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* Posts by The BigYin

3017 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

Investor pulls out of Facebook, pumps cash into pork-printing joint

The BigYin
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Re: Have you ever seen an animal butchered and the meat processed?

@LinkOfHyrule - You have seen the meat butchering and processing system they use in the USA? And you don't find it disgusting? You prefer the animals to suffer, for the carcasses to be cross-infected, for massive amount of chemicals to be used to deal with aforementioned infection vectors? And for the end product to be some over-sized, tasteless pap?

And you think the factory farming is somehow separate to the factory butchering?

Really?

That's why all the downvotes!

"Manmade meat" FFS. You think a broiler is natural? You need an education.

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Boffins zapped '2,000 bugs' from Curiosity's 2 MILLION lines of code

The BigYin
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Re: WTF?

@AC 14:28 (Why do people use AC? It's not like El Reg has a 'Real Name' policy!)

It (probably) has to happen sometime and I will agree that the cost will be huge if done overnight, so don't do it over night. Have a transition period. And that period will take many years.

Are there better things to spend money on? Not really. Oh wait, you're going to say "hospitals" and "teachers" aren't you? The money doesn't go to them though, it goes to the PFI providers (just ask the hospitals going bankrupt). And we probably need fewer hospitals anyway - concentrate all the knowledge down into a few centres of excellence to improve patient care; or would you prefer that children needlessly die because their surgeons do so few operations that they are verging on the incompetent?

Maybe you'd rather spend it on the military? Oh whoops! Won't go to the front-line troops. It'll be trousered in PFI. Again. Or wasted on jets that are massively over budget and decades behind in development. Or compensation for cancelled contracts that were failing to deliver, or...

Police? Maybe, but in a few years time that'll be a huge PFI hole as well.

Trains? HAH! Do not start me on that corruption which is supported by our spineless regulator.

I could go on.

So in summary...spending the billions of finalising this nation as metric is one investment that might actually do something and not just enrich the money laundering, tax-evaders in the City.

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The BigYin
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Re: Andus

@Random K - Simple. The blaring horns let you know when it's amber! :)

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The BigYin
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Re: WTF?

Either way, the septics should get with the programme and join the rest of us in the 21st Century.

And whilst they upgrade, can we please have our signs and limits change to km? Puh-leeze!

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Work for the military? Don't be evil, says ethicist

The BigYin
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Re: You were presenting your case legitmately (& effectively from your point of view)...........

@Arctic fox - just because someone resorts to an ad hominem does not invalidate the rest of their statement. That's woolly thinking - sorry.

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The BigYin
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Re: Why doesn't he stop writing?

@Arthur 1 - I put it to you that the military would prefer a dead solider to a wounded one. A dead one only costs them the funeral. A wounded one needs medical treatment, potentially life-long support and can have a devastating morale impact on their comrades. This is why some weapons are deliberately design to maim rather than kill. It's a sick sad world.

As for this "douchebag" (nice ad hominem, by the way) it all depends on where you draw your moral line. There will be some jobs that would pay your mortgage which you would refuse to do on moral grounds; he's just asking you to think about where you draw that line.

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The BigYin
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I guess the problem is the investment

The military pays for the development of the Remote Ultra-Kill 9000 Drone that can carry 14 Mega-death missiles and 5 Maim-o-matic bombs, plus laser targeting etc. It can fly for 24 hours and does not always need a remote pilot (it has UAV capabilities at auto-target recognition).

It is, in short, a very nasty piece of work and can wipe out entire villages without any help.

But...

It can carry a payload, fly itself and find "targets"...change the payload and change the purpose. Rebranded as Cuddles-From-Above its brethren are now sent out to scan remote area for lost skiers, hikers etc and drop aid to them, as well as report their position. They patrol the coast looking for oil spills, people in distress etc. Maybe they have "Don't panic" painted on their underbellies?

And that, unfortunately, is the problem. We are a potentially violent species, we elect/promote psychopaths to seats of power (no really, we do) and thus our ability for violence and domination is valued above our other traits. You can see this everywhere and in everything; short-term gain Vs long-term gain - short-term always wins. Even winning a war is a short-term gain because the cycle will repeat. I give you...well...the Middle East at the moment.

