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* Posts by Mage

3017 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer

Mage
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Awww

What a pity no suitable spacecraft partner,

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Steve Jobs' bio man tackles geeks who 'created the digital revolution'

Mage
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Transistors and ICs

Bell was 1st because they had bought in more recently produced purer Germanium.

The French about the same time as Bell Labs. But admittedly not very good transistors (they were recycling the Germanium out of diodes in WWII proximity fuses)

Westinghouse and RCA hampered by "bean counters" wanting them to use existing stocks.

Gradual Materials Science developments more than any one person enabled transistors and ICs.

With ICs the 6502 and 8080 based PCs that pre-dated the IBM PC were inevitable. The idea of transistors and ICs was in 1930s, but materials where not good enough and valves cheap (almost fully automated production, films transferred to video on YouTube). The Wartime 1940s era computing made transistor research very attractive. No-one really wanted 20,000 valve computers.

MS Basic was a port of Dartmouth Basic, a cut down beginers version of Fortran for Dartmouth (USA) students on their University Computer (Anyone know if it was IBM mainframe or DEC minicomputer? I think only the UK much used George on ICL, Students there having actual Fortran.in early to mid 1970s

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'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

Mage
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Idiotic

It's like Poison letters, or malicious adverts in paper. Just cheaper to to do. It doesn't need new legislation.

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Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...

Mage
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Declaration of Independence

"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.

It was stupidity to put "Happiness" in it.

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Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores

Mage
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Re: Once upon a time...

maybe the box and "ferric fluid rare earth magnet" is really clever on the Bose?

Soundwise any I heard seemed rubbish compared to an LS3a, or more damningly a big MDF box full of rockwool and cheap OEM 6" driver unit.

What does a cone made iridium plated panda hymens look and sound like?

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Mage
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Hmmm

Either Sennheiser or cheap no name Chinese at under £3 if going outside my castle.

My 1926 metal diaphragm 2K + 2K Bakelite and Alloy cans sound better than some branded stuff today. (transformer needed unless between 120V and the anode of a triode).

1980s Military gear is dreadful, seems like 1960 telephone earpieces inside.

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Mage
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Re: no great loss

Now all they need is to remove Apple and Beats earphones from Apple store too, to further increase quality.

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Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

Mage
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SIM forms part of the GSM

The Operator & Network still sees a SIM. But it's simulated in software.

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Mage
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Re: is this new

a) If you are sensible you are never ever charged for Kindle 3G

b) you can change the SIM. But why would you when Amazon, Wikipedia, books you buy are no 3G charge and currently 60Mbyte other browsing is free?

c) You can setup kindle so you are never charged, transfer your own content or free eBooks via USB.

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Mage
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Re: FFS, the physical SIM port is still there...

If it is still there it won't be on a later model if this works for Apple. They said ages ago they wanted to abolish physical SIM to save space. But it's really about more Apple control

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Mage
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Re: The question is, do you *have* to use the software SIM card?

Surely the point is there is NO physical SIM at all?

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Mage
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Thumb Down

Very worrying!

1) Security of a "soft SIM"

2) Device Seller control

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

Mage
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Digital Divide

Only about 1/3rd of people in the West have good enough speed/cap.

Also it will work out more expensive for many people.

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Watersports-friendly e-reader: Kobo's Aura H2O is literary when wet

Mage
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Kindle DXG

Still available at discount.

not needed for eBooks

Great for PDFs, esp scans of Manuals, datasheets and old books.

Big screen.

no AMOLED or LCD screen comes close to eInk in daylight or for reading 4 hours at a go, 120K novels etc.

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Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape

Mage
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Baffled

Digital replacements existed in the Corporate world from late 1980s. (Hard drive based Voicemail systems for PABX)

I think they were asking the wrong people.

Gradually the price reduced and storage increased over last 20 years.

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Sky's tech bets pay off: Pay TV firm unveils blazing growth for Q1

Mage
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Re: Mugs

Check BARB figures for viewing time vs Freesat, Freeview and FTA generally.

Of course it's not Free to redistribute or Free to Carry (mostly). But less than 10% of viewing of Pay TV viewers is of pay TV channels. Some of the programs on Pay TV are repeats originally Free To Air (Freeview, Freesat etc).

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Mage
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Defining Free

Percentage viewing time on BARB figures. The numbers of channels are irrelevant! The percentage viewing time of the most successful Pay only channels are under 2%

A sky box without a sub is crippled (no sub, no record and no playback). A replacement Freesat HD box under £100, or even under £200 for HD Recording. Some Freesat boxes support Diseqc and then with a 80cm dish and multiple LNBs you can add 100s of decent European mainland radio and some 10 or decent TV for English speakers out of the 1000s of TV & Radio and not be limited to Sky's UK Ghetto. No Sky box supports Diseqc.

