* Posts by Alan Edwards

356 posts • joined 25 Apr 2007

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Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Alan Edwards

Re: Meh

> Alienware but I've never been a fan of them in a corporate environment.

> Anyone know of any alternatives out there?

Razer Blade?

Depending what you're after, a Scan 3XS could be worth a look. They go up to a GTX980M, and desktop quad-code CPUs, and there are workstation graphics options too.

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Summer bust-up expected with new Apple TV and Roku coming onstream

Alan Edwards

Re: Apple TV

> And even when I was in GB, I would never have subscribed to Sky

You don't need to, the NowTV box is basically a Roku 2LT running custom software, there's no requirement to subscribe. It has the UK catchup services pre-loaded, and you can side-load Plex. It'd be no use in the US though, the channel store is severely restricted.

There's a new NowTV box due out soon too, already out on the equivalent in Germany.

The Roku 1 is down to £30 too.

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PIRATES and THIEVES to get Windows 10 as BOOTY

Alan Edwards

Upgrade process?

Has the process for upgrading/re-installing been worked out yet?

I've got a machine with an OEM Windows 7 licence. When the time comes to 'nuke and reload', will I be able to (re)-install Windows 10 using the 7 licence, or will I have to install 7 again first?

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Hackable media box based on the Raspberry Pi compute module: Five Ninjas Slice

Alan Edwards

Fire TV/Plex

Plex on a Fire TV only does stereo audio out, multi-channel audio doesn't work. It's a limitation of the way third-party apps can use the Fire's media player software, it's not fixable by Plex.

Unless you need the internal storage I'd still go for a Roku, the 1 is down to £30 now.

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Data centre dangers: Killing a tree and exploding a UPS

Alan Edwards

A/C Fails

I had a couple of -- "interesting" -- AC failures at our old office.

Some bright spark decided that the ideal place to put the wall-mounted AC in the server cupboard was above the Meridian phone system's main box. The heat exchanger in the AC froze solid, which killed the AC. The heat from the servers rapidly melted the ice, which dripped water into the Meridian and killed that too.

Shortly after that we got a proper lock on the server cupboard door, so none of us office plebs could get in any more. The first we knew of the next AC failure was when the partition wall that separated the server room from the office kitchen was hot to the touch.

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An uncomplicated Buffalo in SOHO: The LinkStation 441D 4-bay NAS box

Alan Edwards

Re: yes but

> FreeNAS would run like crap on this, AFAIK it needs a reasonable CPU

> and lots of ram (4gb+++)

Only if you're using ZFS. I'm running it on an HP MicroServer with an Athlon Neo and 3Gb RAM and it's happy with bog-standard RAID-5.

> Bring back WHS

There is Windows Storage Server 2012. I've downloaded the DVD image but not played with it yet.

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Filthy – but sadly frothy – five door fun: Ford Focus 1.5 Zetec

Alan Edwards

Re: Urgh, how I loathe rain sensing wipers.

> AND YOU CAN'T TURN IT OFF

Yes you can, on a Ford anyway. The automatic setting is where Intermittent is on the lever if you haven't got auto wipers. You've still got 'Off' below and the two continuous settings above it.

Also, there is a sensitivity roller in the middle of the wiper lever. It always runs the wipers once when you turn the sensitivity up, so you can flick it up a notch and back down to get the wipers to run once.

The auto-lights means you can't leave the lights on and kill the battery, and it ties in to the auto wipers and puts the lights on when it's raining.

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SpaceX lofts two all-electric ion-drive comsats to Clarke orbit

Alan Edwards

> I'm confused how one geo-stationary object could be deployed over

> "Latin America, Canada and Alaska", without also including USA etc.?.

Alaska is roughly level with the top of Canada, so you could have one satellite in geosync orbit with two beams. One covering Alaska and Canada and one covering the middle of South America, neither would cover (much of) the mainland US.

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German music moguls slammed for 'wurst ever DMCA takedown spam'

Alan Edwards

Re: Hang on

>Doesn't the DCMA declaration they're required to provide state that false declaration

> is perjury?

It does, but it doesn't mean what you think it means.

The declaration says we believe we own the copyright to whatever we are trying to pull down. It doesn't say they actually do hold the copyright, or that what they're pulling down is what they say it is.

