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* Posts by M Gale

3509 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

UK mulls ban on tiny mobiles to block prison smugglers

M Gale
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Re: Illegal?

Handguns were made illegal because of their increasing use.

Handguns were restricted beyond all reasonable belief and made incredibly hard to use legally because of a psychopathic fuckwit who shot up a school.

A psychopathic fuckwit who was properly licensed and belonged to a gun club. The new laws would have done approximately fuck all to stop another Dunblane.

But hey, a few politicians managed to wave their wangs all over the telly and take advantage of emotionally damaged mothers and fathers to promote their own agenda, so that's alright then.

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M Gale
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Re: Jammin'

Jamming would be a problem for all the legitimate phone users, like prison staff.

Why do prison staff need their mobile phone while on duty?

No, really. When I was working for UK Census 2001, I was not allowed within a country mile of anything like sensitive information with a mobile phone. Even pens had to be approved in case they contained a recording device. There are some types of employment where extra restrictions do apply, and I think "prison officer" really should be one of them.

That or just ban everyone from having a teeny phone. Yeah, that makes sense.

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M Gale
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Governments can legislate whatever the hell they want. They're the government.

Howinhell else do you think it's illegal to sit in the middle of London with a victoria sponge upon which has been iced the words "PEACE"?

Hopefully this stupid shit won't happen, but it wouldn't be the first time that the government has done some really stupid shit. Remember the ban on broadcasting anything said by Gerry Adams? Because apparently that'll stop the bombs going off.

Oh, no it won't, it'll just persuade the news broadcasters to use voice actors.

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Reg hack battles Margaret Thatcher's ghost to bring broadband to the Highlands

M Gale
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Re: Thank you to all concerned

Oh I dunno. £50 a year for 5.5mbits seems pretty good value. Granted it's a lot of faff, but then that's half the fun isn't it?

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M Gale
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Re: Dial-up?

I still remember, only a couple of years ago, when the SurfUnlimited dialup connection, there since Blue Yonder first launched the thing, stopped working. Handshake okay, but no connect. I won't bother explaining why I was still on dialup. I'll just say I wasn't the one paying the bill, so wasn't one to argue.

So I ring what is now Virgin Media up to ask them to fix the problem. Their response is "we don't do an unlimited dialup package!" My response, "Er, yes you do. Look at the bill."

The first line tech takes a look, goes "oh", and I get immediately bumped up to what the last-line tech guy affectionately referred to as "the old fogies department". Apparently, I'd been completely forgotten about somehow, and the ghost account stayed active, being charged every month, and continuing to allow access to their dial-up POPs right up until, I presume, something went pop. Apparently up until that point, I was the only person in the entire company left on that package.

At a month to download a DVD image, compared with the actually-unlimited mobile connection I'm on now, I have to say I don't regret the switch, even if I'm paying for it now. It would be nice to have a real IP address though.

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Battery-free e-ink screen grabs screenshots from smartphones

M Gale
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A screen for pennies?

That's your product right there. Sell that thing and use the money to refine, and find something useful for the passive display tech.

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New use for old iPhones: Watch your house get robbed in REAL-TIME

M Gale
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Protip: The OpenCV libraries are awesome for this sort of thing.

http://opencv.org/

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Japan's unwanted IT workers dumped in 'forcing-out rooms'

M Gale
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Re: What sort of contract do these people have?

You're also lucky.

Many people are on agency work, which basically means "you do what we tell you, for as long as we tell you to do it, and you'll be dropped like hot shit as soon as we get the excuse to do so." Even less rights than the people in this article, and right here in the UK, too.

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M Gale
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I remember a friend of mine who got something like this.

Completely non-IT-related. He works in a parcel warehouse, where one of the night managers took an immediate dislike to him. It's quite incidental that nobody actually liked this night manager either, and I took an immediate dislike to the arsehole myself when I was working there.

