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* Posts by Steve Evans

2300 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Mass mind control artist condemns El Reg to obscurity

Steve Evans
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Who?

I've never heard of Limbaugh, I can only assume he's an obscure fat headed moron.

If he's the highest rated radio show, and Fox the highest rated TV, I'm starting to get very very scared... The fruit-loop from Alaska might actually get near something sharp and dangerous!

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Intel reveals 'the billion dollar lost laptop problem'

Steve Evans
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Yet again?

There are already plenty of solutions to data security on lost laptops. Truecrypt for example.

Plus are already plenty of laptops with built in hardware level encryption.

Unfortunately until they are used and enabled by default they won't help.

Even when they are, you just know the idiots in the public service will be walking about with unencrypted data either on a memory stick or a CD/DVD which will spend their entire life in the laptop bag until the day they are left in the back of the taxi.

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Russia wins World Cup bid in parrot-sickening travesty

Steve Evans
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Re: Excellent news

"Why can't this happen every year?"

Why can't this happen every *day*!

Just ship them all off to somewhere with lots of football pitches and let them watch and play 24/7.

The rest of us can then get on with being civilised.

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Sarah Palin calls for US to stand by North Korea

Steve Evans
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Please...

Nobody let her near anything sharp (or a big red button), she's priceless as entertainment, but please, don't ever put her anywhere she can hurt herself or anyone else...

Maybe something like "The Truman Show" would be perfect for her.

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Steve Evans
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Re: @anon coward

And it's owned by its shareholders, many of which are from... A Merry Car!

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Pole positions: Base station spotters scrap for prize

Steve Evans
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Re: Or

Actually, it gets worse... I actually know the "Too tall photographer", I'd better delete his number from my phone first! If they find that they're going to throw away the key!

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Steve Evans
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IIRC

There is a particularly unconvincing tree by the M25, round the bottom bit near the services.

There's also something very odd between J29 and J30. It looks like a Roman column with branches tied to it. I'm not joking, it's not a badly modelled tree (unless the artist has never seen a tree) it really is a Romanesque column standing in a field. I'll try to get a photo of it (without being arrested for stopping on the hard shoulder).

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Xbox modder can't claim fair use, says judge

Steve Evans
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Rewrite needed....

You guys need to rewrite some lyrics... The words "Land of the free" have been reported for being misleading and misrepresenting the country.

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Acer replaces laptop keyboard with multi-touch LCD

Steve Evans
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Re: Title

Why? A sheet of glass is far easier to seal against a plastic case than 100 odd moving buttons.

Bar the ports, and the required ventilation for the CPU and chipset, this thing could be completely fluid sealed.

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Steve Evans
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Oooh...

Whilst I appreciate the other comments, and expect it to be a nightmare to type on, I do see a use for it... For making animations and photo retouching.

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Lawsuit says Facebook plunders user names, photos

Steve Evans
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Pah!

Anyone that uses friend finder, and trusts Facebook with their messenger username and password, really does deserve everything they get (or lose!). They already know too much!

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Speak geek: The world of made-up language

Steve Evans
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Re: Esperanto's success

It's still a seriously rare language, and to make matters worse, you can't go anywhere specific (bar an Esperanto conference) to use it face to face! Estimated speakers 2 million... Which puts it about level with Macedonian. Except you can't just hop on a plane to Esperanta to experience the culture!

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Steve Evans
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Re: Creoles are far more interesting

I agree, sometimes the root of the words are still understood, which makes for a fascinating history lesson.

Take various words for animals/meat in English for example. When it's a smelly farm animal, the word is the original old English/Saxon word. Cow, Pig, Sheep. When it's cooked and on the feast table of the Norman masters it becomes Beef, Pork, Mutton. Still recognisable as the French words today (although I'm sure they'd look at you blankly purely because of pronunciation).

Attempts to get people to learn a universal language such as Esperanto are always going to be an uphill battle. First you have no native speakers, so you can't go for a total immersion course in the country. Then you have to convince people it is required. If the person happens to speak English you could be in with a problem as no matter where you go you can always find someone who can translate English into the local tongue. Add that to the fact that they kept genders for inanimate objects in Esperanto and most English speakers are going to look at you like you're mad!

