* Posts by John Robson

926 posts • joined 19 May 2008

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The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

John Robson
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DAB...

Nope - still no DAB sets here...

I suppose if I replace the car then one might appear as a result of that, as it has for my parents.

Since all my entertainment streams into the house over an IP connection I probably count anyway, but that's disingenuous. More interesting is the number of non-DAB radios that cannot easily be replaced (so those in cars which aren't in a nice replaceable housing for instance).

Since there is no compelling reason to change from FM - it's not as if it sounds better, and there are already more stations than I can shake a stick at, many of them are good local services - why do I want to spend silly money on a power hungry radio?

I checked for SWMBO's last birthday, and couldn't find one that sounded decent for a sane price, so I went with an older IP radio, and that sounds great. Has an aux in for the iPod dock as well...

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Atmel stoops to an 'all-time low' in Internet of Things battle

John Robson
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Doesn't it need

to do regular comms tests?

Else "There's a fire" will fall on deaf antenna, since the comms world has moved on in a decade...

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Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

John Robson
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Re: @cyke1 Hope they win.

Maybe they have already applied an appropriate discount?

"And I'm sorry, cellular providers pay the property owners to lease the small plot of land their towers take up. The same rules of engagement should apply to the wireless network that's accessible from inside my house. I'm already paying an obscene amount for their services, at the very least they should off set it should I decide to OPT IN. I should not have to opt out to have my network unhijacked."

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

John Robson
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Re: If you need to be seen, sidelights.

Whyever not - if a road has streetlights then it is perfectly possible to see down it. In fact about the only thing that prevents me seeing a decent way along a streetlit road is the number of idiots with dazzlingly bright lights.

If you don't start a lighting war then there is no need for anyone else to continue it - and the people who are going to sleep don't get their rooms illuminated by annoying moving lights...

Amazingly the moon provides a good amount of light as well, depends on the phase obviously, but it's quite possible to travel without any other light source.

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Hawk like an Egyptian: Google is HOPPING MAD over fake SSL certs

John Robson
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Re: revoked cert

Yes, I *can* come up with a better solution.

I have suggested it here on a number of occasions, and it's generally not badly received...

SSL certs should be pulled down as a DNS record, with the DNS record secured by DNSSEC.

DNSSEC already has lookaside validation, and if the root cert was compromised then the whole world would be shouting about it...

I suggest that each browser company runs their own lookaside validation server as a default lookaside option in their browser (since you explicitly trust them anyway) and allows you to use others if you want to.

This also provides a nice way to distribute SSH host certs etc...

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First figures in and it doesn't look good for new internet dot-words

John Robson
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Re: Even more URL's

What aplan - a ".yesterday" domain, for celebrity has beens...

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Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

John Robson
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And how long will the "old" coins be valid?

'cos they're still fakeable while they are...

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The storage is alive? Flash lives longer than expected – report

John Robson
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Re: Advance warning?

They should be able to tell you how many blocks they've reallocated though.

And an increase in that number is taken as an early warning...

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Watchdog slaps American Apparel's youthful naked arse

John Robson
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Re: "Must not appear again in its current form"

No insulting chocolate teapots please:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-29126161

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Musk: 'Tesla's electric Model S cars will be less crap soon. I PROMISE'

John Robson
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Stopping on a journey

Is highly recommended. It allows your brain to rest, and your kids to go to the loo.

I take a fairly regular 300 mile journey, and that gets split in two, with over an hour in the gap - because we take lunch/dinner as part of the journey.

Far more relaxing, much nicer for the kids and I'm properly alert for the second half of the journey.

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Pi(e) Day of the Century is upon us! Time to celebrate 3/14/15 in style, surely?

John Robson
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Dates?

Why does it strip leading zeros and the century indicator.

That's no good. Besides Tau day is where it is at - the USians still celebrate on the wrong day of course...

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

John Robson
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Why not run with what's already out there?

TV programming to accompany the RasPi would have been a good way to go I'd have thought, maybe a BBC modular component to plug into the GPIO with sane protective resistors etc already in place?

At least the company has some history with doing this kind of thing, although that was in a VERY different environment...

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Look, no handsets: How to do telephony without a phone

John Robson
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What is that handset in the picture?

Boss man wants to know...

Aha - google image search to the rescue...

http://www.nativeunion.com/us/curve-bluetooth.html/

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Vodafone: Can't make calls on our network? Use Wi-Fi

John Robson
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And of course you can't use it if you buy their data+sms package.

