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* Posts by Steve Evans

2361 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Olympics security cockup down to software errors - report

Steve Evans
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Re: As with any big Company

Sure you mean "The five layers of middle management"... That's usually how it works with the big guys.

Each layer adding nothing to the process, just making the bottom layer more and more opaque to those higher up.

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Slash for cash: boozers' bladders primed for Olympic pee game

Steve Evans
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LMAO!

I love the instructions... "To run pee left/right"... Given the general aiming ability of your regular pub patron, I can only assume the sale of wellies will sky-rocket and "Oiy, you pissed on my shoe!" fights to do likewise!

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Fukushima powerplant owner forced to cough teleconference vids

Steve Evans
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Lip reading?

I wonder if Japan has any good lip readers?

I think John Terry might have some contact numbers if they want to give it a try.

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'Extreme' solar storm speeding straight towards Earth

Steve Evans
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Re: "We're all doomed!"

I thought flares were pretty normal in Camden?

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Sigma SD1 Merill 46Mp DSLR

Steve Evans
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Are you sure?

Interesting camera... Okay, interesting sensor.

I'm a bit unsure about your choice of competition though. The D300s is way cheaper, can shoot faster, has more focus points (50+, with 15 being cross) can shoot video and will last way more than 200 shots on a single charge. The SD1 only wins on image quality at base ISO, and quickly loses that advantage in the real world. It's a bit of a one trick pony. 40 lenses sounds like a lot, but compared to the number available for Canon, and Nikon's huge back catalogue (they didn't do the Canon trick of changing their mounts for digital, so old lenses still fit) it's nothing.

It sounds like it is best aimed at replacing a D3x or D800. Unfortunately although both those bodies are more expensive than the SD1, they both trump it on everything but base ISO image quality. That might be the most important thing in a studio, so maybe it might make in-roads, but then there's the investment in changing all your lenses. And a camera is only as good as the glass on the front, and from my experience Sigma's stuff isn't as good as Nikon's.

So from a technical point of view it is an interesting sensor. From a real world, grab camera, shoot anything, point of view it's too restricted.

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Move over Raspberry Pi, give kids a Radio Ham Pi - minister

Steve Evans
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Re: Best do it quick...

Oh damn, beat me to it! I just posted a similar comment!

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Steve Evans
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Confused...

Isn't this the same Govt that has some disembodied limb which is pushing for the death of analogue radio?

If they do that then building a radio is gonna be a damn sight more complicated than a tuning coil and a few other basic components. In fact it will probably contain more chips than the Pi!

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BBC mulls seizing the wheel of Local TV

Steve Evans
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Re: FailMux more like

A documentary on local TV?

You're dreaming! They're far to expensive. Only the BBC can afford big projects like that, and even then you usually end up teaming up with another broadcaster from the US or Canada.

By the time the bidding process has finished, any company involved with a local TV station will be so far in the red that they'll be desperate to rake in cash. Every program will have a premium rate angle. The news will have a topical premium rate text "quiz" after it. Maybe "guess how many people have been killed in Baghdad today?".

Local farming programs will have a "guess the weight of the hay we harvested this week?" premium text quiz.

Cookery programs will have a "guess how much sugar I will use in tonight's dessert?" premium text quiz...

And then, they'll be real-time interactive live quizzes where you, the viewer can participate! Wow!

Participate via a premium rate text quiz of course.

My town actually has a local radio station. By local I mean really local. A micro station if you like. The signal barely makes it the 4km from the town centre to where I live. I think I've tuned into it twice. Both times I was greeted by several seconds of dead air before anyone said anything. Try doing that on a "proper" station on the emergency drop in recording would have triggered!

So local TV is either going to be painfully amateur, or painfully commercial.

Both obvious failures.

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iPad Mini maquette spied on web

Steve Evans
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Re: Wow...

I'm interested, but only if you throw in a free goat.

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Steve Evans
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Somehow I doubt Apple will be selling this at $200 though!

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WD sees red, flogs NAS niche drives to SOHO punters

Steve Evans
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My Thecus is very happy with very cheap Samsung drives... I've just posted a comment about what happened when I used 400gig and 500gig WD RE rated drives in it.

At the end of the day, RAID is about availability, it is not a backup solution. You can look at a drive failure in a RAID as a warning if you like, and in some ways it is, but you should still have a backup.

