* Posts by Mage

3104 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

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

Mage
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"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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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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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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Forget fluorescents, plastic lighting strips coming out next year

Mage
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CFLs, LEDs

It's meaningless to talk about the Colour Temperature or how nice the "White" looks, if the spectrum is spikey or has gaps. LEDs are all worse than CFLs and of course the WORSE is an RGB LED adjusted to give a perfect Colour Temperature. RGB is an optical illusion that works for displays where the original image capture was full continuous spectrum using three (or more) curves to simulate the eye's response,

Also you need to compare the angle / dispersion of the light. The claims of CFL output vs Halogen are inflated. Taking into account ageing and temperature, x4 or less is more realistic over life than the x6 or x5 often quoted. While LED are now impressive the colour rendition is rubbish and the extra efficiency vs Florescent / CFL is exaggerated too. The lifetime is of course the AVERAGE life at ideal voltage and operating temperature, so the actual life of CFLs can be a problem.

Also the capacitors can dry out in the CFL and LED SMPSU (=Electronic ballast) creating a huge amount of RFI. Some makers leave out filtering. This is a problem with "electronic ballast" on tubes too now. The "hum" is badly designed mounts / bad fitting etc from the ballast choke. Nothing to do with Florescent Tube. Any I've fitted with "hum" over last 40 years I have cured.

I'm currently replacing LEDs and CFLs with more pleasing Halogens and in "work areas" with conventional Florescent tubes using passive choke (inductor) ballasts. You can even get more deluxe fittings for tubes with "filament" transformers for instant start, almost no flicker and dimmable.

I first saw flat EL panel lamps in 1971. Problem was short life. Longer life "organic" ones have been on sale for years, so it's hard to know what is different with these new lights. Also OLEDs used in phones etc are not really LEDs in the normal sense but actually an array of organic EL devices which happen to have diode like properties. Perhaps these new panels are similar organic EL tech, in which case, yes you can have lovely "Colour Temperature" and a rubbish spectrum.

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Hero Playmonaut lost at sea as SPEARS ditches in Channel

Mage
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Coat

Maybe too soon to suggest it?

Lego should have a turn now?

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Scientists build largest ever computerized brain

Mage
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Childcatcher

Re: Keep in mind (Deleted Posts)

Maybe loads of posts are deleted all the time and they don't tell us and this is new openness from El Reg.

Sometimes a post was deleted because it was correction (which is included). This before there was a Correction link. I know I had such a post "deleted" once. It didn't mean there was anything evil.

Some threads seem to be pre-moderated and some post moderated and it may vary by account? It could have been spam.

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Mage
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Holmes

"This is nothing like as quick as the human brain,"

It's probably nothing like the human Brian either.

I'm not sure what research like this can achieve, but at least it's research and may achieve something, though probably not AI.

Studying Neurons may be as related to brain function as pigment chemistry is to art. Also while we know particular areas are used when we do or sense various things, you can relearn these things in many cases when that part of brain is destroyed. Also we still have no useful definition of Intelligence (or Stupidity, perhaps you need a degree of intelligence to be stupid) or reasonable method of measurement (IQ tests and Psychometric Testing test certain Memory and Reasoning features that seem to somehow be related to Intelligence. They don't actually measure intelligence).

Neuron simulation is good research in its own right, but may be a dead end for creating real AI. All existing AI systems are actually not AI at all by any meaningful non-Computer definition of Intelligence, though useful.

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Scoop! The inside story of the news website that saved the BBC

Mage
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Re: One advantage in not having advertising..

At some stage someone decided people not in UK would get a different landing page and adverts. Both ones disguised as articles (Travel?) and an un-skipable advert at the start of every video.

I never watch the videos any more.

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Mage
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Just Right

Today there’s a mini-industry urging journalists to "learn to code", but Mike Smartt thought that was an unforgivable a distraction. “No coding was necessary – in fact, the use of HTML by writers became a sackable offence,” he recalled.

