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* Posts by Richard Sloan

47 posts • joined 11 Dec 2007

Hackers claim to pwn Conservative Party website

Richard Sloan
Happy

Links

Yep, it happened, I was watching it happen, took several screenshots myself of what they were doing to the site and archived 3 different threads on 4chan, as well as saving other people's scxreenshots posted.

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Android app secretly uploads GPS data, warns Symantec

Richard Sloan
Coat

Snake. Snake! SNAAAKE!

It is reported you can hide snake's location 100% effectively by hiding him under a cardboard box.

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BT Tower to open for first time in 29 years

Richard Sloan
Big Brother

The Ear

IIRC wasn't the GPO tower also "The ear" from V for Vendetta?

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Jobs tells iPhone users to get a grip

Richard Sloan
Boffin

Signal Propogation

Actually, on most handheld devices, your body acts as the signal's ground plane. Having the driven element in contact with the ground plane is going to cause problems with voltage standing wave ratios (the broadcasting power getting reflected back into the transmitter) rather than your hand itself blocking the radio waves.

I've taken apart numerous mobile phones. All of them have their driven element at the top, back, usually towards the centre. Some of them may have had things like wifi or GPS antennas in wierd places but the cellular antenna has always been in the place where you are least likely to have your hand.

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Google vanishes Android apps from citizen phones

Richard Sloan
Megaphone

Remove this feature.

If you are using Cyanogenmod, just reflash the Cyanogenmod image, but do not flash the google apps image afterward, that way you are left with pure android without the additional google apps including the market and its killswitch.

Android itself is open source but I don't think the google apps themselves are, so you are unlikely to be able to remove just this one feature from the market, however it only affects things installed by the market so you can always copy the .apk files somewhere after installing, uninstall them, then reinstall using the .apk files.

The only thing that I am aware of aside from this that Google pulled from the market in US regions was wireless tether at the behest of T-mobile USA because them and all other US providers are extremely anal over tethering, but still hosted the installset for it freely available to download on google code's page so noone was really left out. They did not use a killswitch on it to my knowledge.

This was also a pretty clear cut violation of TOS as well, unlike Apple's "Steve Jobs has suddenly decided he doesn't like your app, has changed his mind about some feature your app has, might link to some 3rd party contect that we don't like or you've made something better than the built in apps and we don't want to get shown up so we pulled it with no warning" approach. It is things like this that mean that I'm likely to upgrade to a Nexus One instead of a new iPhone next month when the contract on my G1 expires.

If you really are paranoid about google/apple just get a Nokia 6310i and have done with it. If you are paranoid about everything perhaps mobile communications are not for you.

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Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx stalks PC and Mac converts

Richard Sloan
Grenade

Ubuntu

I am running the beta at the moment. The new default theme is sweet and i'm glad to see the back of the old orange one. I've tested the "ubuntu software centre" and it is a good start , and a great idea but needs a bit more work. I used it to install MuSE but it doesn't work for example.

I have ubuntu running in vmware on my desktop machine, as I need windows to run EVE at a decent rate, plus that installing EVE on linux is a pain in the neck. I did used to play TF2 on linux fine though so I know WINE can cut the mustard for some games, plus that there is the possibility of native steam on linux from what that leaked steam bootloader suggests.

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Reverse-engineering artist busts face detection tech

Richard Sloan
Big Brother

None of us are as stupid as all of us...

Does the technology recognise people with EFG masks?

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Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'

Richard Sloan
Grenade

Evil.

As far as I'm aware Google don't actively subdue their competition. They came to power because they were offering better services than others, and the services they offer are still pretty good. Yes, they data mine stuff but so does everyone else, although Google do it publicly rather than doing it on the QT and try to get away with it (Facebook for example).

This extends beyond web services: No Google application has tried to take over my computer in the way that Apple ones do. For example: Apple now bundle quicktime with everything you download from them for the PC. When you install it Quicktime tries to associate itself with filetypes that you have associated to other media players, then embeds itself in your browser to take over handling of files in that. I have just spent a week reconfiguring quicktime on machines during a rollout because it stopped people printing TIF files from a web based document management system because it was making them open in quicktime rather than the picture and fax viewer. Tifs in quicktime in the browser just prints blank pages when you try. Don't even start me on itunes.

