* Posts by David Hicks

1243 posts • joined 22 Apr 2008

Google 'open' memo betrays deep corporate delusion

David Hicks
Linux

There are other non-open areas

Like on android, the "unnofficial" distributions and the source releases don't have the app marketplace, nor do they have the google login service or a bunch of other bits and pieces.

Nothing major, and android is definitely a step forward in the mobile marketplace, but they're certainly not as fully open as they'd have you believe.

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Oz anti-censorship site is censored

David Hicks

The great things about DNS

is that it's by consent of the people. We can always switch to something like OpenNIC.

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Sony Vaio X

David Hicks

Love sony kit

But at those prices, why buy a netbook class machine? I want more oomph for that cash.

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Microsoft urges Flash makers to pay fat dollar for exFAT format

David Hicks
Unhappy

Stick to FAT for now

It's got no problems with SDHC cards and I'm betting that if these new devices support older SDHC then they'll support FAT on SDXC as well.

But yes, I too join the calls for another file system. A free one with no royalty agreements, then we can all get along. Doesn't have to be extX or anything else currently linux-associated, just available for all.

Otherwise MS are once again inserting themselves into the user's life, right in between their digital camera and whatever computer-like device they want to be able to use to read it. I don't want that, thanks all the same.

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'Friends with Benefits' sex does no psych harm - profs

David Hicks
Alien

Who would have guessed

That the majority behaviour for the last several decades does not leave you an emotional wasteland?

Oh, that's right, me and everyone else 'normal'. I guess that rules Americans out though. They do appear to need to be told these things once in a while.

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Revolutionary triangular-key keypad out on Android

David Hicks
Linux

Been Done

There was a triangular key keyboard for Openmoko about a year back.

It does help with fat-finger syndrome, though you could just as well have a triangular sensitive area with a normal graphic.

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Tory peers to protect kids from anuses

David Hicks
Unhappy

No musical exemption for arses?

So I should give up trying to sell my "Fart Hero" idea to Activision?

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Lord Carlile: Police are taking the proverbial on terror

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Says it all really

"a backlash against perceived heavy-handedness could lead to members of the public becoming more aware of their rights, less co-operative, and ultimately far more difficult to police."

People becoming familiar with their rights is the last thing the filth want, because it might mean they have to abide by the rules and stop acting like violent oppressors given half a chance. See the recent London economic protests and their "kettling" tactic for further evidence of the us vs. them attitude in much of the UK police force.

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Intel puts cloud on single megachip

David Hicks
Thumb Down

@Louis - Re: Intel is delusional

I'm sorry, but did you just spout that old fallacy that software engineers can't do parallel programming?

Multi-threaded processes in the server space have been around for over a decade. Multi-process architectures for several decades.

We can do parallel. If *you* can't then that's *your* problem and *you* need to up your game or move out of the software business. The fact that desktop apps and games don't fully take advantage of multiple cores is neither here nor there, the industry has been designing and building industrial/military grade software for multi core machines for long enough.

By the way, I thoroughly disagree with that blog you reference too. The guy has clearly never heard of a thread pool and taking him as any sort of authority is ill advised.

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Asus intros netbook with desktop CPU

David Hicks
Thumb Down

That's not a netbook

At 12.1 inches it's almost as big as my vaio SZ. With dual core and an nvidia processor chucked in...

Nah, it's just a budget laptop, and it may not even be all that "budget" either.

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Researcher busts into Twitter via SSL reneg hole

David Hicks

Why does twitter renegotiate?

I really thought that re-negotiation was a rare phenomenon, and that this attack was hard to pull off without some way to force a renegotiation to occur, or a site that specifically uses it for either client certificate authentication (unusual) or multiple different crypto levels for different parts of a site (totally unnecessary).

Hmmm.

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Microsoft boots modders off Xbox Live

David Hicks
Gates Halo

@AC with the lost games

If you've lost them you're out of luck.

Microsoft does have a free replacement policy for some (not all, mostly MS titles) discs if they become scratched/cracked or otherwise unusable.

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Intel to fast track Atom 2.0 introduction

David Hicks
Thumb Up

Didn't think the N270/280 could do 64 bit?

Otherwise I'd have a 64 bit OS on my eee901.

Still, maybe time for an upgrade next year then...

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Mandy declares 'three strikes' war on illegal file sharers

David Hicks
Pirate

@Simon Rowsby

I agree - there are a lot of people that seem to think that SSL (actually TLS now) is a magic bullet to this.