Not that they will tell you this when you buy it, nor when you talk to customer services (twice)

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Chewier than a slice of Pi: MIPS Creator CI20 development board

John Robson
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Re: Media Center

"The Pi could do with a proper soft power button to be properly useful as a media centre"

Then make one. I'm sure you could detect a button push and trigger shutdown.

Have the PSU run through a normally open relay and it will power itself down as well. You might want a reasonable time lag on that relay so that the pi can boot before the watchdog timer expires...

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United Nations: For pity's sake don't use your iPhone in your car

John Robson
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Re: Driving with a handset

"Funny how on El Reg. the general commentariat tendency to rabid libertarianism goes completely out the window into manic social-engineer authoritarianism - making things "more illegal" that are already illegal and when it comes to other people doing things that annoy them."

No - it makes things "less illegal" - or at least subject to lower penalties...

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Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

John Robson
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Re: Actually, a router is a router, and "modems" no longer really exists...

My "Router" doesn't have any IP routing capabilities. It is purely a media transformation device (VDSL <-> Ethernet).

My server, which is connected via ethernet, does the PPPoE negotiation with the exchange and gets a public IP address itself. I doubt if the modem has an IP address, although I suspect it might respond to something in the 192.168 range if directed at it (since nothing downstream would accept that IP address it's a reasonably intercept) But what could I configure on it - it's a dumb link negotiator and media translator.

Genuine question - what can you configure on a BT OpenReach VDSL "modem".

Hmm - quite some: https://huaweihg612hacking.wordpress.com/about/

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John Robson
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Re: I honestly don't know what to do about this?

"I use a Sky router modem, because as far as I know I have to"

This is the problem - ISPs don't "support" anything other than their own router.

I convinced the BT engineer to leave me an openreach modem for my VDSL line, and subsequently have swapped out the ISP provided router with a debian installation doing PPPoE itself.

That's beyond most people, but we used to have the concept of having a modem and a router as separate devices, and that is a possible solution.

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Ford to save you from BIKE FITNESS HORROR

John Robson
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Re: Electric bike prices do seem rather high.

"600 is somewhat more realistic, at least thats less than my annual fuel bill for the car (I only fill the tank once a month)"

So you pay no insurance, VED, servicing, MOT costs?

I assume your vehicle is already fully depreciated.

If you rag the battery too often it will need replacing at some point, but hopefully battery tech can have stepped up a generation each time you do (and you can always stay one generation "old")

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John Robson
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Re: "there is no derailleur....so the prototypes are fixies"

"Power sapping"

Do you have experience with this?

Because it's just not supported by any of the people I know who run belts - both Gates Carbon and other similar belts.

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John Robson
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Re: "there is no derailleur....so the prototypes are fixies"

It's almost as if Ford haven't been around for the last 100+ years. Derailleurs are new kids on the block (sorry) when it comes to gearing on a bike.

With anything from 2 speed automatic to 14 speed manual gearboxes, or 350% CVT hubs available that belt isn't a bad idea. Although getting the correct belt pretension each time you get the bike out would be a bit of a pain.

Why not have it fold like any other mixed mode cycle - the brompton, for instance, folds the chain into the middle of the package, so there's no need to be concerned about it - well certainly no more than the wet road soup that drips off the tyres...

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Super SSD tech: Fancy a bonkers 8TB all-flash PC?

John Robson
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Want, even without the insane performance.

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How many Androids does it take to change a light bulb?

John Robson
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Re: I can't turn the lights on because my phone battery's gone flat.

Torch - just use the camera flash on your pho... oh

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Get yourself connected: GrovePi+ Starter Kit

John Robson
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Re: argh!

Not necessarily - it might be that they'll do the electronics later, or are doing it in a different class.

In this class you learn how to control the stuff you are learning how to build over there - that's not a bad idea, the proof of your electronics is instantly available - you can see where both classes are heading...

Not everyone has to specialise in everything...

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

John Robson
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Re: Content and Style

Change tracking by use of diff?

Or is that just too complicated?

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Google Talk is dead, long live, er, Google Talk: Chat will survive app zap, flaps G+ chap

John Robson
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XMPP support...

Because letting people choose software to interact with your services is too hard?

How do I get friends onto IRC?

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

John Robson
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This is why cert authorities are broken.

