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* Posts by frank ly

3226 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

iPhone queue ‘superficial and pretentious’ says queuing fangirl

frank ly
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Happy shiny people all around

" ...it is pleasingly light, so much so that an Apple Store staffer joked it may be disconcertingly so."

He was then taken into a back room by two black shirted staff, for re-education and attitude adjustment.

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Senate hears Microsoft and HP avoided billions in US taxes

frank ly
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Re: Tax law is too complex

"... paid $40 million in taxes on $2,507 million income ..."

Company taxes are paid on profits (and a few other things), not income, quite rightly. Large and 'skillful' companies with trans-national operations have developed methods to disguise their true costs and hence their true profits; this is the problem.

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frank ly
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Re: "But ethically, at least to this El Reg hack, the situation stinks."

"I do it on a personal level ..."

Do you, (can you), have your salary paid into a foreign bank account of a service company and then loan yourself money and pay interest to the foreign service company and then pay yourself foreign earned dividends on the profits the foreign service company makes?

If you could, that would be wonderful and you'd think that was perfectly ok. Why can't you and I do that?

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Swiss railways ticked off at iOS clock knock-off

frank ly
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That was my first thought too but the second hand may be the deciding factor. It is very distinctive and you can't make a logical argument for it based on function. I think the big blob on the end looks silly, but that's just personal opinion.

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Deep, deep dive inside Intel's next-generation processor

frank ly
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re. Skin Tones

Just wondering, what happens if you have a picture that includes pale skinned people AND dark skinned people (like in a production with talking heads, (or bed-action bodies), etc).? How does it know what a 'skin tone' really is?

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Conflict-of-interest scandal could imperil Wikimedia charity status

frank ly
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Re: Wikipedia madness

I can't find anything about 'Gell-Mann Amnesia' in Wikipedia. Are you sure this thing exists?

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frank ly
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Human Nature is what it is

If there is money to be made, in a way that is not obviously illegal, there is sure to be somebody who will take advantage of whatever position they have. The only good thing to come out of this seems to be that the Wikipedians are (at last?) waking up and smelling what's happening.

I'd be happy to rely on Wikipedia for cold dry facts, as written by engineers and scientists (and reviewed and pounced on by other engineers and scientists) , and I often use it to do simple research on technical subjects and medical conditions. Given that it can be edited by anybody, anything that has a whiff of PR (like promoting a tourist destination or investment opportunity) must be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

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Google's Android celebrates fourth birthday

frank ly
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I'll be out for Sunday lunch and a pint .....

... with my HTC Wildfire, HTC Incredible, Advent Vega and my Asus Transformer T300.

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How hard is 3D printing?

frank ly
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Thank you .....

... for an interesting and informative article. With an initial purchase cost of about $2000, it's not a bad price for serious hobbyist equipment and a very low price for any small company that could use such a capability.

Christmas is coming....... :)

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Win8 tablets may cost MORE than iPads – AND LAPTOPS

frank ly
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Re: Taichi

Apart from jokes about 'Tai Chi' and martial arts, note that it says " ... easy to share files between two users".

I think the selling point is that when you are using it as a laptop, your Tai Chi partner can sit on the other side of the desk and use the tablet screen. With headphones, you can play independent videos or perhaps play Battleships, etc. (I'm using my imagination here and it's getting weird.)

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Smack your phones up, says Microsoft

frank ly
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This patent is just whacking off

(see title)

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Key evidence in Assange case dissolves

frank ly
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Very strange

In these 'modern' times, especially in a modern country such as Sweden, how could anyone be so stupid as to submit fake evidence of this nature? As a separate point, how did it take so long for these DNA tests to be performed?

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Hong Kong visitors get all-in-one guidebook and phone

frank ly
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Re: Calls to mobiles

In the USA (and other places), for mobile calls, the called party pays (via a bill charge or from minutes allowance). In the UK (and other places) it's the calling party that pays.

Is there any particular reason for this, such as legal/cultural/traditional? As a Brit, it just feels 'wrong' to me that the called party should pay for an incoming call.

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Reg hack uncovers perfect antidote to internet

frank ly
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So ......

... you did get a happy ending after all.

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Australian retailers make just 3% of sales online

frank ly
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re. " ... down the rabbit hole"

When a government bureau of statistics decides which companies are 'innovating' and 'non-innovating', then you really have gone down the rabbit hole.

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Intel builds 'can't be built' working digital RF transceiver chip

frank ly
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They forgot to update Clark's first law .......

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist [/engineer/manager] states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

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Apple iPhone 5 hands-on review

frank ly
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Thank you Steve and Fats

Time for me to do some web research/reading.

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frank ly
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@FatsBrannigan Re: A serious technical/usability question .....

Let me try to understand this by asking a different question: If an iPhone 4S/5 user switched to using a Galaxy S3 (say) and got over the hurdle of setting up a Google account and installing needed apps, what would they miss about the iPhone that they could not work around?

