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* Posts by Mage

2626 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Netgear Powerline Nano 500 Ethernet-over-mains adaptor

Mage
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Interference

"Try as I might, I couldn't get the Netgear kit to interfere with either my DAB radio or the FM tranny I have in the kitchen. Well-behaving powerline adaptors are 'notched' to prevent them transmitting on used frequencies, and in all instances I've seen of powerline kit causing noise, the receivers have been placed near the adaptor."

Not a scientific test. What is your DAB and FM reception level?

What does it do on MW, Shortwave, VHF Low (42 to 76MHz), CB (27MHz)

When was it decided anyway that only FM & DAB is protected Spectrum?

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Mage
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When?

These are inherently illegal transmitters. They talk to each other without actual mains wire.

If they are properly tested for Radio Interference they fail.

Get some Cat5e cable.

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iPhone fanbois enraged by Instagram's Android triumph

Mage
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Linux

Points ->

Ha Ha

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Analogue switch-off hits London today

Mage
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Why?

Why in two stages?

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ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. - Humans begin artificial CO2 emissions

Mage
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Flame

Re: Given that we've had to apologise for just about every historical "wrong"

If it wasn't for slavery the Steam Engine would have been economic 4000 years earlier...

Oh dear.

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Mage
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Re: Hahaha

More than 6,000 years ago?

The predecessors to the Akkadian Empire certainly had fire. There may have even been an earlier "empire" before the "city" of which was likely more than 7,000 years ago as at least a fire burning village.

The Elamite civilisation is about 6,000 years ago.

The only reason we know anything much at all is survival of clay tablet writing preserved because the places got burnt.

If there was a civilisation 10,000 years ago or 20,000 years ago they inconveniently didn't write on clay and set fire to the city. Anything else other than cave paintings would be gone.

There is some suspicion that some cave "art" might include "writing". Which would push back literacy + fire to maybe 20,000 to 50,000 years. Maybe but dating can be controversial.

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Regulator probes Groupon as shares tumble

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Profit

But can we trust the figures when they post a profit?

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Internet Explorer nibbles browser rivals, swells by 1%

Mage
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Windows

XP?

If IE9 ran on XP think of the share MS would have :-)

I want clear milestone infrequent updates from Firefox, not the incessant tinkering. Once every 18 months or so ...

Or just when a new standard is released. Can't anyone write SW properly and securely to a standard?

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Freeview TV shoved aside for iPad-compatible 4G

Mage
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I smell a rat

Are Ofcom in the Pocket of the Mobile Industry?

There are various reasons why IPTV can only be a compliment to Broadcast. Technical and financial.

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Who killed ITV Digital? Rupert Murdoch - but not the way you think

Mage
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Headmaster

Re: Interesting comments, decent article.

RE "Just to be pedantic: QAM is used on cable, Freeview uses COFDM.

Each Carrier on COFDM uses QPSK, QAM16, QAM64 etc. OnDigital did use less robust QAM to fit more channels. LTE, WiMax and Flash Mobile systems use from QPSK to QAM256 on each carrier on their COFDM system. OFDM/OFDMA/COFDM can use from 30 to about 6700 or more carriers per channel or Multiplex. Cable uses a single carrier for each channel

Technically COFDM, OFDM and OFDMA are really encoding techniques. They all use QPSK or QAM for the carrier modulation.

Satellite OTH uses QPSK or APSK.

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Mobe hackathon contest spits out Wi-Fi-by-bonk app wonder

Mage
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Can't be done with QR or hard?

No, ALL those can be done by QR code.

The Pill application can even be done easily with EAN code on pills and QR code on prescription to set up the application. Cheap and simple to print a QR code(s) on the prescription.

For the WiFi application "reading over the shoulder" is irrelevant. It's just a simple way to input the password, freely available, but only such inside the restaurant or whatever.

NFC is still a complex solution looking for a problem.

In most cases you only need a unique ID. So in shopping and no need to keep receipts for returns and track back to source the EAN is maker and Product. You just add a second serial number bar code. The unique ID is thus EAN + Serial number, allowing a serial number per product.