If you want odd languages you don't need to learn Klingon, there's a world or real ones out there, complete with countries full of people that can speak it back to you... Try Hungarian!

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Ten... budget Android smartphones

Steve Evans
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Re: Resistive vd capacitive

No problems with my resistive, it's over 18 months old, and has even been run over by a landrover!

The LCD needed replacing, but the resistive screen is still original.

Yes, I regularly use an iPhone in anger. They're okay, but needing big text for big fingers seems a bit self defeating to me.

I like having lots of text on my screen, which means lots of small text and links. With resistive I can use them, I can read them, and I don't have to continually scroll.

As for people hating resistive, it doesn't seem to have harmed the Nintendo DS.

I have a stylus with the my DS, and I believe there was one with the phone. I never use them.

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Steve Evans
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Resistive vd capacitive

I really don't understand the continual bashing of resistive screens (beyond the fact that resistive is not the Apple way).

I use both, and I far prefer the resistive.

So far the only con I have found to resistive is it can't do multitouch, fair enough, as the user interface isn't designed to take advantage of such a feature, it's not an issue.

The pros are huge. I can use it wearing gloves. If you have finger nails then you can still use it without having to angle your fingers in a way would would be a bit odd when holding the phone.

When you're not wearing gloves, the benefits starts to really appear - accuracy.

You can click on a 2mm high text link on a web page, amongst a sea of other text links, and get it 99% of the time, because you are using a narrow tapping thing like your finger nail.

Plus you can see what you are tapping right up to the point you hit it, because said fingernail is fine and narrow. Not got fingernails, well pick up anything you like from your desk. Biro lid, matchstick, car keys, anything you like, it'll work (taadaa!).

Take a capacitive one, requiring the contact of a squashy finger tip, and you'll be hard pushed to hit anything smaller than the size of a bus with any accuracy. Is it any wonder that the way to navigate "back" is such an easy gesture?

The iPhone4 might have a seriously impressive number of pixels per inch, but you can't use them to resize a webpage to tiny proportions if it has a lot of links close together, the most you can do with it is enjoy some nice font anti-aliasing.

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NY youth makes $130k selling real(-ish) white iPhone 4s

Steve Evans
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Re: $35.99

Thank you Sir!

I honestly couldn't believe the number of thumbs down I received for suggesting that $279 was a non competitive price!

Personally I was thinking if I was a fanboy, I could go and get one fabricated from scratch by a local plastics moulding firm as a one off for less!

Hell I could get a gold plated one done for that!

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Steve Evans
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He might be fluent in Chinese...

...but his English is suspect...

"We offer competitively priced parts needed to convert your current black iPhone 4 to a White iPhone 4"

$279 is competitive?!

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How to make boots on Mars affordable - One way trips

Steve Evans
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Joke

"colonists may be preferred who are beyond their reproductive age".

So as men are technically capable for their entire life, surely this would mean the crew would comprise purely of older ladies.

They're never going to fit all their shoes into the capsule!

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Chicago officer beats off dildo-wielding bill-skipper

Steve Evans
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And....

Where pray tell is the required Monty Python self defence class quote?

Although seriously she's lucky she wasn't tazzed. Guess she didn't walk on the cracks in the pavement or look like a photographer.

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Facebook set to unveil 'Gmail killer'

Steve Evans
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Yeah, right...

I think they already know too much, I think I'll stick with separate accounts thanks.

Plus of course hotmail/gmail et al don't go fiddling with their sites every couple of days and break things, The example the notifications list hasn't worked on facebook mobile for at least they last few days.

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No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed

Steve Evans
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Re: C++ blows - Agreed!

As a young teenager in the 80s I started playing first with a commodore PET at school and then my own BBC Micro. So I picked up BASIC. My 'O' level was written in 6502 machine code. My 'A' level was written in BASIC. They had taught us Pascal, which was an option, but I was pissed at them for not letting me use machine code for the 'A' level.

