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* Posts by John Robson

737 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Microsoft admits it's '18 months behind' with Windows 8 slabs

John Robson
WTF?

Re: What took them so long?

>> people want to be "productive at work, to be able to print and have a keyboard".

>Sounds like they've just reinvented the laptop. If you want a keyboard, the absolute worst place to put it is

>on the screen - the small, expensive and in entirely the wrong place for typing - screen.

That's what bluetooth is for...

I sit down with a tablet on a stand, pull out the BT keyboard and type away quite happily.

I can even plug in a mouse for the odd occasion I need one (think remote desktop etc).

So my "laptop" has an excellent screen, a 90% sized keyboard (that folds up nice and small) and the two aren't tied together to the point that my screen is too low and too close for comfort.

It also has an 8-12 hour battery life without the excessive cost associated with "ultra book" labels... With modern network printers there is no problem there either...

My wife, an author, has used her iPad exclusively for 6-9 months. They really are usable as productivity devices - assuming you add the correct peripherals.

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BT slammed for FAILING to explain why its broadband investment has shrunk

John Robson

Live in sticks

get worse services, it's not a new idea

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Linux 3.11 to be known as 'Linux for Workgroups'

John Robson
WTF?

Re: Indeed!

"Check this out.... Windows 8.0 still has Windows 3.1 crude code built in. You can see it easily.

Go to Drive Properties from the desktop... the ugly blue and purple drive pie-chart... zero difference from Windows95 and a bit updated from Win3.x.

Microsoft has little talent."

Hang on - we're berating them for changing the UI and for keeping it consistent...

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Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

John Robson

Re: About OpenOffice - Display of incompetence...

Last time I was in a mixed environment OO handled the (then) latest MS Office formats better then the versions of MS Office we had on the mac or windows systems - even after installing the filters.

And I've converted a number of macro based spread sheets to libreoffice, it "just work"ed.

I don't doubt that there are some dodgy bits of VBA that won't transfer, but in most cases it's all happy.

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Live or let dial - phones ain’t what they used to be

John Robson
Facepalm

Re: No correlation betwixt one and t'other

No 999 is slow - deliberately.

Only the first two are actually required (hence 9 for an outside line on most PBX systems).

The third provides time for the network to connect you and an operator to be on the line...

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O3b's satellites on launch pad, ready to bring cats+porn to billions

John Robson

So perfect for an ISP in a remote location not served by fibre?

Rather than a fibre you have a trio of dishes, then a local distribution (3G/4G/WiFi/cables???)

That sounds like a good solution for much of Africa. Probably add some DNS caches and Squid proxies for best effect...

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Who should play the next Doctor? Nominations needed!

John Robson

Someone unknown (or mostly)

It's a hugely taxing schedule, so a relative unknown is normally the best bet in terms of Dr. longevity.

If female (although I can't quite get my head round that) then Sue Perkins would probably carry it off well...

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iPHONES and 'Pads BANNED in US for violating Samsung patent

John Robson

Re: Low impact and USA only

"Now who will buy an iPhone4 when they can get 4S or a 5?

Who buys the iPad or iPad2 when they can get a iPad(3)/retina ?"

Me on both counts, in the last few months. It helps that the price of the iPad2 and iPhone4 are significantly lower than the newer versions - yet they still do the job that my wife and I require.

The iPad is a primary computing device, no laptop/PC for the last 6 months (just bought a mac mini because the iPad can't configure an older iPod Classic.

Why would I pay significnatly more for an iPad3/retina or a 4S/5 when the 2 and 4 do the job just fine.

Similarly I'll not be throwing any more money to HTC for a while, because my >2 year old phone works just fine...

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Apple releases Mountain Lion, Safari updates

John Robson

So more than 2 weeks away then...

"Apple provides a link to its security updates page for "detailed information about the security content of this update," but as per usual with OS X updates, that information has yet to be posted, but will appear when Cupertinian web folks get around to it."