Anyway, this arsehole of a manager decided to give said friend of mine the two hardest journeys in the warehouse. Basically, ALL of the local area plus some more. Oh, and the Isle of Man on top of that. And Dublin. And Belfast. He had possibly three, maybe four times or more the workload of any other person in the warehouse. Problem is... said manager's plan to burn him out backfired. This guy lapped up the extra workload, and regularly finished hours before anybody else in the warehouse. He's also got a sense of humour that wouldn't be out of place on a deep sea crab fishing boat in a reality TV show.

Needless to say, he is now regarded as utterly indispensable by people far more superior than the arse of a night manager, who has now been forced out of the warehouse, mostly due to said friend complaining to said superiors about the manager's arseholish nature. I think I've mentioned before, how he got very drunk at the office party, told every one of the managers AND other workers at the table exactly what he thought of them... and still had his job in the morning. Apparently some of the really big guys were listening and quietly slipping him drinks to make him even louder. I'm told that low-flying pepperoni impacting someone's face was involved, at some point.

Truly a man made of teflon and kevlar. Someone to even challenge the BOFH for his bastardly crown! With an attitude and work ethic like that, it doesn't matter what kind of "boredom room" you're sentenced to. The bosses will tire first!

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Zuckerberg: I want the WHOLE WORLD in my hands

M Gale
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Maybe some people prefer their social networks to come without an unhealthy slice of spying?

Maybe some people have had too many people give it the "zomg but you must has a facebonk" incredulous stare at them?

Maybe some people don't want to be one of Zuckerberg's suckers?

Maybe some people have had a bad experience with the Boss demanding to know their account name?

Maybe some people remember when online social networks were fully featured and decentralised? You know, like IRC? USENET? Actually making your own web site, that's owned by you?

Maybe some people have plenty of friends already and see no point in broadcasting the minutae of their life?

Maybe some people are genuinely creeped out by Zuckerberg, and detest the idea of giving that person any more than an emphatically raised middle finger?

Many reasons why some people would rather watch paint dry than sign up for a Facebook account. Does not make them a single homogenous entity, and your attempt to ridicule such people is... probably going to be like water off a duck's back. All been heard before, you know?

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M Gale
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You seem to think that Facebook is any different from Google (or Microsoft, despite their bullshit statements to the contrary) as far as mining data for advertisers and the NSA is concerned.

I think the main way Facebook and Google are different, is that Facebook probably has even more information on its "customers" than Google does. Google is a search company, Facebook is a walled garden. Google wants to "organise the world's data", Facebook wants to own it all. Those, I think, are your main differences.

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3D printers stroke LOHAN's shapely midriff

M Gale
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Suggest a test flight?

Enough bungee cord to get it up a couple of hundred feet at least, with some kind of RC receiver (perhaps in place of the rocket motor, plus ballast for CoG adjustments) so that someone can emergency land the thing if the autopilot has a spasm. That or get another powered RC plane to tow it up, whatever's easiest and most feasible.

Wouldn't be good to only find out that your autopilot has some showstopping bugs at 70,000 feet.

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Oh noes! New 'CRISIS DISASTER' at Fukushima! Oh wait, it's nothing. Again

M Gale
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Re: Radiation Superstition

Not trying to join the greentards in the campaign against nukes here, but I have to wonder how people are getting killed by windmills? Short of being underneath the thing when it explodes in a hurricane, I have to wonder just what they were doing? Not enough cliffs in the area to abseil down?

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Bank man: System's down, let's have coffee. Oh SNAP, where's all the CASH?

M Gale
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Re: Banks???

Any link to this please?

It's pretty well known that if there's a run on the bank, it won't be able to pay everyone. I guess the same applies if the bank goes bust for some other reason: You can't make up money where there is none, at least not without inflation.

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100 MEEELION self-driving cars will be sold globally in 2035 – report

M Gale
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Re: It really, really isn't going to happen

If driverless cars worked, cars wouldn't have steering wheels.

That's right up there with "if God meant us to fly, He would have given us wings" in terms of silliness. Besides, speech recognition is a done deal unless you're a drunk Glaswegian, trying to shout at the phone while in the stands at the FA cup final, or using Siri.

