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* Posts by Bassey

1020 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008

Chicken Little report: Sat-nav dependency spells DISASTER!

Bassey

Funny

It's funny how many people extol the virtues of map and compass whilst criticising "folk today" for walking into stuff whilst following their GPS.

As a mountain Rescue navigator, I've walked into far more things (rocks, bogs, sheep shit etc) following a map and compass that I ever have with a GPS unit. A map and compass (along with counting your paces) requires far MORE concentration than a sat nav.

And just telling people they "should learn" is rediculous. Sat Nav is wonderful. It's cheap, easy and accurate and requires little training. You can pick one up, having not used it for months, and you are right back where you left off.

Learning to use a map and compass to a good level of accuracy (<10m in thick fog) can take a couple of years and requires you to practice monthly or so to maintain that level of skill.

I suspect most of the "it's about time people learnt" brigade probably last used a map and compass back in the boy scouts and assume it is a skill they still have. As someone who pulls people like you (usually dead) from the bottom of cliffs and mountains on a regular basis, I can assure you that you forgot those skills many years ago.

Even people who are good with a map and compass and use them regularly still make mistakes and it is just bloody hard work. SatNav really is the dogs bollox.

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HP to put a WebOS in every PC

Bassey

Re: sounds interesting

> does this mean a HP lappy could dual boot between Windows and WebOS?

No, that was my first impression too but it sounds a lot more mundane. As part of the crapware HP installs on all the Windows PCs it ships you will basically get an app that is a webos virtual machine. This will allow you to install and run webos apps from within windows.

I can't imagine many businesses being too happy that their work pcs are turning up with a VM installed that connects to an online marketplace. Although, of course, most businesses wipe their PCs the second they arrive on the bench though that would limit the effectives of HPs attempt to put webos on every pc it sells.

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Samsung teases with trim tablet snap

Bassey

Father Ted

This tablet is slim. Those tablets are faaar away.....

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Samsung admits iPad 2 will be tough to beat

Bassey

Re: Simples

"If you don't know why someone spends more than you probably don't know much about what people look for in one. I'll give you a clue, less hassle making it work!"

Absolute rollocks. There are, of course, always a few people that actually need and/or appreciate the more expensive product. However, the vast majority of people are buying the expensive one for a myriad of reasons that all come down to marketing.

They are buying it because their friends have one, their boss has one, an advert told them it had a "retina display" so it MUST be good, they saw one in a film being used by their favourite celeb etc etc etc.

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Hungry boffins turn 3D printer into snack maker

Bassey

Re: Quorn is quite nice tasting

I'm sorry but that is just untrue. Quorn has no taste. It tastes of whatever you add to it. I think David Baddiel described it best through the words of a character in one of his novels ("The Secret Purposes" I think).

"I've been a meat eater all my life but never, never have I had anything in my mouth that tasted quite so dead as quorn"

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IT job seekers can't smell spell

Bassey

Unreasonable Job Specs

Just a quick heads up on unreasonable jobs specs - where the job spec appears to be the definition of an individual rather than a broad set of skills.

It looks like that because that is what it is. The company already has an individual to fill the job. However, whether it be because of work permit issues or because policy states they have to advertise all positions (common for government or Council jobs), they are still advertising the role but in such a manner as to ensure their "guy" is the only suitable candidate. Work permit giveaways are often "must be fluent in English and <INSERTSOMELANGUAGE>".

If you see something like that it is almost certainly not worth your effort applying.

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Health experts flip over McD's burger-flip toy

Bassey

Not all bad

I should also point out that not all McDonalds Kids meals are bad. I took my kids there two weeks ago for the first time. They both had a happy meal consisting of Three Fish Fingers, a bag of carrot sticks and a Fruit Shoot (with some dreadful Scooby Doo themed toy which is now in the bin). Now, Fruit Shoots have too much sugar in but the Fish Fingers were actually rather good (the two year-old couldn't finish his so Daddy "helped"). The carrot sticks, on the other hand, were still partially frozen and utterly without taste. The boys spat them out. I got the impression they just keep a pack or two a the back of the freezer and never anticipated that someone might actually ask for them. It certainly confused the poor sheep serving us who seemed utterly unaware that you could choose carrot sticks as an alternative to chips. The fact that someone might not want chips with their meal just seemed too much for him to cope with.

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Dell Inspiron Zino HD 410

Bassey

Power?

Any ideas on the power draw? As a media centre PC I would have thought that was pretty important.

