* Posts by John Robson

1502 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Astroboffins snap BREATHTAKING, WISPY Veil Nebula supernova debris

John Robson
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Incredible...

"Astronomers are comparing these new images to ones taken by Hubble in 1997. This comparison allows scientists to study how the nebula has expanded since it was photographed over 18 years ago."

That's the killer sentence for me. There are a myriad of beautiful things that Hubble has shown us, but it was launched in 1990, and had it's "glasses" fitted in '93 - that's more than twenty years of breathtaking science...

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Blighty's Bloodhound 1,000mph rocket car unveiled ahead of record attempt

John Robson
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Re: Great achievement?

@jgarbo

Because this project will improve the world.

No - I don't know how, but research on the bleeding edge inevitably brings discoveries which we then use to:

a) Blow stuff up

b) kill other people

c) improve the world

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John Robson
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Re: "it's unlikely we'll see much return from all this"

The educational return is already probably more than worth it - of course teh gubbinment can still encourage all those people offshore to work...

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BOFH: I'm not doing this for the benefit of your health, you know

John Robson
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Re: H&S fail

I'm intruiged - how does one use a mouse wrongly?

I can think of several things, but none of them really come under the term use - nore misuse (things like tying the cor round an H&S bod's neck...

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Official: North America COMPLETELY OUT of new IPv4 addresses

John Robson
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@pompurin - Why couldn't they have used commas or semi-colon instead of the colon?

And why move to hex?

The number pad is a really nice way to type in addresses, only takes one hand.

A-F are all left handed, so that's kind of OK, until that pesky colon, which moves the right hand back again - and it leaves you tracking the address with eyes only, not a finger.

Of course the idea is to DNS everything, so we never need to type an IPv6 address - which is fine, how do I log in to fix the DNS server?

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John Robson
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Re: Despite this, IPv6 adoption probably won't increase.

@PM - In your example, you would have only provided for growth of ~65000x, but there's more addresses than that already in use worldwide based on the massive oversubscription associated with RFC-1918 private addresses. The much larger, 128-bit address space of IPv6 guarantees centuries of address growth without another redesign of network addressing.

Well - no. He's actually defined a system for extension that could be reworked in a few years as well - just add another pair of octets up front with a "if not present assume 00.00".

I thought the intent was to allocate everyone a /64 subnet - so the IPV6 space is only 64 bits in terms of public facing addresses anyway (internal networks should be fine, reducing the oversubscription factor, but we are only doubling the length of public end points).

It's probably fine, but who saw the growth in mobile devices - what is next? I don't know, you don't know.

Solve the problem you have now...

Every time I've looked to try and do IPv6 I've been hindered by the complete lack of useful things to interact with - to the extent that I can't be bothered any more.

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PEAK FONDLESLAB: Fewer people will use tablets next year – claim

John Robson
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Still don't like touchscreen phones...

They're either too small to properly browse or too large to use as a phone.

I'm pondering a Pebble to go with the iPad mini (similar sized Android devices exist, but I need iOS for remote control of certain audio hardware), and a "feature" phone*.

Nexus7/iPad Mini sized tablets hit that sweetspot - for me - of being pocketable (easier for the N7 than the iMini due to aspect ratios) and yet large enough to be properly useful.

* It's a phone - that's the "feature" I need... Currently using a 'smart'phone as a feature phone - until it dies anyway.

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Transport for London’s new crash map immediately crashes

John Robson
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I assume the downvoters don't think that children should be allowed to cycle anywhere then.

That's a real shame...

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John Robson
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@Chris 17 - Should cyclists need some training to give vehicles a wide berth before driving on Londons roads?

Maybe drivers should get some training to give vehicles (which includes cycles) a wide berth.

Construction lorries (and other similar vehicles, but they are the massively over represented vehicle type) should be required to have a banksman, and should be banned during peak commuter traffic.

Or maybe we could actually build sensible infrastructure to keep the big metal boxes away from people, without ridiculously impeding the flow of those people.

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John Robson
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And of course no cyclist ever avoided that roundabout...

If something is so dangerous that people avoid it that doesn't magically make it safer...

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More BlackBerry layoffs: 200 Venice devs binned amid Android shift

John Robson
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Re: Venice

Maybe they were hoping it would help keep the project afloat as long as the city?

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iOS 9 update set to bork 'hundreds of thousands of EU businesses'

John Robson
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Yes - various stores do this - it's a relatively low cost entry into taking card payments.

