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* Posts by Mage

2290 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Microsoft to merge Windows, Windows Phone stores in 2014

Mage
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Stupid

Applications for a laptop, medium touch tablet , TV set GUI and a phone are not just needing different GUIs but also need different design. On a decent screen multiple windows and floating & dockable customisable tool bars might make sense. But never on a phone, rarely on a tablet. TV is similar display needs to a 6" tablet, (because it's maybe 2m away) but due to very limited user input and navigation and usually no touch, no keys much beyond 0 .. 9 and functions and no trackball/mouse (why not a IBM thinkpad style or gamepad wobble pad/stick though?) is mostly limited to browse & select.

One App store, one name of OS and one GUI is just a confusion. At least Apple and Google differentiate a bit (iOS, OS X and Android, Chrome).

After trying to shoehorn the Win3.x then Win95 style on everything they make the opposite mistake of Zune interface on everything.

By all means have a single coherent API for all devices so programmers have less to learn and make less mistakes. But this doesn't mean you should normally do the same application identically for all platforms. Unless it's maybe a game with simple interface or a trivial program. Even then it might not want to be full screen on everything.

Even running phone apps on a PC in a "phone/small tablet sized window" is rarely going to work well. Touch vs keyboard and mouse with no touch.

Most phone apps are either too trivial, or awkward or more limited than many paid or free programs on a Laptop. Also I want to get away from MS dependency on desktop, not get locked into it.

I can use the phone on WiFi beside laptop anyway.

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Blighty's great digital radio switchover targets missed AGAIN

Mage
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Re: satellite FTW

Not portable though.

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Mage
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Re: Oh Dear @HMB

But the Band II VHF is no use to Telcos.

Community radio would remain on VHF-FM anyway.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: Cost

400 Hours on some 1950s battery valve radios. Though large batteries. But a 1929 radio with rechargeable LT and a staggering 80 x AA cells for HT runs for 450 hours on HT. vs 6 hrs for 4 x Alkaline AA on DAB set.

dividing 450 by 20 gives 25 hrs per 4 x AA, so 1/4 running cost of the DAB set.

Only LW & MW though.

An all band Tesco mechanical £8 radio (€10) is about 135 hrs on VHF-FM on 2 x AA, so comparing with DAB set 4 x AA, that's 270 vs 6, an incredible 45 times better. It also does LW, MW and many SW bands well.

Try and get a DAB set with LW, MW & SW. Many with FM don't even do RDS. The sales of DAB sets is purely because they are commonly available in the shop. Many are used for FM, or not used at all. Channel changing too slow and awkward User Interfaces.

Also a few weeks ago on Feedback BBC said Cricket is on R4LW because the BBC DAB coverage is 6% worse than FM, which is only 99%, that means about 1% of households = 200,000 Households don't get VHF-FM and rely on MW & LW. So if I interpret BBC correctly 212K households can't get DAB. That probably assumes an aerial. If so then about 1 Million out of 20Million households can't get decent reliable FM without an extended aerial (not needed MW & LW) and very many more no DAB reception without moving the radio to a suitable window.

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British Gas robo home remote gets itself into hot water

Mage
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If it's really cold I light the fire with some turf. Bottle or Mains gas is insanely expensive here. If we get really poor we can burn the bannisters, chairs, table etc.

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EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff

Mage
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But

Is any of it true?

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Elop's enlarged package claim was a cock-up, admits Nokia chairman

Mage
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N900?

Digit missing

I want the modern 3G & 4G + WiFi equivalent of my N9210i

Without OS provider Spyware please.

(given back to employer in 2004)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_9210_Communicator

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Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

Mage
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Re: Embedded RFIDs in your hand

Remotely cloneable at about 3m or more.

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El Reg seeks new mobile, wireless tech writer - could it be YOU?

Mage
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Big Brother

Working out of London Office?

Why?

Do the duties involve refilling the coffee machine?