Takes them two weeks doesn't it?

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Shorteurs rejoice as Vine comes to Android

John Robson

To be fair...

It's the easiest test platform - if an fanboi won't pay for an app then fandroids certainly won't...

I just fail to see the point entirely...

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Bobbies need broadband-enabled gear, insist 4G LTE fans

John Robson
Black Helicopters

Streaming video

Can be useful for the emergency services, but not from "hostages" from Chase vehicles etc - the second traffic cop in a car viewing the live helicopter image of the person he is chasing might not be an absurd idea for instance.

The ability to see what officers are actually doing from base might also be useful in various situations - do we need to send more people into this burning building - yes there are three warm bodies in there, seen over the thermal imaging camera, the fireman can therefore go and get one and two others will be on their way.

You *can* do these things with voice, but you get more interesting abilities when you don't have to.

OTOH the current voice system works pretty darned well, so LTE would need to buck up it's ideas in that department!

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Garden fertilised by Twitter output wins Gold at Chelsea

John Robson

Fail:

“One of the things we’re trying to do through our research is to understand how digital media can be made to meaningfully intersect with the physical world," explains Shaun Lawson, Professor of Social Computing at Lincoln.

Unless of course this in an Edison moment...

"I've not failed, just found 10,000 ways not to make a better light bulb"

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WW II U-boat attacks prompt new US response

John Robson
Joke

Re: Fun fact

Surely we just shut the barrier and set it off?

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HTC woes prompts 'leave now' tweet from former staffer

John Robson
Holmes

Re: Quality is key

Their problem for me is that my 2-2.5 year old DHD is still working just fine - and I expect it to go on working for another couple of years at least.

This is a challenge - you make something that falls apart and get berated, but if you make something that lasts then you get no future sales, because in this arena things move so fast I'll be looking completely afresh by the time I need a new phone...

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Last time CO2 was this high, the world was underwater? NO, actually

John Robson

Re: Really?

35m in 3 million years is 11 micrometres / year

Tectonic plates move at around 1-10 centimetres / year

Not fast really - it's just a *long* time...

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US boffin builds 32-way Raspberry Pi cluster

John Robson

Fans overkill?

Is it just me that thinks that 4 fans is overkill for a device which basically doesn't need cooling in normal operation.

I know it will be running flat out more than most, but 4 large fans?

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Massive EXPLOSION visible to naked eye SEEN ON MOON

John Robson

Re: 56000 mph

And does, regularly.

The earth is somewhat a larger target than the moon. It gets hit significantly more often...

Air - it's more important than just breathing...

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Steve JOBS finally DEFEATS the PC - from BEYOND THE GRAVE

John Robson
Facepalm

Post PC...

My family now live in a post PC house - we have a combination of iOS and Android devices, and they serve our needs very well. If I'm being open then I also have a Linux server (Network services, including VPN) and a FreeNAS - but those are using old hardware to do the job of an appliance.

Pages and Keynote on the iPad are a bit limited compared with their PC versions, but they still do the job well for the professional author/speaker in the family. Google docs serve personal documentation needs quite well on both sides of the OS fence.

The one thing we can't do at the moment... manage music on the iPod classic.

I'd happily pay £30 (seems to be the going rate) for a dongle to connect the iPad to the iPod and manage it's music that way (remember the FreeNAS box for central storage), but for some reason it's not an option.

Pretty much that one single requirement is going to push us into buying a PC, which will (almost certainly) be a mac mini (our first ever mac) - so I guess they have their marketing right, or rather MS have it SO badly wrong...

PS - Yes I could probably use gtkPod or equivalent, but to achieve a sustainable WAF it has to be iTunes...

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Apple seeks techies, designers to revive iWork office suite

John Robson
Thumb Up

elreg

Hopefully they'll bring many of the missing features to the iOS versions -they're good, but they're a touch limited compared with the desktop versions...