It would be nice to live in La-la-land, but we are stuck here in reality for just a bit longer.

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Facebook facepalm: US judge tosses out 'sponsored stories' deal

The BigYin
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Re: You are not the customer, you are the product.

Careful there Mr Alter Ego. The People's Front for Facebook is on the prowl. ;-)

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The BigYin
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Re: Non-FB user question

If 2. is false for FB T&Cs, then 2. is false on every website and every EULA. Ever.

Not saying I disagree with you assessment (and I am probably naive in assuming that people actually read the T&Cs), but the ramifications go way beyond FB.

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The BigYin
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Non-FB user question

I thought that when you uploaded to FB you granted them an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (inwhole or in part) and distribute?

Given that is the case, why are people getting upset? FB is just using what they gave FB in a manner they agreed to in FB's T&Cs. If they didn't like it, they shouldn't have agreed to the T&Cs.

Simple.

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Ready to patent that 'new' invention? Google is here to dash your hopes

The BigYin
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Re: One simple answer for the tech world

@MrXavia - "and very complex algorithms I.E. Cryptology."

No. This is boils down to basic laws of physics or mathematical functions. You cannot patent these, or shouldn't be able to at least. Patents are a tool and unfortunately they are tool that is being badly misused at the moment. This is bad for society as there is a massive cost (through loss of innovation etc) and also a cost to those who have genuine things that are protected by patents as the patent system become devalued by utter crap.

"Look & Feel should definitely not be patentable or copyrightable"

Actually, I would say look&feel could be copyrightable as this would prevent people "passing off" a product as something it is not.

"Copyright IS important though, and personal copyright should last 50-70 years."

You are right about that being important, but I disagree over the term. 10 years is more than long enough. This does of course mean that the way artists are paid needs to change, no argument there; this is a change the media companies are still resisting as they know it is the end of their current business model.

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The BigYin
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Re: One simple answer for the tech world

@ukgnome - Fetching data cannot be patented if it is done in software. End of discussion. Yes, it really is that simple.

Same goes for business processes.

In fact we can reduce the whole patentability test to two simple questions:

1) Is it new/innovative/non-obvious?

2) Can you lick it?

If the answer to either one is "No", then whatever it is cannot be patented.

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The BigYin
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One simple answer for the tech world

Is it software? Yes? It cannot be patented. End of discussion.

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Facebook shares hit all-time low

The BigYin
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Re: Yep.

"If a mistake was made in that example, please say instead of downvoting."

That's not how it works. If you speak out against Apple, MS or FB the shills/fanbois appear and just downvote. Don't expect much in the way of correction or discourse. The shills hold a point of view based on faith, not on facts.

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The BigYin
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Facepalm

See that bubble?

It's bursting it is.

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Virgin Media SuperHub 'upgrade' hangs up on IP phone punters

The BigYin
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Re: Can the SuperHub be flashed?

I know SSH/telent used to be open but got closed down.

I'd rather connect my own device as the VM Superhub looks f-ugly, has the cables in the wrong place and is generally a bit crap. For relative values of exceedingly pish.

Heck, a wee RasPi, few USB widgets/daughter-boards and you have a router which kick the living hell out of the Superhub (and probably most other consumer-grade routers too).

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The BigYin
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Can the SuperHub be flashed?

It's just a NetGear box after all - is there anyway to put an alternative firmware on there?

Or is it so stripped down and basic that there would be no real point?

It's a shame VM will not let you connect your own device to their cable. Would solve so many issues.

(Yes, I know about modem-mode; not good enough)

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Cars, lorries stalked via GPS to create live traffic super-map

The BigYin
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FAIL

Re: From the original article...

@Bainshie - "Excessive speed, lane hogging, tail gating. All easily spotable and enforceable with simple positional data."

Umm...no. Not unless the computer has full vision of the road, knows the conditions and has an AI. Staying in one lane (even the 'wrong' one) can sometimes be the right thing to do. But I don't think you understand that.

