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* Posts by tony72

182 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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Google's Pankhurst doodle doo-doo shows the perils of using Google to find stuff out

tony72

Yes, I was trying really hard to see some sort of ironic angle to this article, but I really can't. If there hadn't been a birth certificate or official record, or if there was some significant reason given to indicate that the official records were wrong, then there might be a case to answer, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. In fact it's the opposite, a good reason is suggested as to why Mrs Pankhurst might have claimed to have been born a day earlier than she actually was. Wikipedia is 100% in the right here.

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'iPhone 6' survives FRENZIED STABBING. Truly, it is the JESUS Phone

tony72
Coat

Surely...

...to be truly the Jesus Phone, it would have to die from the stabbing, then come back three days later? Christ was, in fact, not impervious to penetration by nails, thorns, and spears, although I do not recall if a knife was ever tested.

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We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

tony72

Re: There are cheaper, less environmentally harmful options.

"The difference is, that the Prius (and most other cars) also have mechanical switches for the important stuff, like turning on the lights!"

I don't know for sure, but I suspect you still have regular stalk controls for those basic operations in the Tesla too, from a google image search they certainly appear to be there. I'm sure you can control lots of additional parameters from the touchscreen, but they're not likely to change or remove the basic and familiar controls that people learn to drive with. You can quite clearly see what appear to be conventional lights and wiper stalks in this image of the Tesla S dash.

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How practical is an electric car in London?

tony72

Re: On Street Parking

I won't cover the same ground as other posters, who have already pointed out some issues with the reality of what you suggest. But I would have to ask, why do you find the end of the ICE even a desirable thing? The electricity your electric cars run on isn't created by magic, much of it comes from fossil fuels, and you can work out the emissions by looking at the energy mix supplying the grid you are charging on. I don't have figures for the UK, but in the USA, electric cars in areas with the cleanest energy mix were equivalent to a petrol with a 95mpg fuel efficiency, but in the areas with the dirtiest energy mix, they were only equivalent to a petrol car with a less than 40mpg fuel efficiency. Read this report for example, excerpt "About 37 percent of Americans live in regions where a Leaf’s greenhouse gas emissions would equate to a gasoline-powered vehicle rated at 41 to 50 m.p.g.". I get 50+mpg from my diesel Scirocco.

With combustion engines becoming ever cleaner, and the energy mix of our electric grids not changing significantly anytime soon, it's simply wrong to promote electric cars on environmental grounds. Clean petrol/diesel cars are competitive on emissions, and the other advantages are huge.

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Eating a fat bacon sarnie? Have a defibrillator handy

tony72

Statistics

The statistics being used to maximum scare effect of course. The study is concerned with isolating the effect of processed meat, hence they quite sensibly and reasonably adjust for all other factors. However in the real world, your processed meat consumption is just one of many factors affecting your chances of cardiovascular disease. So even if you are in the worst category, your real-world heart failure risk increase due to processed meat will not be 2.43 times higher than your bacon-abstainer friends; once you adjust back in all the things they adjusted out in order to obtain their measurement of interest, it will probably be an overall increase of a few percent. If you are healthy, not overweight, do some exercise and don't have a genetic predisposition to cardiovascular problems, then enjoy that fry-up and don't worry.

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UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

tony72

Re: Not renewables...

"Make no mistake, any strategic move to more gas, coal or nuclear would be unpopular with the greenies."

I guess the question is what percentage of the population count themselves amongst the "greenies". I know the environmentalist types are good at chaining themselves to trees and generally kicking up a lot of fuss, but if, as I suspect is the case, the large majority of the population would rather make sure the lights stay on first and foremost, then maybe the politicians could maybe grow a pair and do what needs to be done?

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

tony72

Re: Apparel Solution

I'd like a t-shirt that says "I will fix your PC. But not for free." The fact is most of the bastards who come to you trying to get you to fix their PCs and whatnot for free, would never spend the same number of hours helping you out for free. The few that would, no problem. But for the rest, I have come to find it deeply offensive to be asked, unless the request starts with "How much would you charge..."

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

tony72

Re: I would argue the situation was even worse

I'm not not sure it's even that. We've all been there; a manager wants to know how long something is going to take, or how much it's going to cost. You start explaining what's involved, and analysing the factors that might impact the answer. The manager holds up his hand, and says "Give me a number." So you make up a number, he puts it in the plan, and that number that you just pulled out of your arse is now a "fact". Management types and leaders like the certainty of such "facts" so they can forge ahead confidently with their plans, and look competent and assertive, but it doesn't really matter if the "facts" are actually true, as long as they came from a sufficiently credible source to let said manager or leader make the claim, and have someone to blame if it's wrong. This is especially true of politicians making long term plans, because they're going to be long gone from their post before the shit hits the fan. They're perfectly capable of understanding the problems, they just don't need to, because they just need plans that sound credible, not plans that actually work.

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Netflix FREEZES prices for existing UK users to stop them quitting vid-streaming service

tony72

Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

tony72

At least they sound like standard power profiles

Dell used to ship some of their laptops with non-standard power profiles that did unexpected (to me anyway) things, like disabling the wired ethernet port when running on battery; sure, I can see the logic in it, but it was a serious head-scratcher that time when a customer couldn't control a piece of equipment in the field, and yet all the diagnostics I got him to run back in the office said everything was working! Personally I'd pay Dell to leave Windows default settings the fuck alone, if I need them changing, I'll change them.

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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.

0
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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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