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* Posts by John Robson

825 posts • joined 19 May 2008

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Revealed: The amazing magical innovation in the iPad Mini 3 – a lick of paint

John Robson
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Surely...

" The firm gave the iPad Mini 3 a repairability score of 2/10, making the slab next to impossible to fix for most."

Surely it MEANS it's hard to repair, rather than making it hard to repair (that was done by apple)

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There's a lot more to backup than you thought

John Robson
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Re: Backup ... do you mean Recovery products?

This is why I like the rsync and hard links option - rsync means every backup is an incremental (after the first, obviously) and the hard link architecture means that ALL of them are presented as full backups.

http://www.mikerubel.org/computers/rsync_snapshots/

Obviously this would need more work in a serious enterprise, but for a smaller office, or a larger home this it works very well...

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Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012

John Robson
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" Is it really practical to change the laws and penalise everyone because the 'bad-guys' accountants are better at finding loopholes than the Governments are at closing them?"

Yes - if a couple of kids in a playground can't avoid breaking the windows when playing cricket then no-one gets to play cricket any more.

Profit exporting is clearly daft - tax laws are far too complex and need a good rewriting (preferably onto no more than 4 sheets of A4)

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Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes

John Robson
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Water

Is water sufficiently conductive?

Given enough dissolved ions....

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How to get $542m from Google: Dress as a SPACEMAN with dayglo dancers – Magic Leap

John Robson
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Re: "wearable computing systems"

"i'm waiting for the shirts or jackets with gps and mapping to you can find your route just by looking at your sleeve... there's certainly nothing glassholish about that, is there?"

And how many are you going to buy?

I'll take a slim watch over something woven into a single item of clothing any day.

It would also need to be phone/tablet independent for many operations - so needs it's own GPS and storage.

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ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak

John Robson
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Site blocked

Observed traffic down.

And VPN traffic? given that only the torrent file/magnet link need to be vpn'd...

Statistics measure use of gate, ignore broken fence...

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America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft

John Robson
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Doesn't need to shoot or retrieve enemy birds, it has enough fuel to simply deorbit them...

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MasterCard adds fingerprint scanner to credit cards for spending sans the PIN

John Robson
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"What's to stop someone chopping of your fingers to get you to reveal your pin?"

I'll give my PIN before my fingers get chopped. it's not worth it...

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Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

John Robson
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Query

Can you set up an MVNO on each network, and then effectively merge them?

Would that take too much smarts on the devices themselves?

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Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS

John Robson
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And when you are out of battery

you simply swap the SIM into.. oh wait.

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Microsoft left red-faced after DMCAs dished out to Windows bloggers

John Robson
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"Sony is forbidden in my household as well.

Unfortunately, Microsoft is not so easy to do without."

Nothing Sony gets a connection.

Nothing MS gets a look in, well that's not quite true.

They do make good mice, and quite nice keyboards.

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It's a TAB-tastrophe – 83 million fewer units to ship in 2014

John Robson
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Re: Tablets will never be a full replacement for

"but you can't do any real work on them."

Oh dear - not that old objection. Yes you can.

Just in case you think I'm guessing my wife got a contract to write her second book from a publisher and fulfilled that contract on an iPad. If that's not creative "real" work then I don't know what is.

Yes - video editing is probably best left to beefier devices, but most "real" work can be handled by a tablet. You may want to consider the opportunities presented by bluetooth.

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EE TV: Network snubs 'Auntie's antique' for mobe-happy set-top box

John Robson
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Re: why pay

For the hardware?

I paid for my NowTV boxes, and they do a great job.

I only wish that the various tablet remote control apps would allow you to NAME the devices, rather than remembering which one of "NowTV" and "NowTV" is the one the kids are watching downstairs, and which is the one sat in front of you upstairs.

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Something will happen in Google 'dominance' probe. Just don't ask me what - EU antitrust chief

John Robson
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"Big data is the new currency"

And I thought bitcoin was the new currency of the internet.

Am I already out of date?

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Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

John Robson
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Dematory

Surely if it's true - and a matter of record... then can not be libellous or defamatory.

This is truly Orwellian news, although combined with the Streisand effect it has resulted in me being completely uninterested in one person's financial woes - and concerned about what politicians/judges are looking to hide via this precedent...

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SLOSH! Cops dethrone suspect - by tipping over portaloo with him inside

John Robson
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Why

Why would they knock it over - there was no benefit to be had. They knew he was in one of them, so you start at one end and open the doors!

Knocking it over onto it's door (so you can't get into it) is just the icing on the intelligence cake.

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

John Robson
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And there was m...

...thinking that that was what the major version number was for.

"The update, which skips a version number to signify a new generation of Windows"

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A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs

John Robson
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Flame

Re: Making things simple

"I'm using wood heat in a large historical building and I think that's still fairly secure. However, your neighbor's kid is welcome to have a go at hacking my wood pile."

Arson is no joke...

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DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

John Robson
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Re: I don't understand

Weren't there new payment methods only available from today - so if you wanted to move to DD (for instance) you couldn't do it in advance.

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German data commish makes a Hamburger out of Google

John Robson
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Click Through DIalogue

And all the permission is there...

