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* Posts by Fihart

740 posts • joined 3 Jun 2008

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Mr Almunia, how many more times can Google rewrite Euro search 'dominance' settlement?

Fihart
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Pic is just too appropriate !

Enjoyed the illustration of Google toilet paper. Apparently there's another version called Google+, but no-one uses that.

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There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES

Fihart
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Re: a drift to US moral codes and values?

@ John 156 for the most thoughtful comment here.

US TV shows and movies (and many UK films made with an eye on the US market) are too American for my tastes. Ignoring the obvious pointless explosions and shouting and the one-dimensional villains, the stories largely lack the ambiguity of real life.

Thankfully a few shows roll along like Madmen and The Sopranos but by and large I'm happier watching something like the French 'Spiral' or Italian 'Montalbano' and the Scandi cop shows.

I also watch foreign-language films on the basis that if they have made it over here without the hype put behind Hollywood rubbish, they must have something going for them. Surprising how good films from Argentina, Iran or Korea have turned out to be.

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Fihart
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Nothing on TV

Report confirms the general experience.

Best stuff on BBC is old Danish, Swedish, Italian series.

Best US stuff -- Madmen only available via Sky and Breaking Bad via torrent. For most people not at all unless downloaded while on hols abroad -- thanks for that Virgin/BT.

Commercial TV is doomed due to vast choice but little you'd choose and infested with ad breaks that are too frequent and too long.

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Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

Fihart
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More Chrome issues.

To quote a friend:

"wouldn't advise anyone to use Chrome unless they had 8mb of Ram! tho a workaround is the Chrome extension "OneTab" which puts all your open Chrome tabs into just one tab, greatly minimising RAM usage - even so Chrome hooks really hurt available RAM!"

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Fihart
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Google is listening ?

If enough people dump Chrome and answer the exit questionnaire thoughtfully provided by Google, maybe things will get fixed. Note that the questionnaire also mentions privacy and app store so I mentioned worries about irrelevant permissions demanded by some apps.

I suspect that Google do monitor uninstall reasons -- they are an information company above all.

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Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers

Fihart
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Re: testing 1 2 3 @karlp

Hello Karl, head office in Redmond has noted your efforts and your prospects are looking up.

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Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!

Fihart
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Now we know ?

Why Yahoo so often shows pictures of attractive young Asian women ?

Wish they'd concentrate on work instead -- Yahoo Mobile Mail has been impossible for me to sign into on either Blackberry or Android for some days now.

No response so far from Yahoo "Care" on Twitter or Facebook.

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Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?

Fihart
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Yup, that's why I won't use apps.

I was just about to add a useful app when I read the permissions agreement and went "no way !"

Google's arrogance undermines one of the main benefits of Android.

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The final score: Gramophones 1 – Glassholes 0

Fihart
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So right about the record player.

Your record player example clearly applies to mobile phone -- screen too small for internet, keyboard too small for typing, music player doesn't support folders, mapping which should work with GPS wants expensive data feed as well. Takes a sixty page manual to explain it all (if you're lucky).

When I find a toaster that also makes coffee without compromising either function or second guessing (wrongly) whether I take sugar or not, I might take smartphones more seriously.

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'Apple is TERRIFIED of women’s bodies and women’s pleasure' – fresh tech sex storm

Fihart
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So they won't be diversifying...

An Apple branded sex toy would sell millions. A girl recently told be how she enjoyed it when her mobile vibrated in her "pocket".

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Get ready for LAYOFFS: Nadella's coma-inducing memo, with subtitles

Fihart
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Hmmmm chocolate....

Sorry Mr Nadella,

I just can't stop thinking Nutella.

And judging by your message about Office 365, maybe just nuts !

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Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

Fihart
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Re: RE traditionally separates would be swapped out over time

Good point Simon Harris. The 70s Kenwood stuff in the pic may still be working somewhere and much of it sounding good.

My personal best for an old amp is a US spec (110 v) Kenwood budget model found in a car boot a couple of years ago. I remember this model's Trio (UK) equivalent belonging to a friend in the mid seventies when it was already a few years old.

