* Posts by Nick Ryan

1397 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

US spy court says internet firms can't report surveillance requests

Nick Ryan
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Re: err ,,,,

But what do I know, eh? I'm from a country that mostly works.

You are? Just out of curiosity, what country is this?

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500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Nick Ryan
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Re: XP is good enough

Very true, and to extend it... a computer is a tool to help you to get a job done. If a tool continues to work and continues to allow you to get your job done using it, why would, or even should, you need to replace it? This is, quite correctly, how the majority of small businesses and similar users see their PCs - tools to get a job done.

<rant>A lot of the software problems are down to past incompetence on the part of developers. They chose to do stupid things, shun best practices, ignore the well documented correct file usage protocols, embedded suicidal technologies in place of effective design and embedded systems together that had no need to be integrated in the way that they were. Many of these problems were down to lazy coders assuming that all users had administrator access, could create and write files in program locations (i.e. utterly failing the basic concept of separating data files from programs), opening the registry assuming administrator access (or just using the registry at all as it's a ball ache of inefficient nastiness that benefits nobody), using ActiveX in any of its forms, embedding external controls over which the developer had no control or expectation of support state and so on... That's before the stupid applications that start trying to interact with the OS in kooky and unnecessary ways (especially looking at you Corel) and those that "work" through making assumptions about basics such as time zone, locale (date formats) or even screen resolutions. To top it off, then there were the fucktards who developed web applications to non-standard "standards", as in anything "designed for Internet Explorer" rather than using established web standards - it's annoying but not that hard, but many developers were too lazy or stupid to do it. Even now I still see idiotic "web applications" that rely on Java controls that barely work where they could have just put the data in plain HTML and enhanced the core application with Javascript, falling back to less efficient server based manipulation if this failed. </rant>

I think I need to take some tablets now... :)

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Scientists to IPCC: YES, solar quiet spells like the one now looming CAN mean ICE AGES

Nick Ryan
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Re: Muppets

In many ways I completely agree.

There are muppets on both sides... one set with their fingers in their ears swearing blind that we can poison entire eco-systems, wreck global and regional cycles (nitrogen cycle is gone already through massive use of nitrogen fertilisers, the effect of this is a different discussion) and on the other side where some are predicting massive temperature rises or large and (possibly) frequent temperature variations that would become "normal" as a result of the damage and we should throw millions / billions their way to look into it or to mitigate it.

A large problem is that predictions can only be accurately be tested (verified) after the event. At which point it's (a) too late to do much about it and (b) often nobody will believe you as they'll think that you adjusted your figures to match reality and besides, one accurate prediction needn't mean future ones will be accurate.

A major stumbling block is that the ecosystem is a hugely complicated, and even studying the current interlocked cycles and feedback systems is a monumental task, predicting what would happen as a result of even subtle changes to one of more of these systems is vastly more difficult. For example, while a huge amount of impact could be predicted as a result of one action, another previously insignificant cycle could counterbalance the impact and the net result is minimal. However the upsurge of that balancing cycle could mean that another cycle is now unstable and one more tip could break something else... or not. Basically, I don't particularly envy the poor souls who have go through all of this and then stand up to the "scrutiny" from the deniers or the advocates of apocalypse.

All we can really say is that poisoning our environment is bad. The level and extent of the bad, well that's something very hard to quantify.

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Windows Phone market share hits double digits in UK and France

Nick Ryan
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Re: 1020

They do need to market the phones considerably better.

When the adverts are framed in Microsoft Blue with the name Microsoft all over it... that's not a selling point. Take a brand that is almost universally hated (we all hate MS at times, certainly don't trust them) and is often used in equivalence with unreliable and use that as the main branding of a phone advert? Hmmm

Samsung don't advertise their devices as GOOGLE GOOGLE GOOGLE or ANDROID ANDROID ANDROID, and forget what the phones do and what they're there for. Apple don't go iOS iOS iOS, blah, they similarly tell you what the device is promised (except it's all beta software) to do... And yet almost every Nokia phone advert I see is predominantly "Microsoft".

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Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps

Nick Ryan
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Re: Paint

3D printers can be fed with different colour stock, and while this is sometimes useful, on a project like this a "natural" colour would be better as the addition of the colour dyes can quite significantly change the mechanical and thermal tolerances of the plastic.

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Nick Ryan
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IIRC non-smooth surfaces on air bound surfaces do work due to the way they change the effective air density around them through the micro-vortices created. Something like that anyway :) A linked effect can be had from blowing air out the front of a air-bound object.