So Jobs, who created the most locked down vendor tied piece of hardware ever made, thinks Google is evil because they not only competed but did so with a product that had nowhere near as much lockdown - one that is on a par with or slightly better than contemporary manufacturers and can be easily hacked to give more. So far the only evidence of them complaining about this was a small legal spat with Cyanogen that was easily worked around, as opposed to Apple who have been going nuts trying to make their phones unjailbreakable with ever more complex firmware being pushed down to them, as well as a lot of sabre rattling.

I deeply suspect that most people are on the bandwagon of Google=Evil as they are the biggest target. They have been nowhere near as bad as IBM and Microsoft were when they were respectively considered the "big evil" company at various periods of time.

I find it ironic that Apple did the infamous "1984" ad suggesting they were the the means of freedom from tyrannical big corps, yet these days Apple are drinking are drinking at the Chestnut tree cafe and, although not the market leaders, are equally tyrannical as their ad's big brother figure with their own internal "secret police" and loving to tell people what they can and cannot do with stuff they bought.

I'm wondering if there is a way to put this rant in Flash for iPhone/pad (iPhad?) users...

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Tor software updated after hackers crack into systems

Richard Sloan
Coat

Death by spellcheck

"The latest security problems is less serious but sill merits attention. "

"but sill merits"

"sill"

Another vulnerability with windows?

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IFPI wants another stab at OiNK

Richard Sloan
Megaphone

JoCo

Filesharing doesn't seem to be an issue for artists like Jonathan Coulton who for quit his day job with no issues. Most of the music I listen to is Creative Commons these days...

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Is this the world's dirtiest PC?

Richard Sloan
Pint

Toner

My best one was when I was working for the power company. A HP Compaq D500 was reported as making strange noises. I get the tube there and show up with a replacement PSU (the PSU fans die a lot on those machines) and discover it is sat next to a leaking laserjet 4500 that noone had bothered to mention. The inside of the machine was totally black with toner and it was thick and baked on. The toner had got into the PSU fan and eaten the bearings. I took the psu and all the drives out, picked up the unit and stuck it under the hand dryer in the toilet to get rid of anything that wasn't baked on, then replaced the PSU with the spare.

The machine was still working fine when I left. I think i took pictures but I can't find them.

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ALK CoPilot Live 8

Richard Sloan
Thumb Up

Licensing

I have had no problem reinstalling this software after multiple device wipes. All I've needed to do is feed it the email address I registered with and it sorts itself out.

Yes nav4all and andnav2 have been around longer but they require constant 3g connections to download map tiles, which is unhelpul when you are out in the boondocks, and andnav2 barely works - not bad for someone's pet project but it doesn't compete with a commercial grade app.

You can get slowdowns in a G1 but if you are running something like CyanogenMod and are running apps from the SD card then it works perfectly.

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Google Android future haunted by fragmentation past

Richard Sloan
Boffin

@David Farinic

And WinMo has already had the interface replaced by HTC when they released TouchFlo.

At least so far the hardware is similar enough so if the manufacturer makes an android rom that people don't like there are usually ways to flash it back to a standard google rom or a modified one such as CyanogenMod.

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Commodore 64 emulator hits iPhone

Richard Sloan
Coat

Yay!

I'll have to try this after I finish playing megadrive games on my android phone... oh wait...

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Police, Cameras, Pixellation

Richard Sloan
Coffee/keyboard

Hope lies in the hoodies...

This is why the police don't like the hoodies much. It isn't as fun when members of the public make themselves hard to identify - the same goes for Anonymous, their Epic Fail Guy masks (the V/fawkes mask for those outside the chans) and the afro wigs before they started using the masks. The current party line seems to be "It isn't wrong when we do it..."

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Communist car given electric overhaul

Richard Sloan

Electric cars

This car may not be that pretty but at least it looks like a proper car. Aside from the Tesla every manufacturer of electric cars seems to want to make them look like ugly brightly coloured genital warts. They must make them this way so that their target market, the lentil munchers, can somehow take smug satisfaction in that they are showing that their cars are pure utilitarian transport and have no soul, no petrolheadedness to them.

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HTC Hero Android smartphone

Richard Sloan
Grenade

Android market browser

If you want an up to date look at the android market, and search for stuff with a web browser, you use http://www.cyrket.com/ IIRC this is something one of the android app developers came up with a while back.

I am in the middle of a G1 contract although it is running really happily with the android developer phone software on it. I see they have fixed my only bugbear with the G1 in the hero: the lack of a headphone jack. As long as there is an android phone available with a full 3.5" headphone jack and not the craptastic 2.5 or extended mini usb thing I will definately get another one.