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MIDI: 30 years old... almost

Mage
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Game port

I still have a home made MIDI breakout board (basically the Opto-isolators and DIN sockets wired to a 15 pin D connector). But nothing with a PC Game port. Well I have ISA cards and maybe one PCI SB card with a "game port". May try it on my Media PC and the Yamaha PSR-600 keyboard.

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OS/2 a quarter century on: Why IBM lost out and how Microsoft won

Mage
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Big Brother

Great last line

My friends tell me Microsoft will save us from IBM. But who will save us from Microsoft?

Or From Google. Microsoft is beginning to look benevolent. If they'd only kill the Ribbon and the User Interface Formerly called Metro for anything bigger than 5".

We're doomed really.

... Wanders off and looks at RiscOS on PI again.

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Badges for Commentards

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Hmm

Ok, a search reveals it was about this week 5 years ago I changed nick. So long ago :(

:eek:

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Mage
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Coat

Hmm

Obviously this new highlights when you need to go for therapy. or a beer, instead of posting more self opinionated gibberish.

It's a bad sign that I don't even remember when I switched to current nick. Where did I leave my coat?

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Where were the bullet holes on OS/2's corpse? Its head ... or foot?

Mage
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MS OS/2, Lanmanager and NT3.5

OS/2 Warp was two years too late.

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Nexus 4 actually has 4G: But only in Canada, and potentially ILLEGAL

Mage
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They slipped up

There should be no settings if there are not approvals and requisite TX and RX filters.

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Heroic Register reader battles EXPLODING COMPUTER

Mage
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RF

Cheap poorly made PSUs also leave off the filtering components so will wipe LW/MW/SW Radio reception. A good quality test for any modern PSU or charger.

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Convert your iPad into a foosball table and relive the dot-com days

Mage
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Linux

Re: Must...buy...iPad...

It's for Penguins, Rooks, McFeegles, Gnomes or Smurfs. Too small for actual humans or even Dwarves.

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Windows 8: A soaraway Kinect? Or is it Red Ink Friday for Microsoft?

Mage
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XP

What percentage would buy XP with SP4 proper File Explorer and choice of skins with all spurious services off by default and no "crapware" pre-installed and NT4.0 Enterprise's support for 16G RAM?

It would boot faster than Win7 or Win8

More Software runs on it.

More memory is free for applications

Maybe MS lost sight of what users actually need and want (not the same) about 10 years ago?

How much "success" has each version of Windows because there is no choice and it's pre-installed?

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Ofcom: White Space. We're bloody serious this time. ONE YEAR

Mage
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Mushroom

Re: Used for anything?

But the TV receivers and set-boxes are not reporting which TV mast they hear. Which in 10s of thousands of cases is not the one the Database thinks they are on.

Also in many cases the propagation of the "White Space" device may be x2 to x10 more than expected. "White Space" is a deliberate Euphemism. These gadgets are going to transmit on actually used TV channels. Not separate Spectrum.

Mobile 3G and 4G/LTE has white space in exactly the same sense as TV. Why doesn't Ofcom try this at 800, 900, 1800, 1900 (DECT Phones) and 2100 MHz phone bands?

DECT phones work on auto channel assignment because they are used for short periods and indoors and only share the spectrum with other smart phones.

These "White Space" devices can only be deployed on a dedicated band. It's Criminal vandalism to deploy them IN the TV band as proposed.

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Mage
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Re: Horribly complicated and over engineered

Google "hidden transmitter syndrome" on Packet Radio.

It won't work without a database.

Even WITH a database, it will still cause interference. It's not possible to make an accurate enough database.

Let them use a "Licence free" band.

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Mage
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Mushroom

Re: There are just so many ways this can go wrong

Even if EVERYTHING is done properly this DOES NOT WORK.

The Database can never be accurate enough.

Sack Ofcom!

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Assault on battery

Mage
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Cow Orkers

Unless you are on the Settee watching a media centre the cabled keyboard and mice makes more sense.

There are two more reasons than just the batteries. Some of the cordless mice/keyboards even need their own USB micro dongle anyway.

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