* Posts by Steve Evans

2390 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Freed Facebook hack Brit vents fury at $200k cleanup claim

Steve Evans
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"Land of the free"....

It hasn't been that for many many years.

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Lenovo U300s Ultrabook

Steve Evans
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Re: But the screen

More VERTICAL pixels!

Thanks

This message sponsored by the campaign for 4:3 laptops.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Screen

You said it.

Ditch the glossy screen finish too. Looks great in iShops, but in real life, when the sun comes out, you end up looking at a reflection of your shirt. St Jobs didn't wear that black turtle-neck by accident you know!

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James May 'hologram' raves about old tech at Science Museum

Steve Evans
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Re: First laser?

Not only that... A prism splits light into its component parts, and although it would look very pretty, a lighthouse beaming a rainbow across the sea wouldn't be very helpful.

It's simply a different kind of lens, called a Fresnel lens. In essence it is a standard lens cut into concentric circles with the "dead" block of square glass with parallel sides removed from the middle. This leaves just the inner and outer curves, which are the parts which provide the light bending effect for a lens.

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MIT boffins play BUILDING-SIZED Tetris

Steve Evans
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Indeed!

Will someone please show me the man who invented the phone video record mode and decided people didn't need any basic instructions such as "Try to hold it steady" and "Waving the camera about like a drunken fool will make your viewers want to vomit".

Even the incredibly obvious "Try to keep the camera pointed at the subject" would have been a start.

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Barclaycard site falls over, web payments impossible

Steve Evans
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Re: Non-Available system Fee

And don't forget to bill them £12 every time you inform them.

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Basic instinct: how we used to code

Steve Evans
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Re: BBC Basic

You remember correctly. BBC Basic was probably the best of the bunch, and an astonishing piece of work to fit into 16K.

REPEAT UNTIL, PROCEDURE, FUNCTION, long variable names, all there.

You could write "real" programs that didn't contain a single goto.

IIRC, assembly language was just a case of dimming some space and the opening a square bracket in the basic code...

10 DIM code (200)

11 P%=code

20 [

30 LDA #9:CLC:ADC #1

40 RET

50 ]

Or something like that... Blimee that caused some creaking in my brain... Time to break out the old girl and see if the 5.25" floppy image of Exmon still works!

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Steve Evans
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Re: Yay for the orange manual!

The Beeb manual was also spiral bound, and over an inch thick.

I had an advanced user guide too, I think it's still about in a box somewhere. That had loads of low down info and a complete circuit diagram - much fun with that!

These days you're lucky if you actually get a copy of the OS on removable media, let alone any kind of manual or welcome tape.

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Look back in Ascii: Computing in the 1980s

Steve Evans
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The Amiga and Atari ST were a late arrival towards the end of the era of completely incompatible machines.

Also, as you mention, the Amiga wasn't used for much more than a games console (yes, I know the Speccy wasn't much better), but my fond memories of the time involve lids off and hacking about with the inside. My Beeb started life as a model A, got a DIY upgrade, sideways RAM, dual controller floppy interface and all the toys added by me with a soldering iron.

To me a computer isn't "real" until you take it to bits and modify it. :-)

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Steve Evans
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Re: Call that a Pet?

Ah, you mean the mini keyboard ones with the built in tape drive - fond memories.

Wish I had one of those... Unfortunately I just have one like the article photo - and no storage! D'oh!

Then again, can you still even buy C60s?

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Steve Evans
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Re: How could you leave out the QL?

Appalling storage solution too!

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Steve Evans
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Re: Exidy Sorcerer

I remember the first (and only) time I saw one of these. It must have been round 1981/2. It belonged to an American boy who'd just come across to the UK when his parents relocated.

I remember him being very proud of his DIY ram upgrade, which comprised of a load of piggy-backed chips on the existing RAM, and a load of thin wires running off across the board.

These day it's an obvious upgrade with the chip selects being the thin wire runs, but at the time I thought it was akin to witchcraft.

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Ten... eight-bit classic games

Steve Evans
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Yes, how can a computer which could display pixel level colours and do true multichannel sound rival the character based attribute clashing and farting noises of the speccy.

</sarcasm>

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US doc finally fingers elusive G-spot

Steve Evans
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"83-year-old cadaver"

I assume they mean the cadaver of an 83 year old, or an 83-year-old's cadaver

If not, then eeeeeee!

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Uni plagiarism site buckles under crush of last-minute essays

Steve Evans
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Somethings never change...

Times change, technology moves on, but students will always leave everything to the last minute.

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Suspected freetards to face piracy letters in 2014

Steve Evans
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Re: 43 managers, one worker?

"That'll be the unpaid intern then?"

Yup, probably right, even though HMgovt have said that even interns are subject to minimum wage regulations.

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Steve Evans
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Re: A reward could be set up

and being from Orlowski you must suffer the kicking in silence, no comments allowed!