Car boot find works perfectly after cleaning some switches -- it was low spec (15 watts ?) bottom of the range kit so never sounded the bees knees but it's acceptable. Particularly like the fake wood printed steel case and champagne coloured alloy fascia.

Presently listening to impressive 1980s Quad 405 Mk 2 and preamp, elderly Marantz CD player and 1970s B&W DM2s -- some found in charity shops and dumped in street.

I have no reason to change that system.

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Thought PCs were in the toilet? They're STILL eating Apple's lunch

Fihart
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Lenovo, no thanks.

I guess some of the IBM magic rubbed off on Lenovo, so I was unpleasantly surprised opening a four or five year old Lenovo desktop to see bulging capacitors like I've seen on "lesser" brand computers which were older.

Astonished this problem has gone on for so long.

Replaced the Lenovo with an Asus.

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Reg reader fires up Pi-powered anti-cat garden sprinkler system

Fihart
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I expect you pay for garden fertiliser.

Then complain when the moggies offer it for free.

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Mexican watchdog sinks teeth into Carlos Slim over 'market fixing'

Fihart
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Slim pickings (for the rest)....

All you need to know about phone system in Mexico (actually, all you need to know about Mexico) is that Carlos Slim is the richest man in the world making money in one of its poorer regions.

But over the border in the land of the free, Verizon and AT&T pretty much have a duopoly that's reflected in prices higher that in Europe.

Corruption isn't the issue (its endemic in Mex) the system is what's wrong. Where governments dish out licences to print money, no surprise when the recipients do so left to their own devices.

Before the curbs on roaming charges, who'd have thought we'd be grateful to the EU.

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Korea’s third biggest phone maker faces $180m OBLITERATION

Fihart
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Duff name doesn't help.

Pan(asonic) Tech(nics). Reminds me of Suny radios sold in Africa or NCKLA phones.

Of course the Koreans ain't great at names, Lucky Goldstar was well overdue a change to LG.

I was surprised to see Daewoo folding bicycles now branded Chevrolet.

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PANDA chomps through Spotify's DRM

Fihart
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Re: Run DRM -- CD Recorders

They didn't need to ban CD recorders because consumers didn't buy them.

1) They cost too much

2) Some models proved very unreliable.

3) The discs they needed cost more (to pay fee to copyright owners) and were hard to find.

4) You could rip CD etc on a computer without any of the above issues.

Ironically, many recorders were bought by musicians to record music they actually owned the copyright to.

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27 Data-Slurping Facts BuzzFeed Doesn't Want You To Know!

Fihart
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not untypical

If you complain about T Mobile they later send you an invitation to contribute to improving their service. Thinking this might actually be helpful, I started completing the questionnaire. After a number of questions I realised it was just a market research tool and sent them a snotty reply.

From their pricing, one might guess that the telcos think we are idiots and this rather confirmed it.

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Mobile SIM chip-makers 'will be fined by EU' for price-fixing, say sources

Fihart
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Is there anything....

...in the mobile/cellphone world which isn't a rip off ?

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Apple wins patent to pump ads to your iDevice while you're watching TV

Fihart
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Ads -- death of TV

Straw. Broke. Last. Camel's. Back.

Rearrange into well known......

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San Francisco issues SMACKDOWN on parking spot sale software

Fihart
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Authorities here wise to it...

Long years ago a friend living in Covent Garden with no car applied for a permit and sold it to a local ad agency. Since then Camden Council have tightened up on applications and enforcement.

As for comment above that it's public space and we can do what we want with it -- the permits are intended to facilitate people living there to park without having to compete with outsiders commuting by car. Both London and (in my experience) San Francisco have reasonably good public transport for commuters.

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DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

Fihart
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Re: Sad @Fibbles

Right in principle but, more accurately, it's not a warranty and the six years is a different issue.

Warranty's really an arrangement between the maker and the retailer under which the former undertakes for one year following sale the retailer's duty to repair/replace. Trading Standards in UK have a rough benchmark that consumer durables should be serviceable for about 6 years -- and that, in cases of product failure (roughly speaking) not caused by the consumer, the retailer should repair at no cost or replace -- or refund (a proportion relating to age).