I'd have thought you could save expensive office space and travel time by having someone work 50% longer from home.

There is this thing called Broadband.

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Five reasons why you'll take your storage to the cloud

Mage
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Summary in Five Points

1). It's new marketing speak for [Hosted services] what has existed almost as long as computers have (well actually really not so new any more, expect a new name for Hosted services soon).

2). It's sensible for some users and applications and daft for others.

3). It's mostly limited in performance by your "last mile" broadband connection. Forget it on a domestic ISP contract for business use.

4). Lots of hidden costs

5). Lots of hidden negatives the vendor won't highlight.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it ... Win Phone 8? No, it's APPLE'S iOS 7

Mage
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Garish

Are there other "themes" less eye bleeding?

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You thought slinging Photoshop into the cloud would fail? Look who's laughing NOW

Mage
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Re: Cloud based

But it's a monthly rental with "Cloud validation" so might as well be.

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Mage
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Re: Nothing to blast about

So I can't find a trial version of Dreamweaver to download. A cloud based subscription is the only offer (Dreamweaver CC). Though they still seem to offer Coldfusion Builder2 trial, but maybe it's pathetic compared to Dreamweaver with CF plug in to actually WYSIWYG layout Webpage appearance.

Stupidity. I only want to buy applications without subscriptions and that don't need potentially unreliable Internet connections to run.

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Microsoft relents: 'Go ahead, install Windows 8.1 on clean PCs'

Mage
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Re: Relent some more will ya????

Also have the top priced version at $50 if they are serious about World Domination or even making money. For new users the current prices are mad compared to Ubuntu. Not a valid comparison for those with an existing investment in Windows programs.

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In MASSIVE surprise, world+dog discovers Nokia checked out Android

Mage
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NSN and Microsoft

Nokia recently (before the MS deal) bought out Siemens from NSN.

Microsoft has only bought a failing phone division. They don't have the Nokia name for new phones (only ones already on the market). They have a 10 year Patent licence. They thus didn't buy any IP.

So Nokia still exists, will have an extra 7 Billion (approx) and what exactly has MS got? The existing products, and a licence. Not even the brand for the future. A better deal than Ericsson got from Sony (who unlike MS have in the past sold a very wide range of consumer products successfully, though have made some grave mistakes). MS: The mouse, Kinect and Xbox (and overall no profit). The vast bulk of MS profit has always been OEM and Business, despite a retail presence.

Microsoft becoming a combination of Google & Apple seems as likely as IBM succeeding in TV, BD player and Mobile phone / Tablet sales.

MS even managed to lose the OEM set box market and earlier PDA markets and previous Windows Phone which once before Apple iphones etc was over 20%. Zune, Kin all failures. Surface Pro (x86) and Surface RT (ARM) both failures. Dedicated OEM Media Centres based on XP a failure. XP Tablet a failure outside niche markets.

BT even remote "upgraded" existing users set-boxes from WinCE to Linux!

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'Liberator' 3D printed gun enters London's V&A Museum

Mage
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Re: Luvvie-choice? Too soon to say.

A museum needs to preserve the ordinary, failures, average and stupid to put the exceptional in context.

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Billionaire engineer Ray Dolby, 80, dies at home in San Francisco

Mage
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AC Ultrasonic Bias

Rediscovered in 1940s Germany.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/09/history_of_magnetic_tape_part_one/

Also read

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/02/compact_cassette_supremo_lou_ottens_talks_to_el_reg/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/30/50_years_of_the_compact_cassette/

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TWO can play this 64-bit mobile game, says Samsung, crossly

Mage
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Mac Book Air

Yes, I think I mentioned last year it's logical for Apple to ditch Intel and make the macs more "walled garden" appliances.

It won't be OS X as you know it.

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Mage
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Re: What is "ridiculous" about 1Tb?

No, that 640K was always stupid. The competing "real" 16 bit platforms had 1M to 16M. The 8088 wasn't a "real" 16 bit chip as it could only address 64 K byte without changing the segment register.