Or get a Linux based Media centre Sat receiver which will get all the UK free channels

Free non Freesat UK channels can be manually added to the cheapest Freesat boxes.

Freeview is more transportable, working with an easily pointed aerial in most places and simple whip on an £8 USB stick in more than 1/.4 places (Or roof aerial over 95% of UK)

A box and Quattro LNB lets you feed 16 to 2000 rooms from one dish.

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Mage
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Mugs

Over 90% of what the Customers are paying for is free content. Sky is a rip off that is also distorting and destroying football and other sports.

Pay Platform operators shouldn't be allowed to own channels.

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Data cops in charge of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google get a new office

Mage
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Dunno

But I'd rather be based in Portarlington than Dublin AKA "Western Britain"

But €1.7M is nothing compared to some Irish Agencies and organisations and their total lack of Transparency and Incompetence.

Comreg

DCENR (pack of pointless time wasters)

In his address to the Dáil, Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White laid out the department’s finances for 2015, including a budget of €172m .

Financial Regulator

RTE

Probably Oireachtas (Parliament) Refusing to pay to be on the Irish equivalent of Freeview &Freesat. Only on pay channels recently and Internet for over 7 years.

Even Greek parliament you can get FTA. Or the UK one in Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

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Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS

Mage
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Beats Audio

Still overpriced nonsense worse than some £2 and £10 no-name gear.

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Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!

Mage
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Does this make medical sense

If there is going to be Chemotherapy etc ... Maybe. Otherwise isn't this a ploy to delude women into thinking they can put off having a family and purely benefiting the company that wants to own people?

Motherhood is much more than the age of the eggs. Also are artificially implanted pregnancies as safe as the ordinary natural kind?

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Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE

Mage
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XP?

XP is irrelevant if you have a sensible browser, i.e. not IE!

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

Mage
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AM or MW / LW vs DAB

Less frequency response on AM. But easily much less distortion than 128K DAB or even 128K DAB+ stereo.

Fantastic coverage. A good complement to VHF-FM for national stations, especially R4, Five Live or any other talk/New stations. Good for international at night.

Of course AM and FM could be even better if not over-processed. DAB ironically copes even worse with heavily processed material. Car Radios would be better with unprocessed transmissions and local processing based on background noise level and type.

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Mage
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Re: Digital radio

Digital Radio is crap. It has NONE of the advantages of that Digital TV has over Analogue TV.

Using Mobile Infrastructure in a Broadcast mode just gives the same thing with worse coverage.

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Mage
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Mushroom

Re: Ofcom .. concluding that it would be unfair to make the UK’s then 4.6 million receivers obsolete

DAB has one inherent flaw that digital terrestrial TV didn't, the cost to consumers to upgrade.

WRONG

Bad UI compared to Analogue Radio. (DTT has identical or better UI than Analogue TV)

Bad Coverage for portable

Much much poorer compression vs Analogue Audio compared to Video

DTT does WS and HD (not on Analogue Video)

No significant power difference on Analogue Vs Digital TV as screen backlight (or CRT or projector) is most of the power.

Little TV usage is portable. Much Radio usage is portable.

Radio is used with HiFi, (DAB isn't), transportable table sets, for Foreign Radio (DAB is local/National only), Mobile and Portable. DAB useless for Portable.

DAB isn't suitable for Local or Comunity, the MUX areas are far too large, yet are full of holes.

No gradual degradation when moving into poor reception, But DAB cuts out and can't restart till buffer active.

Massive x20 power consumption for Headphones, Only acceptable in car or mains.

DAB isn't an AM/FM replacement. Perhaps no Digital Radio can replace the unique properties of Analogue Radio easily.

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Mage
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Re: Broadcast vs. Mobile network.

Multicast isn't Broadcast!

128kbps is crap. 256K min for Stereo.

Also Mobile coverage is total garbage compared to FM, never mind AM.

There is a true "broadcast mode" both for 3G and 4G. But 10 channels at 256Kbps each leaves very little for Mobile Data, apart from the crap power consumption (digital vs FM) and coverage apart from inherent disadvantage of 800/900/1800/2100/2500 bands vs 100MHz band.

It's possible to triple the FM spectrum and many radios can handle the extra bands. Several countries are adding FM spectrum below 88MHz.

DAB is pointless. Broadcast modes on Mobile Networks is even greater lunacy!

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Mage
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Flame

UK out on a Limb with Germany ...

Close DAB and put far better FM into Phones. DAB tuner chip consumes about x20 more power than an FM tuner chip. Good luck trying to listen for more than 2 hours!

Oh ... The Phones HAVE FM!

Well then, extend the FM Spectrum, like other countries are doing.