Big UK retailers seem to deliberately fail to train their shop staff (including managers) in the realities of the law and most will brush off anything outside the manufacturer's warranty. Solution is to call head office threatening Small Claims action -- in my experience they will always blink first.

When I've been to court, the judge took a commonsense approach similar to the above and awarded damages and costs.

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Sony CEO forced to shush shareholder heckling at fiery AGM

Fihart
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Re: So variable @MJI

Half right about the trini tellies -- great picture but terrible remote/interface.

I was speaking with an old colleague last week about this very subject and he recalled how at the ad agency we worked for in the 80s the conference rooms had Sony monitors and video players -- few, if anyone, could get the monitors to talk to the players.

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BlackBerry inks deal with Amazon to get Android apps on its mobes

Fihart
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Re: Dilemma @ Jess

Re the coroporate security stuff -- what peed me off was simply trying to dowload an app from Blackberry World was a faff via the phone (can't remember why) so I started all over again via PC/wireless link/router and it took an age updating stuff on the PC and rebooting the phone a couple of times (at 3.5 minutes per reboot). Quite apart from the lousy selection in BB World, I've avoided going that route again.

I appreciate that BB10 loses some of the annoyances -- such as over moving the SIMM to another phone -- but I quickly lose goodwill with firms that have forced me to do things their way without any obvious benefit to me.

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Fihart
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Dilemma

While I really don't like Blackberry's way of working, the recent hardware's about right.

I dislike things like (apparently) having to wipe the phone if you change the SIM. Or the SIM being linked to Blackberry rather than your telco so data capacity paid for can't simply be transferred to another phone. I dislike the (to me unnecessary) corporate level security stuff which just hampers normal use.

Though I normally use a BB 9800, I recently gained a friend's cheap Android (thanks to T Mobile not fixing it with the required OS reload) and realised how unusable on-screen keyboard is on a small phone if you have adult male fingers.

Though the issue is partly resolved on bigger Androids like the HTC One, I find myself looking at Blackberry Q10 for its reasonably sized screen and large-ish physical keyboard. This addresses my issues with a previous Nokia E71 (screen too small but keyboard brilliant) and present BB 9800 (screen bigger but keyboard too small).

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Sonos Controller app update conflict

Fihart
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Music networking ?

Don't quite get it.

Sonos and similar stuff so expensive and technical that it would be cheaper/simpler to have a compact stereo in each room and carry CDs from one room to another. Probably sound better too.

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NHS slammed for MAJOR data blunders as scale of patient info sell-off is revealed

Fihart
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So that's where they got my address.

Wondered why I occasionally get invites to health checks by (doubtless expensive) private medical providers who obviously have access to my full name and address. By the look of the services mentioned also know my age.

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Chap builds rotary dial mobile phone

Fihart
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daft

Try repeatedly dialling today's longer numbers on a rotary phone and you'll soon see the point of press-buttons and last number redial.

I recall this vividly from the 1980s, trying to get through to a government department which almost always had line-busy signal.

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Mobe-orists, beware: Stroking while driving could land you a £4k fine

Fihart
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Re: Question from a dumb 'murrican

From my observation driving on the LA freeways people were also reading books and doing their hair while driving. On the surface streets I daily saw pileups at junctions in the rush hour and nearly had one myself due to the monotony of low speed, lane-disciplined driving combined with drowse-inducing effects of fatty breakfasts.

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Fihart
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£4k TV licence fine.

To watch crap programs stuffed with ads. I see sales of TVs plummetting.

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Bing's the thing in Microsoft's push for cheap Windows devices

Fihart
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@Boris the C/roach Microsoft says....

...if in hole, keep digging.

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Facebook wants to LISTEN IN on the songs and vids playing in YOUR living room

Fihart
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Presumably would also monitor speech

So if you mentioned fancying a bite, ads for restaurants could pop up on your screen.

Getting jiggy, ads for condoms.

Mention politics and the Stasi roll up at your door.

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Rival BT sics ad watchdog on EE: ASA growls at 'most reliable broadband' claim

Fihart
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Misleading price offers.

