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* Posts by Steve Evans

2300 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

OFFICIAL: Smart meters won't be compulsory

Steve Evans
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Who wants to bet...

It won't be compulsory, but those that install them get a discounted tariff... Sorry, I mean those that don't install them suddenly find there tariff rate increases, and the new cheaper one (the original tariff price) is only available to those that say yes to the meter.

I might say yes, just to see their reaction when they discover the mobile signal in the cupboard under my stairs... I have to put my mobile on a window ledge to get a signal, and even then it's hit and miss.

Even if it does get a signal, a remote switch off can be easily prevented by some strategic use of tinfoil (no not on your head you nut!).

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Mozilla releases Firefox 10, adds developer tools

Steve Evans
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"According to Mozilla, most add-ons will now work by default"

Curiously I was offered this upgrade about an hour ago... It told me the FDM (free download manager) integration wasn't compatible, and it would be disabled.

So I declined it's offer for the time being.

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iPads propel Apple to PC market top slot

Steve Evans
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Dubious...

Some dubious categorisation going on here. An iPad isn't really a PC in the same way that a G-Wizz isn't really a car!

Sure it can do many of the things a PC can do, play videos, go onto facebook, and maybe it fits the words "personal computer" better than a real desktop does, but it's still a device primarily designed for data consumption, not production. Sure, you *could* type your entire life story on an iPad, and I'm sure Mr Fry is doing just that as I type, but you'll end up with blunted fingers and probably some kind of compression fracture in all of your fingers from banging on that sheet of glass.

It's horses for courses. Most people don't really need a real desktop PC for what they do. I know my sister-in-law certainly doesn't. She can post up her inane facebook drivel (with humourous auto corrections) just as well from her phone than she can from a desktop of laptop machine.

It just goes to show that many desktop/laptop users didn't really need that full computer experience, so with any luck we'll shift them onto tablet, and the volume of spam email their infected desktop machines were spewing to all and sundry will plummet!

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Steerable bullet aims for mass army deployment

Steve Evans
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@AC

There is a difference between showing yourself and *showing* yourself. Sure the guy with the pointer will need line of site to the target, but that doesn't necessarily reveal him. There will be no muzzle flash from the pointer, the bullet will come from elsewhere. As soon as they start coming in I doubt any of the targets will give any thought to the unarmed man one of their team thought he saw 5 minutes ago wandering about at 45 degrees to them.

Many of the "smart" bombs in Iraq were guided in by laser. Sometimes painted from other aircraft, but often painted by forces on the ground.

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Steve Evans
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Re: modulation

Sounds like a perfect defence is to stand behind a mirror. The dot won't be scattered back to the bullet, but reflected onto a nearby wall or the ground.

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Angry Birds boss: Piracy helps us 'get more business'

Steve Evans
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I believe Chris is referring to patents, were you have to defend them or risk losing them.

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Paris Metro brings a bit of style to NFC

Steve Evans
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A bit of style?

That'll be the first on the Paris Metro then... It's like being driven round in an old tin can from the 1920s!

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'Space Monkey' craze: Texan students 'get high' by choking each other

Steve Evans
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@Matthew

That sounds alarming like a boys boarding school activity to me!

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Dizzy: the Ultimate Cartoon Adventure Part Deux

Steve Evans
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Others are from the spectrum version, you can tell from the horrible colour attribute bleeding and simplified border to try to avoid it. The CPC's video chip was the far more capable 6845 which it shared with the BBC Micro.

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Women pick the family's mobile tech - and pay for it too

Steve Evans
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Trollface

Ahhhh...

That explains it. No wonder I could never understand the iThings sale figures ;-)

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HP hawks huge 132in 'tablet'

Steve Evans
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Pah...

$125,000? I think I'll wait until they abandon the project and then pick up the old stock for 25% list price.

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Woz praises Android, blasts iPhone limitations

Steve Evans
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Hey, move over, there must be more space behind the sofa, stop hogging it all!

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McDonald's punters offered sex in exchange for Chicken McNuggets

Steve Evans
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I would...

I would say "Picture or it didn't happen", but anyone that desperate for chicken nuggets is not going to be a pretty sight.

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Tiny frog claimed as smallest vertebrate ever

Steve Evans
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@Brent

Depends, does it generally look shifty and do a lot of shrugging?

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Stratfor slaps website back online after Anon mega-hack

Steve Evans
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Tut tut...