DAB or DAB+ at real FM coverage and real HiFi simply doesn't have the savings of DTT. Audio simply doesn't compress as well as video.

DAB coverage for Portable / Mobile needs more spectrum and x6 as many masts (mostly low power) as current DAB.

DAB has too big a coverage per station (but with too many holes) due to SFNs. DAB is only an advantage to pan National Broadcasters wanting to squeeze out locals.

The BBC should not be promoting the failed DAB system. It's also a ploy to claim every mobile phone sale that has DAB built in as a DAB listener.

Built in DTT in phones (even if just for the Radio channels) makes more sense than DAB.

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NO MORE DOUBLE IRISH, thunders Dublin. Erm, from 2020 that is

Mage
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Guinness

Not an Irish Company I think?

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Influential scribe Charles Petzold: How I figured out the Windows API

Mage
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Re: If Oracle get their way over copyrighting API's and backdated it

Yes, the MS ones for DOS pinched from CP/M Digital Research!

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Ofcom: 'White space' tech to support mobile data services in 2015

Mage
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Mushroom

Stupid

We knew Ofcom was for this stunning stupid spectrum grab as part of their plan to abolish Terrestrial TV.

It's bloody dammed stupid and doesn't work, nor can ever work unless EVERY TV RECEIVER reports live to the Database.

Nor can it be properly policed or regulated.

Nor will people with "freezing" or pixelated pictures know who to complain to.

The very name "White space" is an US invented Euphemism!

Big business selling gadgets is behind this. Ofcom only cares about Corporates. Not the Consumer or protecting Spectrum users.

There is thing called Spectrum Planning. There IS not "white space" it's a myth. Unused channels can't be filled with Local DTT , IOT or Internet links. The channels HAVE to be unused. MORONS!

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Heistmeisters crack cost of safecrackers with $150 widget

Mage
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Sometimes ...

Filing cabinet: A regular drill on lock

Ordinary door: Sledge hammer or ram

Safe or ATM: Fork lift it away or blow it up

I guess they did this to see if they could.

Other approaches are to see which buttons are worn or have finger prints. Most commonly the digits ascend or descend. But if you know the digits and not the order you have dramatically reduced the number codes to what can be done by hand.

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Mage
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Any SW keyboard locks I have designed quadruple retry delay on each wrong attempt with a one day reset period.

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Nadella's Karmagate howler was response to MICROSOFT BOARD DIRECTOR – report

Mage
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Amazing

You couldn't make this stuff up..

1) Nadella's mad answer. Even if it was given to men, even worse to give it to women who are almost universally paid less for the same job and quality of work. Or for much better work.

2) Who asked it.

Machiavelli would have been proud of her though!

Definitely a better ploy than trying to get the subject added to a Board meeting agenda quietly!

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Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe

Mage
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Re: Oy Xiaomi

Only if you are a Famous person connected with a successful phone brand. So that rules out anyone at MS or RIM/Blackberry ...

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Take CTRL! Shallow minds ponder the DEEP spectre of DARK CACHE

Mage
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CP/M applications

Various pre MS applications used Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-V for editing

In windows Console the Copy & Paste is associated with Mark command in the title bar menu under edit. A handy way of copying out a column is to display the text in Console (which may or may not be actual 32 bit console or a DOS command shell in a VM) and Edit Mark, then paste in the Windows app.

Actual MS DOS command line on real DOS without windows had little value in copy/paste as only one process and loading an application would trash any shell buffer usually.

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

Mage
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Re: Beware of seemingly low-cost gifts

LED wavelength is too long compared with Mercury Discharge UV. Cheap high efficiency CFLs have poor colour rendition. Lower efficiency 'better' phosphor mix CFLs are not as good as Halogen, but FAR better than any existing 'White' LED at any price.

There is also an issue with phosphor life and light diffusion. If even overall lighting and good colour rendition is needed then CFL is far better. If daylight quality colour is needed, then you need Halogen. As halogen is continuous perfectly smooth spectrum the colour temperature can be adjusted on electronic Photography easily. Better colour temperature Halogen are more efficient but sadly much shorter life.

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Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties

Mage
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Fat maybe

But obviously not because of eating per-se.

It sounds complex.

Certainly kids that used to walk to school, or walk to & from bus stops don't anymore.

There is more TV watching, in 1950s and 1960s the TV wasn't on 24 x7. Programs only from late afternoon to before midnight.

No computer games till late 1970s.

No Interwebs till 1990s.

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10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

Mage
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Great

Obviously mostly useful tips for anyone dealing with anyone.

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White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

Mage
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Re: @Zog

No, Colour Temperature isn't the problem, its Colour Rendition, which is rubbish. The directionality is an issue too. LED lighting is ghastly compared to CFL.