"It the middle of the night on a motorway? Increase the [speed limit] by 10MPH."

So at night (reduced vision) you want to increase the speed? You are assuming that the road ahead is clear, yet people have a reduced distance they can see ahead and thus less time to react; or does your wonder device also have active radar? You are clueless.

"No more hit and runs. Increase safety, insurance claims made a LOT easier."

Bollocks. Cloning/Hacking and you seem to forget that older vehicles won't have them. Oh wait, you want mandatory fitment don't you? Won't work you pillock. Never mind the sheer cost involved, some vehicles cannot have speed control etc. How are you going to manage that on a carb'd m'bike; hmm? And you do understand that m'bikes make active use of engine speed when cornering don't you? A sudden change in power could be catastrophic.

"Do you drive for the F1/other racing competition? Same answer."

Have you ever actually watched any motor-racing of any kind? Racers do not necessarily make safe drivers.

"Also I never get this 'Late at night' argument. Last time I checked hitting a kid at 50MPH, the physics involved doesn't give a damn whether it's light outside or not....If anything you're more likely to have a incident due to the reduced traffic inducing a level of false security, and the reduced vision (40% of all fatal and serious injuries happen during this time, even though there is a 60% reduction in traffic)."

Yet you advocate raising the limit at night. Make your bloody mind up!

"Stop being a arse before you kill someone. You are the reason this kind of system needs to be put in place."

Just because you are incapable of following the rule of the road does not mean the rest of us are. Yes there are idiots, but there will always be idiots and I'd like to retain at least some semblance of freedom and dignity if you don't mind.

If you are so obsessively concerned about safety, then sell your personal transport and use PT. Statistically it is much safer. Otherwise....do hush-up and go back to taking the meds.

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The BigYin
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Re: From the original article...

@Bainshie

1) Cost of enforcement goes up you mean. Now each vehicle carries its own nanny-brain which will need servicing, will take energy to run and then you have all the infrastructure required for the massive surge in fines. Plus you still require Old Skool enforcement for older vehicles and those who by-pass your Orwellian wet-dream. Oh, and you have to pay for continual updates as the system gets hacked. Oh my yes, it sounds like a step-forward so far.

2) Indeed. So why don't we simply have more traffic police then? They are well known to catch more than just speeders (tail-gaters, lane hoggers, weavers, drunks, unsafe vehicles etc). Seriously, more traffic plod please!

And with a little imagination you wouldn't have to put use under the heel of the technocratic overlords.

We have these. They are called "trackers" (there's a variety of them). You know what they do? They track a vehicle when the owner wants it tracked. They are not spies.

People should already be driving to that they can stop in the distance they can see. You think a blip on the GPS will help? They'll just turn the stereo up. Increasing gadgetry does not increase intelligence. Also, we already have warning triangles etc and the brains to exit the vehicle and move to a safe location.

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The BigYin
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Re: From the original article...

@Graham Marsden - Not so much that, but with the GPS data some suit will simply ask "Why don't we automatically fine people for speeding?", "Why don't we charge for actual road usage"?

These ideas have been kicked around before, and they will come around again. Ignoring the fact that we already pay for road usage (fuel duty) and that there are various questions over just how effective the draconian imposition of speed limits actually is.

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First, Google goggles - now the world gets self-censoring specs

The BigYin
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Re: I thought the bible said

Whoops! Was that the correct name? Clearly I am not as much of a frood as I thought I was.

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The BigYin
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Blur?

They need to go totally opaque.

Ultra-Peril Sunglasses!

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Google may face grilling by MPs over 'immoral' tax avoidance

The BigYin
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Jolly good

Can we add some more to the list?

Every major supermarket.

Every major bank.

Every major accountancy firm

Every major...you get the idea.

Well hear some noise, see a few headlines but sod all will change. Just the Working and Lower-middle classes getting it in the neck as always.

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Blinkbox to sell Game of Thrones series 2 by stream

The BigYin
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Re: Far too expensive

@mbdrake - Thanks. I am not familiar with the terms of Blinkbox and to me "stream" generally implies a one-time deal. The article made no mention of a license-in-perpetuity (as Ultraviolet grants).