Provided they believed it at the time, it's all good. Good luck proving they didn't, given it was all automatically generated.

There is no penalty for filing false claims, so no incentive to get it right. That has to change, IMO.

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Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

Alan Edwards

Not on a tablet

If you're running a Windows 8.1 tablet (especially a 1Gb RAM one), your choice is IE or nothing unless you want to squint at a 7-inch desktop.

Firefox doesn't work in Metro at all, Chrome fakes it by turning the tablet into a ChromeTab. You then hit the 'no extensions in Metro IE' rule so AdBlock is out, so in my case the choice was a Kindle Fire HDX.

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Oi, Aussie sports fans! Take that selfie stick and stick it

Alan Edwards

Re: I don't watch much TV.

> What is a 'selfie stick'?

When combined with the wifi viewfinder function on a Go Pro, a handy way of getting your head 3 feet above everyone else at the sporting event of your choice.

The next evolution should have a motorised pan/tilt head that integrates with the motion sensors on an Oculus Rift.

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World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

Alan Edwards

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQk1u_kvQSA

Animation of a 2-stroke diesel.

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Ford recalls SUVs … to fix the UI

Alan Edwards

Re: Push-button gear change? Really?

> a button activated handbrake on manual which will work only if you put your foot on the

> footbrake so you can no longer "start off handbrake uphill".

Unless they've changed it, it will automatically release the parking brake when you pull away.

If you want worse, try a 2013 Mercedes E-class. The "hand" brake is a foot pedal, released with a lever next to the steering wheel. Mine was an auto, so maybe the manual is different.

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Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Alan Edwards

I'd give the Z3 Compact a miss

The Z3 Compact is basically the same as the Z1 Compact, which is going for £270 on Expansys.

The Z3 Compact is 4.6" rather than 4.3" (but still 720p) and is 300Mhz faster. The rest is the same.

The Z4 Compact is due out soon too, which ups it to a 4.7" 1080p and 64-bit Snapdragon 810.

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Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Alan Edwards

Brings back memories...

I was taught to shoot on Lee-Enfields back in my air cadet days, .22 and .303. We were lucky, our unit had an indoor range on site so I got quite a lot of time on the .22s.

I got pretty good, but that was 30 years ago.

The SLR was introduced in 1955? I got to fire those too, and I thought they were bang up-to-date in the '80s. Heh.

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The STEALTH Plug-in Hybrid: Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

Alan Edwards

Re: What happens to the grid ...

> What happens to the grid when a large percentage of the population plugs their cars in?

If Robert Llewelyn is to be believed, it will be happier.

People charge their electric cars overnight, when they are asleep (i.e. not using the car) and power is cheaper because no-one is using it.

More use overnight will even out the peaks and troughs of demand and avoid having to start and stop generating stations.

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Technology quiz reveals that nobody including quiz drafters knows anything about IT

Alan Edwards

12 out of 12

I got them all right, given my job it would be a bit embarrassing if I didn't.

I did cheat slightly because the article mentioned Cheryl Sandberg - I knew it wasn't Marissa Meyer, it would have been between Sandberg and Huffington.

The privacy policy one was tricky, the policy can say 'we put all your information out in public', so long as it's the policy it counts.

Seriously, 1% of respondents got none right?

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Reg mobile man: National roaming plan? Oh UK.gov, you've GOT to be joking

Alan Edwards

How about...

How about separating the physical network from the carriers?

Get someone like Crown Castle to combine all four existing separate networks into a single network, which the carriers pay for access to. Running the oily bits becomes Somebody Else's Problem, leaving the operators free to concentrate on services and customer service, and removes one of the reasons for your customers to churn.

Then give the physical network operator a landmass coverage target and uptime and performance SLAs, with financial penalties for missing either.

You'll probably have to have rules that stop one of the operators trying to become AT&T by buying all their competitors - no one operator can have more than 50% of the customers maybe?

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Nexus 9: Google and HTC deliver Android 5.0 'Lollipop' at iPad prices

Alan Edwards

> DNLA stream mkv files from my media server

It's DLNA, BTW...

VLC Media Player on the iPad will play MKVs from Plex's DLNA server.

I have found that not all DLNA servers will do all the formats though. The one in my Kingston mobile wifi drive doohickey doesn't do MKVs.

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Samaritans 'suicide Twitter-sniffer' BACKFIRES over privacy concerns

Alan Edwards

Re: Got it the wrong way around.

