* Posts by John Robson

1586 posts • joined 19 May 2008

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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Mercedes mulls driverless limo future

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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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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John Robson
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If it's only a light speed drive then we're doomed - you can't transmit the message faster than the deathrays anyway.

If it's an FTL drive then you've (probably) just invented time travel, and you can just fly back home to warn people, no need to send a message.

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John Robson
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Time is relative, lunchtime doubly so.

Since there is no universal "now" it possibly only makes sense to describe the age "as seen".

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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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John Robson
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Looks like it folds, rather than rolls - so assuming there is a decent locking mechanism on the fold it could be OK.I use a Think Outside Stowaway keyboard - it folds in half with a Psion5 like Z hinge - which mean it's solid in use, no folding as you type.

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

@Ledswinger

I have those rackets (one at work, one at home) I still don't go looking for them - that's not how phobias work.

Mine is sufficiently mild that I can deal to some extent, but it has taken solid work over the last 10+ years to get to the point that I can force myself to stay in the same building.

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

@Mage - A mental disorder, also called a mental illness, as it's imaginary.

That's (wrongly) lumping a huge number of conditions under the flag "imaginary".

Mental health is a serious issue - and it's comments like that the perpetuate the stigma attached to it. I have no problem telling people I have a bowel disorder, no more than I would a broken leg - but if it's my brain that's broken... that's a whole different story.

Good thing you understand the brain *so* well that you can determine that all "mental illnesses" are imaginary - imagine the amount of R&D spend you can save for companies all over the world.

PS - I agree that there is no real sensitivity, but then I don't have a real sensitivity to wasps either, doesn't stop my heart rate doubling, or more, in the second or so after seeing one.

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Android in user-chosen lockscreen patterns are grimly predictable SHOCKER

John Robson
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Re: Errm...

@ James O'Shea

That's a HUGE amount of information you just gave out.

There aren't that many languages with <100k native speakers in the world, you've massively reduced the space of the search.

Actually you've managed to reduce it seriously,even ignoring the language thing:

9 letters -> 26^9

1 number -> 10^1

position of number -> 10^1

position of capitals -> 9*8 (since one position is taken by a number)

That's a pretty small search space compared with the scale of the attack before you published your method.

Now let's asusme that I care, and figure where you went to uni - I reckon I could guess the language, or at least limit it to one or two.

Then look at some stats about transliterated letter combinations.

[If you see a q in english then the next letter is au - 99+% of the time, so the next letter isn't a choice of 26, it's bascially a choice of 1]

Then I've probably cut the search space by another significant factor - maybe 10?

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John Robson
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Re: is that number right?

@cbars - touching the middle dot

The middle dot is easy to avoid, you don't have to drag in a straight line...

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John Robson
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Re: PIN generation

Hardly a surprise there...

The limitations are in terms of allowed attempts etc.

And how exactly do I use upper and lower case letters on my debit card pin?

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John Robson
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PIN generation

I use my RSA token.

I have between 10 and 15 pins which have been generated this way, and yes I can remember them. Takes a little while to start with, but we can recall short numbers with a fair degree of success. Then again i remember phone numbers as well...

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People bored of mobes, say magic quadrant wizards

John Robson
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Re: Bored "with"?

@Evil Graham

Maybe you're getting old, maybe not.

I'm not with the news though, bored by would be much more appropriate.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/bored-by-of-or-with

It's a common usage, although probably not for use in formal settings. I'm pretty sure that this isn't a formal setting though.

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John Robson
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I'm getting bored of this "news" being repeatedly trotted out.

Both regarding phones and tablets, oh and PCs...

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

John Robson
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Re: Does anyone know...

@Chronos - We do know what is in the exhaled vapour

Is that because they are so well regulated?

Seems to be a plethora of cheap stalls thrown up for a few days at a time selling goodness knows what around here.

And we, here in this office, don't know what's in the vapour. Frankly I don't care either - the smell is enough to make me not want them anywhere near me - those with nicotine content freuently give me a (very specific) hell of headache as well.

Aside from that the first ecig link I found was an FDA page from last month saying that they hadn't been fully studied and it wasn't known, amongst other things "how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use".

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John Robson
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The issue is that they are not as clean as claimed...

If you can smell the vapour then it isn't 'just steam' as is commonly claimed.

And the vapour does smell - it's not as noxious as the combustible version, but it isn't clean, and as a non smoker/vaper I don't really want to be inhaling your product.

They're banned in the office here - quite rightly. This means that people step outside, as they would with any other similar product. Of course they rarely step outside by far enough, but that's a different issue.

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John Robson
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Re: Does anyone know...

@Gruezi

Because they stink, and we don't really know what is in the fumes.

There may also be issues with various smoke detection systems.

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Intel's Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast

John Robson
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Not quite sure I'd consider upvotes as an indication of being liked...

We've had at least a couple of good discussions in the past, but I'm not sure I'd say I considered any other commentard as "well respected".

Mine was more a comment on the generally dismissive style on these forums than any reflection on the level of respect between commentards on these - in hindsight it could prbably have used an emoticon.

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John Robson
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@1980s_coder - well respected

Interesting self description - given a couple of posts I've seen recently which mention your name in slightly less glowing terms.

Also - do we respect (beyond basic human respect) other commentards anyway?

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