Storing credit card details in an unencrypted form is against the merchant card program rules. It certainly is in Europe. Failure to abide by the rules (especially a failure such as this where data was stolen) can result in withdrawal of your card processing facility.

As for the CEO resigning, I guess he is just taking the behaviour of our leaders as an example. Nobody in any lofty position carries any responsibility. On the rare occasions that one is forced out by massive public protest (RBS for example), they still walk away with a "jolly well done" handshake measured in the millions.

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ICANN snubs critics, opens domain extension floodgates

Steve Evans
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Lucky none of us trust any banks these days!

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Steve Evans
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Maybe they could be encouraged to get their own TLD, .con?

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Steve Evans
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.idiots

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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Samsung: 'We'll nick Nokia's global mobe crown this year'

Steve Evans
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They might both make WinPhones, but those aren't the big sellers. For Nokia the big sellers are the cheap not very smart phones based on their older OS(s), and for Samsung it's Android.

HTC also started as WinPhone manufacturer, and nobody had heard of them. You've heard of them now, but that's not due to their success of windows mobile handsets.

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Facebook VERY SLOWLY rolls out Timeline

Steve Evans
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Shorely....

What he really needs is a way to check on those that have proactively *not* opted into it, like myself... Really not looking forward to it. On the profiles I have seen it so far it looks like a dog's dinner.

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Microsoft's master stroke: Pay store staff per WinPhone sold

Steve Evans
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@hplasm

That seems to fit well too :-)

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Steve Evans
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Maybe we should come up with a name for this new, ground breaking practise.

How about "commission"?

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Symantec downplays source-code trophy theft

Steve Evans
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I wonder...

Maybe the hackers can fix the code and stop it being a resource hogging pile of bloat!

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iPad SURVIVES FALL FROM SPACE

Steve Evans
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Which is what I said...

Weight does not come into it... Gravity on Earth accelerates the objects at 9.81m/s/s.

Friction acts in the opposite direction, against gravity.

Surface area is relevant (because of the friction from the air), weight isn't...

You can test it on earth, you just do it in a vacuum to remove the friction component.

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Steve Evans
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Errrr....

I can only assume you're not familiar with the what would fall faster, a cannon ball or a feather saying?

Long and short of it is weight has nothing to do with it. Everything is subject to gravity, which with no external forces, will accelerate an object at 9.81m/s/s towards the earth. The external forces relevant in this situation would be friction, which can be greatly enhanced by the addition of a parachute, or even covering the case in deep pile carpet.

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iOS 5's iMessage chops carrier SMS routing traffic

Steve Evans
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Whatsapp

Last time I looked at Whatsapp it had a "free for x months" offer (on Android), which is the crack dealers marketing model. I chose not to become reliant on it and uninstalled it within a few minutes. IIRC it also lacked an elegant way of logging off.

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Steve Evans
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If they opened BBM up to other OS's then maybe it might have been.

Instead they restricted it to their phones, and thought that feature would be enough to pull people to them... It didn't work.

So instead they screwed up their network and managed to leave large chunks of the planet unable to send messages for several days.

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Steve Evans
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Where are you?

What country are you in? I was in London and tried to SMS via Orange. For about 20 minutes round midnight I could even get my message onto the network. I expect the cells were overloaded from all the people watching the fireworks.

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Steve Evans
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Not a good idea...

If anyone out there hadn't realised that sending messages via a single point was a bad idea, Blackberry illustrated it very nicely indeed only a few months ago.

The carriers do know a thing or two about running resilient networks, so for all their faults I would trust them with a message far more than Apple/RIM.

Plus there is the security issue, isn't any data which crosses into the USA from outside deemed fair game for snooping?

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The Commodore 64 is 30

Steve Evans
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Hardly surprising, it really didn't have any hardware! The Z80 did pretty much everything!

The likes of the 64, BBC Micro etc had many dedicated chips, which improved their performance and features, but would have made sourcing components more expensive and maybe impossible. Acorn had enough problems sourcing the Intel 8271 disk controller themselves and they weren't behind a technology embargo.

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Steve Evans
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the commodore disk drives also completely ignore the indexing hole in the disk and purely rely on reading the disk to work out where they were?

IIRC the commodore owners never had to cut a new hole (just a write protect notch in the side) if they chose to flip their disks and use the second side, whereas us beeb owners had to extract the floppy bit, cut a matching indexing hole in the case, then put the magnetic floppy bit back in again.

Ah fond memories, squeezing 400K out of a floppy.

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Steve Evans
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Ah the fond memories...

