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* Posts by tony72

172 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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BT finally admits its Home Hub router scuppers some VPN connections

tony72

Back when we were on ADSL at my workplace, BT rolled out a firmware update for the BT Business hub that scuppered our incoming VPN connections, and they couldn't seem to give us any kind of fix; we had to dump their router and replace it with a Draytek.

When we got fibre, the BT engineer strongly advised us not to use the supplied BT Business Hub 3.0; we used it anyway, just so if there was any problem with the new connection, it couldn't be blamed on our 3rd party router. However after less than two months, the BT hub stopped working, just no WAN connection. So we had to dump it and replace it a Netgear.

Seems like one way or another, BT's routers find a way to be junk.

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Move over Microsoft: RealNetworks has a GOOGLE problem

tony72

You have to wonder who participated in that brand study they mentioned. Pretty much everyone I know considered RealPlayer to be a micro-step away from being malware. It was banned from any machines I was responsible for back when it was still common, and from what came across in the article, it looks like RealPlayer Cloud is going right on the banlist too.

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Hey, MoJ, we're not your Buddi: Brit firm abandons 'frustrating' crim-tagging contract

tony72

That is a quote without full context. The article says that Buddi opted out of the contract after the MoJ changed the specifications, so it seems safe to assume that the context of the quote is that the MoJ wanted something substantially different from what Buddi thought they had signed up to provide. That happens with government bodies and large organisations. A lot.

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

tony72

So what made Silva choose Lottie Dexter to lead the initiative?

"So what made Silva choose Lottie Dexter to lead the initiative? It's hard to tell."

No, no it's not.

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Globe grabbin,’ sphere slammin’, orb-tossin’, pill poppin’... Speedball

tony72

Re: SB2 remains one of my all time favourites

Playing SpeedBall 2 on my mate's Amiga convinced me of the absolute necessity to buy an Amiga.

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Seagate's LaCie whips out bonkers posh silver-plated storage ball

tony72

Shiny!

I'd put it next to my magic 8-ball, but the magic 8-ball says don't buy it.

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On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns

tony72

Re: Guns won't work, so let's look at alternatives...

I wonder if one of those TrackingPoint smart rifles would work on drones? The blurbs talk about hitting a moving target at 1000 yards, but I think they had things like deer in mind rather than drones. I imagine the software could be adapted if they wanted to do such a thing.

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French court: Google, Microsoft en ami must say 'au revoir' to pirates

tony72

France is weird

I understand the rationale for blocking the actual sites, but what's up with blocking them from appearing in search results?

If you click a link to a blocked site in your search results, and you get a page saying "Site blocked because ABC", then you're informing the user about the illegality of the site, letting them know that that type of site is blocked, and warning them about the type of sites they visit. That's what happens here in the UK at the moment (sort of).

If however you try and disappear the sites from the search results entirely, you miss that informational aspect of the block, and it also seems much more like sinister censorship; it's one thing to block content, it's another to block content in such a way that people may not even know it's blocked, or even that it existed in the future.

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UK.gov's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websites

tony72

Re: Even the dumbest porn-addicted teen...

Assuming we're still talking about Cleanfeed, it's not simple DNS redirecting, read up on how Cleanfeed works in wikipedia. The current blocks used against torrent sites etc by BT, VM et al work even if you are using third-party DNS servers outside the ISPs control. A particular IP address flags a request to be checked against the blacklist, but the blacklist can then block individual pages etc at an IP address, so it's not nearly as crude as simple DNS manipulation. However proxy servers etc can obviously still be used.

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Nookie becomes, um, a virtual reality for Oculus Rift gadget gamers

tony72

Re: Surprised

Or just open-minded and willing to try new things? Virtual sex with your partner instead of phone sex?

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Netflix, YouTube video killed the BitTorrent star? Duo gobble web traffic

tony72

Where's the porn?

No registration link to the report, if this site lets me post links. "Flash video" comes in at 1.72% of downstream traffic, below SSL and iTunes at 1.89 and 1.9 respectively. Is that covering all the porn tube sites? I'm surprised it's so low.

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Smartwatch deathmatch: Rivals battle for total ARM DOMINATION

tony72

They don't run apps, or at least the Citizen Proximity doesn't, it doesn't even have a display other than the watch face, so it's not really surprising it doesn't feature in smartwatch articles; ain't be no smartwatch. That having been said, it's a lot closer to something I'd actually buy; the fact that you don't need to charge the thing up is a deal maker, if it supported Android, I'd have one.