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M Gale
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Re: If we have automated driverless cars,...

Unlikely. Self driving cars still don't allow you to spark up a fag indoors.

However a quick trip to the local off license, and you can do what you like in your own front room with a few friends.

And there is the problem facing the publicans, in a nutshell.

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Kodak's new life to begin in September

M Gale
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What will they sell?

Looking at the article, it looks like they are going to become another Lexmark.

Bloody awful printers and stupidly insane ink prices. Unless you're a business, in which case they'll do quite the attractive deal.

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Oz sawbones extract fork from old boy's todger: Gents, start your wincing

M Gale
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"The patient voided well"

Medical speak for "as soon as we unplugged it, it went off like a fire hose."

No bloody wonder. That looks like a mighty full bladder on that X ray.

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Bloke leaks '1000s' of Twitter login tokens, says he can hack ANY twit

M Gale
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Re: I don't even use twitter but...

Depends on whether you've whallopped all of the air out of the clay first.

Try putting something in a kiln where you haven't done that. Be prepared to open the door who a whole load of explodified mess.

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Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

M Gale
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Re: There's more - that she's not saying

I'm sure Florien Mueller would be happy to beat the Open Source drum!

Do I really need a suitable icon?

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M Gale
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Re: I don't understand this at all.

"Better yet, sites like Groklaw, EFF could make a call to arms to spearhead the development of an encrypted, easy to use, scalable, p2p based, messaging/mail transport which contained end to end crypto, signing, key revocation etc."

The Freenet project, and the Sone and Freemail services that run over it seem rather promising. More based on plausible deniability than encryption, but no reason you can't doubly encrypt what you put on there.

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US court rules IP address cloaks may break law

M Gale
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Re: The court almost got it right

Stick subseven on your sister's computer and make it flip the screen upside down?

10 YEARS IN THE RAPE HOLE FOR YOU, MOTHERFUCKER.

Yeah, the American influence on modern Japanese law is all too fucking obvious. I think I've mentioned they're as insane over so called intellectual "property", too. Glad I live nowhere near there.

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M Gale
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Re: Sorry but this is *not* Joe public, these guys want to make their business off someone else's

Well now that just depends.

If what they did was highlight craigslist results, and then forward any users interested in an item directly onto the Craigslist site where they could continue doing whatever it is they wanted to be doing with Craigslist, then yes, just like Google.

You don't work for a newspaper do you?

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Snowden journalist's partner gave Brit spooks passwords to seized files

M Gale
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Re: gazthejourno New Security Application

Tempted to report your post for abuse just to put as the reason, "that was fucking awesome."

Never done an abuse report though, not sure if it'll give me the option for "other reason (please state)", so I'll just post it here.

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M Gale
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Indeed. He might have been, ooooh, all set up to release damning, embarrassing evidence about the US or UK govts' activies.

Can't have that.

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M Gale
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Re: New Security Application

There are already encryption algorithms that allow for multiple containers within the file, each of which basically looks like junk data until you provide the correct password.

One password gets you your h4rdc0re, the other one unlocks a photoshopped image of Longcat flying over the GCHQ doughnut.

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In case of LOHAN flight emergency, gobble THIS Iridium-Arduino sandwich

M Gale
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Re: How about

Well that'll certainly do too.

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M Gale
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Precision Accident Prevention System?

Even better if you have a pair of them.

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Fanbois taught to use Apple's new killer app: Microsoft Windows

M Gale
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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

Hah, even better, I know someone who recently got ripped off for £50 (I know, only £50 for a Mac, right?) on a generation 1 Mac Mini, minus the keyboard. At least the Windows button on a PC keyboard works as a splat button on a Mac, or we'd have been completely stuffed trying to make it work. At least a "factory reset" to remove the old admin account was basically a removal of one file to do a Jedi Mind Trick on the thing. "You have never been run before!" - "I... have never been run before.."

