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* Posts by Alan Edwards

324 posts • joined 25 Apr 2007

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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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Google Nest slurps your life into the Matrix? The TRUTH

Alan Edwards

Re: My car

> So WHY is it so difficult to produce a Kettle that turns on the tap and fills itself and then makes

> the best cup of tea in the world

Shouldn't be that hard. I already want to modify the 'one cup' kettle I have with a float-controlled connection to mains water. It knows how much water to use for a mug of tea and automatically refills the high-speed boiler from the tank on the back.

We had a coffee machine in work years back that used tea leaves to make tea, via a paper filter on a roll - you could put something like that on the front of a one-cup kettle. You'd need a fridge for the milk though, UHT milk makes yucky tea (IMO), plus a conveyor belt for sugar/cubes.

> a toaster that visits the bread bin, picks up a couple of slices and toasts it to perfection

The hotel conveyor belt toasters already come close - add a dispenser for the bread slices, and some way of spreading butter and marmalade, job-done.

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Want a cheap iMac? TOO BAD. But you can have a slow one for $1,099

Alan Edwards

> Seriously. Dual core...1.4ghz.

You'd be surprised how quick these ULV parts are. It's base speed is 1.4Ghz, but nearly doubles that under load - 2.7Ghz. The 2.7Ghz i5 in the next model up only turbos to 3.2Ghz.

According to this: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2010&cmp[]=6 for a single thread it'll outrun my i7-860 desktop processor.

> Galaxy s3 is 1.4ghz, dual core

A different architecture though, you can't compare x86 and ARM CPUs clock-by-clock.

> I'm pretty sure for $1,099 I can find a laptop that is faster than this

It wouldn't have a 21-inch 1080p IPS panel though. You could probably build one, but you wouldn't want it on your lap :-).

> We're talking a $500 desktop

Not using the ULV CPU and mobile graphics, they are quite expensive. If you're building a desktop tower you've got space for proper cooling for desktop parts so can get it down to that, but it won't be an all-in-one like the iMac, or will have lots of noisy fans.

> and a $100 monitor

Nearer $200 I'd say. Apple displays are pretty good, better than a TN panel based monitor you'd get for $100

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Alan Edwards

Re: This could make for 2 Ghetto-Macs™ now in their linup

> It has IrisPro graphics

The £899 one has HD 5000 graphics, you need a full-fat i5 to get Iris Pro.

Still good enough for what most people will throw at it.

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Top Canadian court: Cops need warrant to get names from ISPs

Alan Edwards

Re: No sympathy.

> If this were a case of an axe murderer, where the police barged into his home without a

> warrant and happened to find the axe, the case would have been thrown out.

And quite rightly, but that's not what happened here.

The police had evidence of the IP address being used to download child porn and went to the ISP to get a name and address for that IP address. They should have got a (search?) warrant at that point, but it wasn't established in law that they needed to. They would have got one if they had asked.

That's different from the police forcing their way into a house without a warrant and happening to find the axe that was used to kill someone. Unless someone had reported a bloody axe being carried into the house or something, there would be no search warrant issued so evidence from the search should be excluded.

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Yes. Facebook will KNOW you've been browsing for smut

Alan Edwards

Re: I wonder what's UKIP stance on this

> I wonder what is their position on this.

The same as any other political party - they do what their corporate bosses tell them to.

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Alan Edwards

Re: will ignore the do-not-track mechanism in browsers including Internet Explorer

> As IE is nowhere near the most popular browser, why mention it?

IE has the Do Not Track turned on by default. The ad industry spit their dummy because it meant the sheep didn't have to engage a brain cell and turn it on (which they knew none of them would do), so decided to ignore it.

AFAIK the other browsers have Do Not Track off by default. The ad industry is happy to respect anything that makes no difference to what they do.

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Texan parks quadcopter atop Dallas Cowboys stadium

Alan Edwards

Re: 20m max altitude?

> However, once a connection with the controller is lost and it enters "return to home"

> mode it automatically maintains an altitude of 20m until it is directly over the take-off location.