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Mac fans: You don't need Windows to get ripped off in tech support scams

tony72

TeamViewer is a very widely used and perfectly legitimate remote control/support application, I'm amazed you haven't heard of it. If these scammers abused it, or did something to make it hard to remove, that's hardly down to the TeamViewer developers.

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Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn

tony72

What did I just read?

I guess El Reg pays by the line. What was all that about? Was there a point in there somewhere? As far as I can tell, the entire article could be distilled down to "I have a lot of CDs, and I'm not sure if I can be arsed to rip them." Did I miss something? Is the article soliciting opinions on this deeply intriguing theme, or just rambling about it? I think I want my five minutes back.

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Shopping list for Tesco: Eggs, milk, bread, tablets (the £60 7in Android kind)

tony72

Re: Hudl

If the Spectrum had been launched at one period, the top-of-the range model would have been called the Spectrum Turbo. At another time, it might have been called the eSpectrum. And a couple of years ago (Tesco is behind the times) it might have been called Spectrm. Such is the nature of silly naming fads.

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OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

tony72

I was shocked

One of our users reported this message a few months ago, but he'd closed it by then, so I sort of dismissed it, but told him if he saw it again, to give me a call before closing it. Next time around I saw what it was, and managed to confirm that it was an authentic BT message. I don't know what determines who actually sees the message, because only two people in the company (of about 15 people) have actually had it. But personally I think this is completely out of order; our accounts people pay BT invoices as a matter of course, and as far as I can tell we've always payed on time within a day or two's margin. Send a friggin reminder like everybody else. I would drop BT in a flash if it was down to me, we only use them for broadband, and it's really just inertia keeping us with them.

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Microsoft announces iPad amnesty for fanbois

tony72

LOL

Apple should launch a counter-scheme, and offer $50 for your Surface RT, deadpan.

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

tony72

"It's not global news. It's not national news. It would barely even be local news, in a sane world."

Too true. Unfortunately not much actually is significant news, and the 24 hour news channels have an awful lot of time to fill. They get as much mileage as they can out of situations like Syria and Egypt, but those kind of things do drag on so, and there's only so many pathetic sob stories and excruciating human interest puff pieces you can take before even an over-hyped scare story like the current Fukushima "crisis" becomes at least a little entertaining.

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Typical! Google's wonder-dongle is a solution looking for a problem

tony72

Re: rubbish!

Yes. In any case, the Raspberry Pi is a solution looking for a problem, in fact that's the whole point of it, and people don't seem to hold that against it. Google is getting the Chromecast out there at an impulse buy price to see what people do with it, and if it gains some traction, companies may well start looking to use it specifically to deliver their content.

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Pure boffinry: We peek inside Nokia's miracle cameraphone

tony72

Impressive

When Nokia finally goes titsup.com, I hope this technology gets widely licensed, so that it will appear in phone platforms that anybody actually wants.

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Germans brew up a right Sh*tstorm

tony72

Re: Ausgezeignet!

Ausgeseignet?

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India's low cost tablet dream lives on with Aakash IV

tony72

Fearing the worst?

Given the stated prices, the margins on this must be paper-thin, can't be more than pennies per unit. I'd be interested to know if Datawind actually made any profit on the project so far. Even if the actually manage to ship millions of units, it may not amount to much in terms of profit, so I'm thinking Datawind might not actually be all that bothered if they don't get the contract for the next version.

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Review: HP Slate 7 Android tablet

tony72
FAIL

Speakers

They missed a trick with this one. I was quite excited when I heard about this, thinking the Beats audio might mean they'd bothered to put some effort into a pair of front-facing speakers. Alas no, and the resolution is too much of a downgrade from my Nexus 7 too. How is it that my old Nokia phone has better speakers than all current 7" tablets? Around the home or in the hotel room, people don't necessarily want to be isolated from the world by a pair of headphones all the time, and these are supposed to be media consumption devices, after all.

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Qualcomm app 'extends battery life' by analysing fandroids' privates

tony72

Bit useless

Just looking at my battery usage, 46% is the screen, and 20% is the mobile radio; wifi is on permanently, but is only 8%. Since the screen is only on when I am looking at something, and I need the mobile radio on to, you know, receive calls, there are no savings there, and pretty limited savings available from the wifi. Since those three things constitute almost 3/4 of the power usage, and a lot of the rest is also needed at least some of the time, the possible savings to be had would seem to be pretty limited. Looks like a gimmick to me.

