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* Posts by Neoc

1174 posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

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US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code

Neoc
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"Hi - we'd like to install security software on your phone which will become the perfect ransomware as soon as someone cracks our security in three... two... one..."

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NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers

Neoc
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I'm 10km from the GPO in Brisbane, and we're not even on the 3-year list. We use to be, but we got taken off.

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IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels

Neoc
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"...A visit to the basement of Hursley..."

-----------------------------

"I eventually had to go down to the basement."

"Ah. That's the Display Department."

"With a torch."

"The lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs!"

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Ancient Earth asteroid strike that dwarfed dinosaur killer still felt today

Neoc
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Re: Point of order.

<thumps head on desk repeatedly> d'oh. d'oh. d'oh...

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Neoc
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Headmaster

Point of order.

"at least three times as massive"

Erm... comparison chart shows the size difference to be 10Km wide Vs 30Km wide. That's a tripling in one direction only. Assuming the asteroids were roughly circular and of comparable composition, then the MASS would be roughly 9 times larger. And thus "nine times as massive"

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Not just websites hit by OpenSSL's Heartbleed – PCs, phones and more under threat

Neoc
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Never understood why malloc (and the rest of its extended family) didn't nuke the memory area by default before passing it to whoever asked for it.

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'Monstrous' Apple kicked us off iAd, claimed we are its RIVAL – Brit music upstart

Neoc
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Re: Wrong. @ThomH

Note I said "potentially illegal". I do not know enough about the American legal system to make a judgement on whether Apple is allowed to restrict access to iAds because the other product is competing with iTunes. That's why Lawyers charge large amounts of money. For all I know, it's perfectly legal and above board for Apple to have stuck that clause non-competition in the iAds T&Cs.

Then again, it wouldn't be the first time a company has placed ridiculous and non-enforceable clauses in their T&Cs hoping nobody would call them up on it.

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Neoc
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Wrong.

Sorry Chad, you've got the wrong end of the stick - we are talking about separate Apple products which Apple is using in a non-competitive fashion.

First product, iAds, allows people to place advertising via Apple.

Second product, iTunes (Radio in this case), allows people to access radio-like music streaming.

Apple is telling people they can't use one of their product (iAds) because it thinks they are competing with it on another product (iTunes). And that's potentially illegal, same as when Microsoft and AT&T were dragged to courts for abusing their monopoly in one aspect of their business to achieve sales in another aspect.

So using your own analogy, if Macy rented promotional placing in their store (iAds) they would not be allowed to forbid Gimbels from renting the space simply because it was a competing store (iTunes).

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Amazon stuffs games into Fire TV box: Soz, rivals... WE don't need to make cash on hardware

Neoc
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Fail

"but all of your video is stored in the Amazon cloud."

Considering I rip all of my DVDs/Blurays and place them on a NAS at home for ease of access, anything that stops me from accessing them is immediately written off my list.

Eventually, *someone* will come up with a source-agnostic media player with appropriate plugins for each of Amazon/Hulu/Netflix/Etc... which presents them all in a unified format.

Personally I'm currently using a home-built HTPC with remote, running MediaPortal with assorted plugins (love the TV Series plugin). YMMV. It's not perfect and only handles Netflix so far, but it's better than being locked-in to a single provider.

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Does my mass look big in this? Roly-poly galaxy El Gordo more porky than first feared

Neoc
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It's big. Really big. You just won't believe how hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way down to the Chemist, but that's just peanuts to Space.

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Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'

Neoc
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I actually enjoyed playing the game. There seems to be concentrations of the little tykes - they're not evenly spread around the world. 86 down, 64 to go.

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No Notch niche: Minecraft man in rift with Oculus after Facebook gobble

Neoc
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I must admit I *was* looking at purchasing an Oculus Rift (or whatever the commercial version was going to be called). Now, however... There is something about this that is raising the hair on the back of my neck...

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GSMA: EU net neutrality reforms are the enemy of business

Neoc
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WTF?

All their arguments are bull%^&*

Providers are trying to make it sound like they are providing data passage for free.

Bull.

I pay my provider to send data up and down the line.

Provider has reciprocal arrangements with other networks (how good/bad depends on their negotiation skills)

Google/Netlfix/etc also have to enter in such agreements with other networks to get their data from point A to point B.