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Rolls-Royce climbs aboard Bloodhound SUPERSONIC car

John Robson
Facepalm

Re: Interface (Verb)

No - it means make it think it's in a plane.

Oh, and don't let the avionics decide that at zero feet above ground level you've crashed, and should therefore shut down the engine...

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Microsoft: YES! You can have your desktop back again for FREE!

John Robson
WTF?

Re: “advance the bold vision”

"Ribbon has (by and large) won users over"

Really?

All the users who have an extra couple of inches of monitor they don't actually want to use? I still hate it. I can never find what I want to use any more - I'm always hunting for functionality.

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Who is Samsung trying to kid? There will NEVER be a 5G network

John Robson
Go

Re: 5G WHY at All ?

I'd quite like to see it used for broadband - much easier to deploy than "better copper" or fibre...

Just pop an antenna array onto your chimney and point it at the local base station.

Also likely to get better choice of providers and more reliable service (given how bad my copper often is)

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Samsung sends gigabit '5G' signal TWO WHOLE KILOMETRES

John Robson

Lampposts....

There are quite alot of these devices around.

They have power, they have elevation, they are more densely clustered in highly populated areas - cover the vast majority of "places where people are"...

Is it just me that thinks they'd make a good network for mini/micro.../atto cells - with a secondary mesh network connecting them together.

A national network of these, wholesaling out peering links (with authentication and subscriber authentication handled by the "ISP"). I know the concept of BT MkII is unattractive, but it has to beat trying to roll out 4 identical networks with high coverage...

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Degenerate dwarfs tear neighbors limb from limb

John Robson
Boffin

Units,,,

There are two units of mass - the ton and the tonne.

They are quite similar, but not the same. It's not a question of spelling, but when one is talking about several of them per teaspoon you can take your pick.

In ElReg units...

1 ton is ~ 215 jugs

1 tonne is ~ 238 jugs

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Oz chap blows his own Google Glass

John Robson
Coat

Is it just me...

“If I want to access my emails I hold down the button on my earpiece and it will announce 'I'm listening', to which I reply with 'Open Facebook'"

Isn't "Open Facebook" an odd command to use to access email?

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Good news: Debian 7 is rock solid. Bad news: It's called Wheezy

John Robson

I think I'll wait for a while...

To let Wheezy prove it's mettle as a stable release...

Me - an early adopter? Well, OK, sometimes...

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Vodafone slurps MEELLLIONS for redirecting police hotline calls

John Robson

Email

A decent email service would help a bit...

If it's a crime in progress then 999 is appropriate, if it's not then it can probably wait a couple of minutes to go into an email.

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HTC profits PLUNGE 98%: Pins hopes on HTC One, 'Facebook mobe'

John Robson

2 years on...

And I'm planning to keep my HTC Desire HD for another two years....

Who knows what I'll want by then...

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Scramjet X-51 finally goes to HYPER SPEED above Pacific

John Robson

Yes, because all technology is first tested in a final state, ready to be used for a random joe public's pet project.

Heck, even trains were initially dismissed as useless, as were cars and computers...

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New Google Play terms ban non-store app updates

John Robson
Facepalm

When will we able to define *which* WiFi connection to download apps over

Just because it's wifi, doesn't mean it's unmetered (phone tethers/mifi devices being the most obvious)

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Hey, monkey: Just 'cos your mates eat FOUL corn, YOU have to eat it too?

John Robson

What colour was tasty again?

was it green?

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Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?

John Robson
WTF?

FLAC

Of course you can - you just need to not do lossy compression.

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Virgin Media: SO SORRY we fined your dead dad £10 for unpaid bill

John Robson
WTF?

Surely....

These things come from a small set of bank systems.

They've seen this kind of thing happen before - so why not map all DD messages, only ones you haven't seen before need a human interaction. That would be busy work for a few hours (to look at the historical values) and then only need to deal with exceptions...