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Australians safe from Mortal Kombat

Bassey

Weird

"very detailed” realistic rendering - what of decapitations and dismemberments?

How do they know it is realistic?

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MS fesses on silent security fixes

Bassey

Crazy

I love a conspiracy theory as much as the next man (though, obviously, not as much as many around here) but come on people. If MS were to publicise bugs as and when they published the patches they could be advertising attack surfaces before anyone has had a chance to patch them.

How stupid would that be?

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Mozilla: 'Internet Explorer 9 is not a modern browser'

Bassey

All the same

Last night I was watching a certain football match via streaming websites on the web - to keep up with things I had Chrome 9, IE9 RC and the latest FF4 beta all open at the same time in different corners of the screen - and it was nigh-on impossible to tell the difference between them. Appart from the fact that some sites told me they didn't support Chrome and that I should switch to FF or IE (down to Video Codec support) there was really no practical and almost no visual difference between them. FF still takes an age to start but is nippy enough once it gets going. Chrome and IE9 both start instantly and fly along. And, despite driving them all VERY hard last night, I didn't have a single crash.

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Acer shows laptop lid look tablet

Bassey

Re: Camera

I suspect that, at least in part, it is just "Feature tick box". In Dixons and the like, these things are displayed with a list of features with ticks next to them if they have it. If this device doesn't have a tick next to "5MP camera" and a rival next to it, at a similar price, does - joe public will buy the one that seems to offer most bang-for-the-buck.

Also, there are apps on the Android Marketplace which require a camera. I can imagine it being useful for something like Google SkyMap.

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O2 to raise broadband prices by up to 27%

Bassey

Re: Don't be afraid to pay more for quality

That's fine for those that can afford to pay more. Plenty of people are already cutting back on a lot of stuff just to make ends meet. The pretentious gits around here who keep telling me "you get what you pay for" and "quality counts" are really starting to get on my tits. Presumably there has been no recession in your little worlds?

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Roberts Stream 63i

Bassey

Re: DLNA?

It's uPnP which (basically) means the same thing (queue 1000 posts explaining the meaningless differences).

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Norway to probe Sony's PS3 Linux 'downgrade'

Bassey

Problem with their defence

I see a problem with Sony's presumed defence. If, as anticipated, they argue they removed the feature because it was being used to compromise security, then they are arguing that the console was not fit for purpose as sold. Seems a strange defence, saying "We had to remove an advertised feature because it didn't work properly and we couldn't fix it".

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Fifa to give goal-line tech a shot

Bassey

Long, complicated answer required...

but I'm going home soon so...

It's hard because;

The shape of the ball changes shape when it is kicked so deciding when the ball has crossed the line can be tricky; You can't use cameras because people are often stood in the way. You can't use generic sensors across the goal because people will break those sensors. So, you either have to track the ball, real-time, in 3D space and calculate when it has crossed the line (keeping in mind many cameras at once may loose track of the ball as people, posts, officials get in the way so you need a LOT of very high cameras) OR put a sensor in the ball which, as someone pointed out above, is going to be hammered about the pitch reaching speeds of well over 100mph and experiencing forces of many tens of Gs.

Why are people against it? Football is a sport, not a business. Sports are about people. Many people want to retain the human element. Footballers make mistakes. So do officials. It is part of the sport and helps to create the drama. In any case, technology cannot eliminate all the controversies. Take the Ashes series. Whilst the review system has been brilliant Bell was given not out by the review system because there was no "hot spot" on his bat even though he had CLEARLY edged it.

Right. Pub O'clock.

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Punters 'pooh-pooh video on demand'

Bassey

Re: InITForTheMoney

I think InITForTheMoney has hit it on the head. If VOD becomes ubiquitous and people stop seeing trailers for new programs then there will be an (even greater) incentive to just churn out the same old "brands" because that is what people will know. Broadcast TV is how people find new programs.

We had kids a few years ago and just didn't get time to watch telly for maybe three years. We now have a bit more time but never watch it. The TV has genuinely not been switched on this week. The last thing I saw was Top Gear on Sunday (crap). But that is partially because we just don't know what is on any more. Add to that the fact that our free time is precious and we really don't want to waste half an hour watching something that turns out to be complete crap. So, far more often than not I'll pick up a book or go for a walk. On Friday night we watch a film from Blockbuster rental by Post.

If they insist on forcing VOD on us they may actually end up weaning the public off TV all together.