Basically, Google/Netflix/etc pay *someone* to pass data from their server's to the other carrier's network and I pay *someone* to download said data.

So, to me, most carriers' whining sound like "we've over-sold our capacity and now that people want to *actually use it* we need to find a way to throttle it again".

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Bulls hit city streets after alleged Samsung ad shoot hits the fan

Neoc
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Joke

That's just a load of bull.

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Soliton makes its way across silicon in CUDOS experiment

Neoc
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Kudos to CUDOS.

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SACRILEGE! Hitchhiker's Guide game's back ... and it TWEETS at you

Neoc
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erm... no thanks. I'll dig out my old Z-file and fire up an emulator, thank-you-very-much.

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Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

Neoc
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"Caltech researchers have demonstrated a chip they hope will one day let smartphones act as projectors."

Really? So what do you call this:

http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxybeam/feature.html

Beam Projector Smartphone

Projection with 15 Lumen DLP (Digital Light Projector)

Your smartphone's built-in projector gives you the freedom to share - to really share - all kinds of contents with your friends virtually anywhere. Stunningly good definition with a gradated throw up to 2 meters away, you can adjust sizing as you wish, up to 50" large - as big as your TVs.

(Yes, yes, I know: there's a difference in the technology used. However, the first line of the article makes it sound like there is no such thing as a phone with a built-in projector, regardless of how it does it)

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Squidge-droids maker updates iRobot for SUCK, SCRUB action

Neoc
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NCIS season 3 (?), roomba policed the brass.

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Twin GEEKS: NASA studies identical brothers – one on Earth, one IN SPAAAACE

Neoc
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I assume that the earth-bound twin will live in a similar "simulated" environment? Replicated quarters, same food, same training regiment?

Surely, the only variable (as far as possible) should be gravity or the lack of it.

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Neoc
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Heinlein, surely?

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Roku flashes $50 HDMI TV web dongle at anyone sick of Google's stick

Neoc
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What *I* want...

...is a dongle which I plug in my HTPC which will make all of the above (Netflix, etc...) appear as IPTV channels (or even plain TV channels) in the TV section of my media player. Or as movies in the Movie section. Or as TV series in the TV-Series section. You know, make Netflix/HBO/Other's movies/series appear as if they were stored on a local or networked drive so the media software can parse and integrate them with the rest of my media catalogue(s).

I'd be happy with having to set up the Netflix/Hulu/Whatever accounts via a specialised piece of software to make the rest of it transparent to the media player.

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HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

Neoc
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Headmaster

TWAIN

Backronym: Technology Without An Interesting Name or Toolkit Without An Informative Name (take your pick).

Actual: comes from the phrase "never the twain shall meet" (Kipling), since that was exactly its purpose.

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New design flaw found in crypto's TLS: Pretend to be a victim online

Neoc
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Bad day for TLS

First GnuTLS, now this.

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Apple granted patent for two-faced iPhone with wraparound touchscreen

Neoc
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I foresee...

...a resurgence of the "you're holding it wrong" advice.

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Flying fondleslab causes injury after plane hits turbulence

Neoc
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Gives new meaning to...

Turbulent stomach? Take two tablets and call me in the morning.

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Passenger jet grounded by two-hour insect attack

Neoc
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Re: Balancing Imbalance

You're welcome, rest of the World.

Oh, and everyone know giant, fire-breathing penguins do not exist. It's the Giant Desert Wallaby that breathes fire to kill its prey.

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US Senator lobbies feds to BAN BITCOIN

Neoc
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Re: "the currency helps facilitate criminal activity"

Exactly: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/14/cocaine.traces.money/

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Turnbull waters down broadband black spot fix promise

Neoc
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So: first the coalition pares down the NBN drastically, then they get a report about it, then they wax lyrical about how it's all going to be fine.

It's almost as if they are following Lewis Carroll's recipe in order: The Butcher, the BAQR, the Candlestick Maker. When do we get to see the Billiard Marker and the Banker? And will the Beaver turn into a Weasel?