It's also good if you run a mobile business (a business that moves, not one selling mobile phones) since you don't need a fixed line for the card machine...

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Huh? Cat-wees-like-a-racehorse study pees on fellow physicists to take Ig Nobel prize

John Robson
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You;re assuming that the distribution is between species - rather than between individuals in the same species.

If mice urinate for 21+/-13 seconds and race horses exibit the same distribution then that's much stronger than just the mean being the same...

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China launches 'pollution-free' rocket

John Robson
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Dark - as in dark ages - as in the less studied (at least when it was named) side.

It's not quite as light bathed as the earthside (which recieves earthlight as well as sunlight) but it is pretty close...

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Mercedes mulls driverless limo future

John Robson
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Re: Driverless cars? Do not want.

@jake - "The concept WILL kill people. Honestly, the mind boggles ..."

Erm - are you saying that meatbag controlled vehicles don't?

I suggest that there will be far fewer fatalities (evidenced by the reduction in minor incidents that the current crop of cars are experiencing) with something that doesn't get tired or angry at the controls of the lethal weapons we seem content to let rule our lives.

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John Robson
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Re: Keeping up appearances

I think they prefer the car with a robot arm to load the boot and open the door for them - but actually the driverless limo might well be the ultimate status symbol - for a while

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Wi-Gig signals are bouncing off the walls, can't settle on the sofa

John Robson
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Re: Agree

Combine it with the PoE LED lighting suggested a couple of days ago...

Run Cat6 to your light fittings - use PoE for the LED fixture and an array of antenna.

Many rooms have a centrally located, elevated, lamp - or a set of elevated lamps at intervals along the walls - They would be ideal locations.

Of course I still can't quite work out why I need more wireless bandwidth - specialised cases (HDMI replacement) will be static and not subject to people walking in their beam path...

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Fed-up sysadmins beg Microsoft to improve pisspoor Windows 10 update notes

John Robson
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Re: Never thought it would come to ths

@a_yank_lurker - Apple uipgrades

From what i can tell apple give you a nice big splashscreen with a "Yosemite is out, do you want to upgrade" question.

If you say "Yes, do it now" (as opposed to "ask again later" or "no") then it goes and downloads many, many files.

It doesn't download them, and then ask...

Of course many of the minor fixes are vague as well, although I don't know if that is just to consumers and IT depts (with paid up support) get more detailed descriptions.

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Game CARTRIDGES make a comeback ... for smartmobes

John Robson
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Re: Wring?

"Deals for games haven't been done yet but the company hopes that copyright holders will be keen to wrong yet more revenue from retro-gaming-obsessed Otaku around the world."

I though they meant wring as well, then I saw what they did ;)

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Attempted bank robber demands cash transfer ... to his own account

John Robson
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Erm...

"He has led a law abiding life"

No he hasn't - aside from all the other laws he will have broken, he held a knife to the necks of two cashiers and attempted to rob two banks.

That's not law abiding...

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DMCA takedown bots must respect 'fair use' of copyright – US appeals court

John Robson
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There was music in the background?

Had to add another view for the music companies to get in a lather about - but really - was there music there?

Automated notices should be rejceted by an automated system, which asks for evidence of said infringement...

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Hey, Oracle, what's in that VirtualBox security update? *crickets*

John Robson
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Is there a declared date?

I can see a "not disclosing it until..." policy, but "we say nothing" is just bizarre...

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Disney's light-bulb moment: build TCP into LEDs for IoT comms

John Robson
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@/\/\j17

Had to go and check, but PoE can provide >30w over cat5, slightly more over cat6 - so I think this is a great idea. My kitchen is the only room that would take more than that - but I can easily provide it with two "zones".

Of course I can't sanction ripping my existing wiring out just yet...

Of course it also make dimmable lights etc, much easier to deal with...

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It's 2015 and miscreants are still trying to dupe you with fake BSoDs

John Robson
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Re: IF you experience one of these BSODS

@BenBell

Please dont - those numbers would contact you to the emergency services in both locations!

You might want to make it a little clearer...

People's lives can genuinely be put at risk - it's VERY scary being on hold for the emergency operator...

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

John Robson
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104 keys, a multitouch trackpad and no fingerssss

OR:

Testing the limits of force sensitive touchpads

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Galileo, Galileo, Galileo good to go!

John Robson
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Re: Announcer?

Not sure I'd describe a rocket as "pulling" (possible exception for the "Thing to help people escape really fast if there's a problem and everything is on fire so they decide not to go to space")

They tend to push against propellant...