The PC Memory map could have been done better too. Purely IBM / Intel / MS stupidity. It's not comparable between 32bit CPUs able to address physical 4G to 16G byte and 64 bit CPU with up to 48 Gbyte physical memory.

Of course virtual memory isn't the same thing.

Also there is no direct connection between general CPU bit width and addressing as otherwise 8 bit CPUs could only address 256 bytes but they use 16 bit to 20 bit addressing registers for 64K to 1M byte of RAM.

The Intel 80286 used in the AT was the first "real" 16 CPU in IBM PC, but DOS still used it much like an 8 bit CPU. You needed to run UNIX on it to address more than 640K or 1M Byte, 24-bit address andup to 16 MB of RAM without segment registers. With 8088 and 8086 you had 16 bit address and overlapping 16 bit segment register for 20 bits (1M)

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Mage
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Re: Why does Samsung have to wait for Google?

The first iPhone used no Apple HW chips. The CPU was a Samsung part not even developed for the iPhone, which had Windows CE (default on dev system) and Linux on it a few days after we got the platform from Samsung..

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Mage
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32bit NT4.0 Enterprise

4G Byte direct addressing and 16G Byte via PAE.

Even a 64G byte phone / PC / Tablet probably only needs 4G byte direct addressing. The rest can be "filesystem".

64 bit in some circumstances increases code size and no real increase in performance. Any performance increase is usually other changes not the increased addressing (which isn't physically much more than PAE can do on a 1998 32 bit PC).

Really twice the battery life would be better.

P.S. It's not about better Floating point but 64 bit Integers, which often means you can avoid slower less accurate Floating point. 80bit floating point has rounding errors, hence the "currency" type in VB which was really a 64 bit integer.

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Windows 8.1: Microsoft's reluctant upgrade has a split-screen personality

Mage
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Re: Windows 8.0?

C:\WINDOWS>ver

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

C:\WINDOWS>

Windows 2K is 5.0

XP [32 bit] is 5.1.x

Windows [Server] 2003 R2 SP2 is version 5.2.x

But confusion ... 64 bit XP is 5.2.x also

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms724832%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

Also

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600] (Pro 32-bit SP3)

Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790] (Windows XP 64-bit) [x86 or Itanium? Both exist and are incompatible. Itanium version removed 2005]

Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790] (Windows 2003 SP2)

Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790] (Windows 2003 R2 SP2)

The 64 bit XP is based on Server 2003, hence the version number.

Each of these last three are delivered as separate OS's; as separate products (you had to pay to go from 2003 to 2003 R2), and yet they have the same major, minor, build number?

From

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/567220d3-089c-4f99-9a05-8763d1cf5f01/version-numbers-for-windows-2003-and-windows-2003-r2

Vista, Win7, Server 2008 and Win are all 6,x versions

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Mage
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Re: What about the rest?

WinXP was Win ME & Win2K upgrade. (Though Win98SE better than Win ME crapware). Win ME people should have got XP or Win98 free. Maybe Win2K people should have got free XP, though at least Win2K mostly works, as Win XP was the finished version of Win2K

Win 7 was Vista upgrade. It 100% should be a free service pack. Look at version numbers!

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Mage
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Flame

They have lost the plot

The main market for Windows is real laptops/notebooks/Desktops, not relying on "cloudy" services . This STILL penalizes Windows users.

The ONLY reason to use Windows [on real laptops/notebooks/Desktop] rather than Linux is having loads of traditional Windows applications that invariably need local storage, a real keyboard and a mouse.

If I need an OS for a tablet / Touch screen device (which is painful for traditional Windows Applications) why on earth would I want to pay for either the x86 or uselessly incompatible ARM version? I'd go for Linux, Android, Chromebook or iOS even.