It isn't, not without some major re-architecting of P2P infrastructure. There exists the possibility of creating a system in which you talk directly only to people you know and bounce or hop through them to people they know and so on. This can be achieved by certificate signing amongst friends, and there is a need for a user-friendly way of doing this. It would also slow things down considerably but eventually be mitigated by increasing speeds.

In this way you could still exchange data with total strangers (what's good about P2P) but with every link along the way being trusted, and nobody knowing the source or destination of any data, nor anyone outside the circle knowing the content. And unlike freenet you could make sure you only participate in transfers of things you don't have an ethical objection to.

I had this idea all by myself, but as with all of these things I was lazy, the time for the idea was clearly just right and other people also thought of it and wrote it - check out "OneSwarm".

Not that I necessarily advocate piracy, but I sure as hull advocate keeping your activities secret from the government.

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Reg readers take mobile makers to task

David Hicks

Tethering

An easy way to tether the phone to a laptop for access on the go. Bluetooth or WiFi (AP mode) would work. A decent screen and keyboard for when it's on its own.

Cheap would be good....

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Anti-filesharing laws revive crypto fears for spooks

David Hicks
Big Brother

@Ian

Filesharers are the big one. Part of the problem is that when much more traffic becomes encrypted, it's much more difficult to tell what's what.

At the moment you can probably filter on criteria such as port number and destination, then quickly discount most online finance and shopping. If all the major P2P goes encrypted and starts using tricks like random ports, protocol disguises, adaptive data rates, temporary keys, multiple hops, webs of trust etc etc (all starting to show up in cutting edge applications) then it becomes very, very difficult to sort out what might be more serious, in the eyes of the spooks.

Personally I don't think it's a bad thing, that their lives are made more difficult. I do worry about our key disclosure laws because I'm pretty tech and crypto literate, but I'd have a hard time (by protocol design) giving them the keys to my encrypted comms, because they're gone now.

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Atheists smite online God poll

David Hicks
Happy

2% say yes... that's familiar

Is that not the same proportion that attend church regularly? Seems this poll could be indicative after all.

I've seen a lot of their "Does God Exist? Yes, No, Maybe" posters about the place, most have them in London seem to have been vandalised to have the "NO" box ticked as well. Personally I hope that the UK is transforming itself into a largely post-religious society, all that organised religion seems to stand for these days is prejudice and anti-rationality.

Believe if you like, but I reserve the right to think you're delusional.

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Apple breaks jailbreakers' hearts with iPhone 3GS patch

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Eh?

@Sean O'Connor 1 - If Apple made it trivial to jail break a phone why would a developer bother writing an app?"

What are you even talking about?

Why would easily opened phones stop developers writing apps?

We're not talking about piracy here, we're talking about the ability to run software written by people other than apple-approved apps.

At the moment it's a lottery for developers whether they'll even get into the app store. Having alternative stores or letting people buy direct would be a big boost to some vendors.

Adobe would love it - they could actually put flash on the system!

"Why do you think the AppStore is such a success?"

Because apple users lack imagination or the ability to decide for themselves what to do with their shiny gadgets.

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David Hicks
FAIL

Why?

I mean, they have to spend engineering time and effort and all they achieve is to piss off a section of their userbase.

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Child porn threat to airport's 'virtual strip search' scanners

David Hicks
Alert

Wait, what?

"Making an indecent image of a child is a strict liability offence under the Protection of Children Act"

Got it, naked children are indecent, regardless of circumstances, security concerns, whatever. All children should be sewn into their clothes at birth and only let out when they reach 18, for their own protection and to protect adults everywhere from being corrupted and turning into raging paedos.

Hell, better make that 30.

This is what you get when terrorist hysteria and child "protection" hysteria mix. Can we just have everyone involved on both sides put down for their own good?

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NO2ID backs drive to inject voter power into next Election

David Hicks
Big Brother

@Stuart22

Easy - ID cards are far, far worse.

The Tories sorted this country out after a labour mess last time and they'll do it again. Hopefully they'll start by swinging an axe at the public sector.

Personally I'll be voting Lib Dem (if I'm still in the country come election time) in the hope that they can at least form HM's Opposition and relegate Labour to the history books.

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GE tries to refocus image of holographic storage

David Hicks

Is it that much of an improvement?

With multi-layer Blu-ray discs up to 400GB in the works, is this really so necessary?

There's probably a reason holographic storage never took off - it's overly complex and standard optical storage keeps closing the gaps.

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Nation's moral guardians snap over 'shag bands'

David Hicks
FAIL

Tired old crap

This colour-coded jewellery for sexual favours thing is nonsense. It comes up about once every two years when some newspaper has nothing better to say.