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Sign of the telly times: HDR shines, UHD Blu-ray slides at IFA

John Robson
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Re: UHD Blu-ray is already sunk

@fuzzie - Packaging

DVDs and blu-rays are already overpackaged - both are the same physical format as CDs, but the DVD case is the same height as a VHS...

The BluRay cases are slightly smaller - for no discernable reason.

We could easily make SD card cases the size of a housebrick if we wanted to - or we could package them in slightly thinner CD sized cases - enough room for some artwork and a booklet (most of the packet could *be* the booklet)

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John Robson
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Re: UHD Blu-ray is already sunk

I'm sure they can do bulk loads of data - and given the firmware in these devices they could reasonably secure it at that level after writing.

What they secure it with (or even whether they allow anything to read the first n bytes, but then only play the remainder if a cryto response is provided) is of course up to them, but I suggest that minimal security is probably the best security.

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John Robson
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Re: UHD Blu-ray is already sunk

Physical media doesn't have to be optical disks...

I'm sure that a microSD card could be shipped in a VHS sized box. Heck, even a full sized SD card would fit.

They have the bandwidth and capacity already - I'm sure a read only version could be designed. But let me guess - they'll make another new format.

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Batteries on wheels are about to reshape our cities and lives

John Robson
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Re: I'm waiting for the Apple car(t)

Why wait for Apple - the Google mini pod already is completely autonomous - as are the greenwich vehicles...

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John Robson
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Re: more tech...

I'd suggest that alot more people want it than you recognise.

Freedom to do what you like whilst you travel, still in your personal pod, without having to actually walk (heaven forbid you should have to walk 30 yards to get to the gym door)...

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John Robson
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Re: Insurance costs

@ Rupert Fiennes

Surely the point of the autonomous vehicle is top reduce thrid party claims, so it's going to vastly reduce the third party component of insurance, which is the majority of any insurance policy (after all yuou're insuring millions of public liability, not a few k of metal).

You also have a perfect record of any event, so can accurately determine who was responsible - win win. They will be MUCH cheaper to insure.

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John Robson
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Re: Inquiring minds

@Sureo

"Those vehicles"

Probably not in canada, but it's likely that Volvo have some experience of snow.

Of course it makes a good deal of sense to solve the main problems first, before fitting skis ;) One the roads can be navigated well without adverse weather then you add that in, gradually, and see what you need to tweak for the new conditions.

Similarly when we teach a person to drive we start off on quiet roads, or better still off road entirely, before introducing different challenges up until the point when they are tested.

In the UK any concept of training then goes out of the window and we throw people at motorways without any consideration of how to handle them...

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iPhone 6 gives bloke 'painful, lumpy' skin condition in trouser storage

John Robson
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Surely...

You just put it in your pocket glass side towards your leg?

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At LAST: RC4 gets the stake through the heart

John Robson
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Re: Laggards

@Smooth Newt - But what I really object to is having to use poor protocols and being made vulnerable to downgrade attacks because the server operator doesn't believe that data protection is a priority.

So have it flag them as insecure protocols.

Have a "score" by the adress bar that rates security from 0-10, where 0 and 10 are green (i.e. "current best practice HTTPS or HTTP) is fine. Have scary warning pages, and limit access to anything 0<x<5 to RFC1918 adrewsses only...

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John Robson
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Re: Laggards

And yet my wireless devices *can* connect to a WEP, or even an unsecured, access point - because backwards availability is useful!

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John Robson
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Re: Good luck, with some devices embedded management servers...

This - Why can't they add a plugin or something to support "crap SSL" - it can turn the whole damned window red if it likes - but just occasionally a bit of embedded kit needs a reset, and goes into https only mode with SSL3.

Earlier this week I ended up in Opera's archives, because they were the people it was easiest to get "previous versions" from.

Even a shim proxy would do the job - I need to go and look at stunnel (assuming OpenSSL doesn't drop support for said protocols), but I'll have to push said connections through the firewall at home, since the iPad etc won't run them...

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Nexenta, SanDisk hop into bed, one thing leads to another – now they've got a 512TB flash brat

John Robson
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Re: "starting at $1.5/GB raw"

For archive is it important to have it powered up?

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John Robson
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Dammit...

Where is my 10TB WSRM SSD?

Write Sometimes, Read Many.

I don't even need silly read rates - what's an HD stream? Let's go wild and assume that in ten years there is some UHD content - what's the bitrate on that?

Give me a small (<10) multiple of that and most home users would be happy.

