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* Posts by John Robson

703 posts • joined 19 May 2008

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Google navigates Android to turn-by-turn directions

John Robson
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@davidcbull

"Isn't this the sort of thing that Microsoft used to get into trouble for? Giving away apps free with an OS"

Well, Microsoft were actually done for abusing a monopoly in one market (PC OS) to prevent competition in another (Browsers)

Since I don't think google has a monopoly position on the OS, bundling things is merely a differentiator...

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Shuttleworth stretches Ubuntu from netbooks to heavens

John Robson
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Jobs Horns

Not for profit

Just to see the look on Balmers face - that's priceless!

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Toyota at Tokyo: micro e-car on display

John Robson
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MIB

"a steering yoke that does away with the need for floor pedals"

Why not just fit a playstation controller?

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Japanese algorithm 'can tell if you're about to die'

John Robson
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Go

Great idea

But only as an indicator - last girl I had to call an ambulanbce for (would have survived for a good while, but that's not relevant) was finding breathing sufficiently difficlut that she couldn't phone.

The "this isn't the patient" button on the operators screen would be useful.

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Micron's new flash dies live longer

John Robson
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Go

PCI connectivity and ExpressCard format please...

Please - How hard can it be (to quote Top Gear)

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Robert Crumb begets Book of Genesis

John Robson
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Sex and violence in the OT...

Wow, seems on a par with "dog bites man"

The bible does have quite alot of behaviour illustrated*, not condoned. But read the bible if you want to read about some pretty poor behaviour.

It's not necessary to be so graphic* in your descriptions, if I need an image my brain is capable of providing one...

John

* Puns deliberatly left in place (A good pun is it's own reword)

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Robot nuclear windjammer to sail patio-gas oceans of Titan

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Airport rethinks strip-scanner for kids

John Robson
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FAIL

elreg

Oh ffs - can I object to being made a porn star then?

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iPhone saves woman from bear

John Robson
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Linux

Or did it just get frustrated by the interface?

Title says it all.

PS - penguins are more ferocious than bears

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Hubble snaps aftermath of galactic pile-up

John Robson
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Boffin

@Richard81

I imagine the sky might get quite interesting, assuming of course that we haven't drowned it out with streetlights...

Although "high speed" wrt galactic collisions is still a pretty slow collision in our timescales.

The paper on the ESA website indicates (after a very brief skim) that many of the "new, young" stars are between 1 and 100 million years old...

For reference our galaxy is ~100,000 light years across, so a pair of milky way's colliding at .9c would still take 60 thousand years to have a "midpoint" collision...

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Subaru set to show stylish hybrid

John Robson
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Bet that door

is heavy to shut - As my wife can't manage the boot very easily, that door'll be difficult from inside - unless of course it's motorised.

Then yuo'll get 30mile range (unless you shut the doors, which takes 10 miles of battery power)

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Michael Dell: Netbooks go sour after 36 hours

John Robson
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Stop

Netbooks are brilliant

But they aren't primary machines - I use them in server rooms, around the home and on the train.

My issue isn't the screen though, it's the keyboard, just fractionally too small. The psion5 was SO compact that the keyboard was a good compromise, the netbook needs a bag, so I kind of expect to be able to type.

Maybe a fold out extension of some sort?

or should I just grab one of these? http://www.gadgets.co.uk/item/USBRK/USB-Flexible-Portable-Rubber-Keyboard.html

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Colt quietly offshores network ops

John Robson
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Long time? Two weeks was it?

Ever since the last outage

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EC considers web accessibility legislation

John Robson
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FAIL

Doomed to

Fail....

Without any understanding of the issues they will legislate that we need to use friendly electrons...

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Eurocrat demands MP3 player volume limit mandate

John Robson
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And they monitor volume by what mechanism?

After all I can switch the headphones for a pair of active PA speakers at 500W each..

100db (or dbA even) is useless without mentioning some distance...

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VelociRaptor users bitten by false error bug

John Robson
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WTF?

Again?

Have they at least managed to increment the firmware version this time?

We faced a similar WD bug with their RAID edition drives, which would drop out of a RAID array when they decided to run a self test.

WD eventually fixed it, but failed to increment the version number of the firmware. Took a long time to try and convince them that:

1) DOS only firmware updates were bad (especially in globally distributed data centres)

2) Firmware version numbers had to be incremented, else we can't tell which drives we've updated...

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Nation's parents prepare to be vetted

John Robson
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FAIL

CRB checks

Are useful for organisations - it's good for the boss of a nursery to have some check on the staff they employ.

Are pointless for individuals - I'd be happy leaving my daughter with any number of friends from church, I don't see any benefit in a CRB check.

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Oz bottle shop falls for 'double your money' scam

John Robson
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Re: Oh, come on

"This little scam's been going as long as there have been paper banknotes."

