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* Posts by Martin

719 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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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The best tablets for Christmas

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: Well...

And it's pretty cheap - and even more so at the moment with the £50 cashback.

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Martin
Headmaster

...YOU'RE brave and very patient.

Sigh.

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England and Germany square off for FIFA goal line tech prize

Martin
Facepalm

At the risk of sounding simple-minded...

...why can't football take a lesson from tennis?

All it needs is two officials (let's call them line-judges), stationed permanently at the corners, whose ONLY job is to wave a flag when the ball crosses the line. Perhaps four - one at each corner.

Be a sight more useful than those two "fifth officials" which UEFA have imposed upon us for European matches, who, as far as I can see, seem to have NO influence or effect on the game at all.

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The best e-readers for Christmas

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: any recommendations for a 70 year old with parkinsons?

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 - 10.1" screen for £258 (and a fifty quid cashback, so only £208 eventually).

(Used to be £238 when I bought it two weeks ago from John Lewis.)

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Martin
Happy

Re: Thumbs up for Nexus 7

Don't entirely agree with you.

My Kobo lives in my inside coat pocket, which means I always have it with me. (The Kindle 4 is exactly the same size, so works as well).

The Nexus 7 is too heavy to carry in a coat pocket, and imho still a bit too heavy to use regularly as an e-reader.

With the Kobo/Kindle, I only have to charge it twice a MONTH. Rather better than every other day.

But as mentioned in the article - they are now cheap enough to have BOTH, and make your own mind up.

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Google puts Nexus 4 back on sale, sells out pronto

Martin
Unhappy

Anyone got a "despatched" note for a 16G yet?

Just wondering...

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Martin
Happy

Just in case anyone is doing some sort of survey...

...my confirmation email (at 17:11) said 1-2 weeks. (16G).

So, given luck and a following wind, I should have it by Christmas.

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Sex offender wins case against Facebook vigilantism

Martin
WTF?

Re: From my own experience...

"I have, many times, been approached by 11 to 14 yo girls wanting to have sex with me..."

I have never, not once in my life, been approached by any 11 to 14 yo girls wanting to have sex with me. I cannot think of anywhere I would visit where I would be likely to be approached by 11 to 14 yo girls wanting to have sex with me.

Where the hell do you go to get these approaches?

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A tweet too far: UK contempt law reform push begins

Martin
FAIL

Re: One of the reasons I would probably deny any jury duty

As has been pointed out, you can't "deny" jury duty.

But why would you want to? It's an important role, which should be taken very seriously.

And you should NOT "feel obliged" to seek more information. That would not be your job,

It's the job of the prosecution to find sufficient evidence to prove the case. It is the job of the defence to try to convince you, the jury, that the case is not proven. It is your job, based on the evidence provided, and NOTHING ELSE, to decide whether the case has been proven or not,.

It astounds me that people think that they'll find out something important about the case by doing a quick surf on the internet. If it is important, you may be sure that the prosecution or defence will have already picked it over. You are much more likely to find out something which has been deemed prejudicial to a fair trial - and the most likely scenario if you find this information is a mistrial and a massive waste of public money.

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One in 10 Brit smartphone owners 'can't afford' to pay for apps

Martin
Headmaster

Could HAVE just enabled the premium content....

Sigh.

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Man strives to shatter Call of Duty world record

Martin
Coat

I found a 12" disc made of black vinyl with a hole in the middle. Is this a record?

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Pirate cops bust LITTLE GIRL, take her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop

Martin
WTF?

I don't know what else is wrong with this??

1) She was nine years old. She probably just googled the song, saw a link and tried to download it. She may not even have realized it was wrong.

2) It was ONE FUCKING TRACK. Which she didn't even succeed in downloading.

3) The original amount asked for was ridiculously excessive. The father probably didn't take it seriously.

3) So, as a result, the police arrive in force, armed with and confiscate a nine-year-old girl's laptop.

And you don't see anything wrong with that??

This is on a par with a nine-year-old kid being arrested for stealing a few sweets from the Pic-and-Mix at Wilkinsons.

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Samsung Google Nexus 10 tablet review

Martin
Unhappy

Re: No SD slot . .

"...you don't need additional software or root as long as the device supports USB host."

Unfortunately, the Nexus 7 (and almost certainly the Nexus 10) do NOT support it. Hence the need for Nexus Media Importer or StickMount (if you're happy to root your machine).

(What did I do to get the downvotes above?)

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Martin
Happy

Re: No SD slot . .

Why do you need an SD slot?

If it's just to hold movies and photos, then let me introduce you to Nexus Media Importer.

Disclaimer - I have no connection - I am merely a happy user of this excellent app.

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Super-thin iMacs WILL be here for Xmas, cram warehouses even NOW

Martin
Thumb Down

"You buy your ugly car, live in an ugly house with your - well you know the rest...."

Whereas you have your beautiful house, beautiful car and lovely spouse. The fact that the house costs a fortune to heat, the car costs a fortune to run and the lovely spouse has the brains of a peanut (and costs a fortune to run) doesn't matter - so long as everything looks good.

God help us when that becomes the world that most people aspire to.

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How spreadsheets (nearly) conquered and killed the financial industry

Martin
Happy

Someone once said...

...that building a mission-critical app in Excel and VB is like building the Forth Bridge in Lego.

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Acer CloudMobile S500 Android phone review

Martin
IT Angle

Can this "acercloud" stuff be got rid of, or is it there whether or not you like it?

As I don't like it....

IT? as it's the nearest we have to a questionmark...

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