Then there is complete traceability and if you used a Store "points" card no need to keep receipts for returns. How do I know? I implemented this already on Printer consumables for a large Multinational. Each item got a 2nd "1 D" (not even a QR code!) code and scanned in on receipt from Wholesale/Maker. Then complete traceability. The customer would scan a Printer/fax/copier and the app would tell him what to get from local store. (s)He would scan it to get it out (next stage would be a Vending Machine type dispenser on site). Old cartridge scanned to recycle bin. This can all be automated.

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Intel comfortably conquers chip market in 2011

Mage
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Maybe Intel charge more.

What are the volumes of chips?

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'Intelligent systems' poised to outsell PCs, smartphones

Mage
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Coat

x86 will continue to shrink in embedded.

FPGAs have real ARM cores now

ARMs start at 80c for an M0

The whole board with High end ARM running Linux is cheaper than an x86.

Where are the Industrial I/O x86? Geode anyone

IDC must be in La La land.

At the high end running an OS the ARM has been displacing MIPS and x86 for years and growing.

At the low end they didn't exist. x86 can never ever eat that. The M0 and M0+ etc eating into 8bit market except for smallest cheapest 6pin to 28 pin devices.

Routers, Industrial controllers, set boxes Tvs that did use x86 are using ARM, MIPS, ST20 (basically a Transputer). ARM is growing there.

Microchip 18F PIC and MIPs core devices with USB and Ethernet.

Atmel now do ARM cores for Linux OS based devices.

This is laughable. Surely no-one in the Industry believes it, least of all Intel or AMD?

Mine's the one with NXP Cortex M family data sheets in the pocket.

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August DTV700B portable Freeview TV and DVR

Mage
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Flame

480 lines is stupid

Ironic it's USA/Japan SD resolution (480 visible lines) rather than European/UK SD (576 visible lines) and yet will not work at all in Japan or USA.

This kind of US/Japan market display with a cobbled in generic DVB-T tuner for Aus/NZ and Europe has been about for ages. They are junk. Now obsolete junk.

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Mage
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Alert

It's not Freeview. They can be sued for that.

It's only generic MPEG2 DVB-T

It's Obsolete. No MPEG4 or DVB-T2 or DVB-T2-lite

N.I. at end of 2012 becomes 1st place in UK for MPEG4 SD (on DVB-T2 Mini-mux).

Ireland and other countries already use MPEG4 not just for HD for SD (no MPEG2 at all on DVB-T in Ireland).

No MHEG5, so apart from lack of Certification, it can't even receive all Freeview Services.

You can't call it Freeview or Saorview unless it has the Certification/Licence.

Cheap generic & obsolete. Also UK (& especially Ireland) need more than a whip in majority of locations. They wouldn't even be allowed to sell it in France.

Irish and UK Free to Air TV

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El Reg user forum opens to public, HTML for all (mostly)

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Re: My obligatory comment to see if I've reached 100 posts yet.

Quotes? Of course there is an HTML

HTML blockquote tag - W3Schools

<blockquote> Here is a long quotation here is a long quotation here is a long quotation here is a long quotation here is a long quotation here is a long quotation ...</blockquote>

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Mage
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Headmaster

BB code is retarded. It was before CMS systems had decent HTML sanitising. A lot of forums use WYSIWYG editors anyway. Mostly it simply replaces < with [ and has a bunch of different ways according to extension for Tables and other stuff beyond basic,

Also HTML allows for easier Copy & Paste from existing source.

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Windows 8 for Kindle-like gear hinted by Microsoft bigwig

Mage
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Tiles

Tiles on a Desktop GUI?

Look how well that worked for Windows 1.0

Even DR Gem GUI is better than Metro for larger than 5" screens

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Russia plans manned moon shot by 2030

Mage
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Alien

One isn't

The ESA is transnational and has non-EU members. Nor is every EU country a member.

19 European states

Austria

Belgium

Czech Republic

Denmark

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Ireland

Italy

Luxembourg

Netherlands

Norway

Portugal

Romania

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Kingdom

Extra points if you know which are NOT EU without looking it up!

