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* Posts by Wibble

573 posts • joined 21 Mar 2009

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Microsoft struck by HTML5 commitment phobia

Wibble

IE9

Just to point out that IE9 doesn't run on any operating systems I have, e.g. I don't have Vista or Vista II. I do have a Mac with XP VMs (Vista/Vista II takes up too much disc space, circa 15Gb, in comparison with XP's 'svelte' 3Gb).

Despite everything they say, Vista II isn't nearly as widely implemented in the real world.

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Wibble
WTF?

Not on my Mac it's not

Who needs another Flash for more pointless animations and bloody adverts?

Meh

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Apple to dominate tablet biz through 2015

Wibble
Flame

Where on earth is Microsoft?

This is getting really odd; where on earth is Microsoft in this game? Even Ballmer must realise that every tablet sold is another nail in the "Windows everywhere" strategy -- it's only a small step to move iOS and Android into 'netbook' formats with traditional keyboard and mouse and the end of Windows is nigh for most low-end users. Sure, there'll always be a market for high-end computers for 'power users', but most people don't fall into this category.

It's like Microsoft have just given up.

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Fukushima fearmongers are stealing our Jetsons future

Wibble
WTF?

Horses are bloody dangerous

We couldn't possibly use horses as they're dangerous and unpredictable creatures.

We'd have to walk everywhere. Ah, but no running as children get hurt. Actually walking is dangerous - people die walking; no ambulances, so they'd have to walk to hospital. Fleck, no hospitals either as this uses technology to build the place. Argh, no food to feed the 6billion. You bastards, you mean we'd have to turn to cannibalism and eat the 5billion superfluous people. All because we have to think of the 15 children?

Why can't greenies think through the consequences of their beliefs? On the face of it there's little difference between environmentalism and religious beliefs in some deity or other - "greenimentalists"?

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Pre-release Windows 8 code hits PC makers

Wibble
Coffee/keyboard

Roll up, roll up, free phone with every app

>The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace was reported on Wednesday to have hit the 12,000 mark

So that's one app per phone sold? Only another 300,000 to go to match the iPhone/Android app stores!

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Stop sexing up IT and give Civil Servants Macs, says gov tech boss

Wibble
Happy

Or an etch-a-sketch

http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/1995-04-03/

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Microsoft+IE9: Holier than Apple open web convert?

Wibble
Go

But where's the vision?

Seems like Microsoft's biggest enemy is itself. Sort of reminiscent of British Leyland with it's competing divisions.

Still, credit where it's due; it's a big step out of proprietary 'standards' into open standards. Especially as it effectively means the end of the desktop as we know it: Android, iOS, ChromeOS, WebOS, etc, etc.

If only there was a way to magically clean up Microsoft's mess of formerly 'great' browsers. We'll be cleaning up that legacy for years - good news for web developers who earn a good living from polishing the Microsoft turd.

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Microsoft releases IE9 for chip happy Windows world

Wibble
Flame

Wide of the mark

Talk about wide of the mark; Microsoft are concentrating on a minor feature only of interest to 'games' and advertisers, neither are of interest in the real world.

What's needed is a browser where the laggard corporate community upgrade en-masse. No support for XP and reliance on 'exotic' graphics hardware (not available in low-end corporate machines) consigns IE9 to home users only. So the train wreck that is Microsoft's web development strategy continues.

What a crock.

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Apple MacBook Pro 15in

Wibble
Happy

Like for like, Apple's good value for money

Expensive compared with what? A top-end Viao F series is (Sony's site is so damn slow it's timed out) - maybe it knows I'm just comparing prices. What a crap website.

Looking at other websites, there's no like-for-like comparison, e.g. with an equivalent processor, hard disc, memory, GPU, etc. From past experience their top-end machines cost as much if not more than Apple's machines and they're made from plastic and run "windows".

Checking Dell's website (that works although is very noisy) a "Precision M4500" specced up with an inferior 2.13GHz I7, etc. came to £2230. This is plastic and runs "windows".

