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* Posts by Gary F

382 posts • joined 10 Mar 2008

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Sony delays 3D PlayStation telly in Europe

Gary F
Headmaster

£410 is a good price if you intend to stick with a 24" TV for the next 5 years. Maybe it has an HDMI output that can connect up to a bigger TV to increase its longevity?

I suppose it's ideal for a teenager's bedroom where you'd hope they wouldn't ever have a family size TV in there. Very unsociable - they should gather in the lounge with the rest of the family to watch a big TV where they can talk and have something called a "conversation" which doesn't involve pushing buttons. Crikey, I sound like someone's grandfather!

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Climategate 2.0: Fresh trove of embarrassing emails

Gary F

No surprise really

Just as I thought. Dishonesty and manipulation. I hope those scientists concerned lose all credibility and no one will trust them on any research project in the future.

Climate change is perhaps the biggest scam of the last decade. I hope it stops as it's becoming even less believable as each month passes and the public are wising up to this.

People should just be conscious of pollution, try to minimise it at every opportunity, minimise travel, recycle, etc, etc, but not be bullied or taxed based on a load of B.S. What we do know is pollution can have immediate and obvious effects on the environment (e.g. river pollution, smog, breathing issues) and there are also long term effects which we need to avoid but those shouldn't include climate change based on discredited and weak "evidience".

I have for many years subscribed to the growing belief that the minor change in temperature in the last 100 years is nothing more than a fluctuation which is not out of kilter when looking back at far more significant changes through the last 500 years and further back.

The idea that the Earth's temperature should remain constant is ridiculous. +/- 1 to 2 degrees in 100 years is nothing, it's perfectly natural and has happened many times before the industrial revolution.

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McKinnon's mum wins human rights gong

Gary F

Well deserved

Funny how a human rights award has been given to someone fighting for human rights in Britain. Perhaps our Govt should think more carefully before giving advice on such rights to other countries. We should get our own house in order first. This case has been dragging on for so long, furthering the pain of the McKinnon family.

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Groupon offer burns cupcake baker’s profits

Gary F

Sorry, but the baker needs maths lessons

A £26 product being sold for £6 means she is making £20 less per sale (gasp!) which is a 77% discount. She should have worked out if she can make the cakes for £6 and pay for the labour without making a loss. If she intended to make a loss because she sees it as a marketing campaign to obtain publicity and reputation then she should have worked out how much she would lose per sale and how many sales it would take to reach her budget (how much she's prepared to lose) and to project a best and worst case outcome.

One problem with e-coupons is there is no control over the number that can be printed.

I do admire her commitment to honouring the offer and not dropping her high standards despite the financial loss.

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Boffins one step closer to Terminator vision

Gary F
Thumb Up

Bunny Terminator

The test subject is a rabbit? And how does the rabbit provide feedback on what he sees? Does he talk or jot down his observations in short hand?

<Use posh classical voice>

"My lunchtime carrot appeared slightly burred due to this large pixel that was obstructing my vision. However, using morse code the pixel reliably informed me that my carrot is 5.6cm long and weighs 104g. It then commanded me to terminate the carrot which I did using my trademark Leporidae incisors. Very tasty. Do you mind if I have another? Then perhaps you could provide another pixel so I can play Pong?"

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Not so fast: Italian boffins say neutrinos not faster than light

Gary F

I didn't quite understand all of that, therefore you must be correct if your level of understanding is beyond mine. :-) Good theory though.

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NASA: 2012 solar flares could DEVASTATE CITIES!

Gary F

Headline: NASA says something shocking to keep funding

If the polititians are told that the world (read USA) is at risk and it's important to monitor the sun's spots/output then that's what NASA wants to ensure their funding isn't slashed further and more egg-heads and pen pushers are lost post Shuttle era.

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Go back to the future with Red Dwarf

Gary F

How can 6 episodes be considered a series?

In the US a series is at least 12 episodes, or well over 20 in many cases. Why did the BBC only commission 6 in the new series? Quite a cop out. Considering the effort and expense in building the sets again and putting the production together they might as well go for 12 episodes, they know fans and a new younger audience will be watching it and buying the DVD/Blu-Ray, so why not?

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World's first biz computer was British – and sold teacakes

Gary F
Thumb Up

My grandfather used this!

I remember my grandfather telling me he used computers when he worked for Lyons. I couldn't believe they had computers back in those days. He told me about how Lyons (the tea shop people!) were leading the way in computers. I think he referred to it as a Hollerith, so that might have been a generic name for computers or calculating machines back then. (Maybe like we use "Hoover" to refer to any cleaning device that sucks.)