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Ofcom wants to know what you want to know

Richard Sloan
Megaphone

Ofcom

We would like to know why they aren't doing anything to remove the problem of broadband-by-power-line devices like the ones BT are giving away of interfering with HAM and CB radio, and why they still won't let us use SSB on CB radio when pretty much the rest of the world does with no issues.

We would like to know why they refuse to give FM broadcast licences to anyone who isn't a large commercial station even if they have the money to pay for it, and want to offer local community broadcasting but get turned down because they won't turn a profit - but they are letting people broadcast church services over CB under the "CADS" scheme which Doris who is 86 with blue hair and housebound is unlikely to be able to tune in on.

We would like to know why they refuse to allow people to operate a countrywide commercial radio station such as those that Virgin, Atlantic 252 and Planet Rock wanted to do, heaven forbid they might draw people away from BBC radio blandness...

We would like to know where the money from the outrageous fees they charge for FM broadcast licences and things like specturm allocation actually goes to.

Is that a good start?

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Hero: HTC names third Android smartphone

Richard Sloan
Megaphone

Compass

This isn't a new addition to compete with the 3G-S, all Android phones so far have had one. If anything the 3G-S got a digital compass to compete with Android...

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Coyote Systems Mini Coyote

Richard Sloan
IT Angle

@AC 12:01 GMT

Some radar detectors are designed to shut down their oscillators after making a detection, which stops it from being detected. The cheaper ones still will get busted though.

@Carl Williams

Speed cameras located in residential areas? Never seen one there. I only ever find them on trunk roads and overtaking straights on single carriageways. I have _NEVER_ seen one outside a school and I am doing 20k miles a year all over sussex right now. I just guess there is no money in it, and the cameras don't detect people at 30mph passing vaccuous mums in fiestas and 307s parking 2 abreast to drop off their little snowflakes with sugared up kids running all over the road.

SpeedCam on Nokia series 60 is good. I am currently testing out RadAlert on Android which looks to do exactly the same stuff as the Coyote and is on free trial. Most fixed cameras are easy to spot anyway, the exception being some SPECS and Monitron locations. The ones that will get you are the mobile vans (aka "Talivans") and bikes. The laser guns they use are so fast they will clock you just as you see them. Even if you have a laser detector by the time it goes off you're clocked. Only jammers can save you but many don't work. People who have been using them to seriously extract the urine have been busted for PCJ but many users i hear have no issues.

Sprays and special paint won't work. Numberplates are corner cube reflective so stand out like a bulldog's proverbials with a diffused laser on. If the plate is missing the headlight reflecters will still do it.

The cameras themselves have the potential to be used for good but from what i've seen of their use so far in practice I ended up in the anti camp. I've only ever seen one camera placed in a good spot (A24 Dial Post jn).

For the record I don't jam, if I could afford one I wouldn't be doing this driving job x_x

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Richard Sloan
Paris Hilton

Meep Meep!

I am sure that with the aid of this device and all of those supplies...

I could have caught that roadrunner...

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Sheep ad not cruel, bleats Samsung

Richard Sloan

@AC

"I have seen sheep run full force into gates when there is an open one right beside it - fools!"

"I've seen people do that."

People can't see 270-odd degrees around their heads at once like sheep can though. They are pretty much unable to not look where they are going...

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Apple seeks to patent movement, vibration and pleasure

Richard Sloan
Jobs Horns

Prior art:

http://www.symbian-freak.com/news/007/12/samir_has_released_nokmote_do_donators.htm

He intended it for games but it works in all of the menus, and has been around for a while. The new video doesn't show the menu part and he took the old video down.

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Android tethering app tossed

Richard Sloan
Paris Hilton

Tethering

As others have said, The Wifitether, tetherwifi (same thing but you pay money to someone who used the same library, then started charging for it without crediting the authors) and TetherBlu got dropped out of the market. Wifitether has already been linked to and Tetherblu is for sale on SlideMe. Unlike Apple you can just install what you like after checking the really obvious box in Settings to allow non market apps. You then install .APK files on it just like installing .SIS files on Nokia Series 60 smartphones and .CAB files on WinMo Smartphones.

Wifi tethering apps also only work on phones which have root access, either by getting an unupdated device and telnetting into it to get root and disabling OTA updates, or flashing the phone with the unupdated firmware then using one of the JesusFreke updates (3 versions, one for US, one for UK, one for ADP1), or buying an ADP1 directly from Google. Without doing it the only way to tether is to use Tetherbot which is a bit flakey. There is a new non-root app which is a port of PDAnet to android but I've not tried that yet.