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Amazon fiddling with film streaming service, says report

Bassey

Re: Amazon VOD

Both NetFlix and the Amazon VOD are US only.

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Speedlink goes gold for Competition Pro silver jubilee

Bassey

If it's their Silver Anniversary....

...why is the joystick gold?

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Ten... wireless keyboards

Bassey

Why Wireless?

Unless you need to use a PC from some distance away I really don't see why you would want a wireless keyboard. Most spend their entire lives sat on a desk where the wireless feature is utterly redundant. However, more importantly, why are Wireless keyboards SO expensive? A cheapy media keyboard with a wire is £10. A cheapy wireless one is £25. A fairly decent media keyboard is £20. For the wireless equivalent you are getting on for £50 - maybe more. Bluetooth adaptors retail for about £5 so why the enormous hike? In terms of materials I can't imagine there is more than £2-3 between them.

Is this just a case of the sort of people who feel the need to have a wireless keyboard sat permanently on their desk also being the sort of people perfectly willing to shell out £50 for the privilege of said fixed-wireless device so the manufacturers are simply making hay whilst the sun shines?

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Malawi poised to outlaw farting

Bassey
Happy

Fortune Teller

"those who pass the time by pretending to be a fortune teller"

Presumably then, real fortune tellers will still be allowed.

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Hubble squints at most distant galaxy

Bassey

Re: Mathematics

Actually, it isn't that interesting. The Universe is three dimensional. You are using 1 dimensional mathematics.

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Pothole-spotter app aims to stop arse ache

Bassey

Yorkshiremen Sketch

"By the word "fix" you mean a council van rolls up, three blokes get out, two light-up the other makes tea. Then after 45 mins they mix up a batch of what looks like Marmite"

Marmite? You get Marmite? Around here they have taken to filling the pot-holes with gravel. Then the gravel gets displaced from the whole resulting in a four-inch-high wall of gravel building up around the four-inch-deep pot-hole and thus making the thing twice as dangerous as it was. We have one on the appex of a very tight, blind, left corner on a very narrow road forcing you onto the wrong side of the road.

I could have sworn I saw a pack of cyclists at the bottom of one the other day. Made me smile.

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Middlesbrough cabbie relieves lad of iPhone

Bassey

Can't blame Him

Given that the kid couldn't even remember leaving the iPhone as a deposit and had already come out with the wrong amount once I'm not sure I believe his story 100%. Sounds more like he went back in, fell asleep drunk and the taxi driver (quite rightly) got fed up of waiting on the meter and drove off with the agreed deposit.

A fool and his iPhone etc.

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Shaun the Sheep shorts to lure kids to Nintendo 3DS

Bassey

Re: Age Bracket

I don't claim to be a walking encyclopaedia on the subject but I've never seen Shaun the Sheep on CBeebies. Shaun the Sheep is on CBBC, aimed at older kids, whilst Timmy (also from Aardman and about a small sheep but, in this case, attending Nursery School) is on CBeebies and aimed at very young children.

Though, having said that, my 2 and 4 years olds love both of them.

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Sky to rejig EPG to push HD

Bassey

Re: Nice

Just set up your favourites. That way you will never see S4C again. In the same way, I won't be annoyed by all the HD stuff, no matter how much they mess around with the EPG because I always use the Blue button to switch to my favourites view.

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Online sync'n'store services

Bassey

Re: SugarSync

I'll second the SugarSync recommendation. Used it for many years. Every once in a while I look around to see if there is a better/cheaper alternative but not found one yet. I keep my wife's and my PC's backed up and have a series of folders synched across the two and it just works beautifully. There is also an Android client but I've yet to come up with a reason to use it.

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T-Mobile imposes swingeing cuts on fair use data limits

Bassey

I'll be cutting up mine then

When I visit the UK I've always used a T-Mobile SIM because their data rates are the best. Looks like I'll be cutting up my SIM card and getting either a GiffGaff or a "3" SIM instead.

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EU in Chinese garlic-crushing operation

Bassey

OLAF

So there's an organisation that really knows its Onions.

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CES wrap: let the battle of the tablets commence

Bassey

iPad's big lack

The big problem with the iPad, from my point of view, is the lack of USB or a card reader. It would be an ideal device to take away and use for viewing photos in the evening. But his Jobsness' obsessive-compulsive determination to maintain iTunes control over the device prevents this. It is a media-consumer but Jobs makes getting media onto the device incredibly difficult.