ESA even have a Launch pad for the Russians in their own Space port nearer the Equator than Chinese, US or Russian ones. They just don't get as much publicity as NASA

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More evidence that neutrinos are NOT faster than light

Mage
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Thiotimoline?

Only of academic interest. The Ansible doesn't use any, not even in anhydrous form.

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Apple Store staff outnumber queues as new iPad goes on sale

Mage
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... pre-ordered, or bought from other retailers ...

Or didn't and won't buy one at all.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica - Ah, the memories

Mage
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Coat

It's the endgame.

Even if it's inaccurate and sometimes dangerous how do you compete with Free?

Where is Encarta?

It is a shame really as not everyone has a tablet or PC and even less people have Internet. Fewer still have Broadband.

Mine's the one with smart phone in the pocket running "Don't Panic" as the screen saver.

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Charge of the Metro brigade: Did Microsoft execs plan to take a hit?

Mage
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FAIL

Re: March of the neophobes

"Windows 8 is the world's first device-independent operating system."

Nonsense.

BSD, QNX, VXworks, GNU-Linux

Even NT Windows around the 3.51 & 4 versions supported MIPS, PowerPC, Alpha, Alpha64, x86(32bit mode only). There is an embedded "GUI-less" version of NT4.

I had a Debian based VOIP 4G handset with touch screen and ARM cpu before iPhone was on sale.

Have a look in the Arch directory of Linux Kernel source. MIPS, ARM, PowerPC, x86 (even on Geode), x64, and many more.

Most Servers, Setboxes, HDTVs, Routers run Linux Kernel on a bewildering variety of CPUs and HW.

Only the non-NT Win2.x, Win3.x, win9.x and ME was limited to x86 only and user computers (no server versions). There was an embedded version of Win3.x for Cash Registers and ATMs, but it was x86 only. WinCE ran on a variety of CPUs originally, only later it narrowed down to ARM on WinPhone version.

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Mage
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Re: Making this make sense

But at least with all the Linux based Distros it's trivial to change the desktop.

Harder with Android. But it's controversial as to if it's really Linux distro or a fork.

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Mage
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Re: What to do, what to do?

Only some editions have a downgrade licence.

It can be difficult to find drivers.

I think this will benefit OS X, Android, GNU-Linux (Such as Redhat, Centos, Debian, Mint, Ubuntu). Migration from XP will be even slower. Over 40% of PC users still use XP.

If you are using a high end Laptop or Desktop bought since 2002 the need to upgrade (other than for gaming) is hardly compelling compared to 1992 to 2002. Especially for business. This is part of the reason for big growth of Tablets vs Laptops/Desktops. People are getting a Tablet and KEEPING their older PC.

I have done support for Vista & Win7. MS has progressively been losing the plot on OS development since NT3.51. I blame the success of Win95.

Windows 7 is nothing more than what Vista should have been and ought to have been free to every Vista user. A lot of machines sold with Vista are now running XP or Win7.

Windows 8 looks like a genuinely new version of Windows. Maybe by Win 10 it may be sensible, but it looks like MS has been seduced by the iPad. They need to notice that Mac Air doesn't run same GUI or version of OS as iPad and iPhone.

With WinCE / Winmobe they made the mistake of copying the Desktop GUI. Now they are making the mistake in opposite direction. Really you need 4 to 6 OS versions and DON'T give them the same name. Or at least 4 GUIs:

1) Small to Medium Phones

2) Very large phones to tablets

3) Regular sized stuff with keyboard and mouse and mostly used for content creation

4) Servers

5) Embedded Devices such as Routers that have only a remote Web/HTML gui

6) TVs & Setboxes with only a simple remote control.

Strangely GNU-Linux can do all of these. Possibly because historically it was worst at (3). Today there is nothing wrong with GNU-Linux desktop, except possibly for Ubuntu Unity. But unlike Win8 on Ubuntu you can easily swap the desktop to one of choice. Curiously MS once had this to extent on NT4.0 you could have Program Manager and File Manager instead of Explorer. Replacing Explorer's File Browser Window with File Manager would have been nice, though really the solution is to open two Explorer Windows.