So they continue to alienate the only market they realistically can have (OEM/Enterprise/Legacy Windows) for the market they realistically can't compete in and has no major Applications/OS upgrade value. Who will pay for a newer version of Office or Windows for a Tablet?

I don't want a windows with a baked in Cloud and Tablet GUI. Actually I suspect 90% of windows users especially Business would rather pay for a choice of new Windows XP or Win7 (Win7 should be free to Vista Users) service pack. than any "new" flavour of Windows.

Which is a bigger Market anyway? £20 Service Pack to ALL XP, Vista (inc Win7 upgrade) and Win7 users every 1 to 2 years (and included on new PCs at same OEM cost as Win8) or trying to flog two incompatible tablet OSes one of which is Mashed into non-tablets?

How much is any OEM going to pay for a Tablet OS?

How can MS possibly sell OS upgrades, and Desktop priced Applications to Tablet users. They are deluded and dreaming with the idea people will "rent" Cloud based MS apps such as Office for Tablets.

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iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)

Mage
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Re: Meh.

Yes re: Win7 vs Win 8

If you subtract Win 8 that was pre-installed and kept and add XP, you indeed ought to rethink strategy if you are MS.

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Mage
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Used to be innovators?

It only seemed that way.

They always did the GUI that bit more slickly than anyone else. Even back to Mac vs Windows 2.x

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Mage
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It didn't really know how to make phones,

By then you didn't need to. The original was commodity parts. The GUI and case was custom. It was 90% marketing and 10% GUI software for development.

I had a Samsung SC6400 development kit back then too.

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Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

Mage
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Pint

Re: Great

The roaming charges badly affect people near borders as radio propagation ignores bizarre lines on maps.

Also in reallity it costs nearly nothing. The "compensation"/"sop" offered is to allow Pan-EU operation rather than buying a separate licence in each of 28 Countries. They next need to abolish the corrupt & incompetent National regulators, especial examples are Comreg and Ofcom. Maybe the French on is bad too?

I have my suspicions about the Italian one protecting spectrum outside towns.

This is good.

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Fancy a new iPhone 5C or 5S? READ THIS or you may not get 4G data

Mage
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Facepalm

SDR?

They already use SDR

But you can't "software" define sensible physical aerials nor decent full duplex filters.

SDR lets you easily have any bandwidth (within constraints of aerial, duplex filter, RX LNA and TX PA) and any scheme of modulation (QAM, APSK, COFDM, CDMA etc as used by GSM, CDMA-1, EDGE, 3G, HSPA, WiMax, LTE). SDR isn't really any help at all in doing different bands. You need different physical components.

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Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

Mage
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Re: He's right. but wrong too

Without SoC there wouldn't be an ARM industry, or at least a very small one.

Almost all portable devices with Linux are ARM SoC.

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Ofcom's head Ed may yet run the Beeb: UK gov 'mulls axing BBC Trust'

Mage
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Mushroom

Ofcom!

Don't make me laugh. The folks that defended the Mobile Operators grossly inflated Roaming charges.

Their track record is laughable. They don't even regulate and protect Spectrum properly and someone expects them to understand the very much complex BBC?

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Ofcom set to fatten up London's White Space TV spectrum

Mage
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This will end in tears

Also will folks stop using the STUPID American expression that suggests the spectrum is empty.

It's not and this is vandalism against the Broadcast spectrum which is supposed to be protected.

It's unbelievable naivety to believe that:

* People won't ignore the Database

* The Database can be accurate enoungh

* That people won't add Yagi or high power

* That it won't destroy reception for some people in "local" blackspots having to use further off transmitters.

People WILL NOT know what is causing pixellation or freezing nor know who to complain to.

What are Ofcom, FCC and Comreg smoking?

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Xiaomi plans global domination with fast smartphones and software

Mage
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Instruction Booklet?

People don't read those, or manuals.

That's why you need to make products intuitive to use.

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The Solar System's second-largest volcano found hiding on Earth

Mage
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Re: British Isles?

