* Posts by Neil Barnes

2052 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

You must have at least 8 inches for Windows 10 to go all the way

Neil Barnes
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I'm seeing nothing to persuade me to change back to windows

I run W7 at work and occasionally in a VM but *for my use cases* I don't see anything that would make me change back to Windows. W10 just doesn't seem to offer anything beyond a more complex UI.

Indeed, one of the questions I'm looking for in new hardware reviews (particularly for laptops) is whether, and how easily, Linux can be installed. It's just a bit annoying having to buy Windows just to throw it away.

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Super-cookie crumbles: Verizon vows to kill off hated zombie stalkers

Neil Barnes
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Re: Weasel words

Can we have an El Reg poll please?

1) I want to see random adverts, the bigger and flashier the better; there's nothing more attractive to me than a random clickbait site.

2) I want to see adverts based on the sites I've visited and previous purchases I've made; I just bought a fridge but hey, I could sure use another.

3) I can cope with the occasional subtle no-sound no-picture no-animation advert; it doesn't need to track me because I like surprises.

4) As above, but hey, track me. I hate surprises.

5) I came here for the content; I don't want to see adverts unless I search for them.

6) Advertisers are the spawn of the devil and should be cast to the bottomless depths of the ocean.

Inquiring minds want to know!

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Kill Facebook's creepy on-by-default Yelp 'killer' Place Tips – your guide

Neil Barnes
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WTF?

As an aside

I note that when I occasionally turn on the location services on my phone (Moto G, basic install) it asks me if I want to share my location with Google.

So far, so good.

There's a little tick box that says 'remember this answer'... which is only valid if you say 'yes'. If you tick the 'no' box, the tick box gets grayed out.

Because *obviously*, not sharing this information is just a momentary aberration, right?

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Top smut site Flashes visitors, leaves behind nasty virus

Neil Barnes
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As I pointed out only yesterday...

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2015/01/28/youtube_flushes_flash_for_future_flicks/#c_2423907

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Charles Townes, inventor of the laser and friend to both science and religion, dies

Neil Barnes
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Pint

RIP

Thanks to this gentleman, the life of sharks the world over has been immeasurably improved.

Now protect your other eye, and raise a glass.

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Care.data refuseniks will be DENIED CANCER SCREENING invites

Neil Barnes
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John 11:35

Is it so difficult to understand? Those of us with complex or unusual medical problems are identifiable simply from the combination of those issues and the general area in which we live - we[1] do not want to be identified at some time in the future by, for example, insurance companies who don't understand 'spread the risk'.

While we are quite happy, or sometimes positively enthusiastic, about helping medical research, we are somewhat less than amused at the thought of our information going anywhere *but* for medical research. That means *no* commercial use by insurers, advertisers and the like.

That's where the issue is - not with 'you've opted out of this as well, accidentally' but with the initial concept of making available 'anonymised' data which clearly isn't to outside agencies.

[1] I speak for me, and assume 'we'.

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YouTube flushes Flash for future flicks

Neil Barnes
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Re: What's new?

Call me cynical, but I can't help feeling that Youtube is only half the battle. As long as the porn sites keep pumping out flash videos, Adobe will remain fat and happy.

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Excitement in boffinry circles as GIGANTIC ALIEN RING BLOTS OUT SUN

Neil Barnes
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Alien

if our world was ground up small and put into orbit

Er, I'd rather you didn't. I'm still using it.

Thank you.

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P0wning for the fjords: Malware turns drones into DEAD PARROT

Neil Barnes
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He may have a customer already...

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

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ICANN CEO criticizes domain 'hoggers'

Neil Barnes
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Re: The truth often hurts

Nice domain name, this.

Be a shame if anything happened to it...

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What gets the internet REALLY excited? Kittens? No. EXPLODING Kittens

Neil Barnes
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Facepalm

Bloody internet is too good

That was on my 'send it to El Reg' list for this morning!

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Neil Barnes
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Re: Call filtering

This was an argument I had with the BBC for many years when I worked there: most internal phones had direct dialing incoming, but when dialing out were sent with no CID. This was claimed to be because of the group hunting on the outgoing exchange, but it would have surely been in the bounds of possibility for the main switchboard number to have been sent.

If an IP address from behind a firewall and an NAT router and an ISP can survive the journey, I'm sure that the same can be done for a phone number.

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Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

Neil Barnes
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Re: Economy

But we've already established in previous discussion here that economics is not yet, and may never be, a science. Economists talk about wealth depending how it advances their arguments...