On the plus side, it is beautiful :)

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Apple unwraps app store for proper computers

Bassey

Licensing

How does the licensing work for the apps? If you have two Macs, both logged-in to the iTunes account, can you install the same application on both Macs or are you restricted to one? If just the one, how DO you install it on more than one Mac?

Computers are not like Phones. A Phone is (almost) always used by one person and so will have a unique iTunes account.

Computers are often used by an entire family, with each person having their own iTunes account. I don't see how tying software to iTunes works in this case.

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School caretaker harassed after Islamists hack EDL

Bassey

Re: Sad Day

You admit that the guy is a bit of a numptie but you are perfectly willing to accept his word that it might have cost him his job? There is no suggestion from the school that his job was under threat. As far as you can tell from the article the headmaster was merely warning him that some violent nutters were making threats against his wife and his family.

But hey, why let facts stop a good old fashioned rant? You know, it used to be that people exercised a bit of common sense and gave others the benefit of the doubt before mouthing off....

Oops, sorry.

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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Bassey

What?

I didn't understand a word of that. Could we not have a review from someone capable of describing the game in English rather than Ogre or whatever that was? Or are you just assuming the only people interested in the game have been playing it for years?

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Google Maps for Droid phones becomes a LOT better

Bassey

Buildings

Cardiff seems to have 3D buildings.

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Blighty's kids nosedive down global reading, maths rankings

Bassey

What a bunch of...

....miserable, moaning bastards you all are. Jesus, it's like listening to the "Yorkshiremen" sketch from Monty Python - only you lot don't appear to be taking the piss. Do you really all have such an appalling opinion of young people? Have you ever tried talking to them (god forbid)? In my experience they are generally well mannered, well meaning people who just want to get on in life - just like me when I was there age.

It's hardly surprising we have some of the worst figures for mental health amongst our younger people though. With their own elders all so willing to shoot them down at a moments notice I'm amazed the poor little feckers can bring themselves to get up in the morning.

Moaning bastards, the lot of you.

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Diary of a Not-spot: One man's heroic struggle for broadband

Bassey

What you really need

Excellent story and I can't help but admire your persistence - I would have given up a long time ago. Of course, what you really need is for someone senior within BT to move into the area. It's amazing how quickly an area can get upgraded when a senior BT exec decides they like the rural way of life/low house prices.

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Brits now spend more on debit cards than rustle or jingle money

Bassey

Strange

I must admit to be completely blown away by the news that, until August, most transactions used cash. I know very few people that use cash for anything other than maybe beer. Surely anyone with common-sense uses their cards for all purchases (paying off credit cards monthly) to gain the extra protection and make the most of cash-back.

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Gear4 UnityRemote

Bassey

What a complete load of rubbish

Firstly, universal remotes start at about £15. Mine cost £35 and controls five devices with ease (the wife and a four year-old cope fine). So the £100 already looks pricey assuming you already have the required iPod or iPhone.

But then what happens when I go out and take my iPhone with me? Either no-one can use any of the electronics in the living room OR you have to have all five remotes sitting around AS WELL. Or another universal remote control.

I remember when all Windows Mobile devices had IR transceivers built-in and Universal remote software was available. Even then, when free, it was a pointless waste of time/brief "wow. Look at that" distraction because of the need to have another means available to change channels.

This is genuinely the most pointless piece of tech I've ever come across for £100. To see it score so well is flabbergasting. What were you thinking Reg? Has the eggnog season come early to Vulture towers?

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LHC boffins turn lead into quarko-gluotic Big Bang incrediblo-stuff

Bassey

Christmas

Do you reckon atom-smashing physicists decorate their labs/offices for Christmas? I hope so but I just can't see them running tinsel around the 27km of the LHC.

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Sharp Aquos LC-32LE210E 32in LCD TV

Bassey
Thumb Down

wallmounting idiocy

Presumably none of you have children then? My first LCD had to be thrown away after our two-year-old drove a toy-tractor across the screen cracking the substrate. The replacement is mounted on the wall high enough to keep it out of the way.

Just because YOU can't think of a good reason for it doesn't make IT stupid... try the mirror!

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Pure Twilight DAB/FM radio and dawn simulator

Bassey

Sunrise

We've had one of those lamps that fades down at night and fades up in the morning for about 5-6 years now. The wife is terrible in the morning, takes ages to wake up, get going and become functional so we thought this might help. Complete waste of time. Made no difference at all.