I would give Pascal another chance a few years later.

Even doing the 'A' level I started to become disillusioned with what we were being taught, so when I saw the degree syllabus I decided I'd had enough of this education rubbish. I still remember the computer science teacher calling me out of a geography lesson to help him set things up when I was 13!

From there the big old world of work started. COBOL, PCs, 8086 machine code, DOS TSRs, windoze, bit of OS2, VB, Delphi, C etc. Intarweb and TCP/IP.

Delphi (Pascal++) is probably my favourite for writing windows apps. It's just so quick. How C became some dominant when it was designed to make thing unreadable after you turn away for 5 minutes is beyond me.

I never ceased to be amazed at the number of grads I worked with who just had no fundamental knowledge of computers. Sure I could forgive them for not having built a computer from spare bits aged 15, not everyone was a geeky as me, but to looked astonished when I open a command prompt and type a few magical incantations is unforgivable.

Typical example - "I have a load of music mp3s, mpeg movies and word docs all together in a directory, how can I move just the tunes and movies?"

Errr, move *.m* <destination>

Reclaim all the drive space windows has cluttered up with temporary files?

del "%temp%\*.*" /s /f /q

Simples.

These days I program windows apps and microcontrollers. It's interesting juggling between Delphi windows apps and C/ASM on the MCU, ad yes, fixing other people's C code.

There is always a sigh and relaxed smile on my face when I return to Delphi and have native string handling once again! Not to mention the inherent security aspect of having a language which knows how to handle strings, and isn't just forcing you to throw random characters about in memory!

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BA slams stupid security checks

Steve Evans
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Re: Why can't we just have....

Or red plane and Green plane. I think the red plane would have to be flown by remote control, probably from the green one, who'd want to pilot that one?! It could work you know... Make everyone eat a ham sandwich. Those that refuse go into the red plane.

Sure it will mean the Muslims and Jews are on the same plane, but hopefully the hippy vegetarians will manage to keep it calm with a sing along.

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Steve Evans
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Re: 3. Incident with underpants bomb - no action

Pity, I think any terrorist who wants to set fire to their own genitalia, and cook their DNA from the gene pool should be allowed to do it.

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Steve Evans
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Hallowed?

They wouldn't let me out of the UK with a 125g pot of Marmite.

I tried to explain the difference between a 100ml measure of liquid volume and 125g measure of mass, but had to admit defeat in the face of overwhelming stupidity.

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UK border police seize £500k from Nigerians' hand luggage

Steve Evans
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Hmmmm

"...seized the cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act until the men can prove it comes from a legitimate source."

So guilty until proven innocent? I'm sure UK govt tried this kind of thing before, and got a slap from the EU lawyers.

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Cinema iPhone pirate escapes jail in test case appeal

Steve Evans
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Jeeez

He should be locked up for crimes against video quality (not just his choice of movie, but his chosen recording device) and for polluting the bittorrents with this crap!

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iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid: purveyors of pestilence

Steve Evans
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Oh let's stick touch screen on a report...

Of course sharing bugs and germs wouldn't happen if you shared a non touch screen phone with someone else, or a landline handset or a book.

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OOo's put the willies up Microsoft

Steve Evans
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Gates Horns

Interoperability?

Curiously, it's interoperability which has caused me to install OpenOffice on the most machines... machines which up until now were happily working with Office2003... Why? Well because people kept emailing docs in M$'s latest and greatest format, and not wishing spend $$$ upgrading to yet another version of office I searched round for something which could read docx.

I now notice M$ seem to be releasing far more format converters so 2003 can now read the newer formats... Too late M$!

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Ryanair wins ihateryanair.co.uk because of £322 ad revenue

Steve Evans
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Is that all?

£322 from affiliate links to services including travel insurance that appeared on the site... He should take a leaf out of Ryan Air's books. I've never seen them offer a special or bundle during ticket booking that I couldn't get at least 25% cheaper with 3 clicks and going direct to the company concerned.