They've been touting this nonsense on and off about these plastic arm-bands for almost a decade now. Before that it was "friendship bracelets" which I'm sure anyone of my generation (born late 70s) will remember the girls making from bits of coloured string and giving out.

There was never anything to it then (more's the pity IMHO...) and there's nothing to it now. The fact that an MP has fallen for it speaks volumes.

Why is the reg reporting this ridiculous old hype?

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ARM wrestles Intel for netbook crown

David Hicks
Linux

@Hayden

Try installing an HP network printer (yes, bought from PC world for 50 quid, photosmart 2575) on windows -

1. Go to hp.com

2. find and download driver package (70-500MB depending on which bundle you choose)

3. Install driver and hope it finds the printer.

Linux -

1.Go to System -> Printers -> Add printer -> network printer. Click OK when it finds it.

Seriously, I know people who've had to do all sorts of weird things like setup XP virtual machines to run older printers because Vista refuses to use them and the manufacturers haven't made updated drivers.

Linux has FAR more hardware support that windows now.

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Apple iPod Touch 3G

David Hicks

Games eh?

I have yet to be convinced that a touch-screen control interface is going to be any good at all for games.

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Database containing 1.8m UK postcode locations leaks online

David Hicks
Thumb Down

PAF Damn weel ought to be free

We pay for it, to deny us access to it due to profit/copyright concerns is just nonsense.

Royal mail need to stop living in the 1950s, we're in an information age and they're quickly becoming an irrelevance. Providing public services like a free and open PAF and their other address-related data would be a good way to justify the susbidies we give them.

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Tory surveillance backlash: Worthy, but is it workable?

David Hicks
Thumb Up

Got my vote, probably.

What would really win my vote would be a party running on a platform of:

- Scaled back survellance

- Scaled back and simplified public sector

- Increase in personal freedom (drugs, right to choose to die, other such things)

Still, 2 out of 3 isn't too bad, even if it's only manifesto guff.

Can we have an election now?

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Nokia lets operators screw with customise the N900

David Hicks
Linux

God Dammit

This was finally looking like a decent linux based phone which I could actually do stuff with, free from operator interference...

Never mind, back to tinkering with the freerunner then :(

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Japan gets to grips with train-grope websites

David Hicks
IT Angle

Miss Moderatrix...

I wouldn't say that female-only carriages were sexist. I would say the fact they are needed is sad, and that their existence can only further spur the attitude that male is a potential groper.

It's just a shame there's no easy way to identify and remove the perverts, because otherwise I would have said that being all crushed up on a train was a great way to break the ice and meet people in an otherwise cold and impersonal metroplex.

Well, it works in London anyway.

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Dixons blames PC World for falling sales

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Challenging environment my arse

As the UK's only big store PC and parts retailer it amazes me that they can continue being bad enough to make a loss in an environment with basically zero competition.

They're overpriced, their stock is usually last year's tech, the prices for small bits and pieces, especially memory cards, are extortionate. Their audience must basically be people who are in a hurry (the only time you'll find me there) and those who are too old to trust the internet.

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Sony snubs Microsoft in Google Chrome browser deal

David Hicks
Linux

@Reality Dysfunction

It's amazing the amount of rubbish they cram on there isn't it?

I bought a vaio a little while ago because they're slim, light and powerful. Took bleeding ages to clean up the windows install. They even had the cheek to put locked versions of a few movies on there that could be unlocked with money. That was 4GB of disk I reclaimed quick-sharp.

Now my baby runs linux and all is well with the world...

Good to see someone taking an alternate browser seriously, though I have no doubt that this will be something to do with sharing ad revenue.

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Home Office coughs to larger data loss

David Hicks
Big Brother

For Fuck's Sake

And yet they expect to be trusted with ALL our personal details for the uber-database.

Right.

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How to run Mac OS X on a generic PC

David Hicks

That sounds like a lot of money and effort

When EFI emulators are available on the 'net.

They may be more hairy, but for 170 quid it seems like that's the way I'd go.

But then I enjoy messing with computers for hours on end.

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UK population to abandon Midlands

David Hicks
Thumb Up

It is rather nice to be able to do that

Sod the pay cut, I'm leaving the country to become a (very) remote worker. I guess it's just a privilege of working in a location independent field like software.

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Nokia launches laptop

David Hicks
WTF?

They had me until windows

Nokia have always been good at interface and device design. I'm not sure why they'd put out a generic windows netbook at this point. They're following quite a way behind the other players when they usually lead.

The N900 looks fantastic though...

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Police drag feet following DNA law change

David Hicks
Big Brother

@Mycho

I thought the 9 months was from the date of the ruling - so pretty soon.