...of when a US cost to UK pricing translation consisted of a bit more than just changing the $ to a £.

Happy birthday 64... Although I was (am) a Beeb owner, I still had great respect for the 64. The older brother, the PET was the first computer I ever programmed - it now lives in my attic.

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Whale versus shark in KIWI DEATH MATCH!

Steve Evans
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Blimee...

I don't blame the sharks one bit!

If I was being picked on my a pod of Orcas I'd be throwing myself up the beach and attempting to develop lungs and legs in double quick time too!

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Samoa takes day off to skip International Date Line

Steve Evans
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Oooooh gawd...

I hope a certain brand of smart phone isn't popular there... Can you begin to imagine how wrong the alarm clock will be?!!

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Will TWO next-gen iPads be unveiled at January's iWorld?

Steve Evans
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We've already had them, then some idiot invented widescreen and you now need a laptop screen the size of an aircraft carrier's flight deck to get any useful vertical res.

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Steve Evans
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iYawn

Oh FFS, enough already.

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ALIEN ARTIFACTS can best be FOUND ON MOON

Steve Evans
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Yeah yeah, likely story... Narcotics more like and a hacked mining laser.

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Steve Evans
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How on earth did "archaeological" manage to get past them?

Surely it can't be too long before that is "corrected"

Archylogical?

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Apple’s Siri gets sweary with British child

Steve Evans
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Hehe...

Apple store here I come!

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Wi-Fi Protected Setup easily unlocked by security flaw

Steve Evans
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Rolls eyes...

Glad I disabled WPS on my router when it arrived.

I very much take the view that if I'm not using a feature it should be turned off.

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Make room, internet, there's another 5 million domains to fit in

Steve Evans
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Just don't drop it.

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Steve Evans
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...

You're obviously the not the owner of a BT Home Hub 3 then... The internet is regularly turned off for a few minutes a week for me when I have to reboot the bl**dy thing to get the wifi to work properly again.

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Apple land-grabs fuel cells for mobiles

Steve Evans
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Exactly...

The idea of a patent was to protect the inventor so he could recoup the costs incurred whilst developing the product.

The US patent system allows the likes of Apple to patent an idea and do sod all about developing it. If an engineer is unlucky enough to spend time and money actually inventing such a device, he will be lucky to see a penny when he comes to patent the working idea and find Apple own it.

The US patent system is killing invention, not assisting it.

At this rate it won't be long before the rest of the planet develops some bigger cojones and just ignores US patents (aka join China).

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Steve Jobs gets posthumous Grammy AND a bronze statue

Steve Evans
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Budapest?

How random.

When I was there in the summer I noticed a very healthy selection of different handsets, so they're hardly a country of fanboys. Apple products are horrendously expensive there, for example it's cheaper to buy a Mac Pro in the UK and ship it to Hungary than it is to buy it locally.

Not often the UK can be described as a cheap source!

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Iran spy drone GPS hijack boasts: Rubbish, say experts

Steve Evans
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Maybe...

So spoofing is complex, but what would the drone do if it didn't have any valid GPS signal?

Without it it would have to rely on dead reckoning calculations, with only air speed, bearing and duration to work with to attempt to find its location. It would be off track and lost very quickly indeed.

In such a situation it could have a fail safe procedure, such as throttling the engine back and performing a controlled descent, or does it just keep zooming along in a lost style, hoping for a GPS lock, until it finally runs out of fuel and drops from the sky?

If it is the former, then spoofing the GPS signal with all its accurate timing would not be required, you just need to drown the signal out with garbage which should be a great deal easier given the weak signal sent from the GPS satellites.

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Ofcom maps out what 'psychics' are allowed to do on TV

Steve Evans
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*knock knock*

"I'm going to fine you for being a fraud. The fine will be delivered in 48 hours time. If you can tell me the exact value of the fine before it arrives we will let you off."

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Steve Evans
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I remember Tony Blair being interviewed about the Iraq war... He stated that he prayed for guidance...

So our country went to war because of what the voice in his head replied. Or was it just for the oil or for some kind of back hand from G Dubya?

If the voice was claimed to be anything other than a recognised (who compiles the list?) deity you would get locked up, yet there is no more proof for the existence of "insert recognise deity here" than there is for the flying spaghetti monster. Which is exactly the point of FSM.

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Steve Evans
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I was directly touched by the noodly goodness last night.

Or as some would call it, dinner.

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BT, Scotland Yard form copper theft crackdown supersquad

Steve Evans
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We'll be using neutrinos. Light is too slow.

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