I assume they don't require a full interactive session explaining why leaking the data is bad...

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Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge

John Robson
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Do they lose points

for a direct hit?

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Atlas plugged: Facebook hooks ads to profiles, smears 'em over the web

John Robson
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So will it stop serving me ads...

After all I never click on any of them (sorry elreg), so it must realise that it's pointless showing them to me?

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EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report

John Robson
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Re: Not surprised that Apple didn't respond

"No rule book can cover all circumstances"

Yes it can - it just needs to be made simpler than the tomes which are currently provided to define tax law.

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Telstra, Vodafone at odds over data retention

John Robson
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"Any communications provider"

Twitter/Facebook etc aren't providing communications, they're using them (to sell more adverts)

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Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole

John Robson
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Re: If you do not sanitize CGI input

"Yes, it is remotely exploitable and yes it is only exploitable if CGI script writer did not bother to check input for garbage. Well, boohoo, who's fault is it ?"

By the time the CGI script is run the environment has already been set up and the exploit code has already been run - you're dead before your script starts, so it can't do anything to protect against this.

The CGI environment builder could do something, although I've not heard of any efforts to fix that yet (I know it's virtually obsolete, but still)

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Bracelet could protect user herds from lurking PREDATORS

John Robson
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Can I still ask my friendly sys admin to tap in a password...

so that I can get temporary access to a remote system?

Or will it lock them out halfway through the typing phase?

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Soundbites: News in brief from the Wi-Fi audiophile files

John Robson
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@laser73

Thank you - that's a brilliant video.

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John Robson
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Higher sample rates are useful, you better define of the sound at e.g. 16kHz:

With 44kHz sampling you get 3-4 samples per lambda, so you can tell it's there, but nothing else. With 96Khz you're sampling it nearly 8 times per lambda, with 192Khx that's 16 points.

Draw a sine curve with only 3-4 points, now do the same with 16.

Now assume you don't hit the perfect sync between them, you might have two points at "-50db up" and 2 at "-50dB down", then repeat. Is that a sawtooth, a sine wave, a square wave? They all sound different. Take 16 points and you have defined the shape of the wave, better allowing you te recreate it.

By the time it comes out of most home speaker / headphone combinations then I'll agree. But when I'm recording I'll go higher rate, then drop it down as the very final step.

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Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

John Robson
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The Russians are still the best evidence...

(I mean aside from the stuff up there)

Since they never called NASA out on it, and they would have been tracking it pretty carefully...

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SpaceX blasts a mischief of mice, a 3D printer and a cuddly toy* into SPAAAACE

John Robson
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Photo

That's a pretty sweet photo!

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iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?

John Robson
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Once some players drop out then....

...the others will be able to sell more devices, and so will make be able to recoup the cost of the devices they sell?

Isn't that the principle of supply and demand - at the moment supply is way too high, meaning no-one get's to leverag economies of scale, so some companies will fail and/or quit and the others will get a larger slice of the pie, and be able to make it work?

Or maybe I'vce missed something.

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Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share

John Robson
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Replacement cycle....

And what's the typical lifespan of a monitor?

I haven't bought a monitor in (/me thinks) crikey, nearly a decade - and it might get replaced over the next few years, but it might not... It's served the full life of two three computers so far...

I remember the office I was in when I received them, and I have had three jobs since then, so it's somewhere between 8 and 11 years ago (probably 9).

Let's assume a 10 year life...

So if you're selling 0.4% touch enabled monitors this year that's an installed share of 4% of a single percentage point (from this year's sales), and probably a little less than that again from last year.

In the laptop market it's going to become impossible to buy a laptop without a touch screen soon (assuming you still want a laptop rather than a tablet)

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Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE

John Robson
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Re: Except that...

""We have no police any more,"

Well there's around 130,000 people currently being paid as police officers, plus another 13,000 PCSOs. Over ten years that's a fairly minimal 3% reduction in real coppers, with the number of plastic plods rising by 12,000, so I'm not sure what your baseline is for "any more"."

Hyperbole?

Of course we still have police officers, but the actual rate at which they monitor for basic bad driving or dangerous vehicle maintenance is virtually nil. Even with the PCSOs and the Highways Agency (who I've never seen clear anything up, let alone quickly) there is virtually no enforcement of any law on the road.

Motorists jump traffic lights, ignore speed limits, use hand held mobile phones, fail to clear their windows before setting off, only have one head/brake light working, use their foglights in good visibility, fail to indicate, ignore double white lines, ignore double yellow lines.... and none of this is regularly detected or prosecuted by the judicial system (yes I know illegal parking is now "decriminalised").

Obviously not all of the above applies to all motorists all the time, but it doesn't take much of a journey to observe them all.

Currently the judicial system makes important what is easy to measure (speed), and ignores what is not (tailgating) - then they give such massive latitude against what is easy to measure (such that the police have told me that the speed camera just up the road from where I live is set to 37mph in a 30 zone that habitual speeding is practically encouraged.

This general laissex faire attitude towards driving, and the complete lack of any punishment if you ever do manage to get to the courts, means that bad driving isn't dealt with until you kill someone - and at that point the motorist was "unlucky".

