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* Posts by Martin

736 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

Samsung Wallet slavishly copies inspired by Apple Passbook

Martin
Happy

Well, that'll be spent in six months, then....

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Martin
Unhappy

I agree...

I am hardly one of Apple's greatest fans, but it's difficult to defend Samsung when they do things like this....

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Google Chrome feature helps you silence noisy tabs

Martin
Happy

Re: There has been a work around for years

I use an even more old-fashioned method - the twiddly volume control to my speakers on my desk...

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Happy birthday, LP: Can you believe it's only 65?

Martin
Happy

Re: Woah, woah woah.

I had a cassette player in my car - it was nicked, but all the cassettes were left behind.

Then I replaced it with a minidisc player.

When that was nicked, I also lost all the discs.

Not sure what that indicates, really...

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Martin

And why were they called "Albums"?

Interestingly, it actually goes back to the 78 records. If you wanted to play a whole symphony on 78's, you needed several records. They were sold in boxes which were called albums.

So actually, albums pre-dated the 33 1/3 Long Playing Record Album.

If a piece of music was on 3 records, you would find that sides 1 and 6 were on one record, 2 and 5 on another and 3 and 4 on another. You piled them up on the autochanger, and played sides 1, 2 and 3, then turned the whole pile over and played 4, 5 and 6.

Actually, that was even the case with some double-LPs. "Tommy" had sides 1 and 4 on one LP, and 2 and 3 on the other - again, so that they could be played on an autochanger.

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Spotted: Android 4.2.2 update for Google Nexus devices

Martin
FAIL

For those who are interested...

I have now installed 4.2.2 on my Nexus 7. Today I switched on the tablet, and it was completely drained of batter for no good reason.

So no, they haven't fixed that one.

I wish I could find an easy way of undoing the 4.2 "upgrade"...

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Martin
Happy

Does that mean that my Nexus 7 will no longer randomly drain its battery for no apparent reason? This was an interesting new feature introduced at 4.2, at least on my machine, and I'll be delighted if it's been fixed.

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Kiwi cops to buy 6,500 iPhones, 3,900 iPads

Martin
Happy

Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

"Just use the maps ap...oh wait."

I don't know. Every time Apple are mentioned, someone has to make an unnecessary and gratuitous side-swipe at the maps fiasco.

I thoroughly approve. Have an upvote.

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Review: Seagate Wireless Plus Wi-Fi hard drive

Martin
Thumb Up

The old Satellite is also pretty good...

And I got mine from Amazon US a couple of months ago for US$99. Even after the shipping and VAT to the UK, it was still a bargain!

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Martin
Happy

Why not a Chromebook?

People here have suggested Chromebooks with Chrubuntu on it. But why even do that?

For what you're talking about, I can't see any reason why a Chromebook wouldn't do exactly what you want.

Battery life - check

Office apps - check

Internet and email - check

and around £200 in the UK - and even cheaper in the US.

Which is not to say I don't 100% agree that the demise of the netbook is something to mourn.

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YouTube's hilarious cat videos could soon cost you $5 a month

Martin
Happy

No, it won't...

...it'll just move to someone more accommodating (as in more likely to feed it).

Cats don't have owners - they just have free accommodation and food. If either becomes sub-standard, they just find someone else.

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Tablets aren't killing ereaders, it's clog-popping wrinklies - analyst

Martin

"Buying a single purpose device is such a waste..."

I dunno - a spork works, but I'd still rather have a separate knife, fork and spoon.

And as someone once pointed out - if you're reading on an ebook reader, you're not tempted to answer the email or twitter or facebook post that just came in...you stick to the book.

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Opportunity celebrates nine years on Mars

Martin
Happy

Re: The Little Rover that Could - happy version!

Who could be hard-hearted enough to downvote that particular xkcd ?

Perhaps you'll prefer this one.

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Student claims code flaw spotting got him expelled from college

Martin
Happy

Re: I would imagine...

I should have the right to scan any system that stores my info. In fact since running a scan is so common place, we should all have the right to scan any system we intend to do business with before we commit ourselves to a transaction and putting our financial well being and security are risk.