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Jobsian fondle-slab in SEXY FILTHGRAM CRACKDOWN

Steve Evans
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Jeeez

The US patent office will allow a patent on anything won't they!

A patent is only supposed to be granted on a new innovation which isn't blatantly obvious.

Content word filtering is hardly new. There may even be prior art on this exact use. I'm sure somewhere like a right wing Arab state or China have been doing this for years.

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Windows Phone 7 leaves operators on the hook

Steve Evans
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Re: Good

Agreed.

I have never seen an addition installed by a mobile carrier that was worth the memory space it took.

Plus of course that "custom" firmware then delays (and often prevents) firmware updates from mobile manufacturers which invariably fix bugs and add new useful features.

The sooner the mobile operators settle for being a dumb pipe, the better!

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Flying gyrocopter jump-jeep gets $3m from DARPA

Steve Evans
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So...

Whereas the UK are now withdrawing the lightly armoured Landrovers, and replacing them with things which resemble the taxis from the Judge Dread movie (incidentally built on a Landrover for the film), the US are going to use vehicles which are light enough to fly... Best they give them some serious flying range (like one of those helicopter things for example) or the first time they touch down an IED is going to reduce them to shrapnel.

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Car wrecks rise after texting bans imposed

Steve Evans
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My thought exactly...

When not explicitly illegal, you could have held the mobile on the steering wheel, in plain sight, and also had some awareness of what is going on outside the vehicle.

Now it's illegal, the mobile will be sitting on the drivers lap, stealth mode.

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Toshiba Satellite A660 16in laptop

Steve Evans
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Bl**dy widescreen

Hate it on a laptop... Just makes the things twice the size, and you still lose the far more useful vertical resolution.

16:10 and 16:9 are only really useful for TVs, and even then they are still a compromise when it comes to films which are wider still than 16:9, so you still end up with a letterbox!

I'm happily typing this on my aged ThinkPad R52 with its 15" 1400x1050 4:3 screen and suspect I'll still be using this in 5 years time... By which point it will have probably had a second hard drive transplant and be equipped with SSD.

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Nutter repairmen scale 1,768ft TV mast

Steve Evans
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Re: Parachute

Too right, only way you'd get me up that thing!

It'd be a quick (fun) way down, and way safer than dangling about with no safety, or a safety hooked over the end of a thin foot rung!

Actually, I lied. That still wouldn't get me up there. You would also required a gun about 6 inches from my head - so you're coming up with me too!.

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Apple in 873-page legal claim to word 'Pod'

Steve Evans
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Right...

Right, we need to go back after them, the word "Job" being well known English slang for a turd. "Jobs" is obviously the plural form of this noun.

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Paris brushes off Japanese ejection over coke bust

Steve Evans
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Paris Hilton

Advisor...

You have to question who advises Paris on her trips (let's face it she hardly likely to be organising things herself), given Japan's stance on such matters it really was an ill-advised trip. Even her own country, the US of A takes a dim view of visitors with a drug conviction (curiously introduced during the "reign" of a president who confessed to smoking weed himself - although not inhaling).

Oh hang on (interfaces hand with forehead), of course they knew this... This is all about column inches isn't it (not the kind of inches Paris prefers I'm sure).

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Crash grounds RAF Eurofighters - for Battle of Britain Day!

Steve Evans
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Re: So ...

That might not be as daft as it sounds... I wonder how well heat seeking missiles lock onto the not so hot exhaust of an internal combustion engine as opposed to the huge wash of hot gasses that come out of the back of a jet?

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Steve Evans
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One of these is a truly impressive British fighter plane.

Well it's the Spitfire of course... An example of what a single country can produce under pressure.

Whereas the Eurofighter is not a British fighter plane, it is an example of what a bunch of countries, speaking different languages can produce when driven by bureaucracy.

I'm sure there were less people involved in the entire production run of the Spitfire than there are in the powerpoint generating division of the Eurofighter!

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Thieves jam key-fob lock signals in mystery car thefts

Steve Evans
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There are some dodgy gadgets about...

My brother recently disturbed two guys trying to steal his motorbike from outside his house.