Checking on the Apple website (it works and is fast - Sony take note), even when speccing up the machine to the max (8Gb, 2.3 quad-core I7, high-res screen) it's less than £2300. Perfectly reasonable price for a professional -- my plumber spends more than that on tools in his van.

BTW, speccing the Macbook with the slower 2.2GHz processor reduced the cost to under £2100, e.g. better performance for much less than the Dell.

From my own experience, Apple laptops are very much designed as workhorse machines.

The Viaos I've had in the past have really shown their age after a short amount of time as the plastic wears away and it cracks and creaks. IMO Dells are fugly, fully living up to their corporate drone persona, yuck.

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Wibble
Boffin

Remap the keys

There's a script on the web to remap the @ and ". Once installed you never need to touch it (hence I can't remember its name!).

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Adobe releases Wallaby to jump Jobsian Flash ban

Wibble
Flame

Praise be for AdBlock

> currently only converts typical banner ads to HTML5

Blocking flash is only one thing that's needed. Blocking adverts is essential. If they up the ante, then blocking all JavaScript comes next.

Animated adverts are probably the most loathsome aspect of the intarwebs.

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Dixons Advent Vega

Wibble
Flame

Why widescreen?

As it's widescreen, it's now too damn narrow for portrait usage.

All designs are a compromise. Obviously this compromises on day-to-day usability for watching films.

Meh.

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Legally binding e-documents: Germany pushes secure email option

Wibble
Boffin

I'll have the ring and watch please...

X400 failed, or at least it declined, primarily because of the excruciating prices charged by the providers. This rate depended on the destination (just like snail mail) and the size of the content. 50c per kB wasn't uncommon, although it was cheaper in bulk -- a few cents per kB.

(I once found an application that pinged a keep alive message via X400 every 5 mins - cost the company $30,000 in a couple of months!)

That and X400's committee-designed email addresses of bewildering complexity.

Choose between that and the basically free Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, it was hardly suprising X400 went the way of the Dodo.

This does sound like son of X400.

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Microsoft tablet OS to see light of day in 'autumn 2012'

Wibble
Alert

@Cheesy

There's more to an operating system than the kernel and drivers. The API for instance. And security - which in the case of phone-style devices is a hugely significant issue. Sure, it's possible to create a new shell, but that too is only a little part of the overall challenge. Then there's all the tools, applications, software distribution, DRM... If it were that easy MS would have done it.

One of the reasons (as far as I'm concerned) that Apple don't do 'full' multitasking is that the more work that's done, the more power that's drawn. Allowing unfettered access to the full multitasking functionality of a full-size OS such as Windows (or MacOS for that matter) is asking for trouble.

Most developers are rather average and very selfish. Whilst you may be capable, most aren't. Even if most developers are capable, the fact that *some* can screw it up for the others is a good enough reason to question the OS architecture that allows them to create poor code in the first place.

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Wibble

Even longer

There was a tablet version of Windows 3.1 in about 1993. Having used one on a long train journey, I quickly realised then that a pen input device was completely inadequate. The user interface then was also poor for exactly the same reason that tablets failed in the early 2000's.

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Wibble

Tablet OS != Desktop OS

A tablet operating system needs to work with touch screens using big fingers. It also must eek out battery life to beyond a day. Windows 7 - or any 'desktop' OS for that matter - is optimised for mouse input and consumes lots of power.

Even an infinite amount of bluster from Balmer can't change the laws of physics. Microsoft will have to create two completely different operating systems. They may be branded Windows 8, but they will be different in every way.

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Microsoft rallies IE6 death squads

Wibble
Flame

What about IE7. And IE8...

IE6 is a horrid, bug-ridden piece of junk. Always has been and was exacerbated by Microsoft's refusal to fix it.

Then came IE7. Basically the same browser but with a new frock. Still as bug-ridden, still as unreliable and it too needs to be consigned to /dev/null.