I wish they'd ban these confusing "£3.49 per month" (only for 6 months, then much more) offers.

As is intended, just makes comparisons more confusing. Most providers (as with mobile/cellphones) seem to share some infrastructure and offer essentially the same services -- so comparison ought to be fairly easy.

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Microsoft’s 'FIRST NOKIA' arrives at £89

Fihart
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First Nokia ?

I think most Reg readers bought their Last Nokia some years ago.

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Microsoft walks into a bar. China screams: 'Eww is that Windows 8? GET OUT OF HERE'

Fihart
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Re: Payback

Payback ? Sounds like China's message to MS is doing the world a favour.

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Cisco reboots PC with $1500 'Scandafornian' Android fondleslab

Fihart
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@ Dave 126

".....horizontally-mounted touchscreen as a secondary display/control surface for a desktop or laptop PC... it would be somewhere to keep application toolbars...."

Somewhere to spill your coffee too, I suspect.

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Weather forecast: WiFi storms make meteorologists look mad

Fihart
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Blame the ISPs

For giving out wireless routers like candy, whether wifi needed or not.

They were doing this long before devices like iPad and mobile phone with wifi became near-universal. Unless the pollution (which is a daily problem in urban areas) is solved some other way, we may see a time when ethernet sockets on such devices become a necessity.

Are there mini-ethernet sockets ?

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Mozilla agrees to add DRM support to Firefox – under protest

Fihart
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Re: They never learn @ecofeco

Yeah, even mildly walled garden fails. I collate links to sites on housing issues for a charity I work with and one of the most important housing sites recently installed register and sign-in.

I know the editor and warned that it would force all my readers to register -- and I knew most wouldn't.

Surprised to get this anodyne reply: "...implemented the registration gate to capture data so that we can be more responsive to our readers’ needs, so the website is easier to use and even more relevant moving forwards".

I have stopped including that site's material.

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Russia to suspend US GPS stations in tit-for-tat spat

Fihart
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Re: Fihart Where have you been Murphy?! @Matt Bryant

Look, if you are so aggressive with people who agree with you I despair for you with anyone who doesn't.

You are right, but that does not make me wrong. The Russians only reacted to the threat of the Nazis when their own soil was invaded. Of course they had behaved treacherously, empire building -- as they did again at the end of the war. I'm not a Leftie nor do I have any illusions about the ex Soviet Union and its current ambition to restore that empire.

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Fihart
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Re: Where have you been Murphy?!

Generally I condemn those who attack America out of envy or fear. Much I don't like about their economic system, which often seems like an exaggerated version of the worst aspects of the modern British economy.

My father's generation were appalled at the slowness with which America entered WW2, leaving Britain alone against the Nazis (remember Russia stayed neutral until Germany lost the Battle of Britain air-war). Britain was left broke, having sold most of its US investments to pay the US for military and other aid.

However many individual Americans volunteered to join the UK armed forces, especially pilots including some women, long before Pearl Harbour. We cannot forget the mass sacrifice of US citizens (many of German origin) in two world wars fighting for a Europe they neither knew nor had reason to care about.

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Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

Fihart
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Re: It's not about the music. @Mitoo Bobsworth

Dead right. One boring Xmas I found a real bottom-of-the-range Sony receiver dumped in the rubbish. To amuse myself I removed all signal switching and tone/balance components from the signal path. Dug out a pair of single drive units speaker boxes (so no crossover).

Surprising how good a 5 watt amp can sound with a clean signal and efficient speakers.

Try building a passive preamp (basically two mono potentiometer volume controls in a box) to link a CD player to the tape monitor input of a hifi amp and be pleasantly surprised.

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Fihart
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Re: Go pro audio @Slap

I go back further to the days when growing sales and the first Japanese imports were beginning to bring down hifi prices. A 25 watt amp could be bought for about £50, a very good Thorens turntable for £25 and KEF or Bowers & Wilkins speakers (which I still use today) for around £100.

Then something called Linn Sondek came along and a sort of cult grew around it and the equally expensive NAIM amplifiers. I have no idea whether these products were are clever as was widely claimed -- but one look at the Linn might have suggested that it was inspired by the Thorens -- or by Acoustic Research who pretty much invented the belt drive, deeply suspended, turntable.