200+ certs on my machine.

Let's get DNSSEC based certificate delivery -trust the root, have browser manufacturers offer a DLV service for *when* the root (or a country TLD) is suspected compromised.

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IT knowledge is as important as Maths, says UK.gov

John Robson
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Any skills learnt

will be outdated by the time the exam is taken.

Any chance of learning the underlying theories was lost when politricks got involved. They couldn't tell a reference from a pointer.

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Sony's super-frumpy SmartEyeglass goggles are $840 Google Glasses

John Robson
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Apple's design people need to think

They've omitted the left hand glasses arm, which wouldn't have obscured anything else in the image, but left in the right hand arm, which runs across the main point of the inv^H^H^H patent.

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Fight back against illegal GCHQ spying with PAPERWORK!

John Robson
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So they want...

...me to highlight myself to the likes of the NSA/GCHQ etc.

I can only presume that those records will be looked at a little bit more closely before they are reported on and (possibly) deleted (although not from backups), wouldn't it be a shame if there was a dB failure and we had to recover from tape?

Or maybe they'll just do the modern "delete" of adding a column in the dB to say "deleted"

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Linux kernel set to get live patching in release 3.20

John Robson
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Re: Very clever stuff

Yes, because I never have a service that I just run on one machine, because any HA architecture would be pointlessly expensive.

OK - I'm open to whole pile of possible failure modes, but to remove one whole set of "scheduled maintenance" outages would actually remove all the outages I've had over the last 18 months (possibly longer, but I can't remember)

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Still using the Google Talk app? You've got ONE WEEK to move on

John Robson
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Re: Remember when you could load up all your IM accounts in one program?

Since it still runs Jabber you can.

I use PSI for all my comms protocols (except iMessages grr...)

At least on the mac the messages app handles them all, but elsewhere I just sacrifice iMessage - Oh well...

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Internet of Thieves: All that shiny home security gear is crap, warns HP

John Robson
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Re: Indeed

No - but not being accessible excpet via a VPN is pretty good start.

This is what I want - someone to make one of the control hubs that is just locally accessible, doesn't do cloudy stuff... Or at least that you have to actively enable cloudy stuff...

Just sits at home and I can control stuff from inside the house. If it's Pi based under the hood then great, but I don't really care all that much - just have it self contained.

I'll deal with communications from outside thank you...

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Calling a friend? Listen to an advert. You lucky, lucky thing

John Robson
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One benefit...

All those automated cold calls will start talking to an advert rather than waiting for the ringing to finish...

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Ofcom can prise my telly spectrum from my COLD, DEAD... er, aerial

John Robson
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Re: "Broadcast is efficient"

"Recieve at the same time" is slightly skewed by the fact that at the moment much of it can *only* be recieved at that time. Despite the number of channels, and the number of hours TVs spend "off" there are a phenomenal number of them in the UK.

How much of the currently viewed content could be happily transmitted (transport agnostic statement) to PVRs overnight, for viewing as convenient the next day (say when the decrypt key for that content was broadcast/published - low bandwidth at "time of delivery").

Genuine question - haven't watched any broadcast TV in a long while - how much of it isn't prerecorded (even if recorded "as live").

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Get off Twitter – and onto Google if you want to find TWITS and tweets

John Robson
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Great Tweet...

I'm sorry, I'm confused...

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SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016

John Robson
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Re: @John Robson

Ah, you're replacing new disks.

I have a stack of <1TB disks - and of course the extra PC (and controller card) which is used to control them all.

I'd also expect a large WORM SSD to have much more than a 5 year lifetime.

So I'd be dropping a PC, and ~10 older drives in favour of a single SSD - which would be effectively zero power - connected to another machine which is always on.

I think the potential price of W(O|F)RM SSD media might surprise you as well.

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CHAINSAW HORROR advert earns GiffGaff a slap from regulator

John Robson
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Re: Errr

In my defence I did say that the ASA doesn't have as many as a snail.

Although I was also surprised that snails can have 14000 teeth - I shall revise my analogy.

As many teeth as a sponge ball.

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John Robson
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Errr

Isn't this a YouTube problem, not a GiffGaff one?

Not that the ASA has as many teeth as a snail, but still

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Web daddy Tim Berners-Lee calls for net neutrality in Europe

John Robson
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Re: But not all of my packets shoudl be treated equally....

QOS done reasonably shouldn't have too much of an affect.