To save you the effort of a detailed reply, can you recommend any particular iPhone user website/guide?

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frank ly
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@Dave 126 re. Little legs so it can walk around your desk

If they'd made the case out of sapient pearwood ........

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frank ly
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A serious technical/usability question .....

Can anyone tell me if the iPhone5 is capable of doing something noticeable better or in a usefully different way from high-end Android phones? Please note that using any of Apple's walled garden facilities does not count, nor does using an esoteric app that has only been developed for the iPhone.

I'm asking as someone who's had an HTC Incredible for 18 months and is quite satisfied with it, but is now considering an upgrade (maybe HTC One S, maybe not .....) I prefer to buy my phone unlocked and have a SIM only contract.

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New monkey species with massive blue arse found in Africa

frank ly
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Poor quality pics

The pictures of the 'blue' area, in the linked article appear to be overexposed and almost white (or is it my screen?). I was promised a blue arse and I feel disappointed.

P.S. I can't think why anyone would be offended by those pictures. It's an animal in it's natural state. If there is anyone who's unaware that male primates have external genitalia, then it's about time they learned.

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iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

frank ly
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Re: Expensive No Doubt

This seems like a subtle clue that they're getting ready to use the Galileo satellite navigation system.

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Microsoft preparing for diskless Windows 8 PCs

frank ly
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Many possible solutions

I have an old USB memory stick that has a 'secure' hidden partition that is manipulated by a supplier utility. This reports itself as a separate drive when plugged in. It's definitely possible, all that's needed is for everybody to agree to a standard. The possession of patents in this area may be a sticking point.

Why not go for external SSD drives connected by a short SATA cable?

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Information is the UI in Windows 8, says design guru

frank ly
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Just wondering .....

"The author travelled to TechEd, ate and slept, as a guest of Microsoft."

When he woke up, were there two small puncture wounds on his neck?

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Viewsonic 22in Android 'tablet' hands-on review

frank ly
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Frozen meal packaging tells you the instructions and heating times for various powers of microwave oven. I can't think what other information you'd need in a kitchen or why you'd want to spend much time there.

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Google skids car insurance comparison engine onto rivals' lawn

frank ly
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Use disposable e-mail addresses and type in a false phone number. (I realise that the false phone number may be regarded as anti-social, since there will probably be a victim, but you can give the phone number of another car insurance company.)

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WD to parade flash-disk mutant for Wall St moneybags this week

frank ly
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"Personal cloud storage hardware (aka external hard drives)"

Laughing, crying, spluttering and shaking my head at the same time. (Do not try this at home).

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Archos 101 XS 10.1in Android tablet review

frank ly
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Good typing and mousing experiences

The Asus Transformer Pad has a full size USB connector at the back of its keyboard base, which will drive wired mice and wireless mice (at least the two particular species of mice which I possess). It will also drive a USB keyboard, which is useful if you want to do lots of typing and prefer a full sized 'proper' keyboard, as I'm doing right now.

I'd be happy to have a tablet (screen only) device that had two USB connectors (probably small or micro size) so that I could use a 'proper' keyboard and mouse (via connector adaptors) when I felt the need to do so. Has any tablet manufacturer done that?

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HTC's 4G patent beef could get iPhone 5 BANNED in US

frank ly
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Happy

HTC missed a trick ...

They should have sold the patent to Samsung.

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NZ beaks give climate skeptics the bird

frank ly
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Re: Spelling, . .

That's because they are American and not English. They speak (and write) a very similar, but different, language.

Color me surprised, that sort of snuck up on us.

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Spammers, phishers escape proper punishment

frank ly
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"... effective and appropriate punishments."

Chop their fingers off !

(I've recently been getting a slew of mobile spam texts and also some phishing attempts on an e-mail address that I've managed to share only with 'trustworthy' organisations for ten years now. I'm not in a good mood.)

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Fanboi beats 'e-trespassing' rap after using GPS to find stolen iPad

frank ly
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Basic misunderstanding

"She also said, ....... that the fondleslab-deprived man was allowed to beam them wherever he wished in pursuit of his property."

It seems the magistrate thought that the owner was shining 'searcher rays' into private property in an attempt to find his stolen property. When the people in a technological society who sit in judgement of us are this ignorant, it worries me.

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Sparkfun punts bonkers banana-piano kit at hardware hackers

frank ly
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Solving real-world 'problems' .....

" ...wood was a little too conductive and the 3mm gap between the panels wasn't isolating enough - a wider gap works,... "

Try putting a 1Megohm (or 2M or 500k) resistor in series with the contact wires. That would enable you to have a smaller wood gap while still being able to detect a finger press. Go on, do some real engineering.

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First Irish-speaking virus holds bloke's computer to ransom

frank ly
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" ...only about 60 per cent of the virus makes sense in Irish."

I didn't know that x86 assembler code has close similarity to Gaelic.