One might make the point, for example, that 'wealth' in the end comes down to how many megajoules one is able to command: everything you spend your wealth on is eventually the use of energy. Whether that is the energy required to drive the private jet and built the jet and pay the pilots and the guys who built the plane and to refine the alloys and dig the ore and transport it... or it's the energy required to plough the ground and plant the seeds and harvest the food and process it and get it to market... Everything comes down to energy.

Money is just an agreement; a number that I will do this amount of work for that amount of money; that I will receive this amount of goods for that amount of money.

Maybe we should be paid in megajoules instead of pounds?

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Neil Barnes
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Alert

Re: Frikkin' shark movies on SyFy

My daughter-in-law recommended Sharknado to me.

There's two hours of my life I'm never going to get back...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: What?

Well obviously not, Voland... there can only be one!

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Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset

Neil Barnes
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Re: The most screamingly obvious use for augmented reality...

"White vans in your locality are dying for sex with you..." ?

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FIVE Things (NOT 10: these are REAL) from the WINDOWS 10 event

Neil Barnes
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Re: I don't get Cortana either!

How does she respond to "Cortana! Command. Del star dot star"?

Just askin'...

On a more serious note, I suspect this is not for me if only because wide-ranging AI interraction requires rather more contextual information that I am comfortable allowing. The thought of a speech-to-text possibly accidentally running all day strikes me as a potentially very serious security hole.

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Windows 10: The Microsoft rule-o-three holds, THIS time it's looking DECENT

Neil Barnes
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Re: "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis," said CEO Satya Nadella

I bet he's only saying he loves it to get it into bed...

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Snowden doc leak 'confirms' China stole F-35 data

Neil Barnes
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Re: Laughter compounded

Deep in hole, keep digging, get to China?

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Increased gov spy powers are NOT the way to stay safe against terrorism

Neil Barnes
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Trouble is, the last time round

Labour was pushing registration and monitoring for everything. Now it's the Tories' turn... I'm running out of people to vote for.

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OTHER EARTHS may be orbiting our Sun beyond Neptune

Neil Barnes
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Happy

Can't comment on trans-Pluto objects

But was very pleased to be able to show the missus Mercury, Venus and Mars as naked eye objects in the sky tonight, just after sunset.

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The Year of Living Danishly, The Internet is Not the Answer and Classical Literature

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Amo, Amas, I loved a lass

And she was sweet and tender

Amas, Amat, I laid her flat

And tickled her feminine gender...

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‘Whatever happened to Vladimir Putin?’ and other crap New Year prophesies

Neil Barnes
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Re: @ Chris Miller Y2k - in your experience

For what it's worth, I had the delightful task of liaising with the manufacturers of *every* item of broadcast video/audio equipment owned by the World Service, to ascertain

a) whether it contained any computing element

b) if so, did it contain a real time clock

c) if so, did it maintain a date

d) if so, what happened at midnight 31/12/99?

and arrange any upgrades necessary. There weren't many, as I recall.

Though in a related job, I discovered an HPUX system that definitely *would* fail, which required an OS upgrade that the hardware couldn't hack, so requiring a couple of new minicomputers.

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Acer Chromebook 13: The best Googletop on the market?

Neil Barnes
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Re: Damn it, just the one USB port

Oops, just found the second port. As the editing timed out...

Yes, I want one.

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Neil Barnes
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Damn it, just the one USB port

I don't care - it's not enough - I want one for a mouse and one for an external drive or scanner.

But otherwise, it's looking pretty good. And I can live without the mouse for a short time.

But where to buy it? AcerUK don't believe it exists, in the HD version.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: 1.5 MILLION SCOVILLE masala omelette

Neil Barnes
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Re: Lester...

I thank you!

May I include a *much tamer* version of this in the book we discussed?

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Neil Barnes
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If plants could think...

You'd have to wonder how amused they might be; all that time developing organic poisons so only the right thing (birds?) eats them to distribute the seeds... and some bloody ambitious monkey comes along and actually likes the taste!

(On the other hand, there are probably a lot more pepper plants living in luxury than there would be if those same monkeys weren't quite so fond of them.)

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Neil Barnes
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Mushroom

Lester...

You forgot the eggs in the ingredients!

How many eggs, man, how many? This is important!

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NINETY new DOOM ASTEROIDS found in 2014

Neil Barnes
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Alien

Hmm.