> The proper way to undo the damage is to change it so that people who want

> to be monitored can Opt In, specifying exactly who can get the feed.

People do know you can sign up to get a feed of *every* public tweet, don't they? http://gnip.com/products/realtime/firehose/. Samaritans could have signed up to that and monitored the entire (Twitter) world and no-one would be any the wiser.

Apparently not just Twitter either. FourSquare (location) is on there too, and WordPress (blogs) and Disqus (comments).

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Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android

Alan Edwards

Re: Let me get this right?

> Mozilla want me|you to install an application on a smartphone which will, as we wander

> around, sniff any wireless points as we pass, and hand that information off to Mozilla?

Sort of. It's recording the SSID (the public name that comes up in the network list) of wireless networks and the GPS location where it spotted it. Not sure how it's going to tell one 'linksys' or 'netgear' from the rest though. It doesn't record traffic

> that it's very bad for anyone else to know where I am and where I've been.

Turn the location services off then. Added bonus, you'll get better battery life - turning GPS off on my Fire HDX adds about 2 hours run time according to the power management app.

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Amazon hopes FIRE STICK will light up its video service

Alan Edwards

Re: box vs stick

> anyone know what the box gives you that the stick doesn't?

It's quite a bit more powerful. The box has a quad-core Snapdragon CPU and 2Gb RAM, the stick has 1Gb and a dual-core Broadcom Capri.

The game controller works with the stick, but it might struggle with some of the higher-power games.

The box comes with the voice search remote, the stick doesn't it's a $30 extra.

The OS is the same AFAIK.

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Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

Alan Edwards

Re: Very worrying!

> you can simply purchase a PAYG soft sim over the web from a provider local to your

> arrival destination

No, you can't. That's the whole point - the 'soft SIM' is built in to the hardware and operating system of the tablet, you have no control over what providers are available. Apple (or whoever made the tablet) are the ones that decide what you get to choose from.

The current iPads have a removable (hardware) SIM. My speculation is that the next generation won't - it'll be Apple SIM or nothing, either through software or by gluing in a nano SIM. You will get to choose from a pre-approved list of carriers and plans.

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Aboard the GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, there's a Mobe and a Slab and a TELLYBOX

Alan Edwards

Re: Philip K. Dick

The estate of Philip K. Dick kicked off when the Nexus One was launched in 2010. The replicants in Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep (filmed as Bladerunner) were called Nexus 6s.

Given they are still calling things Nexus I'm guessing they sorted it out, but a quick Google didn't get me any details.

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Vanmoof Electrified Bike: Crouching cyclist, hidden power

Alan Edwards

Re: Limitations ?

> Is it x watt per axle or per bike ?

250w per bike, as far as I know

> How much heavier is your bike than a hybrid racer with 27in + wheels,

> long cranks and high gears ?

The Vanmoof Electric 3 is 19 Kg. A 13 Intuitive Beta (random 27 gear hybrid on halfords.com) is just under 14 Kg.

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Alan Edwards

Re: heart rate?

> What is the basis for the 250W UK limit?

Enough power to move, but not enough to have fun with? You know governments, anything you actually want to do is illegal :-)

More seriously, it's probably so you can't go quick enough that you need protective gear to avoid dying when you fall off.

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Alan Edwards

Re: A fool and his money.....

> I have an eBike. Cost £700 250W motor Its also a folder

Any chance of some details of your bike?

Like, can you fold it and carry it upstairs, or does it weigh as much as a car?

I'm toying with getting a new bike, probably an electric assisted one, but I live in a 3rd floor flat so I'd need to get it upstairs.

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Bird of HEY.... that's MY DRONE! Hawk attacks geek's quadcopter in nature v machine clash

Alan Edwards

Re: ROTM

> I wonder what a fight between a herring gull and drone looks like

It would almost certainly end badly for the drone.

Gulls are vicious sods, I've seen them intimidate geese that are bigger and heavier than them on the pond outside the office.

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Judge nukes Ulbricht's complaint about WARRANTLESS FBI Silk Road server raid

Alan Edwards

Re: Heh

> you can't really assert fourth ammendment protection over some property

> *and* claim the property isn't yours

Why? "It's not my server, and even if it was you didn't have a search warrant". 4th amendment protections apply no matter whose property it was.