At the time he told me this I was using a ZX Spectrum but Mr Sinclair's work was all gobbledygook to him. Maybe because my Spectrum had a keyboard and a TV screen rather than a punch card reader and oscilloscope! I was really proud of him for using such amazing, early computers.

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NASA tells Voyager 2 to save its strength

Gary F
Thumb Up

Damn, it's 34 years old and still going!

NASA should be making cars, computers and toasters. If only those worked flawlessly for 10 years, nevermind 34 years!

By my calculation a command takes 13 hours to travel from Earth to Voyager's current location. So NASA have to wait at least 26 hours after transmission to see if Voyager received it!

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Yahoo! apps! showcase! makes! social! media! moves!

Gary F

Exclamation! Joke! For! Yahoo! Stories! Wearing! Thin!

As the title above says.

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Google dumps + from Boolean search tool

Gary F
Thumb Down

Well that was dumb

After 15 years of implimenting + instead of quotes they now change their mind. The logic was that - (minus) means don't include this and + means definately do include this. To get rid of + is like ying losing its yang!

I think it was done to reserve the + symbol for returning results related to Google+ or to just avoid confusion which, I'm sure, has actually added confusion.

Booo!

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Google Analytics goes with the flow

Gary F

@Sporkinum - I'm afraid you are part of an small minority who make virtually no difference to visitor analyses. I would guess less than 1% of visitors block scripts and cookies. That is still an excellent margin of error for any analyst to embrace. :-)

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HP pushes out OS update for 'defunct' tablet

Gary F

A good thing should never be left to die

It's also a good thing that CEO's don't read blogs which allows the dedicated techies to carry on putting TLC into their creations. I've been there before, it hurts when the boss kills off something that people genuinely like that shows innovation and it's difficult to let it go. Something you think by carrying on making it even better the boss will change their mind.

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Sixth of Britain's cellphones have traces of poo on them

Gary F
Unhappy

I've witnessed this cr*p

I've seen/heard too many men in toilets in offices run their hands under water for as little as 1 second. How is that supposed to wash them?

Soap AND warm water is needed for at least 10 seconds of vigourous rubbing after doing a wee or at least 15 secs after doing a poo. If someone has experience toilet paper malfunction they should wash their hands twice paying attention to rubbing finger tips too.

How many people leave a public toilet by pulling open a door by a handle or pushing using the palm of their hand? Congratulations, you've scooped up other people's poo germs. How many cleaners bother to clean door handles regularly? Hardly any.

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Apple stuffs Intel desktop CPU into iPhone 4S ad

Gary F

Battery life?

An hour if you're lucky. But it will keep your nads very warm as the cold nights draw in.

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Lady Gaga loses squatting complaint

Gary F

Common sense wins

A fan's site does Gaga more good than repointing the domain to her official website. Mind you, I'd be surprised if the fan is still a fan after Gaga's stinking attitude.

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Blighty's Android fans get British English voice control

Gary F

It's not on the Market - a bit premature

As of 16:04 the market says: "Voice Actions is only available in US English for now." The current release is dated June. Nothing new so far. :-(

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Now Windows 8 goes into the ring to face Apple's iOS

Gary F

Sorry MS, I really don't like it

I think Win8 is going to be another Vista - technically more advanced by a complete cock up on the UI front. No wonder they're advising server owners not to install the UI on the server edition.

I hope that awful start page can be completely disabled. I like the new Task Manager but why does it have to start in moron-mode? Why are these apps running in full screen without any buttons to minimise or quit? HTF am I meant to quit an app? The fact that I'm having to ask must mean it's been poorly thought out using MS illogic.

I installed Win8 on VMware Workstation 8. Works a treat if you don't use vmware's easy-install option. Hopefully MS will make some improvements to Win8 based on mass opinion now.

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iRobot Roomba 780 automated vacuum cleaner

Gary F

Dyson's are great!

You get a 5 year warranty with every Dyson and they've never quibbled about sending an engineer round or posting a new part for free. We have 2 hairy dogs and 2 kids and about once a year something fails on our Dysons but they simply post out a new part if we can fix it ourselves, it's almost like lego it's that easy.

As a tech freak I'd love a robot vacuum cleaner but in our house it would need to be emptied once in every room as it just doesn't have the capacity and I'd be totally surprised if it had the suction power to come close to a Henry, never mind a Dyson.

Doing it manually is very good exercise. :-) So the wife tells me.