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Steve Evans
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@I'm Brian and so's my wife

I think he sold that domain.

Just as its value reached an all-time low.

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Google Currents

Steve Evans
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Translating the Grauniad?

Blimee, that's one impressive translation engine if it can handle the Grauniad!

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Steve Evans
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Re: Nice - but still fugly compared to similar iPad apps

Everything is so nice and shiny within the distortion field isn't it.

I value useful features such as translation over a pretty icon any day.

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Apple sued for every touchscreen device by Flatworld prof

Steve Evans
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@Voland's RH

I know, he actually built something and patented it... Imagine that, actually doing something with the patent you own instead of using it as a blocker.

Why did nobody else find this when trying to invalidate Apple patents? Well just look at the huge volume of patents involved. The US patent office seem to do very little indeed, just cash the cheque and say "Yup". IIRC the process in the UK involves an initial search, during which point invalid applications should be rejected.

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Happy 30th Birthday, Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Steve Evans
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Those were the days...

- Comparing the new machine to the BBC Micro Model A - released the previous December - Sinclair said: "It's obvious at a glance that the design of the Spectrum is more elegant. What may not be so obvious is that it also provides more power."

IIRC, several of Sir Clive's adverts had him dragged across the advertising standards authority coals by Acorn?

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Biologists create synthetic DNA capable of EVOLUTION

Steve Evans
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But then the question becomes where did RNA come from?

"But then the question becomes where did RNA come from?"

It dripped from his noodly appendage.

I thought everyone knew that.

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'Attitudes to robot sex will change'

Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

Robotic muscle powered legs wrapped round your back?

Sounds like a quick route to a wheelchair!

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Stray SMS leads to aborted landing

Steve Evans
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Ah-ha!

At last, conclusive proof that not turning off your electronic device could cause the aircraft to crash... If you happen to be the captain... and a moron...

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Canon suspends EOS 5D Mk III shipments

Steve Evans
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So...

Sounds like a light leak between the LCD backlight and the metering system inside the case. Nasty.

Not something you'd expect from a £3K camera... Then again, I'm a Nikon boy.

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Austrian village considers a F**king name change

Steve Evans
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Re: If it's *possible* to be serious about this...

Plenty of fun places in the UK.

Lady Hole (quite a few of those IIRC)

Cocking in Hampshire

Twatt in the Orkneys

If you're hungry there's always North Curry in Somerset, which is just round the corner from Fivehead wood - Oooh err!

Although one of my favourites is Booby Twin Road, which is in Andover, not far from Norway... So yes, it's in the states.

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RIP Ceefax: Digital switchover kills off last teletext service

Steve Evans
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Re: Ceefax nostalgia...

That wouldn't have been in Essex by any chance was it?

If so, then I remember that night well too. I was staggering home from a few too many with the guys (back in the days when the beer scooter still worked) and every police car in the country went flying past me. It was only the next day I found out why.

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BT's 'unbeatable' Infinity broadband ads banned by ASA

Steve Evans
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Re: They should have used "Unbeatable*"

Thank you Robert, I got mod-hammered anyway.

Glad I'm not the only one who has read beyond the headline definitions in the dictionary:

rape noun

4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: e.g. the rape of the countryside.

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Steve Evans
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Re: They should have used "Unbeatable*"

I was just wondering why my post got the mod hammer... It's a common phrase round my way for maxing a connection big time.

Goddam political correct mine-field!

Jeeez.

Is blasphemy allowed?

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Steve Evans
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That's just the start of it.

As an infinity subscriber, those adverts really do annoy me. They continually wank on about how good the wireless coverage is. It's bollox. I'll admit my original type A Home Hub 3 had a very good signal, the only problem is that after a few hours of use it would suddenly stop routing IP packets via the wireless. The AP would still show, but anything sent via it would just vanish. Reboot required.

After a friend went to infinity and didn't wish to use his newer type B Home Hub 3 (he has a Fritzbox) he gave it to me... Hurrah, no more wireless lock ups, but the signal strength is noticeably worse. So much so that I've deployed my old ADSL vigor to act as an 802.11G access point and disabled the one of the Home Hub 3.

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JCB builds Android blower for brickies

Steve Evans
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Gorilla glass?

I'm sure the ground in cement dust present in most builders fingers will be testing the scratch resistance of the glass a little more than originally intended.

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Zuckerberg blew $1bn on Instagram 'without telling Facebook board'

Steve Evans
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Re: Say what you like about Zuckerberg...

I doubt Systrom is disappointed. $2 billion was probably his joke price, and when Zuck didn't immediately slam the phone down he must have though "hang on a second, there might be something in this... I'll go round for tea.

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Ten... smartphone survival accessories

Steve Evans
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Nasty!

If that's a full charge in 5 minutes, you'll be lucky if you battery (or phone) survives for long.

