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* Posts by Martin

743 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

Hubble takes furthest peep back into universe's history

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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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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Brit retailers tell Amazon and Google to pay their taxes

Martin
WTF?

Re: Morally?

In which universe do Trade Unions get supported by tax?

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Thought you'd escaped Twitter? Think again as Twits get email button

Martin
Thumb Down

Twitter...

...just don't get it.

As far as I can see, it seems to be used mainly so that when someone dies, a celebrity can say "OMG so sad xxxxx has died loved her stuff RIP", and the news media can fill space with this drivel.

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Ubuntu gaining ground in website deployments

Martin
Headmaster

It's a moot point, not a mute point.

Apologies, but it's one of my pet peeves....

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/moot

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Reader input required: review our reviews

Martin

Another one here who likes the 10 .... type reviews. I've bought a b&w laser printer and a pair of headphones based on recommendations here from those, and been delighted with both.

Please - try to avoid too much waffle in reviews. The recent review of the iPad 4 was three pages - the first page and a bit was actually about how the reviewer did not get the point of tablets when they first came out, but now is an avid enthusiast. Nothing about the new iPad was mentioned until mid-way down the second page. Not really what we need.

And yes - I'm with the people who really think that the review of the iPhone 5 was so astonishingly sycophantic, I had to check whether I was reading the Guardian technology pages.

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Google stealthily coalesces UK music cloud into being

Martin
WTF?

Re: It wont lure me away...

Well, no - it hasn't lured me away from using my own storage - nor will it ever do so.

I keep my music on my local server, and it's backed up on another local machine - it's now up in the cloud as well for free.

No-one in their right mind expects the cloud to "look after" anything. But it's a reasonable backup facility, and an excellent and easy to use off-site backup.

(Still use Dropbox for everything else, though.)

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Martin
Thumb Up

Re: Sharing music

Either of those would work. But I take your point - it would be nice to be able to share just the music part of your Google account on a permanent basis with, say, up to three other people.

(I think the neatest solution is to have a single account which you share used only for music.)

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Martin
Happy

Works beautifully for me...

It's got a linux upload client, which is something neither Amazon nor iTunes can supply.

It uploaded about 15,000 tracks in a day or so. It converted all my .flacs to 320K mp3 (bar four, for some reason). I have a few albums which are a single .flac + a cue list - that just appeared as a single track. Would like to see that work better.

It skipped over all the .wma (but I only have a few of those).

It found a few tagging errors which caused tracks in a single album to appear split across two identically named albums - but you can fix those easily.

And I can now stream ALL my music to my phone wherever I am - and it's now backed up on the cloud.

I'm happy.

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HP PC chief: Microsoft's Surface is 'KLUDGEY'. There, I said it

Martin
WTF?

Can't believe that no-one has commented on the irony here...

...of an HP person accusing someone else's software of being kludgy.

HP printers are excellent, but the Windows drivers are 90% bloatware, which take ages to install and complain loudly and bitterly about the slightest problem.

(To be fair, though, the Linux drivers just work beautifully...)

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Subjects bestow Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 on Queen

Martin
Headmaster

Perhaps a different brand of tablet would HAVE been better?

Sigh.

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Sorority girls gone WILD: '1 to 3' casual sex 'hookups' every MONTH

Martin
FAIL

Re: Well used women are not often well married

What sanctimonious garbage from both of you.

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Martin
Happy

Re: Maths

Men exaggerate - women understate.

'Twas ever thus.

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SUN to GO OUT COMPLETELY: Here's how to watch online

Martin
Happy

Re: Pay

The Cornwall one (or in my case, Devon) was OK, but the sun was covered by cloud.

The Turkey one in 2006 was much more impressive - watching from the harbour of Antalya, with a beer in my hand....

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Martin
Happy

Re: So...

The one thing you didn't answer directly is if it's a better dedicated e-reader than the competitors.

Well, to be fair, he did actually say the Kobo Glo has a better on-off switch and is also slightly smaller (though the screen is the same size). Given that the Kobo Glo also supports ePub and and costs a tenner less.....

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Martin

Re: Shameless Amazon advert?

You're not paying £50 a year to borrow books. You're paying £50 a year for Amazon Prime, which gives you free shipping on all Amazon shopping, and - as a bonus - allows you to borrow books.

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Martin
WTF?

As before, you can set the page refresh – that horribly intrusive white-to-black-to-white flash – to happen every page or every six pages. If you do it every sixth page there are some artefacts that build between flashes but it’s so much easier on the eyes that it’s definitely the way to go.

Or, like me, you might decide that artefacts building up on the page and a flash every six pages is more distracting that a flash every page which, frankly, you forget about. I always switch the setting to redraw the whole page every time. That's definitely the way to go.

I've been reading on e-readers for three or four years now - I don't even notice the flash on a page turn now.

But yes - I'd still like to have hard page-turn buttons.

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Asus offers compensation to pre-price drop Nexus 7 buyers

Martin
Thumb Down

Re: WOW, this place really is full of idiots.

So, if I read a serial number from my Nexus 7 (not the box, the actual item) which states clearly that it is a SERIAL NUMBER - and it also clearly states on the web site that this is the number I need - but it doesn't work, I'm an idiot.

Whereas you guessed that the box number SSN, rather than the CSSN, is the right one - even thought it is NOT what is stated on the web site - and you're not an idiot.

The only difference between me and you is that you were lucky enough to ignore the instructions, picked a random choice of two - and it happened to work. I read the instructions and the instructions were wrong.

Please don't be so quick to throw around insults, just because you had a bit of luck going your way.

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Martin

Re: Didn't work for me - it's complaining that the serial number is wrong.

Success at the third attempt - it was the SSN - it started C6O - but that's an OH, not a ZERO...Ah well.

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Martin
Thumb Up

Re: Didn't work for me - it's complaining that the serial number is wrong.

I tried that - no good either. But the suggestion is appreciated!

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Martin

Didn't work for me - it's complaining that the serial number is wrong.

So I've fired them off an email - see what happens.

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Volkswagen Beetle car review

Martin
FAIL

And next week on Top Gear...

Jeremy Clarkson reviews the iPad 4.

Come on Reg. Car reviews? Yes, OK, review electric cars and hybrids - they are interesting and possibly future technology. But ordinary, normal, nothing-all-that-exciting-about-them cars?

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Virgin launches TV Anywhere streaming

Martin
Happy

You're all missing the real reason why iOS was done first...

...it's because the senior management of Virgin Media have all got iPads and iPhones.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Android tablet review

Martin
Thumb Up

Another typical use-case for one-handed operation...

...is standing on the tube. You need one hand to hold on, and the other hand to read your book. That's why I positively PREFER e-readers on the tube - turning a real book page one-handed (especially on a hardback) is not a simple operation.

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Apple iPad 4 Wi-Fi only tablet review

Martin
Thumb Up

+1 to the above...

...to counter the downvote that it's been given. The statement is entirely true, and I don't actually understand the mentality of anyone who would downvote it.

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Martin
FAIL

I expected to read a review....

...not a three page justification of why the "reviewer" likes iPads.

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Apple iPad Mini 8in tablet review

Martin
Happy

Re: Price

That pretty well defines all Apple kit, doesn't it?

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Naughty-step Apple buries court-ordered apology with JavaScript

Martin
Happy

Re: Talk about not getting things right...

Just looking ahead. The judge will sure as hell be demanding that Apple apologise soon.

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