* Posts by tony72

373 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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Huawei Nova: A pleasant surprise in a 5in phone

tony72

Narrow bezels is the new thin?

Just like it used to be "ooh, look how thin we can make the phone", now it seems to be "ooh, look how narrow our bezels are", regardless of whether it actually does anybody any good.

Personally, I'd rather have an extra millimetre or two of thickness, and a battery that lasts a few hours longer. And likewise I'd rather have an extra millimetre or two of bezel, and be able to hold the damn thing without accidentally touching the edges of the screen. But hey, can't have such practicalities get in the way of fashion, eh?

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Huawei Mate 9: The Note you've been waiting for?

tony72

Only a tiny fraction of them burst into flames, the only problem really is with you not being allowed to take in on many airlines now; if you have to travel, that's a bit inconvenient.

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Microsoft's nerd goggles will run on a toaster

tony72

Re: HoloLens is Standalone, Doesn't Have Minimum Requirements

Yes, this article makes no sense, or I'm confused. As far as I'm aware, the only "nerd goggles" Microsoft is producing is HoloLens. Windows Holographic is not "nerd goggles" in any sense that I can relate to; it's an augmented reality software platform which requires a suitable display device to display its output; that is HoloLens right now. So contrasting the requirements for Windows Holographic and HoloLens would not seem to be meaningful.

Microsoft has also said it plans to make Windows Holographic work with other VR display devices than HoloLens in the future, but again, contrasting the requirements for Holographic with the requirements for its potential display devices doesn't seem to get you anywhere, since you'd be using both.

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AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand

tony72

Re: Lack of Research

It's a creditable effort to recognise even that short list of acts to the claimed degree of accuracy, though, give them some credit. But if there's one thing the internet's not short of, it's source material to test this application on, so I imagine it will improve fast if it's being actively developed.

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Elon Musk wants to launch 4,000 satellites and smother globe with net connectivity

tony72

Almost every paragraph has a fake 'fact' in it.

Astounding, even for El Reg.

The whole article has a whiff of character assasination about it. I presume it was funded by a Musk detractor somewhere. ULA? Any car company?

It's a shame, because there are some interesting details about this plan that bear discussion, but the tone of the article may detract from sensible discussion. For example, I read elsewhere that the projected operational life of each of these satellites is only 5-7 years, which would seem to imply that 600+ satellites a year will need replacing. I have no idea how many such satellites can be deployed in a single launch, but it can't be that many, so that would seem to require a pretty ridiculous launch schedule. Or do they plan to somehow refurbish the satellites in orbit once they're initial operational lifespan is over? That's the kind of stuff I'd like to be talking about.

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Aw, snap: Independent disk drive failure rates from Backblaze

tony72
Paris Hilton

I am concerned

My porn collection is on a 6TB WD drive. It's a WD Blue, whereas the WD60EFRX used by Backblaze is a WD Red NAS drive, but my understanding is that the only difference is that the Reds have their firmware tweaked to be more reliable for 24/7 NAS use compared to the equivalent Blue drives. Better check those backups, eh.

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tony72

Re: This is very helpful.

Umm, these are consumer drives that Backblaze uses, are they not? At least that used to be the case.

Not sure it would be in any way practical for El Reg to test a sufficient quantity of a sufficient range of drives to be worth doing, unless they were going into business as a cloud storage provider or something.

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Google's new VR Daydream View will cripple your phone

tony72

Re: Boo

No! Noooooo! NOBODY can possibly believe that, no matter what marketing peeps claim. It's a phone FFS.

A Daydream-compliant phone is by definition designed, at least in part, for VR; that's the whole point of having the spec. Now while a manufacturer could in theory go to the trouble of meeting the fairly stringent display, sensor, and processing requirements to comply with the Daydream spec (which only the Pixel and the ZTE Axon 7 currently meet), and then not bother to do any development or testing of it under VR usage, that would seem to be a strange thing to do. Especially if the phone is being built for Google, and VR with Daydream View is one of it's more hyped features.