It was only a few years ago that sharks were found to employ a similar effect in water explaining in part their comparatively rough skin and just how fast and efficiently they can move in water. An artificial surface similar to it was used on some yacht or other in the Americas Cup, which led to all kind of secrecy and marketing / publicity shenanigans going on.

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Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Nick Ryan
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Re: reset while windows was running ...

I'm still waiting for a fully journalled version of NTFS...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: The one key idea...

I used to do that as well. It was one hell of a fucktard idea, putting sleep and power keys onto keyboards. After all, it's not as if keys on the keyboard get leant on, mishit, papers put onto or anything else is it?

Almost as good an idea as installing games and 3D screensavers onto server systems by default...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Ignore the obvious choice

It was worse when MS decided that Windows keys should be added to PC keyboards. But no ****ing help key, instead an arbitrary function key was "commonly" used instead. On the other hand, prior to this time the VT100 style system keyboard had specific Help keys... probably from the earlier as well, but I daren't try to remember pre VT-100 layouts.

So along with the left and right windows keys and the menu key, they really missed the boat on specifying something useful, the Help key. And the "Any" key as well, that would have saved a lot of time hunting around for it... :)

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Office 365 goes to work on an Android

Nick Ryan
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Eh?

"still doesn't even have a word processor that can compete with Microsoft Word 2.0 running on Windows 3.1."

While I'll admit that many of them were hopeless even a couple of years ago, they are getting better and better all the time. Genuine competition does that. Kingsoft Office (there are three or four others that I've tried as well) is one of the gems and really does compete with Microsoft Word and other parts of the Office suite. It's not perfect, but then there are still hundreds of very long standing bugs and annoyances in Microsoft Word that have been in there for years. The point is, applications such as Kingsoft Office, even now, are likely to fulfill the editing needs of 99% of users. Although I ought to qualify that as "Western" as I have no idea how will it handles others text orientation systems or alphabets, something that Microsoft have invested a lot of time in.

What is better, and already mentioned above, is that because there are competing apps out there, they are genuinely competing with each other and producing better and better applications as a result, each revision with more efficiency, better usability and more features. This hasn't happened with Microsoft Office for a long time where prior to making it ugly and almost unusable for "Metro" the main changes have been re-skinning some of the front screens of the application and somehow making every application considerably slower and more bloated than the earlier releases.

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Nokia Lumia 625: Quality budget 4G phone ... but where's UK's budget 4G?

Nick Ryan
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The other side of it is... what were the early iPhones made of? It certainly wasn't metal...

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Nick Ryan
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What's interesting is that here (and in the other Lumia reviews), the use of plastic is considered acceptable or a "good thing" yet when a iDevice is reviewed it's a terrible feature or material to use?

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Peak Apple: Has ANYONE at all ordered a new iPhone 5c?

Nick Ryan
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I don't think it's so much as embarrassing or an admission of failure. Why? Not everything pushed out there will be successful, or as successful as hoped and Apple have made quite a few of these in the past.

It's not that the iPhone 5C is looking like a bad phone, but it's disappointing that it's touted as new device despite being effectively the same as the previous one but in a different cover as there's the natural distrust and bad feeling when coming across something that's essentially just repackaged but sold at a premium as if it were new. More importantly the market was hoping for a cheaper device that would help Apple make inroads into territories where Jo Public doesn't have a huge stash of cash to spend on luxury devices.

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How do you choose your vendors?

Nick Ryan
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Nice list. How about how much the vendor's sales staff annoy you? For example, making multiple calls every week to check on progress...

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How to get a Raspberry Pi to take over your Robot House

Nick Ryan
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Re: Reg ongoing feature?

In the luxury market there are a lot of successful, and interesting / innovating things that have been done. While some of these things will stick to the luxury market, many of them are becoming easier to implement in a more normal environment and kit like this helps.

Lighting control is one of the main solutions that's in use as it's both relatively simple to implement and immediately useful. I know of a house where there are sensors on the floor under the carpet on each side of the bed in the master bedroom. These are linked to clocks (for sunrise / sunset information) and various sensors in the house. When the occupant triggers these sensors at night (weight sensitive of course), small lights near the doorway are automatically turned on, but with a steadily increasing light profile to a low level rather than a sudden on action. Subsequently opening the door by these will also trigger low level hallway lights to turn on at a low level and steadily increase. The hallway light levels are also dependent on the time of day. Sensors on the bathroom door will turn the light on when entering and sensors in the room keep the light on. The more troublesome and more interesting side of this was that it also had to work in reverse so when the occupant left the bathroom the lights would be turned off, as well as the lights in the hallway and finally the room lights when the occupant gets back into bed. There were a lot of ways that this process could go wrong therefore timers and secondary sensors were in use as well.

