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* Posts by M Gale

3496 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

LOHAN fans drawn to magnetic coupling

M Gale
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Re: 5 looks good.

This.

In addition, wrap some nichrome wire around the socket with a bit of insulating fluff as a small heater to stop the jack freezing inside it.

Nichrome wire is cheap. Look up e-cig suppliers.

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M Gale
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Oh yeah..

Tugging magnets apart requires more force than sliding them off each other. Just a thought.

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M Gale
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Re: Virtual test facility, available for free.

Got the full version, as I'm sure many others here do.

Currently figuring out how to get 7 mapsat-mod-equipped probes to the Jool system all at once without all the palaver of forming a space station out of multiple bits docked together in LKO (Low Kerbin Orbit). Also mechjeb, because it's an essential mod pack.

An amazing game (inasmuch as a pre-beta sandbox can be called a 'game'). Shame it's entirely written in C#, so even a moderately-sized rocket stack makes this machine hate me.

Native Linux version now, though! Go go gadget penguins!

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M Gale
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Re: MY shed includes ELECTRO-magnets.

A sodding big battery to keep that electromagnet activated?

What kind of power do you need for a few hundred grams of stickiness anyway?

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M Gale
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Re: Look out for ice

I guess connect the magnets first then lube 'em up.

If it's sending power on the ground, chances are it'll continue to do so on the way up.

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M Gale
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Re: you should open up some old disc drives

Use those magnets and the rocket's going nowhere.

Maybe in one piece. Damn those things are powerful.

Also brittle though. Hint hint.

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M Gale
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Short Circuit Avoidance

Tape or glue the magnets onto a balsa backing board?

Strengthen the balsa with some thin cyanoacrylate first. When LOHAN slides along the slippery pole and the magnets detach, they stay nicely spaced apart.

Simples!

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Oi, Microsoft, where's my effin' toolbar gone?

M Gale
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Re: Death of the sensible UI

While Office has taken some pretty huge steps backward with the Ribbon, I would like LO and OO to please, pretty please, take some damned steps forward.

Really, it's 2013. Do I still have to create a floating frame in order to make tables behave? And for fuxache, just because I type "1." and enter, it does not mean I want a numbered list. Stop it. Right now.

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Review: HTC One

M Gale
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Re: No swappable battery, no sale

"if it's sharing a 3G connection, why not use the WiFi?"

What wifi?

This phone is my ISP.

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M Gale
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Re: Of course it doesn't need charging.

It's amazing how many people know someone who has an iPhone.

Especially if it's someone who used to say "meh what's the point".. until they get an iPhone, then proceed to try and say how theirs is better than yours.. at every available opportunity. Funny, I'm sure I was the one who explained what a smartphone was.. I'm sure I don't need you telling me what I told you five years ago.

God, I still remember the "ooh look mine does multitasking now, bet yours can't!" - yes, of course.

Or "ooh I have a portable access point now. Bet yours can't do that!" - uh huh.

So yes, I do perhaps express an inordinate amount of schadenfruede when something like the iFlaw happens. Or the crap maps app flap, or Siri's brainlessness and inability to cope with accents stronger than Received Pronunciation, or unlock exploits, or...

Still waiting for a change in Apple policy meaning that guy tells me how amazing it is that he can install apps without the Fruity Overlord's permission, at some point. And how my phone can't do that. Or something.

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M Gale
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Re: Features

Nova Launcher Prime. Worth every penny of the £2.60, and works across phones and tablets too.

Launcher 7 is okay if you want to be cheeky and make your Android phone look like TIFKAM. The "donate" version I can confirm does indeed remove the ads. Doesn't work on tablets though, for some reason.

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M Gale
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Of course it doesn't need charging.

Apple forgot to fit the "recieve radio signals reliably" function to that model. You can't drain the battery when you can't make calls.

And don't tell me the grip o' death doesn't exist. It even exists with the rubber band solution provided by Apple.

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M Gale
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Re: No swappable battery, no sale

"Even if one can't put the phone down, it's possible to use it while it's charging, after all..."

Actually, I have an Xperia Arc S that very occasionally will drain more than the charger can provide when it's functioning as a portable access point. As the phone is basically my ISP, this can be... annoying.

Only happens every now and then too, which just makes it even wierder.

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M Gale
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Why have an extra battery floating around in your pocket...

...when you can just have a bigger battery in the phone?

And I say this as someone with an XPAL XP8000 in the bag. I bought it because I had to, not because I wanted to. The car analogy only really holds up if every single car manufacturer decided that the smallest engine size they are selling now is a 7 litre American big-block, with a motorbike-size fuel tank.