And promptly flies into whatever it was that blocked the signal, as in Dallas? Trees, bigger houses, pylons etc. are all over 20m tall.

Would it not be better off hovering at 20m waiting for you to get the controller back in range, then setting itself down gently where it is if you don't?

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Freeview's rumoured '£100m YouView killer' is real – and it's yet another digital TV thing

Alan Edwards

Re: What YouView can't bring to this table....

> I can skip the ads perfectly fine on my Humax Youview box.

On stuff you've recorded yourself, almost certainly not on the streamed catch-up stuff.

4OD and Demand 5 on the Now TV (Roku) will let you wind forwards through the stream, but drops back to locked normal speed play when it hits an advert.

Demand 5 also runs up to 3 unskippable pre-roll adverts - most annoying when you just want to see if you've already watched a particular episode and there's no synopsis in the guide.

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Alan Edwards

Why are Sky bothering?

Sky have already got a platform that does everything this does except ITV Player, the Now TV box.

Write an ITV Player app for the Roku, stick a FreeView Connect label on the top and ship it with the UK catchup apps pre-installed, problem sorted. No need to develop a new box and software.

They could even do a version that's double the price (£20), a different colour, and removes the NowTV ads on front screen. For a hundred million they could even come up with a single app that integrates iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5 under a single UI.

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Monster croc 'the BALROG' tussles with mighty Titanoboa snake

Alan Edwards

> Looks like not much has changed in the last however many years then after all.

It can already eat a crocodile, how much more evolving does it need :-)

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Alan Edwards

Re: "current" at 4000lbs?

2000 lbs?! That's over a tonne, about the same as my car!

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'THERE'S BEEN A MURRRDER!' Plod probe Street View 'slaying'

Alan Edwards

Re: Can't help thinking

> It would be exceedingly difficult for even the most pernicious of CPS prosecutors to

> successfully argue that they had committed a crime

Especially with the "victim" stood next to them, obviously very much alive. I think CPS'd have a malicious prosecution case on their hands if that got anywhere near a court.

If acting out a killing is a crime, the cast of The Mousetrap should be locked up on a daily basis.

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

Alan Edwards

> The vehicle will wait one second before starting off when traffic lights turn green

Remember that the car has advance knowledge of when it's going to change (Audi just demonstrated that), it doesn't need to wait for it to actually change. 1 second is quicker than a human can react to the light changing and go from brake to accelerator (for the US), or select 1st and release the handbrake.

It also knows exactly when a light will go from amber to red, so knows whether it can make it through before the light changes. It takes more "chances" than a human driver would, so there would be at least 1, possibly more, less cars waiting.

> Do they work as well at night

Laser, radar and lidar don't give a rat's ass whether it's dark. Microwave sensors won't work as well in fog, but it's probably still better than a purely optical system (i.e. eyeballs). What may not work as well is lane tracking, but you may be able to combine infra-red to give it a better chance.

> noticing there’s no gap between each car in the platoon that’s large enough to let you in

The 'platoon' is under autonomous control, so it can either detect your indicator and make room, or inter-car communication triggered by your indicator tells the leader "make a hole, I need to get off here".

> Does the whole platoon move sequentially, car by car, into an adjacent lane and

> overtake the slower vehicle

Probably depends on road conditions. If there's enough lane space move the entire platoon, if not move over individually and pass when it can. The leader will need to split the platoon and hand control to the car immediately behind you, and join it back up when it catches up.

> What happens when the GPS data is unavailable

Same as with dashboard navigation units, it falls back on inertial navigation. It knows you went into a tunnel, so it's a fair bet you're on the road that goes through the tunnel, so can use vehicle speed to work out where you are.

> so far off that the car goes off the boundary of its stored map

A 64Gb card is enough to store the road maps for the whole world. The more detailed maps used by autonomous cars may be bigger I guess, so give it a 2TB hard disc.

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It's Google's NO-WHEEL car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES

Alan Edwards

Re: How does it know where you want to go?

> How do input a destination?

Google Voice Search.

Google knows where you live (or in my case, where I moved out of a month ago), so "take me home" would work. You don't even need to be sober enough to remember the address.