Then there's IE8. Better, benefiting from a big update to the underlying Trident engine, but it doesn't support the later web standards -- try the ACID3 tests for a laugh (acid3.acidtests.org - scores 20/100). This too needs to be pensioned off as it's lack of support for the HTML5/CSS3 standards is holding back the web.

What's left. Oh, the beta of IE9. Given that all the other browsers have severe limitations (that's being kind), it doesn't inspire confidence in Microsoft's development abilities.

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Wibble
Boffin

IE8 (in)compatibility mode

IE8 (and IE9 for that matter) support a meta tag which you insert into the page to push the browser into incompatibility mode.

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />

This forces the browser to support all the bugs of IE7 -- countless broken box models, incorrect width calculations, collapsing margins, floating bugs...

The problem is that the underlying web applications are broken. All web development should be done on 'proper' browsers (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) with testing done in IE. Retro-fixing these applications will cost the proverbial arm and leg. Hence the incompatibility mode being quite attractive as you should be able to modify the pages to add this tag.

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Steve Jobs unveils iPad 2

Wibble
WTF?

Apple failing?!?

Just run that past us again please - we missed your point...

Oh, you mean Microsoft are failing as they don't have products that people want and their brand is waaayyyy from kewel.

You can't be talking about Apple; the iPad created the tablet market: prior to which there was no such market sector (don't even think about mentioning the Windos keyboardless PC things that have no battery life, aren't optimised for tactile manipulation, are heavy, look revolting and are totally undesirable). Apple can't make enough of the iPads to satisfy worldwide demand.

They've produced a solid update in the iPad 2 which doesn't alienate the iPad 1 owners whilst making it an improvement on existing tech. Not a bad achievement really.

What exactly was your augment? For the evidence doesn't seem to support your assertions.

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Wibble

Questions, questions...

And what exactly has that got to do with the price of tea in China?

It's clearly not a problem for the 15+ million purchasers of the iPad thus far. Certainly never been an issue for me.

Actually I wouldn't want a wide screen display as this means that it's less useful in portrait mode -- by far the most common orientation for reading, emailing and browsing. In fact of the hundreds of hours of use I've put my iPad, I think I've probably watched less than 10 hours of films/vids.

OLED's still not practical for this size of screen and very expensive (you'd whinge at that too). With 64Mb, there's plenty of space and synching with my main machine isn't at all onerous.

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Wibble
Coffee/keyboard

What's Flash?

Oh, the thing one blocks for adverts, spam, pointless animations and no battery life.

Flash - life is better without it. Steve said so:-)

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Wibble
Happy

Using my iPad

Sitting on a train writing this

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Fujitsu relieves Ballmer's iPad pressure

Wibble
WTF?

WTF?

> "executive-class" machine that's "designed for the high-security requirements of mobile enterprise computing."

If an "executive" doesn't know the difference between an "iPad" style machine and a "laptop" then they wouldn't know the difference between a 'Slate' and an Etch-a-Sketch.

Tablets are very different from laptops, not least the finger-friendly input and single-tasking user interface. Anyone who's attempted to use an iPad for writing a document or creating a presentation would know this.

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Microsoft's IE slipping into Chrome release cycle?

Wibble
Flame

Microsoft are always slow

The biggest problem with Microsoft browsers has always been their damnable intransigence to seldom update and fix bugs.

It's clear they're still slow in upgrading which doesn't bode well for the unfortunate web development community at always has to clear up their mess.

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EU agency calls for clear consent on indelible and zombie cookies

Wibble
Boffin

@Jim 'troll' Morrow

Cookies aren't evil; they're a necessary workaround to the limitations of HTTP. It's possible to code around using cookies in some circumstances, e.g. RESTful URLs, but this doesn't always work and can be a significant security risk.

There's two types of cookies: session and persistant. Session cookies only last as long as the browsers left open and are generally vital for any application that stores state, e.g. Logon. Session cookies are really important for most modern applications.

Persistant cookies are the ones that get misused buy the advertising community. These hang around for ages - years- and allow advertisers to re-connect your browsing history on the site.