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Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

As much as a trust WD drives in a desktop environment, all my desktop machines and my laptop have WD primary drives, I've had two very bad experiences with their RE drives. First two 400Gig Sata RE drives failed after a month within hours of each other, trashing a RAID 5 array before I could rebuild from the first failure, then after rebuilding the array with all new 500gig RE2 drives, one of them failed within a month.

I then gave up paying a premium for Raid Edition drives that kept failing, and decided to concentrate on the "I" of RAID, i.e. CHEAP! Sorry, Inexpensive.

So in went a set of Samsung 1gig desktop drives and they ran for over 18 months before I finally replaced them, and only then because I wanted bigger drives. I still use the 1gig drives in USB enclosures for various backups. I tried the same with one of the WD 500gig RE2 drives and it died after a couple of months.

I'm sure they have sorted out whatever problem occurred, but the fact there was very little mention of this anywhere on the intarweb didn't fill me with confidence. I know nobody likes publicising failure, but at least when it is publicised you can get a feeling for reliability. When nothing is said all you can do is look at your own experience, and in mine that means I have 100% distrust of RE drives.

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Climate was HOTTER in Roman, medieval times than now: Study

Steve Evans
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Axis!

A graph without an axis is utterly meaningless!

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Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Steve Evans
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Baffled...

I'm really baffled by the number of people who say "It must have 3G"...

Are you seriously planning on carrying a 7" tab an using it as a phone too?

No, thought not, so you mobile phone will still be in your pocket, a few feet from your tablet. So tether it! One mobile contract, one SIM... Simples.

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Steve Evans
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Re: 3G

Totally agree... If you have a reasonable smart-phone in your pocket it will already be able to act as a wifi access point, so you just use that...

Those that don't have a reasonable smart-phone will have already bought an ipad anyway.

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Burnt Samsung Galaxy S III singed by external source, probe reveals

Steve Evans
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Re: Rule 2 @ A/C 10:27

Assuming the bucket is plastic, then I'll do it.

</science pedant>

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Steve Evans
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Re: Rule 2

Cleaning off any residue left by your liquid bath of choice is essential. So yes, sometimes the best thing to do when your electronic device gets a bath in one liquid, is to pull the battery and clean it with the purest water you can find. Melted ice from the freezer is pretty good in that respect (just filter out the peas and sweetcorn).

Then just dry with a cloth, place in a sealed bag with something to absorb the water (rice as mentioned or silica gel as used in packing) and put it somewhere warm for a day.

I've saved a laptop from orange juice (complete with pulp bits - this required gentle scrubbing with a soft tooth brush), another from a pint of beer, and a mobile from coca cola using just this technique.

I would hasten to add only the beer on the laptop was my fault. The orange was neither my fault, or my laptop. The mobile was mine, and 2 weeks old when my brother managed to spill an entire glass of cola on it.

once the power is removed, the main risk is the LCD panel. You don't want liquids getting inside that, so if you can remove it, do. If not, be very very careful.

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Trekkie pays £45,000 for rusty shuttle

Steve Evans
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Re: vinyl front tier

Please don't encourage him! PLEASE!

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Did your iPhone 'just stop working' - or did you drop it in your BEER?

Steve Evans
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Re: Unbelievable

Easy, the USPO is funded by the patents it files. The more it files, the more money it makes.

It's far more profitable than just taking the money for a patent search and saying "Sorry, already exists" or "Sorry that's obvious". So take the money and grant a full patent. Then let their friend in the legal profession make loads of money arguing over the granted patent a few years down the line.

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Europe's prang-phone-in-every-car to cost €5m per life saved

Steve Evans
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Nanny state...

I'm sure the emergency services will be overjoyed to hear of every little knock.

When I took my driving lessons I was told you ring the police and report accidents. When the inevitable finally happened, I rang the police.

"Is anyone hurt?" - "No"

"Are the vehicles off the highway?" - "Yes"

"Thank you, goodbye"

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Boffins pull off room-temp quantum computing with home-grown gems

Steve Evans
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1s sounds pretty good to me. Sounds like all they just need a bit of a refresh. Exactly the same as DRAM.

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GPS spoofing countermeasures: Your smartphone already has them

Steve Evans
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They could have easily got it from you.

Have you ever had your wifi and GPS turned on at the same time?

Did you check the option to say you're willing to share the wifi positional data is acquires with google? (You can change your mind by going into location settings and unchecking the "use wireless networks" and then checking it again. It asks for confirmation each time).

Then again, even if you didn't, someone else walking past (doesn't have to be a streetview car) could easily have been.