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tony72

Boo

Hmm, well I just bought a Pixel, and am waiting for the headset to become available, so I guess I'll find out soon enough if this is a real issue. For sure, extended VR use of my Nexus 5 with Cardboard leaves it very hot and crashy, but I kind of expected that since Pixel has actually been designed for VR use, that that wouldn't be such an issue.

On the plus side, it's winter, and the advantage of phone-based VR is you aren't tethered to a PC, so I guess I can always go outside and freeze my nuts off to keep the phone cool.

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More movie and TV binge-streaming sites join UK banned list

tony72

Re: Thanks, MPAA

@ FuzzyWuzzys - unfortunately I see a growing number of average Joe's buying £50 Android boxes with Kodi pre-installed, following a couple of simple steps apparently widely detailed online, and streaming away to their hearts content; it's pretty much plug-n-pirate, no skills needed. Premium TV, latest movies, the lot. I'm talking about people who barely have the IT skills to turn on a PC, so it can't be very hard. If the anti-piracy people really want to stop illegal streaming, they need to do something about that, because I can see that really turning into a nightmare scenario.

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Euro Patent Office staff demand new rights to deal with terrifying boss

tony72

Brexit

And yet, for largely political reasons, the Administrative Council – which consists of representatives from all the European countries that make up the EPO – refuses to fire the president.

It's stuff like this that means I'm beginning to warm up to the whole Brexit thing.

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Google Pixel: Devices are a dangerous distraction from the new AI interface

tony72

Re: VR

I don't see how you reached that conclusion, and I suspect you haven't actually used Gear VR or Daydream. Plenty of reviewers who have seem to have a very different take, e.g. this, "go blow a chunk of paycheck on the Samsung Gear VR. It’s 85-percent of the same experience for 50-percent of the price."

If Gear VR is really not all that much worse of an experience than Rift, by all reports Daydream is significantly better than Gear VR. The Daydream spec for screens, sensors etc was set precisely to enable a good VR experience, we're not talking slow-refresh LCDs and whatnot here. Plus mobile VR is, well, mobile; you don't need to lug a PC around like with your Rift.

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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

tony72

Re: Dual-SIM ?

Dual-SIM means extra cost and space, and only benefits a tiny fraction of customers, so it's going to be a very rare feature in mass market phones, it just doesn't make sense except maybe as a differentiator.

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EU turns screws on Android – report

tony72

Re: Typical EU

I'm not sure if it's fair to claim that the EU goes easy on Apple, but what you can say for sure is that this is political bollocks, and not in the least bit acting in the consumer's interests. It's in the consumers interest to be able to pick up and switch between Android handsets from any manufacturer, which actually requires a standard set of apps and user experience. Stop Google from providing that, and what we'll see is a proliferation of carrier bloat, manufacturer lock-in and fragmentation; exactly the opposite of what I'd like to see. Great, thanks EU. As long as Google isn't actually preventing users from installing alternative apps, as far as I'm concerned, the status quo is by far the lesser of two evils.

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Jeremy Clarkson and Co. rise to top for Great British Bake Off replacements

tony72

Re: £75m tent for sale, includes cookers, vacant possession

I think they're insane. That being said, the argument is probably that the bakers make the show more so than the presenters; we spend a lot more time watching the former than the latter during the course of the show, and so as long as they can keep getting great characters in the tent, they might just pull it off. It's not quite like Top Gear in that respect, as with that, the presenters are the show. The presenters are the glue that holds it together though, and they will do well to replace Mel and Sue.

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Lethal 4-hour-erection-causing spiders spill out of bunch of ASDA bananas

tony72
Coat

Lethal 4-hour-erection?

Any duration of erection can be lethal, it just depends where you stick it.

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Star Trek film theory: 50 years, 13 films, odds good, evens bad? Horta puckey!

tony72

Re: J.J. Abrams

@LDS - to be fair, they were right about the Borg queen. Talk about a weird boner.