Does nobody remember how long dumbphones can last?

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Osborne slashes growth forecast by half in bleak economy statement

M Gale
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Re: Make voting compulsory.

"I do think it's our duty to vote."

I consider it a right, not a duty.

Now, keeping an eye out for threats on what little real freedom exists.. that, I consider a duty. You can't do that by rolling out of your bed every 5 years to put a cross on a box. That's just a sideshow.

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M Gale
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Re: Make voting compulsory.

"None of the above" is a great idea. Might even persuade some people to get back onto the electoral roll (as illegal as that is, I know several people who don't exist as far as that register is concerned).

Forcing people into polling stations though... just no. Again, the only way you force people to do anything is with a big stick, and that basically means fines and prison time. For not voting.

When you put "prison time" and "for not voting" together, the more you think about it, the more insane it sounds.

Edit: Before I forget, I know a couple of people who consider that taking part in the circus lends it legitimacy. You won't ever get a vote out of them, not even for "none of the above". More reason why compulsory voting is a bad idea.

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M Gale
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Re: Make voting compulsory.

"Just curious but why wouldn't you want compulsory voting (with an exception for those not capable of voting for reasons of mental handicap \ illness etc)."

Because you can't force people to be "free"?

Besides, think about it this way: Those 30-40% of people that don't want to vote (don't confuse this with "can't be bothered") are going to vent their frustration somehow. Would you like to see the BNP with any more seats?

Myself, I vote in every general election and some by-elections. Force me to "vote", and every single vote will be for "the big tear in the middle of the sheet". So what does that achieve asides nothing?

Or perhaps I'll just refuse, be fined, refuse to pay, be fined more, be unable to pay.. you get the idea. It'll cost you more than it'll cost me. 50p a week out of the fortnightly giro for the next 25 years?

Do you seriously want to put someone in prison because they have no desire to choose which slippery bastards get to sodomise them for the next 5 years?

Just because the Australians do it, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

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M Gale
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Re: It could have been worse

Don't know why you've been downvoted. The vast majority that Labour enjoyed is probably half the reason we're in this shit.

No opposition. At all.

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M Gale
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Re: Make voting compulsory.

No.

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Google extends trademarks-in-ads policy to whole world

M Gale
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Status bar?

window.status="trololololololol"

Doesn't work in the default configurations of IE, Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

Will get Opera users every time though.

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Nvidia and ARM: It's a parallel, parallel, parallel world

M Gale
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Python

but coding in it is productive, interactive, and "even fun."

Maybe for you. I find it somewhere between COBOL, Perl and a wisdom tooth extraction in terms of the "fun" to be had.

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Amazon boss salvages Apollo engines from watery grave

M Gale
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Ask if the SPB can borrow one.

You know, just because.

Hey, the response might be worth printing?

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LOHAN slips into tight rubber outfit

M Gale
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How feasible to make a low-pressure wind tunnel for testing this? Doesn't need to be quite on the scale of the full hypobaric chamber.

Something like a tube of metal with a glass or polycarbonate window in it, in a circuit with a fan somewhere in it? Have a bulge in the viewing section large enough to put LOHAN. I hear RVK do some pretty neat inline ventilation fans with a quite formidable throughput. The 5" one I've played with creates a veritable hurricane at normal atmospheric pressures. Failing that, see if any model flyers have ducted fans you can borrow?

Add a variac (or if you're cheap, a dimmer switch) for adjustability in the case of the RVK. Standard speed controller if it's the model aeroplane ducted fan. Use stress sensors on the model mounts to see if there's any lift/control when the surfaces are moved? Perhaps use a smaller section made to be shaped like a part of LOHAN, if you can't fit it all in the tube at once.

But mostly, use a variac for the steampunk factor.

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M Gale
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Nice beefy DC-DC converter

Or some other variety of voltage-stepping jiggery pokery to allow more current to penetrate the resistance of the circuit and get that heater up to more of a toasty temperature. Maybe just two battery packs in series if you want to KISS.

If you're using a thermocouple and an onboard computer anyway, you could possibly make a slightly more intelligent thermostat than just "on, off". Call one of the computer's analogue IO pins "heater out", feed it into a couple of MOSFETS (maybe via a cheapo signal transistor), and you're laughing.

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Microsoft begins automatic Windows 7 SP1 rollout

M Gale
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Re: Paypal

Ah yes, before I forget, Paypal's integration is quite fully featured even before the recent upgrade plans I've heard about. Last time I set up merchant accounts, they had the facility to integrate them as merely a payment gateway, with your own systems managing the transactions, records and CRM stuff. You need an SSL cert and a server that will respond to PayPal's requests in, if I recall, two seconds.

