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* Posts by Martin

735 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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Venice not in major peril after all - new research

Martin
FAIL

Take a read of this...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/punctuated-equilibrium/2011/jun/10/3

...and then tell me you don't buy this CO2 bit.

I refer you in particular to this sentence...

"These measurements show that atmospheric CO2 concentrations fluctuated between around 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm) during nearly one million years. This provides an important baseline for understanding our current CO2 level, which is now at 393 ppm"

You can argue as much as you like about what the effect of the increase in atmospheric CO2 will do. But it's not really realistic to deny that there has been a massive and sudden increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, and it's hard to think of any other reason as to why this might have happened except due to the influence of man.

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Martin

But what do you expect at El Reg?

That's their default position on Global Warming - the scientists are wrong and it's all rubbish.

Get used to it.

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Samsung UE40D6530 LED 3D TV

Martin

No one-size-fits-all?

How do cinemas stay in business, then?

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Martin
FAIL

Sooo....you pay a grand for a TV....

...and when you get it home, you are expected to fiddle with the settings to get the picture to your liking?

Look, when I pay a grand for a telly, I expect the settings to be right. If I go to the cinema, they just get it right, don't they? Why on earth can't it just be right for a TV?

The difference with audio is stark. When you spend less on a sound system, it tends to come with multiple audio adjustments to try to fiddle the sound to be a bit better. When you pay a lot for your system, it comes with a volume control and that's it. To my mind, it should be the same for visual systems - you turn it on, and it looks great - full stop.

(I'd accept a bit of adjustment for a bright or dark room, but that's all...)

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Motorola Atrix dual-core Android smartphone

Martin
Thumb Up

And as usual, the minute I get a new phone....

...they come out with another one that I want.

The bit I think is ingenious is the fingerprint sensor. Why has no-one done this before?

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The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

Martin
Happy

Time to ask Verity what she thinks....

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/07/verity_stob_cplusplus/

It would be nice to see an updated version of this.

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Brit rubbish-dump worms in space station science triumph

Martin
Boffin

International Boffinry Alliance

Excellent.

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Verity Stob and the super subjunction

Martin
FAIL

A useful piece of advice....

The front page contains the title of the article, the summary and the name of the author. This is useful information, and should be noted carefully before clicking.

In future, refrain from clicking on the articles labelled "Stob". Then you won't feel it necessary to tell us you don't like them.

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Martin

...or even....

Spot. On.

Isn't there a Parameterised Emphatic Period?

Best. ${item}. Evvah.

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How to... change sleep-screen pics on your Kindle

Martin
Megaphone

And for the 7000th time....

...you can't convert DRM'd ePub books to Kindle format.

(Well, not legally, anyway.)

When people say they want ePub support, they mean they want to buy an ePub book from Waterstones, or get a ePub library book, and read it on their Kindle. They don't want to have to find a bit of dubious software to hack it, then transfer it to Calibre, then upload it to the Kindle.

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Samsung Galaxy S II dual core Android smartphone

Martin
Happy

Seemed huge to me...

Well, it still seemed big to me - I guess I do have small hands.

Got a desire S in the end - even that seems a bit big. I tend to hold a phone in my left hand (even though I'm right-handed) and I can only just reach the top right of the screen with my thumb. If I'd got a Galaxy SII, it would have needed two-handed use a lot of the time.

A lovely phone, I admit. But I'm happy with what I have, and I'm paying a fair bit less a month too.

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Martin
Unhappy

I was seriously considering this....

but when I got my hands on it - it's flippin' huge. Not sure whether it wants to be a phone or a cut-down tablet...

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Amazon tablet, touchscreen Kindle on course for H2, say moles

Martin

well, for one thing....

...that 'orrible keyboard taking up all that space?

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Sanity saver: Fedora 15 answers Ubuntu's Unity

Martin
Happy

The reason is very simple...

...and it's always been the case.

Software developers like writing new stuff. They don't so much like maintaining the old stuff.

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No stranger to the moleskin trouser

Martin
FAIL

C++ ???

Real programmers use C.

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The Osborne 1: 30 years old this month

Martin
Happy

ahh...the Z88

We used several at work as cheap and portable serial terminals - took up a lot less space than a VT100.

Wish I still had mine...

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Martin
Happy

This truly was innovative....

I remember going to see a customer who had a problem with an embedded system we had supplied. I was able to see the problem demonstrated, bring up the software on the Osbourne, implement a fix, recompile (more precisely, reassemble, I think!) and link the software, burn a new ROM, install it into his machine, and leave a very happy customer working again.

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Antarctic ice breakup makes ocean absorb more CO2

Martin

So you don't believe any of the other climate change stuff...

...but, as this supports your agenda, it's clearly entirely correct and should be listened to and taken seriously.

What a surprise.

It's very interesting news, nevertheless.

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UK iPad 2 to cost under £400

Martin
WTF?

@James Hughes 1

Did you see the :P in @opague's title?

It means "tongue in cheek" - i.e. it was a slightly sarky response.