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Eerie satnav boffinry claims it can predict THE FUTURE

John Robson

10 seconds???

How far do you travel in 10 seconds - even at a sedate 20mph?

I hope it's under 10 seconds.

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Flexible flywheel offers cheap energy storage

John Robson

Re: You want to know if it'll work?

Although F1 cars have another couple of pressures (total mass, and total size) which tend to encourage very small flywheels (counter rotating to deal with gyroscopic forces) at very high speeds.

IIRC The Joint European Torus used to use a fairly hefty flywheel to power one of their diagnostic lasers...

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Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone

John Robson
WTF?

Re: RE: There goes the use of in-flight devices....

I always use my kindle during take off, and landing.

Most of the time it's an idle device - when I hit a physical button it reads a little data from memory and pushes it to the e-ink screen.

I'm normally somewhat distracted at the moment of take off (into the clouds at any rate) and from the clouds to touchdown, since I enjoy looking out of the windows - but I've never had a flight attendant say anything to me about the kindle...

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Who wants a smart meter to track'n'tax your car? Hello, Israel

John Robson
WTF?

Re: We already have a system that you pay more the more you drive...

if only roads were the only cost of motoring.

recent eu study suggested an average subsidy of £815 pa per person in the UK - a little over the EU average of 600.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/25/car-pollution-noise-accidents-eu?INTCMP=SRCH

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Boffins say flash disk demands new RAID designs

John Robson

RaidZ

Does the variable stripe size not make this a much better approach than hardware raid anyway?

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Tick-tock! 40% of PCs start Windows XP malware meltdown countdown

John Robson

Anyone else still considering installing WinXP systems?

I know we're still installing them at work, but I'm seriously considering doing so at home...

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LOHAN must suck juice while mounted on rigid rod - but HOW?

John Robson

Conductive rubber - or even just copper tape contacts on top of the rubber?

Why does this prevent the contact based approach?

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Rocket boffinry in pictures: Gulp the Devil's venom and light a match

John Robson

Kerbal Space Programme....

I can't believe it doesn't even get a mention...

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Syrian hacktivists hijack BBC Weather feed

John Robson

Re: But, But

From a consumer perspective it's probably nice to have a single reference for all of your "alerts from".

So an idle account which follows all your software providers emergency patch people etc could be handy. Of course you could put it together or use that good old fashioned "e-mail"...

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Lenovo: Windows 8 is so good, everyone wants Windows 7

John Robson

Why this past tense talk about migrating to Win7?

Still on XP at work (one of my employers is on Win7) and "post PC" at home (i.e. tablets/phones only - I have a linux VPN endpoint and a FreeNAS box, but they're not PCs - despite the hardware)

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Reg readers reveal MIGHTY DOMESTIC DATA CENTRES

John Robson
Alien

Re: Seti@Attic

I never did get a visit from the police, although I think they might have been confused - I used to refer to it as "the farm" (as was the custom with SETI clusters at the time).

"Yes officer the farm is up in the loft..."

/me hears click of handcuffs, despite the carpet suddenly muffling my ear.

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AdBlock Plus BLOCKED from Google Play

John Robson
FAIL

free advertising

i might need to go and download...

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Earthquake killed your network? Satellite-over-balloon to the rescue!

John Robson

Stratolites?

I thought we were at the point where we could launch unmanned solar powered craft which would soar to the stratosphere and then stay roughly in the right place to provide a broad coverage...

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Malware devs offer $100 a pop for 'active' Google Play accounts

John Robson

Granular controls on the phone...

And a couple of "Ad server" applications so that freeware only needs to slurp an advert from a local service, not have full unfettered access to my network interface, would be a really good start.

But that's too obvious.

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Canonical announces Mir display server to replace X Windows

John Robson
Go

Re: Huh ?

And over a high latency network use NX from NoMachine.

Works brilliantly at scrapping the (multiple trip) latency associated with home broadband to remote server networks...

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