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iPhone monopoly-kicker starts charging for jailbreak apps

Richard Sloan
Jobs Horns

So anyway...

...my G1. No trouble installing apps not from the market, even before I rooted it to get wifitether and multitouch working (Thanks, JesusFreke)...

Still waiting on google to let us eurotrash have paid apps as my free betas are starting to expire and I want Doggcatcher back!

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Ten of the best... noise-isolating earphones

Richard Sloan
Paris Hilton

Sennheiser CXx00

Agree with Tom,

These sennheisers are pretty cheap and are very good for what they cost. The only problem that I had I assume would be the same with all of these ear canal headphones - when you catch the wire on something it really hurts your eardrums when you rip them out of your ear at speed...

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Red Dwarf touches down in Coronation Street

Richard Sloan
Boffin

Re: Rimmer

In the last series, when they bring the ship back, they inadvertantly bring back holographic Rimmer. Hardlight hologram Rimmer (aka the worse Ace Rimmer ever) is still out there somewhere in the dwarf universe...

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Hacking the Apple TV

Richard Sloan
Boffin

Colour hack

Just to let you know, on newer versions of the appleTV software/firmware the rc.common is very flakey and refuses to automcatically apply the colour hack for us. We're running it every time we reboot until we find a different method of doing this.

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Nokia reveals Tube's UK launch date

Richard Sloan
Thumb Up

Not Nokia's first touch screen

Nokia released a touch screen phone quite a few years ago, but it never really caught on. Having had a look at a colleagues one it is actually pretty good for its time.

http://www.nokia.co.uk/A4221110

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SuperSpeed USB 3.0 spec finalised

Richard Sloan
Flame

Power to the people

Did they finally add a 12v line?

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Android comes with a kill-switch

Richard Sloan
Thumb Up

...same as the old boss.

Showing signs of losing another customer here as well. I want a phone that can stand alone without hanging off servers and software installed desktop PCs. Currently only symbian and windows mobile can do that, and the latter not as well. I was kinda hoping that Google were finally gonna do it right but it appears not. Looks like i'll be getting another nokia smartphone this year...

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BSA flashes gums at 'online software scams'

Richard Sloan
Gates Horns

@A J Stiles

While in MS Office the features of Word and Powerpoint are easily replicated, Excel is still a world better than FOSS equivalents right now. GIMP is good but it is fiddly to use, particularly when working with layers where Photoshop comes into it's own. Windows does have a lot of downsides but is still a necessary evil when you need to administer Active Directory, and there are still many games and legacy apps which do not work in WINE. This is why some people still pirate when there are alternatives, the rest of them just cannot be bothered to learn something unfamiliar.

I'm not particularly an advocate of MS and so on, but these are the reasons it is installed on my machine at work, and occasionally still used at home.

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Finally launched: Nokia's iPhone beater

Richard Sloan
Paris Hilton

VOIP

It only takes 20 minutes, a copy of nemesis service suite, and running it through the nokia software updater to get back anything the network had removed, and also gets rid of all their crappy branding. The same thing should apply to this model. Even PH can do it...

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Chrysler intros electric trio

Richard Sloan
Go

@Fraser

Lotus Elan?

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SanDisk seeks to replace the CD with the SD

Richard Sloan
Happy

Sandisk WORM?

Sandisk recently started offering WORM versions of SD cards designed to be a format for archiving that would last a long time, many times longer than data written to an ordinary flash device, but be read only. Are they using the same tech here? It could mean a format that is much more hardy than the CD and the cassette ever were.

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Ubuntu trumpets aromatic pistou of borage

Richard Sloan
Pirate

@AC

I think the NHS would be clogged up with rickets, vitamin D deficiency, and a number of other complications associated with vegitarianism/veganism instead in your perfect world mate. If we were built to run on vegetables alone we would be able to digest cellulose like herbivores can, then we wouldn't have these issues.

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Tiwi spies on your children, so you don't have to

Richard Sloan
Go

An engineering solution

Shouldn't be too hard to take the thing to Santa Pod on RWYB day, Roll 1 d6 + CHR for persuade check and hook it into the cig lighter of someone's 1100bhp dyno queen and see what the parents make of their little snowflakes Nova 1.2 merit reportedly running a <10 second quarter mile...

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Nokia N78

Richard Sloan

@nice

The N95 doesn't need to use the remote thing to plug headphones in, you can plug them straight in and it asks you what you plugged in (same socket used for headset, headphones, vid out, etc) I have also been using internet radio (shoutcasts) on it using the beta software and am having no problems using it on web&walk without hitting the fair use limit. I think the FM transmitter is a fantastic idea built in but i've not heard of them speccing it for the N96 yet, i'm sold if they do.

