* Posts by John Robson

879 posts • joined 19 May 2008

CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! Dell's Android PC on a stick to ship with Santa

John Robson
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Power

Just how much power can an HDMI port provide?

Multiple USB ports, WiFi, SD and the CPU/GPU...

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Google SO CAN scan ALL BOOKS onto its sites - judge

John Robson
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Plenty of

'out of copyright' content available to scan....

And more arriving each year as well...

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Miss Teen US 'sextortion' hacker pleads guilty

John Robson
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Re: No Off Switches?

Not any more - early ones used to have a physical shutter, and a big bright green LED when it was in operation.

I note that the RPi camera module can have that led disabled (by software), which is good for a security camera, but bad in terms of covertly placed "security" cameras.

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Web giants cry foul over US gov's refusal to budge on NSA spy gag orders

John Robson
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Why not submit

Another heavily redacted document with the opposite conclusion at the bottom. Heck you don't even have to write it...

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Ricoh Theta 360˚ camera: Point and click immersive imaging

John Robson
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Couple of frames a second, looping...

And I'll have one for cycling. Proper 'all round' viewing, including indication by the rider...

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Boffins look down back of Amazon Web Services, find a SUPERCOMPUTER

John Robson
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SETI@Home

But buying the low cost' cycles from Amazon.

Quite impressive, and almost certainly more cost effective than a screensaver...

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Backup software for HDD and Cloud

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Bvckup

Bvckup is dead simple, and is being well developed atm.

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LOHAN's mighty thruster poised for hot coupling

John Robson
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Back up a bit...

If the loss of thermistor data results in the power being cut off is there any reason you can't burn through the wire(s) with the rocket now?

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Funds flung at 9-inch fan-built Raspberry Pi monitor

John Robson
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I'll wait...

For the e-ink DSI version.

But then I'll be paying good money...

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Here's what YOU WON'T be able to do with your PlayStation 4

John Robson
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BetaMax comparison hardly fair...

Find me another optical drive that can read bluray, but can't read DVD/CD

The software to play them is hardly expensive/complex...

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Do dishwashers really blunt knives

John Robson
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Cheap knives

And replace them just before Christmas each year (when you often have extra people around anyway, to use the extra knives you have for a month).

At £1 for a knife that will hold an edge for a year (dishwashed as normal, sharpened as required) an "expensive" knife is probably going to have to outlast me to be an economic decision - and that is ignoring any time I take looking after it "properly".

Nice knives are nice, no doubt, but with the effort some people are going to above?!!

For a chef, then yes - buy decent knives.

For a home kitchen - go for ease and replace the cheap knives just before Christmas.

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Nokia wins UK patent spat: Quick, let's boot HTC One out of Blighty

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Seems a pretty clear argument

If Qualcomm can't sell in the UK then neither can their customers (without otherwise licensing said technologies)

Also looks (extremely superficially) like an actual patent.

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The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

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Absolutely

And that's where the "community" was meant to magically step in.

There are some pi magazines, although I've not read any of them so can't comment on their content cf+ the BBC Micro fest of our youths...

We need to get out there and write educational programmes - or are all the "people skilled" programmers of the appropriate age bringing up families now?

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LG G Flex: A new cheeky curvy mobe with a 'SELF-HEALING' bottom

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HTC

Put a 'chin' on their early handsets (hero etc) ehich brought the mic round a touch and kept the screen off the table to stop it getting scratched...

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Hate data fees but love your HD slab? Here's a better way to pay for bytes

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Re: Just a feather in the wind

I'm surprised it isn't a legislative requirement to send alerts at 80% and 100% of your allowances

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Wozniak: Please, whatever you do, DON'T buy me an iPad Air

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Re: Storage indeed

No SD card in the nexus, but at least you can use a USB stick, or 20, or a USB microSD card reader if you like...

OK, they're not internal - but it works rather well - you can even plug in a TB or two of HDD without issue (will probably require power from either the desk or car...

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Volvo: Need a new car battery? Replace the doors and roof

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Re: Isn't one of bright ideas around electric cars was to be able to forklift out batteries?

One of the ways to do it - but this tech sounds like quick charging is a good option.

Due to increased "spread" of the battery it won't have the same problems dissipating any "charging heat", and so should be inherently safer than a monolithic battery.

Of course there is an issue with the aging of cells, but that is a discussion for another day - maybe they'll make doors reasonably easy to change...

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Android's defences against malicious apps dissed by security bods

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I want "fake data" options - per app, per permission.

At the OS level.