But in Oz they are plastic ;)

Don't fall apart when you suf with notes in your pockets you see ;)

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Home Office stonewalls ID findings

John Robson
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Possibly...

"We've asked the anonymous spinner when the end of the process is likely to be, and whether the people concerned will still be young. They've not got back to us yet. We'll get back to you when they do..."

You'll have retired, it'll be your successors who have to get back to us in our graves...

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USB 3.0 slouches towards Bethlehem

John Robson
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Speed...

"Not too shabby - although no one in the right mind would ever connect to such a speedy hard drive using USB 2.0."

I would - not as a permanent fixture, but recovery from a dead machine is generally a USB function if you have the required cables...

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Citroën redesigns the 2CV

John Robson
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FAIL

No plans...

No plans for productions.

So why say anything.

Here's a car we though of over toast this morning...

Just build something, then tell us about it

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T-Mobile's G2 denied the update Touch

John Robson
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FAIL

Oh great ****ing install process.

"Slightly irritatingly for some, you need a Windows PC to install the ROM - Linux and Macs are a no-go"

Slightly irritating?

It means I cannot install it.

That's more than slightly annoying for a device I chose because with WiFi and Mass Storage support it should never require a Windows OS to do anything.

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Cyclists give TV chef a Wikikicking

John Robson
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Dangerous driving

Looks like a clear confession of dangerous driving to me...

Get him arrested and banned

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Asus' Eee keyboard out next month - official

John Robson
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Go

Wow

That's a nice machine...

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No more premium rate numbers for docs

John Robson
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Megaphone

@Steve Loughran - NHS Car parks are optional

"You are free to not drive to a NHS hospital, you can therefore opt out of paying. If the hospitals did offer free parking, all that would happen is the car parks would be full all the time. Patients receiving long-term out-patient care that requires daily visits (dialysis, cancer treatments) can usually get rebates on all parking charges."

Yes - and while my daughter was in special care I cycled to the hospital every day. My wife however had just had major abdominal surgery (an emergency cesarean).

The 4 (I think) bus journey would have been slow, and been very uncomfortable (especially waiting for each bus) in the circumstances.

Yes we can get a rebate on the parking (at our "local" hospital ~12 miles from home):

- Anything over £150 in 6 months

- If you keep ALL car park receipts (which isn't displayed anywhere)

- With a letter from the appropriate ward matron (or equivalent)

Objections:

- By cycling I managed to keep our bill to ~£160 - still ALOT* in ~4 weeks

- I'm paranoid about receipts, but most people aren't. Why not simply have swipe machines or tokens dispensed in the wards?

- Ward seniors have better things to do than write letters confirming each of the 4 wards we'd passed through in the 4 weeks in hospital (assuming the stages of special care are all considered one, else 6 wards)

- Had we not visited each day, it would have been noted...

- Anyone requiring long term (i.e. inpatient) hospital care needs visitors for their recovery. Granting a free parking ticket to each patient, valid for the duration of their stay, is hardly rocket science.

* Without the cycling it could easily have been double or triple that...

--

Surgery phone systems are generally shocking, but there is no competition available, you get a doctor where you can...

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Orange data users turning red as data dries up

John Robson
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Down - -

flicking between 50 and 100% packet loss much of the morning, our house seems to be back now though...

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Colt Telecom cable cut mystery

John Robson
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FAIL

And out again...

Oh goody.

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Lotus details meths-drinking hybrid e-car engine

John Robson
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Stop

Performance is fine, what about efficiency

I know we're not used to kWh/gallon yet, but we should get used to it...

Or at least come up with an elReg unit, look at a few old cars and work out their engines performance...

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iPhones get sun, leg power

John Robson
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@ Mr. Omega

I could charge any device multiple times for that much leccy.

BUT leccy isn't available when out and about on a long ride. On my commute this morning my GPS cycle computer shutdown from low battery :(

I must have accidentally left it on after my weekend jaunt (yes it should have an auto shutoff if it doesn't move for 10 minutes, but that's not my fault)

I actually like this idea, although one that would run off my existing battery packs already on the bike would be good (8*AA pack runs my lights, must be able to get 5v regulated out of that...)

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Microsoft rejects call to fix SQL password-exposure risk

John Robson
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WTF?

err...

My password should never be recoverable, hashes -yes, password no

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Google blames Gfail on 'availability' upgrade

John Robson
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Monitoring

Didn't tell them to bring other request routers online at top speed???

I'd have thought that would have been automated..

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Sharp intros 5in ARM-based netbook

John Robson
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Hmm

Larger screen (lid fitting) would be nice, but it would drain the battery faster - this machine could be used all day if the figures are to be believed...

There's USB for 3g, what more do you want??

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Tesla Model S poses for cameras

John Robson
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Hmmm.

Sensibly limited at the top end, replaceable battery packs - yes please.