Hmmm.

By that analogy, I should try to steal something from a shop before I decide whether I should buy something from them. If I fail, or I'm caught, then fine - I should shop there in future. Presumably after I've served my sentence for theft.

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Tell Facebook who's the greatest: YOU are!

Martin
FAIL

@Obviously - I DID read before posting....

I admit you said "MOST MEN".

But you also said - and I quote:-

WOMEN, go shopping for the sake of so called "retail therapy", not MEN.

Which is, without doubt, a ridiculous generalization.

Oh - and by the way - if a man goes shopping with his wife/girlfriend, it doesn't mean that he's "under the thumb". You may not have noticed, but we're no longer living in the nineteen-fifties.

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Martin
Thumb Down

Men also make ridiculous generalizations.

I grant that more women shop for the sake of it. And I wouldn't personally dream of browsing round a clothes shop to see if something appeals to me. But plenty of men do.

And one thing I DO like doing, which my wife would never consider doing, is browsing round a techy-type shop (like Maplin or PC World), or a charity shop, or a bookshop, or - yes! - a CD/DVD shop, to see what might appeal to me. So yes, I also mourn the demise of HMV.

The shops have to become more tech-savvy, nonetheless. For example, if I go into Waterstones and see a book I like, I'd still prefer to read it on my e-reader - particularly a hardback. But if Waterstones were to include a voucher in the book which allowed me to download a copy of the e-book for free - or even for, say, 99p) - I might well buy the book in any case.

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Zuck on that! Instagram loses HALF its hipsters in a month

Martin
Unhappy

Re: Heartening

".....BritGov is lining up something even worse, and it would be a little difficult for millions of us to leave and go elsewhere...."

No - but we could remove them at the next election. If only there was a convincing alternative....

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Unbelievably vast quasar cluster forces universe-sized rethink

Martin
Headmaster

....I have always refused to accept the speed of light as the upper limit of speed.

I've recommended this here before, but Relativity and Common Sense (by Hermann Bondi) is a good introduction from first principles to the strange things that happen at high speeds. It makes no assumptions about your knowledge - you just need to know a bit of obvious classical mechanics and be able to follow some simple algebra and diagrams.

Excellent book. Convinced me when I was a 6th former and thought as you did. My Physics teacher recommended it to me.

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Review: Google Nexus 4

Martin
Happy

Re: Missed chance

"....suddenly the only real selling point of the Nexus is the cost."

But it's still a remarkably good cost. It's about the same spec as an iPhone 5 (with a bigger screen) and less than half the price.

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Ten stars of CES 2013: Who made the biggest splash?

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: That thin watch looks very very nice....

Totally agree. I see no reason why a watch should not be both functional AND look nice. I'm very pleased with the watch my wife bought me for my 40th birthday which I've now had for nearly twenty years. And it keeps excellent time. (Unlike my phone, which yesterday decided to magically decide I was in the Albania time zone...!)

And who wants to dig into their pocket to pull a phone out and switch it on to find out what time it is, when you can glance at your wrist?

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Martin
Thumb Down

That thin watch looks very very nice....

....until you realize that the time is sideways, compared to a normal watch.

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Razzies set to torpedo pop minx Rihanna's Battleship

Martin
Headmaster

The SCENE towards the end....

Sigh.

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Review: HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 handset

Martin
FAIL

Re: Meh

Because the Nexus 4 is still out of stock?

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Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

Martin
Happy

Re: Cooking with Google: one of the simplest appliances possible ...

Rip the top off the packet, two minutes in the microwave and pour onto the plate works for me....

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Microsoft burgled, only the APPLE iPADS stolen - cops confirm

Martin
Happy

Re: Stop being cruel to CEOs

"...they are the true wealth creators."

Absolutely true, particularly with regard to their own wealth.

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Martin
Happy

"Yes and this it hitting you..."

First law of corrections - when you smugly point out an error, you will make a mistake in your correction....

Yes, and this is it hitting you...