However, the association between the word "British" and the United Kingdom[2] causes use of the term to be regarded as implying appropriation or overlordship of Ireland by Britain.[3][4][5][6][7] Alternative terms include "Britain and Ireland",[3][8] "Atlantic Archipelago",[9] "Anglo-Celtic Isles",[10][11] the "British-Irish Isles" and the Islands of the North Atlantic.[12] In documents drawn up jointly between the British and Irish governments, the archipelago is referred to simply as "these islands".[13]

There is a slight controversy among more enthusiastic Hibernophiles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_naming_dispute

Personally I don't have a problem as British != UK and British != English.

Little Briton is in France (Brittany) and most of the real Britons are the Celts in Wales and Cornwall as successive Angles, Saxons and Normans chased them out of England. Actually it's a mystery as to why the UK doesn't speak Dutch, seeing as the last "conqueror" was from there. Though he was actually invited and perversely the Politicians in London were upset when he threatened to take his army away... Sort of the opposite of the usual.

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Sysadmins hail Windows Server 2012 R2's killer ... clipboard?

Mage
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cut and paste text or files between VMs.

Umm.. I'm sure had this years ago between the VM running Linux and my native XP desktop. At least 2006.

Which VM are we talking about?

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HDMI 2.0 spec arrives ... 1.0 years late

Mage
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High frame rate better than 4K x 2K

2800 x 1200 @ up to 96Hz 96 fps* progressive with 2.34:1 Aspect makes more sense than 4K x 2K @ 50fps or 60fps in the living room.

(* It's daft that current HD went to multiple incompatible frame rates, 24p, 25i50Hz, 30i60Hz, 50p, 60p etc instead of a fixed 48 fps, so we are doomed to need pointless 100fps/100Hz & 120fps/120Hz incompatible with each other and Cinema modes. Cinema using better than 4K x 2K but @ 48fps progressive already)

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Microsoft's $7.1bn Nokia gobble: Why you should expect the unexpected

Mage
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Re: Shame

Visio

Powerpoint

SQL

DOS

Original MS Basic (but they just took it from Dartmouth, they never paid for it) I presume ported to 8080 for CP/M?

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Microsoft buys Nokia's mobile business

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: bargain

MS only has a 10 year licence. Nokia still have the Patents. MS didn't buy Nokia, only the phone division.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Thoughts

But Google got the Moto phone patents. Nokia still owns all the patents. MS only has a licence.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: Patents & left behind

Nokia bought out Siemens from Nokia Siemens Networks, NSN.

Phones are not the only thing Nokia does.

They don't make paper, wellie boots, Satellite TV gear or TVs any more though. Probably they wish they had kept the paper (lots of trees in Finland) and Wellies (lots of fashion wellies now).

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Mage
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Coat

Nearly no surprise

Surprising that MS paid so much. If they had waited it would have been cheaper.

Not the end of Nokia, but only of the phones. MS will mess this up as well as the last phone maker they bought.

Or ...

Maybe not if Elop is the next MS CEO now that Balmar has resigned.

Or maybe that would kill MS.

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Google chap reverse engineers Sinclair Scientific Calculator

Mage
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Coat

Roundworld's Bergholt Stuttley Johnson

Almost every Sinclair Product had a touch of genius but fatally flawed. If the design didn't have a flaw then it would be a failure due to poor production (Amstrad was horrified at the Production when he bought them).

Micro Smallest Radio (which wasn't even before it came out). TRF Reflex.

Grossly exaggerated specs of sub spec IC10 (Plessey) and IC12 (Texas)

Watch almost impossible to fit in case

Three iterations of pocket TVs with different flaws (oddly the first one the main flaw was too expensive, rare for Sinclair 2nd flaw battery. Last model was obsolete at release by LCD and Sony had better "flat" CRT to market first).

Wobbling RAM packs

QL "tape" cartridges

C5 bike using Washing machine motor.