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Nokia apologizes for faking Lumia 920 ad

frank ly
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Re: Would it be churlish and overly pedantic of me...

The lad doth protest too much, methinks.

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It's time to burn the schedules and seize control of OUR TVs

frank ly
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WTF?

WTF?

"Keeping a list of directors, actors and subjects of interest for automatic recording is also a TiVo-owned concept,"

How the heck can TiVo 'own' a concept and have patents on it?? The concept of advice based on known previous likings has been implemented by family, friends and colleagues for ages, ever since the mass production of novels.

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Intel's 'Mobile Etiquette' survey uncovers global peevishness

frank ly
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My mind-boggle meter is in red zone

"... share information online when they're in the bathroom ..."

Is this texts, voice calls, picture messages, twitter/facebook updates?

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Huawei denies spying, calls for global security standards

frank ly
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Re: This kind of thing is hardly surprising.

But, but....but....we were the best.....we had it all, .....what's happening?

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Insecure SCADA kit has hidden factory account, password

frank ly
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Re: Backdoors have a reason

"The dude who knew all the passwords died ....."

That's all down to adequate and well maintained company procedures and records, which are often inadequate even if they've been thought about.

Good call on the 'service button'.

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'World's first' dog to sniff out pilfered cabling is Brit black lab

frank ly
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Re: Um...

No, the brain creates a 3D model based on various factors, but the eyes create 2D images (of surprisingly poor resolution away from the centre region of vision.)

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Chick-lit star snubs Menshn.com password flaw alert

frank ly
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"... Menshn promises to offer an environment free of spam and trolls. "

A politician's promises, .... very reliable I'm sure.

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Voyager's 35th birthday gift: One-way INTERSTELLAR ticket

frank ly
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Re: The ultimate engineering project

After a couple of hundred years, it will be picked up by an advanced alien civilisation and given a refit/upgrade. (I saw a drama-documentary about that a few years ago on tv.)

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frank ly
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Re: Astrophysics questions....

Thank you Dave; I should have had the sense to try that first (and it made my brain hurt too). I'm extending my imagination to cover gaseous particle interactions that take place over many millions of miles with time intervals of days/months/years.

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frank ly
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Astrophysics questions....

The article notes a rapidly escalating amount of galactic cosmic rays as Voyager goes through the 'heliosheath'. Are these 'rays' slowed and stopped or deflected by the effects of Sol? If so, is it a magnetic, electrostatic or electromagnetic effect? I can't imagine it would be particle interaction since everything out there is mostly empty space and I can't see how photons coming in would be affected at all.

Is it a boiling maelstrom of energetic 'stuff' on the outside of the heliosheath region or is this an increase which is only noticeable by sensitive instruments?

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Report: Nokia to join Qi party with wireless-charging Lumia 920

frank ly
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Reasons....

Is the tussle over standards to do with firmly held technical beliefs about the superiority of one over the other; or is it to do with owning patents that are essential to a particular standard? Just wondering.

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New deals for Virgin Sim punters

frank ly
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Re: FUP

On their cable internet service (with 1GB a day 'fair use' limit), they step the speed down to 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 of maximum as you pass various trigger points in the 1-2GB range. I'd be very surprised if they didn't do something similar with their mobile service.

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Organic food offers basically no health benefit, boffins find

frank ly
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@AC 08:46 Re: Science and allergies

According to one theory I read about (on the internet, so it must be true), there was a large supply of unwanted peanut oil as a by-product of peanut paste manufacture. This was incorporated into baby oil type products (since it's natural and we all know that natural products are good for you) and applied to the delicate skin of many, many babies and young children. The theory is that some component of the peanut oil was absorbed through the skin and resulted in sensitisation to that component, leading to a later allergy towards peanuts.

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Ofcom begged to protect minicab, other small-biz's radio spectrum

frank ly
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Can anyone explain?

From a purely technical and practical point of view, I can't understand why taxi drivers and similar people would need private radio in preference to the standard mobile phone service. A dedicated mobile phone (voice and text only) could easily be made to dock/integrate into the car's power and audio system and a 'specialist' model could be made that can automatically accept calls so that the driver doesn't need to fiddle with it when his controller calls him.

I'm not saying they should be denied the use of private radio, I'm just wondering why they want it in preference to standard mobile voice service. Is it a running cost and/or privacy thing?

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Wireless Power breakthrough: Iron Man can lose the chest reactor

frank ly
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Re: Patent

You can't keep something secret and then jump up years later and say, "I invented that, so you can't patent it."

An invention has to be published (to make it prior art) or patented (to give it patent protection) to prevent a later developer from claiming patent rights. Any spooks have obviously done neither of those things.

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War-Droid: Smartphone app 'that could CALL IN drone strikes'

frank ly
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Happy

"... the doctoral student leading wok ..."

If you get Lester to make you a bacon sarnie, that might take your mind off food.

(I know there's a corrections button but this is more fun.)

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