If all you want to do is go on static-imagery websites, I guess it's fine. Youtube makes it choke like a bitch, and there's no chance in hell it'll ever run anything further than 10.5 (currently running 10.4). We tried installing various things such as VLC, or even Safari, only to be told to STFU because the computer's too old. Cue much trawling for ancient PPC-compatible builds of the aforementioned. You could try some serious rendering or graphical work if you really like pain, but I'd rather go for a Core i7 or AMD FX of some description.

But hey, it has an Apple logo on it. Somehow that makes all the difference.

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M Gale
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Seamless Mode. Virtualbox has been doing it for quite a while now. Years in fact.

Granted, Windows 8 is a piece of shit and Metro makes Seamless Mode a buggy pointless piece of shit, but for any decent operating system that isn't modelled around toyphones, it's quite nice.

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M Gale
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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

I have a G3 power mac staring at me here. It only needs a PSU to be in working condition again. I don't think there would be much point though, except as a curiosity.

On the other hand, the custom-build gaming PC I bought for £500 three years ago is still chugging along just fine. £100 on a new graphics card about four months ago. I reckon I could get a few hundred if I sold it, but why would I want to do that? It's still very useful.

Yep, it's younger than a G3. However, I reckon I could still get a similar percentage (or better) back on my purchase, than you would with a 3 year old Mac.

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Kiwi jetpack gets all-clear for manned tests

M Gale
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Re: Do not want.

*coff*

Helicopters do the whole auto-rotate thing. Disengage the clutch, maintain airspeed, it does a passable impression of a controllable sycamore seed.

Probably still a pucker moment for the pilot though. He won't be shitting himself because it'll be clenched too tight!

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M Gale
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Re: Yeh Exploding petrol (gasoline for US readers) Stations

It uses ducted fans, not a turbine engine. It's about as likely to blow a service station up as a car is. Possibly less so.

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M Gale
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Re: Do not want.

You think that panel (a) would be visible inside of a cloud...

Yes. Especially with nice beefy backlights.

Clouds are not quite as opaque as you think. You know when you wake up on a cold morning, look out of the window and see fog? That's a ground-level cloud, that is. You'll still see a couple of feet in front of you to the instrument panel.

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M Gale
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Re: Do not want.

As a pilot, you'll know there's enough "aircraft" out there already that become something more akin to a brick should there ever be a loss of power. Granted, most of 'em are military.

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M Gale
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But mythbusters sez it can't be dun!!!1

Sorry. A little fed up of a couple of people I know coming out with stuff like that on just about everything. They seem to think that Stephen Fry is God as well.

Thumbs up for the hover pack though.

(and where did all the icons go?)

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ZTE's $80 Firefox OS mobe sells out on eBay

M Gale
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Re: less ram than mozilla says firefox needs on android

At the same time though, supposedly the browser is the operating system, so doesn't have to fit into RAM alongside the operating system.

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Does the RSPCA have your gun licence or car registration? NOBODY knows

M Gale
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Re: Massive facepalm

That's correct. De facto.

They are a charity, and their "officers" are civilians who have zero extra rights or legal powers than you or I. They do like to pretend otherwise though, and nobody wants to point this out because the RSPCA is all about the cute fluffy animals, ain't it?

tl;dr: Animal abuse is bad, but so is pretending to be a police officer.

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YouTube Wars: Microsoft cries foul as Windows Phone app pulled again

M Gale
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Re: The article is not entirely accurate

Thing is, we aren't on about trying to do massive math on bazillions of data points using nothing but Javascript here. We're on about firing up a hardware-accelerated canvas and playing some hardware-accelerated video with it, using frameworks that do the majority of the hard work for you. I've been playing with Three.js (for example), and I could probably wrap a video texture around a rotating mesh and fire disco lights at it if you wanted.

HTML5 is perfectly adequate for making a video player app with.

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M Gale
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Re: Not sure what MS's problem is

You can make a case for anything. Doesn't mean the judge will listen.

See also Vimeo.