Better get a hat, then.

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I'll build a Hyperloop railgun tube-way in Texas, Elon Musk vows

Neil Barnes
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Go

A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!

Although with a thing shaped like that, you probably need to be the Kwisatz Haderach to ride it!

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$500 TEDDY BEAR teaches tots to spit up personal data

Neil Barnes
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it operates “much like a mother's soothing touch ...

Or you could just use, say, a mother's soothing touch...

https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=i+always+do+what+teddy+says

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Warning: Using encrypted email in Spain? Do not pass go, go directly to jail

Neil Barnes
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Black Helicopters

Re: Get a grip...

The point being that one should not *need* a 'legitimate reason' - 'because I choose to' is sufficient.

This is the point being made in the UK - the government wants to either outlaw encryption or backdoor communications (as well as already having an offence of not revealing passwords). The thing they don't seem to realise is that in all likelihood the danger from the multitude of black hats who want my passwords and account details is both more immediate and on the average much more damaging than some demented idiot with a back-pack full of fertiliser.

If the government would actually give details of terrorist attempts foiled and how much of this was due to sigint *before* the event, they might garner some sympathy - but instead they just say 'seven major attempts foiled this year! Can I have another billion please?'

I wonder if it's time to start sending emails containing nothing but random numbers?

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Neil Barnes
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Re: > Navajo

@Mongo

If it helps, my uncle is a Navajo and although now retired, was definitely on the side of the angels - at least, that's what his honourable discharge and his post-Marine career would suggest.

Ya'at'eeh!

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Should spectrum hog TV give up its seat for broadband? You tell us – EU

Neil Barnes
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Stop

The point about Broadcast TV

is exactly that: it's broadcast. There's no delivery infrastructure between the viewer and the transmitter, no need for contracts, no need for extra hardware, no buffering, no contention, no location limitation.

When you can deliver that some other way *at no incremental cost to the user*, feel free to turn it off.

Until then, get your stinkin' hands of this public good.

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2015 will be the Year of Linux on the, no wait, of the dot-word domain EXPLOSION

Neil Barnes
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consumers would think a .brand domain is more secure

The opposite, if anything:

cocacola.com; long established, well known name, must have had it years = trust

cocacola.cocacola; wtf? An obvious attempt to piggyback cc's brand = avoid

(other soft drinks are available).

This was a bloody stupid idea that should have been strangled at birth. As a consumer (I hate that word) I want to know (a) if it's a brand-owner's site and (b) where it's likely to ship from. Other than that, Google/Bing/DuckDuckGo etc.

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Dot-word domains 'a shakedown, designed to get money out of people'

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

I want to know

what a 'keynoter' is.

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SpaceX drone hovership ROCKET LANDER BURN: Musk to try again

Neil Barnes
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Re: Boldly going etc....

This is of course proof (for the conspiracists amongst us) that NASA didn't in fact land on the moon: if we can't do it now, of *course* we couldn't do it then...

I'm curious to know how the lander knows where the barge is... or does it just have to hope that the barge is at the coordinates it's supposed to be at?

Kudos indeed.

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Tesla S P85+: Smiling all the way to the next charging point

Neil Barnes
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Re: Not bad but still no cigar, methinks!

Thanks for some real-world info, Mikey.

Currently the diesel hack is hors de combat and I'm using a kit car which usually only comes out to play in summer. It suffers from range anxiety (small tank, big engine) at around two hundred and fifty miles; two days' commute... it would certainly be nice to plug it into the mains when I get home of an evening.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Not bad but still no cigar, methinks!

Costs are so variable, which is one reason I ignored them: on my 20-year old Fiat Coupe, it's currently getting an engine rebuild (175k miles) and sundry bits of rust fixing, and it's had other things done over its lifetime, but probably under a grand a year all up. But if you have to have things done by a main dealer, all bets are off.

The Bravo has cost six oil/filter changes, one cambelt, and one clutch apart from tyres in three years and a hundred thousand miles... it's fuel that's the big difference.

The Model 3 looks a lot more useful - and obviously they're funding the development with the big money cars. But my word it's frustrating, after seeing all the crap 'electric' cars that can't do twenty miles without a charge or an IC engine, not to be able to get one *now*. It's very likely to be my next car, though.

Mind you, I'll still need to hire an IC car for holidays - London to Skye or Berlin (600 miles) are both non-stop possible in the diesel Bravo.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Not bad but still no cigar, methinks!