Until you work on one of these jobs it's hard to comprehend just how sophisticated and complicated these home automation arrangements can be.

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OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

Nick Ryan
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Re: 14 days to pay?? How lucky!!

Don't forget the other lie / trick that many companies use. They put an arbitrary date on their letter, e.g. "6th of the month" to you where they write to inform you that your account is overdue and that you must pay within 10 days of the letter... and you will inevitably receive this letter on the 15th of the month. Letters like this are never postmarked or any other coding so you can see when they were actually dispatched.

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You thought NFC tags were Not For Consumers? Well, they're in Maplin's

Nick Ryan
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Re: short range is good, but...

"Smart" patient tagging has been available for quite a few years now. While asking a patient's name is the correct, human, way to interact with a patient waving a reader at their wrist does not dehumanise the interaction, instead it's both a labour saving action (as the patient's records can be automatically looked up) but also reduces the likelihood of mis-identification (e.g. multiple "J Smiths"). Anything that double checks a patient's identity to reduce the incidence of potential very unpleasant, or fatal, mistakes is generally a good thing.

However (passive) NFC is hampered greatly by the wireless signal being blocked by common things such as water (and humans consist of a lot water) and the short range range.

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For PITY'S SAKE, DON'T BUY an iPHONE 5S, begs FSF

Nick Ryan
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Stop

Oh FFS

There is a huge difference between a fingerprint scanner for convenient (biometric) access to a consumer device and that required for fingerprint recognition for legal or criminal investigation uses... i.e., multiple digit, entire finger extent imagery with "interesting" topological points indexed for quick comparisons.

In this case, fingerprint recognition is used to check that your finger roughly approximates to the finger that you configured to be allowed to unlock the device. Apple have also specifically stated that the matching parameters are only stored on the device itself and that Apple do not upload it or do anything else with it. While it's quite sensible to have some concern about this being the case or future creep of this information, it's not such a big deal.

Why? This is a consumer device and the matching details will not be unique enough able to match your details on a database of millions of others, instead it's likely to be accurate enough to ensure that something like only 1% of the population could unlock the device because they and your fingerprint profiles are similar enough. Don't forget, this is just about unlocking a consumer device therefore it has to work more often than not compared to real security fingerprint readers where if there's a chance of not being a match they will err on the side of rejecting a match but where if Jo Public's shiny new mobile started doing this depending on the relative temperature, health and water conditions there'd be an uproar that people were locked out of their devices. To mitigate even this, there is always a standard pin number or other fallback unlock method.

I'd have more concerns about it being used to approve AppStore purchases but given that many people don't even bother protect this, therefore allowing their kids to rack up hundreds of $£, etc in in-app purchases, adding a marginally more convenient way to protect such purchase is an improvement.

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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Nick Ryan
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Re: my 64 bits

64 bit addressing could be used for a unified memory architecture - I think that's the term currently in use to describe the scheme where volatile and non-volatile storage can be addressed identically.

64 bit addressing is optional, 32 bit addressing op codes still work fine otherwise you'd need to recompile 32 bit code to work on a 64bit system rather than just run it.

64 bit processing can improve data throughput, performance and therefore power usage for some computational tasks.

So while if you look at 64 bits purely when it comes to addressing (more than) "4Gb of memory" on a phone then it doesn't make so much sense, but taken in the long run and when accessing non-volatile storage makes a lot of sense.

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Should Nominet ban .uk domains that use paedo and crim-friendly words?

Nick Ryan
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Stop

Given that most child abuse is carried out by members of the child's family or somebody who is very close to the child's family (as in a close family friend), how is blocking arbitrary names on a single TLD going to help?

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Nice business you've got here, guv

I think some urban dictionary listed it as "double-standard puratanical nimby zombie-sheep". Or something like that, I'm now too scared to search for it in case out illustrious thought police come calling.

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Nick Ryan
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Yeah, that one had me smirking for a while when I was considering that their domain name with the dash (-) in it was annoying to type and then realised what it spelt out without it...

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Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

Nick Ryan
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Re: Best Tablet in the World?

Re: Best Tablet in the World?

0/10 too obvious trolling attempt, must try harder.

Yep, yet another waste of space shill. This one hasn't even had the foresight to register months ago and make arbitrary trivial posts before blatantly trolling.