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SA Plods plonk boots on privacy principles with fingerprint scanners

Neoc
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"(although, for example, if no action follows the arrest, the fingerprints probably shouldn't be stored for long)"

Speaking for QLD, over here you *will* get fingerprinted (via a nice digital scanner if you are at one of the major watchhouses) and photographed when arrested (and possible DNA-sampled depending on the reason). These biometrics are stored in the database for as long as the prosecution proceeds. IF THE CHARGES ARE DROPPED OR IF YOU ARE FOUND NOT-GUILTY all fingerprints, photos and DNA samples related to those charges must be destroyed immediately (the fact they were taken, however, remains in the database for legal reason in case someone questions the proceedings later on).

Caveat :- if you were previously found guilty, your new fingerprints/photos/DNA samples are considered updates of the previous biometrics... which means they stay, even if you are not guilty of this particular crime.

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D-Wave wooing universities down under

Neoc
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"Williams said the D-Wave chips' behaviour can be explained with quantum mechanical models;"

I smell cop-out. Now, if he had said "...can ONLY be explained..." that'd be another matter.

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Toshiba opens curtains, reveals air-cushioned 5-terabyte terror

Neoc
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@EPurpl3: I can only think that you are doing something wrong with your HDDs.

I have 2 PCs (3 & 5 years old), 2 laptops (3 & 2 years old), and two Fileservers (9x2TB greens and 6x3TB reds, 5 and 2 years old respectively)) at home. I have had exactly zero (0) drive failure in all the years I have used this particular set of hardware; and prior to that I have had one (1) HDD failure in the 20-odd years I have been building my own PCs - it occurred within a week of buying the drive, and got replaced under warranty.

In fact most of the time the PC's motherboard or the laptop itself dies before the drive does (the wife's latest laptop got rebuilt around her HDD after the cat poured coffee over it) - and the drives themselves get recycled as portable drives using cheap enclosures (ex-laptop drives are great for that).

For the record, I prefer WD drives... but that's a personal preference. YMMV.

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Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles

Neoc
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<scratches head>

"Explained as something “designed to improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience”, nine Directory Tiles will appear in a grid on each new Tab. Today, all but one of the Tiles is blank."

<looks at a new FF tab>I have nine tiles, all of them contain links to my most-frequented sites. So: all nine tiles are already there, and none of them are blank.

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Tuesday declared 'The Day we Fight Back' against NSA et al

Neoc
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<sigh>

Pet hate: "...share a pre-prepared meme..."

To "prepare" is to make something ready. By definition, it is done *before* you need/use it.

"Pre-prepare" is as stupid as "ATM machines".

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Cisco asks court to bin Rockstar patents

Neoc
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<smash head on desk>

Someone please explain to how a Patent Troll is allowed to go after customers of a company whose products allegedly infringe said patents? Have we come to the point where every customer, including Joe Public, needs to go through a lengthy and expensive Due Diligence search before buying any tech product?

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California high school hackers expelled for grade tampering, test thievery

Neoc
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Re: Computers?

@WinkyPop

A Roneograph was a rotary duplicator that used a stencil through which ink was pressed (trade mark Roneo). It moved into the language the same way as Xeroxing and Googling did.

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Democrats introduce net neutrality legislation in Senate and House

Neoc
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Re: passage

@willi0000000: "don't worry folks, it's just another 11-dimensional chess move on the part of the Republicans to prevent the re-election of President Obama."

I'm not up to scratch on US Politics, but it was my understanding that no US President is allowed to run for a third term?

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US feds want cars conversing by 2017

Neoc
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Based on the reporting, I'm not seeing the benefits. Most (not all) of the accidents which are filed under "driver inattention" aren't going to be alleviated by this gadget - by the time the driver looks up from their smartphone/book/whatever and realises what is happening, the accident is bound to happen.

This is *not* a collision avoidance/reduction device - this is a device that the insurance companies can use to tell you that you had in fact been warned and thus the accident is your fault and we won't be paying thank you very much.

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EU warns United States: SHAPE UP on data protection OR ELSE

Neoc
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Political noise-making.

This is purely playing to the gallery. How you can EVER ensure that the USA Government (or any government) isn't syphoning data? They weren't supposed to be doing it *now*, and they *didn't* get caught because someone noticed it - they got caught because someone leaked internal memos ordering/authorising it.

So explain to me how the EU will ensure that the US has "shapen up"?