They ran off.

When he came to move the bike to safety he found his alarm completely disabled. There was no sign of physical tampering. His alarm automatically arms after the bike has been turned off for 30 seconds and he has never experienced any problem with it until that night.

Pressing his keyfob the first time did nothing. The second time he pressed it the bike did its normal "disarm" beep, and has continued to function normally ever since.

Very suspicious.

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Intel slips anti-theft tech into hardware to deter thieves

Steve Evans
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All well and good only if...

... the technology is turned on by default!

Many laptops (including those lost by HM Govt) have supported various hardware security features for years, but they are never turned on!

So what about the hard drive data? Is it encrypted? Whilst the loss of a laptop is annoying, it's nowhere near as bad as the data that is lost on the drive when it can just be removed and read in another machine!

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O2 shocks customers by slashing iPad data allowance

Steve Evans
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I guess...

I guess O2 just couldn't resist temptation, especially as the customer has already bent over and lubed up to take it from St Jobs.

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Intel confirms HDCP copy-protection crack

Steve Evans
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Software too slow...

I'm sure a nice modern GPU (or a pair maybe) would have more than enough grunt to do this kind of thing in real time...

The only question is will it be Nvidia or AMD/ATI first?

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Oz pedestrians fall to 'Death by iPod'

Steve Evans
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Re: Canada has a solution

I still think I prefer the alternative way to "vibrate" these morons back into paying attention... Namely shaking them up with the bumper, bonnet, windscreen, roof and road.

Closely followed by a law suit for the damages to my vehicle.

Sometimes people just have to take responsibility for their actions.

Oh, and re the 20mph zones outside schools... I defy anyone to tell me they can do more than 10mph past a school when it's kiddy kick out time! The school run parents and their "novel" parking and driving skills see to that!

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Steve Evans
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Puzzled...

Given that the Sony Walkman was invented way back in the 80s, I can't understand why they are only seeing an increase in zombie pedestrians now. Is it a combination of being daft enough to pay apple prices *and* being a zombie pedestrian?

One other question... How loud do you have to have your mp3 player to not hear an ambulance?! Honestly, I think such deaths should be treated as saving the gene pool from pollution, just like the Darwin awards.

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Code for open-source Facebook littered with landmines

Steve Evans
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Oh dear...

Let's just hope that these four students are studying anything related to IT... If they are then they are failing badly.

Some flaws are to be expected, but falling to know exploits as XSS just shows a lack of knowledge, testing and ability to design in security.

I'm half tempted to go try a bit of SQL injection just for the giggle, but I suspect it wouldn't be much of a challenge.

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Steve Jobs carried 'ninja throwing stars' in hand luggage

Steve Evans
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Don't blame Japan...

Just remember what country introduced, and continues to push petty security restrictions and global paranoia...

Hell, I can't even take a 125g jar or marmite in hand luggage... Attempts to argue the 125g is a measurement of mass and not volume, and the restriction is 100ml of volume fall of deaf ears too.

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ACPO defuses impending photo row with police forces

Steve Evans
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Job for a high end DSLR...

Some high end DLSRs such as the Nikon D300s can support two memory cards, an SD and a CF. You can set the camera to shoot RAW+JPEG. The raw gets put on the huge CF, the JPEG on the CF...

"Excuse me sir, I need those photographs under S19 PACE"...

-remove SD

"Sure, here you are... Receipt please"

-insert another SD (just in case he requires more photos under S19) and continue shooting.

You have complied with the letter of S19.

If he continually hits you with S19 until you run out of SD cards then you have probably got grounds for a harassment claim.

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Nokia Home Music HD-1

Steve Evans
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Hmmm

Given the UK Govt headlong push (can't help but think of kickbacks etc) to remove all analogue broadcasts from the spectrum, the lack of DAB/DAB+ seems like a serious oversight.

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Pamela Anderson gets her kit off for Nokia

Steve Evans
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So...

They've already spent more money on advertising the N8 than they did for testing/supporting the N97!

Let's hope they have some left to support the N8!

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