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

tony72

Re: James should retire

I agree. If they must keep on milking the franchise, how about some spin-offs based on some of the better bond girls? Jinx Johnson or Xenia Onatopp for example, must have some pretty decent back-sorry potential.

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Still got a floppy drive? Here's a solution for when 1.44MB isn't enough

tony72

Re: @ D@v3

@ }{amis}{

Unfortunately that won't work. The form factor is good, but it is not a drop-in floppy disk replacement, and I'm guessing there aren't any drivers I can install on old CNC machines.

From your link; "FlashPath is hardware compatible with all standard 3.5" High-Density Floppy disk drives, but is not a drop-in replacement for real floppy disks. A special software device driver must be installed on the computer that is to access data via FlashPath. Thus, FlashPath is only usable with computers and operating systems for which such a driver exists and can be installed."

Historically interesting device though, I don't recall hearing about those before.

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tony72

Re: @ D@v3

I still deal with people using CNC machines etc that take their data via a floppy drive, and so have to have a PC with a floppy drive, so I thought for a second this might be an option. However for this to be a solution to that problem, they'd have to be willing to modify all of the machines with one of these drives, as well as putting one in the PC. And that's assuming the drives in the machines use standard PC floppy connectors etc.

What would be ideal for them is something in the physical shape of a floppy disk, that you can put in a regular floppy drive, but which actually stores the data on an SD card, or built in flash memory, doesn't need to store more than 1.44MB. But I guess the potential market for that product would be so minuscule that it would never be worth developing.

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No, we haven't found liquid water on Mars, says NASA

tony72

Re: Grasping at water straws

I'm afraid it's you that can't read. Going to Mars involves a trip through space, and that is what the links refer to. Let me give a few quotes from your NASA link;

Strange things can happen to the human body when people venture into space -- and the familiar pull of gravity vanishes.

That's the sub-heading. Note "venture into space", "gravity vanishes".

In zero-G, muscles atrophy quickly, because the body perceives it does not need them.

Paragraph 2. Note "zero-G", not martian G.

Within two to three days of weightlessness, astronauts can lose as much as 22 percent of their blood volume as a result of that errant message.

Paragraph 4. Note "weightlessness".

The question is, do such losses matter? Perhaps not if you plan to stay in space forever.

Oh look, we're still talking about space, not Mars.

"You want the crew members to function normally when they come back to Earth ... and not have to lie around for long periods of rehabilitation," he says.

And Earth isn't the only planet that astronauts might visit. One day humans will journey to Mars -- a six-month trip in zero-G before they disembark on a planet with 38% of Earth's gravity. "[We'll have to maintain] those astronauts at a fairly high level of fitness,"

Paragraph 10 or so. Now here we do mention Mars, but notice the context; we're talking about Mars as another gravitied destination for the astronauts, like Earth. The article is talking about maintaining the health of the astronauts while they are in space, so that when they land on a planet, be it Earth or Mars, they are able to function.

The article is absolutely clear that it's talking about health issues resulting from weightlessness while the astronaughts are in space, not effects experienced under Martian gravity, and it's a complete mystery to me how anyone could read it otherwise.

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tony72

Re: Grasping at water straws

@ST - your links are both talking about what happens to people in zero gravity, not in Martian gravity; in other words, effects suffered during the journey to Mars, rather than after they arrive. They both talk about potential methods to counter those issues, so they're hardly insurmountable. That's not to say that Martian gravity won't cause some issues, but 38% of Earth's gravity is a very different case from zero gravity.

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Two-speed Android update risk: Mobes face months-long wait

tony72
Flame

Nexus 5

Nexus devices were excluded from the study since they always receive the latest Android updates on the day they are released.

Not that that's necessarily fast enough, as any of my fellow Nexus 5 users that were affected by the recent volume fiasco will testify. Still, I suppose that bug only made the phone practically useless, it wasn't a security issue, so who cares, a month is fast enough to fix it, right?