The wrinkle in all of this is that the server was in Iceland, so no search warrant was applied for. If it was in the US, if there wasn't evidence the server had a connection to Ross Ulbricht a search warrant wouldn't have been issued (or would be thrown out later).

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Get NAS-ty: Reg puts claws to eight four-bay data dumpsters

Alan Edwards

Re: DIY

> DIY Solution of a HP Proliant MicroServer with FreeNAS (or similar) in this round up

It would be interesting, but it's not in the same league (IMO).

I have a MicroServer, one of the first ones with the Athlon Neo, with 3Gb RAM, 4x2Tb drives in a RAID 5 array and FreeNAS 7 on a gigabit Ethernet network.

I don't get anywhere near the throughput they got from the standalone boxes. I sometimes see 50-60Mbytes/sec writes, more often than not it's in the 30s. Disc throughput seems to be the problem, the HD access light is jammed on.

Setting my version of FreeNAS up was not a beginner job. I played with it in a VM first to get it right, but you had to set several objects up in the right sequence or you got nothing.

You can't upgrade FreeNAS, it's a nuke it and start again job. You might be able to import the array into the new version, but it might not work. If it doesn't your data's gone, hence mine is still on the old version.

You can't expand the volumes if you fill it up, by replacing the discs with bigger ones. I've not had a disc die on me yet, but I doubt it's as simple as throwing a new one in and letting it sort itself out.

If I was starting from scratch again now I'd buy a stand-alone NAS - probably a ReadyNAS 104. But it was cheap (cashback on the server, and the discs were bought before the factories flooded) and it does what I need for now.

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

Alan Edwards

Re: Tiles should replace icons fully - everywhere.

> Why not having a mail or messagin app tile (on the desktop)

> showing you incoming messages?

Because the window containing what you're actually working on will be in front of it, unless you have a 3rd (4th etc) monitor just to display the desktop tiles.

You're probably better to use a Windows tablet for that.

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Renault Twingo: Small, sporty(ish), safe ... and it's a BACK-ENDER

Alan Edwards

Re: Reanult has a problem, called 'marketing'

? A 1 litre lugging round a giant lump like the Mondeo? Can you say over-strained???

The top output of the "normal" 1.0 Ecoboost is 125PS, and there is a new version in a special Red and Black Fiesta that has 140.

The current entry engine in the Mondeo is 115PS, so a 125PS 1.0 Ecoboost would be no ball of fire but should cope OK. It's a turbo, so you don't need to bounce it off the rev limiter to get anywhere either - peak torque on my 100PS 1.0 Fiesta is about 2200rpm.

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Speaking in Tech: 'I'm an Apple guy and I COULD CARE LESS about the iWatch'

Alan Edwards

Re: How much do you care?

I'm with you, it should be 'couldn't care less'.

It's American vs. English English again. This came up on A Way With Words a while back, the 'could care less' is more common in the US, 'couldn't care less' more in the UK. It was probably an American being quoted in the title.

Tempting to end with 'like I could care less', but I do care, so I won't...

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SanDisk's record-busting 512GB SD CARD will fit perfectly in your empty wallet

Alan Edwards

Re: Waterproof...

> But will it survive a trip through a washing machine at 60 degrees and 1600 rpm?

Should do, provided it's dried out properly before you try and use it.

My Fitbit Ultra survived that, powered up and all. I thought it was a goner for sure, but I'm still using it now.

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James Bond's metal-toothed nemesis Richard Kiel dies at 74

Alan Edwards

Re: Moonraker

Oh, I don't know...

Holly Goodhead (the name, and Lois Chiles)

"Mr, Bond. You appear with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season"

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Cave scrawls prove Neanderthals were AT LEAST as talented as modern artists

Alan Edwards

Re: It's obviously a Mondrian

Looks like Mondrian did the original UI design for Metro :-)

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Google's 'Captain Moonshot': I will BOMB you with DELIVERIES

Alan Edwards

Ryan VertiJet

The design reminds me of the experimental Ryan VertiJet from the 50s, although being prop-driven it's more like a Convair Pogo.

The VertiJet was weird. You "land" it by going vertical and hanging it off a hook suspended on a trailer, and had vectored thrust and puffer jets instead of moving control surfaces.

That poor dog is going to go hungry, it only delivered one dog treat.