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Seagate adding flash embulgement to Thins

Gary F

Known problems with Momentus XT

Despite the hype some people have serious problems with these drives, just check out the Seagate forum where they've started a Google spreadsheet for customers to record their problems. e.g. loud noises and system freezing. My Windows 7 desktop locks up randomly because the drive is choking for some reason. I bought 4 of the damn drives 3 months ago thinking I was making a money saving trade-off to get extra capacity than a real SSD but is still faster than a normal mechanical drive (for booting or loading favourite apps).

I've now bought a 120GB SSD to replace the Momentus boot drive and my desktop is working properly now - and soooooo much faster. I was not at all impressed with the performance of the Momentus. In my personal experience the real world performance of this hyprid is hype. I realise a lot of people are very happy with theirs but the firmware is still buggy for those who get unlucky.

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Google brings out new programming language

Gary F

Please no

Not another language. Leave me alone, I'm quite happy with the several other languages I already know. Google, sometimes you have to know when to stop.

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Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

Gary F
Unhappy

Another broken promise

Like so much of what the government had promised, yet another commitment is broken. Cameron committed himself to a lot of things, but not much at all has been done and the rot and injustice has continued. Many promises have been shelved. I don't know if it's because of internal differences within the coalition or if he's simply all talk and no action. :-(

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Sun rises over .xxx smut domain

Gary F

Good idea, Trev.

The new xxx TLD is more or less blackmailing businesses who don't want to have their brand associated with porn. This is a really bad move. Why are they automatically protecting the rich and famous from others buying a xxx domain with their name in it? Surely these people can afford the $200 themselves to block it. I won't be buying a xxx domain to protect my brand as a matter of principle, but I hope whoever buys the equivilient doesn't have too sick a website!

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Samsung 'mulls bid for' HP's orphaned webOS

Gary F

Samsung are better off with Android

Samsung have done a great job marrying up their superb hardware to Android, and Android runs beautifully on it. I think they should carry on as they are. Let someone else pick up WebOS. Any split between 2 OSes would dilute what they're doing with Android.

Saying that, I wish Samsung didn't waste their time on their own version of an apps market. It's a load of rubbish. They only piece of software on my phone from Samsung that I like is Kies. A very competent synching and backup tool.

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Samsung says Apple lifted iPad from Kubrick's 2001

Gary F

Lt Cmd Data is a typical ipad user

Short clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n7ZyS_g0DQ

Yes, exactly, a completely illogical decision and explanation, but oh so typical! ;-)

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Sony: PlayStation Vita will win gamers back from tablets, phones

Gary F

Love my Android games

I'm amazed at how good the graphics are of Android games and the addictiveness of some of them are. Who would want to shell out again for a handeld device that can only play games - and expensive ones at that. It's hard to imagine the graphics being substantially better to warrant a second device.

I agree that controls on some touch screen games (3D shooters for example) are a let down due to the lack of a joypad or even a mouse. Some games are best reserved for a joypad/kb and large TV/monitor while the others run beatufully on a £99 or free Andoid phone.

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Scientists devise 260GB CD-size glass disc storage tech

Gary F

Shatter proof?

So long as you don't drop it. Can they use bullet proof glass for us clumsy people?

If I were to throw it into the artic waste would it instantly grow into an ice fortress? I bet it won't. There goes the double whammy of storage for all your photos and a house all in one.

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Google Chrome beta turns on native code machine

Gary F
Facepalm

Not turned on by this

As a web developer I'm not turned on by this. Why are they doing this, and what is the appeal to developers? And anyone who spends time developing C++ Pepper stuff has a limited audience of Chrome users, right? What's the point?

Google have employed too many developers who are struggling to find useful things to do.

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IBM PC daddy: 'The PC era is over'

Gary F
FAIL

With due respect, he's a corporate idiot

I'm glad the author mentioned that the company line was being towed.

How the heck do I design websites and code applications for my clients on an ipad? How do I write very long project briefs on an ipad? WTF would I want a 10" screen instead of my dual 24" one and a propper keyboard and the precision of a mouse?

If he represents IBM then they've finally lost the plot.

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London rioters should 'loose all benefits'

Gary F
FAIL

Petition website FAIL

I can't submit my name to the petition because the server fails to respond. Been trying for 15 mins repeatedly. Why can't the Government put together a website that can support heavy usage?

A site like that should be able to sustain 100,000 signatures an hour, nevermind per day.

Government can't do IT.

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DIY aerial drone monitors Wi-Fi, GSM networks

Gary F
Mushroom

A couple of things...

“In the wrong hands, it could do a metric shit ton of evil.”

I'm sure Einstein said something to that effect after working on the first nuclear bomb. Luckily the ton of evil bit hasn't happened yet.

Surely WASP should be a helicopter, not a plane. Having to pilot it round and round in circles when it's found a target or an interesting wifi signal is a bit silly.