I'd be very surprised to hear if anything much comes out of the changes in the law though. The civil service, police and politicians seem to be dead set on keeping as much information on all of us as they can get their greasy paws on.

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Apple iTablet snaps emerge

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Looks a bit like the "crunchpad" project

Which is far more attractive to me. Bigger, (most likely) cheaper and open.

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100 freetards an hour join Pirate Party UK

David Hicks

@Fraser

"Either you agree or not? You can't disagree with something and wholehartedly support it unless you've perfexted doublethink. I personally don't think that making "fair use" copies of your own physical media onto other formats for personal use is a problem, it should be explicity legal. I don't believe that I should make this happen by putting copies of all of my music and videos onto the internet for all and sundry to take whenever they want."

And how are you going to make those personal copies? All the tools are illegal. I can't even use media I buy in all the machines I own because of stupid restrictions on region coding and other crappy DRM.

That's why I support it. At the moment there is no protection of fair use and the bias is too far to one side, the social contract that makes up copyright is being utterly abused by one side - so fuck 'em, total disobedience on the other is what they'll get in response. When the contract is rebalanced then perhaps we can all start cooperating and acting lawfully again.

As for the rest of your last post, it's not worth bothering with. You just childishly reduce different crimes to the same thing again, despite knowing that one is depriving someone else of property and the other is an act of copying, and then repeat you naive assertion that the UK populace give a crap about holding existing political parties to their manifesto promises.

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David Hicks
Thumb Down

@Anonymous Libertarian

Whilst I have some libertarian leanings - I agree that less laws, low tax etc are good in principle - libertarians and their parties are absolutely NUTS.

Consumption tax, even the elaborate and complicated "fair tax" is regressive and pushes the tax burden even further onto the lower-middle class.

Libertarians would ditch all forms of social security. Libertarians would ditch the NHS.

Sorry, but Libertarianism is a great way to ensure that we end up with underclasses that are forced to contract themselves into slavery just to eat. No thanks.

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David Hicks
Thumb Down

@Fraser again

You missed the point.

There's more to the debate than file sharing. There are vast numbers of people who are upset at the growing corporatisation and anti-privacy politics that are going on in the western world.

The pirate party represent a different view point that none of the mainstream do.

I don't agree with unbridled copying of other folks work, but I will support it wholeheartedly until DRM and region coding go away, copyright terms are reduced significantly and anti-technology laws like the DMCA and EUCD are repealed.

The pirate party represent the will of a certain section of the people here, saying it's just a bunch of crooks is stupid.

Also, your attitude on copyright and stealing is dumb. If I steal a car, you don't have it any more. That doesn't make unauthorised copying right or better but it's not the same. Why do we need to reduce everything to the point of the ridiculous? Are we children that can't cope with more than one type of crime? Murder is just like stealing too, stealing someone's life. Parking without a ticket - stealing a space! It's all theft, whatever you want to call it, so it's all the same in my eyes!

Nonsense.

As for your assertion that the other parties have manifestos so they can held to account - how wonderfully naive you are. I'd love to live in your world.

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David Hicks
Pirate

@Fraser

Yes, they're a single issue party who don't expect to get into power, of course they have narrow aims. DUH!

As for these sections - Business, Community Relations, Countryside, Climate Change and Energy, Crime and Justice, Culture, Media and Sport, Defence, Democracy, Economy, Environment, Europe, Family, Foreign Affairs, Health, Housing, Immigration, International Development, Local Government, National Security, Schools, Transport, Universities and Skills, Voluntary Sector, Welfare and Pensions, Women.

Well, let's get rid of half of them anyway. Why the hell the Tory party is involved in "Community Relations", "Culture", "Media and Sport", "Family" and various other of those sections is a mystery to me.

Less government is good government.

And to all the moaners - I don't give a stuff about your music or software, I'm not copying it or buying it, but I think my generation cares about the surveillance society, the handing of rights and laws to the corporate masters of IP and the suppression of technology (legitimate or otherwise) to support business interests.

It's time for the pendulum to swing back the other way for a while.

Avast!

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Bug exposes eight years of Linux kernel

David Hicks
FAIL

@jsp

""If someone ever releases a PC running Linux that Joe Average can use to surf the web..."

But that's never going to happen is it."

If you can't pick up a netbook running linux and get from powered-off to web-browser inside a minute you need to back away from the keyboard right now and NEVER darken the doors of a tech site like this again, that is an absolutely stunning level of incompetence!

I sure as hell hope you don't work with computers.