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Crack open those wallets: Microsoft is raising software prices AGAIN

Nick Ryan
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Re: Microsoft? Hosting?

@Anonymous Coward - Posted Saturday 7th September 2013 18:24 GMT

Go on then, show us these statistics to demonstrate that you're not just yet another MS-paid shill.

Of course, if the statistics are based around there being far fewer Windows Internet facing servers to hack compared to Linux based Internet facing servers then that argument is as flawed as this interesting and entirely true fact: Pink cars have less accidents than any other car. Why? There are fewer pink cars than any other colour.

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WikiLeaks' Cablegate server touted on eBay for $3k-plus by Swedes

Nick Ryan
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It could also be read another way, as a statement of fact rather than a complaint. In other words, distancing Wikileaks from Bahnhof's (marketing) actions.

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Beat the UK's incoming smut filter: Pre-censor your grumble flicks

Nick Ryan
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Re: Puritanical Britain

That's horribly. How will they be able to walk without ankles?

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10,000 app devs SLEEP together in four-day code-chat-drink tech orgy camp

Nick Ryan
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Re: That Coder in the Photo

...and her name's not Shirley.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: That Coder in the Photo

Definitely. She works for the organisers and is not a coder. :)

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Microsoft buys Nokia's mobile business

Nick Ryan
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Re: Depressing Inevitability

It wasn't so much the OS, which when running on a phone isn't bad... it's just not great, is ugly as sin (my opinion) and has a few too many annoying lacking features that other phone os users take for granted. Some things it does quite well.

However it was more the pathetic attempt at marketing. Both Apple and Samsung sell the "experience" (Apple are better at this IMHO). Nokia adverts, on the other hand, are "here's Microsoft Windows Phone", as in selling the Operating System. However the Operating System and company behind it arguably have a reputation of irritating the crap out of everybody that comes near them.

Agreed... I was thinking about the transfer to Nokia of the crippling stack ranking that MS (as in the top execs) love, that kills all business efficiency, innovation and real competence in favour of perpetual brown nosing and continual political bitch fighting within departments and teams. Even ten years ago it was an industry in joke that Microsoft would create a team of 200 to develop a competing product that was developed by 5 people in another organisation.

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US mobile app dominance threatened by ANGRY BIRDS revolution

Nick Ryan
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A lot of the more useful apps are relevant for specific geographies, therefore of course there will be a lot of "loyalty" to own country apps. While some app development is naturally outsourced much is either licensed as if it is local or developed with local partners who are more likely to understand the requirements.

Specific apps? How about the underground, taxi, bar and club, local travel and restaurants, dating, banking, tourist information and other area specific apps?

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Web showered in golden iPhone 5S vid glory - but is it all a DISTRACTION?

Nick Ryan
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Re: but Apple will probably wait ..

Apple aren't particularly innovative and usually aren't first to market.

However what they did do that turned the entire phone industry on its head was to produced a polished product that brought together various innovations from elsewhere all in one package and create a well supported ecosystem for it all to work in. There have been more than a few hiccups a long the way, both on the software and hardware front, but overall the iPhones have been well engineered and have given users a smooth experience that they appreciate.

Compare this with the "super feature" phones that were out at the same time, with their arbitrary PC software packages that often didn't work with the phone that they came with, had all kinds of odd foibles by way of supported applications, had effectively closed "app stores" or none at all and often felt like you were fighting the device rather than using it. Not that all devices were like that, but the majority seemed that way.

Apple's marketing is, however, very good although it's slipped recently with much more adept competition and a market that is pretty much saturated in many regions.

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Amazon DISAPPEARS from internet

Nick Ryan
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Re: In the meantime

If "homicidal maniac" or "mouth breathing pond life" is your idea of interesting, we have a lot in my neighbouring town...

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Bureaucrats foil Nestlé's bid to TRADEMARK KitKat's chocolatey digits

Nick Ryan
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So how does this compare with the case of supermarket "own brand" ketchup, marmite (yeast spread), breakfast cereals and so on... All obvious facsimiles of the original, or at least the market leading, branded products.

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Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

Nick Ryan
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Diesel Electric

What's happened to the diesel electric cars, not "hybrid" that were predicted?

i.e. Where a (small) diesel engine running at a largely fixed RPM (and, IIRC, therefore rather more efficient, although I believe a set of efficient ranges were required) generates electricity to power the electric drive motors.