RF noise of badly designed SMPSU for LED or Electronic Ballast of CFL can be easily solved. Regulation and enforcement is too lax.

Labelling is misleading .

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Mage
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Re: LED Lighting: RGB vs UV/Blue + White/Yellow Phosphor

R + G + B will ONLY EVER work for a colour display. It's absolutely rubbish even if correct Colour temperature for lighting as the colour rendition is about the worst possible. Perhaps R G & B laser light might be slightly worse.

"White" LED are worse even than CFL or Florescent lamps as the UV LED isn't short enough wavelength for decent phosphors.

Very efficient CCFL, CFL or Florescent lamps are poorer colour rendition than best ones as the best colour uses more phosphors and less efficient ones to get a smoother spectrum with less gaps, spikes, dips etc

Unless there is a new type of UV LED, the White LED will be always poorer rendition. The phosphors wear too. White LEDs also are not as energy efficient as suggested due to PSU losses and less wide angle light.

Halogen is still best colour artificial light, with some less efficient Florescent lamps and CFLs less good.

RGB LED is far better LCD backlight than "White LED", most cheaper "White LED" are a bit purple and CCFL backlight may yellow a little with age, but after a few years the CCFL backlights are superior as backlights to cheap "white" LED. Very few TVs and Notebooks now have good backlights. Built down to a cost.

The AMOLED phone displays are not traditional R , G, and B LEDs, Sony calls the true LEDs, Crystal displays.

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Jonny Ive: Flattered by rivals' designs? Nah, its 'theft'

Mage
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Gimp

Hypocrite!

This is the guy that copies Dieter Rams who did so much iconic 50s & 60s Braun. Who is flattered by the imitation.

The whole point is simplicity of style, thus any product which has Dieter Rams principles applied will look similar.

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SHATTERED: Apple's jilted glass supplier to shut down sapphire ops

Mage
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Re: Sapphire is unnecessary for the application

I don't believe sapphire can't work anyway, it's more brittle. Only suitable for small screens. This is the reason no-one is doing it.

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ePassport to Transnistria: NEXTIFYING the Nation State with BONG

Mage
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Um ...

For once I'm rendered speechless. At 300fps.

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Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

Mage
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Re: Record how?

You can get a cheap gadget to connect to phone line and laptop line in

Or put on speaker phone and use mic on laptop.

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Was Nokia's Elop history's worst CEO?

Mage
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Wrong comparison

Android is the layer that runs Java like applications using a slightly forked (or not depending on version) Linux as OS.

Symbian is only an OS. Crystal ,S80 S60, Anna etc are the GUI/Application layers on it. Symbian wasn't ever really the problem. The problem was the layers above it. They decided on QT as layer for Symbian far too late and then stupidly bought Trolltech and trashed the management instead of outsourcing to Trolltech.

I built a 4G (not LTE or WiMax) touch VOIP 'phone' using Debian and we demoed the PDA versions and Phone versions of QT on it in early 2007. The 'modem/Radio' was a prototype PCMCIA laptop card that had the aerial bump just visible at top of handset.

Nokia had totally lost the plot long before 2006

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Mage
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Re: Too slow

Nokia went off the rails LONG before iPhone, probably about 2002. It was just iPhone's consumer friendly Operator data model and slick GUI exposed the rot. Before then only business users could afford data on smart phones.

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Mage
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Re: Hardly

Wang too

Gateway?

Mitel

RCA

Westinghouse

Hallicrafters

Zenith Radio

Thorn

GEC

Rank-Bush-Murphy

McMichael

EMI/Columbia Graphaphone/HMV/Marconiphone Radios

Grundig

Telefunken

Akkord

Ever Ready (UK)

etc ..

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Mage
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Re: Um, no...

Exactly MS has paid a fortune and only got a licence for IP, a brand they will stop using, staff that they have laid off and factories that are closing.

At the end of the MS is losing a fortune, getting really nothing and Nokia got a fortune for a Zombie division.

Any conspiracy must be Nokia's not MS's

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee defends decision not to bake security into www

Mage
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Self Signed Certs

Because of how people build websites, Certs (even if they worked!) don't address the privacy issues at all!

Forget about certs. They are indeed useless for privacy.

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Mage
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Re: HTTP or HTML?

I knew email security was broken in 1987 when I was using it. I was even able to use an email gateway in another country to send an official looking Telex to another country. Using a 300 baud modem, a server account, an X.25 account and CP/M.

UUCP was predecessor of email. Even then sensible people worried. The first trojans existed back in pre PC mainframe days.

By 1978 is was obvious to anyone that cared. This is a forty year old problem at least. Or over 100 years old if you include Telegraph spammers in Victorian London!

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