So you can get customers to create accounts with you, rather than Google, Valve or Paypal.. and you get all of that juicy data to yourself.

Or, alternatively, you can give it to an app store along with 30% of the game price. Your call.

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M Gale
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Re: App Store

"- there is no central store where people can go look for your apps"

You mean the Internet? Or one of the walled gardens where your app is buried under 400,000 others? A "central store" is not an advantage here.

"- users must have a PayPal account or go through all the pain of entering credit card details, their address, phone number etc..."

No more of a bind than creating a Play Store, Apple, or Steam account? I already mentioned Steam by the way.. that's the water-vapour based malware from the previous post. And what about people who don't want to create an account and for whom tapping in a card number is sufficient?

Some people do not want one-click wallet depletion thankyou.

"- there's no way to push out updates"

You're going to put all of that effort into a game and not build in a patching mechanism? Plenty of others do.

"I don't think it's any surprise that the Apple and Android AppStores have been so successful for developers and customers "

So has the PC.

"and I just don't get why MS hasn't followed suit"

Because there's no need for it, unless you're turning a PC into a locked-down games console, which Microsoft seem to be trying hard to do with Windows 8.

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M Gale
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Re: App Store

"Why didn't they add an App Store?! So us independent devs could easily sell stuff for the first time ever on Windows."

Erm, web host and a paypal merchant account? I hear Valve have this distribution thingumijigger too, something about water vapour, if you don't mind requiring a malware installation in order to use the games.

Or maybe you want something like this?

Though I still don't see what the problem is with a web host and a paypal account.

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Twitter patents sending messages, promises not to sue everyone

M Gale
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Re: Prior art

I take your Usenet and raise you a Massively Multiplayer Notepad.. ahem, IRC.

Complete with #hashtags.

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Is UK web speech regulated? No.10: Er. We’ll get back to you

M Gale
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Re: Having to publish corrections.

I'd suggest doing so in a manner just on the legal side of facetiousness.

"The Rt Hon. Gentleman has submitted a court order compelling us to publish the following...:" (insert bullhit here)

"...end court-ordered publication. Normal service resumed."

Or "we said this.." "...the court order has compelled us to correct it to this..."

I'm sure the Reg hacks have plenty of imagination. As do most of the press.

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Report says #Facebook #to #adopt #hashtags

M Gale
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Re: Bangtags?

Also used as a "not" when doing boolean logic. I guess you could use bangtags as the reverse of hashtags?

"just won the lottery today. !FML"

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M Gale
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Re: Shift-3?

"it's not a special character. it's just option-3 instead of shift-3"

That means it's a special character. Just like the Euro symbol currently is on most UK keyboards. If you need to perform some arcane sequence of tapping on the magic glyphs, it's a special character.

"it's not windows having to type a whole series of numbers to get a Euro symbol"

You mean ctrl+alt+4? See above about arcane sequences. They're easy... if you know them.

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M Gale
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Trollface

"i shall internationalise the second deck nonetheless"

The hash symbol is reached without even touching the shift key on a standard UK keyboard (that isn't a Macbook). It's the one next to the carriage return key (that is curiously still labelled 'enter' on this example). Holding shift+# results in a ~.

Well, I just had to.

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M Gale
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Re: Shift-3?

A friend of mine has a Macbook with a similar US-style keyboard layout. He wanted me to do a quick web page for him. Then I start trying to put #rrggbb colour codes in.

Hash key? What hash key?

Apparently that's a "special character" on a Macbook. Grr.

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SimCity owners get free game, EA will get A NEW CEO

M Gale
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Meh, DRM

Bunch of suckers got sucker-punched.

Wake me up when something interesting happens. I've given up trying to explain the badness. I'll just laugh when it goes wrong.

...and then probably get downvoted for it. People really don't like "I told you so", do they?

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4K video may wow vidiots, but content creators see pitfalls

M Gale
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Re: CPU

GPU, shirley?

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Samsung's new co-CEO: 'Windows isn't selling very well'

M Gale
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Re: Why do people care about the cell handset OS? They can't do much about it

"who really cares?"

The people who already have many, many apps for operating system X, and don't fancy buying them all over again (if they are available) for operating system Y. Don't underestimate the power of inertia. It's the only thing keeping Microsoft alive.

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M Gale
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Re: He sounded quite plausible...

"It's got about as much future as Ubuntu-mobile and that Mozilla Javascript abomination."

Oh I don't know. If it offers something better than Android, like a permissions system that works, then it might take off. Samsung ain't no two-bit player, and they can play the same "long game" as Microsoft, too.

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M Gale
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Re: If it ain't broke, don't...