On a large download jitter is not relevant, latency is not relevant (below a silly threshold which we can ignore). On VoIP both of those are much more important, but as has been said the actual bandwidth required is quite small, so the download will still take the lions share, it will just see a significant amount of jitter...

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John Robson
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Re: But not all of my packets shoudl be treated equally....

Mostly - but I reckon that VoIP >>> Torrent, even in the core.

Streaming audio/video comes inbetween somewhere, with buffering it's less critical than comms traffic

though.

The concept that the core network will never be congested is great, but all that means is that you are paying more for the service than you should be. Network infrastructure should be running near capacity in order to make itself worthwhile - that's just basic economics.

Hence the need for some management, although I am absolutely against the concept of discriminating between different sources of the same data type. Having my neighbour's VoIP traffic get priority over my patch download is fine - because the same will happen in reverse as well...

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John Robson
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But not all of my packets shoudl be treated equally....

I want my VoIP packets to be given an easier ride through the network than those halfway through my big download of the day.

Now saying that all VoIP packets should be treated equally, and all VoD packets should be treated equally is a different statement. It permits competition in each marketplace, and allows for the network to prioritise it's load according to the traffic type it sees.

I don't care if my latest patch download takes 61 or 62 minutes, but I do care if my VoIP call has a 1 second dropout...

I'm not sure that packet equality id quite what I want (always assuming that bandwidth is limited somewhere)

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DARPA: We KNOW WHO YOU ARE... by the WAY you MOVE your MOUSE

John Robson
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Re: How a user handles the mouse could be distinctive and difficult to mimic

But it allows ongoing authentication - so you log in yusing your "less than ideally secure" password, and then this continues to ensure that you are using the machine.

And that if you get clouted round the head and someone takes over the console - it locks them out.

Great, but all touch typists will have the same profile - no mouse movement, once your fingers are in place then keyboard shorthcuts are just that - "short", and therefore prefereable to grabbing the mouse and finding the cursor and moving it to the right place (usually not allowing an edge pixel) and then clicking....

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John Robson
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Didn't I read about this last year - banks using bracelets or something...

Here it is...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/24/bracelet_could_protect_user_herds_from_lurking_predators/

OK, not mouse tracking - but pretty close...

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New claim: D-Link router exposes unprotected config controls to web – DNS hijackers, ahoy!

John Robson
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Re: ISP DNS

But how often do you check?

I don't use an ISP supplied router - I use the BT modem and PPPoE from a linux box.

I appreciate that that isn't within most people's grasp, and assume that my WAPs are as bad as the routers, but at least they're not directly connected to the internet.

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John Robson
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Re: Hardware vendors usually don't have the whole product in mind

Because OpenWRT is *so* expensive.

Frankly give a prototype of your router to the OpenWRT team and they'll port the code for you - then all you need to do is flash it and ship it, never need to think about upgrades again - which matches the amount of effort hey want to put in, and exceeds the effort they do put in...

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Obama's budget packs HUGE tax breaks for poor widdle tech giants

John Robson
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Re: hmm

According to the US there is no sovereign, there are just (t)errorists and those who might be (t)errorists

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Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

John Robson
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Re: If you aren't using search [..] you're doing it wrong

"I will forthwith scramble all my possessions in all my drawers and cupboards, put my DVDs in the garage and my tools in the bathroom and spend the rest of my life wasting hours finding back whatever it is I might need to something I might want to do."

If only we had something which could rapidly do the search for me, and get the relevant tool/dvd to me quickly.

In Win7 or OSx or Linux I press a specified key, then a couple of characters of the program I want. This has normally uniquely selected the program, so I can hit enter without ever moving my hands from the home keys.

That's generally significantly faster than trying to remember which sub menu I've stored something in, and select the menu, the sub menu and then the item - and losing my place on the keyboard...

A better analogy might be a DVD shelf where you start to speak the name of the film and you are given the DVD before you've finished the first word* of the title, or at worst a selection of two or three discs (normally a series no doubt).

* "The" doesn't count in the context of a film title

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Supersonic Bloodhound car techies in screaming 650mph comms test

John Robson
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Re: Such fun, Such fun

He might be disposable, the car isn't.

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Your gran and her cronies are 'embracing online banking' – study

John Robson
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Re: HSBC

First Direct (who are HSBC) are quite happy with Linux on the desktop...

What doesn't work on the HSBC site?

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