Considering the other downsides of a stream-only option I still find it over-priced.

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The BigYin
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Far too expensive

£18? Really? For a one-time viewing? And only on that service?

What planet are these buffoons on?

I'll await the box-set thanks.

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Microsoft: It's not Metro, it's Windows 8

The BigYin
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Re: It doesn't matter

@kb - If it bombs too badly people think "Sod this" and find something else. People are already getting bitten hard by lock-in (and one of those people is MS itself), so greater adoption of standards leads to portability.

New OS/Application/Widget doing your box in. Switch to one that behaves as you like.

There is a cost of switching obviously, but when pain-of-staying > cost-of-switching; then people switch.

And I think that will be the case for some folks who get lumbered with Win8.

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The BigYin
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To bucther the bard

That which we call a turd

By any other name would smell as rank;

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Snap suggests Apple out to 'screw' hardware hackers

The BigYin
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Re: Assuming this is true...

@Nigel 11 - "That patent / copyright technique probably fails, for the same reason that anyone is allowed to make 3rd-party car exhausts that are (on the outside) exactly the same shape as the manufacturer's registered design. It's allowed, because no other shape is possible: if it were a different shape it would not fit the car."

It would be nice if such logic and common sense were applied to the world of IT. Unfortunately....

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The BigYin
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Re: Does it matter?

@P.Lee - "No, you buy premium and expect it to last longer without repair than non-premium."

This holds true if the premium being paid is for quality/durability. I don't think that is where the premium goes on Apple products. Instead it goes on design, marketing (selling you a lifestyle) and being a status symbol. It's the same reason (say) Gucci sunglasses cost way more than most other brands, despite the fact they do they exact same job and the other brands may be more durable/better made.

And it's the exact same with Ferrari - if you want durability, buy a Ford, Honda or Toyota. If you want a status symbol, buy the Ferrari.

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The BigYin
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Re: Time for a new law

We all love car/PC analogies, so here goes!

IMHO they should apply similar tests to cars, nothing it more annoying than being stranded because you need a garage to do what should be a simple job.

"Req 1: The driver must be able to change any bulb within 5 minutes. Only tools forming part of the standard toolkit may be used."

And so on.

For PCs/Laptops? How about something along these lines:

"Req 1: The owner must be able to replace the battery using standard, off-shelf tools within 10 minutes."

"Req 2: The owner must be able to replace the HDD with a standard driver within 10 minutes."

"Req 3: The owner must be able to upgrade/replace RAM within 5 minutes."

And then the kicker

"Owner repairs will not void any manufacturer warranty unless the manufacturer can prove that the owner acted below the level of a 'competent person'."

Or something along those lines at any rate. (Pretty much how it is with cars really)

A Dyson vacuum cleaner is expensive, but I can strip that myself to get at the offending part and replace it. No need for a repair engineer or anything.

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The BigYin
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Assuming this is true...

...there are two points to not.

1) Head. Sure, a small flat-head might do it, but all they would have to do is re-jig a few of the spokes or make the design more curved to solve that. It also looks rather shallow, so not much purchase.

2) Thread. It does not look like a convention screw, much more rounded. This means that is the screw were drilled-out it would be hard to replace as normal screws probably won't work/hold with that thread shape.

Ah - but what about the fakes/pattern parts. Simple. Patent and copyright that design, then sue that arse out of anyone who is selling them to non-Apple bods. Apple is highly, highly litigious; so this is probably the path they'd choose.

If I was renting and iDevice, I wouldn't really care. If I rent a TV, fixing it is not my problem. But if I buy an iDevice then is in mine and I can do what I want with it. Or I should be able to.

Time for the regulators/consumer protection bodies to have a word with apple.

If this is true of course.

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Video shows armed assault on Kim Dotcom family home

The BigYin
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Re: The best law enforcement Big Media lobbyists can buy

And seeing as they have the Demonoid account data - better be ready for that knock at your door. Err, I mean having your door kicked in.