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John Robson
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Except that...

We have no police any more, so the chances of being caught are sufficiently small that noone cares.

At least that's what I see on the roads - huge numbers of people still using handheld phones.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

John Robson
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Re: Two factor ...

You can lose something you have (or have it stolen)

So a thief could steal my RSA token, and maybe beat the PIN out of me. But they'd need to go towards GBH to get my vein patterns (seems to be the in vogue biometric) - or just take me with them.

Both of those are harder than just nicking a token/swipe card.

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Scotland wins WORLD RECORD as voters head to referendum polls

John Robson
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Really?

"I was a bit surprised by this. I figured that the liquid cooling would yield a better flop/watt ratio vs. the air cooled systems.

However, my analysis could be flawed. I don't have figures for exactly how much power each team was using for the LINPACK run they submitted. All I know is that they were using an amount that was less than the 3,000 watt power cap."

So you assumed 3kW for all of them and are surprised that the GFlops delta is mirrored in the GFlops/3kW delta?

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US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux

John Robson
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Re: Numbers always confuse me

Not using spectrum from 0Hz to 28GHz, but some bandwidth around the 28GHz carrier...I think

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Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets

John Robson
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Re: I don't like it.

"What will people give me for these here two chickens and a goat? .. don't laugh, I believe even the tax man would be after the eggs on a barter transaction."

Certainly in Australia (where bitcoin is not a currency, but barter, and therefore taxable)

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Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers

John Robson
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Re: I'm going to catch hell for this...

Since it's not an "on the street hailing" service there is no issue with people setting their own conditions - and saying "I can't take dogs because I'm allergic to them" is a reasonable restriction.

It simply means you won't get chosen for that fare.

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John Robson
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Re: I'm going to catch hell for this...

I could reasonably accept drivers who were allergic to dogs - but then they should specify that they can't take assistance dogs.

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FAIL.GOV – Government asks Dropbox for accounts that don't exist

John Robson
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Re: The Good Stuff Is Encrypted, So Bite Me Surveillance State

Just don't come to UK when failure to hand over the key is an offence with time involved.

And of course on release you can be arrested and asked to hand over the key.

Repeat.

No, forgetting it is not an excuse.

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US! govt! ordered! Yahoo! to! hand! over! user! data! or! pay! $250k! fine! PER! DAY!

John Robson
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Advertising...

Line on this year's published reports:

- Protecting user privacy against unconstitutional surveillance from US Gvt. $90m (See Secret court transcripts #2343/24b)

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Who on Earth would buy a digi-watch? Answer: NUDISTS - in their millions

John Robson
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Smartphone glued to ear?

He doesn't get out much - the phone is a distinctly secondary (or lower) function...

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It's a pain in the ASCII, so what can be done to make patching easier?

John Robson
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Re: Engage smug mode

Yep - although there are a couple of things I've had to install from source (although at least one of those the "source installer" was itself a package, so it may well get updated automagicaly anyway)

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BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

John Robson
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Really?

"There are five per cent of people who don't pay - so the funding available to make those quality programmes is less by £200m (sic). The criminalisation does ensure the payments are made."

5% of people don't pay - fair enough. How many of those watch live TV broadcasts.

I don't pay, but then I don't watch live broadcasts either, so that's £145 you can take out of the £200m. Neither do a couple of colleagues at work - so that's another couple of fee's you're overestimating the shortfall by.

Remind me of the Hollywood Mafia.

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Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

John Robson
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Navigation...

When I'm riding, something that notifies me of upcoming turns, and that I can have a decent look at (i.e. not on the bars, a long way away and inevitably pointed to optimise sky reflections) would be useful.

Would it be £200? Maybe - if it did HR measurements from the wrist, and could pair with ANT+/BT sensors for other "sports" information then there could be a market. But the thing has to do this independently - it needs to not rely on a phone.

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Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs

John Robson
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Not quite...

Tape is for stuff you want to read sequentially...

And these files are sequential in nature.

£50 for a 2TB HDD (consumer grade)

£35 for a 2.5TB tape (LTO 6)

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Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it

John Robson
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Re: I don't geddit.

I read it as underage pics = ban.

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Finally, a USEFUL smart device: Intel boffins cook up gyro-magneto-'puter bike helmet

John Robson
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Standards...

No mention of if it even gets down to EN1078, or if it manages to achieve the higher (but still very low) SNELL standards?

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

John Robson
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600 pixels?

Really?

I know this isn't a high end machine, but 600 pixels is a little limiting. It's an 8 inch screen, 1024 shouldn't be beyond the wit of manufacture...

My eeePC 701 had a titchy screen, but then it defined a new way of working. Eventually (last year) its keyboard failed, and it's not worth repairing it (shame).

These are late additions to the tablet party, use a, how do I say this diplomatically, less popular environment and have pretty poor hardware to boot. Why are they costing as much as $200?

$200 would get you a current generation Nexus7 (First hit, I'm sure cheaper is available: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/google-nexus-7-16gb-black/1484847.p?id=1219052238174)

OK, you might want to add a keyboard, or an OTG cable. but the hardware difference...

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