However File copying & Moving in Windows is still rubbish and unreliable for large amounts of files and where some files have various attributes compared to xcopy and other CLI tools.

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UPDATE: GAGA team hunts down grass-smoking ROBOT

Mage
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10K RPM?

Is only 166Hz. There are harmonics and stuff of course.

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Mage
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Re: Buy a sheep

Just make sure it's not a goat. They only eat grass after everything else. Including oddly once all the buttons off my shirt on the washing line. Without tearing the shirt. Goats are deranged.

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Mage
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Re: I'm too lazy to downvote all the sonar/ultrasonic rangefinder commentards

No difficulty in demodulation of PSK on a 40kHz narrowband carrier. Not a huge o/p from lawnmower at that frequency. 40KHz and 60kHz has been used in extremely noisy environments.

The data rate doesn't need to be high which lowers the SNR needed.

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Mage
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Re: Ultrasound

Two Ultrasound transmitters that are separated and transmitting different but isochronous codes. (This can be done by "slaving one" off the other via IR link, so one transmitter is "dumb" just using an IR remote sensor driving the Ultrasonic transmitter directly).

A sensor on the robot can calculate the distance from each easily. If the robot is told what side of the line between the Transmitters it's on, it knows it's location. if it has a pair of separated sensors it can use the phase between them to calculate orientation.

Put the two Ultrasound TX at two corners of the boundary.

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Lawyers of Mordor menace Hobbit boozer

Mage
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Pirate

In the 1960s

There was a Hobbit Restaurant in Belfast. I think it was still there in the 1980s. Not really been there since 1983 so no idea if it's still there. I was never in it but I bet they served good 2nd and 3rd Breakfasts though.

Anything a major part of culture should be available under FRAND, like patents incorporated in Standards. Apart from Apple, and occasionally Microsoft and Oracle that works. It's not like these people are a National Franchise. IMO the "loyalty card" is a step too far without talking to the Film company first. Anyone think £200 a year would be reasonable and no photos / images directly from the films or book illustrations?

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Cambridge boffins build laser 'unprinter' to burn pages clean

Mage
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Simple

Re-use is more efficient than recycle.

Now if we could go back to returnable bottles that are reused instead of crushing them...

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UK kids' art project is 'biggest copyright blag ever' – photographer

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Ts & Cs for El Reg

But do any of us Commentards post anything of any Intellectual value?

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WTF is... White Space radio networking?

Mage
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Re: White Space...WTF?

No, the vacated spectrum is NOT "White space", that's the "Digital Dividend".

So called "White space" is the effect caused by the fact that if C23 for example is used for a Station, it can't be reused at the next city, but at a further city. At the intermediate location you are not ensured any reception on C23. But SOME people may have larger poles and Aerials and get either C23 depending which way it's pointed. The Fantasy of "White Space" radio is the idea that at certain locations you can re-use the in use channel because

a) No-one here is using it.

b) you won't interfere with the further off places that do use it.

Both assumptions are false.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: I have my doubts

3G networks use dedicated licensed spectrum Each operator plans their own spectrum, or with a RAN the Network Manager manages the Pooled spectrum.

The Spectrum isn't shared with a Broadcast service. So called "white space" is an illusion.

The "Database" is a clumsy attempt to solve the "hidden transmitter syndrome". Just because this sounds cool, or allows licence free kit or is very clever doesn't make it a good idea.

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Mage
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Boffin

SFN

You can't do very large regions with SFN. Go read how it works. The difference of arrival of signal from two transmissions can't exceed symbol guard time.

SFN doesn't enable so called "White space". It just simplifies planning at some locations.

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Mage
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Mushroom

Simple Answer

It's a fantasy that will damage TV reception for 100,000s of people.

An evil genie that should never be let out of the box. Apart from the fact that even if done as planned it's a disaster of epic proportions, people will disable the geo database lookup, the data base will be inadequate and people will add too powerful aerials or amplifiers.