Indeed. I want something with that sort of range - but I don't need that acceleration, I don't need the in-car toys, I don't need size and weight... but most of all I don't need a hundred grand price tag.

Gimme something with a thirty grand price tag and I might be vaguely interested. And don't talk about lower fuel costs - they're insignificant: I currently commute in excess of thirty thousand miles a year at a fuel cost of about four thousand pounds a year; I'd have to run a hundred grand car a long time to save the fuel costs.

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Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

Neil Barnes
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Re: nice in theory

I remeber the late seventies, when ICs were considered essentials at 8% VAT, but sockets were luxuries at 25%...

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Neil Barnes
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I wonder

if before we start changing how tax is collected, we should ask why?

I mean, you say collect tax like it's a good thing... but given that taxes collected from me are theoretically spent for things that benefit me, should we not first be having the conversation about what benefits I actually get?

Don't get me wrong; I do think that governments provide benefits - but it's not always clear what they are; nor how big they are: for example, is HS2 a benefit? Spend £45B and encourage, what? People to live further away from London? The ability to 'work' on a train for a shorter time? When only two hundred years after inventing the bloody thing the fact that train companies are pricing to avoid customers suggests that encouraging more users may not be the best approach.

But that was just an example; it gets worse. Every year the Chancellor gets on his hind legs and brays about 'and this will raise a million pounds', 'this will save half a billion', 'reduce tax by a penny in the pound', 'save the average family two pounds a week'... they're all numbers without context, and it's rather tricky for the average bloke on the street to find the actual numbers and how they relate to the real world.

Every few years we are asked to decide which set of politicians we'd like to lie to us for a while, based largely on financial predictions they make which we are unable to judge and which do not bind; we know neither whether they speak sense nor whether they will hold their word. It's madness.

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Comet Lovejoy's greenish glow visible with naked eye this weekend

Neil Barnes
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Re: > much better view of it with a telescope or good pair of binoculars.

And by the time the street lamps were out, it was behind the house... got a decent view of Orion's nebula, though.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: > much better view of it with a telescope or good pair of binoculars.

Agreed; frustratingly found it and then lost it again several times with binocs tonight but spent an hour trying to track it down with a six inch reflector and a 25mm objective. Eventually got it and left the scope tracking it; let's see what the sky looks like when they turn the street lamps off at midnight.

I recall seeing Hale-Bopp as a naked-eye object the size of the moon in, um, 1995 or so?

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Neil Barnes
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Re: > much better view of it with a telescope or good pair of binoculars.

Sadly this is true; I've been trying to *see* the Orion nebula (with a six inch scope) from Hemel for months; not a chance with the background light (though I did get a reasonable view from Skye over christmas, I didn't have the scope...)

Let's see if the clouds blow out of the way tonight...

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Get your special 'sound-optimising' storage here, hipsters

Neil Barnes
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Re: It's Quantum innit

Oh my giddy aunt... there must be an awful lot of oil-less snakes in the world.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: One Foot in Reality

Not nonsense; basic sampling theory. Jitter in the clock signal - either at recording or replay stage - is directly visible (though not necessarily audible) as noise in the output audio. Gaps in the bitstream show up as bloody great splats on the audio... but surely no-one designs an ADC without a large buffer and a synchronising local clock, do they?

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Neil Barnes
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Megaphone

Re: when you think MP3 sounds OK...

Um, no. Some of us worked professionally with audio (and video) for more than thirty years, in broadcasting.

If you are measuring 'grain' and 'pace' and 'rhythm' in your music, you are fooling yourself.

Of course electronic equipment throws out interference; though it's required to do it at a minimum level. But it doesn't affect the *data* that you're throwing at the ADC, and if your ADC isn't properly insulated from the noise - mostly through bad grounds and/or power design - then you deserve all you get.

Oddly enough, there are those of us who are quite capable of telling compressed from uncompressed audio - and some who are equally aware that sometimes, probably most of the time, environmental considerations prevent those subtle differences being audible.

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World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

Neil Barnes
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Re: line made of all those baked beans

Well, according to Heinz, there are 465 beans in a tin. Unfortunately, my google-fu is weak in the matter of a baked bean's dimension, so I'm going to have to guess at 10mm long.

So that's 4.46m per tin times 900M = 4,014,000km, pleasingly close to 100 times around the equator.

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Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Apatosaurus...

but it will always be a brontosaurus to me.

A plague on those revisionist relabellers!

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