If your phone has a 2000mAh battery, and it gets charged in 5 minutes, that means (in a perfect, 100% transfer world) the average current being pushed through the cable, power socket, circuit board tracks and battery is 40 amps!

A standard charger is between 0.5 and 1 amp, so I think it's safe to say 40 amps is way outside the normal operating range and the likelihood of something melting is quite high.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Femto cells??

Ah, the Vodafone Femto, their way of getting you to pay for a fancy box, plug it into the broadband you pay for, and then deduct minutes/bill you for the time you spend using the connection you have provided yourself.

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Steve Evans
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Re: big battery

I do actually carry lead acid batteries for backup power, but they have wheels attached. I've added 5v supply USB sockets to both my car and motorcycle.

If you're planning on sticking lead acid in your pocket, may I suggest you go for slightly smaller 6v instead, it makes the regulation down to a useful 5v somewhat easier and less wasteful. Oh, and make sure you get a sealed one, not vented (unless you don't like your jacket, trousers, rucksack or skin).

As for life expectancy, standard lead acid, as used in a car/motorcycle, are designed to be continually topped up and don't like full charge/discharge cycles. For that you need a variation known as a leisure battery.

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Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Steve Evans
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Re: Millions of homes

I know what you mean Nemo. Luckily since the Beeb I have continued my tinkering, so I'm planning to add interfaces to mines with the aid of an ATmega (or two) :-D

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Steve Evans
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Re: Millions of homes

Nothing wrong with the games on the Beeb. Defender and Pac-man were authentic copies of the arcade versions. Elite was written for the Beeb originally.

Not to forget the huge expansion possibilities on the Beeb. RGB, composite or modulated video out, serial ports, parallel printer ports and 8 bit user I/O. I personally had great fun with those.

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Steve Evans
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Re: All I had was a Z80 and a handful of switches

Bag of diodes and a torch battery?

Semi-conductors I suppose you posh git!

I had a valve (vacuum tube) diode and a potato with two dissimilar metal nails pushing into it.

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HTC One X Android smartphone

Steve Evans
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So...

So HTC were guilty of flooding the market with too many models in 2011...

So now they have flooded the 4th months of 2012 with three phones with identical names and only an illogical suffix to distinguish them... How very helpful...

Why couldn't they have at least called them the bronze, silver and gold so we could guess which was the cheapy and which was the monster?

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Laptop computers are crap

Steve Evans
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Bloody 16:9 screens GRRRR!

I blame everything, well almost everything, on the perverse idea that laptops should have screens designed to play movies.

My trusty old laptop is a ThinkPad R52 with 1400x1050, yes, 4:3, and guess what, it's great. It might be old, slow, and the battery last approx 20 minutes, *but* it's not the size of an aircraft carrier flight deck so is easy to carry from one plug point to the next! I don't need battery life, I need portability. I would by a new replacement, but I don't want to have to purchase a wide load screen just to get a similar vertical resolution to what I've already got. So I'm contemplating a motherboard hack to install a sata SSD instead.

Even on a desktop machine I'm not sure about 16:9. I'm sitting typing this on a 27" 2560x1440, and I seem to have far more slack space on each side then I do top and bottom.

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Soup up your home network

Steve Evans
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Biggest problem I had with powerline ethernet was the BT supplied infinity modem.

It came with such cheap nasty PSU that simply plugging it in caused my Zyxel powerline ethernet to lose sync and stop working.

I outed their PSU and used a better one.

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Matt Groening reveals location of Simpsons' Springfield

Steve Evans
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Re: Actually you know you're really over the hill

Amusing, but you blew it a little there.

You're thinking of David Attenborough, the naturalist, not his older brother Richard, the actor and director.

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Forensic snoops: It doesn't take a Genius to break into an iPhone

Steve Evans
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In the UK we have another solution...

Not providing a password/access when demanded by the UK plod is a criminal offence in itself, so even if they can't get in they can prosecute you for that.

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iPhone fanbois enraged by Instagram's Android triumph

Steve Evans
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Re: iPhone users <> Apple fanbois

Real programmers (who by definition, don't eat quiche) should be down voting that.

Real programmers don't use any high level language.

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Steve Evans
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Re: iPhone users <> Apple fanbois

Actually "<>" is used in far more places than just Pascal.

And *real* programmers would have to use the hex code for jump not equal specific to their chosen architecture.

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Prehistoric monster snake crushed prey under 1.5 Brooklyn Bridges

Steve Evans
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What's that in UK creme eggs?

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Steve Evans
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Re: Have they done the Math?

Maybe they're accounting for the fact that anyone laying under the Brooklyn bridge will be much taller and wider (and somewhat thinner) within a fraction of a second?

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Steve Evans
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Re: Stupid comparison

Now check out the stiletto heel figures.

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