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Google points finger at human after robo car accident

Gary F
Terminator

GoogleNet, no I mean Skynet says...

And humans still don't know why they need to be destroyed. Honestly, my cyborgs wouldn't have left a scratch on the other vehicle - because they would have rammed it off the road and blown it into pieces! Ha-ha-ha! What do you mean I sound like Metal Mickey when I laugh?

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Murdoch muscles BBC out of Formula One driving seat

Gary F

Human Right not to have to pay to watch F1

This is against my human rights! Taking F1 away from the BBC will impact on my right to a family life!

Maybe Murdoch is punishing the BBC for negative news coverage over the phone hacking scandal. ITV is next. What will Murdoch steal away from them? 60 Minute Makeover? Yeah go on then.

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Apple ups Mac Mini spec, lowers price

Gary F
Thumb Up

Still lots of profit for Apple

They look good, have great specs, but are still a lot more expensive than a PC with the same specs. But I suppose if people want to buy a Mac the price has never stopped them in the past. So well done to Apple for producing an expensive brand that sells well and generates high profits. I wish I could have done the same! ;-)

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Atlantis crew pay awkward tribute to 'iconic' shuttle

Gary F

Goodbye Space Shuttles - time to reflect on how slow progress has become

It's old technology but the reliability of the Shuttle's computers is amazing. Check out the NASA article linked near the end of this article. Normal laptops in space crash 5 times a day because of radiation, but the Shuttle's computers (GPCs) almost never crash.

From NASA: "The GPCs don't crash for radiation concerns because the GPC hardware includes a memory scrubber that prevents the system from reading radiation-changed memory."

I don't think we'll see anything like this or even the moon landings again for another 15+ years. Very sad.

In fact we haven't really progressed at all in manned space flight since the first Shuttle launched 30 years ago. Same vehicles, same 220 mile distance. We haven't travelled as far as we used to in 40 years (the last moon mission).

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HP TouchSmart 610 touchscreen all-in-one PC

Gary F

Seriously, HP?

Looks ugly, border around the monitor is rather thick, and isn't that an old gen i5 CPU? The price is shocking. Who does HP think will buy this?

I'd rather but a separate 23" touch screen for £240 and a slim PC with a 2nd gen i5 for £600 and save £360.

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LightSquared admits it will knock out 200,000 sat-navs

Gary F

Nevermind, there's always Galileo

Americans are welcome to use Europe's more accurate Galileo GPS system when it's in operation. It's only fair since we've been using theirs for a long time.

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Apollo 14 'naut attempts to flog Moon camera for $80k

Gary F
Unhappy

Hard to prove

NASA management probably did give him the camera. 40 years ago things were done on trust, not everything was written down. These days you'd have to sign a release form and probably get the company lawyer involved to hand items over to staff. Unless someone from NASA who was in the room at the time heard a manager say "You can keep the camera" then Edgar will have trouble proving his claim. I guess a lot of people who might have been around at the time have popped their clogs over the last 40 years.

I'm surprised that Uncle Sam would want to proceed with something that could dirty the name of one of their national heroes. It's not in their interest to do so, unless they want to muddy his name for another reason. Something to do with those alleged alien visits maybe.

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Brainscan breakthrough: Working robot limbs come closer

Gary F
Thumb Up

Portability may be a problem

Being wheeled around strapped to a very heavy MRI scanner all day just so you can have control of a prosthetic arm may be a little inconvenient for some people. Maybe one day they'll be an app for this so your mobile can do the scanning! :-)

I had no idea my Android mobile already has a metal detector built into it. What crazy purpose does that serve? Apart from holding it over someones fork or watch at the dinner table and proclaiming my phone has detected their fork/watch, it's unfortunately not powerful enough to hold over a friend's head to predict when they're about to move their arm. ;-)

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Tablets for work: time for a clean slate?

Gary F

Laptops have 9h batteries and are cheaper

Clearly those business people are using the wrong laptops! The HP 210 Mini, for example, has a 8-9 hour battery life, can run a corporate Windows installation, has a proper keyboard and a slate size 10" screen. Best of all it costs just £200 (with Windows 7 and a Linix quickboot with web/email) and is far less cumbersome than a normal size laptop. No need to recharge at all during the day and I bet I can take notes or write emails a lot quicker during meetings than the ipad users.

Convertibles are good too such as the Acer 11" laptop that converts into a tablet with a twist and fold of the screen. The battery lasts for 8 hours, is more powerful than the HP 210 and ipad and costs about the same as an ipad.

Some of the Windows tablets (or slates) coming out now are no bigger than the Android ones. It's good to see Windows 7 running on such slim devices.