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Intel X25-M 34nm Flash SSD

John Robson
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FAIL

Max latency?

4k Random IO is the most important IO you do on most machines.

The MAXIMUM, not average latency of these operations is critical - remember the original non intel drives? Really fast, then stalled for a second, then really fast...

That seriously illustrated that the relevant benchmarks are not throughput for almost anyone...

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Perseid meteor shower set to dazzle disappoint

John Robson
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A good few visible last night

But I fear that the clouds that have rolled in will still be around tonight...

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HTC Hero Android smartphone

John Robson
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Had mine for a few days now...

Really like it - the chin is unobtrusive (thank goodness), and the interface pretty slick.

Yes it pauses occasionally, but it's a mobile device, not a quad core PC. I'm really very happy, but would like to be able to use multiple google accounts (at last count I had 4 apps accounts and a personal one).

I'd also like a decent agenda applet - which can hide various calendars on request, but those are minor niggles.

Major thumbs up from me (especially as it cost me rather less than £400 :)

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BIND crash bug prompts urgent update call

John Robson
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Ah, the joy...

Spent a while on this this morning. Fortunately the company for which I work implements DNS architectures which are not vulnerable.

Got to go and patch my own servers though ;)

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BMW to ride in with 115-mile range e-scooter?

John Robson
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Yeah

And bikes are the best format for such a vehicle, much more efficient than a big steel box.

Really hope they manage to do this properly, although I'm unlikely to buy one as a pedal cycle seems quite capable of getting me pretty much as far as I need to go...

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Samsung smartphone keyboard takes wing

John Robson
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Nokia 6820

Had a flip system which provided the same function.

Of course that's too old to be prior art, or is swinging different from flipping?

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Schneier says he was 'probably wrong' on masked passwords

John Robson
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Fairly obvious

"Schneier now backs an approach taken by BlackBerry devices and iPhones, which display each character briefly before masking it. "That seems like an excellent compromise," he said."

And a fairly obvious compromise given that they are the devices on which the keystrokes are hardest to judge. They've always been the most likely to have thought about this issue before.

I can normally tell on a "proper" keyboard when I've made a tpyo <sic>. So I need some other way on a "non-proper" keyboard...

What they should be saying is that you should never have to enter visible text twice - i.e. email addresses should only be entered once - the reason for entering passwords twice is that you can't read them back.

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A practical guide to disaster recovery planning

John Robson
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Gartner quote

Doesn't say they'll go out of business within 24 hours, just that they'll go out of business.

I confidently predict that 100% of businesses will go out of business. Without a timescale I can't be proved wrong.

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Gmail turns into label junkie

John Robson
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Labels

Are useful for automated messages.

Incoming mails can be usefully labelled and "skip inbox".

To be fair I don't need to see each "this server has exceeded the normal traffic" message in the inbox.

Don't do much more than that though...

Fraser - Labels are tags for emails, there are no directories in Gmail, only tags.

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ISPs vs BBC iPlayer: Missing the point?

John Robson
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FAIL

They already pay

At the data centre the BBC are already charged for their share of the bandwidth

The ISP has simply sold futures in bandwidth to their customers and lost the bet...

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Hohm - save energy the Microsoft way

John Robson
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Alert

HoHum

At least I presume that's how it's pronounced

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Vodafone builds community, sharing via email oops

John Robson
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Only three short

Of an April 1st worthy error

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Acer Aspire Revo R3600

John Robson
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Needs

Small SSD (£100) (or a no HDD option - netboot?)

DVI

HDMI

and I'll take two...

Nice pieces of kit, pity about the weird port layout, but I'll get over it.

OTOH if they supply mini keyboards I'll take one of those - why does noone make small keyboards for kids? With USB you can easily have a couple of keyboards plugged in to the family computer..

Teach them how to touch type nice and young - more important than writing nowadays, but their hands are too small to do so on a full sized keyboard.

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Designer pitches flat-pack power plug

John Robson
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Safety

shoudl ened to have the flaps open to rotate the pins, but otherwise brilliant. I like the multiway adapter using them in the folded configuration.

Now can we please NOT have wall warts, and standardise on either the figure8, the clover leaf or the "kettle" style leads for transformers.

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Junior astronomer spots junior supernova

John Robson
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Boffin

Aperture?

And pretty cool - I mean, I'm still at the "look, isn't it pretty" stage - to notice a new dot takes some serious interest and work, never mind how old (or young) the astronomer in question.

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Periodic table adding new element

John Robson
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Boffin

Elements are indivisible

by chemical means.

Physicists have no such limitations.

We're currently limited to quarks and leptons - although they are just the smallest things we know of at the moment ;)

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StrongWebmail holds up hands to hack, plots further challenge

John Robson
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But they're willing

And that makes a difference - they are trying,

OK they're a bit naive to claim absolute security, but challenges like this can't do anything but help their security...

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