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Chuh. Heavy, dude: HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

Alan Edwards

Re: Not worth the shoulder injury...

> OK. Show me a 15 '' affair with an optical drive, an expresscard slot, a primary drive

> plus a bay for a second drive (etc...)

Sounds like you want a Lenovo W540. Meets all that lot, except it's only got 4 USBs (2xUSB 2.0, 2xUSB 3.0). Base screen is a 15.4" 1080p, with 2880x1620 IPS optional, weighs around 2.5Kg.

£1,634.95 with a Core i7-4700MQ, 256Gb SSD, 16Gb RAM, 2Gb nVidia K1100 graphics and the 2880x1620 screen. Adapters to put the 2nd drive in the optical bay are pretty cheap on eBay.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Rubbish

> I have an Elitebook 8570. The battery is dead after an hour and a half, even idling the fans

> they never stop.

Sounds like something is stopping the power management dropping the CPU down into low-power mode. I had an HP n800 years back do the same thing, took a Windows re-install to sort it.

There is a utility you can download from Intel that shows you what SpeedStep and Turbo Boost are doing - Google "intel turbo boost monitor" to find it. You'll probably find that it never drops the graph down to the bottom "green leaf" section.

At work we've just replaced a lot of the Lenovo laptops with 8470s and 8570s. I've still got a T510 so don't have personal knowledge of the HPs, but I've not heard anyone saying they are complete rubbish.

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eBay slammed for daft post-hack password swap advice

Alan Edwards

Re: Keepass...

> eBay is OK with pasting passwords like that, but ironically PayPal won't allow it!

If you use KeePass you can get around that sort of thing. You can customise the AutoType function to produce anything you want.

You need to work out what keypresses you need to get from the new password to the confirmation password, normally just Tab will do it.

Use the password generator to get your new random password and put 'Auto-Type: {PASSWORD}{TAB}{PASSWORD}' (without the quotes) into the Notes field. Put the cursor in the first password field in the browser, go back to KeePass and do right-click/AutoType and it will fill in both password fields. The keyboard emulation gets around Cut/Paste blocking.

This even works for changing the password at login when you're Remote Desktopped into a Windows server.

Remember to clear the Auto-Type command from the notes field when you're done.

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Boffin fights fire with EXPLOSIVES instead of water

Alan Edwards

Newton

> He wonders if helicopters could lower a fire-extinguishing canon to the top of a forest canopy

I think Newton might have something to say about that idea. Suspending a giant jet engine from a helicopter and turning it on will result in the helicopter going rapidly in the opposite direction.

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Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

Alan Edwards

Here's what I have:

An HP MicroServer running FreeNAS for the storage. 4x2Tb drives in RAID 5 (not enough memory or CPU for ZFS) giving 5.7Tb of space.

Plex Server running on a Windows Server 2012 virtual machine on an ESX server handles the media serving duties. The VM has 2Gb RAM and one core of a dual-core Pentium G2120 host machine.

A Sky NowTV box (essentially a Roku 2 LT) is hooked up to the TV as the media player. I'm currently running Plex RARFlix on the NowTV, but there is also an "official" Roku app. You have to enable the developer back door on the Now TV to get Plex on it - it's dead easy, Google the instructions.

The NowTV doesn't have Ethernet, only 2.4Ghz wifi, no WPS, and tops out at 720p. The wifi copes fine for me though. If you need 1080p you can use a Roku Streaming Stick, but it's £50 as against £10 for the NowTV. If you really need Ethernet there is the Roku 2 XS or Roku 3.

The Plex Server will transcode anything the NowTV/Roku can't do natively. The Pentium G2120 doesn't break a sweat with the transcoding.

You set sections up on the Plex Server for movies, music, TV etc., and it goes through and identifies everything and downloads posters and the like, and keeps track of what you've watched and where you are in what you're currently watching. Once you have a Plex server running on the network, any Plex clients will automatically pick it up and present whatever the server is configured for.

In terms of power, the NAS takes around 35w, the ESX server is about the same. The NowTV's power use is negligible.

Plex Server and the clients are all free.

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