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Review: Dell XPS 12 Windows 8 tablet-cum-Ultrabook

Martin
Happy

The fantastic Windows 8 all the way....

fan·tas·tic

/fanˈtastik/ Adjective

1.Imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality.

2.Of extraordinary size or degree.

Synonyms

fantastical - fanciful - fancy - bizarre

Sounds about right to me....

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Minicam movie pirate gets record-breaking five years in prison

Martin
Thumb Up

I'm not exactly sympathetic to the perpetrators here.

It's not like it was a once-off offence, or committed in the heat of the moment.

This was a well-organized, professional scam, with a team of people involved. They had no dubious moral justification - this was a deliberate series of criminal acts, committed to make a profit.

If they had instead executed a well-organized insurance scam for several years, or set up an insider-trading ring which ran for several years, they'd probably get similar sentences. To my mind, this is in the same sort of league. Deliberate, dishonest, consistent criminal behaviour for the sake of profit, and with no moral qualms whatsoever.

Send 'em down.

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Victory on mobile belongs to Google in 2013

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: Indeed

Agreed.

Arsenal fans, like iPhone users, still believe that they have the slickest and most polished product available, despite the clear evidence to the contrary.

(And I'm an Arsenal fan. Sigh. Though I'm NOT an iPhone user.)

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Review: Lego Lord of the Rings game

Martin
Happy

re: Does Tom Bombadil finally show up?

I bloody hope not....

He's the Jar-Jar Binks of LOTR. I was delighted when they decided to drop him from the story.

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Satnav-murdering Google slips its Maps into car dashboards

Martin
Happy

Re: Not to mention snitching to the Stazi...

" if you exceed the speed limit by 1 mph..."

Don't be silly - you won't be able to - the car is driving, not you, remember?

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It's JUST possible, but Apple MIGHT not make an iWatch in 2013

Martin
FAIL

...how many people want to charge their watch every day or three?

There was a time, not all that long ago, when you had to wind your watch every day. It's basically the same thing.

(Kids these days, I dunno...)

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2012: The year that netbooks DIED

Martin
Unhappy

The problem was price.

When they first came out, they were about £200-£250.

Here we are, about four years later. And what is the price? About £200-£250 for machines with basically the same spec. Why would you pay £250 for a netbook when you can get a perfectly good basic laptop with DVD, 15.1" screen and change from £300?

If they were being sold for £100-£150, you'd still see them fly off the shelves.

But then Dixons wouldn't be able to persuade people that they need these just under £300 lappys to do their facebook and email.

I had an Acer Aspire One till it died, and a Packard Bell machine. Both ran Ubuntu (the Packard Bell runs 12.10 perfectly well) and I still use it most days.

RIP the netbook. I for one will miss it.

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Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?

Martin

Re: Thanks for reminding me that Toby Young is a twat.

Yep - what I got from that article is just more evidence that Twitter is all about self-aggrandisement..

Loads of people have donated money to charity. And most of them don't boast about doing so, or show off about how much they've donated.

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Little spider makes big-spider-puppet CLONE of itself out of dirt

Martin
Headmaster

...it is true NO matter who says it....

Sigh.

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Martin
FAIL

Re: Puppet or Muppet - you decide

I don't know which is more rib-tickling hilarious, the joke about the Clegg or the massively witty pun CamMoron.

Oh, actually, yes I do. Neither of them.

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Martin
Thumb Up

Re: So, presumably

I don't think it needs self-knowledge. Over the generations, it just creates random patterns, keeps the ones that work well and works from those - and unsurprisingly it happens that the one pattern that works well looks like a large spider. It's a nice example of evolution in the general sense.

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Micro-computer bakers open Raspberry Pi shop

Martin
Happy

Re: "The Pi Shop"

If we were buying hardware add-ons as well, it could be a Pi and Chips shop.

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Second Higgs possibility pops up in CERN data

Martin
Headmaster

Scientists spend next 30 years trying to LOSE the name.

Sigh.

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Hubble takes furthest peep back into universe's history

Martin
Happy

Re: Something not quite right here...