It's actually a useful feature. It allows the device to locate your initial (vague) position very very quickly. A cold start on GPS can take half a minute or so without it, which is a damn long time when you're sat at the front of a queue of traffic trying to work out where you are.

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CANNIBAL! Apple's 7.85in iPad will EAT 9.7in iPad sales

Steve Evans
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Re: It would be Tim Cook big second mistake at Apple...

"While maybe a 5" updated iPod with a pair of embedded analog sticks could make sense to completely annihilate expensive portable consoles"...

By replacing it with an even more expensive Apple branded console?

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What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

Steve Evans
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True. Nokia had rather started to implode before the arrival of Elop.

Their customer support and quality control had become dire. The moment they introduce OTA updates the thought it perfectly acceptable to ship alpha firmware. I should have seen this coming with the N95, but they finally got their act together with the firmware, and it was (and is) a great little phone.

Those that bought the N97 were just left to hang out and dry. Complain about it in the forums and you were hit with the mod hammer for "disrespecting Nokia". Basically they disappeared up their own backside.

That's when I jumped ship after 10+ years of owning nothing but Nokias and went Android, where I am quite happy to remain with a wide range of suppliers wanting my business. A few months later Elop arrived and I smiled to myself and muttered "serves you right". To be honest, even if Nokia did ship an Android phone, I don't have any confidence in their hardware or customer service any more.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Android HAS to be Plan B ..

Not that cunning. Everyone has been saying that since Elop arrived!

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Steve Evans
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Plan B

Would, implosion, liquidate assets and switching the lights off for good count as an "alternative strategy"?

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ITC denies Apple an emergency ban on ALL HTC PHONES

Steve Evans
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Re: "Software petents" - WTF ?

Well at the moment it's mainly the USA. Unfortunately as patient zero, they have a horrible habit of sharing.

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Apple's UK smartphone lead shrinks

Steve Evans
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The Android share of the phone market has already passed that of the iPhone.

iOS only dominate in tablets these days.

I agree about the apps though. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of apps, and plenty of good ones, it's just unfortunate that a some big companies seem to just have the iphone app converted and not take advantage of any of the extra features available on Android, such as the menu button for setting etc.

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UK.gov proposes massive copyright land snatch

Steve Evans
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Amazing...

You'd think HM Govt would try to hide just how much Big Corp controls them, but there's no hiding from it in this case.

1 - If Joe Public "steals" a piece of music, and shares it with others (note, not even selling), he's a criminal and will have his internet cut off.

2 - If Big Corp "steals" a photograph, and sells it to others, NADA!

I'll either be emptying my Flickr account, or adding a huge watermark diagonally across all the images.

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Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 and Nexus Q

Steve Evans
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@A/C 22:04 was Re: Google Now

You own a mobile phone don't you?

You carry the mobile phone with its connection in you pocket 99.9% of the time don't you?

Well you set the phone to act as a wifi hotspot, and connect the tablet via that. Tada... One mobile contract, one sim, and it's kept the cost of the tablet down.

That's assuming you have a mobile which can act as a wifi hotspot - hint, Android phones can.

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Multimillion-pound hoard of 50BC GOLD PIECES found in Jersey

Steve Evans
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Joke

Re: Searching over the same field for 30 years?

It's only a small island and you can't dig the rocky bits.

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Raspberry Pi to skipper microship across Atlantic

Steve Evans
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Re: The power of Pi

It does sound like a bit of overkill... I can't help thinking an ATmega could read a serial GPS and control a rudder/motor perfectly well for only a few milliamps.

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Steve Evans
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I can see this ending in tears...

If this works, I suspect the English channel will become clogged with hoards of little self navigating boats trundling across from Amsterdam and all the way up the river Cam with supplies.

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BT Vision beats rivals to honour of being worst UK Pay-TV

Steve Evans
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Not much sympathy...

"BT pointed out to The Register that its telly service is dependent on the quality of customers' Freeview reception and broadband, as opposed to the other big boys in television Sky and Virgin Media, who deliver via satellite dish and cable respectively."

Very true, and freeview signals can be patchy, but *YOU* are the ones charging that monthly rent on the 50 year old corroded pair the customers broadband has to struggle along!

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Microsoft: no plans to make own phones

Steve Evans
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Re: They may not have to...

They don't need to make their own phones... They pretty much have Nokia owned and bent over the kitchen table.