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T-Mobile calls it a day for WAP

Richard Sloan
Boffin

@Bryan B

IIRC the 14.4 service was HSCSD and using bonded channels to get that speed. I was using it on a Journada 540 with an IR link to a 6210 back in the day for mobile internet. GPRS brought it to landline dialup speed, then I got into smartphones. Normal websites were fantastic on my 6600 running Netfront as the browser which rearranged the site to work with the screen when told to. This was usable 3g full web browsing before ipods let alone iphones...

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Crimestoppers learn the joy of text

Richard Sloan
Linux

"a chav with a brick is over my car smashing the raped!"

The best t9 error I get is "raped" when I am in the middle of typing "screen", annoying when I'm trying to get back into my irssi session in PuTTY...

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UK to outlaw cartoons of child sexual abuse

Richard Sloan
Thumb Down

Law can be misused

I think the common agreement is that any act such as child abuse that is non-consentual should be stopped, but these new laws are not going to do anything apart from be taken out of context and used against someone who just got unlucky. The main problems seem to surround the complete lack of definition for anything - take the extreme porn law: It could apply to such things as 1950's Bettie Page sets and the covers of those cheesy paperbacks they sell in service stations (My girlfriend and I were discussing this law at Clackets Lane and noticed one showing a girl getting spanked, and had a red mark photoshopped onto her therefore being "a sexual image which portrays an act whereby someone may be injured" and therefore illegal under the violent image law).

I've seen some of the things they are talking about thanks to me not knowing what the word "lolicon" meant until I clicked on it and discovered my eyes were bleeding shortly afterwards (do NOT google that). Under these laws I would be convicted for that despite a complete lack of a mens rea. While the material concerned itself can be pretty sick the nature of this law is just plain wrong, doesn't do anything to protect any innocents and exists solely to garner votes from the Daily Mail readers at the expense of some poor sod

The aforementioned poor sod clicks an unknown link, buys a truckstop paperback without realising the somewhat tame cover breaks the law or gets his PC turned into a porn FTP server by a 14 year old Israeli script kiddie, then gets broken into, the dog bites the crook so the police bother to show up instead of giving a crime number out over the phone like they usually do because the CPS smell a conviction under the dangerous dogs act. They also find this extra dirt to convict on for good measure, no innocents were ever at risk but the detection rate league tables are satisfied. 1984 isn't the handbook, Brazil is.

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White space fillers are hospital system killers

Richard Sloan
Pirate

Bluetooth

Your system has detected new hardware "Pacemaker2023.2". You must restart your computer to finish installing new hardware...

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US allows visual inspections of nipple rings

Richard Sloan
IT Angle

CdC

Isn't Lubbock, Texas the place where the Cult of the Dead Cow was founded?

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Vote now for your fave sci-fi movie quote

Richard Sloan

Split Second

People are quoting Split Second on here, Surprising!

Met Police Chief (on Stone's hand cannon) - "I'm amased you haven't got a rocket launcher!"

Stone - "Couldn't get a permit..."

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Ofcom scuppered 61 pirate broadcasters in 2007

Richard Sloan
Pirate

Portable Shoutcasts

You can also get smartphones to connect to shoutcasts from the internet. It does require a little knowhow to get it working on my N95 but usable. I had it working connected to my car once for a laugh. PCs only need a winamp/xmms install to tune in and is under the radar from Ofcom. Could this be the future of the radio pirate?

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Remembering the Commodore SX-64

Richard Sloan
Boffin

Refit

And someone has refitted one to take an i386 board and is running XP

http://www.mini-itx.com/projects/sx64/

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Asus: memory upgrades will not void Eee PC warranty

Richard Sloan
Boffin

SATA and Windows XP

A SP2 slipstream CD will recognise more SATA controllers than previous versions but probably won't have the drivers for the newer hardware of Vista designed machines. The HP NC6400 I last tried this on certainly was not supported by just the CD and I needed to generate the floppy. Check the BIOS of the laptop and see if it supports SATA legacy mode, which will lose you performance but the OS will treat the hard drive like an IDE one. I'd look into exactly what 3rd party manufacturer ASUS used to make their SATA controller on that model and see if the manufacturer of the interface chip itself or another laptop manufacturer using the same interface provides a driver floppy for XP.

Or you could use linux/BSD...

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