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'But we like 1 Direction!' Rock gods The Who fend off teen Twitter hate mob

Nick Ryan
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Coat

I have a nasty habit of usually reading it as "1 dimensional" or similar. :)

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Microsoft DMCA takedown requests targeting OpenOffice

Nick Ryan
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Joke

Re: That probably involves tuning whatever 'bot it uses

They've limited it to our "nearest and dearest"?

That's an improvement... shows that Microsoft is listening to its customers...

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Superstar cluster-Zuck as Facebook tries out celeb-only edition

Nick Ryan
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Re: Melanie Sykes

Was it Boddies that also had the boyfriend cleaning the house by licking up the spillages?

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Peak Apple: Samsung hits DOUBLE the market share of iPhones

Nick Ryan
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Re: re: ALL FACTS ARE GOOD.

Only two international manufacturers profit from smartphones. Apple and Samsung. Apple make quite a lot more by way of profit. All the other international Android device manufacturers - about 5% of total market profits ! (though note: there are some new and very exciting Chinese manufacturers, who have taken a fork of Android and will probably market internationally soon).

You are trying to claim that Lenovo, HTC, etc don't make a profit from their smartphones? While their market shares may be smaller than Apple and Sansumg, they still sell a lot of units at fair prices yet you claim that "it's a fact" that they don't profit? Back this up with their financial reports.

Revenues from Android remains lower for app developers - there are some exceptions of course, but they are few and far between.

This is true, but it is steadily improving. While Android (Google Play Store) prices have been necessarily lower, in part due to competition as it's easier/cheaper to compete on the Google Play Store there is more acceptance of paying for content as the content is getting better.

Cost of development for Android, for those wishing to address the "full and larger market" is much higher than for iOS - for example the BBC has to spend approximately 3 times the amount developing for Android as for iOS.

This says more about the BBC, who excel at idiotic inefficiency, than Android vs iOS development. As another poster has already noted, it is much harder to develop iOS applications efficiently for multiple resolutions compared to Android where this requirement and the supporting toolkit has been in place from the start.

teenagers in the US express the desire to buy iPhones than Android phones, even though more are now purchasing Android phones because they can't afford iPhones.

You've partly answered this already in your sentence. People, especially impressionable teenagers, aspire to what is just out of reach - this is a normal fact of life. The better question is to look at the appropriate market group that has the most disposable income, the "20-something" crowd. This group are able to sign mobile contracts on their own behalf, are usually a little more financially astute than teenagers are.

Significantly more Android users plan to switch to using iOS than iOS users want to switch to using Android (even Android Authority ran a piece detailing this is the case).

Depending on the exactly how this is reported, this is not surprising. Firstly, there are considerably more Android users than iOS therefore more are likely to want to switch (numbers vs percentage). Secondly, there are a lot of awful Android phone models out there compared to Apple's relatively low number of devices and (generally) good design and build.

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'Abel, you're fired!' Hear AOL supremo axe exec during conference call

Nick Ryan
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That would explain why I've never heard if it... it's a US only "social" site that's largely redundant already and even my give-a-care knowledge of US states, seems to be missing a few from their home page "Browse by state" list.

This is aside from a long practiced intentional blindness to anything with "AOL" anywhere near it. :)

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Magnets too slow for disk writes? Use lasers

Nick Ryan
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Re: LASER not laser

Except when you spell out what L.A.S.E.R. is / was meant to represent: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Which in physics terms is far from ideal as "Light" isn't a specific physics term in general use and there's definitely no amplification going on.

"Controlled energy (wavelength) photon emission alignment through the repeated reflection from mirror to mirror until the photons that escape out are largely going in the same direction" isn't quite so catchy though. [Yes, I know this isn't entirely accurate but it's close enough]

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Netflix dares UK freetards: Watch new Breaking Bad NOW or torrent it?

Nick Ryan
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Joke

I think a correction is due here... your wife has had sex at least twice. No evidence to show that you had anything to do with it :)

I agree, however anime doe have have an appalling sterotypical image. Often not helped by those that are obsessed with it but the anime medium does lend itself to some very diverse environments and effects to back up the plots and scenes. While this may seem odd, it does compare well to many modern "main stream" movies which have spent tens of millions on effects and "name" actors but entirely forgot about the plot.

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Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

Nick Ryan
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Re: Really?

WTF?

Microsoft Outlook is an Application. What kind if fucktard marketing gimboid thinks that it should be restricted to a "second generation device". Why not release a full version of it for the current device?

On the other hand as the core code (a.k.a. bugs that have been around for years and still not fixed) is doubtless a ghastly spaghetti mess of undocumented function calls and crafted insanity it may take them a few years to get it to compile on a different platform.