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

tony72

Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

People like who? This "no smoke without fire" nonsense makes a mockery of our legal system.

Sorry, but I disagree. A judge looked at details of the case, and based on what he saw, elected to grant the order against this guy, and he did that for a reason. Do you also think that people who've been linked with terrorist or extremist organisations and radicalised, but haven't yet been convicted of any crime, shouldn't be subject to extra monitoring?

People can show clear signs that they are on the path towards committing certain crimes prior to actually committing them, and it is entirely right of our legal system to identify such people and take steps to prevent them from committing said crimes in the first place. Denying that is what I would say makes a mockery of justice.

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tony72

Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

@ Bloodbeastterror

I 100% agree with you*, and I would support some sort of extra monitoring order for people like this. But that doesn't change the fact that the terms of this particular order seem to be unworkable and draconian. I'm surprised he hasn't made a Human Rights Act challenge to it, but I suspect that'll be on the cards if he doesn't get it overturned by other means.

*except for the Daily Mail reader bit, The Sun FTW though ;).

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Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

tony72

Ah, the memories. Demon was my first ISP, before there were any local POPs in Aberdeen, so I was paying long distance to dial down south to connect with my 14.4k Supra modem and my Amiga 1200. Next time you're complaining about your data charges, figure out what I was paying per MB back then!

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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

tony72

Re: Risk?

If anything "has been established", it's that the article/research you link to is pretty useless!

It is limited, but there seems to be a distinct lack of any research or data contradicting the conclusions.

No account is made of the fact that the drones are almost certainly being deliberately flown close to the aircraft, as opposed to a bird just randomly being in the vicinity.

True, but by the same token, the drones pilots probably want to actively avoid the aircraft, whereas those birds probably have no clue what's coming at them.

Moreover, as the article confesses, no account was taken of the difference in composition between a bird and a drone which is, let's face it, pretty significant.

True again, they are making an assumption. There is however some discussion on that subject in this article, where Ian Horsfall, head of Cranfield University’s Impact and Armour Group states that "The controlling factor is how big a drone it is,” he said. “If it’s a small drone then it’s unlikely to be any worse than the equivalent size bird." So the assumption doesn't seem to be entirely unreasonable.

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tony72

Risk?

A drone was involved in a near-miss with a Flybe passenger flight on approach to Newquay Airport on Tuesday, putting the aircraft's 62 passengers and crew at risk.

I believe it's been established that drones do not really pose much of a threat to aircraft. Given that, do we really need to give the idiots a headline every time? It probably just encourages people to pull stunts like this.

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Italian MP threatens parents forcing veggie diets on kids with jail

tony72

Re: Criminal offence to impose a diet lacking in essential elements ?

It is difficult, though not impossible, to have a healthy vegan diet without taking some supplements, slightly less so for vegetarian. You can look at any reputable source, such as the NHS advice on vegetarian and vegan diets for children for a rundown on the supplements that will probably be needed.

You could certainly argue that a diet that requires supplements in order to provide the necessary nutrition is, by definition, "inadequate". However with the appropriate supplements is probably as healthy as a proper balanced diet. So I guess it depends which of those two cases you're referring to as to whether the diet is inadequate or not.

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

tony72

Re: or perhaps

Snap.

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tony72

Starkiller Base

Haven't these people seen The Force Awakens? Obviously the star is dimming because it is being sucked dry to power a fearsome, planet destroying superweapon. Unfortunately we probably don't have a telescope powerful enough to see the disappearing planets the weapon is being used against, so I guess we'll just have to figure out how to detect disturbances in the Force to confirm the theory.

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

tony72

Considering the milk (full fat) binds the tannin (toxin) so you don't slowly poison yourself (tannin prevents the absorption of iron which can lead to or aggravate anaemia), I'd rather have the milk, thanks!

But milk blocks antioxidant absorption, so you miss out on the most important nutrients in the tea if you take it with milk. I would suggest that that far outweighs the tannin effect, unless you are drinking the stuff 24/7 and don't have much iron in your diet. I take it with milk myself anyway, but better to go in with your eyes open.