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M Gale
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Re: There are others

MS DOS or DR DOS though?

Up until Microsoft made Windows not run on DR DOS, I don't think anybody would really have cared.

So say what you like, Microsoft did little to nothing to get a PC in every home, but did ride the coat tails of a new industry that was going to put a PC in every home with or without them.

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M Gale
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Re: Bunch of Whingers

>"Did you miss the part where the article stated (twice) that Google's own apps do not use HTML5, but rather use an internal, proprietary API?"

>>"When I first starting reading and there was mention of access to API's I thought well about time Microsoft got a taste of its own medicine"

I think he did.

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iPhone 5S: 64-bit A7, 128GB storage, flashy ƒ/2.0 camera, and...

M Gale
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Re: 64 bit

Assuming by "address directly" you mean "address like RAM", 264 bits.

According to my calculator, that's 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bits, 2,305,843,009,213,693,952 bytes, or 2,147,483,648GiB, 2,097,152TiB, or 2048PiB.

I think it'll last a while, at least for home users.

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M Gale
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Re: LPDDR3 + 64-bit

...compensate for the slower 64-bit access?

What?

It takes the same number of clock cycles, but a CPU with a 64 bit data bus can drag a 64 bit number in all at once, rather than having to drag it in piecemeal. A CPU with 64 bit ALUs and FPUs can crunch on 64 bit accuracy numbers all at once, rather than having to bit-mash two 32 bit chunks of a 64 bit number.

Slower? Really, what?

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M Gale
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And that's why the first thing you do is APP2SD as much as you can, and always store your media on the SD card.

Imagine if those S4 owners had a 16GB iThing and zero storage upgrade options? I'd rather have a split huge memory than a contiguous tiny one.

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M Gale
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Re: 64-bit, why?

Why 64 bit on a phone?

These are smartphones. Smartphones play games. If you think games (and pretty much anything else with large 3D scenes) won't benefit from 64 bit accuracy, where have you been for the last 20 years?

I know it's not a phone game, but Kerbal Space Program is one example of how limited float accuracy can cause all kinds of wierdness, like watching your aerobraking apoapsis vary between "completely miss the atmosphere" and "make a huge crater in a lithobraking manouver" until you get closer to the target planet.

Being able to grab huge numbers in and crunch on them in the minimum number of clock cycles is always going to be an advantage.

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M Gale
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Re: 64-bit, why?

Don't forget that you can process 64 bit values a hell of a lot quicker on a 64 bit system than a 32 bit system. On a 32 bit system, there's a speed penalty for using doubles and long ints (or however else you want to describe a 64 bit float/integer). Less so on a 64 bit system.

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Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

M Gale
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Re: Just plug it in

If you're spending £43k on a car, why can't you afford a house with a driveway?

I imagine once hybrid cars are more common, you'll see more public charge points. Yes, including motels.

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Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP

M Gale
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This would be the Reg putting its rather contentious spin on things as usual. The blog post is simply saying, in a very tl;dr way, that once XP goes out of support, vulnerabilities won't be fixed (duh). Since 7, 8 and XP apparently share enough code for the vulnerabilities to be a problem on all systems, this means that vulnerabilities fixed on 7 or 8 won't be fixed on XP.

Personally I'd be amused if the XP cling-ons all upgraded to Ubuntu or Fedora come the due date. You might not be able to get Photoshop or Illustrator on Linux (yet), but for someone who just needs to write letters and/or talk to work-related web apps, I don't see the problem here. Hell, there's a few people I know who basically just do that.

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Starwing: Nintendo, Argonaut's Brit boffinry and the Super FX chip

M Gale
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Skywings 3D?

Never heard of it, but I have heard of Pilotwings. It wasn't really a "simulation", but it did implement a sprite-stretched Mode 7 floor and flying vehicles like a biplane, glider, jet pack and yes, parachutes.

Also released as Pilotwings 64 for the N64. As far as I'm aware, neither version used any kind of cartridge-based coprocessing.

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