We need people like Sinclair, but with better attention to Production Engineering and Quality.

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Punter strikes back at cold callers - by charging THEM to call HIM

Mage
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email

How do I set up an email address that works like a Premium phone number?

I never get cold calls on phone. But I get spam.

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Look out ARM, Intel, here comes MIPS – again

Mage
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Linux

Hurts Intel's attempt

As MIPS is already more established in Domestic Routers/Modems than x86, this likely hurts Intel's attempt at getting into the phone market see Intel: Our new mobile chip SoCs it to its predecessor. I can't see it taking more than a few percent of ARM's juggernaut.

It's likely to be more attractive for Tablets than Intel's "Clovertrail" too.

If Intel want to succeed in phones and tablets then they need to get MS to stop calling all versions of their OS "Windows" and only call the one compatible with 2000, XP, Vista and Server applications "Windows". Maybe MS also need to market XP with a new service pack as Legacy Windows and examine why the XP tablet failed outside of specialist markets. I'd say it wasn't the UI as it was a large screen, but cost and battery life.

The Zune like TIFKAM is a good idea for phones and small tablets (The classic desktop style CE UI on a 320x 240 PDA was daft). Larger tablets where the thumbs can't address all of the screen need a different GUI. 10" approx and larger tablets need a different approach. A screen on a desk used with a keyboard needs the traditional WIMP GUI.

So MIPS has some future. Hard to see one for Intel Cloverdale/Medfield unless they sell them cheap for cheap windows x86 compatible notebooks. Phones don't need x86 compatibility as the screen is too small for traditional Windows applications like Sage, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio, MS Project, or even traditional Outlook with Exchange server for meetings etc. Applications for handheld devices need not just a different GUI but need to be written differently too.

There is no "one size fits all".

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Silicon daddy: Moore's Law about to be repealed, but don't blame physics

Mage
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Messenger Boys

William Preece, head of P.O. said it. He changed his mind and not only introduced telephones but gave an unknown Irish-Italian a big break. A guy called Marconi.

But I don't see how it relates to Moore's law, which really ended already.

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Star Wars revival secret: This isn't the celluloid you're looking for

Mage
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24 fps ... bah

The biggest lack on HD is poor frame rate. Noticeable with motion.

HD should be 96 FPS. More important than 2000 or 3000 lines in the home. Digital Cinema recording is already about x4 the home HDTV resolution.

Bit of a gimmick using 35mm to film.

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Intel: Our new mobile chip SoCs it to its predecessor

Mage
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Maybe a Tablet

A 7.5" x 11.5" cased tablet with about 13" diagonal screen, minimum 1450 x 960 pixels (133dpi) ideally about 1960 x 1300 (180dpi) or about 2140 x 1400 (200dpi). BT keyboard should be included ( :) ). Also you should be able to chose iOS, OSX, WinXP, RiscOS, Linux, Android or Win8 (or whatever, pre-loaded and swap later).

Can't see the point of it in a phone.

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Google cripples Chromecast third party replay

Mage
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Devil

Re: Idiots.

How?

This gadget needs an Android Gadget and WiFI.

Use an HDMI cable or Wireless HDMI and:

Better quality possible

Many tablets/PC/Laptop/Phone can play HD HDMI video.

This is a Shiny Shiny to make Google Money and Spy on your usage. No-one needs one.

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Amazon spaffs MYSTERY private Wi-Fi waves all over Apple's orchard

Mage
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Alert

One Channel?

Higher WiFi Speeds actually use 3 to 4 channels or even all of them.

For non-interfering coverage at decent speed you need 3 x 25MHz channels. This Globalstar ch 14 (not "band" really) will make no significant difference. Less than 10% capacity improvement.

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'Silent' staff stood by as £100m BBC IT project tanked – DG

Mage
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Re: "Shifting the blame to the workers, rather than the management, ..

Except EVERYONE repeatedly DID tell Management!

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