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Microsoft Surface slate: Acer, resellers predict a riot

The BigYin
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Re: Go MS! - Actually customers should come first

@Dave 142 "Well theoretically looking after the customers means they want to buy your product and then the shareholders are happy."

Indeed - now who are MS's customers? OEMs? Service Providers? Enterprise? The great unwashed (i.e. consumers)?

I put it to you that it's the first two, with "enterprise" some way behind and "the great unwashed" barely registering. Simply because consumers do not rush out and by "a Windows". They buy "an Acer/Sony/Toshiba/ASUS" that happens to run Windows. MS do advertise to consumers, but only to drive customers to towards OEMs.

By selling their own hardware, MS are basically shoving two-fingers up to their biggest customers and playing a dangerous game as they are already a convicted monopolist. And before the fanbois start; I have a fairly dim view of Apple, although that is "less bad" as they are not a monopoly and have never had OEMs (beyond cloners whom they crushed).

My genuine hope is that enough OEMs take umbrage at this and start to release some of their devices with a different OS. Not because I am a bleeding-heart penguin-ista, but because there is no competition within the consumer space and thus very little innovation. Apple stuck the cat amongst the pigeons simply because it was not MS/Windows and could do things in a new way.

A further advantage beyond innovation is interoperability. If there are enough users of alternatives, all players get forced to interoperate (i.e. conform to standards) and this massively increases customer choice as well as improve longevity. And by "standards" I mean "publicly available and patent/copyright free"

At the moment we are stuck in a world of false choice. We can change the badge on the car, but the chassis and engines are all the same.

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The BigYin
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Re: Go MS! - Actually customers should come first

Incorrect. A company such as MS should be looking after the shareholders; looking after the customers would mean having a vibrant marketplace with open competition to drive innovation and keep prices in check, something MS has managed to long resist.

I really don't care what MS does with/against it's customers, I just hope the "riot" which ensues will see some break away from MSs vice-like grip and offer alternatives.

You know, a choice.

Something that would benefit the customer.

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The BigYin
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Go MS!

Yes MS, please keep this policy up! It is the best new in years. Hopefully by screwing your OEM partners over they will start to offer hardware with an OS that isn't Windows.

Then we might actually get to see some competition in the PC market!

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Apple plans extended iPad display through 'Smart Covers'

The BigYin
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@DrXym

Having some data on the cover might be handy (esp. if low/bo power e-ink type stuff). But then that has been done too, hasn't it? Think of the flip phones with a second screens etc.

Apple could copyright this design, sure, but patent?

No. Not IMHO.

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The BigYin
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@dx

There is a difference between holding a patent on whatever trickery that allows one to manufacture a flexible display (and there may be multiple solutions, so multiple patents with competing holders), and quite another on holding a patent on simply using a flexible display.

Once you have the flexi-tech, using it on a cover is rather obvious.

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Humax YouView DTR-T1000 IPTV Freeview PVR review

The BigYin
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FAIL

No streaming

No streaming off the HDD? Fail. Not interested.

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SHEEP NEED TWITTER, insist my noble Lords

The BigYin
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Thumb Down

Ah, I see.

So the city dwellers (and lord, no less) have decided that the country bumpkins are incapable of deciding for themselves what they want and must be told. And we all have to pay for it. How nice. But, hark, what is this I see before me? b4rn

Maybe these peers are more concerned about local initiative hitting their share investments; are worried that the great unwashed may realised they can do things for themselves? Or could it be that the high-and-mighty just can't stream their grumble flicks fast enough when relaxing at their second mansion?

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Microsoft: MED-V won't help you escape WinXP end-of-life

The BigYin
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Re: And When I'm in Charge

It amuses me so much that MS's proprietary lock-in on IE6 is now biting them hard on the ass.

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The BigYin
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And...

...if possible migrate away from Windows altogether.

New Win8 kit may be locked down (UEFI).

Will it run Win9? Will Win9 even allow you to install it on non-Win9-locked-down kit?

Why take the risk?

Move away from the platform if at all possible.