Browser manufacturers should have a setting that limits the maximum age of a persistent cookie to, say, 7 days.

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After Black Friday, Nokia acts to halt share slide

Wibble
Flame

Money to burn?

> I'll pick up a few Nokia shares

Yep, they'll be dirt cheap and will continue to fall.

What an odd and risky strategy for a CEO: wiping out any added value in a stroke and reducing a venerable company to a box shifter.

Wonder what the next shareholder meeting will be like -- odds are that Elop will be out on his arse.

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Roberts Stream 63i

Wibble
Boffin

Living with it is a different matter

I've used Roberts kit for years and there's always problems. The predecessor unit I have in the bedroom is quirky to say the least.

The touch front panel doesn't work; one needs to use the remote to control it. The screen is too bright but when dimmed to minimum can't be read in the dark as there's insufficient contrast. Blue is the wrong colour; red would be better at night. The snooze control works on all functions; adjust the volume and it switches off. The remote control's UI is unintuitive and needs to be learned. IPhones interfere with loud clicks & bangs. The radio alarm doesn't specify the channel; go to sleep listening to Radio3 and go through the channel changing rigmarole (snooze, etc.) to change to Radio4 in the morning. It's a bit unreliable and needs occasional rebooting (disconnecting) to reset.

In short lots of niggles.

On the good side, it's a brilliant high quality sound that belies it's size. Much much much better than anything else on the market. It looks great. It's solidly built. The functionality is great.

Would I buy another? Without hesitation as he positives far outweigh the negatives. But it still doesn't excuse the considerable annoyances.

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Enough with the Apple App Store apathy

Wibble
Pint

Open sourcers = amateurs

Is open source better? Not necessarily as closed sourced software is, by definition, developed by professionals trying to scratch a living out of the success of their toils. Open sourcers are working ostensibly for fun.

Real innovation occurs when your life depends upon it. Hence 300k+ iOS apps.

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HP rocks Redmond with webOS PC play

Wibble
Heart

Wonderful news - at last!

At last we're getting to the point where the OS is irrelevant to 'normal' users. There's no need for the bloated full-size OS's for *most* people. Sure, if you're a 'power user' you'll need a full-function OS, but for the majority of people who do a bit of browsing, emailing, light duty apps, this'll do nicely.

It's so daft that MS have neglected this. With their lead in Wince, they could have something here. But no, they've done their usual stunt of ignoring it and hoping it'll go away to further the life of full-fat windows.

Apple needn't be too complacent here either. Although it's probably true that most Mac users are in the power-user category.

Good on HP.

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Microsoft finally says adios to Autorun

Wibble
Stop

Hope Apple follow soon

Apple still enable auto run on the Mac. They don't even have a temp disable key - hold down the shift key - like windows did.

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Bank scorched by stupid Facebook policy

Wibble
Happy

The possibilities are endless...

Email to head of HR... "you're a useless fuckwit oxygen thief who wouldn't know a well thought through policy if it beat you with it's soggy end. According to an anonymous poster in an obscure forum.".

And then sue for unfair dismissal for following a direct order. What a way to resign:-)

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Dell unveils 10-inch Windows 7 tablet

Wibble
Happy

Choice; chance to compare

At last it'll be possible to see equivalent fondle slabs to compare like with like. Will the WinSlab be any use; will it have any battery life; will the user interface work without a pen...? Then compare that with the AndroidSlab, maybe even the iPad.

I'm so looking forwards to Android and iOS developing out of the tablet arena and into desktop machines. For normal lightweight use, one just doesn't need the complexity of the big desktop operating systems. Sure, for 'power users', but not casual use that most 'puters are put to.

It's the apps that set the slabs apart from their bigger cousins.

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Motorola Super Bowl ad rips Apple drones

Wibble
Badgers

What's a superbowl?

Is a superbowl something full of sugar, fat and other bad stuff that will eventually kill you from McBucks/PizzaKing? The parody that is the oversized people in a field attacking each other is enough.

