* Posts by Alan Edwards

343 posts • joined 25 Apr 2007

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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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Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage

Alan Edwards

Re: Idiot estate agents.....

Yep, another vote for rightmove.co.uk, a link to a broadband checker is on their property information page. You sometimes have to read between the lines and confirm with the exchange checker on samknows, but if it gives a speed under 10Mb/s and says fibre isn't available it's probably right.

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Alan Edwards

Re: femotocells

Absolutely. I work from home, so when I was looking for a new place the first thing I checked after spotting a candidate was whether I could get FTTC. A few places were rejected outright because it could only get 4-6Mb/s so-called-broadband.

Mobile coverage can be fixed with a femto-cell, crap broadband may never get sorted

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Shields up! Nvidia crams Tegra K1 into gaming slab to rival your PS3

Alan Edwards

> How about a 32 GB *without* LTE for $249?

I'll have a 16Gb (or 8Gb even) *with* LTE please. 64Gb Micro-SDs are cheap these days.

If think of it as Apple pricing for the storage upgrade, the LTE is free...

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Alan Edwards

Re: Controller?

> The controller is proprietary, according to Nvidia

Yep, it uses Wifi Direct rather than Bluetooth, so is unlikely to work with anything else.

> But if you were going to stream from the PC, wouldn't you want to stream straight into the back

> of a TV

You can, at least in theory. The tablet has an HDMI port, and a mode that turns the internal screen off and uses the HDMI instead. The game controller has Android navigation keys, and you could connect a Bluetooth keyboard if you wanted to.

Not a gamer, but I'm still tempted to replace my Nexus 7 with the LTE version of this.

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Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops

Alan Edwards

Re: a netbook by any other name would stink as much

> the Apollo 11 guidance computer (A11GC)

> ran at 1.024MHz internally, half that externally

It also only did one thing, and almost didn't do that given that they had to restart it a few times during the landing run.

The i7-860 I'm using is running 48 background processes with less than 1% CPU use. Times change, as do usage models.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

Alan Edwards

Re: Boring

> If I want to power off/sleep from the desktop I have to go bottom left, click on windows

> start-screen button.

From the desktop, go to the bottom right to get the Charms bar, then Settings, and Power is in there.

Or install Classic Shell (freebie), which puts it back in the Start menu where it should be...

> (no multi-select of icons appears to be available):

There is a multi-select of bits on the Start screen in 8.1 Update 1. I'm on the work Windows 7 machine so I can't try it, but it's probably holding down Ctrl or Shift. A little tick appears in the top-right of the panel.

> PC Settings

You're right, that is so annoying. You can get a list of network adapters, but clicking them gets you nothing.

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Manhattan drone pair cuffed for NYPD chopper near miss

Alan Edwards

Re: For those that think the helicopter pilot is exaggerating

> The GPS has a restrictor on civil aviation designated fly zones

It also has a mode that turns all the nanny features off, including the airspace restrictor IIRC.

There is a lot of intelligence in a DJI Phantom. There is a review (I wish I could remember where I read it) that goes through all the different modes, including one that changes the flight controls to be relative to where it started from 'Backwards' is always towards it's start point even if that is not the way the craft is pointing. Very cool.

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Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

Alan Edwards

Re: @ Neil Barnes The thing is...

> Hitting one of these should be worse than a bird,

The body of a bird is solid, especially when you hit one at silly-MPH. A drone will mostly disintegrate, as it's all light plastic - a reviewer killed a DJI Phantom by flying it into a tree.

It was a bird strike to both engines that downed the airliner that landed in the Hudson, and four geese went through the windscreen of a Pave Hawk flying low over a marsh causing it to crash and kill all on board.

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Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

Alan Edwards

Re: Bust-up

> This means if you use the same steam pressure as you'd use for a jet on a bus the

> underdeck parts of the catapult will fuse together at the end of the run

The catapult bits (on a Nimitz-class, anyway) are adjustable to cope with different aircraft types.

ISTR there have been a few (near-) cockups due to trying to launch the wrong type of plane. Same with the arrester gear.

> So ultimately it's still only going to come off the end of the ship at around 140 knots.

Still be cool to watch, though...

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Alan Edwards

Re: Exact Change

> One route master double decker launched on the steam catapult at your enemy

No need to throw them, roll 'em out of the back of C-17. Apart from the comedy factor of being hit by a bus, it'd make an awesome airfield denial weapon; make them spend months picking up bits of fibreglass to stop it being sucked into jet engines.

I have a feeling a Routemaster is too tall to go in a C-17, but it does give us something to do with all the old Leyland Nationals.

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Freeze, Glasshole! Stop spying on me at the ATM

Alan Edwards

Misleading headline

> Wearable cams can RECORD your PIN from 40 METRES

No they can't, wearables like Glass don't have an optical zoom. The article itself admits they only made it work 3m away with an iPhone.

Strap the 2x extender on the 60x zoom on my Sony (equivalent to something like 1.2m focal length on a 35mm IIRC) and I reckon you could stretch it to 100m; it's not exactly subtle though, and to do it in the real world you'd need an angle to see which keys are being pressed on the keypad - easy from 3m, not so much at 40m.

Give me access to Hubble (and a mod that lets it focus that close) and I can grab your PIN from space!

> Daily Mail reports.

Oh, that explains it.

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Apple wins patent to pump ads to your iDevice while you're watching TV

Alan Edwards

Re: @dan1980

> Ford's product placement in Warehouse 13

Toyota.

To be fair, they were pretty bad. Jinks saying 'I love my Prius' whilst sat in a Yaris tops it.

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