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Foxconn must pay Microsoft for EVERY Android thing it makes

tony72

Re: Triple Microsoft tax bingo

Actually no, at least not according to other coverage of this issue. The same patents will only be licensed once for each device. If both FoxConn and its client have signed a licensing deal with Microsoft, it is up to them to decide who pays, but Microsoft only gets paid once.

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Bitcoin prices spike on Euro woes

tony72
Mushroom

Re: In troubled times...

"Bitcoin might actually be safer than a Southern European bank at this point."

In that case, I think they are fucked.

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New nuke could POWER WORLD UNTIL 2083

tony72

Re: Not going to happen

The British public are actually a pretty pragmatic lot, and unlike many of our foreign counterparts, we're much less likely to let an accident at an ancient design of nuclear plant built on a fault line in the world's worst earthquake zone dissuade us from building modern reactors here if it's good for our economy. Multiple polls in the last couple of years have shown that Brits like nuclear energy just fine, see e.g.

http://www.energylivenews.com/2013/02/11/uk-public-favours-nuclear-over-renewables/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14847875

And a Daily Mail article highlighting how much we could save by scrapping wind and investing in Nuclear. The reader comments don't seem to reflect your caricature of that august publication's readership;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058415/Scrapping-wind-farms-favour-nuclear-gas-save-550.html

The real obstacle to nuclear is the typically large up-front cost, as compared to the stealth taxes which can be used to subsidize renewables.

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US lawmaker blames bicycle breath for global warming gas

tony72

Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

Another point to consider is the effect of bicycles on other traffic. I regularly find myself in a train of traffic doing 10-15mph behind a cyclist, watching my mpg figure plummet. It's very hard to calculate the overall effect of that, but I personally experience that several times a week, and in each case one bike is slowing down a lot of cars, so I suspect there might be a sigificant effect there. It's all very well in places with ample dedicated bike lanes, but that isn't the reality for most of the UK. I don't recall seeing many bike lanes, so maybe that is an issue over there too. Mr Orcutt sounds like an idiot though, regardless of whether he inadvertently has a point.

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Wind-up bloke Baylis winds up broke, turns to UK gov for help

tony72

Re: Tricky balancing act

Yes, there were hand cranked radios at least as far back as World War II, so he definitely didn't invent the general concept. A cursory search on Google Patents reveals a 1942 patent for a "Spring Driven Electric Generator" by Robert Leslie Haynes et al, quote from the abstract;

"This invention relates to spring driven electric generators, such, for example, as may be employed in generating current for portable radio apparatus and the like. [...] The spring may be wound as by means of a hand crank."

It looks to me like Baylis' patent is for a pretty specific spring arrangement powering a radio, otherwise it wouldn't have been granted in the first place due to prior art. Seems like Baylis would like to be able to be granted very wide patents, covering anything similar to the original claim, almost as if he hasn't heard of the problems with patent trolls hindering innovation. If anything, we need the opposite, overly broad patents should be re-examined and invalidated much more easily.

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Björk gives up trying to Kickstart Android music app

tony72

Re: Having something that sounds like...

No they didn't. One paediatrician had anti-paedophile graffiti sprayed on her house by an unknown vandal or vandals (no reason whatsoever to believe it was a "mob", and certainly no mob was seen or reported). No one was attacked or injured. This is the story which is the grain of truth at the root of this urban legend;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/901723.stm

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Review: Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet and dock

tony72

For half the price, you can buy an Asus Transformer Prime, or a Nexus 10 and a bluetooth keyboard case. I'm struggling to understand what this give you over those. It's got partial Office, perhaps a bit better than the solutions available on Android, but other than that, I'm coming up blank.

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Is this possibly the worst broadband in the world?

tony72
Happy

Re: But...

If you're going to be a pedant, you should check your maths. 56kbps = 0.056Mbps, not 0.0056Mbps, you added a zero. Admittedly 0.056Mbps is still not 0.1Mbps, but only off by a factor of less than two, rather than a factor of almost 20.

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A valid use for Windows 8?

tony72

On my idea of media centre PC, the OS is somewhat irrelevant, as you probably use your HTPC software of choice for everything except setup (I use MediaPortal). Steve, it sounds like the your idea of a media centre PC is a bit less specialised than that, more of a general purpose PC that happens to be used for media applications. It's not even clear if you've got your media PC connected to a TV, or if you're operating it with a remote (you talk about clicking things, so I'm guessing mouse+keyboard). If you are using it from across the room on a TV, and operating it with a remote, I'd be interested to hear how you find those aspects of Windows 8, I did wonder if TIFKAM might be remote-friendly, but never got around to trying it.