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Xbox One users will have to pay extra for Skype and gamer-gratifying DVR

Nick Ryan
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Re: Centre of the Living Room?

It's not just that customers are thought of as being morons... it's that they're simultaneously being thought of as bovine financial assets.

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BYOD for our staff? 'Career limiting' move, says Dell exec

Nick Ryan
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BYOD is seen as a massive headache for IT directors but something that is desired by some in the workforce, particularly younger folk.

Just not so desired by the "younger folk" when they realise that they'd have to fork out for the entire price of the hardware and software up front when they start their job and when it fails they're on their own. And even with all that they either have to run their system as a pimped up dumb terminal or have a suite of restrictive software sitting on it instead.

A poll of 232 IT managers by Insight last autumn revealed that nearly four-fifths of those surveyed did not plan to implement a BYOD strategy despite perceived productivity gains.

Now here is sense... where nearly 4/5 of them see through BYOD (for computers>) as nothing but a sales ploy for the vendors punting the systems to manage BYOD. As for the perceived productivity gains... much more can be achieved through running a responsive and pro-active IT department than attempting to join an industry inflicted fad.

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They don't recognise us as HUMAN: Disability groups want CAPTCHAs killed

Nick Ryan
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Re: I'm all for choice...

These are standard alternatives, however do have problems:

* Math's questions can be bot-automated. It only takes a simple parser and they'll have the answer

* General knowledge questions are very region and language specific. Want to have an international website? Then forget it.

* Shapes and colours don't work for the visually impaired or just the colour blind.

I wish I could think of a proper solution to the captcha problem but, the best solutions will be multi-layered and will need to adapt regularly in a kind of "arms race" with the spam bot engines... very much like viruses and anti-virus software. That's not a fun prospect.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: From the Department of The Bleedin Fekkin Obvious Department...

There are a couple of further problems:

Abuse of the email verification system to abuse mailboxes - sending thousands of non-wanted "confirmation" emails from your domain is a quick route to be marked as a spam source. Similarly receiving hundreds of these things would quickly annoy any recipient.

Secondly... what about the case where it's not a registration link? How about where you're just sending a message or reply on a website? Do you really want the hassle of having to check your inbox for a message, that is likely filed under junk, just to send a two line reply to a post or message?

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Microsoft Surface sales numbers revealed as SHOCKINGLY HIDEOUS

Nick Ryan
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Coffee/keyboard

@AC 31st July 2013 07:29 GMT

"Therefore I think Microsoft should focus on full blown Windows tablets with it's inherent security / performance / functionality advantages over IOS and Android"

You owe me a new keyboard. I wish there was a way to filter out obvious trolls / shills...

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Lingering fingerprint fingering fingered in iOS 7 for NEW iPHONE

Nick Ryan
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I think that was one of the hardest to read titles I've come across for a while... and I'm not going to even try to read it fast repeatedly! :)

Interesting note about holding the device with left or right hand and reflecting that on a help screen. I haven't spotted these devices being sensitive to handedness, is this something new or something I just haven't spotted?

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Bugs in beta weather model used to trash climate science

Nick Ryan
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Cloud Computing...

Given the interesting posts here about testing of different systems when switching (i.e. upgrading) from one supercomputer system to another... I wonder how this kind of effect will show itself in "cloud computing".

When you a run a cloud process on one day and then run the same cloud process on another, what are the chances of you using the same actual hardware? Probably quite slim, therefore like in this situation you could see differing results due to differing underlying systems.

Most of us would never run anything that requires that level of precision, but some people are sure to.

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Russia's post-Snowden spooks have not reverted to type

Nick Ryan
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While it is possible (but extremely unpleasant) to fully audit an operating system and the tools to build (compile) it... it is effectively impossible to audit the hardware that is in place.

Take a network card / chip - it will be comparatively easy for the circuitry in that to have its own logic where instead of just dispatching the packets that the overlying operating system sends, it also copies contents of memory (a network card will have Direct Memory Access and is considered a trusted device) it processes them and sends them onto another destination as well. The operating system would never know because the network card would behave exactly as it should.

Of course this is a simplistic example, an external, trusted (hahaha) device could monitor the network traffic. A much more viable alternative is a keyboard that records keystrokes within the chip in the keyboard itself and these keystrokes can be later downloaded, replayed or depending on how clever you are with antennas, wirelessly broadcast them. This functionality already exists with USB dongles inserted between keyboards and computers.

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Forums