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Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

tony72

Re: Full Autopilot?

"Autopilot" appears to be the collective name for a suite of features, rather than a single system. You wouldn't use all of those features at any given time, for example you're not going to use Autopark when driving down the highway. But if you're using Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer, then the car is controlling the speed and steering; that is the full monty in terms of the car driving itself.

Ref. Tesla Autopilot press kit

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

tony72

Re: Really... you think we should??? Honest???

And since when has ANY new version of windows been faster, more bug free or used friendly than the previous.

I'm mostly with you Dave, but I have to point out that Windows 7 was indubitably faster, more bug free and more user-friendly than Vista.

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Nukeware: New malware deletes files and zaps system settings

tony72

Unfortunately the kind of errors required to get infected with ransomware in the first place are likely to be made by the kind of people who also don't know enough to have backups.

(He says, remembering the PC at home that still doesn't have a backup three months after installation.)

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Theresa or Teresa May? Twitter confuses nude model and new PM

tony72

Re: Just twitter?

You have an excellent memory, sir A/C. I believe this is the article of which you speak, from way back in 2001;

"One of the more bizarre events to occur in months since she became an MP was when it emerged that Mrs May had namesake in the porn industry.

Teresa May (notice the absent 'h') is a soft porn star but given the similarities in their names there have been various occasions when people have tried to book the politician."

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The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

tony72

Re: I would suspect...

For example, Radio 4 just did a show on photographs and development from the 1830s. Turns out Henry Talbot was refused when he offered to give the technology to botanists. Why? Because they feared the photos would not show the *right* information.

That's not really comparable, and you're misrepresenting the situation in any case. If you want an engineer to build something for you, you don't give him a photo of the thing - he'll tell you that that's quite useless - you give him engineering drawings. Those engineering drawings don't look, to the untrained eye, much like the finished article, but they convey the essential information about the thing that the engineer needs to build it in a way that a photo can't.

Likewise in the tradition of botanical illustrations, the drawings would emphasize the important information about a subject, with detail drawings of notable features and so forth. Botanists felt about early photographs the way the aforementioned engineer would feel about getting a photograph instead of engineering drawings; they're just not very useful. It wasn't about the photographs not showing the "right" information, it's about them not showing the important information.

I'll leave you a couple of quotes from this page on the subject, which put things in the proper context;

"As I began to meet more and more botanists during my quest, the reasons why photography failed to take hold in their field began to emerge. Talbot’s original term for photography – skiagraphy – carried some of the explanation. By necessity, the early photographs of plants were photograms, printed by contact and thus giving the view by transmitted light, not our normal way of seeing plants."

...

"Another major drawback of photography for botanical illustration was the flip side of its very strength. Photography excelled at depicting a real-world object very precisely. However, botanists consulting an illustration wanted to observe what was typical for a type of plant, not what was specific to an individual specimen. In the end, this lack of ability to generalise the image was perhaps the single largest drawback of botanical photography."

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Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

tony72

Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

Could be irrelevant anyway. Just because a majority of MPs backed remain up to the referendum does not mean that they would want to block the expressed will of the people. Any MP in a constituency that backed Leave could pretty much kiss goodbye to his job if he voted against triggering Article 50, so I'd say it's quite likely that Parliament would pass it, if it came down to it..

P.S. your link didn't work for me, I found this link - Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King: Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role - instead.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

tony72

Re: A final throw of the dice before

It's highly unlikely that they will go to any sort of direct subscription-only model with Windows 10, at least not for people that already have it. Changing the terms of a sale after the deal has been done almost certainly falls afoul of a law or two. If you sell something to someone, even for free, you can't just turn up a few months or years later and start asking them to pay more money for it. So I say when we come back in a year as you suggest, we will find that nobody will be forced to pay a subscription to use Windows 10 as we know it.