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HTC Mozart WinPho 7 smartphone

Wibble

Never used one; never even seen one!

Not only have I never used one, I've never even seen one being used. I would have thought that after 4 months I would have seen someone on a train, in the office, or even in a shop, but no.

Nothing wrong with looking at alternatives to the established iPhone & Android. Just wondering what Microsoft will botch up next given that they've had a decade to develop something new. Pity they chose to sit on their laurels - ooh, we're the market leader so lets not bother with this innovation malarkey.

OK, it's rather perverse, but I'm relishing in watching Microsoft's slow-speed train-wreck. I wonder how long it will be until there's a revolution in Microsoft and the tired leadership get ousted - I suppose we'll have to watch out for the MS web going down when Bill visits;-)

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Wibble
FAIL

Back to the review...

Why was a phone that's not really exceptional and that is crippled with lack of memory and an infant operating system given a high score of 80%?

Your favourite zune marketplace is a sideshow to the main event; the phone itself. Not that it's relevant to people with a large collection of MP3 files.

As ever, you're missing the point that Windog7 is still a version 1 product that's missing all the basics and includes all the 1st generation bugs -- just where is the promised service pack??? Not to mention the availability of applications is rather limited in comparison with Android and iOS.

So in summary, buy a Windog for the zune marketplace. Hmm.

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Orange blames switch for data problems

Wibble
WTF?

Sorry to tell you this...

All the telcos are as bad as each other. I've used three different ones this year on the same commute and they're all crap. Like Vodaphone who doesn't have 3G in Victoria Station, or Orange and O2 who don't cover the city of London -- the lights are on (signal) but there's no connectivity.

The only thing they are good at is extracting money from our wallets.

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Wibble
Flame

I want my money back

So if I had a 'temporary outage' of my payment, they'd be OK with that? What about money back for all the time it's not been available?

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Google algorithm change squashes code geek 'webspam'

Wibble

OK, naming names

I mean sites like caio, pricerunner, reevoo, etc. Whenever one looks for a particular model -- and particularly if it's rather obscure -- these sites always come up and add no value as they all show the same set of vendors with the same prices, few reviews if any...

In short they're a waste of characters in the Google result set. I've never really found them to be of any use, e.g. adding any value to a search.

Let me give you an example. I bought a telly over Christmas. The one I wanted -- from LG -- wasn't available, so I was looking for a Samsung. All of these sites came up with the same set of answers. None of them listed the company -- Comet -- which I found to be the cheapest. I hate to say this but, like the Direct Line adverts, price comparison sites don't always work.

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Wibble
Thumb Up

Personal blocklist

Would be nice if I could 'blacklist' certain sites from my Google searches. There's a pile of useless spammy tech sites that just parrot original content - and badly too. But my top blocks would be those damn stupid 'comparison' sites that add no value and are of no use to anyone.

At the end of the day Google needs to get on top of this in order to stay on top.

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ACS:Law turns back on file-sharer court case

Wibble
Go

Grounds to be counter-sued?

Given that the judge has expressed reservations, what's the chances of him being counter-sued for libel? E.g. making false accusations?

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Pirates: Good for Microsoft, great for open sourcers

Wibble
Alert

"This copy of windows is not genuine"

If you copy W7 it goes into lockdown mode, but this mode doesn't do anything save for whinge at you and change the desktop background. It allows updates and pretty much everything else.

This is MS's recommended strategy for training companies as they don't want 'live' corporate serial numbers to be used (apparently it's too easy for students to run an app to lift the serial number).

Kind of like MS tacitly accept piracy for exactly the reasons outlined in the article and they reserve the right to change this at a later date (they've got to wean people off of XP somehow:-O)

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Philips 21:9 Cinema 58in LED backlit TV

Wibble
Alert

£4000 is an utterly eye-watering price

This is many times more expensive than it's direct competition. With 55" tellies due to become mainstream this year, prices will likely drop to a quarter of the price of this telly this year.

Goodness knows how Phillips make money as they're always difficult to get hold of and rarely competitive against the mass market competition, i.e. the far-Eastern mega-corporates.