It certainly didn't require the venom of your answer.

I ask again - why is it that people feel that language that would get them bopped on the nose in a pub is reasonable on the internet?

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Microsoft to Apple: 'Oh, yeah? Well, your font is too small'

Martin
Happy

24x80 - fixed font

Green screens rule. Any other size just doesn't count as a screenful.

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Ten... fantasy swords you wish you owned

Martin
FAIL

So let me think about this...

...I go to someone's house, and they have a sword hanging on the wall.

"That's interesting", says I. "What is it?"

"Ah, that's a replica of Aragorn's sword from Lord of the Rings"

"So it's a replica of an imaginary sword owned by an imaginary hero from an imaginary place, right?"

"Er - yes. But it's really cool."

Riiiight. I'm with the original poster. Never mind the legality or the safety. Massively, massively uncool works for me.

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Steve Jobs unveils iPad 2

Martin
Happy

On the other hand....

....they make lovely teapot stands.

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Woman sentenced for breaching former employer's PCs

Martin
Unhappy

Well, legally, maybe, it ain't theft....

...but I can assure you that there have been several occasions when people have just cut'n'pasted the words from one of my websites and published it as their own. When you find that, it damn well FEELS like someone's stolen something from you.

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BT Home Hub 3 ADSL Wi-Fi router

Martin
FAIL

A written down password?

And that's a GOOD thing?

What damn use is that little doohicky that slides out when the first thing most sensible people will do is change the name and password of the wireless connection?

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Ford Focus 2011

Martin
WTF?

Just somene else to say....

...why are you reviewing a car?

Electric cars and hybrids - yes. It's the future and definitely techy.

But a normal car? God knows there are plenty of sites out there to get reviews. We don't need to know the Reg's take on it, really we don't.

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Android inches nearer NFC nirvana

Martin
WTF?

reading, wrighting and reckoning?

Citation needed.

Or is this meant to be a joke?

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Lexmark Genesis multifunction printer

Martin
Thumb Up

Yes, it's expensive....

..and no, I'm not going to buy one....

But I'm impressed by the scanning facility. It's at least an attempt at trying something new. Let's be fair, the "bar-along-the-glass-plate" solution has been around for years, and is inherently slow. Yes, it works well, but so did the telephone dial for a long time - but who'd want to use that now?

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iPhone owners get walked through confessional

Martin
Happy

We poor atheists?

"those poor atheists who haven't even cottoned on to the fact that God is there yet, and haven't a clue what they're missing out on..."

Yep. No idea at all. Poor me. Never mind, I'll cope.

But there are plenty of atheists who are ex-religion. They presumably DO have a clue what they are missing out on...and have come to the conclusion they are better off without it.

But that app is going to sell extremely well. Hope he's giving his tithe to the Church.

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DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

Martin
Happy

My first real computer was a PDP10...

...not literally, but at my school in 1970ish, we had a 30baud connection to the timesharing PDP10 at Hatfield Polytechnic. Working in Basic and Fortran, I wrote my first real programs there, on a teletype. My favourite was a horse-racing simulator, with betting accounts and everything - the memory of the teletype printing out a horse-race commentary and me and five or six of my friends cheering on our horses will never leave me!

I lost interest when I went to Uni in 1973 and discovered I was expected to use batch-processing. Once you've sat at a "READY" prompt, typed in your program and watched it run, waiting for 24 hours for your output to return seemed pretty tedious. Then I found a PDP-8 hidden away in a physics lab. Happiness returned....

Thanks Ken.

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Indian courts 'rule astrology is a science'

Martin
Thumb Down

There is hope....

It's not just women.

But here's a cartoon to cheer you up - not xkcd for once....

http://cectic.com/182.html

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BBC rebuilds Civilisation in HD

Martin

Don't entirely agree...

I'd rather be patronised than treated as an idiot, which is what happens with most TV documentaries today.

I agree it focussed on the visual arts and on Western civilization almost exclusively. But I still found it thoroughly fascinating, and it'll be interesting to see it again.

But no arguments about The Ascent of Man - that was landmark TV.

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Tablets to eclipse e-book readers

Martin
FAIL

OK, so it's not exactly scientific....

...but I travel on the tube every day. On each journey, I see maybe two or three people using a kindle - to the extent that I hardly notice them now. I have seen - in total, since they came out - three iPads in use on the tube.

iPads may be outselling Kindles (though I doubt it), but it seems pretty clear that Kindles are actually being used more.

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Acer: tablets will replace netbooks

Martin
Thumb Down

Sigh....

Everyone seems to be saying that tablets are the way to go. But I don't see anyone actually using them.

I wonder if this is something where "the market" is actually being driven by the manufacturers and the critics, rather than the consumers? Clearly, there are fewer moving parts in a tablet, so they can be made cheaper, hence giving the manufacturers more profit. So if netbooks are replaced by tablets - ka-ching!

But damn - people aren't buying tablets - they are still buying netbooks. OK then - we'll stop making netbooks. That'll do it !