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Sinclair BASIC comes to Raspberry Pi

tony72

Re: no peeks or pokes?

The Speccy indeed had peek and poke, I don't know if this port supports them. More importantly, does it support RANDOMIZE USR (probably the most cryptically named command in any flavour of BASIC)?

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Google stiffs Samsung on price, now wireless charging too

tony72

Re: Never mind Samsung...

I disagree. The retail price of contract-free handsets is artificially high at the behest of the telcos, who can then offer you the phone "free" or heavily subsidized as a carrot to tempt you onto a nice fat contract. That kind of market distortion is rarely good for consumers. What Google's Nexus 4 pricing might do is bring a bit of reality to contract-free handset pricing, making it more attractive to buy a handset outright than with a contract, and thus make both the handset market and the contract market a bit more transparent. Low margins and cut-throat competition deliver great value for consumers in the PC market, and as smartphones are commodity items these days, there's no reason why that market shouldn't go the same way. If a few of the existing manufacturers can't handle that, there are plenty of others that will step in.

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Microsoft's 'official' Windows 8 Survival Guide leaks

tony72
Happy

I'm pretty sure this is the first thing Mr Orlowski has ever posted that made me LOL, top notch!

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I just LOVE Server 2012, but count me out on Windows 8 for now

tony72
Megaphone

I wish we could upvote articles. I have nothing to add beyond agreeing with the article and most of the comments, but it seems a bit lame to post a comment just to say that. Maybe article authors should post a proxy comment as the first comment on the article - "upvote/downvote this if you like/dislike the article" sort of thing?

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Virgin Media's blighted SuperHub NOW comes with extra squeal (oink)

tony72
Flame

Let me paraphrase your lengthy post; "I've heard a quiet buzzing noise from power supplies, and therefore it's completely and utterly inconceivable that any power supplies anywhere could possibly buzz significantly louder that the ones I have personally experienced. The fact that people are finding the noise from their SuperHub supplies a big enough problem to complain to VM can't possibly mean that some power supplies might make a lot more noise than I have personally experienced, so therefore those people must be complaining about nothing."

I'm not going to tell you what I think of that, because I don't want to be rude, but I think it speaks for itself anyway.

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Windows 8 and the ‘Dad test’ stunts

tony72
Alert

"[...] it’s important to take a lot of the more extreme criticism you come across with a pinch of salt."

Dale, I'll take everything written about Windows 8 in the next few months with a pinch of salt, including your article, thanks very much. The ratio of actual information to decidedly dubious anecdotal evidence combined with all the paid and unpaid shilling and uninformed opinion, is so low at the moment that really you've got more chance of learning something useful from an E! fluff piece on Justin Bieber than you have on any article with "Windows 8" in the title.

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MYSTERIOUS GREEN GLOW seen on iPhone 5s

tony72
Meh

Halo

The green glow is obviously a halo, which is only to be expected from a hallowed object of worship such as the iPhone 5. If your iPhone is missing it's halo, you should take it to the nearest Apple temple and ask a Genius to bless it for you, otherwise it may not work properly, even if you hold it right.

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Bloke jailed for being unable to use BlackBerry Messenger freed

tony72
Paris Hilton

I don't want to make light ....

... but I can't help wondering; did he get any positive replies from anyone?

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Windows 8 early-bird users still love Windows 7 more - poll

tony72
Alert

Not surprised

I have a Windows 7 tablet (exopc), and I've tried the Windows 8 consumer and release previews on it, and both times reverted to Windows 7. Considering tablets are supposed to be where 8 shines most, that's not a good sign. The trouble is, while Metro* works great, Microsoft do not want you to use traditional desktop apps in tablet mode, so they have actually degraded the touch experience for desktop apps. E.g. in Windows 7, when you touch in a text box in an application, a popup appears next to it so you can bring up the on-screen keyboard, but in Windows 8 this is gone - you have to manually tap the icon on the taskbar to bring up the keyboard, then tap back in the text box to return focus, then manually close the keyboard when you're done typing; usability nightmare, and there appears to be no way to get the Windows 7 TIP functionality back. Windows 8 may be fine if you plan to use only Metro* apps, and it may be fine on the Surface and other hybrid devices with an integrated keyboards, but if you plan on using non-Metro* apps on a tablet without a keyboard, personally I'd think twice. And if you're not planning on running traditional desktop apps, then why would you even consider a Windows tablet?