However, it made a brilliant lamp for night-feeding our two kids when they were babies. You could set a nice, soft, gentle light. Enough to feed them by without being so harsh as to properly wake them up.

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Regional accent read-outs coming to satnavs

Bassey

Re: 'Bout Time

"no matter where you are in the UK, the regional BBC presenters all sound the same, with no accent at all."

You've clearly never travelled to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland then.

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Toyota Auris hybrid e-car

Bassey

Strange

I'm finding a lot of the comments on here quite strange - mainly the diesel ones. What's the point of getting "equivalent mileage" out of a diesel when diesel fuel costs 5-7% more than petrol? You aren't saving any money. You're paying 5-7% more.

Anyway, you can buy plenty of petrol cars with ridiculous fuel economy figures now. The Focus Eco does 76mpg, the fiesta 84mpg. The VW Polo bluemax does over 80mpg so why get a revolting diesel and pay more for the fuel?

And, as has been mentioned, you are actually far better getting a car that fits. I drive an i10. A tiny car from the outside but I HAVE had four adults in (I'm 6'4 and another was 6'2) with relative comfort plus I'm lugging around a ton* of mountain rescue gear wherever I go. We have two kids, I drive 12k miles and year and it does just fine.

But the biggest savings come from lift sharing. I lift share with two other people in my village who basically pay my petrol so it only costs me road tax (bugger all), insurance (bugger all) servicing (actually, quite expensive over here) and depreciation. All in all about £1k/year.

* slight exaggeration

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What will Google do with NFC?

Bassey

Massive Ignorance

Their does seem to be a massive amount of ignorance about how these things will work - even amongst the supposedly well-educated and tech-savvy Reg readership. To the Daily Mail touting fear-mongers above, a thief cannot wipe you out by getting your NFC chip - or not in the way you seem to be suggesting.

For a start, NFC payments will only work for a small value transaction. Cup of coffee, trip on the tube, newspaper and a bar of chocolate, itunes download. That sort of thing. A thief is going to need to drink a HELL of a lot of coffee to wipe out your average bank account.

There is a suggestion that you could also either set a daily limit or top-up your NFC account like you might top up a PAYG card. This is where I don't like the idea of NFC being embedded in your smartphone. For a lot of us our smartphone will be our means of topping up our account or changing our daily limit. Whilst there will be extra security levels in place, for me, this creates too much of a single point of failure and I'd far rather the NFC chip be embedded in my existing plastic cards.

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Social levelling with the iPad

Bassey
FAIL

Affordable?

Is the Register recession proof then? £500 stopped being affordable for lots of people (me included) about 18 months ago.

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Nintendo readies 'limited edition' Mario Kart Wii pack

Bassey

black Wii wheel plus Mario Kart Wii.

The Wii wheel in the picture on the box looks particularly white.

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Xbox Kinect costs just £35 to build

Bassey

Re: Only here.

Really? I'm not a gamer but the few reviews I've read (mostly mainstream press) have all been glowing. Might I suggest that it is the hard-core gaming and tech contingent who aren't that chuffed with the Kinect - a product clearly not aimed at them? The Kinect - like the Wii before it - is aimed at families and casual gamers.

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NEC intros Android tablet 'cloud communicator'

Bassey

That's Hiddeous!

Title says it all

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Highest point on the Moon found: Higher than Mount Everest

Bassey

Question

How do they define the level of the lunar surface? There is no sea-level to take it from. Do they just calculate the mean level of the lunar surface? Has this level changed as a result of the new scanning? What would the heigh of Everest be if taken from a similar reference point? It is all very well suggesting the highest point on the moon is higher than the highest point on earth but as they must use different reference points for that hight it seems meaningless.

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Iomega's flashy SSD clones your PC

Bassey

Sounds awesome

I can only assume those above don't actually "work" in IT or have no imagination. If this actually works as it suggests (no reason to assume it does) it could be brilliant. Take the 64GB version (no need for anything bigger) clone the master Admin machine from the corporate BCM solution and every member of IT can carry around a fully working BCM Admin PC that can be plugged in to whatever is available when the shit hits the fan. It would need hardware encryption on board but this sounds like a dream come true.

The big BCM problem for most firms is that BCM centres are nearly always shared resources. It's fine to have a few hundred virtual PCs for the plebs that can be restored down from backup to dumb terminals but you always need that one "proper" PC to kick the whole thing off and deal with the problems as and when they arise.

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