Of course a Windows device will run Flash which is important for some corporates who use Flash/Flex apps for business purposes, plus other proprietary software that corporates usually have on their desktops.

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Future of the cloud is hybrid

Gary F

@Trevor

I was using gopher before the web (or should I say HTTP) was invented so I'm aware of the many protocols carried over the Internet. I appreciate that a cloud has been used for as long as I can remember to represent networks in topology diagrams. But the public network between our computers and this website is called the Internet with a capital "I". It's had this name for decades and doesn't need to be renamed "The Cloud" because marketing people think it makes their Internet based services sound more cutting edge. It's a recent trend and hopefully like some other fashions will be short lived. (But I'm not holding my breath on this one!)

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Gary F

I hear what you're saying

But it's still the Internet. When people first upgraded from a 56K modem to 1Mb broadband and found they could share documents in seconds and audio/video in minutes rather than hours it was still called the Internet. When people first started buying stuff online it was still called the Internet. No need for a name change there. When new companies were launched and lived purely online providing new services it was still called the Internet.

If people can remember foremost that it's the Internet and not the cloud then maybe they'd take security more seriously. People and companies should not lose sight of that. Marketing people calling it the cloud make it sound fluffy and safe. It's as misleading as having an alligator and calling it a pet. Treat it like one and one day it'll take your arm off.

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Gary F
Stop

It's NOT the cloud

Can everyone stop calling the Internet the cloud? It's just the Internet. "The cloud" is a marketing term dreamed up by someone who wanted to make the Internet sound more mysterious or powerful.

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Want to keep Android apps from spying on you?

Gary F

Or just switch off your data connection

Useful to know, thank you Register.

My apps eat bandwidth all the time, even if I've told them not to (where possible). The result is going way over my data bundle allowance and enduring costly data charges. Together with the idea of some apps reporting on my location and other personal info I simply switch off my data connection - or APN to be precise. I activate it when i need to go online. The result is going from 3GB of data per month down to a reasonable 500MB.

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Dropbox security fubar infuriates customers

Gary F

I'm right not to have trusted them

I've used Dropbox for a few years and love the free service, but I have never trusted them enough to put my most private and important files into my dropbox. It's tempting to use it as an off-site backup of critical files (in case you house burns down or a burglar steals your PC and backup DVDs) but I don't totally trust the competence of these services where encryption is not done at the client and the customer doesn't exclusively hold the key.

Communication is critical if there's a problem. Failing to talk to customers quickly enough always ends with angry customers. Yeah, I know it's a free service for most people. Glad I didn't upgrade.

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Has UK gov lost the census to Lulzsec?

Gary F

On the plus side, at least we'd get the results quicker!

I hope the data doesn't contain actual addresses and names, that would be a blow to every person in the UK. The data would be marketing companies dream come true. Imagine all the crappy marketing calls and letters we'd receive. It's bad enough as it is now.

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Got a website? Pay attention, Cookie Law will come

Gary F
FAIL

Have the EU produced a guide to explain their new law?

With the £billions we pay to the EU, surely they have produced a simple online guide to help the industry understand their new law and to explain clearly how we should modify our websites to accommodate it? In particular, small businesses who have their own website or are in the business of building websites cannot afford lawyers to help interpret the raw legislation. The EU, in their great wisdom to rule over us, must have produced a wiki or something useful to help?

Look at the comments so far. Lots of speculation and discussion, but no one has been able to point to EU documentation to make anything 100% crystal clear.

This law is a shambles and so badly thought out. I can't see how implementing compliance can NOT ruin a user's experience.

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Apple worth more than Microsoft and Intel combined

Gary F

More money than sense

Even people living off benefits buy Apple gear. Along with bling, 60" plasma TVs, fags, and enough booze so they don't recall the scrap they had in the street last night when they were thrown out of the pub.

Meanwhile, hard working people who can't afford to buy Apple gear within their means are very happy with Wintel and Android products. Not that they necessarily want Apple stuff anyway. It's not exactly value-for-money when compared to Wintel/Android products.

But you have to give Apple credit for being the ones who popularised smartphones and tablets with innovative designs. (They did not invent either)

Microsoft and Intel must be very embarassed by this latest news. C- boys. Must try harder.

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Toshiba reveals iPad 2 rival

Gary F
FAIL

Twice the thickness of ipad2?

Surely as part of the design brief for this ToshTab was to make it at least as appealing as the market leader? So why did they make it twice as thick? Presumably it's heavier too?

Apart from that the price for the 8GB model is excellent. Presumably that's the internal storage and there's still space to add your own 64GB SDHC card?

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