* yes, I know

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DON'T PANIC: Arctic methane emissions have been going on for ages

tony72
Meh

Re: Oh dear.

I was going to make exactly that point about the rate of release. The question is, since it's such a blindingly obvious point, how did Lewis fail to note it himself? Seeing as he claims he's not a climate change denier, he couldn't possibly be intentionally ignoring the obvious to put a particular spin on the research, could he?

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Christian footie match ends in almighty brawl

tony72

Ahahahaha. "An influx of non-Christians into teams may be to blame". What a holier-than-thou fuckwit.

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Climate sceptic? You're probably a 'Birther', don't vaccinate your kids

tony72
Boffin

Degrees of scepticism

I'm not a doctor. If I'm ill, and the vast majority of doctors say I have a particular disease and recommend a particular cure, I'm not in a position to argue; unless I'm going to go to the trouble of becoming an expert in the field myself, the only rational position is to give considerable weight to the consensus of opinion amongst those who are experts, even if I don't like the sound of it. It's not fundamentally different with climate change, although mitigating against that is the fact that climate prediction is not in the same position as medicine when it comes to being able to test the theories and models, so there is considerably more room for having a degree of scepticism. However, when the weight of that scepticism tends towards outright rejection of the science, with no real reason other than not liking what the science says, then that is not rational, and having such a degree of scepticism does indeed start to put you in the same territory as Birthers, homeopathists and such like. You sceptics will have to judge for yourselves where you stand on the scale. Personally, while I have considerable doubt over any specific long-term climate predictions, it is only better science that will guide my opinion, not the ranting of uninformed loons.

As it happens, I actually think the climate debate is actually a bit secondary. Given the accelerating price increases in fossil fuels in recent decades, with analysts predicting that the trend will continue, I really don't see the downside to weaning ourselves off them as soon as is practical, but I'm not going to go off-topic regarding what exactly that means here.

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Windows Phone 8 stands a chance as Apple, Android dither

tony72
Flame

Re: Yet another fart app.

It's probably not only you, there are usually a few other luddites hanging around here for some reason, but that doesn't mean you have a point. You're obviously either a) in the camp that just wants to use their phones to make phone calls, and spurns apps entirely, or b) one of those people that has too much time on their hands, and is therefore happy to deal with purchasing apps from all sorts of different sites, dealing with all sorts of different payment mechanisms, giving your payment and contact details out all over the place etc. For everyone else though, the benefits of the app store model, with a single central portal to purchase apps from, a single payment mechanism, a single entity getting your details, a consistent installation and update mechanism etc, are just too obvious.

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Fox to release movie downloads weeks before discs

tony72

Pirates already get the films weeks before the actual release, so this will make zero difference to sales.

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Mio Spirit 695 LM satnav review

tony72

Re: My experience is different

Maybe recent Mio devices are a step forward; technology does change and improve, you know. I have a Mio Spirit 685, which looks almost identical to the reviewed model, and it's been very good; very simple, clear interface, good big responsive touchscreen, and seems to work very well. It did not come with free lifetime map upgrades sadly, just a one-time free upgrade to the latest maps, but that worked fine. The only issue I have is that it doesn't always pick up a TMC signal; the TMC antenna is integrated into the power cable, and so can't be ideally positioned for reception, unlike my previous satnav.

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Google's stats show few Android tablets in use

tony72
WTF?

Eh?

This article seems to be about the proportion of Android devices that are tablets versus smartphones. But everybody on the planet has a phone, mostly smartphones these days. Still only a small number of people have a tablet of any sort. A quick Google reveals that only 7% of UK males and 5% of women own a tablet (#1). At my workplace, about 1 in 5 has a tablet, and outside of a tech company I expect the figures are much lower. So you would expect the ratio of Android tablets to Android phones to be low, even if all tablets were Android (as it goes, at work they're about 2/3 ipads to 1/3 Android). Or am I missing something? The figures say almost 1 in 10 Android devices is a tablet, and given that they're not counting Kindle Fires or cheap non-Play tablets, I think that actually sounds quite good, all things considered.

http://www.economistgroup.com/leanback/lean-back-reading/who-are-tablet-owners-in-the-u-k-and-the-u-s/

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SanDisk flogs strap-on to speed up your lazy Windows 7 PC

tony72

So...

Is this likely to be much different than buying a 32GB SSD and using native ReadyBoost? Think I'll wait for some independent benchmarks, which seem to be lacking right now, before putting too much faith in those performance claims.

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