Nokia have burnt and sunk all their other boats and sacked anyone that know another way. So they are the MS "premium partner" until death do they part. Why would MS need to make their own phone? Nokia will do whatever they say (they have to for survival), and Nokia might still even remember something about building phones too (bonus).

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'Inexperienced' RBS tech operative's blunder led to banking meltdown

Steve Evans
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Re: no backup of the schedule?

The same way call centres work... Crib sheet.

Press this, click that, just say "Yes" to anything it asks you to confirm.

Now off you go.

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Even Apples sometimes have worms in them, admits Cupertino

Steve Evans
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Facepalm

Re: @Steve

D'oh, yes, sorry... Missed the point on that.

Nope, not a friend of Ms Leach, just not enough coffee in the system yet!

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Steve Evans
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Re: iOS PCs?

PC is an acronym for Personal Computer, there is no mention made of any specification beyond that it is a computer for one person to use.

So there's nothing technically wrong with calling a Mac an iOS PC in the same way you have a Windows PC and a Linux PC.

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Ford touts tech to bottle up traffic jams

Steve Evans
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2 wheels?

If it can't handle cyclists, then the only place it might work is on the motorway... Unless it also can't handle motorcycles either. In which case it just doesn't work at all does it!

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Nintendo supersizes 3DS

Steve Evans
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Re: Since when does $$$ to £££ actually add up ?

Indeed. I'd be more up in arms about their complete inability to use a calculator!

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Kodak's using bankruptcy to rob us of our rights – Apple

Steve Evans
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Re: Apple demonstrated ideas without patenting them first?

I too found the idea of Apple not having patented something the moment they thought of it as rather odd.

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Major London problem hits BT broadband across southeast

Steve Evans
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Re: OOPS!

Well the tape unit is an old Revox reel to reel. I have one in the attic... How you'd control it automatically, when most of the mechanism is mechanical, is the big question!

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Ten... pieces of tat for Apple fanboys

Steve Evans
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Re: I can just imagine

I couldn't help notice it seems to be the single bed variety...

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Ten... celeb headphones

Steve Evans
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Re: @jeebus

There is "spoiling you ears" and "throwing money away"... When the premium headphones cost over half the price of your chosen top of the range smart-phone or tablet, I have to react with WTF?!!!

There is just no justification for those prices. It makes the iPhone profit margin look positively frugal!

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Vodafone's small, controversial tax bill validated by UK.gov

Steve Evans
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Re: We can negotiate for a lower tax bill!?

Looks like it.

And judging by the "it was a reasonable deal considering the cost of taking legal action against the company." though process, all I have to do is offer them my tax bill minus expected legal cost + £1.

Given a lawyer costs a few grand per hour, and that my paperwork is a mess, I have recalculated my current tax bill to be -£127K. I shall be writing to Mr Osborne shortly.

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HBO 'sorry' for skewering Dubya

Steve Evans
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Joke

A wooden spike is probably the first solid useful thing to ever exist between Dubya's ears!

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Reborn UK internet super-snooper charter to be unveiled today

Steve Evans
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"half a million requests to intercept communications data"

WTF?!

If anything that figure should be used to show why the interception should only be done via a warrant. There is no way that level of intrusion is justified. It proves there are a hell of a lot of very nosey people out there.

What I would like to know is how many of those half million were approved as justified, because if this law is passed, all the previously unjustified will have their head in the pipe. Not to mention all those that didn't bother applying for access as they already knew they had no real justification.

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Asus Transformer Pad TF300

Steve Evans
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re: invalidating warranty

That would be an interesting one to see play out in the UK (and probably EU) courts.

There are statutory rights which you have, no matter what you sign or agree to. If you root it, and the case bio-degrades within 6 months because it's made of the incorrect plastic (for example), you would still be able to throw the sales of goods act at them. (Unfit for purpose).

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Apple's Retina Macs: A little too elite?

Steve Evans
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"the optimal video editing Mac just got a lot more expensive this week."

I'm not sure a laptop, even a high spec'ed Macbook Pro could be considered an optimal video editing platform.

If you perform any kind of rendering, After Effects, Maya etc etc, you need cores, RAM and lots of it.

So something with at least a couple of Xeons please.

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Germany reveals secret techie soldier unit, new cyberweapons

Steve Evans
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Re: Weird morals...

I agree with what you say, but there is no mention in the article that the cyber unit has even been used. Merely that they maintained an operational unit, in just the same way as they maintain an operational army, bombers and artillery. The article states that there are no details on any operations it may have carried out, i.e. "none" is a possibility.

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