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Boy cuffed after Twitter troll's drown threat to Olympic diver Tom Daley

The BigYin
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Re: Umm...

Sticks and stones, sticks and stone.

If we were to exact the full extent of the law for every infraction we would be living in Hell. I can't comment on the threats (probably not credible) as those tweets are not public, but one would have thought public ridicule is more than adequate punishment for the insensitive comment.

If you want people to be arrested for comments like that, time to put Frankie Boyle et al in chains. Time to re-try Paul Chambers and find him guilty again. Time to...well, you get the idea.

So what has this kid done? Made a rather repugnant comment and some (unverified) threat. He's a dickhead. We don't have prisons big enough if we were to gaol all the dickheads.

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The BigYin
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Umm...

...when did the UK outlaw being a dickhead?

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Virgin Media nukes downloads after SuperHub 'upgrade'

The BigYin
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Re: Not entirely true

There are a few issues with the SuperHub:

1) It is poorly designed. What is wrong with the idiot lights are the front and the cables at the back? Why is that blue LED on the front so freaki' bright? (I've tapped mine up)

2) Many "nice to have" features are missing (e.g. VPN) which could be solved by a firmware flash (which is what I would do, if it were my own router)

3) Provided router firmware is dreadful (needs a reboot after just about every change, PITA when trying to set-up a fine-grained configuration)

4) Updates are applied without prior notice or warning (ok, so that's more of a management issue)

That's about it really. The V+ box is pretty sucky and I don't think the TiVo would be much better to be honest (unless it allows streaming over the LAN; a feature that is sorely missing from the V+ unit). I don't like their bandwidth limits nor do I like the ridiculous OS-block they put on their catch-up service (they even block access to iPlayer via their catch-up service, even though it works perfectly; heck, they even block access to Help/FAQ!)

But you are right - by-and-large you get the advertised speed and the advertised service. The TV programming is largely terrible - but that is not really VM's fault.

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The BigYin
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Re: Why oh why

"Why oh why do people persist in using Virgin Media?"

Because by-and-large it works? I'd prefer it if I could connect my own router, but that is my only real issue with their Internet service. I know about "modem mode" but that still means I have to use their crappy Netgear unit.

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UK's thirst for energy falls, yet prices rise: Now why is that?

The BigYin
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Re: UK's thirst for energy falls, yet prices rise: Now why is that?

The train companies are isolated from the vagaries of demand, they just get the government (i.e. taxpayer) to cough up more to cover any loses (or "lower then predicted profits").

Demand for trains is relatively elastic despite the poor level of competition* as alternatives do exist (cycle, car, motorcycle, car, bus, car-share, taxi, foot; etc) and people will switch if they can.

Not so with energy. People might switch from one company to another, but the level of any reduction they can make is going to be slight unless they invest in insulation/more efficient equipment; so it remains easy to raise prices to cover the fixed costs without seeing much drop in demand. It's not as simple to just throw up a solar array and a wind generator as it is to change mode of transport. Thus demand for energy is relatively inelastic.

As I said - it's basic economics.

*Whether or not there should even be competition on the railways is a different question. In my opinion the experiment has failed and should be scrapped. It's not going to work in the NHS either - unless we are prepared to raise spending on health to the same levels as the USA (from ~8% to ~15%). Your MPs are working hard to impoverish you even more - but so longs as they get a fat directorship and the perks; they don't give a damn.

Cite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_States#Spending

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The BigYin
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Re: UK's thirst for energy falls, yet prices rise: Now why is that?

Production falls. Static costs remain the same.

Sit down with a calculator and work out the new unit price.

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The BigYin
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Re: UK's thirst for energy falls, yet prices rise: Now why is that?

It's not a scam, it's basic economics.

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Big biz 'struggling' to dump Windows XP

The BigYin
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Re: Legacy legacy legacy

I know. Business critical ActiveX controls. It's enough you make one cry.

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Japanese fanboi builds FrankenPhone from 'bits of iPhone 5'

The BigYin
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Re: Any phone manufacturers with the headphone slot at the bottom?

My old Nokia feature phone has the jack at the bottom.

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