As for write speed, I really don't care, It's be nice if DVDs etc could be written in reasonable time, but that's what overnight copying is for...

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BEELION-dollar lasso snaps, NASA mapper blind in one eye

John Robson
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Re: Why buy two at just 110%

The build cost is marginal on a project like this - the launch cost is virtually everything, so you could build two, but you won't get it at 110%, but more like 180% - 190%.

This isn't the first instrument to fail before it's life end, and it won't be the last - but if you actually look at how good they are at these things now (*cough* spirit *cough* opportunity) then I think they know roughly what they're doing - it's called science, and it's things you don't expect that teach us what the universe is like...

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Jeff Bezos trousers $8m Florida rocket sweetener package

John Robson
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Mushroom

Pedant incoming...

"SpaceX is currently grounded for a couple of months, following the expensive fireworks display"

Wasn't it a firwork display (singular)?

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The 100GB PHONE! Well, it has shades of Chrome, so not quite

John Robson
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Re: A 'whopping' 100GB

@Don Dumb - So if I understand correctly that's 28GB less than my iPhone .... why is it so difficult to allow additional storage in mobile devices?

Yes, apple - SD cards *do* exist, and are useful...

Quote note: (Took the second option in the second quoted sentence)

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West's only rare earth mine closes. Yet Chinese monopoly fears are baseless

John Robson
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Re: Spot price doesnt answer the exam question

My guess is that they probably can't try it again, because the other mines are now built.

Reopenning a mine, and the associated processing plant is likely to be much cheaper and quicker than building a whole new one (as happenned last time)

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Space paparazzo captures bipolar butterfly

John Robson
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@ Camilla - we can do nothing 'faster than light'

Well they physics is a bit wierd - doing things (with mass) at the speed of light takes lots of infinities and is therefore deemed impossible. But if you can avoid travelling *at* that speed then the numbers become sensible again on the other side. In fact keeping your speed down might be an issue!

Given that there are various quantum tunelling possibilities it might be possible (on a quantum level) to jump the light speed limit, but you would then have to "jump" back, in a controlled fashion. To all intents and purposes it is impossible for the forseeable future. But that's the thing about the forseeable future, it may be quite short.

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Roll up, roll up, as LG launches stealthy Bluetooth keyboard

John Robson
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It's amazing how quickly I've got used to having numbers on a Fn-row, then again alot of symbols are on "the other" Fn-row as well...

It was something I was concerned with when I bought the keyboards, but it's not something that I even notice any more.

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John Robson
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Not everyone is you

A tablet is more than enough for 99% of people - these keyboards are a good input device.

Heck 99% of the time my laptop keyboard isn't used, because it's sat at work with a dekstop keyboard (and two monitors) plugged in. Ironically that means that the screen isn't used either.

My tablet on the other hand is pretty much alweays with me, and the keyboard is with me most of the time - when I want to write longer messages I open up the keyboard, easy.

Most of my tablet usage doesn't need the extra bulk. Emails/messages are relatviely short and the on screen keyboard is perfectly good enough for that.

Browsing requires minimal typing, again the on screen keyboard is fine.

I've not come across a laptop that boasts all day battery life, a mobile data connection, and fits in my pocket. The iPad mini2/3 does that easily - the keyboard can sit in another pocket, and I'm sorted.

Heck most of the time I don't even bring my "work" laptop to work (I'm permanently onsite and have a customer company laptop which tends to stay on site as well) because my iPad does everything I need (and more)

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John Robson
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Bad form - replying to myself, but hey...

I've now seen the video, and think that it would be unusable on anything other than a table, or similar firm surface. There doesn't appear to be any locking mechanism to stop it rolling up if you put it on your lap for instance, or hold it in one hand...

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John Robson
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Re: Hmmm... not sure, personally.

I use a Think Outside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard

Model XTBT01

Unfortunately I don't think they are available any more - but if you see one on ebay then jump on it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awJyCPtlNOI

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French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

John Robson
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Re: Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

@Loyal Commenter - I don't understand some people's reaction to ...

Heck, *I* don't understand my reaction to wasps either.

That's kind of the point - my brain is broken is a very specific way, in this instance it doesn't really affect my life, but if I had Bipolar/ Schizophrenia/ Depression/ OCD/ Anorexia/ .... then it would, and they all deserve sensible treatment. To declare that they are "imaginary" is massively disrespectful, and actively harmful to those affected. The brain is the least well understood organ in the body, yet people assume that it can't have failure modes?!

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