Now that's not to say they won't introduce a paid tier. They might bundle some of the existing subscription services; subscribe to Windows 10 Plus, get Office 365 lite, some OneDrive storage, Groove Music maybe. They could start introducing new features that you only get if you subscribe. Who knows.

And it's also not to say that they couldn't go subscription-only for new sales; as many have suggested, maybe you'll buy a PC with one year free Windows, after which you'll have to start paying or lose access to x, y, z features. However I find it unlikely that Windows would simply stop working if you didn't subscribe after the free period, that would just be too unpalatable; I'd certainly never buy a PC on those terms. Likely you would lose access to your cloud features that the subscription included, and be left with the basic OS, much like the Windows 10 of today.

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Pollster who called the EU referendum right: No late Leave swing after all

tony72

Re: Luck, not skill?

True, but I thought the explanations given for why they got this one right while others didn't sounded reasonable. There is method to what pollsters do, they're not just guessing, and it stands to reason that some methods will work better than others.

The fact that most polls got the result wrong, rather than a roughly even split between right and wrong, suggests that there were common errors or biasing factors affecting most of those results, so it's certainly possible that the few who did get it right did so because they avoided those errors, rather than simply getting lucky. And I think the luck aspect was alluded to by Mr Taylor in the last paragraph anyway;

"It therefore needs to be caveated that there is no guarantee that this will also be the case in the next General Election!".

He's basically saying that no matter how good a job pollsters do, voter opinion could change after they sample their data; in this case it didn't, but next time it might well do. You pays your money...

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Utah sheriffs blow $10,000 on smut-sniffing Labrador

tony72

Re: Confused?

Excuse the missing " in that link. I had to post and run, and didn't preview. Maybe for the best in this case.

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tony72

Confused?

Perhaps they thought <a href="www.pornhound.com>pornhound</a>* features videos discovered by an actual pooch?

*do I need to say NSFW?

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A month to save digital currency Ethereum?

tony72
WTF?

Is it just me?

I never heard of Ethereum until I read this story. And a quick search of El Reg reveals only two minor passing mentions of it ever prior to this story, so I guess it's not just me. So I'm having trouble assessing the significance of this story. Is Ethereum singnificant and we all somehow missed it? Or should I just go back to not caring?

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Google doesn’t care who makes Android phones. Or who it pisses off

tony72

Re: No. Just no.

Glad to see someone else was thinking it. Milking one analysts blog post a bit much, eh?

It's not even that exciting anyway. In the unlikely event that Google did take Android proprietary, OEMs would deal with the new reality soon enough. They might whinge about restrictions on their ability to differentiate their products, but it wouldn't stop them making Android handsets. Windows Phone 8 was proprietary, OEMs had very tight restrictions on hardware design and UI customisation, and they had to pay for it, and they still signed up. Proprietary Android would probably be better for customers, with more regular updates and a more consistent experience, and it would be a brave manufacturer that would pull out and leave the field to others.

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Who's to blame for the NHS drug prices ripoff?

tony72

Re: I've read the original article

Nope, I think you have it exactly right. I don't read The Times, but the non-paywalled article in The Independent gives the same impression, that the NHS buyers have no other options with these drugs, and the companies selling them are exploiting that fact.

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Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

tony72

Re: Too early to tell.

I think it's time to admit we don't have such a good idea about what's going on, and re-evaluate ALL our assumptions on the matter (no pun intended).

It's not about assumptions, it's about theories. And it's always time to re-evaluate theories in the light of new information; we call this process "science".

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Uber, AirBNB: Lay off 'em, EC tells member states

tony72

Re: Same Regulation

@ Falmari

They need the same regulatory touch as the existing players offering those services.

That's what struck me about this article; why the special case for "collaborative economy platforms"? If the EC was calling for light-touch regulation on all businesses, I'd (after ducking to avoid possible flying pigs) be absolutely delighted. But instead the EC beavers away increasing the regulatory burden on most businesses, then turns around and asks for special treatment for businesses whose net contribution to the economy is highly questionable. Something's not right here.

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