At the time I felt there was a degree of snake oil about the way hifi was being up-priced. Trouble is that the prices they charged seems to have stuck -- while almost everything else electronic has come down significantly.

People who pay premium for stuff like Beats headphones simply don't care enough about money (or about audio) to investigate cheaper alternatives like the Sennheisers I use.

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Fihart
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Re: Genesis reissues @Nosher

Have to agree. Sat down with friend to listen to remastered Foxtrot.

He very dubious until I pulled out a CDR made from original vinyl issue.

The remaster was much better.

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Stop bullying SUPER FAT GODZILLA, urge movie stars

Fihart
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Super Fat Mozilla ?

Just upgraded to new format Firefox. Seems speedier than traditional version -- don't mind that.

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Microsoft blinks, extends Windows 8.1 Update deadline for consumers

Fihart
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Just gone to Win7

The charity I volunteer for upgraded its desktops to Win7 last week. Because even our relatively non-techie workers had "heard that Win8 was a lemon".

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Vinyl-fetish hipsters might just have a point

Fihart
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Re: It's perfectly possible to build hi-fi valve amps @Frankee Llonnygog

Hmmm. Valve amps are still widely in production and despite vast cost, presumably, still sell. They almost disappeared in the 1970s because of cost of construction (loads of copper for transformers) -- and the lack of maintenance needed by transistor amps.

I have both Quad valve and more recent Quad 405-2 transistor amplifier systems. Also own a Quad 33 transistor pre-amp.

The Quad valve power amp was fabulous sounding. Tiny output (15 watts RMS per channel) but you could drive it hard without obvious distortion. Ceased using it mainly because of cost of replacement valves. Quad's valve preamp was, incidentally, crappy while the transistor 33 is pretty good.

Have since used amps as varied as Sony, Yamaha, Cyrus, NAD, Marantz, but recently got the (1980s vintage British built) 405 system and am very impressed. The treble is much better and bass is in a different class to the (similarly aged) NAD. The extra power (110 watts vs the NAD's 55) is better at driving my big B&W DM2s.

Not to say that the NAD (nor other Japanese-made amps/receivers of the period) were necessarily bad sounding. And despite birds-nest wiring compared to British designs, the Japs are incredibly durable. I have a still extant Kenwood budget amp from about 1969.

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Fihart
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Re: turntable issue @Mike Flugennock

You are quite right that USB turntables are rubbish. But if the proper DJ turntable you refer to is the Technics -- frankly, it's not a great sounding deck.

Main benefit for DJs (and for recording individual tracks to CD) is near-instant start of the direct drive motor. The constant speed can also be detected by some listeners, compared to belt drive. But the arm is very basic and its bearings seem sloppy if not adjusted.

I've done side-by-side comparisons with friends between a Technics SL1210 Mk2 and a 1970s vintage Thorens 125 (the large electronically controlled belt drive model) fitted with a Mission arm. Same ADC cartridge in both turntables.

Predictably, a musician claimed to detect the better speed control of the Technics, but all agreed that the Thorens was in a different class for sound. The Technics sounded blurred, I suspect because its very limited suspension was poor at rejecting low frequency feedback compared to the wobbly suspension of the Thorens. Tapping the Technics body during playback produced an audible boom in the speakers, while the Thorens was immune.

Compared to the Mission arm, Technics arm is clearly not a precision design, particularly the bearings.

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Fihart
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Re: Compression can be good. @Pristine Audio

God, so many literalists on this site.

Okay I should have said Decca FFSS.

Main point is that Decca made LPs in the 1950s that are still listenable today because (I think) compression helped reduce surface noise. The quieter bits aren't so quiet, so you don't hear the clicks. To me this makes up for the fact that sound may not be authentic compared to 1970/80s releases. And the ones I have sound pleasant, nevertheless.

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Beached whale Symantec watches revenues recede 7%

Fihart
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Today Symantec.......

When your main product is regarded by some as less effective/more trouble than free alternatives, it's time you were in a different business.

Microsoft take note.

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