pi uses a custom boot that has the binary blob for GPU and other chip specific features.

It's not simple at all to change to a different Linux distro without losing functionality, or indeed to have a completely diifferent OS (though work is happening on porting RiscOS as was on Archimedes, but it's a desktop OS too) .

The Broadcom chip specs are not public. The ARM Chip on the Ardunio is public, you can easily write your own bare metal software or simple OS with Timer tick and "round robin" scheduler.

There is a much similarity between some ARMs as 286, Pentium Pro, Xeon and Itanium have. Good luck on getting ANY OS on Arduino ARM to run on Raspberry Pi! Even with recompiling.

The chip on the Arduino ARM is designed specifically for Industrial / Embedded control. Likely has general purpose timers and and general purpose Analogue I/O.

The Raspberry Pi is a mobile phone chip on a breakout board. So not very suitable for embedded applications. There doesn't seem to even be analogue in (USB stick for Audio in certainly).

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Mage
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Linux

Real time on Pi

No, it's the OS.

Ordinary Linux or Windows or iOS or OSX can't even reliably do 2.4kHz sampling to read 1124 bps RDS data, or 38KHz OOK modulation without jumping through hoops in a Device Driver, directly in software with a GPIO pin. An 8bit Arduino or PIC can do it easily.

The official support for Pi is a customised Debian flavour of Linux. You need a keyboard, 4G SD card, HDMI screen (composite is too awkwardly low resolution) and USB2go plugged 5V PSU (the USB2go connector is just power, no data). It can't be bricked as the OS boots from SD card.

So to use the GPIO on Raspberry Pi you need to figure how to either boot a "Real Time" version of Linux (which isn't very real time), or better is some other non-Linux OS.

The Multitasking model in Linux can't assure that a user task is run when you want it, no matter how fast the CPU unless a new kernel patched in Device Driver is added.

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Boffinry group shakes tin for effort to build Babbage's Analytical Engine

Mage
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Trollface

Re: I really hope...

I'd love a 3D printer for Brass, Steel etc.

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Nokia puts Symbian out to pasture ... why not release it into the wild?

Mage
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Happy

Re: Symbian pre-re-closing from 2010 is still around

If it's going to be recycled as a lean RTOS (with optionally a sensible new GUI for things that need one) you don't need to be able to "build" anything "Belle" compatible. In fact you want to avoid like plague ANYTHING using existing Nokia GUIs over last 10 years. You only want the OS

As to what should be a layer for graphical / User I/O applications I don't know. I've tried building QT based applications for Window / Linux and found Java cross platform GUI libraries better. Not that I think that's a good idea. despite that Android is essentially Linux + a flavour of Java (Davik vs JVM)

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: Move on and let it die

iOS and Android are what they are, bloated macro kernel OS based on UNIX/Linux concepts. iOS & Android developers are not going to scrape the core of the OS and re-write it from scratch. That though is the only way to get an efficient, secure, low power, reliable and low footprint OS.

Symbian was developed from a OS especially designed from ground up for a single user running multiple small applications in tiny memory on battery powered cpu.

UNIX was designed for mains powered Mini-computers and multiple users. Linux was designed as a functional clone for the 386 CPU with disk storage. It's only because a mobile phone is more powerful and more storage than a 2001 Laptop that iOS or Android is practical at all.

Symbian OS developers are going to want to work on ARM embedded systems, not iOS and Android phones.

Symbian *was* open source for a while. How they get the genie back in the bottle? An embedded controller or other application using a Raspberry Pi needs none of GUI junk that Nokia built on top of Symbian. If you DON'T have screen on the Pi, then VXworks, QNX, or Symbian may make more sense than Llinux which needs a hacked kernel to be "real time". Set-boxes, TVs, WiFi points and Routers can cheerfully use vanilla Linux as there are no "Real Time" constraints or "deterministic at compile time" requirements.

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TiVo: Cisco and pals could owe us BILLIONS over DVR patents

Mage
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Re: someone must have invented the DVR?

Digital video goes back to early 1970s or late 1960s.

The reason it wasn't in the home was cost of disc storage and cost of video DAC/ADC. Decent codecs help dramatically reduce the storage cost. But TIVO can't claim ANY patents on video codecs or video storage on HDD.

By mid 1980s some PABX used audio codecs and HDD for voice mail. I worked on HW & SW of these and they incorporated most DVR functions apart from EPG scheduling, audio only rather than video.

VHS machines eventually had "EPG" scheduling via Teletext data.

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Mage
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Alert

PVR idea

Goes back a long long way.. It's only an invention in a sense. The idea is too broad. Only novel and un-obvious implementations should get patents.

Digital HDD vs Analogue tape only improves the user interface.

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Apple iPod Touch 5G review

Mage
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Crazy price

Even Archos is cheaper than that.

No-name players 1/4 price.

Either you are going to have a phone for music or a cheap one (or both). It's obviously for Apple fans with too much spare money.

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Pirate Bay moves to the cloud to confound copyright cops

Mage
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Re: Cloud?

I understand perfectly that TBP doesn't store the copies themselves and is using encryption and routers etc.

But at the end of the day they are the wrong peolple to cheer, they are not doing a single iota of good nor advancing any cause. They are egotistical parasitical scum that get far too much publicity. Their "information" to enable people to download do live on real servers somewhere. The "Cloud" is purely a marketing concept, Routing, load sharing, virtual machines etc practically pre-date the internet and certainly pre-date websites.

I'm baffled as to why the smart people here would cheer on these idiots.

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Windows 8 wait prompts PC sales droop in EMEA

Mage
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Alert

Bond, Batman etc

maybe people are hoping for a Reboot of Windows XP or a sensible version of Ubuntu.

I refuse to believe a tablet-centric Windows designed by Marketing Dept that played with a Zune is creating an "Osborne effect*", or "iPhone" anticipation on Windows 7 sales.

Combination of Corporates waiting for Windows 9 or 10 or better "linux" and ordinary consumers "taking the Tablets", because really most don't need a real PC.

(* Though Osborne had a near fatal drop in sales when the "new model" was announced, the reality is that we are talking late 1983, two years after the IBM PC and more than a year after the initially very successful ACT Sirius1/Victor 9000. The product and CP/M was obsolete)

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Google rolls out new, cheaper Chromebooks 'for everyone'

Mage
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Re: The ARM chips might make that a little tricky

No, far predates Sheeva

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Mage
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Re: It's crazy......

But Shirley, they are not made in USA, but China? But I suppose UK <--> China return trip is more expensive

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Mage
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Coat

Re: And the 2012 Pointless Award goes to...

I used to think that Chrome was totally pointless. But actually for many people it does give them what they want. idiot proof browser (and web based email and documents) without any OS to look after. Sort of Apple iOS for iPad taken to an extreme and physical qwerty.

Mines the one with a Nokia N9210 in the pocket.

( It would only be a problem if this was the only choice. I'll stick too Windows XP and Debian for all my devices with a screen and real QWERTY keyboard )

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Mage
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Re: Debian please

Much easier to install Debian on this than on a dead badger, which allegedly has been attempted. Not sure if it worked or was a headless server...

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Mage
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Re: ARM Cortex A15

a TV HD anyway....

Computing has had higher resolution displays than so called 1920 x 1080 "full HD" for over 15 years.

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