"Google could turn around at any point and say "sorry, we're not doing OEMs now".

Google don't have a choice as to whether you use Android or not. They agreed to that much when they released it under the GPL.

If Google suddenly did an Apple, I think you'd find a very well-stocked alternative to the Play store springing up practically overnight.

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Reg readers reveal MIGHTY DOMESTIC DATA CENTRES

M Gale
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Re: Bad photos

A single modern PC can't reliably give you a testbed upon which to develop datacentre-scale applications.

Well. It could, but I think after the first few VM instances things would start resembling treacle flowing uphill in Winter.

Sometimes, to test how a highly-parallel application will work on a lot of nodes, you need.. a lot of nodes. Preferably nodes that you own, that can't be sniffed out by Amazon and your next big idea ripped off and rolled into an Amazon service.

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Nelson Mandela's island prison hell to become game

M Gale
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You sir, win one (1) free Internets.

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M Gale
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Re: Games are never realistic

"Again, a "realistic" FPS would be so damn boring nobody would buy it."

The Arma (previously Operation Flashpoint before some kind of kerfuffle over naming rights) series? Your character gets shot, he's probably dead. If he's not dead, he's rolling around on the floor screaming for help. If your medic gets shot on the way over, or if you both get shot while he tries to manhandle you to a safe spot.. well, too bad. Yeah, the medic isn't a miracle worker either. You'll never get fully healed by magic, though you might be able to stand up and sort-of-maybe aim the gun. Which in the case of an arm injury will wobble all over the place and cause all kinds of flashing red "this hurt like hell" warnings when you pull the trigger and it recoils practically straight up.

Oh, and plinking tanks with small arms fire will not steadily reduce their health to popping level. You need a sodding big rocket launcher for that, and even then you need a really good aim.

I wouldn't call it boring. Nintendo-Hard perhaps.

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M Gale
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Re: Stupid

I'm sure WW2 veterans are united in their anger at the Medal of Honour franchise.

Or not.

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Don't buy a Google car: They might stop it while you're driving

M Gale
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Re: Google what?

Google+. You know, that thing that Google are so desperate to get people onto that you now need to have a Google+ account to leave Play Store reviews/ratings? Yeah, the one with the "Real Names" policy. That one.

Sorry, developers who like to nag for ratings.. go nag Google to remove the + requirement. No ratings from me, otherwise.

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AdBlock Plus BLOCKED from Google Play

M Gale
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Re: Fandroids or... Freetards?

What about the developers of Early Bird, that turned the paid version into a "free" adware version, and "updated" all of the paying users to get hit with adverts?

Or maybe Rovio, who are the masters of permissions creep?

Sorry, but if somebody is blocking adverts then that is an indication that they are never going to buy what is advertised. Suck it up, and make a paid version. Do not assume that people will not do exactly what they wish with what is on their devices.

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M Gale
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Re: fixed it

"Take away their income and you'll end up pushing them back towards only releasing on IOS."

You mean income from the adverts I will never click on, which will never send any cost-per-click money to Google or their Adwords partners? That income?

Advert blocking is a quite blunt but necessary demonstration of the end-user's likelihood to ever purchase what is being advertised. Personally I think the developers of apps that are on my devices, have gotten more money from me via paid-for apps than they will ever get via advertising. Especially the ones with permission-creep that get uninstalled the moment they start asking for all that bullshit (yes Rovio, I'm looking at you).

Now what was that about iOS, now with iAds?

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Medicos hack iPhone into lab 'scope

M Gale
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Done this before

Using various lenses out of eyepieces, old microscopes and the likes. Some of them are useless for attaching to the phone. Others give an awesome macro ability, very comparable to a low-magnification microscope.

You'll never see your fingernails in the same way again. Ew.

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Self-healing chips survive repeated LASER BLASTS

M Gale
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Re: "Quite a lot of states."

True. However those same 10 million transistors can probably be replicated several times over onto a suitable sheet of silicon these days. If "sensors" can be replaced by "testing units", maybe you can have a 32-core CPU with instructions replicated N times for redundancy and an automatic failover amongst various CPU cores and sub-components of cores, all in one package?

Now that could be useful on Earth, let alone Mars.

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Philips pushes out SDK for multicolour Zigbee LED lights

M Gale
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Disco lights are expensive anyway.

A RasPi and a DMX controller could do awesome things to a nightclub ceiling.

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Uni profs: Kids today could do with a bit of 'mind-crippling' COBOL

M Gale
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Writing this article...

...on the day I have a coursework full of JCL, C and Cobol due in.

I'll be sure to let the professor know he's a criminal. I'm sure he knows that already though.

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