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David Hicks
Linux

@Anonymous Coward

"OK, now deploy it to all 60/600/6000 machines you have running Linux. Some of which are running mission critical applications. Don't forget, it needs a recompile of a kernel and a reboot to fix"

Actually, some work is being done at the moment (not sure if it made the mainstream) to remove the need to reboot when swapping out the kernel. Not sure why you mention recompiling, because nobody in their right mind does that now, not in a mission critical situation. You use the one supplied by your distro.

And if they're mission critical, you have them firewalled and you don't allow just anyone local access anyway, right?

Privilege escalations are nothing new and are present in many OS's. This will be fixed and forgotten like many others.

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Dell: Linux v Windows netbook returns a 'non-issue'

David Hicks
Linux

@AC - Re: Repositories, drivers etc

Drivers tend to be built into the kernel and just work or are not present. Installing drivers is not really done in the linux world, outside of some specialist things, like nVidia cards. Which is exactly the same on windows, gamers and other 3d geeks constantly downloading and reinstalling nVidia stuff to make sure they're getting that extra 0.5 fps...

You say you want to be able to "just download stuff from the net and run an installer".

You can.

IF the software maker supplies the software as an rpm or deb file. No problem. That said, I have never needed to go outside the repositories on debian, it has soemthing like 25,000 pieces of software that can do pretty much anything you ever thought of.

I know, coming from the windows world you feel the need to search the web, download something untrusted with a trojan in it and let it loose on your machine, this is a habit to get out of with linux.

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Judge slaps ban on RealDVD software

David Hicks

Humbug.

Should I mention DVDDecrypter?

I mean, I know it's illegal and stopped both development and official distribution some time ago, but it doesn't take much to find it. Then your fair use is protected. And then there's AnyDVD which is a commercial product that can remove protections and make copies of pretty much anything up and including BluRay.

Unlike RealDVD, which I understand just changed encryption schemes and locked the copy to your PC.

RealDVD just got the slapdown because it came from a big name.

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Ubuntu man extends olive branch to irate Debian devs

David Hicks
Linux

Why all the (random) hatred?

Seriously, if you like windows or OS X then good for you, use it.

Those of us that like an open OS with many more capabilities than either, but with a learning curve and some work needed, will continue to exercise and expand our grey matter. During that process we'll get a great OS and much deeper insight into the workings of everything, becoming more knowledgeable and employable whilst we're at it.

If Photoshop is the only reason you use a computer, buy one that runs photoshop well. Frankly I doubt that 10% of the people that whine about Adobe products not being available on Windows have actually paid for a license for it anyway, if they even have a legitimate windows license.

@The Dorset Rambler

It started as a hobby OS, but some companies now sell support services, others sell consultancy and customisation services, still others sell hardware with Linux as operating system. It benefits them to contribute patches and functionality.

The reason a lot of people like it is because price/performance wise it is the best value UNIX(like) system out there, and the most widely supported in terms of hardware and software options. It's also closer, in terms of user experience and coding environment, to the other Sys V derivatives (AIX, Solaris, HP-UX) than the BSDs.

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Microsoft's Windows 7 price gamble - and why it's flawed

David Hicks
FAIL

Who buys windows?

Seriously, who buys it? Targetting it at consumers wih any sort of discount matrix seems utterly pointless.

Windows comws with new PCs, if MS is having trouble selling its OS then it's because the PC market has slowed down markedly in the last couple of years. Last year's machine is no longer useless. That machine from 5 years ago can still browse the web and do the documents fine.

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Company wins US patent for podcasting

David Hicks
Thumb Down

What a load of old tosh

So because they think they cam along before podcasting was on the scene that they deserve a patent on the frigging obvious?

When the term "podcasting" was first mooted I hated it. There was nothing new there then. WOW, someone made downloadable sound files, and someone else made a piece of software to grab a notification off a website and check for new stuff. Podcasting was then added as a pretentious term over the top to cover the two activities.

Nobody deserves a patent for that. Hell, if they did invent it they deserve a good punch to the gut.

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Southampton Uni getting Nehalem supercomputer

David Hicks
Thumb Up

Ah, my old scuttling grounds...

It'll make a change from the flood0damaged SP2 they used to have in the basement.

I would have loved to have played with something like this when I was there.

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Wii and PS3 sales slide

David Hicks

The PS3 is a nice machine

And I think the fact that it *only* sold 1.1 million units is evidence it's not a dead or dying platform.

I'm not surprised Sony is showing a loss though. They're at the higher end of most of the markets they compete in, and at the moment that's a pretty bad place to be.

As for exclusives, need I say more than "Ghostbusters" ?

I've been waiting for a Ghostbusters fps since I was 6.

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