* Posts by The BigYin

3055 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

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

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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FAIL

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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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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Japanese giant sorry for Kobo launch balls-up

The BigYin
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Re: Latest firmware removes Cyrillic text support

OK, make that the second complaint. Updates without user authorisation are a very bad idea.

Then again, it's what people will expect after being spoon-fed by Windows.

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The BigYin
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Re: What's not been mentioned..

Only complaint about the Kobo Touch I have heard is that the page-turn is over sensitive and that a swipe (rather than a tap) would be better. No idea if that is a setting, not bothered to look (not my Kobo - I am waiting for colour e-ink and then I am going to ditch all my dead-tree magazine subs).

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Sysadmins! There's no shame in using a mouse to delete files

The BigYin
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Re: @Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other.

A GUI is better (generally speaking) when a graphical layout is better able to display the current problem/fix/layout/whatever.

At other times, a CLI can be better.

You pick the best tool for the job.

Did you know Windows now has a CLI back? I've not had cause to use PowerShell, but it is there.

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The BigYin
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Re: The right tool for the job...

CLI? Real sys admins don't use a CLI. They use butterflies, stupid.

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The BigYin
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Tool for the job

A CLI is a tool.

A GUI is another tool.

The CLI is easily scriptable, a GUI usually not.

The GUI is often just a pretty wrapper on the CLI, but maybe not exposing all the features.

The GUI may not even be a desktop app, it could be in a browser.

The CLI is often backwards compatible, the GUI can change radically yet offer no new features.

Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other.

Learn both, their strengths and weaknesses.

Profit.

Leave the holy wars to the wannabes who think reading everything in hex makes them 1337.

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Capita and pals get £500m for ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE call centre

The BigYin
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Don't waste your time at B&Q, whenever you go you'll find that whatever you are after is out of stock/broken. The B&Q near me is so poorly run that they have buckets strewn over the floor to catch the leaks when it rains. Hardly a good advert.

Head to Wickes, Homebase (maybe not as hard-core) to a small DIY retailer.

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The BigYin
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Oh why, oh why, oh why

Does our government keep giving deals to these abject failures?

Seriously - we need private companies providing public services like we need Dracula managing the blood bank.

Actually, Dracula would be an improvement; at least he's honest!

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Microsoft unfurls patent lasso, snares Linux servers

The BigYin
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Is this really about the kernel

Do the patents really cover the use of the Linux kernel itself?

Or do they cover whatever data-mining/processing Amdocs is doing with those Linux servers

If the former - that is worrying.

If the latter - less worrying, but software/business-process patents still suck ass.

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CO2 warms Earth FASTER than previously thought

The BigYin
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Re: Relax...

But as the rest of your comment makes clear, you think humans are evil

And lo! A straw man did descend from upon high and claimed himself lord! The good people, knowing his form, did set fire to him and burned his fallacy unto the ground.

we mess up the one thing that matters, Mother Nature

Well now, y'see that's where I'm a bit of an agnostic on the whole thing. Is it AGW? Or is it just GW? Are we making it worse? Or better? Will it be as dreadful as for told, or just a bit uncomfortable? Either way, I'm happier to take steps that might just keep things in a zone that suits us best. Oh whoops - does that make me evil?

This worries you more than infant mortality rates or poverty - things that make human life crappy.

But behold! Upon seeing the ashes of the straw man on the ground; the great beast False Dichotomy did raise his head and roar! Only for the good people the rip out the beast's tongue and stab it to death.

You know what could cause a massive rise in infant mortality? Crop failure. Drought. Guess what AGW is being fingered for...oh my yes; that and more.

And by "[living] with natural rhythms more" I meant more eating locally (i.e. seasonally), wasting less, and generally reducing our footprint from all that (plus a bit more).

I put it to you that struggle of resources will cause more infant mortality and increase poverty more than trying to solve the potential problem. Why are you so afraid of option 2)? Is it because you would have sacrifice? Not some nameless poor bastard in Botswana? Is it because you (and if you are posting here, you are probably one of the richest people on the planet, with one the highest standards of living and life expectancy; i.e. you are a Westerner or in the developed East) might have to pay a teensy-weensy, ickle-wickle little more for that cafa-mocha-latte?

But it's me who some kind of human-hater simply because I don't want to shit where I sleep and mess up my only home.

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The BigYin
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Re: Two things are worthyof note.

"Carbon sequestration, carbon credits etc."

I think you'll find that "carbon credits" was just a ruse created by the rich so that they could enrich the rich even more. It's a farce. What are they going to do? Eat their money?

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The BigYin
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Re: Relax...

The first post? Flippin' hell.

I'm an AGW agnostic. I'm not sure if the science is right or not. I'm not sure if things will be as bad as they say. But neither am I an expert on stats, climate, ecology, computer modelling or any number of other related disciplines.

What is the risk of being wrong? What is the risk of doing what is suggested?

1) We are, as a species, dead. The environment is so loopy that we can't grow enough food and die off. On the scale of "Bad things" that's up around eleventy-billion. It's really is not good.

Or

2) We develop new technologies, better integrate public transport, create new jobs (lose others jobs), pollute less, live with natural rhythms more, stop exploiting people in the third world, reduce our dependency on energy imports, have cleaner water, less particulates in the air and thus less lung issues...the list goes on. Yes there will be problems and yes it might not be necessary. But in the great scheme of things - it's no big.

I put it to you - outcome 2) on it's own is a "Good Thing"(tm) regardless of AGW or not. So why are people so deathly afraid of option 2)? You don't have to go and live in a hut or anything. A bit of insulation, recycling, water-butt and other simple measures are a start. It's really not that hard.

You wouldn't shit where you sleep, yet that is exactly what we are doing on a global scale; and that simply cannot be sustained.

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Transport Dept dishes out £1.9m rail database deal to Capita

The BigYin
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FAIL

As if...

...our rail system wasn't screwed up enough.

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