You want to know where I am - Fine, I am always at the north pole, or halfway across the atlantic.

You want to know my contacts - Fine, this is my wife's number (see dashcam above) or "I know noone"

You want internet access - Just no - mabye WiFi only, maybe specific IP?

Frankly I'd really like to see an "ad server" on the device, so IT can go and get "relevant" ads for me, and then server them locally, so I don't need an internet connection to open daft games...

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Apple's first iPhone now COSTS MORE than golden mobe 5S

John Robson
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Ebay price fluctuations...

Are often due to stock limitations. Changing the price on a BIN doesn't actually lose the sales history - when they get back in stock they'll drop the price again.

Stopping the auction however - lose the history, lose future sales...

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FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz

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Re: Code does not rot

Don't you tell the PC what your monitor's dpi is? Then everything gets scaled properly...

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Forget Wi-Fi, boffins get 150Mbps Li-Fi connection from a lightbulb

John Robson
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Headlights?

Taillights much more useful.. information about required braking could proceed back along the traffic queue virtually instantly, and therefore prevent all manner of accidents.

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Wanna run someone over in your next Ford? No dice, it won't let you

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Re: Self-driving cars are never going to take off

"The nice thing about human-driven cars of course, is that there's a fleshy meat sack behind the wheel who assumes (nearly) all legal responsibility for its use."

Really?

Our judicial system doesn't agree with you:

http://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/what-the-law-told-us-this-week-no-4/

It’s not your fault. It may be your vehicle, it may be the weather, but it’s not you that’s ultimately in control of your vehicle. Nor, thus, are you responsible for it destroying the lives of others either within or without it.

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Listen, Google and Amazon: Soon we may not even use tape for COLD STORAGE

John Robson
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And I thought...

That the zuckerburgs etc were looking at "poor quality" flash as a solution to this issue.

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New Terminator-style 'bots can self-assemble, leap, climb and SWARM

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Re: Control

Wouldn't that require another actuator to rotate the flywheel perpendicular to it's axis?

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John Robson
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Control

If they only have a single actuator then can they not only jump "forwards" and "backwards" - how do they turn a corner?

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Apple iMac 27-inch 2013: An extra hundred quid for what exactly?

John Robson
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Re: Another comparison

Vauxhall <-> Mercedes comparison is entirely fair.

Since both are limited to the same 30/40/50/60/70mph depending on the road they actually provide the same function.

You're paying how many more tens of thousands of pounds for a badge with three spikes...

You're paying how much more for a badge with a bite taken out of it...

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'Safest car ever made' Tesla Model S EV crashes and burns. Car 'performed as designed'

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So the story is...

Worlds safest car has major failure, and noone is hurt.

Doesn't that rather match the "worlds safest car" moniker?

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A14 to become UK's first internet-connected ROAD

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Because what we really need

Is WiFi on roads....

Trains I can understand, lots of people doing nothing safety critical - plenty of time to fire up a tablet/laptop/phone and use some data.

On the A14 the vast majority of cars (certainly in rush hour a few years ago) are single occupant - i.e. everyone is driving, and should be taking responsibility for each other.

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Torvalds: 'We're not doing Linux95 … for a few years, at least'

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Re: If it's too hard for the experts...

"I long ago gave up on doing backups. I have actively moved to a model where I use replaceable machines instead. I've got the stuff I care about generally on a couple of different machines, and then keys etc backed up on a separate encrypted USB key.

So it's inconvenient. Mainly from a timing standpoint. But nothing more."

Basically he lost the work he was actively doing.

That's pretty much inevitable...

He archives emails (off the mail server) as he works, maybe he should review that method - but he's been doing this for a while, so there is a good chance that the event is sufficiently rare that the occasional "can you resend merge emails for this branch" email is a good compromise.

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Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

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Re: USB OTG

Works fine for me on a first generation N7 - regularly plug in either a USB drive or a mouse (use a BT keyboard)

I think I have "Nexus Media Importer" to make the import of data easier, I can't recall if it was essential - but if it was it was about the same as the cost of the USB OTG cable (the trial version is time limited, to confirm operation IIRC - although it's a while since I've installed it)

The mouse comes in really handy for remote/virtual desktop style operations - the USB drive allows me to take a TB drive in the car, and play any video the kids want in the car - or to take a USB stick and be a bit careful about loading it.

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Flash! Ah-ahh! Saviour of the universe? It'll save every one of us?

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Re: Best upgrade...

"I think that in 3 to 5 years SSD will replace disks on NAS as well in terms of affordability, however, rapid access is not as important on a NAS as it is on a laptop / desktop of course.