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UK short 100K tech recruits this year

Wibble

Male only?

I wouldn't say that. Sure, at the really techie end there's a definite lack of females, but IT isn't all tech. Move towards management or the business interface and it's pretty 50/50.

Pity that there's not more females interested in tech. It's a general societal issue where girls just don't seem to like "engineering" so shy away from it at a very early age. Maybe blokes don't care about being called geeky.

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Wibble
Thumb Up

Yippee!

Shortage of staff = higher rates. Can't wait. It'll make a change from the "take a 10% cut or sod off" attitude that's recently prevailed.

But what price experience? So sick of listening to people who want an "expert" but are only prepared to pay for a junior.

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Chinese crack down on 'money-sucker' Androids

Wibble
Headmaster

Makes Apple's walled app-store garden look good

Always the biggest problem when adding 'smart' to a phone.

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China announces Skype ban to protect telco revenues

Wibble
Big Brother

P2P is harder to monitor

Phones OTOH are very easy to monitor.

Wasn't it last year that GCHQ offered a 'reward' to any company that could demonstrate cracking P2P comms?

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BT fibre-up-your-exchange poll in 6-way Mugabe style pileup

Wibble
Flame

BT === tossers

What is it about BT that they want other people to do their bloody marketing. Years ago I had to go around the village to drum up support for Broadband. Now the scumbags are doing it again.

It's OK for the townies who always get the latest and best speeds. Try living outside of a major town and see what 100k BPS is like and with no chance of upgrade.

BT don't like the fact that they're required to lay the infrastructure but can't make a fortune from their monopoly: "why do we have to lay the infrastructure and then give it away to other providers".

There's sod all difference to providing Broadband than providing any other utility; water, sewage, electricity, (can't get gas out of town). Quite frankly it should be provided for, or at least driven by, the government.

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0

Paul Allen reloads patent attack against tech titans

Wibble

Some days it's hardly worth chewing through the straps

Bit different to the normal patent modus operandi - loads of big (US) companies getting together for a chat and all agreeing to do nothing except keep new entrants out of the market.

Let's hope that 2011 is the year that software patents are finally abandoned. Fat hope of that happening.

Still, at least it gives the big boys something to do and provides some quantitive easing for the poor beleagured lawyers. Pity it ends up as 'gadget inflation' for the rest of us; a tech tax.

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Massive new US spy airship 'could be used to carry big cargoes'

Wibble

Saving Helium

Why not pump the helium into compressed containers? It's well known that helium seeps out of just about anything, but if you were to compress it to a matter of 5 to one, you'd save on venting the stuff and be able to trim the height.

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Asus to punt Core i5 Windows 7 tablet

Wibble
FAIL

Another company that doesn't 'get it'

A bit of a consensus seems to be going on in these forums. Tablet form factors, as lead by the iPad, are great for some things and rubbish at others. The convenience of instant on, very long battery life, smallish (but not too small) and lightish. The breakthrough isn't the form factor, it's the operating system which is optimised for finger control, and applications optimised for this genre.

This machine looks as if it's a PC crammed into a tablet form factor:

- light weight;

- long battery life;

- high power.

Pick any two. Ye can't change the laws of physics captain.

The tablet operating systems, that's iOS and Android, are optimised for lower power processors, so there's no point in having high power unless you use a desktop operating system such as Windows which simply doesn't work on these form factors (no keyboard or mouse, limited battery, fiddly mouse-oriented UI, high power consumption interface, etc.).

Market differentiation in the tablet sector isn't going to come through higher power. In fact there's little that the hardware manufacturers can add to differentiate tablets at all. Differentiation's going to come through the operating system and application ecosystem and Apple's a formidable competitor with a massive lead.

How much evidence do they need to see this? Microsoft have been flogging this dead horse for years: more iPads are sold in a month than all previous Microsoft tablet sales put together -- that's since Windows 3.1 tablet edition through to the latest versions.

So, why bother when it's doomed?

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