We don't need this Yuppie DIY outdoor WiFi. Proper protected dedicated Licensed Spectrum is the only solution that works.

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Windows 8: Thrown into a multi-tasking mosh pit

Mage
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Re: Maybe...

At least it's not a Cardassian GUI.

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Mage
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Alien

Maybe...

They think the 15" 4:3 and 17" 16:9 and larger high resolution screens we have had for 10 years are vanishing and we will all be using 4" to 12" screens on PADDs.

No Roddenberry Icon :-)

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Microsoft 'yanked optical drive from Xbox 720'

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

What about

The 50% of people on less than 4Mbps

Low Caps

10% to 40% that can't get decent broadband.

Forget about mass market downloads of DVD never mind BD size titles on 3G or 4G/LTE. There isn't the capacity.

Decisions made by people on corporate Fibre?

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Steve Jobs' death clears way for Apple-Android peace talks

Mage
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Pirate

Pragmatic

Most of Apple's patent's are either fluff or else really Registered Design (more about Copyright, look and Fell) rather than real engineering as most (all) of the products use no custom parts beyond the case (The Apple CPU is just a variant of Samsung SoC with ARM core).

Software, GUIs and Look and Feel ought only be be copyright, never patents.

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Why on Earth would you build a closed Android phone?

Mage
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Thumb Up

Or Shock...

Simply an easy to use phone for ANYONE that mostly uses laptop, needs reading glasses and mostly wants to make phone calls.

There is a much Broader market than Aged Parents.

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Wacom Cintiq 24HD interactive pen display

Mage
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HD?

1920 x 1200 may be HD on a 24" TV screen but not on Computer.

You need roughly 3000 x 1700 pixels for a 24" Widescreen to have the resolution of 1600 x 1200 15.4" screens ten years ago.

http://xkcd.com/732/

Nice product though. But a trifle pricey for a low resolution computer monitor and resistive panel, though of course it's a bit more than both.

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Tick-like banking Trojan drills into Firefox, sucks out info

Mage
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Re: Correction - firefox on MS's rubbish OS's

You are making assumption that the user doesn't install something that carries this.

Also it uses remote configuration, so likely needs no write access once the user has installed whatever carries it. Assuming it's really a Trojan in original SW sense of the word.

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Mage
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Missing info

How is it caught?

Installing a stupid toolbar?

A "trojan" suggests that something is installed by the user that has this in it.

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Qualcomm poised to zap wireless charging rival into dust

Mage
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Re: Apple?

Actually it's totally pointless for a Tablet. If you are using the tablet a cord is better, unless it's so cordless you can be anywhere in the room.

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Mage
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Flame

Pointless

A wasteful pointless gimmick. Probably creates interference too.

What is wrong with

a) A dock (look at DECT phones and most Handheld two way radios)

or

b) Micro USB or mini USB

It still needs a PSU and cable. Another stage of power loss and conversion too.

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UK Broadband flicks switch on Blighty's first 4G network

Mage
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Motorola Networks?

Sold to NSN, the disastrous merge of Nokia Networks and Siemens Networks.

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Mage
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Unless it's Fixed ...

Nomadic / mobile / indoor / self install on 3.5GHz is rubbish. Only fixed outdoor/roof aerials makes sense.

Google Imagine WiMax and IBB Ripwave.

LTE doesn't fix the problem.

http://www.radioway.info/comparewireless/

Indoor aerials about x8 less capacity / speed than roof top fixed directional aerials.

Really Fixed Wimax or WiDox (DOCSIS over Wireless) makes more sense at 3.5GHz. So either they are clueless or selling self install "nomadic" "windowsill" kit to save on roll out cost.

Bad investment, bad decision.

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Apple snags blockbuster multi-touch patent

Mage
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More proof, not that we need any

All this was designed and discussed 30 years ago.

We called it Gesture based GUI.

The Patents system is obviously broken. Explain to me how much R&D effort there is in this compared with the effort of drawing up the so called "patent"

Apple spends 2% on R&D. How much of that time is spent advising the Patent guys and how much does Apple spend on Patent Paper work?

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