My biggest worry with spinning disks on a hard drive is reliability and file errors and every few months having to do a scandisk /f and crossing my fingers hoping for the best."

If Zuckerberg has his way then I agree - he is looking for low power, low rewrite, low speed (for flash) CHEAP storage for pictures of cats from more than a few hours ago...

That's basically the function 90% of my NAS space needs.

I can then just drop 2 bits of rust (or "proper" SSDs) in for the last few percent, which is actually being changed by people

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Oh noes! New 'CRISIS DISASTER' at Fukushima! Oh wait, it's nothing. Again

John Robson
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MRI

We live in a world terrified of the word nuclear, to the extent that when technology is used to actually help doctora understand what might be wrong and heal us we rename it to avoid the word.

That's all that is wrong...

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100 MEEELION self-driving cars will be sold globally in 2035 – report

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Re: Driverless cars

"Currently, only private cars can take you from any point A to point B, without changing conveyances."

Really - my pedal cycle does the same.

In fact a friends motorbike does the same as well...

As a cyclist I'd far rather see automated cars than driven ones - machines tend to be far more patient and predictable, as well as getting tired/distracted far less often.

As a motorist I'd rather see automated cars than driven ones - it would make life cheaper and far less stressful on the roads of today.

As a motorists who quite enjoys driving I'd therefore also want a "driver" option on my vehicle - which is available for use in appropriate locations (i.e. tracks).

Of course an automated vehicle has no inherent objection to an electric drive (and the low noise level would be appreciated by many) allowing redistribution of emissions to more appropriate locations (and preferably to nuclear/geothermal/??? plants). Infrastructure involving on-the-move charging on motorways would become much easier to justify as well.

There are many, many benefits to this technology, and as for objections about driving at night in the rain. They don't exactly use HD cameras - they use all sorts of different sensors, which allow the software to have a good, all round, picture of the surrounding area - and more importantly to know where it doesn't have a view and drive accordingly....

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IT now 10 percent of world's electricity consumption, report finds

John Robson
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Manufacture?

Isn't manufacturer of devices a capital cost, allocated to my ourcahasing decisions - and should therefore not be allocated to each an every query I make...

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Telefonica and Arqiva set to mop up BILLIONS in smart meter cash

John Robson
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Either

TETRA or weightless seem like better options than 2g for a smart meter in a basement

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Foxconn mulls solar panels, sticking Apple where sun doesn't shine

John Robson
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Japanese...

"The Japanese are moving away from nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima incident, using solar power to fill the gaps and allay a population spooked by the dangers of atomic energy."

So they're moving away from atomic energy to... atomic energy with a really poor delivery system (to electrickity)

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Apple wins Samsung import ban, loses 'Battle of Rounded Corners II'

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Re: RC II??

Developed? Rounded corners are not a development

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Microsoft cuts Surface Pro price by $100

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Re: Still too expensive

Agreed.

My nexus (with BT keyboard and USB mouse when needed) does basically everything I want. My parents have a transformer, and it does extremely well.

My wife, an author, wrote her last book (collaborating with another author) entirely on her iPad - because it's nice, light, portable, usable and with a decent editor for £9.

They are productivity devices, when you have appropriate peripherals (much like a PC needs peripherals). That they are also convenient to use without peripherals is just a bonus....

PS - for old games try DOSbox

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No fondleslabs please, says Microsoft as Office 365 hits Android

John Robson
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Because I want to use my small screen

for editting documents.

Is their tablet racketeering not up to speed yet?

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Chromecast: We get our SWEATY PAWS on Google's tiny telly pipe

John Robson
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CEC?

Why doesn't it set up using your TV remote and CEC?

Could even have a direct UI then...

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Virgin Media hangs from traffic lights, hands out free Wi-Fi to Brummies

John Robson
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Limit the speed...

Frankly when in the centre of $CITY I can't see a need for a free super high speed connection - even iPlayer will run over a Mb or so IIRC.

Else if I lived in B'Ham - why would I have a fixed line, or a (virgin) broadband connection, at all?

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Smartwatch makers: You need apps to beat Apple

John Robson
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e-ink, gps, BT/3G/WiFi

With 3G/WiFi optional (but it would replace my phone if it did that and bridging to wireless)

I don't need colour on a watch - I *do* want battery life (although frankly another daily charge isn't going to kill me), and that's where e-ink comes in.

But almost more important than anything else is that I want a device which is discreet. Even the garmin watches don't manage that...

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

John Robson
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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