I know loads of people who have netbooks and use them frequently. I know only a few people who have iPads or similar, and they pretty well all reckon the novelty soon wears off.

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$1,000 reward offered for stolen cancer research laptop

Martin
WTF?

Just wondering....

...but SEVEN YEARS worth of data? Is this machine seven years old? If not, then presumably the data must have been copied from somewhere else - so does that somewhere else no longer exist?

And also - a 13in netbook - and it's someone's main machine?

I dunno - I suspect this isn't the full story here....

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CES wrap: let the battle of the tablets commence

Martin
Happy

An alternative....

"...but come march or april I suppose I'll have to fold and get an iPad 2, since I don't think anyone will have anything decent available ."

You could decide, like me and many other people, that an iPad is just a toy and you can manage without one - and spend five hundred notes or so on something useful?

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Ubuntu Wayland: Shuttleworth's post-Mac makeover

Martin
Linux

hear hear!

I played with Unity. Wanted to launch a terminal for a command line. Click the button - it worked. OK, great. Wanted a second one - often useful. Click the button - it brought the first one to the front.

In fifteen minutes of searching, I could not work out how to launch a second terminal.

Moreover, on a netbook you're short of screen space. So what sort of system is it that takes up about ten percent on a taskbar on the left-hand side - which you can't get rid of??

I've heard good things about Mint...

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Asus Eee PC 1015PEM

Martin
Thumb Up

Success!

It worked!

I'll be damned - never even thought to investigate.

Not quite as straightforward as you said - when I plugged in the phone, it just gave me a buttone to share my files. But then go to Settings/Network & Wireless, and there is an option called "Tethering". Click on that - and I'm typing this using my tethered phone on my old AA1 using Ubuntu. (Not NBR - I hate it - but that's a different story.)

Thanks a lot! I can get rid of my separate wireless dongle now.

And yes - anything over £250 is silly money for a so-called netbook.

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Martin
Linux

plug the phone into the netbook?

Tell me more, please....I've never managed to work out how to do that using Linux and an android phone.

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David Attenborough dino doc shows limits of 3D TV

Martin
WTF?

The future of 3D...

...is the same thing that made VHS and the internet take off - porn.

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Virgin unwraps three-tuner über set-top

Martin
Thumb Up

Speaking as someone who still has an old Thomson TIVO...

...this is brilliant news.

The TIVO software knocks spots off anything that either Sky+ or Virgin Media has done. The search facility is miles better, it automatically checkes for repeats of a program if you want to record something that clashes with a series you are recording, it records programs you might be interested in based on what you've previously recorded (and deletes them automatically to make space) - and you can tell it when it gets it wrong, too! - it can record programs based on the subject matter (record anything to do with chess, for example - you get some odd things turning up, but hey!)...

Can't wait.

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Gear4 UnityRemote

Martin
Go

the trick is...

..to ONLY use the Harmony remote. It remembers the state that everything is in. Put the old remote controls in a drawer or something.

I've got a 555 controlling six items and it almost always gets it right. And if it doesn't, press Help and it'll sort itself out.

Of course, the downside is when you lose the remote, you're completely screwed.

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iAds to flood UK iPhones, iPads

Martin
Jobs Horns

correction...

There are no iAds on the phone itself....yet.

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Linux servers for Windows folk: go on, give it a bash

Martin
Happy

But....But.....

That's how it worked in Jurassic Park....

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How I built a zero energy cost, zero carbon home server

Martin

I considered a Sheevaplug...

...but in the end, I went for a Dockstar. It's a Western Digital jobby and it cost me £35 new. It runs my Squeezebox server beautifully - cheaper than the old Dell that I used to use!

This is the guy who did the real work - I just followed his instructions.

http://squeezeplug.de

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Tory councillor arrested over 'stoning to death' tweet

Martin
Thumb Down

Seems unlikely....

...I don't think ANYTHING could make twitter more dull and pointless than it is.

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Old PCs: When it's time to die

Martin
Happy

Power?

One advantage of upgrading to a modern PC is power - or lack of it.

I'm in the middle of replacing all my five-year-old machines at home (already running Linux) with low-power jobbies and SANs - I'll get the capital cost back in less than three years in lower electricity costs. And they'll be faster and quieter than the ones I already have.

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Trucker jailed for deadly motorway gamble

Martin
FAIL

A title is required....

No amount of putting a JOKE ALERT icon makes that funny. It's also not true.

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iDapt i4 multi-purpose charger

Martin

"...and all for a reasonable charge."

Yes, very witty, well done.

Actually, it's pretty - but forty quid to charge your various gadgets seems a lot to me, given they all come with a charger in general.

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Men suffer most in recession

Martin
Unhappy

Sarah, I'd like to apologise for the majority of my sex....

Judging by most of the posts here, I'm embarrassed to be associated with them

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Martin
FAIL

Talk about a load of nonsensical generalizations.....

Look, just read "The Myth of Mars and Venus", by Deborah Cameron.

On second thoughts, don't bother. It was written by a woman, and I imagine you believe that all women have a political agenda to show that they are better than they really are.

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