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Optical filters head to Germany for Solar Orbiter build

Neoc
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Don't understand

"its nominal centre wavelength of 617.3433 nm (accurate to one thirtieth of a nanometre)"

If the accuracy is 1/30th, why give us the wavelength down to 1/10000th?

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Furtive ebook readers push Hitler's Mein Kampf up the charts

Neoc
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Actually I quite enjoyed some of the ST novels from the 90s. "Dreadnought!" and "How Much For Just The Planet" rank highly as far as I am concerned.

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Telstra flogs phone books to Platinum Equity

Neoc
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Not surprised at low price

Ever since Telstra started using Sensis, their online directories have been crap; unless you know the precise name of the company you are looking for, you have a snowball's chance in Hell of actually finding it. It has been so frustrating that I stopped using it and started using Google instead and simply added my city and/or suburb in the search terms. Faster and more accurate results.

In other words, a *generic* search engine is better at providing me details about local businesses than Telstra's Sensis (an engine which supposedly exists for that sole purpose).

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Cygnus cargo truck on its way, and funding to 2024: Space Station is back in the game

Neoc
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"When it arrives at the ISS, Cygnus will deliver..."

"The module was named after the late Gordon Fulerton..."

How did they get "Cygnus" out of "Gordon Fulerton"?

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Take off, nuke 'em from orbit: Kill patent trolls NOW, says FTC bigwig

Neoc
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At minimum, the US Congress should pass a law stopping the Trolls from going after the users of "infringing" products. If Company A manufactures a gizmo that you think infringes on your patent, then by all means take a shot. But if Company B uses the gizmo from Company A, *they* are not infringing on the patent and should be left out of the fray.

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Haters of lurid supershow CES: The consumer tech market is still SHRINKING

Neoc
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Re: What I want...

@Dave Bell "Re: Remotes".

Nope, I have an old Logitech 15-device remote control (well, two now that I bought an in-case-of extra) which is programmed via the Logitech website. Cost of remote? About AU$100 at the time (AU$80 for the backup). And because the settings are stored on Logitech's website, even if my remote loses power for an extended time (or breaks down), the entire setup can be reprogrammed in less than 5 minutes (including login time).

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Neoc
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What I want...

...for my next TV is just a screen with lots on Input options. No tuners, no speakers, no "smart" anything except for smarts relating to cleaning up the display data sent to it. Hell, if I could find one of the right size, I'd opt for a computer monitor.

Why? Because I have an Amp, a HTPC, a set-top box... all of which take the place of most of the "extras" stuffed in with the display.

How about it, TV-makers? How about forgetting all of these extra and instead luring me with the best damn display you can build?

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Circuits so flexible they'd wrap around your hair

Neoc
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Now if they can add semi-transparent screens on there, that'd be a decent wearable device - without looking like an idiot (yes, I'm looking at you Google Glass).

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Whoa, hold on, Earth: Wolfram's discovered the 'Internet of Things'

Neoc
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So, having read the entire article twice, I still cannot see any *actual* benefits for the consumer to having their data/movements/etc tracked in this manner.

Advertisers and spooks, on the other hand, must be salivating.

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

Neoc
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Who needs it?

I have a 1080p TV (and Amp and HTPC hooked up to a NAS). I have DVDs and BluRays... but for the most part, I find that DVD-quality is good enough for most movies/TV series - there's only the odd ones where I think actual 1080p (rather than upscale) does credit to the movie.

To the studios, I say this: We have reached the point where better frame-rates will do more for viewing quality (including your thrice-cursed 3D movies) than more pixels per frame. So instead of quadrupling the pixels in a frame, how about quadrupling the number of frames which will give us better clarity on movement?

Ah yes, I forgot... no really big numbers to use in advertising to the masses.

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NASSCOM appoints new boss to corral India's outsourcers

Neoc
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"....hoped-for revenues of $US300 billion (£183bn) by 2020."

"....which amount to a near 300 per cent jump from the $108bn (£66bn)..."

Actually no, it doesn't. A 100% jump would be from $100bn to $200bn, so a jump from $100bn to $300bn is a 200% jump.

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Kepler data yields Earth-mass 'gas giant'

Neoc
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Almost, but not quite...

Surely the line should have been "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Earth".

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