Imagine a balloon, with lots of dots drawn on it. Imagine the balloon is inflated. The dots move apart from each other - it's not that one moves away from another.

The galaxy is a bit like this.

But don't take the analogy too far - putting a pin into the balloon causes a big bang, but that's not the same at all.

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Martin
Headmaster

Re: The best science is the best guess.

It's not a matter of "Who signed off on the Big Bang Theory". It's a matter of evidence.

As I understand it (IANAA) there were basically two major theories - Big Bang and Steady State (ie - it's always been there). But the more evidence we get from what happened billions of years ago (which is basically what we're looking at when we look billions of light-years away), the more we realize that the Big Bang is vastly more likely.

Compare the tectonic plates theory - it wasn't signed off when it was first suggested - it was actually pretty universally scoffed at. So people tried to prove it was nonsense - and to their astonishment, discovered that in fact, it wasn't nonsense. Now the evidence is overwheming - the continents do move and are moving.

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The best smartphones for Christmas

Martin
Happy

No need for Stickmount...

...you can use the Nexus Media Importer. It just works beautifully, without having to root the phone.

Disclaimer 1 - I haven't tested it with the phone, because mine hasn't arrived yet. But it works with the Nexus 7.

Disclaimer 2 - I'm just a happy customer of Nexus Media Importer - I have no other connection with them.

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Martin
Unhappy

Re: poor iPhone 5 = 90%?

Indeed. Which is why the Nexus 4 hasn't got a score - it's not been formally reviewed yet by El Reg.

Presumably they are still waiting for delivery, like the rest of us. (1-2 weeks, I was promised - it'll be two weeks on Tuesday, and I've seen nothing...)

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Apple's iOS 6 maps STILL muddle Mildura

Martin
Happy

Re: Two problems...

Fortran?! Blimey....

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The Sons of Kahn and the assembly language of the internet

Martin
Coffee/keyboard

"Restrain thou thy equine quadrupeds."

Love it.

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New York invites designers to invent Future of Phone Booths

Martin
Happy

Re: Last time I tried to use a pay phone...

10p?

The "Button A/Button B" phones were four old pence. You put the 4d in, and dailed your call. If they answered, you'd press button A to be connected. If they didn't, you pressed button B and got your money back.

Decimalization and new phones came in together, with coin boxes which took 2p and 10p coins. You'd make the call, the other side would answer and you'd nearly break your thumb trying to shove the coin into the box before the "bip-bip-bip-bip-bip" stopped...

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Australian Police say don't use Apple's iOS 6 Maps

Martin

Re: Could be interesting

I wouldn't consider navigating Australia's outback - especially just using a satnav.

But if I were the sort of person who wanted to do that, I wouldn't just go out with a map and hope I'd be all right. I'd make damn sure that (a) I was prepared for the journey and (b) the map was a trusted map and (c) my satnav was working and (d) that the satnav maps cross-checked with my real map and...

You get the drift. It's easier to die in the outback, so you make damn sure you're prepared in ALL POSSIBLE WAYS. And one way to be prepared is not to just trust a satnav.

I still maintain that a map with an error is not enough to actually kill someone. You also have to do something stupid. In the case of the Australian Outback, the stupid thing is making the assumption that the map is accurate without doing any cross-checking.

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Martin

Re: Could be interesting

I'm trying to imagine what sort of error on a paper map could actually lead to someone's death, without significant help from a stupid map reader.

I've seen maps with footpaths marked which lead straight over sheer drops. But people walking along them generally stop when they see the sheer drop in front of them. And anyone who was injured walking over the cliff and tried to sue the map-maker would be laughed out of court.

There is no such thing as a map (or satnav system) which is "dangerously incorrect". There are just stupid people who trust maps and satnav, rather than the evidence in front of their own eyes.

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This is out of hand now: Apple attempts to trademark the LEAF

Martin
Happy

...and if they did....

...Stephen Fry and his minions would all rush out and buy it, saying how wonderful and innovative it was, and how it changed their lives.

And they'd probably make a profit on it.

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