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

Alan Edwards

Hologram detector detector

All this assumes that the virtual simulation we're in doesn't have code that detects that the self-aware programs running on it are trying to see whether they are self-aware programs, and lies to them.

We must be in a simulation, how else do you explain the moon being the right size to precisely blot out the Sun. What are the chances of that happening by chance?

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'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race

Alan Edwards

Re: That's nice.

> Sonoma to Solvang California and back in under half a day?

Assuming your use the rest of the time is within the electric range, buy a Focus Electric (or Leaf, whatever) and hire a Suburban for the weekend when you need to drag the horse trailer around.

The fuel you didn't buy the other 363 days will probably pay for the hire...

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Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

Alan Edwards

Re: No problem at all.

> What if neither me nor none of my family own hotels in the US?

Have a holiday in Boston (or New York, Atlanta, Orlando, wherever flights are cheaper) and have it delivered to the hotel you are staying.at.

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Alan Edwards

Re: 1000 quid!

> Here's one with a 3200x1800 13" display for around £650

Or £808 with a quad-core i7, nVidia GTX-860M, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb mSATA SSD + 500Gb hard disc and 1080p screen. That's a nice machine.

I wouldn't go for the 3200x1800 screen yet, it's too high to be readable at 100% and the scaling isn't quite there yet in Windows.

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Alan Edwards

> A spokesman said: "Responding officers were unable to locate the chicken

That's because it was in someone's oven before the cops arrived.

Shows there is such a thing as a free lunch.

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Alan Edwards

Re: tee hee.

> and don't forget Outaluck for Outlook :)

That was always Outhouse and Outhouse Distress to me.

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Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users LOCKED OUT

Alan Edwards

Re: Lastpass

> KeePass keeps the data locally but the software is closed so as you say you're boned.

There is other software that can read KeePass files e.g. KeePassDroid on Android, KyPass on IOS. The decryption algorithm must be out there, so you can migrate to something else if necessary.

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Lawyer for alleged Silk Road kingpin wants all evidence thrown out

Alan Edwards

Re: Verdict decided then

> imagine someone standing over a dead body, knife in hand, victim's blood all over them.

> They would be charged with the murder

Yep, but it's up to the prosecution to prove they did it, not the defence to prove they didn't. The argument would be perhaps "I found the body", it's up to the prosecution to find forensics, witnesses etc. to show they killed them.

> How about if there was an illicit video recording of the murder?

You mean the killer recorded himself doing it? It would depend how the police got the video. If it was the result of an unwarranted search (e.g, they dug through your phone during a traffic stop) the video would be excluded - that's the "fruit of the poison tree" thing.

It's not a "technicality" (IMO), it's the rule that says police can't just wade in because they feel like it, they have to have evidence you did something wrong.

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Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Alan Edwards

Re: Why won't they sort it out?

Microsoft could buy out the developers of Classic Shell from the office doughnut budget and give it to everyone.

They could probably buy the utilities arm of Stardock (who make Start8) for not much more and give everyone ModernMix, WindowsBlinds and Fences too.

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We sent a probe SIX BILLION km to measure temperature of a COMET doing 135,000 km/h

Alan Edwards

Re: Shouldn't the mother ship be called Pequod ?

Also: http://xkcd.com/1297/

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Brits STUNG for up to £625 when they try to cancel broadband

Alan Edwards

Re: BT Retail used to be masters at this

> Unless you truly want/need BT Youview

A £10 Sky NowTV box will give you everything YouView does. Not as pretty perhaps - separate apps for the catchup services - but at least you're not tied to BT.

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Alan Edwards

Re: cost no more than outstanding contract

> £52pm is reasonable, in fact that's cheap!

If you're paying the broadband bill for an entire town, maybe.

I'm paying £20/month for unlimited (and as far as I can tell it really is) FTTC broadband,

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AVG stung as search revenue from freebie scanners dries up

Alan Edwards

Re: I feel a vote coming on...

I'm using AVG at the moment, but I'm open to suggestions for anything better.

I had AdAware for a while, but got sick of the free licence expiring every few weeks. MS Security Essentials was before that, but that seems to be nearly useless these days.

The work machine has McAfee, which is not brilliant IMO. Gets the job done I suppose, but slowly, and mcshield.exe regularly pegs the CPU.

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